249 Arnold to Evatt
Letter WASHINGTON, 22 July 1943
I deeply regret that I was unable to return to Washington prior to
your departure. It is unfortunate that you were obliged to leave
Washington without complete satisfaction with our allocations of
airplanes for the Royal Australian Air Force during the next 18
We do have a fundamental difference in our point of view. Our
military doctrine calls for the greatest possible concentration
and mobility of our striking air power. It is the strategy of the
Axis to make us disperse our striking force around the periphery
of their defense rings. Certainly the mobility of our Air Forces
in the offensive ring around Japan would be diminished if we
transferred nine heavy bomber squadrons from the United States
Army Air Force to the Royal Australian Air Force. And certainly
the war would last longer in Europe if we were to divert to the
Royal Australian Air Force the equipment which could be used by
nine United States squadrons over Germany.
Our bomber offensive over Germany cannot be initiated on a full
scale because production is not yet up to the level which will be
required to sustain an all out offensive. Pending the time when we
can begin and sustain a full scale bomber offensive in Europe, I
cannot accept additional obligations against my limited resources
of heavy bombers.
Heavy bomber production has proven to be very disappointing this
summer. When we expected to see several plants getting into full
production, we had to introduce major modifications of the
armament arrangements with the result that production has done
very badly for the past two months.
The provision which must be made for training, pipeline, reserves,
maintenance and attrition always increases greatly the total
obligation which is assumed when a commitment is made to provide
the unit equipment. If I were to offer to Australia So heavy
bombers for unit equipment, the 12 month commitments would
approximate 200 heavy bombers.
The matter of providing equipment for the Royal Australian Air
Force has always received my personal attention. You may be
assured that I will continue, at all times, to keep your desires,
and the strategic requirements of the Southwest Pacific theatre,
in mind when planning the deployment of our striking air force.
H. H. ARNOLD
[FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT LIBRARY: HOPKINS PAPERS, BOX 173, 400.3295 AUSTRALIA]