4-306 Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3, March 21, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: March 21, 1944

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-3 [Porter]

March 21, 1944 Washington, D.C.


I wish a memorandum prepared for Justice Byrnes from me explaining what has been done and what is being done in relation to manpower economies, beginning with our reduction of 520,000 by the elimination of 12 Divisions, Corps and Army troops.

I wish to have included in this what the Gasser Board has accomplished and what it is in the process of doing abroad; what has been done in the reduction of the Washington garrison; also (1) the transfer of young and trained men out of establishments in the United States to overseas duty (when we started this and approximately how much has been already accomplished), (2) the reduction of the Coast Defense Commands of the Caribbean, Alaska, and Iceland, (3) the reduction of the ASTP, and (4) the reductions that have been accomplished by the AAF, AGF, and ASF.

I want included in the paper the list of deficiencies in Selective Service quotas from the first of July to the present time by month, the increase in age which has occurred, and any similar factors involved in the general question.

I shall need this paper very quickly. It must be drawn so that a civilian can understand what we are talking about. I wish it to make clear the extent to which we have met a demand for a great many units that could not be foreseen on July 1st (attached is a list of those units)1. Draw up the paper without any regard to secrecy and we will see how to handle that later. I want this thing in triple space.2

G. C. M.

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.

1. Attached was a memorandum from Major General Miller G. White regarding the manpower situation. “In July 1943 the ceiling strength of the Army was reduced to 7,700,000, including female personnel. This cut necessitated the elimination of twelve divisions, plus supporting arms and services, from the troop basis.” Subsequent to revision of the troop basis, new demands totaling 715,000 had arisen and were met within the ceiling by personnel economies. The 7,700,000 strength was projected to be reached shortly after April 1, 1944. “At present both combat and service units are still under strength in trained personnel. In short, in spite of rigid, almost desperate, economies, we are three months behind in the training program.” (White Memorandum for the Chief of Staff, March 21, 1944, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)

2. See Marshall Memorandum for Justice Byrnes, March 23, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-310 [4: 362-65].

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), p. 359.

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