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How successful has the US military been at learning from history since 1945?

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* + 2 pages Outline and 1 page Annotated Bibliography (see Annex E in the PDF)


A: 100-90% Written work demonstrates mastery of the continuum of competition, conflict, and war by analyzing the historical context of large scale combat operations through battles, campaigns, operational variables, mission variables, key leader decisions, or tenets of key theorists. Furthermore, the written work reaches conclusions that transcend the block material. Essay is concise, adheres to the style guide, exhibits appropriate tone, and has no spelling or grammar errors. The writer uses appropriate and sufficient historical evidence with correct documentation. Thesis is clear and unambiguous.

Please need A+ in this essay, and please NO PLAGIARISM, and need the citation to be clear and I have access to all references.


Military History
Command and General Staff College
Fort Leavenworth, KS


The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010
Advanced Operations Course

AY 2021 – 2022

Syllabus and Book of Readings
Contains Advance Sheets and Readings

H400: The American Way of War
and its Challenges: 1940-2010

Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC)
Advanced Operations Course
CGSC AY 2021–22


December 2021

This publication contains copyrighted material and may not be reproduced without permission.

Front Cover Photo: U.S. Marines (Official Marine Corps Photo) (http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/HD/Home_Page.htm);
Photographer TSGT. Dave Mcleod: Combined Military Service Digital, Photographic Files,
https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6481484; https://media.defense.gov/2013/Aug/26/2001975960/-1/-1/0/790729-V-TJV98-
551 ; Army Signal Corps photographer LT. Stephen E. Korpanty; restored by Adam Cuerden Naval Historical Center Photo
# SC 213700, https://www.history.navy.mil/content/history/nhhc/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nara-











US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010
AY 2021–22
Preface ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… vi
H400 Block
Block Advance Sheet ……………………………………………………………………………………………… H400BAS-1
Appendix A, Assessment Plan …………………………………………………………………………………. H400BAS-9
Appendix A-1, Assessing Student Performance …………………………………………………………. H400BAS-14
Appendix A-2, Assessing Student Performance …………………………………………………………. H400BAS-16
CGSC Form 1009W, Assessing Writing (Outline) ……………………………………………….. H400BAS-17
CGSC Form 1009W, Assessing Writing (Argumentative Essay Rubric) …………………. H400BAS-19
CGSC Form 1009C, Assessing Contribution to Learning ……………………………………… H400BAS-21
Appendix B: H400 Lesson Titles …………………………………………………………………………….. H400BAS-22
Appendix C: Blended Learning Instructions ……………………………………………………………… H400BAS-23
H401: The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in WWII
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H401AS-24
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H401AS-30
H401RB, Mobilization ……………………………………………………………………………………………. H401RB-32
Center of Military History
H401RC, The 90-Division Gamble ………………………………………………………………………….. H401RC-40
Maurice Matloff
H401RD, The Color Plans, 1919-1938 ……………………………………………………………………… H401RD-52
Louis Morton
H401RE, Force Structure, Mobilization, and American Strategy for Global
Coalition War ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. H401RE-58
Michael D. Pearlman
H401ORA, AWPD-1: Munitions Requirements of the Army Air Forces ………………………. H401ORA-71
U.S. War Department
H401ORB, Resource Mobilization for World War II: the U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R., and
Germany, 1938-1945 ………………………………………………………………………………………… H401ORB-75
Mark Harrison
H402: LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines and the Tyranny of Distance (Guadalcanal)
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H402AS-93
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H402AS-99
H402RA, First Offensive: The Marine Campaign for Guadalcanal ………………………………. H402RA-101
Henry I. Shaw
H402RB, Asymmetric Warfare at Sea: The Naval Battles off Guadalcanal, 1942-1943 ….. H402RB-130
Thomas G. Mahnken
H402ORA, Japan’s Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal …………………………………………………. H402ORA-150
Raizo Tanaka
H402ORB, Guadalcanal: Neither Side Would Quit ……………………………………………………. H402ORB-173
Thomas B. Buell

H402ORC, Tactical Planning in the Imperial Japanese Navy ………………………………………. H402ORC-179
Minoru Genda
H402ORD, An Unhandsome Quitting ………………………………………………………………………. H402ORD-185
Merrill B. Twining

H403: LSCO/MDO: Airpower Theory, Doctrine, and Practice
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H403AS-192
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H403AS-199

H404: LSCO/MDO: Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H404AS-203
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H404AS-209
H404RA, The Strategic Tradition of U.S. Grant ………………………………………………………… H404RA-211
Russell Weigley
H404RC, Northern France: The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II ……………………… H404RC-218
David W. Hogan, Jr.
H404ORB, The Autumn of 1944: Boldness is Not Enough …………………………………………. H404ORB-239
Ronald Andidora
H404ORC, The Lorraine Campaign: An Overview, September-December 1944 ……………. H404ORC-247
Christopher R. Gabel

H405: Expeditionary Deterrence and Limited Warfare in the Nuclear Age
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H405AS-273
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H405AS-280
H405RA, How to Build the Wrong Army …………………………………………………………………. H405RA-283
David F. Melcher and John C. Siemer
H405RB, The Development of the American Theory of Limited War, 1945-63 …………….. H405RB-293
Michael W. Cannon
H405ORB, The Sources of Soviet Conduct by X ……………………………………………………….. H405ORB-316
George F. Kennan

H406: The Chinese Way of War
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H406AS-326
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H406AS-334
H406RA, The Art of War. ………………………………………………………………………………………. H406RA-341
Sun Tzu (Lionel Giles Translation)
H406RB, Selected Military Writings of Mao Tse-tung (Excerpts). ………………………………. H406RB-365
Mao Tse-tung

H407: Limited War and LSCO: Korea 1950-1953
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H407AS-381
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H407AS-388
H407RB, New Roots, Korea 1950-1951 …………………………………………………………………… H407RB-392
Carter Malkasian

H408: Vietnam: The Challenge of Hybrid Warfare
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H408AS-408
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H408AS-415
H408RA, Conduct of the Vietnam War: Strategic Factors, 1965-1968………………………….. H408RA-418
Douglas Pike

H408RB, Westmoreland was Right: Learning the Wrong Lessons from the
Vietnam War …………………………………………………………………………………………………… H408RB-431
Dale Andrade

H409: The Limits of Military Power – Tet and Vietnamization
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H409AS-459
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H409AS-466
H409RA, The 1968 Tet Offensive: Turning Point in the Vietnam War …………………………. H409RA-468
James H. Willbanks
H409RB, Vietnamization: An Incomplete Exit Strategy ……………………………………………… H409RB-475
James H. Willbanks
H409RC, Lessons of History and Lessons of Vietnam………………………………………………… H409RC-497
David H. Petraeus
H409ORA, Complex Urban Operations: The Battle for Hue, 1968 ………………………………. H409ORA-510
Louis DiMarco
H409ORB, Command Chronology for Period 1 Feb 1968 to 29 Feb 1968 …………………….. H409ORB-522
U.S. Marine Corps, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines
H409ORC, The Tet Offensive and the News Media …………………………………………………… H409ORC-529
William M. Hammond

H410: Re-forging the Broken Sword: The U.S. Army 1972-1990
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H410AS-540
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H410AS-548
H410RA, The Collapse of the Armed Forces …………………………………………………………….. H410RA-550
Robert D. Heinl, Jr.
H410RD, Fighting Outnumbered: the Impact of the Yom Kippur War
on the U.S. Army ……………………………………………………………………………………………… H410RD-563
Saul Bronfeld

H411: DESERT STORM and the American Way of War
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H411AS-586
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H411AS-594
H411RA, War in the Persian Gulf: Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM,
August 1990-March 1991 (Excerpt) ……………………………………………………………………. H411RA-596
Richard Stewart
H411RB, Lucky War: Third Army in DESERT STORM (Excerpts) ………………………………… H411RB-620
Richard M. Swain
H411RC, The Iraq Wars and America’s Military Revolution (Excerpts) ……………………….. H411RC-633
Keith L. Shimko
H411RD, Unhappy Warrior, Part I and Part II …………………………………………………………… H411RD-643
Rick Atkinson
H411RE, Military Doctrine: Lessons from the 1991 Gulf War and Russian
Military Doctrine ……………………………………………………………………………………………… H411RE-660
Stuart Kaufman
H411ORA, The Ghost of Omdurman ……………………………………………………………………….. H411ORA-676
Daniel P. Bolger
H411ORB, Deployment, Staging, and Logistics in Operations DESERT SHIELD and
DESERT STORM (Excerpt) ………………………………………………………………………………….. H411ORB-685
Richard Stewart
H411ORC, The Uses of Military Power (Speech) ………………………………………………………. H411ORC-693
Caspar W. Weinberger, Secretary of Defense

H411ORD, Air Power and Warfare: A Century of Theory and History…………………………. H411ORD-700
Tami Biddle
H411ORF, VII Corps Commander’s Intent for Operation DESERT STORM ……………………. H411ORF-706
LTG Frederick Franks

H412: Iraq and Beyond: Change and Continuity of Warfare
Advance Sheet ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. H412AS-707
Chronology …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… H412AS-713
H412RA, Conclusions: Lessons of the Iraq War ………………………………………………………… H412RA-715
Chief of Staff of the Army’s Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Study Group 2013-2018
H412RF, Lost in Translation: The American Way of War …………………………………………… H412RF-737
Rose Lopez Keravuori
H412ORA, From Invasion to Insurgency ………………………………………………………………….. H412ORA-744
Chief of Staff of the Army’s Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Study Group 2013-2018
H412ORB, Echoes of Failure: Vietnam, Iraq, and the American Strategy
in Afghanistan …………………………………………………………………………………………………. H412ORB-748
Nathan A. Jennings

Annex A: Concise DMH Style Guide ……………………………………………………………………….. Annex A-751
Annex B: Documentation Guide ………………………………………………………………………………. Annex B-756
Annex C: Tips for Writing History Essays ………………………………………………………………… Annex C-758
Annex D: The Argumentative Essay ………………………………………………………………………… Annex D-760
Annex E: Creating a Sentence Outline ……………………………………………………………………… Annex E-761
Annex F: Simplified Basic Battle Analysis Methodology …………………………………………… Annex F-765

Note on page numbering methodology: In addition to the regular numeric sequencing of all pages
throughout this book, found after the hyphen, all pages have alpha character content identifiers preceding
the hyphen. Only readings published in this book of readings have the sequencing. Readings that are links
only are viewed by selecting the link found in the Advance Sheet’s Study Requirements.

AS — Advance Sheet
R — Required Reading, followed by alpha sequence letter within a given lesson
OR — Optional Reading, followed by alpha sequence letter within a given lesson

US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010
Experience is the foundation of all learning. The personal experience gained progressing through your
career plays a large role in shaping your professionalism. The sharing of experiences among students in
the classroom is an important and invaluable facet of the US Army Command and General Staff Officer
Course (CGSOC), adding benefit from the hard-won wisdom and practical knowledge accrued by
individuals who have seen and done things—others who have not, glean from their valuable experience.
But the benefits of shared experience are not limited to the students in your staff group. We have at our
disposal an enormous wealth of experience, extending back thousands of years, acquired by your
predecessors in the profession of arms. This collective experience encompasses every type of military
activity and reaches every corner of the globe. This treasury of knowledge is ours for the trouble of
opening a book.
The history component of the CGSOC curriculum focuses on one particular area of the military
experience—the problem of coping with change. Although there is considerable debate as to what the
military of the future will be like, it is generally conceded that the military profession is currently
undergoing significant change. It is the goal of the Department of Military History (DMH) to provide
historical insights and analytical tools that will assist each and every student in dealing with that change.
H400 focuses on evolution of warfare and doctrine from 1940 to the present. Our focus is not so much on
historical events as it is on the factors involved in military change. At the conclusion of this block, you
will have gained new perspectives on how military institutions adapt to a changing world.
H400 Block Author
Department of Military History
(913) 684-4128
Curriculum Developer
Department of Military History
Curriculum Coordinator
Department of Military History
(913) 684-2073
Department of Military History
(913) 684-4110




Block Advance Sheet

AY 2021–22

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-1 August 2021
US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010

Block Advance Sheet


In 1945, the United States emerged from World War II as one of the world’s two great superpowers
and the only nation with nuclear weapons. The war forced the nation to project and sustain power
globally while also serving as the “arsenal of democracy” by providing weapons, food, and other
resources for all of the other Allied powers. The nation’s global standing, strengths, capabilities and
geographic location have led historians, such as Russell Wiegley and Colin Gray, to argue that the
United States has developed its own “American Way of War”—a “default” setting for waging its
conflicts. From 1941 onward, the U.S. certainly fought in a manner befitting a wealthy and
technologically advanced nation. However, if there is an overarching “American Way of War,” it has
struggled at times to parlay its strengths into clear victories in the limited wars that the U.S. has
fought since 1945.

H400, the military history portion of AOC, explores the historical precedents to the current operating
environment. It asks whether a particularly “American Way of War” has emerged, and how our
opponents have sought to counter U.S. strengths to prevent us from achieving our political goals.
Your examination of the challenges that the nation has faced in waging wars from World War II and
onward is intended to hone your professional judgement for the remainder of your careers. H100
introduced the relationship between history, theory, and doctrine, demonstrating that doctrine never
springs fully formed from nothingness, but instead is informed by analysis of the past. H400 builds
upon this foundation. For example, the campaigns in World War II (1939-1945), particularly the
global force projection operations in the Pacific against the Japanese and the liberation of Northwest
Europe from the Nazis, form an important precedent for current thinking on U.S. operations.

To gain benefit from these lessons, try to immerse yourself into what the commander and staff knew
at the time. Understand the limitations and strengths of the organization and equipment, and see what
options were actually feasible, acceptable, and suitable. You may find that the options available were
quite limited, and the decision made was the best of a number of bad choices. It is all too easy to
identify where historic leaders made mistakes when using hindsight. Strive to place yourself into the
contingent position of the historical commander or staff—discover what they knew, and understand
their decisions were made with imperfect knowledge of the enemy and under time constraints.
Reflecting upon this constitutes the true value of these lessons.

The H400 course aims to produce officers who can understand war, the spectrum of conflict, and the
complexity of the operational environment (history, culture, ethics, and geography). The block also
helps to develop practical minded, critical, and creative thinkers who can apply solutions to so-called
“wicked” operational problems in volatile and ambiguous environments. Finally, the H400 course
enhances an officer’s ability to communicate with clarity and precision in both written and oral forms.

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-2 August 2021

H400, The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010, supports the CGSOC (Command
and General Staff Officer Course) AOC goal to give field grade officers the skills to use, analyze, and
value history as a tool to aid professional judgment. H400 provides a forum to integrate all disciplines
associated with the CGSOC curriculum. Students will have the opportunity to assess and analyze the
emergence of an American way of war, strategy, tactics, logistics, leadership, operational art,
combined arms, and ethical considerations associated with the profession of arms. H400 demonstrates
how insights derived through the study of military history contribute to an overall staff college
education. Critical reasoning sharpens military judgment and problem-solving skills.


Action: Examine how commanders drive the operations process using the framework of understand,
visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess (UVDDLA).
Condition: In an educational setting, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the
conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and
multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK
family of products.
Prerequisite Learning objectives: TLO-CC-2, TLO-CC-3, TLO-CC-4, ELO-CC-7.1, ELO-CC-7.2,
ELO-CC-7.8. Note: Direct is included in TLO 2 and Lead is included in TLO 11.
TLO Standards (ELOs): Examination of the UVDDLA framework includes:
1. Demonstrate how commanders and staffs gain understanding of an operational environment.
2. Produce products that enable the commander to visualize the endstate of a tactical operation.
3. Examine the commander’s inputs to the operations process that describe tactical operations
and information requirements.
4. Examine the processes commanders and staffs use to assess ongoing operations.
5. Analyze how historical context influences the planning and the execution of large-scale
combat operations.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Analyze how historical context influences the planning and the execution of large-scale
combat operations.
Condition: In an educational setting, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the
conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and
multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK
family of products and H400 historical readings.
ELO Standards: The analysis of historical context includes:
1. Examine historical battles and campaigns.
2. Use operational variables (PMESII-PT) to describe historical context.
3. Use mission variables (METT-TC) to describe a historical action.
4. Examine decisions made by historical leaders.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Examine how staff conduct the operations process using the framework of plan, prepare,
and execute.*
Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in
the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-3 August 2021
multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK
family of products.
Prerequisite Learning objectives: TLO-CC-3, TLO-CC-4, ELO-CC-7.1, ELO-CC-7.2, ELO-CC-
7.8. *Note: Assess Operations is addressed in ELO 1.5.
TLO Standards (ELOs): The investigation of UVDDLA includes:
1. Use the military decision-making process (MDMP) to plan a tactical operation.
2. Examine the types of rehearsals the US Army uses to prepare to conduct an operation.
3. Execute simulated operations using planning products.
4. Analyze the evolution of large-scale combat operations using major concepts of key
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Analyze the evolution of large-scale combat operations using major concepts of key
Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer
in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and
multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK
family of products.
ELO Standards: The analysis of the evolution of LSCO includes:
1. Examine the causes of conflict.
2. Examine historical theory.
3. Examine the evolution of US Army doctrine.
4. Describe the evolution of US Army organizations.
5. Describe the evolution of US Army equipment.
6. Examine evolution of large-scale combat operations during the 20th Century.
7. Examine evolution of large-scale combat operations during the 21st Century.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Examine how the joint force and US Army sets an operational area for large scale combat
Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in
the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint multinational environment—and given a
tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products.
Prerequisite Learning objectives: TLO-CC-5, TLO-CC-11
TLO Standards (ELOs): The examination of setting an operational area for LSCO includes:
1. Develop a concept to set an operational area for LSCO.
2. Produce a course of action to move a division from a tactical assembly area into their area of
operations (AO). (See TLO 6.3)
3. Examine how special operations forces integrate into large scale combat operations (LSCO).
4. Analyze the historical context of operational readiness.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Analyze the historical context of operational readiness.
Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer
in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and
multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK
family of products.
ELO Standards: The analysis includes:

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-4 August 2021
1. Analyze historical examples of the importance of maintaining peace time readiness.
2. Analyze the challenges in historical case studies of preparing for LSCO.
3. Analyze, using historical context, the process of deploying units to a combat theater.
4. Analyze the JRSOI process through the lens of historical context.
5. Analyze the importance of operational readiness by investigating the historical context of
20th and 21st centuries U.S. combat operations.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Assess the historical context of the American way of war and its continued influence on
today’s operational environment.
Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and
written assignments.
TLO Standards (ELOs): The analysis of the American Way of War includes-
1. Assess the American experience in wars since 1940.
2. Assess America’s waging of limited war since 1945.
3. Assess challenges to the American Way of war since 1940.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation

Action: Assess the American experience in wars since 1940.
Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and
written assignments.
ELO Standards: The assessment includes:
1. Summarize the American experience in World War II, Korea, Vietnam,
Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI
2. Critique America’s performance and operations in wars since 1940.
3. Assess American experience in wars since 1940 and how it influences our understanding
of today’s operational environment.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation

Action: Assess America’s waging of limited war since 1945.
Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and
written assignments.
ELO Standards: The assessment includes:
1. Summarize the social, political, and military underpinnings of limited war since 1945.
2. Critique America’s performance and operations during the limited wars in
Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and
3. Assess American’s experience in limited wars since 1945 and how it influences our
understanding of today’s operational environment.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation

Action: Assess challenges to the American Way of war since 1940.
Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and
written assignments.
ELO Standards: The assessment includes:

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-5 August 2021
1. Summarize the enemies’ ability to challenge the American way of war during World War
II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and
2. Critique America’s ability to adapt to military operations in wars since 1940.
3. Assess contemporary challenge to the American way of war since 1991 and how it
influences our understanding of today’s operational environment.
4. Assess how the American way of war has influenced the strategy and doctrine of
potential contemporary competitors.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation

Action: Incorporate effective communication skills.
Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the
Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources.
Prerequisite Learning objectives: TLO-CC-10
TLO Standards (ELOs): Communication includes –
1. Write effectively
2. Speak effectively
3. Listen effectively
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis

Action: Write effectively
Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the
Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources.
ELO Standards: Write effectively includes:
1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment
2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience
3. Proper format and organization
4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points
5. Proper grammar and correct spelling
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis

Action: Speak effectively
Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the
Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources.
ELO Standards: Speak effectively includes:
1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment
2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience
3. Proper format and organization
4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points
5. Clear oral articulation and pronunciation
6. Appropriate use of body language for the topic, briefing style, and audience
7. Appropriate use of props, visual aids, or other products related to the presentation
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis

Action: Listen effectively
Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the
Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources.

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-6 August 2021
ELO Standards: Listen effectively includes:
1. Listens, reads, and watches intently.
2. Recognizes significant content, emotion, and urgency in others.
3. Uses verbal and nonverbal means to reinforce with the speaker that you are paying
4. Reflects on new information before expressing views.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis

PLO Attributes Supported:
1a. Independently research and critically evaluate information.
1b. Comprehend context of the situation.
1c. Create meaning from information and data.
1d. Creatively design or revise concepts and ideas.
1e. Communicate concepts with clarity and precision in written, graphical, and oral forms.
1f. Compose complete and well-supported arguments.
1g. Apply critical and creative thinking.
2a. Apply ethics, norms, and laws of the profession.
2d. Meet organizational-level challenges.
2e. Demonstrate commitment to develop further expertise in the art and science of war as life-
long learners.
3a. Apply knowledge of the nature and character of war.
3b. Apply the principles of war, conflict, and competition.
3c. Understand the utility of the military instrument of power.
3d. Understand the generation of military power through force management.
3e. Understand the relationship of the military instrument of power to the other instruments of
national power
4a. Analyze the security implications of the current and future operational environment.
4b. Apply appropriate inter-disciplinary analytical frameworks.
4c. Evaluate historical, cultural, political, military, economic, innovative, technological, and other
competitive forces.
4d. Identify and evaluate potential threats, opportunities, and risks.
5e. Consider risk and resource limitations inherent in planning.
6a. Adapt to rapidly changing operational conditions.
6b. Plan and/or execute Army Operations in a joint environment within a unified action context.
6c. Integrate and synchronize the Army warfighting functions with joint, multinational
capabilities, with other instruments of national power.

Special Areas of Emphasis (SAE) Supported:
1. Irregular Warfare
3. The Return of Great Power Competition
5. Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century
8. Ability to write clear and concise Military Advice Recommendations


Assessment of performance in H400 includes the history grade covering the entire military history in
AOC. The following table summarizes graded requirements for H400, with specific grading
requirements and criteria in Appendix A: Assessment Plan.

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-7 August 2021
Assessment Table

* Assignment is due by COB.


See individual lesson advance sheets.

a. Advance Issue:

H400 Syllabus and Book of Readings 2021-2022

b. Online/E-books (CARL access required):

Bailey, Beth. America’s Army: Making the All-Volunteer Force. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap
Press of Harvard University Press, 2009, 37-65. [28 pages]
E-Book: https://auls.insigniails.com/Library/ItemDetail?l=0013&i=1509906&ti=0

Glover, Jonathan, “Bombing,” in Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, 69-88.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/carl-
ebooks/detail.action?docID=3421050 [20 pages]

Gray, Colin. “The American Way of War: Critique and Implications.” In Rethinking the
Principles of War, edited by Anthony D. McIvor, 13-39. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute
Press, 2005. [27 pages]
E-Book: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/carl-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1059363

Murray, Williamson A., and Allan R. Millett. Military Innovation in the Interwar Period.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

c. Student Purchase:

Millett, Allan R. “Assault from the Sea.” In Military Innovation in the Interwar Period. New
York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

Requirement Due


Outline and
7 February 2022*
2 Pages with
1 Page
Outside-Class Essay 7 March 2022* 10-12 Pages 60%

Contribution to
(Class Participation)

Daily N/A 40%






H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-8 August 2021
Paret, Peter, ed. Makers of Modern Strategy: from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1986.

d. Available at Combined Arms Research Library (CARL):

Clausewitz, Carl von. On War. Edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret.
Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976.
Parker, Geoffrey, ed. The Cambridge History of Warfare. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University
Press, 2005. OR Parker, Geoffrey, ed. The Cambridge Illustrated History of Warfare.
Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1995.


Reading: This block covers the development of warfare between 1940 and 2010. Read chapter 17,
“The Post-War World” in the Cambridge History of Warfare, p. 362-412 before the first class of the
H400 block.

WiFi is available. This block is twelve lessons of two hours each, using a seminar configuration in a
classroom equipped with a computer and video projection equipment. It is not suited to compression
into a short time frame. Because of extensive preparation requirements for each lesson, students
normally have at least several days between lessons.

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-9 August 2021
US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010

Block Advance Sheet

Appendix A
Assessment Plan


Graded requirements for military history instruction measure the ability to express oneself orally and
in writing while demonstrating the ability to use historical perspective in making an argument.
Graded requirements for the H400 Block follow the assessment plan below:

Graded Sentence Outline P/F
Argumentative Essay 60%
Contribution to Learning
(Class Participation) 40%
TOTAL 100%


Blind Grading: Based on the standard practice of universities such as Yale, DMH will use blind
grading in AOC. As such, assignments submitted to instructors will have the title page as the last
page of the assignment. Hence, all previous pages of the assignment should be devoid of student
identification and contain only a page number. This allows for the instructor to assess the assignment
without knowing the author, until the assessment has been completed.

The Department of Military History (DMH) awards letter grades based on how well the student
achieves block learning objectives as reflected in written work (essays) and contribution to learning
(class participation/discussions). Instructors assign letter grades based on the following guidelines:

A-Level Work

 A-level work: Represents the complete integration of critical reasoning, creative thinking, and
evaluative skills as the student achieves block learning objectives. The student is fluent in the
logic of block content. There is abundant evidence of this integration in both individual and group
activities and products.

Specifically, in H400:

 Essays: Written work signifies an essay that is persuasive, demonstrates mastery of the material,
and reaches conclusions that transcend the block material. Essay is concise, adheres to the style
guide, exhibits appropriate tone, and has no spelling or grammar errors. The writer uses
appropriate and sufficient evidence with correct documentation.

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-10 August 2021

 Contribution to Learning (Class Participation): There is significant contribution to class
learning and analysis that goes beyond the assigned readings and instructor facilitation. The
student exhibits a reasoned and pertinent view or opinion within the context of the topic.

B-Level Work

 B-level work: Represents the consistent application of critical reasoning skills as the student
achieves block learning objectives. The student is competent in the application of block content.
There is frequent evidence of this application in both individual and group activities and products.

Specifically, in H400:

 Essays: Written work signifies an essay that demonstrates command of the block material. There
are some minor deficiencies in organization, style, tone, spelling, and/or grammar. There are
some minor deficiencies in use of evidence or documentation. Work shows some incongruence in
developing a basic thesis.

 Contribution to Learning (Class Participation): Contribution to learning signifies that the
student usually provides ideas that contribute to staff group learning during classroom discussion.
The student achieves the standards of the learning objective with some minor deficiencies. The
student shows a good understanding of the topic and related previous materials.

C-Level Work

 C-level work: Represents comprehension of block content, but the student is inconsistent in
application. The student achieves most, but not all, block learning objectives as evidenced by
both individual and group activities and products.

Specifically, in H400:

 Essays: Written work signifies an essay inadequately addressing some of the requirements or
demonstrating marginal comprehension of material. There are some major deficiencies in
organization, style, tone, spelling, and/or grammar. There are some major deficiencies in use of
evidence or documentation and major challenges in developing a central thesis.

 Contribution to Learning (Class Participation): Contribution to learning signifies that the
student sometimes provides useful ideas when participating in the classroom discussion. The
student achieves the standards of the learning objective with some major deficiencies. The student
shows a good understanding of parts of the topic and related previous materials.

U-Level Work

 U-level work: Represents a consistent failure to achieve block learning objectives. The student
rarely, or minimally, demonstrates comprehension of block content and is not competent in its

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-11 August 2021
Specifically, in H400:

 Outlines: Outlines are pass/fail. If an outline is a fail, or if no outline is submitted, then the
instructor will decrement the argumentative essay grade by ten (10) points. Instructors have the
authority to allow a “redo” to bring a failing outline up to passing standards.

 Essays: Written work signifies an essay inadequately addressing most of the requirements or
demonstrating little comprehension of the material. There are many major deficiencies in
organization, style, tone, spelling, and/or grammar. There are some major deficiencies both in use
of evidence and documentation.

 Contribution to Learning (Class Participation): Contribution to learning signifies that the
student rarely provides useful ideas when participating in the class or may not participate at all.
The student fails to achieve the standards of the learning objectives. The student’s understanding
of the topic or related previous materials is not apparent.


There are two (2) writing submissions required for a grade in the H400 course. The assignments

a. Sentence Outline

Write a double-spaced, one to two-page outline covering your approach and answer to the
argumentative essay topic question, including the thesis, major points, and supporting
points of evidence. You must also submit a one-page annotated bibliography of sources that
you plan to consult for the paper. The outline is due by COB on 7 February 2022. Paragraph
“c” below lists the topic for this essay. The graded requirement will be a sentence outline of no
more than two double-spaced pages in length. The outline will include an attention step, thesis
statement, major points of evidence, and conclusion. This requirement is pass/fail. See Annex E
for instructions on creating a sentence outline and annotated bibliography. Your instructor will
return your outline with comments on how to improve your argument and evaluate the sources.
You must attach this to your argumentative essay when you turn in that requirement. Failure to
complete a passing outline will result in the essay grade being reduced ten (10) points (a full letter

b. Argumentative Essay

Write a double spaced, 10-12 page argumentative essay on the topic in section “c” below.
For those officers that have applied for and been granted authorization to opt-out of the
CGSOC MOS program, and with SGA and team leader approval, the requirement is a
double spaced-3-5 page argumentative essay on the topic in section “c” below. Regardless of
page length, all essays are due by COB 7 March 2022.

The essay will include documentation in the form of endnotes or footnotes (but not in-text
citations). See Annex A for endnote and footnote formats.

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-12 August 2021
You are expected to research and develop your topic throughout the length of the H400
block. The expectation is graduate level work and developing an argument supported by
evidence. Use of the library to research your topic is encouraged.

Attach the graded outline with your instructor’s comments to your submitted essay. Keep
in mind that while you may discuss the implications of the essay topic for today’s military,
this is a history paper, not just an opinion piece. You will be assessed on your ability to
analyze and use history as a tool for informing professional judgment.

The argumentative essay will conform to the writing standards found in the annexes of the
H400 Syllabus and Book of Readings.

If you fail to turn in your H400 essay on the due date assigned, you will lose ten (10) points
(a full letter grade) for each day the assignment is late.

c. Argumentative Essay Topic Question:

1. How well suited was the American Way of War for fighting the limited wars that the nation
has fought since 1945? What are the implications of your answer for today’s military

2. Despite the United States’ economic, technological and military advantages, why did it have
an uneven record of victory since 1941? What are the implications of your answer for today’s
military professionals?

3. How successful has the US military been at learning from history since 1945?


a. Your written essay must constitute your own thoughts, ideas, and work effort. You are
encouraged to discuss the essay topic with colleagues, faculty, and friends before you begin
writing. Once the process of composing begins, you may seek advice on matters of style,
grammar, and other mechanics. You may not seek outside assistance in matters of argumentation,
organization, interpretation, or historical content. Furthermore, if you incorporate material that
you wrote for another academic assignment or course, or that you previously published, cite it
appropriately. A failure to cite the source appropriately is an act of self-plagiarism and is grounds
for disciplinary action.

b. You may use spell checkers and grammar checkers. You may ask another individual to proofread
your essay for spelling and grammar. However, you must acknowledge these resources and all
outside assistance, whether human or automated, in the endnotes or footnotes as appropriate.

c. The college offers a writing tutorial program for student self-improvement. Grammar and
composition handbooks are available in the bookstore and at the Combined Arms Research
Library (CARL).

d. The purpose of the longer, 10-12-page paper, is to improve writing, using skills developed in
H100, C171, and other blocks of CGSOC curriculum. As such, DMH instructors can review your
draft paper on the argument, use of evidence, and logic of the argument. Instructors will not
proofread or comment on grammar on the drafts. Students can bring the paper to review multiple
times at the instructor’s discretion, but will not review the drafts within one week of the final due

H400 Block Advance Sheet H400BAS-13 August 2021
date. All copies of drafts, as well as all copies of outlines, must be attached to the final product
for turn-in, whether in hard copy or through Blackboard.


a. You may appeal a written assignment grade of “C” or “U.” Any appeal must be made in
accordance with CGSS Policy Memorandum No. 3, CGSS Policy on Late Submissions,
Resubmissions, Timely Feedback, and Student Appeal of Substandard Academic Assessment and
CGSC Bulletin No. 903, Academic Performance, Graduation, and Awards Policies and
Procedures (dated January 2018). The appeal packet should include a clean copy of your written
assignment for this block of instruction.

b. Contribution to learning (class participation) grades are not subject to appeal. Work out with your
instructor any concerns with assessment of contribution to learning. The best way to ensure an
accurate and fair contribution to learning grade is to master the reading assignments and
contribute meaningfully in each class session.


Any student receiving a final grade of “U” in this block of instruction will be given the opportunity to
remediate that grade, in accordance with CGSC Bulletin No. 903, Academic Performance,
Graduation, and Awards Policies and Procedures (dated January 2018). The remediating student will
be given a proctored, open-book essay exam, with questions derived from the block learning
objectives and lesson advance sheets. Questions will not be revealed in advance of the exam. A panel
of three DMH instructors will grade the remediation essay exam. The director of DMH will, upon
advice from the faculty panel, assign the remediation grade.


Students who miss classes for any reason remain responsible for all written assignments. Contribution
to learning (class participation) grades will be based upon those classes for which the student was
present. Students who obtain permission to miss class prior to the absence (staff ride, exchange visit,
maternity/paternity leave, etc.) will make up the classes missed by preparing a one-page, double-
spaced summary of the assigned readings for each class missed. (This requirement will involve
roughly one paragraph per assigned reading.) This is an ungraded go/no-go requirement that must be
completed before the student will receive a passing grade for the block.


The majority of DMH instruction involves guided discussion led by the instructor. Your grade is
based on the idea that you and your classmates will prepare for and actively contribute in class
activities, and that your insights will contribute to the learning accomplished by your fellow students.
Instructors will provide you with periodic feedback on your performance. See CGSC Forms 1009 (c
or w).

H400 Assessment Appendix H400BAS-14 August 2021
US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010

Appendix A-1
Assessing Student Performance

Assessment: Contribution to Learning

H400 Assessment Appendix H400BAS-15 August 2021
As the assessment pyramids above suggest, the baseline for a passing grade in either contribution
to learning or essay is for the student to demonstrate command of the material. This material
includes not only the assigned readings but also insights developed during class discussion. The
box below each of the pyramids contains bullets to help the assessor recognize “command of the

Beyond this basic proficiency, students receiving higher grades in either contribution to learning
or on the essay should demonstrate two qualitative traits: sound critical reasoning and a capacity
for original analysis. The boxes to each side of the pyramids contain bullets to help the assessor
recognize critical reasoning and original analysis.

As a rule, the student who demonstrates a reasonable command of the material and who can
communicate it in a logical, analytical manner should receive a grade in the “B” range. Students
in the “A” range should demonstrate advanced critical reasoning skills and/or develop analytical
frameworks that are original to the student. See the block advance sheet in the student syllabus
and book of readings for a more detailed explanation of what each letter grade entails in terms of
specific student performance.

The assessor should always bear in mind, however, that history is an interpretive discipline.
Student assessment relies heavily upon the judgment of the assessor. It is entirely possible, for
example, that a student who demonstrates a thorough and comprehensive mastery of the material,
and who communicates articulately, elegantly, and persuasively, receives an “A” even in the
absence of any profound original thought. Conversely, the student who generates volumes of
original thought might not receive an “A” if that thought is not founded upon historical evidence
or if communication skills are marginal. Reserve the better grades for students who demonstrate
“informed judgment” rather than “opinion.”

The distribution of grades varies, naturally, with every group of students. As a rough guide,
experience in the resident course suggests that approximately one-half of students earn “As” and
most of the remainder “Bs,” with a scattering of “Cs” and an occasional “U.” It would be quite
unusual if all (or even most) students in a given class were to receive “As.”

H400 Assessment Appendix H400BAS-16 August 2021
US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010

Appendix A-2
Assessing Student Performance

CGSC Form 1009W: Assessing Writing
H400: Outline

CGSC Form 1009W: Assessing Writing
H400: Argumentative Essay Rubric

CGSC Form 1009C: Assessing Contribution to Learning

CGSC Form 1009W – Outline © USACGSC
Assessing Writing
Requirement: Effective writing at CGSC is understood in a single rapid reading and is generally free of errors.

Standard: Writing demonstrates proficiency in—
1. Substance,
2. Style,
3. Organization and
4. Correctness.
Overall Assessment:
97+: A+ 96.99-94: A 93.99-90: A- 89.99-87: B+ 86.99-80: B 79.99-78: C+ 77.99-70:C <70: U Total: Instructor Comments Cognitive Level Attained (Higher levels include characteristics of lower levels) Elements of Thought Universal Intellectual Standards EVALUATION (Judging or weighing by building and using criteria and standards) -Clarity -Accuracy -Precision -Relevance -Depth -Breadth -Logic -Significance -Fairness SYNTHESIS (Integrating parts into a new whole) ANALYSIS (Breaking material down into component parts to determine structures and relationships) APPLICATION (Use of knowledge to solve problems) COMPREHENSION (Understanding of the material) KNOWLEDGE (Recall of specific information) CGSC Form 1009W – Outline © USACGSC H400BAS-18 Instructions: Write a double-spaced one to two-page outline that includes the thesis, major points, supporting points of evidence, and a one-page annotated bibliography of sources for the argumentative essay topic question. The outline is due by COB on 7 February 2022. Use this outline in constructing the block essay. Specific topics are identified in the H400 Syllabus and Book of Readings (see Annex E on how to create a sentence outline). Student Assessment Faculty Assessment Exceptional Satisfactory Unsatisfactory Substance Points Content Points Thesis is clear and concise. Content is fully compliant with the assigned requirement and the needs of the reader; everything is accurate; level of detail is suited to the needs of the assigned requirement and reader. Explanations and descriptions of content are clear and precise. Quantitative information is relevant and accurate, expressed with appropriate examples, and well integrated into the text. Thesis is not clear. Small omissions or inadequacies in content, but adequately covers the written requirement and needs of the reader. Some minor inaccuracies, but primarily accurate. May occasionally include irrelevant details or omit important details. Explanations and descriptions are almost always clear and precise. Quantitative information is accurate, and related to the text. No thesis. Information (facts, assumptions, concepts/theories) are not accurate, and/or content is irrelevant, missing, or misrepresented, and/or insufficient detail, and/or inaccurate or ineffective management of quantitative information. Analysis/Problem-Solving/Conclusions Attains highest cognitive level that is appropriate to the assignment. Insightful, original analysis; conclusions superbly supported by evidence clearly explained; consideration of ethical/legal issues when relevant; consideration of alternative points of view or counter-evidence is fully addressed. Attains an adequate cognitive level appropriate to the assignment. Thorough analysis, though perhaps not as insightful or original as it could be; conclusions adequately supported by evidence clearly explained; legal/ethical issues addressed but may be superficially treated; alternative points of view or counter-evidence, but may not be fully addressed. Remains at a low cognitive level. Analysis superficial; little or no relation between conclusions and evidence; ethical/legal issues ignored; fails to address alternative points of view or counter evidence. Points Style Points Words are precise; language is concise and without wordiness; writer’s tone is appropriate to the audience and purpose; sentences track clearly even to the rapid reader; transitions lead smoothly from one idea to the next. Active voice predominates. Sources, as relevant, are appropriately cited. Some language is imprecise but generally understandable. Style is adequate but lacks polish and directness. The language is awkward, hard to read. The reader must backtrack to understand the writer’s meaning, or the reader cannot understand the meaning. Language is extremely wordy; or primarily in passive voice, or inappropriate in tone. Citation of sources is missing or inaccurate. Points Organization Points Points are clear and logically arranged so as to develop the content and analysis most productively for the audience. Points are clear. In general, points establish a logical line of reasoning. Points are not clear or the sequence of points is illogical or inadequate to the needs of the task or audience. Points Correctness Points Few if any departures from the published standard (grammar, punctuation and usage). A few departures from the published standard (grammar, punctuation and usage), but not enough to confuse or distract the reader. Departures from the published standard (grammar, punctuation and usage) significantly confuse or distract the reader. Total Points Student: Staff Group: Date: Instructor: Assignment: Overall Grade: A: 100-90% Written work demonstrates mastery of the continuum of competition, conflict, and war by analyzing the historical context of large scale combat operations through battles, campaigns, operational variables, mission variables, key leader decisions, or tenets of key theorists. Furthermore, the written work reaches conclusions that transcend the block material. Essay is concise, adheres to the style guide, exhibits appropriate tone, and has no spelling or grammar errors. The writer uses appropriate and sufficient historical evidence with correct documentation. Thesis is clear and unambiguous. B: 80-89% Written work demonstrates basic knowledge of the continuum of competition, conflict, and war by analyzing the historical context of large scale combat operations through battles, campaigns, operational variables, mission variables, key leader decisions, or tenets of key theorists. There are some minor deficiencies in organization, style, tone, spelling, or grammar. There are some minor deficiencies in use of historical evidence or documentation. Thesis is present but lacks clarity. C: 70-79% Written work demonstrates poor comprehension of continuum of competition, conflict, and war and has inadequate historical context analysis of large scale combat operations through battles, campaigns, operational variables, mission variables, key leader decisions, or tenets of key theorists. There are major deficiencies in organization, style, tone, spelling, and grammar. There are major deficiencies in use of historical evidence, documentation, and argumentation in developing a central thesis. U: 69% or Below Written work demonstrates little to no comprehension of the continuum of competition, conflict, and war or historical context of large scale combat operations through battles, campaigns, operational variables, mission variables, key leader decisions, or tenets of key theorists. There are significant deficiencies in organization, style, tone, spelling, and grammar that affect the argument. There are significant deficiencies both in use of evidence and documentation. Feedback to Student: Assessing Writing CGSC Form 1009W H400BAS-19 @USACGSC H400 Argumentative Essay Rubric Thesis Substance Organization Style and Correctness A: 100% - 90% Articulates a clear and original position on the assignment’s central issues. Sharply focused on the central issue. Fully addresses the question. Factually correct. Addresses nuances of argument. Draws from appropriate sources. Shows the complexity of the subject. Organization is clear, logical, and progressive, making explicit the reasoning and relationship of ideas. Paragraphs contain clear topic sentences and focus on a single idea. Paragraphs are progressive within the context of the argument. Understandable in a single rapid reading and free of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage. Shows additional resources from across the curriculum and are properly cited. B: 80% - 89% Articulates a position on the central issues raised by the assignment. Thesis identifies main point but lacks clarity. Addresses the question in most aspects. Factually correct in most instances but contains a few errors. Addresses nuances of argument but makes some overall generalizations or self-evident statements that need further explanation. Draws from course sources in order to develop argument. Is mostly clear, logical, and progressive, with the relationship among ideas mostly clear. Paragraphs may contain a topic sentence and focus on more than a single idea. Paragraphs are awkward in progression within the context of the argument. Generally understandable in a single rapid reading. Some problems in grammar, mechanics, or usage. Generally correct documentation of sources. C: 70% - 79% Thesis does not identify a main point and fails to address the question clearly. Numerous factually incorrect statements. Generalizes and oversimplifies the argument. Lacks evidence and makes unsupported assertions. Lacks clarity, logic, and progression, with the relationship among ideas unclear. Paragraphs do not contain clear topic sentence and focus on a more than one idea. Paragraphs are not progressive within the context of the argument. Hard to understand in a single rapid reading. Significant problems in grammar, mechanics, or usage. Lacks documentation of sources. U: 69% or Below There is no thesis. Factually incorrect in most areas. Gross oversimplification of argument. Lacks evidence and makes unsupported assertions. Lacks nearly all clarity, logic, or progression in development of argument. Paragraphs have no topic sentence and lack logical focus. Paragraphs are not progressive and disconnected to the overall context of the argument. Hard to understand in a single rapid reading. Significant problems in grammar, mechanics, or usage. Little or no documentation of sources. Assessing Writing CGSC Form 1009W H400BAS-20 @USACGSC CGSC Form 1009C - Contribution to Learning © USACGSC H400BAS-21 Assessing Contribution to Learning STUDENT NAME: STAFF GROUP: DATE: COURSE TITLE: H400 ASSIGNMENT: Contribution to Learning INSTRUCTOR: DEPARTMENT: Military History Contribution to Learning Standards: Communicates ideas effectively, demonstrating critical thinking that contributes to group learning. Overall Grade 97+: A+ 96.99 - 94: A 93.99 - 90: A- 89.99 - 87: B+ 86.99 - 80: B 79.99 - 78: C+ 77.99 - 70: C <70: U Total: Critical Thinking Assessment Usually Sometimes Never Comments often responded to or built logically on those of others. Helped the group keep a line of reasoning going. Questions and comments were thought-provoking and relevant. Not hesitant to state an alternate, creative, and/or controversial position. Supported positions and comments with evidence indicating critical reasoning, modes of analysis, synthesis, and judgment. Did not make random, superficial, or off topic comments that distracted the group from the on-going discussion. Tied thoughts to previous instruction or other writings and information about the topic at hand. Questions and comments made the group think about alternative positions. Communicated clearly and concisely. Respectfully challenged others to provide evidence or support for their position. Approached the discussion or problem in a creative manner. Approached the discussion in a thoughtful, reasoned manner. Comments were precise, and accurate. Comments demonstrated breadth and depth of understanding. Logic was sound. Comments demonstrated depth of analysis. Asked tough questions that challenged deeply held beliefs. Showed tolerance toward opposing beliefs, ideas or opinions. Encouraged peers not to dismiss out of hand the opinions and ideas of others. Instructor Comments: Cognitive Level Attained (Higher levels include characteristics of lower levels) Elements of Thought Universal Intellectual Standards EVALUATION (Judging or weighing by building and using criteria and standards) -Clarity -Accuracy -Precision -Relevance -Depth -Breadth -Logic -Significance -Fairness SYNTHESIS (Integrating parts into a new whole) ANALYSIS (Breaking material down into component parts to determine structures and relationships) APPLICATION (Use of knowledge to solve problems) COMPREHENSION (Understanding of the material) KNOWLEDGE (Recall of specific information) H400 Appendix B H400BAS-22 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 H400 Block Advance Sheet Appendix B: Lessons Lesson Number Lesson Title Lesson Hours H401 The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in WWII 2 H402 LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines and the Tyranny of Distance (Guadalcanal) Large Scale Combat Operations (LSCO), Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) 2 H403 LSCO/MDO: Airpower Theory, Doctrine, and Practice 2 H404 LSCO/MDO: Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe 2 H405 Expeditionary Deterrence and Limited Warfare in the Nuclear Age 2 H406 The Chinese Way of War 2 H407 Limited War and LSCO: Korea 1950-1953 2 H408 Vietnam: The Challenge of Hybrid Warfare 2 H409 The Limits of Military Power – Tet and Vietnamization 2 H410 Re-forging the Broken Sword: The U.S. Army 1972-1990 2 H411 DESERT STORM and the American Way of War 2 H412 Iraq and Beyond: Change and Continuity of Warfare 2 H400 Appendix C H400BAS-23 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Appendix C Blended Learning Instructions 1. General Instructions a. Refer to the H400 Lesson Plans (AY22). b. Objective is to replicate as best as possible the learning environment, interactive experience, and quality of instruction that has characterized past instruction in the Department of Military History. c. The primary form of instruction will take place in virtual classrooms via Blackboard Collaborate. d. Instructors may use additional tools at their discretion, including but neither required nor limited to: videos, PowerPoint, and Blackboard discussion threads. [Note: All images and videos should be copyright approved or of public domain in case of distribution by any means.] 2. Homework Assignment a. Refer to the H400 Lesson Plans (AY22) for homework assignments. b. Required, optional, and supplemental reading assignments remain unchanged for a blended learning environment. 3. Lesson Timeline a. Refer to the H400 Lesson Plans (AY22) for lesson timelines. b. CE, P&P, GNI, and Apply recommendations remain unchanged for a blended learning environment. c. NOTE: Those instructors who consider participation in Blackboard discussion threads in assessing contribution to learning grades, should reduce Blackboard Collaborate session times to maintain the standard two-hours of contact time per class. 4. Conduct of Lesson a. Refer to the H400 Lesson Plans (AY22) for the conduct of lessons. b. Guidance for conducting the lessons remain unchanged for a blended learning environment. Lesson H401 The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in World War II AY 2021–22 H401 Advance Sheet H401AS-24 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power Advance Sheet for H401 The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in World War II LESSON AUTHOR: Dr. Richard S. Faulkner 1. SCOPE This two-hour lesson builds on the historical and strategic context established in H100. It asks the question of whether there is an American Way of War, and gives you one definition by strategist Colin Gray to build on those given in the block stagesetter by Brian M. Lynn and Antulio J. Echevarria. The concept of an American Way of War and the responses by potential opponents is a theme that will continue across all the lessons of H400. H401 covers the concept of power projection (in its largest possible sense), and the costs of doing that across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Part of the American Way of War as discussed by strategist Colin Gray centers on this very issue—that America fights “large scale” with “logistical excellence,” due to the unique geography of the United States as a continental island that fights its modern war overseas.1 The material here, thus, focuses on mobilization on the one hand, and then movement of mobilized personnel and equipment, primarily via interoceanic shipping. Later lessons will offer an opportunity to look at the challenges of the anti- access conditions in place during World War II, which will likely also challenge any major American effort against a peer competitor today of the kind discussed in your Common Core instruction. However, after the victory, over three oceans and three continents (Europe, Africa, and Asia), in 1945, the scale of American de-mobilization was almost as breathtaking as the scale of its mobilization to fight the Axis. Although not quite as drastic as had been seen after World War I, the totality of victory, or the perception of the totality of victory, over the Axis ironically led to a more total de-mobilization than might otherwise have been the case had Germany, Italy, and Japan not been so utterly defeated. This post WWII world will be studied in depth throughout H400, and the other factor to be considered in the post-war world seemed to be the game-changing advent of atomic weapons. We will examine this later in the block, which seemed to presage less of a need for large conventional military forces in the post-1945 world.2 As a final thought, bring an open mind to class and resolve to challenge the assumptions and assertions made in the block. Gray’s definition of the American Way of War is not the only definition out there, nor is there universal agreement that there even is an American way of war. Be ready to jump into the debate. The well-researched insights of fellow students are valuable for professional development and as take-aways from the H400 block. 1. See Colin Gray, “The American Way of War,” in Rethinking the Principles of War, ed. Anthony D. McIvor (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005): 30-33. 2. See MacGregor Knox and Williamson Murray, The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300-2025 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 6, 13; and Lawrence Freedman, “The First Two Generations of Nuclear Strategists,” in Makers of Modern Strategy, ed. Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986): 735-738. H401 Advance Sheet H401AS-25 August 2021 2. LEARNING OBJECTIVES This lesson supports CGSOC TLO-AOC-1, Examine how commanders drive the operations process using the framework of understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess (UVDDLA); TLO-AOC-5, Examine how the joint force and US Army sets an operational area for large scale combat operations; TLO-AOC-8, Assess the historical context of the American way of war and its continued influence on today’s operational environment; and TLO-AOC-9, Incorporate effective communications skills, as listed in the H400 Block Advance Sheet. The lesson goals are: ELO-AOC-1.6 Action: Analyze how historical context influences the planning and the execution of large-scale combat operations. Condition: In an educational setting, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products and H400 historical readings. ELO Standards: The analysis of historical context includes: 1. Examine historical battles and campaigns. 2. Use operational variables (PMESII-PT) to describe historical context. 3. Use mission variables (METT-TC) to describe a historical action. 4. Examine decisions made by historical leaders. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis ELO-AOC-5.4 Action: Analyze the historical context of operational readiness. Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products. ELO Standards: The analysis includes: 1. Analyze historical examples of the importance of maintaining peace time readiness. 2. Analyze the challenges in historical case studies of preparing for LSCO. 3. Analyze, using historical context, the process of deploying units to a combat theater. 4. Analyze the JRSOI process through the lens of historical context. 5. Analyze the importance of operational readiness by investigating the historical context of 20th and 21st centuries U.S. combat operations. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis ELO-AOC-8.1 Action: Assess the American experience in wars since 1940. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the American experience in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 2. Critique America’s performance and operations in wars since 1940. 3. Assess American experience in wars since 1940 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation H401 Advance Sheet H401AS-26 August 2021 ELO-AOC-8.2 Action: Assess America’s waging of limited war since 1945. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the social, political, and military underpinnings of limited war since 1945. 2. Critique America’s performance and operations during the limited wars in Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 3. Assess American’s experience in limited wars since 1945 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-8.3 Action: Assess challenges to the American Way of war since 1940. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the enemies’ ability to challenge the American way of war during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 2. Critique America’s ability to adapt to military operations in wars since 1940. 3. Assess contemporary challenge to the American way of war since 1991 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. 4. Assess how the American way of war has influenced the strategy and doctrine of potential contemporary competitors. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-9.1 Action: Write effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Write effectively includes: 1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment 2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience 3. Proper format and organization 4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points 5. Proper grammar and correct spelling Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis ELO-AOC-9.2 Action: Speak effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Speak effectively includes: 1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment 2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience 3. Proper format and organization 4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points 5. Clear oral articulation and pronunciation 6. Appropriate use of body language for the topic, briefing style, and audience H401 Advance Sheet H401AS-27 August 2021 7. Appropriate use of props, visual aids, or other products related to the presentation Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis ELO-AOC-9.3 Action: Listen effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Listen effectively includes: 1. Listens, reads, and watches intently. 2. Recognizes significant content, emotion, and urgency in others. 3. Uses verbal and nonverbal means to reinforce with the speaker that you are paying attention. 4. Reflects on new information before expressing views. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis PLO Attributes Supported: 1a. Independently research and critically evaluate information. 1b. Comprehend context of the situation. 1c. Create meaning from information and data. 1d. Creatively design or revise concepts and ideas. 1e. Communicate concepts with clarity and precision in written, graphical, and oral forms. 1f. Compose complete and well-supported arguments. 1g. Apply critical and creative thinking. 2e. Demonstrate commitment to develop further expertise in the art and science of war as life- long learners. 3a. Apply knowledge of the nature and character of war. 3b. Apply the principles of war, conflict, and competition. 3c. Understand the utility of the military instrument of power. 3d. Understand the generation of military power through force management. 4a. Analyze the security implications of the current and future operational environment. 4b. Apply appropriate inter-disciplinary analytical frameworks. 4c. Evaluate historical, cultural, political, military, economic, innovative, technological, and other competitive forces. 5e. Consider risk and resource limitations inherent in planning. 6a. Adapt to rapidly changing operational conditions. 6b. Plan and/or execute Army Operations in a joint environment within a unified action context. Special Areas of Emphasis (SAE) Supported: 3. The Return of Great Power Competition 5. Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century 8. Ability to write clear and concise Military Advice Recommendations 3. ISSUE MATERIAL a. Advance Issue: See H400 Book of Readings 2021-2022. b. During Class: None. WiFi is available. 4. HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT a. Study Requirements: H401 Advance Sheet H401AS-28 August 2021 (1) First Requirement: Read the following before class (bold numbered readings included in full text in the H400 Book of Readings): Required: H401RA Gray, Colin. “The American Way of War: Critique and Implications.” In Rethinking the Principles of War, edited by Anthony D. McIvor, 13-39. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005. [27 pages] E-Book: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/carl-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1059363 H401RB Center of Military History. “Mobilization.” Excerpt from WWII Commemorative Brochure. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 1995. H401RC Matloff, Maurice. “The 90-Division Gamble.” Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944, United States Army in World War II, 365-381. Washington, DC: US Army Center of Military History, 1990. [17 pages] H401RD Morton, Louis. “The Color Plans, 1919-1938.” In The Legacy of American Naval Power: Reinvigorating Maritime Strategic Thought, edited by Paul Westermeyer, 34-43. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps History Division, 2019. [10 pages] H401RE Pearlman, Michael D. “Force Structure, Mobilization, and American Strategy for Global Coalition War.” In C610 Advance Book, 170-182. Fort Leavenworth, KS: US Army Command and General staff College, 1996. [12 pages] Review (As needed) from the M101 Stagesetter: M101RA_SS, Echevarria II, Antulio J. Toward an American Way of War. Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, 2004. [21 pages] M101RC_SS, Linn, Brian M. “The American Way of War Revisited,” Journal of Military History, No. 66 (April 2002). https://doi-org.lumen.cgsccarl.com/10.2307/3093069 Optional: H401ORA U.S. War Department. AWPD-1: Munitions Requirements of the Army Air Forces. DECLASSIFIED, IAW, EO12958. Washington, D.C., August 12, 1941. [PRIMARY SOURCE] [4 pages] H401ORB Harrison, Mark. “Resources Mobilization for World War II: the U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany, 1938-1945,” Economic History Review, 41:2 (1988): 171-192. [21 pages] Further Professional Development: Further Professional Development: McIvor, Anthony D., Editor. Rethinking the Principles of War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005. Coakley, Robert W. and Richard M. Leighton. U.S Army in World War II (“Green Books” series): The War Department: Global Logistics and Strategy, 1943-1945. Washington, D.C. Center of Military History, 1968. Pogue, Forrest C. The European Theater of Operations: The Supreme Command. Washington, D.C. Center of Military History, 1954. Watson, Mark S. The War Department: Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations. Washington, D.C. Center of Military History, 1950. Resident Course Elective Alignment: A627, World War II in the East: Barbarossa to Berlin; A659, Modern Naval Theory and Campaigns https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/carl-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1059363 https://doi-org.lumen.cgsccarl.com/10.2307/3093069 H401 Advance Sheet H401AS-29 August 2021 (2) Second requirement: Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class: 1. What are the main characteristics of Colin Gray’s definition of an American Way of War? What are the strengths? 2. What was War Plan Orange? How did it shape planning for global power projection in World War II? 3. Why does Matloff characterize the decision to only train and deploy 90 U.S. Army combat divisions for World War II as a “gamble?” 4. What might have been the result if the U.S. had instead mobilized 150 divisions? What were the factors that contributed to the decision to go with the smaller number? 5. What was the role of shipping and its defense in shaping victory for the Allies in World War II? 6. According to Pearlman, what were the major factors affecting resource allocation in waging global coalition warfare? What is his argument about the expectations of military strategists vis-à-vis “definitive guidance?” b. Bring to Class: H400 Syllabus and Book of Readings 2021-2022 5. ASSESSMENT See H400 Block Advance Sheet, Appendix A. H401 Advance Sheet H401AS-30 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power Advance Sheet for H401 The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in World War II Chronology 4 June 1920 The National Defense Act of 4 June 1920 charged the assistant secretary of war with planning for industrial mobilization and responsibility for the War Department's procurement. June 1922 Army and Navy Munitions Board created to deconflict competition for resources. 1920s and 1930s Joint Army and Navy Board developed a series of color-coded war plans. By 1939, the other plans were officially withdrawn in favor of five Rainbow Plans developed to meet the threat of a two-ocean war against multiple enemies. Mid-1930s Army staff began to prepare a series of protective mobilization plans, focusing on Army role, as well as industrial resources and capabilities. 29 June 1936 U.S. Congress passed the Merchant Marine Act, which also included creation of a Maritime Commission to coordinate with Navy in time of war. June 1940 France fell—French Atlantic ports became available for forward basing of German submarines. January – March 1941 Secret “ABC-1” talks in Washington between British and American senior military officers. “Europe First” strategy was agreed to, in principle, based on “Plan Dog” memorandum of the U.S. Navy. 11 March 1941 FDR signed Lend-Lease Act as a means around the Neutrality Act in providing aid to Great Britain, at war with Germany. 7 December 1941 United States entered war after Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor; the chief of naval operations, with Roosevelt’s consent, released the following message: EXECUTE AGAINST JAPAN UNRESTRICTED AIR AND SUBMARINE WARFARE. 11 December 1941 Germany declared war on the United States. November 1942 Allies invaded North Africa in Operation TORCH. 1943 Height of the Battle of the Atlantic: The tide turned in favor of the Allies. 1944 Unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan by U.S. submarines cut Japan’s sea lines of communications with its overseas empire. H401 Advance Sheet H401AS-31 August 2021 May 1945 Germany surrendered to Allied powers. September 1945 Empire of Japan surrendered to Allied powers aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. 1947 National Security Act of 1947 passed, creating Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and an independent new Department of the Air Force. U.S. adopted a strategy based on massive retaliation using atomic weapons. 29 August 1949 Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb. 01 October 1949 Chinese Civil War ended with triumph of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and formation of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). Fall 1949 Revolt of the Admirals: Secretary of the Navy resigned; and Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Louis Denfield (a submariner), is fired for opposing new Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson’s policies. June 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea. Center of Military History. “Mobilization.” Excerpt from WWII Commemorative Brochure. Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 1995. H401RB-32 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H401: The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in WWII Reading H401RB “Mobilization” Excerpt from WWII Commemorative Brochure The Protective Mobilization Plans While the industrial mobilization plans dealt with broad national aspects of planning, the Army staff prepared a series of protective mobilization plans that began to appear in the mid-1930s. Each concentrated directly on the Army’s role in a possible conflict. They addressed the size and composition of an initial defensive force and its support. Although starting with more sophisticated assumptions that took into account industrial resources and capabilities, these plans were essentially descendants of the plans and procurement studies of the 1920s. The protective mobilization plans bridged two gaps. They sought to mesh production schedules and the early needs of the Army to bring together the rates of troop and materiel mobilization. In addition, they provided for a small and well-equipped emergency force, called the initial protective force, to provide security during general mobilization. Basically, this force of 400,000 consisted of the then available Regular Army and National Guard. Overall, the 1939 version was sound enough to become the permanent basis for mobilization. The plan provided for training, incorporating the location, size, and schedule for establishing training centers; outlined detailed unit and individual training programs; and provided for the production of manuals and associated training material. It established a point of departure, a system for mobilization of the men and equipment already available. Like the industrial plan of the same year, the protective plan stepped back from the M-day assumption and began to see mobilization as a process that should begin well before the United States became involved in a war. The plan neglected the important area of construction of adequate troop housing and other facilities, but otherwise it was a succinct, coherent proposal based on realistic assumptions. Political variables that mobilization planners could not control and may not have understood were still significant. The soundest plan was useless if the country was not prepared to accept it. Although Japan, Italy, and Germany actively pursued policies of imperial expansion in 1939-40, domestic realities in the United States included a public largely alienated from participation in world affairs. The twenty years since the end of the Great War had seen the breakdown of an international system based on the League of Nations and arms limitation agreements. The resultant American disillusionment with international affairs expressed itself in strong isolationist and pacifist sentiments. Although President Roosevelt neither shared nor pandered to this viewpoint, he understood the strength of the isolationist position. With one eye on his upcoming reelection bid in 1940, he acted carefully. Some of his New Deal supporters, notably labor leaders, feared that a preparedness drive centered on a powerful War Resources Administration would undermine much recent social legislation. So, rather than begin a massive central rearmament effort, he launched a limited preparedness campaign H401RB-33 at the start of 1939, with his emphasis on increasing the striking power of the Army Air Corps. The Army, in turn, used the opportunity of the air buildup and the $575 million appropriation for a more balanced expansion. Momentum picked up after the German invasion of Poland in September and the outbreak of a general European war. Proclaiming a limited national emergency, Roosevelt authorized an increase to 227,000 for the Regular Army and to 235,000 for the National Guard. Despite abandonment of the industrial mobilization plan, the start of mobilization could be discerned by the end of 1939. The president was moving in a way unforeseen by the planners of the 1930s, with no superagency atop a network of coordinating and integrating machinery. Roosevelt did agree on an alternate structure, accepting Assistant Secretary of War Louis Johnson’s proposal to set up a War Resources Board to advise the Munitions Board on economic mobilization policies, survey materials and facilities, plan for price controls, and study special issues, such as the production of synthetic rubber. The board was six weeks old when a hostile public reaction, based on the lack of labor or farm representatives, convinced the president to abandon it. The U.S. mobilization pace picked up in the wake of German military successes in the spring of 1940. This phase, usually called the defense period, represented a transitional stage similar to the one envisioned by the abandoned industrial mobilization plan. In May 1940, Roosevelt called for 50,000 new aircraft and a supplemental defense appropriation. He also set up an Office of Emergency Management in his executive office to coordinate the effort, and he revived the Advisory Commission of National Defense to assess problems of mobilizing resources and to prepare comprehensive plans for various stages of mobilization. But the commission itself did not last the year, and its successor, the Office of Production Management, was also soon abolished. The political climate was still not receptive to a full- scale industrial mobilization. Although full-scale mobilization remained politically impossible, the government started the financial transition from parsimony to abundance. Appropriations came faster than the Army could absorb them, over $8 billion in 1940 and $26 billion in 1941, dwarfing the half billion dollars that had been allotted for expansion early in 1939. By the time of Pearl Harbor, Congress had spent more for Army procurement than it had for the Army and the Navy during all of World War I. While the industrial mobilization plan indirectly influenced rearmament, the protective mobilization plan had a more direct impact. The latter plan prevented some of the foundering that had taken place in April 1917 by providing the basis for the Army’s initial expansion. The Army still saw its role as protecting the United States and the Western Hemisphere from hostile European forces rather than participating in global coalition warfare, an assumption that limited and impeded planning. But the protective mobilization plan at least gave the Army a starting point in preparing for a hemispheric defense mission. The gradual and somewhat experimental path of mobilizing the economy during 1940 went contrary to public expectations. M-day continued to exist in the popular mind; and few understood that mobilization was, in fact, already under way. Mobilization was essentially an evolving situation, in which the United States was not formally at war and was reacting to the spread of conflict by moving from one set of expansion goals to another. Although the president had taken control of mobilization, the Army still had a central role in shaping it. The Army was the single most important claimant on productive resources and manpower, so its needs largely determined the nature and extent of the process. Both industrial mobilization and procurement started with the formulation of requirements by the Army. Once the Army knew the kinds and quantities of materiel it needed, facilities, materials, manpower, energy, and other resources could be brought to bear on production. Beyond the need for an authoritative Army shopping list lay a web of relationships H401RB-34 between troop mobilization, which depended on the available supplies, equipment, and facilities; materiel requirements; and the availability of industrial capacity and raw materials that limited the scale and pace of mobilization. In 1940 and early 1941, with the Army still assuming that it would be charged mainly with hemispheric defense and not enough known about the capacity of industry, meaningful decisions were beyond the ability of the War Department and the General Staff. The Munitions Program The munitions program of June 1940, the clearest practical manifestation of the defense period represented an effort to estimate and cope with the anticipated expansion of the force. Its goals included the procurement by October 1941 of all items needed to equip and maintain an army of 1.2 million, including the Air Corps, and creation of production facilities to support an army of over four million. Directed by the Army and Navy Munitions Board, this program set up a priorities system, apportioned industrial capacity between the services, cleared foreign contracts for munitions production in the United States, and compiled military needs for strategic raw materials. Procurement districts, arsenals, depots, and other establishments were activated and expanded. The $6 billion that was allotted was only half of the War Department’s request, but it was almost as much as the nation had spent on the department between 1922 and 1940 and a major turning point in the rehabilitation of the Army. In terms of the production of the materiel needed for any expansion of the Army, the start of the munitions program constituted M-day. However, the concept was not invoked at the time. Passage of selective service legislation awaited the return of Congress in the autumn. In fact, the first peacetime draft in the nation’s history became law in September, one month after the president federalized the National Guard. There was little point in announcing an M-day for materiel and then waiting three months to announce another for manpower. Those who thought about the sequence, though, knew that if the two aspects of mobilization had to be separate, materiel should come first. Even though the sequence was correct, the needs of the force of 1.5 million that was assembled by June 1941 were largely unmet. As had so often happened in the past, troops were being mobilized before equipment was available. Although the idea of a central agency to manage mobilization never really took hold before the United States declared war, a network of agencies, activities, and controls was emerging to manage war production. Some were necessary because of the technical and engineering difficulties inherent in the mass production of novel and complex military items. Others were needed to allocate and manage resources, the scarcity of which complicated and frustrated production. The concept of civilian control also remained. While the government foundered in its search for effective centralized control that accommodated political realities, the War Department itself did somewhat better. Henry L. Stimson had taken over the department at the start of the defense period and brought Robert P. Patterson with him. In December 1940 Congress had agreed to Stimson’s request for transferring to the War Department authority over certain service aspects of industrial mobilization and procurement and allowing him to appoint Patterson undersecretary to supervise these tasks. Previously an assistant secretary had responded to the congressional mandate in section 5a of the National Defense Act of 1920. Now, as the Army’s chief mobilization and procurement planner, Patterson operated directly under the secretary, unifying management of the department. The Army, whose interwar planning had assumed strong civil control of mobilization, had been unprepared for the lack of centralization. Patterson thus filled what amounted to an administrative vacuum in this effort. He proved to be an excellent choice. H401RB-35 Construction Patterson concentrated on creating the productive facilities that were essential to increasing output as well as on procurement itself. In the summer of 1941 he brought Michael J. Madigan, a canny millionaire construction engineer, to his office as special assistant to deal with construction. Mobilization severely strained extant facilities for housing, training, and supplying the troops. Just as important were construction and expansion in conjunction with industry of factories to produce supplies and equipment for the expanding Army. Madigan and Patterson agreed that this system was too slow and complex. Construction for production and for troops had been divided between the Corps of Engineers and the Quartermaster Corps after the engineers took over Air Corps construction from the overburdened quartermasters late in 1940. Early in December 1941, Stimson agreed to their proposal to make the Corps of Engineers responsible for all military construction. Then they took their nine-page memorandum to the president, who jotted “OK FDR” in the margin. And so, a multibillion dollar mobilization issue was settled, and construction, a pacing factor for both production and troops, was in the hands of the engineers. There was more to this problem than finding a capable construction agent. Troop construction ultimately mushroomed into a $7.5 billion program, but the lack of industrial facilities constituted a greater barrier to mobilization during the defense period. The Depression had created much idle but largely obsolete industrial capacity. With demand low, there had been no incentives to modernize. The government had to encourage industrial expansion before its armed forces were engaged. “To have delayed the construction of such facilities until the United States was actually involved in battle,” R. Elberton Smith observed in his book on industrial mobilization, “might have lost the war before it began.” The Roosevelt administration thus encouraged private expansion of facilities for war production, first through accelerated depreciation, then by government financing. Private construction companies did most of the actual building, while other private contractors then received management fees to operate the plants. The majority of factories producing ordnance were built this way. Lend-lease, a program started in September 1941 to provide materiel for those nations already at war with the Axis, also helped stimulate production. From the beginning, the Allies expected that the primary contribution of the United States would be its industrial capacity. The imperatives of this support program required careful balancing of the manpower needs of industry and the military. The Soviet Union, reeling under the German invasion of June 1941, was especially desperate. A calculated risk, lend-lease ultimately delayed mobilization by reducing, for example, the number of aircraft available to the U.S. Army Air Corps; the program slowed training. Later foreign munitions aid also became a problem to other Army elements. In the short run, however, lend-lease helped generate the demand that activated assembly lines. The policy of encouraging recipients to use standard American military equipment helped assure that factories produced the right items and enabled planners to divert these supplies to American use when needed. The Victory Program In 1941 the munitions program of the defense phase evolved into the “victory program.” At first, increases in the force for the protective mobilization plan and the procurement of the equipment to meet this expansion were made piecemeal. But the desperate need for a coherent plan became plain as the Army went through eight separate expenditure programs between August 1940 and June 1942. Each expansion required the supply services to prepare tentative lists of their needs. Their accumulated statements were reviewed, revised, and presented to Congress as the basis for a budget request. After Congress appropriated the money, the Army staff officer responsible for logistics, known as the G-4, H401RB-36 approved each expenditure program, usually with minor modification. A total of nearly $34 billion was spent in this way. From early in 1941, Maj. Gen. James H. Burns of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of War advocated studies that would determine total demands of the war on American productivity. At the president’s direction, the War Plans Division of the General Staff undertook this effort for the Army, working with the Navy staff, using appropriate assumptions of probable friends and enemies and conceivable theaters of operations. The resultant plan, developed mainly by Maj. Albert C. Wedemeyer, rested on a calculation of the number of troops who would be available and the strategic assumption that the major effort would be in Europe, with 1 July 1943 set as the date at which maximum strength would be reached. On this basis, the Army G-4 determined the materiel needs of the service, including weapons, vehicles, uniforms, and thousands of other articles needed to equip and maintain the force. The production requirements of the plan, merged with the Navy’s needs, became known as the victory program. This name indicated a definitive shift from the focus on hemispheric defense to defeating a potential enemy. The defense phase was over, and the munitions program was obsolete. The cost of the new program was staggering, as much as $150 billion, and only the attack on Pearl Harbor made it palatable. In December 1941 the United States formally declared war in Asia against Japan and in Europe against Germany and Italy. By that time, the Army had benefited enormously from peacetime mobilization. It had one-third more people than called for by the protective mobilization plan eight months after a declaration of war. Still, a massive effort was needed to meet the production goals announced by the president in January 1942, including 60,000 airplanes in 1942 and 125,000 more in 1943 and 120,000 tanks in the same period. Meanwhile, the Army was expanding. Passage of the Selective Service and Training Act in September 1940 showed that the United States was ready to match its mobilization materiel with manpower, even in an election year. The Army reached its intended strength of 1.5 million midway through 1941 and had thirty-four divisions and a host of supporting units in training by autumn. Lags in cantonment construction forced the War Department to slow enlistments and delayed the federalization of the National Guard. Just after Pearl Harbor, Congress amended the draft law, lengthening the term of service from one year to the duration plus six months and extending registration to all males between 18 and 65, with those between 20 and 45 eligible for the draft. All the while, final goals for recruitment became interim goals. By the end of 1942, the Army’s strength was at 5.4 million, including 700,000 black Americans, most of whom served in segregated support units. Wartime Management Nineteen forty-two was the year of industrial mobilization and the greatest expansion of productive facilities. The War Production Board was established to take control of this process. Creation of a political consensus in support of war was no longer an issue after Pearl Harbor, and the new office had the authority to enforce its policies through granting priorities and allocating resources. The board reflected in many ways, the industrial mobilization plan’s concept of a War Resources Administration. It had tremendous powers to include providing general direction of the procurement and production program, determining the policies of federal departments and agencies with influence on war production and procurement, and administering the granting of priorities and allocating vital materials and production facilities. At the same time, Patterson’s office centralized Army mobilization efforts in the War Department, with William Knudsen of General Motors commissioned a lieutenant general and assigned to the office of the undersecretary as director of production. At last, with the United States officially at war, H401RB-37 it began to develop the kind of organization that had worked in World War I and had been recommended in the industrial mobilization plan. From this time on, the Army and Navy Munitions Board declined in importance, and a new organization emerged within the Army to manage procurement. A command called Services of Supply was set up in March 1942 under Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell. For the rest of the year, industrial mobilization to meet the Army’s needs was his principal concern. General George C. Marshall, the chief of staff, looked to Somervell as his adviser on supply, and Somervell provided the link between the mobilization and production functions of Patterson’s office and the G-4 requirements and supply distribution responsibilities. One of the most adept empire builders in the modern history of the Army, Somervell merged the staffs of the undersecretary’s office and the G-4 into one operating agency, the Directorate of Procurement and Distribution, and attached it to his office. His organization was renamed Army Service Forces in March 1943. Somervell controlled a vast logistical system. His authority ranged over six technical services, eight administrative services, nine corps areas, six ports of embarkation, and nine general depots. Formerly, all of these components of the Army supply system had reported directly to the chief of staff. Together, under Army Service Forces, this network bought, stored and distributed the Army’s equipment and supplies. The program involved over 600,000 prime contractors and an untold numbers of subcontractors and had a price tag of over $68 billion. The Army Supply Program provided the blueprint for this huge procurement effort. First published in April 1942, the plan was reissued periodically during the war. Each edition contained revised long-range estimates of military needs for all items of supply, honed by teams that studied and updated replacement factors in light of operational experience. The supply program lists were translated into terms of raw materials, skilled labor, and productive capacity. With this plan in hand the War Production Board adjusted the allocation of priorities to balance strategic plans with resources and manage possible shortages. In Army Service Forces, the Corps of Engineers played an important part in the mobilization process. One of the six technical services under Somervell’s command the corps had a construction program of unprecedented size and scope. So much of mobilization—production of small arms ammunition and the myriad other items in the Army Supply Program, assembly of vehicles and airplanes, and training and housing for the millions of soldiers who were filling the ranks—hinged on engineer construction that it was a pacing factor for the entire effort. The program included factories, camps, and other facilities for troops; the Manhattan District’s atomic bomb project; construction of the Pentagon; and even a few major civil works projects that were continued through the war. The bill came to over $15 billion. Real estate costs and maintenance added another $3 billion. At the very top of this effort was the War Production Board. It, too, could claim major accomplishments. Under Chairman Donald Nelson, the board inherited from the Army and Navy Munitions Board a system of voluntary priority classifications. Nelson instituted a Production Requirements Plan, through which his board bypassed the armed services and allocated materials directly to producers. In November 1942, this plan was superseded by the Controlled Materials Plan, modeled on the British experience and adopted at the urging of Ferdinand Eberstadt, chairman of the Army and Navy Munitions Board. This plan rationed the three most important industrial materials—steel, copper, and aluminum. Quarterly allocations based on productive capacity assured recipients of obtaining the allotted materials on schedule. The plan did not bring strong central control to the entire war economy, but it did bring order to production while avoiding overregulation. It recognized that production, like mobilization as a whole, had pacing factors and put the management emphasis there. H401RB-38 Despite the success of the Critical Materials Plan, President Roosevelt changed the management of mobilization in May 1943. The new Office of War Mobilization under James F. Byrnes had broader authority, extending to manpower as well as to all functions formerly carried out by Nelson. So Byrnes brought together management of the two main categories of mobilization. Because of his broad powers, Byrnes became known as the “assistant president.” The merger at the top of manpower and materiel mobilization was important. By 1943, the Army staff knew that the manpower barrel had a bottom. The pool of reserve manpower represented by millions of unemployed workers had been absorbed labor was becoming scarce, and Roosevelt set a ceiling of 8.2 million on the strength of the armed forces. Mobilization was essentially over, having evolved from its gradual beginnings in 1940, speeding up in 1941, expanding dramatically in 1942, and reaching its peak in production in 1943. For the rest of the way, it was essential for General Marshall and his staff to balance strategy and manpower with sustained high production. Manpower shortages did cause problems late in the war. By 1944, the scarcity was felt nationwide. The Army curtailed some specialized training programs to provide troops where they were most urgently needed and expanded the use of limited service personnel and women for noncombat duty. Despite the problems, the number of soldiers in the Army did not actually peak until May 1945, the month during which the war against Germany ended. By then, the Army’s strength was over 8 million. By mid-1945, production had long ago reached its zenith. Already in 1944 the War Department had looked at demobilization. War still raged in Europe and the Pacific, with the United States bringing to bear an expanding economy while the British neared exhaustion. American planners grasped the need to look beyond the expansion to the aftermath. The Army Industrial College, which had closed just after Pearl Harbor, was back in business, trying to meet the demand for training in contract termination and settlement procedures. After the war, it continued to study the nation’s experience with economic mobilization. The Achievement Despite all of the problems associated with mobilization during World War II, the achievement was remarkable. Exploiting the happy conjunction of circumstances offered by idle resources, the protection provided by its insular position, and the heroic resistance of its Allies, the United States developed produced and delivered a flood of equipment and supplies for its own and Allied troops. The country showed a preeminent capability for what R. Elberton Smith characterized as “technological warfare on a global scale” and furnished the Allies with decisive economic and industrial power. This accomplishment, nowhere clearer than in the amazingly successful Manhattan Project, was planned and carried out in a way that accomplished wartime objectives with minimum hardship and dislocation. Sometimes execution of this effort was messy, with overlapping agencies and construction and supply lagging behind recruitment, but the World War II experience in the development and use of American industrial capacity may well be remembered as the classic case of economic mobilization, running the gamut from planning, through the buildup, to full-scale war production, and finally, demobilization. Further Readings All areas of mobilization for World War II are well covered in official publications of the Army. On issues related to military manpower, see Marvin A. Kreidberg and Merton G. Henry, History of Military Mobilization in the United States Army, 1775-1945 (1955). Civilian labor is covered in The Army and Industrial Manpower, by Byron Fairchild and Jonathan Grossman (1959). R. Elberton Smith, The Army and Economic Mobilization (1959), covers resource allocation, contracting, and procurement, while Lenore Fine and Jesse A. Remington, Construction in the United States (1972), deal with building of troop facilities and industrial capacity. Buying Aircraft: Materiel Procurement for the Army Air H401RB-39 Forces (1964), by I. B. Holley, Jr., provides separate treatment of purchasing and production for the air arm. CMH Pub 72-32 Matloff, Maurice. “The 90-Division Gamble,” Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944, United States Army in World War II. 365- 381. Washington, DC: US Army Center of Military History, 1990. CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0458 E H401RC-40 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H401: The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in WWII Reading H401RC The 90-Division Gamble by Maurice Matloff Of all the calculated risks taken by General George C. Marshall in World War II none was bolder than the decision in mid-war to maintain the U.S. Army's ground combat strength at ninety divisions. Students of warfare will long debate whether the decision was as wise as it was courageous, as foresighted as it was successful. The decision to limit the Army, ratified in May 1944 on the eve of OVERLORD, was a compound of necessity and choice. A variety of influences played a part in it-national policy, Allied strategy, air power, American technology, the balance between American war economy and manpower, logistical and operational requirements, the needs of Allies and sister services, and General Marshall's faith in the fighting qualities of the American soldier. The decision came at the end of a long series of steps going back to the pre-Pearl Harbor days when American planners had first begun to be concerned about the problem of determining the size and shape of the Army needed for global and coalition warfare.1 In the beginning the military had shared the traditional confidence of the nation at large that there would be sufficient resources and strength to meet the needs of war. Early estimates, in late 1941 and in 1942, of the "cutting edge"-in divisions-needed to win the war were high. In the Victory Program of the fall of 1941, the War Department projected an Army with a peak strength of 213 divisions. The Victory Program was premised on a strategic policy of offensive operations in Europe and on the assumption that the Soviet Army might collapse and the United States and Great Britain might have to defeat the huge armies of Germany unaided.2 Throughout most of 1942 the common assumption in the War Department was that it would ultimately be necessary to support at least two hundred divisions.3 The Washington Army Staff recognized the parallel need of building a far-reaching, heavy-fisted air arm. The blueprint for that expansion, embodied in the 273-air-group program approved in September 1942, was to remain the Army Air Forces guide in World War II. By the end of 1942, despite the turning of the tide of war, General Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff, and his advisers were uneasy. They had seen their plan for an early cross-Channel operation-ROUNDUP- scuttled in favor of TORCH (invasion of northwest Africa) and divisions that they had hoped to concentrate in the United Kingdom skimmed off to meet the requirements of the northwest African and Pacific campaigns. This trend reinforced sober second thoughts they were beginning to have about the American manpower problem. To continue what appeared to them to be essentially a policy of drift in Allied strategy raised grave issues about mobilizing and deploying U.S. forces. Supporting a war of attrition and peripheral action, in place of concentrated effort, raised serious problems about the size and kind of Army the United States should and could maintain. H401RC-41 At the same time the conviction was growing that it was becoming both necessary and possible to plan on a more realistic, long-range basis for mobilizing the manpower-and resources-needed to win the war. The transition to the initiative in northwest Africa and in the Pacific appeared to present the opportunity as well as the compulsion to define with greater certainty the main outlines of subsequent operations and to make more dependable estimates of how many trained and equipped units would be required. To establish a proper manpower balance for the United States in wartime was as difficult as it was important. Out of some 25,000,000 Americans physically fit for military service, the absolute ceiling on the number that could be utilized for active duty was estimated to be between fifteen and sixteen million.4 On the surface, it was hard to understand, given this pool of manpower, why there should be any manpower problem at all. Why, if Germany could maintain a military establishment of 9,835,000 or 10.9 percent of its population and Britain could support 3,885,000 or 8.2, did American manpower officials insist in late 1942 that 10,500,000 or only 7.8 percent would be the maximum force that the country could sustain without incurring serious dislocation to the American economy?5 The problem as well as the answer stemmed basically from the fact that the Allies had from the beginning accepted the proposition that the single greatest tangible asset the United States brought to the coalition in World War II was the productive capacity of its industry. From the very beginning, American manpower calculations were closely correlated with the needs of war industry. The Army had therefore to compete for manpower not only with the needs of the other services but also with the prior claims of industry. Cutting too deeply into the industrial manpower of the country in order to furnish men for the Army and Navy might interfere seriously with arming U.S. troops and those of the Allies for the successful conduct of the war. Furthermore, the United States was fighting a global conflict. To service its lines of communications extending around the world required large numbers of men, and great numbers of troops were constantly in transit to and from the theaters. The problem for the Army was not only how much should it receive as its share of the manpower pool but also how to divide that share most effectively to meet the diverse demands made upon it. The progress of the war on the Russian front and the prospective air bombardment over the European continent still left uncertain, at the end of 1942, the Army's ultimate size as well as the number of combat divisions necessary to win the war. It was also still difficult to predict with exactitude the casualty rates to be expected or the reserve strength that would be needed. Postponement of the plan to launch a major cross-Channel operation in 1943 made the need of mobilizing a large U.S. ground army less immediate. Instead, greater emphasis was placed on first developing U.S. air power. Given this and anticipated limitations in shipping, it appeared at the end of 1942 that the projected deployment of a huge air force overseas by the end of 1944 would definitely restrict the number of divisions that could be sent overseas by that time. It was clearly undesirable to withdraw men from industry and agriculture too long before they could actually be employed in military operations. Allowing a year to train a division, the mobilization of much more than a hundred divisions by the end of 1943 appeared to be premature. In late 1942, moreover, materiel procurement plans for the armed services for 1943, particularly for the Army ground program, were revised downward by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in response to a War Production Board recommendation. All these limiting factors pointed to the need for scaling down previous long-range calculations, as well as for effecting economies in manpower within the Army.6 The process of reducing earlier long-range estimates, begun on the War Department and joint planning levels toward the end of 1942, was clearly reflected in the approved Army troop basis for 1943, circulated by G-3 in January of that year.7 This troop basis set the mobilization program for 1943 at 100 divisions. It called for a total Army strength of 8,208,000, a figure previously approved by the President. H401RC-42 This troop basis marked the turning point in War Department and joint Army-Navy calculations. At last these estimates were approaching the ultimate ceiling strengths of the Army. Efforts to formulate troop bases for 1944 and beyond that were being made at the same time pointed to the need for drastic reductions of earlier estimates.8 The planners were working from the old assumption of the late 1941 and early 1942 period that the USSR might be defeated by the Germans, thus forcing on the Allies a far greater and more costly ground effort. Since the effects of the planned bomber offensive from the United Kingdom were also unknown, the planners had had to take its possible failure into consideration. Viewing both of these factors pessimistically, it was inevitable the planners should produce high estimates envisaging a very large ground force. They calculated that it would be far easier to decrease an over-expanded Army than it would be to build up an inadequate one, especially since it took a year to train a division for combat. Add to their dilemma the uncertainties of shipping and production and the lack of firm strategic decisions to guide them and it was small wonder that the planners were overshooting the mark. The JCS, on the other hand, faced with criticism of their use of manpower, had realized that the planners' figures would not be accepted and had turned the manpower problem over to their senior advisers. The Joint Strategic Survey Committee concluded that the Joint Planners had gone astray in trying to match Allied forces, division for division, with the enemy. They held that proper consideration had been given neither to the relative efficiency of forces nor to prospective Allied air superiority and the effect of the bomber offensive on German morale and war effort. They recognized that shipping would determine the amount of force that could be applied, and they believed that Allied superiority in production would also be a controlling factor and should be exploited in every possible way.9 In line with this more optimistic outlook, the Army planners suggested that the most realistic approach to the manpower problem would be to agree upon the maximum number of men that could be inducted into the armed services without impairing the development of U.S. war production capacity. This number would represent the final troop basis, and strategy would be devised in accord with that figure.10 Since the President in September 1942 had approved an Army of 8,208,000 for 1943, 8,208,000 appeared to be the logical figure with which to work.11 In January 1943, G-3 warned that the 8,208,000-man Army might approach the limit of manpower available and that adjustments from within would have to be made to secure the kind of Army needed to win the war.12 Faced with the prospects of a declining manpower reserve and an improving strategic situation, the Army reviewed its employment of men in the continental United States. Early in January Marshall set up the War Department Manpower Board, with Maj. Gen. Lorenzo D. Gasser as its president, to make specific recommendations for reducing the forces assigned to the zone of the interior.13 In consonance with this economy drive, Marshall approved-in February-a new Army troop basis that called for an enlisted strength of 7,500,000 and between 120 and 125 divisions, for June 1944. The over- all goal for 1943 of 8,208,000, which included officers, was retained on the ground that such a force would be necessary to take advantage of any favorable opportunities that might come to pass.14 Defense of these requirements before the Senate and against such critics as Herbert Hoover was made slightly more difficult by the unofficial opposition of certain Navy officers.15 In early February five investigations on the subject of manpower were going on in the Senate and one in the House. The position of the Army in the face of this Congressional probing rested upon the heavy preponderance of divisions at the disposal of the enemy and the possible disaster that might ensue if the size of the Army was reduced and the disparity in combat divisions increased.16 The War Department correctly gauged the reaction of Congress. Maj. Gen. Alexander D. Surles, director of the War Department Bureau of Public Relations, put it succinctly: "Despite all talk, Congress isn't sure, and members will not risk their political necks by H401RC-43 taking a position where they might be charged with sabotaging the war effort. They will talk, but they won't act."17 Nevertheless, in order to fortify its own thinking and planning on mobilization, the Army decided that it should also conduct an investigation. In accord with the earnest efforts of the Chief of Staff to trim Army requirements, the Operations Division in February designated a special committee, headed by Col. William W. Bessell, Jr., to recommend changes in the current military program indicated by shifting strategic conditions. The main question the committee was to investigate was the efficacy of building up foreign forces-such as the Free French-as opposed to arming U.S. troops, and the comparative effects of these alternatives on the American manpower situation and on Allied efficiency in prosecuting the war.18 This was a rephrasing of the thorny problem-how far to go in aiding Allies-which the Army planners had faced from the very beginning and were to continue to face. The Bessell committee survey revealed that little could be gained by increasing the volume of international aid to the Allies at the expense of the development of U.S. forces. Equipping the manpower of nations, other than the Soviet Union and Great Britain, with arms and munitions would not substantially increase the total amount of effective manpower that could be placed in combat, nor would it put troops into combat more quickly than would the current program for preparing American troops for active service overseas.19 In late April the committee scaled down its estimates of the ultimate strength from 185 to 155 divisions and accepted an 8,200,000-man total as the planning ceiling figure-the "maximum strength" for the Army imposed by manpower limitations. It recommended that the U.S. Army, and especially the Air Forces, be developed to the maximum strength practicable within the estimated limitations on armed forces and be deployed as quickly as possible.20 The committee concluded that the time had definitely come for long-term programming to guide the war machine developing in the United States. Since adequate training for a division required a year, mobilization and production had to be planned well in advance. Mobilization and production had, therefore, to be linked to national policy and strategic planning. The basic strategy of the United States was still sound and should be adhered to, and "any tendency to disperse our forces to other than the main effort [should] be avoided." What was required, the committee decided, was a broad and long-range strategic plan for the defeat of the enemies of the United States whereby requirements might be balanced against means and resources and then translated into a realistic military program. In this connection, the committee warned that the American public wearied quickly of war and would not countenance any slow process of attrition.21 In April the need for careful manpower budgeting was further emphasized. The War Manpower Commission, informing the armed services that approximately 1,500,000 men could be furnished to them in 1944, stated that this figure would be close to the limit of those that could be withdrawn from the manpower pool without jeopardizing war production, transportation, and essential civilian services. The Army estimated that by vigorous economy it would be able to save about 485,000 men during the remainder of 1943. Since the Army-Navy requirements for replacements alone would run about 971,000 for 1944, there should be a cushion of about one million men to fill the need for new units and to meet emergencies. At this time the War Manpower Commission estimated 11,300,000 men, and the Joint Staff Planners 10,900,000, as the number that could be kept in uniform indefinitely. The JPS went so far as to recommend no increase in the Army for 1944 over the approved 1943 Army Troop Basis goals-8,200,000 total strength and 100 divisions (though the latter was already a somewhat dubious figure).22 As the TRIDENT (Washington) Conference between the Americans and the British approached its close in late May 1943, a deepening realization that careful examination of troop strength and its employment was a "must" led the Army to attempt a correlation between the military program and the requirements imposed by the conference decisions. At this point General Marshall and his assistants took H401RC-44 what proved to be an important step in calculating the wartime Army troop basis. A Committee on the Revision of the Military Program was appointed in the War Department General Staff to study that program carefully in an effort to revise it downward. This committee, composed of two Operations Division officers, Col. Ray T. Maddocks and Lt. Col. Marshall S. Carter, and Col. Edwin W. Chamberlain, G-3, was to examine the threat of over-mobilization and "to investigate the possibility of decreasing the total number of ground divisions required in our troop basis."23 It was anticipated that the findings of the committee would serve as a guide to determining the ultimate strength of the Army and the subsequent mobilization rates. Early in June 1943 the committee (informally called the Maddocks Committee since Colonel Maddocks was the steering member) issued its general report.24 Its studies confirmed the need for reducing the number of divisions-a view that had been gaining increasing support since the end of 1942. The strategic basis for this conclusion was in part the demonstration by the Soviet armies of their ability to check the German advance. Another significant factor brightening the strategic picture was the improving prospect of gaining air superiority over the Continent. These developments finally made obsolete the initial Victory Program estimates of 1941. The committee made three basic recommendations. First, it proposed the reduction of the strength of the Army authorized for 1943 from 8,248,000 to 7,657,000.25 Second, it called for modification of the current troop basis to provide a balanced force built around eighty-eight divisions, the number already activated. The twelve additional divisions scheduled for activation during the remainder of 1943 were to be deleted from the 1943 program. Third, it recommended that the ultimate size of the Army and of the major units in it (air and ground) should be decided at the end of the summer. The ultimate size of the Army was largely to depend on the course of Soviet-German fighting and the effectiveness of the combined British-American bomber offensive in Europe. If the outcome of the fighting on the Soviet front and of the combined bomber offensive was favorable, the committee believed that an ultimate strength of one hundred divisions would be necessary to win the war. To defeat Germany would require between 60 and 70 divisions, and from 30 to 40 divisions would be needed for operations against Japan and for a strategic reserve. After the downfall of Germany, additional divisions could be transferred from Europe to defeat Japan.26 In mid-June 1943 General Marshall and the Secretary of War approved the committee's general report.27 The Chief of Staff informed the press that the activation of twelve additional divisions would be deferred until 1944. Lest this news lead the American public to overconfidence and a relaxation of the war effort, and obversely, lest the enemy conclude that the reduction signified that the United States was unable to fulfill its mobilization schedule, he requested that the information be kept in confidence.28 On 1 July 1943 the War Department circulated a new, approved troop basis for 1943. In accord with the committee's recommendations, it provided for 88 divisions and an Army strength of about 7,700,000. Two provisional light divisions, which were also authorized, soon were given permanent status. As a result, the new troop basis for 1943 envisaged a 90-division Army. Reduction of the early 1943 Troop Basis of 8,208,000 to 7,700,000 men, approved by the President in November, was accomplished by the more or less general acceptance of the 90-division limit as the "cutting edge" necessary to win the war. Within this limit the character of the cutting edge changed considerably. There was a definite trend toward increasing infantry and airborne divisions during 1943 since strategic and tactical demands as well as the need to save shipping space favored the use of forces that were not so heavily armed or so completely motorized. As a result, a decrease in the rate of activation of armored divisions was ordered and motorized infantry divisions were reconverted to standard infantry divisions. At the end of 1942 there had been 52 infantry, 2 cavalry, 14 armored, 2 airborne, and 4 motorized divisions in the Army-74 in all. One year later there were 90 divisions in existence-67 infantry, H401RC-45 2 cavalry, 16 armored, and 5 airborne. The 16 new divisions activated during 1943 represented less than half the number of divisions-38-activated in 1942. Accumulation of activated and trained divisions in the United States began to mount during 1943 because of the imbalances in shipping and the strain on port capacities and in the absence of final strategic decisions.29 Training camps were crowded and it was difficult to activate additional divisions-only 13 divisions moved overseas during the year as compared with 17 in 1942. This left 60 divisions in various stages of readiness scattered throughout the United States. Many, however, were neither at full strength nor fully equipped, since replacements often had to be drawn from the newer divisions and the outfitting of French divisions in northwest Africa had produced shortages in equipment.30 When in late 1943 new demands for manpower were made to operate the B-29's, to provide for the rotation program, and to keep the Army Specialized Training Program going on a reduced basis, any possibility of organizing another fifteen divisions in 1944, as had been planned in mid-1943 and approved in the Victory Program Troop Basis of October 1943, appeared doomed.31 With the activation of a new division in August 1943, the 90-division program was fulfilled. Henceforth, problems of reserves and narrow margins of safety became nightmares to disturb the planners' dreams. The question whether 90 divisions would be enough was to plague the War Department down to the end of the war.32 In early 1944 the requirements in troops for the cross-Channel attack (OVERLORD) accentuated certain Army-wide manpower pinches and made the planners take another serious look at the Army troop basis. During the Cairo-Tehran Conference, the Joint Logistics Committee had estimated that there would be a serious shortage of service troops during 1944 for the war against Japan, and also a shortage of men for the B-29 program. The committee suggested that the Army troop basis be revised to anticipate these shortages and that the United States take a calculated risk and eliminate the fifteen infantry divisions that were to be set up in 1944. This would leave the Army with 90 divisions-43 for the war in Europe, 7 for North Africa, 22 for the Pacific, and 18 for the continental reserve. If necessary, service troops could be organized from the eighteen reserve divisions.33 A report of the Operations Division's Strategy Section in late December 1943 substantiated this estimate that 90 divisions would be enough to win the war, although it allocated 58 divisions for Europe and North Africa, 25 for the Pacific, and kept only 7 in the reserve. The Strategy Section recognized the possibility that the Army might not be able to activate the additional fifteen divisions and remain within the 7,700,000-man ceiling adopted in November. The economy program had released some 212,000 men for reassignment during 1943, but Selective Service had fallen behind in its inductions, and the War Department was 200,000 men short of its 7,700,000 goal. On top of this, the rotation program approved in December would require 60,000 men during 1944, and the Air Forces had requested 130,000 men for its B-29 program. Even if Selective Service were to meet its quotas in 1944 and make up the 200,000-man deficit, there would be a cushion of only 22,000 men left over from the 212,000 recovered from the economy program. Besides, the Strategy Section concluded, there were no firm requirements for the fifteen additional infantry divisions.34 The activation of the fifteen divisions was deferred, but the continuing scarcity of service troops led Marshall to call a conference of theater G-4's in Washington in late January to consider the problem. Writing personally to several theater commanders he requested their aid in effecting any economies possible and recommended a number of expedients to relieve the deficiency in service troops.35 The Army was trying desperately to stay within the 7,700,000 ceiling and to meet needs from within by rigid economy and adjustment. Discussing the whole Army personnel problem frankly with the Joint Chiefs in early February Marshall pointed out that the ground forces were short about 87,000-97,000 troops and were forced to take men from other divisions to fill up those going overseas. Economies had produced a saving of 100,000 men but the need of manpower for the B-29 program had eaten this up. H401RC-46 Now there was a deficiency of 100,000 service troops for OVERLORD, the invasion of southern France (ANVIL), and western Pacific operations, and a large number of tactical units were being used to help in the housekeeping of training establishments in the United States in order to release service forces for overseas duty. The need for service personnel often resulted in abbreviated training periods and less efficient troops. Marshall estimated that replacements and rotation fillers, added to induction shortages and ground force and service deficiencies, made the present deficit between 340,000 and 400,000 men.36 Marshall decided that the time had come for drastic action. The Army, he concluded, could not justify, in the face of such personnel shortages, the Army Specialized Training Program that had been set up to educate some of its more intelligent men in colleges. On 10 February, he cut back this program to 30,000 men, releasing 120,000 for distribution, mainly to ground and service forces. Later in the month he was able to secure Presidential pressure on the War Manpower Commission and the Selective Service to review occupational deferments and to provide the forces required by the armed services.37 By spring, most of the induction backlog had been made up. Easing the manpower situation still left the haunting question whether there would be enough strategic reserve in the Army troop basis to ensure the defeat of Germany once the troops were ashore in France. Of all the calculated risks taken by Marshall and his staff in preparing for invasion of the Continent, the greatest was the decision to hold to the 90-division troop basis. Even on the eve of OVERLORD, there were uneasy doubts in high Washington military circles about the gamble. On 10 May Secretary Stimson, long an advocate of a bold cross-Channel move, raised the issue with General Marshall. Stimson wrote: I have always felt that our contribution to the war should include so far as possible an overwhelming appearance of national strength when we actually get into the critical battle. By this I mean not merely strength on the battle front but in reserve. It has been our fate in two world wars to come in as the final force after the other combatant nations had long been engaged. Our men have thus come to the field untested, even when well trained, to fight against veteran enemies. Such conditions make the appearance and possession of overwhelming strength on our part important both tactically and psychologically.38 Stimson feared this might not be the case on the Continent in 1944. Against the estimated fifty-six German divisions that were to defend France, the United States would have barely more than an equal number available for the offensive by the end of the summer. The average age of the men in the American divisions was now rather high, and the Army would need a large number of replacements. Army calculations, both in the European theater and in the United States, seemed to Stimson "to shave the line of sufficiency rather narrowly instead of aiming at massive abundance." When all the OVERLORD divisions had left the United States, there would remain in the United States only fourteen uncommitted divisions. These would constitute practically the only reserve for operations in France. The British could offer no such reserve to assist the United States. As a result, the Germans would not get a picture of overwhelming strength opposing them. Furthermore, the estimated German reserve of eleven divisions was almost as large as the American reserve. The German Army was better fed than in 1918, when German morale did not break. All of this led Stimson to fear that a stalemate might develop in November when climatic conditions on the Continent would reduce the power to maneuver. Even the advantageous factors of intensified air bombardment of Germany and the Soviet advance might not be enough to ensure complete victory. The Russians, he observed, were still a long way from Germany. "Furthermore, the Russians are already reaching boundary lines where they conceivably might stop with their grand strategic objective of national defense satisfied by the eviction of the invader and the gaining back of all they had lost, plus the Baltic states." To forestall a stalemate, Stimson asked Marshall, should not new manpower legislation be sought from Congress before the elections in November? Should not new divisions be activated now by the War Department? H401RC-47 On 16 May, just three weeks before OVERLORD was launched, General Marshall replied. He agreed that everything possible must be done to prevent a stalemate from developing in the fall, but he disagreed with Stimson's analysis and conclusions. Marshall wrote Stimson, “We are about to invade the Continent and have staked our success on our air superiority, on Soviet numerical preponderance, and on the high quality of our ground combat units.”39 Exploiting these advantages, Marshall hoped, would convince the Germans of the futility of fighting for a stalemate. He felt "the air arm should be our most effective weapon in bringing home to the German people and the German Army the futility of continued resistance." As a result of recent conversations between Averell Harriman and Stalin, he also believed the Russians would not break off their current efforts until Germany was defeated. Emphasizing that the Army was relying on the qualitative rather than the quantitative superiority of its ground force units, he declared, "Our equipment, high standard of training, and freshness should give us a superiority which the enemy cannot meet and which we could not achieve by resorting to a matching of numerical strength." Marshall pointed also to the advantages of the replacement system designed to keep American divisions in the line at full strength, the preponderance of artillery, and the employment of air superiority in close tactical support. Even on a strictly numerical basis, Marshall thought that the American divisions would eventually compare very favorably with the German forces. Shipping and other logistical factors would limit the build-up in Europe to about 4 divisions a month, but even at that rate, by April 1945 the 59 divisions available to the United States could be utilized. Adding some 21 British divisions, and an additional 10 to 15 U.S. and French divisions that could be made available for employment in France if a defensive position were assured in Italy, the Western Powers would have some 95 divisions to employ against the estimated 56 German divisions. The most troublesome factor, he informed Stimson, would be the comparatively slow rate of American build-up-a direct product of purely logistical limitations. That factor, above all others, might result in slowing down Allied operations, since the Germans, if they felt free to transfer divisions from other fronts, could deploy their forces more rapidly than the Americans could build up theirs. If, however, all current plans failed and a stalemate did occur in November, then Marshall felt new major strategic decisions would be required. A few additional divisions would probably not be enough to break the impasse. If new divisions and supporting units were now created, furthermore, "emasculating drafts" on existing divisions would result and present plans for their deployment would be upset. Thus, he reasoned, no far-reaching changes should be made in the Army troop basis until the outcome of the initial stages of the invasion was clear. "Considering the matter from all angles and with the realization of the hazards involved," Marshall concluded, "I believe that at the present time no increase should be made in the over-all strength of the Army, except as may prove to be necessary to provide replacements." Beyond "prudent" advance staff planning for increasing the troop basis, which he had ordered the War Department General Staff to undertake, Marshall was willing to stand pat. Clearly, he looked upon the Allied divisions in the Mediterranean as part of the strategic reserve for the invasion of the Continent. He was anxious to make what he regarded the surplus American and French divisions in Italy available to support the main effort in France, as earlier he had been to extract seven British and American divisions from the Mediterranean for OVERLORD. Behind the calmly reasoned and formal language of Marshall's reply to Stimson lay one of the boldest calculations of the war.40 How great a calculated risk was being taken was further emphasized by the concomitant willingness of General Marshall and his staff to allocate military manpower for the B-29 program against Japan, instead of investing in more divisions. The remainder of the story belongs to the annals of accomplishment. The strenuous efforts of General Marshall and his staff from early in the war to conserve the precious stock of American military strength H401RC-48 for the desired cross-Channel operation paid off. To support OVERLORD and its follow-up operations, the Army funneled forces into the United Kingdom and later into continental Europe in ever-increasing numbers during the first three quarters of 1944. Actually, more divisions were sent overseas in the first nine months of 1944-the bulk of them going to the European theater-than had been shipped overseas during the previous two years of war. By the end of September 1944, 40 divisions were located in Europe with 4 en route, as against 21 in the Pacific.41 In the air, the preponderance lay ever more heavily in favor of Europe-149 groups were allocated to that struggle as opposed to 57 groups on the other side of the world. With the bulk of the Army's combat strength overseas deployed against the Reich, and with most of the divisions still in the United States slated to go to the European theater, the Chief of Staff and his planners could consider their original concept of "beat Germany first" well on the way toward accomplishment. Although there were still over three and a half million men left in the continental United States at the end of September, there were only some 24 combat divisions remaining. Most of these were to be sent to Europe eventually, but the Army planners had hoped to maintain some of the 24 divisions as a strategic reserve to cope with any unforeseen emergencies. The estimated size of the reserve ranged from 5 to 15 divisions, but no definite decision had ever been made by the Chief of Staff. With Germany supposedly on its last legs, there seemed little need for concern on this score. But there is a postscript to this story that deserves careful reflection. When the crisis caused by the Ardennes breakthrough of December 1944 denuded the United States of all the remaining divisions and left the strategic reserve a memory, the possibility of having raised too few divisions rose again to cause War Department planners from Stimson on down some anxious moments.42 Because of the unexpected developments in Europe, not one division was sent to the Pacific after August 1944. By V-J Day all eighty-nine active divisions were deployed overseas and all but two had seen combat.43 Fortunately the crisis of late 1944 was the last unpleasant surprise. If another had come the divisional cupboard would have been bare. Certain by-products and implications of the decision also deserve serious consideration by postwar students. The decision was a striking illustration of acceptance by Army leaders of the fact that there were limits to their slice of the American manpower pie. The 90-division troop basis represented their attempt to provide a realistic meeting ground of three fundamentals of modern warfare-strategy, production, and manpower. It represented the relatively small, if compact, ground combat force that the country that was also serving as the "arsenal of democracy" found it could provide for a global coalition war without unduly straining the war economy and standard of living of the American people. In the postwar debate over strategy, critics who have characterized the American case for concentration and power-drives as "narrow" and "rigid" have uniformly overlooked the impact of manpower ceilings on that case. It is doubtful that the United States could have succeeded with its 90-division ground combat force had not the ground forces of the Russians and other allies held and fought well. It is also doubtful that the United States could have succeeded with the size and kind of ground cutting edge it produced had not it also turned out an effective, heavy-fisted, long air arm. The self-denying limit on cutting edge of Army ground forces in favor of air force expansion undoubtedly spurred further the growing movement for air force autonomy. It will long be a question whether the photo-finish in World War II reflected an uncommonly lucky gamble or a surprisingly accurate forecast. But few would deny that, in their performance on the field of battle in the critical campaigns of 1944-45, the hitherto still largely untested divisions of the U.S. Army, so largely a product of General Marshall's own faith and struggles, vindicated the bold calculation in Washington. H401RC-49 Notes 1 The subject of this study is treated more fully in connection with mid-war strategic planning in Maurice Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1959). In addition to the works listed in the notes, published sources that provide helpful bibliographical leads or background are: Robert R. Palmer, Bell I. Wiley, and William R. Keast, The Procurement and Training of Ground Combat Troops, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1948); "The Army Re-Shaped," in Kent Roberts Greenfield, The Historian and the Army (New Brunswick, NJ.: Rutgers University Press, 1954); and Bureau of the Budget, The United States at War (Washington, 1946). 2 Accounts of the Victory Program planning are contained in (1) Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations (Washington, 1950), Ch. XI; (2) Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post:The Operations Division (Washington, 1951), Ch. IV; and (3) Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942 (Washington, 1953), pp. 58-62, 350-52, all in UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II. 3 In September G-3 reached its peak estimate of about 350 divisions needed to win the war. Memo, G-3 for CofS, 15 Sep 42, sub: Mobilization Plans, War Department G-3 files (WDGCT) 320 (9-15-42). The projected number of divisions grew in 1942, partly because estimated requirements for defeating Japan were superimposed on the original estimates for defeating Germany. 4 Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, July 1, 1943 to June 30, 1945, to the Secretary of War, p. 101. 5 (1) OPD Brief, title: Notes ... 43d Mtg JPS, 28 Oct 42, filed with JPS 57/6 in Operations Division (OPD) files, ABC 370.01 (7-25-42), 2. (2) Memo, Brig Gen Idwal H. Edwards for Lt Gen Joseph T. McNarney, 4 Feb 43, sub: Troop Basis, 1943, War Department Chief of Staff of the Army files, WDCSA 320.2, Sec. III (1942-43). 6 For a discussion of the late 1942 factors influencing Army troop basis calculations see Kent Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer, and Bell I. Wiley, The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington 1947), pp. 214-17. 7 Memo, G-3 for CG AGF and CG SOS, 25 Jan 43, sub: Troop Unit Basis, 1943, WDGCT 320.2 General (1-25-43). 8 The Victory Program of late 1941 had assumed a total of 10,199,101 men for the Army alone by June 1944, and as late as November 1942 the Joint Planners were estimating that 10,572,000 men would be needed for the Army by December 1944. 9 JCS 154/1, 24 Dec 42, title: Troop Basis for All Services for 1944 and Beyond. JCS approved this study at their forty-eighth meeting on 29 December 1942. 10 OPD Brief, title: Notes ... 48th Mtg JCS, 29 Dec 42, with JCS 154/1 in ABC 370.01 (7-25-42), 2. 11 Memo, Admiral William D. Leahy for the President, 30 Sep 42, with JPS 57/D in ABC 370.01 (7 25 42), 2. 12 Memo, Edwards for CGs AAF, AGF, ASF, 29 Jan 43, sub: Reduction in Training Establishments and Other Zone of Interior Activities, WDCSA 320.2 Sec. III (1942-43). 13 (1) Ltr, Marshall to McNarney, 10 Jan 43, and (2) Memo, Gasser for CofS, 11 Feb 43, sub: Missions and Functions of the War Dept Manpower Board and Methods of Procedure, both in WDCSA 334 War Dept Manpower Board. 14 (1) Memo, Brig Gen Patrick II. Tansey and Lt Col Marshall S. Carter for Maj. Gen Thomas T. Handy, 3 Feb 43, sub: Troop Basis Planning, and (2) Memo. Edwards for ACofS, G-1, G-4, OPD, and CGs SOS, AAF, AGF, 25 Feb 43, sub: Troop Basis Planning, both in OPD 320.2, 673. 15 (1) Final Draft of a Text Prepared for Mr. Green of the Senate Military Affairs Committee by SOS with OPD and G-3 Co-operation, 16 Feb 43, title: Size of the Army, OPD 320.2, 678. (2) Memo, Marshall for SW, 5 Feb 43, sub: Manpower, and (3) Ltr, Stimson to Knox, 12 Feb 43, WDCSA 320 SS. (4) Address by Stimson, 9 Mar 43, title: The Size of the Army, OPD 320.2, 678. H401RC-50 16 (1) Min, Gen Council Mtg, 1 Feb 43, OPD 334.8 Gen Council, II. (2) Memo North for Handy, 14 Feb 43, OPD Files, Book 7, Exec 8. 17 Min, Gen Council Mtg, 8 Mar 43, OPD 334.8 Gen Council, II. 18 Memo, Handy for Bessell, et al., 26 Feb 43, sub: Current Military Program, ABC 400 (2-20-43). 19 Rpt by Special Army Committee, 15 Mar 43, title: Survey of Current Military Program, ABC 400 (2-20 43). 20 Rpt by Special Army Committee (Rev.), 28 Apr 43, ABC 400 (2-20-43). 21 Ibid. 22 JPS 57/8, 26 Apr 43, title: Troop Bases for All Services for 1944 and Beyond. 23 Memo, McNarney for Maddocks, Chamberlain, and Carter, 24 May 43, sub: Revision of Current Military Program, filed with Tab G with Rpt by Special Army Committee, 15 Mar 43, in ABC 400 (2-20- 43). 24 Interim Rpt by Special Army Committee, 1 Jun 43, title: Revision of Current Military Program, submitted with Memo, Maddocks, Chamberlain, and Carter for CofS, 1 Jun 43, sub: Revision of Current Military Program, ABC 400 (2-20-43). 25 Forty thousand nurses had been added to the 8,208,000 figure. 26 Interim Rpt by the Special Army Committee, 1 Jun 43, title: Revision of Current Military Program, ABC 400 (2-20-43). In June 1943, soon after the completion of its work, the Maddocks Committee was dissolved. For the committee's studies and recommendations, see especially papers filed in OPD 320.2 and in ABC 400 (2-20-43). 27 Interim Report by the Special Army Committee, 1 June 1943, title: Revision of Current Military Program, filed in ABC 400 (2-20-43) contains General Marshall's recommendations. An attached "Brief" of the report, 7 June 1943, bears the note: "This paper has the approval of the Secretary of War. 6/15/43. G.C.M." 28 Ch. VII (prepared by Maj William P. Moody) in Sec. IIC, "Mobilization, Procurement and Allocation of Manpower," in JCS MS, History of World War II. 29 Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy, 1940-1943, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1955), Chs. XXV and XXVI. 30 Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 220-21. 31 (1) Ibid., pp. 231-32. (2) Victory Program Troop Basis, 26 Oct 43, Tab Deployment of Divisions, in Condensed Information Book, 6 Nov 43, Gen Handy's copy, Exec 6, OPD Files. This document bears the typed notation Approved-By Order the Secretary of War-Joseph T. McNarney, Deputy Chief of Staff." 32 (1) John J. McCloy, "In Defense of the Army Mind," in Harper's Magazine (April, 1947), Vol. 194, pp. 341-44. (2) Interv with Brig Gen Frank N. Roberts, 29 Mar 51. (3) Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), p. 476. 33 JCS 581/3, 4 Dec 43, title: Specific Operations for the Defeat of Japan. 34 (1) SS 199, 21 Dec 43, title: U.S. Divisions and Aircraft Required To Win the War, and (2) SS 203, 24 Dec 43, title: Summary of Current Situation With Regard to the 15-Division Proposal, both in ABC 381 Strategy Sec Papers, Nos. 196-213 (7 Jan 43). 35 (1) Msg, Marshall to Harmon, 27 Jan 44, CM-OUT 10668. (2) Ltr, Marshall to Devers, 27 Jan 44, no sub, WDCSA 320.2, 4. 36 Min, 144th Mtg JCS, 1 Feb 44. 37 (1) Memo, Marshall for SW, 10 Feb 44, no sub; (2) Memo, G.C.M. [Marshall] for McNarney, 18 Feb 44, no sub; and (3) Memo, Marshall for the President, 22 Feb 44, no sub, all in WDCSA 320.2, 19. 38 Memo, Stimson for Marshall, 10 May 44, sub: Our Military Reserves, Paper 42, OPD Files, Item 57, Exec 10. 39 Memo, Marshall for SW, 16 May 44, sub: Increase in the Strength of the Army Secretary of War Files, Staff. 40 See McCloy, "In Defense of the Army Mind," Harper's Magazine (April, 1947). 41 Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1943-1944, Ch. XXIII and App. D. H401RC-51 42 (1) Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 476. (2) McCloy, "In Defense of the Army Mind," Harper's Magazine (April, 1947), p. 342. 43 The 2d Cavalry Division had been inactivated in North Africa, giving a final total of 89. The 13th Airborne Division stationed in Europe and the 98th Infantry Division stationed in Hawaii failed to get into action. Morton, Louis. “The Color Plans, 1919-1938,” In The Legacy of American Naval Power: Reinvigorating Maritime Strategic Thought, edited by Paul Westermeyer, 34-43. Quantico, VA: History Division, United States Marine Corps, 2019. CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0460 E H401RD-52 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H401: The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in World War II Reading H401RD The Color Plans, 1919-1938 by Louis Morton American strategical planning in the period immediately following World War I was largely conditioned by the postwar political system and by the wide popular reaction against war. The Versailles Treaty, the Washington [Naval Conference] treaties of 1921-22, and the League of Nations (to which Germany was admitted in 1925) gave promise to the war-weary peoples of the world of an international order in which war would be forever banished. That promise seemed to many to have been fulfilled in 1928 when representatives from most of the nations in the world met at Paris to sign the Kellogg-Briand Pact renouncing war as an instrument of national policy.1 Though the United States was not a member of the league, American policy was closely and consciously designed to support the actions of the league in its efforts to further world peace. During these years of disillusion with war, isolationism, and congressional economy, military planning in the United States was largely theoretical. Germany had just been defeated and stripped of military power. Russia was preoccupied with internal problems and, though Communism was recognized as a menace, the Bolshevik regime was in no position to engage in military adventures. Neither France nor Italy had sufficient naval force to attempt any major operation [in, sic] the Western Hemisphere and had no reason to do so in any case. Of all the powers in Europe, only Great Britain was theoretically in a position to engage the United States in war with any prospect of success. The British had extensive holdings in the Western Hemisphere from which to launch attacks on American territory and they had enough dreadnoughts and battle cruisers to obtain naval supremacy in the Atlantic. But the possibility of a contest with Britain was extremely remote, for there was no sentiment for war on either side of the Atlantic. In the Pacific and Far East, the situation was different. Between Japan and the United States, there were a number of unresolved differences and a reservoir of misunderstanding and ill will that made the possibility of conflict much more likely in that area than in Atlantic. Moreover, Japan's position had been greatly strengthened as a result of the war and the treaties that followed. In the view of the planners, the most probable enemy in the foreseeable future was Japan. Thus, U.S. strategic thought in the years from 1919 to 1938 was largely concentrated on the problems presented by a conflict arising out of Japanese aggression against American interests or territory in the Far East. The preparation of strategic war plans involving joint (i.e. Army and Navy) forces—and for all practical purposes this mean [sic] the plans prepared by the American staff—was the responsibility of the Joint Board, predecessor of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Reorganized in 1919 to correct defects that had become apparent since establishment in 1903, the board consisted of six members. The Army Chief of Staff and the Chief of Naval Operations, their deputies, and the chiefs of the War Plans Divisions of each H401RD-53 of the services. To it came all matters that required cooperation between the two services, either by referral or on the initiative of the board itself. It had no executive functions or command authority and until 1939 reported to the War and Navy Secretaries. Its recommendations were purely advisory, and became effective only upon approval by both Secretaries, and, in some cases, by the President himself. The most notable improvement of the 1919 reorganization was the formation of a Joint Planning Committee to assist the board. Consisting of eight officers, four each from the War Plans Division of the Army and of the Navy, this committee performed the detailed investigation and study required for policy decisions, preparation of war plans, and all other matters involving joint actions of the Army and Navy. It was, in effect, a working group for the Joint Board and made its reports and recommendations directly to that body. The problems considered by the Joint Board after World War I varied widely, but the development of joint war plans constituted, as it had from 1903 to 1913, the major work of the board, with most attention being given to a possible war with Japan—called ORANGE in accordance with the system in effect between 1904 and 1939 of designating war plans by colors, each color corresponding to a specific situation or nation. The mandate to Japan of the German islands in the Central Pacific had given that nation numerous bases astride the U.S. Fleet's line of communication and made American defense of the Philippines in the event of war with Japan virtually impossible. Moreover, in the Five Power Naval Treaty of 1922, the United States, Great Britain, France, and Italy had promised not to fortify their Far Eastern possessions in return for a pledge by the Japanese to restrain themselves similarly. By this agreement Japan was virtually assured that the Philippines, Guam, and Hong Kong would not become formidable fortresses threatening the home islands. And although Japan had to accept British and American superiority in capital ships at the Washington Conference of 1922, its naval position in the Pacific improved greatly as a result. In the years that followed, while the United States scrapped ships and Japan built them, the strength of the U.S. Fleet relative to that of Japan so declined that it is doubtful if during the 1920's and 1930's it could have met the later on equal terms in the western Pacific. H401RD-54 The first postwar plan for war in the Pacific, developed between 1921 and 1924, reviewed America's unfavorable strategic position and recognized Japan as the probable enemy. The strategic concept adopted by the planners in the event of hostilities was to fight "an offensive war, primarily naval" with the objective of establishing "at the earliest date American sea power in the western Pacific in strength superior to that of Japan." To do this the United States would require a base in that area capable of serving the entire U.S. Fleet. Since the only base west of Pearl Harbor large enough for this purpose was in Manila Bay, it would be essential, said the planners, to hold the bay in case of war and be ready to rush reinforcements, under naval protection, to the Philippines in time to prevent their capture. To the Army fell the vital task of holding the base in Manila Bay until the arrival of the Fleet, but the major role in any war with Japan would be played by the Navy, for success in the Final analysis depended on sea power. War Plan ORANGE made no provision for a landing on the Japanese home islands. Japan was to be defeated by "isolation and harassment," by the disruption of its vital sea communications, and by "offensive sea and air operations against her naval forces and economic life." Presumably it would not be necessary to invade Japan. But the planners recognized that if they could not bring Japan to her knees by these means they would have to take "such further action as may be required to win the war."2 For about fifteen years, the strategic concepts embodied in the ORANGE Plan formed the basis for most American war planning. Variations of the plan were prepared and discussed at length. Every conceivable situation that might involve the United States in a war with Japan, including a surprise air attack on Pearl Harbor, was carefully considered and appropriate measures of defense were adopted. At least half a dozen times between 1924 and 1938, the plan was revised, sometimes in response to military changes and sometimes as a result of Congressional sentiment, or because of the international situation. Each time, all the implementing plans had to be changed. The Army and Navy had their separate ORANGE plans, based on the joint plans and complete with concentration tables, mobilization schedules, and the like. In addition U.S. forces in the Philippines, Hawaii, Panama, and other overseas bases had their joint and service plans, as did the defense sectors and continental commands within the United States. Rarely have plans for a war been so comprehensive and detailed, so complete on every echelon, and so long in preparation. But the United States never fought this war, for [War Plan] ORANGE was based on a situation that never came to pass. The ORANGE war envisaged by the planners was a war between the United States and Japan alone. Neither side, it was assumed, would have allies or attack the territory of a third power. It was a war that was to be fought entirely in the Pacific, with the decisive action to take place in the waters off the Asiatic coast. These assumptions by the military strategists of the Army and Navy were entirely justified by the international situation and reflected a reasonable estimate of the most probable threat to American interests, an estimate that was shared by most responsible officials during these years. But the planners did not, indeed could not ignore other possibilities, no matter how remote. Thus, during the same years in which they labored on ORANGE, the joint planners considered a variety of other contingencies that might require the use of American military forces. Among the most serious, though one of the most unlikely, of these was a war with Great Britain alone (RED) which in the planners' estimate could conceivably arise from commercial rivalry between the two nations, or with Great Britain and Japan (RED-ORANGE). The latter contingency was conceded by all to present the gravest threat to American security, one that would require a full-scale mobilization and the greatest military effort. In their study of these two contingencies the military planners came to grips with strategic problems quite different from those presented by ORANGE. A war with Japan would be primarily a naval war fought in the Pacific. So far as anyone could foresee, there would be no requirement for large ground armies. There was a possibility, of course, that Japan would attack the Panama Canal, Hawaii, and even H401RD-55 the west coast, but no real danger that Japan could seize and occupy any of these places. In the unlikely event of a conflict between Great Britain and the United States, there was a real possibility of invasion of the United States as well as attacks against the Canal and American interests in the Caribbean and Latin American. In such a war, the major threat clearly would lie in the Atlantic. Plans developed to meet the remote danger of a RED war, in contrast to ORANGE, called for the immediate dispatch of the bulk of the U.S. Fleet to the Atlantic and large-scale ground operation to deprive the enemy of bases in the Western Hemisphere. As in ORANGE, it was assumed that neither side would have Allies among the great powers of Europe and Asia, and no plans were made for an invasion of the enemy's homeland by an American expeditionary force. This was to be a limited war in which the United States would adopt a strategic defensive with the object of frustrating the enemy's assumed objective in opening hostilities. The problems presented by a RED-ORANGE coalition, though highly theoretical, were more complicated. Here the American strategists had to face all the possibilities of an ORANGE and a RED war-seizure of American possessions in the western Pacific, violation of the Monroe Doctrine, attacks on the Panama Canal, Hawaii, and other places, and, finally, the invasion of the United States itself. Basically the problem was to prepare for a war in both oceans against the two great naval powers, Great Britain and Japan. As the planners viewed this problem, the strategic choices open to the United States were limited. Certainly the United States did not have the naval strength to conduct offensive operations simultaneously in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; she must adopt a strategic defensive on both fronts or else assume the strategic offensive in one theater while standing on the defensive in the other. The recommended solution to this problem—and it was only a recommended solution, for no joint war plan was ever adopted—was "to concentrate on obtaining a favorable decision" in the Atlantic and to stand on the defensive in the Pacific with minimum forces. This was based on the assumption that since the Atlantic enemy was the stronger and since the vital areas of the United States were located in the northeast, the main effort of the hostile coalition would be made there. For this reason, the initial effort of the United States, the planners argued, should be in the Atlantic. A strategic offensive-defensive in a two-front war, American strategists recognized, entailed serious disadvantages. It gave the hostile coalition freedom of action to attack at points of its own choosing, compelled the United States to be prepared to meet attacks practically everywhere, exposed all U.S. overseas possessions to capture, and imposed on the American people a restraint inconsistent with their traditions and spirit. Also, it involved serious and humiliating defeats in the Pacific during the first phase of the war and the almost certain loss of outlying possessions in that region. But the strategic offensive-defensive had definite advantages. It enabled the United States to conduct operations in close proximity to its home bases and to force the enemy to fight at great distance from his own home bases at the end of a long line of communications. Moreover, the forces raised in the process of producing a favorable decision in the Atlantic would give the United States such a superiority over Japan that the Japanese might well negotiate rather than fight the United States alone. "It is not unreasonable to hope," the planners observed, "that the situation at the end of the struggle with RED may be such as to induce ORANGE to yield rather than face a war carried to the Western Pacific."3 This plan for a RED-ORANGE war was admittedly unrealistic in terms of the international situation during the 1920's and 1930's. The military planners knew this as well and better than most and often noted this fact in the draft plans they wrote.4 But as a strategic exercise, it was of great value, for it forced the military planners to consider seriously the problems presented by a war in which the United States would have to fight simultaneously in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In an era when most war planning H401RD-56 was focused on the Pacific and where Japan seemed the most likely enemy, this experience may have seemed irrelevant. But it was to prove immensely useful in the plans developed for World War II. By late 1937, the assumptions that had given to ORANGE planning its prime importance during the past decade and a half had become of doubtful validity. International events had created a situation that made it increasingly unlikely that a war between the United States and Japan could be limited to these two nations. Germany, Italy, and Japan had joined hands in the Anti-Comintern Pact, and threats or direct acts of aggression were the order of the day in Europe and Asia.5 Great Britain and France, still suffering from the prolonged economic crisis of the early 1930's and weakened by domestic conflicts, remained passive in the face of this threat, seeking to avert armed conflict by a policy of appeasement. In the light of these developments, the Joint Board directed its planners to re-examine the ORANGE plan. In its view, the existing plan was now "unsound in general" and "wholly inapplicable to present conditions." The planners were to develop a new plan which should provide, the board specified, for an initial "position of readiness" along the West Coast and the strategic triangle formed by Alaska, Hawaii, and Panama. In addition, the planners were to make "exploratory studies and estimates" of the various courses of action to be followed after the position of readiness had been assumed. Clearly implied in these instructions was the injunction to consider the possibility that the United States might become involved in a European conflict while engaged in offensive operations in the Pacific.6 In less than two weeks, the Joint Planning Committee reported its inability to reach an agreement. The Army members, viewing the uncertain situation in Europe, were reluctant to underwrite offensive operations in the Pacific beyond those essential to the security of the strategic triangle and the west coast. With the European Axis in mind, they pointed out that political considerations might require limited action and purely defensive operations in the Pacific. To uncover vital areas in the Western Hemisphere for an offensive in the far Pacific seemed to the Army planners foolhardy indeed. Thus, their plan provided for purely defensive operations after the assumption by U.S. forces of a portion of readiness. To the Army planners, the primary problem was to determine the kind of war the United States should fight. Should the situation dictate operations designed only for the defense of the United States or of the Western Hemisphere, then the war in the Pacific might well take on a limited character. It was impossible to determine in advance just what the situation would be, whether the United States would be involved with one or more of the Axis Powers, or even what forces would be available. It might well be, declared the Army planners, that national policy and public opinion would neither require nor support a plan for offensive operations in the Pacific. The Navy members of the Joint Planning Committee argued that American strategy could not be limited to a purely defensive position in readiness but must aim at the defeat of the enemy. Once war began, production must be quickly increased to provide the means required both for the security of the continental United States and for offensive operations in the Pacific. Should the European Axis give aid to the enemy, the naval planners assumed, with Great Britain clearly in mind, that the United States would have allies who would provide the assistance needed by the U.S. Fleet to maintain naval superiority over Japan." The character, amount, and location of allied assistance," they hastened to add, "cannot be predicted."7 The separate reports submitted by the Army and Navy members of the Joint Planning Committee put the choice between the opposing strategies squarely up to the Joint Board. The board avoided the choice by issuing new instructions to the planners on 7 December 1937. The new plan, it specified, should have as its basic objective the defeat of Japan and should provide for "an initial temporary position in readiness" for the Pacific coast and the strategic triangle. This last was to be the Army's job; the Navy's H401RD-57 task would consist of "offensive operations against ORANGE armed forces and the interruption of ORANGE vital sea communications."8 Even under these revised instructions, the planners were unable to agree on the best way to meet an Axis threat. Faced with another split report, the Joint Board turned over the task of working out a compromise to the Deputy Chief of Staff and the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations. These two, after a month of discussion, finally came up with a new ORANGE plan on 18 February 1938. This plan maintained the traditional offensive strategy in the Pacific, but it also took into account the danger of a simultaneous conflict in the Atlantic—the first time this possibility was recognized in ORANGE planning. On the outbreak of a war with Japan, the United States would first assume a position in readiness and make preparations for the offensive against Japan. It would then be ready to meet any unexpected development that might arise, including an attack in the Atlantic. If none did, the Navy would then proceed to take the offensive against Japan with operations directed initially against the mandated islands and extending progressively westward across the Pacific. These operations combined with economic pressure (blockade) would, it was believed, result in the defeat of Japan and a settlement that would assure the peace and safeguard American interests in the Far East.9 Notes 1 The Kellogg-Briand Pact was formally known as General Treaty for Renunciation of War as an Instrument of National Policy. 2 Joint Army-Navy Basic War Plan ORANGE, 1924, Joint Board (JB) 325, Ser. 228. After numerous drafts, the plan was completed and approved by the Joint Board and the Secretary of the Navy in August 1924 and by the Secretary of War the following month. The Preliminary Estimates of the Situation, Joint War Plan ORANGE, and other relevant studies are filed in War Plans Division (WPD) 368; JB 325, Ser 207; JB 305, Sers. 208 and 209; General Board 425, Ser 1136. 3 Proposed Joint Estimate and Plan-RED-ORANGE, prepared in WPD (Army) and approved by Chief of Staff, 3 June 1930, as basis for joint plan, G-3 Obsolete Plans, Reg. Doc. 245-C. Additional material on RED-ORANGE may be found in same file 245-A through F and in WPD 3202. No joint plan was ever approved. 4 In 1923, the Army draft of RED-ORANGE started with the statement, "Under existing conditions a coalition of RED and ORANGE is unlikely," and twelve years later the Director of Naval Intelligence, commenting on another draft plan, stated that a RED-ORANGE combination was "highly improbable" in the next decade, if at all. Army Draft RED-ORANGE, 1923, Reg. Doc. 245-F; Ltr. Director ONI to Director WPD, 27 Jun 35, sub: Jt Estimate of Situation, RED-ORANGE, copy in WPD 3202. By 1935, planning for such a war had virtually ended. 5 The Anti-Comintern Pact was originally made in 1936 between Germany and Japan and then between Italy, Germany and Japan in 1937 to combat against Communist International but also specifically the Soviet Union. 6 Memos, JB for JPC, 10 Nov 37, sub: Joint Basic War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, Ser. 617, and Col. S. D. Embick for WPD, 3 Nov 37, same sub. AG 225. 7 Army and Navy Members JPC to JB, 28 and 30 November 1937, sub: Joint Basic War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, Ser. 617. The Army plan is in appendix A, the Navy’s in appendix B. See also, Col W.J. Krueger, draft memo, sub: Some thoughts on Joint War Plans, 22 November 1937, AG 225. 8 JB to JPC, directive sub: Joint Basic War Plan ORANGE, 7 December 1937, JB 325, Ser. 618. 9 Joint Basic War Plan ORANGE, 21 February 1938, JB 325, Ser. 618. The plan was approved by the secretary of the Navy on 26 February and the secretary of War two days later. Pearlman, Michael D. “Force Structure, Mobilization, and American Strategy for Global Coalition War,” in C610 Advance Book. Fort Leavenworth, KS: US Army Command and General Staff College, 1996: 170-182. [12 pages] CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0461 E H401RE-58 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H401: The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in World War II Reading H401RE Force Structure, Mobilization, and American Strategy for Global Coalition War by Michael D. Pearlman Public Opinion, Intervention, and a Mission for the Army Before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the defense policy of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration reflected the mood of most Americans: they would risk aid to Britain, the Soviet Union, and China, but did not want an active combat role in World War II. In mid-1941, public opinion polls, 57 to 67 percent of the respondents, said that it was more important to see Germany and Japan defeated than to remain at peace, and 83 percent believed that American involvement was inevitable. At the same time, only one-third said that they favored a declaration of hostilities. As Admiral Harold Stark, the Chief of Naval Operations, told a subordinate back in February: “the difficulty is that the entire country is in a dozen minds about the war.”1 With public support so weak and unstable in the period before Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt's policy was not to have a policy, at least as far as Webster's Dictionary defines that term: "a definite course or method of action . . . to guide and determine present and future decisions." As a result, the high command of America's armed forces never felt they knew the president's strategy for national defense. Was it intervention or deterrence? Was it military aid to the Allies, hemispheric defense, or unconditional surrender by the enemy? Without an answer to the question: "Where should we fight the war, and for what objective?" the military services complained that they could not mobilize, field, and train an appropriate military force. Out of frustration for the lack of direction of towards a "definite objective and plans,” Admiral Stark and General George Marshall, the Army Chief of Staff, jointly devised their own long-range strategy, subsequently known as the “Plan Dog” Memorandum. Among other things, it proposed “rapid increase of Army strength” (later defined as 217 divisions) and the concentration of resources on the European theater: the United States “should direct [its] efforts towards a strong offensive in the Atlantic as an ally of the British,” but it should “do little more in the Pacific than remain on a strict defensive” along an Alaska to Hawaii to Panama perimeter. The British chiefs of staff strongly agreed with this geographical priority in subsequent talks with their American counterparts, who already had sent the document to the White House a few days after the 1940 election to prod guidance from the president, now that he supposedly had more political freedom to act.2 The president would not approve the memorandum, but neither would he reject or offer alternatives to it. Aside from continuing assistance to England, Roosevelt’s belated response was trite and noncommittal: “our military course must be very conservative until our strength developed.” Then what? Admiral Stark wished to know. “To some of my very pointed questions, which all of us would like to have answered, I get a smile or a please don’t ask me that.” The result was a case of continuous confusion. We have “a more or less nebulous national policy,” the head of Army war plans wrote General Marshall in July 1941. “I do not profess to understand the precise military objective of our Army,” said the head of ground forces H401RE-59 training the day before Pearl Harbor. The secretary of war said in late 1940 that tracking Roosevelt’s ideas was like “chasing a vagrant beam of sunshine around the room.”3 Aside from leaving the final decision for war up to the Axis, Roosevelt did have a rather vague plan of operation. Before Pearl Harbor, he tried to coax America to aid Britain, Russia, and China by depicting a war fought on the cheap. In the 1920s and 30s, when Americans said that World War I had been folly, they invariably thought of trench warfare on the Western Front, not naval or aerial operations. In Roosevelt’s most prominent antiwar pronouncement, delivered three months before the 1936 election, the president told the electorate: “I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud.” Now, beginning in late 1937, Roosevelt described capital-intensive methods of applying military power in “a modern way.” Large ships and heavy bombers would wreck the enemies’ economy; thus no need for national mobilization to fight their armies on the ground. Because Japan depended on sea lines of communications, Roosevelt supposed that America could deter it from aggression or bring it “to her knees within a year” by blockade: “a comparatively simple task [for] the Navy.” America could also exploit what the chief of naval operations called Japan’s “unholy fear of bombing,” incendiaries launched on “inflammable cities” built with paper and wood.4 Unlike the president, most of the American people were skeptical that the war could be won from the sea and the sky. Sixty-five percent told one public poll in September 1941 that if America declared belligerency, it would have to send a ground force to Europe. It was this “tremendous fear of another A.E.F. [American Expeditionary Force] with its heavy losses,” on leading interventionist wrote the White House in November, that kept public sentiment stuck at the stage where some 30 percent, at best, approved a declaration of war. On the eve of Pearl Harbor, opinion polls stated that although a majority would declare war if Britain were losing, only 47 percent favored sending a large Army to Europe, even if Germany could be defeated no other way. As the President told his secretary of war, the Army’s own “assumption that we must invade and crush Germany” would elicit “a very bad reaction.”5 At Pearl Harbor, the Japanese answered on basic question that had mystified the U.S. Army and the president of the United States: how would America ever enter the war? That issue was now settled, but military strategy still lacked firm form and direction. Dwight Eisenhower, then the director of Army war plans, noted in his journal on January 1942: “The struggle to secure adoption by all concerned a common concept of strategical objectives is wearing me down.” The uncertainty was probably inevitable as long as the enemy had the initiative. Then, in May and June 1942, the U.S. Navy stopped Japan’s advance at Midway and the Coral Sea. Army strategists seized this opportunity to stop what they called “unremunerative scatterization,” “periphery-pecking,” feeding “suction pumps,” plugging “urgent ratholes,” and “giving our stuff in driblets all over the world.” “At long last,” Eisenhower wrote that spring, “if we can agree on major purposes and objectives, our efforts will begin to fall in line and we won’t just be thrashing around in the dark.”6 The Army would soon propose a cross-Channel operation that would concentrate troops in England to invade northwest France in 1942, 1943 at the latest. It made this recommendation for several reasons, not the least was the fact that it was an actual strategy; i.e., a policy that gave the Army what its planning staffs called “a target on which to fix [their] sights” and “a definite and consistent long-range strategic concept of operations.” Without a “clear course of action” to coordinate military efforts across America and around the globe, the Army warned that “future planning will be haphazard and at random”—as it had been before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. As the head of Army logistics, Brehon Sommervell, continued to complain in 1942 that “those responsible for various phases of supply are forced to make their own uncoordinated assumptions and guesses . . . [about] the placing of orders, production, and delivery.”7 H401RE-60 For somewhat different reasons than the Army, Roosevelt was also worried about requisitions, production, and delivery. Pearl Harbor did not immediately discredit the closest thing he had to a strategic concept, his lend-lease-air power-sea power strategy. On 3 January 1942, the president wrote the secretary of war that in the final analysis, victory depended on “our overwhelming mastery in the munitions of war.” America’s Allies, he continued, were already “extended to the utmost” and therefore could not arm their own forces. This clearly implied that “our own fighting forces” would have no special claim on American production. On 14 January, consistent with these guidelines, Roosevelt presented George Marshall with a proposal removing the military chiefs from the direct allocation of munitions, henceforth in the hands of Roosevelt, Britain’s Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, and their closest civilian assistants—in Roosevelt’s case, Harry Hopkins, a strong proponent of lend-lease to the Allies. Then and there, Marshall threatened to do what he later called “a very reprehensible thing,” especially for “a military official”; he said he would resign on the grounds that he and the Army could not plan and conduct military operations if they could not control military resources. It may not be too melodramatic to say that the size and mission of U.S. ground forces in World War II hung in the balance before Roosevelt made what he called “a preliminary agreement [to] try it out [Marshall’s] way.”8 As a military strategist, the president of the United States had a great deal in common with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, particularly his statements that “this is not a war of vast armies, firing immense masses of shells at one another.” Both men preferred “a massive preponderance in the air” to a large force on the ground. They placed great hopes, as Churchill told Roosevelt, in “affecting German production and German morale by ever more severe and more accurate bombing of their cities.” They also were averse to long-range planning. “Freedom of action” was one of Roosevelt’s favorite phrases; across JCS memos, he scribbled “no closed minds.” Churchill, being a man of letters, said the same thing with a flourish. “In swiftly changing and indefinable situations, we assign a large importance to opportunism and improvisation, seeking to live and conquer in accordance with the unfolding event.”9 The British Versus the American Army Way of War Like Churchill, the senior leadership of the British Army was hoping to take advantage of a fortuitous event. It remembered its frightful casualties during attrition battles waged in World War I—the Somme, Passchendale, etc. they also remembered their own surprise in August and October 1918, when English tanks and planes spearheaded attacks that captured up to 65,000 German soldiers and 700 heavy artillery guns. In World War II, the English wanted to make the first major battle of the cross-Channel operation a replica of their last battles in World War I. Then, according to a British joint intelligence prediction, “collapse may, as in 1918, ensue with a startling rapidity.”10 For that to happen, British strategy in 1941 maintained that Allied air forces and naval blockades should first produce “great misery” in Germany’s civilian population. Concurrently, covert agents would stimulate resistance movements from Norway to Greece (“set Europe ablaze,” as Churchill put it). Allied armies should mobilize their best soldiers to engage second-rate German units in a secondary theater “where only comparatively small forces can be brought into action”—for example, North Africa. “If we could achieve [this] series of successes even though these might be comparatively small in extent, it seemed fairly certain,” to the British chiefs of staff, that “a point would be reached at which Germany would suddenly crack.” Then—and only then—should the Allies mount a cross-channel invasion. Under this strategy, “there would not be needed vast armies on the continent such as were required in World War I. Small forces, chiefly armored, with their power of hard hitting, would be able to quickly win a decisive victory.”11 The American Army’s senior officers also wanted a quick and decisive victory against Germany (who did not) and, remembering World War I, also thought that it could come suddenly, without expectation. Nonetheless, they and their staffs called British strategy “groping for panaceas.” Americans had their own H401RE-61 memories of the fall of 1918, when they attacked what were said to be low-quality and exhausted German divisions in an undermanned sector. Despite the U.S. Army’s initial nine-to-one advantage, it still suffered 122,000 casualties prying the enemy out of their machine-gun nests and pill boxes. In World War II, men who fought the Germans in the Meuse-Argonne offensive—Marshall, Lesley McNair, and Brehon Sommervell, the chiefs of Army, ground, and service forces, respectively—said that “to expect their [the German and Japanese] collapse for internal causes is idle, wishful thinking”; no realistic way to win the war. “Our troops must meet the Germans and the Japanese on the battlefield and in such numbers as to deliver telling and decisive blows.” Then and only then, the enemy might collapse.12 Obviously, American and British Army officers had very different military doctrines. (“In so many things,” George Marshall said after the war, “we just didn’t understand them and they certainly didn’t understand us.”) It is no surprise that Winston Churchill sided with the British; so did Franklin Roosevelt before mid-1943. At best, he was profoundly ambivalent about the Army’s proposal to invade the Content in 1942 with “whatever personnel and equipment is actually available at the time.” George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower needed Soviet soldiers to tie down Germans in the East if the U.S. Army was ever to assault enemy beachheads in France and play a major role in the European theater. The alternative was that this war would be won by some variant of the air power-sea power-lend-lease strategy, something for which the Army never had much faith. Ground forces, with relatively minor responsibilities against Germany, would inevitably be sucked into the Pacific at the expense of Europe First: the global strategy to which the Army subscribed. Like his senior officers and strategists, Roosevelt was also anxious to open “a second front to compel the withdrawal of German air forces and ground forces from Russia.” However, his military motives were a bit different. FDR needed a Soviet survival if his lend-lease strategy was to have any feasibility at all. Somebody had to bell the German cat. Even those Britons who predicted a sudden collapse of Germany said that the collapse would only occur after a futile “winter campaign in Russia.”13 Roosevelt needed the Soviet Union. He also wanted a tactical victory before the 1942 Congressional elections, as he later admitted to Eisenhower. Unfortunately, FDR’s political agenda was incompatible with Eisenhower’s plan to launch five or six Anglo-American divisions in an operation that was “sacrificial” (Marshall later called it “suicidal”) and strictly designed “to keep 8,000,000 Russians in the war.” On the eve of Pearl Harbor, the War Department predicted “unduly heavy losses” the first time Americans fought the Germans. Now, in July 1942, Eisenhower gave the invasion “about 1 [chance] in 5” to establish a beachhead and then hold on by its fingertips. Even if this operation had performed its function by diverting twenty-five German divisions to northwest France its high cost would have shocked the complacent U.S. public, which still did not realize, in George Marshall’s words, that they were in “a stern, tough war.”14 Roosevelt may have had good political reasons to discard the Army’s plan to invade Europe. He also had good political reasons to avoid the appearance that he was rejecting professional military advice. He therefore did it in a deft and indirect manner by getting his friend Winston Churchill to say “no” instead of him. Both men wanted to retain firm control of their nation’s war effort, and both were under great criticism in 1942. Roosevelt had been surprised at Pearl Harbor and had lost the Philippines. The prime minister’s military plans had failed in Norway, Singapore, Greece, and Crete, not to mention Gallipoli in World War I. Then, the day after Eisenhower told the JCS that ground forces could hold a beachhead on the European continent, just as “Tobruk had been held,” Tobruk (the last British strongpoint in Libya) fell to the Germans on 21 June.15 The fall of Tobruk, according to American newspaper reporters in London, created a “supreme political crisis” for Churchill, already in a state of emotional depression and physical exhaustion because of the string of prior defeats. His opponents in Parliament, demanding a vote of no confidence, said that the prime minister “wins debate after debate and loses battle after battle. The country is beginning to say H401RE-62 that he fights debates like a war and the war like a debate.” True or not, Churchill’s direction of the British war effort had been under continuous criticism since March 1942, when barely 35 percent of the public said that they approved the government’s conduct of the war. Churchill could not survive another military disaster like Tobruk. Churchill knew it, Roosevelt knew it (and constantly worried about it), and if Churchill might have overlooked it, Roosevelt was there to remind him. Through confidential messengers, Lord Louis Mountbatten and Harry Hopkins, FDR referred to the cross-Channel operation as a “sacrifice landing,” a so-called causal remark that deeply disturbed the prime minister. The president also said that he “inclined to support continuing the campaign in the Middle East.” Consequently, Roosevelt knew what was on Churchill’s mind when he sent Hopkins, George Marshall, and Admiral Ernest King, the new chief of naval operations, to London in July to get the prime minister’s agreement to launch an Anglo-American invasion (at least three-fifths British) across the English Channel that fall. One doubts whether Roosevelt was shocked when Churchill vetoed the proposal in favor of an Anglo- American operation in North Africa. In private meetings and confidential letters, the prime minister had repeatedly told the president that “no responsible British military authority” thought the cross-channel plan had “any chance of success.”16 One doubts Admiral King was disappointed. At Guadalcanal, he was about to create what he called “an active fighting constituency in the Pacific with a rightful call on American resources before the Allies undertook major operations against Germany.” The U.S. Army, on the other hand, was hardly benign. Eisenhower called the decision not to invade France “the blackest day in history.” George Patton, about to lead forces ashore at Morocco, agreed that “the operation is bad and is mostly political.” The secretary of war, Henry Stimson, called it the “wildest kind of diversionary debauch” from something important, that is the Continent. An English undersecretary for foreign affairs visited the War Department in August and reported back to London that he Army was “violently jealous” of Churchill, who allegedly was “dominating and bamboozling the president.” American generals were as friendly to the British “as they would be to the German General Staff if they sat round a table with them.” Stimson, however, knew better than to put all the blame on the British. Churchill, he recorded in his secret diary, had adopted the plan to invade North Africa “knowing full well, I am sure, that it was the President’s great secret baby.”17 The U.S. Army landed in North Africa on 8 November 1942, three months after the Navy upset the Europe First strategy by landing Marines at Guadalcanal. Then, at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943, the Allies decided to occupy Sicily largely to open the entire Mediterranean for new operations. After that, at the Trident Conference in May, they subsequently decided to invade Italy after the occupation of Sicily. Admiral King supported this policy, partly because delay in the cross-Channel operation further enhanced the stature of the Pacific theater, the Navy’s primary concern and the recipient of half of America’s military resources despite the nominal policy of Europe First. The Air Force also approved another Mediterranean campaign because it wanted bases in Italy to bomb south and east Germany, as well as Russian oil fields and refineries. However, to the U.S. Army, this plan meant more delay in confronting the Wehrmacht and in the basic formulation of a strategic concept by which America would fight World War II. The Army had complained about improvisation since November 1940, and their aggravation did not mellow with age. In July 1943, General John Hull, head of the European section of the War Plans Division, wrote Thomas Handy, the division chief: “Until a firm decision is made” about long-term allied strategy, “we are in an indefensible position wherever a question is raised concerning the dispatch of troops to various theaters” around the world. More to the point was the complaint of Eisenhower’s chief of staff in the European theater. Walter Bedell Smith, already nursing an aching ulcer, later confessed to Handy that “this uncertainty and these changes . . . is enough to drive a man insane.”18 The consensus of U.S. Army strategists for a cross-Channel operation began to crack under the strain. They began to accept the Mediterranean strategy in order to get a definitive strategy at all. In July 1943, two colonels in the War Plans Division advised their immediate superiors that because Roosevelt and Churchill had adopted “a time-consuming strategy of pecking at the periphery of Europe,” the Army must H401RE-63 accept the fact that an invasion of northwest Europe would not be “the opening wedge for decisive defeat of the German armies.” Any cross-Channel operation would actually be the “final, as opposed to the decisive, action—decisive action having already taken place in the air over Europe, on the ground in Russia, and at sea,” (which just happened to be Roosevelt’s original strategy). That same month, their boss, John Hull, wrote his boss, Tom Handy, that “although from the very beginning of this war, I have felt that the logical plan for the defeat of Germany was to strike at her across the Channel, our commitments to the Mediterranean” have created their own momentum (which just happened to be what Winston Churchill had foreseen). “We should now reverse our decision, “Hull concluded, and make “an all-out effort in the Mediterranean.” Handy, by August had absorbed these suggestions and was recommending to the JCS that if the British continued to refuse to support a cross-Channel invasion, the U.S. Army must accept “the Mediterranean alternative.” Even Handy’s boss, George Marshall, now urged his JCS colleagues that if Roosevelt and Churchill endorsed more operations in Southern Europe, “the decision be made firm in order that definite plans could be made with reasonable expectation of their being carried out.” Marshall, no doubt, was reflecting the latest world from Admiral William Leahy, Roosevelt’s “leg man” to the armed forces and chairman of the JCS, that “we may not mount Overlord,” the code name for the invasion of France.19 Roosevelt and D-Day: Up with the Russians, Down with the British Just as the U.S. Army was beginning to accept, with deep regrets, the Mediterranean strategy, the U.S. president was finally accepting the need to mount the cross-Channel operation. When FDR met with the service secretaries and JCS on 10 august 1943, the before the Quadrant (or Quebec) Conference with the British, he “astonished and delighted” the secretary of war with his definite commitment to Overlord. Exactly why Roosevelt changed his mind must remain hypothetical. He rarely explained himself to his wife, let alone the armed forces. (“My dear Mr. Gunther,” she told one journalist “the President never ‘thinks’! He decides.”) Nonetheless, at least two determining factors appear highly probable in his decision: the failure of the combined bomber offensive in 1943 and fear that the Soviet Union would leave the war in 1944.20 Despite all Roosevelt’s hopes in 1941 to win the war by strategic bombing, by mid-1943, the bomber had been deflated from the winning weapon to one more system in the total Allied arsenal—not much more valuable than tanks or artillery. Four months after the Casablanca Conference announced the bombing campaign against Germany, the Allied political and military high command met in Washington in May to assess its preliminary results. The bad news was that a protracted air supremacy campaign would have to be waged before effective bombing could ever be conducted. “If the German fighters are materially increased in number, it is quite conceivable that they could make our daylight bombing unprofitable and perhaps our night bombing too.” The next six months confirmed the most pessimistic predictions made at a time when Air Force doctrine held that 5 percent losses were barely acceptable. In August, 30 percent of the heavy bombers raiding Ploesti were hit and crashed, each crash losing a ten- man crew. In October, another 214 were shot down, mainly over Schweinfurt and Regensburg. Worst of all, on end seemed in sight. The Allied prediction in November was that the German fighter command would expand 56 percent by mid-1944.21 There was a silver lining to the attrition in the sky. The U.S. Army Air Force had planned to win air superiority over the battlefield, previously owned by the Luftwaffe, by bombing aircraft factories deep in Germany, the highest priority targets in early 1944. They actually won the air war by forcing German production to switch from dive-bombers to short-range fighters dedicated to urban air defense. In subsequent battles over their cities, Germany lost 1,000 planes from December 1943 to April 1944. This was advantageous to the Allies but certainly not decisive since all these material losses were replaced, and then some. (German industry peaked at 25,000 planes manufactured in the latter half of 1944). The decisive number was the loss of some 2,500 pilots, the men who tried to intercept the Allied bombers H401RE-64 escorted by long-range fighters. The latter were the hunters; the former were the “bait,” as bomber crews (suffering the bulk of Air Force casualties) came to describe their role in the war. George Marshall, using far less abrasive language, had predicted this occurrence in mid-1943: “One of our primary objectives [is] to force the Luftwaffe into the air where we can get at it and destroy it.” By June 1944, when the Allies would launch the greatest combined operation in military history (Normandy in the West; Bagration in the East), they had killed most of the German aces, had tactical air supremacy over the battlefield, and a virtual monopoly over the beaches. Soldiers are never so vulnerable as when packed in troop transports or landing craft. On D-Day, it seemed to one British sailor that “the Luftwaffe is obviously smashed.” It conducted only 250 sorties the entire day, just 22 against Allied shipping. Meanwhile, the Allied air forces conducted almost 15,000 sorties of their own. As Eisenhower told American troops before the invasion: “If you see a plane, don’t worry. It’s one of ours.”22 In the air war over Germany, the enemy lost more than control of the sky over the English Channel; it diverted some 30 percent of its heavy guns, 20 percent of its ammunition, 50 percent of its electronics production, and 2 million men to antiaircraft artillery around its cities. Because Germany reduced its force-to-space ratio of men and firepower on the battlefield, it had to leave gaps on the front line or strip itself of reserves, leaving more maneuver room for the Allies no matter what option it chose. In 1944, the great year of the Russian and Anglo-American offensive, the Allies would need tactical air supremacy to offset the inherent advantage the defense had on the ground, especially in places like Normandy, where thick hedgerows and abundant vegetation favored pre-positioned German infantry. The loss of control of the sky in late 1943, according to one senior Allied air commander, indicated that Hitler would have “to accept very serious military handicaps.” The sticking point would then be whether the grand alliance could hold itself together through1944. When the U.S. pledged to invade France at the Tehran Conference in December 1943, that major problem was largely resolved. Roosevelt then told his son, Elliot, a bomber pilot: “Nobody can see how—with a really concerted drive from all sides—the Nazis can hold out much over nine months after we hit ‘em.”23 A firm military alliance with Russia had been Roosevelt’s objective even before he became an active belligerent. In 1941, the president overruled his own Army’s resistance to lend or lease their scarce equipment to keep the Red Army in the war against Hitler. After that, he refused to agree to accept a Japanese empire in North Asia, lest the Imperial Army, with access to America oil and scrap metal, tie down Soviet forces along the Manchurian border when Roosevelt wanted to free them to fight Hitler in Europe. Thirteen months after Pearl Harbor (largely the result of that policy stance), Roosevelt announced his requirement of unconditional surrender, partly to assure Stalin that America would not make a separate peace with Germany. Later, in 1943, he feared that Stalin might take that option himself. American intelligence agencies, which had broken Japan’s diplomatic code, were well aware that in late 1942, Russia had proposed —but Germany rejected—a Japanese-suggested settlement status quo ante bellum. This resurrection of the Stalin-Hitler nonaggression pact (1939) would have enabled Germany to concentrate on Japan’s major enemy, the United States. By mid-1943, Stalin’s bargaining position enhanced dramatically on the battlefield, suggesting that Hitler might request the settlement he previously refused. From July through September, from Kursk to Kiev, Axis armies lost approximately 1,400,000 soldiers, 3,000 tanks, 5,000 planes, and 25,000 field guns along a 650-mile front. Shortly thereafter, Western capitals were rife with rumors about a separate peace in Eastern Europe. Harry Hopkins, convinced Russia could fight one more year before reaching utter exhaustion, suggested this in print two months before the Tehran Conference: “If we lose her, I do not believe for a moment that we will lose the war, but I would change my prediction about the time of victory.”24 When Germany invaded the Soviet Union back in June 1941, the consensus of America's military experts was that Russia would last three more months. Roosevelt, then hoping for a lend-lease way to win the war, sought and received second opinions from civilians in the State Department who supported his inclination to extend military aid to Stalin. The Army, which would have to forego resources for itself, H401RE-65 only agreed initially to token transfers of equipment, surplus ammunition, and machineguns. As for combat aircraft, George Marshall protested on 29 August that "we have been too generous, to our disadvantage." Then, the Red Army changed Marshall's mind for the duration of the war by fighting more effectively than any expert had predicted. In late September, Marshall testified to Congress in favor of extending lend-lease to the Soviet Union: "Whatever we do to keep the Russian Army in the field aggressively resisting the Germans is to our great advantage." By February 1942, the war plans division of the Army, besides endorsing a landing in France, was saying that the United States must "keep Russia in the war by direct aid through lend-lease."25 The Army always knew that lend-lease abroad meant fewer divisions for a new A.E.F. This was part of the compromise implicitly struck with the president. U.S. ground forces would play a far greater role than Roosevelt originally envisioned in 1941, but it would be a far smaller force than the Army foresaw in its "victory plan" that September, when it predicted it would need at least 215 divisions to win the war. The country eventually mobilized 90, while concurrently providing its allies with equipment and supplies equivalent to raising 2,000 infantry or 555 armored divisions. By September 1942, the U.S. Army fully accepted this deficit in division strength, even agreeing to forego inductions, which would limit labor for industrial production. 26 America would mobilize a smaller segment (7.8 percent) of its population than any other power in World War II. Small size, according to General Marshall on the eve of the Invasion of France, would be compensated for by "our air superiority, [and] Soviet numerical preponderance." He therefore opposed the State Department's proposition to withhold military aid in order to restrain Soviet expansion. He also vetoed the proposal of the chief of his war plans division to retain "equipment to create the conditions and forces required for establishing a second front. Victory in the war will be meaningless," General Tom Handy wrote him, "unless we also win the peace. We must be strong enough militarily at the peace table to cause our demands to be respected" by the Russians. In World War I, General John J. Pershing had raised similar points about America's position vis-a-vis its Allies to get Woodrow Wilson to oppose amalgamation with the armies of Britain and France. In 1944, Pershing's disciple, George Marshall, wrote to President Roosevelt that "lend-lease is our trump card in dealing with [the] U.S.S.R. and its control is possibly the most effective means we have to keep the Soviets on the offensive in connection with our invasion of France.” [Italics mine.]27 U.S. Army strategists had invested an enormous amount of time, effort, and prestige in the cross-Channel operation, which the British persisted in calling "a nebulous 2nd front." Until the Army established a secure lodgement in Normandy, its commanders naturally worried far more that the Soviets would not attack and pin down Germans than they worried about the balance of power in postwar Europe. In late June, when the West was still pinned down and might be pushed off the Continent if Germany committed its strategic reserves, Berlin had more immediate problems to face. After laborious planning and detailed preparation by the Red Army, 1,250,000 soldiers, 6,000 planes, 30,000 heavy guns, and 5,000 tanks tore a 250 mile gap in German lines. In twelve days, twenty-five German divisions (some 300,000 soldiers) effectively vanished: "a greater catastrophe than Stalingrad," said its headquarters staff. After the breakout in August 1944, new pressures arose on the JCS to minimize any inter-ally conflicts that could delay the defeat of Germany. After all, the United States still had a war in the Pacific and "with reference to [the) clean-up of the Asiatic mainland, our objective should be to get the Russians to deal with the Japs in Manchuria (and Korea if necessary)." JCS position papers as late as May and June 1945 continued to state that "the maintenance of the unity of the Allies in the prosecution of the war must remain the cardinal and overriding objective of our politico-military policy with Russia." When it came to "big military matters," such as killing German soldiers and taking pressure off American ground forces, especially during the Normandy campaign, the Soviets were certainly reliable, which is more than Anglo- Americans often said about each other.28 H401RE-66 In retrospect, Winston Churchill would admit that the “mass-production style of [military] thought was formidable" at Normandy. Before June, the chief of the British Imperial Staff thought far less of George Marshall's attempt to ensure a massive cross-Channel invasion by "imposing a rigid straight- jacket on Mediterranean operations." ("Our American friends have no strategic outlook." They "imagine that this war can be run by a series of legal contracts based on false concepts of what may prevail six months ahead.") The British found the U.S. Army position particularly disconcerting in late 1943, when "the results of the Russian offensive [after Kursk] are at present incalculable and may produce a rapid German disintegration such as happened at the end of the last war." On grounds the odds were "even money" that Germany would not last through the winter if given no time to recover, Churchill and his senior army commanders renewed their old arguments against reducing resources for on-going operations in the Mediterranean theater. Americans, for their part, thought events on the Eastern Front gave the West an opportunity to prepare a truly powerful blow across the English Channel—just what Stalin wanted since 1942. George Marshall would say about the British that "we just didn't understand them and they certainly didn't understand us." As for military obligations with the Russians, especially in mid-1944, he and Henry Stimson said that "the Soviet government kept their word" and "carried out agreements to the day.”29 The American-Soviet Alliance and the Resurrection of Europe First Tehran, D-Day, and Bagration signified a weakening of the Anglo-American connection vis-a- vis the American-Soviet partnership that won the war in Europe. "It [was] quite obvious" to the secretary of the treasury in early 1944 "that the President is very much impressed with Stalin and not quite so much impressed as he has been with Churchill." London, although displeased with this occurrence, still had a consolation. The British, while delaying a cross-Channel invasion, cursed the American tendency to send half its resources to the Pacific, a very secondary theater, at least for Englishmen. Normandy and the follow-up battles for France, Belgium, and Germany made the original Anglo-American plan for Europe First a military fact. After August 1944 until victory in Europe, not one more U.S. Army division went to the Pacific, despite the campaign in Okinawa and the Philippines—the largest land operations the United States conducted in Asia during World War II. By September 1944, three-fourths of the Army's air groups and two-thirds of its divisions were fighting in the European theater, whereas half were there in 1943. To be sure, thanks to two years of Mediterranean operations, the meaning of Europe First had changed, at least for the United States. It was not what it had been in 1940: to hold an Alaska-Hawaii-Panama perimeter, win in Europe, then (and only then) take the offense in the Pacific with V-J following V-E day by two to three years. In 1942, the United States began a two ocean, simultaneous offensive that changed the dynamics of the global conflict. Europe First then meant beat Germany before beating Japan but minimize the gap between their respective surrenders and end the world war with the bang-bang finish that occurred in 1945.30 Summary: Is the Past Prologue? Army officers, having great responsibility for human life and national well-being, tend to study history for lessons to be learned. Historians, responsible for virtually nothing, are skeptical that history repeats itself. This writer, however, will venture to predict that the major factors discussed in this essay are bound to reappear. The Army will ask for definitive guidance from political figures who will not give it because they are more concerned with flexibility for themselves than clarity for the military. Nonetheless, there is a saving grace in these circumstances. If men cannot predict the course of war, should they give definitive guidance? Perhaps Franklin Roosevelt's ambiguity was profound; perhaps not? H401RE-67 Notes 1 For the results of the public opinion polls, see Theodore Wilson, The First Summit: Roosevelt and Churchill at Pacentia Bay, 1941 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991), 232; Robert Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 302; "The Fortune Surveys," Fortune Magazine, 24 (January-December: 1941), passim; Richard W. Steele, "Preparing the Public for War: Efforts to Establish a National Propaganda Agency," American Historical Review 75 (October 1970):1640. Admiral Stark to Admiral Kimmel, 25 February 1941, quoted in T. B. Kittredge, "United States Defense Policy and Strategy, 1941," U.S. News and World Report, 3 December 1954, 59. 2 Admiral Harold Stark to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox, 4 November 1940, quoted and the issue discussed in Mark Lowenthal, Leadership And Indecision: American War Planning and Policy Process, 1937-1942 (New York: Garland Press, 1989), 408-14, 424-26; Stark to Knox,' 12 September 1940, in Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79th Congress (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1946), 14:959; Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations (Washington, DC Historical Division U.S. Army, 1950), 118-23. 3 Stark (ca. July 1941), quoted in Thomas B. Buell, Master of Sea Power: A Biography of Flee Admiral Ernest J. King (Boston: Little, Brown, 1980), 139. Brigadier General Leonard Gerow then the director of the bureau of war plans, 16 July 1941, quoted in Watson, Chief of Staff Prewar Plans, 124, 341; Lieutenant General Leslie McNair, quoted in E. J. Kahn, Jr., McNair, Educator of an Army, (Washington, DC: Infantry Journal, 1945), 26; Henry Stimson (18 December 1940), quoted in Warren F. Kimball, The Juggler: Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesmen (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991), 14. 4 Roosevelt (mid-December 1937), quoted and cited in Jeffrey S. Underwood, The Wings' Democracy: The Influence of Air Power on the Roosevelt Administration, 1933-1941 (College Station: Texas University Press, 1991), 100; Secret Diary of Ickes, 2:274-77; Admiral Harold Stark, January and February 1941, quoted in Michael S. Sherry, The Rise of American Air Power: The Creation of Armageddon (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987), 103. 5 Gallup, Gallup Poll, 281, 294; Paul Douglas, quoted in Dallek, FDR and Foreign Policy, 310, Douglas described his interventionist activities in In the Fullness of Time: The Memoirs of H. Douglas (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1971), 82-83, 104-5; public opinion mid-November 1941, cited in Robert Dallek, Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), 311; Roosevelt's conversation with Henry Stimson, 25 September 1941, quoted in Mark Stoler, The Politics of the Second Front: American Military Planning and Diplomacy in Coalition Warfare, 1941-1943 (Westport Greenwood, 1977), 12. 6 Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (New York: Harper & Brothers 1948), 397. For the quotations from Ike, Thomas Handy, GCM, and Secretary of War Henry Stimson; see Maurice Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare (Washington, DC: Office of Chief of Military History, 1953-59), 2:12-13, 21, 74, and Eric Larrabee, Commander in Chief: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, His Lieutenants, and Their War (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987), 135. 7 Colonel Ray Maddocks, Army Joint U.S. Strategic Planning Committee, December 1942, quoted in Ray Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division (Washington, DC: Office of Chief of Military History, 1951), 173-74; Eisenhower, January 1942, quoted in Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 2: 12; joint military staff and war plans officers, quoted in Cline (above), 152-54; Colonel Claude B. Ferenbaugh (April 1943), quoted in Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 2:69; Lieutenant General Brehon Somervell (January 1942), as cited in Richard Leighton and Robert W. Oakley, Global Logistics and Strategy (Washington, DC: Chief of Military History, 1955-68), 1:200. 8 Leighton and Coakley, Logistics and Strategy, 1:198, 251; George McJimsey, Harry Hopkins: Ally of the Poor and Defender of Democracy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987), 200-208; H401RE-68 Marshall quoted in Forrest Pogue, George C. Marshall (New York: Viking Press, 1963-87) 2:461, footnote 33; Jean Edward Smith, Lucius D. Clay: An American Life (New York: Henry Holt, 1990), 132- 33. 9 Churchill (ca. 10 February 1941), quoted and issue discussed in Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, 260-62; WSC to FDR, 7 December 1940 and 16 December 1941, Warren F. Kimball, ed., Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984) 1: 107, 296- 97; Roosevelt, quoted in Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, 862, and in Leighton and Oakley, Global Strategy and Logistics, 2:62; Churchill, The Second World War (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1948-53), 3:673. The syntax of the last sentence was slightly modified. 10 For a discussion of the British and the American military experience in the final battle of World War I, see the previous chapter of this book. The quote from the British Joint Intelligence Committee (June 1942) is in Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1:237. 11 Churchill to FDR, 7 December 1940, Warren F. Kimball, ed., Churchill and Roosevelt: The Complete Correspondence (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984), 1:103; Gerhard L. Weinberg, A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1994), 142-45, 150, 352-53; "Meeting of Combined Chiefs of Staff," 16 January 1943, Foreign Relations of the United States (hereafter FRUS: 587, and Atlantic Conference (ca. 11 August 1941) quoted in Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, 358. 12 Marshall, 9 June 1943, briefing reporters as described in Glen C. H. Perry, "Dear Bart": Washington Views of World War II (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982), 175; the quotations, in sequence, are from Army war plans staff papers (ca. August 1941), as cited in Stoler, Politics of Second Front, 10; McNair, chief of Army ground forces (1 January 1944), as cited in Kahn, McNair, 6; and Sommervell (25 March 1943), quoted in Leighton and Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy, 1:698. For the Army's experience in World War I, see David Trask, The AEF and Coalition War making {Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1993), 120-23, 133, 140. 13 Marshall, 15 January 1957, in Larry T. Bland, George C. Marshall: Interviews and Reminiscences for Forrest c. Pogue (Lexington, VA: Marshall Research Foundation, 1991), 1289; hereafter called GCM: Interviews; Eisenhower (April 1942), FDR (May 1942), British intelligence estimate (June 1942): all quoted in Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare; 1:192, 221-22, 237. 14 Dwight D. Eisenhower, Crusade in Europe (Garden city, NY: Doubleday, 1948), 195. For Marshall's remark (17 May 1943) and Eisenhower's (20 June 1942), see Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1:238 and 2:131; Gen. Leslie McNair, head of ground forces training, 25-28 November 1941, quoted in Pogue, Marshall, 2:164-165; Eisenhower Journal, 17 July 1942, Alfred D. Chandler, ed., The Papers of Dwight Eisenhower (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1970-90), 1:390-91; GCM to General Surles, 26 August 1942, Larry T. Bland, ed., The Papers of George Catlett Marshall. (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Press, 1984-), 3:322. 15 Martin Gilbert, Road to Victory: Winston S. Churchill, 1941-1945 (London: Heinemann, Minerva, 1989), 134-40; Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1:239-40. 16 For Churchill's physical and political health, see Brian Loring Villa, Unauthorized Action: Mountbatten and the Dieppe Raid (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989), 51-57; and Gilbert, Road to Victory, 131, 138; Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, 314-15, 582, 601-2; Henry L. Stimson and McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service In Peace and War (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948), 423; Stoler, Politics of Second Front, 44; Churchill to FDR, 8 July 1942, in Francis L. Lowenheim, ed., et al., Roosevelt and Churchill: Their Secret Wartime Correspondence (New York: Dutton, 1975), 222. 17 King, n.d., quoted in Kenneth J. Hagen, This People's Navy, The Making of American Sea Power (New York: Free Press, 1991), 315; Eisenhower quoted in Harry C. Butcher, My Three Years with Eisenhower (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1946), 29-30; Martin Blumenson, The Patton Papers (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1972-74), 2:81-82; Stimson, quoted in Lowenheim, ed., Roosevelt and Churchill, 221; Richard Law (August 1942), quoted in Lowenthal, Leadership and Indecision, 1010; H401RE-69 Stimson Diary, 21 June 1942, quoted in Henry Stimson and McGeorge· Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948), 425. 18 Martin Blumenson, "A Deaf Ear Clausewitz: Allied Operational Objectives in World War II," Parameters 22 (Summer 1993):17-20; Weinberg, World at Arms, 591, 599, 662, 774; Hull (17 July 1943) and Bedell Smith (17 March 1943) and Bedell Smith (17 March 1944): both quoted in Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 2:205-6, 422. 19 Albert C. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports! (New York: Henry Holt, 1958), 238-39; Colonels Bissel and Lindsey (25 July 1943), John Hull (16 August 1943), George Marshall (15 August 1943): all quoted in Matloff, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 2:165-66, 220, 223; Bissel and Lindsey (25 July 1943) and Leahy (26 July 1943), both quoted in Leighton and Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy, 2:178-79. 20 Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, 438-39; Eleanor Roosevelt, quoted in Larrabee, Commander in Chief, 644. 21 C.B.O. Plan, 14 May 1943, as quoted in Charles Webster and Noble Frankland, The Strategic Air Offensive Against Germany, 1939-1945 (London: Government Printing Office, 1961), 2:23-24; Kenneth P. Werrell, "The Strategic Bombing of Germany in World War II: The Costs and Accomplishments,” Journal of American History 73 (December 1986): 705; Craven and Cate, Army Air Forces, 2:678-706, 849-50; Webster and Frankland (above), 2:45-46. 22 The Germans produced 150 short-range fighters in 1940, 1,200 in 1944; see Lord Arthur Tedder, Air Power in War (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1949), 103; for figures on total production, see Wayne A. Silkett, "Air War in Europe," Parameters 25 (Autumn 1995): 119; for priority targets, losses of experienced Luftwaffe pilots, tactical air supremacy, and recognition that bombers were "bait," see Stephen L. McFarland and Wesley Phillips Newton, To Command the Sky: The Battle for Air Superiority over Germany, 1942-1944 (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991), 123, 208-14, and Williamson Murray, Luftwaffe (Baltimore: Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company, 1985), 182, 214, 228; Marshall, 9 June 1943, quoted in Perry, "Dear Bart," 176; for a riveting description by a German of what it meant to lose tactical air superiority on the Eastern Front, see Guy Sajer, The Forgotten Soldier (Great Britain: Sphere, 1978), 310-11; for the air monopoly at Normandy and the quote from a British sailor, see Max Hasting, Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984), 40-43, 81, 122, and Craven and Cate, Army Air Forces, 3:58, 190-95. 23 R. J. Overy, The Air War: 1939-1945 (New York: Stein and Day, 1982), 121-22; Deputy Chief of British Air :;:Haff, 27 September 1943, quoted in F. H. Hinsley, British Intelligence in the Second World War (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1985), 3:295; Roosevelt, As He Saw It, 194. It is a military rule of thumb that the tactical offense needs three times as many soldiers as the defense at the point of contact on the battlefield. Military theorist Basil Liddell Hart held that if the defense has an adequate force-to-space ratio (which is substantially lower in modem, mobile warfare), the offense may need up to ten times as much combat power as the defense. Hence, the Allies, as well as the Germans, gained a decided advantage on the ground when they used substantial (often about one-third) of their assets on strategic bombing or air defense; see Liddell Hart, "The Ratio of Troops to Space," Military Review 39 (April 1960): esp. 8-14. 24 Waldo Heinrichs, Threshold of War: Franklin D. Roosevelt and American Entry into World War II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 141, 148, 174; Vojtech Mastny, Russia's Road to the Cold War: Diplomacy, Warfare, and the Politics of Communism, 1941-1945 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979) 74-84; Weinberg, World War II Decisive Battles of the Soviet Union (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1984), 253-55. (Some people dispute the accuracy of Soviet military history of World War II. I can only repeat what an American expert has told me (and other experts have supported): "Soviet publications could not lie to the West without lying to themselves, and Russians take World War II too seriously, as a laboratory for national defense, to do that.") Hopkins, "We Can Win in 1945," 100. H401RE-70 25 Marvin D. Berstein and Francis L. Loewenheim, "Aid to Russia: The First Year," in Stein, ed., American Civil-Military Decisions, 101, 115, 146; WPD (28 February 1942), quoted in Cline, Washington Command Post, 149. 26 Leighton and Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy, 2:110, 116; the lend-lease statistics are from H. P. Willmott, The Great Crusade (New York: Free Press, 1989), 293; Maurice Matloff, ''The 90- Division Gamble," Kent Roberts Greenfield, ed., Command Decisions (Washington, DC: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 1984), 367-69; Alan S. Milward, War, Economy and Society: 1939-1945 (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1979), 216. 27 Marshall (16 May 1994), quoted in Matloff, "90-Division Gamble," 378; Stoler, Politics of Second Front, 158; General Thomas Handy (3 March 1943) and Marshall (31 March 1944), quoted in Matloff, Strategic Planning in Coalition Warfare, 2:282, 497. 28 British General Alan Brooke, 1 November 1943, quoted In Weinberg, World at Arms, 1079; "JCS Meeting with President," 18 June 1945, in U.S. Department of Defense, The Entry of the Soviet Union into the War Against Japan: Military Plans 1941-1945 (Washington, DC: Department of Defense, 1955), 78-79; Operation “Bagration” described and German command headquarters quoted in Alexander Werth, Russia at War, 1941-1945 (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1984 (originally 1964), 860-65; Joint Strategic Survey Committee of JCS (5 April 1945), quoted and the minimal change in the military's policy towards Russia after V-E Day discussed in Diane S. Clemens, "Averell Harriman, John Deane, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the 'Reversal of Cooperation' with the Soviet Union in April 1945," International History Review 14 (May 1992): 280, 298-99, 300-303; GCM: Interviews, 20 November 1956, 574. 29 Churchill, Second World War, 5:426; 'British military briefing book for Tehran Conference and:" Alan Brooke quoted in Weinberg, World at Arms, 625, 1073; and Piers Mackesy, "Document: Overlord and the Mediterranean Strategy," War in History 3 (January 1996):103-5; for Churchill's comment about "even money," 1 December 1943, see C. L. Sulzberger, Seven Continents and Forty Years: A Concentration of Memoirs (New York: Quadrangle, 1977), 40; GCM: Interviews, 15 January 1957 and 15 November 1956, 289, 342; Secretary of War, Stimson, 23 April 1945, quoted in Clemens, "Harriman, Deane, JCS, and 'Reversal of Cooperation' with Soviet Union," 280. 30 Diary of Henry Morgenthau (no day) January and 7 April 1944, as cited in Christopher Thorne, Allies of a Kind: The United States, Britain and the War Against Japan, 1941-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), 276; for the American demand to shorten the time gap between V-J and V-E Day, see Cline, Washington Command Post, 334-41. U.S. War Department. AWPD-1: Munitions Requirements of the Army Air Forces. DECLASSIFIED, IAW, EO12958. Washington, D.C., (August 12, 1941). CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0455 E H401ORA-71 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H401: The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in World War II Reading H401ORA AWPD-1: Munitions Requirements of the Army Air Forces H401ORA-72 H401ORA-73 H401ORA-74 Harrison, Mark. “Resource mobilization for World War II: the U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany, 1938-1945,” in Economic History Review, 41:2, 1988: 171-192. [21 pages] CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0456 E H401ORB-75 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H401: The Rise of the American Way of War: Global Strategy and Mobilization in World War II Reading H401ORB Resource Mobilization for World War II: the U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany, 1938-1945 by Mark Harrison In 1946 Raymond Goldsmith (formerly head of the economics and planning division of the U.S. War Production Board) published an estimated balance sheet of war production of the major belligerent powers of World War II. His results are shown in Table 1. Goldsmith commented: The cold figures . . . probably tell the story of this war in its essentials as well as extended discussion or more elaborate pictures: the initial disadvantage of the Western Allies; the surprising stand of the U.S.S.R.; the rapid improvement in the United Nations’ position in 1943; their decisive superiority over Nazi Germany in 1944; and the rapid collapse of Japan once the theater of war was restricted to the Pacific. They back to the full the thesis, dear to the economist’s ear, that whatever may have saved the United Nations from defeat in the earlier stages of the conflict, what won the war for them in the end was their ability to produce more, and vastly more, munitions than the Axis.1 Table 1. Volume of combat munitions production of the major belligerents, 1935-44 (annual expenditure in $ billion, U.S. 1944 munitions prices) 1935-9 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 U.S.A. 0.3 1.5 4.5 20 38 42 Canada 0 0 0.5 1 1.5 1.5 U.K. 0.5 3.5 6.5 9 11 11 U.S.S.R. 1.6 5 8.5 11.5 14 16 Germany 2.4 6 6 8.5 13.5 17 Japan 0.4 1 2 3 4.5 6 Note: Figures for 1935-9 are given as cumulative expenditure in the source, annual average expenditure in this table. Source: Goldsmith, “Power of victory”, p. 75. (For explanation of Goldsmith’s sources and methods, and for discussion of reliability of his estimate of Soviet munitions output, please apply to the author for appendix A.) Granted the superior potential for war production of the Allied nations over their enemies, what factors enabled this potential superiority to be realized in the different economies under combat conditions? More than 40 years after the event, a fully comprehensive answer to this question has not yet been compiled. Early interest in the comparative economic history of World War II faded soon after the war. Since 1946, by tradition, comparative discussion of the war economies has been largely limited to the German, British, and U.S. records.2 In contrast, Soviet experience has suffered neglect.3 The main reason is that official release of significant detail relating to the Soviet war effort was delayed for many years after the war.4 Thus, H401ORB-76 when British and American historians were researching the histories of the British, American, German, and Japanese war economies in the late 1940s and early 1950s, relevant Soviet materials were still on the secret list. When they began to appear in the 1960s and 1970s, historians of other countries had perhaps already lost interest. How may the effectiveness of the Soviet economic war effort be compared with that of her main allies and principal adversary? In this article I shall attempt to outline some aspects of a comparative study of resource mobilization for war. These include war preparations and mobilization needs (section I), political leadership and the central coordination of resources (section II), and the intensity of resource mobilization (section III). Addressing these issues on the basis of materials available today, even in narrowly quantitative terms, proved an unexpectedly complex task. The complications arose only partly from the need to establish comparability of the Soviet record with better known materials for other countries. It soon became clear that another task was involved as well – the need to eliminate distortions of concept and measurement from the comparative statistical record already established for the United States, Britain, and Germany. I How did the different powers prepare for war, and what were the economic implications of their policies? The most extensive economic burdens of war preparation were borne by Germany and the Soviet Union; British rearmament was run on an altogether smaller scale, and in the United States war preparations were almost nonexistent. By the late 1930s Germany was in a position to deploy formidable military assets. These assets depended only partly on her economy. A crucial ingredient in her military successes up to 1942 was her aggressive strategy of surprise and preemption in combined arms operations. The Blitzkrieg strategy helps to explain how Germany was able to overrun half of Europe without major military loss.5 How cheap was Germany’s early military success? Germany’s prewar economic preparations were very substantial. Table 1 shows that in the years 1935-9 Germany had procured a volume of combat munitions far greater than any other power, and equal in real terms to the munitions production of all her future adversaries combined. Already in the last “peacetime” year of 1938 Germany’s military expenditures were costing her one-sixth of her national income.6 Only the Soviet Union had applied resources to rearmament on anything approaching the German order of magnitude. Thus Germany had to devote major resources to her war effort, even while she was still beginning her trail of victories. Nonetheless her successes were cheap in at least two senses: first, because rearmament was initiated in an underemployed economy, so that increases in military spending merely took up slack and did not require the resources employed for war to be first withdrawn from other commitments;7 second, because the resources devoted to war were employed with relative efficiency, and Germany’s conquests brought major economic returns. Germany’s opponents could not expect to deter or defeat her so inexpensively in war, for Germany wielded the crucial advantages of the offensive. To deter German aggression or (which may have come to the same thing) to be sure of denying victory to Germany without major expenditure of resources in war, they would have had to rearm in peacetime on a far larger scale than Germany herself. In fact, the opposite was the case. The British rearmament process began in 1935, in the wake of abandonment of the “ten-year rule” (that there would be no major conflict within a rolling ten-year horizon) which since 1919 had dominated British strategic planning, and with the naming of Japan and Germany as potential aggressors. The main effort was devoted to naval and air rearmament; as a whole, the defence budget remained tightly constrained by both strategic and economic doctrines. Regardless of the domestic background of widespread unemployment, official fears of financial instability still exceeded the fear H401ORB-77 of external aggression. Until March 1938 British defence preparations had to be carried on within the limits of the doctrine that “the course of normal trade should not be impeded”. Strict financial constraints were soon rationalized in military policy, in the theory of a “war of limited liability”, ruling out the need for any major reconditioning of the ground forces. The perspective of a limited war outlived the financial limitation of defence spending by one year, being abandoned only in March 1939 with the fall of Prague.8 Thus, before 1939, Britain rearmed only at a low level, seeking to regulate Germany’s behaviour primarily through negotiation; in 1938 defence spending still claimed only 7 percent of the national income. French preparations were similarly limited, both in absolute terms and in relation to the size of the French economy. The United States abstained altogether from the rearmament process, defence allocations remaining insignificant in proportion to her national income as late as 1940.9 The only country to attempt the building of a true military counterweight to German dispositions was the Soviet Union. Throughout the interwar years Soviet military-economic doctrines had emphasized the permanent dangers of external aggression (although Soviet leaders had also been slow to recognize the Nazi threat). In Soviet rearmament was mirrored Germany’s drive toward a mass army possessing military-technical superiority, backed up by the mass production facilities of modernized and specialized defence industries. As a result, only in the Soviet Union did defence production in the 1930s approach the same order of magnitude as that of Germany, and of all Germany’s adversaries the Soviet economy devoted the highest peacetime proportion of national income to defence—perhaps 20 percent in 1940, more than the proportional burden on Germany’s national economy in 1938. The Soviet economy, however, had to find resources for defence in a very different context. The Soviet industrial base was at a much lower technical level; moreover, by the late 1930s its resources were already strained by overfull employment.10 As a result, accelerated rearmament could only be financed by subtracting resources from the civilian sector, especially from household consumption. This meant that after gaining a head start over Germany at the beginning of the 1930s the scale of the Soviet effort tended to lag behind. Independently of the sheer physical scale of rearmament, there were important differences between the rearmament processes of the different powers. The most important difference lay in the time horizon of the economic plans. German rearmament tended to emphasize the maximization of specific kinds of short-term military power, reflected in the acquisition of particular weapons and combat stocks for immediate campaigns. Her adversaries, unable to choose the time or place of battle or the direction of the attack, were forced to plan for a more protracted conflict and to prepare their forces to fight under all conditions. Whether they rearmed at a low or a high level, their rearmament tended to display an all-round, long-range character in which an immediate increase of munitions production was combined with a military-industrial build-up aimed at maximizing military power across a wide range in some future year. This also meant that the pattern of rearmament differed between the powers in terms of the balance of munitions and manpower. This balance is estimated in table 2, which is divided into two parts. Part (A) is based on budgetary or national income accounts in domestic prices of each country (current prices for the U.K. and Germany, constant prices for the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R.), and shows the relative priority accorded by each country to munitions and military pay. Part (B) shows Goldsmith’s estimates of the real munitions production of each country in proportion to the size of its armed forces; based on the common value standard of 1944 U.S. munitions prices, it removes the influence of differing national relativities of munitions prices and military salaries (for example, the high munitions costs and low conscript pay of the capital-scarce economy of the Soviet Union in comparison with the others), and shows the extent to which different national priorities were successfully carried into practice. Table 2 (A) shows clearly that, already on the verge of war, the common policy of the United States, United Kingdom, and U.S.S.R. was to follow a much more “intensive” rearmament pattern than that adopted by Germany, stressing a relatively high level of allocations to mechanization and re- H401ORB-78 equipment, compared with the German policy of creating a large fighting force based on only limited military stockbuilding.11 Thereafter (at least, as late as 1942), the divergence between Allied and German policy crystallized. After 1942 a fluctuation in the Allied pattern becomes noticeable; the Soviet emphasis on munitions spending remained pronounced, while that of the United States and United Kingdom was tending to diminish. Table 2. Munitions and men: the U.S.A, U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany (A) The ratio of spending on munitions to spending on military pay, 1939-45a U.S.A. U.K. U.S.S.R. Germany 1939 … 3.6 ... 1.9 1940 4.2 4.1 3.3 1.0 1941 3.7 3.4 ... 0.8 1942 3.9 2.7 2.6 0.9 1943 3.0 2.3 3.3 ... 1944 2.4 1.9 3.6 … 1945 1.8 1.4 ... … (B) Volume of combat munitions production compared to numbers of military personnel (U.S. 1944 dollars per man), 1940-44b U.S.A. U.K. U.S.S.R. Germany 1940 2,800 1,500 1,200 1,100 1941 2,800 1,900 ... 800 1942 5,400 2,200 1,100 900 1943 4,200 2,300 1,300 1,200 1944 3,700 2,200 1,400 1,400 Notes and sources: a Calculated or estimated from budgetary, national expenditure or output data in Smith, Army, p. 5; Statistical digest, p. 200 and Hancock and Gowing, British war economy, pp. 75, 347; Bergson, Real national income, pp. 70, 99-100, 130, and Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 119, 138, 259; Klein, Germany’s preparations, p. 91. The U.S. and Soviet ratios are calculated at constant 1945 domestic prices and 1937 factor costs respectively; the British and German ratios are calculated at current domestic prices. A degree of uncertainty surrounds the Soviet data, but caution must also be exercised with regard to the British estimates. (For further detail and discussion, please apply to the author for appendix B.) b Real munitions production, estimated in table t, is divided by series for armed forces personnel from American industry, P. 34; Hancock and Gowing, British war economy, pp. 203, 351; Harrison, Soviet planning, p. 138 (for 1943 a figure of 11 million is interpolated); Michalka, ed., Weltmachtanspruch, p. 389. To what extent were policy and priority carried into practice? Table 2 (B) shows a slightly different rank ordering of the powers by “intensity” of rearmament measured in real terms per soldier. Again, already in 1940 the Anglo-American pattern was quite distinct from the German, a substantial advantage of munitions re-equipment per soldier accruing to the Western Allies. This gap subsequently widened into a deep chasm—at least until 1944, when the German acceleration of war production narrowed it slightly. However, by this measure there was much less of an advantage to the Soviet soldier. In terms of policy and priority, Soviet rearmament and wartime military spending had shared the general Allied pattern of “intensive” rearmament. However, it was much more difficult for the Soviets to match the physical results of U.S. and U K military spending, given the low- productivity, capital-scarce Soviet industrial base. The outcome of the Soviet expenditure pattern was therefore nearer to German proportions (although there was still a degree of Soviet advantage, at least until 1944) than to the Allied pattern. The explanation for this difference between Soviet priorities and results was surely the relatively high rouble costs of Soviet weaponry and low rouble pay of conscripts. H401ORB-79 The low proportion of German military stockbuilding to armed forces personnel reflected an essential weakness of Germany’s war preparations. Up to 1940 Germany led the world in the production of munitions. But at the same time her rising military commitments of conquest and occupation, combined with limits on her industrial mobilization, were forcing her military effort to rely more and more upon personnel recruitment for additional resources. After 1940 German munitions production rose only slowly whereas Allied production multiplied. As a result, when German production finally accelerated in 1943-4, it was already too late to close the gap. The Allied pattern of preparation for a protracted war of productive effort and economic mobilization yielded many benefits in wartime, in continuity of programmes of weapons development and production, and of industrial construction, mobilization, and dispersal. This was especially evident in the Soviet case. Although the Soviets faced a bitter struggle to translate rearmament policies into effective output, the more intensive character of their prewar military-economic priorities gave rise to a more resilient, more mobilized wartime economic system. Behind the Soviet emphasis on the industrial supply of defence requirements lay the buildup of defence capacity not only in specialized plant but also, by means of widespread subcontracting of defence orders, throughout civilian industry; much of the latter comprised a reserve available for immediate conversion to war production in the event of war.12 And here was one of the keys to the Soviet wartime economic mobilization, which was achieved in spite of the unanticipated character and crushing weight of the German military blow to the Soviet economy.13 II The success of the German Blitzkrieg depended primarily upon military factors. Success in sustaining a war of more protracted effort, however, depended ultimately upon resources-their availability, the ability to mobilize them speedily and fully, and their coordination in correct proportions between the front and rear and between the military and civilian sectors of the rear. The Blitzkrieg was aimed primarily at securing victory before such a resource mobilization could be effected by the adversary. German failure in the Blitzkrieg against the Soviet Union in 1941-2 was decisive in the conversion of the war from a series of lightning campaigns to a prolonged war of productive effort and economic mobilization. Beforehand, Hitler’s Wehrmacht had blazed an unbroken trail of victories through Europe. Afterwards, the defeat of Germany’s war aims was guaranteed (although its scale remained to be determined). Why did Hitler fail? Circumstantial factors played a certain part, of course. Among the underlying reasons for German failure in 1941-2, however, are included the counter-actions and initiatives of the Soviet government and people. German military success in 1941-2 depended on stunning and paralyzing the Soviet military-economic machine with a colossal blow. Soviet resilience stemmed partly from the reactions and initiatives of Soviet leaders from above, partly from those of Soviet people at a lower, less discernible level. At the highest level the Soviet military-economic machine was only partially and momentarily stunned. The Kremlin’s first clearsighted responses to the economic emergency can be found in the campaign for industrial evacuation. It was this programme which saved Soviet specialized defence plant and provided the essential context for the economy-wide mobilization of war production. Such early high-level initiatives to grapple seriously with the threatened economic catastrophe depended heavily on the qualities of leading individuals. The individualization of authority and responsibility, reinforced by dictatorial powers, rapidly became a leading principle of wartime administration in the first eighteen months.14 It was reflected in the division of labour within Stalin’s war cabinet where, for example, Beriya was responsible for armament and ammunition procurement, Malenkov for the aircraft industry, Molotov for tank building, Kaganovich for railway transport. This adaptation of the Soviet political system to new tasks had peacetime precedents in previous emergencies of confrontation with the peasantry and food shortage, of international tension, and of H401ORB-80 industrial and defence mobilization. However, in 1941-2 it was carried to a new extreme. Thus in 1941 the central functions of the Soviet military-economic apparatus were neither fully stunned nor paralyzed. Nor were people paralyzed at lower levels. Even in the first, comparatively leaderless, days the conversion and mobilization of the economy for war production were carried on in full swing. People knew what they were supposed to do and did it without having to be told directly. This was a fact of colossal significance. The evacuation process, too, did not rely exclusively on controls superimposed from above; much of it was carried through on the basis of low-level initiative, without permission from Moscow or Moscow’s representatives.15 In summary, there were two elements in Soviet economic resilience in 1941-2. One was the capacity of Soviet leadership for high-level initiative and individual improvisation, enforced by decrees and dictatorial powers, in the face of emergency. The other was the popular response from below. This combined response was sufficient for survival in the short term, when everything depended upon munitions production for immediate combat. It did not, however, add up to a fully centralized and coordinated war economy. Rather, in the first period of the war control was exercised from the centre over a few fundamentals, and the rest of the economy was instructed to show initiative and rely on “local resources”; the key sectors controlled from the centre were not systematically coordinated with each other or with the supporting civilian infrastructure, because of the system of divided personal responsibilities. Coordination was a matter of crash programmes and emergency measures to rectify imbalances only at the point where they became intolerable. Individual initiative based on rule by decree was not, however, sufficient for a prolonged resource mobilization. This is convincingly demonstrated by the state of the Soviet economy at the end of 1941. Defence plant had been saved and defence output multiplied. But everything else was in an utter shambles. The resulting imbalances soon became a vital threat to continuation of the war effort. Steel, coal, electricity, machinery and transport capacities, workers to staff these industries, housing and food for the workers, all became priorities of equal weight to war production. The resulting complex allocation problem could only be resolved by reassertion of bureaucratic order; “rule by decree” had to give way to law-governed administration.16 By the end of 1942 this transition had been achieved. Victory at Stalingrad was in sight. Within the crisis-torn economy a working balance had been roughly restored. Within the war cabinet the responsibility for economic priorities formerly divided between leading individuals had been centralized in a new Operations Bureau.17 From now on the role of political leadership was no longer crucial to Soviet survival, for the system as a whole was now fully mobilized for a war which it could no longer lose. How did Soviet political leadership compare with that of other war economies? The U.K. economy also went through a phase of rapid reorientation for war. It differed from the Soviet experience both in starting point (less than full employment of both labour and fixed assets) and process (there was no invasion of British territory and the national product expanded). The result, however, was not dissimilar a resource-constrained, “shortage” economy subject to non-price regulation of the working population (its participation and distribution), of productive capacity and investment goods, of intermediate goods and raw materials, and of most retail and all foreign trade. While the British transition was marked by indispensable political change at the top (the collapse of the Chamberlain administration and its replacement by Churchill’s coalition in May 1940), personal leadership was relatively unimportant in managing the economic conversion process. As far as the U.K. economy was concerned, the rule was to fight the war by committee. The outstanding example of individual leadership based on personal responsibility in the economy was that of Beaverbrook. Churchill’s friend and ally over many years, Beaverbrook was Minister of Aircraft Production from 1940-1, then Minister of Supply (responsible for tank-building) and briefly Minister of Production in 1942. Strenuously opposed to formal hierarchies and programmes, his watchwords were “Committees take the punch out of war” and “Organization is the enemy of improvisation”. He was credited with “magical” success in mobilizing resources, first for fighter H401ORB-81 output in the Battle of Britain, then for the production of tank and antitank weaponry in mid-1941 as the economy passed from full employment to intense shortage on every front. Dispassionate analysis has suggested, however, that Beaverbrook’s influence on the dynamic of aircraft production may have been less important than other impersonal factors—the administrative programmes, production capacities and aircraft types created under his predecessors, the shock of defeat in France, the threat of invasion and the political crisis which provided the context for his appointment. His influence on the supply of resources to other sectors may also have been negative and disruptive.18 Moreover, Beaverbrook’s example does not find a parallel in other sectors of the British economy. With the exception of the aircraft industry, the coordination of British resources for war was exercised from within a bureaucratic system of centralized controls presided over by Sir John Anderson, Lord President and then Chancellor of the Exchequer.19 Germany’s war economy presents the opposite case, where personal authority (the Führerprinzip) and divided responsibility were the rule, reinforced by traditional Gauleiter resistance to centralization of priorities. For example, Göring was responsible for the aircraft industry and for import substitution capacities formed under the Four Year Plan of 1936-40, Funk for the civilian economy under the Economics Ministry, Thomas for military procurement under the Wehrmacht high command and Todt, then Speer for the Ministry of Armaments. This system sufficed—as long as the industrial requirements of Germany’s Blitzkrieg fell short of full-scale mobilization of her economy, and while Germany could draw readily on the resources and slave labour of her occupied territories. After 1941 German economic leaders like Speer, the Minister of Armaments, understood that this was no longer enough, and began to try to persuade Hitler of the need for full centralization of controls on resource allocation.20 Ultimately, however, they were unable to secure it; in particular, Speer could not extend his influence over German labour, under the protection of Nazi traditionalists like Sauckel (the protégé of Hitler’s personal secretary, Bormann) of the Reich Labour Office. At the height of Germany’s economic mobilization the principle of divided responsibilities meant that her economy remained full of untouched reserves—of industrial capacity, of female labour, of Himmler’s SS resources.21 Comparison of Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia as convergent systems, whether “totalitarian” or “shapeless”, fails to throw light on differences in their styles of wartime resource mobilization. German leaders failed to secure centralized coordination of resources for a protracted war; Soviet leaders were not finally frustrated by similar ideological and institutional barriers to productive effort. The Soviet path to a fully centralized and coordinated war economy was not a straight line and took eighteen months to negotiate, but local traditions and bureaucratic interests did not prevail against it.22 The Soviet and German paths did not converge. The U.S. economy followed its own path of wartime mobilization. The huge increase of war production which marked the first year of the war was almost entirely unregulated. Multiple high- level agencies with overlapping responsibilities competed with each other and with the private sector for access to industrial resources. By mid-1942 war contracts had been issued to a sum exceeding the value of the 1941 gross national product. It took eighteen months for a coherent pattern of specialization of war agencies to emerge, based on controls over war contracts, producer goods, wage and price controls, and consumer rationing. Central oversight of policy also had to be secured, in May 1943, in the Office of War Mobilization under Byrnes.23 Whether this amounted to a recipe for centralization by committee on the British model was never really put to the test. Such was the increase in participation, production, and productivity that the United States never experienced a “shortage” economy. Household consumption continued to rise. Investment continued to be regulated through financial criteria rather than on the British pattern of administrative controls on labour allocation and a recoupment period governed by the expected duration of the war.24 Full employment was restored, and manpower became “the most critical factor in war production today”—the judgement of War Production Board chairman Nelson in 1944; but he H401ORB-82 also wrote that there was “never an actual over-all shortage of manpower” only “localized manpower shortages”.25 Alone of the major Allies, the United States never had to resort to direction of industrial labour or a universal compulsory service law. The qualities of Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Hitler also bear upon this issue. Churchill, Stalin, and Hitler shared a taste for strategy and enthusiasm for interference in operational decisions; each was often dictatorial towards subordinates and intolerant of correction by them. Roosevelt disliked delegating unified authority to subordinates, and preferred the rivalry of competing individuals and agencies to the emergence of dominant centres of authority. The consequences were quite different for their respective countries. For Hitler to make a single false step was a disaster for Germany, since everything depended on Germany’s securing military victory before the potential anti-German coalition could mobilize its full resources. Much smaller risks were attached to the quality of judgement of Churchill or Roosevelt—after the Battle of Britain and Pearl Harbor, anyway. For the Soviet Union, Stalin’s mistakes were of diminishing importance after 1941; after the battle of Stalingrad, they could no longer affect critically the outcome of the war, which from now on depended mainly on superior Allied resources.26 III The attempt to compare each nation’s war effort, as a proportion of its national economy, has been characterized by many sources of confusion. Most obvious is the problem of ensuring comparability of national income and war spending measures. Consider the traditional view, which holds that the U.S. economy was less fully mobilized at the wartime peak than the British economy.27 In relation to uses of the national income this view was first advanced in detail by Carroll in her comparative study of national income shares.28 Such national income shares are commonly measured in the current domestic prices of each country; they indicate the ability of each country to commit available resources to its war effort, and the sacrifice of non-war uses of national income implied by wartime commitments. By this measure, each country’s share of national income allocated to military spending may change through time for two reasons: because of changes in the proportions of real war and non-war spending, and because of changes in the relative prices of war and non-war products. Quantification of relative price effects is lacking for the four powers in wartime, except in the case of the United States for which they are known to have been small.29 Underlying Carroll’s argument was the proposition that already by 1942 the U.K. had committed no less than 64 percent of her national income to the war effort, compared to a maximum of 42 percent in 1943-4 for the United States.30 This finding is seriously misleading. Thus, for the United Kingdom Carroll’s national income measure was net national product (NNP) at factor cost; for the United States, gross national product (GNP) at market prices. In wartime, the difference between American GNP at market prices and NNP at factor cost (capital consumption and net indirect taxes) amounted to more than one-fifth of GNP. Moreover, Carroll’s measure of U.K. military spending up to 1942 is inflated by inclusion of “capital” items (repayment of pre-war defence loans). Her NNP data for the U.K. are reported by calendar year, defence spending on a fiscal year basis. Additionally, since publication of Carroll’s work, historical national income estimates for the U.K. have been revised, with major effect. When the distortions are eliminated and new estimates taken into account it transpires that, at the wartime peak (which now falls in 1943 or 1944 for each country), the two countries allocated similar shares of national income to reported spending on goods and services for the war effort. Carroll’s conclusion that Germany matched the U.K. peak of national income mobilization for war only in 1944 is also mistaken; it is based on comparing German military spending with “total available output” (GNP plus net imports, not GNP as claimed), which significantly understates German war expenditures in proportion to national income. Removal of this distortion shows that, by national income share, by 1943 Germany was the most highly mobilized of the powers. Now there arises a further complication—how to account correctly for the role of wartime H401ORB-83 international transfers. Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and Germany all relied on external resources to finance a significant share of their domestic war expenditures. For Germany the source of these transfers was her conquered territories in both western and eastern Europe; for the U.K. and the U.S.S.R. the source was North American supply, especially from the United States (in addition, the net imports of the U.K. were also financed in part out of overseas investment incomes). When British and Soviet military expenditures are compared with those of the United States, we find that U.S. Lend-Lease transfers were double counted. United States military goods supplied to the other Allies were counted once by the United States as federal spending on national security (not as exports);31 then they were counted a second time by the recipient nations in their own budget revenues and spending on the war. Thus, all the wartime partners claimed simultaneous credit for allocating U.S. transfers to the common cause. Table 3 shows measures of national income mobilization for the four powers on a uniform basis. For comparability, military spending is shown in proportion to the national product net of capital depreciation; the Soviet national income measure is converted to a western basis. Whether the national or domestic product is used is immaterial except for the U.K. where investment income from overseas was significant; in the latter case overseas investment income is also netted out, leaving net domestic product. All national income measures are at current factor cost, except for the U.S.S.R. for which constant factor costs of 1937 are used. What this means in principle is that the Soviet series give a more accurate impression of relative changes in real magnitudes of war and non-war production, but do not reflect the current sacrifice of non-war uses of national income with the same accuracy as would calculations at current factor cost. For each nation, two measures of the mobilization of its national income are derived. Measure (I) shows the national utilization of resources supplied to the war effort, irrespective of origin, in proportion to the national product. This is the measure appropriate to the study of national priorities. For the U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany it is the traditional measure: the ratio of officially reported or estimated defence expenditures to national income; for these countries it constitutes the upper bound on national income mobilization. For the U.S.A. it means deducting those federal expenditures which supplied the war effort of other nations, and is the lower bound on measured mobilization of national income. Table 3. The mobilization of net national product for war: the U.S.A., U.K., U.S .S .R., and Germany, 1938-45 (percent of national income) U.S.A.a UKb U.S.S.R.c Germanyc (I) (II) (I) (II) (I) (II) (I) (II) 1938 … … 7 2 … … 17 18 1939 1 2 16 8 … … 25 24 1940 1 3 48 31 20 20 44 36 1941 13 14 55 41 … … 56 44 1942 36 40 54 43 75 66 69 52 1943 47 53 57 47 76 58 76 60 1944 47 54 56 47 69 52 … … 1945 … 44 47 36 … … … … Key: (I) National utilization of resources supplied to the war effort, regardless of origin: military spending (for the United States, less net exports) as share of national product. (II) Domestic finance of resources supplied to the war effort, irrespective of utilization: military spending (for the U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany, less net imports) as share of national product. Notes and sources: a. For NNP at factor cost and federal military spending see Historical statistics, pp. 139, 142 (series F7 and F83). Net exports, including military transfers, are given for 1939-44 in American industry, p. 52. b. NDP at factor cost and net imports of goods and services from Feinstein, National income, tables and 2. Military spending from Hancock and Gowing, British war economy, pp. 75, 347. H401ORB-84 c. NNP at constant (1937) factor cost from Moorsteen and Powell, Capital stock, table T-47 (pp. 361-2), and Powell, “War years”, table T-47-X (p. 25). Military spending and net imports, also at 1937 factor cost, derived primarily from Bergson, Real national income, pp. 70, 99-100, and 130 by various means. d. Klein, Germany’s preparations, p. 256. GNP at market prices is adjusted to NNP at factor cost by a deduction representing the share of capital depreciation and indirect taxes in 1938 GNP within pre-1939 boundaries (see p. 251). (For further detail and discussion, please apply to the author for appendix C.) Measure (II) shows the domestic finance of resources supplied to the war effort, irrespective of utilization, in proportion to the national product. This is the measure appropriate to the study of domestic mobilization. It is assumed that domestic supply of military spending was eased by the full amount of net imports (for the United States it means crediting her domestic war effort in full with U.S. resources transferred to her allies’ fighting strength). For the United Kingdom, U.S.S.R., and Germany net imports are deducted from reported or estimated military spending, resulting in a lower bound of measured national income mobilization. For the U.S.A. the traditional measure of reported defence expenditure is used, resulting in an upper bound. The economic war efforts of the main allied nations, in proportion to their national incomes, peaked at different times in 1942, 1943, or 1944. Table 3 shows that the peak percentages of net national income mobilized for war by the United States and the United Kingdom differed. On a national utilization basis, the U.K. allocated more resources (irrespective of origin) to the war (57 versus 47 percent of national income). When consideration is restricted to domestically financed supply of the war effort, however, the balance of mobilization changes in favour of the U.S. economy, which devoted 53-4 percent of NNP to the war effort in 1943-4 compared to the U.K. maximum of 47 percent. The U.S.S.R. showed a higher level of economic mobilization than either of her allies at the peak. By 1942, after discounting the (as yet minor) role of external supply, up to two-thirds of the Soviet national income was being allocated to the war effort. When external resources are included, the proportion rises to three- quarters. In 1943, on a national utilization basis, the 1942 record was perhaps even exceeded with 76 percent of Soviet NNP allocated to the war. From the standpoint of domestic finance, however, the peak had already passed. The passing of the maximum of Soviet domestic resource mobilization was associated with military victory at Stalingrad, with recovery of national output, rising priority being attached to restoration of the steel, energy, and transport sectors, and with increasing access to imported military and civilian supplies under Lend Lease. Table 4. Real national product of the U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany, 1937-45 U.S.A. GNPa U.K. NDPb U.S.S.R. NNPc Germany GNPd (1939 = 100) (1938 = 100) (1937 = 100) (1939 =100) 1937 … … 100 … 1938 … 100 101 … 1939 100 103 107 100 1940 108 120 117 100 1941 125 127 94 102 1942 137 128 66 105 1943 149 131 77 116 1944 152 124 93 … 1945 … 115 92 … Notes and sources: a. GNP at 1939 market prices from American industry, p. 27. b. NDP at 1938 factor cost, calculated from Feinstein, National income, table 5. c. NNP at 1937 factor cost, derived from Moorsteen and Powell, Capital stock, table T-47 (pp. 361-2), and Powell, H401ORB-85 “War years”, table T-47-X (p. 25). d. GNP at 1939 market prices, calculated from Klein, Germany’s preparations, p. 257. In the case of the United Kingdom and United States the mobilization of outputs was assisted by a significant increase in the real national product in wartime. Table 4 shows that, between the outbreak of war and the peak of her war effort, U.S. national income grew by about one-half in real terms; the increase was sufficient to supply all but one-third of the increase in domestically financed war outlays. The U.K. position was only slightly less favourable. Between 1939 and 1943 U.K. national income grew by more than a quarter, and this supplied just over half the domestic finance required for supply of resources for combat. Very different, and far worse, was the position faced by the Soviet Union; the real national income of the U.S.S.R. fell by more than two-fifths in 1940-2 under the impact of invasion and territorial loss. Table 5 shows that the intensity of mobilization of labour also differed significantly between the three Allies. On the British definition of fighting strength plus war-related (“Group I”) employment, by 1943 the United States had diverted one-third of its working population to the common war effort. Table 5. Mobilization of the workforce for war: U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany, 1939/40 and 1943 (percent of working population) Group Ia industry Armed forces Total war-related U.S.A.b 1940 8.4 1.0 9.4 1943 19.0 16.4 35.4 U.K.c 1939 15.8 2.8 18.6 1943 23.0 22.3 45.3 U.S.S.R.d 1940 8 5.9 14 1943 31 23 54 Germanyc 1939 14.1 4.2 18.3 1943 14.2 23.4 37.6 Notes and sources: a. Group I industry on the British definition comprised mainly the armament, shipbuilding, engineering, metalworking, and chemical industries. b. Derived from American industry, pp. 34-5; employment in Group I industries on the British definition was only slightly less than war employment by the U.S. War Production Board classification (ibid., p. 36). c. Derived from Klein, Germany’s preparations, p. 144. Klein’s estimate of Wehrmacht personnel differs slightly from that underlying the German series in table 2 (B) above. d. Derived from series for military personnel and the total working population for 1940 and years adjacent to 1943 (Harrison, Soviet planning, p. 138), sectoral employment shares for 1940 (Promyshlennost’, p. 24), national income shares of domestic supply of expenditure on munitions and other military procurement, and various assumptions about labour productivity in war and non-war production. For details see appendix 3, note to table C- 3, available from the author on request. The U.K. had achieved a higher degree of mobilization—45 percent either in uniform or in war work. An important difference between the United States and United Kingdom was that, given the large-scale diversion of U.S. war goods to supply British and Soviet soldiers, proportionally fewer Americans served in uniform. But a somewhat smaller proportion of Americans also served in war production; as long as relative price effects for war and non-war products were small, this must reflect the high productivity and efficient organization of American defence plant at the height of the war.32 The most intensive workforce mobilization among the Allies, however, was that of the U.S.S.R., with nearly one-quarter of its workforce in uniform and a further one-third engaged in war work by 1943. The course of German wartime economic mobilization was different from any of these. Table 3 shows that the mobilization of Germany’s national product for war mounted steadily until 1943 (after which national accounts are no longer reliable), when the requirements of domestically financed H401ORB-86 resource mobilization had already claimed 60 percent of her national income. On a national utilization basis, when externally financed war expenditures are included, the proportion rises to three-quarters. Here the German record was a close match for the Soviet mobilization of national income in the same year. In contrast to the Soviet case, supply for the German war effort was eased by the fact that the years 1939-43 saw significant national income growth (although it was less substantial than in either the U.K. or the U.S.A); up to one-third of the increase in German military spending was financed in this way. Another sharp contrast with the Soviet record-and with that of the Allies generally-is shown in table 5. Here we find that, while Germany’s commitment of national income to the war effort mounted, the industrial mobilization of labour remained at a relatively low leve1.33 Paradoxically, when Germany devoted such a large proportion of her national income to war, the composition of her industrial workforce remained largely untouched at this aggregate level and its measured mobilization remained far less than that of other countries. Part of the explanation for the paradox is surely statistical: as in other countries, the years 1939-43 saw a substantial switch from civilian to war employment within Germany’s Group I industrial classification. But the German failure to expand Group I employment as a whole is in striking contrast to other countries’ success, and also to Germany’s outstanding record of mobilization of her national income. This paradox must correspond to the fact that increasingly the bulk of Germany’s war finance was going to finance a privileged and bloated contingent of military personnel, at the expense of its equipment and industrial supply (above, table 2). Behind the high index of German national income mobilization lay a disproportion between soldiers, industrial war workers and civilian employment which was ultimately unsustainable.34 All the major combatants of World War II faced difficult problems of balancing the input requirements of the armed forces and military supply against civilian needs. For the U.K. and U.S.S.R. the war took the form of a constant struggle to avoid excessive mobilization of labour and other inputs for war. The threatened excessive mobilization was a consequence of the drive to divert resources from the supply of the economy to the immediate requirements of combat. In the Soviet case this threat was particularly acute in the frontline regions in 1941-2, where unrestricted mobilization of industrial workers and even skilled workers in the defence industries into both regular forces and the home guard militia was practised at critical moments.35 Indeed, it seems likely that the domestic mobilization of Soviet resources recorded for 1942 could not have been sustained for any longer than a year, and that relaxation of the war’s claims on domestic output (although not on employment) in 1943 was a necessary condition for continuation of the war effort. In the United Kingdom the maximum degree of mobilization consistent with sustained effort seems to have been reached with each soldier matched roughly by one worker in the defence industries and two more workers retained in the civilian economy producing food, clothing, and other necessities for the war worker and soldier. Any further recruitment for fighting threatened to leave the war worker without necessities or the soldier without the means of combat. In the British case the threat was averted by rapid implementation of a complex, centralized system of rationing labour between economic priorities, and by Churchill’s imposition of a ceiling of two million on the size of the ground forces in March 1941.36 In the Soviet case similar institutional controls, and limits on military mobilization, had been imposed by November 1942, but the process of establishing them was more costly, complex, and pragmatic.37 The other threat of excessive input mobilization arose from the temptation to aim too far into the future in expanding the country’s defence plant capacity. In both the U.K. and U.S. economies this temptation was reflected in the wartime establishment of new defence plant which, upon commissioning, could not be operated because of unforeseen shortages of labour or materials. A Soviet equivalent was the evacuation of defence plant which, upon relocation, could not be operated for the same reasons. In each case, the effort of capital formation or capital evacuation and relocation had been wasted; had it been redirected into current production, more means of national survival and H401ORB-87 defence would have been created.38 The evidence for the U.K. and Soviet economies suggests, however, that these cases were not typical. In each country wartime investment was successfully restricted and redirected to match defence priorities. In Germany, in contrast, the private interests of capital goods producers ensured a relatively high commitment of resources to capital formation despite the intensified struggle. United States resources, and their wartime expansion, were such that the point of excessive mobilization of labour and other inputs was never approached. The German economy, in contrast, passed almost directly from undermobilization of labour to overmobilization in 1944. Until D-Day the Reich Labour Office successfully resisted all pressures to impose centralized controls and national service obligations on German workers, preferring the option of importation of slave labour from Germany’s occupied territories; after D-Day Wehrmacht conscription of German armament workers began.39 Thereafter, until Hitler’s March 1945 order to destroy remaining economic installations the unwinding of German economic mobilization was virtually predetermined. How important were external resources to the different war economies? In fact, all except the United States relied heavily on external supply, and the degree of each country’s dependence at its peak was strikingly similar to the others. Table 6 shows that Britain relied most heavily on the foreign sector in 1941 when overseas supply equaled nearly one-sixth of her national income; in 1942-5 her reliance was reduced to around one-tenth, but by 1944 almost 40 percent of Britain’s armaments came from overseas.40 Over the war years as a whole, Britain imported net resources valued at more than one year’s pre-war national income. Her main source of credit was, of course, the U.S. Lend-Lease programme which amounted to about 15 percent of U.S. military spending and up to 6 percent of her national income during the war years. Table 6. The supply of external resources: net imports of the U.S.A., U.K., U.S.S.R., and Germany, 1938-45 (percent of national income) U.S.A. U.K. U.S.S.R. Germany 1938 -2 5 … -1 1939 -1 8 … 1 1940 -2 17 … 7 1941 -2 14 … 12 1942 -4 11 9 17 1943 -6 10 18 16 1944 -6 9 17 … 1945 … 11 … … Sources: See table 3. The U.S.S.R. was also heavily dependent on Lend-Lease, which may have supplied resources equal to one-sixth of Soviet NNP at 1937 factor cost in 1943-4. While an overall measure of the role of external supply in Soviet arms availability is not possible, it is estimated that overseas sources contributed up to one-quarter of Soviet aircraft supplies (this was the peak recorded in late 1943) and up to one-fifth of tank supplies (in 1942); throughout the war the Soviets were able to meet their own armament and shell needs but, later on, American shipments of trucks, tractors, and tinned food provided the Red Army with decisive mobility in its westward pursuit of the retreating Wehrmacht.41 Thus at their respective peaks British and Soviet dependence upon external supplies were roughly comparable. Germany, too, imported major resources from abroad. These mounted rapidly as German control spread through Europe, and by 1942-3 represented supplies worth (again) nearly one-sixth of her national income. Not counted in the net balance of resource transfers is another way in which Germany relied upon her conquests, by the presence of millions of prisoners of war and labourers imported by force from France and from Eastern Europe—7.5 million by 1944. (The Soviet economy, H401ORB-88 too, benefited from the forced labour of up to 4.3 million German and Japanese prisoners of war.)42 IV Comparison of national economies at war cannot escape the fact that, in time of war as in peace time, economic performance is multi-faceted. As far as wartime economics are concerned, two aspects are of primary significance: the efficiency and the intensity of resource use.43 Neither is sufficient on its own—a nation may be highly efficient at transforming inputs into outputs, yet fall down because of the high proportion of inputs and capacities left idle or devoted to non-war tasks; on the other hand a nation may pour resources into its war effort, yet fail because the effort does not produce results in terms of the means to resist or overcome the enemy. In this paper I have addressed only the dimension of resource mobilization—intensity, rather than efficiency in the use of resources for warfare. By this standard, Soviet wartime economic performance was clearly superior to that of Nazi Germany. The Soviet mobilization of industry and labour was more intense. The Soviet mobilization of the national product was probably excessive in 1942; it was stabilized in 1943 and, matching Germany’s peak, proved now to be more balanced and sustained. And this was in spite of the major demographic and territorial loss imposed by Germany upon the Soviet Union; under comparable circumstances (in 1944-5) German resources swiftly became over- mobilized and military-economic collapse followed. The Soviet mobilization of resources may also be compared with that of its wartime allies. In terms of domestic production and employment the mobilizations of both the United States and United Kingdom rated lower in intensity than that of the Soviet Union. Against historians’ conventional expectation, of the two western Allies the output mobilization of the United States was greater in proportion to her resources. To secure it, the Americans had to direct a significantly smaller proportion of the U.S. working population into war work than did the British. (Moreover, proportionally fewer Americans served in uniform.) The more limited British output mobilization required a degree of workforce mobilization higher than that of the United States, although still much less than that of the Soviet Union. At the same time the burdens imposed by the war upon the U.S., British, and Soviet economies were not the same; those faced by the U.S.S.R were much more severe. Both the western allies started from a relatively high-level economic base, and with spare capacity which allowed substantial expansion of economic activity when war broke out. In contrast, the Soviet starting point was a lower- level economic base and resources which were already fully employed; when war broke out, a catastrophic decline in national economic activity was forced on the U.S.S.R. by the loss of territory, assets and of population on a huge scale. The U.K. suffered only aerial bombardment and attempted blockade, and the continental United States encountered neither of these. The Soviet Union was, after all, the only country of World War II to survive invasion as a nation state. In measuring the intensity of resource mobilization for war, the share of resources devoted to war is insufficient on its own. Also of relevance is the intensity of use of the resources produced in combat. According to Goldsmith’s postwar estimate the Germans produced over $50 billion of weaponry for use on the eastern front, compared to Soviet supply (including external resources) totaling about $60 billion. On the western front, in contrast, the Allies disposed of well over $100 billion worth of munitions (excluding those supplied to the U.S.S.R.) for use against Germany and Italy which, in their turn, disposed of only about $40 billion of munitions in the western theatres.44 This corresponds to well-known data on the balance of personnel along the two fronts, showing that from June 1941 to January 1944 the Soviet armed forces always faced at least 90 percent of Germany’s frontline ground forces, as well as about half of the (much less significant) frontline ground forces of Germany’s allies.45 Thus, in the years from mid-1941 to mid-1944 Soviet resources were employed in the cause of Germany’s military defeat with far greater intensity than those of the United Kingdom or North America. H401ORB-89 References Allen, R. G. D., “Mutual aid between the U.S. and the British Empire, 1941-1945”, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 109 (1946), reprinted as appendix III of R. S. Sayers, Financial policy, 1939-1945 (1956), pp. 518-56. American industry in war and transition, 1940-1950, part II, The effect of the war on the industrial economy (U.S. War Production Board: Washington, D.C., 1945). Bergson, A., The real national income of Soviet Russia since 1928 (Cambridge, Mass., 1961). Bialer, S., ed., Stalin and his generals: Soviet military memoirs of World War II (1970). Calder, A., The people’s war: Britain, 1939-1945 (1969). Carroll, B. A., Design for total war: arms and economics in the Third Reich (The Hague-Paris, 1968). Cooper, J. M., “Defence production and the Soviet economy, 1929-1941”, Soviet Industrialization Project series no. 3 (Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Birmingham, 1976). Fearon, P., War, prosperity and depression: the U.S. economy, 1917-45 (Oxford, 1987). Feinstein, C. H., National income, expenditure and output of the United Kingdom, 1855-1965 (Cambridge, 1972). Goldsmith, R. W., “The power of victory: munitions output in World War II”, Military Affairs, 10 (1946), pp. 69-80. Hall, H. D., North American supply (1955). Hancock, W. K. and Gowing, M. M., The British war economy (1949). Hanson, P., “East-West comparisons and comparative economic systems,” Soviet Stud., 22 (1971), pp. 327-43. Harrison, M. Soviet planning in peace and war, 1938-1945 (Cambridge, 1985). Historical statistics of the United States: colonial times to 1957 (U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census: Washington, D.C., 1960). Istoriya Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny Sovetskogo Soyuza, 1941-1945, 6 vols. (Moscow, 1961-5). Istoriya Vtoroi Mirovoi voiny, 1939-1945, 12 vols. (Moscow, 1973-82). Kaldor, N., “The German war economy”, Review of Economic Studies, 13 (1946), pp. 33-52. Klein, B. H., Germany’s economic preparations for war (Cambridge, Mass., 1959). Lieberman, S. R., “The evacuation of industry in the Soviet Union during World War II”, Soviet Studies, 35 (1983), pp. 90-102. Lieberman, S. R., “Crisis management in the U.S.S.R.: the wartime system of administration and control”, in S. J. Linz, ed., The impact of World War II on the Soviet Union (Totowa, N. J., 1985), pp. 59-76. Michalka, W., ed., Das Dritte Reich: Dokumente zur Innen- und Aussenpolitik, vol. 2: Weltmachtanspruch und nationaler Zusammenbruch, 1939-45 (Munich, 1985). Milward, A. S., The German economy at war (1965). Milward, A. S., War, economy and society, 1939-1945 (1977). Moorsteen, R. and Powell, R. P., The Soviet capital stock, 1928-1962 (Homewood, Ill., 1962). Overy, R. J., “Hitler’s war and the German economy: a reinterpretation”, Economic History Review, 35 (1982), pp. 272-91. Overy, R. J., The Nazi economic recovery, 1932-1938 (1982). Postan, M. M., British war production (1952). Powell, R. P., “The Soviet capital stock and related statistical series for the war years”, in “Two supplements to R. Moorsteen and R. P. Powell, The Soviet capital stock, 1928-1962” (The Economic Growth Center, Yale University: New Haven, Conn., 1969), pp. 1-39. Promyshlennost’ SSSR (Moscow, 1961). Robertson, A. J., “Lord Beaverbrook and the supply of aircraft, 1940-1941”, in A. Slaven and D. H. Aldcroft, eds., Business, banking and urban history: essays in honour of S. G. Checkland H401ORB-90 (Edinburgh, 1982), pp. 80-100. Robinson, E. A. G., “The overall allocation of resources”, in D. N. Chester, ed., Lessons of the British war economy (Cambridge, 1951), pp. 34-57. Shoup, C. S., Principles of national income analysis (Cambridge, Mass., 1947). Smith, R. E., The army and economic mobilization (Washington, D. C., 1959). Speer, A., Inside the Third Reich (1970). Statistical digest of the war (1951). Swianiewicz, S., Forced labour and economic development: an enquiry into the experience of Soviet industrialization (Oxford, 1965). Tupper, S. M., “The Red Army and Soviet defence industry, 1934-1941” (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham, 1982). United States president’s twentieth report to Congress on Lend-Lease operations (Washington, D.C., 1945). Vatter, H. G., The U.S. economy in World War II (New York, 1985). Velikaya Otechestvennaya voina Sovetskogo Soyuza, 1941-1945, 3rd edn. (Moscow, 1984). Voznesensky, N. A., Voennaya ekonomika SSSR v period Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny (Moscow, 1947). Weeks, H., “Anglo-American supply relationships”, in D. N. Chester, ed., Lessons of the British war economy (Cambridge, 1951), pp. 69-82. Notes 1 Goldsmith, “Power of victory”, p. 69. 2 The main contributors to the comparative history of the U.S., British, and German war economies have been Kaldor, “German war economy”; Hancock and Gowing, British war economy; Klein, Germany’s preparations; Carroll, Design for total war; Milward, War, economy and society. 3 At the end of the war, apart from Goldsmith at the War Production Board, U.S. researchers made at least one other attempt to incorporate the U.S.S.R. into an overall picture; see materials cited in U.S. president’s twentieth report, p. 41. Such comparisons were picked up and commented on by British official historians: see Hancock and Gowing, British war economy, pp. 369-70 and Hall, North American supply, pp. 420-1. More recently Milward, War, economy and society (mainly chs. 2, 3) introduced the Soviet economy into a comparative perspective, but on the basis of very limited information. An attempted comparison of Soviet, British, and German workforce controls and measures of resource mobilization can be found in Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 153-4, 185-91, but this should now be considered preliminary–superseded by findings of the present article. 4 In 1947 a sparse account was published in Moscow by Voznesensky, the wartime planning chief, as Voennaya ekonomika. (An official translation appeared in 1948, entitled War economy of the U.S.S.R. in the period of the patriotic war.) After this nothing much happened until the revival of scholarly research on the wartime period was authorized under Khrushchev’s thaw. The main significant events to follow were publication of the 6-volume Istoriya VO voiny (History of the great patriotic war of the Soviet Union, 1941-5) (1961-5) and the still more detailed, but ideologically somewhat more conservative 12-volume Istoriya VM voiny (History of the Second World War, 1939- 45) (1973-82). For a short account of the phases of Soviet historiography up to 1982 see Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 235-42. At the present time a new official history, a 10-volume Velikaya Otechestvennaya voina Sovetskogo naroda, 1941-1945 (The great patriotic war of the Soviet people) is being commissioned; in line with today’s trends towards “openness” and “new thinking”, it is promised to be more interesting and less dry than its predecessors. 5 On the political economy of the Blitzkrieg, see Kaldor, “German war economy”; Klein, Germany’s preparations; Milward, German economy; Carroll, Design for total war. Whether or not Germany’s Blitzkrieg strategy was a deliberately chosen design or one forced upon her by circumstances is discussed by Overy, “Hitler’s war”. 6 For this and other national income shares cited in this section, see table 3 below. H401ORB-91 7 Not until 1938 did unemployment of the German working population fall below 4 percent, and over 1932-8 the increase in Germany’s GNP was almost three times the increase in military spending. See data cited by Overy, Nazi recovery, pp. 29, 50. 8 Hancock and Gowing, British war economy, pp. 62-72. 9 Milward, War, economy and society, pp. 38-44, 48. 10 “Overfull employment” means that the economy was under strain at a macro- economic level. Microeconomic responses to permanent shortage, especially the hoarding of inputs, meant the maintenance of a considerable degree of slack within enterprises. But the nature of this slack was such that the resources it represented were normally inaccessible to planners and policy makers. 11 In both parts of table 2, some of the differences between Anglo-American and German expenditure patterns must be attributed to the differing importance attached by the various powers to ground, air, and naval forces and the different technical proportions characterizing the three armed services. Thus, the U.S.A. and U.K. spent more on munitions relative to pay, and produced a greater dollar value of armament relative to personnel, partly because of their greater stress on acquisition of the means of strategic naval and air power compared to re-equipment of the ground forces. But this cannot explain the full range of variation, especially when the Soviet advantage over Germany is noted, for the Soviet Union aspired to strategic power neither on the sea nor in the air yet still spent more on munitions relative to personnel than did Germany. 12 See Cooper, “Defence production”; Tupper, “Red Army”. 13 On Soviet prewar contingency planning in relation to the economy, see Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 59-62. 14 Lieberman, “Evacuation of industry”, and “Crisis management”; Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 93-100. 15 Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 74-5, 85-6. 16 Ibid., pp. 165-75. 17 Ibid., pp. 175-85. 18 Robertson, “Beaverbrook”. In connection with his appointment as Minister of Supply, it is recorded drily that Beaverbrook “set about the task with his habitual hustle. If, in spite of his endeavours, the Army’s demands for tanks still remained unsatisfied and British tank production did not come up to what was needed, this was not due to any lack of attention on the part of the Ministry or any lack of effort on the part of the industry.” See Postan, War production, p. 118. 19 Robinson, “Overall allocation”. Calder, People’s war, p. 119 has written: “Before the computer was perfected, Anderson made a tolerable substitute.” 20 Speer’s attempt to centralize controls over input allocations should not be confused with his policy (inherited from Fritz Todt) of decentralization of management of the procurement process from military administrators to industry- based production committees. See Milward, German economy, pp. 59-63; Speer, Third Reich, ch. 15 (“Organisational improvisation”), pp. 204-13. 21 See especially Klein, Germany’s preparations, chs. V, VI; Milward, German economy, chs. IV, VI; Carroll, Design for total war, chs. XI-XIII. 22 Thus, unlike Himmler’s SS, Beriya’s NKVD resources were coordinated with the requirements of the war economy and were not held apart as a “state within a state”; see Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 590-1. 23 Vatter, U.S. economy, chs. 3, 4 (“Wartime administration”, “Stabilization and the OPA”), pp. 67-101. 24 Robinson, “Overall allocation”, p. 53. 25 Cited in Vatter, U.S. economy, p. 173n. 26 For the comparison of Stalin, Churchill, and Hitler, see Bialer, ed., Stalin, pp. 42-4. On Roosevelt see Vatter, U.S. economy, p. 69 and Fearon, War, prosperity and depression, p. 276. 27 Weeks, “Anglo-American supply”, p. 71: “There were differences of opinion on the method of calculation and on the precise answer, but there was no doubt that a larger proportion of the British economy was devoted to warlike purposes than in the United States-and, of course, for a longer period.” 28 The proposition had previously been advanced by economists of the U.S. Foreign Economic Administration in a graph appended to U.S. president’s twentieth report, p. 41, but sources, methods, H401ORB-92 and quantitative details were never made public. Allen, “Mutual aid”, p. 542 provided further estimates based on preliminary wartime national income and budget accounts, with somewhat greater foundation. 29 United States war outlays are estimated in proportion to GNP at current prices at 41.9 per cent in 1944 (U.S. Department of Commerce data cited in Historical statistics, pp. 139, 142, series Fl and F83), or 39.9 per cent of GNP at constant 1939 prices (Department of Commerce data deflated by the U.S. War Production Board, cited in American industry, p. 27). 30 Carroll, Design for total war, pp. 184-5; see also her statistical appendix (pp. 262-7). 31 Shoup, Principles, p. 188. 32 On a broader definition of war-related employment, by June 1944, 40 per cent of the U.S. workforce had been absorbed into the armed forces and war work compared to 55 per cent for the United Kingdom at the same time: see Allen, “Mutual aid”, p. 525. According to Allen’s estimate, most of the difference between U.S. and U.K. workforce mobilization lay in war employment (20.5 against 33 per cent respectively), not military recruitment. Discrepancies of coverage and definition mean that the workforce shares given in table 5 cannot be compared too closely with national income shares given previously in table 3. 33 Moreover, the hours of work of German workers, and the participation in work of German women, remained virtually unchanged in 1942 compared to 1939-a striking contrast to the British and Soviet records of labour mobilization. Overy in the Times Literary Supplement (11 April 1986), p. 393 has pointed out that the share of women in the German working population on the eve of war was already higher (36 per cent) than Britain’s wartime peak (33 per cent). It remains true, however, that employment of German women, both in the economy as a whole and in industry in particular, barely rose between 1939 and 1943; women contributed a mere fifth of the one million increase in the German working population between those years (see Michalka, ed., Weltmachtanspruch, pp. 389- 90). In Great Britain, in contrast, between 1939 and 1943 the increase in female employment (2.2 million) was almost six times the increase in the total working population (Hancock and Gowing, British war economy, p. 78). 34Overy, “Hitler’s war”, p. 283 has argued that the high national income share of German military spending achieved by 1943 shows the consistent character of the German military-industrial mobilization, which resulted in more significant consumption losses to the German population than are conventionally accepted. In fact, with a rising share of German males being fed, clothed, and housed out of the military budget rather than out of household wage incomes, such consumption losses are not necessarily implied. On the other hand, the imbalance of military- industrial supply (table 2 above) was perfectly real. 35 Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 143-4. 36 Hancock and Gowing, British war economy, p. 289 call this “a landmark of manpower history”. Later the ceiling was raised slightly to 2.4 million. See also pp. 57-9, 300-54. 37 Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 185-91. 38 On British and American investment controls and results see Robinson, “Overall allocation”, pp. 42, 53-4; Vatter, U.S. economy, P. 73. On the Soviet record see Harrison, Soviet planning, pp. 133-5. 39 Milward, German economy, pp. 178-81 40 Hancock and Gowing, British war economy, pp. 357-78 41 Harrison, Soviet planning, appendix 3 42 Mikhalka, ed., Weltmachtanspruch, p. 389; Swianiewicz, Forced labour, pp. 42-3. Swianiewicz suggests that a global figure for Soviet-held prisoners of war of all nationalities might rise to 5-6 million. 43 See Hanson, “East-West comparisons”, pp. 332-3. 44 Goldsmith, “Power of victory”, pp. 76-7. 45 Velikaya Otechestvennaya voina, p. 502. Lesson H402 LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines and the Tyranny of Distance (Guadalcanal) AY 2021–22 H402 Advance Sheet H402AS-93 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power Advance Sheet for H402 LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines, and the Tyranny of Distance (Guadalcanal) LESSON AUTHOR: Dr. Richard S. Faulkner 1. SCOPE This two-hour lesson builds on the theoretic, historical, and strategic context established in H100 and H401. It examines the challenges that the joint forces of the United States and Japan faced in power projection and sustainment during the campaign to hold and clear the island of Guadalcanal from August 1942 to February 1943. Part of the American Way of War as discussed by strategist Colin Gray centers on this very issue—America fights “large scale” with “logistical excellence” due to the unique geography of the United States as a continental island that fights its modern wars overseas.1 Time, distance, limited resources and a tenacious enemy with peer capabilities severely tested the United States’ ability to employ these aspects of the American Way of War during the six-month long attritional struggle for Guadalcanal. It also offers an opportunity to examine the challenges of the anti-access and area denial (A2AD) activities of both sides and the difficulties that they faced in gaining and maintaining the initiative and superiority in the air, land and sea domains. The lesson further studies the theory and application of sea power and maritime power projection by exploring how well the Japanese and American Navies and the U.S. Marine Corps’ pre-war doctrines prepared them for what they faced at Guadalcanal, and how well they adapted to the “subjective character” of the campaign. 2. LEARNING OBJECTIVES This lesson supports CGSOC TLO-AOC-1, Examine how commanders drive the operations process using the framework of understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess (UVDDLA); TLO-AOC-5, Examine how the joint force and US Army sets an operational area for large scale combat operations; TLO-AOC-8, Assess the historical context of the American way of war and its continued influence on today’s operational environment; and TLO-AOC-9, Incorporate effective communications skills, as listed in the H400 Block Advance Sheet. The lesson goals are: ELO-AOC-1.6 Action: Analyze how historical context influences the planning and the execution of large-scale combat operations. Condition: In an educational setting, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products and H400 historical readings. 1. See Colin Gray, “The American Way of War,” in Rethinking the Principles of War, ed. Anthony D. McIvor (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2005), 30-33. H402 Advance Sheet H402AS-94 August 2021 ELO Standards: The analysis of historical context includes: 1. Examine historical battles and campaigns. 2. Use operational variables (PMESII-PT) to describe historical context. 3. Use mission variables (METT-TC) to describe a historical action. 4. Examine decisions made by historical leaders. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis ELO-AOC-5.4 Action: Analyze the historical context of operational readiness. Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products. ELO Standards: The analysis includes: 1. Analyze historical examples of the importance of maintaining peace time readiness. 2. Analyze the challenges in historical case studies of preparing for LSCO. 3. Analyze, using historical context, the process of deploying units to a combat theater. 4. Analyze the JRSOI process through the lens of historical context. 5. Analyze the importance of operational readiness by investigating the historical context of 20th and 21st centuries U.S. combat operations. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis ELO-AOC-8.1 Action: Assess the American experience in wars since 1940. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the American experience in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 2. Critique America’s performance and operations in wars since 1940. 3. Assess American experience in wars since 1940 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-8.2 Action: Assess America’s waging of limited war since 1945. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the social, political, and military underpinnings of limited war since 1945. 2. Critique America’s performance and operations during the limited wars in Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 3. Assess American’s experience in limited wars since 1945 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-8.3 Action: Assess challenges to the American Way of war since 1940. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. H402 Advance Sheet H402AS-95 August 2021 ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the enemies’ ability to challenge the American way of war during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 2. Critique America’s ability to adapt to military operations in wars since 1940. 3. Assess contemporary challenge to the American way of war since 1991 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. 4. Assess how the American way of war has influenced the strategy and doctrine of potential contemporary competitors. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-9.1 Action: Write effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Write effectively includes: 1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment 2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience 3. Proper format and organization 4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points 5. Proper grammar and correct spelling Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis ELO-AOC-9.2 Action: Speak effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Speak effectively includes: 1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment 2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience 3. Proper format and organization 4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points 5. Clear oral articulation and pronunciation 6. Appropriate use of body language for the topic, briefing style, and audience 7. Appropriate use of props, visual aids, or other products related to the presentation Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis ELO-AOC-9.3 Action: Listen effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Listen effectively includes: 1. Listens, reads, and watches intently. 2. Recognizes significant content, emotion, and urgency in others. 3. Uses verbal and nonverbal means to reinforce with the speaker that you are paying attention. 4. Reflects on new information before expressing views. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis PLO Attributes Supported: 1a. Independently research and critically evaluate information. 1b. Comprehend context of the situation. H402 Advance Sheet H402AS-96 August 2021 1c. Create meaning from information and data. 1d. Creatively design or revise concepts and ideas. 1e. Communicate concepts with clarity and precision in written, graphical, and oral forms. 1f. Compose complete and well-supported arguments. 1g. Apply critical and creative thinking. 2e. Demonstrate commitment to develop further expertise in the art and science of war as life- long learners. 3a. Apply knowledge of the nature and character of war. 3b. Apply the principles of war, conflict, and competition. 3c. Understand the utility of the military instrument of power. 3d. Understand the generation of military power through force management. 4a. Analyze the security implications of the current and future operational environment. 4b. Apply appropriate inter-disciplinary analytical frameworks. 4c. Evaluate historical, cultural, political, military, economic, innovative, technological, and other competitive forces. 5e. Consider risk and resource limitations inherent in planning. 6a. Adapt to rapidly changing operational conditions. 6b. Plan and/or execute Army Operations in a joint environment within a unified action context. Special Areas of Emphasis (SAE) Supported: 3. The Return of Great Power Competition 5. Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century 8. Ability to write clear and concise Military Advice Recommendations 3. ISSUE MATERIAL a. Advance Issue: See H400 Book of Readings 2021-2022 b. During Class: None. WiFi is available. 4. HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT a. Study Requirements: (1) First Requirement: Read the following before class (bold numbered readings included in full text in the H400 Book of Readings): Required: H402RA Shaw, Henry I. Jr. First Offensive: The Marine Campaign for Guadalcanal (Excerpts). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Marine Corps History Center, 1992. [34 pages] H402RB Mahnken, Thomas G. “Asymmetric Warfare at Sea: The Naval Battles off Guadalcanal, 1942–1943,” Naval War College Review, Vol. 64, No. 1 (Winter 2011): 95- 121 [26 pages] Student Purchased: H402RC Millett, Allan R. “Assault from the Sea.” In Military Innovation in the Interwar Period, pages 50-59, 70-78, 82-88. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. [23 pages] [Student Purchase] H402 Advance Sheet H402AS-97 August 2021 Optional: H402ORA Tanaka, Raizo. “Japan's Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal,” (Excerpts). Proceedings, edited by Roger Pineau, Part 1-Vol. 82, No. 7 (July 1956) and Part II-Vol. 82, No. 8 (August 1956). [29 pages] H402ORB Buell, Thomas B. “Guadalcanal: Neither Side Would Quit.” Proceedings, Vol. 106, No. 4 (April 1980): 60–65. [5 pages] H402ORC Genda, Minoru. “Tactical Planning in the Imperial Japanese Navy.” Naval War College Review, Vol. 22, No. 8 (October 1969): 45–50. [5 pages] H402ORD Twining, Merrill B. “An Unhandsome Quitting.” Proceedings Vol. 118, No. 11 (November 1992): 83–87. [5 pages] H402ORE Anderson, Charles R. CMH Pub 72-8 Guadalcanal. Center of Military History, 2004. https://history.army.mil/html/books/072/72-8/CMH_Pub_72-8 . [27 pages] H402ORF Till, Geoffrey. “Adopting the Aircraft.” In Military Innovation in the Interwar Period, 191-226. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. [35 pages] [Student Purchase] Further Professional Development: Miller, John. Guadalcanal: The First Offensive. Washington DC: Center of Military History, 1995. Frank, Richard B. Guadalcanal: The Definitive Account of the Landmark Battle. New York: Penguin Books, 1991. Hornfischer, James D. Neptune's Inferno: The U.S. Navy at Guadalcanal. New York: Bantam Books, 2011 Evans, David C. and Mark Peattie. Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887-1941. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1999. (2) Second requirement: Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class: 1. How did the Japanese and American Navies and the U.S. Marines envision fighting “the next great war” during the Interwar period? What were their assumptions and how did they alter their training, organization, doctrine and technology to fight the war they envisioned? 2. Why did the war in the Pacific, in the first year of the war, not turn out to be how the Japanese and Americans had envisioned it in their pre-war planning? 3. How did Guadalcanal and the fight for the Solomon Islands fit within the strategic plans of the combatants? 4. What strategic, operational and tactical challenges did both sides face during the Guadalcanal campaign and how did these challenges shape the nature of the battle? 5. Why did Vice Admirals Richard L. Ghormley and Frank J. Fletcher order most of the Navy’s ships to withdraw from Guadalcanal on 8 August 1942, and what were the implications of their decision? Given what the admirals knew at the time, was their decision the right one? 6. What insights do the air and naval battles of Guadalcanal offer into the inherent difficulties in gaining and maintaining the initiative and asymmetric advantages in peer LSCO conflicts? https://history.army.mil/html/books/072/72-8/CMH_Pub_72-8 H402 Advance Sheet H402AS-98 August 2021 7. In what ways did the Guadalcanal Campaign reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the American Way of War? b. Bring to Class (or have electronic access to): H400 Syllabus and Book of Readings 2021-2022 5. ASSESSMENT See H400 Block Advance Sheet, Appendix A. H402 Chronology H402AS-99 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power Advance Sheet for H402 LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines, and the Tyranny of Distance (Guadalcanal) Chronology 1942 14 June 1st Marine Division (1st MARDIV) arrived in Wellington, New Zealand and two weeks later it received WARNO from CNO Admiral Ernest King to prepare for a landing in the Solomon Islands. 7 July Joint Chiefs of Staff approved plan for an offense in the Solomon Islands to capture Guadalcanal, Tulagi, Gavuttu, and Tanambogo. 11 July Last units of the 1st MARDIV arrived in Wellington, New Zealand for the Solomon offensive. 7 August 1st MARDIV landed on Guadalcanal and 1st Marine Raider Battalion captured Tulagi, other Marine units captured Gavuttu, but the attack on Tanambogo failed. 9 August Australian-American naval forces mauled in night battle of Savo Island. U.S. Navy pulled forces from Guadalcanal before 1st MARDIV unloaded. This also left Marines with no resupply until 20 August. 13 August Japanese 17th Army ordered to force the Americans from Guadalcanal. 18 August Henderson Field opened on Guadalcanal. Two days later, 19 Wildcat fighters and and 12 Dauntless dive bombers arrived from MAG-23. 21 August Ichiki Detachment destroyed at the Battle of the llu (Tenaru) River. 22 August Guadalcanal’s “Cactus Air Force” reinforced by 19 Aircobra fighters from the U.S. Army Air Force 67th Fighter Squadron. The Cactus Air Force ultimately grew to contain 20 USMC squadrons, two USAAF squadrons, an Australian squadron, and several USN squadrons that temporally flew out of Guadalcanal. 24–25 August Naval Battle of the Eastern Solomons: Carrier USS Enterprise damaged and forced to return to Pearl Harbor, but the action disrupted Japanese efforts to recapture Guadalcanal. 3 September USMC BG Roy Geiger arrived to take command of Cactus Air Force. 12–13 September Battle of Bloody (or Edson’s) Ridge thwarted Japanese attack to capture Henderson Field. H402 Chronology H402AS-100 August 2021 23-27 September Marine attempt to flank Japanese positions on Guadalcanal with a landing at Mantanikau met stiff resistance and was forced to withdraw. 12 October Naval Battle of Cape Esperance 13 October U.S. Army 164th Infantry Regiment landed on Guadalcanal and attached to 1st MARDIV. 20–26 October Battle of Henderson Field: Japanese launched a series of attacks by the Sendai Division to capture Henderson Field and forced the Americans from the island. 26 October Naval Battle of Santa Cruz: Carrier USS Hornet sunk. 1 November Americans launched attacks to push the Japanese out of artillery range of Henderson Field. 9-12 November Americans surrounded and destroyed 1,500 manned Japanese detachment that landed at Koli Point. 12–15 November Naval Battle of Guadalcanal: While costly to the US, the battle ended any major Japanese offensives to recapture Guadalcanal. US Army 182nd Infantry Regiment landed to reinforce forces on Guadalcanal, the remainder of the U.S. Army Americal Division landed in the following weeks. 14-16 November American air attacks against “Tokyo Express” destroyed most of the transports carrying the Japanese 38th Division to Guadalcanal. 9 December 1st MARDIV relieved on Guadalcanal by the U.S. Army Americal Division. 31 December Japanese Imperial HQ ordered the evacuation of Guadalcanal. 1943 2 January Army MG Alexander Patch assumed command of the XIV Corps, consisting of the Army Americal, 25th Divisions and the 2nd MARDIV, and gave order to clear remaining Japanese from Guadalcanal. 10 January US Army 25th Division began its attack on Galloping Horse Ridge. 13 January- 8 February American XIV Corps launched continual attacks against retreating Japanese. 9 February Patch declared Guadalcanal secure. Shaw Jr., Henry I. Excerpt from First Offensive: The Marine Campaign for Guadalcanal. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Marine Corps History Center, 1992. CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0512 E H402RA-101 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H402: LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines and the Tyranny of Distance Reading H402RA “First Offensive: The Marine Campaign for Guadalcanal”1 by Henry I. Shaw, Jr. In the early summer of 1942, intelligence reports of the construction of a Japanese airfield near Lunga Point on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands triggered a demand for offensive action in the South Pacific. The leading offensive advocate in Washington was Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO). In the Pacific, his view was shared by Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet (CinCPac), who had already proposed sending the 1st Marine Raider Battalion to Tulagi, an island 20 miles north of Guadalcanal across Sealark Channel, to destroy a Japanese seaplane base there. Although the Battle of the Coral Sea had forestalled a Japanese amphibious assault on Port Moresby, the Allied base of supply in eastern New Guinea, completion of the Guadalcanal airfield might signal the beginning of a renewed enemy advance to the south and an increased threat to the lifeline of American aid to New Zealand and Australia. On 23 July 1942, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in Washington agreed that the line of communications in the South Pacific had to be secured. The Japanese advance had to be stopped. Thus, Operation Watchtower, the seizure of Guadalcanal and Tulagi, came into being. The islands of the Solomons lie nestled in the backwaters of the South Pacific. Spanish fortune- hunters discovered them in the mid-sixteenth century, but no European power foresaw any value in the islands until Germany sought to expand its budding colonial empire more than two centuries later. In 1884, Germany proclaimed a protectorate over northern New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the northern Solomons. Great Britain countered by establishing a protectorate over the southern Solomons and by annexing the remainder of New Guinea. In 1905, the British crown passed administrative control over all its territories in the region to Australia, and the Territory of Papua, with its capital at Port Moresby, came into being. Germany’s holdings in the region fell under the administrative control of the League of Nations following World War I, with the seat of the colonial government located at Rabaul on New Britain. The Solomons lay 10 degrees below the Equator—hot, humid, and buffeted by torrential rains. The celebrated adventure novelist, Jack London, supposedly muttered: “If I were king, the worst punishment I could inflict on my enemies would be to banish them to the Solomons.” On 23 January 1942, Japanese forces seized Rabaul and fortified it extensively. The site provided excellent harbor and numerous positions for airfields. The devastating enemy carrier and plane losses of the Battle of Midway (3-6 June 1942) had caused Imperial General Headquarters to cancel orders for the invasion of Midway, New Caledonia, Fiji, and Samoa, but plans to construct a major seaplane base at Tulagi went forward. The location offered one of the best anchorages in the South Pacific and it was strategically located: 560 miles from the New Hebrides, 800 miles from New Caledonia, and 1,000 miles from Fiji. 1. Edited for length by the lesson author. H402RA-102 The outposts at Tulagi and Guadalcanal were the forward evidences of a sizeable Japanese force in the region, beginning with the Seventeenth Army, headquartered at Rabaul. The enemy’s Eighth Fleet, Eleventh Air Fleet, and 1st, 7th, 8th, and 14th Naval Base Forces also were on New Britain. Beginning on 5 August 1942, Japanese signal intelligence units began to pick up transmissions between Noumea on New Caledonia and Melbourne, Australia. Enemy analysts concluded that Vice Admiral Richard L. Ghormley, commanding the South Pacific Area (ComSoPac), was signaling a British or Australian force in preparation for an offensive in the Solomons or at New Guinea. The warnings were passed to Japanese headquarters at Rabaul and Truk, but were ignored. The invasion force was indeed on its way to its targets, Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and the tiny islets of Gavutu and Tanambogo close by Tulagi’s shore. The landing force was composed of Marines; the covering force and transport force were U.S. Navy with a reinforcement of Australian warships. There was not much mystery to the selection of the 1st Marine Division to make the landings. Five U.S. Army divisions were located in the South and Southwest Pacific: three in Australia, the 37th Infantry in Fiji, and the Americal Division on New Caledonia. None was amphibiously trained and all were considered vital parts of defensive garrisons. The 1st Marine Division, minus one of its infantry regiments, had begun arriving in New Zealand in mid-June when the division headquarters and the 5th Marines reached Wellington. At that time, the rest of the reinforced division’s major units were getting ready to embark. The 1st Marines were at San Francisco, the 1st Raider Battalion was on New Caledonia, and the 3d Defense Battalion was at Pearl Harbor. The 2d Marines of the 2d Marine Division, a unit which would replace the 1st Division’s 7th Marines stationed in British Samoa, was loading out from San Diego. All three infantry regiments of the landing force had battalions of artillery attached, from the 11th Marines, in the case of the 5th and 1st; the 2d Marines drew its reinforcing 75mm howitzers from the 2d Division’s 10th Marines. The news that his division would be the landing force for Watchtower came as a surprise to Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift, who had anticipated that the 1st Division would have six months of training in the South Pacific before it saw action. The changeover from administrative loading of the various units’ supplies to combat loading, where first-needed equipment, weapons, ammunition, and rations were positioned to come off ships first with the assault troops, occasioned a never-to-be-forgotten scene on Wellington’s docks. The combat troops took the place of civilian stevedores and unloaded and reloaded the cargo and passenger vessels in an increasing round of working parties, often during rainstorms which hampered the task, but the job was done. Succeeding echelons of the division’s forces all got their share of labor on the docks as various shipping groups arrived and the time grew shorter. General Vandegrift was able to convince Admiral Ghormley and the Joint Chiefs that he would not be able to meet a proposed D-Day of 1 August, but the extended landing date, 7 August, did little to improve the situation. An amphibious operation is a vastly complicated affair, particularly when the forces involved are assembled on short notice from all over the Pacific. The pressure that Vandegrift felt was not unique to the landing force commander. The U.S. Navy’s ships were the key to success and they were scarce and invaluable. Although the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway had badly damaged the Japanese fleet’s offensive capabilities and crippled its carrier forces, enemy naval aircraft could fight as well ashore as afloat and enemy warships were still numerous and lethal. American losses at Pearl Harbor, Coral Sea, and Midway were considerable, and Navy admirals were well aware that the ships they commanded were in short supply. The day was coming when America’s shipyards and factories would fill the seas with warships of all types, but that day had not arrived in 1942. Calculated risk was the name of the game where the Navy was concerned, and if the risk seemed too great, the Watchtower landing force might be a casualty. As it happened, the Navy never ceased to risk its ships in the waters of the Solomons, but the naval lifeline to the troops ashore stretched mighty thin at times. H402RA-103 Tactical command of the invasion force approaching Guadalcanal in early August was vested in Vice Admiral Frank J. Fletcher as Expeditionary Force Commander (Task Force 61). His force consisted of the amphibious shipping carrying the 1st Marine Division, under Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner, and the Air Support Force led by Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes. Admiral Ghormley contributed land-based air forces commanded by Rear Admiral John S. McCain. Fletcher’s support force consisted of three fleet carriers, the Saratoga (CV-3), Enterprise (CV-6), and Wasp (CV-7); the battleship North Carolina (BB- 55), 6 cruisers, 16 destroyers, and 3 oilers. Admiral Turner’s covering force included five cruisers and nine destroyers. The Landing and August Battles On board the transports approaching the Solomons, the Marines were looking for a tough fight. They knew little about the targets, even less about their opponents. Those maps that were available were poor, constructions based upon outdated hydrographic charts and information provided by former island residents. While maps based on aerial photographs had been prepared they were misplaced by the Navy in Auckland, New Zealand, and never got to the Marines at Wellington. On 17 July, a couple of division staff officers, Lieutenant Colonel Merrill B. Twining and Major William McKean, had been able to join the crew of a B-17 flying from Port Moresby on a reconnaissance mission over Guadalcanal. They reported what they had seen, and their analysis, coupled with aerial photographs, indicated no extensive defenses along the beaches of Guadalcanal’s north shore. H402RA-104 This news was indeed welcome. The division intelligence officer (G-2), Lieutenant Colonel Frank B. Goettge, had concluded that about 8,400 Japanese occupied Guadalcanal and Tulagi. Admiral Turner’s staff figured that the Japanese amounted to 7,125 men. Admiral Ghormley’s intelligence officer pegged the enemy strength at 3,100—closest to the 3,457 actual total of Japanese troops; 2,571 of these were stationed on Guadalcanal and were mostly laborers working on the airfield. To oppose the Japanese, the Marines had an overwhelming superiority of men. At the time, the tables of organization for a Marine Corps division indicated a total of 19,514 officers and enlisted men, including naval medical and engineer (Seabee) units. Infantry regiments numbered 3,168 and consisted of a headquarters company, a weapons company, and three battalions. Each infantry battalion (933 Marines) was organized into a headquarters company (89), a weapons company (273), and three rifle companies (183). The artillery regiment had 2,581 officers and men organized into three 75mm pack howitzer battalions and one 105mm howitzer battalion. A light tank battalion, a special weapons battalion of antiaircraft and antitank guns, and a parachute battalion added combat power. An engineer regiment (2,452 Marines) with battalions of engineers, pioneers, and Seabees, provided a hefty combat and service element. The total was rounded out by division headquarters battalion’s headquarters, signal, and military police companies and the division’s service troops—service, motor transport, amphibian tractor, and medical battalions. For Watchtower, the 1st Raider Battalion and the 3d Defense Battalion had been added to Vandegrift’s command to provide more infantrymen and much needed coast defense and antiaircraft guns and crews. Unfortunately, the division’s heaviest ordnance had been left behind in New Zealand. Limited ships’ space and time meant that the division’s big guns, a 155mm howitzer battalion, and all the motor transport battalion’s two-and-a-half-ton trucks were not loaded. Colonel Pedro A. del Valle, commanding the 11th Marines, was unhappy at the loss of his heavy howitzers and equally distressed that essential H402RA-105 sound and flash-ranging equipment necessary for effective counterbattery fire was left behind. Also failing to make the cut in the battle for shipping space, were all spare clothing, bedding rolls, and supplies necessary to support the reinforced division beyond 60 days of combat. Ten days supply of ammunition for each of the division’s weapons remained in New Zealand. In the opinion of the 1st Division’s historian and a veteran of the landing, the men on the approaching transports “thought they’d have a bad time getting ashore.” They were confident, certainly, and sure that they could not be defeated, but most of the men were entering combat for the first time. There were combat veteran officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) throughout the division, but the majority of the men were going into their initial battle. The commanding officer of the 1st Marines, Colonel Clifton B. Cates, estimated that 90 percent of his men had enlisted after Pearl Harbor. The fabled 1st Marine Division of later World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and Persian Gulf War fame, the most highly decorated division in the U.S. Armed Forces, had not yet established its reputation. The convoy of ships, with its outriding protective screen of carriers, reached Koro in the Fiji Islands on 26 July. Practice landings did little more than exercise the transports’ landing craft, since reefs precluded an actual beach landing. The rendezvous at Koro did give the senior commanders a chance to have a face-to-face meeting. Fletcher, McCain, Turner, and Vandegrift got together with Ghormley’s chief of staff, Rear Admiral Callaghan, who notified the conferees that ComSoPac had ordered the 7th Marines on Samoa to be prepared to embark on four days notice as a reinforcement for Watchtower. To this decidedly good news, Admiral Fletcher added some bad news. In view of the threat from enemy land- based air, he could not “keep the carriers in the area for more than 48 hours after the landing.” Vandegrift protested that he needed at least four days to get the division’s gear ashore, and Fletcher reluctantly agreed to keep his carriers at risk another day. On the 28th the ships sailed from the Fijis, proceeding as if they were headed for Australia. At noon on 5 August, the convoy and its escorts turned north for the Solomons. Undetected by the Japanese, the assault force reached its target during the night of 6-7 August and split into two landing groups, Transport Division X-Ray, 15 transports heading for the north shore of Guadalcanal east of Lunga Point, and Transport Division Yoke, eight transports headed for Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanambogo, and the nearby Florida Island, which loomed over the smaller islands. Vandegrift’s plans for the landings would put two of his infantry regiments (Colonel LeRoy P. Hunt’s 5th Marines and Colonel Cates’ 1st Marines) ashore on both sides of the Lunga River prepared to attack inland to seize the airfield. The 11th Marines, the 3d Defense Battalion, and most of the division’s supporting units would also land near the Lung, prepared to exploit the beachhead. Across the 20 miles of Sealark Channel, the division’s assistant commander, Brigadier General William H. Rupertus, led the assault forces slated to take Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo: the 1st Raider Battalion (Lieutenant Colonel Merritt A. Edson); the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines (Lieutenant Colonel Harold E. Rosecrans); and the 1st Parachute Battalion (Major Robert H. Williams). Company A of the 2d Marines would reconnoiter the nearby shores of Florida Island and the rest of Colonel John A. Arthur’s regiment would stand by in reserve to land where needed. As the ships slipped through the channels on either side of rugged Savo Island, which split Sealark near its western end, heavy clouds and dense rain blanketed the task force. Later the moon came out and silhouetted the islands. On board his command ship, Vandegrift wrote to his wife: “Tomorrow morning at dawn we land in our first major offensive of the war. Our plans have been made and God grant that our judgment has been sound . . . whatever happens you’ll know I did my best. Let us hope that best will be good enough.” H402RA-106 At 0641 on 7 August, Turner signaled his ships to “land the landing force.” Just 28 minutes before, the heavy cruiser Quincy (CA-39) had begun shelling the landing beaches at Guadalcanal. The sun came up that fateful Friday at 0650, and the first landing craft carrying assault troops of the 5th Marines touched down at 0909 on Red Beach. To the men’s surprise (and relief), no Japanese appeared to resist the landing. Hunt immediately moved his assault troops off the beach and into the surrounding jungle, waded the steep-banked Ilu River, and headed for the enemy airfield. The following 1st Marines were able to cross the Ilu on a bridge the engineers had hastily thrown up with an amphibian tractor bracing its middle. The silence was eerie and the absence of opposition was worrisome to the riflemen. The Japanese troops, most of whom were Korean laborers, had fled to the west, spooked by a week’s B-17 bombardment, the pre-assault naval gunfire, and the sight of the ships offshore. The situation was not the same across Sealark. The Marines on Guadalcanal could hear faint rumbles of a firefight across the waters. The Japanese on Tulagi were special naval landing force sailors and they had no intention of giving up what they held without a vicious, no-surrender battle. Edson’s men landed first, followed by Rosecrans’ battalion, hitting Tulagi’s south coast and moving inland towards the ridge which ran lengthwise through the island. The battalions encountered pockets of resistance in the undergrowth of the island’s thick vegetation and maneuvered to outflank and overrun the opposition. The advance of the Marines was steady but casualties were frequent. By nightfall, Edson had reached the former British residency overlooking Tulagi’s harbor and dug in for the night across a hill that overlooked the Japanese final position, a ravine on the island’s southern tip. The 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, had driven through to the northern shore, cleaning its sector of enemy; Rosecrans moved into position to back up the raiders. By the end of its first day ashore, 2d Battalion had lost 56 men killed and wounded; 1st Raider Battalion casualties were 99 Marines. H402RA-107 Throughout the night, the Japanese swarmed from hillside caves in four separate attacks, trying to penetrate the raider lines. They were unsuccessful and most died in the attempts. At dawn, the 2d Battalion, 2d Marines, landed to reinforce the attackers and by the afternoon of 8 August, the mop-up was completed and the battle for Tulagi was over. The fight for tiny Gavutu and Tanambogo, both little more than small hills rising out of the sea, connected by a hundred-yard causeway, was every bit as intense as that on Tulagi. The area of combat was much smaller and the opportunities for fire support from offshore ships and carrier planes was severely limited once the Marines had landed. After naval gunfire from the light cruiser San Juan (CL-54) and two destroyers, and a strike by F4F Wildcats flying from the Wasp, the 1st Parachute Battalion landed near noon in three waves, 395 men in all, on Gavutu. The Japanese, secure in cave positions, opened fire on the second and third waves, pinning down the first Marines ashore on the beach. Major Williams took a bullet in the lungs and was evacuated; 32 Marines were killed in the withering enemy fire. This time, 2d Marines reinforcements were really needed; the 1st Battalion’s Company B landed on Gavutu and attempted to take Tanambogo; the attackers were driven to ground and had to pull back to Gavutu. After a rough night of close-in fighting with the defenders of both islands, the 3d Battalion, 2d Marines, reinforced the men already ashore and mopped up on each island. The toll of Marines dead on the three islands was 144; the wounded numbered 194. The few Japanese who survived the battles fled to Florida Island, which had been scouted by the 2d Marines on D-Day and found clear of the enemy. The Marines’ landings and the concentration of shipping in Guadalcanal waters acted as a magnet to the Japanese at Rabaul. At Admiral Ghormley’s headquarters, Tulagi’s radio was heard on D-Day “frantically calling for [the] dispatch of surface forces to the scene” and designating transports and carriers as targets for heavy bombing. The messages were sent in plain language, emphasizing the plight of the threatened garrison. And the enemy response was prompt and characteristic of the months of naval air and surface attack to come. At 1030 on 7 August, an Australian coastwatcher hidden in the hills of the islands north of Guadalcanal signaled that a Japanese air strike composed of heavy bombers, light bombers, and fighters was headed for the island. Fletcher’s pilots, whose carriers were positioned 100 miles south of Guadalcanal, jumped the approaching planes 20 miles northwest of the landing areas before they could disrupt the operation. But the Japanese were not daunted by the setback; other planes and ships were en route to the inviting target. On 8 August, the Marines consolidated their positions ashore, seizing the airfield on Guadalcanal and establishing a beachhead. Supplies were being unloaded as fast as landing craft could make the turnaround from ship to shore, but the shore party was woefully inadequate to handle the influx of ammunition, rations, tents, aviation gas, vehicles—all gear necessary to sustain the Marines. The beach itself became a dumpsite. And almost as soon as the initial supplies were landed, they had to be moved to positions nearer Kukum village and Lunga Point within the planned perimeter. Fortunately, the lack of Japanese ground opposition enabled Vandegrift to shift the supply beaches west to a new beachhead. Japanese bombers did penetrate the American fighter screen on 8 August. Dropping their bombs from 20,000 feet or more to escape antiaircraft fire, the enemy planes were not very accurate. They concentrated on the ships in the channel, hitting and damaging a number of them and sinking the destroyer Jarvis (DD-393). In their battles to turn back the attacking planes, the carrier fighter squadrons lost 21 Wildcats on 7-8 August. The primary Japanese targets were the Allied ships. At this time, and for a thankfully and unbelievably long time to come, the Japanese commanders at Rabaul grossly underestimated the strength H402RA-108 of Vandegrift’s forces. They thought the Marine landings constituted a reconnaissance in force, perhaps 2,000 men, on Guadalcanal. By the evening of 8 August, Vandegrift had 10,900 troops ashore on Guadalcanal and another 6,075 on Tulagi. Three infantry regiments had landed and each had a supporting 75mm pack howitzer battalion—the 2d and 3d Battalions, 11th Marines on Guadalcanal, and the 3d Battalion, 10th Marines on Tulagi. The 5th Battalion, 11th Marines’ 105mm howitzers were in general support. That night a cruiser-destroyer force of the Imperial Japanese Navy reacted to the American invasion with a stinging response. Admiral Turner had positioned three cruiser-destroyer groups to bar the Tulagi- Guadalcanal approaches. At the Battle of Savo, the Japanese demonstrated their superiority in night fighting at this stage of the war, shattering two of Turner’s covering forces without loss to themselves. Four heavy cruisers went to the bottom—three American, one Australian—and another lost her bow. As the sun came up over what soon would be called “Ironbottom Sound,” Marines watched grimly as Higgins boats swarmed out to rescue survivors. Approximately 1,300 sailors died that night and another 700 suffered wounds or were badly burned. Japanese casualties numbered less than 200 men. The Japanese suffered damage to only one ship in the encounter, the cruiser Chokai. The American cruisers Vincennes (CA-44), Astoria (CA-34), and Quincy (CA-39) went to the bottom, as did the Australian Navy’s HMAS Canberra, so critically damaged that she had to be sunk by American torpedoes. Both the cruiser Chicago (CA-29) and destroyer Talbot (DD-114) were badly damaged. Fortunately for the Marines ashore, the Japanese force—five heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and a destroyer—departed before dawn without attempting to disrupt the landing further. When the attack-force leader, Vice Admiral Gunichi Mikawa, returned to Rabaul, he expected to receive the accolades of his superiors. He did get those, but he also found himself the subject of criticism. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the Japanese fleet commander, chided his subordinate for failing to attack the transports. Mikawa could only reply, somewhat lamely, that he did not know Fletcher’s aircraft carriers were so far away from Guadalcanal. Of equal significance to the Marines on the beach, the Japanese naval victory caused celebrating superiors in Tokyo to allow the event to overshadow the importance of the amphibious operation. The disaster prompted the American admirals to reconsider Navy support for operations ashore. Fletcher feared for the safety of his carriers; he had already lost about a quarter of his fighter aircraft. The commander of the expeditionary force had lost a carrier at Coral Sea and another at Midway. He felt he could not risk the loss of a third, even if it meant leaving the Marines on their own. Before the Japanese cruiser attack, he obtained Admiral Ghormley’s permission to withdraw from the area. At a conference on board Turner’s flagship transport, the McCawley, on the night of 8 August, the admiral told General Vandegrift that Fletcher’s impending withdrawal meant that he would have to pull out the amphibious force’s ships. The Battle of Savo Island reinforced the decision to get away before enemy aircraft, unchecked by American interceptors, struck. On 9 August, the transports withdrew to Noumea. The unloading of supplies ended abruptly, and ships still half-full steamed away. The forces ashore had 17 days’ rations—after counting captured Japanese food—and only four days’ supply of ammunition for all weapons. Not only did the ships take away the rest of the supplies, they also took the Marines still on board, including the 2d Marines’ headquarters element. Dropped off at the island of Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides, the infantry Marines and their commander, Colonel Arthur, were most unhappy and remained so until they finally reached Guadalcanal on 29 October. Ashore in the Marine beachheads, General Vandegrift ordered rations reduced to two meals a day. The reduced food intake would last for six weeks, and the Marines would become very familiar with Japanese canned fish and rice. Most of the Marines smoked and they were soon disgustedly smoking Japanese-issue brands. They found that the separate paper filters that came with the cigarettes were H402RA-109 necessary to keep the fast-burning tobacco from scorching their lips. The retreating ships had also hauled away empty sand bags and valuable engineer tools. So the Marines used Japanese shovels to fill Japanese rice bags with sand to strengthen their defensive positions. The Marines dug in along the beaches between the Tenaru and the ridges west of Kukum. A Japanese counter-landing was a distinct possibility. Inland of the beaches, defensive gun pits and foxholes lined the west bank of the Tenaru and crowned the hills that faced west toward the Matanikau River and Point Cruz. South of the airfield where densely jungled ridges and ravines abounded, the beachhead perimeter was guarded by outposts and these were manned in large part by combat support troops. The engineer, pioneer, and amphibious tractor battalion all had their positions on the front line. In fact, any Marine with a rifle, and that was virtually every Marine, stood night defensive duty. There was no place within the perimeter that could be counted safe from enemy infiltration. Almost as Turner’s transports sailed away, the Japanese began a pattern of harassing air attacks on the beachhead. Sometimes the raids came during the day, but the 3d Defense Battalion’s 90mm antiaircraft guns forced the bombers to fly too high for effective bombing. The erratic pattern of bombs, however, meant that no place was safe near the airfield, the preferred target, and no place could claim it was bomb- free. The most disturbing aspect of Japanese air attacks soon became the nightly harassment by Japanese aircraft which singly, it seemed, roamed over the perimeter, dropping bombs and flares indiscriminately. The nightly visitors, whose planes’ engines were soon well known sounds, won the singular title “Washing machine Charlie,” at first, and later, “Louie the Louse,” when their presence heralded Japanese shore bombardment. Technically, “Charlie” was a twin-engine night bomber from Rabaul. “Louie” was a cruiser float plane that signaled the harassed Marines used the names interchangeably. Even though most of the division’s heavy engineering equipment had disappeared with the Navy’s transports, the resourceful Marines soon completed the airfield’s runway with captured Japanese gear. On 12 August Admiral McCain’s aide piloted a PBY-5 Catalina flying boat and bumped to a halt on what was now officially Henderson Field, named for a Marine pilot, Major Lofton R. Henderson, lost at Midway. The Navy officer pronounced the airfield fit for fighter use and took off with a load of wounded Marines, the first of 2,879 to be evacuated. Henderson Field was the centerpiece of Vandegrift’s strategy; he would hold it at all costs. Although it was only 2,000 feet long and lacked a taxiway and adequate drainage, the tiny airstrip, often riddled with potholes and rendered unusable because of frequent, torrential downpours, was essential to the success of the landing force. With it operational, supplies could be flown in and wounded flown out. At least in the Marines’ minds, Navy ships ceased to be the only lifeline for the defenders. While Vandegrift’s Marines dug in east and west of Henderson Field, Japanese headquarters in Rabaul planned what it considered an effective response to the American offensive. Misled by intelligence estimates that the Marines numbered perhaps 2,000 men, Japanese staff officers believed that a modest force quickly sent could overwhelm the invaders. On 12 August, CinCPac determined that a sizable Japanese force was massing at Truk to steam to the Solomons and attempt to eject the Americans. Ominously, the group included the heavy carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku and the light carrier Ryujo. Despite the painful losses at Savo Island, the only significant increases to American naval forces in the Solomons was the assignment of a new battleship, the South Dakota (BB-57). Imperial General Headquarters in Tokyo had ordered Lieutenant General Haruyoshi Hyakutake’s Seventeenth Army to attack the Marine perimeter. For his assault force, Hyakutake chose the 35th Infantry Brigade (Reinforced), commanded by Major General Kiyotake Kawaguchi. At the time, Kawaguchi’s H402RA-110 main force was in the Palaus. Hyakutake selected a crack infantry regiment—the 28th—commanded by Colonel Kiyono Ichiki to land first. Alerted for its mission while it was at Guam, the Ichiki Detachment assault echelon, one battalion of 900 men, was transported to the Solomons on the only shipping available, six destroyers. As a result the troops carried just small amounts of ordnance and supplies. A follow-on echelon of 1,200 of Ichiki’s troops was to join the assault battalion on Guadalcanal. While the Japanese landing force was headed for Guadalcanal, the Japanese already on the island provided an unpleasant reminder that they, too, were full of fight. A captured enemy naval rating, taken in the constant patrolling to the west of the perimeter, indicated that a Japanese group wanted to surrender near the village of Kokumbona, seven miles west of the Matanikau. This was the area that Lieutenant Colonel Goettge considered held most of the enemy troops who had fled the airfield. On the night of 12 August, a reconnaissance patrol of 25 men led by Goettge himself left the perimeter by landing craft. The patrol landed near its objective, was ambushed, and virtually wiped out. Only three men managed to swim and wade back to the Marine lines. The bodies of the other members of the patrol were never found. To this day, the fate of the Goettge patrol continues to intrigue researchers. After the loss of Goettge and his men, vigilance increased on the perimeter. On the 14th, a fabled character, the coastwatcher Martin Clemens, came strolling out of the jungle into the Marine lines. He had watched the landing from the hills south of the airfield and now brought his bodyguard of native policemen with him. A retired sergeant major of the British Solomon Islands Constabulary, Jacob C. Vouza, volunteered about this time to search out Japanese to the east of the perimeter, where patrol sightings and contacts had indicated the Japanese might have effected a landing. The ominous news of Japanese sightings to the east and west of the perimeter were balanced out by the joyous word that more Marines had landed. This time the Marines were aviators. On 20 August, two squadrons of Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 23 were launched from the escort carrier Long Island (CVE- 1) located 200 miles southeast of Guadalcanal. Captain John L. Smith led 19 Grumman F4F-4 Wildcats of Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 223 onto Henderson’s narrow runway. Smith’s fighters were followed by Major Richard C. Mangrum’s Marine Scout-Bombing Squadron (VMSB) 232 with 12 Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless dive bombers. From this point of the campaign, the radio identification for Guadalcanal, Cactus, became increasingly synonymous with the island. The Marine planes became the first elements of what would informally be known as Cactus Air Force. Wasting no time, the Marine pilots were soon in action against the Japanese naval aircraft which frequently attacked Guadalcanal. Smith shot down his first enemy Zero fighter on 21 August; three days later VMF-223’s Wildcats intercepted a strong Japanese aerial attack force and downed 16 enemy planes. In this action, Captain Marion E. Carl, a veteran of Midway, shot down three planes. On the 22nd, coastwatchers alerted Cactus to an approaching air attack and 13 of 16 enemy bombers were destroyed. At the same time, Mangrum’s dive bombers damaged three enemy destroyer-transports attempting to reach Guadalcanal. On 24 August, the American attacking aircraft, which now included Navy scout- bombers from the Saratoga’s Scouting Squadron (VS) 5, succeeded in turning back a Japanese reinforcement convoy of warships and destroyers. On 22 August, five Bell P-400 Air Cobras of the Army’s 67th Fighter Squadron had landed at Henderson, followed within a week by nine more Air Cobras. The Army planes, which had serious altitude and climb-rate deficiencies, were destined to see most action in ground combat support roles. The frenzied action in what became known as the Battle of the Eastern Solomons was matched ashore. Japanese destroyers had delivered the vanguard of the Ichiki force at Taivu Point, 25 miles east of H402RA-111 the Marine perimeter. A long-range patrol of Marines from Company A, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines ambushed a sizable Japanese force near Taivu on 19 August. The Japanese dead were readily identified as Army troops and the debris of their defeat included fresh uniforms and a large amount of communication gear. Clearly, a new phase of the fighting had begun. All Japanese encountered to this point had been naval troops. Alerted by patrols, the Marines now dug in along the Ilu River, often misnamed the Tenaru on Marine maps, were ready for Colonel Ichiki. The Japanese commander’s orders directed him to “quickly recapture and maintain the airfield at Guadalcanal,” and his own directive to his troops emphasized that they would fight “to the last breath of the last man.” And they did. Too full of his mission to wait for the rest of his regiment and sure that he faced only a few thousand men overall, Ichiki marched from Taivu to the Marines’ lines. Before he attacked on the night of the 20th, a bloody figure stumbled out of the jungle with a warning that the Japanese were coming. It was Sergeant Major Vouza. Captured by the Japanese, who found a small American flag secreted in his loincloth, he was tortured in a failed attempt to gain information on the invasion force. Tied to a tree, bayoneted twice through the chest, and beaten with rifle butts, the resolute Vouza chewed through his bindings to escape. Taken to Lieutenant Colonel Edwin A. Pollock, whose 2d Battalion, 1st Marines held the Ilu mouth’s defenses, he gasped a warning that an estimated 250-500 Japanese soldiers were coming behind him. The resolute Vouza, rushed immediately to an aid station and then to the division hospital, miraculously survived his ordeal and was awarded a Silver Star for his heroism by General Vandegrift, and later a Legion of Merit. Vandegrift also made Vouza an honorary sergeant major of U.S. Marines. At 0130 on 21 August, Ichiki’s troops stormed the Marines’ lines in a screaming, frenzied display of the “spiritual strength” which they had been assured would sweep aside their American enemy. As the Japanese charged across the sand bar astride the Ilu’s mouth, Pollock’s Marines cut them down. After a mortar preparation, the Japanese tried again to storm past the sand bar. A section of 37mm guns sprayed the enemy force with deadly canister. Lieutenant Colonel Lenard B. Cresswell’s 1st Battalion, 1st Marines moved upstream on the Ilu at daybreak, waded across the sluggish, 50-foot-wide stream, and moved on the flank of the Japanese. Wildcats from VMF-223 strafed the beleaguered enemy force. Five light tanks blasted the retreating Japanese. By 1700, as the sun was setting, the battle ended. Colonel Ichiki, disgraced in his own mind by his defeat, burned his regimental colors and shot himself. Close to 800 of his men joined him in death. The few survivors fled eastward towards Taivu Point. Rear Admiral Raizo Tanaka, whose reinforcement force of transports and destroyers was largely responsible for the subsequent Japanese troop build-up on Guadalcanal, recognized that the unsupported Japanese attack was sheer folly and reflected that “this tragedy should have taught us the hopelessness of bamboo spear tactics.” Fortunately for the Marines, Ichiki’s overconfidence was not unique among Japanese commanders. Following the 1st Marines’ tangle with the Ichiki detachment, General Vandegrift was inspired to write the Marine Commandant, Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb, and report: “These youngsters are the darndest people when they get started you ever saw.” And all the Marines on the island, young and old, tyro and veteran, were becoming accomplished jungle fighters. They were no longer “trigger happy” as many had been in their first days ashore, shooting at shadows and imagined enemy. They were waiting for targets, patrolling with enthusiasm, sure of themselves. The misnamed Battle of the Tenaru had cost Colonel Hunt’s regiment 34 killed in action and 75 wounded. All the division’s Marines now felt they were bloodied. What the men on Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo and those of the Ilu had done was prove that the 1st Marine Division would hold fast to what it had won. H402RA-112 While the division’s Marines and sailors had earned a breathing spell as the Japanese regrouped for another onslaught, the action in the air over the Solomons intensified. Almost every day, Japanese aircraft arrived around noon to bomb the perimeter. Marine fighter pilots found the twin-engine Betty bombers easy targets; Zero fighters were another story. Although the Wildcats were a much sturdier aircraft, the Japanese Zeros’ superior speed and better maneuverability gave them a distinct edge in a dogfight. The American planes, however, when warned by the coastwatchers of Japanese attacks, had time to climb above the oncoming enemy and preferably attacked by making firing runs during high speed dives. Their tactics made the air space over the Solomons dangerous for the Japanese. On 29 August, the carrier Ryujo launched aircraft for a strike against the airstrip. Smith’s Wildcats shot down 16, with a loss of four of their own. Still, the Japanese continued to strike at Henderson Field without letup. Two days after the Ryujo raid, enemy bombers inflicted heavy damage on the airfield, setting aviation fuel ablaze and incinerating parked aircraft. VMF-223’s retaliation was a further bag of 13 attackers. On 30 August, two more MAG-23 squadrons, VMF-224 and VMSB-231, flew in to Henderson. The air reinforcements were more than welcome. Steady combat attrition, frequent damage in the air and on the ground, and scant repair facilities and parts kept the number of aircraft available a dwindling resource. Plainly, General Vandegrift needed infantry reinforcements as much as he did additional aircraft. He brought the now-combined raider and parachute battalions, both under Edson’s command, and the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, over to Guadalcanal from Tulagi. This gave the division commander a chance to order out larger reconnaissance patrols to probe for the Japanese. On 27 August, the 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, made a shore-to-shore landing near Kokumbona and marched back to the beachhead without any measurable results. If the Japanese were out there beyond the Matanikau—and they were—they watched the Marines and waited for a better opportunity to attack. September and the Ridge Admiral McCain visited Guadalcanal at the end of August, arriving in time to greet the aerial reinforcements he had ordered forward, and also in time for a taste of Japanese nightly bombing. He got to experience, too, what was becoming another unwanted feature of Cactus nights: bombardment by Japanese cruisers and destroyers. General Vandegrift noted that McCain had gotten a dose of the “normal ration of shells.” The admiral saw enough to signal his superiors that increased support for Guadalcanal operations was imperative and that the “situation admits no delay whatsoever.” He also sent a prophetic message to Admirals King and Nimitz: “Cactus can be sinkhole for enemy air power and can be consolidated, expanded, and exploited to the enemy’s mortal hurt.” On 3 September, the Commanding General, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Brigadier General Roy S. Geiger, and his assistant wing commander, Colonel Louis Woods, moved forward to Guadalcanal to take charge of air operations. The arrival of the veteran Marine aviators provided an instant lift to the morale of the pilots and ground crews. It reinforced their belief that they were at the leading edge of air combat, that they were setting the pace for the rest of Marine aviation. Vandegrift could thankfully turn over the day-to-day management of the aerial defenses of Cactus to the able and experienced Geiger. There was no shortage of targets for the mixed air force of Marine, Army, and Navy flyers. Daily air attacks by the Japanese, coupled with steady reinforcement attempts by Tanaka’s destroyers and transports, meant that every type of plane that could lift off Henderson’s runway was airborne as often as possible. Seabees had begun work on a second airstrip, Fighter One, which could relieve some of the pressure on the primary airfield. Most of General Kawaguchi’s brigade had reached Guadalcanal. Those who hadn’t, missed their land-fall forever as a result of American air attacks. Kawaguchi had in mind a surprise attack on the heart of the Marine position, a thrust from the jungle directly at the airfield. To reach his jump-off position, the H402RA-113 Japanese general would have to move through difficult terrain unobserved, carving his way through the dense vegetation out of sight of Marine patrols. The rugged approach route would lead him to a prominent ridge topped by Kunai grass which wove snake-like through the jungle to within a mile of Henderson’s runway. Unknown to the Japanese, General Vandegrift planned on moving his headquarters to the shelter of a spot at the inland base of this ridge, a site better protected, it was hoped, from enemy bombing and shellfire. The success of Kawaguchi’s plan depended upon the Marines keeping the inland perimeter thinly manned while they concentrated their forces on the east and west flanks. This was not to be. Available intelligence, including a captured enemy map, pointed to the likelihood of an attack on the airfield and Vandegrift moved his combined raider-parachute battalion to the most obvious enemy approach route, the ridge. Colonel Edson’s men, who scouted Savo Island after moving to Guadalcanal and destroyed a Japanese supply base at Tasimboko in another shore-to-shore raid, took up positions on the forward slopes of the ridge at the edge of the encroaching jungle on 10 September. Their commander later said that he “was firmly convinced that we were in the path of the next Jap attack.” Earlier patrols had spotted a sizable Japanese force approaching. Accordingly, Edson patrolled extensively as his men dug in on the ridge and in the flanking jungle. On the 12th, the Marines made contact with enemy patrols confirming the fact the Japanese troops were definitely “out front.” Kawaguchi had about 2,000 of his men with him, enough he thought to punch through to the airfield. Japanese planes had dropped 500-pound bombs along the ridge on the 11th and enemy ships began shelling the area after nightfall on the 12th, once the threat of American air attacks subsided. The first Japanese thrust came at 2100 against Edson’s left flank. Boiling out of the jungle, the enemy soldiers attacked fearlessly into the face of rifle and machine gun fire, closing to bayonet range. They were thrown back. They came again, this time against the right flank, penetrating the Marines’ positions. Again they were thrown back. A third attack closed out the night’s action. Again it was a close affair, but by 0230 Edson told Vandegrift his men could hold. And they did. On the morning of 13 September, Edson called his company commanders together and told them: “They were just testing, just testing. They’ll be back.” He ordered all positions improved and defenses consolidated and pulled his lines towards the airfield along the ridge’s center spine. The 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, his backup on Tulagi, moved into position to reinforce again. The next night’s attacks were as fierce as any man had seen. The Japanese were everywhere, fighting hand-to-hand in the Marines’ foxholes and gun pits and filtering past forward positions to attack from the rear. Division Sergeant Major Sheffield Banta shot one in the new command post. Colonel Edson appeared wherever the fighting was toughest, encouraging his men to their utmost efforts. The man-to- man battles lapped over into the jungle on either flank of the ridge, and engineer and pioneer positions were attacked. The reserve from the 5th Marines was fed into the fight. Artillerymen from the 5th Battalion, 11th Marines, as they had on the previous night, fired their 105mm howitzers at any called target. The range grew as short as 1,600 yards from tube to impact. The Japanese finally could take no more. They pulled back as dawn approached. On the slopes of the ridge and in the surrounding jungle they left more than 600 bodies; another 600 men were wounded. The remnants of the Kawaguchi force staggered back toward their lines to the west, a grueling, hellish eight-day march that saw many more of the enemy perish. The cost to Edson’s force for its epic defense was also heavy. Fifty-nine men were dead, 10 were missing in action, and 194 were wounded. These losses, coupled with the casualties of Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tanambogo, meant the end of the 1st Parachute Battalion as an effective fighting unit. Only 89 men of the parachutists’ original strength could walk off the ridge, soon in legend to become “Bloody Ridge” H402RA-114 or “Edson’s Ridge.” Both Colonel Edson and Captain Kenneth D. Bailey, commanding the Raider’s Company C, were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic and inspirational actions. On 13 and 14 September, the Japanese attempted to support Kawaguchi’s attack on the ridge with thrusts against the flanks of the Marine perimeter. On the east, enemy troops attempting to penetrate the lines of the 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, were caught in the open on a grass plain and smothered by artillery fire; at least 200 died. On the west, the 3d Battalion, 5th Marines, holding ridge positions covering the coastal road, fought off a determined attacking force that reached its front lines. The victory at the ridge gave a great boost to Allied homefront morale, and reinforced the opinion of the men ashore on Guadalcanal that they could take on anything the enemy could send against them. At upper command echelons, the leaders were not so sure that the ground Marines and their motley air force could hold. Intercepted Japanese dispatches revealed that the myth of the 2,000-man defending force had been completely dispelled. Sizable naval forces and two divisions of Japanese troops were now committed to conquer the Americans on Guadalcanal. Cactus Air Force, augmented frequently by Navy carrier squadrons, made the planned reinforcement effort a high-risk venture. But it was a risk the Japanese were prepared to take. On 18 September, the long-awaited 7th Marines, reinforced by the 1st Battalion, 11th Marines, and other division troops, arrived at Guadalcanal. As the men from Samoa landed they were greeted with friendly derision by Marines already on the island. The 7th had been the first regiment of the 1st Division to go overseas; its men, many thought then, were likely to be the first to see combat. The division had been careful to send some of its best men to Samoa and now had them back. One of the new and salty combat veterans of the 5th Marines remarked to a friend in the 7th that he had waited a long time “to see our first team get into the game.” Providentially, a separate supply convoy reached the island at the same H402RA-115 time as the 7th’s arrival, bringing with it badly needed aviation gas and the first resupply of ammunition since D-Day. The Navy covering force for the reinforcement and supply convoys was hit hard by Japanese submarines. The carrier Wasp was torpedoed and sunk, the battleship North Carolina (BB-55) was damaged, and the destroyer O’Brien (DD-415) was hit so badly it broke up and sank on its way to dry- dock. The Navy had accomplished its mission, the 7th Marines had landed, but at a terrible cost. About the only good result of the devastating Japanese torpedo attacks was that the Wasp’s surviving aircraft joined Cactus Air Force, as the planes of the Saratoga and Enterprise had done when their carriers required combat repairs. Now, the Hornet (CV-8) was the only whole fleet carrier left in the South Pacific. As the ships that brought the 7th Marines withdrew, they took with them the survivors of the 1st Parachute Battalion and sick bays full of badly wounded men. General Vandegrift now had 10 infantry battalions, one under strength raider battalion, and five artillery battalions ashore; the 3d Battalion, 2d Marines, had come over from Tulagi also. He reorganized the defensive perimeter into 10 sectors for better control, giving the engineer, pioneer, and amphibian tractor battalions sectors along the beach. Infantry battalions manned the other sectors, including the inland perimeter in the jungle. Each infantry regiment had two battalions on line and one in reserve. Vandegrift also had the use of a select group of infantrymen who were training to be scouts and snipers under the leadership of Colonel William J. “Wild Bill” Whaling, an experienced jungle hand, marksman, and hunter, whom he had appointed to run a school to sharpen the division’s fighting skills. As men finished their training under Whaling and went back to their outfits, others took their place and the Whaling group was available to scout and spearhead operations. Vandegrift now had enough men ashore on Guadalcanal, 19,200, to expand his defensive scheme. He decided to seize a forward position along the east bank of the Matanikau River, in effect strongly outposting his west flank defenses against the probability of string enemy attacks from the area where most Japanese troops were landing. First, however, he was going to test the Japanese reaction with a strong probing force. He chose the fresh 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, to move inland along the slopes of Mt. Austen and patrol north towards the coast and the Japanese-held area. Puller’s battalion ran into Japanese troops bivouacked on the slopes of Austen on the 24th and in a sharp firefight had seven men killed and 25 wounded. Vandegrift sent the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, forward to reinforce Puller and help provide the men needed to carry the casualties out of the jungle. Now reinforced, Puller continued his advance, moving down the east bank of the Matanikau. He reached the coast on the 26th as planned, where he drew intensive fire from enemy positions on the ridges west of the river. An attempt by the 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, to cross was beaten back. About the time, the 1st Raider Battalion, its original mission one of establishing a patrol base west of the Matanikau, reached the vicinity of the firefight, and joined in. Vandegrift sent Colonel Edson, now the commander of the 5th Marines, forward to take charge of the expanded force. He was directed to attack on the 27th and decided to send the raiders inland to outflank the Japanese defenders. The battalion, commanded by Edson’s former executive officer, Lieutenant Colonel Samuel B. Griffith II, ran into a hornet’s nest of Japanese who had crossed the Matanikau during the night. A garbled message led Edson to believe that Griffith’s men were advancing according to plan, so he decided to land the companies of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, behind the enemy’s Matanikau position and strike the Japanese from the rear while Rosecrans’s men attacked across the river. H402RA-116 The landing was made without incident and the 7th Marines’ companies moved inland only to be ambushed and cut off from the sea by the Japanese. A rescue force of landing craft moved with difficulty through Japanese fire, urged on by Puller who accompanied the boats on the destroyer Ballard (DD-267). The Marines were evacuated after fighting their way to the beach covered by the destroyer’s fire and the machine guns of a Marine SBD overhead. Once the 7th Marines companies got back to the perimeter, landing near Kukum, the raider and 5th Marines battalions pulled back from the Matanikau. The confirmation that the Japanese would strongly contest any westward advance cost the Marines 60 men killed and 100 wounded. The Japanese the Marines had encountered were mainly men for the 4th Regiment of the 2d (Sendai) Division; prisoners confirmed that the division was landing on the island. Included in the enemy reinforcements were 150mm howitzers, guns capable of shelling the airfield from positions near Kokumbona. Clearly, a new and stronger enemy attack was pending. As September drew to a close, a flood of promotions had reached the division, nine lieutenant colonels put on their colonel’s eagles and there were 14 new lieutenant colonels also. Vandegrift made Colonel Gerald C. Thomas, his former operations officer, the new division chief of staff, and had a short time earlier given Edson the 5th Marines. Many of the older, senior officers, picked for the most part in the order they had joined the division, were now sent back to the States. There they would provide a new level of combat expertise in the training and organization of the many Marine units that were forming. The air wing was not quite ready yet to return its experienced pilots to rear areas, but the vital combat knowledge they possessed was much needed in the training pipeline. They, too—the survivors—would soon be rotating back to rear areas, some for a much-needed break before returning to combat and others to lead new squadrons into the fray. October and the Japanese Offensive On 30 September, unexpectedly, a B-17 carrying Admiral Nimitz made an emergency landing at Henderson Field. The CinCPac made the most of the opportunity. He visited the front lines, saw Edson’s Ridge, and talked to a number of Marines. He reaffirmed to Vandegrift that his overriding mission was to hold the airfield. He promised all the support he could give and after awarding Navy Crosses to a number of Marines, including Vandegrift, left the next day visibly encouraged by what he had seen. The next Marine move involved a punishing return to the Matanikau, this time with five infantry battalions and the Whaling group. Whaling commanded his men and the 3d Battalion, 2d Marines, in a thrust inland to clear the way for two battalions of the 7th Marines, the 1st and 2d, to drive through and hook toward the coast, hitting the Japanese holding along the Matanikau. Edson’s 2d and 3d Battalions would attack across the river mouth. All the division’s artillery was positioned to fire in support. On the 7th, Whaling’s force moved into the jungle about 2,000 yards upstream on the Matanikau, encountering Japanese troops that harassed his forward elements, but not in enough strength to stop the advance. He bypassed the enemy positions and dug in for the night. Behind him the 7th Marines followed suit, prepared to move through his lines, cross the river, and attack north toward the Japanese on the 8th. The 5th Marines’ assault battalions moving toward the Matanikau on the 7th ran into Japanese in strength about 400 yards from the river. Unwittingly, the Marines had run into strong advance elements of the Japanese 4th Regiment, which had crossed the Matanikau in order to establish a base from which artillery could fire into the Marine perimeter. The fighting was intense and the 3d Battalion, 5th, could make little progress, although the 2d Battalion encountered slight opposition and won through to the river bank. It then turned north to hit the inland flank of the enemy troops. Vandegrift sent forward a company of raiders to reinforce the 5th, and it took a holding position on the right, towards the beach. H402RA-117 Rain poured down on the 8th, all day long, virtually stopping all forward progress, but not halting the close-in fighting around the Japanese pocket. The enemy troops finally retreated, attempting to escape the gradually encircling Marines. They smashed into the raider’s position nearest to their escape route. A wild hand-to-hand battle ensued and a few Japanese broke through to reach and cross the river. The rest died fighting. On the 9th, Whaling’s force, flanked by the 2d and then the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, crossed the Matanikau and then turned and followed ridge lines to the sea. Puller’s battalion discovered a number of Japanese in a raving to his front, fired his mortars, and called in artillery, while his men used rifles and machine guns to pick off enemy troops trying to escape what proved to be a death trap. When his mortar ammunition began to run short, Puller moved on toward the beach, joining the rest of Whaling’s force, which had encountered no opposition. The Marines then recrossed the Matanikau, joined Edson’s troops, and marched back to the perimeter, leaving a strong combat outpost at the Matanikau, now cleared of Japanese. General Vandegrift, apprised by intelligence sources that a major Japanese attack was coming from the west, decided to consolidate his positions, leaving no sizable Marine force more than a day’s march from the perimeter. The Marine advance on 7-9 October had thwarted Japanese plans for an early attack and cost the enemy more than 700 men. The Marines paid a price too, 65 dead and 125 wounded. There was another price that Guadalcanal was exacting from both sides. Disease was beginning to fell men in numbers that equaled the battle casualties. In addition to gastroenteritis, which greatly weakened those who suffered its crippling stomach cramps, there were all kinds of tropical fungus infections, collectively known as “jungle rot,” which produced uncomfortable rashes on men’s feet, armpits, elbows, and crotches, a product of seldom being dry. If it didn’t rain, sweat provided the moisture. On top of this came hundreds of cases of malaria. Atabrine tablets provided some relief, besides turning the skin yellow, but they were not effective enough to stop the spread of the mosquito-borne infection. Malaria attacks were so pervasive that nothing sort of complete prostration, becoming a litter case, could earn a respite in the hospital. Naturally enough, all these diseases affected most strongly the men who had been on the island the longest, particularly those who experienced the early days of short rations. Vandegrift had already argued with his superiors that when his men eventually got relieved they should not be sent to another tropical island hospital, but rather to a place where there was a real change of atmosphere and climate. He asked that Auckland or Wellington, New Zealand, be considered. For the present, however, there was to be no relief for men starting their third month on Guadalcanal. The Japanese would not abandon their plan to seize back Guadalcanal and gave painful evidence of their intentions near mid-October. General Hyakutake himself landed on Guadalcanal on 7 October to oversee the coming offensive. Elements of Major General Masao Maruyama’s Sendai Division, already a factor in the fighting near the Matanikau, landed with him. More men were coming. And the Japanese, taking advantage of the fact that Cactus flyers had no night attack capability, planned to ensure that no planes at all would rise from Guadalcanal to meet them. On 11 October, U.S. Navy surface ships took a hand in stopping the “Tokyo Express,” the nickname that had been given to Admiral Tanaka’s almost nightly reinforcement forays. A covering force of five cruisers and five destroyers, located near Rennell Island and commanded by Rear Admiral Norman Scott, got word that many ships were approaching Guadalcanal. Scott’s mission was to protect an approaching reinforcement convoy and he steamed toward Cactus at flank speed eager to engage. He encountered more ships than he had expected, a bombardment group of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers, as well as six destroyers escorting two seaplane carrier transports. Scott maneuvered between Savo Island and Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal’s western tip, and ran head-on into the bombardment group. Alerted by a scout plane from his flagship, San Francisco (CA-38), spottings later confirmed by radar contacts on the Helena (CL-50), the Americans opened fire before the Japanese, who had no radar, knew H402RA-118 of their presence. One enemy destroyer sank immediately, two cruisers were badly damaged, one, the Furutaka, later foundered, and the remaining cruiser and destroyer turned away from the inferno of American fire. Scott’s own force was punished by enemy return fire which damaged two cruisers and two destroyers, one of which, the Duncan (DD-485), sank the following day. On the 12th too, Cactus flyers spotted two of the reinforcement destroyer escorts retiring and sank them both. The Battle of Cape Esperance could be counted an American naval victory, one sorely needed at the time. Its way cleared by Scott’s encounter with the Japanese, a really welcome reinforcement convoy arrived at the island on 13 October when the 164th Infantry of the Americal Division arrived. The soldiers, members of a National Guard outfit originally from North Dakota, were equipped with Garand M-1 rifles, a weapon of which most overseas Marines had only heard. In rate of fire, the semiautomatic Garand could easily outperform the single-shot, bolt-action Springfields the Marines carried and the bolt- action rifles the Japanese carried, but most 1st Division Marines of necessity touted the Springfield as inherently more accurate and a better weapon. This did not prevent some light-fingered Marines from acquiring Garands when the occasion presented itself. And such an occasion did present itself while the soldiers were landing and their supplies were being moved to dumps. Several flights of Japanese bombers arrived over Henderson Field, relatively unscathed by the defending fighters, and began dropping their bombs. The soldiers headed for cover and alert Marines, inured to the bombing, used the interval to “liberate” interesting cartons and crates. The news that the Army had arrived spread across the island like wildfire, for it meant to all marines that they eventually would be relieved. There was hope. As if the bombing was not enough grief, the Japanese opened on the airfield with their 150mm howitzers also. Altogether the men of the 164th got a rude welcome to Guadalcanal. And on that night, 13-14 October, they shared a terrifying experience with the Marines that no one would ever forget. Determined to knock out Henderson Field and protect their soldiers landing in strength west of Koli Point, the enemy commanders sent the battleships Kongo and Haruna into Ironbottom Sound to bombard the Marine positions. The usual Japanese flare planes heralded the bombardment, 80 minutes of sheer hell which had 14-inch shells exploding with such effect that the accompanying cruiser fire was scarcely noticed. No one was safe; no place was safe. No dugout had been built to withstand 14-inch shells. One witness, a seasoned veteran demonstrably cool under enemy fire, opined that there was nothing worse in war than helplessly being on the receiving end of naval gunfire. He remembered “huge trees being cut apart and flying about like toothpicks.” And he was on the front lines, not the prime enemy target. The airfield and its environs were shambles when dawn broke. The naval shelling, together with the night’s artillery fire and bombing, had left Cactus Air Force’s commander, General Geiger, with a handful of aircraft still flyable, and airfield thickly cratered by shells and bombs, and a death toll of 41. Still, from Henderson or Fighter One, which now became the main airstrip, the Cactus Flyers had to attack, for the morning also revealed a shore and sea full of inviting targets. The expected enemy convoy had gotten through and Japanese transports and landing craft were everywhere near Tassafaronga. At sea the escorting cruisers and destroyers provided a formidable antiaircraft screen. Every American plane that could fly did. General Geiger’s aide, Major Jack Cram, took off in the general’s PBY, hastily rigged to carry two torpedoes, and put one of them into the side of an enemy transport as it was unloading. He landed the lumbering flying boat with enemy aircraft hot on his tail. A new squadron of F4Fs, VMF-212, commanded by Major Harold W. Bauer, flew in during the day’s action, landed, refueled, and took off to join the fighting. An hour later, Bauer landed again, this time with four enemy bombers to his credit. Bauer, who added to his score of Japanese aircraft kills in later air battles, was subsequently lost in action. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, as were four other Marine pilots of the early Cactus Air Force: Captain Jefferson J. DeBlank (VMF-112); Captain Joseph J. Foss (VMF-121); Major Robert E. Galer (VMF-224); and Major John L. Smith (VMF-223). H402RA-119 The Japanese had landed more than enough troops to destroy the Marine beachhead and seize the airfield. At least General Hyakutake thought so, and he heartily approved General Maruyama’s plan to move most of the Sendai Division through the jungle, out of sight and out of contact with the Marines, to strike from the south in the vicinity of Edson’s Ridge. Roughly 7,000 men, each carrying a mortar or artillery shell, started along the Maruyama Trail which had been partially hacked out of the jungle well inland from the Marine positions. Maruyama, who had approved the trail’s name to indicate his confidence, intended to support this attack with heavy mortars and infantry guns (70mm pack howitzers). The men who had to lug, push, and drag these supporting arms over the miles of broken ground, across two major streams, the Matanikau and the Lunga, and through heavy underbrush, might have had another name for their commander’s path to supposed glory. General Vandegrift knew the Japanese were going to attack. Patrols and reconnaissance flights had clearly indicated the push would be from the west, where the enemy reinforcements had landed. The American commander changed his dispositions accordingly. There were Japanese troops east of the perimeter, too, but not in any significant strength. The new infantry regiment, the 164th, reinforced by Marine special weapons units, was put into the line to hold the eastern flank along 6,600 yards, curving inland to join up with the 7th Marines near Edson’s Ridge. The 7th held 2,500 yards from the ridge to the Lunga. From the Lunga, the 1st Marines had a 3,500-yard sector of jungle running west to the point where the line curved back to the beach again in the 5th Marines’ sector. Since the attack was expected from the west, the 3d Battalions of each of the 1st and 7th Marines held a strong outpost position forward of the 5th Marines’ lines along the east bank of the Matanikau. In the lull before the attack, if a time of patrol clashes, Japanese cruiser-destroyer bombardments, bomber attacks, and artillery harassment could properly be called a lull, Vandegrift was visited by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Lieutenant General Thomas Holcomb. The Commandant flew in on 21 October to see for himself how his Marines were faring. It also proved to be an occasion for both senior Marines to meet the new ComSoPac, Vice Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey. Admiral Nimitz had announced Halsey’s appointment on 18 October and the news was welcome in Navy and Marine ranks throughout the Pacific. Halsey’s deserved reputation for élan and aggressiveness promised renewed attention to the situation on Guadalcanal. On the 22nd, Holcomb and Vandegrift flew to Noumea to meet with Halsey and to receive and give a round of briefings on the Allied situation. After Vandegrift had described his position, he argued strongly against the diversion of reinforcements intended for Cactus to any other South Pacific venue, a sometime factor of Admiral Turner’s strategic vision. He insisted that he needed all of the Americal Division and another 2d Marine Division regiment to beef up his forces, and that more than half of his veterans were worn out by three months’ fighting and the ravages of jungle- incurred diseases. Admiral Halsey told the Marine general: “You go back there, Vandegrift. I promise to get you everything I have.” When Vandegrift returned to Guadalcanal, Holcomb moved on to Pearl Harbor to meet with Nimitz, carrying Halsey’s recommendation that, in the future, landing force commanders once established ashore, would have equal command status with Navy amphibious force commanders. At Pearl, Nimitz approved Halsey’s recommendation—which Holcomb had drafted—and in Washington so did King. In effect, the command status of all future Pacific amphibious operations was determined by the events of Guadalcanal. Another piece of news Vandegrift received from Holcomb also boded well for the future of the Marine Corps. Holcomb indicated that if President Roosevelt did not reappoint him, unlikely in view of his age and two terms in office, he would recommend that Vandegrift be appointed the next Commandant. This news of future events had little chance of diverting Vandegrift’s attention when he flew back to Guadalcanal, for the Japanese were in the midst of their planned offensive. On the 20th, an enemy patrol accompanied by two tanks tried to find a way through the line held by Lieutenant Colonel William N. McKelvy, Jr.’s 3d Battalion, 1st Marines. A sharpshooting 37mm gun crew knocked out one tank and the H402RA-120 enemy force fell back, meanwhile shelling the Marine positions with artillery. Near sunset the next day, the Japanese tried again, this time with more artillery fire and more tanks in the fore, but again a 37mm gun knocked out a lead tank and discouraged the attack. On 22 October, the enemy paused, waiting for Maruyama’s force to get into position inland. On the 23rd, planned as the day of the Sendai’s main attack, the Japanese dropped a heavy rain of artillery and mortar fire on McKelvy’s positions near the Matanikau River mouth. Near dusk, nine 18-ton medium tanks clanked out of the trees onto the river’s sandbar and just as quickly eight of them were riddled by the 37s. One tank got across the river, a marine blasted a track off with a grenade, and a 75mm half-track finished it off in the ocean’s surf. The following enemy infantry was smothered by Marine artillery fire as all battalions of the augmented 11th Marines rained shells on the massed attackers. Hundreds of Japanese were casualties and three more tanks were destroyed. Later, an inland thrust further upstream was easily beaten back. The abortive coastal attack did almost nothing to aid Maruyama’s inland offensive, but did cause Vandegrift to shift one battalion, the 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, out of the line to the east and into the 4,000-yard gap between the Matanikau position and the perimeter. This move proved providential since one of Maruyama’s planned attacks was headed right for this area. Although patrols had encountered no Japanese east or south of the jungled perimeter up to the 24th, the Matanikau attempts had alerted everyone. When General Maruyama finally was satisfied that his men had struggled through to appropriate assault positions, after delaying his day of attack three times, he was ready on 24 October. The Marines were waiting. An observer from the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, spotted an enemy officer surveying Edson’s Ridge on the 24th, and scout-snipers reported smoke from numerous rice fires rising from a valley about two miles south of Lieutenant Colonel Puller’s positions. Six battalions of the Sendai Division were poised to attack, and near midnight the first elements of the enemy hit and bypassed a platoon-sized outpost forward of Puller’s barbed-wire entanglements. Warned by the outpost, Puller’s men waited, straining to see through a dark night and a driving rain. Suddenly, the Japanese charged out of the jungle, attacking in Puller’s area near the ridge and the flat ground to the east. The Marines replied with everything they had, calling in artillery, firing mortars, relying heavily on crossing fields of machine gun fire to cut down the enemy infantrymen. Thankfully, the enemy’s artillery, mortars, and other supporting arms were scattered back along the Maruyama Trail; they had proved too much of a burden for the infantrymen to carry forward. A wedge was driven into the Marine lines, but eventually straightened out with repeated counterattacks. Puller soon realized his battalion was being hit by a strong Japanese force capable of repeated attacks. He called for reinforcements and the Army’s 3d Battalion, 164th Infantry (Lieutenant Colonel Robert K. Hall), was ordered forward, its men sliding and slipping in the rain as they trudged a mile south along Edson’s Ridge. Puller met Hall at the head of his column, and the two officers walked down the length of the Marine lines, peeling off an Army squad at a time to feed into the lines. When the Japanese attacked again as they did all night long, the soldiers and Marines fought back together. By 0330, the Army battalion was completely integrated into the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines’ lines and the enemy attacks were getting weaker and weaker. The American return fire—including flanking fire from machine guns and Weapons Company, 7th Marines’ 37mm guns remaining in the positions held by 2d Battalion, 164th Infantry, on Puller’s left—was just too much to take. Near dawn, Maruyama pulled his men back to regroup and prepare to attack again. With daylight, Puller and Hall reordered the lines, putting the 3d Battalion, 164th, into its own positions on Puller’s left, tying in with the rest of the Army regiment. The driving rains had turned Fighter One into a quagmire, effectively grounding Cactus flyers. Japanese planes used the “free ride” to bomb Marine positions. Their artillery fired incessantly and a pair of Japanese destroyers added their gunfire to the bombardment until they got too close to the shore and the 3d Defense Battalion’s 5-inch H402RA-121 guns drove them off. As the sun bore down, the runways dried and afternoon enemy attacks were met by Cactus fighters, who downed 22 Japanese planes with a loss of three of their own. As night came on again, Maruyama tried more of the same, with the same result. The Army-Marine lines held and the Japanese were cut down in droves by rifle, machine gun, mortar, 37mm, and artillery fire. To the west, an enemy battalion mounted three determined attacks against the positions held by Lieutenant Colonel Herman H. Hanneken’s 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, thinly tied in with Puller’s battalion on the left and the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, on the right. The enemy finally penetrated the positions held by Company F, but a counterattack led by Major Odell M. Conoley, the battalion’s executive officer, drove off the Japanese. Again at daylight the American positions were secure and the enemy had retreated. They would not come back; the grand Japanese offensive of the Sendai Division was over. About 3,500 enemy troops had died during the attacks. General Maruyama’s proud boast that he “would exterminate the enemy around the airfield in one blow” proved an empty one. What was left of his force now straggled back over the Maruyama Trail, losing, as had the Kawaguchi force in the same situation, most of its seriously wounded men. The Americans, Marines and soldiers together, probably lost 300 men killed and wounded; existing records are sketchy and incomplete. One result of the battle, however, was a warm welcome to the 164th Infantry from the 1st Marine Division. Vandegrift particularly commended Lieutenant Colonel Hall’s battalion, stating the “division was proud to have serving with it another unit which had stood the test of battle.” And Colonel Cates sent a message to the 164th’s Colonel Bryant Moore saying that the 1st Marines “were proud to serve with a unit such as yours.” Amidst all the heroics of the two nights’ fighting there were many men who were singled out for recognition and an equally large number who performed great deeds that were never recognized. Two men stood out above all others, and on succeeding nights, Sergeant John Basilone of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, and Platoon Sergeant Mitchell Paige of the 2d Battalion, both machine gun section heads, were recognized as having performed “above and beyond the call of duty” in the inspiring words of their Medal of Honor citations. November and the Continuing Buildup While the soldiers and Marines were battling the Japanese ashore, a patrol plane sighted a large Japanese fleet near the Santa Cruz Islands to the east of the Solomons. The enemy force was formidable, 4 carriers and 4 battleships, 8 cruisers and 28 destroyers, all poised for a victorious attack when Maruyama’s capture of Henderson Field was signaled. Admiral Halsey’s reaction to the inviting targets was characteristic, he signaled Rear Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid, with the Hornet and Enterprise carrier groups located north of the New Hebrides: “Attack Repeat Attack.” Early on 26 October, American SBDs located the Japanese carriers at about the same time Japanese scout planes spotted the American carriers. The Japanese Zuiho’s flight deck was holed by the scout bombers, cancelling flight operations, but the other three enemy carriers launched strikes. The two air armadas tangled as each strove to reach the other’s carriers. The Hornet was hit repeatedly by bombs and torpedoes; two Japanese pilots also crashed their planes on board. The damage to the ship was so extensive, the Hornet was abandoned and sunk. The Enterprise, the battleship South Dakota, the light cruiser San Juan (CL-54), and the destroyer Porter (DD-356) were sunk. On the Japanese side, no ships were sunk, but three carriers and two destroyers were damaged. One hundred Japanese planes were lost; 74 U.S. planes went down. Taken together, the results of the Battle of Santa Cruz were a standoff. The Japanese naval leaders might have continued their attacks, but instead, disheartened by the defeat of their ground forces on Guadalcanal, withdrew to attack another day. H402RA-122 The departure of the enemy naval force marked a period in which substantial reinforcements reached the island. The headquarters of the 2d Marines had finally found transport space to come up from Espiritu Santo and on 29 and 30 October, Colonel Arthur moved his regiment from Tulagi to Guadalcanal, exchanging his 1st and 2d Battalions for the well-blooded 3d, which took up the Tulagi duties. The 2d Marines’ battalions at Tulagi had performed the very necessary task of scouting and securing all the small islands of the Florida group while they had camped, frustrated, watching the battles across Sealark Channel. The men now would no longer be spectators at the big show. On 2 November, planes from VMSB-132 and VMF-211 flew into the Cactus fields from New Caledonia. MAG-11 squadrons moved forward from New Caledonia to Espiritu Santo to be closer to the battle scene; the flight echelons now could operate forward to Guadalcanal and with relative ease. On the ground side, two batteries of 155mm guns, one Army and one Marine, landed on 2 November, providing Vandegrift with his first artillery units capable of matching the enemy’s long-range 150mm guns. On the 4th and 5th, the 8th Marines (Colonel Richard H.J. Jeschke) arrived from American Samoa. The full- strength regiment, reinforced by the 75mm howitzers of the 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, added another 4,000 men to the defending forces. All the fresh troops reflected a renewed emphasis at all levels of command on making sure Guadalcanal would be held. The reinforcement-replacement pipeline was being filled. In the offing as part of the Guadalcanal defending force were the rest of the Americal Division, the remainder of the 2d Marine Division, and the Army’s 25th Infantry Division, then in Hawaii. More planes of every type and from Allied as well as American sources were slated to reinforce and replace the battered and battle-weary Cactus veterans. The impetus for the heightened pace of reinforcement had been provided by President Roosevelt. Cutting through the myriad demands for American forces worldwide, he had told each of the Joint Chiefs on 24 October that Guadalcanal must be reinforced, and without delay. On the island, the pace of operations did not slacken after the Maruyama offensive was beaten back. General Vandegrift wanted to clear the area immediately west of the Matanikau of all Japanese troops, forestalling, if he could, another buildup of attacking forces. Admiral Tanaka’s Tokyo Express was still operating and despite punishing attacks by Cactus aircraft and new and deadly opponents, American motor torpedo boats, now based at Tulagi. On 1 November, the 5th Marines, backed up by the newly arrived 2d Marines, attacked across bridges engineers had laid over the Matanikau during the previous night. Inland, Colonel Whaling led his scout- snipers and the 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, in a screening movement to protect the flank of the main attack. Opposition was fierce in the shore area where the 1st Battalion, 5th, drove forward toward Point Cruz, but inland the 2d Battalion and Whaling’s group encountered slight opposition. By nightfall, when the Marines dug in, it was clear that the only sizable enemy force was in the Point Cruz area. In the day’s bitter fighting, Corporal Anthony Casamento, a badly wounded machine gun squad leader in Edson’s 1st Battalion, had so distinguished himself that he was recommended for a Navy Cross; many years later, in August 1980, President Jimmy Carter approved the award of the Medal of Honor in its stead. On the 2nd, the attack continued with the reserve 3d Battalion moving into the fight and all three 5th Marines units moving to surround the enemy defenders. On 3 November, the Japanese pocket just west of the base at Point Cruz was eliminated; well over 300 enemy had been killed. Elsewhere, the attacking Marines had encountered spotty resistance and advanced slowly across difficult terrain to a point about 1,000 yards beyond the 5th Marines’ action. There, just as the offensive’s objectives seemed well in hand, the advance was halted. Again, the intelligence that a massive enemy reinforcement attempt was pending forced Vandegrift to pull back most of his men to safeguard the all-important airfield perimeter. This H402RA-123 time, however, he left a regiment to outpost the ground that had been gained, Colonel Arthur’s 2d Marines, reinforced by the Army’s 1st Battalion, 164th Infantry. Emphasizing the need for caution in Vandegrift’s mind was the fact that the Japanese were again discovered in strength east of the perimeter. On 3 November, Lieutenant Colonel Hanneken’s 23d Battalion, 7th Marines, on a reconnaissance in force towards Kili Point, could see the Japanese ships clustered near Tetere, eight miles from the perimeter. His Marines encountered strong Japanese resistance from obviously fresh troops and he began to pull back. A regiment of the enemy’s 38th Division had landed, as Hyakutake experimented with a Japanese Navy-promoted scheme of attacking the perimeter from both flanks. As Hanneken’s battalion executed a fighting withdrawal along the beach, it began to receive fire from the jungle inland, too. A rescue force was soon put together under General Rupertus: two tank companies, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, and the 2d and 3d Battalions of the 164th. The Japanese troops, members of the 38th Division regiment and remnants of Kawaguchi’s brigade, fought doggedly to hold their ground as the Marines drove forward along the coast and the soldiers attempted to outflank the enemy in the jungle. The running battle continued for days, supported by Cactus air, naval gunfire, and the newly landed 155mm guns. The enemy commander received new orders as he was struggling to hold off the Americans. He was to break off the action, move inland, and march to rejoin the main Japanese forces west of the perimeter, a tall order to fulfill. The two-pronged attack scheme had been abandoned. The Japanese managed the first part; on the 11th, the enemy force found a gap in the 164th’s line and broke through along a meandering jungle stream. Behind they left 450 dead over the course of a seven-day battle; the Marines and soldiers had lost 40 dead and 120 wounded. Essentially, the Japanese who broke out of the encircling Americans escaped from the frying pan only to fall into the fire. Admiral Turner finally had been able to effect one of his several schemes for alternative landings and beachheads, all of which General Vandegrift vehemently opposed. At Aola Bay, 40 miles east of the main perimeter, the Navy put an airfield construction and defense force ashore on 4 November. Then, while the Japanese were still battling the Marines near Tetere, Vandegrift was able to persuade Turner to detach part of this landing force, the 2d Raider Battalion, to sweep west, to discover and destroy any enemy forces it encountered. In its march from Aola Bay, the 2d Raider Battalion encountered the Japanese who were attempting to retreat to the west. On 12 November, the raiders beat off attacks by two enemy companies and they relentlessly pursued the Japanese, fighting a series of small actions over the next five days before they contacted the main Japanese body. From 17 November to 4 December, when the raiders finally came down out of the jungled ridges into the perimeter, Carlson’s men harried the retreating enemy. They killed nearly 500 Japanese. Their own losses were 16 killed and 18 wounded. The Aola Bay venture, which had provided the 2d Raider Battalion a starting point for its month-long jungle campaign, proved a bust. The site chosen for a new airfield was unsuitable, too wet and unstable, and the whole force moved to Koli Point in early December, where another airfield eventually was constructed. The buildup on Guadalcanal continued, by both sides. On 11 November, guarded by a cruiser- destroyer covering force, a convoy ran in carrying the 182d Infantry, another regiment of the Americal Division. The ships were pounded by enemy bombers and three transports were hit, but the men landed. General Vandegrift needed the new men badly. His veterans were truly ready for replacement; more than a thousand new cases of malaria and related diseases were reported each week. The Japanese who had H402RA-124 been on the island any length of time were no better off; they were, in fact, in worse shape. Medical supplies and rations were in short supply. The whole thrust of the Japanese reinforcement effort continued to be to get troops and combat equipment ashore. The idea prevailed in Tokyo, despite all evidence to the contrary, that one overwhelming coordinated assault would crush the American resistance. The enemy drive to take Port Moresby on New Guinea was put on hold to concentrate all efforts on driving the Americans off of Guadalcanal. On 12 November, a multifaceted Japanese naval force converged on Guadalcanal to cover the landing of the main body of the 38th Division. Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan’s cruisers and destroyers, the close-in protection for the 182d’s transports, moved to stop the enemy. Coastwatcher and scout plane sightings and radio traffic intercepts had identified two battleships, two carriers, four cruisers, and a host of destroyers all headed toward Guadalcanal. A bombardment group led by the battleships Hiei and Kirishima, with the light cruiser Nagura, and 15 destroyers spearheaded the attack. Shortly after midnight, near Savo Island, Callaghan’s cruisers picked up the Japanese on radar and continued to close. The battle was joined at such short range that each side fired at times on their own ships. Callaghan’s flagship, the San Francisco, was hit 15 times, Callaghan was killed, and the ship had to limp away. The cruiser Atlanta (CL-104) was also hit and set afire. Rear Admiral Norman Scott, who was on board, was killed. Despite the hammering by Japanese fire, the Americans held and continued fighting. The battleship Hiei, hit by more than 80 shells, retired and with it went the rest of the bombardment force. Three destroyers were sunk and four others damaged. The Americans had accomplished their purpose; they had forced the Japanese to turn back. The cost was high. Two antiaircraft cruisers, the Atlanta and the Juneau (CL-52), were sunk; four destroyers, the Barton (DD-599), Cushing (DD-376), Monssen (DD-436), and Laffey (DD-459), also went to the bottom. In addition to the San Francisco, the heavy cruiser Portland and the destroyers Sterret (DD-407), and Aaron Ward (DD-483) were damaged. One destroyer of the 13 American ships engaged, the Fletcher (DD-445), was unscathed when the survivors retired to the New Hebrides. With daylight came the Cactus bombers and fighters; they found the crippled Hiei and pounded it mercilessly. On the 14th, the Japanese were forced to scuttle it. Admiral Halsey ordered his only surviving carrier, the Enterprise, out of the Guadalcanal area to get it out of reach of Japanese aircraft and sent his battleships Washington (BB-56) and South Dakota with four escorting destroyers north to meet the Japanese. Some of the Enterprise’s planes flew in to Henderson Field to help even the odds. On 14 November Cactus and Enterprise flyers found a Japanese cruiser-destroyer force that had pounded the island on the night of 13 November. They damaged four cruisers and a destroyer. After refueling and rearming they went after the approaching Japanese troop convoy. They hit several transports in one attack and sank one when they came back again. Army B-17s up from Espiritu Santo scored one hit and several near misses, bombing from 17,000 feet. Moving in a continuous pattern of attack, return, refuel, rearm, and attack again, the planes from Guadalcanal hit nine transports, sinking seven. Many of the 5,000 troops on the stricken ships were rescued by Tanaka’s destroyers, which were firing furiously and laying smoke screens in an attempt to protect the transports. The admiral later recalled that day as indelible in his mind, with memories of “bombs wobbling down from high-flying B-17s; of carrier bombers roaring towards targets as though to plunge full into the water, releasing bombs and pulling out barely in time, each miss sending up towering clouds of mist and spray, every hit raising clouds of smoke and fire.” Despite the intensive aerial attack, Tanaka continued on to Guadalcanal with four destroyers and four transports. Japanese intelligence had picked up the approaching American battleship force and warned Tanaka of its advent. In turn, the enemy admirals sent their own battleship-cruiser force to intercept. The Americans, H402RA-125 led by Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee in the Washington, reached Sealark Channel about 2100 on the 14th. An hour later, a Japanese cruiser was picked up north of Savo. Battleship fire soon turned it away. The Japanese now learned that their opponents would not be the cruisers they expected. The resulting clash, fought in the glare of gunfire and Japanese searchlights, was perhaps the most significant fought at sea for Guadalcanal. When the melee was over, the American battleships’ 16-inch guns had more than matched the Japanese. Both the South Dakota and the Washington were damaged badly enough to force their retirement, but the Kirishima was punished to its abandonment and death. One Japanese and three American destroyers, the Benham (DD-796), the Walke (DD-416), and the Preston (DD-379), were sunk. When the Japanese attack force retired, Admiral Tanaka ran his four transports onto the beach, knowing they would be sitting targets at daylight. Most of the men on board, however, did manage to get ashore before the inevitable pounding by American planes, warships, and artillery. Ten thousand troops of the 38th Division had landed, but the Japanese were in no shape to ever again attempt a massive reinforcement. The horrific losses in the frequent naval clashes, which seemed at times to favor the Japanese, did not really represent a standoff. Every American ship lost or damaged could and would be replaced; every Japanese ship lost meant a steadily diminishing fleet. In the air, the losses on both sides were daunting, but the enemy naval air arm would never recover from its losses of experienced carrier pilots. Two years later, the Battle of the Philippine Sea between American and Japanese carriers would aptly be called the “Marianas Turkey Shoot” because of the ineptitude of the Japanese trainee pilots. The enemy troops who had been fortunate enough to reach land were not immediately ready to assault the American positions. The 38th Division and the remnants of the various Japanese units that had previously tried to penetrate the Marine lines needed to be shaped into a coherent attack force before General Hyakutake could again attempt to take Henderson Field. General Vandegrift now had enough fresh units to begin to replace his veteran troops along the front lines. The decision to replace the 1st Marine Division with the Army’s 25th Infantry Division had been made. Admiral Turner had told Vandegrift to leave all of his heavy equipment on the island when he did pull out “in hopes of getting your units re-equipped when you come out.” He also told the Marine general that the Army would command the final phases of the Guadalcanal operation since it would provide the majority of the combat forces once the 1st Division departed. Major General Alexander M. Patch, commander of the Americal Division would relieve Vandegrift as senior American officer ashore. His air support would continue to be Marine-dominated as General Geiger, now located on Espiritu Santo with 1st Wing headquarters, fed his squadrons forward to maintain the offensive. And the air command on Guadalcanal itself would continue to be a mixed bag of Army, Navy, Marine, and Allied squadrons. The sick list of the 1st Marine Division in November included more than 3,200 men with malaria. The men of the 1st still manning the frontline foxholes and the rear areas—if anyplace within Guadalcanal’s perimeter could properly be called a rear area—were plain worn out. They had done their part and they knew it. On 29 November, General Vandegrift was handed a message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The crux of it read: “1st MarDiv is to be relived without delay . . . and will proceed to Australia for rehabilitation and employment.” The word soon spread that the 1st was leaving and where it was going. Australia was not yet the cherished place it would become in the division’s future, but any place was preferable to Guadalcanal. H402RA-126 December and the Final Stages On 7 December, one year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, General Vandegrift sent a message to all men under his command in the Guadalcanal area thanking them for their courage and steadfastness, commending particularly the pilots and “all who labored and sweated within the lines in all manner of prodigious and vital tasks.” He reminded them all that their “unbelievable achievements had made ‘Guadalcanal’ a synonym for death and disaster in the language of our enemy.” On 9 December, he handed over his command to General Patch and flew out to Australia at the same time the first elements of the 5th Marines were boarding ship. The 1st, 11th, and 7th Marines would soon follow together with all the division’s supporting units. The men who were leaving were thin, tired, hollow-eyed, and apathetic; they were young men who had grown old in four months’ time. They left behind 681 dead in the island’s cemetery. The final regiment of the Americal Division, the 132d Infantry, landed on 8 December as the 5th Marines was preparing to leave. The 2d Marine Division’s regiments already on the island, the 2d, 8th, and part of the 10th, knew that the 6th Marines was on its way to rejoin. It seemed to many of the men of the 2d Marines, who had landed on D-Day, 7 August, that they, too, should be leaving. They took slim comfort in the thought that they, by all rights, should be the first of the 2d to depart the island whenever that hoped-for day came. General Patch received a steady stream of ground reinforcements and replacements in December. He was not ready yet to undertake a full-scale offensive until the 25th Division and the rest of the 2d Marine Division arrived, but he kept all frontline units active in combat and reconnaissance patrols, particularly toward the western flank. The island commander’s air defense capabilities also grew substantially. Cactus Air Force, organized into a fighter command and a strike (bomber) command, now operated from a newly redesignated Marine Corps Air Base. The Henderson Field complex included a new airstrip, Fighter Two, which replaced Fighter One, which had severe drainage problems. Brigadier General Louis Woods, who had taken over as senior aviator when Geiger returned to Espiritu Santo, was relieved on 26 December by Brigadier General Francis P. Mulcahy, Commanding General, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing. New fighter and bomber squadrons from both the 1st and 2d Wings sent their flight echelons forward on a regular basis. The Army added three fighter squadrons and a medium bomber squadron of B-26s. The Royal New Zealand Air Force flew in a reconnaissance squadron of Lockheed Hudsons. And the U.S. Navy sent forward a squadron of Consolidated PBY Catalina patrol planes which had a much needed night-flying capability. The aerial buildup forced the Japanese to curtail all air attacks and made daylight naval reinforcement attempts an event of the past. The nighttime visits of the Tokyo Express destroyers now brought only supplies encased in metal drums which were rolled over the ships’ sides in hope they would float into shore. The men ashore desperately needed everything that could be sent, even by this method, but most of the drums never reached the beaches. Still, however desperate the enemy situation was becoming, he was prepared to fight. General Hyakutake continued to plan the seizure of the airfield. General Hitoshi Immamura, commander of the Eighth Area Army, arrived in Rabaul on 2 December with orders to continue the offensive. He had 50,000 men to add to the embattled Japanese troops on Guadalcanal. Before these new enemy units could be employed, the Americans were prepared to move out from the perimeter in their own offensive. Conscious that the Mt. Austen area was a continuing threat to his inland flank in any drive to the west, Patch committed the Americal’s 132d Infantry to the task of clearing the mountain’s wooded slopes on 17 December. The Army regiment succeeded in isolating the major H402RA-127 Japanese force in the area by early January. The 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, took up hill positions to the southeast of the 132d to increase flank protection. By this time, the 25th Infantry Division (Major General J. Lawton Collins) had arrived and so had the 6th Marines (6 January) and the rest of the 2d Division’s headquarters and support troops. Brigadier General Alphonse De Carre, the Marine division’s assistant commander, took charge of all Marine ground forces on the island. The 2d Division’s commander, Major General John Marston, remained in New Zealand because he was senior to General Patch. With three divisions under his command, General Patch was designated Commanding General, XIV Corps, on 2 January. His corps headquarters numbered less than a score of officers and men, almost all taken from the Americal’s staff. Brigadier General Edmund B. Sebree, who had already led both Army and Marine units in attacks on the Japanese, took command of the Americal Division. On 10 January, Patch gave the signal to start the strongest American offensive yet in the Guadalcanal campaign. The mission of the troops was simple and to the point: “Attack and destroy the Japanese forces remaining on Guadalcanal.” The initial objective of the corps’ attack was a line about 1,000 to 1,500 yards west of jump-off positions. These ran inland from Point Cruz to the vicinity of Hill 66, about 3,000 yards from the beach. In order to reach Hill 66, the 25th Infantry Division attacked first with the 35th and 27th Infantry driving west and southwest across a scrambled series of ridges. The going was rough and the dug-in enemy, elements of two regiments of the 38th Division, gave way reluctantly and slowly. By the 13th, however, the American soldiers, aided by Marines of the 1st Battalion, 2d Marines, had won through to positions on the southern flank of the 2d Marine Division. On 12 January, the Marines began their advance with the 8th Marines along the shore and 2d Marines inland. At the base of Point Cruz, in the 3d Battalion, 8th Marines’ sector, regimental weapons company half-tracks ran over seven enemy machine gun nests. The attack was then held up by an extensive emplacement until the weapons company commander, Captain Henry P. “Jim” Crowe, took charge of a half-dozen Marine infantrymen taking cover from enemy fire with the classic remarks: “You’ll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a fox hole. Follow me!” The men did and they destroyed the emplacement. All along the front of the advancing assault companies the going was rough. The Japanese, remnants of the Sendai Division, were dug into the sides of a series of cross compartments and their fire took the Marines in the flank as they advanced. Progress was slow despite massive artillery support and naval gunfire from four destroyers offshore. In two days of heavy fighting, flamethrowers were employed for the first time and tanks were brought into play. The 2d Marines was now relieved and the 6th Marines moved into the attack along the coast while the 8th Marines took up the advance inland. Naval gunfire support, spotted by naval officers ashore, improved measurably. On the 15th, the Americans, both Army and Marine, reached the initial corps objective. In the Marine attack zone, 600 Japanese were dead. The battle-weary 2d Marines had seen its last infantry action of Guadalcanal. A new unit now came into being, a composite Army-Marine division, or CAM division, formed from units of the Americal and 2d Marine Divisions. The directing staff was from the 2d Division, since the Americal had responsibility for the main perimeter. Two of its regiments, the 147th and the 182d Infantry, moved up to attack in line with the 6th Marines still along the coast. The 8th Marines was essentially pinched out of the front lines by a narrowing attack corridor as the inland mountains and hills pressed closer to the coastal trail. The 25th Division, which was advancing across this rugged terrain, had the mission of outflanking the Japanese in the vicinity of Kokumbona, while the CAM Division drove west. On the 23rd, as the CAM troops approached Kokumbona, the 1st Battalion of the 27th Infantry struck north out of the hills and H402RA-128 overran the village site and Japanese base. There was only slight but steady opposition to the American advance as the enemy withdrew west toward Cape Esperance. The Japanese had decided, reluctantly, to give up the attempt to retake Guadalcanal. The orders were sent in the name of the Emperor and senior staff officers were sent to Guadalcanal to ensure their acceptance. The Navy would make the final runs of the Tokyo Express, only this time in reverse, to evacuate the garrison so it could fight again in later battles to hold the Solomons. Receiving intelligence that enemy ships were massing again to the northwest, General Patch took steps, as Vandegrift had before him on many occasions, to guard against overextending his forces in the face of what appeared to be another enemy attempt at reinforcement. He pulled the 25th Division back to bolster the main perimeter defenses and ordered the CAM Division to continue its attack. When the Marines and soldiers moved out on 26 January, they had a surprisingly easy time of it, gaining 1,000 yards the first day and 2,000 the following day. The Japanese were still contesting every attack, but not in strength. By 30 January, the sole frontline unit in the American advance was the 147th Infantry; the 6th Marines held positions to its left rear. The Japanese destroyer transports made their first run to the island on the night of 1-2 February, taking out 2,300 men from evacuation positions near Cape Esperance. On the night of 4-5 February, they H402RA-129 returned and took out most of the Sendai survivors and General Hyakutake and his Seventeenth Army staff. The final evacuation operation was carried out on the night of 7-8 February, when a 3,000-man rear guard was embarked. In all, the Japanese withdrew about 11,000 men in those three nights and evacuated about 13,000 soldiers from Guadalcanal overall. The Americans would meet many of these men again in later battles, but not the 600 evacuees who died, too worn and sick to survive their rescue. On 9 February, American soldiers advancing from east and west met at Tenaro village on Cape Esperance. The only Marine ground unit still in action was the 3d Battalion, 10th Marines, supporting the advance. General Patch could happily report the “complete and total defeat of Japanese forces on Guadalcanal.” Nor organized Japanese units remained. On 31 January, the 2d Marines and the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, boarded ship to leave Guadalcanal. As was true with the 1st Marine Division, some of these men were so debilitated by malaria they had to be carried on board. All of them struck observers again as young men grown old “with their skins cracked and furrowed and wrinkled.” On 9 February, the rest of the 8th Marines and a good part of the division supporting units boarded transports. The 6th Marines, thankfully only six weeks on the island, left on the 19th. All were headed for Wellington, New Zealand, the 2d Marines for the first time. Left behind on the island as a legacy of the 2d Marine Division were 263 dead. The total cost of the Guadalcanal campaign to the American ground combat forces was 1,598 officers and men killed, 1,152 of them Marines. The wounded totaled 4,709, and 2,799 of these were Marines. Marine aviation casualties were 147 killed and 127 wounded. The Japanese in their turn lost close to 25,000 men on Guadalcanal, about half of whom were killed in action. The rest succumbed to illness, wounds, and starvation. At sea, the comparative losses were about equal, with each side losing about the same number of fighting ships. The enemy loss of 2 battleships, 3 carriers, 12 cruisers, and 25 destroyers, was irreplaceable. The Allied ships losses, though costly, were not fatal; in essence, all ships lost were replaced. In the air, at least 600 Japanese planes were shot down; even more costly was the death of 2,300 experienced pilots and aircrewmen. The Allied plane losses were less than half the enemy’s number and the pilot and aircrew losses substantially lower. President Roosevelt, reflecting the thanks of a grateful nation, awarded General Vandegrift the Medal of Honor for “outstanding and heroic accomplishment” in his leadership of American forces on Guadalcanal from 7 August to 9 December 1942. And for the same period, he awarded the Presidential Unit Citation to the 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) for “outstanding gallantry” reflecting “courage and determination . . . of an inspiring order.” Included in the division’s citation and award, besides the organic units of the 1st Division, were the 2d and 8th Marines and attached units of the 2d Marine Division, all of the Americal Division, the 1st Parachute and 1st and 2d Raider Battalions, elements of the 3d, 5th, and 14th Defense Battalions, the 1st Aviation Engineer Battalion, the 6th Naval Construction Battalion, and two motor torpedo boat squadrons. The indispensable Cactus Air Force was included, also represented by 7 Marine headquarters and service squadrons, 16 Marine flying squadrons, 16 Navy flying squadrons, and 5 Army flying squadrons. The victory at Guadalcanal marked a crucial turning point in the Pacific War. No longer were the Japanese on the offensive. Some of the Japanese Emperor’s best infantrymen, pilots, and seamen had been bested in close combat by the Americans and their Allies. There were years of fierce fighting ahead, but there was now no question of its outcome. Mahnken, Thomas G. “Asymmetric Warfare at Sea: The Naval Battles off Guadalcanal, 1942-1943.” Naval War College Review, Vol. 64, No. 1 (Winter 2011): 95-121. CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0464 E H402RB-130 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H402: LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines, and the Tyranny of Distance Reading H402RB Asymmetric Warfare at Sea: The Naval Battles off Guadalcanal, 1942-1943 by Thomas G. Mahnken During the six months between August 1942 and February 1943, the waters around the island of Guadalcanal witnessed an almost constant struggle between the Japanese and American navies. The campaign included more than a half-dozen major battles, many of which occurred at night. Although the U.S. Navy enjoyed a technological advantage over the Imperial Japanese Navy, including its widespread adoption of radar; it lost all but one of the campaign’s major engagements. The Guadalcanal campaign demonstrates that technology alone is no guarantor of victory. In order to exploit advanced technology, military organizations must first develop appropriate operational concepts and organizations. The Japanese navy possessed a coherent tactical system for night fighting, a system that gave it a tremendous advantage over the U.S. Navy despite the latter’s widespread use of radar. Both sides suffered from faulty intelligence and poor communication throughout the campaign, yet Japanese forces prevailed in battle after battle, because their concepts gave them a superior awareness of the tactical situation. The Guadalcanal campaign is highly relevant today, as the U.S. Navy once again focuses its attention on the western Pacific. First, the service believed before the start of the Pacific War, as it apparently does today in planning a strategy to influence China, that it enjoyed a decisive advantage. In the event, it was surprised by an adversary who was at least as skillful in sea battles as it was during all of 1942. Second, the campaign demonstrates that tactical competence and technology are both key constituents of competence in battle. THE PREWAR MILITARY BALANCE The American and Japanese navies that clashed during World War II were similar in a number of important respects. Because the United States and Japan saw each other as their most probable adversaries in the years leading up to the war, their navies came to resemble each other. Each planned to fight a war at sea that would culminate in a decisive fleet engagement between battleships. Such similarities, however, masked important differences in the tactics and technology of the two forces. Whereas the U.S. Navy planned to conduct daylight battles, the Imperial Japanese Navy emphasized the tactics and weapons needed to conduct night surface engagements. This approach would give the Japanese a considerable advantage over the Americans during the Guadalcanal campaign. Geography dictated that any war between Japan and the United States would primarily be maritime. The length of sea lines of communications in the Pacific meant that the side operating nearer its home waters would enjoy a considerable advantage. Although the expanse of the Pacific would render a Japanese attempt to seize Hawaii or attack the west coast of the United States untenable, it would also H402RB-131 complicate American efforts to cross the Pacific. The award of Germany’s territories in the Marshall, Caroline, and Mariana Islands to Japan at Versailles and Washington’s agreement not to fortify its island possessions further as part of the Washington Naval Agreement compounded the difficulty of the task. Japan thus enjoyed a significant geographic advantage in the Central and western Pacific. In the words of the U.S. Joint Army and Navy Board, The position of Japan is such as to form a continuous strategic barrier of great strength covering almost the entire coast of Eastern Siberia and of China, while the position of its Mandate forms a barrier of considerable depth between the United States and the Philippines. The geographic strength of Japan is its interior position as regards to its outlying possessions, its interior position with regards to Eastern Asia, and its insularity.1 Although Japan enjoyed a considerable geographic advantage, the economic balance favored the United States, which possessed an economy nine times larger than Japan’s.2 Moreover, while the United States enjoyed a diverse and robust industrial infrastructure, Japan’s was much more limited. In 1940, for example, the United States produced sixty-one million metric tons of ingot steel, compared to 7.5 million tons for Japan.3 Whereas the United States was largely self-sufficient in key resources, Japan depended heavily on foreign sources of raw materials. Tokyo imported 55 percent of its steel, 45 percent of its iron, and all of its rubber and nickel.4 Indeed, approximately 80 percent of its crude and refined oil stocks came from the United States.5 Whereas Japan received much of its war-supporting materials from the United States, America had no such dependence on Japan. As the Joint Board put it, “The United States is economically strong and well able to prosecute war against Japan, while Japan is exposed to precarious economic conditions in such a war through her vulnerability to economic disruption of her industrial life.”6 Several sectors of Japanese industry made considerable strides between 1918 and 1941. By 1937, for example, Japanese dockyards were building more than 20 percent of the world’s ships, second only to Great Britain’s.7 Tokyo also developed a substantial aircraft industry, first through licensed production of foreign engines and airframes and then by manufacturing a number of increasingly capable indigenous designs.8 By the outbreak of the Pacific War, Japan was producing military aircraft as good as or better than those of its Western counterparts.9 Although the Japanese economy was much smaller than that of the United States, Japan’s armed forces enjoyed much greater access to their nation’s resources than did the American armed forces. Japanese defense expenditures rose steadily throughout the 1930s.10 In 1934, for example, defense spending accounted for nearly 44 percent of the national budget, compared to nearly 18 percent for the United States. Arms procurement accounted for nearly two-thirds of the Japanese government’s spending on durable goods during the 1930s.11 The interwar naval arms-limitation regime constrained the size and shaped the composition of both the American and Japanese navies. The 1922 Washington Naval Agreement limited the United States to eighteen battleships and battle cruisers totaling 525,000 tons and allowed Japan ten battleships and battle cruisers totaling 315,000 tons. The treaty was designed to give Japan sufficient strength to defend itself without threatening U.S. possessions in the Pacific. It forbade the construction of capital ships displacing more than thirty-five thousand tons and mounting guns in excess of sixteen inches. It allowed the United States to possess carriers totaling 135,000 tons and Japan eighty-one thousand tons and either to convert two ships displacing thirty-three thousand tons or less to carriers. While the agreement did not constrain overall tonnage of cruisers, it limited their displacement to ten thousand tons and main armament to eight- inch guns.12 The United States would retain enough naval power to protect its possessions in the Pacific but not enough to challenge Japan in its home waters. H402RB-132 The 1930 London Naval Agreement completed the Washington treaty’s arms-limitation framework, establishing tonnage limits for cruisers, destroyers, and submarines. It allowed Japan to build 70 percent of the cruiser and destroyer tonnage of the United States, and accorded it parity in submarines. It limited light cruisers to six-inch armament, destroyers to 1,850 tons and 5.1-inch armament, and submarines to two thousand tons.13 The possibility of a war with Japan dominated U.S. naval planning during the interwar period.14 Planners expected that Japan would seize America’s possessions in the Far East at the outset of a war, forcing the United States to fight its way across six thousand miles of ocean to reclaim them. The U.S. Navy spent the interwar period trying to solve the operational problems associated with a transpacific naval campaign. As early as 1928, war games at the Naval War College, in Newport, Rhode Island, showed the balance in a war between the United States and Japan shifting in Tokyo’s favor. Over time, the growth of Japanese naval power forced the U.S. Navy to modify its plans: originally envisioning a rapid transpacific lunge as the best way to relieve the Philippines, in 1935 it had adopted a strategy that foresaw the need to wage a long and incremental campaign through the Japanese-held islands of Micronesia.15 U.S. naval doctrine emphasized the need to win command of the sea by defeating an enemy fleet in a decisive battle. The battleship was the centerpiece of the interwar navy. In part, this was a by-product of the dominance of the “gun club” of battleship admirals and captains. It was also a reflection of the fact that the battleship was the best way to transport firepower across the Pacific and bring it to bear upon the Japanese fleet. Battleships were able to strike their targets with greater accuracy and at longer range than smaller surface combatants or submarines firing torpedoes. Aircraft of the day lacked the payload to do serious damage to capital ships. As a result, the U.S. Navy judged that its battleships had the greatest opportunity to sink the battleships that formed the core of the Japanese fleet.16 Other surface combatants supported the battle line: cruisers acted as scouts and protected it against air and surface attack, while destroyers guarded it against submarines and torpedoes. Submarines conducted reconnaissance and attacked enemy combatants.17 The U.S. Navy initially used aircraft carriers as scouts and spotters for the battle fleet. It also looked to them to protect the battle line against air attack. Beginning in the late 1920s, however, it began to experiment with using aircraft carriers as the core of an independent striking force. In Fleet Problem IX, of 1929, the carrier Saratoga launched two successful strikes against the locks of the Panama Canal. During Fleet Problem X the following year, independent carrier groups operated against battleships.18 It was not until the destruction of much of the U.S. battle fleet at Pearl Harbor, however, that the U.S. Navy as a whole reluctantly accepted the independent use of carrier air power. American naval tactics emphasized daylight gunnery battles between capital ships. Navy regulations called on units to deploy in a single tightly spaced column, which would gain a tactical advantage over an adversary by bringing all of its guns to bear across the enemy’s axis of approach, “crossing his T.” Ships would open fire at ten thousand yards, a distance that the navy judged to be outside the range of enemy torpedoes and optimum for its own guns.19 The U.S. Navy possessed some of the world’s best warships. Its battleships were fast and well protected. American cruisers sacrificed speed and armor protection to stay within the ten-thousand-ton limit prescribed by the Washington Naval Agreement while maintaining the ability to wage a transpacific campaign.20 U.S. submarines were among the best in the world but were armed with torpedoes with defective detonators and with speeds, ranges, and warheads markedly inferior to those of the Japanese.21 Funds for naval research and development were scarce before World War II. Research on new technology took second place to maintaining and improving existing equipment.22 Despite funding H402RB-133 limitations, the Naval Research Laboratory designed, and American companies produced, a family of capable surface-search and fire-control radar models in the years before World War II. 23 The Navy’s first surface-search radar was installed on the destroyer Leary in 1937. The next year, the navy installed the XAF search-radar prototype on the battleship New York for operational testing during its 1939 fleet maneuvers in the Caribbean.24 The XAF became the prototype for a family of long-range air-search sets deployed aboard U.S. warships beginning in 1941 and used throughout much of the war. Over the next two years, the navy installed an improved version of the XAF, the CXAM, on all American carriers, six battleships, five heavy cruisers, and two light cruisers.25 The navy also deployed fire-control radar that allowed surface combatants to attack targets at night.26 The service fielded the CXAS prototype, followed by the FC and FD continuous-tracking radars designed to control both main-battery and antiaircraft fire. By Pearl Harbor, the navy had taken delivery of ten FC and one FD systems.27 As a result, the United States had operational radar systems that allowed its ships to identify approaching enemy air and surface forces and to direct fire against them at night and in all weather. The Japanese navy, for its part, placed supreme faith in the decisive fleet encounter as the ultimate arbiter of naval power. The Washington Naval Agreement’s ban on new battleship construction forced it to reconsider its heavy emphasis on capital ships and seek ways to offset the U.S. Navy’s quantitative advantage. As a result, it adopted a tactical system that emphasized the contribution of cruisers and destroyers. Because the U.S. Navy enjoyed a 30 percent advantage in tonnage, Japan formulated a strategy of “interception-attrition operations” (yogeki zengen sakusen) to wear down the American battle fleet before annihilating it in a decisive battle. At the outset of hostilities, the Japanese navy would destroy the U.S. Asiatic Fleet and occupy the Philippine Islands and Guam. It would then sortie submarines into the eastern Pacific to monitor the movements of the relief force and harass it on its voyage westward to recover the American possessions. Naval aircraft based in the Marshall, Mariana, and Caroline Islands would join the battle as soon as U.S. ships steamed into range. When the Japanese fleet had reduced the Americans to parity or less, it would seek a decisive battle near Japanese home waters. An advance body of cruisers and destroyers supported by fast battleships would conduct a night attack using salvos of long- range torpedoes to weaken and confuse the enemy. At daybreak, the Japanese commander would throw the full weight of his battle line against the American fleet in a bid to annihilate it.28 The Japanese navy sought to improve the quality of its fighting forces to offset the U.S. Navy’s quantitative superiority. The navy leadership believed that the toughness, morale, and fighting spirit of the Japanese fighting man would give a marked advantage in a war with the United States.29 To hone their skills, Japanese forces trained ten months out of the year in exercises that were arduous and sometimes fatal.30 Because exercises emphasized combat at night and in poor weather, crews learned to operate effectively under even the harshest of conditions. A second way the Japanese navy sought to negate the U.S. Navy’s quantitative and technological advantage was by developing a unique tactical system emphasizing long-range gunnery, torpedo firing, and night operations. The Japanese naval staff believed that its ability to defeat the American fleet required ships that could outrange opponents. Striking U.S. ships from beyond their capability to return fire would allow the Japanese force to inflict damage without taking losses of its own. The navy therefore expended considerable effort to increase the range and accuracy of its gunnery, culminating in the design of the Yamato-class battleships.31 By the mid-1930s, for example, the Japanese navy believed that its main-force units had a range advantage of between four and five thousand meters over their American counterparts. With the advent of Yamato, the Japanese Naval Staff College estimated that Japan’s H402RB-134 battleships could track the American fleet at forty thousand meters (21.5 miles) and open fire at approximately thirty-four thousand meters, more than three times the preferred U.S. combat range.32 The navy also developed the Type 93 oxygen-propelled torpedo, also known as the Long Lance, a weapon with a larger warhead, greater speed, and longer range than contemporary American and British models. The weapon was very large, with a weight of 2,700 kilograms (nearly three tons), a diameter of sixty-one centimeters (twenty-four inches), a length of some nine meters, and a payload of nearly five hundred kilograms (over a thousand pounds) of explosive. The torpedo was capable of speeds up to forty- eight knots and ranges up to forty thousand meters. Fueled by high-pressure oxygen, it left virtually no wake.33 In the mid-1930s, the navy equipped all eighteen of its heavy cruisers, some light cruisers, and destroyers from the Hatsuharu class on with launchers for the Long Lance. Beginning in 1938, it reconstructed the light cruisers Oi and Kitakami as “torpedo cruisers,” carrying forty and thirty-two torpedo launchers, respectively.34 The Japanese navy also perfected a tactical system for night fighting.35 In 1924, it began to form dedicated night-attack units composed of destroyer squadrons led by light cruisers. In 1929, the Combined Fleet created a night-battle force under the control of a heavy-cruiser-squadron commander.36 In contrast to American tactics, which called for ships to deploy in a single column, Japanese ships formed multiple short columns, often with destroyers positioned ahead of the main force to prevent ambush. On detecting the enemy, the Japanese destroyers would close, pivot, fire torpedoes, and then turn away.37 To exploit the characteristics of the Long Lance, the Japanese navy developed the tactic of long- distance concealed firing (enkyori ommitsu hassha), which called for cruisers to launch between 120 and two hundred of the torpedoes at a distance of at least twenty thousand meters from the enemy battle line.38 Only after the torpedoes had been launched would ships resort to gunfire, and when they did, they would minimize use of searchlights, to prevent enemy ships from spotting them.39 Such tactics could be extremely effective. During the battle of the Java Sea, Japanese torpedo attacks dealt Allied forces a severe defeat.40 During the Solomons campaign, Japanese torpedo barrages hit their targets as much as 20 percent of the time.41 The Japanese navy’s doctrine and training produced a cadre of officers and enlisted men who were skilled in night torpedo combat. The navy trained sailors with superior night vision to be lookouts. Equipped with powerful specialized binoculars, they could detect a ship at eight thousand meters on a dark night.42 Many of the navy’s top officers were torpedo experts, including admirals Nagumo Chuichi and Ozawa Jisaburo. At the outbreak of the war, most torpedo craft were under the command of qualified experts. As Rear Admiral Tanaka Raizo later wrote, “My division commanders and skippers were brilliant torpedo experts, and from top to bottom the training and discipline of crews was flawless. Operational orders could be conveyed by the simplest of signals, and they were never misunderstood.”43 U.S. naval intelligence understood the Imperial Japanese Navy’s emphasis upon night combat. The Office of Naval Intelligence’s monograph on Japan noted that the Japanese Navy places great emphasis on training for night operations. The Japanese are of the opinion that, at night, many of the disadvantages of having inferior materiel disappear and that spirit and morale—in which they believe they excel— combined with training and the ability to cooperate and coordinate will give them a decided advantage over an enemy fleet.44 Moreover, war games held at the Naval War College demonstrated the devastating effect of night torpedo attacks. During one such game, two ORANGE (Japanese) night attacks resulted in the loss of a BLUE (American) battleship and aircraft carrier, damage to two more battleships, and loss of or damage to twelve heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and thirty-one destroyers.45 Despite these warnings, the U.S. Navy remained largely unprepared for night combat. Its 1934 War Instructions warned, “At night the superior or equal force risks forfeiture of its superiority or equality of its most valuable asset, its coordinated hitting power.”46 However, the navy lacked the doctrine and H402RB-135 organization necessary to conduct operations at night. It concentrated upon defensive combat at night, in stark contrast to the Japanese navy’s emphasis upon offensive operations.47 During the 1920s, the Japanese navy, like its American counterpart, planned to employ carrier aircraft for air defense of the battle fleet, for reconnaissance, and as a means of wearing down the U.S. fleet in preparation for a major surface engagement. In the 1930s, however, naval air doctrine began to shift away from aerial scouting and reconnaissance and toward the idea of using aircraft to attack enemy fleet units. By the middle of the decade, a preemptive strike upon the enemy carrier force had become the focus of naval air exercises.48 In April 1941, the Japanese formed the First Air Fleet, to centralize control of the carrier force and to separate carrier aviation from land-based naval air force.49 Japan’s naval shipbuilding industry grew to maturity in the decades before World War II. Before 1915, British yards built most of the Japanese navy’s ships. By the late 1920s, however, Japanese shipyards began to launch a series of innovative ship designs.50 Faced with the Washington Naval Agreement’s ban on capital-ship construction, the Japanese devoted considerable effort to achieving qualitative superiority over the United States. As one former naval constructor noted, Japan “labored to produce vessels that would, type for type, be individually superior to those of the hypothetical enemy, even if by a single gun or torpedo tube or by a single knot of speed.”51 Japan built cruisers that were fast and heavily armed. They were designed to be all-purpose ships, a substitute for the battleships the Washington Naval Agreement limited. Unlike their counterparts in the U.S. Navy, for example, Japanese cruisers mounted torpedo tubes. The seven-thousand-ton Furutaka class, for example, was armed with six eight-inch guns and twelve twenty-four-inch torpedo tubes. Japanese destroyers were the largest and most powerful in the world. The units of the Fubuki class, built between 1926 and 1931, were the most advanced of their day. With a 390-foot length and official displacement of 1,680 standard tons, they were considerably larger than their American and British counterparts. Moreover, they were armed with six five-inch guns mounted in weatherproof housings and eighteen twenty-four-inch torpedoes arranged to allow rapid salvo fire.52 Whereas American destroyers were designed to perform a mixture of defensive and offensive missions, Japanese ships were optimized for attack. Destroyer flotillas, positioned ahead of the van or abaft the rear of the main fleet, were to break through an enemy screen and attack the main body of the fleet to sink, cripple, or confuse as many capital ships as possible. Japanese designs tended to pack too much armament, speed, and protection into small hulls. Cruiser and destroyer designs often suffered problems with structural integrity. Indeed, the navy had to reconstruct the ships of several classes to improve their seaworthiness. Limited technological resources and fiscal stringency forced the Japanese navy to focus its research and development efforts upon technologies associated with its concepts of operations. These fields included optics, illumination, and torpedoes, where Japan led the United States. However, it trailed in others. Communication among aircraft was one shortfall: Japanese airborne radio was unreliable and prone to interference. As a result, fighter pilots often relied upon hand semaphore or prearranged signal flares to coordinate their action. Radar was another weakness. Japan conducted little research or development on radar before the outbreak of the Pacific War. Official indifference, haphazard mobilization of scientific talent, and an absence of inter-service cooperation further delayed its introduction. As a result, the navy had no search or fire-control radar at the outset of the war.53 It produced radar sets during the war, but they were relatively unsophisticated and suffered from low power.54 H402RB-136 High-quality manpower was essential if Japan was to offset the quantitative superiority of the U.S. Navy. The armed forces were a respected part of society, and military service was popular. The navy was manned mostly by volunteers, and reenlistment rates were high. As a result, the navy maintained a cadre of seasoned veterans.55 It also trained hard, following a seven-day workweek. 56 On the other hand, the Japanese naval officer corps displayed a number of serious weaknesses, including the absence of independent judgment in the average officer, lack of assertiveness, and a promotion system that emphasized seniority over capability.57 THE GUADALCANAL CAMPAIGN The Guadalcanal campaign was the first sustained series of battles between the American and Japanese navies. Beginning one month after the United States turned back Japan’s attempt to invade Midway, the invasion of Guadalcanal was the first American effort to reoccupy Japanese territory. The campaign represented a clash between fleets trained and equipped to execute very different tactical systems. U.S. commanders were often unable to translate their advantage in radar technology into an understanding of the tactical situation. Japanese units, by contrast, repeatedly achieved a high level of tactical situational awareness—not because they possessed superior technology but because they had a coherent system of night-fighting tactics. The campaign began with the Japanese occupation of Tulagi, near the southeast corner of the Solomon island chain, on 2 May 1942, for use as a seaplane base. In mid-June, the Japanese dispatched a force of some two thousand engineers and laborers to neighboring Guadalcanal to build an airfield.58 By occupying the islands, they would be able to disrupt the sea lines of communications connecting the United States and Australia. The island also represented a steppingstone toward Australia. The Americans learned of the Japanese occupation of Tulagi and Guadalcanal, and on 2 July the Joint Chiefs of Staff decided to launch Operation WATCHTOWER to recover the islands. Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley, commander of the South Pacific Area (COMSOPAC), was given command of the effort. Vice Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher led an expeditionary force that included three of the navy’s four aircraft carriers, the battleship North Carolina, and a force of cruisers and destroyers. Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner commanded the amphibious force, which included Major General Alexander A. Vandegrift’s 1st Marine Division, and embarked upon fifteen transports.59 On 7 August, eleven thousand Marines landed on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, taking the Japanese defenders by surprise. By evening the Guadalcanal invasion force had overrun the defenders and occupied the unfinished airfield. Two days later the Marines wrested control of Tulagi from the Japanese. Although Fletcher had promised to remain in the area for forty-eight hours, he withdrew to the southeast on the afternoon of 8 August due to concern over the possibility of an air attack. Vice Admiral Mikawa Gunichi, commander in chief of the newly formed Eighth Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy’s Outer South Seas Force, at Rabaul, was responsible for dislodging the U.S. force. Mikawa’s fleet consisted of the heavy cruisers Chokai, Aoba, Kako, Kinugasa, and Furutaka; the light cruisers Tenryu and Yubari; and the destroyer Yunagi. Mikawa planned to launch a night attack on the Guadalcanal invasion force, breaking through the enemy screen and sinking Turner’s transports.60 Suspecting a Japanese response to the assault, on 8 August American and Australian patrol aircraft reconnoitered the waters around Guadalcanal. An Australian aircraft spotted Mikawa’s force but incorrectly reported that the column included three cruisers, three destroyers, and two seaplane tenders. Another sighted the force as it headed south through the Bougainville Strait but incorrectly identified it. No aircraft patrolled New Georgia Sound, the avenue through which Mikawa’s force advanced. American radio intelligence intercepted a message from Mikawa stating that he was planning to attack an enemy convoy near Guadalcanal, but analysts did not decrypt the message until 23 August.61 Possessing H402RB-137 inaccurate and conflicting intelligence, therefore, Turner concluded that a Japanese seaplane-tender force was somewhere to the north. He assumed—reasonably, though incorrectly—that such a force would not make a night attack. Three groups of ships patrolled the western entrance of the sound between Florida and Guadalcanal Islands, where Turner’s transports lay at anchor. The Northern Force, composed of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers, blocked the western approaches of the sound. The Southern Force, consisting of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers, was stationed to prevent the Japanese from entering the sound between Cape Esperance and Savo Island. The Eastern Force, of two light cruisers and two destroyers, covered the eastern approach to the sound. Two destroyers equipped with radar, Blue and Ralph Talbot, formed a picket line to the northwest. None of these vessels spotted Mikawa’s column as it steamed southeast through intermittent squalls on a dark, humid night. The Japanese ships passed unseen through the radar picket and entered the sound south of Savo Island. Mikawa, aboard Chokai, spotted the silhouettes of the American cruiser Chicago and the Australian cruiser Canberra of the Southern Force and opened fire, first with torpedoes and then with guns. The ships, illuminated by flares dropped from Mikawa’s floatplanes, took heavy fire. Two torpedoes and more than twenty-four shells struck Canberra, which was barely able to fire two torpedoes and several shells before stopping dead in the water, aflame and sinking. A torpedo severed part of Chicago’s bow, and a shell knocked off part of its foremast. The ship’s commanding officer completely miscalculated the location of Mikawa’s force, steering his ship away from the battle, and failed to alert the Northern Force. Mikawa’s column next swung left around Savo Island and headed for the Northern Force. Although the engagement had been going on more than five minutes, the Northern Force was completely unaware that it was under attack until the heavy cruiser Aoba illuminated the cruiser Quincy with its searchlights. The cruiser Astoria, hit amidships by one of Chokai’s eight-inch shells, burst into flames. Quincy and Vincennes also sustained heavy damage. With burning ships silhouetting the American force, the Japanese turned off their searchlights, making it difficult for the Americans to locate them. The Northern Force’s screening destroyer, Wilson, chased what appeared to be an enemy ship for some time, only to discover it was the destroyer Bagley of the Southern Force. The force’s other destroyer, Helm, never sighted any enemy ships. After savaging the Northern and Southern Forces, Mikawa elected to retire rather than attacking Turner’s exposed transports. His ships had expended their torpedoes and were scattered. He was also concerned about exposing his force to daylight air attack, unaware that Fletcher’s carriers were too far to the south to strike his ships. As Mikawa withdrew, his ships encountered and damaged Ralph Talbot. He left behind four Allied cruisers, sunk or sinking, and two destroyers and one cruiser damaged. The U.S. Navy’s losses included 1,023 killed and 709 wounded, its worst defeat since the War of 1812. The occupation of Guadalcanal marked only the beginning of the campaign. The battle for the island went on for almost half a year, exacting heavy tolls upon both sides. Neither the Americans nor the Japanese proved willing to give up Guadalcanal, nor was either strong enough to defeat the other. The Japanese believed that the island had to be reinforced and held, while the Americans had to eliminate the Japanese army units there and supply and reinforce the Marine garrison. In this campaign the U.S. forces, although they enjoyed technological superiority, lacked continuity of leadership. No American officer ever commanded the same force in more than two battles. As a result, there were few opportunities to incorporate lessons into operations. Indeed, the navy repeatedly employed tactics that put it at a considerable disadvantage in night engagements. The Japanese navy not only possessed a coherent tactical system for night combat but also enjoyed much greater continuity of H402RB-138 command. As a result, it was able to use combat experience to modify and improve upon its prewar doctrine. The Japanese began launching frequent air raids on Guadalcanal from Rabaul. Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters, operating at the very edge of their performance envelopes, escorted long-range bombers on missions against the island’s airstrip, dubbed Henderson Field by the Americans. Rear Admiral Tanaka’s 2nd Destroyer Squadron also began making nighttime runs down “the Slot,” the channel between Santa Isabel and New Georgia Islands, to land small detachments and bombard the airfield. These missions, known as the “Tokyo Express,” were a constant feature of the Guadalcanal campaign. During one of these runs, on the night of 21–22 August, a torpedo from the destroyer Kawakaze struck the destroyer Blue, which had to be scuttled. Although Blue possessed an SC surface-search radar, the Japanese lookouts spotted the American destroyer first.62 At his fleet’s anchorage at Truk, Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku began to prepare for a major battle against the U.S. Navy. His plan called for the Combined Fleet to escort a convoy carrying General Kawaguchi Kiyotake’s 35th Brigade to Guadalcanal. It would also attempt to engage and defeat Allied naval forces so as to remove the threat to future reinforcement attempts. Yamamoto’s plan called for Admiral Nagumo’s carrier force, under the protection of Rear Admiral Abe Hiroaki’s Vanguard Force, to strike Allied surface combatants. Nagumo’s aircraft, together with the Vanguard Force and Vice Admiral Kondo Nobutake’s Support Force, would then mop up any survivors. On 23 August, the Combined Fleet sortied from Truk. The next day, it met Fletcher’s Task Force 61 in the battle of the Eastern Solomons.63 Fletcher had received reports indicating that Japanese carriers were nearby, but he had not believed them. Moreover, atmospheric conditions hampered radio reception throughout the battle, complicating his ability to control his task force. The battle opened when aircraft from the small carrier Ryujo struck Henderson Field. Warned by coast watchers, the Marines decimated the attackers. Aircraft from Enterprise and Saratoga located and struck Ryujo, which sank that evening. Meanwhile, the carriers Shokaku and Zuikaku launched a counterstrike against the American carrier force. Although Enterprise sustained three bomb hits, it suffered no hull damage. A second Japanese attack failed to locate the task force, due to a pilot’s plotting error. Spared further damage, Fletcher withdrew to the south with his carriers. An American PBY flying boat spotted Rear Admiral Tanaka’s convoy carrying the Yokosuka 5th Special Landing Force in the early morning hours of 25 August.64 Aircraft from Guadalcanal and B-17 bombers from the island of Espiritu Santo surprised the convoy, damaging the light cruiser Jintsu and the transport Kinryu Maru. A second wave of B-17s bombed the destroyer Mutsuki as it attempted to rescue troops from the damaged transport. Tanaka found the air attack so intense that he withdrew his remaining ships to their anchorage in the Shortland Islands. Over the next two months, each side tried to reinforce its garrison on Guadalcanal. The Japanese army brought in troops from China, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippines. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, for its part, decided to commit a regiment of the Americal Division to defend the island. At night, Tanaka’s Tokyo Express brought in supplies, bombarded Henderson Field, and attacked U.S. naval forces. During daylight hours, aircraft from Guadalcanal dominated the sea around the island. Nonetheless, Japanese planes from Rabaul launched bombing raids on the island almost daily; during September, for example, they flew an average of twenty-nine missions per day.65 U.S. Marine F4F Wildcats and Army Air Forces P-40 Warhawks were no match for the Zeros. Moreover, the army was reluctant to allocate P-38 Lightnings to the South Pacific. Marine aviators, often cued by coast watchers, employed hit-and-run tactics to inflict heavy casualties on the Japanese. H402RB-139 On the night of 11–12 October, Japanese and American reinforcement convoys clashed in the battle of Cape Esperance.66 The Japanese force, commanded by Rear Admiral Goto Aritomo, consisted of three heavy cruisers and two destroyers escorting two seaplane carriers and six destroyers with a considerable part of the Imperial Japanese Army’s 2nd Division embarked. Goto planned to bombard Henderson Field with the guns of his cruisers and destroyers while also landing the 2nd Division to reinforce the Japanese garrison on the island. Lying in wait was Rear Admiral Norman Scott, who sought to derail the Tokyo Express while delivering the 164th Regiment of the Americal Division to Guadalcanal. Scott’s force included the aircraft carrier Hornet, the new battleship Washington, and a force of cruisers and destroyers. Scott had studied previous engagements with the Japanese and had carefully trained his force in night- fighting tactics. His preparations paid off in the ensuing battle. Goto was unaware of the presence of the American fleet as he steamed toward Guadalcanal. By contrast, long-range air reconnaissance gave Scott accurate intelligence regarding the position and advance of the Japanese force. He did not, however, fully exploit its advantage. The light cruiser Helena detected Goto’s force with its SG surface-search radar at a range of fourteen nautical miles but failed to report its location for nearly twenty minutes, until it was within six nautical miles of Scott’s ships. As the fleets closed to two and a half miles, Helena’s commanding officer asked permission to open fire. Scott misinterpreted the request and unknowingly gave the go-ahead. Helena’s fire took both the Japanese and the rest of the American force by surprise. During the ensuing engagement, Scott’s force sank the cruiser Fubuki and badly damaged Furutaka and Aoba. One shell struck Aoba’s bridge, killing Goto and most of his staff. The Japanese force withdrew, covering its retreat by pouring heavy fire on the cruiser Boise. Both the Japanese and the American convoys landed their troops on Guadalcanal. The battle was one of the few night engagements the Japanese lost. Only confused communications among Scott’s ships kept the battle from becoming a Japanese disaster. With its 2nd Division on Guadalcanal, the Japanese high command determined to recapture the island. Beginning 13 October, the army and navy launched a coordinated attack on Henderson Field. During the day the field was attacked by bombers and shelled by howitzers that had been landed during the battle of Cape Esperance. That night, the battleships Kongo and Haruna fired some nine hundred shells on the airfield. The next night Mikawa’s cruisers joined the fray, firing 752 eight-inch rounds onto the island, followed by 926 heavy-caliber rounds the following evening.67 Although the situation at the airfield was desperate, the Marines held. Indeed, the few aircraft that survived the bombardment, backed by B-17s flying from rear bases, sank six of Tanaka’s supply ships. On 22 October, the Japanese launched a ground offensive designed to envelop the airfield. After four days of bitter fighting, it halted without having dislodged the Marines. With the army’s failure to recapture Guadalcanal, Yamamoto made another attempt to destroy U.S. naval forces supporting the island. He dispatched several task forces from Truk, including a battleship force and the carriers Shokaku, Zuikaku, Zuiho, Junyo, and Hiyo.68 Yamamoto faced a new group of American commanders. Admiral Chester Nimitz had found Ghormley wanting and replaced him with Vice Admiral William F. Halsey as COMSOPAC; Rear Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid took Fletcher’s place as carrier commander. Kinkaid’s Task Force 16 included the carrier Enterprise and a support force composed of the battleship South Dakota, heavy cruiser Portland, antiaircraft cruiser San Juan, and eight destroyers. Rear Admiral George D. Murray’s Task Force 17 included the carrier Hornet, heavy cruisers Northampton and Pensacola, antiaircraft cruisers San Diego and Juneau, and six destroyers. The Japanese outnumbered the Americans in warships, tonnage, and aircraft, but the Americans possessed the advantages of Henderson Field and superior intelligence information. H402RB-140 Allied aircraft first sighted the Combined Fleet at sea on 13 October. These flights located four different forces, three of which were a carrier group, a scouting force of cruisers and destroyers, and a battleship force sent to bombard Henderson Field. Aircraft spotted the task force again on 15, 22, and 24 October. As a result, the Americans possessed an accurate view of the basic tactical disposition of the Japanese force.69 The two fleets met in the battle of the Santa Cruz Islands on 26 October.70 The engagement began when two pilots from Enterprise located and attacked the unsuspecting light carrier Zuiho. One bomb penetrated its flight deck, forcing it to return to Truk for repairs. The Japanese, however, had learned some of the lessons of Midway. Although the Americans struck first, the Japanese this time were able to launch two waves of planes in the time it took the Americans to launch one. The first Japanese attack wave concentrated upon Hornet, causing damage that left the carrier dead in the water; subsequent attacks sank it. The second wave struck Enterprise. That carrier, however, equipped with newly installed antiaircraft guns, took only two hits and remained in service. The Japanese did not escape Hornet’s air group, which discovered and attacked Shokaku, hitting its flight deck with four thousand-pound bombs. Such damage had been sufficient to sink carriers at Midway, but the Japanese had now learned to secure ordnance, drain gasoline lines, and keep fire hoses at the ready. As a result, while the carrier’s flight deck was disabled and communications were lost, its engines remained functional and its hull intact. Hornet’s second attack struck the Vanguard Force, crippling the heavy cruiser Chikuma and damaging the destroyer Teruzuki. The U.S. Navy sustained heavy damage, with a carrier and a destroyer sunk and another carrier, battleship, heavy cruiser, and antiaircraft light cruiser damaged. With the loss of Hornet, Enterprise became the only carrier capable of staging aircraft bound for Guadalcanal. The Japanese had also suffered extensive losses, with three carriers damaged and a heavy cruiser and two destroyers damaged. During the battle, the Americans had been handicapped by poor communication: they had possessed all the information they needed to make a successful strike, but the right people had not received it. On the other hand, the growing antiaircraft defenses of U.S. combatants had prevented further damage. In the months to come, the navy would further increase the antiaircraft armament of its ships. Between August and November, the two sides carried out massive troop buildups on Guadalcanal. On 7 August there were ten thousand Americans and 2,200 Japanese troops on the island. By 12 November, twenty-nine thousand Americans faced thirty thousand Japanese.71 In early November, U.S. intelligence began detecting preparations for another Japanese attack. The Japanese planned to launch heavy aircraft strikes and a naval bombardment before landing reinforcements on the island. On 9 November, American intelligence intercepted and decrypted Yamamoto’s operations order for the attack.72 Halsey dispatched Rear Admiral Daniel J. Callaghan’s Support Group of five cruisers and eight destroyers to meet the Japanese. On 13–15 November, the two fleets met in the naval battle of Guadalcanal.73 The Bombardment Force, under Abe (now a vice admiral) had passed through an intense tropical storm as it steamed south toward Guadalcanal on the night of 12–13 November. His force included the battleships Hiei and Kirishima, a light cruiser, and six destroyers. The ships’ guns were loaded with antipersonnel high- explosive shells, with which to bombard Henderson Field; their armor-piercing shells for surface engagements were stored at the back of the magazines. When the destroyer Yudachi spotted the American force, Abe ordered his ships to reload their guns with armor-piercing rounds, a process that took eight minutes.74 Soon after, the light cruiser Helena’s surface-search radar detected the Japanese force. The cruiser sent Callaghan continuous contact reports, but these were only partially intelligible, because the group’s voice circuits were congested. As a result, the Japanese managed to fire the first shot. Shell fire and torpedoes from Hiei and the destroyer Akasuki knocked out the cruiser Atlanta and killed Admiral H402RB-141 Scott. As the battle continued, the American force took heavy gun and torpedo fire at close range. The stern of the cruiser Portland was almost blown off, San Francisco was badly damaged, and Callaghan was killed. Hiei soon attracted the attention of the American ships, however; gunfire riddled the battleship’s topside, and fires broke out across its deck. Blinded by his flagship’s fires and unable to determine the disposition of his forces, Abe ordered his ships to withdraw. The Japanese lost two destroyers during the battle. Hiei, lacking a working rudder, sank the next day after sustaining heavy damage from U.S. aircraft from Guadalcanal and Enterprise. Despite the loss of Hiei, Yamamoto was determined to land the 38th Division on Guadalcanal. To support the landing, Mikawa sortied a bombardment force containing the heavy cruisers Suzuya and Maya from the Shortlands anchorage. On the night of 13–14 November, the ships poured 1,370 rounds onto Henderson Field but failed to knock it out.75 The next morning, American planes struck the force, sinking the cruiser Kinugasa and damaging three other cruisers and a destroyer. Yamamoto planned to bombard Henderson Field one more time before landing the 38th Division. He ordered Admiral Kondo’s Strike Force, reinforced by Abe’s surviving ships, to shell the airfield. Radio intelligence warned the Americans in sufficient time for Kinkaid to detach Rear Admiral Willis A. Lee’s battleship force, which included Washington and South Dakota, to meet the Japanese. The final phase of the battle of Guadalcanal was the first battleship action of the Pacific War. Expecting opposition, Kondo had deployed a screen of cruisers and destroyers around his bombardment force. The screen spotted the American battle line and began stalking it. Washington’s radar detected the Japanese screen and opened fire, forcing the Japanese to withdraw. Washington and South Dakota then engaged the Japanese task force. South Dakota, however, soon experienced a power failure that knocked out its tactical radios and radar and separated it from the rest of the force. Despite sustaining forty-two large-caliber hits, it continued steaming at full speed. Washington, in turn, locked onto the battleship Kirishima and smothered it with gunfire from its sixteen-inch main battery. Kirishima burst into flames and began to sink. The cruisers Takao and Atako and the light cruiser Nagara also sustained damage that forced them to return to Japan for repairs. Besides the badly damaged South Dakota, Lee lost three destroyers in the melee. The surface battle over, every American air group within range pounced upon Tanaka’s convoy. Land-based aircraft from Guadalcanal and Espiritu Santo and Enterprise’s air wing sank all but four of the transports. Those ships that survived caught fire and beached. Aircraft from Henderson Field continued to bomb and strafe the remnants of two regiments and one battalion of infantry and a regiment of engineers—some two thousand men out of ten thousand that had embarked.76 In the weeks that followed, the ships of Tanaka’s 2nd Destroyer Squadron continued to make runs to Guadalcanal at night, with supplies in rubberized metal containers lashed to their sterns. The crews cut the supplies free off Tassafaronga Point, where they drifted ashore or were brought in by swimming soldiers. The navy also used submarines to resupply Guadalcanal. Despite these efforts, the condition of the Japanese army continued to worsen; disease and malnutrition took their toll. Virtually everyone was on the verge of starvation. The sick rolls grew, and even the healthy were exhausted. The American situation, by contrast, improved in December as fresh Marine and army units relieved the original Marine detachments after four months of duty. By 9 December, twenty-five thousand Japanese faced forty thousand soldiers on the island. The Marines enlarged Henderson Field, and the navy built a torpedo-boat base on Tulagi.77 In late November, Halsey received intelligence indicating that Yamamoto was preparing to launch another attempt to reinforce Guadalcanal. Halsey dispatched Rear Admiral Carleton H. Wright with a force of cruisers and destroyers to stop him. Wright was determined not to repeat the mistakes American H402RB-142 commanders had committed in past engagements. To ensure that his forces would spot the enemy before they themselves were sighted, he placed a ship equipped with improved surface-search radar in each cruiser group. To avoid confusion in the heat of battle, he reserved the use of communication circuits for orders and established a set of unambiguous commands. He also abandoned the standard single-column attack formation in favor of tactics better suited to night combat. Upon engaging the enemy, Wright’s destroyers would launch a massive torpedo attack and then peel off to allow his cruisers to fire on the enemy ships. Instead of using searchlights, which would betray their locations, his ships would rely upon flares dropped from floatplanes to illuminate their quarry.78 As it turned out, Wright faced not another force attempting to land more troops on Guadalcanal but Tanaka’s flotilla on one of its runs to bring food and ammunition to the existing Japanese garrison. The two met on 30 November, in the battle of Tassafaronga.79 The SG radar aboard the cruiser Minneapolis detected Tanaka’s screen at a range of thirteen miles, but Wright waited four minutes before approving a torpedo attack. By the time his destroyers launched their torpedoes, they were firing on the Japanese from astern. The veteran Tanaka would not allow the American force to ambush him. Indeed, he had trained his crews to wheel and fire torpedoes if surprised. The destroyer Takanami, closest to the U.S. force, launched a salvo of torpedoes but immediately drew fire from Wright’s force and sustained fatal damage. The remainder of Tanaka’s destroyers released their cargo containers and paralleled the American ships. The Japanese launched nearly fifty torpedoes, some of which tore into the U.S. cruiser line, sinking the cruiser Northampton and battering Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Pensacola. To make things worse, Wright’s two rear-guard destroyers took friendly fire because they lacked the task force’s recognition code. Tassafaronga was the most successful torpedo attack of the war and a textbook example of night fighting. Tanaka not only delivered supplies to the troops on Guadalcanal but dealt a crushing blow to a superior American force. By avoiding the use of searchlights and employing torpedoes instead of guns, his force made itself difficult for the Americans to locate and engage. Even after the battle, the U.S. Navy was unsure of the size and composition of the Japanese force.80 The battle also exposed American weaknesses. For one thing, Wright’s force had been thrown together under inexperienced leadership. Nor could the U.S. Navy’s technological advantage compensate for poor night-fighting skills. Indeed, the use of radar caused U.S. ships to train all their heavy guns on the closest Japanese ship, Takanami, leaving the others untouched. Despite Japanese victories at sea, however, the condition of the fifteen thousand Japanese troops on Guadalcanal continued to worsen. Much of the force was at the point of starvation, and malaria was rampant. Even the healthy were practically ineffective due to exhaustion. On 31 December, the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters decided to evacuate Guadalcanal. U.S. intelligence detected the buildup for the operation but misinterpreted it as preparations for another offensive.81 The evacuation occurred over three different nights between 2 and 8 February, but the American forces on Guadalcanal were unaware that no Japanese remained on the island until the afternoon of 9 February.82 The Guadalcanal campaign marked a turning point in the Pacific War. It improved the strategic position of the United States in the southwest Pacific. By occupying Guadalcanal and its airfield, the United States could control the sea lines of communications to Australia. The campaign also exacted a considerable toll upon the Japanese. By its end, Japan had lost two-thirds of its 31,400 troops on the island. The United States, by contrast, had lost fewer than two thousand of the approximately sixty thousand Marines and soldiers it had deployed. While the Japanese navy was the clear victor in many of these battles, it could not afford to pay the price in ships that the United States could. The campaign also decimated the strength of Japan’s elite corps of naval aviators. In trying to hold Guadalcanal, Japan H402RB-143 considerably diminished the fighting power of its fleet. By the time it was decided to withdraw from Guadalcanal, Japan’s naval strength had been so eroded that it was unable to stop the subsequent American advance north toward the home islands. TRANSLATING INFORMATION ADVANTAGE INTO TACTICAL SUCCESS The Guadalcanal campaign shows that technological superiority does not inevitably yield victory. Instead, the weapon systems, doctrine, and organization of opposing forces interact, in ways that are often complex. The campaign also demonstrates the importance of situational awareness and friction in warfare. Finally, the case shows that technology may be employed under operational conditions previously unforeseen by its developers. Victory lies with the force that is better able to adapt its weapon systems to local conditions. Throughout the campaign, American forces enjoyed a marked tactical advantage over the Japanese during daylight hours. Because the United States controlled Henderson Field, American aircraft were able to dominate the seas around the island. Moreover, radar gave U.S. commanders an advantage in carrier battles in open waters. During the battle of the Eastern Solomons, U.S. air-search radar detected the approaching Japanese air strike at a distance of eighty-eight miles, giving Fletcher sufficient time to launch fifty-three fighters with full fuel tanks to meet the incoming attack. It also allowed American air controllers to vector fighters to attack the Japanese force without fear of being ambushed by Japanese fighters.83 Rather than contesting U.S. superiority during the day, the Japanese navy chose to conduct the majority of its operations at night. Indeed, it saw night combat as an asymmetrical strategy to circumvent the strength of the U.S. Navy. It possessed a coherent tactical system for night fighting as well as weapon systems optimized for such operations, and it had conducted decades of realistic training to hone its skills. Radar gave U.S. forces the means to detect, track, and target Japanese surface forces before they spotted the Americans. Yet the United States proved unable to exploit its advantage in radar technology during the campaign. First, radar technology had yet to mature.84 The sets deployed aboard U.S. ships had limited range and resolution. Moreover, interpreting radar returns took considerable skill. Early sets could provide a general view of objects in the vicinity of the observing ship or an accurate range and bearing to any one object but not both simultaneously. As a result, it was easy for a commander to lose sight of a rapidly changing tactical situation. Second, the navy had not developed techniques to exploit the potential of radar. Instead, it treated radar as an overlay to operational concepts designed for daylight engagements between capital ships. Nor did the navy possess adequate tactics for torpedo defense. In battle after battle, U.S. forces deployed in lines that offered little protection against Japanese torpedo barrages. The navy was also slow to learn from its mistakes, a trend magnified by the frequency with which it replaced its tactical commanders. Finally, the geography of the theater limited the effectiveness of radar. The U.S. Navy had developed radar in anticipation of battle on the high seas. Because many of the Guadalcanal campaign’s battles took place in confined waters surrounded by mountainous islands, American radar operators often had limited warning of the approach of enemy ships. Islands or heavy rain squalls often obscured returns from surface ships. Indeed, surface-search radar routinely failed to detect destroyers in confined waters beyond five thousand yards.85 In each of the campaign’s battles, the side that possessed a superior awareness of the tactical situation prevailed. It was, in other words, the ability to collect, interpret, and act upon information rather than technology that marked the difference between victory and defeat. Japanese naval commanders were H402RB-144 usually able to discern the location and disposition of U.S. forces faster and more accurately than their adversaries. They also acted upon that information more rapidly and effectively than their American counterparts. Because the Japanese navy had developed and regularly practiced concepts for night combat, its commanders and their crews possessed a common frame of reference. This tactical system usually gave the Japanese a considerable advantage in situational awareness over the Americans, while long-range weaponry like the Long Lance torpedo gave them the ability to translate their information advantage into tactical success. During the battle of Savo Island, for example, Mikawa Gunichi managed to identify and engage Kelly Turner’s warships before they spotted his force. Moreover, because Turner had divided his forces, Mikawa was able to defeat them piecemeal. The commanders of the American and Australian ships, by contrast, had little understanding of the battle as it unfolded. In the few instances where U.S. forces obtained superior situational awareness, they were victorious. At Cape Esperance, Norman Scott’s ships mauled Goto’s reinforcement force, largely because the American commander was able to achieve surprise and prevent the Japanese from employing their preferred concept of battle. Still, though the U.S. force had a tremendous information advantage over the Japanese, Scott used his radar and radio poorly. As a result, he failed to achieve what should have been a complete victory. Never again in the campaign would the Americans catch the Japanese so unprepared. Just as the campaign illustrates the value of situational awareness, it also demonstrates the enduring importance of “friction.” In his masterwork of strategic theory, On War, Carl von Clausewitz developed the concept of friction to encompass the multitude of “factors that distinguish real war from war on paper.”86 These include the effects of danger, combat’s demands for physical exertion, imperfect or uncertain information, chance, surprise, the physical and political limits of force, and unpredictability stemming from interaction with the enemy. By and large, there is an inverse relationship between friction and situational awareness: the higher the level of general friction one side experiences, the lower its situational awareness.87 Friction influenced the outcome of nearly every battle in this campaign. The terrain and weather of the theater of operations affected the course of many of the clashes. Both sides were plagued by imperfect and inaccurate intelligence throughout the campaign, increasing the potential for surprise. Moreover, both experienced communication problems that multiplied the opportunity for misunderstanding. American forces in particular often overloaded tactical voice circuits, degrading communication between ships. Because the Japanese generally did a better job of mitigating the effects of friction, they nearly always prevailed in battle. In the months that followed the campaign, the U.S. Navy began to learn from its defeats. Studying the battles off Guadalcanal closely, Commander Arleigh Burke blamed American losses on insufficient drill in night combat. In the spring of 1943, Rear Admiral A. Stanton Merrill began to train his destroyers in that discipline. At first, they trained during the day, simulating night operations. As his force became more skilled, he shifted to training at night, under harsh conditions.88 The navy also developed more effective operational concepts and organizational arrangements for night combat. It began detaching destroyers from cruisers to allow them to employ to full effect the offensive power of their torpedoes and guns. At the same time, Burke developed new tactics for destroyer combat. He split his destroyer squadron into two mutually supporting divisions. Instead of deploying in long lines, as they had during the Guadalcanal campaign, they began to operate in compact divisions of three to four ships each. Upon making contact with the enemy, one division would close, fire its torpedoes, and turn away. When the first salvo of torpedoes hit and the Japanese began returning fire, the second division would attack from another direction. Burke believed that the tactic would be well suited to the Solomons, because the islands themselves would prevent the Japanese from detecting his destroyers H402RB-145 before they opened fire.89 It was a brilliant innovation, one that capitalized upon the geography of the theater—as the Japanese had been doing all along. Finally, the navy developed methods to use radar more effectively. Over time, the radar plot—the room that contained the scope displaying contacts from the ship’s radar—became the location where information from radio and lookouts was correlated. The combat information center (CIC), as it was to be known, thus became the hub of tactical decision making aboard ship. The combination of improved tactics and organization came together when American and Japanese destroyers met in the battle of Vella Gulf on 6–7 August 1943. During the battle, the six destroyers that constituted Frederick Moosbrugger’s Task Group 31.2 used Burke’s tactics to deadly effect. Moosbrugger’s surface-search radar detected the Japanese before they became aware of the presence of U.S. combatants. Indeed, U.S. destroyers launched torpedoes three minutes before the Japanese force sighted the Americans. Moosbrugger’s force sank three Japanese destroyers and escaped unscathed.90 American forces also enjoyed considerable success at the battle of Empress Augusta Bay.91 The setting for the battle was in many ways reminiscent of that before Savo Island: Merrill’s cruisers and destroyers had been assigned to protect the Marine landing at Cape Torokina on Bougainville, much as Kelly Turner’s force had been responsible for protecting that on Guadalcanal. This time, however, U.S. scout aircraft provided extremely accurate reports on the approach of Vice Admiral Omori Sentaro’s cruiser and destroyer force. The Japanese, by contrast, operating in poor visibility and with no radar, had no idea of the size and composition of the force they faced. Merrill used his situational-awareness advantage to fire a salvo of torpedoes before the Japanese force knew it was under attack. As a result, Merrill sank one light cruiser and damaged another, while sinking one destroyer and damaging two others. The U.S. Navy repeated its success at the battle of Cape Saint George, which was to be the last surface battle in the Solomons.92 During the battle, Burke’s two destroyer divisions won a decisive victory over five destroyers attempting to reinforce the Japanese garrison on Buka. Burke’s force spotted the Japanese force first and launched its first torpedo salvo before the Japanese knew they were under attack. Employing the same tactics that had yielded victory at Vella Gulf, Burke’s force sank three destroyers while sustaining no casualties. The naval battles off Guadalcanal illustrate vividly that technological superiority does not guarantee victory. At the outbreak of World War II, the Japanese navy lacked surface-search and fire-control radar. It had, however, developed and practiced a coherent tactical system for night combat. The United States, by contrast, possessed radar but had yet to develop concepts and organizations to exploit its potential fully. As a result, the Japanese won victory after victory against the Americans. It was not until after the campaign that the U.S. Navy learned how to combine radar with new concepts and organizations; when it finally did, the result was deadly for the Japanese. The U.S. Navy preferred engagements between opposing battle lines in the open sea. There, radar would allow the American fleet to spot its opponent at long range and smother him with precise—and lethal—gunfire. During the Guadalcanal campaign, however, the navy found itself operating in conditions markedly different from those envisioned by prewar strategists. Radar was of little use in battles waged in confined waters bounded by mountainous islands. It was not until Arleigh Burke and Stanton Merrill developed concepts and organizations that suited local conditions that the navy began to take advantage of the possibilities of radar. H402RB-146 Notes 1 Joint Board to Secretary of the Navy, “Blue-Orange Joint Estimate of the Situation,” 11 January 1929, JB 325, ser. 280, Joint Board Records, Record Group [hereafter RG] 225, National Archives [hereafter NA], p. 5. 2 David Kahn, “The United States Views Germany and Japan in 1941,” in Knowing One’s Enemies: Intelligence Assessment before the Two World Wars, ed. Ernest R. May (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1984), p. 476. 3 David C. Evans and Mark R. Peattie, Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941 (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1997), p. 18. 4 Carl Boyd, “Japanese Military Effectiveness: The Interwar Period,” in Military Effectiveness, vol. 2, The Interwar Years, ed. Allan R. Millett and Williamson Murray (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1988), p. 143. 5 Alvin D. Coox, “The Effectiveness of the Japanese Military Establishment in the Second World War,” in Military Effectiveness, vol. 3, The Second World War, ed. Millett and Murray (Boston: Unwin Hyman, 1988), p. 19. 6 Joint Board, “Blue-Orange Joint Estimate of the Situation,” p. 10. 7 Richard J. Samuels, “Rich Nation, Strong Army”: National Security and the Technological Transformation of Japan (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell Univ. Press, 1994), p. 97. 8 See Robert C. Mikesh and Shorzoe Abe, Japanese Aircraft: 1910–1941 (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1990). 9 The Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter was superior to any U.S. fighter at the outbreak of the war, and the Nakajima B5N Kate torpedo bomber was generally superior to contemporary American designs. 10 Boyd, “Japanese Military Effectiveness,” p. 137. 11 Samuels, “Rich Nation, Strong Army,” pp. 97–98. 12 Harold Sprout and Margaret Sprout, Toward a New Order of Sea Power: American Naval Power and the World Scene, 1918–1922 (New York: Greenwood, 1969), pp. 302–11. 13 Stephen E. Pelz, Race to Pearl Harbor: The Failure of the Second London Naval Conference and the Onset of World War II (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1974), pp. 2–3. 14 The best accounts of U.S. planning for a war with Japan are Edward S. Miller, War Plan Orange: The U.S. Strategy to Defeat Japan, 1897–1945 (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1991), and Louis Morton, “War Plan Orange: Evolution of a Strategy,” World Politics 11, no. 2 (January 1959). 15 Michael Vlahos, “War Gaming, an Enforcer of Strategic Realism: 1919–1942,” Naval War College Review 39, no. 2 (March–April 1986), pp. 10, 13. 16 George W. Baer, One Hundred Years of Sea Power: The U.S. Navy, 1890–1990 (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford Univ. Press, 1994), p. 136. 17 War Instructions, United States Navy, FTP 143 (1934) [hereafter FTP 143], World War II Command File, Chief of Naval Operations, box 108, Operational Archives, Naval Historical Center [hereafter OA/NHC], pp. 11–13. 18 Baer, One Hundred Years of Sea Power, pp. 140–43. For a recent examination of the fleet-problem program, see Albert A. Nofi, To Train the Fleet for War: The U.S. Navy Fleet Problems, 1923–1940 (Newport, R.I.: Naval War College Press, 2010). 19 Wayne P. Hughes, Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1986), p. 119. 20 Ronald H. Spector, Eagle against the Sun: The American War with Japan (New York: Random House, 1985), p. 20 21 Torpedo testing was unrealistic and evaluation inadequate. Moreover, torpedo production was geared toward small-scale manufacture, not mass production. See Buford Rowland and William B. Boyd, H402RB-147 U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance in World War II (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office [hereafter GPO], 1953), pp. 90–91. 22 Ibid., pp. 20–21 23 On the development of radar in the U.S. Navy, see David Kite Allison, “The Origin of Radar at the Naval Research Laboratory: A Case Study of Mission-Oriented Research and Development” (PhD diss., Princeton University, 1980); Louis A. Gebhard, Evolution of Naval Radio-Electronics and Contributions of the Naval Research Laboratory (Washington, D.C.: Naval Research Laboratory, 1979), chap. 4; and Rowland and Boyd, U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance in World War II, chap. 17. 24 During the exercise, the equipment detected aircraft at nearly fifty miles and the splashes caused by surface-fired projectiles at up to eight miles. See James L. McVoy, Virgil Rinehart, and Prescott Palmer, “The Roosevelt Resurgence (1933–1941),” in Naval Engineering and American Seapower, ed. Randolph W. King (Baltimore: Nautical and Aviation, 1989), pp. 192–95. 25 Gebhard, Evolution of Naval Radio-Electronics and Contributions of the Naval Research Laboratory, p. 183. 26 Rowland and Boyd, U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance in World War II, pp. 413–14, 422–23. 27 Evans and Peattie, Kaigun, p. 394. 28 Rear Adm. Yoichi Hirama, JMSDF (Ret.), “Japanese Naval Preparations for World War II,” Naval War College Review 44, no. 2 (Spring 1991), p. 64. 29 Arthur J. Marder, Old Friends, New Enemies: The Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy, vol. 1, Strategic Illusions, 1936–1941 (Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon, 1981), p. 294. 30 Spector, Eagle against the Sun, p. 46. 31 Hirama, “Japanese Naval Preparations for World War II,” p. 72. 32 Evans and Peattie, Kaigun, p. 262. The U.S. Navy believed that it would be at a disadvantage in engagements beyond twenty-one thousand yards. See General Tactical Instructions, United States Navy, FTP 142 (1934) [hereafter FTP 142], World War II Command File, Chief of Naval Operations, box 108, OA/NHC, p. 239. 33 A subsurface version of the weapon, the Type 95, was adopted in 1935. An aerial version of the weapon, the Type 94, was also developed. In 1940, an improved version began to be installed on Japanese destroyers. Jiro Itani, Hans Lengerer, and Tomoko Rehm-Takahara, “Japanese Oxygen Torpedoes and Fire Control Systems,” in Warship 1991, ed. Robert Gardiner (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1991), pp. 121–33. See also John Bullen, “The Japanese ‘Long Lance’ Torpedo and Its Place in Naval History,” Imperial War Museum Review, no. 3 (1988), pp. 69–79. 34 Hansgeorg Jentschura, Dieter Jung, and Peter Mickel, Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945, trans. Antony Preston and J. D. Brown (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1992), p. 106. 35 For an overview of Japanese night-fighting tactics, see Evans and Peattie, Kaigun, pp. 273–81. 36 Hirama, “Japanese Naval Preparations for World War II,” p. 67. 37 Hughes, Fleet Tactics, p. 119. 38 Evans and Peattie, Kaigun, p. 270. 39 Paul S. Dull, A Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy (1941–1945) (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1978), p. 60. 40 Ibid., pp. 76–88. 41 Hughes, Fleet Tactics, p. 120. 42 Dennis Warner and Peggy Warner, with Sadao Seno, Disaster in the Pacific: New Light on the Battle of Savo Island (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1992), p. 55. 43 Vice Adm. Raizo Tanaka, with Roger Pineau, “Japan’s Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal,” part 1, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 82, no. 7 (July 1956), p. 698. Japanese names are given with surname first. 44 “Night Training and Operations,” ONI Re- port 261, 18 October 1934, 907-3000, box 77, ONI Monograph Files, RG 38, NA. H402RB-148 45 Capt. R. B. Coffey, “Tactical Problem V-1933-SR (Operations Problem IV-1933- SR),” 16 January 1934, RG 4, Naval Historical Collection, Naval War College, Newport, R.I., p. 25. 46 FTP 143, p. 37. 47 The U.S. Navy’s 1934 General Tactical Instructions, for example, described evasion as the primary form of night torpedo warfare. If evasion proved unsuccessful, the American commander would employ destroyers, cruisers, and—if necessary—battleships to destroy enemy destroyers before they closed to firing range. FTP 142, pp. 143–44. 48 See Minoru Genda, “Evolution of Aircraft Carrier Tactics of the Imperial Japanese Navy,” in Air Raid: Pearl Harbor! Recollections of a Day of Infamy, ed. Paul Stillwell (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1981), pp. 23–27. 49 Hirama, “Japanese Naval Preparations for World War II,” p. 70. Despite these changes, the Japanese navy did not consider the carrier as the prime combat element of the fleet. It was not until March 1944 that the Japanese navy would create the First Mobile Fleet, a true carrier task force, to which all other fleet units, including battleships, were considered subordinate. Evans and Peattie, Kaigun, p. 501. 50 Marder, Old Friends, New Enemies, p. 296. 51 Quoted in ibid., pp. 296–97. 52 Evans and Peattie, Kaigun, p. 228. 53 The first air-search set was installed on board the battleship Ise in May 1942. The navy was unable to produce an effective fire-control radar during the first two years of the war. Ibid., pp. 414–15. 54 Norman Friedman, Naval Radar (Greenwich, U.K.: Conway Maritime, 1981), pp. 96–97. 55 Boyd, “Japanese Military Effectiveness,” p. 139. 56 Hirama, “Japanese Naval Preparations for World War II,” pp. 66–67. 57 Marder, Old Friends, New Enemies, pp. 285– 87. 58 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, p. 182. 59 Vice Adm. George Carroll Dyer, USN (Ret.), The Amphibians Came to Conquer: The Story of Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner (Washing- ton, D.C.: GPO, 1971), vol. 1, pp. 290–93. 60 This account of the battle of Savo Island is taken from Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, pp. 187–96, and Bruce Loxton and Chris Coulthard-Clark, The Shame of Savo: Anatomy of a Naval Disaster (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 1994). 61 Spector, Eagle against the Sun, p. 193. 62 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, p. 196. 63 Ibid., pp. 197–208. 64 Tanaka, “Japan’s Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal,” part 1, pp. 693–94. 65 John Prados, Combined Fleet Decoded: The Secret History of American Intelligence and the Japanese Navy in World War II (New York: Random House, 1995), p. 375. 66 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, pp. 215–21. 67 Prados, Combined Fleet Decoded, p. 379; Vice Adm. Raizo Tanaka, with Roger Pineau, “Japan’s Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal,” part 2, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 82, no. 8 (August 1956), pp. 815–16. 68 Hiyo suffered a fire in its engine room shortly thereafter and had to withdraw. 69 Prados, Combined Fleet Decoded, p. 382. 70 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, pp. 227–35. 71 Ibid., p. 238. 72 Prados, Combined Fleet Decoded, p. 391. 73 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, pp. 237–49; Tanaka, “Japan’s Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal,” part 2, pp. 820–22. 74 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, p. 239. 75 Ibid., p. 243. 76 Ibid., p. 247. 77 Ibid., p. 254. H402RB-149 78 Russell Crenshaw, The Battle of Tassafaronga (Baltimore: Nautical and Aviation, 1995), pp. 25–29. 79 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, pp. 255–60; Tanaka, “Japan’s Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal,” part 2, pp. 825–27. 80 Crenshaw, Battle of Tassafaronga, p. 88. 81 Prados, Combined Fleet Decoded, p. 395. 82 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, p. 259. 83 Hughes, Fleet Tactics, p. 116. 84 See Crenshaw, Battle of Tassafaronga, chap. 10. 85 Warner and Warner, Disaster in the Pacific, pp. 103–104. 86 Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Press, 1976), p. 119. 87 Barry D. Watts, Clausewitzian Friction and Future War, McNair Paper 52 (Washington, D.C.: National Defense Univ. Press, 1996), pp. 32, 94–95 88 E. B. Potter, Admiral Arleigh Burke (New York: Random House, 1990), pp. 63, 75. 89 Ibid., pp. 83–84. 90 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, pp. 278–79. 91 Ibid., pp. 288–90; Potter, Admiral Arleigh Burke, pp. 95–98. 92 Dull, Battle History of the Imperial Japanese Navy, pp. 294–95; Potter, Admiral Arleigh Burke, pp. 103–106. Tanaka, Raizo. “Japan's Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal,” (Excerpts). Proceedings, edited by Roger Pineau, Part 1-Vol. 82, No. 7 (July 1956) and Part II-Vol. 82, No. 8 (August 1956). CGSC Copyright Registration # 21-0514 E H402ORA-150 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H402: LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines, and the Tyranny of Distance Reading H402ORA “Japan's Losing Struggle for Guadalcanal”* by Vice Admiral Raizo Tanaka It came as a surprise to me in mid-August 1942, to learn that, as Commander Destroyer Squadron 2, I had been chosen to assume command of a force to bring troops and supplies to Guadalcanal. The impact of this new responsibility may be appreciated when I say in all candor that neither I nor any of my staff had the slightest knowledge or experience in the Solomon Islands. Of Guadalcanal itself we knew no more than its location on a chart. We had much to learn, in little time, of the plan and scope of the operations to be carried out. As an escort force commander I had, since the beginning of the war, participated in landing operations in the Philippines and Celebes, at Ambon and Timor. These experiences had taught me that the seizure of a strategic point is no simple matter. Detailed preliminary study of the target area and close liaison between the landing forces and their escorts are vital factors. And to insure success, the landing operation must either take the enemy by surprise, or it must be preceded by powerful naval and air bombardment to neutralize enemy defenses. Knowing that neither of these possibilities would be available to me, I foresaw grave difficulties in my task and knew that we would suffer heavy losses. I resolved, nevertheless, to do everything in my power to succeed. Japan’s string of victories in the five months following the attack on Pearl Harbor gave her control over a vast expanse of territory reaching from the homeland through southeast Asia, the Netherlands Indies, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Her first failure to attain an objective in World War II was occasioned by the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, 1942. This was followed a month later by her disastrous defeat in the Battle of Midway. Among the naval forces which limped shamefully from this historic battle was my Destroyer Squadron 2. . . . By July my squadron was ordered by Second Fleet to Tokyo Bay. . . . During this time Japan’s naval activities in the Solomon Islands were intensified with the aim of intercepting the line of communication between the United States and Australia. For this purpose the Eighth Fleet was organized on July 14, 1942, to operate in the southeast area. . . . This fleet advanced to Rabaul in late July where it took over command of the area from Fourth Fleet. In addition to these surface forces, the 25th Air Flotilla was sent to Rabaul to conduct air operations under the Eleventh Air Fleet. In May 1942, a few Special Naval Landing Forces and Airfield Construction Units had been sent to the southeastern part of New Guinea and the Solomons. They had succeeded in building a seaplane base * Originally published in two parts: Part 1 in Volume 82, No. 7 (July 1956) and Part II in Vol. 82, No. 8 (August 1956). The H402 lesson author combined the two parts for this reading and edited the original for length. H402ORA-151 at Tulagi by the end of July and were making slow progress on an airfield at Guadalcanal. The latter was scheduled to be occupied by land-based planes of the 25th Air Flotilla from Rabaul, but the enemy had already reconnoitered the southern Solomons, and he was aware of our intended advance to these new bases. Accordingly, United States forces, whose morale had been lifted by the victory at Midway, ventured their first full-scale invasion of the war by sending the 1st Marine Division to Guadalcanal. Carried in some forty transports and escorted by powerful U. S. and Australian naval forces, 11,000 Marines successfully landed (August 7) on Guadalcanal and Tulagi, where they overwhelmed the outnumbered Japanese garrisons and took possession of the seaplane base and the partially completed airfield. Several days of bad flying weather which preceded the American landings had prevented any reconnaissance activities by our Tulagi-based flying boats, and we were taken completely by surprise. Shocked by news of this enemy success, Admiral Mikawa hastily assembled seven cruisers and a destroyer and sped southward to deliver a surprise attack on the enemy at Guadalcanal in the early morning of August 9th. This was the famous First Sea Battle of the Solomons and considerable results were achieved. Despite the heavy damage inflicted on the enemy’s warships, his unmolested transports were able to unload all troops and munitions. Thus the enemy landing succeeded, and his foothold in the southern Solomons was established. . . . As a result of the enemy’s invasion of Guadalcanal, the Japanese Second (Advance Force) and Third (Carrier Task Force) Fleets were ordered to Truk. At the same time I also received orders to rush to Truk and there await further instructions. We departed Yokosuka on August 11th with only my flagship and destroyer Kagero, Desdiv 24 [Destroyer Division 24] having been called to Hiroshima Bay to augment the escorts of the Second Fleet. Even before reaching Truk, however, I was informed that my two ships had been incorporated into the Eighth Fleet and that I had been designated by Combined Fleet order as Commander of the Guadalcanal Reinforcement Force. On the evening of August 15th, while my ships were loading supplies at Truk, I received an important and detailed order from the Eighth Fleet Commander at Rabaul. The gist of this order follows: a. Desdiv 4 (2 DD) plus Desdiv 17 (3 DD) and Patrol Boats No. 1, 2, 34, 35 will be assigned to the Reinforcement Force. b. The first landing force will consist of 900 officers and men of the Army’s Ichiki Detachment. c. In the early morning of August 16th, six destroyers carrying the landing force will advance to Guadalcanal where the troops will be unloaded on the night of the 18th in the vicinity of Cape Taivu, to the east of Lunga Roads. Each soldier will carry a light pack of seven days’ supply. d. Jintsu and Patrol Boats No. 34 and 35 will escort two slow (9-knot) transports carrying the remainder of the landing forces, consisting mainly of service units. These transports will also carry additional supplies and munitions for use by the earlier landing forces. Patrol Boats No. 1 and 2 will escort fast (13-knot) transport Kinryu Maru, carrying the Yokosuka 5th Special Naval Landing Force, and join with the above group. All will unload in the vicinity of Cape Taivu’on the night of the 23rd. With no regard for my opinion, as commander of the Reinforcement Force, this order called for the most difficult operation in war—landing in the face of the enemy— to be carried out by mixed units which had no opportunity for rehearsal or even preliminary study. It must be clear to anyone with knowledge of military operations that such an undertaking could never succeed. In military strategy expedience sometimes takes precedence over prudence, but this order was utterly unreasonable. I could H402ORA-152 see that there must be great confusion in the headquarters of Eighth Fleet. Yet the operation was ordained and underway, and so there was no time to argue about it. There was not a moment to lose. During the night of August 15th, ships had to be supplied, troops loaded on destroyers, operation orders prepared, and all forces ready to sortie early next morning. Every member of my headquarters worked through the night to complete the complicated and endless details which precede a naval sortie. Somehow, at 0500, the designated hour, six destroyers embarking the Ichiki Detachment put bravely to sea under the command of Captain Yasuo Sato. Next out of the anchorage were Army transports Boston Maru and Daifuku Maru, escorted by Patrol Boats No. 34 and 35. In Jintsu, I sortied from the south channel and moved eastward to take command of the entire force. My advance force of six destroyers encountered no enemy submarines as it steamed southward at 22 knots. The other ships followed along on a zigzag course at 8 knots. A radio message from Eighth Fleet on the 17th announced that Crudiv 6 [Cruiser Division 6] would operate as an indirect escort and that Desdiv 24 would be added to my command. Accordingly, around noon of the following day, three more destroyers caught up with and joined the convoy. . . . Early in the morning of the 19th, although there were as yet no enemy planes operating from the field on Guadalcanal, Hagikaze was hit by bombs from a B-17. She was damaged enough so that I ordered her withdrawal to Truk in escort of Yamakaze, leaving Kagero alone in the vicinity of the landing. Since there was no Japanese reconnaissance of the waters south of Guadalcanal, we were totally unaware of what forces might be there. Early on the morning of the 20th Kagero was bombed by carrier- based planes. She was not damaged, but the appearance of these planes was clear evidence of an enemy striking force nearby. This was confirmed when one of our Shortland-based flying boats reported one carrier, two cruisers, and nine destroyers about 250 miles southeast of Guadalcanal. The crack troops of the Ichiki Detachment, after making their bloodless landing on Guadalcanal, attempted a night assault of the enemy’s defenses at midnight of August 20th to recapture the airfield. This reckless attack by infantrymen without artillery support against an enemy division in fortified positions was like a housefly’s attacking a giant tortoise. The odds were all against it. Most of our men met a violent death assaulting the enemy lines. The only survivors were some twenty men of the signal unit who had remained near the landing point. They made a radio report of the defeat, then managed to cross the island through almost impenetrable jungle and join with some of our Army forces which landed later. Colonel Kiyonao Ichiki himself committed suicide after burning the regimental colors. Thus our first landing operation ended in tragic failure. I knew Colonel Ichiki from the Midway operation and was well aware of his magnificent leadership and indomitable fighting spirit. But this episode made it abundantly clear that infantrymen armed with rifles and bayonets have no chance against an enemy equipped with modern heavy arms. This tragedy should have taught us the hopelessness of “bamboo-spear” tactics. Upon receipt of the report that there was an enemy task force southeast of Guadalcanal, Vice Admiral Nishizo Tsukahara, Commander Southeast Area, ordered my slow convoy to turn about immediately and come north. This order was followed shortly by one from Commander Eighth Fleet directing that my ships turn to course 250°, that is, twenty degrees south of west! Thus I had orders from the area commander and from my own immediate superior, but they were contradictory! Considering the situation, I decided to change to course 320°. Unfortunately, radio conditions went bad about that time and created an additional problem in that I could not communicate with either headquarters ashore. That afternoon, August 20th, I sent Kawakaze ahead to relieve Kagero at Guadalcanal. H402ORA-153 Around 1420 I got news that twenty enemy carrier planes had landed on the field at Guadalcanal. This meant that they had succeeded in capturing and completing the airfield in less than two weeks, and it was now operational. This would make our landing operation all the more difficult. It was welcome news, however, on the night of the 21st to learn from Eighth Fleet headquarters that Second Fleet (the advance force) and Third Fleet (the carrier force) would move to the waters east of the Solomons on the 23rd to support our operations and destroy the enemy task force. This message designated the position to be taken by our convoy at 1600 on the 23rd, and our landing on Guadalcanal was postponed to the next night. Highly encouraged by the prospect that we would finally be given support by Combined Fleet’s main body, we again steamed southward while I sent the four patrol boats to fuel at the Shortland Island anchorage. The enemy task force was sighted on the 21st by another of our reconnaissance planes. It was still in about the same position where it had been sighted the day before. Another scout plane reported two enemy transports and a light cruiser about 160 miles south of Guadalcanal. I sent Kawakaze and Yunagi south to get this latter group, but the destroyers found nothing. Kawakaze returned to the waters off Lunga on the 22nd, where early in the morning she torpedoed and sank an enemy destroyer.] She then came under attack by carrier planes whose strafing injured some of her crew but did no damage to the ship. My slow convoy advanced southward to within 200 miles of Guadalcanal on the 23rd. As expected there were one or two U. S. “Consolidated” flying boats shadowing us continually in spite of a steady rain. We continued toward our designated point, anticipating that there would be fierce raids by carrier planes the next day. An urgent dispatch came from Commander Eighth Fleet at about 0830 directing the convoy to turn northward and keep out of danger for the time being. We complied hastily, but knew that this would delay our landing until the 25th. Hence, we were startled at 1430 to receive the following order from Commander Eleventh Air Fleet, “The convoy will carry out the landing on the 24th.” I replied that this would be impossible because some of our ships were so slow. Our uneasiness at the impending battle situation, the difficulties of our assignment, and this second set of conflicting orders was heightened by atmospheric disturbances which again disrupted our radio communications and greatly delayed the receipt and sending of vital messages. On the 24th, too, enemy flying boats shadowed us from dawn to dusk. At 0800 we had a radio warning that 36 planes had taken off from the field at Guadalcanal. We continued to operate according to plan, expecting a mass attack which never came. At 1230 we spotted a heavy cruiser speeding southward on the eastern horizon, closely followed by an aircraft carrier. These were Tone and Ryujo who, with two destroyers, were serving as indirect escort to my reinforcement group. Also, Ryujo’s planes were to attack the airfield at Guadalcanal, and 21 of them were launched about this time. Two hours later we saw signs of an air attack on these warships to the southeast, diving enemy planes, smoke screens being laid, and most fatefully a gigantic pillar of smoke and flame which proved to be the funeral pyre of Ryujo. She was fatally hit with bombs and torpedoes from enemy carrier-based planes and sank in the early evening. Ryujo’s planes, returning from the Guadalcanal strike and finding no carrier to land on, patrolled briefly over my ships and then flew off to the northwest to land at Buka, on the northern tip of Bougainville. They reported success in having bombed the Guadalcanal airfield and shot down more than ten enemy planes. News of Ryujo's sinking was not received in the various headquarters until the 25th. It seemed to us, in fact, that every time a battle situation became critical our radio communications would hit a snag, file://usnida01/Archive/Proceedings%20Digital%20Index/Word%20Documents/1956/Uncorrected/Tanaka,%20Raizo%20-%201956,%2082-7-641 x#_ftn4 H402ORA-154 causing delay in important dispatches. This instance was typical, but it seemed to hold no lesson for us since communications failures continued to plague us throughout the war. At about 1400 hours on the 24th, a radio message from Combined Fleet headquarters announced that the group of enemy ships located east of Malaita was steaming southeastward. This was a powerful force consisting of three aircraft carriers, a battleship, seven cruisers, and a number of destroyers. Bomber squadrons from our carrier group (Shokaku, Zuikaku) attacked this force some twenty to thirty miles south of Stewart Island. There they found the enemy split into two units, each centered on an aircraft carrier, and took them under attack, setting two ships on fire. Our night fighter forces pursued, but the eastbound enemy had too much of a start in his withdrawal. The chase was abandoned as all Japanese ships reversed course and headed northward. Thus ended the second naval battle of the Solomon Islands, or Battle of the Eastern Solomons. My reinforcement convoy, meanwhile, had been ordered to withdraw temporarily to the northeast, but, on hearing that two enemy carriers were on fire, we turned again toward Guadalcanal. Considering the battle situation and the movement of the enemy, I had grave doubts about this slow convoy’s chances of reaching its goal, but it was my duty to make the attempt at any cost. I had a feeling that the next day would be fateful for my ships. By 0600 on the 25th, we were within 150 miles of the Guadalcanal airfield. Five of our destroyers, which had shelled enemy positions there during the night, had afterward raced north as planned to join my warships in direct escort of the transports. These additions were aged Mutsuki and Yayoi of Desdiv 30, plus Kagero, Kawakaze, and Isokaze. Upon their joining, my signal order was issued concerning our movements, formations, and alert disposition for entering the anchorage that night. And just as my order was being sent, six carrier bombers broke out from the clouds and came at my flagship. We were caught napping, and there was no chance to ready our guns for return fire. The dive bombing was followed by strafing attacks. Bombs hit the forward sections of the flagship with terrific explosions while near misses raised huge columns of water. The last bomb struck the forecastle between guns No. 1 and 2 with a frightful blast which scattered fire and splinters and spread havoc throughout the bridge. I was knocked unconscious but came to, happy to find myself uninjured. The smoke was so thick that it was impossible to keep one’s eyes open. Severely shaken, I stumbled clear of the smoke and saw that the forecastle was badly damaged and afire. There were many dead and injured about. Strangely, however, Jintsu did not list, and she seemed in no danger of sinking. Such emergency measures as flooding the forward magazine, fighting the fire, and caring for the injured were carried out in good order. Luckily the magazines did not explode, watertight bulkheads held, and the engines remained in running condition. The cruiser was still seaworthy, but bow damage precluded her running at high speed, and so she was no longer fit to serve as flagship. Meanwhile the attacking enemy had not ignored the transports. Kinryu Maru, the largest and carrying about 1,000 troops of the Yokosuka 5th Special Landing Force, was set afire by a bomb hit. Induced explosions of stored ammunition rendered her unable to navigate and near sinking. Seeing this, I ordered Desdiv 30 and two patrol boats to go alongside and take off her troops and crew. At the same time I sent the other ships northwestward at full speed to avoid further attacks. Transferring my headquarters and flag to destroyer Kagero, I ordered Jintsu to return to Truk by herself for repairs. She was still able to make 12 knots. Now enemy B-17s appeared and bombed Mulsuki as she engaged in rescue work alongside Kinryu Maru. With no headway on, the destroyer took direct bomb hits and sank instantly. Consort Yayoi rescued her crew while the two patrol boats continued to rescue men from Kinryu Maru just before she sank. I ordered all rescue ships to proceed at once to Rabaul. H402ORA-155 My worst fears for this operation had come to be realized. Without the main combat unit, the Yokosuka 5th Special Landing Force, it was clear that the remaining auxiliary unit of about 300 men would be of no use even if it did reach Guadalcanal without further mishap. To complete the dismal picture, flagship Jintsu had to be withdrawn because of heavy damage, Kinryu Maru and Mulsuki were sunk, and three of my other escort ships had to withdraw with rescuees. It would be folly to land the remainder of this battered force on Guadalcanal. I reported my opinion to headquarters and began a northward withdrawal toward the Shortland. My decision was affirmed by messages from Combined Fleet and Eighth Fleet, and the operation was suspended, ending in complete failure of the effort of this convoy to reinforce our Guadalcanal garrisons. Even as we headed for the Shortland Islands, however, I received an Eleventh Air Fleet order directing that the remaining 300-odd troops be transported to Guadalcanal on the night of the 27th in fast warships. I could not help but feel that this was a hasty decision not based on careful planning. . . . As soon as we had entered Shortland anchorage on the night of the 26th, I summoned the Army commander and advised him of my plans. The entire night was then spent in transferring troops and munitions to the destroyers. Early next morning the three destroyers were on their way. They had been gone but a few hours when I received an Eighth Fleet dispatch saying that the landing operation at Guadalcanal should take place on the 28th! To my immediate reply that the destroyers had already departed, Eighth Fleet responded, “Recall destroyers at once. Am sending Desdiv 20 to Shortland where it will be under Comdesron 2.” It was inconceivable that no liaison existed between the headquarters of Eleventh Air Fleet and Eighth Fleet, since both were located at Rabaul, and yet such seemed to be the case. I had again received contradictory and conflicting orders from the area commander and my immediate superior and was at a loss as to what to do. If such circumstances continue, I thought, how can we possibly win a battle? It occurred to me again that this operation gave no evidence of careful, deliberate study; everything seemed to be completely haphazard. As commander of the Reinforcement Force, this put me in a very difficult position. I was compelled to recall the destroyers immediately, and they returned that evening. While they refueled and took on supplies I summoned the commanding officers and made arrangements for the operation to be conducted on the 28th. . . . From successive dispatches I finally learned why four Desdiv 20 destroyers had been temporarily assigned to my command. It had been planned that they would load an advance force of the Kawaguchi Detachment from Borneo and bring it to Guadalcanal to be landed in the vicinity of Cape Taivu on the night of the 28th with the remaining troops of the Ichiki Detachment as second-wave reinforcements. When this became clear, I ordered Captain Yonosuke Murakami, Comdesdiv 24, to take his own destroyers, together with Isokaze and four ships of Desdiv 20, to make that landing on the night of the 28th. A hitch in this plan developed, however, when I received word from Desdiv 20 that, because of fuel shortage, it could not stop at Shortland but would go on south and, staying east of the Solomons, operate independently of Isokaze and Desdiv 24. This further served to increase my pessimism about the success of the landing operation. H402ORA-156 A subsequent urgent dispatch from Desdiv 20 confirmed my fears with a report that it had been bombed for two hours in the afternoon of the 28th by enemy planes at a point about 80 miles north of the Guadalcanal airfield. The division commander, Captain Yuzo Arita, was killed, Asagiri sunk, Shirakumo damaged badly, and Yugiri moderately. As a consequence, their advance on Guadalcanal had to be abandoned and the surviving ships returned to Shortland. Another operational plan had come to nought. This made it more obvious than ever what sheer recklessness it was to attempt a landing operation against strong resistance without preliminary neutralization of enemy air power. If the present operation plan for Guadalcanal was not altered, we were certain to suffer further humiliating and fruitless casualties. We were in the midst of a midnight conference called to discuss the unfavorable situation when Desdiv 24 reported that it was also returning to Shortland. In this decision the commander acted independently, without orders, on grounds that the battle situation had taken an unfavorable turn. Such conduct was inexcusable. Yet, if I now ordered these destroyers to turn about and head for Guadalcanal, they could not make it before dawn and would then fall easy prey to enemy planes. Repressing my fury and disappointment, I had no choice but to concur with the decision of Comdesdiv 24, but he got a severe reprimand when he returned next morning. And I, in turn, received strong messages from Combined Fleet and Eighth Fleet expressing their regret at our setback. . . . Meanwhile, transport Sado Maru arrived at Shortland carrying the main force of an Army detachment under Major General Kiyotake Kawaguchi, which had been selected to reinforce Guadalcanal. I invited General Kawaguchi and several of his senior officers to come on board Kinugasa so that we could make plans and arrangements. The Kawaguchi Detachment had earlier achieved notable success in landing operations on the southwest coast of Borneo, after a passage of 500 miles in large landing barges. It was disturbing to me, however, when General Kawaguchi now insisted that his force should continue southward in transport Sado Maru as far as Gizo Harbor, which was just beyond the range of the enemy’s land-based planes at that time. From there they would proceed to Guadalcanal using all available landing barges. The General was supported by all the other Army officers in rejecting my proposal to transport their troops by naval vessels. This presented a serious handicap to the whole operation, and I was lost for a solution since I had no knowledge of what orders the Kawaguchi Force had been given about transportation. I reported the situation to my superiors at Rabaul and advised General Kawaguchi to inform Commander Seventeenth Army of what had come up and see if his intentions would be approved. The conference closed with our agreement to hold further meetings concerning the reinforcement operations. With the present unfavorable war situation, it was the Navy’s hope that all reinforcements could be transported without a moment’s delay, and we were willing to exert every effort for this purpose. Any delay was regrettable, and this one was even worse since it was caused by a conflict of opinion between our own Army and Navy forces at the front. I was in an extremely difficult position. On the night of August 29th, Captain Murakami’s four destroyers landed troops in the vicinity of Cape Taivu, as did three ships of Desdiv 11. A radio message from Guadalcanal during that day indicated that there was an enemy force of two transports, one cruiser, and two destroyers near Lunga Point. Accordingly, Commander Eighth Fleet Mikawa sent an order direct to Comdesron 24 for Murakami to attack that enemy force as soon as the landing of troops had been completed. To my great astonishment Murakami ignored this order and, as soon as the troops had landed, set course for Shortland. This was a flagrant violation of a direct order, and on his return I summoned Captain Murakami to demand an explanation of his action. He had not made the attack because the night was clear and lighted by a full moon, and many enemy planes had been seen overhead. So dumbfounding was this statement that I could H402ORA-157 not even think of words to reprove him. Blame attached to me, of course, for having such a man in my command, and I was conscience stricken. He was transferred shortly [thereafter] to the homeland. In the morning of August 30th, Amagiri and Kagero entered the anchorage at Shortland carrying the advance force of the Kawaguchi Detachment and towing the badly damaged Shirakumo. I ordered undamaged Amagiri, Kagero, and Yudachi (Isokaze’s replacement) to load the main force of the Kawaguchi Detachment and rush to Guadalcanal. The warships hastily completed all preparations for departure, but General Kawaguchi and his officers were still strongly opposed to warship transportation since they had received no orders from Seventeenth Army and they were not disposed to comply with our naval order. At 1000 hours I was compelled to have the remaining troops of the Ichiki Detachment depart in Yudachi for Guadalcanal. I thereupon reported to Eighth Fleet, requesting that Seventeenth Army headquarters be consulted at once and asked to issue necessary instructions to General Kawaguchi. That night Mikawa’s chief of staff sent a dispatch criticizing me bitterly because Amagiri and Kagero had not also departed for Guadalcanal. It was lamentable, to be sure, but could hardly be attributed to anything but the narrowness of General Kawaguchi and his officers. Patrol Boats No. 1 and 34, which had departed the previous day, were twice attacked by enemy planes but sustained no damage. They radioed asking instructions for their run-in to Guadalcanal, and I directed them to follow close on the heels of Yudachi when she dashed in to land reinforcements. I was greatly relieved and gratified when the report came in that all three had successfully landed their Army troops before midnight of August 30th. I treated with General Kawaguchi again on the 30th about the transportation of his troops, but he stubbornly refused my proposal on the ground that he had still received no instructions from his superiors. As commander of the Reinforcement Force I could brook no further delay. Thereupon, I ordered eight destroyers—Kagaro and Amagiri, and Desdivs 11 and 24 each supplying three—to make preparations for departure early the next morning. Around 2000 hours a message came from Eighth Fleet saying, “Under our agreement with Commander Seventeenth Army, the bulk of the Kawaguchi Detachment will be transported to Guadalcanal by destroyers, the remainder by large landing barges.” I lost no time in resuming discussions with the General and his officers, but they were not easily convinced. Contending that the order was not directed to them, they held out until Kawaguchi himself finally gave way; the commander of the regiment never did agree. The ponderous task of getting the troops on board the destroyers was begun at once. It was noon of the 31st when eight destroyers sortied for Guadalcanal carrying General Kawaguchi and some 1,000 of his officers and men. All troops were landed successfully at midnight, and the ships returned without meeting any opposition. This was the third time that a complete Army unit had landed successfully from destroyers. On August 30th, I had received the following message from Eighth Fleet: “Comdesron 3 will depart Rabaul for Shortland early in the morning of the 30th. Upon the arrival of Comdesron 3, Comdesron 2 will relinquish his command and proceed to Truk on board Yugiri.” My first reaction to this unexpected transfer order was a feeling of indignation because I had spared no effort to fill this assignment successfully. On second thought, however, I realized that much had happened during my few short weeks in this command. I had lost many ships and men in difficult battle situations, one of my subordinate commanders had proven inadequate to his assignment, and there had been delay in one reinforcement operation because of my conflict with the stubborn Army commander. I was not free of responsibility in these matters, but there were other considerations. I had had to change flagship three times in as many weeks and, with the exception of Kagero which had been with me since the start of the war, every unit of my command had been added by improvisation with no chance to train H402ORA-158 or practice together. All these factors contributed toward my difficulties of achieving a unified command. To make matters worse, I was so exhausted—mentally and physically—that I could hardly keep going. Under these circumstances it was only proper that I be given relief from the strain of this command. I was especially gratified to learn that my close friend of Naval Academy days, Rear Admiral Shintaro Hashimoto, would be taking my place. . . . PART II The first essential of a successful amphibious operation is to deprive the enemy of control of the surrounding air. At Guadalcanal this meant the destruction of planes on the enemy's airfield. But the enemy had more planes in the area than we did, and so some other means had to be used. In consequence, it was planned to use battleships in a heavy night bombardment of the field to destroy the enemy planes. A new bombardment shell had just arrived from the homeland—designated Type Zero, these had a firecracker-like shrapnel burst—and there were enough for battleships Kongo and Haruna to have 500 rounds each for their 36-cm. guns. These two big ships were scheduled to make the bombardment on the night of October 13th. Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita (Combatdiv 3) commanded the force which consisted of light cruiser Isuzu and three ships of Desdiv 31 as screen, a rear guard of four Desdiv 15 ships, and the two battleships with my Desron 2 as direct escort. The 25-knot advance toward Guadalcanal brought us to a point west of Savo Island shortly before midnight, encountering neither planes nor ships of the enemy on the way. Speed was dropped to eighteen knots, and the sixteen big guns of the two battleships open fire simultaneously at a range of 16,000 meters. The ensuing scene baffled description as the fires and explosions from the 36-cm. shell hits on the airfield set off enemy planes, fuel dumps, and ammunition storage places. The scene was topped off by flare bombs from our observation planes flying over the field, the whole spectacle making the Ryogoku fireworks display seem like mere child's play. The night's pitch dark was transformed by fire into the brightness of day. Spontaneous cries and shouts of excitement ran throughout our ships. The attack seemed to take the enemy by complete surprise, and his radio could be heard sending emergency messages such as, “Intensive bombardment by enemy ships. Damage tremendous.” Enemy shore batteries at Tulagi and Lunga Point turned searchlights seaward, probing frantically and fruitlessly for our ships. Star shell and gunfire also fell short of our location. Isuzu returned some fire against a coastal battery on Tulagi, but the main show was the battleships' bombardment which continued for an hour and a half after which all ships withdrew safely and on schedule to the east of Savo Island. At about this time several motor torpedo boats of the enemy came out to pursue our rear guard ships, but destroyer Naganami drove them away. We anticipated attacks by enemy planes the next morning, but not a single plane appeared even to threaten us, testimony indeed to the effectiveness of the night's bombardment. On the night of October 14th, Eighth Fleet cruisers Chokai and Kinugasa unleashed a similar bombardment with their 20-cm. guns while six transports carrying General Maruyama's 2nd Division arrived off Guadalcanal to unload passengers and cargo in escort of Desron 4. The unloading was still going on early next morning when enemy carrier planes from a task force to the south descended upon us. A few troops and weapons had been landed during the night, but three loaded transports had to be run aground when they were bombed and set afire. The other three transports got away, but this attempt to land a completely equipped army force ended in failure. Myoko and Maya of Crudiv 5 bombarded the airfield with their 20-cm. guns during the night of October 15th. Desron 2 again served as escort, divided between van and rear. We parted from the main force shortly after noon and headed for Guadalcanal at high speed. We arrived east of Savo Island at 2100, reduced speed to twenty knots, and commenced firing. Cruiser guns were not nearly so effective as the battleships', and only a few fires broke out at the airfield. Each cruiser fired some 400 shells during H402ORA-159 the one-hour bombardment, and two destroyers sent about 300 shells into the coastal battery, but there was no return fire. Their work done, all ships withdrew to the north. Our aerial reconnaissance on the 16th spotted bomber planes being dispatched to Guadalcanal from carriers sixty miles southeast of the island, and a powerful enemy force which included four battleships was sighted to the south of San Cristobal Island. It seemed certain that the enemy must have a strong carrier force near the Solomons, but we could not find it. We conjectured that the enemy was planning to decoy our carriers toward his battleship force and himself conduct carrier-based raids from the southeast. Our main force spent the 17th and 18th in refueling just north of the equator, and then headed southerly with the hope and objective of engaging enemy carriers since General Maruyama's troops on Guadalcanal were scheduled to launch a general attack on the night of the 22nd. Hampered by the jungle, however, the advance of our land forces was unduly delayed, and the general attack had to be postponed to the 24th. Meanwhile, submarine I-175 had torpedoed and destroyed an enemy warship southeast of Guadalcanal. It was our opinion that we could recapture the airfield, the enemy would be forced to withdraw from Guadalcanal. In accordance with this notion a plan was mapped out whereby the Eighth Fleet would advance to a point 150 miles northwest of Guadalcanal and the Second Fleet take position a like distance to the northeast while Desron 4 (Rear Admiral Tamotsu Takama) rushed directly toward the island. Upon receipt of a message during the night of the 24th that our troops had occupied the field (it later proved to have been incorrect), Desron 4 advanced toward its destination as planned. Next morning the squadron was attacked by enemy planes. Light cruiser Yura was damaged so badly that she had to be sunk, and flagship Akizuki was also damaged. The general attack launched by Maruyama's division had, in reality, failed. (This was the third time that a general attack had not succeeded.) Here, again, was a pitiful example of a lack of cooperation between the Army and the Navy. On October 26th, the Second and Third Fleets sent planes to the south on dawn reconnaissance. At 0530 a plane from cruiser Tone, flying the easternmost search leg, sighted an enemy force 200 miles north of Santa Cruz. This force was promptly reported as consisting of three carriers, two battleships, five cruisers, and twelve destroyers. Our carrier force, cruising some 200 miles to the northwest, dispatched two groups of attack planes which struck Enterprise and Hornet, damaging both. The latter was abandoned by her crew and finally sunk early the next morning by torpedoes from destroyers Makigumo and Akigztmo. Our pilots claimed a third carrier set afire and the sinking of a battleship, two cruisers, and a destroyer, as well as the shooting down of a number of enemy planes. American planes also made successful attacks this day scoring bomb hits on carriers Shokaku and Zuiho, setting them afire, and rendering their flight decks unusable. Both ships were forced to withdraw without recovering their strike aircraft. A few of these planes were recovered by Zuikaku and Junyo, but most of them were forced down at sea. Cruiser Chikuma was jumped by about twenty planes which scored many near misses and enough direct hits to send her limping northward. The rest of our ships under Admiral Kondo sped toward the location where our carrier planes had scored such successes through their offensive initiative, seeking to engage the enemy fleet. They found only the burning carrier which was dispatched by two of our destroyers. The rest of the enemy ships fled southeastward at high speed, pursued unsuccessfully by Desron 2. Search operations were continued through the 27th, but there was no further sign of the enemy. Admiral Yamamoto then recalled the fleet to Truk, and all ships reached there safely by the end of October. As commander of one of the naval forces involved in Guadalcanal operations I wish to present my own view of the general situation prevailing at the end of October 1942. Failure of the Ichiki and Kawaguchi Detachments had led to the mounting of a full-scale amphibious operation, to be conducted H402ORA-160 jointly by the Army and Navy, in which high-speed transports carried Maruyama's 2nd Division whose goal was to recapture the airfields at Guadalcanal. This effort was supported by all surface and air strength available in the Solomons, but it ended in failure. Many reasons may be cited for the failure, but primarily it is attributable to the enemy's aerial superiority. Our pre-landing bombardments by surface ships had destroyed many planes on the ground. These losses were quickly replenished, however, thanks to the fantastic mass-production techniques of the United States. An auxiliary airfield was prepared in an amazingly short time, and the enemy's air strength could then be greatly increased. Enemy carriers kept station near Guadalcanal while our nearest plane bases were at Truk and Rabaul. Our movements were watched so closely that the enemy could unleash intercepting operation at a moment's notice. Although we sank or damaged his carriers in the Santa Cruz battle and elsewhere, the enemy was able to repair or replace his ships with speed which astonished us. Thus did the United States not only maintain its aerial strength in the Pacific despite our successful assaults against it, but also managed to exceed by leaps and bounds our strenuous efforts to achieve superiority in the air. Because surface ships are no match against strong aerial assault, it seemed to me imperative that Guadalcanal reinforcement operations be suspended while Rabaul was built up as a rear base and an advanced base was established in the vicinity of Buin. In this way we could have built up fighting forces which might have been able to deal effectively with the enemy. To our regret, however, the Supreme Command stuck persistently to reinforcing Guadalcanal and never modified this goal until the time came when the island had to be abandoned. We could not but doubt that this judgment was right. The success or failure of a military operation often hinges on whether the people at the fighting front have been consulted. If our views had been considered with an open mind, the way could have been paved for unity and coordination at all levels of command which might have brought us success. But this was not done. Needless to say, although a war cannot be won without risk, there is a limit to adventure and recklessness. Men who direct military operations must keep this always under consideration. While my Desron 2 was engaged with the fleet in the South Pacific, Desrons 3 and 4 continued to escort reinforcement convoys to Guadalcanal. Both of these squadrons sustained heavy losses as a result of aerial bombardments and surface engagements. Many of their ships had been sunk, most of the rest damaged, and the few that escaped actual injury were in no condition for further operational assignments. Still the Supreme Command clung to the idea of seizing the Guadalcanal airfields, and Seventeenth Army formulated a plan to achieve this end. After being reinforced by the 38th Division, it would make a frontal attack against enemy positions. It was decided to transport these troops in high-speed Army vessels, although really serviceable ones were very scarce at this time, and Desron 2 was assigned as escort. Immediately upon our return to Truk on October 30th, maintenance and replenishment of ships were undertaken with all possible speed. Accordingly my ships were able to sortie November 3rd. With light cruiser Isuzu as flagship, my squadron consisted of eight destroyers of Divisions 15, 24, and 31. We were accompanied by Crudiv 7 (Suzuya, Maya) and two ships of Desdiv 10. Unlike some previous assignments, this mission would be successful, I believed, because the force was adequate and my subordinates were all experienced. Two days out of Truk we arrived at Shortland, where I called on Vice Admiral Mikawa whose Eighth Fleet flagship Chokai had entered the anchorage just ahead of us. He informed me that Desron 2 would replace Squadrons 3 and 4 in reinforcement operations and that I would command the entire force. The Shortland Islands were very important at this time as they constituted a vital point in the reinforcement of Guadalcanal, hence there was always considerable activity in the anchorage. Yet there were surprisingly few land-based fighters to fly cover for direct air defense and patrol over this territory. H402ORA-161 The only airstrip—700 meters long and 25 wide—was located on the coast near Buin at the southern tip of Bougainville. There were some seaplanes based in the mouth of a bay on the eastern end of Bougainville. They patrolled the anchorage entrance and provided the only direct cover for vessels shuttling to Guadalcanal. Soon after we had anchored, Admiral Mikawa directed that Desron 2 plus two ships of Desdiv 10 would escort a convoy of six Army transports to Guadalcanal on November 7th. I laid out details for the operation and summoned my ship captains for a briefing. Next day, however, the original plan was altered so that, instead of transports, destroyers were to be used to lift the troops. Furthermore, it was announced that on the 13th, the main body of the 38th Division would be carried in eleven high-speed Army ships escorted by Desron 2. Indirect cover would be provided by Eighth Fleet and the Second Fleet main body operating to the east and west of the Solomons respectively. I had planned to take direct command of the destroyers leaving on the 7th, with my flag in Hayaslzio, but was specifically ordered to remain in Shortland. Therefore, I appointed Captain Torajiro Sato (Comdesdiv 15) to lead the eleven destroyers carrying the advance unit of 1,300 troops and directed him to take the northern route to Guadalcanal. The ships departed on schedule on the morning of the 7th. In mid-afternoon they were attacked by about thirty ship-based bombers. Six escorting fighters which were providing air cover put up such a brave defense (in which all were destroyed) and the destroyers maneuvered so skillfully that they escaped without damage. The force arrived at Tassafaronga, west of Lunga Point, shortly after midnight and landed the troops without incident. We welcomed the safe return of the destroyers to Shortland in mid- morning of the 8th. That same day Army transports arrived carrying the main body of the 38th Division. Two days later 600 of these troops under Lieutenant General Tadayoshi Sano were embarked in destroyers Makinami, Suzukaze, and three ships of Desdiv 10, and headed south by the central route. Some twenty enemy planes attacked in mid-afternoon with bombs and torpedoes, but the ships were not damaged. Near the debarkation point, a nighttime attack by four torpedo boats was repulsed and the division commander and his troops landed safely. The ships were back at Shortland on the 11th. Our reconnaissance planes sighted an enemy carrier task force bearing 130° distant 180 miles from Tulagi on the 11th. That night several enemy planes raided Shortland and bombed shipping in the harbor but did no damage. It was evident that the enemy was aware of our plan and was making an all-out effort to disrupt it by concentrating his sea and air forces around Guadalcanal. Consequently, we had good reason to expect that the landing of the 38th Division main body at Guadalcanal would be extremely difficult. Enemy planes raided Shortland again at dawn on the 12th and tried to bomb the transports, but no damage was sustained. At 1800 the eleven Army transports moved southward the anchorage, escorted by twelve destroyers. In flagship Hayashio, I led the formation and wondered how many of our ships would survive this operation. That night Hiei and Kirishima, of Vice Admiral Hiroaki Abe's Batdiv 11, escorted by Desrons 4 and 10 approached Guadalcanal to shell the airfield, as Batdiv 3 had done previously. But this time the enemy was aware of our plan and had made preparations to disrupt it. Contact was made with an enemy cruiser and destroyer force just as Abe's ships passed to the south of Savo Island on a SE course, preparatory to making their bombardment. Flagship Hiei got off only two salvoes in the ensuing battle before being hit by shells from an enemy cruiser, with the result that both her steering rooms and her fire-control system were put out of service, and she cruised in circles quite out of control. Destroyers Akatsuki and Yudachi H402ORA-162 were sunk, Amatsukaze and Ikazuchi damaged. Suffering these heavy losses, the force was compelled to give up its intended shelling. In this night battle our ships claimed two heavy cruisers and several destroyers sunk, and the fray was thought to be a draw. Dawn of the 13th saw the start of a series of intensive attacks against Hiei by enemy planes. As a result of successive direct hits, fires broke out in all sections of the battleship. When fire-fighting proved useless, the order was given to abandon ship, and the crew was transferred to destroyers. Despite an order from Combined Fleet directing Kirishima to take Hiei in tow, this effort was not made, and instead, the flaming battleship was intentionally sunk. With surviving destroyers, Kirishima cleared out of the arena and joined the main force of the Second Fleet in waters north of Guadalcanal. My escort force and our charges had turned back to Shortland around midnight on the 12th after receiving a Combined Fleet order that our debarkation had been postponed until the 14th. We returned shortly after noon on the 13th and one hour later were on our way again toward Guadalcanal. I had a premonition that an ill fate was in store for us. While we headed southward Maya and Suzuya of Crudiv 7 prepared the way by shelling the Guadalcanal airfield. The transports in my convoy sailed in a four-column formation at eleven knots. My flagship led the escorting destroyers which were spread out in front and to either side. We were subjected to attack at dawn of the 14th by two B-17s and four carrier-based bombers, but they did no damage, and three of the latter were shot down by fighters which were serving as our combat air patrol. An hour later two more carrier bombers came at the convoy, but they were both shot down. At this time we also sighted a large formation of enemy planes to the southwest. I ordered all destroyers to make smoke and each column of transports to take separate evasive action. Instead of attacking my ships, however, these planes struck some fifty miles to the west at warships of the Eighth Fleet which were providing our indirect cover. Kinugasa was sunk, Isuzu damaged heavily, Chokai and Maya lightly, with the result that Eighth Fleet had to give up its indirect cover mission and return to Shortland. Later in the morning we were attacked by a total of 41 planes. There were eight each of B-17s, torpedo bombers, and fighters, and the rest carrier-based bombers. Under cover of a smoke screen the transports tried to withdraw on zigzag courses, but enemy torpedoes sank Canberra Maru and Nagara Maru while Sado Maru (carrying the Army commander) was crippled by bombs. When the enemy planes had withdrawn, survivors from the transports were picked up, and Sado Maru headed back toward Shortland escorted by destroyers Amagiri and Mochizuki. Less than two hours later we were again under air attack, this time by eight B-17s and two dozen carrier bombers. Brisbane Maru was hit, set afire, and sunk. Her survivors were picked up by destroyer Kawakaze. The next attack was on us within an hour when eight B-17s and five carrier bombers bombed and sank Shinanogawa Maru and Arizona Maru. Survivors were rescued by destroyers Naganami and Makinami. A respite of half an hour was broken by three carrier bombers which attacked assiduously but without success. Any conjecture on our part that our troubles for the day were over proved illusory, however, when 21 planes struck half an hour before sunset. Four were B-17s, the rest carrier bombers. Nako Maru was their only victim, and she burned brightly from bomb hits. Destroyer Suzukaze managed to come alongside and take off survivors before this 7,000-ton transport's fires were quenched in the ocean depths. H402ORA-163 And before the sun could set, three more carrier bombers came to plague our force, but all their bombs missed. In six attacks this day on my immediate force the enemy had sent more than 100 planes. These had sunk six transports with bombs and torpedoes, killing a total of about 400 men. Amazingly, some 5,000 men of the embarked troops and crews had been rescued by destroyers. The toll on my force was extremely heavy. Steaming at high speed the destroyers had laid smoke screens almost continuously and delivered a tremendous volume of antiaircraft fire. Crews were near exhaustion. The remaining transports had spent most of the day in evasive action, zigzagging at high speed, and were now scattered in all directions. In detail the picture is now vague, but the general effect is indelible in my mind of bombs wobbling down from high-flying B-17s, of carrier bombers roaring toward targets as though to plunge full into the water, releasing bombs and pulling out barely in time; each miss sending up towering columns of mist and spray; every hit raising clouds of smoke and fire as transports burst into flame and take the sickening list that spells their doom. Attackers depart, smoke screens lift and reveal the tragic scene of men jumping overboard from burning, sinking ships. Ships regrouped each time the enemy withdrew, but precious time was wasted and the advance delayed. But the four remaining transports, escorted by Hayaslzio and three ships of Desdiv 15, still steamed doggedly and boldly toward Guadalcanal. These were a sorry remnant of the force that had sortied from Shortland. With seven transports sunk and as many destroyers withdrawn to rescue survivors, prospects looked poor for the operation. It was evident by evening, to make matters worse, that the transports could not possibly reach the unloading position at the appointed time. Even steaming at thirteen knots they could not arrive until almost sunup of the 15th. By mid-afternoon of the 14th, a friendly search plane had reported the presence of four enemy cruisers and four destroyers steaming northward at high speed in the waters east of Guadalcanal. There was no doubt that they were after our transports. It was estimated that on their present course our transports would meet these warships off Cape Esperance. Our Eighth Fleet, which was supposed to have provided indirect escort, had now withdrawn to the north and was unavailable. Furthermore, it was unknown if the Second Fleet main body would be in a position to counterattack. It was difficult, therefore, to decide whether to risk the transports against the enemy now or withdraw to await a more favorable opportunity. My indecision was resolved by a late afternoon dispatch from Commander in Chief Combined Fleet ordering that we continue directly toward Guadalcanal. Unusually successful radio communications at this time provided information that Second Fleet was advancing at full speed to attack the reported enemy fleet. This meant that fleet flagship Atago, battleship Kirishima, two ships of Crudiv 4, and several destroyers would be supporting our effort. Thus it was with a feeling of relief that I gave the order to proceed with the operation. By sunset I was further heartened by the sight of several of my rescue destroyers, filled to capacity with army troops, catching up with my depleted force. Shortly before midnight, with visibility at seven kilometers, we were greatly encouraged to sight our Second Fleet main body dead ahead. With these stalwart guardians leading the way, we continued the advance. Approaching from east of Savo Island our van destroyers were first to engage the enemy, opposing several heavy cruisers. Heavy gunfire ensued, and the entire vicinity was kindled by flare bombs. We could see individual ships set afire—friend and foe alike. Atago's searchlights soon played on enemy vessels which we were surprised to find were not cruisers, but Washington-class battleships! This then was the first battleship night action of the war! H402ORA-164 Atago, Takao, and Kirishima loosed their guns in rapid succession, and the enemy opened return fire. I chose this moment to order a northward withdrawal of the transports, feeling that for them to continue into the battle area would only add to the confusion. At the same time I called for the three ships of Desdiv 15, under Captain Torajiro Sato, to advance and attack the enemy. As the three destroyers dashed forward a weather front closed in, reducing visibility to three kilometers. My earlier judgment was confirmed by the next radio message from Combined Fleet which now ordered a northward withdrawal of the transports. It was already in progress. An hour past midnight this battle, which had started and ended in darkness, was over. It was believed that the enemy had lost two heavy cruisers and one destroyer sunk, one heavy cruiser and one destroyer seriously damaged. When my ships reached Guadalcanal a burning heavy cruiser of the enemy was observed. We were of the opinion that two enemy battleships were damaged by torpedoes from Desdiv 11 and Oyashio of Desdiv 15. We suffered the loss of battleship Kirishima (her crew was rescued by destroyers) and destroyer Ayanami but felt that this Third Battle of the Solomons (or Naval Battle of Guadalcanal) battle had ended in our favor. From a vantage point to the rear I anxiously watched the progress of this heroic night battle. My mission was still to get the transports unloaded, their troops ashore. Of my command, only flagship Hayashio and the four transports remained. We headed at full speed for Tassafaronga. The plan had been for unloading to begin around midnight and be completed within two hours, allowing for safe withdrawal of the ships. Strenuous activities of the preceding day and night had so delayed our schedule, however, that unloading at the debarkation point could not possibly be commenced until after break of day. There was no question but that the usual method of landing the troops would subject the ships to fierce aerial attacks, as on the previous day. It would be more than tragic to lose so many men after coming thus far through the perils of enemy attacks. I resolved, accordingly, to effect the unloading by running the transports aground. The concept of running aground four of our best transports was, to say the least, unprecedented, and I realized full well that their loss would be regrettable. But I could see no other solution. This recommendation was made to the Commanders of the Eighth and Second Fleets and was met by flat rejection from the former. Commander Second Fleet was directly responsible for this operation, and his reply was, “Run aground and unload troops!” This resolute approval was gratefully received. As we approached Tassafaronga by the early light of dawn I gave the fateful order which sent the four transports hard aground almost simultaneously. Assembling my destroyers, I ordered immediate withdrawal northward, and we passed through the waters to the east of Savo Island. Daylight brought the expected aerial assaults on our grounded transports which were soon in flames from direct bomb hits. I learned later that all troops, light arms, ammunition, and part of the provisions were landed successfully. The last large-scale effort to reinforce Guadalcanal had ended. My concern and trepidation about the entire venture had been proven well founded. As convoy commander I felt a heavy responsibility. The superiority of Japan's pre-war Navy in night-battle tactics is, I believe, generally acknowledged. Long training and practice in this field paid off in early actions of the war such as the battles off Java and Surabaya when our ships scored heavily against enemy forces. But by the time of the battles of Cape Esperance and of Guadalcanal, the U.S. Navy was beginning to overcome our initial advantages, and these actions resulted in fairly equal losses to each side. American progress in naval night actions is directly attributable to the installation of radar in warships, which was begun in early June of 1942—about the time of the Battle of Midway—in our H402ORA-165 opinion. At that time our radar program was still in the research stage and our warships were not generally radar-equipped until well into the following year. Radar permitted detection of targets in the dark of night and provided accurate control of gunfire. This worked an obvious and drastic change in nighttime operations. Flares were still used by both sides to illuminate targets, but radar equipped ships of the United States Navy were able to fight night battles without the use of searchlights. The slight advantage accruing to the United States through the use of radar in the naval battles of mid-1942 became increasingly pronounced as the war continued. An absolute prerequisite of victory is to know the enemy situation. American Intelligence, radio communication (including radar and interception), and submarine search were far superior to Japan's efforts in these fields. Carelessness in our communications, and a corollary astuteness in that of the enemy, resulted in the untimely death of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander in Chief Combined Fleet, and several members of his staff. The careful planning and execution of this accomplishment must stand as a tribute to the skill of the enemy. Search operations in the front-line Solomons area was conducted mainly by planes. From Shortland to Guadalcanal there are three possible routes of surface transit running along the north or south, or through the center of these islands. Our ships moving to and from Guadalcanal had to follow one or another of these routes, hoping always to evade the enemy. But the enemy search net, without exception, always thwarted this hope, and his ships and attack planes were always alerted, fully prepared for interception. In these circumstances it is understandable that we were unable to achieve surprise attacks. Even at Shortland our assembled vessels came to be attacked by big bombers such as the B-17s. Enemy planes attacked by day and by night, and when they were not attacking they were reconnoitering our situation. Our only counter to these attacks and searches was to keep our ships at Shortland on constant alert during the day and anchor them at various points along the coast during the night. Guadalcanal Supply Operations The end of the effort to reinforce Guadalcanal found more than 10,000 Japanese troops on the island, without any regular means of supply. None of the usual methods had been successful, and our losses in destroyers were proving prohibitive. Provisions and medical supplies were needed so desperately that daring expedients were called for to provide them. Supply by air would have been tried if we had been able to claim air superiority, but this we could not even claim. The first novel method of supply to be tried was what may be called the drum method. Large metal cans or drums were sterilized and then filled with medical supplies or basic foodstuffs such as cereals, leaving air space enough to insure buoyancy. Loaded on destroyers, these drums were linked together with strong rope during the passage to Guadalcanal. On arrival all drums were pushed overboard simultaneously while the destroyer continued on its way. A power boat would pick up the buoyed end of the rope and bring it to the beach where troops would haul it and the drums ashore. By this means unloading time was cut to a minimum, and destroyers returned to base with practically no delay. Transport was also attempted by submarines which would be loaded with supplies, brought to the landing point, and cruise there submerged during the day to avoid air attacks. Surfacing near the friendly base at night, the supplies would be carried ashore by motor boats. Submarine transport, however, was not new, as it had been conducted by Germany during World War I. Yet both of these were makeshift measures and, even when successful, resulted in the provision of only a few tons—enough for a day or two—of supplies. Almost daily came radio messages reporting the critical situation on the island and requesting immediate supplies. It was indicated that by the end of H402ORA-166 November the entire food supply would be gone, and by the latter part of the month we learned that all staple supplies had been consumed. The men were now down to eating wild plants and animals. Everyone was on the verge of starvation, sick lists increased, and even the healthy were exhausted. Realizing these circumstances, every effort was directed to relieve the situation. On November 27, two destroyers from each of Desdivs 15 and 24, which had been on transport duty to Buna, moved from Rabaul to Shortland loaded with drums of food and medical supplies. After conferences, preparations, and a trial run, the Fleet Commander issued orders for the first supply effort by the drum method to take place on November 30th. Of eight destroyers that were to take part, six were to be loaded with 200 to 240 drums. To accomplish this, reserve torpedoes were removed from these six ships, leaving in each only eight torpedoes one for each tube—cutting their fighting effectiveness in half. No drums were loaded on board flagship Naganami nor destroyer leader Takanami, which carried the commander of Desdiv 31. Preparations were completed on November 29th, and I led the ships from Shortland that night. In an attempt to conceal our intentions from the enemy we sailed eastward during the next morning. Nevertheless, we were shadowed constantly by his alert search planes. Around noon we increased speed to 24 knots and shaped a southward course to Guadalcanal. Three hours later, in spite of heavy rain, speed was upped to thirty knots. About this time we received word that a friendly reconnaissance plane had sighted “twelve enemy destroyers and nine transports.” Immediate preparations were made for action. But our main mission was to deliver supplies and, with no reserve torpedoes, it would be impossible to win a decisive battle. Nevertheless, I exhorted all ships under my command, “There is great possibility of an encounter with the enemy tonight. In such an event, utmost efforts will be made to destroy the enemy without regard for the unloading of supplies.” By sunset heavy rain began to fall, and it became very dark. This caused confusion in our formation and speed was temporarily reduced. But the rain did not last long and with its passing, visibility improved. An hour before midnight we passed westward of Savo Island and then swung southeastward in attack formation. Visibility was about seven kilometers. Minutes later three enemy planes with lighted navigation lights were observed forward of our course circling at low altitude. Still we continued toward designated unloading points off Tassafaronga (Takanami and three ships of Desdiv 15) and Segilau (Naganami and three ships of Desdiv 24). Since no aerial flares had been observed, and in view of the enemy practice of dropping them upon sighting our ships at night, we concluded that these planes were yet unaware of us. The tense silence was broken by a sudden radio blast from lead ship Takanami, “Sighted what appear to be enemy ships, bearing 100 degrees.” And this was followed immediately by, “Seven enemy destroyers sighted.” My destroyers had already broken formation, and those carrying supplies were on the point of tossing overboard the joined drums. But hearing these reports I abruptly ordered, “Stop unloading. Take battle stations.” With this order each destroyer prepared for action and immediately increased speed, but with no time to assume battle formation, each had to take independent action. Within minutes flagship Naganami's lookouts sighted the enemy bearing 90°, distant 8 kilometers and, raising my binoculars, I could easily distinguish individual enemy ships. In a moment it was clear that we had been recognized, for the circling search planes dropped dazzling flares. The moment these parachute flares burst into light, enemy ships opened fire on the nearest ship which was Takanami. The brilliance of the flares enabled the enemy to fire without even using his searchlights. H402ORA-167 With all possible baste I issued a general order, “Close and Attack!” Our destroyers opened fire, but numerous illuminating shells and parachute flares suddenly set off by the enemy brightened our vicinity so that it was extremely difficult to make out the formation of the enemy fleet. Takanami scored a direct hit with her first salvo and after five more salvoes had set afire the second and third ships of the enemy formation, and made recognition of enemy ships easier for our other destroyers. Concentrated enemy fire, however, inflicted many casualties in Takanami including her skipper, Commander Masami Ogura, and the ship was burning and crippled. Flagship Naganami now caught an enemy cruiser in her searchlight and opened fire. Because she was on an opposite course from her target, Naganami turned hard to starboard and came about to run abreast of the enemy ship. Continuing her salvo firing Naganami approached the cruiser and launched eight torpedoes at a range of four kilometers, all the while a target herself of a tremendous concentration of enemy gunfire. There were deafening explosions as shells fell all around my flagship, sending up columns of water. Naganami was showered by fragments from near misses but, miraculously, sustained no direct hits. I have always felt that our good luck was accountable to the high speed (45 knots) at which Naganami was traveling, and that enemy shells missed us because of deflection error. Oyashio and Kuroshio of Desdiv 15 fired ten torpedoes at cruisers, and Kawakaze of Desdiv 24 fired eight after reversing course and coming abreast of the enemy line. Meanwhile, enemy torpedoes were not inactive. Two deadly tracks passed directly in front of Naganami. Suzukaze, the second ship of Desdiv 24, was so busy avoiding enemy torpedoes that she was unable to loose any of her own. Both sides exchanged gunfire as well as torpedoes, in the glare of parachute flares and illuminating shells, and there were countless explosions. In the ensuing minutes, torpedoes from our destroyers were observed to hit a cruiser, setting it afire, and it was believed to sink immediately. We shouted with joy to see another enemy cruiser set afire and on the point of sinking as a result of our attack. It seemed that the enemy force was thrown into complete confusion. During a sudden cessation in firing by both sides we sighted what appeared to be two destroyers which had been set ablaze by Takanami's gunfire. Kuroshio and Kagero, each still having four torpedoes, sent the last underwater-missile attack against the enemy. And Kagero, using searchlights for spotting her targets, got off several rounds of gunfire. Thus did more than thirty minutes of heavy naval night action come to an end as both fleets withdrew and the quiet of the night returned. I was anxious to know what had happened to damaged Takanami. When repeated calls brought no response, and after checking the location of each of my other ships, I ordered Oyashio and Kuroshio back to find and help her. These ships, under Comdesdiv 15, Captain Torijiro Sato, found Takanami southeast of Cape Esperance, crippled and unnavigable, and started rescue work. Oyashio had lowered life boats and Kuroshio was about to moor alongside the stricken ship when an enemy group of two cruisers and three destroyers appeared at such close range that neither side dared fire. Our two destroyers were forced to withdraw, leaving many Takanami survivors who made their way in cutters and rafts to friendly shore positions on Guadalcanal. When the battle was over, my scattered ships were ordered to assemble near the flagship. Since all torpedoes had been expended it was impossible to effect any further naval action. I decided to withdraw and return to Shortland by way of the central route, spelling an end to the night naval action of November 30, 1942, which is known in Japan as the Night Battle off Lunga, and in the United States as the Battle of Tassafaronga. H402ORA-168 We did not know what losses the United States Navy had sustained in this battle but judged, on the basis of destroyer reports that two cruisers and one destroyer had been sunk, and two destroyers heavily damaged. Our loss of Takanami, with a large number of men including the division commander, Captain Toshio Shimizu, and her skipper, Commander Masami Ogura, was a matter of deep regret. On the other hand it was amazing good fortune that all seven of my other destroyers had escaped damage in this close encounter against a numerically superior enemy, and it added to the glory of our squadron. The problem of getting supplies to starving troops on Guadalcanal remained. Returning to Shortland by noon on December 1st, I set to work at once on plans and preparations for another attempt to bring stores to that island. Three more ship were added to my command when Desdiv 4's Arashi and Nowaki arrived at Shortland next day, and Yugure of Desdiv 9 came in during the morning of the 3rd. Preparations were completed by early afternoon of December 3rd, and I departed for Guadalcanal by the central route with ten destroyers. Makinami, Yugure, and flagship Naganami served as escorts to the other seven ships which were loaded with drums of supplies. When, soon after our departure, we were sighted by B-17s, speed was increased to thirty knots and the advance continued though we expected that a large-scale air attack would soon be upon us. By late afternoon there came a formation of fourteen bombers, seven torpedo bombers, and nine fighters. Twelve Shortland-based Zero seaplanes which were flying patrol for our force bravely challenged the enemy. On board the destroyers we watched with fascination to observe a total of five planes friendly and enemy-plunge flaming in to the sea. The thought occurred to me, why should our fast destroyers with well trained crews fall prey to air attack? Our antiaircraft fire was concentrated against carrier dive bombers and low-flying torpedo planes which came in at very close range as we avoided them by rapid and frequent turns to right and left. The only damage to us was caused by a near miss on Makinami, last destroyer in the formation, resulting in a few casualties, but this did not affect the squadron's advance. Arriving southwest of Savo Island on schedule, we approached the coast near Tassafaronga and Segilau in formation to unload. This was accomplished soon after midnight when all seven supply-laden destroyers dumped drums overboard, hauled rope ends to the shore, hoisted boats back on board, and pulled away. They were unmolested by the enemy whose only action was with PT boats which were easily repelled by Naganami, Makinami, and Yugure. Knowing of our plan, it is strange that the enemy fleet did not oppose this transportation, but it was probably still recovering from damage sustained in our last night engagement. Unloading completed, all destroyers assembled around flagship Naganami and started back to base. Of 1,500 drums unloaded that night it was most regrettable that only 310 were picked up by the following day. The loss of four-fifths of this precious material was intolerable when it had been transported at such great risk and cost, and when it was so badly needed by the starving troops on the island. I ordered an immediate investigation into the causes for the failure. It was attributed to the lack of shore personnel to haul in the lines, the physical exhaustion of the men who were available, and the fact that many of the ropes parted when drums got stuck on obstacles in the water. Furthermore, any drums that were not picked up by the next morning were sunk by machinegun fire from enemy fighter planes. Our troubles were still with us. We returned to base on December 4th without further loss and began preparations at once for a third supply effort. That evening Eighth Fleet flagship Chokai arrived at Shortland with the commander in chief on board. I called on Admiral Mikawa directly to report the battle situation and confer about future operations. I told him frankly that a continuation of these operations was hopeless and would only lead to further losses and complete demoralization and, since the situation was becoming steadily worse, strongly recommended that the starving troops be evacuated from Guadalcanal as soon as possible. It was my further suggestion that efforts be concentrated on building up a strong base in the vicinity of Shortland. H402ORA-169 Next day my force was increased to thirteen ships with the arrival of Tanikaze and Urakaze of Desdiv 17 and Ariake of Desdiv 9, which were added to my command. Another welcome addition came with the arrival of newly-built Teruzuki on the 7th. She was 2,500 tons and capable of 39 knots, and my flag was shifted to her. Early in the afternoon of that day ten destroyers were dispatched on a third drum transportation effort led by Captain Torajiro Sato, Comdesdiv 15. At nightfall an urgent radio message from Captain Sato reported that his force had been attacked by fourteen carrier-based bombers and fighters. The planes had been driven off but not before they had scored bomb hits on Nowaki making her unnavigable. She was on her way back to base under tow of Naganami and escorted by Yamakaze and Ariake. I started for the scene in my new flagship. On the way I learned that the rest of the force which had continued toward Guadalcanal had fought off six torpedo boats west of Savo Island. It was prevented from conducting unloading operations, however, by the presence of enemy planes and more torpedo boats. Accordingly, it was on its way back to base without having made delivery. Under the circumstances I was forced to agree with the decision. Another attempt had failed. All destroyers returned to base on the 8th while endless plans and preparations went on for our next attempt. Eleven B-17s and six fighters raided the Shortland anchorage on the 10th and hit tankers Toa Maru and Fujisan Maru. The latter was set afire by a bomb hit in its after section. Minelayer Tsugaru came alongside and was able to extinguish the flames with the help of all firefighting units in the port. Both tankers escaped sinking. In the afternoon of December 11th, eleven destroyers departed for Guadalcanal on another transportation mission. Led by Teruzuki the force consisted of three ships of Desdiv 15, two each from Desdivs 17 and 24, plus Arashi, Ariake, and Yugure. We advanced without incident until sunset when we were suddenly attacked by 21 bombers and six fighters. Our escort planes had already withdrawn, but we succeeded in downing two of the enemy with antiaircraft fire. We also managed to dodge their repeated dive bombings and continued on our way without damage. We rounded Savo Island shortly after midnight and sighted a group of torpedo boats immediately to the south. Kawakaze and Suzukaze, protecting our flanks, engaged this enemy and sank three of these small boats. While this was going on, seven of our transport destroyers approached Cape Esperance, dropped some 1,200 drums of supplies, and started their withdrawal. Patrolling the inner harbor at twelve knots, my flagship sighted a few torpedo boats nearby. We took course to maneuver around them and attacked but took an unexpected torpedo hit on the port side aft, causing a heavy explosion. The ship caught fire and became unnavigable almost at once. Leaking fuel was set ablaze, turning the sea into a mass of flames. When fire reached the after powder magazine there was a huge explosion, and the ship began to sink. Directing operations of my force on the bridge when the torpedo struck, I was thrown to the deck unconscious by the initial explosion. I regained consciousness to find that Naganami had come alongside to take off survivors. With the help of my staff the flag was transferred to this ship. I received treatment for shoulder and hip injuries and was ordered to rest. Most of the crew was rescued by Naganami and Arashi, which had also come alongside, but both ships were forced to leave suddenly when torpedo boats came to make another attack. Lifeboats were dropped for the remaining survivors, most of whom managed to reach Guadalcanal. H402ORA-170 The loss of my flagship, our newest and best destroyer, to such inferior enemy strength was a serious responsibility. I have often thought that it would have been easier for me to have been killed in that first explosion. Forced to remain in bed because of my injuries, I reported by radio the fact that the flag had been shifted to Naganami. I withheld any mention of my being hurt for fear of the demoralizing effect it might have on the force. On November 12th, I returned to Shortland and received the fleet order, “Guadalcanal reinforcements will be discontinued temporarily because of moonlit nights. The reinforcement unit will proceed to Rabaul and engage in transportation operations to Munda for the present.” I sent damaged Nowaki to Truk under tow from Maikaze, escorted by Arashi. With my remaining eight destroyers I arrived at Rabaul on the 14th. The pain from my wounds made it extremely difficult for me to move about, but I continued in command of the force. The New Georgia Group in the Central Solomons consists principally of the islands of Vella Lavella, Kolombangara, New Georgia itself, and Vangunu stretching in that order from northwest to southeast. Iunda is located under the southwestern tip of New Georgia, the largest of these four islands, and it was there that the high command decided to establish a stronghold. On December 15th, I sailed for Munda in flagship Naganami with six other destroyers (four of them carrying troops). The following evening our destination was reached, and troops began to debark. Frequent squalls made visibility so poor that several enemy planes which came searching for us had to fly extremely low to make their sightings. Spotting us, they came in to make persistent attacks. About the same time an enemy submarine crept up on us and fired four torpedoes which did no damage. Our patrol boats counterattacked the submarine with depth charges whose effect was unknown. These attacks made it clear that the enemy was aware of our transportation intentions to Munda, and thereafter his attacks in this vicinity became increasingly intense. Our force returned safely to Rabaul on the 18th. In the next seven days our group of ten destroyers, minelayer Tsugaru, and a few transports completed five runs to New Georgia. One of these moves was carried out by six destroyers carrying Army personnel to construct a base at Wickham on the southwest coast of Vangunu. On Christmas Day, during the last of these transportations to Munda, transport Nankai Maru took a torpedo from an American submarine. Destroyer Uzuki, in trying to retaliate against the submarine, collided with the transport and became unnavigable when two firerooms were flooded. I proceeded at once with four destroyers to the rescue of the damaged ships. The crew of Nankai Maru were taken on board our destroyers, and we returned to base with Uzuki in tow. On Guadalcanal more than 15,000 officers and men of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy were on the point of starvation. Such of their number and strength as had not been tapped by hunger were suffering from malaria, so that their fighting power was practically gone. An unfortunate situation had become desperate. All efforts to bring in adequate supplies had failed. To leave these men on the island any longer meant only to lose them to death and capture. As this inevitability became obvious to the Supreme Command, the decision was finally made for a general withdrawal, and orders to this effect were issued to the local headquarters of both services. Joint conferences were held at Rabaul in utmost secrecy. Plans were discussed and adopted, and methods for carrying out the plans were worked out in fine detail. The evacuation operation was scheduled for early January, 1943; the withdrawal point was to be Cape Esperance on the northwest tip of Guadalcanal. It was further decided that, instead of transport ships, every available destroyer of the reinforcement unit would be used to conduct the evacuation. Tardy as it was, my staff and I, fully realizing and understanding the forlorn situation, were glad that the operation was finally going to be carried out. H402ORA-171 Full plans and preparations for the evacuation of Guadalcanal had just been completed when I received orders of transfer to the Naval General Staff, effective December 27th. My successor, Rear Admiral Tomiji Koyanagi, Chief of Staff to the Second Fleet, arrived at Rabaul on December 29th. We discussed in detail his new assignment, and I turned over the command. There were sad farewells to my staff and friends who had for so long shared, fought, and suffered the fates of war with me. In the late afternoon of that day, pained and weary, I boarded a plane and left Rabaul for the homeland. A simple statement of the facts makes it clear that the Japanese attempt to reinforce Guadalcanal ended in failure. The causes of this failure, however, are probably as diverse as the people who may offer them. From my position as commander of the Reinforcement Force, I submit that our efforts were unsuccessful because of the following factors: Command complications. At one and the same time I was subject to orders from Combined Fleet, Eleventh Air Fleet, and Eighth Fleet. This was confusing at best; and, when their orders were conflicting and incompatible, it was embarrassing at least, and utterly confounding at its worst. Force composition. In almost every instance the reinforcement of Guadalcanal was attempted by forces hastily thrown together, without specially trained crews, and without previous opportunity to practice or operate together. Various types of ships of widely varying capabilities were placed under my command one after the other, creating unimaginable difficulties and foreordaining the failure of their effort. Inconsistent operation plans. There never was any consistent operation plan. Vessels, troops, and supplies were assembled piecemeal to suit the occasion of the moment without overall long-range plan or purpose. This was a frailty our Army and Navy should have recognized soon after the outbreak of the China Incident. It was a fatal Japanese weakness that continued through the attempts to reinforce Guadalcanal and even after. Communication failures. Our communication system was seldom good, and during the fall and winter of 1942, it was almost consistently terrible. In wide theaters of operations and under difficult battle situations it is indispensable for a tactical commander to have perfect communication with his headquarters and with his subordinate units. The consequence of poor communications is failure. Army-Navy coordination. This situation was generally unendurable. It did little good for the Army or the Navy to work out their own plans independently, no matter how well founded, if they were not coordinated. Time and time again in these operations their coordination left much to be desired. Underestimation of the enemy. In belittling the fighting power of the enemy lay a basic cause of Japan's setback and defeat in every operation of the Pacific War. Enemy successes were deprecated and alibied in every instance. It was standard practice to inflate our own capabilities to the consequent underestimation of the enemy's. This was fine for the ego but poor for winning victories. Inferiority in the air. Our ships, without strong air support, were employed in an attempt to recapture a tactical area where the enemy had aerial superiority. This recklessness resulted only in adding to our loss of ships and personnel. The greatest pity was that every Japanese commander was aware of all these factors, yet no one seemed to do anything about any of them. Our first fruitless attempt to recapture Guadalcanal was made with a lightly equipped infantry regiment. The key points of the island had already been strongly fortified by United States Marines under cover of a strong naval force. The next Japanese general offensive was made with one lightly equipped brigade against the same points, and it also failed. Meanwhile the enemy H402ORA-172 had increased and strengthened his defenses by bringing up more sea and land fighting units. Japan's only response was to bring forward a full division in a direct landing operation. Ignoring the tremendous difference in air strength between ourselves and the enemy, this landing operation was attempted directly in front of the enemy-held airfield. As a result, officers and men were able to disembark, but there was no chance to unload our heavy guns and ammunition. We stumbled along from one error to another while the enemy grew wise, profited by his wisdom, and advanced until our efforts at Guadalcanal reached their unquestionable and inevitable end—in failure. It was certainly regrettable that the Supreme Command did not profit or learn from repeated attempts to reinforce the island. In vain they expended valuable and scarce transports and the strength of at least one full division. I believe that Japan's operational and planning errors at Guadalcanal will stand forever as classic examples of how not to conduct a campaign. Operations to reinforce Guadalcanal extended over a period of more than five months. They amounted to a losing war of attrition in which Japan suffered heavily in and around that island. The losses of our Navy alone amounted to two battleships, three cruisers, twelve destroyers, sixteen transports, well over one hundred planes, thousands of officers and men, and prodigious amounts of munitions and supplies. There is no question that Japan's doom was sealed with the closing of the struggle for Guadalcanal. Just as it betokened the military character and strength of her opponent, so it presaged Japan's weakness and lack of planning that would spell her defeat. Buell, Thomas B. “Guadalcanal: Neither Side Would Quit.” Proceedings Vol. 106, No. 4 (April 1980): 60–65. CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0462 E H402ORB-173 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H402: LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines, and the Tyranny of Distance Reading H402ORB “Guadalcanal: Neither Side Would Quit” by Commander Thomas B. Buell, U.S. Navy (Retired) Ernie King, realizing how badly the Japanese had been beaten at Midway, wanted to strike at the Solomons while Japan was momentarily stunned. George Marshall wanted to crush the Germans first. Their armchair battles were almost as fierce and unyielding as those that would be fought on Guadalcanal itself. American long-range strategic planning was erratic throughout the spring and early summer of 1942. There were many reasons, starting with logistics. The shortages of men and materiel would not be alleviated until the United States was fully mobilized. That would take months. The machinations preceding the July decision to invade North Africa had also disrupted orderly planning. The battles of Coral Sea and Midway were similarly distracting. Army planners consistently gave the European theater top priority in troops, aircraft, and materiel. The Pacific, in the Army view, rated only enough for a passive defense. Naval planners, reflecting King’s way of thinking, demanded adequate numbers of combat forces in the Pacific for a limited offensive. A passive defense would permit the Japanese to consolidate their gains by default and to exploit and develop their conquests of raw materials and natural resources. If the Allies left the Japanese alone until they had defeated Germany, the eventual counteroffensive in the Pacific would become more costly as time went on. As the Battle of the Coral Sea had grown near, King had begun to fear that the Japanese spring offensive would be too strong for him to handle. His concern had shifted from mounting a limited offensive to avoiding further losses. On 4 May the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) had met, hoping to find a way to distribute their inadequate forces between the two theaters. King had assured Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall that he supported BOLERO, but not at the expense of dangerously reducing American Pacific forces.1 First priority should go to holding what the United States had in the Pacific, argued King, rather than diverting resources to BOLERO for an indeterminate offensive in the future. Marshall disagreed. BOLERO had to come first. Apparently he was willing to concede additional territory to the Japanese if that was what it took to keep resources flowing to England. Given their all-or-nothing attitude, there did not seem to be any middle ground for King and Marshall. For one of the few times during the war they bucked their dispute to President Franklin D. Roosevelt for resolution. Roosevelt decided in favor of Marshall and BOLERO. King had been preoccupied with Coral Sea and Midway throughout the spring of 1942. Once those battles were over, King had a breathing spell, and his thoughts again turned to the offense. When he 1BOLERO was the code name for the accumulation of forces in England for an eventual cross-Channel invasion. H402ORB-174 realized how badly the Japanese had been beaten at Midway, King’s instinctive response was to hit back while the Japanese were momentarily stunned. The American victory had to be exploited immediately, King insisted, before the Japanese recovered their offensive momentum. Plans once dormant were revived, both in Washington and in the Pacific. General Douglas MacArthur was the first to be heard. On 8 June he proposed a grandiose offensive to seize Rabaul with himself in command (as he had been assured by Marshall). King studied MacArthur’s proposal and warned Marshall that any amphibious assault in the South Pacific would have to be a naval operation under naval command—not under MacArthur. But Marshall was not listening. On 12 June he endorsed MacArthur’s Rabaul plan on the mistaken assumption that King would provide whatever ships and Marines MacArthur needed. Mesmerized by MacArthur’s optimism, Marshall was edging away from his concept of a passive defense in the Pacific. Some two weeks were frittered away in mid-June while Navy planners studied the MacArthur- Marshall proposal and made plans of their own. Finally, on 23 June, King and his chief planner, Rear Admiral Charles M. (“Savvy”) Cooke, rebutted MacArthur’s scheme as too ambitious because Rabaul was too heavily defended. The Navy’s alternative was an indirect approach through the eastern Solomons, where the Japanese were weaker. In any event, said King, he would never allow MacArthur to command any major naval forces. A naval officer under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, Commander in Chief, Pacific, would have to command whatever amphibious assault was finally agreed upon. Impatient with further delay, King brazenly forced the issue. Not even allowing Marshall time to reply, King ordered Nimitz to prepare to seize Tulagi in the Solomons by amphibious assault, using naval and Marine forces. King’s audacity was astounding. He intended that Nimitz intrude into MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Area with a major offensive with the approval of neither the President nor the JCS. King’s order also defied the President’s decision not to increase American strength in the Pacific. Once American forces had been committed under Nimitz, a call for reinforcements was inevitable. King was too shrewd a sea lawyer to have acted without some semblance of legal justification, and he used to his advantage Roosevelt’s ambiguity in dealing with the JCS. In early March Roosevelt had approved King’s memorandum for a limited offensive into the Solomons, and it had never been canceled. Nimitz’s CINCPOA charter (drafted by the Navy and approved by the JCS and the President) could be interpreted as authorizing Nimitz to conduct amphibious assaults in MacArthur’s area. Finally, the President had not specifically forbidden King to attack in the Pacific when he had adjudicated the King- Marshall dispute over theater priorities. Indeed, King very carefully had not ordered Nimitz in the strict sense to carry out the assault, but rather to prepare for such an assault in contemplation of eventual JCS approval. In any event, the President’s executive order had authorized King to command the Navy and Marine Corps, and, by God, King was doing just that. On 25 June King presented the JCS with the fait accompli, then boldly asked for concurrence that Nimitz should attack Tulagi. Having promised the command to MacArthur, Marshall was in a bind. MacArthur added to the confusion by scrubbing his earlier plan of a bold, direct assault against Rabaul, now concurring with King’s plan for an indirect approach via Tulagi and the Solomons. Whatever the objective, Marshall still wanted MacArthur in command. King was unsympathetic with Marshall’s dilemma in dealing with the imperious MacArthur, who had been a prewar Chief of Staff of the Army when Marshall had still been a colonel. Marshall, he believed, “would do anything rather than disagree with MacArthur.” (Nimitz was unquestionably an obedient subordinate to King, but MacArthur’s association with Marshall would be tenuous and tempestuous throughout the war.) King also suspected that Secretary of War Henry Stimson uncritically supported H402ORB-175 MacArthur and pressured Marshall to appease the Southwest Pacific commander. This made King dislike Stimson even more. Marshall left his element and began foundering in uncharted waters when he argued that MacArthur should control fleet movements in his own area. Marshall’s ignorance of naval communication procedures, for example, was glaringly exposed in a memorandum to King. “His basic trouble,” King later said, “was that like all Army officers he knew nothing about sea power and very little about air power.” The squabble over who was to command of what in the Pacific went on. King argued that speed was essential; further delay would allow the Japanese to recover from their Midway defeat and to resume their offensive in the Solomons. Reminding Marshall of their earlier agreement that the Army would exercise supreme command in Europe, King expected a quid pro quo in the Pacific. But with or without Army support, King intended to invade the Solomons. He instructed Nimitz to proceed with his invasion plans even though “there would probably be some delay in reaching a decision on the extent of the Army’s participation.” Marshall pondered King’s ultimatum for three days. His mood worsened when he received an agitated dispatch from MacArthur, who was furious, almost paranoid, at King’s presumptuousness in ordering Nimitz into MacArthur’s area. The Navy, said MacArthur, was conspiring to reduce the Army in the Pacific to no more than an occupation force. Marshall finally suggested on 29 June that he and King talk about who would command the operation. (Incredibly, the two men up to this point had only exchanged memoranda.) King readily agreed. By 30 June they had fashioned a clever compromise. MacArthur’s insistence that he command all operations in his area became irrelevant by the simple expedient of moving Nimitz’s western boundary line into MacArthur’s territory. The result was that Nimitz’s South Pacific Area was enlarged to include the eastern Solomons, including Tulagi. Vice Admiral Robert L. Ghormley would command the eastern Solomons assault, identified as Task I. Subsequent assaults, referred to as Tasks II and III, would follow in the western Solomons, eastern New Guinea, and the Bismarck Archipelago. As these latter areas were still in MacArthur’s domain, the General would be in command. After nearly a month of haggling, King and Marshall were finally able to agree on their Pacific strategy on 2 July. The eastern Solomons landings would begin on 1 August 1942. The American counteroffensive in the Pacific was almost underway. In retrospect, King’s advocacy of WATCHTOWER (the code name for the eastern Solomons assault) could have been a disaster. An amphibious assault is the most dangerous of all major military operations. The risks of failure are so great that the attacker needs every possible advantage in his favor: control of the sea and the air, superior combat power to overwhelm the defending enemy, and secure lines of communication. The understrength and inexperienced forces King intended to employ enjoyed none of these advantages. Everything was done in haste. Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner, for example, was unable to take command of the assault forces until less than three weeks before they landed on Tulagi and Guadalcanal. Undeterred, King demanded that the operations carry on, regardless of the confusion and cries of alarm from the local commanders. Vice Admiral Ghormley had gone from London to the South Pacific to act as the supreme commander of all forces (including Turner’s) engaged in WATCHTOWER. After talking to a pessimistic MacArthur on 8 July, Ghormley doubted the wisdom of carrying out WATCHTOWER in early August. Enemy activity in the Solomons and New Guinea was increasing, and MacArthur and Ghormley felt— rightly so—that their forces were inadequate for Tasks I, II, and III. Together they urged the JCS to delay the South Pacific offensive until they got reinforcements. Ghormley’s ready acceptance of MacArthur’s H402ORB-176 views would be the first of many times that senior naval officers would succumb to the General’s power of persuasion. When their joint message hit Washington, King was furious. MacArthur, he said, was vacillating and fainthearted. “Three weeks ago MacArthur stated that, if he would be furnished amphibious forces and two carriers, he could push right through to Rabaul,” King told Marshall. “He now feels that he not only cannot undertake this extended operation but not even the Tulagi operation.” Privately, King suspected that MacArthur was sulking because he had been denied supreme command in the South Pacific. “He could not understand that he was not to manage everything,” King later said. “He couldn’t believe that. Of course he was absolutely against going into Guadalcanal, and he said so.” Yet King could not summarily dismiss their warnings. MacArthur and Ghormley were the commanders responsible for the operation’s success, and it was their prerogative to express a legitimate concern. A classic military problem was facing them: an enemy force was growing progressively stronger, and the longer the American attack was delayed, the more formidable the enemy would become. On the other hand, a delay would also strengthen the American forces. Should the Americans attack at once, or later? Might it not be better to wait and take time to prepare properly? The latter, said King, was MacArthur’s philosophy, “to have everything ready before advancing.” 2 As a student of military history, King knew that many commanders of the past had lost opportunities for victory by waiting. (McClellan at Richmond in 1862 is a classic example.) Although one’s own forces may not be entirely ready, the enemy may be even less ready, King believed he still had an edge on the Japanese in the eastern Solomons, but the advantage could turn in favor of the Japanese if the Americans did not attack immediately. King also had another crucial reason for urging an immediate attack. He could not count on help from Marshall, so there was no reason to wait for Army reinforcements which might never appear. On the other hand, once the Americans were ashore and fighting in the eastern Solomons, Marshall might be persuaded to support the operation to avoid a potential American defeat. The objections of Ghormley and MacArthur notwithstanding, King told Marshall that the assault was more urgent than ever. Marshall, too, wanted to move along. On 10 July they jointly ordered Ghormley and MacArthur to press on. They were not to worry about Tasks II and III, said King and Marshall, but rather they were to do what was “absolutely essential” for Operation WATCHTOWER alone, Ghormley, perhaps realizing that his hesitancy was unwelcome in Washington, replied the following day that he had sufficient forces for Task I if he could count upon air support from MacArthur.3 King’s mood began to change by mid-July. He finally began to worry openly about the perils of WATCHTOWER. Ghormley probably had enough forces to get ashore, King reasoned, but could he withstand counterattacks? And what about plans to drive westward after WATCHTOWER was completed? Where were these forces to come from? Although King once had told Marshall that he was ready to go it alone in the South Pacific, King now had second thoughts. He began to besiege Marshall and Arnold for men, guns, and aircraft to support Ghormley. King’s pleas were futile. After King, presidential adviser Harry Hopkins, and Marshall, had returned from their mid-July trip to Great Britain to nail down European strategy, Marshall had lost interest in a speck of an island in the far Pacific called Guadalcanal. His attention had become focused on the North African landing scheduled for that fall. Marshall naturally wanted all his available strength for that theater alone. General Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the Army Air Forces, had always been reluctant to send his aircraft to the Pacific; now more than ever he was determined to concentrate his air power in the 2 It was not MacArthur’s philosophy later in the war. Realizing that he would never get the forces he wanted, he became a master of improvisation and expediency. 3It was wishful thinking. MacArthur subsequently did not provide air support to Ghormley. H402ORB-177 European and Mediterranean theaters. MacArthur would become entangled in the Papua peninsula in eastern New Guinea and would have nothing to spare for WATCHTOWER. King’s Navy and Marine Corps would be very much alone. “At last we have started,” Nimitz reported to King on 7 August 1942. The attack on Guadalcanal and Tulagi was underway. The Japanese had been caught by surprise. Several hours passed. “No report yet from Ghormley,” wired Nimitz. The only indication of activity was through intercepted Japanese radio messages. “No direct report from the south,” wired Nimitz again, twenty-four hours after the attack had begun. A frustrating pattern had been set. For the next severa1 days the reports from the South Pacific were garbled and confusing, because of what Nimitz reported as “extreme communication difficulties.” King’s duty officer, Commander George L. Russell, entered King’s bedroom on the flagship-yacht Dauntless in the early morning hours of 12 August. Something was up. One rarely disturbed King after he had turned in. It would be a long war, King needed his sleep, and there was nothing he could do in the middle of the night that would have any immediate effect on a distant battle. Bad news normally waited until morning. But this time Russell woke King and turned on the light. “Admiral, you’ve got to see this,” said Russell. “It isn’t good.” It was a long-delayed report from Turner. A Japanese naval force at Savo Island near Guadalcanal had sunk four cruisers, damaged another, and had damaged two destroyers, “Heavy casualties, majority saved,” reported Turner. The transports supporting the Marines ashore were not attacked, but they were retiring from Guadalcanal because of “impending heavy attacks.” None of the Japanese ships had apparently been sunk or damaged. King read the message in disbelief several times before returning it to Russell. “I can’t thank you for bringing me this one,” said King. His mind raced for some explanation of what might have happened. “They must have decoded the dispatch wrong,” King finally said. “Tell them to decode it again.” King was crushed. “That, as far as I am concerned, was the blackest day of the war,” he later said. “The whole future then became unpredictable.” King slumped back into bed after Russell left the room. He knew he had suffered a terrible setback to his policy of attack, attack, attack. Savo Island had matured him at age sixty-four. The campaign for Guadalcanal became a six-month battle of attrition. Neither side would quit, yet neither side could muster the strength for a decisive victory. King never had enough ships because losses, the demands of the Battle of the Atlantic, and the invasion of North Africa. The Pacific Fleet suffered grievously, twenty-four ships lost, including two carriers and eight cruisers, as well as many others damaged. At one time in the fall of 1942, King had but one operational aircraft carrier in the Pacific. Nor were there ever enough combat troops or aircraft on Guadalcanal during the desperate months of the fall of 1942. North Africa still came first. Thus the greatest defect of the Guadalcanal campaign was that there were neither plans nor forces available for an extended struggle. King knew this; knew that his burning desire to become involved on Guadalcanal was a calculated risk. Perhaps he thought he could get away with it if Marshall and Arnold would send reinforcements to avoid defeat. Yet both were ready to sacrifice Guadalcanal rather than to H402ORB-178 divert forces from TORCH (the North Africa invasion) even though Roosevelt in late October had ordered Guadalcanal held at all costs. King was undeservedly lucky when Rear Admiral Gunichi Mikawa decided to retire from Guadalcanal after winning the Battle of Savo Island. The Japanese admiral could have destroyed every American transport at Guadalcanal, still filled with food, ammunition, and supplies for the Marines ashore. Had they been sunk, King’s hopes for Guadalcanal would have been doomed. Critics have charged that King had used poor judgment in choosing Ghormley to command the South Pacific Area, but that is hindsight. Nimitz had agreed on Ghormley’s assignment, and there was no reason in the beginning to suspect that Ghormley would falter. Performance in war is unpredictable when it is based solely upon peacetime reputation. There were both happy surprises and shocking disappointments. Some excelled, others failed. King later believed that Ghormley’s problem was his bad teeth, which caused him intense pain and discomfort, an ailment King had been unaware of until Ghormley returned to Washington from the Pacific. Perhaps this experience influenced King to insist upon regular physical examinations for all his flag officers. In the end, the Americans won because of their own tenacity as well as the Japanese tactics of committing their forces piecemeal rather than massing for a coordinated attack. King and Nimitz were committed irrevocably to winning Guadalcanal. When Ghormley became defeatist, they fired him. Substituting Halsey for Ghormley invigorated the Americans on Guadalcanal and led ultimately to the American victory. It was Halsey’s finest hour. Genda, Minoru. “Tactical Planning in the Imperial Japanese Navy.” Naval War College Review, Vol. 22, No. 8 (October 1969): 45–50. CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0463 E H402ORC-179 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H402: LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines, and the Tyranny of Distance Reading H402ORC “Tactical Planning in the Imperial Japanese Navy” A lecture delivered at the Naval War College on 7 March 1969 by General Minoru Genda, JSDF (Ret.) Tactical planning for the Imperial Japanese Navy evolved during the interwar period from a concept of decisive battle with dreadnoughts to one of carrier airstrikes at ranges far exceeding those of naval gunnery. The story of this evolution is aptly told by Gen. Minoru Genda, who was one of the early proponents of carrier aviation. The tactical concepts of the Imperial Japanese Navy went through many changes and transitions during the 20 years which immediately preceded the outbreak of the Pacific War in December of 1941. Beginning with the traditional concept of decisive battle, the Imperial Navy altered its planning to include the “diminution operation.” Carrier striking forces played an increasing ro1e in this operation until finally, they became central in tactical planning. Lessons can be learned and many reflections can be made by examining the evolution of these concepts. Until shortly after World War I, the Japanese Navy ascribed to the “Principles of Naval Warfare,” of which “Decisive Battle” was most important. Admiral Togo and his success in the battle of Tsushima can be considered as exemplary in this regard. Ideas such as “Be sure to fight wherever you meet an enemy” are derived from this concept, a concept which formed the basis for the tactical bible of the Imperial Navy at this time. In the year in which I entered the Naval Academy, some events occurred which altered this conception. As a result of the Washington Conference in 1921, Japan accepted a ratio of capital ships which allotted her 60 percent of the tonnage of Britain and the United States. The London Conference of 1930 confirmed this ratio, and Japan was forced to modify her planning to allow for this new factor. In our review of naval history, we could hardly find an example in which a navy with 60 percent of the tonnage of its opponents had emerged victorious in decisive battle. Therefore, our navy modified its strategic policy from one of the “decisive battle” to one of the “diminution operation.” This operation involved the adoption of a policy of “offensive defense.” Our major units were to remain on the defensive strategically, making every effort to improve their spiritual and material war potentials. Meanwhile, our forces of submarines, destroyers and aircraft were to go into action and inflict such damage upon the enemy as to bring about parity between the two main forces. At this point the “decisive battle” would be fought. The force of battleships, however, was still expected to play the major part in the decisive battle. In this “diminution operation” the main features were surprise attacks by submarines, night attacks by destroyers, and air attacks by land and carrier-based planes. To accomplish their part in the operation, the H402ORC-180 Japanese aircraft were to operate mainly with torpedo planes and dive bombers. Only a few fighters were required. The carrier was thus assigned a subsidiary role. The continued increase of air technology brought with it the idea that mastery of the air would be crucial to the outcome of any naval battle. This increasing appreciation of the potency of the air arm suggested that the destruction of enemy aircraft carriers should have first priority with our own carrier- based aircraft. Beginning around 1935 our naval air force trained extensively with this conception in mind. The importance of the carrier relative to the battleship increased in the thinking of the Imperial Navy until both occupied an approximately equal position. Despite the fact that Japanese strategic planning was predicated upon reducing the American Fleet to parity by a process of attrition, the yearly exercises of the combined fleet and the innumerable war games held at the War College were still based on the assumption that an inferior Japanese Fleet would meet a superior American Fleet in a decisive “fleet versus fleet battle.” In these games and exercises the forces would be divided into elements of similar composition but of varying size, and each one would be commanded by a Japanese naval officer schooled in current tactical policies. Various elaborate plans were tried, but the results generally proved that in forces of similar composition, superior numbers gained the victory. While the Japanese Navy was dissatisfied with these unfavorable results, it at first could propose only an effort to outmatch the Americans qualitatively in firing technique and skill, torpedo attack, bombing, and the proper tactical use of the various elements. These studies and exercises provided much useful information for the combined fleet on fleet formations, deployment, and attack methods. They failed, however, to provide sufficient training in the areas of offensive and defensive operations and the protection of vital sea communications. These were considered to be secondary problems, and this failure to explore them later brought many disadvantages upon the Japanese Navy when the tide of war turned against us in the Pacific. The results of these exercises caused the postulation of a new tactical theory. Since superior numbers won the day in forces of similar composition, it was suggested that the Imperial Fleet be given a characteristic force composition different from that of its opponents. Aircraft carriers protected by lighter ships would comprise the main elements of the fleet, and battleships would be abolished. This idea was suggested almost simultaneously in 1936 by three different sources. Capt. Takijiro Oonishi, the Vice Commander of the Yokosuka Naval Air Force, was one of those who proposed it. The Yokosuka Naval Air Force was the nucleus of our naval air forces and was responsible for studies of naval air strategy and tactics, experiments for new air weapons and armaments, and guidance in the field of air training and education. (Captain Oonishi was later promoted to Vice Admiral and Vice Chief of the Naval Staff. He committed suicide at the end of the war.) Several pilots assigned to the combined fleet also proposed this idea, and I, at the time a student at the Naval War College, did likewise. The proposals of Captain Oonishi and the pilots of the fleet were to the effect that airpower was to be the fleet’s main strength, but they did not specify how this was to be accomplished. I made the proposal that battleships should be abolished and replaced by aircraft carriers, land-based air units, and submarines. Ships smaller than cruisers were to be kept as auxiliary forces. I had two justifications for this suggestion. First, it had been proved in the annual naval exercise that battleship forces could be easily destroyed by aircraft alone and that the antiaircraft power of the fleet could not check the air attack. This was the result of increased skill in delivering bombing and torpedo attacks which had been acquired by the pilots of the combined fleet. Accordingly, if we could gain command of the air with our superior airpower, we would be able to destroy the enemy main force with air attack. I also reasoned that if we engaged the enemy with only light ships and aircraft, he would find H402ORC-181 no worthwhile targets for his 14- and 16-inch naval guns which formed the main battery of battleships and battle cruisers. Similarly, our own battleships would become useless targets when faced with major enemy air strength. This proposal met with severe criticism from the War college. It was argued that air operations depend largely upon the weather and hence were unreliable. It was also asserted that both friendly and enemy air strength suffered great attrition in the initial stages of a conflict, and this weakened the ability of air forces to deliver a decisive blow. These alleviating factors so limited the value of airstrikes that they would remain of marginal importance, while the final decision would result from an engagement of capital ships. I replied to the first of these arguments by pointing out that aircraft operations were not the only ones that were hindered by weather operations. When the weather was so unfavorable as to hinder air operations, the activities of surface ships were restricted also. They were, in fact, just floating pieces of wood and could not engage in effective action. I was also not impressed by the claims that air action would be made ineffective by combat attrition. The idea of “mutual-kill” is applicable not only to aircraft but to any other type of weapon, including the battleship. If the efficiency of air operations was deemed to be threatened by combat losses, the proper action to take would be to increase the number of aircraft available, even though this might entail a reduction in the numbers of other ships. Thus, there would still be sufficient planes to destroy the enemy main forces even after allowance had been made for the casualties inherent in gaining air superiority. I also challenged the contention that the battleship remained central to the outcome of the “decisive battle.” Since combat aircraft had a range far greater than that of 16-inch shells and since the speed of aircraft carriers was greater than that of battleships, the carrier forces would always have freedom of choice on whether to challenge or evade a battle. The battleship could not be decisive because its big guns would never come within range of the enemy. These arguments were not accepted by the brains of the Navy Department, but did motivate the creation of a study committee on air effectiveness. This committee was authorized to investigate the effectiveness of air attack by using armed bombs and torpedoes. This was the sole fruit of the debate over our proposals, but it was an important one. The data of these experiments provided us with useful information that was later used in drafting the plan of attack against Pearl Harbor. The training and study theme of the combined fleet in their 1939 and 1940 exercises was established with the purpose of examining the effectiveness of coordinated air attack. These exercises involved simultaneous attacks with 80 to 100 aircraft in order to investigate the results of a concentrated attack. Dive bombers, torpedo planes, bombers, and combat air patrols were all evaluated in these exercises, and much was learned about attack methods. During these exercises a problem became apparent. The Navy regarded it as common sense that aircraft carriers had to be dispersed when used, for they were quite vulnerable to enemy attack. Any concentration of these vessels was considered to be extremely dangerous. When this was done, however, it was difficult to rendezvous the various air groups in midocean in preparation for the coordinated attack. It was, of course, no problem to keep together the elements of one carrier’s strike force, but when an attempt was made to rendezvous strike forces from several different carriers at a predetermined point in midocean, the results were often unfavorable. Since radio guidance was impossible due to radio silence, only dead reckoning could be used for air navigation. It was indeed a very difficult problem to make dispersal disposition of aircraft carriers compatible with a simultaneous and coordinated attack by many air squadrons. H402ORC-182 When I returned to Japan from Britain in October of 1940, I was assigned to be a member of the staff of the First Carrier Squadron. The above problem was one of the most important difficulties for which I had to find a solution. For several weeks I was unable to arrive at any answer. Then, one day, while watching a newsreel, I saw four American aircraft carriers steaming in a column formation. This suggested to me the idea of concentric use of aircraft carriers. According to this method there, of course, would be no problem in the rendezvous of air squadrons launched from each aircraft carrier, but there still remained the possibility of each aircraft carrier being simultaneously exposed to attack by enemy aircraft. On the other hand, there was the advantage that combat air patrol and antiaircraft fire could be concentrated against attacking aircraft. This concept was repeatedly tested in 1941 by the fleet and was put into practical use in such operations as Pearl Harbor, Indian Ocean, and Midway. If the general conduct of the war offered us the opportunity to utilize these new tactics, there was a good chance that we would be able to draw the enemy towards us and destroy him. Thus, by the middle of 1941 the First Carrier Squadron had decided on two tactical principles in connection with basic use of its aircraft carriers: 1. In case of attacking land bases, all carriers should be concentrically used. 2. In case of the air-to-air battle between friendly and enemy carriers, the aircraft carriers of each squadron should be concentrated, but each carrier squadron should be dispersed and deployed in order to encircle the enemy force. These two methods were employed with varying degrees of success during the early war years. Up to the time of the Midway operation, the first method was used exclusively due to the fact that our carriers were unchallenged by large enemy naval air forces. At Midway we should logically have used the second method, but due to faulty intelligence we had no knowledge of the proximity of the American carrier forces. When they were at last discovered, it was too late to shift to the second method. The second method was used, however, in the battles in the South Pacific and the Marianas. During this period we put forth our utmost effort in training exercises in order that we might compensate to some degree for our inferior ratio of capital ships. While we were engaged in these training exercises, many new ideas were conceived. The Fleet Air Force, especially, acquired increased skill and obtained excellent results. Just before the outbreak of the war, the pilots of the First Carrier Air Squadron, which later carried out the attack on Pearl Harbor, attained the following levels of proficiency: Horizontal Bombing: Altitude: 3,000 meters Target: BB Settsu (old type battleship) Target Speed: 16–18 knots (free evasive maneuver) Target Acquisition: 50 percent (with a formation of five aircraft) Percentage of Hits: 10 percent Dive Bombing: Against a battleship with high speed and free evasive maneuver Percentage of Hits: 40 percent Torpedo Attack: Against a battleship with high speed and free evasive maneuver Percentage of Hits: Daytime: more than 80 percent Night: 70 percent H402ORC-183 It is impossible to demonstrate with figures the level of skill of our fighter squadrons, but we were quite confident of their ability. Many of them had had actual fighting experience through the China incident, and they were flying our new zero fighter of superb capability. They were especially proficient in fighter-versus-fighter combat. In the light of the lessons derived from the China incident, our fighters began to be concerned more and more with offensive operations. Up until this time fighters were used almost exclusively for the defense of shore installations or ships of the fleet, but it slowly became apparent that they could also be profitably employed as long-range escorts or in fighter sweeps. Thus our fighters moved away from a solely defensive role. Our fighter forces, however, were not without their defects. This became apparent when they were called upon to combat the B-17. In these encounters our fighters were handicapped by several shortcomings, including insufficient defensive armor. These weaknesses were due to a great extent to our failure to incorporate the lessons learned from the air warfare in Europe. Throughout the course of the Pacific War, I learned many lessons; and the most important of these was that there are no miracles in war. Success in battle is due to careful planning and preparation. The psychological factor is an essential element of any operation, but it should never be regarded as the central element in military strategy. It is, on the contrary, a so-called “plus factor” alongside material preparation. The idea of covering material shortages with spiritual power should never be seriously considered by military planners. Sun-tzu, a famous Chinese military writer, wrote in his book on strategy: The prospect of a war must be made prior to the start of a war. Victory or defeat depends upon its prospect. If one has [a] sure prospect for victory, he will win. If one has [an] uncertain prospect for it, he will have little chance of victory. If one does not even make [a] prospect, he will have much less chance of victory. Therefore, in [sic] so doing one can foretell the result of the war even without fighting. This evaluation of war preparations is quite true. Our own navy had an accurate prospect of the Pacific War, but they failed to act upon it in good time. It was clearly understood before the outbreak of the war that the leading role in naval warfare had shifted from ship to airplane. The numerical results obtained from our war games and fleet exercises closely corresponded with actual battle results. The navy, however, was hesitant to carry out what was revealed by them. A second lesson I learned during the war was the necessity of exhibiting boldness when favorable results appear possible. In deciding the policy of an entire nation, one must take into account the possibility of a temporary retreat or change in plans, for certainly the fate of a nation should not depend upon a game of chance. However, the first-line forces should be willing to take chances and even attack an enemy who outnumbers them if they see a reasonable prospect of victory. It is not always possible to win every battle, but by holding back one may miss an important chance of victory. The idea of the “diminution operation” unfortunately had the effect of discouraging our units from participating in any naval engagement until the main forces were ready for the decisive battle. By failing to attack the enemy audaciously when he first appeared, the navy no doubt missed many opportunities. A military force which conforms to the traditional spirit and boldness can always make a contribution to the security and advancement of the nation in the long run. My third lesson was that wars should always be short. By 1945 Japan had been at war for 14 years. Her armies had been in conflict from the Manchurian incident of 1931 until the final surrender, and they H402ORC-184 were physically and emotionally exhausted. The use of military forces over a long period of time detracts from their morale and their efficiency. When it is necessary from a standpoint of national policy to resort to arms, the force used must be used quickly and decisively, like an arrow shot from a strong bow. Sun-tzu also wrote: A prolonged war never benefit[s] a country. Those who can not realize how harmful a war is do not know how to profit from war. . . . Remain composed like a big mountain when [you desire] not to move but move like lightning when [you desire] to move. Gen. Minoru Genda is a graduate of the Japanese Imperial Naval Academy, class of 1924, and the Imperial Naval Staff College. Earlier in his career he served on the carriers Adagi and Ryujo, and from 1938 to 1940 he was Assistant Naval Attache for Air at the Japanese Embassy in London. As Air Operations Officer of the First Carrier Squadron and First Fleet he did the air planning for the Pearl Harbor strike. He later participated in the Coral Sea battle as Air Group Commander on the carrier Zinkaku, and from 1942 to 1944 he was assigned to Air Operations Section of the Naval General Staff and Imperial Headquarters, Tokyo. As a captain in the Imperial Navy, he was transferred to the reserve in 1945 but was recalled for duty with the Japanese Self-Defense Force in 1954 where he subsequently served as Commander of the First Fighter Wing, Commander of Japan’s Air Defense Command, and Chief of Staff of the Self-Defense Force. General Genda retired from the Self-Defense Force in 1962 and is now serving his second 6-year term in Japan’s upper legislation body, the House of Councilors. Twining, General Merrill B. “An Unhandsome Quitting.” Proceedings, Vol. 118, No. 11 (November 1992): 83–87. CGSC Copyright Registration # 21-0513 E H402ORD-185 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H402: LSCO/MDO Sea Power: Carriers, Marines, and the Tyranny of Distance Reading H402ORD “An Unhandsome Quitting” by General Merrill B. Twining, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired) Prior planning between Rear Admiral R. K. Turner and Major General A. A. Vandegrift went out the window on 8 August 1942, when Turner’s task force withdrew suddenly—abandoning a few of its small boats and more than a few Marines to the Japanese and to the elements on Guadalcanal. Frank Goettge and I crossed the beach and took a short swim in the warm water to get rid of two days’ accumulated grime. Off to our left we could see the cruisers of the covering force assigned to guard the western approaches to the transport area. One entrance lay north of, the other south of Savo Island, which lies between Guadalcanal and Florida islands. These were not narrow channels but broad reaches of deep water. Three cruisers with accompanying destroyers were assigned to guard each approach; the Vincennes (CA-44), the Quincy (CA-39), and the Astoria (CA-34) to the north, and HMAS Australia, HMAS Canberra, and the Chicago (CA-29) to the south. In the gathering dusk each group was moving back and forth across its assigned approach patrolling in column, the northern group in a rectangular pattern. As we both left the water Frank stopped for one last look and said, “I guess they’re not going to close up for the night.” I had almost forgotten that ships in column used to do that. My memory harked back to long night watches spent as a midshipman in the Delaware (BB-28) on the wing of the bridge taking continuous readings on our next ship ahead with a stadimeter. I dismissed his remark, thinking they probably had some modern electronic recognition device that made closing up unnecessary. I had also forgotten, if I ever knew, that the last time a divided U.S. fleet entered battle it was defeated decisively in detail by a single ship—the CSS Virginia, the former USS Merrimac, turned ironclad by the Confederates in the Civil War. It was a soft tropical evening. Looking across at Tulagi, it seemed unfathomable that over there men should be fighting and killing each other in the midst of such beauty. At about 2000, Jerry Thomas told me to take over the command post. General Archer Vandegrift had been summoned aboard the McCawley (AP-10), and he was to accompany the general. There was going to be a conference with Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner and Admiral Victor A. Crutchley, the British flag officer who commanded the screening force. The general seemed pleased to go; it would probably give him a chance to get over to Tulagi for a visit with Brigadier General William B. Rupertus mailto:Copyright@1992 H402ORD-186 commanding Marine forces engaged there—a diverse assortment of small units especially adapted to the close combat expected on the small fortress-like island. On board the McCawley Turner gave his visitors the bad news: Vice Admiral Frank J. Fletcher had pulled out of the fight, taking with him all the carriers and half the total surface forces; also that he had received a much-delayed message from Australia that a Japanese force of five cruisers and two seaplane tenders was moving eastward from Rabaul. Turner then treated his listeners to a Naval-War-College-type lecture, complete with chart and dividers on what the Japs were up to. They would go to Rekata Bay to our north, set up, and launch another air attack against him here in Lunga Roads tomorrow. He, Turner, would have to clear the area by noon tomorrow. From afar he had read Admiral Gunichi Mikawa’s mind. In every text book on military intelligence, one little paragraph always states, in substance: Take note of all enemy capabilities to damage or destroy your own forces. Pursue a course of action which will best enable you to deal with those enemy capabilities most dangerous to you. Do not attempt to discern his intentions. The Naval War College version, however, is gravely suspect. In part, it says: The enemy’s capabilities as well as his intentions must be considered. You cannot know your opponent’s intentions, but you can determine with reasonable certainty what his capabilities are. The amphibian forces under Turner’s command had, in the past two days, turned back repeated enemy air attacks, inflicting great losses but suffering little damage in return. The presence of two “sea plane tenders” (which proved to be destroyers) suggested at worst a last-ditch attack by a handful of patrol planes with a limited torpedo capability. This was something the commander of Task Force 62 could brush off with ease. The presence of five cruisers, however, indicated a strong enemy capability for a night surface attack, a real threat to our dispersed covering forces. But Turner opted for the minor capability and ignored the major threat, entirely failing even to pass the word to his captains. But many of them had a good idea of what portended anyway. Some call it “osmosis.” I prefer to call it “pidgin radio.” In the days of the Yangtze Patrol we always talked of “pidgin cargo,” the illicit movement of cargo up and down the river by the crews of cargo carriers without the formality of paying freight. This sub-rosa practice, strictly forbidden but unstoppable, had been going on for centuries and had come to be regarded simply as part of the cost of doing business on the river. So it was with pidgin radio. The people who manned the communications system of the Navy were highly intelligent, highly skilled, and deeply involved in their arcane profession. They understood the ins and outs and inside workings of their systems better than anyone else. They recognized the “fists” of Morse Code operators on ships they had never even seen. They could spot an interesting dispatch in a dozen different ways out of a maze of routine traffic. After all, they wanted to know what was going on. Their lives were hanging on the line, too. By mid-afternoon word was out. The carriers knew it, and crew chiefs readied up their planes. The transport people had it and passed the word to the Marines down at Red Beach. It was bandied about around every scuttlebutt in the fleet: “The Japs are coming, and there’s going to be a helluva fight.” H402ORD-187 That night, the captain of one of the cruisers patrolling off Savo Island wrote in his Night Order Book, “The enemy can reach this position at any time during the mid-watch,” and turned in.1 Neither Turner nor Crutchley displayed the slightest apprehension, and when the conference ended, Crutchley insisted on taking Vandegrift to the USS Southard (DMS-207) for his trip over to Tulagi before returning to his own vessel—the Australia, which was awaiting his return at a point near the McCawley’s position north of Red Beach, 20 miles from Savo—and the forces there under his command. He had little more than reached his flagship, when all hell broke loose. At the division command post ashore, the night was passing uneventfully, although our radios still could not penetrate the jungle, and our wire lines were constantly being cut by troop movement along the government track. Ship-to-shore communication was perfect. It was a mixed blessing. It had been a clear tropical evening, but shortly after midnight a high, thin mist moved in. At about 0100 we heard the unmistakable sound of aircraft. Major Kenny Weir, our air officer, was with me. “Cruiser float planes,” he said, “and not ours.” A moment later he added, “Where there are cruiser planes, there are cruisers.” The planes, two or three of them, circled overhead and began illuminating the transport area. The flares lit up the entire Lunga Roads with a vivid greenish light of amazing intensity, surpassing anything either of us had ever seen before. At this moment I was to come face to face with my first hands-on lesson of the war: distinct changes of light intensity produce a plethora of erroneous reports. It happens after every sunset, before every dawn. Familiar offshore rocks or islets suddenly become hostile ships. Waving kunai grass takes on the form of advancing infantry. “Purple-shadow reports,” we came to call them. We immediately became the recipients of a series of excited messages from the McCawley. They came in faster than we could reply. “Japanese attacking Red Beach. Enemy landing on Red Beach,” came across the water from our flagship. Although we had no communication link with Red Beach at the moment, it was apparent that nothing was going on down there. I tried to frame soothing replies. After all, it’s hard for a lieutenant colonel to tell a rear admiral that he’s talking through his hat.2 What had happened was this: When the Japs lit up the roads, many of our ships’ boats plying to and from Red Beach in the dark saw each other for the first time. Many boats were armed and some excited boats’ crews opened fire starting an “intramural” as we came to call them in “Old George.” We were to suffer some of these misencounters ourselves during the next few days, good ones too. They are as old as war itself—a natural phenomenon of growing up on the battlefield, mumps and measles on the road to military maturity. Events quickly overtook this mini-crisis. The horizon south of Savo lit up with gun flashes, searchlights stabbed the darkness, 20-mm. trajectories arched across the sky, their red and green tracers 1 Information given to Colonel Gerald C. Thomas, USMC, and the author in Brisbane, Australia, by an officer of the USS Chicago (CA-29), 26 December 1942. 2Turner denies sending any such messages, according to Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Volume V, The Struggle for Guadalcanal (Boston: Atlantic Little, Brown, 1962), p. 64. Nevertheless, at least two such messages were logged in and recorded in full, together with our replies, in the D-3 Journal for the night of 8–9 August, appearing in Phase II of the final report of the 1st Marine Division. H402ORD-188 adding a startling rainbow of color as they searched for targets. They found them soon enough. Huge fires blazed up momentarily like some mammoth box of wooden matches ignited by a spark. “Magazines,” I thought out loud. From the darkness Weir answered, “No. Those are our own cruiser planes. Still on deck and full of gas. They should have been flown off.” So intense were these flames that on some ships, men could not even reach their general quarters stations. The firing died down. Several minutes later it flared up again, this time north of Savo, where our other cruisers were engaged. The same horrifying spectacle recurred. Then—silence. The nightmare battle of Savo Island was over. In less than a half-hour an inferior Japanese force had destroyed four of our five cruisers. In return we had scored only one damaging hit on one enemy cruiser. It had been a bad night for us. Defying all logic, we tried to tell ourselves that we had come out on top—only Weir was unconvinced. It began to rain, a warm rain. I sat down and leaned against a palm, taking such shelter as my helmet afforded, and fell asleep. We received no more messages from the fleet. General Vandegrift and Jerry Thomas returned shortly after daybreak. They said we had lost some ships but were uncertain as to details. They brought good news, too. Tulagi was now entirely under Marine control. The fighting was over, and the troops could clear the beaches in full force and expedite unloading, which had been going very badly over there because of the intransigence of the commander of Transport Group Yoke. Someone started a fire. We warmed ourselves. Colonel Hawley Waterman collected a lot of instant coffee envelopes discarded from “C” rations and made coffee in a metal ammo box for all hands. I drank mine from an empty hash can. Delicious. The rain stopped. Heavy mist shrouded our view to seaward. A single heavy gun fired intermittently. The impact of each explosion shook the foliage above us and scattered a shower of dislodged droplets. Colonel Pedro DelValle, commanding the 11th Marines, our artillery regiment, said quietly, “That firing is one of our ships sinking the Canberra.” Silence engulfed us. A solemn requiem for that brave and dying ship continued. The general appeared, and Jerry Thomas gave the oral order for defense: Commander Naval Forces South Pacific reports large enemy forces gathering at Rabaul. We may expect an attack on this beachhead within 96 hours. First Marine Division will organize the Lunga Point beaches for defense against an attack from the sea in two sectors. First Marines, less lst Battalion division reserve plus attached units, will on the right organize and defend landing beaches from the Lunga River, inclusive, to the mouth of the Tenaru with its right flank refused for a distance of 400 yards along the left (west) bank of that river. H402ORD-189 Fifth Marines, less 2d Battalion, plus attached units will on the left organize and defend landing beaches from the Lunga River (exclusive) with its left flank resting on the high ground 1,000 yards south of Kukum. Eleventh Marines will provide general support from firing positions in rear of the beach areas. First Engineer Battalion proceed immediately with completion of the airfield as a matter of highest priority. All units provide own local security. No ground will be given up under any circumstances without the express order of the Division Commander. It was that simple, and it worked—the first combat order ever issued to a Marine division in the presence of the enemy. I went over to the new command post specified in Jerry’s order, located at the airfield only a few yards from the partially completed strip. It abutted an ancient coral reef that provided limited protection from naval gunfire. A small adjacent knoll allowed observation to the north and west, covering most of Iron Bottom Bay. It was, for all intents and purposes, a part of the airfield that obviously would become an inviting target for enemy aircraft and naval forces. The place had been thoroughly worked over by Navy dive bombers. Near the east end stood what remained of a Japanese blacksmith shop, crudely constructed of native materials. Butch Morgan, the general’s cook, was already inside boiling beans on the blacksmith’s forge, which, strangely, was still intact. Butch had inherited the former owner’s belongings and was already wearing a pair of the deceased blacksmith’s pants. Shorty Mantay, Butch’s striker, was busy filling empty bamboo-matting rice bags with dirt to build a parapet around the new galley. When I came back several hours later, the boiled beans were done, and the blacksmith had been interred nearby. With Mantay still filling rice bags, Butch and his pal, Sergeant “Hook” Moran, drank coffee in the general’s galley. The situation was well in hand. I went down to Red Beach. No ship-to-shore activity was in progress. The beach itself was hopelessly blocked. Without authority, Lawrence F. Reifsnider, the commodore of Transport Group X-Ray, had on the afternoon of 8 August ordered “general unloading” to begin. This was the prerogative of the amphibious force commander, and then only upon recommendation of the landing force commander, based on his ability to receive the increased volume of supply flowing to the beach. No such authorization was ever given, and Reifsnider is solely responsible for the logistical breakdown that followed. Additional manpower was indeed imperative. Turner had wrongfully withheld 1,400 Marines on the ships. He could have put them ashore to assist in the task. Likewise, Reifsnider had available in the Hunter Liggett (AP- 27) all survivors of the sunken George F. Elliott (AP-13) and had authority to land the Marine ship’s platoon that had been left behind on each transport. This would have provided ample manpower. On Tulagi, they were engaged in a stiff fight. On Guadalcanal, matters were even worse. Vandegrift faced the most critical situation imaginable—inability to “find, fix, and fight” the large enemy force that Turner had told him was waiting for him on Guadalcanal. As we now know, Turner’s estimate of enemy strength was wide of the mark, based on unrealistic appraisals made at General Douglas MacArthur’s Headquarters in Melbourne, Australia. But this had not yet been established when Reifsnider gave his devastating order. The torrent of cargo flowing to the beach quickly overwhelmed the resources available there to receive it. Confusion led to disorder, which extended back to the transport group itself. Very little unloading was actually accomplished after the enemy torpedo plane attack on the afternoon of 8 August, according to Lieutenant Colonel Randolph Pate, Division D-4 (Logistics). H402ORD-190 I met General Vandegrift on the beach. He gave me a full accounting of our losses in the previous night’s fleet action, which I found almost unbelievable. We looked out across Red Beach to the transport area. All the ships were under way, maneuvering individually at flank speed. To what end I did not know. They were not dropping depth bombs—Japanese records indicate two submarines reached the area sometime on 9 August but made no attack.3 The sight reminded me of the old Mariner’s rhyme: When in danger or in doubt Steam in circles scream and shout. But I pass no judgments; recalling the ancient admonition of Roman General Lucius Paulus: Let him not, on land, Assume the office of a pilot.4 From his remote observation post on Guadalcanal, Coastwatcher Martin Clemens remarked on the same scene at the same hour.5 Gazing out at the scene off Red Beach, General Vandegrift asked in a soft voice, “Bill, what has happened to your Navy?” I could think of no better reply than, “I don’t believe the first team is on the field yet, General.” Scarcely more than a pretext followed. Some ships failed even to retrieve some of their own boats and their crewmen. They proved a welcome addition to our small boat pool, until we were able to return them to Nouméa. In addition to about 1,400 officers and men of the 2d Marines, the ships pulled out with some 500 Marines belonging to the 1st Division. These were the ship’s platoons, one customarily assigned to each transport and cargo vessel, to assist in the unloading during the early stages before general unloading begins. At that point these services were no longer required. In the disorder of the pullout, these men never got ashore to rejoin their combat units. This in itself represented a severe loss—more Marines than the battle casualties already suffered by the division. The ships straggled out one by one through Sealark Channel to form on the McCawley for the trip back to Nouméa. At nightfall, Admiral Turner sent a somewhat misleading dispatch to Admiral Robert Ghormley, reporting his departure and our situation ashore. That brought the operation to a somewhat inglorious end. It was, to quote Charles I, “an unhandsome quitting.”6 We were left without exterior communications or support of any kind—and no promises that any help would be forthcoming. We had no source of information or observation, except such as we could derive from the 24-foot observation tower, constructed of palm logs, that we had inherited from the Emperor. We were on half rations, had little ammunition, no construction equipment or defensive materials whatsoever, and no one would talk to us when we improvised a long-distance transmitter out of captured Japanese equipment. Outside of that, we were in great shape. The sorrow of our parting, however, did not increase too greatly upon the realization that Turner would not be here, after all, to occupy that tent we 3Richard F. Newcomb, Savo: The Incredible Naval Debacle off Guadalcanal (New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1961), p. 146. 4Martin Clemens, “A Coastwatcher’s Diary,” American Heritage, December 1967. 5Ibid. 6Referring to Rupert’s abandonment of Bristol to the forces of Cromwell. 7lbid. H402ORD-191 had prepared for him when he had proposed to come with us into Macedonia. We would thereafter be forced to depend solely upon “councils but such as shall be framed within our camp.” General Twining served as operations officer, 1st Marine Division, during the Guadalcanal campaign. He later designed the 1st Division shoulder patch, commemorating the U.S. victory there. Lesson H403 LSCO/MDO: Airpower Theory, Doctrine, and Practice AY 2021–22 H403 Advance Sheet H403AS-192 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power Advance Sheet for Lesson H403 LSCO/MDO: Air Power Theory, Doctrine, and Practice (Combined Bomber Offensive) Lesson Author: Dr. Sean N. Kalic 1. SCOPE The emergence of air power theory and doctrine in the interwar period provides keen insights into how nations thought about fighting in the multi-domain battlespace of the period 1920-1945. Furthermore, this two-hour lesson evaluates the claims and promises of air power theory and doctrine versus the performance of individual air forces, specifically the United States, during the Second World War. During the First World War, the use of aircraft evolved from reconnaissance and artillery spotting to close air support, air-to-air, and strategic bombardment. In the immediate interwar period, generals, theorists, and politicians vigorously debated the future role of aircraft. Moving beyond the discussions of organization, role, and technology of aviation forces, Giulio Douhet established a theory that strategic bombardment, if applied properly, could break the stalemate experienced on the battlefields of the First World War. Outlined in his book Command of the Air in 1922, Douhet theorized that bombers could provide decisive victory by breaking the will of the people through terror bombing. A main controversial tenet with Douhet’s theory was the belief that the traditional line between combatant and non-combatant had disappeared in modern warfare. Though other air power theorists (mainly Hugh Trenchard, founder of the Royal Air Force (RAF) in Great Britain and Billy Mitchell of the United States Army) had some ethical concerns with Douhet’s assumptions about bombing civilians, his theory greatly influenced the way nations thought about using the air domain as a means to, once again, strive for decisive offensive victory. Using Douhet’s theory, air power advocates in Great Britain, the United States, and Germany strove to build strategic air power doctrine with an objective of delivering a decisive blow to an enemy. Though the tenets of Douhet drove these doctrinal developments, the individual nations selectively incorporated and interpreted Douhet’s ideas to develop separate and distinct doctrines on how strategic air power could re-establish decisiveness to the battlefield. Moving from doctrine to application, the second part of the lesson focuses on the development of strategic bombardment doctrine and its practice during the combined bomber offense as conducted by the RAF and the US Army Air Forces during the Second World War in Operation POINTBLANK. An examination of the POINTBLANK campaign highlights the challenges of implementing doctrine within the dynamic operational environment of the Second World War. 2. LEARNING OBJECTIVES This lesson supports CGSOC TLO-AOC-1, Examine how commanders drive the operations process using the framework of understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess (UVDDLA); TLO-AOC-3, Examine how staffs conduct the operations process using the framework of plan, prepare, and execute; TLO-AOC-5, Examine how the joint force and US H403 Advance Sheet H403AS-193 August 2021 Army sets an operational area for large scale combat operations; TLO-AOC-8, Assess the historical context of the American way of war and its continued influence on today’s operational environment; and TLO-AOC-9, Incorporate effective communications skills, as listed in the H400 Block Advance Sheet. The lesson goals are: ELO-AOC-1.6 Action: Analyze how historical context influences the planning and the execution of large-scale combat operations. Condition: In an educational setting, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products and H400 historical readings. ELO Standards: The analysis of historical context includes: 1. Examine historical battles and campaigns. 2. Use operational variables (PMESII-PT) to describe historical context. 3. Use mission variables (METT-TC) to describe a historical action. 4. Examine decisions made by historical leaders. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis ELO-AOC-3.4 Action: Analyze the evolution of large-scale combat operations using major concepts of key theorists. Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products. ELO Standards: The analysis of the evolution of LSCO includes: 1. Examine the causes of conflict. 2. Examine historical theory. 3. Examine the evolution of US Army doctrine. 4. Describe the evolution of US Army organizations. 5. Describe the evolution of US Army equipment. 6. Examine evolution of large-scale combat operations during the 20th Century. 7. Examine evolution of large-scale combat operations during the 21st Century. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis ELO-AOC-5.4 Action: Analyze the historical context of operational readiness. Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products. ELO Standards: The analysis includes: 1. Analyze historical examples of the importance of maintaining peace time readiness. 2. Analyze the challenges in historical case studies of preparing for LSCO. 3. Analyze, using historical context, the process of deploying units to a combat theater. 4. Analyze the JRSOI process through the lens of historical context. 5. Analyze the importance of operational readiness by investigating the historical context of 20th and 21st centuries U.S. combat operations. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis H403 Advance Sheet H403AS-194 August 2021 ELO-AOC-8.1 Action: Assess the American experience in wars since 1940. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the American experience in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 2. Critique America’s performance and operations in wars since 1940. 3. Assess American experience in wars since 1940 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-8.2 Action: Assess America’s waging of limited war since 1945. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the social, political, and military underpinnings of limited war since 1945. 2. Critique America’s performance and operations during the limited wars in Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 3. Assess American’s experience in limited wars since 1945 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-8.3 Action: Assess challenges to the American Way of war since 1940. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the enemies’ ability to challenge the American way of war during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 2. Critique America’s ability to adapt to military operations in wars since 1940. 3. Assess contemporary challenge to the American way of war since 1991 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. 4. Assess how the American way of war has influenced the strategy and doctrine of potential contemporary competitors. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-9.1 Action: Write effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Write effectively includes: 1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment 2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience 3. Proper format and organization 4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points 5. Proper grammar and correct spelling Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis H403 Advance Sheet H403AS-195 August 2021 ELO-AOC-9.2 Action: Speak effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Speak effectively includes: 1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment 2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience 3. Proper format and organization 4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points 5. Clear oral articulation and pronunciation 6. Appropriate use of body language for the topic, briefing style, and audience 7. Appropriate use of props, visual aids, or other products related to the presentation Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis ELO-AOC-9.3 Action: Listen effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Listen effectively includes: 1. Listens, reads, and watches intently. 2. Recognizes significant content, emotion, and urgency in others. 3. Uses verbal and nonverbal means to reinforce with the speaker that you are paying attention. 4. Reflects on new information before expressing views. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis PLO Attributes Supported: 1a. Independently research and critically evaluate information. 1b. Comprehend context of the situation. 1c. Create meaning from information and data. 1d. Creatively design or revise concepts and ideas. 1e. Communicate concepts with clarity and precision in written, graphical, and oral forms. 1f. Compose complete and well-supported arguments. 1g. Apply critical and creative thinking. 2a. Apply ethics, norms, and laws of the profession. 2d. Meet organizational-level challenges. 2e. Demonstrate commitment to develop further expertise in the art and science of war as life- long learners. 3a. Apply knowledge of the nature and character of war. 3b. Apply the principles of war, conflict, and competition. 3c. Understand the utility of the military instrument of power. 4a. Analyze the security implications of the current and future operational environment. 4b. Apply appropriate inter-disciplinary analytical frameworks. 4c. Evaluate historical, cultural, political, military, economic, innovative, technological, and other competitive forces. 5e. Consider risk and resource limitations inherent in planning. 6a. Adapt to rapidly changing operational conditions. 6b. Plan and/or execute Army Operations in a joint environment within a unified action context. Special Areas of Emphasis (SAE) Supported: 3. The Return of Great Power Competition H403 Advance Sheet H403AS-196 August 2021 5. Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century 8. Ability to write clear and concise Military Advice Recommendations 3. ISSUE MATERIAL a. Advance Issue: See H400 Book of Readings 2021-2022. b. During Class: None. WiFi is available. 4. HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT a. Study Requirements: (1) First Requirement: Read the following before class (bold numbered readings included in full text in the H400 Book of Readings): Required: H403RA Douhet, Giulio. “Aerial Warfare,” in The Command of the Air, translated by Dino Ferrari, 49-62. Washington D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1998. [13 pages]https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/AUPress/Books/B_0160_DOUHET_T HE_COMMAND_OF_THE_AIR H403RB Futrell, Robert Frank. Chapter 4 “Air Force Thinking in World War II,” in Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine: Basic Thinking in the United States Air Force, 1907-1960, 147-158. Maxwell Air Force Base: Air University Press, 1989. [11 pages] https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a588326 Optional: H403ORA Glover, Jonathan, “Bombing,” in Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, 69-88. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/carl-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3421050 [20 pages] H403ORB Mclean, L. “Bomber Offensive,” in Naval War College Information Service for Officers, Vol 1 No 8 (May 1949), 21-37. [16 pages] https://www.jstor.org/stable/44792496 Student Purchased Text: H403ORC Murray, Williamson A. “Strategic Bombing: The British, American, and German Experience,” In Military Innovation in the Interwar Period, edited by Williamson A. Murray and Allan R. Millett, 96-143. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1996. [47 pages] [Student Purchase] Further Professional Development: Brodie, Bernard and Fawn F. From Crossbow to H-Bomb: The Evolution of the Weapons and Tactics of Warfare. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973. Fabyanic, Thomas A. “Strategic Attack in the United States Air Force: A Case Study.” Maxwell AFB, AL: Air War College Report No. 5899, April 1976. Flugel, Raymond R. United States Air Power Doctrine: A Study of the Influence of William Mitchell and Giulio Douhet at the Air Corps Tactical School, 1921–1935. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International, 1985. Futrell, Robert Frank. Ideas, Concepts, Doctrine: A History of Basic Thinking in the United States Air Force, 1907–1964. Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 1971. https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/AUPress/Books/B_0160_DOUHET_THE_COMMAND_OF_THE_AIR https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/AUPress/Books/B_0160_DOUHET_THE_COMMAND_OF_THE_AIR https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a588326 https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/carl-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3421050 https://www.jstor.org/stable/44792496 H403 Advance Sheet H403AS-197 August 2021 Holley, I. B. Ideas and Weapons. Washington, DC: Air Force History & Museums Program, 1997. First published 1953 by Yale University Press. Lambeth, Benjamin S. The Transformation of American Air Power. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000. MacIsaac, David. Strategic Bombing in World War Two: The Story of the United States Strategic Bombing Survey. New York: Garland Publishing, 1976. McFarland, Stephen L. America’s Pursuit of Precision Bombing, 1910–1945. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995. Robertson, Scot. The Development of RAF Strategic Bombing Doctrine, 1919–1939. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995. Wells, Mark K. Courage and Air Warfare: The Allied Aircrew Experience in the Second World War. London: Frank Cass, 1997. Resident Course Elective Alignment: A691, World War II: Europe, A692, World War II: Pacific, and A699, Evolution of Military Thought (1) Second Requirement: Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class: 1. What is Douhet’s thesis in The Command of the Air? 2. In The Command of the Air, Douhet wrote, “The selection of objectives, the grouping of zones, and determining the order in which they are to be destroyed is the most difficult and delicate task in aerial warfare, constituting what may be defined as aerial strategy.” To what degree, then, is targeting a strategy? 3. How did the nations of Great Britian, the United States, and Germany translate Douhet’s theory into doctrine during the interwar period? 4. Ethically speaking, what is the dilemma with Douhet’s theory of strategic air power? 5. In what ways did Operation POINTBLANK differ from Douhet’s concept of strategic bombing? 6. What effect did bombing have on German morale and production? 7. What elements were erroneous or missing from the prewar US Army Air Corps doctrine? 8. What metrics did Eighth Air Force use to measure its progress in Operation POINTBLANK? 9. How did the the American way of war contribute to the Allies’ victory the air war over Europe? 10. Why did the Allies embrace firebombing of cities after they rejected the concept in the interwar period based on ethical principles? b. Bring to Class (or have electronic access to): H400 Syllabus and Book of Readings 2021-2022 Military Innovation in the Interwar Period H403 Advance Sheet H403AS-198 August 2021 5. ASSESSMENT See H400 Block Advance Sheet, Appendix A. H403 Chronology H403AS-199 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power Advance Sheet for Lesson H403 H403: LSCO/MDO Air Power: Theory, Doctrine, and Practice (Combined Bomber Offensive) Chronology 1899 29 July 1899 Hague Conference outlawed bombardment from balloons. 1903 17 December 1903 First flight of heavier-than-air aircraft at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. 1911 23 October 1911 First aerial armed reconnaissance flight (Italy against Libya) 11 November 1911 First use of airplane in battle; first bombardment from airplane (Italy against Libya) ca. November First aerial photoreconnaissance flight (Italy against Libya) ca. November First aircraft lost in combat, shot down by Turkish ground fire (Italy against Libya). 1912 ca. 1912 Giulio Douhet assumed command of Italy’s aviation battalion. 1913 ca. 1913 Douhet published “Rules for the Use of Airplanes in War.” 1914 18 July 1914 Aviation Section of US Army Signal Corps created. 5 October 1914 First air-to-air kill (victorious aircraft survived) November 1914 Beginning of Fokker Scourge 1915 29 January 1915 First zeppelin raids over Great Britain. ca. 1915 Maj. William (Billy) Mitchell became pilot at own expense. 31 May 1915 Zeppelins bombed London. 1916 ca. March 1916 1st Aero Squadron joined Mexican Punitive Expedition 20 March 1916 Escadrille Americaine (Squadron N. 124) formed in France ca. summer 1916 Hauptmann Oswald Boelcke wrote his rules (a.k.a. the Dicta Boelcke) on basic fighter tactics 1917 25 May 1917 First German Gotha bomber raid on Britain. 20 November 1917 First combined arms offensive to include aircraft (Cambrai). H403 Chronology H403AS-200 August 2021 1918 1 April 1918 British Royal Air Force (RAF) created. 8 April 1918 Air Service (US Army Signal Corps) arrived in France (1st Aero Squadron). 21 April 1918 Rittmeister Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen killed in action. 24 May 1918 US Army Air Service formed. 6 June 1918 RAF established first strategic bombardment wing (41st). 19 July 1918 First aircraft carrier-launched air strike (British). 1920 1 August 1920 Carl L. Norden contracted by US Navy’s Bureau of Ordnance to produce a high-altitude bombsight. 1921 10 February 1921 US Army Air Service School founded. 13–21 July 1921 Ostfriesland bombing experiment conducted. ca. 1921 Douhet published The Command of the Air. 1922 20 March 1922 USS Langley recommissioned as aircraft carrier (CV-1), formerly USS Jupiter. 1925 17 December 1925 Billy Mitchell convicted by court-martial. 1926 18 August 1926 Air Service School redesignated Air Corps Tactical School. 2 July 1926 US Army Air Corps formed. 1927 27 May 1927 Charles Lindbergh made the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris. 1937 26 April 1937 Condor Legion bombed Guernica, Spain. 1939 25 September 1939 Luftwaffe bombed Warsaw. 1940 10 May 1940 RAF (Royal Air Force) sorties against German military in France 20–21 May 1940 RAF evacuates France. 10 July 1940 Battle of Britain began. 15 August 1940 Battle of Britain ended. First RAF raid on Berlin. 1941 August 1941 Surveys indicated that less than one bomb in ten hit within five miles of target. 7 December 1941 Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. 24 December 1941 Avro Lancaster bomber entered service with RAF. H403 Chronology H403AS-201 August 2021 1942 14 February 1942 RAF adopted an area bombing strategy. 22 February 1942 Air Marshal Arthur Travers Harris appointed commander in chief of RAF Bomber Command. 18 April 1942 Doolittle raided Tokyo. 30–31 May 1942 First 1,000-plane RAF raid on Germany 1–2 June 1942 Second 1,000-plane RAF raid on Germany 4 July 1942 First Eighth Air Force crews (flying RAF aircraft) attack Europe. 4 July 1942 Eighth Air Force began air operations over Europe. 1943 16 January 1943 Royal Air Force (RAF) bombed Berlin. 5–6 March 1943 RAF Bomber Command commenced Battle of the Ruhr attacks against German industry. 16–17 May 1943 RAF Bomber Command successfully attacked the Ruhr Dams in famous “Dambuster Raid”. 18 May 1943 Combined Bomber Offensive officially approved; German fighter production became priority. 28 July 1943 P-47s first used expendable long-range fuel tanks. 28–29 July 1943 RAF Bomber Command attacked residential areas of Hamburg resulting in a firestorm—killed 40,000 people and caused 1.2 million to flee the city. 17 August 1943 Eighth Air Force raided Regensburg and Schweinfurt, suffering 20 percent attrition. 27 September 1943 Eighth Air Force first attacked a city using airborne ground-scanning H2S radar; first time that P-47s provided escort the entire way to a target in Germany. 14 October 1943 Second raid on Schweinfurt resulted in 26 percent loss. 18–19 November 1943 RAF Bomber Command began systematic attacks against Berlin; in four months, sixteen major attacks resulted in 492 aircraft lost. 5 December 1943 First P-51 escort mission from the United Kingdom 1944 21 January 1944 Eighth Air Force directive allowed fighter aircraft to pursue German fighters away from bomber formations. 22–26 February 1944 “Big Week” bombing campaign (Operation ARGUMENT) 30–31 March 1944 RAF Bomber Command suffered its heaviest losses of the war during a night raid on Nuremberg—it lost 95 of 795 aircraft. 8 June 1944 Eighth Air Force began targeting German oil production. August 1944 Germans produced 3,020 fighter aircraft—second highest monthly production of the war; produced only 15,000 tons of aviation gas. September 1944 Due to fuel shortages, the Luftwaffe prohibited all flying except for combat. 14 October 1944 RAF Bomber Command flew its highest number of sorties of the war— 1,576. 1945 13 February 1945 Dresden bombed. 9–10 March 1945 Tokyo firebombed with over 80,000 people killed (Operation MEETINGHOUSE). 13 March 1945 Osaka firebombed—approximately 100,000–150,000 houses razed. 16 March 1945 Kobe firebombed—approximately 66,000 houses razed. H403 Chronology H403AS-202 August 2021 19 March 1945 Nagoya firebombed with a mix of high explosives (targeted at first responders) and incendiary bombs. 2–3 May 1945 RAF Bomber Command executed its last mission of the war. 6 August 1945 First atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. 9 August 1945 Second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki; Soviet Union invaded Manchuria the same day. Lesson H404 LSCO/MDO: Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe AY 2021–22 H404 Advance Sheet H404AS-203 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power Advance Sheet for H404 LSCO/MDO Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe LESSON AUTHOR: LTC William S. Nance, PhD 1. SCOPE This two-hour lesson covers one of the largest campaigns, in terms of manpower and forces committed, that the United States ever embarked upon—the liberation of Northwest Europe, 1944- 1945. This joint and multi-national operation would eventually grow to encompass 90 divisions (American, British, Canadian, French, and Polish) spread across three army groups, eight armies, and 19 corps. This force does not count the tens of thousands of tactical and strategic aircraft that flew in support of the armies. It has come to embody high intensity warfare supplemented by lavish use of firepower. When the modern US military thinks about LSCO, this campaign is the first that springs to mind. In point of fact, this nearly year-long series of offensives certainly helped frame both Russell Weigley and Colin Gray’s definitions of the American Way of War. This campaign should be looked at as a series of pulses. The first entailed the invasion of France and the subsequent building of combat power in Normandy. The second was the breakout from Normandy and the assault across France, culminating near the German border (or the Moselle in Alsace). The third was a series of actions throughout September into October where the Allies fought for limited gains (mostly) while building logistical capability. The fourth occurred in November, when the Allies went back onto the offensive across the front, in a series of attacks that lasted until the opening of the German counteroffensives in the Ardennes and Alsace. After defeating these offensives (the fifth pulse), the Allies paused through February, and then launched another massive attack first to the Rhine, and then rapidly over it. The exploitation across Germany was the last phase of this battle. As can be seen above, the size and scope of the fighting in Northwest Europe are far too wide to cover even broadly in a single class. Thus, this lesson will focus on four facets of the American Way of War as discussed by Colin Gray—large scale, logistically excellent, technologically dependent, and firepower focused. It is not intended to be a full accounting of the fighting from June 1944 to May 1945, but rather a taste of this defining campaign for the US Army. In H401, students evaluated the challenges of the expeditionary army and mobilizing the force that would be used in Europe. This lesson offers the opportunity to expand that study by analyzing the impacts of logistics on operations, as well as the actual application of that force. It also provides the chance to evaluate the character of American warfighting through a focused reading upon a portion of the nearly yearlong campaign. Students may even find themselves comparing and contrasting the American approach to ground warfare with their approach to the Combined Bomber Offensive (as seen in H403). Students should leave this lesson with an appreciation of the challenges and impacts of operational logistics, as well as having a greater understanding of how the US Army has fought LSCO in the 20th century. H404 Advance Sheet H404AS-204 August 2021 2. LEARNING OBJECTIVES This lesson supports CGSOC TLO-AOC-1, Examine how commanders drive the operations process using the framework of understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess (UVDDLA); TLO-AOC-5, Examine how the joint force and US Army sets an operational area for large scale combat operations; TLO-AOC-8, Assess the historical context of the American way of war and its continued influence on today’s operational environment; and TLO-AOC-9, Incorporate effective communications skills, as listed in the H400 Block Advance Sheet. The lesson goals are: ELO-AOC-1.6 Action: Analyze how historical context influences the planning and the execution of large-scale combat operations. Condition: In an educational setting, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products and H400 historical readings. ELO Standards: The analysis of historical context includes: 1. Examine historical battles and campaigns. 2. Use operational variables (PMESII-PT) to describe historical context. 3. Use mission variables (METT-TC) to describe a historical action. 4. Examine decisions made by historical leaders. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis ELO-AOC-5.4 Action: Analyze the historical context of operational readiness. Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products. ELO Standards: The analysis includes: 1. Analyze historical examples of the importance of maintaining peace time readiness. 2. Analyze the challenges in historical case studies of preparing for LSCO. 3. Analyze, using historical context, the process of deploying units to a combat theater. 4. Analyze the JRSOI process through the lens of historical context. 5. Analyze the importance of operational readiness by investigating the historical context of 20th and 21st centuries U.S. combat operations. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis ELO-AOC-8.1 Action: Assess the American experience in wars since 1940. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the American experience in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 2. Critique America’s performance and operations in wars since 1940. 3. Assess American experience in wars since 1940 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation H404 Advance Sheet H404AS-205 August 2021 ELO-AOC-8.2 Action: Assess America’s waging of limited war since 1945. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the social, political, and military underpinnings of limited war since 1945. 2. Critique America’s performance and operations during the limited wars in Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 3. Assess American’s experience in limited wars since 1945 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-8.3 Action: Assess challenges to the American Way of war since 1940. Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and written assignments. ELO Standards: The assessment includes: 1. Summarize the enemies’ ability to challenge the American way of war during World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. 2. Critique America’s ability to adapt to military operations in wars since 1940. 3. Assess contemporary challenge to the American way of war since 1991 and how it influences our understanding of today’s operational environment. 4. Assess how the American way of war has influenced the strategy and doctrine of potential contemporary competitors. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation ELO-AOC-9.1 Action: Write effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Write effectively includes: 1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment 2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience 3. Proper format and organization 4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points 5. Proper grammar and correct spelling Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis ELO-AOC-9.2 Action: Speak effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Speak effectively includes: 1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment 2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience 3. Proper format and organization 4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points 5. Clear oral articulation and pronunciation 6. Appropriate use of body language for the topic, briefing style, and audience H404 Advance Sheet H404AS-206 August 2021 7. Appropriate use of props, visual aids, or other products related to the presentation Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis ELO-AOC-9.3 Action: Listen effectively Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources. ELO Standards: Listen effectively includes: 1. Listens, reads, and watches intently. 2. Recognizes significant content, emotion, and urgency in others. 3. Uses verbal and nonverbal means to reinforce with the speaker that you are paying attention. 4. Reflects on new information before expressing views. Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis PLO Attributes Supported: 1a. Independently research and critically evaluate information. 1b. Comprehend context of the situation. 1c. Create meaning from information and data. 1d. Creatively design or revise concepts and ideas. 1e. Communicate concepts with clarity and precision in written, graphical, and oral forms. 1f. Compose complete and well-supported arguments. 1g. Apply critical and creative thinking. 2e. Demonstrate commitment to develop further expertise in the art and science of war as life- long learners. 3a. Apply knowledge of the nature and character of war. 3b. Apply the principles of war, conflict, and competition. 3c. Understand the utility of the military instrument of power. 3d. Understand the generation of military power through force management. 4a. Analyze the security implications of the current and future operational environment. 4b. Apply appropriate inter-disciplinary analytical frameworks. 4c. Evaluate historical, cultural, political, military, economic, innovative, technological, and other competitive forces. 5e. Consider risk and resource limitations inherent in planning. 6a. Adapt to rapidly changing operational conditions. 6b. Plan and/or execute Army Operations in a joint environment within a unified action context. Special Areas of Emphasis (SAE) Supported: 3. The Return of Great Power Competition 5. Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century 8. Ability to write clear and concise Military Advice Recommendations 3. ISSUE MATERIAL a. Advance Issue: See H400 Book of Readings 2021-2022. b. During Class: None. WiFi is available. 4. HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT a. Study Requirements: H404 Advance Sheet H404AS-207 August 2021 (1) First Requirement: Read the following before class (bold numbered readings included in full text in the H400 Book of Readings): Required: H404RA Weigley, Russell. “The Strategic Tradition of U.S. Grant,” The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy (Excerpt). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973: 344-350 [7 pages] H404RB Ruppenthal, Roland G. Logistical Support of the Armies: Volume II, September 1944-May 1945. Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 1994, 3-21. Accessed 20 November 2020. https://history.army.mil/html/books/007/7-3-1/index.html [19 pages] H404RC Hogan, David W. Northern France: The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II, CMH Pub 72-30, 1-31. Washington, D.C.: Center for Military History, 2000. [32 pages] Optional: H404ORA Ballard, Ted. Rhineland: 15 September 1944-21 March 1945. Washington, D.C.: United States Army, Center of Military History, 2019. Accessed 20 November 2020. https://history.army.mil/html/books/072/72-25/CMH_Pub_72-25(75th-Anniversary) [36 pages] H404ORB Andidora, Ronald. “The Autumn of 1944: Boldness is Not Enough.” Parameters. December 1987: 71-80. [10 pages] H404ORC Gabel, Christopher R. The Lorraine Campaign: An Overview, September- December 1944, 14-37. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Command and General Staff College, 1985. [37 pages] H404ORD Bolger, Daniel P. “Zero Defects: Command Climate in First US Army, 1944- 1945.” Military Review Vol LXXI May 1991, 61-73 [13 pages]. https://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p124201coll1/id/488/ Further Professional Development: Army University Press Videos [France ’44: Wet Gap Crossings at Nancy; France ’44: The Encirclement of Nancy; The Red Ball Express] https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX9G3c6jkROVZ0tXr4gvUKQ Blumenson, Martin. The Battle of the Generals: The Untold Story of the Falaise Pocket – the Campaign that Should Have Won World War II. New York, NY: William Morrow and Co., Inc., 1993. Buckley, John. Monty’s Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2013. Bradley, Omar. A Soldier’s Story. New York, NY: The Modern Library, 1999. Caddick-Adams, Peter. Snow & Steel: The Battle of the Bulge, 1944-1945. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Citino, Robert M. The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand: The German Campaigns of 1944-1945. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2017. Doubler, Michael D. Closing with the Enemy: How GIs Fought the War in Europe, 1944- 1945. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1994. English, John A. Patton’s Peers: The Forgotten Allied Field Army Commanders of the Western Front 1944-45. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2009. Hamilton, Nigel. Monty: Master of the Battlefield, 1942-1944. London: Hamish Hamilton Ltd, 1983. Mansoor, Peter R. The GI Offensive in Europe: The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions, 1941-1945. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1999. Morelock, Jerry D. Generals of the Bulge: Leadership in the U.S. Army’s Greatest Battle. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2015. https://history.army.mil/html/books/007/7-3-1/index.html https://history.army.mil/html/books/072/72-25/CMH_Pub_72-25(75th-Anniversary) https://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/p124201coll1/id/488/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX9G3c6jkROVZ0tXr4gvUKQ H404 Advance Sheet H404AS-208 August 2021 Murray, Williamson and Alan R. Millett. A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001. Overy, Richard. Why the Allies Won. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Co., 1997. Winton, Harold R. Corps Commanders of the Bulge: Six American Generals and Victory in the Ardennes. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2007. Yeide, Harry and Mark Stout. First to the Rhine: The 6th Army Group in World War II. St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2007. Resident Course Elective Alignment: A691, World War II in Europe; A627, World War II in the East: Barbarossa to Berlin; A650, The Korean War (2) Second requirement: Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class: 1. How well does Colin Gray’s assertion that the American Way of War is casualty adverse match the realities of LSCO that the Allies faced while fighting in Western Europe? 2. How did logistics drive operational planning and maneuver in 1944 and 1945? What happens when opportunity exceeds planning expectations? 3. Evaluate the decision by Eisenhower to advance past the Seine in late August. 4. What were the ramifications of Eisenhower’s broad front operational approach? Were there other methods available? 5. Why did the Allies, despite having air supremacy and a massive material advantage over the Germans, struggle in the Fall and Winter of 1944-1945? 6. Evaluate the Allied conduct at the operational level during this campaign. 7. What are the challenges of commanding a multinational coalition in LSCO? 8. What are the implications of the fact that the American Way of War as demonstrated in the Second World War, tends to attritional warfare as opposed to battles of annihilation? b. Bring to Class (or have electronic access to): H400 Syllabus and Book of Readings 2021-2022 5. ASSESSMENT See H400 Block Advance Sheet, Appendix A. H404 Chronology H404AS-209 August 2021 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power Advance Sheet for H404 LSCO/MDO Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe Chronology 1944 6 June Invasion of Normandy by Allies 9 June Work on Mulberries (artificial harbors begins) 19 June Omaha Mulberry destroyed by storm. 29 June Cherbourg fell. 16 July First supplies landed through Cherbourg. 25-31 July Operation COBRA 1 August US Third Army operational 12-21 August Battle of the Falaise Pocket: destruction of major parts of the German Seventh Army and Fifth Panzer Army 15 August Operation DRAGOON (invasion of Southern France) 20 August Seine River crossed by US Third Army. 25 August Paris liberated. 28 August Liberation of the port of Marseille (Southern France) 4 September Antwerp liberated, and Scheldt Estuary closed. 5-15 September Battle of Nancy 12 September Le Havre liberated, and port closed due to damage. 17-25 September Operation MARKET GARDEN 21 September Cherbourg basins cleared for cargo. 29 September Liberation of Calais: Port closed due to damage. 2-21 October Battle of Aachen H404 Chronology H404AS-210 August 2021 6-16 October First Battle of Schmidt (Hürtgen Forest) 9 October Port of Le Havre opened to supply convoys. November Port of Calais opened. 8 November Scheldt Estuary cleared of German defenders. 9 November US XX Corps crossed Moselle River to encircle Metz. 15 November – 7 December US First and Ninth Armies launched offensive to Roer River. 29 November Antwerp received first convoys. 13-15 December US V Corps attacked towards Roer River Dams. 16 December – 25 January Battle of the Bulge 1945 1 January – 7 February Operation NORDWIND 23 February Operation GRENADE: US 9th Army attacked to Rhine. 1 March Operation LUMBERJACK: US 1st and 3rd Armies attacked to Rhine. 7 March Remagen bridge captured. 15 March Operation UNDERTONE: Allied 6th Army Group and US 3rd Army attacked to Rhine. 22 March US Third Army crossed Rhine. 23 March Operation PLUNDER: Commonwealth 21st Army Group with US 9th Army crossed Rhine. 1 April Ruhr encircled by US 1st and 9th Armies. 12 April US 9th Army reached Elbe River. 23 April – 2 May Soviet forces fought Battle of Berlin. 25 April US and Soviet forces linked up on Elbe River. 30 April Adolf Hitler commited suicide. 7 May German forces unconditionally surrendered. Weigley, Russel F. “The Strategic Tradition of U.S. Grant,” The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy, 1977, pp. 342-51. CGSC Copyright #21-0672 E H404RA-211 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H404: LSCO/MDO Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe Reading H404RA The Strategic Tradition of U.S. Grant by Russell F. Weigley Whatever the eventual outcome of the strategic bomber offensive, without Allied air power the losses likely in an invasion of northern France could scarcely have been contemplated, and if the Allies had nerved themselves to accept staggering casualties, the outcome nevertheless might well have been disaster. The battle for command of the air over the German homeland drew the Luftwaffe away from support of the German ground forces and the defenses of northern France. In the spring of 1944 all Allied air power in Britain was placed temporarily under the direction of General Eisenhower, and he instructed it to isolate the proposed invasion beaches―and for purposes of security and deception, ocher beaches where the Germans might expect landings―from assistance from the interior of France and Europe, by ruining the transportation systems. American precision bombing had proven to be not so precise as had been hoped, and experience after as well as during World War II was to demonstrate the limitations of even the strongest air power in attempting to interdict land communications. But for a brief period of time, as in the weeks just before and after the OVERLORD invasion, and against the sophisticated and therefore delicate transport network of an industrialized country such as France, air power could do much to strangle movement. To give it an additional month to accomplish its work, as well as to provide additional time for training troops and accumulating landing craft, Eisenhower postponed the target date for invasion, D-day, from May I to the beginning of June.54 To defend an area as large as the coast of northern France against amphibious invasion, the best method historically had not been the method used by the Japanese on a tiny atoll such as Tarawa. The defender should not attempt more than a delaying action against the initial assault waves, because the beaches of a long coastline could not be made strong everywhere. The classic method of defense rather was to maintain a strong mobile reserve ready and able to fall upon a landing wherever it might develop, bringing superior strength against it before the beachhead could be expanded adequately and thus pushing the invader back into the sea. In the nineteenth-century defense plans of the United States, this method was the one contemplated should an invader ever set foot on American shores. The coastal fortresses were to keep an invader away from the most sensitive points, and the Army supported by a mobilization of citizen soldiers would eject him from any lodgement elsewhere. With mobile reserves rather than an effort to hold all the beaches, the Turks had turned back the British from Gallipoli. In 1943, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, German Commander in Chief in the West, planned a similar defense for the coast of France, based upon counterattacks by a mobile reserve. But even before Eisenhower set Allied air power to its intensified pre-invasion offensive, air power threw this classic defense plan into question. In late 1943, Hitler gave Field Marshal Erwin Rommel command of Army Group B, the headquarters which was to control the German strategic reserve for western Europe. Rommel decided that Rundstedt's plan for the defense of France against invasion would not work. Allied aviation would prevent a mobile reserve from counterattacking against a beachhead until H404RA-212 it was too late, if the reserve could run the gauntlet of aerial attacks at all. Whatever the disadvantages, the only hope for the defense of the channel coast lay in defending the beaches themselves so stoutly that the Allies could never secure their beachhead. In January, 1944, Rommel asked for and received command of Fifteenth and Seventh Armies in northern France. His Army Group B headquarters would be nominally subordinate to Rundstedt, but he would have the right to report directly to OKW, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht. Rommel set out to transform the defenses into a thick crust directly along the beaches, with underwater mines, underwater and beach obstacles, and well-emplaced artillery. Air power impelled him to it, and under the threat of air power his strategy was probably the best one possible. But Rommel did not have enough time remaining to do what he wanted with all the possible invasion beaches, and he and most of the rest of the Germans, except Hitler, expected the invasion to strike the Pas de Calais, so they devoted their best efforts to the wrong place. Of the five beaches in Normandy where the Allies landed on June 6, 1944, only at Omaha Beach in the American sector were the German defenses complete enough to make the landing a difficult amphibious assault. Elsewhere the British and Americans secured their beaches relatively easily, and Rommel’s plan failed.55 Allied air power accomplished all that could reasonably have been hoped for toward isolating the beaches on D-day, and it also contributed airborne landings in both the British and American sectors. The dropping of the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions was especially valuable, because they helped prevent the Germans from blocking the causeways which led inland from Utah Beach, at the base of the Cotentin Peninsula, toward Cherbourg, on which the Allies counted as the first developed seaport they could seize.56 Thanks to Allied air power and the disagreement between Rundstedt and Rommel over basic strategy, the major German counterattack which the Allies feared never materialized. Nevertheless, almost complete command of the air could not prevent the Germans from bringing to bear four Panzer divisions against the British on the Allied left flank within a few days of the invasion, and additional enemy armored divisions soon followed. It was fortunate for the Allies that Rommel threw his reinforcements into action piecemeal, instead of husbanding them for a major stroke. Fortunately, too, Allied deceptions helped lead the Germans into holding their Fifteenth Army in the Pas de Calais until July, in expectation of additional landing.57 "In all the campaigns, and particularly in western Europe," said General Eisenhower, "our guiding principle was to avoid at any cost the freezing of battle lines that might bog down our troops in a pattern similar to the trench warfare of World War I"―or in a pattern similar to that of the Italian campaign, he might have added.58 Everyone knew that a period of static warfare would have to follow D-day, until enough troops and equipment could be accumulated to accomplish and sustain a breakthrough. The buildup progressed remarkably well despite having to rely on two artificial harbors, called "mulberries," and after a fierce channel storm struck on June 19, on only one. Not any failure in the buildup but stout German resistance abetted by the difficult hedgerow country of Normandy made the initial fighting more static, and Allied efforts more frustrating, than had been foreseen. At length, the concentration of German Panzers against the British in the better tank country around Caen, and the battering of that armor by General Montgomery's British forces, permitted Lieutenant General Omar Bradley's American First Army to break through the German defenses around St. Lô toward the end of July and initiate a mobile campaign. But when the breakthrough began on D-day plus fifty, it was from a line the Allies had hoped to occupy by D plus five.59 Once the breakthrough occurred, the campaign became highly mobile. Hitler judged both Rommel and Rundstedt failures and put the new C-in-C West, Field Marshal Günther von Kluge, under the Führer's customary orders to give up nothing. Following Hitler's directions, Kluge threw away whatever H404RA-213 chance the Germans might have had to halt the Allied advance at the line of the Seine by expending the German Seventh Army in futile counterattacks against the Allied breakthrough columns. These counterattacks permitted the newly committed American Third Army of Lieutenant General George S. Patton, Jr., nearly to encircle the Germans between Patton's advancing spearheads on the Allied right and Montgomery's British moving toward a junction with Patton between Argentan and Falaise. Only after the Seventh Army was nearly ruined and in headlong retreat did the Germans belatedly commit their Fifteenth Army to the battle. Even then, the Allies had picked up so much momentum and the Germans were so unbalanced that the Allies pressed forward without pause across the old battlefields of the static warfare of a quarter century before.60 The DRAGOON landings on August 15 precipitated a hasty collapse of whatever German strength remained on the southern flank of the Allied advance. Not until almost all of France was liberated and the Allies had penetrated into the Low Countries and at several points into Germany itself did the pursuit of the fleeing Germans cease and the lines stabilize themselves again. By that time the Allies had outrun their logistical support, still funneled in through excessively few usable ports (German garrisons were hanging tenaciously though isolated in the ports of Brittany). So again as in 1940, the campaign in France had brought no repetition of Verdun, the Somme, and Passchendaele. The American strategy of concentration and mass against the main German armies vindicated itself by producing decisive effects with only limited casualties, wrecking at least one German field army in the process. As in 1940, however, the rapid thrust of armored spearheads across France could not be taken as a sure indication that decisiveness had returned to warfare. Too many special circumstances favored the Allies. The Normandy landings and a successful buildup on the beachheads would almost certainly have been impossible if the bulk of the German army had not been committed in Russia. Allied planning for the Normandy invasion predicated its success on the presence of only twelve mobile German divisions in France. If without the existence of the Russian front the Allies somehow had been able to lodge themselves upon the European continent at all, surely their battles would have resembled those of World War I in cost and indecisiveness despite the presence of armor and air power. Such was the pattern of war on the Russian front itself, until the last battles when Germany suffered pressure from west and east alike and tottered at the limit of her resources. Even after the battle of Stalingrad in the fall winter of 1942-43 ended the seesawing of the Eastern Front and brought in a Russian tide, the advances of the Soviet armies became repetitive processes of grinding down German defenses at the price of heavy casualties, only to have the Germans fall back to additional prepared positions, the Russian advance soon expend its momentum, and the expensive grinding efforts begin all over again.61 By D-day in Normandy, the Russians' grinding down of the German army had already gone far toward ruining the mighty war machine of 1940 and 1941. The air battles over Germany had stripped the German ground forces in France of all but minimal support from the Luftwaffe. All through the battle for France, the Germans maintained a superiority over the Anglo-American armies in numbers of men; but Allied air superiority was so overwhelming in what Eisenhower rightly called the “air-ground battle” (and in Major General Elwood R. Quesada the IX Tactical Air Command had an AAF officer who actually believed in tactical air support), while Allied armor was so superior not in quality but in quantity of tanks, that the German resistance cannot be compared with what might have been accomplished by an enemy confronting the Allies with approximately equal strength. At that, the Germans prolonged static warfare in Normandy beyond the time the Allies had expected, and they might well have reestablished themselves along the Seine had not Hitler's faulty strategy expended their Seventh Army uselessly. Once that expenditure occurred and the Germans had to retreat all the way to the Low Countries, the immensely greater mechanization of the Allied armies―despite the Germans' pioneering of the Blitzkrieg, their ordinary divisions remained dependent on horse transport and walking infantry, and even H404RA-214 their armored divisions mostly were not completely motorized like the American-made movement across France much more exhausting for the Germans than for the Allies, apart from the demoralizing effects of defeat. Nevertheless, when Montgomery attempted to leap across the lower Rhine with the combined airborne and armored stroke of Operation MARKET-GARDEN in September, German resistance proved to have consolidated itself again with amazing rapidity and completeness. MARKET-GARDEN failed to hold a bridgehead across the Rhine, and the autumn fighting settled down to a prolonged British struggle for the islands of the Scheldt estuary, so the port of Antwerp might be opened, while the Americans jabbed at the ramparts of the Siegfried Line. Eisenhower believed the Allies would need Antwerp to sustain a new advance across Germany. While he waited for its opening, he also busied himself with the accumulation of supplies all along his line from the North Sea to Switzerland, hoping that this effort plus Antwerp would ensure that it would not be logistical problems that would stop him again.62 The enforced return to static warfare embittered a new strategic debate between the Americans and the British, this one involving British contentions that the Americans had brought on the stalemate by violating their own cherished principle of concentration and mass. While the Allies were yet moving in headlong pursuit across France, Montgomery had asserted that if Eisenhower's strained and limited logistical resources were concentrated in support of Montgomery's Twenty-first Army Group, he would be able to plunge all the way to Berlin, by using his concentration of supplies and troops to keep the Germans on the run without respite. Only on the Allies' northern flank, Montgomery believed, across the north European plain, would such a thrust be possible, because the Siegfried Line and broken country precluded a similar quick stroke by Bradley's Twelfth Army Group or Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers's Sixth Army Group to the south. Montgomery and his proponents have continued to assert that static warfare would never have returned to the Western Front and Allied victory would have been won in the fall of 1944, if Eisenhower had concentrated his logistical support behind Montgomery and thus allowed the Twenty-first Army Group to drive on to Berlin without pause. In his explanations of his strategy at the time and after the war, the amiable Eisenhower became unduly defensive in replying to tactless and supercilious Montgomery, and somehow the tone set by General Eisenhower has persisted through much of the subsequent debate among military critics and historians. Eisenhower then later defended the principle of advancing to the Rhine and into Germany on a broad front. If Montgomery had attempted to push on across the Rhine and across Germany on a narrow front, Eisenhower believed, the Twenty-first Army Group would have had to drop off so many flank guards that it would soon have lost its punch. Once that happened, and the concentration of logistical support in Montgomery's favor had deprived the American armies farther south of their power of moving to help him, Montgomery's advanced position could have become disastrous. Apart from the merits of this argument, however, the fact is that Eisenhower gave Montgomery his chance, as much as he reasonably could have. He did concentrate his logistical support behind Montgomery as much as he dared to do. He could not imperil his southern armies immobilizing them completely in Montgomery's favor, but he came close to it. In late August, the American First Army, which Montgomery wanted to keep moving apace with him to shield his right flank, received an average of 5,000 tons of supply per day. Patton’s Third Army on the right of the First was restricted to 2,000 tons a day. On August 30 Patton's army received 32,000 gallons of gasoline, of its normal daily requirement of 400,000 gallons. The speed of advance from Normandy had carried the Allied armies so far beyond their ports of entry and their depots and so overstrained the intervening transportation that for any of the armies to have advanced into Germany was probably impossible. In these circumstances, Eisenhower favored Montgomery with a more than generous proportion of the supplies that could be hurried to the front. If with such a share of the available support, any general could have dealt the Germans a knockout blow, the man to do it was not Montgomery. He H404RA-215 squandered Eisenhower's logistical generosity in listless failure to push on across the Albert Canal and to the Rhine with the first momentum of his advance into Antwerp, and then he blamed Eisenhower for the failures implicit in the whole logistical situation and aggravated by his own insufficiently aggressive generalship. 63 Fortunately for the Allies, the Germans' opportunity to pause and regroup and the consequent resurgence of their power to resist misled Hitler into another desperate strategical gamble, which restored mobile warfare but ultimately not in the direction the Führer desired. Hoping to keep the Western Allies stalled and thus possibly to split the coalition opposed to him by playing upon American and British fears of excessive Russian success, Hitler concentrated his best remaining armored strength in the west during the fall respite of 1944. The Sixth SS Panzer Army and the Fifth Panzer Army were to strike against a lightly held portion of the Allied front in the Ardennes, where the Germans could muster three-to-one numerical superiority in the sector and six-to-one superiority at key points, to break through to the Allied supply depot across the Meuse River at Liége and beyond that, Hitler extravagantly hoped, to Antwerp. The Ardennes was the same area where the Germans had mounted their principal thrust in the spring of 1940, while the French had neglected it because the east-west roads there were few and poor and the country much broken. Knowing that, the Allied command in 1944 again counted on the difficulty of the Ardennes to make a German counterattack there unlikely, and after their race through France they still did not believe the Germans had enough strength left for a strong counterattack at all. Eisenhower did not have enough men to be secure all along his front and still mount even limited offensives, as he had been doing through the autumn. He had to be weak somewhere, and the Ardennes seemed the best place. He believed that in the unlikely event of a German counterstroke there, he could contain it within acceptable limits.64 The Germans moved forward on December 16 and achieved surprise, partly because bad weather had limited Allied aerial reconnaissance for several days. Persistence of the bad weather kept Allied planes grounded until a temporary clearing on December 23, and this good fortune for the Germans helped them advance their spearhead some fifty miles behind the original American positions. Ultimately, however, Eisenhower's calculations proved good enough. Aided by desperate fighting by various outnumbered American formations to hold key road junctions, the Americans held the Germans far short of Liége or any other significant objective. The American First Army in the north and the Third Army in the south wheeled to press in the flanks of the bulge created by the German advance. In the "Battle of the Bulge" the Americans suffered about 77,000 casualties, but the Germans later admitted losing 90,000, and the Allies estimated a German loss of 120,000, along with hundreds of now irreplaceable tanks and airplanes and thousands of other vehicles. Like so many past offensive adventures by armies whose basic strategy had to be defensive, the Ardennes attack bled away energies and resources the Germans could not spare.65 With the Germans exhausted by their own exertions, the Allies were able to pry them out of the Siegfried Line and close up to the Rhine River in March. At that point the windfall of capturing the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen on March 7 permitted the American First Army to cross the river immediately. By April I, the Allies were over the Rhine at a multitude of places from Philippsburg almost to Arnhem, including a large-scale crossing of the wide lower river on March 23-24 by Montgomery’s forces, assisted by airborne landings, in what was practically an amphibious assault. These Rhine crossings involved the final debate of the long series between British and Americans over the proper application of the principle of concentration and mass. All parties in the Anglo-American forces agreed that a major offensive directly into the Ruhr Valley should not be attempted. The Germans would fight hard in defense of that primary industrial area, and fighting in so congested an urban region H404RA-216 was bound to degenerate into house-to-house struggles in which Allied mobility could not be used to best advantage. Therefore the question was whether to make a major effort on only the northern or the southern flank of the Ruhr, or on both flanks simultaneously. Montgomery and Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke contended that the principle of concentration required Eisenhower mass the largest possible force for a single blow against the most critical area, namely, the north German plain downriver from the Ruhr, earlier the proposed scene of Montgomery's projected autumn offensive. Eisenhower, now wielding power to spare and characteristically concerned lest he be trammeled by excessively narrow logistical channels, decided to go around both sides of the Ruhr.66 Notes 54 Ambrose, op. cit., pp. 363-76, 395; Omar N. Bradley, A Soldier’s Story ( New York: Holt, 1951), pp. 244-46; Chandler, op. cit., III, 1690-92, 1776; Craven and Cate, op. cit., II, chap. XII; III, chaps. III- VII; Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 230-31, 232-34, 237, 244; Harrison, op. cit., pp. 207-30, 265-67, 334-35; Pogue, Supreme Command, chap. VII; Hilary St. George Saunders, The Fight Is Won (Vol. III, Royal Air Force, 1939-1945, London: her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1954), chaps. IV-V; Webster and Frankland, op. cit., III, 9-41. 55 Ambrose, op. cit., pp. 394-95 and Book Two, chap. VI; Harrison, op. cit., chaps. IV, VII; MacDonald, op. cit., pp. 257-62; Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 175-80; Wilmot, op. cit., chap. VII; Lieutenant General Bodo Zimmerman, “France, 1944,” in Seymour Freidin and William Richardson, eds., The Fatal Decisions (New York: Sloane, 1956), pp. 200-13. 56 Bradley, op. cit., pp. 232-36, 275-76; Chandler, op. cit., Ill, 1673-74, 1715, 1717, 1728, 1881-82, 1894-95, 1915-17; Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 240, 245-47, 253; Harrison, op. cit., pp. 75, 183-86, 269, 278- 300, 345-48; Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 111, 118-22, 171-73; Matthew B. Ridgway, Soldier: The Memoirs of Matthew B. Ridgway (New York: Harper, 1956), pp. 1-36, 100-103; Wilmot, op. cit., pp. 135, 175, 213, 219-20, 233-48, 261-62, 277-80, 292. 57 Ambrose, op. cit., pp. 401, 420, 460; Bradley, op. cit., pp. 286-88; Chandler, op. cit., III, 1949, 1989-90; Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 231 , 257-58, 288; Harrison, op. cit., pp. 330-35, 348-51, 369-79, 442- 49; MacDonald, op. cit., pp. 281-82; Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 180, 193-96; Wilmot, op. cit., pp. 318-20, 324-27, 332-35; Zimmerman, loc. cit., pp. 212-23. 58 Eisenhower, op. cit., p. 449. 59 Martin Blumenson, Breakout and Pursuit (United States Army in World War II: The European Theater of Operations, Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1961), chaps. I-XIII; Bradley, op. cit., pp. 278-358; Chandler, op. cit., III, chaps. XIX-XX; IV, chap. XXI; Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 255- 75, Harrison, op. cit., chaps. IX-X; MacDonald, op. cit., pp. 282-310; Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 171-75, 183-201; Roland G. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support of the Armies (2 vols., United States Army in World War II: The European Theater of Operations, Washington: Office of the Chief of Military of History, 1953-59), I, chap. XI; Wilmot, op. cit., pp. 294-365, 383-95. 60 Blumenson, Breakout and Pursuit, chaps. XIV-XXIII; Bradley, op. cit., pp. 358-406; Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 275-304; John S. D. Eisenhower, The Bitter Woods (New York: Putnam, 1969), pp. 46-78; MacDonald, op. cit., pp. 310-31,. Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 201-17, 227-30, 244-49, 261-78; Ruppenthal, op. cit., I, chaps. XII-XIV. 61 For the Russian campaign, see especially Alan Clark, Barbarossa: The Russian- German Conflict, 1941-45 (New York: Morrow, 1965); Liddell Hart, op. cit., chaps. XII-XIII, XVIII, XXVIII, XXXII, XXXVI; General Gunther Blumentritt, "The State and Performance of the Red Army, 1941," chap. XII, and Field-Marshal Erich von Manstein, "The Development of the Red Army, 1942-1945," chap. XIII, in B. H. Liddell Hart, ed., The Red Army (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1956), pp. 134-52; Alexander Werth, Russia at War. 1941-1945 (New York: Dutton, 1964). H404RA-217 62 Bradley, op. cit., pp. 407-26; Chandler, op. cit., IV, 2126, 2133-35, 2158, 2160, 2169, and chap. XXIII; Craven and Cate, op. cit., III, 598-612; D. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 288-93, 302-12, 315-16, 321-23; J. S. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 75-84; Charles B. MacDonald, "The Decision to Launch Operation MARKET-GARDEN ( 1944)," in Greenfield, Command Decisions, pp. 329-41 ; Charles B. MacDonald, The Siegfried Line Campaign (United States Army in World War II: The European Theater of Operations, Washington: Office of the Chief Military History, 1963), pp. 14-19 and chaps. VI-IX; Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, The Memoirs of Field-Marshal the Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, (Cleveland: World, 1958), chap. XVI; Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 250-56, 278-88, 296-301; Ruppenthal, op. cit., II, 104-10; Wilmot, op. cit., 487-92, 498-533. 63 Stephen E. Ambrose, "Eisenhower as Commander: Single Thrust Versus Broad Front,” in Chandler, op. cit., V, 39-48; Ambrose, Supreme Commander, pp. 492-97, 506-35; Bradley, op. cit., 418- 47; Bryant, Triumph in the West, chap. VIII; Chandler, op. cit., IV, 2090-94, 2100-2101, 2115-28, 2133- 38, 2143-49, 2152- 55, 2164-69, 2175-76, 2323-32, 2341-42, 2444-45; Hugh M. Cole, The Lorraine Campaign (United States Army in World War II: The European Theater of Operations, Washington: Historical Division, U.S. Army, 1950), pp. 6-13; D. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 284-94, 298-341; J. S. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 72-75, 88-98; Francis Wilfred de Guingand, Operation Victory (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1947), pp. 329-30; Liddell Hart, History of the Second World War, pp. 557-67; MacDonald, Mighty Endeavor, chaps. XX-XXI; MacDonald, Siegfried Line Campaign, pp. 4-14, 207-15, 377-403, 616-22; Montgomery, Memoirs, chaps. XV-XVII; Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 249-60, 279-81, 288- 98, 302-18; Ruppenthal, op. cit., II, chaps. I-II; Roland G. Ruppenthal, “Logistics and the Broad-Front Strategy (1944),” in Greenfield, Command Decisions, pp. 320-28; Walter Bedell Smith, Eisenhower’s Six Great Decisions: Europe 1944-1945 (New York: Longmans, Green 1956), pp. 121-32; Wilmot, op. cit., chaps. XXIV-XXV, XXVII-XXIX. 64 Ambrose, Supreme Commander, pp. 553-56; Bradley, op. cit., pp. 441-64; Chandler, op. cit., IV, 2331, 2335-36, 2346-48, 2446-47; Hugh M. Cole, The Ardennes: Battle of the Bulge (United States Army in World War II: The European Theater of Operations, Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1965), chaps. I-IV; Craven and Cate, op. cit., III, 672-82; D. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 337-41; J. S. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 99-176; Charles P. von Luttichau, "The German Counteroffensive in the Ardennes," in Greenfield, Command Decisions, pp. 342-57; MacDonald, Mighty Endeavor, pp. 356-67; Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 359-72; Wilmot, op. cit., pp. 573-82. Maurice Matloff, "The 90-Division Gamble," in Greenfield, Command Decisions (Second Edition, Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, 1900), pp. 365-81, is relevant to the question of the adequacy of American troop reserves. 65 Bradley, op. cit., pp. 455-95; Chandler, op. cit., IV, chap. XXV and chap. XXVI to p. 2483; Cole, The Ardennes, chaps. V-XXV; Craven and Cate, op. cit., III, 682-711; D. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., chap. XVIII; J. S. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., chaps. X-XVII, XIX; MacDonald, Mighty Endeavor, pp. 367-405; Montgomery, Memoirs, chap. XVIII; Pogue, Supreme Command, pp. 372-97, 404; Wilmot, op. cit., pp. 580-614. 66 Ambrose, Supreme Commander, pp. 571-76, 579-89, 606-12; Chandler, op. cit., IV, 2450-54, 2510- 11, 2537, 2539-42, 2551-53, 2557-58; D. D. Eisenhower, op. cit., pp. 370, 395-96. Hogan, David. “Northern France 25 July-14 September,” In The U.S. Army Campaigns of World War II, 1-31. Washington, DC: US Army Center of Military History, Pub. 72-30. H404RC-218 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H404: LSCO/MDO Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe Reading H404RC Northern France: 25 July-14 September 1944 by David Hogan Introduction World War II was the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind. However, the half century that now separates us from that conflict has exacted its toll on our collective knowledge. While World War II continues to absorb the interest of military scholars and historians, as well as its veterans, a generation of Americans has grown to maturity largely unaware of the political, social, and military implications of a war that, more than any other, united us as a people with a common purpose. Highly relevant today, World War II has much to teach us, not only about the profession of arms, but also about military preparedness, global strategy, and combined operations in the coalition war against fascism. During the next several years, the U.S. Army will participate in the nation’s 50th anniversary commemoration of World War II. The commemoration will include the publication of various materials to help educate Americans about that war. The works produced will provide great opportunities to learn about and renew pride in an Army that fought so magnificently in what has been called “the mighty endeavor.” World War II was waged on land, on sea, and in the air over several diverse theaters of operation for approximately six years. The following essay is one of a series of campaign studies highlighting those struggles that, with their accompanying suggestions for further reading, are designed to introduce you to one of the Army’s significant military feats from that war. This brochure was prepared in the U.S. Army Center of Military History by David W. Hogan. I hope this absorbing account of that period will enhance your appreciation of American achievements during World War II. GORDON R. SULLIVAN General, United States Army Chief of Staff Northern France 25 July–14 September 1944 As July 1944 entered its final week, Allied forces in Normandy faced, at least on the surface, a most discouraging situation. In the east, near Caen, the British and Canadians were making little progress H404RC-219 against fierce German resistance. In the west, American troops were bogged down in the Norman hedgerows. These massive, square walls of earth, five feet high and topped by hedges, had been used by local farmers over the centuries to divide their fields and protect their crops and cattle from strong ocean winds. The Germans had turned these embankments into fortresses, canalizing the American advance into narrow channels, which were easily covered by antitank weapons and machine guns. The stubborn defenders were also aided by some of the worst weather seen in Normandy since the turn of the century, as incessant downpours turned country lanes into rivers of mud. By 25 July, the size of the Allied beachhead had not even come close to the dimensions that pre–D-day planners had anticipated, and the slow progress revived fears in the Allied camp of a return to the static warfare of World War I. Few would have believed that, in the space of a month and a half, Allied armies would stand triumphant at the German border. Strategic Setting The Allied assault on the German-held Continent had begun a month and a half earlier with the D- day landings on the Normandy beaches. Under the direction of General Sir Bernard L. Montgomery’s 21 Army Group, British and Canadian troops had consolidated their beachhead west of the Orne River, while First U.S. Army’s V and VII Corps linked up at the small port of Carentan. Both forces then pre- pared to meet the anticipated German effort to drive the invaders into the sea. Fortunately for the Allies, the Germans still expected a second landing near Calais, so they held back reserves for a major counterattack in that sector. Moreover, the few troops that the German High Command sent to Normandy were hampered by air and partisan raids on the French transportation system. Once the beachhead was secure, columns of infantry, tanks, and paratroopers under the U.S. VII Corps sealed the base of the Cotentin Peninsula and then turned north toward Cherbourg, where the Allies hoped to seize docks, warehouses, and other port facilities critical to the buildup of their forces. Cherbourg fell on 26 June, but the Germans had carried out such a thorough demolition of harbor installations that many months would pass before the port could contribute much to the Allied effort. Relying on the invasion beaches and a few minor coastal ports for the buildup of manpower and supplies, the Allies slowly expanded their lodgment southward during July. The British finally took Caen on 9 July, but Operation GOODWOOD, their much-anticipated attempt to break out into the tank country to the south, fell short of its goal. Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley’s First Army, after a reorganiza- tion following the fall of Cherbourg, had begun a slow advance south through the marshes and hedgerows across the base of the Cotentin. In the west, Maj. Gen. Troy H. Middleton’s VIII Corps made scant head- way moving south through the marshes along the coast, while, further inland, VII Corps could do little better despite the exhortations of its vigorous chief, Maj. Gen. J. Lawton Collins. To the east, Maj. Gen. Leonard T. Gerow’s V Corps held the Caumont sector, next to the British, while, between V and VII Corps, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Corlett’s XIX Corps converged on St. Lo, a key transportation center and site of a German corps headquarters. Little more than rubble remained of St. Lo by 18 July, the day the 29th Infantry Division entered the city and placed the flag-draped body of Maj. Thomas D. Howie, who had been killed in the attack, at the debris-choked entrance to a church in memory of those who had fallen during the struggle. For all the sacrifices of Major Howie and 40,000 fallen comrades, twelve American divisions had advanced only seven miles during the previous seventeen days of combat. By 20 July, Bradley’s First Army had reached a line running roughly from Lessay on the western coast of the Cotentin Peninsula east along the Periers–St. Lo road to Caumont, a distance of about forty miles. South of the road, First Army faced more of the hedgerows and small woods which had already hindered its advance, but the terrain rose in a series of east-west ridges to a more open, rolling plateau of dry ground, pastoral hillsides, and better, more plentiful roads. If Bradley’s forces could break through the crust of the German defenses, they would reach terrain suitable for the kind of mobile warfare which the Americans preferred. H404RC-220 Under the OVERLORD plan, the Allies had hoped to hold all of Normandy west of the Seine and Brittany within ninety days of the invasion, but, as of 25 July, they were well short of that goal. Given the condition of Cherbourg and the lack of other major ports in the beachhead, possession of the Breton ports appeared critical to the ongoing buildup. Although the capacity of the invasion beaches had exceeded expectations, a major storm had wreaked havoc on ship-to-shore operations in late June, underlining the risk of relying on over-the-beach supply for too long. H404RC-221 Within the relatively narrow lodgment, the one million American troops—including thirteen infantry and four armored divisions with their equipment and supplies—were encountering severe problems of congestion, and a serious shortage of artillery ammunition existed. Nevertheless, enemy resistance showed no signs of weakening on the battlefield. Actually, the enemy situation was deteriorating, as the top Allied commanders knew from ULTRA intercepts of German radio traffic. Since D-day, the Germans had lost 250 tanks, 200 assault and antitank guns, and over 200,000 men in Normandy. Few of the lost men and equipment could be replaced quickly. Nor could the Germans match the Allied buildup in gasoline, ammunition, and other materiel, and the German Air Force, the famed Luftwaffe, had become almost invisible. Finally, unrest had shaken the German High Command. Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, the able theater commander, had already resigned, and the charismatic Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, head of Army Group B, had been seriously injured when his staff car was strafed by an Allied plane. Having narrowly survived a coup attempt on 20 July, Adolf Hitler directed Rundstedt’s successor, Field Marshal Guenther von Kluge, to stand firm, and Kluge had done his best to strengthen his lines, especially in the Caen area. Hitler wanted to continue to take advantage of the favorable defensive terrain in Normandy and avoid a disheartening retreat across an area with few defensible positions. Yet, as Kluge well knew, his troops would face a serious predicament in the event of a breakthrough, for they could not match Allied mobility. He and his chief subordinates—General Heinrich Eberbach, whose Panzer Group West faced the British, and General Paul Hausser, whose Seventh Army opposed the Americans—could only hope that the Allied will would finally begin to weaken in the face of the stubborn German defense. Operations In the command truck and an adjacent tent at First Army headquarters, Generals Bradley and Collins drew boundaries, set objectives, allotted troops, and otherwise prepared a plan to break through the German defenses. The Allies had already considered airborne or amphibious landings in Brittany but had rejected the notion as too risky and a distraction from the main effort. Instead, Bradley turned to Operation COBRA, a major thrust south by Collins’ VII Corps in the American center immediately following a heavy air bombardment to destroy the German defenses. Using the Periers-St. Lo road as a starting point, the 83d and 9th Infantry Divisions in the west, the 4th Infantry Division in the center, and the 30th Infantry Division in the east would seal the flanks of the penetration. After that, the motorized 1st Infantry Division, with an attached combat command from the 3d Armored Division, would then drive four miles south through the penetration to Marigny and then turn west ten miles to Coutances, cutting off most of the German LXXXIV Corps. The 3d Armored would guard the southern flank of this drive, while the 2d Armored Division, after exploiting through the gap, would establish more blocking positions to the southeast. Further east, XIX Corps, under Corlett, and V Corps, under Gerow, would launch smaller offensives to tie down German forces in their areas and prevent them from interfering with the main thrust. First Army would rely heavily on preliminary strikes by the heavy and medium bombers of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces to destroy defenses, disrupt communications and reserves, and reduce the enemy’s will to fight. Although the “heavies” usually did not perform in a tactical role, Bradley wanted the overwhelming force which they could provide, and on 19 July he flew to Great Britain to work out the details with the air chiefs. To provide a margin of safety, the assembled generals agreed that the ground troops, just before the air strikes, would withdraw about 1,200 yards from their positions along the Periers–St. Lo road, which would represent a dividing line between friend and foe. They disagreed, however, over the attack route that the aircraft would use. The air chiefs wanted a perpendicular approach, less exposed to antiaircraft fire and better able to hit simultaneously all the objectives in the target area. Bradley, however, favored a parallel approach to minimize the danger of bombs accidentally hitting his troops. Both parties apparently thought the other had accepted their views—a misunderstanding that would have dire consequences. H404RC-222 While the generals conferred, their subordinates were making their own preparations for the coming attack. After over a month in the hedgerows, American troops had become more aggressive, combat-wise, and skillful in their use of combined arms. One cavalry sergeant, using steel from German beach obstacles, welded prongs onto the nose of a tank, enabling the “rhinoceros” tank to plow straight through a hedgerow rather than climb the embankment and thereby expose its underbelly to German antitank weapons. An impressed Bradley directed the installment of the device on as many tanks as possible before COBRA. American soldiers and airmen were also working to improve coordination and communication among infantry, tanks, and planes. Maj. Gen. Elwood R. Quesada, the affable chief of IX Tactical Air Command, which provided close air support to First Army, had taken a personal interest in air support of ground troops. He encouraged close cooperation between his staff and Bradley’s, experimented with heavier bombloads for his fighter-bombers, and positioned airfields as close as 400 yards behind the front lines. At Quesada’s suggestion, First Army had its armored units install high- frequency Air Forces radios in selected tanks, enabling direct contact between tank teams and planes flying overhead. Despite the general progress, air-ground cooperation at the start of Operation COBRA proved tragically inadequate. After a week-long wait for the weather to clear, six groups of fighter-bombers and three bombardment divisions of heavies took off from bases in Great Britain on the morning of 24 July. Thick clouds over the target area caused the Allied air commander, Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh- Mallory, to call off the attack, but word did not reach the heavy B–17s and B–24s. Approaching perpendicular to the front, over 300 planes dropped about 700 tons of bombs. Some of the bombs landed on the 30th Infantry Division when a faulty release mechanism caused a bomber to drop its load prematurely. The resulting 150 casualties shocked and angered Bradley and his generals, but, not wishing to give the alerted Germans any time to respond, they approved an attack for the next day with only a few changes in procedures. Once again, disaster struck. The 1,500 heavy bombers, 380 medium bombers, and 550 fighter-bombers could barely see the Periers–St. Lo road due to dust, and bombardiers again experienced difficulty in spotting targets and judging release points. “Short bombings” killed 111 American soldiers, including the visiting chief of Army Ground Forces, Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, who had done so much to organize and train the Army prior to its deployment overseas. Stunned by the short bombings, American troops made little initial progress. The westernmost unit in the attack, the 330th Infantry of the 83d Infantry Division, encountered fierce opposition from German paratroopers dug into the hedgerows. In the center, despite the saturation bombing, scattered groups of enemy soldiers fought hard against the 9th Infantry Division, and the lead regiment of the 4th Infantry Division found its advance delayed by German defenders in an orchard. To the east, the 30th Infantry Division recovered enough from the short bombing to advance one mile to the town of Hebecrevon. Still, overall progress toward the close of the first day was disappointing, with many ground commanders believing that the air strikes had done as much damage to their own soldiers as to the enemy. At VII Corps headquarters, Collins faced a decision whether or not to commit his exploitation force. If a penetration existed, he would not want to give the Germans time to recover. If the German line remained unbroken, however, commitment of his armor and motorized infantry would be premature, create congestion and confusion, and leave the Americans open for a counterblow. Noting an absence of coordination in the German defense, he decided to gamble. On the afternoon of 25 July, Collins directed his mechanized reserves to attack the following morning. He had made the right decision. As American infantry and armor advanced on the morning of 26 July, the extent of damage to the Germans became clear. The air strikes had thoroughly demoralized several units and so disrupted communications that the German High Command lacked a clear picture of the H404RC-223 situation. At the center of the penetration, the Panzer Lehr Division had virtually ceased to exist as a fighting force. While the 330th Infantry was still encountering stiff resistance, the 9th, 4th, and 30th Infantry Divisions reported impressive gains through the morning of the 26th, and American armor had moved through the gap and headed south. At Marigny, the 1st Infantry Division had a tough fight with the 353d Infantry Division. By the afternoon of 27 July, though, 1st Division had cleared the town and, along with Combat Command B of the 3d Armored Division, driven five miles west toward Coutances in an effort to trap the German LXXXIV Corps along the west coast of the Cotentin. The rest of the 3d Armored managed to push south and west through bomb craters, wrecked vehicles, and traffic to cover the flank of the 1st Division’s drive, while, on VII Corps’ eastern flank, the 2d Armored Division advanced through weak opposition to reach its COBRA objectives by the morning of 28 July. Despite VIII Corps’ efforts to pin down the Germans in the western Cotentin, most of LXXXIV Corps escaped the closing trap, but it left behind a vast store of equipment. Notwithstanding the escape by LXXXIV Corps, the magnitude of First Army’s breakthrough created opportunities unforeseen in the original COBRA plan—opportunities which Bradley moved quickly to exploit. On the evening of 27 July, he turned the attack to the south in the direction of Avranches, the gateway to Brittany. He ordered his corps chiefs to maintain unrelenting pressure, allowing the enemy no time to regroup his forces. Given the rapid pace of operations, Bradley phrased his orders in rather general terms, specifying only that Corlett’s XIX Corps take Vire, an old, fortified town and critical transportation center slightly over twenty miles southeast of St. Lo. Corlett would require ten days of hard fighting to take Vire, but the tough battle waged by his XIX Corps freed VII and VIII Corps to exploit the breakthrough. Moving west of the Vire River and then heading south toward Vire, XIX Corps ran into two panzer divisions which Kluge had rushed into the breach as the nucleus of a counterattack force. For the next four days, the two sides battled around the small crossroads town of Tessy-sur-Vire, which finally fell to Combat Command A of the 2d Armored on 1 August. Although the XIX Corps had not yet reached Vire, it had blocked German efforts to reestablish a defensive line. Freed from concern for its flank, the VII Corps continued its drive south, while the 4th and 6th Armored Divisions of VIII Corps rolled down the coastal road into Coutances on 28 July and then to the picturesque, seaside city of Avranches on 30 July. The capture of Avranches opened the way for an advance west to the critical Breton ports. As July turned to August, changes in the American command structure brought a dynamic new figure to the stage. Overbearing, often profane, yet also sensitive and deeply religious, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr., had already earned a reputation as an outstanding field general, as well as a frequently difficult subordinate, in North Africa and Sicily. Few, if any, commanders in World War II could match his talent for mobile warfare, his ability to grasp an opportunity in a rapidly changing situation, and his relentless, ruthless drive in the pursuit. The buildup and expansion of the Allied lodgment had now reached the point where Bradley could bring the Third Army headquarters and its flamboyant leader into the field. He himself assumed command of the new 12th Army Group, and Lt. Gen. Courtney H. Hodges, a modest and competent professional, took his place at First Army. Third Army would command VIII Corps and the new XV, XX, and XII Corps, while First Army retained control of the V, XIX, and VII Corps. Although introduction of an American army group was supposed to be followed by the assumption of overall command in the field by the Supreme Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower deferred this step until he could physically establish his headquarters on the Continent. In the meantime, he allowed Montgomery to coordinate both army groups in the field. H404RC-224 Turning the corner at Avranches, Patton’s Third Army raced west into Brittany. Hitler had ordered his troops to hold the ports “to the last man,” tying down American units and keeping the ports out of Allied hands as long as possible. However, German disarray enabled the Allies to send only VIII Corps into Brittany, rather than the entire Third Army as earlier planned. At Patton’s direction, Middleton flung the 4th Armored Division toward Quiberon Bay to cut off the peninsula at its base, while the 6th Armored Division drove from Avranches west toward Brest at the extreme tip of Brittany, bypassing strong-points along the coast in an effort to seize the port before the Germans could react. Eager to finish its work and join the main drive farther east, the 4th Armored seized Rennes and encircled Lorient, on the southern coast of Brittany. The 6th Armored covered the 200 miles to Brest in five days, but the tankers found the city’s defenses too strong to take by a quick thrust. Not until 18 September did VIII Corps units finally batter their way into Brest and force the garrison’s surrender. To the east, it took a rugged, house-by- house fight by the 83d Infantry Division to occupy the ancient Breton port of St. Malo. By the time the Breton harbors came under Allied control, demolitions had rendered them useless, but events to the east had already reduced them to minor importance. The Allies had moved quickly to take advantage of the dangling German flank east of Avranches. By 3 August, Montgomery and Bradley had decided to send just one corps into Brittany and turn the rest of 12th Army Group east in an effort to destroy the German Seventh Army west of the Seine. Under Patton’s Third Army, Maj. Gen. Wade H. Haislip’s XV Corps, which had been acting as a shield for the VIII Corps’ move into Brittany, drove east to Mayenne, Fougeres, and Laval, scattering the few German units in its path. To the north, Hodges’ First Army ran into tougher opposition, particularly on the V Corps and H404RC-225 XIX Corps fronts, where Gerow and Corlett were encountering stubborn resistance in their advance toward Vire. Collins’ VII Corps enjoyed easier going on First Army’s right, capturing the key road center of Mortain and racing south to link up with the XV Corps at Mayenne. American troops were moving rapidly, but Bradley viewed with great unease the narrow Mortain-Avranches corridor which connected his far-flung units. Bradley’s unease was well founded. Faced with a choice between attempting to reconstruct a defensive line in Normandy and withdrawing, Hitler opted for the former alternative. On 2 August, he directed Kluge to counterattack from the Vire area west to the sea, cutting off Third Army and restoring the German front. As so often happened in the Normandy Campaign, German efforts to prepare the blow were marked by a lack of coordination and communication, a problem only enhanced by the mutual distrust between Hitler and his generals following the July coup attempt. Confronted with a desperate situation, Kluge lacked the time to prepare the massive stroke that Hitler had in mind, and his buildup was hurried and disjointed. By the time the Germans launched their attack in the early morning darkness of 7 August, Kluge had been able to assemble only three panzer divisions with a fourth panzer division ready for exploitation, a far cry from the full panzer army that Hitler had envisioned. Nevertheless, the attack gave the Americans plenty of trouble. Achieving surprise, the Germans drove as much as six miles into the American front, particularly in the Mortain area where the 2d SS Panzer Division overran positions that had only just been occupied by the 30th Infantry Division. By daylight, however, the German thrust was already faltering. Disorganized in the attack, the 2d SS Panzer Division in the center had been able to employ only a single column in the early stages, and the 116th Panzer Division in the north had not attacked at all. On the 2d SS Panzer Division’s front, a battalion of the 30th Division dominated the battle area from Hill 317 just outside Mortain, beating off every attack sent against it. Supplied by air drops, the unit held for four days until its relief, calling down artillery fire on German formations in the surrounding area and earning for its division the title “Rock of Mortain.” Meanwhile, as Allied aircraft pummeled the Germans, Bradley, Hodges, and Collins sent the 4th Infantry Division into the northern flank of the penetration while the 2d Armored and 35th Infantry Divisions struck from the south. By late afternoon, Kluge was convinced that the offensive had failed, but at Hitler’s direction he continued to press the attack. H404RC-226 H404RC-227 Hitler’s obstinacy created a golden opportunity for the Allies. Assured by Hodges that First Army could hold at Mortain, Bradley presented Montgomery with a proposal on 8 August. From the eastern end of the crescent, which represented the Allied front, First Canadian Army had started an offensive toward Falaise, and Bradley now proposed that Patton’s Third Army, on the extreme southwest, drive across the German rear to link up with the Canadians and trap the Germans in a gigantic pocket. While Montgomery had set his eye on an even deeper envelopment to the Seine, he accepted Bradley’s plan and issued orders providing for a linkup between the Canadians and the Americans just south of the town of Argentan. From Le Mans, which it had reached on 8 August, Haislip’s XV Corps drove toward Argentan. A 25-mile gap lay between Haislip’s forces and VII Corps’ flank at Mayenne, but the Germans were too widely dispersed to take advantage of XV Corps’ exposed position. On 12 August, XV Corps troops seized Alencon, about twenty-five miles south of Argentan, and Patton authorized a drive north toward Argentan and Falaise to meet the Canadians, who, slowed by fierce opposition and command inexperience, were still far north of Falaise. At this point, Bradley halted Third Army short of Argentan, despite Patton’s vigorous protests and jovial offers to “drive the British into the sea for another Dunkirk.” The order remains the subject of considerable controversy, with many arguing that Bradley should have crossed the army group boundary line and completed the encirclement. Bradley himself later criticized Montgomery for failing to act more vigorously to close the gap, although he had never recommended to Montgomery an adjustment of the army group boundary to permit the Americans to advance farther north. The American commander later recalled his concern about the potential for misunderstanding as Canadian and American units approached one another, but he also admitted that the army groups could have designated a landmark or tried to form a strong double shoulder to minimize accidents. A more probable consideration in Bradley’s decision was his anxiety, possibly based on secret ULTRA intercepts, that American forces were becoming overextended and vulnerable to an attack by the German divisions believed to be fleeing through the gap. In his memoirs, Bradley stated he was willing to settle for a “solid shoulder” at Argentan in place of a “broken neck” at Falaise. Actually, as of 13 August, few German units had left the pocket. Kluge wanted to form a protective line on each salient shoulder to cover the withdrawal of his forces to the Seine, but Hitler, still planning a drive to the sea, refused to approve it. On 11 August, the Fuehrer had authorized a withdrawal from the Mortain area to counter the growing threat to Seventh Army’s rear, but only as a temporary measure prior to a renewal of the offensive to the west. The troops in the pocket, however, were unable to mount a major, coordinated blow in any direction. Lacking resources, especially fuel and ammunition, and under pressure from the repeated Allied blows, they could do little more than fight a series of delaying actions around the fringes of their perimeter. On 15 August, Kluge’s staff car was strafed by Allied planes, and the field marshal was left stranded for twenty-four hours, arousing Hitler’s suspicions that he was trying to broker a deal with the Allies. When Kluge finally reappeared, he recommended an immediate withdrawal from the pocket. A sullen Hitler agreed but replaced Kluge with Field Marshal Walther Model, whose loyalties were beyond question. During his return to Germany, the despondent Kluge committed suicide. H404RC-228 H404RC-229 Behind him, Kluge left a Seventh Army that, for all practical purposes, had ceased to exist as a fighting force. Under constant pounding from Allied air and artillery, lacking ammunition and supplies, and exhausted from endless marches on clogged roads, some German units panicked or mutinied, but others managed to maintain discipline and fought grimly to keep escape routes open through the narrowing gap. Observing the area after the battle, an American officer saw “a picture of destruction so great that it cannot be described. It was as if an avenging angel had swept the area bent on destroying all things German . . . As far as my eye could reach (about 200 yards) on every line of sight, there were . . . vehicles, wagons, tanks, guns, prime movers, sedans, rolling kitchens, etc., in various stages of destruction.” Despite Allied efforts, a surprising number of German troops had escaped by the time the Americans, Canadians, and Polish armor serving with the Canadians finally sealed the pocket on 19 August. They had left behind, though, most of their artillery, tanks, and heavy equipment as well as 50,000 comrades. H404RC-230 By then, the Allies had already turned their columns east to catch German formations trying to escape over the Seine. Still believing that most of Seventh Army had already escaped the pocket, Bradley on 14 August directed Haislip’s freewheeling XV Corps to head east for the river. Encountering little resistance, Haislip’s columns quickly covered the sixty miles to the city of Dreux and then turned northeast to establish a Seine bridgehead at Mantes Gassicourt on the night of 19–20 August. To fill the gap between XV Corps and V Corps, which had taken over the sector at Argentan, Bradley and Hodges moved Corlett’s XIX Corps from the tip of the Falaise pocket, where it had been pinched out by the British advance, to the gap. They directed Corlett to strike northeast for Elbeuf on the Seine, cutting off the retreat of German forces resisting the British and Canadian advance to the river. Starting its attack on 20 August, the XIX Corps moved rapidly, scattering or capturing German units in its path. On 25 August it battered its way into Elbeuf, leaving only a narrow, exposed sector near the mouth of the Seine for the Germans to use as an escape route. Farther south, Third Army was encountering even less opposition in its drive through the open plains north of the Loire Valley. Whether exhorting his troops at the front or scanning maps at his command post, alternately exultant in victory and raging over delays, Patton relentlessly pressed his advance to the Seine. He left only scattered detachments, reconnaissance aircraft, and French partisans to watch his long flank along the Loire. On the left, Maj. Gen. Walton H. Walker’s XX Corps, with the 7th Armored Division in the lead, reached the ancient city of Chartres, with its famous cathedral, on 18 August, while on the right the XII Corps, initially under Maj. Gen. Gilbert R. Cook and later under Maj. Gen. Manton S. Eddy, occupied Orleans on 16 August, dashing German hopes for a defense of the Paris-Orleans gap. Bradley had initially planned to halt Third Army at those two points to permit his logistics to catch up with his advance, but, at Patton’s urging, he agreed to a further advance to the upper Seine. Walker’s XX Corps advanced through Fontainebleau to establish a bridgehead on the Seine at Melun, while the XII Corps seized a bridgehead farther upstream at Sens. By 25 August, Third Army possessed four footholds on the upper Seine. As American columns rolled through French towns during those hot, dusty days in August, they were met by a jubilant populace aware that their arrival signified the end of German occupation. In some cases, appreciative French audiences watched GIs fight their way into a town, refusing to take cover even as bullets spattered the pavement around them. Most American arrivals were not so dramatic. The Germans often departed before American troops made their appearance, as their lines of retreat were threatened by the rapid advance. This withdrawal contributed to the impression in some quarters that the Resistance, not the Allies, had liberated France. In most cases, the arrival of the Americans consisted of a few reconnaissance vehicles being met by a delegation on the outskirts of town. Then the celebrations would begin as church bells rang and townspeople cheered, sang, danced, and produced bottles of wine hoarded for the occasion. The American liberators were serenaded, hugged, kissed, and showered with food and drink. Not surprisingly, it was a reception that most would remember with great fondness. The celebration most anticipated by American soldiers, and by the Allies in general, was the one expected to follow the liberation of Paris. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had told Eisenhower before D-day that, if the Allies could free “beautiful Paris” by winter, he would consider it the greatest victory of modern times. As Allied columns neared the French capital in late August, however, Eisenhower appeared in no great haste to enter the city. Allied planners feared that their troops would bog down in street fighting, which would cause considerable destruction. They also were leery of becoming involved in French political disputes, which would inevitably follow liberation of the capital. Furthermore, Eisenhower’s headquarters was not eager to assume the burden of feeding the millions of people in Paris. Despite the pleadings of French officers under them, Eisenhower and Bradley much H404RC-231 preferred to bypass the city and use the supply tonnage saved to maintain the advance to the German border. Events and French pressure soon changed Eisenhower’s mind. To Frenchmen, Paris represented not just the political but also the spiritual capital of France, a symbol which must be redeemed from the occupier at the earliest possible moment. General Charles de Gaulle, head of the French Committee of National Liberation, needed Paris to solidify his position for the postwar French political struggle. Within the capital, Gaullists, Communists, and other political factions were already jockeying for position, clashing with each other and with the German garrison, which was under orders from Hitler to destroy the city before letting it fall to the Allies. Matters came to a head on 19 August, when the Resistance seized government and newspaper buildings and the city hall. The partisans lacked enough strength to expel the Germans from Paris on their own, so they agreed to a truce which would permit the garrison to use sectors of Paris in return for a German promise to release political prisoners and to treat some areas of the city as safe havens for the urban maquis. On 22 August, Resistance emissaries informed the Allied high command that the end of the truce was imminent and pleaded for help. Under pressure from de Gaulle and assured by the emissaries that the Germans were only waiting for the arrival of Allied troops to surrender, Eisenhower reconsidered his decision to bypass Paris. He now agreed to send a relief force, in part as a reward for partisan assistance during the campaign. To spearhead the drive into Paris, Eisenhower and Bradley had earlier decided to use the 2d French Armored Division, a free French unit whose commander, Maj. Gen. Jacques P. LeClerc, had been agitating for permission to liberate Paris. According to the plan prepared by Gerow’s V Corps, the French would go into Paris from the west, while the American 4th Infantry Division attacked from the south. When the French began their drive on the morning of 23 August, however, they made little initial progress. The Germans were fighting hard along the roads leading into the capital, and Americans wryly noted delays caused by crowds of Frenchmen who lined the roads bestowing flowers, kisses, and wine on their heroes. Not realizing the extent of German opposition, the American generals perceived that LeClerc’s division was “dancing its way into Paris,” and Bradley directed Hodges and Gerow to spur on the 4th Division. Irked by the prospect of the Americans beating him into Paris, LeClerc sent a special detachment of tanks into the city by back routes. By midnight of 24 August, the tankers had fought their way into the heart of the capital, and on the following day LeClerc took the surrender of the German commander in the name of the Provisional Government of France. Paris went wild with joy. Although several pockets of German soldiers still held out in various parts of the city, including 2,600 troops in the Bois de Boulogne, cheering crowds welcomed the French and American troops pouring into the capital. Entering Paris unannounced on 25 August, de Gaulle the next day made his official entry from the Place de l’Etoile to the Place de la Concorde amid thunderous acclaim, despite scattered shots from snipers. From the viewpoint of many Americans, the French were too busy celebrating to play their full part in the considerable fighting that remained in the city and its suburbs, while others believed that the French had forgotten all too quickly who had played the major role in their liberation. Gerow and his subordinates repeatedly clashed with de Gaulle and his officers over jurisdiction and the use of the 2d French Armored Division to mop the Germans still in the city. Eisenhower remained serene above the fray, telling one associate, “We shouldn’t blame them [the French] for being a bit hysterical.” He did, however, parade the 28th Infantry Division through Paris on 29 August. Eisenhower did this partly to get the division through the city quickly and to provide de Gaulle with a show of support but also to drive home to Parisians that their city had been liberated not by the Resistance but by Allied arms. H404RC-232 Whatever the importance of coalition relations in Paris, Eisenhower’s attention was diverted by other issues, including one of the major strategic disputes of the war. The Supreme Commander had already decided to continue the advance east and maintain the pressure on the retreating Germans, rather than stop at the Seine and build up his logistics as called for in the original OVERLORD plan. The question lay in how to carry out this advance east in such a way as to ensure the quickest possible termination of the war. Montgomery wanted to make the main effort in the north, using a massive drive by 21 Army Group and most of 12th Army Group into Belgium and the Netherlands and, thence, east to the Ruhr. Bradley favored a dual thrust, with 21 Army Group driving through the Low Countries on its own, while 12th Army Group, except for a single corps, attacked east to Metz and the Saar. Aware of the supply problems involved, Eisenhower viewed Montgomery’s more extravagant arguments of the advantages of a single thrust with skepticism. He could not deny, however, the benefits of such an advance, which would utilize the best invasion terrain and the most direct route to the key German industrial area of the Ruhr. The advance would also open critical channel ports and overrun launch sites of German V–1 and V–2 missiles. For the moment, he opted for the single thrust, but he would repeatedly qualify this commitment in the weeks ahead. Eisenhower’s changing decisions on strategy permitted Bradley to allot enough resources to maintain Patton’s drive on Metz. The old fortress city, a critical point in past wars, had long held a special fascination for Third Army’s commander. To reach Metz, Patton’s troops had to pass a series of river barriers made famous by World War I, including the Marne, Vescle, Aisne, Meuse, and Moselle Rivers. Fortunately for Third Army’s troops, the scattered Germans in their path lacked the strength to do much more than buy time through a series of rearguard actions. For the Americans, the ensuing pursuit in the last days of August thus proved an exhilarating experience. Reconnaissance units and cavalry fanned out over wide areas to locate river crossings and capture isolated parties of Germans, most of whom were only trying to return to the Reich as quickly as possible. Crossing the Marne, the XII Corps seized Chalons on 29 August and raced to establish a bridgehead over the Meuse on 31 August. On the left, the XX Corps passed the old World War I battlefields at Verdun and the Argonne before crossing the Meuse on 1 September. Once at the Meuse, Third Army halted temporarily to bring up supplies. To the north, advancing on the flank of 21 Army Group, Hodges’ First Army was encountering more, but still relatively unsubstantial, opposition. When the Normandy front had collapsed in late July, Hitler had realized that he might need to make a stand between the Seine and the German frontier, and he had, accordingly, ordered the construction of field works along the Somme and Marne Rivers. By the time the jumbled remnants of his western armies reached the Somme line in late August, however, they were too exhausted, disorganized, and demoralized to hold the position. First Army soon cracked the defenses, forcing the Germans to withdraw to the West Wall, a system of fortifications along the German border. As fragments of German formations passed across First Army’s front, Bradley saw a chance to cut off their retreat, and he ordered Hodges to turn his direction of advance from northeast to north. Near Mons, in a pocket formed by its three corps, First Army bagged 25,000 prisoners, demolishing what little remained of the German Seventh Army. The coup at Mons cleared the way to the West Wall, and a jubilant Hodges told his staff on 6 September that, with ten more days of good weather, the war would be over. At this point, the supply crisis, which had been looming on the horizon for weeks, reached critical proportions. Eager to maintain pressure on the Germans, the Allies had repeatedly disregarded long-term logistical considerations for immediate combat benefits, and they were beginning to pay the price. By the end of August, neither First nor Third Army had any appreciable ration or ammunition reserves. Equipment and vehicles were wearing out, and gasoline stocks were being consumed as soon as they H404RC-233 arrived. Although the Allies still lacked port capacity, the problem lay less in the amount of supplies on the Continent than in their transportation to the front. West of the Seine, the railroads had been ruined by pre–D-day bombing and sabotage, forcing the Allies to rely heavily on scarce trucks, which themselves consumed large quantities of petroleum. Furthermore, the unanticipated speed of the advance had left supply planners with little time to develop a system of intermediate depots to cover the 300 miles from the beaches to the front. Consequently, Allied logisticians had to resort to considerable improvisation, such as pressing chemical warfare and artillery trucks into service to haul supplies, using air transport and captured stocks, and instituting the Red Ball Express, two one-way truck routes to bring critical supplies forward as quickly as possible. In some places, supply officers hijacked convoys meant for other units. As supply shortages slowed the Allied advance, the Germans rushed to build up their defenses along the West Wall, which stretched from the Dutch border near Kleve to Switzerland. Begun in 1938, this line of pillboxes, troop shelters, command posts, and concrete antitank obstacles known as “dragon’s teeth” had never been completed and had fallen into disrepair over the years. Nevertheless, it at least gave the Germans a point on which to rally for the final battle for Germany. In response to the crisis, the German High Command directed the transfer of divisions from Italy and the Balkans to the West, the conversion of fortress units into replacement battalions for the front, and the organization and training of additional panzer brigades, Volksgrenadier divisions, and shadow divisions of convalescents recalled from hospitals. It also conscripted local labor to improve existing defenses, which had fallen into disrepair, and to construct new ones. As German commanders struggled to create order from chaos among the units assembling along the West Wall, Hitler brought back the veteran Rundstedt to replace Model as Commander-in-Chief, West. The return of the old campaigner boosted the morale of his dispirited troops, but he would need all of his considerable skills and, above all, time to achieve what the Germans later called the “Miracle of the West.” In the end, he would have time. As the Americans approached the West Wall and the German border, the pace of their advance was slowing and, in some cases, stopping due to the lack of gasoline. To the north, First Army’s XIX Corps paused for a few days to replenish its stocks of gasoline before continuing its advance across Belgium to the Albert Canal. To the south, First Army’s VII and V Corps crossed the German border and penetrated part of the West Wall south of Aachen before Hodges, on 10 September, halted their drive to bring up more artillery ammunition. Farther south, Patton’s Third Army had resumed the offensive on 5 September but was encountering tough resistance in its attempts to establish bridgeheads near Metz and Nancy. Logistical shortages, rugged terrain, and stiffened German resistance at the border were taking a toll on the Allied advance. Although optimism still reigned supreme in Allied councils, to the point that Bradley designated objectives on the Rhine, the heady days of the pursuit were over. Hard fighting lay ahead for the Allies in their efforts to enter the “heart of Germany” and complete the destruction of Hitler’s Third Reich. H404RC-234 H404RC-235 H404RC-236 Analysis After the war, German generals found it fashionable to blame Allied numerical and materiel superiority, as well as Hitler’s questionable conduct of the battle, for their crushing defeat in northern France. As with many such apologias, their argument is overstated but contains a grain of truth. Thanks in large part to Allied air power, partisan warfare, and their own miscalculations, due largely to skillful Allied deception plans, the Germans by late July were losing the battle of the buildup in Normandy. While they could still muster fourteen divisions to face fourteen British divisions near Caen, only a hodgepodge of nine German divisions opposed seventeen American divisions in the hedgerows. In numbers of tanks, guns, aircraft, and materiel, the Germans were operating under a greater disadvantage. The debate over the comparative quality of German and American troops remains a heated one. By late July, however, several formerly green American divisions had acquired considerable combat experience, while the German armies, which contained a sizable proportion of static divisions and non-German elements, had suffered heavy losses. Under Montgomery’s skillful, if methodical, direction, the Allies had ground down the German defense to such an extent that, by late July, it represented only a thin cordon liable to be broken at some point. Once they made the breakthrough near St. Lo, the oft-maligned American units proved much superior to their German counterparts in mobile warfare. Chester Wilmot’s comments on the natural affinity of Americans for machines and mobility may seem overly romanticized, but the speed with which the U.S. Army rolled across France in August 1944 did, indeed, inspire admiration among the other combatants. American doctrine emphasized mobility and relentless pursuit, principles which American generals, eager to avoid a return to static warfare, closely followed. Their units contained a relatively high proportion of trucks, and their tanks, while inferior in firepower and armor to comparable German models, proved more maneuverable and reliable over long distances. Thanks largely to the rapport between ground and air commanders, American aircraft worked closely with armor throughout the campaign; indeed, given the chronic shortage of artillery ammunition, air power consistently proved to be the American ace in the hole. To be sure, the U.S. Army did not solve many of the problems of logistics and command involved in mobile warfare, but the Army proved adept at improvisation. Against this highly mobile array, the largely horse-drawn Wehrmacht operated at a distinct disadvantage. Under such circumstances, Hitler’s opposition to a retreat across the open terrain north of the Loire and his efforts to restore a front in rugged Normandy become more understandable, even if they led to disaster in the Falaise pocket. Ever since Bradley’s order of 13 August, the Allied failure to close the Argentan-Falaise gap has been the source of controversy. Bradley’s later account of the action, taking full responsibility for the decision to halt XV Corps but criticizing Montgomery for not doing more to seal the gap, indicates the passions aroused by the affair. Yet despite the presence of an obsolete boundary, Bradley was under no real restriction which prevented him from sending XV Corps north toward Falaise. Of the reasons which he gave for halting Haislip, the only one that rings true was his concern that an advance toward Falaise would leave XV Corps’ flank exposed to a massive thrust by German troops within the pocket. This vulnerability may well have been reported by ULTRA and was decreasing by the hour with VII Corps’ advance northeast from Mayenne. While one can be understanding of Bradley’s decision, given the “fog of war” in the rapidly evolving situation, the attractive option of a long envelopment toward the Seine, and the fact that it was the Canadians who were supposed to meet the Americans at Argentan, he can be chided for overcaution. Bradley himself later indicated his true feelings on the subject when, facing another opportunity for an envelopment later in the war, he indicated to an aide that he would not make the same mistake twice. H404RC-237 At least in part, the failure to close the Argentan-Falaise gap can be blamed on lack of communication that resulted from growing jealousies within the coalition. In Normandy, the Montgomery-Bradley relationship had been characterized by mutual respect and deference, but friction between the two staffs had increased with Bradley’s rise to army group command and the corresponding growth in stature of the American effort within the Allied command structure. Given their successes, the Americans were less willing to accept a role subordinate to a British officer, especially one they viewed as arrogant and overly cautious. Montgomery had to defer to this growing independence while continuing to exercise responsibility for coordinating Allied movements until Eisenhower formally assumed command on the Continent. To complicate matters further, the French were already showing a dismaying tendency to go their own way on matters they considered vital to their national interest. In the cases of the Falaise gap, the liberation of Paris, the long envelopment to the Seine, establishment of boundaries, and debate over the single versus broad front, it is not surprising that coalition politics hampered the efficient exercise of command. Eisenhower’s political skills as supreme commander have often been taken for granted, but they were certainly tested during the campaign for northern France. For all the recent interest in the ULTRA secret, it does not appear that Allied access to high-level German radio traffic played a decisive role in the Northern France Campaign. When British Group Capt. F. W. Winterbotham first revealed to an astonished world in 1974 that the British had broken the German ENIGMA code early in the war and that Allied commanders had regular access to deciphered German radio intercepts, many observers called for a revision of the history of World War II. At least with regard to the campaign in northern France, this does not appear to be necessary. In the case of the German attack at Mortain, Winterbotham and Ronald Lewin have claimed that ULTRA alerted Bradley four days prior to the attack. However, in a more recent work which cites directly from the documents, Ralph Bennett argues convincingly that the Allies did not receive word from ULTRA until practically the eve of the attack. The evidence on ULTRA’s role during the action at the Falaise gap is more inconclusive, but it does appear that ULTRA, at the least, provided much useful data and, at the most, may well have caused Bradley to halt XV Corps near Argentan. In general, ULTRA appears now to have been a valuable tool, particularly in confirming data from other sources, but it did not win the campaign in northern France. For the U.S. Army, the campaign represented one of its most memorable moments during World War II. The pursuit across France showed the Army at its slashing, driving best, using its mobility to the fullest to encircle German formations and precluding any German defensive stand short of their own frontier. American troops would long cherish memories of triumphant passages through towns, basking in the cheers of a grateful, adoring populace. More informed observers would point to D-day as the point at which German defeat became inevitable, but the Northern France Campaign drove home to almost all that Germany had lost the war. While Hitler could still hope that secret weapons or a surprise counteroffensive would retrieve his fortunes, and while destruction of the Nazi regime would in the end take a longer, harder fight than seemed likely to jubilant Allied troops in mid-September, the Allies in northern France had taken a giant step toward ultimate victory. H404RC-238 Further Readings The primary work on the U.S. Army’s campaign in northern France during the late summer of 1944 remains Martin Blumenson, Breakout and Pursuit (1961) from the Army’s official series, U.S. Army in World War II. From the same series, Forrest C. Pogue, The Supreme Command (1954) and volume 1 of Roland G. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support of the Armies (1953), cover respectively grand strategy and logistical prob-lems. General studies which cover the campaign include Russell F. Weigley, Eisenhower’s Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany, 1944–1945 (1981); Carlo D’Este, Decision in Normandy (1983); Nigel Hamilton, Master of the Battlefield: Monty’s War Years, 1942-1944 (1983); and Chester Wilmot’s classic and controversial The Struggle for Europe (1952). See also Martin Blumenson’s, The Battle of the Generals (1993) and The Duel for France (1963), Eddy Florentin, The Battle of the Falaise Gap (1967), David Mason, Breakout: Drive to the Seine (1968), James Lucas and James Barker, The Battle of Normandy: The Falaise Gap (1978), and Richard Rohmer’s polemical Patton’s Gap (1981). Focusing on the controversial order to halt Third Army short of Argentan is Martin Blumenson, “General Bradley’s Decision at Argentan (13 August 1944),” in Kent R. Greenfield, ed., Command Decisions (1959). For more on ULTRA, see Ralph Bennett, ULTRA in the West: The Normandy Campaign of 1944–1945 (1979), and Ronald Lewin, ULTRA Goes to War (1978). Some of the more prominent reminiscences of American generals associated with the campaign include Omar N. Bradley, A Soldier’s Story (1951), Martin Blumenson, ed., The Patton Papers (1974), and J. Lawton Collins, Lightning Joe (1979). For more on the short bombing preceding COBRA, see John J. Sullivan, “The Botched Air Support of Operation COBRA,” Parameters 18 (March 1988): 97–110. A popular work on the liberation of Paris is Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre, Is Paris Burning? (1965). CMH Pub 72–30 Cover: The Arc de Triomphe forms a backdrop for U.S. troops on parade in Paris. (National Archives) PIN : 072926–000 Andidora, Ronald. “The Autumn of 1944: Boldness is Not Enough.” Parameters (1987): 71-80. CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0671 E H404ORB-239 US ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE US Army Command and General Staff School Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010 Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power H404: LSCO/MDO Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe Reading H404ORB The Autumn of 1944: Boldness is Not Enough by Ronald Andidora* When the Western Allies planned the campaign that would liberate France from the Nazis, they envisioned a steady, methodical advance from Normandy to the German frontier. Instead, the campaign developed into two distinctly different types of fighting. From 6 June until 25 July 1944, the Western Front was a virtual stalemate in which each Allied offensive gained little ground at great cost in men and equipment. But the campaign thereafter became a war of movement which quickly caught up with and then exceeded the pre-invasion timetable. On 25 July the Americans launched Operation Cobra, the offensive that would end the stalemate in Normandy. Previous British offensives had been largely unsuccessful. However, whether by design or circumstance, these British efforts had caused the Germans to concentrate the bulk of their armored strength on their right flank. Thus, when the Americans attacked against the German left, they were finally able to achieve the decisive breakthrough that had eluded their British allies. The initial success of Operation Cobra was exploited by simultaneous advances west into Brittany and east into the heart of France. The effort in Brittany was intended to secure ports through which supplies could be transported to the combat divisions. The eastward advance was aimed at enveloping the German Seventh Army and Fifth Panzer Army, which included most of the German mechanized units in France. Adolf Hitler inadvertently aided Allied strategy by ordering a counterattack at Mortain on 7 August. This had the effect of driving German forces deeper into the pocket that the Allied envelopment was creating. Once the counterattack had been blunted, the Germans began a frantic retreat to avoid encirclement. Most German divisions were able to escape before the pocket was closed at Falaise on 21 August, but these divisions were hollow formations nearly devoid of their combat elements. The envelopment that culminated at Falaise resulted in the collapse of German resistance in northern and central France. Because of the magnitude of the German collapse, General Eisenhower chose to abandon plans to halt and consolidate at the Seine, and instead continued the pursuit without pause. Eisenhower's subordinates welcomed this opportunity to destroy the German army before it could catch its breath. However, there soon developed among them distinctly different views as to how the pursuit should be conducted. The original plan called for entrance into Germany on two complementary, self-supporting axes, one north of the Ardennes, one to its south. This has since become known as the "broad front." To guarantee *Ronald W. Andidora is an attorney for the Pennsylvania Senate. He is a graduate of the University of Scranton (Pa.) and the Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, Pa. Mr. Andidora was in the Army in 1970-1972, serving a tour in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. H404ORB-240 mutual supportability, a continuous front had to be maintained between the two axes. However, the strategy did not require an equal dispersal of forces along the entire front. Both General Patton, commanding the American Third Army, and General Montgomery, commanding the British ground forces, soon concocted their own alternative approaches. Each would forsake the other's advance and throw all available resources into his own "single thrust" into Germany and on to early victory. Patton's thrust in the south would proceed through Lorraine, penetrate the West Wall fortifications (Siegfried Line) and capture the Saar. Montgomery's northern thrust would advance through Holland, flank the West Wall, cross the Rhine and seize the Ruhr. Each would eventually move on to Berlin. Eisenhower chose to stay with the broad front, although in a modified form, which placed greater emphasis on the axis north of the Ardennes. The wisdom of this decision is still a subject of some controversy. However, an examination of the options available in the autumn of I 944 shows that the single thrust was a product of self-delusion, with more prospects for disaster than for success. Its proponents attributed too much value to boldness. The strongest factor supporting the southern thrust by Patton was his position in the vanguard of the Allied advance. When the British were just beginning to cross the Seine with infantry units, Patton had armored spearheads advancing 90 miles beyond the river. But the Saar was only a secondary objective. The Ruhr was the main prize and had already been designated as the focal point for the initial Allied advance into Germany.1 Patton was not geographically situated to effect its early capture. Geography opposed the southern thrust in other ways. The Lorraine plateau was not good tank country and lacked adequate airfields. The terrain of central Germany was not conducive to further advances out of the Saar. ...._.. Thrust by US 12th Atmy Group t:::::::C> Thrnst by British 21st Army Gtoup

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It may be argued that Patton’s abilities as commander best suited him to lead any lightning
stroke into Germany. More than any other general, Patton had put his personal stamp on the Allies’
whirlwind advance through France. However, Patton’s abilities as commander could not inflate the
relatively low importance of the Saar. The value of the Ruhr alone would have swung the balance to
the northern approach.

Further, the circumstances which had highlighted Patton’s abilities over the previous weeks were
rapidly changing. Patton’s success in France had been based on maneuver, not hard fighting. His
victories were measured in captured territory rather than destroyed enemy forces. 2 Soon, the terrain
over which his troops would advance would be more restrictive. The Third Army would be confronted
with the fortress complex at Metz and the forts of the West Wall. Although the West Wall was not
fully manned, its existence was still an impediment to mobile operations. Metz would prove to be an
even greater impediment. Too large to be ignored and requiring too many troops to be satisfactorily
contained, Metz would have to be taken before any major attempt could be made to pierce the West
Wall. This required direct assault and was not actually accomplished until November. Patton’s
genius, while brilliantly matched to mobile pursuit, added nothing to his ability to overcome the
obstacles that would soon face him. Therefore, even his generalship could not be counted as a factor
supporting his proposed offensive.

The strongest argument in support of Montgomery was the importance of his objective. The Ruhr
was Germany’s greatest industrial region and was essential to the German war effort. In addition,
geography supported Montgomery’s plan. Proximity to England and the Channel ports, the abundant
airfields of the Low Countries, and the prospects for exploitation across the North German Plain all
enhanced the likelihood of its success. The northern thrust was clearly the more desirable of the proposed
alternatives to the broad front.

Montgomery originally intended to send “a solid mass of some forty divisions” into the Ruhr. He
later clarified his destination as “Berlin via the Ruhr.”3 This was quite simply impossible, however, in the
autumn of 1944. The reason is found in that unglamorous but essential component of warfare: logistics.

By September 1944, the Allies were supporting more divisions at greater distances than had been
anticipated in pre-invasion planning. American planning called for the support of 12 divisions on the
Seine by 4 September, and no action beyond the river until October. In actuality, the US Army was
attempting to sustain an eastward advance of 16 divisions with some elements operating 150 miles
beyond the Seine. This had to be done without the use of Brittany’s ports which, contrary to pre-invasion
projections, were not yet discharging supplies.4

The major problem confronting Allied logisticians was not the transportation of supplies to the
Continent, but rather their delivery to the battlefront. This resulted not so much from the number of
divisions or their location as it did from the circumstances of their advance. The rapid pace of the
advance in July and August had given the Allies insufficient time to develop the depot system that was
necessary to leapfrog supplies to the front. Furthermore, resources that were needed to establish the depot
system were instead diverted directly to the divisions to sustain their advance. Thus, on 1 September over
90 percent of all supplies in France were in base depots near the invasion beaches.5 These supplies had to
be delivered directly to the divisions at the front. This meant a one-way trip of 300 miles for the British
and an even longer one for the Americans. The French railway system was no help, owing largely to the
skill of the Allied airmen who had destroyed it. This left truck transport as the principal means of supply,
supplemented somewhat by airlift. This was not satisfactory; the truck companies had never been
intended to deliver so much cargo over such long distances.

Under these circumstances, Allied planners calculated they had the ability to support three British
and two American corps into the Ruhr, and two British and one American corps all the way to Berlin. To
accomplish even this, the Allies had to maintain an airlift of 2000 tons per day and the Americans had to
remove truck transport from their remaining divisions. The diversion of transport would effectively result
in immobilizing the American Third Army as well as replacement divisions which had landed in
Normandy but had not yet reached the front.6

These calculations were based on a division’s average daily supply consumption of 650 tons. Yet
Allied divisions had actually been consuming 300 to 350 tons per day during their advance through
France.7 It might seem that the planners’ estimates were too pessimistic and constituted an unwarranted
impediment to sending a much larger force into Germany. However, the 350-ton figure had resulted from
a pursuit through a friendly country in the summer months. An advance into Germany would be a battle
on hostile soil in the fall and winter. Each difference would aggravate the supply situation.

Further, the reduced consumption during the pursuit through France was more a matter of necessity
than one of choice. It had been achieved by cheating on non-essential supplies and deferring required
maintenance on vehicles. This policy had been stretched to its limit by September. The situation with
regard to medium tanks is indicative of the problem. Although most armored units were near their
authorized strength, many of their machines were on the verge of breakdown. For example, by mid-
September the 3rd Armored Division was averaging less than 75 medium tanks in front-line condition out
of an authorized strength of 232.8

Finally, it is necessary to consider the increased amounts of food, fuel, and clothing which would
be needed to sustain each soldier in colder weather. The logisticians thus showed good judgment by
adhering to their “pessimistic” estimate.

An army corps normally contained three divisions at that time, so logistical planners projected a
northern thrust of 15 divisions. Montgomery, now a field marshal, also realized that logistical
constraints would severely dilute the composition of his proposed offensive into Germany.
Accordingly, he reduced its size to the 18 divisions constituting the British Second Army and the
American First Army. An examination of Allied truck assets and an assumption that projections for
air supply were correct shows that it was just barely possible to support 18 divisions into the Ruhr.9
This left no margin for error and still required the immobilization of the Third Army and the newly
arrived American divisions. Thus, even Montgomery’s more optimistic logistical assessment yielded
him only three additional divisions. Of course, not all of these 18 divisions could be supported all the
way to Berlin. This situation was profoundly different from the “forty division mass” Montgomery
had initially envisioned. Originally, the northern thrust would have employed all the Allied divisions
then available in northern and central France. Now, by his own admission, the Field Marshal’s
offensive could employ less than half of this force.

Yet, Montgomery continued to champion the reduced northern thrust with undiminished
expectations. It seems the height of optimism to believe that a force of between 15 and 18 divisions could
force the Rhine, take the Ruhr and Berlin, and in the process end all German resistance. But optimism
had reached euphoric proportions in the Allied camp, bolstered by an almost universal belief that German
morale was ready to crack.

A great portion of the Allied leadership and their staffs did not believe that the German army could
recover its ability to offer cohesive resistance on a broad scale. Even the loyalty of the German military
leadership was in question, as evidenced by the 20 July attempt on Hitler’s life. The intelligence section
of the American First Army went so far as to predict civil uprisings within Germany itself.10 Dissenters,
such as Patton’s G-2 Colonel Koch, were admonished not to worry about “imaginary dangers.”11 This

view, though understandably appealing, was entirely incorrect. The German army had emerged from
Falaise with emaciated combat elements, but with its corps and divisional headquarters largely intact.
These headquarters were able to organize a very effective resistance once they were fleshed out with
replacements. The pool of German manpower was far from expended. Eighty “fortress” infantry
battalions were moved from the German interior to the Western Front. More troops were garnered by
reducing the number of civil administrators, transferring trainees from the navy and air force, calling up
soldiers on leave, and utilizing convalescents. The German people responded to the emergency with
determination and sacrifice, not revolt and insurrection. Their will to resist was only strengthened by
Allied bombing and demands for unconditional surrender.12

An invading force would meet this toughening resistance with its own declining ability to fight.
Vehicle attrition and the necessity to allocate forces to secure the invasion’s flanks and supply lines
would dilute its combat power. Its air support would be diminished because forward airfields would be
preoccupied with the airlift of supplies.

The experience of Operation Market-Garden, Montgomery’s less-ambitious offensive launched on 17
September, is illustrative of the Allies’ inability to advance in the face of increasing German resistance.
The British Second Army, with priority of supply and the use of three airborne divisions, was able to
advance only 60 miles in six days. The flanks of the salient that it carved out were subject to heavy
counterattack even as its spearhead moved forward. The offensive was not able to achieve its objective of
a Rhine crossing at Arnhem, which was merely the first step of any advance into Germany. This force
contained three of the six corps which were supposed to take the Ruhr and Berlin and end the war. It is
hard to imagine how the additional US divisions would have so drastically increased the capabilities of
this force, especially since German resistance was bound to be even tougher within Germany itself.

Also, the power of Montgomery’s northern thrust would not even amount to “Market-Garden
plus the American First Army.” Since his larger operation required a portion of air transport just
to supply the ground forces, it could not have employed the airborne divisions and the entire First
Army simultaneously.

It can be argued that Montgomery did not get all he had asked for in Market-Garden and did not
launch it as soon as he would have liked. But that misses the point completely. The relevant fact is
that the whole conception of the single thrust was based on a faulty premise. The German nation had
no intention of surrendering merely because an Allied army made an appearance on its soil. German
resistance would have coalesced somewhere within Germany. The logical place for this was the
Ruhr. Essential to Germany, it was also an ideal defensive position. The Ruhr contained 20 major
cities and a maze of industrial complexes. Furthermore, it was traversed by three canal systems.
Realistically, the Allied effort could not have been expected to accomplish more than the capture of
the Ruhr. Yet, if the Ruhr was such a crucial asset, wouldn’t its prospective capture justify the
northern thrust? It would not, for the following reasons.

First, in light of the increasing German ability and disposition to fight, the speedy capture of the
Ruhr was not a foregone conclusion. An envelopment would have been the preferred approach. But
the lack of Allied activity elsewhere would have allowed the Germans to concentrate all available
resources against the perimeter of the encirclement. Troops still inside the Ruhr could attack
outward against the same perimeter. Any attempt to clear the Ruhr of these troops would likely
develop into an urban slugging match in which the Allied trump cards of artillery and air power
could not be employed to their maximum effectiveness.

Second, in order to undertake the effort, the Allies would have had to forsake other valid objectives.
These included cutting off the German troops who were retreating from southern France and clearing
German troops from the approaches to Antwerp. The latter was necessary before the port could be used
to break the logistical logjam. Canadian troops were poised to open Antwerp simultaneously with the
thrust into Germany; however, their initial attempts failed and they were unable to accomplish their task
until they received the support of an American division and an entire British corps. This support would
not have been available if the northern thrust had been launched, since the British would have been in
Germany and the American division would have been grounded for lack of fuel and transport.

Third, the lack of logistical support would have exposed Patton to possible counterattack. This
counterattack did come later in September, with disastrous results for the Germans. The outcome might
have been different had the Third Army been rendered immobile. The ability to maneuver was especially
crucial to American tanks because their inadequate armament usually forced them to engage their
German counterparts from the flank or rear.

Fourth, and most important, the forces comprising the northern thrust would themselves have been
exposed to counterattack. They would have been tangled in an urban complex, at the end of a shaky
supply line, with weak flank protection, and with diminishing air support. The German army had faced a
similar situation two years earlier in a place called Stalingrad.

A major German counteroffensive was launched in the Ardennes on 16 December 1944. A British
historian called this the “penalty” Eisenhower paid for his broad-front strategy.13 This is perhaps the
cruelest myth that has arisen from the broad front versus single thrust controversy. It implies that
Eisenhower’s decisions in September were somehow responsible for adverse consequences in December.
This myth is founded on the fallacy that there were adverse consequences to the Ardennes
counteroffensive that were avoidable. The Battle of the Bulge did result in heavy American casualties.
But these were avoidable only in the minds of wishful thinkers who believe the German nation could
have been defeated without additional heavy fighting. Its other consequences were hardly adverse to the
Allies. The American were able to shift forces from both north and south of the threatened area in order
to contain, blunt, and destroy the counterthrust. German spearheads ran out of fuel at Stoumont and
Celles. The counteroffensive failed completely, resulting in the destruction of German mobile
reserves on the Western Front.

The Allied victory can be traced to two factors: the mutually supporting Allied disposition of
forces, and the German inability to support their counteroffensive logistically. Both of these factors
are directly attributable to Eisenhower’s decision to retain the broad front as the means of advancing
into Germany. Mutual supportability was one of the broad front’s foundations. After the failure of
Market-Garden, the desire to preserve this condition required a halt west of the Rhine. This
positioning limited German options to either passive defense or offensive operations west of the
Rhine, with their accompanying logistical difficulties. Hitler followed his custom of opting for bold
offensive initiatives and chose to attack despite those difficulties.

If the Allies had pursued the strategy of the single thrust, Hitler would have had the opportunity
to launch his counterattack against an exposed salient east of the Rhine. Neither of the Allied
conditions of victory in the Ardennes would have been present under these circumstances. The force
in the Ruhr could have expected little support from the grounded American divisions. The Third
Army would have been over 100 miles away, with empty fuel tanks. The Germans could have further
insured against a relief effort by using the Rhine as a buffer for their left flank.

Also, the logistical shoe would have been on the other foot, easing the German burdens and
increasing those of the Allies. Finally, Allied airpower, which was instrumental in the Ardennes

victory once the weather allowed its employment, would have been less effective over the Ruhr.
Conversely, the Luftwaffe would have been more active over its own territory. Considering all of
these factors, the “penalty” for use of the northern thrust could have been much greater than that
incurred in the Ardennes. It could have yielded even greater losses of men and material; it could have
yielded disaster rather than victory.

Eisenhower was, on his part, overly optimistic in early September, but not to the point of
relinquishing his hold on a realistic perception of German strength within the Reich. He supported
Montgomery’s attempt to gain a quick bridgehead across the Rhine. However, Eisenhower intended
no further advance into Germany until the Rhine also had been crossed on a wide front and the Allied
armies had paused for what he considered inevitable regrouping and refitting. 14 The failure of
Market-Garden determined that the preparations would take place west of the Rhine.

None of this is meant to imply that Eisenhower retained the broad front because of any
precognition about the Ardennes. He certainly did not anticipate Hitler’s winter counteroffensive. But
Eisenhower’s choice of strategies, made in part to avoid a debacle inside Germany, helped to avoid a
similar debacle in Belgium. It mitigated the adverse effects of the German counteroffensive and
enhanced the ability of the Allies to turn the counteroffensive to their own advantage.

The events of the last four months of 1944 thus reveal that boldness is not always a virtue in
warfare. Military decisions, as those of other disciplines, should be based on a balancing of an
objective’s value, its likelihood of attainment, and the severity of the penalty that would accompany
failure. Boldness is an asset when used to implement decisions founded on this process. It is pure
folly when cited as justification for pursuing illusory prospects for success while ignoring more
concrete prospects for disaster.

It is not surprising that the illusion of the single bold thrust has found proponents among postwar
historians. The seductive lure of the audacious masterstroke is especially potent in Western
democracies. Nations grown accustomed to instant gratification have little tolerance for a long
struggle, military or otherwise. The tendency to embrace the idea of a single thrust, with its speedy
shortcut to victory, is probably stronger today than ever before.

A close examination of the facts surrounding this particular controversy, however, reveals the
almost nonexistent foundation upon which the strategy of the single thrust was constructed. It shows
that a determined enemy is not defeated until his material ability to wage war is eliminated. Such an
examination also reaffirms that logistics is the mistress of all military operations. The commander
who forgets this runs the risk of finding himself in a position similar to that of Montgomery,
professing 40-division aspiration, but possessing 18-division resources.


1 L. F. Ellis, Victory in the West (London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1962), I, 82.
2 Ladislas Farago, Patton: Ordeal and Triumph (New York: Dell, 1970), pp. 529-30; Russell F. Weigley,
Eisenhower’s Lieutenants (Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 1981), pp. 244-45.
3 Weigley, pp. 261, 277-78.
4 Ellis, II, 2. For an interesting insider’s account of US logistical problems, see Harold L. Mack, The Critical
Error of World War II, National Security Affairs Issue Paper 81-1 (Washington: National Defense University,
5 Roland G. Ruppenthal, Logistical Support of the Armies {Washington: Dept. of the Army, 1953), I, 491. For a
compressed treatment by Ruppenthal of the concerns of the present article, see his chapter titled ”Logistics and the
Broad-Front Strategy,” in Command Decisions, ed. Kent R. Greenfield (Washington: Dept. of the Army, 1960).
6 Ibid., II, 10-11.


7 Martin van Creveld, Supplying War (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1977), p. 215.
8 Weigley, p. 271.
9 Van Creveld, pp. 225-27; Weigley, pp. 280-83.
10 Forrest C. Pogue, The Supreme Command (Washington: Dept. of the Army, 1954), p. 244.
11 Farago, p. 552.
12 H. Essame, The Battle for Germany (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 196,9), pp. 19, 22-23 .
13 Alexander McKee, The Race for the Rhine Bridges (New York: Stein and Day, 1971), p. 314.
14 Alfred D. Chandler, ed., The Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1970), pp.
2120, 2143-44.

Gabel, Christopher R. The Lorraine Campaign: An Overview, September-December 1944, 14-37. Fort Leavenworth, KS: U.S.
Army Command and General Staff College, 1985.

US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010
Module I and Module II: Train, Deploy, and Project Power

H404: LSCO/MDO Ground Warfare: D-Day to the Elbe
Reading H404ORC

The Lorraine Campaign: An Overview, September-December 1944

by Christopher R. Gabel

On 6 June 1944, Allied troops landed in Normandy, and the liberation of German-occupied France
was underway. Throughout June and July, Allied soldiers expanded their beachhead against stiff
resistance while building up strength for the breakout. On 25 July, American forces under the command
of LTG Omar Bradley ruptured the German defenses on the western end of the beachhead and broke into
the clear. The U.S. Third Army, under the command of LTG George S. Patton, Jr., became operational on
1 August and poured through the gap.

Thus began one of the most sensational campaigns in the annals of American military history.
Patton’s Third Army raced through a narrow corridor between the German Seventh Army and the sea,
turned the flank of the entire German line in Normandy, and tore into the German rear. Third Army
advanced in all four directions at once, with elements advancing south to the Loire River, west into the
Brittany peninsula, north to a junction with the British near Falaise, and east towards the Seine River and
Paris. (See Map 1.)

The German forces in Normandy collapsed and, barely escaping total encirclement, streamed back
toward Germany with crippling losses in men and equipment. Patton’s army pursued ruthlessly and
recklessly deep into France. Armored spearheads led the way, with infantry riding the backs of the tanks.
Overhead, fighter-bombers patrolled the flanks, reported on conditions toward the front, and attacked any
German unit that took to the roads in daylight. Al1ied forces invaded southern France on 15 August and
joined in the pursuit. With the remnants of two German army groups in full retreat, the Supreme Allied
Commander, GEN Dwight D. Eisenhower, noted in his diary on 5 September, “The defeat of the German
Army is complete.”

As Third Army neared the French border province of Lorraine, Third Army’s intelligence sources
seemed to confirm that the war was virtually over. The top-secret interceptions known as Ultra revealed
that the Franco-German border was virtually undefended and would remain so until mid-September. A
corps reconnaissance squadron reported that the Moselle River, the last major water barrier in France, was
also undefended. Patton issued orders to his corps to seize Metz and Nancy, sweep through Lorraine, and
cross the Rhine River at Mannheim and Mainz.


Soldiers and generals alike assumed that Lorraine would fall quickly, and unless the war ended first,
Patton’s tanks would take the war into Germany by summer’s end. But Lorraine was not to be overrun in
a lightning campaign. Instead, the battle for Lorraine would drag on for more than three months. Why did
the rosy predictions of August go unfulfilled? And how did it come to pass that Lorraine would be the
scene of Third Army’s bloodiest campaign?

The province of Lorraine is the most direct route between France and Germany. Bounded on the west
by the Moselle River, on the east by the Saar River, with Luxembourg and the Ardennes to the north, and
the Vosges Mountains to the south, Lorraine has been a traditional invasion route between east and west
for centuries. The province has changed hands many times. Considered a part of France since 1766,
Lorraine fell under German possession between 1870 and 1914, and again in the period 1940-44, when
Hitler proclaimed it a part of Germany proper.

Despite its proximity to Germany, Lorraine was not the Allies’ preferred invasion route in 1944.
Except for its two principal cities, Metz and Nancy, the province contained few significant military
objectives. After the campaign, a frustrated General Patton sent the following message to the War

I hope that in the final settlement of the war, you insist that the Germans retain Lorraine,
because I can imagine no greater burden than to be the owner of this nasty country where
it rains every day and where the whole wealth of the people consists in assorted manure

Map 1: European Theater


Moreover, once Third Army penetrated the province and entered Germany, there would still be no
first-rate military objectives within its grasp. The Saar industrial region, while significant, was of
secondary importance when compared to the great Ruhr industrial complex farther north. The ancient
trading cities of the upper Rhine that had tempted conquerors for centuries were no longer of primary
rank in modern, industrialized Germany. Viewed in this light, it is understandable that the basic plan for
the European campaign called for the main effort to be made farther north, in the 21st Army Group’s
zone, where the vital military and industrial objectives lay. (See Map 2.)

Not only did Lorraine hold out few enticements, but it would prove to be a difficult battlefield as
well. The rolling farmland was broken by tangled woods and numerous towns and villages, some of
which were fortified. Because the ground rises gently from west to east, the Americans would frequently
find themselves attacking uphill. Third Army would have to cross numerous rivers and streams that ran
generally south to north and would have to penetrate two fortified lines to reach Germany—the French-
built Maginot Line and the so-called Siegfried Line, or Westwall, which stood just inside of Germany
itself. The Americans would not even be able to count on the unqualified support of Lorraine’s
inhabitants, for the Germans had deliberately colonized the province during their periods of control.

With so little going for it, why did Patton bother with Lorraine at all? The reason was that
Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander, made up his mind to destroy as many German forces as
possible west of the Rhine.

Map 2: Geography of Lorraine

Omar Bradley, Patton’s immediate superior as commander of 12th Army Group, concurred. All Allied
armies were ordered to press ahead on a broad front. In late August 1944, with the Lorraine gateway so
invitingly open, it was unthinkable to Patton that Third Army should be halted in midstride.

Unfortunately, on final fact of geography was to disappoint Patton’s hopes for the rapid dash into
Germany. Lorrain lies some 500 miles from the Normandy beaches over which Third Army still drew
much of its supply. During the August Pursuit across France, Third Army consumed 350,000 gallons of
gasoline every day. To fulfill this requirement and to meet similar demands from First Army,
Communications Zone organized the famous Red Ball Express, a nonstop conveyor belt of trucks
connecting the Normandy depots with the field armies.

At its peak, Red Ball employed 6,000 trucks that ran day and night in an operation that became more
difficult with every mile the armies advanced. To meet the demands of logistics, three newly arrived
infantry divisions were completely stripped of their trucks and left immobile in Normandy. The use of the
Red Ball Express represented a calculated gamble that the war would end before the trucks broke down,
for the vehicles were grossly overloaded and preventive maintenance was all but ignored. The Red Ball
Express itself consumed 300,000 gallons of precious gasoline every day—nearly as much as a field army.
(See Map 3.)

Thus, it was not surprising that on 28 August, with Patton’s spearheads in the vicinity of Reims, Third
Army’s gasoline allocation fell 100,000 gallons short of requirements; and since all reserves had been
burned up in the course of the pursuit, the pace of Patton’s advance began to suffer almost at once. The
simple truth was that although gasoline was plentiful in Normandy, there was no way to transport it in

Map 3: Route of the Red Ball Express

sufficient quantities to the leading elements. On 31 August, Third Army received no gasoline at all. With
fuel tanks running dry, Patton’s spearheads captured Verdun and crossed the Meuse River.

For the next five days, Third Army was virtually immobilized. Eisenhower granted logistical priority
to the British and American armies farther north, leaving Third Army with about one-quarter of its
required daily gasoline allotments. Patton’s troops captured some gasoline from the Germans, hijacked
some from First Army depots, and received some gasoline by air, but when gasoline receipts finally
increased to the point that the advance could be resumed, the opportunity of sweeping through Lorraine
unopposed had passed. (See Map 4.)

The gasoline shortage was followed by a shortage of ammunition, particularly in the larger artillery
calibers that had not been in great demand during the fluid pursuit. When operations became more static
along the Lorraine border, there was no way to build up ammunition stocks because all available trucks
were carrying gasoline. By 10 September, Third Army’s artillery batteries received only one-third of a
unit of fire per day. Other shortages would crop up as the campaign progressed. At one time or another,
rations, clothing, mattress covers, coffee, tires, tobacco, antifreeze, winter clothing, and overshoes would
all be in critically short supply.

Third Army’s intelligence sources began to run dry at the same time as its gas tanks. Ultra intercepts
had proved invaluable during the pursuit when fleeing German units relied heavily on the radio for
communication. Ultra would continue to produce intelligence of significant strategic value, but as Third
Army approached Lorraine, Ultra provided less and less information of an operational and tactical nature.

Map 4: Third Army Positions, 1 September 1944, Lorraine

Free French sources had cooperated actively with Third Army during the pursuit, but Lorraine, with its
partially hostile population and its swelling German garrison, was not a favorable setting for Resistance
activities. Military intelligence interpreter teams found fewer knowledgeable natives willing to be
interviewed, and the barrier posed by the Moselle River prevented the easy flow of both civilian agents
and combat patrols. Moreover, the corps commanders did not receive Ultra at all. Their corps intelligence
assets could, at best, see only 15,000 yards behind the enemy’s front.

Significantly, the American gasoline crisis and lapse in intelligence coincided with a major German
buildup in Lorraine. When Patton’s tanks sputtered to a halt, the German forces defending Lorraine
totaled only nine infantry battalions, two artillery batteries, and ten tanks. During the first week in
September, while Third Army was immobilized, German forces flowed into Lorraine from the northern
sector of the front, from southern France, and from Italy. The headquarters charged with the defense of
Lorraine was Army Group G, under the command of GEN Johannes Blaskowitz. First Army, Nineteenth
Army, and later Fifth Panzer Army were Blaskowitz’s major forces, although all were badly depleted.
Responsibility for the entire Western Front devolved upon Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, who had
held that post during the Normandy campaign until he told Hitler’s headquarters, “Make peace, you
fools!” Hitler restored von Rundstedt to command on 1 September and ordered the field marshal to keep
Patton out of Lorraine until the defenses along the German frontier could be built up. Von Rundstedt also
began amassing forces for a counterattack in the Ardennes that would eventually take place in December.

Few of the Germans defending Lorraine could be considered first-rate troops. Third Army
encountered whole battalions made up of deaf men, others of cooks, and still others consisting entirely of
soldiers with stomach ulcers. The G2 also identified a new series of German formations designated
Volksgrenadier divisions. (See Figure 1.) These hastily constituted divisions numbered only 10,000 men
each and possessed only six rifle battalions; in theory they were to be provided with extra artillery and
assault guns to compensate for the quantitative and qualitative inferiority of their infantry. Two or three
panzer divisions faced Third Army in a mobile reserve role, but these units had managed to bring only
five to ten tanks apiece out of the retreat across France. (See Figure 2.) Instead of rebuilding the depleted
panzer divisions, Hitler preferred to devote tank production to the creation of ad hoc formations,
designated panzer brigades, that were controlled at the corps or army level. Other formations that Third
Army would face in Lorraine included panzer grenadier (mechanized infantry divisions) and elements of
the elite Waffen SS. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 1: German Volksgrenadier Division, 1944


Figure 2: German Panzer Division, 1944

Figure 3: German Panzer Grenadier Division, 1944


On the eve of the autumn battles along the German frontier, von Rundstedt’s Western Front forces
were outnumbered 2 to 1 in effective manpower, 25 to 1 in artillery tubes, and 20 to 1 in tanks. But
despite its tattered appearance, the army that rose up to protect the borders of the Fatherland was not a
beaten force. When Patton’s troops received enough gasoline to resume their advance towards the
Moselle on 5 September, after a delay of nearly a week, the troops quickly discovered that the great
pursuit was over. Instead of running down the fleeing fragments of shattered German units, soldiers all
along Third Army’s front encountered enemy soldiers who contested every foot of ground and who
counterattacked viciously to recover lost positions. Third Army intelligence clearly indicated that the
Germans were no longer in headlong retreat, yet some time would pass before Patton and his corps
commanders accepted the fact that the pursuit had ended.

At the same time that Army Group G received reinforcements, Patton’s Third army was being
trimmed down. In the pursuit across France, Third Army had controlled four far-flung corps, but during
September two of those corps were detached from Patton’s command. For most of the Lorraine campaign,
Third Army would consist of two corps, the XX and the XII. Four to six infantry divisions and two or
three armored divisions would carry the bulk of the burden for the next three months. In addition to these
major combat elements, Third Army controlled two quartermaster groups totaling 60 companies, two
ordnance groups comprising 11 battalions, and six groups of engineers. An antiaircraft artillery brigade
and a tank destroyer brigade provided administrative support to their respective battalions, most of which
were attached to lower echelons. (See Figure 4.)

Each of Third Army’s two corps possessed as organic troops a headquarters with support elements
and a corps artillery headquarters. In the Lorraine campaign, two or three infantry and one or two armored
divisions were usually attached to each corps. One or two cavalry groups of two squadrons each provided
corps reconnaissance. (See Figure 5.)

Figure 4: Third Army in the Lorraine Campaign


Corps artillery consisted of four to five field artillery groups controlled by a corps fire direction center
(FDC), which could allocate its assets to the divisions or control them itself. Corps artillery also tied into
the divisional artillery, making it possible to coordinate every field artillery tube within that corps. In the
Lorraine campaign, the corps zones became so wide that one FDC could not control all of the corps
artillery. A field artillery brigade headquarters frequently served as a second FDC, splitting the corps zone
with the corps artillery FDC.

The corps FDC system was highly efficient at massing artillery fires and proved to be extremely
responsive and flexible. On one occasion during the Lorraine campaign, an infantry unit about to make an
assault contacted XX Corps FEC with a request for artillery support. The FDC plotted the target and
issued orders to the appropriate artillery battalion. The battalion in turn assigned the mission to a battery
which delivered 67 rounds on the target. The total elapsed time from receipt of request to completion of
the mission was six minutes. At the other extreme, XII Corps artillery, aided by the 33d Field Artillery
Brigade, organized a program of fires in support of the November offensive that involved 380
concentrations over a 4-hour period.

The American infantry division in World War II was the 15,000-man triangular division, so called
because it possessed three infantry regiments, each of which consisted of three battalions, and so on. Four
battalions made up the divisional artillery, whose primary weapons were the 105-mm howitzers.
Typically, the triangular division, which was originally designed to be a “light division,” also included
plug-in components such as quartermaster trucks, extra artillery, and extra engineers. For example,
although the division could motorize only one regiment with organic truck assets, by attaching six
quartermaster truck companies, it could be made 100 percent vehicle mobile. Most infantry divisions
controlled a tank battalion and a tank destroyer battalion which was usually equipped with tank-like
vehicles. The division was capable of breaking down into regimental combat teams, each with its own
complement of artillery, engineers, armor, and tank destroyers. Regimental combat teams, however, were
not provided with support elements. The infantry division had to fight as a division. (See Figure 6.)

Figure 5: U.S. Corps, 1944


Figure 6: U.S. Infantry Division with Attachments and Typical Task Organization

Figure 7: U.S. Armored Division with Attachments and Typical Task Organization

The 1944 armored division was a relatively small organization of 11,000 men and 263 tanks. It
possessed three tank battalions, three battalions of armored infantry, and three battalions of self-propelled
artillery. Three task force headquarters, designated Combat Commands A, B, and R, controlled any mix
of fighting elements in battle. According to doctrine, the armored division was primarily a weapon of
exploitation to be committed after the infantry division had created a penetration. The M-4 Sherman tank
reflected this doctrine. It was mobile, reliable, and mounted a general purpose 75-mm gun in most of its
variants. In keeping with doctrine, tank destroyers and not tanks carried the high-velocity antitank guns.
(See Figure 7.)

The relationship among field army, corps, and division was prescribed by LTG Lesley J. McNair,
head of Army Ground Forces in Washington. Divisions were to be lean and simple, offensive in
orientation, with attachments made as necessary. The corps was designed to be a purely tactical
headquarters that could handle any mix of infantry and armored divisions. The field army allocated
divisions to the corps and assigned supplemental combat support and service support elements where

Logistics flowed from Communications Zone through the field army to the divisions, theoretically
bypassing the corps echelon. In actual practice, the corps did become involved in logistics, at least to the
extent of designating truck heads and allocating service support units. The typical division slice in the
European theater was 40,000 troops, of which 15,000 were organic to the division, 15,000 were corps and
army troops, and 10,000 were Communications Zone personnel.

Rounding out the weapons in Patton’s arsenal for the Lorraine campaign was the XIX Tactical Air
Command (TAC), which had cooperated with Third Army throughout the pursuit across France. Fighter-
bombers from the XIX TAC flew 12,000 sorties in support of Third Army during August, but in
September, TAC’s efforts would be divided between the Lorraine front and, the battles being waged to
reduce the German fortresses still holding out along the French coast. As the autumn wore on, XIX TAC
would be increasingly frustrated by poor weather. By this stage in the war, however, the German air force
was capable only of sporadic operations.

Thus, at the outset of the Lorraine campaign, Third Army was logistically starved, depleted in
strength, and denied the full use of its air assets. In spite of this, Patton and his superiors remained
convinced that the war could be ended in 1944. On 10 September, 12th Army Group ordered Third Army
to advance on a broad front and seize crossings over the Rhine River at Mannheim and Mainz. Patton’s
forces were already on the move.

The focus of attention in September was on XII Corps, commanded by MG Manton S. Eddy. The XII
Corps was the southern of Third Army’s two permanent corps. Its principal components were the 35th
and 80th Infantry Divisions and the 4th Armored Division. Later in the month, the 6th Armored Division
would join the corps. Eddy’s immediate objective was Nancy, one of two major cities in Lorraine.
Although unfortified, Nancy was protected by the terrain and, most important, by the Moselle River. (See
Map 5.)

The XII Corps’ first attempt to capture Nancy began on 5 September, the day that Third Army
received just enough gasoline to resume its advance. Eddy ordered 35th Division to attack Nancy from
the west. Simultaneously, the 4th Armored Division, passing through a bridgehead across the Moselle (to
be secured by 80th Division), would attack the city from the east. The plan was foiled when 80th Division
failed to obtain its bridgehead. The crossing attempt, staged at Pont-à-Mousson, was made straight off the
march, without reconnaissance, secrecy, or adequate artillery support. Such improvised operations had
worked during the pursuit, but when the 80th Division pushed a battalion across the Moselle, it collided

with the 3d Panzer Grenadier Division, just arrived from Italy. The Germans held dominating ground and
could not be dislodged. The American bridgehead collapsed, and the survivors returned to the west bank.

Following this reverse, Eddy took five days to regroup his corps and prepare a more deliberate
operation. On 11 September, a regiment of 35th Division, supported by corps artillery, established a
bridgehead across the Moselle south of Nancy and fought its way toward the city. North of Nancy, 80th
Division made a successful crossing on the following day at Dieulouard. This time secrecy and a careful
deception plan paid off. The Dieulouard bridgehead was established against little opposition and pontoon
bridges were quickly emplaced. However, once the initial surprise wore off. German reaction to the
Dieulouard bridgehead was savage. Heavy artillery fire and repeated counterattacks by 3d Panzer
Grenadier Division threatened to erase 80th Division’s bridgehead across the Moselle. (See Map 6.)

Early on the morning of 13 September, Combat Command A of 4th Armored Division began to cross
into the threatened bridgehead. The leading armored elements routed a German counterattack then in
progress and broke through the German forces containing the bridgehead. Spearheaded by 37th Tank
Battalion, under the command of LTC Creighton Abrams, and reinforced by a battalion of truck-mounted
infantry from 80th Infantry Division, Combat Command A punched into the enemy rear, overrunning
German positions with all guns firing. Operating on a front equal to the width of the lead tank and with its
supply trains accompanying the combat elements, Combat Command A covered 45 miles in 37 hours,
overran the German headquarters responsible for the defense of Nancy, and established a position
blocking the escape routes from the city. Combat Command B, which had passed through the bridgehead
south of Nancy, linked up with Combat Command A between Arracourt and Lunéville. Nancy itself fell
to the 35th Division on 15 September.

Map 6: Capture of Nancy by XII Corps, 11-16 September 1944

With XII Corps established on the east bank of the Moselle, LTG Patton hoped to resume the war of
movement in which Third Army excelled. He ordered MG Eddy to attack eastward with divisions in
column. The objective of XII Corps was still to cross the Rhine. The Germans, who had no reserves in the
area, feared that XII Corps was on the verge of a breakthrough. But before he resumed the eastward
advance, Eddy chose to clear out pockets of resistance around Nancy, giving the Germans three days to
bring reinforcements to the sector. Army Group G received orders to drive in XII Corps’ right flank and
throw Patton’s forces back across the Moselle. To carry out this mission, the Germans recreated Fifth
Panzer Army, a hastily scraped together force commanded by General Hasso von Manteuffel, an armor
expert imported from the Russian Front. From 19 to 25 September, two panzer brigades of the LVIII
Panzer Corps hammered at Combat Command A’s exposed position around Arracourt. Although
outgunned by the German Panther tanks, the American Shermans and self-propelled tank destroyers
enjoyed superior mobility and received overwhelming air support when the weather permitted. The fogs
which interfered with American air strikes also neutralized the superior range of German tank armament.
At the end of the week-long battle, Combat Command A reported 25 tanks and 7 tank destroyers lost but
claimed 285 German tanks destroyed. (See Map 7.)

To the north of Fifth Panzer Army, the German First Army attempted to eliminate XII Corps’
bridgehead across the Seille River. The 559th Volksgrenadier Division launched a series of attacks
against 35th Division in the Grémecey Forest that lasted from 26 to 30 September. In contrast to the tank
battle at Arracourt, 35th Division’s engagement at Grémecey was a swirling infantry battle fought out at
close quarters among thick woods and entrenchments left over from World War I. After three days of
chaotic, seesaw fighting, Eddy ordered the 35th to withdraw across the Seille, an order which Patton
promptly countermanded. The arrival of 6th Armored Division from Army reserve restored the situation
with a double envelopment of the hotly contested forest. However, Eddy’s status as corps commander
suffered badly. His relationship with the division commanders never fully recovered, and Patton seriously
contemplated relieving him. (See Map 7.)

Map 7: German Counterattacks Against XII Corps, 19-30 September 1944,

Hitler responded to the loss of Nancy and the failed German counterattacks by relieving Blaskowitz
from command of Army Group A. To replace him, Hitler chose General Hermann Balck, an experienced
corps commander from the Russian Front.

In the northern sector of Third Army’s front, MG Walton Walker’s XX Corps also established a
bridgehead across the Moselle during September. Walker’s orders were to capture Metz and sweep to the
Rhine, a task far beyond the capabilities of a corps that held a 40-mile front with three divisions, the 5th,
90th, and 7th Armored. Moreover, Metz, unlike Nancy, was thoroughly fortified. Forty-three
intercommunicating forts on both sides of the Moselle ringed the city. Although some of the older
fortifications dated from the nineteenth century, the more modern ones could house garrisons of up to
2,000 men and were armed with heavy artillery mounted in steel and concrete turrets. Designed to hold an
entire field army, the Metz fortifications were manned by 14,000 troops of the 462d Division. A this point
in the campaign, XX Corps was using Michelin road maps and thus had virtually no knowledge of the
Metz fortifications. (See Map 8.)

On 7 September, 5th Infantry Division opened assault on Metz, ignorant of the fact that it was
attacking the most strongly fortified city in Western Europe. For a week, one of its regiments was chewed
to pieces among the forts west of the Moselle, which were manned by students of an officer candidate
school. Even when reinforced by a combat command of the 7th Armored Division, the American attack
made little progress. Incidentally, this action took place on the same ground upon which two German field
armies were mauled in equally unsuccessful assaults during the 1870 Franco-Prussian War.

Map 8: XX Corps at Metz, 5-25 September 1944

In an attempt to encircle Metz, MG Walker also ordered 5th Division to establish a bridgehead across
the Moselle south of the city. The 5th Division’s first crossing, made at Dornot, was a makeshift frontal
assault against a prepared enemy, which included elements of the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Division.
The crossing operation was marked by great confusion. It lacked adequate artillery support, and it was
subjected to hostile fire coming from both banks of the river. Four companies established a tiny
bridgehead on the east bank which was bombarded continuously by artillery and mortars. For two days
the bridgehead forces turned back repeated counterattacks, while German fire disrupted ferrying
operations and prevented the building of a bridge. Finally, the survivors in the bridgehead were
withdrawn without their equipment.

A more carefully planned crossing operation succeeded nearby at Arnaville on 10 September. Under
the covering fire of 13 artillery battalions, plus air support and a generated smoke screen, 5th Division
established a permanent bridgehead over the Moselle that became the main divisional effort. The artillery
of XX Corps and the P-47s of XIX Tactical Air Command helped break up counterattacks mounted by
the 3d and the 17th SS Panzer Grenadier Divisions. Although the 5th Division had successfully crossed
the Moselle, the ring of fortifications protecting Metz was still virtually intact. The 7th Armored Division
crossed into the Arnaville bridgehead with orders from MG Walker to hook behind Metz while 5th
Division captured the city itself. However, the terrain was unsuited to armored operations, and 5th
Division was bled white—by the end of the month the 5th required 5,000 fillers to bring it up to strength.
Meanwhile, a stalemate ensued along XX Corps’ front.

On 25 September, Third Army operations came to an abrupt halt. Even with the Red Ball Express
running at full capacity, logistical support was inadequate to sustain operations by all of the Allied forces
on the Continent. Accordingly, GEN Eisenhower decreed that the main Allied effort would come from
the British 21st Army Group, including Third Army, was to hold its present positions until the logistical
crisis receded. LTG Patton was unwilling to yield the initiative to the enemy, so he ordered Third Army
not to dig in, but rather to establish outpost lines and maintain active, mobile reserves. (See Map 9.)

Map 9: Third Army Dispositions, 25 September 1944, Lorraine

Third Army was relatively dormant from 25 September to 8 November. Patton’s forces utilized the time to
carefully husband resources and build up reserves for future operations. Stringent gasoline rationing went
into effect on 3 October, and although gasoline receipts for the month were only 67 percent of requested
amounts, Third Army managed to amass a small reserve. The larger calibers of ammunition were also
strictly rationed. To take the place of silent artillery tubes, tanks, tank destroyers, and mortars were
surveyed in for use as artillery. Extensive use was also made of captured German ordnance. One time on
target (TOT) fired in XX Corps’ zone was executed with captured German 105-mm howitzers, Russian-
made 76.2-mm guns and French 155-mm howitzers (also captured from the Germans), and German 88-
mm antitank guns. Eighty percent of the artillery ammunition expended by XX Corps in the last week of
October was of German origin.

A number of factors facilitated Third Army’s logistical recovery. One of these was the speed with
which the French railroad system was rehabilitated and put to military use. Although the railroads in
Normandy had been thoroughly interdicted prior to and during the invasion, those in central and eastern
France were relatively undamaged by Allied aircraft and had been abandoned almost intact by the
retreating Germans. During the October lull, Third Army brought its railheads as far forward as Nancy.
For a time, Third Army personnel actually operated the trains themselves. The French civilian sector
provided rolling stock and trained personnel to supplement Third Army’s quartermasters.

The French civilian economy, by providing what we today call “host nation support,” helped ease Third
Army’s logistical burdens in other ways as well. The Gnome-Rhone engine works in Paris were retooled
to repair American tank engines. Other manufacturers produced tank escape hatches and track extenders
that greatly facilitated mobility in the Lorraine mud. When colder weather precipitated a critical shortage
of antifreeze, French industry supplied thousands of gallons of alcohol in lieu of Prestone. Local sources
also produced fan belts, and when tires became so scarce that all spares were removed from their racks
and put into use, French tire manufacturers turned their production over to the U.S. Army. With Patton’s
permission, Third Army’s ordnance units moved inside existing French facilities with the result that
ordnance productivity increased 50 percent. In fact, Third Army utilized everything from local coal mines
to dry-cleaning plants.

Captured German supplies were another important source of materiel during the October lull. In
addition to the weapons and ammunition mentioned earlier, Third Army used captured gasoline
transported in captured jerricans, spark plugs rethreaded for American engines, and thousands of tons of
food that fed both soldiers and local civilians.

By the time full-scale operations resumed in November, Third Army’s program of rationing and local
procurement had resulted in the establishment of substantial reserves. On the average, each division held
four days of Class I and five days of Class III supplies when the eastward advance was resumed. Except
for heavy artillery shells, the ammunition shortage was no longer critical.

Third Army’s intelligence picture also improved during the October lull. Through Ultra and other
sources, the German order of battle was well known to Third Army’s G2 and would remain so throughout
the campaign. Ultra revealed that the Germans, too, were rationing gasoline. Even the panzer divisions
were partially dependent on horse-drawn transportation. The XX Corps received detailed plans of the
Metz fortifications obtained from archives in Paris and supplemented by French officers who had built
and manned the citadel. The most encouraging intelligence received in October revealed that the Germans
were withdrawing many of their best units from Lorraine, including Fifth Panzer Army. Intelligence did
not disclose, however, that these forces were being amassed for the Ardennes counteroffensive which
came in December.

The quality and quantity of Patton’s forces improved while the German defenders in Lorraine
declined in effectiveness. During October and the first week in November, American units were rotated
out of the line to rest, refit, and absorb replacements. The XX Corps gave up the 7th Armored Division
but acquired the 95th Infantry and 10th Armored Divisions in return. In addition, XII Corps obtained the
26th Division, raising Third Army’s strength to six infantry and three armored divisions.

Although ordered by 12th Army Group to hold its position, Third Army conducted several limited
operations during the October lull. The XII Corps closed in on the Seille River, giving its new units some
exposure to combat and securing jump-off positions for future operations. Meanwhile, XX Corps
prepared for a systematic reduction of Metz. An extensive and highly integrated artillery observation
system was established that tied together 70 ground observation posts and 62 airborne observers. All XX
Corps divisions rotated out of the line for training in the reduction of fortifications. The 90th Division
patiently cleared the Germans out of Maizières-lès-Metz in a carefully controlled operation that
simultaneously opened the only unfortified approach to Metz and provided the division with experience in
urban combat. (See Map 10.)

On 3 October, XX Corps’ battle-scarred 5th Division mounted an ill-advised attack on Fort Driant,
one of the fortress complexes protecting Metz from the south and west. With the support of 23 artillery
battalions, one rifle battalion reinforced by tanks and tank destroyers managed to occupy Driant’s surface,
but the American infantrymen were unable to penetrate the underground galleries. American artillery was
disappointingly ineffective against Driant’s five batteries. An American 8-inch gun scored eight direct hits
on one of Driant’s artillery turrets, silencing the German piece for 15 minutes, after which it resumed
operation. Following ten days of fighting in which 50 percent of the assaulting infantry were killed or
wounded, American forces withdrew from Fort Driant. (See Map 10.)

Map 10: XX Corps Operations, October 1944, Metz

On 21 October, Third Army received orders to resume full-scale offensive operations on or about 10
November. Patton’s objective was still the Rhine River. By this time Third Army outnumbered the
Germans in Lorraine by 250,000 to 86,000. However, the Germans were about to obtain a valuable ally in
the form of weather. Seven inches of rain fell in November, about twice the normal amount. Twenty days
that month had rain. Lorraine suffered from its worst floods in 35 years. On two different occasions,
floodwaters washed out the Moselle bridges behind the Third Army in the midst of heavy fighting.
Almost all operations were limited to the hard roads, a circumstance that the Germans exploited through
the maximum use of demolitions. Third Army engineers build over 130 bridges during November.

The weather virtually negated American air superiority. The XIX Tactical Air Command, which had
flown 12,000 sorties in the golden days of August, flew only 3,500 in November. There was no air
activity at all for 12 days out of the month.

Third Army’s offensive began on 8 November in weather so bad that MG Eddy, XII Corps
commander, asked Patton to postpone the attack. Patton told Eddy to attack as scheduled or else name his
successor. Despite the total lack of air support. Eddy attacked on the 8th and thoroughly surprised the
defending Germans, who believed that the weather was too bad to allow offensive operations. The most
massive artillery preparation in Third Army history preceded XII Corps’ attack. All of XII Corps’ artillery
plus 5 battalions borrowed from XX Corps—for a total of 42 battalions and 540 guns—poured 22,000
rounds on the stunned Germans. At 0600, XII Corps jumped off with three infantry divisions abreast and
two armored divisions in corps reserve. Instead of waiting for a decisive opportunity in which to commit
his reserve, Eddy broke the armored divisions up into combat commands and sent them into the line on D
plus 2, thus relegating Third Army’s most powerful concentration of armor to an infantry-support role.
With the American armor dispersed, the defending German 11th Panzer Division was able to restrict XII
Corps’ rate of advance with a relatively thin delaying screen and local counterattacks. (See Map 11.)

Map 11: XII Corps Attack, 8 November 1944, Nancy

General Walker’s XX Corps made its main attack across the Moselle in the Metz sector on 9
November, one day after XII Corps. It, too, achieved surprise. The 90th Division and 10th Armored
Division had shifted to assembly areas north of Thionville in great secrecy. A detachment of special
troops maintained radio traffic and manned dummy guns in the vacated zone. There was no artillery
preparation so as not to disclose the imminent attack. The Moselle flooded out of its banks, which
complicated the crossing operation but had the side benefit of inundating the German minefields on the
east bank and lulling the defenders into a false sense of security. Finally, 95th Division staged a
demonstration south of Thionville that involved crossing a battalion to the east bank, thus drawing
attention away from the main effort farther north. General Balck, commander of German Army Group G,
had ordered his units to hold the front with a minimum of strength until the anticipated artillery barrage
had passed, whereupon they were to rush forward in force to meet the American assault waves. Since
there was no artillery barrage, and since the Germans otherwise failed to predict the attack, Balck’s
defensive scheme was unhinged at the outset of the operation. (See Map 12.)

The 90th Division crossed the swirling waters of the Moselle at Koenigsmacker early on 9 November
and established a secure bridgehead. The 10th Armored Division moved up to the west bank, ready to
cross into the bridge as soon as the engineers were able to build a bridge. Due to the high, fast waters, five
days would pass before armor crossed the Moselle in force. The Moselle crossings taxed Third Army’s
engineers to the utmost. An infantry support bridge put in behind 90th Division was swept away, and the
approaches were flooded. When the waters finally subsided, bridges were established for the 90th and
95th Divisions, only to be inundated by a second flood even greater than the first. The bridges themselves
were saved, but their approaches were completely underwater rendering them useless until the Moselle
once more receded. Meanwhile, liaison aircraft and amphibious trucks helped keep the bridgehead

Map 12: XX Corps Capture of Metz, 8-21 November 1944

supplied, and concentrated artillery fire from the west bank helped break up the repeated German
counterattacks mounted against 90th Division until armor could cross the Moselle.

The XX Corps’ artillery also saw to it that the Germans suffered as much as possible from the
atrocious weather. The 17 artillery battalions supporting 90th Division shelled all buildings in the assault
area, driving the defenders out into the rain and mud. The U.S. Eighth Air Force contributed to this effort
by sending over 1,000 four-engine bombers to conduct saturation bombing of the towns and villages in
the assault area. The poor weather forced the airmen to bomb by radar, which detracted significantly from
the accuracy of the attack.

With 90th Division established at Koenigsmacker, 5th Division pushing north from the Arnaville
bridgehead, and 95th Division advancing across the old Franco-Prussian War battlefield west of the city,
XX Corps had three divisions poised to close on Metz. Then, XX Corps created another threat by
converting 95th Division’s demonstration at Uckange into a major effort and reinforcing it with armor.
Given the designation Task Force Bacon, this battle group fought its way toward Metz in mobile columns
led by tanks and tank destroyers that shot up all possible centers of resistance, to the extent of using 3-
inch antitank guns to knock out individual snipers. All of the forces closing on Metz employed new
techniques in dealing with fortified areas. Frontal assaults were avoided. Instead, strongpoints and forts
were surrounded, bypassed, and systematically reduced with high explosives and gasoline. Task Force
Bacon entered Metz from the north on 17 November, the same day 5th Division reached the city from the
south and 95th Division neared the Moselle bridges to the west. As street fighting ensued in Metz itself,
XX Corps’ artillery laid interdiction fire on all German escape routes east of the city. (See Map 12.)

Although Hitler had declared that Metz was officially a fortress, meaning that it would hold out to the
last man, General Balck decided to make no further sacrifices for the city. He abandoned the second-rate
division fighting in downtown Metz and broke contact, withdrawing to the east. On 19 November, 90th
Division and 5th Division linked up east of Metz, completing the encirclement of the city. Although some
of the forts held out for two more weeks, the commander of the German garrison in Metz surrendered on
21 November. Thus, XX Corps was the first military force to capture Metz by storm since 451 A.D.

The XX Corps left some elements at Metz to reduce the holdout forts and regrouped the remainder of
its forces to join XII Corps in Third Army’s eastward advance. The next obstacle confronting Patton’s
troops was the Westwall, known to the Allies as the Siegfried Line, that lay just within Germany proper.
The 10th Armored Division had finally crossed the Moselle on 14 November with orders to exploit east
and north to the Saar River. The American tanks made some progress to the east against the determined
resistance of the 21st Panzer Division, but the push to the north came to a halt along an east-west
extension of the Westwall. There would be no clean breakthrough in XX Corps’ sector, just as there had
been none for XII Corps. (See Map 13.)

The German defenders were critical of, but grateful for, Patton’s decision to advance on a broad front
of nine divisions spread out over 60 miles. In particular, they felt that the Americans made a grave error
in not concentrating their three armored divisions into one corps for a knockout blow. The three panzer
divisions in Lorraine were down to 13, 7, and 4 tanks respectively, a fact that Patton was well aware of,
thanks to Ultra. On paper, there were 12 German divisions facing Third Army’s nine, but in reality, the
defenders possessed just one battalion for each 4 miles of front. Therefore, Patton’s decision to tie his
armored divisions to the infantry enabled the Germans to delay the Third Army with a thin screen and
pull the bulk of their forces back into the Westwall.


Facilitating the German delaying action were the fortifications of the Maginot Line, numerous
streams, and of course, the weather. Noncombat casualties, for the month of November. Moreover, 95
percent of the trench foot cases would be out of action, at least until spring. Part of the blame for the high
rate of noncombat casualties must go to the Quartermaster, European Theater of Operations, who had
refused to order a newly developed winter uniform for the troops because he believed that the war would
end before cold weather came. Not until January was there an adequate supply of jackets, raincoats,
overshoes, blankets, and sweaters. As a result, 46,000 troops throughout the European theater were
hospitalized, the equivalent of three infantry divisions.

Weather and enemy action took their greatest toll among the infantry, which sustained 89 percent of
Third Army’s casualties. By the end of November, Patton could no longer obtain enough infantry fillers to
replace the losses among his rifle units. Manpower planners in the Pentagon had failed to foresee that the
battle along the German frontier would be a hard-fought affair conducted in terrible weather and had thus
failed to allocate enough manpower to infantry training. Back in the States, tank destroyer and antiaircraft
battalions were broken up and sent to infantry training centers. In Lorraine, General Patton “drafted” 5
percent of army and corps troops for retraining as infantry, and when bloody fighting along the Westwall
sent infantry losses soaring, he “drafted” an additional 5 percent.

In early December, Third Army’s leading elements had pushed across the German border at several
places along its front as the Germans withdrew into the Westwall. The 95th Division captured an intact
bridge across the Saar River at Saarlautern in XX Corps’ zone and encountered some of the stiffest
resistance yet experienced, as the German troops fought to defend their own soil. The Americans
discovered that the town of Saarlautern itself was part of the Westwall. Unlike the Maginot Line or the
Metz fortifications, the Westwall did not consist of gigantic underground fortresses and heavy artillery
emplacements. Instead, it was a belt of tank obstacles, barbed wire, pillboxes, and fortified buildings.

Map 13: Third Army Operations, 19 November-19 December 1944, Lorraine

Although the Germans considered the Westwall to be antiquated, shallow, and poorly equipped, it
nonetheless constituted a formidable military obstacle. In Saarlautern the fighting was literally house-to-
house and pillbox-to-pillbox. To facilitate the slow infantry advance, XX Corps’ artillery fired in direct
support of small units. The 8-inch and 240-mm pieces adjusted their fire on individual buildings on one
side of the street, while American infantrymen on the opposite side of the street prepared to advance. The
90th Division forced a crossing of the Saar at Dillingen and encountered similar resistance. Casualties
mounted as the Germans brought to bear the heaviest artillery fire that Third Army had yet experienced.
(See Map 13.)

With toeholds established in the Westwall, LTG Patton initiated planning for a new offensive
scheduled to jump off on 19 December. Veteran units such as the long-suffering 5th Division were pulled
out of the action for reorganization and training. Patton received another corps headquarters, III Corps,
and some fresh units, including 87th Division. Third Army’s objectives for the December offensive were
the same as they had been in August—bridgeheads across the Rhine in the vicinity of Mannheim and

Preparations for the attack were well under way when, on 16 December, Third Army received
fragmentary indications of trouble in First Army’s sector to the north. It rapidly became apparent that a
full-scale German counteroffensive was under way in the Ardennes. Patton quickly canceled the
December offensive and implemented a contingency plan drawn up some days previously. The XX Corps
abandoned its dearly bought bridgeheads over the Saar and assumed defensive positions on the west bank.
On 20 December, XII Corps and III Corps, which had supervised the retraining of infantry fillers,
shuffled divisions and turned north to strike the flank of the German penetration in the Ardennes. Third
Army eventually assumed control of one other corps fighting in the Ardennes. The reorientation of a field
army from east to north involved routing 12,000 vehicles along four roads, establishing a completely new
set of supply points, and restructuring Third Army’s entire signals network to support a new army
headquarters in Luxembourg. Third Army troops entered the Battle of the Bulge on 22 December, and
four days later LTC Creighton Abrams of Arracourt fame led his battalion of the 4th Armored Division to
the relief of Bastogne. (See Map 14.)

Map 14: Third Army Redeployment, 20-26 December 1944

The Lorraine campaign, which began in September with the promise of imminent victory, ended in
December with Third Army rushing north to help avert disaster in the Ardennes. What conclusions can be
drawn from this costly and frustrating campaign?

Historians and analysts have often criticized the American commanders in the Lorraine campaign.
One shortcoming that they have identified was a tendency toward overoptimism, an understandable
development given the great victories won in July and August and the information generated by Ultra.
The successful conduct of the operational level of war requires the commander to look beyond the
immediate battlefield and project himself forward in space and time, but this trait was carried to excess in
Lorraine at the echelons above corps. From September to December, Eisenhower, Bradley, and Patton
had their sights set firmly beyond the Rhine. Consequently, they underestimated the obstacles and
opposition that their soldiers would have to overcome along the way. Thus, a difference in outlook arose
between the higher commanders who drew large arrows on maps and the tactical units fighting for yards
of muddy ground.

General Patton can also be faulted for neglecting to practice economy of force. We have noted several
instances in which Third Army’s forces were spread out on a broad front in an attempt to be strong
everywhere with the result that they were decisively strong nowhere. In retrospect, the important battle in
September was XII Corps’ fight around Nancy, and in November, the main effort was XX Corps’ assault
against Metz. And yet Patton failed to concentrate Third Army’s resources in reinforcement of the corps
engaged in decisive operations. Furthermore, Patton never made an attempt to punch through the German
defenses with divisions in column, even though he received approval for such an operation from his
superior, LTG Bradley. One rule of thumb for mechanized forces that emerged from World War II was to
march dispersed but concentrate to fight. In Lorraine, Third Army fought dispersed. (See Map 15.)

A similar criticism can be made of Patton’s corps commanders. Walker and Eddy tended repeatedly to
disperse their divisions and assign them missions beyond their means. We have seen several examples of

Map 15: Third Army Operations in Lorraine

important operations undertaken by divisions or parts of divisions without adequate planning or support,
even though other forces could have been obtained to augment the effort by practicing economy of force.
The corps commanders were trapped between Patton, who continually urged aggressive action, and the
grim realities of terrain, weather, and a determined enemy. Perhaps it is not surprising that at times
Walker and Eddy became preoccupied with local problems and lost sight of the broader issues. As a
result, at the corps level the Lorraine campaign was a disjointed affair, with little cooperation between
corps, and a little continuity from one operation to the next. However, such operations as the tank battle
leading to Arracourt and the 90th Division crossing of the Moselle at Koenigsmacker demonstrated that
the American corps commanders were not incapable of applying force in a flexible and decisive manner.

The Lorraine campaign taught us some lessons in combined arms warfare. The tank and the airplane,
two weapons which were commonly believed to have revolutionized warfare, were an unbeatable
combination during the pursuit leading up to Lorraine. But when the enemy dug in and the weather turned
bad, infantry, artillery, and engineers reemerged as the dominant arms. The critical shortage of infantry
fillers demonstrated that the American high command had failed to anticipate this development.

This campaign also demonstrated some of the drawbacks associated with the concept of a relatively
light division reinforced by corps attachments. The triangular division embodied the characteristics of
mobility and maneuver, but in Lorraine it was repeatedly employed in direct assaults against an emplaced
enemy. The heavy casualties that occurred in such operations were more than the triangular division could
sustain, with the result that the entire division was often rendered virtually combat ineffective and had to
be withdrawn from the line to rebuild. Perhaps the division, corps, and army commanders should be
faulted for failing to utilize a greater degree of maneuver for which the triangular division was much
better suited. The concept of plugging in temporary reinforcements from corps was seldom practiced as
prescribed by doctrine. Instead, corps tended to assign combat and support elements to the division on a
semi-permanent basis, thus making up for some of the muscle that the triangular division lacked

The American armored elements were not at their best in Lorraine either. Much of this can be
attributed to the weather, but some of the blame must be given to the army commander for binding his
armored divisions into infantry-heavy corps. Patton’s reluctance to mass his armor came as a pleasant
surprise to the Germans, who believed that their panzer divisions were just as useful in creating
breakthroughs as they were in exploiting them. At a lower level, the combat command concept provided
great tactical flexibility through decentralized control, but it also tempted Patton’s corps commanders to
break up the armored division and parcel it out by combat commands, a policy that further diluted Third
Army’s armored punch. Organizationally, the Armored Division of 1944 proved to be weak in infantry, a
shortcoming often made good by detaching battalions from infantry divisions and assigning them to
armored combat commands.

In addition, American tank crews repeatedly paid a heavy price for a doctrinal decision made before
the war that declared tanks to be offensive weapons not intended for defensive combat against other
tanks. As a result of this official policy, the M-4 Sherman tanks in Lorraine were badly outgunned by
German panzers that mounted superb antitank pieces. The tank-stopping task was officially assigned to
the tank destroyers, which were supposed to be thinly armored, highly mobile, heavily armed antitank
specialists. Doctrine called for the majority of tank destroyers to be pooled in special corps and army
antitank reserves, which could rush to the scene of an armored attack anywhere along the front. But Third
Army didn’t need an antitank reserve in Lorraine because German tanks usually appeared a few at a time.
Consequently, the tank destroyer concept was discarded after the war, when the U.S. Army decided that
the best weapon to stop a tank was another adequately armed tank.

Finally, the Lorraine campaign demonstrated that logistics often drive operations, no matter how
forceful and aggressive the commanding general may be. In the August pursuit that brought Third Army
to Lorraine, General Patton daringly violated tactical principles and conducted improvised operations
with great success. He discovered, however, that the violation of logistical principles is an unforgiving
and cumulative matter. Sooner or later, every improvisation and shortcut taken must be repaid. Third
Army’s logistical shortcuts included burning up gasoline reserves to keep an advance going and then
neglecting ammunition supply to bring up gasoline. The slowdown that affected all of the Allied forces in
September and October was the inevitable price to be paid for gambling logistically that the war could be
ended in August. Moreover, in spite of the logistical mobility afforded by motorization, remember that the
trucks running the Red Ball Express consumed a greater and greater proportion of their cargoes as the
advance progressed, forcing Third Army to turn to two time-honored methods of supply—railroad
transport and local requisition.

The lessons of the Lorraine campaign were not all negative. The American soldier proved himself
capable of carrying the fight to a determined enemy under adverse conditions, a lesson that would be
demonstrated even more conclusively in the Battle of the Bulge. Armored troops more than held their
own against an enemy possessing superior equipment. Infantry formations endured trench foot and
debilitating casualty rates. The artillery’s ability to mass its fire at critical points was tactically decisive
time after time. Engineers performed miracles in their efforts to keep Third Army moving in spite of
demolitions and floods. Support troops overcame logistical nightmares through ingenuity and sheer hard
work. When the weather permitted, the Army Air Force blasted out enemy strongpoints in close
cooperation with the ground elements, denied the enemy the use of the roads in daylight, and forced him
to abandon tactics that had worked against every other opponent.

Was the Lorraine campaign an American victory? From September through November, Third Army
claimed to have inflicted over 180,000 casualties on the enemy. But to capture the province of Lorraine, a
problem which involved an advance of only 40 to 60 air miles, Third Army required over three months
and suffered 50,000 casualties, approximately one-third of the total number of casualties it sustained in
the entire European war. (See Map 16.)

Map 16: Third Army Gains, September-December 1944, Lorraine

Ironically, Third Army never used Lorraine as a springboard for an advance into Germany after all.
Patton turned most of the sector over to Seventh Army during the Ardennes crisis, and when the eastward
advance resumed after the Battle of the Bulge, Third Army based its operations on Luxembourg, not
Lorraine. The Lorraine campaign will always remain a controversial episode in American military

Lesson H405

Expeditionary Deterrence and Limited
Warfare in the Nuclear Age

AY 2021–22

H405 Advance Sheet H405AS-273 August 2021
US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010
Module III: Defense, Transition to the Offense

Advance Sheet for H405
Expeditionary Deterrence and Limited Warfare in the Nuclear Age

LESSON AUTHOR: Dr. Sean N. Kalic


With the use of atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, the
United States ushered the world into a new military and political epoch. This two-hour lesson’s
objective is to provide insights into the international, political, and military changes resulting from the
onset of the Cold War as the United States military services wrestled with the concept of limited war
in the nuclear age.

In the midst of the immediate postwar period, diplomat George F. Kennan penned what became
known as the “long telegram,” outlining the expansionist tendencies of the Soviet Union’s
Communist system. While expanding upon his basic ideas in an anonymous article in Foreign Affairs
entitled “The Sources of Soviet Conduct,” Kennan advocated a strategy of containment to hedge
against the Soviet Union’s quest to expand its sphere of influence. While Kennan laid the foundations
for the theory of containment in early 1950, Paul H. Nitze, head of the State Department’s Policy
Planning Staff, began drafting the tenets of what became NSC 68. Nitze and his staff identified three
foundations in NSC 68 to guide the United States in the Cold War. First, Communism and the Soviet
Union were the primary threats to the United States. Second, the United States needed to rebuild its
military. Third, the United States needed to maintain an active interest in the adoption of nuclear
weapons into the US arsenal.

In a parallel planning process, the US military also began adjusting to the new warfighting
environment. NSC 68 cemented nuclear weapons into the US military arsenal and drove an
evolutionary process by which successive US presidents, military leaders, and strategic thinkers
constantly assessed the nuclear strategy and weapons procurement programs of the United States. The
strategic priority given to nuclear weapons overshadowed the development of other strategies and
doctrine, and forced the United States to accept a new period of limited war. The concept of limited
war in turn demanded that the US military, the US Army specifically, think about how to build a land
force that could fight and win large scale combat operations within the context of the new global
security environment. The Korean War became the first challenge for the US military in the new era
of limited warfare.


This lesson supports CGSOC TLO-AOC-1, Examine how commanders drive the operations
process using the framework of understand, visualize, describe, direct, lead, and assess
(UVDDLA); TLO-AOC-3, Examine how staffs conduct the operations process using the
framework of plan, prepare, and execute; TLO-AOC-5, Examine how the joint force and US
Army sets an operational area for large scale combat operations; TLO-AOC-8, Assess the
historical context of the American way of war and its continued influence on today’s

H405 Advance Sheet H405AS-274 August 2021
operational environment; and TLO-AOC-9, Incorporate effective communications skills, as
listed in the H400 Block Advance Sheet. The lesson goals are:

Action: Analyze how historical context influences the planning and the execution of large-scale
combat operations.
Condition: In an educational setting, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in the
conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and multinational
environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK family of products
and H400 historical readings.
ELO Standards: The analysis of historical context includes:
1. Examine historical battles and campaigns.
2. Use operational variables (PMESII-PT) to describe historical context.
3. Use mission variables (METT-TC) to describe a historical action.
4. Examine decisions made by historical leaders.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Analyze the evolution of large-scale combat operations using major concepts of key
Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in
the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and
multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK
family of products.
ELO Standards: The analysis of the evolution of LSCO includes:
1. Examine the causes of conflict.
2. Examine historical theory.
3. Examine the evolution of US Army doctrine.
4. Describe the evolution of US Army organizations.
5. Describe the evolution of US Army equipment.
6. Examine evolution of large-scale combat operations during the 20th Century.
7. Examine evolution of large-scale combat operations during the 21st Century.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Analyze the historical context of operational readiness.
Condition: In an educational environment, serving in the capacity of a division level staff officer in
the conduct of large-scale combat operations in a joint, interagency, intergovernmental, and
multinational environment—and given a tactical problem described in the BALTIC BULWARK
family of products.
ELO Standards: The analysis includes:
1. Analyze historical examples of the importance of maintaining peace time readiness.
2. Analyze the challenges in historical case studies of preparing for LSCO.
3. Analyze, using historical context, the process of deploying units to a combat theater.
4. Analyze the JRSOI process through the lens of historical context.
5. Analyze the importance of operational readiness by investigating the historical context of
20th and 21st centuries U.S. combat operations.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Analysis

Action: Assess the American experience in wars since 1940.

H405 Advance Sheet H405AS-275 August 2021
Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and
written assignments.
Standards: The assessment includes:
1. Summarize the American experience in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT
2. Critique America’s performance and operations in wars since 1940.
3. Assess American experience in wars since 1940 and how it influences our understanding of
today’s operational environment.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation

Action: Assess America’s waging of limited war since 1945.
Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and
written assignments.
ELO Standards: The assessment includes:
1. Summarize the social, political, and military underpinnings of limited war since 1945.
2. Critique America’s performance and operations during the limited wars in
Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and
3. Assess American’s experience in limited wars since 1945 and how it influences our
understanding of today’s operational environment.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation

Action: Assess challenges to the American Way of war since 1940.
Condition: In an educational environment, using classroom discussions, directed readings, and
written assignments.
ELO Standards: The assessment includes:
1. Summarize the enemies’ ability to challenge the American way of war during World War II,
Korea, Vietnam, Operation DESERT STORM, Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, and
2. Critique America’s ability to adapt to military operations in wars since 1940.
3. Assess contemporary challenge to the American way of war since 1991 and how it influences
our understanding of today’s operational environment.
4. Assess how the American way of war has influenced the strategy and doctrine of potential
contemporary competitors.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of learning: Evaluation

Action: Write effectively
Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the
Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources.
ELO Standards: Write effectively includes:
1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment
2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience
3. Proper format and organization
4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points
5. Proper grammar and correct spelling
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis


H405 Advance Sheet H405AS-276 August 2021
Action: Speak effectively
Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the
Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources.
ELO Standards: Speak effectively includes:
1. Clear statement of the purpose, hypothesis, or topic, as directed in the assignment
2. Appropriate syntax and word usage for the audience
3. Proper format and organization
4. Factual and accurate evidence to support points
5. Clear oral articulation and pronunciation
6. Appropriate use of body language for the topic, briefing style, and audience
7. Appropriate use of props, visual aids, or other products related to the presentation
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis

Action: Listen effectively
Condition: Given adequate time in an academic course, a requirement to communicate using the
Universal Intellectual Standards, and access to graduate level resources.
ELO Standards: Listen effectively includes:
1. Listens, reads, and watches intently.
2. Recognizes significant content, emotion, and urgency in others.
3. Uses verbal and nonverbal means to reinforce with the speaker that you are paying attention.
4. Reflects on new information before expressing views.
Learning Domain: Cognitive Level of Learning: Synthesis

PLO Attributes Supported:
1a. Independently research and critically evaluate information.
1b. Comprehend context of the situation.
1c. Create meaning from information and data.
1d. Creatively design or revise concepts and ideas.
1e. Communicate concepts with clarity and precision in written, graphical, and oral forms.
1f. Compose complete and well-supported arguments.
1g. Apply critical and creative thinking.
2a. Apply ethics, norms, and laws of the profession.
2e. Demonstrate commitment to develop further expertise in the art and science of war as life-
long learners.
3a. Apply knowledge of the nature and character of war.
3b. Apply the principles of war, conflict, and competition.
3c. Understand the utility of the military instrument of power.
3e. Understand the relationship of the military instrument of power to the other instruments of
national power.
4a. Analyze the security implications of the current and future operational environment.
4b. Apply appropriate inter-disciplinary analytical frameworks.
4c. Evaluate historical, cultural, political, military, economic, innovative, technological, and other
competitive forces.
6a. Adapt to rapidly changing operational conditions.
6b. Plan and/or execute Army Operations in a joint environment within a unified action context.
6c. Integrate and synchronize the Army warfighting functions with joint, multinational
capabilities, with other instruments of national power.

Special Areas of Emphasis (SAE) Supported:
3. The Return of Great Power Competition

H405 Advance Sheet H405AS-277 August 2021
5. Strategic Deterrence in the 21st Century
8. Ability to write clear and concise Military Advice Recommendations


a. Advance Issue: See H400 Book of Readings 2021-2022.

b. During Class: None. WiFi is available.


a. Study Requirements:

(1) First Requirement: Read the following before class (bold numbered readings included in
full text in the H400 Book of Readings):

H405RA Melcher, David F. and John C. Siemer. “How to Build the Wrong Army.” Military
Review, no. 9 (September 1992): 66–76. [9 pages]
H405RB Cannon, Michael W. “The Development of the American Theory of Limited War,
1945–63.” Armed Forces & Society, 19, no. 1 (Fall 1992): 71–104. [18 pages]

Student Purchased Text:
H405RD Carver, Michael. “Conventional Warfare in the Nuclear Age.” In Makers of Modern
Strategy: from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, edited by Peter Paret. Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1986: 779–89. [11 pages] [Student Purchase]
H405RE Freedman, Lawrence. “The First Two Generations of Nuclear Strategists.” In
Makers of Modern Strategy, edited by Peter Paret. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press, 1986: 735–49. [15 pages] [Student Purchase]

H405ORA “Our Future Course in Korea,” Memorandum Dean Acheson to Paul Nitze, July
12, 1950, Harry S. Truman Presidentail Library, Secretary of State Series, The Korean
War and Its Origins, Folder: Dean Acheson to Paul Nitze, Accessed July 27, 2019,
nitze?documentid=NA&pagenumber=1 [PRIMARY SOURCE]
H405ORB Kennan, George F. “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” by X. Foreign Affairs, 25
(July 1947): 566–82. [10 pages]
H405ORC Brodie, Bernard. “The Anatomy of Deterrence.” World Politics, 11 (January
1959): 173–91. Accessed 2 July 2018. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2009527. [19 pages]
H405ORD Gaddis, John Lewis, and Paul H. Nitze. “NSC 68 and the Soviet Threat
Reconsidered.” International Security 4 (Spring 1980): 164–76. Accessed 2 July 2018.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/2626672. [13 pages] [CARL (JSTOR)]
H405ORE Jervis, Robert. “The Impact of the Korean War on the Cold War.” The Journal of
Conflict Resolution 24, no. 4 (December 1980): 563-92. Accessed 2 July 2018.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/173775. [28 pages] [CARL (JSTOR)]
H405ORF Morgenthau, Hans J. “The Four Paradoxes of Nuclear Strategy.” The American
Political Science Review 58 (March 1964): 23–35. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1952752
[13 pages] [CARL (JSTOR)] Accessed 2 July 2018.







H405 Advance Sheet H405AS-278 August 2021
Further Professional Development:
Brodie, Bernard, and Frederick S. Dunn. The Absolute Weapon: Atomic Power and World
Order. New Haven, CT: Yale University, Institute of International Studies, 1946.
Freedman, Lawrence. The Evolution of Nuclear Strategy. New York: St. Martin’s Press,
Gaddis, John Lewis. Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American
National Security Policy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1982.
Hanson, Thomas E. Combat Ready?: The Eighth U.S. Army on the Eve of the Korean War,
College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010.
House, Jonathan. A Military History of the Cold War, 1944-1962, Norman: University of
Oklahoma Press, 2012.
Kahn, Herman. On Thermonuclear War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1960.
Leffler, Melvyn P. For the Soul of Mankind: The United States, the Soviet Union, and the
Cold War, New York: Hill and Wang, 2007.
Linn, Brian McAllister. Elvis’s Army: Cold War GIs and the Atomic Battlefield, Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 2016.
Millett, Allan R. The War for Korea, 1950–1951: They Came From the North. Lawrence:
University Press of Kansas, 2010.
Trauschweizer, Ingo. The Cold War U.S. Army: Building Deterrence for Limited War,
Lawrence: University Press of Kansas 2007.
Zubok, Vladislav, A Failed Empire: The Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to
Gorbachev, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

Resident Course Elective Alignment: A650, The Korean War; A687, The Cold War: Roots
of Today’s Security Environment in Europe; A650, The Korean War; A653, East Asian
Military Studies; A694, Russian and Eurasian History

(2) Second requirement: Be prepared to discuss the following questions in class:

1. Reflecting on the American way of war, how did the development of atomic weapons
affect military theory in the years immediately after World War II?

2. What was the perceived problem with conventional military forces following World
War II as it pertained to expeditionary deterrence?

3. How did nuclear strategy evolve in the early Cold War?

4. What is the essence of George F. Kennan’s article “The Sources of Soviet Conduct”?
Why did the Truman administration embrace the concept?

5. How does limited war in the nuclear age compare to limited war in the age of
Frederick the Great?

6. How did the Korean War affect US understanding of the international security

7. Did the introduction of atomic weapons change the ethical considerations of warfare?

8. Considering expeditionary deterrence, how did the Korean War challenge assumptions
about war in the nuclear age?

H405 Advance Sheet H405AS-279 August 2021
b. Bring to Class (or have electronic access to):

H400 Syllabus and Book of Readings 2021-2022
Makers of Modern Strategy


See H400 Block Advance Sheet, Appendix A.

H405 Chronology H405AS-280 August 2021
US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010
Module III: Defense, Transition to the Offense

Advance Sheet for H405
Expeditionary Deterrence and Limited Warfare in the Nuclear Age


4 February 1945 Yalta Conference began.
11 February 1945 Yalta Conference ended.
25 April 1945 San Francisco Conference began.
8 May 1945 Germany surrendered.
25 June 1945 San Francisco Conference ended.
16 July 1945 Potsdam Conference began.
Trinity Explosions (first atomic detonation)
2 August 1945 Potsdam Conference ended.
6 August 1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
9 August 1945 Soviet Union invaded Manchuria.
9 August 1945 Atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
14 August 1945 Japan accepted surrender terms.
16 August 1945 Korea divided at 38th parallel.
18 August 1945 Japan transferred power in Indochina to Vietminh.
18 August 1945 Red Army landed troops on Kuril Islands.
21 August 1945 President Harry S. Truman ended lend-lease.
26 August 1945 Soviet forces occupied northern Korea to 38th parallel.
2 September 1945 Japan formally surrendered.
4 September 1945 American troops landed at Kimpo, Korea.
5 September 1945 Soviet Union captured all of Sakhalin Island.
24 October 1945 United Nations (UN) formally established.
16–26 December 1945 Moscow Conference reached agreement for joint Soviet-American commission
to oversee establishment of Korean independence.

22 February 1946 George Kennan’s “long telegram” dispatched.
5 March 1946 Winston Churchill delivered “iron curtain” speech.
9 March 1946 Soviet Union pulled troops out of Iran.
29 July 1946 North Korean Workers’ Party established.
22 October 1946 Elections for South Korean Interim Assembly concluded.
28 October 1946 Greek civil war started.

12 March 1947 Truman Doctrine announced.
26 June 1947 Marshall Plan announced.
1 July 1947 “The Sources of Soviet Conduct” by “X” published.
26 July 1947 National Security Act of 1947 passed.
14 November 1947 United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK) formed.

H405 Chronology H405AS-281 August 2021
1 February 1948 Communists took over governments of Czechoslovakia and Hungary.
17 March 1948 Treaty of Brussels signed.
10 May 1948 Elections held in South Korea.
23 June 1948 Berlin blockade began.
15 August 1948 Republic of Korea established.
9 September 1948 Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) established.
19 October 1948 Yosu Rebellion began.
15 December 1948 Soviet troops withdrew from Korea.

4 April 1949 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) formed.
12 May 1949 Berlin blockade ended.
23 May 1949 German Republic created.
30 June 1949 US troops withdrew from Korea.
28 August 1949 Greek civil war ended.
29 August 1949 Soviet Union tested atomic bomb.
1 October 1949 Chinese Communists drove Nationalists from mainland.

14 April 1950 National Security Council Report 68 (NSC 68) submitted to Truman.
8 May 1950 Dean Acheson made statement about US defense perimeter.
25 June 1950 North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) attacked South Korea.
27 June 1950 Truman ordered US forces to Korea.
29 June 1950 NKPA seized Seoul.
2 July 1950 Task Force SMITH arrived in Pusan.
5 July 1950 NKPA overran Task Force SMITH.
7 July 1950 General Douglas MacArthur named supreme UN commander in Korea.
4 August–
18 September 1950 Battle of Pusan Perimeter
15 September 1950 Landing at Inchon
26 September 1950 Seoul recaptured.
30 September 1950 Truman signed NSC 68.
1 October 1950 UN troops crossed 38th parallel into North Korea.
15 October 1950 Truman and MacArthur met on Wake Island.
19 October 1950 UN forces occupied Pyongyang.
25 October 1950 UN troops engaged Chinese forces south of Yalu River.
2 November 1950 Chinese troops overran 8th Cavalry.
21 November 1950 UN troops reached Yalu River.
25 November 1950 Chinese offensive against Eighth Army initiated.
11 December 1950 Battle at Changjin Reservoir
31 December 1950 Chinese People’s Army crossed 38th parallel.

25 January 1951 UN troops counterattacked.
15 March 1951 UN troops recaptured Seoul.
5 April 1951 MacArthur’s congressional correspondence made public.
11 April 1951 Truman relieved MacArthur.
22 April 1951 Chinese spring offensive in Korea
20 May 1951 UN counterattacked.

H405 Chronology H405AS-282 August 2021
8 June 1951 Peace talks began between UN and North.

1 November 1952 United States exploded first hydrogen bomb.
4 November 1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower elected president of the United States.

5 March 1953 Joseph Stalin died.
27 June 1953 Truce reached in Korea.
12 August 1953 First Soviet prototype hydrogen bomb tested.

12 January 1954 John Foster Dulles gave “massive retaliation” speech.
13 March 1954 Battle at Dien Bien Phu began.
7 May 1954 Battle at Dien Bien Phu ended.
26 January 1954 US Senate ratified US-ROK mutual defense treaty.

14 May 1955 Warsaw Security Pact signed.

25 February 1956 Nikita Khrushchev gave secret speech on Stalin and his crimes.
23 October 1956 Hungarian Revolution began.
4 November 1956 Soviet Union declared Hungarian rebellion suppressed.

5 January 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine announced before US Congress.
25 March 1957 Treaty of Rome established European Community (Common Market).
4 October 1957 Soviet Union launched Sputnik satellite.

Melcher, David F. and John C. Siemer. “How to Build the Wrong Army.” Military Review, no. 9 (September 1992): 66–76. CGSC Copyright
Registration #21-0468 E

US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010
Module III: Defense, Transition to the Offense

H405: Expeditionary Deterrence and Limited Warfare in the Nuclear Age
Reading H405RA

How to Build the Wrong Army

by Lieutenant Colonel David F. Melcher, US Army,
and Lieutenant Colonel John C. Siemer, US Army

Today, the US Army is at another watershed period in its history—a time of dynamic
change and tough choices. The authors look at one postwar experience in our history,
with a number of interesting parallels to illustrate the difficulty of this task. They review
the efforts of Generals Matthew Ridgway and Maxwell Taylor made to build the right
Army for the Cold War. Finally, the authors offer their views on how the Army can
succeed in reshaping the force for the post-Cold-War era.

The US Army’s greatest military leaders of this century—John J. Pershing, Douglas MacArthur, J.
Lawton Collins, Omar N. Bradley, Matthew B. Ridgway and Maxwell D. Taylor, to name a few—all
tried to reshape postwar armies for future battles. They all had a vision for the Army and a capacity to
execute that vision, yet despite their patriotism, energy and creative attempts to “break the historical
mold,” they experienced great difficulty in achieving their objectives.1 While every postwar era is
different, our past allows us to draw lessons that provide insight into the dynamics of change that can help
us as we endeavor to succeed in one of the most difficult challenges facing any army in victory—
preparing for the next war.

Before the victory celebrations of World War II had ended, the nation began precipitously
dismantling its great war machine. This dismantling was not the result of malice toward the soldiers who
had fought and won, nor contempt for the military-industrial complex that had supplied the victory. It was
the act of a nation weary of war and of Americans anxious to spend the peace dividend they felt they so
richly deserved. The growth in the gross national product (GNP) during the war far exceeded anything
most economists ever dreamed of in the Great Depression, but it was fueled by debt. By 1945, the
national debt had risen from $50.7 billion in 1940 to an astounding $260.1 billion, or 110.7 percent of the
nation’s GNP.2 As the nation focused on the impact of a 1.7 percent decline in the GNP in 1945 and
another 11.9 percent decrease in 1946, domestic concerns dominated the political agenda of America’s
leadership. Few recognized the correlation between defense spending and readiness or the potential cost
to American lives in the next battle. Defense outlays fell from $82 billion in 1945 to just $13 billion in
1947.3 The newly formed Department of Defense (DoD) and its military services struggled to keep pace
with the cuts. Reductions in training, readiness, force structure and modernization paid the bills and,
despite some important work within the military, the dramatic reductions made it impossible to prepare
for an uncertain threat. The gravity of these rapid cuts became evident a few short years later in 1950 on a
peninsula in Northeast Asia. Task Force Smith, the first American unit to engage North Korean forces,
took the brunt of the North Korean army’s fury—forcing American soldiers to pay with their blood for
the military unpreparedness the nation’s leadership had allowed in the post-World War II years.4

Eisenhower’s New Look

In the two years that followed, Americans fought and died in Korea, while the Army labored to
achieve its World War II effectiveness. By the 1952 elections, many Americans viewed the war as a
bloody stalemate and looked for a candidate who could lead the nation out of its malaise and into a better
future. They voted for Dwight D. Eisenhower, a candidate who promised to rapidly end the war and
renew domestic growth. Upon his election, Eisenhower was true to his word. He ended the war within six
months of his inauguration and quickly began to refocus government spending on domestic issues.

Understanding the need to cut military expenditures but wishing to avoid the disastrous effects of
post-World War II, Eisenhower began a complete review of the national security strategy, which he called
the “New Look.”5 The heart of this strategy was the exploitation of the technological advantage that
nuclear weapons had demonstrated in the decisive victory over Japan. Reliance on nuclear weaponry
allowed Eisenhower to significantly reduce defense spending and provided the United States a strategy
designed to avoid costly attrition warfare in the next conflict. Eisenhower and others viewed US nuclear
superiority as the deciding factor in deterring potential enemies and, if deterrence failed, to win the next

In light of this new strategy, Eisenhower discounted the value of conventional forces that had become
mired down in an attrition war on the Korean peninsula. This view put him at odds with the new Army
chief of staff, General Matthew Ridgway. Unlike his Air Force counterpart, who was quick to recognize
and market the Air Force’s inherent advantage in this new technology, Ridgway saw the continued value
of conventional forces in this new era and argued that the Army’s end strength should not be cut
haphazardly.7 The secretary of the Army, in his June 1953 Semiannual Report to Congress, clearly
recognized the changed world, but he was unable to articulate the compelling arguments for its
conventional force structure in this new strategy. The secretary wrote:

“We face a defense problem with space, time, and power factors unlike any previously encountered in
all our history. . . . In this age of long-range assault capabilities, atomic weapons, and war by satellite and
subversion, our defense frontiers are no longer geographical boundaries. . . .”8

To better define and present its requirements in this new environment, the Army began an extensive
review of its doctrine, organization and equipment based on its wartime experiences. However, before the
Army could finish its review, the administration pressured Ridgway into agreement on National Security
Council (NSC) Memorandum 162/2, which was approved by the president late in 1953, directing the
Army to reduce from 20 to 14 divisions and from 1,405,000 to 870,000 active end strength by 1957.9
Shortly after the president approved this NSC memorandum, the secretary of state, John Foster Dulles,
made his now famous remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, and the concept of “Massive
Retaliation” emerged as the nation’s security strategy.10

Ironically, the Army was unable to capitalize on a short reprieve from its force structure cuts when
the French experience in Vietnam provided a brief glimpse into America’s future. Events in French
Indochina in mid-1954 temporarily delayed the military drawdown. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) asked
for budget increases for each service and temporarily reversed the dismantling of Army divisions. But
when the French left Indochina, the reductions continued.11 Afterward, the Army was well on the road to
building the wrong force in a vain attempt to preserve its force structure and share of the budget. The
Army had lost its flexibility to reshape itself for this new era in warfare and was now restructuring based
on the president’s and DoD’s initiatives for nuclear investiture.

This restructuring effort is well documented in the secretary of the Army’s June 1954 Report to
Congress, [in] which he outlined the characteristics of a force structure that eventually became the
standard in every division. The report states:

“The Army’s reexamination of its basic tactical doctrine . . . involves the development of smaller,
highly mobile battle groups of combined arms, semi-independent and self-contained. . . . There must be
depth to our military structure, depth in terms of reserve forces, reserve stocks, a production base, a
mobilization base, and an efficient active Army with a degree of strategic, as well as tactical mobility.”12
Although the Army had progressed down the nuclear road, Ridgway continued to argue vehemently for
the preservation of conventional forces. His insistence on the importance of these forces, often at the
embarrassment of the administration, led to his forced retirement in 1955.13

Spokesman for Change

General Maxwell D. Taylor became the 20th chief of staff of the Army on 30 June 1955, hoping to
successfully argue the Army’s cause with the nation’s highest level decision makers. Prior to his
appointment, Taylor was asked to meet with Eisenhower to assure him that he supported Eisenhower’s
and the JCS position.14 This was a precaution Eisenhower took following some distaste for public
comments by Ridgway that had gone against the grain of the new look.15 Taylor gave these assurances
believing that the strategy of massive retaliation was slowly being reevaluated to align with his own ideas
on a flexible force for countering enemy threats—a force that emphasized the importance of well-
equipped and reorganized Army divisions.

Eisenhower and the secretary of defense had other ideas, however. The New Look was a fiscal
success, the chairman of the JCS, Admiral Arthur W. Radford, fully supported the president’s position,
and organizational changes in the national security bureaucracy increased the secretary of defense’s
authority while lessening the chief of staff’s and Army secretary’s prominence in decision making. The
confluence of these factors proved to be a formidable obstacle to a constructive dialogue on the proper
role of the Army in the strategy itself. Taylor tried to promote his own “national military program,” an
alternative strategy that resisted the idea of massive retaliation, suggested that mutual deterrence would
result from a growing Soviet nuclear stockpile and advocated “Flexible Response” as the US strategy for
conducting limited war.16 He presented his views to the JCS in March 1956, received no support or
interest whatsoever and, in fact, received a proposal from the chairman to reduce the Army to a strength
of 575,000 four months later. This proposal was defeated, largely due to a deliberate campaign of leaks to
the press and sympathetic politicians.17 To many in the Army, including Taylor, this lack of support
warranted a more aggressive approach in the future.

An Army in Transition

In an attempt to harness change and focus effort, the Army’s role in deterrence soon became the
linchpin of the Army’s marketing strategy and the focus for evolving doctrine, structure and equipment.
To facilitate this and its new image, the Army adopted the new green uniform, energized the officer corps,
used the emerging mass media technologies to inform the American public and encouraged the
Association of the United States Army (AUSA) to tell the Army’s story. Within the Army, the evolution
of doctrine turned to a debate on the proper role of firepower and maneuver. The lessons of Korea heavily
influenced this debate and the Army’s doctrine writers at the Continental Army Command (CONARC),
who ultimately emphasized firepower over maneuver. In this context, tactical nuclear weapons became an
integral part of doctrine, structure and modernization efforts.

To support its idea of nuclear warfighting, the Army adopted three imperatives—dispersion,
flexibility and mobility. Dispersion required the capability to quickly mass at the critical time and place,

rapidly achieve a decisive victory and then disperse to prevent the enemy’s ability to concentrate
firepower. Flexibility provided the command and control necessary to properly mass and disperse.
Mobility referred to the strategic and tactical capacity to move force to and around the battlefield. These
imperatives became the foundation for the doctrine and organization of the new division. The visionaries
at CONARC and the Army staff saw the future battlefield characterized by its depth and fluidity. In this
environment, they believed, units could not count on flank units or higher echelons. Under these
conditions, the capacity to be self-contained and self-sustaining was critical to successful operations.
Simply adding combat support or combat service support to the regimental organization would not
provide the needed flexibility and mobility.

To solve this problem, the Army developed the battle group, which modified the traditional battalion
organization and provided the robustness to survive on the nonlinear battlefield of the future. The battle
group was organized in units of five. Each battle group had five companies with five platoons. Its
headquarters and service company supported the unit’s reconnaissance, mortar, maintenance, medical and
communications requirements. Artillery was maintained at division level, but it was also divided into
fives to support the division’s five battle groups.

The new division became known as the Pentomic Division, after the basic organization in fives and
its adaptation for the Atomic Age.18 It was built, both doctrinally and structurally, to emphasize its dual
capabilities—both atomic and nonatomic. The division design maintained the traditional types of
divisions—airborne, armored and infantry; but troop strength in a typical division was reduced from
about 17,000 to less than 12,000. The Army tested this new concept during the 1955 SAGEBRUSH
exercise in Louisiana, where 130,000 soldiers with their Air Force counterparts tested the doctrine and
design of the division.19 With the apparent success of this exercise, the Army began conversion of the
101st Airborne Division to the Pentomic organization in September 1956 and completed its conversion by
the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 1958.

This new organization by itself, however, did not satisfy the operational requirements of a
superpower for flexible response in the fiscally constrained environment of the late 1950s. To meet this
need, the Army required the capacity to fight across the operational continuum anywhere in the world, but
it had to balance its own concept with the new look strategy. This balance gave birth to the Strategic
Army Corps (STRAC), which combined the duality of the Pentomic Division and, thereby, met the new
look requirements with a limited, rapid and flexible response capability.20 STRAC also allowed the Army
to concentrate its limited resources on specific units—an early version of the tiered readiness concept.

A Turn to Advocacy

Taylor recognized the importance of political support from the Army secretariat and Congress.
Fortunately, he had friendly support from both. Secretary of the Army Wilber M. Brucker was a staunch
advocate of the Army, despite being appointed from the ranks of Secretary of Defense Charles E.
Wilson’s top-level staff.21 Brucker, a former governor of Michigan, relentlessly worked the halls of
Congress to take the Army’s message to those who could affect its future and found many who would
listen to his arguments. Taylor kept a lower profile with Congress, to avoid appearing too politically
entrenched, but maintained a working relationship with many of its most influential members. Brucker
also enlisted the support of AUSA to promote the need for a strong Army and changed the focus of Army
publications to be more advocate in nature.22 Each of these efforts was valuable, but Taylor and Brucker
were not successful in forming the alliances they required the most—with the JCS chairman, secretary of
defense, secretary of state and the president. One of Taylor’s stated goals when he became Army chief of
staff was to “meet regularly with the president to warm him up” to the Army’s views. He did not, in fact,
ever meet the president one-on-one during Taylor’s four-year tenure.23

Taylor recognized the need to market the Army’s role in the new look to preserve funding essential
for the Army to survive as an institution and as a viable ground force. In a commercial sense, marketing is
the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services from producer to
consumer in order to satisfy customers and achieve the company’s objective.24 The Air Force had quickly
mastered the art of marketing its concepts and requirements in the era of massive retaliation. The image of
the Strategic Air Command as world policeman, using “Peace is Our Profession” as its slogan, gave the
Eisenhower administration what it wanted.25 In turn, the Air Force garnered the lion’s share of a declining
defense budget. The Army’s challenge was much more difficult. Taylor had to reestablish the Army’s
position in the national military strategy by adapting its role to accommodate anything from
unconventional to atomic warfare, with emphasis on the latter under the new look strategy.

The Pentomic Division and STRAC, with their “Madison Avenue” sound and mainstream appeal,
fulfilled this requirement and provided Taylor the platform he needed. As chief of staff, he used the
prestige of his position to make public expressions of his views whenever possible, while trying to ensure
that he did not step beyond the bounds of propriety with Eisenhower. As chief of staff, he understood his
role as spokesman for the Army, but lacked an appropriate vehicle to widely express the Army positions
that he and Brucker had established in their public statements. He wanted Army leaders at all levels to
understand where the Army was headed, what it needed to get there and how the Army had to change in
the process.

Army Philosophy

In 1958, Brucker and Taylor combined efforts to publish a comprehensive Guide to Army Philosophy,
a single, coherent expression of Army thinking on numerous issues.26 This document, published as a
Department of the Army (DA) pamphlet, received wide distribution within the Army. Its purpose, as
clearly stated in the foreword, was “to aid in the dissemination of Army views on current military subjects
of professional interest to Army personnel.”27 It was, in essence, Taylor’s vision for the Army.

Army Philosophy’s focal point was the first chapter, titled the “National Military Program.” This was
Taylor’s alternative national military strategy that was in his briefcase when he assumed his duties as
chief of staff and the same paper that had been previously ignored by the JCS in 1956.28 The decision to
publish it in an official Army publication was a bold stroke, considering its variance with the new look
military strategy. Taylor was careful enough in his wording to acknowledge the role nuclear weaponry
played but clearly advocated a military program “suitable for flexible application to unforeseen
situations” (that is, “flexible response”). It also raised the question of “how much is enough?” to
accomplish the strategic deterrence objective and explicitly questioned the notion of attaching our hopes
to a single weapon system or concept of war. It was also an aggressive statement on the Army’s role in
atomic warfare, the threat that future land battle posed, programs that would support the Army’s needs
and commentary on the budget as a driver for military strategy. While it was general in nature on many of
these points, it clearly represented four things:

• A departure from “The New Look” and the position of the JCS chairman on defense issues.
• A top-to-bottom review of Army missions, programs, modernization and training requirements.
• A visionary guidepost for every Army leader to follow.
• An expression of the need to create awareness of the Army and the worth of the American soldier
in the public eye.

Death Knell

Despite these deliberate and apparently sound measures, the Army experienced a series of problems
with its force structure, funding and doctrine that continued to reduce readiness and the Army’s ability to
“break the mold.” Even before the last Pentomic Division was fielded, the debate on the flaws in the
doctrine and organization began. The initial concern was that the Army had traded its soldierly values for
the promise of glossy high-tech equipment. The preeminence of firepower over maneuver was also
questioned. In the field, budgetary constraints slowed the development and fielding of the technology that
was essential to the restructuring effort. As units gained experience with the design and available
equipment, the Army came to realize that the Pentomic Division lacked the essential elements to effect its
mission. The design proved to be cumbersome and operationally unwieldy. Although it was intended to
increase foxhole strength, the design actually decreased the division’s conventional combat power. This
problem was further compounded by the lack of combat service support and the field commanders’
decisions to use combat troops to meet critical support requirements. The fixed structure of the division
reduced the commander’s flexibility to task organize and accomplish his mission. Finally, the design
lacked the mobility and logistic depth to sustain itself.29 Of the two concepts, STRAC, which most closely
represented Taylor’s ideas on flexible response, was most successful. Despite a lack of resources to fully
implement STRAC and its failure when later tested, this concept helped gain acceptance of Taylor’s
doctrine of flexible response by Senator John F. Kennedy and led to the resurgence of the conventional
Army during the Kennedy-Johnson administrations.30

What Went Wrong?

In hindsight, the Army’s endeavors to reverse the decline in its budget, incorporate the lessons of the
Korean War and adapt to the Atomic Era were doomed to failure. The primary reason was the Army’s
inability to define its role in the national military strategy and gain the administration’s acceptance of the
capabilities and resource requirements for that role. The new look and the national strategy of massive
retaliation that it embodied lacked the necessary strategic and operational depth for a superpower, but
they were totally consistent with a nation weary of war and focused on fortress America. The Army’s
flexible response strategy, while probably the right national military strategy for a superpower, was
inconsistent with the goals of the administration and the resources available. This inconsistency forced the
Army to divide its focus and funding in an attempt to fulfill roles it could not reasonably perform, thus
exacerbating its declining role in the development of national strategy and within the DoD.

Although the Army undertook an extensive effort to effect change and achieve some success with
Congress, it failed to understand the intricacies of the developing DoD and Washington politics. As such,
the debate turned to interservice bickering and was directly responsible for the Defense Reorganization
Act of 1958. Frustrated in its attempt to gain acceptance and resources for its perceived role in the
national military strategy within DoD, the Army compromised both its vision of future warfare and
position within JCS for only marginal funding success. Its confrontations with the administration and
back-door maneuvering with Congress played a role in the retirement of one chief of staff, the limiting of
another chief’s freedom of action and a presidential warning to the nation of the dangerous influence of
the military-industrial complex. This environment continued until 1960 [1961], when the Kennedy
administration took office and adopted a stance that was more favorable to the Army. Only then did many
of the seeds planted in the late 1950s take root with a president who was more inclined to favor the
flexible response strategy and the global responsibilities associated with it.

Changing an institution like the Army is both an exogenous and endogenous process. The Army was
unable to influence the external forces of change and, therefore, was limited in its ability to effect internal
change. While both Ridgway and Taylor understood the potential future battlefield and the importance of
conventional forces in maintaining political and military flexibility, they were forced to make concessions

to the new look strategy. In accommodating the administration’s strategy, the Army structured its forces
based on dual capability for nuclear and nonnuclear warfare. The Army leadership focused its most
talented personnel on developing the doctrine, force structure and equipment to support this concept. It
adopted a Madison Avenue approach to market its transition and changed its image to a modern, high-
tech Army of the future. Despite its best efforts, however, the Army failed to gain the required resources
to accomplish its reshaping for the Cold War Era and misunderstood the complexity of effecting this
fundamental change to its essence.

With inadequate resources to complete its plan for dual-capable forces, the Army failed to make
significant adjustments to its programs and, in fact, it maintained an end strength above the 1953 JCS
directive. In 1957, the Army had about 998,000 personnel, or approximately 128,000 soldiers above the
JCS guidance and spent almost $4 billion, or around 40 percent of its limited budget on manpower.31
Despite its ambitious plans for restructuring and modernizing its forces, the Army would not sacrifice
sufficient force structure or its flexible response requirements for program balance and appropriate levels
of modernization. This decision relegated its marketing effort to a public relations campaign with slogans
and logos that had insufficient substantive basis. The quality of this marketing endeavor created a
momentum that at times was confused with success. This phenomenon was particularly evident in the
validation of the Pentomic concept during Exercise SAGEBRUSH in 1956. The Army failed to evaluate
its product objectively and overlooked deficiencies that later proved to be fatal to the concept. The
doctrine had the right ring, but it was not successfully translated into practical applications. The design
depended heavily on future equipment that never came and became a lightning rod for arguments on the
preeminence of firepower over maneuver. As the Army transitioned to this new design, it overestimated
its ability to assimilate change and underestimated the weaknesses in its plan.

Taylor’s Impact in Retrospect

In the narrowest sense, Taylor failed to achieve many of the goals he set for himself during his tenure
as chief of staff. He did not successfully change the national security policies that led to an inappropriate
contraction of the Army, nor did he develop a force structure supported by doctrinal, logistic and
modernization requirements to sustain it in the long run. He was forced to resort to “negative
campaigning” shortly before his departure as Chief of Staff.32 He expressed his discontent with the
budgetary factors and concepts that had reduced the Army to a strength of 862,000 in 1959 and relegated
it to a secondary role.33 As a private citizen, he immediately wrote The Uncertain Trumpet, a complete
expression of his discontent with massive retaliation and a promotional vehicle for flexible response. The
concepts espoused in the book were quickly supported by Democratic Senators Lyndon Johnson and
Kennedy, who accepted the role of the Army across the spectrum of conflict and, more important, sought
to find faults with the Eisenhower administration’s defense policy.34

Many of these adverse outcomes were due to the political opposition Taylor faced and the budgetary
restrictions that precluded more than a marketing solution to the Army’s dilemma. But he did lay the
groundwork for a national military strategy that would more completely address the range of conflict the
Army would face in the future, and he cultivated a dialogue with Congress, the academic community and
the American people that would ultimately lead them to reject “massive retaliation.”35

In terms of unit readiness, the Army of the 1950s was probably an improvement over the Army that
entered the Korean War, although that hypothesis was not tested in combat. It is clear that the Army was
unprepared for combat at the beginning of the Korean War. Task Force Smith’s failure typified the post-
World War II mentality that allowed units to become ineffective and readiness to fall. In the 1950s,
readiness once again suffered due to reductions in appropriations and manpower, but more so from an
unbalanced approach to modernization that favored tactical nuclear weapons at the expense of
conventional warfighting equipment. If one can levy criticism at the Army leadership of the 1950s, it is

that efforts to change force structure, doctrine and modernization did not occur fast enough or with
sufficient flexibility for response across the spectrum of conflict. Rather than go to 14 divisions by 1957
as planned, the Army still had 16 divisions in 1959, even though funding and manpower were insufficient
to man these units.36 As for the Pentomic Division, it was obsolete by 1960 because the doctrine and
control problems it posed could not transcend a shift in national military strategy.

Beyond 1959 and into the Kennedy administration, the contributions of Taylor are well known. His
appointment as military assistant to the president and later chairman of the JCS (positions he did not seek)
marked the fulfillment of his goal for a national military strategy of flexible response and a course for the
Army that was more in line with the needs of the nation. In retrospect, his marketing plan was effective in
the long run for several reasons:

• He persevered in his views, even when they were contrary to political opinion.
• He formed a strong alliance with the secretariat and Congress, which paid dividends later.37
• He took his views to the Army to keep it informed on positions at the highest levels.
• He did try to adjust the force structure and doctrine to changing requirements and the new look

Taylor’s courage, conviction and patriotism in these efforts are unquestioned. But despite his best
efforts, the Army of the 1950s ultimately failed in its effort to influence the decision makers in JCS and
the White House and allowed readiness to suffer at the expense of maintaining force structure.

Contemporary Lessons

In many respects, the 1990s hold many similarities to the situation faced by chiefs of staff in the
1950s. President George Bush announced major changes in US national security strategy in his Aspen
speech of August 1990, emphasizing smaller overseas commitments and greater reliance on rapid
response to crises. For exactly the opposite reasons as in the 1950s (cessation of the Cold War in the
1990s versus start-up of the Cold War and the principle of massive retaliation in the 1950s), the results
have been the same for the Army—reduced budgets and pressures to reduce force structure. And while
the president acknowledges the need for forces to deal with conflict at all ends of the spectrum, there is a
growing propensity among political strategists and Congress to accept the notion that “high-technology”
warfare obviates the need for extensive numbers of ground forces in future warfare. There are those who
believe that “assault-breaker munitions,” “deep-penetrating munitions” and “smart bombs” can win the
war without ground combat. This notion is one of the dangerous byproducts of technological innovation
and smacks of the 1950’s belief that massive retaliation was the way to fight all future wars. The
advocacy that Taylor practiced in his speeches and writing is every bit as relevant today to ensure that the
chairman of the JCS, the president and the Congress understand the missions and requirements of the
Army to meet its responsibilities as outlined by the national strategy.

Bush also faces intense budgetary pressures to reduce the deficit and provide a peace dividend. The
bipartisan budget agreement that caps federal spending through 1995 limits discretionary spending on
defense. This cap is already jeopardized by projected shortfalls in outlays for FY 94 and FY 95 that will
increase pressure on the defense budget. This has created a situation in which it can be argued that
defense budget numbers through 1995 are not a product of the strategy, but in fact are driving the
strategy. Taylor laments in the 1958 Army Philosophy pamphlet that “few responsible people will argue
against the need for a stable military policy, but few know where to look to verify that we have one. . . . In
a sense, through the budget we rewrite our military policy once a year.”38 The Army of the 1990s must
clearly outline the doctrine, force structure and equipment it needs to provide the capabilities required by
the strategy, and must ensure that funding levels are adequate to meet the need. This requires a marketing

strategy that will effectively influence the constituencies that make budget and force structure decisions—
the president through the JCS and the Office of Management and Budget, secretary of defense, Army
secretary and Congress.

The Army of today is changing in significant ways to accommodate the reality of a changed security
environment, reduced funding levels and a new range of threats. Current efforts to reshape the force,
provide resources for the force, fully integrate the Total Force and, above all, to maintain the edge are part
of a larger strategy to allow the Army to win decisively in the next war. To the extent we can learn from
the past, we are better prepared to do what those before us could not—break the mold and build the right


1. GEN Gordon R. Sullivan, Chief of Staff, Army, in a letter to Army leaders titled “The Army’s
Issues,” dated 19 July 1991.
2. Historical Tables, Budget of the United States Government, FY 1989, 17 and 39.
3. Ibid.
4. Roy K. Flint, “Task Force Smith and the 24th Division: Delay and Withdrawal, 5–19 July 1950,”
America’s First
Battles: 1776–1965 (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1986), 266–67.
5. Chester Pach and Elmo Richardson, The Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower (Lawrence, KS:
University Press of
Kansas, 1991), 75.
6. Douglas Kinnard, “Civil-Military Relations: The President and the General,” Parameters (Summer,
1985): 20.
7. A. J. Bacevich, The Pentomic Era: The U.S. Army Between Korea and Vietnam (Washington, DC:
Defense University Press, 1986), 38.
8. DoD Semiannual Report to Congress, June 1953, 95.
9. Kinnard, 21.
10. Paul Peeters, Massive Retaliation: The Politics and its Critics (Chicago, IL: Henry Regnery Co.,
1959), x.
11. Steve Lofgren, Information Paper, Subject: “Nonconcurrence by U.S. Army Chiefs of Staff with
Military Strategy: GEN Matthew Ridgway and GEN Maxwell Taylor,” 5 Dec 90, 20.
12. DoD Semiannual Report to Congress, June 1954, 78.
13. Mark E. Clark, “General Maxwell Taylor and His Successful Campaign Against the Strategy of
Retaliation,” Army History (Fall 1990): 8.
14. Maxwell D. Taylor, The Uncertain Trumpet (New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers, 1959,
1960), 29.
15. Kinnard, 22.
16. Ibid.
17. Lofgren, 2.
18. DoD Semiannual Report to Congress, June 1957, 94.
19. Ibid., 126.
20. Lofgren, 10.
21. Ibid., 3.
22. Ibid.


23. Bacevich, 24.
24. Clark, 9.
25. Ibid.
26. Vincent Demma, Working Paper, Subject: “Demobilization After WWII and Korea,” 10.
27. US Department of the Army Pamphlet (DA PAM) 20-1, A Guide to Army Philosophy
(Washington, DC: US
Government Printing Office), 10.
28. Taylor, 29–30.
29. Bacevich, 134–35.
30. Clark, 10.
31. DoD National Defense Budget Estimates for FY 1992, March 1991, 110.
32. Clark, 12.
33. Ibid.
34. Ibid.
35. Ibid., 13.
36. Demma, 11.
37. Ibid.
38. DA PAM 20-1, 1958, 55.

Cannon, Michael W. “The Development of the American Theory of Limited War, 1945–63.” Armed Forces & Society 19, no. 1
(Fall 1992): 71–104. CGSC Copyright Registration #21-0466 E

US Army Command and General Staff School
Command and General Staff Officer Course (CGSOC) Advanced Operations Course
H400: The American Way of War and its Challenges: 1940-2010
Module III: Defense, Transition to the Offense

H405: Expeditionary Deterrence and Limited Warfare in the Nuclear Age
Reading H405RB

The Development of the American Theory of Limited War, 1945–63

by Michael W. Cannon

. . . as a test of war-fighting theories, an actual armed conflict is likely to be as
inconclusive or misleading as the absence of war, since every war is the result of a
multiplicity of factors combined in ways that are unique to that conflict and since the
strategy that may or may not have worked under one set of circumstances might produce
a different outcome under other circumstances.
—Robert Osgood1

I. Historical Antecedents

William Kaufmann once wrote that “attitudes toward war are . . . heavily mortgaged to tradition.”2
This is true of the theory of limited war as well. It did not spring full-grown from the head of Mars (to
mix mythological metaphors) but has its roots deeply imbedded in American historical tradition. The saga
of those who wrote about the theory of limited war is as much a story of their struggles against those
tendencies as it is a recounting of their innovations. My purpose here is to analyze what modem writers
offer in light of the writings of some of the classical theorists. In order to do this, it is first necessary to
develop a framework of what the American theory of limited war embraced during the period 1946 to
1961, roughly the era of its gestation, birth, and maturation. This will take place generally in a
chronological sequence with attention being paid to those events, writers, and actors that illuminate or
reinforce the major elements of the theory. Following this, an analysis of the theory will be conducted
within the context of the time. It is to the roots of the theory that we now briefly turn.

Robert Osgood, in his book, Limited War, discussed several aspects of the American way of war.
Perhaps two of the most important tendencies were the view that war and peace were distinct and separate
entities and that Americans traditionally gave the military its head in the conduct of wars.3 Moreover,
there was the tendency to allow the “great idealistic goals, once put to the test of force, [to] become the
rationalization of purely military objectives, governed only by the blind impulse of destruction.”4

Another scholar described the American style as “the use of force in a great moral crusade in which
there is no room for the deliberate hobbling of American power.”5 This all-or-nothing approach was
reinforced by American isolationism, leading to what has been referred to as a confusing “confluence of
pacifism and pugnacity.”6 WWII, and our rapid demobilization in its aftermath, confirmed the existence
of this particularly American style of conflict.

II. Our Bomb and Implacable Foes

In the late 1940s, several problems rapidly rose to challenge our traditional attitudes concerning war.
The first came from an attempt to rationalize the nation’s defense efforts and bring them under more
efficient, centralized, civilian control. Although the National Security Act of 1947 created a Department
of Defense to oversee three coequal services (Army, Navy, and Air Force), the Secretary of Defense
received only limited authority over them. Thus, when the Congress and administration found it necessary
to reduce revenues and expenditures, the stage was set “for a bitter interservice debate about roles,
strategy, and finance.”7 This debate was made even more vociferous by America’s outlook on war. The
consensus was that wars of the future would be total in nature.

The atomic bomb was seen as the “sovereign remedy for all military ailments,” allowing the United
States to achieve success through “annihilative victories.”8 It was a time when it was still “our bomb” and
the Soviets had no means for atomic attack.9 The Air Force thus “held the master card” as its bombers
were the most evident means of delivery of atomic weapons of annihilation.10

Reductions in the budget and a de facto adoption of a policy of total war caused the services to argue
over how to divide limited resources and determine what means were to be developed. So, at a time when
the services should have focused on a newly defined responsibility to advise the civilian decision makers
on ways and ends, they became involved in an increasingly acrimonious debate over means, one that was
to continue throughout the 1950s. Others, therefore, were to develop the concepts that were to become the
basis of limited war theory.

While the services attempted to come to grips with the ramifications of the National Security Act, the
Truman administration grappled with a growing Communist threat. Ultimately, policy makers decided
there would be no more concessions to the Soviet Union and the United States “would, in effect, ‘draw
the line,’ defending all future targets of Soviet expansion. . . .”11 Thus, our period of isolationism came to
a close. The superpower conflict slowly emerged as one between two ways of life—totalitarianism and
democracy.12 This meant an “open-ended commitment to resist Soviet expansionism . . . at a time when
the means to do so had entirely disappeared.”13 Moreover, it viewed all interests as being of the same
level of importance. Previously we defended only our possessions; now we were guarantors of the Free
World’s security.

The problem lay in reconciling this end with the means available, for “the country had only limited
resources with which to fight it.”14 It became apparent that drastic measures would be necessary to cope
with the situation. Since it was unlikely that available means would be expanded, “interests would have to
be contracted to fit means.”15

Gradually, two lines of argument arose concerning a possible solution. One was similar to the
geopolitics of Sir Halford Mackinder and found support in one of the first papers drafted by the National
Security Council (NSC) in March of 1948. This document stressed that the Eurasian “heartland”
contained areas of potential strength that, if added to Soviet holdings, would make them vastly superior to
the West in manpower and resources. Eight months later, this philosophy was formally expressed in NSC
20/4.16 The assumption that Europe was the most critical link in the chain of American defenses was to
remain at the heart of American security debates throughout the 1950s and 1960s.

The second line of argument centered around how to protect interests of the free world. One view
held that the Communists should be resisted at every step, resulting in a “perimeter defense.” The other
view stressed that the free world needed to distinguish between vital and peripheral interests,
strongpointing those crucial to survival. The latter concept emphasized that non-military elements of
power were to play the dominant role, a traditional perception of means available to the United States.

The “strongpoint” concept retained a Eurocentric orientation. The controversy over which to adopt was to
shape much of the discussion of national security issues over the next two decades.17

As the Truman administration was in the process of refining and choosing between these two
concepts, several events took place that caused a shift in the debate over national security. The 1949 fall
of Nationalist China narrowed the concept of the struggle between totalitarianism and democracy to one
of communism with democracy. The implication of the fall of China was that adversaries were indivisible
and that “when any nation went communist American security was lessened.”18

The most threatening event, however, was the Soviets’ early development of an atomic bomb. This
set off a discussion in Washington over whether or not to respond by building the hydrogen bomb, a more
powerful implement of destruction.19 Secretary of State Dean Acheson suggested a reevaluation of the
nation’s military and foreign policy within the context of this question. The product of this reexamination
became known as NSC-68, a landmark document in American security policy.

The basis of American defense policy had been established, however. Containment was the goal,
Europe the key. Due to the pressures of the time and of our traditional outlook on war, we began to view
the Communist threat as one that was coalescing throughout the world and something that should be
resisted everywhere with whatever means available. Means to be employed were perceived to be limited,
however, due to economic reasons and the traditional American distaste for a large military. This was
reflected further in a desire to use our technological advantage to the fullest, exploiting the edge that the
atomic bomb gave us. It became, in fact, the centerpiece of American military strategy.

III. NSC-68 and the Great Catalyst

NSC-68 reflected the administration’s attitudes about the world and, in a logical fashion, laid out the
assumptions underlying the framers’ world view. At the same time, it described a course of action for the
government to follow to meet the challenges it faced. Due to the events described above, it became
evident that both the postwar military-political doctrine and the efforts made in support of that doctrine
were grossly inadequate.20 More importantly, “there was a [general] feeling that the United States was
losing the peace.”21 The detailed reevaluation of basic American defense policy thus took place in an
atmosphere of crisis. Since the drafting of NSC-68 was kept free of particulars (in terms of costs and
force requirements) “the drafters were . . . able to concentrate on general considerations of strategy”
instead of being “overwhelmed with details about means, to the complete exclusion of any systematic
treatment of ends and their relationship to means.”22

Crucial to NSC-68’s conclusions were the assumptions underlying the administration’s analysis of the
Communist threat. Although the Kremlin was viewed as the source of the principal challenge and
danger,23 NSC-68 shifted “perceptions of the threat from the Soviet Union to the international communist
movement. . . .”24 The framers of the document foresaw a danger of limited Communist military
adventures to expand Communist holdings, ensuring that an American atomic riposte would be
disproportionate.25 The Soviet atomic challenge thus threatened to upset a balance of power that was
delicately poised and to create a nuclear stalemate between the United States and the Soviet Union by
1954.26 What the United States required, therefore, was an expansion of means.27 In order to accomplish
this NSC-68 had to “systematize containment, and . . . find the means to make it work.”28

Although the most important debate focused on whether to build a hydrogen bomb, the underlying
question was: “What should the United States do to avoid complete reliance upon nuclear weapons?”29
The conclusion was that the United States must,

by means of a rapid and sustained buildup of the political, economic, and military
strength of the free world, and by means of an affirmative program intended to wrest the
initiative from the Soviet Union confront it with convincing evidence of the
determination and ability of the free world to frustrate the Kremlin
design. . . .30

One of the major aspects of this buildup was to be an increase in the variety of military means
available to decision makers. Yet the “disagreements holding back NSC-68’s chances of acceptance were
not with its premises but with the conclusion that containment of Communism necessarily entailed a
diversified and expensive military program.”31 Given this unresolved major issue, the effects of NSC-68
were predicted to be slight. Fortuitously for the framers of the document, the North Koreans invaded
South Korea only a few months after the NSC had completed its work, rescuing NSC-68 from oblivion
and making it the foundation of American strategy.32 This limited conflict appeared to validate NSC-68’s
most important conclusions: existing U.S. forces were inadequate, atomic weapons alone would not deter
limited aggression, and Washington lacked the conventional means necessary to cover all contingencies.33

For the first time, statesmen, the military, and the general public found themselves obliged to effect a
re-examination of strategy.34 The war “brought home dramatically the possibility of engaging in military
clashes with the Soviet bloc which would not resemble World War II . . . [and] the American people were
presented with their first full-scale debate as to the acceptability of limiting warfare.”35

One of the most fundamental assumptions about the conduct of a war with American involvement
was now brought into question. Until 1951, most people had taken it for granted that all wars would be
fought without restraint or limitation.36 Since “the Korean War did not turn out that way . . . it seemed to
baffle us completely.”37 However, the energies of the decision-makers involved turned to different
activities based on their positions: the divisive debate within the military concerning means to be
employed continued, the Administration attempted to devise policies that would avoid our involvement in
such conflicts, and the theorists f