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Memorandum for Field Marshal Sir John Dill
September 22, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
At the plenary meeting, 16 September, at Quebec, I undertook to examine the Prime Minister’s proposal that one or two U.S. divisions be furnished to assist operations in Burma, specifically to permit additional British units to be released for DRACULA. As I stated at the time, all the remaining U.S. divisions are now committed, 23 to the European theater and 3 to the Pacific for scheduled operations.1
At the present moment a change in allocations does not appear advisable. My people are studying the proposition from the viewpoint of a rapid movement once the Allied Expeditionary Force and the Russian forces appear to have the enemy in a state closely approaching complete collapse. It is being planned that the proportionate service forces would accompany these troops.
Will you please communicate the foregoing to the Prime Minister as the answer for the present to his proposal?2
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 minutes of the September 16, 1944, meeting in Foreign Relations, Conference at Quebec, 1944, p. 380.
2. Marshall’s memorandum was prompted by a letter from Lieutenant General Gordon N. Macready, commander of the army staff of the British Joint Staff Mission in Washington, which stated that the War Office had sent him a most urgent telegram saying that planning for the British operation to capture Rangoon (DRACULA) “has now reached the stage when it is all-important to know at the earliest possible moment whether two U.S. Divisions, with administrative tail, can be made available for the operation.” (Macready to Marshall, September 22, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) On British planning for the capture of Rangoon (called VANGUARD until August 23, when the code name became DRACULA), see Ehrman, Grand Strategy, 5: 492-98, 501-4. On October 5, Prime Minister Churchill notified the British Joint Staff Mission and Admiral Mountbatten that stubborn German resistance had forced DRACULA’s postponement from March 1945 until November 1945. (Ibid., p. 533. The attack was ultimately carried out in May and was unopposed.)
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), p. 602.