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Memorandum for General Eisenhower
March 3, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
Please have a digest made of General McNair’s and General Miles’ comments on the question of unity of command in the Caribbean, to accompany the Memorandum for Admiral Stark and Admiral King.1
In doing this omit paragraph 3 b of General Miles’ memorandum andre-state paragraph 4 of his memorandum.2 I think it would be best in the case of General Miles’ memorandum to credit it to a staff officer of the War Department making the inspection rather than to G-2 of the Army. The Navy Operations does not permit ONI to enter into such matters, therefore avoid this reaction.3
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 21278-18, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. The digest of comments and the March 4 memorandum to the navy, also prepared by the War Plans Division, are in the file with this document. Both generals found a complex command system with no common mission. Because of its concentration on the Panama Canal and air power, the army’s Caribbean Defense Command conceived of an integrated defense strategy. In contrast, the navy had established Caribbean Coastal Frontier and Panama Coastal Frontier commands with distinct missions.
2. Miles used the occupation of Curacao and Aruba as an example of the results of a disorderly command structure. He also noted that although the navy exercised primary interest in the eastern Caribbean, the army possessed the only effective forces in that area. (Miles Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, January 26, 1942, NA/ RG 407 [AG, 381 (1217-41)].)
3. Admiral King replied that two separate theaters, with unified commands in each, should be established. The War Plans Division rejected the proposal. (King Memorandum for General Marshall, March 10, 1942; Eisenhower Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, March 30, 1942, ibid.) ONI is the Office of Naval Intelligence.
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. 118-119.