Quick navigation

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Diary of General H H 'Hap' Arnold in the Library of Congress, Washington DC

We invite comments, corrections, and expansions. This material has been optically scanned and may contain characteristic OCR transcription errors. Please give date of entry referred to. [comment]

Library of Congress, H Arnold papers, Box #272

Diary of General H H 'Hap' Arnold

 [ diary 1944 | diary March 1945 | | diary July 1945 ]




July 10, 1945 -- July 30, 1945



July 10, 1945

Trip delayed by thunder storms until T. O. time of 12:00 midnight. A cold front along course with thunderstorms.


July 11, 1945

Took-off at 11:30 P.M. for Mingan, 1,026 miles from Washington.

ARGONAUT IV normal crew with Dice, Skipper. General Marshall, General Hull, General Norstad, General Cabell, General Jamison, Colonel Husk, Captain Shepley, Major Sheffield, and yours truly.

Arrived Mingan at 4:20 A.M.

Everyone up at 4:00 -- not much sleep.

Met at plane by Colonel "Pop" E. P. Kern.

Breakfast at club -- dressed for fishing at Kern's house.

Weather good. Auto to town of 300 people and then up Mingan River in canoe with outboard.

One hour up river to Lodge on Island where falls is located -- $l,000.00 per rod for fishing. We did not get a strike, although it was an excellent pool at bottom of falls and Salmon jumping all around.

Back to Mingan and had a 3-hour rest.

Marshall's plane came in -- we lost from our passenger list Marshall, Hull and Shepley. We gained Cabell, Stone and Woodward.

Dinner at 7:00 and took-off for Paris at 8:20 P.M. E.W.T. Distance 2,500 miles.

Cold -- almost like winter. To bed 9:20.


July 12, 1945

Took-off 8:20 E.W.T., 12:20 P.W.T.

Cold and fairly calm -- good night for sleeping.

Up at 10:20 P.W.T.

Reached Brest Peninsula at 12:00 P.W.T. Very few evidences of war -- except destruction at Brest and St. Mâlo -- an occasional bridge out and bomb craters where there were in portant road junctions, railroad crossings, supply points in woods, airports. Rest of France between Brest and Paris looks as it always did -- fields cultivated -- cattle grazing -- churches and cathedrals -- small towns -- boats in harbors.

Landed 2:35 P.M., P.W.T. Should be 4:35 -- there seems to be difference of 6 hours.

Landed at Orly. Cannon, Bevans, Haag present at field.

Drove to Hotel Raphael.

Not much change in France since my last visit. The French are still floundering and need leaders. They are suffering from an inferiority complex -- want to be a big nation, but have few if any of the attributes of a big nation. De Gaulle hasn't shown much so far.

French women and men -- slave labor and POWs . coming back with Polish, German, Russian children -- Paris will certainly get some new blood. Taken with the American it can't help but in prove the French race.

A snack lunch and then a drive to Les Invalides. It was closed -- we got in and then couldn't get out. Finally appealed to the keeper to open up gate and let us out. Then Tom got the idea to have them open up Napoleon's tomb and give us a private tour. The French Dame -- upon hearing who we were -- Sheffield, Dean, Norstad and me -- told of having harbored, sheltered 22 of our airmen who had parachuted down -- was caught by the Germans and with her husband put in concentration camp. Then took her key and opened up the Invalides -- we had a private tour -- all through the building and thru the holy of holies of the tomb. She showed us where the Germans had broken off pieces of bronze figures -- marred and marked the tomb -- taken the key to the lower level where the tomb itself stands.

Back to hotel.

Dinner at 3:30.

Light at 10:30 -- in bed at 11:00.


July 13, 1945

Up at 7:30.

While in Manila Smoak said that she never received my letter re her services in my office -- why -- will look up.

Went out to St. Germain to Cannon's Headquarters. Had presentation of their status by staff -- directed by Kincaid.

It looks as if we should be out of England by November 1st, if the Surplus Property people can take over by that time. Construction in occupied Germany should be completed by November 1st.

Radial airdromes for H. B. in Norway, Denmark, France, Italy approved by J.C.S. are being now considered by each Country through our Ambassadors. If we don't have any better luck on the diplomatic level than we had with Portugal re The Azores, we will get them for the next war.

Our A-2 section here is copying by microfilm all German technical documents -- requires about 60,000 feet of film a month. U. S. tells them that they can only have 6,000 a month -- A-2 is doing it in England in conjunction with R.A.F. Will have documents 50% completed by November 1st.

Our technical experts are getting 100% cooperation from British and 0% from Russians. Fortunately only about 35% of the data Germans had is in Russian area. Germans, in many cases, destroyed original documents after making copies, then they hid the copies. We were also very fortunate in being able to find the copies. Thus we should have a complete story of the G.A.F. technical development and program.

We nave been able to send back to the U.S. samples of most of the developments, for instance 25 ME-262s, the plane in which one pilot shot down 43 of our H.B.s.

Gave staff my ideas as to what we needed for our A.A.F. development:

  1. The war with Japan in over as far as creative work is concerned. The die is cast. There is very little we can do other than see the planes and personnel with supplies get over there.
  2. All of our planning should be directed toward the future.
  3. We must have the professors in Von Karman's board see all gadgets and data and drawings so as to give us a Buck Rogers pro gram to cover the next 20 years.
  4. We cannot let the American people down by sniping back to out 1933 position.
  5. Accordingly we must make accessible to the long-haired boys all information available from all sources from all nations.
  6. Our program for the future must cover note only technical development of material but also for training our personnel and for the training of units and their technique of operations.

We left most of the staff at St. Germain and Tom Pete and I took off for the Raphael Hotel. Entered Paris via Champs Elysées.

As approached the Arc de Triomphe it was apparent that the French were going to have a parade -- almost as many cops along the street as we have soldiers in A.A.F. We didn't stop -- passed the Arc -- on toward the Place de Vendôme. Finally we saw the parade approaching -- cars and chasseurs in their highly Polished casques -- brilliant red coats -- patent leather boots. Heading the parade a French cavalry general -- in rear a column of cars. We were stopped by the police. I said that I wanted to stay where I was -- to see the parade. The General saw my 5 stars on auto and about had a Lit. He saluted, waved, beckoned and almost fell out of his car. I ignored him.

The parade passed with the Sultan of Morocco headed for the tomb of the Unknown Soldier to lay a wreath.

We continued to our Hotel with the self-appointed M.P. guide on a motorcycle who led the way.

Lunch with J. C. H. Lee and Cannon.

Lee thinks that he can get all troops out of France but occupation forces by March 1, 1946.

No big men in sight in France as yet.

No real food shortage.

As I left Hotel to get into car saw that there was a big crowd -- soldiers, civilians, French, Americans lining streets. They had seen my 5 stars and were waiting to see who. They cheered and clapped -- I saluted and waved.

Drove to Orly with Cannon and am taking him to Salzburg with me.

498 miles. Took-off 2:25 P.W.T. Went to Salzburg via Nuremberg and Munich.

Arrived 5:45. P. M.

Nuremberg is badly hit in center of town. Industrial section about completely destroyed -- thousands of houses flattened -- turned into rubble and many thousands of others gutted by fire.

Munich -- same as Nuremberg

Upon landing at Salzburg was met by Maj. Gen. Geof. Keyes and Brig. Gen Tobin.

Found that Hank had been transferred to 45th Division Staff and was at Rheims or in vicinity en route home. Had left 106th A.A. Bn. Sp.

Tried to get him to meet me here .

Left Geof. Keyes and with Tobin, Cannon and [Howard] Rusk headed for our Hotel.

Germany has little to show for war except in industrial section.

People are fairly- well dressed -- look well fed -- fields are cultivated -- stock looks in fine condition. Crops are being harvested mostly by hand.

We set out for Berchtesgaden Hof -- by Hitler's auto -- open touring car.

Beautiful drive up into mountains.

Reminds me of Switzerland. Hotel is place where Chamberlain, Mussolini, Prime Minister of Austria and others waited to meet Hitler.

A beautiful spot -- mountains, rocky peaks, snow on mountain tops and in valleys -- green fields -- trees and forests -- houses on mountain side - meadows -- crops being harvested -- river with lots of water running -- villages with Swiss type houses. Happy people.

I was assigned suite normally occupied by Himmler -- Göring suite at Ritz, Paris and now Himmler suite at Berchtesgaden.

Drinks on balcony overlooking valley into Alps.


Entertainment by Bavarian troupe that could crash Diamond Horseshoe on Broadway without rehearsal.

Excellent Moselle .

Bed at 10:30.

What a place to rest and relax.


July 14, 1945

Up at 7:30.

Breakfast on balcony overlooking valley -- peaks -- rocky crag -- snow -- sunlight on mountain tops -- firs -- pines -- in mountain lodges -- houses on mountain sides.

Local inhabitants do all farming and harvesting by hand. Stack hay and other crops on poles to dry -- cut peat from ground and dry it.

Left hotel at 9:00 with Gen. Tobin, C. G., Ind. Brigade of Antiair-craft for Hitler's retreat. It is located up steep mountain road at altitude of about 5,000 feet. Village is about 1,500 feet. Hitler's Eagle's Nest at about 8,500 feet.

The road -- retreat -- tunnels (12 miles) under retreat -- the Eagle's Nest -- elevator shaft up 400 feet to Nest -- power plant was 4 years' work (1934 -- 38) with 3,000 men. The road runs through several tunnels and is for long distances cut through solid rock -- the elevator shaft and power plant room for the Eagle's Nest are cut through solid granite. The cost in dollars would be almost beyond an estimate in the U. S..

His retreat has a hotel -- SS guard barracks -- house for Göring -- one for Goebbels -- and Hitler's own house. The barracks, Hitler's house and the garage were a wreck due to bombing. . It is very hard to visualize interior due to fire. The tunnels beneath go down for the equivalent of 4 stories.

The Eagle's Nest is intact -- except for souvenir hunters who have taken away or broken off everything that could be detached. Door knobs, electric light fixtures, locks on doors, house furnishings -- they have even cut off pieces of the rugs.

The building is of stone with wonderful views in all directions -- large dining room to seat 20 all finished in oak. Elevator man who ran elevator for Hitler still there -- elevator has trap door to lower compart-ment where SS men rode -- carries 10 people. Operator points out with pride where Hitler, Eva Braun, etc., all sat in car.

From there we went to Königsee where we have taken over 6 hotels for recreation for enlisted men. Met Colonel Jones -- and his secretary -- a countess whose father was German Ambassador to Argentina. She lost a husband and 2 sons in war. Was educated in England and U.S. Very out-spoken about Hitler -- thinks he was a curse to Germany -- does not believe average young German is willing to give up ideas of fighting in the future as they are inbred in German youth. Only hope would be to get youths over to U.S. (at German expense) to see what we do to keep our youth busy and how our country operates as a peaceful nation.

She tried to give me a $400.00 watch which I promptly returned.

Had lunch with enlisted men. Took a ride on lake in electric launch -- 8 horsepower, 12 miles per hour. Kaiser Wilhelm had a villa there as did P. R. Leopold -- Rudolph -- a beautiful spot.

Back to hotel and rest at 3:00 P.M.

No word from Hank.

Looking back on the construction up on the mountain -- it is fantastic -- beyond comprehension of a sane mind -- could be of no value to anyone but Hitler and he used it very little. The Eagle's Nest was used only 2 or 3 times . He could have brought in 3 or 4 divisions and made a stand in a redoubt that would have caused our Armies severe losses and many months of hard campaigning -- that would have been a use for it. As it was it served no useful purpose -- other than to give a build-up to a maniac.

Colonel Jones, who commands enlisted men's recreation center on Königsee, comes from Merion, Pa. Has 2 textile mills at Mauch Chunk.

Have been using Hitler's open Sedan for past 2 days, a Mercedes touring car -- works fine

Left hotel at 7:00. Went to Tobin's Headquarters. Quite a grand place -- much more ornate than any we have. It was Keitel's headquarters nearby Hitler's retreat -- not anywhere near as luxurious as Hitler's, though -- the furnishings were far better than any we have in the U.S. Wonderful paintings in dining room . Rugs -- furniture were of the best pre-war quality

Just before dinner one of Tobin's staff came to me and said that Hank had at last been found and would arrive at 8:00. We were at dinner when he came in. He had been up in the forward area -- forward for troops going home -- making arrangements for 45th Division in vicinity of Reims.

Some of our various messages or messengers g caught up with him. He is now on Frederick's staff -- Division is scheduled to sail August 12. I an going to get in touch with his C.G. and try and take him back to U.S. with us.

After dinner we all -- Keyes, Cannon, Hank, Tobin and my staff -- all went back to Königsee and saw a Bavarian folk play -- fireworks given for benefit of the soldiers. It was very interesting and the lake, the mountains, lights on boats, all the surroundings made it almost like a fairy land.

The Headquarters, Antiaircraft Brigade of Tobin's presented me with an excellent example of wood carving -- a deer splendidly executed in all details.


July 15, 1945

Awake at 7:20.

Non-fraternization ban was lifted last night at 6:00. It was a farce, for when Americans have been away from home for 1, 2, 2'/2 years fighting, the period of letdown relaxation comes -- they want to talk to someone besides their comrades. The British and the French made no attempt to conform to the ban. Now the G.I.s are allowed to talk to the Germans -- Austrians in public. Last night before it was lifted there were 3 G.I. s on one bench, 3 frauleins on an adjacent bench -- that is, when we were in sight -- when we returned a few minutes later they had all disappeared.

Left hotel for Göring's art treasures at 10:300 A.M. Baggage left for plane.

Our escort still with us -- 1 jeep, 4 men with tommy guns in front and 1 in rear -- all with iron bats.

Göring art treasures -- collected from Paris, Berlin, cities in Italy and all Europe a valued at anywhere from 100 to 200 million dollars. Consists of best paintings, tapestries and statues of Europe. Some of them came from private collections such as Rothschild's -- some from best museums in Europe -- some given to him by such people as Mussolini, Franco. Report has it that he bought and paid for many. Most bought for him by Dr. Hofer, a famous art collector in Berlin.

Took-off for Berlin 12:47, S.W.T.

Distance to Berlin 500 miles via Frankfurt.

E.T.A. 4:40 E.W.T., 3:40 S.W.T.

Three Raphaels worth over 2 million -- it is out of this world -- all were rattling around in a special train when captured by 101st Airborne Division. Some of the statues lost heads and arms in the train -- many of the paintings scarred and marred. Now all are in a very inflammable, insecure Inn near Berchtesgaden. It is heavily guarded -- collection is being inventoried -- expect that inventory will be completed by 1 month.

They look strange, these invaluable, priceless paintings standing around on floors, wash stands, toilets, in halls of a mountain lodge.

Hank with me to Berlin.

Said goodbye to Cannon at Salzburg.

Rested until 4:00 on plane.

Landed at Berlin (Gatow) 4:40.

President Truman landed just ahead of me.

Marshall from Frankfurt landed just in back.

King has been here for 2 days.

British and Russian soldiers lined street at intervals all the way from the airport to #96 Berliner Strasse where Marshall, McCarthy, Sheffield and I live.

Our house is very well furnished -- soldier cook -- just who lived here I do not know.

Marshall and I called on the Secretary of War and had a long talk with McCloy, Bundy and the Secretary mostly re ultra scientific developments .

Back to house and study for conference at 10:00 tomorrow.


July 16, 1945

The water here is awful -- full of chemicals -- the lake at the back of our house is like a sewer.

The countryside is beautiful -- trees about like the main line.

The British and our delegation have areas side by side. The Russians have the rest of the city as far as I can see now -- the U.S. and British have parts of city, but we must be within Russian area.

I will find out more today.

In order to secure houses and equipment for British and American areas for this conference, Russians used following very effective system -- they notified all Germans living in [Neubabelsberg] area (it is the Hollywood, the movie colony district of Germany) to get aboard trains for Russia.

They entertained no protests.

When one woman objected and refused to move they shot and buried her in her front yard. There were no other protests. The houses were vacant -- completely furnished when we arrived.

First meeting of J.C.S. agreed to agendas, procedure at meetings, program to be submitted to C.C.S. this P.M.

Had 15 minutes with President, and he agreed to:

(a) Proclamation re Air Force Day.
(b) Supreme C.O. in Pacific (principle).

(c) A.A.F. recommendations for handling matters brought up by Prime Minister or Uncle Joe.

Saw Harriman for a few moments.

Portal called my attention to bet made in 1942 when I bet him $l0.00 that a bomb would land on Washington -- check in Washington.

Made another bet with Portal -- dinner -- that Jap War would be over nearer to December 25th than to Valentine Day 1946.

C.C.S. meeting all according to Hoyle -- no untoward instances.

Gave air situation in Pacific.

Marshall and I went to tea with British Chief of Staff, then for a wonderful trip through Berlin.

Out Berliner Strasse Auto Bahn -- to Bismarck Strasse -- Charlottenburg Strasse -- Unter den Linden -- through the Tiergarten down Seelig Weg -- to Reichstag to Chancellery -- to Wilhelm (?) Statue, then back to Potsdam and home.

We saw Berlin and Potsdam at their worst -- not a house for miles -- not a building regardless of whether in a row or isolated that was not damaged or destroyed in Berlin and Potsdam. People streaming into Berlin on bicycles, pushing carts, baby buggies -- old. and young -- with all their household belongings and no place to go but amid ruins -- stink and smell of rotting bodies and broken sewers -- the Chancellery a wreck -- Hitler's magnificent office with its marble top desk ruined -- the Reichstag like a bad dream -- Russian soldiers striking, pushing German men and women -- all women in Berlin were raped by the Russians, according to Germans -- Russians paying $500 for a watch, $200 for 5 cartons of cigarettes.

The Chancellery with Iron Crosses, Legions of Merit and Honorable Service Medals strewn around by the thousands where a bomb hit the reserve supply. Germans selling anything and everything to get food -- the streets cleaned up but everything else a mess. Twenty-five - fifty years -- years who knows what, to clean up the smell -- and more smell -- it was good to get back to our house.

Dinner with Tom and Rusk.

Marshall dined with Prime Minister.

Saw Russian troop train headed for Russia -- it was filled with all manner of loot -- most of which we would class as junk. These Russians can't read or write and never had any of the comforts of home -- hence they collect anything that is different -- broken furniture, old tires, chandeliers, regardless of condition, live stock -- on the trains it goes headed for Moscow.

Victory Way with its statues was a wreck.


July 17, 1945

Fighting all through the Tiergarten -- statues, trees, benches scarred, marred and destroyed. Benches still have signs "Verboten fur Juden."

Up at 7:15.

Hot water boiler exploded -- no hot water.

J.C.S. meeting -- nothing special.

Hank Pool here for lunch:

Rest after lunch.

C.C.S. in P.M. Gave Portal, Brooks [sic. Brooke], Cunningham and Ismay books of photos showing destruction of Jap cities.

Meeting over at 3:30.

Rested 4 to 5:45.

Dinner with President at 7:00 P.M.

Marshall and I walked up to Truman's shack for dinner. We walked into the yard and were accosted by the Secret Service man at the door, "Who do you want to see?"

We said, "We were invited to dinner."

He said, "There's no one here and they won't be back until 8:00."

We walked in to check and found the mess boys setting the table. They had a seating arrangement -- we were on it, but the official clock in the dining room said 6:45 and that the dinner was for 7:30. So we came home.

Small dinner at 7:45. J.C.S. with President and Secretary of War and Secretary of State.

Home by 9:30.


July 18, 1945

It seems a shame that probably all of the fine old books in the Potsdam Library in private libraries, will end up in trash heaps. A the moment that is what happens, for the Russians have no organized means of determining what books or anything else is of value and should be saved. The Potsdam Library has many wonderful, rare volumes.

Uncle Joe invited himself to lunch at Truman's house yesterday. Stalin arrived at about 12:00 and when asked whether pictures could be made, replied "After lunch." Up to that time no one of the Truman house[hold?] expected him to lunch. He stayed for lunch.

J.C.S. meeting.

Lunch. During lunch word came in that Secretary of War wanted to see Marshall and me. He had cable of successful test of S-1 [atomic bomb at Alamogordo] -- 200 miles and 50 miles .

C.C.S. British accepted our policy for control of operations in Pacific.

J.C.S. King turned over Okinawa to MacArthur.

Marshall as host took C.C.S. to review 2nd Armored Division. It was lined up hub to hub for 13/4 miles along Autobahn -- a most inspiring sight -- a terrific display of power -- over 600 vehicles.

Dinner at house, then Soldier Show. Very good -- Mickey Rooney star.


July 19, 1945

Sun shining after 3 days of clouds and a slight drizzle. .

Refugees still flocking into and out of Berlin. More going in than coming out.

Strangest and weirdest kinds of conveyances -- 3-wheeled autos, trailers, horsedrawn vehicles, bicycles, baby carriages, express wagons, home-made wagons -- men, women and children, horses pulling and pushing. Men pulling 2-horse wagons with straps over shoulders -- men, women and children hiking along with packs on back. There are, however, 3 women for every man and the men are all quite old or young boys or wounded.

J.C.S. Lunch.


Walking to J.C.S. Marshall was talking about losing his zest and about time to quit.

Note -- I bet him $5.00 that he would still be in office when we declared peace with Japan. He took the bet.

Talk with Portal re Air Forces -- past, present and future.

Took auto ride to Tempelhof -- the beating all Berlin and vicinity took is indescribable. Not a section in any direction that has not suffered severely. Tempelhof hangars about 1/2 mile long completely gutted by fire but not knocked down. Evidently the G.A.F. used it as an assembly point as there are crates and boxes -- planes (fighters) in various stages of assembly and unserviceability -- destroyed and partly destroyed. Runways pock marked with bombs. It is all quite a mess.

King told me of a transformer made on the Dauntless that permits his using safety razor on any current (it is a 220 -- 110 volt). The trans-former is about 4" x 4" x 3". He said he would have one made. I must have someone look it up when I get back.

Dinner at home.

Russians on march -- horsedrawn vehicles with men and women aboard -- some women in uniform, some just women. Wagons piled high with all kinds of things -- no two wagons the same. Men and women marching hand in hand. All carrying something different . It is no wonder that it takes the Russian staff so long to make suitable dispositions for attack. There is nothing so dirty as a Russian soldier of the ordinary Divisions.

Here and there are the trading posts where Russians with 3 to 4 years of pay (Russian printing press marks) meet German civilians and U.S. soldiers .

1 cigarette -- 10 marks, 1 U.S. dollar
1 package cigarettes -- 20 dollars
I watch -- $200 to $300
1 bar chocolate -- 1 woman

Jewels, rings traded for bread but principally for canned meat. Trading posts in action with hundreds of people all day long.

U.S. finance officers change marks (anything less than 500 M) into dollars. Russians print them, the U.S. redeems them. We are once again the fat boy -- Santa Claus.


July 20, 1945

Up at 7:15. The start of a very interesting day.

J.C.S. in morning.

Saw Eisenhower and "Joe" Davies just before lunch.

Joe Cannon for lunch.

C.C.S. after lunch.

A visit to Sans Sorice [sic. Souci] -- Neues Palais and Orangerie -- all unharmed by bombing. A little damage from machine gun, grenade, mortar and artillery fire. The paintings, some furniture still there -- all under Russian control. Russians that could not speak English but each one had a German who could tell us the story of each room as we went through.

The castles, palaces are beyond description. The pictures, clocks, paintings, furnishings, mantels, tables out of this world.

The grotto in Neues Palais -- almost grotesque with its stones from the 4 corners of the world -- petrified wood given by T. R. [Theodore Roosevelt?] to K. W. [Kaiser Wilhelm] II. Stones from everywhere -- shells of all kinds making a wall covering. The theatre -- the rooms occupied by K. W. II and the Kaiserine all devoid of furniture that he took to Doorn, Holland.

The Russians who looked dumbly on as Geo. Marshall, Tom Sheffield, Frank McCarthy and I went from room to room.

The beautiful grounds with the fountains that the Russians turned on for our benefit.

Palaces built in the 1758 -- 1760 and still habitable.

Decorations in gold, silver, malachite, marble -- what more can I say?

Then dinner at home.

Field Marshal Montgomery
Field Marshal Wilson
General of the Army Marshall
Field Marshal Alexander
Lieutenant General Ismay
General of the Army Arnold
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
3 stars
5 stars

6 men

28 stars


After dinner we went to a concert by the R.A.F. band and we had. a real galaxy of stars.


General Ismay
General of the Army Arnold
Field Marshal Montgomery
Marshal of R.A.F. Portal
General of the Army Marshall
Chief of Imp. Gen. Staff Brooks [Brooke]
Admiral of the Fleet King
First Sea Lord Cunningham
Field Marshal Alexander
Field Marshal Wilson
Major General (Russky)
3 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
5 stars
2 stars

11 generals

50 stars

What a bunch of Brass Hats, all sitting on first row.

Alexander and Montgomery both worried over the next winter in Germany and Italy. Both feeling that the diplomats and statesmen will make a botch of the peace settlement. Both worried over the troubles that the Germans will have as a result of no heat, no heavy clothes, little food and medicine, in proper government, probable disease and epidemics, and a future war about 20 years from now. Brooks [Brooke] and Cunningham saying amen.

It looks now as if we might leave here on Wednesday.


July 21, 1945

P.M. -- C.C.S. with escort and in convoy went into Charlottenburg to inspect British Desert Division. Reviewing stand near 1870 Peace Monument. Armored Division lined up around monument and then all the way to Brandenburg Arch -- quite a show -- Army, armor, infantry and artillery -- Marines -- and R.A.F.

Review ride around started at 10:10 and last soldier passed reviewing stand at 11:50.

Returned to J.C.S. Meeting supposed to be at 11:30, actually at 12:15. .

Lunch at 1:45. General Maloney here for lunch.

C.C.S. at 3:30.

Meeting only lasted for about 20 minutes.

Portal and Brooks [Brooke] off to Bavaria to go fishing.

Returned to house and saw McDonald about evaluating [evacuating?] all the information -- 20,000 feet of microfilm a day for 6 months -- to the U.S. Necessary to establish an agency.

Tom Sheffield sold his Roulex [sic] watch he bought in Switzerland to a Russian for $500.00.

Dinner at home -- just the 5 of us -- Marshall, Tom, Frank, Shepley, Arnold.


July 22, 1945

Up at 7:30.

Decided to stay home and rest -- send all my staff to Hamburg.

Read "Chronicle" of General Koller, Chief of Staff of G.A.F. It will be attached as appendix to first copy this diary. No copies made.

Dr. Speers [sic. Albert Speer] -- Effects of Bombing on German Production will also be attached as appendix -- no copies made.

Worked on papers most of morning.

Quiet lunch.

Rested after lunch.

Secretary of War had me for hour before lunch on Super bombing. Where, Why and what effects. I told him I would get up a recommendation. Am sending Stone back to U.S. to see Spaatz and G_______ [handwritten: Groves] to prepare recommendation.

Echols and Hank Pool came over and we drove to Tempelhof. Saw underground F.W. 190 assembly line . Quite an affair -- but output is very limited.

Returned in time to meet Pete and Yank Arnold, who are now with us in compound. They live with Staff next door.

Dinner with Byrnes, Harriman, Deane, Parks, Marshall and me.

Byrnes -- what we must do now is not make the world safe for democracy, but make the world safe for the U.S.A.

Russia is like a greedy kid -- never satisfied. When it gets one concession it always has a couple more to request.

Has now taken over all marks and other securities in all Berlin banks -- even opened safe deposit vaults and confiscated everything. This, with its printing press marks, makes it possible to practically sovetize [sic] that part of Germany it occupies. It now has granted authority to reopen German banks on date after the Russians took all the money.

The U.S. made the plates and the Russians print the money.


July 23, l945

It looks very much as if there must be two standards of economy in Germany -- one in the Russian area and one in balance of Germany. However, the French, by taking away all livestock and living on the country, are creating a condition in which outside aid must be given to keep the Germans from starving in their area.

The U.S. will be called upon to feed not only the French in France but also the Germans in the French area.

Another point -- neither the Russians nor the French show any indica-tions of helping out with their respective coal fields -- the Russians the Silesian that has been given to the Poles, and the French in the Saar.

Germany, to make any comeback, must start certain fundamental commercial industries. This they cannot do without coal and machine tools. The Russians have taken and are taking all machine tools and sending them to Russia. All the loot is called war booty and none is credited against the Russian reparation demands. The Russians claim that there is no way to inventory it. They are right, for they haven't the slightest idea as to what any soldier took or what has been sent back to Russia or from where it was taken.

One German girl was raped 9 times by Russians in 2 days -- that is typical of the lack of control of the Russian Army.

J.C.S at 9:30.

C.C.S. at 11:30.

Lunch -- rest.

Conference with Secretary of War re ultra bombing effort and its results on Japanese desire for Peace. Surrounding communities, other nations, psychological reactions of Japanese. Effect of weather and topography.

Sent a radio to Spaatz.

Some day someone will dissolve the atom, release the atomic forces and harness the resultant terrific power as a destructive explosive. When?

Dinner with Prime Minister tonight. [Handwritten: Ismay re Election].

Hank, Pete and crew of ARGONAUT IV went to Berlin and met the Russians at the Barter Market. They all came back well heeled.

The dinner was quite an affair -- President of U.S., Prime Minister, Marshal Stalin, and their military staffs. Three Foreign Secretaries were also present. The toasts were many as per usual. The Prime Minister, Stalin, and the President were all in good form. Stalin announced with no attempt at secrecy that "now that the war in Europe is over, we have a common enemy in the Pacific, and here's to our next meeting -- in Tokyo." I told Stalin, the Prime Minister and the Presi-dent that if our B-29s continued their present tempo there would be nothing left of Tokyo in which to have a meeting.

Autograph seekers ran wild and, strange to say, Stalin himself joined the throng and brought his menu around to have it signed. (Mine had already been signed by most of those present.)

The R.A.F. band gave some fine selections but as the music interfered with the toasts, the music was often stopped. Finally the Big Three left the dining room and went into the music room where they could hear -- with no interruptions.

The toasts then continued and we finally broke up at 11:45. I believe everyone came home under their own power.


July 24, 1945

Meeting with President and Prime Minister at 11:30.

Prior to that Hank and Pete came in and I started them off to town.

At White House were President, Prime Minister and the C.C.S. Lord Leathers and Somervell came in late.

We agreed on and accepted the C.C.S. final report.

Lunch 1:00.

Had 20 minutes rest.

Then on to Crown Princess Cecilia Palace [the Cäcilienhof].

We discussed the future operations in Pacific.

Secretary of War came to see me re ultra Super Bombing. I told him to wait until I heard from Spaatz.

Dinner with King and C.C.S. 201st meeting -- a fine party.

A couple of games of gin rummy with Howard Rusk, and then to bed at 10:15 P.M.

Louis Mountbatten gave us his Burma story at cocktails at our house prior to King's dinner. Gave full credit to A.F. As a matter of fact, said that the Burma Campaign could not have been possible except for air lift. Air supplied all of his troops during most of Burma Campaign. 30,000 tons was a normal procedure, monsoons or no monsoons, mountains or no mountains.

Mountbatten was very positive in statement that the whole Royal Family in Japan are morons -- so much inbred that they are not up to normal of rest of Japanese, that the Royal Family should all be liquidated. He knows them personally.

King had C.C.S. at dinner -- their 201st meeting -- a grand dinner. All went to R.A.F. musical at Neue Palace -- I excused myself and went to bed.


July 25, 1945

Up with impression that this would be a day of rest and relaxation. At 3:45 talking to Pete and Hank.

At 9:05 the Secretary of War sent for Chief of Staff and Commanding General, AAF.

At 10:45 the President sent for the Chief of Staff.

At 11:15 the Chief of Staff had Hull, Somervell, Lincoln and me in for conference that lasted until 12:00.

At 11:30 D'Olier called, but I was not able to see him and sent Norstad down to do the honors.

At 12:15 I had Cabell in for instructions and sent for Echols.

12:30 Jamison came in for instructions.

12:45 Norstad came in and was given his information and instructions.

1:00 lunch.

Took a long walk in P.M. Saw parts of Potsdam Where Germans live -- 6 or 8 people in houses -- houses undamaged and well kept -- one house in midst of others badly damaged. Looked as. if brick revetments had been placed around sdoors and that windows had been bricked up -- apparently Russians suspected it, for they wrecked it thoroughly and completely.

Dinner at house with Hank, Woodward, Cabell, Marshall, Tom, Frank and Shepley.

Hope to get away tomorrow -- work with British completed and Russians can send their answers to us.

Received word that Malin Craig was dead. It is a merciful thing -- his usefulness was ended long ago. He was utterly helpless. He was one of my best friends -- helped me time and time again and was an excellent Chief of Staff -- at his time. It was a shame that he was so isolated from his family and had never found a hobby, something to keep him busy.


July 26, 1945 [Handwritten: Election day England].

Conferences with Marshall and re:

(a) Conference with Russians,
(b) Going home.

Conference with Marshall, Hull, Lincoln, Norstad and Cabell

Lunch and conference with Marshall and Harriman.

Picture with Staff (A.F.).


Conference with Russians and J.C.S.

Russians agreed to all of our requests and were able to make decisions at the table, although Uncle Joe wasn't there. Antonov (Chief of Staff), Fallalev (Air), Kuznetsov (Navy).

Responsibilities were even delegated to the local commander at Vladivostok .

What a change.

Churchill was defeated according to radio report.

355 Labor
186 Conservative
8,000,000 Labo[u]r
6, 000, 000 Conservative

Most of Churchill's Cabinet was defeated.

So passes the man who has held the British Empire together -- made it work -- secured coordinated effort -- held off the Germans -- united all factions in England. His reward -- defeat for office by the radicals.

President down at Frankfurt so we still don't know whether or not we can get away tomorrow.

Agreed at 9:00 that J.C.S. could leave tomorrow.

Packed -- bed at 11:00.


July 27, 1945

To airport at 9:00.

Took-off at 9:30.

Paris 547 miles.

Get out my 1911 prognostication of future of airplanes in war to use in book.

J.C.S. broke up this A.M.

British Chief [sic. Chiefs?] of Staff in London and will not come back.

Attlee will be here to try and take up the load where the British people caused Churchill to drop it.

King takes a trip to the ports and then gets back to Potsdam for the arrival of Forrestal, Secretary of Navy.

Stimson has already gone to Berchtesgaden and then to Washington.

Marshall and his party to Berchtesgaden for 2 or 3 days, and then on to Washington.

President plans to leave about Sunday.

J.C.S. left Cooke, Hull and Norstad behind to help Leahy and the President. -

Landed Paris 12:40.

Met by Cannon, Hoag, etc., and came with Sheffield to Ritz where I was given same suite I had last April.

Had lunch with Joe Cannon, Tom and Hank.

Outlined to Joe same of the things that happened at Potsdam that he is interested in. Rested for 2 '/2 hours.

Larry Bell and Summers of C.A.A. came in for a while.

Dinner with the bunch and Mrs. Giles, Mr. and Mrs. Parsons, Helen Kirkpatrick, Gabrielle Andreu, General Cannon, General Schlatter.

In bed at 10:30.


July 25, 1945

Up at 7:30.

A grand night to sleep -- not so light all night as at Berlin. Here it gets dark at 9:30 -- at Berlin about 11:00.

Rank Pool picked up a room full of films of the pictorial history of the G.A.F. This should be shown, evaluated, digested, edited and plans made to utilize them in:

(a) A.A.F. Movie History,
(b) In theatres of U.S. to educate public,
(c) At our A.A.F. Schools ,
(d) At other Schools, including High Schools and Colleges.
1855         1143

Took-off at 10:10 for Santa Maria, Azores.

Distance 1631.

E.T.A. 18:01 P.W.T.

Arrived Santa Maria 5:50 S.M.W.T.

Inspected Post -- went through town. Saw harbor and a very small burro with a very large pack saddle and a very old grizzled man -- small and bewhiskered. I wanted to know how much of a load the burro could carry with its small, delicate legs. I asked Tom to use his best Spanish or French, and the little old man said in excellent English, "About 10 bushels of corn."

Upon questioning, he had lived in Connecticut for 20 years, and later in the Azores for 40 -- he was 70 years old.

Took-off for Stephensville at 22:40 A.W.T. 1855 miles.

E.T.A. 7:40 A.W.T. or 5:40 M.F.W.T.

The above material has been researched by David Irving for the third volume of his Churchill biography, "Churchill's War", vol. iii: "The Sundered Dream."

© Focal Point 2004 F Irving write to David Irving