Chapter VII: 
January - March 1942
The collapse of the ABDA Command and the continued movement of American troops into the South and southwest Pacific raised in acute form the great question of strategy that had been deferred by the ARCADIA Conference-the relation between plans for U. S. Army deployment in the Pacific and plans for U. S. Army deployment in the Atlantic. Of some l32,000 Army troops that embarked for overseas destinations front the beginning of 1942 through the middle of March, only about 20,000 sailed for Iceland and -Northern Ireland. During the same period over 90,000 left for stations along the "line" Hawaii-Australia.1 Still other commitments to the Pacific: remained to be fulfilled. To set a limit to future movements of Army forces into the Pacific and find a basis for increasing the rate at which Army forces would he moved across the Atlantic became, during February and March, the chief concern of General, Marshall and his adviser on the War Department staff, and the focus of their discussion of future plans with the, Army Air Forces and the Navy.
Army Deployment in the Atlantic January-February 1942
During the weeks following the ARCADIA Conference the movement of U. S. Army forces in the Atlantic went forward very slowly. As agreed at the conference, the first convoys for Northern Ireland and Iceland were reduced, only 4,500 troops of the 34th Division being in the first contingent that sailed for -Northern Ireland on 15 January. At the carne time, 1,900 troops embarked for Iceland.2
The next convoy for Northern Ireland was to sail about 10 February with approxi

mately 15,000 troops in sip: British returning liners, their equipment in fifteen cargo ships. The search for ships for these convoys began almost in immediately after the first contingent Of troops for Northern Ireland had left the United Mates. In the latter part of January 1942, the U. S. Chiefs of Staff and the Combined Chiefs of staff (CCS) discussed a proposal for using U. S. combat-loaded ships and accompanying cargo vessels for one movement of Army troops to Magnet in early February. 3 By 25 January it had become evident that it would be impossible to provide sufficient cargo ships for thin move from either the American or British sources. The planers therefore proposed that instead of British liners, which had little or no cargo capacity. U. S. Navy combat-loaded transports and accompanying cargo vessels allocated to the U. S. amphibious force be employed for one trip. The planners recognized that this proposal had certain military disadvantages. Since the ships would be gone for five weeks, this plan would delay possible U. S. participation in a North African operation until 1 April; it would prevent the U. S. amphibious force from being employed on any other landing operation during that period; and it would mean the temporary suspension of amphibious training. It would be politically unwise, however, to suspend further movements to Northern Ireland during February, and for this reason planners recommended /using the Navy combat-loaded ships in spite of the military disadvantages. 4  
This plan was approved by the President and Prime Minister and arrangements were made for its execution.5 At the same time the Chief of Staff stated that he wished the planned movement of 4,179 men to Iceland to be carried out and 800 additional men to be sent there in a combat-loaded ship in the same convoy, provided housing was available.6 The delay caused by the lack of British escort vessels postponed the sailing of the second INDIGO-Magnet convoy from 10 February to 18 February, when 5,200 troops sailed for Iceland and 9,000 for Northern Ireland.7
Deployment to the smaller Atlantic bases was largely neglected during this period. The Army began ordering contingents of no more than a few hundred men at a time to islands in the Caribbean, to Bermuda, and to Newfoundland. At the same time detachment, of the Marine Corps were sent to guard air bases in northeast Brazil. 8
Deployment Hawaii-Australia January-March 1942
The main body of Army troops moved from January through March went to the Pacific, most of them to Australia and New Caledonia. During January two convoys and the Navy seatrain Hammondsport sailed for the Southwest Pacific from San

Francisco, and one large convoy sailed from New York. In mid-February the Queen Mary sailed from Boston and the Monterey and Matsonia from San Francisco. Early in March another large convoy sailed from New York, followed a week later by the Queen Elizabeth sailing from San Francisco and, after the middle of the month, by a convoy from San Francisco. These shipments to the Southwest Pacific amounted to about 79,000 troops, nearly four times the number of American troop, that left during the same period to make the much shorter voyage across the North Atlantic. 9
Of these 79,000, about 57,000 were for Australia, 24,500 of whom were still en route at the end of March. Of those that had reached Australia by that time -altogether about 37,000, including those that had embarked in December aboard the Pensacola convoy and the Poll;- as many as 2,000 were dead or missing ( including the 2d Battalion, 131st Field Artillery Regiment, lost in Java), and some 3,000 had been sent to the Tenth Air Force, leaving the strength then present in Australia at about 32,000. 10
Except for the third and last contingent of the 41st Division and a tank destroyer battalion-some 8,000 men-these shipment: completed the movements to Australia and New, Caledonia that the War Department had planned during January and February. The air combat units that the War Department meant to send to Australia were two heavy bombardment groups, two medium  bombardment groups, one light bombardment group, and three pursuit groups.11 By the latter part of 1larch the last of these units, and of the aviation units allocated to support them, had arrived, and filler replacements were on the wav. 12 The ground units present in

Australia were the 147th Field Artillery Regiment, the 148th Field Artillery Regiment (less one battalion). and the equivalent of two regiments of antiaircraft Artillery. About 4,000 service troops (including a regiment of engineers and a quartermaster battalion) had arrived about 12,000 more were on the wav, along with about half the 41st Division and one of the two tank destroyer battalion assigned to Australia.13
In -New Caledonia there was at garrison of about 17,000-- the task force (code name Poppy) that had made up the greater part of the shipment from New York on 22 January. The convoy had landed in the latter part of February at Melbourne, and the Poppy force was there hurriedly reloaded for New Caledonia with part of its supplies and equipment, which had been sent separately from the west coast and had not all arrived. It sailed on
March and arrived at Noumea on 12 March.14 The force consisted of a brigade of infantry two regiments, a regiment of Artillery (155-mm. howitzers), a battalion of light tanks, an antiaircraft regiment, and a battalion of coast Artillery. It also contained a pursuit squadron, which arrived a few days later from Australia.15
Reinforcements for -New Caledonia numbering about 5,000 left the United States during March. The original instructions issued to General Patch, the commander of the New Caledonia force, were to plan "on the assumption that additional forces will not be immediately available." 16 But the original plan lead assumed that a regiment of light Artillery, to be taken from the brigade already in Australia, would there be incorporated in the force. The War Department, having acceded to General Wavell's request to leave the entire brigade committed to the ABDA Command and having recognized, moreover, the need to strengthen the ground defenses of Australia, was obliged to send another regiment of artillery from the United States to New Caledonia.17 This regiment ( 72d Field Artillery, 105-mm. howitzers) sailed on 3 March with the first contingent of the 41st Division to bring the force up to the planned strength of a triangular division, reinforced. The War Department also added a third regiment of infantry (the 164th) and a battalion of pack Artillery (75-mm. howitzers), which sailed later in the month with the second contingent of the 41st Division.18

The Army garrisons along the South Pacific line of communications represented a much smaller commitment. To the Fiji Islands (code name Fantan), the link between New Caledonia and Samoa, the United States was to send only a pursuit squadron, leaving it to New Zealand to reinforce the ground garrison. The 70th Pursuit Squadron which with services amounted to 725 men was put under orders early in January and arrived at Suva at the end of that month.19 The Army garrison for Borabora (code name BOBCAT) in the Society Islands, which was to serve as a refueling station for convoys from the west coast to Australia, left on 27 January from Charleston, S.C. This garrison numbered about 3,900 men, including the 102d Infantry ( less one battalion) and an antiaircraft regiment (the 198th). 20 The Army garrisons for Christmas (code name BIRCH) and Canton (code name HOLLY) sailed from San Francisco on 31 January. The BIRCH garrison, aboard the President Johnson, numbered nearly 2,000 men, including the 12th Pursuit Squadron, a battalion of infantry, and two battalions of coast Artillery. The HOLLY garrison of about 1,100. men, aboard the President Taylor, included two companies of infantry and mw battalions of coast Artillery, but no pursuit squadron 9although one was assigned to the island.21
In March one other large shipment to the Pacific was undertaken the movement to Hawaii of most of the 27th Division. The 27th was a square division the only square division sent overseas. On 7 March two battalions of infantry ; from the 165th Infantry and the 108th Infantry; left San Francisco aboard the Grant. On 10 March the Lurline and the Aquitania (lent by the British along with the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth), left with the 106th Infantry and a battalion of the 105th, two batteries of field Artillery, and headquarters and medical troop. On 29 March the Aquitania made a second trip, with most of the remaining troops of the 165th Infantry, two regiments of field Artillery (105th and 106th) , and a regiment each of engineer and quartermaster troops.22
The Shortage Along the Line Hawaii-Australia
These shipments to the Pacific did not constitute a completed program. In the first place, they did not fill the demand for ground forces. In the latter part of February and again in early March, Admiral ping proposed that the Army should garrison additional islands in the South Pacific---Tongatabu (Tonga Island group) and Efate ( New Hebrides). 23 There were also new requirements for troops III the Southwest Pacific (in addition to the remainder of the 41st Division). After the

return of the two Australian divisions ordered home from the Middle East ( one of which was already on its wav ) , one Australian and one New Zealand division would still remain in the Middle East. Early in March, upon the opening of a new campaign in the North African desert, the British Prime Minister requested the President to send two additional divisions to the Southwest Pacific so that these Dominion troops might remain in the Middle East.24
Besides these new demands, the War Department had still to send to Hawaii the ground troops it had promised to the new Army commander in Hawaii, Lt. Gen. Delos C. Emmons. From the close of the Arcadia Conference until the end of February, the shipment of men to Hawaii had been entirely suspended ( except for a small movement aboard the Republic, including the advance party of the 27th Division), in favor of the immediate execution of planned movements to the South and Southwest Pacific.25 This delay, of which the War Department had warned General Emmons on 12 January, left to be moved some 15,000 of the 100,000 ground troops allocated to his command, and the movement of the greater part of the 27th Division in March left over 40,000 still to be shipped.26
There was, moreover, a deficit to be met in service troops for the forces recently sent (and any new forces to be sent ) to the South and Southwest Pacific. The amount of the deficit was as vet undetermined, it being uncertain how far locally available labor would supply the needs for unloading and warehousing cargo, construction of facilities, laving out of roads and airfields, and other services. But in any event the movement of over 40.000 additional ground troops to Hawaii, two new garrisons : perhaps 10,000 men ) to the South Pacific, and two more divisions ! about 30,000 men ) and the remainder of the 41st Division ( about 7,500 men) to the Southwest Pacific-- together with the movement of service units to meet existing deficits and those created by new movements-would certainly involve the continued use throughout the spring of most of the troop shipping available in the Pacific. It would, moreover, involve continued heavy pressure on cargo shipping. The scheduled movement of munitions and other supplies and equipment had not as vet caught up with the troop movements already initiated, and supplementary shipments of supplies and equipment, as of service troops, would have to be scheduled as the limitations on what was locally available became established.
Another measure of existing deficits and prospective demands in the Pacific was the number of airplanes needed to meet the requirements of commands there. Beginning in the latter part of December, most of tire Army planes dispatched from the United States had been destined-as most of the Army troops had been destined -for AL1Stlalla, with the object of creating a

"balanced" American air force in the Southwest Pacific.. By mid-March most of the air and ground crews and air service units assigned had arrived.27 But delays, losses, and diversions had left too few medium and heavy bombers on hand in Australia for operations of any kind. In mid March the force had twenty-six B-17's. Of these, twelve were then ire, shape to operate, as against an assigned strength ( for two heavy bomber groups,) of eighty operational planes plus reserves. There were only one or two B-25's, not in commission, as against an assigned strength ( for two medium bomber groups) of 140 operational planes plus reserves. Light bombers and pursuits were more nearly up to strength. There were forty-three A-24's and one or two A-20's in Australia, of which twenty-seven were operational, as against an assigned strength (for one light bomber group) of fifty-seven plus reserves. There were about 350 pursuit planes ( P-40's, P-400's, and P-39's), of which half were operational and the rest to be repaired or assembled, as against an assigned strength (for three pursuit groups) of 240 operational planes plus reserves. 28
There was a like shortage of planes, especially of heavy and medium bombers, throughout the I Pacific. The other major air force in the Pacific, the Hawaiian :fir Force, had received no reinforcements since the emergency shipments of December 1941. From January through March there remained a great gap between the number of planes authorized and the number present. :1s in Australia, the status of pursuit planes was relatively satisfactory. The number on hand ( a good many of them obsolete or obsolescent) fell from about `?00 at the beginning of January to about 180, as compared with `?2:i authorized. The number of light and medium bombers was about twenty-five, and the allocation of these was decreased from thirty-nine to correspond to this actual strength. Ninety-six heavy bombers were allocated to Hawaii, but the number present dropped from forty-three in January to thirty-one in mid-February. 29
The drop in the number of heavy bombers present was the result of the diversion of a squadron of ,B-17's to the South Pacific, to support a naval task force (the ANZAC Force ) that had been set up to operate in the increasingly exposed zone east and northeast of Australia. These were the only

bombers operating between Hawaii and Australia in February and March. The Army pursuit squadrons assigned to New Caledonia, the Fijis, and Christmas ; but not those assigned to Canton and Palmyra) were present with their planes. But the one bombardment unit assigned to the South Pacific-a squadron of medium bombers for New Caledonia-was due to be diverted from Australia only late in the spring, when the flight crews should arrive from the United States, and only over the objections of the Army Air Forces. 30 Of all the deficiencies in the planned deployment of Army forces on the main Pacific "line" Hawaii Australia (as also in Alaska), the shortage of bombers, and particularly the lack of bombers in the South Pacific, had become and was to remain the focus of the most persistent criticism from the Navy Department and from both Army and commanders in the Pacific. And it was the point at which the War Department was least willing to revise and expand the planned deployment of Army forces in the Pacific.
The Question of Additional Commitments
The emergence of the deployment of Anne forces- and especially bomber units-in the Pacific as a critical question of American strategy dated from mid February. The entry for 17 February, in the private notes kept by General Eisenhower during his tour of duty on the General Staff, gives an idea how strongly he and his associates felt about the issue:
The Navy wants to take all the islands in the Pacific--have there held by Army troops, to become bawl for Arm. pursuit and bombers. Then! the will have a safe place to sail us vessels. Rut they will not go farther forward than our air (Army) can assure superiority.
The amount of air required for this slow, laborious and indecisive type of warfare is going to be something that will keep us from going to Russia's aid in time!! 31
The occasion for this declaration was Admiral King's proposal, formally addressed to General Marshall the following day, to garrison additional islands, in particular the island of Efate, in the South Pacific. The formal reply (drafted by Eisenhower or one of his assistants and revised by Marshall) described the proposal as "a joint project with rather far-reaching implications." Marshall declared that he wanted to do anything reasonable" that would make "offensive action by the fleet practicable," but asked for an explanation of these questions
a. What is the general scheme or concept of operations that the occupation of these additional islands is designed to advance? Are the measures taken purely for protection of a line of communications ~or is a step-by-step general advance contemplated?
b. What islands will be involved?
c. What Army troops, particularly Air, will your proposal eventually involve.' I feel that a definite statement on this point is necessary. Requirements for troops, especially Air Forces, for operations and for training and expansion are such that I must know definitely the extent of each commitment.
d. Your proposal contemplates the employment of Army forces as occupational troops. Has the question of the availability of the Marine, been fully explored? Ground troops, less AA, are available for garrisons, but continuation of the practice of detailing "detachments" for garrisons will result in destruction of the combat effectiveness of the trained

Divisional teams from which these troops would have to be taken.32
Marshall went on to state that -American operations in the Southwest Pacific ~in which he included the South Pacific) must "for several reasons be limited to the strategic defensive" so far as air and ground forces were concerned. The first reason was the "geography and communications of Australia" taken together with "enemy advantages in the layout of air fields and other communications facing Australia." The second reason was the limiting effect of the tonnage. required for the long voyage to the far Pacific, which restricted commitments of ground forces. The third reason was the limiting effect of demands on the Army air force. throughout the world:
. . . the requirements for U. S. air units in other theaters (Burma--China, Alaska, Hawaii. Panama-Caribbean, Great Britain for German bombing, now the Near East, a possible African expedition, and the U. S. Coastal regions) would seem definitely to limit for some time to come the extent to which we can provide for a further expansion in the Pacific-Australian theatre.
General Marshall acknowledged that the Navy might he able, in case some land based air cover were provided, to "carry, on an offensive campaign against the Japanese flank in the Southwest Pacific theatre." He then concluded:
I, therefore, feel that if a change in basic strategy, as already approved by the Combined Chiefs of Staff, is involved, the entire situation must be reconsidered before we become involved more seriously in the build-up of Army ground and air garrisons in the Pacific islands.33
When Admiral King repeated his proposal early in March, he requested ground garrisons ,for only two islands- -Efate and Tongatabu- and to this proposal the War Department quickly acceded.34 In determining the composition of the task force for Tongatabu (code name BLEACHER), which was to he a base of naval operations, the planners assumed that it would probably not be attacked by major forces so long as the Allies held Samoa, the Fijis, and New Caledonia. They provided a force to deal with raids and to ,deny the Tonga Islands to any Japanese force moving from the south against the Fijis or Samoa. This force, under the command of Brig. Geri. Benjamin C. Lockwood, Jr., was similar to the one provided for Borabora-a regiment of antiaircraft, a regiment of infantry (reinforced) less one battalion, and a pursuit squadron the 68th  which was to be sent from Australia-.- -all told, about 7,200 men.35 The

plan for garrisoning Efate assumed the probability of a Japanese assault before attacking either New Caledonia or the Fijis. The Navy agreed to provide for air defense with a Marine defense battalion and a Marine fighter squadron. The Army agreed to send a force to Efate (code name Roses) of about 4,900 men, consisting of a reinforced regiment of infantry (the 24th Infantry). The force commander, Brig. Gen. Harry D. Chamberlin, was to exercise unity of command over the joint forces.36
The Eisenhower Studies
The joint agreement to send these two additional garrison forces into the South Pacific did not indicate agreement between the War and Navy Departments on the question of Army deployment in the Pacific. The leader in formulating the Army view was General Eisenhower. As chief War Department operations officer for the Pacific, had recognized and had in fact insisted that the movement of reinforcements to the ABDA area should take precedence over "everything else-Magnet, Gymnast, replacements in Ireland.'' 37 But he also considered this policy as necessarily temporary.
On 19 February he listed priorities for use of American shipping in the war effort. The first priority was: "Maintenance of existing garrisons. Defense aid to Russia. Essential supplies to IL R and critical items, only, to China." Second priority was for approved reinforcements to the Southwest Pacific, this to include approved new garrisons not adjacent to the lines of communication, and possible items of lend-lease for the Netherlands Indies. Third, came approved units and material reinforcements for Hawaii; fourth, for Panama and Alaska. British lend-lease had fifth priority (so far as use of American shipping was required) ; approved reinforcements for the Caribbean area ( less Panama), sixth; continuation of Northern Ireland and Iceland movements, seventh. Finally, Eisenhower mentioned filler replacements for Hawaii. The above listing, Eisenhower noted, represented the degree of urgency in actual or projected operations at the time the memorandum was prepared.38
A few weeks earlier, on 22 January, General Eisenhower had described in his personal notes the existing disagreement over strategy and his own solution:
The struggle to secure the adoption by all concerned of a common concept of Strategical objectives is wearing roc: down. Everybody is too much engaged with small things of his own.
We've got to go to Europe and fight-and we've got to quit wasting resources all over the world-and still worse-wasting time. If  we're to keep Russia in, save the Middle East, India and Burma; we've got to begin slugging with air at West Europe; to be followed by a land attack as soon as possible.39

The idea took more definite form in February, immediately after the fall of Singapore, when Eisenhower had become head of the Army plans and operations staff. He wrote: "We've got to go on a harassing defensive wept of Hawaii; hold India and Ceylon: build up air and land forces in England, and when we're strong enough, go after Germany's vitals. 40 Again, three days later: "We've got to keep Russia in the war and hold India!! Then we can get ready to crack Germany through England. 41
On 28 February, Eisenhower prepared a formal study setting forth his conclusions and recommendations on world strategy as well as on Pacific deployment.42 The study presented an outline of world-wide strategic objectives and their application to the Southwest Pacific. it defined ire three main propositions what had remained indeterminate in Army, joint, and combined plans since the ABC-1 conversations:
[1] . . . in the resent of a war involving both oceans, the U. S. should adopt the strategic defensive in the Pacific and devote its major offensive effort across the Atlantic.
[2] . . . we must differentiate sharply and definitely between those things whose current accomplishment in the several theaters over the world is necessary to the ultimate defeat of the Axis Powers, as opposed to those which are merely desirable because of their effect in facilitating such defeat.
[3] The United States interest in maintaining contact with Australia and in preventing further Japanese expansion to the Southeastward is apparent . . . . but . . . they are not immediately vital to the successful outcome of the war. The problem is one of determining what we can spare for the effort in that region. without seriously impairing performance of our mandatory tasks.
In dealing with the first of these three points, the memorandum applied the "strategic axiom" that the commander should first attack and defeat the weaker force of a divided enemy. Eisenhower reasoned that although Germany and its satellites were stronger in total combat power than Japan, Japan was still "relatively stronger" since it was not at war with the Soviet Union and much less accessible to attack by the main forces of the other Allied powers. Moreover, it took three to four times as many ships to transport and maintain a given American force in the Pacific as in the Atlantic. Therefore, Eisenhower concluded, "logistic reasons, as well as strategic axiom, substantiate the soundness of the decision to concentrate against the European Axis.
The memorandum recognized, however, that agreement upon a theater of primary interest did not provide a detailed guide for immediate operations, and that, even though it was correct to concentrate against the enemy in Europe, the immediate problems of the Pacific theater remained to be faced. "The significance of the current strategic and tactical situation in the Southwest Pacific is important," said Eisenhower, "both psychologically and materially, and we must be as careful to avoid unwarranted weakness as to abstain from unnecessary commitments." He continued:
Over-simplification of the Japanese problem, because our primary objective lips elsewhere. is likely to discount the enormous advantages that will accrue to our enemies through conquest of India, the domination of the Indian Ocean, the severing of all lines of

British communications to the Near and Middle East and the physical junction of our two principal enemies. Important, but less critical, advantages will accrue to thorn, also. through conquest of Australia and the islands immediately to the east thereof.
Having asserted the second main postulate, the doctrine of the "necessary" as distinguished from the "desirable," Eisenhower listed three objectives in the first category- -.always assuming that the "continental United States and Hawaii, the Caribbean area, and South America north of Natal
were secure:
a. Maintenance of the United Kingdom, which involves relative security of the North Atlantic sea lanes.
b. Retention of Russia in the war as an active enemy of Germany.
c. Maintenance of a Volition in the India Middle East Area ,shish will prevent physical junction of the two principal enemies, and will probably keep China in the war.
On the other hand he named as "things . . . highly desirable," even approaching the necessary:
a. Security of Alaska.
b. Holding of bases west and southwest of Hawaii.
c. Security of Burma, particularly because of its influence on future Chinese action.
d. Security of South America south of Natal.
e. Security of Australia.
f. Security of bases on Vest African coast and trans-,African air route.
g. Other areas and haws useful in limiting hostile operations and facilitating our own.
When he came to deal in detail with the Southwest Pacific-the area to which by far the most Army forces had been committed since Pearl Harbor-he acknowledged the interest of the United States in maintaining contact with Australia and in containing Japanese expansion to the southeastward. But he went on to point out that the collapse of the Malayan defenses and loss of portions of the Netherlands Indies erased one of the original reasons for deciding to support the Southwest Pacific--to deny to the Japanese the natural resources in those areas. By 28 February, Japan controlled ample sources of oil and tin, and practically the entire rubber resources of the world. Eisenhower therefore listed present objectives, with the reservation that they were not vital to the winning of the war: 
a. To maintain a reasonably sale line- of communications to Australia
b. To maintain the most advanced bases possible for eventual offensives against the Japanese Empire.
c. To create diversions in favor of the vitally important India-Burma area.
d. To deny the enemy free access to the Southeastern  Pacific and its natural resources . . . .
e. To support the battle in the N.E.I. as long as possible, . . .
After a summary of the ground and air forces in the Southwest Pacific and a review of the military situation, Eisenhower proposed that (1) New Caledonia be garrisoned with the heavily reinforced triangular division originally scheduled for use there; (2) the 41st Division and at least five battalions of antiaircraft Artillery be assembled in Australia as reserve and for occupation of island bases; (3) an amphibious force be organized, in co-operation with the Navy, for seizing island bases considered essential to the furthering of the ,general plan in the Southwest Pacific (4) the American air forces in Australia be utilized in support of Java and in covering northern Australia; (5) if resistance in Java ceased, U. S. air forces be used in support of island bases; and (6) one medium group, one pursuit group,

and one light squadron be retained temporarily in Australia and, as additional material became available, be withdraw to Hawaii to provide a mobile reserve for employment to the southwest.
Eisenhower then introduced a specific recommendation for offensive action, a proposal that followed logically from his vices of the military situation as a whole and that explained his other recommendations. In elaborating on what was meant by "task of keeping Russia in the war," he urged "immediate and definite action," first "by direct aid through lend-lease," and second "through the early initiation of operations that will draw off from the Russian front sizeable portions of the German Army, both air and ground." More specifically: 
 We should at ones' develop, in conjunction with the British. a definite plan for operations against Northwest Europe. It should be drawn up at once, in detail, and it should be sufficiently extensive in scale as to engage from the' middle of May onward, an increasing portion of the German Air Force, and by late summer an increasing amount of his ground forces.
The choice of northwestern Europe as the invasion point followed from the fact that another of the three essential objectives--protecting the United Kingdom and the -North Atlantic sea lanes--could be achieved concurrently with building up resources in the British Isles for a cross-Channel assault. Greater shipping economy thus could be effected than if another " 'first priority' convoying" problem were created by establishing a "large force at any location other than the Northeast Atlantic.'' Indeed, asserted Eisenhower, "The United Kingdom is not only our principal partner in this war; it offers the only point from which effective land and air ,operations against Germany May be attempted."
Joint Study of Priorities for Deployment
The whole subject of scheduled movements overseas and long-run strategy had meanwhile come under study for the JCS and the CCS.43 On 1 1 February the Joint U. S. Strategic Committee, since it was already studying American aspects of the problem, was directed to satisfy a CCS request for recommendations for over-all deployment by the United Nations in the Pacific areas. 44
The initial JUSSC papers comprised majority and minority reports.45 Although the papers were devoted chiefly to a discussion of the Pacific areas, they had something to say about the general strategic situation in the world, especially as it affected the special situation in the Japanese theater of war. Both the majority and the minority reports dwelt on the need to sustain the Soviet war effort and to defeat Germany first, and concluded that the European situation indicated "the compelling necessity for economy

of force in other theaters in order to permit concentration of effort against the principal objective." The minority report placed even greater emphasis on the ideas that Germany was the principal enemy and that it was necessary to guard against any diversion of strength from the main objective, the defeat of Germany. Both the reports stated
The availability of shipping controls all decisions concerning overseas movements during 1942. The total capacity available to the United Nations in 1942, even if the building program is accomplished, will not exceed the capacity available in 1941. The shipping situation is so critical as to necessitate effective pooling of shipping and restriction of non-military use to an absolute minimum. The remainder must then be used on the shortest runs practicable in the manner which will contribute most to the early defeat of Germany.
The principal point of difference between the majority and minority reports related to the capacity of the United States and Great Britain to provide adequate air forces and chipping in the Pacific while conducting air operations in Europe to gain superiority over Germany in 1942 and support an invasion of the Continent. Although the reports agreed that "the courses of action to be taken in the Japanese theater must be such as to reduce to a minimum the diversion of forces that might be effectively employed against Germany," the minority report stated:
The effective defense of the Western Pacific, including the defense of all the important islands desired as bases there, would require a large proportion of our available forces, and would jeopardize the success of the offensive against Germany. Consequently. it must be accepted that we are unable to establish a system of bases and forces, so disposed as to give depth to the defense of the line between Hawaii and Australia.
Thus the minority-presumably the AAF member--recommended virtual abandonment of the Southwest Pacific. region-including Australia and the island base chain protecting the approach to Australia from Hawaii. The majority report declared that Australia should he held, and that sea and air communications with Australia must be made secure if Australia were to be supported and remain available as a base for further operations:
Since communications from Australia to the westward are now liable to constant interruption, due to the fall of Singapore, the: importance of the Anzac area has been greatly increased. On the security of the Anzac area depends the maintenance of communications between Australia and the United States. Not only must New Caledonia. Fiji and other important shore positions in the area be garrisoned. There must also be provided a mobile air force of long range aircraft to operate with the mobile naval surface forces.46
The minority felt that Australia should be held by minimum forces and that the defense of Australia and New Zealand should be a British responsibility. It indicated that, with the' fall of Singapore, the importance of the Anzac area had been somewhat reduced (rather than greatly increased), since it was too distant from Japan for the waging of a decisive offensive against Japan. The minority paper insisted that the United States and Great Britain must accept the fact that they might be forced to relinquish the lines of communication from the United States to Australia if its defense should jeopardize the success of the offensive against Germany. The lines of communication, it contended, should be secured with the forces already provided.

The result of the planners' study was a significant change in alignment. The minority member acquiesced in the view that the United States could and should hold the line Hawaii-Australia, with the minimum force necessary and at the same time prepare for a maximum offensive across the Atlantic. Thereupon the argument among the planners shifted to the question of what the minimum necessary forces in the Pacific would be--a question on which the Navy planners, rather than the Air planners, found themselves in the minority, insisting that more :Army forces, especially air forces, would be needed to hold the Japanese. 47
JCS Decision on Deployment Policy
The Joint Staff Planners unanimously recommended "that the JCS at once decide on a clear course of action, and execute this decision with the utmost vigor.48  
They reported irreconcilable differences among themselves and presented three possible courses of action which different members of their committee supported. A middle-of-the-road course-which echoed Eisenhower's 28 February study-was listed as the third alternative. The three alternatives were:
A) Ensure the security of the military position in the Pacific Theater by strong reinforcements . . . at the expense of executing a vigorous offensive against Germany with United States Forces. Contain Japanese forms in the southern portion of the Pacific Theater: inflict attrition; and exert economic pressure by the destruction of vessels . . . .
 B ) While Russia is still an effective ally, concentrate the mass of our forces for a vigorous offensive, initially from bases in England, with the objective of defeating Germany. Until Germany has been defeated, accept the possibility that the Southwest Pacific: May be lost.
(C) Provide the additional forces in the South Pacific- Area considered by the Joint Strategic Committee as the minimum required for the defensive position and simultaneously begin to build up in the United Kingdom forces intended for offense at the earliest practicable tune. This course of action contemplates that the British would provide the bulk of the forces for any offensive undertaken in 1992 from the United Kingdom. 49
Thus squarely presented was the issue of where the. United States and Great Britain should make their first great offensive effort. Implicit in any decision in favor of the third alternative was acceptance of the United Kingdom as the major offensive base. With very little recorded discussion the JCS agreed, on lf> March 194`?, that "of the courses of action available," it was "preferable" for the United States "to begin to build up forces in the United Kingdom" and to restrict Pacific forces to the number allotted in "current commitments." 50
Concurrently the JCS considered a paper in which the War Department carefully re-

viewed the related question of defense forces for Hawaii..51 This paper, approved by General Arnold and Marshall, maintained that In providing rapidly for adequate defense of the Hawaiian Islands it was essential to avoid over defense, since troops and armament assigned there were being contained by Japan  without any drain oil it: own military resources, and the amount of shipping(,, available for other purposes was unnecessarily reduced. The Army planers estimated that so long as the United States could keep reasonable naval strength in the Hawaiian area and were engaging the Japanese in the Southwest Pacific, attacks on Hawaii would be limited to naval and air raids. The study concluded that the ground and air forces, projected by the Army, combined with the local naval defenses would "assure retention of the island:. prevent serious damage to installations . . . and permit freedom of action to the Pacific Fleet." It recommended that Army forces should be increased to authorized levels as soon as possible after commitments of higher priority had been filled. Although the Hawaiian Department had requested substantial reinforcements in addition to those authorized is January, the JCS accepted this recommendation on 13 March and the President approved their decision on 13 March. 52
Strategic Deployment in the Pacific
Soon after these decisions were reached, a number of changes had to be made in War Department troop commitments, all of them making it even harder to carry out the compromise policy of holding the line in the Pacific while, preparing for an offensive across the Atlantic. Early in 'March the Prime 'Minister had asked ,that the United Buttes send one division to New Zealand and one to Australia in addition to the U. S. Army forces already allocated to Australia. 'The Dominions could on that basis consent to leave one New Zealand and one Australian division in the then critical Middle East battle none. The Prime Minister suggested that "shipping would be saved and safety gained by the American reinforcement of Australia and Zealand rather than by a move across the oceans of these divisions from the Middle East. 53 The Army planners recommended that the United States agree to send the additional divisions for w hick the Prime Minister had asked, provided oil that -Australia and New Zealand definitely agreed to retain an equivalent number of troops in the Indian Ocean area. It was not perfectly clear from the Prime Minister's message whether or not he knew of the assignment of the 41st Division to Australia nor, therefore, whether his proposal would require sending two divisions or only one to the Southwest Pacific in addition to the forces already there. 54 In

its reply, which Roosevelt forwarded to Churchill, the CGS recognized the importance of the area of the Indian Ocean and the Middle East and agreed that the Australian and :dew Zealand divisions now in that area should remain and that the United Mates would dispatch one division to New Zealand and one to Australia as replacement for their forces as follows:
The 41st Division is leaving the U. S. by the eighteenth of this month reaching Australia about April 10. The next convoy of half a division could leave about April l5 and the remainder about May 15. If the total number of New Zealand and Australian troops retained for fighting in the Middle Fast, India or Ceylon are in excess of these two divisions, a third U. S. division can leave for the Southwest Pacific about May 15.
These movements would require that some twenty-five cargo ships be withdrawn from lend-lease service to the Red Sea and China.55
The United States also agreed to furnish shipping to move two British divisions (40.000 men) with their equipment from the United Kingdom to the Middle East and India in April and May. This movement would require the withdrawal of eleven lend-lease ships from railings for Burma and the Red Sea, and was contingent on a number of important matters, namely, that during that period a North African operation not be undertaken, the movement to Northern Ireland be limited to those troops which the two convoys planned for the Middle East could bring over from the United States, and movements to Iceland be stopped. This movement would also have the effect, the U. S. joint planners estimated, of seriously curtailing American contribution to an air offensive and virtually eliminating American contribution to a land offensive against Germany in 1942. 56 The joint planners found that under the new commitments the available of troop transports would become the limiting factor during the second and third quarters of 1942, after which the availability of cargo shipping would again control. 57 Although the tentative commitments might possibly haw some effect on transportation of troops to the United Kingdom, all Pacific troop movements were expected to be carried out as indicated in the previous schedules.58 The planners suggested that should the British not be willing to launch an offensive in the European theater in 1942, the agreed strategic concept should be reevaluated and the possibility of concentrating American offensive effort in the Pacific considered.
One other change occurred in the JCS 23 deployment schedules when the 27th Division, previously authorized by the War Department for Hawaii, replaced a Marine amphibious division which the JUSSC; had recommended he sent to Hawaii.59 With the addition of these three Army divisions, Army forces allocated to Hawaii, Australia, and the lines of communication for 1942

amounted to over 275,000-about 35 percent of the total projected overseas deployment of the U. S. Army and about half of the projected Army deployment outside the Western Hemisphere.60 (See Chart 2.)
Strategic Responsibility and Command in the Pacific
The debate over Army commitments in the Pacific was accompanied, and its outcome was very largely determined, by a clarification of American responsibilities for military operations in the Southwest Pacific, following on the collapse of the ABDA Command. Within the week after the fall of Singapore the GCS accepted as virtually certain the loss of Sumatra and Java.61 On 23 February they ordered General Wavell to dissolve his headquarters at Batavia, permitting command to pass to the Dutch, whose forces were still engaged, with some Allied aid, in fighting a delaying action in Java.62 Although this transfer of authority technically placed the United States forces in the Philippines under Netherlands command, MacArthur was to "continue to communicate directly with the War Department." 63 The two senior U. S. Army officers in the Batavia headquarters were ordered, upon release by Wavell, to proceed to the two flanks of the disintegrating ABDA area--General Brereton to India, to become Commanding General, Tenth U. S. Air Force, with headquarters at Karachi, and General Brett to resume command of all U. S. forces in Australia.64 These interim readjustments marked the end of the first short-lived experiment in international unified command for World War II.

MacArthur Ordered to Australia
A far more important readjustment in command had meanwhile come under consideration the transfer of General Mac-Arthur from the Philippines to Australia.65 The War Department had opened the question of his transfer early in February with a message to MacArthur, which stated that in the event of the loss of Bataan peninsula there might be a greater need for hire elsewhere, and which assured him that any order for him to give up the "immediate leadership" of his forces in the Philippines would come directly from the President.66 On 22 February the President decided to order 'MacArthur to Australia to assume command of American forces there, with the intention of getting the Australian and British Governments to accept him "as commander of the reconstituted ABDA Area. 67 MacArthur himself had the choice of the exact moment and manner of his departure. He notified the War Department that he expected to leave the Philippines for Australia about 15 March. 68
Division of World Into Areas of Strategic Responsibility
While these readjustments in command were being made, the President and the Prime Minister entered into negotiations to allocate strategic responsibility as between Great Britain and the United States. The President first introduced the subject of a division of responsibility among theaters by the two countries on 18 February in a communication to the Prime Minister. He wrote:
It seems to me that the United States is able because of our geographical position to reinforce the right flank Australia and New Zealand much better than you can and I think that the L . S. should take the primary responsibility for that immediate reinforcement and maintenance. using Australia as the main base . . . . .Britain is better prepared to reinforce Burma and India and I visualize that you would take responsibility for that theater.
We would supplement you in any May we could. just as you would supplement our efforts on the right flank.69

A few days later the British Chiefs of Staff indicated that they were thinking along similar lines.70
On 7 March the President proposed that the world be divided into three general areas for the prosecution of the war against the Axis: (1) the Pacific area,(2) The Middle and Far East area, and (3) the European and Atlantic area. The first region would be an American responsibility, the second British, and the third combined American and British.71 On the new day General Marshall discussed the issue at the White House. 72
General Eisenhower meanwhile prepared a study along the lines of the President's proposal., Eisenhower defined the three areas of strategic responsibility as follows:( 1) The Pacific area, which included the American continents, China. Australia, New Zealand. and Japan, but excluded Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula, was to be an area of American responsibility. (2 ) The Indian Ocean and Middle East area- the Indian Ocean and all land areas contiguous thereto west of Singapore, and the Middle and near East was designated an area of British responsibility, with American assistance limited to material aid from surplus production. It was stipulated that the United States should have access to bases in India and routes to China within this area.(3) Europe and the Atlantic, in which the major effort against Germany was to be made, was to be an area of British-American joint responsibility.
Eisenhower further proposed, following the sense of the 7 March White House meeting, that the CCS exercise general jurisdiction over grand strategy and the allocation of war material m all areas, in addition to direct supervision of all strategic and operational matters in the European and Atlantic area. In tile Indian Ocean and Middle East urea the British Chiefs of Staff were to exercise jurisdiction: in the Pacific area the U. S. Chiefs of Staff were to exercise jurisdiction.73
On 9 March the President sent a personal message to the Prime Minister asking him, ill vice, of the developments in the Southwest Pacific area since the ARCADIA Conference, to consider the operational simplification that had been proposed in Washington. The operational responsibility for the Pacific area would rest on the United States, with decisions for the area being made in N1'ashingoon by the L;. S. Chiefs of Staff in consultation .with an advisory council representing Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands Indies, China, and possibly Canada. The supreme command in the Pacific area would be American. The middle area-extending from Singapore to and including India, the Indian Ocean. Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Libya, and the -Mediterranean-would be a British responsibility, but the United States would continue to allocate to it all possible munitions and vessel assignments. The third area -Europe and the Atlantic would be a joint British-American responsibility and would include definite plans for establishment of a new front on the European Continent. "I am becoming more and more interested in the establishment of

Photo - WAR PLANS DIVISION, March 1942. Left to right: Col. St. Clair Streett; General Eisenhower, Chief; Col. A. S. Nevins; Brig. Gen. R. IV. Crawford; Col. C. A. Russell; and Col. H. A. Barber, Jr.
WAR PLANS DIVISION, March 1942. Left to right: Col. St. Clair Streett; General Eisenhower,
Chief; Col. A. S. Nevins; Brig. Gen. R. IV. Crawford; Col. C. A. Russell; and Col. H. A. Barber, Jr.
thin new front this summer," the President added. 74
The Prime Minister replied on 18 March, generally concurring in the President's proposals and stating that he and the British Chiefs of Staff saw "great merits in simplification resulting from American control over Pacific sphere and British control over Indian sphere and indeed there is no other way." The Prime Minister implicitly accepted the postponement of a combined North African operation and movements of American troops to the United Kingdom as necessary corollary to the use of shipping few deployment to the Southwest Pacific and movement of British troop, to the Middle East. With the undemanding that British and American efforts everywhere could be directed by "machinery of the Combined Chiefs of Staff Committee acting directly under you and nit'," the Prince Minister also approved the President's proposals for "executive conduct" of the war.
In regard to the Pacific: theater, Churchill wrote:
On supreme and general outlook in Pacific we are both agreed on the paramount importance of regaining the initiative against
Japan . . . . We assume that any large-scale

methods of achieving this would be capable of being discussed by combined Chiefs of Staff Committee in Washington . . . .
And in summing up:
. . . I feel that your proposals as I have ventured to elaborate and interpret them will achieve double purpose namely (a) integrity of executive and operational action and lb) opportunity of reasonable consultation for those whose fortunes are involved. 75
Creation of SWPA and POA
While the President and the Prime -Minister were reaching agreement on the worldwide division of strategic responsibility, the JCS were considering the subdivision of the Pacific theater, which they assumed would become a responsibility of the United States. The Navy was primarily concerned with the "threat to the line of communications between the Americas and Australia-New Zealand," and Admiral King had made the first formal proposal for revision of command arrangements in the Southwest Pacific immediately after the fall of Singapore.76 The War Department planners considered various alternatives suggested by Admiral King.77 At the same time the War Department informally told Brett of its agreement with the principle expressed by the New Zealand and Australian authorities meeting in Melbourne that operations in the South and Southwest Pacific based on Australia should be under unified command.78
The JCS, after studying the recommendations of the Australian and New Zealand Governments, adopted instead the law's vices that New Zealand belonged with the line of communication, and proposed the establishment of a new "Australian area" that would include only "the Australian continent and the direct enemy approaches thereto, a strategic entity appropriate for unified command" 79 Eisenhower pointed out that since Australia had to serve as a base for all military operations in the Southwest Pacific: there were obvious disadvantages in setting up an Australian area which would not include New Zealand, New Caledonia, and the Philippines. Accordingly the War Department recommended extending the area to include these islands and proposed giving the area, so extended, the "more descriptive designation" of "the Southwest Pacific Area." 80 General Marshall proposed to the joint Chiefs that

the "Southwest Pacific Area" be established as a Subarea command in the Pacific theater "to comprise all land areas in the Pacific for which the U. S. is made responsible, southwest of the line Philippines, Samoa ( both inclusive), thence south along the meridian of 170 W." The participating governments--Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands Indies, and the United States---would select a supreme commander whose directive would be prepared by the U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in collaboration with representatives of these governments. The sea and island areas in the Pacific Ocean northeast of the Southwest Pacific: Area would be known as the North Pacific Area and "placed under the command of a U. S. Navy officer. 81
The JCS acting "in anticipation of final approval of the division of the world into three major theaters," thereupon modified their proposal by extending the boundary of the area northward to include the Philippines and renaming the area the Southwest Pacific Area. But they retained the separation of Australia from New Zealand and Mew Caledonia, ruling that the defense of these islands, as the Navy insisted, was essentially a part of the defense of the lines of communication from the United States. 82
On this basis the JCS proceeded to set up commands in the Pacific theater, in effect making the Army responsible for operations in Australia and to the north and northeast, to and including the Philippines-the Southwest Pacific Area-and making the Navy responsible for operations in the rest of the Pacific theatre---the Pacific Ocean Area-except for a small Southeast Pacific area (for which no command was established).83 (See Chart 2.) General MacArthur was to be Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area (SNVPA ) . Admiral Chester W. , who was in command of the Pacific Fleet, was to become Commander in Chief, Pacific Ocean Area (POA), directly controlling the South Pacific subarea through a deputy whom he would designate. 84
Organization of SWPA
On 10 March, in anticipation of General MacArthur's arrival in Australia, the War Department had sent to General Brett the following instructions, as approved by the President:
Within the hour [of General MacArthur's arrival in Australia] you will call upon the Prime Minister or other appropriate governmental official of Australia, stating that your

call is made by direction of the President. You are to notify the Prime Minister that General MacArthur has landed in Australia and has assumed command of all U. S. Army forces therein. You will propose that the Australian Government nominate General MacArthur as the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific Area, and will recommend that the nomination be submitted as soon a, possible to London and Washington simultaneously. 85
On 11 March MacArthur and his party left Corregidor for Mindanao, from which planes were still able to operate. When he arrived in Australia six days later, the War Department announced that he would be supreme commander in that region, including the Philippines, "in accordance with the request of the Australian Government. 86 On the same day Roosevelt sent a personal message to Churchill telling him of MacArthur's arrival in Australia and explaining that both the Australian and New Zealand Governments had suggested appointment of an American supreme commander in the Southwest Pacific. "This action," the President stated, "will in no wav interfere with procedure of determining strategic areas and spheres of responsibility through established channels." 87
On 18 March the War Department sent MacArthur a long summary of the plans for command arrangements as of that date, telling him drat the President had approved his assumption of "Supreme Command in Australia and region to north, including the Philippine," and that upon completion of British-American negotiations he probably would be appointed formally as commander of the Southwest Pacific Area. 88
The first tank facing MacArthur after his arrival in Australia was to consolidate the organization of the land, sea, and air forces of the United States and Australia that had been put under his command. General Arthur had been instructed to take over from General Brett the command of L. S. Army Forces in Australia (USAFIA) but the day after his arrival the War Department rescinded these instructions, explaining that as supreme commander of an international command he would not be "eligible to retain direct command of any national force." The War Department informed him that Brett, therefore, should "temporarily resume his position as Commanding General of USAFIA," indicating further that, upon the reorganization of commands in the Pacific, Brett should command Allied air forces in Australia, an Australian officer should command Allied ground forces, and Vice Admiral Herbert F. Leary should command Allied naval forces.89

By agreement between MacArthur and the Australian Government, Brett was at once put in command of combined air forces, and MacArthur soon thereafter relieved him of responsibilities for USAFIA 90 These responsibilities, primarily for the operation of American base facilities in Australia, reverted to Maj. Gen. Julian F. Barnes, who in fact had had a fluctuating and uncertain share of these responsibilities ever since his arrival with the first American troop convoy in Australia in December. 1lacArthur proposed that they should continue to include command of American grounds forces in Australia.91 But the War Department continued to insist on the need for a combined ground command, under an Australian officer, in line with the precedent of the ABDA Command. The War Department emphasized the importance of following that precedent, noting that it had been developed "after much difficulty," and explained shat it had been set to avert a situation where the supreme commander of ABDA area ( Wavell j might have personally become "to intimately involved in defense of Singapore and Burma and not sufficiently detached in point of view to lake care of interests of Philippines and -Netherlands fast Indies." The War Department concluded : "This basis for Supreme Commander has been accepted as the policy to ,guide ire future combined operations of United Nations . . . .92
MacArthur at once fell in with the policy outlined by the War Department for command of combined air, ground, and naval forces and proposed that Barnes' command be set up as an American service command, with purely administrative and supply functions, separate from Australian administration and supply, which would continue to be under the Australian Government.93
Directive to MacArthur
The formal directive naming MacArthur as Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area, and Admiral Nimitz as Commander in (chief, Pacific Ocean Area, was issued by the JCS on 30 March and promptly approved by the President. The two first and most important points in the mission as-

signed to MacArthur were to "hold the key military regions of Australia as bases for future offensive action against Japan, and in order to check the Japanese conquest of the Southwest Pacific Area" and to "check the enemy advance toward Australia and its essential lines of communication . . .94 Although his directive included the provision that he should "prepare to take the offensive," the mission assigned him was primarily defensive, in accordance with the strategy in the Pacific. that the U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff had developed in March. He was to maintain the American position in the Philippines and protect communications and route shipping within the Southwest Pacific Area. He was directed to exert economic pressure on the enemy by destroying his transport vessels and to support the operations of friendly forces in the Pacific Ocean and Indian theaters.
There were certain broad limitations on MacArthur's authority. As supreme commander, he was authorized "to direct and coordinate the creation and development of administrative facilities and the broad allocation of war materials," but was declared ineligible to command directly any national force and was not responsible for the internal administration of the respective forces under his command.
The JCS reserved to themselves the exercise of jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to operational strategy, with the Army Chief of Staff acting as agent for the JCS. General jurisdiction over grand strategic policy and related factors including the allocation of forces and war materials was given to the CCS.
Finally, and most tellingly, the scope of General MacArthur's operations was restricted not by his directive but by the policy that the War Department had meanwhile adopted to govern the deployment of Army forces in the Pacific. The War Department undertook to bring to full strength the air units already assigned to Australia-two heavy bomber groups, two medium bomber groups, one light bomber group, and three pursuit groups-and to send to Australia the 41st and 32d Divisions. As soon as MacArthur arrived in Australia, the War Department informed him that Army commitments to the Southwest Pacific Area would he limited to these units, the limits being "fixed by shortages in shipping, which is of the utmost seriousness, and by critical situations elsewhere." 95 The implications of the War Department's policy were quite as important as the explicit limitation on authorized strength. The rate at which the War Department met its commitments to the Southwest Pacific Area and the state of training of the troops that were sent might also be cut for the same reason that the authorized strength itself was limited in order to meet other commitments. Under its adopted policy, moreover, the War Department was not likely to demand, and still less likely to obtain, the commitment of sufficient naval reinforcements to the Southwest Pacific to enable General MacArthur to conduct any offensive operations, even

when his air units should be reorganized and equipped and his divisions adequately trained for combat operations. The forces at his disposal y, were only a small fraction of those he would need only make good the pledge he had given the Philippine nation and to avenge the defeat and imminent surrender of the remnants, hungry and bitter, of the U. S. Army Forces in the Far East.96

Page created 10 January 2002


Previous Chapter     Next Chapter

Return to the Table of Contents