Skip to content


31 - 40 of 15796


February 12, 1963

American Embassy Rome Telegram 1612 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

Detailed records of the conversations between Gilpatric and top Italian officials have yet to surface. The sole source is a telegram from the Rome Embassy summing up the talks with Fanfani. On February 11, Gilpatric and Ambassador G. Frederick Reinhardt met with Prime Minister Fanfani. Gilpatric reviewed U.S. plans for three Polaris submarines assigned to SACEUR to patrol the Mediterranean and the projected visit to Rome by Ambassador Livingston Merchant to discuss the multilateral force proposal. In that connection, Fanfani said that Italy had given up the proposal to equip the Garibaldi with Polaris missiles. Gilpatric discussed some of the negative implications of French President Charles De Gaulle’s 14 January 1963 press conference, which included statements critical of NATO. This raised concerns in Washington that  if the American people felt “unwanted” in Europe, there might be pressure to take a “more restrictive” position on the U.S. military presence in Europe. Fanfani agreed that it was “more important than ever for … the alliance to strive for greater unity.”

February 1963

Department of Defense Briefing Book, Mr. Gilpatric’s Visit to Rome 11-12 February 1963

Deputy Secretary of Defense Roswell Gilpatric visited Rome in February 1963 for meetings with Prime Minister Fanfani and Defense Minister Andreotti. The Jupiter missiles were on the agenda and this lengthy briefing book conveys the tacit linkage between the Jupiter dismantling and the range of nuclear and conventional forces issues that were then under discussion. They included, among others: the possible deployment of Polaris aboard the cruiser Garibaldi, “with the US retaining custody of the warheads”; the long-standing Italian quest for help in the development of a nuclear-powered submarine; and the conclusion of an arrangement for a co-production of M-113 armored personnel carriers in Italy.

Perhaps the most striking part of this compilation is the paper reviewing the Italian experiment to use the cruiser Garibaldi as a delivery vehicle for Polaris missiles.  According to the briefing paper, the main U.S. objection to the Garibaldi proposal had less to do with its technical aspects than with the broader NATO context. The problem with a bilateral deal was political, namely the Garibaldi’s potentially negative impact for the creation of a multilateral NATO force, including the potentially adverse repercussions for Turkey and West Germany.” The former could see it as an “unfair advantage to Italy ... in the  matter of [the] adequacy of a replacement for Jupiter missiles,” while the latter could see it giving Italy “some of preferred status.”

Not included in the copy that went to the State Department are the probably more sensitive papers on Polaris forces and the “Assignment of Forces” to NATO.

February 9, 1963

Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense from Major General John M. Reynolds, Vice Director Joint Staff, 'Withdrawal of Jupiter Missiles'

The Joint Staff prepared a detailed and lengthy report in response to a request from the Defense Department’s Office of International Security Affairs for an “outline plan for withdrawal and complete disposition” of the Jupiter missiles. A number of options were considered and rejected, including other military uses, offering the Jupiters to other agencies as a space booster, storing the missiles, and destroying them “without reclamation.” As there was “no identifiable requirement for the missiles,” the most appropriate option was “promptly dismantling and removing [them] from operational launch site.” While the warheads should be speedily returned to the United States, other useful components could be reclaimed, and the rest could be salvaged. The process would prevent the loss of high value components that were still usable, such as rocket motors, fueling trailers, and electronic devices. Such an outcome required decisions on the final disposition of Jupiter assets.

February 8, 1963

JCS Message 8569 to USCINCEUR

The Joint Chiefs sent General Lemnitzer this outline of the current plans to remove the Jupiter missiles. The main points are that the Jupiters should be inactivated by April 1 (although that was more likely for Italy than for Turkey), that one Polaris submarine should be in the Mediterranean by March 28 and a second one by April 10, that the JCS are taking steps to retarget weapons for when the Jupiters are offline, and that guidance on the Italian and Turkish role in the targeting of Polaris missiles has been prepared.

February 7, 1963

American Embassy Ankara Telegram 911 to the Secretary of State, Washington, DC

In this telegram, Hare asks Foreign Minister Erkin where things stand and informs him that the U.S. would be ready to “take speedy implementation action” on the Jupiters once Turkey had decided. Alluding to the military’s pivotal role in important government decisions, Erkin says that the military has the “final word,” and he would let Hare know once he has heard from them.

February 7, 1963

Department of State Telegram 1490 to the American Embassy Rome

In this overview of the state of the Jupiter/Polaris negotiations and the next steps, the State Department instructs Ambassador Hare to lead the negotiations with Turkey and to inform U.S missions that McNamara’s letter to Andreotti on the Polaris and Sergeant deployments was in the works; that Turkish “conditions” were not clear; that the U.S. and the two countries had to formally notify NATO of the “modernization” program; that bilateral agreements with Ankara and Rome on the Jupiter/Polaris arrangement would need to be negotiated; that steps had to be taken to prepare Polaris submarines for missions in the Mediterranean by April 1; and that the U.S. needed “considerable lead time” to prepare for the removal of the Jupiters. The negotiation of Turkey’s conditions for the Jupiter removal should not hold up notifying NATO or cause delay of the U.S.-Italy arrangements. On the use of the naval base at Rota, Spain, for stationing Polaris submarines, several NATO governments had objected (because of the Franco dictatorship), and so far Madrid had rejected U.S. proposals.

February 5, 1963

Department of State Telegram 680 to the American Embassy Ankara

The State Department remained concerned about reaching an agreement with Turkey in “principle without unfulfillable conditions of replacement Jupiter.” To move the negotiations along, this communication authorized Ambassador Hare to use as a “carrot” the Defense Department’s conditional approval of F-104 deliveries. It also advised him to avoid any “undue pressure” that could harm the negotiations.

February 1, 1963

OSD [Office of Secretary of Defense] Telegram 020123Z to Department of State

By late January, the negotiations with Turkey were bogged down, with Defense Minister Sancar asking for a Turkish military presence on the Polaris submarines as well as delivery of nuclear weapons for the F-100 Super Sabres before the Jupiters were replaced. Without a formal agreement on the Jupiters, the U.S. government held back from a decision on another matter: the delivery of F-104G fighter-bombers. Nevertheless, Defense Department officials approved a decision to “provide first available aircraft” in April 1963, which was necessary to authorize the Air Force’s “preliminary preparatory actions.” The U.S. would preserve its “bargaining position” by informing Turkey in writing that an “accelerated delivery date will become firm upon satisfactory conclusion of current US/Turkey negotiations.”

January 21, 1963

Memorandum for the Record by Lt. Colonel R.B. Spilman, Assistant Secretary, 'Summary of Discussions by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Deputy Director, STPS [Strategic Target Planning Staff], Regarding Retargeting to Cover Withdrawal of JUPITER Missiles fr

The Joint Chiefs met with Admiral Roy L. Johnson, the deputy director of the Joint Strategic Targeting Planning Staff [JSTPS], to discuss how to cover the target gap left by the dismantling of 45 Jupiter missiles and also the gap that would be caused by the temporary absence of one Polaris submarine during its transit from Holy Loch (Scotland) to the Mediterranean. Johnson saw the missile shortage as one that would be of “decreasing significance after July 1963” when more ICBMs would be entering the nuclear arsenal. To complete retargeting of the previous Jupiter targets  would take 90 days while retargeting of the Polaris submarines, which involved “cutting new cards for the computers,” would take several months. Johnson reviewed in detail the problems involved in providing coverage of the previously targeted bomber bases, military control centers, and other targets.  

JCS Chairman Taylor emphasized the importance of assuring General Lemnitzer that retargeting would not injure NATO’s position and that the U.S. would retain the “present level of missile attacks” against Soviet missile and bomber bases that threatened NATO. Johnson made suggestions for “alternative criteria” to provide coverage of Soviet threat targets, while the Chiefs conveyed their criteria for retargeting, such as the same level of damage expectancy for the Jupiter targets.

Written on top of this document is the word “SIOP [Single Integrated Operational Plan]” because the targeting problems that the Chiefs were discussing with Admiral Johnson were integral to the U.S. nuclear war plan.

January 18, 1963

JCS Telegram 8283 to USCINCEUR and CINCLANT

This message conveyed several decisions that McNamara had detailed in a memorandum on “The Replacement of Jupiter and Related Matters.” One Sergeant missile battalion would be deployed in Italy to replace Corporal missiles. The U.S. would not transfer to Italy “operational responsibilities” for nuclear weapons currently deployed to the Southern European Task Force [SETAF]. The U.S. would not deploy Pershing missiles to Italy. Planning would begin for the assignment of three Polaris submarines to the Mediterranean beginning April 1, 1963. Finally, plans would be made to deliver 14 104-G’s to Turkey during April 1963.