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D 114. 7: W 19/2 

United States Amy in World War 2, 

mam • , : 

: aWWm 

¥i, "S: Si IS 

OCT 6 1Kb' 



The War Department 




Richard M. Leighton 


Robert W. Coakley 




Library of Congress Catalog Number: 55-60001 

Firs! Printed 1955— CMH Pub 1-5 

For sale bv the IS. Government Printing ( >Hi< < 
Superintendent ol Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC. 20 102 


Kent Roberts Greenfield, General Editor 

Advisory Committee 

(As of 31 March 1954) 

James P. Baxter 

President, Williams College 

John D. Hicks 

University of California 

William T. Hutchinson 

University of Chicago 

S. L. A. Marshall 

Detroit News 

Charles S. Sydnor* 

Duke University 

Brig. Gen. Verdi B. Barnes 

Army War College 

Brig. Gen. Leonard J. Greeley 

Industrial College of the Armed Forces 

Brig. Gen. Elwyn D. Post 

Army Field Forces 

Col. Thomas D. Stamps 

United States Military Academy 

Col. C. E. Beauchamp 

Command and General Staff College 

Charles H. Taylor 

Harvard University 

Office of the Chief of Military History 

Maj. Gen. Albert C. Smith, Chief** 

Chief Historian Kent Roberts Greenfield 

Chief, War Histories Division Col. George G. O'Connor 

Chief, Editorial and Publication Division Lt. Col. Thomas E. Bennett 

Chief, Editorial Branch Joseph R. Friedman 

Chief, Cartographic Branch Wsevolod Aglaimoff 

Chief, Photographic Branch Maj. Arthur T. Lawry 

* Deceased. 

** Maj. Gen. Orlando Ward was succeeded by General Smith on 1 February 1953. 

. . . to Those Who Served 


The present volume, and its successor, depict a massive achievement: the 
performance by the Army of the task of effecting the orderly assembly, move- 
ment, and delivery of great masses of men and materiel throughout the world 
to meet not only American requirements but also those of the other nations 
fighting the Axis. The authors show how the demands of this task affected 
American strategy and how it reacted on the shape and mission of the Army. 

These volumes present the outlook of the War Department as a whole on 
this task, rather than that of any one agency or command of the Army. Two 
other volumes in the same subseries will deal with the Army's procurement of 
munitions and supplies from that standpoint. The rest of the logistical story will 
be told in volumes on the Army Service Forces, the seven technical services, and 
the theaters of operations. 

Logistical tasks account in large measure for the enormous administrative 
machinery that the Army developed in the course of the war. Its development, 
though not a complete surprise, exceeded all anticipations. The demand for 
service troops seemed insatiable and required repeated revisions of the troop 
basis. With this went a "proliferation of overhead" in the form of complex 
controls and higher headquarters that ate up officers needed for the training 
and leading of fighting troops, drew into the service a multitude of specialists, 
and confused the chain of command. The trend ran counter to the traditional 
American belief that the overriding mission of the Army is to fight, a conviction 
so deep that some commanders, like General McNair, fought to keep the Army 
lean and simple. In World War II they lost this fight. 

Those who fear that administration is supplanting combat as the primary 
mission of the Army will find much to ponder in this book and its companion 

Washington, D. C. Major General, USA 

1 2 March 1 954 Chief, Military History 


The Authors 

Richard M. Leighton, who received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 
History from Cornell University, has taught in Brooklyn College, the University 
of Cincinnati, and George Washington University. During World War II, com- 
missioned in the Quartermaster Corps, he was assigned to the Control Division, 
Headquarters, Army Service Forces, as a historical officer, and wrote various 
studies on the organization and administration of that command. 

Robert W. Coakley, who has a Ph. D. in History from the University of 
Virginia, has taught in that university, Tulane University, the University of 
Arkansas, and the Fairmont State College, West Virginia. After serving as a 
noncommissioned officer in Headquarters Battery, 927th Field Artillery Bat- 
talion, 102d Infantry Division, he became a member of the Historical Division 
of ETOUSA and USFET and wrote for that office the studies, "Organization 
and Command in ETO" and "Supply of the Army of Occupation." 

Since 1948 the authors have been members of the Logistics Section of this 
Office. Dr. Leighton is chief of the section. 



The great conflict of 1939-45 was not the first world war (nor even the 
second), nor was it the first war that drove some of its participants close to the 
limits of their material resources. But in the combination of these characteristics 
it brought forth problems, in the technical and administrative spheres, of a 
degree if not of a kind that was new in the history of warfare. World War II pro- 
duced, in effect, a new logistics — new in that it was at once interconnected and 
global. Every local logistical problem was part of a larger whole; none could be 
settled without consideration of the impact its settlement would have on other 
local problems, often in a widening circle of repercussions rippling clear 
around to the other face of the world. As the war itself was global, the logistics 
of each battle or campaign often had world-wide ramifications, even though the 
outcome of the operation itself might be purely local in its effects. A handful of 
landing craft, two or three freighters, a few precious tanks used at one spot 
might mean a desperate lack somewhere else. 

In this volume we have viewed the logistical problems of the U.S. Army in 
World War II from the point of view that most accentuated their interconnected 
and global character — the point of view of the high command and staffs in 
Washington. We have confined ourselves to those large problems that more or 
less constantly engaged the attention of the high command: transportation 
across oceans and continents — division of effort and resources in a coalition of 
sovereign, unequally endowed nations, different in their interests and outlook — 
co-ordination of logistical support of "joint" operations employing land, sea, 
and air power in varying admixtures — development of effective planning tech- 
niques for anticipating needs in men and materiel long before they emerged — 
organizational and administrative difficulties attendant upon mobilization and 
an unprecedented expansion of the nation's military power — the delicate rela- 
tionships between strategy and logistics, especially in the formulation of strategic 
plans — the frictions of interagency co-ordination, both within the Military 
Establishment and between it and the civilian authorities. The most persistent 
theme is the chronic, pervasive competition for resources — a competition that 
was scarcely diminished even when the war machine began to pour out those 
resources with a prodigality the world had never before seen. 

This approach has its disadvantages. In looking out from the center at a 
distant horizon, so to speak, we may have missed some of the hard and hum- 
drum reality of logistics, as many of our readers no doubt experienced it — 


perhaps while driving a truck in New Guinea or, on another war front, while 
inventorying underwear and blankets in a North Carolina warehouse. Of such 
realities a Yankee friend of ours, learning one day in 1944 that he was about to 
be transferred from this latter war front to a more active one overseas, scribbled 
a few exultant verses: 

Shake, shake, oh dust of Charlotte, from my feet! 

Leave off, oh rebel twangings, from my ears; 

Unpackage me, oh package factory, 

That from your ancient war that never ends 

I may go on to this one that today 

Is real .... 

This reaction was understandable. The "package factory" in North Carolina 
was unexciting enough, Heaven knows, yet it was indispensable to the "real" 
war that our friend yearned to see. It was, in fact, one of the realities of the 
Army's logistical experience that, regrettably, does not figure largely in this 

In so broad an approach, moreover, certain topical omissions have been 
unavoidable in the effort to achieve, within the space at our disposal, a reason- 
able depth of treatment. We have made no attempt to cover the entire potpourri 
of activities that official usage in recent years has labeled as "logistics." Most of 
the subject areas here treated only lightly or not at all have been assigned to 
other volumes in the series — such areas as training, military procurement and 
manpower, the administration of the Army's establishment in the United 
States, the internal logistics of overseas theaters, and the detailed aspects of the 
various specialized commodity and service activities for which the Army's tech- 
nical services were responsible. We have left to the historians of the Army Air 
Forces, moreover, the task of treating the logistics of air power. What remains, 
in general, is a central view of the logistics of ground warfare, heavily accenting 
supply and transportation, and bounded in space on one side by the factory and 
depot in the United States, on the other by the overseas port or beachhead. 
Chronologically, the book covers the prewar mobilization period and the first 
year and a half of American participation in the war, stopping on the eve of the 
Washington conference of May 1943. A second volume, now in preparation, 
will carry the story through to the end of the war. 

This is a work of collaboration. Very few chapters are solely the product of 
one author's labors. With little visible strain upon good nature or friendship, 
we have freely exchanged criticism and suggestions, editing, substantive data, 
and even draft segments of chapters, though one or the other of us has under- 
taken the final writing of each chapter. The general scheme of the book is a 
joint product. Over all, the division of labor has shaped up approximately as 
follows: Chapters and sections dealing with Anglo-American strategic planning, 
ship construction and munitions production, allocation of merchant shipping, 
landing craft, the Army's supply programs and its machinery for supply and 
transportation, the Pearl Harbor crisis, the logistical build-up in the British 
Isles and the North African operation are by Leighton — Introduction, and 

Chapters I (in part), II, V, VI (in part), VIII, IX, XII-XIV, XVI, XVII, 
XXII, XXIII, and XXV-XXVII. Those dealing with foreign aid, the logistical 
machinery of the joint and combined committee systems and the combined 
boards, Armv-Navy logistical co-ordination, and the war against Japan are by 
Coaklev— Chapters I (in part). III, IV, VI (in part), VII, X, XI, XV, 

Our large debt to others can only be sketchily described here. First and 
most grateful mention goes to Dr. Kent Roberts Greenfield, Chief Historian of 
the Army and conscientious literary godfather, who has patiently read and 
meticulously criticized the manuscript at each of its many stages, and through 
it all has never allowed us to forget — however little our endeavors seemed to 
justify the hope — that a specialized subject can be made interesting to others 
besides specialists. Mrs. Susan Frost Parrish not only did much of the basic 
research for the chapters on the Pacific war, but also made important mono- 
graphic contributions to those chapters. Similarly, parts of the chapters on the 
North African operation are based on material prepared in draft by Dr. Mae 
Link. Mr. Charles Owens, coming late into this project, was yet able to do most 
of the work of compiling and drafting the charts and tables and to shepherd the 
manuscript through innumerable proofreadings. To our editor, Miss Mary Ann 
Bacon, and copy editor, Miss Nancy L. Easterling, for their indefatigable labor 
in what might be called the logistics of publishing this book, we are eternally 
grateful. Our statistical data have undergone the vigilant scrutiny of Messrs. 
Theodore E. Whiting, George R. Powell, and Joseph A. Logan of the Army 
Comptroller's Office; our photographs, were assembled by Miss Margaret E. 
Tackley; our maps were prepared by Mr. Wsevolod Aglaimoff and his staff, 
with the exception of the three map-sketches on pages 47, 51, and 720, 
which were drawn by Miss Muriel Chamberlain of the Government Printing 
Office. Our massive index is the work of Dr. Rose C. Engelman, who we hope 
will never again have to undertake such a chore. The task of digging through 
mountains of administrative records would have been immeasurably more 
difficult without the cheerful assistance given by Mrs. Hazel E. Ward and other 
members of the staff of the Departmental Records Branch, AGO, in Alexan- 
dria; Mrs. Mary Margaret Gansz Greathouse and Miss Wava Phillips of the 
General Research Unit, G-3; and the personnel of the Federal Records Depot 
on Lawrence Avenue, N.E., Washington, D.C. The specific contributions of our 
colleagues in the Office of Military History, who have all had a direct or in- 
direct influence on the book, have been shown in the footnotes and Biblio- 
graphical Note. In particular, we owe much to Mr. Maurice MatlofFs special 
competence in the field of strategic planning. Many others have given gener- 
ously of their time in reading and criticizing large sections of the manuscript; 
we would like especially to thank Col. Vincent J. Esposito, Dr. Benjamin H. 
Williams, Col. George G. O'Connor, Capt. Tracy B. Kittredge, USNR (Ret), 
Maj. Gen. Orlando Ward (Ret), Dr. John D. Millett, Dr. John Bowditch, Dr. 
Stetson Conn, Dr. Louis Morton, Lt. Gen. LeRoy Lutes (Ret), Lt. Col. LeoJ. 


Meyer, Maj. Gen. William M. Goodman (Ret), Brig. Gen. Frank A. Bogart, 
Maj. Gen. Walter A. Wood, Jr. (Ret), Maj. Gen. Richard C. Moore (Ret), Maj. 
Gen. Robert W. Grow (Ret), Maj. Gen. Carter B. Magruder, Brig. Gen. Wil- 
liam E. Carraway, Col. George A. Lincoln, and Maj. Gen. George H. Olm- 
stead. Members of the Historical Section of the British Cabinet Office have also 
contributed helpful comments on portions of the manuscript. 

31 March 1954 RICHARD M. LEIGHTON 

Washington, D. C. ROBERT W. COAKLEY 



Chapter Page 


The Revolution in Warfare 3 

Changing Conceptions of Logistics 8 

The Vagaries of Usage 11 

The Army's Logistical Effort, 1940-43 13 

Part One: The Neutrality Period 


The Peacetime Logistical Establishment 21 

The Impulse Toward Rearmament and Foreign Aid 27 

Early Organization and Policy for Control of Foreign Purchases .... 30 

Use of Army Stocks To Aid Anti-Axis Nations 32 

Anglo-American Co-ordination of Production Planning 36 

Aid to Other Nations 39 

The Drift Toward Collaboration With Britain 41 


Britain's War 47 

The Logistics of Hemisphere Defense 50 

ABC- 7 and Rainbow 5 52 

Ships for Britain 57 

The Logistics of Emergency Expeditionary Forces 60 

The Abortive Azores Expedition 68 

Stale of Readiness: Mid-1941 71 


The Administrative Problem 

Early Operations Under Lend-Lease 82 

The Injection of Chinese Demands 85 

Inclusion of the Netherlands Indies 88 

The Latin American Program 88 

Search for an Allocation Policy: February- August 1941 89 



The Beginnings of Aid to the USSR 97 

Adjustments in Programs and Allocations: September-December 1941 . . 102 

Extension of Lend-Lease Activities Overseas 107 

The Halting Flow of Lend-Lease 112 


Chapter Page 


Britain' s Bid for American Intervention 118 

Shipping: Ferrying Versus Amphibious Transport 121 

Build-up in the Philippines 123 

Logistics for Victory 126 

The Army's Victory Program 129 

Global Logistics and Mass Invasion 1 32 

America's Contribution: Weapons or Armies? 1 37 

Part Two: Crisis 


The Impact of Pearl Harbor 144 

The Far East and the Pacific Line of Communications 149 

Plans and Deployment in the Atlantic 151 

The Search for Shipping for the Far East 154 

Change of Pace in the Atlantic 1 58 

Pressure of Scarcity in Hawaii 161 


The Australian Base 166 

Probing the Japanese Blockade 170 

Emergence of the Southwest Pacific Area Command 172 

Manning the Island Line 177 

Bobcat: Case History in Joint Task Force Logistics 179 

The Army's Administrative Problem in the Pacific Islands 186 

Joint Versus Parallel Supply 187 

Part Three: The Emergence of Policy and Method 


The Victory Program — Morning After 195 

Production Goals and the Problems of Balance 197 

Shipping: Capacity To Deploy Versus Capacity To Support .... 202 

The Drain of Ship Losses 206 

Army Allocations and New Construction ' 208 



Logistics in the Military Committee System 214 

Allocation and Employment of U.S. Merchant Shipping 215 

The Army's Logistical Organization During the Emergency Period 219 

Logistics in the War Department Reorganization of March 1942 . . . 223 

Supply and Transportation in the SOS 227 

The Contest for Control of the Ports 233 

The Limits of Port Autonomy 238 

The Theater Segment of the Pipeline 241 

Secession of the Air Forces 244 


Chapter Page 

FARE 247 

The Munitions Assignments Board and the Common Pool 247 

Organization of the MAB and Its Committees 253 

Other Combined Boards: A Summary View 255 

The Principle of Reciprocal Aid 257 

Adjustment of Lend-Lease Procedure to Combined Arrangements . . . 259 

Readjustments in War Department Organization and Procedure ... 261 

Storage and Shipment of Lend-Lease Materials 267 


Determination of a Basis of Assignments 270 

The Basis of Aircraft Allocations 275 

The Relation of Requirements to Assignments 277 

The Weeks-Somervell Agreement 282 

Application of Assignments Theories: The Work of the MAC(G) . . 285 

The Adjustment of Assignments and Shipping 291 


The Army Supply Program 295 

The Method of Calculating Requirements 298 

Development of the Army Supply Program in 1942 301 

The Distribution of Scarce Material 303 

The Equipment Crisis and the Emergency Pool 309 


The System of Overseas Supply 317 

Procedural Problems in Overseas Supply 322 

Supply Versus Transportation 328 

Filling the Pipeline 333 

Equipping Outbound Troops 336 

Service Troops and the Troop Basis 346 

Pan Four: Build-up and Early Offensives 


Middle-of-the-Road Strategy 353 

The Changing Outlook in Shipping 356 

The London Staff Conversations 360 

The Flow of Troops 362 

The Flow of Cargo 368 

Landing Craft: The Elusive Bottleneck 376 

The Demise of Sledgehammer 383 


Chapter Page 


Strategy and Logistics in the Pacific War 388 

Deployment and the Shipping Shortage 392 

The Crisis at Noumea 398 

Problems of Cargo Shipment 404 

The General Depot at Noumea 406 

Landing Craft and Intratheater Transport 407 

Equipment for Jungle Warfare 410 

Service Troops 412 

The Pacific Outlook at the End of 1942 414 


The Essay Contest 417 

Birth of a Task Force 424 

Inside Versus Outside 427 

Cutting the Foot To Fit the Shoe 435 

Launching the Western Task Force 439 

The Pay-Off and Its Lessons 445 


Torch and the Atlantic Pool of Shipping 457 

Administrative Arrangements for Support of Torch 462 

The Convoy Bottleneck 468 

Widening the Bottleneck 472 

The Beginning of Routine Support 478 

The Dwindling of Bolero 480 

Part Five: Theaters of Foreign Aid 


Lend-Lease and Reciprocal Aid in the United Kingdom 492 

The South and Southwest Pacific 496 

The Middle East 503 

French Rearmament: The Initial Phase 511 

Military Supply to Turkey 520 

Control of Lend-Lease by Theater Commanders 522 


The Failure of the Prewar Chinese Lend-Lease Program 526 

StilweWs Plans and Policies for Supply to China 532 

Strategic Plans and Logistical Support: May— December 1942 .... 535 

ChennaulCs Air Plan 541 

Casablanca and After 542 

Reciprocal Aid in India and China 547 


Chapter Page 


Pearl Harbor and the First Protocol 552 

The First Protocol and the Shipping Problem 555 

Formulation of the Second Protocol 560 

The Search for Alternate Routes 564 

Development of the Persian Gulf: January-July 1942 566 


The Persian Gulf: Decision on U. S. Responsibility 574 

The Persian Gulf: Plans Versus Accomplishments 577 

Second Protocol Deliveries Fall Behind 583 

The Casabalanca Decisions 587 

New Disappointments 589 

War Department Supply Agencies and the Second Protocol 592 

Part Six: The Casablanca Period — Strategic Plans and Logistical 


LOOK 601 

The Cutback in Military Supply 602 

Shipping and the New Drift of Deployment 611 

The Pressure for Economy in Ship Operations 616 

Enlarging and Balancing the Merchant Fleet 624 

The Fever Chart of Deployment Forecasting • 629 


The Reduced Army Supply Program 632 

The Attack on Waste 635 

Administrative Improvements in Overseas Supply and Deployment . . . 642 


Logistics in Joint Strategic Planning 649 

The Army-Navy Basic Logistical Plan 655 

BATE 661 

The Two Wars 662 

The Mediterranean Life Line 668 

Bolero Renewed 673 

British Imports: The Six-Million- Ton Misunderstanding 677 

Limitations on Amphibious Assault 682 


Chapter Page 


Deployment Planning Adrift 687 

British Imports: The "Bombshell" 690 

Military Operations Versus War Economy 694 

The President Disposes 698 

"For Planning Purposes Only" 702 

Part Seven: Conclusion 




1 . Weight and Space 722 

2. Maintenance Requirements jor Overseas Forces: 1942-43 723 

3. Tonnage Requirement Factors for Overseas Shipments: July 1941 -June 

1943 . . 723 

4. Initial Cargo Shipping Requirements for Selected Units: Late 1942 .... 724 

5. Initial Cargo Shipping Requirements jor Selected Units: Late 1943 . . . . 724 

6. Cargo Vessel Turnaround Time in Days: 1943 725 

7. Selected Types of Landing Craft Available in 1941-42 726 

8. Principal U. S. and British Convoys: Autumn 1939-Spring 1943 .... 727 

B. PROCUREMENT: 1940-43 728 

1. Deliveries of Selected Items of Munitions to the Army: 1940-43 728 

2. Estimated Value of War Department Procurement Deliveries: January 1942- 

30 June 1943 729 


1 . War Department Procurement Deliveries and Lend-Lease Shipments: January 

1942-June 1943 730 

2. Lend-Lease Shipments Compared With War Department Procurement Deliv- 

eries: 1 January 1941-30 June 1943 730 



1943 ' 731 


1 . Personnel Movement Overseas in Army-Controlled Shipping by Theater: 

December 1941-June 1943 732 

2. Cargo Movement Overseas in Army-Controlled Shipping by Theater: 

December 1941-June 1943 733 


Chapter Page 


1 . Authorized Levels of Overseas Supplies: July 1942 and July 1943 .... 734 

2. Ammunition: The Unit of Fire and The Month of Supply, October 1942. . 736 

3. Ammunition: The Unit of Fire and The Day of Supply, October 1943. . . 738 

TION 740 


1 . Construction and Losses of Dry Cargo Ships, United States, Allied, and Neu- 

tral: September 1939-June 1943 741 

2. Construction and Losses of Tankers, United States, Allied, and Neutral: 

Fourth Quarter 1939-June 1943 741 





INDEX 759 



1. Shipping for Rainbow 5: Estimated Availability and Requirements . . 74 

2. Army Calculations of Shipping Requirements for Victory Program . . . 136 

3. Estimated Capacity of Cargo Shipping To Support Offensive Deployment: 

December 1941 206 

4. Capacity To Deploy Versus Capacity To Support: January 1942 . . 207 

5. Proposed Tank Programs: 1942-43 289 

6. Estimates of U. S. Landing Craft To Be Available for Sledgehammer: 

April-June 1942 382 

7. Tentative Convoy Schedule for Western Task Force: 17 September 1942 . 431 

8. Anticipated Port and Convoy Limitations for Slow Convoys to North 

Africa: September 1942 436 

9. Eisenhower's Proposed Convoy Schedule: 27 September 1942 437 

10. Timetable for Preparing a Task Force: Ideal Schedule Compared With 

Torch Preparations 454 

1 1 . Proposed Division of Troop and Troop-Carrying Contribution in Torch . 459 

12. Estimated Capacity To Support Forces in North Africa Through Morocco: 

September-October 1942 469 

13. U.S. Convoys to North Africa: November 1942-May 1943 485 


No. Page 

14. Types of Cargo in U.S. Convoys to North Africa: November 1942-May 

1943 486 

15. War Department Performance Under the First Soviet Protocol . . . 559 

16. Soviet Aid Shipments to Persian Gulf Versus Casablanca Program: Jan- 

uary-June 1943 591 

17. Soviet Aid Shipments Via Pacific Versus Casablanca Program : January- 

June 1943 592 

18. Revised 1943 Military Program 607 

19. Measurement Tons of Cargo Moved Per Dead-Weight Ton of Shipping: 

June-December 1942 613 

20. Reduction of 1943 Army Supply Program: November 1942 636 

21. Shipping Space Required for Moving a Division Overseas: Late 1942 . . 637 

22. Estimated Capacity To Support Forces in North Africa Through Morocco: 

January-February 1943 670 

23. Proposed U.S. Army Deployment for 1943: January 1943 677 

24. Tentative Allocations of American Landing Craft at Casablanca Confer- 

ence 685 

25. Proposed Versus Scheduled U.S. Shipping Assistance to British Imports . 701 


1. The Peacetime Army: September 1939 24 

2. Organization for Handling Military Lend-Lease: November 1941 ... 81 

3. The Army on the Eve of Pearl Harbor 220 

4. The Reorganized Army: September 1942 225 

5. Combined Assignments Machinery: 1942 256 

6. Organization and Procedures for Handling Lend-Lease (Ground Ma- 

teriel): October 1942 265 

7. The Port of Embarkation in the Overseas Supply System: 1942 .... 324 

8. Procedure for Equipping a Typical Unit for Overseas Movement: Decem- 

ber 1941 338 

9. Procedure for Equipping a Typical AGF Unit for Overseas Movement: 

Mid-1942 341 

10. Procedure for Equipping a Typical AGF Unit for Overseas Movement 

(POM): February 1943 647 

11. The Joint Committee System: December 1942 653 

12. Dissolution of the Casablanca Deployment Program: First Quarter 

1943 688 

13. The Effort To Formulate a Deployment Program, February-March 1943: 

OPD Versus SOS Estimates 689 

14. Comparison of "Agreed Deployment" Program With Actual Army 

Deployment: April-December 1943 703 

15. The Two Wars: The Division of Effort, January 1942-March 1943 . . . 716 


No. Page 

16. The Two Wars: The Flow of Army Troops Overseas, December 1941- 

April 1943 717 

17. The Two Wars: The Flow of Army Cargo Overseas, December 1 941 — 

April 1943 717 

18. The Two Wars: Build-up of Army Strength Overseas, 31 December 1941- 

30 April 1943 718 

19. The Two Wars: Build-up of Army Assigned Shipping, March 1942-March 

1943 718 


1. Logistics of British Imperial Defense. 1940-41 47 

2. Logistics of Hemisphere Defense, 1941 51 

3. The Pacific Areas, 1 August 1942 175 

4. American Transoceanic Supply, 1942-43 349 

5. Lines of Communication in French North Africa 418 

6. Lines of Communication in China-Burma-India Theater, December 

1942 529 

7. Persian Corridor Supply Routes 572 

8. Logistics of Coalition War, 1942-43 720 


Army and Navy Munitions Board, June 1941 31 

Army-Navy Amphibious Maneuvers, August 1941 66 

Beachhead Supply Dump 67 

Aboard H. M. S. Prince of Wales During the Atlantic Conference, August 

1941 98 

Meeting of the Joint Board, November 1941 120 

Army War Plans Division, November 1941 130 

The Troop Transport SS Monterey 148 

En Route to Northern Ireland, February 1942 160 

Quonset Huts in Northern Ireland and Newly Arrived Troops 161 

The Liner Normandie Burning 204 

Rear Adm. Emory S. Land, Maritime Commission Chairman and War 

Shipping Administrator 218 

Lewis W. Douglas, Deputy Administrator, War Shipping Administration. . . 219 

Key Figures of the Services of Supply, March 1942 229 

Preparing To Board a Troopship 234 

Loading Ships, New York Port, 1943 235 

American and British Air Chiefs, Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold and Air Chief 

Marshal Sir Charles Portal 275 



The Queen Elizabeth, One of the "Monsters" 365 

Crated 2^-Ton Trucks. Twin-Unit Packs, England, 1943 370 

Amphibious Training in Mock LCV 379 

Three Types of Landing Craft, Summer 1942 381 

The Beached Transport SS President Coolidge, October 1942 394 

Survivors Coming Ashore at Espiritu Santo 395 

Dock at Noumea, December 1942 400 

Aerial View of Noumea, January 1943 401 

Sorting Damaged Rations, New Caledonia, April 1942 405 

The "Maracaibo" H. M. S. Misoa, October 1942 446 

Seatrain USS Lakehurst in North Africa, November 1942 447 

Aerial Views of Casablanca 450 

Burdened Soldiers Debarking at Phosphate Pier, Casablanca 453 

Convoy of LCI's Crossing the Atlantic 474 

Draft of "Pentagon" Cable, Styer to Somervell 476 

Allied Convoy Passing Gibraltar 478 

U. S. Tanks at Heliopolis, Egypt, January 1943 508 

Workshop at Heliopolis 509 

A Lend-Lease 105-mm. Howitzer (Self-Propelled) in Egypt 510 

Lend-Lease Material for the French, North Africa 519 

Chinese Soldiers and an American Instructor 534 

The Bengal-Assam Railroad 536 

Arriving for a Conference in New Delhi, India, 1943 545 

Trucking Supplies to Tehran Through the Persian Corridor 570 

Train Loaded With Tanks for the USSR 571 

Liberty Ships Unloading at the Port of Khorramshahr 581 

Soviet and American Officials at Qaleh Morgeh Airport, Iran, 1943 .... 585 

Soviet Freighter Docked at Portland, Oregon, 1943 596 

The War Against the U-Boat 614 

Army, Navy, and Civilian Chiefs at Lunch, 8 December 1942 628 

At Casablanca, January 1943 666 

Churchill on Shipping Losses 674 

Lord Leathers on British Port Capacity 678 

General Gross on British Imports 691 

The illustrations on pages 218 and 219 are from the U.S. Maritime Commission. 
All others are from the Department of Defense files. 





Logistics — The Word 
and the Thing 

Logistics is an ancient word and a still 
more ancient thing. 1 Like many ancient 
words, it has meant different things at dif- 
ferent times, and the thing itself has been, 
and still is, often called by other names. 
Yet the several current usages of the word, 
in military vocabulary, seem to be of 
rather recent vintage, probably no earlier 
than 1838 when Antoine Henri Jomini 
erected a theory of the art of war upon the 
trinity — strategy, grand tactics, and logis- 
tics. 2 While the word had been used occa- 
sionally in military parlance before that 
time, it apparently had had no single or 
very specific meaning. Since then its uses 
have been varied, and for long periods it 
has fallen into almost complete disuse. 
Meanwhile, the thing itself (whether we 
define the word narrowly or broadly) has 
grown from the comparatively humdrum, 
routine activity it once was into a very 
complex "Big Business," embracing a 
considerable part, some would say the 
greater part, of all the business of modern 

The Revolution in Warfare 

Jomini's attempt to incorporate into a 
rational theory of war the miscellaneous 
noncombatant activities on which armies 
and navies had always depended in order 

to live and fight occurred at a time when 
warfare itself was about to undergo a fun- 
damental transformation. Signs of the im- 
pending change had already appeared 
during the long period of almost continu- 
ous warfare in Europe from 1792 to 
1815 — most conspicuously, a tremendous 
increase in mobility and the range of 
movement of armies, made possible by im- 
proved roads and the growing productiv- 
ity of agriculture. Jomini himself, though 
most impressed by the tactical symptoms 

1 The original derivation of the word "logistics" was 
Greek, from logistikos meaning "skilled in calculat- 
ing." In Roman and Byzantine times there appears to 
have been a military administrative official with the 
title logisla, whose duties, it is easy to imagine, must 
have reauired an intimate familiarity with logistics, 
the science of mathematical computation — a mean- 
ing still carried in most general dictionaries along 
with the more modern military meaning. For many- 
centuries European warfare lacked an organized ad- 
ministrative science in anything like the modern 
sense, and most noncombatant services (as well as 
certain combatant ones such as siegecraft and the use 
of artillery) were performed for a long time by civil- 
ians. The word "logistics," as applied to military ad- 
ministration, did not appear until the eighteenth 
century. See articles on logistics in the Enculopedia 
universal ilustrada (Barcelona, 1907-30), Vol. XXX; 
the Enculopedia italiana (Rome, 1934), Vol. XXI; and 
the Encyclopedia Americana (New York, 1953), Vol. 

2 See Antoine Henri, Baron de Jomini, Precis de 
V art de la guerre, 2 vols. (Paris, 1838), Vol. II, Ch. VI. 
Jomini mentioned, but without discussing them, two 

additional branches of warfare — engineering and 
minor tactics. 


of these underlying changes, dimly per- 
ceived other more disturbing phenom- 
ena — the growing size of armies, the 
mounting ferocity of warfare, and the 
emergence of a new, more murderous 
technology. Jomini's attention was mainly 
captured by the latest improvements in 
artillery, particularly by a new "steam" 
gun that seemed to hold horrendous 
promise. A far more portentous phenome- 
non, steam-propelled rail transport, he 
dismissed as an instrument of peace only, 
although five years earlier a French gen- 
eral had declared in the Chamber of 
Deputies that the strategic use of railways 
would cause a revolution in military 
science, and across the Rhine Friedrich 
List was trying hard to impress the same 
point on his countrymen. 3 All of these 
developments were in fact harbingers of a 
revolution that was not to reach full tide 
until the great wars of the twentieth cen- 
tury, though governments and high com- 
mands began to grapple with the prob- 
lems it presented from the midnineteenth 
century on. 4 

Like all revolutions, this one grew out of 
the double challenge of new demands and 
new opportunities. Nationalism and con- 
scription produced huge armies; new 
weapons multiplied fire power. To feed the 
armies and unleash their fire power, mili- 
tary staffs had no choice but to come to 
terms with the new technologies of supply 
and movement — mass production of mu- 
nitions and foodstuffs, the railroad, the 
steamship, the long-distance pipeline, the 
internal combustion engine, eventually 
the transport airplane. Wars came to be 
fought along wide fronts of continental 
extent; lines of communications became 
deep zones containing an elaborate estab- 
lishment of military administration and 

Stupendous magnitudes were involved. 
World War I saw an expenditure of artil- 
lery ammunition by British and French 
forces, during one average month, more 
than twice as great as that by the Union 
forces during the entire four years of the 

1 ( 1 ) Jomini, Precis de I'art de la guerre, II, 284-83. 
(2) Edwin A. Pratt, The Rise of Rail Power in War and 
Conquest, 1833-1914 (London, 1915), Ch. I. (3) Edward 
Mead Earle, Makers of Modern Strategy: Military 
Thought from Machiavelli to Hitler (Princeton University 
Press, Princeton, N. J., 1948), pp. 148-52. 

4 Only a sampling of the literature on this subject 
can be given here. ( 1 ) Most of the works of Maj . Gen. 
John F. C. Fuller deal with the subject, primarily with 
reference to mechanization and armor; see especially 
his The Reformation of War (New York, E. P. DuUon 
& Co., Inc., 1923), and Armament and History: A Study 
of the Influence of Armament on History (New York, C. 
Scribner's Sons, 1945). See also: (2) Baron Colmar 
von der Goltz, The Nation in Arms, translated by Philip 
A. Ash worth (London, 1913), and The Conduct of War, 
translated by Joseph T. Dickman (Kansas City, Mo., 
1896), Chs. I-II, VIII; (3) Jan Gottlieb Bloch, The 
Future of War in Its Technical, Economic and Political Re- 
lations, translated by R. C. Long (Boston, Ginn & 
Company, 1902); (4) Jean Colin, The Transformations 
of War (London, 1913), Chs. IV-V; (5) Edwin A. 
Pratt, The Rise of Rail Power in War and Conquest, 1833- 
1914 (London, 1915); (6) Victor W. Germains, Mecha- 
nization of War (London, 1927), Chs. IX, XII; (7) 
Lowell M. Limpus, Twentieth Century Warfare: How 
Modern Battles Are Won and Lost (New York, E. P. Dut- 
ton&Co., Inc., 1910); (8) Quincy Wright, A Study of 
War, 2 vols. (Chicago, The University of Chicago 
Press, 1942), Ch. XII; (9) Benedict Crowell, Ameri- 
ca's Munitions, 1917-1918 (Washington, 1919); (10) 
Brooks Emeny, The Strategy of Raw Materials (New 
York, The Macmillan Company, 1944); (11) Bernard 
Brodie, Sea Power in the Machine Age (Princeton, N. J., 
Princeton University Press, 1941); (12) James P. Bax- 
ter, III, Scientists Against Time (Boston, Little, Brown 
and Company, 1946); (13) Vannevar Bush, Modern 
Arms and Free Men (New York, Simon & Schuster, 
Inc., 1949); (14) John U. Nef, War and Human Progress: 
An Essay on the Rise of Industrial Civilization (Harvard 
University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1950); (15) Lewis 
Mumford, Technics and Civilization (New York, Har- 
court, Brace and Company, 1934); (16) Irving B. 
Holley, Ideas and Weapons (New Haven, Conn., Yale 
L'niversity Press, 1953); (17) George E. Turner, Vic- 
tory Rode the Rails: The Strategic Place of the Railroads 
in the Civil War (Indianapolis, Ind., Bobbs-Merrill, 
1953); and (18) Lt. Col. John D. Millett, "Logistics 
and Modern War," Military Affairs, Vol. IX, No. 3 
(Fall 1945), pp. 193-207. 


War Between the States, a conflict that 
itself revealed many characteristics of the 
new warfare. In the seven days of the Bat- 
tle of the Somme in 1916, British artillery 
fired about 4 million rounds, roughly 
1 ,200 times as many as the Union Army 
fired in the three-day Battle of Gettysburg 
in 1863. 5 World War II piled Pelion upon 
Ossa. During the first nineteen months of 
its participation in World War II, the U.S. 
Army purchased almost 950,000 trucks, 
nineteen times the number it had pro- 
cured during the corresponding period of 
World War I. From Pearl Harbor to V-J 
Day it procured for its own and Allied 
forces some 84,000 tanks, 2.2 million 
trucks, 6.2 million rifles, 350,000 artillery 
pieces, .5 billion rounds of ground artillery 
ammunition, 41 billion rounds of small 
arms ammunition. It shipped overseas 127 
million measurement tons of cargo, and 
7.3 million troops and other passengers. 
The U.S. Army Air Forces dropped over 
two million tons of bombs on the enemy. 6 
The new juggernaut armies' voracious 
appetite for food, fuel, and munitions dic- 
tated a basic change in the method of sup- 
ply. From the earliest times the swiftly 
moving, hard-hitting, self-contained force, 
living offthe country and a lean baggage 
train, had been the dream of every com- 
mander. In the hands of Hannibal, Xeno- 
phon, Subotai, Gustavus, Marlborough, 
Napoleon, Jackson, and Sherman, such 
forces had performed spectacular exploits. 
When armies became chained to depots 
and their trains grew heavy and sluggish, 
as happened in some of the wars of the 
eighteenth century, warfare itself became 
a mere appendage of logistics in which, 
as Frederick the Great is said to have ob- 
served, "the masterpiece of a skillful gen- 
eral is to starve his enemy." In the new 
warfare, the possibility of self-containment 

almost disappeared. Under the logistical 
system that emerged in the late nine- 
teenth century, first formalized by Prussia 
in 1866, armies were supplied not by a 
train, but by a "tail" — vehicles shuttling 
in relays over segments of the total dis- 
tance between the army and its sources of 
supply, thus pushing freight continuously 
forward as though by a series of endless 
conveyor belts. As an army advanced, its 
"tail," in order not to lose contact with the 
base, naturally stretched out, requiring 
more and more transport to keep supplies 
moving forward. 7 

The basic elements of this system were 
adopted by all large modern armies in the 
first half of the twentieth century. Given 
the necessity for continuous resupply, some 
system of staging was dictated in any case 
when freight was transshipped from one 
form of transportation to another — nor- 
mally, at port, at railhead, and at truck- 
head. The principle of continuous move- 
ment of supply from rear to front was 
supplemented, on a large scale, by the 
older method of stocking supplies at con- 
venient distribution points. Since the rate 
of movement over all stages of the line of 
supply could never be uniform because of 
differences in the capabilities of the means 
of transport and handling, backlogs of 
freight piled up at bottlenecks along the 

: ' Benedict Crowell and Robert F. Wilson, The 
Armies oj Industry, 2 vols. (New Haven, Conn., Yale 
University Press, 1921), I, 27, 29, 31. 

6 (1) Annual Report of the Army Service Forces, 1943 
(Washington, 1944), p. 271. (2) Theodore E. Whiting, 
Statistics, a volume in preparation for the series 
Procurement Sec, 9 Apr 52 draft. (3) Third Report of 
the Commanding General of the Army Air Forces to the 
Secretary of War, 12 November 1945, p. 64. 

7 (lj Brevet Lt. Col. G. C. Shaw, Supply in Modern 
War (London, 1938). (2) Goltz, The Nation in Arms, 
Pt. IV, Ch. 6, and Pt. V. (3) Henry G. Sharpe, The 
Art of Subsisting Armies in War (New York, John Wiley 
&Sons, 1893), Ch. III. 


line, usually at transshipping points. Addi- 
tional reserves had to be stocked forward 
of such critical bottlenecks as insecure 
transoceanic communication lines and 
ports of entry of meager capacity. Against 
the threat of enemy penetration and in 
order to utilize alternate communication 
lines, reserves in war theaters had to be 
dispersed among many magazines, both 
laterally and in depth. Large-scale offen- 
sive operations, in addition, demanded 
immense accumulations of munitions, fuel, 
and subsistence close behind the point of 
impact — requiring months and sometimes 
years to build up — in order to provide 
crushing initial force and sustained 

World War I, in the western theater, 
with its creeping, sealed front and enor- 
mous concentration of forces in small 
areas, offered a natural habitat for the 
modified system of staged, continuous re- 
supply. The abrupt return to mobility in 
1939-45 strained the system to the limit. 
To supply staffs, a break-through by their 
own forces presented problems almost as 
formidable as one by the enemy, for the 
methodical disposition forward of depots, 
dumps, fuel pipelines, and transport sys- 
tems could not possibly keep pace with 
racing armored columns, even if the ca- 
pacity of supply lines to the rear could be 
expanded rapidly enough. Roads, rail 
lines, and bridges in territory abandoned 
by the enemy could be expected to be seri- 
ously damaged; in the absence of prepared 
relay and transshipping facilities, trans- 
port would have to operate in abnormally 
long shuttles. The mobility necessary to 
sustain a break-through, in consequence, 
could only be gained by lavish use of all 
forms of transportation, far beyond the 
amounts normally available. 

Yet, short of curtailing drastically the 

scale of military operations. World War II 
brought forth no real alternative to con- 
tinuous resupply. Guerrilla forces, ill 
armed and without regular supply lines, 
won amazing successes against regular 
troops in the Soviet Union and the Bal- 
kans, and on occasion were able to carry 
out large-scale operations, but only for 
limited periods at a time. What was likely 
to happen to an army cut off from its 
sources of resupply, even when it had sub- 
stantial stocks on hand, seemed to be 
demonstrated by the fate of MacArthur's 
forces in the Philippines-in 1942, an ex- 
perience that made a lasting impression 
on the American high command. Moun- 
tains, jungles, and vast ocean distances in 
the theaters of the war against Japan dic- 
tated many compromises in the lavish 
logistical support to which American 
forces were accustomed, but the solution 
was not found in a return to self-contain- 
ment. In the end, these obstacles were 
overcome simply by moving up the appa- 
ratus of land, sea, and air power on so 
massive a scale that it was possible not 
merely to crush the enemy at selected 
points of impact but also to contain him 
elsewhere, to protect communication lines 
and bases of operations, and even to neu- 
tralize and bypass major enemy strong- 
holds. 8 This kind of logistical support de- 
mands virtually unlimited resources in 
munitions, supplies, and transport. With 
them, and employing the staging method 
of resupply in combination with accumu- 
lated reserves near the front, armies can 

K ( 1 ) For the logistical problems created by the Al- 
lied break-through in France in July 1944, see Roland 
G. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support of the Armies (Wash- 
ington, 1953). (2) See also, Louis Morton's forthcom- 
ing volume on strategy, command, and logistics in 
the Pacific war, and, for the first Philippine campaign 
in particular, his The Fall of the Philippines (Washing- 
ton, 1953). All are in the series UNITED STATES 


strike hard, move swiftly, and sustain their 
driving force, even though with diminish- 
ing returns in mobility and flexibility, and 
increasing risk that road, rail, or port 
bottlenecks may clog and result in paral- 
ysis. Without abundant resources, armies 
can only strive by austere living and im- 
provisation to stretch their limited trans- 
port, using it mainly to sustain fire power, 
and to make mobility offset weakness in 
offensive strength. Austerity, improvisa- 
tion, and even mobility are military vir- 
tues, not because they are ends in them- 
selves but because they serve to extract the 
maximum of effective power from avail- 
able resources, thus to some degree 
compensating for lack of abundance. 

Supply and transportation were only 
one aspect, though unquestionably the 
most important one, of the new logistics. 
This logistics was deeply embedded in the 
economy of the nation. Armies drew from 
science and the civil professions many 
things besides weapons and means of 
transport — medicine and surgery, electric 
power, the telegraph, the telephone, radio 
and radar, the bulldozer, psychiatry, bus- 
iness management, propaganda, planned 
recreation, techniques of indoctrination. 
Armies became, in fact, complex commu- 
nities in themselves, miniature and spe- 
cialized replicas of the societies that sus- 
tained them. The traditional cleavages 
between the noncombatant and combat- 
ant skills, and those between military and 
civilian spheres of activity, became 
blurred. Engineers in many armies be- 
came shock troops; signal corpsmen were 
expected to work and fight with the most 
advanced units, truck drivers to man anti- 
aircraft machine guns. In coming to terms 
with the new technologies of war, the mili- 
tary profession had to broaden and dilute 
its training to include dozens of skills re- 

mote from combat and command. The 
technicians and administrators within its 
ranks multiplied and in many fields drew 
closer to the civilian community in outlook 
and professional qualifications than to 
their colleagues in the combat arms. 

Even so, the military profession could 
not hope to master all the skills it had to 
exploit. In time of war the needs of sudden 
expansion could only be met by a whole- 
sale influx of civilians into the military ad- 
ministrative establishment, and whether 
they donned uniform or not scarcely 
affected the character of their employ- 
ment. Nor could the military extend very 
far, in relation to the immensity of the 
field, its administrative control and super- 
vision over the noncombatant activities it 
was unable to master. In the United States 
the military services controlled the pro- 
curement of most of the finished munitions 
and a limited part of the transportation 
they used, but even this control was vigor- 
ously attacked during World War II and 
after. 9 In many other countries the power 
rested in civilian government agencies. In 
fact, from the late nineteenth century on, 
the pressure to expand military control 
over various segments of national econo- 
mies usually encountered, and yielded to, 
the more powerful drive of the state, 
through its central civil agencies, to mo- 
bilize under its own aegis the nation's 
war-making resources. 10 

9 For the attack on the military procurement power 
in the United States, see: (l)John D. Millett, The Or- 
ganization and Role of the Army Service Forces, UNITED 
ton, 1954), Ch. XIX; (2) Bureau of the Budget, The 
United States at War: Development and Administration of 
the War Program of the Federal Government (Washington. 
1946), pp. 129-31. 

'" For a survey of the systems in various countries 
during World War II, see Foreign Logistical Organ- 
izations and Methods, 15 October 1947, Report of the 
Secretary of the Army, OCMH. 



The revolution in warfare thus brought 
an immense growth in the range and 
complexity of activities supporting armies 
and navies. The range of professional 
military skills also broadened, but not 
nearly to the limits of the whole field that 
war now exploited, while military control 
tended to shade off into various forms of 
partnership with government agencies and 
private enterprise as it reached back into 
the vast expanse of services that supported 
a nation's military effort. What theorists 
had once called logistics had spread to 
embrace a considerable part of the eco- 
nomic life of the nation. 

Since the end of World War II the 
rapid development of the air arm, the 
promise of transcontinental guided mis- 
siles, and above all the emergence of a 
whole family of weapons employing the 
principles of nuclear fission and fusion 
have enormously accelerated two very old 
trends in weapons — increasing destruc- 
tiveness and increasing range. Whether 
these developments presage a new revolu- 
tion in logistics it is still too early to deter- 
mine. Certainly they seem likely to accen- 
tuate and continue trends already 
manifest. By bringing rear administrative 
areas, lines of communications, and even 
sources of supply progressively under fire, 
the new weapons will further enhance the 
necessity for dispersion of installations and 
channels of movement, disrupt orderly 
administration, interrupt the continuity, 
and reduce the net volume of supply — 
phenomena familiar to every Allied thea- 
ter commander in World War II and con- 
spicuous ones in the final collapse of 
Germany and Japan. On the other hand, 
the growing range of fire power involves a 
corresponding diminution of the distances 
over which the ingredients of fire power 
must be transported, to that extent sim- 

plifying the logistical problem; conceiv- 
ably the necessity for massive overseas 
establishments may eventually disappear 
altogether. There are signs, moreover, 
that growing reliance on long-range 
weapons of tremendous per-unit destruc- 
tiveness may in time actually reduce the 
aggregate amounts of supply requirements 
for all forces in the field, thus reversing 
one of the oldest trends of logistics. In the 
end, by raising the possibility that a con- 
flict may be won or lost within the first few 
days or even hours, the new technology 
may virtually eliminate the whole prob- 
lem of military supply and reduce to ir- 
relevance most of the complex apparatus 
of industrial potential that for almost a 
century has been an indispensable re- 
quirement for sustaining, as well as for 
launching, a major war. Neither World 
War II nor the Korean conflict, however, 
put the newest weapons to the test. As 
these words are being written, armies ap- 
pear to be still dependent upon an elab- 
orate rear area administrative establish- 
ment and a massive, uninterrupted flow 
of food, fuel, and munitions from secure 
sources of supply. 

Changing Conceptions of Logistics 

This transformation of the environment 
in which logistics operated inevitably 
brought about an adjustment in attitudes 
and conceptions concerning it. The char- 
acter of the adjustment was strongly 
colored by the doctrines of Karl von 
Clausewitz, whose teachings dominated 
European military thought during the last 
quarter of the nineteenth century. 11 A 

11 (1) Dallas D. Irvine, "The French Discovery of 
Clausewitz and Napoleon," Journal of the American 
Military Institute, Vol. IV, No. 3 (Fall, 1940), pp. 144- 
45. (2) Herbert Rosinski, The German Army (New 
York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1940), pp. 121- 


contemporary of Jomini, Clausewitz did 
not even use the term "logistics." In his 
celebrated work On War, he defined the 
"conduct of war" — which he identified 
with strategy and tactics — as "the art of 
making use of given means in combat," 
and from this he sharply differentiated, as 
purely preparatory and contributory proc- 
esses, both the creation of armed forces 
(mobilization, training, and so forth) and 
their maintenance in time of war — "sub- 
servient" services which, although they 
stood "in a constant reciprocal relation to 
the use of troops," were not yet part of 
"the conduct of war properly so called." 
Clausewitz was well aware that certain 
activities, notably "marches, camps and 
quarters" and subsistence, sometimes ex- 
erted a decisive influence on the outcome 
of battles and campaigns, but he dismissed 
them as irrelevant to his discussion. 

We are at present occupied not with the 
concrete facts of any individual case, but 
with abstract theory .... the theory of 
war itself is occupied not with perfecting 
these means but with their use for the object 
of the war. It needs only the results of them, 
that is to say the knowledge of the principal 
properties of the means it has taken over. 

Convinced as he was of the superiority of 
moral to material forces in war, Clause- 
witz had little interest in the "subservient" 
services, even though he conceded their 
importance. Out of the 125 chapters of 
On War, his discussion of these services 
occupies only half a chapter. 12 

The generation that burned incense at 
Clausewitz' altar did not, of course, keep 
this doctrine pure. A very few exaggerated 
and oversimplified it into a crass dispar- 
agement of all noncombatant services, 
which they relegated to technicians and 
menials as something apart from the pro- 
fession of arms. Veneration of Clausewitz, 

however, did not prevent his most brilliant 
disciples — the elder Moltke and Schlief- 
fen, for example — from readily grasping 
and vigorously exploiting the potentiali- 
ties of "given means" that Clausewitz 
could not have foreseen. The Prussian vic- 
tories of 1866 and 1870-7 1 owed much to 
the railroad and the telegraph, perhaps 
even more to a well-greased machinery of 
military administration, which functioned 
as it did because professional soldiers did 
not scorn to give it their personal atten- 
tion. 13 The importance of the major logis- 
tical innovation of nineteenth-century 
warfare, moreover, was recognized by the 
formation of a Railway Section in the 
Prussian Great General Staff, specially 
trained military railway troops, and a 
centralized military-civilian organization 
for co-ordinating railway operations in 
Prussia in time of war. 14 

More fundamentally, military organi- 
zation and practice rejected the doctrine, 
strongly implied though not explicitly 
asserted by Clausewitz, that the "subservi- 
ent" services could be relegated to a sepa- 
rate compartment from the conduct of 
combat operations. European armies after 
1870, and ultimately the U.S. Army, 
placed the specific function of co-ordinat- 
ing important logistical activities (as well 

12 Karl von Clausewitz, On War, translated by O. 
J. Matthijs Jolles (New York, Random House, Inc., 

1943), pp. 61-66. 

13 (1) General Fieldmarshal Count Alfred von 
Schlieffen, Cannae (Fort Leavenworth, Kans., The 
Command and General Staff School Press, 1931), 
Chs. III-IV. (2) Pratt, The Rise of Rail Power, Chs. X- 

14 (1) Dallas D. Irvine, "The French and Prussian 
Staff Systems Before 1870," Journal of the American 
Military History Foundation, Vol. II, No. 4 (Winter, 
1938), pp. 193-94. (2) James D. Hittle, The Military 
Staff: Its History and Development (Harrisburg, Pa., 
Military Service Pub. Co., 1949), p. 66. (3) Pratt, The 
Rise of Rail Power, Chs. X-XI. 



as the responsibility for general co-ordina- 
tion) at the general staff level cheek by 
jowl with the staff sections charged with 
strategy and tactics. 15 "Logistics," declared 
a U.S. Army staff text in 1926, "cannot be 
separated from tactics and strategy. It is a 
major factor in the execution of strategic 
and tactical conceptions, so inextricably 
interwoven that it is an integral part of 
each" — a doctrine that harked back 
almost a hundred years to Jomini's ob- 
servation that logistics was the province 
"not merely of staffs, but also of generals- 
in-chief." 16 

Yet the basic ingredients of the Clause- 
witzian view remained. In the analytical 
and interpretive literature on war by pro- 
fessional military writers since the middle 
of the nineteenth century, the expanding 
role of the noncombatant services has re- 
ceived only perfunctory recognition, while 
scarcely any of the writers have chosen to 
describe the actual mechanics of adminis- 
tration. Among professional officers of the 
U.S. Army, at least until recently, indif- 
ference to logistics was widespread and 
traditional — a striking paradox in an 
army that can claim some of the most 
spectacular advances in that field. This 
attitude, in the opinion of many who once 
shared it, can be traced back to a general 
military education in which, down to 
World War II, logistics was held in low 
esteem. 17 Since the end of World War II 
logistical subjects have been given a more 
prominent place in courses at the U.S. 
Military Academy and the Command and 
General Staff School as well as at the more 
specialized schools, and, with the broad- 
ening of opportunities for advancement in 
the logistical field, there has been some 
quickeningofinterestinit. But staff organ- 
ization and practice, in the American as 
in most other armies, continue to elevate 

the operations function over the adminis- 
trative, and officers schooled in the mys- 
teries of logistics are employed more as 
expert consultants than as active partici- 
pants in the processes of strategic and 
tactical planning. 18 

Military thought, in short, has clung to 
two characteristically Clausewitzian ideas: 
that the primary function of the soldier is 
to use the tools of war in combat, not to 
fashion or provide them, and that mate- 
rial forces have not yet diminished the 
classic and decisive role of courage, lead- 
ership, and the arts of command. The 
development of warfare has subjected 
both these principles to considerable 
strain. The once clear distinction between 
the use and the providing of weapons has 
been virtually obliterated, and modern 
war engages more soldiers in the latter 
task than in the former. Courage and 
leadership are steadily losing the power to 
override heavy material odds. The Clause- 
witzian conception of logistics, in its pure 
form, is clearly unsuited to the conditions 
of modern warfare. It remains to be seen 
whether it can continue to adapt itself to 
a revolution in warfare still under way, or 
whether it will be replaced by a radically 
new approach. 

15 (1) See Hittle, The Military Staff, Chs. i-^, passim. 
(2) See also. Otto L. Nelson, Jr., National Security and 
the General Staff (Washington, Infantry Journal Press, 
1946). (3) FM 100-10, Field Service Regulations: Ad- 
ministration, any edition. (4) FM 100-5, Field Service 
Regulations: Operations, any edition. 

16 (1) Command, Staff and Logistics: A Tentative 
Text, issued by The General Service Schools, Fort 
Leavenworth, Kans., 1926, Sec 11, par. 12. (2) 

Jomini, Precis de I' art de la guerre, II, 1 50. 

17 See the testimony of Lt. Gen. LeRoy Lutes and 
other observers as noted below, Ch. XVI. 

I!< For a statement of this doctrine, see Ray S. Cline, 
Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, 
(Washington, 1951), pp. 1-7, 258-61. See also below, 
Chs. IX, XXIV. 



The Vagaries of Usage 

The revolution in warfare raised a 
semantic problem in connection with the 
term "logistics" that remains unresolved 
to this day- What precisely is the scope of 
activity embraced by logistics? The ques- 
tion was and is of more than academic 
interest, for, as one writer pointed out in 
1917, when the word was only beginning 
to come into American military usage, 

The purpose of the definition is to establish 
a division of labor, and if two divisions [strat- 
egy and tactics] are properly drawn while the 
third is not, there will be either duplication 
of effort, or some functions will be over- 
looked entirely, with the result that certain 
preparations for war will not be made. 19 

In Jomini's own day logistics was 
thought of vaguely as military staff busi- 
ness in general, a "science of detail." 
Jomini ascribed the derivation of the word 
to the title of the major generaux (or mare- 
chaux) des logis in French armies of the 
eighteenth century who, originally 
charged with miscellaneous administra- 
tive functions such as the arrangements 
for marches and quarters, had come to 
serve in effect as chiefs of staff to higher 
commanders — as did their counterparts, 
the Quartiermeister, in. Prussian armies. 
W T hile Jomini clearly intended to use 
"logistics" in a broader sense, his discus- 
sion, in contrast to the logical clarity of 
most of his writing, is inconclusive and 
vague. 20 Tradition, nevertheless, drew 
from Jomini's brief disquisition the impli- 
cation that he supposed logistics to cover 
all or almost all of the field of military 
activities supporting combat. 

As a practical matter such a conception 
had little meaning for military men who 
had to organize and administer these ac- 
tivities. Such matters as transportation, 

supply, engineering, and medical care 
were continuing problems, which no com- 
mander or staff could afford to ignore, par- 
ticularly under the new conditions of 
warfare, while others, such as legal and 
religious affairs, pay and allowances, and 
many of the details of personnel adminis- 
tration, were under ordinary circum- 
stances peripheral or routine. To lump 
them all under a single name implied a 
unity that did not in fact exist. It is signifi- 
cant that the word "logistics," despite the 
enormous influence of Jomini's writings 
during the long middle span of the nine- 
teenth century, remained an academic, 
almost archaic term throughout that cen- 
tury, rarely used by theorists, hardly at all 
by soldiers. 21 Shortly before World War I 
it began to creep into military service par- 
lance in the United States, but down to 
World War II it seldom appeared in the 
working vocabulary of the average Army 
or Navy officer. It was used, moreover, in 
a rather narrow sense, meaning simply 
transportation and supply in the field; the 
noncombatant services as a whole were 
known, instead, by the term "administra- 
tion," a usage similar to that in British 
service terminology. 22 

With World War II the word "logistics" 
in American usage came into sudden, 

'■' George Cyrus Thorpe, Pure Logistics: The Science 
of War Preparation (Kansas City, Mo., Franklin Hud- 
son Publishing Co., 1917), p. 16. 

20 Jomini, Precis de /'art de la guerre, II, 146-50. 

21 For example, see: (1) Marmont, Esprit des institu- 
tions militaires (Paris, 1845); (2) Ardant du Picq, Bat- 
tle Studies: Ancient and Modern Battle, translated by 
Col. John N. Greely and Maj. Robert C. Cotton (New 
York, The Macmillan Company, 1921); (3) V. Derre- 
cagaix, Modern War, 3 vols., translated by C. W. 
Foster (Washington, 1888); and (4) M. Alfred Ram- 
baud, Termes militaires francais-anglais (Paris, 1903). 
None of these mention the word "logistics." 

22 (1) Command, Staff and Logistics, Sec 1 1, par. 
12. (2) FM 100-10, Field Service Regulations: Ad- 
ministration, 9 Dec 40. 



luxuriant vogue. Every writer on military 
subjects began to employ it with joyous 
abandon, and its meaning lost what little 
stability it had possessed when restricted 
to the vocabularies of military theorists 
and a few bookish staff officers. Wide 
usage brought immediately into conflict 
the urge to adopt "logistics" as a conven- 
ient term covering all primarily noncom- 
batant military activities and the inertia 
of habit wedded to a more limited mean- 
ing. Official Army usage of the word re- 
ceived a powerful impulse toward a 
broader definition as a result of the con- 
solidation, during World War II, of most 
of the Army's supply and service activities 
in the United States under a single com- 
mand, the Army Service Forces (Services 
of Supply in the period covered by this 
volume). That organization's final report 
defined "logistics," largely in terms of its 
own functions, to include an impressive 
list of activities: procurement, storage, and 
distribution of equipment and supplies; 
transport of troops and cargo; construction 
and maintenance of facilities; communi- 
cations; care of the sick and wounded; 
induction, classification, assignment, wel- 
fare, and separation of personnel. 23 Many 
military agencies during and after the war 
began to adopt the label "logistics" or 
"logistical," though none performed so 
wide a range of functions as had the Army 
Service Forces, and soon after the end of 
the war the Army developed a group of 
type headquarters called "logistical com- 
mands," each designed to co-ordinate 
all the supporting services for a territorial 
area of specified size within a theater of 
operations.- 4 In the Navy the word "logis- 
tics," with a somewhat longer tradition 
behind it, enjoyed a comparable renais- 
sance. 1 ' 5 In 1950, the Year IV of Unifica- 
tion, the whole process culminated when 

the three military services agreed on an 
official definition, assigning to "logistics" 
all activities in the military establishment 
involved in the handling of personnel, 
materiel, facilities, and services — in effect, 
the entire field of military administra- 
tion. 26 

But official definitions, as Burke ob- 
served of the English constitution, go but 
a little way. Usage remains stubbornly 
inconsistent, conservative, and opportun- 
ist. Army field service regulations, a bible 
for operating personnel, did not even rec- 
ognize the term "logistics" until 1949, and 
then in a sense more narrow than that of 
the official joint definitions of 1948 and 
1950. 27 Among the Army's technical serv- 
ices, especially the Engineer, Signal, and 
Chemical Corps, which have a strong 
combat tradition, there is an ingrained 
resistance to any label such as "logistics" 
that seems to imply nonexposure to battle. 
None of the agencies so labeled, in any 
case, has functional responsibilities cover- 
ing more than a portion of the field of 
logistics as officially defined. 

To the average Army officer, at least, 
"logistics" is something both narrower 
and vaguer than the official definition of 
1950, though perhaps not so narrow or 
vague as it was to one highly placed offi- 
cer in 1943 who held that a certain com- 
mittee handled "not only logistics matters 
but also . . . personnel, organization, 

- A Logistics in World War II, Final Report of the 
Army Service Forces (Washington, 1947), p. vii. 

24 James A. Huston, Time and Space, MS, 1953, 
Pt. 1, Ch. II, pp. 180-88, and Pt. 2, Ch. V, pp. 12-19, 

-"' Duncan S. Ballantine, U.S. Naval Logistics in the 
Second World War (Princeton, N. J., Princeton Uni- 
versity Press, 1947), Ch. I, especially pp. 1-8, 30-31. 

28 Dictionary of U.S. Military Terms for Joint Usage 
(Washington, June 1950). 

27 FM 100-10, Field Service Regulations: Adminis- 
tration, Sep 49. 



troop basis, requirements, production, 
supplies and materiel." 2H Repeated use of 
such locutions as "logistics and adminis- 
tration," "logistics and construction," and 
even, inexplicably, "logistics and supply" 
betrays a widespread uncertainty in the 
military profession itself as to precisely 
where logistics stops and something else 
begins. Evidently the term is still in proc- 
ess of rapid and healthy growth. 29 Until it 
matures and settles down, we must accept 
it, perforce, in whatever guise it appears — 
that is to say, with the specific shape, con- 
tent, and emphases it derives from its con- 
crete environment. 

The Army's Logistical Effort, 1940-43 

Such an environment was the spread- 
ing conflict that opened in September 
1939, bringing to a spectacular climax the 
revolution in warfare whose dim begin- 
nings Jomini had observed a century 
earlier. During the three years from spring 
1940 to spring 1943 the U.S. Army, facing 
first the possibility then the actuality of 
participation in the war, developed a lo- 
gistical system that its leaders believed 
best adapted to this new environment. 
The system was conceived and fashioned 
pragmatically, with little deference to tra- 
ditional logistical doctrine, and it differed 
not only from the systems to which it was 
opposed but also in important respects 
from those of Allied forces. It can best be 
described by reference to the underlying 
factors of geography, economics, and his- 
tory from which it took its distinctive form. 

American Industrial Power 

Inferior to the Axis powers at the outset 
in developed capacity to produce muni- 

tions, though outweighing them in man- 
power, the other nations opposing the 
Axis inevitably depended upon the United 
States to give their side industrial supe- 
riority. In any case, it was almost inevi- 
table that this country, possessing a vast 
industrial potential disproportionate even 
to its large population, would make its 
greatest contribution to the Allied effort 
in weight of materiel rather than in weight 
of manpower. 30 The degree of this em- 
phasis has been obscured by the fact that 
the United States at the peak of its mobi- 
lization was able to put some twelve mil- 
lion of its able-bodied citizens into uni- 
form. However, almost half of these went 
into the "armament heavy" naval and air 
arms; the ground army, biggest single user 
of manpower, was held down to a modest 
size, both in relation to the entire Military 
Establishment and as compared to the 
armies that European belligerents with 
smaller populations were able to put in 
the field, in order that industry and agri- 
culture, producing for Allied as well as the 
domestic economy, might have the work- 
ers they needed. 31 The high command 

28 Memo, Brig Gen Albert C. Wedemeyer for CofS, 
5 Mar 43, sub: Orgn of Ping Agencies Subsidiary to 

29 For a recent, far from definitive, effort to fix the 
meaning of the word, see Rear Adm. Henry E. Eccles, 
USN (Ret.), "Logistics— What Is It?" U.S. Naval In- 
stitute Proceedings, Vol. 79, No. 6 (June 1953), pp. 

f0 From the beginning of the war through 1944 the 
United States produced nearly 40 percent of the com- 
bat munitions produced by the United Nations for 
use against the European Axis. See: (1) World Produc- 
tion of Munitions at the End of the War in Europe, WPB 
Doc 25 (Washington, June 15, 1945), pp. 1, 4, 13-14; 
(2) Raymond W. Goldsmith, "The Power of Victory, 
Munitions Output in World War II," Military Affairs, 
Vol. X, No. 1 (Spring, 1946), pp. 69-80; and (3) 
Bureau of the Budget, The United States at War, pp. 

31 Approximate peak strengths of the U.S. Army 
and Navy at the end of World War II were 8,291,300 



sought, therefore, to make weight of ma- 
teriel compensate for limited numbers, 
stressing air and naval power, equipping 
all its forces on a lavish scale, and devel- 
oping massive fire power. American in- 
dustry not merely met these demands, but 
was able in addition to equip and support 
large Allied forces. The emphasis upon 
weight and quantity of materiel, some- 
times at the expense of qualitative supe- 
riority over the enemy, radiated through 
every aspect of the Army's logistics. It was 
reflected above all, perhaps, in a supply 
system that accepted and greatly extended 
the modern mass army's dependence on 
continuous resupply. By employing my- 
riads of ships, trucks, and other transport, 
performing miracles in port rehabilita- 
tion, stocking supplies in depth on a huge 
scale, and copying the managerial tech- 
niques of American big business, the U.S. 
Army was able to achieve a continuity 
and volume of supply — and therefore sus- 
tained offensive power — that even the 
Germans, who had pioneered in this field, 
could not equal. 

and 3,408,300, respectively. The Army Air Forces 
reached a strength of 2,354,210 on 30 April 1945; the 
Navy's air arm numbered 437,998 on V-J Day. See: 
(1) Kent Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer, and 
Bell I. Wiley, The Organization of Ground Combat 
WAR II (Washington, 1947), pp. 235-36; (2) Office 
of Naval Operations, The U.S. Navy at War, 1941-1945 
(Washington, 1946), pp. 152-317; (3) Strength of the 
Army Report, STM-30, 1 May 45; and (4) Archibald 
D. Turnbull and Clifford L. Lord, History of U.S. 
Naval Aviation (New Haven, Conn., Yale University 
Press, 1949), p. 322. (6) In the World Almanac and 
Book of Fads for 1952 (New York, New York World- 
Telegram and The Sun, 1952), p. 512, peak World 
War II strength of all armed forces of Germany is 
given as 10,200,000, of Japan as 6,905,000. of Italy 
as 3,750,000, of the United Kingdom as 5,120,000. In 
the first two of these countries, at least, the ratio of 
ground army forces to other armed forces was consid- 
erably higher than in the United States. 

Eighteen Months of Unmolested 

In December 1941, thanks to the pro- 
longed threat of enemy aggression since 
spring of 1940, the U.S. Army was better 
prepared than ever before on the eve of a 
great war. It had swelled to a strength of 
1,600,000 men, partially trained, partially 
equipped, backed by an industrial mobi- 
lization that had, by and large, completed 
the critical "tooling up" phase and that 
was ready to swing into production of 
munitions on an unprecedented scale. In 
a deeper sense, the Army had bridged the 
gulf between smallness and bigness, more 
a matter of thinking, doctrine, and meth- 
od than even of physical growth. By the 
time the Japanese struck, the U.S. high 
command was thinking in terms of an 
army of 10 million men and 250 divi- 
sions. 32 There had been concrete experi- 
ence in bigness, too. The Army's com- 
manders had learned how to maneuver 
divisions, corps, and armies. Perhaps even 
more important, its logistical staffs had 
gained some notion of what was involved 
in moving a division with its ancillary 
units, guns, tanks, trucks, and other im- 
pedimenta across half a continent, and 
loading the whole apparatus into trans- 
ports and freighters for a transoceanic 
voyage. The ports of embarkation and the 
depots behind them had had months of 
experience in building up overseas estab- 
lishments on something like a wartime 
scale and in providing the continuous sus- 
tenance needed to keep them alive. The 
central staffs in Washington had had to 
keep in balance all the divergent and 
competitive purposes of a vast expansion 
program — training and equipping a mo- 

Sic below . ( 111 \ 



bilizing conscript army, providing garri- 
sons and mobile striking forces to meet 
any sudden emergency, and diverting 
munitions to embattled anti-Axis forces in 
Europe and Asia. In terms of practical ex- 
perience, plans, and even blueprints, the 
Army was ready to shoulder, with surpris- 
ing ease and swiftness, the logistical bur- 
dens of a great global war. 

The Ocean Gap 

Under the conditions of warfare in 
1940-43 the United States still could de- 
rive a large measure of security from the 
wide, encircling oceans. American hemi- 
sphere defense plans in 1940 and 1941 
counted on exploiting to the utmost the 
logistical advantages conferred by a single 
economic-geographic center of gravity, 
interior lines, mutually supporting, acces- 
sible outposts, and the vast stretches of 
water over which an attacking enemy 
would have to advance. But in the event, 
the United States had to sacrifice these 
advantages in order to carry the war to 
the enemy. At the outset, moreover, the 
United States suffered a catastrophic de- 
feat in the Philippines, largely because the 
Navy and Air Forces were unable to keep 
open the lines of communications sup- 
porting that distant outpost. During 1942 
German submarines very nearly suc- 
ceeded in sealing off the eastward passage 
of munitions and supplies across the At- 
lantic. The impact upon American strate- 
gic and logistical thinking was profound. 
The Army's planners, with Bataan and 
Corregidor fresh in their memories, were 
prone to insist upon secure and, if possible, 
short sea communications as a condition 
of any strategy. The Army became the 
largest user of the nation's merchant ship- 
ping. Army staffs had to become expert in 

operating ships and ports, in scheduling 
transoceanic troop and cargo movements, 
in adjusting the rhythm of demand and 
supply to the exigencies of traffic control, 
convoy schedules, and the availability of 
bottoms. Because of the time required to 
move supplies from factory to overseas 
consumer, the Army had to order huge 
quantities, not actually to be used or con- 
sumed, but merely to "fill the pipeline," 
besides further quantities to replace the 
cargoes lost or to be lost at sea, and still 
other quantities to be stocked overseas 
against possible cutting of the ocean sup- 
ply line. Army logistics, in short, became 
predominantly a logistics of overseas de- 
ployment and supply, simply because the 
ocean gap was the longest, most vulner- 
able stage on the long road from factory 
and training camp to battle front. After 
mid-1943 secure Allied command of the 
sea lanes, together with the mammoth 
output of American shipyards, was to en- 
able the Army to take full advantage of 
the mobility of sea communications, mak- 
ing them a source of strength rather than 
of weakness. 

Involvements of a Coalition War 

That the United States fought in World 
War II as a member of a coalition, against 
a coalition, was of decisive importance in 
shaping the Army's logistical effort. The 
geographical location of the belligerents 
in itself dictated the world-wide extension 
of the conflict; the differences in their mili- 
tary capabilities and the disposition of 
their power, on both sides, went far to de- 
termine the character of American par- 
ticipation — the use of land, sea, and air 
forces, the apportionment of munitions, 
and the areas in which American forces 
operated. During 1939, 1940, and 1941, 



while the European -war was spreading 
and the alignment of powers was taking 
shape, American strategic and logistical 
plans, veering to meet each shift in the for- 
tunes of the war, ran the gamut from a 
last-ditch defense of the Western Hemi- 
sphere, as envisaged in the Rainbow 4 
plan of mid- 1940, to the actual multifront 
global war into which the United States 
plunged in December 1941. Long before 
then, Army staffs had acquired through 
lend-lease a working familiarity with 
many of the practical logistical problems 
of a coalition war — the amounts and 
manifold types of military materiel re- 
quired for operations in remote corners of 
the globe and the immense difficulties of 
delivering them there, the complex ad- 
ministrative machinery needed to appor- 
tion munitions and the use of shipping 
among several claimants, the baffling 
question of standardization of equipment 
design, the delicate political and psycho- 
logical problems that arise even on the ad- 
ministrative level in such an enterprise. 
In December 1941 the final major shift 
in the power alignment brought both 
Japan and the United States into the war. 
Japan's unexpected attack and the 
prompt American decision to fight back 
from bases in the southwest as well as the 
central Pacific forced the United States to 
establish and defend a supply line across 
the world's broadest ocean, and in that 
distant theater to carry on a "triphibious" 
warfare under conditions that imposed 
tremendous logistical difficulties. It was 
the struggle in this theater, above all, that 
forced Army and Navy staffs to work out 
methods of co-ordinating the logistics of 
land, air, and sea forces operating to- 
gether. To the eastward, where approved 
strategy dictated the major effort, the 
Army before the end of 1942 also became 

involved in a vast program of logistical 
undertakings reaching half-way around 
the globe. Army ships and cargoes plied 
around the Cape of Good Hope to the 
Red Sea, the Persian Gulf, and beyond; 
Army service troops were scattered along 
supply routes across Africa and operating 
supply bases in the Near and Middle East, 
India, and China. Two foci of this net- 
work — the growing service establishments 
in the Persian Corridor and in the China- 
Burma-India theater — had the primary 
mission of forwarding munitions by rail, 
truck, and transport aircraft to the Soviet 
Union and China. All these activities ex- 
tended the Army's logistical effort, in 
range and volume, far beyond what would 
have been required for the support only 
of its own relatively modest forces de- 
ployed overseas by spring of 1943. They 
were concomitants, in fact, of the Army's 
role in a coalition war. 

In the three years of preparing for and 
entering World War II, the Army's logis- 
tical staffs had both to learn and to apply 
their craft, unlearning in the process much 
that they had inherited from their prede- 
cessors. It was in these three years that the 
Army built the logistical machine, assem- 
bled the resources, and completed the ini- 
tial deployment that enabled it to carry 
out the great offensives of 1943-45. Its 
contacts with the enemy during 1942 and 
1943 were essentially holding actions, 
limited offensives, and incidents of its 
overseas deployment. While the Army 
was gathering strength and striving to 
avoid premature commitments, the brunt 
of the enemy attack was necessarily borne 
by the other nations opposing the Axis 
and by the U.S. Navy, which began to 
convoy ocean shipping and had its first 
encounters with enemy submarines 



months before Pearl Harbor. This division 
of labor was a logical product of circum- 
stances. British and Soviet forces were al- 
ready in the field, their mobilization well 
advanced, and the U.S. Navy, with a 
strong striking force in being, was the na- 
tion's first line of defense. The Army's 
mobilization and deployment and, even 
more, the industrial mobilization needed 
to wage full-scale war, started from a low 

ebb in 1940 and would have been dis- 
rupted by an early trial of strength with 
Axis land and air forces. This danger, in- 
deed, threatened more than once during 
1942, while the enemy held the strategic 
initiative and the American public clam- 
ored for victories. When the day came for 
the Army finally to throw its full weight 
into the scale, it was prepared to exert 
decisive power. 



Rearmament and Foreign Aid 
Before Lend-Lease 

In logistics, as in other fields of military 
activity, the two years of neutrality pre- 
ceding December 1941 were for the U.S. 
Army a period of learning — hard, costly, 
but supremely valuable. The logistical 
experience of this period went far beyond 
the routine supply problems of a tiny 
peacetime establishment. In three fields of 
activity, above all, the Army gained for- 
ward-looking experience in dealing with 
logistical problems, without which it could 
scarcely have met the challenge of full- 
scale war in the years following: in rearm- 
ing for hemisphere defense, in providing 
material aid to the nations opposing the 
Axis, and, from late 1940 on, in planning 
for possible military collaboration with 
those nations. The conflict between re- 
armament and foreign aid, which emerged 
during the last half of 1940, foreshadowed 
what was to be perhaps the most funda- 
mental problem of military policy facing 
the United States as a member of a coali- 
tion — how to apportion resources between 
its own armed forces and those of its allies. 

The Peacetime Logislical Establishment 

In the late summer of 1939, on the eve 
of the European war, the U.S. Army had 
a total active strength of 190,690 men 
(almost 20,000 under its authorized 

strength), of whom less than 50,000 were 
stationed outside the continental United 
States. These Regular forces could be aug- 
mented in an emergency by the partially 
trained National Guard (about 200,000) 
and an Officers' Reserve Corps of about 
110,000. The Army was largely an in- 
fantry-artillery army, the Air Corps num- 
bering only 25,722 and the organized 
armored units only about 1,400. Forces 
overseas were mainly in five garrisons — 
Hawaii (21,500), Panama Canal (13,500), 
Philippines (10,900), Puerto Rico (900), 
and Alaska (400). In the United States 
there were, on paper, four field armies, 
which were responsible for training the 
field forces and serving as a framework for 
mobilization. Actually these armies had 
no staffs and contained only four or- 
ganized and seven partially organized di- 
visions, all, of course, far below war 
strength. 1 

The level of equipment was even lower. 
At the end of 1939 the Air Corps had only 
1,800 planes on hand, of which a handful 
were of modern types. Many of the ground 

1 (1) Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1940, 
Tables C, D. (2) Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 
1939, Table C. (3) Annual Report of the Secretary of 
War, 1941, Chart 1. (4) Ray S. Cline, Washington Com- 
mand Post: The Operations Division, UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1951), 
pp. 8-9. 



army's weapons were of ancient vintage, 
some — such as the Springfield rifle, the 
75-mm. gun, and the 3-inch antiaircraft 
gun — inherited from World War I. Most 
of these were to be replaced by modern 
weapons — notably the Garand semiauto- 
matic rifle (Ml) and the high-speed 105- 
mm. howitzer — when production per- 
mitted. Comparatively large stocks of the 
older weapons were on hand, more than 
enough to outfit the one-million-man army 
(augmented Protective Mobilization Plan 
(PMP) force) that full mobilization was 
expected to put in the field — for example, 
over 2,500,000 bolt-action rifles, 1 13,000 
machine guns, and almost 9,000 field ar- 
tillery pieces. But there were no modern 
tanks capable of meeting on equal terms 
those unleashed by the German Wehr- 
macht in Poland in September. Of the 329 
tanks available, most were light. There 
were only 438 antiaircraft guns, 93 mor- 
tars, and no aircraft cannon or rocket 
launchers. There were only limited quanti- 
ties of ammunition, even for the obsoles- 
cent weapons. Scarcely more than token 
numbers of the new weapons were being 
produced — for example, only 4,000 Gar- 
and rifles and 30 light tanks per month. 
In short, the state of equipment was such 
that in late 1939 not even a single division 
could have been put in the field on short 
notice. 2 

The logistical support of this establish- 
ment, shaped to the routine needs of 
peace, was meager by later standards. 
Service troops of all categories numbered 
about 38,400, or 21 percent of the whole 
active Army. Of this number, the four sup- 
ply services accounted for 69 percent 
(Quartermaster Corps 31 percent. Medi- 
cal Department 28 percent, Ordnance 
Department 8 percent, and Chemical 
Warfare Service 2 percent); the two sup- 

ply arms 28 percent (Corps of Engineers 
17 percent and Signal Corps 11 percent); 
and the five administrative services 3 per- 
cent (Adjutant General's Department, 
Inspector General's Department, Judge 
Advocate General's Department, Finance 
Department, and Corps of Chaplains). 
Only a little more than a quarter of this 
personnel belonged to the two supply 
arms, which trained troops to take part in 
combat, and only 10 percent to services 
(Ordnance and Chemical Warfare) that 
procured and serviced weapons and am- 
munition. 3 

In the ground army, supply and trans- 
portation operations, the major logistical 
functions, centered in the four supply serv- 
ices and the two service arms; they pro- 
vided the Army's supplies and equipment, 
the personnel to service them, and the 
means to transport both troops and ma- 
teriel. The Quartermaster Corps was the 
principal transportation agency; it de- 
signed, procured, and serviced the Army's 
wheeled motor vehicles, trained troops to 
operate them, controlled Army traffic on 
inland commercial carriers, and super- 
vised Army water transportation, includ- 
ing the operation of the New York and 
San Francisco Ports of Embarkation and 
the Army's fleet of transports and cargo 
vessels. The only other service having a 
considerable role in transportation was 

-' ( 1) Troyer S. Anderson. Munitions for the Army: 
A Five Year Report on the Procurement of Muni- 
tions by the War Department, 1946, p. 5, OCMH. 
(2) Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild, The Defense 
of the Western Hemisphere: I. The Framework of 
Hemisphere Defense, a volume in preparation for 
WAR II, Ch. I, pp. 19-34. 

' Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1940 , Table 

Chemical Warfare Service, though not an "arm," 
trained certain units — for example, chemical mor- 
tar units, which had a combat mission. 



the Corps of Engineers, which was respon- 
sible for the construction, operation, and 
maintenance of military railways. Apart 
from the Quartermaster Corps, which 
procured a miscellaneous assortment of 
supplies and equipment, each supply arm 
and service had responsibility for procure- 
ment, storage, and issue of a well-defined 
group of related commodities — for ex- 
ample, the Signal Corps for communica- 
tions equipment, the Corps of Engineers 
for construction material, and the Medical 
Department for medical supplies and 
equipment. 4 In the United States the dis- 
tribution of supply was decentralized 
regionally to the nine corps areas. Since 
1932 when the four armies were created, 
the corps areas — originally the basic terri- 
torial organization for administration, 
training, and mobilization — had served 
primarily as "housekeeping" agencies for 
supply and other services for the Army in 
the United States. 5 (Chart 1 ) 

The Army's logistical operations, in the 
years of peace, were almost wholly sepa- 
rate from those of the Navy, and only 
rudimentary machinery for interservice 
co-ordination existed. There was no exec- 
utive mechanism. The Joint Army and 
Navy Board, a committee composed of the 
Army Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of 
Staff, and Chief of the War Plans Division 
(WPD), and their Navy opposite numbers, 
served as a meeting ground for discussion 
of whatever problems the heads of the two 
services were willing to bring before it. It 
reported to the two service secretaries and, 
after July 1939, to the President as well. fi 
The board was assisted by the Joint Plan- 
ning Committee, consisting of six or more 
members equally representing the two 
War Plans Divisions. There were three in- 
terservice boards in 1939 concerned with 
promoting logistical co-ordination be- 

tween the two services — trie Joint Army 
and Navy Munitions Board (ANMB) in 
the fields of supply procurement and plan- 
ning for industrial mobilization, the Joint 
Economy Board in administration and 
organization, and the Joint Aeronautical 
Board in the development of aviation. 7 

On the top level of staff supervision and 
planning in the War Department, there 
was no single agency or official responsible 
for the field of logistics as a whole, and 
only two — the Supply Division (G-4) of 
the War Department General Staff 
(WDGS), and the Office of the Assistant 
Secretary of War — whose responsibilities 
might, by a liberal interpretation of the 
term, be considered as exclusively logisti- 
cal. G-4 was the principal logistical agency 
on the General Staff. It was charged with 
planning, policy making, and staff super- 
vision in the fields of supply requirements, 
distribution, storage and issue, equipment 

4 ( 1 ) Chester Wardlow, The Transportation Corps: I , 
Responsibilities, Organization, and Operations, UNITED 
ton, 1951) (hereafter cited as Wardlow, Trans /), 
35-37. (2) John D. Millett, The Organization and Role 
of the Army Service Forces, UNITED STATES ARMY 
IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1954) (hereafter 
cited as Millett, ASF ), Ch. I. 

5 (1) Cline, Washington Command Post, pp. 8-9. (2) 
Kent Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer, and 
Bell I. Wiley, The Organization of Ground Combat 
Troops, Vol. I of the subseries The Armv Ground 
WAR II (Washington, 1947) (hereafter cited as 
Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, AGF I ), 3-4. 

r ' One of the conspicuous achievements of the Joint 
Board in recent years had been the issuance in 1927 
of Joint Action, a compendium of procedures and 
policies for wartime interservice co-ordination in lo- 
gistical and other areas. 

7 (1) Cline, Washington Command Post, pp. 45-46. 

(2) Mark S. Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and 
WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1950), pp. 79-81. 

(3) Civilian Production Administration, Industrial Mo- 
bilization for War: I, Program and Administration (Wash- 
ington, 1947) (hereafter cited as CPA, Industrial 
Mobilization for War), 3-5. 


1 ^ 
















O 2 



and supply allowances tables, transporta- 
tion and traffic control, procurement of 
real estate, construction and maintenance 
of buildings, hospitalization, and distribu- 
tion of noncombat troops. s Each of the 
other four WDGS divisions was also con- 
cerned with some aspect of logistics — G-l 
(personnel) with administration, G-2 (in- 
telligence) with logistical capabilities of 
foreign countries, G-3 (operations and 
training) with equipment allowances of 
tactical units and some of the training of 
service troops, War Plans Division with 
logistical capabilities in general since war 
planning could not safely ignore any as- 
pect of them. Logistics similarly was a 
part, though not all, of the purview of the 
single Deputy Chief of Staff, who relieved 
the Chief of Staff of decisions on routine 
matters, generally of a budgetary, legisla- 
tive, or administrative nature, and of that 
of the secretary of the General Staff, who 
co-ordinated and often initiated staff ac- 
tion on all kinds of matters. 

The organization of the General Staff, 
in fact, did not recognize logistics as a well- 
defined field of activity requiring sepa- 
rate, specialized attention; lines of special- 
ization in the General Staff cut across that 
field and were not too sharply drawn in 
any case. {Chart 1) General Staff officers, 
in American doctrine and tradition, were 
expected to possess a general competence 
and perspective enabling them to advise 
the Chief of Staff on broad problems of 
policy, not merely on the substantive and 
technical matters with which each, in the 
interests of orderly division of staff work, 
gained a special familiarity. For technical 
counsel the Chief of Staff looked rather to 
the chiefs of arms and services, sometimes 
called collectively the War Department 
Special Staff. And as the General Staff was 
not supposed to specialize, similarly it was 

prohibited from "operating" — from en- 
gaging in "administrative duties for the 
performance of which an agency exists" — 
in contrast to the chiefs of arms and serv- 
ices, who operated as well as advised. 
From supervision, explicitly a WDGS 
function, it was, to be sure, only a short 
step to participation in the operations 
supervised, and thence to specialization. 
Until 1940 the General Staff did not move 
far in this direction, partly because of the 
entrenched prerogatives of the arms and 
services, partly because the General Staff 
was too small (only 232 officers in 1939, 
many of whom were serving in the field 
with troops) to descend far below its as- 
signed sphere of plans, policy, and broad 
supervision. 9 

In the largest area of logistics — supply — 
staff supervision did not center in the 
General Staff but was divided between the 
Supply Division and the Office of the As- 
sistant Secretary of War. This situation 
grew out of the National Defense Act of 
1920 and the reorganization of the War 
Department resulting from the Harbord 
Board (Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord, 
Chairman) recommendations in 1921. 
The former had charged the Assistant 
Secretary of War with "supervision of the 
procurement of all military supplies" and 
"assurance of adequate provision," that is, 
advance planning, for industrial mobiliza- 
tion in time of war. These functions em- 
braced the "business or industrial" aspects 
of supply, which the Harbord Board had 
sharply distinguished from the purely mil- 
itary aspects. In the long process of supply, 
the board argued, the concern of the pro- 
fessional Army was primarily with the de- 

8 AR 10-15, 18 Aug 36. 

9 (1) Cline, Washington Command Post, pp. 24-28. 
(2) Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations , Ch. III. (3) 
Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1939, Table C. 



termination of requirements and specifi- 
cations at the beginning, and the accept- 
ance of finished munitions at the end; 
supervision of these activities belonged 
properly to G-4. The vast middle portion, 
comprising the War Department's deal- 
ings with private industry and the govern- 
ment agencies concerned with production 
of munitions, could be most effectively 
controlled by a civilian official, preferably 
a "captain of industry," though it seemed 
unlikely, as Secretary of War Newton D. 
Baker had pointed out, that the services of 
such a tycoon could be secured in time of 
peace. During the two interwar decades, 
at any rate, the supply arms and serv- 
ices — the procuring and issuing agencies — 
had two masters, the Assistant Secretary 
of War in matters of procurement, the 
"business" side of supply, and G-4 in mat- 
ters of requirements and distribution, the 
"military" side. 10 

The leisurely pace and modest volume 
of the Army's logistical business in the 
years of peace did not unduly strain this 
structure. Yet there were ample portents 
of future trouble. The division between 
the business and military aspects of supply 
proved difficult to observe in practice. 
Both transportation and storage, occupy- 
ing borderline positions, were causes of oc- 
casional contention between G-4 and the 
Assistant Secretary's office. It was obvi- 
ously unrealistic to determine equipment 
specifications and requirements without 
reference to production capabilities; yet 
co-ordination between G-4, charged with 
the former, and the Assistant Secretary's 
office, charged with the latter, would 
surely impede the swift action demanded 
in an emergency. Moreover, the planning 
of industrial mobilization, assigned to the 
Assistant Secretary, was clearly part of the 
broader task, charged to the General Staff 

in the National Defense Act, of planning 
for "the mobilization of the manhood of 
the nation and its material resources." 
Clear evidence that mobilization was an 
indivisible process was afforded in 1938, 
when Secretary of War Harry H. Wood- 
ring found it necessary to order the size of 
the planned initial force under PMP 
scaled down to the indicated capacity of 
industry. 11 

Finally, the very existence of divided 
authority caused uneasiness in the Gen- 
eral Staff, which was mindful of its long 
struggle to control the supply and admin- 
istrative bureaus. The Office of the Assist- 
ant Secretary in the late 1930's was a 
growing organization; by mid- 1940 it 
numbered 181 persons at a time when the 
whole General Staff, including many offi- 
cers in the field, comprised less than 350. 
As early as 1930 General Charles P. Sum- 
merall, the Chief of Staff, complained of 
encroachment by the Office of the Assist- 
ant Secretary of War into the domain of 
General Staff jurisdiction and warned, 
"the unity of control necessary to the effi- 
cient development of our military system 
no longer exists." He continued: 

We, therefore, find ourselves dangerously 
near the status of divided authority in the 
War Department which prevailed in 1898 
and again in 1917 .... 

There is no doubt as to what general 
course affairs would take on the occurrence 
of a national emergency if the present situa- 
tion should continue. As in 1917-18, the 
necessity for integrating the services of sup- 

10 (1) John D. Milieu, "The Direction of Supply- 
Activities in the War Department," American Political 
Science Review, XXXVIII June 1944), 475-84. (2) 
Otto L. Nelson, Jr., National Security and the General 
Staff (Washington, Infantrv Journal Press, 1946), Ch. 
Viand pp. 320-22. 

11 (1) Milieu. "The Direction of Supply Activities 
..." pp. 488-92, cited n. 10(1). (2) Annual Report 
of the Secretary of War, 1938, p. 1 . 



ply would early become apparent, and action 
analogous to that found essential during that 
period would be taken. In the meantime, im- 

Cortant preparatory measures would have 
een neglected, and a delay and confusion 
that might prove fatal to the success of our 
arms would be inevitable. 12 

The Impulse Toward Rearmament 
and Foreign Aid 

In the nine months following the out- 
break of the war in Europe in September 

1939, the United States did little either to 
augment her own forces or to arm those of 
the Western Allies with which her official 
and popular sympathies lay. These powers 
and Germany seemed to have reached a 
deadlock, while in the Far East Japan 
cautiously awaited the outcome, held in 
check for the present by fear of an attack 
by the USSR and by the threat of the 
U.S. Pacific Fleet. Uneasy rather than 
alarmed, and seeking above all to insulate 
the Western Hemisphere against war, the 
United States added less than 55,000 men 
to the Regular Army, bringing it to a 
strength of 245,413 by the end of May 

1940. With this increase it was possible to 
organize five triangular divisions, create 
sufficient corps and army units to make 
up a full army corps and a field army, and 
hold large-scale maneuvers. At the same 
time the National Guard, its authorized 
level raised to 235,000, began more inten- 
sive training, and a number of Reserve 
officers were recalled for short tours of 
active duty. The Navy, meanwhile, kept 
its main fleet in the Pacific, and in the At- 
lantic instituted a "neutrality patrol" ex- 
tending a few hundred miles out to sea. 13 

As for aid to the Western Allies, the 
Neutrality Act of November 1939 re- 
stricted the United States to the role of a 

disinterested purveyor of munitions to all 
who could buy them and carry them 
away. Great Britain and France pur- 
chased, accordingly, with an eye to con- 
serving their limited fund of dollars. In 
the main they sought aircraft and ma- 
chine tools, looking to the United States as 
a source of emergency and reserve supply 
in other respects while building up their 
own munitions industries. Several neutral 
nations also placed small orders with 
American manufacturers, and Finland 
made some purchases during her brief war 
with the Soviet Union during the winter 
of 1939-40. The total volume of orders 
was not large, but it did give an impetus, 
particularly in the field of aircraft, to the 
development of an American munitions 
industry — an impetus that the Army's 
own orders, filled largely by government 
arsenals, were wholly unable to provide. 14 
In the spring of 1940 the German mili- 

12 ( 1) Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1930, pp. 
108, 1 16. (2) Millett. "The Direction of Supply Ac- 
tivities . . . ," pp. 489, 493, cited n. 10(1). (3) For 
growing difficulties in supply organization during 
1940 and 1941, see below, Ch. IX. 

13 ( 1 ) Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1940, 
Table C. (2) Conn and Fairchild, Framework of 
Hemisphere Defense, Ch. I, pp. 27-41. (3) Annual 
Report of the Secretary of War, 1941 , pp. 48-50. 

14 (1) W. K. Hancock and M. M. Gowing, British 
War Economy (London, His Majesty's Stationery Of- 
fice, 1949), p. 106. (2) International Division, ASF, 
Lend-Lease as of September 30, 1945, I, MS (here- 
after cited as ID, Lend-Lease), 66-72, OCMH. (3) 
Rpt, President's Ln Com, sub: Foreign Purch Other 
Than Br, 1 Jul-1 Oct 40, President's Ln Com file CC 
ANMB, Job A46-299. Clearance Committee files are 
with those of the Defense Aid Division, Office of the 
Under Secretary of War, and are generally cata- 
logued with records of the International Division, 
ASF. (4) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, p. 4. 
(5) For a detailed account of Anglo-French purchas- 
ing activities during this period, see H. Duncan Hall, 
North American Supply, a volume in preparation for 
the British series HISTORY OF THE SECOND 
WORLD WAR, galley proof, Chs. III-IV, Hist Br, 
Cabinet Off, London. 



tary machine burst through the defenses 
of the Allies, and almost overnight the 
threat to the countries of the Western 
Hemisphere took on terrifying propor- 
tions. Late in May, while the debacle in 
western Europe was at full tide, the mili- 
tary staffs prepared an emergency plan for 
a large-scale descent on the coast of Brazil 
to counter any major Axis move in that 
direction; the plan's name, "Pot of Gold," 
aptly suggests the total unreadiness of the 
Army and Navy to carry out any such 
undertaking. In the same month the plan- 
ning staffs hurriedly set to work to revise 
plans for hemisphere defense under what 
seemed to be all too probable assump- 
tions — that both France and Great Brit- 
ain would be defeated (rather than merely 
neutral, as under earlier assumptions), 
that remnants of their fleets would be 
taken over by the victors, and that the 
United States and Canada would have to 
face the combined power of Germany, 
Italy, and Japan. Against such over- 
whelming odds, the planners concluded, 
the United States would be forced to fall 
back upon Hawaii and Alaska in the Pa- 
cific, concentrate most of her fleet in the 
Caribbean, and for the time being try to 
defend the Western Hemisphere only as 
far south as the bulge of South America. 
The completed plan, Rainbow 4, was ap- 
proved by the Joint Board on 7 June 1940 
and by the President on 14 August. 15 

On lOJune, a week before France ca- 
pitulated, President Franklin D. Roose- 
velt hopefully proclaimed at Charlottes- 
ville that the United States intended not 
only to rearm but also to help the nations 
opposing the Axis: 

We will extend to the opponents of force 
the material resources of this nation and, at 
the same time. . . . harness and speed up 
the use of those resources in order that we 

ourselves in the Americas may have equip- 
ment and training equal to the task of any 
emergency and every defense. 16 

Two weeks later Britain was the only im- 
portant "opponent of force" remaining in 
the field against Germany, and few 
doubted that she would either sue for 
peace or be overrun by the Wehrmacht. 
Army planners feared also that a Japa- 
nese invasion of Indochina was brewing, 
possibly to be preceded by an attack on 
Hawaii or the Panama Canal, and a Japa- 
nese-Soviet alliance against the United 
States in the Pacific seemed to the Chief 
of Staff, General George C. Marshall, a 
strong possibility. In this situation the mil- 
itary leaders saw no hope of carrying out 
both courses of action laid down by the 
President. They urged him to subordinate 
foreign aid wholly to rearmament in order 
to build up sufficient forces to defend the 
hemisphere within the limits indicated in 
the current Rainbow 4 plan. They 

The naval and military operations neces- 
sary to assure successful Hemisphere defense 
call for a major effort which we are not now 
ready to accomplish. ... To overcome our 
disadvantage in time, the concerted effort of 
our whole national life is required. The out- 
standing demands on this national effort 
are — first a radical speed-up of production, 
and second, the assembly and training of or- 
ganized manpower. 17 

Into these two tasks the administration, 
Congress, and the armed services plunged 
with spectacular energy in the summer of 

ir> (1) Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemi- 
sphere Defense, Ch. II, pp. 2-10. (2) Watson. Prewar 
Plans arid Preparations, pp. 95-96, 104-07. 

1 IS. Dept of State, Peace and War: [rated States 
Foreign Policy, 1931-1941, Pub 1853 (Washington. 
1943), p. 76.' 

17 (1) Memo, CNO and CofS for President, 27 
Jun 40. WPD 4250-3. (2) Watson. Prewar Plans and 
Preparations, pp. 107-1 1. 



1940. On 28 May the President had re- 
vived the Advisory Commission to the 
Council of National Defense of World 
War I, and under it, in the following 
months, the machinery of economic mo- 
bilization began to take form. Congress 
immediately raised the authorized strength 
of the Regular Army to 375,000 and voted 
funds to purchase badly needed seacoast 
defense equipment, aircraft, and other 
critical items, to expand the pilot training 
program, to establish ordnance munitions 
plants, and to conduct field maneuvers. 
The President's call for a 50,000-plane air 
force in May set the mood, if not the ac- 
tual objectives, for mobilization. By the 
middle of September Congressional ap- 
propriations for the armed forces totaled 
over $8 billion, of which about three 
fourths was allotted to the Army. The 
Army also established a separate Armored 
Force, provided commanders and staffs 
for the four continental field armies, and 
set up in skeleton form the new General 
Headquarters (GHQ) which, under plans 
prepared soon after World War I, was in- 
tended eventually to become the com- 
mand post for directing military opera- 
tions in the next conflict— for the present, 
it merely took charge of an accelerated 
training program. 

By the end of the summer, legislation 
was also enacted to authorize the man- 
power for a vast program of mobilization, 
through the induction of the National 
Guard, by calling up the Organized Re- 
serve, and through Selective Service. This 
program contemplated the expansion of 
the Army to 1,400,000 men by the follow- 
ing July. Meanwhile, the Army laid down 
and the President approved a program of 
materiel mobilization to match the provi- 
sion of military manpower — the great 
Munitions Program of 30 June 1940. This 

aimed at producing by autumn of 1941 
equipment and reserves for an initial Pro- 
tective Mobilization Plan force of 1,200,- 
000 men, and by the end of 1941 equip- 
ment and reserves for 2,000,000. Within 
the same period the aircraft industry was 
to be built to a capacity of 18,000 planes a 
year, with a view to creating by spring of 
1942 an air force of 12,000 planes and 54 
combat groups. Beyond these goals, pro- 
ductive capacity was to be created suffi- 
cient eventually to equip and support an 
army of 4,000,000. Balancing this expan- 
sion of land and air power, Congress on 19 
July also approved a "two-ocean Navy," 
of approximately double the Navy's exist- 
ing strength. 18 

But the surge of American rearmament 
in the summer of 1940, while impressive, 
was not the all-out effort that the military 
leaders had urged. The President at the 
end of June rejected their more extreme 
proposals — longer hours and three-shift 
operations in munitions factories, an im- 
mediate draft, and complete mobiliza- 
tion — and, as a corollary, stipulated that 
aid to Britain must continue, though on a 
small scale. As General Marshall reported 
his decision: 

. . . if . . . the British displayed an ability 
to withstand the German assault, and it ap- 
peared that a little help might carry them 
through to the first of the year, then we 
might find it desirable from the point of view 

18 (1) Annual Report oj the Secretary of War , 1941 , pp. 
50-53, 60-61, Chart 3. (2) Wesley Frank Craven and 
James Lea Cate, eds., Plans and Early Operations— Jan- 
uary 1939 to August 1942, Vol. I in THE ARMY AIR 
FORCES IN WORLD WAR II (Chicago, The Uni- 
versity of Chicago Press, 1948) (hereafter cited as 
Craven and Cate, AAFI), 105.(3) Watson, Prewar 
Plans and Preparations, pp. 168-82. (4) Samuel Eliot 
Morison, The Battle of the Atlantic: September 1939-May 
1943 (Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1947), pp. 
27-28. (5) CP 'A, Industrial Mobilization for War, Pt. I, 
Chs. 2-3 and chart on p. 37. 



of our defense to turn over other material 
that apparently would exercise an important 
effect on the action. 19 

The President directed further that Brit- 
ish munitions orders were to be accepted 
in the United States, even though at some 
cost to American rearmament. This policy 
reflected the President's determined faith, 
not fully shared by the Army staff nor 
even by General Marshall, that American 
industry could produce munitions for na- 
tions fighting the Axis in ever-increasing 
volume without "seriously retarding" the 
huge rearmament program launched in 

Events abroad soon lent some support 
to the President's policy. From the mo- 
ment when, on 3-4 July, the British neu- 
tralized or destroyed the bulk of the 
French Navy, most of the danger of an 
early expansion of German naval power 
evaporated. By mid-September the repulse 
of the Luftwaffe's assaults upon England 
ended, for the time being, the menace 
of a German invasion and immeasur- 
ably improved the outlook for Britain's 
survival. American staff planners, cau- 
tiously surveying the scene toward the end 
of that month, estimated that Britain 
could probably hold out for at least 
another six months, thus giving the 
United States a year's respite, possibly 
longer, since the Germans would require 
six months to refit and man whatever 
remnants of the British Fleet they might 
capture. Aid to Britain began to appear 
less a course of desperation than a long- 
term investment in American security. 20 

Early Organization and Policy for Control 
of Foreign Purchases 

The machinery of foreign aid had be- 
gun to take form in 1939, before the out- 

break of the European war. Anticipating 
a flood of orders from Great Britain and 
France, the Assistant Secretaries of War 
and the Navy proposed in July 1939 that 
the Army and Navy Munitions Board, of 
which they were chairmen, should be 
made responsible for co-ordinating foreign 
purchases. The President approved, and a 
Clearance Committee was set up in the 
ANMB before the end of the year. This 
committee was to obtain information on 
all foreign orders and facilitate the plac- 
ing of such orders by "friendly foreign 
governments" where they would promote 
the growth of an American arms industry, 
at the same time striving to prevent com- 
petition with Army or Navy procurement. 
U.S. designs and specifications were to be 
released to friendly governments if they 
placed firm, substantial orders and as long 
as release would not prejudice national 
defense. From the beginning, in short, an 
effort was made to draw from foreign aid 
the maximum benefit for American 

The War and Navy Departments orig- 
inally envisaged the Clearance Commit- 
tee as the central organization for control- 
ling foreign purchases, but the President 
in December 1939 superimposed upon it 
an interdepartmental liaison committee, 21 
in which Treasury influence was domi- 
nant, to handle all contracts with foreign 

151 Informal memo, G. C. M. [Marshall] for Brig 
Gen George V. Strong, 24 Jun 40, WPD 4250-3. 

20 (1) Memo, ACofS WPD for CofS, 25 Sep 40, sub: 
Prob of Pdn of Mun in Relation to the Ability of the 
U.S. To Cope With Its Def Probs in the Present 
World Sit, WPD 4321-9. (2) Watson, Prewar Plans 
and Preparations , pp. 110-17. (3) Conn and Fairchild, 
Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II, pp. 17- 

21 The liaison committee in June 1940 was given 
the name Interdepartmental Committee for Coordi- 
nation of Foreign and Domestic Purchases. Before and 
after that date, however, it was known as the Presi- 
dent's Liaison Committee. 



ARMY AND NAVY MUNITIONS BOARDJUNE 1941. Seated left to right: Brig. 
Gen. Charles Hines, Brig. Gen. Harry K. Rutherford, Robert P. Patterson, James V. Forrestal, 
Capt. Edmund D. Almy, Capt. Anton B. Anderson; standing left to right: Maj. Gerson K. Heiss, 
Col. Henry S. Aurand, Comdr. Vernon H. Wheeler, Comdr. Leon B. Scott. 

governments relating to purchases of war 
materials in the United States. The Presi- 
dent answered protests from the military 
by pointing out that over half of the 
foreign procurement would be of nonmili- 
tary items. It seems more likely that the 
President's real reason was his desire to 
keep the negotiations in the hands of 
Henry L. Morgenthau, Jr., Secretary of 
the Treasury, who earlier had established 
a close and sympathetic relationship with 
Arthur B. Purvis, the Scottish-Canadian 
industrialist who headed the Anglo- 
French Purchasing Board. Morgenthau 
was an enthusiastic supporter of aid to the 
Allies while Harry Woodring, Secretary of 

War, was an outspoken isolationist. At all 
events, the Clearance Committee was re- 
duced to a subordinate role, and the prin- 
ciple of civilian control over foreign aid 
was established. Army members of the 
Clearance Committee continued to carry 
out their earlier prescribed duties where 
purchases of military material were in- 
volved, acting for the Secretary of War 
through the President's Liaison Commit- 
tee rather than for the ANMB. This ac- 
tion, during the period of the "phony 
war," consisted largely of collecting infor- 
mation and rendering assistance. Nearly 
all orders were for foreign types of muni- 
tions rather than for those standard to the 



U.S. Army, and only in the case of aircraft 
was there any serious question of release of 
U.S. designs. 22 

In April and May 1940 the British and 
French Governments appealed frantically 
to the United States for all kinds of mili- 
tary material. The British cabinet 
scrapped its cautious financial approach, 
deciding to rely on American production 
to the extent of British need, rather than 
of British ability to pay, hoping naturally 
for an eventual relaxation of the Ameri- 
can "cash and carry" restriction. In May 
the new Prime Minister, Winston S. 
Churchill, appealed directly to the Presi- 
dent for supplies, and the Anglo-French 
Purchasing Board in the United States 
began to comb the country for facilities to 
produce small arms and artillery. When 
France fell, the British Purchasing Com- 
mission supplanted the board and took 
over all French contracts. The mushroom- 
ing of British orders dictated a tightening 
of the whole machinery of control. 23 

Congress on 28 June 1940 passed an act 
enabling the President to give priority to 
all Army and Navy orders over deliveries 
for private account or for export. By Oc- 
tober 1940 a Priorities Board had been 
formed within the Advisory Commission 
to the Council of National Defense, and to 
it the President delegated his own powers. 
The ANMB assumed control of determin- 
ing priorities for production of all muni- 
tions. Beginning in July 1940 foreign gov- 
ernments were required to file Purchase 
Negotiation Reports, which had to be ap- 
proved by the Advisory Commission, on 
all proposed contracts over Si 50,000. 
When military materials were involved, 
the Clearance Committee screened the 
contracts, working through the Advisory 
Commission and the President's Liaison 
Committee. 24 The machinery provided a 

means of eliminating British competition 
with the American defense program, and 
the spirit of the Congressional legislation 
and the inclination of the military leaders 
was to use it to this end. The President, 
however, insisted that the British program 
be accommodated as far as possible. 

The issue of British aid during and 
after the crisis of May and June centered 
in the two questions of what could be given 
immediately from surplus Army stocks 
and what could be planned on a long- 
range basis from future production. These 
two aspects, together with their implica- 
tions for the U.S. Army's rearmament 
program, will be treated in turn. 

Use of Army Stocks To Aid Anti-Axis Nations 

The Army's largest stocks of weapons, 
as already noted, were of obsolescent types 
upon which, until industry could produce 

22 (1) Memo, AS W and ASN for President. 30 Jul 

39. (2) Memo, ANMB for Col Charles Hines, Chm 
CC ANMB, et al., 1 Dec 39, sub: ANMB Com for 
Clearance on Mun, with incl on rules and policies. 
(3) Ltr. President to SW, 6 Dec 39. (4) Memo, ASW 
and ASN for President, 9 Dec 39. (5) Memo, Presi- 
dent for Chairmen ANMB, 14 Dec 39. (6) Memo, 
Hines for ASW, 22 Mar 40, sub: Present Status of 
CC ANMB. All in ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, I. 
(7) Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, p. 300. (8) 
For information on the work of the Clearance Com- 
mittee, see its weekly reports to the Secretary of War 
in Rpts to ASW file, CC ANMB. (9) For an informa- 
tive account of the Morgenthau-Purvis channel, see 
Hall, North American Supply, Ch. IV, galleys 1-4, 
Hist Br, Cabinet Off, London. 

-' 3 (1) Hancock and Gowing, British War Economy, p. 
1 19. (2) Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Lend-Lease: Weapon 
for Victory (New York, The Macmillan Company, 
1944), pp. 31-35. (3) Rpt 40, CC ANMB to SW et al., 
Rpts to ASW file, CC ANMB. (4) Winston S. 
Churchill, The Second World War: Their Finest Hour 
(Boston. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949), pp. 23- 

24 (1) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, pp. 17- 
28, 50-5 1 . (2) PL 67 1 , 76th Cong. (3) ID, Lend-Lease, 
I, 72-73. (4) Ltr, Morgenthau to President, 19 Dec 

40, President's Ln Com file, CC ANMB. 



modern ones, the Army would have to de- 
pend for any sudden mobilization in the 
near future. Only in a limited sense could 
they be considered as ''surplus." Requests 
from Latin American and European neu- 
tral countries in 1939 first raised the ques- 
tion of releases from these stocks. On 1 
March 1940, in response to a request from 
the Swedish Government, G-4 drew up a 
fairly definitive list of items that the staff 
believed could be turned over without un- 
due risk. The list included 100,000 Enfield 
rifles and 300 British-type 75-mm. guns 
and some obsolescent machine guns, heavy 
artillery, and mortars. On 12 March the 
Secretaries of State and War agreed that 
such surplus should be sold directly to 
neutral governments, but not to private 
individuals, corporations, or other poten- 
tial intermediaries who might transfer the 
materiel to belligerent governments and 
thus lay the administration open to the 
charge of violating the neutrality laws. 
Under this policy sales were made to Fin- 
land, Sweden, Greenland, and several 
Latin American republics. 25 

It was the President himself who re- 
versed this neutral policy in May and 
June 1940 over the strenuous objections of 
Secretary of War Woodring. At his direc- 
tion, the War Department searched exist- 
ing statutes for authority to turn over sur- 
plus arms to the British and came to the 
conclusion that it would be entirely legal 
to sell them to a private corporation, 
which could in turn sell to the British. A 
new surplus list was hastily prepared, ob- 
viously based more on what the British 
and French wanted than on what Army 
officials really conceived to be surplus. 
The President lengthened the list. The 
U.S. Steel Corporation assumed the role 
of intermediary, and on 1 1 June 1940 the 
material was transferred from the govern- 

ment to the steel corporation and from the 
corporation to the British on the same day 
and for the same price — 500,000 Enfield 
rifles with 129,140,708 rounds of ammu- 
nition, 80,583 machine guns of various 
types, 316 3-inch mortars, 20,000 revolv- 
ers, 25,000 Browning automatic rifles, 
895 75-mm. guns with a million rounds of 
ammunition, and other miscellaneous 
items. In a few weeks this materiel was on 
its way to England, there to be used to 
arm the Home Guard and the troops who 
had returned from Dunkerque against the 
apparently inevitable German invasion. 
The Army also agreed, as a separate trans- 
action, to trade ninety-three Northrop 
light bombers back to the manufacturer 
who could then deliver them as part of a 
British contract; the Navy took similar 
action on fifty Curtiss- Wright dive bomb- 
ers. 26 

Both General Marshall and Admiral 
Harold R. Stark, Chief of Naval Opera- 
tions, were convinced that no more surplus 
stocks could be released without endan- 
gering defense preparations. But the 
President's decisions on military policy at 
the end of June kept the door open for fur- 
ther releases. Also, Congress passed a law 
legalizing an exchange contract technique 

25 (1) Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS, 1 Mar 40, sub: 
Surplus Ord Mat Available for Sale to Foreign Govts, 
G-4/26057-2. (2) Related papers in same file and in 
AG 400.703 (2-20-40). (3) Memo, Cordell Hull and 
Harry Woodring, no addressee, 12 Mar 40, ID, Lend- 
Lease, Doc Suppl, I. (4) A summary of the laws cover- 
ing sales of surplus is in G-4/33184. (5) Records of 
surplus sales are in the AG 400.3295 series and in the 
Clearance Committee, ANMB files, classified by 
countries. The most convenient summary is a list com- 
piled by the Clearance Committee as of 1 7 February 
1941 (hereafter cited as CC surplus list, 1 7 Feb 41), 
in Corresp re Surplus Mat file, CC ANMB. 

26 ( 1 ) Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 
309-12. (2) Stettinius, Lend-Lease: Weapon for Victory, 
pp. 26-31. (3) CC surplus list, 17 Feb 41. (4) Hall, 
North American Supply, Ch. V, Galley 4, Hist Br, 
Cabinet Off, London. 



by which the Secretary of War could ex- 
change surplus or obsolescent military 
equipment for newer types under produc- 
tion on foreign contracts. One important 
brake was provided, however. On 28 June 
1940 Congress ruled that any military 
material sold or exchanged to foreign gov- 
ernments must be certified by the Chief of 
Staff as surplus to the defense needs of the 
United States. 27 In the months that fol- 
lowed General Marshall used this power 
judiciously, though he showed himself 
willing to take certain calculated risks. 
After June 1940 the releases of surplus 
equipment to Britain were grounded, at 
least nominally, on the principle that the 
equipping of the initial PMP force should 
not thereby be seriously retarded. 

The course of this policy and the calcu- 
lated risk it involved, both in June 1940 
and later, may best be illustrated by the 
cases of rifles and light artillery. There 
were in government arsenals in June 1940 
approximately 1,800,000 Enfield and 
900,000 Springfield rifles; 240,000 Gar- 
ands were in prospect by June 1942. Since 
two million rifles would serve four million 
men, there was an ample margin of safety 
if the possible needs of State Guards were 
disregarded. Some 500,000 Enfields were 
declared surplus and transferred to the 
British in June 1940, and more were re- 
leased in the following months until the 
total reached 1,135,000 in February 
1941. 28 Though these releases were made 
without serious deprivation to the U.S. 
Army during 1940 and 1941, they resulted 
in a serious shortage of rifles for training 
the vastly larger forces mobilized after 
Pearl Harbor. 

The transfer of ammunition, without 
which the rifles were of no use to the Brit- 
ish, was a more serious problem. There 
were only 588,000,000 rounds of rifle am- 

munition on hand in the United States in 
June 1940, and the rate of current pro- 
duction was pitifully small — four million 
rounds monthly in June and July, with a 
scheduled expansion to ten million 
monthly from August through December. 
Requirements for the initial PMP force 
were estimated by G-4 in early June at 
458,000,000 rounds, an estimate that evi- 
dently ignored training needs entirely. But 
this figure, together with the premise that 
the ammunition was deteriorating in 
storage, provided the basis in June for re- 
leasing the 129,000,000 rounds to accom- 
pany the rifles. 29 

This amount was far from an adequate 
supply for the rifles released. The British 
were dependent on the United States for 
.30-caliber ammunition since their own 
production was entirely of .303-caliber. 
They requested 250,000,000 rounds from 
U.S. stocks in May 1940, and placed a 
contract with Remington Arms, but de- 
liveries on this contract would not begin 
until April 1941. Army authorities at first 
agreed that old ammunition from stocks 
should be released in exact ratio as the 
new came offthe production line — four 
million rounds a month in June and July, 
ten million per month from August 
through December. In August General 
Marshall repudiated this agreement. A 
review of the situation revealed that train- 
ing requirements for the National Guard 
and Selective Service troops over the next 
year would be 1.6 billion rounds, and 
there were further needs for stocking is- 
land garrisons. Indeed, .30-caliber ammu- 

27 (1) PL 671, 76th Cong. (2) PL 703, 76th Cong. 

28 (1) Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS, 5 Jun 40, sub: 
Surplus Ord Mat Available for Sale to Foreign Govts, 
G-4/26057-2. (2) CC surplus list, 1 7 Feb 4 1 . 

29 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofOrd, 6 Jun 40, sub: 
Exch of Deteriorated Am, with note for red only, 
G-4/ 16 110-6. 



nition promised to be the most gaping of 
all the deficits in meeting the PMP sched- 
ule. After the release of the first eight mil- 
lion rounds in June and July, Marshall re- 
fused to certify further releases in August; 
not until February 1941 did he agree to 
let the British have fifty million additional 
rounds, and then with the proviso that 
they should replace it from the May-July 
production on their Remington contract. 30 

This release of 188,000,000 rounds of 
rifle ammunition, though large in terms of 
current stocks and production, was a rela- 
tively small factor in the serious shortage, 
which continued well into 1942. The en- 
tire amount represented only eight days' 
combat supply for the rifles and machine 
guns released. The basic cause of the 
shortage was the delay in reaching full 
production. For this various factors were 
responsible — serious miscalculations in 
the development of new production facil- 
ities, labor difficulties, an untimely ex- 
plosion at an important ordnance plant, 
to mention only a few. As a result, it was 
impossible to meet British, U.S. Army, 
Navy, and other needs. 31 

Of light artillery, the U.S. Army had 
on hand in the spring of 1940 4,470 75- 
mm. guns, including 3,450 of the French 
type, 700 of the British, and 320 of the 
American. Of these, only the French-type 
weapons were considered suitable for com- 
bat, and were being modernized for the 
purpose. In an emergency they would 
have to serve not only in their normal role 
of infantry support, but also as the only 
available substitute for the 37-mm. anti- 
tank gun. Brig. Gen. Richard C. Moore, 
the Deputy Chief of Staff, estimated on 
the basis of PMP requirements and nor- 
mal wastage that there would be a short- 
age of 3,220 of these guns within a year 
after war broke out. Nevertheless, he was 

willing to dispose of the British-type guns. 
Two hundred were sold to the Finns in 
March, and on 4 June General Moore ap- 
proved release to the British of the 395 re- 
maining serviceable British-type guns. 32 
The President, dissatisfied with this con- 
tribution, ordered the release of five hun- 
dred of the French type over the protests 
of the General Staff. One staff officer com- 
mented at the time that if sudden mobi- 
lization were necessary "everyone who 
was a party to the deal might hope to be 
found hanging from a lamp-post." 33 After 
June 1940 General Marshall approved no 
further transfers of artillery until the fol- 
lowing February, when prospects for pro- 
duction of the new 105-mm. howitzer 
seemed much brighter. He also resisted 
pressure from both the British and the 
President to release Army bombers, and 
in agreeing early in 1941 to release of a 

30 (1) Ltr, Charles T. Ballantyne, Secy Gen Anglo- 
French Purch Bd, to Donald M. Nelson, Chm Presi- 
dent's Ln Com, 17 Jun 40, sub: Small Arms Am, AG 
400.3295 (6-17-40) (1). (2) Watson, Prewar Plans and 
Preparations, pp. 312-14. (3) Memo, unsigned, no 
addressee, 16 Aug 40 [sub: Br Arms and Am], Binder 
4, Foreign Sale or Exch of Mun file, OCofS. (4) CC 
surplus list, 17 Feb 41. An additional six million 
rounds of .30-caliber ammuntion for machine guns 
were transferred from naval stocks on 22 July 1940. 
(5) See material in AG 400.3295 (6-22-40). (6) Memo, 
President for SW, 4 Feb 41, and accompanying 
papers, in AG 400.3295 (2-4-41) (1). 

31 (1) Memo, Brig Gen Richard C. Moore, DCofS, 
for CofOrd, 23 Sep 40, sub: Pdn of Small Arms Am, 
G-4/31773. (2) For a discussion of production prob- 
lems in this period, see R. Elberton Smith, Army Pro- 
curement and Economic Mobilization. (3) Harry C. 
Thomson and Lida Mayo, The Ordnance Depart- 
ment: II, Procurement and Supply. Last two are 
volumes in preparation for the series UNITED 

12 (1) Memo cited n. 28(1). (2) Memo, unsigned, no 
addressee, 1 1 Jun 40. (3) Memo, Gen Moore for CofS, 
1 1 Jun 40, sub: Sale of 75-mm. Guns. Last two in 
Binder 4, Foreign Sale or Exch of Mun file, OCofS. 

33 (1) Memo for info, W. B. S. [Maj Walter Bedell 
Smith], no addressee, 1 1 Jun 40, Binder 4, Foreign 
Sale or Exch of Mun file, OCofS. (2) Watson, Prewar 
Plans and Preparations, p. 312. 



few light tanks, he insisted that the British 
replace them, with interest, at a later date 
from output under their own contracts. 34 
Army surplus stocks released to the Brit- 
ish nevertheless put them in a much bet- 
ter position to resist invasion. Similarly, 
the fifty over-age destroyers transferred to 
the British in September in exchange for 
Atlantic bases immeasurably strengthened 
the sea communications on which Brit- 
ain's survival depended. To British morale 
the contribution was of inestimable value. 
Nevertheless, transfers of surplus materiel 
were only stopgap measures. Without as- 
surance of continuing support from the 
United States in the form of modern 
weapons, which could only come from 
new production, the British could hardly 
hope to carry on indefinitely, much less 
win the war. 

Anglo-American Co-ordination of 
Production Planning 

The President's decisions at the end of 
June 1940 had erected a barrier against 
complete subordination of British arms 
orders to American defense needs. 35 In al- 
most continuous discussions between 
American and British representatives in 
Washington throughout the last half of 
1940, a solution was worked out on the as- 
sumption that the British aid program 
must be accommodated along with Amer- 
ican rearmament. In these negotiations 
the War Department insisted that the 
British must present a broad program of 
requirements instead of placing individual 
contracts at random, that these require- 
ments must be confined as far as possible 
to standard U.S. Army equipment, and 
that no British orders should be allowed to 
interfere with achievement of the goal of 
equipping the initial PMP force by the 
end of 1941. 36 

Co-ordination of aircraft production 
and deliveries was the most pressing prob- 
lem and the one on which agreement was 
first reached. By the end of June 1940, 
after absorbing French orders, the British 
had contracts with American manufac- 
turers for 10,800 airplanes, against a U.S. 
Army-Navy program for only 4,500. Ex- 
pansion of aircraft production was going 
ahead far more rapidly than that of 
ground equipment, but was still very small 
in relation to the need. In conferences in 
mid-July 1940 it was agreed that the Brit- 
ish should be allowed to continue to get 
deliveries on their existing contracts, and 
that the solution should be vastly in- 
creased production. Under the expanded 
program, contracts for 33,467 planes were 
to be placed for delivery by 1 April 1942. 
Of these, 14,375 were to be for the British 
and the rest for the U.S. Army and Navy. 
Arthur Purvis, taking what then seemed 
an almost unbelievably optimistic view of 
American production capabilities, secured 
an additional promise that after 1 January 
1941 the British should be permitted to 
order an additional 3,000 planes a month 
if they could be produced. The British 
agreed to adjust their requirements, as far 
as possible, to planes and accessory equip- 
ment standard to the U.S. Army and 
Navy. In September 1940 the Army- 
Navy-British Purchasing Commission 
Joint Committee (later called the Joint 

34 (1) On planes, see Watson, Prewar Plans and 
Preparations, pp. 306-09. (2) On the tank question, 
see voluminous correspondence in G-4/3 1691-1 and 
AG 400.3295 (8-7-40) (1), and Staff Study 29A, Br 
Purch Comm file, CC ANMB. 

35 See above, pp. 29-30. 

,K ( 1 ) Memo cited n. 20( 1 ). (2) Draft memo, G-2 
for CofS, Oct 40, sub: Br Mun Reqmts for Calendar 
Year 1941, WPD 4340-3. (3) Watson, Prewar Plans 
and Preparations, pp. 316-18. (4) Rudolph A. Win- 
nacker. The Office of the Secretary of War Under 
Henry L. Stimson, MS, Pt. I, p. 52, OCMH. 



Aircraft Committee), consisting of Amer- 
ican and British Air officers, was estab- 
lished to carry on a continuing consulta- 
tion on aircraft standardization and ad- 
justment of production schedules. The 
Joint Aircraft Committee became, in 
actual practice, also the body that ar- 
ranged for allocation of finished planes 
when delivered. Under these arrange- 
ments no priority was in fact assured for 
the expanding U.S. Army Air Corps, and 
production inevitably fell behind the 
highly optimistic estimates. The President 
in November expressed a desire that 
planes coming ofTthe production line be 
divided 50-50 with the British, but in 
reality no set formula was adopted. 37 

In September a similar arrangement 
was made for tanks, an article for which 
the British had placed no earlier orders. 
The British agreed to order American- 
type tanks of the medium M3 series, re- 
cently developed, if these were modified 
in accordance with British battle experi- 
ence. By November the British had been 
allowed to place orders for 2,048 medium 
tanks with firms not then producing tanks 
for the U.S. Army. They also placed an 
experimental order for 200 light tanks, 
but later canceled it. Henceforth, the 
countries co-operated closely in develop- 
ing tank-type weapons, Great Britain de- 
pending increasingly on the United States 
to fill its needs. 38 

For the general run of ground equip- 
ment standard to infantry divisions, how- 
ever, the problem of types proved more 
difficult. The British used .303-caliber 
rifles, 25-pounders, 4.5-inch and 5.5-inch 
field artillery, and 40-mm. and 6-pounder 
(57-mm.) tank and antitank guns, while 
the Americans used .30-caliber rifles, 105- 
mm. and 155-mm. field artillery, 37-mm. 
and 75-mm. tank and antitank guns, and 

37-mm. and 90-mm. antiaircraft artillery. 
Each country regarded its own types as 
superior and its own production program 
as too far advanced to permit a change. A 
separate program for production of Brit- 
ish types in the United States would ab- 
sorb scarce machine tools and plants and 
violate the principle that facilities for 
British aid must be capable of rapid con- 
version to meet American needs. In late 
September 1940 Sir Walter Layton of the 
British Ministry of Supply arrived in the 
United States to negotiate the whole issue. 
Layton presented a preliminary compre- 
hensive statement of British requirements, 
the basis of which was a recently devel- 
oped plan to arm fifty-five divisions by the 
end of 1941. The United States was asked 
to provide marginal quantities that Brit- 
ish industry could not produce in time 
and quantities necessary to insure against 
loss of British capacity because of German 
air bombardment. This British "A" Pro- 
gram, as it was entitled, included one mil- 
lion .303-caliber rifles; 1,000 2-pounder 
antitank guns and 2,000 37-mm. guns; 
2,250 2-pounder tank guns for tanks 
manufactured in Britain; 1,500 37-mm. 
and 1 ,500 75-mm. tank guns to match the 
British tank program in the United States; 
1,600 37-mm. and 1,800 90-mm. antiair- 
craft guns; and 1,800 25-pounder artil- 
lery pieces and 300 4.5-inch or 5.5-inch 
pieces. Negotiations hung fire for several 
weeks because the War Department re- 

,: (1) Hall, North American Supply, Ch. VI, Gal- 
leys 7-8, 18-19, Hist Br, Cabinet Off, London. (2) 
Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 305-09. 

(3) Winnacker MS, Pt. I, pp. 52-53, cited n. 36(4). 

(4) Ltr, SW to Gen Moore, 13 Sep 40, ID, Lend- 
Lease, Doc Suppl, I. 

38 (1) AG ltr to WD Rep President's Ln Com, 6 Sep 
40, sub: Release of Designs for Medium Tanks . . . , 
and accompanying papers, AG 400.3295 (8-7-40) (1). 
(2) Hall, North American Supply, Ch. VI, Galley 12, 
Ch. VII, Galley 27, Hist Br, Cabinet Off, London. 



fused to consider the British types in- 
volved. To break the deadlock, Layton 
finally proposed in late October a solution 
on an entirely different basis — the British 
would place orders for American standard 
equipment for ten British divisions. This 
plan, subsequently known as the "B" Pro- 
gram, was accepted by the War Cabinet 
reluctantly since the British did not have 
any definite plans for completely equip- 
ping and maintaining ten British divisions 
with American equipment. Yet it offered 
the British a measure of participation in 
the developing American munitions pro- 
gram and promised an increase in Amer- 
ican capacity for production of arms, a 
step that the British regarded as desirable 
as did the U.S. General Staff. They also 
hoped that acceptance of the Ten Division 
Program would open the gates for the 
placing of orders for their "A" Program, 
which they continued to regard as far 
more important. 39 

In November the Army's War Plans 
Division undertook a study to determine 
to what extent the British programs could 
be met without interfering with the deliv- 
ery of equipment to an American force 
capable of protecting the Western Hemi- 
sphere in case of British collapse. It was 
assumed that full training requirements 
must be on hand by 30 June 1941 and full 
operational requirements as soon there- 
after as possible. Though WPD found a 
wide variation in the expected degree of 
interference with respect to different items 
of equipment, the staff concluded that the 
British "B" program should be accepted 
with an adjustment of time schedules since 
in the end it would serve to expand pro- 
duction of munitions. 40 On 29 November 
1940, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson 
informed Sir Walter Layton that the Ten 
Division Program was acceptable, subject 

to the proviso that no final commitments 
could be made as to time or delivery and 
to certain other conditions. British orders 
must be placed immediately and with the 
approval of the appropriate supply 
branches of the War Department. Com- 
plicated legal and financial questions 
would have to be resolved, and a provision 
must be placed in each contract permit- 
ting its assumption by the United States if 
necessary for national defense. 41 

Meanwhile, the Advisory Commission 
and the Treasury agreed on 29 October 
1940 on the principle that "henceforth the 
general rule would prevail . . . that or- 
ders would be entertained in this country 
only for items of equipment which were 
standard for this country." * 2 In keeping 
with this principle, Stimson also informed 
Layton that while existing British orders 
for nonstandard equipment — .303-caliber 
rifles, 2-pounder guns, 4.5-inch and 5.5- 
inch artillery— would be allowed to stand, 
no additional contracts could be placed 
for them. No orders for ammunition for 
these types beyond existing contracts for 
.303-caliber would be permitted. For the 
rest of their "A" Program, the British 
were required to place orders for Amer- 
ican types. In no case could any of these 
"A" Program orders be given priority over 
fulfillment of the complete American 
program. 43 

39 (1) Winnacker MS, Pt. I, pp. 54-55, cited n. 
36(4). (2) Memo, Arthur E. Palmer, Sp Asst to SW, 
forSGS, 6 Nov 40, AG 400.3295 (11-6-40). (3) CPA, 
Industrial Mobilization for War, p. 52. (4) Hall, North 
American Supply, Galleys 12-16, Hist Br, Cabinet 
Off, London. 

40 Memo, ACof S WPD for CofS, 20 Nov 40, sub: 
Mat Assistance for Gt Brit, WPD 4323-7. 

41 Ltr, Stimson to Layton, 29 Nov 40, Br A&B Progs 
file, DAD, Job A46-299. 

42 Memo cited n. 39(2). 

43 ( 1 ) Ltr cited n. 4 1 . (2) Ltr, A. E. Palmer to Wil- 
liam S. Knudsen, NDAC, 19 Nov 40, Br A&B Progs 
file, DAD. 



Concurrently with the negotiations over 
the ground force program, the British pre- 
sented an additional proposal for letting 
contracts for 12,000 airplanes, over and 
above those set up under the July agree- 
ment, and for a speed-up in delivery 
schedules. By the end of November this 
proposal had also been accepted, though 
with the same reservations as to time of 
delivery. Aircraft production schedules 
were projected further into the future, and 
automobile manufacturers were brought 
into the aircraft production picture. 44 

General Marshall on 10 December 1940 
expressed satisfaction with both the air 
and the ground force programs, pointing 
out that the former would provide planes 
for 60 additional air groups in case of 
British collapse and the latter, equipment 
for 300,000 additional men for the ground 
forces. In the meantime, he had prescribed 
priorities for delivery of equipment for the 
Ten Division Program with the aim of 
safeguarding the equipping of the initial 
PMP force. The general policy was to be: 

a. No deliveries . . . will be made prior 
to July 1, 1941, and no deliveries of any items 
. . . until the minimum training require- 
ments of the Army of the United Skates 
(PMP and replacement centers) are filled. 

b. During the period July 1 -September 15, 
1941, minimum training requirements of the 
British 10-Division program will be filled as 
far as practicable. 

c. Following the fulfillment of the initial 
training requirements for the British no ad- 
ditional items will be furnished them until 
the full American requirements of the PMP 
and replacement centers are filled. 45 

These decisions on the Ten Division 
Program met all the conditions of the War 
Department and at the same time prom- 
ised a larger measure of aid to Britain 
than had at first been thought possible. 
The principle on which they were based — 

British use of U.S. standard equipment — 
recommended itself to Army planners 
since it promised to expand production. 
The specific arrangements, to be sure, 
proved to be ephemeral, but they were an 
important step toward systematizing plan- 
ning with a view to dividing the munitions 
output of American industry among the 
forces of both nations in a manner best 
calculated to defeat the Axis — that is to 
say, toward uniting U.S. defense and for- 
eign aid munitions requirements in a 
single consolidated supply program. 
While the British were undoubtedly dis- 
appointed both in their failure to secure 
acceptance of their own types for produc- 
tion and in the priority accorded to deliv- 
eries of ground equipment under their 
contracts, they had gained their major 
objective — a share in the vast output 
of munitions of which the American in- 
dustrial machine would eventually be 

Aid to Other Nations 

Virtually every independent nation in 
the world outside the Axis orbits made in- 
quiries or tried to place munitions con- 
tracts in the United States in 1940. The 
requests of nations within the British 
Commonwealth of Nations and of refugee 
governments residing in London were 
largely absorbed within the British pro- 
grams, but others lay outside the British 
sphere — notably those of Latin American 
nations, China, and the Netherlands In- 

44 (1) Winnacker MS, Pt. I, pp. 58-60, cited n. 
36(4). (2) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, pp. 49- 

45 ( 1) Memo, SGS for ACofS WPD, 2 Dec 40, sub: 
Mat Assistance to Gt Brit Under Br "B" Prog, Br 
A&B Progs file, DAD. (2) Memo, CofS for SW, 10 
Dec 40, sub: New Airplane Prog and U.S. -Type Ord 
Prog of Br Purch Comm, Br A&B Progs file, DAD. 



dies. Under prevailing policy and strategy, 
aid to Britain came first. British needs, 
when added to those for American rearm- 
ament, so absorbed existing stocks and 
production facilities that scant consider- 
ation could be given these other demands. 
Military aid to Latin American nations 
might, indeed, have been regarded as a 
logical part of the scheme of hemisphere 
defense. But while the principle was ac- 
cepted in 1940, very little was done to im- 
plement it. The Pittman Resolution, 
passed by Congress on 15 June 1940, per- 
mitted the War Department to sell coast 
defense and antiaircraft material from 
surplus stocks to Latin American coun- 
tries and to manufacture these arms for 
them in government arsenals and fac- 
tories. Releases of surplus stocks to Latin 
American nations in 1940, however, were 
limited to a few thousand rifles to Haiti 
and Nicaragua, and some obsolete coast 
artillery to Brazil. In his decisions on mili- 
tary supply policy at the end of June 1940, 
the President stipulated that, in view of 
the requirements for U.S. rearmament 
and aid to nations fighting the Axis, only 
token aid to countries south of the border 
would be possible. 46 Some plans were 
made for future aid from new production. 
Latin American governments were in- 
vited to make their needs known, and ar- 
rangements were made to extend credit 
through the Export-Import Bank of 
Washington. The Joint Army-Navy Ad- 
sivory Board on American Republics was 
set up to handle all Latin American muni- 
tions requests and to draft a detailed pro- 
gram. To equip the forces of these repub- 
lics, WPD in December 1940 established 
a priority that would permit them to re- 
ceive small quantities of U.S. standard- 
type weapons once the needs of the initial 
PMP force were met, but this program 

could not be expected to get under way 
before early 1942. In effect, U.S. policy 
indicated an intention to rely largely on 
U.S. forces for defense of the Western 
Hemisphere. 47 

China and the Netherlands Indies oc- 
cupied positions of vital importance in the 
Far East but the American policy after 
mid- 1940 was to avoid war with Japan 
or, if this were not possible, to commit no 
more forces west of Hawaii. Aid to China 
received little consideration until the very 
end of the year. The Chinese Govern- 
ment, with scanty financial resources, 
could purchase in the United States only 
by borrowing. The Export-Import Bank 
granted China a loan of SI 00 million late 
in 1940, and the Universal Trading Cor- 
poration, the Chinese agent in this coun- 
try, presented requests for an air program 
and for considerable quantities of ord- 
nance either from stocks or from future 
production contracts. These requests 
coincided with the visit of Col. Claire L. 
Chennault, 48 American air adviser to the 
Chinese Government, and Maj. Gen. Mao 
Pang-tzo 4 '' to the United States to press 
the issue of Chinese aid. The Chinese were 
allowed to place some contracts with Cur- 
tiss- Wright for aircraft, and the British 
agreed to divert one hundred old-type 
P-40's from their own contract with this 
firm to be replaced from the Chinese con- 
tract later. The hundred P-40 , s became 
the initial equipment of the American 
Volunteer Group, the Flying Tigers, 
under Chennault, but the War Depart- 

46 (1) Pub Resolution 83, 76th Cong. (2) CC sur- 
plus list, 17 Feb 41. (3) Informal memo cited n. 19. 

47 Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemisphere 
Defense. Ch. IX. 

,s This was a Chinese Air Force rank. He held also 
the rank of captain, USA-Ret., until 9 April 1942. 
when he was ordered to active duty as a colonel. 

4 '* Often anglicized to Peter T. Mow. 



ment was unable to do anything further 
to satisfy the Mao-Chennault requests/' 
The position of the Netherlands Indies 
was the most difficult of all. Its govern- 
ment commanded ample financial re- 
sources and presented a well-defined pro- 
gram of ground, naval, and air require- 
ments. By February 1941 it had placed 
contracts valued at $83 million, ranking it 
as the second largest foreign purchaser in 
this country. But its low priority gave little 
hope of receiving deliveries of critical 
items for a long time to come. The Dutch 
were unable even to place contracts for 
many of their most vital needs such as 
rifles and ammunition, and the Army 
refused to release material to them from 
its stocks. As Lt. Col. Edward E. Mac- 
Morland, Secretary of the Clearance 
Committee, ANMB, confessed in Febru- 
ary 1941: 

. . . the possibilities of early deliveries for 
the Netherlands East Indies are hopeless 
under present laws and priority conditions 
. . . they are competing with the United 
States and British in a market with limited 
immediate supplies and must wait a long 
time for sizeable deliveries. 51 

The Drift Toward Collaboration 
With Britain 

By the end of 1940 the mobilization and 
rearmament programs were in full swing. 
The Army had grown mightily in num- 
bers — from 264,1 18 at midyear to 619,403 
at the end of the year — and its service 
establishment now included 149,400 
troops. Since August, troops had been 
moving to the overseas garrisons in con- 
siderable numbers, raising the total over- 
seas strength from 64,500 the preceding 
May to almost 92,000 in December; the 
acquisition of a fringe of new bases from 
Britain in the Atlantic in September fore- 
shadowed an even greater overseas de- 

ployment. Some $270 million in military 
construction had been initiated, largely 
to accommodate the flood of selectees sent 
to the camps for training beginning in the 
autumn. Federalization of the National 
Guard had begun. The activation of 
GHQ^ the designation of Army com- 
manders and staffs, and the further sep- 
aration of the territorial organization for 
administration, supply, and "housekeep- 
ing" (the corps areas) from the tactical 
and training organization (GHQ and the 
field armies) were all important steps in 
launching mobilization on a large scale. 
The enormous increase in the business 
of staff control incident to this mobiliza- 
tion was reflected in the addition of two 
new deputies to the Chief of Staff's office 
late in 1940, one for Air Corps matters 
and one (General Moore) for a miscellany 
of largely logistical business — construc- 
tion, maintenance, supply, transportation, 
land acquisition, and hospitalization — 
and problems concerning the Armored 
Force. The number of officers on the Gen- 
eral Staff, including those in the field, rose 
from less than 350 in mid- 1940 to over 
550 at the end of the year. 52 

so (l) Ltr, Archie Lockhead, Universal Trading 
Corp., to Philip Young, Chm President's Ln Com, 8 
Jan 41. (2) Memo, Maj Gen James H. Burns, U.S. 
Army member President's Ln Com, for Young, 28 
Jan 41. Both in China (2) file. DAD. (3) For details, 
see Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, Stil- 
well's Mission to China, UNITED STATES ARMY 
IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953), pp. 7-13. 

51 (1) Memo, MacMorland for G-2, 14 Feb 41, sub: 
Netherlands Mun Reqmts, Netherlands file, DAD. 
(2) Rpt cited n. 14(3). (3) Ltr, SW to Secy of State, 
no date, with accompanying papers. AG 400.3295 
(9-4-40) (1). 

52 (1) Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1940, 
Tables C, D. (2) Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 
1941, Tables C, D. (3) Watson, Prewar Plans and 
Preparations, pp. 69-71. (4) Cline, Washington Com- 
mand Post, pp. 8-11, 24. (5) Greenfield, Palmer, and 
Wiley, AGF I, pp. 6-8. (6) Anderson, Munitions for 
the Army, p. 15, cited n. 2(1). 



But the very substantial progress a- 
chieved in this six-month period was 
largely in the necessary preparatory work 
of defining policy, working out procedures 
and organization, placing contracts, and 
"tooling up." The output of organized, 
trained, and equipped troops was not im- 
pressive. The influx of selectees into the 
Army had a disrupting and retarding 
effect on training; "blind leading the 
blind, and officers generally elsewhere," 
was Maj. Gen. Lesley J. McNair's dry 
comment after visiting one division in 
September. 33 Organization tables for the 
triangular division, the basic unit of the 
new army, were not completed until late 
in 1940. Six months of munitions produc- 
tion, moreover, had added relatively little 
to the Army's stock of weapons. 54 (See Ap- 
pendix B.) The output included no me- 
dium tanks, no heavy-caliber antiaircraft 
guns, no new standard 105-mm. howitzers 
(the bulk of light artillery pieces produced 
were 37-mm. and 75-mm. antitank guns), 
and almost no new heavy artillery (all ex- 
cept three pieces were modified older 
models). The production of .50-caliber 
ammunition had been meager. In this 
record can be seen at a glance the reason 
why foreign aid during 1940 consisted 
largely of releases from stocks of obsoles- 
cent materiel. 

Both rearmament and foreign aid were 
falling short of meeting the needs of the 
situation developing abroad in the late 
summer and autumn of 1940. The repulse 
of the Luftwaffe's attack on Britain in Sep- 
tember, heartening though it was, scarcely 
diminished German power, but rather di- 
verted it into other channels. In the latter 
part of 1940 the signs pointed to an im- 
pending German drive to the southwest, 
in conjunction with Italy's effort to over- 
run Greece and to crush British power in 

the eastern Mediterranean. During Octo- 
ber Vichy France seemed about to col- 
laborate, at least passively, with Germany 
in this design. While an invasion of the 
Western Hemisphere did not yet seem im- 
minent, Germany probably had the 
strength to capture Gibraltar and push 
down the west coast of Africa. If she 
should gain the whole eastern shore of the 
Atlantic from the English Channel to 
Dakar, her aircraft and naval raiders 
could make a shambles of the Atlantic sea 
lanes, and it would be difficult to prevent 
Latin American countries from being 
drawn into her political orbit. In Septem- 
ber, too, Japan formally joined the Axis 
and made her first move into northern 
Indochina. 55 

Against the full-scale aggression on 
which Japan seemed about to embark, the 
U.S. Fleet, then concentrated mainly in the 
eastern Pacific, was the only real deterrent. 
It could remain there, however, only as 
long as the British Navy guarded the 
Atlantic, and because the U.S. Navy 
would be for some time to come the 
country's only real mobile defense, it 
could not be committed to action any- 
where until the nation's very existence 
was at stake. Under Rainbow 4 it would 
attempt to hold the Alaska-Hawaii- 
Panama triangle. For a major effort in 
the Far East, the planners warned, "we 
are not now prepared and will not be pre- 
pared for several years to come." ' To 
counter the threat from the east, they 

53 p ersona l ltr, Gen McNair to Maj Gen Walter 
C. Short, 23 Oct 40, GHQ 320.2/21. 

1,4 (1) War Production Board and Civilian Produc- 
tion Administration. Official \lunitions Production 
of the United States bv Months, July 1, 1940-August 
31. 1945. (2) Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, AGF I, 
p. 36. 

55 Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemisphere 
Defense. Ch. II, pp. 58-66, and Ch. III. 

56 Memo cited n. 20( 1). 



thought the United States would have to 
move rapidly — occupying the Azores at 
the first indication of a German advance 
into Spain and Portugal, occupying ports 
and airfield sites in northeastern Brazil if 
the Germans took Gibraltar and moved 
into North Africa. And if the worst should 
befall, if the British Fleet were destroyed 
or surrendered, "from that very day the 
United States must within 3 months se- 
curely occupy all Atlantic outpost posi- 
tions from Bahia [Baia] in Brazil north- 
ward to include Greenland." 57 

If this Rainbow 4 situation should in 
fact develop, Army planners estimated 
that a minimum force of 1 ,400,000 troops 
completely trained and equipped would 
be needed to defend the hemisphere north 
of Brazil. The objectives of the munitions 
program were revised upward late in 1940 
to provide for equipping an initial PMP 
force of this size, with a first augmentation 
of 2,800,000; the 4,000,000-man force re- 
mained a long-term goal. But there was 
no expectation that even the initial PMP 
force would be ready before April 1942. 
By April 1941, the staff estimated, not 
more than six full-strength divisions with 
supporting units (150,000 men) could be 
put in the field. Currently (September 
1940) it would be possible to muster per- 
haps five skeleton divisions (about 55,000 
men), virtually without support, only by 
dint of scalping other units of personnel 
and equipment and reducing training 
allowances across the board by half. The 
Army, in fact, could not at this time have 
maintained in combat any balanced force 
without slashing training allowances of 
ammunition all along the line. 58 

At the end of 1940, therefore, the sur- 
vival of Britain and her fleet appeared 
more than ever a prerequisite to the se- 
curity of the Western Hemisphere. In 

November both General Marshall and 
Admiral Stark concluded that the United 
States could not afford to allow Britain to 
lose the war. To this end, they agreed, the 
United States would probably have to en- 
gage eventually in large-scale land opera- 
tions against Germany in Europe in con- 
junction with British forces. This might 
well mean temporarily sacrificing Ameri- 
can interests in the Far East. General 
Marshall thought it imperative to "resist 
proposals that do not have for their im- 
mediate goal the survival of the British 
Empire and the defeat of Germany." 59 
"The issues in the Orient," asserted the 
Joint Planning Committee, "will largely 
be decided in Europe." 60 Army and Navy 
leaders disagreed only as to the degree to 
which the armed forces (in effect, the 
Navy) could afford at this time to be com- 
mitted to resisting Japanese aggression. 
Admiral Stark assumed that a vigorous 
defense, at least, must be undertaken, but 
General Marshall warned, "a serious com- 
mitment in the Pacific is just what Ger- 
many would like to see us undertake." 61 
To avoid such a commitment was the 
aim of the cautious course of action that 

''' ( 1 ) Ibid. (2) Memo, Gen Strong for CofS. 1 Oct 
40, WPD 4175-15. 

s8 (1) Memo cited n. 20(1). (2) WD ltr, 18 Feb 41, 
sub: Def Objectives, AG 381 (2-17-41). (3) Watson, 
Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 318-19. Army 
records for the closing months of 1940 contain nu- 
merous allusions to the revised PMP objectives, 
which probably were formulated in connection with 
Rainbow 4. (4) For the difficulties of mounting ex- 
peditionary forces late in 1940, see below, Ch. II. 

5 * Memo, CofS for CNO, 29 Nov 40, sub: Tenta- 
tive Draft, Navy Bsc War Plan-RMNBOW 3, WPD 

60 Memo, JPC for JB, 21 Dec 40, sub: Natl Def 
Policy for the U.S. in Response to a 14 Dec 40 Dir 
FromJB,JB 325, Ser 670. 

61 (1) Memo cited n. 59. (2) Memo, Adm Stark fo 
SN, 12 Nov 40 (familiarly known as the Plan Dog 
Memo), WPD 4175-15. This is a revised version of 
Admiral Stark's memo of 4 November 1940 to the 
Secretary of the Navy, no copy of which exists in 



the President in January 1941 laid down 
for the armed services to follow in the im- 
mediate future. The Navy was to remain 
on the defensive in the Pacific, based on 
Hawaii, without reinforcing its squadrons 
in far Pacific waters. In the Atlantic the 
Navy was to prepare to convoy shipments 
of munitions to Britain, a course that the 
President was not yet ready to risk but one 
that some of his advisers, notably Stimson 
and Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, 
were already urging as the only further 
contribution the United States could now 
make to Britain's defense. The Army was 
to undertake no aggressive action at all 
for some time; "our military course," the 
President warned, "must be very con- 
servative until our strength [has] de- 
veloped." 62 Late in the month British and 
American military staff representatives 
began conversations in Washington look- 
ing to the more distant and hypothetical 
contingency of full participation by the 
United States in the war against the 
European Axis. 63 

Britain's most pressing need, in any 
case, was material aid, and Prime Minister 
Churchill in a long, eloquent message to 
the President on 8 December 1940, drove 
home this point. Even though deliveries 
on existing contracts would continue for 
some time, the dwindling of Britain's 
dollar resources had reached a point 
where the supply programs then under 
discussion — by now an important part of 
the plans for continuing the war — could 
not be financed. The cost of supplies actu- 
ally on order for the British at the end of 
1940 totaled $2.7 billion; the larger pro- 
War Department files. (3) See discussion in Watson, 
Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 1 19-23. (4) Mau- 
rice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning 
for Coalition Warfare: 1941-1942, UNITED STATES 
ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953), 
pp. 25-28. 

grams would cost $6.5 billion more. By the 
most strenuous efforts, the British could 
not muster more than half this sum in 
dollar exchange. On the American side, it 
appeared virtually impossible to continue 
aid to Britain, as heretofore, without 
enabling legislation. Involved legal ar- 
rangements would be necessary to finance 
plant expansion with mixed American 
and British funds, and to place contracts 
with the same firms under different condi- 
tions of payment. Part of the materiel for 
the Ten Division Program would have to 
be produced in government-owned or 
government-leased plants, and there was 
no legal method of transferring this ma- 
teriel to the British except as surplus certi- 
fied by the Chief of Staff to be nonessential 
to American defense. The placing of 
British contracts came to a virtual stand- 
still while these issues were being threshed 
out, and the Ten Division Program re- 
mained, along with its allied arrange- 
ments, largely a paper proposition. 64 

The President, after mulling over these 
problems early in December during a 
cruise in the Caribbean (where ChurchilFs 
appeal reached him), returned to the 
United States in mid-December with the 
idea of lend-lease. The famous metaphor 
with which Roosevelt illustrated this idea 
in a press conference on the 1 7th — of the 
loan of a garden hose to put out a fire in a 
neighbor's house — actually was not par- 

62 Memo, CofS for ACofS WPD, 17 Jan 41. sub: 
White House Conf Thursday, January 16, 1941, 
WPD 4175-18. 

63 For American-British Conversations, see below, 
Ch. II. 

64 (1) Ltr, Churchill to President, 8 Dec 40, as 
quoted in Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 558-67. (2) 
Memo, Maj Gen Charles M. Wesson, CofOrd, for 
SW, 4 Dec 40, sub: Procurement of Br "B" Prog, Br 
A&B Progs file, DAD. (3) CPA, Industrial Mobilization 

for War, p. 53. (4) Hall, North American Supply, Ch. 
VI, Galleys 26-27, Hist Br, Cabinet Off, London. 



ticularly apt, since relatively little of the 
material "lent" to Britain and other na- 
tions under lend-lease was to be returned 
or made good after the world conflagra- 
tion was finally extinguished. If lend-lease 
embodied the idea of a> loan at all, it was 
in the notion of free and continuous ex- 
change of assistance of all kinds — goods, 
services, and information — that over the 
long haul would be of roughly equal bene- 
fit to both sides. The central idea, as the 
President put it in the same press confer- 
ence, was to "get rid of the silly, foolish, 
old dollar sign" — in short, to remove all 
financial obstacles to the flow of American 
aid to nations fighting against a common 
enemy. A few days later, in his Fireside 
Chat of 29 December, Roosevelt tossed 
out another catchy phrase — arsenal of 
democracy — which, by emphasizing the 
primary role of the United States as a sup- 
plier of munitions, unquestionably bol- 
stered the deep-seated hope that it would 
not be necessary to "send the boys over- 
seas" as well. Nevertheless, the debate 
over lend-lease, in Congress and through- 
out the country, raged for more than two 
months before the lend-lease bill (HR 
1 776) finally became law on 1 1 March. 65 
At one stroke the Lend-Lease Act 
cleared away the legal and financial bar- 
riers that stood in the way of aid to Britain 

and other nations claiming American aid. 
It held out the promise of a single consoli- 
dated military production program fi- 
nanced entirely with American funds to 
meet both foreign and domestic military 
needs, something the War Department 
had frequently urged during 1940. It put 
the stamp of Congressional approval on 
the President's policy of dividing Ameri- 
can resources between U.S. rearmament 
and anti-Axis nations abroad, and prom- 
ised that aid to these nations would con- 
tinue so long as they showed any ability to 
resist. And since Britain's claims over- 
shadowed all others at the moment, it was 
a long step toward partnership with 
Britain in military supply, just as the staff 
conversations going on in Washington, 
while the lend-lease bill was being de- 
bated, were a step toward full military col- 
laboration. Hemisphere defense remained 
the bedrock on which both lend-lease and 
plans for collaboration rested, but lend- 
lease was to be an important factor in 
enabling the United States to wage war 
as a member of a powerful and victorious 
coalition rather than as the sole defender 
of her own shores. 

fi5 (1) Winnacker MS, Pt. I, pp. 56-57, 61, cited n. 
36(4). (2) Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: 
An Intimate History (rev. ed., New York, Harper & 
Brothers, 1950), pp. 221-29. 


War Plans and Emergency 

By the end of 1940 American military 
leaders were convinced that American 
security was bound up with Britain's sur- 
vival, and that for practical reasons this 
would require the defeat of the European 
Axis. American military policy, they 
agreed, must be decisively oriented to this 
end, if necessary at the expense of Ameri- 
can interests in the Far East and at the risk 
of eventual direct involvement in the war. 
They began, therefore, to give thought to 
the probable terms and form of direct in- 
volvement. In the Army staff, at least, 
habituated to the logistics of hemisphere 
defense, the far-ranging expanse of Brit- 
ain's imperial commitments and her long, 
exposed lines of communications inspired 
misgivings. Discussions with British mili- 
tary staff representatives in Washington 
late in the winter of 1940-41 brought the 
maturing ideas of the Americans on this 
subject squarely into conflict with British 
views. While agreeing that defeat of Hitler 
must be the primary goal of an Anglo- 
American partnership, the staffs tended, 
on each side, to approach military collab- 
oration in terms of their own experience 
and plans, especially with reference to 
oceanic lines of communications. The Brit- 
ish were influenced, too, by the fact that 
theirs was a "going" war, and their mobi- 

lization and deployment well advanced, 
while American military power was still 
largely potential. Out of these differences 
in outlook grew a sharp disagreement as 
to the best methods for pursuing the com- 
mon end and, more particularly, as to the 
role that American armed forces should 

During the winter and spring of 1941, 
meanwhile, as Britain's military fortunes 
steadily deteriorated, the United States 
prepared to expand its principal contribu- 
tion to Britain's war — material aid — and 
also moved rapidly closer to direct partici- 
pation through "measures short of war" in 
the Atlantic. Until the end of May, more- 
over, the threat of a German move to the 
southwest into northwest and west Africa 
remained acute, provoking the United 
States in that month to actively prepare 
for an occupation of the Azores, a project 
that fell just short of being carried out. The 
Army thus labored under a double logisti- 
cal burden during this period — equipping 
the rapidly expanding mass of the Army 
in training, and deploying garrison forces 
to outlying bases and territories, while 
concurrently preparing small, mobile, 
striking forces for emergency action. In 
both these tasks, by late spring 1941, prep- 
arations had fallen far short of what the 






rapidly developing situation seemed to de- 
mand, accentuating an unreadiness that 
appeared almost as acute as that of June 

Britain's War 

By the beginning of 1941 the logistical 
scope of Britain's war was more vast and 
involved than the actual localization of 
the fighting would indicate. The conspicu- 
ous battles were being fought in Libya and 
in the air over the home islands. But the 
effort to sustain armies in Egypt, Libya, 
east Africa, and elsewhere in the Near and 
Middle East, and to maintain naval and 
air power in the Mediterranean was ab- 
sorbing, or was soon to absorb, half of 
Britain's war production, transported at 
enormous cost over the long route around 
the Cape of Good Hope or in occasional 
convoys forced through the Mediterra- 
nean. In all the imperial outposts from 
Hong Kong and Singapore to the West 
Indies, Britain and her Commonwealth 
associates had to maintain forces, meager 
in numbers but costly in shipping and ma- 
terial. On the seaways binding together 
the scattered parts of the Empire and 
Commonwealth, the deadly war against 
the submarine, long-range bomber, and 
raider went on — a war that Britain in 
spring of 1941 was losing. 

Geography forced Britain to operate on 
exterior lines, around the periphery of her 
opponents' compact land-based power. 
Prime Minister Churchill wrote to the 
President in December 1940: 

The form which this war has taken, and 
seems likely to hold, does not enable us to 
match the immense armies of Germany in 
any theatre where their main power can be 
brought to bear. We can, however, by the use 
of sea-power and air-power, meet the Ger- 

man armies in regions where only compara- 
tively small forces can be brought into action. 
We must do our best to prevent the German 
domination of Europe from spreading into 
Africa and into Southern Asia. We have also 
to maintain in constant readiness in this 
island armies strong enough to make the 
problem of an oversea invasion insoluble. 
. . . Shipping, not men, is the limiting fac- 
tor, and the power to transport munitions 
and supplies claims priority over the move- 
ment by sea of large numbers of soldiers. 1 

Even with the mobility conferred by sea 
power, Britain's strength in men and mu- 
nitions, as well as in shipping, was inade- 
quate to overcome the disadvantage of 
long and exposed lines of communications. 
Germany could move larger forces into 
the Mediterranean with far less effort than 
could Britain. Germany could concentrate 
her armies on the English Channel more 
rapidly than the British could ship divi- 
sions back from Egypt or from the Far 
East and, therefore, Britain had to keep 
large forces idle at home. 

Britain's logistical disadvantage was not 
merely a matter of distance; the geograph- 
ical disposition of the various parts of the 
Empire and Commonwealth also contrib- 
uted to it. The British imperial axis 
stretched halfway around the globe join- 
ing two centers of gravity, the British Isles 
and the far eastern dominions (Australia 
and New Zealand). (Map 1 ) In between 
stood the Middle East and east Africa, 
draining military strength from both, their 
nearest support the Union of South Africa. 
A military liability, the whole area was 
essentially a link in the imperial lifeline, a 
valuable source of oil, and the dwelling 
place of peoples whose good will was vital 
to the Empire. In the summer of 1940, 
with the German invasion expected at any 

1 Ltr, Churchill to President, 8 Dec 40, as quoted 
in Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 559-60. 



time, Churchill had dared to weaken the 
home defenses in order to send to Egypt a 
full armored brigade along with almost 
half the few tanks available in England. 
To abandon the eastern Mediterranean, 
even if a line somewhat farther south and 
east could be held, would enable the 
enemy to move Romanian and Soviet oil 
through the Dardanelles, tap the oil fields 
of Iraq, capture immense stocks of mate- 
riel in Egypt, and swallow up Turkey. Far- 
reaching political repercussions would be 
felt in Iran, Afghanistan, and India. But 
expulsion from the Far East, British 
leaders thought, would be incomparably 
more disastrous. Australia and New Zea- 
land contributed to the Commonwealth 
war effort important military forces, food 
for the United Kingdom and the Middle 
East, training facilities for British air pilots 
and crews, merchant shipping, and a sub- 
stantial production of aircraft, munitions, 
and warships. Britain also drew upon the 
manpower and wealth of India, the tin 
and rubber of Malaya, and the oil of the 
Netherlands Indies. Churchill wrote to the 
prime ministers of Australia and New- 
Zealand in August 1940 that, in the event 
of a Japanese invasion of those countries, 

. . . we should then cut our losses in the 
Mediterranean and sacrifice every interest, 
except only the defence and feeding of this 
island, on which all depends, and would pro- 
ceed in good time to your aid with a fleet able 
to give battle to any Japanese force which 
could be placed in Australian waters, and 
able to parry any invading force, or certainly 
cut its communications with Japan.-' 

Six months later British staff representa- 
tives in Washington asserted that loss of 
the Far East would mean "disintegration 
of the British Commonwealth and a crip- 
pling reduction in our war effort." ! 

"This island" was indeed a first charge. 

but there was a limit beyond which Brit- 
ain could not afford, except in the ultimate 
extremity, to reduce her overseas commit- 
ments. Even though costly to defend, the 
overseas territories and dominions made 
important contributions to British power, 
and the home islands, vulnerable to star- 
vation as well as attack, could not survive 
for long if cut off from their outlying 
sources of nourishment. The British staff 
representatives declared: 

We are a maritime Commonwealth; the 
various dominions and colonies are held to- 
gether by communications and trade routes 
across the oceans of the world. Our popula- 
tion in the United Kingdom depend for exist- 
ence on imported food and on the fruits of 
trade with the overseas dominions and colo- 
nies, with India and with foreign countries, 
including the vast area of China. Finally, we 
are trustees for the sub-continent of India, 
with a population more than twice that of the 
United States, many of them turbulent, tem- 
peramental and excitable people, who de- 
pend on us entirely for defense against exter- 
nal aggression and security against internal 
disorders. 4 

Britain was forced to compromise between 
her imperial obligations and the obvious 
desirability of drawing upon near sources 
of supply in the interests of shipping econ- 
omy. During the first nine months of the 
war, only 36 percent of Britain's imports 
came from the accessible North Atlantic 
region, and even at the end of 1940, when 
every possible economy was being sought, 
almost half her imports were still coming 
from the more remote areas, which de- 
pended on British power to sustain their 

-' Msg, 1 1 Aug 40, as quoted in Churchill. Their 
Finest Hour, p. 436. 

Ml) Note by U.K. Deleg, U.S. -Br Stf Convs, 31 
Jan 41. (2) Statement by U.K. Deleg, U.S. -Br Stf 
Convs, 29 Jan 41. (3) Appreciation by U.K. Deleg, 
U.S.-Br Stf Convs, 11 Feb 4 1. All in Item 1 1. Exec 
4. (4) Churchill, Their Finest Hour, pp. 428, 436, 446. 

1 Appreciation cited n. 3(3). 



defense and on British shipping and com- 
modities to maintain their economies/' 

Britain's logistical position thus offered 
no pattern for a defensive strategy of relin- 
quishing outposts in order to fall back 
upon contracting and progressively strong- 
er defense lines toward a common center — 
no pattern for defense in depth. The 
enemy was massed at her doorstep and 
ranged along the flank of her major life- 
lines in the Atlantic and the Mediterra- 
nean, and a formidable potential enemy 
threatened her in the Far East. Britain's 
own external sources of strength were re- 
mote, and she had to accept the exorbitant 
logistical costs of defending them. But 
under the pressures the European Axis and 
Japan (or even the former alone) were 
capable of bringing to bear, the brittle and 
attenuated imperial structure seemed 
likely to break, and its defenders likely to 
be forced back upon its two centers of 
gravity, which would then no longer be 
able to support one another. (See Map 1.) 

In the winter and spring of 1941 this 
catastrophe seemed neither unlikely nor 
too far distant. Before the end of 1940 the 
diminishing threat of invasion had been 
replaced by the equally deadly and more 
persistent menace of economic strangula- 
tion, which in turn presently revived the 
danger of invasion. Shipping losses, while 
declining somewhat from a peak of almost 
450,000 gross tons a month during Sep- 
tember and October, remained high 
through the fall and winter and in the fol- 
lowing spring climbed even higher. In 
April 1941 the sinkings for the month — 
British, Allied, and neutral — came to 
654,000 gross tons. During the last half of 
1940 shipping losses had aggregated 
almost 2.5 million tons; during the six 
months following they rose to more than 
2.8 million. This attrition was not alone 

the work of German U-boats but also that 
of long-range aircraft, magnetic mines, 
and merchant and heavy warship raiders. 
(See Appendix H-l.) 

Apart from sinkings, the effective capac- 
ity of shipping declined. "The convoy 
system, the detours, the zigzags, the great 
distances from which we now have to 
bring our imports, and the congestion of 
our western harbours," Churchill wrote, 
"have reduced by about one-third the 
fruitfulness of our existing tonnage." 6 In 
March, April, and May 1941 the Luft- 
waffe pounded with devastating effect at 
British ports, almost paralyzing the move- 
ment of goods. As a result, imports into the 
British Isles fell to a volume less than that 
needed to feed the population and to keep 
war industries running. From a rate of 
over 45 million tons per year during the 
first nine months of the war, they fell to an 
annual rate of only 30 million tons during 
the last few weeks of 1940. During the first 
quarter of 1941 the rate declined further 
to 28 million tons, and rose only slightly 
thereafter. In the year to come, Churchill 
warned the President at the end of 1940, 
the capacity to transport across the ocean 
would be "the crunch of the whole war." 7 

While Britain's home economy was 
weakening under this attrition, her armies 
met disaster in the Middle East. Early in 

fli Ibid. (2) Hancock and Gowing. British War 
Economy , p. 24 1 . 

" Churchill. Their Finest Hour, p. 564. 

7 ( 1) The above figures do not include tanker im- 
ports. Loss figures vary somewhat; those given here 
are from Winston S. Churchill. The Second World War: 
The Grand Alliance (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Com- 
pany, 1950). p. 782, and Churchill, Their Finest Hour, 
p. 714. (2) Ltr, Churchill to President, 8 Dec 40, as 
quoted in Churchill. Their Finest Hour, p. 560. (3) 
Hancock and Gowing, British War Economy, pp. 205, 
242, 249-56, 263-68. (4) Frederick C. Lane, Ships for 
Victory: A History oj Shipbuilding Under the U.S. Mari- 
time Commission in World War II (Baltimore. Md., The 
Johns Hopkins Press, 1951), p. 62. 



the year the forces of General Sir Archi- 
bald Wavell had virtually destroyed the 
Italian armies invading Egypt and had 
rapidly swept over Cyrenaica, and by the 
middle of May Italian power in east Africa 
was crushed. But in April the Germans 
overran Yugoslavia and Greece, almost 
destroying a sizable British expeditionary 
force in the process, while in Libya the re- 
cently arrived Afrika Korps of Generalfeld- 
marschall Erwin .Rommel drove the Brit- 
ish back to the Egyptian border, leaving a 
large imperial garrison beleaguered in 
Tobruk. In May came the devastating 
German airborne conquest of Crete, which 
threatened to drive the British eastern 
Mediterranean fleet through the Suez 
Canal. Against these reverses, Britain's 
success during May and June in overcom- 
ing local revolts and Nazi infiltration in 
Syria and Iraq seemed small indeed. 

The Logistics of Hemisphere Defense 

Britain's war was not the war for which 
the U.S. Army had been preparing. The 
logistics of hemisphere defense presented 
formidable problems, but they were in- 
comparably simpler than the global logis- 
tics with which Britain had to struggle. 
American military power had a single 
center of gravity in continental North 
America. This central base was rich in 
manpower and material resources; it pos- 
sessed the capacity to create and sustain 
powerful armed forces and also to feed its 
population. To the east, southeast, and 
west, outlying islands provided footholds 
for outpost defense; far to the north inhos- 
pitable land masses barred the approach 
of an invader. Against an aggressor oper- 
ating anywhere north of Brazil the United 
States would have the supreme advantage, 
which Britain lacked, of fighting on inte- 

rior lines. Against superior power, defend- 
ing forces could withdraw along radial 
lines toward the central base, shortening 
their communications in the process. Only 
after an invader had secured substantial 
lodgments on the North American conti- 
nent would this advantage give way to the 
serious problems of integrated defense cre- 
ated by the distribution of population and 
industry and by mountain barriers, among 
other factors. But to gain lodgments in 
North America, an aggressor would first 
require a tremendous margin of superi- 

To defend the whole Western Hemi- 
sphere was another matter. South and 
Central America were generally lacking in 
the political, economic, and military capa- 
bilities for effective resistance to a power- 
ful aggressor. U.S. forces in South America 
would have to operate at the end of lines 
of communication longer than those of a 
European enemy attacking from the east, 
where the bulge of northeastern Brazil 
faces Dakar across the South Atlantic nar- 
rows. The American planning staffs were 
therefore anxious to establish advance 
bases in northeastern Brazil at the first 
sign of an Axis move toward west Africa. 
To eject a powerful aggressor from the dis- 
tant southern portion of South America 
below,the Brazilian bulge, Army planners 
thought, would be a task far beyond the 
capabilities of the initial PMP force of 
1,400,000; that force, indeed, was consid- 
ered "barely sufficient" to defend U.S. 
territory (not including the Philippines) 
and to provide "limited task forces" to 
support Latin American governments 
against fifth-column activities. Hemi- 
sphere defense plans (Rainbow 1 and 4) 
contemplated that the region below the 
Brazilian bulge could be secured only in 
later stages of a war, after the area to the 


MAP 2 



north had been firmly consolidated. 8 
In most areas, however, the logistical 
difficulties confronting an invader of the 
Western Hemisphere were more formida- 
ble than those of the defense. In the far 
north, terrain, climate, and economic de- 
velopment were unfavorable to military 
operations; both there and far to the south, 
immense distances from possible bases of 
operations were an added obstacle and 
tended on the whole to give the logistical 
advantage to the defense. To the west, 
Hawaii provided a strong naval and air 
base, readily accessible to logistical support 
from the west coast, and in turn supported 
Midway, which otherwise would have 
been dangerously exposed to attack from 
Japan's main base at Truk and advanced 
positions in the Marshall Islands. 

In the last resort the United States did 
not have to defend the entire hemisphere 
in order to survive. (Map 2) A citadel de- 
fense of the area north of the Brazilian 
bulge could be so formidable, many mili- 
tary observers believed, as to deter any 
possible aggressor. The Joint Planning 
Committee even ventured the opinion 
(which many challenged) that the United 
States could "safeguard the North Ameri- 
can continent, and probably the Western 
Hemisphere, whether allied with Britain 
or not." 9 It was not so much the logistical 
difficulties of hemisphere defense that 
made the danger of invasion real; it was 
rather the possibility that potential aggres- 
sors might be able to muster the necessary 
margin of superior power to override the 
meager forces defending the hemisphere 
despite the logistical advantages the latter 
would enjoy. 

American policy makers had accepted 
the possibility of military collaboration 
with Britain on the premise that American 
security could be assured in no other way, 

but hemisphere defense remained the 
point of departure in any consideration of 
participation in Britain's war. American 
planners naturally tended to visualize that 
participation as a projection of their plans 
for hemisphere defense and, as a corollary, 
to project the logistical principles on which 
hemisphere defense was based. Military 
power pushed far outward from a central 
base was a diminishing power, long lines 
of communications were costly to protect, 
and an enemy became progressively 
stronger as he was pressed back on his 
bases of operations. The British could not 
deny the validity of these principles, which 
their enemies had so long and so often ex- 
ploited against them; they had grown 
accustomed, however, to making the most 
of such compensating advantages as the 
mobility inherent in sea power and a net- 
work of established overseas bases. U.S. 
Army planners were understandably re- 
luctant to abandon completely the com- 
parative security of the Western Hemi- 
sphere in order to share fully the risks and 
costs of Britain's global war. If American 
power must be projected overseas beyond 
hemisphere boundaries, they reasoned, let 
it be projected mainly into the North At- 
lantic area. On the Atlantic seaboard were 
centered most of America's heavy indus- 
try, her densest transportation net, her 
best ports; in the Atlantic was the bulk of 
her merchant shipping. A partnership of 
the United States, Britain, and Canada, 
moreover, could generate immense mili- 
tary power, sufficient to control the nar- 
row span of the North Atlantic and, in 

8 (1) WPD study, Jan 41, title: Possible Necessity for 
an Army of 1,400,000 Men and One of 4,000,000 
Men, Item 5, Exec 4. (2) Conn and Fairchild, Frame- 
work of Hemisphere Defense, Chs. I— II. 

H Ltr,JPC toJB, 21 Jan 41,sub:Jt Instns for A&N 
Reps for Holding Stf Convs With the Br, JB 325, Ser 



effect, to create a single center of military 
and economic gravity in that area. Such a 
power could dominate the entire Atlantic 
region and perhaps eventually crush the 
power of Germany entrenched in Europe, 
despite her advantage of interior lines. (See 
Map 8.) 

ABC-1 and Rainbow 5 

Late in January 1941, as Britain's for- 
tunes declined, British and American staff 
representatives in Washington began a 
series of secret meetings that became 
known as the ABC (American British Con- 
versations) meetings. The discussions were 
concerned with "the best methods by 
which the armed forces of the United 
States and the British Commonwealth can 
defeat Germany and the powers allied 
with her, should the United States be com- 
pelled to resort to war." I0 

How the United States intended to con- 
tribute to this endeavor, if compelled to 
enter the war, had in general terms 
already been spelled out with Presidential 
sanction before the conference began — 
first and basically, secure the Western 
Hemisphere; then exert the principal 
American military effort in the Atlantic 
area and only "navally" in the Mediterra- 
nean; if Japan should enter the war despite 
all efforts to keep her out, limit American 
operations in the Pacific and Far East to 
such a scope as not to interfere with con- 
centration in the Atlantic; hold to the de- 
feat of the European Axis as the major 
goal of coalition strategy. 11 

These stipulations, particularly the first 
three, reflected the misgivings with which 
the Army representatives viewed the logis- 
tical problems of full involvement in Brit- 
ain's war, and their determination that 

American land and air forces should be 
employed primarily within a short radius 
of North America. In principle the stipu- 
lations did not conflict with British notions 
as to the bases for collaboration; the fourth 
one, of course, was the concept to which 
the British had hoped above all to bind 
their prospective allies. But sharp differ- 
ences of opinion emerged as soon as the 
discussion got down to the specific ques- 
tions of employment of forces and division 
of responsibilities. Symptomatic of these 
differences was the discussion of assign- 
ment of naval forces to protect the com- 
munications in the Atlantic on which 
overseas deployment of ground forces in 
that area would depend. The Americans 
questioned the British representatives 
closely regarding the trend of ship sinkings 
and "the probable situations that might 
result from the loss of the British Isles." IJ 
U.S. naval forces, and British too, they 
thought, should be concentrated to cover 
the northwestern approaches to the British 
Isles in order to eliminate the most dan- 
gerous threat to communications with 
North America. The British refused even 
to discuss the contingency that the British 
Isles might be conquered; the question 
was academic, they said, since if the islands 

10 (1) Statement by CNO and CofS, 27 Jan 41, 
WPD 4402-94. (2) The agreements reached at the 
ABC meetings were embodied in two reports: United 
States-British Staff Conversations: Report, March 27, 
1941, known by the short title, ABC-1 Report, cover- 
ing strategy and employment of forces; and United 
States-British Staff Conversations: Air Collaboration, 
March 29, 1941, known by the short title, ABC-2 Re- 
port, covering air policy and allocation of air materiel. 
Both reports are reproduced in Pearl Harbor Attack: 
Hearings before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of 
the Pearl Harbor Attack (hereafter cited as Pearl Harbor 
Hearings), Pt. 15, pp. 1485-1550. (3) Watson, Prewar 
Plans and Preparations, pp. 367-82. 

11 (1) Statement cited n. 10. (2) Sec above, Ch. I. 

'- Min. 2d mtg U.S.-Br Stf Convs, 31 Jan 41, Item 
1 1, Exec 4. 



fell "the British Army and Air Force would 
have ceased to exist." ' :i As for naval dis- 
positions, the British insisted on spreading 
their forces, however thinly, throughout 
the Atlantic and in other oceans as well. 
The current rampaging in the Atlantic of 
the German warship raiders Scharnhorst, 
Gneisenau, and Hipper, lent point to their 
argument. The Americans were not con- 
vinced, however, and the final agreement 
recorded their insistence that the center of 
gravity for U.S. naval operations in the 
Atlantic would be in the northwestern ap- 
proaches to the United Kingdom, and 
that U.S. land forces outside the Western 
Hemisphere would be used mainly to sup- 
port U.S. naval and air forces in areas 
bordering on the Atlantic. 14 

The sharpest of the disagreements grow- 
ing out of the Americans' desire to limit 
their logistical commitments centered 
upon Singapore and the Far East. The 
British hoped to secure an American com- 
mitment to help defend Singapore. "The 
security of the Far Eastern position," they 
argued, "including Australia and New 
Zealand, is essential to the cohesion of the 
British Commonwealth and to the main- 
tenance of its war effort. Singapore is the 
key to defense of these interests, and its 
retention must be assured." 15 If the Japa- 
nese captured the great base, they might 
be able to cut communications to the west; 
India and Burma would immediately be- 
come military liabilities; Australia and 
New Zealand might be isolated or even 
overrun. Loss of Singapore, the British 
concluded, "would be a disaster of the first 
magnitude, second only to loss of the Brit- 
ish Isles." 16 They proposed that the U.S. 
Asiatic Fleet, then based in the Philip- 
pines, be heavily reinforced to the point 
where, in conjunction with British and 
Dutch naval forces, it could deter or at 

least delay a Japanese onslaught on 
Malaya. 17 

These arguments met with an unsym- 
pathetic response. Singapore was indeed 
a symbol and a bastion and its loss would 
be felt. But loss of the Philippines would 
also be a severe blow to the United States. 
Both partners must be willing to take risks 
and accept losses. In a private session 
Brig. Gen. Sherman Miles complained 
that British preoccupation with the Far 
East was diverting attention from their 
central problem, the security of the 
United Kingdom. As the British them- 
selves conceded, the Japanese did not need 
Singapore to harass shipping in the Indian 
Ocean while, even with Singapore, they 
probably would not risk large naval forces 
far to the west as long as the U.S. Pacific 
Fleet menaced their eastern flank. More- 
over, the Americans felt confident that the 
Pacific Fleet could protect communica- 
tions between Australia and New. Zealand 
and the Western Hemisphere through the 
South Pacific, and even deter Japan from 
attempting to overrun the dominions. 
Even if the Asiatic Fleet were reinforced, 
the Americans feared it might eventually 
be engulfed by superior enemy forces, 
while the Pacific Fleet would be seriously 
weakened and unable to send essential 
reinforcements to the Atlantic. The Amer- 
ican plan was to defend the Malay Barrier 
as long as possible with existing forces (in- 
cluding the Asiatic Fleet, which would 
probably retire from the Philippines at 

13 Ibid. 

14 (1) Min, 2d, 4th, 6th, 8th, and 9th mtgs U.S.-Br 
Stf Convs, 31 Jan, 5 Feb, 10 Feb, 15 Feb, and 17 Feb 
41, Item 1 1, Exec 4. (2) ABC- 1 Report, pars. 13(b), 
(0, (g), Pearl Harbor Hearings, Pt. 15, pp. 1491-92. 

15 Statement cited n. 3(2). 

16 Appreciation cited n. 3(3). 

17 (1) Ibid. (2) Statement cited n. 3(2). (3) Note 
cited n. 3(1). 



the outbreak of hostilities); the Pacific 
Fleet, meanwhile, would operate against 
Japan's eastern flank; the Chinese, forti- 
fied by American munitions, would strike 
at Japan's mainland forces; and the 
weapon of economic blockade would be 
exploited to the full. In general, the Amer- 
icans felt that the Far East, except Japan 
itself and areas to its north and east, was 
a British and Dutch sphere of responsibil- 
ity, and that if the British were bent on 
holding Singapore, they should themselves 
send the necessary naval forces via their 
own secure line of communications around 
the Cape of Good Hope. In the end, the 
representatives could only agree to dis- 
agree. The British recorded their convic- 
tion that the security of Singapore was es- 
sential to the joint war effort, and their 
intention to strengthen their naval power 
in the Indian Ocean. The Americans 
undertook to augment their own naval 
power in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, 
thus releasing British units from those 
areas, but indicated that no strengthening 
of American forces in the Far East was 
contemplated. 18 

To resist further entanglements in the 
Far East seemed to the Army staff not 
only sound logistics but a logical corollary 
of the principle on which they and the 
British had agreed — that defeat of Ger- 
many must be the primary objective. An 
American commitment to help defend 
Singapore might imply an undertaking 
"to seek the early defeat of Japan" and ac- 
ceptance of "responsibility for the safety 
of a large portion of the British Empire." 
It might lead to "employment of the final 
reserve of the Associated Powers in a non- 
decisive theater." 1! ' As to how Germany 
was finally to be defeated, the American 
staff had as yet no definite ideas. Admiral 
Stark's hints, the preceding November, of 

massive land operations in Europe had 
aroused little enthusiasm among the Army 
planners, particularly his suggestion of re- 
peating Wellington's exploits in Spain. A 
WPD paper prepared late in January 
reached the conclusion, among others 
similarly pessimistic, that an invasion by 
the historic route through the Low Coun- 
tries would be dangerous folly. Army 
thinking, in general, was oriented toward 
the initial, not the later, stages of an 
Anglo-American partnership. 20 The Brit- 
ish had somewhat more definite and far- 
reaching ideas on the subject. Germany 
would be defeated in the end, they 
thought, by small, highly mechanized 
armies wielding tremendous fire power. 
These forces would enter the Continent at 
various points, to the accompaniment of 
internal uprisings, only after the enemy 
had been battered to the breaking point 
by preliminary attacks around the perim- 
eter of Europe, air bombardment, block- 
ade, and subversive activity. 21 

British notions as to the form American 

18 (1) Min,Jt mtg of A&N sees, U.S. Stf Com, 13 
Feb 41. (2) Statement by U.S. Stf Com, "The U.S. 
Military Position in the Far East," 19 Feb 41. Both in 
Item 11, Exec 4. (3) Memo, Maj Gen Stanley D. 
Embick, Brig Gens Leonard T. Gerow and S. Miles, 
and Col Joseph T. McNarney for CofS, 12 Feb 41, 
sub: Dispatch of U.S. Forces to Singapore, WPD 
4402-3. (4) ABC-1 Report, pars. 1 1(b), 13(d), and 
Annex III, par. 35, Pearl Harbor Hearings, Pt. 15, pp. 
1490, 1492, 1518. 

1H Statement cited n. 18(2). 

20 (1) Min, 11th mtg U.S.-Br Stf Convs, 26 Feb 41, 
Item 1 1, Exec 4. (2) Statement cited n. 18(2). (3) 
Memo, unsigned, for ACofS WPD, no date sub: Stf 
Convs With Br, Item 1 lb, Exec 4. (4) See above, Ch. 
I. (5) Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 1 18- 

21 (1) See Churchill's allusion to "superior air-pow- 
er" and "the rising anger" of "Nazi-gripped popula- 
tions" in his letter to Roosevelt, 8 December 1940, as 
quoted in Churchill, Then Finest Hour, p. 560. (2) See 
also the fully developed plan described a year later 
in Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 646-51. (3) For 
the various British views, see the minutes of the U.S. 
British Staff Conversations, Item 1 1, Exec 4. 



participation in the war might take were 
closely related to this strategy of attrition 
and peripheral attack. The "party line" 
laid down by Churchill was expressed 
in his famous exhortation, "give us the 
tools and we'll finish the job/' "We do 
not need the gallant armies which are 
forming throughout the American Un- 
ion," Churchill declared. "We do not need 
them this year, nor next year; nor any 
year that I can foresee." 22 While this as- 
sertion, made during the debate over the 
Lend-Lease Act, was perhaps not wholly 
candid, the British staff representatives in 
Washington admitted that they dreaded a 
vast American mobilization and training 
program that would swallow up the out- 
put of American munitions in an effort to 
put huge armies in the field at an early 
date, thus cutting off the vital flow of 
American weapons to British forces al- 
ready fighting the enemy. In the event the 
United States should enter the war, the 
British anticipated that the still embryonic 
American ground forces would for some 
time play a minor, largely defensive role, 
protecting their own air and naval bases 
and relieving the British in quiet sectors. 
British forces, far more advanced in their 
mobilization and already disposed around 
the periphery of enemy power, would 
gradually be strengthened by troops thus 
released and by American air units. Only 
for the U.S. Navy, a powerful force in 
being, did the British envisage an inde- 
pendent role. American land and air 
power, in short, was to be introduced 
piecemeal and on a small scale (except for 
long-range bombing forces) into the exist- 
ing pattern of the war, thereby helping to 
perpetuate that pattern and eventually to 
consummate the strategy of "closing the 
ring" around Germany. 23 The principal 
American contribution would not be 

armies but the weapons to equip armies. 

The final ABC-1 report on the whole 
reflected British long-range strategic 
thinking — emphasizing strategic air pow- 
er, support of resistance movements and 
neutrals, "raids and minor offensives," 
checking of Axis advances in North Af- 
rica, knocking Italy out of the war, cap- 
ture of launching positions for an "even- 
tual" offensive. Nowhere was there any 
mention of a cross-Channel invasion based 
on the British Isles. The implication was 
that the process of nibbling at the fringes 
of Axis power would continue for a long 
time, and that the enemy would be de- 
feated in the end less by shock than by 
exhaustion. ABC-1 also gave assurance 
that the flow of material aid to Britain 
would continue, even if this meant reduc- 
ing the size of the armed forces the United 
States could throw into the scale. Already, 
important concessions were being made to 
the British in the allocation of aircraft and 
other critical materiel.' 4 

Yet the Army staff reacted strongly to 
the British tendency to assign American 
forces a complementary and subordinate 
role. By virtue of its immense potential 
power, one staff paper pointed out, the 
United States was destined to become the 
dominant partner if it should enter the 
anti-Axis coalition, and would "constitute 
the final reserve of the democracies both 
in manpower and munitions." That re- 
serve should be conserved "for timely em- 
ployment in a decisive theater, and not 

22 Churchill's speech of 9 Feb 41, quoted in Sher- 
wood, Roosevelt and Hopkins , pp. 261-62. 

23 (1) Statement cited n. 3(2). (2) Note cited n. 3(1). 
(3) Min, 4th and 5th mtgs U.S. -Br Stf Convs, 5 and 
6 Feb 41, Item 11, Exec 4. 

The British also wanted to assign some U.S. naval 
units piecemeal to British naval commands in the At- 

'(1) ABC-1 Report, pars. 12-13, Pearl Harbor 
Hearings, Pt. 15, pp. 1490-91. (2) See below, Ch. III. 



dissipated by dispersion in secondary the- 
aters." "We must not make the mistake," 
warned another staff paper, "of merely re- 
inforcing the British in all areas, but 
should throw our weight in a single direc- 
tion." 26 ABC-1 laid down the rule, in fact, 
that the forces of each partner should op- 
erate, in the main, under their own com- 
manders "in the areas of responsibility of 
their own Power" — partial insurance 
against the absorption of American forces 
anonymously into the pattern of Britain's 
war. 27 

This reservation was reflected in the 
actual dispositions of American forces con- 
templated under the ABC-1 agreement 
and the Rainbow 5 war plan drawn up 
during the weeks following. The Rainbow 
5 schedules provided for a maximum 
overseas deployment, during the first six 
months following American entry into the 
war (M Day), of 413,900 Army troops, 
but of these about 236,000 were definitely 
assigned to tasks within the Western Hem- 
isphere and another 109,500 to cover its 
approaches and to forestall threats against 
it. The remainder were to be sent to the 
British Isles, within the orbit of Anglo- 
American power and on the direct ap- 
proaches to northwestern Europe. 28 The 
scheduled deployment was as follows: 

Hawaii 44,000 

Alaska 23,000 

Panama 1 3,400 

Caribbean bases 45,800 

West coast of South America (task force) . . . 24,000 

Brazil (task force) 86,000 

British Isles 68,200 

Iceland (relief of British) 26,500 

Transatlantic operations to forestall German 

move toward Dakar 83,000 


Even U.S. naval power in the Atlantic, 
a more mobile instrument, was to be con- 

centrated mainly to protect the northwest- 
ern approaches to the United Kingdom, 
although the Navy had the further mis- 
sion of assisting the British occupation of 
the Azores and Cape Verdes if the Axis 
should move in that direction. In the Pa- 
cific the main fleet was to remain based on 
Hawaii and, in the event of war with 
Japan, would raid its communications and 
subsequently operate against the Mar- 
shall and Caroline Islands. The Philip- 
pines, in that event, would be a belea- 
guered citadel far beyond the limits to 
which American power, for many months 
after the outbreak of a war in the Far 
East, could hope to expand. Under ABC-1 
the United States was assigned primary 
responsibility for most of the Pacific, its 
sphere extending westward to include 
Japan but not the Philippines, Formosa, 
or the areas to the south; on the Atlantic 
side, American responsibility extended 
only to the mid-Atlantic, short of Iceland 
and the Azores. 29 (See Map 2.) 

Thus, except for the build-up of U.S. 
strategic bomber forces in the British Isles 
(which was to begin as soon as the United 
States entered the war), the bulk of Amer- 

25 Draft memo, no date, atchd to memo, Gen 
Gerow for Col McNarney, 6 Feb 41, Item 1 1, Exec 4. 

26 WPD paper, no date, sub: Stf Convs With Br, 
Item 1 lb. Exec 4. 

27 (1) ABC-1 Report, pars. 9, 14(b), Pearl Harbor 
Hearings, Pi. 15, pp. 1489, 1493. (2) Draft memo cited 
n. 25. (3) WPD paper cited n. 26. 

28 Incl A to rpt, JPC to JB. 30 Apr 41, sub: Jt Bsc 
War Plan — Rainbow 5 and Rpt of U.S. -Br Stf Convs. 
March 27, 1941, JB 325, Ser 642-5. 

29 (1) Ibid. (2) Memos, WPD for CofS, 20 and 31 
May 4 1 , sub: Analysis of Plans for Overseas Expeds, 
Rainbow 5, WPD 4175-22. (3) Charts atchd to memo, 
WPD for CofS, 15 May 41, WPD 3493-11. (4) Papers 
in Item 7, Exec 4. (5) Annex III to ABC-1 Report, 
Pearl Harbor Hearings, Pt." 15, pp. 1504-35. 

The schedule was revised from time to time 
throughout 1941 and included additional small forces 
to be sent to Greenland and Newfoundland. 



ican land and air power during the early 
period of participation was to be held back 
either inside the United States or within a 
safe radius of North America, with short, 
easily protected overseas communications. 
This applied not merely to the great mass 
of the Army still in training, but even to 
most of the mobile striking forces, unless 
these should be called into action by an 
enemy threat to the hemisphere. Two con- 
siderations lay behind this whole plan. 
The paramount reason, of course, was 
that the Army would not be ready for 
large-scale action of any kind for many 
months — by 1 September, the earliest 
date on which its commitments under 
ABC-1 could become effective, it could 
expect to put in the field, at the most, only 
about six divisions and six air combat 
groups. Secondly, the staff was determined 
that American land and air power should 
not be introduced piecemeal, as it grew, 
into a global war in which for a long time 
it could play only a subordinate role. "The 
building up of large land and air forces for 
major offensive operations against the 
Axis powers," stated the Army's Rainbow 
5 plan, "will be the primary immediate ef- 
fort of the United States Army. The initial 
tasks of United States land and air forces 
will be limited to such operations as will 
not materially delay this effort." 30 

Ships for Britain 

In the spring of 1941 Britain needed 
more tangible and immediate assistance 
from the United States than agreements 
for military collaboration that were con- 
tingent upon the United States' being 
forced into the war and that, as far as the 
Army was concerned, could not become 
effective before September. In December 
the Prime Minister had warned Roosevelt: 

Unless we can establish our ability to feed 
this island, to import the munitions of all 
kinds which we need, unless we can move our 
armies to the various theaters where Hitler 
and his confederate Mussolini must be met, 
and maintain them there, . . . we may fall 
by the way, and the time needed by the 
United States to complete her defensive 
preparations may not be forthcoming. n 

American officials from December on 
watched Britain's blood-letting with grow- 
ing concern. Stimson recorded in his diary 
on the 19th, ". . . it is now very clear 
that England will not be able to hold out 
very much longer unless some defense is 
found." 32 The President's decisions on 
military policy in January were based on 
the assumption that Britain might hold 
out for six more months. Harry Hopkins, 
visiting in England a little later, found a 
general expectation that the all-out inva- 
sion would certainly come in the spring, 
and thought that the outcome would de- 
pend on how much material could be sent 
from the United States "within the next 
few weeks." 33 Early in April Admiral 
Stark concluded that the situation was 
"hopeless except as we take strong meas- 
ures to save it." 34 

The most dramatic and far-reaching re- 
sponse by the United States to Britain's 
peril was the passage of the Lend-Lease 
Act in March, but apart from some badly 
needed shipments of food made under its 
authority, the benefits of lend-lease lay in 
the future; most of the munitions sent to 
the British during 1941 were bought for 

)0 Incl A to rpt cited n. 28. 

J1 Ltr, Churchill to President, 8 Dec 40, as quoted 
in Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 560. 

- Stimson Diary, December 19, 1940 entry, quoted 
in Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active 
Service in Peace and War (New York, Harper & 
Brothers, 1948), p. 367. 

33 Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 257. 

34 Ltr, Adm Stark to Adm Husband E. Kimmel, 4 
Apr 4 1 . Pearl Harbor Hearings, Pt. 1 6. p. 2 1 6 1 . 



cash. 35 Except for munitions, Britain's 
most pressing need was ships. Hopkins 
forwarded urgent pleas on this score from 
England in February, and Sir Arthur Sal- 
ter, who came over in March to head the 
British Merchant Shipping Mission, car- 
ried a new warning from the Prime Min- 

The Battle of the Atlantic has begun. The 
issue may well depend on the speed with 
which our resources to combat the menace to 
our communications with the western hemi- 
sphere are supplemented by those of the 
U.S.A. I look to you to bring this fact home 
to the U.S. Administration . . . . 36 

The United States could do little to 
meet this need. Building capacity was still 
in the early stages of expansion — in 1939 
American yards had produced only twen- 
ty-eight ocean-going ships, in 1940 only 
fifty-three. Late in 1940 the British had let 
contracts with the Todd-Kaiser Company 
for sixty emergency-type freighters (pre- 
cursors of the Liberty ships), but none of 
these could be expected off the ways until 
late in 1941; only five were completed be- 
fore the end of the year. Of U.S. shipping 
already in existence, substantial transfers 
had been made before 1941 to British and 
other foreign registry, thus releasing the 
ships from the prohibitions of the neutral- 
ity laws in order to carry British cargoes. 
Early in 1941 the entire U.S. merchant 
fleet aggregated less than ten million gross 
tons, of which more than half were work- 
ing in the coastal trades. Only about 3.7 
million tons, on the Atlantic side, were 
suitable for transoceanic operation. Four 
fifths of the entire fleet were vessels of 
World War I vintage, too slow for travel in 
danger zones except at great risk. Finally, 
the domestic demands upon U.S. shipping 
were mounting, especially for importing 

strategic materials. Between mid- 1940 
and the end of 1941 Britain acquired 
about a hundred secondhand ships from 
the United States, most of them before the 
Lend-Lease Act was passed; many of these 
ships had to be laid up for repairs and re- 
fitting for months afterward. Of this small 
tonnage, only the tankers appreciably 
changed the situation in 1941 by building 
up British oil stocks, which during the 
summer had fallen to the danger level. 
The United States also turned over to the 
British in 1941 considerable Axis and 
Danish tonnage interned in U.S. harbors 
and persuaded other American republics 
to do likewise — perhaps a million dead- 
weight tons of shipping all told. U.S. pres- 
sure helped to secure other foreign ton- 
nage for the British under charter. 37 

This was a small beginning. In Decem- 
ber 1940 Churchill voiced to the President 
his hope that American building capacity 
would be expanded on the scale of the 
Hog Island yards of World War I. From 
Empire resources, producing well under 2 

35 (1) See below, Ch. III. (2) Stettinius. Lend-Lease: 
Weapon for Victory, pp. 104-05 and Chs. YIII-IX. 

:h ( 1 ) Quoted in Hancock and Gowing. British War 
Economy, p. 257. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, 
pp. 257-58. 

; ' Estimates of total tonnage vary widely; the figure 
given in the text is from Charles H. Coleman. Ship- 
building Activities of the National Defense Advisory 
Commission and the Office of Production Manage- 
ment, July 1940 to December 1941, WPB Special 
Study 18. ( 1 ) On U.S. merchant fleet, see Coleman, 
pp. 26-28, 30ff; Lane, Ships for Victory, pp. 42-43; 
Hancock and Cowing, British War Economy , pp. 257- 
58; and memo, G-4 for WPD, 28 May 41. sub: Stra- 
tegic Est of Sit, with atchd tables, G-4/33052. (2) For 
the British shipbuilding contracts in 1940 and trans- 
fers of U.S. shipping to Britain, see Hancock and 
Gowing; Coleman; and Hall. North American Sup- 
ply, Ch. VI, Galley 1 1. Hist Br. Cabinet Off. London. 
Shipping transferred under lend-lease to the British 
Commonwealth in 1941 amounted to only 1.1 percent 
of all lend-lease transfers in that period. (3) For rela- 
tionship of gross, net. and dead-weight tonnages, see 
below, App. A- 1 . 



million dead-weight tons (1,250,000 gross 
tons) per year, Britain could not hope to 
replace her losses, which in April 1941 
reached an annual rate of almost 12 mil- 
lion dead-weight tons (actual losses in 1941 
were about 5 million tons). During the 
spring, in fact, both merchant and naval 
construction in the United Kingdom had 
to be cut back in order to provide labor 
and facilities to reduce the mountainous 
backlog of damaged shipping clogging the 
ports. The British frankly rested their 
hopes on receiving a flood of American 
tonnage in 1942 — at an annual rate of 4.5 
million dead-weight tons, according to 
early 1941 calculations. Before the end of 
1941 the British had raised their estimated 
requirements to 8.2 million dead-weight 
tons per year. 38 

Expansion of American shipbuilding 
capacity spurted forward during 1941 in 
three successive waves. The first, benefit- 
ing from the British contracts with Todd- 
Kaiser, began early in January with the 
President's order for 200 emergency-type 
freighters to be completed in two years; 
under the current Maritime Commission 
program, a like number of standard-type 
vessels was to be completed by mid- 1941. 
The second wave of expansion followed 
soon after the Lend-Lease Act was passed 
and added more than 300 vessels, includ- 
ing 1 12 emergency-type freighters and 72 
tankers, to the program. The third wave, 
spread over the second half of the year, in- 
volved a variety of types. By the end of the 
year, over 1,200 vessels (about 13 million 
dead-weight tons) were scheduled for de- 
livery before the end of 1943, aiming at a 
peak annual production capacity of more 
than 7 million tons. In 1941 the results of 
the expansion were meager. Actual con- 
struction during the last half of the year 
lagged behind schedule. About 100 mer- 

chant vessels of all types (1,161 ,000 dead- 
weight tons) were completed in that year, 
of which only 7 were Liberty ships and 53 
standard freighters. 39 

This expansion was aimed largely at 
British needs and owed much to lend- 
lease funds. How much tonnage actually 
would be turned over to the British re- 
mained, as the President remarked, an 
"iffy" question. Shipping lent itself more 
aptly than munitions to the President's 
homely metaphor of the garden hose to be 
returned to its owner after the fire was put 
out. The expansion program, however, 
gave the British the insurance they needed. 
The Prime Minister told the House of 
Commons on 25 June: 

If we can resist or deter actual invasion this 
autumn, we ought to be able, on the present 
undertaking of the United States, to come 
through the year 1941. . . . there is no rea- 
son why the year 1942, in which the enor- 
mous American new building comes to hand, 
should not present us with less anxious or- 
deals than those we must now endure and 
come through. 40 

"Ships for Britain" included not merely 
those the United States made available in 
1941 and was prepared to build in the 
future but also the British tonnage that, 
without action by the United States, 
might otherwise have been lost, immobi- 
lized, or uneconomically employed. Until 
the Neutrality Act was repealed in No- 

3S (1) Ltr, Churchill to President, 8 Dec 40, as 
quoted in Churchill, Their Finest Hour, p. 564. (2) Note 
cited n. 3(1). (3) Memo, John J. McCloy for Gen 
Marshall, 11 Feb 41, Item 1 lc, Exec 4. (4) Churchill, 
The Grand Alliance , pp. 127, 150-55; dirs by Minister 
of Defence, 6 and 27 Mar 4 1 , as quoted on pp. 1 23- 
26, 865-66. (5) For the figure 8.2 million dead-weight 
tons (5.5 million gross tons), see below, Ch. V. 

•" (1) Lane, Ships for Victory, Ch. II. (2) WPB Sp 
Study 18. Table on p. 5 and pp. 25-51, cited n. 37. 
(3) See also below, App. H-l. 

40 Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 154. 



vember 1941, U.S. shipping could not 
enter the war zones, but in April, as the 
east African campaign was drawing to a 
close, the President declared the Red Sea 
open to U.S. shipping, and by midyear 
forty-eight American freighters were ply- 
ing this route, relieving British tonnage for 
more dangerous service. In March the 
Army took the first steps toward develop- 
ing facilities for ferrying aircraft across the 
North and South Atlantic, a project that 
promised eventually to release substantial 
amounts of shipping for other uses. The 
government also urged private shipyards 
to make their repair facilities available to 
British merchant ships and, in March, ex- 
tended the services of private and naval 
yards to British warships. During the last 
nine months of 1941 British tonnage re- 
pairing in American ports averaged 430,- 
000 dead-weight tons a month. 41 

Finally, in April 1941, the President 
took the first decisive, though limited, step 
toward what would certainly be the major 
role of the United States in the Atlantic 
during the initial stages of participation in 
the war — the convoying of merchant ship- 
ping. Although the Navy had prepared, 
and the President had tentatively ap- 
proved, plans for full convoying by the 
U.S. Navy in the eastern as well as the 
western Atlantic, the action he actually 
took late in April, after long hesitation, 
was cautious. He ordered the Navy to 
patrol the sea lanes west of a mid- Atlantic 
line (longitude 26° west, but including 
Greenland and the Azores) and to broad- 
cast the movements of potentially hostile 
ships and aircraft. To implement this deci- 
sion naval forces in the Atlantic were aug- 
mented, late in May, by three battleships 
and other units representing approxi- 
mately a fourth of the strength of the 
Pacific Fleet. The reporting patrol, as the 

President warned in a speech on 27 May, 
was earnest of the determination of the 
United States to ensure Britain's survival, 
above all to "deliver the goods" across the 
Atlantic. Extended by successive steps, it 
was to draw the United States by the fol- 
lowing September into a "shooting war" 
with German submarines. 4J 

The Logistics of Emergency Expeditionary Forces 

Measures to aid Britain and plans for 
eventual military collaboration were not 
the Army's most pressing concern. For the 
Army, during the first half of 1 94 1 , hemi- 
sphere defense was still the first order of 
business. The threat of imminent aggres- 
sion against the Western Hemisphere re- 
mained real until the German invasion of 
the Soviet Union late in June canceled it 
for the time being. 

Since June 1940 the 1st and 3d Infantry 
Divisions, on the east and west coasts, re- 
spectively, had been earmarked to form 
the nuclei of small, mobile, striking forces 
that might anticipate or counter a sudden 
enemy move. Some effort was made dur- 
ing the summer and fall of 1940 to provide 
these forces and a few supporting units 
with special equipment and to give them 
amphibious training, with a view eventu- 
ally to operating in conjunction with the 
Marines. Little was actually done during 
1940 to give effect to these plans. Equip- 
ment could not be spared from the general 

" (1) Hancock and Gowing, British War Economy, p. 
258. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 228-29. 
(3) Stcttinius, Lend-Lease: Weapon for Victory, p. 149 
and Chs. XII-XIII. (4) Craven and Cate, AAF I, Ch. 

42 (1) Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemi- 
sphere Defense, Ch. V, pp. 5-15. (2) Morison, Battle 
of the Atlantic, pp. 44-57. (3) Stimson and Bundy, On 
Active Service in Peace and War, pp. 386-87. 



training program. Every Regular Army 
unit had to provide instructors for the 
flood of selectees coming into the Army. 
Amphibious training scarcely had reached 
the point where joint exercises with the 
better-equipped and better-trained ma- 
rines (who enjoyed higher priorities) 
would have been profitable. Even the 1st 
Division, the best-trained Army unit, did 
not engage in amphibious maneuvers un- 
til February 1941, and then with only 10 
percent of its personnel. 43 

In October 1940 American relations 
with Vichy France were growing tense 
over the question of the disposition of 
Vichy naval forces at Martinique and 
Dakar. The Army took steps to form three 
task forces, each of division strength, to 
meet any emergency in the Atlantic. Be- 
sides the 1st Infantry Division, the 30th 
and 44th National Guard (square) Divi- 
sions and several supporting artillery, anti- 
aircraft, and service units, were ear- 
marked. But only the 1st Division and a 
single antiaircraft regiment could be given 
the high priority for equipment and for 
exemption from contributing training 
cadre that alone would permit rapid prog- 
ress toward readiness. Only Task Force 1, 
built around the 1st Division, had a mis- 
sion involving landings on a hostile shore 
in the Caribbean area or northeastern 
Brazil; Task Force 2 was to support and 
perhaps relieve it, following a successful 
landing; Task Force 3 was to help in the 
defense of Newfoundland." 

Late in October 1940 the President or- 
dered the Navy to plan an emergency de- 
scent upon Martinique, to be carried out 
on three days' notice; the Navy in turn 
asked the Army to prepare to follow up 
the initial Marine landing. Feeling that at 
least 25,000 troops would be needed for 
such an undertaking, the Army planners 

urged that it not be attempted until a 
strong expeditionary force, organized 
around the 1st Division, could be formed 
and amphibiously trained. Nothing came 
of this proposal, and the Army's contribu- 
tion to the projected Martinique operation 
consisted of three small regimental-size 
task forces ("A," "B," and "C"), formed 
in November from the 1st Division. Only 
the first of these was considered fit to join 
the attack on Martinique; B Force was 
slated to land on nearby Guadeloupe, 
which was weakly defended; C Force soon 
lost even its identity. 45 

The Martinique crisis swiftly faded, but 
the effort to prepare the Army task forces 
was a chastening experience in the logis- 
tics of emergency action. Forces A and B 
were to have jumped off five days and ten 
days, respectively, after M Day (the date 
of the initial Navy and Marine assault), 
but it soon became necessary to double 
these intervals. Preparations involved end- 
less 'time-consuming details — packing, 
crating, shipping, uncrating, and reissuing 
equipment, innumerable inspections and 
checkings of shortages, locating and trac- 
ing the movement of units, transfering 
equipment from units in training to those 
in the task forces, and scheduling the 
movement of troops and equipment to 
port. The staffs at all levels, from G-4 
down, were unfamiliar with the mechanics 
of mounting a task force; even the trade 
jargon was strange, causing misunder- 

" (1) Greenfield, Palmer, and Wilev, AGF /, pp. 
85-86. (2) Memo, WPD for G-3, 1 1 Jun 40, VVPD 
4232-3. (3) AG ltr to CG First Army, 26 Jun 40, 
WPD 4161-3. 

" (1) Papers in WPD 4161-2 and WPD 4161-3. 
(2) Greenfield. Palmer, and Wiley, AGF I, p. 85. 

« (1) Memo, CofS for CG First Army, 20 Nov 40, 
sub: Exped Forces, G-4/31832. (2) Papers in AG 381 
(1 1-12-40) and WPD 4337-1. (3) Conn and Fairchild, 
Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. IV, pp. 2-12. 



standings of such terms as combat team 
and M Day. 4 " 

Had the expedition been launched, dif- 
ficulties would also have been encountered 
in transporting the Army forces to the 
scene of action. The Army was operating 
about this time some fifteen ocean-going 
vessels — eight combination troop trans- 
ports, which carried some cargo, and 
seven freighters, some of the latter under 
long-term charter. Two of its transports 
were over thirty years old, former German 
internees from World War I; all were more 
or less makeshift converts to military use; 
some were so nearly unseaworthy that the 
Department of Commerce had raised ob- 
jections to their continued operation. The 
small and shoddy fleet was fully occupied 
in late 1940 in supporting the existing 
overseas garrisons. To this traffic was soon 
to be added the new deployment of gar- 
risons, with their burden of initial equip- 
ment, reserves, and construction material, 
to the fringe of bases in the Atlantic re- 
cently acquired from Great Britain in the 
destroyers-for-bases transaction. 47 For the 
Martinique operation it would therefore 
have been necessary to acquire shipping 
by short-term charter or by renting space 
at going commercial rates — expensive 
methods at a time when cost was still a 
dominant consideration. Even these ex- 
pedients might not have sufficed. A rough 
survey late in the summer of 1 940 revealed 
that in any ten-day period there were like- 
ly to be in the New York area only five to 
ten vessels suitable for conversion to mili- 
tary duty and available for charter. The 
movement of a single triangular division, 
it was then estimated, would require from 
ten to fourteen transports. Even minimum 
hasty conversion of commercial vessels for 
military use was a complicated and 
lengthy process, involving installation of 

messing and sanitary facilities, additional 
companionways, lifesaving gear, and 
ventilating equipment, to mention only a 
few. About twelve days, on the average, 
were required merely to negotiate the 
transaction, another seventeen to com- 
plete conversion. 48 Such preparations 
scarcely fitted into any pattern of emer- 
gency action. 

Although the Army did not have to 
cope with the logistical problems of ac- 
tually moving an expeditionary force late 
in 1940, Forces A and B remained ear- 
marked, and the preliminary arrange- 
ments for supply and movement remained 
in suspense. The general tension, mean- 
while, continued to mount. On 16 January 
1941 the President, laying down military 
policy for the next few months, warned 
the services, "we must be ready to act with 
what [is] available." 49 Later that month 
WPD tried again to broaden the base of 
the Army's striking power by placing two 
more divisions and some supporting units 
in top priority for equipment and ammu- 
nition, with immunity from "cadre scalp- 
ing." Again the attempt had to be aban- 
doned because of the impact it would 
have had upon the training and equip- 
ping of the rest of the Army. For example, 
in order to give the four antiaircraft regi- 
ments involved in WPD's plan full allow- 
ances of .50-caliber antiaircraft machine 

46 ( 1 ) Red of G-4 conf. 1 Nov 40. ( 2) Memo, Lt Col 
George W. Griner, Jr., for Lt Col Henry S. Aurand. 
4 Nov 40, sub: Exped Forces. Both in G-4/31832. (3) 
Other papers in same file. 

,: William L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The 
Challenge to Isolation: 1937-1940 (New York, Harper & 
Brothers, 1952), Ch. XXII. 

"- i 1 ) Corresp in G-4/297 17-41, G-4/297 1 7-44, and 
G-4/297 17-46. (2) See also, Wardlow, Trans I, pp. 

" Memo, CofS for ACofS WPD, 1 7 Jan 41, sub: 
White House Conf Thursday, January 16, 1941, 
WPD 4175-18. 



guns, it would have been necessary to strip 
weapons from thirty-seven other regiments 
already struggling to train with 20 percent 
allowances; if full complements of 105- 
mm. howitzers had been issued to the field 
artillery units in WPD's list, issues to the 
rest of the Army would have been held up 
five months. 50 

Under the plan approved in February, 
Task Force 1, built around the favored 1st 
Division, was the only one of the three 
emergency forces with an equipment and 
training priority adequate to advance its 
state of readiness appreciably beyond that 
of the mass of the mobilizing Army — es- 
sentially the situation that had existed the 
preceding October. If emergency action 
were called for at any time in the near fu- 
ture, the three task forces would have to 
be issued the remainder of their equip- 
ment after M Day, under a hectic schedule 
in which Forces 1 and 3 were to jump off 
in ten days, Force 2 in thirty days. G-4, 
mindful of its recent difficulties in prepar- 
ing the small Martinique-Guadeloupe 
forces, warned that this could not be done; 
Force 1 probably could be equipped on 
schedule, Force 2 possibly; but to outfit 
Force 3, now handicapped by a low prior- 
ity, within ten days, would be quite im- 
possible. G-4 asserted in February: 

If a situation exists which warrants a plan 
calling for the 100 percent equipping of a 
force within 30 days, action should be taken 
to equip that force at once. . . . It is opti- 
mistic to believe that men and transferred 
equipment can be assembled and dispatched 
as a well-trained force within 10 or 30 days. 51 

Meanwhile, the growth of the Army's 
transport fleet progressed at a pace com- 
parable to the slow expansion of its strik- 
ing forces. In mid-December 1940 the 
War Department finally received author- 
ization to acquire, under various forms of 

control, some seventeen additional vessels. 
Further funds were allotted to modernize, 
overhaul, and refit the existing fleet, but 
the actual acquisition of these vessels was 
strewn with setbacks. Shipowners raised 
their charter rates steeply in the tighten- 
ing market. Vessels ran aground, failed to 
pass inspection, and developed mechan- 
ical defects. The owners of one chartered 
vessel requested, and were granted, its re- 
turn for Alaskan cannery operations. 
Technical difficulties dragged out the 
process of conversion for months. 52 

The U.S. Maritime Commission, more- 
over, showed a growing reluctance to as- 
sign shipping permanently or for long 
periods to the military services, not only 
because the tonnage assigned would not 
be available for more urgent needs but 
also because the services were to some de- 
gree guilty of uneconomical operating 
practices. The Maritime Commission 
early in 1941 took the Army to task for its 
waste of cargo space on inbound voyages; 
inbound cargo capacity was then at a pre- 
mium because of the demands of the gov- 
ernment's large program of importing 
strategic raw materials. On 4 February 
the President issued a manifesto on utili- 
zation of merchant shipping, ordering the 
military services to take over only a mini- 
mum number of vessels and to operate 
these at full capacity and only for essential 

50 Memo, G-4 for WPD, 10 Feb 41, sub: Readi- 
ness of Combat Divs, G-4/32509. 

51 (1) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 28 Feb 41, sub: Orgn 
of Emergency Exped Forces, G-4/32550. (2) Memo, 
WPD for G-4, 3 1 Jan 4 1 , sub: Readiness of Combat 
Divs, G-4/32509. (3) Memo cited n. 50. (4) WD ltr to 
CG First Army, 11 Feb 41, sub: Orgn of Exped 
Forces, WPD 4161-3. (5) Memo, G-4 for Chiefs of Svs, 
27 Feb 4 1 , same sub, G-4/32550. (6) Papers in WPD 

52 (1) Ltr, SW to President, 4 Dec 40, G-4/29717- 
41. (2) Other corresp in same file. (3) Corresp in 



military needs. "This is no time," the pro- 
nouncement severely stated, "to set up a 
reserve of Army or Navy transports or 
other ships, which, since we are at peace, 
could be put to civilian use." 53 

The statement seemed to imply that 
shipping should be pooled, an idea then 
widely shared among officials and ship 
operators, but the President gave the 
Maritime Commission no powers and pro- 
vided no mechanism for genuine pooling. 
The operating practices of the military 
transport services remained, for practical 
purposes, their own business, and the mili- 
tary fleets continued to grow, though 
slowly. While the commission in May re- 
ceived broad powers of requisition over 
privately owned merchant shipping, real 
pooling of the nation's shipping, with ef- 
fective curbs on the expansion of the mili- 
tary transport fleets, had to await the 
pressure of war. 54 

From the late winter of 1940-41 on, re- 
lations between the War Department and 
the Maritime Commission began to im- 
prove. In an effort to win the commission's 
co-operation in meeting the Army's grow- 
ing need for tonnage, Army transporta- 
tion officials trimmed their sails to the pre- 
vailing winds. As a general practice, pur- 
chases of new tonnage were limited to 
those needed for "regular and permanent 
servicing of Army establishments"; short- 
term needs were met by chartering or bor- 
rowing vessels from the Maritime Com- 
mission; cargo shipments were assigned to 
commercial lines wherever possible. Ar- 
rangements were even made for strategic 
materials to be moved in Army bottoms on 
return voyages to the United States — 
mainly crude rubber from the Nether- 
lands Indies — arrangements that, Secre- 
tary Stimson pointedly reminded Rear 
Adm. Emory S. Land (Ret.), chairman of 

the Maritime Commission, were "in ac- 
cordance with the President's policy" of 4 

Behind these concessions there were 
reservations. The arrangements for trans- 
porting strategic materials actually were 
financially advantageous to the Army, 
and were carefully hedged to preclude 
long-term commitments and to assure 
that transports could be recalled without 
notice under military necessity. Present 
policies, as an official remarked, "would 
be subject to revision if a major emergency 
should develop." 5li Meanwhile the con- 
cessions bore fruit. G-4 observed in July 
that the Maritime Commission was "on 
the whole, well satisfied with Army oper- 
ation of its ships and . . . on the other 
hand, critical of the Navy's failure to give 
full employment to ships turned over to 
it." 57 

■"' ■' ( 1 ) Memo, President for SVV, SN, and Rear Adm 
Emory S. Land (Ret.), 4 Feb 41, G-4/297 17-48. (2) 
Memo, TQMG for DCofS, 27 Jan 41, sub: Acquisition 
of Additional Vessels. (3) Ltr. S\V to Adm Land, 8 
Jan 41. (4) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 8 Jan 41, sub: Aug- 
mentation of Army Trans Sv. (5) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 
3 Feb 4 1 , sub: Additional Army Trans. Last four in 

■ Vl (1) Ltr. John M. Franklin to Chester C. Ward- 
low, Chm, Trans Advisory Group, OQMG, 24 Jan 
41. Franklin was president of the U.S. Lines and a 
member of the Transportation Advisory Group. (2) 
Ltr, President to Adm Land, 10 Feb 41. Both in 
G-4/297 17-48. (3) Wardlow, Trans I, pp. 136-41. 

55 (1) Ltr, SVV to Adm Land, 12 Mar 41. G- 
4/29717-54. (2) Other corresp in same file. (3) 
Memos, Wardlow for Col Douglas C. Cordiner, 
OQMG, 6 and 19 Feb 41, G-4/297 1 7-48. (4) Memo, 
G-4 for CofS, 7 Mar 41, sub: Negotiations With 
Maritime Comm . . ., G-4/297 1 7-26. (5) Other cor- 
resp in same file and in G-4/297 1 7-55. 

" ; ( 1 ) Memo, 6 Feb 4 1 . cited n. 55(3). \2) Memo for 
red atchd to G-4 disposition form to TAG for TQMG, 
28 Jul 41, sub: Army Trans Sv to S America, 

:,? (1) Memo. G-4 for CofS. 9 Jul 41, sub: Utiliza- 
tion of Army Vessels, G-4/29717-26. (2) Other cor- 
resp in same file. (3) Memo, G-4 for CofS GHQ, 16 
Oct 41, sub: Delay in Shipt of Replacements, G-4/ 
33098. (4) Wardlow, Trans I, p. 141. 



While during the winter and spring of 
1941 the Army was thus trying to build 
up its capacity to transport forces over- 
seas, its education in the logistics of joint 
task operations co'ntinued to lag. So un- 
certain were the Army staffs at all levels of 
the mathematics of computing shipping 
requirements that reserve supplies shipped 
to depots for certain of the task forces had 
piled up by late winter to about four times 
the total requirements as estimated by 
G-4. It developed further that the basic 
factors used by the Army for computing 
its shipping space requirements differed 
radically from the Navy's, a discrepancy 
that could cause untold confusion when 
the time came to set up shipping. Since 
the Army's factors were of hoary vintage 
(dating, some suspected, back to World 
War I), WPD advised G-4 in some em- 
barrassment to come to an agreement 
with the Navy on the matter. Tentative 
shipping factors, accordingly, were worked 
out jointly in March. 58 Efforts to co-ordi- 
nate shipping arrangements with the 
Navy also promised trouble for future ex- 
peditions. G-4 found flagrant evidence of 
"confusion and lack of control over mat- 
ters relating to overseas transportation." 59 

These experiences reflected the embry- 
onic state of Army-Navy organization and 
training for joint amphibious operations. 
The Navy itself, responsible for all am- 
phibious operations, was behindhand in 
providing transports and landing craft for 
its own amphibious maneuvers; in the 
fleet landing exercise held at Culebra Is- 
land, Puerto Rico, during the winter of 
1941, the Navy had to borrow two Army 
transports, although no Army troops par- 
ticipated. The Army's role in amphibious 
training through 1941 was that of a poor 
relation. Only with the greatest difficulty 
was the Army able to obtain, by direct 

purchase, sufficient landing equipment to 
carry out, during the winter of 1940-41, 
limited exercises by the 1st Division on the 
east coast and by the 3d Division on the 
west coast. In May Admiral Stark, re- 
viewing the Army's Rainbow 5 plan, pro- 
posed that the two services co-ordinate 
their preparations for emergency expedi- 
tions, and ventured the opinion that the 
Army was pouring too much of its strength 
into static defense outpost positions; more 
effort should be given, he thought, to pre- 
paring mobile striking forces. This criti- 
cism touched a sensitive spot, not because 
of any dedication to the principle of static 
defense among the Army staff, but be- 
cause the latter scented in the Navy pro- 
posal to reduce Army garrisons an attempt 
to secure for the Marine Corps an even 
larger share of scarce ammunition and 
equipment. General Marshall himself re- 
marked, about this time, "My main battle 
is equipping the Marines. Whether we 
will have anything left after the British 
and Marines get theirs, I do not know." tt0 
His staff pointed out that the Navy, not 
the Army, had been laggard in promoting 
joint amphibious training. It was in June, 
in fact, that the first concrete step toward 
joint training was taken with the organi- 
zation of the 1st Joint Training Force, con- 
sisting of the Marine 1st Division and the 
Army 1st Division; this subsequently de- 
veloped into the Amphibious Force, 
Atlantic Fleet, which in 1942 organized 
the amphibious phases of the U.S. land- 
ings in Morocco. On the west coast, simi- 

• 8 (1) Corresp in G-4/31832, G-4/32550, and G- 
4/32598. (2) For the agreed factors, see below, Apps. 
A-2, A-3. 

59 ( 1 ) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 1 Apr 4 1 , sub: Readi- 
ness of Vessels, G-4/31832. (2) Other corresp in same 
file. (3) See below, Ch. IX. 

60 Min, Gen War Council mtg, 3 Jun 41, Binder 1, 
SW Confs File. 



ARMY-NAVY AMPHIBIOUS MANEUVERS at New River area, North Carolina, 
August 1941 . Light tank coming off landing craft. 

larly. the 2d Joint Training Force was 
created in September, consisting of the 
Army 3d Division and the Marine 2d 
Division; this later became the Amphib- 
ious Force, Pacific Fleet. Both forces were 
under Marine command.' 1 

The first large-scale joint exercises on a 
divisional scale were held early in August 
1941 by the Army's 1st Division and the 
1st Marine Division in the New River 
area of the North Carolina coast, under 
the Carib Plan of 21 June. Virtually every 
feature of the exercises was severely criti- 
cized by both Army and Navy observers. 
Embarkation of Army and Marine troops 
alike was badly snarled: because of inex- 
perience and ignorance of officers in 
charge of the loading, the Army trans- 

ports had to be completely reloaded before 
proceeding to New River, and, for lack of 
transports, some 1,700 marines were left 
behind — the climax of a process of em- 
barkation extending over a five-week 
period. Troop transports proved to be in- 
adequate in gear and facilities of all kinds. 
The landing was executed in daylight, 
with a calm sea, but an Army observer 
found the spectacle discouraging: men 
burdened with heavy packs being sub- 

61 (1) Jeter A. Isely and Philip A. Crowl. The U.S. 
Murines and Amphibious Wdi (Princeton, N. J., Prince- 
ton University Press, 1951), pp. 58-63. (2) Wardlow, 
Tram /, pp. 144-46. (3) Greenfield, Palmer, and 
Wiley. ACT I. pp. 85-86. (4) Ltr, Adm Stark to CofS, 
22 May 41, sub: Analysis of Plans for Overseas Ex- 
peds, Rainbow 5 Development file, G-3 Registered 



BEACHHEAD SUPPLY DUMP Piles of unidentifiable rations at New River Army-Navy 
amphibious maneuvers, August 1941. 

merged as they scrambled out of the 
boats; a Marine captain "so mad that he 
was almost weeping" because the Navy 
had sent his ammunition boats ashore in 
the first wave without protection; tanks 
plunging off ramps into deepening holes 
in the surf-covered sand. "One tank . . . 
disappeared into a hole and was com- 
pletely submerged. The driver climbed 
out and stood disconsolately on the turret, 
looking for all the world like pictures you 
see of Jesus walking on the water." Shore 
organization was chaotic, responsibilities 
for unloading and other beach operations 
had not been fixed, and as a result both 
Army and Marine combat troops had to 
serve as stevedores although, according to 
one report, the Marines had assigned men 

for this purpose because "from past ex- 
perience they had learned that the Navy 
never did it." Boxes of ammunition and 
rations, handed from the boats to men 
standing in the surf, were usually satu- 
rated. Cardboard cartons of C rations, 
stacked on the beach, disintegrated, "and 
the cans of vegetable hash mingled with 
the cans of meat stew in a tall silver pyra- 
mid which glistened in the sunlight, but 
which was difficult to distribute to kitch- 
ens." Equipment rusted ashore because 
lubricants had been stowed deep in ships' 
holds. 62 

' - ( 1 ) Rpt. unsigned, no date, sub: Fleet Landing 
Exercise. G-4/33088. (2) Isely and Crowl, The U.S. 
Marines and Amphibious War, pp. 63-65. 



It was a depressing experience. "The 
whole procedure convinced me," com- 
mented the Army observer mentioned 
above, "that an effective landing is im- 
possible unless all resistance is previously 
neutralized." 3 The commander in chief 
of the Atlantic Fleet declared a few weeks 
later that he considered the Atlantic Fleet 
Amphibious Force to be unfit for combat. 
Brig. Gen. Harry J. Malony, Deputy 
Chief of Staff, found four major failings in 
the exercise: lack of time for preparation, 
lack of experience, faulty planning, and 
complicated channels of command. These 
had undermined all aspects of the oper- 
ation, but especially its logistics. The staffs 
planning real task force landings a few 
months later might have read these les- 
sons with profit. 64 

The Abortive Azores Expedition 

The Army and the Navy were in no 
posture, therefore, to act jointly to meet 
an emergency that in the spring of 1941 
was drawing rapidly closer. Germany's 
spectacular successes in the Balkans and 
in Libya during April, combined with re- 
ports from Marshal Henri Petain that the 
Germans were hinting at moving troops 
through unoccupied France and French 
North Africa for an attack on Gibraltar, 
seemed to herald a major German drive 
to the southwest. The crisis was precipi- 
tated when on 15 May Marshal Petain 
announced his government's intention to 
collaborate with Germany. The United 
States immediately issued a sharp warn- 
ing to Vichy and seized eleven French 
ships in American ports (including the 
liner JSformandie), and on the 22d the Presi- 
dent ordered the Army and Navy to make 
plans to occupy the Azores, possibly 
against opposition, within a month's 
time. 65 

For the Army staff this assignment was 
both unexpected and unwelcome. Plans 
had been prepared for action against the 
Azores, as for many other possible oper- 
ations, but the staff had consistently ad- 
vised against such an operation, arguing 
that the islands, if occupied, would be 
hard to defend against enemy air power 
based in France or on the Iberian Penin- 
sula and that they were too far north to 
provide a useful base for countering a Ger- 
man move toward Dakar. Under ABC-1 
all the Atlantic islands lay within the Brit- 
ish sphere of responsibility, and the Brit- 
ish had assigned forces to occupy the 
Azores and the Cape Verdes if the Ger- 
mans entered Spain; the U.S. Navy un- 
dertook to give assistance in this eventual- 
ity, if needed, but the Army had not 
anticipated that it would be involved. The 
Army, in May, had perhaps forty thou- 
sand troops available for an overseas ex- 
pedition, but it would have been difficult 
to put together a balanced expeditionary 
force of any size. Legislative restrictions 
upon the employment of certain categories 
of personnel outside the Western Hemi- 
sphere constituted a serious obstacle to 
planning for emergency action. As for 
shipping, the Army Transport Service had 
under its control about twenty-six vessels, 
all fully engaged in routine service. 66 

As the Army staff viewed the situation, 
an occupation of the Azores at that time 
was the least desirable of possible moves 

63 Rpt cited n. 62(1). 

64 (1) Wardlow, Trans I, p. 147. (2) Greenfield, 
Palmer, and Wiley, AGFI, pp. 87-88. 

85 (1) Ltr, Stark to Marshall, 23 May 41, G- 
4/31832. (2) Conn and Fairchild, Framework of 
Hemisphere Defense, Ch. V, pp. 16-26. 

sr ' (1) Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemi- 
sphere Defense, Ch. V, pp. 27-29. (2) Notes on Gen 
War Council mtg, 19 May 41, Binder 1, SW Confs 
File. (3) Notes on conf in OCofS, 16 Apr 41, Binder 
10, CofS Confs File. (4) Wardlow, Trans I, p. 140. 



in the Atlantic-Caribbean area. It would 
rule out the fulfillment of the Army's com- 
mitments under ABC-1 (scheduled for as 
early as September in the event of war) 
for the remainder of the year, and prob- 
ably could not be mounted adequately, in 
any case, before mid- August. Neverthe- 
less, it was the Azores expedition that now 
had to be mounted— and by the Presi- 
dent's deadline of 22 June. 67 By the end of 
May it was decided to use the 1st Army 
and 1st Marine Divisions to form the nu- 
cleus of a new task force of about 28,000 
under over-all Navy command, the Ma- 
rine division commander to be in charge 
of the landing operation. Three of the 
twelve battalion landing teams were to be 
contributed by the Army, which also set 
up additional reserve forces of about 
11,000 — approximately 25,000 Army 
troops in all. 68 

Ammunition was the tightest choke- 
point. Minimum allowances for the as- 
sault elements and partial allowances for 
the follow-up forces would have exhausted 
all stocks of certain critical types — for ex- 
ample, 3-inch antiaircraft and 37-mm. 
antitank — and exceeded both stocks and 
anticipated production to 1 October in 
others such as .50-caliber antiaircraft. A 
few types, notably 60-mm. mortar, would 
not be available at all for several months. 
The ammunition allowances requested by 
the Army commander had to be slashed, 
on the average, by half. 69 

Shipping also presented a major prob- 
lem, even though it was not the principal 
limiting factor. This shortage, at the out- 
set, ruled out the possibility of holding 
joint landing rehearsals on the coast of 
Puerto Rico (too far away to permit more 
than one round trip and final assembling 
of the force before the target date, 22 
June); the commanders had to be content 

with separate, small Army and Marine 
rehearsals along the U.S. east coast. For 
the initial movement, forty-one transports 
and cargo vessels were needed. The ser- 
vices could provide twenty-nine of these; 
the remaining twelve, with fourteen more 
to take over normal duties of the diverted 
military shipping, would have to be found 
by the Maritime Commission. Practically 
all the vessels used in the initial move- 
ment, moreover, would have to be re- 
tained indefinitely to bring in normal 
maintenance supplies and construction 
material for building airfields and other 
installations. In the time available only a 
few transports and cargo vessels could be 
rigged and armed to carry assault troops 
and their equipment, a circumstance that 
severely restricted both the number of 
troops and the amount of gasoline, am- 
munition, and reserve supplies that could 
be carried in the initial assault. 70 

The Navy found it necessary, against 
strong protests by the Army, to take over 
six of the Army's newest and largest troop 
transports. Two were peculiarly suited for 
use on the long transpacific run, and a 
third was needed in the Bermuda and 
Newfoundland service. Army officials ar- 
gued that to use vessels such as these in a 

67 See below, n. 82. 

6S (1) Papers in WPD 4422-3; WPD 4422-4; WPD 
4232-5; WPD 4232-10; WPD 4232-1 1; AG 353 (5- 
23-41), Sec 1; AG 370.5 (5-26-41); Exec 13; and G- 
4/33088. (2) See also, notes on Gen War Council 
mtg, 26 May 41, Binder 1, SW Confs File. (3) Gen 
Gerow's Diary, 29 May and 2 Jun 41 entries, Item 
1, Exec 10. 

69 Memo, Maj Louis E. Cotulla for Col Francis B. 
Mallon, 3 Jun 41, sub: Am for Exped Force (Gray), 

70 (1) Draft ltr, SN to President, in Tab A to memo 
for red, unsigned, 26 May 41, sub: Trf of Army Trans 
to Navy, Tab M, Item 7, Exec 4. (2) Notes cited n. 
68(2). (3) Memo, G-4 for Chiefs of Svs and CG 
NYPOE, 31 May 41, sub: Tng Exercise. (4) Memo, 
Lt Col Albert W. Waldron for Col Mallon, 4 Jun 41, 
sub: LackofCo-ord .... Last two in G-4/33088. 



combat-loaded convoy would sacrifice the 
advantages of their speed and capacity on 
normal runs. While the loss to the Army 
would be made up by equivalent tonnage, 
this involved inevitable delays and disrup- 
tion of service, and there was always the 
danger that Hawaii and Alaska might 
have to be suddenly reinforced during the 
change-over. 71 

As it happened, the Azores expedition 
did not have to be launched. On 4 June 
the President approved the joint plan, but 
at the same time ordered the services to 
prepare another plan — one for the relief 
of British forces in Iceland. On the 7th, 
probably as a result of information point- 
ing to the impending German invasion of 
the USSR, he suspended the Azores pro- 
ject, and the first American ground forces 
(marines) landed in Iceland a month 
later. 72 The Army's portion of the Azores 
force remained earmarked, as Task Force 
Gray, for its original mission, and the 
transfer of Army transports to the Navy 
was carried out. The effort to mount the 
Azores expedition had emphasized, among 
other things, the strategic importance of 
the small military transport fleets, for on 
the disposition of these few specialized ves- 
sels, a tiny fraction of the total merchant 
marine, depended the ability of the armed 
forces to react promptly and effectively to 
an emergency. It had emphasized also the 
fact that, a year after the launching of the 
defense mobilization program, an expedi- 
tion involving some twenty-five thousand 
miscellaneous Army troops, with only 
three battalion landing teams, represented 
a maximum effort. 

To the man in the ranks, far from Wash- 
ington staff offices, the logistics of task 
force movements seemed to be largely a 
matter of being moved about and waiting 
to be moved about. The saga of one unit 

added a plaintive postscript to the history 
of the Azores expedition. 

"In May," began the chronicle, "a se- 
cret letter was received . . . ." The unit 
was to be part of a task force, then form- 
ing, and was to draw its cold-weather 
clothing. But soon a new order came. The 
unit was now assigned to Task Force Gray 
and was to prepare for tropical service. 
For the next two weeks the troops were 
busy packing equipment, turning in cold- 
weather clothing, drawing tropical cloth- 
ing, and requisitioning personnel. "With 
all equipment packed and crated and, for 
the most part, loaded on trucks, the regi- 
ment waited for movement orders which 
never came." About 1 July the unit 
learned that the task force had been dis- 
banded — three days later that it had been 

Consequently the regiment still waited 
and no equipment was unpacked; only such 
training as could be conducted with individ- 
ual equipment, or convoys, was given. Bat- 
teries disposed of day room and kitchen 
property, and officers and enlisted men own- 
ing automobiles generally disposed of them 
at a financial loss. 

Presently Battery E was ordered to join 
another task force. This necessitated trans- 
fers of personnel from three other bat- 
teries, which meanwhile uncrated part of 
their equipment and began to train. But it 
was Battery E that waited; F and G, or- 
dered to join a new training force, hastily 
repacked equipment and departed on 1 1 


71 (1) Ltr, Marshall to Stark, 25 May 41, in Tab B 
to memo for red cited n. 70( 1 ). (2) Draft ltr cited n. 
70(1). (3) Memo, Col Theodore H. Dillon for Col 
Mallon, 23 May 41, G-4/297 17-26. (4) Memo. G-4 
for WPD, 24 May 41, sub: Utilization of Army Trans, 
G-4/297 17-71. (5) Ltr cited n. 61(4). 

72 Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemisphere 
Defense, Ch. V, pp. 35-49. 



Their average strength was 63 men when 
ordered away, and I [the station comman- 
dant] was directed by General Ord [Brig. 
Gen. Garesche J.] to bring them to war 
strength, which required the transfer of 226 
men including several non-commissioned of- 
ficers. As the other automatic weapons had 
been depleted to fill Battery E and the latter 
was still a part of a task force prepared for 
movement, the 226 filler replacements for 
Batteries F and G had to be taken from the 
1st Battalion. . . . The above so depleted 
the 1st Battalion as to prevent manning 
much of its equipment until about 356 re- 
placements were received on July 23d and 
relieved the situation somewhat. However, 
as it was originally understood that Batteries 
F and G were to return about September 1st, 
the above replacements were assigned ac- 
cording to the eventual needs of all units of 
the regiment. Subsequent information indi- 
cates that Batteries F and G will not rejoin 
until about October 15th. Finally, on Sep- 
tember 6th a letter was received from II 
Army Corps to the effect that all instructions 
with reference to Task Force 3 [the one to 
which the regiment was first assigned] were 

The chronicle ended with a bleak survey 
of the damage: 

. . . waiting for orders . . . financial loss 
. . . disruption of family life . . . cancella- 
tion of furloughs and leaves . . . camp im- 
provements were given away .... For a 
period of l'/2 months there was little artillery 
training . . . thereafter equipment sufficient 
for training was unpacked as required and 
training resumed, but always with half an 
idea on the possibility of having to pack up 
quickly in the same boxes and crates .... 

All of which "had an adverse effect on 
morale, training and housekeeping." 73 

State of Readiness: Mid- 1941 

At midyear the Army's emergency 
forces were hardly formidable. In April 
Task Forces 2 and 3 had finally been given 

the equipment priorities thought necessary 
to bring them rapidly to a condition of 
readiness, but the process of actually 
equipping the units was still going on. 
Three more infantry divisions — the 2d, 
3d, and 5th — were added to the emer- 
gency list early in June and assigned 
higher priorities for equipment. By the 
end of July the proliferation of task forces 
had brought the total to nine — two small 
Martinique-Guadeloupe Forces, A and B; 
Forces 1 through 5, Gray (Azores), and 
Carib (Army component of the 1st Joint 
Training Force). The versatile 1st Division 
was the nucleus of most of these task forces, 
and many smaller units also had multiple 
assignments. For each force supplies had 
been stocked, transportation tentatively 
arranged, and movement procedures set 
up. But experience indicated that any 
specific emergency was likely to demand 
a force tailored for the occasion; in effect, 
the Army was attempting to build a pool 
of units from which such forces might be 
formed. Accordingly, the War Department 
in August abolished the first five of the 
forces listed above and created the War 
Department Pool of Task Force Units, 
comprising seven divisions and various 
supporting units. 74 

But. as Brig. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow 
reported to General Marshall early in 

7 Memo, Gen Malony for WPD, 5 Nov 41, sub: 
Rpt of CO Camp Stewart, Ga., . . . , WPD 4161-21. 

74 The seven divisions in the pool were the 1st, 2d, 
3d, 5th, 41st, and 45th Infantry and the 6th Cavalry. 
Task Forces 4 and 5 were earmarked tentatively for 
Iceland and Brazil, respectively. (1) Memo, Gen 
Gerow for CofS, 9 Jun 41, sub: Readiness of Combat 
Divs. (2) Memo, Gerow for CofS, 28 Jun 41, sub: 
Emergency Exped Forces. (3) WD ltr to GHQ, AAF, 
CG's of Armies, Corps Areas, NYPOE, Seattle POE, 
and Chiefs of SAS and WDGS Divs, 20 Aug 41, sub: 
Units for Exped Forces. All in WPD 4161-16. (4) 
Other papers in same file. (5) Memo, G-4 for WPD, 9 
Jun 41, sub: Readiness of Combat Divs, G-4/32509. 
(6) Corresp in same file and in G-4/32550. 



June, "the 1st Division reinforced is the 
only triangular division we have which 
even approximates readiness for combat 
service involving a landing on a hostile 
shore." 75 This was the net result of a year 
of effort to create mobile striking forces for 
emergency action. Larger forces might 
have been equipped for such service by 
pillaging units in training, but until spring 
of 1941 General Marshall steadily resisted 
the pressure to do so and yielded only 
partially to it even then. 

As it was, equipment was spread thin. 
Manpower had flowed into the expanding 
Army more or less as planned, bringing it 
by the end of June to a strength of 1,455,- 
565 — substantially the goal set in 1940 — 
but the flow of weapons to equip it had 
fallen short of expectations. Production of 
aircraft, mortars, certain types of antiair- 
craft artillery and machine guns, rifles, 
field artillery ammunition, light tanks, 
and trucks showed encouraging increases, 
but in most other categories progress was 
scant. Much of this materiel, moreover, 
had been diverted into foreign aid. Ac- 
cording to a G-4 estimate in midsummer, 
the equipping of the ground army was 
about "a year behind the expectations of a 
year ago," 7fi which meant presumably 
that another year's production would be 
needed to meet the objectives laid down in 
summer of 1940 for mid- 1941. In certain 
categories the troops were relatively well 
equipped — for example, in clothing, per- 
sonal equipage, standard engineer equip- 
ment (but not special construction items 
for combat theaters), and motor transport 
(except the versatile 14 -ton jeep and 2 x /i- 
ton truck). Some medical items were 
plentiful, but there were acute shortages of 
certain drugs and laboratory and dental 
equipment. Signal Corps material was 
generally scarce. Radios had to be built 

into aircraft; therefore combat vehicles, to 
which radios could be added as acces- 
sories, had a lower priority for this equip- 
ment. Development changes in electronics 
presented a perennial problem, impeding 
standardization and mass production. 
Army forces in training had received their 
first 20 percent "go around" in most major 
items but not, as yet, in the newer types; 
by July 1942 it might be possible to outfit 
the initial PMP force fully with most sig- 
nal items except electronics, for which the 
outlook was uncertain. 77 

Shortages in ordnance equipment were 
a serious obstacle to readiness for combat. 
Light, automatic antiaircraft weapons 
(37-mm., 40-mm., and .50-caliber) were 
scarcer than heavy ones (3-inch and 90- 
mm.), but in neither category would full 
allowances for the initial PMP force be 
completed by the end of 1942. Ground 
forces suffered from the preference given 
the Air Corps in allocation of ordinary 
automatic weapons which, like radios, had 
to be built into aircraft; substitution of 
.30-caliber for .50-caliber machine guns in 
ground units offered only partial relief. 
Similarly, infantry units came off second 
best in distribution of 37-mm. guns, since 
tanks had to be equipped on the produc- 
tion line; the antitank gun was therefore 
still in the 20 percent "go around" stage 
for the initial PMP force, and complete 
allowances were not expected until mid- 
1942. Although 60-mm. mortars were 
fairly plentiful, 81-mm.'s were scarce. The 
new Ml Garand rifle was promised, opti- 
mistically, as it proved, for all infantry, 
cavalry, and engineer units by the end of 

75 Memo cited n. 74(1). 

76 Memo, G-4 for CofS, 28 Aug 41, sub: Status of 
Equip, G-4/33484. 

77 (1) Ibid. (2) Army strength figure is from the 
Annual Report of the Secretary of War, 1941 , Table A. 
(3) See below, App. B. 



October. Distribution of field artillery was 
held up by modernization of the standard 
75-mm. gun, which in turn was to be re- 
placed by the newer 105-mm. howitzer 
when available. All the existing forces 
could be equipped with one or the other 
weapon in a few months, but to little avail 
since fire control instruments would not be 
fully available until mid- 1942. Tanks were 
coming along well, enough to equip six 
armored divisions and all the PMP tank 
battalions by January 1942, but only if 
lend-lease diversions were not taken into 
consideration. 78 

Finally, ammunition. In the small arms 
category, allocations to the Navy, Air 
Corps, and lend-lease had stripped the 
ground army bare. G-4 doubted whether, 
for two years to come, production would 
be sufficient to maintain the initial PMP 
force in the field. Antiaircraft (other than 
small calibers) and field artillery ammuni- 
tion was currently in shorter supply than 
the weapons using it, but this situation was 
due to be reversed the following spring. 
Bombs of most types could probably be 
supplied for any number of aircraft likely 
to be put into operation, but armor- 
piercing ammunition of all types fell far 
short of requirements, and there was little 
prospect of production catching up with 
the output of weapons. 79 

The British had been promised, in 
ABC-1, that the U.S. Army could put into 
the field on 1 September about six divi- 
sions (two armored) and six air combat 
groups. By midyear this fair vision had 
vanished. The favored 1st Division, with 
five supporting antiaircraft regiments and 
two brigades of field artillery, was not ex- 
pected to be fully prepared for combat in 
all respects until October. The GHQAir 
Force did not have a single unit equipped 
with modern combat planes; by Septem- 

ber it might be possible to assemble a group 
of light bombers, two squadrons of dive 
bombers, and one and a half groups of 
pursuits, all with inadequate reserves and 
ground support. Either these air forces or 
the ground forces would have to operate 
virtually without small-caliber ammuni- 
tion. Not until the following March could 
anything like the forces promised in ABC-1 
be put into the field. 80 

A 1 September M Day evidently would 
find the Army something less than ready to 
meet its commitments under ABC-1 and 
Rainbow 5. Shipping, if fully mobilized, 
was not expected to present a major prob- 
lem. The Navy, upon which the responsi- 
bility would fall, estimated that it could 
muster for military use before the end of 
1941 about 384 vessels — 71 transports and 
313 cargo ships. Definitely scheduled 
moves under Rainbow 5 would impose a 
peak demand, a month after M Day, of 
fifty-nine transports and cargo vessels. If 
all contingent operations were carried out, 
including the movement of a ten-division 
force beginning six months after M Day, 
requirements for initial movement and 
maintenance would climb to more than 
200 vessels almost a year after M Day; 
maintenance thereafter would keep about 
1 77 cargo ships steadily employed. These 
calculations were highly theoretical and 
did not actually look more than a year 
ahead, when both new deployment and 
new ship construction would enter the pic- 
ture; foreign aid requirements to replace 
Allied shipping losses and to transport 
lend-lease material were not considered. 
Perhaps the weakest feature of the calcu- 
lation, as the experience of 1942 was to 
show, was the assumption that large ton- 

78 (1) Memo cited n. 76. (2) See below, Chs. III-IV. 

79 Memo cited n. 76. 

80 Memo cited n. 37(1). 


Table 1 — Shipping for Rainbow 5: Estimated Availability and Requirements 


Ocean-going shipping in Atlantic area b . 
New construction expected in 1941 

Total available. 

Required for essential commercial services. 
Total available for military purposes c . . . . 

Transports • 

Ships Ship Tons 







Cargo Vessels 

Ships Ship Tons 




4, 883, 000 




Army and Navy movements on M Day d 

Prescribed movements after M Day (peak at M plus 30) 

Prescribed and contingent movements after M Day (peak at M plus 330) . 
Maintenance after full deployment e 






• Combination transports, carrying some cargo as well as troops. 

b The total U.S. merchant fleet at this time, according to one estimate, comprised 1,179 vessels of 7,353,000 gross tons (about 11,000,000 
ship tons). 

c Total of 384 vessels available. 

d For regular servicing of established garrisons and movements to be launched on M Day. Initial moves to reinforce Panama, Puerto 
Rico, Alaska, and Hawaii, however, were not specifically included, on the assumption that they could be absorbed into the schedule. All 
requirements were calculated on the basis of 1,500 troops per transport and 8,750 ship tons per cargo vessel. 

• For maintenance factors, see below, App. A-3. 

Source: Memo, Gen Malony for CofS, 20 May 41, sub: Overseas Garrisons, Rainbow 5, WPD 4175-22. 

nages of commercial shipping could be 
mobilized for military use within a few 
weeks or months. Taking a longer view, 
G-4 estimated, about this time, that nine 
million gross tons of new ship construction 
would be needed each year to carry on a 
Rainbow 5 war; only two million were 
then scheduled for 1942. From the vantage 
point of mid- 1 94 1 , however, a Rainbow 5 
war centering in the Atlantic area did not 
seem likely to strain unduly the shipping 
capabilities of the United States. 81 (Table 1) 
It was primarily the meagerness of ready 
forces rather than of shipping that caused 
the Army staff, in late May and June, to 
regard with uneasiness the President's ap- 
parently adventurous intentions in the 
Atlantic area. During the preparations for 

the Azores operation the Army staff 
warned that, because of the unbalanced 
character of available forces and the lack 
of combat aviation, no expedition could be 
sent within a thousand miles of Europe or 
Africa (thus ruling out the Cape Verdes 
but not the Azores). Moreover, any such 
undertaking, unless liquidated early, 
would probably interfere with any Sep- 
tember operations under ABC-1 ; an occu- 
pation of the Azores certainly would do so, 
a limited expedition to Brazil only moder- 
ately- On 27 May the Army planners 
suggested to General Marshall two alter- 

81 (1) Memo, Gen Malony for CofS, 20 May 41, 
sub: Overseas Garrisons. Rainbow 5. (2) Memo, Gen 
Gerow for CofS, 26 May 41, sub: Analysis of Plans for 
Overseas Expeds. Both in WPD 4175-22. (3) Memo 
cited n. 37(1). 



natives, of which they favored the second: 
either carry out the moves to Iceland and 
the British Isles in September as contin- 
gently scheduled, or postpone these moves 
for a few weeks and send a balanced force 
immediately to northeastern Brazil. 82 

Even though suspended early in June an 
Azores expedition remained very much a 
live alternative, other eastern Atlantic 
projects were being discussed, and the Ice- 
land movement was about to begin; with 
about 130,000 troops already overseas, the 
Army had some 75,000 more scheduled 
for deployment; the remaining ABC-1 
commitments might soon have to be 
faced. S3 The Army planners felt that for 
the present all projects looking beyond the 
Western Hemisphere should be aban- 
doned. To strike at Dakar, the most effec- 
tive riposte to a German move into north- 
west Africa, would be far beyond the 
Army's power for a long time; without 
Dakar the Canary and Cape Verde Islands 
could not be held, even if taken. Neither 
they nor Iceland nor the Azores were 
essential to a static defense of the Western 
Hemisphere. WPD thought that an imme- 
diate occupation of northeastern Brazil, 
which was ''within present and future 
means," would be the most effective and 
feasible move to checkmate Axis designs 
on the hemisphere. 84 

When the President late in June, there- 
fore, blandly suggested that the Army 
raise a force of "about 75,000" looking to 
possible action in several quarters — Ice- 
land, the Azores, the Cape Verdes, "or 

elsewhere" — the reaction of the Army staff 
amounted almost to an outburst. Such a 
force would be three times the size of the 
late unlamented Azores task force. The 
President was asking the Army, in effect, 
to commit its best troops, virtually all its 
small arms ammunition, and much of its 
equipment to a remote area where they 
might be isolated by an unlucky naval re- 
verse, leaving the country denuded of land 
defense. General Marshall explained to 
the President that there were two main 
obstacles to carrying out his proposal — 
legislative restrictions upon sending cer- 
tain categories of troops outside the West- 
ern Hemisphere, and the complex of logis- 
tical and other limitations that had stood, 
and would long continue to stand, in the 
way of creating fully trained, equipped, 
and balanced striking forces and moving 
them overseas. He bluntly told the Presi- 
dent that "he would not give his consent 
to the dispatch of any troops outside the 
United States that were not completely 
trained and equipped to meet a first-class 
enemy." 85 

8 - (1) Memo, Lt Col Lee S. Gerow for Gen Gerow, 
27 May 41, WPD 4422-5. (2) Memo, G-2 GHQfor 
CofSGHQ, 28 May 41, GHQ381, Sec 1. (3) Conn 
and Fairchild, Framework of Hemisphere Defense, 
Ch. V, pp. 26-35. 

83 ( 1) Memo, 3 1 May 4 1 , cited n. 29(2). (2) Memo, 
Lt Col Jay W. MacKelvie for Exec Off WPD, no 
date, sub: Availability of Key Units, Rainbow 5 
. . . , Item 7, Exec 4. (3) Annual Report of the Secretary 
of War, 1941, Table C. 

S4 Memo, Gen Gerow for CofS, 14 Jun 41, sub: 
Strategic Opns, Brief Analysis . . . , Tab L, Item 7, 
Exec 4. 

85 Gerow Diary, 19Jun 41 entry, Item 1, Exec 10. 


The Army and Early Lend- 
Lease Operations 

After passage of the Lend-Lease Act in 
March 1941, supply of military materials 
to foreign governments became a direct 
responsibility of the Army and one of its 
principal supply activities. Lend-lease was 
in its conception largely a means of over- 
coming financial and legal barriers to the 
continuance of aid to the British, and this 
concept was clearly reflected in the man- 
ner in which needs of the British at first 
absorbed both the immediate and the 
prospective supply of munitions to be dis- 
tributed under it. But gradually other na- 
tions secured recognition of their claims, 
and by December 1941 China, the Soviet 
Union, the Netherlands Indies, and the 
Latin American nations had taken their 
places beside Britain as lend-lease benefi- 

While funds appropriated by Congress 
to finance lend-lease would contribute to 
the ultimate expansion of munitions pro- 
duction, there was no magic formula that 
could make these funds immediately pro- 
duce weapons. Industrial mobilization 
continued at a slow pace, and the produc- 
tion estimates upon which hopes of fulfill- 
ing Army and British programs rested 
proved too optimistic. Competition grew 
keener, both for the limited stocks of mu- 
nitions on hand and for the ample flow 
expected from future production. The sit- 

uation demanded a policy to govern 
current and projected allocations. 

There was a growing conviction within 
the War Department that lend-lease oper- 
ations should be tied to definite national 
objectives, but the President, with an eye 
on isolationist opposition in Congress, was 
reluctant to spell out these objectives. He 
had to justify lend-lease before Congress 
in the first instance as a measure of defense, 
and the first lend-lease programs were 
formulated only on the general assump- 
tion that aid to Britain and China would 
contribute to that end. The ABC-1 meet- 
ings produced a strategic concept for 
American participation in the war against 
the Axis in alliance with Britain, but the 
President would never specifically sanc- 
tion tying lend-lease operations to this 
conditional agreement. Indeed ABC-1 
gave no final answer to the question of 
whether the American contribution should 
be in weapons or armies. The British 
pressed for delay in American rearmament 
in favor of foreign aid, but the Army found 
it difficult to accept the full implications of 
such a policy. The President's decisions, 
generally favoring foreign aid, found ex- 
pression in a series of specific actions rather 
than in any pronouncement of a general 
policy for the Army to follow. 

The War Department sought to center 



control of procurement and distribution of 
military lend-lease within its own organ- 
ization, combining them in one consoli- 
dated supply program with similar func- 
tions performed for the U.S. Army. In its 
view, such a program offered the best 
means of rapidly expanding production of 
munitions and of making allocations based 
on strategic principles. The President pre- 
ferred to keep lend-lease powers in his own 
hands or to rely on civilian advisers and 
administrators. This gave rise to a system 
of administration that, when combined 
with the immaturity of both the civilian 
and the military organizations involved, 
compounded the confusion resulting from 
lack of clarity in national aims. 

The Administrative Problem 

The Lend-Lease Act empowered the 
President to transfer "defense articles" and 
"defense information" to any foreign gov- 
ernment whose defense he deemed vital to 
that of the United States. Two types of 
transfers were authorized — materials pro- 
duced on funds especially appropriated for 
lend-lease purposes, and materials from 
government stocks. 1 The only limitations 
on the President's power to transfer mate- 
rials procured on lend-lease funds were 
those inherent in the appropriations. These 
were made in some ten categories with a 
proviso that the President could make 
transfers between categories up to 20 per- 
cent as long as no single category was in- 
creased by more than 30 percent. There 
were two lend-lease appropriations in 
1941, one on 27 March for $7 billion and 
another on 28 October for $5,985 billion. 2 
Recognizing that it would take time to 
procure materials with lend-lease funds, 
Congress also authorized transfers from 
stocks, but carefully circumscribed the 

President's powers in this regard. He could 
not transfer materials produced on appro- 
priations made subsequent to the Lend- 
Lease Act to regular government agencies. 
Transfers from material produced on pre- 
vious regular appropriations were limited 
to a valuation of $1.3 billion, and would 
require the approval of the Chief of Staff 
or Chief of Naval Operations in the case 
of military or naval materials. 3 Beyond 
these restrictions, the procedures for carry- 
ing out lend-lease were left almost entirely 
to the discretion of the President. 

Roosevelt decided even before the act 
was passed that it should be administered 
by existing government agencies within 
their various spheres of responsibility. 
Thus, the War Department would carry 
the largest share of the burden, for almost 
all materials to be released under the "Bil- 
lion Three" clause would come from Army 
stocks, and approximately $4 billion of the 
first appropriation (of $7 billion) and $2.4 
billion of the second (of $5,985 billion) fell 
into categories for which it had primary 
responsibility — viz-, I, ordnance and ord- 
nance stores; II, aircraft and aeronautical 
equipment; III, tanks and other vehicles; 
and V, miscellaneous military equipment. 
Initially, the War Department proposed 
direct appropriations by Congress to the 
Army within these categories, but this pro- 
posal was rejected and an arrangement 
was finally made whereby the appropria- 
tions were made to the President and allo- 
cated by him to the proper procurement 
agency. 4 This system, as the President ap- 

1 PL 1 1, 77th Cong (Lend-Lease Act). 

2 (1) PL 23, 77th Cong. (2) PL 282, 77th Cong. 

1 The so-called Billion Three clause, Sec 3a(2) of 
Lend-Lease Act. 

4 (1) Memo, Col Aurand for Maj Gen Richard C. 
Moore, 15 Feb 41, sub: Conf on Method of Appropri- 
ation for Lend-lease Bill, G-4/32697-1. (2) PL cited 
n. 1. 



plied it, led to a separation of lend-lease 
and Army contracts for the same articles 
and produced a welter of complicated 
administrative practices. 

The President did not delegate to the 
War Department as much authority to 
administer lend-lease as Secretary Stim- 
son had evidently expected, nor did he 
give to his military advisers the dominant 
voice in determining lend-lease policy that 
they thought the situation demanded. Ta- 
bling a suggestion from Stimson that over- 
all control be vested in a cabinet board on 
which the service departments would pre- 
dominate, Roosevelt appointed Harry 
Hopkins, his close personal adviser, as 
Lend-Lease Administrator. Hopkins did 
not become the head of any organization 
or office for the purpose, and remained a 
sort of lend-lease minister without port- 
folio, wielding vast influence, but little 
concerned with the details of practical ad- 
ministration. To fill the administrative 
void, the President on 2 May 1941 created 
the Division of Defense Aid Reports 
(DDAR), with Maj. Gen. James H. Burns, 
Executive Assistant to the Under Secre- 
tary of War, as executive officer. DDAR 
became the President's agency for receiv- 
ing foreign requests, for co-ordinating the 
activities of the various government agen- 
cies involved in lend-lease, and for ac- 
counting, but it was never vested with 
more than limited authority to approve 
allocation of funds or transfers of mate- 
rials. Until October 1941 nearly every 
specific action under lend-lease required 
the personal approval of the President/' 

If the President's mode of operating was 
the underlying cause of the administrative 
confusion that followed, the War Depart- 
ment organization compounded it. The 
first organization for handling lend-lease 
within the War Department was estab- 

lished in early April 1941. As on the 
higher level, existing agencies were used as 
far as possible. The supply arms and serv- 
ices — Ordnance, Quartermaster, Signal, 
Medical, Chemical Warfare, and Engi- 
neers — together with the Air Corps, were 
to be the principal operating agencies for 
procurement and distribution of supplies, 
with planning, supervision, and direction 
of their activities divided between the 
Office of the Under Secretary of War in 
matters of procurement, and the General 
Staff in requirements and distribution. A 
Defense Aid Division was established in 
the Under Secretary's office as a co- 
ordinating agency, with Colonel Mac- 
Morland, former Secretary of the ANMB 
Clearance Committee, as its head. To 
perform the detailed work necessary in 
reviewing foreign requirements and for- 
mulating aid programs, defense aid re- 
quirements committees were also estab- 
lished, one for each of the supply services. 
The nucleus of each committee was to be 
a chairman and a secretariat from G-4, a 
representative of the Office of the Under 
Secretary of War (OUSW), and a repre- 
sentative of the foreign country concerned. 
The existing Joint Aircraft Committee was 
continued as the requirements committee 
for aircraft.' 1 

With so many different agencies in- 
volved, the early procedures were inevi- 

5 (1) Ltr, Stimson to President, 13 Feb 41, with 
incl, sub: Lend-lease Orgn, AG 400.3295 (2-13-41) 
(3). (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 278. (3) 
EO 8751, 2 May 41. (4) The limited delegations of 
authority made by the President may be found in 
ltrs, President to SW, 1 8 Mar and 4 Jun 4 1 ; ltr, Presi- 
dent to Exec Off DDAR, 26 Jul 41; and ltr, President 
to Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., 18 Sep 41. All in Auth 
File of President's Ltrs, DAD. 

H (1) AG ltr to Chiefs of SAS and WDGS Divs, 10 
Apr 41, sub: Proced Under Lend-Lease Act, AG 
020.1 (3-29-41). (2) Ltr, SW to Maj Gen Henry H. 
Arnold, Actg DCofS, 22 Apr 41, sub: Jt Aircraft Com, 
ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, I. 



tably cumbersome. The requirements 
committees worked out programs for each 
category of equipment on the basis of the 
funds appropriated, and the President 
made tentative allocations of funds based 
on these programs. Each item in the pro- 
gram then had to be separately requisi- 
tioned, and each requisition had to go 
through a tortuous chain of offices. A for- 
eign requisition was first received by 
DDAR and, if for a military article, re- 
ferred to the Secretary of War. The Secre- 
tary referred it to the Defense Aid Division, 
which then secured action by the appro- 
priate requirements committee and ap- 
proval of G-4 (and WPD if matters of 
strategy were involved). The results were 
incorporated in a staff study for the Chief 
of Staff, who then prepared necessary 
action for the Secretary of War. The Sec- 
retary sent the ultimate decision back to 
DDAR. which in case of approval pre- 
pared the necessary allocation or transfer 
letter for the signature of the President. 
The President's authorization had to make 
the return trip through channels before a 
directive could be issued by the Secretary 
of War to the appropriate supply service to 
take action. The same process had to be 
repeated when materials became available 
for transfer. 7 Where requisitions or trans- 
fers merely confirmed items on approved 
programs, the tortuous journey was largely 
perfunctory, but spot requisitions, program 
changes, and emergency demands had to 
go through the whole time-consuming 
process. The War Department was not 
only hamstrung by the necessity of contin- 
ually referring all sorts of minutiae to the 
President, but muscle-bound by its own 

Between April and October the War 
Department gradually improved the situ- 
ation within its own house. The Secre- 

tary's office was eliminated from routine 
administration and the Defense Aid Divi- 
sion made responsible for initial receipt of 
requisitions. The numerous requirements 
committees were reduced to a status of in- 
formal subcommittees under one Defense 
Aid Supply Committee. 8 The big stum- 
bling block remained the division of 
authority between G-4 and the Under 
Secretary's office. The Requirements and 
Distribution Branch, G-4, headed by Lt. 
Col. Henry S. Aurand (promoted to colo- 
nel on 26 June 1941), set up its own De- 
fense Aid Section, which provided the 
permanent nucleus for the Defense Aid 
Supply Committee and did much of the 
work on which the Defense Aid Division 
had to depend for its staff studies. There 
were inevitable duplications of function, 
and inevitable delays in processing papers 
between the two offices. Colonel Aurand 
proposed as early as May that the two sec- 
tions be consolidated, but Robert P. Pat- 
terson, the Under Secretary of War, 
refused to surrender the procurement 
function, and the General Staff refused to 
surrender the requirements function. The 
final solution, approved by Secretary 
Stimson on 1 October 1941 , was ingenious. 
All offices engaged in lend-lease activities, 
including the Defense Aid Division, 
OUSW, the Defense Aid Section, G-4, and 
the home offices of lend-lease missions 
then being dispatched to overseas theaters, 
were placed together, adjacent to the office 

7 (1) Ltr cited n. 6(1). (2) AG ltr to Chiefs of SAS 
and WDGS Divs, 17 Jun 41, sub: Proced Under 
Lend-Lease Act, AG 020.1 (6-12-41). (3) Agenda for 
Def Aid Sup Com, 8 Aug 41, ID, Lend-Lease. Doc 
Suppl, I. 

8 (1) Ltr cited n. 7(2). (2) AG ltr to Chiefs of SAS 
and WDGS Divs, lOJul 41, sub: Change in Proced 
Under Lend-Lease Act, AG 020.1 (7-9-41). (3) ID, 
Lend-Lease, I, 113. 



of the Assistant Secretary, John J. McCloy, 
to whom Stimson had delegated his own 
functions in regard to lend-lease. The lines 
of responsibility remained the same but 
Colonel Aurand was named Defense Aid 
Director of the War Department and 
hence the head of all the separate offices. 
The chairmanship and secretariat of the 
Defense Aid Supply Committee were 
transferred to his jurisdiction, supply arms 
and services were required to appoint 
lend-lease officers, and foreign govern- 
ments were requested to name liaison 
officers with Aurand's office. 9 

By the end of October Aurand had con- 
verted this physical consolidation into a 
genuine organizational consolidation. The 
separate offices were made branches of the 
Office of the Defense Aid Director. Aurand 
soon made of this organization something 
closely resembling a general staff section 
charged with supply to foreign armies, 
though its exact relation to G-4 remained 
undefined. Aurand could, at least in 
theory, exercise authority only in the name 
of one of his four superiors — the Deputy 
Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Richard C. 
Moore, on requirements and distribution; 
the Under Secretary, Mr. Patterson, on 
procurement; the Assistant Secretary, Mr. 
McCloy, on policy matters relating to the 
Secretary's office; and the Assistant Secre- 
tary of War for Air, Robert A. Lovett, on 
matters pertaining to Air Forces materiel. 
Nevertheless, a real measure of centraliza- 
tion of War Department lend-lease activi- 
ties had been achieved. 10 (Chart 2) 

While the War Department organiza- 
tion was evolving, the President finally 
began to delegate his lend-lease powers. In 
August he called in Edward R. Stettinius, 
Jr., as special assistant on lend-lease and, 
on 28 October 1941, appointed him Lend- 
Lease Administrator, vested with all the 

presidential powers under the act, save 
those of designating countries to be aided 
and those of negotiating master agree- 
ments with them. 11 The Office of Lend- 
Lease Administration (OLLA) absorbed 
the organization and functions of the Divi- 
sion of Defense Aid Reports. The creation 
of OLLA offered the prospect of simplified 
administrative procedures, but raised the 
spectre of domination of military lend- 
lease by a civilian agency that military 
officials considered to be little suited for 
the task. Colonel Aurand and Mr. McCloy 
immediately began to press Stettinius for 
more freedom of action. They asked that 
OLLA allocate funds in a lump to cover 
programs worked out for each country 
within the Defense Aid Supply Commit- 
tee, grant blanket authority to the Secre- 
tary of War to transfer the articles con- 
tained therein, and set up a revolving fund 
of sufficient size to take care of other de- 
mands that came up outside the programs. 
Processing individual requisitions through 
OLLA should no longer be required, and 
the War Department should have full 
freedom within the limits of existing legis- 
lation to make adjustments in programs, 
transfer funds from one category to an- 

y (1) Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS, 22 May 41, sub: 
Change in Proceed Under Lend-Lease Act, G-4/ 
32697, Sec 1. (2) Memo, USW for ACofS G-4, 31 
May 41, same sub. (3) G-4 consideration of noncon- 
currence. Last two in Proced Lend-lease file, DAD. 

(4) Memo, Col Aurand for Lt Col Stanley R. Mickel- 
sen, 5 Sep 41, sub: Trfof DAD, AG 020.1 (2-29-41). 

(5) Memo, Patterson for SW, 19 Sep 41, sub: Lend- 
lease Proced, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, I. (6) AG 
ltr to Chiefs of SAS and WDGS Divs, 1 Oct 4 1 , sub: 
Change in Proced Under Lend-Lease Act, AG 020.1 
(9-19-41) OD-F. 

10 (1) Memo, Aurand for all offs in ODAD, 29 Oct 
41, USSR Mis 334 file, DAD, Job 11. (2) Memo, 
Aurand, no addressee, 1 Nov 41, sub: Def Aid Poli- 
cies and Orgn, Misc Stf Studies, Proced Lend-lease 
file, DAD. 

11 EO 8926, 28 Oct 41. 

























, > 




< w 



other, make transfers under the "Billion 
Three" clause, and retransfer material 
earmarked for one country to another as 
the situation demanded. 

Stettinius was generally co-operative 
and War Department fears of encroach- 
ment proved groundless, but he moved 
slowly and still insisted on retaining a de- 
gree of financial control within OLLA. He 
accepted the principle of programing and 
granted the Secretary of War blanket 
transfer authority under approved pro- 
grams, but maintained most of the other 
restrictions on the use of funds and trans- 
fer of material. Aurand complained on the 
eve of Pearl Harbor that continuing con- 
trol by OLLA would prevent the War 
Department from running a program 
based on military considerations. 1J 

The lesson to be drawn from these ad- 
ministrative difficulties, War Department 
officials generally concluded, was that 
lend-lease appropriations for military ar- 
ticles should be consolidated with Army 
appropriations with a limitation only on 
the dollar value of lend-lease transfers. 
Only in this way, they thought, could the 
goal of a consolidated military production 
program with distribution on a strategic 
basis be achieved. A limited plan of this 
sort was offered to Congress as part of the 
Army's request for supplemental appro- 
priations in November 1941 but was re- 
jected in the House of Representatives. 
Nevertheless, this proved only a temporary 
setback. The temper of Congress changed 
rapidly after Pearl Harbor. 13 

Early Operations Under Lend-Lease 

Passage of the Lend-Lease Act was 
closely followed by a new series of surplus 
releases and by the formulation of produc- 

tion programs for aid to Britain. In Febru- 
ary General Marshall approved a new list 
made up primarily of various obsolescent 
types of artillery that might legitimately 
be considered surplus now that prospects 
of new production were brighter. Orig- 
inally, the list was drawn up on the sup- 
position that all materials would be turned 
over to the British, but since the President 
also wished to make some gesture of aid to 
Greece, and since the British themselves 
wanted to strengthen their influence in 
Turkey, the surplus was divided among 
the three countries by agreement with the 
British representatives. On 1 1 March 
1941 the President declared defense of 
Great Britain and Greece vital to that of 
the United States; releases to Turkey were 
handled through the British, obviating the 
need for such a declaration for that coun- 

Shortly thereafter the German inva- 
sion of Yugoslavia added another urgent 
claimant. General Marshall agreed to 
make additional releases from U.S. 
stocks — some of which, 75-mm. ammuni- 
tion and P-40 pursuit planes, for example, 
were not clearly "surplus" — and the Brit- 
ish consented to a further division of their 
allotment. The lightning conquest of Yu- 
goslavia and Greece prevented the deliv- 
ery of any supplies to either country, and 
only Turkey got its share. The British were 
allowed to retain most of the remainder 

'- (1) Ltr, McCloy to Stettinius. 29 Oct 41. Mis, Sil 
Studies, Proced Lend-lease file, DAD. (2) Memo. 
Aurand for Stettinius. 4 Dec 41, Proced Lend-lease 
file, DAD. (3) Min of mtgs in Aurand's off on dcfaid, 
Oct-Nov 41, Conf Memos file, DAD. (4) Ltr, Stet- 
tinius to SW, 22 Nov 4 1, Misc Corresp Lend-lease 3 
file, DAD. (5) Third Report to Congress on Lend-Lease 
Operations, pp. 27-31. (6) ID, Lend-Lease, I, 679-80. 

1:1 Hearings before the Subcommittee of the Committee on 
Appropriations, HR, 77th Cong, 1st Sess, on Third Sup- 
plemental National Defense Appropriations Bill for 
1942, 17-26 Nov 41, Pt. 2. pp. 1-256. 



for their own hard-pressed forces in the 
Middle East." 

Meanwhile in February, while the lend- 
lease bill was being considered in Con- 
gress, the British presented a statement of 
their over-all requirements through 30 
June 1942. Calculated on a very generous 
scale, they were regarded by the British 
themselves as more a hope than a reality, 
a measure of the expansion of American 
production that would eventually be 
needed rather than a precise program or a 
basis for contract action. The British used 
the "balance sheet" technique developed 
by Jean Monnet, the French industrialist 
associated with the British Supply Coun- 
cil in North America, balancing against 
the stated requirements their estimates of 
British production and presenting the 
deficit as the amount that must be met 
from American production. 15 

These requirements, when adjusted to 
what preliminary studies indicated would 
be the maximum capacity of American 
production, and undoubtedly to what the 
President thought would be politically 
expedient, served as the basis for the first 
57 billion lend-lease appropriation. 1 ^ They 
also had to serve, during March and April 
1941, as a blueprint for working out ex- 
penditure programs for submission to the 
President. The aircraft program was for- 
mulated by the Joint Aircraft Committee 
largely in terms of agreements reached in 
1940 and at the ABC staff meetings, ad- 
justed of course to the actual current pros- 
pects of production. The ground force pro- 
grams were at first handled by informal 
committees of supply services and British 
representatives, later giving way, as the 
War Department lend-lease organization 
became defined, to formal defense aid re- 
quirements committees. In presenting 
their ground force requirements, the Brit- 

ish quietly dropped the Ten Division Pro- 
gram as a separate entity, though for some 
time they retained in their programs the 
individual articles involved. The battle of 
types was, to some degree, renewed, 
though to little avail for the British since 
the U.S. representatives on the require- 
ments committees refused to budge from 
the basic decision of 1940 that American 
production for foreign aid must be of 
equipment capable of filling U.S. Army 
needs. Some British types — the Bofors 40- 
mm. antiaircraft gun, the 4.5-inch gun (on 
an American carriage), and the British 6- 
pounder (57-mm.) — had been accepted 
for full or limited use by the U.S. Army as 
a result of tests made early in 1941. Be- 
yond this, the British were able to get only 
a small program devoted to nonstandard 
articles of their own types despite the em- 
phasis they placed upon it. Of the non- 
standard requirements in the British "A" 
Program of 1940, only those for .303-cal- 
iber rifles and ammunition were ever 

14 (1) Memo, Moore for CofiS, 24 Feb 41, WPD 
4323-21. (2) Memo, CofS for President, 1 1 Mar 41, 
AG 400.3295 (1-6-41) (1). (3) Ltr, President to SW, 
1 1 Mar 41, AG 400.3295 (1-6-41). (4) Ltr, President 
to SW, 23 Mar 41, AG 400.3295 (3-11-41). (5)*Re- 
lated papers in last two files. (6) Memo, Marshall for 
Hopkins, 5 Apr 41, sub: Mun Which Can Be Deliv- 
ered ... to Yugoslavia. (7) Memo for red in OCofS. 
7 Apr 41, sub: Mun for Yugoslavia. Last two in AG 
400.3295 (4-5-4 1 ) ( 1 ). (8) For detailed material on all 
aspects of redistribution of this surplus, see English 
Lend-lease Stocks file, Case B-l, DAD; English Cor- 
resp Lend-Lease 1 and 2 files, DAD; and AG 
400.3295 (3-11-41) (2). 

'' (1) Hancock and Gowing, British War Economy, 
p. 232. (2) M. M. Postan, British War Production (Lon- 
don, Her Majesty's Stationery Office and Longmans, 
Green and Co.. 1952), p. 237. (3) Memo, Henry Mor- 
genthau for Maj Gen Edwin M. Watson, 13 Feb 41, 
AG 400.3295 (2-13-41) (2). (4) Memo, Aurand for 
Moore, 25 Feb 41, sub: Discussion With Regard to 
Br Reqmts, G-4/33247. 

"' Min, informal com mtg with Br reps, 18 Mar 41, 
Reqmts Com Mtgs file, DAS G-4. The DAS G-4 files 
are with those of the DAD. 



accepted in the United States either on 
British contracts or as a part of lend-lease. 
Under lend-lease they also received a siz- 
able new commitment for Universal car- 
riers, a British-type armored vehicle that 
the U.S. Army did not use. The rest of the 
program devoted to noncommon articles 
consisted of components for tanks, planes, 
and other finished equipment to be pro- 
duced in Great Britain. Also, in accord- 
ance with the Hyde Park Declaration of 
20 April 1941 establishing a common pro- 
gram for the United States and Canada, 
contracts for other British-type weapons 
were placed in Canada with lend-lease 
funds. As the lend-lease programs took 
shape, it appeared that the British would 
adapt their entire program to permit use 
of specific American types as substitutes 
or as supplementary equipment and rely 
on American production for supplying 
items that British industry was ill prepared 
t© produce in volume. For example, they 
would depend very heavily on the United 
States for medium tanks and other com- 
bat vehicles, revolvers, and small arms 
ammunition of all types, and entirely for 
Thompson submachine guns, but would 
meet their own needs in their entirety for 
most standard items of equipment for in- 
fantry divisions, such as the Bren gun 
(.303-caliber) and the 25-pounder. 17 

By mid-June, the basic expenditure pro- 
grams had been accepted and allocation 
of funds and submission of detailed requi- 
sitions were well under way. While no 
contracts already placed by the British 
could legally be absorbed under lend- 
lease, pending contracts were, and many 
others conveniently deferred in favor of 
lend-lease contracts for the same articles. 
The most important British contracts that 
remained were those for aircraft and me- 
dium tanks. The President exerted con- 

tinual pressure to see that contracts with 
lend-lease funds were let as rapidly as pos- 
sible. The primary consideration in the 
early months was to put the money to 
work. 18 But haste, combined with involved 
procedures, inevitably caused a great deal 
of confusion. Little consideration could be 
given to establishing the justification for 
individual British requests. Spelling out 
the British program in detail was a com- 
plicated matter and required adjustments 
at every step of the way. The British pre- 
sented requisitions not only for items on 
the agreed programs but also for new de- 
mands and items to be financed under 
future appropriations. There was insuffi- 
cient co-ordination among the British 
agencies involved in presenting these re- 
quirements. The British Supply Council 
in North America, embracing all British 
civilian agencies in Washington, presented 
all formal requisitions, but the British 
Army Staff (British Army representatives 
in Washington) furnished the members for 
the requirements committees and was re- 
sponsible for justifying military requests. 
The British Joint Staff Mission, established 

17 (1) Minutes of the early defense aid committee 
meetings are in DAS G-4 and DAD files. The devel- 
opment of the committee system and the formulation 
of early programs are traced in these minutes and in 
memorandum, Aurand for ACofS G-4, 25 March 
1941, sub: Recent Lend-lease Activities, G-4/ 
32697, Sec 1. (2) AG ltr to CofOrd, 1 1 Mar 41, sub: 
Pdn for Br Reqmts, WPD 4323-23. (3) Papers in 
G-4/32575, G-4/3 1691-10, and AG 400.3295 
(12-12-40) (3). (4) Hyde Park Declaration of Presi- 
dent Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King, 
20 Apr 41, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, I. (5) Memo, 
ACofS WPD for ACofS G-4, 16 Jul 41, sub: Proposed 
New Lend-lease Appropriations Bill, WPD 4323-38. 
(6) Postan, British War Production, p. 245. 

18 (1) Memo, SW for Exec Off DDAR, 20Jul41,in 
separate folder of DAD files. (2) Ltr, President to SW, 
29 May 41. (3) Memo, Aurand for Finance Br G-4, 
1 1 Jun 41, sub: Obligation of Funds Available to WD. 
Last two in G-4/32697, Sec 1. (4) Memo, USW for 
Marshall, 6 Jun 41, OCofS 21210-38. 



after the ABC meetings, sometimes pre- 
sented particularly urgent demands that 
might or might not duplicate requests sub- 
mitted through regular channels. 

In spite of confusion, all the funds in the 
first appropriation were rapidly ear- 
marked or allocated and consideration of 
a second lend-lease appropriation began 
in July, largely on the basis of British re- 
quirements in the February presentation 
not yet financed, and requests made dur- 
ing the interim. 19 Again there was little 
time for a review of the basis of British re- 
quests. WPD admitted, when asked for a 
strategic justification, that it could not re- 
late British requirements to British war 
strategy and concluded with a general jus- 
tification sufficient at least for the mo- 

So long as the maintenance of Great Brit- 
ain's war effort is considered as furthering 
the interests of the United States, we should 
. . . supplement British production of equip- 
ment to the extent that such equipment can 
be provided without jeopardizing our own 
security. . . . The time lag between the 
placing of orders and the delivery of the 
equipment makes it impracticable to predict 
whether the equipment will actually be allo- 
cated to the British or used by our own 
forces .... Any surplus over actual Lend- 
Lease needs at the time the equipment is 
delivered can be allocated to our own 
use . . . . 20 

The Injection of Chinese Demands 

While the initial lend-lease programs 
were framed entirely for aid to Britain, de- 
mands for lend-lease soon came from the 
Far East also. Though there is no indica- 
tion that aid to China was considered in 
the passage of the Lend-Lease Act, Presi- 
dent Roosevelt had dispatched Dr. Lauch- 
lin Currie, one of his administrative assist- 
ants, to China early in the year. Currie re- 

turned on the very day lend-lease became 
law. Shortly thereafter Dr. T. V. Soong, 
Chiang Kai-shek's brother-in-law, pre- 
sented to General Burns a complete state- 
ment of Chinese requirements. A corpora- 
tion chartered in Delaware, China De- 
fense Supplies, Inc. (CDS), with Soong as 
president but staffed largely by American 
businessmen, was formed as a counterpart 
of the British Supply Council to represent 
the Chinese Government in lend-lease 
transactions. On the American side, on 4 
April Harry Hopkins assigned Lauchlin 
Currie "primary responsibility in develop- 
ing our contacts with the Chinese Govern- 
ment in the administration of the Lend- 
Lease Bill." 21 Currie's efforts were to be 
largely responsible for the formulation of 
a sizable Chinese aid program along the 
lines indicated by Soong. On the basis of a 
preliminary War Department review of 
the availability of commercial materials, 
Currie on 6 May 1941 secured from the 
President an allocation of $45.1 million 
for transportation and construction mate- 
rials, and an immediate transfer of 300 
trucks originally intended for Yugoslavia. 
Transfer of the trucks was accompanied 
by the all-important declaration that the 
defense of China was vital to that of the 
United States. 22 

19 (1) Memo, Exec Off DDAR for SW, 7 Jul 41, 
Misc Corresp Lend-lease 1 file, DAD. (2) Memo, 
ACofS G-4 for CofS, 18 Jul 41, sub: Lists of Def Arti- 
cles . . . To Be Included in New Def Aid Appropri- 
ations, G-4/32697, Sec 1. (3) Related papers in same 
file. (4) See Lend-lease 2 file, DAS G-4. 

20 Memo cited n. 17(5). 

-' (1) Ltr, Chinese reps to Gen Burns, 31 Mar 41. 
(2) Ltr, Hu Shih, Chinese Ambassador, to Secy of 
State, 24 May 41. (3) Related papers. (4) Ltr, Hop- 
kins to Gen Burns et al., 4 Apr 41. All in China Lend- 
lease file, Stf Study C-l-A, DAD. 

22 ( 1 ) Memo, Stimson for Currie, 22 Apr 4 1 , sub: 
Aid Prog for China. (2) Memo, Currie for President, 
23 Apr 4 1 , sub: Preliminary Aid Prog for China. (3) 
Ltr, President to SW, 6 May 41. All in AG 400.3295 
(4-14-41) Sec 1. 



Meanwhile, the requirements commit- 
tees had concluded a detailed analysis of 
the Soong program, and on 3 May 1941 
Patterson presented the results to Currie. 
He urged a cautious approach in the face 
of Currie's pressure for speedy action. The 
program would cost $1,064,000,000 as op- 
posed to the Chinese estimate of $567 mil- 
lion. Allocation of lend-lease funds had 
been based entirely on aid to the British, 
who would naturally expect to get the 
material thus financed. Even if money 
could be found, it would be a long time 
before materials could be produced under 
lend-lease contracts. Surplus Army stocks 
had been depleted by releases to Great 
Britain, and plans for future releases were 
based on continuation of this policy. Pat- 
terson also felt that shipping would act as 
a further limitation on the amount of aid 
that could be furnished China. 23 

Currie was undaunted by these difficul- 
ties, and a few days later secured reluctant 
approval from the War Department for 
an additional allocation of $50 million for 
selected ordnance items. By adjustments 
here and there, funds in other categories 
to an eventual total of over $200 million 
were similarly earmarked for China. By 
July 1941 aid to China had become an 
established policy. In plans for the second 
lend-lease appropriation, Chinese re- 
quirements were given a definite place be- 
side those of Britain. 2 ^ 

Soong's March program had provided 
the over-all blueprint on which the Chi- 
nese aid program was based. It included 
(1) a thousand planes for the Chinese Air 
Force; (2) ground munitions for an army 
capable of offensive operations; (3) mate- 
rial for improving the transportation sys- 
tem from Burma; (4) material for operat- 
ing arsenals manufacturing small arms 

and ammunition within China. The major 
portion of these requirements, except those 
for the arsenals, fell within the War De- 
partment categories. The Chinese began 
to present specific requisitions on a whole- 
sale basis, but because of their lack of 
knowledge of American types, the requisi- 
tions were often wholly inadequate, and 
bore little relation to actual need. Indeed, 
it soon became apparent that the Chinese 
were mainly interested in getting any and 
all material that they could secure from 
American sources without more than a 
vague idea of how it was to be moved to 
China or how used once there. It became 
the task of the War Department to work 
out an orderly program from the deluge 
of Chinese requests and to find a place for 
it within the existing Anglo-American 

Any appraisal had to take into consid- 
eration the means of access to Free China. 
The only route remaining open was 
through the port of Rangoon in Burma, 
over the Burmese railroad to Lashio, and 
thence into China over the Burma Road. 
This whole system in early 1941 was in 
condition to carry but few supplies, and 
any aid program for China would ob- 
viously depend upon overhauling it. 
Soong originally proposed not only im- 
proving the Burma Road, but construct- 
ing a Burma-Yunnan railroad to parallel 
it, and a new highway from British India 

23 Ltr, Patterson. Actg SW, to Currie. 3 May 41, 
with incl DAD rpt on def aid prog for China, AG 
400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1. 

' i 1 ) Memo, Currie for MacMorland, DAD, 10 
May 41. (2) Memo, Stimson for Currie, 16 May 41. 
Both in China Lend-lease file, Stf Study C-l-C. DAD. 

(3) Memo, Patterson for CofS, 19 Jul 41, sub: Co-ord 
of Chinese Def Aid, in separate folder of DAD tiles. 

(4) On policy, see Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's 
Mission to China, pp. 13-25. 



to China. The new highway was ruled out 
as impractical, and efforts were concen- 
trated on providing necessary materials 
for improving the Burma Road and build- 
ing the subsidiary railway. Requirements 
for both were elaborately calculated by 
U.S. Army engineers, and procurement of 
materials began. While construction and 
transportation materials did not offer such 
procurement difficulties as guns and am- 
munition, it was clear that heavy material 
for the railroad could not be ready until 
late 1942 and when available would be 
difficult to transport. 

The ultimate aim would be to equip a 
Chinese army and air force capable of 
effectively resisting the Japanese. An air 
force seemed to offer the best prospects of 
immediate results. Plans for Chennault's 
volunteer group were already well ad- 
vanced. A training program for Chinese 
pilots in the United States was inaugu- 
rated. Because furnishing more planes to 
China would affect either the British or 
American program, the Joint Aircraft 
Committee referred Soong's aircraft re- 
quirements to the Joint Army-Navy Board 
for decision. Currie, in the meantime, pro- 
posed a short-term program of approxi- 
mately 350 pursuits and 150 bombers and 
transports. The Joint Board approved in 
principle in July, with a statement of 
broad policy: 

Without jeopardizing our own prepared- 
ness, to furnish material aid to China by pro- 
viding aircraft ... in quantities sufficient 
for effective action against Japanese military 
and naval forces operating in China and in 
neighboring countries and waters. 25 

By September a schedule had been 
worked out providing for delivery of 269 
pursuits, 66 light bombers, 10 transports, 
and 70 trainers before the end of March 

1942. Even these allocations, though 
mainly of obsolescent-type planes, brought 
serious objections from the British of inter- 
ference with their aircraft procurement 
program under lend-lease. LMi 

The ground force requirements pre- 
ented by Soong evidently were based on 
a project to arm thirty Chinese divisions 
on a scale considered adequate for war- 
fare in China. Though these requirements 
could be reasonably well defined and 
were not comparable to those for thirty 
U.S. divisions, they brought in their wake 
problems of type and availability that 
seemed virtually insoluble. Little could be 
done to furnish small arms or ammuni- 
tion. The standard Chinese caliber was 
7.92-mm., which the United States re- 
fused to produce because it would inter- 
fere with the existing .30-caliber program, 
and it seemed a futile gesture to offer the 
few thousand .30-caliber rifles still avail- 
able from old stocks, since no ammunition 
for them could be sent.' 7 For other ord- 
nance equipment — machine guns, field 
artillery, and antitank and antiaircraft 
guns — either outlets must be found for 
lend-lease contracts or equipment must be 
released from stock. The prospects in 
April and May 1941 were that only drib- 
lets could be furnished to meet the Chinese 
thirty division program for at least a year, 
but the program was accepted, and by 
dint of scraping here and there it was 
found that some materiel at least could be 
provided to meet it. Lauchlin Currie 

25 JB355, Ser 691. 

26 Ltr, Currie to SW and SN, 18 Sep 41, sub: China 
Def Aid Aircraft Reqmts in 1942, JB 355, Ser 727. 

27 ( 1 ) Min, mtg of Def Aid Ord Reqmts Com for 
consideration of items submitted by CDS, 25 Apr 41, 
Rpts on Confs on Lend-lease file, AMMISCA 337, 
Job 11.(2) Memo, Col Victor V. Taylor, DAD, for 
CofOrd. 10 Jul 41, sub: China Reqmts for Ord Mat, 
G-4/32192, Sec 1. (3) See China Rifles file, DAD. 



found facilities in Canada for many sub- 
stitute items of British types. - ' 8 Thus, de- 
spite all obstacles, a sizable program of aid 
to China took shape on the planning 
boards, intensifying the competition for 
the limited supply of munitions available. 

Inclusion of the Netherlands Indies 

Other pleas for aid against the Japanese 
came from the Netherlands Indies. 
Though not yet actively in the war, these 
islands occupied a position of critical 
strategic importance in the Far East. In 
response to continuing Dutch complaints 
over their inability to get priorities for 
their contracts, Assistant Secretary of War 
Patterson agreed in March 1941 that it 
was generally in the interests of the United 
States to furnish them with adequate ma- 
terials for defense, but ruled that Dutch 
requirements must be placed in lower 
priority than those of Britain, Greece, and 
China, "nations . . . actually engaged 
in warfare for the defense of democ- 
racy." 9 This priority helped very little, 
and Dutch wealth only made Dutch rep- 
resentatives prey to financial adventurers 
seeking to sell nonexistent rifles from gov- 
ernment stocks. 

Seeking a way out the Dutch foreign 
minister, on a visit to the United States in 
June 1941, asked for inclusion under lend- 
lease, with the understanding that the 
Dutch would continue to pay for their 
goods. Their most pressing needs were for 
small arms, antiaircraft guns, and ammu- 
nition to repel a Japanese invasion, which 
the Dutch believed to be imminent. The 
War Department undertook to review the 
Dutch requirements, and concluded that 
forty thousand Enfield rifles could be re- 
leased, but that no ammunition would be 
available to go with them. The dilemma 

was finally resolved in August by sending 
only twenty thousand rifles and taking 
seven million rounds of ammunition from 
stocks originally set up as a reserve for the 
Iceland expedition. On 21 August 1941 
the President formally declared the Ne- 
therlands Indies eligible for lend-lease aid 
and transferred the rifles and ammunition 
on a cash reimbursement basis. This step 
insured more careful consideration of 
Dutch requirements and their inclusion 
in the framework of lend-lease priorities, 
but still left their specific priority low in 
relation to other demands. 30 

The Latin American Program 

The republics of Latin America had 
already been established as claimants for 
aid in 1940, but as long as the chances for 
British survival seemed good their priority 
remained even lower than that of the 
Netherlands Indies. On 3 March 1941, 

28 (1) Memo cited n. 24(1). (2) Memo, Marshall for 
Hopkins, 26 Mar 41, sub: Army Equip From Pdn in 
Near Future Available for Trf to China, AG 400.3295 
(4-14-41) Sec 1. (3) See China Tanks file, DAD. (4) 
Ltr, Currie to Col Taylor, DAD, 27 Aug 41.(5) Ltr, 
Currie to Patterson, 24 Nov 41. (6) Related papers. 
Last three in China Corresp Lend-lease file, DAD. 

29 (1) Ltr, Patterson to Young, Chm President's Ln 
Com, 25 Mar 41. (2) Ltr, Young to Marshall, 3 May 
41. (3) Ltr, Marshall to Young, 7 May 41. (4) Related 
papers. All in AG 400.3295 (3- 1 7-4 1 ) ( 1 ). 

'" (1) Ltr, Sumner Welles, Under Secy of State, to 
Marshall, 4 Jun 41. (2) Ltr, Marshall to Welles, 14 
Jun 41. (3) Related papers. All in AG 400.3295 
(3-17-41) (1). (4) Memo, ACofS WPD for CofS, 10 
Jun 41. (5) Memo, unsigned, for ACofS G-4, 19 Aug 
41. (6) Related papers. Last three in WPD 4363-6. 
(7) Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the United States 
Army, July 1 , 1941 to June 30, 1943 to the Secretary of War, 
p. 94. (8) Ltr, President to SW, 21 Aug 41, AG 
400.3295 (3-17-41). 

Cash reimbursement lend-lease meant that the 
beneficiary nation would pay the U.S. Government 
for goods received, but the U.S. Government, not the 
foreign purchasing commission, would place contracts 
with private firms as part of the lend-lease production 



shortly before the passage of lend-lease, 
the Joint Army-Navy Advisory Board on 
American Republics completed the draft 
of a Latin American arms program. By 
July this program had been placed in rela- 
tively permanent form. The board set up 
a gross allocation of $400 million for both 
Army and Navy materials, $300 million 
of which was for Army equipment, the 
materials to be supplied over a three-year 
period or longer. Each individual nation 
was given a specific allocation in propor- 
tion to its anticipated contribution to 
hemisphere defense. In view of Brazil's 
strategic importance and general tend- 
ency to co-operate, her needs were given 
first consideration and she received $100 
million of the total allocation. In late 
April the President agreed that the Latin 
American republics should be declared 
eligible for lend-lease. No allocation was 
made for Latin American countries under 
the first lend-lease appropriation, but 
$150 million was earmarked in the sec- 
ond, $100 million of which fell into War 
Department categories. Master agree- 
ments were subsequently negotiated with 
each nation (except Argentina), obligating 
each to pay in cash for a certain propor- 
tion of the equipment provided, in accord- 
ance with the country's presumed ability 
to pay. But most of these master agree- 
ments (in effect supply protocols for the 
nations concerned) were not negotiated 
until after Pearl Harbor. 

The Advisory Board on American Re- 
publics recommended that all armaments 
furnished the republics be in accordance 
with their needs for hemisphere defense as 
evaluated in the United States, that pro- 
curement be entirely of U.S. standard 
equipment and through U.S. military 
channels, and that it be handled in such a 
manner as not to interfere with procure- 

ment plans and deliveries for U.S. armed 
forces and for the lend-lease programs for 
Britain and China. Not more than $70 mil- 
lion in Army supplies was to be delivered 
before 30 June 1942. Adoption of these 
recommendations meant continuation of 
the policy of 1940 under which deliveries 
could be postponed indefinitely as long as 
other needs were deemed more pressing. 31 

Search for an Allocation Policy 
February -August 1941 

Programs based on foreign requirements 
added to the net total of munitions pro- 
duction. The Vinson Priorities Act of 31 
May 1941 gave the President authority to 
accord lend-lease contracts priority equal 
to that for Army and Navy production. 32 
The War Department, however, refused 
to accept the premise that the allocation 
of funds constituted a definite promise 
that munitions produced with them would 
always be delivered to the country desig- 
nated. Rather, as indicated earlier, it de- 
sired a consolidated military production 
program with distribution to be based on 
strategic policy. 

During the ABC meetings, the Amer- 
ican and British staffs agreed that imme- 
diate steps should be taken to provide "a 
method of procedure which will ensure 
the allocation of Military Material . . . 
in the manner best suited to meet the de- 
mands of the Military situation." 33 But 
only in the case of aircraft allocations did 
the conference take any steps to carry out 
this recommendation. It was agreed that 
aircraft production should be accelerated, 

11 (1) Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemi- 
sphere Defense, Ch. IX. (2) ID, Lend-Lease, II, 

'- PL 89, 77th Cong. 

f1 ABC-2 Report, Pearl Harbor Hearings, Pt. 15, p. 



and that the British should receive all 
planes from their own production, the out- 
put of their approved 14,375-airplane and 
12,000-airplane programs in the United 
States, 34 and all additional U.S. produc- 
tion resulting from new capacity until 
such time as the United States should 
enter the war. The existing 54-group U.S. 
Air Corps goal was accepted, as well as 
one of 15,000 planes for the U.S. Navy, 
and a 100-group force for the Army pro- 
jected in case of British collapse, but it was 
stipulated that actual deliveries would be 
conditioned by the ability of the respective 
organization, British or American, "to 
absorb material usefully." This meant a 
practical priority for the British programs, 
though no definite schedule of allocations 
was set up. 35 As the principle was applied, 
allocation of planes was largely arranged 
by the Joint Aircraft Committee in plan- 
ning production schedules. The British 
received all planes produced on their own 
and lend-lease contracts, while the U.S. 
Army and Navy received those on funds 
from military appropriations. The major 
source for the British continued to be 
planes produced on their own contracts. 
Only a few diversions from U.S. Army 
contracts were made before the introduc- 
tion of the Soviet demands for aircraft. 
This arrangement of production priorities 
gave the British a definite advantage and 
substantially met their request that devel- 
opment of a U.S. air force be delayed in 
their favor. 

No similar agreement for the allocation 
of ground equipment was reached during 
the ABC meetings. Ground munitions lent 
themselves far less readily to allocation on 
the basis of production priorities, except 
of course in case of noncommon articles 
produced specifically for a foreign coun- 
try. For the great bulk of common articles 

that made up both the Army and lend- 
lease programs, contracts were let with the 
same firms and administered by the same 
people in the supply arms and services, 
though they were financed with separate 
funds. Much of the final assembly work 
was done in Army arsenals, where it was 
impractical to separate components pro- 
duced under two types of contracts. 3H Even 
where separation of the two types of con- 
tracts was possible, it was undesirable in 
the interests of both maximum production 
and intelligent distribution. In this situa- 
tion the source of financing gradually be- 
came an administrative and accounting 
matter. As such it caused all sorts of pro- 
cedural headaches, and while necessarily 
serving as the basis of long-range planning 
for both requirements and allocations, it 
could not be used to determine a time 
schedule of deliveries. Interpreted strictly 
according to source of financing, lend- 
lease production of munitions in 1941 was 
largely a matter of future promise. Im- 
mediate aid could come only from pro- 
duction already planned, principally pro- 
duction on Army contracts financed before 
the passage of lend-lease. The "Billion 
Three" clause of the Lend-Lease Act pro- 
vided one means by which release of some 
of these materials to foreign powers could 
be accomplished, the juggling of contracts 
another. It soon became clear that any 
allocation policy would have to be based 
upon considering lend-lease and Army 
production of common articles as a single 
program, and using these devices to pro- 
vide delivery to the country desired re- 
gardless of the source of financing. The 

14 See above, Ch. I. 

:if ' ABC-2 Report, Pearl Harbor Hearings, Pt. 15. pp. 

: " See remarks of Col Alfred B. Quinton, Jr., Ord 
rep at Def Aid Ord Reqmts Com mtg, 21 May 41, 
Mtgs May file, DAD. 


( )1 

"Billion Three'' was the principal reliance 
in the beginning. And, it will be remem- 
bered, under this clause the Chief of Staff 
had final say on all transfers. 

Under lend-lease, as earlier, General 
Marshall adopted the principle that for- 
eign aid should not be allowed to interfere 
with the initial development plans of the 
Army. The formula adopted in connection 
with the Ten Division Program — that 
nothing beyond minimum training re- 
quirements for the British should be fur- 
nished before the fulfillment of American 
requirements for the PMP program — 
remained the official basis of transfers long 
after the Ten Division Program had been 
abandoned. This formula was revised in 
February 1941 to provide that no addi- 
tional items would be furnished the British 

. . . full American requirements for certain 
task forces are completed. Following comple- 
tion of such deliveries to Task Forces, further 
deliveries will be apportioned according to the 
situation existing at that time. 31 

The immediate calculation of task force 
requirements on a satisfactory basis did 
not prove feasible, however, and the policy 
as put into practice made the initial PMP 
force plus three months of maintenance 
the minimum American requirement. 
During the spring of 1941 the size of this 
initial force was again expanded, this time 
to 1,820,000 men, with a first augmenta- 
tion to 3,200,000. The target date for com- 
pletely equipping the first force was 
changed from 1 April to 30 June 1942, and 
the policy adopted held this goal to be 
sacrosanct, not to be compromised by 
lend-lease releases. 

The requirements committees, in plan- 
ning the British lend-lease programs in 
March, applied this yardstick to deter- 
mine what proportion of British require- 

ments could be met by releases from pro- 
duction on Army orders. A tentative list of 
such releases was prepared but no attempt 
was made to state when they would take 
place. Actual releases, meanwhile, were 
made on the basis of specific decisions by 
the Chief of Staff on a flood of requests 
from the British and later from the 
Chinese. The emergency nature of most of 
these requests put the utmost pressure on 
General Marshall to make exceptions to 
the above policy, and in some cases he 
did. 38 

The most important single instance of 
an exception came in response to urgent 
demands of the British for supplies for 
their forces in the Middle East. The visit 
of Brigadier J. F. M. Whiteley to the 
United States in May 1941, as representa- 
tive of General Wavell, bearing tidings of 
the critical needs of the British in that area 
and a specific list of equipment desired, 
moved General Marshall and Secretary 
Stimson to decide that maximum possible 
support should be given to the Middle 
East during the next few months "even if 
some sacrifice of our own plans for ex- 
panding our own military strength is 
necessary." 39 In keeping with this deci- 
sion, two hundred light tanks, twenty-four 
antiaircraft guns, four 155-mm. guns, a 
considerable amount of 155-mm. am- 
munition, and sizable quantities of engi- 

17 ( 1 ) Memo, Gen Moore, DCofS, for CofS, 25 Feb 
41, AG 008 Lend-lease (4-15-41). Italics are the 
authors'. (2) On the earlier policy, see above, Ch. I. 

Ml) Min cited n. 16. (2) Ag ltr to Chiefs of SAS, 
1 8 Apr 4 1 , sub: WD Lend-lease Policies and Action 
To Be Taken Thereunder in Immediate Future, AG 
008 Lend-lease (4- 15-4 1). (3) Action on most of these 
individual requests was taken in G-4, and the record 
is preserved in G-4 inds to DAD in G-4/3 1 69 1 - 1 and 

''' Note for red only accompanying disposition form, 
DAD for AG, 23 May 41, sub: Army Equip Available 
for Trf to U.K. for Middle East, AG 400.3295 
(5-12-41) (2). 



neer equipment were released. The rest of 
the requirements on the "Whiteley List" 
were placed on a high priority basis for 
production. 40 

Nevertheless, actions by the Chief of 
Staff on this and other special requests 
failed to produce any new policy on diver- 
sions from stocks or production for defense 
aid. As early as 7 April ,1941 a G-4 memo- 
randum, the work of Colonel Aurand, 
called attention to the lack. With charac- 
teristic boldness and breadth of concep- 
tion, Aurand proposed not only a formula 
on which releases of ground force equip- 
ment might be based but also that an 
Anglo-American organization be formed 
to allocate on a strategic basis available 
lend-lease supplies and to prepare a plan 
for a "sufficient supply effort to insure 
victory." Confining consideration at pres- 
ent to Aurand's concrete proposals for a 
distribution formula, his suggestion was 
that minimum Army requirements should 
be based on having on hand at all times 
complete equipment plus three months of 
maintenance for base and task forces and 
minimum training requirements for PMP. 
On this basis, Aurand thought, a time 
schedule of defense aid releases might be 
prepared. General Moore, Deputy Chief 
of Staff, agreed to the preparation of such 
a schedule but insisted that proposed re- 
leases in contravention of the February 
policy must still be submitted item by item 
to the Chief of Staff. 41 

Hardly had G-4 entered on these com- 
putations when WPD requested that the 
task force requirements be based on plac- 
ing Rainbow 5 in effect on 1 September 
1941. Despite Aurand's protest that main- 
tenance requirements for the Rainbow 5 
force would preclude any sizable transfers 
to the British before 30 June 1942, releases 
were suspended while the complicated 

calculations on the basis of Rainbow 5 
were made. These calculations, too, were 
soon interrupted by a request from the 
President for an estimate of total quanti- 
ties to be transferred under the "Billion 
Three" clause to 30 June 1942, broken 
down into monthly schedules by item, 
quantity, and country. The President's 
request made immediate determination of 
a distribution policy mandatory and car- 
ried the implication that such a policy 
must be reasonably generous. 42 

Again it was Aurand who proposed the 
solution. 43 He began by demonstrating 
that a distribution policy must include all 
common articles, whether financed under 
Army appropriations, lend-lease, or cer- 
tain types of foreign contracts. He dis- 
missed as too complicated the calculation 
of surplus above either Army require- 
ments for PMP plus three months main- 
tenance or those for Rainbow 5. He also 
pointed out that such calculations had to 
be based on unreliable production sched- 

40 (1) Ltr, Arthur B. Purvis to SW and SN, 12 May 
41, sub: Urgent Br Reqmts in Middle East Campaign. 

(2) Memo, ACofS WPD for ACofS G-4, 1 May 41, 
sub: Additional Br Reqmts in Middle East Campaign. 

(3) Note cited n. 39. (4) Ltr, Marshall to Hopkins, 26 
May 41, sub: Army Equip Available for Trf to U.K. 
for Middle East. All in AG 400.3295 (5-12-41) (2). 
(5) Related papers in G-4/31691, Sec 1. 

41 (1) Memo, ACofS G-4 for DCofS, 7 Apr 41, sub: 
WD Lend-lease Policies and Action To Be Taken 
Thereunder in Immediate Future, G-4/32697. (2) 
Memo [signed Gen Moore], no addressee, no date, 
atchd to memo cited above, AG 008 Lend-lease 

42 (1) Memo, ACofS G-4 for ACofS WPD, 16 May 
41, sub: Release of Mil Equip, G-4/3 1691-1, Sec 1. 
(2) Min, Def Aid Ord Reqmts Com mtg, 21 May 41, 
Mtgs May file, DAD. (3) Memo, Gen Burns for SW, 
1 8 Jun 41.(4) Ltr, President to S W, 24 Jun 4 1 . Last 
two in G-4/32697, Sec 1. 

43 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS, 26 Jun 41, sub: Trf 
Prog of WD Under Def Aid, G-4/32697, Sec 1. 
Though officially proposed by Brig. Gen. Eugene 
Reybold, ACofS G-4, to General Marshall, it was 
clearly the work of Colonel Aurand. 



ules and would result in transferring un- 
balanced quantities of equipment. He sug- 
gested instead that 20 percent of the 
monthly production of each type of equip- 
ment be transferred to defense aid, arguing 
that such a fixed ratio would provide for 
concurrently meeting U.S. and foreign re- 
quirements, permit lend-lease nations to 
obtain sufficient U.S. equipment to famil- 
iarize themselves with its use, and provide 
balanced quantities instead of widely 
varying ones of mutually essential items. 
Aurand chose 20 percent as the most equi- 
table figure since he felt it would cause 
little delay in Rainbow 5 schedules, 
though he recognized the grave danger 
that the figure was "subject to arbitrary 
revision upwards by agencies higher than 
the War Department." 44 Transfers of 30 
percent he thought would require post- 
ponements up to three or four months in 
delivering certain critical items to U.S. 
forces. In view of the acute shortage of 
ammunition he suggested that transfer of 
20 percent of production should not begin 
until October. 

Aurand's proposal, presented officially 
to General Marshall by G-4, was con- 
curred in for the most part by the rest of 
the General Staff divisions. War Plans Di- 
vision, looking into the future, added the 
provision that after PMP requirements 
plus three months maintenance were met, 
80 percent of monthly production should 
go to defense aid. General Moore recom- 
mended the solution to General Marshall 
as the "only practicable method by which 
we can comply with the directive of the 
President." 45 General Marshall approved 
on 1 July, amending the WPD addition in 
ink to permit 80 percent of monthly pro- 
duction to go to defense aid once the PMP 
and one month's combat maintenance were 
in the hands of U.S. troops. 46 

Applying the 80-20 formula to monthly 
production for the next year, G-4 drew up 
an "Availability List" that projected trans- 
fers through 30 June 1942. This became 
the basis for the report to the President 
(made on 18 July 1941) and for furnishing 
the British and Chinese with tentative 
schedules of what they might expect to 
receive during the next twelve months. 
Division between the two countries was 
based generally on the proportion of con- 
tracts financed for each under lend-lease. 
A monthly revision was planned to keep 
the Availability List in line with changing 
production forecasts. 47 The G-4 Availabil- 
ity List at least provided some basis on 
which both the U.S. Army and foreign 
governments could anticipate transfers, 
and the 80-20 formula firmly established 
the principle that American and foreign 
needs for munitions would be met concur- 
rently. But the formula provided no com- 
plete solution to the problem of allocation, 
and did not eliminate the necessity for 
individual decisions by the Chief of Staff 
and the President. It proved impossible 
for G-4, with limited personnel, to keep 
the transfer schedules adjusted to the latest 
production information. Also the formula 
was rigid and divorced from strategic con- 
siderations. The source of financing was as 
poor a guide to distribution between 

** Ibid. 

15 Memo, Gen Moore for CofS, 30 Jun 41, sub: 
Schedule of Items Which Can Be Trfd to Other 
Countries, Trfs-Policy file, DAS G-4. 

46 (1) Memo, ACofS WPD for ACofS G-4, 28 Jun 
4 1 , sub: Comments on Trf Prog of WD Under Def 
Aid. (2) Memo cited n. 45. (3) Memo, Col Mickelsen, 
Asst SGS, for ACofS G-4, 1 Jul 4 1 , sub: Trf Prog of 
WD Under Def Aid. All in Trfs-Policy file, DAS G-4. 

47 (1) Memo, McCloy for Exec Off DDAR, 12 Jul 
41. (2) Related papers. Both in G-4/32697, Sec 1. (3) 
Memos, ACofS G-4 for DAD, 26 and 28 Jul 41, subs: 
Items Available for Trf to Foreign Countries, G-4/ 
31691-1, Sec 3. 



claimant countries as it was to distribution 
between the U.S. Army and foreign aid. If 
any transfers were to be made to the 
Netherlands Indies, to Latin America, or 
to the USSR, they would have to come out 
of the allotted 20 percent, lessening the 
share of Britain and China. Emergency 
demands from all claimants were bound 
to arise that could not be satisfied within 
the formula. 

Exceptions had to be made from the 
very start, the most important single one 
being tanks. The British relied heavily on 
American production for tanks as a result 
of the decisions of 1940. By the end of June 
1941 General Marshall had agreed to re- 
lease to them, largely for the Middle East, 
20 medium tanks out of a total U.S. pro- 
duction of 26, and 480 light tanks out of a 
total production of 1,133 (based on actual 
production figures through the end of July 
1941). Under the proposed 20 percent 
policy, the British would receive a far 
smaller proportion for the rest of the year. 
Quite in contrast, the British presented re- 
quests that would have virtually absorbed 
American tank production, and urged 
acceleration of the tank production pro- 
gram. The President on 14 July 1941 asked 
the War Department to review the entire 
tank situation and to make a special effort 
to expedite production, indicating at the 
same time that any increase "should in the 
main go to the British, because of their 
very great necessity." 48 General Marshall 
finally agreed that 760 light tanks out of a 
prospective production of 1 ,420 before the 
end of the year should go to the British 
under lend-lease, and that out of a total 
production of 1 ,350 mediums they should 
receive 537 on their own contracts and 
163 under lend-lease. It appeared in July 
that these allocations would not seriously 
delay the U.S. program for six armored 

divisions and fifteen separate tank battal- 
ions as part of the initial PMP force, if pro- 
duction schedules could be met. But the 
allocations proposed by Marshall were 
based on a production schedule that was 
highly optimistic in view of the fact tank 
priorities (A- 1 -d) were far lower than those 
oi ships and planes (A-l-a), and in fact 
actual production soon fell in arrears. 49 

The proposal to delay ammunition 
transfers also created problems. Any trans- 
fers of rifles, machine guns, tanks, or planes 
inevitably brought in their train a de- 
mand for ammunition to make them 
usable in combat. For example, a delicate 
situation arose when a hundred P-40's, re- 
leased by the British, were shipped to 
Chennault's American Volunteer Group. 
Although the British had assumed the ob- 
ligation of supplying the planes with 
ammunition and spare parts, they were 
unable to do so, and the responsibility fell 
on the United States. General Marshall 
was reluctant to accept this responsibility 
in view of the ammunition shortage, but 
Lauchlin Currie appealed to Hopkins and 
the President, "If we don't get the ammu- 
nition over there there will be an interna- 
tional scandal and we might as well forget 
the rest of the lend-lease program for 

4S Ltr, President to SW, 14 Jul 41. Auth File of 
President's Ltrs, DAD. 

49 (1) Memo, ACofSG-4 for DAD. lL'Jun 41. sub: 
Release of Tanks to Britain, G-4/3 1 69 1 - 1 , Sec 2. (2) 
VVPD and CPA, Official Munitions Production of the 
United States by Months, July 1, 1940-August 31, 
1945, pp. 225-26. (3) Memo, G. C. M. [Gen Mar- 
shall], no addressee, 1 1 Jul 41. (4) Memo, McCloy 
for SW, 28 Jul 41. Last two in Misc Corresp Lend- 
lease 1 file, DAD. (5) Memo, unsigned, for CofS, 19 
Jul 41, sub: Trf of Tanks to Britain. Misc Corresp 
Lend-lease 2 file, DAD. (6) Memo, SW for President. 
26Jul41,sub:Tank Pdn, G-4/3 169 1-1, Sec 3. (7) See 
also material in English Corresp Lend-lease 1 file, 
DAD; England Tanks, England Lend-lease Cases 3 
file, DAD; and WPD 4323-34. 



China." The President suggested a 
"token amount to show them we mean 
business, " and General Marshall finally 
agreed to release a million rounds of .30- 
caliber and five hundred thousand rounds 
of .50-caliber on the recommendation of 
WPD that these amounts could be spared 
with a reasonable margin of safety if pro- 
spective U.S. task forces did not exceed 
two divisions. 51 

While action from February to August 
1941 was being based almost entirely on 
expediency, a movement was under way 
to link lend-lease allocations to over-all 
strategic and supply planning for ultimate 
victory over the Axis Powers. The need for 
such a link was recognized not only by 
Colonel Aurand (in the memorandum of 
7 April 1941) but also by Under Secretary 
Patterson and General Malony, acting 
head of WPD. "This organization for de- 
fense aid," Malony warned Marshall on 
12 May 1941, "is seriously deficient in that 
it includes no agency directly charged 
with . . . assuring coordination between 
plans for production and distribution of 
means and our strategic plans and pol- 
icy . . . ." But while Aurand proposed an 
organization specifically set up for this pur- 
pose composed of representatives of the 
Army, Navy, Maritime Commission, and 
the Office of Production Management, 
with their British opposite numbers, and 
one representative from the Chinese 
Army, Malony thought "recommenda- 
tions for the distribution of military equip- 
ment between U.S. armed services and the 
armed services of other countries should 
never be formulated by a group contain- 
ing foreign representatives as an integral 
part." He suggested, instead, that the Joint 
Board would be the "most logical and 
qualified agency to accomplish the task." 52 

General Marshall approved Malony's 

suggestion and referred it to the Joint 
Board in May, though not until August, 
and then at the behest of Harry Hopkins, 
was the proposal presented to the Presi- 
dent. On 26 August Marshall sent to Gen- 
eral Burns as a joint Army-Navy proposal 
a draft executive order for the President's 
signature designating the Joint Board as 
the agency "for recommending to the 
President general policies and priorities 
which shall control the distribution among 
the United States and friendly powers, of 
munitions of war produced or controlled 
by the United States." 53 The proposed 
guides to such allocation policies were to 
be national policy and military strategy of 
the United States, production possibilities 
both in the United States and nations to 
be aided, extent to which aid could be 
effectively utilized, and limitations im- 
posed by transportation. 54 The President 
refused to sign the order, insisting that 
recommendations should come to him 
from his Army and Navy Chiefs of Staff 

50 (1) Ltr, Currie to Hopkins, 3 Jul 41, AG 400.3295 
(4-14-41), Sec 1. (2) See detailed correspondence in 
same file for the complete story. 

51 (1) Memo, Hopkins for Gen Burns, 12 Jul 41. (2) 
Ltr, Philip Young to SW, 8 Aug 41. Both in AG 
400.3295 (4-14-41), Sec 1. (3) Memo, ACofS WPD for 
DCofS, 1 Aug 41, sub: Sup of Small Arms Am for 
Chinese Govt, WPD 4389-5. 

52 (1) Memo, Malony for CofS, 12 May 41, sub: 
Co-ord of Ping and Sup. (2) For Patterson's sugges- 
tions, see memo, Patterson for SW, 18 Apr 41, sub: 
Ult Mun Pdn Essential to Safety of America. Both in 
WPD 4321-12. (3) Memo cited n. 41(1). (4) Memo, 
ACofS G-4 for DCofS, 28 Apr 41, sub: Draft Ltr for 
SWs Signature in Connection With Ult Sup Plan. 
JB 325, Ser 692. (5) On the Victory Program plan- 
ning, which was a companion piece to the effort to 
establish an agency for allocations, see below, Ch. V. 

' Memo, Marshall for JB. 14 May 41, sub: Co-ord 
of Ping and Sup, WPD 4321-12. 

'' (1) Ibid. (2) Memo, Gen Burns for Hopkins, 26 
Aug 41 . sub: Proposed EO, Policies and Priorities for 
Distrib of Mun, WPD 4576-1. (3) Admiral Stark had 
not finally agreed to the draft that General Marshall 
sent as ajoint proposal. In general, their views were 
similar but Stark wanted to make a more pointed cor- 



individually rather than through the Joint 
Board. The President's refusal was a re- 
affirmation of his determination to main- 
tain the reins of control in his own hands 
and not to delegate too wide powers to the 
military agencies. 55 The emergence of a 
new claimant for aid — the Soviet Union — 
and the President's desire to exercise close 
personal supervision over the development 
of a Soviet aid program may well have 
influenced this decision. 

The principal achievement of the first 
few months of operations under lend-lease 
was the development of production pro- 
grams for foreign aid which, together with 
the Army's own program, promised a 
swelling flow of munitions from American 
factories. This flow was still only a future 
promise, and the immediate effect of lend- 

relation of national objectives to ABC-1 than Mar- 
shall was willing to accept. Marshall forwarded his 
own draft because General Burns was pressing for 
immediate presentation of the matter to the President. 
See material in AG 400.3295 (8-19-41) and WPD 

lease was to heighten the competition for 
the existing limited supply. Though the 
principle was accepted that foreign aid 
should not be allowed to interfere with the 
achievement of the minimum essential 
program for development of the U.S. 
Army, in practice the Army found itself 
forced to make repeated concessions to na- 
tions whose very survival was at stake. The 
British were favored in the establishment 
of priorities for production of aircraft, in 
the special arrangements for division of 
tank production, and in specific diversions 
of material to the Middle East; minor con- 
cessions had been made to China and the 
Netherlands Indies at the expense of Army 
projects; and the 80-20 formula repre- 
sented some sacrifice of the principle that 
the PMP force should have a clear priority 
on American munitions production. With 
the addition of the Soviet Union to the 
ranks of those receiving aid, the prospect 
was that further concessions must follow. 

55 Memo, President for CofS and CNO, 8 Sep 41, 
JB 355, Ser 726. 


The Broadening Pattern of 
Lend-Lease Operations 

The Beginnings of Aid to the USSR 

The German invasion of the USSR on 
22 June 1941 placed the Soviet Union in 
the ranks, if not of the democracies, at least 
of those nations opposing a common 
fascist enemy. On 23 June Prime Minister 
Churchill pledged the British Government 
to extend the utmost possible aid to the 
USSR, and on the same day President 
Roosevelt in a press conference made a 
more guarded statement pledging U.S. 
aid. Nevertheless, in the United States the 
approach to a Soviet aid program had to 
be cautious because of widespread suspi- 
cion of the USSR. For the time being no 
attempt was made to include the Soviet 
Union under lend-lease; aid was extended 
through U.S. Government agencies in re- 
turn for cash payments from the Amtorg 
Trading Corporation, the Soviet Union's 
commercial representatives in New York. 
The first action taken toward aiding the 
USSR consisted of review and release of 
certain materials that Amtorg had pur- 
chased earlier but that had been im- 
pounded in New York because the State 
Department would not issue export li- 
censes. This was followed by presidential 
approval in July and August 1941 of two 
programs for Amtorg's purchases of raw 
materials, industrial materials, and explo- 

sives to a total value of $167 million. The 
programs contained semifinished military 
materials, the export of which might well 
interfere with existing lend-lease and 
Army production programs. 1 The Soviet 
requests for finished munitions in July and 
August threatened to interfere even more, 
including as they did vast quantities of air- 
craft, tanks, artillery, and small arms. 2 

War Department officials were extreme- 
ly reluctant to make the radical readjust- 
ment that meeting even a small proportion 
of these demands would necessitate. With 
little knowledge of the Soviet Union's real 
capabilities of resistance, the General Staff 
felt the best method of aiding the USSR 
would be to continue aid to Britain. In 
early August General Marshall agreed to 
token releases to the Soviet Union of 
bombs, submachine guns, and ammuni- 
tion from Army stocks, but beyond these 
he insisted that shipments of finished mu- 

1 Stettinius, Lend-Lease: Weapon for Victory, pp. 
129-36. (2) Ltr, Gen Burns to President. 23 Jul 41. 
(3) Memo, President for "Pa" Watson [Gen E. M.], 
25 Jul 41. (4) Memo, Burns for President, 1 8 Aug 4 1 . 
All in Papers Taken to London Conf (Col V. V. 
Taylor) file, DAD. 

2 See General Burns' summary of Soviet require- 
ments as known at the end of August 1 94 1 , attached 
to his memorandum for the Chief of Staff, 31 August 
1941, in Papers Taken to London Conf (Col Taylor) 
file, DAD. 




ABOARD H. M. S. PRINCE OF WALES during the Atlantic Conference, August 1941. 
Seated left to right: Sir Alexander G. M. Cadogan, Air Chief Marshal Wilfred R. Freeman, 
Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (note Fala at the Presi- 
dent's feet), Admiral of the Fleet Sir Dudley Pound, General Sir John Dill; standing left to right: 
W Averell Harriman, Harry Hopkins, Admiral Ernest J. King, Admiral Ross T. Mclntire, 
Sumner Welles, Maj. Gen. Edwin M. Watson, John A. Roosevelt, Admiral Harold R. Stark, 
General George C Marshall. 

nitions to the Soviet Union would have to 
come out of the British allotment. 3 

Meantime, Harry Hopkins had re- 
turned from a special mission to Moscow 
with a firm conviction of Soviet ability to 
resist, and the President decided that the 
USSR must be given the utmost aid possi- 
ble. During his interview with Marshal 
Joseph V. Stalin, Hopkins had suggested 
that a conference be held in Moscow be- 
tween representatives of the USSR, Great 
Britain, and the United States. At the At- 
lantic Conference held in August off the 
coast of Argentia, Newfoundland, Church- 

ill seconded the suggestion, the Soviet 
Government agreed later, and the date 
was set for 1 October 1941. 4 On 31 August 
the President informed the Secretary of 

(1) Memo, ACofS G-4 for DAD. 4 Aug 41. (2) 
Memo, G-4 for CofS. 8 Aug 41. Both in G-4/33388. 
(3) Memo, Gen Moore for CofS, 18 Aug 41. (4) 
Memo. McCloy for USW, 26 Aug 41, sub: Exch of 
Ord Mat for Russian Account. Last two in AG 
400.3295 (8-14-41) Sec 1. (5) Memo, Moore for CofS, 
31 Jul 41. with pencil note by Gen Marshall thereon. 
Russia-Gen file, DAS G-4. (6) Min of confs in OASW 
on sub of Soviet requests, 9 and 11 Aug 41, AG 
400.3295 (8-14-41) Sec 1. 

4 (1) Sherwood. Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 321-22, 
327-43, 359. (2) Papers in WPD 4557-4. 



War of these developments, directing 
action in the following terms: 

I deem it of paramount importance for the 
safety and security of America that all rea- 
sonable munitions help be provided for 
Russia, not only immediately but as long as 
she continues to fight the Axis powers effec- 
tively. I am convinced that substantial and 
comprehensive commitments of such charac- 
ter must be made to Russia by Great Britain 
and the United States at the proposed con- 

It is obvious that early help must be given 
primarily from production already provided 
for. I desire your department working with 
the Navy Department to submit to me by 
September 10 your recommendations of dis- 
tribution of expected United States produc- 
tion of munitions of war, as between the 
United States, Great Britain, Russia and 
other countries to be aided — by important 
items, quantity time schedules and approxi- 
mate values, for the period from the present 
time until June 30, 1942 . . . . 5 

The President then outlined plans for a 
preliminary conference between British 
and American military officials in which 
the Soviet allocation should be decided. 
The War Department now had to find 
additional ground force materiel from 
scheduled production, over and above the 
previously agreed 20 percent, to provide 
for aid to the USSR, and to reopen the 
whole question of air allocations. A new 
basis for calculating minimum U.S. Army 
requirements was adopted, providing that 
base and task forces should be 100 percent 
equipped before 30 June 1942, but forces 
in training only 50 percent. By this post- 
ponement of Army objectives, and by cer- 
tain curtailments in deliveries to the 
British, it was calculated that 152 90-mm. 
guns, 991 37-mm. antitank guns, 1,135 
mortars, 20,000 submachine guns, 729 
light and 795 medium tanks, 155,341 
miles of field telegraph wire, and a few 
other items could be furnished the USSR. 

The Air Forces proposed to send 1 ,200 
planes of all types, to be diverted from 
lend-lease contracts for the British. This 
list became the basis of the American offer 
of equipment to the Soviet Union. (i 

At the conference with the British in 
London, which began on 15 September 
1 94 1 , the Americans first had to counter a 
British effort to control the entire program 
of aid to the USSR. Lord Beaverbrook, 
British Minister of Supply, wanted the 
Americans to make an over-all allocation 
to the British, out of which the latter 
would, with American advice, make sub- 
allocations to the Russians at the confer- 
ence in Moscow. The British clearly feared 
the effect of American aid to the Soviet 
Union on their own lend-lease program. 
They had already made commitments of 
200 pursuit planes and 250 medium tanks 
a month to the USSR, and counted 
heavily on American allocations to enable 
them to maintain this flow. The Americans 
firmly rejected this approach, and finally 
Lord Beaverbrook agreed that the United 
States should make separate allocations to 
the Soviet Union, in addition to the British 
program, and that the definite offers to be 
made by both countries should be agreed 
in London before departure for Moscow. 7 

The British continued to fight for their 
own lend-lease allocations in subsequent 
conferences and subcommittee meetings. 
While they eventually agreed to the U.S. 
offers of ground munitions except in the 

:> Memo, President for SW, 3 1 Aug 4 1 , Auth File of 
President's Ltrs, DAD. 

fi (1) Memo, Moore for ASW, 6 Sep 41, sub: Avail- 
ability of Items on Russian List, G-4/33388. (2) 
Memo, SW for President, 1 2 Sep 4 1 , sub: Proposed 
Distrib of War Mun, Russia-Gen file, DAS G-4. (3) 
For task forces contemplated at this time, see above, 
Ch. II. 

7 Min, mtg in Cabinet Bldg, London, 15 Sep 41, 
Min of London Conf (Col Taylor), file, DAD. Copies 
of these minutes are also in WPD 4557-4. 



case of tanks, they appended to this agree- 
ment a statement of the additional quanti- 
ties they desired from American produc- 
tion. 8 On tanks the conference was unable 
to agree without reference back to the 
United States. Tank production had fallen 
behind the optimistic schedules furnished 
the President in July and showed danger- 
ous signs of bogging down at the very 
moment when Soviet demands, eventually 
stated at 1,100 monthly, injected an addi- 
tional complication. In the schedules the 
U.S. Army representatives brought to 
London, the delivery of 729 light and 795 
medium tanks to the Russians was predi- 
cated on cutting British allotments drasti- 
cally after the first of the new year. U.S. 
Army plans were also curtailed to the 
extent that three of the six armored divi- 
sions planned and the fifteen separate tank 
battalions would receive only 50 percent 
of their tanks by the beginning of 1942, 
and the 6th Armored Division would not 
be activated until March 1942. 9 The Brit- 
ish were stunned by the American pro- 
posal under which the USSR would get 
795 medium tanks before 30 June 1942 
and Britain only 611. W. Averell Harri- 
man, the head of the American delegation, 
cabled Hopkins that the British had been 
led to expect larger numbers of tanks at 
the Atlantic Conference in August and 
that the discussion of tanks was becoming 
"acrimonious." Immediately after receipt 
of this cable, the President peremptorily 
directed that tank production in the 
United States be doubled by 30 June 1942, 
and that the delivery dates on the existing 
program be stepped up 25 percent. Hop- 
kins cabled back to Harriman that tanks 
available for export would be considerably 
greater than the Army figures indicated, 
and the conference went on to agree that 
500 tanks a month should comprise the 
combined offer to the USSR, 250 from the 

United Kingdom and 250 from the United 
States. The British would make up the 
deficit that would necessarily exist in the 
American quota until U.S. tank produc- 
tion reached higher rates, in return for a 
substantial increase in their own allotment 

Hurried conferences in Washington 
produced figures that substantially met 
the British request for 1,500 light and 
2,000 medium tanks before 30 June 1942. 
Ordnance prepared schedules, based on 
raising preference ratings from A-l-d to 
A-l-a, showing a total production of 5,200 
medium and 3,190 light tanks by that 
time. Of these totals 3,994 mediums and 
1 ,953 lights would be surplus to the revised 
requirements of the U.S. Armored Force. 
With 2,250 promised the Russians, there 
was still a sufficient surplus to meet British 
expectations. The President also informed 
Harriman that the commitments to the 
USSR could be vastly increased during 
the second half of 1942. 10 

The Army viewed these promises with 
misgivings, fearing that if production 
lagged British and Soviet allocations 

8 Rpt, Subcom on Alloc of Mil Mat to Russia, 16 
Sep 41, Min of London Conf (Col Taylor) file, DAD. 
Lord Beaverbrook remarked that the British did not 
agree to these allocations but had to accept them. 

H ( 1) Memo cited n. 6(1). (2) Memo, Col Aurand 
for ASW, 12 Sep 41, sub: Tank Reqmts. (3) Memo, 
Gen Moore, no addressee, 18 Sep 41, sub: Conf Est of 
Condition of U.S. Forces on Approval of Proposed 
Distrib of Tanks. Last two in England Tanks file, 

10 (1) Msg4321, Harriman to Hopkins. 17 Sep 41. 
(2) Msg, Hopkins to American Embassy, London, for 
Harriman, 17 Sep 41. (3) Msg, Harriman to Presi- 
dent, 18 Sep 41. (4) Msg. Hopkins to Harriman via 
Navy radio, 20 Sep 41. (5) Msg, President to Harri- 
man. 30 Sep 41. All in Russian Cables Supersecret 
hie. ID. (6) Memo, Robert Patterson for Lt Col Wil- 
liam P. Scobey, JB, 19 Sep 41, sub: A-l-a Rating on 
Tanks. (7) Memo. Gen Moore for Adm Stark, 23 Sep 
41. Last two in Misc Corresp Lend-lease 2 file, DAD. 
(8) Memo, Maj Gen Charles T. Harris, Jr., OCofOrd. 
tor I S\V. 13 Sep 41, sub: Pdn Schedules for . . . 
Tanks, G-4/31691, Sec 5. 



would have to be met at the expense of the 
U.S. armored program. The President on 
25 September followed his oral orders 
with a modified written directive ordering 
that every effort be made to increase the 
monthly rate of tank production over the 
next nine months by 15 percent and that 
the proposed maximum rate under this 
schedule of fourteen hundred monthly in 
June 1942 be doubled during the ensuing 
year. Any attainment of these objectives, 
Ordnance reported, would be contingent 
upon A-l-a preference ratings for tanks, 
and the Navy objected violently to this 
advance, fearing its effects on the pace of 
shipbuilding. In the end it was granted on 
only part of the program, and the actual 
pace of production of tanks during Octo- 
ber and November proved that the Army's 
fears were well grounded." 

Aircraft allocations caused a similar 
crisis. The Americans proposed to send 
the Soviet Union twelve hundred planes, 
largely from production the British had 
expected to receive. The aircraft would 
be of all types, including a small number 
of heavy bombers. The total quantity 
would still be insufficient to make up half 
of the four hundred a month the Russians 
requested. The British objected to giving 
heavy bombers to the USSR and felt the 
United States should compensate for 
Great Britain's loss of other types by in- 
creasing their allotment of heavy bombers. 
This struck at a very sensitive point in 
American military plans since General 
Marshall was even then trying to get 
heavy bombers for Hawaii and the Philip- 
pines. The only agreement reached at the 
conference was that the United States and 
Great Britain should together furnish the 
Soviet Union 300 fighters and 100 bomb- 
ers a month, with the question of type 
held in abeyance. The ultimate decision 
came from Washington, after the depar- 

ture of the mission for Moscow, and repre- 
sented a considerable concession to the 
British. Hopkins cabled that the United 
States would furnish 1 ,800 instead of 1 ,200 
planes over the nine-month period, made 
up roughly of 900 fighters (P-40 pursuits), 
698 light and 72 medium bombers, and 
the rest of miscellaneous types. The Presi- 
dent had decided that no heavy bombers 
should be sent to the USSR and increased 
the number of medium bombers to com- 
pensate. The increase of six hundred 
planes was to be taken out of the U.S. 
Army allocations rather than from British 
lend-lease. The adjustment of British al- 
locations necessitated by this step would 
have to take place later. 1Z 

In Moscow negotiations began on 28 
September 1941 and culminated on 1 Oc- 
tober when the First (Moscow) Protocol 
was signed. The protocol consisted of com- 
mitments by the United States and Great 
Britain of materials to be made available 
at their "centres of production" over the 
nine-month period from 1 October 1941 
through 30 June 1942. The two countries 
also promised to "give aid to the transpor- 
tation of these materials to the Soviet 
Union." 13 The Anglo-American commit- 
ments on major items were those agreed 
on at London, but on other semifinished 

" (1) Ltr, President to SW, 25 Sep 41, G-4/ 
31691-1, Sec 6. (2) Memo cited n. 10(7). (3) Memo, 
CofSand CNO for ANMB, 29 Nov 41, sub: Priority 
of A-l-a for Medium Tank Pdn, England Tanks file, 

'-' ( 1 ) Rpt, Subcom on Aircraft Mats, 1 7 Sep 41. 
(2) Min of full conf mtg, 17 Sep 41. Both in Min of 
London Conf (Col Taylor) file, DAD. (3) Msg, Hop- 
kins to American Embassy, Moscow, 26 Sep 4 1 , Rus- 
sian Cables Supersecret file, ID. (4) Craven and Cate, 
AAFI,p. 134. 

1 ' ( 1 ) For the official text of the protocol, see U.S. 
AGREEMENTS, Soviet Supply Protocols, Pub 2759, 
European Ser. 22 (Washington, no date), pp. 1-12. 
(2) For a description of the entire conference, see 
Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 387-93. 



materials and miscellaneous military 
equipment, decision was withheld pend- 
ing further study in Washington. Most 
final decisions on matters left open were 
communicated to Stalin by the President 
on 3 1 October 1 94 1 , and on the same day 
Soviet representatives in Washington were 
furnished detailed monthly delivery 
schedules for the entire American com- 
mitment. In view of Stalin's remark at the 
conference that the war would be won by 
the side with the best motor transport, the 
most significant additional commitment 
was one for 5,600 trucks immediately and 
10,000 monthly thereafter to the end of 
the protocol period. 14 

In summary, the commitments under 
the protocol for which the War Depart- 
ment would be responsible included 1,800 
planes, 2,250 tanks, 152 90-mm. antiair- 
craft guns, 756 37-mm. antitank guns, 
5,000 jeeps, 85,000 cargo trucks, 108,000 
field telephones, 562,000 miles of tele- 
phone wire, and large quantities of toluol, 
TNT, assorted chemicals, and army cloth. 
As long as the USSR was not eligible for 
lend-lease, there were many obstacles to 
the transfer of any of this material. The 
President decided that the time had come 
to declare the USSR eligible for lend-lease 
and on 30 October cabled Stalin that he 
approved the commitments made in the 
protocol and that the Soviet Union would 
be granted $1 billion under lend-lease to 
fulfill them. On 7 November, Roosevelt 
formally declared the defense of the USSR 
vital to that of the United States. 15 

In this manner a Soviet aid program 
came into being, second only in size to the 
British program. For the War Department 
it posed serious problems: reconciling new 
demands on American production with 
the equipping of task forces and of troops 
in training, fulfilling promises already 

made to Britain and China, and dealing 
with a new and somewhat un-co-opera- 
tive ally. Above all, and this was by no 
means a matter solely of War Department 
concern, it posed the problem of how to 
move materials made available at such 
sacrifice over the inadequate supply routes 
to the USSR. 

Adjustments in Programs and Allocations 
September-December 1941 

The introduction of the Soviet aid pro- 
gram produced the major complication in 
the developing pattern of lend-lease oper- 
ations in the three months immediately 
preceding Pearl Harbor. The effort to fit 
the Soviet program into the existing struc- 
ture was accompanied, however, by a gen- 
eral trend toward systematizing and ex- 
tending lend-lease operations. Following 
the passage of the second lend-lease ap- 
propriation on 28 October 1941, the Of- 
fice of Lend-Lease Administration placed 
in effect the system of programing instead 
of random requisitioning, and Colonel 
Aurand as Defense Aid Director labored 
indefatigably to get all foreign military re- 
quirements, except the inevitable emer- 
gency demands, placed into programs. As 
a result of representations by General 
Marshall at the Atlantic Conference, the 
British agreed to collate the presentation 
of requirements by their civilian officials in 

" (1) U.S. Dept of State, Soviet Supply Protocols. (2) 
Msg, President to Stalin, through American Embassy, 
Moscow, via Navy radio, 31 Oct 41, Russian Info Ca- 
bles file, ID. (3) Ltr, Brig Oen Sidney P. Spalding to 
Andrei A. Gromyko, 31 Oct 41, Russia (1) file, DAD. 

15 (1) Memo, Aurand for DCofS, 4 Oct 41, sub: 
Confon Trf of Oct Quota of Articles for Russia, Rus- 
sia file, DAD. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 
396-98. (3) Stettinius, Lend-Lease: Weapon for Victory, 
pp. 142-43. (4) Ltr, President to SW, 7 Nov 4 1 . AG 
400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1. 



Washington with military plans of their 
chiefs of staff. They presented in early 
November a comprehensive statement of 
their detailed requirements from Amer- 
ican production through the end of 1942, 
including those intended for future financ- 
ing as well as those covered by plans for 
the use of the second lend-lease appro- 
priation. An attempt was made to work 
out a similar program for the Chinese. 

A portion of Latin American demands 
was set up for production under the Octo- 
ber appropriation, and Dutch require- 
ments were programed on a cash reim- 
bursement basis. Because plans for the 
British, Chinese, and Latin American pro- 
grams absorbed nearly all funds available, 
military items on the Soviet protocol had 
to be set up for delivery under the "Billion 
Three" clause, from production originally 
planned for the U.S. Army. Though it 
took time to reduce the existing welter of 
requisitions to some order and to put the 
new system in effect, the programs repre- 
sented a considerable advance over the 
helter-skelter manner in which lend-lease 
production planning had been handled 
earlier. 1<s 

The requirements programs, neverthe- 
less, tied up as they were with the intrica- 
cies of lend-lease financing, could not 
meet the mushrooming demands for im- 
mediate deliveries under lend-lease. The 
British continued to insist that U.S. re- 
armament be subordinated to increased as- 
sistance. Chinese and Dutch demands 
greatly added to the pressures. With the 
addition of the Soviet protocol, demands 
for lend-lease threatened anew to eclipse 
the Army's preparedness program. The 
President himself seemed inclined to the 
view that America's contribution to the 
defeat of the Axis should be weapons, not 

Since 1940 the 54-group program of the 
U.S. Army Air Forces (AAF) had been 
subordinated to British demands. But un- 
til the Soviet program was introduced, 
production on AAF contracts had nor- 
mally been reserved for the United States, 
the British receiving all planes on their 
own and lend-lease contracts. As has been 
indicated, the large Soviet requests for 
planes forced re-examination of the whole 
question. On 9 September Maj. Gen. 
Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the AAF, pro- 
posed that during the period to end 30 
June 1942, the anti-Axis pool should re- 
ceive 15 percent of the planes produced 
on AAF contracts. These planes plus the 
aircraft from lend-lease and foreign orders 
would account for 66 percent of American 
aircraft production (excluding naval air- 
craft). Final tentative allocations, as 
agreed in British-American conferences 
after the Soviet protocol had been formu- 
lated, went slightly further. Out of the 
scheduled production to the end of June 
1942, the AAF was to receive 4,189 tac- 
tical planes, Great Britain 6,634, the 
Soviet Union 1 ,835, China 407, and other 
nations 109. This meant that approxi- 
mately 68 percent of American produc- 
tion of tactical planes would go to the 
anti-Axis pool and that Britain would re- 
ceive around 75 percent of this allocation. 
The smallness of these production figures 
in proportion to those set up in the ambi- 
tious plans of 1940 illustrates the extent 

" ; (1) ID, Lend-Lease, II, 943. (2) Memo, Aurand 
for Stettinius, 31 Oct 41, sub: WD Expenditure Prog, 
2d Lend-lease, Col Joseph W. Boone's file, DAD. (3) 
Ltr, Lt Col Jonathan L. Holman, OLLA, to Col 
Aurand, 5 Nov 41, Russia (2) file, DAD. (4) Memo, 
Aurand for E. P. Taylor, Chm Br Sup Council, 1 Dec 
41, English Corresp Lend-lease 4 file, DAD. (5) Ltr, 
Gen Sir John Dill to Gen Marshall, 3 Sep 41, G-4/ 
31691-1, Sec 5. 



to which the problem of allocation re- 
mained one of dividing a deficiency. 17 

In the apportionment of ground equip- 
ment, the trend was in a similar direction. 
In calculating what could be given the 
USSR, it will be recalled that the Army's 
minimum requirements were set at 100 
percent equipment for task forces and 50 
percent for forces in training before 30 
June 1942. On this basis a new G-4 
Availability List was drawn up on 11 Sep- 
tember supplanting that of July, this time 
including the Soviet Union, the Nether- 
lands Indies, and Latin America as well as 
Britain and China. General Marshall in- 
dicated that this was the limit to which 
the Army could go, but he was forced to 
make further concessions, evidently as a 
result of pressure from the White House. 
On 22 September 1941, the day Marshall 
attended a White House conference on 
the general subject of delaying Army ex- 
pansion, 18 he approved a new formula for 
allocations that clearly envisaged further 
retarding the pace of rearmament in favor 
of diverting the lion's share of American 
production to lend-lease at the earliest 
possible moment. The July formula had 
provided that 80 percent of U.S. muni- 
tions production should go to defense aid 
after 1 June 1942, when 100 percent of the 
equipment for the 1942 PMP (1,820,000 
men) was expected to be on hand; the 
new formula provided that 75 percent of 
total production should go to defense aid 
after 1 March 1942, when 70 percent of 
the PMP equipment was expected to be 
on hand. Also, the percentage division of 
ammunition was completely abandoned 
and the provision substituted that ammu- 
nition should be furnished with weapons 
on U.S. expenditure rates, as long as no 
more than 50 percent of monthly produc- 
tion of any given type was released. Colo- 

nel Aurand's office began in October to 
prepare a new schedule of defense aid 
releases based on this formula with de- 
liveries projected through the end of the 
calendar year 1942. I9 

While these calculations were being 
made, crises in the Middle and Far East 
produced new pleas for acceleration of 
lend-lease aid. By making heavy tank 
shipments to the USSR, the British left 
their own position in the Middle East pre- 
carious. On 6 November 1941, General 
Sir John Dill (promoted to field marshal 
on 18 November) appealed directly and 
personally to General Marshall for tanks 
to bolster British defenses in the face of a 
possible German attack through the Cau- 
casus and Anatolia. General Marshall 
agreed that a total of 350 medium tanks 
should be shipped to the Middle East from 
November, December, and January pro- 
duction, the British to make repayment 
out of their allotments for the first quar- 
ter of 1942. The diversion represented 
virtually the entire remaining medium 
tank production earmarked for the U.S. 
Armored Force. W r hile it was partially 

17 (1) Memo, Arnold for CofS. 9 Sep 41, sub: Re- 
lease of Airplanes and Related Equip for Def Aid, 
AWPD/2. in English Corresp Lend-lease 1 file, DAD. 
(2) Agreement between Gen Arnold and Capt H. H. 
Balfour, Br Under Secy of State for Air, 22 Oct 41, 
WPD 4557-20. (3) Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 

18 See below. Ch. V. 

19 Documentary evidence of this change in the basis 
for releases is strangely absent from the records cov- 
ering the time it was agreed to by General Marshall. 
The account here is based on the memorandum. Col. 
Albert W. VValdron, Requirements and Distribution 
Branch, G-4, for Col. Stephen J. Chamberlin, Acting 
G-4. 17 November 1941, subject: Transfer Bases for 
Defense Aid, in Colonel Boone's file, DAD. Colonel 
VValdron says the Chief of Staff did agree to the 
change in September and refers to a memorandum 
from Colonel Aurand for Col. Raymond A. Wheeler, 
Acting G-4, 22 September 1941, as the basis of the 
policy. Aurand's memorandum could not be located. 



counterbalanced by an upsurge in pro- 
duction of light tanks, these could only be 
used as substitutes in training. 10 

The second pressure for immediate de- 
liveries came from China. Never satisfied 
with promises of arms in the distant fu- 
ture, the Chinese feared their needs would 
be shoved even further into the back- 
ground by the growing emphasis on aid 
to the USSR. None of the finished muni- 
tions promised had actually been shipped 
by mid-October 1941, and Lauchlin Cur- 
rie, pressing for acceptance of a long-term 
aircraft program for China, found it im- 
possible to get any commitments from the 
War Department. 21 To the Chinese, their 
fears of neglect seemed well grounded de- 
spite rosy promises. They seized the occa- 
sion of a threatened Japanese attack on 
Kunming in late October to place the 
utmost pressure on the U.S. Government 
for acceleration of deliveries. Both Chiang 
Kai-shek and Dr. Soong appealed directly 
to the President. While Roosevelt indi- 
cated that he regarded the Chinese re- 
quests as urgent, General Marshall was 
willing to make few concessions. A strate- 
gic and intelligence survey by WPD and 
G-2 indicated the situation in China was 
not so serious as Chiang indicated. Mar- 
shall felt that strengthening the Philip- 
pines was of far greater importance in 
safeguarding American interests in the Far 
East than aid to China. He emphatically 
vetoed a proposal to take twenty-four 3- 
inch antiaircraft guns from U.S. troops 
and send them to the Chinese. "It would 
be an outrage," he told Col. Victor V. 
Taylor, Aurand's deputy, "for me to deny 
to MacArthur something that we send on 
a round-about uncertain voyage up into 
China, and I can't give any to MacArthur 
because I've got these regiments with only 
one battery, that . . . have been in now 

for a year . . . ." 22 On 12 November 1941 
Stimson finally informed Soong that none 
of his demands could be met, though all 
steps would be taken to "accelerate and 
where possible to amplify the material 
now scheduled for China." Roosevelt re- 
plied to Chiang in the same vein. 23 

Another pressure point in the Far East 
was the Netherlands Indies, feverishly 
preparing as fears of a Japanese invasion 
mounted. At the instigation of Harry 
Hopkins, the War Department instructed 
Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur to send a 
mission to Batavia to survey the needs of 
the Dutch Army with a view to fitting the 
Dutch into the lend-lease program. The 
mission's report, submitted to MacArthur 
on 23 August 1941, corroborated the pre- 
vious requirements presented by the 
Dutch in the United States. The mission 
found the shortage of small arms so acute 
that MacArthur cabled recommending 
delivery of 50,000 rifles and 30 million 
rounds of ammunition immediately, a re- 

20 (1) Msg 50326, Dill to Marshall, 6 Nov 41. (2) 
Msg, Marshall to Dill, 7 Nov 41. Both in Misc Stf 
Studies, Lend-lease file, Case Lend-lease 41, DAD. 
(3) Ltr, President to SW, 7 Nov 41. (4) Ltr, SW to 
President, 12 Nov 41. (5) Related papers. Last three 
in AG 400.3295 (3-11-41) (1). 

21 (1) Memo, ACofS G-2 for CofS, 20 Aug 41, sub: 
Chinese Resistance, WPD 4389-15. (2) Ltr, SW to 
Currie, 29 Oct 41, and accompanying papers, WPD 

22 (1) Telephone Convs Col Taylor file, Bk. 1, 
DAD. (2) Memo, Soong for President, 31 Oct 41. (3) 
Memo, Hopkins for Gen Burns, 3 1 Oct 4 1 . (4) Memo, 
Burns for Aurand, 3 Nov 41. (5) Memo, Gen Moore 
for CofS, 4 Nov 41, with Marshall's marginal notes. 
Last four in China (2) file, DAD. (6) Ltr, Soong to 
Stimson, 6 Nov 41, AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1. (7) 
Memo, ACofS WPD for CofS, 1 Nov 41, sub: Imme- 
diate Aid to China. (8) Memo for red, Col Charles W. 
Bundy, WPD, 1 Nov 41, same sub. (9) Notes by 
Bundy on conf with Currie, 1 Nov 41. Last three in 
WPD 4389-27. 

-' (1) Ltr, Stimson to Soong, 12 Nov 41, sub: Defof 
Yunnan and Burma Road, AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) 
Sec 1. (2) Msg, President to Chiang Kai-shek, 14 Nov 
41, WPD 4389-8. 



quest that could not be met because of 
the critical shortage of ammunition. War 
Plans Division, while agreeing that some 
efforts must be made to meet Dutch needs, 
felt that "no significant diversions" should 
be made from materials allocated to Brit- 
ain, the USSR, and China.- 4 

The Dutch were given a small share of 
the pool of common articles scheduled for 
distribution under lend-lease in the Sep- 
tember G-4 Availability List, and an effort 
was made to see that the requirements re- 
ported by the mission were scheduled for 
eventual delivery under either lend-lease 
or private contracts. But in view of the 
priority established, precious little could 
actually be furnished as the critical hour 
for the Netherlands Indies approached. 
In November 1941 the Dutch pressed for 
acceleration of deliveries of antiaircraft 
guns, light artillery, small arms, and am- 
munition, much as the Chinese did, but 
they got only minor concessions.- 5 

By 25 November 1941 Colonel Aurand 
and his staff had completed the new de- 
fense aid allocation table with schedules 
projected through the end of the calendar 
year 1942. In the meantime, the Joint 
Board had concluded that the President's 
rejection of the proposal to make it re- 
sponsible for determining policy on lend- 
lease allocations still left it free to take 
such action in the name of the Chief of 
Staff and of the Chief of Naval Operations 
separately, and on 3 November approved 
a recommendation by General Marshall 
that the board should act on "all matters 
of policy concerning Lend Lease distribu- 
tion and diversions incident thereto."- 6 
This meant that WPD, in its role as the 
Army representative of the Joint Planning 
Committee, would have most of the re- 
sponsibility. But WPD had long been out 
of touch with the situation, and it was not 

until 25 November that it was even in- 
formed of the distribution policy approved 
by General Marshall in September.-' 7 

Nevertheless, in conferences with DAD 
and G-4 officers, WPD representatives 
made a belated effort to relate defense aid 
allocations to strategic policy and to cur- 
tail interference of defense aid deliveries 
with U.S. Army plans. Because of the 
necessity for haste, they limited them- 
selves to considerations of transfer sched- 
ules for the month of December 1941, but 
stipulated that future schedules should be 
reviewed monthly in a similar manner. 
While necessarily accepting the existing 
basis of division between U.S. Army and 
defense aid, WPD objected that many al- 
lotments were inconsistent with it and 
would not permit meeting 70 percent of 
PMP requirements by 1 March 1942, and 
suggested that no defense aid allotments 
of ammunition be made until U.S. re- 
quirements for task force reserves were 
filled. As a basis for strategic distribution 

21 (1) Memo, Gen Burns for CofS, 31 Jul 41. (2) 
Msg 202, Manila to TAG, 27 Aug 41. Both in AG 
400.3295 (3-17-41) (1). (3) Rpt, Mis To Inquire Into 
and Verify Reqmts of Netherlands Indies Govt . . . , 
23 Aug 41. (4) Memo, ACofS WPD for DAD, 6 Nov 
4 1 , sub: Rpt of U.S. Army Mis on Mun Reqmts of 
Netherlands Indies. Last two in U.S. Army Mis to 
Netherlands Indies Lend-lease file, DAD. (5) Memo, 
Actg ACofS G-4 for CofS, 20 Sep 41, sub: Availability 
of Def Aid Items for Netherlands Indies, G-4/3 1 979. 

-"' ( 1 ) Three ltrs, Lt Col A. van Oosten, Netherlands 
Purch Comm, to Gordon Williams, OLLA, 4 Nov 41. 
and accompanying papers. (2) Ltr, Aurand to van 
Oosten, 29 Nov 41. Both in Netherlands Nov and Dec 
file, DAD. (3) Memo, Col Donald Wilson for Gen 
Gerow, 4 Nov 41. (4) Note, Bundy for Gerow, 6 Nov 
41. Last two in WPD 431)3-9. (5) Msg, Netherlands 
Purch Comm, N.Y., to Gen Marshall. 1 Dec 41. (6) 
Msg, Marshall to Netherlands Purch Comm, 2 Dec 
41. Last two in AG 400.3295 (3-17-41) (1). 

Rpt. JPC toJB, 13 Oct 41, JB 355, Ser. 726. 
7 ( 1) Memo, ACofS WPD for CofS, 10 Nov 41. 
sub: Trfs, Lend-lease Prog. (2) Memo. ACofS WPD 
for DAD, 18 Nov 41, sub: Distrib Progs and Diver- 
sions Therefrom. (3) Memo, Aurand for WPD, 25 
Nov 4 1 , same sub. All in WPD 44 1 8- 1 6. 



of munitions, VVPD suggested adherence 
to the Soviet protocol and increased aid to 
the Soviet Union wherever possible as first 
priority. As a second, in the absence of 
othei factors, there should be a distribu- 
tion of 40 percent to the United Kingdom, 
40 percent to the USSR, 10 percent to 
China, and 10 percent to others, or an 
even division between Great Britain and 
the USSR where there were no require- 
ments from other countries. Since actual 
production seldom lived up to the esti- 
mated schedules, transfers should be made 
on a basis proportionate to monthly allot- 
ments rather than in terms of specific 
quantities. As an example, the tables pro- 
posed to give 265 medium tanks to Great 
Britain and 184 to the Soviet Union, a 
total of 449. Scheduled production of 75- 
mm. tank guns for December was only 
317, and no tanks could be shipped with- 
out their guns. WPD opposed taking any 
tank guns from stocks or from troops and 
accordingly would reduce the number of 
tanks allocated to 317, dividing them 
equally between Britain and the USSR. JS 
General Moore, Deputy Chief of Staff, 
who with Aurand had since September 
done virtually all the work on defense aid 
allocations and transfers, rejected most of 
the VVPD suggestions as impractical. 
These suggestions ignored the financial 
ramifications of lend-lease and the com- 
mitments made to Britain at the London 
Conference and later by General Mar- 
shall. These, both Moore and Aurand 
realized, could not be abandoned in favor 
of any arbitrary percentage division be- 
tween countries. Moore recognized the 
right of the Joint Board to make any 
changes in the allocation tables it thought 
desirable, but warned that the Soviet pro- 
tocol was a "three-sided agreement" that 
could only be changed at the political 

level. The building up of task force re- 
serves could not be accepted as an abso- 
lute first priority if it interfered with meet- 
ing the protocol. Certain sacrifices in the 
70 percent PMP requirement would have 
to be accepted in order to honor commit- 
ments already made; all these had been 
personally approved by himself or Gen- 
eral Marshall. While the principle of pro- 
portionate monthly assignments was theo- 
retically sound, there were too many prac- 
tical difficulties in carrying it out. As far 
as medium tanks were concerned, Gen- 
eral Marshall himself insisted his promises 
to Dill must be met and vetoed the WPD 
scheme for a 50-50 division. Minor adjust- 
ments were made to meet WPD objec- 
tions, however, including reduction of de- 
fense aid allotments of ammunition.'-'* 

In this way the issue was settled, but the 
defense aid allocation table was never is- 
sued. The Japanese attack on Pearl Har- 
bor a few days later rendered the whole 
discussion academic. Nevertheless, the epi- 
sode serves to illustrate the extent to which 
plans existing on 7 December 1941 called 
for sacrificing the requirements of the U.S. 
Army to lend-lease. 

Extension of Lend-Lease Activities Overseas 

The formulation of lend-lease programs 
and the allocation of available supplies 
went on at first almost entirely in response 
to requests made in Washington by for- 
eign representatives, and little effort was 
made to inquire into the basis of these re- 
quests at their source. The theory was that 

Memo, ACofS WPD for DCofS. 3 Dec 41, sub: 
Def Aid Alloc Table. WPD 44 18-. 17. 

J M1) Red of conf, 2 Dec 41. WPD 4418-17. (2) 
Memo. Gen Moore for ACofS WPD, 4 Dec 41, sub: 
Def Aid Alloc Table, G-4/32697. This memo was 
drafted bv Aurand. 



lend-lease supplies, in keeping with the 
neutral position of the United States, 
should be transported abroad in the ships 
of the beneficiary governments and then 
used without further aid or assistance. 
This theory gave way as the need was 
demonstrated for American supervision 
in the proper use and maintenance of the 
equipment furnished, American partici- 
pation in the development of transporta- 
tion and communications facilities abroad, 
and some evaluation of foreign munitions 
requirements at their source. Plans soon 
took shape for military lend-lease missions 
to perform these functions. 

The most definite and pressing need for 
a mission was in China. Chiang Kai-shek's 
army lacked not only supplies but also the 
organization and technical competence 
necessary to put them to effective use. 
There was little knowledge of modern 
equipment or experience in the handling 
of it, either among officers of the Chinese 
Army or among the civilian representa- 
tives in the United States. The operation 
of the last remaining line of supply through 
Burma was characterized by maladminis- 
tration, corruption, and general confusion, 
and hardly half of the supplies that started 
over the route from Rangoon ever arrived 
at Chungking. Both Chiang and Dr. T V. 
Soong, his spokesman in the United States, 
sang the continual refrain that China only 
needed more tanks, guns, and planes to 
enable her to drive Japanese forces out. 
But among those officers in the War De- 
partment who had had experience in 
China there was from the beginning a fear 
that Chinese lend-lease would only be 
wasted unless carefully controlled by 
Americans. This fear found expression in 
a staff study prepared by Maj. Haydon L. 
Boatner of G-4, an old "China Hand," 
and presented by Brig. Gen. Eugene Rey- 

bold to the Chief of Staff on 16 June 1941. 
Boatner pointed out that aid to China was 
being treated exactly as aid to the British, 
despite "critical factors entirely different." 
Drawing on the previous experience of the 
Germans and Russians in China, Boatner 
asserted that "any foreign loan or gift to 
China, to be effective, must be carefully 
restricted and supervised. Our Govern- 
ment must supervise the shipment, receipt, 
storage, distribution and use of all equip- 
ment sent to China." 30 

Boatner's suggestion that a military 
mission be sent to China to do this "super- 
vising" was approved by General Mar- 
shall, the Joint Board, and the President, 
in turn, and Brig. Gen. John Magruder, a 
former military attache in China, was 
selected by the War Department to head 
it. According to the letter of instructions 
issued Magruder on 27 August 1941, he 
was to "advise and assist the Chinese Gov- 
ernment" in all phases of procurement, 
transport, and maintenance of materials 
furnished by the United States under de- 
fense aid, and in training of Chinese per- 
sonnel in their use and maintenance. 31 

General Magruder divided his mission 
into two parts, a home office in Washing- 

'" (1) Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS. 16Jun41,sub: 
Co-ord of China Def Aid Activities, G-4/32192, Sec 
1. (2) Memo, Brig Gen John Magruder for CofS, 1 1 
Aug 41, sub: Mil Mis to China, ID. Lend-Lease, Doc 
Suppl. I. (3) Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's Mis- 
sion to China, Ch. I. The mission, headed by David G. 
Arnstein who went to China at the request of Harry 
Hopkins, revealed to American authorities, as well as 
to Chiang Kai-shek, the almost hopelessly disorgan- 
ized conditions on the Burma Road. Arnstein's mis- 
sion was not under American auspices, but reported 
directly to Chiang. 

n Memo, Patterson, Actg SW, for Magruder, 27 
Aug 41, sub: Instns for Mil Mis to China, Mis to 
China file, DAD. For a fuller consideration of the 
events leading to the formation of this mission, see 
Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's Mission to China, 
Ch. I. 



ton and an operating group in the field. 
The home office was to work toward cor- 
recting the flaws in the Chinese program 
in the United States, co-operating with 
China Defense Supplies, Inc., on the pres- 
entation of requirements and the move- 
ment of supplies to China. The operating 
mission would review Chinese require- 
ments at the source, advise the home office 
of priorities for shipment, instruct the Chi- 
nese in the use of American weapons, and 
take an active part in improving the sup- 
ply line through Burma. 32 

In late September 1941 General Ma- 
gruder departed for China, arriving in 
Chungking on 1 October. Improving the 
supply line between Rangoon and Chung- 
king proved the most pressing problem. 
Magruder organized "task forces, " one of 
which was assigned to Burma Road oper- 
ations and another to the construction of 
the Yunnan-Burma Railway. Before the 
departure of the mission, plans had been 
made to send U.S. civilian personnel to 
aid in the operation of the Burma Road. 
Soon afterward, other plans were hastily 
drawn for an extensive system of repair 
shops, depots, and assembly plants, to 
be operated under American direction, 
mostly under contracts with the General 
Motors (Overseas Operations) Corpora- 
tion. Working with the home office, Ma- 
gruder also began in late October a series 
of recommendations on a practical pro- 
gram for regulating this flow to the capac- 
ities of both the transport system from 
Rangoon and the ability of the Chinese 
Army to absorb supplies and equipment. 33 

As the mission to China took its place 
in the War Department organization, con- 
sideration of overseas lend-lease represen- 
tation at other points increased. The War 
Department already had special observers 
in England and the Middle East, and 

Averell Harriman held a special position 
as the President's civilian lend-lease rep- 
resentative in England. The British ex- 
erted a continual pressure for direct aid in 
operating the line of communications in 
the Middle East. All these developments 
came to a head in September 1941. In a 
memorandum on the 8th, General Burns 
informed the Secretary of War that there 
should be a general plan for lend-lease 
representation overseas in order to assure 
"assistance and supervision sufficiently 
close to the point of use of defense aid 
materials to insure maximum effective- 


Even before sending the memorandum, 
Burns had on 4 September told the War 
Department that it would be expected to 
set up depots and maintenance facilities 
in the Middle East to support the British, 
and preliminary plans had begun on this 
basis. On 13 September, the President for- 
mally directed the step: 

In order to comply with the expressed 
needs of the British Government, it is re- 
quested that arrangements be made at the 
earliest practicable time for the establishment 
and operation of depots in the Middle East 
for the maintenance and supply of American 
aircraft and all types of ordnance furnished 
the British in that area. Arrangements should 
also be made for the necessary port, railroad 
and truck facilities necessary to make the 
supply of American material effective. . . . 

32 (1) Memo cited n. 29(2). (2) Memo, Magruder 
for CofS, 22 Aug 4 1 , sub: Plan of Mil Mis to China, 
AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1. 

33 (1) A virtually complete record of cables ex- 
changed between the mission in Chungking and the 
home office in Washington is in AMMISCA IN and 
OUT Cables files, Bks. 1 and 2, ID. (2) For corre- 
spondence and other material on early mission activi- 
ties, see AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1; China file, 
DAD; and the files of the mission itself in DRB AGO, 
Job 11. 

34 Memo, Burns for SW, 8 Sep 41, AG 400.3295 
(8-9-41) Sec 1. 



The depots and transportation facilities 
should be established and operated under 
contracts executed and administered by the 
appropriate branch of the War Department 
with American companies, preferably al- 
ready existing, but if not practicable, organ- 
ized especially for this purpose. . . . The 
necessary funds will be furnished from De- 
fense Aid appropriations. . . . The British 
authorities should be consulted on all details 
as to location, size and character of depots 
and transport facilities. Their needs should 
govern. 35 

A survey of the situation led to the deci- 
sion that instead of one mission for the 
whole Middle East, there should be two, 
one for the Red Sea region with head- 
quarters at Cairo, and one for the Persian 
Gulf area with headquarters somewhere 
in Iraq. British forces in the two areas 
were under separate commands with dif- 
ferent missions — in Africa, the defeat of 
Italo-German forces in the desert; in Iran- 
Iraq, the security of the area against pos- 
sible Axis attack from the north or Ger- 
man-inspired insurrection. Most impor- 
tant of all, as events proved, Iran offered 
possibilities as a supply route to the USSR 
if its port, rail, and road facilities were 
properly developed. Such a mission would 
be entirely separate from that of support 
of the British forces in the eastern Medi- 
terranean area. 36 

Two missions having been decided 
upon, Brig. Gen. Russell L. Maxwell was 
chosen to head the North African mission, 
and Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Wheeler the 
Iranian. Identical letters of instructions 
(except for the definition of territory) were 
issued to them on 2 1 October, charging 
them with two interrelated functions: 

(1) establishment of essential port, trans- 
portation, storage, assembly, maintenance 
and training facilities .... 

(2) advice and assistance to the British and 
other friendly governments in obtaining ap- 

propriate military defense aid . . . and to as- 
sure that the most effective and economic 
use is made thereof. 57 

The task assigned to Maxwell and 
Wheeler of organizing supply and main- 
tenance facilities for handling lend-lease 
material to another nation, to operate 
within the supply organization of that 
nation, was a highly complicated one. The 
supply line would have to be operated by 
civilian personnel through contracts 
financed with lend-lease funds, and all 
materials for mission projects would have 
to be channeled through the complicated 
lend-lease machinery. Operation by mili- 
tary personnel was impossible, both be- 
cause of the lack of an adequate number 
of service troops in 1941 and because the 
use of troops might be construed by Con- 
gress as dispatch of an expeditionary force. 
The selection of projects to be undertaken 
had to be governed by British desires, 
which sometimes reached the United 
States through several different channels 
and were apt to be conflicting. Even the 
primary purpose of the mission to Iran — 
support to the British or development of a 
supply line to the USSR — remained un- 

In late November the vanguards of the 
missions arrived in their respective areas. 
General Maxwell established his head- 
quarters at Cairo on 22 November, and 
General Wheeler, after a visit to Wavell 
in New Delhi, commenced operations at 
Baghdad on 30 November. The operation 
of the two missions on a peacetime basis 
was therefore short lived, and little be- 

15 Memo, President for SW. 13 Sep 41, AG 
400.3295 (8-9-41) Sec 1. 

36 Memo. ACofS WPD for CofS, 24 Sep 4 1 . sub: 
Mil Mis in Iran, WPD 4596. 

;: Ltr. SW to Maxwell, 21 Oct 41, sub: Ltr of 
Instns, AG 400.3295 (8-9-41) Sec 6. 



vond planning had emerged before Pearl 
Harbor. 38 

Though the Iranian mission was to be 
at least partially concerned with supply to 
the USSR, the War Department decided 
to send yet another mission directly into 
Soviet territory to render technical assist- 
ance to Soviet armies in the use of lend- 
lease material. On 5 November a letter of 
instructions was issued to Maj. Gen. John 
N. Greely as head of this military mission, 
with functions generally the same as those 
assigned Maxwell and Wheeler. This step, 
however, was taken without any assur- 
ance of an invitation from the USSR it- 
self. The Lend-Lease Administration was 
already represented in the Soviet Union 
by Col. Philip R. Faymonville and Doug- 
las Brown. W'hile Faymonville had urged 
that by being tactful American represen- 
tatives could effectively render much 
needed technical assistance, Brown 
warned on 4 November 1941 that all the 
material America could send would be 
welcomed but that the Soviet Govern- 
ment intended to use its own technicians, 
experts, and personnel to employ the ma- 
terial in its own way, and desired no ad- 
ditional U.S. personnel. Brown's warning 
proved a very accurate estimate of the 
situation, for the Greely mission was never 
to enter the USSR. 3 '' 

The final point at which the War De- 
partment made an effort to establish mili- 
tary lend-lease representation was in the 
United Kingdom itself. On 25 September, 
Maj. Gen. James E. Chaney, head of the 
Special Army Observer Group in Lon- 
don, was instructed to represent the War 
Department on military matters pertain- 
ing to lend-lease. But Chaney was always 
overshadowed by Averell Harriman, the 
civilian lend-lease representative in Eng- 
land, and the lend-lease functions of the 

Special Army Observer Group never 
amounted to very much. The channel for 
presentation of British requirements was 
always in Washington, through the British 
agencies there, and not in London. 
Chaney's function in regard to supply and 
maintenance of American equipment in 
England was limited to technical advice. 40 
The other four military missions — to 
China, North Africa, Iran, and the 
USSR — had become an established part 
of the lend-lease machinery by December 
1941. Following the precedent of General 
Magruder, all established home offices in 
Washington, responsible to General 
Moore, but placed within the Office of the 
Defense Aid Director for co-ordination. 
The functions of the missions were roughly 
threefold — to determine the need for lend- 
lease materials requested by foreign coun- 
tries for use in their area, to aid in for- 
warding material from the United States 
to the theater or country concerned, and 
to see that once the material had arrived 
it was properly used. 41 While the per- 
formance of all three functions was but 
imperfectly realized in any case, and only 
the second function in the case of the mis- 

:,s ( 1 ) For a full account of the Iranian mission, see 
T. H. Vail Motter, The Persian Corridor and Aid 
WAR II (Washington, 1952), Chs. I- VII. (2) For an 
account of the prewar activities of the North African 
mission, see T. H. Vail Motter, The Story of United 
States Forces in the Middle East, draft MS in OCMH. 

'" ( 1 ) Ltr, Stimson to Greely, 5 Nov 4 1 , sub: Ltr of 
Instns, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, II. (2) Msg 1875, 
Brown to Maj Gen George H. Brett and Averell Har- 
riman, 4 Nov 41. (3) Cf. Msg 1876, Faymonville to 
Hopkins, 4 Nov 41. Last two in Russian Cables Super- 
secret file, ID. 

4 "(1) Msg 57, AG WAR to Sp Army Observer 
Group, 25 Sep 41. (2) Memo, Marshall for Moore, 14 
Nov 41. (3) Ltr, Gen Moore to Gen Chaney, 19 Nov 
41. All in AG 400.3295 (8-9-41) Sec 2. 

41 See remarks of Colonel Aurand at meeting with 
members of all home offices, 2 December 1 94 1 , Conf 
Memos file, DAD. 



sion to the Soviet Union, the concept of 
American supervision and assistance at 
the receiving end of the lend-lease line 
was a lasting one that filled a real need. 

The Halting Flow of Lend- Lease 

Despite the increased generosity of allo- 
cations and the general broadening of the 
scope of lend-lease activities in the last 
part of 1941, actual deliveries lagged. 
Most allocations were still in terms of fu- 
tures. There were many unforeseen short- 
falls in production, particularly of acces- 
sory equipment necessary to make 
armored vehicles, planes, and other major 
items useful in combat. In some cases 
these shortfalls resulted in cancellation of 
allocations, but more frequently they 
merely produced delays in delivery. With- 
in the supply arms and services lend-lease 
work was an additional burden that at 
times received inadequate attention. The 
supply services were geared to serve the 
U.S. Army, not foreign armies, and when 
questions arose they were prone to meet 
Army needs first. The G-4 Availability 
Lists did not constitute an actual directive 
for transfer but only a basis for planning, 
with the result that the struggle for mate- 
rial sometimes degenerated into a game of 
"catch-as-catch-can" between U.S. Army 
and defense aid requirements, a game in 
which the latter would "generally come 
out a poor second." 4i The delays were not 
always the fault of the services. They in 
turn could complain bitterly of the in- 
adequacy of instructions they received. 
The British, Russians, and Chinese often 
did not furnish adequate information on 
their desires as to shipment; neither G-4 
nor the Office of the Defense Aid Director 
kept the allocation schedules geared to the 

most recent production information; or- 
ders were frequently issued changing the 
destination of shipments already moving 
to port. 43 

Further delays arose from the flaws in 
the machinery of distribution. Packing, 
crating, co-ordination of spare parts, ac- 
cessories, and ammunition with major 
items, and movement to port all created 
serious problems. The establishment of 
special defense aid depots where final as- 
semblies and co-ordination of shipments 
could take place, and of a procedure for 
calling material forward to port, marked 
a first step in solving these problems, but 
it took time to perfect the system. In Au- 
gust a co-ordinating committee of all in- 
terested agencies, set up under the auspices 
of the Division of Defense Aid Reports, 
began to work on the difficult task of co- 
ordinating availability of supplies with 
shipping, but this co-ordination, too, was 
inevitably imperfect in the beginning. As 
long as only the British were concerned, 
the existence of a well-developed British 
transport organization in New York — a 
branch of the British Ministry of War 
Transport (BMWT) — considerably eased 
the Army's load, but for the USSR and 
China, transport, storage, and shipping 

r - Memo, Maj Robert E. Burns, OCSigO, for Maj 
C. H. Thompson, OUSW, 31 Oct 41, sub: Comments 
on Pdn Rpts and G-4 Charts, Misc Corresp Lend- 
lease 3 file, DAD. 

43 ( 1 ) Appraisals by the various supply services of 
difficulties in lend-lease operations are included in 
memo, Maj Thompson for Col Taylor, 5 Nov 41, sub: 
Memos From Various SAS on Def Aid Pdn Rpts and 
G-4 Proced, Misc Corresp Lend-lease 3 file, DAD. 
(2) Memo, Maj Paul M. Seleen, OCofOrd, for Col 
Aurand, 17 Oct 41, sub: Shipg Instns to Def Aid 
Countries, Misc Corresp Lend-lease 2 file, DAD. (3) 
Memo, Col Hugh C. Minton, Exec Off OCofOrd. for 
DAD, 8 Nov 41, sub: 37-mm. and 75-mm. Tank Gun 
Deliveries, England Tanks file, DAD. (4) Related 
papers in same file. (5) Material in English Corresp 
Lend-lease 3 file, DAD 



arrangements had to be accomplished al- 
most entirely by American agencies or by 
the BMWT In sum, both in the process of 
production and in that of distribution the 
confusion normally attendant on the early 
stages of development of any supply pro- 
gram delayed the flow of lend-lease aid. 
Even the deliveries to Britain, where the 
situation was best, fell behind allocation 
schedules. Of the total war supplies of the 
British Commonwealth during 1941, only 
1 1.5 percent came from the United States, 
and only 2.4 percent represented lend- 
lease transfers. 44 

Delays in shipments to Britain were less 
serious than to other countries. It was only 
after the Chinese appeal for acceleration 
in late October that the first munitions 
were shipped to China. While seven ships 
with cargoes of lend-lease munitions were 
en route to Rangoon by 8 December, an 
accumulation of supplies at the CBS ship- 
ping point at Newport News, Virginia, had 
also begun. The most serious delays of all, 
however, occurred in meeting the Soviet 

In the protocol, the United States and 
Great Britain promised to aid the Soviet 
Union in the delivery of the material to 
which they were committed. Since the 
Soviet merchant marine was a negligible 
quantity, most of the shipping had to be 
arranged by Britain and the United States 
through diversion from other routes. 
Roosevelt instructed Admiral Land that 
every effort must be made to provide the 
necessary ships for the Soviet aid program 
and that only "insurmountable difficul- 
ties" should be allowed to interfere with 
it. 45 The number required was large in 
proportion to the material to be carried 
because of the long, roundabout routes 
involved. There were three alternatives: 
(1) across the Atlantic and North Sea and 

around the coast of Norway to the Arctic 
and White Sea ports; (2) across the Pacific 
to Vladivostok and over the Siberian Rail- 
way; and (3) around the coast of Africa to 
the Persian Gulf and thence across Iran to 
the Soviet border. The shortest but most 
dangerous route was that around Norway, 
involving as it did the threat of German 
submarines and land-based aircraft. It 
was doubtful, too, if Soviet ports could be 
kept free from ice for year-round opera- 
tions. The rail connections between Mur- 
mansk and the Soviet centers to the south 
were already threatened by German 
forces, leaving only Archangel and smaller 
ports on the White Sea available. Supplies 
delivered at Vladivostok had to be carried 
on limited rail facilities, and the capacity 
of the port itself was hardly greater than 
that of the rails. Supplies delivered 
through the Persian Gulf after a long 
ocean voyage had to be carried across Iran 
for delivery at the Soviet border. Neither 
port facilities nor transport facilities north- 
ward were sufficiently developed to carry 
any appreciable load. Yet in contrast to 
the northern route, the southern route was 
relatively free from the threat of interfer- 
ence by German submarines and was 
available for year-round operation. 

At the London Conference the British 

44 (1) Capt W. H. Schmidt, Jr., The Commercial 
Traffic Branch in the Office of The Quartermaster 
General, July 1940-March 1942, Monograph 6, pp. 
270-343, OCT HB. (2) AG ltr to SAS and AAF, 20 
Aug 41, sub: Def Aid Storage and Trans, AG 681 
(8-14-41). (3) Background papers in G-4/32697-2. 
(4) Memo, Aurand for ACofS G-4, 16 Oct 4 1 , sub: 
Def Aid Storage and Trans, Misc Corresp Lend-lease 
2 file, DAD. (5) Memo, Gen Burns for SW, 15 Aug 
41, sub: Forecast, Delivery, Storage, and Mvmt of Def 
Aid Mats, and accompanying papers, AG 400.3295 
(8-15-41) (1). (6) Hancock and Growing, British War 
Economy, p. 373. 

45 Ltr, President to Adm Land, 19 Nov 41, Misc 
Corresp Lend-lease 3 file, DAD. 



and Americans agreed that the northern 
ports offered the greatest capacity and 
possibilities, but could only be used for a 
few immediate deliveries since they would 
be closed by ice from mid-November until 
June. About 75,000 to 90,000 tons 
monthly could be sent to Vladivostok 
pending further development of port facil- 
ities and the capacity of the Siberian Rail- 
way. While the Persian Gulf could accom- 
modate only 6,000 tons monthly for the 
present, American assistance in port and 
railway development should increase that 
to 60,000 tons by the spring of 1942. The 
conferees felt that the Persian Gulf route 
would eventually offer the best avenue for 
the flow of supplies to the USSR. 46 

The Soviet attitude at first was one of 
insistence on the utmost use of the north- 
ern ports. They promised to keep Arch- 
angel free from ice the year round by use 
of icebreakers, and asked that all war ma- 
terial be shipped to that point. As their 
desires finally crystallized, they proposed 
that out of 500,000 tons monthly, 270,000 
should move through Archangel and the 
other smaller northern ports, 224,000 
through Vladivostok, and the remaining 
6,000 through Iran. The British and 
Americans soon- found this program un- 
realistic because the Russians had vastly 
overestimated the capacity of Archangel 
as well as their ability to keep it open. The 
eventual estimate of American port ex- 
perts in the USSR was 90,000 tons 
monthly, while the British placed it as low 
as 60,000. A group of British shipping ex- 
perts was sent to Archangel to work with 
the Russians in improving this capacity, 
but the task promised to take some time. 17 

Given these port conditions and the 
possibility of heavy losses on the northern 
route, the British and Americans turned to 
explore the possibilities of the Pacific and 

Persian Gulf routes. Only civilian-type 
supplies could move over the Pacific route 
because of the complications of Russo- 
Japanese relations, leaving the Persian 
Gulf as the only alternative for shipping 
war materials. Planning began for the 
development of this route under British 
auspices with the aid of the American 
mission under General Wheeler. It seemed 
possible to deliver trucks and planes via 
Iran even before the Iranian State Rail- 
way could be improved, and a consider- 
able number of shipments was projected 
for December. But little had actually been 
accomplished before Pearl Harbor that 
would make possible the use of the Persian 
Gulf for movement of sizable quantities 
of war supplies to the Soviet Union. Of 
the twenty-eight ships that departed the 
United States carrying Soviet lend-lease 
supplies in October and November 1941, 
nineteen sailed for the northern Soviet 
ports, eight for Vladivostok, and only one 
for the Persian Gulf. l8 

Obviously these limited sailings were 
insufficient to keep the flow of materials 
up to American commitments under the 
protocol. The sole cause did not lie in the 
lack of shipping or of an adequate route of 
entry. While the Army bent every effort to 
the task in response to pressure from 
higher authority, it found it impossible to 

4 " Rpt. Trans Subcom, 16 Sep 41, sub: Sup Routes 
to Russia, B.H. (41) 5, in Min of London Conf (Col 
Taylor) file, DAD. 

47 (1) Msg, Kuibyshev to Dept of State [Faymon- 
ville for Hopkins], 1 Nov 41, Russian Cables Super- 
secret file. ID. (2) Msg, Kuibyshev to Dept of State 
[Favmonvillc for Hopkins], 20 Nov 41, Russian Info 
Cables file. ID. 

,s (1) Report on War Aid Furnished by the United 
States to the USSR, prepared by the Protocol and 
Area Info Stf, USSR Br, and the Div of Research and 
Rpts, Dept of State. November 28, 1945 (hereafter 
cited as Report on War Aid to I SSR, 28 Nov 45). 
2 See below, App. D. 



furnish material in keeping with the sched- 
ules during October and November. Dif- 
ficulties arose in satisfying Soviet specifica- 
tions on many articles, and material had 
to be prepared for shipment in the greatest 
haste by an Army organization not yet 
prepared to handle large overseas move- 
ments. No sooner had the first carloads of 
equipment arrived at port than the air 
was thick with complaints from the Soviet 
representatives. Many items were de- 
livered incomplete, they said, 90-mm. 
guns without complementary directors, 
locators, or height finders; tanks, mortars, 
and other items in defective condition or 
without necessary spares or ammunition. 
There was the utmost confusion in ship- 
ping-documents and packing-lists that 
identified crates, and many materials 
were inadequately packed for the long 
voyage. They refused to have the mate- 
rials shipped until these defects were 
remedied and as a result shipments were 
delayed in some cases as much as a month 
and a half. 49 While these difficulties could 
be charged off to the haste with which the 
first shipments had to be prepared, they 
made a very bad impression on the Rus- 
sians and accentuated their impatience 
with American performance. While the 
War Department was ready to make a 
valiant effort to catch up with its schedules 
in December, Pearl Harbor interfered 
with the performance. Thus the legacy of 
the prewar period was a gaping deficit in 
meeting protocol commitments, one that 
was to constitute one of the most formida- 
ble logistical problems of the early months 
of the war. Harriman stated in a confer- 
ence on 24 December 1941 that Britain 
was 100 percent on schedule in meeting its 
commitments while the United States had 
shipped only 25 percent of scheduled 
quantities. 5 " 

It has often been said of American aid 
to the nations opposing the Axis in the 
pre-Pearl Harbor period that it was "too 
little and too late." Munitions actually de- 
livered during that period in no case ex- 
ercised a decisive influence on the course 
of the war, nor did they prevent the long 
series of disasters that befell the Allied 
Powers in early 1942. Indeed, the drain on 
American resources that lend-lease created 
contributed to the weakness of our own 
defenses in the Pacific in the face of the 
Japanese attack. While American aid un- 
doubtedly made an important emergency 
contribution to the defense of the British 
Isles and to the British campaign in the 
Middle East, it would be presumptuous to 
say that it enabled the British to survive. 
Most of the American supplies that went 
to Britain in 1941 were produced under 
British contracts rather than under lend- 
lease. The impact of U.S. aid to the Soviet 
Union was as yet insignificant and played 
no role in the repulse of the German at- 
tack before Moscow in the fall of 1941. 
The Chinese had little more than promises 
and Chennault's 100-plane air force, and 
that unable to operate at full efficiency for 
lack of supplies. No better example of "too 
little and too late" could be chosen than 
the case of the Netherlands Indies. 

In truth, the prewar period of lend-lease 
operations proved to be only one phase of 
preparation for participation in World 
War II, a phase to be linked with others 

49 (1) Ltr, K. I. Lukashev, President Amtorg, to 
Gen Spalding, DDAR. 28 Oct 41. (2) Ltrs, Col Hol- 
man to Col Aurand, 30 Oct and 1 1 Nov 41. Both in 
Russia file. DAD. (3) Ltr. Maj Gen Alexander C. 
Repin. Soviet Mil Mis. to SW, 5 Feb 42. AG 
400.3295 (8-14-41) Sec 1. 

" Memo. Lt Col Joseph W. Boone for Col Aurand, 
24 Dec 41, sub: Mtg in Mr. Stettinius' Off. Col 
Boone's file. DAD. 



such as the expansion of the U.S. Army 
and its planning for future eventualities. 
The United States could not become the 
"Arsenal of Democracy" until its industry 
had been fully mobilized for the task. In 
1941 the fruits of that developing mobili- 
zation were still meager and had to be 
divided among too many claimants. Lend- 
lease planning had to deal in terms of 
futures, of deliveries to be made after 

American industry was producing muni- 
tions in a volume that would permit their 
distribution on a more lavish scale. But 
lend-lease played an important role in 
demonstrating the necessity for expansion 
of production and established the princi- 
ple that U.S. production would be dis- 
tributed in such a manner as to best 
promote victory over the Axis regardless 
of the nationality of the forces employed. 


Widening Commitments 

During the summer and autumn before 
Pearl Harbor, the war spread into new 
areas and threatened to spread into still 
others. In June, when Germany invaded 
the Soviet Union, it seemed as though the 
storm was moving away from the Ameri- 
cas. Most of the experts expected the 
Soviet armies to dissolve within three 
months, but even so this meant a welcome 
respite from the threat of a German inva- 
sion of the British Isles and of a German 
move through Spain into France's African 
possessions. Signs of the impending Ger- 
man shift to the East had led the President 
early in June to suspend the scheduled 
occupation of the Azores and to turn to the 
relief of British forces in Iceland — a task 
that did not have to be executed in one 
stroke against opposition, seemed more 
feasible logistically, and offered justifica- 
tion for extending U.S. naval protection 
over parts of the vital North Atlantic 
convoy routes. 1 

But the German invasion of the USSR 
brought the Army no relief from the grow- 
ing logistical burdens of strengthening and 
expanding its overseas establishment, and 
the prospect of having to undertake risky 
new overseas ventures remained. In the 
Far East, Japan, her hands freed by the 
war in the Soviet Union, moved promptly 
into southern Indochina, gaining positions 
for her eventual attack on Malaya and 
Singapore, now definitely decided upon. 
U.S. policy toward Japan immediately 

stiffened, and the Army presently found 
itself committed to an ambitious program, 
reversing previous war plans, of trans- 
forming the Philippines into a great bas- 
tion of American air power. On the other 
side of the world, the Iceland undertaking 
proved unexpectedly difficult," and July 
and August brought a sudden revival of 
the menace of a German incursion into 
northwestern and western Africa via the 
Iberian Peninsula. President Roosevelt, 
meeting Prime Minister Churchill on ship- 
board off Argentia, Newfoundland, in 
August, gave an unqualified promise that 
American forces would occupy the Azores, 
by invitation from Portugal, while the 
British simultaneously would seize the 
Canary and Cape Verde Islands, the last 
named to be turned over subsequently to 
American forces. As it happened, the Ger- 
man drive to the southwest failed to mate- 
rialize, Portugal's attitude cooled, and the 
planned Anglo-American moves were not 
carried out. Nevertheless, the American 

1 (1) Msg, Stimson to President, 23Jun 41, quoted 
in Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 303-04. (2) 
G-2 study, 1 1 Jul 41, title: Data for WD Strategic 
Est ... , WPD 4510. (3) Conn and Fairchild, 
Framework of Hemisphere Defense, Ch. II, p. 82. 

- For details of the Iceland operation, see: (1) Stet- 
son Conn and Byron Fairchild, The Defense of the 
Western Hemisphere: II; and (2) Joseph Bykofsky 
and Harold Larson, The Transportation Corps: III, 
Activities in the Oversea Commands (hereafter cited 
as Bykofsky and Larson, Trans III). Both are volumes 
in preparation for the series UNITED STATES 



planners continued to discuss expeditions 
to the Azores, the Cape Verdes, and French 
North and West Africa, and late in the 
year a major operation against Dakar was 
seriously considered as a prelude to a 
combined Anglo-American occupation of 
French North Africa. Meanwhile, the 
U.S. Navy, reinforced from the Pacific 
during the spring, by September was cov- 
ering in effect the whole western half of 
the North Atlantic convoy routes, and was 
actually engaged in a "shooting war" 
against German submarines. 3 

For the U.S. Army, the spreading con- 
flagration thus meant an increase in pres- 
ent burdens and a prospect of new ones in 
the near future. American participation in 
the war, while still indirect, was growing 
correspondingly larger through the me- 
dium of lend-lease, and moving closer to 
outright belligerency through measures 
"short of war." These trends naturally 
called for a more searching scrutiny than 
had hitherto been attempted of the prob- 
lems and costs, both immediate and ulti- 
mate, involved in open participation in the 
war. Army planners became even more 
sensitive to the prospect of having soon to 
shoulder the tasks of a coalition war in dis- 
tant theaters, tasks for which the Army 
was still far from prepared. Increasingly, 
too, they gave much thought to the role 
that the United States should play as a 
participant. Should it be one of full mili- 
tary collaboration, with balanced Ameri- 
can ground, air, and naval forces employed 
on a grand scale, or should it be primarily 
one of arming the manpower of other na- 
tions, with American forces limited mainly 
to the air and naval arms? This was a 
question of high policy, which the military 
could not decide, but it naturally evoked 
emphatic professional views. The Presi- 
dent himself more or less accidentally 

opened the door to a thoroughgoing dis- 
cussion and presentation of these views by 
the staffs when he called for an estimate of 
the ultimate costs in munitions of defeat- 
ing the Axis. The resulting "Victory Pro- 
gram," completed a few weeks before Pearl 
Harbor, rested upon assumptions that the 
actual course of the war was presently to 
demolish, but the program afforded a re- 
vealing glimpse, nevertheless, of the logis- 
tical magnitudes involved in a global 
coalition war. 

Britain's Bid for American Intervention 

During the early summer of 1941 Army 
planners watched with growing uneasiness 
as Britain, hard-pressed at sea and in 
Egypt and threatened by Japanese moves 
toward Singapore, tried strenuously to 
bolster its defenses everywhere. Even more 
strongly than in February, the staff felt 
"that the Battle of the Atlantic is the final, 
decisive battle of the war and everything 
has got to be concentrated on winning it." ' 
There were, indeed, encouraging develop- 
ments in that very quarter; British ship- 
ping losses during June, July, and August 
declined spectacularly, leading the British 
to add two million tons to their goal for 
1941 imports (lowered the preceding 
March to thirtv-one million tons). But 

1 (I) Conn and Fairchild. Framework of Hemi- 
sphere Defense, Ch. VI. pp. 1-24. (2) William S. 
Langer and S. Everett Gleason. The Undeclared War: 
1940-1941 (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1953), Chs. 
XVIII. XXI. (3) Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning: 
1941 -1942, Ch. III. (4) Louis Morton. The hull of the 
WAR II (Washington, 1953). Ch. III. (5) Morison. 
Battle of the Atlantic , Ch. V. 

4 Staff views on the Battle of the Atlantic as 
reported by Hopkins, visiting England in July, quoted 
in Sherwood. Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 314. 



American military observers seemed little 
impressed by this trend. "Unless the losses 
of British merchant ships are greatly re- 
duced," gloomily asserted the Joint Board 
in September, ". . . the resistance of the 
United Kingdom cannot continue indefi- 
nitely, no matter what industrial effort is 
put forth by the United States/' ' Britain's 
determination to hold on every front had 
already necessitated diversions of Ameri- 
can tanks and other materiel to the Middle 
East in May and June; it threatened fur- 
ther to extend American logistical com- 
mitments in the impending joint effort 
against the Axis. In July, moreover, the 
first lists of requirements from the Soviet 
Union were giving some indication of the 
immense drain this new battle front was to 
place upon American munitions produc- 
tion. The Army's immediate resources, 
meanwhile, were strained by its present 
relatively small undertakings — relief of 
British forces in Iceland and the garrison- 
ing of its other bases — to which soon was 
to be added the build-up in the Philip- 
pines. None of these programs was to be 
completed by the end of the year. The one 
major overseas venture that the Army 
staff regarded as an effective counter- 
measure to the German threat in the South 
Atlantic and within its capabilities was an 
occupation of northeastern Brazil. To this 
project the President gave little encourage- 
ment, while his aggressive support of Brit- 
ain in the North Atlantic seemed likely to 
bring on open hostilities with Germany. 

At the Atlantic Conference in August, 
the British staff unfolded a far-reaching 
program of military action — last-ditch de- 
fense in Egypt and a renewed offensive in 
the fall; heavy reinforcements for Singa- 
pore; preventive occupation of the Atlantic 
islands even at the almost certain risk of a 
German invasion of Spain and Portugal, 

and subsequently an Anglo-American 
occupation of North Africa. As a climax, 
the staff now made a strong plea for early 
American intervention in the war. 11 

There was little discussion of this pro- 
gram at the conference, but the reaction of 
the U.S. Army staff, analyzing the pro- 
gram in Washington during the weeks fol- 
lowing, was explosive. Criticisms employed 
such terms as "propaganda" and "groping 
for panaceas." Britain's strategy seemed 
no more than a confession of bankruptcy. 
It seemed to explore no new avenues of 
action, no new sources of power, but 
merely to appeal for more American mu- 
nitions, shipping, and now direct military 
participation. Some felt the British were 
laggard in exploiting their own resources; 
one officer (Maj. Albert C. Wedemeyer) 
wondered why Britain did not import 
some of India's 390,000,000 people to 
England to fill the labor shortage. These 
and similar tail-twisting comments re- 
flected a sense of frustration arising from 
present impotence. Not for two years, by 
current calculations, would U.S. forces be 
strong enough to influence the course of 
the war by military action. The overseas 
adventures on which the British expected 
the U.S. to embark in northwestern Africa 
and elsewhere would absorb shipping that 
could not be spared from Britain's own 
import program. British requirements in 
munitions exceeded, in some categories, 
the entire present and planned production 
of the United States. For the present, staff 

5 ( 1 ) JB 355, Ser 707, 1 1 Sep 4 1 , title: JB Est of U.S. 
Over-All Pdn Reqmts. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and 
Hopkins, pp. 314-17. (3) Churchill, The Grand Alliance, 
App. E, Bk. I, and pp. 128-29, 828-35. (4) Hancock 
and Gowing, British War Economy, pp. 263-68, and 
Table 3(d), p. 205. (5) See below, App. H-l. 

6 ( 1) General Strategy Review by the British Chiefs 
of Staff, 31 Jul 41. WPD 4402-64. This paper was pre- 
sented at the conference. (2) Papers on discussions of 
conf in Item 1 lb, Exec 4. 



MEETING OF THE JOINT BOARD, November 1941. Seated around the table left to 
right: Brig. Gen. Harold F. Loomis, Maj. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, Maj. Gen. William Bryden, 
General Marshall, Admiral Stark, Rear Adm. Royal E. Ingersoll, Rear Adm. John H. Towers, 
Rear Adm. Richmond K. Turner. 

officers argued, "we should engage Ger- 
many with the weapon in which we claim 
superiority . . . i.e. economic force . . . 
not land operations in Europe against the 
German army." 7 The Joint Board's offi- 
cial reply to the British proposals emphati- 
cally declared, "the weakness of our po- 
tential allies, the present inadequacy of 
production, the unreadiness of our forces, 
the lack of shipping at this time, and the 
two-ocean threat to our ultimate security, 
present a situation we are not prepared to 
meet as a belligerent." Early intervention 
would draw the United States into "a 
piecemeal and indecisive commitment of 
our forces against a superior enemy under 
unfavorable logistic conditions." 8 

In September, events and the Presi- 
dent's purposes, nevertheless, seemed to be 

marching irresistibly toward the early par- 
ticipation the staff feared. It was in this 
month that the first attacks on American 
destroyers by German U-boats occurred, 
and the President issued his "shoot on 
sight" order. In response to a personal re- 
quest from Churchill, moreover, the Presi- 
dent consented to lend a sizable block of 
shipping, including three of the Navy's 
finest transports, to move two British divi- 
sions around the Cape of Good Hope. The 
transports sailed in November. 9 

7 Staff papers on General Strategy Review by the 
British Chiefs of Staff. WPD 4402-64. Sec 4. 

* Memo, JB to Sp A&N Observers, London, 25 Sep 
41JB325, Ser 729. 

"(1) Churchill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 491-95, 
817-19. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 



Shipping: Ferrying Versus Amphibious 

Shipping, as the Joint Board's statement 
in September indicated, was one of several 
bottlenecks. It was probably not the cru- 
cial one, since there seemed to be enough 
tonnage that could be mobilized in an 
emergency to deploy overseas the rela- 
tively meager forces scheduled for early 
movement under Rainbow 5. 1 " But in the 
existing situation, which did not permit 
full mobilization of merchant shipping, 
the problem of overseas deployment was 
acute. The effort to mount the Azores ex- 
pedition late in May had thrown a glaring 
light on the unpreparedness of the military 
services, even with pooled resources, to 
undertake any considerable overseas 
movement on short notice. It would evi- 
dently be necessary, as the President con- 
ceded a few weeks later, to earmark a 
certain amount of privately controlled 
tonnage for military service and keep it 
within a reasonable distance of the east 
coast ports if any of the several emergency 
expeditions then in view were to be carried 
out. No specific action was taken to do 
this, and as late as October G-4 com- 
plained that the rule against holding 
vessels for future sailings was mainly re- 
sponsible for the current bog-down of 
movements to Iceland. 11 

Under established Army-Navy agree- 
ments for joint action, responsibility for all 
military ocean transport was to pass to the 
Navy at the outbreak of war. In December 
1940 G-4 had urged that the transfer be 
made immediately, since an emergency 
situation existed, but most Army trans- 
portation officials then frankly doubted if 
the Navy, with more exacting standards 
for training crews and rigging military 
transports, could meet Army schedules. 

The G-4 proposal was overruled. By April 
1941 this feeling had changed somewhat, 
partly because of current labor and con- 
version difficulties and partly because of 
the greater imminence of war. Arrange- 
ments were made accordingly to progres- 
sively transfer Army-controlled transports 
to the Navy, the Army retaining its re- 
sponsibility for loading its own cargo and 
the right to obtain additional shipping, if 
need be, from the Maritime Commission 
to meet its current needs. 1J 

From the outset, the transfer program 
lagged, the Navy encountering difficulties 
in manning and converting the transports. 
The crisis of late May brought a tempo- 
rary acceleration, with the transfer of six 
large Army transports to the Navy to 
mount the Azores expedition. But these 
ships had to be replaced almost immedi- 
ately by the Maritime Commission to meet 
the Army's deployment needs, and during 
the summer and fall the transfer of Army 
transports and their conversion and man- 
ning by the Navy fell farther behind 
schedule. By 7 December only seven were 
actually in operation with Navy crews. 
During this same period the Army's own 
fleet, perforce, continued to grow. When 
war broke it numbered, all told, 140 ves- 
sels under various forms of military con- 
trol, including 33 directly owned and 29 
chartered ocean-going transports. 13 

,0 See above, Ch. II. 

11 (1) Memo, President for Adm Land, 1 Aug 41, 
quoted in Elliott Roosevelt, ed., F. D. R.: His Personal 
Letters, 1928-1945, II (New York, Duell, Sloan and 
Pearce, 1950), 1 193. (2) Memo, G-4 for CofS GHQ, 
16 Oct 41, sub: Delay in Shipt of Replacements, 

'-• Corresp in G-4/297 17-51. 

1 ' ( 1 ) Corresp in G-4/297 1 7-26. (2) Memo, G-4 for 
CofS, 23 Jun 41, sub: Relief of Navy Crews . . . , 
G-4/29717-51. (3) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 11 Dec 41, 
sub: Shipg Sit, 10a Shipg file, Ping Div ASF. 



This growth reflected the steady expan- 
sion of Army deployment to established 
overseas bases, a ferrying operation that 
employed conventional shipping to dis- 
charge passengers and cargo through de- 
veloped ports. The Navy was not primarily 
interested in this ferrying function, which 
it was in the process of taking over from 
the Army. In naval operations the charac- 
teristic transport task was the moving of 
complete military formations in fighting 
trim to a hostile shore, there to be landed 
against opposition in small boats and tank 
lighters carried on the transports. The 
amphibious transport, or combat loader, 
was a specially designed and rigged ves- 
sel. 14 Conventional vessels could be con- 
verted for the purpose, but only by an 
expensive and lengthy process involving 
heavier ballasting, provision for heavier 
deck-loading, extensive armament, and 
elaborate installations, all of which re- 
duced cargo and passenger capacity by 15 
percent or more. Amphibious transporta- 
tion was essentially a branch of naval 
tactics; ferrying to overseas bases was a 
purely logistical function. Some Army 
officials believed that the Navy consciously 
subordinated the latter "to other matters 
considered more vital." 15 

During the summer of 1941 the Navy 
expanded and accelerated its conversion 
program. Three of the six Army transports 
taken over at the end of May were to be 
converted to combat loaders, and two 
others, large passenger liners, along with 
a third turned over by the Maritime Com- 
mission, were to be made into aircraft 
carriers. Ten more Army transports were 
earmarked for the combat-loader program 
during the summer. In all, twenty-seven 
vessels, in addition to the three carriers-to- 
be, were scheduled for conversion. iH 

From the Army's point of view this 

program involved a dangerous and unjus- 
tifiable diversion of badly needed ship- 
ping. For ferrying purposes, the tonnage 
would be forever lost, while the work of 
conversion would immobilize ships alto- 
gether for months to come. Transfer of the 
ten Army transports would swallow at a 
gulp more than half the Army's fleet, in- 
cluding the newest, fastest, and largest 
vessels. The three liners destined to be- 
come carriers were the mainstay of the 
Army's troop deployment plans. In August 
G-4 wrote: 

No large movement, approaching 12,000 
or more, has been contemplated without re- 
lying on at least two of these ships . . . these 
three vessels are essential as transportation to 
fulfill the missions of the Rainbow No. 5 
plan, and to accomplish other overseas move- 
ments already initiated and suspended .... 
Their conversion will deny their use for a 
year for any purpose. That year, because of 
lack of ships, may well be a critical one. 17 

Nevertheless, the Navy for the time being, 
after the matter had gone to the Joint 
Board, had its way. The Navy undertook 
to adjust its combat-loader schedule in 
part to Army plans, but offered no re- 
placement for the three large liners. These 
departed in November, in fact, to ferry 

M There were two types: the attack personnel 
transport (APA) carrying both troops and equipment, 
and the attack cargo transport (AKA) carrying only- 
cargo. See below, App. A-7. 

15 (1) Memo, G-4 for WPD, 19 Nov 41, sub: Trfof 
Army Trans .... (2) Memo, G-4, no addressee, no 
date, sub: Conversion of Army Trans .... Both in 
G-4/297 1 7-51.(3) Memo, G-4 for WPD, 30 Aug 4 1 , 
same sub, G-4/2971 7-81. (4) Memo, CNO forJB, 5 
Aug 41, sub: Conversion of Army Trans for Combat 
Loading, JB 320, Ser 715. 

1H (1) Memo cited n. 15(4). (2) Memo, G-4 for 
CofS, 26 Aug 41, sub: Indefinite Postponement by 
Navy of Con version . . . , G-4/297 17-65. 

17 (1) Memo cited n. 15(3). (2) Memo, TQMG for 
G-4, 1 3 Aug 4 1 , sub: Army Trans Conversion, G-4/ 
29717-81. (3) Memo, Gen Marshall for Adm Stark, 
25 Sep 41, sub: Conversion . . . , OCofS 17396-56B. 
(4) Other corresp in G-4/297 17-65 and G-4/ 



British troops to the Middle East, where 
they remained for many months. ls 

The Army's case in this dispute was, at 
bottom, a plea for balance in the instru- 
ments of overseas warfare — balance be- 
tween troop-carrying and cargo-carrying 
capacity (the latter being, at this time, 
more plentiful than the former), between 
ferrying tonnage and amphibious tonnage, 
between logistics and tactics. Navy spokes- 
men conceded that the program would 
"greatly restrict the ability of the Navy to 
transport large Army forces to overseas 
destinations on short notice," as move- 
ments to the Philippines were soon amply 
to demonstrate. But they took their stand 
quite simply on service prerogative: "The 
Navy must be left free to use and dispose 
of individual ships of the Navy as it deems 
necessary to meet its responsibilities." l9 

The whole episode contributed to a 
growing reluctance on the part of Army 
transportation officials, during the closing 
months of 1941, to hasten the Navy's 
assumption of responsibility for all over- 
seas transportation. When W r PD at the 
end of the year attempted to spur the 
transfer program, G-4 protested sharply. 
The Army, that official asserted, was han- 
dling the job of ocean transportation to its 
own satisfaction, its relations with the 
Maritime Commission were excellent, and 
"its efficiency ... is at present far supe- 
rior to that of the Navy." The competence 
of the latter to undertake the growing tasks 
of overseas transportation, G-4 pithily 
concluded, should be more clearly demon- 
strated "before the Army gives up the 
power to do for the need to petition." '" 

Build-up in the Philippines 

The largest single additional burden 
placed upon military shipping during this 

period grew out of the decision to reinforce 
the Philippines and to broaden the islands 1 
role as a bastion against Axis aggression. 
Late in July the President created a new 
Army command in the Philippines under 
General Douglas MacArthur — U.S. Army 
Forces, Far East — and plans were put in 
train not merely to strengthen the island 
defenses but also to develop there a formi- 
dable base for offensive air power. The 
task thus undertaken swelled before the 
end of the year into a major logistical 
operation, involving a heavy diversion of 
effort from the Atlantic theater.-' 1 

In this plan there was curiously little 
consideration of the enormous logistical 
problems involved in building up and 
supporting large forces in the far Pacific. 
The decision rested to a large degree on 
the confidence of the Army Air Forces, 
evidently infectious, that its heavy bomber, 
the B-17, if based in the Philippines 
athwart Japan's major sea communica- 
tions and within range of her home islands, 
would be a sufficient threat to deter Japan 
from further aggression. This meant that 
both the defenses and the striking power 
of the base would have to be built up rap- 
idly and, in effect, under the noses of the 
Japanese, before the latter were ready to 
take counteraction. That failing, all de- 
pended on the ability of the Army and 

1S (1) Memo, JPC for JB, 8 Oct 41, sub: Conversion 
of Tr Trans . . . .JB 320, Ser 723. (2) Memo cited 
n. 15(4). (3) Memo, Gen Gerow for G-4, 2 Oct 41, 
sub: Conversion of Tr Trans . . . , G-4/297 1 7-65. 

(4) Memo, Gerow for G-4, 18 Sep 41, sub: Conversion 
of Army Trans . . . , G-4/297 17-81. 

19 Ibid. 

-" Memo cited n. 15(1). 

-' (1) Morton, Fall of the Philippines, Chs. II-III. 

(2) Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 434-38. 

(3) Matloffand Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, 
pp. 63-75. (4) Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 1 78-93. 

(5) Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell's Mission to 
China, pp. 23-24. (6) See above, Ch. IV. 



Navy to build up reserves in the islands, 
before Japan struck, sufficient for a pro- 
longed citadel defense — at least six 
months, according to the plan. With the 
enemy controlling the whole intervening 
region west of Midway except for the 
isolated outposts of Wake and Guam, and 
probably possessing the means to cut the 
approaches from the south, General Mac- 
Arthur could expect little help from the 
outside until the Pacific Fleet, with power- 
ful ground and air forces, could fight its 
way through from the Central Pacific. 

Even if communications with the 
Netherlands Indies and Australia could 
be kept open, the only secure approach 
from the United States was along the is- 
land chain of the South Pacific, stretching 
in a vast arc more than five thousand 
miles from Honolulu. Naval officers had 
long advocated construction of bases in 
the middle and western Pacific to extend 
the fleet's operating range, but up to the 
very eve of war Congress refused to grant 
appropriations for this purpose. It was a 
commercial airline, Pan American Air- 
ways, that pioneered the first air route 
across the Pacific in 1935, building way- 
station facilities on Guam, Wake, and 
Midway. Thereafter its big flying boats 
maintained a regular service between San 
Francisco and Manila. Not for four years, 
however, could the Navy obtain sufficient 
funds to capitalize on Pan American's 
experience. The appropriation, finally 
granted in 1939, enabled the Navy to start 
a modest program of base construction, 
but it was prohibited even then from 
dredging the harbor at Guam. By April 
1940 the Navy had started to improve its 
west coast and Hawaiian facilities and 
had begun construction of patrol-plane 
facilities at Midway, Johnston, and Pal- 
myra. Nine months later work was under 

way on the projected air base at Wake. 
Using this route — Midway- Wake-Port 
Moresby-Darwin — nine B-17's early in 
September 1941 successfully completed 
the flight from Hawaii to Luzon. This was 
an historic achievement, giving some 
promise of quick, direct delivery of the 
Army's principal strategic weapon to the 
Far East. But the Midway-Wake ap- 
proach was dangerously exposed, and in 
early October 1941 the War Department 
approved an Air Forces proposal to con- 
struct a permanent air ferry route farther 
east and south. Small teams of Army 
engineers, supplemented by civilian work- 
men, hastily set about building airstrips 
on the first two bases, Christmas and Can- 
ton, while a commercial engineering firm 
took over construction of the runways at 
the remaining two stations, Fiji and New 
Caledonia. The Australians, meanwhile, 
in co-operation with General MacArthur 
who was responsible for the bases lying be- 
tween Australia and the Philippines, were 
striving to complete the western lap of the 
route. On 6 December, the day before the 
Japanese attack, Lt. Gen. Walter C. Short, 
commander of the Hawaiian Department, 
notified Washington that he expected to 
have the chain of new bases open to ferry 
traffic in January. 22 

22 (1) Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, Chs. 
XIII-XIV. (2) Samuel Eliot Morison, The Rising Sun 
in the Pacific: 1931 -April 1942 (Boston, Little, Brown 
and Company, 1948), pp. 27-40. (3) Duncan S. Bal- 
lantine, U.S. Naval Logistics in the Second World War 
(Princeton, N. J., Princeton University Press, 1947), 
pp. 26-29, 60-62. (4) Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 
172, 177-93. (5) Matthew Josephson, Empire of the 
Air: Juan Tnppe and the Struggle for World Airways (New 
York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1944), Chs. 
VII- VIII. (6) Building the Navy's Bases in World War 
II: History of the Bureau of lards and Docks and the Civil 
Engineer Corps, 1940- 1946, I (Washington, 1947), 121. 
(7) Hepburn Board [Adm Arthur J. Hepburn, Chair- 
man] Report, 1 Dec 38, with atchmts, WPD 4156. 
The report was printed as House Document 65, 76th 



These preparations looked to the future. 
For the immediate task of building up the 
defenses of the Philippines in the summer 
of 1941, it was possible, though risky, to 
ship directly across the Pacific through 
Japanese-controlled waters. This was a 
formidable job calling for a large-scale 
troop-ferrying and cargo-ferrying oper- 
ation, massive in terms of anything under- 
taken since the last war. The troop move- 
ment program was smaller than that for 
cargo since, with the Philippine Army 
being mobilized, General MacArthur's 
primary need was not manpower but ma- 
terial. By mid-November, nevertheless, 
the War Department was planning to ship 
more than 20,000 troops during the fol- 
lowing month, in addition to about 5,000 
already arrived or on the way. The de- 
mand came at an unfortunate time. The 
Navy's conversion program was immobi- 
lizing passenger tonnage, and six large 
liners were about to be sent to the Indian 
Ocean on British service. The arrange- 
ments for shipping the 20,000 troops re- 
quired the use of five privately owned 
liners in addition to six Army transports. 
When the Japanese attack halted the pro- 
gram on 7 December, only 8,563 troops 
had actually reached the Philippines since 
July. Over 1 1,000 more were en route, but 
only 4,400 of these got through to Aus- 
tralia; the remainder were turned back. 23 

Cargo movements were of larger vol- 
ume. Requests from General MacArthur 
during August and September totaled 
.9 million measurement tons, and tenta- 
tive schedules to transport the bulk of this 
material from November through March 

Congress. 1st Session, January 3, 1939. (8) Biennial Re- 
port of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, July 1 , 
1939 to June 30, 1941 to the Secretary of War; and . . . 
July 1, 1941 to June 30, 1943. (9) Lewis H. Brereton, 
The Brereton Diaries (New York, William Morrow and 
Company, 1946), pp. 19-20. 

involved some 70 separate shipments. 
Even more than the troop movements, 
these demands were beyond the capacity 
of the Army's transport fleet. Out of more 
than a million measurement tons of ship- 
ping tentatively lined up for shipments to 
the Philippines during the period Novem- 
ber to March, the Army expected to pro- 
vide only 150,000; the Maritime Commis- 
sion would have to assemble the remain- 
der. Scheduling shipments and assembling 
shipping took time; not until November 
did the cargo requested in August and 
September begin to flow across the Pacific, 
and the bulk of the shipments was sched- 
uled for December and later. By Novem- 
ber there was a backlog of more than a 
million tons of material in ports and 
depots available for MacArthur's forces. 
Facilities at San Francisco and Manila 
were heavily taxed, especially at the latter 
port. In September the Navy instituted 
convoying between Honolulu and Manila, 
and later schedules spaced convoys at 
twelve-day intervals, creating new diffi- 
culties in traffic control and scheduling. 24 
All these problems provided the first 
taste of build-up operations on something 
like a wartime scale. But the Japanese 
stopped the program before it got into full 
stride. Only seven freighters and five pas- 
senger vessels carrying small amounts of 
cargo reached Manila during September 

23 (1) Msg 277, MacArthur to Marshall, 7 Sep 41, 
AG 320.2 (7-28-41) Orgn and Reinf for USAFFE. 
(2) Memo, Lt Col Frank S. Ross for G-4, 24 Sep 41, 
sub: Conversion . . . , G-4/297 17-65. (3) Memo, 
G-4 for CofS, 13 Nov 41, sub: Philippine Mvmt, G-4/ 
29717-26. (4) Rpt, no date, sub: Shipg Sit at SFPOE 
Following Pearl Harbor. (5) Alfred J. Bingham, Rein- 
forcement of the Philippines, pp. 8-1 1. Last two in 

24 (1) Corresp in G-4/27573, G-4/33451, G-4/ 
29367-120, and SWPA folder, OCT HB. (2) Bing- 
ham, Reinforcement of the Philippines, pp. 3-7, OCT 
HB. (3) See below, Chs. VII, XI. (4) For various 
weight and space measurements, see below, App. A-l . 



and October. In November only five 
freighters and three passenger vessels ar- 
rived. Most of the schedule lay ahead, 
with eighteen arrivals slated for December 
and thirty for January. Two days before 
Pearl Harbor General Marshall noted 
that about one hundred thousand ship 
tons of material were on the way, with 
twice as much ready to move to port, and 
fifty-five vessels had been assigned. The 
Pensacola convoy (containing three freight- 
ers and two troopships) and four other ves- 
sels already at sea on 7 December brought 
their cargo through to Australia; two 
other cargo vessels were lost.- 5 

General MacArthur faced the Japanese 
onslaught with his Regular Army troops 
and Philippine Scouts fairly well equipped, 
but with the Philippine Army low on most 
types of equipment and supplies; defense 
reserves, which had been set at a six- 
months' level for fifty thousand troops, 
were only about half filled. The uncom- 
pleted build-up in the Philippines left the 
United States with a large military invest- 
ment and an equally large legacy of frus- 
trated hopes in the Far East, both of which 
would be difficult to write off. 26 

Logistics for Victory 

The two policies laid down by President 
Roosevelt in June 1940, rearmament at 
home and aid to the "opponents of force" 
abroad, by mid- 1941 were exerting a 
growing pressure upon the still meager 
output of American munitions. The ob- 
jectives of the former program remained 
within the framework of the needs of hemi- 
sphere defense. Foreign aid, even with 
large lend-lease appropriations in 1941 
and some expansion of plant capacity 
under the direct impulse of foreign orders, 
had been kept alive on the whole by 

siphoning off a part of the production 
intended for American forces. It lacked 
long-range objectives, except those that 
presumably lay behind the requests of the 
claimant nations. There was a pressing 
need for a policy and a program to guide 
both American rearmament and foreign 
aid and to establish a firm ratio of em- 
phasis between them. 

On 9 July the President, perhaps un- 
wittingly, opened the door to the formula- 
tion of such a policy and program. In the 
opening sentence of a letter to the two 
service secretaries on that date he set forth 
what appeared to be a sweeping proposal: 
to explore "at once the overall production 
requirements required to defeat our po- 
tential enemies." In reality, as the rest of 
the letter conclusively showed, he merely 
wanted to know the amount of munitions 
the United States would have to produce 
(in addition to the production of its pres- 
ent and potential friends) in order "to 
exceed by an appropriate amount that 
available to our potential enemies." He 
was not concerned with "requirements" 
as the military staffs customarily used the 
term — that is, as a shopping list of items 
needed for specific operations. The letter 

I am not suggesting a detailed report, but 
one which, while general in scope, would 
cover the most critical items in our defense 
and which could then be related by the OPM 
into practical realities of production facil- 
ities. It seems to me we need to know our 
program in its entirety, even though at a later 
date it may be amended. JT 

- ' (1) Bingham, Reinforcement of the Philippines, 
pp. 7 11, OCT HB. (2) Brig Gen Charles C. Drake, 
Report of Operations, Quartermaster General, U.S. 
Army, in the Philippine Campaign, 1941-1942, Pt. I, 
p. 3, Hist Sec OQMG. 

26 Morton, Fall of the Philippines, Ch. III. 

27 (1) Ltr, President to SW and SN, 9 Jul 41. VVPD 
4494-1. (2) Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, Ch. 



The President was not concerned with the 
strategic concept or plans that might gov- 
ern eventual American participation in 
the war, nor with the American forces that 
might be required. The whole tenor of the 
request implied, in fact, that whether or 
not the United States became a belliger- 
ent, it would continue to serve primarily 
as an arsenal for the nations actively fight- 
ing the Axis. His basic assumption, made 
explicit in a supplementary message a few 
weeks later, was that "the reservoir of mu- 
nitions power available to the United 
States and her friends is sufficiently su- 
perior to that available to the Axis to in- 
sure defeat of the latter." 28 

To the Army staff this approach seemed 
unsound. "It would be unwise to assume," 
General Gerow wrote to Assistant Secre- 
tary McCloy, "that we can defeat Ger- 
many simply by outproducing her." 
Weapons must not only be produced but 
also brought effectively to bear against the 
enemy; this required trained soldiers, 
transport, services, expert leadership, 
sound plans — the whole panoply of or- 
ganized military power. Wars were won, 
General Gerow reminded the Assistant 
Secretary, by "sound strategy imple- 
mented by well-trained forces which are 
adequately and effectively equipped." 29 
The order of priority was important. Fac- 
tories produced weapons; weapons helped 
to produce armies, navies, and air forces; 
these forces provided the means of imple- 
menting strategy. The requirements for 
victory therefore must be approached in 
reverse order: first, a basic strategy, from 
which would be derived concrete plans; 
second, forces essential for carrying out 
strategic plans; last, productive capacity 
sufficient to arm these forces. 30 

The Army staff, in fact, welcomed the 
President's instructions as a logical exten- 

sion of a task it had had in hand for several 
weeks. This was an effort to draw up a 
comprehensive strategic estimate of the 
current situation and its probable future 
development, an estimate from which con- 
crete strategic objectives and an appro- 
priate program of action might be de- 
rived — in brief, a strategy. Leaders of in- 
dustry and officials concerned with de- 
fense production had long been pressing 
for such objectives to provide the basis for 
a master plan of economic mobilization. 
Some officials, notably Stacy May of the 
Bureau of Research and Statistics, Office 
of Production Management, Jean Monnet 
of the British Supply Council, Under 
Secretary of War Patterson, and Colonel 
Aurand thought in terms of "ultimate" 
requirements, the total production effort 
that would have to,be made in order to 
defeat the Axis. But production officials 
for the most part did not yet look beyond 
the current defense production effort, 
finding it difficult enough to preserve some 
order in the multitude of competing short- 
range programs. Lack of co-ordination 
was perhaps the more immediate prob- 
lem, and an important step toward meet- 
ing it was taken in August with the cre- 
ation of the Supply Priorities and Alloca- 
tions Board with powers to "determine 
the total requirements of materials and 
commodities needed respectively for de- 
fense, civilian and other purposes and to 
establish policies for the fulfillment of such 
requirements . . . ." 31 Still the lack of 
long-range objectives stood in the way of 
the expansion of capacity that the growing 
needs of rearmament and of foreign aid 

-" Ltr, President to SW, 30 Aug 41, WPD 4494-1. 
'-"' Memo, Gerow for McCloy, 5 Aug 41, Item 7, 
Exec 4. 

30 Ltr, SW to President, no date [drafted by 
McCloy], Item 7, Exec 4. 

31 E0 8875, 28 Aug 41. 



demanded; by spring of 1941 there were 
already threatening shortages in critical 
materials and machine tools. 32 

Until the President gave the word, the 
military staffs could hardly set their sights 
above the established concepts of hemi- 
sphere defense and material aid to oppo- 
nents of the Axis. Indeed, until national 
policy and Congressional sentiment moved 
definitely beyond these concepts, it was 
doubtful whether speculations as to "ulti- 
mate" needs would provide guidance suf- 
ficiently firm to permit much expansion of 
production capacity. General Marshall in 
May had expressed doubt whether the 
Army could justifiably set up require- 
ments for more than the 2,800,000-man 
force of the first PMP augmentation; "we 
will not need a 4,000,000-man army un- 
less England collapses," he stated. 33 He 
feared, moreover, that a sudden increase 
in orders might interfere with current pro- 
duction and eventually produce "a pile of 
stuff which is not only obsolescent but 
blocks other things more essential." 34 In 
any case, if the Army was to place de- 
mands on industry beyond the present 
short-range goals, such increases must be 
rooted firmly in strategic needs. Late in 
May Marshall directed his staff to draw 
up "a more clearcut strategic estimate of 
our situation" that might provide a "base 
of departure" for an orderly expansion of 
production capacity. 35 

Into this endeavor the President's letter 
of 9 July interjected the hypothesis of 
"ultimate" needs, which the Army staff 
gladly embraced, and the concept (or at 
least the implication) that industrial su- 
periority alone was a sufficient guarantee 
of victory, which the staff rejected. As the 
staff read the President's instructions, the 
task was to determine the total require- 
ments for victory — strategy, forces, and 

munitions. This was a monumental job 
and the President set impossible deadlines. 
As a result, the mountain of material that 
Mr. Stimson and Mr. Knox finally de- 
livered to the White House on 25 Septem- 
ber, fifteen days late, was both amorphous 
and incomplete. It included three "ulti- 
mate" requirements compilations with 
their supporting strategic estimates, one 
each for ground forces, air forces, and the 
Navy; a brief report by the Joint Board, 
which did not succeed in smoothing over 
basic interservice differences on strategy; 
and the existing foreign aid programs, 
which were variously incomplete and 
largely uncorrelated. Information on pro- 
duction capacity, which the President had 
requested, was not a part of this "Victory 
Program," as it came to be called. That 
information had been prepared by Mr. 
Stimson's staff, with the help of the Office 
of Production Management and British 
experts, and submitted two days earlier in 
the form of a consolidated balance sheet 
showing stocks of war materials on hand 
and expected quarterly production in the 
United States, United Kingdom, and 
Canada to the end of 1942; estimates, ad- 
mittedly unreliable, of Axis stocks and 
production capacity were prepared sep- 
arately. 36 

32 (1) Committee on Public Administration Cases, 
The Feasibility Dispute: Determination of War Pro- 
duction Objectives for 1942 and 1943, 1950 (hereafter 
cited as Com on Pub Admin Cases, Feasibility Dis- 
pute), pp. 17-23. (2) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for 
War, Pt. II, Chs. 1-3. (3) Watson, Prewar Plans and 
Preparations, pp. 331-35. 

33 Notes on conf, 17 May 41, Binder 15, OCofS. 
14 Notes on conf, 31 May 41, Binder 15, OCofS. 

35 ( 1 ) Notes on conf, 2 1 May 4 1 , Binder 1 5, OCofS. 
(2) Memo, CofS for WPD, 21 May 41, WPD 4510 
Strategic Est. 

36 (1) Ltr, SW to President, 23 Sep 41, AG 400 
(9-17-41) Sec 1. (2) Ltr, SW to President, 23 Sep 41, 
SW Secret File 1848-a. (3) Draft ltr, SW to President, 
no date, Item 7, Exec 4. (4) Ltr, SW and SN to Presi- 



In the nature of the situation, any solid 
prediction of ultimate foreign aid require- 
ments at this time was quite impossible. 
The President was evidently prepared to 
give generously to the Soviet Union, but 
the planners were pessimistic as to Soviet 
capacity to hold out for long; aid to China 
would depend largely on whether the 
United States would have to fight a war in 
the Far East, a question that probably 
would be decided by Japanese not Amer- 
ican action. And at bottom the long-term 
ratio between foreign aid and American 
rearmament was itself at issue in any cal- 
culation of "victory requirements." 

Only in the case of the British program 
was a serious attempt made to draw up a 
"victory program" dovetailed with the 
American. In response to a request in Au- 
gust, the British presented with some mis- 
givings a tentative list of ultimate require- 
ments for critical items, but proposed that 
a staff conference be held to draw up a 
comprehensive Anglo-American victory 
program, embracing the total needs of 
both countries and their allies in a coali- 
tion war fought under the strategic con- 
cept of ABC- 1. This project and that of 
aid to the USSR were the principal topics 
discussed by the American and British 
staff representatives at the London Con- 
ference of mid-September. There, the 
British presented their own "Victory Pro- 
gramme," based on estimates of forces to 
be employed in their areas of strategic re- 
sponsibility as marked out in ABC-1. 
Against total requirements of critical items 
thus determined, they matched the ex- 
pected output of Empire production; the 

dent, 25 Sep 41, with reqmts studies and JB rpt, AG 
400 (7-9-41) Ult Pdn. (5) The assembling and co- 
ordinating of the data is described in Watson, Prewar 
Plans and Preparations, pp. 342-52. (6) Hancock and 
Gowing, British War Economy, p. 385. 

deficit, they proposed, should be met by 
the United States. The Americans ac- 
cepted the British statement and agreed 
to integrate it into an over-all Victory 
Program along with Soviet and American 
military requirements; the whole would 
then be examined by American produc- 
tion authorities to determine how far it 
could be met. Adjustments, if necessary, 
would be discussed at a subsequent Vic- 
tory Program conference of the two staffs 
in the light of the strategic situation. 37 

These steps were never completed. When 
Japan struck on 7 December, the Office of 
Production Management experts were 
still analyzing the feasibility of the whole 
assemblage of hypothetical victory re- 
quirements. No Victory Program confer- 
ence was ever held, but the British pro- 
gram submitted in September at London 
became, to a large extent, the basis on 
which the American staffs after Pearl 
Harbor unilaterally merged British re- 
quirements into their own wartime supply 
programs. 38 

The Army's Victory Program 

In drawing up its own victory require- 
ments, the Army staff had ostensibly pro- 
ceeded methodically along the lines sug- 
gested by General Gerow's formula — 
strategy determines forces determines 
munitions determines productive capac- 
ity. Gerow wrote Marshall in turning over 
the Army study: 

WPD approached this problem by first de- 
termining in a general way the strategic oper- 
ations necessary to achieve victory .... 

3T (1) Rpt, Ping Com, 19 Sep 41, sub: Vic Reqmts, 
B.H. (41) 14, Vic Prog (Col V. V. Taylor) file, DAD. 
(2) For the Soviet program, see above, Ch. IV. 

38 See below, Ch. XI. 



ARMY WAR PLANS DIVISION, November 1941. Around the table left to right: Col. 
Lee S. Gerow, Col. Charles W. Bundy, Lt. Col. Matthew B. Ridgway, Brig. Gen. H. F. Loomis, 
Brig. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow (Chief), Col. Robert W. Crawford, Lt. Col. Stephen H. SherrilL 
Col. Thomas T. Handy, Lt. Col. Carl A. Russell. 

These possible operations were then trans- 
lated into terms of major units .... Having 
the major units we were then able to compute 
the critical items required .... In order to 
obtain the total productive capacity required 
by an all-out effort, the requirements in criti- 
cal items of associated powers were added to 
our own. 39 

The authors of the program did not in fact 
follow the formula very closely. The pro- 
gram's troop basis, purportedly designed 
to implement a predetermined strategy', 
actually had only a loose relation to it. Lt. 
Col. Albert C. Wedemeyer, the program's 
principal author, insisted at the time that 
the total figure — 8,795,658 men — had 

been arrived at after careful study of such 
factors as probable enemy and Allied 
forces, recent developments in tactics, or- 
ganization and materiel, and probable 
theaters of operation with their terrain, 
climate, communications, population, and 
general economy. Such considerations un- 
doubtedly were present in his mind in 
connection with the strategic estimates on 
which the staff had been working for 
many weeks past. But the figure 8,795,658, 
according to Wedemeyer's own testimony 
years later and as suggested in WPD's 

" Memo, Gerow for CofS, 10 Sep 41. sub: Ult 
Reqmts, WPD 4494-9. 



covering missive accompanying the report 
when it was transmitted to the Chief of 
Staffon 24 September, seems to have been 
the product of a simpler computation. The 
8.800,000 men, more or less, represented 
the marginal manpower that supposedly 
would remain for the Army to draw upon 
through mid- 1943, after the estimated 
needs of the sister service, industry, and 
agriculture had been met. Around this 
total, despite General Gerow's formula, 
Army strategists had to wrap their 
strategy. 40 

Whether this approach was more realis- 
tic than the one that took strategic re- 
quirements as its starting point is highly 
problematical. As a professional staff offi- 
cer, W'edemeyer could have had no illu- 
sions as to the value of any two-year fore- 
cast of military manpower needs, above 
all one made at this particular time. Being 
less familiar with the mysteries of labor 
supply and demand and of population 
statistics, perhaps he felt more confidence 
in the data gathered for him by the civil- 
ian manpower experts in the other govern- 
ment departments. Yet the question marks 
and variables surrounding any estimate of 
the manpower resources and needs of a 
fully mobilized war economy two years in 
the future were at least as large and nu- 
merous as those that clouded similar pro- 
jections of military requirements — indeed, 
since the magnitudes were larger the room 
for error was far greater. Wedemeyer, him- 
self, showed some awareness of this by 
allowing a cushion of 3.5 million men in 
his estimates to absorb unforeseen needs in 
the war economy. Considering all the vari- 
ables, it is remarkable that the Victory 
Program figure for the Army's ultimate 
strength exceeded by only about .5 million 
men the peak strength of 8.2 million actu- 
ally reached in 1945. In its composition, of 

course, the Army in 1945 bore little re- 
semblance to the force envisaged in 1941. 41 
The composition of the 8.8 million-man 
Army envisaged in the Victory Program 
clearly showed the influence of the as- 
sumption that it would ultimately be 
necessary to grapple with heavily armed 
German land forces on the European con- 
tinent. The total of 215 divisions was 
amply weighted with armored (61 divi- 
sions), motorized, antitank, and antiair- 
craft elements, and had substantial serv- 
ice support. The Air Corps program, sep- 
arately prepared, reflected the doctrine 
that strategic bombing would play an im- 
portant, if not decisive, role in defeating 
Germany. To this extent the troop basis 
served a strategic concept, though there 
was no attempt to determine forces needed 
for particular theaters of operation, ex- 
cept through the inclusion of garrison 
strengths for specific overseas bases and 
the two task forces destined under current 
war plans for operations in South Amer- 

4,1 ( 1 ) Memo. Wedemeyer for CofS, 24 Sep 4 1 , sub: 
Ult Reqmts of Army Ground and Air Forces. (2) 
Memo, Actg ACofS WPD for CofS, 24 Sep 41, same 
sub. Both in WPD 4494- 13. (3) Statement by Wede- 
meyer to Mark S. Watson in 1948. summarized in 
Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 343-44. 

The Army total included an estimated 2,000,000 
for the Air Corps: Navy requirements were set at 

11 ( 1 ) For a more detailed description of the Victory 
Program estimates, see Watson's draft chapter, "The 
Victory Program," marked "6 July Revision"; and a 
study by Guy A. Lee, Ultimate Requirements, 
Ground Forces, Estimate of September 1941 (Method 
Used). Both in Supporting Docs to Watson, Prewar 
Plans and Preparations file. OCMH. (2) The recollec- 
tions of another active participant in this episode. 
General J. H. Burns, do not altogether bear out 
Wedemeyer's account. According to Burns, the WPD 
planners simply applied an arbitrary 8 percent factor 
to the total national population in order to arrive at 
the number of able-bodied males that would be 
available for military service. See interview, Burns 
with Mark Watson, no date, same file. 



ica. The remainder of the proposed forces 
consisted of five armies and a number of 
separate corps, divisions, and other units 
(three of the armies were loosely desig- 
nated "potential task forces"), a force of 
1.2 million to defend and administer the 
continental United States, and a strategic 
reserve of about 3 million. 42 

This absence of any specific connection 
between estimated troop requirements 
and anticipated strategic employment 
struck the British, at the London Confer- 
ence in September, as rather odd. They 
were accustomed to calculate their re- 
quirements theater by theater, taking into 
account as far as possible such factors as 
climate and terrain, port capacity, rail 
and road nets, power facilities, expected 
enemy strength, and expected intensity of 
combat — precisely the factors Wedemeyer 
alleged had been considered in drawing 
up the Army troop basis. The American 
representatives at the conference dissented 
sharply. Their estimates, Lt. Col. Charles 
W. Bundy stated, were "based on the nec- 
essary troops to accomplish victory, and a 
general estimate was founded on enemy 
forces without consideration of individual 
theaters." 43 In the words of Assistant Sec- 
retary McCloy, interpreting the view of 
the military staff, "the only safe assump- 
tions concerning theaters of operations are 
that they may develop in any part of the 
globe, and that the Atlantic and European 
area will be the decisive theater." 44 

Theoretically, munitions requirements 
were derived by straight computation 
from the troop basis, but in a period of ex- 
panding production, fixed ultimate objec- 
tives were of dubious value except as 
incentives. Maximum production, practi- 
cally speaking, was the goal of economic 
mobilization. "The plan for material," 
Colonel Aurand noted toward the end of 

1941, "need await neither a strategic con- 
cept nor a determination of troops to ac- 
complish this objective. It is sufficient to 
know that maximum production of mili- 
tary equipment must be obtained in this 
country at the earliest possible date." The 
real problem was to determine the proper 
division of emphasis among categories of 
munitions. It was up to the strategists, 
Aurand thought, to fix the desired ulti- 
mate monthly production of each item. 
The production authorities could then de- 
termine how many of each item could 
actually be produced each month, "so that 
the maximum use is made of the country's 
resources." 45 Whether maximum produc- 
tion would meet the need only time would 
reveal. War Department supply officers 
were inclined to believe that "the load to 
be placed on both industry and raw mate- 
rials in the United States will tax its maxi- 
mum capacity." 46 

Global Logistics and Mass Invasion 

In the Victory Program the Army staff 
set forth, more fully than hitherto, its case 
for full participation in the war, as against 
the President's "arsenal" policy. The Pres- 

42 (1) "Ultimate Requirements Study: Estimate of 
Army Ground Forces," accompanying "War Depart- 
ment Strategic Estimate ... 11 September 1941," 
WPD 4494-21. (2) For the Air Corps program, set 
forth in a paper known as AVVPD/1, see Craven and 
Cate, AAFI, pp. 131-32, 146-47, 149-50,594,599- 

43 Min of conf on U.S.-Br pdn, 17 Sep 41, WPD 
4494 Br Vic Prog. 

44 Draft ltr cited n. 36(3). 

45 Memo, Col Aurand for Gen Moore, 10 Nov 41, 
sub: Method of Properly Financing Vic Prog, WPD 
4494 Vic Prog, U.S. Data. 

46 Memo, Col Mallon for Col Bundy, 17 Nov 41, 
sub: Method of Properly Financing Vic Prog, WPD 
4494 Vic Prog, U.S. Data. 



ident's letter of 9 July did not invite such 
a statement, and the letter's exclusive con- 
cern with productive capacity implied 
that victory against the Axis would be de- 
cided in the long run by industrial power, 
the element, by general agreement, in 
which the United States excelled. The 
staff's insistence on the "strategy-forces- 
munitions" formula, however, opened the 
door to a comprehensive exposition of the 
strategic method that Army leaders be- 
lieved essential to victory. This method, 
as Secretary Stimson summarized it, in- 
volved early, if not immediate, participa- 
tion "in an avowed all-out military effort" 
against Germany, as opposed to a strategy 
that would go little beyond the present 
policy of contributing "munitions, trans- 
port and naval help." Army and Navy 
leaders were united, Stimson wrote the 
President, in the conviction that "in de- 
fault of such participation, the British and 
their allies cannot defeat Germany, and 
that the resistance of the United Kingdom 
cannot continue indefinitely, no matter 
what industrial effort is put forth by us." 4? 
In this conclusion there were traces, no 
doubt, of both nationalism and profession- 
alism, but the Army's view rested also on 
a persuasive estimate of the probable fu- 
ture course of the war. There was no opti- 
mism as to Soviet ability to repel the 
German invaders. By July 1942, the plan- 
ners predicted, the Soviet Union would be 
"substantially impotent," with German 
air power pulverizing at leisure the terri- 
tories not yet conquered. Germany might 
then dispose of British power in the Mid- 
dle East, either by negotiation or by force, 
opening the way for a drive to the south- 
east or, alternatively, southwest through 
Spain toward Dakar. But the planners did 
not despair of the ultimate outcome. Ger- 
many would require a full year to restore 

order in her European conquests. She 
would be weakened by the long struggle, 
suffering from blockade, bombardment, 
and internal unrest. In the Far East, Japan 
would remain opportunistic and cautious. 
When and if she decided to strike, Army 
planners hoped, air power in the Philip- 
pines, armed and revived Chinese armies, 
and the Soviet Siberian divisions, together 
with modest Allied forces along the Malay 
Barrier, might hold her at bay until 
American naval power could be brought 
fully to bear. 48 

In this perspective, mid- 1943 was a 
critical point. Up to that time Germany 
would be spending her substance in win- 
ning military victories. Thereafter, she 
would begin to renew her powers and, un- 
less prevented, would eventually become 
invincible. The Allied Powers could not 
afford to wait later than mid- 1943, there- 
fore, to take the offensive. Long before 
then they must weaken Germany by air 
bombardment, blockade, and subversive 
activities, and engage her land forces in 
peripheral areas. The outcome would de- 
pend largely on the extent and rapidity of 
American mobilization. The industrial 
potential of the United States was more 
than ample for the task, but productive 
capacity took time to build — eighteen 
months to two years by current estimates — 
and time was running out. 

It is mandatory that we reach an early 
appreciation of our stupendous task, and 
gain the whole-hearted support of the entire 
country in the production of trained men, 
ships, munitions and ample reserves. Other- 
wise, we will be confronted in the not distant 

47 Ltr cited n. 36(2). 

48 ( 1 ) "War Department Strategic Estimate . . . 
October 1941," WPD 4494-21. (2) JB 355, Ser 707, 
1 1 Sep 4 1 , title: JB Est of U.S. Over- All Pdn Reqmts. 
(3) "Ultimate Requirements Study . . . ," cited n. 



future by a Germany strongly entrenched 
economically, supported by newly acquired 
sources of vital supplies and industries, with 
her military forces operating on internal lines, 
and in a position of hegemony in Europe 
which will be comparatively easy to defend 
and maintain. . . . The urgency of speed 
and the desirability of employment of our 
present great economic and industrial advan- 
tage over our potential enemies cannot be 
over-emphasized. 49 

The Victory Program strategic estimate 
was the first really searching look at the 
implications of full involvement in the 
war. It was a bold look, accepting with 
fewer qualms than earlier, apparently, all 
the logistical costs and risks that American 
forces would incur in a coalition strategy 
modeled on the British theory of encircle- 
ment and attrition. The planners envis- 
aged U.S. ground and air operations in 
several "subsidiary" theaters — Africa, the 
Near East, the Iberian Peninsula, Scandi- 
navia — to establish bases "which encircle 
and close in on the Nazi citadel." 50 From 
these bases. Allied air power would shatter 
the enemy economy, paving the way for 
ground and air attacks against the central 
land defenses. Germany would be forced 
to overextend and disperse her strength 
and use up scarce commodities such as oil. 
At the same time, presumably, large 
American forces might also be fighting in 
the Philippines, which the Army Staff now 
hoped could be successfully defended. 

This venturesomeness did not necessar- 
ily indicate that Army planners had 
abandoned their earlier aversion to risky 
and expensive logistical commitments. 
Their aversion was amply demonstrated, 
even as the Victory Program estimates 
were reaching completion, in the staffs 
sharp rejoinders to the estimates of the 
situation that the British had recently pre- 
sented at the Atlantic Conference. The 

willingness of the staff to contemplate elab- 
orate logistical commitments far from the 
North American continent was no more 
than a logical corollary of its conviction 
that Germany could be defeated only if 
the full industrial and military power of 
the United States were hurled against her. 

How to project that power with maxi- 
mum force and minimum cost — with the 
greatest economy of force — was to a large 
degree a problem of logistics with which 
the American staff had not yet come to 
grips. Speculation on the impending con- 
flict now embraced two distinct though 
complementary and sequential types of 
land operations. One, derived from the 
British strategy of encirclement, involved 
a large number of relatively small-scale 
operations, co-ordinated but separate, 
many of them amphibious assaults on de- 
fended shores, exploiting the mobility con- 
ferred by sea power in order to keep the 
enemy stretched thin and off balance. 
The Army staff during the summer and 
fall of 1 94 1 drew up outline plans of several 
such operations, reflecting the strong im- 
pression made by German successes in 
Norway, Crete, Greece, and elsewhere. 
The characteristic instrument of these 
operations was the tailor-made task force, 
organized, trained, and equipped to take 
a specific objective. Task force operations 
on the German model called for meticu- 
lous, detailed planning and thorough 
preparations; the "hot-house" training 
undergone by Rommel's Afrika Korps was 
a frequently cited example. ' 

The other type of operation, in many 
ways the antithesis of the above, was a 

cited n. 

'" "I "ltimate Requirements Studv . . 

50 Ibid. 

51 (1) Studies in the series VVPD 4510. (2) Com- 
ments on German operations in "Ultimate Require- 
ments Study . . . ," cited n. 42( 1 ). 



frontal assault with maximum force, upon 
the enemy's main positions in Europe. 
Such an operation would be attempted 
only after a long build-up and would be 
aimed at winning a final decision. Most of 
the Army staff now felt that the British 
underestimated the size and weight of 
forces that would be needed to break into 
and capture the German citadel. Against 
the extreme champions of air and naval 
power, moreover, ground force members 
of the staff stressed the "almost invariable 
rule that wars cannot be finally won with- 
out the use of land armies." 

We must prepare to fight Germany by 
actually coming to grips with and defeating 
her ground forces and definitely breaking her 
will to combat .... Air and sea forces will 
make important contributions, but effective 
and adequate ground forces must be avail- 
able to close with and destroy the enemy 
within his citadel. 52 

It was clear, of course, that the Allied 
Powers probably could not attain numeri- 
cal superiority over the Axis, much less the 
2-to-l ratio that traditional doctrine de- 
manded for an attacker. Such a ratio 
would have required, by current estimates, 
eight hundred Allied divisions in the 
European area alone. Army planners were 
thinking of superiority in weight and fire 
power, not numbers. Nevertheless, they 
envisaged massive invading forces — five 
million American troops to be transported 
"to European ports" — far larger than 
those contemplated in current British 
plans. The Army's Victory Program Troop 
Basis was shaped to fit this concept." 

Shipping costs of the Army's contem- 
plated victory effort were calculated, in 
the interests of simplicity, in terms of the 
tonnage that would be required when the 
effort reached its peak, that is, for the final 
struggle on the European continent. It was 

assumed that preliminary operations 
would be on whatever scale shipping per- 
mitted during the period that ship con- 
struction was being expanded. In August 
General Reybold warned that availability 
of cargo shipping would determine how 
rapidly American munitions could be 
moved overseas, and thus probably fix the 
timing of the offensive phase of Allied 
strategy; current discussion of forces to be 
mobilized, he noted, was already running 
ahead of the probable capacity of shipping 
two years hence. 54 In September G-4 made 
a rough calculation of the tonnages in- 
volved in overseas deployment on the scale 
contemplated in the Victory Program. 
(See Table 2.) To move 5 million troops and 
their equipment across the Atlantic within 
a period of one year, G-4 estimated, would 
require about 6.7 million gross tons of 
shipping; if two years were allowed, only 
3.4 million would be needed. Ten and 
a half million tons would be required to 
sustain these forces overseas. The total 
tonnage for a two-year build-up program 
would thus rise from 3.4 million at the 
beginning to about 10.5 million tons at 
the end of the period. Additional tonnages 
would be absorbed by maintenance of 
overseas garrisons, essential commercial 
trades, replacement of both British and 
American shipping losses, maintenance of 
the British domestic economy, and ship- 
ments of munitions to other Allied forces. 
The grand total, "ships for victory," came 
to more than 30 million tons, to carry on 

52 (1) Memo cited n. 8. (2) "Ultimate Requirements 
Study . . . ," cited n. 42(1). 

51 (1) "Ultimate Requirements Study . . . ," cited 
n. 42(1). (2) Churchill, in December, spoke of a com- 
bined Anglo-American invading force of only 1.5 
million. See paper, Churchill for President, "Part I: 
The Atlantic Front," 16 Dec 41, as quoted in Church- 
ill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 646-51. 

" 4 Memo, unsigned, for WPD, 5 Aug 41, sub: Over- 
All Pdn Reqmts, WPD 4494 Ult Mun Reqmts, Sec 1. 



Table 2 — Army Calculations of Shipping Requirements for Victory Program 


Essential trades 

U.S. forces overseas * 

Other Allied forces overseas . 

Navy requirements b 

British imports c 

Expected U.S. losses 

Expected British losses d . . . 

Total requirements 

U.S. shipping on hand e 

Present building program to end of 1943 . 

Additional shipping required 

Gross Tons 

3, 500, 000 
10, 500, 000 

30, 600, 000 

6, 700, 000 
10, 800, 000 


» Excludes garrisons in outlying possessions and bases, to be maintained by the regular transport fleets. Assumed turnaround, two 

t> Estimated necessary augmentation of Navy's transport fleet which, under current plans, was to absorb the Army fleet also. 

c For an estimated IS million weight tons of annual imports. 

d At the London Conference in September the British asked for S.5 million gross tons of U.S. shipping by January 1943, largely to replace 
anticipated losses; this included .5 million tons already under contract to them in American yards. The Army planners rounded this off 
to 6 million. 

• One of a number of current estimates. 

Source: Table adapted from memo, Stokes for Scoll, 27 Nov 41, sub: Shipg Reqmcs of Vic Prog, Ping Div Studies folder, OCT HB. 

the kind of war the Army planners had in 
mind. 55 (Table 2) 

Between encirclement and frontal as- 
sault, between task force operations and 
massive power drives, the Army staff as 
yet saw no clear conflict. The American 
planners, like the British, envisaged pre- 
paratory medium-scale operations in pe- 
ripheral theaters, followed by a large-scale 
invasion of the Continent. The difference 
was in emphasis, but it promised sharper 
disagreement in the future. The Ameri- 
cans still underestimated the logistical 
problems of the build-up that must pre- 
cede a successful invasion of Europe, and 
they did not foresee the extent to which 
the build-up would be retarded by neces- 
sary preliminary offensives around the 
perimeter of the European fortress and 
necessary holding operations in the Pacific. 

Task force operations were individually 
costly in training, equipment, shipping, 
and amphibious paraphernalia. For each 
operation the entire process of planning, 
organization, special training, and mount- 
ing must be repeated. In a series of such 
operations there was inevitably a high 
incidence of haste, waste, and last-minute 
upsets. The details of preparations were 
not readily reduced to routine, standard- 
ized procedures; each operation, to a large 
degree, was sui generis. 
The logistics of a large-scale invasion of 

55 (1) Memo, Col Charles P. Gross for WPD, 9 Sep 
41. (2) Memo, Maj Marcus B. Stokes, Jr., for Mr. 
David E. Scoll, Maritime Comm, 27 Nov 41, sub: 
Shipg Reqmts of Vic Prog. Both in Ping Div Studies 
folder, OCT HB. (3) Papers in WPD 4494 Br Vic 
Prog, especially Annex IV to rpt cited n. 37(1). (4) 
JB355, Ser707, 11 Sep 41, title: JB Est of U.S. Over- 
All Pdn Reqmts, App. I, in WPD 4494 JB Ests. 



Europe promised, on the whole, to be sim- 
pler, perhaps cheaper. Even if an amphibi- 
ous assault should be necessary to gain 
entry, it would be only a small part of the 
whole undertaking. Once a beachhead 
was gained, the whole invading force 
could pour in with little opposition. Trans- 
portation of the invading armies would 
thus become a massive ferrying operation 
using conventional rather than amphibi- 
ous shipping. Large forces organized on a 
large scale meant low "unit" cost, with 
economies gained through standardization 
of organization, equipment, training, 
and administrative procedures. Logistical 
plans could be stabilized far in advance. 
In essence, the logistics of task force opera- 
tions was retail, that of large-scale invasion 
wholesale. The argument of economy, all 
things considered, favored the latter. 

Yet economy gave no guarantee of suc- 
cess. A given situation usually dictated 
short-term solutions within a narrow range 
of choice, in defiance of long-range plans, 
and costly in terms of logistics. The war 
was to provide no clear-cut or fair test of 
either of the two general methods de- 
scribed above, and even victory was always 
to leave unanswered the question of 
whether it might have been bought at a 
lower cost. 

America's Contribution: Weapons or Armies? 

The military leaders were all ostensibly 
in agreement that full participation by the 
United States was the only means of de- 
feating Hitler; they were not certain, even 
under this assumption, that the job could 
be done. 56 There were wide differences, 
however, in the meanings the staffs at- 
tached to the concept of "full participa- 
tion," the lines of cleavage conforming 
generally to those that divided the cham- 

pions of ground, air, and naval power. 
Between the first two groups the differ- 
ences were not deep enough to preclude 
general agreement on the ultimate re- 
quirements for victory, and both Air Forces 
and Navy leaders endorsed the principle 
that Germany could be finally defeated 
only by land armies on the European con- 
tinent. But the measures and means by 
which the Navy proposed to put this prin- 
ciple into effect seemed to the Army staff 
wholly inadequate. 

The Navy's position was that, 

. . . since the principal strength of the Asso- 
ciated Powers is at present in naval and air 
categories, the strategy which they should 
adopt should be based on the effective em- 
ployment of these forces, and the employ- 
ment of land forces in regions where Germany 
cannot exert the full power of her land 
armies. 57 

This view reflected the Navy's concern 
over the anticipated shortage of shipping. 
The Navy Victory Program envisaged 
that only a million and a half U.S. troops 
would be deployed overseas (excluding 
garrisons of outlying possessions and 
bases), a third of them in Latin America. 
Massive U.S. naval and air power, sup- 
plementing the forces of other nations, 
would provide the rest of the punch needed 
to defeat the Axis. In the opinion of the 
Army staff, this program took an unduly 
optimistic view of the capabilities of naval 
and air power, even on the scale the Navy 
proposed to muster it, and also seemed to 

56 (1) Ltr, SW to President, 3 Sep 41, SW Secret 
File 1848-a. (2) JB 355, Ser 707, 11 Sep 41, title: JB 
Est of U.S. Over- All Pdn Reqmts. 

57 (1) JB 355, Ser 707, 11 Sep 41, title: JB Est of 
U.S. Over-All Pdn Reqmts. (2) For a discussion of 
the Air Forces program, AWPD/1, see Craven and 
Cate, AAF I, pp. 131-32, 146-47; and Maj Margaret 
A, Bacchus, "Manpower Planning — the Victory Pro- 
gram," Sec II-C, Pt. I, Ch. IV of Mobilization, Pro- 
curement and Allocation of Manpower and Material 
Means, hist monograph, Hist Sec, JCS. 



assume that British and American land 
armies would be able to invade and con- 
quer Axis Europe in the face of German 
forces enjoying a 5-to-l superiority. 5 * Na- 
val shipping estimates, moreover, contem- 
plated a more generous provision for 
continuing normal commerce than did the 
Army's estimates. 59 Navy planners, in 
short, evidently contemplated a war call- 
ing for something less than a maximum 
national effort, giving full play to U.S. sea 
and air power, but relying heavily on for- 
eign manpower and mobilizing only 
modest U.S. land armies. This program 
stood in sharp contrast to the Army's con- 
ception of an all-out, balanced effort cul- 
minating in a major test of strength in 
central Europe with U.S. land armies 
playing a leading role. 

The inherent conflict between these two 
conceptions was moving toward a show- 
down in the autumn of 1941, for the 
Army's mobilization was approaching a 
stage where decisions would soon have to 
be made as to future expansion. At the 
end of June 1941 the Army's strength had 
reached 1,455,565, culminating a year of 
unprecedented peacetime growth, and at- 
taining the manpower goal for the initial 
PMP force set forth the preceding summer. 
Five months later, on 7 December, the 
total strength had risen only to 1,643,477. 
The Army's primary aim during the last 
half of 1941 was to complete the training 
and equipping of this force and to develop 
it into an efficient fighting machine. In 
this respect much remained to be done. At 
the beginning of October only one divi- 
sion, five antiaircraft regiments, and two 
artillery brigades were considered to be 
ready for combat; the Air Forces were in 
even a worse case, with only two bom- 
bardment squadrons and three pursuit 
groups ready. These small, mobile, strik- 

ing forces, the staff hoped, might possibly 
be doubled in size by the end of 1941. 60 

To have in readiness forces adequate for 
hemisphere defense remained the imme- 
diate goal, and one still far from realiza- 
tion. The forces available to the Army in 
October, its spokesmen admitted, were 
"barely sufficient to defend our military 
bases and outlying possessions," many of 
which were still well below their author- 
ized, peacetime, garrison strengths. To 
oppose any serious invasion of the Western 
Hemisphere the Army in its present state 
would be "wholly inadequate." Opera- 
tions in distant theaters on the scale con- 
templated in the Victory Program lay far 
beyond the immediate horizon and might 
be ruled out altogether by an Axis victory 
in Europe before the United States was 
ready. ,n 

The United States seemed unlikely to 
move rapidly toward readiness for a coali- 
tion war against the Axis as long as the 

58 (1) JB 355. Ser 707. 11 Sep 41, title: JB Est of 
U.S. Over-All Pdn Reqmts. (2) Memo, CofS for 
CXO. 10 Sep 41. sub: U.S. Over- All Pdn Reqmts. 
(3) Memo. Gerow for CofS, 10 Sep 41, same sub. (4) 
Memo. A.C.VV. [VVedemeyer] for Gerow, 9 Sep 41. 
Last three in WPD 4494-10. 

59 Major differences between Army and Navy 
shipping estimates in gross tons were: 

Arm] Vav) 

Essential trades 3,500,000 6.000.000 

U.S. forces overseas 10,500,000 2.400,000 

Other Allied forces overseas 3.000,000 5.000,000 

Additional shipping needed 13.100.000 9,500.000 

See memo, Stokes for Scoll, 27 Nov 41. sub: Shipg 
Reqmts of Vir Prog, Pint; Div Studies folder, OCT HB. 

60 (1) Strength figures are from annual Report of the 
Secretary of War, 1941 , Table A; and table. Returns 
Sec, Misc Div, AGO, in Binder 1, Secret Papers file, 
GHQ. (2) For training and maneuvers in late 1941, 
see Greenfield. Palmer, and Wiley, AGF I, pp. 40-55. 
(3)"War Department Strategic Estimate . . . Octo- 
ber 1941." WPD 4494-21. 

1 "War Department Strategic Estimate . . . 
October 1941." WPD 4494-21. (2) For the status of 
outlying bases and possessions, see Conn and Fair- 
child. Framework of Hemisphere Defense. Ch. VI, 
p. 32. 



country remained technically at peace. 
Public and Congressional sentiment, in the 
late summer and fall of 1941, was still far 
from willing to abandon this status, as was 
evidenced by the slim one-vote margin in 
Congress in favor of extending Selective 
Service, the continuation of the prohibi- 
tion against sending selectees outside the 
Western Hemisphere, and the apathetic 
public response to submarine attacks on 
American destroyers in September and 
October. General Marshall himself, per- 
haps in deference to this sentiment, did not 
put forward definite plans for immediate 
substantial expansion of the Army. Plans 
were afoot, in fact, eventually to retire all 
the National Guard units, and to replace 
all selectees and National Guard enlisted 
men by recruitment, measures that would 
certainly delay the training program and 
temporarily disrupt organization some- 
what, even though in the long run the 
Army's strength would not be reduced. 
Current plans late in 1941 anticipated 
that ground forces would be expanded by 
about 10 percent, and General Marshall 
expected to prepare no more than sixteen 
divisions for overseas service. When Lt. 
Gen. Lesley J. McNair, Chief of Staff, 
GHQ, proposed in October a program for 
"mass production of trained divisions 1 ' on 
the assumption that the Army, as he said, 
had as its mission something "more than 
passive hemispherical defense,' 1 the Gen- 
eral Staff rejected the plan. 62 

Thus, despite the Army staff's convic- 
tion that full participation in the war at an 
early date was the only effective means of 
meeting the long-range threat to Ameri- 
can security, the building of American 
armies late in 1941 was slov/ing down 
markedly. This trend was accompanied by 
a definite movement to shape plans for 
eventual American participation along the 

lines suggested by the Navy's rather than 
the Army's Victory Program estimates — 
with a view to making the United States' 
contribution to the war, as Walter Lipp- 
mann put it in a widely discussed article, 
one "basically of Navy, Air and manufac- 
turing."' 13 There was strong pressure to 
actually reduce the size of the ground 
forces in order to make more materiel 
available for lend-lease, especially to the 
Soviet Union. And on 22 September, two 
days after Lippmann's article had ap- 
peared, General Marshall was called to 
the White House to defend the present and 
planned strength of the Army. 1 ' 4 

General Marshall's defense was vigor- 
ous. He reviewed the strategic concept 
embodied in the Victory Program esti- 
mates (which were to be submitted three 
days later) and the forces there listed as 
necessary for defeating Germany. He de- 
clared that if the United States remained 
committed to that policy, 

. . . then we must build toward these forces 
as rapidly as possible. To seize and hold the 
initiative we must have forces available for 
employment at the time and place of our own 
choosing, not Hitler's. Any reduction of our 
present forces may result in fatal delay. . . . 
We are already late. We must not abandon 
present gains and we should push on with 
unremitting effort. Furthermore, sudden 
basic changes in policy . . . are devastating 
to organized effort. The "long view" is essen- 
tial to our interests. In other words, to shift 
our national objectives by the reduction of 
our army at the present time might well be 

62 (1) Conn and Fairchild, Framework of Hemi- 
sphere Defense, Ch. VI, pp. 29-32. (2) Watson, Pre- 
war Plans and Preparations, pp. 358-66. 

,i:! New York Herald Tribune, September 20, 1941, 
byline Walter Lippmann. 

' 1 ) Papers in Tab K, Item 7, Exec 4. (2) Memo, 
CofS for President, 22 Sep 41, sub: Ground Forces. 
(3) Related papers. Last two in WPD 4594. (4) 
Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 360-66. 

65 Memo cited n. 64(2). 



Reviewing the Army's current plans for 
overseas garrisons, task forces, and forces 
in the United States (within the framework 
of the initial PMP), Marshall reached two 
conclusions. Any reductions in numerical 
strength or equipment justified in the light 
of the immediate situation would not yield 
significant amounts of materiel of the types 
most needed by Great Britain and the 
Soviet Union. Whatever "momentary en- 
couragement" such diversions might give 
the USSR and Britain "would be far out- 
weighed by the positive indications it 
would give to the German government 
that they need not fear an eventual 
onslaught of ground forces." 66 

Marshall's general impression, on leav- 
ing the White House, was that the Presi- 
dent at least did not intend to reduce the 
Army. 67 No further action to that end, in 
fact, was taken before Pearl Harbor, but 
until then the Victory Program remained 
a hypothesis without real influence on 
either American mobilization or foreign 
aid. Since midyear, moreover, plans for 
dividing munitions production between 
the U.S. Army and foreign claimants had 
moved steadily toward an early effectua- 
tion of the "arsenal" theory of American 
participation. Under the policy laid down 
on 22 September, the bulk of the output of 
American munitions was to have been 
allotted, beginning in March 1942, to for- 
eign "opponents of force." Even though its 
minimum training allowances of equip- 
ment were expected to be only 70 percent 

complete by March 1942, the Army's mo- 
bilization, in effect, would then have come 
abruptly to a halt. Thenceforth, the Army 
would have shifted over to something like 
a stand-by status, slowly filling its equip- 
ment shortages and perfecting its prepara- 
tions to protect the hemisphere against an 
invader. How much of this policy might 
have survived if the United States had 
been drawn into a purely European war, 
instead of a two-front global one, can only 
be conjectured. Even though aloof, Japan 
would doubtless have remained a threat, 
pinning down a large segment of both 
American and British strength; one and a 
half million American soldiers, it is safe to 
say, would hardly have sufficed to secure 
U.S. positions in the Pacific and also to 
play an effective role in Europe. On the 
other hand, the menace of the European 
Axis alone might not have aroused the 
United States to mobilize its manpower 
and resources, particularly the former, on 
the scale that, in the event, marked this 
country's participation in the war. On the 
eve of Pearl Harbor the prospects were 
that America's contribution to the war 
would be in weapons, not armies. 68 

66 Ibid. 

67 Memo, CofS for Col Robert W. Crawford, 22 
Sep 41, WPD4594. 

68 (1) See above, Ch. IV. (2) In his account of the 
developments summarized in the foregoing four para- 
graphs, Watson, Prewar Plans and Preparations, pp. 
358-66, erroneously infers that steps were actually 
taken to reduce the ground establishment. See also, 
Langer and Gleason, The Undeclared War: 1940-1941 , 
p. 735. 



Pearl Harbor and Early 

The disadvantage imposed upon the 
United States by Japan's sudden attack in 
December 1941 went far beyond the 
actual losses then inflicted. To replace 
these, from the immense fund of military 
power ultimately generated by the United 
States, was a comparatively simple mat- 
ter. But the attack, in its immediate im- 
pact, was temporarily crippling and 
helped the enemy to gain positions from 
which he could be dislodged only at mas- 
sive cost over nearly four years of war. The 
most fundamental gain for Japan and her 
European partners was the loss of equili- 
brium suffered by the United States. U.S. 
national policy had accepted in advance 
the disadvantage of conceding to the 
enemy the first blow, and had counted on 
the compensatory effect of extensive mo- 
bilization beforehand while potential al- 
lies held potential enemies at bay. To the 
achievements of prewar mobilization the 
United States in the long run owed her 
salvation, but they did little to mitigate 
the shock of the enemy's first blow. Ger- 
many, not Japan, had been expected until 
very late in 1941 to strike that blow, and 
the daring attack on Pearl Harbor, the 
main U.S. base in the Pacific, in conjunc- 
tion with the anticipated offensive of the 
Japanese to the south, had scarcely been 
foreseen at all. The United States thus 

found its lines of communications in the 
Pacific jeopardized beyond its worst ex- 
pectations, while those in the Atlantic and 
the Caribbean soon proved dangerously 
vulnerable. The logistics of initial military 
action, as anticipated in prewar plans, was 
thus thrown off balance; virtually every 
previously planned movement of forces 
had to be modified or abandoned. Beyond 
this initial impact, the Japanese attack 
disrupted the timetable of American strat- 
egy and, for upwards of seven months, 
threw the weight of the Army's effort in a 
direction markedly different from that 
planned. The basic eastward orientation 
of strategy remained a long-range goal, 
but the actual development of the mili- 
tary situation held out little assurance 
that it could be put into effect. As a conse- 
quence, the whole program of logistical 
preparations supporting that strategy was 
in some measure disrupted. National 
policy, in short, by yielding the initiative 
to the enemy, laid a heavy burden upon 
the logistical staffs in December 1941. 

Throughout the U.S. military structure 
the shock of war was violent. There was a 
vast surge of activity, both confused and 
purposeful, a fever of organization and 
reorganization, and, most visibly of course, 
an unprecedented expansion. In thejoint 
Chiefs of Staff (JCS) system, created dur- 



ing the early months of 1942, the Army 
and Navy fashioned the nucleus of a com- 
mittee machinery for co-ordinating the 
planning and direction of American mili- 
tary operations, and also established the 
principle of unified command for all mili- 
tary operations employing both Army and 
Navy forces. The service departments 
themselves found it necessary to make in- 
ternal structural adjustments. On the 
Army side the reorganization, accom- 
plished in March 1942, was far reaching, 
creating among other things new machin- 
ery for logistical planning and direction, 
and centering control of the Army's vast 
logistical operations in the United States in 
a new command, the Services of Supply 
(SOS). 1 

Pearl Harbor plunged the United 
States into a coalition war. Toward the 
end of December 1941 Prime Minister 
Churchill arrived in Washington accom- 
panied by his principal civilian and mili- 
tary planners. At the Arcadia Confer- 
ence, which followed, the Anglo-Amer- 
ican alliance was cemented and an effort 
was made to formulate a broad strategy 
and to create an organization to guide the 
common endeavor. The organization that 
emerged was the Combined Chiefs of Staff 
(CCS) system, generally paralleling the 
JCS committee system and designed to co- 
ordinate Allied strategy and the alloca- 
tion of munitions, shipping, and other 
resources. 2 In the realm of strategy, the 
Arcadia Conference confirmed the tenta- 
tive agreements reached at the ABC meet- 
ings of February-March 1941 that the 
principal effort of the Anglo-American 
coalition should be concentrated on de- 
feating Germany. In the Pacific the Allies 
agreed to remain on the defensive and try 
to hold Japan to limited gains. But as 
Japan, during the winter and spring of 

1942, relentlessly continued to exploit the 
advantages of surprise and of her oppo- 
nents' unreadiness, the Allied high com- 
mand found itself driven to using its 
meager resources piecemeal in a desperate 
effort to avert catastrophic losses in the 
Pacific. Until the situation could be sta- 
bilized somewhat in this quarter, no long- 
range strategic plan could remain firm, 
and the effort to mobilize and deploy 
forces against the European Axis came al- 
most to a standstill. 

The Impact of Pearl Harbor 

The Japanese attack caught the U.S. 
Army about three months short of com- 
pleting what had been planned as the 
most intensive phase of its rearmament — 
roughly definable as the three-quarters 
arming of the initial Protective Mobili- 
zation Plan force (increased to 1.8 million 
men the preceding summer). Produc- 
tion of munitions had made great strides 
during the second half of 1941, but gen- 
erally had fallen short of expectations. 
Only moderate increases over the output 
of the preceding six months had been 
made, for example, in heavy field artillery 
pieces and ammunition, small arms am- 
munition, and trucks; antiaircraft artil- 
lery production had actually declined. 3 A 
hasty survey soon after Pearl Harbor in- 
dicated that by the end of March 1942 a 
more or less balanced force of sixteen divi- 
sions — about half the initial PMP force — 
could be put in the field by various 
expedients and, in addition, overseas gar- 
risons could be outfitted at war strength, 
with most of their basic equipment but 
with very slim allowances of certain key 

1 See below, Chs. VIII-IX. 

2 See below, Chs. IX-X. 

3 See below, App. B. 



items, above all, ammunition. By spread- 
ing materiel even more thinly, the entire 
initial PMP force might be equipped in 
some fashion within the same time. Yet 
these deficiencies, for forces that might 
soon have to face a powerful enemy over- 
seas, could scarcely be regarded as other 
than crippling. 

One bottleneck created another. The 3- 
inch self-propelled antitank gun, which 
would be in critical supply for months, 
could be replaced in an emergency by the 
75-mm. gun; but ammunition for the lat- 
ter was short, and in all types of artillery, 
fire control equipment was even shorter. 
This last shortage was expected to prevent 
arming the initial PMP force with heavy 
antiaircraft weapons until some time in 
1943. Enough medium tanks were in pros- 
pect for the armored forces, but 75-mm. 
tank guns remained a choke point. 

Ammunition was the immediate and 
pervasive shortage — especially .50-caliber 
and 37-mm. armor-piercing ammunition, 
without which tanks could not operate, 
and without which there could be no de- 
fense against tanks. Production of .50- 
caliber was not expected to improve until 
midyear, 37-mm. and 75-mm. somewhat 
earlier. Ammunition stocks for 60-mm. 
and 81-mm. mortars were practically 
nonexistent in the United States, and the 
production outlook was not hopeful. 

Any precise estimate of preparedness in 
terms of divisions ready for combat was 
difficult to make. For lack of ammunition 
in major categories, only a single division 
and a single antiaircraft regiment could 
be made available on a full war footing 
for overseas service, although three divi- 
sions were reasonably well equipped and 
five were more or less well trained. Supply, 
in general, would catch up with the pro- 
gress of training by February 1942, per- 

mitting eight divisions, trained and 
equipped with bare essentials, to take the 
field, but still only two of these divisions 
would have enough ammunition to risk 
combat. Two months later, supply and 
training would again be out of balance, 
with sixteen divisions trained but only 
thirteen adequately equipped and sup- 
plied with ammunition for full-scale oper- 
ations. Even these estimates of availability 
of forces in the near future, Brig. Gen. 
Brehon B. Somervell, the new G-4, 
warned, were "on the optimistic side." 4 
They presupposed an immediate acceler- 
ation of production and an overriding 
priority for U.S. forces over other claim- 
ants — in other words, an immediate cessa- 
tion of lend-lease deliveries. 

Even if more divisions had been ready 
for combat, most of them would have had 
to remain in the United States. As of 10 
December, troop transports available in 
port were sufficient to move about 14,000 
on the west coast and 5,700 on the east 
coast. By April, monthly embarkations of 
perhaps 46,000 across the Atlantic, 31,000 
or less across the Pacific, might be under- 
taken. 5 The shortage of shipping, together 
with the shortage of ready divisions, pre- 
determined the form that overseas deploy- 
ment was to take during the next few- 
weeks — a piecemeal movement of miscel- 
laneous small units, mainly of supporting 
combat and service types. 

It was not easy, immediately after 7 
December 1 94 1 , to decide how the avail- 
able small forces could be most effectively 

4 Memo, G-4 for DCofS, 2 1 Dec 4 1 , sub: Equip for 
Combat Units, with atchd papers, Item 14, Exec 4. 

5 (1) Memo, Gross for Somervell, 10 Dec 41, sub: 
Shipg Sit As It Affects the Army, Ping Div Studies 
folder, OCT HB. (2) For an analysis of the shipping 
shortage in all its aspects, see below, Ch. VIII. (3) 
See also the markedly different estimate made later 
in December, p. 153. 



disposed to meet the immediate threat. 
Rainbow 5, the only war plan now ap- 
plicable, was still in effect, but each sched- 
uled movement had to be considered on 
its merits, and the worsening situation in 
the Pacific was soon to invalidate the 
whole schedule. On the west coast aircraft 
factories were almost defenseless against 
air raids, and during the jittery mid-De- 
cember period there were numerous re- 
ports of actual enemy task forces hovering 
off the coast from Alaska to the Panama 
Canal. In Hawaii, those naval installa- 
tions that were somehow passed over by 
the Japanese attack lay open to a second 
onslaught which, if it came, would have 
to be met by ground forces with very little 
air and naval support. General Short, the 
commander in Hawaii, was clamoring for 
troops, planes, bombs, and ammunition. 
The Panama Canal, hardly more strongly 
fortified than Hawaii had been, seemed a 
logical next objective for Japan, since the 
Pacific Fleet was crippled. Alaska, while 
less inviting, was even more vulnerable. 
And to the distant Philippines, soon to be 
cut off from help, General Marshall on 7 
December sent assurance of "every pos- 
sible assistance within our power," thus 
adding another large commitment to the 
Army's already overwhelming burdens. 6 
At the emergency meetings of the Joint 
Board on 8 and 9 December, Army and 
Navy leaders agreed, however, that im- 
mediate reinforcement of the Philippines 
was probably out of the question. The 
Navy placed the primary emphasis on re- 
inforcing Hawaii. Admiral Stark urged 
immediate shipment of all available anti- 
aircraft artillery there, even at the cost of 
denuding continental installations, and 
spoke of reinforcements on the scale of 
1 00,000 troops and 500,000 gross tons of 
shipping. But the Navy admitted at the 

same time that, with the Pacific Fleet im- 
mobilized, it could guarantee neither ade- 
quate naval protection for Hawaii nor 
coverage for the movement of troops and 
material across the Pacific. General Mar- 
shall questioned the wisdom of risking 
everything on defending Hawaii, which 
might be isolated in any case, while avail- 
able equipment and ammunition were in- 
adequate even for the defense of west coast 
installations and the Canal. 7 

During December, therefore, though 
placing major emphasis on deployment to 
Hawaii, the Army also moved substantial 
reinforcements and material to Panama, 
the west coast, Alaska, and the North At- 
lantic bases, including Iceland. Troop 
movements to Hawaii and Panama ac- 
counted for the great bulk of overseas de- 
ployment during December, while the 
cargo movements to these points were well 
over half the total shipped from the 
United States. Reinforcement of the 
Canal was virtually completed by the end 
of January, by which time some sixteen 
thousand troops together with bombers, 
pursuit planes, and air-warning equip- 
ment had been sent there. Other bases in 
the Caribbean and Alaska received a 
steady flow of troops and material through 
the winter and early spring/ 

The shipments to Hawaii were made in 
an atmosphere of extreme urgency. Re- 
sponding promptly to General Short's 
pleas, the War Department by the morn- 

B (1) Msg 736, Marshall to MacArthur, 7 Dec 41, 
WPD 4544-20. (2) Matloff and Snell. Strategic Plan- 
rung: 1941 1942, pp. 78-96. (3) For the state of 
Hawaii's defenses before and after 7 December, see 
\\ atson. Ptewai Plans and Preparations, pp. 474-75. 

Ml) Memo, CNO for CofS, 1 1 Dec 4 1 . sub: Dan- 
gerous Strategic Sit in Pac Ocean, Item 4, Exec 10. 
(2) Memo, CofS for CNO, 12 Dec 41, sub: Defof 
Oahu, WPD 4544-29. 

s ( 1 ) See below, App. E. (2) For deployment of air 
forces, see Craven and Cate, A AF I, Ch. VII. 



ing of 12 December had set up seven 
thousand troops and most of the material 
requested on highest priority for shipment 
by the earliest transport available, and ar- 
rangements were made to fly out twenty- 
seven heavy bombers. On that day there 
were five freighters and eleven troop trans- 
ports in San Francisco Harbor, including 
five transports that had returned safely 
since the 7th. Two, possibly three, of the 
transports were earmarked to carry the 
troops, due to sail in convoy about the 
1 6th or 1 7th. About half the bulk cargo, it 
appeared, could also be dispatched at an 
early date. 9 

At San Francisco the Army port au- 
thorities estimated that, by strenuous ef- 
forts, the two fastest transports — Matsoma 
and Monterey — could be loaded with 
troops, pursuit aircraft, and some small 
arms ammunition in time to sail on the 
night of the 13th. To Somervell and Mar- 
shall it seemed worth the risk to waive 
convoy and let the transports make a dash 
to Honolulu without escort. Orders were 
given to push the loading and the matter 
was put to the Navy, which proved unal- 
terably opposed to unescorted convoys 
and, at least in the eyes of General Somer- 
vell and General Gerow, seemed remark- 
ably unconcerned about the Army's desire 
for speed. Tempers were frayed, and sharp 
words were exchanged, but the Navy re- 
fused to yield. Three fast transports — Mat- 
soma, Monterey and Lurline — sailed on the 
16th, under convoy as the Navy had in- 
sisted. Not until the end of January were 
troopships allowed to sail the Central Pa- 
cific without escort. 1 " 

On 1 7 December two more troop trans- 
ports — Bliss and Garfield — left San Fran- 
cisco for Hawaii with troops, planes, and 
other supplies. On the 27th, after the 
Chief of Staff had approved further rein- 

forcements of one division, two antiair- 
craft regiments, and about ten thousand 
service troops, another large troop and 
cargo convoy sailed for Hawaii, the last of 
the year. By the end of December total 
shipments of material to Hawaii amounted 
to 77,756 measurement tons; troop rein- 
forcements totaled about 15,000." 

Meanwhile, second thoughts were be- 
ing given to Hawaii's position and to the 
possibilities of a Japanese landing on the 
U S. west coast. The danger, on the whole, 
seemed to be waning. Even on the 15th, 
General Short had acknowledged that few 
of the reports of enemy parachutists, air 
reconnaissance, mysterious flares, sud- 
denly surfacing submarines, and the like 
could be verified. Short thought there was 
little indication of an enemy intent to at- 
tempt a landing. On the 24th the Anglo- 
American Chiefs of Staff in Washington, 
discussing the possibility of an enemy at- 
tack on the U.S. west coast, concluded 
that while sporadic naval and air attacks, 

9 ( 1 ) Msg, CG HD to TAG, 1 4 Dec 4 1 , G-4/33822. 

(2) Msg, CG HD to CofS, 8 Dec 41, AG 381 
(1 1-27-41) Far Eastern Sit, Sec 1. (3) Memo, Exec 
Off G-4 for Br Chiefs, 10 Dec 41, sub: Proposed Reinf 
for Hawaii, Convoys folder, OCT HB. (4) Rpt. no 
date, sub: Shipg Sit at SFPOE Following Pearl Har- 
bor, OCT HB. 

10 (1) Disposition form, WPD to G-4, 1 1 Dec 41, 
sub: Reinf for Hawaii. (2) Msg, G-4 to CG SFPOE, 
1 1 Dec 41.(3) Disposition form, G-4 to CG HD. 18 
Dec 41, sub: Units and Cargo To Be Shipped on 
Matsoma, Monterey, and Lurline. All in G-4/33822. 
(4) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 12 Dec 41, sub: Lack of 
Effort of Navy To Speed Up Dispatch of 21 -Knot 
Convoy to Copper [Territory of Hawaii], Convoys 
folder, OCT HB. (5) Corresp in WPD 4622-12; WPD 
4622-39; and WPD 3444-14. 

" ( 1 ) Memo, G-4 for DCofS, 1 6 Dec 4 1 , sub: Water 
Mvmts to Copper and "X," G-4/33817. (2) See Ship 
Charts and Logs, Atlantic and Pac folders, G-4/33700. 

(3) Rpt cited n. 9(4). (4) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 24 Dec 
4 1 , sub: Shipts to Copper and "X,". G-4/33822. (5) 
Matloffand Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition 
Warfare: 1941-1942, original draft chapter, "Reac- 
tion to Pearl Harbor," pp. 28-3C, OCMH. (6) See 
below, App. E. 



THE TROOP TRANSPORT SS MONTEREY at San Francisco, January 1942. 

or even a hit-and-run raid involving land- 
ings, were within Japan's capabilities, any 
large amphibious operations in the eastern 
Pacific were unlikely. The most telling 
argument was the obvious southward 
focus of Japanese operations toward the 
Malay Archipelago; it seemed less and less 
probable, during the last days of 1941, 
that the admittedly weak defenses of Ha- 
waii would soon be tested. The decisions 
on grand strategy reached by the Allied 
leaders at the end of the year, while stress- 
ing the vital role of the Alaska-Hawaii- 
Panama triangle to hemisphere defense, 
pointed out also that a major Japanese in- 
vasion of the United States was unlikely in 
any event. 12 

Independently of these discussions, the 
War Department had first lengthened the 
schedule of shipments to Hawaii and then, 
on the 24th, assigned to movements later 
than the 27 December convoy a priority 
lower than that for Australia and the Phil- 
ippines. By the end of December the crisis 
atmosphere surrounding shipments to 
Hawaii had disappeared, and the focus of 
strategy had shifted away from the Cen- 
tral Pacific to the main theater far to the 

'- (1) Msgs, CG HD to TAG, 15, 18, and 19 Dec 
4 1 , AG 38 1 ( 1 1 -27-4 1 ) Far Eastern Sit, Sec 1 . (2) An- 
nex 2, Probable Maximum Scale of Enemy Attack on 
West Coast of North America, to min, ABC-4 
JCCSs-1, 24 Dec 41. (3) ABC-4/CS-1, Memo, U.S. 
and Br CsofS, 31 Dec 41, title: American-Br Grand 



west and to the intervening lines of com- 

The Far East and the Pacific Line of 

The determination of the President and 
General Marshall that everything possible 
must be done to help General MacAr- 
thur's forces, however forlorn the hope, 
set in train a series of steps that rapidly re- 
versed the Joint Board's initial decision 
(largely Navy-inspired) to write off the 
Philippines and concentrate all available 
strength for the defense of the Central 
Pacific. On 15 December General Mar- 
shall renewed his assurances of support to 
MacArthur and two days later approved 
a plan submitted by his new staff adviser 
on Far Eastern matters, Brig. Gen. Dwight 
D. Eisenhower, for establishing a base in 
Australia to support the Philippines. 14 

Meanwhile, a convoy of seven ships, 
carrying troops, ammunition, crated air- 
craft, and other material and escorted by 
the cruiser Pensacola, had been at sea 
Manila-bound since early in December. 
On the 8th the Joint Board, at the Navy's 
urging, ordered the convoy to return to 
Honolulu. But on the next day, the Presi- 
dent having intervened, the Joint Board 
reversed itself and directed the convoy to 
proceed to Brisbane, Australia. Brig. Gen. 
Julian F. Barnes, senior officer aboard the 
convoy, was ordered to place himself and 
his forty-five hundred troops at General 
MacArthur's disposal and to make every 
effort to get the convoy's cargo, especially 
the aircraft, to the Philippines. Four other 
cargo vessels, also at sea on the 7th, were 
diverted to Australia. 15 

"Task Force, South Pacific," as Barnes 
entitled his command, made its uneasy 
way to Brisbane where it arrived safely on 

the 22d. Before its arrival the base, of 
which the task force was to be the nucleus, 
was placed under the command of Maj. 
Gen. George H. Brett, senior American 
Air officer in the Far East. By the 22d, the 
earlier emphasis upon forwarding fighter 
aircraft and supplies at once to the Philip- 
pines was yielding under the pressure of 
Japanese conquests to a broader plan for 
a substantial base capable of supporting 
extended air operations. On the 24th the 
War Department informed General Doug- 
las MacArthur that, in view of the proba- 
ble impossibility of staging fighter aircraft 
to Luzon and the impending loss of air- 
fields there, its aim was to develop "a 
strong United States air power in the Far 
East based on Australia." 16 

An almost necessary corollary to this 
program was that American air power 
would be fitted into the scheme of Allied 
resistance to Japan then being hastily or- 
ganized. Of the nine air combat groups 
allocated to the southwestern Pacific dur- 
ing the last week of December, three were 
assigned to help in the defense of the 
Netherlands Indies. At the end of Decem- 
ber the Australian-British-Dutch-Ameri- 
can (ABDA) Command, under General 
Wavell, was created, and in it were placed 

13 (1) Memos, Exec Off G-4 for Br Chiefs, 25 and 
26 Dec 41, subs: Reinf for Copper, G-4/33822. (2) 
Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, pp. 

14 (1) Msg 787, Marshall to MacArthur, 15 Dec 41, 
WPD 4544-31. (2) Memo, WPD for CofS, 17 Dec 41, 
sub: Plan for Australian Base, WPD 4628-1. 

15 (1) Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941- 
1942, pp. 78-96. (2) Elizabeth Bingham and Richard 
M. Leighton, Development of the United States Sup- 
ply Base in Australia, ASF hist monograph, OCMH. 

16 (1) Msg, Marshall to MacArthur, 24 Dec 41, 
WPD 3633-27. (2) For movement of the Pensacola con- 
voy, see draft of Samuel Milner, Victory in Papua, a 
volume in preparation for the series UNITED 
ton, Fall of the Philippines, Ch. V; and Bingham and 
Leighton monograph cited n. 15(2). 



all Allied forces operating in the Nether- 
lands Indies, Malaya, Burma, and, at 
least formally, the Philippines. The U.S. 
supply base in Australia, now U.S. Army 
Forces in Australia (USAFIA), was not 
included in the ABDA Command, but its 
supply mission was broadened to include 
support of operations in the ABDA area as 
well as in the Philippines. 17 

The program of building "overwhelm- 
ing air power," as the purpose was de- 
scribed to General MacArthur at the be- 
ginning of January, faced terrific obstacles 
from the beginning. 18 The Air Forces 
hoped to deliver heavy bombers to the Far 
East via Cairo at the rate of three a day 
beginning about 5 January, but fighter 
aircraft, ground crews, and material 
needed to operate an air force had to move 
by ship in driblets across the Pacific. The 
flow began with the diversion to Australia 
of one of the three transports (Polk) sched- 
uled to sail in the second convoy to Ha- 
waii. This ship, two freighters, and a 
tanker departed before the end of the 
year, carrying aircraft, ammunition, gaso- 
line, subsistence, vehicles, and other car- 
go. In all some 230 pursuit planes, besides 
the 17 in the Pensacola convoy, were 
shipped to Australia between 7 December 
and the end of the year. Innumerable ob- 
stacles stood in the way of getting these 
airplanes into action and forwarding sup- 
plies to either the Philippines or Nether- 
lands Indies. A basic step had been taken 
with the decision to establish an Australian 
base, and from late December on its de- 
velopment began to profit by the shift 
from the initial emphasis upon reinforcing 
Hawaii and Panama. 1 " 

It was an inescapable corollary of this 
decision that the long island chain of com- 
munications through the South Pacific to 
the subcontinent must also be secured. 

The Japanese attack caught the United 
States in the early stages of developing air 
ferry routes between Hawaii and the Phil- 
ippines. In the critical area between Ha- 
waii and Australia the total American 
assets consisted of embryonic air stations 
at Midway and Wake; engineer detach- 
ments constructing airfields on Christmas 
and Canton Islands; incomplete naval air 
facilities at Palmyra and Johnston Islands; 
a minor fueling and communications cen- 
ter, then in process of expansion, at Pago 
Pago Harbor in Samoa; and Guam, the 
"Gibraltar of the Pacific," devoid of facili- 
ties. With the possible exception of Mid- 
way, none of these American bases had 
anything remotely resembling an ade- 
quate defense force. Outside the American 
orbit, a single company of Australians gar- 
risoned New Caledonia. The entire Fijis 
group, 250 islands, was defended by less 
than eight thousand New Zealand troops 
with only twenty-two planes. 20 

17 ( 1) Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941- 
1942, Ch. VI and pp. 170-71. (2) Memo, WPD for 
TAG, 12 Jan 42, sub: Instns to Maj Gen Lewis H. 
Brereton . . . , WPD 4628-20. (3) See below, Ch. 

General MacArthur, under special arrangements, 
continued to report directly to Washington. 

1S Msg, Marshall to MacArthur, 2 Jan 42, Msg 5 
file. Case 17, WPD. 

1H ( 1) For air operations in the Far East during De- 
cember and January, see Craven and Cate, AAF I, 
Chs. VI, X-XII. (2) Matloff and Snell, Strategic Plan- 
ning: 1941-1942, pp. 78-96. (3) Memo, unsigned, for 
CofS, 17 Dec 41, CofS WDGS Mar-Jun 42 folder, Hq 
ASF. (4) Memo, A-4 for G-4, 27 Dec 41. sub: Sum- 
mary of Aircraft, G-4/33861. (5) Other corresp in 
same file. (6) Memo, Gross for Somervell, 25 Dec 41, 
sub: Sailing of Trans . . . , G-4/338 1 7. ( 7) Estab- 
lishing a Supply Base in Australia, draft MS, OCT 

-'" (1) Morison, RisingSun, pp. 184. 228. 250, 258. 
(2) ABC-4/8, Rpt.JPC toCsofS, 10 Jan 42, title: Def 
of Island Bases Between Hawaii and Australia. (3) 
Msg, Short to Arnold, 12 Dec 41, AG 381 (11-27-41) 
Far Eastern Sit, Gen. (4) Memo, Asst Exec Off G-4 
for Br Chiefs, 1 Jan 42, G-4/33822. 



Guam fell on 1 1 December, Wake on 
the 23d; Midway was attacked by a Japa- 
nese task force; the enemy came within 
striking distance of Canton and Palmyra; 
Johnston and Samoa were shelled by sub- 
marines. In the few days immediately fol- 
lowing the outbreak of hostilities, the War 
Department had grave doubts as to the 
feasibility of attempting to hold the Cen- 
tral Pacific at all, and until the end of De- 
cember only passing attention was given 
to reinforcing and developing the island 
chain. General Short did what little he 
could to bolster the defenses of Canton 
and Christmas from the slender resources 
of the Hawaiian Department. With the 
shift of emphasis to the far Pacific at the 
end of December, the line of communica- 
tions gained a new strategic and logistical 
importance. In the grand strategy laid 
down at the Arcadia Conference on 31 
December, the security of the main air 
and sea routes in the Pacific was listed as 
an essential part of the 1942 program. 
Shortly thereafter the Anglo-American 
planners, in a report approved near the 
end of the conference, assigned to the 
United States responsibility for defense of 
Palmyra, Christmas, Canton, American 
Samoa, and Bora Bora — tne last a small 
island in the Society group, which lay to 
the southeast of the principal chain and 
which was under Free French control. 
New Zealand was to provide most of the 
garrison for the Fij is, supplemented by air 
units and supplies from the United States 
and Britain. New Caledonia was held to 
be within the Australian sphere of respon- 
sibility, but since Australia could not for 
many months spare troops to reinforce the 
single ill-equipped company occupying 
the island, the United States was also to 
undertake to strengthen this garrison 
immediately. - ' 1 

These requirements placed new de- 
mands upon the slender pool of available 
troop units, supplies, and shipping. Even 
before the planners reported, the War De- 
partment had set up shipments to rein- 
force the garrisons on Christmas and Can- 
ton, and a task force of about four thou- 
sand troops was being prepared to estab- 
lish a naval fueling station on Bora Bora. 
An AAF pursuit squadron was dispatched 
to the Fijis, and a much larger task force 
was under preparation for New Caledonia. 
Meanwhile, the Navy went ahead with 
plans to reinforce Palmyra, Johnston, and 
American Samoa." 2 

Plans and Deployment in the Atlantic 

Despite the dangerous situation in the 
Pacific, the President and General Mar- 
shall still considered the aims of Rainbow 
5 in the Atlantic valid. The first post-M- 
Day movements overseas, under Rainbow 
5, were to have taken place mainly in the 
North Atlantic, with the aim of securing 
sea communications with the United 
Kingdom and relieving British forces for 
service in more active theaters. Before the 
Prime Minister and the British military 
chiefs arrived in Washington on the 22d 
for the Arcadia meetings, the Army was 
already setting up forces to relieve the 
British in Northern Ireland and others to 
relieve the U.S. Marine brigade in Ice- 
land. These decisions were confirmed dur- 
ing the first meeting between the President 
and the Prime Minister on the 23d. Move- 
ment of forces to England and Scotland, 
it was understood, would have to be de- 

-• (1) Min, ABC-4JCCSs-7, 31 Dec 41. (2) ABC-4/ 
CS-1 cited n. 12(3). (3) ABC-4/8 cited n. 20(2). (4) 
Morison, Rising Sun, p. 259. (5) Msg, CG HD to TAG, 
12 Dec 41, AG 381 (11-27-41) Far Eastern Sit, Sec 1. 
(6) Related corresp in same file. 

- MatloflTand Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, 
pp. 1 14-19. 



layed. As for the various South Atlantic 
moves contemplated during 1941, the 
American planners were now more dubi- 
ous. The British raised the question, on 
the 24th at the first meeting of the military 
leaders, of occupying the Azores and the 
Canaries (for which latter project they 
already had a small force and shipping 
ready), and neutralizing the Cape Verdes. 
Admiral Ernest J. King's comment was, 
"we cannot do all these things," 23 and the 
matter was left for further study. The 
Americans were also fearful of the possible 
consequences of sending forces to Brazil, 
where the political situation was touchy. 
Definite steps were already in progress, 
however, to occupy Curacao and Aruba, 
as provided under Rainbow 5. 24 

The British had a more daring under- 
taking in view — the Allied occupation of 
northwest Africa (Gymnast) — which 
Churchill had put forward the summer 
preceding. The Prime Minister renewed 
his proposal at the White House confer- 
ence on 23 December. For the entry into 
Algeria the British had a force of fifty-five 
thousand troops, with shipping, ready to 
move in the event the Eighth Army suc- 
ceeded in pushing Rommel back to the 
Tunisian border. If that happened, the 
French authorities in North Africa might 
be persuaded to invite an Allied occupa- 
tion. Churchill wanted the Americans to 
undertake the occupation of French Mo- 
rocco, landing in the Casablanca area, 
while the British moved into Algeria and 
Tunisia. The whole plan, it was empha- 
sized, hinged on a friendly reception by 
the French. 25 

Most of the American planners were 
cool to this scheme, despite the interest it 
obviously awakened in the President. One 
WPD officer, Col. Matthew B. Ridgway, 
pointed to the "difficulties of troop move- 

ment and logistical support by sea," in 
view of the shipping shortage and the 
nearness of German forces to the target 
area. 26 Available U.S. forces were abso- 
lutely unprepared, from the standpoint of 
training and equipment, to undertake an 
amphibious operation against a hostile 
shore. Some of the American planners, 
moreover, challenged the British estimate 
of the strategic value of North Africa to 
the Allies, regarding it rather as a "sub- 
sidiary" area peripheral to the main the- 
ater, which even if captured would con- 
tribute only indirectly to the defeat of 
Germany. The Army did have plans and 
preparations afoot for an expedition 
against Dakar to occupy French West 
Africa, and Maj. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell 
was ordered to Washington immediately 
after Pearl Harbor to take charge of the 
planning. This operation, conceived with 
a view to securing the Atlantic sea lanes, 
was eventually abandoned. 27 

Most of the argument over Gymnast 
seemed academic, before the end of De- 
cember 1941, in the face of the shipping 
shortage. A subcommittee set up by the 
British-American planners, with General 

23 Min, ABC-4 JCCSs- 1 , 24 Dec 4 1 . 

24 (1) Notes, SW, sub: Memo of Decisions at White 
House, Sunday December 21, 1941, WDCSA 381 
(12-21-41). (2) Notes, G. C. M. [Marshall], 23 Dec 
41, sub: Notes on Mtg at White House With Presi- 
dent and Br Prime Minister Presiding, WPD 4402- 
136. (3) Min cited n. 23. (4) Matloff and Snell, 
Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. V. (5) Watson, Pre- 
war Plans and Preparations, pp. 49 1 -92. 

25 (1) Paper, Churchill for President, "Part I: The 
Atlantic Front," 16 Dec 41, as quoted in Churchill, 
The Grand Alliance, pp. 646-51. (2) Notes cited n. 

26 Memo, Ridgway for Marshall, 23 Dec 41, Tab 
Misc, Bk. 1, Exec 8. 

27 (1) Memo, Gen Embick, no addressee, no date, 
sub: Notes on Est of Br CsofS, separate folder, Item 
13, Exec 4. (2) Notes cited n. 24(2). (3) Draft study, 
no date, title: Decline of the Super-Gymnast Con- 
cept, OPD Hist Unit File. 



Somervell and Col. Charles P. Gross rep- 
resenting the Army, presented an array of 
figures on the 26th that pointed inescap- 
ably to the conclusion that if Gymnast 
were attempted, no other major move- 
ments could be carried out in the Atlantic 
until spring, at least. The limitation was 
in troop-carrying shipping. Somervell's 
staff had to reckon on a number of move- 
ments already ordered or in progress — to 
Hawaii and Panama, Australia, Alaska, 
Curacao and Aruba, and Iceland. Beyond 
these undertakings and the maintenance 
of other existing garrisons, there was 
enough American troop shipping in the 
Atlantic to lift a total of about 25,000 
troops by mid-January, 43,000 by 1 Feb- 
ruary. 58,000 by 1 March, and 83,000 by 
1 April. A smaller capacity was available 
in the Pacific, but could not be transferred 
to the Atlantic in so short a period. These 
figures stood for something like a maxi- 
mum effort. Losses were estimated at a 
low level; transfers to Britain and assign- 
ment of more ships to lend-lease during 
the three months in question were ruled 
out. A number of the regular services, cur- 
rently operating, would be interrupted. 
No help could be expected from the Brit- 
ish, who would be hard pressed to mount 
their own part of the undertaking. 28 

The planners, meanwhile, had gone 
ahead and studied some of the other logis- 
tical problems involved. A mass of more 
or less fragmentary information, dating 
back to the 1941 plans, offered little en- 
couragement. The Atlantic coast line of 
North Africa for most of its length, the 
prevailing weather, the ground swell, and 
the tide were all unfavorable for amphibi- 
ous landings. Limited port facilities and 
road and rail communications indicated 
that the main landing on the Atlantic 
coast would have to be made at Casa- 

blanca, with smaller ones at Fedala, Safi, 
Rabat, and Port-Lyautey. Casablanca 
was a large modern port, but hardly suffi- 
cient alone to permit a rapid build-up of 
forces ashore. The target area was hemmed 
in by the Atlas Mountains on the east and 
El Rif mountains to the north. From 
Casablanca the railroad, with a highway 
closely parallelling it, stretched with very 
few branch lines for over fourteen hundred 
miles to Tunis, exposed most of the way to 
attack from the north. At the end of De- 
cember the American planners decided 
that much larger forces than the British 
had contemplated would be required, and 
on 4 January the Joint Planning Commit- 
tee conceded that "it will be impractica- 
ble in the near future to capture French 
North Africa if important resistance is en- 
countered." 29 On New Year's Day, mean- 
while, the President and the Prime Minis- 
ter had approved the measures already in 
train to carry out the relief of British forces 
in Northern Ireland and, eventually, both 
the U.S. Marines and the British in Ice- 
land. On the 4th, following the planners' 
report on Gymnast, they confirmed this 
decision. The first North Atlantic move- 
ments were set up for the 15th — about 
14,000 troops for Northern Ireland (Mag- 
net) and 6,000 for Iceland (Indigo). 30 

- 8 Memo, Subcom for Allied JPC, 26 Dec 41, sub: 
U.S. Shipg Capacity To Carry Trs Overseas, G-4/ 

29 Memo, Rear Adm Richmond K. Turner for 
Adms Stark and King, 4 Jan 42, sub: Status of Work 
Before CsofS and JPC, with JCCSs-7 in ABC 337 
Arcadia (12-24-41), 2. 

30 (1) ABC-4/2, Rpt, JPC to CsofS, 25 Dec 41, title: 
NW Africa Project, Item 13, Exec 4. (2) WPD study, 
no date, title: Occupation of NW Africa, WPD 4510. 
(3) Conf at White House, 1630, 26 Dec 41. (4) Red, 
mtg at White House, 1830, 1 Jan 42. Last two in 
WDCSA 334 Mtgs and Confs (1-28-42). (5) Memo, 
CofS, no addressee, 1 Jan 42, sub: Initial Atlantic Tr 
Mvmt, WDCSA 381, 1. (6) Jt A&N Dir for Magnet- 
Indigo Mvmt, 4 Jan 42, G-4/33180. (7) Matloff and 
Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. V. 



Gymnast remained on the books. It was 
understood that the loading of the Mag- 
net-Indigo convoy could be halted at any 
time up to 13 January, if circumstances 
called for immediate execution of the 
North African expedition. Churchill was 
anxiously waiting for news of victories in 
Libya that never came; during the last 
few days of December, in fact, Rommel 
had struck back with disconcerting force. 
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was as 
eager as the Americans to get on with the 
North Atlantic movements, which were 
tied in intricately with others extending 
around the world to the Far East. These 
were more pressing for the moment than 
Gymnast, and Churchill had no desire to 
hold back "real ships from real jobs." He 
and the President "could talk about the 
matter again in a few days." 31 

The Search for Shipping for the Far East 

Atlantic deployment and the orderly 
strengthening of Pacific defenses were 
both disrupted in the middle of January 
by the march of events in the Far East. 
During the first week of the new year the 
Japanese drove swiftly down the last hun- 
dred miles of the Malay Peninsula toward 
Singapore and on 7 January crushed 
British imperial forces along the Sungei 
Slim River, the last defensible barrier be- 
fore the naval base. Since Japanese air- 
craft had sunk the British capital ships 
Prince of Wales and Repulse on 10 Decem- 
ber, Allied naval forces could only harass 
without seriously impeding the flow of 
enemy troops and material by sea. These 
events menaced the entire Allied strategy 
of a prolonged holding action against 
Japan. On 1 1 January Admiral Stark 
urged upon his colleagues the need for 
"subordinating everything in the immedi- 

ate future to the necessity for getting rein- 
forcements quickly" to the Far East, even 
if the movements to Northern Ireland and 
Iceland had to be curtailed. 5 - 

General Marshall immediately pointed 
out that it was not a question of diverting 
troops, but one of finding ships. Two con- 
voys had been set up to sail to Australia in 
January, and despite serious altercations 
with the Navy over escorts and allotment 
of troopships, the first convoy sailed as 
scheduled on the 12th — three troop trans- 
ports carrying about seventy-five hundred 
Air Corps and supporting service troops, 
fifty pursuit planes, and a quantity of as- 
sorted ammunition, bombs, and mainte- 
nance supplies. Other material was to 
follow on freighters sailing individually 
without escort. A smaller convoy was 
scheduled for the end of the month. But 
hopes of shipping additional pursuit planes 
and medium bombers with the mid-Janu- 
ary convoy on the Navy's two converted 
seatrains had been dashed when one was 
held up for repairs and the Navy claimed 
the other for its own use. As for troop 
space, the large luxury liners that the Brit- 
ish had already offered would not be 
available during January. 3! The program 

51 (1) Notes on conf at White House. 4 Jan 42, 
WDCSA 334 Mtgs and Confs (1-28-42). (2) Churchill. 
The Grand Alliance, pp. 684-85. 

- I 1) Min, ABC-4 JCCSs-9, 1 1 Jan 42. (2) Matloff 
and Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. IV. 

33 ( 1) Memo, Gross for Somervell, 26 Dec 4 1 . sub: 
Conf With Navy re Vessels to '"X." (2) Memo, Gross 
for CG SFPOE, 3 1 Dec 4 1 , sub: Vessels To Accom- 
pany Convoy to "X." - Both in G-4/33861. (3) Memo, 
Gross for Somervell. 2 Jan 42, Pac folder, OCT HB. 
(4) Rpt cited n. 9(4). (5) Memo. WPD | Navy) for 
Ship Mvmts Div (Navy), 23 Dec 41, sub: Employ- 
ment of Kitty Hawk and Hammondsport, G-4/33822. 

There were five seatrains (large vessels able to 
transport whole trains of railroad cars and locomo- 
tives); three were still in commercial service. The 
Army made arrangements late in January to use the 
latter, and in February the Maritime Commission 
launched a program to construct fifty of this type of 



for building "overwhelming air power" in 
the Southwest Pacific, as it stood, would 
require three months. The immediate ne- 
cessity, as General Marshall pointed out, 
was to speed up the program — "to accel- 
erate three months' movement into one 
month, several weeks into two weeks." i4 
There was also the necessity for immedi- 
ately strengthening the island approaches 
to Australia. On 10 January the British- 
American planners, in their report on the 
South Pacific island bases, pointed out 
that the Japanese were then in a position 
to strike at New Caledonia and the Fijis at 
almost any time. From these positions the 
enemy would be able to cut the flow of 
troops and material to Australia. 35 

The Army moved rapidly, during early 
January, to accelerate troop movements 
as a countermeasure to this threat. Ten 
thousand men — antiaircraft and service 
units — were added to the 6,000 Air Corps 
troops already scheduled for dispatch to 
Australia. A task force (Poppy Force), con- 
sisting of a heavily augmented infantry 
brigade of 16,000 combat and supporting 
service troops, was formed to occupy New 
Caiedonia. Five thousand Air Corps and 
engineer troops for Australia were to form 
part of the same movement, and 10,000 
additional Air Corps troops were set up 
for later shipment. To explore the possibil- 
ities of finding shipping for these move- 
ments, the Allied Chiefs of Staff once 
again called in the shipping experts — 
General Somervell and his British oppo 
site number. Brigadier Vernon M. C. 
Napier. 3K 

Their report, of which Somervell and 
his staff were the principal authors, was 

vessel; these were later converted into passenger ves- 
sels. See correspondence in G-4/33822, G-4/297 1 7- 
26, and G-4/297 17- 133 files; and Lane, Ships for Vic- 
tory, pp. 145. 618. 

ready by the 12th. The situation with re- 
gard to troop shipping was clear enough 
and offered little room for choice. Some 
British troopers, including two or perhaps 
three of the largest liners, were expected to 
be available in February, as were several 
other liners then operating commercially 
in South American waters. The U.S. 
Navy's block of combat loaders was then 
engaged in amphibious training on the 
Atlantic coast, and hitherto had been con- 
sidered sacrosanct as far as troop ferrying 
was concerned. The only sizable pool of 
shipping otherwise available for the Janu- 
ary movement was the Magnet-Indigo 
flotilla, then loading at New York. Somer- 
vell offered three plans. One, which could 
be put into effect by 1 February, contem- 
plated using the Navy's combat loaders 
and two liners from the South American 
run. The second would use the liner Queen 
Mary and four of the South American ves- 
sels about the middle of February. Since 
neither of these would meet the time 
schedule desired, Somervell proposed, as 
the third alternative, to use most of the 
Magnet-Indigo fleet, along with one other 
transport, to move 21,800 troops about 20 
January. With the remnant of that fleet, 
along with the British liner Straithaird, 
about 6,500 troops could still be shipped 
to Northern Ireland and Iceland in the 
same month. The one serious objection, 
apart from the reduction in North Atlan- 
tic deployment, was that unloading and 
reloading the shipping would involve 
much confusion at New York. 37 

Cargo shipping presented a more diffi- 
cult problem. Distance and the primitive 

14 Min cited n. 32(1). 

35 (1) Ibid. (2) ABC-4/8 cited n. 20(2). 

16 (1) Min cited n. 32(1). (2) Matloff and Snell, 
Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, pp. 1 14-19. 

7 Memo, G-4 for CofS, 12 Jan 42, sub: Shipg 
Capabilities To Reinf ABDA Area. G-4/297 17-1 15. 



nature of local facilities at most of the Pa- 
cific bases made it necessary for troops to 
take with them abnormally large reserves 
of supplies and equipment — a heavy 
drain on cargo space. The shortage of 
cargo shipping was for the moment more 
acute than that of troop transport. For 
movements already scheduled, the Army 
faced a shortage of twenty-six cargo ves- 
sels. Lend-lease shipments, particularly to 
the USSR and the Middle East, promised 
to cause a heavy drain on the pool of cargo 
shipping, as did also imports of raw mate- 
rials into the United States. Sinkings, as 
yet unmatched by new construction, had 
leaped upward with the entrance of the 
United States into war. (See Appendix H.) 
A few days before Somervell submitted 
his report, the Maritime Commission an- 
nounced that the limit had been reached, 
for the present, in allocations of cargo 
shipping for military undertakings. This 
announcement, Somervell warned, meant 
a probable shortage of one hundred thou- 
sand tons of cargo shipping for the original 
Magnet-Indigo convoy, which therefore 
would not be available for use in the 
Pacific. 38 

Somervell thought the estimated twenty 
cargo vessels, one tanker, and special car- 
riers for medium bombers needed to sup- 
port the Poppy Force movement should 
be taken from other programs — British 
lend-lease, strategic materials imports, 
Soviet aid, the South American services. 
"The ships are in being. It is assumed that 
their use to support this endeavor will 
transcend all other calls and that the Pres- 
ident will so direct." 3<J Somervell urged 
further that all other overseas movements 
be suspended, for the present, except for 
about 9,000 troops a month to Northern 
Ireland and the same number to Hawaii. 
This would make it possible to maintain a 

steady stream of about 12,000 a month to 
the Far East. 

On the 12th the Allied Chiefs of Staff, 
with scant discussion, approved the plan 
to divert most of the Magnet-Indigo con- 
voy to the Far East, and reduced the car- 
go shipping problem to two alternatives 
(or a combination of the two) — either 
lend-lease shipments of tanks, vehicles, 
and aircraft to the Middle East, or Soviet 
aid would have to be cut. Their own rec- 
ommendation was that shipments to the 
Middle East should not be interrupted. 
The problem was taken up to the White 
House that same afternoon. 40 

Besides the President and Mr. Church- 
ill, the military chiefs, Lord Beaverbrook, 
and Harry Hopkins were present. As Gen- 
eral Marshall posed the problem, the pro- 
posed movement would mean reducing 
shipments to the USSR over the next four 
months by 30 percent. The President's 
first reaction was that "the plan sounded 
good," but Churchill interjected that the 
Russians "would undoubtedly be disap- 
pointed," and there was some discussion 
of eliminating the New Caledonia portion 
of the convoy. At this point Hopkins 
broke in with the blunt observation that 
the 30 percent reduction amounted to only 
seven freighters which, he thought, surely 
could be found somewhere; it should not 
be necessary to "hold up General Mar- 
shall's plan on this account." This idea 
took hold and in the end the President ap- 

38 (1) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 12 Jan 42, sub: Capac- 
ity of Shipg for War Effort Overseas in Early 1942, 
G-4/297 1 7-116.(2) Related papers in same file and 
in Shipg 1941-43 folder, Hq ASF. 

39 Memo cited n. 37. , 

40 (1) Min, ABC-4JCCSs-10, 12 Jan 42. (2) Secre- 
tary Stimson also wrote the President urging that both 
Soviet aid and Middle East lend-lease be cut in order 
to support movements to the Far East. See memo, SW 
for President, 12 Jan 42, sub: Alloc of Shipg To Reinf 
Far East, G-4/297 17-1 15. 



proved the plan with the remark that, for 
Soviet requirements, "we will make 
Beaverbrook and Hopkins find ships." 41 

The Magnet-Indigo shipping accord- 
ingly was unloaded, and the great Poppy 
Force convoy sailed from New York late 
on 22 January — seven vessels carrying 
about 20,500 troops (including 4,000 serv- 
ice troops bound for Australia) and two 
months' assorted supplies. A long voyage 
and an uncertain destination lay ahead. 
Marshall commented almost three weeks 
later, "we have constantly in mind the 
possibility of the New Caledonia force 
being so badly needed in ABDA or Aus- 
tralia that it might never reach its pro- 
jected destination." 42 

Poppy Force was the largest movement 
yet attempted, and its arrangements were 
complicated. The two-day postponement 
of the original sailing date resulted from 
the decision to combine the movement, in 
order to save escorts, with that of the small 
Bora Bora force sailing from Charleston a 
few days later. The heavy organizational 
impedimenta and much other material 
were shipped later in unescorted freighters 
sailing at intervals from the west coast. All 
ships were routed first to Australia, where 
they were to await their equipment, unload 
material (especially aircraft) for forces in 
Australia, and reload with a view to rapid 
debarkation and possibly early action in 
New Caledonia. 43 

These arrangements were sharply criti- 
cized. The Navy and even some Army 
officers were outraged by a distribution of 
cargo which, even if only one vessel were 
sunk, would leave some units without any 
equipment. The President, in Admiral 
King's presence, demanded from General 
Marshall an explanation of why the con- 
voy had not been combat loaded directly 
to New Caledonia, and Brigadier Napier, 

the British shipping expert, was unhappy 
about sending troops into a combat area 
without their heavy equipment. But under 
the circumstances, the Army had had little 
choice. Shortage of cargo shipping and 
lack of time dictated maximum economy 
in stowage and use of all available vessels, 
fast or slow, thus ruling out a single 
combat-loaded, troop-and-cargo convoy; 
the New York convoy was out loaded, in 
fact, between 17 and 23 January, at the 
same time that the Navy's Atlantic am- 
phibious force, back from maneuvers, was 
disembarking — a scrambled operation. In 
any case, the Army did not possess suffi- 
cient combat loaders, and there was no 
time for conversion. A further considera- 
tion was the immediate need for aircraft in 
Australia. In short, the arrangements 
aimed, as General Marshall explained, at 
utilizing "to the utmost the available 
capacity of shipping . . . at the sacrifice 
of speed"; they seemed "the best way out 
of a difficult situation." 44 

Though Soviet lend-lease shipments fell 

41 (1) Min of conf at White House, 12 Jan 42, 
quoted in Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 460- 
66. (2) Memo, CofS for WPD, G-3, and G-4, 13 Jan 
42, G-4/33983. 

42 (1) Memo, Marshall for Dill, 1 1 Feb 42, WPD 
37 18-25. (2) The largest vessel in the convoy was the 
Kungsholm, a recently purchased Swedish liner. See 
report, NYPOE Statistical Summary, in OCT HB. 

43 (1) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 18 Feb 42, sub: Moving 
of Trs Directly to New Caledonia, G-4/33888. (2) Re- 
lated papers in same file. (3) Memo, Gross for CG's 
NYPOE and SFPOE, 1 5 Jan 42, sub: Shipt of Equip 
and Sups Accompanying Mvmt to "X," G-4/33861. 
(4) See also, Pac folder, OCT HB. (5) Harold Larson, 
Water Transportation for the U.S. Army 1939-1942, 
Monograph 5, p. 184, OCT HB. (6) For the Bora 
Bora movement, see below, Ch. VII. 

41 fl) Memo, Marshall for King, 20 Jan 42, sub: 
Loading of Trans, OCofS 21359-32. (2) Memo, Mar- 
shall for President, 23 Feb 42, OCofS 21381-7. (3) 
Memo, Lt Col Carter B. Magruder for Br Chiefs G-4, 
14 Jan 42, sub: Shipt 6814, Pac folder, OCT HB. (4) 
Min cited n. 40(1). (5) Study, no date, title: Early 
Orgn and Activities of Hq USAFIA, OCT HB. 



behind schedule in January and February, 
this could not be laid directly at the door 
of the Poppy convoy. The burden of pro- 
viding its cargo shipping seems to have 
been distributed so widely over time and 
other programs that it became impercep- 
tible. Indeed, as Admiral Land and Maj. 
Gen. Brehon B. Somervell admitted, the 
estimated 30 percent reduction in Soviet 
lend-lease was suspect to begin with; no 
man could weigh with precision all the 
variables that went into that elusive 
abstraction, "available shipping." 45 

In the plans for February movements to 
Australia, the large British liners played a 
prominent part. In the second week of 
January London tentatively promised the 
"monsters" Queen Elizabeth and Aquitania 
for February sailings from the west coast 
and the Queen Mary for a run early in the 
month to the Far East from the Atlantic 
coast via the Cape of Good Hope and the 
Indian Ocean. The "lesser monsters" — 
Mauretama, lie de France, and Nieuw Amster- 
dam — which the British had been using to 
ferry troops between South Africa and the 
Middle East, were to be retained to move 
Australian and New Zealand divisions 
back to the Far East. The whole transac- 
tion was part of an intricate arrangement 
by which several British troopers were to 
be diverted to the U.S. east coast, on their 
return trip from the Indian Ocean, to 
transport American troops across the 
North Atlantic to Northern Ireland and 

These plans went awry. Delayed for re- 
pairs, the Queen Mary finally sailed from 
Boston on 18 February with a full comple- 
ment of troops on the long eastward voy- 
age to Australia. The Aquitania and Queen 
Elizabeth were also held up for repairs and 
neither sailed in February. The Aquitania 
was later assigned to the Honolulu run be- 

cause her unusually deep draft made the 
anchorages at Australian and intermedi- 
ate ports hazardous. She left San Francisco 
on her first trip on 10 March. Queen Eliza- 
beth did not reach San Francisco until the 
middle of March, whence she sailed on 
the 19th for Sydney. The loss of the two 
"monsters" for South Pacific movements 
during February was partially made up 
by other vessels, temporarily diverted from 
the Hawaii run. The giant Normandie, in 
New York since late in 1941 being fitted 
for troop duty, caught fire there on 9 Feb- 
ruary and was irreparably damaged — a 
serious loss to Allied overseas deployment 
during World War II. Troop movements to 
Australia declined from 25,000 in January 
to 20,000 in February, but cargo ship- 
ments rose from 1 1 5,000 to 2 1 2,000 meas- 
urement tons during the same period, 
reflecting delayed shipments of equipment 
and supplies supporting the January troop 
movements. 47 

Change of Pace in the Atlantic 

After a wild scramble of unloading and 
reloading and shuffling of troop units, the 
rump Magnet-Indigo convoy sailed from 

45 ( 1) See above, n. 4 1 . (2) See also below, Ch. XIX. 

46 (1) See British file, Mvmts Div, OCT HB. (2) 
See also, Wardlow, Trans I, Ch. VI. 

The term "monsters" was used loosely, usually with 
reference to the Queens, the Normandie, and the Aqui- 
tania; "lesser monsters" appears less frequently in the 
records. Gradually both terms lost currency, possibly 
because British officials in London requested they not 
be used. 

17 (1) See British file, and Queen Mary and Norman- 
die folders, OCT HB. (2) Rpt cited n. 9(4) (3) Memo, 
G-4 for WPD, 5 Feb 42, sub: Shipg Capabilities in 
Pac, G-4/33992. (4) Roland W. Charles, Troopships of 
World War II (Washington, Army Transportation 
Assn. 1947). (5) Rpt cited n. 42(2). (6) See below, 
App. E. 



New York on 15 January — four ships 
crammed with some seven thousand 
troops. The Northern Ireland contingent 
amounted to only a quarter of that origi- 
nally planned, while the Iceland contin- 
gent, a little less than three thousand, left 
the Marine brigade still unrelieved/* For 
a time it looked as though the flow of de- 
ployment across the North Atlantic might 
be resumed in February with full force, 
using the Queen Mary, the old coal-burner 
George Washington (recently in British serv- 
ice but returned as unfit), and other British 
transports returning from the Indian 
Ocean. The principal movement was 
scheduled for about 10 February. But 
London decided that the Queen Mary could 
not be risked at this time in the dangerous 
North Atlantic waters, and the old George 
Washington could not be coaxed out of dry 
dock. Considerable troop capacity re- 
mained, but cargo shipping became the 
main bottleneck. On 25 January the Joint 
Planning Committee concluded, on the 
basis of the decision that lend-lease and 
the nonmilitary programs could not be 
touched, that the 10 February convoy 
would have to be abandoned. The newly 
organized Combined Chiefs of Staff faced 
the question of whether North Atlantic 
deployment should be allowed to lapse 
until the cargo shipping sent to the Far 
East returned late in May. Once again the 
heads of state had to render a decision. 
The President and Mr. Churchill decided 
on 27 January that the Navy's fleet of 
combat loaders and specially rigged 
cargo vessels, hitherto reserved for am- 
phibious training for a possible North 
African operation, should be used for a 
single voyage across the North Atlantic. 
Delayed by difficulties in finding British 
escort vessels, the convoy of Navy ships 
and three Army transports left New York 

on the night of 18-19 February carrying 
about fourteen thousand troops. 49 

Throughout the late winter and the 
spring the cargo shipping shortage re- 
mained the most acute problem in North 
Atlantic deployment. Movement of cargo 
was further impeded, during January and 
February, by port congestion at Reykja- 
vik, Iceland. Routing the contingents 
bound for Iceland raised problems of 
escorting and added a sizable lap to each 
transatlantic voyage. Beginning in March 
cargo shipments to Iceland began to rise 
as harbor congestion was broken, but the 
movement of troops to both Iceland and 
Northern Ireland in March and most of 
April virtually lapsed. Except for a small 
shipment of about 4,000 troops to Iceland 
early in April, no large movement across 
the North Atlantic occurred until the last 
day of that month when 19,000 troops 
embarked. 50 

Gymnast, meanwhile, remained on the 
shelf. In mid-January the British Eighth 
Army's offensive was losing momentum 
and Rommel receiving reinforcements. 
On the 14th the Allied chiefs definitely 
placed the North African operation in a 
priority below Magnet and Inpigo and 
approved a revised version of Gymnast to 
be executed whenever the means and op- 
portunity presented. D Day was tenta- 
tively set for 25 May, the earliest date that 

,s ( 1 ) See N YPOE folder, and British file, OCT 
HB. (2) Papers in Shipg 1941-43, ACofS G-4, and 
ACofS OPD folders, Hq ASF. (3) Papers in G-4/ 
33940 and G-4/33 180. (4) Rpt cited n. 42(2). 

49 (1) Paper, U.S. JPS to CPS, 25 Jan 42, sub: 
Mvmt of U.S. Trs to N Ireland, with CPS 4 in ABC 
370.5 N Ireland (1-22-42). (2) Min, 2d mtg CCS, 27 
Jan 42. (3) Rpt cited n. 42(2). (4) See also above, n. 

'"(1) Rpt cited n. 42(2). (2) Corresp in G-4/33180. 
v 3) See also below, Ch. XII. 

The last marines left Iceland on 9 March. 




some 230,000 measurement tons of cargo 
shipping could return from the far Pacific. 
An earlier launching date might be man- 
aged, if a favorable opportunity should 
suddenly offer itself, by using the Navy's 
amphibious shipping. This would be risky 
since only about 12,000 troops could be 
moved in these vessels and seven months 
would be consumed in shuttling less than 
100,000 troops to North Africa. Nor would 
this remedy the shortage of cargo shipping, 
which could only be found by robbing 
other undertakings. The decision to use 
the amphibious shipping for North Atlan- 
tic movements in February eliminated all 
possibility of launching Gymnast until 
April, in any case. Late in February, 
finally, a new study by Somervell indi- 

cated that by June the Army's current 
deployment schedule would completely 
absorb the cargo shipping available for 
military use. For the Army to mount 
Gymnast with its own resources would 
mean suspending North Atlantic move- 
ments altogether and reducing the rein- 
forcement of the southwestern Pacific and 
Hawaii to a trickle. There was more ship- 
ping to be had, of course; the British and 
the U.S. Navy held some, and large ton- 
nages were still tied up in commercial 
services. Fundamental preliminary deci- 
sions were required — on strategy, long- 
range deployment, and allocation of ship- 
ping — and in the end the President would 
probably have to make them. Until then, 
"planning for a movement such as Super- 



QUONSET HUTS IN NORTHERN IRELAND and newly arrived troops. 

Gymnast must necessarily be nebulous." 51 
Somervell's study provided the clinch- 
ing arguments that led the chiefs to con- 
clude that Gymnast would not be "a 
practical possibility during 1942." On 
3 March plans for the operation were for- 
mally relegated to an "academic" basis; 
training and planning continued, but 
actual resources would now be available 
for other ventures. 52 

Pressure of Scarcity in Hawaii 

Troop deployment to the Central 
Pacific in January and February 1942 was 
confined to movement of the garrisons for 
Christmas and Canton and small rein- 
forcements for Hawaii, a total of about 

forty-five hundred troops. Though the flow 
of material was substantially greater than 
in December, it fell far below the expecta- 
tions of Lt. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, who 

11 (1) Memo, G-4 for WPD, 14 Feb 42, sub: Shipg 
for Super-Gymnast, G-4/34025. This was circulated 
as CPS 2/3, 21 Feb 42. (2) Super-Gymnast— code 
name given the plan for an Anglo-American invasion 
of French North Africa, combining U.S. and British 
plans and often used interchangeably with Gymnast. 
(3) Min cited n. 41(1). (4) Memo, Gross for Somer- 
vell, 13 Jan 42, sub: Ability To Execute Super- 
Gymnast, Ping Div Studies folder, OCT HB. (5) 
ABC-4/2A, Rpt,JPCtoCsofS, 13 Jan 42, title: Opn 
Super-Gymnast. (6) Memo, Somervell for CofS, 13 
Jan 42, sub: Shipg Criticism of Jt Rpt to CsofS on 
Super-Gymnast, G-4/32697-19. (7) Matloff and 
Snell. Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. V. 

52 (1) CCS 5/2, 3 Mar 42, title: Super-Gymnast. 
v 2) Min, 9th mtg CCS, 3 Mar 42. (3) See also, Craven 
and Cate, AAF I, p. 614. 



had relieved General Short as commander 
of the Hawaiian Department on 17 De- 
cember. 53 Emmons had seen his depart- 
ment superseded on the priority list first 
by Australia and then by the ferry islands. 
On 15 January he sent a bitter message to 
the War Department in which he com- 
plained that shipping was standing idle on 
the Pacific west coast, awaiting assignment 
of naval escorts, while thousands of tons of 
critically needed materials were piled on 
docks and in warehouses at San Francisco 
and Los Angeles. His convoys, he declared, 
were being retarded by slow ships, and 
valuable cargo space was being wasted by 
loading low-priority supplies (including a 
shipment of beer) at the expense of badly 
needed items. 

General Marshall in reply pointed out 
that there were not enough fast ships to go 
around, and that slow ones would have to 
be employed whenever and wherever pos- 
sible, especially on the short Honolulu 
run. He denied that there were empty 
freighters on the west coast. Frequency of 
shipments, he pointed out, depended in 
the last analysis upon intertheater priori- 
ties and on the Navy's escort policy, both 
matters over which the War Department 
could not exercise exclusive control. The 
order in which items had been shipped 
had been determined by Emmons' own 
priorities. Marshall reminded Emmons 
pointedly of the over-all shortage of ship- 
ping and told him his supply agencies 
must "confine their requests to bare neces- 
sities exploiting local resources and facili- 
ties to the utmost. " ' 

General Emmons' discontent was not 
allayed. His requests in January included 
a quantity of sulfanilamide greater than 
the total capacity of U.S. industry, over 
thirty-seven thousand of the new Garand 
rifles to arm the civilian population, and 

enough rocket guns (a weapon still under 
development) to defend fifteen airfields. 
He approached the Matson Navigation 
Co. directly in an effort to obtain more 
ships. Finally, near the end of February, 
he poured out his troubles to a Mr. Wil- 
liam H. Husted, a representative of the 
War Production Board (W T PB) then in 
Honolulu investigating scrap iron ship- 
ments. Husted was so impressed that he 
sent a long report, sharply critical of the 
War Department, to his own superiors, 
which Emmons supplemented by a per- 
sonal letter to Donald M. Nelson, chair- 
man of the WPB. Emmons gave a copy of 
Husted's report to Assistant Secretary of 
War McCloy, who visited the islands in 
March. Mr. Harold L. Ickes, Secretary of 
the Interior, meanwhile learned of the 
report's contents, and passed on to James 
V. Forrestal, Under Secretary of the Navy, 
some of Husted's allegations of Army- 
Navy friction in Hawaii. Thus, before the 
War Department could act, the matter 
had become more or less public p r operty 
within government circles." 

The gist of Husted's charges was that 
the Army supply system had "broken 
down completely" in Hawaii. Gasoline 
stocks had fallen to eighteen days' supply; 
the cement shortage was so acute that 

(1) Control Division. ASF, Statistical Review, 
World War II (Washington, 1946). (2) See also above, 
Ch. Y. 

1 i 1) Msg, CofStoCG HD. 16 Jan 42, AG 381 (11- 
27-41) Far Eastern Sit, Sec 1. General Somervell's 
draft was more blunt; see Central Pac 194 2-44 folder, 
Hq ASF. (2) Msg. Emmons to TAG, 15 Jan 42, AG 
381 | I 1-27-41) Far Eastern Sit, Sec 1 

"i 1 , Corresp in G-4/33822. (2) Memo, G-4 for 
CofEngrs. 2 Mar 42. (3) Memo, G-4 for CG HD, 24 
Feb 4 2. sub: Contl of Shipts From \V Coast to Hawaii. 
Lasl two in G-4 338 17. (4) Rpt, Husted to Mr. E. A. 
Locke, Jr., 4 Mar 42, sub: Honolulu and Critical 
Shortages, filed with most of the related corresp in 
Hawaiian Sup Sit envelope. Ping Div ASF. 



seventy-three freighters, plying continu- 
ously for three months, would be needed 
to remedy it; aircraft spare parts were 
almost exhausted: ammunition stocks were 
too small "for even a half-hearted defense 
of the islands"; there were no gas masks 
for children under five years of age. 
Husted repeated the complaint about slow 
ships, pointed to the tanker shortage, and 
mentioned such chronic problems as in- 
efficient loading, shipment of low-priority 
material, and lack of discharge facilities 
and labor in Honolulu. "Additional ship- 
ping," the report declared, "should and 
must be assigned to the Honolulu route," 
if necessary by diverting it from the Atlan- 
tic. Husted also charged that the Army 
and Navy, below the top levels, were at 
loggerheads, refusing to co-ordinate such 
matters as the supply of oil and aviation 
gasoline. There seemed to be, he thought, 
"a woeful lack of understanding that this 
is a real war." ' 

A special feature of Hawaii's supply 
problem was the prominence of civilian 
interests, both organized and unorganized. 
General Emmons, as military governor, 
controlled the civilian as well as the mili- 
tary economy. Beneath the tight clamp of 
Hawaii's low strategic priorities, the more 
powerful of these interests — notably the 
large construction, power, and shipping 
firms known as the "Big Five" — had 
already sought to bring pressure to bear 
through unofficial channels. With these 
interests, the military administration of 
the islands had close ties. >: Both Emmons 
and Husted emphasized the interdepend- 
ence of military and civilian needs in 
Hawaii. Husted urged that the local elec- 
trical, acetylene gas, and railroad facilities 
be secured against attack at all costs, and 
pointed out the detrimental effects that 
gasoline rationing and breakdowns in air- 

mail service would have upon civilian 

The climax of Husteds report was his 
accusation that the War Department had 
shown no understanding of the problem 
and that "there has been no attempt to 
rectify an obviously bad situation." Husted 
based his charge presumably on informa- 
tion received from Emmons and his staff, 
and Emmons himself remarked shortly 
afterward in a letter to Lt. Gen. Brehon B. 
Somervell, "I think the report speaks for 
itself." s He hastened to assure General 
Marshall, on the other hand, that "we 
need lots of things, but understand the sit- 
uation." ■' Subsequently he complained 
that Husted had misrepresented him, and 
he explicitly disavowed the charges of 
non-co-operation with the Navy. 60 At all 
events, even before Husted's report burst 
over the War Department, supply ship- 
ments to Hawaii had begun to mount in 
volume. During March three large con- 
voys to Honolulu moved over 200,000 
measurement tons, consisting entirely of 
material Emmons had requisitioned ear- 
lier. In March and early April, moreover, 
as the Aquitania was put on the Hawaii 
run, the 27th Division was sent out to bol- 
ster the defenses there. On the other hand, 
for lack of new priorities, the bulk of some 

:,,; Rpt cited n. 55(4). 

,: Husted was a friend of Alexander Budge, presi- 
dent of the firm of Castle and Cooke, of Honolulu, 
who is mentioned as representing General Emmons 
at San Francisco in efforts to secure priorities for es- 
sential materials. See letter, Emmons to D. M. Nelson. 
24 Feb 42. in Hawaiian Sup Sit envelope. Ping Div 
ASF; and other papers in same file. 

5!i Ltr. Emmons to Somervell, 21 Mar 42. Hawaiian 
Sup envelope. Ping Div ASF. 

Memo. Emmons for CofS, 9 Mar 42. WDCSA 
520 i3-5-42). 

r, ° U.S. Army Forces. Middle Pacific and Predeces- 
sor Commands. WD hist monograph. Vol. IV. Pt. 2, 
pp. 1023-24. OCMH. 



1 15,000 measurement tons of engineer 
materials that had been piled on the docks 
at San Francisco since early January re- 
mained unshipped. A few additional 
tankers were assigned to the Central Pa- 
cific area, but no important changes were 
made in the existing distribution of dry 
cargo shipping. 61 

Emmons' "out of the ordinary" proce- 
dure (as Judge Patterson dryly called it), 
in taking his case directly to the War Pro- 
duction Board, went largely unrepri- 
manded.' i2 The Chief of Staff admonished 
him mildly for his "direct action" and 
requested him to "please have your people 
keep within channels" 63 — language that 
represented considerable toning-down of 
a stronger message drafted for him by 
Somervell. What caused more concern 
was the evident failure of the Hawaiian 
commander to appreciate or accept the 
larger exigencies that had relegated His 
theater to a secondary strategic role. On 
the matter of shipping, for example, Som- 
ervell pointed out to Emmons that neither 
the Husted report nor his own communi- 
cations showed any awareness of the "pri- 
orities between overseas theaters and 
departments prescribed by the President, 
and limitations of shipping to meet over- 
all requirements throughout the world." K4 
Judge Patterson commented bluntly that 
the report "ignores completely these con- 
flicting demands for shipping." 65 

By this time, however, "localitis" had 
become a recognized and well-nigh uni- 
versal malady among theater com- 
manders. From Australia, Lt. Gen. George 
H. Brett had already added his voice to 
MacArthur's in calling for a reversal of 
the whole Arcadia strategy in order to 
pour enough troops and war materiel into 
the Australia-New Zealand area to permit 
a sustained offensive. Theater commanders 
themselves sometimes had to cope with a 

similar attitude among their own subordi- 
nates. The Army commander on Canton 
Island somewhat later appealed to Under 
Secretary of the Navy Forrestal to rectify 
"the cramped thinking of our supply and 
operations, both in the War Department 
and in the Hawaiian Department" with a 
view to building up Canton to "an installa- 
tion and armament comparable to Mid- 
way." Like Emmons before him, this officer 
was convinced that the needed material 
was actually available in abundance, 
"right in Oahu, if they would only see the 
right people and look around a bit." Above 
all, he felt that his post was a pivot of the 
war effort, "the most important link in the 
chain of air communication and ferry 
routes on the entire supply line from Oahu 
to Australia. . . ," 66 

A myopic view of the broader needs of 
global strategy was only to be expected, 
perhaps, in a local commander at any level 
from theater down. Recognizing in the 
abstract that other war areas also had 
pressing needs, each commander naturally 
felt that his own were more real and 

61 (1) Ibid. (2) Ltr, Somervell to Emmons, 4 Apr 42, 
with tabs. (3) Memo, Brig Gen LeRoy Lutes for Gen 
Somervell, 10 Mar 42, sub: Gasoline Sup, Hawaii. 
Last two in Hawaiian Sup Sit envelope. Ping Div 

62 Memo, USW for WPD, 5 Mar 42, with Husted 
rpt incl, Hawaiian Sup Sit envelope. Ping Div ASF. 

63 Memo, CofS for CG HD, 5 Mar 42, OCofS 520 
(3-5-42). A draft copy, corrected in Marshall's hand, 
is in Hawaiian Sup Sit envelope. Ping Div ASF. 

154 Ltr, Somervell to Emmons, 12 Mar 42, Hawaiian 
Sup Sit envelope, Ping Div ASF. 

65 Memo cited n. 62. 

6fi (1) Ltr, Lt Col Robert A. Ellsworth to USN, 28 
Aug 42, OPD 381 Canton Island, 3. This officer re- 
quested his addressee to "please treat this as a very 
personal and confidential letter." In an earlier visit 
to Canton, Forrestal had talked to the commander 
and asked him to write a letter. Ellsworth was even- 
tually transferred to another command. (2) Corresp 
in OPD 472.91 (9-16-42); and OPD 210.31 PTO, 18. 
(3) Msg, CG USAFIA to WD, 1 1 Mar 42, OPD 381 
Australia, 19. 



urgent, and found it difficult to appreciate 
a strategy that did not accord them the 
highest priority. Nor was the phenomenon 
altogether to be deplored, since men 
usually achieve more when they believe 
firmly in the transcendant importance of 
what they do. But while recognizing this, 
the War Department expected overseas 
commanders, even if they were not con- 
vinced of the wisdom of approved strategy, 
to exercise judgment and moderation in 
pressing their requirements. In the middle 
of March the War Department laid down 
for all theaters a general policy of econ- 
omy in materials and shipping. "Shortage 
of shipping requires that you reduce dras- 
tically the amount of construction required 
in your command. Resurvey your needs, 
reduce them to the minimum, and report 
changes in your requirements." 67 

Three months after Pearl Harbor the 
Army's deployment was flowing mainly 
into the theaters of the Japanese war, con- 
centrating particularly on the effort to 
build a base in Australia and to secure the 
line of communications leading to it. The 
establishment of American land and air 
power in the Atlantic region, assigned 
highest priority in Rainbow 5, was run- 
ning a poor second. This shift in emphasis 
had not been an immediate result of the 
Japanese onslaught in early December. 
For three weeks following Pearl Harbor 
the U.S. high command had sought to 
compromise between the measures imme- 
diately necessary to bolster American 
defenses on the west coast and along the 
Alaska-Hawaii-Panama triangle, and the 
North Atlantic deployment scheduled in 
Rainbow 5. And with the arrival of 
Churchill and his entourage in Washing- 
ton toward the end of December, planning 
began to look hopefully toward an early 
stabilization of the situation in the Far 

East that would permit heavier American 
deployment in the North Atlantic and 
perhaps an Anglo-American descent upon 
North Africa. 

It was the rapid march of Japanese arms 
toward Singapore and the Netherlands 
Indies and the growing isolation of the 
Philippines that, beginning in January, 
brought a sharp shift in emphasis to Aus- 
tralia and the intervening island chain. In 
contrast to December when almost no 
troops and only 13 percent of cargo ship- 
ments went to this area, during the three 
months January through March it ab- 
sorbed over 50 percent of total troop 
deployment and 33 percent of cargo ship- 
ments. Because of the tremendous dis- 
tances and other logistical difficulties 
involved, this shift had an impact on 
movements to other areas that was out of 
all proportion to the number of troops and 
the cargo tonnages actually sent to the 
South and Southwest Pacific. Movements 
to the Caribbean and to Alaska, employ- 
ing small coastal vessels to a large extent, 
were little affected, and cargo shipments 
to Hawaii, for all General Emmons' com- 
plaints, continued in an expanding volume 
through March. However, the flow of 
troops to Hawaii, until the sailing of the 
27th Division late in March, shriveled to 
almost nothing. And in the North Atlan- 
tic, where large movements had been 
looked for, deployment of both troops and 
cargo was an insignificant part of the total 
outflow during this period — only 12 per- 
cent of all troop and 9 percent of all cargo 
shipments. What had been discussed as 
the opening move in the Anglo-American 
counteroffensive against the European 
Axis, the occupation of North Africa, now 
had to be shelved indefinitely. 

67 ( 1 ) Msg, WD to Theater Comdrs, 1 7 Mar 42, 
WDCSA 520. (2) See also below, Ch. XXIII. 


Improvisation in the Pacific 

The United States had plunged into a 
war in what was, for the Army, a new, 
strange, and distant theater. Since mid- 
1941 planning for this theater had been 
curiously back-handed, resting on the 
premise that defenses in the Far East could 
be built to such impressive strength before 
Japan was ready to strike that she would 
not attempt to overcome them. Supplv 
planning and operations, geared to this 
hope, had all been directed toward a 
rapid build-up of equipment and supplies 
in the Philippines, and little thought had 
been given to the problem of continuous 
logistical support from the United States 
to forces in the Far East. The Japanese at- 
tack in December 1941 entirely upset 
these calculations. As long as the Japanese 
retained the initiative, both American 
strategy in the Pacific and its logistical 
support were necessarily shaped by short- 
term considerations. Supply plans and op- 
erations had to dispense with methodical 
calculations — the logisticians' stock-in- 
trade — and it proved impossible to de- 
velop a stable pattern of supply organiza- 
tion until after the initial force of the Jap- 
anese drive had waned. 

The most pressing need in the Pacific 
was for bases that could be held against 
the initial Japanese onslaught and even- 
tually used to mount counteroffensives. 
The first effort to develop such bases 
stemmed from the immediate need to for- 
ward supplies to the Philippines and the 
Netherlands Indies. This effort failed but 

it did determine the direction of logistical 
effort in the Pacific. With the collapse of 
Allied defenses, first in the Indies and then 
in the Philippines, the embryonic Amer- 
ican bases in Australia and the chain of is- 
lands in the South Pacific leading to them 
became the natural line of defense and 
communications, one that had to be 
strengthened and held if the far Pacific 
were not to be abandoned altogether. 

The Australian Base 

The decision in Washington in mid-De- 
cember 1941 to establish a supply base in 
Australia grew out of the determination 
not to abandon the Philippines. In Gen- 
eral Eisenhower's plan of 1 7 December, 
Australia was to serve as the rear base for 
logistical support of the Philippine battle 
front. 1 In the days following, the General 
Staff hastily worked out the details of the 
Australian project. Plan "X," completed 
by G-4 on 20 December, set forth in gen- 
eral terms the intended method of build- 
ing up supplies in Australia and the Phil- 
ippines. The plan established sixty days of 
supply as the tentative objective for accu- 
mulation of stocks of all items, including 
ammunition, in both areas. Material and 
equipment required to build up these re- 
serves were to be shipped to Australia, 
without requisition, as rapidly as available 
shipping and supplies permitted. To re- 
lieve pressure on scarce shipping, General 

See above, Ch. VI. 



Brett was ordered to exploit Australian 
resources to the fullest extent. Tentative 
arrangements were made with the Navy' 
for forwarding critical items to MacArthur 
from Australia, under the assumption that 
Darwin. Australia's northernmost port, 
could be converted in short order into a 
major air and sea transshipment point. 
Reinforcements and supplies were to be 
landed at Brisbane, sent overland to Dar- 
win, and thence forwarded to the Philip- 
pines via air and blockade runners. Other 
shipments would be sent directly from San 
Francisco and Panama into Darwin. - 

Plan "X" was carried to the theater by 
Col. Stephen J. Chamberlin, slated to be- 
come chief of staff to General Brett, and 
the first of a series of War Department 
emissaries. Chamberlin did not get to 
Australia until 9 January 1942, by which 
time Plan "X" had been completely out- 
dated by the march of events in the Phil- 
ippines. Late in December MacArthur 
withdrew his forces to the Bataan Penin- 
sula and sent his few remaining B-17 
bombers to Australia under his air com- 
mander, Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton. At 
this point the War Department deter- 
mined to attempt to build up overwhelm- 
ing air power in the Far East, based no 
longer on the Philippines but on Australia, 
with advance operating bases in the 
Netherlands Indies. Instructions to Brett 
in late December and early January 
stressed the immediate need to prepare a 
base establishment in Australia — airfields, 
air depots, and maintenance facilities. 
The Far East Air Force under Brereton 
was specifically exempted from Brett's 
command, but Brett was given the major 
responsibility for supporting it. The War 
Department was thus placing upon Brett's 
command a double logistical burden — the 
continuing effort to supply the Philip- 

pines, as stressed in Plan "X," and the 
task of building up a base establishment to 
support air power disposed in depth. ' 

For either mission, let alone both, the 
logistical difficulties were staggering. 
When Brett arrived in Australia on 29 
December 1941 his command, designated 
U.S. Army Forces in Australia, consisted 
of about four thousand U.S. troops, mostly 
artillerymen unversed in supply oper- 
ations, who had arrived on the Pensacola 
convoy. Sizable reinforcements from the 
United States would not begin to reach 
Australia until late in January. With this 
handful of troops Brett had to begin the 
immense task of developing a supply line 
across a sparsely populated and generally 
undeveloped continent of nearly three 
million square miles. Australia's ports, in- 
dustry, agriculture, and population were 
concentrated in a narrow strip of land ex- 
tending southward along the coast from 
Brisbane (midway up the eastern sea- 
board) around to Perth and Fremantle in 
the southwestern corner of the continent. 
Five million of its seven million people 
were settled in the coastal fringe between 
Brisbane and Adelaide (midway to Perth), 
the majority of them crowded into the 
southeastern tip of the country. The thin 
rim of seaboard settlement enclosed a vast 
wasteland sprawled over the central por- 
tion of Australia. Communications were 

- ( 1) Ltr, TAG to CG U.S. Forces in Australia, 20 
Dec 41, sub: G-4 Admin Order— Plan "X," AG 381 
(12-20-41) MSC-D-M. (2) Rpt.JPC toJB, 21 Dec 
4 1, sub: Agreement on Orgn and Consolidation of 
A&N Support ... in Pac, Netherlands E Indies, 
and Australia, JB 325, Ser 738. 

f (l) See above, Ch. VI. (2) Msg, TAG to Mil At- 
tache Australia for Brett, 2 Jan 42, AG 38 1 (11-27- 
41 ). (3) Col Julian F. Barnes, Report of Organization 
and Activities of U.S. Forces in Australia, December 
7, 1941 tojune 30, 1942, photostat. Pt. II, p. 34, 
OCMH. (4) Msgs exchanged between Marshall and 
MacArthur, Msg 3-5 files, WPD. (5) Matloff and 
Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. IV. 



poor and generally concentrated along the 
coasts, an inviting target for attack. Rail 
lines were few, mostly single track, and of 
five different gauges, requiring frequent 
transshipment. For lack of modern equip- 
ment, manual labor had to be used to 
transfer freight, with an average delay of 
about twenty-four hours at each trans- 
shipment point. A single railroad wound 
around the coastline from Perth to Cairns, 
on the east coast north of Townsville; 
north-south communication consisted of 
two lines, one stretching three hundred 
miles into the interior south from Darwin 
and the other one thousand miles north 
from Adelaide, the two being connected 
by a six-hundred-mile stretch of gravel 
road. More than half of Australia's motor 
roads could not be used for military trans- 
port and the best of them were concen- 
trated, with the bulk of the nation's other 
economic facilities, in the southeast. 4 

Air operations in the Netherlands Indies 
and Philippines would have to be based 
upon the undeveloped areas in the north. 
Townsville, on the east coast about eight 
hundred miles north of Brisbane, and 
Darwin, in the north, had been chosen as 
termini of the air ferry route on which 
work had begun late in 1941, but little 
had been done to develop these areas. 
Darwin was an isolated outpost in Aus- 
tralia's desolate back country, its facilities 
primitive. Water there was very scarce 
and would have to be impounded to meet 
the needs of a military base; there was 
shelter for only seven hundred men and 
little labor for construction work. Dar- 
win's air base was in an embryonic stage, 
and the good natural harbor had few 
docking facilities. Practically all the sup- 
plies, equipment, and construction mate- 
rial, together with the troops required to 
set up and defend the base, would have to 

be brought in by water. Water routes were 
long, and coastwise movements were sub- 
ject to the continuous threat of enemy at- 
tack. At Darwin there would inevitably 
be delays in unloading material. 5 

With the best will in the world, Aus- 
tralia simply did not have resources for 
the tremendous effort required. Australian 
manpower, scant to begin with, had al- 
ready been drained for her military forces 
and war industries. Her continental de- 
fenses were at rock bottom, the best of her 
troops and the bulk of her military equip- 
ment having been sent overseas. Her 
economy was already stretched tight by 
the demands of two years of war and was 
scarcely sufficient to meet her own re- 
quirements. While a large part of the basic 
U.S. Army ration, items of clothing, and 
the like could be obtained locally, only a 
brief survey was needed to convince 
Americans in Australia that the great bulk 
of military supplies — including construc- 
tion equipment and construction labor — 
would have to come from the United 
States. 6 

During the last days of December 1941 
Brett, accompanied by Brereton, made a 
rapid survey of Australia's resources. 
Mindful of War Department orders to 
establish bases in Australia adequate to 
support air power in depth, Brett decided 

4 (1) James R. Masterson, U.S. Army Transporta- 
tion in the Southwest Pacific Area, 1941-1947, mono- 
graph, pp. 656-59, 687-97, OCMH. (2) Sumner 
Welles, ed., An Intelligent American's Guide to the Peace 
(New York, Dryden Press, 1945), pp. 146-50. (3) Msg 
9, Brett to TAG, 5 Jan 42, Msg 5 file, Case 303, WPD. 
(4) Msg 36, Brett to TAG, 2 Jan 42, Msg 5 file. Case 
148, WPD. (5) Msg 143, Maj Gen Julian F. Barnes to 
AGWAR, 31 Jan 42, Pac folder, OCT HB. 

5 (1) Msgs cited n. 4(3) and n. 4(4). (2) Msg, Brett 
to TAG, 3 Jan 42, Msg 5 file, Case 386, WPD. 

6 ( 1) Ltr, Brig Gen Stephen J. Chamberlin to Gen 
Somervell, 26 Feb 42, Logis File, OCMH. (2) Barnes 
rpt, Incl 19, cited n. 3(3). (3) Milner, Victory in 
Papua, Chs. I-II. 



that the country must be transformed into 
a "second England." "I am firmly con- 
vinced," he reported to Marshall on 2 
January, "that it is essential to have a 
stable establishment in Australia prior to 
large-scale tactical operations." 7 At con- 
ferences with the Australian authorities 
and with General Wavell at Melbourne 
in early January, he outlined a plan for a 
series of bases along the Brisbane-Towns- 
ville-Darwin line in support of air oper- 
ations in the Netherlands Indies. The 
Americans, he asserted, were prepared to 
build from the ground up, if necessary, 
and in defiance of logistical obstacles. 8 

In a steady stream of cables to the War 
Department early in January, Brett listed 
his needs: for his staff, a group of experi- 
enced air supply officers; for defense of his 
northern bases, four regiments and four 
battalions of antiaircraft troops, two air- 
warning service organizations, and 180 
barrage balloons with operating personnel; 
for aircraft maintenance, two completely 
equipped mobile air depots; for base con- 
struction, three separate engineer battal- 
ions, one general service regiment, three 
engineer aviation companies, and a long 
list of supplies including one hundred 
thousand tons of asphalt, thirty asphalt- 
producing plants, crushing plants, com- 
pressors, jack hammers, screening plants 
for gravel, explosives, landing mat; for 
transportation, rail and rolling stock, 
trucks, gasoline storage tanks, and operat- 
ing personnel. 9 

Brett's plans to build a "second Eng- 
land" were not unreasonable in view of 
the instructions he had received, but 
when his lists began to roll in, War De- 
partment officials were dismayed. No 
shipping was in sight to move such quan- 
tities of men and material, even if all 
planned moves in the Atlantic were aban- 

doned. In separate messages originating in 
G-4 and WPD, Brett was ordered to ap- 
ply the brakes. WPD told him he must re- 
strict his requirements to those "absolutely 
necessary for effective air and anti-air op- 
erations of the immediate future;" 10 G-4 
warned that construction must be limited 
to "pioneer," "theater of operations" 
types, employing the "more primitive facil- 
ities and methods" available in the the- 
ater. 11 

Clearly, there was an enormous dis- 
parity between the War Department's 
announced aims and actual logistical 
capabilities in the southwestern Pacific. 
The General Staff had no choice but to 
insist on improvisation and short-term 
supply plans, but almost coincident with 
its veto of Brett's plan, the War Depart- 
ment, responding to new and urgent ap- 
peals from MacArthur, renewed pressure 
on USAFIA to bend every effort to break 
through the blockade of the Philippines. 
Taken aback by the obvious disparity be- 
tween what he was asked to do and the 
means with which he was expected to do 
it, Brett could only quote his earlier in- 
structions and reiterate his requests. 12 

7 Msg cited n. 4(4). 

8 Barnes rpt, Incls 1 la, 13a, and 13b, cited n. 3(3). 

9 (1) Msgs cited n. 4(3) and n. 5(2). (2) Msg, Brett 
to TAG, 3 Jan 42, Msg 5 file, Case 151, WPD. (3) 

Msg, Brett to TAG, 6 Jan 42, Msg 5 file, Case 351, 
WPD. (4) Msg 5, Brett to TAG, 7 Jan 42, Msg 5 file, 
Case 359, WPD. (5) Msg 6, Brett to TAG, 7 Jan 42, 

Msg 5 file, Case 258, WPD. (6) Msg 1 7, Brett to 
TAG, 9 Jan 42, Msg 5 file, Case 498, WPD. (7) See 
summaries of msg cited n. 4(4); Msg 8, Brett to TAG, 
4 Jan 42; and msg, Brett to TAG, 8 Jan 42, in G-4/ 

10 Memo, ACofS WPD for TAG, 8 Jan 42, sub: 
Personnel and Sup Policy in Australia, Msg 5 file, 
Case 418, WPD. 

11 Memo, ACofS G-4 for CofS, 8 Jan 42, sub: Gen 
Brett's Requests for Construction Equip and Mats, 

12 (1) Msgs in AG 381 (11-27-41) Far Eastern Sit, 
Sec 1, and in G-4/33861. (2) Msg, Brett to AGWAR, 
14 Jan 42, Msg 6 file, Case 771, WPD. 



Meanwhile, the Australian base had as- 
sumed a new importance in relation to 
General Wavell's ABDA Command. Only 
northern Australia was included in the 
territorial boundaries of the ABDA Com- 
mand, but Australia was visualized as the 
base through which men and materials 
from the United States would be fed into 
the fighting zone, in the same manner that 
India would serve as the base for men and 
materials coming from Britain and the 
Middle East. General Brett relinquished 
his Australian command to become dep- 
uty to Wavell and Intendant-General of 
ABDA Command, which post gave him 
general supervision over all rear area ad- 
ministration and supply. Brereton was as- 
signed command of all U.S. air operations 
in the ABDA area. Command of USAFIA 
fell temporarily to Maj. Gen. Julian F. 
Barnes, commanding officer of the troops 
that had arrived in the Pensacola convoy. 
Because of the growing isolation of the 
Philippines, USAFIA was withdrawn from 
MacArthur's command and made an ap- 
pendage of the ABDA Command, though 
its supply responsibilities for MacArthur's 
forces remained the same. Thus USAFIA, 
despite its slender resources, had to assume 
responsibilities for supply support of 
American forces stretching from the Phil- 
ippines to Java and Australia. 

The War Department wanted to place 
the whole command under Brereton, 
whose air operations it was charged with 
supporting; there were not enough senior 
U.S. officers in the area to permit separate 
tactical and logistical commands under an 
over-all American commander. For a few 
hectic days in January, Brereton held the 
USAFIA command and, on another fly- 
ing visit to Australia, shook up the organi- 
zation there. Brereton was dissatisfied both 
with the conglomeration of responsibilities 

now thrust upon him, and with Barnes' 
efforts to push supply shipments through 
to the Philippines and Java. At Brereton's 
behest, Wavell made representations to 
Washington that he (Brereton) could not 
properly handle air operations in the In- 
dies and also direct a logistical establish- 
ment three thousand miles to the rear. 
General Marshall accordingly relieved 
the latter of the unwelcome burden of 
USAFIA. The luckless Barnes was re- 
stored to that command and lectured on 
his mission to "provide timely and effec- 
tive logistical support" to Brereton, now 
once again commanding American air 
forces in the ABDA area; "his calls upon 
you," Marshall told him, "must be an- 
swered promptly and effectively." 13 

Probing the Japanese Blockade 

The Japanese, meanwhile, were rapidly 
closing the avenues to the Philippines and 
overrunning the weak defenses in the 
Netherlands Indies. The first American 
surface shipments from Australia to the 
Netherlands Indies were those aboard the 
Bloemfontein (one of the Pensacola convoy 
ships), which sailed to Surabaja at the end 
of December with a few hundred artillery- 
men and some old British 75's. Through 
January and February desperate efforts 
were made to ship material, including air- 
planes, to Java, as well as to fly planes to 
that area. In the great enemy air raid on 
Darwin on 19 February, most of the avail- 
able cargo shipping was wiped out, and 

'- 1 (1) Msg. Marshall to CG USAFIA, 27 Jan 42. 
WPD 4628-5. (2) Msg, Marshall to CG USAFIA, 30 
Jan 42, WPD 4628-25. (3) Msg. Wavell to Marshall, 
16 Jan 42. WPD 4369-19. (4) Delaying and Contain- 
ing Action, monograph, pp. 1-8, OPD Hist Unit File. 
(5) Incl 18, msg, Marshall to CG USAFIA, 18Jan 42, 
to Barnes rpt cited n. 3(3). (6) Brereton. The Brereton 
Diaries, pp. 76-83. (7) See also corresp in WPD 4628- 
20 and WPD 4628-25. 



Java was sealed off from further surface 
shipments from Australia; on 27 February 
thirty-two P-40's went down when the old 
seaplane tender Langley was sunk; many 
other aircraft were lost, before they could 
get into action, while being flown north 
from Australia; still others were purposely 
destroyed during the evacuation of Java to 
prevent their capture. On the last day of 
February General Brett radioed the War 
Department that he considered further 
shipments to Java "unwarranted wast- 
age." Ten days later, with the capture of 
Bandung, resistance in the Netherlands 
Indies came to an end. 14 

In the Philippines the debacle was more 
prolonged. Following his withdrawal to 
Bataan, General MacArthur declared 
himself "professionally certain" that the 
enemy blockade could be easily pierced. 
He recommended using numerous small 
vessels and submarines, arguing that his 
requirements, though urgent, were mod- 
est. The War Department, which wanted 
to retain the large ships for transoceanic 
runs, was agreeable to the use of small 
vessels; in any case, the Americans no 
longer possessed discharge facilities for 
large ships on Luzon. On 18 January Col. 
Patrick J. Hurley was sent to the south- 
western Pacific as General Marshall's per- 
sonal representative to infuse more energy 
into the search for small craft in Australia 
and the Netherlands Indies. Meanwhile, 
USAFIA headquarters dispatched Col. 
John N. Robinson, who had commanded 
the troops on the Holbrook, with six assist- 
ants to comb Java, Sumatra, and Celebes 
for food and coastal vessels. Other officers, 
armed with War Department authority to 
expend practically unlimited funds, were 
directed to "organize blockade running 
on a broad front." ' ' 

Small craft, fast and with sufficient fuel 

capacity, were hard to obtain. Masters 
and crews usually refused to risk death or 
capture, despite the offer of large bonuses. 
Precious time was lost in negotiations be- 
tween Washington and London over al- 
leged duplication in assignment of ship- 
ping. Only three vessels succeeded in 
breaking through the blockade, reaching 
Mindanao and Cebu during February and 
March, respectively, with about 10,000 
tons of rations, 4,000,000 rounds of small 
arms ammunition, 8,000 rounds of 8 1 -mm. 
mortar shell, and a quantity of medical, 
signal, and engineer supplies. Only a 
small fraction of these supplies reached 
the beleaguered forces on Luzon. An at- 
tempt was made, despite misgivings on 
the part of Admiral Thomas C. Hart and 
General Wavell, to run supplies through 
by submarine; about ten of these craft 
sailed from various points between early 
January and the surrender of Corregidor 
in May, and at least five actually reached 
"The Rock." Only three, however, were 
able to discharge cargo. 

By the beginning of March the block- 
ade of the southern approaches to the 
Philippines had become so tight that both 
Hurley and Brett thought the effort to 
pierce it should be abandoned. General 
MacArthur had already concluded, and 
urged upon the War Department, that the 
whole approach up to now had been 
wrong. Direction of the effort, he declared 
on 22 February, should be centralized in 
Washington and "re-energized," rather 

" ( 1 ) Bingham and Leighton, Development of the 
United States Supply Base in Australia, ASF hist 
monograph, pp. 94-98, OCMH. (2) Blockade Run- 
ning to the Philippines, MS, pp. 28-29, OCT HB. (3) 
Matloffand Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, pp. 
1 3 1 -36. (4) Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 39 1 -98. 

15 (1) Bingham and Leighton monograph, pp. 100- 
101, cited n. 14(1). (2) MS cited n. 14(2). (3) Corresp 
in G-4/33861 and AG 381 (1 1-27-41) Far Eastern Sit, 
Sec 1. (4) Morton, Fall of the Philippines, Ch. XXII. 



than being relegated to USAFIA where it 
was being handled, he charged, "as a sub- 
sidiary effort." 16 The resources in Aus- 
tralia and the Netherlands Indies, in any 
case, were insufficient for the task. Many 
shipments, MacArthur thought, should be 
routed along the westward passage from 
Honolulu. Asserting that the enemy's 
coverage of the approaches was still thin, 
MacArthur evidently envisaged an unin- 
terrupted stream of vessels probing the ap- 
proaches to the Philippines along several 
routes. Many ships might be lost, but 
many, he felt, would get through. 

There had been no lack of energy in the 
War Department's attack upon the prob- 
lem. Since mid-January it had been work- 
ing on a project to fit seven old destroyers, 
converted into banana carriers, for the 
westward voyage. In response to MacAr- 
thur's message of 22 February the War 
Department notified him that three of the 
converted destroyers, each of about fifteen 
hundred tons cargo capacity, were being 
loaded identically with food, medical sup- 
plies, ammunition, and other items and 
would be sent to Mindanao within three 
weeks; the first was leaving almost imme- 
diately. But time and circumstances 
whittled down this plan. There were de- 
lays in arming the vessels, in providing 
Army gun crews (the Navy had none 
available), in assembling cargoes, in work- 
ing out routings. The first vessel sailed 
from New Orleans on 2 March, and two 
more at approximately one-week inter- 
vals. Only one got as far as Honolulu be- 
fore the surrender of Corregidor. In mid- 
April General MacArthur, then in Aus- 
tralia, acknowledged that with the enemy 
in possession of both the Cavite and Ba- 
taan shores of Manila Bay it was useless to 
send more blockade runners to Corregidor. 
The dreary game thus dragged to an end. 

In mid-March General Eisenhower, now 
head of the Operations Division (OPD), 
had jotted a notation, "For many weeks — 
it seems years — I've been searching every- 
where to find any feasible way of giving 
real help to the P. I I'll go on try- 
ing, but daily the situation grows more 
desperate." 17 

Emergence of the Southwest Pacific Area 

By the end of February both the Philip- 
pines and the ABDA Command were ef- 
fectively beyond the reach of logistical 
support. With the fall ofjava imminent, 
Wavell closed his headquarters there on 
23 February and Brett returned to Aus- 
tralia to assume command of USAFIA. 
Allied forces in the Far East were split, 
driven westward into India and southeast- 
ward into Australia and the tip of New 
Guinea. With the collapse of ABDA Com- 
mand and the War Department's futile in- 
tervention to "re-energize" blockade run- 
ning to the Philippines, the supply task of 
the Australian base shrank to more man- 
ageable proportions. Beginning in mid- 
January 1942, the War Department had 
begun to adjust its supply plans to place 
major emphasis on building a permanent 
base in Australia. This, in reality, had 
been the predominant concern of the staff 
of USAFIA almost from the beginning. 

On 10 January G-4 directed the release 
and redistribution of depot stocks that had 
been accumulating since the preceding 
summer for shipment to the Philippines. 
Shipments were to be limited, for a time, 
to such essential items as ammunition, 
food, and critical medical supplies that 

,fi Msg 344, MacArthur to Marshall, 22 Feb 42, 

17 (1) Notations by Eisenhower, 13 Mar 42 entry, 
Item 3, OPD Hist Unit File. (2) See above, n. 15. 



could be transported by air as well as by 
sea, and to additional critical supplies (up 
to a hypothetical thirty-day level) that 
would be useful in Australia if transship- 
ment to MacArthur should prove impos- 
sible. This move to place supply of the 
Philippines in a special category was con- 
firmed in a new supply plan for Australia 
that had taken shape by early February. 
Reserves to be held in Australia for the 
Philippines were definitely restricted to 
thirty days' supply, with the qualification 
that the Commanding General, USAFIA, 
was authorized to request from the War 
Department such additional supplies as 
he was able to push through to them. For 
Australia, on the other hand, supply levels 
were set at ninety days for ground force 
materials and five months for air force 
supply. Procedures were made more de- 
tailed and restrictive than in the Decem- 
ber directive (Plan "X"), and a trend to- 
ward orderly supply methods was evident. 
In addition to its other responsibilities, 
USAFIA was assigned the obligation of 
supplying Poppy Force until its com- 
mander, Brig. Gen. Alexander M. Patch, 
could organize a base port in New Cale- 
donia. 18 

In order to systematize local procure- 
ment, USAFIA was ordered on 3 Febru- 
ary to establish a General Purchasing 
Board that would consolidate all procure- 
ment in Australia for the U.S. Army and 
Navy, on the pattern of the board created 
in France during World War I. Brig. Gen. 
James C. Roop, who had been executive 
officer of the older board, was sent to the 
theater as General Purchasing Agent and 
chairman of the General Purchasing 
Board. The board was to consist of the 
senior officer of each supply arm and serv- 
ice of USAFIA, a representative of the 
Navy supply corps, and such other mem- 

bers as the Commanding General, 
USAFIA, wished to appoint. General 
Roop and the board were charged with 
supervision of all local procurement in the 
Australian area by both the Army and 
Navy, and with making all necessary ar- 
rangements with the local governments. 19 

Simultaneously, another War Depart- 
ment emissary, Brig. Gen. Arthur R. Wil- 
son, was sent out to serve as Barnes' chief 
quartermaster and to infuse vigor into all 
supply activities in Australia, including 
local procurement. General Marshall's 
letter to USAFIA on 6 February outlining 
Wilson's mission still placed heavy em- 
phasis on forwarding supplies to the Phil- 
ippines and Netherlands Indies. 20 But 
Wilson, bringing with him the February 
supply plan, did not arrive until March, 
by which time events had made this as- 
pect of his mission almost obsolete. With 
the collapse of ABDA Command, the 
British and United States Governments 
had turned to a reconsideration of Pacific 
organization and strategy, and the over- 
riding concern now was for the safety of 
Australia itself. 

On 23 January the Japanese had taken 
Rabaul on New Britain Island, thus un- 
covering Port Moresby, the weakly held 
Australian base in southern Papua across 
the Torres Strait, which in turn controlled 
the approaches to the continent across the 
Coral Sea. Invasion seemed imminent, 
and Australian defenses were weak. Two 
divisions of the Australian Imperial Forces 
had already been hastily withdrawn from 

18 (1) Memo, Exec Off G-4 for Br Chiefs, 10 Jan 42, 
sub: Shipts for Forces in Philippines, G-4/33861. (2) 
AG ltr to CG USAFIA and Chiefs of SAS, 2 Feb 42, 
sub: Sup of USAFIA Area, AG 400 ( 1 -3 1 -42). 

19 TAG ltr to CG USAFIA, 3 Feb 42, sub: Estab of 
a Gen Purch Bd in Australia, AG 334.8 Australia, 
Gen Purch Bd (1-30-42) MSC-D-M. 

20 (1) Ltr, CofS to CG USAFIA, 6 Feb 42, G-4/ 
33861. (2) Related papers in same file. 



the Middle East and were en route to 
Australia; the Australian Government de- 
manded the return of a third. The United 
States, on the other hand, was in the best 
position geographically and otherwise to 
provide reinforcements, and on 14 Febru- 
ary General Marshall decided to send the 
41st Division to Australia along with sup- 
porting service troops. The quest for ship- 
ping again had to be taken to the White 
House, via the versatile Mr. Hopkins, who 
contrived to have the request for addi- 
tional vessels, beyond the pooled resources 
of the Army and Navy, put to Admiral 
Land at the White House level. The first 
phase of the movement got under way on 
3 March with the sailing from New York 
of a large convoy of five troopships, carry- 
ing about 13,500 men; the rest of the 41st 
Division and support troops sailed from 
San Francisco in March and April. Mean- 
time, in a message to Prime Minister John 
Curtin on 20 February, the President, in 
an effort to persuade the Australian Gov- 
ernment to permit the diversion to Burma 
of the two Australian divisions en route 
from the Middle East, assured Curtin that 
the United States would reinforce the 
Australian position with all possible speed. 
In effect, Roosevelt accepted the defense 
of Australia as an American responsi- 
bility. 21 

In early March Churchill appealed to 
the President to send an additional Amer- 
ican division to Australia and one to New 
Zealand in order to permit retention of 
one Australian and one New Zealand di- 
vision in the Middle East. The President 
agreed, and on 25 March the 32d Divi- 
sion, which had been awaiting shipment 
to Northern Ireland, was hastily with- 
drawn from the Magnet Force and put 
under orders for movement to Australia in 
April. The 37th Division was scheduled 

for shipment to New Zealand in May. 
With the allocation of these ground forces 
to the theater, War Department deploy- 
ment policy entered a new phase. Instead 
of only air units and essential service 
troops, the aim was now to build a bal- 
anced air and ground force for the defense 
of Australia. The Australian base had be- 
come the anchor of the American line of 
defense in the Pacific. -- 

The shift in deployment was accom- 
panied by a dramatic change in command 
arrangements. General MacArthur, on 
orders from the President, left the Philip- 
pines and made his way to Australia, ar- 
riving at Darwin on 1 7 March 1942. The 
announcement was made on that day that 
he would become supreme commander of 
all Allied forces in Australia and the Phil- 
ippines. A few days later the United States 
and Great Britain agreed on a general di- 
vision of strategic responsibility and exer- 
cise of command for Allied forces through- 
out the world. The plan established three 
broad strategic areas — the Pacific, the 
Middle East-Indian Ocean, and the Eu- 
ropean-Atlantic. The conduct of the war 
in the Pacific would become the primary 
responsibility of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of 
Staff, the British Chiefs of Staff were to be 
similarly responsible for the Middle East- 
Indian Ocean region, and the European- 

21 (1) Memo, Marshall for Eisenhower, 14 Feb 42. 

(2) Memo for red, Brig Gen Robert W. Crawford, 14 
Feb 42. Both in WPD 4360-65. (3) Memo, G-4 for 
GofS, 14 Feb 42, sub: Transfer Reinfto "X,'" G-4/ 
29717-1 16. (4) Matloff and Snell, Strategic Planning: 
1941-1942, Chs. VI-VII. (5) Rpt, NVPOE Statistical 
Summary, OCT HB. 

-'-(1) Milner, Victory in Papua, Chs. I— II. (2) Mat- 
loff and Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. VII. 

(3) Memo, ACofS OPD for TAG, 10 Mar 42, sub: Est 
of Sit, Anzac Area, OPD 381 Australia, Case 9. (4) 
As a part of the general effort to strengthen the British 
position in the Middle East, the President also prom- 
ised shipping to transport two British divisions to that 
area. See below, Chs. XIV, XVIII. 



MAP 3 

Atlantic would be a combined responsibil- 
ity. The Combined Chiefs would continue 
to determine grand strategy for all areas. 
In the Pacific, the U.S. Joint Chiefs es- 
tablished two main theaters, the South- 
west Pacific Area (SWPA) and the Pacific 
Ocean Area, the former to be under Gen- 
eral MacArthur's command, the latter 
under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Aus- 
tralia, the Philippines, New Guinea, the 
Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon 
Islands, and all of the Netherlands Indies, 
except Sumatra, were included within 

SWPA. The rest of the Pacific, with the 
exception of a relatively small area in the 
southeastern part for which no command 
was established, fell within the Pacific 
Ocean Area. This area was further divided 
into North, Central, and South Pacific 
subareas, the first two to be directly con- 
trolled by Admiral Nimitz and the third 
by a deputy of his own choosing. 23 (Map 3) 

-' (1) Milner, Victory in Papua, Ch. II. (2) Mat loft 
and Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. VII. (3) 
CCS 57/2, 24 Mar 42, title: Strategic Responsibility 
of U.S. and U.K. 



After the approval of the Australian 
Government had been obtained, General 
MacArthur on 18 April announced the 
structure of his new command. All forces 
under his control were organized into five 
subordinate commands: Allied air forces 
under General Brett; Allied land forces 
under the Australian General Sir Thomas 
Blarney; Allied naval forces under Rear 
Adm. Herbert F. Leary; USAFIA, once 
again, under General Barnes; and U.S. 
Forces in the Philippines under Lt. Gen. 
Jonathan M. Wainwright. While supply 
and administration remained divided 
along national lines, operational control 
of all ground, air, and naval units whether 
American, Australian, or Dutch came un- 
der the Allied commander. For all Amer- 
ican forces, USAFIA served as a supply 
and service agency as well as an adminis- 
trative headquarters for the transmission 
of policy directives; in supply matters it 
was the channel of communication to the 
War Department. 24 

Soon after his arrival, General MacAr- 
thur won the Australian Chiefs of Staff to 
his view that the best hope of saving the 
dominion lay in concentrating such re- 
sources as were available on the defense of 
Port Moresby and undertaking limited of- 
fensive action in New Guinea at the 
earliest practicable date. This policy made 
it clear that development of the base es- 
tablishment would have to be focused on 
northeastern Australia and carried north 
into Papua. This shortened the line of 
communications from the well-developed 
ports of southeastern Australia, and made 
Townsville rather than Darwin the focal 
point in the undeveloped north. USAFIA 
at last had a supply mission of manageable 
proportions and reasonable clarity. 25 

By this time, too, the base in Australia 
was acquiring some flesh and sinew. There 

were 34,000 American troops in Australia 
by the middle of March and 23,000 more 
en route. Supply operations were becom- 
ing more systematic. With more staff per- 
sonnel available, seven base sections were 
organized under USAFIA and began to 
operate with some smoothness. General 
Wilson had taken over the functions of 
chief quartermaster, the General Purchas- 
ing Board under General Roop was in op- 
eration, and an Allied Supply Council had 
been set up. A survey of local resources in- 
dicated that most of the subsistence for 
American troops could be procured in 
Australia, as could a considerable quan- 
tity of clothing, construction materials, 
and other supplies. Shipments of supplies 
from the United States were also now ar- 
riving in quantity, and the build-up of re- 
serve stocks was well under way. Brig. 
Gen. Stephen J. Chamberlin reported to 
General Somervell at the end of February 
that materials were coming so fast "we are 
having trouble taking care of them." 26 

The build-up in Australia represented 
in fact the major logistical effort of the 
U.S. Army during the first quarter of 
1942, absorbing approximately half of the 
troops and a third of the cargo shipped 
overseas by the Army during that period. 
After March 1942 the proportion fell rap- 

- 4 (1) Delaying and Containing Action, pp. 32-34, 
cited n. 13(4). (2) Ltr, CINCSWPA to TAG, 26 May 
42, sub: Sup Orgn and Proced, SWPA Sup folder. 
Ping Div ASF, Job A44-140. (3) Msg, USAFFE to 
AGWAR, 20 Apr 42, ABC 323.3 1 POA (1-29-42), 2. 

' ' Milner, Victory in Papua, Ch. II. 

26 (1) Ltr cited n. 6(1). (2) Barnes rpt, Pt. I, pp. 38- 
44. and Pt. VI, cited n. 3(3). (3) Matloff and Snell, 
Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. VII. (4) Contl Div, 
ASF, Statistical Review, World War II. (5) Msg 758, 
Brett to TAG. 19 Mar 42. (6) Memo, Gen Wilson for 
CG USAFIA, 12 Jun 42, sub: Suggested Rpt to WD. 
Last two in SWPA Sup folder, Ping Div ASF, Job 
A44-140. (7) For lend-lease and reciprocal aid ar- 
rangements, see below, Ch. XVIII. 



idly, as the United States and Britain held 
to their initial decision to concentrate first 
on the war against Germany. Within the 
Pacific itself, much of the emphasis shifted 
to the island chain and once again to Ha- 
waii. MacArthur had to accept a lower 
priority in troops, materials, and shipping. 
Troop shipments to Australia dropped 
abruptly in May, cargo shipments in 
June.- 7 The early build-up made possible 
the development of a base in Australia 
adequate for the defense of the continent, 
but hardly equal to the demands even the 
most limited Allied counteroffensive would 
impose. The fundamental logistical prob- 
lems of vast distances, scanty transporta- 
tion and communication facilities, and 
scarce and inefficient labor remained. 
There was no real solution to these prob- 
lems in sight as long as the strategic em- 
phasis on other areas precluded further 
heavy concentration of American military 
resources in Australia. 

Manning the Island Line 

Like the base in Australia, the American 
defense and communications line along 
the Pacific islands west of Hawaii was an 
outgrowth of circumstances rather than of 
plan. In the command structure set up in 
March 1942, the entire Pacific Ocean 
Area was made a naval responsibility, but 
the Army had to garrison most of the island 
bases and provide the long-range bomber 
support that the Navy considered essential 
to fleet operations. Interservice co-opera- 
tion in logistics was therefore a central 
problem from the start. 

The first phase of deployment to the 
island chain got under way in January 
with the movement of Poppy Force to New 
Caledonia, the establishment of the refuel- 
ing station at Bora Bora, and the rein- 

forcement of existing naval and air-ferry- 
route bases. 28 In February the Navy 
launched a second phase with the recom- 
mendation that joint task forces should be 
sent to occupy two new bases, Tongatabu, 
one of the Tonga (Friendly) Islands, and 
Efate in the New Hebrides archipelago. 
The two islands sat astride the undefended 
approaches to Samoa, Fiji, and New Cale- 
donia. In conjunction with its current,plans 
to dispatch a Marine force to establish 
supplementary air bases in the Samoan 
Islands, the Navy conceived of this as a 
three-way move to strengthen the south- 
western portion of the route where a 
strong Japanese attack was considered 
most likely. The Army staff viewed the 
plan with some misgivings as it was con- 
cerned over growing evidence that the 
Navy wished to establish bases on many 
small islands, a program they thought 
would be entirely too costly in manpower, 
shipping, and above all in long-range 
bombers. Nevertheless, General Marshall 
finally agreed on 2 March to send Army 
garrisons to Tongatabu and Efate, and the 
movements were set up later in the month. 
Efate was occupied during March by a 
holding force of Marine and Army troops 
drawn, respectively, from Hawaii and 
Maj. Gen. Alexander M. Patch's force on 
New Caledonia. The Tongatabu force, the 
main Efate force, and the Marine force for 
Samoa were sent during April from the 
States. About the same time, at Admiral 
Nimitz' request, the Hawaiian Depart- 
ment dispatched a small garrison to relieve 
New Zealand troops guarding the cable 
station on Fanning Island, an atoll be- 
tween Palmyra and Christinas. Further 
down the chain and later in the spring a 

- 7 (1) Contl Div, ASF, Statistical Review, World War 
II. (2) See below, App. E. 
28 See above, Ch. VI. 



small force, detached from the New Cale- 
donia garrison, occupied Espiritu Santo 
on the recommendation of the command- 
ing general on Efate who felt that the 
northern flank of his base was dangerously 
exposed. 29 

The third and final stage of the initial 
effort to secure the island chain was car- 
ried out in May 1942 when the 37th Divi- 
sion was sent to the Fijis, where weakness 
in ground troops had left a vulnerable link 
in the line of communications. This, along 
with the move of the 32d Division to 
Australia, was part of the effort to enable 
the British to retain dominion troops in 
the Middle East. The Navy undertook to 
establish important naval facilities on Viti 
Levu, the principal island of the Fiji 
group, and about the same time began to 
develop a major supply and fleet base at 
Auckland, New Zealand. 30 

Deployment of the Army contingents to 
the island bases followed two main pat- 
terns — movements the War Department 
and its field agencies handled alone, and 
those they shared with the Navy. Broadly 
speaking, the former applied to the rein- 
forcement of the original Army ferry bases: 
Christmas, Canton, Fiji, and New Cale- 
donia. Conversely, the Navy took full 
responsibility for reinforcing the "line" 
islands in which it had a prior interest: 
Samoa, Palmyra, and Johnston. In the 
category of joint deployment were the 
balanced task forces sent to occupy the 
flanking bases— Bora Bora, Tongatabu, 
and Efate. In the case of the joint task 
forces, the Army still furnished the bulk of 
the manpower, approximately 7,200 of 
the 8,200 men for Tongatabu and 4,900 of 
the 6,500 for Efate. On each of the three 
islands, the joint command of the garrison 
was entrusted to an Army officer. Unlike 
Poppy Force, where the troops sailed with 

only their personal equipment, the other 
expeditions were all combat-loaded task 
forces and provided the Army with its first 
experience in this type of movement. 

These movements to the South Pacific 
were characterized by an inordinate 
amount of confusion and waste motion 
arising out of the haste with which each 
was conceived and executed, the inexperi- 
ence of both Army and Navy supply per- 
sonnel, and the lack of established channels 
of co-ordination between the two services. 
There was haste and waste at both ends of 
each movement — in the process of mount- 
ing the expedition in the United States 
and in the debarkation and setting up at 
the destination. Had the Japanese been in 
a position to attack, they might well have 
disrupted any one of these task forces be- 
fore it was in a posture for defense. The 
assembling and loading of troops and sup- 
plies were badly managed; delays occurred 
in finding suitable vessels and outfitting 
them; scrambled loading of supplies pro- 
duced confusion and delay in unloading 
at the destination. In no case was it possi- 
ble to provide a genuinely balanced task 
force; each expedition was composed of 
miscellaneous combat units hastily assem- 
bled from different points and without 
much service support. On arrival the com- 
bat troops had to perform unfamiliar 
service functions for themselves, a burden 
especially onerous at Bora Bora, Tonga- 
tabu, and Efate, where neither port facili- 
ties nor civilian labor of any sort was 

'-''' (1) Matloffanrl Snell. S/i,iti^ic Planning: 1941- 
19-TJ, Ch. VII. (2) Ballantinc. X aval Logistics , pp. 71- 
72. (3) Building the Nai v's Bases, II. 193 94. (4) OPD 
Diary, 10 and 13 Apr 42 entries, OPD Hist Unit File. 
(5) Ltr, CG HD to CofS, 18 Apr 42. Pac folder, Logis 
File, OCMH. 

" ( 1 ) Delaying and Containing Action, pp. 46-47, 
cited n. 13(4). (2)Jt A&N Plan for Relief of New 
Zealand and the Fiji Islands, 13 May 42, OPD 381 
Fiji. See 1 . Case 3. 



available. There was scant knowledge of 
the geography, climate, terrain, or eco- 
nomic development of the islands to be 
occupied, with the result that many ob- 
stacles encountered in unloading and 
establishing base forces were not antici- 
pated in the planning. In truth, there was 
no real logistical plan for any of the moves; 
each was largely a process of trial and 
error. The Bora Bora expedition, a cap- 
sule containing most of the ingredients of 
this experience, may profitably be exam- 
ined in some detail. 

Bobcat: Case History in Joint Task Force 

The joint task force sent out to Bora 
Bora had the mission of establishing and 
defending a fueling station to serve ship- 
ping from the west coast and the Panama 
Canal to Australia. The expedition was 
given the code name Bobcat. Following 
the decision on 30 December 1941 to un- 
dertake the project, and after securing the 
President's approval, the Navy requested 
the Army to provide a garrison of some 
four thousand troops. After two days of 
deliberation the War Department agreed 
to "make available . . . whatever troops 
and material Admiral King decided wouid 
be necessary. " 31 Immediately, the Army 
and Navy war plans divisions began to 
work out the details. 

By 5 January General Gerow, acting 
head of WPD, was able to submit to Gen- 
eral Marshall a list of services and equip- 
ment the Navy was prepared to supply, 
together with his specific recommenda- 
tions for the composition of the Army 
garrison. Three days later a joint plan was 
completed. Under it the Army's contribu- 
tion was to be chiefly manpower and the 
Navy's base facilities. Specifically, the 

Army became responsible for supplying 
all subsistence ashore as well as for defense 
of the island, the Navy for moving the task 
force overseas and providing shore con- 
struction at its destination. The strength of 
the force was set at 4,400. Troops number- 
ing 3,900 made up the defense garrison, 
whose main components were an antiair- 
craft regiment, and a reinforced infantry 
regiment less two battalions; the remain- 
ing 500 were naval personnel, many of 
whom were to be withdrawn from the 
island when the base was completed. The 
plan assigned local unity of command to 
the Army commander, Col. Charles D. Y. 
Ostrom, under General Emmons, com- 
manding general of the Hawaiian Depart- 
ment. Charleston was assigned as the port 
of embarkation and the expedition was 
scheduled to leave in about two weeks' 
time. 32 

The core of the planned base was a tank 
farm for storage of fuel. In addition, there 
were to be a small seaplane base, harbor 
installations, unloading facilities, coastal 
defenses, a water distillation system, stor- 
age, refrigeration, and other accessory 
facilities. Most of the material for these 
installations was provided by the Navy, 
largely from reserve stocks at the Quonset 
naval depot in Rhode Island. 33 The Army, 
for its part, was concerned mainly with 
outfitting the defense garrison and assem- 
bling its maintenance supplies. Insofar as 
possible, shortages in organizational equip- 

' (1) Memo. SW for CofS, 1 Jan 42. (2) Memo, 
COMINCHforCNO, 1 Jan 42. Both in WPD 4571- 
21.(3) Memo for red, Col Lee S. Gerow, 3 Jan 42, 
WPD 4371-22. (4) Ballantine, Naval Logistics, p. 67. 

(1) Memo, WPD for CofS, 5 Jan 42, sub: Bora 
Bora Def Force. (2) Memo. WPD for TAG, 1 7 Jan 
4 2, sub: Ltr of Instn to Col Ostrom. Both in WPD 
4571-24. (3) Building the Navy's Bases, II, 191. 

" (1) Building the Navy's Bases, II, 191. (2) Ballan- 
tine, Naval Logistics, pp. 63-67. (3) Memo, cited n. 



ment were rilled locally by transferring 
needed items to troops earmarked for 
Bobcat from other units in the same corps 
areas; the supply arms and services were 
held responsible for making up the re- 
maining deficits and were charged also 
with moving maintenance supplies for the 
garrison into the port area. For the initial 
movement to Bora Bora, the War Depart- 
ment set two months (sixty days) as the 
general level of maintenance, doubling it, 
however, in the case of rations (Class I) 
and gasoline (Class III). Ammunition 
maintenance to accompany the force was 
determined in terms of units of fire, seven 
for antiaircraft weapons and five for all 
others. 34 

Army troops and cargo all were sched- 
uled to be loaded at Charleston. Naval 
personnel and equipment were to be 
picked up and redistributed in stages start- 
ing at Quonset, where specialists and most 
of the base materials were to be taken on. 
At Norfolk additional Navy cargo was to 
be loaded, a step that involved partial un- 
loading and reloading. Final redistribution 
and loading would take place at Charles- 
ton. 30 But the original plans were soon 
submerged in a series of complications. 

The first setback came when the Navy, 
charged with all transportation arrange- 
ments, ran into difficulties in obtaining 
adequate shipping for the force. Six vessels 
were required for the movement. The 
Navy could provide only three and on 
short notice had to turn to the Maritime 
Commission for the remaining ships. These 
had to be armed. It was discovered, be- 
sides, that one of the ships was damaged 
and could not make the journey. The 
Arthur Middleton was hastily substituted 
and promptly turned out to be a major 
problem in herself. Before she left New 
York her master reported to the Third Na- 

val District that she was unstable and 
required fifteen hundred tons of ballast to 
compensate for the weight of her newly 
installed armament. Navy- officials insisted 
that "the ship was all right," and the Mid- 
dleton set out for Charleston with a 12- 
degree list. 36 At Charleston the Navy yard 
already had its hands full with unantici- 
pated repairs on the President Tyler, one of 
the troopships assigned to the expedition. 
In the blunt words of the Bobcat naval 
commander, Comdr. Carl H. Sanders, 
"The Tyler was a mess and still is. I under- 
stand that she was condemned as a pas- 
senger vessel and for the past seven years 
has been used as a freighter. At the time 
the Navy took her over nothing had been 
done to outfit her properly and the Yard 
worked on her continuously up to the time 
of sailing to correct deficiencies." 

The scheduled departure date, at first 
set by the Navy for 15 January, was post- 
poned to the 25th (in the plan of 8 Janu- 
ary), although the Army logistical staff, 
until the middle of the month, was under 
the impression it would be the 27th. Then, 
on the 15th, Admiral King suggested that 
the Poppy and Bobcat movements be 
combined in order to economize on escort 
vessels. Poppy Force was due to leave New 

14 (1) Memo, G-4 for CSigO, CofEngrs. and SG, 8 
Jan 42, G-4/33793. (2) Control Division, ASF, Move- 
ment of U.S. Army Troops and Supplies to South 
Pacific Theater of Operations, MS, p. 64, OCMH. 
(3) Ltr, CofTrans Br G-4 to CG SFPOE, 7 Mar 42, 
CPOE folder, OCT HB. 

(1) Memo, G-4 for TAG, 10 Jan 42, Logis File, 
OCMH. (2) Memo to those concerned, lOJan 42, 
sub: Info for Those Concerned With Loading of Ves- 
sels for Bobcat, and atchd memo for red, VVPD 4571- 
24. (3) Building the Navy's Bases, II, 197. (4) Ltr, 
Comdr SE Pac Force to COMINCH, 2 1 Mar 42, sub: 
Advance Bases — Loading of Store Ships and Trans, 
for, Bora Bora folder, Logis File, OCMH. 

"' Ltr, Comdr Carl H. Sanders to Capt BertramJ. 
Rodgers, OCNO, 3 Feb 42, CPOE folder. OCT HB. 

17 (1) Ibid. (2) Ballantine, Naval Logistics, p. 68. (3) 
Building the Navy's Bases, II, 197. 



York for Australia on 20 January. General 
Marshall was willing to compromise. If 
the Navy would sail Bobcat two days 
ahead of schedule, on the 23rd, he would 
direct the Poppy convoy to meet Bobcat 
offthe South Carolina coast on that date. 
This arrangement; the Army calculated, 
would cost the Australian movement four 
days of delay — one lost in waiting off 
Charleston (the trip from New York re- 
quired two days) and the other three be- 
cause of reduction of speed to match that 
of the slower Bora Bora convoy. 38 

Admiral King accepted this proposal 
and the Poppy flotilla duly cleared New 
York Harbor late on the 22d. On the night 
of the 24th, just as Poppy Force was due 
off Charleston, the War Department re- 
ceived word from the port commander 
there, Lt. Col. James E. Slack, that the 
Navy could not make ready two of the 
Bobcat vessels, Middleton and Hamul, until 
afternoon of the following day. Charleston 
Navy yard was working around the clock 
to complete the two-day job of reballasting 
the Middleton, which should have been 
done at New York. Since an additional 
thirty-six hours had to be allowed for load- 
ing the two ships, there was no prospect of 
getting them out of Charleston until early 
morning of the 27th. 39 

This was news of the utmost gravity. 
Each day's delay in moving Poppy Force 
to the Far East added to the possibility of 
disaster. By acceding to the Navy's wish to 
combine Poppy with the slower Bobcat 
convoy, the War Department had accepted 
a loss of several days in sailing time. The 
whole movement now had to be postponed 
until the 27th. This development, General 
Somervell declared indignantly to Gen- 
eral Marshall, should be viewed " in the 
light of Admiral King's longhand memo- 
randum to you to the effect that there 

would be no further delays in this move- 
ment. All ships are being furnished by the 
Navy and all delays are attributable to the 
Navy." 40 

But the War Department could scarcely 
claim to be wholly blameless in the mud- 
dle at Charleston, where confusion pre- 
vailed at the Army port of embarkation no 
less than at the Navy base. Inefficient and 
inadequate dock labor at the Army base 
seriously hampered joint loading opera- 
tions. Commander Sanders found that the 
bosses of the Army's stevedoring crews 
were "the only ones who knew anything 
about loading" and that naval personnel 
who were finally pressed into helping with 
the loading "did it twice as fast as the 
stevedores." 41 At a critical moment, more- 
over, the antiaircraft regiment, fourteen 
hundred strong, arrived at the port with 
its equipment uncrated despite specific in- 
structions to the contrary. The I Corps 
headquarters, in sending the movement 
orders, had left out the clause pertaining 
to this aspect of the movement. The conse- 
quence was a scramble at the port to find 
labor and packing materials, and loading 
was held up for two days. There were 
other problems. Army and Navy ship- 
ments alike arrived so poorly marked as to 
defy identification. Loading plans turned 
out to be unsuited to the ships actually 
used. Small detachments of troops coming 
from distant posts required additional 

;n (1) Memo, Adm King for CofS, 15 Jan 42, sub: 
Convoys to Bobcat and Australia, with atchd notes, 
Col Gross for Gen Somervell and Gross for Col Ross, 
G-4/29717-115. (2) Memo, WPD for G-4, 13 Jan 42, 
no sub, CPOE folder, OCT HB. (3) Memo, G-4 for 
CSigO, CofEngrs, and SG, 14 Jan 42, G-4/33793. 

"' (1) Memo, G-4 for CofS, 24 Jan 42, G-4/29717- 
114. (2) Ltr cited n. 36. (3) Ballantine, Naval Logistics, 
pp. 68-69. (4) Memo, CofS for President, 23 Feb 42, 
Pac folder, OCT HB. 

"' (1) Memo cited n. 39(1). 

41 Ltr cited n. 36. 



clothing and individual equipment that 
port stocks were inadequate to supply. Ad- 
vance detachments sent to the port to assist 
the port quartermaster in handling the 
supplies for their units proved to be more 
of a hindrance than a help, being gener- 
ally ignorant of precise needs and of supply 
procedures. Conditions at Charleston 
seem, in general, to have been the product 
of many failures, large and small, on the 
part of both services. Each was handi- 
capped by haste, inexperience, and many 
shortages. At the port, the first point where 
their earlier separate arrangements were 
merged into a single effort, it became clear 
that because Bobcat was a joint opera- 
tion, neither service could escape the con- 
sequences of the other's failures. 42 

On the 25th the Hamul and the luckless 
Middleton tied up at the Army base for 
loading. The following day, on the eve of 
sailing, the crowning blow fell when, with- 
out warning, some eight hundred tons of 
Navy cargo, which Colonel Slack was to- 
tally unprepared to handle, began to 
arrive at the Army wharf for loading on 
the two vessels. The commandant of the 
Navy yard, for his part, had had no ad- 
vance notice of the total Navy cargo 
scheduled for Bora Bora, and when the 
unexpected shipment appeared, he could 
only send it on to Colonel Slack since by 
that time the other Bobcat vessels at the 
Navy yard had been fully loaded. To make 
matters worse, the eight hundred tons in- 
cluded pontoons, heavy tractors with bull- 
dozer attachments, vehicles, and other 
materiel — the very type that should have 
been distributed carefully among the ves- 
sels with a view to being immediately 
available when the convoy arrived at 
Bora Bora. Furthermore, the new ship- 
ment contained many heavy lifts, which 
added greatly to the difficulty of getting 

the cargo aboard in a hurry. Colonel 
Slack estimated that "three heavy tractors 
alone required eighteen gang-hours of 
loading time." ,3 The inevitable happened. 
Although the Hamul cleared the Army pier 
on schedule in the early morning of the 
27th, the Middleton was delayed nine hours 
past sailing time. All hands, Army and 
Navy, had worked without break to get 
her away on schedule but the deadline 
could not be met. Finally, in midafternoon 
of the 27th, the Bobcat vessels sailed. 44 

Commander Sanders foresaw that there 
would be a price to pay for haphazard 
loading when the convoy discharged at 
Bora Bora, and his apprehensions were 
more than justified. Trouble began the 
moment the convoy arrived at Bora Bora 
on 17 February. The first problem, accord- 
ing to Rear Adm. John F. Shafroth who 
escorted the convoy, arose from the fact 
that "the ships could not be unloaded 
without the floating equipment and the 
floating equipment could not be assem- 
bled without unloading." 

The pontoon barges which were the prin- 
cipal means by which the cargo could be 
moved from ship to shore were stored in vari- 
ous holds and often deep in these holds. . . . 
Not only were pontoons not stored near the 
top of the holds but in some cases were dis- 
covered in holds of ships on which pontoons 
were not known to be loaded. 45 

'- (1) Memo, TQMG for G-4. 26 Jan 4 2, CPOE 
folder, OCT HB. (2) Ballantine, Naval Logistics, p. 68. 
(3) Charleston had been a subport of New York until 
8 January when it became a port of embarkation. See 
CPOE folder, OCT HB. (4) Memo, Asst Exec Off 
G-4 for ACofS G-4, 29 Jan 42, sub: Tr Mvmt Or- 
dered to Overseas Garrisons, G-4/33098. 

1 Ltr, Col Slack to G-4, 28Jan 42, G-4/33793. 

' ' i 1 ) Loose paper headed "Diary," 28 Jan 42, in 
CPOE folder, OCT HB. By 24 January the number of 
vessels had been reduced from six to five — three 
freighters and two transports — the number that ac- 
tually sailed. (2) See also, memo cited n. 35(2). 

' ' Ltr cited n. 35(4). 



Four thirty-ton tank lighters stowed on 
deck saved the day. Within twenty-four 
hours of the arrival these were in the 
water and operating, most of them at re- 
duced speed because of engine trouble. In 
the next eight days the four fifty-ton barges 
gradually were put into service, but at the 
end of three weeks the two one-hundred- 
ton barges still had not been uncovered. 4 " 
This was merely the prelude. Tie rods 
and accessories for assembling the pontoon 
barges had been buried beneath other 
cargo in loading; the first few craft had 
to be assembled by welding. Weight- 
handling equipment (slings and cargo nets 
on the supply ships) had not been pro- 
vided. Three weeks went by before the 
first crane could be located and unloaded. 
Top-loaded materials that were not needed 
immediately had to be strung out for two 
miles along the beach. Poorly marked sup- 
plies proved even more of a problem at 
Bora Bora than at Charleston; identifica- 
tion was possible only by breaking into 
packing boxes and crates. Tractors and 
trucks needed for unloading the lighters 
and barges at the beach were fairly acces- 
sible, but this advantage was offset by the 
fact that neither of the two small coral 
landings was wide enough to admit more 
than one truck at a time or substantial 
enough to support a heavy load. Under 
these conditions the thirty-ton lighters 
proved doubly useful, for they could come 
close in on sloping sections of the beach. 
Even after both equipment for lightering 
cargo ashore and vehicles for moving it in- 
land became available, the work still 
dragged because the small boats and 
lighters were too few to maintain a steady 
flow of material from ship to shore. 
Admiral Shafroth pointed out: 

In unloading a number of ships, four 50- 
ton lighters are far more valuable than two 

100-ton lighters . . . at Bobcat it was often 
necessary to stop work on board ship due to 
the necessity of waiting for a lighter to be un- 
loaded at the beach and similarly to stop 
work at beach heads to await the loading of 
a lighter at some cargo ship. 47 

All told, fifty-two days were required to 
discharge the convoy and an additional 
supply ship. Hasty loading, together with 
inadequate attention to landing facilities 
in the plans for the expedition, had made 
the Bobcat Force a sitting duck for any 
Japanese attack during the critical first 
seven weeks of the occupation. Fortu- 
nately, none came. 

To the military planners, Bora Bora was 
an unknown speck of land — one of many, 
in fact, for which the Army and Navy in 
early 1942 had suddenly to prepare de- 
tailed operational plans. The Occidental 
world in general had little exact knowl- 
edge of most of the Pacific areas beyond 
Hawaii; more than one of the operational 
plans rested upon data gathered in the 
eighteenth or nineteenth century and 
never since revised, nor was there time to 
explore thoroughly the knowledge that 
did exist. The Bora Bora expedition had 
been preceded by a naval survey ship, 
which provided the force with some hy- 
drographic data. But the plans for the 
land installations were based on a map 
drawn up by French navigators a hun- 
dred years earlier. The only topographical 
information available to the Washington 
planning staffs came from a naval air pilot 
who had been on the island in 1936. After 
the convoy had sailed the Army staff, 
searching for an interpreter, more or less 

4,i ( 1 ) Ltr, Comdr SE Pac Force to SN, 18 Feb 42, 
OPD 045.44 (3-5-42). (2) Ltr cited n. 35(4). 

47 (1) Ltr cited n. 35(4). (2) Ltr, Brig Gen Charles 
D. Y. Ostrom to CofS, 26 Apr 42, OPD 381 Bora 
Bora, Case 1. (3) Building the Navy's Bases, II, 199. (4) 
Ballantine, Naval Logistics, pp. 68-69. 



accidentally ran across a young Army Re- 
serve officer who as a graduate student 
had been in the Orient and on Bora Bora 
during the preceding summer engaged in 
research for a thesis on Japanese coloniza- 
tion. 2d Lt. Walter H. Pleiss was imme- 
diately flown to Balboa where he joined 
the task force as it passed through the 
Canal. Even he, however, was scarcely 
qualified to warn Colonel Ostrom in de- 
tail of the technical difficulties that lay 
ahead. 48 

Once ashore, the expedition encoun- 
tered conditions for which it was quite un- 
prepared. The planners had assumed the 
existence of a water supply; there was 
none. Since the dry season was close at 
hand, Brig. Gen. Charles D. Y. Ostrom 
had to assign part of his force for six weeks 
to building dams and laying thirteen miles 
of pipeline. To avoid a repetition of the 
earlier chaos in unloading, landing facili- 
ties had to be developed to handle future 
shipments from the mainland. Bora Bora's 
one road, encircling the island along the 
coast, was vital to defense; immense labor 
was required to put it into shape to support 
military traffic, for it was a single-lane 
road built of coral and sand on a spongy 
base. For this task there were no graders 
and only one rock crusher. The seven-ton 
prime movers, provided to tow assembled 
heavy radar equipment, were too heavy 
for the flimsy road; bridges and culverts 
were broken down and the bed damaged, 
and the heavy trucks finally had to be 
barred from use in order to keep lighter 
traffic moving. Meanwhile, the few troops 
that could be spared had begun to con- 
struct defense installations. Heavy guns 
for the seacoast batteries had to be hauled 
one to two thousand feet up 45-degree 
slopes to get them into position. Many 
items of needed construction equipment 

had either been omitted from the allow- 
ance tables prepared for the force, or sim- 
ply left on the Charleston docks. Before 
it could be moved inland, much of the 
construction material had to be sorted out 
from disordered heaps along two miles of 
beach. It was early April before work 
could be started on the tank farm. The 
planners had assumed that tanks for the 
naval fuel depot would be installed on "a 
coastal flat" bordering the harbor. At no 
point, it developed, did the flats extend 
more than 50 to 150 yards in from the 
coast before rising abruptly toward lofty 
peaks in the center of the island. Level 
stretches inland were rare. To install the 
tanks so that fuel lines would reach harbor 
moorings, the naval construction detach- 
ment was forced to blast shelves from solid 
rock on the steep hillsides. Even with 
seven hundred Army troops helping the 
Seabees to build tanks for the farm, it was 
early June before the first eight tanks were 
complete. 49 

The time and labor poured into the 
various unanticipated preliminary tasks, 
and into overcoming other obstacles to 
planned construction, seriously delayed 
putting the base into operation and con- 

J * (1) Morison, Rising Sun, pp. 262, 266. (2) Ballan- 
tine, Naval Logistics, p. 69. (3) Building the Navy's Bases, 
II, 192. (4) Nelson L. Drummond, History of the U.S. 
Army Forces in the South Pacific Area During World 
War II from 30 March 1942 to 1 August 1944, MS, 
Pt. IV, p. 757, unnumbered note, OCMH. (5) WDGS 
Info Memo 2, 8 Jan 42, in G-4 Rpts, Bora Bora, 
SOPA folder, Ping Div ASF. (6) Memo, Capt Rod- 
gers for Adm Turner, 30Jan 42. (7) Memo, WPD for 
Turner, 2 Feb 42. Last two in WPD 457 1 -34. (8) For 
an account of the Pleiss episode, see Cline, Washington 
Command Post, pp. 81-82. 

4! ' (1) Ballantine, Naval Logistics, pp. 69-70. (2) 
Building the Navy's Bases, II, 192, 199-201. (3) Ltr 
cited n. 47(2). (4) Ltr, Comdr SE Pac Force to 
COMINCH, 21 Mar 42, sub: Advance Bases— Mo- 
torized Equip for, Bora Bora folder, Logis File, 
OCMH. (5) Memo, Adm Turner for Gen Gerow, 4 
Jan 42, G-4/33943. 



structing its defense installations. These 
delays were heaped upon those already 
incurred at the outset in unloading. 
Equally serious, from the point of view of 
the force's commander, was the necessity 
for diverting combat troops from their 
normal functions to labor alongside the 
service personnel on virtually every proj- 
ect. The characteristic dilemma of force 
commanders in overseas operations, espe- 
cially those in the Pacific, had made its 
appearance: commanders understand- 
ably desired maximum fighting power, 
but the shipping shortage limited the nu- 
merical strength of the expeditions and 
therefore a large number of the troops, 
whether combat or service, had to be used 
for construction and administration in 
primitive regions. As a result, it was a 
common phenomenon in 1942 that com- 
manders, who in setting up their task 
forces had insisted upon a high proportion 
of combat to service troops, clamored for 
more service troops as soon as they en- 
countered the practical problems of get- 
ting a base into operation. 

No single remedy was available to pre- 
vent recurrences of Bobcat's logistical 
ailments. The expedition was the first 
venture in small-scale task force logistics 
under wartime pressures — as General 
Ostrom said, "a step into the unknown." 50 
The slow accumulation of experience in 
time would help to smooth the process of 
mounting and loading these small task 
forces, but the difficulties presented by 
each were in large measure unique. After 
Bobcat the Chief of Transportation did, 
however, direct his Washington organiza- 
tion to see to it that vessels sailing on such 
expeditions were of suitable type and 
possessed adequate cargo-handling gear, 
together with winchmen and other per- 

sonnel; that each force was provided with 
sufficient small boats and lighters for the 
unloading operation; that a competent of- 
ficer was on hand to assist task force com- 
manders in assembling material and ar- 
ranging loading priorities. But the remedy 
for hasty planning, the basic source of the 
difficulties, lay in early basic decisions, 
and this was beyond the jurisdiction of 
the logistical agencies. Army port com- 
manders were told that the Office of the 
Chief of Transportation would "make 
every effort to insure that sufficient time 
elapses between issuing orders and sailing 
dates to permit assembly of cargo and 
troops in an orderly manner." r>1 The effort 
was to be made, but in 1942 usually in 

Many of the mistakes of the Bora Bora 
task force were repeated in the occupation 
of Efate and Tongatabu. The forces sent 
to the Fijis and Australia about the same 
time did not encounter the same kind of 
difficulties as those going to the less devel- 
oped islands, but even in Australia port 
facilities and labor were far from ample, 
and the handling of troop and supply 
movements to that area was often attend- 
ed by waste and confusion. Logistical 
methods in general were in a state of up- 
heaval, and as long as the military situa- 
tion precluded an orderly sequence of 
planning and action, overseas deployment 
inevitably moved by jerks and jolts. The 
experience of Bobcat and the other small 
task forces sent to the South Pacific in the 
early part of 1942 was to be repeated later 
in the year on a larger scale in the descent 
on North Africa. 

50 Ltr cited n. 47(2). 

'' Memo, Col Frank S. Ross for CG's POE's and 
CofWater Br OCT, 12 Apr 42, sub: Orgn and Trans 
of Task Forces, Bora Bora folder, Logis File, OCMH. 



The Army's Administrative Problem 
in the Pacific Islands 

The piecemeal progress of occupation 
and the division of responsibilities between 
the Army and Navy for the Pacific islands 
from Hawaii to New Zealand did not 
favor the rapid establishment of a satisfac- 
tory system of command, administration, 
and flow of supplies. The islands were in 
the Central and South Pacific subareas of 
the Pacific Ocean Area, which was under 
naval command, but it was some time be- 
fore the subarea commands began to 
function. In any case, the Navy exercised 
only operational control; administration 
and supply remained divided between the 
two services. At the bases garrisoned by 
the Marine Corps — Samoa, Palmyra and 
Johnston — the Navy controlled all activ- 
ities, but at the others — Christmas, Can- 
ton, Bora Bora, New Caledonia, the Fijis, 
Tongatabu, Efate, Espiritu Santo, and 
Fanning — Army forces were predominant 
and the Army therefore had the greater 
administrative burden. 

Theoretically at least, command and 
logistical arrangements for the islands 
under Navy control were centralized 
under Admiral Nimitz' headquarters at 
Pearl Harbor. Administration of the Army 
bases was shared by the War Department, 
the San Francisco port, the Hawaiian 
Department, and, to a limited extent, 
USAFIA. Since General Emmons' Ha- 
waiian command was the only mature 
Army establishment in the entire Pacific, 
the War Department originally assigned 
to him a large part of the responsibility for 
the island bases. But Emmons' responsi- 
bilities for the bases were assigned piece- 
meal and as the specific need arose, and 
they varied both in nature and extent. 
New Caledonia, where the largest garri- 

son was stationed, was beyond effective 
administrative range of the Hawaiian De- 
partment. The War Department retained 
direct control of Poppy Force, dividing 
supply responsibility between USAFIA 
and the San Francisco port. It was typical 
of the general muddle that Emmons re- 
tained responsibility for construction of 
airfields at Plaines des Gaiacs outside 
Noumea in New Caledonia. By the terms 
of the War Department's overseas supply 
directive of 22 January 1942, Christmas, 
Canton, Bora Bora, and Fiji were assigned 
to the Hawaiian Department for supply, 
though Emmons was empowered to au- 
thorize base commanders to requisition 
directly on the San Francisco port. The 
commanders of the joint task forces sent to 
Tongatabu and Efate were ordered to re- 
port directly to the War Department, and 
the San Francisco port was made respon- 
sible for supply of the Army forces in- 
volved. '-' 

There was logic in the assignment to 
Emmons of supply responsibility for 
Christmas and Canton, for these two is- 
lands lay on the shipping routes from 
Hawaii. But Bora Bora and the Fijis, as 
Emmons soon recognized, could be sup- 
plied far more easily by direct shipments 
from San Francisco. After the activation 
of the Pacific Ocean Area and its subareas. 
moreover, Emmons' responsibilities in the 
South Pacific became anomalous, since 
his relation to Nimitz in that area re- 
mained undefined. In April the Navy 
announced the formation of the South 

VJ ( 1) TAG ltr to Gen Patch, no dale sub: Defof 
New Caledonia, G-4 33888. (2) TAG ltr. 22 Jan 42. 
sub: Sup of Overseas Depts. Theaters, and Separate 
liases. AG 400 (1-17-42). (3) See below. Gh. XIII. (4) 
Jt Bsc Pian for the Occupation and Del' of Tongatabu, 
12 Mar 42. OPD 381 Tongatabu, Case 1. (5) Jt Bsc 
Plan for the Occupation and Defof Kl'aie. New Heb- 
rides. 20 Mar 42. OPD 381 Efate, Case 8. 



Pacific Area Command under Vice Adm. 
Robert L. Ghormley. It was clearly time 
for the Army to take some similar step to 
provide an administrative structure for its 
own scattered bases lying within Ghorm- 
ley's jurisdiction. 

Emmons became increasingly disturbed 
and late in May recommended that an 
Army command be set up for the South 
Pacific island bases "to coordinate their 
operations, supply and maintenance." 53 
Emmons thought this command should 
bear the same relationship to his Hawai- 
ian Department that Ghormley's com- 
mand bore to that of Admiral Nimitz. but 
the War Department waited until after 
Admiral Ghormley had formally assumed 
command of the South Pacific Area on 19 
June before moving to clarify Army com- 
mand and supply responsibilities in the 
area — and then it only partially followed 
Emmons' suggestions. The first step was a 
new supply plan for the South Pacific on 
25 June, freeing Emmons of most of his lo- 
gistical responsibilities there. Only Christ- 
mas, Canton, and Fanning remained 
wholly dependent upon Hawaii for supply 
(Canton alone was in the South Pacific 
Area); Hawaii was also made responsible 
for certain administrative services at Bora 
Bora and Fiji, and for airfield construc- 
tion along the alternate ferry route. For 
the rest, all Army forces in the South Pa- 
cific were placed directly under the War 
Department for administration, and were 
to be supplied either by local procurement 
in New Zealand and Australia or by San 
Francisco. 54 

This measure was followed on 7 July by 
the establishment of a separate Army 
command, the U.S. Armv Forces in the 
South Pacific Area (USAFISPA). Maj. 
Gen. Millard F. Harmon, Chief of the Air 
Staff, was appointed commanding general 

under a directive that made him directly 
responsible to the War Department for 
administration, supply, and training of all 
Army forces in that area. Harmon was to 
serve under Ghormley and exercise no op- 
erational control over Army troops in the 
theater, but he was to assist the naval 
commander in planning and executing 
such operations as involved Army forces. 
With Harmon's appointment, the separa- 
tion of the Army commands in the South 
Pacific from those in the Central Pacific 
and Australia was complete. 55 

Joint Versus Parallel Supply 

The clarification of supply and admin- 
istrative responsibilities within the Army's 
own organization was but one facet of the 
problem of logistical organization in the 
Pacific. In this area of joint operations, 
supply of Army forces was intertwined 
with the supply of Navy forces. Both serv- 
ices had to recognize the necessity for 
some measure of logistical co-ordination. 
The first rudimentary steps toward such 
co-ordination were taken in the separate 
agreements incorporated in the basic 
plans for establishment of forces at Bora 
Bora, Tangatabu, Efate, Fiji, and Samoa. 
Generally speaking, these agreements 
made the Navy responsible at each base 
for providing fuel, and the Army for ra- 
tions (except in the Samoan group where 

■ ; Lrr. CG HD to CofS. 20 Mav 4 2. sub: Armv 
Comd in S Pac Area, OPD 334 PTO, Sec 1, Case 18. 
54 (1) TAG ltr to CG's U.S. Army Forces in Efate, 
Fiji, New Caledonia. Tongatabu. and Espiritu Santo, 
25Jun 42. sub: Sup of USAFISPA, AG 400 (6-22-42). 
2 i Msg, Marshall to Emmons. 4 Jul 42, CM-OUT 
1 179. (CM-IN and CM-OUT numbers used in the 
footnotes of this volume refer to numbers appearing 
on copies of those messages in General Marshall's In 
and Out Logs, filed in the Staff Communications Of- 
fice. Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army.) 

' ' Ltr, CofS to Gen Harmon. 7 Jul 42. sub: Ltr of 
Instn to CG USAFISPA. OPD 384 PTO. Case 18. 



the Navy had sole responsibility); each 
service supplied its own distinctive individ- 
ual and organization equipment. These 
agreements were tentative and loose, how- 
ever, and there were no basic plans at all 
for New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo. 56 

Progress toward a more integrated sys- 
tem of joint logistics was slow, halting, and 
the subject of acrimonious dispute be- 
tween the two services. At the meeting of 
the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 6 April 1942, 
Admiral King and Admiral Turner, Chief 
of the Navy War Plans Division, opened 
the question by pointing out that supply 
to New Zealand, where the Navy was 
planning to establish its major base in the 
South Pacific, was linked with that of 
American troops in Australia. They sug- 
gested somewhat vaguely a South Pacific 
service force for sending supplies to both 
areas. Nevertheless, the Joint Chiefs, in di- 
recting the Joint Staff Planners ( JPS) to 
study the matter, excluded SWPA from 
their purview as far as joint supply from 
the mainland was concerned. The plan- 
ners were instructed merely to investigate 
and make recommendations on the com- 
position of a joint Army and Navy service 
force for the South Pacific Area and the 
possibilities of local procurement in both 
Australia and New Zealand as a means of 
reducing shipping requirements from the 
United States, and to recommend whether 
General MacArthur should be responsible 
for supplying any troops outside his area. 57 

The Joint Planners appointed a sub- 
committee composed of Brig. Gen. LeRoy 
Lutes, Director of Operations in the new 
Services of Supply, with three other SOS 
staff officers and three Navy supply ex- 
perts, to study the problem. Specifically, 
it seemed necessary to ( 1 ) organize local 
procurement in New Zealand with ma- 
chinery for co-ordination with SWPA, (2) 

make shipping available in Australia, 
Hawaii, and on the west coast for distrib- 
uting supplies to the island bases, and (3) 
determine whether a joint supply system 
was desirable (outside the area of local 
procurement), and, if so, how it was to be 
set up. 58 

On the first point, it was readily agreed 
that a joint purchasing board should be 
established in New Zealand, that compe- 
tition between it and the similar agency 
(General Purchasing Board) in Australia 
must be prevented, and that to extract the 
most benefit from local resources, the two 
purchasing boards should co-operate in 
obtaining supplies from Australia for U.S. 
forces stationed in New Zealand and the 
island bases. The question of shipping, it 
was agreed, turned upon information that 
would have to be obtained from theater 
commanders. The committee decided to 
ask General MacArthur for an estimate 
of the shipping available to him that could 
be used for servicing Army and Navy gar- 
risons in the South Pacific, and to ques- 
tion both Emmons and Nimitz as to pro- 
curement of subsistence stores in Australia 
and New Zealand for the South Pacific 
Area, availability of spare ship tonnage in 
Hawaii and San Francisco, and the pos- 
sible advantage of "joint Army-Navy use 
of shipping from Hawaii to the island 
bases." 59 

06 (1) Jt A&N Plan cited n. 30(2). (2) Jt Bsc Plan 
cited n. 52(4). (3) Jt Bsc Plan cited n. 52(5). 

57 (1) Min, 9th mtgJCS, 6 Apr 42. (2) JPS 21/4/D, 
7 Apr 42, title: JPS Dir, Jt A&N Sv Force for the S 
Pac Area. 

58 (1) Memo, Secy JPS for Lutes et at., 10 Apr 42, 
sub: Subcom, Appointment of, with incl, Unified Sup: 
Army-Navy 1942-43 folder, Lutes File. (2) Min, 1 1th 
mtgjPS, 8 Apr 42. (3) JPS 21/9, 25 Apr 42, title: JPS 
Subcom Rpt, Jt A&N Sv Force for Pac Theater. (4) 
Min, 2d and 3d mtgsJPS Subcom on Sup Sv for Pac 
Theater, 15 and 20 Apr 42. 

'" (1) Min, 2d mtg, cited n. 58(4). (2) Memo, Lutes 
for Somervell, 15 Apr 42, Lutes File. 



Nimitz' reply to these queries brought 
the question of a joint supply system to a 
head. He suggested that supply of the 
South Pacific should be handled entirely 
as a joint enterprise. He proposed the 
establishment of a "joint supply service at 
Auckland staffed with Navy, Marine and 
Army personnel," 60 to be under the naval 
commander of that area, and to form part 
of the Service Squadron, South Pacific, 
the Navy's supply agency in the new thea- 
ter. The proposed joint staff would have 
responsibility for supplying to outlying 
islands such stores as could be obtained 
locally. Shipping and storage facilities 
would be used jointly and purchases made 
under joint arrangements. Interservice 
co-ordination was also necessary, Nimitz 
thought, in supply from the mainland. He 
recommended the establishment of a "like 
office with joint personnel in the Service 
Force Subordinate Command at San 
Francisco . . . but with existing storage 
and procurement agencies to be used.'"' 1 
All shipping and supply arrangements for 
the South Pacific would be handled by 
this office on a joint basis. 62 

General Emmons, writing independ- 
ently from Hawaii on 19 April, expressed 
generally similar views. He felt that trans- 
portation in the Pacific Ocean Area 
should be pooled, with priorities on ship- 
ments determined by Admiral Nimitz as 
senior tactical commander. "In my judg- 
ment," he wrote, "it is just as necessary 
to have logistical unity of command as 
tactical unity of command." 63 Emmons 
wanted to know the War Department's 
attitude before making any recommenda- 
tions to Admiral Nimitz. In replying to 
Emmons, General Somervell adroitly used 
certain of Emmons' earlier references to 
an improved supply situation in Hawaii 
as arguments against joint supply: 

You will admit, I am sure, that you owe 
that [the improved supply situation] to the 
direct logistical support of the Army and that 
we were better able to serve you because we 
controlled both the supply facilities and the 
transportation necessary. . . . when you 
consider our greater strength in the Pacific, 
in Hawaii, in Australia, in Alaska, in many 
of the smaller islands, and our incomparably 
larger supply set-up, it is inevitable that the 
operations so undertaken would necessarily 
become joint in character with all the fric- 
tions, inefficiencies and divided responsibil- 
ites that flow therefrom. We have so domi- 
nant an interest; we have so clear a respon- 
sibility in the supply of our large forces; we 
must definitely control the means. 64 

From this position, the Army members 
of the subcommittee refused to budge, 
and in the end they carried their point. 
The first report of the subcommittee on 25 
April recommended that "shipping out 
of West Coast ports continue to be co- 
ordinated under the principle of mutual 
cooperation as at present." 65 The Joint 
Planners returned the report for restudy, 
but the impasse could not be broken. The 
champions of joint supply had to be con- 
tent with an agreement to set up joint ma- 
chinery for local procurement in the South 
Pacific. The Joint Chiefs agreed on 11 
May that the Navy's announcement that 
a joint purchasing staff would be formed 
in New Zealand satisfied their original di- 

60 See below, n. 61. 

61 Msg 3528, CG HD to CG SOS, 21 Apr 42, ABC 
400 POA (4-4-42). This is Emmons' paraphrase of 
Nimitz' message. No copy of Nimitz' original message 
could be found in War Department files. 

62 (1) Ibid. (2) Min, 3d mtg, cited n. 58(4). (3) Bal- 
lantine, Naval Logistics, pp. 96-98. 

t;i Min, 3d mtg, cited n. 58(4). 

64 Ltr, Somervell to Emmons, 28 Apr 42, Gross Day 
File, Apr-Jun 42, Case 39, OCT HB. The letter was 
drafted by Brig. Gen. Charles P. Gross, Chief of 

6S JPS 21/9 cited n. 58(3). 



rective to the Joint Planners. Hr> 

Later in the year Somervell and Lutes 
were to give vigorous support to an even 
more comprehensive scheme of joint lo- 
gistics than that under consideration in 
April 1942. The reasons for their earlier 
stand are not difficult to discern. In Nim- 
itz' April plan the Navy would hold the 
reins of control. Somervell and his ad- 
visers were dubious of the ability of 
the Navy's logistical organization, which 
seemed to them laggard in adjusting itself 
to wartime tasks, to cope with operations 
on the scale demanded in the Pacific, and 
they feared Army interests would suffer. 
The SOS, moreover, especially its Trans- 
portation Service (not yet risen to the 
eminence of a corps), was itself troubled 
by growing pains and feeling its way to- 
ward an orderly system of overseas sup- 
ply; participation at this time in a new in- 
terservice mechanism would raise new 
and unwelcome problems. ,iT 

The subcommittee made several more 
positive suggestions for economies in ship- 
ping, emphasizing cross-procurement and 
co-ordinated exploitation of local re- 
sources between the Southwest and South 
Pacific Areas. The committee was con- 
vinced that these methods would produce 
savings of at least 10 to 15 percent in 
mainland supply to the South Pacific. 
Since most of the logistical support must 
still come from the United States, the 
committee also turned its attention to 
economies in utilization of ships. It urged 
that all vessels assigned to the long Pacific 
run should carry full cargoes for the great- 
est possible proportion of the round trip, 
and that large vessels should be released, 
as far as possible, from time-consuming 
"milk-runs" involved in distribution to 
line bases. Full shiploads should be de- 
livered directly to the bases from the west 

coast and Australia whenever possible. 
Admiral Ghormley was to report on the 
possibility of shipment to centrally located 
distribution points from which further 
distribution could be carried out in small 
vessels. To expedite supply to the island 
chain, the South Pacific Area and SWPA 
commanders were to make full use of 
space in ships returning to the United 
States. 08 

With the delineation of both the Army 
and Navy command and administrative 
systems in the South Pacific, steps were 
taken to put the recommendations into 
effect. On the day he formally assumed 
command, 19 June 1942, Admiral Ghorm- 
ley activated the Joint Purchasing Board 
for the South Pacific, composed of three 
officers representing the Army, Navy, 
and Marine Corps, respectively, with the 
Army member, Col. Lawrence Westbrook, 
serving as president. The board soon as- 
sumed control of all procurement from 
sources other than the United States. In 
the Army's supply plan for the South Pa- 
cific of 25 June, Army commanders at 
Pacific bases were instructed to inform the 
board of any supplies available on their 
islands and in turn to requisition on the 
board for whatever supplies it could fur- 
nish. The board in turn would inform the 
San Francisco port of all supplies obtain- 
able through local procurement, and San 
Francisco would ship the balance of sup- 
plies to whatever port the South Pacific 

sr > (1) Min. 15th mtgJPS. 29 Apr 42. Item 4. (2) 
JCS 50, 6 May 42, title: Jt A&N Sv Force for theS 
Pac Area. (3) OPD notes on 14th mtgJCS, 1 1 Mav 
42, ABC 400 (4-4-42). (4) Memo. Secy JCS for Gen 
Lutes el al., 13 May 42, Unified Sup: Army-Navy 
1942-43 folder, Case 14a. Lutes File. 

1,7 (1) For the decentralized system of logistical or- 
ganization in the Navy at this time, see Ballantine. 
Naval Logistics, pp. 38-93. (2) See also below, Chs. 

"-JPS 21/9 cited n. 58(3). 



Area commander designated. Ghormleys 
headquarters was to be responsible for 
all transshipment and for distribution of 
locally procured supplies. ,i;i 

As a final step the Army and Navy in 
July, spurred by the imminent prospects 
of a campaign in the South Pacific, turned 
to codify in a single plan the various 
arrangements that had been generally 
agreed upon for logistical support of the 
South Pacific. On 15 July an agreement 
was reached between General Somervell 
and Vice Adm. Frederick J. Home, Ad- 
miral King's deputy and senior naval 
supply officer, entitled "Joint Logistical 
Plan for the Support of United States 
Bases in the South Pacific Area." The ex- 
isting division of responsibility for items in 
common use was confirmed and extended 
to New Caledonia and Espiritu Santo. 
The Army was to assume responsibility 
for supplying to shore-based personnel in 
South Pacific bases (except the Samoan 
group) such rations as could not be 
procured through the Joint Purchasing 
Board. In turn, the Navy undertook to 
provide all gasoline and oil including that 
for aircraft, and to supply all items avail- 
able from local resources through the 
Joint Purchasing Board — clothing, equip- 
ment, and construction and miscellaneous 
materials as well as rations. Each service, 
after determining which items could be 
satisfied from local sources by the Joint 
Purchasing Board, was to process requisi- 
tions for the remainder of its needs directly 
to its own mainland sources — for the 
Army the San Francisco port, for the Navy 
the Commander, Service Force Subordi- 
nate Command, Pacific Fleet, and the 
Commandant, Twelfth Naval District. As 
far as practicable shipment of supplies 
from the United States was to be made in 
shipload lots by each service directly to 

the bases. Where redistribution was neces- 
sary, control was vested in Admiral 
Ghormley, who was to control all ships 
assigned to the theater, designate the port 
or ports to which supplies for redistribu- 
tion were to be delivered, and distribute 
within the theater supplies shipped for re- 
distribution and those procured locally. 70 
The plan thus left the logistical systems 
of the two services intact and separate in- 
sofar as supply from the United States was 
concerned. On the other hand, it clarified 
respective responsibilities and provided for 
a measure of joint action within the the- 
ater. The failure to achieve greater inte- 
gration reflected the lack of appreciation 
by either service of the impelling necessity 
for it. 

"Logistics is still, and for a long time 
will be, in a muddle," General Harmon 
wrote in August from the South Pacific. 71 
The same might have been said of the 
Southwest Pacific, though in less measure, 
for the logistical system there, owing to the 
early clarification of command responsi- 
bilities and stabilization of the military 
situation, had had longer to become set- 
tled. In the South Pacific the initial phase 
of manning the island chain was largely 
completed in May, but when the first of- 
fensive in the Pacific, the Guadalcanal 
Campaign, was launched the following 

"" ( 1 ) TAG ltr cited n. 54( 1 ). (2) Ltr, Comdr S Pac 
Area to atchd distrib list, 19 Jun 42, sub: Jt Purch Bd 
of the S Pac Area. (3) Ltr, President Jt Purch Bd to 
CG SOS. 19 Jul 42, sub: Rpt on Orgn and Opn ofjt 
Purch Bd, S Pac Area, with App. B. Last two in U.S. 
Jt Purch Bd, S Pac Area, Wellington, New Zealand: 
Rpt on Orgn and Opn of Jt Purch Bd, S Pac Area 
folder, Ping Div ASF, Job A44-140. 

""Jt Logis Plan for the Support of U.S. Bases in the 
S Pac Area, 15 Jul 42, 370.2 Jt A&N Opns and Rpt 
folder. Ping Div ASF, Job A44-140. 

r ' Ltr. Gen Harmon to Brig Gen St. Clair Streett, 
27 Aug 42, quoted in Drummond MS, Pt. I, Ch. 3, n. 
25, cited n. 48(4). 



August, the whole South Pacific Area ad- 
ministrative structure was still in the form- 
ative stage. Admiral Ghormley set up 
his command in June. General Harmon 
arrived in New Caledonia late in July to 
establish the Army headquarters, but it 
was not adequately staffed and scarcely 
functioned at all until September; no 
services of supply was created until late in 
October. July saw the emergence of the 
Army's supply plan and the Joint Logisti- 
cal Plan for the SouthPacific. Neither was 
definitive, and the scarcity of supply 
personnel, both Army and Navy, was a 
failing no paper arrangement could over- 
come. The Joint Logistical Plan, moreover, 

ratified the existing duality of separate 
Army and Navy supply systems, postpon- 
ing a settlement of this issue until later 
in the year when, as the Guadalcanal 
Campaign reached an acute stage, it 
could no longer be evaded. Nevertheless, 
the logistical arrangements of July created 
a framework within which an effective 
supply and administrative system could 
take shape, and the Joint Logistical Plan, 
as a naval historian has remarked, "pro- 
vided at least a cornerstone in the devel- 
opment of joint maintenance and supply 
procedure in the Pacific." 7 - 

-' Ballantine, Naval Logistics, p. 100. 




Strategy, Production Goals, 
and Shipping 

In the midst of a more or less contin- 
uous emergency in the Pacific and a 
mounting shipping crisis in the Atlantic 
and Caribbean, the military leaders and 
staffs had also to attempt to make plans 
for the more distant future — specifically to 
formulate a strategy for taking the offen- 
sive and defeating the enemy, and to de- 
velop programs for mobilizing the forces, 
munitions, and shipping needed to carry 
out that strategy. 

The Victory Program — Morning After 

Allied political and military leaders 
meeting in Washington soon after Pearl 
Harbor to formulate a coalition strategy 
took as their point of departure the prin- 
ciple already enunciated in ABC-1, that 
the defeat of Germany should be the first 
and major goal of Allied strategy, and 
that operations in other theaters must not 
be allowed to retard its attainment. Be- 
yond this, agreement was more difficult. 
The British brought to the conference the 
plan of action they had set forth the pre- 
ceding summer. This strategy looked to an 
eventual return to the European continent 
in force, possibly in the summer of 1943, 
with numerous landings around its perim- 
eter. Churchill envisaged the invading 
armies, strong in armor but relatively 

modest in numbers, serving as spearheads 
behind which the peoples of Europe would 
rise and smite their German conquerors. 
U.S. Army planners still took a dim view 
of this program, foreseeing that it would 
involve a long series of costly preliminary 
operations merely in order to gain positions 
for penetrating the Continent simultane- 
ously from several directions. The main 
effort, they felt, should be concentrated 
upon one point of the enemy's defenses, 
and delivered with maximum force in 
conjunction with a Soviet offensive from 
the East. 1 

The American planners as yet had no 
positive counterplan to offer, and the 
whole question of how to defeat Ger- 
many seemed to lie in the dim future. For 
months to come, the staff pointed out, 
Britain would be hard pressed merely to 
hold her own at home and in the Middle 
and Far East. The United States, a staff 
paper stated late in December, 

. . . can only inadequately defend its coasts 
against air raids, hold Hawaii, the Panama 

1 (1) Paper, Churchill for President, "Part III: The 
Campaign of 1943," 18 Dec 41, as quoted in Church- 
ill, The Grand Alliance, pp. 655-58. (2) Memo, Br 
CsofS, 22 Dec 41, sub: Br-American Strategy, ABC 
337 Arcadia (12-24-41), 2. (3) WPD paper, 21 Dec 
41, sub: Notes on Agenda Proposed by Gt Brit, 
Folder-Bk. 2, Exec 4. (4) Matloff and Snell, Strategic 
Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. V. (5) See above, Chs. II, V. 



Canal and other existing bases, gradually 
complete the relief of the British in Iceland, 
reinforce the Philippines or Dutch East In- 
dies, occupy Natal, and possibly occupy some 
other base not seriously defended by Axis 
forces or sympathisers (Cape Verdes or 
Azores). It will be practicable and may be 
necessary to send some armored or infantry 
divisions to the British Isles in the winter or 
spring. . . . The shortage of U.S. flag ship- 
ping . . . precludes the possibility of execut- 
ing more than one, or at most two, of these 
operations concurrently. 2 

In short, it looked to the planners as 
though Allied military action for some 
time to come would have to be shaped 
from day to day, more or less as the enemy 
called the tune. 

The "grand strategy" upon which the 
Allied leaders agreed, therefore, after 
about a week's discussion at the end of 
December, was not very explicit, and it re- 
flected British ideas more than American. 
Action in 1942, under the circumstances, 
could only be tentatively projected, and 
was mainly of a defensive character or 
preparatory to later offensives; the de- 
scent on North Africa, the major opera- 
tion in the Atlantic envisaged for 1942, 
was already fading from view as a prac- 
tical possibility. The year 1943, it was 
hoped, might see the way clear for "a re- 
turn to the Continent, across the Mediter- 
ranean, from Turkey into the Balkans, or 
by landings in Western Europe." Mean- 
while, it would be well to "be ready to 
take advantage of any opening ... to 
conduct limited land offensives" in 1942, 
or in other ways to further the aim of 
"closing and tightening the ring around 
Germany." 3 

To the mobilization of forces and muni- 
tions for ultimate victory, therefore, the 
strategic planners could offer little guid- 
ance. General Gerow, who had laid down 
the "strategy-forces-munitions" formula 

for the Victory Program in July 1941, ad- 
mitted late in December, "the forces that 
the Associated Powers now estimate as 
necessary to achieve victory and for which 
productive capacity must be provided, 
may not be adequate or appropriate. No 
one can predict the situation that will de- 
velop while the enemy retains the strate- 
gic initiative." 4 

Current notions of the size of forces that 
would be needed to win the war therefore 
tended to reflect little more specific than 
a sense of urgency. A new Victory Pro- 
gram Troop Basis, circulated late in De- 
cember, set new goals, for long-range sup- 
ply planning, of more than four million 
men by the end of 1942 and more than 
ten million by mid- 1944. These figures 
were higher than the objectives for actual 
expansion of the Army, which in late De- 
cember 1941 contemplated 3.6 million 
troops (ground and air) under arms by the 
end of 1942, with seventy-one divisions 
organized, though many of these would be 
understrength and in the early stages of 
training. Mobilization plans did not at 
this juncture look ahead to 1943, though 
it was widely assumed that the Army 
would then double its 1942 strength. 5 

Meanwhile, the civilian production ex- 
perts, who had been examining the feasi- 
bility of the original Victory Program ob- 
jectives, submitted their findings to the 

- WPD paper, sub: Immediate Mil Measures, part 
of WPD paper cited ji. 1 (3). 

1 (1) ABC-4/CS-1, memo, U.S. and Br CsofS, 31 
Dec 41, title: American-Br Grand Strategy. (2) For 
the decline of the Gymnast plan, see above, Ch. VI. 

4 Memo, Gerow for Marshall, no date, sub: Vic 
Prog, WPD 4494 Vic Prog, U.S. Data. 

s (1) Corresp in WPD 4494 series, especially WPD 
4494-23, WPD 4494-26, and WPD 4494 Vic Prog, 
U.S. Data; and G-4/33473. (2) Memo, Ray S. Cline 
for Col William A. Walker, 24 Jan 47, sub: Info Con- 
cerning Tr Basis, Stf Action Corresp folder, OPD Hist 
Unit File. (3) See also, Greenfield, Palmer, and 
Wiley, AGFI, pp. 198ff. 



military authorities a few days after Pearl 
Harbor. Statisticians of the Office of Pro- 
duction Management estimated that the 
entire bill, at current prices and including 
the program financed to date, would come 
to $150 billion. About $20 billion had 
already been spent, and the experts calcu- 
lated that industry could absorb $45 bil- 
lion in 1942 and' $60 to $65 billion in 
1943. At this rate the program would be 
only three-quarters completed by the end 
of September 1943, the remainder some 
time the following spring. Other estimates 
were more conservative. Mr. William S. 
Knudsen thought that no more than 
$38 billion could be disbursed in 1942, 
$57 billion in 1943. Within these limits, 
moreover, the civilian production experts 
believed that the goals for certain items, 
such as small arms ammunition, Garand 
rifles, 155-mm. guns, and several types of 
trucks, were "out of line" and would have 
to be lowered. No one believed that all 
seventy-one divisions could be fully or 
even half equipped in 1942; a great deal 
would depend on how much materiel 
went to lend-lease. But the experts seemed 
reasonably confident that the 3.6 million- 
man Army could be equipped in some 
fashion by the end of 1942. H 

Army supply officers were inclined to be 
skeptical of these predictions. "If this is all 
that can be done," remarked Colonel 
Aurand at one point with reference to the 
more cautious estimates of Mr. Knudsen 
and the Supply Priorities and Allocations 
Board, "we might as well give up." 7 But 
there was, in general, little impulse from 
within the military organization at this 
time to raise the sights of industrial mobi- 
lization. The staffs were immersed, during 
December, in a vast amount of pick-and- 
shovel work. New financial estimates were 
being rushed through for Congressional 

action so that production might be ac- 
celerated. New requirements were being 
drawn up to close the gap between the $27 
billion in production that current sched- 
ules, when projected, indicated for 1942, 
and the $40 to $45 billion in capacity that 
the civilian experts said would be avail- 
able. The Victory Program itself had to be 
revised in greater detail to include the vast 
amounts of clothing, equipage, and other 
easy-to-produce items omitted from the 
original estimates. Beyond this, military 
supply men, from long experience, feared 
to tamper with production schedules 
already established and in operation — the 
machine might then have to be slowed 
down before it could be speeded up. s 

Production Goals and the Problem of Balance 

The impulse that lifted industrial mobil- 
ization out of the prison of peacetime 
conceptions of national productive capac- 
ity came from outside the Military Estab- 
lishment. For more than a year Purvis, 
Monnet, and their associates in the British 
missions in the United States had labored 
to jar American officials into awareness of 
the huge quantities of munitions needed to 
win the war, as well as of the vast potenti- 
alities of American industry for producing 
them. In the last days of December Lord 
Beaverbrook, the British Minister of Sup- 

6 ( 1 ) Memo, Donald Nelson for S W, 1 1 Dec 4 1 , G- 
4/33473. (2) Other corresp in same file. (3) Notes to 
accompany tabulation, "Major Combat Units That 
Can Be Equipped by Specific Dates," 21 Dec 41, Item 
14, Exec 4. (4) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, 
pp. 273-74. 

7 Memo, Col Aurand for Gen Moore, 1 1 Dec 41, 
sub: All-Out Mun Prog, U.K. Vic Prog folder, DAD. 

8 (1) Memo, SW for Donald Nelson, 16 Dec 41, 
sub: Vic Prog, G-4/33473. (2) WD paper, 21 Dec 41, 
sub: Estd Pdn, WPD 4494-22 to WPD 4494-36 Vic 
Prog, Sec. 2. (3) Corresp in WPD 4494 Vic Prog, U.S. 
Data. (4) Memo, unsigned, no addressee, 25 Dec 41, 
sub: Sup for 1942, Misc Corresp Lend-lease 4 file, 



ply, who was in Washington as part of the 
Prime Minister's entourage, pressed these 
arguments directly upon the President/' 
His efforts evidently were successful. The 
President wrote Stimson on 3 January 
that victory depended in the last analysis 
upon "our overwhelming mastery in the 
munitions of war," to achieve which "the 
concept of our industrial capacity must be 
completely overhauled." America's allies, 
already "extended to the utmost," could 
not arm their own large armies. "We 
must not only provide munitions for our 
own fighting forces but vast quantities to 
be used against the enemy in every appro- 
priate theater of war, wherever that may 
be." 10 He directed forthwith that the war 
effort be geared to a new set of production 
goals, expressed significantly not in dollars 
but in quantities of a few major items — 
60,000 airplanes in 1942 and 125,000 in 
1943; 45,000 tanks in 1942 and 75,000 in 
1943; 20,000 antiaircraft guns in 1942 and 
35,000 in 1943; half a million machine 
guns in 1942 and as many in 1943; 
8,000,000 dead-weight tons of merchant 
shipping in 1942 and 10,000,000 in 1943. 
These goals were blazoned forth three 
days later in the President's state-of-the- 
union message to Congress. "This produc- 
tion of ours . . . must be raised far above 
present levels .... We must raise our 
sights all along the production line. Let no 
man say it cannot be done. It must be 
done — and we have undertaken to do 
it." 11 

The response to the President's January 
production objectives, both among the 
production authorities and in the Military 
Establishment, was less than enthusiastic. 
The goals had no anchor either in feasibil- 
ity or in need; they flew in the face of both 
the production authorities' notions of what 
could be produced and the military chiefs' 

claim to the right to determine what 
should be produced. Estimates of probable 
cost varied, but they ranged upward from 
a figure of $52 billion for 1942 production 
alone. Mr. Nelson's advisers did indeed 
revise their estimates of production capac- 
ity upward to close the gap, but the Presi- 
dent's program, when translated into 
detailed programs of military supply, 
showed a tendency to climb even higher. 
The Army's War Munitions Program of 
1 1 February, precursor of the Army Sup- 
ply Programs, piled up requirements esti- 
mated at $62 to $63 billion through 1943, 
bringing the estimated total of all war 
needs to $62.6 billion for 1942 and $110 
for 1943. During the spring and summer 
individual portions of the program rose 
and fell in estimated valuations, but the 
total war production program, until 
autumn, climbed steadily, particularly in 
such categories as naval-vessel and mer- 
chant-vessel construction. The production 
authorities resisted this trend, but on the 
whole without marked success, despite a 
ruling from the President early in April 
setting a ceiling of $45 billion for 1942 and 
$75 billion for 1943. The revisions result- 
ing from this rule failed to bring produc- 
tion goals down to the limits established, 
and the President himself, on 1 May, called 
for new quantitative goals, some of which 
were in excess of those announced in 
January. 12 

y (1) Note, Beaverbrook to President, as quoted in 
Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 689. (2) See also 
above, Chs. I, III. 

,n Memo, President for SW, 3 Jan 42, WPD 4494 
Vic Prog, U.S. Data. 

11 (1) Address, President to Cong, 6Jan 42, 77th 
Cong, 2d Sess, HR Doc 501, pp. 3-4. (2) CPA Indus- 
trial Mobil, rat,, m for War, pp. 277-78. (3) Churchill, 
1 he Grand Alliance, pp. 688-91. (4) Hancock and 
Cowing, British War Economy, pp. 387-88, 398. 

12 (1) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, pp. 273- 
85. (2) For the development of the Army Supply Pro- 
gram, see below, Ch. XII. 



At the outset the military services were 
determined to translate the President's 
major-item goals into a balanced program 
for all items of munitions. General Somer- 
vell, comparing the President's January 
goals with the amounts of the correspond- 
ing items already incorporated in the 
Army's supplemental estimates for 1942, 
concluded optimistically, "the items in the 
Presidents directive are indices of bal- 
anced production contemplated by time 
objectives established before its receipt. In 
other words, the accomplishment of the 
President's directive for 1942 can be ac- 
complished by the production of a bal- 
anced equipment program." Even with 
respect to the still unformulated program 
for 1943, Somervell was confident that a 
balanced program u on the scale indicated 
in the President's directive" could be 
achieved. 13 What this meant in terms of 
total objectives the mammoth War Muni- 
tions Program of 1 1 February soon dem- 
onstrated. Its size, indeed, caused some 
uneasiness even in the services. Admiral 
King feared the impact of a huge expan- 
sion program upon production during the 
next few months. "What we need most and 
need urgently," he warned, "is the maxi- 
mum output of plants that are now pro- 
ducing .... It is literally a case of 'first 
things first/ " But he, too, insisted upon 
balance. "It is of little use to go all out on 
tanks unless there are ships to ferry them, 
trained and equipped troops to man them, 
aircraft to cooperate with them, antiair- 
craft guns and field artillery to protect 
them." 14 

The civilian production officials threw 
up their hands in horror at the Army's 
1 1 February program, and took their case 
to the President. His goals for airplanes, 
tanks, antiaircraft and antitank guns, and 
merchant shipping could be achieved, they 

said, but not in conjunction with the mul- 
titude of ancillary items that the services 
wanted to procure on a like scale. A choice 
must be made: either the announced ob- 
jectives in major items, or a balanced pro- 
gram pitched at a lower level. The services 
accordingly were directed to revise their 
requirements downward, but in balance. 1 ' 
Thereafter the trend of Army require- 
ments, in the supply programs of 1942, 
was downward. 

On the dangers of imbalance, as on 
those of sin, almost everyone could agree. 
But "balance" meant something different 
to each of the claimants. The result was 
bitter contention within the Military Es- 
tablishment, and between the military and 
civilian authorities, over the priorities 
structure that would govern the division of 
the national product. Long before Pearl 
Harbor, the lack of a firm policy and of 
effective machinery to decide among the 
competing claimants had resulted in over- 
loading the top-priority ratings and depre- 
ciating the lower ones. In the flood of 
orders and new programs of early 1942 the 
situation quickly got out of hand. The 
Army and Navy Munitions Board re- 
ported late in February that, out of total 
war expenditures scheduled or in prospect 
for 1942 (about $56 billion at this junc- 
ture), over $31 billion, or almost 56 per- 
cent, was in the top-priority band. The 
Combined Chiefs of Staff considered the 
problem, but their jurisdiction over what 
seemed to be a distinctly American prob- 

13 (1) Memo, Somervell for CofS, 7 Jan 42, sub: Ef- 
fect of President's Dirof3Jan, WPD 4494 Vic Prog, 
U.S. Data. (2) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, 
pp. 273-74. 

14 Memo, Adm King for SN, 19 Feb 42, sub: Pri- 
ority of Pdn of Mat, WPD 4494-22 to WPD 4494-36 
Vic Prog, Sec 2. 

15 (1) CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, pp. 275- 
76, 283. (2) See below, Ch. XII. 



lem was a matter of dispute. Not until a 
combined board for production and re- 
sources was established in June was the 
priorities question to receive any serious 
consideration at the combined level. In the 
interim, what and how much to produce 
became a problem for the U.S. military 
agencies to work out with the civilian pro- 
duction authorities. 1H 

Within the military staffs there was gen- 
eral agreement that production programs 
should be shaped to serve strategic objec- 
tives. A "balanced" program would be one 
that provided adequate amounts of the 
various categories of munitions in time to 
execute an approved strategy. The basis of 
an Army supply program, General Somer- 
vell asserted late in January, 

. . . should consist of the strategical concept 
for the prosecution of the war, the general 
policy and detailed plans for the supply of 
Army-type munitions to the United Nations, 
and the plans for the mobilization, training 
and utilization of the Army, to consist not 
only of the long-range plan but also of de- 
tailed plans for the immediate future. 

It is realized that the basis . . . cannot be 
stated with exactitude, that broad assump- 
tions . . . must be made, and that the state- 
ment is subject to constant change. Neverthe- 
less . . . these factors are the impulse behind 
the entire Army Supply Program from the 
formulation of the program through alloca- 
tion of facilities and raw materials, the plac- 
ing of orders, production and delivery. 

It might be argued that such a statement 
would be so full of uncertainties that it would 
not be worth attempting. This is not, how- 
ever, the case. Under any conditions, plans 
must be made and actions taken .... 
Without such a statement, those responsible 
for various phases of supply are forced to 
make their own uncoordinated assumptions 
and guesses. 17 

The fundamental difficulty, as Somer- 
vell hinted, was that there was no approved 
strategy sufficiently explicit to provide a 

basis for concrete programs of require- 
ments, production schedules, and priori- 
ties. Arcadia had produced only a 
concept, a "grand strategy"; the specific 
course of action best calculated to give 
effect to this strategic concept, assuming 
that the development of events so per- 
mitted, was a subject of lively debate on 
the upper staff levels and between the 
military and political leaders, and the ad- 
vocates of each major arm of warfare nat- 
urally tended to bestow the label "bal- 
anced," like an accolade, only on programs 
and priorities that supported their own 
favored strategy. One brief, for example, 
evidently prepared by an Air officer, stated 
first the general proposition, "The national 
industry must be so coordinated that pro- 
duction meets the requirements of grand 
strategy, rather than the reverse," and 
from this proceeded to the conclusion, 
"Allocation of production must be predi- 
cated on the creation of the air forces set 
forth in the Victory Program in the short- 
est practicable time, and balancing of all other 
requirements in relation thereto." 18 

Late in February the Joint Planners 
were directed to "review the strategical 
situation, to include probable . . . oper- 
ations in order of priority, and determine 
the critical items of material such as mer- 
chant and combat vessels, tanks, aircraft, 
antiaircraft equipment, guns, etc., which 

16 ( 1 ) Papers in CCS 400.3 (2- 1 7-42) Pt. 1 . (2) Min, 
sp mtg JB, 20 Feb 42. (3) JPS 2/3/D, 22 Feb 42, title: 
JPS Dir, Priorities in Pdn of Mun Based on Strategi- 
cal Considerations. (4) Memo, AN MB for CCS 
[American Sec], 26 Feb 42, sub: Resume of Priorities 
Sit . . . ,JB 355, Ser 745. Last three in CCS 400.17 
(2-20-42) Sec 1. (5) For efforts to set up a combined 
requirements program, see below, Ch. XI. 

17 Memo, Gen Somervell for Gen Moore, 22 Jan 
42, sub: Army Supply Program, CofS WDGS 1941- 
42 folder, Hq ASF. 

18 Paper, unsigned, 6 Jan 42, sub: Vic Prog, WPD 
4494 Vic Prog, U.S. Data. Italics are the authors'. 



must be produced to implement these 
operations. " ,;| However, the Joint U.S. 
Strategic Committee (JUSSC), to which 
the task was assigned, found that it could 
only go in circles without the basic strate- 
gic decisions, which "control the projected 
development and deployment of fighting 
forces, which in turn control the needs of 
the fighting forces for war materials." 20 
The committee was beset by representa- 
tions from competing interests — Lt. Gen. 
Henry H. Arnold, for example, wanted a 
new priority list topped by "aircraft com- 
plete, with munitions,"- 1 and Admiral 
King complained that naval shipbuilding 
was being subordinated. The JUSSC 
finally recommended nine separate cate- 
gories of war material for assignment to 
highest priority. These, representing a 
composite of all the competing claims, in 
effect sought to ensure material support 
for all the divergent strategies clamoring 
for favor. 

On 1 May the President, worried by 
lagging production, announced a new set 
of objectives for 1942. Those for aircraft, 
antiaircraft guns, tanks, and artillery re- 
mained generally at the levels set in Janu- 
ary. Machine guns were reduced from 
500,000 to 400,000, certain adjustments 
were made in antiaircraft and antitank 
weapons, and "tanks" now included self- 
propelled artillery and other "tank-type" 
weapons. For merchant shipping the ob- 
jectives, already raised in February, were 
confirmed at nine million dead-weight 
tons. The formidable naval program, 
omitted in January, was now included. 
Perhaps the most significant addition was 
"complementary equipment required for 
a decisive land and air offensive involving 
amphibious landing operations" — an im- 
portant concession to balance. The Presi- 
dent even mentioned "complementary 

weapons for the supporting troops re- 
quired," and noted that "every effort must 
be made" to produce equipment for train- 
ing additional forces, for lend-lease, and 
for "other needed items." Nevertheless, at 
the end he warned, "a balance in these 
latter items must not be attained at the 
expense of the specific items which I have 
enumerated herein." L " 2 

The President also declined to tie pro- 
duction objectives to any specific strategy. 
April had seen a sudden lifting of the mists 
that had obscured future coalition action, 
when General Marshall and Harry Hop- 
kins succeeded at London in winning Brit- 
ish acceptance to the plan for invading 
Europe the following spring. The decision 
seemed to presage a long-range course of 
action that could be charted in detail to 
provide a firm guide for mobilization and 
production planning alike, and it was re- 
flected in the President's reference to 
"complementary weapons" for "decisive" 
amphibious operations. But he also ap- 
pended a prophetic note to the Joint 
Chiefs: "We cannot foretell the critical 
period in our war effort, and maximum 
production of major items of military 
equipment must be obtained without 
delay." 23 

In the same vein the President approved, 
on 1 May, the recommendations of the 
Joint Chiefs on production priorities, 
which followed in the main those sub- 

1! * Min cited n. 16(2). 

-° JPS 20, 23 Mar 42, title: Priorities in Pdn of Mun 
Based on Strategical Considerations, CCS 400.17 (2- 
20-42) Sec 1. 

21 Memo, CG AAF for USW, 1 7 Mar 42, sub: Pri- 
orities for Pdn of Mun Based on Strategical Consid- 
erations, CCS 400.17 (2-20-42) Sec 1. 

22 Ltr, President to Donald Nelson, 1 May 42, incl 
with memo, President for JCS, 1 May 42, sub: Rec- 
ommendations toJCS for Priority of Pdn of War Mun, 
CCS 400. 17 (2-20-42) Sec 1. 

21 (1) Ibid. (2) See below, Chs. XIV, XVI. 



mitted by the JUSSC.- 4 On 20 May these 
recommendations were translated into a 
new draft directive on priorities by the 
Army and Navy Munitions Board. The 
directive superimposed upon the existing 
structure of priorities an emergency rating 
band, AAA, and four other bands, AA-1 
through AA-4. To the latter were assigned 
the existing military programs with neces- 
sary plant expansion and raw materials. 
Bands AA-1 and AA-2 were intended to 
comprise a balanced program of the most 
urgently needed munitions; the lower two 
covered less urgent military production 
and construction. Into AA-1 went roughly 
half the military programs, including half 
of the President's "must" items. All the 
nonmilitary programs, including lend- 
lease and the whole field of civilian re- 
quirements, were relegated by implication 
to the existing and now downgraded pri- 
ority categories. Inexplicably, part of the 
vital merchant shipping program was 
placed in a rating that would virtually 
preclude its accomplishment. The direc- 
tive immediately became the focus of a 
prolonged dispute between the services 
and WPB, which continued even after the 
directive, in revised form, was approved 
by Mr. Nelson and the President early in 
June. In the revision the Maritime Com- 
mission program was given a more favored 
status, and later two new rating bands, 
AA-2X and AA-5, were added for urgent 
nonmilitary items.' 5 

By midyear the output of munitions, at 
any rate, was prodigious by all previous 
standards. During the first six months of 
1942 more than twice the amount of mu- 
nitions was produced for the Army as 
during the six months preceding — almost 
a million hand and shoulder weapons, 
235,000 machine guns, 16,100 pieces of 
artillery, 7,329 tanks, 285,600 trucks, 

3,222,000,000 rounds of small arms am- 
munition, 32,925,000 rounds of artillery 
ammunition, 212,000 tons of aircraft 
bombs, and 18,060 aircraft, to mention a 
few major categories. Monthly production 
rate had at least doubled in practically all 
categories since the end of 1941, in small 
arms and artillery ammunition it had 
tripled, and in aircraft bombs and artillery 
pieces it had quadrupled. Production of 
self-propelled weapons, at 650 a month, 
represented a surge in output from almost 
zero at the end of 1941. With this achieve- 
ment, American industry was already well 
on the way to making 1942 the year of 
greatest expansion of production in Amer- 
ican history.- 6 

Shipping: Capacity To Deploy Versus 
Capacity To Support 

Capacity to deploy and support forces 
overseas during the first half of 1942 
lagged far behind the production of muni- 
tions and of trained and equipped forces 
ready for deployment. In the crisis imme- 
diately following Pearl Harbor, the great- 
est limitation upon the outward movement 
of troops was the shortage of troop-carry- 
ing tonnage. There were in December 1941 
upwards of 130 ocean-going passenger 
vessels flying the American flag and suit- 
able for military use, including the mili- 
tary transport fleets. Another dozen new 
transports were expected during 1942. On 
the other hand, the Navy was holding 
some twenty potential troopers for conver- 
sion into light cruisers, aircraft carriers, 
and other auxiliaries, and six of its largest 
transports, engaged in trooping for the 

' i 1 ) Memo cited n. 22. '(2) JCS 30, 5 Apr 42, title: 
Priorities in Pcln of Mun Based on Strategical Consid- 
erations. (3) Memo, JCS for President, 10 Apr 42, 
CCS KI0.17 (2-20-42) Sec 1. 

Cl'.V Industrial Mobilization f oi War. pp. 295-302. 

' Sec below, App. B. 



British in the Indian Ocean, could not re- 
turn for many weeks. An indeterminate 
number of vessels probably would have to 
be kept in normal commercial services, at 
least for some time. Most of the conven- 
tional transports in the military fleets 
would be needed to reinforce existing over- 
seas garrisons, and a block of about 
twenty-five combat loaders had to be re- 
served for possible amphibious expedi- 
tions. There would be losses. Estimates of 
the net total of tonnage that could be 
counted on for ferrying troops in any new 
overseas ventures in 1942 ranged between 
40 and 50 transports, with a capacity of 
60,000 to 70,000 troops on a single trip. 
In terms of deployment to the nearest pos- 
sible theater of action, the European, this 
meant average monthly embarkations of 
about 30,000, or about 350,000 by the end 
of the year. This could hardly be called a 
maximum effort, however. As Army plan- 
ners were at pains to point out, the Navy 
might give up its earmarked auxiliaries, 
and amphibious shipping might be used 
for ferrying. Various economies were possi- 
ble — air transport, slashing equipment 
allowances, double bunking and shift 
sleeping on transports, curtailing commer- 
cial services. If all means were employed, 
perhaps as many as 850,000 to 900,000 
troops could be shipped across the Atlantic 
in 1942. 27 

Before the end of December the Army 
forced the issue of the Navy's conversion 
program, a subject of dispute since the 
preceding summer. Three large transports, 
to be converted into aircraft carriers, were 
the heart of this program — Mount Vernon, 
Wakefield, and West Point, all three currently 
in the Indian Ocean in British service. 
There was also a new liner recently pur- 
chased from Sweden, the Kungsholm. In 
the aggregate these vessels represented a 

carrying capacity of twenty-two thousand 
troops. These and other conversions in 
progress and planned would hold up con- 
struction of about twenty-five new troop 
transports. When the Maritime Commis- 
sion suggested substituting tankers for the 
vessels to be converted, the Navy decided 
to convert both tankers and transports. On 
22 December General Marshall, in a 
"Dear Betty" letter, conveyed the protests 
of his staffto Admiral Stark, while Admi- 
ral Land approached the President. On 
the 27th, at the President's order, conver- 
sion of the four big transports was canceled 
and the other projects were modified. 
Early in January the British were granted 
another voyage of the Wakefield and West 
Point, but four other transports in Eastern 
waters were ordered to return. 28 

Somervell was thus able to report on 
10 January that available passenger ton- 
nage, excluding Navy combat loaders but 
including the giant Normandie, then being 
refitted, had a total capacity of 159,000 
troops. (Soon thereafter the Normandie was 
put out of action by a fire.) Meanwhile the 
British had agreed to turn over for Ameri- 
can use, beginning in February, the "mon- 
sters" — Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and 
Aquitania — the first two with a capacity 
then conservatively rated at 6,000 each, 
the last at 4,500. Several smaller British 

- 7 ( 1) G-4 study, 1 Dec 4 1 , title: Analysis of Pas- 
senger Shipg. (2) Memo, Gross for Somervell, 2 Dec 
41, sub: Maximum Overseas Mvmt. (3) Memo, Gross 
for Somervell, 10 Dec 41, sub: Shipg Sit As It Affects 
the Army. All in Ping Div Studies folder, OCT HB. 
(4) Memo, Gross for Somervell, 21 Dec 4 1, sub: Est 
of Shipg Available for U.S. Overseas Effort 1942-43. 
G-4/29717-1 16. 

28 ( 1 ) Memo. Gross for CofS, 22 Dec 41. sub: Effect 
of Conversion . . . , G-4/33473. (2) Memo, Mar- 
shall for Stark, 22 Dec 41, G-4297 17-81. Admiral 
Stark had carried the nickname "Betty" ever since his 
first year at the Naval Academy. (3) Memo, Somer- 
vell for CofS, 7 Jan 42, sub: Br Request To Retain Six 
U.S. Trans, G-4/29717-1 11. 





THE LINER NORMANDIE BURNING at dockside, North River, New York, 9 February 

transports were also to be made available 
to the Army.- 9 

Britain had far more shipping than the 
United States, both troop-carrying and 
cargo, though her capacity to build was 
limited. Early in March the Prime Minis- 
ter appealed to the President to "double 
or treble the American man-lift by the 
summer of 1943." 30 British troop-carrying 
capacity then stood at about 280,000, and 
there seemed little prospect of augmenting 
it. Moreover, since the bulk of it was serv- 
icing the Indian Ocean area, the long 
return voyage of empty transports around 
the Cape kept a large proportion of this 
capacity out of use for extended periods. 
The President, on the advice of Army 

shipping officials, turned a deaf ear to 
Churchill's request. American troop-car- 
rying capacity in being was now estimated 
at about 130,000. To this it was expected 
another 75,000 in conversions and new 
construction would be added by June 
1943, an additional 100,000 by the end of 
1943, and 95,000 more by mid-1944— 
bringing the total, by that time, to 400,000. 
This program, Colonel Gross insisted, 
"cannot be advanced; it may only be ex- 

- 9 (1) Memo, Somervell for CofS, 19 Jan 42, sub: 
Maximum Tr Mvmt and Forces Overseas . . . , G- 
4/29717-116. (2) See also above, Ch. VI. 

30 Msg, Former Naval Person [Churchill] to Presi- 
dent Roosevelt, 5 Mar 42, as quoted in Winston S. 
Churchill, The Second World War: The Hinge of Fate 
(Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1950), p. 193. 



tended." 31 In April, however, the Army 
reversed its stand to the extent of agree- 
ing to the construction of fifty new C-4 
transports, in place of the same number 
of seatrains, contracted for in February, 
which the Navy feared would be too vul- 
nerable to attack. By May the estimated 
combined capacity of the British and 
American transport fleets had risen to 
about half a million. 32 

Cargo shipping from the outset pre- 
sented the greater problem. Army calcu- 
lations soon after Pearl Harbor showed 
about 1.6 million gross tons potentially 
available to support new deployment, be- 
yond routine and already scheduled uses. 
Even with 4 million gross tons of new con- 
struction scheduled for 1942, and under 
optimistic assumptions as to the require- 
ments for lend-lease shipments and for 
replacement of British and U.S. shipping 
losses, the 1.6 million tons was expected 
to dwindle to 1.4 million by the end of 
1942. Moreover, as the troop population 
overseas grew, maintenance requirements 
would mount. Progressively larger ton- 
nages of cargo shipping would have to be 
assigned, first to build up and then to 
maintain existing garrisons and bases yet 
to be established. This shipping would not 
be available for supporting the deploy- 
ment of forces for offensive operations. 
Capacity to deploy offensively, as Colonel 
Gross epigrammatically put it, was "a di- 
minishing function." 33 Not until 1943, 
after the overseas defensive and logistical 
establishment was complete, could new 
shipbuilding under the building programs 
current in December 1941 be expected to 
increase the capacity for offensive deploy- 
ment. On 3 January 1942 the President 
raised the 1942 shipbuilding program 
from 6 million to 8 million dead-weight 
tons, and the 1943 program from 8 million 

to 10 million. The Maritime Commission, 
with some misgivings, thought there was 
a fair chance of meeting these goals, but 
there were also new demands for cargo 
shipping in prospect. The President's new 
production goals for munitions meant in- 
creased imports of raw materials, and 
much of the expanded munitions output 
was evidently intended by the President to 
be transported to the Allies in American 
cargo ships, at the expense of supplying 
U.S. forces overseas. 34 

Tremendous tonnages of cargo shipping, 
moreover, were needed to complement a 
relatively small amount of troop-carrying 
tonnage in the deployment and support of 
forces overseas. The troop transports be- 
coming available for Army deployment 
early in 1942 were mostly new, large, and 
fast. One speedy liner, for example one of 
the Queens, could, by conservative reckon- 
ing, move eighteen thousand troops in 
three trips across the Atlantic in seventy- 
two days — the time required for a slow 
convoy of freighters, carrying these same 
troops' equipment and supplies, to make 
a single round trip. Even with larger pro- 
grams of cargo shipbuilding, the expansion 
of troop-carrying capacity, both accom- 

il Memo, Gross for Somervell, 6 Mar 42, sub: Re- 
ply to Mr. Churchill's Cablegram . . . , Army Trans 
Sv folder, OCT HB. 

32 (1) Msg, Former Naval Person to President 
Roosevelt, 5 Mar 42, as quoted in Churchill, Hinge of 
Fate, pp. 191-94. Part of the President's reply, dated 
8 March, is quoted on p. 196. (2) Min, 5th and 10th 
mtgs CCS. 1 7 Feb and 7 Mar 42. (3) Lane, Ships for 
Victory, p. 618. (4) CMT 5/3, 8 May 42, title: Avail- 
ability of United Nations Shipg for Mil Trans, Chart 
D and appended notes, ABC 570 (2-14-42) Sec 1. 

33 Memo cited n. 27(4). 

'■* Lane, Ships for Victory, pp. 138-39. 

On the eve of Pearl Harbor about 5 million dead- 
weight tons (3.3 million gross tons) of new merchant 
shipping were scheduled for construction in 1942, and 
7 million dead-weight tons (4.7 million gross tons) in 
1943. By the end of December 1941 these figures had 
risen to 6 and 8 million tons, respectively. 



Table 3 — Estimated Capacity of Cargo Shipping To Support Offensive 
Deployment: December 1941 a 


1 January 1942 . . . 

30 June 1942 

31 December 1942 
31 December 1943 

Number of Troops 

Emphasis on Offensive Deploy- 
ment to Europe 

Total Overseas 

( b ) 

( b ) 


European Area 





Emphasis on Offensive Deploy- 
ment to the Far East 

Total Overseas 


( b ) 

1, 296, 000 

Far East Area 


• These figures are broad and rather hasty estimates of the number of troops that might be supported overseas by the cargo shipping 
expected to be available on each of the dates given. The estimates are unrealistic and theoretical in several respects. They assume, for 
example, that the task of holding the enemy on the front not chosen for offensive deployment could be performed by whatever base and 
garrison forces were assigned to that area, and in the case of the January 1942 figures they make no allowance for the time that would be 
required to deploy these forces overseas. 

The primary significance of the estimates, in the present context, is to illustrate the "diminishing function" of shipping capacity to 
deploy during a period when overseas bases and lines of communications were also being developed and shipbuilding had not yet reached its 
peak — that is, according to the expectations of the escimate, during most of 1942. Thus it appeared that it would be possible to deploy 
forces overseas for offensive operations, either against Germany or against Japan, in larger numbers immediatel) — while the defensive estab- 
lishment overseas was still undermanned — than could be deployed six or nine months later. By the end of 1942, the maintenance costs of the 
overseas establishment could be expected to level off, and the full effect of new ship construction (by then expanded to maximum capacity) 
would be felt thereafter in a steadily expanding capacity to deploy and maintain forces overseas. As can be seen, the estimate contemplated 
a defensive and logistical establishment overseas of some 455,000 troops, to be completed before the end of 1942. Note the effect of greater 
distance in limiting the volume of deployment to the Far East, as compared with that to the European area. 

Maintenance requirements were estimated at .9 gross tons (about 2.25 measurement tons) per man per month; turnaround to the 
European area was taken as two months, to the Far East as three months. Compare these assumptions with others shown below in Appen- 
dixes A-2, A-3, and A-6. 

b Not stated in source. 

Sourer: Based on memo, Gross for Somervell, 21 Dec 41, sub: Est of Shipg Available for U.S. Overseas Effort 1942-43, G-4/2971 7-116- 

plished and in prospect in mid-January, 
indicated that for a long time to come 
cargo shipping would probably be the 
chief limitation upon overseas deploy- 
ment. 35 (Tables 3 and 4) 

The Drain of Ship Losses 

Sinkings during the winter and spring 
increased the imbalance between troop 
and cargo shipping. During the first ten 
weeks of the year, a period of intensified 
activity by German submarines. Allied 
losses of dry cargo shipping reached an 
annual rate of over 10 million dead-weight 
tons. In March alone the toll was some 

788,000 tons. In June it was 936,000 tons. 
Tanker losses were even more alarming, 
reaching an all-time peak of 375,000 tons 
in March and leading the U.S. Govern- 
ment to withdraw all its tankers from the 
Atlantic coastal traffic. The Navy, respon- 
sible for antisubmarine defense, faced this 
peril with totally inadequate resources. 
Late in December 1941 it had only twenty 
assorted surface vessels and about a hun- 
dred aircraft in the critical area covered 

1 ) Memo, Somervell for CofS, 12 Jan 42, sub: 
Capacity of Shipg for War Effort Overseas Early 1942. 
G-4/2971 7-1 16. (2) During the summer following, the 
Queens actually carried as many as fifteen thousand 
troops on a single trip. See below, Ch. XIV. 


Table 4 — Capacity To Deploy Versus Capacity To Support: January 1942 


Capacity To Transport 

Capacity To Support 





Pacific deployment restricted to Hawaii 

797, 500 

975, 700 


456, 500 

Substantial deployment to Far East 

These estimates reflected the current crisis in the Far East (see above, Ch. VI). Under both assumptions deployment was oriented 
mainly to the Pacific. 

All figures represent troops. First two columns represent troop-carrying capacity; last two columns represent number of troops that 
could be sustained overseas by cargo shipping. 

Under "Capacity To Transport," "maximum" figures are based on assumption that Navy combat loaders, Navy chartered transports, 
and the six Navy transports in the Indian Ocean would be available; "minimum" figures exclude these vessels. 

Under "Capacity To Support," "maximum" figures are based on assumption that some additional British tonnage in the North At- 
lantic, and additional Navy cargo vessels in both oceans, would be available; "minimum" figures exclude this shipping. 

Source: Based on memo, Somervell for CofS, 12 Jan 42, sub: Capacity of Shipg for War Effort Overseas Early 1942, G-4/29717-1 16. 

by the North Atlantic Naval Coastal 
Frontier (later the Eastern Sea Frontier) 
available for independent action against 
submarines; most of the vessels were un- 
able to meet a submarine on equal terms, 
and none of the planes could maintain 
long-range patrol. The Army Air Forces 
was able to put perhaps a hundred aircraft 
of somewhat longer range into the battle. 
During the winter and spring these meager 
forces, only gradually augmented, at- 
tempted unsuccessfully to combat the 
growing number and widening range of 
enemy attacks on shipping throughout the 
western Atlantic, Gulf, and Caribbean 
areas. Apart from the inadequacy of forces, 
antisubmarine measures were hampered 
by divided responsibility between the 
Army and Navy, a problem that remained 
the subject of prolonged interservice con- 
troversy throughout 1942 and was never 
wholly resolved. 3 '* 

The Navy held firmly to the belief that 
convoying was the only real answer to the 
submarine menace. Hampered by a severe 
shortage of escort vessels, it put heavy pres- 
sure on the Army to reduce the number 
of special convoys and to rely on regular, 

widely spaced movements. Army officials, 
on the contrary, wanted flexible arrange- 
ments, permitting emergency movements 
(like those to Hawaii immediately after 
Pearl Harbor), without escort when the 
situation demanded, and they argued that 
the Navy's rigid standards regarding size 
and speed of convoyed vessels would dras- 
tically curtail the amount of usable ship- 
ping. In the late winter the dispute became 
bitter. "This sort of thing cannot go on," 
Admiral King protested in March; "we 
simply have not the means to escort multi- 
farious expeditions." 7 Late in January 
the Navy agreed to permit freighters in 

16 For these and subsequent figures on ship losses, 
see: ( 1 ) Memo, Somervell for Marshall, 1 7 Jun 42, 
sub: Submarine Sinkings of Combined Merchant 
Fleet, Gross Day File, OCT HB; (2) Churchill, Hinge 
of Fate, p. 199 and table on p. 879; (3) Hancock and 
Gowing, British War Economy, p. 416; (4) Memo, Lt 
Col A. S. Palmerlee for Chester Wardlovv. 14 Dec 43, 
sub: Shipg Losses, Shipg 1941-43 folder. Hq ASF; (5) 
Min, 12th mtgCCS, 17 Mar 42; and (6) CCS 39/1, 
14 Mar 42, title: Relation of Merchant Shipg Losses 
to Prosecution of War. (7) See below, App. H. 

For Army-Navy antisubmarine operations and con- 
troversy, see Craven and Cate, AAF I, Ch. 15, and 
Morison, Battle of the Atlantic , passim. 

i 1 ) Memo, Adm King for CofS, 23 Mar 42, Con- 
voys folder. OCT HB. (2) Other corresp in same file. 



the Pacific to shift for themselves if too 
slow to accompany troop convoys, and on 
9 February a comprehensive convoy 
schedule and policy was issued. Troop 
convoys were to run every forty days from 
New York to Iceland and the United 
Kingdom and from Boston to Newfound- 
land and Greenland; sailings to Bermuda, 
the Caribbean bases, South America, Aus- 
tralia, and the Pacific ferry islands were to 
be spaced at intervals of thirty days; sail- 
ings to Hawaii, six days. Cargo sailings 
were to be unescorted unless fast enough 
to accompany troop convoys. Troop trans- 
ports, even if escorted, must have a speed 
of at least fifteen knots (slightly less later). 
Fast vessels could go without protection, 
except from the air, in coastal waters. The 
Navy required one month's advance no- 
tice on each convoy. Late in April Ameri- 
can cargo shipments to the United 
Kingdom were merged with British con- 
voys out of Halifax, and in May the Navy, 
with the help of borrowed British trawlers, 
instituted coastal convoys in the Atlantic. 38 
Despite these measures the toll of sink- 
ings rose steadily through the spring and 
into the summer. In terms of percentages 
of the total Allied dry cargo fleet, losses 
rose from 1.7 percent in January to 2.5 
percent in May. Tanker losses averaged 
3.5 percent of the monthly tanker tonnage 
in use, and totaled more than two million 
dead-weight tons for the six-month period, 
about four fifths of the amount lost during 
the entire twenty-seven months of war be- 
fore Pearl Harbor. During the first six 
months of 1942 losses of United Nations 
shipping were almost as heavy as during 
the whole of 1941 and exceeded new con- 
struction and other gains by almost 2.8 
million dead-weight tons. While the 
United States was able by May to balance 
its own current losses by new ships, Allied 
replacements continued to lag behind 

losses until the following August. Another 
year passed before building could over- 
come cumulative losses. "This problem," 
General Marshall wrote the President 
gloomily in June 1942, "is with us daily 
and hourly." 39 If sinkings continued at 
current rates, American forces would even- 
tually be immobilized in the Western 
Hemisphere. In June the Navy urged that 
the whole ship construction program be 
revised to produce more escorts, at the ex- 
pense of merchant tonnage, arguing that 
there was little use in building ships that 
the enemy would promptly sink; such 
action, in modified form, was to be taken 
later in the year. But despite the bleak out- 
look, General Marshall felt that strategy 
and industrial mobilization must be based 
on the assumption "that present losses by 
submarine will be overcome, . . . .Under 
no circumstances should the government 
be placed in the position where its mili- 
tary effort overseas will be curtailed by- 
lack of equipment and supplies." 40 

Army Allocations and New Construction 

After mid-January General Somervell 
pressed for a definite allocation of ship- 
ping to the Army sufficient to support a 
substantial deployment. Specifically, he 
urged either an immediate allocation of 
two hundred freighters with a monthly al- 

3S ( 1 ) Memo, CofS for G-4, 27 Jan 42, sub: Notifi- 
cation of Army Convoys, OCofS 21345-15. (2) Memo, 
G-4 for CofS, 29 Jan 42, same sub, G-4/297 1 7-89. (3) 
Memo, Adm King for CofS, 30 Jan 42, Overseas Tr 
Mvmts 1940-42 folder, OCT HB. (4) See also, Ward- 
low, Trans I, Ch. VI. (5) Draft study. May 1945, title: 
Hist of Convoy and Routing, signed by Rear Adm 
M. K. Metcalf, U.S. Navy (Ret.), prepared in the Off 
of Naval Hist. (6) Hancock and Gowing, British War 
Economy, pp. 413-16. (7) See below, App. A-8. 

39 Memo, CofS for President, 10 Jun 42, CofS 
WDGS 1941-42 folder, Hq ASF. 

4 " (1) Ibid. (2) Memo, Navy members MAC(G) for 
MAB, 4 Jun 42, sub: Balanced Building Prog of Car- 
go and Combat Shipg, incl to CPS 33/D, 9 Jun 42, in 
ABC 570 (2-14-42) Sec 2. 



lotment thereafter often new vessels, or a 
monthly allotment of eighteen new ships 
without a large block allocation. If this 
were done, Somervell's staff calculated, 
about .8 million troops could be supported 
overseas by the end of 1942, mainly in the 
Atlantic area. This would permit an of- 
fensive deployment, over and above gar- 
rison forces, of about .6 million. If the 
main effort were made in the Far East, as 
now seemed likely, only about 480,000 
troops could be deployed offensively. With 
its present small available tonnage of 
about 1 10 freighters, the Army could not 
support more than 90,000 additional 
troops overseas during 1942. "Such an ef- 
fort," Somervell wrote to Admiral Land, 
"on its face fails to meet the military 
situation." 41 

Foreign aid was a heavy drain upon 
American cargo shipping, and promised 
to become even more demanding. Four 
days after Pearl Harbor Somervell warned 
the Chief of Staff that the Victory Pro- 
gram plans for American participation in 
the war were incompatible with the "ar- 
senal of democracy" theory; shipping 
"might in time permit fulfillment of one 
program, or parts of both, but not both." 4J 
Lend-lease was then employing about 180 
U.S. cargo vessels, including 100 in the 
Red Sea service, and Army officials eyed 
them covetously. Somervell was at pains 
to point out, in connection with his Jan- 
uary and February ship allocation pro- 
posals, that if the foreign aid services, es- 
pecially Soviet lend-lease, were "thor- 
oughly emasculated" by the end of 1942, 
U.S. forces overseas might be built up to 
850,000 with a main effort in the Far East, 
or to 1,100,000 if concentrated chiefly in 
the Atlantic area. 43 

Actually, Somervell's proposals did not 
aim at "emasculating" lend-lease services. 
He proposed to allow about eight new 

freighters for lend-lease movements each 
month over and above the 180 already in 
service. Britain's shipping problem, more- 
over, was reaching a stage where it could 
not be ignored. Her cargo fleet was bear- 
ing the brunt of the intensified German 
submarine campaign in the Atlantic, 
some of the American vessels assigned to 
carry British imports had been with- 
drawn, and shipments to the Soviet Union 
and British forces overseas created a 
mounting drain. By March imports to the 
British Isles were running at an annual 
rate of less than 22 million tons, in con- 
trast to more than 30 million the preced- 
ing year and estimated minimum require- 
ments of 26 million for 1942. Such a 
volume could not be achieved, Churchill 
warned Roosevelt early in March, "with- 
out very substantial additions to our ship- 
ping resources." 44 

It was already evident in January and 
February that the President was deter- 
mined to expand rather than contract the 
foreign aid programs. "Under demands 
far more tempered than these," remarked 
Colonel Gross pessimistically in mid-Jan- 
uary with reference to the new programs 

41 (1) Memo, cited n. 29(1). (2) Paper, 29 Jan 42, 
sub: Capabilities of Shipg Now Under Army Contl. 
(3) Memo, Lt Col Marcus B. Stokes for Rear Adm 
Sherwoode A. Taffinder, 5 Mar 42, sub: Est of Army 
Shipg Reqmts. Last two in Ping Div Studies folder, 
OCT HB. (4) Ltr, Somervell to Adm Land, 3 1 Jan 42, 

42 Memo, Somervell for CofS, 11 Dec 41, sub: 
Shipg Sit, 10a Shipg file, Ping Div ASF. 

43 (1) Memo, Somervell for Gross, 13 Jan 42, Ping 
Div Studies folder, OCT HB. (2) Memo cited n. 

44 (1) Msg, Former Naval Person to President 
Roosevelt, 4 Mar 42, as quoted in Churchill, Hinge of 
Fate, pp. 189-91. (2) Br Merchant Shipg Mis paper, 
5 Feb 42, sub: Merchant Shipg in 1942, WPD 4494 
Vic Prog, U.S. Data. (3) Note, Churchill to Hopkins, 
10 Jan 42, MS Index to the Hopkins Papers, Bk. V, 
Orgn of the WSA, p. 2, Item 11. (4) Hancock and 
Gowing, British War Economy , pp. 353-57, 416-26. 

By strenuous efforts, British imports were brought 
up to 12.2 million tons by midyear. 



then under discussion, "no further U.S. 
military overseas expeditions may be con- 
sidered or undertaken." 45 Some three 
million tons of U.S. shipping already in 
British service in that month remained 
there, and a considerable tonnage com- 
pleted under earlier contracts in the 
United States was transferred. Through 
pooling arrangements made early in the 
year, American freighters sailing to the 
British Isles often carried mixed cargoes 
of lend-lease and U.S. military materiel. 
Soviet lend-lease shipments in 1942 em- 
ployed American and British bottoms in 
approximately equal proportions. 40 

Only two avenues remained open, 
therefore, to provide more cargo tonnage 
for Army troop deployment — ruthless 
economy in "nonessential" uses, and fur- 
ther augmentation of construction pro- 
grams. Somervell advocated both. His 
proposals of January and February in- 
volved elimination of several commercial 
services and reduction of others in the 
Western Hemisphere and to Africa. But 
new construction offered the only real so- 
lution. The six'hundred thousand troops 
that it seemed likely might be deployed 
overseas in 1942 were only a third of the 
number that were expected to be trained 
and equipped by the end of that year. By 
the end of 1943 there would be at least 3.6 
million troops ready for overseas service, 
by current indications, but under present 
building programs less than a million 
troops could be sent and maintained over- 
seas during 1943. Evidently the Army 
faced a huge unemployment problem at 
home unless more tonnage were provided. 
Somervell shared the doubts of Maritime 
Commission officials as to the feasibility 
of further increases in construction in 
1942, but he along with many others be- 
lieved that the 1943 program could be 
augmented by 50 percent. With 15 mil- 

lion tons of new construction in 1943, 
forces overseas could be raised to 2,260,- 
000. It would be fatal to accept a deploy- 
ment of only 1,500,000 or 1,800,000 as 
'the measure of the whole productive 
capacity of the country and its military 
might, .... An all-out effort in this 
field [ship construction]," he urged Mar- 
shall to tell the President, "must precede 
an all-out military effort. The maximum 
possibilities in this regard should be deter- 
mined, attained, and the Army advised of 
what it can expect." 4? 

The Army's hopes for a definite alloca- 
tion of tonnage, preferably in a large 
block, did not materialize. With the 
creation of the War Shipping Administra- 
tion (WSA) in February and the modus 
opera'ndi worked out between it and the 
military services in May and June, U.S. 
merchant shipping was pooled under the 
tight control of WSA, and shipping other 
than what the services already controlled 
was assigned for use generally on a single 
voyage basis. 4S In the field of ship con- 
struction, action came suddenly and dra- 
matically. On 18 February General Mar- 
shall sent to the President, with little 
change, Somervell's strongly worded plan 

45 Memo, Gross for Somervell, 19 Jan 42, sub: Def 
Aid Trfs and Trf Schedules. Pine; Div Studies folder. 

"' ( 1 ) Hancock and Cowing. British Wai Economy , 
pp. 353-57, 426-27. This mentions $195 million in 
shipping transferred under lend-lease. (2) Churchill. 
Hinge of Fate, p. 199. (3) For Soviet aid, see below, 
Chs. XX-XXI. (4) For British imports, see below, Ch. 

47 (1) Draft memo, Marshall lor President, no date. 
Shipg 1941-43 folder. Hq ASF. This draft is evidentl) 
a paraphrase of memo, Somervell for Rear Adm 
Howard L. Vickery and Stacy May, 1 3 Feb 42. sub: 
Iiu rease in 1943 Ship Construction Prog. G-4/297 17- 
152. (2) Memo. Gens Somervell and Burns for Hop- 
kins. 22 Feb 4 2. sub: Alloc of U.S. Shipg for 1942, G- 
4/29717-1 It.. (3) Memo, Col Stokes for Col Gross, 3 
Feb 12. sub: Overseas Effort in 1942, Ping Di\ Studies 

folder, OCT HB. 

,s See below , Ch. IX. 



for an augmented program. The next day 
the President summoned Admiral Land 
to his bedroom and told him to build 9 
million dead-weight tons of shipping in 
1942 and 15 million in 1943, 24 million 
tons in all. Exactly a week before this, 
Land had warned, "the shipbuilding cup 
is full to overflowing." 4;i His belief was not 
now changed, but orders were orders. 
Telephoning the news to his colleague, 
Rear Adm. Howard L. Vickery, who 
agreed that 9 million tons was more than 
could be produced in 1942, Land re- 
ported, ". . . all I said was we would 
try." 50 

Three months later the picture had 
changed. In terms of expansion of yard 
capacity and the acquisition of the know 
how, which could come only from actual 
experience in mass production, the ship- 
building industry had farther to go in 
1942 than the munitions industry, since 
economic mobilization before 1942 had 
concentrated more on producing weapons 
than on producing ships. However, cargo 
ship construction, even more than that of 
many items of munitions, lent itself to 
standardization and mass production, and 
the basic task of designing had largely 
been completed during the prewar emer- 
gency period. By spring 1942 shipyards 
that had begun to build in 1941 had 
learned their craft so well that they were 
smashing records every week, finishing 
ships in 60 to 70 days, against a schedule 
based on 105 days. Deliveries rose from 
26 in March and 36 in April to 57 in 
May and 67 in June. On Maritime Day, 
22 May, Admiral Vickery publicly an- 
nounced that American shipyards by the 
end of 1943 might be able to turn out, as 
their two-year total, not 24 million but 28 
million dead-weight tons. Late in May 
and early in June some of the new capac- 
ity was already being absorbed by new 

orders for tank landing ships (LST's) and 
"baby flattop" escort carriers. Even with 
the addition of these types, Admiral Vick- 
ery estimated in the middle of June that 
the commission could produce 27.4 mil- 
lion tons of merchant shipping by the end 
of 1943, 3.4 million more than the Presi- 
dent's goal/' 1 

If the expanding shipbuilding capacity 
was to be used, more steel would have to 
be fed into the yards, probably at the ex- 
pense of other users. At a conference on 23 
June, the President made remarks about 
"scraping the bottom of the barrel." Ad- 
miral Land, one of those present, inter- 
preted this to mean that the goal of 24 
million tons was again to be raised, but 
during the next two weeks the Navy and 
other users of steel pressed their claims 
upon the production authorities, and on 
9 July Admiral Land learned from Don- 
ald Nelson that the President had once 
more set the limit for shipbuilding by the 
end of 1943 at 24 million tons, of which 
slightly more than 8 million was to be 
completed in 1942. Here, for the moment, 
the matter rested. 52 

The spectacular logistical achievements 
of these first six months of war were on the 
level of operations and performance — in 

^ Lane, Ships for Victory, p. 143. 

™ Ibid., p. 144. 

Admiral Land, who in 1938 had succeeded Joseph 
P. Kennedy as chairman of the Maritime Commis- 
sion, had been retired from active service since 1937. 
Another naval officer, Comdr. Howard L. Vickery, 
became a commissioner in 1940 on Land's recom- 
mendation, and by special act of Congress was per- 
mitted to remain on the active list. The five-man 
commission contained a third retired naval officer, 
Capt. Edward Macauley, who became a commis- 
sioner in 1941. By another special act of Congress, 
Land was promoted in July 1944 to vice admiral; 
Vickery became rear admiral in January 1942 and 
vice admiral in October 1944. See Lane, Ships for Vic- 
tory, pp. 12-15, 459. 

51 Ibid., pp. 173-81. 

■ VJ Ibid., pp. 183ff. 



the immense outpouring of war materials, 
and, in the spring, the attainment of mass 
production of cargo shipping. Expansion, 
training, and equipping of the Army were 
also advancing on an impressive scale. But 
in the most basic realm of logistical plan- 
ning — the determination of long-range 
needs and the formulation of programs, 
schedules, and priorities for meeting 
them — the absence of a settled and con- 
crete strategy, unavoidable as long as 
the momentum of the enemy's initial at- 
tacks continued, created a virtually insol- 
uble problem. Approved military require- 
ments, at least in the upper half of the 
priorities scale, were now in some sort of 
"balance," and the now standardized 
military supply programs purported to list 
item by item the long-range needs of a 
specific troop basis which, in theory, was 
designed to implement an agreed strategy. 
After mid- 1942, however, the only con- 
crete strategy for a long time was a series 
of limited operations planned at short- 
range or extemporized. The troop basis 
provided a pool of armed manpower from 
which forces were drawn to execute these 
operations, the scope and character of 
which were inevitably shaped by its limi- 
tations. Production programs were aimed, 
indeed, at the listed ultimate requirements 
of the troop basis, but month-to-month 
schedules were shaped by a multitude of 
factors totally unrelated to ultimate 
goals — shortages of materials, facilities, 
and labor, and the immense inertia of ad- 

At the beginning of the year Colonel 
Aurand had observed: 

It should not be necessary ... to have to 
first set up a troop basis to establish the rela- 
tive numbers to be produced each month of 
the various items .... This can be based 
upon the general view of the war, the thea- 
ters in which the war will be fought, and the 

necessities for U.S. production to supply the 
equipment in these theaters .... After all, 
the immediate requirements, regardless of 
what they are, can be met only from the pro- 
duction which is now under way .... 
Month by month requirements at the mo- 
ment are entirely dependent upon produc- 
tion schedules. 53 

In June month-by-month requirements 
apparently were still dependent on cur- 
rent production, and the ultimate goal, to 
all practical intents, was still what it had 
been when the Victory Program was for- 
mulated — maximum production. Particu- 
larly was this true in the field of merchant 
shipping, where capacity (as limited by 
shortages of materials) fell far short of in- 
dicated demand. The striving for an un- 
specified and largely unknown maximum 
was, in fact, the dominant motif in the 
whole field of logistics. Colonel Aurand, 
with some ironical exaggeration, noted 
its many ramifications — in Congressional 
authorizations, "more than could possibly 
be produced"; in planned facilities expan- 
sion, "beyond shipping possibilities and 
availability of raw materials"; in foreign 
aid programs, "more than they could pos- 
sibly transport"; in planned overseas re- 
serves, "more than would ever be used." 54 
All of which, he thought, was probably 
necessary. Unspent funds could be re- 
turned to Treasury, what could not be pro- 
duced in nine months could be produced 
in twelve, a "bank" of cargo was essential 
to efficient utilization of shipping, and ex- 
cess reserves, after all, were better than 
"too little and too late." 5S 

53 Memo, Aurand for Somervell, 24 Jan 42, sub: 
Army Supply Program, MAB Orgn file, DAD. 

Vl Memo, Brig Gen Henry S. Aurand for Brig Gen 
Lucius D. Clay, 18 Jun 42, sub: Basis for Present 
Progs, ID 334 MAB, I. 

55 Ibid. 

For a judgment similar to Aurand's, made after 
the war, see Logistics in World War II, Final Report of 
the Army Service Forces (Washington, 1948), p. 57. 


The Machinery of 

Logistical Co-ordination and 


During the immediate post-Pearl Har- 
bor period a great heaving and shifting in 
the structure of co-ordination and admin- 
istration was under way. From it emerged, 
by mid-1942, a basic organizational pat- 
tern that was to endure with little impor- 
tant change throughout the remainder of 
the war. 

On the international level, the Arcadia 
Conference in December 1941 and Janu- 
ary 1942 created the fundamental Anglo- 
American structure for the direction of 
strategy and control of the resources 
needed to execute it. The Combined Chiefs 
of Staff, composed of the chief military 
advisers (or their representatives) of the 
two heads of state, Roosevelt and Church- 
ill, stood at the top of the military pyra- 
mid; the combined Munitions Assignments 
Boards in Washington and London, oper- 
ating under the CCS, controlled the as- 
signment of military equipment. Other 
combined boards for shipping, raw mate- 
rials, production, and food were set up 
during the first six months of 1942. These 
stood outside the military committee sys- 
tem and reported directly to the President 
and the Prime Minister. 1 

At the same time, the national machin- 

ery for control of the American war econ- 
omy, which had come into being during 
the emergency period, was undergoing 
reorganization and expansion. In January 
the new War Production Board took over 
the general direction of industrial mobili- 
zation, with full authority under the Presi- 
dent's war powers to lay down "policies, 
plans, procedures, and methods" for all 
government agencies engaged in "war pro- 
curement and production." 2 On 12 March 
its chairman, Donald Nelson, reached an 
agreement with General Somervell that 
confirmed to the Army its traditional func- 
tion of determining its own requirements, 
translating these into terms of raw mate- 
rials, facilities, labor, and components, and 
procuring end-items directly from private 
industry. This agreement, hailed by Nel- 
son as "the Magna Carta of our opera- 
tion," 3 actually left many jurisdictional 

1 For a discussion of the combined boards, see be- 
low, Ch. X. The British Chiefs of Staff were repre- 
sented in the CCS in Washington by a permanent 
committee, the British Joint Staff Mission. Period- 
ically, special conferences were held that the British 
Chiefs, and sometimes the heads of state, attended 
in person. 

2 CPA, Industrial Mobilization for War, p. 208. 
1 Ibid., p. 215. 



boundaries unsettled, and above all failed 
to provide a formula for dividing the na- 
tional product between military and civil- 
ian needs. The conflict over this basic issue 
and a multitude of related disputes was 
to continue throughout the war. 

Logistics in the Military Committee System 

The CCS, which began to function in 
January 1942, had as its central task the 
"formulation of policies and plans" for 
"the strategic conduct of the war," 5 and 
the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (consisting of 
the military chiefs of the Army, Army Air 
Forces, and Navy) by February were serv- 
ing similarly as the top-level co-ordinating 
committee for all U.S. forces. The Joint 
Board, made up of the Army and Navy 
chiefs, remained nominally in existence 
throughout the war. There was no central 
executive machinery, either combined or 
joint, however, to put into effect the deci- 
sions of the high command. The CCS ordi- 
narily named either the British or the U.S. 
Joint Chiefs of Staff to act as its executive 
agent, and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staffin 
turn employed the established machinery 
of its service departments. 

On the American side, the Army plan- 
ners soon after Pearl Harbor proposed the 
creation of a supreme U.S. military com- 
mander, responsible to the President as 
Commander in Chief, and a joint general 
staff. Essentially the same plan had been 
advanced the summer before by the 
Navy's General Board, but by February 
1942 Navy opinion had hardened against 
it and the scheme was dropped. When 
Admiral William D. Leahy was appointed 
a few months later as the President's per- 
sonal chief of staff and assumed the chair- 
manship of the JCS, many believed he was 
destined to become supreme commander. 

supplying the pinnacle that the structure 
still lacked. This step was never taken. 
W r hen the Joint Chiefs disagreed, they 
could only appeal to the President. ,; 

The joint committee system, as it rather 
haphazardly developed in 1942, was essen- 
tially a loose collection of planning and 
information-gathering committees and 
boards. Increasingly, but by no means 
uniformly, the JCS dealt with them 
through the Joint Staff Planners and the 
principal working committee of the JPS, 
the Joint U.S. Strategic Committee. The 
CCS similarly dealt through the Combined 
Staff Planners (CPS). The JPS served gen- 
erally as a clearinghouse for the bulk of 
JCS business and, more specifically, as the 
central planning committee for the JCS. 
Planning at this level was not specialized; 
"strategic" plans were the end product of 
a process of weighing all sorts of pertinent 
information, logistical and other, that fun- 
neled into the JPS and JCS. Both the JCS 
and the CCS themselves dealt directly and 
continuously with logistical matters, for- 
mulating programs of requirements and 
assignments and, not infrequently, making 
final decisions on allocations of shipping 
for specific troop and cargo movements 
and of critical equipment for specific oper- 
ations. The JPS and JUSSC drew the in- 
formation they needed for strategic plan- 
ning from the more specialized joint 
committees and from the technical staffs 

4 ( 1, Ibid., Pt. III. (2) Milieu, ASF. (3) R. Elberton 
Smith. Army Procurement and Economic Mobiliza- 

5 ABC-4/CS-4, 14 Jan 42, title: Post- Arcadia Col- 

fi (1) Cline, Washington Command Post . pp. 46, 98- 
104. (2) Min,JB mtgs, 28 Jan and 16 Mar 42. (3) Pa- 
pers in WPD 4532-2; JB 325, Ser 742; ABC 370.26 
Unity of Comd (3-16-42), 1-A. (4) Ray S. Cline and 
Maurice MatlofF. "Development of War Department 
Views on Unification," Military Affairs, Vol. XIII, 
No. 2 (Summer 1949), pp. 65-74. 



of the Army and Navy. There was no sep- 
arate joint agency assigned the task of 
making logistical plans or of appraising 
the logistical feasibility of proposed opera- 
tions. In a limited sense the Joint Military 
Transportation Committee (JMTC) did 
perform this function in the critical field of 
shipping; the JMTC consisted of two 
Army and two Navy members, making up 
the American half of the corresponding 
Combined Military Transportation Com- 
mittee (CMTC). But the conclusions of 
the JMTC, like those of the other commit- 
tees, usually went into the hopper of the 
JPS to be weighed along with other perti- 
nent considerations in strategic planning. 
Neither the JPS nor the JUSSC contained, 
on the Army side, experts in the general, 
or in any particular, field of logistics. 7 

The theory underlying these arrange- 
ments was that strategic planning and 
direction, if it were to be aggressive and 
imaginative, must not become shackled to 
the judgments of experts or technicians as 
to what could or could not be done. This 
was the danger, the Joint Planners feared, 
in any attempt to create a separate logis- 
tical planning committee to advise the JCS 
directly. In any given situation, they held, 
the range of alternatives was broader and 
more flexible than any statistical computa- 
tion of available troops, materiel, and ship- 
ping would indicate. Strategic planners 
had to consult the logistical experts, much 
as they consulted the intelligence experts, 
in order to obtain factual data bearing on 
the situation. From these data they should 
draw their own conclusions, weighing in 
the balance not merely logistical limita- 
tions but also the state of organization and 
training, the enemy's capabilities, the pres- 
sure of strategic necessity, and other perti- 
nent factors. 

Such was the theory. By the logistical 

experts themselves it was accepted only 
with reservations, if at all. Until the inva- 
sion of North Africa, however, plans and 
preparations for assembling an invasion 
force in the British Isles constituted the 
only major military undertaking involving 
forces of all services, both British and 
American, and for this operation special 
committees were set up in Washington and 
London to handle detailed day-to-day 
preparations and much of the joint and 
service staff long-range logistical planning. 
On many matters during 1942 and later, 
the military chiefs reached agreement 
through informal discussion, the informa- 
tion and counsel by which they formed 
their views flowing up to them through 
their own service staffs, bypassing the com- 
mittees altogether. The system of logistical 
co-ordination under the joint and com- 
bined committees did not face the acid test 
until the North Africa undertaking, and 
then it very nearly broke down. 8 

Allocation and Employment of U.S. 
Merchant Shipping 

Merchant shipping was perhaps the 
principal ready resource, other than the 
Navy, that the United States at the begin- 
ning of 1942 could contribute to the Allied 
cause, but the co-ordinating machinery 
developed before Pearl Harbor was palpa- 
bly inadequate for the task of making 
shipping immediately available for war 

7 (1) Cline. Washington Command Post , pp. 101-04, 
1 24. (2) Wardlow, Trans I, Ch. V. The two Army 
members of theJMTC were Generals Somervell and 
Gross; Admiral Land, chairman of the Maritime 
Commission and War Shipping Administrator, often 
attended. (3) For the role of the CPS and the unsuc- 
cessful efforts to make the Munitions Assignments 
Board and the Combined Production and Resources 
Board interallied agencies for determining require- 
ments for production, see below, Ch. XI. 

s See below, Chs. XIV-XVI. 



uses and husbanding its employment. On 
the day following Pearl Harbor the Presi- 
dent set up under his immediate supervi- 
sion a Strategic Shipping Board "to estab- 
lish policies for and plan the allocation 
of — but not to operate — merchant ship- 
ping. 9 The board, composed of the Mari- 
time Commission chairman, the two mili- 
tary chiefs, and Harry Hopkins, was not 
markedly successful. Its members had 
other heavy responsibilities, disagreement 
could be resolved only by appeal to the 
President, and administration had to be 
delegated to existing agencies. A meeting 
of minds — the board's presumed objec- 
tive — could be achieved as readily through 
the normal process of direct communica- 
tion between the members. It was sympto- 
matic of the board's impotence that the 
sharp dispute between the Army and 
Navy during December 1941 over use of 
shipyards for Navy conversion did not 
even come before it and was settled by 
presidential decision. 10 

The first move to remedy the situation, 
a Navy proposal to create a cabinet-level 
"Office of Shipping Coordination" to take 
over both allocation and operation of all 
merchant shipping, was not to the Army's 
liking. Somervell and Gross, while agree- 
ing in principle that "there must be some 
agency endowed with absolute powers over 
the allocation of shipping and the estab- 
lishment of priorities," ll objected immedi- 
ately to giving up the Army's transport 
fleet and ports of embarkation; they also 
sensed danger in the creation of a new 
cabinet officer who, in shipping matters, 
might challenge the influence of the Secre- 
tary of War. 12 Army shipping officials also 
had no desire to diminish the powers of 
the Maritime Commission, with which 
they enjoyed smooth working relations. 
Through the commission, they could rea- 

sonably hope to fill the Army's rapidly 
growing shipping needs, while still retain- 
ing the Army's existing fleet. A cabinet- 
level superagency, possibly dominated by 
the Navy, would endanger both expec- 
tations. The Navy had proposed, in fact, 
that it should clear all Army requests for 
shipping. This scheme the Army rejected 
out of hand, and at the first meeting of the 
Strategic Shipping Board General Mar- 
shall advanced the principle that the 
Maritime Commission should be recog- 
nized as the agency "most capable in sea 
transportation, as is the Navy in sea com- 
bat." 13 This was followed shortly by an 
Army proposal that, "with the direct and 
full assistance of the Maritime Commis- 
sion," the Army should be given control of 
all shipping needed to meet its deployment 
requirements. 14 

In response to the Navy's scheme, the 
Army offered a counterplan for a "Central 
Shipping Administration" that in effect 
would give the Shipping Board a chairman 
(Admiral Land) and replace its exalted 

9 Ltr, President to SW, 8 Dec 41, Shipg 1941-43 
folder, Hq ASF. 

10 ( 1 ) Ltr, Hopkins to President, 8 Dec 4 1 , MS In- 
dex to the Hopkins Papers, Bk. V, Orgn of the WSA, 
p. 1, Item 2. (2) Memo, Gross for CofS, 26 Dec 41, 
sub: Strategic Shipg Bd, Independent Action by the 
Navy, G-4/297 17-26. (3) Duncan S. Ballantine, Ship- 
ping in Naval Logistics: The History of the Naval 
Transportation Service, Monograph 5 in U.S. 
II, pp. 42-47, Naval Hist Div OCNO. 

11 Memo, CofS for Adm Stark, 31 Dec 41, sub: EO 
Estab Central Shipg Admin, G-4/33920. 

12 Memo, Somervell for CofS, 28 Dec 41, sub: Adm 
Turner's Proposed JB Action . . . , G-4/33920. 

" Memo, Somervell for CofS, 14 Dec 41, with incl, 
Agenda for 1st Mtg Strategic Shipg Bd, G-4/33813-1. 

14 (1) Memo, Gross for Gerow, 23 Dec 41, sub: 
Overseas Trans for Army .... (2) Memo, CofS for 
Adm Stark, 24 Dec 41, sub: Sea Trans. Both in G-4/ 
297 1 7-26. (3) JB paper, 27 Dec 4 1 , sub: Proposed So- 
lution of Prob of Alloc and Contl of U.S. Merchant 
Shipg, G-4/33920. (4) Ballantine, Shipping in Naval 
Logistics, p. 46, cited n. 10(3). 



membership by a board of directors con- 
sisting of the War Department G-4, his 
Navy opposite number, and a representa- 
tive of the Office of Production Manage- 
ment. The two services would continue to 
operate their fleets, the Maritime Commis- 
sion the remaining pool of merchant ship- 
ping. The administrator would allocate 
shipping under the supervision of a board 
of directors and, most significantly, in all 
military movements he was "to comply 
with the joint decisions of the Secretary of 
War and the Secretary of the Navy as re- 
gards their requirements." 15 This scheme, 
modified to meet Navy objections, had to 
run the gantlet of critics in the Maritime 
Commission, the Bureau of the Budget, 
the White House, and even Mr. Churchill, 
who feared British needs would not get a 
proper hearing. 16 

What emerged from all this discussion 
was the President's executive order of 7 
February creating the War Shipping Ad- 
ministration as the ship operating agency 
of the Maritime Commission, headed by 
Admiral Land in the dual capacity of 
Chairman, Maritime Commission, and 
War Shipping Administrator. The new 
agency's powers were clearly shaped by 
the feeling, as Hopkins put it, that "there 
are so many interests involved other than 
Stimson and Knox, that Jerry [Admiral 
Land] should be made responsible for the 
whole business." i: Admiral Land was to 
be responsible directly to the President, 
with authority covering not only allocation 
but also "operation, purchase, charter, 
requisition and use" of noncombatant 
ocean shipping other than that in the mili- 
tary transport fleets, which was exempted 
at General Somervell's insistence. 18 The 
restrictions, written in the Army-Navy 
plan, upon the administrator's powers to 
allocate shipping for military purposes had 

been greatly watered down in the execu- 
tive order; he was now held merely to 
"comply with strategic military require- 
ments." 19 This vague proviso, which ran 
counter to the strong representations of 
General Somervell during preliminary dis- 
cussions, was inserted at the last moment 
at the insistence of Hopkins and Admiral 
Land, with the acquiescence of the Navy, 
but without Somervell's knowledge. As 
Maritime Commission chairman, Admiral 
Land of course remained responsible for 
ship construction. He thus became, in 
truth, a "shipping czar" as well as a "ship 
construction czar," as his colleague Ad- 
miral Vickery put it, with authority that 
fell only a little short of the "absolute 
powers" to which Somervell and Gross, 
perhaps disingenuously, had earlier agreed 
in principle. 20 

The executive order of 7 February, stat- 
ing explicitly that the Army should control 
its own transports and be allocated ship- 
ping directly by WSA, at least seemed to 
settle the question of whether there was to 
be one military shipping agency or two. 
The Navy evidently had assumed that this 
provision was only temporary, an assump- 

15 Memo, with draft charter atchd, cited a. 11. 

16 (1) Ltr, SWandSN to Hopkins, 13 Jan 42, MS 
Index to the Hopkins Papers, Bk. V, Orgn of the 
WSA, p. 3, Item 13. (2) Ltr, SN to White House for 
Hopkins. 13 Jan 42, sub: EO Estab Central Shipg 
Admin, WSA folder, OCT HB. (3) Memo, Somer- 
vell for SW, 28 Jan 42, G-4/33813-1. (4) Memo, Adm 
Vickery for Hopkins, 12 Jan 42, MS Index to the 
Hopkins Papers, Bk. V, Orgn of the WSA, p. 3, Item 
12. (5) Note, Churchill to Hopkins, 10 Jan 42, MS 
Index to the Hopkins Papers, Bk. V, Orgn of the 
WSA, p. 2, Item 11. 

17 Msg, Hopkins to President, 22 Jan 42, para- 
phrased in MS Index to the Hopkins Papers, Bk. V, 
Orgn of the WSA, p. 3, Item 13. 

lx EO9054, 7 Feb 42. 

19 Ibid. 

20 (1) Memo cited n. 16(4). (2) Papers in Shipg 
1941-43 folder, Hq ASF. (3) Ballantine, Shipping in 
Naval Logistics, pp. 47-51, cited n. 10(3). 




Maritime Commission chairman and War 
Shipping Administrator. 

tion that goes far to explain its acquies- 
cence in the vast powers conferred upon 
the administrator. In the last week of Feb- 
ruary Admiral Stark abruptly raised the 
issue, proposing not only to take over the 
Army's transports during the next two 
months but also to serve as the sole agency 
for consolidating military shipping re- 
quirements and presenting them to WSA. 
General Marshall promptly and brusquely 
rejected the suggestion. Present arrange- 
ments, he asserted, were "most satisfactory 
to the Army" and promised a "much bet- 
ter use of our shipping . . . than has ever 
obtained in the past." As far as the Army 
was concerned, the issue had been "dis- 
posed of." 21 

Two questions remained outstanding. 

One concerned control of loading and un- 
loading cargo vessels allocated to the Army 
by WSA. Among Army transportation 
officials it was basic doctrine that these 
operations, along with the flow of military 
cargo into and through the port, must be 
under military control in the interests of 
efficient traffic management as well as of 
timely and adequate supply. WSA, for its 
part, felt it was essential to co-ordinate the 
movement of military with that of non- 
military supplies and was especially in- 
sistent upon reducing the waste of shipping 
space that inevitably resulted from sepa- 
rate handling and loading of military and 
nonmilitary cargo. The other question had 
to do with the method of allocation. The 
Army, like the Navy, expected to obtain 
block allocations permanently or for ex- 
tended periods, an expectation apparently 
formed during the discussions by the Stra- 
tegic Shipping Board in December. In 
January and February Somervell sought 
from the Maritime Commission such long- 
terrri allocations, but it quickly became 
apparent that the WSA would not counte- 
nance this method of allocation, which 
violated the pooling principle."" 

Both issues — control of loading and 
method of allocation — came to a head in 
June. On the 13th an agreement was 
signed by General Somervell, for the W'ar 
Department, and Lewis W. Douglas, for 
WSA, that represented a concession by 

-' (1) Memo, CofS for CNO, 27 Feb 42. (2) Memo, 
GNO for CofS, 26 Feb 42. (3) Related papers. All in 
Army Trans Sv folder, OCT HB. (4) Ballantine, Ship- 
ping in Naval Logistics, pp. 55-57, cited n. 10(3). 

-'-' (1) Ltr, Traffic Dir WSA to Navy Trans Sv, 25 
Feb 42. (2) Disposition form, G-4 to CG USAFIA, 28 
Fcl> 12. fhis refers to an agreemenl that cargo vessels 
returning from overseas should be made available to 
WSA if not needed for military use. Both in G-4/ 
33861. (3) See also Ballantine, Naval Logistics, pp. 88- 
90; and (4) Ballantine, Shipping in Naval Logistics, 
pp. 46, 57, cited n. 10(3). (5) See above, Ch. VIII. 



WSA on the first issue and by the Army on 
the second. Under the agreement all cargo 
vessels assigned to the Army were to be 
loaded by the Army, but they were to be 
assigned only for the outward lap of a sin- 
gle voyage, reverting to WSA control after 
their Army cargo was discharged. On each 
side, however, the concession was quali- 
fied. The Army was to rely upon WSA for 
additional terminal facilities and labor 
under WSA terms of use. Idle facilities 
were not to be reserved for future use. 
Cargo was to be interchanged between 
vessels, whenever possible, to secure tight 
stowage. WSA recognized that troop trans- 
ports were usually needed on an assign- 
ment longer than cargo vessels; later, 
transports came to be assigned normally 
for the round trip. Freighters, too, could 
be retained in a theater "as the military 
necessity demands." L>3 

This "treaty" at least cleared the air and 
defined the issues. It concluded, signifi- 
cantly, with mutual assurances that nei- 
ther signatory had designs upon the right- 
ful jurisdiction of the other. But before the 
end of the year its basic provisions were 
again to be a subject of dispute.- 4 

The Army's Logistical Organization During 
the Emergency Period 

The prewar logistical structure of the 
Army had managed to carry its share of 
the growing burden of mobilization during 
the emergency period, but there was a 
mounting conviction on the higher levels 
that fundamental alterations would be re- 
quired to meet the impact of war. 23 Logis- 
tical business, in the broad sense, made up 
the bulk of the enormous and growing vol- 
ume of administration with which the 
General Staff daily had to deal, and which 
by the end of 1941 had transformed each 

LEWIS W. DOUGLAS, Deputy Admin- 
istrator, War Shipping Administration. 

of its divisions into a large operating organ- 
ization, immersed in details of supervision 

2J (1) Memo Covering the Interdepartmental Rela- 
tionship Between the Army and WSA To Form a 
Basis for Full and Complete Cooperation in Connec- 
tion With the Purchase, Charter, Use, and Opn of 
Vessels and Terminal Facilities, 13 Jun 42, Shipg 
1941-43 folder, Hq ASF. (2) A similar agreement was 
reached between the Navy and WSA in letters dated 
7 April and 7 May. See Ballantine, Naval Logistics, p. 
89, and Wardlow, Trans I, Ch. VI. 

Lewis W. Douglas had become a deputy adminis- 
trator (there were two other deputies) of WSA, and 
in effect the head of that organization, under Admiral 
Land, in May 1942. Douglas was president of the 
Mutual Life Insurance Company and a former Direc- 
tor of the Bureau of the Budget; he was also a good 
friend of the President, who approved his appoint- 
ment and promised to back him in what promised 
to be an exposed position in the "Battle of Washing- 
ton." See Lane, Ships for Victory, p. 755. 

24 See below, Ch. XXII. 

28 For the prewar logistical organization of the 
Armv, see above, Ch. I and Chart 1. 








JO : 


> > > = 
















i s I 



I S 



to the detriment of its policy-making and 
planning functions. G-4 became, next to 
G-2 and its affiliated intelligence services, 
the largest of the General Staff divisions, 
with an officer personnel at the beginning 
of March 1942 numbering upwards of two 
hundred. 26 (Chart 3) The Chief of Staff 
himself, despite the interposition of three 
deputies, a secretariat, and the five assist- 
ant chiefs, was similarly swamped as a 
consequence of the large number of sub- 
ordinate headquarters permitted direct 
access to him. 

Logistics was involved also in the funda- 
mental conflicts of authority that emerged 
in 1941 between the General Staff and 
GHQ. By late winter of 1941-42 GHQ 
had been assigned, over and above its basic 
training task, command of all the Atlantic 
and Caribbean bases and the two theaters 
of operations (Western and Northeastern) 
activated in the United States immediately 
after Pearl Harbor, as well as a variety of 
new planning responsibilities. The War 
Plans Division, even more definitely, was 
moving toward the command post role 
that the Harbord Board had intended for 
GHQ, having been given command of the 
important outposts of Hawaii and the 
Philippines and having become the staff 
division upon which General Marshall re- 
lied most in directing current operations. 
These converging lines of development 
brought GHQ to a point where it needed a 
measure of authority in the field of logis- 
tics that the General Staff was unwilling 
to surrender to it. Under the first enlarge- 
ment of its responsibilities in July 1941, 
GHQ was promised direct control of "such 
credits in supplies, ammunition and equip- 
ment as may, from time to time, be spe- 
cifically allotted to it by the War Depart- 
ment." 2? As GHQofficers interpreted it, 
this meant block allotments of means with 

full control over their use and administra- 
tion, but GHQ never succeeded in secur- 
ing such an arrangement. The corps areas, 
under G-4 supervision since their separa- 
tion from army commands in mid- 1940, 
controlled the flow of routine supply to 
bases and departments overseas, while G-4 
exercised staff supervision directly over the 
movement of troops and overseas supply 
generally. The Chief of Engineers, under 
G-4's supervision, was responsible for 
overseas construction and the supply of 
construction materials. The Air Service 
Command provided technical items of Air 
Corps supplies. Thus, in the case of the 
Newfoundland Base Command, cited by 
General McNair as "an interesting exam- 
ple of superior command," 28 real control 
of the means necessary to effective com- 
mand was exercised through at least five 
separate channels (of which three were for 
logistical matters) bypassing GHQ, the 
headquarters theoretically in command of 
the base; the final word in allocation of 
personnel and material actually lay with 
WPD. GHQ's real function amounted to 
no more, as General McNair described it, 
than "such inspection and coordination as 
is practicable under the circumstances." 29 
WPD readily conceded, in principle, 
that "control of supply is an essential ele- 

- 6 (1) At the end of 1941 G-4 was reported to have 
about 1 50 officers and 1 30 civilians. See Nelson, Na- 
tional Security and the General Staff , p. 322. (2) The fig- 
ure of two hundred officers is from Supply Division 
G-4, War Department General Staff, MS history, 
OCMH. (3) See also min, WD Gen Council mtg, 19 
May 42. (4) Cline, Washington Command Post , p. 54. 

27 WD ltr, 3 Jul 41, sub: Enlargement of the Func- 
tions of GHQ, AG 320.2 (6-19-41) MC-E-M. 

- s Memo, CofS for ACofS WPD, 2 Sep 4 1 , sub: 
Functions, Responsibility, and Auth of GHQ Orgn, 

-'' (1) Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, AGF I, pp. 
6-9, 17-20,22-23, 132, 136-37, 147; quote is from p. 
133. (2) Cline, Washington Command Pest, pp. 63-65. 
(3) WD ltr cited n. 27. 



ment of command," but insisted that the 
shortage of munitions and shipping dic- 
tated "rigid control" over supply by the 
War Department. 30 G-4's stand in the mat- 
ter was not wholly unequivocal, but gen- 
erally followed this line. When the question 
of GHQ's authority over the "Carib" 
training force was raised in July 1941, G-4 
insisted that existing channels of supply 
through Second Corps Area, and of trans- 
portation through The Quartermaster 
General and ports of embarkation, be 
maintained. The following January Gen- 
eral Somervell, who had become G-4 at 
the end of November 1941, took the un- 
compromising stand that GHQ should 
exercise "no direct control over supplies or 
troop movements in the Zone of Interior," 
including those destined for overseas. 
GHQ, he asserted, "does not have an 
organization empowered or prepared to 
implement a supply plan for military oper- 
ations. The War Department is set up for 
this purpose." 31 

It was under this principle that the 
logistical phases of Army deployment were 
directed during the first three months fol- 
lowing Pearl Harbor. GHQ submitted 
theater plans to G-4 for analysis as to logis- 
tical feasibility; G-4, after obtaining a ten- 
tative order of priority for the various 
plans, proceeded to initiate procurement 
and "other advanced logistical arrange- 
ments." ' 2 In supply GHQ assumed con- 
trol only from the time that troops and 
material left the port of embarkation, 
merely observing the process up to that 
point. Otherwise, GHQ's supply functions 
were limited to recommending priorities 
for supply among and within theaters, in- 
specting supply conditions and recom- 
mending to G-4 levels of reserves to be 
maintained overseas. Implementation of 
plans and recommendations was the task 

of the established machinery supervised 
by G-4. 33 

Somervell's memorandum outlining 
these functions bore a significant penciled 
comment by his recently appointed execu- 
tive officer, General Lutes: ". . . the at- 
tached will definitely limit GHQ powers 
and enable you to have the final word on 
supply." The Defense Aid Director, Colo- 
nel Aurand, had remarked two months 
earlier on "the crying need for reorganiza- 
tion of the War Department to put all 
supply in the hands of one man." 34 To- 
ward this end Somervell's efforts, in Janu- 
ary 1942, were unmistakably directed. The 
division of supply responsibilities between 
G-4 and the Office of the Under Secretary 
of War — with G-4 controlling require- 
ments and distribution and the OUSW 
controlling procurement — was one that 
many observers still believed to be feasible, 
notably the management firm of Booz, 
Frey, Allen and Hamilton, which sur- 
veyed the OUSW late in 1941. But juris- 
dictional lines, during the expansion of 
1940 and 1941 , became badly blurred, as 
the staffs in G-4 and the OUSW grappled 
more and more with similar or identical 
problems of requirements and availability. 
Moreover, as the pressure on production 
mounted, G-4's task of expediting supply 

'" Memo, VVPD for CofS, Aug 41, sub: Functions 
and Auth of GHQ, incl with memo, McNair for 
DCofS, 11 Aug 41, same sub, GHQ 320.2/4. 

" (1) Memo, G-4 for WPD, 24 Jan 42, sub: Co-ord 
Between WPD, G-4, GHQ and Theater Comdrs. (2) 
Memo, G-4 for CofS, 18 Jan 42, same sub. Both in 
G-4/34015. (3) Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, AGF 
I, pp. 142, 147. (4) Memo, G-4 for WPD, 5 Aug 41, 
sub: Activation of Alaskan and Caribbean Def 
Comds, G-4/33366. 

- Memo cited n. 31(2). 

11 Ibid. Somervell here notes the Chief of StafFs 
approval of these definitions of responsibility on 21 

14 Memo. Aurand for Moore, 24 Nov 41, sub: Nec- 
essity for Immediate Action . . . , Misc Corresp 
Lend-lease 3 file, DAD. 



depended more and more upon the meet- 
ing of current production schedules, over 
which G-4 had no jurisdiction. Finally, the 
expansion of the OUSW, unfettered by 
any traditional inhibition against "operat- 
ing," had far outpaced that of G-4; at the 
end of 1941 that organization numbered 
some twelve hundred persons. !l 

One of Somervell's first steps, after be- 
coming G-4, was to call in his and Mr. 
Stimson's friend, Goldthwaite H. Dorr, a 
prominent New York attorney and Assist- 
ant Director of Munitions in World War I, 
to examine the whole problem of supply 
organization in the War Department. Dorr 
and a small committee began to work 
quietly in January, at the same time that, 
probably unknown to Somervell, plans for 
a wholesale decentralization of the War 
Department's operating and supervisory 
functions were maturing. The coincidence 
was ironical, for Dorr's and Somervell's 
explorations at the outset were aimed at 
consolidating in the General Staff the 
direction of all supply, including the pro- 
curement functions of the OUSW, some- 
what as it had been concentrated during 
World War I under Maj. Gen. George W. 
Goethals in the Purchase, Storage, and 
Traffic Division. It was not difficult to 
merge the two lines of planning, when the 
drift of the broader reorganization project 
was revealed early in February, for the 
latter envisaged the creation of a single 
supply and service command for the conti- 
nental United States. 3 " To its commander, 
as readily as to an assistant chief of staff in 
the General Staff, could be assigned the 
"final word in supply." 37 

Logistics in the War Department Reorganization 
of March 1942 

On 28 February the President signed 
the executive order creating "a ground 

force . . . an air force . . . and a service 
of supply command," under the Chief of 
Stall. 1S In the reorganized War Depart- 
ment, which officially came into existence 
on 9 March, a streamlined General Staff 
was restricted to the provision of "such 
broad basic plans" as would enable the 
various commands, including the three 
mentioned above, "to prepare and execute 
detailed programs." 39 The Army Ground 
Forces (AGF) was created and, under 
General McNair's command, took over 
the training tasks of GHCX, which was now 
abolished. The Army Air Forces, which 
had been created in July 1941, continued 
with little change in status. Under the 
Services of Supply, General Somervell's 
new command, was centralized control of 
supply and administration for the entire 
Army in the United States, with certain 
specific exceptions, principally relating to 
the Air Forces. Somervell's headquarters 
took over a number of important functions 
formerly assigned to the General Staff, 
as well as the anomalous organization 
charged with the administration of mili- 
tary lend-lease. To the Services of Supply 
were now subordinated most of the logis- 
tical agencies that had formerly reported 
directly to the General Staff: the supply 
and administrative services, with their re- 
gional establishments; various separate 
installations formerly "exempted" from 
higher control lower than the General 

'■■' Nelson, National Security and the General Staff, p. 

1fi (1) For details, see Millett, ASF, Chs. I-II. (2) 
See also, Millett, "The Direction of Supply Activities 
in the War Department," American Political Science Re- 
view, XXXVIII June 1944), 492-94. 

(7 Penciled comment by Lutes on memo cited n. 

18 EO 9082, 28 Feb 42. 

"' ( 1 ) WD Circular 59, 2 Mar 42.(2) Ltr, CG SOS 
to Chiefs of SAS, et al. , 9 Mar 42, sub: Initial Dir for 
theOrgnofSOS, Hq ASF. 



Staff, such as the ports of embarkation, 
holding and reconsignment points, regu- 
lating stations, proving grounds, procure- 
ment offices, and general depots; and the 
regional administrative machinery of the 
nine corps areas (renamed service com- 
mands in July), which now included most 
of the training installations of the supply 
and administrative services, induction and 
reception centers, alien and prisoner of 
war camps, dispensaries and general hos- 
pitals, repair shops, and the station com- 
plements and housekeeping facilities at 
ground force installations. 40 (Chart 4) 

General Somervell, commander of the 
SOS, reported now to two masters — the 
Chief of Staff with respect to supply re- 
quirements and distribution, and the 
Under Secretary with respect to procure- 
ment. But inasmuch as most of the existing 
personnel of both the OUSW and the G-4 
were transferred bodily to Somervell's 
staff, the two former co-ordinating offices 
were left with only a vague and, as experi- 
ence speedily proved, nominal policy- 
making and planning role. G-4 found it 
impossible, with the eight to a dozen offi- 
cers assigned to it, to exercise even policy 
supervision over logistical activities. The 
SOS rapidly moved into the vacuum to 
become a policy-making and planning as 
well as a supervisory and operating organ- 
ization, and its forceful commander re- 
tained the responsibility, which he had 
held as G-4, of advising General Marshall 
directly in matters of supply. "We occupy 
a middle position," a G-4 officer wrote bit- 
terly about a year after the reorganization, 
"between General Somervell as the Army 
representative in joint and international 
supply deals and General Somervell as the 
Commanding General of the Army Serv- 
ice Forces, a theoretical subordinate." 41 
General McNair, a disapproving observer 

of the trend, later told Somervell bluntly, 
"G-4 is the proper adviser of the Chief of 
Staff in logistics policies, even though such 
is not the case today due to the force of 
your personality." 42 

But the "final word on supply," which 
the reorganization of March 1942 snatched 
away from G-4 and the OUSW, was not 
bestowed upon the Services of Supply, 
powerful though Somervell's voice re- 
mained in high councils. War Plans Divi- 
sion (shortly renamed Operations Division 
and known as OPD) became, under the 
reorganization, the central command post 
that GHQ had never been allowed to be. 
Its functions included not only war plan- 
ning but also "strategic direction of mili- 
tary forces in the theater of war," 43 and it 
was organized as a separate general staff 
within the General Staff, equipped to com- 
mand and operate as well as to plan. In 
general, the three great zone of interior 
commands were supposed to provide 
trained forces, equipment, and supplies in 
the United States, and the means to trans- 
port them overseas; G-l, G-3, and G-4 to 
formulate Army-wide policies primarily 
in the United States (that is, those affect- 
ing all three major commands) in the fields 
of personnel, unit organization, and sup- 

40 ( 1 ) Ibid. (2) Annual Report of the Army Sendee Forces, 
1943 (Washington. 1944), Ch. XIX. (3) Milieu, ASF, 
Ch. III. (4) See other accounts in Greenfield, Palmer, 
and Wiley, AGF I, pp. 143-56; Watson, Prewar Plans 
and Preparations, Ch. IX; Cline, Washington Command 
Post, Ch. VI; and Nelson, National Security and the Gen- 
eral Staff, Ch. VIII. 

41 Memo, Lt Col James McCormack, Jr., for Brig 
Gen Raymond G. Moses, 16 Apr 43, sub: Reorgn of 
the WD, G-4/020. 

The SOS was renamed Army Service Forces in 
March 1943. 

4 '-' ( 1 ) Memo, McNair for Somervell, 24 Jun 43, sub: 
Your Proposed Reorgn of Sv Activities, AGF 1943-44 
folder, Hq ASF. (2) See Cline, Washington Command 
Post, pp. 114-15. 

41 WD Circular 59, 2 Mar 42. 








E ? 





1 ° 


s > 




<2 Q 


E S 

• Q 




Hoe a 



1 yii/iQ 




ply; OPD to direct operations overseas. 44 
In practice, there were few matters, in 
logistics or any other field, in which OPD 
did not claim an interest and assert final 
jurisdiction, since all military activities in 
the zone of interior were oriented directly 
or indirectly to the support of overseas 
operations. And since OPD was not re- 
stricted, as were G-l, G-3, and G-4, to 
planning and policy making, it quickly 
built up a sizable staff of specialists in vari- 
ous fields to interpret the stream of techni- 
cal information that daily poured into the 
division both from overseas theaters and 
from other zone of interior agencies. By 
mid- 1942 two branches of OPD's organi- 
zation, Theater Group and Logistics 
Group, were dealing directly and continu- 
ously with logistical matters. The former, 
through its theater sections, each organ- 
ized as a miniature general staff, moni- 
tored the flow of messages between the 
War Department and overseas command- 
ers and served as an operational control 
center for directing overseas operations. 
The Theater Group also included a Troop 
Movements Section, which supervised the 
preparation of movement orders by the 
three major commands and co-ordinated 
the flow of troops overseas. The Logistics 
Group, at first called Resources and Re- 
quirements, concerned itself with logistical 
problems in the large, rather than theater 
by theater, and placed special emphasis 
upon the balancing of requirements 
against assets. It was this group that, 
among other tasks, prepared and main- 
tained the Victory Program Troop Basis. 
Necessarily, officers in the Logistics Group 
depended on the SOS and other sources 
for detailed logistical data, but they had 
access to the latest strategic plans, a source 
denied the planning staff of SOS. Through 
the Logistics Group, OPD became the 

Army's highest logistical planning and co- 
ordinating agency in the sense that it 
brought detailed knowledge and informed 
judgment of logistical limitations to bear 
in the final stages of strategic planning and 
decision. 45 

The Services of Supply, by contrast, was 
the Army's central operating and co- 
ordinating agency for supply in the United 
States and to the overseas theaters (except 
for material peculiar to the Air Forces). 
In the procurement field and in those 
phases of distribution that did not impinge 
immediately upon overseas operations, 
such as the management of the depot sys- 
tem and the supply of posts and installa- 
tions in the United States, the co-ordinat- 
ing function of the SOS reached upward 
to the policy-making level. In another 
dimension, wherever logistical operations 
could be reduced to routine procedures 
and automatic controls, the authority of 
the SOS was comparatively little subject 
to review or co-ordination from above. It 
was in logistical planning, the movement 
of troops to overseas theaters, and certain 
phases of overseas supply, activities that 
had a crucial bearing on military opera- 
tions and, throughout 1942 at least, con- 
tinued to demand a high degree of super- 
vision, that the SOS found its information, 
judgments, and operations more or less 
constantly under scrutiny by OPD. Some- 
times the scrutiny descended to routine, 
even humdrum questions. "Too many 
matters," wrote General Lutes, Somer- 
vell's Assistant Chief of Staff for Opera- 
tions, in September 1942, "that are of 
primary interest to the SOS are being 
handled in the Operations Division. . . . 

44 Cline, Washington Command Post , pp. 93-95. 

1 ' Ibid., pp. 123-31. See also Cline's draft MS, Ch. 
XVII, p. 632, in Supporting Docs to Cline. Washing- 
ton Command Post file, OCMH. 



Unless we are careful . . . we may find a 
great many supply matters bottlenecked 
in the Operations Division. Overseas com- 
manders may not understand this and not 
realize that the delays are due to the Gen- 
eral Staff/' "' Several months later the 
same officer complained of the "gradual 
tendency by the General Staff to tighten 
the rein of supervision over all the plan- 
ning and operational procedures of Head- 
quarters, ASF." 47 

From the point of view of the SOS, this 
supervision was senseless and wasteful in a 
structure created expressly for the purpose 
of lessening the administrative burdens of 
the General Staff. The patience of the SOS 
commander, never Job-like, occasionally 
broke under OPD interference in routine 
logistical business. On one occasion he 
wrote acidlv to General Handv, the chief 
of OPD: 

The officers who handled the matter in 
your office knew nothing of the situation. . . . 
The exchange of wires has now dragged on 
for over a month. In my opinion this is an in- 
excusable waste of time and I am sure that 
inefficiency will result in the event that junior 
officers in OPD continue to interfere in mat- 
ters of supply. 4S 

Understandably, this kind of irascibility 
caused annoyance in OPD, particularly 
when it was accompanied by strictures 
against the alleged incompetence of OPD 
in logistical planning. In this area the two 
staffs jostled repeatedly, and no really 
satisfactory modus operandi was ever found. 

Supply and Transportation in the SOS 

The initial organization of SOS head- 
quarters reflected the dependence of dis- 
tribution upon current production. These 
two functions were combined under a sin- 
gle Director of Procurement and Distribu- 
tion; a Deputy Chief of Staff for Require- 

ments and Resources was responsible for 
"requirements, programs, resources and 
procurement planning," 49 including the 
administration of defense aid, which was 
a function of distribution as well as of re- 
quirements. Both these officials were part 
of the commanding general's immediate 
office staff. The supply arms and services, 
with a new Transportation Division (later 
Service, and still later Corps) and a Gen- 
eral Depot Service, were initially desig- 
nated the "operating divisions" of the 
SOS. 50 

But the key agency of the SOS in 
co-ordinating its support of overseas oper- 
ations was its Operations Division, a staff 
section not under the Director of Procure- 
ment and Distribution. This division was 
charged somewhat ambiguously with co- 
ordinating plans and instructions on "pro- 
jected and current operations" involving 
two or more agencies of the SOS, with re- 
spect to troop and supply movements and 
"supply matters in connection with spe- 
cific tactical or strategic operations, or 
other War Department activities." 51 Its 
role at first was rather narrowly defined. 
According to Col. Clinton F. Robinson, 
one of the "founding fathers" of the SOS: 

The primary functions of the Operations 
Division are those concerned with purely 
military operations. Its chief duty should be 
the working out of the necessary supply ar- 
rangements with the War Plans Division and 
the Ground and Air Forces for specific mili- 

' Memo. Lutes for Dir Ping Div SOS, 12 Sep 42, 
Misc Notes, Lutes File. 

17 Memo, Maj Geu LeRoy Lutes for Maj Gen Wil- 
helm D. Styer, 30 Mar 43. Misc Notes. Lutes File. 

' Memo. Gen Somervell for Maj Gen Thomas T. 
Handv. 24 Feb 43. ACofS OPD 1942-44 folder, Hq 
ASF. ' 

" Ltr cited n. 39(2). 

1 ) Ibid. (2) Report of the Chief of Transportation, 
ASF. World War II (Washington, 30 Nov 45), pp. 


Ltr cited n. 39(2). 



tary operations. . . . The Operations Divi- 
sion is concerned with current and short- 
range military operations both within the 
zone of the interior and movements overseas. 52 

But from the outset the chief of the SOS 
Operations Division, General Lutes, whom 
Somervell had brought into G-4 only in 
January as his executive officer, interpreted 
his responsibilities broadly and forcefully. 
One of the primary areas was distribution, 
which Somervell on the eve of the reorgan- 
ization had offered to place under Lutes' 
immediate supervision. Lutes had de- 
murred, arguing that without transporta- 
tion, already assigned a separate staff 
status, his direct control of distribution 
would be ineffective. But he had made it 
clear that he intended to co-ordinate both 
functions, even though the Distribution 
Branch was placed under the Director of 
Procurement and Distribution, who, un- 
like Lutes, was part of Somervell's imme- 
diate office. The weeks following the re- 
organization witnessed the anomaly of 
papers issuing from Distribution Branch 
over Lutes' signature instead of Col. 
Charles D. Young's, the Director of Pro- 
curement and Distribution. Finally, in 
July, Lutes was raised to the status of As- 
sistant Chief of Staff for Operations, on a 
par with the Assistant Chiefs for Personnel 
and Materiel, created at the same time. 
Lutes' organization now included a Distri- 
bution Division and a Plans Division, with 
the "operations" function centered in his 
own office (the Operations Division had 
been eliminated). This was an important 
change, recognizing for the first time the 
cleavage between the requirements-pro- 
curement function, now consolidated 
under Brig. Gen. Lucius D. Clay, Assistant 
Chief of Staff for Materiel, and the distri- 
bution-logistical planning function. 5 ! 

One of the "operations" that it seemed 

might logically be performed for the Army 
as a whole by the Operations Division of 
the SOS was that of co-ordinating troop 
and accompanying supply movements. For 
this purpose Lutes' initial organization 
contained a Troop and Supply Movements 
Subsection, predecessor of the later Move- 
ments Branch. In prereorganization con- 
ferences SOS representatives had gained 
the impression that agreement had been 
reached on a procedure whereby the SOS. 
which was involved in all troop move- 
ments through its supply and transporta- 
tion functions, would issue general direc- 
tives for all movements, while AGF and 
AAF might issue supplementary orders as 
they saw fit, "if they do not conflict with 
SOS directives." 54 Theoretically, this pro- 
cedure would combine in SOS the func- 
tions formerly performed in G-3, which 
had prepared the command portions of the 
basic order (including designation of units 
tables of organization, and strength break- 
down), and in G-4, which had prepared 
the paragraph relating to supplies, equip- 
ment, and transportation. 55 

The first movement carried out under 
the new procedure, that of the Tongatabu 
task force ordered by the Joint Chiefs on 
12 March, showed what the procedure 
meant in practice. Army Ground Forces, 
given full responsibility for setting up the 
Army portion of the joint force, and pos- 

5 - Memo, Robinson for Styer, 19 Mar 42, Misc 
Notes, Lutes File. 

53 (1) Memo, Lutes for Somervell, 6 Mar 42, Misc 
Notes, Lutes File. (2) Memo cited n. 52. (3) SOS GO 
24, 20 Jul 42. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff 
for Requirements and Resources was abolished. (4) 
See also, History of the Planning Division, Army 
Service Forces, MS, I, 8, OCMH. 

' 4 Memo, Lutes for Somervell, 7 Mar 42. sub: Sum- 
mary of Opns, Misc Notes, Lutes File. 

55 (1) History of the Planning Division, ASF, MS, 
I, 34, 36, 136, OCMH. (2) Troop Movements in 
World War II, 31 Oct 45, MS, p. 6. OCMH. 

KEY FIGURES OF THE SERVICES OF SUPPLY, March 1942. Top left, Lt. Gen. 
LeRoy Lutes (then Brig. Gen.); top right, General Brehon B. Somervell (then Lt. Gen.); bottom 
left, Maj. Gen. Charles P. Gross (then Brig. Gen.); bottom right, Maj. Gen. Lucius D. Clay 
(then Brig. Gen.). 



sessing all the former G-3 officers who 
knew the technique of writing movement 
orders, issued the basic order for virtually 
all the Army ground elements, both com- 
bat and service; SOS issued an order for a 
single finance detachment, together with 
implementing instructions to corps areas, 
supply services, and ports to carry out sup- 
ply and transportation arrangements for 
the entire force; the AAF staff, floundering 
in an unfamiliar task with inexperienced 
personnel, got out an order for the move- 
ment of air units and for the supply of 
items of peculiar interest to the Air Forces. 
Obviously, decentralization under the re- 
organization had complicated an already 
involved procedure. 

On the day that the SOS movement 
order was published, 16 March, General 
Lutes took the problem to Col. William K. 
Harrison, Jr., one of the OPD officers who 
had fathered the War Department reor- 
ganization. AGF was now insistent that it 
must write movement orders for its own 
units, excepting only those portions relat- 
ing to marking, transportation, and bulk 
supplies. Besides writing complete orders 
for its own units, SOS claimed the right to 
prepare all instructions concerning trans- 
portation and supply, including the provi- 
sions for supplies and equipment accom- 
panying the troops, since the process of 
actually providing this material was the 
responsibility of SOS agencies. AAF was 
uncertain, but on the whole inclined to go 
along with the SOS view. The three com- 
mands agreed that the command portions 
of the orders should properly be prepared 
by each command for its own units. Maj. 
Gen. Joseph T McNarney, the Deputy 
Chief of Staff, was prevailed upon to accept 
OPD's proposed solution — to centralize 
the co-ordinating and supervisory function 
once again in the General Staff, this time 

in OPD, where at the beginning of April 
a small troop movements section was set 
up within the Theater Group. 

On 20 March, while the staffs were still 
struggling with the Tongatabu movement, 
OPD issued a directive assigning to itself 
the "initiation, supervision and co-ordina- 
tion" of movement orders. 56 For each 
movement OPD issued a single basic 
order; the three major commands then 
co-ordinated their efforts in preparing a 
single implementing order, each writing 
so much of it "as pertains to their respec- 
tive activities." 57 The final draft was sub- 
mitted to OPD for approval and publica- 
tion. The procedure was further central- 
ized by the requirement that all movement 
orders must be cleared with the Deputy 
Chief of Staff. Insofar as this procedure 
provided for the drafting of separate sup- 
ply arrangements by each major com- 
mand, however, it became almost imme- 
diately a fiction. AAF accepted the supply 
and transportation provisions for its units 
as drafted by the SOS staff. AGF contin- 
ued to prepare for its units the provisions 
applying to material accompanying the 
movement, but it became a routine proce 
dure for OPD to use the provisions for 
supply as well as transportation drafted by 
the SOS. In this respect, as in many others, 
the SOS Operations staff performed the 
Army-wide services given up by G-4 in the 
reorganization. 58 

General Lutes also exploited vigorously 

56 Memo, TAG for WPD, 20 Mar 42, sub: Respon- 
sibility and Proced for Preparation of Overseas Mvmt 
Order, OPD 370.5 Changes of Station, 12. 

57 Ibid. 

58 ( 1 ) Memo, Exec Off for ACofS WPD, 22 Mar 42, 
sub: Mvmt Orders, OPD 370.5 Changes of Station, 
l l <3. (2) Min, WD Gen Council mtg, 31 Mar 42. (3) 
Troop Movements in World War 11,31 Oct 45, MS, 
pp. 3-7, OCMH. (4) Historv of the Planning Division, 
AST. MS. I, 13d 37, OCMH. (5) Clinc Washington 
Command Post, pp. 125-27. 



what he called "the general follow-up of 
the functioning of the supply system," 1 
and under a "maintain-close-liaison" 
clause in the initial SOS directive, he 
established virtually complete control over 
the "foreign relations" of SOS and the 
supply services with the other two major 
commands and the General Staff in the 
field of supply. In particular, he success- 
fully asserted the prerogative of co-ordi- 
nating "all supply matters and supply in- 
formation" between SOS and OPD.' " 

Lutes at first visualized his office as a 
G-4 for the SOS, having the function of 
"co-ordinating and supervising the opera- 
tions . . . affecting principally the field 
forces and the War Department General 
Staff." 61 Presently, however, he perceived 
a happier analogy — with OPD. This was 
suggested by the rapid extension of the 
function of logistical planning by the SOS 
staff. Under the original concept of the 
SOS, long-range planning was dispersed 
among several agencies — Requirements, 
Resources, and the operating divisions 
(supply services).''- These continued, of 
course, to plan, but Lutes' planning staff 
soon became the dominant planning 
agency of the SOS. The Distribution Divi- 
sion, after it was added to Lutes' organiza- 
tion, became by contrast essentially an 
operating or executive staff. His Plans 
Division, despite its name, consisted in 
July 1942 of branches not only for general 
plans, but also for mobilization, move- 
ments, storage and shipping, and hospital- 
ization and evacuation, all of which, ex- 
cept the first, were concerned far more 
with supervision than with planning. The 
General Plans Branch, nucleus of the later 
Planning Division, was organized on the 
OPD pattern, with a theater section bro- 
ken down by geographical areas and a 
"supply strategy" section, which evolved 

later in the year into the Strategic Logis- 
tics Division, a small staff specializing in 
long-range logistical studies. Lutes wrote 
somewhat later: 

Experience has shown . . . that a co- 
ordinating agency is needed in the staff of 
Hqs ASF to correlate supply planning in its 
relation to strategic plans and current opera- 
tions. . . . The agency best organized to 
accomplish this co-ordination is believed to 
be the Planning Division, ASF. Further, it is 
believed that the Director of Operations, 
ASF, should have the same staff relationship 
to the entire staff of the Commanding Gen- 
eral, ASF, in regard to overseas matters as the 
Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, 
WDGS, has in relation to the other staff offi- 
cers of the General Staff. The Director of 
Operations, ASF, should be charged with the 
strategic employment of the supplies, in con- 
sonance with the approved strategic plans, 
and charged with all ASF matters affecting 
overseas operations. 63 

"Operations" in the SOS, in short, just as 
on the General Staff, were closely linked 
with the planning function, and both were 
oriented heavily toward overseas opera- 
tions. In some respects at least, General 
Lutes' organization became the OPD of 
SOS.' i4 

r,! * Memo, Lutes for CofS SOS, 2 1 Apr 42, Misc 
Notes, Lutes File. 

"" ( 1 ) Memo, Dir of Opns SOS for OPD, 20 Apr 42, 
Misc Notes, Lutes File. (2) Ltr cited n. 39(2). (3) Ping 
Div SOS Diary, 1 1 May and 10 Jun 42 entries, Ping 
Div ASF. This diary was a day-to-day account of the 
Planning Division's work and appeared under various 
of the designations of the division's antecedents, such 
as the Planning Branch, Operations Division, and the 
General Plans Branch, Plans Division. For simplifica- 
tion, it will be cited hereafter as Ping Div SOS Diary. 
(4) Memo, Dir of Opns SOS for TQMG and CofOrd. 
20 May 42, 400 Sup Gen folder, Ping Div ASF. 

61 Memo cited n. 53(1). 

62 (1) Memo, Lutes for Somervell, 17 May 42, Misc 
Notes, Lutes File. (2) Memo cited n. 52. 

63 Memo, Lutes for Somervell, 27 Jul 43, Misc 
Notes, Lutes File. 

'■' History of the Planning Division, ASF, MS, I, 
8-13, 32-40, OCMH. 



The most powerful challenge to that 
role came from the autonomous organiza- 
tion of transportation. In March 1942 the 
Chief of Transportation, General Gross, 
took over the functions of the former Trans- 
portation Branch in G-4 and the Trans- 
portation Division of the Office of The 
Quartermaster General, including pro- 
curement of floating equipment, command 
of ports of embarkation and holding and 
reconsignment points, and training of port 
headquarters and port battalions. The 
following September General Gross as- 
sumed responsibility for operation and 
maintenance of military railways from the 
Chief of Engineers, and similar functions 
pertaining to utility railroads from the 
Quartermaster Corps. In November the 
Transportation Corps took over from the 
Engineer Corps the design, procurement, 
storage, and issue of all railway equip- 
ment, the training of railway troops, and 
the entire Military Railway Service. 65 
Control of transportation, in short, was 
centralized under the Chief of Transporta- 
tion much as control of supply centered in 
the Assistant Chief of Operations, SOS. 
General Gross, while a line officer as chief 
of a supply service, also served in a staff 
capacity as Somervell's transportation 

General Lutes' earlier confidence that 
he could effectively co-ordinate supply and 
transportation without directly controlling 
both functions was soon shaken. They 
were "intimately connected operations," 
as he had noted, but their organizational 
compartmentation made it difficult to 
bring them together at the numerous 
points where co-ordination was needed in 
the complicated process of arranging troop 
and supply movements. 66 Lutes' counter- 
part in the transportation organization was 
Gross' Director of Operations, Brig. Gen. 

Robert H. Wylie, who, like Lutes, co- 
ordinated the activities of operating divi- 
sions and field installations and handled 
most of his chief's external relations with 
other SOS staff agencies, the Navy, civilian 
transportation agencies, private carriers, 
and the General Staff, including OPD. 
Most of these channels paralleled those by 
which Lutes' organization co-ordinated 
supply operations. 67 Exchange of informa- 
tion between the central transportation 
and supply organizations in SOS was not 
always free or continuous. One SOS staff 
officer once recorded, "It appears, al- 
though it cannot be proved, that subordi- 
nate agencies in Transportation have either 
been directed to withhold information 
from this office or have taken this attitude 
from their superiors." 68 In March 1943 
Lutes registered a complaint with the 
Chief of Transportation. 

It frequently happens that the Plans Divi- 
sion of this office becomes involved in de- 
tailed planning with . . . [OPD, Assistant 
Chief of Staff for Materiel in SOS, service 
commanders, AGF, and AAF]; troops are 
designated for overseas operations; equip- 
ment is started to the home stations . . . only 
to find that a change in the shipping plans 
has been made directly between OPD and 
the Office of the Chief of Transportation. 

65 Report of the Chief of Transportation, ASF, World 
War II, p. 18. 

Procurement of motor vehicles, however, remained 
with the Ordnance Department, and training of truck 
companies was performed mainly by the Ground and 
Air Forces. 

Gross was promoted to brigadier general on 1 1 
March 1942 and to major general on 9 August 1942. 

S6 Memo cited n. 53( 1 ). 

67 (1) Wardlow, Trans I, Ch. III. (2) Memo, Lutes 
for Dir of Ping Div, 3 Sep 42, Misc Notes, Lutes File. 

Lutes was promoted to the rank of major general on 
25 October 1942. 

6 * "For record" to memo, Col Frank A. Heileman 
for CofTrans, 4 Feb 43, sub: Sup Sit . . . , 18 Shipg 
file, II, Case 53, Ping Div ASF. 



He requested testily that his office be in- 
formed immediately of "each and every 
change ,, in shipping arrangements. rt9 

The fundamental difficulty, however, 
was functional, arising from the fact that 
supply and transportation to some degree 
had conflicting purposes. Success in supply 
was measured in terms of timely delivery 
of desired amounts and items of material; 
success in transportation, in terms of effi- 
cient traffic management and economy in 
use of transport. Normally, the two pur- 
poses worked to a common end, but dur- 
ing 1942 the converging pressures for 
effective supply and for economy in the use 
of shipping brought them often into con- 
flict. The conflict came to a head in the 
question of control over the ports of em- 

The Contest for Control of the Ports 

The prewar primary port, or port of 
embarkation, was almost purely a trans- 
portation agency, a funnel and transship- 
ping point for troops and material moving 
overseas. While each of the three primary 
ports being used by the Army on the eve of 
Pearl Harbor (New York, San Francisco, 
and New Orleans) was the site of a general 
depot that served both overseas bases and 
neighboring installations, the port itself 
had no co-ordinating responsibility in 
overseas supply and no operating supply 
functions except in serving its own person- 
nel and troops moving through it. The 
administrative and functional core of the 
prewar port was the Army Transport 
Service, headed by a Quartermaster officer 
with the title of superintendent, who was 
charged with supervision and control of all 
water transportation. The War Depart- 
ment's supervision of port operations in the 
years of peace was not close, but The 

Quartermaster General, to whom the su- 
perintendent of the Transport Service at 
each port was in practice answerable, suc- 
cessfully resisted efforts by port command- 
ers themselves, by the corps areas, and by 
other supply services to encroach upon this 
jurisdiction. On 17 December 1941 all 
ports of embarkation and general depots 
located at them were placed under the 
Chief of the Transportation Branch, G-4, 
and the following March they passed to the 
Chief of Transportation in SOS. Wartime 
transportation operations at the ports were 
thus brought under central control from 
the beginning. Under the immense bur- 
den of traffic moving overseas after De- 
cember 1941, the importance of the ports 
as transshipping agencies was enhanced, 
and central control was tightened. Move- 
ments of Army troops and freight, includ- 
ing military lend-lease to and through the 
ports, were carefully regulated by the Chief 
of Transportation's office in Washington, 
and in March 1942 a Transportation Con- 
trol Committee was established, which 
eventually represented the military serv- 
ices, the British Ministry of War Transport, 
the Office of Defense Transportation, and 
the War Shipping Administration, for 
co-ordinating all portbound freight move- 
ments. 70 

S9 Memo, Lutes for Gross, 26 Mar 43, Misc Notes, 
Lutes File. 

70 (1) A primary port was headquarters of a line of 
Army transports, and when located at a general depot 
both were under the same commandant. The three 
primary ports were also ports of embarkation. A sub- 
port was administratively subordinate to a primary- 
port. See AR 270-5, 30 Nov 40, and AR 30-1 1 10, 
1 Apr 40. (2) WD ltr, 17 Dec 41, sub: Orders Affect- 
ing Mvmt of Trs . . • , AG 612 (12-16-41). (3) Lar- 
son, Water Transportation for the U.S. Army 1939- 
1942, Monograph 5, OCT HB. (4) Schmidt, The 
Commercial Traffic Branch in the Office of The 
Quartermaster General, July 1940-March 1942, OCT 
HB Monograph 6, OCMH. (5) Wardlow, Trans I, pp. 
39-41, 95-1 10, 373. (6) Chester Wardlow, The Trans- 



PREPARING TO BOARD A TROOPSHIP, San Francisco Port of Embarkation, 
September 1942. 

In March 1942, when the new overseas 
supply plan issued in January went into 
effect, the Army ports also became re- 
gional centers for the routine administra- 
tion of overseas supply. Each port became, 
in effect, the agent to which one or more 
overseas bases sent their supply requisi- 
tions, on which they relied to maintain a 
regular flow of automatic supply ship- 
ments, and to which they looked, in gen- 

portation Corps: II, Movements, Training, and Sup- 
ply, a volume in preparation for the scries I'NITEI) 
cited as Wardlow, Trans II), Ch. IV. (7) Rpt.Jun 42. 
sub: Studv of Governmental Contl of Trans Facilities. 
Contl Div ASF. 

eral, to handle their routine supply needs. 
The theaters and bases that a port served 
in this capacity were not always those for 
which troop movements and many emer- 
gency cargo shipments originating at the 
port were destined. (See Appendix G. ) Upon 
the old role of the port as transshipping 
agency, in short, an altogether new one 
was superimposed, and the administrative 
autonomy conferred upon the port in per- 
forming its new functions contrasted 
sharply with its subordination to central 
authority in transportation matters. 71 

See below, Ch. XIII. 




The ports were slow in developing an 
organization to handle their new duties. 
Only a broad injunction to do so was con- 
tained in the overseas supply plan itself, 
and the Chief of Transportation left the 
matter generally to the discretion of the 
port commanders. Before the war the lim- 
ited supply functions of the ports had 
usually devolved upon the port quarter- 
master, who had miscellaneous duties in- 
cluding the control of rail and highway 
movements into the port. An overseas sup- 
ply division was established at San Fran- 
cisco early in 1942, but apparently did not 
begin to function effectively until midyear. 
Not until July was a separate overseas sup- 

ply division established at New York, 
largely under the prompting of General 
Lutes and headed by Brig. Gen. William 
M. Goodman, Lutes' nominee and a 
former assistant executive in G-4 under 
Somervell. The New York Overseas Sup- 
ply Division became the prototype for 
overseas supply organizations at the other 
ports. While the overseas supply divisions 
were of course subordinate to the port 
commanders, they looked to Lutes' office 
in Washington for their policy direction in 
overseas supply and gradually assumed a 
role commensurate with the port's auton- 
omous supply function, enforcing War De- 
partment policy and co-ordinating the 



port's relations with interior depots, supply 
services, SOS headquarters, and overseas 
commanders. General Goodman, himself, 
later became the New York port com- 
mander's deputy. 72 

Following a visit to the New York port 
in July 1942, General Lutes wrote to Som- 
ervell, "The trip has convinced me that 
similar visits must be made to check sup- 
ply matters at other ports. To date more 
stress has been placed at ports on purely 
transportation matters." 73 Ports tended to 
be dilatory in following up requisitions 
sent to depots and not filled; port trans- 
portation agencies failed to properly 
"marry up" parts of assemblies, for exam- 
ple sending artillery shells and propelling 
charges overseas in separate shipments. 
The chief complaint was against unbal- 
anced loading. After mid- 1942 the ports 
and the Transportation Corps came under 
increasingly heavy pressure from the War 
Shipping Administration to economize on 
shipping by more efficient scheduling and 
loading. This pressure had its effect. Much 
filler cargo, especially subsistence and am- 
munition, was shipped overseas with little 
regard for need, and sometimes at the ex- 
pense of more critical materiel, in order 
that ships might sail loaded "full and 
down." Ammunition and ration stocks in 
North Africa early in 1943 rose to embar- 
rassingly high levels, and perishables 
began to deteriorate. 

Supply and transportation, in short, 
were working at cross-purposes. The issue 
came to a head late in February 1943 
when Lutes learned that the New York 
port had failed to carry out earlier instruc- 
tions from his office to discontinue auto- 
matic supply of ammunition to North 
Africa as soon as theater reports showed 
sufficient stocks on hand. "The time has 
come," Lutes wrote Somervell on the 24th, 

". . . when shipments must be loaded 
according to military necessity. The prin- 
cipal shortages overseas at present are 
organizational equipment and items that 
do not and cannot completely fill the 
ships." Two days later he proposed a solu- 
tion. "It has been difficult," he bluntly 
told Somervell, "for this office to regulate 
overseas supply with complete control 
resting in the ports of embarkation." 74 
His own organization, he added pointedly, 
contained a new Stock Control Branch 
responsible for regulating supply stock- 
ages. Lutes recommended that either the 
port overseas supply organization be 
turned over outright to his control, leav- 
ing the Transportation Corps to operate 
solely as a shipping agency, or "the Chief 
of Transportation look to this office for in- 
structions relative to overseas supply, and 
. . . conform strictly to such instructions. 
The Chief of Transportation," he con- 
cluded, "has fought rightly to retain con- 
trol of military shipping, but there is no 
advantage in such control from a military 
standpoint unless ships are loaded accord- 
ingly. Commercial loading and shipping 

72 (1) Wardlow, Trans II, Ch. V. (2) Transcript of 
Port Comdrs' Conf, Boston, Aug-Sep 43. (3) Harold 
Larson, Role of the Transportation Corps in Oversea 
Supply, Monograph 27, pp. 18-19, 148-51. (4) San 
Francisco Port of Embarkation 1 94 1 - 1 942, hist red, 
pp. 169-71. Last three in OCT HB. (5) Richard M. 
Leighton, Overseas Supply Policies and Procedures, 
ASF hist monograph, pp. 76-82, OCMH. (6) Inter- 
view, author with Gen Lutes, 28 Feb 48, Logis File, 

71 Memo, Lutes for Somervell, 17 Jul 42, Misc 
Notes, Lutes File. 

The following account of the controversy over the 
ports is largely based on correspondence in the posses- 
sion of General Lutes (referred to elsewhere in this 
volume as Lutes File) and is related in detail in Leigh- 
ton, Overseas Supplv Policies and Procedures, pp. 
83-1 11, OCMH. 

71 (1) Memo, Lutes for Somervell. 24 Feb 43. (2) 
Memo, Lutes for Somervell, 26 Feb 43. 



procedures do not effect balanced supply 
stocks in overseas military bases." 75 

Gross agreed in principle to the second 
alternative. "As Chief of a Corps having 
line as well as staff functions," he wrote 
Maj. Gen. Wilhelm D. Styer, Somervell's 
Chief of Staff, 

... I stand ready and willing to obey, and 
to see that all elements under my command 
obey, all directives of the Assistant Chief of 
Staff for Operations on overseas supply and 
other matters under his jurisdiction. . . . but 
strongly urge that no action be taken which 
would completely sever the present direct 
lines of command. 78 

Under existing arrangements, in fact, the 
supply staffs of the SOS were already per- 
mitted to deal directly with the overseas 
supply divisions at the ports. But Lutes 
had hoped that the overseas supply divi- 
sions "would dominate the shipping or 
Army Transport Service personnel in the 
ports in order to effect intelligent overseas 
supply." r Instead, transportation had 
dominated supply and was likely to con- 
tinue to dominate it as long as the shipping 
shortage remained acute. 

General Gross made a counterpro- 
posal — to establish within his own organi- 
zation an overseas division to co-ordinate 
all matters concerning overseas supply 
and transportation operations. Lutes ob- 
jected on the ground that 

. . . overseas supply is not listed as one of the 
major functions of the Transportation Corps. 
. . . at no place . . . is the Chief of Trans- 
portation charged with such functions as 
would require him to establish an overseas 
supply staff in Washington to perform other 
than administrative duties pertaining to the 
transportation of supplies. 78 

Also, Lutes feared that the proposed new 
agency would prevent the direct contacts 
between his own office and the port over- 

seas supply organizations, which he con- 
sidered indispensable. On the other hand, 
it was difficult to deny the right of the 
Chief of Transportation to set up an office 
to co-ordinate the supply activities of the 
ports, as long as they remained under his 
jurisdiction. A possible escape from the 
dilemma, suggested by a member of Lutes' 
staff, would be to place the ports under a 
new "neutral" staff agency responsible for 
overseas supply and transportation and 
reporting directly to the Commanding 
General, Army Service Forces (ASF). 

General Lutes, understandably, was not 
taken by this suggestion and it went no 
further. The ideal solution, from his point 
of view, would be to place the port over- 
seas supply organizations directly under 
his control, thus keeping the Transporta- 
tion Corps "out of the supply business." 79 
General Styer, whom Somervell assigned 
to mediate the quarrel, was inclined to 
agree. By April, however, most of the con- 
ditions about which Lutes had complained 
seemed to be already on the wane. "Mar- 
rying up" of assemblies, for example, was 
being transferred from ports to depots and 
holding and reconsignment points where 
it could be performed by specialists. Rou- 
tine procedures in transportation and sup- 
ply were tightened up, and General Gross 
bore down on his own staff to keep the 
supply agencies informed. Lutes admitted 
in April that matters were improving. 

General Styer recommended, there- 
fore, that "no radical change in organiza- 
tion for handling overseas supply" be 

75 Memo cited n. 74(2). 

76 Memo, Gross for Styer, 1 Apr 43, quoted in Lar- 
son, Role of the Transportation Corps in Oversea 
Supply, p. 163, OCT HB. 

77 Memo, Gen Lutes for Lt Gen John L. De Witt, 
18 Apr 43. 

78 Memo, Lutes for Gross, 10 Apr 43. 

79 Memo cited n. 77. 



made. 80 An exchange of memoranda be- 
tween Lutes and Gross late in April pro- 
vided that Lutes' office would deal with 
the Chief of Transportation on general 
matters of overseas supply policy, while on 
routine matters the supply staff would 
communicate directly with the port over- 
seas supply divisions; on questions falling 
into intermediate categories, communica- 
tions would be sent directly to the head- 
quarters concerned, with notification cop- 
ies to other interested agencies. General 
Gross' proposed overseas division never 
materialized as such. Thus, the dispute 
was settled within the existing organiza- 
tional framework, and the duality of sup- 
ply and transportation was reaffirmed. "As 
a staff officer for transportation," General 
Styer explained, "General Gross has the 
same duties and responsibilities and the 
same relationship with the Commanding 
General, ASF, in transportation matters 
that the Assistant Chief of Staff for Opera- 
tions has in regard to supply matters." 
They would have to work together, he 
observed, "like a pair of Siamese twins." 81 

The Limits of Port Autonomy 

The development of the ports during 
1942 as autonomous administrative units 
in the system of overseas supply was care- 
fully guided by the War Department and 
the SOS to avoid an extreme of decentral- 
ization that might have made each port 
the simple advocate and agent of its as- 
signed theaters in the fierce competition 
for supply support. This middle path was 
not easy to follow. There were pressures, 
dating back to the interwar years, for a 
larger measure of autonomy, particularly 
on the distant west coast. In January 1941 
Brig. Gen. John C. H. Lee, then com- 
mander of the San Francisco port, had 

proposed that all the shipping and storage 
facilities in the San Francisco, Seattle, and 
Los Angeles areas be consolidated under 
his command, as "Commander, Pacific 
Ports of Embarkation"; this regional com- 
mand would serve all troops on the west 
coast and all garrisons in the Pacific. 
Lee's successor, Col. Frederick Gilbreath, 
proposed a similar consolidation "in case 
of a major national effort involving a large 
expeditionary force" h2 to the Pacific, and 
Colonel Aurand, while still in G-4, recom- 
mended a grouping of all ports under two 
regional coastal commands, one for the 
west coast, the other combining the Atlan- 
tic and Gulf coasts. 83 

In the crisis following Pearl Harbor the 
whole future role of the ports came under 
review. Transfer of the Army's shipping 
responsibilities to the Navy seemed now to 
be postponed indefinitely. Army ports 
were being swamped by an unprecedented 
volume of troop and cargo movements. 
The overseas supply system was being re- 
vamped. On the west coast, the Navy's 
field organization was giving an impres- 
sive demonstration of aggressive and effi- 
cient local initiative. In chartering ship- 
ping and expediting supply movements. 
Army officials found themselves hampered 
by their subordination to a distant head- 
quarters while the Navy could operate 
with relative freedom. 84 To the men on the 
spot, and even more to the commanders 
overseas whose fate hung on their efforts, 
the situation seemed to demand a great 

N0 Memo, Stver for Somervell. 16 Apr 43. 

- 1 Ibid. 

• Memo, CG SFPOE for G-4. 15 Jan 41. G-4/ 

S3 (l) San Francisco Port of Embarkation 1941- 
1 942, p. 23, OCT HB. (2) Memo, Chief of Reqmts 
and Distrib Br for G-4, 7 Mar 41. sub: Things That 
Wont Wait. Ping folder, OCT HB. 

* 4 For the impact of this situation upon the Ha- 
waiian Department, see above, Ch. VI. 



national effort to make available to the 
west coast the reinforcements and supplies 
that were needed, together with greater 
freedom for the Army organization there 
to exploit local resources and facilities. 

Some of this feeling emerged in a pro- 
posal made in mid-January 1942 by Gen- 
eral Emmons, commander of the Hawai- 
ian Department, for the creation of a 
Pacific coast communications zone, bring- 
ing together all the Army's west coast 
supply and transportation activities. The 
Pacific theaters would look to this com- 
munications zone for all their material 
requirements, including supplies for the 
civilian population, and would present 
their requirements through representatives 
on the zone commander's staff. The latter, 
in turn, would have "complete authority 
to act" for the War Department under a 
general directive, and in addition would 
be given access to the "alphabetical agen- 
cies" of the government for production, 
resources, and shipping through represen- 
tatives on his staff, who would be "clothed 
with the necessary authority." 

General Marshall's reply, which was 
sent at once, concentrated on the immedi- 
ate issue from which Emmons' proposal 
had sprung — the shipping shortage — and 
rejected the plan with little further com- 
ment. Nevertheless, the point Marshall 
made with reference to allocation of ship- 
ping could be applied equally to the other 
critical resources that Emmons' plan 
vaguely implied should be placed at the 
disposal of the proposed new command. 
"Our own and allied shipping is fully con- 
sidered," Marshall wrote, "in every oper- 
ation undertaken, and allocations are 
made on the basis of urgency, which can 
only be determined in joint [interallied] 
conferences. Many movements to the Pa- 
cific have and will continue to be made 

from the Atlantic coast." " The zone com- 
mander, in Emmons' plan, would prob- 
ably have been allowed to charter local 
shipping, as the Navy was doing, and 
would have enjoyed administrative con- 
tacts and channels for tapping regional 
resources on behalf of the Pacific theaters 
that were denied to other theaters and 
field agencies. The west coast region em- 
braced a considerable part of the national 
economy, and it was far from Washington. 
A single autonomous logistical command 
dominating so important an area might 
well have become a powerful sectional in- 
fluence in economic mobilization; in any 
case, the scheme pointed toward a geo- 
graphical compartmentation inimical to 
flexible administration on a nationwide 
basis. Almost certainly such a command 
would have exerted its influence to pro- 
mote a westward, as against the already 
approved eastward, orientation of strat- 
egy. With relation to the theaters it was 
to serve, the proposed command would 
not, of course, be a communications zone 
at all in the usual sense, but a full-fledged 
intermediate logistical "theater"; Emmons 
nominated Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt to 
command it, evidently having in mind 
that it would be merged with the Western 
Defense Command. In a limited sense, the 
plan foreshadowed the intermediate role 
Emmons' own command in the Hawaiian 
Islands was later to play in the Pacific 

The kind of autonomy envisaged in 
Emmons' plan stood out in sharp contrast 
to that in the War Department's overseas 

83 Msg 1709, CG HD to TAG. 15 Jan 42. AG 381 
(11-27-41) Sec 1. 

s6 Msg 1013, CofS to CG HD, 16 Jan 42, AG 381 
(11-27-41) Sec 1. 

Emmons was rebuked by the War Department 
somewhat later for chartering shipping directly from 
the Matson Navigation Company. See above, Ch. VI. 



supply plan published a week later. In the 
War Department's plan, the autonomy of 
the port of embarkation was circum- 
scribed — though unfettered within its as- 
signed sphere. The port was not an allo- 
cating agency; in servicing requisitions it 
acted merely as the administrative agent 
of the War Department. It employed the 
means assigned to it — shipping and depot 
credits; it could not exploit the resources 
in its environs. After the rejection of Gen- 
eral Emmons' proposal, the transportation 
activities of the ports continued to be sub- 
ordinated to central control from Washing- 
ton, and when Maj. Gen. Frederick Gil- 
breath in spring of 1943 renewed his 
recommendation for consolidation of west 
coast ports under one command, General 
Gross again rejected the idea. 87 

In the sphere of overseas supply, how- 
ever, the autonomy already gained created 
pressure for further extension. In Septem- 
ber 1942, in connection with an attempted 
revamping of supply reporting, General 
Somervell put forward a proposal that in 
all matters of supply the port commander 
should be considered the agent for his as- 
signed theaters and bases. To the port 
would go all supply communications from 
overseas, those on which the port was not 
empowered to act being forwarded imme- 
diately to higher headquarters with rec- 
ommendations. The port would be author- 
ized to require from overseas bases all 
reports and information needed to execute 
its supply responsibility. But both OPD 
and G-4 turned their faces against the pro- 
posal, being unwilling to abandon the 
direct channels by which overseas com- 
manders communicated with the General 
Staffon all nonroutine matters. 

Late the following winter the regional 
principle once more reared its head, again 
in the sphere of supply, when Brig. Gen. 

Clinton F. Robinson, Somervell's chief 
adviser on organization and management 
and probably the author of the "agent" 
idea, suggested the formation of an Atlan- 
tic coast service command, possibly to be 
followed later by similar organizations on 
the other coasts. General Lutes enthusias- 
tically endorsed the idea, seeing in it a 
solution to his troubles in maintaining the 
ascendancy of supply over transportation 
in port operations, but General Gross' res- 
olute hostility settled the matter. In 1943 
certain ports on the east coast were some- 
times brought under the control of another 
port, usually New York, for specific supply 
movements to areas in the latter's sphere 
of responsibility, and the actual burden of 
outflowing traffic on both east and west 
coasts was concentrated less heavily than 
in 1942 on the two major ports, New York 
and San Francisco. 

Actually, there was no really strong 
tendency toward regionalism. The Army's 
sources of supply in the United States 
(unlike the Navy's) were spread too widely 
and too far back from the coasts to make 
feasible a regional scheme of administra- 
tive decentralization to coastal areas. 
Army transportation, dependent upon the 
nation's highly interdependent rail system, 
lent itself even less readily to area com- 
partmentation, while the fierce competi- 
tion for transportation facilities made real 
decentralization on any basis impractica- 
ble. As transshipping agencies, therefore, 
the ports continued to function as cogs in 
a nationwide transportation system that 
was tightly and centrally co-ordinated. As 
administrative centers for overseas supply, 
the ports enjoyed a real if limited auton- 
omy, but their jurisdiction had no regional 

s7 Memo, CofTrans for CG SFPOE, 19 Apr 43, 
SPTT 323.94 SF file, OCT. 



character except in the sense that the the- 
aters they served constituted geographical 
areas. ss 

The 7 heater Segment of the Pipeline 

The administrative sphere of the port of 
embarkation did not extend beyond the 
harbor's mouth. Getting troops and mate- 
rial safely across the ocean gap was the 
Navy's job, and at the port of destination 
the theater's rear area organization took 
charge. The organization of the segment 
of the supply pipeline lying beyond the 
theater port of entry, like all matters of 
theater administration, was regarded as 
the theater commander's business under 
the prevailing American military doctrine, 
which gave a field commander free rein in 
the choice of methods for carrying out his 
assigned mission. 89 

This autonomy had certain disadvan- 
tages in overseas supply. As master of his 
own house, the theater commander could 
be urged, but only with difficulty required, 
to institute an effective system of stock con- 
trol, to keep accurate records of the move- 
ment and status of supply, to determine 
his requirements on a realistic basis, or, in 
general, to maintain minimum standards 
of supply control. The overseas theater, 
moreover, was not a homogeneous segment 
of the pipeline, and its administration was 
not easily divorced from that of the lines 
of communications lying to the rear. In a 
large theater the ports of entry might be 
only the first of several transshipment and 
storage points, and the staging of supply 
forward might lead only gradually into the 
retail, dispersed system of distribution that 
in general characterized the theater seg- 
ment of the pipeline. 90 

Under field service regulations the rear 
areas of a theater were ordinarily organ- 

ized as a communications zone — an auton- 
omous theater-within-a-theater that might 
comprise the greater part of the theater's 
geographical area. The communications 
zone commander, responsible directly to 
the theater commander for forwarding 
troops and supplies to the combat zone, 
also relieved the latter of the administra- 
tive burden involved in the vast complex 
of rear area activities necessary to the func- 
tioning of large armies. 91 This geographi- 
cal division of responsibilities opened the 
door to a wide duplication of functions 
between the theater and the communica- 
tions zone staffs, on the theory that most 
logistical functions had "theater- wide" as 
well as purely rear area aspects. In an 
effort to reduce this duplication and free 
his staff of administrative responsibilities, 
General John J. Pershing in 1918 had re- 
placed his Line of Communication, as the 
rear area organization of the American 
Expeditionary Forces was called, by a 
"Services of Supply" — or, as its author, 
Brig. Gen. Johnson Hagood, called it, a 
"Services of the Rear." To this SOS were 
assigned, despite this latter title, most of 
the administrative and technical activities, 
not merely rear area services, supporting 
the U.S. armies in France. In supply, the 
theater staff continued to supervise only 
the determination of destinations and re- 

1,8 (1) Memo, Lutes for Somervell, 24 Mar 43, Misc 
Notes, Lutes File. (2) Wardlow, Trans I, Ch. IV. (3) 
See above, pp. 233-38, and below, pp. 327-28. (4) For 
a discussion of wartime rail operations and the traffic 
control system, see Joseph R. Rose, American Wartime 
Transportation (New York, The Thomas Y. Crowell 
Company, 1953), Chs. I, IV. 

S!l (1) FM 101-5, Staff Officers' Field Manual, Aug 
40, par. 1. (2) For the effect of Pearl Harbor in bring- 
ing about a closer direction of overseas operations by 
the high command in Washington, see Cline, Wash- 
ington Command Post, Chs. V-VI. 

90 See below, Ch. XIII. 

"' FM 100-10. Field Service Regulations: Adminis- 
tration. 1940, Ch. 2, Sec V. 



quirements, and the SOS commander was 
authorized to deal directly with Washing- 
ton on supply matters. War Department 
officials, indeed, felt that the tie should be 
closer, and Secretary Baker proposed in 
July 1918 that the SOS be placed directly 
under War Department control. General 
Pershing emphatically rejected the pro- 
posal, appealing to the doctrine of "unity 
of command and responsibility." 9 - 

The precedent of 1918 lent support to 
two important principles: first, that a the- 
ater's rear area organization, even though 
most of its business was carried on far be- 
hind the combat zone, was the proper 
agency to handle most theater-wide ad- 
ministration as well, and second, that it 
must be permitted free and direct access to 
War Department logistical agencies on 
most matters. Both principles tended to 
enhance its administrative autonomy vis- 
a-vis the theater. The influence of the ex- 
perience of 1918 was clearly evident, not 
only in the creation of a central Services of 
Supply in the War Department in March 
1942, but also in the establishment during 
that year of several rear area organizations 
overseas bearing the SOS label and more 
or less closely resembling the original 1918 
SOS — in the Central, Southwest, and 
South Pacific, North Africa, the Middle 
East, India, and the British Isles. In none 
of these experiments did the jurisdictional 
issue raised by Secretary Baker in 1918 re- 
appear in precisely its original form since 
the War Department had no inclination to 
assume direct command over widely scat- 
tered and remote areas overseas. But in 
each theater the SOS or the communica- 
tions zone usually was permitted to deal 
directly with the War Department Services 
of Supply on a variety of more or less rou- 
tine administrative matters that comprised 
the bulk of the theater's logistical business 

with the zone of interior. 91 In general, 
however, the jurisdiction of rear area 
organizations over theater-wide activities 
remained limited, and most theaters main- 
tained large administrative staffs at theater 

In only one theater, the European, did 
the War Department clearly attempt to 
dictate the form of the rear area organiza- 
tion. 94 General Somervell believed, and 
persuaded General Marshall, that the the- 
ater SOS should parallel in its structure 
that of the War Department SOS, in order 
to permit direct dealings between "oppo- 
site numbers" of the two staffs. Marshall 
also accepted Somervell's recommenda- 
tion of Maj. Gen. John C. H. Lee as com- 
manding general of the theater SOS, and 
before his departure for England late in 
May 1942, Lee was thoroughly briefed by 
Somervell's staff and by General Harbord, 
former commander of the SOS in France 
in 1918. The plan of organization was 
drafted in April and May by Somervell's 

This scheme grouped the heads of the 
supply and administrative services in the 
theater's SOS headquarters, leaving the 

! '- (1) Ltr, Pershing to Secy Baker, 6 Jul 18, quoted 
in John J. Pershing, My Experiences in the World War 
(New York, Frederick A. Stokes Company. 1931, 2 
vols.), I, 190. (2) For details on the Services of Supply 
of 1918, see ibid., I, 109, 180-91, 321, 348, 11,35, 108, 
140, 204; and General Johnson Hagood, The Services 
of Supply: A Memoir of the Great War (Boston, Hough- 
ton Mifflin Company, 1927). (3) Millett, "The Direc- 
tion of Supply Activities in the War Department." 
American Political Science Review, XXXVIII (April 
1944), 260-65. 

93 For a general discussion -of theater supply organ- 
ization, see Logistics in World War II, Ch. 7. 

'" For details, see Roland G. Ruppenthal, Logistical 
Support of the Armies, UNITED STATES ARMY IN 
WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953), Ch. I; and 
Robert W. Coakley, Organization and Command in 
the European Theater of Operations, Vol. II, Pt. II of 
Administrative and Logistical History of the Euro- 
pean Theater of Operations, MS, OCMH. 



theater commander's own headquarters to 
be organized "along the general pattern of 
a command post." 5 It was bitterly at- 
tacked in the theater. The burden of the 
criticism was that the services, being 
theater-wide in function, could not be 
supervised by a headquarters that was 
merely co-ordinate with the major tactical 
commands reporting directly to the the- 
ater commander. Lee was forced to accept 
a compromise, which endured with only 
minor changes for the next year and a half. 
The SOS remained in control of supply 
services, but administrative services for the 
most part were assigned to theater head- 
quarters. Lee's authority was so defined as 
not to interfere with "inherent command 
responsibilities of other force command- 
ers." 96 Policy-making authority in general 
remained at the theater level. On the other 
hand, Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, 
the new theater commander, assigned the 
SOS broad responsibilities in supply plan- 
ning and authorized direct communication 
with the War Department in supply and 
administrative matters. No serious effort 
was made by the War Department to re- 
store the organization it had originally 
sponsored. The new one had the sanction 
of the theater commander, and few were 
inclined to challenge his right to work out 
his own administrative arrangements, par- 
ticularly since these still conformed to 
the general pattern laid down by the War 
Department. 97 

Somervell's plan for a logistical organi- 
zation in the European theater closely par- 
alleling his own in the United States was 
thus defeated. Lee's own headquarters 
eventually assumed the traditional "G" 
structure, deviating markedly from the 
scheme of functional staff divisions that 
Somervell had adopted. But Somervell 
undoubtedly looked beyond mere organi- 

zational parallelism. From April to July 
1942 there was every reason to expect that 
the European theater would soon over- 
shadow all the other war zones, and that 
the British Isles, like France in 1918, would 
become the great entrepot of American 
military power overseas — in effect an ex- 
tension of the base of supply in the United 
States. In 1942, to be sure, the whole 
European theater, as far as the land war 
was concerned, was essentially a "services 
of the rear," engaged in the primarily 
logistical business of developing a base and 
assembling an invasion force. In these cir- 
cumstances it was natural for the theater 
commander to maintain close control 
over his logistical organization, but as 
early as June 1942 officers in OPD foresaw 
that the theater commander, after the in- 
vasion began, might find himself relegated 
to the role of maintaining base areas and 
forwarding troops and supplies — to the 
role, in fact, of an SOS commander. 98 Evi- 
dently, if he were to direct the invasion, he 
would have to shift the burden of rear area 
administration toothers. This would prob- 
ably involve an organizational arrange- 
ment similar to the one Pershing had 
adopted in 1918. Perhaps it might lead 
eventually to the union proposed by Sec- 
retary Baker between the logistical agen- 
cies on both sides of the Atlantic. 

u: ' (1) Ltr, Marshall to CG USAFBI, 14 May 42, 
sub: Orgn of SOS, Bolero 1942 folder, Lutes File. 
Several drafts of this letter are in same file; these and 
other papers indicate that the organization was 
drafted in Lutes' Plans Branch. (2) See also, minof 
SOS stf confs, 7 and 14 May 42, Contl Div ASF. 

96 Ltr cited n. 95(1). 

97 (1) See above, n. 95. (2) Ltr, Gen Lutes to Brig 
Gen Thomas B. Larkin, 24 Feb 42, Bolero 1942 
folder. Lutes File. (3) Corresp in OPD 320.2 Gt 
Brit, 52. 

98 Memo, Col John E. Hull for ACofS OPD, 6Jun 
42, sub: System of Comd for Roundup, OPD 381 
Bolero, 12. 



In the multitheater war that developed 
after mid- 1942, such a solution was hardly 
practicable. But while rear area adminis- 
tration, in the European and other the- 
aters, continued to be subject to theater 
control, that control was tempered in every 
theater by a large degree of decentraliza- 
tion leaning far toward regional autonomy. 
A theater's rear area organization was tied 
by the character of its functions to the cen- 
tral base of operations and line of commu- 
nications behind it as well as to the combat 
zone in front. Efficient performance of 
those functions depended in large measure 
upon the smoothness, continuity, and 
directness of its administrative contacts 
with the logistical agencies farther to the 


Secession of the Air Forces 

Long before March 1942 the movement 
of the Army Air Forces toward separate 
status had resulted in the development of 
a separate logistical establishment that 
duplicated at many points the facilities for 
supplying and servicing the ground forces. 
This duality was perpetuated by the War 
Department reorganization on the general 
principle that supplies and services pecul- 
iar to the Air Forces should be provided 
within the AAF establishment. After 
March 1942, indeed, the AAF steadily 
broadened its jurisdiction in such fields as 
storage, communications, and housekeep- 
ing and utilities functions at AAF installa- 

In overseas supply it was intended in the 
reorganization of March 1942 that the 
ports would serve as channels for supply of 
air as well as ground forces. Port com- 
manders forwarded requests for "techni- 
cal" (that is, peculiar) items of AAF 

supply, without action, to the Air Service 
Command at Wright and Patterson Fields, 
or to designated Air depots. The AAF de- 
termined how much and what kinds of 
material should be stocked at SOS depots 
for its troops, and AAF items were not 
stocked at the ports at all. Technical Air 
Forces supplies were stored at Air depots. 
Items of common use were supplied by the 
ports under uniform procedures for air and 
ground forces alike. AAF freight and troop 
movements through the ports were subject 
to port control, and air traffic to and from 
overseas theaters was co-ordinated by the 
Chief of Transportation until July 1942, 
when it was taken over by the AAF. AAF 
liaison officers were stationed at each port, 
and the Air Staff determined supply poli- 
cies for its own forces overseas. 100 

These arrangements recognized supply 
of air and ground forces as distinct in many 
respects, but still capable of being handled 
under a single administrative system. The 
aspirations of the AAF to separate status 
were well understood in G-4 and the SOS, 
and a determined effort was made to 
accommodate the overseas supply system 
to its needs. But it became evident in pre- 
reorganization conferences that the ground 
and air commands had diametrically op- 
posite notions as to the kind of services 
desired from the SOS. The former in- 
tended to utilize these to the utmost, while 
the Air Staff was determined to develop a 
supply system paralleling that of the 
ground forces. 101 Almost immediately, Air 

yy See Milieu, ASF, Chs. I-II, IX, XI. 

100 ( 1 ) WD ltrs, 22 Jan and 28 Apr 42, sub: Sup of 
Overseas Depts, Theaters, and Separate Bases, AG 
400 (1-17-42). (2) Report of the Chief of Transportation, 
ASF, World War II, p. 18. (3) Min, WD Gen Council 
mtg, 30Jun 42. 

101 (1) Memo cited n. 54. (2) 1st Ind, Hq SOS to 
Hq AAF, 25 Jul 42, in Notes, Air Force Sup, Logis 
File, OCMH. 



commanders overseas began to send requi- 
sitions for technical items directly to 
Wright Field, and late in June the AAF 
proposed that this practice be legalized. 
SOS representatives objected, urging the 
advantages of funneling all supply requests 
through the ports. They pointed out that 
the AAF enjoyed virtually complete con- 
trol over the supply of its forces and 
argued that "as long as they are part of the 
Army and the Army transports their sup- 
plies, . . . the focal point for requests and 
water shipment must be the port com- 
mander." 10 - But with the Air Forces evi- 
dently bent on developing a separate sup- 
ply system, these arguments availed little. 
An SOS officer remarked, "I don't believe 
there is anything we can do about it." 103 
The desired changes were incorporated, 
accordingly, in the October revision of the 
overseas supply plan. Commanders over- 
seas were directed to send straight to 
Wright Field at Dayton their requisitions 
not only for technical supplies but also for 
all regularly issued equipment procured 
by the AAF. Later amendments broadened 
the exempted categories still further. Re- 
ports on status of AAF supply overseas 
similarly were routed directly to the Air 
Service Command. 104 The autonomy thus 
gained was steadily extended in late 1942 
and 1943. Air commanders overseas, Gen- 
eral Lutes observed in March 1943, "have 
become accustomed to requisition on Day- 
ton for everything," including clothing 
and other items of common use. 105 The 
SOS also found it increasingly difficult to 
co-ordinate the movement of AAF troops 
overseas with that of ground units. Lutes 
wrote Somervell in March 1943: 

We are not permitted to check Air Force 
units under orders for overseas. We call on 
the Air Forces for lists of shortages in order to 
assist them in equipping their troops, but we 

have great difficulty in obtaining such lists 
within the time limits. It has been the usual 
custom for Air Force units to arrive at staging 
areas with considerable shortages in individ- 
ual equipment. Time frequently does not 
permit us to complete their equipment. 106 

Ground troops moving overseas received 
showdown inspections at their home sta- 
tions, with SOS field agents initiating 
immediate action to fill shortages. "We 
have offered this service to the Air Forces," 
Lutes stated, "but have been turned 
down." 10T On occasion, AAF supplies 
were even moved into port without notifi- 
cation to the port commander, in violation 
of a cardinal principle of traffic control 
established immediately after Pearl Har- 
bor. 108 

From time to time the SOS made pro- 
posals for merging the two systems at 
various points in order to check the grow- 
ing duplication of facilities. In November 
1942, for example, the Chief of Transpor- 
tation suggested that the AAF use his sys- 
tem of intransit depots behind the ports; 
requisitions for Air Forces supplies would 
be edited at the ports and AAF supply 
records maintained there by a special staff 
of Air officers; the AAF was offered "nec- 
essary safeguards to insure that the Com- 
manding General, AAF is at all times in 

102 1st Ind cited n. 101(2). 

103 (1) Pencil note on 1st Ind cited n. 101. (2) For 
the background of Air Corps aspirations, see Watson, 
Prewar Plans and Preparations, Ch. IX, and Craven and 
Cate, AAF I, pp. 152-55. 

104 WD Memo W700-8-42, 10 Oct 42, sub: Sup of 
Overseas Depts, Theaters, and Separate Bases, and 
Change 1, 12 May 43. 

105 Memo, Lutes for Somervell, 4 Mar 43, Misc 
Notes, Lutes File. 

106 Ibid. 

107 Memo, Lutes for DCofS, 9 Mar 43, Misc Notes, 
Lutes File. 

108 (1) Memo, Lutes for ACofS Opns AAF, 31 Dec 
42, Misc Notes, Lutes File. (2) See also ltr. Gross to 
WSA, 1 7 Oct 42, WSA folder, OCT HB. 



control of the movement of these sup- 
plies . . . ." 109 In a similar vein General 
Lutes wrote to AAF headquarters: 

We have a very simple overseas supply sys- 
tem which to date has operated with reason- 
able success- — not perfectly, but in step with 
the shipping facilities available. If you could 
see your way clear to have your requirements 
for overseas shipments which are not to be 
forwarded by air screened through the Over- 
seas Supply Divisions of our ports, it would 
greatly simplify coordination, and I believe 
would be of better assistance to you in the 
long run. 110 

But these and similar proposals faced into 
the prevailing winds, which were carrying 
Army organization toward separation, not 
unification, of air and ground logistics. 111 

The organizational upheaval that fol- 
lowed the entrance of the United States 
into the war had three main features: cen- 
tralization of co-ordinating responsibilities 
at the pinnacle and upper levels of the 
structure, decentralization of supervisory 
and operating functions, and consolidation 
of these functions at intermediate rather 
than lower levels. The same pattern has 
often been followed by complex modern 
societies under the impact of war. In the 
system of logistical management that 
emerged after Pearl Harbor, the largest, 
most powerful concentration of authority 
at the intermediate level was General 
Somervell's Services of Supply, a large new 
constellation in the organizational firma- 
ment. Into it were gathered in March 1942 
almost all the War Department's executive 
functions in the logistical sphere, and, in 
addition, a miscellaneous assortment of 
administrative functions that have only 
rarely borne the label "logistical." The 
union of all these disparate activities under 
one command was not altogether happy, 
and centrifugal forces soon came into 

play; before the end of 1942 the flight of 
jurisdiction to the Army Air Forces, a 
more homogeneous organizational entity, 
was well under way. Within the SOS, in- 
ternal stresses appeared, such as the con- 
flicts of purpose and method between the 
representatives of supply and transporta- 
tion". But, despite its heterogeneous com- 
position, General Somervell's command 
was from the first an aggressive and expan- 
sive organization. It clashed with the War 
Shipping Administration in the effort to 
gain more control over merchant shipping, 
and waged bitter jurisdictional disputes — 
outside the province of this study — with 
the War Production Board and other 
civilian agencies. The SOS also had a nat- 
ural tendency to attempt to project the 
interests and functions that it represented 
into the upper levels of planning and co- 
ordination, demanding for them a form of 
organizational representation at those 
levels that would ensure their considera- 
tion as a distinct and independent factor 
in strategy and policy. Hence the sharp 
conflicts between Somervell's planning 
staff and OPD, and the virtual elimination 
(which proved temporary) of G-4 as a 
potent influence in logistical planning. 
Toward the end of 1942 the pressure of the 
logistical "interest" in the upper realms of 
planning was to pose a challenge to the 
organization of the Joint and Combined 
Committee systems and to the concept of 
the subordinate role of logistics in strategic 
planning upon which that organization 
was based. 11 " 

1 "" Paper, 20 Nov 42, sub: Proced for Shipt of Air 
Force Sups Overseas, POE Gen Overseas Sup folder, 

"" Memo cited n. 108(1). 

111 For efforts to unify naval and ground logistics, 
see below, Ch. XXIV. 

1,2 See below, Ch. XXIV. 


Lend-Lease as an Instrument 
of Coalition Warfare 

Momentarily, the reaction to Pearl Har- 
bor left the future of lend-lease in doubt. 
In an emergency action to assure that its 
own needs would be met, the Army on the 
night of 7 December 1941 stopped the 
movement of all supplies to foreign govern- 
ments. Axis propagandists trumpeted the 
claim that American entrance into the 
war meant the end of American supply- 
aid, and even the British showed alarm at 
the course events were taking. But the 
doubt was soon dispelled by an announce- 
ment by the President that U.S. entry into 
the war would mean an increase, not a 
stoppage or decrease, in lend-lease sup- 
plies. The Army continued during De- 
cember to give first priority to its own 
needs, but the existing schedules of lend- 
lease releases were reviewed and many 
shipments resumed. By the end of the year 
it was clearly established that lend-lease 
would continue; what remained to be de- 
termined was the extent to which the sup- 
ply of Allied nations would be affected by 
that of the U.S. Army, now that the latter 
was engaged in active hostilities. 1 

Lend-lease in 1941 had been an instru- 
ment of economic warfare, based on the 
theory that the United States could, solely 
by furnishing supplies, enable other 
powers to defeat the Axis. Pearl Harbor 
put an end to this illusion. There was no 
longer any question about the need for 

large American armed forces to defeat the 
Axis, but the United States also remained 
the principal reservoir of industrial pro- 
duction for the entire coalition to which it 
now belonged, and the need for American 
munitions by the other Allied armed forces 
continued as acute as before. Lend-lease 
had now to be transformed into an instru- 
ment of coalition warfare, and some means 
had to be found for allocating the grow- 
ing output of American munitions to the 
forces, including our own, that could use 
them most effectively to win the war, 
regardless of nationality. 

The Munitions Assignments Board and 
the Common Pool 

During 1941 the prevailing military 
thought had been that American resources 
should be allocated entirely by Ameri- 

1 ( 1 ) Memo. Col V. V. Taylor for CofEngrs, 8 Dec 
4 1 , sub: Suspension of Def Aid Shipts, Misc Corresp 
Lend-lease 4 file, DAD. (2) Telephone Convs Col 
Taylor file. Bk. 1. DAD. (3) Memo, Col Aurand for 
Gen Moore. 18 Dec 41, sub: Review of Trf Schedules, 
Col Boone's file. Item 79, DAD. (4) Memo, Stettinius 
for Hopkins, 8 Dec 41, MS Index to the Hopkins 
Papers. Bk. VII, Lend-lease in Opn ( 1941 ), p. 4, Item 
48. (5) Ltr, Stettinius to Hopkins, 9 Dec 41. MS Index 
to the Hopkins Papers, 3k. V, FDR and HLH Actions 
Post-Dec 7, p. 2, Item 6. (6) Cable, Harriman to Hop- 
kins, 1 1 Dec 41, MS Index to the Hopkins Papers, Bk. 
V, FDR and HLH Actions Post-Dec 7, p. 2. Item 7. 
(7) Memo, DAD for Chiefs of SAS, 3 Jan 42, Misc 
Corresp Lend-lease 1 file, DAD. 



cans. 2 After the rejection of the Marshall- 
Stark proposal of August 1941 to place 
allocation of military materials under the 
Joint Board, the question of a suitable or- 
ganization remained in abeyance until 
November when Harry Hopkins proposed 
formation of a Strategic Munitions Board 
to be composed of himself, the Chief of 
Staff, and the Chief of Naval Operations. 
The President acted on this suggestion 
immediately after Pearl Harbor, assigning 
to the new board the functions of estab- 
lishing programs for the allocation of mu- 
nitions to the United States and defense 
aid countries and of preparing a produc- 
tion program "to achieve sure and final 
victory." 3 The composition of the board 
was to be entirely American, conforming 
to the prevailing conception. It was also to 
be directly responsible to the President, 
indicating continuance of Roosevelt's close 
personal supervision over distribution of 

The Strategic Munitions Board never 
became more than a paper organization. 
It never held a formal meeting, and, so far 
as is known, played no part either in the 
preparation of munitions allocation pro- 
grams or in that of the Victory Program. 
General Marshall delegated his functions 
as a member to his deputy for supply, 
General Moore. General Moore, acting 
either in his capacity as a member of the 
board or as a representative of the Chief 
of Staff, and with the advice of G-4 and 
WPD, made item-by-item decisions on re- 
lease schedules prepared by the Defense 
Aid Director, Colonel Aurand — continu- 
ing the practice in effect since October 
1941. 4 

The Strategic Munitions Board had 
been conceived while the United States 
was still at peace and was not suited to the 
needs of a coalition war to be fought in 

close collaboration with Great Britain. 
Discussions at the Arcadia Conference 
indicated that this collaboration would 
include supply as well as strategic plan- 
ning, and, in view of Britain's dependence 
on American production, continuance of 
munitions allocations on a unilateral basis 
was soon ruled out. This was undoubtedly 
the most important reason why the Stra- 
tegic Munitions Board never functioned. 
The partnership with the British was 
already well advanced. There had been 
staff conversations and an exchange of 
staff missions before the United States en- 
tered the war. On the supply side the 
British participated in the work of the De- 
fense Aid Supply Committee and the Joint 
Aircraft Committee, the bodies charged 
with determination of the ground and air 
force lend-lease programs, respectively. A 
combined Victory Program was on the 
planning boards, and the Consolidated 
Balance Sheet provided for mutual ex- 
change of production information. On the 
supposition that America would meet a 
considerable proportion of British military 
supply requirements, Britain had gone 
ahead to place a far higher proportion of 
its available manpower in the armed serv- 
ices than would otherwise have been pos- 
sible. American strategy, as far as it had 
been developed, was predicated on the 
existence of these British forces to be armed 
with American materiel. In daily contacts 
and mutual experience in dealing through 

'-' See above, Ch. III. 

3 (1) Memo, President for SW, 8 Dec 41, Auth File 
of President's Ltrs, DAD. (2) Memo, Gen Burns for 
Hopkins, 24 Nov 41, MS Index to the Hopkins Papers, 
Bk. V, Orgn of WSA, p. 1, Item 2. (3) On the Strate- 
gic Shipping Board created at the same time, see 
above, Ch. IX. 

4 ( 1 ) Memo, Aurand for CofS, 1 3 Jan 42, sub: Def 
Aid Trfs and Trf Schedules, Misc Stf Studies, Lend- 
lease 2A file, DAD. (2) 1st Ind, Aurand to ACofS 
G-4, 19 Dec41,G-4/32697. 



a committee system, a practical partner- 
ship was already being welded. It re- 
mained for the Arcadia Conference to 
formalize this partnership with permanent 
arrangements for the combined direction 
of a combined war effort. 

The British were in a far better position 
to take the lead in the development of 
combined machinery, since their own na- 
tional organizations for direction of the 
war effort had already crystallized during 
two years of war, while the Americans 
were only beginning to fashion theirs. The 
British came to Arcadia with a plan 
already drawn up for a system of com- 
bined organizations — a combined strate- 
gic planning organization for all the serv- 
ices (the CCS committee system); a 
combined supply board to deal with pro- 
duction, the allocation of raw materials, 
and so forth; a combined committee to 
deal with the allocation of military mate- 
riel; a combined shipping committee; and 
other combined bodies as the situation 
might dictate. 5 The Americans, with no 
definite plan of their own, perforce ac- 
cepted British leadership. But while they 
recognized the soundness of the British 
proposals, they feared that the British, 
with superior experience and more mature 
institutions of war direction, might gain 
an undue predominance in combined 
bodies. Consequently, they received the 
British plan with a certain wariness. 

This wariness was evident in the Ameri- 
can approach to the problem of allocating 
munitions. The first discussions of alloca- 
tions took place between members of the 
British and American staffs particularly 
concerned with supply. Very early in the 
conference a combined military supply 
committee was informally set up, first des- 
ignated as the Joint Planning Committee, 
later as the Joint Supply Committee. The 

committee soon assumed many of the 
functions of the Strategic Munitions 
Board. While it had no specific powers to 
take action, it provided a forum for discus- 
sion and for agreements that could be car- 
ried out by the respective British and 
American members acting within the 
framework of their own national organi- 
zations. (i Since its own existence was lim- 
ited to the period of the Arcadia Confer- 
ence, it was almost inevitable that the 
committee should give some attention to 
the question of a permanent combined or- 
ganization to carry on its work. The imme- 
diate issue that brought the problem to the 
committee's attention was the submission 
of parallel demands by the Dutch East 
Indies to London and Washington. At the 
meeting of 7 January, Lt. Gen. George N. 
Macready of the British Joint Staff Mis- 
sion reported that "pursuant to a high 
level decision," all allocations to the 
Netherlands Government would be deter- 
mined in London. This, he said, would be 
part of a larger scheme for the division of 
the United Nations into proteges of either 
the United States or Great Britain. The 
British group would include all European 
refugee governments, all parts of the Brit- 
ish Empire, Egypt, and Turkey; the Amer- 
ican group, the Latin American nations, 
China, and Iceland. Allocations in Wash- 
ington to the United Kingdom would in- 
clude, in addition to her own needs, 
requirements of the nations for which she 

5 (1) Hancock and Gowing, British War Economy, 
pp. 389-93. (2) On the organizational development 
on the American side, see above, Ch. IX. 

6 Min, Jt Ping Com mtg, 24 Dec 41, and Jt Sup 
Com mtgs, 2, 7, and 12 Jan 42, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc 
Suppl, II. Regular attendants for the U.S. were Gen- 
eral Moore, Colonel Aurand, and Capt. Paul Hen- 
dren, USN; for the British, Lt. Gen. George N. 
Macready and Brigadier Donald Campion. This com- 
mittee functioned only for the duration of the 
Arcadia Conference. 



assumed supply responsibility. Soviet allo- 
cations would continue to be based on the 
joint protocol. 

This proposal of the British took the 
Americans by surprise, for they had heard 
of no such high-level decision. In reality 
there had been none. After a long discus- 
sion in which the Americans indicated 
only a general agreement on the principle 
of combined allocations, the matter was 
tabled, but after the meeting General 
Macready drew up a memorandum stat- 
ing his conception of bulk allocations. 7 The 
basic principle Macready put forward was 
that equipment must be allocated accord- 
ing to the military situation and not "ac- 
cording to the origin of the order which 
produces it." A careful reading of his 
memorandum revealed, however, that he 
proposed a combined allocation commit- 
tee in Washington to make bulk allocations 
to the British and their proteges out of 
American production, but a War Office, 
purely British, allocation committee in 
London to divide up these bulk alloca- 
tions, as well as British production, among 
the Empire countries and the British 

Macready's memorandum received a 
thorough review by War Department and 
lend-lease officials. Nearly everyone 
agreed that equipment must be allocated 
in accordance with military need, but all 
showed some suspicion of the British pro- 
tege arrangement, and the War Depart- 
ment spokesmen in particular thought that 
the pooling arrangement must extend to 
British stocks as well as American. In his 
formal reply to Macready General Moore 
followed this line, expressing agreement on 
the proposition that there should be com- 
bined committees to make allocations on 
strategic principles but insisting that there 
must be U.S. representation on the Lon- 

don committee as well as British represen- 
tation on the one in Washington. Never- 
theless, Moore raised no explicit objection 
to the division of the world into protege 
nations, and though this acceptance of the 
British theory carried no official weight, 
the British later acted on the supposition 
that it did. s 

A final decision could only be made at 
a higher level, in the conferences of the 
British and American Chiefs of Staff with 
the Prime Minister and the President. To- 
ward the very end of the Arcadia Confer- 
ence, in the meeting on 13 January 1942, 
the British Chiefs proposed their scheme 
for continuing collaboration. On the sup- 
ply side, they suggested that the newly 
formed CCS should "settle the broad pro- 
gramme of requirements based on strate- 
gic policy," and "from time to time issue 
general directives laying down policy to 
govern the distribution of available weap- 
ons of war." To give effect to these direc- 
tives, combined allocation committees 
should be formed to make allocations 
between the United States and the British 
Commonwealth, "each caring for the 
needs of Allies for whom it has accepted 
responsibility." 9 The U.S. Chiefs were 
cautious in committing themselves, insist- 
ing that they were not yet prepared to 
enter into details, but they accepted the 
general principle of CCS authority over 
broad requirements programs and policy 

7 Memo, Gen Macready for Brig L. C. Hollis, 7 Jan 
42, sub: Alloc of Finished Mil Equip to Allies, Eng- 
lish Corresp Lend-lease 1 file, DAD. 

s ( 1) For a digest of various views, see MS Index to 
the Hopkins Papers, Bk. V, Estab of Jt Bds Dec-Feb 
42, pp. 3-7, Item 13. (2) Ltr, Moore to Macready, 12 
Jan 42, English Corresp Lend-lease 1 file, DAD. 
Moore's letter was evidently drafted by Colonel 

'■' Annex 1, memo, Br CsofS, 8 Jan 42, title: Post- 
Arcadia Collaboration, to min, ABC-4 JCCSs-1 1,13 
Jan 42. 



for strategic allocation, and a minute was 
drafted for submission to the President and 
Prime Minister, reading: 

We, the combined US-British Chiefs of 
Staff are agreed in principle that finished war 
equipment shall be allocated in accordance 
with strategic needs. We accordingly submit 
that an appropriate body should be set up 
under the authority of the CCS, in Washing- 
ton, and a corresponding body in London, 
for the purpose of giving effect to this prin- 
ciple. 10 

In the meeting of the military chiefs it 
was clearly recognized that the allocation 
agencies, of whatever composition, should 
be responsible to and under the authority 
of the CCS. Meanwhile Lord Beaver- 
brook, head of the British Ministry of Sup- 
ply, had been urging a different scheme, 
presumably with the support of Churchill. 
The British Ministry of Supply was gener- 
ally responsible for all procurement in 
England and for allocation of raw mate- 
rials and facilities. The British military did 
not enter into the picture. Lord Beaver- 
brook proposed that an American coun- 
terpart of the British ministry be set up 
under Harry Hopkins, directly responsible 
to the President. A combined agency rep- 
resenting the two, with Hopkins as chair- 
man, would then constitute a high com- 
mand for supply independent of and on a 
level with the CCS. Such an agency would 
include within its purview long-range 
plans for allocation of military equip- 
ment. 11 

Though President Roosevelt evidently 
was not ready to accept Beaverbrook's 
scheme in toto, his ideas about organization 
for allocation of munitions were clearly 
influenced by it. On the evening of 14 Jan- 
uary 1942 the matter came up for final 
decision in the last formal session of 
Arcadia at the White House. Before the 

arrival of the rest of the conferees, General 
Marshall had a brief meeting with the 
President and Hopkins. Roosevelt read 
Marshall a proposal for a munitions as- 
signments board that would be responsible 
directly to the President and the Prime 
Minister and would have broad powers. 
The board was to be divided into two 
parts, one in Washington with Hopkins as 
chairman, the other in London with 
Beaverbrook as chairman. This confirmed 
Marshall's worst fears, and when asked for 
an opinion he informed the President that 
unless the proposed munitions assignments 
board were made responsible to the CCS 
"he could not continue to assume the re- 
sponsibilities of Chief of Staff." 12 No mili- 
tary organization, he thought, could 
assume responsibility for operations if sup- 
plies essential to their conduct were not 
placed under its control. The issue of civil- 
ian versus military control of munitions 
allocations, the overtones of which had 
been heard all through 1941 , thus came to 
a sudden and dramatic crisis. The Presi- 
dent turned to ask Hopkins his opinion, 
and Hopkins, evidently much to the sur- 
prise of both the President and his Chief of 
Staff, gave his wholehearted support to 
Marshall. Hopkins' attitude evidently de- 
cided the President, for when the rest of 
the British and American representatives 
arrived he presented the matter to them 
much as Marshall had outlined it. It was 
evidently a disappointment to Churchill 
and Beaverbrook, who raised numerous 
objections. Hopkins pointed out to them 
that the way was open for an appeal to the 
President and Prime Minister if political 
matters were involved, and Churchill 
finally agreed to try the system "for a 

"' Min, ABC-4 JCCSs-1 1, 13 Jan 42. 

11 Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins , p. 470. 

y - Ibid., p. 471-72; quote is from p. 472. 



month." The President closed the discus- 
sion by saying, "We will call it a prelimi- 
nary agreement and try it out that way." 13 
So the issue was decided, and the prelimi- 
nary agreement never came up for recon- 
sideration. The Munitions Assignments 
Boards, Washington and London, respon- 
sible to the CCS in Washington, became 
the agencies that were to control allocation 
of finished munitions throughout the war. 
A joint public announcement of their for- 
mation was made by the President and 
Prime Minister on 26 January 1942, pref- 
aced by a statement of the theory behind 
their operations: "The entire munitions 
resources of the United States and Great 
Britain will be deemed to be in a common 
pool, about which the fullest information 
will be interchanged." 14 

The establishment of the Munitions 
Assignments Boards was a logical corol- 
lary, on the supply side, of the principle of 
combined strategic direction of the war 
effort by the CCS. Some machinery was 
necessary to assure a continuing relation- 
ship between allocation of supplies and 
agreed strategy, and the assignments 
boards were to serve that purpose admir- 
ably. What the abstract principle of the 
common pool of munitions would mean in 
practice remained yet to be determined. 
Since the United States would ultimately 
put far more into the pool than Britain, it 
was inevitable that the British should be- 
come the proponents of the pooling theory 
and that the Americans should view it 
with misgivings. The actual principles 
under which allocations would be made 
had necessarily to be worked out after 
manifold differences in the British and 
American approaches were resolved. For 
this reason the decision to limit the scope 
of the Munitions Assignments Boards 

solely to military materials proved a wise 
one. Within these limits Anglo-American 
co-operation was to prove possible, but it 
turned out to be not so feasible when ex- 
tended to the broader area of over-all pro- 
duction planning, along the lines that 
Beaverbrook had evidently intended. 

As to the relationship of other nations 
to the London and Washington boards, the 
Roosevelt-Churchill announcement said: 
"Members of the Board will confer with 
representatives of the USSR, China and 
such others of the United Nations as are 
necessary to attain common purposes and 
provide for the most effective utilization of 
the joint resources of the United Na- 
tions." 15 In truth the boards were, like the 
CCS, instruments of Anglo-American pol- 
icy, and the other United Nations were 
left on the periphery. Of the various Allies, 
only China ever raised the issue of mem- 
bership on the Washington board, and it 
was refused on the basis that only nations 
with a disposable surplus should be repre- 
sented. 16 Undoubtedly this was only a half 
truth. The real reason was that neither the 
British nor the Americans wanted to cre- 
ate an unwieldy body where conflicts of 
many varying interests would make action 
impossible. Of all the other United Na- 
tions only the USSR really had the great- 
power status that entitled her to considera- 
tion, and by virtue of the protocol, which 
made allocations to her subject to arrange- 

13 (1) Ibid., p. 472. (2) Notes on informal confs held 
during visit of Br CsofS in Washington, conf at White 
House, 14 Jan 42, WDCSA 334. 

M Jt Declaration, President and Churchill, 26 Jan 
42, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, II. 

15 Ibid. 

16 (1) OPD Diary, 24 Apr 42 entry, OPD Hist Unit 
File. (2) Memo, Aurand for McCloy, 27 Apr 42, sub: 
Mtg of 28 Apr re China Proced, China Lend-lease 2 
file, DAD. 



ments transcending the powers of the 
boards, the USSR occupied a unique posi- 
tion. The Russians preferred to keep their 
relations on this plane. 

As for the other nations, the British 
clung to their scheme of bulk allocations 
and proteges. The United States never for- 
mally accepted this procedure. Hopkins 
informed General Burns shortly after the 
formation of the Washington board: "I 
think it should be clearly understood that 
the memorandum prepared by Mac- 
Cready . . . and gone over by General 
Moore does not necessarily have to be our 
bible." 1T Yet during the first year of the 
Washington board's operations, it followed 
this system in practice to a considerable 
degree, for it conformed generally to the 
manner in which allocations had been 
handled during 1941 and to the division 
of strategic responsibility between the two 
countries as agreed afterward. 

Organization of the MAB and Its Committees 

The announcement by the President 
and Prime Minister laid down only the 
very broad outlines for the munitions as- 
signments machinery. The details were 
left to the CCS and the two governments 
concerned. The CCS issued a charter for 
the Munitions Assignments Board in 
Washington (MAB) on 4 February 1942, 
assigning it functions as follows: 

2. Working in close collaboration with the 
corresponding London organization the 
Board will maintain full information of the 
entire munitions resources of Great Britain 
and the United States and translate such re- 
sources into terms of combat forces and their 
material reserves. It will . . . keep the esti- 
mate up-to-date in the light of war develop- 
ments and also of variations in production 
achievements and prospects ... in order 
that the CCS may be fully informed and rec- 

ommend the measures necessary to keep 
planned requirements programs in line with: 

a. strategic policy; 

b. changing operational conditions in 
their effect on war material; and 

c. the realities of production. 

3. Under such strategic policies, directives 
and priorities as have been approved, and in 
accordance with agreements with the corre- 
sponding London organization, the Board 
will be responsible for making assignments of 
the stocks and production of finished war 
material to the United States and Great 
Britain and toothers of the United Nations. 18 

The membership of the MAB, with 
Harry Hopkins as chairman, consisted of 
representatives of the U.S. Ground Forces, 
Air Forces, and Navy, with their British 
opposite numbers. The U.S. representa- 
tives at first were General Moore, Admiral 
William H. Standley, and General Har- 
mon; the British, Lt. Gen. H. C. B. 
Wemyss, Admiral Sir Charles J. C. Little, 
and Air Marshal Douglas C. S. Evill. 19 A 
permanent staff and a secretariat were 
formed on a combined basis with General 
Burns as executive officer. The staff was at 
first divided into four parts, Army, Navy, 
Air, and Statistical, but other sections were 
added later as necessary for efficient oper- 
ations. This staff, under the direction of 
General Burns, was responsible for prep- 
aration for meetings, examination of pro- 
posed assignments, execution of the deci- 
sions of the board, liaison with appropriate 
civilian agencies, and maintenance of nec- 

17 Memo, Hopkins for Burns, 12 Feb 42, MS Index 
to the Hopkins Papers, Bk. V, Estab of Jt Bds Dec- 
Feb42, p. 11, Item 18 (b). 

18 CCS 19/1, 4 Feb 42, title: Order Estab MAB. 
Hereafter MAB will refer only to the Munitions 

Assignments Board in Washington. The London 
Munitions Assignments Board will be abbreviated 

19 CCS 19/1 cited n. 18. Admiral Joseph M. Reeves 
replaced Admiral Standley as the U.S. naval member 
on 11 February 1942. 



essary statistics on combined requirements 
and resources."' 

In order to utilize the detailed informa- 
tion at the command of the individual 
services, the board directed the formation 
of three committees, a Munitions Assign- 
ments Committee (Navy) for naval mate- 
rials, a Munitions Assignments Commit- 
tee (Air) for air materials, and a Muni- 
tions Assignments Committee (Ground) 
for ground materials (MAC(N), MAC(A), 
and MAC(G)). The board stipulated that 
these three main committees should have 
British membership, but left their detailed 
composition to the service departments 
concerned. Accordingly, the War Depart- 
ment organized the Air and Ground Com- 
mittees. As originally organized, Brig. 
Gen. Henry S. Aurand, Defense Aid 
Director, was chairman of the MAC(G), 
with membership from WPD and the 
British Army Staff; General Harmon, 
Chief of the Air Staff, was chairman of the 
MAC(A), with membership from the AAF 
and RAF. 21 In practice the three commit- 
tees did all the detailed work of preparing 
assignment schedules, working frequently 
through subcommittees of their own. The 
MAB acted largely as a court of appeals 
when agreements could not be reached in 
the committees, and as a policy-determin- 
ing body, subject always to further appeal 
to the CCS in case of dissent. Nevertheless, 
all assignments had to be formally ap- 
proved by the board before they became 

The London Munitions Assignments 
Board (LMAB) was organized in the same 
general manner.-' 2 Its allocations included, 
in addition to British production, material 
assigned to the British by the Washington 
board and critical items of Empire pro- 
duction. In contrast to the policy in Wash- 
ington where the MAB assigned all mili- 

tary items right down to single rifles for 
test purposes, the British classified equip- 
ment as assignable and nonassignable, 
subjecting only critical items to the as- 
signments procedure. Items not in short 
supply were merely allocated by War 
Office agencies. The committees of the 
London board were also allowed to make 
final assignments where there was no dis- 
sent, and the LMAB met only on occa- 
sions where a dissent required its decision 
rather than regularly as did the board in 
Washington. Since American bids against 
British production were never of large 
proportions, the combined aspects of the 
LMAB's operations were never so impor- 
tant as those of the Washington board. It 
concerned itself primarily with allocations 
to the nations of the British Empire, those 
assumed to be within the British sphere of 
responsibility, various agencies of the Brit- 
ish Government, and theaters of opera- 
tions in British areas of responsibility — all 
matters that, during 1942, the Americans 
were satisfied to leave under British con- 
trol. The LMAB also acted as the parent 
board for certain Empire assignments 
committees set up in Australia and India 
during the progress of the war. - ' 3 

A special word needs to be added about 
Canada. It was tentatively agreed that 

20 Tab D, Orgn of Stf of MAB, to memo, Aurand 
for CofS, 1 1 Feb 42, sub: Dir for MAB. ID 020, ID 
Orgn and Functions. 

21 ( 1 ) Ltr, Hopkins to SW, 9 Feb 42. (2) Ltr, SW to 
Hopkins, 19 Feb 42. Both in Orgn MAB file, DAD. 

Brig. Gen. R. W. Crawford of WPD and Brig. Don- 
ald Campion of the British Army Staff were the 
original members of MAC(G). 

-" J The charter of LMAB is War Cabinet Paper 
LMAB (42) 1, 25 Mar 42, sub: LMAB, ID, Lend- 
Lease, Doc Suppl, II. 

Col. Eric M. Wilson was the first U.S. executive of 
the LMAB but was succeeded later by Maj. Gen. 
James K. Crain. 

- See ID, Lend-Lease, I, 166-76. 



Canadian production should fall under 
the jurisdiction of the Washington board. 
But in practice only the part of it that had 
been contracted for by the U.S. Govern- 
ment through the agency of War Supplies 
Limited, a subsidiary corporation of the 
Canadian Department of Munitions and 
Supply, was ever so assigned. The Cana- 
dians soon established a Munitions As- 
signments Committee of their own in 
Ottawa, with representation from both the 
United Kingdom and the United States. 
The Canadian committee was more useful 
as a link between the civilian Department 
of Munitions and Supply and the Cana- 
dian armed forces than as an agency for 
making allocations on a strategic basis. An 
American observer noted in October 1942 
that needs of the Canadian armed forces 
got top priority and that for the rest the 
committee made assignments in keeping 
with contractual obligations rather than 
strategic considerations. The Canadian 
committee was not, except perhaps in 
theory, under the authority of either of the 
other boards or of the CCS. 24 (Chart 5) 

Other Combined Boards: A Summary View 

The machinery for munitions assign- 
ments was but one part of the combined 
Anglo-American organization for supply 
collaboration. The President and Prime 
Minister on 26 January 1942 also an- 
nounced the formation of a Combined 
Raw Materials Board and a Combined 
Shipping Adjustment Board (CSAB). The 
raw materials board was to make plans 
for development, expansion, and use of 
raw materials of the two nations, and to 
make recommendations to the various 
agencies of the British and American Gov- 
ernments for execution of such plans. The 

shipping board would "adjust and concert 
in one harmonious policy the work of the 
British Ministry of War Transport and the 
shipping authorities of the United States 
Government." I5 In principle, American 
and British shipping would be pooled, but 
in practice the pool would be divided into 
two parts in keeping with the geographi- 
cal situation, one part to be administered 
in London, the other in Washington, each 
under the control of the national authori- 
ties concerned. The CSAB would recom- 
mend the interchanges necessary for the 
most effective utilization of shipping from 
both pools. 2 ' 1 

The British had envisaged a combined 
organization for production planning as 
the real hub of the whole system of com- 
bined boards, but no such organization 
was set up at Arcadia, evidently because 
the Americans had not yet developed their 
own national organization. But since this 
gap in the combined machinery was rec- 
ognized on both sides, the President and 
Prime Minister on 9 June 1942 announced 
the establishment of a Combined Produc- 
tion and Resources Board (CPRB) com- 
posed of Donald Nelson, chairman of 
WPB, and Sir Oliver Lyttelton, British 
Minister of Production. The CPRB was 
assigned the broad function of combining 
the production programs of the United 
States and United Kingdom into a single 
integrated program, adjusted to strategic 
requirements of the war as indicated by 
the CCS and to all relevant production 
factors. On the same day a Combined 
Food Board was added to "obtain a 

24 (1) Ibid., I, 185-92. (2) Memo, Maj William S. 
Gaud for Actg Dir ID, 18 Oct 42, sub: Asgmt of 
Canadian Pdn Allocated in Ottawa to War Sups Lim- 
ited. ID, Lend-Lease. Doc Suppl, III. 

-■"' Jt Declaration cited n. 14. 

26 Ibid. 















II — it 




< I 

< | | 




planned and expeditious utilization of the 
food resources of the United Nations." 27 
These two boards completed the setup 
of combined agencies, and with their addi- 
tion the structure came to resemble closely 
the blueprint the British had brought to 
Washington in December 1941. Boards for 
raw materials, resources and production, 
food, munitions assignments, and ship- 
ping covered virtually the entire war 
effort. Nevertheless, the civilian combined 
boards were never to play the role in 
directing the war effort that the British 
had hoped they would. The Americans, 
with far greater resources at their disposal, 
proved reluctant to place too many powers 
in their hands. The British, for their part, 
too frequently looked on the boards as 
mechanisms for increasing the flow of 
American aid. Only the Munitions As- 
signments Boards, responsible to the CCS, 
had express powers to make allocations of 
the materials under their jurisdiction. The 
other combined boards had no express 
powers of their own; they were responsible 
to the President and Prime Minister 
directly, and could only make recom- 
mendations to be acted on by the agencies 
of the governments concerned. Their 
powers derived in the end largely from the 
fact that membership of each board nor- 
mally consisted of only two persons, the 
heads of the respective British and Ameri- 
can agencies concerned, or their deputies. 
The boards thus served mainly to give a 
formal institutional status to the consulta- 
tion and collaboration between British 
and American officials on the economic 
front that was continuous throughout the 
war. The Combined Raw Materials Board 
was the only one that had any measure of 
success in fulfilling the functions assigned 
it as a board. The others, after an ambi- 
tious start in 1942, gradually declined in 

power and prestige. Yet, despite their 
failure as genuine international bodies, 
they gave at least a semblance of reality to 
the common pool as applied to the total 
resources of the United States and the 
British Commonwealth of Nations. 28 

The Principle of Reciprocal Aid 

As far as the common pool was a real- 
ity, lend-lease served as the mechanism 
whereby allied nations could draw on 
American resources without money pay- 
ments; its obverse, reverse lend-lease or 
reciprocal aid, served as an equally con- 
venient instrument by which the United 
States could draw on the resources of 
Great Britain and other allies. While sup- 
plies and services received by the United 
States under reciprocal aid were never 
comparable in volume to lend-lease aid 
given, they frequently involved greater 
sacrifices from nations far less rich. They 
were of vital importance in effecting econ- 
omies in shipping for the support of Amer- 
ican forces overseas. 

The provision in the Lend-Lease Act 
that benefits to accrue to the United States 
might be "payment or repayment in kind 
or property, or any other direct or indirect 
benefit the President deems satisfactory," 

27 Report to the 78th Congress on Lend-Lease Operations 
From the Passage of the Act, March 11 , 1941 , to December 
31 , 1942, submitted by Edward R. Stettinius, App. 

28 (1) For an analysis of the work of the civilian 
combined boards from the American point of view, 
see S. Rosen, The Combined Boards of World 
War //(New York, Columbia University Press, 1951). 
(2) For a British view of the boards, see H. Duncan 
Hall and C. C. Wrigley, Studies of Overseas Supply, 
a volume in preparation for the British series HIS- 
draft, Chs. V-VI. This draft is located in the Histori- 
cal Branch, Cabinet Office, London. 



furnished the legal basis for reciprocal 
aid. _,ft The President authorized receipt of 
supplies under this clause in May 1941, 
but application before Pearl Harbor was 
limited. The British furnished special 
equipment for defense of the Panama 
Canal, and installations and supplies were 
taken over from them when American 
forces occupied bases in Iceland and the 
Caribbean. The principle also served as a 
convenient means by which components 
produced on British contracts in the 
United States could be used interchange- 
ably with American components in pro- 
duction of tanks, planes, and other muni- 
tions. 30 

After Pearl Harbor, as American troops 
moved overseas to Australia, New Zea- 
land, the Pacific islands, and England, 
reciprocal aid soon became a matter of 
much greater importance. In England it 
was at first largely a matter of taking over 
British installations and using British 
transportation and other services. Mean- 
while, in Australia and New Zealand, a 
much broader application of reciprocal 
aid was taking shape with American 
troops drawing on local resources for most 
of their food and much of their clothing 
and other expendable supplies. This Aus- 
tralian pattern was soon extended to the 
British Isles as the number of American 
troops there was increased. As early as 
3 1 January 1942, the War Department is- 
sued instructions to overseas commanders 
to receive "supplies, equipment or facil- 
ities" under reverse lend-lease, 31 but this 
directive was limited in scope and framed 
to apply largely to the taking over of facil- 
ities in England that were evacuated by 
British troops. Basing its action on the de- 
veloping pattern in the Pacific, the War 
Department issued more positive instruc- 
tions in June and July 1942, authorizing 

theater commanders to make arrange- 
ments under reciprocal aid for "any serv- 
ices, facilities, supplies or equipment" that 
in their discretion could reasonably be 
made available by the local government 
concerned. 3J 

To systematize these overseas procure- 
ment activities, the War Department 
authorized the establishment of a General 
Purchasing Board in Australia in Febru- 
ary 1942, and one in England in May. 33 
These organizations, particularly the Aus- 
tralian, became the models for those to be 
organized in other theaters. As far as pos- 
sible, local procurement in overseas areas 
was centralized in the hands of the gen- 
eral purchasing organizations and con- 
ducted by agencies of the government 
concerned. Reciprocal aid became largely 
a theater matter, the War Department's 
role being confined to general co-ordina- 
tion, over-all record keeping, and estab- 
lishment of general policies and proce- 
dures. But since overseas procurement 
had to be fitted into general requirements 
planning, procedures were established in 
late 1942 for quarterly forecasts from each 

-' J Sec 3b. 

30 (1) International Division. ASF. History of Re- 
ciprocal Aid. 9 May 1941-31 December 1945, MS, 
p. 4, OCMH. (2) Ltr. President to SW, 9 May 41, ID, 
History of Reciprocal Aid, Doc Suppl, OCMH J) 
Ltr. C. E. I.Jones, Br Purch Comm, to Capt C. H. 
Dyson, DAD, 14 Nov 41, English Corresp Lend-lease 
2 file, DAD. (4) Related papers in same file and in 
English Corresp Lend-lease 4 Hie. DAD. 

!1 TAG ltr to all comds, 3 1 Jan 42, sub: Trf of Prop- 
i rt\ From Foreign Govts to U.S. Army Forces in 
Overseas Theaters and Separate Bases. AG 400.3295 

1 I FAG ltr to maj comds and mil mis's. 22 Jun 
42, sub: Trf of Property From Foreign Govts to U.S. 
Army Forces in Overseas Theaters and Separate 
Bases, AG 400.3295 ,1-21-42). (2) Backing papers in 
same file and in G-4/33940 and G-4/32697-21. (3) 
Msg, AG WAR to all overseas comds. 14 Jul 42, Re- 
ciprocal Aid Dirs Hie. ID. (4) See below, Ch. XVIII. 
See above, Ch. VII. 



theater of prospective reciprocal aid trans- 
fers. : 

While reciprocal aid was at tirst based 
largely on informal arrangements, these 
were soon ratified by formal diplomatic 
agreements. The Master Lend-Lease 
Agreements signed with each of the lend- 
lease beneficiaries contained the pledge 
that each would "contribute to the defense 
of the United States . . . and . . . pro- 
vide such articles, services, facilities or 
information as it may be in a position to 
supply." 5 More specific reciprocal aid 
agreements were signed with the United 
Kingdom (to include her colonial empire), 
Australia, New Zealand, and the Free 
French on 3 September 1942. :i " While the 
United States could never complain about 
the implementation of these reciprocal aid 
agreements in the United Kingdom itself, 
or in Australia and New Zealand, there 
were difficulties in various parts of the 
British colonial empire where officials did 
not understand them as well. There were 
also difficulties about valuation since the 
United States insisted on a strict account- 
ing and the British maintained it would 
require too much time and manpower. 
These, however, were matters of detail. In 
general, by September 1942 when the 
final agreements were signed, reciprocal 
aid had already become the corollary of 
lend-lease as an instrument of supply col- 
laboration among the various United 

Adjustment of Lend-Lease Procedure to 
Combined Arrangements 

The decision on the common pool of 
munitions represented the attainment ol 
the goal the W r ar Department had set up 
in 1941 — a consolidated production pro- 
gram for the United States and foreign aid 

with distribution on the basis of strategic 
necessity. The old lend-lease procedure 
had to be adapted to this new arrange- 
ment. It involved a new system of appro- 
priations, a redefinition of relations be- 
tween the War Department and the Office 
of Lend-Lease Administration, and a con- 
solidation of control of lend-lease require- 
ments for Army materials within the War 
Department and of allocations under the 
new combined agencies. It marked a sep- 
aration of military lend-lease from its 
civilian counterpart, the former now com- 
ing under direct control of the War De- 
partment and the CCS, the latter remain- 
ing under OLLA. 

Before 7 December 1941 the War 
Department had suggested a solution to 
the appropriations problem — consolida- 
tion of Army and lend-lease funds with 
only a dollar value limitation on transfers 
under lend-lease. This solution, rejected 
by the House of Representatives in No- 
vember 1941, was accepted with little dis- 
sent after Pearl Harbor. The Third Sup- 
plemental National Defense Appropria- 
tions Act, Fiscal Year 1942, was passed on 
26 December 1941 and provided that 
materials to the value of $2 billion could 
be furnished out of Army stocks for lend- 

' ID. Historv of Reciprocal Aid, pp. 7-10, 19-22, 

; ' In all, thirty-five nations entered into formal 
Master Lend-Lease Agreements with the United 
States. The agreement with the LInited Kingdom 
(which included her colonial empire) was signed 23 
February 1942. that with China, 2 June 1942, and 
with the USSR, 1 1 June 1942. For the text of the 
agreement with the United Kingdom (substantially 
the same as that for all the others with the exception 
of certain special clauses in those with the Latin 
American republics), see ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl. 
II. For discussion, see ID, Lend-Lease. I, 49-55. 

16 ID, History of Reciprocal Aid, Doc Suppl. 
OCMH. No separate lend-lease agreements were 
made with Australia and New Zealand, but they ac- 
( epted the principles of the U.K. Master Agreement. 



lease. It established a precedent, and, 
until the end of the war, funds for both 
U.S. Army and lend-lease items to be pro- 
cured by the War Department were 
packaged together with dollar value limi- 
tations on lend-lease transfers. A similar 
system of appropriations was adopted for 
the Navy Department and the Maritime 
Commission. The over-all limitation on 
dollar values for War Department articles 
reached a total of $32,1 70,000,000 by the 
end of the war, far in excess of the value 
of goods actually transferred. 37 Little more 
need be said of these financial arrange- 
ments beyond the fact that appropriations 
for civilian lend-lease continued to be 
made as before and administered by 
OLLA. The appropriations made to the 
War Department were entirely adequate 
and served the desired purpose, making 
possible a consolidated production pro- 
gram from which allocations were made 
by the Munitions Assignments Board. 

Beyond the announcement of the for- 
mation of the Munitions Assignments 
Board by the President, and the financial 
arrangements set up by Congress, there 
was no further action by either to place 
the new system in operation. Exact adjust- 
ments between the War Department and 
OLLA had to be worked out on an ad- 
ministrative basis. OLLA retained the 
only powers the President had delegated 
to authorize transfer and export, and 
proved somewhat reluctant to restrict its 
activities solely to civilian materials. For 
some time OLLA officials continued to 
negotiate with foreign representatives on 
military requirements and to needle the 
War Department in various ways. But, 
after protracted negotiations, the Lend- 
Lease Administration on 9 April 1942 
finally delegated to the Secretary of War 
authority to authorize transfer and export 

of military lend-lease material, "subject to 
the policies and directives of the President 
or the Combined Munitions Assignments 
Board." 38 

This delegation of powers formally put 
the new arrangements into effect. In ad- 
dition to production under lend-lease and 
War Department appropriations, mate- 
rials under foreign contracts were also 
brought into the consolidated production 
pool as far as possible by changing financ- 
ing to a lend-lease basis. While this took 
time and involved difficult financial and 
legal complications, it meant that the 
single munitions production program 
under unified direction had at last become 
a reality. 39 

The Office of Lend-Lease Administra- 
tion remained the central agency for lend- 
lease accounting, for laying down broad 
policy outside the strategic sphere, and for 
planning lend-lease programs in support 
of the civilian economy of beneficiary na- 
tions. For military lend-lease, OLLA's 
functions were reduced to those of a legal 
or accounting nature. 40 There naturally 
remained many areas in which the mili- 
tary and civilian agencies had mutual in- 
terests, and jurisdiction was difficult to 
define. It was not always possible to com- 
pletely separate military and civilian sup- 
ply. Many items, such as trucks and rail- 
road equipment, were of a dual nature. 

1T ID, Lend-Lease, I, 538-41. 

3 * (1) Memo, Aurand for McCloy, 30 Jan 42, sub: 
Clarification of Status of WD With Respect to OLLA, 
Orgn MAB file, DAD. (2) Ltr, McCloy to Stettinius, 
3 1 Jan 42, Proced 1 file, DAD. (3) Ltr, Thomas B. 
McCabe, Deputy Lend-Lease Admin, to SW, 9 Apr 
42, ID 400.3 18, I. 

39 (1) Ltr, Morgenthau to Stimson, 20 Mar 42. (2) 
Ltr, Stimson to Morgenthau, 3 Apr 42. Both in 
MAC(G) Misc Corresp file, ID. 

40 The problems of lend-lease accounting are 
treated at some length in ID, Lend-Lease, I, 667-759. 
Pertinent documents are mainly in the Misc Corresp 
Lend-lease DAD and ID 008 series. 



Machine tools, while not strictly speaking 
a military item, had always been procured 
by the Ordnance Department. Agree- 
ments had to be reached as to who should 
make budget estimates and procure these 
doubtful items. After considerable contro- 
versy, these matters were generally settled 
through the Procurement Policy Board of 
WPB. Sometimes, as in the case of med- 
ical supplies, the War Department con- 
tinued to act as a procurement agency for 
OLLA under the old requisition system. 41 
In overseas areas, OLLA maintained 
representatives concerned with lend-lease 
and reciprocal aid matters and, except in 
Australia, the theater commanders' con- 
trol over them was never so complete as 
the War Department desired. Despite 
these overlapping areas, the broad prin- 
ciple of division of lend-lease into military 
and civilian segments under different lines 
of control was established. Henceforth, 
foreign requirements for military articles 
would be presented directly to the War 
Department and consolidated with the 
Army's requirements program; assign- 
ments of military material would be made 
exclusively by the authority of the MAB. 

Readjustments in War Department Organiza- 
tion and Procedure 

New procedures for military lend-lease 
aimed at making contact between the War 
Department and foreign representatives 
"as direct and simple as possible" were 
announced on 2 March 1942. 42 Require- 
ments for common articles — those stand- 
ard to the U.S. Army — were to be sub- 
mitted to the Defense Aid Director for 
inclusion in the Army Supply Program 
(ASP), but acceptance would carry no 
guarantee of delivery to the nation for 
which the requirement was established. 

Assignments of finished articles, when 
produced, would be made by the Muni- 
tions Assignments Committee (Air or 
Ground) subject to approval by the MAB. 
Requirements for noncommon articles — 
those produced to foreign specifications — 
were to be submitted to the Defense Aid 
Supply Committee in the case of ground 
munitions and to the Joint Aircraft Com- 
mittee in that of air materials, for deter- 
mination as to feasibility of procurement. 
If procurement were ruled feasible, trans- 
fer to the requesting nation would nor- 
mally be automatic as the materials came 
offthe production line. 43 

The Office of the Defense Aid Director 
under General Aurand continued to be 
the administrative center for War Depart- 
ment lend-lease activities and the point of 
contact for foreign representatives. It fur- 
nished the chairman and secretariat for 
both the MAC(G) and the Defense Aid 
Supply Committee, collected and con- 
solidated international aid requirements, 
issued the necessary directives for procure- 
ment, transfer, and shipment, and exer- 
cised co-ordination over the lend-lease 
activities of the various supply services 
and the home offices of the lend-lease mis- 
sions overseas. 44 Yet the independent 
status of the Office of the Defense Aid Di- 
rector and its diffuse lines of responsibility 
were better adapted to the method of op- 
erations of 1941 than to the new concep- 
tion of a consolidated supply program. 

41 See long, involved correspondence in the Misc 
Corresp Lend-lease (1942) DAD and ID 008 Requisi- 
tions series. 

*'-' Ltr, ASW to Morris Wilson, Chm Br Sup Coun- 
cil in N America, 2 Mar 42, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc 
Suppl, II. 

" Ibid. 

44 (1) On the evolution of this lend-lease machinery 
during 1941, see above, Ch. III. (2) Memo, Aurand 
for McCloy, 5 Feb 42, sub: Orgn and Functions of 
ODAD, ID 020 (321) ID Orgn. 



General Somervell from the time he be- 
came G-4 in early December 1941 felt 
that co-ordination of military lend-lease 
operations by a separate War Department 
agency posed a constant threat to U.S. 
Army interests. "The whole trouble with 
Defense Aid in the beginning," he wrote 
some time later, was that "it was an en- 
tirely separate and uncoordinated outfit 
without any knowledge of, or interest in, 
the supply problem as a whole. " 4r ' When 
the War Department reorganization was 
finally accomplished in March 1942, Gen- 
eral Aurand's office was one of the many 
scattered supply agencies brought into 
Somervell's sprawling SOS empire. While 
Aurand had long been a proponent of 
consolidation of supply responsibility 
within the War Department along the 
very lines the reorganization took, he 
played little part in the direct chain of 
events leading to it, and the net effect was 
to reduce the prestige and importance of 
the office of which he was the head. 4 " The 
realignment of lend-lease organization 
and procedure that followed was a matter 
of fitting them into what Somervell con- 
ceived to be their proper place within the 
new machinery for military supply. 

The Office of the Defense Aid Director 
was incorporated into the SOS on 9 
March 1942 with no change in its organ- 
ization or functions except that matters 
pertaining to lend-lease of air materials 
were turned over to the Army Air Forces. 
It was redesignated the International 
Division on 9 April 1942 and continued 
under that name for the rest of the war. 
Two studies were made of the division's 
activities during the summer of 1942 by 
the Control Division of Headquarters, 
SOS, and by October it had been gener- 
ally integrated into the SOS organiza- 
tion. 4 ' It was the contention of General 
Aurand, who remained head of the Inter- 

national Division until mid-July 1942, 
and of his principal subordinates, that the 
division must be kept intact and on a high 
level within the War Department in order 
to preserve the principle of centralization 
of lend-lease activities and to avoid giving 
any impression to our allies that lend-lease 
had ceased to be important. On leaving 
the division, Aurand went so far as to sug- 
gest that it should be returned to the gen- 
eral supervision of the Assistant Secretary 
of War. Somervell dismissed this as a case 
of special pleading. He placed the Inter- 
national Division under General Clay, 
Assistant Chief of Staff for Materiel, some 
two steps lower in the echelons of the War 
Department than it had been as an inde- 
pendent agency. The functions of the divi- 
sion as defined in early September 1942, 
however, differed little from those set forth 
in the initial directive establishing the or- 
ganization of the SOS. 48 

Nevertheless, integration into the SOS 
inevitably brought closer control over 
both lend-lease requirements and assign- 
ments by those responsible for supply of 
the U.S. Army. Long-range requirements 
for both the Army and lend-lease were 
consolidated in the Army Supply Pro- 
gram, formulated and administered by 
the Requirements Division, SOS. From 

'■"' Memo, Somervell for Clay. 27 Jul 42. Hq ASF 
folder, ID. 

" J See memo, Aurand for Somervell, 24 Jan 42, sub: 
Army Supply Program, MAB Orgn file, DAD. 

17 (1) SOS GO 4, 9 Apr 42. (2) Cont Div rpts in ID 
020(321) ID Orgn. 

"* (1) Memo, Aurand for Clay, 18 Jun 42, sub: 
Place of ID in Orgn. (2) Memo, unsigned, for Lt Col 
John B. Franks, Actg Dir ID, no date. (3) Related 
papers. All in ID 020 (321) ID Orgn. (4) Memo, 
Aurand for Somervell, 18 Jul 42, sub: Rpt at Time of 
Leaving ID, Hq ASF folder, ID. (5) Memo cited n. 
45. (6) Services of Supplv Organization Manual, 30 
Sep 42, ASF files. (7) Cf. par. 9i of ltr, CG SOS to 
Chiefs of SAS <>/«/., 9 Mar 42, sub: Initial Dir for the 
Orgn of SOS, Hq ASF, with memo, Dir ID for all br 
and sec chiefs. 1 2 Sep 42, ID 020, ID Orgn and Func- 



the start, Somervell and Clay sought to 
limit lend-lease procurement to articles 
approved in the ASP and to reduce non- 
program demands to a minimum. In the 
small but troublesome area of noncom- 
mon items, which at first were not in- 
cluded in the ASP, the Defense Aid Sup- 
ply Committee had formal authority. But 
by early 1942 this committee had stopped 
holding regular meetings, and its work 
was largely performed by Aurand's office 
in consultation with subcommittees in 
supply services, each normally composed 
of one British and one American repre- 
sentative. Somervell found these subcom- 
mittees too free in their use of raw mate- 
rials and moved to place them under 
stricter control. The Defense Aid Supply 
Committee was reconstituted as the Inter- 
national Supply Committee (ISC), and its 
formal approval was required before pro- 
curement of any item not listed in the 
ASP could be undertaken. The British re- 
tained membership on the new committee 
and General Aurand continued as chair- 
man, but the voting members on the 
American side came from Clay's office, 
from the Production Division, SOS, and 
from OPD. Foreign requests for special 
procurement encountered a very "tough" 
attitude in the new ISC, against which 
Aurand's protests were in vain. 49 

The powers of the International Supply 
Committee were broadened to include 
cognizance of nonprogram requirements 
for common items and revisions of the 
lend-lease part of the ASP. At least in 
theory, it became responsible for all inter- 
national aid requirements. In September 
1942 the clear distinction between com- 
mon and noncommon item procedures 
was considerably modified. All requisi- 
tions for noncommon items previously ap- 
proved by the ISC were incorporated in a 
separate section of the September revision 

of the ASP (Section VI). Since bids for 
these items were frequently received from 
several different lend-lease nations, they 
were subjected to assignment by MAC(G) 
and automatic transfer was stopped ex- 
cept in cases where the ISC specifically 
stipulated it in approving procurement. 50 
On the assignments side, the SOS took 
the position that, except in exceptional cir- 
cumstances, allocations of finished equip- 
ment should never exceed accepted re- 
quirements. A Requirements Division, 
SOS, member was added to MAC(G) in 
April, and General Somervell himself 
became a member of the MAB in August. 
The chairman and secretariat for MAC(G) 
came from the International Division and, 
working with subcommittees in the sup- 
ply services, collected the basic data on 
which the recommendations of MAC(G) 
to the board were made. The chairman of 
MAC(G) acted as sponsor for the bids of 
all nations, except those of the British, 
before the committee. Since the MAB in 
95 percent of the cases followed these 
recommendations, the extent to which the 
SOS was therefore able to determine as- 
signments on an administrative basis is 
apparent, once the International Division 
was made a truly integrated part of its or- 
ganization. 51 Nevertheless, it must be kept 
in mind that the basic principle on which 
assignments were made was that of strate- 

49 ( 1 ) Memo, Aurand for Somervell, 8 Mar 42, sub: 
Mtg With Def Aid Sup Com and Subcom Members, 
10 Mar 42, MAB Orgn file, DAD. (2) Memo, Aurand 
for Somervell, 23 Apr 42, sub: International Supply- 
Committee, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, II. (3) 
Memo. Aurand for Chiefs of Sup Svs, 19 May 42, sub: 
Procurement of Lend-lease Spot Items, Misc Corresp 
Lend-lease 5 file, DAD. (4) Memo cited n. 48 (4). (5) 
Memo cited n. 45. 

50 (1) Rpt, Contl Div SOS, 20 Aug 42, sub: Proced 
Rpt on ID. ID 020 (321) ID Orgn. (2) Memo. Col 

John B. Franks for br chiefs ID, 10 Sep 42, sub: Proced 
ISC MAC(G), ID 008 Lend-lease, I. (3) Min 933, 52d 
mtg MAC(G), 1 Oct 42. 
•' Rpt cited n. 50 (1). 



gic necessity and that the governing poli- 
cies emanated from the MAB, the CCS, 
and the political heads of state in Great 
Britain and the United States. Even on 
the American side of MAC(G), the OPD 
member exerted a powerful influence 
whenever critical items or strategic poli- 
cies were concerned. Also, the British were 
represented at every step in the assign- 
ments process and retained the right of 
appeal to the MAB and CCS. 

The supply services remained the actual 
operating agencies, responsible for the 
procurement and distribution of lend- 
lease materials. Neither General Aurand 
nor the Control Division was happy about 
the supply services' general organization 
for and handling of lend-lease. Most of 
their inadequacy, Aurand thought, could 
be traced to the fact that the international 
supply officers in the services were on too 
low an echelon and frequently could not 
give their full time to lend-lease. Com- 
bined with what Aurand characterized as 
"a human desire to equip our own forces 
in preference to those of foreigners," this 
circumstance resulted in the "failure of the 
supply services to take proper interest and 
assign sufficient personnel to their Lend- 
Lease activities." 52 To remedy this situa- 
tion, General Clay had the International 
Division prepare instructions clearly de- 
fining the services' responsibilities for pro- 
curement, transfer, and movement. In 
addition, each supply service was ordered 
to set up an international aid branch or 
division to devote its full time to lend-lease 
activities. Thereafter improvement in the 
handling of lend-lease at the operating 
level was rapid. 53 

By mid-October 1942 the SOS proce- 
dures for handling procurement, transfer, 
and export of War Department lend-lease 
materials had taken a sufficiently final 

form to permit codification. Long-range 
requirements, whether for common or 
noncommon items, would be presented to 
the International Division sixty days 
before the semiannual revision of the ASP. 
The International Aid Branch of the serv- 
ice concerned would screen each request 
for need, suitability of the item, availabil- 
ity of materials, availability of production 
facilities, and possibility of substitution of 
a standard item if the request was for a 
noncommon one. On the basis of the re- 
view in the supply service, the ISC would 
then make a final recommendation to the 
Requirements Division, SOS. If approved, 
it would be placed in the ASP; if disap- 
proved, the foreign representative would 
have the right of appeal to the Munitions 
Assignments Board or the Combined 
Production and Resources Board. In the 
case of interim requirements the proce- 
dure would be the same, except that the 
ISC would also include a recommenda- 
tion for priority. Procedure for assignment 
would be as before, by bids on MAC(G), 
with final transfer dependent upon ap- 
proval by the MAB. If approved by the 
MAB, the International Division would 
issue a transfer directive to be executed by 
the supply service concerned. When the 
material actually became available from 
production, the supply service would issue 
a notice of availability to the beneficiary 
government. 54 (Chart 6) 

82 Memo cited n. 48 (4). 

53 (1) Rpt cited n. 50 (1). (2) Note, Clay to Franks, 
20 Aug 42, ID 020 (321) ID Orgn. (3) Memo, Franks 
for Chiefs of Sup Svs, 8 Sep 42, sub: Responsibilities 
of Chiefs of Sup Svs for Accomplishing Aid to United 
Nations, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, III. (4) For Nu- 
merous other detailed directives, see ID 020 (321) ID 

r -< Memo, TAG for Chiefs of Sup Svs, 14 Oct 42, 
sub: Authorization To Procure*, Trf, and Export WD 
Lend-lease Mats Other Than AAF Mats, ID 020, ID 
Orgn and Functions. 







































J s 



On the surface, these new operating 
procedures only represented refinements 
of those announced in March, but there 
were certain intangible changes resulting 
from the fact that lend-lease was placed 
under new management and integrated 
into an organization for the supply of the 
Army. General Aurand left the Interna- 
tional Division in July to become part of 
the executive staff of the newly formed 
Combined Production and Resources 
Board, and with his departure the initia- 
tive in War Department lend-lease affairs 
passed to Generals Somervell and Clay. 
Aurand had been the ablest defender of 
the lend-lease principle within the War 
Department and was a far more con- 
vinced advocate of the common pool 
theory than either Somervell or Clay. They 
recognized the importance of lend-lease 
as an instrument of coalition warfare as 
well as Aurand, but their experience and 
orientation was toward supplying the U.S. 
Army first, and they tended to subordinate 
lend-lease to this end. They preferred di- 
rect action within the confines of the SOS 
staffto the involved deliberations of com- 
bined committees. In sum, the new man- 
agement adopted a more national outlook, 
aimed at preventing foreign raids on the 
U.S. supply pool. Possession of the admin- 
istrative machinery for War Department 
lend-lease operations enabled the SOS 
staffto make that outlook felt in decisions 
rendered at a high level on the distribu- 
tion of American-made munitions." 

The area in which the British felt the 
impact of the new arrangements most 
severely was in the procurement of non- 
common items. The British noncommon 
program, as it had taken shape by mid- 
1942, included essential components for 
manufacture of finished munitions in Brit- 

ain, ammunition for British-type weapons, 
tank transporters and other heavy ve- 
hicles, and miscellaneous signal, engineer, 
transportation, and quartermaster mate- 
rials peculiar to the British Army. While 
of vital importance to the British in main- 
taining their own war production and sup- 
plying marginal requirements of the Com- 
monwealth's armies, the noncommon pro- 
gram was inevitably a nuisance to an or- 
ganization concerned with planning an 
orderly military procurement program 
that would take full advantage of Ameri- 
can mass production methods. Production 
of bits and pieces on spot requisitions and 
small orders for noncommon stores threat- 
ened to absorb vital raw materials or facil- 
ities out of all proportion to their actual 
volume. From March 1942 onward the 
British were forced to fight continually in 
the International Supply Committee to 
keep their noncommon program from 
being completely submerged. From the 
British point of view, the scope of the In- 
ternational Supply Committee was far too 
narrow, for, unlike the Joint Aircraft 
Committee, it confined itself to considera- 
tion of specific lend-lease requests and did 
not have any authority over the competing 
demands of the U.S. Army for raw mate- 
rials and industrial facilities. This was in 
keeping with Somervell's outspoken phil- 
osophy that the British should have no 
part in shaping the American production 
program. The main premise on which the 
International Supply Committee acted 
was that requirements for procurement of 
noncommon articles should not be allowed 

'"' The differences in points of view are clearly re- 
flected in the long memorandum written by Aurand 
on the occasion of his departure from the Interna- 
tional Division and in Somervell's and Clay's com- 
ments thereon. Memo cited n. 48 (4). 



to interfere with the program for Ameri- 
can standard equipment. 5<i 

Storage and Shipment of Lend- Lease Materials 

In the distributive phase, the simple 
separation of lend-lease into its military 
and civilian components was no longer 
possible. When tanks, guns, and ammuni- 
tion arrived at port they had to be shipped 
in the same vessels, as a part of the same 
shipping program, as foodstuffs, raw mate- 
rials, and other supplies destined to bolster 
civilian economies abroad. While military 
lend-lease had a higher dollar value, and 
was made up of more highly specialized 
items, it represented only 20 percent of the 
bulk of lend-lease shipments. Shipping 
was either furnished by the foreign govern- 
ment concerned, or arranged for through 
the War Shipping Administration out of 
the Allied pool. WSA exercised over-all 
supervision over the whole lend-lease ship- 
ping program, working closely with the 
British Ministry of War Transport. The 
Army's direct responsibility was confined 
to making supplies available and deliver- 
ing them to port in condition for immedi- 
ate overseas shipment. 

In exercising this responsibility, the 
Army used generally the same facilities 
and procedures for storage and internal 
movement of lend-lease materials as it did 
for its own supplies. It was only necessary 
to physically segregate lend-lease and give 
it special marking and packing. The Trans- 
portation Corps controlled rail movement 
of both types of material into the port 
area. When immediate movement to port 
was impossible, lend-lease was stored in 
general and branch depots under the sup- 
ply services. It was moved into intransit 
storage in holding and reconsignment 

points under Transportation Corps control 
when necessary to prevent clogging of port 
areas. The main difference between move- 
ments of lend-lease and of Army material 
lay in that the former was called forward 
to port by and consigned to representa- 
tives of a foreign government instead of 
the Army port organization. However, 
Transportation Corps port agencies, ini- 
tially established in 1941 under the Quar- 
termaster Commercial Traffic Branch, 
were charged with doing whatever was 
necessary to expedite the loading and dis- 
patching of military lend-lease ship- 
ments. 17 There were innumerable snarls 
in the handling of military lend-lease 
movements in the period following Pearl 
Harbor. The Army's supply organization 
was undergoing radical changes, and the 
simultaneous increase in both Army and 
lend-lease shipments was more than the 
Army could handle efficiently. Record 
keeping and documentation of lend-lease 
shipments were extremely confused and 
usually no one could tell the exact where- 
abouts of material in the pipeline. Though 
technical inspections were supposedly per- 
formed all along the line, material arrived 
in port improperly packed, with related 
items unassembled, or defective in one 
way or another. Lacking clear-cut juris- 
diction over materials once they arrived in 

56 For an admirable statement of the British point 
of view, see Hall and Wrigley, Studies in Overseas 
Supply, first draft, Ch. Ill, pp. 237-77, Hist Br, Cabi- 
net Off, London. 

57 (1) TAG ltr to Chiefs of Sup Svs, 1 1 May 42, sub: 
Trans and Storage of Lend-lease Sups, AG 486.1 
(5-6-42). (2) Sec on trans in rpt, 19 May 42, sub: ID 
Orgn and Functions, ID 020, ID Orgn and Functions. 
(3) Schmidt, The Commercial Traffic Branch in the 
Office of The Quartermaster General, July 1940- 
March 1942; OCT HB Monograph 6, pp. 343ff, 
OCMH. (4) On the general functioning of the system 
of movements to port, see Wardlow, Trans II, Ch. IV 7 . 



port, the Transportation Corps port agen- 
cies were hampered in remedying these 
defects. There were so many agencies and 
individuals within and without the SOS 
involved in lend-lease shipments that a 
constant procession of co-ordinating com- 
mittees, liaison arrangements, informal 
agreements, and an excessive use of the 
long distance telephone were required to 
keep them moving. 58 

As a part of the whole SOS effort to 
streamline international aid procedures 
during the summer of 1942, the supply 
services were charged with a close follow- 
up of each shipment from the time a trans- 
fer directive was issued until the material 
was loaded aboard ship. Reporting pro- 
cedures were simplified and co-ordinated 
with those of the Lend-Lease Administra- 
tion. A directive was also issued whereby 
all War Department-procured lend-lease 
except air materials would be consigned to 
Army port agencies and retained under 
their control until turned over at shipside 
to the foreign government. Only in this 
way, the SOS believed, could the control 
over movements in the port area be com- 
plete, proper technical inspections and as- 
sembly operations be performed, and ac- 
curate records be insured. 59 But the direc- 
tive had to be revoked almost immediately 
on protest from the British and WSA. Un- 
der the Bland Act of March 1942 WSA 
had been granted control over all foreign 
water-borne commerce, and in November 
1942 it asserted that authority by prescrib- 
ing that all lend-lease freight for export 
should be consigned to its forwarding cor- 
porations set up at each port. A final 
settlement on procedure along these lines 
was agreed upon between the SOS and 
WSA in December. WSA forwarding cor- 
porations were made entirely responsible 

for calling lend-lease material forward to 
port and handling it once it arrived there. 
Nevertheless, the Transportation Corps re- 
tained its responsibility for controlling all 
rail movements into port, and the port 
agencies were charged with maintaining 
proper liaison with forwarding corpora- 
tions for follow-up of shipments, return of 
documents, and performance of last- 
minute inspections and assemblies. Pro- 
cedures for reporting inventories at vari- 
ous stages of movement were immensely 
complicated by divided responsibilities. 
SOS would have infinitely preferred the 
simpler system of Army control in the port 
area, but there was no evading the author- 
ity of WSA in this instance. The cumber- 
some "water-borne export procedure" 
remained basically the same throughout 
the rest of the war. 60 

While the great bulk of lend-lease ship- 
ments was made under this system, 
another was devised for those cases where 
it was necessary or desirable for the Army 
to retain control even after the material 
arrived in the theater. This was the so- 
called Commanding General Shipment. 
Materials shipped under this arrange- 
ment were consigned to the U.S. com- 

5S (1) Min, SOS stf conf, 26Jun 42, Contl Div ASF. 
(2) Papers in ID 008 Shipts, I. 

59 (1) Memo, CG SOS for Chiefs of Sup Svs, 9 Sep 
42, sub: Doc of Lend-lease Shipts of Mat to Foreign 
Govts. (2) Draft ltr, evidently prepared in ID for dis- 
patch by ASW to Lewis Douglas, WSA, no date. Both 
in ID 008 Shipts, I. (3) Dirs, Hq SOS to Sup Svs, 9- 1 1 
Sep 42, ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, III. 

60 (1) PL 498, 77th Cong (Bland Act). (2) WSA Dir 
4, 5 Nov 42. (3) WSA Opns Regulation 23. (4) WSA 
Forwarding Regulation 1. Last three in ID, Lend- 
Lease, Doc Suppl, IV. (5) Memo, CG SOS for Chiefs 
of Sup Svs, 4 Dec 42, sub: Proced for Shipt of WD 
Lend-lease Mat for Water-Borne Export, ID 008 
Shipts, II. (6) For a detailed treatment of operations 
under this and later modified water-borne export pro- 
cedures-, see ID, Lend-Lease, I, 574-97. 



manding general in the area involved for 
delivery to the intended foreign benefici- 
ary. This method was used principally in 
deliveries to China, the French in North 
Africa, and the Brazilian Expeditionary 
Force in Italy. Commanding General 
Shipments were consigned to and called 
forward by the regular Army port organ- 
ization, in virtually the same manner as 
those for U.S. troops overseas. H1 

Thus emerged in the months following 
Pearl Harbor an elaborate system for the 
allocation and distribution of American 
munitions to other nations engaged in the 
common struggle — a system that made 
military lend-lease supply an effective part 
of the logistics of coalition warfare. The 
capstone of the structure was the Muni- 
tions Assignments Board, an Anglo- 

American body that provided a link be- 
tween the allocation of munitions and the 
strategic policies of the CCS. The consoli- 
dation of the U.S. Army and lend-lease 
production programs under military con- 
trol eliminated most of the administrative 
confusion of 1941 and created a single 
production pool out of which MAB could 
make allocations on a strategic basis. At 
the operational level, the old lend-lease 
machinery of the War Department was 
revamped and fitted into the new Army 
supply organization, the Services of Sup- 
ply, establishing a close correlation be- 
tween Army and lend-lease distribution. 
And even as the organization was taking 
shape, the principles under which it was 
to operate were also emerging. 

61 (1) See detailed discussion in ID, Lend-Lease, I, 
605-16. (2) See also below, Chs ; XVIII-XIX. 


The Anglo-American 
Munitions Pool 

Determination of a Basis of Assignments 

Winston Churchill came to Washington 
in December 1941 fearing that American 
insistence on training and equipping a 
large ground and air army would upset 
British plans, which since 1940 had been 
based on the expectation of a continuing 
flow of American munitions. 1 The agree- 
ments reached at Arcadia went far to dis- 
sipate these fears, but the issue remained a 
fundamental source of conflict in the com- 
bined effort to establish a basis for alloca- 
tion of material. The British, with most of 
their troops already trained and deployed 
in areas immediately threatened (the Brit- 
ish Isles, Australia, New Zealand, Malaya, 
Burma, India, the Middle East, and 
Africa), insisted that the principle of 
assignments in consonance with strategy 
could be properly applied only by giving 
first priority to existing theaters of opera- 
tions. In view of the critical situation in 
which the British found themselves, actual 
delivery of material in 1942 seemed to 
them of more vital importance than prom- 
ises of an American army to fight beside 
them in 1943 or 1944. The American staff, 
though willing to make some concessions 
to the British, felt that its own program of 
preparing a vast army for future opera- 
tions should constitute a first charge 

against American production. The lack of 
any specific combined plan of action for 
1942 made resolution of these conflicting 
points of view doubly difficult. 

Immediately following Pearl Harbor, 
while allocations were still largely a mat- 
ter for unilateral determination by the 
General Staff, priorities were generally 
given to U.S. forces to the "extent neces- 
sary to meet their immediate probable 
consumption of munitions and build up 
and maintain reserves." 2 Numerous trans- 
fers of critical items scheduled for Great 
Britain, the USSR, and other countries 
were canceled, and the distribution sched- 
ules prepared before Pearl Harbor were 
abandoned in favor of short-term, almost 
day-by-day, allocations. The need to bol- 
ster continental U.S. defenses, to prepare 
emergency task forces, and to speed up the 
tempo of training made such a policy 
almost mandatory, but the overriding pri- 
ority for U.S. forces could not continue 
indefinitely if the common pool was to 
have any semblance of reality. The Presi- 
dent gave every indication that he would 
insist on generous allocations of munitions 

1 Churchill, The Grand Alliance, p. 642. 

'-' Agenda for 1st mtg of Strategic Mun Bd, 10 Dec 
41, Col Boone's file, DAD. Though the board never 
met, this agenda in fact contained the principles on 
which allocations were made during the first two 
months after Pearl Harbor. 



for lend-lease. Recognizing this, the Gen- 
eral Staff during January wrestled with 
the problem of determining some new 
basis for allocations. General Aurand, as 
Defense Aid Director, suggested a return 
to the percentage division formula in force 
before Pearl Harbor; General Somervell, 
as G-4, that allocations be governed by the 
availability of shipping to transport them. 
In truth, as General Moore pointed out in 
rejecting Aurand's solution, policy could 
hardly be fixed as long as neither the 
scope of the American effort overseas nor 
a combined plan of action for 1942 had 
been determined. 3 

At the end of January the problem 
passed from the surveillance of the General 
Staff alone to that of the combined agen- 
cies — the CCS and the Munitions Assign- 
ments Board. The MAB at its first meeting, 
31 January 1942, adopted an approach 
that was completely in harmony with the 
common pool concept. Assignments, the 
board decided, should be based on com- 
bined Anglo-American plans for combat 
forces in the various theaters and for forces 
in training, balanced against combined 
munitions resources and planned produc- 
tion. The board, however, was in no posi- 
tion to establish priorities among theaters 
and national forces or between theaters 
and forces in training, since it had re- 
ceived no strategic guidance on these mat- 
ters from the CCS. The board's program 
therefore remained only a long-range goal. 
For the present, it ruled, assignments 
would continue to be based on "existing 
transfer schedules of United States stocks 
and production." ' 

Following this line, the Munitions As- 
signments Committee (Ground) in its 
early actions continued to give priority to 
U.S. troop needs. A British protest was in- 
evitable and was not long in coming. At 

the MAC(G) meeting of 21 February 1942 
the War Plans Division member, Brig. 
Gen. Robert W. Crawford, insisted that 
minimum U.S. requirements for arming 
seventy-one divisions before the end of 
1942 must be met before any critical items 
could be assigned to other countries. The 
British member, Brigadier Donald Cam- 
pion, dissented emphatically, arguing that 
to fix such prior charges cut across the 
whole principle of assignment in accord- 
ance with need. MAC(G) was unable to 
proceed with March assignments, and 
General Aurand, its chairman, requested 
guidance from the MAB. The MAB, in 
turn, asked for a strategic directive from 
the CCS. 5 

The British representatives on the CCS 
came up almost immediately with a full- 
blown proposal centering around the prin- 
ciple that "the provision of full equipment 
for existing units available in or about to 
proceed to an active theater of war, or to 
one immediately threatened, is . . . the 
first charge on available assets, in such 
order or priority as may be assigned the 
various theaters." * They suggested equal 

3 (1) Memo, Aurand for CofS, 1 3 Jan 42, sub: Def 
Aid Trfs and Trf Schedules, Misc Stf Studies, Lend- 
lease 2A file, DAD. (2) Memo, Moore Tor CofS, 13 
Jan 42, same sub. (3) Memo, Gross for Somervell, 19 
Jan 42, same sub. (4) Memo, Somervell for Gross, 13 
Jan 42. Last three in Ping Div Studies folder, OCT 

4 Tab E, Preliminary Asgmts Dir by MAB, to 
memo, Aurand for CofS, 1 1 Feb 42, sub: Dir for 
MAB, ID 020, ID Orgn and Functions. 

■"' ( 1 ) Min 32, 4th mtg MAC(G), 2 1 Feb 42. (2) Tab 
A to min cited above ( 1 ), memo, Aurand for Exec Off 
MAB through Moore, 21 Feb 42, sub: Basis for 
Asgmts. (3) Tab E to min cited above (1), 1st Ind, 
Moore to Exec Off MAB, and 2d Ind, Exec Off MAB 
to CCS, to Aurand memo. (4) Min 33, 5th mtg 
MAC(G), 23 Feb 42. At this meeting the British 
agreed to accept an interim requirement for equip- 
ping thirty-five U.S. divisions by 30 June 1942 in 
order that March assignments might proceed. 

H CCS 50, memo by Br reps on CCS, 26 Feb 42, 
title: Asgmt of Mun. 



scales of equipment, ammunition, and re- 
serves for forces of all the United Nations 
in the same theater, and proportional 
scales of equipment and ammunition for 
training. They thought the CCS should 
indicate the relative priority of theaters, 
and draw up an order of battle outlining 
combat forces under its operational direc- 
tion in all theaters as they were and as it 
was intended they should be on 30 June 
and 31 December 1942. 

General Aurand thought the British 
approach sound, but there were strong 
objections within WPD. These objections, 
as noted privately, were, first, that the 
United States could not accept British 
standards of training, and, second, that 
fulfillment of requirements for forces in 
active theaters or about to proceed there 
would "consume all production for some 
time to come and there will be nothing 
left for the needs of large forces that must 
be developed if we are going to win the 
war." 7 General Marshall took something 
of a middle ground and ended by charging 
Aurand with the preparation of a state- 
ment as to the form in which allocations 
should be made by MAC(G). Aurand's 
draft followed generally along the lines of 
the British proposal as to the form of direc- 
tive required, but was sufficiently indefi- 
nite on the question of specific priorities 
between theaters and training to permit 
General Eisenhower, the new head of 
WPD, to accept it. 8 

The CCS, on considering the British 
paper and the suggestions made by 
Aurand and after further consultation 
with the MAB on the precise nature and 
scope of the guidance required, entrusted 
the drafting of an assignments directive to 
the Combined Staff" Planners. The CPS 
was unable to provide the precise and de- 
tailed sort of directive the MAB desired 

but did reach agreement on a broad set of 
principles, and a draft assignments direc- 
tive was presented to the CCS on 24 
March 1942 (CCS 50/2). 9 The staff plan- 
ners proposed that allocations by the 
assignments boards in Washington and 
London should be made from combined 
production to ground and air forces in 
theaters, about to proceed to theaters, and 
in training, according to the following 

14. Amounts of munitions assigned to the- 
aters should be based on the size of forces 
actively engaged and the existing state of 
their equipment; the probable period of 
active operations; and the probable charac- 
ter of the operations. 

15. Although it is impossible to give abso- 
lute priorities to the extent of entirely denying 
equipment and supplies to units in lower pri- 
orities, it is believed that the following gen- 
eral objectives should serve as a guide in the 
allocation of munitions: 

(a) 100% equipment, reserves and main- 
tenance, including ammunition for training: 
(1) for fully trained units in active theaters of 
war, (2) for those units which can be dis- 
patched thereto in three months' time, and 
(3) for those units allocated for defense of 
vital installations against hostile raids in in- 
active theaters. Original supply, reserves, 
and maintenance levels will differ for differ- 

7 OPD notes on agenda for 9th mtg CCS, 3 Mar 42, 
ABC 400 (2-17-42) Sec 1. 

s (l) Memo, Aurand for Moore, 2 Mar 42, sub: 
Conf With CofS re Basis for Asgmt to United Nations. 
(2) Memo, Aurand for CofS, 2 Mar 42, sub: Method 
of Making Asgmts to United Nations. (3) Memo, 
Eisenhower for CofS, 3 Mar 42, sub: Method of Allo- 
cating Mun to United Nations. All in MAB Orgn file, 

9 Steps leading to the directive may be traced in 
the following: (1) Min, 9th mtg CCS, 3 Mar 42. (2) 
MBW 3/1, memo by MAB for CCS, 10 Mar 42, title: 
Nature and Form of Strategic Dir To Govern Asgmts 
Proced. (3) Min, 12th mtg CCS, 17 Mar 42, Item 1. 
(4) Min, 9th mtg CPS, 19 Mar 42, Item 1 ; 10th mtg, 
20 Mar 42; 1 1th mtg, 23 Mar 42, Item 1. (5) CCS 
50/2, 24 Mar 42, title: Dir for Asgmt of Mun. 

MBW (Munitions Assignments Board in Washing- 
ton) is an alternate abbreviation for MAB. 



ent categories and locations of forces. These 
figures will be established by appropriate 

(b) 100% of equipment and training 
ammunition for units in training except for 
those items of which there is a shortage. Of 
these latter a minimum of 50% will be pro- 
vided. If the available supply of munitions is 
insufficient, proportionate cuts in (a) and (b) 
should be made. 

16. In order to eliminate inequalities be- 
tween different arms and different theaters of 

(a) Approximately equal scales of equip- 
ment, ammunition and reserves should be 
established for United States and British 
forces in the same theater. 

(b) Approximately equal scales of equip- 
ment and ammunition for training should be 

Priorities for the various theaters were 
established. The Middle East, India- 
Burma-Ceylon, Australia, and, for air 
operations, the United Kingdom were 
classified as priority "A" for continuous 
major operations; New Zealand and the 
Pacific islands on the lines of communica- 
tions from the United States, priority "A" 
for major operations for two months; 
Hawaii and the United Kingdom for land 
operations, priority "B" for major opera- 
tions for two months; Africa, Alaska, Ice- 
land and Greenland, the United States 
and Canada, South America, and the 
Caribbean, "C" priority, as subject only to 
airborne or sea-borne raids. Appendixes 
were to be prepared showing the proposed 
disposition of American and British forces 
in each theater as of 30 June and 31 
December 1942. 

CCS 50/2 also recognized certain as- 
signments problems not clearly related to 
theaters under control of the CCS. These 
were Latin America, China, the USSR, 
Turkey, and the Free French. Allocations 
to Latin America were to be limited to 
items that would not hamper operations 

or training of the United States and Brit- 
ish Commonwealth. The Moscow Proto- 
col would remain the basis of assignments 
to the Soviet Union but should be re- 
examined, revised, and extended as soon 
as possible, "based upon giving maximum 
aid to Russia within the transportation 
capabilities to the ultimate destination, 
provided essential United States and Brit- 
ish operations will not be unduly handi- 
capped." Allocations to China should be 
limited to those that could be delivered to 
Chinese troops and effectively used by 
them. Limited amounts of munitions 
would be allocated to Turkey "as a means 
of influencing her to oppose Germany." 
Munitions for the Free French forces in 
Africa and the Middle East would be pro- 
vided from British allocations; for French 
forces in the Pacific, from U.S. alloca- 
tions. 10 

The Combined Chiefs gave final ap- 
proval to these proposals on the day they 
were presented, rejecting at the same time 
General Marshall's request for a special 
directive to cover April assignments, giv- 
ing priority to the equipping of certain 
U.S. divisions. Shortly afterward the 
Combined Staff Planners began work on 
the appendixes showing prospective de- 
ployment. These were completed and ap- 
proved by the CCS on 28 April. 11 

Though the British got in CCS 50/2 the 
form of directive they initially had asked 
for, the principles of assignment there 
established only partially reflected their 
views. The spirit of compromise was evi- 
dent throughout. The WPD staff had to 
abandon its claim for first priority on 

10 CCS 50/2, 24 Mar 42, title: Dir for Asgmt of 

11 (1) Min, 13th mtg CCS, 24 Mar 42, Item 17; 
1 7th mtg, 28 Apr 42, Item 5. (2) Ltr, Gen Marshall 
to Field Marshal Dill, 24 Mar 42, ABC 400 (2-17-42) 
Sec 1. 



minimum requirements for building an 
American army, but in turn the British 
had to accept the 50 percent requirement 
for troops in training on an equal priority 
with theater needs. A British proposal to 
set minimum training requirements at 
33 ! /3 percent was firmly rejected. 1 - On the 
other hand, troops were to be entitled 
to full equipment only three months be- 
fore departure for a theater, instead of six 
months as WPD had asked. Also, the 
British gained their point in the stipula- 
tion of approximately equal scales of 
equipment for training and for various 
national forces in the same theater. 

The concessions made to the British in 
the assignments directive itself were more 
than balanced by the amount of latitude 
left in interpretation. CCS 50/2 was from 
the first only a general guide, not a 
"bible." There were no exclusive prior- 
ities, and the actual scales of supply to be 
used for both theaters and training were 
left for determination by national author- 
ities. The provision for "equal scales" was 
therefore virtually a dead letter from the 
start. The appendixes showing deploy- 
ment were not drawn up on the basis of 
any specific combined plan of action and, 
at least on the American side, were re- 
garded as only educated guesses. The ap- 
proach to allocation was pragmatic rather 
than doctrinaire, and the assignment of 
critical items each month often brought 
forth the same conflict of views that was 
evident in the shaping of the initial direc- 
tive. The importance of the assignments 
directive lay not in the specific theater 
priorities laid down, for these were bound 
to vary in the fluctuating strategic situa- 
tion of 1942, but in the definite confirma- 
tion by CCS action that the principle of 
strategic need and not national interest 
would be the guide for assignments by the 

MAB. National interest, of course, could 
not be completely ruled out, and certainly 
the American members of MAC(G) and 
the MAB managed in one way or another 
under the directive to assure a certain con- 
tinuing priority for U.S. Army needs. 
Nevertheless, they always had to base 
their actions on strategic grounds. 

It was originally expected that the thea- 
ter priorities set forth in CCS 50/2 would 
be revised periodically in the light of shifts 
in combined strategy. Only one such re- 
vision ever took place. On 10 June 1942 
the CCS gave an "A" priority to forces as- 
signed to operations on the continent of 
Europe (Bolero) in consonance withjthe 
plan developed in April for a cross-Chan- 
nel invasion in 1942 or 1943. In practice 
the Americans generally gave to Bolero 
preparations a status above that of the 
British priority "A" theaters in India and 
the Middle East. Although the Bolero 
strategy was short-lived, the United States 
meantime had been augmenting its forces 
in the Pacific beyond original plans. The 
first counteroffensives against the Japa- 
nese were launched on Guadalcanal and 
New Guinea in August. Simultaneously, 
preparations were begun for the invasion 
of North Africa and by November the 
U.S. Army was heavily engaged on two 
fronts. While the British were able during 
the first half of 1942 to get what they con- 
sidered a fair share of American equip- 
ment in the general famine, during the 
latter part of the year they found it in- 
creasingly harder to make their claims 
stand up against American requirements 
for forces actively engaged. The fact re- 
mains, nevertheless, that the most urgent 
British requests were met and neither of 
the most vital fronts, the Middle East 

12 Memo, Col Thomas T. Handy for Jt Sec CCS, 21 

Mar 42. ABC 400 (2- 1 7-42) Sec 1 . 



and the United Kingdom, suffered inor- 
dinately for laek ol American equipment. 
At the same time, the Americans were 
able to proceed with equipping their own 
Army and to give adequate support for its 
first campaigns. The relative flexibility of 
CCS 50/2 thus proved a definite advan- 
tage, enabling the assignments machin- 
ery to meet the pragmatic tests of the first 
year of American participation in the 
war. 1 ' 

77?^ Basis of Aircraft Allocations 

The provisions of CCS 50/2 were never 
related in more than a general sense to the 
allocation of aircraft. At the Arcadia 
Conference General Arnold negotiated 
with Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal 
an agreement on air allocations for 1942 
that remained the basis of assignments by 
MAC(A) until mid-July. Though the 
AAF could now count on a vastly ex- 
panded production of aircraft, Arnold in- 
sisted that the United States had so 
stripped itself of air materials for the de- 
fense of Great Britain during 1941 that 
the schedules agreed on before Pearl Har- 
bor for delivery to the British must be 
curtailed. The Arnold-Portal Agreement 
effected a reduction, but not to the extent 
that Arnold desired, and he continued to 
insist that if allocations to Britain and the 
USSR were not further reduced it would 
be impossible to provide enough planes 
for the planned expansion of the AAF to 
115 groups. 1 ' 

The Arnold-Portal Agreement pre- 
ceded the creation of the MAB, but was 
accepted by that body in early March for 
production planning purposes and be- 
came the tentative guide to aircraft assign- 
ments. The appendixes of CCS 50/2 
contained deployment schedules for air as 


CHIEFS, Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold and 
Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal. 

well as ground units, but it was a measure 
of the dubious validity of these schedules 
that the CCS ruled that the Arnold-Portal 
Agreement should continue to govern as- 

1 ; (1) CCS 50/3, lOJun 42, title: Amendment to 
Dir for Asgmt of Mun. (2) Min, 24th mtg CCS, 10 
Jun 42, Item 7. (3) Memo, Aurand for Somervell. 18 
Jul 42, sub: Rpt at Time of Leaving ID, Hq ASF 
folder, ID. (4) Hall and Wrigley, Studies in Overseas 
Supply, first draft. Ch. IV, pp. 282-92, Hist Br, Cabi- 
net Off, London. (5) On Bolero planning, see below, 
Ch. XIV. (6) On Pacific operations, see below, Ch. 
XV. (7) On the invasion of North Africa, see below, 

14 (1) Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 248-49. Under 
the Arnold-Portal Agreement the British, during 
1942, were to receive from American production 589 
heavy bombers, 1,744 medium bombers, 2,745 light 
bombers, 4,050 pursuits. 402 observation planes, and 
852 transports. (2) Memo, AAF for OPD, 23 Mar 42, 
sub: Reduction in Commitment of All Types of 
Planes to the Br, OPD 452.1, Case 36. (3) For pre- 
Pearl Harbor schedules, see above, Ch. IV. 



signments until a new agreement could be 
negotiated. Negotiations to this end were 
already in progress. In early April Arnold 
presented to the President his case for a 
reduction in the commitments of planes to 
the British. The decision at approximately 
the same time to concentrate resources on 
an early invasion of the Continent height- 
ened the need for a ruling, for the Amer- 
icans would need a large air force to carry 
out their part of such an operation, and 
the composition of that air force would 
also be an issue. The CCS appointed a 
special committee to study the problem 
but it could make no final determination 
of the matter until the President's disposi- 
tion was known. 15 

The President's decision came in a mes- 
sage to Churchill on 19 May 1942: 

Today it is evident that under current ar- 
rangements the U. S. is going to have in- 
creasing trained air personnel in excess of air 
combat planes in sight for them to use. We 
are therefore anxious that every appropriate 
American-made aircraft be manned and 
fought by our own crews. Existing schedules 
of aircraft allocations do not permit us to do 
this. . . . My thought is that the CCS, with 
your approval and mine, would determine 
the strength of aircraft to be maintained in 
the respective theaters of war. I think the 
maximum number of planes possible should 
be maintained in combat and the minimum 
number consistent with security be held in 
reserve and in operational training units, 
and that American pilots and crews be as- 
signed to man American-made planes far 
more greatly than at present on the combat 
fronts. 16 

This decision meant that the main 
American air contribution in the future 
would take the form of air units manned 
by Americans rather than planes for Brit- 
ish pilots to fly. A new schedule of alloca- 
tions was worked out after the horse trad- 
ing so typical of Anglo-American nego- 
tiations of this sort and was approved by 

the CCS on 2 July 1942. The schedule, 
signed by General Arnold, Air Vice Mar- 
shal J. C. Slessor (representing Portal), 
and Rear Adm. John H. Towers, USN, 
and known as the Arnold-Slessor-Towers 
Agreement, 17 stipulated not only the num- 
bers and types of aircraft to be turned over 
to the British during the rest of the year but 
also the size and composition of U.S. com- 
bat air forces to be established in the Mid- 
dle East, India, and the United Kingdom. 
The agreement gave the AAF the pros- 
pect of far more planes for its own expan- 
sion. At the same time, the establishment 
of an American air force in the Middle 
East, coming as it did at a critical juncture 
in British affairs there, at least partially 
compensated the British for the reduction 
in aircraft deliveries. 18 

The Arnold-Slessor-Towers Agreement 
was to be followed by a series of similar 
pacts negotiated periodically throughout 
the rest of the war. These, rather than 
CCS 50/2, were to serve as the basis for 
assignment of aircraft by MAC(A) and 
MAB. Nevertheless, the principle on 
which these agreements were based was a 
similar one to that of CCS 50/2, since 
theater deployment of British and U.S. 
air forces was the criterion for determin- 
ing the respective needs of each nation. 
However, the superior mobility of air units 
made it possible to determine this deploy- 

15 (1) Distribution of Air Materiel to the Allies 
1939-1944: Control, Procedures and Policies, AAF 
Reference Hist 6, MS, p. 56, Air University Hist Ln 
Off, Washington, D.C. (2) Ltr, SW to President, 12 
Apr 42, WDCSA 452.1. (3) Min, 15th mtg CCS, 7 
Apr 42; 17th mtg, 28 Apr 42, Item 5. (4) Matloffand 
Snell, Strategic Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. IX. (5) 
Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 250, 554-56. 

1,1 Msg 147, President to Former Naval Person 
[Churchill], 19 May 42, ABC 400 (2-17-42) Sec 1. 

17 Also sometimes known as the Arnold- Portal- 
Towers Agreement. 

1K (1) Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 566-70. (2) On 
the Middle East crisis, see below, Ch. XVIII. 



ment without the same regard for national 
composition as was the case with ground 
components. The air agreements provided 
a stable base of calculation on which both 
the AAF and the RAF could plan their 
future development. The President's de- 
cision of May 1 942 assured the AAF of the 
larger role its commander thought it 
should play, and made it possible for the 
American air staff to accept the principle 
of theater deployment as a basis for air- 
craft allocations without fear that it would 
result in emphasizing expansion of Brit- 
ish air forces at the expense of its own. 

The Relation of Requirements 
to Assignments 

The air agreements established for the 
rest of 1942 a close relationship between 
production planning and allocations, a 
relationship that both the British and 
Americans had to recognize as vitally 
necessary for other types of equipment as 
well. Even though lend-lease had been 
consolidated with U.S. military require- 
ments into one grand munitions program 
for American industry, that program had 
to be framed in terms of the requirements 
of the individual forces and nations to be 
supplied. Allocations had to be closely re- 
lated to these requirements, for unless as- 
signments in the end closely approximated 
the total requirements of each claimant, 
no stable plans for development or de- 
ployment of either American or British 
forces were possible. The division of man- 
power between the military services and 
industry in Britain and America alike de- 
pended upon prior calculations of the 
equipment to be available. To a large de- 
gree the execution of any agreed strategy 
also depended upon it. On this funda- 

mental principle the British and Amer- 
icans could easily agree. But it was not so 
easy to resolve divergent views on the 
means of applying it. 

By the logic of circumstances, it was the 
British who took the lead in urging a com- 
bined requirements program based on 
combined strategy as determined by the 
CCS. They had long calculated military 
requirements in terms of specific numbers 
and types of troops in specific theaters of 
war. Their position in 1942 was that the 
Americans should do likewise and that the 
combined order of battle for the entire 
war should determine combined produc- 
tion requirements. These combined stra- 
tegic requirements would form the basis 
not only for adjustments in production 
programs in both countries but also for al- 
locations by the Munitions Assignments 
Boards. This approach offered certain 
obvious advantages for the British, for it 
would assure them CCS approval for their 
requirements against American produc- 
tion. While the British thought that in the 
immediate crisis in early 1942 assignments 
should be made in keeping with short- 
term operational needs, for the long pull 
they wanted more definite assurances of 
the kind and quantity of American aid 
they could expect. 

Meantime, the U.S. supply planners 
found it necessary to calculate their re- 
quirements solely in terms of the over-all 
size and type of military forces to be 
armed. British requirements against 
American production were included ini- 
tially in terms of the deficits the British 
had presented in their Victory Program of 
1941, deficits they could not meet from 
sources available to them — a generous 
enough basis to start with, since these re- 
quirements were generally inflated ones. 
However, the initial Army Supply Pro- 



gram, in which these requirements found 
expression, proved well beyond the capac- 
ity of American industry and had to be 
scaled downward in successive revisions 
during 1942. 19 The British soon learned 
that acceptance of a requirement, even 
when scaled down, did not necessarily 
mean that an assignment would be made 
to fulfill it when there were competing 
American demands. The British plan for 
combined strategic requirements as a 
guide to adjustments of both production 
plans and allocation of materiel was one 
phase of their general endeavor to secure 
recognition for their needs and a stable 
basis for calculating the amount of Amer- 
ican aid they might expect in the light of 
ever-shifting production plans. 

The method of procedure the MAB 
proposed to adopt was generally along the 
lines of the British plan. It will be recalled 
that in addition to its allocation function, 
the MAB was also charged by the CCS 
with maintaining information on com- 
bined munitions resources and translating 
them into terms of combat forces as a 
guide for the CCS in keeping require- 
ments programs in line with both strategy 
and the realities of production. The MAB 
first started to follow this directive liter- 
ally, converting production forecasts into 
terms of troop units, but soon found it im- 
practical and adopted the opposite (and 
older) method of determining first the 
troop requirements and then matching 
them with production schedules. The 
MAB proposed to determine these troop 
requirements in terms of deployment and 
training schedules, but was handicapped 
at first by inadequate information on 
prospective deployments. The first studies 
undertaken were therefore of a series of 
critical items, limited to requirements 
against U.S. production as determined 

from the Army Supply Program. After the 
preparation of the appendixes of CCS 
50/2, the Combined Staff Planners di- 
rected the MAB to broaden its scope to 
include combined requirements and re- 
sources of both the United States and 
United Kingdom during 1942, and to 
base its studies on these deployment 
schedules. Its conclusions would then 
serve as a basis both for production plan- 
ning and for allocations." The MAB 
under this plan would extend its studies to 
include 1943 and 1944, once a combined 
strategy could be determined upon which 
an order of battle for these years could be 
based. The board regarded CCS 50/2 as 
only a temporary guide and expected that 
a new directive for allocations would be 
prepared in terms of this combined stra- 
tegic planning for ultimate victory. 

For a brief period during the spring and 
summer of 1942 it appeared that the Brit- 
ish and MAB plan would come to fruition. 
The British agreed, in conferences in Lon- 
don in April 1942, to the American plan 
for concentration of forces for early inva- 
sion of Europe as the major Allied effort. 
In the latter stages of the conference, the 
British proposed to General Marshall that 

1H (1) On 1941 Victory Program planning, see 
above, Ch. V. (2) On development of the Army Sup- 
ply Program, see below, Ch. XII. (3) On inclusion of 
British requirements in ASP, see ID, Lend-Lease, II, 
947-50, and Doc Suppl, II. (4) Memo, Gen Aurand 
for Brig Campion, 6Jun 42, Col Boone's file, Item 
380, DAD. (5) Memo, Gen Moore for ACofS WPD, 
7 Jan 42, sub: Former Vic Prog, Vic Prog 1 file, DAD. 
(6) Ltr, Col Handy to Brig G. K. Bourne, Br Army 
Stf, 7 Mar 42, ABC 400 (2- 17-42) Sec 1 . 

J "(l) CCS 19/1, 4 Feb 42, title: Order Estab MAB. 
(2) MBW 34, 5 Nov 42, title: Rpt on Par. 2 of Order 
of 4 Feb 42 Estab MAB. (3) Min, 15th mtg CPS, 23 
Apr 42, Item 4. (4) Memo, MAB, no addressee, no 
date, sub: Check of Critical Items To Gauge Relation 
Between Resources and Reqmts, Incl 4 to agenda for 
14th mtg MAB, 6 May 42. 



in the light of this strategy each country 
should prepare an order of battle for all 
areas around which a combined produc- 
tion program could be set up. Early in June 
the British formally presented their order 
of battle for 1 April 1943 to the Combined 
Staff Planners, urging action on the pro- 
posal. Citing the fact that there could be 
for any given date "only one order of bat- 
tle whether it be for planning, for produc- 
tion or for munitions assignment," they 
urged replacement of the appendixes of 
CCS 50/2 by the deployments now pre- 
sented and an early decision on compar- 
able deployments for 1 April 1944. J1 The 
American staff planners agreed generally 
but declined to accept the British deploy- 
ments until they had been reviewed by 
the Combined Staff Planners. 2 " 

A more potent pressure for action was 
not long in coming. The presentation of 
the British plan coincided with a visit to 
Washington by Sir Oliver Lyttelton, Brit- 
ish Minister of Production, to confer with 
Donald Nelson, chairman of WPB, on 
combined production problems. Out of 
these conversations emerged the Com- 
bined Production and Resources Board. 
Formed on 9 June 1942, the CPRB was 
charged with combining the production 
programs of the United States and United 
Kingdom into a single integrated whole, 
adjusted to the strategic requirements of 
the war as indicated by the CCS on the 
one side and production realities on the 
other. Nelson and Lyttelton, who formed 
the board, were soon pointing out that ex- 
isting production plans were based on re- 
quirements drawn up independently in 
the two countries and that they would not 
necessarily assure the provision ot essential 
equipment to carry out operations sched- 
uled by the CCS. In a resolution adopted 
at its first meeting, the CPRB asked that 

the CCS direct the appropriate service 
authorities to furnish a statement of com- 
bined requirements of arms and muni- 
tions necessary by the terminal dates 31 
December 1942 and 31 December 1943 
in order to execute strategic plans for the 
years 1943 and 1944, respectively. The 
CPRB would then put these strategic re- 
quirements to the test of feasibility." 3 

The CCS accepted the suggestion with- 
out much objection, indeed with a certain 
enthusiasm. It adopted the CPRB report 
on 2 July 1942 with only minor amend- 
ments and instructed the MAB to secure 
the combined requirements from the serv- 
ices concerned. A special committee, 
headed by Brigadier J. M. Younger of the 
British Joint Staff Mission, was appointed 
to investigate differences in maintenance 
and reserve scales of ammunition used by 
the American and British Armies. At this 
stage there was no indication that the 
American staff seriously questioned the 
idea of combined requirements planning 
on the basis of theater deployment.-' 4 

The preparation of strategic require- 
ments as the CPRB requested depended 
upon agreement on combined deploy- 
ments for 1943 and 1944. As long as the 
plan for early invasion of Europe re- 
mained the prevailing conception of strat- 
egy, this seemed feasible. The Combined 

' il) Br paper, 1 Jun 42, sub: Pdn Reqmts of 
United Nations, ABC 400 (2-17-42) Sec 2. (2) For a 
discussion of the April 1942 London conference, see 
below. Ch. XIV. 

-'- (1) Min, 18th mtg CPS, 5 Jun 42, Item 1. (2) For 
strategic developments, see Matloff and Snell, Strategic 
Planning: 1941-1942, Ch. VIII. 

- ,; (1) On the founding of the CPRB, see above, Ch. 
X. (2) CCS 82, rpt by CPRB, 18 Jun 42, title: Pdn 

-* (1) Min, 26th mtg CCS, 18 Jun 42; 30th mtg, 2 
Jul 42, Item 1. (2) Min, 21st mtgJCS, 23 Jun 42, Item 
1 1. (3) CCS 82/1, rpt by Sp Com Appointed To Con- 
sider CCS 82, 27 Jun 42, title: Pdn Policy. 



Staff Planners in mid-July were able to 
present a combined order of battle for 1 
April 1943 (CCS 91), which the CCS 
agreed to accept for purposes of produc- 
tion planning. But almost simultaneously, 
the whole concept of strategy was changed, 
much to the chagrin of the American staff, 
by a decision to undertake the invasion of 
North Africa in the fall of 1942 (Opera- 
tion Torch), thus leaving strategic plan- 
ning for 1943 and 1944 in an uncertain 
state. The CCS proved unable to arrive at 
any final decision that could serve as a 
guide for drawing up an order of battle for 
1944. That for 1943 (CCS 91) proved 
hardly more reliable than had been the 
appendixes of CCS 50/2, since the Ameri- 
cans found it necessary to commit larger 
forces to the Pacific than originally 
planned. With this change in the situa- 
tion, the American planners began to cool 
perceptibly toward the British proposal 
for a program of strategic requirements. 25 

Meanwhile the CPRB, under increas- 
ing British influence, pressed the CCS for 
their 1943 program. The CPRB pre- 
scribed a deadline of 1 September 1942, 
and in a report to the President in early 
August emphasized the fact that unless it 
received such a statement by that date, it 
would be impossible for the CPRB to 
frame production programs for 1943 in- 
telligently. The President wrote Donald 
Nelson that he would "make sure these 
strategic requirements are in your hands 
at an early date," and Nelson forwarded 
this comment to the CCS. 2fi 

This pressure served only to crystallize 
the opposition of American staff officers. 
With no agreed strategy in prospect, they 
viewed the September deadline as im- 
possible of attainment. Quite apart from 
this fact, they had also come to regard the 
whole proposal as one that would favor 

the British at the expense of equipping an 
American army. When the MAB on 24 
July finally presented its balance sheet for 
combined requirements and resources of 
critical items for 1942 (based on CCS 91), 
it revealed to the American planners the 
vastly higher maintenance and reserve 
factors used by the British in calculating 
their theater requirements. For example, 
the British added to their initial require- 
ments for tanks 76.5 percent for reserve 
and 68.3 percent for maintenance in con- 
trast to a 2 1 percent reserve factor used for 
U.S. armored forces. There was an obvious 
implication that if these British theater re- 
quirements were accepted for production 
planning, they must also be accepted for 
assignments, thus allowing the British to 
accumulate vast reserves while the U.S. 
Army struggled to get enough equipment 
to make its expansion possible. "The com- 
parison of US and UK requirements and 
resources," wrote a perturbed OPD offi- 
cer, "infers [sic] that US production be 
turned over to the British and the US 
Army take the remainder." 27 When the 
balance sheet was considered by the Com- 
bined Staff Planners, the OPD member 
saw to it that it was returned to the MAB 
for reconciliation of the British and Ameri- 
can scales. MAB referred the matter to the 
ground committee which, after well over 
three months of debate, was unable to pro- 
duce more than a complete statement of 
the differences. Meanwhile, the delibera- 
tions of the Younger committee on scales of 

•-"• (1) CCS 91, 14 Jul 42, title: Strategic Policy and 
Deployment of U.S. and Br Forces. (2) Min, 31st mtg 
CCS, 16 Jul 42; 37th mtg, 27 Aug 42. (3) For strategic 
developments, see Matloff and Snell, Strategic Plan- 
ning: 1941-1942, Chs. XII-XIII. 

26 CCS 102, 24 Aug 42, title: Pdn Policy for 1943. 

27 OPD notes on 28th mtg CPS, 7 Aug 42, ABC 400 
(2-17-42) Sec 2. 



ammunition resulted in the same sort of 
deadlock. 1 ' 8 

These difficulties over the scale on 
which requirements should be calculated 
combined with the lack of an agreed strat- 
egy to lead OPD, "SOS, and the executive 
staffof the MAB to the same conclusions — 
that the existing Army Supply Program 
was the only practical basis for American 
production planning and that the only 
British requirements to be accepted 
should be those included therein. General 
Somervell by mid-August was even ques- 
tioning the role the CPRB was assuming, 
arguing that its consideration should not 
extend to "the types and quantities of 
munitions to be utilized in any theater" — 
decisions "military in character" that 
"must rest with the military authority." 29 
With the CPRB deadline already past, the 
JCS on 4 September officially proposed 
that each country furnish its existing re- 
quirements program, the British program 
based on theater deployment, the Ameri- 
can on total forces that could be trans- 
ported to and maintained in transoceanic 
theaters and total forces required for hem- 
isphere defense, training, or use as strate- 
gic reserves. There was little the British 
members of the CCS could do but accept. 
The MAB had in fact on 3 September 
already furnished the CPRB with existing 
requirements programs in pursuance of an 
informal agreement reached between the 
two boards. 30 

Though the British won the concession 
that a continuing effort should be made to 
develop a program of combined require- 
ments, the U.S. staff was ready to aban- 
don the project entirely. The CPRB, in its 
second report to the President on 22 Sep- 
tember 1942, implied that the require- 
ments furnished earlier were not based on 
strategy and again called on the CCS to 

remedy the situation. On 4 October 
Churchill himself cabled Roosevelt sug- 
gesting that the adjustment of the Presi- 
dent's January production goals to pro- 
duction realities — a necessity now that 
these goals had served their initial purpose 
of raising the sights — was a task to be ac- 
complished by the CPRB on the basis of 
the strategic plans of the CCS. This time 
the President turned to the JCS for advice, 
and his reply to Churchill, drafted in the 
main by General Somervell, was a polite 
rebuff. It recited coldly the steps being 
taken in the United States to bring the 
production program in line with realities 
and ended with the statement that the 
CPRB "rather than questioning specific 
requirements items," should restrict itself 
to an analysis of the total United States 
and British requirements already pre- 
sented, in order to determine the feasibility 
of procurement. 31 

28 (1) Ibid. (2) Min, 28th mtg CPS, 7 Aug 42. (3) 
MBW 19/1, 29 Jul 42, title: Comparison of Combined 
Reqmts and Resources. (4) MBW 19/2, 10 Aug 42, 
title: Combined Resources and Reqmts as of 3 1 Dec 
42. (5) MBW 19/3, 28 Nov 42, title: Combined Re- 
sources and Reqmts. (6) MBW 19/4, 1 1 Dec 42, same 
title. (7) CCS T17, Interim Rpt ofSpCom, 6 Oct 42, 
title: Study of Am. 

29 (1) Memo, Gen Somervell for Gen Burns, Exec 
Off MAB, 15 Aug 42, sub: Relationship of WD to 
MAB and CPRB, MAB folder, Hq ASF. (2) OPD 
notes cited n. 27. (3) Memo, Brig Gen William F. 
Tompkins for Exec Off MAB, 25 Aug 42, sub: Com- 
bined Reqmts, CCS 400.17 (7-6-42). 

30 (1) Min, 31st mtg JCS, 1 Sep 42. (2) Min, 39th 
mtg CCS, 4 Sep 42, Item 3. (3) CCS 82/2, 4 Sep 42, 
title: Combined Pdn Reqmts. (4) MBW 25/2, 3 Sep 
42, title: Pdn Policy for 1943. (5) MBW 26, 25 Aug 
42, title: Form of 1943 Reqmts. 

31 (1) Draft msg, President to Churchill, sent on 12 
Oct 42. (2) Msg 156, Churchill to President, 4 Oct 42. 
Both in CCS 400.17 (7-6-42) Sec 2. (3) CCS 102/1, 
25 Sep 42, title: Pdn Policy for 1943, with incl, memo, 
CPRB for CCS, transmitting 2d rpt of CPRB to Presi- 
dent, 22 Sep 42. (4) Memo, Exec Off MAB for Secy 
CCS, 28 Sep 42, sub: 2d Progress Rpt to President by 
CPRB, Annex I to MBW 25/4, 28 Sep 42, title: Pdn 
Policy for 1943. 



This message ended for all practical 
purposes the effort to arrive at a combined 
requirements program based on strategic 
deployments. On 16 October 1942 the 
CCS, with considerable reluctance on the 
part of the British members, agreed to 
inform the CPRB that the requirements 
submitted in September should be ac- 
cepted as a basis of planning, and that 
these requirements would be adjusted 
from time to time to changing strategy. 3 " 
The net result was to firmly establish the 
principle that production requirements on 
U.S. industry and priorities thereon would 
be handled as American problems by 
American agencies, and requirements on 
British production on a similar national 
basis in Britain. The effort of the CPRB to 
draw up a combined production program 
was completely thwarted, and the board 
itself gradually declined in importance. It 
is apparent that one of the major reasons 
for this was the distrust with which the 
U.S. military authorities, particularly 
General Somervell, had come to regard it. 
They were well aware that the British 
civilians on the CPRB had much broader 
authority in their own country than 
Donald Nelson had in the United States, 
and they feared that the British would 
dominate the board's actions. "It has been 
difficult," Somervell informed the Chief of 
Staff on one occasion, "to prevent the 
combined committees having to do with 
production and transportation from be- 
coming dominated by the British view- 
point." 33 

Similarly, fear of over-allocations to the 
British dictated much of the American op- 
position to the combined strategic require- 
ments program. Both OPD and SOS re- 
garded the British demands against Amer- 
ican production as likely to be too great if 
their theater requirements program were 

accepted as a basis of assignments. They 
thought it would be easier to deal with the 
British in direct negotiations and in the 
MAB on individual issues than to accept 
the blanket commitments involved in any 
combined strategic requirements program 
prepared in advance. "Had we gone on a 
theater basis," wrote Brig. Gen. Patrick 
H. Tansey, head of OPD's Logistics Group, 
in 1945, "we would have found an undue 
portion of our supplies being transferred to 
the British to be piled up in such logistical 
vacuums as India." n These American 
fears combined with the inherent difficulty 
of arriving at valid estimates of future de- 
ployment to spell the demise of combined 
requirements planning and allocations 
based on them. As a corollary, the effort to 
arrive at equal scales of equipment for 
training and for British and American 
forces in the same theater also lapsed and 
these scales were left for determination by 
the respective national authorities. 

The Weeks-Somervell Agreement 

The failure of combined requirements 
planning left the British without any firm 
basis on which to anticipate allocations for 
the following year. Their experience with 
the munitions assignments machinery, 
meantime, had been generally disappoint- 
ing. MAC(G) was never able to make firm 
assignments for more than a month in ad- 
vance. The acceptance of British require- 
ments in the Army Supply Program gave 
no assurance of ultimate assignment as 

Min, 44th mtg CCS, 16 Oct 42. Item 4. 

■" Memo, Somervell for CofS. no date, sub: Orgn 
of Combined Bds, WDCSA 334 (1942-43). 

14 (1) Memo, prepared by Tansey. no addressee, no 
date, sub: Alloc of Mun for Logis Support of Global 
Strategy, ABC 400 (2-17-42) Sec 6. (2) For a brief 
statement of the British position, see Hancock and 
Cowing. British War Economy, pp. 397, 399. 



long as production schedules were uncer- 
tain and as long as elaborate strategic 
justification was required where there 
were competing bids. In fact, during the 
whole of 1942 the British were allocated 
only about 50 percent of their require- 
ments for that year as accepted in the Sep- 
tember 1942 version of the Army Supply 
Program. Even considering that many of 
their requirements were inflated, this per- 
formance was disappointing. Moreover, 
allocations, in terms of proportion of 
American production, declined during the 
last half of the year. Deliveries of com- 
ponents and other items on the noncom- 
mon list were even further behind sched- 
ule. Then, as Roosevelt informed Church- 
ill in his October message, the adjustment 
of requirements to the realities of produc- 
tion was already under way in the United 
States, and it promised to result in further 
curtailment of British lend-lease expect- 
ancies. The War Production Board in Sep- 
tember 1942 found the military require- 
ments program for 1943 (including lend- 
lease), as determined by the War and 
Navy Departments, too great for the pro- 
ductive capacity of the country. The brunt 
of the consequent reduction fell on ground 
force equipment and was reflected in the 
12 November 1942 revision of the Army 
Supply Program. In this adjustment, 
British requirements had to be sacrificed 
on at least a similar scale to American (by 
approximately 25 percent). By October 
1942 the British had reached a crisis of 
their own in allocating the last reserves of 
manpower available, and felt they could 
proceed no further without more specific 
assurances as to the scope of future Ameri- 
can aid. For this reason, the War Cabinet 
sent to the United States a mission headed 
by Sir Oliver Lyttelton to reach definite 
agreements on the whole range of matters 

affecting the common war effort — produc- 
tion, allocation of munitions, and ship- 

During the visit of the Lyttelton mis- 
sion General Somervell, as anxious as the 
British to place their lend-lease program 
on some definitely predictable basis, nego- 
tiated with Lt. Gen. Sir Ronald M. Weeks 
an agreement on ground equipment that 
scaled down British requirements by ap- 
proximately 25 percent, but in turn gave a 
definite promise that the reduced require- 
ments would be met by actual assign- 
ments. It was agreed: 

(a) that the British requirements on the 
United States shall be the minimum neces- 
sary to cover the deficit which cannot be sup- 
plied from production under British control, 
and it is understood that these requirements 
as now stated do not exceed the British ca- 
pacity to man or operate as far as their own 
troops and allies for whom they are responsi- 
ble are concerned. 

(b) that the acceptance of British require- 
ments in the 1943 American Programme of 
Supply and Procurement shall carry an equal 
obligation to produce and make available to 
both forces the quantities involved in accord- 
ance with an agreed schedule for the twelve 
calendar months of 1943, and in the event of 
failure to meet the schedules, the quantities 
will be scaled down in proportion to the 
requirement accepted. 

(c) that no departure will be made from 
this understanding, unless in the event of a 
major unforeseen change in the strategical 
situation, and then by agreement between 
the two parties. 36 

The agreement itself listed allocations of 
most major items, constituting about 60 

35 (1) Hancock and Gowing, British War Economy, 
p. 400. (2) Hall and Wrigley, Studies in Overseas 
Supply, first draft, Ch. IV, pp. 286-321, Hist Br, Cab- 
inet Off, London. (3) For a discussion of the "feasi- 
bility" crisis in U.S. production planning, see below, 
Ch. XXII. 

;6 Weeks-Somervell Agreement, incl in ltr, J. Eaton 
Griffith. Jt Secy London Mis, to Somervell, 19 Nov 
42. ID, Lend-Lease, Doc Suppl, III. 



percent of the British ground army re- 
quirements on the United States for 1943. 
The Americans were to make every effort 
to accept the other British requirements 
not agreed upon in detail. The minimum 
flow of components and complementary 
items necessary to maintain the British 
production program was also to be con- 
tinued, and an earlier agreement on a 
special pool of raw materials to meet spot 
item requests was confirmed. 37 

The Weeks-Somervell Agreement was 
part of a whole pattern of Anglo-American 
accords reached during the visit of the 
Lyttelton mission, including a new agree- 
ment for the allocation of aircraft and one 
on shipping for the British Import Pro- 
gram. 38 - The whole principle of the Weeks- 
Somervell Agreement was that the Army 
Supply Program, now geared to a realistic 
appraisal of U.S. productive capacity, 
should form the basis for both require- 
ments and assignments of ground muni- 
tions from American production. Under 
this principle, allocations would be related 
to strategic or operational needs only 
insofar as the respective national require- 
ments programs reflected them. This 
was in contravention of the theory on 
which the MAB had been proceeding. 
When the agreement was presented to 
that body, the U.S. Navy member, Ad- 
miral Joseph M. Reeves, leveled a sharp 
attack upon it, charging that the War De- 
partment was assuming the functions of 
the MAB when it made firm commitments 
in advance for assignment to the British. 
"The War Department," Reeves said, 
"undertakes to do this without considera- 
tion of the directives, strategic needs and 
strategic policies as may be issued by the 
Combined Chiefs of Staff, and without 
reference to the Combined Munitions 
Assignments Board." 39 

Reeves struck at a vulnerable point. If 
the Weeks-Somervell Agreement were ac- 
cepted without qualification, the freedom 
of action of the MAB would be measur- 
ably reduc