Chapter XXIII 
 
OCTAGON End of an Era
 
As OCTAGON, the second Quebec conference, convened at the close of the summer of 1944 in the impressive Chateau Frontenac perched high on the north bank of the St. Lawrence, the Allied skein of victories in Europe and the Pacific extended unbroken from SEXTANT. Churchill could triumphantly assert, "Everything we had touched had turned to gold . . . ."1
 
In Europe, the German position had steadily deteriorated during the summer. The impetus of OVERLORD and ANVIL-DRAGOON had brought the western allies to the German border. In the south they had breached the Pisa-Rimini line. In the east the Russians had marched into Poland and the Baltic states. One after another, German satellites-Rumania, Bulgaria, Finland-had defected from the Nazi standard. The three fronts-western, eastern, and southern-were converging. Intelligence estimates indicated that the German surrender would come by 1 December at the latest, although signs of internal collapse were not yet clearly evident.2
 
In the Pacific, MacArthur's forces by the end of the summer had established control over most of New Guinea. Nimitz had seized the southern Marianas. While the conference was in progress Morotai was assaulted by troops from the Southwest Pacific Area, and Pacific Ocean Area units landed in the southern Palaus. The encircling lines were being drawn ever closer about Japan. Only in the CBI could the situation be considered somewhat disturbing as the Japanese moved in on the American airfields in east China, but even in that theater some comfort could be gleaned from the favorable turn of events in north Burma and the mounting tonnage of the airlift to China.
From the point of view of General Marshall and his advisers, the Allied military engines in the West and in the East were finally headed in the right directions and approaching their destinations at the proper speed. It but remained to ensure that they stay on the tracks laid out for them and complete their journeys as quickly and as safely as possible. By OCTAGON the midwar era, the period of great strategic debate and decision, was drawing to a close, and a new era, with complex problems of its own for the Army planners, was beginning.
 
The Second Quebec Conference
 
In the glow of success and approaching victory, the Anglo-American conferees assembled on 12. September for the series of discussions fostered by the British.
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GUARD OF HONOR ON REVIEW AT THE CITADEL, Quebec, 12 September l944.
GUARD OF HONOR ON REVIEW AT THE CITADEL, Quebec, 12 September l944.
 
U.S. staff attendance at the five-day conference was limited to the four joint Chiefs of Staff, two of the joint Strategic Survey Committee, the four joint Staff Planners, three chiefs of operations, the two JCS secretaries, and twenty-two planning officers, a total of thirty-seven-a compact though representative group.3 Since, strategically speaking, there was in the view of the Americans relatively little to discuss, they had reluctantly consented to the meeting. Only after repeated pleas from Churchill had the President agreed to meet with him and the Combined staffs in another full-scale conference.4 The smooth functioning of the Allied forces in Europe indicated that operational strategy could well be left in the hands of the field commanders, and the Americans had little enthusiasm for a consideration of Pacific strategy at this time. The absence of pressing military affairs indicated that the center of the stage might well be occupied by political questions. In preparation for such an eventuality, the Operations Division had briefed the Chief of Staff on the two items that were held to be most urgent by the British: the U.S. proposal to withdraw the Fifth Army from Italy to France and the British proposal to join in the Pacific war.
 
The Operations Division believed part
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or all of the Fifth Army should be transferred to France if it could be used there effectively. The timing of such a move would depend on the progress or outcome of the offensive in Italy. If Eisenhower could not use the Fifth Army in France, the United States should employ it in a campaign toward Vienna rather than allow it to become involved in Balkan operations. The Army planners had no objections to the British engaging in operations in southeastern Europe as long as agreed-upon plans were not jeopardized. In fact, if it were possible, the United States should consider supporting the British in Balkan operations with shipping and transport planes.5 The indisposition to have U.S. troops become embroiled in the Balkans was similar to the reluctance to have them take part in the recovery of colonial areas in the Far East. The planners felt that on a long-term basis little good and much damage could result from such interference.
 
The United States did not propose to withdraw major Fifth Army units from Italy until General Wilson had completed the campaign then under way to defeat General field marshal Albert Kesselring, and at the conference the British were reassured by Marshall on this point With the southern France operation safely launched, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff were more sympathetic to a British amphibious landing on the Istrian Peninsula, and King stated his willingness to allow Wilson to use the amphibious landing craft employed in the southern France operation, should Wilson decide to carry out the plan sponsored by the British. Since the shipping was also needed elsewhere, the CCS agreed to give Wilson until 10 October to make up his mind on the operation.6 From the American point of view, a British move against the Istrian Peninsula, which would supposedly be followed by a drive toward Vienna, might successfully skirt the controversial Balkans and bring additional pressure on Germany.
 
Other European matters were handled without difficulty. The CCS agreed that command of the forces in southern France should pass from Wilson to Eisenhower on 15 September. They found little fault with Eisenhower's expressed intention of striking through the West Wall into the Ruhr and Saar. His plan to make the main effort in the north also was approved, and the CCS seconded his desire to open the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam before poor weather conditions set in.7
 
In an administrative move by the British, the, strategic bombing effort was brought back under the CCS, with Portal and Arnold acting as executive agents. Apparently, the main reason for this change was to restore to more direct control of the Air Ministry the British bombers of Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris-who had been operating closely with Eisenhower's staff. The arrangement was to produce little effect upon American operations, which continued
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to be carried out by coordination between Eisenhower and Spaatz.8
 
Admitting their lack of authority to settle the question of occupation zones in Germany, the CSS sought guidance from the President and Prime Minister. The President, who had stubbornly resisted all previous efforts to arrange a compromise, suddenly changed his position and agreed to accept the original COSSAC proposal for British forces to occupy northwestern and U.S. forces southwestern Germany Soviet forces were to control the eastern portion.9 Berlin would be administered under a tripartite control. To make it easier for the United States to solve its logistical problems, the British agreed to let Bremen and its port, Bremerhaven, come under U.S. control.10 The agreement dovetailed quite satisfactorily with the tactical situation, since the British on the north and the Americans on the south would logically be in or close to their proper zones of occupation when Germany surrendered, and it abolished the need for a postwar transfer of armies, with all the attendant confusion.
 
The President and the Prime Minister also discussed future measures to prevent the rearmament of Germany. Churchill maintained that the British would want to be quite harsh with the nation that had caused them to go through two terrible wars. The two leaders considered dismantling the warmaking industries of the Ruhr and Saar under the aegis of some world organization as a possible solution, and initialed the so-called Morgenthau plan, which would eliminate the heavy industry in these areas and foster a return of Germany to an agricultural economy.11
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With the end of the European war in sight, the Prime Minister also brought up the matter of continuing lend-lease aid, a vital subject to the British. Roosevelt agreed that Britain must rebuild its export trade if it were once more to pay its way after the war. He also thought it would be proper not to attach any conditions to future lend-lease that might jeopardize Britain's recovery. Churchill assured him that no U.S. goods acquired by this method would be exported or sold for profit.12
 
In an effort to secure closer Soviet cooperation in Europe and in the Far East, the conferees decided to set up a combined military committee in Moscow to represent the Chiefs of Staff of the Big Three on strategy and operational matters. The U.S. and British military heads of mission in the USSR would act for the CCS, and it was hoped that the Russians would appoint a senior General Staff officer to the committee.13
 
The expected collapse of Germany in the near future served to focus more attention upon the war against Japan. Although the battle in the Pacific was far from over, the enemy's position had become increasingly grim. According to intelligence estimates, Japanese aircraft production had increased, but heavy air losses had resulted in a serious shortage of trained pilots and crews. At sea, the Japanese Navy and merchant marine had suffered severely and the shipping outlook was critical. Henceforth, the Japanese Navy and Air Force would be commuted only when the "Inner Zone" was menaced or attacked. Only the Japanese ground forces remained intact and capable of bitter and prolonged resistance. 14 The United States would shortly be approaching the "Inner Zone" in its attempt to recapture the Philippines and stiff land battles appeared to lie ahead. There was certainty in the minds of the Army planners of final victory, but it was accompanied by feelings of caution and anxiety that arose from the conflicting desires to accelerate the war and to hold down casualties. With the acceptance of the invasion concept, during the summer of 1944, and its confirmation at the conference, the planners would be occupied in finding courses of action that, as to both speed and losses, would be acceptable to the military leaders and to the American people.
 
In this search, Kenney's air forces and Halsey's fleet carriers gave the planners a helping hand. In devastating sweeps over the Philippines in early September, Third Fleet aircraft dealt the Japanese crushing air blows that fittingly followed up the yeoman work of the Army Air Forces. The scarcity of air opposition led Halsey to suggest that the Palaus operation be canceled and that forces scheduled for the operations be assigned to MacArthur for an immediate descent upon Leyte. Here was the doctrine of flexibility at its peak, but a quick exchange of messages between Halsey, Nimitz, MacArthur, and the JCS at Quebec revealed that it was somewhat too daring. Halsey's superiors still felt that the Palaus were necessary to further advance, though there was general willing-
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ness to cancel the Yap operation and release three Army divisions-the 7th, 77th, and 96th-to MacArthur. It took only ninety minutes to secure the JCS's blessing, aid the target date for Leyte was dramatically pushed forward two whole months, to 20 October, while all intermediate operations after Morotai were canceled.15
 
The swiftness with which the Pacific war was moving as the Navy and Air Forces shifted into high gear may have been one of the reasons that the British took a firm stand at the conference on their future participation in the main operations against Japan. The British had a considerable economic and political stake in the Far East and realized that the psychological effects of their defeat in 1941-42 would have to be erased by military victory. Churchill quite firmly opposed bypassing Singapore, which the President suggested might be too strongly garrisoned by the Japanese. Churchill emphasized that a campaign to recapture Singapore, in addition to engaging large forces of the enemy and helping the U.S. Pacific drive, would yield a "great prize."16 Despite the fact that the capture of Singapore would probably come too late to affect the outcome of the war, the humiliating loss of 1942 had to be militarily redeemed to bolster imperial prestige throughout the Far East for the postwar era.
 
In the absence of guidance from the President on any future plans he may have had for Indochina and Hong Kong, the Army planners' recommendations were consistent in eschewing employment of U.S. troops for political purposes. If the decision to recapture the Philippines had political overtones, it must be remembered that the Philippines were also a valuable military target and probably would have had to be taken anyway.
 
In spite of U.S. willingness to accept the participation of other interested Allies in the war against Japan and to acquiesce in the recovery of former possessions, a rather acrimonious CCS debate developed at OCTAGON Over the size and area of the British contribution. The British wished to put their main fleet in the Pacific under Nimitz rather than employ it to clear the Indian Ocean or to harry the enemy's flank in the Malaya-Netherlands East Indies sector. The British felt that they must make a good showing in the big operation against the Japanese homeland for political reasons. On the other hand, King could not see withdrawing U.S. naval units to make room for British forces when they were not needed and, in his opinion, could be used more profitably elsewhere. The fact that the President had twice accepted Churchill's flat offer of the British Fleet made King's position difficult to maintain, but he refused to make any definite arrangements on the use of British naval units. In the end, the CCS agreed that a balanced and self-supporting British fleet would participate in the main Pacific operations; the methods of its employment would be decided from time to time in accordance with prevailing circumstances. The British withdrew their alternative offer to form an Empire task force, since ac-
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ceptance of the fleet had been their preferred proposal. Nor was General Arnold enthusiastic about the British offer of very long range bomber assistance, which the British made for the first time at OCTAGON, though the conferees agreed that Air Marshal Portal should prepare for planning purposes an estimate on the possible RAF contribution to the Japanese war.17 The British had succeeded in getting their fleet into the Pacific on paper, at least, but the indefinite terminology of the agreement foreshadowed further debate. Since the Army's interests were less directly involved, Marshall could hold somewhat aloof from the debate, and when he did enter it, he could serve more as an intermediary than as a partisan.
 
While the JCS may have been less than enthusiastic over the British interest in the Pacific, they were in full accord with their ally's desire to clean up the Burma commitment as quickly as possible. If the British were to take part in other operations in SEAL and recapture Singapore, they would first have to defeat the enemy in Burma and free the forces and resources tied down there. In order to carry out the Rangoon operation, however, some six divisions would have to be pulled out of Italy and northwestern Europe. This dependence upon the outcome in Europe made an attempt on Rangoon impossible until at least the spring of 1945. In the meantime, Mountbatten would try to advance in the direction of Mandalay with the aid of the Ledo and Yunnan Chinese forces. Land communication with China would be opened as soon as possible and the air route secured. If the Rangoon operation could not be carried out in early 1945, then the Mandalay advance would be exploited as far as possible.18 To assist the British effort in Burma, Churchill bid for two divisions from the United States-a request Marshall beat off on the ground that every division in the United States was already allocated either to Europe or to the Pacific.19
 
The JCS could not accept the British proposal that, in planning for the defeat of Japan, a date of two years after the defeat of Germany be used for the redeployment of forces, planning of production, and allocation of manpower. Marshall informed the British Chiefs of Staff that the U.S. Army used a time factor of one year for redeployment and demobilization, but that for planning of production and allocation of manpower a compromise estimate of eighteen months would be satisfactory. The CCS adopted the U.S. suggestion and made provision for the periodic adjustment of this time element in the light of the course of the war.20 They also decided that there should be combined exploration into the problems of redeployment and available shipping for the period following the end of the European war.21
 
In the operational field, the British early gave their assent to the U.S. sched-
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ule of Pacific objectives for 1944-45. The schedule was changed during the conference when the Leyte date was moved forward. Arnold reported on the B-29 and its parent organization, the Twentieth Air Force, which were operating from China, but which would soon be able to use the Marianas to strike at the Japanese homeland. Other B-29 groups would be based at airfields on Luzon or Formosa as they became available.22
 
General Marshall's suggestion toward the end of the meetings on a press statement to be issued by the President and Prime Minister would best seem to characterize the tenor of the conference:
. . . the only difficulty encountered at the Conference was the problem of providing employment fox all the Allied forces who were eager to participate in the war against Japan. The difficulty had arisen as a result of the keenness of the competition to employ the maximum possible forces for the defeat of Japan.23
 
The very fact that the disagreements were few and relatively minor would seem to mark the summit of coalition warfare and the "golden era" of combined strategic planning. Although the conference made no important decisions and might very well never have been held insofar as military strategy was concerned, it was the forerunner of the political meetings at Yalta and Potsdam. Churchill was much concerned about "the political dangers of divergencies" between the Soviet Union and the Western Allies with respect to Poland, Greece, and Yugoslavia, but his proposal to "add a word" to this effect to the communication to Stalin summarizing the military results of the conference was turned down by Roosevelt. 24 The signs pointed unmistakably to fuller discussion and deeper consideration of political problems in the near future. Common military concerns would be increasingly dwarfed by the giant specter of national interests and international policy conflicts. Henceforth the problems of winning the war would come up against the problems of winning the peace.
 
This last of the midwar conferences was in some ways oddly reminiscent of the first in the series-Casablanca. Both were inconclusive conferences serving to mark a transition from one era to another. Casablanca initiated the predominantly military conferences of 1943-44, and OCTAGON was the first of the predominantly political gatherings that would epitomize the last year of the war. In January 1943 there had been no accepted over-all plan for the defeat of Germany, and strategy had been conducted on an opportunistic basis, as witness the decision to invade Sicily. By September 1944 the Allies stood in the same position in regard to Japan-flexibility was the keynote and timing of operations was sometimes determined on the spur of the moment, as the Leyte decision attests. At Casablanca the CCS were interested in the possible effects of the Combined Bomber Offensive upon Germany. At Quebec, the B-29 and its influence upon the Japanese were given considerable attention. One of the problems that occupied a great deal of time at Casablanca had been the ANAKIM
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operation to clear Burma of the Japanese. After many vicissitudes during the ensuing months, a full cycle had been completed and the OCTAGON meetings placed an operation to drive the enemy from Burma back on the planning books.
 
As might be expected, there were also points of contrast between the two conferences, symbolizing the maturation of the U.S. staff planning and machinery as well as the progress of the war. U.S. staff preparations for the international conferences had been reduced almost to a science, and elaborate compilations of background material to brief the Chief of Staff and his assistants thoroughly were worked up beforehand. The Americans had learned the British committee procedure very well and were able to cope with their allies on an equal basis, a far cry from the experience of the overburdened staff at Casablanca. In planning for military operations, the U.S. staff and its chiefs had drawn much closer to the President and were able to present and keep a united American front vis--vis the British, but close coordination on political matters between the White House and the military staff was still wanting.
 
Basic concepts had also undergone quite a change between Casablanca and OCTAGON. The importance once ascribed to China had been modified by time and frustration to a shadow of its earlier manifestation. The hope that the USSR would enter the war against Japan had been much strengthened in the interim. The elaborate machinations of the Allies, from Casablanca on, to induce Turkey to enter the war against Germany had become of secondary importance; no mention at all was made of Turkey at OCTAGON. In fact, the Mediterranean issue, which had been such a source of controversy at Casablanca, drew little fire at OCTAGON. On the other hand, the cautious optimism of Casablanca regarding the possibility that Japan might not have to be invaded had been superseded by the grim assumption that assault of the enemy's homeland would be necessary. At Casablanca the Americans had sounded the offensive note against Japan. But the still conservative and, to a considerable degree, defensive attitude at Casablanca on the war in the East had given way to a more audacious, offensive spirit at OCTAGON. Speed had become the watchword of the U.S. staff, and the British, reluctant to countenance any major Pacific advances at Casablanca, were now eager not to be excluded from the main operations against Japan.
 
With OCTAGON, the cycle of great Anglo-American conferences concerned with the formulation of grand strategy came to an end. The midway era began with the turning of the tide against the Axis Powers and ended with the complete alteration of the military situation in favor of the Allies. The era began with the transition of the Allies to the strategic initiative but without an agreed plan even for defeating Germany, the primary foe. It had opened with General Marshall's vigorous but vain last stand for the American case for a concentrated cross-Channel attack in 1943 as against the British case for continuing a Mediterranean policy. Great Britain, with a greater number of divisions in the field and greater experience in the war, was still the senior partner, and its influence in the Western strategic councils still tended to dominate. The USSR was battling for survival before
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MEMBERS OF JOINT PLANNING STAFF AT OCTAGON. Around the table from left: Capt.. Paul D. Stroop, Rear Adm. Donald B. Duncan, Capt. James Fife, Lt. D. lWl. Gribbon, Brig. Gen. William W. Bessell, Jr., Cast. E. W. Burrough, Brig. Gen. Frank F. Everest, Brig. Gen. Joe L. Loutxenheiser, Brig. Gen. Richard G. Lindsay, Brig. Gen. Frank N. Roberts, and Cot. George A. Lincoln.
MEMBERS OF JOINT PLANNING STAFF AT OCTAGON. Around the table from left: Capt. Paul D. Stroop, Rear Adm. Donald B. Duncan, Capt. James Fife, Lt. D. M. Gribbon, Brig. Gen. William W. Bessell, Jr., Capt. E. W. Burrough, Brig. Gen. Frank F. Everest, Brig. Gen. Joe L. Loutxenheiser, Brig. Gen. Richard G. Lindsay, Brig. Gen. Frank N. Roberts, and Cot. George A. Lincoln.
 
the gates of Stalingrad and pleading for a second front. From Casablanca on, General Marshall and the U.S. staff had conducted the search for an acceptable strategic formula against Germany that would ensure its speedy defeat and permit the United States to get on with the war against Japan." Their hopes had centered around perfecting plans for the invasion hand defeats of Germany in 1944-the central thread in their strategic planning and debates of midwar. In the process the U.S. staff, intent an invasion across the channel, learned to adjust its thinking to this and that operation as its skill in military diplomacy grew. By OCTAGON the strategy and plans against Germany, hammered out in and out of the midwar conferences and embodying the American case, were in process of realization. In September 1944 the end far Germany looked very near, although later events were to prove the planners overoptimistic in their belief that the war would be over by the end of the year at the maximum. The trend of the period for U.S. strategic planning was symbolized in the contrasting roles General Marshall played at Casablanca and at OCTAGON. At Casablanca-as at TRIDENT, QUADRANT, and SEXTANT-EUREKA-General Marshall had
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served as counsel for the American case. By OCTAGON his midwar role as advocate was over. At that conference he appeared rather as a principal architect of victory, advising and checking on the almost-complete structure against the blueprints he had done so much to fashion.
 
Behind the Anglo-American strategic debates between Casablanca and OCTAGON, significant changes had taken place in the balance of military power within the coalition, a phenomenon having as important implications for the determination of war strategy as for the future relations among the partners in the wartime coalition. The Soviet bear, steadily gathering strength and confidence after Stalingrad, had been able to make its weight felt in the strategic scales at the Moscow and Tehran conferences, and in the summer of 1944 was demonstrating by a series of faits accomplis in its advance across Europe that it was a power to be reckoned with by the West in the future political settlement of Europe. In addition, the Americans by the close of the period had drawn abreast and begun to pass the British in deployed military strength in the field in Europe. OCTAGON would be the last time in World War II that Churchill, proud guardian of British power and prestige, could boast that
 
. . . the British Empire effort in Europe, counted in terms of divisions in the field, was about equal to that of the United States. This was as it should be. He was proud that the British Empire could claim equal partnership with their great ally, the United States, whom he regarded as the greatest military power in the world.
 
More significant for the future, however, was his admission that "the British Empire effort had now reached its peak, whereas that of their ally was ever-increasing."25
 
Expansion and Distribution of U.S. Military Power
 
After almost three years of war, Marshall and his staff could survey the current status of the conflict with considerable satisfaction. Coalition planning had reached its peak, and Anglo-American disagreements had been few at OCTAGON. On the Continent, by the end of September 1944, Germany had been driven back in confusion to the dubious safety of the West Wall, and France and Belgium had been largely cleared of the enemy. The Russians striking in the Baltic provinces had invested Estonia and the greater part of Latvia. In the Balkans, most of Bulgaria and Rumania were under Soviet control, and the Germans were evaluating Greece. In the Pacific, the Japanese high command watched with growing uneasiness the American thrust toward the strategic Formosa-Luzon-China coast triangle. With the southern Palaus, Ulithi, and Morotai in Allied hands, the movement into the Philippines would soon follow. It was a sanguine moment for the strategic planners, for never had the road seemed more free of obstacles.
 
Strategically speaking, the course of the war had settled down into the channels originally laid out by the Army planners. The main weight of Army strength and power was being directed against the German war machine, which, in the planners' view, could not hold out
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much longer. Once Germany collapsed, full attention could finally be given to the far Pacific. At long last the worn precept, "Knock Germany out first, then concentrate on Japan," showed signs of fulfillment.
 
Channeling U.S. military power to the United Kingdom for a concentrated attack against Germany had been a long struggle for General Marshall and his staff. During the first year after Pearl Harbor the cream of the trained American military manpower had been skimmed off; the available forces were deployed to meet the world-wide defensive and garrison needs of that critical period. The better part of 1942 had passed before U.S. military power began to have appreciable effect in the theaters of operation. The impact, however, was to be felt not in northwest Europe, on which the Army planners had set their sights, but in North Africa and at Guadalcanal. In the second year-the period between Casablanca and SEXTANT-EUREKA-as the demands of diversionary offensive operations in the Pacific and the Mediterranean mounted, the Army staff gave serious attention to the limits of the manpower supply and made strenuous efforts to conserve the precious stock of growing military strength for the cross-Channel invasion. During that year of critical debate over global strategy, fewer U.S. divisions were actually sent overseas than in 1942. The better part of the year following Casablanca had passed before substantial U.S. ground combat power was finally being deployed to the United Kingdom.
 
The distribution of the Army effort from January through September 1944 accentuated the fact that the keynote for deployment was "more of the same,"
rather than any change from the trend established in late 1943. Actually, more divisions were sent overseas in the first nine months of 1944-the bulk of them going to the European Theater-than had been shipped overseas during the previous two years.26 To support OVERLORD and its follow-up operations, the Army funneled forces into the United Kingdom and later into continental Europe in ever-increasing numbers during the first three quarters of 1944. Slightly over two million men (2,053,417)-including 34 divisions and 103 air groups-were in the European theater at the end of this period, over 45 percent of the total number of troops overseas in all theaters. In the Mediterranean, on the southern flank, the United States had 712,915 troops, including 6 divisions and 46 air groups. If the 9,354 troops stationed in Africa and the Middle East and the 27,739 located in the Persian Gulf Command were counted in, a total of 2,803,425 U.S. Army troops, including 40 divisions and 149 air groups, was concentrated on the defeat of Germany.27
 
Scattered through the Pacific, the Army had 1,102,422 men deployed against Japan, including 21 divisions and 35 air groups. There were no U.S. divisions in the CBI, but a total of 149,014 troops manned the lines of communications and 20 air groups were stationed in that theater. And even though the Alaskan garrison had been reduced, there were still 63,485 men, including two air groups, on duty there at the end of September. When these far-flung forces were totaled, they added up to
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1,314,931, including 21 Army divisions and 57 air groups, engaged in the war against Japan.28
A comparison of the distribution of effort between the European and the Pacific-Far East wars points up the concentration of Army forces against Germany that had begun in 1943. Of the 1,833,937 men shipped overseas during the first nine months of 1944, over 75 percent had been sent to the European area; less than 22 percent had been assigned to the Pacific-Far East. The overall breakdown of Army troops overseas gave the war against Germany a 2 to 1 advantage over the Japanese conflict, and this was matched by the Army divisional distribution.29 Forty divisions were located in Europe and the Mediterranean with four more en route, as against twenty-one in the Pacific.30 In the air, the
  preponderance lay even more heavily in favor of Europe-149 groups, or 72 percent, were allocated to that struggle as opposed to 57 groups on the other side of the world. With the bulk of the Army's combat strength overseas deployed against the Reich, and with most of the divisions that were in the United States slated to go to the European theater, the Chief of Staff and his planners could consider their original concept well on the way toward accomplishment. Although there were still over three and a half million men left in the continental United States at the end of September, there were only twenty-four combat divisions remaining, if the four en route were excluded.31 Though most of the twenty-four were eventually to be sent to Europe, the Army planners had hoped to maintain some of the divisions as a strategic reserve to cope with unforeseen emergencies. The estimated size of the reserve ranged from five to fifteen divisions, but no definite decision had ever been made by the Chief of Staff. With Germany supposedly on its last legs, there seemed little need for concern on that score. When the crisis caused by the Ardennes breakthrough of December 1944 denuded the United States of all the remaining divisions and left the strategic reserve a memory, the
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possibility of having raised too few divisions rose again to cause War Department leaders from Stimson on down some anxious moments.32 Fortunately this was the last unpleasant surprise. Another such crisis would have found the divisional cupboard bare.
 
Besides the twenty-four divisions, there were some thirty-three air groups still assigned to the continental United States, mostly B-29 units preparing for the Pacific war. But even were these groups to be sent to the Pacific, the greater part of Army airpower would have been mounted against Germany.
 
Thus, in the long run, Marshall and his staff not only were able to reverse the trend toward the Pacific that had lasted well into 1943 but had also gone to the other extreme during 1944. Because of unexpected developments in the European war, not one division was sent to the Pacific after August 1944, and planned deployment totals for the Pacific for 1944 were never attained. European deployment, on the other hand, mounted steadily and substantially exceeded the planners' estimates.33 It was evident by September 1944 that the Army was going to complete World War II according to the original concept of "beat Germany first" and that the war against Japan would have to wait its turn. By the fall of 1944 the defeat of Germany was certain; the only uncertainty was the precise timing.
 
The Status of Strategy
 
The War Against Germany
 
Growing U.S. military strength on the European continent signified more than a fulfillment of the original strategic concept of defeating Germany first. It also assured the triumph of the U.S. staff principle of a decisive military war. To meet and defeat the armies of Germany in battle was the goal toward which the Americans had long been aiming. It was for this reason that General Marshall and his staff had sought to put a brake on diversionary deployments in the midway period. To reverse the trend of 1942 and make the Mediterranean supply a strategic reserve for the cross-Channel undertaking had been part of this aim. The U.S. staff struggle from Casablanca onward to limit the Mediterranean advances begun with TORCH, to favor western over eastern Mediterranean ventures, to reduce commitments to the Mediterranean, and to tie the Mediterranean undertakings to the support of the invasion of northwestern Europe were all directed to the goal of concentrating the main American military might against the German military machine. In 1943 that aim had taken concrete form in Marshall's endeavors to ensure the return of the seven U.S. and British divisions from the Mediterranean to the United Kingdom. His labors finally proved successful and made Churchill, dreaming of a more aggressive military policy in Italy and the eastern Mediterranean, unhappy. In 1944 the struggle between the protagonists had again revolved largely around Marshall's efforts to remove more Allied combat power from the Mediterranean
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in favor of the main continental drive as opposed to Churchill's attempts to direct that strength toward the east. This time the debate centered around the southern France operation, supported by the U.S. staff, vis--vis Churchill's eastern Mediterranean and southeastern European policy. The Americans again prevailed.
 
Back of the staff's fear of a policy of attritional and peripheral warfare against Germany in the midwar years lay its continued anxiety over the ultimate cost in men, money, and time-an anxiety made all the greater by the growing realization of the ultimate limits of U.S. manpower. For though the Americans were devoted to the principle of a decisive war, they were also fighting a war with a "guns-and-butter" policy. By 1943 the danger of overmobilization in the full tide of war presented itself to the military. If many more than ninety divisions were set aside as the nation's ground "cutting edge," the guns-and-butter policy might have been seriously jeopardized. It is true that more divisions could have been mobilized, if necessary, to fight an attritional-in Army terms an indecisive-war, but it is also true that this would have cut into production for American and Allied use and the high American standard of living both for civilians and for the armed forces, and ultimately would have had effects both on domestic politics and on relations with the Allies in the coalition. Neither the President nor the military was anxious to upset the apple cart and either disturb the American economy or put undue strain on the military and civilian population. To the military, the discernible limits in available military manpower and the fear of the effects of a long-continued period of maximum mobilization confirmed their concept of defeating Germany via a direct concentrated effort with a minimum of time, money, and manpower. By OCTAGON the U.S. concept of a decisive strategy had been clearly written into the pattern of Allied strategic decisions and was in process of realization.
 
The steady outstripping of British military power within the Allied coalition confirmed the trend that had begun to appear at the time of SEXTANT. By the end of 1943 the Americans had finally managed to reverse the trend of the first year and a half after Pearl Harbor during which the concepts of the more highly and longer mobilized British in the European war had been largely triumphant in Western Allied strategy councils. At the close of 1943 the Americans with their mighty industrial and military machine in high gear had, with Russian help, made the British yield to their ideas of continental strategy. The growing disparity of British military power vis--vis the American and the Russian within the coalition was to show up even more clearly after the summer of 1944. As the war against Germany stretched out beyond the hoped-for conclusion in 1944, British influence in Allied councils further declined. Between the growing power of the U.S. military machine, driving eastward intent on the destruction of the German armies, and the mighty Soviet bear, steadily gathering confidence and strength and making its weight felt in central and southeastern Europe, the British were largely left to their own devices to salvage what they could of their European and Mediterranean
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policy. Clearly, the Allies entered the last year of the war with the foundations of the coalition in further transition British influence on the wane, and the United States and the Soviet Union emerging as the two strongest military powers in Europe. Conscious of the American determination to withdraw from the Continent as quickly as possible after the defeat of Germany and the increasing signs of Soviet entrenchment in central and southeastern Europe, Churchill began to be alarmed.
 
To the Prime Minister the singleness of purpose of the Washington high command bent on the speedy destruction of German military power, despite the growing political character of the coalition war, was most frustrating. He has since lashed out: "In Washington especially longer and wider views should have prevailed." 34 But if the U.S. staff and the British Prime Minister, operating on different levels, did not see eye to eye on the importance of military versus political objectives in the concluding phases of the European war, the Prime Minister was not alone in his awareness that the defeat of Germany might leave the Soviet Union the dominant power on the European continent. In the summer of 1944 the U.S. military staff advised the Secretary of State:
 
While the war with Germany is well advanced towards final conclusion, the defeat of Germany will leave Russia in a position of assured military dominance in eastern Europe and in the Middle East. While it is true the U.S. and British will occupy and control western Europe, their strength in that area will thereafter progressively decline with the withdrawal of all but their occupational and enforcement forces, for employment against Japan, or for demobilization.
 
Going further, they foresaw the inevitable emergence of the USSR in a dominant position on the continent of Asia as well:
 
In estimating Russia's probable course as regards Japan, we must balance against such assurances as we have received from Russia, the fact that whether or not she enters the war, the fall of Japan will leave Russia in a dominant position on continental Northeast Asia, and, in so far as military power is concerned, able to impose her will in all that region.
 
The great historic changes in the international military balance in process would have important repercussions on the international political situation:
 
The successful termination of the war against our present enemies will find a world profoundly changed in respect of relative national military strengths, a change more comparable indeed with that occasioned by the fall of Rome than with any other change occurring during the succeeding fifteen hundred years. This is a fact of fundamental importance in its bearing upon future international political settlements and all discussions leading thereto. Aside from the elimination of Germany and Japan as military powers, and developments in the relative economic power of principal nations, there are technical and material factors which have contributed greatly to this change. Among these are the development of aviation, the general mechanization of warfare and the marked shift in the munitioning potentials of the great powers.
After the defeat of Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union will be the only military powers of the first magnitude. This is due in each case to a combination of geographical position and extent, and vast munitioning potential. While the U.S. can project its military power into many areas overseas, it is nevertheless true
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that the relative strength and geographic positions of these two powers preclude the military defeat of one of these powers by the other, even if that power were allied with the British Empire ....
 
As to the British position after the war:
Both in an absolute and relative sense . . . the British Empire will emerge from the war having lost ground both economically and militarily.35
 
Aware of the signs of growing and possibly irreconcilable conflicts between their partners in the coalition that might impair the progress of the war, the U.S. staff advocated postponement of territorial settlements until the military phase of the global conflict was over. In the absence of political instructions to the contrary, the military therefore fell back upon the task of applying the given resources and manpower to putting the finishing touches on the war against Germany and ending the disagreeable business as quickly as possible. For this task their tradition, training, organization, and planning had equipped them well. By the summer of 1944 the U.S. war machine had become highly proficient and, meshed with that of the British, was functioning with great precision. The staff would present the decisive military victory it had set out to achieve and let the chiefs of state and their political advisers deal with problems of territorial and political settlements. Thus for the Americans the war against Germany was to be concluded as the planners had wished to wage it from the beginning-a conventional war of concentration, a technical soldier's game.
 
The War Against Japan
 
As the war against Germany entered its final stage, the U.S. staff more than ever had its eyes on Japan. One of the main reasons behind the aim of bringing the war against Germany to a swift military conclusion was . to ensure the defeat of Japan as quickly and cheaply as possible. In fact, concern for the Pacific war had made the- staff redouble its efforts in the midwar period to reach a final settlement with the British on European strategy. But whereas in Europe the United States, despite its growing military power, bore equal responsibility with the British for strategy, in the war against Japan the United States, by virtue of geography, resources, and manpower, had, from the beginning, been the predominant partner.
 
To General Marshall and the U.S. staff the two wars had to be concluded as they had been waged from the beginning-as distinct but related efforts. Though war on the European continent had finally settled by OCTAGON into the channels long sought by the Army planning staff, the war against Japan, fought in jungles, on islands, on the sea, and in the air, across a vast ocean, promised to continue to follow more unconventional lines. Although the precise timing, full resources, and the final shape of Allied contributions to the defeat of Japan still awaited the end of the European conflict, the Americans continued to advance so rapidly across the Pacific that by the summer of 1944 they were overtaking even their most accelerated schedules. Before the ring finally closed around
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Japan, the Army planners were destined to learn more about the costs of waging a "secondary" and "limited" war in the far Pacific-the war that refused to stand still.
 
For the Army planners perhaps the outstanding feature of the midwar period, aside from the final shaping of European strategy, was the evolution of the Pacific war into a dynamic movement that generated its own operations and compelled greater and greater attention to offensive strategy. Once the Guadalcanal Campaign had been launched and the strategic initiative seized, the Americans felt there was little choice but to go on. Each succeeding step forward postulated another. As the Japanese outposts were driven in, the approach to the larger land masses and strong-points presented increased demands for men, planes, and shipping, often far in excess of the personnel and resources the Army was willing to allocate to the secondary war. During 1942 and early 1943, decisions had usually been made in favor of larger increments of troops and resources for the Pacific. This was understandable since the Japanese had to be contained and since no definite plans for the defeat of Europe had been accepted. The balancing of "diversions" to the Mediterranean by parallel allocations to the Pacific had continued during 1943- If the Mediterranean threatened to become, in Marshall's phrase, "a suction pump," the Pacific, in a sense, became the American safety valve.
 
But Marshall and his staff never forgot that Germany was to be beaten first, and at the Pacific Military Conference in March 1943 they had attempted to place a curb on Pacific expansion. Realizing that if the rising requirements of the Pacific were not checked the wherewithal for defeating Germany by a cross-Channel attack might find its way into the war against Japan instead, the Army began to be less generous with its resources. The task was not easy for the Chief of Staff and his Washington aides, for they had to withstand the persistent demands of Army commanders in the secondary war, the increasing pressure from the Navy to speed up the war and make full use of the fast-growing Pacific Fleet, and the efforts of the British and Chinese to obtain U.S. ground troops for the CBI.
 
The desire of MacArthur and Stilwell to get on with their own campaigns was perfectly comprehensible; their requests for more forces and resources was a recognized symptom of the rather general malady that the War Department planners came to know as "localitis." It was almost impossible to cure. The Army planners handled the requests sympathetically in the main and often were able to devise ways and means of meeting at least part of the needs and requirements if it could be done without upsetting European plans.
 
Coping with the Navy proved to be a much more complex problem. To Marshall, anxious to preserve harmonious relations among the sister services as well as with the Allies, it must often have seemed as though he were engaged in a double coalition war in the Pacific. The main part of the Navy's strength was devoted to the Pacific Fleet, and the Navy was anxious to prosecute the campaign across the Central Pacific with all its potential. The fact that the Army's chief interest lay in the opposite direction-in Europe-and that Marshall permitted King to assume the role of spokes-
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man for the U.S. role in the Pacific war in the CCS meetings often led to complications. Basically, the difficulties stemmed more from the inability of the two services to agree upon an over-all commander for the Pacific than from a lack of agreement on the proper route to Japan. Recognizing the primary interest and growing strength of the Navy in the Pacific, the Army still did not feel it could afford to abdicate its position as co-equal in the Pacific as long as MacArthur commanded the bulk of the Army forces there. Marshall, although he appreciated the advantages of opening a new front against Japan in the Central Pacific, faithfully defended MacArthur's views in the JCS meetings and managed to maintain the New Guinea-Philippines approach, despite the opinion of many of the high-level joint planners that the Central Pacific advance should definitely be made the main route. If the command problem could have been settled, the necessity for JCS preoccupation with the continuing problems of routes and resources could have been minimized and the latter problems left in large measure to the discretion of the over-all commander. But with the Navy backing Nimitz and the Army, MacArthur, agreement proved impossible, and interservice negotiation and compromise provided the only solution.
 
In the Far East the Army's situation was different. Where the Army was forever urging action and expansion of operations, the British and Chinese were content by and large to hold on to what they had in Burma and China. Instead of playing a role of restraint, the Army staff pressed constantly for forward movement and gave whatever support it could to Stilwell in his attempts to spur the British and Chinese to greater efforts. While engaged in this usually unrewarded endeavor, it had at the same time to fend off requests of these two allies for more U.S. personnel, planes, and equipment. To get the British and Chinese to commit their forces to a campaign in the CBI and simultaneously prevent the sucking in of additional U.S. resources, especially ground forces, was often a feat more fitted to a tightrope walker than to a professional soldier.
 
To hold out in the face of these influential forces required a good deal of fortitude and ingenuity, but Marshall ably played the mediator and succeeded in hoarding the bulk of Army manpower and divisions for the assault on Normandy. By encouraging full naval and air action in the Pacific, he allowed the Navy and the autonomy-minded Air Forces to expend their surplus energy, while retaining control of the precious and limited supply of divisions. In the CBI, he urged complete employment of British, Indian, and Chinese ground forces backed by American air and service troops rather than U.S. combat divisions, either evading or denying requests from Chiang, Churchill, and Stilwell for U.S. divisions.
 
Resisting these attempts to build up Army commitments in the war against Japan had been especially difficult before the decision at SEXTANT to mount OVERLORD. With the definite agreement on European plans, the task became much easier. First priority went to OVERLORD, and a reliable brake could be applied to Pacific deployment. The story of Army deployment to the Pacific in midwar thus fell into two periods: the lush pre-SEXTANT era when Mediter-
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ranean commitments permitted the Pacific effort to mushroom concomitantly; and the more stringent post-SEXTANT stage, when the requirements for OVERLORD had first call on Army resources and a definite damper was placed on excessive growth in the Pacific.
 
This did not mean that the Army desired in any way to prevent the full prosecution of the war against Japan while Germany was being beaten, but only that it realized the necessity for doing so with the forces and resources available rather than those desirable. The long-range planning that had its heyday during the latter months of 1943 was an expression of 'the desire of the Army planners to limit the Army effort in the Pacific until the European war was settled. When Marshall scotched long-range planning just before SEXTANT and came out in favor of flexibility or opportunism, it appeared that the constant drain fostered by hit-and-miss operations would continue. But the commitment to OVERLORD, following almost immediately, placed a more effective block on Pacific expansion than perhaps the adoption of a definitely scheduled long-range plan might have provided.
 
An indirect assist was given to the Washington staff by the succession of shipping and landing craft shortages and imbalances that exerted a direct influence on both the deployment and the operational pictures in the Pacific during these twenty-one months. The length of the line of communications and the need for a great deal of shipping as well as service personnel to operate the far end of this line effectively acted as a control factor. As long as shipping remained in short supply, the Pacific build-up could not proceed indiscriminately.
 
Although the Army staff in Washington tried to restrict Pacific growth, there was no more fervent believer in making the best of available means than Marshall himself. His ear was constantly open to better, speedier plans for shortening the war, and he encouraged the use of America's superior air and naval weapons and the introduction of more efficient instruments of warfare.
 
Carrying on a dynamic war on a flexible basis permitted a wide range of operational choices, but as far as the Army staff was concerned military need was the controlling factor during 1943-44 While the Army welcomed all Allies who could contribute to the defeat of Japan, shorten the time element, and perhaps lower the number of casualties that the United States would have to suffer, it showed a consistent disinclination to become involved in pulling the other Allies' colonial chestnuts out of the fire. Marshall and his advisers favored the use of British, French, and Chinese troops in the CBI and Dutch forces in SWPA on the ground that these nations could best deal with their overrun possessions either singly or in concert. They also desired Soviet entry into the war to engage the Japanese armies in northern China and Korea arid to relieve any future American invasion of Japan of threats from this area.36
 
Adopting a circumspect attitude, the Army proposed neither to interfere with operations to reinvest former colonial areas, nor to assist the forces of the United States' Allies in the task of resubjugation unless the military requirements for such undertakings could
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be clearly related to the common aim of defeating Japan. Basically, the hope was to bring the war to a speedy conclusion and to save American lives without becoming embroiled in political and economic problems in the Far East. On the other hand, the Army staff realized that the Allies were determined to carry out operations to repossess their overrun dominions. In anticipation of such a drive in the SEAC-Netherlands East Indies area, the Army planners felt that operations against the northern and eastern coasts of Borneo, although not essential to winning the war, would militarily be the most rewarding tasks that the United States could perform in the area. The operations would provide control over the South China Sea, Java Sea, Sunda Strait, and Makassar Strait exits and would not interfere unduly with the main effort to the north.37
 
The emergence of political consciousness among the Army staff became increasingly noticeable during 1944 and gave promise of becoming even more significant in the days ahead. As the war drew closer to the Japanese homeland, questions of political significance began to be raised. Although Marshall, from a military point of view, looked with approval upon the British desire to take part in the main operations against Japan, he and his staff realized the political motivation behind the desire. The Army was at one with the Navy on the problem of keeping the Central Pacific an American affair and the Chief of Staff was content to let King argue the question of a British fleet under Nimitz. Introducing a third party to the determination of Pacific operational strategy might have made the situation too complex and forced the decisions to be made on a higher level. Neither King nor Marshall would have cared for that, for they were well acquainted with the Prime Minister's concepts of strategy for the war against Japan.
 
At the same time, growing British insistence on a full share in the war against Japan-especially in naval and air assistance-led to an extension of Marshall's intermediary position-among the Navy, the AAF, and Macarthur in the Pacific war. The Navy, anxious to reap the prestige to which it felt its exploits entitled it, and the AAF, ever autonomy-minded and anxious to complete its war record in a blaze of glory, could only consider the profferred British aid friendly but competitive. With the Army's prestige less directly involved, Marshall's mediative role therefore became all the more important.
 
The growth of political problems often brought up extraneous matters beyond the ken or power of the military to settle without more definite guidance from the President himself and, as 1944 wore on, it became increasingly evident to his close advisers that the President's physical condition was steadily deteriorating. His illnesses came at shorter intervals and required longer periods of
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rest and care to conquer.38 As the need for his political skill and supervision grew, his ability to provide it lessened. In the absence of political direction, there was no guarantee that the Army staff would be prepared or equipped to handle the political problems as well as it had the military. To determine the most efficient and expeditious method of defeating an enemy had been the lifework of the military, but the complexities of political and economic negotiations, diplomatic maneuvering, and national political problems were part of a field in which most of the staff had less experience.
 
The Army staff faced its most difficult political situation in China, where diverse and complicated elements, both native and foreign, combined to produce a veritable maze. In the United States, China's struggle against Japan had long since won popular sympathy, and, although little accurate information on the state of China's resistance reached the public, Americans sustained a sense of responsibility for helping the underdog in its unequal fight-.
 
Though the Army was aware of the sad state of military affairs in the Chinese armies, it had hopes that Chinese manpower could be trained and equipped to fight the Japanese and that air bases could be constructed in China to strike at the enemy homeland. During the first two years of the war, the Army made valiant attempts to get supplies and airpower to China. The airlift was built up, the line of communications was improved, pipelines were laid, and roads were constructed to assist China. U.S. officers and equipment were transported from the United States to the CBI under conditions of great difficulty in order to transform some of the Chinese Nationalist armies into modern combat units. Financial aid was dispensed to bolster the Chinese economy. Within the limits imposed by the transportation impediments, these stop-gap measures were employed to sustain China in the war until land and sea approaches could again be opened.
 
Perhaps the most important American factor in the China tangle was the attitude of the President and his group of political advisers. They hoped to see China become strong and democratic and a stabilizing power in the Far East, but, wavering between the hopes and realities of the China situation, the tactics they pursued during the war toward this end were inconsistent. With the public sympathizing over China's past, the Army concerned with its present, and the President visualizing its future, it is small wonder that each saw the picture through a different pair of spectacles.
 
To the U.S. Army staff, primarily interested in the very current task of fighting a decisive military war against Japan, Chinese apathy and disinclination to decisively engage the enemy proved disillusioning. Chiang Kai-shek's concern over the Chinese communists and the conditions he set on committing his troops against the Japanese deflated the Army's hopes that Chinese manpower would play an effective role in the war. The possibility of using Chinese air bases, however, remained until the Japanese thrust into the Kweilin area in mid-1944 thwarted that expectation.
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With the loss of those airfields and with the prospect of using bases in the Marianas for B-29 operations, the hope of effective air support from China for Pacific operations faded, and with it the military importance of China. The quickening pace of Pacific operations presented new and more inviting horizons. Although U.S. resources were concentrated on the more promising Pacific route, American commitments to China continued, and the military accepted the task of supporting it as a necessary though limited burden.
 
While this metamorphosis was in progress the Army staff, led by Marshall and supported by Stimson, had consistently backed the efforts of Stilwell to secure Chinese co-operation. Nevertheless, the Army was only one element in the complex situation and had to cope with the Stilwell-Chennault controversy from within as well as Chinese, British, and American pressures from without. Add to these the fact that China was only one segment-and a relatively minor one at that-in the global strategic picture, and a clearer view of the Army's predicament becomes possible. The removal of Stilwell in October 1944 served to relieve the situation somewhat and paved the way for a more impersonal approach to the problem of China's role in the war, but with little consistent political guidance at the top level and with U.S. postwar objectives in the Far East largely idealistic and the methods of attaining them still undefined, the Army's task of preparing China's forces for the challenges that lay ahead were tremendous, and time was fast running out.
 
Aside from the disappointment over China, prospects for the coming months appeared very good by October. In the Pacific the enemy was confused, uncertain, and forced to rely more and more upon its still potent ground forces. The Japanese Air Force had already been decimated and reduced to the rank of a second-rate airpower.39 Although the Japanese Navy still possessed powerful units, it was loath to risk them in battle unless key points in the Empire's defense system were threatened. The advantages of surprise, as well as of superior air and naval forces, lay with the Allies. They could choose the time and place and force the Japanese to fight on Allied terms, a complete reversal of the situation in early 1942 when the Japanese had held the initiative.
 
As far as the Americans were concerned, there would be enough air and sea power on hand for the tasks assigned to them in the Pacific, although the service troop shortages might slow the pace unless the war in Europe ended quickly. Ground forces appeared to be adequate for a Philippines campaign, and by the time this was completed, combat divisions should be available from Europe. As for shipping, there might be local squeezes, but there was enough in the Pacific to handle contemplated demands. Manpower and supply might prove to be a little tight at times; still and all, there should be sufficient forces and supplies to take the Philippines.
 
These factors were controlling in the final phases of the debate over Luzon and Formosa. The decision of the JCS during the OCTAGON Conference to advance the target date of the attack on Leyte to 20 October had permitted the planning date for invasion of Luzon to be put forward to 20 December. Since
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the wax against Germany showed no signs of ending in the near future, the means to undertake the Formosa operation were still unavailable. After two weeks of debate, the JCS, on 3 October, decided that MacArthur should take Luzon after Leyte. Nimitz would support MacArthur during the operations in the Philippines and then would occupy positions in the Bonin Islands in January 1945 and in the Ryukyus in March.40 These operations ultimately made the seizure of Formosa unnecessary.
 
In the fall of 1944 military planning in the war against Japan entered its last stages. Plans were being laid to redeploy troops and equipment deemed necessary to finish the war against Japan as soon as they could be spared from the struggle in Europe. Tentative dates for the end of the war in Europe were established and shipping schedules drawn up. As soon as Germany surrendered, the stream of men and supplies would begin to flow to the Pacific.
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Endnotes

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