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Lemnitzer, Lyman Louis 1899- 1988

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Popular Documents

January 10, 1963

Memorandum from Maxwell D. Taylor for the Secretary of Defense [Robert McNamara], 'Withdrawal of Italian and Turkish JUPITERs'

Taylor forwarded to McNamara the views of USCINCEUR, CINCLANT, and the DSTP on targeting and submarine deployment issues. According to CINCLANT Admiral Dennison, it was feasible to deploy up to three Polaris submarines in the Mediterranean. They could regain the same “operating efficiency” that they had achieved in their previous Norwegian Sea deployment. In Lemnitzer’s absence, General Lauris Norstad, who was departing as CINCEUR, opposed the withdrawal of the Jupiters as “weakening our nuclear capability” by reducing target coverage and by “destroying” the Jupiter’s “psychological” impact. DSTP General Power was also concerned about target coverage but did not foresee “basic problems as long as Free World missiles are targeted as an integrated package.”

January 19, 1963

Joint Chiefs of Staff Message to U.S. CINCEUR [Commander in Chief European Command], 'Rationale of the JUPITER Decision'

That the Commander of U.S. European Command (CINCEUR), Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer, was a critic of the Jupiter removals may have informed a Joint Chiefs of Staff decision to send him a background paper explaining U.S. decisions that could also be used for discussions within NATO.   The backgrounder provided information comparing the reliability, vulnerability, and survivability, among other features, of the Jupiter and Polaris missiles. While the withdrawal of Thor and Jupiter missiles reduced Western “nuclear potential,” those reductions would be offset by an increase from 350 to about 800 U.S. strategic ballistic missiles, “some of which will be assigned to NATO targets.” Further, it “may be assumed that there will be no reduction in the present expectation of timely damage to the ACE [Allied Command Europe] targets presently covered by the Jupiters.”

December 27, 1962

JCS Telegram 7947 to USCINCEUR [Commander-in-Chief European Command], CINCLANT [Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Command] and DSTP [Director Strategic Target Planning Staff], Offutt Air Force Base, Info for CINCSAC [Commander in Chief Strategic Air Command]

This urgent message “of the highest sensitivity” from the Joint Chiefs to top commanders began with a misrepresentation of President Kennedy’s decision: “serious consideration [is] being given to withdrawal of JUPITERS from Italy and Turkey.” The recipients—General Lyman Lemnitzer [CINCEUR], Admiral Robert Dennison [CINCLANT], and General Thomas Power [DSTP]—were to assume that Italy and Turkey had agreed to the decision, that withdrawal of the Jupiters would occur by April 1, 1963, and that Polaris submarines would be in the Mediterranean by that date. Both USCINCEUR and DSTP, who directed work on the SIOP, were to consider retargeting requirements once the Jupiters went offline. CINCLANT was to consider the feasibility of deploying one, two, or three submarines.

April 10, 1963

American Embassy Paris Telegram 4136 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

A SHAPE news release would announce the “courtesy call” by the Polaris submarine, U.S.S. Sam Houston, to Iszmir, Turkey, beginning on April 14. The visit will “provide an opportunity for distinguished Turkish officials to view this latest weapon system to be assigned to the defense of Allied Command Europe.”

January 18, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1250 to the American Embassy Rome

This message, intended “only” for Ambassador Reinhardt, included information for use in backgrounders for officials and journalists, but only with the Department’s consent. It included comparisons of the Jupiter and Polaris missiles, a brief discussion of possible targeting arrangements for Polaris, and the possible timing of the introduction of Polaris and the phase out of Jupiter missiles.  One point concerned “Equating of Italy and Turkey with Cuba.” U.S. officials were advised to make no comment on the matter, but if raised, officials should observe that when the Soviets equated missiles in Cuba with Jupiters in Italy and Turkey “we absolutely refused accept any such comparison or deal.” A version of these points would soon go to Fanfani’s foreign policy adviser, Carlo Marchiori.