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The political and military background and options to the deployment of Canadian Forces to Europe in 1951


394. DEA/50030X40
Memorandum front Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs to Secretary of State for External Affairs
TOP SECRET [Ottawa], July 31st, 1951

Attached is a memorandum prepared by General Simonds. It is a powerfully written document and deserves careful reading in full.
2. In very brief, the argument is that it is desirable to maintain a balance of power within NATO; that the best way to do this is to strengthen the forces which would be associated with the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands; that the Canadian association with these forces would tend to preserve this balance of power; that Canadian identity would be better preserved in this way than if Canadian forces were associated with those of the United States, which would so greatly overshadow the Canadian forces in numbers; that we would have more confidence that Canadian forces would be used more economically under British than under American command; that, from the standpoint of supply, it would be feasible to associate Canadian forces with the British, even if Canadian forces were using mainly United States type equipment in any event, Belgian and Netherlands forces are likely to be in much the same position.
3. General Simonds' paper raises important questions bearing upon Canada's relations with the United States, the Commonwealth and our NATO allies. In this note, only these international political aspects of the paper will be considered as the military and other factors do not directly concern this Department. The general political arguments put in paragraphs 3 to 6 of General Simonds' paper are very much in line with the development of our own thinking at the official level. General Simonds puts very succinctly the argument for a balance of power within the North Atlantic Alliance. Our experience in the last year or two has shown the value of such groupings which can from time to time influence the course of United States policy in a way which no one country could hope to do alone in view of the overwhelming power of the United States. This has been true of groupings within the United Nations and within NATO. It is also an argument for the continued usefulness from a practical political point of view of the Commonwealth. It is not, of course, suggested that such groupings should be designed to obstruct United States policies and purposes. Their value, however, is increasingly apparent in acting as a curb upon precipitate decision and in giving the United States Government an opportunity to hear and consider the points of view of its more important allies. In the long term, there is little doubt that there cannot be a healthy organization of the Western World without these balances to United States power. Without them the United States would be dealing individually with "clients" dependent upon United States aid, militarily and economically. This would be unhealthy both for the United States and the rest of the Western Allies.
4. It may be considered at first sight that these general considerations are fairly far removed from the concrete question of the grouping of Canada's forces in Europe. The disposition of our forces in Europe cannot, however, be considered simply as a practical operation. Whether we wish it or not, both in the United Kingdom and in other Commonwealth countries, there will be some tendency to see in our grouping with United States forces the severing of a Commonwealth link. Yet it would be a pity if the realistic political argument were to become interwoven with sentimental considerations and to raise old controversies and prejudices in the form of a discussion as to whether we preferred the "British or American connection". (Incidentally, it is only too probable that if Mr. Shinwell and some of his senior service advisers enter the discussion, they will contrive to give it this twist and thus to obscure the real issue.) For while there is a case at this time for avoiding any action which may seem to weaken the Commonwealth visavis the United States, this case does not rest on sentimental grounds nor is it restricted to the Commonwealth.
5. The argument in favour of the Canadian forces overseas being grouped with the forces of the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands rather than with those of the United States and France has a bearing on our relations with the Continental European countries concerned. The most important case is that of France. The French are the most sensitive of all the nations of the European Continent to the possibility of United States domination. For all their recognition of the importance of the United States to their own survival, there is no doubt that their relations with us are more cordial and that they have treated us with greater confidence in the past than either the United Kingdom or the United States. We have a special position in France as is demonstrated by the reception given to the Prime Minister when he visited Paris and by the increased importance which the Quai d'Orsay attributes to FrancoCanadian relations. The Canadian army had indeed a unique place in the regard of the French people. The French have since the war come to understand the international position of Canada. The grouping of Canadian forces with United Kingdom forces would cause no misunderstanding on this ground in France. On the other hand, the grouping of Canadian troops with United States troops would not be so readily understood. In fact, it is to be feared that our contribution would be quite submerged in the eyes of the French and of our other European friends in the vaster mass of the United States forces. Unfortunately also the United States forces in Europe are very far from popular in France. Most recent reports agree that this trend in French public opinion is on the increase.
6. The political argument against Canadian troops being grouped with United States troops is also strong so far as Germany is concerned. United States policy towards Germany may in the course of the next four or five years give rise to considerable differences of opinion within the Allies. The tempo of rearmament of Germany, the decision as to the restoration to Germany of her full sovereign rights, the possible admission of Germany to NATO, these are all questions to which the Germans are acutely sensitive and to which the French and other European allies are equally sensitive. We shall have to steer a difficult course on these subjects. It is particularly desirable that we should not appear to the Germans in any role which suggests that we are "United States satellites". They are more easily impressed by military dispositions and more ignorant of Canadian policy and position than our European allies. From the German point of view, if our forces grouped with those of the United States, they might appear as a mere minor adjunct of the United States power.
7. A positive advantage of our grouping with the Netherlands and Belgian forces would be that it follows our natural tendency to align ourselves with these middle powers who are so often associated with us politically and over whom we have considerable influence. There is little doubt that the Canadian forces overseas would have their maximum political and psychological usefulness in an association with the forces of the Netherlands and Belgium. General Simonds' recommendation that the morale effect of our grouping with these two countries should be put forward to the United States as the grounds for our decision seems an excellent one and should appeal to the United States who are concerned about the morale of these countries.
8. There is no doubt that the decision as to the grouping of our forces will have a considerable political and psychological effect on our relations with the European peoples and governments. It is particularly important that Canada whose separate national identity has only really penetrated the European mind in the years since 1939 should reappear on the European military scene in a way which does not give us the appearance of being a mere unit of United States power and a small one at that. It may also be important from the point of view of public opinion in this country that the many forms of United States military activity on Canadian soil for the defence of this continent should be balanced by a decision to avoid the grouping of our forces in Europe with those of the United States.


393. B.C.Vol.102
Memorandum from Chief of General Staff to Minister of National Defence
TOP SECRET Ottawa, July 16th, 1951
1. The decision as to whether Canadian forces allocated to the Integrated Force in Europe under General Eisenhower should be placed under UK or US command is one having repercussions extending far beyond purely military considerations of ease of maintenance. Major issues of national concern must be weighed along with the factors of immediate military expediency. The decision is one which should be made by the Canadian Government after most careful consideration of all the issues. This memorandum attempts to present those issues as the basis for a decision.
2. It is manifestly impracticable for Canada to establish a separate line of communication to maintain her forces in the European theatre either in peace or in war. Our forces must be maintained on the lines of communication of either the US or the UK, or a combination of the two. The choice for Canadian forces is therefore that of being grouped under either US or UK command.
3. In building resistance to the expansion of Russian communism it is important to foster and maintain a "balance of power" within the western democratic alliance. Following the First World War, the term "balance of power" was represented as inferring an obsolete and dishonest system of diplomacy, antagonistic to the principles upon which international relations should be conducted in a democratic world. "Balance of power" is, in fact, essential to any democratic group of persons or nations. It implies a balancing restraint upon arbitrary unilateral action. Its practical application within NATO at the present time is to find a counterbalance to the disproportionate and preponderating power of the US. If Canada is to continue to develop as an independent nation on the North American Continent, we should be in the van of those interested in contributing to such a counterbalance. This is not intended to imply any unfriendliness to our neighbour to the south. It is merely facing the elementary facts of our situation. The US has risen to an unprecedented position of dominance in the modern world. She is still young in experience of world affairs and her policies are, at times, subject to unpredictable emotional influences. Without some balancing restraint, it is just conceivable that in the grip of sudden emotion, the US might carry the democratic world to the very debacle it is attempting to avoid in accepting the leadership of the US under the North Atlantic Treaty namely to a third world war.
4. Nor is there any need for the issue to sharpen into a choice between domination by the USSR or domination by the US. The building of strength to check Com¬munism is not incompatible with the development of a proper balance within the North Atlantic alliance. It is of the highest importance to foster this balance as the military strength of NATO increases. Many influential political and military leaders in the US have doubts as to the ability of American democracy to stand up to a really "long pull" an armed truce lasting for many years accompanied by a continuous war of nerves once sufficient strength is available to provoke a showdown.
5. It appears from every point of view that the best interests of Canada will be served by helping to provide a counterbalance to the power of the US rather than by augmenting that power. Many of the smaller NATO countries take their lead from Canada and if our contribution goes towards augmenting the power of the US theirs will go also, and we may lead a movement which will wreck all possibility of eventually establishing a balance.
6. The question for Canada to decide is whether it is in her best interests to move in a direction which may start a landslide towards the US camp and assure the complete dominance of the US, or whether her influence should be used as one of the locking stones in building a dam against this strong pressure.

Preservation of Canadian National Identify

7. As a result of cooperation in two world wars, the British are fully conscious of the importance of respecting the national identity of Canadian forces serving with them. With an historical and traditional background of partnership in alliances and the growth of understanding of the real nature of the Commonwealth association, British leaders have learned to respect and even to be indulgent towards the national wishes and peculiarities of armed forces of other countries serving with them.
8. Most US leaders are still, even if unconsciously, forcefully crusading for the "American Way of Life", are less indulgent in accepting differences in others and, in fact, are inclined to the view that anything different is wrong and should be changed. We have had ample and recent experience of the tendency on the part of US military leaders to ignore Canadian national susceptibilities in matters concerning continental defence.

9. Canadian forces are going to be more and more closely associated with US forces in North American defence. It seems desirable that outside of North America, there should be a counterbalance to integration and absorption.
Infuence on Other Members of NATO
10. In the US zone Canadian forces would be cooperating with US forces and possibly on occasions with the French. The French army is extremely sensitive to anything which savours of tutelage and it is unlikely that the presence of a Canadian element would prove any great stimulant to the tempo of French military training. In the British zone Canadian forces would be in close touch with Dutch and Belgian forces of comparable size as well as with UK forces. In the course of conversation General Eisenhower stressed the importance of stimulating morale, training and battle worthiness of the Belgian and more particularly of the Dutch forces at the present time. The prestige of the Canadian Army stands very high with both the Belgians and the Dutch. Prejudices stemming from historical background rather than from any objective consideration of present realities give rise both in Belgium and Holland to a subtle and indefinable resistance to UK leadership. The presence of a Canadian brigade to set an example in vigorous military training might well spark the Belgian and Dutch military efforts into far greater and more realistic activity. This consideration alone would provide an adequate explanation to the US as to why we are not grouping our forces with theirs, should Canada's decision lead to this conclusion.
Relations with German Population and Europeans
11. The relations between the German population and occupying troops are better in the British zone than in the American, though in the latter zone they have lately improved. The large influx of partially trained American troops within the next few months is likely to result in a new deterioration. The reputation of Canadian forces for good conduct and discipline stands at a high level throughout Western Europe and in terms of relationships both with the Germans and with our allies it is most desirable that this reputation should be maintained. Regardless of the extent to which strictures on the discipline of US troops, as compared to those of other countries, may be justified, it is inevitable that as representatives of the major and dominating member of NATO, they will be the main target for criticism by Europeans. If Canadian forces are grouped with those of the US, Canadians will fall heir to such criticism. Having regard to the role of stimulating European morale, in the event that the present tension continues and related to the "long pull", it is highly important that good relations should exist both with our European allies and the Germans.
12. In comparison with the US forces in Europe, the Canadian contribution will be numerically insignificant. In the event of war this disparity would become even greater.
13. Though in terms of the peacetime strength of forces the British contribution on the continent is comparable to the US and numerically the disparity in the Cana¬dian contribution will appear almost as great as in contrast with the US forces, in war the Canadian contribution would be highly significant. The UK would definitely want the physical contribution that Canada could make. The US attitude is one of helpful friendliness which suggests that to the US the Canadian contribution is not significant in a material sense but is appreciated as a token of allied cooperation and acceptance of their leadership.
Sentiment Within the Canadian Army
14. There is no doubt that the Canadian Army would prefer to be grouped under British command. Canadian officers and men have confidence in the professional capacity and skill of British commanders and feel with every good reason that the British are fully cognizant of the importance of observing the national identity of a Canadian force. The decision to group the 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade in the Commonwealth Division in the Far East was enthusiastically received throughout the whole Canadian Army.
15. If Canadian forces are grouped with British forces it represents merely the continuation of an association which has existed in two world wars and which has been profitable and deeply satisfying to both parties. To group with the US forces now means severing a past connection and establishing a new. Both in UK and among the other Commonwealth countries, this will be interpreted as a drift from that association at a time when it is in greatest need of support. Canadian statesmen have reiterated on numerous occasions that it is Canadian policy to support the Commonwealth. The grouping of Canadian forces in Europe with those of the US will certainly be widely interpreted as a change from such a policy and as implying on Canada's part some loss of confidence in the practical value of the Commonwealth association.

Command, Staff Training arid Tactics

16. There is an eminently practical aspect growing out of this historical association. The Canadian Army trained in the past and fought in the last war on tactics, staff training and command procedures, for practical purposes identical with those of the British Army. Canadian Army organization is similar to the British Army, which even some senior US officers admit is more economical and more efficient than their own. The psychological outlook of the Canadian officer is more akin to the British than to the US. It was the experience in the last war, and has been in Korea, that US commanders, coming from a nation with large resources of manpower and great manufacturing potential incline to be more prodigal of both manpower and equipment in the conduct of operations. Since the First World War, the British have had to husband their resources, and will usually achieve the same result with smaller losses, making up for lack of numbers and lavish supplies of equipment, by careful operational planning and close tactical integration of all arms and weapons. The British economize by teaching a high standard of care and maintenance of equipment, and abuse or abandonment of equipment is treated with severity. The Americans tend to the attitude of expendability of equipment and "there's lots more where that one came from". It is obviously to the advantage of the Canadian Army to adhere to a tactical doctrine which stresses high operational efficiency with a view to economizing both in manpower and material.
17. Though since the last war much greater emphasis has been placed upon the teachings of US as well as British staff and command procedures in our active force, Canadian trained reserves represented by officers and men who served during the last war are familiar only with British practice.
18. Though the 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade which is being raised for service in Europe is to be equipped with US type of equipment (except for motor transport), should an emergency arise within the next 18 months and Canada be called upon to fulfil her commitment to provide two divisions in the first twelve months of war, these divisions would have to proceed overseas with UK type of equipment. Our only existing mobilization plan, resting upon tripartite planning before NATO came into being, is based upon the grouping of Canadian Army forces under UK command, and these plans include detailed studies and tentative agreement between the Canadian Army and the War Office as to the provision of administrative units by each party to maintain Canadian forces in operations. This arrangement is highly advantageous to Canada from the point of view of manpower overhead in rearward echelons, and it would take a long time and detailed international staff studies to reach a similar arrangement with the US Army.
19. The regrouping of the Integrated Forces in Europe is under consideration at the highest levels at the present time. At the moment the British forces, with the Dutch and Belgians under command, are in the northern sector, extending from the North Sea roughly to a line including the Ruhr and passing north of Kassel. The UK communications are designed in war to run from Antwerp towards Gladbach. The central sector bounded by a line excluding the Ruhr but including Kassel in the north to, roughly, the line FrankfortFulda in the south, is occupied by a mixture of French and American troops. The southern sector, from the Frankfort Fulda to the Swiss Alps, is also occupied by a mixture of French and American troops. The present dispositions are based more upon available accommodation than upon considerations of strategy. The US communications, designed to run from Bordeaux to Metz, cut across the communications which would have to maintain the French armies in operations. It is the view of the US General Staff that national forces should be regrouped to place all the US forces in the central sector with their communications running from Metz up the Moselle Valley. The southern sector would be the responsibility of the French forces. This would result in a better alignment in the communications supporting both. If this regrouping takes place it would eventually bring the communications maintaining the UK and US forces closer together and would ease the problem of maintaining Canadian forces regardless of the command under which they were grouped. It would be highly desirable if the arrangements made permitted our forces to be served by either the UK or the US lines of communication. At the present time, of course, UK forces are being maintained from Hamburg and US forces from Bremerhaven, so that no immediate obstacles should arise in maintaining 27 Brigade in peacetime.
Geographical Location
20. If the Canadian brigade serves under American command in the US zone of Germany two alternative locations are offered:
(a) In the area of Kassel on the extreme northern limit of the central sector next to the British zone and in direct contact with the Russian zone.

(b) On the extreme southern edge of the US zone south of Munich and again in an area nearest to the Russian zone. Either of these locations would ensure the Canadian brigade being immediately involved should the Russians make an aggressive move.
21. If located in the British zone the Canadian brigade would be positioned on the east bank of the Rhine just north of the Ruhr available in an emergency to man a lay back position on the west bank of the Rhine. This would be a much better operational position for the brigade and in addition it would have better access to training areas and better training facilities than in either of the areas proposed in the US zone.
22. Whatever arrangements are finally decided upon, it should be made clear that the maintenance of a Canadian force abroad will always entail a small administrative "tail" to ensure the timely delivery of distinctively Canadian items of supply. This will apply to Canadian uniforms and items of dress and in the case of 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade will apply to motor transport. In other words, it will probably never be feasible to have the Canadian supply line absorbed completely into that of any other country.
23. The details of the administrative arrangements for 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade can, of course, not be made firm until the major decision has been taken, but it would appear that the supplementary detachments and liaison sections would require about the same numbers and types of officers and men whether our communications run through British or American channels.
Maintenance of Equipment
24. Unless the American forces are concentrated in the central sector next to the UK forces the maintenance of equipment would be easier if the Canadian Brigade is grouped under US command. The present controversy over small arms has a bearing on the equipment problem. If Canada decides to adopt the .30 the advantage would lie from the equipment point of view in grouping with the US forces. If Canada decides to adopt the .280, or to await more conclusive tests for the .280 and retain the .303 in the interim period, the advantage would lie in favour of being grouped with the British forces. Canadian type vehicles with 27 Brigade will remain a Canadian responsibility in any case, and will account for the greater part of the repair work. In the longer term both the Dutch and Belgian forces are converting to the US type of equipment, though they will continue to operate under British command. In this event the maintenance of the Canadian brigade in US type of equipment whilst grouped under British command would provide no insurmountable obstacles.
Financial Considerations
25. It is desirable that the cost of maintenance of the Canadian brigade overseas should be financed by capitation rate arrangements payable to the US or UK government, whichever is responsible for maintenance. The situation visavis US dollar exchange would appear to favour the grouping with British forces where payment would be in sterling (even though the capitation rate offered by the US may be less).
26. The location of dependents of soldiers serving in Europe is a most aggravating problem to both the US and UK forces. It is of particular concern to the US forces in the light of their policy of maintaining married personnel abroad for a year and single for two years. The despatch of a Canadian brigade to Europe without making provision for dependents accompanying the troops will create a precedent. Apart from National Service men, UK personnel posted to Germany are sent there for long service, many have been serving there for 6 to 7 years. The inclusion of dependents is more justified under such conditions than it is in the US zone, where personnel are posted for short service only. The dependents problem is less likely to cause us difficulties if our troops are serving in the British zone rather than in the American zone where troops are serving under similar conditions but are permitted to have dependents with them.
27. Whether it is decided to group the Canadian brigade with the UK or US forces, 4 to 6 months notice is required to the military authorities concerned with making arrangements. An early decision is therefore required as to the date on which the 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade is to proceed to Europe and the command with which it is to be grouped on its arrival there.
28. When the decision was made to raise the 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade and the second line companies to provide rotational personnel, it was made clear that if these troops wintered in Canada they would fill all available winter accommodation. Should the truce in Korea materialize and a decision be taken to repatriate part or whole of the 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade the public demand that those troops released should be returned to Canada before Christmas is likely to become irresistible. Though it might be desirable to release from the service the personnel of the 25 Canadian Infantry Brigade who are still on a short service engagement there is a high proportion which still wishes to continue serving, and accommodation may become an acute problem this winter unless the 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade is despatched overseas. There is a moral commitment to make this brigade available to the Integrated Forces of General Eisenhower during 1951.
Importance of the Present Decision
29. It is critically important that the decision taken concerning the grouping of 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade be a decision which will continue to be valid in the event of war when our forces in Europe can be expected to increase greatly. Once the command and administrative machinery has become settled and is working smoothly for 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade it will be relatively easy to build on that foundation to care for a larger number of troops. It would prove difficult and probably impossible in a sudden emergency to transpose our forces with their lengthy communications to another command and another supply system. Furthermore, the larger the Canadian force involved, the more administratively selfcontained will it become. For this reason, it would be wise to make the present decision in the light of long term possibilities as influenced by major national factors and not to permit any immediate local administrative factors to weigh unduly in the balance.
30. It appears that when the decision was made to convert the Canadian Army to US type equipment, it was accepted that on that account alone any Canadian forces allocated to the Integrated Forces in Europe should be based upon the US lines of communication and be placed under US command. To this end, informal approaches were made to General Collins, Chief of Staff US Army to ascertain whether the US Army would house and maintain a Canadian brigade group in the US zone of Germany. General Collins agreed that this could be done if Canada wished it. From recent conversations, this agreement was only tentative and is not irrevocable should it now be decided to change the Canadian grouping. However, in the light of the trouble taken by the US Army to study our needs, it is entitled to some explanation should a decision now be made to group with the British, Dutch and Belgians. It is considered that there is an adequate explanation in the morale aspect underlying the decision to despatch Canadian forces to Europe at this time. Taking all factors into consideration, we can make a more useful contribution to enhancing the morale of European allies by grouping with the British, Dutch and Belgians, than by association with the US and French forces, the former of which needs no stimulant, and the latter of.which would be most unlikely to accept it.
31. Taking all factors into consideration it is recommended that the 27 Canadian Infantry Brigade Group be despatched to Europe in October 1951, that it be grouped under British command in Germany where it will be serving in cooperation with British, Dutch and Belgian troops, and that the UK and US governments be informed of this decision forthwith.


396. PCO
Extract from Minutes of Meeting of Cabinet Defence Committee
TOP SECRET [Ottawa], August 30th, 1951

1. The Minister of National Defence said that it was necessary to decide whether the 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade should be sent to Europe and, if so, when. It had been raised to meet the Canadian commitment, under the Medium Term Defence Plan, respecting land forces for the Integrated Force. On January 30th, 1951, the Speech from the Throne had indicated that the assent of Parliament would be sought at an early date for Canadian participation in the Integrated Force.25 Action to that end had been delayed owing to the changed complexion of the war in Korea resulting from Chinese intervention.
There were already 4 U.S. divisions in Europe, and 2 more would follow very shortly. This force would represent 18 times the strength of the 27th Brigade. Altogether there would be some 250,000 U.S. Army and 60 70,000 U.S. Air Force personnel in Europe. There were 2 1/2 U.K. divisions in the Integrated Force and a further 1 1/2 would be added before the end of 1951.
The Canadian manpower situation was good much better than had been anticipated. The 25th Brigade in Korea had not suffered anything like the casualties expected. There were 6,000 men in action in the Far East, with some 1,500 reinforcements in the theatre and 3,000 in Canada which alone would probably be enough replacements for Korea for a year. There were enough men for rotation to Korea as it was planned to rotate units of the Mobile Striking Force, gradually giving the whole permanent force experience abroad. As the strength of the 27th Brigade now stood at about 10,500, of which about 6,000 could be despatched to Europe and 4,000 would be ready for rotation a year later, there were enough troops to meet the Canadian contribution to the Integrated Force, in present conditions, for about 2 years. With 6,000 men in action in Korea and another 6,000 men in Europe, there were today another 13,000 officers and men in units or schools available for reinforcement and rotation. Further, recruiting was satisfactory except as regards specialists.
If the Korean war ended shortly, those of the 25th Brigade who had enlisted to serve 18 months and had not reengaged would be released. Probably more than 50% would want to stay on. This winter there would be accommodation in Canada for only 36,000, and this only on the basis of double bunking and dispersal in small groups. There would thus be obvious difficulties in having both the 25th and 27th Brigades winter here.
It was considered desirable to allocate the 27th Brigade to the Integrated Force and to despatch it in November in view of the foregoing considerations, for reasons of morale, to permit continuation of training in proper climatic conditions and as NATO now expected the force to be sent as soon as possible.
An early decision was required on the grouping of the brigade, for purposes of command, with the U.K. or U.S. components of the Integrated Force and on whether it should be based on U.K. or U.S. lines of communication.
He outlined the contents of a paper prepared on these questions.
The Paris Plan, discussed at the meeting of June 29th, 1951, had called for the R.C.A.F. contribution to the Integrated Force to be grouped with the U.S.A.F. and to use the U.S.A.F. supply organization to the maximum.26 Negotiations had since been completed for the development of this arrangement.
Certain political factors, notably the desirability of maintaining the identity of the Canadian land forces in Europe, made it appear desirable to group these forces with the U.K. rather than the U.S. forces under SACEUR.
From the military point of view there were three alternatives for the grouping and maintenance of the Canadian Army in Europe: grouping under U.K. command with the United Kingdom responsible for maintaining the Canadian force on U.S.type equipment; grouping under U.S. command with the United States responsible for maintaining the forces on such equipment; and grouping under either U.K. or U.S. command with Canada responsible for maintaining the force.
The advantages of grouping under U.K. command were that the Canadian Army had confidence in U.K. commanders; it had used similar tactics and staff and command procedures during the war; its organization was similar to that of the United Kingdom and was more efficient and economical than that of the United States; the United Kingdom recognized the importance of respecting the national identity of Canadian forces; and, in the U.K. zone of Germany, the Canadian force would probably be just north of the Ruhr, available to man a position on the west bank of the Rhine, would have better training facilities than in the U.S. zone and would be adjacent to the Belgian and Netherlands forces.
A disadvantage of such grouping was that, while the U.S.type equipment needed by Canadian forces could be drawn from U.S. depots in the theatre and made available through the U.K. supply system, special arrangements would have to be made for heavy repairs of such equipment. The War Office had, however, been asked if it could maintain the 27th Brigade in the U.K. zone.
The advantages of grouping under U.S. command were that the supply and maintenance of U.S.type equipment would be easier and more economical; Cana¬dian troops assigned to North American defence would in any case have to train and cooperate with U.S. troops; grouping with U.S. forces in Europe would reduce the problem of reconciling, in North American operations, differences in certain equipment and methods; and the U.S. forces would provide rations and amenities of types to which Canadians were more accustomed.
A disadvantage was that, if the 27th Brigade were in the U.S. zone, it would probably be in one of two positions adjacent to the Russian zone.
The alternative of a purely Canadian supply line to maintain relatively small forces would be costly and might not be reliable in all circumstances.
Apart from the above considerations, if, in a war within 18 months, Canada carried out the present plan to provide 2 divisions within the first 12 months of hostilities, these might have to be despatched with U.K.type equipment, and simplicity of maintenance would then be achieved by grouping with the U.K. forces for which plans had been prepared with the War Office. If there were no war within 18 months, any forces mobilized subsequently would have U.S.type equipment, and ease of maintenance would then suggest grouping the Canadian forces under U.S. command. Grouping with U.K. forces would, however, not pose insuperable diffi¬culties as there would be many items of U.S.type equipment in general use in the European theatre and these could be supplied to the Canadian Army under the thea¬tre arrangements for distribution of such equipment.
An explanatory memorandum had been circulated.
(Minister's memorandum, August 27th, 1951, "Canadian Army contribution to Integrated Force; grouping under SACEUR; despatch of 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade" Cabinet Document D295)?
2. Mr. Claxton, referring to a statement in the document that, if Canadian forces were grouped with U.S. forces, Europeans would identify them with such forces, said that this might be equally true of grouping with U.K. forces.
3. The Prime Minister, stating that there were recent indications that even some leading European statesmen still regarded Canada as a dependency of the United Kingdom, suggested that it was important not to miss any opportunity of making it clear to Europeans that there had been important modifications in Canada's posi¬tion as a nation.
4. Mr. Claxton said that he had found that European military leaders had a clear understanding that Canada was an independent nation.
It was now a question whether the choice on the question of grouping outlined in his department's paper was in fact still open to the government. The question of accommodation in Germany had been explored with both the United States and the United Kingdom. Some time ago, the former had expressed a willingness to receive the 27th Brigade in Germany in November. MajorGeneral Smith had, however, just reported from London that the War Office had indicated that it could not accommodate the brigade in Germany for another 6 to 8 months, but that it would be happy to accommodate it temporarily in the United Kingdom at any time. On the question of maintenance, it had replied that it was prepared to maintain the brigade, both in the United Kingdom and subsequently in Germany, and antici¬pated no insurmountable difficulties in this connection. Thus, if the brigade were to be sent to Germany in November, the only choice open might well be to group it with the U.S. forces. Whatever decision was taken as to grouping should be consid¬ered as subject to review from time to time. During the war forces of all nations had been frequently regrouped.
5. The Chief of the General Staff said that General Handy had informed him in Germany in June that the U.S. Army there would require 4 to 6 months' notice to make accommodation available for the brigade.
6. The Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee said that, on August 25th, General Marshall had intimated that General Collins might be able to arrange for the U.S. Army to accommodate the brigade in November.
7. Mr. St Laurent thought that it would not be satisfactory to station the brigade for a period in the United Kingdom in peacetime and, on the question of grouping in Germany, that, if the men of the brigade did not have rations and amenities equal to those of the U.S. forces, they would be likely to spread dissatisfaction when rotated to Canada. In war, Canadian troops would prefer being with the U.K. forces but, under present conditions in Europe, they would be more concerned with physical comforts. If the Canadian troops were stationed for the present with the U.S. forces, there would presumably be regroupings in the interests of efficiency in the event of war.
8. General Simonds said that if the Russians attacked there would be no opportunity for regrouping until a stable front was established. In June, the U.S. authorities in Germany had offered accommodation for the brigade in the Kassel area. This, while in direct contact with the Russian zone, would be satisfactory if still available, having the advantage of being between the U.S. and U.K. forces. The brigade would deteriorate if it wintered in Canada.
9. Mr. StLaurent said that, as the troops should not remain in Canada, it appeared unlikely that there would be accommodation in the British zone before spring and there was uncertainty as to whether there would be accommodation in November in the Kassel area, which was considered satisfactory, the prospects of reasonably sat¬isfactory facilities in either zone should be further explored as soon as possible.
10. General Foulkes said that General Eisenhower was pressing for an indication as to when the brigade would arrive and that there might, for reasons of accommodation, be pressure to station the brigade in Norway if a decision were delayed. He hoped, therefore, that it would be possible for the Committee to agree to inform the Supreme Commander that the government desired to despatch the brigade in November.
11. The Secretary of State for External Affairs doubted, in the light of existing information regarding accommodation, the advisability of agreeing that the brigade be sent to either the U.K. or U.S. zone in November if accommodation could be found in either. It might be satisfactory to send the brigade to the U.S. zone until spring. However, the alternative of stationing the force in Northern Europe temporarily perhaps deserved some consideration. It was already arranged that the R.C.A.F. contribution be grouped with the U.S.A.F. There would be advantages in not grouping the whole Canadian contribution to the Integrated Force with the U.S. forces.
12. Mr. Claxton thought that, if the brigade spent the winter in the U.S. zone, it would probably be possible to move it to the U.K. zone later.
13. General Simonds said that, an accommodation in Western Europe was heavily committed, he doubted that such regrouping could be carried out in 1952.
14. The Committee, after further discussion, noted the recommendations of the Minister of National Defence regarding the despatch of the 27th Canadian Infantry Brigade Group to the Integrated Force and the grouping of the Canadian Army in Europe with, and its maintenance by, the U.K. or U.S. forces in Germany, and:
(a) agreed that:
(i) the 27th Brigade be despatched to Germany in November, 1951, assuming that satisfactory facilities were obtained for it by that time with either the U.S. or U.K. forces;
(ii) General Eisenhower be informed accordingly in confidence;
(iii) whether the brigade were grouped with the U.S. or the U.K. forces during the winter, the question of grouping and maintenance of the Canadian Army contribution to the Integrated Force would be open to review whenever necessary;
(b) noted with approval the Minister's report that arrangements had been com¬pleted for the R.C.A.F. contribution to the Integrated Force to be grouped with the U.S.A.F. and to make maximum use of the U.S.A.F. supply organization.



398. B.C./Vol. 108
Chairman, Canadian Joint Staff in United Kingdom, to Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee
SECRET. IMMEDIATE. London, September 14th, 1951
Furtherance CJS(L)M1075 and CSC 1605.27
1. Visited SACEUR today accompanied by Moncel. He and Gen Gruenther were present during discussion.
2. SACEUR opened conversation by confirming that the move of 27 CIB did not in any way conflict with presently planned buildups. He then went on to state that he recommended that 27 CIB should be placed in the UK Zone for the following reasons:
(a) The present disposition of allied forces leaves a weakness in the centre, ie, the FrankfurtKassel gap. Presently planned buildups will eventually alleviate this position. In the meantime any available additional forces which could be placed north or south of this area would greatly strengthen those flanks. The ultimate accommodation which will be made available for 27 CIB is well situated on the north flank of this gap in the area Iserlohn Soest. The accommodation which could be provided for 27 CIB in the US Zone is too far to the south to be of tactical advantage re the central weakness.
(b) There is a preponderance of armour over infantry in the UK Zone where additional infantry is required to provide a better balance.
(c) Both the temporary UK accommodation in the Hanover area as well as the suggested permanent accommodation indicated above are ideally situated for field training, being adjacent to the Paderborn training area. The accommodation available in the US Zone was not satisfactory from the point of view of training areas.
(d) The locating of 27 CIB in the UK Zone would have a very great morale effect on both Dutch and Belgian Forces.
(e) The psychological importance of the continued association of UK and Canadian Forces.
(f) The very strong desire on the part of the UK to have the 27 CIB located in the UK Zone.
3. SACEUR pointed out that his recommendation that 27 CIB should go to the UK Zone could be used officially and publicly as might be desired by you or the Canadian Government.
4. Dependent on Canadian acceptance of SACEUR's recommendation he suggested that Ottawa should advise the Standing Group of the final Canadian decision. On receipt of this decision at SHAPE SACEUR would officially advise CINCLANDCENT, BAOR and EUCOM. In the meantime the following message is being sent to these Commands:
Quote. After due consideration of the factors involved, pending formal Canadian governmental agreement, it is the decision of SACEUR that the Canadian Brigade be deployed to the Northern Army Sector. The military representative of the Canadian Government has been so informed this date. Following Canadian governmental decision, direct communication is authorized between representatives of the Canadian Government, CINCLANDCENT, BAOR and EUCOM, for the purpose of finalizing detailed arrangements. It is requested that this Headquarters be kept informed as to the progress of such arrangements. Unquote.
An additional paragraph is being added to this message requesting commands to maintain security of this information until the Canadian Government decision is announced.
5. He also suggested that if the Canadian Government accepted his recommendation you should feel free to communicate at once with Field Marshal Slim in the event that you might wish to express your appreciation of his offer.
6. SACEUR felt that there was no requirement in so far as SHAPE was concerned for a formal approach on the problem of locating 27 CIB as you suggested in your telephone conversation.
7. He stated that he would take very personal interest in the arrival of 27 CIB and the provision of accommodation and suggested that you might wish to make an early visit to inspect the area and accommodation which he had recommended.
8. With reference to the proposal to align the RCAF contribution with that of the USAF as outlined in the Paris Plan, SACEUR gave his wholehearted concurrence in these arrangements.