General George Catlett Marshall had taken the chairman's seat at the Washington conference of NATO's defense ministers with a sense of urgency. In his briefcase was a comprehensive plan for the defense of Western Europe. A previous meeting of NATO's Military Committee had agreed on the armed forces each country would contribute and on a supreme command (TIME, Nov. 6). Equally essential in the American plan was a German contribution; Marshall wanted about ten West German divisions spread through the NATO force, in the ratio of one German to every six or seven divisions from other West European countries.


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