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Memorandum for General Handy
June 27, 1944 Washington, D.C.
With reference to our ANVIL procedure of this afternoon, will you please see to the following:
a. Send a copy of our reply to the British Chiefs of Staff to Eisenhower, his eyes only, together with a brief of the British proposal.1
b. Prepare for the President a very brief memorandum for Admiral Leahy to sign, stating that “The U.S. Chiefs of Staff feel that you should read the attached papers which cover the recommendations of General Wilson, General Eisenhower, the British Chiefs of Staff and the U.S. Chiefs of Staff regarding operations in the Mediterranean.” In order that this does not become too voluminous a package I suggest that the original Chiefs of Staff memorandum sent following our meeting in London, to Eisenhower and Wilson be briefed down to two paragraphs and that Eisenhower’s and Wilson’s replies be similarly briefed, taking care to include the urgent arguments put forward by Eisenhower for the support of OVERLORD.2
G. C. M.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Operations Division (OPD), Executive File 17, Item 20, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. Replying on June 26 to the U.S. Chiefs of Staff proposal that a directive be issued to 1aunch ANVIL at the earliest possible date, the British Chiefs of Staff maintained that finishing the destruction of the enemy in the Mediterranean was of maximum importance and was at the same time assisting OVERLORD. “General Wilson states withdrawal of resources from General Alexander must begin on June 28th if a target date of August 15th is to be met. The withdrawal now of forces from Italy to achieve this target date is unacceptable to the British Chiefs of Staff. The target date of the end of August would still prejudice operations in Italy. Withdrawal of forces for ANVIL would hamstring General Alexander so that any further activity would be very modest. The adequacy of air resources for both ANVIL and Italy is gravely doubted,” insisted the British Chiefs of Staff. On June 27 the U.S. Chiefs of Staff dispatched a reply that “the British proposal to abandon ANVIL and commit everything to Italy is unacceptable.” They maintained that Alexander would have sufficient forces in Italy while still mounting ANVIL and that Allied airplanes outnumbered the enemy. (Marshall [Handy] to Eisenhower, Radio No. WAR-57012, June 27, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].) For further discussion, see Roosevelt [Marshall] to Churchill, June 28, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-427 [4: 498].
2. See Marshall to Eisenhower, June 22, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-417 [4: 486-87]. Briefs of the messages are located in GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers (Pentagon Office, Selected).
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. 496-497.