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To Winston S. Churchill
April 28, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
My dear Mr. Churchill:
I have been so heavily involved since my return from England in pressing for a general speed-up of planning and preparations in line with “Sledge Hammer” commitments that I have not formally thanked you for the hospitality and distinguished consideration with which you received me in England. I had hoped to ask the First Sea Lord to take this note to you, but was surprised by his early departure.1
I wish you to know that I am deeply appreciative of the rare opportunity you gave me for freedom of discussion with you personally and with your principal officials regarding matters which are now of such momentous importance to our respective countries. These discussions resulted in our laying a firm foundation for a full measure of cooperation without the interminable delays and usual misunderstandings common to such joint enterprises.
The unusual opportunity afforded me at Salisbury Plain, of seeing various elements of the British ground and air forces under your personal guidance, will not soon be forgotten. The Review by the Grenadier Guards will remain an evidence of the high honor with which I was welcomed to England.
Pound told me before he left that he felt his conversations with Admiral King had been most satisfactory. I sincerely trust that this is the case.2
With warm regards and deep appreciation,
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Admiral Sir Dudley Pound traveled to Washington, D.C., with Marshall and Hopkins, following the London Conference, for discussions with Admiral King. He returned to the United Kingdom on April 21. (Butler, Grand Strategy, 3 [pt.2]: 503.)
2. Pound learned that the United States could not mount sufficient naval operations in the Pacific to relieve Japanese pressure in the Indian Ocean. But King offered to place the U.S.S. North Carolina and other ships under British command if the German battleship Tirpitz broke out into the Atlantic. This allowed Pound more flexibility with the disposition of his capital ships. (Ibid.) On earlier debates over the disposition of naval forces in the Indian Ocean, see Marshall to McNarney, April 17, 1942, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-159 [3: 163-64].
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 175-176.