Luzon 1944-1945.

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Luzon 1944-1945.

Berichtdoor Tandorini » 17 jun 2011, 13:44

15 December 1944-4 July 1945
"The Philippine theater of operations is the locus of victory or defeat," argued General Douglas MacArthur, as Japanese planes strafed and bombed key installations around Manila on 8 December 1941. Although overwhelming Japanese strength ultimately forced the United States to relinquish the Philippines, MacArthur began planning his return almost immediately from bases in Australia. Throughout the long campaign to push the Japanese out of their Pacific bastions, these islands remained his crucial objective. "The President of the United States ordered me to break through the Japanese lines...for the purpose, as I understand it, of organizing the American offensive against Japan, a primary object of which is the relief of the Philippines," MacArthur said when he took over as Allied commander in the Southwest Pacific. "I came through and I shall return." As the Pacific campaign dragged on, MacArthur never strayed far from that goal, and every move he made was aimed ultimately at recapturing the lost archipelago.
Strategic Setting

In March 1942 a Joint Chiefs of Staff directive established two U.S. military commands in the Pacific: the Southwest Pacific Area, headed by General MacArthur, and the Pacific Ocean Areas, under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. The decision clearly violated the principle of unity of command. However, with naval officers objecting to MacArthur, the senior officer in the region, as overall Pacific commander and with MacArthur unlikely to subordinate himself to another, the ensuing division of authority seemed a workable compromise. Given the size of the theater and the different national contingents involved, it may even have been a blessing. But it left no single authority in the Pacific to decide between conflicting plans or to coordinate between the two. Even MacArthur later wrote that "of all the faulty decisions of the war, perhaps the most unexplainable one was the failure to unify the command in the Pacific, [which]...resulted in divided effort; the waste, diffusion, and duplication of force; and the consequent extension of the war with added casualties and cost."

From a strategic perspective, this divided command had a direct impact on decisions leading up to the invasion of the Philippines.

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