The Johns Hopkins University Press
The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower


volume 1 : part 1 : chapter 1
      1              "All we need is ships!"        On December 14,1941, Eisenhower joined the War Plans Division of the War Department as Deputy Chief for the Pacific and Far East. Brigadier General Leonard Townsend Gerow was Chief of the Division. Created on September 1, 1921, at the same time as the "G" Divisions—G-l, personnel; G-2, intelligence; G-3, mobilization and training; and G-4, supply—the War Plans Division (WPD) was concerned primarily with strategic planning and was thus involved in all phases of the war. On February 16,1942, Eisenhower became Chief of the Division, which in March was reorganized and renamed the Operations Division (OPD) and given even broader powers in directing military operations. Chief of Staff General George Catlett Marshall was in constant contact with WPD-OPD and relied upon it heavily. The functions of WPD-OPD (the name was used interchangeably for a time) are probably best described by a frequently used nickname for it, "Command Post for Marshall." For an account of the Division's origins and functions, see Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division, U.S. Army in World War II, ed. Kent Roberts Greenfield (Washington, 1951). General Gerow, Eisenhower's superior, had served as executive officer of WPD from 1936 to 1939. In 1940 he was assistant commandant of the Infantry School until he went to the 8th Division in October, returning to WPD in December. Like Marshall, he was a graduate of Virginia Military Institute (1911).