415. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Certain Specified and Unified Commanders1

JCS 912463. From JCS. Exclusive for General Armstrong, Admiral Wright, General Harrison, General Partridge, General Gruenther, [Page 845] General Lemnitzer, Admiral Stump, Admiral Boone, General Lemay, General Fry pass to General Taylor, CSA.

The Senior Foreign Liaison Officer in Tel Aviv has reported that, “Israeli Defense Force units have penetrated and attacked Fedayeen bases in Kuntilla and Ras El Naqueb area and have taken up positions to the west of the Nahel Road junction, towards the Suez Canal.” This action followed an accelerated Israeli matériel buildup lasting several weeks and an intensive mobilization substantially completed during past 12 days. This attack took place on night 29–30 October. Heavy IDF concentration has been reported Beersheba, possibly threatens direct route through El Auja to North Sinai where major Egyptian forces in Sinai located. No further information this action.
The Intelligence Advisory Committee has concluded that:
The scale and nature of the Israeli attack was sufficient to precipitate war with Egypt. Whether war results depends largely on the Egyptian reaction which is as yet unknown.
Franco-Israeli collaboration probably exists in connection with the Israeli move against Egypt with at least the tacit approval of the British. The British and French are prepared to and probably will intervene with force in the Middle East as opportunity occurs in connection with the Israeli-Egyptian action.
Strikes and violence in protest against French seizure of the Algerian rebel leaders2 flared in most of the Arab world on 28 October. Further strikes and demonstrations have been called Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia for 1 November, the anniversary of the Algerian Revolt. Large-scale intervention by French armed forces to protect French lives and property probable and could lead to France-Moroccan hostilities. Israeli attack in Egypt seems likely further inflame Arab world.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that Israeli forces have gone so far as to leave little probability that they will now pull back. A serious consideration is the reaction of the USSR to this situation. The United States in concert with France and the UK is introducing the issue into the United Nations without delay.
Following United States actions being taken:
Sixth Fleet Carrier Strike Force and Amphibious Force directed proceed vicinity Cyprus.
Hunter-Killer Group and two submarines in Rotterdam directed proceed Eastern Mediterranean report COM Sixth Fleet.
One RCT CINCEUR area, one RCT in ZI and one C–124 wing in ZI alerted for possible movement.3
  1. Source: JCS Records, CCS 381 EMMEA (11–19–47) Sec 47 RB. Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Noforn. The source text indicates that the message originated with Radford.
  2. On October 22, the French Government seized a chartered airplane carrying five leaders of the Algerian rebellion enroute between Rabat and Tunis. The Algerians were arrested and incarcerated.
  3. JCS 912773, sent on November 2 to the same Specified and Unified Commanders as JCS 912463, indicated that the Joint Chiefs had taken the following additional steps to improve overall military readiness: (1) moved the CINCNELM command to USS Pocono in the Mediterranean; (2) canceled the amphibious exercise in the Atlantic and issued instructions to plan for loading out one Marine battalion landing team; (3) authorized the loading of additional atomic weapons in CV As Forrestal and FDR and placed them on short notice for possible movement; and (4) indicated intent to move U.S. Naval forces west of Crete as soon as evacuation of U.S. nationals was completed. (JCS Files)