U. S. War Plans: 1938-1945

U. S. War Plans: 1938-1945

U. S. War Plans: 1938-1945

U. S. War Plans: 1938-1945

Synopsis

This documentary sourcebook of actual U.S. war plans traces the nation's political and strategic goals from the contemplation of war against Japan and Germany in November of 1938 to Eisenhower's March 1945 plan for the defeat of Germany and the conquest of Japan. For the first time, the major strategic - e.g., ABC-1 and Rainbow 5 - and operational - e.g., Torch, Husky, Plan Dog, Fortitude, and Cartwheel - war plans of the U.S. military pertaining to WWII are presented in one volume. Ross sets each plan in its strategic and operational context with an explanatory and analytical introduction. For the first time, the major strategic and operational war plans of the U.S. military pertaining to WWII are presented in one volume.

Excerpt

By the time the United States became a direct participant in World War II, the nation's political and military leaders had reached a number of fundamental strategic decisions. Planners defined the Axis powers—Germany, Italy, and Japan—as America's enemies. They regarded Germany as the most powerful and dangerous foe, and in a war against both Germany and Japan, the United States would have to focus the country's major efforts against Germany while fighting defensively in the Pacific. After Germany's defeat, forces would shift to the Pacific to crush Japan. To avoid a repetition of the perceived failure of the 1919 settlement of World War I, any war against the Axis would be unlimited and total. To achieve the political objective of unconditional surrender, the United States would have to generate massive forces and act as a member of a coalition. For the first time in the nation's history American leaders crafted a number of strategic arrangements with Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands prior to entering the war. The Allies accepted the Germanyfirst strategy and agreed to establish a coalition command structure that would provide strategic guidance in a global conflict.

During the war, U. S. war plans underwent numerous modifications. Japan's initial triumphs in the Pacific compelled the United States to commit ever-growing numbers of personnel, ships, and aircraft to the region and to undertake offensive operations to prevent the Japanese from consolidating and exploiting their initial gains. In the Atlantic, British and American views differed over the proper strategy to pursue against Germany. In the interest of coalition unity, both powers had to make compromises. Enemy actions also influenced U. S. and Allied plans. The Germans, for example, foiled Anglo-American expectations for rapid victories in North Africa and Italy. Logistics often exercised a significant influence on Allied strategy. In 1944, operations in both France and the Western Pacific hinged on logistical considerations.

The machinery established for Allied coordination, however, provided . . .

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