Chapter IV: 
August-December 1941
By far the greatest weakness of the military planning undertaken during 1941 as a result of Admiral Stark's original recommendations and the conversations with the British was that the Army staff, notwithstanding the warning given by Admiral Stark, was unwilling that the plans should take account of the possibility that the United States might become committed to large-scale support of military operations across the Pacific. The Army planners persisted in this unwillingness despite the stiffening of American policy in the Far East.
The first sign of the stiffening of American policy in the Far East in 1941 was the President's decision formally to include therein the support of Chinese resistance to Japanese aggression. Until the spring of 1941 American aid to China had been limited to loans by the Export-Import Bank for the purchase of arms and other supplies in the United States. But during the months following the President's re-election, while lend-lease legislation was being drafted and debated, the White House had been considering a more comprehensive program of aid to China. Early in the year Dr. Lauchlin Currie, one of the President's administrative assistants, had gone to China at Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's request to examine the situation. He returned on 11 March 1941, the very day on which the President signed the Lend-Lease Act. At the end of March Dr. T. V. Soong,  who had been representing the Chinese Government in negotiations in Washington, presented a list of the military requirements of China modern air force of 1,000 aircraft, with American instructors and technical advisers; weapons and ammunition to equip thirty divisions of the Chinese Army; and supplies for the development of the remaining overland line of communications between China and the West, by way of the Burma Road.1 During April the War Department reviewed these requirements, and Mr. Hopkins and General Burns of the Lend-Lease Administration joined Dr. Currie in another study of them. On 6 May the President declared the defense of China to be vital to the defense of the United States, thereby formally bringing aid to China within the scope of the Lend-Lease Act.2 At the same time Dr. Soong organized China Defense Supplies, Incorporated, to represent his government

in lend-lease transactions. By mid-May the first lend-lease ship for China had left New York, carrying trucks, spare parts, and raw materials.
During the summer of 1941 the President made a second move in the development of Far Eastern policy-the imposition of a de facto oil embargo on Japan. This move, like the decision to extend comprehensive military aid to China, developed out of already established policy. Since July 1940 the President had had authority to control exports to foreign countries in the interest of American security and had cut off shipments to Japan of scrap metal, aviation gasoline, and most types of machine tools. To include oil among the exports to be licensed and, in fact, to shut it off, was an even more drastic step. The United States thereby would virtually compel the Dutch and the British to join in defying Japan, which was almost entirely dependent on outside sources for oil, unless they were willing to dissociate themselves completely from American Far Eastern policy. 3 By forcing this choice on the Dutch and British, the United States would implicitly acknowledge that, in case they should follow the American lead in denying oil to Japan, the United States would have an obligation to defend their Far Eastern possessions. In case they should follow the American lead, moreover, Japan in turn would have to choose either to meet the American conditions for lifting the oil embargo-in effect, the evacuation of their military forces from the Asiatic mainland-or to secure, by the seizure of the Netherlands Indies, a supply of petroleum on their own terms, in the face of the strongly implied American commitment to oppose such action with military force. This choice the Japanese would have to make-or review, if they had already made it, as they apparently had- --while they still had a few months oil reserves, and before American military strength could become great enough to endanger their chances of seizing and holding the Netherlands Indies.
During July the President reflected upon the course to be followed by the United States now that Germany and the USSR were at war and Japan was preparing for the conquest of the European colonial empire situated about the South China Sea. When the possibility of imposing an oil embargo came up for discussion, Admiral Stark and General Marshall recommended against taking the step, on the ground that it would force Japan either to surrender its long-range strategic aims-which was unlikely or to strike for oil in the Netherlands Indies-which would mean war.4
On 24 July the President proposed to the Japanese that in return for the neutralization of French Indochina they accept the assurance of a continued supply of raw materials and food. 5 This attempt at a settlement came to nothing; on the following day the

Japanese Government announced that the French regime at Vichy had consented to admit Japan to a joint protectorate over French Indochina. Japanese forces (which had already been stationed in large numbers in northern Indochina) at once extended military occupation over the entire colony.
The President, meanwhile, had announced that he wanted trade with Japan put under a comprehensive controlling order by which he could at will reduce or increase oil shipments to Japan. On 26 July he issued an executive order from Hyde Park freezing Japanese assets in the United States and halting all trade with Japan. The American press welcomed the President's order as an "oil embargo," and as time went on without any export licenses for oil being issued, it became evident that, whatever Stark and Marshall may have believed the President was going to do, he had in fact imposed an embargo on shipments of oil to Japan. The Dutch and British also joined in freezing Japanese assets. On the assumption, then generally accepted, that Japanese oil reserves would give out near the end of 1942, it could be expected that Japan would shortly be forced to resolve any remaining internal disagreements on policy, between giving in or carrying out the planned offensive southward. 6
The Singapore Conversations
During the months immediately following the ABC -1 conversations it was not the planners in Washington but the Army and Navy staffs in the far Pacific that first took part in an effort to draw up an allied operational plan against the contingency of a Japanese attack. In April, as agreed between Stark and Marshall, on the one hand, and the British Chiefs, on the other, the British Commander in Chief, Far East, convened a meeting in Singapore of military representatives of the Netherlands, American, Australian, and New Zealand Governments for the purpose of devising such a plan under the terms of ABC-l. 7
The American-Dutch-British ( ADB ) meetings conducted in Singapore from 21 to 27 April were based on the following assumption
Our object is to defeat Germany and her allies, and hence in the Far Fast to maintain the position of the Associated Powers against Japanese attack, in order to sustain a long-term economic pressure against Japan until we are in a position to take the offensive.
Our most important interests in the Far East area The security of sea communications and (b) The security of Singapore.
An important subsidiary interest is the security of Luzon in the Philippine Islands since, so long as submarine and air forces can

be operated from Luzon, expeditions to threaten Malaya or the Netherlands East Indies from the East are out-flanked.8
The representatives worked out a general statement of strategy for the whole area, comprehending aid to China, for which the British already had a project. The British project called for the operation of air units and guerrillas in China, a much less ambitious program than the one then under discussion in Chungking and Washington. The conference arrived at the following conclusions
To ensure that we are not diverted from the major object of the defeat of Germany and Italy, our main strategy in the Far East at present time must be defensive. There are, however, certain measures open to us which will assist greatly in the defense of our interests in the Far East, but which are themselves offensive.
It is important to organize air operations against Japanese occupied territory and against Japan herself. It is probable that her collapse will occur as a result of economic blockade, naval pressure and air bombardment. This latter form of pressure is the most direct and one which Japan particularly fears.
In addition to the defensive value of operation [sic] submarine and air forces from Luzon, referred to . . . above there is even greater value from the offensive point of view in holding this island. It is therefore recommended that the defenses of Luzon should be strengthened and that every effort should be made to maintain a bombing force in the island in addition to building up a similar force in China.
Other positive activities which may be undertaken are as follows:-
(a) Support to the Chinese Regular Forces by financial aid and provision of equipment.
(b) Operation of Guerillas in China.
(c) Organization of subversive activities in Japan.
So far as economic pressure is concerned the entry, of the United States of America, the British Empire, and the East Indies into a war against Japan would automatically restrict Japanese trade to that with the coast of Asia. Since China will be in the war against her, and our submarine and air forces should be able to interfere considerably with trade from Thailand and Indo-China, a very large measure of economic blockade would thus be forced upon Japan from the outset.9
Maj. Gen. George Grunert, who was in command in the Philippines, and his assistant chief of staff, Col. Allan C. McBride, who had represented him at Singapore, both perceived that the recommendations of the Singapore conference were out of keeping with existing American plans. In forwarding the conference report to Washington, Grunert called attention to the discrepancy
It will be noted that the conference emphasized the importance of the Philippines, particularly Luzon, as a strategic area for naval and air bases from which offensive operations could be conducted against Japanese territory and sea communications, and as of advantage to the Japanese in the event they were captured; hence the recommendation to strengthen defenses and augment the air force. Our present mission and restrictions as to means are not in accord therewith.10

The Army and Navy staffs in Washington came to much the same conclusion and so informed the British military mission, declaring, moreover, that the United States intended "to adhere to its decision not to reinforce the Philippines except in minor particulars." 11 More than a month later, early in July, Admiral Stark and General Marshall formally stated that they could not approve the ADB report because it was at variance with ABC-1 and did not constitute a "practical operating plan for the Far Fast Area." They, too, announced that the United States was not planning to reinforce the Philippines as recommended in the report but, in significantly more cautious terms.
Because of the greater needs of other strategic areas, the United States is not now able to provide any considerable additional re-enforcement to the Philippines. Under present world conditions, it is not considered possible to hope to launch a strong offensive from the Philippines. 12
Reinforcement of the Philippines
Admiral Stark and General Marshall did well to speak cautiously of American military policy in the Philippines. Three weeks later, when the President imposed the "oil embargo," he created a new Arm-,, command in the Philippines-the U. S. Army Forces in the Far last (USAFFE)-under Lt. Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The new command, formally established on 26 July 1941, comprehended the forces of the Philippine Department, and the Philippine Army, which by presidential proclamation was called into the service of the United States for the duration of the emergency. General MacArthur, who had completed his tour of duty as Chief of Staff in the fall of 1935, had since 1936 been serving as Military Advisor to the new Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. To assume command of USAFFE, he was called back to active duty with the rank of major general and was at once promoted to the rank of lieutenant general. 13
The War Department staff, which apparently learned of the whole transaction only after it had been arranged with General MacArthur, began to modify its plans to suit the new situation.14 The staff at once recommended, and General Marshall approved, sending guns, light tanks, and antitank ammunition to the Philippines. The dispatch of 425 Reserve officers was approved the next day, and a little later, in response to a request from USAFFE, the Chief of Staff assured General Mac Arthur that "specialists, individuals, and organizations required by you will be supplied promptly . ."  15 On 31 July General

Marshall declared that it was the policy of the United States to defend the Philippines, with the qualification that the execution of the policy would not "be permitted to jeopardize the success of the major efforts made in the theater of the Atlantic.16
The shift in plans continued in early August as the War Department scheduled additional shipments of arms, troops, and equipment for the Philippines. Soon after assuming command of USAFFE, General MacArthur had been notified that plans were under way to send him twenty-five 75-mm. guns during September, another twenty-five during October; a company of M3 light tanks as soon as possible; a regiment of antiaircraft artillery (National Guard) as soon as legislative authority for their retention in the service was secured; and 24,000 rounds of 37-mm. antitank ammunition.17 Following a staff conference on 15 August, General Marshall approved plans for the shipment to the Philippines of tank, antiaircraft, and ordnance units-about 2,350 men-by 5 September. All necessary equipment for these units was to be provided including fifty-four tanks.18 The staff acknowledged that these actions amounted to nearly a complete reversal of the longstanding policy "to maintain existing strength but to undertake no further permanent improvements except as a measure of economy. 19
At the same time the terms and probable consequences of American Far Eastern policy became more sharply defined. On 6 August Ambassador Kichisaburo Nomura presented his government's proposal for a settlement in the Far East. The Japanese Government proposed that the United States should abandon its current policies aid to China, refusal to recognize the status of Japan in Indochina, control and virtual elimination of trade with Japan, and the reinforcement of the Philippines. In return, Japan offered not to advance beyond Indochina, to evacuate Indochina when the "China Incident" was terminated, and, "at an opportune time," to guarantee the neutrality of the Philippines. 20
A few days later, at the Atlantic Conference off Argentia, Newfoundland, the British presented a draft, "Parallel Communications to the Japanese Government," for adoption by the British, Netherlands, and American Governments, containing the warning that "any further encroachment by Japan in the Southwestern Pacific would produce a situation" in which the signatory government "would be compelled to take counter measures even though these might lead to war" with Japan. The President

did not act on this proposal-which would, in effect, have committed the United States to joint action with the British and the Dutch, but, shortly after his return from the conference, the American Government independently notified Japan to much the same effect, on a strictly American basis. In a note given to Ambassador Nomura on 17 August, the United States declared:
This Government now finds it necessary to say to the Government of Japan that if necessary ,Japanese Government takes any further steps in pursuance of a policy or program of military domination by force or threat of fore of neighboring countries, the Government of the United States will be compelled to take immediately any and all steps which it may deem necessary toward safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of the 'United States and American nationals and toward insuring the safety and security of the United States. 21
This action gave added significance to the establishment of USAFFE. By early fall the War Department staff regarded it as American policy to reinforce the Philippines as much as possible in order to "deter or minimize" Japanese aggression, even though other commitments precluded an attempt to make Pacific defenses entirely secure. 22
The B-17 and Defense of the Philippines
The notion that the Philippines could be defended, in spite of all the considerations that has led the planners so often to reject the idea, grew out of a new approach to the problem of operations in the western Pacific, involving the use of long-range Army bombers to neutralize Japanese offensive capabilities. The Army Air Corps long-range bomber, the B-17, had gone into production in 1938. Lack of funds and competition with other types of planes and production had delayed deliveries of B-17's, and by the summer of 1941 not a single Army Air Forces group was completely equipped with the "modernized" B-17. But enough planes were coming off the assembly lines to justify planning for operations.23 By deferring the fulfillment of other urgent requirements for the B-17-to patrol the approaches to Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Alaska, and the continental United States-and by deferring plans for strategic bombing across the Atlantic, a fairly strong bomber force might be built up in the Philippines by early 1942 to take the place of the strong naval forces that neither the U . S. Wavy, on the one hand, nor the British, Dutch, and Australian Navies, on the other, were willing to commit to the sup-

port of the Philippines.24 A bomber force would threaten the movement of Japanese naval units and Japanese troop and cargo shipping south of Formosa, thus covering the Philippines and its communications south to the Netherlands Indies. By developing this threat, the United States might be able to force the Japanese either to accept a state of armed neutrality in the far Pacific, freeing American and British forces for operations against Germany, or to open hostilities before American forces should become heavily engaged across the Atlantic. In either case the U. S. Army was partly insured against the risk of being called upon to send large forces across both oceans in the early stages of hostilities.
In early August the Secretary of War approved a program for sending modern planes to the Philippines as soon as they became available. The Air Force, USAFFE, formerly the Philippine Department Air Force, then consisted of one squadron of P-40B's, two squadrons of P-35A's, one squadron of P-26A's, and two squadrons of B-18's. To the Far East, the AAF allocated four heavy bomber groups, to consist of 272 aircraft including 68 in reserve, and an additional two pursuit groups totaling 130 planes.
There were not enough planes available in the United States to carry out these plans at once. After the Secretary of War approved the program, arrangements were made for fifty P-40E's to be sent directly from the factories and for twenty-eight P-40B's to be taken from operating units, to be shipped to the Philippines in September. The 19th Bombardment Group, which had ferried the first B-17's to Hawaii in May, was selected for permanent transfer to the Philippines and given priority in assignment of B 17's. 25 Yet so urgent was the need for heavy bombers in the Far East that the AAF did not wait for the 19th Group to pioneer an air route to the Philippines. A provisional squadron from the Hawaiian Air Force flew from Hawaii via Make and Australia to Manila in September. As B-17's became available in October and November they were flown to the Philippines. By the second week of November it was planned to send "all modernized" B-17's from the United States to the Far East. 26
The South Pacific Terry Route
A corollary to the program of reinforcing the Philippines was the development of an alternate route for ferrying bombers to the Philippines, less exposed to Japanese attack than the route via Midway and Wake. It was necessary both to develop and to defend such a route, not only in order to assure the continued arrival of the bombers themselves in' cast of hostilities but also in order to utilize bombers for the protection of surface communications on which the defense of the Philippines would remain heavily dependent. In August 1941, when it became evident that the defense of the Philippines had become an object-and indeed the chief immediate object of

American military policy, the joint Board at once approved the project, long urged by the Army Air Corps, of developing such a route. Air Forces plans for a South Pacific air route were approved and received top priority among those agencies charged with its development. Funds were promptly made available from defense aid appropriations, on the basis of a presidential letter of :3 October that authorized the Secretary of War to "deliver aircraft to any territory Subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, to any territory within the Western Hemisphere, to the Netherlands East Indies and Australia," and to construct the facilities needed for effecting such delivery. Although rapid progress was soon reported on the South Pacific route, the heavy bombers were to continue flying the northern route via Midway and Wake at least until mid-January 1942. 27
The Race Against Time
The great difficulty in reinforcing the Philippines was that such a development would at best take several months. The Japanese Government, forewarned, would meanwhile be free to initiate its planned offensive in the southwest Pacific while the American position was still too weak to be held. The period of uncertainty would last perhaps eight months-from August 1941 to March 1942. The very small number of B-17's becoming available each month was only one of the limiting factors. A second, of scarcely less importance, was the slowness with which pursuit units could be made ready and shipped to the Philippines to protect the airfields from which the B-17'a would operate. A third was the shortage of antiaircraft artillery; a fourth, the shortage of bombs and ammunition; a fifth, the small number of radar sets and trained operators available. The last were of the greatest importance not only to warn of the approach of enemy planes but also to control friendly planes enemy planes the air and to enable them to make contact with the enemy. As the British had found, the proper use of radar could multiply by many times the security and efficiency of the the defenses against air attack.
Besides calculating the length of time it would take for these various critical types of equipment and personnel to become available for shipment to the Philippines, the planners had to take into account the delay involved in getting them to the Philippines and in organizing them for effective operations after they had arrived. Finally they had to calculate the time needed to develop and secure a line of communication to the Philippines: The planners, considering all these factors together, could not reasonably expect the Philippines to be defensible much before the end of the winter 1941-42. 28

Shipping Schedules
It quickly became the main immediate concern of  the War Department to get troops and equipment to the Philippines. Nearly all the shipping available to the Army in the Pacific was assigned to this task, and the Arm was also relying on the use of two large transports which had earlier been transferred to the Navy to help move the large forces involved in the initial plan to occupy Iceland. When, in August, the Navy proposed the immediate conversion of the transports Mount Vernon, Wakefield, and West Point to aircraft carriers, though for the purpose of supplying Army planes and personnel to the overseas bases as well as for use, the Army took strong exception, pointing out that no large troop movement approaching 12,000 troops or more could be carried out without the use of at least two of these ships.29 The Joint Board, taking up the problem recommended, on 15 October 1941, that the Army withdraw its objections to the conversion of the West Point, Mount Vernon, and Wakefield to aircraft carriers, and immediately seek to acquire and convert suitable merchant tonnage of comparable troop capacity. 30 The Army therefore had to send its troop reinforcements to General MacArthur in smaller increments which could be carried on chips available in November and December. 31
The schedule of shipments finally established in November provided for sending to the Philippines some 20,000 troops, about one third of them Air horses units, on eleven troopships to sail from fan Francisco between 21 November and 9 December 1941. 32 The Holbrook, carrying 2,000 troops and equipment (the 147th Field Artillery Regiment and the 148th Field Artillery Regiment minus one battalion), and the Republic carrying 2,630 troops and equipment (the 2d Battalion of the 131st field Artillery Regiment, the 7th Bombardment Group, and 48 Air Corps officers), sailed from San Francisco 21-22 November. Convoyed by the USS Pensacola, they were due to arrive in the Philippines on 14 January 1942. Sailings for 15,000 troops were scheduled for 5-9 December. The President Johnson with 2,500 troops the 2d Battalion of the 138th Field Artillery Regiment and three squadrons of the 35th Pursuit Group), the Etolin with 1,400 troops " including the 218th Field Artillery Regiment minus the 2d Battalion) and the Bliss sailed from San Francisco on 5 December 1941. The following day the President Garfield sailed from the same port

with the remainder of the 35th Pursuit Group.33
In addition to the 30,000 U. S. Army troops present, and those due to arrive in the Philippines, there were 80,000 troops in the Philippine Army, including the ten divisions to be activated by 15 December. The total strength of General MacArthur's command-present, en route, and under orders-amounted to about 137,000, considerably less than the 200,000 he had estimated as sufficient for defensive operations.34
The Far Eastern Air Force had 35 four engine bombers and 107 P-40E's on hand, and 38 more P-40E's and 52 A-24's (dive bombers) were en route in the Pensacola convoy. In addition, 37 pursuits and 48 four-engine bombers were due to leave the United States by 6 and 10 December, respectively. As for ground force materiel, equipment for one antiaircraft regiment had recently arrived, as well as 105 tanks and 50 self-propelled 75-mm. guns (tank destroyers ). Forty-eight 75-mm. guns were en route (with the Pensacola convoy), and more guns and a considerable amount of ammunition were scheduled to be shipped.35
Aid to China versus Reinforcement of the Philippines
The program for helping China went forward very slowly. At the end of the summer of 1941 the War Department released its first shipment of ammunition for the Chinese, and in October the first weapons were shipped to the Chinese Army. The scarcity of weapons on hand made the American staff extremely reluctant to release any, least of all to China. It was only after considerable prompting by Dr. Currie that the first shipment was released, at the expense of the Philippines. The activities of China Defense Supplies, Incorporated, had raised doubts of China's ability to use and maintain materiel. The British, for their part, were disinclined to transfer---as the joint Board suggested in September--to China au "appropriate amount" of the munitions allocated to them and continued to propose that the Chinese confine themselves to guerrilla operations. Finally, to deliver materiel to China was extremely slow, uncertain, and expensive, the more so because of the inefficiency and corruption with which the Burma Road was being administered. Although the United States was evidently willing to support China, the aid actually sent in 1941 was necessarily a mere token of American intentions and not

a significant contribution to the military capabilities of China. 36
Yunnan "War Scare"
At the end of October, Chiang Kai-shek advised General Magruder that he feared the Japanese were about to attack Yunnan and seize Kunming, thereby cutting the Burma Road. In the Generalissimo's opinion, Kunming was the key city of the Far East-if it were lost, China would fall, the Japanese would attack Malaysia, and nothing could stop war in the Pacific. Air support would be the only help that could reach China in time. The Generalissimo asked General Magruder to inform Washington that he desired President Roosevelt to intercede with the British Government to have air support furnished China by British air forces at Singapore. In addition, he wished the United States to bring diplomatic pressure to bear on the Japanese. General Magruder concurred in Chiang's estimate that only British or American air intervention could save Kunming.37
The State, War, and Navy Departments and the Joint Board at once took up the Generalissimo's views and General Magruder's estimate. The War Department estimated from information available in Washington that the Japanese would probably not attack Kunming so soon as feared by the Generalissimo and General Magruder. At the same time the War Department restudied the whole program to send aid to China and reached the following conclusions:
It is desirable that large Japanese forces be kept involved in China. However, from the larger viewpoint, prospective Chinese defeat would not warrant involvement of the United States, at this time in war with Japan.
Political and economic measures should be used wherever effective to deter Japanese action.
Most effective aid to China, as well as to the defense of Singapore and the Netherlands East Indies, is now being built up by reinforcement of the Philippines. The safety of Luzon as an air and submarine base should soon be reasonably assured by the arrival of air and ground reinforcements. Strong diplomatic: and economic pressure may be exerted from the military viewpoint at the earliest about the middle of December 1941, when the Philippine Air Force will have become a positive threat to Japanese operations. It would be advantageous, if practicable, to delay severe diplomatic and economic pressure until February or March, 1942, when the Philippine Air Force will have reached its projected strength, and a safe air route, through Samoa, will be in operation.
Material aid to China should be accelerated consonant with the studied needs of Russia and Great Britain.
Aid to the Volunteer Air Force in China should be continued and accelerated as far as practicable.38
On 1 November, State Department and military representatives conferred at the State Department on the Chinese crisis and the general Far Eastern situation, and debated the merits of an immediate declaration of war by the United States. The State Department asked whether the Army and Navy were ready to support an immediate declaration of war against Japan. Two days later the joint Board considered the

question, and Admiral Stark and General Marshall recommended to the President
That the dispatch of United States armed forces for direct aid to China be unfavorably considered.
That material aid to China be accelerated consonant with the needs of Russia, Great Britain, and our own forces.
That aid to the American Volunteer Group be continued and accelerated to the maximum extent.
That no further ultimatum be issued to Japan. 39
Finally, on 8 November, Dr. Soong asked the President for one third of the Nay's dive bombers, and submitted a restatement of Chinese ordnance demands, without which, he stated, the Chinese could not hope to resist a Japanese attack on Kunming. The War Department replied to Soong, as it was advising General Magruder, that all the United States could do was speed the flow of lend-lease supplies and facilitate the build-up of the American Volunteer Group. 40
This statement of policy was in accordance with the War Department's determination that the reinforcement of the Philippines must take precedence over all other American commitments in the Far East. On that ground General Marshall disapproved a proposal to take twenty-four 3-inch antiaircraft guns from American troops and send them to China, later allocating to the U. S. troops 90-mm. guns then on lend-lease order.41 In a telephone conversation with Col. Victor V. Taylor of Defense Aid, on 4 November, General Marshall explained, "it would be an outrage for me to deny to MacArthur something that we send on a round about voyage up into China and I can't give any to MacArthur because I've got these regiments with only one battery, that . . . have been in now for a year . . . .' 42 This remark summed up the whole problem of the War Department-a disparity between policy and capabilities that answered their worst fears. The last hope was that the Japanese, upon learning-as they soon must learn-that the United States was fully committed, might reconsider. General Marshall fixed on 10 December as the date of the arrival of the first "really effective reinforcements" in the Philippines, observing that "after that date, but not before," it would be advantageous for the Japanese to learn of them.43
Military Collaboration with the British in the Far East
During the summer and fall, as the United States proceeded with the development of military plans in the Far Fast, the

British stall continued to seek an understanding on the terms of American military collaboration in the event of war with Japan. In August, at the Atlantic Conference, it was agreed that the British Chiefs of Staff would prepare a fresh draft of the ADB report to bring it into accord with ABC-1. Two months later the U. S. Chiefs of Stall rejected also this draft (ADB-2) as not meeting the "present situation in the Far East" 44
As the Situation in the Far East moved toward a climax, the British informed the Americans that they were forming a capital chip force to send to Far Eastern waters. At the same time the British First Sea Lord, Admiral Pound, wrote to Admiral Stark:
I do not consider that either ADB-1 or ADB-2 meet the new conditions [change of government in Japan and I would suggest that the need for a conference to draw up strategic operating plans for Mar Eastern Area based afresh on ABC-1 has now become urgent . . . . If you agree in principle to the abandoning of further discussions on ABD-1 and ADB-2 and to the holding of a fresh conference on basis of ABC-1, we can then proceed to discuss the agenda . . . .45
In reply, Admiral Stark acknowledged the need for prompt action and stated that the Army was "re-enforcing both land and air forces as rapidly as practicable and training Philippine Army intensively." In regard to the proposed conference, he wrote, "ONTO believes that ADB should not be revived as ABC- 1 is an adequate major directive which should be implemented by a sound strategical operating plan" drawn up between British, Dutch, and United States naval and air forces.46 Less than a week later another communication from the United States Chiefs of Staff to the British, acknowledging the 5 November message, "cordially" concurred in the British decision to send more vessels to Singapore. They indicated that the American reinforcements were on the way to the Far East and urged the British to send air reinforcements to Singapore without delay "as a powerful deterrent against a possible Japanese move to the South." They reiterated that "ADB-I1 and ADB-2 do not meet the new conditions about to be established in the Far East Area," and stated that "ABC-1 with certain revisions of assigned tasks is an appropriate major directive upon which satisfactory operating plans can be directly based." Finally, the United States Chiefs of Staff suggested new conferences to be held in Manila by Vice Adm. Sir Tom Phillips, Commander in Chief, Eastern Fleet ( British), with Admiral Thomas C. Hart, Commander in Chief, U. S. Asiatic Fleet, and General MacArthur, Commanding General, U. S. Army Forces in the Far East. 47
Toward the end of November the War Department instructed General MacArthur to "proceed with preliminary [U. S. Army and Navy conferences and thereafter hold conferences with the British and Dutch." The objective was the development of ABC-1, still "regarded as a sound major directive," by the "commanders on the

Photo - MEMBERS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT GENERAL STAFF Left to right: Brig. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow, Briy. Gen. R. A. Wheeler, Briy. Gen. S. :Miles, Maj. Gen. H. H. Arnold, General Marshall, Brig. Gen. W. H. Haislip, Brig. Gen. H. L. Twaddle, and Maj. Gen. W. Bryden. (Maj. Gen. R. C. Moore does not appear in photo.)
Photo - MEMBERS OF THE WAR PLANS DIVISION Left to right: Col. Lee S. Gerow, Col. C. W. Bundy, Lt. Col. M. B. Ridgaway, Brig. Gen. H. F. Loomis, Brig. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow, Col. R. W. Crawford, Lt. Col. S. H. Sherrill, Col. T. 7'. Handy, and Lt. Col. C. A. Russell.
MEMBERS OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT GENERAL STAFF (top) and the War Plans Division (bottom), November 1941. Left to right (top): Brig. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow, Brig. Gen. R. A. Wheeler, Brig. Gen. S. Miles, Maj. Gen. H. H. Arnold, General Marshall, Brig. Gen. W. H. Haislip, Brig. Gen. H. L. Twaddle, and Maj. Gen. W. Bryden. (Maj. Gen. R. C. Moore does not appear in photo.) Left to right (bottom): Col. Lee S. Gerow, Col. C. W. Bundy, Lt. Col. M. B. Ridgway, Brig. Gen. H. F. Loomis, Brig. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow, Col. R. W. Crawford, Lt. Col. S. H. Sherrill, Col. T. T. Handy, and Lt. Col. C. A. Russell.

spot" in terms of their own problems. 48 Before the outbreak of war in the Pacific, General MacArthur was able to report on his discussions with Admiral Hart and Admiral Phillips, and on 7 December listed the arrangements he proposed to effect with the Navy and-unless otherwise directed-with Army and Air commanders of "potential allies." 49
The noncommittal attitude that the American planners continued to exhibit during the late summer and fall of 1941 toward American collaboration in the defense of the Malay Barrier had actually survived the view of national strategic policy with which it had originally been associated-- the assumption that American forces would not be committed to that area. It owed its survival largely to the circumstance that the United States, although it had assumed great military obligations in the Far East, had assumed them independently and on terms that virtually precluded close collaboration between the British and American military staffs. American plans for aiding China were far more comprehensive than the British plans, and promised not only to conflict with British lend-lease requirements but also to make the defense of the Burma line of communication to China far more important to the United States than it was to the British themselves, who were planning to make their main stand against the Japanese before Singapore. The British preoccupation with Singapore was also irreconcilable with American policy in the Southwest Pacific. The United States was undertaking to make the Philippines defensible. The very likelihood that the Japanese would forestall the completion of this undertaking raised questions of American policy so obvious and so fundamental that no one except the President of the United States could open formal discussion of them. He did not do so, and the military staffs were therefore obliged to avoid the momentous question whether the United States in that contingency would withdraw from operations in the Southwest Pacific or contribute to the defense of the Malay Barrier.
Reaction to Pearl Harbor
Even as the American troops and equipment destined for the Far East began to gather at San Francisco and the first shipments were loaded and embarked, the last hope of achieving a general settlement in the Pacific through diplomatic means faded and vanished. 50 General :Marshall and

Admiral Stark continued to the last to seek more time. They informed the President, on 27 November, that "if the current negotiation ended without agreement, Japan might attack: The Burma Road; Thailand; Malaya; the Netherlands East Indies; the Philippines; the Russian Maritime Provinces." They observed that "the most essential thing now, from the United States viewpoint, is to gain time." Although considerable Navy and Army reinforcements had been rushed to the Philippines, "the desirable strength" had not yet been reached. Ground forces totaling 21,000, they declared, were to sail from the United States by 8 December and it was "important that this troop reinforcement reach the Philippines before hostilities commence." Finally Marshall and Stark recommended: "Precipitance of military action on our part should be avoided so long as consistent with national policy." 51
In the first week of December ominous intelligence reports began to arrive with news of Japanese naval and troop movements in the Far East.52 That the Japanese were up to some "deviltry" was clear, but precisely when and where they would strike was not clear. On the morning of December, while official Washington anxiously reflected on the hard decision that the President might have to make-- in case Japan should strike in the area of the South China Sea, bypassing for the moment the Philippines--the War Department learned, through an intercepted Japanese message, that Japan would present to the United States later in the day a note which would put an end to further negotiations. At noon last-minute warning messages were sent by the War Department to the Philippines, ,Hawaii, Panama, and the west coast. Through a series of fateful mishaps the message to Army headquarters at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, was delayed in transmittal.53 While it was still on its way, the first wave of Japanese carrier-based planes-- whose approach had gone, not undetected, but unheeded-- --came in from the north and leveled off for their bombing run over the Pacific: Fleet riding at anchor unalerted in Pearl Harbor. This attack opened a campaign long since conceived and planned to drive the Western powers from the Far East. 54

About one o'clock in Washington on the afternoon of 7 December the first news of the attack on Pearl Harbor reached the War Department. The news came as a shock, even as the attack itself had come. It caught by surprise not only the American people at large, who learned of the attack a short while later, but also their leaders, including the very officers who had earlier been so much concerned over the possibility of just such an attack. One explanation is that these officers and their political superiors were momentarily expecting the Japanese to use all their forces against the weakly held British and Dutch positions in the Far East ( and probably, but not certainly, against the Philippines). They were undoubtedly pondering the hard decisions they would have to recommend and make if this should happen.55 For this and perhaps for other reasons they had made no special effort to review the intelligence available and had paid no special attention to what the Army and Navy commanders in Hawaii were doing. As they soon found out, the Japanese task force had also caught those commanders unprepared and had accomplished its destructive mission almost unopposed, leaving a great part of the U. S. Pacific Fleet sunk or disabled in Pearl Harbor. At the same time the southward advance of Japanese forces began as expected. During the afternoon and evening, news came in of Japanese forces moving into Thailand, bombing Singapore, and landing in Malaya. This news, coming in conjunction with the news from Hawaii-the successive reports of casualties and damage suffered by the fleet at Pearl Harbor and by Army and :Marine air units-presented the American high command, not with the anticipated crisis in domestic and foreign politics but, instead, with an unexpectedly acute crisis in military operations. 56
The immediate fear of the War Department was that the Japanese might launch another carrier force against some important strategic target- the naval installations at Pearl Harbor (which were still intact), the aircraft factories on the west coast of the United States, or the locks of the Panama Canal. The War Department could do little to make these targets less vulnerable to air attack in the near future, but Marshall was determined that he and his stall should not do less than they could, merely because they could do so little. The Army's war plan RAINBOW 5 went into effect, insofar as it related to Japan, with the notification, on 7 December, to MacArthur and other commanders by the War Department that hostilities had commenced and operations would be governed by RAINBOW 5 as far as

possible. 57 During the first week of war, though there were many other affairs that demanded and shared his attention, General -Marshall spent several hours daily at Army staff conferences and joint Board meetings that were mainly taken up with measures to reinforce Hawaii, Panama, and the west coast. 58 The movements to which he was most attentive were quite small-the movement of antiaircraft guns and six regiments of antiaircraft artillery to the west coast, the movement to Hawaii of thirty-six heavy bombers (by air) and (by train and ship) of ammunition, 110 pursuit planes, and some 7,000 men with their unit equipment. In addition the War Department ordered ammunition, air warning equipment, eighty pursuit planes, nine heavy bombers, and 16,000 men sent to Panama as fast as possible, and two pursuit groups and large ground forces (including two infantry divisions) to the west coast. It was an enormous job for the War Department as then constituted to keep track of these hurried movements, especially movements of munitions. :Marshall insisted that his immediate subordinates "follow up" on them, especially the yen' officers upon whom he also relied for plans and recommendations on strategy-Arnold, Gerow, and the members of their staffs. 59
Behind their immediate fear of air raids on vital installations was the knowledge that the ,Japanese had forestalled American plans to bring American military strength in the far Pacific up to that required to carry out American foreign policy in the ear East. The Far Eastern Air Force in being, though forewarned, was still by no means equipped, trained, or organized to defend an outpost so far from the United Mates and so near to Japan.60 The results of the first Japanese raids of 8 December on the Philippine Islands were a convincing demonstration. They left MacArthur with only seventeen heavy bombers and fewer than seventy pursuit planes. 61

His air force, already half destroyed, was scarcely more of a threat to Japanese operations than the submarines and inshore patrol left behind in the Philippines by Admiral Hart's Asiatic Fleet. 62 The Japanese were free not only to land in the Philippines but also to move forces southward into the Netherlands Indies with every chance to isolate the Philippines before reinforcements should arrive in the area. It was hard to avoid the conclusion that the United States must accept the loss of the Philippines as inevitable and concentrate on strengthening the local defenses of Hawaii, Panama, Alaska, and the west coast.
Up to this point the War and Navy Departments were in substantial agreement.63 But Secretary Stimson went further. He had been in entire accord with the growing firmness of American policy toward Japan during 1941, and was convinced that to show any sign of an intention to withdraw from the conflict, even temporarily, would discredit the whole policy. He understood, moreover, that the people of the United States, whatever their views of foreign policy, would not accept a strategic withdrawal in the face of the enemy- that had attacked Pearl Harbor. Finally, he shared with the professional soldiers and the American people a strong sense of obligation to do everything humanly possible to support Mac Arthur's forces. As he had good reason to expect, Marshall supported and the President shared and approved his views. All agreed that it did not matter what the likelihood was of getting reinforcements to the Philippines nor what risks the attempt might entail. The United States could not withdraw from the Southwest Pacific.
The Pensacola Convoy
The development of this policy opened with a decision on a specific problem-the disposition of five ships bound for Manila, under the escort of the USS Pensacola, that had been in the South Pacific on 7 December. This convoy, the vanguard of several that had been scheduled to arrive in the Philippines during the early winter, put in at Suva in the Fiji Islands to await orders. There were some 4,00 men aboard, including one regiment and two battalions of field artillery and the ground echelon of a heavy bomber group, and large quantities of munitions-guns, ammunition, bombs, motor vehicles, aviation gasoline, fifty-two dive bombers, and eighteen pursuit planes. 64
On 9 December the Joint Board decided to order the Pensacola convoy to return to Hawaii. This decision was in accord with the views of the War Department staff. Marshall concurred without comment. 65 But he was dissatisfied with the decision, for

he had to consider the position of MacArthur, and the assurance he had included in the instructions he had sent him on the afternoon of 7 December: "You have the complete confidence of the War Department and we assure you of every possible assistance and support within our power." 66 He could not reconcile this pledge with the joint Board's decision of 9 December.
The next morning Marshall stated the problem at the close of a conference with Stimson, Gerow, and two of the latter's assistants.67 He "pointed to the catastrophe that would develop if Hawaii should become a Japanese base, and he said that this thought was guiding the Navy in its actions." On the matter of the convoy, Marshall said that
. . . he was concerned ,with just what to say to General MacArthur. He did not like to tell him in the midst of a very trying situation that his convoy had had to be turned back. and he would like to send some news which would buck General MacArthur up. 68
Secretary Stimson at once went to the President, who ended the impasse by asking the joint Board to reconsider its decision. The Joint Board took up the President's request at its meeting that afternoon
In view of the President's desire that the Manila-bound convoy continue to the Far East, concurred in by the Secretary of War, the Board weighed the following factors:
a. The risk involved in proceeding to Australia as compared to the risk in returning to Hawaii.
b. The possibility of ultimately getting some of the supplies, in particular airplanes and ammunition, into the Philippines.
c. The utility of the supplies to the Dutch Fast Indies or Australia should it not be possible to deliver them to 'Manila. In particular, some might be available to defend the Navy base at Port Darwin.
d. The immediate requirements of the Oahu garrison for defensive material.
e. The capability of supplying Oahu with defense material from the United States.
During the discussion that followed, Army members abandoned the position they had taken the day before and instead advanced the opinion that Hawaii could be supplied from the United States and expressed a desire to continue the Manila-bound convoy to Australia and to make every effort to supply airplanes, ammunition, and other critical material to the Philippine garrison. The Board therefore agreed: "The Manila-bound convoy would be routed and escorted to Brisbane, Australia. Movement thereafter would be determined following arrival and depending upon the situation. 69
On 12 December the convoy was ordered on to Brisbane, and the War Department made the senior Army officer aboard, Brig. Geri. Julian F. Barnes, directly responsible to General Mac Arthur, with a primary mis-

sion of getting reinforcements to the Philippines. First of all General Barnes was to have his planes unloaded and assembled and try to get them to the Philippines. Before unloading troops and other equipment he was to find out whether the Navy would undertake to send any ships through to the Philippines. 70
Aircraft and Ammunition
In Manila General MacArthur at once asked Admiral Hart, commander of the Asiatic Fleet, whether he could bring the convoy on to the Philippines. Admiral Hart told him that he expected the Japanese to establish a complete blockade before the ships could reach the Philippines, and gave him the "impression" that he thought "the islands were ultimately doomed." General MacArthur, in reporting their conversation, emphasized that as soon as people in the Philippines came to the conclusion that there was no hope of keeping open a line of communication, "the entire structure here" would "collapse" over his head. He declared and repeated that the battle for the Philippines was the decisive action of the war in the far Pacific: "If the western Pacific is to be saved it will have to be saved here and now"; and again he said, "The Philippines theater of operations is the locus of victory or defeat." He urged that authorities in Washington review their strategy with this idea in mind, and furnish the air power needed to delay the Japanese advance: first of all, fighter planes to protect airfields and allow new ones to be built and, second, bombers to operate against Japanese air bases, communications, and installations. He concluded by declaring that the retention of the islands would justify "the diversion here of the entire output of air and other resources." 71 He followed with a second message specifying that one immediate need was for 200 pursuit planes and 50 dive bombers, to be brought in by carrier to within flying distance of the Philippines. His other immediate need was for .50-caliber ammunition. 72
MacArthur's estimate gave the War Department something definite to go on in getting support for "every effort to supply airplanes, ammunition and other critical material to the Philippine garrison." A measure of the urgency of his need was his report that as of 12 December he had in commission twelve heavy bombers, and he had so few P-40's left (twenty-seven) that he had ordered the pilots to avoid direct combat in order to save the planes for reconnaissance and "to make [a] show of strength.73

On Sunday, 14 December, Stimson went over the problem with Marshall, and found that he, too, felt that the United States could not abandon the effort, however desperate, since to do so would be to "paralyze the activities of everybody in the Far East." The Secretary again went to the President, who at once agreed and instructed the Navy to co-operate.74 The War Department thereupon assured MacArthur:
Your messages of December thirteenth and fourteenth have bean studied by the President. The strategic importance of the Philippines is fully recognized and there has been and will be no repeat no wavering in the determination to support you. The problem of supply 1S complicated by Naval losses in the Pacific but as recommended in yours of December fourteenth bomber and pursuit re-enforcements and to be rushed to you. Keep us advised of the situation as you see it.75
On 15 December Marshall ordered two transports to be loaded to take pursuit planes and ammunition to Australia.76 On the following day and the morning of 17 December two, additional shipments were scheduled, which would bring to 230 the pursuit planes shipped from the United States to Australia by early January, in addition to the eighteen in the Pensacola convoy. 77 How to get these planes from Australia to the Philippines was something else again. General Marshall had asked Admiral Stark to see whether the Navy would make an aircraft carrier available.78 Meanwhile, General Arnold was hurrying preparations to send eighty heavy bomber (B-24's) 1 via Cairo, three a day, for use in ferrying critical supplies between Australia and the Philippines.79
Conferences on Coalition Strategy against Japan
The determination to do what was possible did not signify that the War Department thought there was much chance of saving the Philippines. But it did represent a step in defining American strategy in the Pacific. The President, in adopting the policy of reinforcing the Philippines, had clearly indicated the direction of American strategy in the Par Eastern area. The next step was to correlate American strategy with the plans of the other powers arrayed against Japan. Several days before Roosevelt declared himself, Chiang Kai-shek had urged the President to offer a plan for joint action by the powers at war with Japan.80 The President, who had already been considering such a step, now proposed that two military conferences be held concurrently in the ear East by representatives of the United States, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and China-- one at Chungking to which the Soviet Union should be invited to send a

representative) to consult on strategy on the Asiatic mainland, and one at Singapore to consult on operations in the Southwest Pacific. The purpose of these meetings was to consider plans to occupy Japanese forces on all fronts in an effort to prevent them from concentrating forces on one objective after another.81 Maj. Gen. George H. Brett, then in India, was designated the War Department representative for the proposed Chungking conference, to be assisted by General Magruder, already in Chungking. Lt. Col. Francis G. Brink, the U. S. military observer in Singapore, was named War Department representative for the conversations at Singapore.
The President may have been under the impression that Japanese forces were overextended, presenting, in the words of MacArthur, a "golden opportunity" for a "master stroke." General MacArthur himself hoped that the soviet Union would take advantage of the opportunity, and the War Department at first shared his hope. 82 But Stalin had meanwhile made it plain that the Soviet Union was not going to do so.83 MacArthur for some time persisted in the belief that the U. S. Pacific Fleet should make a diversionary counterattack west of Hawaii, but the fleet was actually much too
weak to do so.84 The Chinese actually was incapable of offensive action. There was, therefore, no real threat to prevent the Japanese from concentrating air and naval strength against one after another of the widely separated positions then held by the Allies in the Southwest Pacific and south eastern Asia.
The conferences held at Chungking (17 and 23 December) and at Singapore (18 and 20 December) nevertheless served to demonstrate that the United States Government was not preparing to withdraw from the Far Eastern war but was, instead, determined to take a more active parts. 85

The President saw them as part of a worldwide effort to establish international military collaboration on a more permanent basis, which also encompassed the British-American meetings scheduled to begin shortly in Washington, and conversations in Moscow, which he proposed, between representatives of the Soviet Union, the United States, Great Britain, and China.86
The Singapore conference produced the first concrete proposal for such collaboration. According to the War Department representative, Colonel Brink, the conference clearly showed "an immediate need for one supreme head over a combined allied stall' for detailed coordination of USA British Australia and Dutch measures for movements to their designated locations, institution arid maintenance of air and sea lines of communication and the strategic direction of all operations in Pacific area." The logical location of the Allied headquarters would be at Bandung in Java, and "unofficial opinions" among the representatives at Singapore indicated that a "USA Commander acquainted with the Pacific area would not only be acceptable but desirable." 87
Decision to Establish a Base in Australia
Along with the first orders for moving planes and ammunition to the Far Fast and the President's proposal of regional military conferences among the powers fighting Japan, went another development of great strategic significance-the decision to establish an advanced American military base at Port Darwin in northern Australia. This decision was a logical consequence of the determination to continue the fight in the southwest Pacific: whatever might happen. To carve this decision into effect in the War Department, which was certain to be a full-time job, General Marshall selected a staff officer, Brig. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who saw the problem as he himself did, who knew the situation in the far Pacific, and who had the very important added qualification that he knew MacArthur very well. On 14 December General Eisenhower presented himself to General Marshall. Marshall gave him the problem of Far Eastern strategy to work on. Eisenhower came back with the answer that the United States must keep open the Pacific line of communication to Australia and go ahead as fast as possible to establish a military base there. This answer corresponded with the conclusion reached that day by Stimson and Marshall and approved by  the President. Marshall told Eisenhower to go ahead. 88 On 17 December General Marshall approved Eisenhower's plan for establishing a base in Australia.89 It was first of all to be an air base, and, as had been recommended by his staff, he designated a senior Air officer to take command-General Brett, who was then attending the Allied military conference at Chungking.90 Brig. Gen. Henry

B. Clagett was ordered from the Philippines to take over command from Barnes until Brett arrived.
The forces in Australia thus became the nucleus of a new overseas command even though they were still part of MacArthur's U. S. Army Forces in the Far East and had the primary mission of getting vitally needed supplies to the Philippines.91 It was evident that the establishment of this new command implied a more comprehensive strategy in the Southwest Pacific than the desperate effort to prolong the defense of the Philippines. Stimson at once saw this and stated the thesis very clearly to three of his civilian assistants
I laid before them the issue which was now pending before us, namely as to whether we should make every effort possible in the Far Fast or whether, like the Navy, we should treat that as doomed and let it go. We all agreed that the first course was the one to follow; that we have a very good chance of making a successful defense, taking the southwestern Pacific as a whole. If we are driven out of the Philippines and Singapore, we can still fall back on the Netherlands East Indies and Australia; and with the cooperation of China-if we can keep that going-we can strike good counterblows at Japan. While if we yielded to the defeatist theory, it would have not only the disastrous effect on our material policy of letting Japan get strongly ensconced in the southwestern Pacific which would be a terribly hard job to get her out of, but it would psychologically do even more in the discouragement of China and in fact all of the four powers who are now fighting very well together. Also it would have a very bad effect on Russia. So this theory goes. It has been accepted by the President, and the Army is taking steps to make a solid base at Port Darwin in Australia.92
During the following week events made it clear to all concerned that the United States was committing itself to the defense of the Southwest Pacific, in collaboration with its allies, and not simply to the reinforcement of the Philippines. The Manila-bound convoy arrived at Brisbane on 22 December. On the same day General Clagett flew in from the Philippines to take temporary command of Army forces in Australia, pending the arrival of Brett. Clagett reported that, after the unloading of the aircraft, the convoy was to go on to Port Darwin, picking up its escort from the Asiatic Fleet at the Torres Strait (between New Guinea and -Australia), as ordered by MacArthur, in the hope that Marshall would get the Navy to try to run the convoy through to the Philippines. 93 But the Japanese had already made their first landing in Sarawak ( in Borneo). and another force was on its way to Jolo (between Mindanao and Borneo). The isolation of the Philippines was nearly complete.
MacArthur had not yet given up the other hope that planes might be brought by carrier to within flying distance of the Philippines, as he had earlier recommended.94 The War Department at once answered that it was out of the question.95 The Japanese

Image, DRAFT MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT, click for the text version
DRAFT MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT with revisions in General Marshall's handwriting, and message for Brig. Gen. John A. Magruder which was inclosed. (Blurred stamps dated "Jan 2 1951," indicate declassification of document.
Click here for Text Version

Image - DRAFT MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT - Page 2, click for the text version
Click here for Text Version

DRAFT MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT - Page 3 - click for the text versionDRAFT MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT, click for the text version
Click here for Text Version

DRAFT MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT, click for the text version
Click here for Text Version


DRAFT MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT, click for the text version
Click here for Text Version


DRAFT MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT, click for the text version
Click here for Text Version


meanwhile had been getting ready for the invasion of Luzon, and MacArthur foresaw that his forces would have to fall back through central Luzon to the final defensive positions on Bataan peninsula, covering Corregidor, according to long-established plans.96 In view of this estimate of the situation, the War Department discounted heavily the possibility of any pursuit planes at all getting to the Philippines, even if a route could be found to fly them northward from island to island. MacArthur was left to extract such reassurance as he might from the declaration that the War Department would nevertheless "press in every way for the development of a strong United Mates air power in the Far East based on Australia." 97 The same estimate of the situation caused the War Department to send word to General Brett at Chungking to get to Australia as quickly as possible "to assume command of U. S. Army interests in that region." 98 On 24 December MacArthur announced that he had ordered south to the Netherlands Indies and Australia what was left of his own heavy bomber force--- fourteen B-17's --which could no longer operate for lack of fighter protection.99 The President in turn then recognized that "there was little likelihood that the land and air re-enforcements now on their way from the U. S. via Australia could arrive at their destination." He wanted them to be used "in whatever manner might best serve the joint cause in the Far East." 100
The plan for establishing a "solid" base in Australia had by that time become a major commitment of Army air forces. The immediate goal was to establish nine combat groups in the Southwest Pacific-two heavy and two medium bombardment groups, one light bombardment group, and four pursuit groups. A part of this force one group of medium bombers and two pursuit groups-was allocated to the defense of the Netherlands Indies.101
This force represented the largest projected concentration of American air power outside the Western Hemisphere, considerably larger than the forces that had been scheduled for shipment to the Philippines before 7 December, and a very substantial part of the fifty-four groups that the army expected to have by the end of the winter. Furthermore, it would require a heavy investment in crews and planes to build up these forces- much larger than the investment to build up comparable forces elsewhere-since the rate of attrition would at first be high, as a result not only of action by numerically superior enemy forces but also of the constant use of hastily organized half-trained  units operating from improvised bases in unfamiliar areas at the end of a long, uncertain supply line. The commitment to bring these air forces up to pro-

jetted strength would evidently affect all other strategic plans, by further widening the existing gap between planes and air units available and planes and air units needed to carve them out.
It was less evident at first, except to staff officers working on detailed plans, that another immediately critical effect on strategy would be to intensify the shortage of ships and naval escort vessels. These officers began estimating what it would take to build airfields in Australia (at Townsville and Port Darwin), to finish building airfields on the way from Hawaii to Australia, to construct the port facilities required, to defend these installations against raids, and to quarter and ration the troops employed. Most of the men and most of the supplies and equipment would have to be shipped from the continental United States. The first demand on ships and naval escort vessels was to move goods to the United Kingdom. If the defense of the South and Southwest Pacific came next, what would remain to meet other Allied demands, to reinforce overseas garrisons, to deploy American troops in the North Atlantic, and to send expeditionary forces into the South Atlantic? These hard questions were much in Army planners minds when the first wartime British-American staff conference opened in Washington, 24 December 1941, after two and a half weeks of American participation in open hostilities.

Page created 10 January 2002


Previous Chapter     Next Chapter

Return to the Table of Contents