Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, part 1: 1942-1945

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, part 1: 1942-1945 is a themed microfilm collection containing copies of official documents of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1942-1945. Documents include meeting minutes and memoranda and reports relating to grand strategic issues, the Pacific theatre, the European theatre, and the Soviet Union. Meeting minutes include those for the conference held at Casablanca, Morocco, codenamed ANFA, in which the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) first discussed the policies of German unconditional surrender, the Combined Bomber Offensive from Great Britain against Germany and the establishment of the French National Committee for Liberation, 14-24 Jan 1943; the Allied conference held at Washington, DC, codenamed TRIDENT, in which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Prime Minister Rt Hon Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, and the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) discussed the decision to delay the invasion of France until May 1944, the Italian surrender, and the Battle of the Atlantic, 11-25 May 1943; the Allied conference at Quebec City, Canada, codenamed QUADRANT, in which the Allies endorsed a plan for the invasion of the Normandy coast in France, formed a new theatre of war, South-East Asia Command, with Acting Adm Lord Louis (Francis Albert Victor Nicholas) Mountbatten as Supreme Allied Commander, and regulated the procedures for co-operation between Great Britain and the US regarding the development and production of the atomic bomb, 12-24 Aug 1943; the Allied conferences at Cairo, Egypt, codenamed SEXTANT, in which the Allies discussed combined operations in South-East Asia with Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek's Chinese forces, 22-26 Nov and 2-7 Dec 1943; the Allied conference at Teheran, Iran, codenamed EUREKA, in which the Allies first co-ordinated future strategy with Soviet Prime Minister Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, including plans to coincide military operations against Germany in France and the Soviet Union in May 1944, 28-30 Nov 1943; the conference at Quebec City, Canada, codenamed OCTAGON, in which the Allies discussed the post-war division of Germany and a plan for its de-industrialisation, 12-16 Sep 1944; the conferences at Malta and Yalta, Soviet Union, codenamed ARGONAUT, in which the Allies discussed the division of post-war Germany, the occupation of Germany and Austria, Soviet involvement in the war against Japan, and the future government and frontiers of Poland, 30 Jan-9 Feb 1945; the conference at Potsdam, Germany, codenamed TERMINAL, in which the surrender terms for Japan were discussed, the boundaries and peace terms for Europe were determined and Poland's government and frontiers were debated, 16 Jul-2 Aug 1945. Papers relating to grand strategic issues include US Joint Chiefs of Staff documents on Allied production and assignment of war materials; British and US merchant vessel losses; US policy concerning assignments of Lend-Lease military aircraft, naval vessels and munitions to Great Britain; Allied petroleum supplies; propaganda and unconventional warfare; war crimes and prisoners of war; and the summit conferences held between the Allied powers of the US, Great Britain and the Soviet Union, 1942-1945. Papers relating to the European theatre include US Joint Chiefs of Staff memoranda and operational reports concerning the planning and conduct of Allied offensive operations in Europe, including the invasion of North Africa, codenamed Operation TORCH, Nov 1942; the invasion of Sicily, Italy, codenamed Operation HUSKY, Jul 1943; the US preparation for the invasion of Europe, codenamed Operation BOLERO; and the Allied invasion of Europe, codenamed Operation OVERLORD, Jun 1944. Papers relating to the Pacific theatre include US Joint Chiefs of Staff memoranda and operational reports concerning the Japanese war economy; Japanese Imperial Army logistical capabilities; locations and strengths of Japanese forces in the Pacific; British participation in long range bombing of Japan; Allied operational efforts in Burma, India, Malaya, and the Philippines; Soviet claims on the Sakhalin and Kuril islands; and the co-ordination of Allied strategic plans for the defeat and occupation of Japan, 1943-1944. US Joint Chiefs of Staff papers relating to the Soviet Union include estimates, memoranda, conference minutes and reports concerning the disclosure of Allied technical information to the Soviet Union; Soviet military action to facilitate Operation OVERLORD; liaison between Allied theatre commanders and the Soviet Army; Soviet capabilities with reference to the Far East; US Lend-Lease requirements for the Soviet Union; and estimates of Soviet post-war capabilities and intentions, 1943-1945.

Administrative / Biographical History

The US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) committee was the principal US inter-service body which, together with the British Chiefs of Staff, formed the Combined Chiefs of Staff committee, the supreme Anglo- American military strategic and operational authority, 1942-1945. With the formation of the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) in Dec 1941 it became necessary to form an American agency with comparable decision making structure to that of the British Chiefs of Staff (COS). This was formally inaugurated in Feb 1942 as the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) committee, its first members being Gen George Catlett Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff, Adm Harold Raynsford Stark and Adm Ernest Joseph King, US Navy, and Lt Gen Henry H 'Hap' Arnold, US Army Air Forces. In Jul 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt appointed Adm William D Leahy as his political and military representative and Chief of Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff committee. Unlike the British Chiefs of Staff (COS), which was integrated into the British Cabinet system, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff was responsible primarily to the President of the United States as Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces. Under Leahy's leadership, the Joint Chiefs of Staff became the centre of the US executive command structure during World War Two and was responsible for operational strategy in the Pacific, the co-ordination of US military operations in the Far East, and the planning and co-ordination of US operational strategy elsewhere. In addition, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and the British Chiefs of Staff functioned together under the auspices of the Combined Chiefs of Staff to plan Allied strategic and operational efforts in Europe, North Africa, and the Far East.

Arrangement

Arranged in sections according to subject and chronologically therein.

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Acquisition Information

University Publications of America, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Other Finding Aids

Summary guide entry on-line at http://www.kcl.ac.uk/iss/archives/cats/, and detailed catalogue available in hard copy in the Centre's reading room, Paul Kesaris (ed.), Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, part 1: 1942-1945 (University Publications of America, Frederick, MD, 1980-81).

Conditions Governing Use

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be provided for research use only. Enquiries concerning the copyright of the original material should be addressed to University Publications of America, Inc, 4520 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD, 20814, USA.