3-509 Editorial Note on Memorandums for the President and the Chief of Staff

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Subject: World War II

Editorial Note on Memorandums for the President and the Chief of Staff’s Daily Log

Keeping the president informed regarding the conduct of the war and keeping the War Department attuned to the field commanders’ problems caused Marshall to write numerous memorandums which the editors usually have not selected for publication. The memorandums for the president generally had a brief introduction by Marshall followed by a lengthy quotation from a message sent to the War Department. Typical is a document Marshall sent on February 11 citing a personal letter from Major General J. Lawton Collins, commander of the Twenty-fifth Infantry Division on Guadalcanal, whom Marshall called “one of our youngest Division commanders and one of the brilliant officers in our Army.” Collins’s letter described his division’s successes against the Japanese in mid-January and noted that “the tactical doctrines taught at Benning and other service schools have proven eminently sound.” Collins concluded that “the Japanese have shown very poor tactical judgment here and an inflexibility of temperament and plan which has operated to our profit.” (Marshall Memorandum for the President, February 11, 1943, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)

To keep himself informed, Marshall had the War Department’s Classified Message Center prepare, beginning in April 1942, a daily summary of messages received and dispatched. The “Chief of Staff’s Daily Log” included messages regarding current operations, intelligence reports, occasional messages to and from the Navy and State departments, and any other document that the Operations Division believed Marshall should read. (See NA/RG 165 [OPD, Message Log].) Typical of Marshall’s care in monitoring these communications are the following three memorandums (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-510-#3-512 [3: 542-43]).

Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 541-542.

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