Chapter XIV: 
Strategic Strands in the War Against Japan: August-November 1943
Aside from uneasiness over the immediate aims of the European allies in the Mediterranean, Army planners had another compelling reason in the fall of 1943 for clinching European strategy once and for all. In their eyes, OVERLORD was more than a lever to secure the invasion of the European continent via the Channel. It was also a means of regulating deployment to the Pacific. The general understanding had been that the early Anglo-American decision to beat Germany first had relegated the war against Japan to a limited and secondary effort until the European foe was beaten. However, the war in the Pacific would not and could not stand still. In the months following Pearl Harbor the idea of BOLERO-ROUNDUP had, as we have seen, been adopted and pressed by the Army planners as a means of controlling run-away deployment in the Pacific. TORCH had thrown this hope, along with their others, into limbo. At Casablanca in January 1943, the Americans had served notice that the continued diversionary trend to the Mediterranean would be matched by expanded action in the Pacific. During the remainder of 1943, the relaxation in favor of commitments for the Pacific, which had begun concomitantly with the TORCH decision, had been continued for maintaining the initiative against Japan seized at Guadalcanal.
Encouraging as prospects were in the war against Japan by the fall of 1943, the expanding operations in the Pacific complicated rather than simplified problems for the planners responsible for strategic deployment of the Army. The operations threatened to absorb too much too fast. How to keep that war progressing without drawing off too much of the manpower and resources needed to defeat Germany was more than ever a disturbing question. How to achieve a proper balance and timing in the deployment of forces among the major theaters was becoming not less but more difficult as the war progressed. The need to replace piecemeal allocations of American resources for defensive and opportunistic purposes in the Pacific by systematic deployment in accord with some agreed over-all plan for the decisive defeat of Japan appeared greater than ever.

As did enterprising commanders elsewhere, those in the Pacific persistently called for more generous allocations. The peculiar needs of campaigns in remote, disease-ridden, water-bound areas at the end of long lines of communications created demands that seemed insatiable. Operations threatened to become larger and larger. Like Topsy, Army forces and resources in the Pacific "just growed" and, what is more, kept growing. Nor did the Army planners want to postpone the defeat of Japan any longer than necessary to defeat the European foe. In fact, one of the basic arguments in the Army brief for accelerating the European conflict was inability to defend any longer before the American people the postponement of an all-out effort in the Pacific except on the ground that the Allies were preparing to crush Germany at the earliest possible date.
More than OVERLORD therefore lay in the balance. The way out of the dilemma seemed to the Army planners to be threefold: nail down the European strategy; keep up unremitting pressure on Japan but so far as possible within the limits of available Army resources and manpower already deployed; and develop over-all planning against Japan -planning that, without impinging on the strength and means needed to defeat Germany, would capitalize on every possible short cut in order to hasten the defeat of Japan after the collapse of Germany. Along these lines the planners were searching in the fall of 1943 for answers to the problem of the mounting costs of the "secondary war."
The Quest for Short Cuts
At the close of the QUADRANT Conference the Allies were in possession of the strategic initiative against Japan but still without an approved basic plan for its defeat. Strategic planning for the war against Japan had by no means reached the decisive stage arrived at in blueprinting the war against Germany. Although progress had been steady if unspectacular since the Battle of Midway in 1942, a quick look at the existing front lines in New Guinea, the Solomons, and Burma was enough to show that the far-flung Japanese perimeter of defensive positions had as yet scarcely been penetrated. The strategic "inner zone" lay safe and intact. Capitalizing on Anglo-American-Soviet preoccupation with the European struggle and on the weakness of China, Japan was in fact seeking to strengthen its economic and military position behind, the outer barrier.
Combined British-American planning had been begun in the spring of 1943 for the "how," "when," and "where" of piercing these defense rings and defeating Japan. By QUADRANT it had largely bogged down in the face of the many political and military imponderables involved. At QUADRANT the CCS attempted to revitalize the planning by supplying an answer to one of the basic unknowns-the problem of timing. The resolution, championed by the Americans at the conference, to hinge the plan against Japan on a twelve-month period after the defeat of Germany introduced a new controlling factor to guide the planners. It gave promise of relating planning against Japan to planning against Germany. To save time

henceforth became a dominant aim of military planning for the: defeat of Japan. Especially appealing to Washington Army planners was the possibility of thus reducing the costs of the conflict.
Introduction of the twelve-month concept into the Japanese war made swifter and deeper entry into the enemy's interior lines a "must." Fortunately two elements then in the process of expansion or development bade fair to provide the plans with teeth, fast carrier forces and the very long range bomber, the B-29. The Combined planners at QUADRANT, in assigning the United States responsibility for evolving an over-all plan, instructed the U.S. planners to assume that the Germans would definitely be out of action by October 1944, that maximum employment of Allied airpower against Japan would be effected after that collapse, and that the U.S. and the British Fleets would both be used to the hilt.1 Upon the surrender of the Italian Fleet, the British would dispatch a large and powerful naval force to the Bay of Bengal via the Pacific. It was the ardent desire of the Prime Minister that this British force be available for several months of fighting in the Pacific before proceeding to the Indian Ocean, possibly to bolster morale in Australia and New Zealand. The U.S. Navy reaction to the proposal was quite unenthusiastic. King argued that a dearth of facilities, serious logistical problems, and a lack of suitable objectives upon which the British force could be used during the limited period of its assignment in the Pacific made such a move of doubtful value. The Army reception of Churchill's suggestion was considerably more favorable, since the Army maintained that the U.S. public would be encouraged to learn of the intensification of pressure upon the Japanese. The Army, on the other hand, was less kindly disposed toward the efforts of another ally-France-to help fight the, war in the Pacific. The War Department disapproved French suggestions that French combat units be organized and equipped to engage in battle in the western Pacific in late 1944. It argued against imposing any added burdens upon U.S. production and the tight shipping situation that such a commitment would entail.2
Despite the indecision over the future role of the Allies in the war against Japan, Army planners proceeded to investigate the possibilities of defeating Japan by October 1945-within twelve months after the fall of Germany. Assuming that the USSR and Japan would still be at peace, they rejected approaches from the Philippines and the Kurils and an assault directly on Honshu as time consuming or impracticable. Nor, in their opinion, did a land approach via China promise to meet the target date. The need to reconquer Burma, to overcome the tremendous logistical difficulties, to negotiate endlessly with the Chinese, and to fight large Japanese

ground armies made a major land campaign in China unacceptable. The best possibility for finishing the war in 1945, they concluded, lay in the invasion of Hokkaido, in early 1945, via Hawaii and the Aleutians. To accomplish this, they warned, the scale of operations in the Central and Southwest Pacific and in the Southeast Asia Command must continue at the same pace existing at the time of the fall of Germany until the Hokkaido offensive could be launched. Redeployment and training plans must be set in motion immediately; shipping requirements would have to be thoroughly studied. Hokkaido had been selected since it was a well-placed, lightly defended island that would provide a suitable base for the later invasion of Honshu. By striking deep into the enemy heartland tactical surprise could be won. Current planning, the planners pointed out, was dominated by the step-by-step advance from the west, southwest, and east, so perforce operations during 1943-44 would have to follow these lines of approach. Release of large forces after Germany's defeat in late 1944 would make a direct attack on Japan possible in 1945.3
In the meantime the Air Forces plan, presented at QUADRANT, to use B-29's against Japan was found by the Combined planners to be too optimistic insofar as time and logistical factors were concerned. Attacks on the scale visualized as necessary to complete the bombing offensive against Japan by October 1945 could not be mounted in time.4 Investigation of B-29 potentialities did bring to light the need for correlating general planning and Air planning and resulted in the production by the U.S. Joint planners of a more modest plan that called for the operation of the huge bombers from bases at Calcutta and Cheng-tu. Other possible sites were considered. For the first time, stress was placed upon the seizure of the Marianas -currently treated in Pacific planning as a relatively subordinate and distant operation-and the establishment of heavy bomber bases there at the earliest possible date.5
These earnest efforts on the part of the U.S. planners to tailor objectives and operations to comply with the terminal date of October 1945 met with a temporary setback at the hands of the combined planning teams who had been meeting in London and Washington and working on an over-all plan. The combined planning teams had come by October 1943 to the gloomy conclusion that there was "no prospect of defeating Japan by October 1945." They believed that the invasion of Japan would have to be provided for in any comprehensive plan and reaffirmed the future importance of China as a potential base of operations. The main factor limiting the speed at which the Allies could de-

ploy their vast air forces after Germany's downfall would be naval and amphibious strength, since it would take the United States several months and the British nine months to reorient their forces. To speed this redeployment, an early decision must be made on the British forces and bases to be used. To help shorten the war, the Combined planners also thought that the USSR must be induced to enter it as soon as possible. They found that the outlook for successful invasion of Hokkaido in the summer of 1945 was rather dim and thought that an advance upon Formosa in the spring of 1945 held more promise. If this hope proved futile, an alternative operation might be launched against northern Sumatra in late 1944 or early 1945. Japan itself might be reached in 1946.6
Reaction of the U.S. Joint planners to this combined effort was both diverse and adverse. The Air Forces planner urged that more emphasis be placed upon the potential role of strategic airpower. The Navy member complained that the destruction of the Japanese Fleet as "a primary objective and prerequisite to victory" had not been accorded its proper place.7 The Operations Division, in briefing the Army member, cautioned against pouring large amounts of men and materiel into China, since it would be out of phase with the twelve-month concept. Though it was important to maintain China in the war, forward air bases constructed for the B-29's in China could not be defended against Japanese attack, nor could Chinese troops be readied for offensive warfare before 1947. It would therefore not be reasonable to waste time and energy on such long-term projects. Furthermore, the Operations Division believed that as a result of steadily increasing attrition of Japanese air and naval power, the bombing of Japan would become less and less necessary.8 The Army planners, in preparing for the SEXTANT Conference in early November, further commented:
Despite the agreement that the United Nations should direct their principal offensive efforts against Germany and contain the Japanese by a series of relatively minor thrusts, it is becoming increasingly apparent that operations against Japan are approaching major proportions. Plans for the defeat of Japan are not yet firm. However, the degree of success enjoyed thus far is indicative of the need of a short term plan for operations against Japan (upon Germany's defeat) with primary emphasis on an approach from the Pacific rather than from the Asiatic mainland.
They concluded: U.S. Pacific planning undoubtedly will continue to follow the three avenues of approach to Japan [SWPA, Central Pacific, and North Pacific] with decision at a later date as to the area where the major effort will be undertaken.9
The joint planners felt that too much weight had been placed upon the value of help from the British Fleet and counseled the JCS to make the ultimate objective of the 1945 Hokkaido attack the invasion of Honshu not later than the spring of 1946. In the meantime,

they advocated an advance along the New Guinea-Netherlands East Indies-Philippines axis, to proceed concurrently with the Central Pacific offensive. If any conflict in timing should occur, they stated, "due weight should be accorded to the fact that operations in the Central Pacific promise a more rapid advance toward Japan, our ultimate objective; the earlier acquisition of strategic air bases closer to the Japanese homeland; and of greatest importance, are more likely to precipitate a decisive engagement with the Japanese fleet."10 They believed it would be better to reassess strategy after the completion of the Gilberts-Marshalls campaign.11
The Combined and joint planners' ideas on the Japanese war were given a distinctly cool reception when they reached the top strategic counselors of the JCS in early November. The Joint Strategic Survey Committee found that planning of the war against Japan continued to be imbued with "conservatism" because of the tendency to overestimate Japan and to underestimate British-American capabilities. The JSSC did not accept Hokkaido as the primary target for 1945 and maintained that the key to Japanese defeat lay in "all-out operations through the Central Pacific with supporting operations on the northern and southern flanks."12 By mid-November American. planners were still unable to resolve their disagreement over the future, long-term pattern of operations against Japan and could not present the JCS, preparing to depart for the next conference, with an acceptable solution.
The Progress of Pacific Operations
Failure in the months following QUADRANT to define long-term policies and strategy for the Pacific war meant that in the meantime pressures already developed against the Japanese perimeter would continue to be applied and that new pressures would be evolved in the usual opportunistic manner. With the Allies pushing forward in New Guinea toward the Huon Peninsula area and advancing in the central Solomons to the islands of New Georgia and Vella Lavella, the course for the immediate future in the South and Southwest Pacific through New Guinea and toward the Bismarck Archipelago was not difficult to fathom. With the initiation of the Central Pacific campaign against the Gilbert Islands and the launching of Burma operations during the latter part of the year, two additional points of pressure would be applied against the Japanese.
The important task for the Army planners would be to sustain and foster the old drives while making provision for growth and expansion of new lines of offense. Balancing demands against resources, hitherto decided mainly upon a Europe versus Pacific basis, now was to be further complicated by the need for intra-Pacific allocations and priorities between the South-Southwest and the Central Pacific.
Indications of this competition for

available resources were made clear when Nimitz requested on 20 August that a firm date be set for launching operations in the Marshalls. With the drive on the Gilberts scheduled for 20 November, Nimitz felt that 1 January 1944 would be a reasonable target date for the Kwajalein, Maloelap, and Wotje Atolls in the Marshalls. Capture of the Marshalls would prepare the way for the next step, control of the Carolines, and would support SWPA and Indian Ocean operations. To carry out his plan, Nimitz visualized use of one Army division and two and a half AAF bomber groups. The attacks would be mounted from Oahu and the South Pacific and would use staging points in the Ellice and Gilbert Islands.13
The Army planners were concerned over possible shipping complications for the Bismarck campaign that might result from setting an early January date for the Marshalls. Nevertheless, the Chief of Staff supported the Navy contention that Nimitz should have a firm date on which he could count. The Army-Navy understanding was that Nimitz should take into consideration the continuance of the CARTWHEEL thrusts against New Ireland, the Admiralties, and New Guinea in February 1944. In early September the 7th Division, which had been used in the recently completed Aleutians campaign, was designated as the Army division for the Marshalls operation. Later developments forced Nimitz to recommend postponement of the Marshalls target date to 31 January. In accepting his advice, the JCS on 2 November stipulated that the operations should begin not later than 31 January. General Marshall took this occasion to point out the desirability of the high command in Washington using the Foch system of pressing all subordinate commanders constantly in order to keep the enemy continually in retreat and to forestall delays or lags in operations.14 The unwillingness of Marshall to accept postponements and his eagerness to advance target dates were typical of this period of search for short cuts and faster results.
Readjustments, however, were constantly being made by the Army and Navy as preparations for the Gilberts and Nauru neared completion. In September the Navy discovered that a shortage of attack transports and cargo ships might make the seizure of Nauru both difficult and costly since heavy losses had been anticipated and logistical hazards would be quite severe because of the atoll's isolated position. The Army accepted the substitution of Makin Atoll for Nauru as an objective, but warned that the U.S. Fleet might sustain more damage from Japanese land-based air in trying to assault Makin.15
Aware, too, of the increased stature of the Pacific Ocean Areas in the over-all planning picture, the Army during the summer of 1943 attempted to bring about readjustments in the organization

and command of the region. It sought to establish POA as a theater of operations with Nimitz as theater commander. The Navy would not accept the suggestion as it was reluctant to place Nimitz snore directly under the JCS.16 It was especially unwilling to divorce him from direct command of the Pacific Fleet, for which he was then responsible to the Navy. The Navy was far more amenable to a concurrent and closely related Army suggestion to form a joint planning staff under Nimitz. This proposal would give the Army increased representation at POA headquarters and, in the Army view, would insure the more economical and efficient use of Army forces assigned to Nimitz. When, on 6 September, the Navy agreed to a joint planning staff in POA, the Army regarded the concession as an opening wedge in the Army's campaign to make Nimitz theater commander of POA.17
Meanwhile, in SWPA the growing importance of the Central Pacific: was making MacArthur uneasy. Believing firmly in the New Guinea approach to the Philippines and convinced of the need to recapture the Philippines before any final assault upon Japan, MacArthur teas alarmed at the increasing attention given the mandated islands route. His concern lest SWPA operations be shunted aside or halted with the completion of CARTWHEEL, was reported to the War Department both by Somervell of ASF and by Col. William L. Ritchie of OPD during their visits in the theater in September and October. MacArthur feared that the failure at QUADRANT to spell out any SWPA advance beyond New Guinea might cause the Australians to slow down, since they would assume that future operations would be basically naval. Acting upon Ritchie's recommendation that the SWPA commander be reassured, the JCS informed MacArthur in early October that unremitting pressure must be applied against Japan from every side and that lie should perfect his plans for the seizure of Mindanao. They urged him to try to bolster the Australian war effort and to prepare for the Philippines operations, working on the assumptions that the main effort would be made from SWPA and that a gradual build-up would take place in SWPA generally at the present rate. Final decision would rest upon developments, but the JCS warned him that rapid expansion of naval surface forces might make the Central Pacific the logical route to utilize.18
MacArthur's quick response to tile JCS instruction was to submit RENO III, a revised, five-part outline plan for SWPA operations. According to RENO III, Rabaul would initially be bypassed

 but later seized and used as a base. Timing for the successive steps leading to the attack on Mindanao had been accelerated to permit a February 1945 target date. The desirability of operations against the Carolines was recognized. Phase I, the neutralization of Rabaul, would start about 1 February 1944 and would involve the capture of Hansa Bay in New Guinea, Kavieng on New Ireland, and the Admiralties. This phase would employ the services of seven infantry divisions and two parachute regiments in the assault, along with fifty-nine air groups. Ten divisions would be required for garrison duty. Phases II and III would complete major operations in the New Guinea area. The Humboldt Bay-Arafura Sea sector would be taken in June and the Vogelkop would come under attack in August, to be followed by Geelvink Bay operations in October. Requirements by October would be six divisions and one parachute regiment for assault, thirteen divisions for garrison duty, and over seventy-seven groups for air operations. Phases IV and V, operations against Halmahera Island and Manado on northeastern Celebes and, finally, against Mindanao itself in December 1944 and February 1945 respectively, were not covered by any current directive so resources were not estimated.19
To present his ideas on the strategic situation to the JCS before the approaching SEXTANT Conference, MacArthur sent his chief of staff, General Sutherland, to Washington in early November. The earnest behests of Sutherland in support of the New Guinea-Philippines approach accentuated the MacArthur thesis that only in SWPA could ground, sea, and air forces be employed as a team and large strategic bombardment forces be utilized. The already existing air facilities on Mindanao and the opportunity to cut off Japanese resources in the Netherlands East Indies and open up a port on the China coast were also cited as advantages of the Philippines advance. After considering RENO III and listening to Sutherland, the joint planners came to the conclusion in November that regardless of the merits of the plan, it called for more resources than would be available.20
The same consideration-the need to limit resources in Pacific operations until after the defeat of Germany-also influenced the AAF. It was reflected in the AAF's refusal of the many requests of Harmon and Kenney for additional long-range fighter planes during the fall of 1943. While fully aware of the good use to which any increases would be put, Arnold queried Handy in mid-October on a Harmon plea for more P38's and P-51's for the South Pacific Area-"More important there than to protect H.B. [heavy bombers] going into Germany or protection of Eisenhower's army?" Handy's reply was emphatic: "My answer is-NO!'' 21

Despite the War Department's unwillingness to supply either SWPA or SOPAC forces with more resources, which necessarily would have had to be diverted from Europe, progress of operations in those theaters was definitely encouraging. In the Southwest Pacific an amphibious landing in the Huon Gulf area of New Guinea, combined with an airdrop by U.S. troops in the Markham Valley and a converging land advance by the Australians, cut off a large force of Japanese in the Huon Gulf area in early September. This was followed by the fall of Lae and Salamaua by 16 September and the capture of Finschhafen on 2 October. Twenty-five days later South Pacific forces debarked on the Treasury Islands in the Solomons group, and on 2 November invaded Bougainville at Empress Augusta Bay. The, attack on western New Britain, scheduled for 20 November, would be supplemented by an airborne operation against Cape Gloucester and would come at the same time as the launching of the Gilberts assault.22 In the meantime, Halsey and MacArthur had conferred and decided that South Pacific forces would carry out an attack against Kavieng, using the 3d Marine Division and the 40th and Americal Army Divisions, while SWPA would conduct operations against Manus Island in the Admiralties. Rabaul would initially be bypassed and fleet protection was assured MacArthur for his advance along the New Guinea coast .23
The Washington planners, also active during the summer of 1943, had drawn up outline plans for the seizure of the Marianas and Formosa for future use and had also studied the role the North Pacific might play in the over-all plan to defeat Japan.24 Ejection of the Japanese from the Aleutians had posed the problem of the use of Alaska as a future base of operations, and in August General DeWitt of the Western Defense Command had proposed mounting an attack from the Aleutians against Paramushiro Island in the Kurils. The Army and Navy offered little objection to this plan on tactical grounds. The prime obstacle seemed to them to be the familiar encumbrance of the Pacific-the lack of sufficient resources to stage the offensive in 1944. The Pacific Fleet, as Admiral Nimitz pointed out, would be fully occupied with operations in the Central and South Pacific. Nevertheless, JCS decided in September that planning for a possible operation in 1945 should be carried on and that a base should be constructed on Adak. In the meantime, Marshall wanted to reduce the Alaska garrison to a maximum of 100,000, and possibly eventually to 80,000, as rapidly as shipping would allow. The Air Forces, on the other hand, went ahead with their plan to build three B-29 bases in the Aleutians by the spring of 1944- Since geographically, strategically, and logistically Alaska was almost a

separate entity and not a true part of the Western Defense Command, the War Department decided in October to establish the Alaskan Department as a separate theater of operations under Lt. Gen. Simon B. Buckner, Jr., as of 1 November.25
By the end of 1943 it appeared that Alaska would assume a passive role insofar as a ground action was concerned and become primarily an air and naval theater. Whether or not eventual operations, other than air, against the Kurils would be staged from the Aleutians would depend upon whether the USSR entered the war against Japan, upon the status and progress of other Pacific operations, and upon the availability of shipping.
Shipping, Deployment, and Rotation
In an essentially water-bound theater such as the Pacific, the main controlling factor in planning fox operations was availability of shipping to move and supply the offensive forces. Limitations imposed upon the Washington staff by the priority given the European war had often necessitated refusals of Pacific theater requests for additional shipping and had helped restrict aggressive efforts in the Pacific simply to retaining the strategic initiative. With the rapid expansion of the Pacific Fleet, the scale and tempo of operations would increase. This augmentation implied greater demands for troop and cargo shipping, still in a state of imbalance, with troop shipping in shorter supply during late 1943.
MacArthur alone wanted to move 150,000 men and their equipment within his own area during the latter part of 1943 in order to put them in position for current and future operations. He requested in August that a total of seventy-one Liberty ships and ten other freighters be provided to ensure him the necessary mobility to take advantage of enemy weaknesses.26 His insistence that failure to meet his requirements might result in operational setbacks led the War Department to consider several alternatives. Since the withdrawal of shipping from the United Kingdom or North Africa runs to meet his needs would have meant a monthly loss of 15,000 spaces in those areas, the War Shipping Administration was prevailed upon by the War Department to assemble ships from other sources. A number of Liberty ships were loaned for sixty days and a group of small cargo ships was scraped together to take care of the remainder of MacArthur's needs.27

 The tight shipping situation in the Southwest Pacific led Marshall in early September to request the joint planners to make a survey of the effects of Central Pacific requirements upon other Pacific operations. He was apprehensive about the demands of the Gilberts and Marshalls campaign and pointed out that in no case was it ever possible to give a commander all that he wanted. Admiral Cooke informed him that there would be plenty of cargo shipping available but personnel carriers would not be abundant. It was Marshall's opinion, however, that Central Pacific requirements had not been studied closely enough and King agreed, noting that very often assault shipping was requested unnecessarily.28g
By the time the JPS made their report in late September, troop-lift prospects had improved. A troop conversion program that permitted alteration of cargo vessels then under construction to personnel carriers had been approved by the JCS on to September, and there would be a surplus lift to the Pacific of 86,000 places by June 1944. However, as King had warned the JCS, combat loaders and landing craft would continue to be the bottleneck in all theaters.29 To provide the LST's and other landing craft necessary to carry out the CARTWHEEL operations, the Army and Navy agreed in October to permit interchange of these craft between SWPA and SOPAC. The shortage in personnel shipping had its effects upon SWPA operations. According to Ritchie, the attack against western New Guinea and New Britain following the successful seizure of Kaiapit and Finschhafen in eastern New Guinea could have been launched earlier had troop shipping been available.30
The influence of shipping upon deployment in the Pacific presented a very real problem to the Army planners. They visualized a force of 2,200,000 men, including 35 divisions and 120 air groups, located throughout the area after the defeat of Germany.31 By the end of September 1943, thirteen divisions and thirty-four air groups had been deployed to maintain the strategic initiative. In the Central Pacific the 6th, 27th, 33d, and 40th Infantry Divisions were assigned under Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, Jr.'s, Central Pacific command, with the 7th Division en route from the Aleutians in the shipping that had been amassed for the Kiska operation. The 25th, 37th, 43d and Americal Divisions were under the command of Harmon in SOPAC, and in SWPA MacArthur had the 1st Cavalry and the 24th, 32d, and 41st Infantry Divisions.
Plans to move additional units into the Pacific were entirely dependent upon the availability of shipping, and the demands of each theater throughout the world had to be carefully weighed against all the others. That the allocation of shipping was a difficult and thankless task is indicated by the rejoin-

der made by Handy in late October to a complaint from Richardson:
The War Department is fully cognizant of the extremely critical shipping situation, which is not confined to the Pacific. Based upon the number of available bottoms and thorough consideration of operational requirements, including an appreciation of forces now available in the several Pacific areas, an allocation of shipping is made monthly to each the Central, South and Southwest Pacific. This allocation is concurred in by the Navy Department here and is in no sense a hit-and-miss guess which fails to consider the needs of each area.32
In the following week, Handy was forced to turn down Harmon's bid for another Army division for post-CARTWHEEL Operations. Handy informed Harmon that he would have to manage with the divisions already in the theater.33
Nevertheless, even while a severe shortage of shipping existed, plans were being laid in Washington to ready additional units for shipment and training as soon as conditions eased. To receive divisions fresh from the United States and provide them with amphibious and jungle training, the Army in August had named Richardson Commanding General, U.S. Army Forces in Central Pacific Area-in addition to his current assignment as commander of the Hawaiian Department-and made him responsible for training new units bound for all Pacific theaters. Designation of the Hawaiian Islands as a training ground would serve the dual purpose of permitting green troops to become experienced and acclimated while furnishing the islands with defensive ground troops during the training period.34
As Marshall informed MacArthur early in November, the restrictions on shipping, added to the critical manpower shortage in the United States, made acute the need for strictest surveillance and restudy of requirements with a view to converting units already in the Pacific to fill Pacific requirements.35 The actual increase in the forces deployed against Japan might seem somewhat surprising unless it is kept in mind that many of the 1943 requests for men and planes that the War Department refused to grant were over and above approved allocations. By the end of September the Army had 58,278 men located in the Pacific (Central, South, and Southwest), 131,670 in Alaska, and 61,198 in the CBI, making a grand total of 771,146 troops taking part in the war against Japan. The Army forces deployed against Germany had considerably outstripped those against Japan by this time and amounted to 1,032,296 (Mediterranean, European, and Middle East areas). Thus the ratio between the primary and secondary wars was approximately 4 to 3.36
Despite the numerical Army superiority there were thirteen U.S. Army divisions arrayed against Japan and thirteen against Germany. While the number of air groups (seventy-five) in position for

 European operations at the close of September was more than double the number of groups (thirty-five) pitted against the Japanese, it should be remembered that the bulk of the U.S. Fleet, Navy, and Marine air forces, and Marine ground forces was stationed in the Pacific and thus served to balance the Army preponderance in the European war.37
The steady increase in personnel scattered throughout the Pacific and CBI brought the vexing problem of rotation to the fore. During the initial stages of the war, the great majority of troops had been sent out fresh from the United States and the numbers of combat-weary and sick troops that had to be returned home had been small and of minor importance. As the second year of the conflict drew to its close, more and more men began to show the debilitating effects of malaria, filariasis, and the climate. The enervating consequences of jungle warfare, coupled with the limited recreational and rehabilitation facilities, resulted in a lowering of morale. In the Pacific, disease and climate disabled far more men than did battle casualties. To further complicate this rather dismal picture, the lack of shipping to put any adequate rotation system into effect made the problem even more severe.38
The War Department recognized that the question of rotation must be faced before adverse public opinion and lowered troop morale forced a decision, but the only solution seemed to lie in the provision of additional troop lift for fresh replacements. The availability of adequate shipping for rotation of troops stationed in South America, Central Africa, the Middle East, and the ETO presented no particular difficulty. In the CBI, the Pacific, Alaska, and North Africa the prospects of alleviating the problem seemed poor in view of the lack of transport, the large requirements for fillers that would result, and the understandable disinclination of theater commanders to sacrifice any portion of their troop build-up for rotation replacements. The need for remedial action to set a rotation plan in motion, however, led Marshall in November to accept a suggestion of the Operations Division that a 1-percent-per-month figure be adopted for the hardship areas, starting in March 1944. Selection of individuals to be sent home was to be left to the discretion of the theater commanders, but Marshall proposed that longevity of service and severity of sickness be prime considerations and, since the numbers that could be rotated were going to be small, that a lottery system might be used to determine the fortunate men. He warned, however, that no additional shipping could be made available.39
The sharp protest that this last statement drew from MacArthur was premised on his belief that rotation would not be carried out unless the troop build-up could continue. MacArthur's protest spurred the Washington staff to explore the shipping situation more closely. If four or five Liberty ships a

month could be converted into troop carriers, the Army staff believed that a fleet of twenty-four could handle the rotation program. In December Marshall was to secure JCS approval for conversion and was able to notify the theater commanders that the 1-percent policy would go into effect on 1 March 1944.40 Despite the small beginnings, the War Department hoped that as more shipping became available, a larger percentage of personnel could be rotated. In the meantime at least a start would have been made to allay public opinion and help military morale.
Build-up in Burma
The priority that QUADRANT gave to land operations in Burma, coupled with the appointments of Mountbatten and Wingate to SEAC, provided a new impetus to CBI affairs during the fall of 1943 Mountbatten, described by Marshall as "a breath of fresh air," made a favorable impression on the Generalissimo and Stilwell, and preparations were carried on apace to get the offensive forces and supplies ready for the dry season attack. The U.S. Chiefs of Staff for their part sought to provide Mountbatten with capable assistants. Besides Stilwell as Deputy Supreme Commander, Maj. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, who had been chief Army planner from June 1942 to early September 1943, was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff and General Wheeler, former Services of Supply commander in the CBI, was made Principal Administrative Officer (G-4). In addition, a U.S. long-range penetration group was to be organized and sent out to India to take part in the 1944 campaign.41 If new blood and new direction could overcome the old lethargy and procrastination, a true offensive might be launched in Burma during the coming winter.
Meanwhile, with top priority assigned to land operations, a series of plans was being prepared in India and London for possible alternatives. British interest seemed to lie mainly in whether the objective of their 4 Corps advance from India would be Yeu or Indaw-Katha in north central Burma and where and when amphibious operations would be carried out. Reports from the theater received in Washington during September indicated that the British placed little trust in the Chinese war effort and discounted any effective aid from the Yunnan Chinese forces. The Ledo Chinese, in whom the British evidently had more faith, were assigned the task of reaching and taking Myitkyina by spring. The reports also maintained that the British in India lacked confidence in the value of their Indian troops and were concerned over the ability of the Assam line of communications to sustain any prolonged thrust. British uneasiness led Brig. Gen. Benjamin G. Ferris, who commanded Stilwell's rear echelon at

 New Delhi, to comment that the British had a "quartermaster" approach to operations, but the lack of enthusiasm may also be attributed in part to a growing belief held in India that Burma should be bypassed. Reports from London indicated that the outlook for other than limited operations against Burma was poor and that amphibious landings, if conducted at all, would be against the Andaman Islands since the British had apparently written off the Akyab-Ramree assault.42 Clearly, to counteract this pessimism, Mountbatten and his new aides had their work cut out for them.
Possible adverse effects of the emphasis on ground Operations upon the airlift to China had been anticipated at QUADRANT, but evidently had not been considered seriously by the U.S. staff. When Auchinleck, who was in command until the arrival of Mountbatten, warned the Americans in September that he was going to use the British engineer units then working on the Assam airfields to improve the road network leading from Imphal, consternation arose among the U.S. theater staff and in Washington. Their concern was increased by a report that Auchinleck had expressed himself willing to curtail or even completely cut off all tonnage to China if the need should present itself. When Ferris advised Marshall that unless the Assam line of communications could be developed to support both land and air operations, he would soon reach the end of his reserve stocks in Assam and be unable to supply China, the JCS took quick action. Pleading the 10,000-ton-a-month figure over the Hump as a Presidential commitment, they informed their British colleagues on 24 September that they felt that withdrawal of the British engineers from the airfields should be timed so that U.S. units could replace them. Furthermore, they argued, all decisions affecting the tonnage allocations for the airlift should be made by the CCS until SEAC was organized. The JCS derived little comfort from the British Chiefs of Staff, who supported Auchinleck's position completely. The British Chiefs pointed out that the possible disadvantage to the Hump traffic had been accepted at QUADRANT and that current decisions in the theater must be made by the commander on the spot, though the decisions would always be reported to the CCS.43
In the midst of these exchanges, Arnold advised the President that either commitments to China would have to be modified if curtailments upon tonnage were to be imposed on the airlift or QUADRANT decisions would have to be altered. However, on 10 October, the British Chiefs finally agreed to Marshall's request that Stilwell and Auchinleck should be instructed to confer and establish the minimum airlift tonnage figure to be maintained.44 It followed

 that it would be the responsibility of the United States to deliver this total or risk the avalanche of protests certain to follow from the Generalissimo and his adherents.
The War Department had only recently been subjected to intensified pressure from the Chennault supporters to bolster his airpower in China. Not only had Chiang and Soong increased their persistent demands for the fulfillment of the TRIDENT promise; even the British military attaché in China had been induced to use British channels in a vain effort to arouse Churchill's interest and support in the Chennault program.45
Although there was some justification for the complaints of Chennault and his supporters about the failure of the Army to provide his forces with the two fighter squadrons and the two medium bombardment squadrons promised to him at TRIDENT but still operating with the Tenth Air Force in India, the squadrons had been withheld for logistical reasons in order to protect Chennault's supply line rather than for any intent to cripple his offensive plan. The Army considered it pointless to expand U.S. and Chinese air forces operating from China until the forces could be maintained on a full operational basis. To pacify Chinese dissatisfaction with the status quo, Marshall prepared a Presidential response to the Chinese complaints, which was sent to Mme. Chiang on 15 September. The message explained that Chennault's missing fighters would be sent to China as soon as additional protection for the Assam airfields arrived and that the bombers would be transferred as rapidly as airlift tonnage could support their operations. The slow development of the Hump airlift was attributed to mechanical defects in the C-46's, floods, and weather rather than to any human deficiencies.46
This explanation helped to win a month's respite from Chinese importunities, but then Soong again approached the President, who by this time was rather disgusted with the repeated record of failure in China. In passing on the Chinese complaints to Marshall, Roosevelt commented, ". . . the worst thing is that we are falling down on our promises every single time. We have not fulfilled one of them yet."47 In an effort to retrieve a dismal situation, Roosevelt on 15 October instructed Marshall to have Somervell, then en route to the CBI, look into the whole business of the airlift and "put a real punch behind it." The president's disappointment also led him to urge Churchill to take a personal interest in the build-up of facilities in Assam.48

Prospects of a brighter future for the airlift showed clearly through Somervell's report several days later. Recognizing the past problems of new planes, untried and inexperienced personnel, poor facilities, and difficult flying conditions, he felt that the Army Transport Command in the CBI was past the critical stage and that improvement would soon be evident. As if to prove Somervell a shrewd prophet, Hump tonnage reached 8,632 tons in October and gave evidence of attaining a greater total in November. This allowed Chennault's air forces to operate more frequently and permitted the long-delayed reinforcements to be flown to China to join the air offensive.49
Somervell also closely examined the line of communications in Assam and made command and administrative changes in the Services of Supply organization to bolster the capacity of the vital supply route. To aid the Americans in increasing the load-carrying potential of the Bengal-Assam Railroad-long regarded the worst transportation bottleneck in the theater-the British co-operated in securing permission for U.S. railroad troops to take over and operate the line. The outlook for improvement in tonnage movements in Assam and over the Hump seemed thus more optimistic for the critical period that lay ahead.50
Somervell's visit to the CBI in October coincided with the arrival of Mountbatten to set up his headquarters for SEAL and a concerted effort to get rid of Stilwell. Mountbatten had arranged for an immediate conference with Chiang and Stilwell at Chungking and was disconcerted to discover at the outset that the Generalissimo had apparently made up his mind to request Stilwell's recall. Somervell attempted to heal the breach, receiving powerful support from Mme. Chiang and her sister, Mme. Kung. In the course of the negotiations, Stilwell not only was forgiven but emerged temporarily, at least, more firmly entrenched in Chiang's favor than ever before and enjoying the puissant aid of the Soong sisters. Ironically enough, as Stilwell has recorded, the apparent instigator of the October removal proceedings, Dr. Soong, was himself told by the Generalissimo to get sick and stay away from the political scene.51
Once Stilwell's status had been settled, the Chungking conference went on more smoothly. When Somervell assured the Generalissimo that land operations in Burma would not interfere with Hump tonnage, Chiang consented to Chinese participation, provided Stilwell commanded all Chinese troops, the British had available a powerful fleet in the Bay of Bengal, and an amphibious operation was conducted in that area. The arrangements for boundaries between the

China theater and SEAC presented a somewhat delicate matter, especially those in Thailand and Indochina, but a gentleman's agreement was effected between Mountbatten and Chiang allowing for control of conquered areas in those countries to remain temporarily with the conqueror and for later delineation of boundaries when China's forces drew near to SEAC. A Chinese suggestion that a Chinese-British-American committee be established at Chungking to handle all political matters that arose during the coming operations won American approval but had to be passed on to the British Chiefs of Staff for consideration.52
The Chungking conference, for all its surface agreement on Burma operations, did not produce a firm commitment from the Chinese to carry out their role. The conditional concurrence given by Chiang still hinged upon the fulfillment of the amphibious and naval parts of the plan. If the British failed to make good their assurances, Chinese support might be withdrawn.
Immediately after the conference, on 21 October, Mountbatten received his directive from the Prime Minister. As its prime responsibilities, SEAC was to engage the enemy as closely and continuously as possible, relieve pressure on the Pacific, and inflict attrition upon the Japanese. SEAC's secondary mission, significantly enough, would be to maintain and broaden contacts with China by ground and air. The specific objective for amphibious operations for 1944 was left undefined, but preparations were to be begun and British Fleet support was assured.53
To the U.S. planners the chief fault of this directive was the implication that the British Chiefs, rather than the CCS, would decide matters of strategy. Since the JCS had indicated that operations in SEAC should be more closely co-ordinated with those in the Pacific as the tempo of the struggle increased, the planners considered that the direction of the war against Japan, including decisions on SEAC strategy, should be centered in Washington. As Handy pointed out to Marshall, the amphibious operations in SEAL for 1944, that Churchill wanted, would not necessarily support the north Burma drive and would relegate the land offensive desired by the Americans to a subordinate position. The JCS therefore informed the British that they did not accept the British contention that only matters of ground strategy pertaining to SEAC should be considered by the CCS. The JCS believed that the CCS should exercise a general jurisdictional control over

 strategy in SEAC, which would include timing and sequence of operations .54
The poor showing of the Hump expansion project during the summer and the indication that the British still did not consider the opening of a land route to China of vital importance were offset somewhat by the determined effort of the President to secure international recognition for China as a major power. Through the efforts of Secretary Hull, Roosevelt in October had induced the Russians and British to allow China to become a signatory to the Four-Power Declaration of Moscow.55 The President also invited Chiang to confer with him at the forthcoming conference in Cairo in late November. But while the President was endeavoring in the fall of 1943 to bolster Chinese morale and importance, Washington military planners were cautiously re-examining the place of China in over-all planning for the defeat of Japan. The Army staff had already decided in September that equipping a second group of thirty Chinese divisions would be impracticable in the near future since it would impose an additional and perhaps unnecessary strain upon the American economy. If the war in Europe should end soon, the required equipment could be made available from surplus American stocks in that area. In October the planners concluded that no guarantee could be given that even the first group could be supplied before 1945. Investigating the need for Chinese combat divisions in an over-all plan against Japan, the Operations Division's Strategy Section concluded that a revision of the U.S. military policy toward China was in order. Comparing Pacific prospects with expected accomplishments in China, the Strategy Section felt that any effort from China would come too late to be of assistance. In line with this premise, it recommended that little more be expended on China than was necessary to keep her in the war, that the bomber offensive based in China be limited, that only thirty Chinese divisions be trained, that Burma be bypassed, and that excess service troops be withdrawn from the CBI and used in other theaters.56
This shift in evaluation brought the Army planners, on the eve of SEXTANT, closer to the British point of view and reflected a trend toward a transfer of emphasis from China to the swifter route via the Pacific to Japan. The recognition of the difficulties of employing China as a base or as a source of manpower foreshadowed the revision of U.S. policy that the showdown at SEXTANT would produce.
New Techniques and Weapons in the War Against Japan
The search for a short-term, over-all plan and the effort to speed specific op-

erations against Japan were two manifestations of the U.S. staff's desire in the fall of 1943 to get on with the war. Both pointed up a third and related interest -the increasing attention paid to the potentialities of new techniques and weapons of warfare whose full significance for hastening the end of the Japanese conflict was only beginning to be realized but whose cumulative effect promised in time to alter the whole strategic picture.
One likely possibility was suggested by General Wingate's earlier experiment in jungle warfare with the long-range penetration group. Despite the indeterminate character of Burma plans and the discouraging patterns of indecisiveness and delay previously exhibited in the CBI, General Marshall had agreed at QUADRANT to provide three units modeled after the Wingate columns for the February operations in Burma. The Chief of Staff had long been interested in the possibilities of well-trained, mobile troops operating behind the enemy's lines in conjunction with the main Allied advance. Since he was strongly in favor of limited U.S. participation in the coming operations and possibly hoping to supply some offensive punch to the attack, Marshall moved swiftly in early September to assemble the 3,000 odd volunteers required for the new force. In view of the need for thoroughly trained and rugged troops for the grueling assignment, he asked MacArthur to provide 300 and Harmon to contribute 700 battle-tested volunteers to form the nucleus of the group. The remaining 2,000 men would be drawn from the Caribbean Defense Command and from the continental United States. Allied plans envisaged one column of 1,000 troops operating in advance of each of the three prongs of the north Burma offensive. News of the prospective dispatch of the long-range penetration unit drew an enthusiastic comment from Stilwell-"Can we use them. And how! "57
MacArthur experienced some difficulties in attaining his quota; Harmon, in spite of the greater demand made upon him, assembled his share without too much trouble. With the Chief of Staff actively sponsoring the project, 1,000 men were moved from the Caribbean to the United States by air in three days and, by his direct intervention, the liner Lurline was obtained from the Navy to transport all the volunteers to the CBI.58
To supply the long-range columns during the course of actual operations in the field, Marshall and Arnold in September devised a special air task force, popularly called the Air Commando Force, composed of transport, glider, observation, liaison, and fighter aircraft -a self-sufficient, multipurpose unit. The land force, known by the code name GALAHAD and later to win fame as Merrill's Marauders, was set up to perform one mission of three months' duration and then was to be taken out of the lines for rest and hospitalization. Marshall vested over-all command in Stilwell, but told Stilwell that, if Wingate were placed in charge of all long-range groups, the

U.S. columns should be operated under Wingate. Although Marshall shared some of Stilwell's misgivings over British command of American combat forces in the CBI, he warned Stilwell that in that case, "We must all eat some crow if we are to fight the same war together. The impact on the Jap is the pay-off."59
The personal touch of the Chief of Staff in assembling the long-range group was an unusual occurrence and indicated the deep interest he felt in the project. The eventual fine showing of the GALAHAD troops must have brought Marshall a sense of gratification and satisfaction.
Of quite a different character was the Air Forces' potential contribution to the Pacific war via the B-29. While the GALAHAD force was a tactical unit to be used in support of local land offensives, the B-29 was a long-range strategic weapon that could penetrate the very heart of the enemy's war machine. Although Marshall did not take the same personal interest in the development of the B-29 that he did in the long-range penetration group, he well understood the efficacy and importance of long-range bombing and had relatively early become a staunch supporter of the value of the Combined Bomber Offensive. It is interesting to note that whereas he favored the use of long-range bombing in Europe as a prelude to the eventual cross-Channel attack, and had earlier resorted to the air argument in order to keep alive the idea of the ground offensive, in the Pacific he employed the same argument in reverse-that the land operations to open the road to China would provide air bases whence Japan could be attacked.
Originally the B-29 had been intended for the air offensive in Europe, but delays in production had postponed the date of quantity delivery to the point where it would have become available too late to play a major role in that theater. Besides, the effectiveness and range of the B-17 and B-24 were deemed sufficient to complete the task of destruction in Europe. The Air Forces, therefore, during the summer of 1943 had turned its attention to the formation of a plan to use the B-29 against Japan and had finished the plan in time to present it to the CCS at QUADRANT.60
The AAF plan visualized a force of between ten and twenty groups of B-29's based in central China, possibly around Changsha. With their 1,500-mile radius of action, the B-29's could carry out sustained bombing operations against the Japanese industrial zone. To support the B-29 bases in China, at first 2,000, and later 4,000, converted B-24

 type aircraft would be based in India to serve as transports. Calcutta would be used as the port of entry for supplying the project. The AAF pointed out the need for adequate protection of the B-29 bases in China once the operations got under way. Japanese reaction to this threat against their homeland would in all probability be violent, but the AAF assumed that Chinese ground forces and U.S. airpower could successfully defend the B-29 bases. The objective of the AAF plan was to reduce the Japanese war effort to impotency, neutralize the Japanese Air Force, and reduce the Japanese Navy and merchant shipping to a degree that would permit Allied occupation of Japan. The AAF estimated that if twenty-eight groups of B-29's (784 planes) were available to carry out five missions a month, they could, operating at 50-percent operational strength, do the job in six months. Since such large numbers of B-29's would not be available for some time, the AAF estimated that, if operations were begun in October 1944 and increased as more B-29's were produced, the destruction of Japanese resources necessary to permit occupation would be attained by 31 August 1945. This timing would be in consonance with the objective of defeating Japan within twelve months of the defeat of Germany.61
While the implications of this new strategic weapon were being studied by the Combined planners during the week following QUADRANT, the Army queried Stilwell on the feasibility of carrying out the AAF plan. If the plan were accepted, he was informed, ten groups of B-29's would be based in China in the Changsha area by October 1944 and this number would gradually be increased to twenty groups by May 1945. Two thousand B-24's, converted into transports, would originally be based around Calcutta; eventually the strength would be doubled.62  Theater reaction in the CBI to the Air Forces' plan indicated approval in principle but rejection in detail, mainly on the ground that the limited capacity of the port of Calcutta would not allow logistical support of the project within the time allotted. Instead, in September Stilwell and Stratemeyer offered an alternate plan called TWILIGHT, which envisaged basing the B-29's in the Calcutta area and then shuttling them forward to the Kweilin sector in south central China to offload some of their excess gasoline and to load bombs for the air assault on Japan. In this maneuver not only would the Super-fortresses be nearly self-sufficient but maintenance and security measures could also be carried out much more easily at Calcutta. By April 1945 Stilwell and Stratemeyer hoped, ten groups of B-29's would be ready to start operations.63 The 200-odd-mile shift of the forward base area from Changsha southwest to Kweilin would, of course, decrease the number of industrial targets that the B-29's could reach in Japan.
Since the original AAF plan had been adjudged too optimistic in its time estimate from a logistical standpoint, TWILIGHT was approved by the Combined planners as the most feasible means of

 using the B-29 until the larger resources, freed by the defeat of Germany, became available. The Air Forces accepted the TWILIGHT plan, but went on to urge that bases be constructed in the Marianas and on Paramushiro when those islands were captured.64
Further consideration by the Washington Army planners led them to advocate the substitution of Cheng-to in west central China for the Kweilin area, since the ground and air defenses required at Cheng-to would be far less extensive and the airfields there could be readied in 1944 rather than 1945.65 Despite these advantages, Cheng-to was well over 400 miles farther from the target area in Japan than the original base at Changsha selected by the AAF. The operation of the B-29's via Cheng-to became known as the MATTERHORN plan and visualized 150 planes based on Calcutta by March 1944, with another 150 available by the following September. Nine airfields would have to be built at Calcutta and five would have to be ready by March 1944 at Cheng-tu, in addition to two fighter fields. The President followed his approval of MATTERHORN On 10 November with personal requests to Chiang and Churchill for assistance in meeting these airfield target dates, and the Army acted quickly to send additional aviation engineer battalions and truck companies to the CBI.66
Once British and Chinese support for MATTERHORN had been won, the main problem for the United States would be to provide sufficient construction units to take care of all the vital projects afoot in the CBI. The many production delays that had hitherto bedeviled the B-29 program and caused Presidential annoyance were turned over to the joint Aircraft Committee for investigation. The committee was instructed by the JCS to look into the effects of granting the Production of B-29's a priority above that of other aircraft and to make every effort to increase production.67
The possibilities that the B-29 might shorten the war and serve to give Chinese morale a much-needed boost seem to have been the main reasons for selecting China as the trial area for proving the new bomber. Despite the logistical complications involved, China did present the nearest base from which to strike at the Japanese homeland in the fall of 1943 and the President was anxious to pump new hope and determination into the flagging Chinese effort.68
In anticipation of the value of a mass surprise attack upon Japan, Arnold in

 early November restrained Chennault's air forces from carrying out sporadic nuisance raids upon the mainland. Meanwhile, joint and combined studies were made of the possibility of using the Marianas to strengthen the weight of the blow against Japan, and it was estimated that twelve groups could be staged there by May 1945 if the islands were captured by July 1944. Several groups could also be located in the Aleutians and be ready for action by the spring of 1944. An AAF suggestion that the new bomber might be used from SWPA drew an enthusiastic plea from Kenney to permit him to send them against Japanese oil holdings in the Netherlands Indies, but since the prime objective of the B-29 was to be the home islands of Japan and the supply of planes was limited, no commitment was made.69
Carriers and Submarines
Along with his interest in the long-range penetration group and the B-29, Marshall showed a keen appreciation of the rising importance of another weapon that promised to shorten the duration of the war-the fast aircraft carrier.70 The growth of the carrier forces since 1942 had been phenomenal. In November 1942, only two of the seven carriers that the United States had upon entering the war were active, and one of these, the Ranger, was in the Atlantic. A year later, Nimitz was able to send the Saratoga and the Enterprise, four carriers of the new 27,000-ton Essex class, five light carriers of the 11,000-ton Independence class, and eight escort carriers against the Gilbert Islands.71
Organized into mobile striking forces, the carriers could be used to attack Japanese naval forces, conduct hit-and-run operations against enemy fortresses, and provide close tactical air support for amphibious landings. Thus, the floating airfields could carry out the process of neutralizing enemy strongpoints by repeated air assaults or help capture positions believed essential to the Allied advance. Neutralizing and bypassing Japanese bastions promised to bring about a faster conclusion of the war. Besides the B-29 and the aircraft carrier, notable progress was also made in developing improved types of landing craft. Such improved vessels as the LVT (A) (1), LVT (A) (2), and LCT (7), which eventually became better known as the LSM, were soon to make their appearance in the Pacific.72
The promise of these newer instruments of warfare sometimes tended to obscure the yeoman service an older weapon-the submarine-was performing against the Japanese. U.S. sub-

marines received little publicity, since the very nature of their work demanded tight security measures if they were to stand a chance of returning safely to their home bases. As the U.S. submarine fleet in the Pacific increased, its impact upon Japanese naval and merchant shipping mounted. Operating for the most part individually during the first half of the war, U.S. submarines in the Pacific theater had sunk 17 naval vessels and 142 merchant ships plus 4 probables, totaling 666,561 tons by the end of 1942. The pace quickened during the first six months of 1943 when 9 naval vessels and 125 merchant ships were sent to the bottom-Japan lost 575,416 tons. During mid-1943, the U.S. undersea raiders operated in small wolf packs as well as singly, and the addition of new and improved submarines made the last half of the year a most fruitful period. From July through December, 12 Japanese naval vessels and 166 merchantmen were destroyed for a total bag of 793,763 tons.73 This figure may -not seem particularly large when compared with the German sinking of Allied shipping in the Atlantic, but the Allies could replace their losses and by 1943 were able to increase their merchant fleets. Japan was not in a similar position; its limited shipyard facilities made full replacement impossible.74 With the AAF using low-altitude and radar bombing techniques against Japanese shipping and Chennault employing fighter bombers to destroy inland merchant shipping in China, further inroads were made upon the enemy's dwindling merchant marine. The rising rate of Japanese losses imposed restrictions upon her offensive capabilities and even made maintenance and repairs difficult.75
The promise of the new weapons and effectiveness of the older ones in late 1943 were encouraging to the staff planners in Washington. If the B-29 could sustain Chinese morale and bomb the Japanese homeland, if the aircraft carrier could cut down the time element in reaching the Japanese inner zone, and if the submarine and Air Forces could inflict additional attrition and reduce the Japanese ability to resist, the end of the conflict could be hastened and the military could more easily justify the secondary war-that against Japan-to the American people.
The fall of 1943 brought no final answer on the ultimate strategy to be employed against Japan. All were agreed on the need to make haste and some promising avenues for future exploitation appeared to be opening, but the American planners had been unable to agree among themselves on a specific over-all plan. The difficulties of developing a plan on the basis of a definite time limit were becoming apparent. Despite the lack of agreement upon long-range plans, the uncertainty over the future roles and intentions of Great Britain, China, and the USSR in the war against Japan, and the priority of the war against Germany, the war against Japan was, on the whole, proceeding favorably. It gave promise of

rapid improvement in the near future as fresh points of pressure were applied against the enemy. The heartening expansion of U.S. carrier and submarine forces and the prospective addition of the long-range bombers offered further hopes of an accelerated advance and a shortened war.
Though the search for short cuts still left many basic questions in ultimate strategy unanswered, certain trends in Washington planning opinion came to the fore in the process. It was still an open question whether to rely on the invasion of the Japanese mainland to accomplish the unconditional surrender of Japan. The attention of both the chiefs and their planners was definitely focused on the need to obtain strategic bases and positions from which to take advantage of the redeployment of air, naval, and ground forces from the European theater and compel the early unconditional surrender of Japan. By the end of 943 it was the well-defined aim of the U.S. planners to schedule operations in the Pacific so that bases would be available to accommodate the large numbers of reinforcements expected there after Germany was defeated. The quest for short cuts also crystallized Washington planning opinion in favor of making the main effort against Japan from the Pacific. Between the two axes of advance-from the Southwest Pacific and via the mandated islands-Washington planners leaned to the Central Pacific as promising the more rapid progress. Whether this emphasis on the Pacific would emerge from Allied strategic councils as dominant and what the effects might be on the roles of the United Kingdom, China, and the as-yet neutral USSR in the war against Japan remained to be seen.
The gathering momentum of the Allied drive in the secondary war, encouraging as it was, drove home to Army planners the need of finally and firmly fixing European strategy with the Allies at the forthcoming conference. The Army planners were still faced with the basic problem of how to keep the Pacific war a secondary conflict-so far as Army forces and resources were concerned-at least until Germany was beaten. In fact, the encouraging progress of the secondary war made the problem more complicated than ever. Despite the early basic Anglo-American decision to beat Germany first, operations in the Pacific war were taking on major proportions. The costs in Army means and strength had steadily mounted. The limited war threatened to become unlimited. For the Army planners, the hope of a final and firm decision on OVERLORD at the next conference embodied their desires for a measure of stability in global planning-to keep the Mediterranean effort limited while permitting the Pacific war to progress but at the same time remain secondary. With this hope in the forefront of the Army staff's thinking, the U.S. delegation prepared to move to SEXTANT for the next step in defining global strategy.


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