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Memorandum for Colonel Deane
June 5, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
Tell General Allen that he can either have just Sir John Dill, Mountbatten and me for dinner Sunday night, or if it is entirely convenient, and possibly less embarrassing to him, he might include General and Mrs. Crittenberger and General Fredendall.1
I have just talked to General Lloyd Brown,2 and he is arranging that the Armored Force demonstration on Monday morning will include air. If it happens that the First Division has progressed sufficiently with its rehearsal, as to distance, so that we might motor through part of it and still reach the parachute troops at 10:30 o’clock, we might do that.
For our ride out to the Armored Force demonstration Monday morning, I think it would be best for General Crittenberger to take Lord Mountbatten. Sir John Dill and I will ride together without anybody in the front seat. Incidentally, I would like you to caution Crittenberger not to have anybody in the front seat of his car.
If you and Fredendall go out together, that will probably avoid embarrassment.
When we leave for the parachute troops, you and Fredendall should take Mountbatten and I will follow with Sir John Dill. It will be very important to keep in mind that while this trip is arranged for Lord Mountbatten, who is a Vice Admiral, a Lieutenant General and a Vice Air Marshal, Field Marshal Sir John Dill is very much the senior. It is for this reason that I am taking him with me, in order that Mountbatten can be put in close touch with the officer in charge of the particular demonstration without offending Sir John.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Brigadier General Leven C. Allen had been commandant of the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia, since February 1942. Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten had arrived in Washington on June 3. It would soon become clear to U.S. military planners that he had come to present the British case against any cross-Channel operation and in favor of a North African operation in 1942. (Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1953], pp. 234-35.) General Marshall took Field Marshal Sir John Dill, head of the British Joint Staff Mission, and Mountbatten on a tour of several southern army posts. They spent the night of Sunday, June 7, at Fort Benning, Georgia, where the next morning they observed a tactical demonstration by an armored regiment with artillery of the Second Armored Division and then viewed Parachute School instruction. The same day they reviewed the Fourth Motorized Division at Camp Gordon, Georgia, and proceeded to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, where they observed three massed divisions march in review: the Eighth, Thirtieth, and Seventy-seventh. On Tuesday morning, June 9, the party saw demonstrations in parachute tactics and in landing operations at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. (Major Frank McCarthy Memorandum for Public Relations Officer, June 6, 1942, GCMRL/F. McCarthy Papers [U.S. Army 1941-45].) For General Marshall’s opinion of the inspection tour, see Marshall to Pershing, June 10, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-218 [3: 232-33]. For Mountbatten’s comment about the tour, see Marshall to Snyder, June 29, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-240 [3: 257-8].
Major General Willis D. Crittenberger was commander of the Second Armored Division at Fort Benning. Major General Lloyd R. Fredendall was commander of the Second Army Corps.
2. Brigadier General Lloyd D. Brown was assistant chief of staff, G-3, Army Ground Forces.
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. 225-226.