Chapter VI

1 CINCSWPA Radio No. C-1217 to WARCOS, 2 Feb 44, WD CIS, JCS and CCS Papers No. 2, G-3, GHQ Exec Files (S).

2 Lt. Gen. Ryozo Sakuma, who became Chief of Staff of the Secund Area Army in December 1944, expressed his opinion concerning General MacArthur's tactics in the following words : " I think that they were excellent tactics. I say this without prejudice. If any other plans had been used, the Americans would have had a very difficult time.. . . What the Americans did, as a whole, in the entire operation was . . . When General MacArthur retreated from our advance in the Philippines, he was not relieved as. Commander-in-Chief of the area. . . . The fact that General MacArthur was kept at his post made it possible for him to conduct this campaign of retaking the Philippines as he saw best." Interrogations Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

3 GHQ, SWPA, Communique No. 677, 16 Feb 44.

4 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 702, 23 Feb 44.

5 Typical of air reconnaissance reports are the following: " Momote and Lorengau strips appeared unserviceable. Nil activity. Nil new aircraft. Nil unusual signs of activity in entire Admiralty Islands." GHQ, SWPA, Situation Report No. 54/44, 23 Feb 44. "Aircraft flew low but nil A/A fire encountered. Nil signs of enemy activity. The island [Lorengau] appears deserted." Ibid., No. 55/44 24 Feb 44. " No signs of enemy activity on Manus and Los Negros Islands. All crews claim these islands have been evacuated. Grass growing thickly on Momote and Lorengau strips. Runways unserviceable, and badly pitted. No A/A fire, even at low altitude. (The B-25's flew over Momote strip at 20 feet)." Ibid., No. 56/44, 25 Feb 44. "Both Lorengau and Momote strips are unserviceable. The wrecked aircraft and trucks on Momote are untouched and bomb craters still unfilled. Villages on Los Negros Island appeared deserted and'roads have not been used lately. Damage in Lorengau t0w.n has not been repaired. No activity of any kind observed." Ibid., No. 57/44, 26 Feb 44.

6 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 706, 26/27 Feb 44. AIB operatives had picked up natives from the Admiralties and had pieced together a fairly accurate picture.

7 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 695, 15/16 Feb 4 contained the following precise listing of enemy units, almost two weeks in advance of the actual landing ; compare these data with the negative reports of flight reconnaissance on 23-25 February. (See footnote 5 supra).

Admiralty Islands
Mobile Combat
Base Defense
El 17th Div
I Bn 1st Mixed Regt
El 38th Div
Oita S. Sea Det
U/i AA
51st Tpt
El 51st Div Fd Hosp


8 Ibid., No. 704, 24/25 Feb 4.

9 Ibid., No. 706, 26/27 Feb 4. Several days previously G-2 had also reported on the Admiralties: "A situation similar to Madang is encountered here in that no enemy activity is apparent. This is regarded as a case of passive antiaircraft defense necessitated by dwindling reserve ammunition. Other intelligence indicates that the enemy plans to defend the Admiralties with the forces at present located there." Ibid., No. 704, 24/25 Feb 4.

10 This is an interesting example of clandestine operations, in conjunction with operatives of the AIB, a theater unit, under the operational control of G-2.

11 Historical Division, War Department, The Admiralties, Operations of the 1st Cavalry Division (29 February-18 May 1944) p. 31. Hereinafter cited as: The Admiralties.

12 GHQ, SWPA, Communique No. 691, 1 Mar 44.

13 A desperate night counterattack of this kind had been forecast as one of the enemy's capabilities in the G-2 Daily Summary of 28/29 February 1944, viz: "Enemy capabilities are a) surreptitious withdrawal from the Admiralties via small craft, b) typical desperate counter-attack, probably at night."

14 The Admiralties, p. 47.

15 Ibid., p. 148.

16 CINCSWPA Radio C-2473 to CIS WD, 5 Mar qq, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal (S).

17 JCS Radio to CINCPOA and CINCSWPA, 10 Mar 44, JCS and CCS Papers No. 2, G-3, GHQ, Exec Files.

18 HQ Sixth Army, Field Order No. 12,23 Mar 44, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, 8 Apr 44.

19 GHQ, SWPA, Communique No. 726, 5 Apr 44. The Japanese described the effect of the Allied raids in their official report: " From the end of March, the enemy air attacks gradually intensified. Our air power was rapidly diminished as a result of the enemy attacks on 30-31 March and 3 April. The rise and fall of the fighting power of our fighter units exerted a decisive influence upon the future operations in the New Guinea Area. It also played a decisive role in the supply of the areas east of Hollandia and the operation of the bases in Western New Guinea." Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol III, p. 36.

20 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 735, 26 Mar 44 and No. 740, 31 Mar 44.

21 The effectiveness of these deceptive measures was clearly proved by later evidence. As late as 21 April, one day before the Allied landings at Hollandia and Aitape, the Japanese estimated enemy intentions as follows: ''The signs of an enemy plan to make a new landing in the New Guinea area . . . are clear. The probability of a landing between Madang and Hansa or on the Karkar Islands is estimated to be greatest.
"According to the general situation a landing in the Wewak sector is next in probability. In the light of the recent bombings of Hansa, of reconnaissance and naval bombardment of Wewak, and the dropping of pamphlets by the enemy stating that he would land on Wewak on 24 April, precautions must be taken in the Wewak sector.
"It is also possible that the enemy will land in the Hollandia sector. . . . However, since there was no reconnaissance carried out in this region by submarines, destroyers or other means, and since air attacks were of a purely destructive nature, no signs of the usual pre-landing operations are discernible. Furthermore, the enemy has no air base at present from which to neutralize our airdromes west of Sarmi. Therefore, the probability of a landing in this sector is thought to be minor. . . ." Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol III, p. 39.

22 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 730, 21/22 Mar 44, and No. 761, 21/22 Apr 44.

23 The importance of the time element as a decisive factor in the Hollandia invasion is emphasized in the following statements by Japanese commanders who served in western New Guinea. " The Allied invasion of Hollandia and Aitape was a complete surprise to us," said Lt. Gen. Jo Iimura, Commander of the Second Area Army. " Although, after considering the past operational tactits of the enemy, we were confident that the Allies would eventually attack Hollandia, we rather believed they would attempt to acquire an important position somewhere east of Aitape, prior to an invasion of either Aitape or Hollandia. Because we misjudged the time of the Allied invasion on Hollandia and Aitape, we were neither able to reinforce nor send war supplies to their defending units." According to Lt. Col. Nobuo Kitamori, Staff Officer of the Second Area Army, the attack on Hollandia " was not a complete surprise in that we expected the enemy to come some time or other because it was such an important place. However, we did not think that the attack would come when it did. The morning that we found out that the Allies were going to come to Hollandia, they were already in the harbor with their transports and battleships. In that sense it certainly was a surprise." Colonel Kazuo Horiba, Staff Officer of the Southern Army, offered the following opinion: "It was a surprise attack as far as operations go, but not so strategically. We had planned on the fact the enemy was coming, but it was a surprise when the enemy came when he did, far before the time we expected and our defense preparations were not completed." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

24 HQ Sixth Army, Report of the Hollandia-Aitape Operation, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, 25 Aug 44.

25 GHQ, SWPA, Communique No. 745, 24 Apr 44.

26 According to the Japanese official report on the war, there were approximately 14,600 personnel in the Hollandia Area: 6,600 Eighteenth Army ; 7,000 Fourth Air Army; 1,000 Navy. About go percent of these troops were rear area service units including 1,000 hospital patients. Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol III, pp. 47-49.

27 "The Allied seizure of Hollandia indicated the battle of New Guinea was rapidly drawing to a close," said Colonel Kitamori. " We knew that it would only be a matter of time before the Allies would control the air and the waters of New Guinea, thus paving the way for their expected counterlanding on the shores of the Philippines. Its seizure only indicated that defensive preparations in the Philippines would have to be accelerated, and to facilitate this our troops were to stall the enemy in northwestern New Guinea, as well as in the Halmahera group, as long as possible.
"From the relationship of supplies, the seizure of Hollandia meant that heavy sea transportation could not be effected in the surrounding waters of New Guinea, with the possible exception of Wasile, on the mouth of Kau Bay in Halmahera, and to Amboina, on Amboina Island. However, a little while later, the waters between the Philippines and the Halmnheras were infested with Allied aircraft and warships, whith necessitated heavy sea transportation to be routed directly to Amboina by way of Java. From here, small craft carrying considerably less load than a 3,000 or 5,000-ton ship would be able to carry, made their way to the Halmaheras and into the McCluer Gulf, from where supplies were to be sent to Manokwari and the Sarmi areas, although most of these attempts ended in failure because of enemy PT boat activities, the rugged terrain of the countryside, and our own lack of shipping." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

28 Joint Staff Planners Report No. 71315 to JCS, 17 Mar eq, G-3, GHQ, Exec JCS and CCS Papers (S).

29 Ibid.

30 CINCSWPA Radio to C/S GHQ, SWPA, 22 Apr 44, 385 Plan 10/11, G-3, GHQ, Admin (TS).

31 CINCSWPA Radio No. CA-11199 to C/S WD, 29 Apr 44, 385 Plan 10/13 , G-3, GHQ, Admin (TS).

32 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 786, 16/17 May 44.

33 HQ Sixth Army, Report on the Wakde-Biak Operation, 17 May-2 Sep 44, 25 Feb 45, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal.

34 Ibid.

35 GHQ, SWPA, Communique No. 780, 28 May 44.

36 HQ I Corps, History of the Biak Operation 15-27 June 1944, p. 2.

37 According to Colonel Kitamori, a plan had been formed immediately after the Allied landing on Biak to regain that important area, utilizing Army-Navy co-operation for the first time in the western New Guinea area. The plan called for a strong naval task force, led by the battleship Musashi and composed of six cruisers and destroyers loaded to the brim with reinforcements, to make a landing behind the Allied positions. " I personally ordered this unit to be sent to Biak." said Col. Kazuo Horiba, former Senior Operations Officer, Second Area Army. " It was the 2nd Amphibious Brigade fresh from Japan. The Fleet got to the Sorong area but could not reach Biak because of the presence of enemy air and naval power, and it had to land at Sorong." Interrogation Files, G-2 Historical Section, GHQ, FEC.

38 G-3, GHQ, SWPA, Monthly Summary of Operations, Jul 44 ; 41 Div, Addenda to " 41st Infantry Division Report on the Biak Campaign, 21 Aug 44-20 Jan 45," G-3, GE-IQ. SWPA Journal.

39 HQ Sixth Army, Report on Noemfoor Operation, G-3, GHQ, SWPA Journal, 31 Aug 44

40 The full text of General Adachi's speech may be found in the Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol III, pp. 100-101.

41 G-2, GHQ, SWPA, Daily Summary No. 843, 12/13 Ju1 44.

42 Ibid.

43 Testimony of General Adachi during his trial in Rabaul, AP, World Service, Item 33, Sydney, April 14, 47. With reference to the casualties at Aitape, General Adachi's figures are in close agreement with G-2 reports. Daily Summary No. 887 for 26/27 August 1944 gives a total of 8,502 killed and taken prisoner to that date. This compares favorably with General Adachi's estimate of 10,000 killed, since the conditions of jungle fighting and malnutrition probably accounted for deaths not included in the G-2 report of identified killed.

44 GHQ, SWPA, Communique No. 845, 1 Aug 44.

45 CINCSWPA Radio No. C-15910, to CIS WD, 9 Aug 44, CIS, GHQ, WD 803 (S). This is characteristic of General MacArthur's unvaried concern with the health and safety of his troops. His abhorrence of bloody frontal assaults, of reckless plunging were predicated on his deep wish to reduce or avoid losses. The record of his campaigns is exceptional in this respect.

46 Col. Howard Smith, Public Health Service, on the Staff of USAFFE deserves great credit in this preventive campaign. An expert in tropical medicine and Chief of the Philippine Quarantine Service for many years prior to to the war, Colonel Smith was well known to General MacArthur. The latter's far-sighted planning brought Colonel Smith to his staff at an early date.

47 "The worst enemy of the Japanese Army in the withdrawal from Hollandia was malaria, and it was the major factor in causing much suffering and death during the march. Conditions were such that after a rain storm the men were forced to sleep in wet clothing without the benefit of mosquito netting. Because of the lack of medicine to counteract malaria, large numbers of stragglers fell by the wayside." Japanese First Demobilization Bureau Report, Southeast Area Operations Record, Part III: Eighteenth Army Operations, Vol III, p. 55.

48 Staff Report by Brig. Gen. H. E. Eastwood, AC of S. G-4.

49 Ibid.

50 Ibid.

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