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4-020 To General Dwight D. Eisenhower, June 17,1943

1943
   
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: June 17, 1943

Subject: World War II


To General Dwight D. Eisenhower

June 17,1943 [Radio No. 492.] Washington, D.C.

Secret

For General Eisenhower’s eyes only from General Marshall.

Mr. Hull1 is most seriously disturbed over Murphy’s 1108 and 1109 of June 16th reference the French Committee. He feels that vital ground has been lost and that we may be confronted by a tragic situation in relation to the French Forces in North Africa. The Secretary of War is similarly disturbed but has more confidence in Monnet than is indicated in Murphy’s messages. I have proposed to the President the following and will inform you as soon as possible of his decision:

That General Eisenhower should be directed by the President to exercise his direct influence as Commander in Chief in Africa, over the developments on the French Committee; that he be authorized to inform the Committee, if he sees fit, that in view of its action or proposed actions the United States will reconsider the matter of the armament, equipment, payment, etc., to the French Forces; that the President consult with the Prime Minister with a view to authorizing General Eisenhower to use the necessary pressure to prevent the control of the French Army from falling into the hands of de Gaulle.

The President undoubtedly will feel that he must coordinate his action with that of the Prime Minister and will probably send a message to the Prime Minister on the subject.2 Meanwhile I wish you to know of our attitude here, particularly Mr. Hull’s, who is extremely worried that you are not now in Algiers.3

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed radio message (all-caps).

1. Secretary of State Cordell Hull.

2. Roosevelt told Churchill: “We must divorce ourselves from De Gaulle because, first, he has proven to be unreliable, uncooperative, and disloyal to both our Governments. Second, he has more recently been interested far more in political machinations than he has in the prosecution of the war and these machinations have been carried on without our knowledge and to the detriment of our military interests.” He enclosed a telegram he had sent to Eisenhower in which the president stated that the United States would “not tolerate the control of the French Army by any agency which is not subject to the Allied Supreme Commander’s direction.” Moreover, Eisenhower was to make it “absolutely clear that in North and West Africa we have a military occupation and, therefore, without your full approval no independent civil decision can be made.” (Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence, ed. Warren F. Kimball, 3 vols. [Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1984], 2: 255-57.)

3. Eisenhower had been visiting Mark Clark’s Fifth Army in Morocco. His responses to Marshall’s and Roosevelt’s messages are in Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower, #1057, #1058 (2: 1192-95).

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. 20-21.

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Holding Rights: Public Information
Holding ID: 4-020

Rights: Public Information