3-088 Memorandum for General Gerow, January 31, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: January 31, 1942

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for General Gerow

January 31, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]


Did you succeed in having our message to the British Chiefs of Staff sent them without delaying for a formal combined Chiefs of Staff approval?1

How should the matter of building up policies and directives on propaganda, particularly as passed on to Colonel Donovan’s office, be organized? Should the principal man be in your section or in G-2? If in your section, could we not bring in some very astute, able outsider for this purpose? So long as the man was in the atmosphere of your section and under your control, it does not seem to me that he should necessarily be a regular. As a matter of fact, this phase of the business is so contrary to our ordinary practice that I should imagine it would be better if he is not a regular.

This paragraph is to confirm my statement to you last night that Admiral Stark had read over the telephone to me a very definite warning order to all Naval district commanders regarding the probability of air raids on both the East and West coasts, in which he stated that this order had the concurrence of the Chief of Staff. He supposed that we would send out something on the subject. His order was to have been sent around to us last night. If it has not reached you, I suggest you have someone telephone his Aide, or rather Admiral Turner.

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. Colonel William J. Donovan had sent a paper titled “Outline for War News Propaganda Plan” to President Roosevelt, who found it “very interesting” and forwarded it to Marshall and King, who discussed the plan with Donovan. The plan noted that a propaganda offensive—aimed at convincing world public opinion that United States entry into the war made eventual Allied victory certain—”need not wait actual success but can be based upon a negative victory,” that is, upon the failure of the Japanese to achieve some goal. G-2 commented that “this plan is spurious in its entire conception as it violates the very fundamentals of propaganda.” Marshall wrote to the representatives of the British Chiefs of Staff on January 28 asking their views on Donovan’s plan. (These documents are in NA/RG 165 [OCS, Chronological, Miscellaneous (15435-69)].)

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), p. 93.

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Holding ID: 3-088

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