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Memorandum for the President
August 24, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
Subject: Torch Operation.
In light of recent developments, some revision is necessary in our memorandum of August 20, 1942.1 In general, these developments have made no material change in the overall strength of forces employed, scope of objective, and location of attack. They have, however, enabled us to clear some of the confusion which surrounded certain elements of the plan, especially with respect to the initial assault and air support. The initial Oran assault combat force has been reduced by about ten thousand (10,000) and will approximate twenty-five thousand (25,000) men, and the “follow up” convoy will not arrive until D+17 instead of D+4 and will be 25,000 combat troops instead of 35,000.
One additional chart is here attached,2 giving a summary of the latest plan.
More data regarding port facilities available, and the rate of the progress being made in conversion of combat loaders, has determined that the assaulting force at Oran should be transported in one convoy instead of in two as previously planned. This one convoy, composed for the most part of combat loaders, will land approximately forty-one thousand (41,000) troops, of which twenty-five thousand (25,000) will be combat units, while the remainder will be the necessary service personnel for operating ports and captured air fields, and for supplying troops already ashore. Not until D+17 will a second troop convoy arrive. This second convoy will carry approximately thirty thousand (30,000) men, of which 5,000 will be service troops.
Some revision has been made in the number of carriers to be used. At Oran the Ranger and two (2) AVG’s will be employed, and at Algiers and Bone, one (1) CV, one (1) Old Carrier, and two (2) AVG’s. In addition, one (1) CV will accompany naval force “H” with the mission of covering the Vichy and Italian fleets and furnishing fighter support for the Bone assault. If available, one additional carrier, the Argus, will be used for ferrying planes to the other CV’s and protecting convoys.
Army air support after the initial landing will be provided by one thousand eighty-six (1,086) aircraft of all types by D+50, of which seven hundred forty-eight (748) will be American and four hundred thirty-eight (438) British. This aircraft will be brought in principally by air, after fields have been captured. In addition to the one thousand eighty-six (1,086), the British will hold available on call from UK, thirty-six (36) medium and seventy-two (72) heavy bombers.
Further logistical studies indicate that a cargo convoy of thirty-five (35) slow ships must arrive on D+6, with a second all-cargo convoy of thirty-eight (38) ships shortly after D+30.
Document Copy Text Format: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 381 TORCH, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. See Marshall Memorandum for the President, August 20, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-284 [3: 306-8].
2. The editors have not found this chart.
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. 314-315.