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Memorandum for General Handy
November 16, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
Sir John Dill is very anxious that the Combined Planners commence consideration of what might be our next move. He feels that we may find ourselves in a situation of a dissolving Italy, then what do we do?
Whether or not this should go to the Combined Planners before the U.S. Planners have arrived at tentative conclusions I do not know, and want your views; however, I do think it is essential that consideration be given immediately to the several possible eventualities on the basis of our conquest of Tunisia, also on the basis of our conquest of Tunisia and the elimination of Rommel’s forces from Tripoli.1
How about your talking immediately to General Embick in regard to these matters as well as to Wedemeyer?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. At this time Allied leaders were optimistic regarding completion of the conquest of North Africa. At a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with President Roosevelt on November 25, Marshall said that the occupation of Tunisia could be completed in two or three weeks, assuming that the Axis forces did not develop unforeseen strength. (Notes Taken at the Meeting Held in the Executive Offices of the President on Wednesday, November 25, 1942, at 1430, NA/RG 165 [OCS, CCS 334, JCS Minutes].)
2. On November 7, 1942, the Joint Chiefs of Staff established the Joint Strategic Survey Committee, an independent group of military elder statesmen who were to make recommendations concerning strategy and campaign plans. Lieutenant General Stanley D. Embick was the army’s representative, Major General Muir S. Fairchild the air force’s, and Vice Admiral Russell Willson the navy’s. Brigadier General Albert C. Wedemeyer, who had become chief of the Operations Division’s Strategy and Policy Group on June 27, 1942, was the army’s chief planner. (Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1951], pp. 103, 173.)
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. 437-438.