Chapter IV: 
Strategy and Supply: Early Phases
The most important strategic decision of World War II was that which made Germany and the Axis in Europe, rather than Japan in the Pacific, the number one enemy. This decision was tentatively made prior to Pearl Harbor and it is evident that supply considerations were less important than other factors in the determination.1
The attack on Pearl Harbor and the repeated setbacks of the Allied powers in the Pacific severely jolted this tentative agreement between the United States and Great Britain. In addition to the problem of how to get at Germany, the United States now had to reckon with the difficulty of containing the Japanese. When the Army Service Forces came into existence in March 1942, the War Department was already at work on studies of strategy, utilizing the United Kingdom as a major base. President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill soon endorsed this idea as a basis of combined planning.
As the war progressed, the wisdom of the decision, from a logistic point of view, was shown again and again. General Eisenhower, as head of the War Plans Division, reported to General Marshall that "logistic reasons . . . substantiate the soundness of the decision to concentrate against the European Axis." 2 Great Britain proved an ideal overseas base for the preparation of future military operations. True, it was separated at the narrowest point by a mere twenty miles of water from land dominated by the Germans. The ports and great cities of England were ever subject to the menace of air attack. On the other hand, the supremacy of the Royal Air Force over the Germans in the skies above Britain itself had already been demonstrated. The American Army, in building up its own military forces to participate in an offensive against the Axis, could look forward with some assurance to the use of the British ports, the British rail network, and the many other facilities of

a highly industrialized nation. Then too, since the British Isles would have to be made secure in any case, the troops assembled there would serve a double purpose: they would be a defense force for the United Kingdom as well as an eventual offensive army for a cross-Channel invasion.
The fact that the trip across the Atlantic was so much shorter than that across the Pacific, and the fact that most of our port and rail facilities were located on the east coast added even more to the desirability of making Great Britain the major overseas base for our military operations. It took only half as long in 1942 for a ship to carry a load of supplies from the Atlantic seaboard to a British port and return to the United States as it did to carry supplies from the Pacific coast to New Guinea or Australia. Furthermore, not only were our most highly developed ports on the Atlantic coast, but our industrial resources were concentrated in the northeastern part of the United States; and our own rail network was oriented to the movement of goods within this area. The bottlenecks on the transcontinental railways and the congestion of Pacific ports, particularly in the first half of 1945 when supply attention began to concentrate upon the Pacific, helped demonstrate the soundness of the original military plans.
As already noted, by March 1942 the strategy of continental invasion from the British Isles was already taking shape. As approved in mid-April by the two governments, this strategy envisaged both the assembly of ground forces for an eventual cross-Channel operation and the launching of an aerial offensive from United Kingdom bases sometime in 1942. By contrast, the Pacific area, except for the Southwest Pacific, was a Navy "show," and the Navy, rather than the Army, ultimately assumed the basic responsibility.3
The Army Service Forces was a zone of interior command. Its commander had no direct authority overseas. Yet the basic aim of the ASF was the support of overseas operations. The final test of the supply system was the theater of operations; the measure of ASF success was the effectiveness of its supplies and services in helping combat troops win battles. The need for close ties between the zone of interior and the overseas theaters therefore was obvious. One of the means adopted to strengthen these ties was by sending key people on his staff to overseas areas, and on occasion General Somervell himself became a globetrotting troubleshooter.
As commanding general of a large and complex organization, Somervell necessarily personified the supply activities of the Army. He had to represent the command as a whole to the Chief of Staff and to officials outside the War Department. He was the spokesman for his associates in stating what was logistically feasible and what was not. Within his command, General Somervell had to give his personal attention to the major difficulties which arose. In both capacities, as representative of the Army Service Forces in its external relationships and as a final arbiter of matters within the organization, he naturally depended on numerous associates for assistance and advice. To focus attention upon the commanding general's personal participation in the activities of overseas

supply, therefore, serves the useful purpose of simplifying a consideration of the more important problems which confronted the ASE
Support of BOLERO (the build-up of troops and supplies in Great Britain for the cross-Channel operation) early became the most important single supply job of the ASF. To look into preparations for this operation, Somervell, accompanied by Lutes, his chief planner, made his first overseas inspection trip. He was primarily interested in the extent to which British port, rail, and storage facilities could be made available for the build-up of American military strength. He also wanted firsthand information on the numerous organizational problems involved in setting up a new supply command in the United Kingdom and getting it under way.
Somervell and Lutes returned to the United States with a greater awareness of the tremendous job facing the supply command in England, and with the strengthened conviction that not enough supply troops were being made available to Maj. Gen. John C. H. Lee, an Engineer officer who soon was to head the Services of Supply in the United Kingdom. Somervell had first protested the inadequate number of supply troops in the Army troop plans while still G-4. At the time, no service troops had been included above the level of a field army. On the basis of his staff estimates, Somervell urged the addition of 625,000 service troops in General Staff plans. Since the size of the Army for 1942 had already been fixed by the President, General Marshall was reluctant to press for such a large increase. Here the matter rested until June 1942. Then Somervell and Lutes, impelled by their observations in England, pressed their case with renewed conviction. The War Department General Staff authorized about one third of the ASF recommendation. The necessary training program was started at once, but the time was too short to provide the fully trained troops needed to mount and support the North African invasion of November.4
The problem of supply troops for overseas military operations remained a perplexing issue throughout World War II. The Army Ground Forces, naturally enough, pressed constantly for more combat troops and pointedly criticized the large number of men needed for rear area duties. The General Staff was inclined to agree with the Ground Forces. Yet if Army commanders and their troops were to have all the supplies they needed, someone had to discharge, sort, transport, and issue what they demanded. General Somervell was convinced that overseas commanders seldom had enough service troop units to do an efficient supply and distribution job. Events were to substantiate this conviction on numerous occasions.5
In the spring of 1942, Somervell also hack to begin worrying about the transportation capabilities of the United States. With the assistance of Maj. Gen. Charles P. Gross, his chief transportation adviser, Somervell went to work on the problem. Its solution involved many agencies. New ship construction was the province of the U.S. Maritime Commission; utilization of American ship resources was the responsibility of the War Shipping Administration; use of British vessels involved lengthy negotiation with British officials in Wash-

ington and London; the protection of convoys was the concern of both the Navy and the Air Forces. With responsibility thus divided and out of his hands, Somervell could only argue vehemently for action and more action. This he seldom failed to do at any and every opportunity. Frequently, shipping problems ended up with a White House conference where Mr. Harry Hopkins helped to adjust the basic differences.6
In late summer of 1942, Somervell sent General Lutes to the South and Southwest Pacific Areas with two purposes in mind. The first was to investigate a shipping jam which had developed in the harbor of Noumea, New Caledonia. This base was then supporting American operations on Guadalcanal and a build-up on Espiritu Santo. The second purpose was to inform General MacArthur in Australia of the secondary supply priority given his theater and to encourage him to undertake long-range planning of his supply needs. To MacArthur's fears of a Japanese invasion of the Australian east coast, Lutes responded that he was certain the Japanese had overextended their supply facilities and were incapable of mounting an invasion. Although alarmed by what he felt was an undue lack of concern with his military position in the Southwest Pacific, MacArthur had no alternative but to plan to make the best possible use of whatever supply resources the ASF would be able to provide.
Somervell also had Lutes tackle another problem-that of closer co-operation between the services in matters of-supply. Lutes succeeded in getting a joint Army-Navy Logistical Staff started under Admiral William E. Halsey. Also, Admiral Chester Nimitz, after discussing the desirability of such a staff with Lutes, requested Navy Department approval of a joint Army-Navy staff, with an Army officer in charge of logistics. The necessary authority was delayed nearly eight months.7
North Africa
The planned orderly build-up of a military base in the British Isles for an assault on the Continent was interrupted by several developments. Submarines took a large toll of ships and supplies; the over-all lend-lease program involving the supply of Russia, China, and other Allies, consumed a large part of American production; and the support of American outposts became a serious matter. For example, as a result of the Japanese occupation of the western tip of the Aleutian Islands, defense of Alaska became urgent, and Somervell in August 1942 made a hasty trip to observe progress of the Alaska Highway and to discuss the supply aspects of Alaska's defense. But by far the greatest diversion from the cross-Channel build-up came as a result of the invasion of North Africa (Operation TORCH.
The outline of the plan was drawn up at the end of July but the final pattern of a two-coast three-pronged invasion with one Atlantic and two Mediterranean task forces was not fixed until September.8 The involved nature of the plan, and the shortness of time for preparation placed a severe strain upon the Army Service Forces.9

Providing equipment for both the Western Task Force and the Mediterranean Task Forces was increasingly troublesome. An added burden in the already complicated supply preparations for North Africa at this time resulted from the fact that the American forces in England were unable to provide for their requirements from quantities already delivered or being delivered to the European Theater of Operations. Most of what was needed was unquestionably on hand, but so scattered among various newly set-up depots that its actual location was unknown. There were not enough service troops on hand to go through all the equipment, find the necessary items, and deliver them to combat troops within the available time period.
On 8 September 1942 the ASF was given a long list of essential equipment required by the assault forces sailing for North Africa from the United Kingdom.10 A total of 131,000 ship tons of cargo was delivered at United Kingdom ports between 16 and 25 October to be placed on the assault convoys. Another eight fully loaded cargo ships were sent from the United States to join the convoys as they left England for the Mediterranean.11 All this meant extra shifts in American plants, express railway shipments on American railways, and special handling in ports thus adding to the cost, and waste, of war.
Further complications arose when the Navy indicated that it could not provide escorts for all the convoys which were intended to move the initial assault forces. On 27 September 1942, the ASF informed the commanding general of the ETO that he would have to make a choice: reduce the size of the Western Task Force from 167,000 men to 100,000 men and provide the full equipment and reserve supplies for the entire force, or land the original number of men with only about 50 percent of their equipment. The second alternative was selected; the chief consequence was a substantial cut in the number of trucks moved with the landing troops.12
Still another problem of the operation was the responsibility placed upon the ASF to supply, load, and move the so-called Western Task Force the assault force which was to land at Casablanca and other sites on the Atlantic coast of North Africa: Hampton Roads was selected as the embarkation port loading point. The combat troops had to be equipped almost completely since such training items as they had were largely worn out. This was the Army's first experience in large-scale "combat loading" the loading of men and supplies so that both could be discharged in the order in which they would be needed once the assault began. Maj. Gen. George S. Patton's staff had to be initiated in the mysteries of code marking for out loading, and the delay in completing assault plans prevented a full-scale rehearsal of loading and disembarking. And at the same time the loading of men and supplies had to be done in the greatest secrecy. But it was done, and the troops made their landings on 8 November.13
During the preparations for loading the Western Task Force, General Somervell invited General Patton to observe a dem-

onstration of the latest ordnance equipment, including the new "bazooka." Patton was so much impressed by the defensive possibilities of the weapon in the hands of infantry troops that he immediately asked for a large number to be provided his task force.
In fact, General Patton was pleased with the whole North African supply effort. "The Services of Supply," he wrote to Somervell, "performed magnificently . . . . Without your help this operation could never have started, nor could it have operated successfully upon its arrival here." 14
Operations in Europe, 1943
The first overseas conference of the Combined Chiefs of Staff with the President and Prime Minister was held at Casablanca in January 1943. The President insisted on a small American delegation. It included General Marshall; General Arnold of the AAF, a member of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS); three officers from the Operations Division (OPD) of the War Department General Staff; and General Somervell as supply adviser. Though Somervell lacked a staff to assist him with the logistical problems which occupied an important place on the conference agenda, he fortunately was able to press into service two of his former supply officers then serving on General Eisenhower's staff.
At the conference the Combined Chiefs of Staff again decided to defer a cross-Channel attack. The American representatives reluctantly yielded to the British and substituted for a genuine "second front" the invasion of Sicily, to take place at the conclusion of the pending Tunisian campaign. The preparations for the operation, as well as for the Battle of Tunisia, were left in the hand of the theater commander.15
The most important logistical problem at Casablanca was that of shipping losses due to German submarine and air action. The ability to support the North African theater and to continue the preparation for an invasion of the European Continent now depended more than ever upon the success of antisubmarine measures. Even though new vessels were being constructed with unprecedented speed, continued loss at the existing rate would cripple the entire overseas effort. Here was a problem over which supply officers had no control. General Somervell could only point to the seriousness of the situation and urge renewed efforts by both the Navy and the Air Forces to reduce, if not eliminate, the submarine menace. Somervell found his chief support on antisubmarine measures among the British.
Another important problem was that of equipping French units for participation in future African and European operations. General Somervell was asked how much materiel could be made available to the French, and a program for equipping eleven French divisions was agreed upon as a general objective. Because of the shipping shortage and political and manpower uncertainties, this project was given a low priority. 16
At Casablanca the Combined Chiefs of

Staff also began to consider which of several possible Allied operations in the Mediterranean area should follow the occupation of Sicily. An operation in Greece could have been supported as long as the objectives were strictly limited. Army Service Forces planners pointed out, however, that only in southern France would the port capacities and the inland lines of communication permit the buildup of a large force for a decisive campaign against the Germans. At the same time they warned that as long as the eventual major cross-Channel operation for which BOLERO was preparing remained the primary operation against Germany, any other campaign must necessarily interfere with its accomplishment. With supply factors in mind Somervell recommended that all available resources after the occupation of Sicily be devoted to preparation for the cross-Channel invasion, with southern France as the only subsidiary operation. Against the advisability of an Italian campaign, the ASF presented the argument that Italy could not be self-supporting in supplies at any time under an Allied occupation. Large-scale shipments of coal, food, clothing, and medical supplies would be required for the civilian population. 17
All of these arguments illustrated the bearing, of logistical factors upon the determination of strategic objectives. Somervell did not propose that supply considerations alone should govern wartime strategy; he did ask that the strategic planners give full and realistic consideration to the logistical . factors in deciding on possible campaigns. It was not easy to reconcile political objectives with the military objective of engaging the enemy on terrain where his forces could be successfully overcome with the least cost. Somervell constantly pressed for military objectives where supply superiority could be effectively realized.
Despite such counsel, the Combined Chiefs of Staff, with the approval of the President and Prime Minister, decided that an invasion of Italy should follow quickly upon the conclusion of the Sicilian operation."18
The Post-Casablanca Trip
Immediately after the Casablanca Conference, General Somervell inspected various ports and installations in North Africa and the Near East. While thus engaged, he learned a dramatic lesson on the importance of personal contact in determining the most urgent overseas supply requirements. In Algiers on 25 January, he reported to General Eisenhower at his headquarters at the Hotel St. George.19 At a meeting that afternoon, with Generals Marshall and Eisenhower attending, Somervell was informed that the greatest single supply obstacle in the forthcoming Tunisian campaign was the absence of adequate transportation in North Africa. There was an urgent need for both truck and rail equipment. The shortage had in part arisen from the fact that General Eisenhower's forces had not yet received all the trucks left behind in November. In addition, the Algerian railways were in a poor state of repair and were inefficiently operated. Although knowledge of this, situation had been conveyed to them in general

terms, few people in the War Department had realized its seriousness.20
General Somervell at once began to see what could be done to improve the situation. It developed that if some 5,000 additional 21/2-ton trucks, 100 locomotive engines, and other rolling stock for the railways could be immediately provided, preparations for the Tunisian campaign would be greatly accelerated. Somervell assured General Eisenhower that these items could be shipped from the United States if the Navy would provide the necessary protection for the cargo ships. At Somervell's suggestion, Eisenhower asked Admiral Ernest J. King, who had not yet departed from North Africa, for Navy protection. Admiral King promised the necessary convoy assistance, whereupon General Somervell sent a direct radio message on 26 January to his own chief of staff in Washington to arrange for immediate shipment of trucks and railway equipment. Within two and a half weeks, a special convoy of 21 ships carrying over 200,000 measurement tons of material was on its way to North Africa. The difficulties involved in making such emergency shipments prompted General Styer to conclude his response to Somervell's message with the words: "We will not let you down. However, if you want the Pentagon Building shipped, please allow more time:" 21
From Algiers, General Somervell went to Cairo.22 After the great British victory at El Alamein the preceding October, this area was no longer close to the fighting front. The American supply operation here, undertaken in the summer of 1942 to assist the British, was now largely completed. Aside from the need of continued support of the Air Forces still located in Egypt, the problem now rather was one of cleaning out American supplies and service troops.
General Somervell went on to visit the Persian Gulf Service Command, which had begun large-scale unloading of supplies for the Russians in December 1942. In that desolate area of seasonal torrential rains, high humidifies, and summer temperatures which reached 125 degrees in the shade, there was still much to do to prevent the supply lines to the Soviet from choking up. Any one of more than a dozen factors could (and some temporarily did) cause supplies to back up at various stations all the way from Soviet receiving points to the original ports of shipment in North America. A partial list of potential bottlenecks included inadequacy in any of the following: ship's gear, dockside equipment such as cranes and fork lifts, berthing space, labor supply, sorting sheds, dock storage space, trucks, barges, lighters, railroad track and equipment, and highway facilities. General Somervell inspected many key points in the area and spoke to a number of people in an effort to learn at firsthand as much as possible about this complicated situation.23
General Somervell found even more difficult problems in the China-Burma-India theater. Upon arriving at Karachi, he received an urgent message to go at

once to Delhi to join General' Arnold and Field Marshal Sir John Dill, both of whom bore messages for Field Marshal Sir Archibald P. Wavell and Chiang Kai-shek about the decisions of the Casablanca Conference. Arnold and Dill had flown to Chungking to get the Generalissimo's consent for an operation in Burma during the 1943-44 dry season. Somervell was told that increased operations by the Air Forces, accelerated road building, and the provisioning of the Chinese troops who would participate in the campaign to open a land route to China-all depended on an enlarged movement of supplies from Calcutta to Assam. Somervell began to investigate the transportation situation. at once. He learned that while port facilities at Calcutta were adequate, the Bengal-Assam railway could not support the projected needs. He decided that with efficient management, the Assam line of communications could carry a far greater tonnage than it was then doing. Later, on his return to the United States, Somervell urged, among other specific improvements, U.S. Army operation of the heavily-congested meter-gauge portion of the Bengal-Assam railway, the inauguration of an American barge line on the Brahmaputra River, and the construction of pipelines from Calcutta to Assam.24
While in India, General Somervell also visited Assam and rode with Field Marshal Wavell to inspect the construction of the Ledo Road in northeast Assam. He then traveled south to Imphal on the Indo-Burmese border and witnessed the launching of a unique type of warfare. The initial success of this experiment in operating behind the Japanese lines on air supply, under the leadership of the man who conceived it, Maj. Gen. O. Charles Wingate of the British Army, helped assure Somervell that the Ledo Road could be completed and protected from the Japanese and that land communication could be reopened with China.25
Back in the United States, after a trip of 32,000 miles, he called together his principal staff officers to give them instructions based on the information he had acquired abroad. Two lengthy memoranda, dictated on 22 February 1943, reveal the problems which loomed large in the mind of the ASF at this time. One memorandum was directed to General Lutes, the supply planner of the ASF, and the other to Maj. Gen. Lucius D. Clay, the staff head for all procurement operations.
In his memorandum to General Lutes, Somervell made a number of observations and recommendations on several matters. He expressed the opinion that the Persian Gulf Service Command should be separated from the Middle East Command, and that the latter's mission should be redefined in the light of changed circumstances. Since there was some possibility that if Turkey entered the war in 1943, Allied forces would be moved into the northeast to support that government, . General Somervell wished to obtain information from the Operations Division of the WDGS about intentions in the Near East. He suggested that American service troops should be used to support American combat units and should not be given a

general assignment of helping the British Middle East Command. He asked for a study and recommendation on this subject. Somervell also mentioned that it might be possible to use the Levant ports for forwarding supplies to Russia and he asked that the ASF planners explore this possibility. He called attention to the fact that the supply officer of the Middle East Command was forming an engineer regiment from contractors' personnel in the area and from such American citizens as he could find in Palestine. This would mean necessary replacements and supplies from time to time.
As a result of his observations in Algiers, General Somervell expressed the belief that it was "essential that we have a foolproof method of keeping in touch with developments in North Africa and those connected with HUSKY." The ammunition situation for HUSKY, the Sicilian invasion, was of particular concern: "As long as we insist on reports from Eisenhower rather than his bases," Somervell wrote, "we should be able to meet requirements." He had discussed the possibility of a "proper G-4" report with General Eisenhower and asked what had or should be done on this score. He added that reports alone would not do the job and proposed that there should be one visit a month by ASF personnel to the North African theater. Somervell then took up the complaints made to him about the arrival of troops without individual and organizational equipment. He asked that General Lutes and the Chief of Transportation, General Gross, iron this out.
Somervell's next concern, as expressed in the memorandum, was to make certain that equipment required for HUSKY should be sent to North Africa as far in advance of the actual movement of troops as possible. He asked General Lutes to obtain troop requirements for the operation at once from the OPD of the WDGS, to calculate the equipment required in tonnages, and to arrange a schedule of movement with the Chief of Transportation. He did not want it to be said later that a supply breakdown had interfered with the operation. Somervell also directed that the automatic supply system for North Africa be checked and that any imbalances in particular items be rectified.
General Somervell listed three needs of the Persian Gulf Service Command: food rations for native laborers; accountants to record the receipt of goods consigned to the Russians; and Military Police (MP) battalions for traffic control and reduction of pilferage. Not only native laborers, but some of the soldiers of the American port battalions as well, were stealing supplies. While the British reluctantly accepted pilferage up to 5 percent of total supplies landed and forwarded, Somervell pointed out that such a rate meant the loss of one ship out of every twenty. "This is higher than our losses from the German submarines and cannot be tolerated." It seemed ridiculous to ship goods. at great sacrifice 15,000 miles and then have them stolen. Somervell asked Lutes to arrange to ship additional MP personnel to the Persian Gulf. While some increase in strength was forthcoming, the Persian Gulf Service Command was never satisfied with its MP allotment, and pilferage remained to the end an unsolved problem.
Among other items in his memorandum to General Lutes, Somervell mentioned special rations for flight crews and urged that the experimental work in-this field be expedited. There was particular need for smaller cans of fruit juices in hot climates. He also noted that the Air Forces needed

additional landing mats in India and asked that these be supplied.26
In his memorandum to General Clay, Somervell made a number of observations about lend-lease. He insisted that there must be "no confusion" about the handling of supplies for the French troops in North Africa. The shipments should be made promptly and be clearly indicated for French use. Pointing out that he had been told in North Africa that the question of importing coal was still unsettled, he instructed General Clay to make sure that it was clearly understood that all coal would be provided by the British. Supplies for the Russians should be consigned directly to the commanding general of the Persian Gulf Service Command, rather than to the British, in order to prevent any delay in delivering supplies to the Russians. Lend-lease supplies consigned to the British for distribution to a third party might be diverted to the British Army, although -the British had promised to inform the United States of any diversions. Somervell also pointed out that he had seen large numbers of trucks still standing on the docks at Calcutta. This led him to order that no supplies should be shipped overseas that were not immediately needed.
Somervell observed that Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Wheeler, handling supply operations for General Joseph W. Stilwell in China-Burma-India, did not have a general purchasing agent and directed that the officer who had just installed the purchasing system in Australia should now be sent to India. The purchasing system in North Africa should also be checked. Somervell recommended that the officer assigned to handle the shipment of Russian lend-lease supplies should keep well informed about available routes, shipping schedules, stocks of supplies in the United States, and all other aspects of the operation. He also noted that American lend-lease representatives abroad seemed to be less well informed than the British about shipments of lend-lease supplies and requested that this situation be rectified.27
The TRIDENT Conference
In May 1943 the TRIDENT Conference of the Combined Chiefs of Staff was held in Washington. The decision with regard to the cross-Channel invasion was reaffirmed with a target date of spring 1944, and the command in the Mediterranean was directed to keep seven divisions available for transfer to the British Isles. In addition, the cargo shipping requirements for the build-up were discussed and tentative schedules drawn up. For General Somervell, however, the most important problem of the conference was future military operations in China, Burma, and India. The Army Air Forces, at the urging of Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault, desired to step up air operations in China against Japanese forces. But any such effort meant more supplies from Calcutta to Assam and over the Hump. At the same time, Somervell, in accord with General Stilwell, was convinced that expanded air operations, with or without corresponding ground operations, would be possible only if land communication with China was restored. He believed that construction of the Ledo Road should be pushed more vigorously,

which meant that it would be necessary to clean the Japanese out of this part of Burma. The chief of the Imperial General Staff of the British Government insisted that no campaigns could be fought during the monsoon periods. Relying on his observations, Somervell expressed doubt about this opinion. The discussion was inconclusive. However, later experience was to demonstrate that the monsoon was no insuperable hindrance to determined military operations.28
In the meantime the ASF was giving current attention to the supply support of the forthcoming invasions of Sicily and Italy. After the Battle of Tunisia, the North African theater found itself unable to equip all the troops to be used in the Sicilian invasion. As a result, one of the major units, the 45th Infantry Division, reinforced, was combat-loaded in the United States and transported directly, with a short stop along the Algerian coast, to the point of attack on Sicily. In addition, the ASF had to- provide all replacement equipment and expendable supplies for HUSKY directly from the United States. Even before the operation began, the ASF started to ship the supplies which it calculated would be needed to support the troops in Sicily. The spectacular progress of this invasion without major loss of equipment left large excess stocks of materiel on hand, both in North Africa and Sicily. The ASF exerted unremitting pressure in the months following to have these residual supplies sorted out, repaired where needed, and reissued for later military campaigns in the Mediterranean.29
As the time for the invasion of Italy grew nearer, the Army Service Forces was once again called upon to ship supplies directly to the Salerno beachhead and later to Naples for the support of military operations. It was easier to find the supplies in the United States and ship them directly to Italy than it was to find the same supplies in Sicily or North Africa and move them across the Mediterranean.
Both manpower and supply limitations prevented the concentration of a decisive force on the Italian peninsula, even had the terrain permitted military operations on a large scale. In the meantime, heavy shipments continued to be necessary in preparation for the cross-Channel operation which had not been abandoned. There were still minimum supply needs to be met in the Pacific. By the spring of 1944, some troops had to be removed from the Mediterranean theater in preparation for the cross-Channel operation.
The Build up for OVERLORD
BOLERO had envisaged the massing of over a million troops in Great Britain by the spring of 1943. ASF logistical planners from the outset were doubtful whether so large a force, with all its necessary supplies, could be transported and discharged in such a short period of time. British ports did not have sufficient reserve capacity to handle a sudden influx of large proportion, and the British manpower situation was too tight to permit any large diversion of labor to construct depots and camps in a two or three months period. Moreover, there was some British and American shipping capacity which would be underutilized during the summer and autumn of 1942 if BOLERO were concentrated in the early months of 1943.

Accordingly, ASF planners suggested that at least the supply build-up should proceed steadily throughout 1942, thus avoiding the prospect of so large a shipping peak in 1943. The major drawback to this plan was the inadequate number and poor training of American service troops in Britain who were to care for supplies shipped well in advance of their actual need.30 The ASF pressed its plan nonetheless, although it was behind schedule by August 1942 when the North African campaign intervened. But it was not long before the build-up for the cross-Channel operation had to be suspended temporarily while supply attention was focused on the new theater.
In the spring of 1943 the BOLERO program was revived, looking to a European invasion in 1944. The ASF suggested once more that the port capacity of the United Kingdom might be utilized more efficiently by the shipment of military material in advance of troops. The situation in brief was this: the combat troops to be provided by the United States for the cross-Channel invasion; because of their training schedules, could not be moved from the United States until late in 1943 and early in 1944. Up to this time it had been customary to move troop units and their equipment at approximately the same time from the United States to an overseas base. If this practice were continued throughout 1943 and early 1944, the port capacity of the United Kingdom would not be fully utilized during most of the summer and autumn of 1943; after that time the pressure of discharging men and supplies in the United Kingdom would create unmanageable congestion. Accordingly, the ASF wanted to begin to ship supplies to England in advance of troops. The commanding general of American forces in England at this time, Lt. Gen. Frank W. Andrews, seconded this recommendation, observing that under existing arrangements, equipment was arriving as much as 80 to 100 days after the troops for whom intended.
The War Department General Staff gave approval in principle to the "pre-shipment" recommendations of the ASF in March 1943. Detailed plans and procedures were drawn up in May. Of the total supplies shipped to the United Kingdom between January 1943 and September 1944, about 26 percent represented material thus shipped in advance of troops. In the month of November 1943 alone, 54 percent of the cargo unloaded in the United Kingdom was equipment for troops scheduled for later arrival.31
The Early Campaigns in the Pacific
The Japanese march southward in the Pacific was not halted until the summer of 1942 when, after the naval victories of the Coral Sea and Midway, Allied forces were able to undertake limited offensives against the Japanese in the lower Solomon Islands and New Guinea. These critical and bitterly contested campaigns came to a successful conclusion in the early months of 1943 when the Japanese advance was stopped. Thereafter, one by one, different operations in the Central Pacific, the South Pacific, and the Southwest Pacific began to drive the Japanese steadily back toward their home lands.32

The supply problems of tie Pacific were tremendous. The whole area was dependent on shipping not only for delivery of supplies from the United States but also for their distribution within the three Pacific theaters. Since there was an acute shortage of shipping, with first priority given to operations in North Africa and Europe, a relatively small amount of cargo lift was available to the Pacific. Even these ships could not be used effectively in the South and Southwest Pacific because of the almost complete absence of adequate base and ports facilities, and because the average turnaround time that had to be allowed for shipments to these two theaters was half again as long as that for European cargo movements. The lack of storage facilities at terminal points in the Pacific contributed to serious port congestion at a number of key bases.33
During the summer of 1942 the ASF began long-range planning for the support of the Pacific campaigns. Equipment for amphibious warfare and operations in difficult jungle terrain had to be produced and delivered in great quantities. Special methods of packaging had to be devised to protect supplies from the effects of the tropical climate. Warehousing, harbor, and other equipment for the establishment of bases at key forward points, had to be assembled and shipped. The need for an extensive communications network covering thousands of miles had to be met. Above all, logistical plans had to be carefully co-ordinated with the Navy and a program of joint supply to the Pacific theaters developed.34
The build-up of supplies in the Pacific continued slowly, while preparations were being made for a new kind of strategy. The occupation of key points, the construction of airfields for defense and eventual assault, the build-up of port facilities for later operations to seize other key points, domination of the seas, and steady advance toward the Philippines and to Japan itself, where the enemy might be decisively engaged-these became the key elements of Pacific strategy. Supply support was crucial to these efforts. In the last half of 1943, the offensive in the Pacific began to get under way. The ASF worked continually with the Navy in the preparation of arrangements for logistical support.
The QUADRANT Conference
In August 1943 the Combined Chiefs of Staff met once more, this time in Quebec. The most important single supply issue discussed was the division of shipping resources between the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. The British were eager to obtain more tanks in North Africa for use in the forthcoming invasion of Italy. Since United States Army and Navy officials usually agreed among themselves before such a conference on the allocation of shipping for the two theaters, there was little disposition to accede to British requests.
At the conference General Somervell

pushed his recommendation for American operation of the Bengal Assam railway. At the same time, the two governments decided to enlarge the airlift of supplies across the Hump as well as to hasten the construction of the Ledo Road. Somervell had sent General Styer to the area in July 1943, and Styer's report on Ledo Road progress strengthened Somervell's disposition to push construction of the overland route to China .35
Along with Gen. Sir Thomas Riddell-Webster, his counterpart in the British War Office, Somervell submitted to the QUADRANT Conference a joint memorandum on supply routes in northeast India. This paper emphasized the urgent need for opening an overland route to China at the earliest possible date. The Assam line of communications as then set up was expected to haul no more than 102,000 tons a month, including petroleum products by 1 November 1943. This quantity would be sufficient only to provide minimum maintenance of essential ground and air forces in the area and about 10,000 tons a month for delivery to China. An additional 118; 000 tons a month could be realized when . the overland route was opened. Accordingly, the memorandum recommended that the Combined Chiefs of Staff approve in principle the use of a ground supply route to China from Assam through Burma and that a directive be issued with the target dates as set forth in the memorandum for increasing the capacity of the Assam line of communications. The memorandum said further that the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff had agreed to provide the special personnel, equipment, and supplies to construct and operate the road from Ledo to Kunming, and also, to make available the personnel to achieve the increased tonnage for the Assam line of communications. 36
The Combined Chiefs of Staff referred the question of rehabilitation of occupied and liberated territories to an ad hoc committee made up of General Riddell-Webster, General Somervell, and Rear Adm. O. C. Badger. The committee's problem was to determine the basic policy with regard to such territories, and to agree on a division of responsibility between the United Kingdom and the United States in providing supplies for initial phases of relief and rehabilitation of reoccupied countries. The committee's report recognized that minimum economic relief would be necessary during the period of military operations and for some time thereafter until civilian administration could be restored. The paper also pointed out that since the War Department used military priorities for securing civilian supplies, it was necessary that this procurement be limited to basic food, medical supplies, fuel, and other items essential for the preservation of civilian well-being during military operations. It was not the Army's task to provide a more generous standard of assistance or to promote rehabilitation.37
The Combined Chiefs of Staff accepted the recommendations of Somervell and Riddell-Webster. But the increased supply operations of the Assam line of communications depended upon steps taken in India, and some of the recommendations, such as American Army operation of part

of the Bengal-Assam railroad, had to have the prior approval of the Indian Government. Somervell planned to go personally to India in an effort to speed up the supply program approved at Quebec.
When the QUADRANT Conference of the Combined Chiefs of Staff came to an end, Allied forces were ready to increase the tempo of military operations all over the world. American production was now providing the means on an increasingly large scale.

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