Army Ground Forces Study No. 4
EARLY ANTICIPATIONS: A 200-DIVISION ARMY
On the day before the bombing of Pearl Harbor General McNair, then Chief of Staff, General Headquarters, estimated that an army of 200 divisions could be necessary for offensive action by the United States.7 Expectations of the War Department General Staff (WDGS), ran in 1942 to somewhat the same figure.8 A study of the Joint Chiefs on the ultimate size of the Army envisaged 334 divisions, an Air Force of 2,700,000 and an antiaircraft artillery force of no less than 1,120,000.9 In the spring of 1942 the United States, ejected from the Philippines, was everywhere on the defensive. The military value of its allies was profoundly open to question, the British having been driven from Singapore and being hard pressed in the Middle East, and the Russians making a seemingly, desperate stand on the Volga.
These forecasts for the American army were in the nature of preplanning estimates, and are significant mainly in illustrating the feeling at the time. Practical and specific phoning could hardly look beyond a year into the future. It was relatively moderate in its aims.
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Last updated 5 August 2005