This volume is based primarily on the official records of the U.S. armed services and of the planners of strategy, both American and Allied. Supplementing these are the interviews conducted by official Army historians in the field while the fighting was going on and postwar interviews and correspondence of the authors with the chief participants. Special preliminary studies, officially sponsored by the various armed services or by their respective service schools, have been consulted and full use has been made of the pertinent published works. Finally, the authors of this volume have been especially fortunate in having access to the wealth of Japanese records available in this country both in their original form and in translation.
Strategic PlanningMaterial concerning strategic planning on the highest Allied and U.S. levels are to be found in the records of the Combined Chiefs of Staff (Allied) and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and its subordinate committees. Copies of these records were kept for the Army by the Strategy Policy Group of the Operations Division and are identified by the initials ABC. They may be obtained through the G-3 Division of the General Staff. Other papers concerning the planning for the Gilberts and Marshalls operations are to be found in the OPD central files currently located in the Departmental Records Branch, Adjutant General's Office (DRB AGO), in Alexandria, Virginia.
U.S. ArmyThe official U.S. Army records constitute the backbone of the study. They fall into three general categories--operation plans (or field orders), after action reports, and unit journals. The after action reports used include those of the highest theater command, Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Central Pacific Area (USAFICPA), division, regiments, battalions, and attached units. The journals consulted were those on the level of division, regiment, and battalion. Generally speaking, the daily journal has been found to be the most reliable and most complete of all official records. The after action reports are usually little more than a recapitulation of the main events of the day as recorded in the journals, but they do furnish convenient guides to an understanding of the course of the battle. Usually, but not always, the lower the echelon, the more reliable and more detailed is the after action report. Most of these records are in the custody of the DRB AGO, although many administration files and some unit journals are in the Kansas City Records Center, AGO.
U.S. NavyFor the Navy, the same types of records have been used except that it has not been felt necessary to consult ships' logs, which
are the naval equivalent of the unit journal. The naval action reports1 covered include those of the Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations (Ernest J. King, Official Report, Covering Combat Operations Up to March 1, 1944, Washington, 1944); Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet and U.S. Pacific Ocean Areas (CINCPAC-CINCPOA, Operations in the Pacific Ocean Areas [monthly from September 1943, through February 1944]); various subordinate Pacific Fleet task forces, and individual ships. All World War II U.S. Navy records are located in the Classified Operational Records Branch, Naval History Division, [Note: the records have since been transferred to the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. hyperWar] and copies of most of those used in this volume can be found in DRB AGO or in the Records and Research Section, Historical Branch, G-3, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
U.S. Marine CorpsThe action reports and daily journals of the Marine Corps units have been covered in the same manner as those of the Army. The issuing authorities range from V Amphibious Corps to battalion. These records are also located in the Records and Research Branch, G-3, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
Each of the Army operations described here was covered by a field historian and a team of specialists sent by Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces in the Central Pacific Area, to accompany the troops during the actual fighting. For Makin and southern Kwajalein the historian was Lt. Col. S.L.A. Marshall; for Eniwetok it was Capt. Edmund G. Love, coauthor of this volume. The original notes of their interviews and firsthand observations are filed in the Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army (OCMH). It was at Makin and Kwajalein that Colonel Marshall first developed the technique of combat interviewing for which he became famous during and after World War II, and which, with variations, have been adopted by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps.
Interviews, Field Histories, and Letters
Since the beginning of the preparation of this volume the authors have consulted, either by personal interviews or through correspondence, more than a score of officers who participated in the operations. Their names are listed here:2Maj. Gen. Archibald V. Arnold, USA; Col. Russell G. Ayers, USA; Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Chamberlin, USA; Admiral Richard L. Conolly, USN; Maj. Gen. Charles H. Corlett, USA (Ret.); Col. Winslow Cornett, USA (Ret.); Lt. Col. Victor Croizat, USMC; Col. William A. Eareckson, USAF; Col. Charles B. Ferris, USA; Col. Wallace M. Greene, Jr., USMC; Lt. Gen. Franklin A. Hart, USMC; Vice Adm. Harry W. Hill, USN; Col. Gerard W. Kelley, USA; Col. S.L.A. Marshall, USAR; Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN; Lt. Gen. Robert C. Richardson, Jr., USA (Ret.); General Harry Schmidt, USMC (Ret.); Lt. Gen. Julain C. Smith, USMC (Ret.); Maj. Gen. Ralph C. Smith, USA (Ret.); Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, USN (Ret.); Admiral Richmond Kelley Turner, USN (Ret.);
Lt. Gen. Thomas E. Watson, USMC (Ret.)
The letters and reports of interviews of the above are filed in OCMH. Another important collection of letters from leading figures in the Pacific campaigns of World War II is located in the Princeton University library with the manuscript copies of The U.S. Marines and Amphibious War by Jeter A. Isely and Philip A. Crowl (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951).
Among other sources used were several special studies prepared after the operations, either under the official auspices of particular commands or by individuals attending service schools or attached to the historical sections of the various services. In the former category are:
- History of United States Army Forces Middle Pacific and Predecessor Commands During World War II, 7 December 1941-2 September 1942, 60 vols. MS in OCMH;
- Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), The Assault on Kwajalein and Majuro, 2 vols. (Washington, 1945);
- Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet (COMINCH), Publication P-002, Amphibious Operations in the Marshall Islands, January-February 1944, 20 May 1944;
- Office of the Secretary of Defense, Weapons Evaluation Group, Staff Study No. 4, Operational Experience of Fast Carrier Task Forces in World War II, 15 August 1951, MS in OCMH;
- Operational History of the Seventh Air Force, 7 December 1941-6 November 1943, and Operational History of the Seventh Air Force, 6 November 1943-31 July 1944, MSS in Air University Historical Liaison Office.
Individual special studies consulted are:
- Sgt. Frederick A. Baxter, Armored Force Action on Makin, MS in OCMH;
- Lt. Col. A.R. Brunelis, USMC, The Capture of Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, 1-2 February 1944, MS in Record Section, Marine Corps Schools (RSMCS);
- Lt. Col. Robert D. Heinl, USMC, Marine Corps Operations in the Marshalls, MS (unfinished) in Records and Research Section, Historical Branch, G-3, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps;
- 1st Lt. Paul R. Leach, Jr., Tanks on Kwajalein Atoll, MS in OCMH;
- Capt. Joseph E. Lo Prete, USMC, The Battle of Roi-Namur, Marshall Islands, MS in RSMCS;
- Cpl. Millard Rogers, The Artillery Action of the Battle of Kwajalein Atoll, MS in OCMH;
- Lt. Col. Richard Rothwell, USMC, A Study of an Amphibious Operation, The Battle of Namur, 31 January 1944-2 February 1944, Kwajalein Operation, Second Battalion, Twenty Fourth Marines, 4th Marine Division, MS in RSMCS;
- Lt. Col. Arthur H. Weinberger, USMC, A Study of Amphibious Tactics--The Capture of Engebi Island, MS in RSMCS.
The National Archives houses a tremendous number of original Japanese records of World War II in the collection called World War II Seized Enemy Records. After the war the G-2 Section of General Headquarters, Far East Command (GHQFEC), directed a group of Japanese officers to prepare a series of special studies of Japanese operations, based on their personal recollections and on the official Japanese records in Tokyo. These were translated and incorporated into a series entitled Japanese Studies in World War II, manuscript copies of which are filed in OCMH. Those studies used in the preparation of this volume are numbers 50,
55, and 72. The largest collection of translated captured enemy records in contained in the bulletins and translations prepared during the war by Headquarters, Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas and by the Joint Intelligence Center, Pacific Ocean Areas (JICPOA). Complete collections are deposited in the Classified Operational Records Branch, World War II, Office of Naval History, and in the Records and Research Section, Historical Branch, G-3, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.
Arnold, Henry H., Global Mission (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949). Personal memoirs of the Commanding General, U.S. [Army] Air Force.
Cass, Bevan G., ed., History of the Sixth Marine Division (Washington, 1948).
Craven, Wesley Frank, and James Lea Cate, eds., THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II, Vol. IV, The Pacific: Guadalcanal to Saipan, August 1942 to July 1944 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1950). A volume in the U.S. Army Air Forces official history of Army air operations.
Historical Division, War Department, The Capture of Makin, 20 November-24 November 1943, AMERICAN FORCES IN ACTION SERIES (Washington, 1946). One of a series of detailed but undocumented combat studies prepared during the war mostly for the benefit of hospitalized veterans. A documented manuscript version of this monograph is in the custody of OCMH.
Heinl, Lt. Col. Robert D., Jr., USMC, and Lt. Col. John A. Crown, USMC, The Marshalls: Increasing the Tempo, Historical Branch, G-3 Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps (Washington, 1954), the final official Marine Crops history of operations in the Marshalls, This monograph was not published until after the present volume was completed.
Isely, Jeter A., and Philip A. Crowl, The U.S. Marines and Amphibious War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951). A survey of prewar developments in amphibious warfare and of the amphibious phase of the Pacific campaigns in which Marines participated.
Johnston, Richard W., Follow Me, The Story of the Second Marine Division in World War II? (New York: Random House, 1948).
King, Ernest J., Fleet Admiral King, A Naval Record (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1952). Personal memoirs of the Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.
Love, Edmund G., The 27th Infantry Division in World War II (Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1949).
Love, Edmund G., The Hourglass: A History of the 7th Infantry Division in World War II (Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1950).
Marshall, Lt. Col. S.L.A., Island Victory (Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1944). An intimate contemporary history of infantry action on Kwajalein by the official Army historian who accompanied the troops there.
Miller, John, jr., Guadalcanal: The First Offensive, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1949). As in the case of the other volumes in this series, cited below, this is the final official Army history of the operation.
Morison, Samuel E., HISTORY OF UNITED STATES NAVAL OPERATIONS IN WORLD WAR II, Vol. IV, Coral Sea, Midway and Submarine Actions,
May 1942-August 1942 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1949); Vol. VI, Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, 22 July 1942-1 May 1944 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1950); Vol. VII, Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshalls (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951). Semiofficial.
Morton, Louis, The Fall of the Philippines, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953).
Myers, Denys P., Handbook of the League of Nations (Boston: World Peace Foundation, 1935).
Proehl, Carl W., ed., The Fourth Marine Division in World War II (Washington, 1946).
Robson, R.W., The Pacific Islands Year Book (Sydney, Australia: Pacific Publications, Ltd., 1943). A descriptive survey of the islands of the Pacific, their history, geography, culture, etc.
Smith, Holland M., Coral and Brass (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1949). Personal memoirs of the Commanding General, V Amphibious Corps.
Smith, Robert Ross, The Approach to the Philippines, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1953).
Stockman, Capt. James R. USMC, The Battle for Tarawa, Historical Section, Division of Public Information, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps (Washington, 1947). The final official Marine Corps history of the operation.
United States Strategic Bombing Survey (Pacific), Naval Analysis Division, The Campaigns of the Pacific War (Washington, 1946); Interrogations of Japanese Officials, 2 vols. (Washington, 1946); The American Campaign Against Wotje, Maloelap, Mille and Jaluit (Washington, 1947); The Reduction of Truk (Washington, 1947).
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (Concordance of Code and Native Names)
1. Army and Navy nomenclature differs here. The same report is called "after action report" by the Army and "action report" by the Navy. The U.S. Marine Corps for the most part uses the Navy term. Other variations that occasionally appear are "special action report," "operations report," and "participation report."
2. Ranks are those held as of date of letter or interview.