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To Lieutenant General John L. De Witt
August 7, 1943 Radio No. 3946 [Washington, D.C.]
From Marshall for De Witt’s eyes only this message booked to WDC [Western Defense Command] and ADC [Alaskan Defense Command].
In discussions regarding delay of Cottage Target date to 24th which Nimitz and King are opposed to, please have in mind the apparently changed situation on Kiska and the urgent necessity of completing this at the earliest possible date. I do not think it is the time to be ultra-conservative.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-2374, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. At this time the United States and Canada had assembled thirty-four thousand troops and a naval flotilla for the invasion of Kiska Island in the Aleutians (Operation COTTAGE). De Witt and Nimitz had designated August 15 as D-day, but on July 30 the force commanders decided that the operation should be postponed until August 24 to permit further regrouping and training. The assault was launched on August 15, but the Japanese defenders, estimated at nine to ten thousand, had departed at least two weeks previously. (Stetson Conn, Rose C. Engelman, and Byron Fairchild, Guarding the United States and Its Outposts, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1964], pp. 296-98.)
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. 83.