The Central Solomons-- New Georgia
Up to now, Halsey had been SOPAC, SOWESPAC's equal, responsible only to CINCPAC. From here on out, the overall strategy for the U.S.'s two-pronged assault on Rabaul was in MacArthur's hands. Only tactical command of the forces in the Solomons remained in Halsey's hands. To discuss plans for New Georgia--the next objective in the Solomons--Halsey flew across from Noumea to Brisbane early in April. Nimitz had always controlled Halsey's troops, ships, and supplies. Now MacArthur controlled his strategy, too. According to Halsey, the two great captains of war got along well together, then and from then on. That was fortunate for all. They must have respected each other, they did need each other, and the U.S. national interest demanded that they work together well. But they were both strong personalities in their own right.
Up to now, Rabaul had only been a distant, hazy, not quite real planning objective the great captains and their war plans staffs dreamed about. Guadalcanal had been essentially a self-contained fight for survival. Now suddenly Rabaul loomed over everything, a very real, attainable objective. But first there had to be Munda.