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23 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 135[A] LONDON, 13 August 1942, 8.20 p.m.


Your telegram 7359. [1]

In the absence of the Prime Minister [2] and in view of his
request (my telegram of the 25th July [3]), I do not feel at
liberty to send you precise information regarding operational
decisions resulting from the meeting between the Chiefs of Staff
and Marshall and King.

As, however, for the reasons given in my telegram 131 of 8th
August [4], the Prime Minister has not carried out his intention
of communicating with you himself, I feel that I should give you
the following broad indication of the line of operational
decisions arrived at:-

(1) As a result of the Chiefs of Staff and Marshall and King's
discussions it was decided that it would be impracticable to
undertake the operation referred to in Dominions Office telegram
Z.57 of 5th May [5] before, at the earliest, the Spring of 1943.

An alternative operation on a considerable scale to be staged this

year was accordingly decided upon. [6] The operation is a combined
United States and United Kingdom one, but predominantly United
States. This alteration of operational plans is being kept most
secret. All preparations as for the original operation are being
proceeded with and every effort is being made to deceive the enemy
as to our intentions.

(2) The Air Forces re-allocated to the Pacific area were the

Three groups of heavy bombers
Two groups of medium bombers
Two groups of light bombers
Two groups of lighter planes
Two groups of observation planes
Two groups of transport planes
The purpose for which these aircraft were re-allocated was defined
as for 'furthering offensive operations in the Pacific'. Their re-
allocation implied no alteration in the strategic conception laid
down in WW1 [7], but was based upon the fact that necessary
postponement of the major operation 'until Spring 1943' rendered
possible the more effective use of these aircraft in the Pacific

Their disposition and utilization is for determination by the
American Chiefs of Staff under their primary control of operations
in the Pacific theatre.


1 Dispatched 11 August. On file AA:MP1217, box 575, Anglo-American
strategy. Discussions in London, July 1942.

2 Churchill was then in Moscow.

3 Document 9.

4 Document 20.

5 See Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. V,
Document 483, note 10. The operation was an invasion of northern


6 The invasion of French North Africa.

7 See Document 13, note 3

[FA:A3195, 1942, 1.32186]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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