4-233 Memorandum for Field Marshal Sir John Dill, February 9, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for Field Marshal Sir John Dill

February 9, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]


Dear Dill:

Attached is a personal message from Eisenhower to me in response to my personal message to him.1

There has been a further telephone conversation between General Smith and General Handy, largely devoted to the difference in the figures prepared by the Washington Planners and those prepared by the London planners on personnel and vehicle lift for OVERLORD. They have agreed to exchange radiograms today on the capacity factors so that the discrepancies could be adjusted. I further directed General Handy to get Smith on the phone today and bring the issue to a head.

The trouble apparently is the difference in the factor used for LSI (L)’s.2 Washington planners figure 17 LSI (L)’s at a capacity of 2,000 each; total personnel lift of 34,000. London planners figure 16 ships at 1,080 men each and two at 1,440; total lift of 20,160. Difference: 13,840.

Smith further stated that it was a mistake to talk of lifting five divisions for OVERLORD because the force will actually be five divisions plus reinforcements of nearly another division plus two reinforced divisions in the follow-up; a total of 174,320 men and 20,018 vehicles.

Smith further stated that the delay in OVERLORD to May 31st might make more LST’s3 available.

Smith stated that Eisenhower was very strong for ANVIL and they agreed that ANVIL might help in avoiding the critical periods which Smith said would be between D plus 3 and D plus 7, around D plus 15 and D plus 20 and the last about D plus 30.

Smith reported that one airborne division plus one regimental combat team (and another regimental combat team if absolutely necessary) can be lifted on D day.

As to Air Smith said the biggest need was for two or three very long range fighter squadrons.

With both sides checking on the one difference of opinion and a further telephone communication today between Smith and Handy, I am hopeful that a satisfactory conclusion can be reached. I shall keep you advised.4

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. See the previous document (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-232 [4: 271-72]).

2. Landing ship, infantry (large).

3. Landing ship, tank.

4. See the following document (Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-234 [4: 273-75]).

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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 272-273.

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