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Memorandum for Mr. Harry Hopkins
September 1, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
Attached is my Biennial Report for the period July 1, 1941 to June 30, 1943. The part of possible interest to you is contained in the first 58 pages, my personal report. The rest are appendices.
I am planning to turn this over to the press for release by them on September 9th, the day of AVALANCHE.1 I would appreciate your scanning the 58 pages referred to in order that I may have your opinion as to whether or not you personally think the President would object to such release. It is my report, of course, what I have to say, but whether or not it should be released is another matter.
I certainly could not expect the President to go through this document. I feel, and the members of my Staff all feel, that it will be helpful to the immediate future if the previous period of two years is in effect wiped from the slate as to rumors and conjectures. Here is what we did and why we did it. They may agree or not agree but guesswork would no longer be involved and the public, I believe, will be better prepared to view the great battles to come with a better understanding of all that is involved.
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. Planning for assault landings in the Gaeta-Naples-Salerno area as part of a multi-pronged invasion of southern Italy had been underway since mid-July. On August 16, 1943, Eisenhower had made his final decision to launch AVALANCHE on the morning of September 9. (Martin Blumenson, Salerno to Cassino, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1969], pp. 16-23.)
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. 107-108.