3-290 Memorandum for Admiral W. D. Leahy, Admiral E. J. King, and Lieutenant General H. H. Arnold, August 24, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: August 24, 1942

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for Admiral W. D. Leahy, Admiral E. J. King, and Lieutenant General H. H. Arnold

August 24, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]


1. It is essential that the size and structure of the Army for the next CALENDAR YEAR (1943) be fixed now in broad outline. Equipment, personnel and construction programs have to be initiated far in advance. An outline of the 1943 Mobilization project has been submitted to The President who has indicated that he expects to approve it if in line with the fiscal program.1

2. This plan provides for a ground army of 111 combat divisions and an air force of 224 combat groups with a total mobilization of 7 and a half million men by December 31, 1943. This is a modest establishment as compared with the actual and potential armies of our enemies. It is designed to provide trained units at a rate that will conform to the shipping capacity that present estimates indicate will be available, through calendar year 1944, for the movement of troops to theaters where operations are projected. Divisions, because they require a year of training, are in sufficient number for the whole of 1944, while separate units are generally provided only for the first six months of that year. The mobilization of forces beyond foreseen requirements with a consequent unnecessary dislocation of agriculture and industry is avoided. This force represents an increase over the full 1942 army (currently authorized strength, 4,350,000) in the amount of 37 divisions and 109 air groups, totaling 3,183,000 men. Attached tab shows the distribution among the major categories of the Army and the proposed rate of mobilization.2

3. The Director of the Budget has estimated that the program will cost an estimated $5,000,000,000 above current appropriations and has stated that the program is feasible from a fiscal standpoint.

4. Estimates indicate the Selective Service can provide a total of 10,000,000 men by the end of 1943 if the 18-19 year-old group is inducted.

The personnel requirements of the Navy must be related to the Army program and the total available man power. Specific comment is requested of the Navy representatives, J.C.S. as to the practicability of the Army personnel program from the Navy viewpoint.

5. Our present program for critical items of equipment for an 8,900,000-man Army is adequate for this force. Procurement of essential items (clothing, tentage, motors, personal equipment)—now scheduled for a 6,230,000-man army—must be increased.

6. The proposal before The President also requests authority to draw on the 1943 augmentation during the remaining months of 1942, to the extent of about 650,000 men. This will permit the replacement of anticipated battle losses during this autumn without breaking up existing organizations. It also provides for the timely organization of cadres for the new 1943 units and the orderly mobilization of additional units to meet demands of the latest strategic directive. Already we have been forced to break up existing units to complete special organizations for overseas which has adversely affected the training and morale of the older units and sent special units overseas without adequate training and stability.

7. Your early consideration of the foregoing is requested.3

Document Copy Text Format: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Executive File 8, Book 6, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed memorandum.

1. See Marshall Memorandums for the President, August 10 and 14, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-275 [3: 298-99], and #3-277 [3: 300].

2. Tab A which had been attached to Marshall Memorandum for the President, August 10, 1942, was enclosed. See Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-275 [298-99].

3. For further discussion of this topic, see Marshall Memorandum for Admiral King, August 26, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-294 [3: 320-21].

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. 315-316.

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