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The Origins of the Grand AllianceAnglo-American Military Collaboration from the Panay Incident to Pearl Harbor$
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William T. Johnsen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168333

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168333.001.0001

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Full-Dress Talks

Full-Dress Talks

The American-British Conversations-1 Conference, January–March 1941

(p.131) 7 Full-Dress Talks
The Origins of the Grand Alliance

William T. Johnsen

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter addresses the first full-fledged, formal staff talks between U.S. and British military staffs. The narrative outlines the detailed negotiations that resulted in an agreed coalition grand strategy of “Germany first,” a strategic defensive in the Pacific, and the subordinate strategic elements necessary to defeat the Axis Powers. The final American-British Conversations (ABC-1) Report also assigned areas of strategic responsibility, established the principle of unity of command, and outlined the vital liaison and communications processes necessary for further staff coordination that would turn strategic principles into operational reality. The account contrasts the relative ease of planning for the Atlantic, European, and Middle East theaters with the negotiators’ inability to craft a coherent strategy for the Pacific and Far East and the intense friction that occasionally resulted. The analysis also highlights the fact that the Americans prevailed on almost every point of controversy in the negotiations.

Keywords:   ABC-1, ABC-2, Atlantic, Far East, Germany first, grand strategy, Military Missions, Singapore, Washington Conference

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