4-203 To Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers, January 19, 1944

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: January 19, 1944

Subject: World War II

To Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers

January 19, 1944 Radio No. 7598 Washington, D.C.


Devers Eyes only from Marshall.

Your telephone conversation with Handy, your number W-448 and my 7403 in relation to General Eisenhower’s communications have developed a rather confused understanding in the matter of General Officer personnel. Eisenhower’s original idea was that Patton would go to England, Clark after SHINGLE to ANVIL, Lucas to Fifth Army for the time being, and that Truscott would be advanced to Corps Command. In your message number W-448 of yesterday you accept this in contrast to your previous recommendations. I therefore conclude that Clark and Lucas will provide Army Commanders to the extent necessary for your situation.1

You have asked for a Relief Corps Commander. We are prepared to give you the selection of Crittenberg[er], Woodruff, Reinhardt, Walker or Haislip, now Corps Commanders in or en route to England.2

With further reference to Corps Commanders and in view of Truscott’s probable fatigue at the present time, would you consider releasing him for England after SHINGLE? There is a particular desire to get him in England because of his previous experience in the Dieppe affair and in planning for cross-channel operations.3

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-7430, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. On January 17 General Marshall had sent a message to Devers: “In your conversation with [Thomas] Handy, you recommended [Courtney] Hodges, Simpson, or some other as Army Commander for ANVIL. ANVIL should have a battle experienced Commander. The only 2 that can be considered available are Clark and Patton. I am querying Eisenhower for his reaction to the release of Patton for this purpose. Would Patton be acceptable to you? The choice rests between Patton and Clark. [John] Lucas was set to replace Clark.” Marshall suggested Major General Lucian K. Truscott as a possible corps commander. (Marshall to Devers, Radio No. 7403, January 17, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OPD, TS Message File (CM-OUT-6433)].) Devers replied on January 18: “Prefer to make no changes. Clark to command ANVIL, Lucas Army. Recommend Truscott to command corps and remain in this theater.” (Devers to Marshall, Radio No. W-448, January 18, 1944, In Log, p. 152-AA, NA/RG 165 [OPD, Message Log].) Lieutenant General William H. Simpson was commanding general of the Fourth Army. SHINGLE was the code name for the amphibious landing operation at Anzio, Italy.

2. Major General Willis D. Crittenberger, commanding general of the Nineteenth Corps, took its headquarters to England in January 1944. In March he assumed command of the Fourth Corps in the Italian campaign. Major General Roscoe B. Woodruff (U.S.M.A., 1915) had taken the Seventh Corps to England in September 1943. In February 1944 he assumed command of the Nineteenth Corps in England. Woodruff returned to the United States in March and became commanding general of the Eighty-fourth Infantry Division at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. Major General Emil F. Reinhardt (U.S.M.A., 1910) was commanding general of the Eighth Corps in the European Theater of Operations. Major General Walton H. Walker was commanding general of the Fourth Armored Corps, which in October 1943 had been redesignated as the Twentieth Corps. Major General Wade H. Haislip was commanding general of the Fifteenth Corps, which in July 1943 had moved to the Desert Training Center with Haislip the commanding general of the installation. The Fifteenth Corps had sailed for the European theater in December 1943 and would receive additional training in Northern Ireland and England before landing in France in July 1944.

3. “Decisions for future command were made before my arrival, but had not yet been implemented,” replied Devers. “Clark with his excellent staff is doing splendidly with the 5th Army. My recommendations were based upon my belief that a change in command, with inevitable changes in staff while seriously engaged with the enemy, would be unwise.” Devers noted that “Clark desires Truscott as his corps commander for ANVIL. After SHINGLE, Truscott will have an opportunity for rest. He knows the officers and men of the 6th Corps and should, in my opinion, remain here to command it.” (Devers to Marshall, January 23, 1944, In Log, p. 203-AA, NA/RG 165 [OPD, Message Log].)

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. 238-239.

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