4-064 Memorandum for the Joint U.S. Chiefs of Staff, July 30, 1943

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: July 30, 1943

Subject: World War II

Memorandum for the Joint U.S. Chiefs of Staff

July 30, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]


Subject: Demobilization Planning.

Commencing in December, 1942 the question of Army demobilization has been given formal consideration by the War Department. In April a special group was formed for the purpose of this study, which submitted a detailed report in June. On July 22nd the Secretary of War broadened the organization for the purpose of demobilization studies in accordance with the attached directive.

As a result of the study already given this problem it is evident that certain broad assumptions must be made, otherwise the detailed work will be valueless. It is also apparent that such assumptions can only be made in coordination with the Navy Department. There is therefore attached a draft of the proposed assumptions for preliminary consideration by the U.S. Chiefs of Staff.

The War Department has considered this matter as one of the highest secrecy in order to avoid a public relaxation in the war effort should it become known that we were deeply involved in preparations for demobilization. However, the time is rapidly approaching when these questions must be integrated with the work of some twenty-three civil agencies now interesting themselves in the several aspects of this problem. To me it appears very important that the War and Navy Departments should arrive at a common proposal regarding the purely military aspects of the question, at as early a date as possible.




a. That the war in Europe will come to a successful conclusion about one year prior to victory in the Pacific.

b. That partial demobilization may begin with victory in Europe.

c. That the United States will furnish a share of the emergency interim forces required to maintain order and to guarantee adequate considerations of American peace aims. This force (Air and Ground) in the European theater a year after the conclusion of hostilities is estimated at 400,000 men. On the same date, at the assumed moment of victory in the Pacific theater 2,200,000 Army troops, _____ Marines and _____ Navy personnel will be involved.

d. That the United States will furnish a share of an International Police Force (probably largely Air).

e. That in demobilization the principle will be followed of giving earliest discharge to men of longest service. The recently inducted men will be sent overseas as replacements for this purpose.

f. That some form of universal training will be maintained in the United States.

Note: Factors such as the total strength of the U.S. Air Forces, Ground Army, the Navy, and the possible necessity of delaying demobilization in order to avoid economic upsets in the U.S., etc., are not to be considered in the foregoing assumptions. These questions are reserved for later determination.1

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. Marshall’s paper was discussed briefly at the August 3 meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referred to the Joint Strategic Survey Committee for study, and a modified version of the basic assumptions (J.C.S. 431/1) approved at the September 28 meeting. The chief changes in the assumptions list were: paragraph a—victory in the Pacific would “require at least one additional year”; paragraph c—the final sentence regarding troop strengths was dropped; paragraph d—for purposes of demobilization planning, the “possible requirements for a future International Police Force may be disregarded”; paragraph e—demobilization discharges were to be based upon the military’s requirements and the person’s physical condition (i.e., wounds, sickness, age), length of service, combat service, and dependents. (Brigadier General W. F. Tompkins Memorandum for Chiefs of Branches, Special Planning Division, September 30, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 370.9].)

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. 74-76.

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