UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II
SOLDIERS BECOME GOVERNORS
Harry L. Coles
Albert K. Weinberg
CENTER OF MILITARY HISTORY
UNITED STATES ARMY
WASHINGTON, D. C., 1992
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 62-60068
First Printed 1964-CMH Pub 11-3
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government
Washington, D.C. 20402
UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II
Stetson Conn, General Editor
(As of 25 May 1962)
|Oron J. Hale
University of Virginia
|Lt. Gen. Louis W. Truman
U.S. Continental Army Command
|William R. Emerson
|Maj. Gen. James B. Quill
Industrial College of the Armed Forces
University of Oregon
|Brig. Gen. Harry L. Hillyard
U.S. Army War College
|Brig. Gen. Harry J. Lemley,
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
|Bell I. Wiley
|Col. Vincent J. Esposito
United States Military Academy
|C. Vann Woodward
Office of the Chief of Military History
Brig. Gen. William H. Harris, Chief of Military History
|Chief Historian||Stetson Conn|
|Chief, Histories Division||Col. Louis G. Mendez, Jr.|
|Chief, Editorial and Graphics Division||Lt. Col. James R. Hillard|
|Editor in Chief||Joseph R. Friedman|
... to Those Who Served
In the midst of the large-scale combat operations of World War II, the Army was called on to occupy, to govern, and to help rehabilitate complex, war-torn countries and economies. Few of its task turned out to be as difficult and challenging as these civil affairs missions.
The present history, consisting for the most part of documentary material, deals primarily with civil administration in Italy, France, and northwest Europe. Its purpose is to illustrate certain basic and generic problems of civil affairs their character, the approaches to their solution, and their impact upon the people who had to deal with them.
Because of the ideological aspect of the struggle and because the United States acted as a member of a coalition of Allies, U.S. military leaders sometimes had to add to their traditional roles as soldiers those of the statesman and the politician. They were beset by the problems of resolving conflicting national interests and of reconciling political idealism and military exigency. On another level-in feeding hungry populations, in tackling intricate financial and economic problems, and in protecting the cultural heritage of a rich and ancient civilization-they had to exercise skills that are also normally considered civilian rather than military.
For its insight into how the Army met its civil affairs mission, for its focus on the vital and continuing problem of the relationship between soldier and civilian-in short, for its graphic analysis of soldiers as governors-this volume will be read with profit in a world where the problems of the soldier have become increasingly political.
|Washington, D. C.
25 May 1961
|WILLIAM H. HARRIS
Brig. Gen., U.S.A.
Chief of Military History
Albert K. Weinberg received his Ph. D. from The Johns Hopkins University and has taught there, in addition to being for a time a member of The Institute for Advanced Study. His principal publication is Manifest Destiny: A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History. During World War II he served, successively, as an analyst in the Civil Affairs Section of the Office of Strategic Services, as Chief of the Reports Division in UNRRA, and as senior editor and later Chief of the Civil Affairs Section in the Office of the Chief of Military History.
Harry L. Coles, Professor of History at Ohio State University, received the Ph. D. degree from Vanderbilt. He has been awarded both a Rosenwald Research Fellowship and a Mershon Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He served as an Army Air Forces historian in World War II and was later assigned to the Civil Affairs Division of the War Department. A contributor to the seven-volume Army Air Forces in World War II, he is also the editor of the recently published Total War and Cold War: Problems in Civilian Control of the Military.
The title of this volume may not convey the precise scope of its contents but the authors could think of no other that would be more suggestive without being overponderous. Broadly speaking the volume deals with U.S. Army and Anglo-American planning and operations in the sphere of relations with civilians in certain liberated and conquered countries in World War II. Although far more than mere difference in nomenclature was involved, the Army manuals generally referred to occupational operations in liberated countries as civil affairs and to those in conquered countries as military government.1 In both types of occupation the range and complexity of the problems to be dealt with were as great as in the whole scope of modern government. In liberated countries the Army needs and Allied aims could be satisfied largely through existing governmental regulations and personnel, but in enemy countries drastic changes in laws, institutions, and administrators were necessary. Whether old or new governmental machinery was used, civil affairs doctrine emphasized the desirability of indirect control. In spite of this emphasis, in areas of military government Allied officers, whether from necessity or impatience, sometimes performed various governmental functions and in any case closely supervised them. In the liberated areas their intervention was far less direct, but, under the paramount authority residing in the theater commander by either the laws of warfare or by international agreement, they advised or assisted the indigenous authorities. Thus, in various senses and degrees, soldiers became governors.
The long and crowded history of Allied civil affairs activities, like the history of tactical activities, may be divided into the operations that took place before and those that took place after the military drive into the main enemy areas-Germany and Japan. The scope of this volume encompasses only the pre-Germany-Japan phase of the war, in which the Army prepared and organized for its tasks, conducted its first belligerent occupation (in Italy), and carried on the liberating occupations in France and northwest Europe preliminary to invasion of Germany. It was in this phase, in short, that the Army initiated and gained maturity in its civil affairs responsibilities. The omission of Germany and Japan may well disappoint some readers insofar as the operations in those countries were the largest and most consequential of the war. But the basic aims and methods took form in the earlier operations, and the occupation of Germany and Japan, however distinctive in some respects, cannot be adequately understood except in the light of what went on before. Moreover, when this project was first undertaken the records of military government in Germany and Japan were still located in those countries for the use of
1. In this volume, as also quite commonly in military usage, "civil affairs" has generally been employed for greater brevity to designate military occupation generically.
historical sections engaged in writing first narratives. In any case it would have been impossible to include all civil affairs operations in this volume without doing far less than justice to any one.
The historiography of civil affairs encounters, indeed, in World War II a documentation unique in broad scope and variety. Though the civil affairs problem was not new in World War II, as the wealth of novels and other popular literature about it might suggest, the Army did go beyond its traditional role in an unprecedented degree and manner. In the American experience military occupations had followed the war with Mexico, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, and World War I. World War II differed from these earlier conflicts in that the duration and size of civil affairs operations were much greater, there was a far larger degree of specialization, and soldiers from the very outset found themselves required to handle political problems to an extent never necessary before.
As for size, it has been estimated that Army operations overseas vitally affected the lives of more than 300 million people. At the same time, like all other phases of World War II, civil affairs required more specialization than ever before. In earlier wars a good soldier was generally a jack-of-all-trades. In the Civil War, for example, an artilleryman or the driver of a supply wagon might be temporarily detailed to clearing roads or dispensing relief and would then return to his regular duties. Civil affairs being of limited scope, no special training or indoctrination was considered necessary. In World War II, however, a Civil Affairs Division was created, on a high War Department level, to coordinate all planning as well as training. An extensive recruiting and specialized training program was organized for the first time, and G-5 (civil affairs and military government) staff sections were added at the theater army, corps, and even division levels.
Most important of all, in World War II soldiers became governors in a much broader sense than ever before-so much more than was foreseen that the Army's specialized training proved scant preparation for perhaps the most important phase of their role. They became not merely the administrators of civilian life for the Army's immediate needs but at the same time the executors and at times even, by force of circumstances, the proposers of national and international political policy. This broader role arose from the fact that in World War II the Allies strove to realize from the very beginning of occupation political aims that had usually not been implemented during war or, if during war at all, not until active hostilities had ended. Thus, in enemy countries civil affairs officials were immediately to extirpate totalitarian governmental and economic systems, in liberated countries they were as soon as possible to aid in restoring indigenous systems and authorities, and in both types of countries they were to make an all-out effort to effect gradual transition toward the envisaged postwar national and international order. This unprecedented mission was complicated, moreover, by the fact that occupation was joint rather than zonal as in World War I. Thus British and American military authorities found themselves compelled to take part in reconciling often quite conflicting views on both immediate and long-range goals. Believing that these essentially political tasks called for civilian rather than military aptitudes, the President and his advisers
planned initially to entrust the conduct of civil affairs to civilian rather than military agencies as soon as military conditions permitted. But the plan was not carried out, and as matters developed the Army had on its hands for the duration a twofold task which required the soldier to serve military expediency on the one hand and politico-social directives on the other.
The question of why, despite every initial prospect to the contrary, soldiers rather than civilians became and remained governors is indeed an interesting one. To the extent that they could do so without neglecting equally important though less dramatic problems, the authors have attempted to present and to emphasize the materials that suggest the explanation. There is no simple answer and certainly not, it seems to the authors, one so simple as the hypothesis that the Army wanted and strove to capture as broad a role in civil affairs as possible. Materials in Part I, concerned with the preparatory and organizational stage, suggest that the President's eventual decision to entrust the responsibility in the initial phase to the Army was due to civilian unreadiness rather than to any inveterate Army ambition. Portions of Part II make clear the difficulties of fitting civilian agencies, even in later phases of the Italian operation, into the context of battle and a military framework, and indicate reasons for the resultant decision to leave the military authorities in exclusive administrative control. As Part III reveals, despite this experience, Allied authorities, in planning for the liberated countries of northwest Europe, still proposed to delegate civil affairs as far as possible to indigenous civilian authorities, subject only to the Supreme Commander's right to determine how soon a complete delegation was militarily feasible. In Part IV, dealing with operations, it is disclosed that despite this purpose, and despite also the competence of indigenous authorities, conditions during and immediately following hostilities made it necessary for the Allied armies to render these authorities, in matters of civil affairs, substantial assistance.
The problem of the soldier's role in civil affairs was vigorously debated, particularly during the earlier part of these experiences. Some may feel that history should contribute to a solution, but to these authors it does not seem possible to suggest the answer to so complex a question on the basis of history alone, especially since history is subject to different interpretations. Perhaps, however, candor with the reader requires acknowledgment that any initial bias against entrusting largely political responsibilities to soldiers gradually became modified in the course of the authors' studies and thinking. Certainly this change came about partly from the growing suspicion that the soldier's degree of administrative involvement in CA/MG, as also the degree of connection between administration and political influence, are likely to be determined by forces stronger than any political theory. But it came about much more as evidence
seemed to accumulate that at least Anglo-American soldiers, professional or lately civilians, were-or at any rate gradually became-capable of viewing and handling political problems not too differently from civilians. Another consideration was that not only organizational machinery but the attitudes of military and civilian authorities alike ensured civilian control of basic policy, although the capacity of the military leaders for properly interpreting and applying civilian policy would probably have developed more quickly and fully if their
broad role had not been allowed to devolve upon them so unexpectedly and with so little preparation for its more political phases.
To the foregoing need only be added that, in the final view of the authors, the issue of military versus civilian administration was far less important than the issue of military values versus civilian or-more correctly speaking-political values; that it was the latter issue which was at the root of most of the serious difficulties in civil affairs decisions; and that the issue would have presented the same dilemma and probably been decided in much the same fashion even if the President's initial plan for civilian control had been carried out. The dilemma was foreordained when national war aims and pursuant directives imposed ambivalent civil affairs objectives without indicating (as of course they could not have been expected to do) how the conflicts between military interests and political interests were to be resolved. Every politico-social objective undoubtedly coincided to a considerable extent with long-term military interests, but it also conflicted to a greater or lesser degree with immediate military expediency, in which case the civil affairs authority could only try, without sacrificing either competing interest too greatly, to bring the two into the best possible accommodation. The major difference which civilian control would have entailed is probably that civilians would have leaned over backwards lest their decisions seem to impair unduly military interests, whereas the military were always worried lest their decisions have the aspect of unduly impairing political values.
Since civil affairs problems are for the most part solved with pen rather than sword, the civil affairs effort gave rise to an enormous body of documentation, of which only a relatively small part is marked by the aridly formal style characteristic of military intercommunication. This book differs from others in the same series in that documents rather than text have been given the primary role in the presentation of historical developments. In fact, excerpts are generally used since the publication of complete documents would have too greatly foreshortened the range of presentation otherwise considered desirable. These excerpts have been so selected, arranged, and entitled that, in conjunction with the introductory text and footnotes, they might give the reader an insight into the principal historical developments and their interconnections.
The limitations inherent in the documentary method are obvious and the judgment of the authors that in this case the advantages outweighed the disadvantages was predicated on a consideration not applicable to any other phase of the war or volume of this series. Basically it was the fact that the function of civil affairs is unique among military missions in that in this instance the tale of "Arms and the Man" focuses upon the man. This is to say that almost every other phase of war experience is too technical and too difficult to understand without the military historian's art. Civil affairs operations, even though conditioned by war, concern chiefly generic social problems which involve human nature rather than technological factors. Because decisions of civil affairs are made and judged by the same genus of reasoning and moral evaluation that figures in ordinary individual and politico-social problems, the primary sources-in which the reasons of the authorities for acting as they did are often set forth fully and candidly-acquire. greater importance for public, academic, and military understanding and evaluation than in almost any other phase of
war. This view appears to have been first stated not by a civilian but by a distinguished soldier. In April 1946, when the Allied occupation of Italy was drawing to a close, Gen. William D. Morgan, then Supreme Allied Commander, Mediterranean, cabled the Combined Chiefs of Staff:
It is the considered opinion here, after detailed examination and long discussion, that the records of the Allied Commission should be treated differently from records of a purely military nature. . . . Rather than of strictly military interest they will be of permanent primary interest for historical research in Economic, Social, and Political fields as records of an initial effort in Allied Military Government.
The authors reached the decision, not without some misgiving, that it was justifiable to expose not only the formal directives and orders representing the end results of the decision-making process, but also the work papers illustrating the tentative and naturally often disputatious phases of that process. Their misgiving was materially lessened after they submitted their earliest selections of documents to several U.S. Army participants in the events. These men were of the opinion that not only they themselves but the vast majority of their American and British associates would not mind the publication of documents revealing their difficulties, uncertainties, or human limitations provided such publication tended on the whole to give an accurate impression of civil affairs experience. It is the authors' earnest hope that they have achieved this goal.
The decision to publish a history primarily documentary in approach was made the more fortunate perhaps by the appearance of two books in the "Civil Affairs and Military Government" series in the United Kingdom's History of the Second World War, edited by Sir J. R. M. Butler. These are Allied Military Administration of Italy, 1943-45, by C. R. S. Harris, and Civil Affairs and Military Government North-West Europe, 1944-46, by F. S. V. Donnison. Another textual account would have repeated to some extent the contribution that others have made in quite adequate fashion.
Most of the originals or official copies of the documents contained in this volume are presently located in the Federal Records Center in Alexandria, Virginia, a subordinate element of the National Archives and Records Service of the General Services Administration. Records of the War Department kept in this center and used in this volume include files of the Secretary of War, the Under Secretary of War, the Chief of Staff (cited as WDCSA), the Secretary of the General Staff (SGS), the G-1 Division of the General Staff, the Operations Division of the General Staff (OPD decimal and message files, and also the ABC files kept by the Strategy and Policy Group of OPD), the Civil Affairs Division (CAD), Army Service Forces (ASF) files (including the files of the International [International Aid] Division), files of the Provost Marshal General's Office (PMGO), and the central War Department file, which was maintained very incompletely during World War II by the Adjutant General's Office (TAGO).
The Federal Records Center in Alexandria also contains many papers of a joint and combined nature that have been used and cited. The War Department collections listed above contain the papers of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) that have been used. Other record collections in the center that have been drawn upon extensively for the compilation
of this volume include files of the Combined Civil Affairs Committee (CCAC), and, from the Mediterranean and European theaters, files of Allied Force Headquarters (AFHQ) in microfilm, files of the Allied Control Commission (ACC) and Advisory Council Italy, Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) files, Seventh U.S. Army G-5 Staff Section Reports, and U.S. Forces European Theater (USFET) General Board Studies.
The concentration of World War II records concerning military government and civil affairs in one repository, the Alexandria Federal Records Center, offers students of these matters a unique opportunity for further research. Not all of the file collections and records used by the authors are as yet available to private scholars, but the bulk of them are, including most of the American records. Of course, students of the subject may need to consult some records elsewhere, as the authors have, including reference materials in the Office of the Chief of Military History. The authors were also fortunate in obtaining a number of interviews with participants, as cited in their work.
It should be noted that except in the case of documents with numbered paragraphs, when it is obvious from the numbering that material has been omitted, asterisks are used to indicate the omission of one or more paragraphs.
In preparing this volume the authors have incurred so many obligations that it is impossible to make proper acknowledgment to all who have helped. They wish nevertheless to say that they profited from the first narratives prepared by the Historical Section of the Civil Affairs Division of the War Department, which consisted of Richard M. Welling, Edgar L. Erickson, Edwin J. Hayward, and Henry N. Williams. Harold Epstein was with the project in OCMH in its early stages. Robert W. Komer made available certain papers from the G-5 AFHQ files, and his study, "Civil Affairs in the Mediterranean Theater," made as an Army historian, was of great help. Miss Inez V. Allen, in addition to doing a great deal of checking of footnotes and citations, compiled many of the documents relating to Fine Arts and Archives and other subjects relating to southern France. Col. Alfred C. Bowman, SCAO XIII Corps, Venezia Giulia, read all of the manuscript except that dealing with western Europe. Kent Roberts Greenfield, formerly Chief Historian, Department of the Army, put his extensive knowledge of Italian history and institutions at the disposal of the authors, who are also indebted for his encouragement to undertake the project despite its experimental aspects. Stetson Conn, current Chief Historian, contributed generously of his scholarly and critical abilities during revision of the first draft. David Jaffe, Acting Chief of the Editorial Branch, OCMH, assisted by Mrs. Helen V. Whittington, copy editor, saw the manuscript through its final stages of preparation for the press and exercised great skill and no less patience in an unusually difficult editorial task.
These acknowledgments of assistance are in no way delegation of responsibility for the contents of the volume. The presentation and the interpretation contained herein are the authors' own, and they alone are responsible for faults of commission or omission.
|Washington, D. C.
24 May 1962
|HARRY L. COLES
ALBERT K. WEINBERG
The Army Must Take on an Uncongenial Task
Soldiers Learn Politics in Italy
Soldiers and Statesmen Plan for the Liberated Countries of Western Europe
Soldiers Liberate Peoples and Restore Governments
Last updated 18 February 2004