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Memorandum for General Handy
May 14, 1945 [Washington, D.C.]
I had lunch with Anthony Eden today.1 He somewhat explained the Prime Minister’s indirect references to his concern over “American withdrawals” from the European theater in connection with the retirement of the Allied forces to the agreed upon boundaries.
There has been so much in the press about the rapidity of redeployment and demobilization that the Prime Minister has become upset, thinking we were leaving Europe. I explained to Mr. Eden that it was a slow process at best. He asked me if I would be willing to give the British Chiefs of Staff an outline of the proposed schedules. I told him I saw no objection to that.
Therefore, what I would like is an outline of our present schedules for moving Air and Ground troops to the Pacific and individuals to this country for demobilization.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. General Marshall had lunch with Stimson and Eden on May 14 in Secretary Stimson’s office. During lunch “we had a talk in general about matters in Europe and particularly Germany and the complications which are being made by Russia’s difficulties.” (May 14, 1945, Yale/H. L. Stimson Papers [Diary, 51: 125-26].) For information regarding Eden’s meeting with Stimson before lunch, see Marshall Memorandum for the Secretary of War, May 10, 1945, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-125 [5: 178].
2. The Operations Division prepared for General Marshall’s signature a letter and itemized schedule for troop withdrawals from Europe during the remainder of 1945. “We now have in Europe a total of 3,500,000 troops. Of these 1,200,000 are required to be moved from Europe to the Pacific,” Marshall informed Field Marshal Wilson on May 16. About 400,000 troops would be deployed directly to the Pacific through the Panama Canal. “Service and construction troops are the first requirements of the Pacific and with some few exceptions this 400,000 will consist of this type of unit. It is planned to move these between now and 30 September.” (Marshall Memorandum for Field Marshal Wilson, May 16, 1945, 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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 188-189.