presented by

Rear Admiral W.F. Boone, U.S.N,


The Air University

Maxwell Field, Alabama


18 April 1949

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General Andersen - Gentlemen:

Any normal person who went thru the last war came out of it a pacifist at heart. Yet, whether we like it or not, we are all in the business of making war. War is the greatest curse afflicting mankind. We can succumb to that curse unless we have the military might to win a war. War planning is the initial step in winning a war; an enormously important step; it sets the course; if the course is wrong we may lose the war; and if we lose a war in today's world, we shall lose our national existence.

Many of you will become war planners. As such, you will have to assume a special responsibility for safeguarding our national existence. You must recognize the degree of responsibility you will inherit.

If you agree that war planning is a vital step in winning a war, (and I assume you do agree), and that it must be based on facts and logic, is it not clear that a misstep in such planning may be of critical importance to our nation?

Thus, there is need to subject the tenets underlying strategic planning to a searching scrutiny and analysis. If a single one is weak, it may result in a misstep - a disastrous misstep.

Because many of you will become joint planners, I would like to present for your consideration some of the tenets which guide the Navy's thinking on strategic planning. I believe some of them will appeal to you as being based on facts and logic. To believe otherwise would be to question your broadness of viewpoint.

First, and probably foremost: The fundamental objective of our military, forces is to destroy or paralyze the military forces of the enemy. There are, of course, other objectives, but these must support the fundamental one. This principle has withstood the test of numberless campaigns, and has been the text of many profound studies on war. There is no need for me to defend it or to elaborate further.

A second tenet is to initiate offensive operations at the earliest practicable date. We must not permit the enemy's initial onslaught to gain momentum, unopposed by counter blows. Assuming a war with Russia, and in addition to the early initiation of operations by the Strategic Air Command, offensive operations could and should be started very soon after D-Day by a carrier task force and a submarine force in certain of the seas bordering the European land mass. The early employment of such forces applies the principle of the initiative, and, because of their very high degree of mobility, the principle of movement.


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A third tenet is the idea of mass; that is, having superior force - either ground, naval, air, or all three - at the right place at the right time. We believe that the use of advanced bases closer than the North American continent, is necessary in order to get a greater mass of armed might than the enemy's at the right place at the right time. An advanced based, of course, is valueless without a secure line of communications to it, and we place great weight on the need for the Navy to be ready to protect the lines of communications from the the most serious threats: Enemy submarines and enemy air.

A fourth tenet is the need to exercise economy in massing a force. There should not be too much - otherwise other tasks are robbed - and there should not be too little. This is particularly important when jointly we set up the tasks each Service is expected to discharge. Certain tasks will be absolutely essential. Other tasks, even though highly important, cannot be allowed to divert an undue proportion of our national effort. We must strive for the most efficient combination of forces employed to achieve the basic objective of wrecking the enemy's fighting machine.

There are other tenets and principles of warfare to which the Navy subscribes, but the four I have mentioned are particularly applicable to our current line of strategic thinking. The basic and time proven principles of warfare have been neatly summarized by Admiral Dickens of the British Navy as follows:

"Defeat your enemy by concentrating, whenever possible, a larger force against a weaker one; see to the security of your flanks and communications; strive for greater mobility than his; be cunning and surprise him in every possible way; study without ceasing the most economical manner of disposing your forces; let the offensive spirit be dominant and, last but not least, keep to the object in every operation, big or small."

The Navy plans to support those tenets by the various roles Naval vessels can play. And our Naval types are versatile; they can plan several roles and play them well. A submarine can sink enemy surface vessels or lie silently submerged, to listen for, locate, and sink enemy submarines; (I'd be glad to tell you more about that during the question period); a submarine is now capable of launching guided missiles, and then passing the control to another submarine miles away. Submarines can give early radar warning of approaching enemy aircraft, act as homing beacons for friendly aircraft, and, of special interest to you gentlemen (and to me) - fish downed aviators out of the drink.

Our destroyers can hunt down enemy submarines, launch night torpedo attacks against surface forces, detect and shoot down enemy aircraft, and, when necessary, can direct our own air interceptions. Both the submarine and the destroyer can act as advanced radar outposts or pickets for early warning and fighter director purposes. Our carriers are the spearhead of the Navy's offense; they pack the hardest punch; their aircraft can attack enemy warships, shoot down enemy planes, destroy airfield installations, bomb enemy supply lines, bridges, fuel tanks, and shipping.


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Let me discuss and explain in detail some of the more important roles.

First. We must control certain strategic sea areas in order to project our offensive operations into or thru those areas. We must deny to the enemy the mobility which comes from the unhampered use of the sea. The gaining of unrestricted use of those sea areas which we need, and denying to any enemy the sea areas which he needs, is. the primary objective of our Naval power, To acccomplish this, our first objective is the enemy's fleet. Contrary to popular conception, Russia does have a fleet, although not a very effective one by our standards - 3 battleships, 11 cruisers, about 108 destroyers, and some 270 submarines. Russia's surface fleet does not constitute a serious threat so long as we have a superior fleet in being. Nevertheless, that threat must be removed by destroying or containing the Russian fleet. I shall discuss the submarine threat later. We must seize, occupy, and initially defend overseas bases which may not be available to us through diplomatic means, or we may have to recapture bases -bases which we require in order that we may project our combined military power against the threat at its source.

Our basic and primary weapon system for gaining and maintaining control of the sea is the carrier task force. It may be well here to sketch briefly the composition of a carrier task force comprised of 2 task groups of 4 carriers each. This task force comprises 8 carriers, 8 cruisers, about 36 destroyers, and, if available, 4 submarine or destroyer radar pickets. This force may be likened to 8 air bases, 6 equivalent Air Force fighter or fighter bomber groups, plus 4 equivalent Air Force light bomb groups, plus 2 miscellaneous groups comprising airborne early warning units, specially equipped night fighters, ASW attack planes, and photo reconnaissance aircraft; all backed up by the equivalent of about 73 Army anti-aircraft artillery and automatic weapons battalions. This essentially is an indication of the carrier task force which we could send into action if we went to war tomorrow.

These carrier task groups are specifically designed, equipped, and trained to perform such tasks as these;

(a) Gain and maintain control of the sea and air in and around areas of Naval operations, including protection of LOC's,

(b) Destroy enemy naval forces (particularly submarines), troops, and aircraft.

(c) Destroy (or render ineffective) enemy bases, particularly submarine, naval, and air bases - by offensive action, including aerial mining.

(d) Destroy, in combination with the submarine force, enemy merchant shipping.

(e) Provide cover and protection for those forces engaged in seizure and occupation of overseas bases.

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(f) Contribute to the elimination of enemy air power.

(g) Support and participate in the strategic air offensive.

(h) Slow up enemy advances by interdiction of LOC's, and by preventing enemy development of advanced bases and stockpiling of material in forward areas.

(i) Support Allied forces, directly and indirectly.

It should be observed that many of these tasks overlap to a certain degree. To illustrate - it can be seen that, in destroying enemy aircraft incident to an attack ,on a naval base, our forces are contributing to the over-all air offensive. During the Pacific operations, carrier aircraft destroyed about 12,000 out of a grand total of about 24,000 Jap planes destroyed.

If I may look into the rearview mirror for a moment, I would like to cite a World War II example of the flexibility and mobility of a fast carrier striking force. Those of you who saw service in the Pacific will recall the decision to. by-pass Mindanao and invade the Philippines at Leyte. It was decided that Task Force 38 (under Admiral McCain) would undertake operations to weaken the Japs in preparation for the landings. Leaving the advanced base at Eniwetok, McCain took Task Force 38 twenty-three hundred miles to Okinawa where on October 10th, coming in behind a typhoon, he struck with complete surprise, and bagged a great deal of Jap shipping and a moderate number of planes. Retiring eastward at high speed, he shot down a few snoopers, then doubled back 400 miles southwest and struck Formosa two days later. The attack was a complete surprise, but the Jap Commander, Admiral Fukudome, had available a substantial number of carrier and Army air--craft. In two days, of strikes, we bagged 650 aircraft, lost approximately 90 of our own, and had two cruisers damaged but not sunk. These 650 Jap pilots included some of their best trained, and their loss had serious consequences for the Japs in the Battle of Leyte which followed. After the attack on Formosa, Task Force 33 refueled, and steamed 1,000 miles to the central Philippine area, where on October 17th, a series of strikes was carried out on Jap and other installations in Northern Luzon and around Manila. These strikes virtually wiped out the Jap air resistance initially available to oppose the landings at Leyte on October. 20th. The total bag of Jap planes for this series of related operations in preparation for Leyte was 842.

Now back to the various roles Naval vessels will play.

The second major role, and a primary Naval function, is the protection of vital sea lines of communication. This role is largely a matter of antisubmarine warfare, but it also involves defense against enemy air attacks on the high seas.

A large proportion, of our peacetime Naval effort is being spent in an endeavor to develop ways and means of successfully combatting the very serious submarine threat. We hope to defeat the enemy submarine by a combination of the following measures:


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(a) Selective bombardment of enemy submarine target complexes. This requires the systematic bombardment of selected targets with a view to the progressive destruction and disintegration of the enemy's submarine building capacity. Included among target complexes are submarine building and assembly yards, sources of raw material, critical components and stockpiles for submarine construction.

(b) Neutralization of enemy submarine pens and bases, supporting forces, repair facilities', plotting and control centers, and logistic facilities.

(c) Use of minefields at points of egress. This includes laying and maintenance of minefields by aircraft, submarines, and surface ships at points of enemy submarine egress and at submarine operating bases, both actual and potential. Fortunately, the hydrography of the present Russian submarine bases lends itself especially well to sealing off of points of egress - for example: Archangel, the Baltic, the Black Sea, and the several narrow exits from the Sea of Japan.

(d) Direct action against the submarine on the high seas. Our principal weapons here are the mobile hunter-killer groups, composed of escort carriers and destroyers, and the static hunter-killer groups comprised of a combination of fleet air patrol squadrons and locally based destroyers or destroyer escorts The destroyers will carry the latest scanning sonar, and launch various types of ahead-thrown weapons (hedgehogs), depth charges, or the newer target-seeking torpedo now being perfected. The aircraft carried by the small escort carriers are usually a combination of fighters and antisubmarine types, fitted with detection gear, such as AEW and sono-buoys, and with attack weapons - target-seeking torpedoes, depth bombs, and rockets. I understand that you have been given the characteristics of the target-seeking and homing torpedo.

(e) Use of the antisubmarine submarine is another means. Paradoxical as it may seem, the submarine may turn out to be our most effective antisubmarine weapon in the next war. They say it takes a thief to catch a thief. We are getting remarkable results in long-range detection of submarines by another submarine lying absolutely quiet at depths of around 300-1000 feet. A submarine is the only type of sound platform that can be made silent enough for this purpose. This long-range detection capability, combined with the target-seeking torpedo, may well become our most effective weapon against the Russian subs. We contemplate the use of these antisubmarine submarines in forming barrier patrols across areas through which the enemy sub must pass, such as for example between England and Iceland or Iceland and Greenland.

(f) Screening operations. This means the maintenance of mobile hunter-killer groups around a convoy or other force at sea in order to prevent enemy submarine penetration, and to destroy enemy submarines which are in a position to attack the convoy or other force.


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(g) Control of shipping. This means the establishment of adequate systems for operational control of shipping. Such systems include the plotting, communications, sailing, routing, and diversion of shipping in order to insure its safe and timely arrival at ports of destination loaded with troops, reserve aircraft, ammunition, gasoline, and a host of other essentials.

(h) Torpedo countermeasures. This includes providing merchant and combatant ships with devices to explode the torpedo before it reaches the ship.

(i) Coastal and harbor defense, including nets and detection devices, controlled minefields, surface and air patrols, and mine countermeasures.

In short, we shall first hamper the building of the submarine; second, attack it at it's base; third, make its egress from port hazardous by means of mines and barrier patrols of antisubmarine submarines; fourth; harass the submarine at large; and fifth, destroy it when it attempts an attack. If, in spite of all these measures, a submarine succeeds in launching her torpedoes, we hope to explode 70 per cent of correctly aimed torpedoes before they reach their targets.

In carrying out the campaign outlined above, we seek and plan on the assistance of the Air Force in the bombing of target complexes, in the mining of points of egress, and possibly in other ASW operations. Reconnaissance observations by every pilot flying over the sea will be needed and will be extremely valuable.

I do not think there is a need to convince this audience of the importance of protecting cur sea lines of communication. If we do this successfully, we have the power to use the sea, not just to fight on it, and we use it as a highway. In fact, we must have this sea highway in order to move the enormous sea traffic which the Army and the Air Force will need, and which our overseas Allies will need in the months after D-Day. These sea highways must be double highways; strategic raw materials must flow back to the United States along with necessary foodstuffs such as sugar and coffee - two items which seem to be essential to our morale.

A third major role, and a primary Naval function, is to conduct Naval amphibious operations and to participate in joint amphibious operations. In your studies here you have recognized the need for seizing certain areas for use as advanced air bases in order that the shorter distances to the targets may produce a larger number of sorties and hence a larger weight of bombs dropped. If not used for heavy bombers, such bases may prove necessary for fighters to escort overflying bombers. Iwo Jima was such a base.

It is axiomatic, that in order to conduct a successful amphibious operation, one must obtain control of the air and the sea areas in the vicinity of the objective. One must likewise have that same control along the routes over which the overseas movement takes place.


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Carrier-based air becomes indispensable in such operations. A major amphibious operation will require nearly every type of Naval vessel and craft -battleships, carriers, cruisers, destroyers in large numbers, submarines, transports, tankers, and the many special amphibious types which discharge tanks, soldiers, beer, supplies, ammunition, replacement aircraft, and more beer!

There are other Naval organizations and elements necessary in amphibious operations, but I mention only one - a very interesting one - the underwater demolition teams composed of strange-looking daredevils with foot flippers and face masks who clear beach mines and other underwater obstacles, and reconnoiter the beach slope to check the accuracy of prior intelligence. Later they guide the landing assaults.

We are now developing and adapting to underwater demolition use one of the many types of "sneak" craft used during the last war. Earlier post-war experiments proved that UDT men wearing Lambertson Lungs could leave and later re-enter a submerged submarine; this gives us the obvious advantage of making the approach to and reconnaissance of a beach completely clandestine. We are now working with what was called "The Sleeping Beauty" by the British; it is really a miniature powered and controllable submarine carrying one man and demolition equipment, and capable of a 40-mile radius of action submerged. One present means of application is to carry these craft, which resemble in size and appearance an Eskimo kayak, secured in cradles on the deck of our troop-carrier type of fleet submarine, approach the hostile beach area, and discharge the UDT men who cast loose their personal submarine and proceed about their business. The range and endurance of the UDT man, and the amount of explosive equipment he can get into the beach, are thereby increased greatly.

The Navy's role in amphibious warfare can be summed up by saying we embark the troops and their equipment, feed them and protect them enroute, prepare the landing area by Naval gunfire and air bombardment, land them on the selected beaches at the selected times in the selected formations, and support them as long as they need it.

From this background of some of the roles our Naval forces perform, let us proceed to an examination of some of the basic undertakings which the integrated team of Army, Navy, and Air. Force will be called upon to perform in the event of war.

First and foremost: Insure the integrity of the western Hemisphere and develop and extend its war-making potential. Our country will again be the arsenal of democracy, and the source of the men, arms, supplies, and shipping needed to prosecute a war.

Second: Maintain control of vital sea areas, and sea and air lines of communication, in order that we can project our military power overseas against the threat at its source, and can support our Allies.


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Third: Occupy, defend, and support certain essential advanced bases not made available to us by Allied or other friendly nations. It will be by utilizing bases overseas that we shall be able to prosecute the massive air offensive most effectively, and to close in on the enemy.

Fourth: Support the war efforts of our Allies.

Fifth: Hold areas of vital importance to U.S. security; areas needed for subsequent offensive operations in prosecuting the later stages of the war.

Sixth, and last, but only because I wish to discuss it at some length from the Navy's point of view: Initiate an air offensive against vital strategic elements of the enemy's war-making capacity, and aimed at slowing up and limiting the enemy's advance. The dominant role in this task will be played by the long-range bombers of the Strategic Air Command with the Navy assisting as practicable - where and when needed.

There is virtually no difference of opinion whatever as to the essentiality of the earliest possible initiation of an atomic air offensive carried out by the Strategic Air Command. I personally am convinced that it is absolutely necessary. There is some difference of opinion, however, as to the exact nature of the air offensive, and as to the weight and phasing of its' effect. It is a subject to which I know you have given a great deal of thought, and therefore I should like to give you quite frankly my views, which are shared by many of the senior officers in the Navy.

We wholeheartedly support the concept of early, initiation of an air offensive. The initial atomic phase of an air offensive against Russia, if successfully delivered against carefully selected target systems, is certainly going to be a serious blow" to the USSR. It is in fact our only sure means of really hurting Russia in the early phase of a war. However, a purely strategic air offensive is not going to be decisive, perse, nor is the damage going to step the initial Soviet advances into critical areas. Stopping the Russians short of Gibraltar or Cairo-Suez can only be accomplished by a combination of a highly selective A-Bomb offensive and direct action by our ground, naval, and air forces against the military forces of the Russians. To make the over-all result most effective, the air offensive must be directed against such targets as refineries, fuel dumps, rolling stock, concentrations of inland shipping, aircraft factories, supply and troop concentrations, and all such similar targets, the destruction of which will reduce the time lag between the bombing and the feeling-of-the-effect at the fighting front. To an aggressor nation with its armies in the field, with liberal initial supplies and liberal reserves dispersed and protected, it is of little immediate moment if certain of its general industrial areas are blasted to ruins. It is doubtful that expenditure of our entire stockpile of A-bombs would knock out more than 30 per cent of the entire Russian industrial capacity. Unless we force the Russians to expend his resources on the fighting fronts, the remaining capacity will be more than enough to support his Army, Navy, and Air Force indefinitely. In the final analysis, we shall not have planted our feet on the road to victory until we cause the enemy's expenditure rate to exceed his rate of replacement of military resources.


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We hold that bombing of certain specific types of targets whose destruction will immediately hamstring enemy operations is initially most necessary, During World War II, the most effective means of achieving the objective of simultaneous interruptions of strategic movements of forces, of industrial production, and of general economic life, was by attack on the network of German communications. It would seem that similar interruptions of communications, which in Russia and her Satellite countries are of a far more vulnerable and inflexible nature than those of Germany, would more quickly achieve this objective.

We hold that engaging in wholesale bombing for the purpose of destroying large industrial areas and population centers is the most expensive type of warfare, not to mention the moral principle involved. The explosive equivalent of over 500 A-bombs was dropped on Germany and she still produced vast quantities of war equipment. Of course, there was a time-factor difference, of which we are all aware. It was not only initially expensive, but we are now spending vast sums of money to help rebuild the very things we destroyed.

What authoritative opinions bear on this important matter? First, I would like to say that each of you is competent to render an authoritative opinion. The things you have seen first-hand, an ability to apply the laws of logic, and mature judgment coupled with an objective, viewpoint, will produce an answer on which a sound military concept can be developed. The strategic bombing survey revealed that in Germany production was increasing at the height of the bombing effort, and reached its peak after 80 per cent of the total bombing effort had been delivered. Admiral Dickens, in his book "Bombing and Strategy", states that;

"German centres of production somehow in the sixth year of the war were turning out vast numbers of tanks (more powerful than ours), were ahead of us in jet-propelled aircraft, were manufacturing huge quantities of such entirely new weapons as flybombs and rocket bombs, had added devices to their U-boats which gave them a new lease on life, were turning out artillery, mortars, machine guns and rifles as effectively "and in as great quantities as ever."

Major General Fuller of the British Army, in his book "The Second World War" states that the net result of the bombing of Germany was appalling slaughterings, a wrecked postwar economy, and a year's delay in the cross-Channel assault. I know that Mr. Seversky and a Mr. Huie, writing for the Readers' Digest, hold different views, and I urge that if you have not done so, you review their writings and accord them such weight as you believe they merit. In my opinion, these gentlemen fail to realize that the successful use of a weapon does not imply success in attaining our war objectives. In view of your potential role as future war planners, I'm sure your evaluation will be sound. As for Mr. Seversky and Mr. Huie, I believe one of Walter Lippmann's sayings would apply. He stated:

"A failure to realize is often an unwillingness to believe."


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But while the events of the past frequently give us a clue to the future, let us draw on our own beliefs as to what the future may unfold. We feel that a war against our most probable enemy will still have to be won the hard way; the A-bomb campaign will be of enormous assistance, but it will not, by itself, win the war. We agree readily that against certain other countries, it might be possible to A-bomb them into quick surrender. But not the Russians. History and our own knowledge of their character lead us to believe this; what evidence have we to the contrary? We love our United States, but I doubt that we equal the fanatical love of a Russian for his home soil. Would we be forced to surrender by the mass bombing of the industrial triangle of Boston-Washington-Detroit? Could we be forced to surrender by the destruction of a number of our larger cities? "No. We would improvise new facilities, and arm or employ each usable man, woman, and child, from coast to coast. To paraphrase the leader of a country which did not surrender under mass bombing, we would fight on the Atlantic beaches, in the Allegheny foothills and across the Western praries before we would ourselves surrender, How, then, can we make a valid assumption that the Russians will surrender?

A lot is going to depend on how Ivan the peasant reacts if war should unhappily be forced upon him by the Soviet rulers. Let us explore his psychology a bit further.

The Russian masses have been told repeatedly that their sacrifices have been the necessary price for their industrial attainments and that from their factories will come a higher and higher standard of living. In the great industrial complexes, run by the urban populations of technicians and skilled workers, they see the culmination of their century old dream. If we should wipe out the factories and the workers by mass bombing, we might well engender an immediate antagonism which would result in the development of a unity of purpose, a loyalty to the Soviet rulers, and a determination to defend "Mother Russia" which would never be overcome.

In planning for war, we are architects for the post-war world, therefore let us examine a different approach in which the Russian mentality is carefully assessed, and the situation we would face after the war, is considered. Would it not be wise to take advantage of psychological factors by proclamations of our purpose to remove police-state oppression, to guarantee fair treatment to prisoners of war and civil populations, and to abstain from unnecessary bombing of their towns and cities? The majority of the Russian people believe we are trustworthy, and, released from Soviet control, eventually might cooperate with us; we must not destroy this belief and thereby increase the price of a U.S. victory.

Indiscriminate strategic bombing of urban areas and populations could at best, from a psychological viewpoint, create among the people a numbed, resentful, and frustrated state of mind from which only some time advantage might be gained. The roots of Communism will not have been destroyed; on the contrary, they will be watered by starvation, suffering, and confusion. There is a high level board headed by General Harmon now studying the probable' effect of a major strategic air offensive. The findings of that board will be of much interest, and may have a considerable influence on our plans. I have heard General Bedell-Smith say that the A-Bomb may cause the Russian will to fight to mount rather than be weakened. In any event, would an A-Bomb campaign against cities be consistent with our national war objectives?


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The National Security Council has, in the past, said that our objectives toward Russia should "create conditions conducive to a positive and, in the long term, mutually beneficial relationship between the Russian people and our own." One specific objective is stated to be:

"Seek to create post-war conditions which will be conducive to the successful development of an effective world organization based upon the purpose and principles of the United Nations."

Wholesale destruction of cities and civilian population will not achieve these post-war objectives.

It is with a realization of the importance of all these factors that we hold to the principle of the objective.

It is certainly necessary that we retain a highly-trained, well-equipped, force for A-Bomb work. We consider that the A-Bomb must be used at the outset, but that it must be used advisedly and carefully on only those targets which can be classified as truly vital. It must be used so that a dangerous psychological effect will not be engendered. We see danger in using it against all urban industrial areas, but we see a definite military advantage in using it against petroleum refineries and large aircraft factories, usually fairly compact targets apart from centers of population. There will be harbors and other communication centers which could be made untenable from radioactivity, and major concentrations of troops and supplies which could be attacked. By so using the A-Bomb, there would be a minimum of destruction of those facilities of the enemy nation which would later be required in order that they could peacefully exist, following the conclusion of the war. It is an accepted historical maxim that a peace to be long enduring must be tolerable to the vanquished as well as acceptable to the victor.

As logical planners, we should consider all possible contingencies- that might affect our chosen course of action. If we put all of our eggs in the A-Bomb basket; what assurance is there that the Soviet rulers will not accept our offer of international control? Another factor to consider is the possibility that the President may say "No" to its employment initially. Then, too, our Allies under the North Atlantic Pact may not agree that it should be used, and might deny us the bases we need, in fear of retaliation.

How could the Russians be forced to surrender? No one knows the answer to that, but I think that certain prerequisites for achieving that objective are clear.

We believe it will be an all-out war once it comes and that neither side will accept a stalemate peace, but will fight until it achieves its war aims. Hence, we believe it will be a long, drawn-out war, and that our victory will demand destruction or neutralization of a major segment of the enemy's combat forces. Now I don't mean that we should challenge his vast Army at its full strength in a frontal attack, but I think we must come to grips with his air force - ultimately defeat it - must eliminate the submarine threat; and in time, achieve at least limited victories over his Army.


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How win the war? Frankly, I do not pretend to know; in all sincerity I can say that I envy those people who have been able to state how it can be won; their doubts have all been cleared away - mine remain; the path to final victory lies before them, straight and clear - to me it is still tortuous and beset with dangers; they have measured the enemy's capabilities and found them wanting - as for me, I cannot even find a truthful and factual measuring, stick.

What should be done? Several initial objectives and specific tasks stand out. We must do everything we can to keep the enemy from grabbing and using his greatest prize - the huge industrial area of Western Europe stretching from Italy to Belgium with its millions of skilled workers. This will require revitalizing Western Europe as we are now doing with the Marshall Plan and military aid, and readying our own Army, Naval, and Air Forces for early offensive action. We believe that our mobile carrier air power will be a potent factor in this "slowing-down" phase of the war. Aircraft from these carriers can penetrate up to 600 miles inland, and by leap-frogging from friendly bases, can extend their effective radius of action. They can wreck bridges, tunnels, and rolling stock, blast ammunition and fuel dumps, attack airfield installations and parked aircraft, and shoot down enemy fighters in the air. A fast carrier striking force in position and ready to fight on D-Day, is a mobile, versatile, powerful weapon which any one of you gentlemen, as the potential theater commander on that fateful day, would be awfully glad to have and use.

We must use every available means to stem the enemy's advance across Western Europe and into the Middle East. Our strategy must reflect this. As General Bradley so pointedly stated in his recent Army Day speech:

. .we cannot count on friends in Western Europe if our strategy in the event of war dictates that we shall first abandon them to the enemy with a promise of later liberation. Yet, that is the only strategy that can prevail if the military balance of power in Europe is to be carried on the wings of our bombers and deposited in reserves this side of the ocean. It is a strategy that would produce nothing better than impotent and disallusioned Allies in the event of a war.”

We must be prepared to launch an early air offensive aimed at reducing the Soviet war-making capacity and limiting his advance into Western Europe and the oil-bearing areas of the Middle East.

Sea lines of communications must be established in order to move air and ground units overseas; our antisubmarine forces must be deployed, and a substantial mining and minesweeping campaign instituted.

We should be prepared to retain and protect the Middle East oil; and if this becomes impossible, to deny it to the enemy. This is a task of greatest essentiality in a prolonged war.

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We should hold onto the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean is today the most vital sea in the world; whoever controls it and denies it to the enemy will, have the military capability of dominating the major portion of Europe, Asia, and Africa, for with this control will accrue freedom of movement, thus permitting the deployment and maintenance of superior forces to any desired area on its natural inner lines of communication. It is of interest to note that a group of : Army intelligence officers, wearing Russian planning hats, have decided that the -Soviet basic concept must include the task of denying the Mediterranean to the Allies. The British recognize the importance of maintaining control of the Mediterranean, and affirm it at every opportunity.

To control the Mediterranean and use it for our own purposes, and to deny its use to the Russians, requires a mobile offensive force, which can be brought to bear very early after D-Day. A carrier task force fills these requirements. The cost of maintaining a carrier task force - which we now have - is a small premium to pay for ensuring that we maintain our control in the Mediterranean. We would be penny-wise and pound-foolish to forget that in terms of either money or men, it is cheaper to hold a vital area than to recapture it,

We should be prepared to knife into Russia itself when the time is ripe, and the ripening process will involve a major effort in psychological warfare. We believe that such a major effort will pay handsome dividends in opening the way through Satellite nations. An opening wedge might be created via the Baltic, across Germany and Poland, through the Mediterranean and Southern France, or through the Adriatic and Northern Italy - possibly even the Black Sea.

And last: We should ensure a minimum destruction of those facilities of the enemy nation which would later be required in order to sustain a standard of living which would be above the level of disease and general unrest. We must accept, as a final tenet, the historical maxim which I have quoted - a peace to be long enduring must be tolerable to the vanquished as well as acceptable to the victor.

I have told you that I do not know how to win a war against the Soviets, but I do know that air power will play a major role. I would be the last to deprecate air power; I am fully conscious of the self-sacrificing efforts of all our airmen, both Air Force and Navy, who, through the years, have placed air power in its dominant position. But there is a responsibility which goes along with this position; and specifically there is a responsibility in determining how air power should be used in another war, if it comes. I have one final question to ask: What has been gained militarily, if air power confines itself to the destruction of the industrial areas of Russia, only to permit the unopposed Russian armies to seize and exploit a far richer industrial area - Western Europe?

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In closing, I wish to express my appreciation to General Kenney and all of you for the invitation to come here and present our views on strategic planning. You may disagree with some of the things I have said, but if I have in some small degree, stimulated your thinking on the tremendous problems, I shall feel that my visit has been worthwhile. Perhaps I can add another tenet of naval thinking: We believe that it is within the walls of such places as the Air University, the Naval War College, the Armed Services Staff College, and the National War College, that a free interchange of ideas and beliefs should occur, and that from such a free interchange we shall, and will, develop a unity of purpose. I would like to draw an analogy between the three heroes of Dumas' famous novel and the three Services: We should be "all for one and one for all" to the end that the cause to which we are all dedicated - our nation's security - shall not be endangered. And if the day should come again when we have to draw our swords, once again let ours be the steadier step, the sharper blade, and the quicker thrust.