Chapter V

1 GHQ, SWPA, Press Release, 21 Sep 43.

2 Lt. Col. Masaru Shinohara, Senior Intelligence Officer of the Eighth Area Army, commenting on General MacArthur's tactics, said: "I believe that, more or less, all of the Allied operations depended on deception by landing in places where we thought a landing and the building of airfields impossible." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

3 In emphasizing the particular importance of New Guinea to their new defensive positions, the Japanese said " New Guinea especially, was the strategic point on the right flank of the defensive line, and if it should fall into the hands of the enemy, who had already secured firm operational bases in Australia and in one corner of the Solomon Islands, it would be a case of giving the enemy the best possible route to penetrate into the Philippines and any part of the South Co-Prosperity Sphere. This would be a great menace to the foundation of our general defense system. It was clear that the northern coastal area of New Guinea Island was of great importance to the enemy for his offensive bases and for conducting his operations, and also because of the difference in the terrain of the northern and southern areas of New Guinea. The strategic value of the Lae and Salamaua areas in the present stage of the operation was of immense importance." Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol. I, p. 54, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

4 Ibid., pp. 54-56.

5 The main enemy force sent against Wau was the Okabe Detachment of the Japanese 51st Division. This unit, consisting of 7 infantry companies, 1 artillery battalion, and 1 engineer company, had assembled at Salamaua from Lae, and was ordered to begin its advance against Wau on 14 January. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol I, pp. 59, 65-67, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

6 "Although there had been some experience in reinforcement of ground troops by air previously, the risk calculated and assumed in this operation demonstrated that such employment of air transport provided a mature and potent weapon." Air Evaluation Board, SWPA, Air Transport Operations, Battle of Wau, 10 Jun 45, p. 2.

7 G-3, GHQ, SWPA, Elkton II, 28 Feb 43, Obsolete Plans, G-3, GHQ Planning (S).

8 The Japanese Eighth Area Army, with headquarters at Rabaul, was commanded by Lt. Gen. Hiroshi Imamura and consisted of General Hyakutake's Seventeenth Army in the Solomons and Lt. Gen. Hatazo Adachi's Eighteenth Army in New Guinea and New Britain.

9 The 7th Amphibious Force was a component of the Seventh Fleet, which prior to 15 March 1943 had been designated Southwest Pacific Force.

10 CINCSWPA Ltr to ALF, AAF, ANF, 1st Mar Div, USASOS, SWP Amph F, S Feb 43 AG, GHQ, SWPA (S). An integrated, collateral feature of this amphibious training was the increasing development, for issue to staffs and troops of "Terrain Studies" and pocket size "Handbooks" of the landing areas and beaches of contemplated operations.

11 General MacArthur, having felt early the need for a United States Army in the Southwest Pacific Area, sent the following message to General Marshall: "Experience indicates the necessity for a tactical organization of an American Army. In the absence of such an echelon the burden has been carried by GHQ. I recommend the U.S. Third Army under General Krueger, which would provide an able commander and an efficient operating organization. I am especially anxious to have Krueger because of my long and intimate association with him." CINCSWPA Radio to C/S, WD, 11 Jan 43, WD No. 321, C/S GHQ (S); CINCSWPA Radio No. C-149 to C/S, WD, 16 Jan 43, WD No. 324, C/S GHQ (S). In response to General MacArthur's request, Headquarters Sixth Army, commanded by Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger, arrived in the Southwest Pacific Area and all American combat units were assigned to it on 16 February 1943. GHQ General Order No. 17, 16 Feb 43, AG, GHQ No. 322 (S).

12 HQ USAFFE, General Order No. 1, 26 Feb 43, AG AAF 323.3 (S).

13 JCS Radio No.2407 to GHQ, SWPA, 29 May 43, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, 30 May 43 (S).

14 CINCSWPA Radio No. C-4369 to WARCOS, 31 Jul 43, AG, GHQ 323.36 (S).

15 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 337, 22/23 Feb 43 stated the following: "Merchant shipping at Rabaul has reached a new high. Fifty-nine vessels of this type were in the harbor 22 February, totalling 299,000 tons. About 200,000 tons of merchant shipping appears normal for Rabaul. In view of the comparative inactivity in the Solomons, this increase over the normal assumes serious aspects, in relation to possible employment against New Guinea." The following was also reported: "Enemy interest in the Gasmata and Cape Gloucester bases at this time strengthens other indications of impending landing operations, possibly simultaneously, at Wewak, Madang and Lae. The airdromes at Cape Gloucester and Gasmata provide staging and refueling points for air cover over the Vitiaz Straits." G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 335, 20/21 Feb 43.

16 On 2 March, two destroyers of the convoy picked up the survivors of the sinking ship and carried them at forced draft to Lae. After disembarking the rescued troops, these two destroyers then returned to the scene of action on the morning of 3 March.

17 Referring to the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Vice Adm. Gunichi Mikawa, Commander of the Japanese Eighth Fleet, said: "The percentage of hits of the American Air Force's low-level bombing was excellent. Our fleet mistook it for a torpedo attack and suitable evasive action was not taken." ATIS, GHQ, SWPA, Document No. 16269B, "Report on the Naval Battle of the Bismarck Sea," 10 Apr 46.

18 The ships sunk were the following: the transports Aiyo Maru, Kembu Maru, Kyokusei Maru, Oigawa Maru, Shinai Maru, Taimei Maru, Teiyo Maru, Nojima and the destroyers Shirayuki, Arashio, Asashio, and Tokitsukaze. The surviving destroyers Shikinami, Uranami, Asagumo and Yukikaze, carried the bulk of the rescued personnel to Rabaul. The details of the Battle of the Bismarck Sea are based on Japanese sources and all available documents and interrogations of the Fifth Air Force and ATIS, GHQ, FEC.

19 Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol. I, p. 161, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

20 A fortuitous incident of major importance in the wake of the Battle of the Bismarck Sea brilliantly illustrated the value and efficiency of ATIS. A ship's captain, seeking refuge on Goodenough Island carried with him navigational charts, ship's records, and the Japanese Army List and Directory for 1942/43, a document of some 2700 pages containing the name and unit of every Japanese officer then in the service. Up to this time, information on Japanese Order of Battle and identification of tactical commands was based on outdated Chinese reports. It naturally was inconclusive for other Asiatic areas. The patrol which captured the ship's captain sent back the precious intelligence material to higher headquarters. The significance of the documents was immediately realized and all work in ATIS from the forward field units to the base detachment in Brisbane was completely devoted to the translation of this great find. With the newly discovered information, every Japanese unit in the field could be reconstructed, from company through division, corps, and army. The work was finished in a few weeks. The translated book (See Plate: Alphabetical List of Japanese Army Officers, ATIS Publication No. 2, May 43.) was printed by the Australian Government Printer on emergency order and distributed quickly to intelligence units from Alaska to India.

21 GHQ, SWPA, Press Release, 4 Mar 43.

22 Comdr. Yasumi Doi, member of the staff of the Southeast Area Fleet at Rabaul from 1943 to 1945, stated that after the Battle of the Bismarck Sea it was realized that control of the air was lost and, consequently, supplies to New Guinea were shipped by destroyer and submarine only. Finschhafen was thus supplied until captured by the Allies, but supplies in the New Guinea area were totally inadequate. United States Strategic Bombing Survey Interrogations of Japanese Officials, Vol. II, p. 397.

23 This final plan, Elkton III (G-3, GHQ, SWPA, Planning File), superceding previous plans and directives, became the basic plan for 1943 operations on 26 April 43.

24 Ibid.

25 CINCSWPA Radio No. C-3107 to CG Army Service Forces, 12 Jun 43, C/S GHQ, WD No. 421 (S).

26 "We knew that the enemy was using scouting patrols sent in by submarines," said General Tanikawa, at that time Colonel on the Staff of the Eighth Area Army. "These patrols did a wonderful job in getting detailed information on supply, convoys and the like. Both the Americans and Australians sent in patrols.... Whenever our supply ships came into port, no matter where it was and regardless of foul weather, the enemy raiders would come to bombard these ships.... The only answer was these patrols." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

27 HQ Alamo Force, "History of Chronicle Operation," 23 Aug 43, AG, GHQ, 370.22 (S).

28 Referring to the New Georgia operations, Colonel Tanikawa, Staff Officer of the Eighth Area Army said: "We had estimated an Allied landing somewhere in the New Georgia group but did not anticipate a landing on Rendova on 30 June 1943. We rather expected them to land on Munda where we were ready for such an attack. Also, the time of the actual landing was about a month earlier than we had anticipated." Interrogation Files, G-2, Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

29 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary 4/5 Jul No. 469, 11/12 Jul No. 476 and 18/19 Jul No. 483, Appendix "A," Weekly Review of Enemy Activity.

30 GHQ, SWPA, Press Release, 9 Aug 43.

31 G-3, GHQ, SWPA Warning Instructions No. 2, 6 May 43, G-3, GHQ, Opns 370.5 (S).

32 In the final drive on Salamaua, 2,000 Japanese troops were killed and large quantities of material, provisions, and barges were lost in futile efforts to hold a comparatively useless position. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol. I, pp. 104-108, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC. See also: The History of the Lae-Salamaua Garrison, GS (Int} Adv LHQ, SWPA, p. 7.

33 Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol II, p. 27, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

34 The air attack on Wewak is described in the report of the Japanese First Demobilization Bureau as follows: "On 17 August 1943, Wewak airfield was attacked by a large formation of enemy bombers and fighters and the damage was great. In one attack, we lost more than 100 planes. Therefore, the seventh transport movement which was expected to arrive at Wewak on 25 August and its following transportation plans were postponed to the next month because of insufficient air escort which was caused by deterioration and frequent and continuous attacks by the enemy planes. Ever since 17 August a large convoy movement to New Guinea to increase shipping strength was expected, but the above described events affected this military operation to a large extent." Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol I, p. 156, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

35 GHQ, SWPA, Press Release, 18 Aug 43.

36 HQ 1st Aust Corps, "Report on Operations of New Guinea Force and 1st Australian Corps in New Guinea from 22 Jan 43 to 8 Oct 43," 17 Jan 44.

37 GHQ, SWPA, Press Release, 5 Sep 43.

38 Colonel Shinohara, Intelligence Officer of the Eighth Area Army, commenting on the Nadzab operations, said: "We were retreating from the Salamaua area over the Finisterre Mountains toward Reiss Point when the Allied paratroopers landed at Nadzab which was one place where we thought the enemy would never attack. The remaining elements of the retreating 51st Division were virtually cut in half by this surprise pincer movement." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

39 The Allied landing at Finschhafen came at a timely moment. The Japanese, confused by the simultaneous Allied actions in New Guinea, had started to transfer their 20th Division from Madang in order to protect Finschhafen. The Allies caught the unit in the middle of its coastwise movement and the Japanese were forced into an insufficiently prepared defensive struggle. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol. I, p. 135, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

40 G-3 Memo of Record, xo Sep 43, G-3, GHQ, SWPAJournal (S).

41 "The first real surprise maneuver, after I had arrived in Rabaul, occurred when the enemy landed on Cape Torokina on western Bougainville, during the latter part of 1943," said Lt. Col. Matsuichi Iino. " Because we thought the poor topographical features of this area would hamper enemy landing operations, we did not anticipate a direct landing here and consequently were nor adequately prepared. This Allied operation proved very annoying in that we could not launch an immediate counterthrust in this area because of the poor network of roads. We knew an airstrip was being constructed but we were helpless." Interrogation Files, G-z Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

42 CG Alamo Force Ltr to CINCSWPA, 28 Sep 43, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal.

43 G-3 Memo to C(S, 26 Oct 43, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal.

44 G-3 Memo to CINCSWPA, 21 Nov 43, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal. GHQ, SWPA, Opn Instr No. 38/x5, 22 Nov 43, G-3, GHQ Admin 370 (S).

45 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary Nos. 590, 591, 593, 597, 599, 605 and 607, Nov 43.

46 Air opposition to the New Britain operations was anticipated primarily from Rabaul. It was almost certain that the Japanese fighters and bombers would fly a direct route from Rabaul to the invasion points in order to attack Allied forces in the act of landing. Therefore, the Allied Intelligence Bureau established a chain of air watcher radio stations across the neck of the Gazelle Peninsula while other AIB agents took up assigned positions at Wide Bay, Open Bay, Gasmata, and Cape Orford. Pre-operational reconnaissance parties were also inserted on Rooke Island in the Vitiaz Straits to cover enemy flights originating from New Guinea. Eric Feldt, The Coast Watchers (New York, 1946), p. 218.

47 G-z, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 634, 16/17 Dec 43.

48 According to plan, Fighter Command Headquarters (Nadzab) received warnings of all approaching enemy formations directly from the coast watchers previously located on New Britain. On each message from the AIB operatives, Allied fighters took to the air and intercepted the raiders.

49 Again AIB agents gave warning of oncoming formations thirty to sixty minutes in advance, enabling Allied fighters to meet the enemy at the most advantageous altitude. Four raids were intercepted over the beaches the first day with disproportionate losses to the enemy. On z6-z7 December in two missions of 70 to go fighters and bombers, the enemy lost over 75 planes as compared with 5 of the Allies. It was estimated that over :8o enemy planes were destroyed from 23-27 December. G-z, GHQ, SWPA Daily Summary No. 644, 26/27 Dec 43.

50 GHQ, SWPA, Opn Instr No. 38/19, 31 Dec 43, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Admin 370 (S)

51 GHQ, SWPA, Communique No. 633, 3 Jan 44

52 The Allied amphibious operation at Saidor split the Japanese Eighteenth Army. The landing constituted a wedge which isolated the main force of the Japanese 10th and 51st Divisions, approximately 15,000-20,000 troops, from the operating base of the Army at Madang. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol. II, pp. 167-8.

53 HQ Michaelmas Task Force, 'Report of Michaelmas Operation," 8 Mar 44, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, to Feb 44 (S)

54 United States Strategic bombing Survey, The Allied Campaign Against Rabaul. P. 24


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