740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–1145

The United States Political Adviser for Germany (Murphy) to the Secretary of State

No. 138

Sir: I have the honor to inform the Department that US Group CC was approached, through SHAEF, by the 12th Army Group concerning the latter’s proposal that two military districts in the U.S. Zone be set up instead of the four which are based on existing Wehrkreise as originally planned. Under this proposal the two Wehrkreise into which Bavaria is divided would be combined into a single military district (“District A”), and the other two Wehrkreise, which include the states of Hessen, Hessen-Nassau, Württemberg and Baden, would be combined into a second military district (“District B”). Each military district would be under an Army rather than a Corps command.

The interested Divisions of US Group CC were circularized for their opinion regarding the 12th Army Group proposal, and their views were incorporated into a report to General Wickersham, a copy of which is enclosed.12 Reference is made in this report to the comments submitted by the Political Division. The complete text of these comments, which may be of interest to the Department, is as follows:

  • “1. It appears that the question of whether there should be a 4 or a 2 district organization of the U.S. Zone is a matter to be determined primarily by military considerations, although the U.S. authorities in Washington would doubtless be interested in the political results particularly as they affect the program of decentralization in Germany.
  • 2. Under either arrangement apparently Bavaria would be a unified district for military government purposes, which is believed to be desirable from the standpoint of fostering possible Bavarian autonomy.
  • 3. If the 2-district plan is adopted on military grounds, it is believed that certain special steps should nevertheless be taken to encourage decentralization within the district to the west of Bavaria. This western district might be found fairly unwieldy for military government purposes and the populations are not held together by the same degree of local feeling as the Bavarians. It is therefore suggested that within the single district which would be set up for military administrative purposes, autonomy and decentralization might initially be fostered by placing Württemberg, Baden, Hessen and Hessen-Nassau [Page 929] each under separate military government administrations. If consistent with military procedure this arrangement would seem to be desirable from a political point of view.”13

Respectfully yours,

Robert Murphy
  1. Not printed; this memorandum presented the four principal views expressed in the U.S. Group, Control Council, on the proposal and concluded that there were no objection from that body to the suggested arrangement of millitary districts.
  2. In despatch 151, February 13, from London, Ambassador Murphy informed the State Department of SHAEF approval of the proposal to have two rather than four military districts in the U.S. zone (740.00119 Control (Germany)/2–1345).