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Memorandum for the Deputy Chief of Staff [McNarney] and Chief of Operations [Eisenhower]
May 6, 1942 Washington, D.C.
General Galloway, Deputy Chief of Staff for General Auchinleck in the Middle East, called on me this morning.1 He proposed for his Chief the assignment of two young General Staff officers of a command type to attend a short course of that nature being organized in the Middle East by General Auchinleck. Please make inquiries about the details of this and see whether we want to do it, and who the officers might be.
I talked over with him the possibility and practicability of our starting up a system of providing the crew for one tank in each squadron or company with the forces in Libya, where an action is frequent. He stated he felt free to accept this proposal in the name of General Auchinleck without consulting him. Whether or not this is practicable of arrangement, I do not know, but I would like to have it discussed with General Devers and General McNair,2 also with General Arnold who would be involved in transportation by plane.
I talked this over once, I believe, with General Devers, and in some detail with General Patton. My idea was in this way to acquire genuine battle knowledge as the leaven for our units. These crews would serve for a couple of months in the Near East, assuming they got some battle opportunity in that time, and then be returned to the States and replaced by others.
Please look into this and see what might be done.
General Galloway brought up their—the British—embarrassment in dealing with Colonel Fellers because of the fact that Maxwell is a Major General, and naturally their normal procedure is to deal with him in going into their plans and preparations. We have had this matter up once or twice. Lieut. General Wemyss brought this up at one time, somewhat on the basis of a centralized United States set-up for both the Persian Gulf theater and the Cairo theater. Quite evidently there is an embarrassment in the dealings in Cairo, and I now have the same proposition today put to me by General Strong and General Somervell regarding the situation in London as to McClure with the Embassy and Chaney with his Headquarters.3
G. C. M.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 381 War Plans, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum signed.
1. Major General Alexander Galloway was deputy chief of staff for General Sir Claude Auchinleck, commander in chief in the Middle East.
2. Major General Jacob L. Devers was chief of the Armored Force, Fort Knox, Kentucky. When the army reorganized in March 1942, Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair became commander of Army Ground Forces, the successor to Army General Headquarters.
3. United States participation in the Middle East began in late 1941. In November Roosevelt set up two military missions—the United States Military North African Mission in Cairo under Brigadier General Russell L. Maxwell (U.S.M.A., 1912), and the United States Military Iranian Mission under Brigadier General Raymond A. Wheeler (U.S.M.A., 1911). Both men were promoted to major general in mid-March. Colonel Bonner F. Fellers (U.S.M.A., November 1918) served as military attaché in Egypt and a United States military observer with British Forces in the Middle East. (I. S. O. Playfair, The Mediterranean and Middle East, volume 3, British Fortunes Reach Their Lowest Ebb, a volume in the History of the Second World War [London: HMSO, 1960], p. 373.) Sir Colville Wemyss was head of the British Army Staff delegation of the British Joint Staff Mission in Washington, D.C. Brigadier General Robert A. McClure was military attaché in the United States Embassy in London. Major General James E. Chaney was commander of the United States Army Forces in the British Isles.
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. 186–187.