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Memorandum for the Secretary of War1
September 11, 1943 [Washington, D.C.]
It had slipped my memory that I had tentatively accepted an invitation of General Cardenas to be present in Mexico City at the celebration of Mexican independence on the 15th and 16th.2 I plan to leave here after the U.S. Chiefs of Staff meeting Tuesday afternoon, about 3:00 or 3:30, so that I can spend a quiet night at New Orleans and have an easy flight the next day, going into Mexico City the following afternoon.3
Of course if anything comes up I can return to Washington in short order and they will keep me advised through my private code by telephone. However, I see nothing that I can do here to contribute to the battle there, except probably worry them with questions.4
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 sent a similar memorandum to Secretary of State Hull.
2. Lázaro Cardenas, former president of Mexico (1934–40), was minister of national defense.
3. For more on Marshall’s trip, see Memorandum for the President, September 18, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-111 [4: 130–31].
4. American and British Fifth Army troops had begun landing on the beaches near Salerno, Italy, shortly after 3:00 A.M. on September 9. They were met by the German Sixteenth Panzer Division (the only fully equipped armored division in southern Italy) and Seventy-sixth Panzer Corps troops were moving north from Calabria toward the beachhead. By September 11, the Allies had not occupied the high ground surrounding the beachhead, and they were expecting the Germans to launch a large-scale counterattack in a day or two. (Blumenson, Salerno to Cassino, pp. 74–79, 93, 96–106.)
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 125.