In April 1942, General George C. Marshall, the U.S. Army’s Chief of Staff, went to London with a set of plans to bring about the defeat of Germany in northwestern Europe. Operation Bolero detailed a rapid buildup of U.S. forces in England, and Operation Sledgehammer foresaw an emergency 1942 landing in France should the Soviet Union be on the verge of collapse. But the star of the show was Operation Roundup, a large cross-Channel landing in April 1943, to be followed by a drive through northern France and into the Reich. In essence, Roundup was similar to what the Western Allies finally adopted—Operation Overlord—but they executed the latter more than a year later, starting on 6 June 1944.
1. Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Ordeal and Hope 1939–1942 (New York: Viking Press, 1965), 318. John Charmley, “Churchill and the American Alliance,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 11 (2001): 361. H. L. Ismay, The Memoirs of General Lord Ismay (New York: Viking Press, 1960), 249. Alex Danchev and Daniel Todman, eds., War Diaries 1939–1945 Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001), 250.
2. Quoted in Andrew Roberts, Masters and Commanders (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 214. Disaster quoted from Tuvia Ben-Moshe, “Churchill and the Second Front: A Reappraisal,” The Journal of Modern History 62, no. 3 (September 1990), 535. For a lack of confidence, see Joseph L. Strange, “The British Rejection of Operation SLEDGEHAMMER: An Alternative Motive,” Military Affairs, 46, No. 1 (February 1982): 6–14.
3. For example, Norman Gleb, Desperate Venture (New York: William Morrow, 1992), 320.
4. U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States (hereafter FRUS), The Casablanca Conference (January 14–24, 1943) (University of Wisconsin Digital Collections), 509.
5. Thomas B. Buell, Master of Sea Power: A Biography of Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King (Boston: Little Brown, 1981), 265.
6. FRUS, Casablanca, 509–14.
7. Michael Howard, The Mediterranean Strategy in the Second World War (London: Greenhill Books, 1993), 35.
8. FRUS, Casablanca, 538.
9. FRUS, Casablanca, 510, 511.
10. Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory 1943–1945 (New York, Viking, 1973), 31.
11. Quote, Pogue, George C. Marshall, 31. Also see FRUS, Casablanca, 559–60, 774.
12. Eddy Bauer, The History of World War II (New York: Galahad Books, 1979), 332. Stephen Roskill, War at Sea, vol. 3, The Offensive, pt. 1 (London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, 1960), 7.
13. Howard, Mediterranean Strategy, 45.
14. Craig L. Symonds, Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), 152,
15. Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy 1940–1943 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1966), 688.
16. FRUS, Casablanca, 584.
17. See Walter Scott Dunn Jr., Second Front Now—1943 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1983), 221–41, 254.
18. Danchev and Todman, eds. War Diaries, 410.
19. Quoted in Roberts, Masters and Commanders, 215.