Joint Intelligence Committee Daily Summary

World War II:
Joint Intelligence Committee Daily Summary

1,587 pages of the U.S. Joint Intelligence Committee Daily Summaries


The daily summaries date from December 28, 1941 to January 6, 1943. The Joint Intelligence Committee Daily Summary was discontinued on January 7, 1943. Many of these reports were not declassified until 1974. These summaries were intended to provide information on the strengths, weaknesses, and performance of the Axis and Allied forces. These summaries were used to aid strategic planning of the prosecution of the war.

The duties of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) were to prepare daily joint summaries of military and other directly related intelligence for President Roosevelt and other high officials, and such other special information and intelligence studies as the joint board required. The JIC was to have full access to Military Intelligence Division and Naval Intelligence Division files. When the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) organization replaced the Joint Army-Navy Board in February 1942, the committees established to support the joint board continued under the JCS.

Joint Intelligence Committee Daily Summaries were provided to President Roosevelt, the leadership of the War and Navy Departments, and other U.S. agency officials involved in the prosecution of the war. In addition, the British Joint Staff Mission was provided with these summaries.  The summaries contained information on the activities of the U.S. Army and Army Air Corps, Navy, Marine Corps as well as by Axis forces. The particulars in these summaries were subdivided into operational areas, theaters, and/or geographic areas. Operational areas and theaters included: the Far East, Pacific, Atlantic, West and East Europe, and the Middle East. Geographic areas included Latin America, North Africa, and Africa. The theaters and geographic areas were further subdivided into countries, U.S. and Allied command areas, island groups, and other specific locales.

The information summarized in these daily reports came from variety of sources including, military and naval attaches, overseas U.S. military/naval missions and observers, and U.S. and Allied command headquarters. In addition, information was obtained from U.S. diplomatic and consular sources, Allied political and military/naval agencies and ministries involved in the prosecution of the war, and the foreign press.

These summaries highlighted the operational activities of the Axis and provided insights into their intentions and capabilities. Intelligence on enemy deployments, force buildups, losses, and operations provided the U.S. and Allies with valuable information for planning the prosecution of the war. Annexes provided valuable information on enemy tactics, equipment, specific operations and capabilities, lessons learned, and Allied defensive and offensive capabilities. In addition, these annexes provided statistical information on Allied, neutral, and enemy merchant shipping and losses, forces strengths, and charts and maps depicting the progress of the war. While theses summaries emphasized the military and naval aspect of the war, there is a small amount of political information. This political information deals primarily with the situation in Latin America and U.S. and Allied relations with Vichy France.