Exercise Verity was a WUDO naval training exercise involving 60 warships from the "British, "French, and "Dutch navies held in the "Bay of Biscay during July 1949. The exercise was under the overall command of "Admiral of the Fleet "Sir Rhoderick McGrigor, RN, the "Commander-in-Chief, Home Fleet. The 60-ship flotilla included the British battleship "Anson; the British carriers "Implacable, "Victorious and "Theseus; and the French carrier "Arromanches. Admiral McGrigor summarized the accomplishments of Exercise Verity by noting:
Following Exercise Verity, WUDO announced that a major ground military exercise was scheduled for Fall 1949 under overall command of "Général d'Armée "Jean de Lattre de Tassigny.[Note 1]
When the division of Europe into two opposing camps became unavoidable, the threat of the "USSR became much more important than concerns over German rearmament. Western European governments sought a new mutual defence pact involving the "United States. The United States recognized the growing threat of the USSR and was responsive to this concept. Secret meetings began by the end of March 1949 between "American, "Canadian and British officials to negotiate such a trans-Atlantic mutual defence pact. Eventually, it would lead to the formation of the "North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) with the North Atlantic Treaty signed in "Washington, DC, in 1949. NATO began setting up its own military command structure in 1951, at which time the headquarters, personnel, and plans of the WUDO were transferred to "Supreme Headquarters Allied Power Europe (SHAPE), and SHAPE took over responsibility for the defence of Western Europe.
WUDO consisted of a Western Union (WU) Defence Committee at the Prime Ministerial level, and a WU Combined Chiefs of Staff committee, comprising the national military chiefs of staff, which would direct the operational organization. "Field Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, "British Army, was the WUDO's senior officer as Chairman of the Commanders-in-Chief Committee which was created on 5 October 1948. Other nominated members of the Commanders-in-Chief Committee included:
The overall command structure was patterned after the wartime "Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), which included a joint planning staff. The WU Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee included observers from the United States. This American liaison mission was initially led by "Major General "Lyman L. Lemnitzer, "U.S. Army, and subsequently by Major General A. Franklin Kibler, USA.
Compiled by Dr. James A. Kuhlman, University of South Carolina, 1977; edited by Dr. Mark A. Cichock, University of Texas at Arlington.