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Memorandum for General Hull from Brigadier General George A. Lincoln1
April 3, 1945 [Washington, D.C.]
SUBJECT: General Edwards’ Conference with General Marshall on the Troop Basis2
The following points are pertinent:
a. The Chief of Staff wants to get more men to be demobilized. He questions the proposed induction rate which was to be 60,000. He pointed out that although the proposal cuts the Army in strength by only 1,200,000 the actual number of individuals to be demobilized will be much higher than this if a high induction rate were maintained.
My comment on this is that it is certainly the fair thing to do and sound psychologically, but the increase in pipeline strength of a high induction rate will mean an increase in the paper strength of the Army. This point must be recognized.
b. The Chief of Staff asked General Edwards to examine all possible means of introducing replacements into units to let men with long service come home. He mentioned replacements meeting units going through Panama. My comment on this is that there is certainly something in the thought, but probably the best way to do it would be to send skeleton units from Europe directly to the Pacific while at the same time moving replacements out of the West Coast using some of this APA3 lift we have so much difficulty jarring out of the Navy.
The Chief of Staff pointed out that divisions might be brought home complete and then the long service men dropped out at once and the divisions filled up with replacements. A comment on this is that it will probably work and a study may show that the time element would allow the divisions to remain below strength for some time in the U.S. while still leaving sufficient time to fill them up before they could possibly be moved out of the West Coast. This is a point, however, that General Edwards will have to work out.
c. The Chief of Staff made the point that people being brought back to the U.S. shouldn’t be told that they are going into the strategic reserve for the Pacific. They should be left with the idea that it may develop; that requirements for the Pacific war will cause them to go on out across the Pacific.
d. The Chief of Staff emphasized his point that we should get more people other than Americans into jobs where they get killed in this Japanese war. He had particular reference to the British VLR [very long range] air forces, the British Fleet and the Australian and New Zealand air forces. The latter he apparently considers should take over all operations south of the Philippines.
e. The Chief of Staff accepted the strategic reserve of 21 divisions for the time being, pointing out it in fact was also a reserve for demobilization and that we might be demobilizing it long before the end of 1946.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), 320.2, Case 27, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Brigadier General George A. Lincoln served in the Operations Division as a member of the Joint and Combined Staff Planners.
2. Major General Idwal H. Edwards, assistant chief of staff, G-3, during 1942-43 and reassigned to that position in February 1945, met with General Marshall on April 3. (GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Engagement and Visitor Records].) For Edwards’s previous role in demobilization plans, see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-593 [3: 633-34].
3. APA designated U.S. Navy attack transport.
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. 114-115.