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Notes for the Secretary of War’s Press Conference
December 21, 1944 [Washington, D.C.]
(Possible reply of Secretary of War at Press Conference this morning to queries regarding situation on the Western Front)
At this time we have not available here sufficient information to permit a well-founded estimate of the situation on the Western Front. However, it seems clearly apparent that the Germans are making an all-out effort to halt our advance into the Cologne Plain and the Saar Basin. They appear to have accepted the hazard involved in such an effort which, if it fails, will definitely shorten the war.
The willingness to accept this hazard is not difficult to understand. Our Armies are being steadily reinforced along with the great improvement in the movement of supplies to support them. Germany, with the winter upon her, is being subjected to a steadily increasing aerial attack which has assumed vast proportions. But menacing as the situation has been on the Western front the German High Command must be prepared to meet the Russian winter offensive wherever it may strike. Under the circumstances the Nazi regime has not a great deal to lose and might gain a few months extension of time before being called to an accounting for the misery they have inflicted on the world.
I have the utmost confidence in the wisdom, energy, and aggressive fighting attitude of General Eisenhower and his leaders.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed notes.
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. 706.