World War Two, Pacific
Grand Strategy is determined by the heads of state representing the recommendations of their military and political staffs. All agreements were compromises. The principle concerns of such international efforts, or Grand Strategy, was Germany. Japan was left as the concern of the United States and Grand Strategy for the Pacific War was concerned primarily with how much of U.S. resources could be allocated to the Pacific without taking away from the war against Germany.
British proposal to invade French North Africa. Seeks U.S. to land in Morocco. U.S. says crisis in Pacific postpones N. Africa until shipping becomes available.
Dec 25. Hong Kong falls.
- Sep 1 . Germany attacks Poland ; war declared 48 hours later
- Sep 4 . U.S. extend defense zone to 300 miles.
- Nov 4 . U.S. repeals arms embargo, allows Cash and Carry of military supplies in foreign ships.
U.S. arms industry buildup brings nation out of depression.
- Nov 30. Russia invades Finland.
- Jan ? . Authorized sale of late-model US military aircraft.
- April 9 . Germany seizes Norway and Denmark.
- May 7 . Churchill forms government.
Pacific fleet ordered to Pearl Harbor
- May 10. Germany attacks Holland and Belgium.
- June . British evacuates from continent at Dunkirk. France falls.
- July 10. Aerial Battle of Britain starts.
- July . MacArthur appointed commander of all U.S. forces in Philippines.
- July 19. U.S. authorize 2-Ocean Navy : to build 7 BB, 11 CV, 50 CL, 100 DD.
- July 25. Embargo of metal and oil to Japan.
- Japanese decision to go to war.
- Sep 6 . Contracts for prototypes of B-29 and B-32.
- Sep 16. Selective Service Act (The Draft)
- Sep 17. German invasion of England canceled
- Sep 27. Japan, German and Italy Tripartite Pact forms Axis.
- Jan 6 . Lend-Lease introduced to Congress.
- American-British Conference Jan 29-March 29, 1941 . ABC-1 staff discussions in Wash, DC.
- Europe first
- Save Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. (US not keen on Singapore.)
- Churchill from May 15, 1940 offered/wanted USN in Singapore.
- U.S. not approve Singapore. Separately built up Philippines.
- U.S. commanders to observe in UK : MGen Chaney, RAdm Ghormley
- British Joint Staff Mission to Wash, DC.
- Feb 17. Africa Corp lands Libya replacing defeated Italians.
- March. U.S. ships to report sightings of U-boats in Western Atlantic.
- Mar 11. Lend-Lease approved by Congress.
- Mar 29. ABC-2. Air recommendations issued. All US aircraft production to RAF until Nov. Equal shares when US entered war.
- Spring . Rainbow was a set of war plans developed 1939-41, each based on various possibilities.
Rainbow 5 met conditions agreed on in ABC-1. Approved by Army-Navy Board May 14,
Secretaries Army and Navy on June 2. US to be ready to commit to plan Sept 1 or later. Specifies sequence, locations and numbers of US troops and planes for garrisoning overseas bases for the first six months after mobilization for war, M-Day.
- Apr 7 . Quarter of Pacific Fleet ordered to Atlantic : 3BB,1CV,4CL,18DD,3AO.
- April . US Army position: Able to occupy Iceland, Azores, Cape Verde Island, Caribbean or NE Brazil subject to availability of shipping. Not ready for full war. But, better to enter war before fully ready to save British Isles physically or politically.
- May 27. Sink the Bismarck. Unlimited national emergency declared by U.S..
- Spring . Lend-Lease extended to China.
- June 10. Orders to survey locations for US bases in England.
- June 22. German invasion of USSR.
- June 24. Japan pressure Vichy for Indochina, start build-up of invasion troops
- July 1 . President orders Marines to Iceland. Arrive July 7.
Plenty of drafted troops, untrained and unequipped.
- July 29. Japan occupies (Vichy) French Indochina
- Argentia Conference Aug 11+ , Newfoundland talks.
- British plan : U.S. to N. Africa, MidEast
- Armored attack with partisan support on Europe.
- Joint BR, Dutch, U.S. warning to Japan.
U.S. listened, made no commitments and responded later.
- Aug 14. Atlantic Charter - political statement on conclusion of talks..
- Aug 17. U.S. note to Japan : continued military action will necessitate actions in defense of US national security.
- Aug . U.S. Lend-Lease Mission to China
- Sept . U.S. Army internal response. US keeps neutral, supplies Britain, trains and equips US troops.
Victory Program -- plan for war material needs.
Strategic Concept plans for 8.8 million men, to attack Germany July 1, 1943.
- Sep 5 . Army sails to Iceland - disrupts training programs to get qualified troops.
- Oct 1 . US-USSR survey of material needs.
- Oct 5 . Naval Conference between US and British naval commanders in Singapore.
- Oct . Lend-Lease Mission to Middle East.
- Japanese Pearl Harbor Plan
- Nov . Lend-Lease extended to USSR.
- Nov 7 . IJN carrier fleet trains for coordinated attack on a harbor
- Nov 16. IJN strike force to Kuriles continue training for Pear Harbor.
- Nov 18. Five mother subs, each with midget sub, depart Kure for Pearl Harbor.
- Nov 25. Sortie of Japanese invasion fleet towards Malaya.
- Nov 27. Sortie Mobile Fleet of 6 carriers into North Pacific.
- Nov 30. Emperor orders attack.
- Dec 7 . Invasion of Malaya. Attack on Pearl Harbor. Invasion of Guam . Air raids Singapore, Wake, Midway, Philippines.
- Dec 8-11. Declarations of war all round.
- Arcadia Conference. Washington, D.C. Dec 17 - Jan 14.
- American-British Conversations - Dec 22. Churchill to DC : full staff conferences.
British plan to land in Europe in summer of 1943 . Minimum safeguards in other theaters. Shipping limits US troop deployment to only one of three areas discussed.
- Maintain Australia, New Zealand, India and supply China.
- Hold Hawaii and Alaska ; Singapore, East Indies Barrier and Philippines ; Rangoon and route to China.
Definitions: Combined=International, Allied ; Joint=Interservices, American
Jan 1 . Declaration of the United Nations -- 26 signers.
Jan 2 . Manila falls. Japanese landings in Borneo and Celebes.
Jan 15. ABDA Command established of American, British, Dutch, and Australian military forces.
First U.S. troops sail for N. Ireland.
Feb 15. Allies defeated in Battle of Java Sea; Singapore falls. Allied Naval and Air forces are out of Western Pacific.
Mar 1 . ABDA command disbanded.
Apr 1 . U.S. is planning for invasion of Europe in Spring '43
May 8 . Corregidor falls. Allied Armies out of Western Pacific.
May-June. Fletcher stops Japanese advance in Pacific.
June . Brits convince US to proceed with N. Africa in 1942 ; postpone Europe
Aug . Iran entry point of Lend-Lease to Russia established.
Aug 7 . Marines occupy Guadalcanal.
Nov 7 . Allies invade North Africa : 140,000 British ; 150,000 U.S.
Nov 11. Germany occupies the rest of France.
Nov 15. Naval Battles of Guadalcanal send both navies back to rebuild.
Nov 20. Soviets encircle Germans at Stalingrad.
Debate Central Pacific or SW. Pacific.
Casablanca Conference. Jan 14
Jan 24. End conference with "unconditional surrender" statement.
Trident Conference May 12. in D.C.
- Proposals : British wanted to continue taking all of N.Africa and open the Mediterranean to shipping.
Attack the soft underbelly of Europe.
U.S. wanted buildup forces in England for cross channel attack on N. France in 1943.
Europe : Weaken Germany ; Knock Italy out of war ; Take pressure off Russia ; Bring Turkey into War against Germany
England : Build up forces in England ; Delay cross-channel till Spring'44.
Air operations in Europe by priority : -- sub construction, aircraft industry, transportation, oil plants, other war targets.
Med : Immediate plans to invade Sicily.
CBI : Postpone Burma till late '43.
Pacific : Increase allocation from 15% to 30% of war material.
Algiers Conference May 29-June 3.
- Proposals : U.S. wanted to earliest possible cross-channel invasion. British considered "possible" included Germany weakened significantly before invasion. Wanted to continue attacks throughout Med, specifically to knock Italy out of
war by capture of Rome. U.S. wanted to stop with boot and heel of Italy for air bases and no Mediterranean operations east of Italy.
Get USSR into Far East War after surrender of Germany.
China -- U.S. wanted Brits and China to open supply line to China. British saw China of little value in war and refused a land war in Burma. China would not move unless RN attacked Rangoon. China wanted increased air attacks on Japan from China bases. U.S. saw this as backwards.
- Compromises :
Europe : Fix date for Cross-channel attack for May 1, 1944.
Med : Limit forces in Med to 4 U.S. and 3 Brit divisions.
Any surplus resources, such as by delay in cross-channel, to go to Pacific, not Med.
China : US to double, triple cargo by air over "hump" giving priority to air war.
Pacific : All agreed with U.S. plans in the following steps:.
- Brits and China open lines thru northern Burma. U.S. into Celebes Sea between New Guinea and Borneo.
- U.S. to retake Philippines ; Brits to raid Straights of Malacca ;
- China to attack Hong Kong with U.S. covering that part of S. China Sea from Philippines.
- U.S. to capture bases for air fields within range of Japan.
- Air offensive against Japan proper.
- Invasion of Japan.
Churchill tries to convince Marshall & Eisenhower to take Rome in '43. Ike agreed that if Sicily was easy, he would maintain momentum by taking a bridgehead on Italy, so long as did not to take from buildup for cross-channel.
June 11. After two-weeks of heavy air attack, Panteleria surrenders.
July 10 - Aug 17. Invasion of Sicily.
Quadrant Conference Aug 17-24 in Quebec.
Moscow Conference October 19-30 of Foreign Minsters
Cairo Conference Nov 23-30 -- Brits, U.S. meet with China on way to Tehran to meet with Russians.
Dec 4-7, 1943. Tehran Conference.
- Proposals :. British had a list of requirements before going ahead with "Overload", the cross-channel invasion, and did not want to take troops from Med. U.S. said either cross-channel as planned or U.S. efforts go to the Pacific.
British wanted Italy well north of Rome ; for French troops to land in S. France ;
and half again as large D-Day landing force. U.S. only wanted airfields in S. Italy and did not have enough landing craft for S.France and D-Day both. U.S. wanted to
divert Med shipping to Pacific to attack Rabaul and a plan to redirect resources from Europe to Pacific on defeat of Germany, expected in 1944. Brits saw no need for continued advance north from New Guinea.
U.S. wanted Brits to take northern Burma by Nov'44 giving a supply line from India to China to support B-29 based in China to attack Japan. Then to begin on southern Burma and Singapore. Brits wanted to postpone Singapore till March'45 and southern Burma till Nov'46.
- Decisions : Med : constant pressure on Italy.
- Cross Channel : increase landing force, keep date.
- Pacific : U.S. thrusts thru Central and from S.W. Pacific.
- Burma : Burma road thru north to begin Feb'44.
Southeast Asia Command established.
To transfer troops in Italy to invade south of France.
Simultaneous offensive by Russians
Set date for Overlord
Soviet entry in war on Japan after defeat of Germany.
Chiang demands $1 Billion in gold to stay in war (his concern was communists).
Year-end U.S. troop strength : In Britain 800,000 men (40% air); Mediterranean 600,000 ; Pacific 700,000 (25% air), 800,000 navy.
Not use Chinese troops in Burma.
Postpone Burma to provide landing craft for cross-channel.
Delay and uncertainty in cross-channel had allowed buildup in Pacific faster than original plan. The Navy had a clearer picture of the Pacific needs.
Shipping about equally split between Atlantic and Pacific, distances were greater in the Pacific, so fewer round trips per ship.
The shortage in LSTs that hampered European Planning was caused by concentration on building of DE to combat U-boats. The DE's starting arriving after the
peak in U-boat activity (caused by CVEs, B-24's) just at time that the LSTs were needed in all three theaters.
Jan 22- May 23. Anzio, Italy. Establish beachhead, but unable to breakout and join
with frontline coming from the south.
Debate over Burma Road which requires Chinese army, vs. taking port on China coast which would be a major effort by Allies taking away from other areas..
Mar 11. Japanese incursion into India ends debate. Thrown back by July.
C-47s taken from Overlord to airdrop munitions.
Apr 18. Anzio causes delay in invasion of southern France till after D-Day.
May . Japanese offensive into Southern China to eliminate U.S. airbases.
Debate Pacific between Formosa or Okinawa.
June 6. Cross-channel invasion.
Jun 15. B-29's bomb Japan from China till Nov ; every drop of gas and bullet by air over hump.
Bretton Woods, July in N..H. 44-nations. World bank and International Monetary Fund to stabilize currency and trade and International Bank for Reconstruction which became World Bank .
Dumbarton Oaks, D. C. Aug-Oct . 4-powers discussed United Nations, Security Council , and veto.
Octagon Conference. second Quebec. Sept 13-16. Start on post-war issues.
Nov 24 Start B-29 raids on Japan from Tinian
Japanese overrun U.S. air bases in China and Chinese army collapse. U.S. downgrades future China efforts as a drain with no prospects.
Yalta Conference. Crimea. Feb 1-11. Post-war issues.
Apr 12. FDR dies ; Truman President.
Apr 25. U.N. Conference, Charter
May 7 . Germany surrenders.
Potsdam Conference. outside Berlin. July 16 - Aug 2.
- Set occupation zones in Europe
- USSR to enter Pacific War 90 days after defeat of Germany.
- Soviets to get parts of Poland and Japan.
- Free elections in Europe.
Aug 6 . Hiroshima
Aug 8 . USSR invades Manchuria per Potsdam agreement. Fight and occupy land
till Sept 2.
Aug 14. Japan surrenders.
Sept 2. Signing of surrender in Tokyo Bay.
- Allied control of defeated Germany
- Oder/Neisse Line giving part of Poland to Russia and part of Germany to Poland
- Russia joining the war in the Far East confirmed.
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Reference : Planning for Victory by MacCloskey, others.
Last updated on April 22, 2005
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