213 Attlee to Cross

Circular cablegram Z65 LONDON, 5 June 1943, 3.30 a.m.

IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET AND PERSONAL

The following summary of main conclusions approved by the Prime Minister and the President in their discussions with Combined Chiefs of Staff at Washington is for the most secret and personal information of the Prime Minister:-

1. The over-all objective is to bring about at the earliest possible date, in conjunction with Russian and other Allies, the unconditional surrender of Axis powers. This will be achieved by the following over-all strategical concept:-

(a) in co-operation with Russian and other Allies, to bring about at the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of the Axis in Europe;

(b) simultaneously, in co-operation with other Pacific powers, to maintain and extend unremitting pressure against Japan with the purpose of continually reducing her military power and attaining positions from which her ultimate surrender can be forced. The effect of any such extension of overall objective to be given consideration by Combined Chiefs of Staff before action is taken;

(c) upon defeat of Axis in Europe, in co-operation with other Pacific powers, and, if possible, with Russia, to direct the full resources of the United States and Great Britain to bring about at the earliest possible date the unconditional surrender of Japan.

2. Whatever operations are decided on in support of over-all strategical concept, the following established undertakings will be a first charge against our resources subject to review by Combined Chiefs of Staff in keeping with the changing situation:-

(a) maintain the security and war-making capacity of the Western Hemisphere and British Isles;

(b) support the war-making capacity of our forces in all areas;

(c) maintain vital overseas lines of communication, with particular emphasis on defeat of U-boat menace;

(d) intensify the air offensive against Axis powers in Europe;

(e) concentrate maximum resources in a selected area, as early as practicable for the purpose of conducting a decisive invasion of Axis citadel;

(f) undertake such measures as may be necessary and practicable to aid the war effort of Russia;

(g) undertake such measures as may be necessary and practicable in order to aid the war effort of China as an effective ally and as a base for operations against Japan;

(h) to prepare the ground for active or passive participation of Turkey in the war on the side of the Allies;

(i) to prepare the French forces in Africa to fulfil an active role in the war against the Axis powers.

3. The following is a general description of operations agreed on in execution of over-all strategical concept:-

(a) for the defeat of Axis powers in Europe:-

(i) to accomplish, by combined United States and British air offensive, destruction and dislocation of the German military, industrial and economic system and the subsequent undermining of the morale of the German people;

(ii) to establish forces and equipment in the United Kingdom for securing a lodgment on the Continent from which future offensive operations can be carried out. Also to keep ready plans for an emergency crossing of the Channel in the event of a German collapse and for sending forces to Norway in the event of a German evacuation becoming apparent;

(iii) to make available in the Mediterranean substantial forces for such, operations as are best calculated to eliminate Italy from the war and to contain the maximum number of German forces;

(iv) to plan the bombing of Ploesti.

(b) for the defeat of Japan:-

(i) in the Burma-China theatre:-

to concentrate available resources on building up and increasing air route to China and developing air forces in Assam with a view to intensifying air operations against the Japanese in Burma, maintaining increased United States air forces in China and maintaining a flow of airborne supplies to China. To advance after 1943 monsoon from Assam into Northern Burma in step with Chinese advance. To attack certain points on the Burmese coast. To interrupt Japanese sea communications into Burma. To prepare in India for the eventual launching of a substantial oversea operation;

(ii) in the Pacific:-

to undertake operations with the following objects:air operations in and from China. Ejection of Japanese from the Aleutian Islands.

Seizure of the Marshall and Caroline Islands. Seizure of the Solomons, Bismarck Archipelago and Japanese held New Guinea.

Intensification of operations against enemy lines of communication.

Summary ends.

[DEFENCE: SPECIAL COLLECTION II, GLOBAL STRATEGY-DISCUSSIONS BETWEEN ROOSEVELT AND CHURCHILL MAY 1943]