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To General Dwight D. Eisenhower
July 5, 1943 Radio No. 1759 [Washington, D.C.]
In going over the request of your planners for additional antiaircraft, service troops and so forth, I am wondering whether or not the figures submitted have not been somewhat based on a policy of getting whatever it is possible to obtain rather than being conservative in order to assist us in the over-all problem with which we are now confronted. Also I am in doubt as to whether or not careful thought has been given to the possibilities of using French troops for many of the duties involved. It is much easier now to send equipment, if not available in Africa, than to send troops which necessitate fast convoys, heavy drafts on our escort requirements, etc.
I am not attempting to go into these details. I merely wish to make certain that your people are doing everything they can, within the requirements of your theater, to assist us in meeting the world requirements. The present demands for these troops seriously throws out of gear many of our schedules. During the battle of Tunisia and in preparation for HUSKY we have strained every resource to meet your requirements. We cannot continue to sacrifice all other theaters on such a basis of priority.
This is to you personally to make certain that your people fully recognize the general situation. You may be completely frank with me in expressing your reactions to this message.1
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-1894, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. Major General Walter Bedell Smith, replying for Eisenhower who had left for the HUSKY Advanced Command Post after drawing up an outline of his views, wrote that Eisenhower “appreciates so thoroughly the serious problems that confront the War Department that we would take long chances here rather than have it thought that our estimates of personnel requirements were based on any consideration except that of the minimum estimated needs.” He described the difficulties facing Allied Force Headquarters and noted that French troops could not be used because of the political situation and because of a shortage of transportation. (Smith to Marshall, Radio No. W-4249, July 6, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OPD, Exec. 3, Item 5].) For Marshall’s response, see Marshall to Smith, July 10, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-044 [4: 53-54].
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. 45-46.