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To Captain Julius Klein1
February 3, 1938 Vancouver Barracks, Washington
My dear Julius:
I would have replied to your Ms earlier, but I have been away on an inspection trip.
It is difficult for me to advise you about such matters, except to tell you where I think your fiction does not rhyme with fact. In chapter 13 you combine two things in the Intelligence or G-2, only one of which pertains to G-2 and was handled there. I refer to the map showing the locations of the German and the Allied divisions. G-2 maintained the map showing the location of German divisions, and was responsible for obtaining the data on which it was based. The actual location determined for the German divisions was not a secret, and was furnished every division headquarters, and higher units, in the form of a lithographed copy which was issued at frequent intervals.
The map showing the Allied divisions was a responsibility of G-3, but even so, was not kept in the G-3 section, but at another point in the building and carefully guarded. The data for this map was not a matter of difficulty of determination, so long as the French and the British headquarters were willing to give us information as to the daily location of their divisions. Of course we knew where our own were. The information on this map was what the entire German Secret Service was striving to obtain, just as our G-2 section was striving to obtain the same data regarding the Germans.
The French and British at first hesitated to turn loose the data regarding their divisions, as we had no immediate use for such data, not having any field armies; and also, I suppose because it was such vital information that they did not wish to risk it in our headquarters until we had become pretty well established and GHQ affairs routinized.
This G-3 map, the replica of which is in the Smithsonian in Washington as it showed the divisions on November 11, was utilized by the Commander in Chief, the Chief of Staff and the G-3 for the determination of such plan of campaign as suited the directive of Marshal Foch.
Understand again, G-2 collects information about the enemy, and G-3 utilizes it. In one sense, G-2 was not at all concerned in what our own people were doing, except that it assisted them in obtaining information of the enemy.
I hope this rather involved information will clear things up, at least to the point where you can use such poetic license as necessary to your plot.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Vancouver Barracks, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed letter.
1. Klein—a correspondent during the World War and editor for Hearst newspapers (1926-33)—joined the Illinois National Guard in 1933 and led an investigation of subversive activities in the middle west, 1933-34. On leave from the Illinois National Guard, he had been an executive for R.K.O. and Universal Pictures in Hollywood, California, since 1934. He was writing an American spy novel set during the World War and had sent Marshall parts of his draft for comment.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 580-581.