The Road to War

Am I deceived, or was there a clash of arms? I am not deceived, it was a clash of arms; Mars approaches, and, approaching, gave the sign of war.


For as the nature of foul weather lieth not in a shower of rain but in an inclination thereto of many days together; so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary.


Chapter I
The Beginnings of Pacific Strategy

Covenants without swords are but words.

HOBBES, Leviathan

At the turn of the twentieth century, after the war with Spain, the United States for the first time in a hundred years found itself involved closely in the affairs of other nations. Possession of the Philippine Islands, Guam, Hawaii, and part of the Samoan archipelago had made the United States a world power and imposed on it the grave responsibility of defending outposts far from its shores. Such a defense rested, as Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan had demonstrated, on sea power, on the possession of naval bases and a powerful fleet. Without these, no island garrison could hope to prevail against a naval power strong enough to gain supremacy in the Pacific.

Theodore Roosevelt, a close friend and student of Admiral Mahan, understood the importance of sea power and it was no accident that during-his administration steps were taken to strengthen the Navy and to build the Panama Canal. But the work begun by him was not pushed vigorously in the years that followed. The American people were overwhelmingly isolationist and unwilling to pay the price of colonial empire. Thus, almost from the beginning of America's venture into imperialism the nation committed itself to political objectives but would not maintain the naval and military forces required to support these objectives. It is against this background that American strategy in the Pacific and plans for the defense of U.S. island outposts must be viewed; it explains many of the seeming inconsistencies between policies and plans.

Early Plans for Defense

The defense of the 7,100 islands in the Philippine archipelago, lying in an exposed position 7,000 miles from the west coast of the United States, was for over thirty years the basic problem of Pacific strategy. From the start it was apparent that it would be impossible to defend all or even the major islands. A choice had to be made, and it fell inevitably on Luzon, the largest, richest, and most important of the islands. Only a few months after his victory in Manila Bay, Admiral Dewey, asserting that Luzon was the most valuable island in the Philippines, "whether considered from a commercial or military standpoint," recommended that a naval station be established there.1 In the years that followed there was never any deviation from this view. Down to the outbreak of World War II that island, and


especially the Manila area with its fine harbor and transportation facilities, remained the chief problem for American strategic planners.

Though the basic element of Pacific strategy was a strong Navy with supporting bases, this alone would not suffice. Successful defense of an insular position like the Philippines required an Army garrison, coastal fortifications, and mobile forces to resist invasion. And perhaps as important as any of these was the close co-operation of the Army and Navy. In a sense, this was the vital element that would blend the ingredients of defense into a strategic formula for victory.

The mechanism devised for ArmyNavy co-operation was the Joint Board, established in 1903 by the two service Secretaries. The board, consisting of eight members--four from the Army's General Staff and four from the General Board of the Navy--had a modest task initially. To it came all matters that required co-operation between the two services. It had no executive functions or command authority, and 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.2

Almost from the start, the main task of the Joint Board was the development of war plans. The impetus was provided by Lt. Gen. Adna R. Chaffee, Army Chief of Staff, who proposed in April 1904, shortly after Japan's attack on Russia, that the Joint Board develop a series of plans for joint action in an emergency requiring the co-operation of the services. These plans, he suggested, should be based upon studies developed by the Army General Staff and the General Board of the Navy.3

From General Chaffee's proposal stemmed a series of war plans known as the color plans. Each of these plans was designed to meet a specific emergency designated by a color corresponding usually to the code name of the nation involved--RED for Great Britain, BLACK for Germany, GREEN for Mexico, ORANGE for Japan. On the basis of these joint color plans each of the services developed its own plan to guide its operations in an emergency, and Army and Navy field and fleet commanders drew up the plans to carry out these operations. In some cases, the early war plans were little more than abstract exercises and bore little relation to actual events. But in the case of Japan, the ORANGE plans were kept under constant review and revised frequently to accord with changes in the international scene.

The first serious examination of plans to resist a Japanese attack came in the summer of 1907. At that time tension between the United States and Japan, which had begun with the Japanese victory over Russia in 1905 and the San Francisco School Board segregation order in 1906, reached the proportions of a war scare. War seemed imminent and the protection of American interests in the Far East, especially of the newly


acquired Philippine Islands, became an urgent problem. On 18 June 1907, in response to an inquiry from President Theodore Roosevelt, the Joint Board recommended that the fleet be sent to the Orient as soon as possible and that Army and Navy forces in the Philippines be immediately deployed in such a manner as to protect the naval station at Subic Bay. Because of Japan's strength, the Joint Board stated, "The United States would be compelled . . . to take a defensive attitude in the Pacific and maintain that attitude until reinforcements could be sent. . .."4 This view, adopted by necessity in 1907, became finally the keystone of America's strategy in the Pacific and the basis of all planning for a war against Japan.

VIEW FROM MANILA BAY, showing Corregidor Island at center with Caballo Island at lower left and a portion of Bataan Peninsula at upper right.

The crisis of the summer of 1907, though it passed without incident, brought into sharp focus two weaknesses. of America's position in the Pacific: the need for a major naval base in the area and the fact that the Philippine Islands could not be held except at great expense and with a large force. The islands, wrote Roosevelt at the height of the crisis, "form our heel of Achilles. . .. I would rather see this nation fight all her life than to see her give them up to Japan or to any other nation under duress."5

The question of naval bases was debated by the Joint Board and by Congressional committees during the months that followed. Two questions had to be decided: first, whether America's major base in the Pacific should be located in the Philippines or Hawaii; and second, whether the Philippines base should be in Subic Bay or Manila Bay. Though strong representation was made--especially by the Army--for locating the major base in the Philippine Islands, the Joint Board in January 1908 selected Pearl Harbor. The Hawaiian base, the board pointed out, was not designed to defend the Hawaiian Islands alone but to provide "a buffer of defense" for the entire Pacific coast and to lay the basis for American naval supremacy in the Pacific. In May of that year Congress authorized construction of the Pearl Harbor base and appropriated $ 1,000,000 for the purpose. This step, the House Naval Affairs Committee believed, would constitute in the future "one of the strongest factors in the prevention of


war with any powers in the Far East."6

Though the decision had been made to locate America's Pacific bastion in Hawaii, it was still necessary to provide for the defense of the Philippines, 5,000 miles away. A naval repair station and a secondary fleet base would have to be constructed in the islands, but there was strong disagreement even on this question. The Navy favored Subic Bay but the Army asserted that a base there would be indefensible against land attack and that Manila Bay, for a variety of reasons, should be selected. The Joint Board finally decided in favor of Cavite, on the south shore of Manila Bay, and the Army adopted a plan to concentrate its defenses in and around that bay on the islands in its narrow neck--Corregidor, Caballo, El Fraile, and Carabao--thus screening the naval base as well as the capital and chief city of the islands. It was this concept--the defense of the Manila Bay area and the fortification of Corregidor and its neighboring islands--that guided American planners until the outbreak of war in 1941.7

But no system of fortifications could guarantee the defense of the islands. The essential thing, as Maj. Gen. Leonard Wood pointed out at the time, was a strong fleet based in the Philippines. "Once sea control is lost," he asserted, "the enemy can move troops in force and the question then becomes one of time."8 Congress and the Joint Board, by concentrating fleet facilities in Hawaii, had, in effect, relegated the Philippines to a secondary place in strategic plans for the Pacific and made all hopes for its defense dependent upon the security of Hawaii and the ability of the fleet to move westward from Pearl Harbor.


The first ORANGE plans were hardly plans at all but rather statements of principles, which, it was hoped, could be followed in the event of war with Japan. By 1913, the strategic principles of the plan had been exhaustively studied and were well understood. In case of war with Japan, it was assumed that the Philippines would be the enemy's first objective. Defense of the islands was recognized as dependent on the Battle Fleet, which, on outbreak of war, would have to make its way from the Caribbean area around the Cape--the Panama Canal was not yet completed--and then across the wide Pacific. Along the way the fleet would have to secure its line of communication, using the incomplete base at Pearl Harbor and the undeveloped harbor at Guam. Once the fleet was established in Philippine waters, it could relieve the defenders, who presumably would have held on during this period, variously estimated at three and four months. Thereafter, Army forces, reinforced by a steady stream of men and supplies, could take the offensive on the ground while the Navy contested for control of the western Pacific.9


During World War I planning for war in the Pacific was discontinued except for a brief flurry of activity in 1916, when Japanese vessels appeared off the Philippine Islands. And in the postwar period, the planners faced a situation considerably different from that of the earlier years. Then, Germany had been the chief threat to the peace in Europe. Now, with Germany in defeat and Russia in the throes of revolution, only Great Britain was in a position to engage the United States in war with any prospect of success. But economically and financially, England was in no condition for another conflict and there was no sentiment for war on either side of the Atlantic.

The situation in the Pacific and Far East 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 in that area much more likely than in the 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 strategic position of the United States in the Far East was altered fundamentally by World War I. Military aviation had proved itself during the war and though its enormous potentialities for naval warfare were not yet fully appreciated it was still a factor to be considered. Of more immediate importance was the transfer to Japan of the German islands in the Central Pacific. President Wilson had opposed this move at Versailles, arguing that it would place Japan astride the U.S. line of communications and make the defense of the Philippines virtually impossible. But Wilson had been overruled by the other Allied leaders, and Japan had acquired the islands under a mandate from the League of Nations which prohibited their fortification. "At one time," wrote Capt. Harry E. Yarnell, one of the Navy planners, "it was the plan of the Navy Department to send a fleet to the Philippines on the outbreak of war. I am sure that this would not be done at the present time . . . it seems certain that in the course of time the Philippines and whatever forces we may have there will be captured."10

Japan's position was further strengthened during these years by the agreements reached at the Washington Conference of 1921-22. In the Five-Power Naval Treaty concluded in February 1922, Japan accepted the short end of the 5: 5: 3 ratio in capital ships in return for a promise from the other powers that they would preserve the status quo with regard to their bases in the western Pacific. This meant, in effect, that the United States would refrain from further fortifying its bases in the Philippines, Guam, the Aleutians, and other islands west of Hawaii, and that Great Britain would do the same in its possessions. The net result of this bargain was to give Japan a strong advantage over the Western Powers in the Pacific, for the agreement virtually removed the threat


WASHINGTON CONFERENCE, 1921-22. Seated at table, from left: Prince Iyesato Tokugawa (Japan), Jules Jusserand (France), Albert Sarraut (France), René Viviani (France), Aristide Briand (France), Oscar W. Underwood (U.S.), Elihu Root (U.S.), Henry Cabotge (U.S.), Charles Evans Hughes (U.S.), Lord A.J. Balfour (Britain), Lord Lee of Fareham (Britain), Sir Aukland Geddes (Britain), Sir Robert Borden (Canada), G.F. Pearce (Australia), Sir John Salmond (New Zealand), and Srinivasa Sastri (India).

posed by the Philippines, Guam, and Hong Kong. The British still had Singapore, but the United States had lost the opportunity to develop adequate base facilities in the far Pacific. With that loss, wrote Capt. Dudley W. Knox, went all chances of defending the Philippines and providing a military sanction for American policy.11

The Washington Conference brought the Philippines to the fore in a way apparently neither intended nor foreseen. Of the bases available for operations in the western Pacific they alone had facilities capable of supporting a naval force large enough to challenge Japanese supremacy in that region. Guam, which up to this time had been regarded as a more desirable base site than the Philippines but which had not yet been developed, now became of secondary


importance. The Aleutians and Samoa were too remote to serve the purpose. The Philippines were, therefore, in the words of the recently formed Planning Committee, set up in 1919 to assist the Joint Board, "our most valuable strategic possession in the Western Pacific." So long as the Five-Power Naval Treaty remained in effect, they argued, the islands' fleet facilities and coastal defenses should be maintained to the extent permitted. At the same time, the Philippine garrison should be so strengthened, urged the planners, as to make the capture of the islands by any enemy "a costly major operation."12

By now the situation in the Pacific had so invalidated the assumption of earlier planning for a war with Japan as to require a complete review of strategy and the preparation of new plans. This need was emphasized by the Army planners when they submitted to the Joint Planning Committee in December 1921 a "Preliminary Estimate of the Situation," together with a recommendation for a new joint Army-Navy ORANGE plan. "It may safely be assumed," they declared, "that Japan is the most probable enemy." That nation's policy of expansion and its evident intention to secure a dominant position in the Far East, argued the Army planners, were bound to come into conflict sooner or later with American interests and policy in that region. Unless either or both countries showed some disposition to give way, a contingency the planners regarded as unlikely, this conflict of interests would lead ultimately to war.13

The Navy planners had by this time completed their own estimate of the situation in the Pacific. Their conclusion, submitted at the end of July 1922, was that the Japanese could, if they wished, take both the Philippines and Guam before the U.S. Fleet could reach the western Pacific. The role of the Philippine garrison, as the Navy planners saw it, would be to hold out as long as possible and to make the operation as costly as possible for the enemy. What would happen to the garrison thereafter the planners did not specify, but they hoped that the sacrifice of American forces would be justified by the damage done to the enemy.14

But Leonard Wood, Governor-General of the Philippines, disagreed strongly with the Navy estimate. A former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and commander of the Philippine Department, with influential friends in Washington, his word carried considerable weight. In his view, the "assumption on the part of the Navy that in case of war with Japan the Philippine Islands could not be defended, must be abandoned, and a long war waged to take them back and re-establish ourselves in the Far East" was a fatal error. Such a course, he told the Secretary of War with feeling, would damage the prestige of the United States in the eyes of the world, would have a "disintegrating and demoralizing effect upon our people," and could end only in national dishonor. "I feel sure," General Wood told the Secretary, "that when you and the President realize the effect of this on our future . . ., steps will be taken at once to see that the Army and Navy assume that the Philippine


Islands must not only be absolutely defended but succored by the Fleet." And in words reminiscent of a later day he warned the Secretary that the American people would not stand for a policy that required "abandonment of American posts, American soldiers, an American fleet, American citizens in the Far East. . ."15

Just how the fleet would come to the rescue of the Philippines in the event of war, Governor Wood did not specify, but he felt sure the planners in Washington could solve the problem. They had undoubtedly reached their conclusions, he observed sympathetically, when faced by seemingly impossible tasks. But American ingenuity was equal to any task, declared General Wood, and the planners "should be directed to keep alive that problem and work it out to show just what could be done to make it possible." And as a starting point, he recommended that the Navy take for its mission: "First, the relief of the Philippines and the establishment of its base in Manila as an essential preliminary to the accomplishment of our main objective. . . Second, the destruction of the Japanese fleet."16 That the Navy would agree to so flagrant a violation of the first canon of naval strategy, that the primary mission of a fleet was always to destroy the enemy fleet, was, to say the least,. doubtful.

Whether as a result of Governor Wood's intervention or for other reasons, the final estimate presented to the Joint Board as a basis for the preparation of a war plan carefully skirted the question of the abandonment of the Philippines. A war with Japan, the Joint Planners now declared, would be primarily naval in character and would require offensive sea and air operations against Japanese naval forces and vital sea communications. The first concern of the Army and Navy in such a war, therefore, would be "to establish at the earliest possible date American sea power in the Western Pacific in strength superior to that of Japan." To accomplish 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 islands in time to prevent their capture. An additional mission recommended by the planners was the early capture of bases in the Japanese-mandated islands along the line of communications to the Philippines.17

Within two weeks the Joint Board had taken action. On 7 July 1923, General of the Armies John J. Pershing, senior member of the board, noted the board's agreement with the study made by the planners and recommended to the Secretaries of War and Navy that it be approved as the basis for the preparation of a war plan. The Joint Board, Pershing told the Secretaries, had reached the following conclusions with regard to the Philippines:

  1. That the islands were of great strategic value to the United States for they provided the best available bases for military and naval forces operating in defense of American interests in the Far East.


  1. That their capture by Japan would seriously affect American prestige and make offensive operations in the western Pacific extremely difficult.

  2. That the recapture of the islands would be a long and costly undertaking, requiring a far greater effort than timely measures for defense.

  3. That the national interests and military necessity require that the Philippines be made as strong as possible in peacetime.18

With the Secretaries' approval, given three days later, work on Joint War Plan ORANGE moved forward rapidly. As a matter of fact, the planners had by this time already adopted the basic strategic concept to guide American forces in a war with Japan. Such a war, they foresaw, would be primarily naval in character. The United States, in their view, should take the offensive and engage in operations "directed toward the isolation and harassment of Japan." These operations they thought could be achieved by gaining control of Japan's vital sea communications and by offensive air and naval operations against Japan's naval forces and economic life. If these measures alone did not bring Japan to her knees, then the planners would take "such further action as may be required to win the war." The major role in a war fought as the planners envisaged it would be played by the Navy. To the Army would fall the vital task of holding the base in Manila Bay until the arrival of the fleet. Without it, the fleet would be unable to operate in Far Eastern waters.

The concept of "an offensive war, primarily naval" was firmly embodied in the plan finally evolved. From it stemmed the emphasis placed on sea power and a naval base in the Phillipines. The first concern of the United States in a war with Japan and the initial mission of the Army and Navy, declared the Joint Planners, would be to establish sea power in the western Pacific "in strength superior to that of Japan." This, they recognized, would require a "main outlying base" in that region. Manila Bay, it was acknowledged, best met the requirements for such a base and its retention would be essential in the event of hostilities. Thus, the primary mission of the Philippine Department in the ORANGE plan was to hold Manila Bay.19

One notable aspect of the ORANGE plan was its provision for a unified command and a joint staff. Normal practice dictated separate Army and Navy commanders, acting under the principle of co-operation in joint operations. But the planners had come to the conclusion that such operations required "that all Army and Navy forces. . . form one command and that its commander have the whole responsibility and full power."20 They therefore included in the plan provision for a single commander, to be designated by the President and to have full power commensurate with his responsibility.

In making this proposal the planners were far ahead of their time. Neither of the services was ready to operate in this way and there was as yet no doctrine or set of principles to guide commanders with such wide authority. The Joint Board, therefore, though it accepted without question most of the provisions of the ORANGE plan submitted by the Joint Planning Committee, returned


that portion dealing with command. The planners, the board instructed, were to eliminate the objectionable paragraphs.21

Surprisingly enough, the planners balked at these instructions and tried once more to convince their superiors of the necessity for unity of command. The plan, they pointed out, was the product of over three years of intensive study during which the problem of command in joint operations had been considered carefully and from every viewpoint. On the basis of their exhaustive study of the subject, the planners told the Joint Board, they could not recommend that operations on so large a scale and of such grave importance as those contemplated in the ORANGE plan "could be entrusted to co-operation alone."22

This stand availed the committee little for the Joint Board returned the plan again, this time with a more strongly worded injunction to remove the offending references to unity of command.23 The planners had no choice now but to make the required changes. Striking out all references to unity of command and a supreme commander and substituting the familiar formulas of "mutual cooperation" and "paramount interest," they resubmitted the plan on 16 July. This the board accepted and on its recommendation the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy gave their formal approval.24

The final approval of War Plan ORANGE in September 19244 gave the United States for the first time since the end of World War I a broad outline of operations and objectives in the event of war with Japan. But the plan was really more a statement of hopes than a realistic appraisal of what could be done. To have carried out such a plan in 1925 was far beyond the capabilities of either service. The entire military establishment in the Philippines did not then number more than 15,000 men. The 50,000 men who, according to the plan, were to sail for the Philippines from the west coast on the outbreak of war, represented more than one third the total strength of the Army. Moreover, naval facilities in Manila Bay were entirely inadequate to support the fleet. The station at Cavite along the south shore of the bay had been largely neglected by the Navy and the facilities at Olongapo in Subic Bay dated from the early years of the century. Neither was capable of providing more than minor repairs. Only at Pearl Harbor, 5,000 miles to the east, was there a base even partially capable of servicing the major surface units of the Battle Fleet.

The advantages of distance and location, which gave the Philippines their strategic importance, were all on the side of the Japanese. Japan's southernmost naval bases were less than 1,500 miles from the Philippines, and Formosa was only half that distance away. An expeditionary force from Japan could reach Manila in three days; one mounted from Formosa on the Ryukyus could make the journey in a much shorter time. An American force, even assuming it reached the Philippines safely in record time, would require several weeks for the


journey. By that time, the Japanese flag might be waving over Manila and the U.S. Fleet with its bunkers depleted would be "forced to fight under the most disadvantageous conditions or to beat an ignominious retreat."25


The ORANGE plan was based on a situation that never came to pass, that is, a war between the United States and Japan alone. Neither side, the planners assumed, would have allies or attack the territory of a third power. The ORANGE war, as envisaged by the planners, 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 existing 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 Board Planners considered a variety of other contingencies that might require the use of American military forces. The most serious if not the most likely of these was a war with Great Britain alone (RED) arising 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 the west coast, but no real danger that Japan could seize and occupy any of these places. But 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 area. In such a war, the major threat clearly would lie in the Atlantic. Plans developed to meet this remote danger, in contrast to ORANGE, called for the immediate deployment of the bulk of the U.S. Fleet to the Atlantic and large-scale ground operations, defensive in nature, 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; it 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 solution 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 twofront 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 that Japan 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."26

The strategic concept adopted determined the missions, theaters of operation, and major tasks of U.S. forces. The Navy's main task, in the event of a simultaneous attack in both oceans would be to gain control of the North Atlantic and to cut the enemy's line of communications to possible bases in the New World, in Canada and the Caribbean; the Army's task would be to capture these bases, thus denying Britain the opportunity to launch attacks against the United States. The principal theater of


operations in a RED-ORANGE war, assuming Canada would side with Britain, would be, for the Navy, the Western North Atlantic, the Caribbean and West Indian waters; for the Army, those areas that could be used by RED or ORANGE to launch an invasion. Operations in the main theater would eventually bring about the defeat of enemy forces in North America, the economic exhaustion but not the total defeat of Great Britain, and finally a negotiated peace with Japan on terms favorable to the United States.

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 as and better than most and often noted this fact in the draft plans they wrote.27 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 was focused on the Pacific and when Japan seemed the most likely enemy, this experience may have seemed irrelevent. But it was to prove immensely useful in the plans developed for World War II.

Strategic Dilemma

Between 1924 and 1938 the ORANGE plan was revised many times in response to changes in the international situation, the mood of Congress, and military necessity. And with each change the gap between American commitment to the defense of the Philippines and the forces the United States was willing to commit to this defense became wider. By 1938 the dichotomy between national policy and military strategy in the Far East had made the task of the planners charged with the defense of America's position in that region all but impossible.

The first revision of ORANGE. came in November 1926 and was designed to correct ambiguities in the original plan and to clear up the confusion in regard to timing and forces. This was done by designating M-day, the date on which a general mobilization would go into effect, as the starting point for the plan. On that day, the actions required to implement the plan would begin, and from that day were measured the phases specified in the plan.

The 1926 plan clearly specified Hawaii as the point of assembly for troops and supplies. Convoys were to be formed there for the journey westward. But the assumption of the earlier plan that reinforcements would sail directly to the Philippines--a doubtful assumption--was dropped in the 1926 plan. The Marshall, Caroline, and Mariana Islands, it was recognized, would have to be brought under American control first, and bases established in one or more of these island groups to guard the line of communications.28


Not satisfied with these changes, the planners proposed additional revisions in November of 1926, with the result that the Joint Board directed the preparation of an entirely new plan.29 A difference of opinion became apparent almost immediately as the planners searched for a strategic formula that would produce victory in a war with Japan. One group argued for a strategic offensive in the western Pacific as the only way to exert sufficient pressure on Japan to win the war, and the other for a strategic defense, that is, the retention of the bulk of America's naval strength east of Hawaii, as the preferable course.

The advocates of the defensive hoped to gain victory over Japan by economic pressure and raids on Japanese commerce, but conceded that this strategy would expose the Philippines, Guam, and Samoa to attack and would probably cut off trade to the Far East. The strength of a defensive strategy, it was argued, lay in the fact that it would make the west coast and Hawaii "impregnable against attack," would cause little interference in the economy of the United States, "and would still permit our government to employ the political and industrial power and the great wealth of the country in an attempt to cut off Japanese world markets to both export and import."30 Faced with this choice of strategies, the Joint Board elected the former and on 26 January 1928 directed the planners to prepare a plan based on the concept of a strategic offensive.31

Within three months, the new plan was completed. Though it retained the original concept of a naval advance across the Pacific, it allowed more time to assemble reinforcements and paid more attention to securing the line of communications. Forces in the Philippines were assigned the primary mission of holding the entrance to Manila Bay (Bataan and Corregidor), and the secondary mission of holding the bay area "as long as consistent with the successful accomplishment of the primary mission."32

That there was even then little expectation that the Philippines could be held is evident in the Army's estimate of the enemy's capacities as compared to its own. Japan, it noted, could raise and transport to the Philippines a force of 300,000 men in 30 days. Within 7 days of an attack, it could have 50,000 to 60,000 men off Luzon, within 15 another 100,000. The Americans would have to meet this attack with the forces then present in the Philippines: 11,000 troops of which 7,000 were Filipinos, a native constabulary numbering about 6,000 men, and an air component consisting of nine bombers and eleven pursuit planes. So great a discrepancy made any hope for a successful defense mere illusion. The best that could be hoped for under such circumstances was a delaying action that might buy enough time for the fleet to arrive with reinforcements.

The move to grant the Philippines their independence, which was finding increasing support among the American people and in Congress in the early


1930's, complicated enormously the problems of Pacific strategy and precipitated a number of reviews and studies by the planners of the effect of such a step. The conclusion of these studies was that the islands represented a powerful military asset to the United States and that their retention was necessary to support American policy in the Far East. The withdrawal of the United States from these islands, asserted the joint planners, would upset the balance of power in the Far East, give Japan a free hand in the western Pacific, and force the abandonment of the open-door policy. Though inadequately defended and far removed from the nearest American base in Hawaii, the Philippines were, in the opinion of the Washington planners, of great strategic importance, indispensable in a war against Japan. "We should relinquish our bases," they concluded, "only when we are prepared to relinquish our position as a nation of major influence in the affairs of Asia and the Western Pacific."33

From the Philippines came a strong dissenting voice. To the officers stationed in the islands, the plan to hold out against a powerful Japanese attack until reinforcements arrived seemed nothing less than self-delusion. "To carry out the present ORANGE plan," wrote the commander of the Corregidor defenses, "with its provisions for the early dispatch of our fleet to Philippine waters, would be literally an act of madness."34 Corregidor, he admitted, could probably hold out for about a year and thus deny Japan the use of Manila Bay. But the enemy could reach Manila from the land side and deny the U.S. Fleet a sheltered harbor in which to overhaul and repair major fleet units. It would be necessary, therefore, for the fleet to seize and develop bases as it moved across the Pacific, and this process, he estimated, would take two or three years. Certainly the small garrison in the Philippines could not resist that long. Unless the American people were willing to spend large sums for the defense of the islands--and there was in 1933 not the slightest hope that they would--the Corregidor commander and his superior, the commander of the Philippine Department, both advised that the United States arrange for the neutralization of the Philippines, withdraw its forces from the Far East, and adopt the line Alaska-Oahu-Panama as the "strategic peacetime frontier in the Pacific."

The planners in Washington, whatever their personal convictions may have been, did not accept this view. Indeed, they could not, for national policy dictated that the Philippines must be defended, no matter how hopeless the assignment seemed to those responsible for its defense. The withdrawal of United States forces from the Philippines and from China was a political question and the decision rested with the President and Congress.

From the military point of view, the Army planners in Washington found the assumptions of the Philippine commanders unwarranted. The field commanders, they maintained, had stressed the concept of an offensive in the western Pacific, but the plan did not require the immediate advance of the fleet westward "unless the situation existing . . . justifies such


action."35 Instead, the fleet would advance step by step through the mandates, taking such islands as it needed and constructing advance bases before moving on. It was just this course, the Army planners pointed out, that the Navy now favored.

To the Washington experts the idea that the Philippines could be neutralized by agreement with other powers was completely unrealistic. They thought it "highly improbable of attainment," at least so long as the United States retained military and naval bases in the islands. When the Philippines became fully independent, it might be possible to follow this course, provided that the United States withdrew all of its forces.

The Army planners in Washington dismissed also the fear that Japan would attack the United States in the near future. In their view, Japan was too dependent upon trade with the United States to risk a war that would place all her gains on the Asiatic mainland in jeopardy. "Only by adoption on the part of the United States of a policy of armed intervention," they concluded, "would ORANGE be justified in bringing on a war."36

In March 1934, when the TydingsMcDuffie act granting the Philippines their independence by 1946 was passed, the Army and Navy commanders in the Philippines reopened the question of American strategy in the Far East. In a joint letter to their respective chiefs the two commanders asserted that, in view of the reductions in military and naval strength in the Philippines, they could not carry out their missions under the ORANGE plan. The "spectacular rise" of Japan as a military power, together with the improvement of military aviation, and increases in the speed and armament of surface vessels, nullified, in their judgment, the value of Manila Bay as a base. The time had come, it seemed to them, to make a decision on American policy. If the United States intended to defend the islands--and their defense was basic to the ORANGE plan--even after they were granted independence, then naval and land forces would have to be increased, those treaties prohibiting its fortification abrogated, and a base adequate for maintaining the fleet constructed. If the United States intended to withdraw and relinquish its control over the Philippines and responsibility for their defense, then, said the two commanders, only such American forces as would be needed to maintain order during the transition period should be kept in the islands.37

The decision of the Joint Board settled none of the questions raised by the Asiatic Fleet and Philippine Department commanders. National policy was not within its province and it could only assert that the Philippines would be defended and that reinforcements would be forthcoming, as planned in ORANGE, in the event of war. The board was fortified in this view by the Army planners who felt that the existing force in the Philippines was large enough to give "reasonable assurance" that Manila Bay could be held, and by the belief of the naval planners that reinforcements could


be convoyed across the Pacific in time to avert disaster.38

Hardly had this decision been made when the ORANGE plan came under scrutiny again. This time it was General Douglas MacArthur, then Chief of Staff, who called for its revision to bring it into conformity with the new mobilization plan and the 4-army organization of the field forces. These changes did not affect the basic concept of the plan, but during the discussions the Navy planners proposed a new line of action, foreshadowed in 1928, calling for an advance in progressive stages across the Pacific through the mandated islands, seizing in turn the Marshalls and Carolines and developing there the bases needed to secure the line of communications to the western Pacific. The Marine and Army troops to carry out these operations were to sail from the west coast in echelons, the first leaving for the Marshalls twelve days after M-day. Incorporated into the 1935 revision of the ORANGE. plan, this concept underscored the importance of holding Manila Bay to provide a base for the fleet when it finally fought its way through with reinforcements.39

Despite the careful plans to hold the Philippines in case of a Japanese attack, the view that the islands could not be held and that it would take several years to establish naval superiority in the western Pacific spread rapidly among the Army planners. Japan had revealed its expansionist aims in Manchuria and in China, had placed a veil of secrecy over the mandated islands, withdrawn from the League of Nations and from the naval limitations agreements of 1922 and 1930, and was rapidly building up its military strength and naval forces. The situation in Europe was threatening, too, with Hitler and Mussolini beginning to test their new found strength. Under the circumstances, the Philippine Islands might well prove a liability, draining off the forces needed to defend Hawaii, the Panama Canal, and the continental United States.

In recognition of the growing threat in Europe and the Far East, the Secretaries of the War and Navy Departments in the fall of 1935 called upon the Joint Board to re-examine America's military position in the Far East. At the same time, they asked Secretary of State Cordel Hull to designate a State Department representative to meet with the board. How seriously the Secretaries regarded the situation may be judged by their note to Hull. "The cumulative efforts of successive developments during the past two decades have so weakened our military position vis-a-vis Japan," they wrote, "that our position in the Far East is one that may result not only in our being forced into war but into a war that would have to be fought under conditions that might preclude its successful prosecution."40

The Secretaries' action set off another round of discussions over strategy that



ended in one more revision of ORANGE. The case for the Army planners was summarized by Brig. Gen. Stanley D. Embick, Chief of the War Plans Division and long associated with the Philippines and Pacific strategy. Reliance on a base that was inadequately defended, he observed, was to invite disaster. American strategy in the Pacific, he insisted, should concentrate on holding the strategic triangle, Alaska-Hawaii-Panama. Such a course would place the United States in an invulnerable position and permit its military and naval forces to conduct operations "in such a manner that will promise success instead of national disaster."41

The naval planners were of a different opinion. All their plans were based on the use of the fleet in offensive operations west of Hawaii, and the acceptance of the strategic triangle would leave the Navy with little to do other than patrol the critical area and fend off an enemy attack.

These differences were fundamental and the planners, unable to reach agreement, submitted separate reports. The Army members recommended that, when the Philippines became independent, the United States should withdraw entirely from the islands and from China; the Navy members, that no decision on America's future military policy in the Far East should be made at this time but should await a complete re-examination of the ORANGE plan.

This was hardly an acceptable basis for decision by the Joint Board, and again they referred the problem to their planners. This time the planners agreed by avoiding the issue, and in May 1936 submitted a revision of ORANGE which restricted the mission of the Philippine garrison to holding the entrance to Manila Bay, that is, Corregidor and its neighboring islands. Up to that time it had been required to hold the Manila. Bay area as long as possible. The naval concept of a progressive movement through the mandates remained unchanged.

Though the Army planners had failed to win their point, their efforts did result in a review of the Hawaiian defenses and to an emphasis on their importance in the revised ORANGE plan. The mission of the Hawaiian garrison was stated simply: to hold Oahu "as a main outlying naval base," and provision was made for a defense reserve for seventy days, the maximum time required for the fleet to reach Hawaiian waters. Prophetically,


the plan recognized the danger of a surprise raid and pointed out that a successful defense would depend "almost wholly upon our not being totally surprised by the enemy," and would "require an efficient intelligence service, not only in the Hawaiian Islands but elsewhere."42

It was abundantly clear by now that the Philippine garrison would not be able to hold out until such time--variously estimated at from two to three years--as the fleet could arrive with reinforcements. This fact was never explicitly stated but, significantly, the Army's 1936 ORANGE plan, unlike earlier plans, made no provision for reinforcements. The defense would have to be conducted by the peacetime garrison, a force of about 10,000 men, plus the Philippine Army then being organized by General MacArthur.43

The debate over Pacific and Far East strategy continued through 1936, when Japan joined Germany and Italy in the Anti-Comintern Pact, and into 1937. In the fall of that year, after Japan embarked on its war of aggression in China, the Joint Board again ordered a re-examination of existing plans, which it considered "unsound in general" and "wholly inapplicable" to the international situation. What it wanted from its planning committee was a new ORANGE plan that would provide for "a position of readiness" on the line Alaska-Hawaii-Panama--the so-called "strategic triangle." 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.44

In less than two weeks the Joint Planning Committee reported its inability to reach an agreement. The Army members, reading their instructions literally, wanted to restrict themselves to the area specified by the board and draw up a plan, defensive in nature, which would provide for the security of the continental United States and the Pacific Ocean as far as Hawaii. A war plan, they reasoned, must take into account political and economic factors and it was impossible at this time to determine whether the United States would be willing to fight an unlimited war against Japan. With the European Axis clearly in mind they pointed out that political considerations might require limited action and purely defensive operations in the Pacific. Moreover, the forces available at the outbreak of war would hardly be adequate for assuming the defense of vital areas in the Western Hemisphere. To uncover these positions for an offensive in the far Pacific, the Army planners declared, would be foolhardy indeed.45

The Navy members of the Joint Planning Committee took the position that American strategy could not be limited to a purely defensive position of readiness but should aim at the defeat of the


enemy. If it failed to do that, it was not, in the view of the naval planners, a realistic guide for the services in time of war.46

Once war began, the Navy members argued, production would be quickly increased to provide the means required for both the security of the continental United States and for offensive operations in the Pacific. While these forces were being assembled, the Navy was prepared to take the offensive beyond Hawaii into Japanese territory. Should the European Axis give aid to the enemy, the planners assumed that the United States would have allies to provide the assistance needed by the U.S. Fleet to maintain naval superiority over Japan and to permit the projection of American naval power into the Western Pacific. "The character, amount, and location of allied assistance," they added, "cannot be predicted."47

GENERAL EMBICK, Chief, Army War Plans Division, 1935.

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 this choice by issuing a new directive to the planners on 7 December 1937. Suggested by the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William D. Leahy, this directive attempted to compromise the differing interpretations of the Army and Navy planners, but gave the edge to the latter. The new plan, the board now 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, the board further directed, was to be the Army's job; the Navy's task would consist of "offensive operations against ORANGE armed forces and the interruption of ORANGE vital sea communications." Finally, the planners were to recommend the forces and materiel which would be required by each of the services to accomplish its mission in the new plan.48

Even under these revised instructions, the planners were unable to agree on the best way to protect American interests in the Pacific and Far East in the event of war with Japan. The Army planners, thinking possibly of the situation in Europe, wished to maintain a defense position east of the 180th meridian--the


outermost limits of the Hawaiian chain. Offensive operations to the west of that line, they believed, should be undertaken only when necessary and they only with the specific authorization of the President. Naval operations alone, they asserted, could not ensure the defeat of Japan and ultimately the maximum efforts of the two services would be required.

Throughout their version of the plan, the Army planners emphasized the defensive mission of the Army to defend the United States and its possessions. Though they did not exclude the Philippines, neither did they provide for augmenting the forces there as they did for American territory east of the 180th meridian. The defense of the Islands would have to be conducted by the forces already assigned plus whatever additional troops were available locally.49

The naval planners, still offensiveminded so far as the Pacific was concerned, emphasized in their version of the plan operations designed to bring about the defeat of Japan. Thus, they made the destruction of ORANGE forces the primary mission of joint and separate Army and Navy forces. Nor did they place any limits on operations in the western Pacific, merely repeating the time-honored formula that victory would be won by establishing "at the earliest practicable date, U.S. naval power in the western Pacific in strength superior to that of ORANGE and to operate offensively in that area."50 This preference for the offensive was clearly reflected in his testimony to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee the following February when Admiral Leahy asserted that "the only way that war, once begun, can be brought to a successful conclusion is by making the enemy want to stop fighting. . . Prompt and effective injury to an enemy at a distance from our shores is the only correct strategy to be employed."51

Faced with another split report, the Joint Board turned over the task of working out a compromise to General Embick and Rear Adm. James O. Richardson. These two, after a month of discussion, finally submitted on 18 February 1938 a new ORANGE plan. This plan embodied the essential points of each of the services with the result that its provisions were sometimes less than clear. In return for the Army's removal of the proviso that operations west of the Hawaiian Islands would require Presidential authorization, the Navy took out its references to an offensive war, the destruction of the Japanese forces, and the early movement of the fleet into the western Pacific. The result was a broad statement of strategy calling for "military and economic pressure," increasing in severity until "the national objective," the defeat of Japan, was attained. Initial operations under this concept were to be primarily naval but would be coupled with measures required to ensure the security of the continental United States, Alaska, Oahu, and Panama.52

Though each of the services retreated from its original position, each won recognition of principles it held important.


The Navy retained its concept of a progressive advance across the Pacific, but avoided commitment on the time required for such a move--an essential point in any plan for the defense of the Philippines. The Army, on its side, gained recognition of the primary importance of the strategic triangle formed by Alaska, Oahu, and Panama to the defense of the United States. The earlier provision for the defense of Manila Bay was. retained, but the omission of any reference to the reinforcement of the Philippine garrison or to the length of time it would take the fleet to advance across. the Pacific was a tacit admission that the planners did not believe the position could be held.

A war with Japan, the ORANGE plan of 1938 assumed, would be preceded by a period of strained relations, during which the United States would have time to prepare for mobilization. No formal declaration of war was expected; when war came the planners expected it to come with a sudden surprise attack--an assumption that had been made in every ORANGE plan since the Russo-Japanese war. They thought, too, that American forces at the start of the war would be strong enough to permit naval operations west of Pearl Harbor, and that no assistance Japan could receive--presumably from Germany and Italy--would materially affect the balance of naval power in the Pacific.

On the outbreak of a war, the United States would first assume a position of readiness to meet all emergencies that might arise, a point the Army planners had insisted upon. During this initial period, the Army and Navy would place priority on such measures as were required to defend the west coast, the strategic triangle, the coastal defenses of the United States, and oversea possessions. At the same time, the Navy would make preparations, in co-operation with the Army, to open the offensive as soon as possible.

The plan outlined also the specific measures that would have to be taken to support offensive operations. These included the following:

  1. Mobilization of Army forces, initially 750,000 men, excluding strategic reserves ready if needed to support the Navy.

  2. Mobilization of naval vessels and an increase in personnel strength to 320,000 (including marines) .

  3. An increase in the strength of the Marine Corps to 35,000 men.

  4. Additional increases in all services at a later date if necessary.

  5. Plans for the movement of troops to vital areas for their defense and to ports for overseas movement.

Having assumed a position of readiness and completed initial preparations, the military and naval forces of the United States would then be free to meet any unexpected situation that might develop, including, presumably, an attack in the Atlantic. If none did, the Navy could 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.53

The prospective loss of the Philippine


base in 1946 and the abrogation by Japan of the Washington Treaty limitations on fortifications led after 1936 to a renewed interest in Guam. The whole problem of naval bases came under Congressional scrutiny when a board headed by Rear Adm. Arthur J. Hepburn submitted its report on naval bases in December 1938. The findings of the board, which had been appointed by Congress, reflected clearly the naval strategy of the day. Guam, it declared, should be developed into a fully equipped fleet base with air and submarine facilities. Such a project, it reminded the Congress, had been prepared earlier, but had been put aside because of the Washington Treaty. That treaty had now expired and there was no longer any restriction on the military fortification of Guam.54

The advantages of establishing a strong base at Guam were enormous, in the view of. the board. For one thing, it would greatly simplify the task of defending the Philippine Islands. In the opinion of "the most authoritative sources" such a base would make the islands practically immune from attack, would create "the most favorable conditions . . . for the prosecution of naval operations in the western Pacific," and would contribute greatly to the defense of Hawaii and the continental United States.55 By limiting hostile naval operations to the south, a fortified base at Guam would also serve to protect the trade routes to the Netherlands Indies and greatly simplify naval problems "should the fleet ever be called upon for operations in the Far East."56 And even if the United States withdrew from the western Pacific, the base at Guam, as Admiral Leahy pointed out, would have great value as a deterrent to any nation "contemplating a hostile move from the general area towards the Hawaiian Islands."57 But Congress, after a heated debate, rejected the board's recommendations for fear of offending Japan, with the result that Guam, lying exposed at the southern end of the Marianas, was left virtually undefended.

The failure to fortify Guam, like the refusal to strengthen the forces in the Philippines, reveals strikingly the dilemma of America's position in the Pacific and Far East. National policy dictated the defense of an insular position which, in the opinion of the military planners, could not be defended with existing forces. The ORANGE plan of 1938, with the compromise between an offensive and defensive strategy, was merely a reflection of this contradiction between American interests and commitments in the Pacific. The nation would not abandon the Philippines but neither would it grant the Army and Navy funds to ensure their defense. Nowhere in the country, even where feeling against Japanese aggression in Asia ran highest, was there firm support for military appropriations. Strong isolationist sentiment supported a Congressional economy which by 1938 had so reduced the effectiveness of the nation's armed forces as to make its outposts in the Pacific "a distinct and exceedingly grave liability." American policy had created a wide gap


between objectives and means and forced on its planners a compromise strategy and the virtual abandonment of Guam and the Philippines. Already there was a shift in sentiment, a recognition of the danger ahead, and a disposition to prepare the country's defenses, but the neglect of almost two decades could not be overcome in the three years of peace that remained.


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter ** Next Chapter


1. Ltr, Dewey to John D. Long, Secy Navy, 29 Aug 98, quoted in O.J. Clinard, "Japan's Influence on American Naval Power, 1897-1917 University of California Publications in History, vol. XXXVII (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1947), p. 27.

2. The board initially had no staff and its membership was by individual appointment rather than by office. In 1919, it was reorganized, given a Joint Planning Committee which functioned as a working group, and its membership reduced to six--the chiefs of the services, their deputies, and the chiefs of the two War Plans Divisions.

3. Ltr, Chafe to Secy War, 22 Apr 04; Mins, JB Mtgs, 23 May and 24 Jun 04; Ltr, Brig Gen Tasker H. Bliss to Secy JB, 10 Jun 04, all in JB 325 (1903-1905), ser. 16.

4. A summary of the Joint Board's views is contained in ltr, Maj Gen Fred C. Ainsworth, TAG, to Maj Gen Leonard Wood, CG Philippines Div, 6 Jul 07, AG 1260092, National Archives.

5. Ltr, Roosevelt to Taft, 21 Aug 07, quoted by Henry F. Pringle, Theodore Roosevelt (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1931), pp. 408-09.

6. House Report, No. 1385, 60th Cong., 1st sess., 4 Apr 08, pp. 2-3.

7. Cable, Wood to Ainsworth, 1 Nov 07; Ltrs, Lt Col Frederic V. Abbot and Capt Stanley D. Embick to Wood, 27 Nov 07, both in AG 1260092, National Archives; memos, JB for Secys War and Navy, 31 Jan and 5 Mar 08, JB 325.

8. Ltr, Wood to Ainsworth, 23 Dec 07, AG 1260092, National Archives.

9. Memo, Brig Gen Montgomery M. Macomb, Chief, War College Div, for Chief of Staff, 13 Apr 15, sub: Plan for War With Japan, WCD 7820-16; Army Plan in Case of War in the Pacific Before the Panama Canal Is Completed, 19 May 13, approved by CofS, 20 May 13, by order of Secy War, WCD 7820-13.

10. Ltr, Yarnell to Col John McA. Palmer, 25 Apr 19, JB 325, ser. 28 C.

11. Capt Dudley W. Knox (USN), The Eclipse of American Sea Power (New York: American Army & Navy Journal, Inc., 1922), pp. 135-36.

12. Ltr, JPC to JB, 13 Apr 22, sub: Defense of Phil, JB 303, ser. 179.

13. Preliminary Estimate of the Situation, War Plan ORANGE, 3 Dec, WPD 368.

14. Ltr, Secy War to CG Phil Dept, 27 Jul 22, cited in Ltr, Wood to Secy War, 5 Feb 23, JB 305. 209.

15. Ltr, Wood to Secy War, 5 Feb 23, JB 305, ser. 209.

16. Ibid.

17. Memo, JPC to JB, 25 May 23, sub: Synopsis of the Joint Army and Navy Estimate of the ORANGE Situation, JB 325, ser. 207. See also General Board 426, ser. 1136, 26 Apr 23.

18. Memo, Pershing to Secy War, 7 Jul 23, sub: Defense of Phil, JB 305, ser. 208. A similar memorandum went to the Secretary of the Navy.

19. Draft, Joint Army-Navy Basic War Plan ORANGE, 12 Mar 24, JB 325, ser. 228.

20. Ibid.

21. Ltr, Secy JB to JPC, 7 Jun 24, JB 325, ser. 228.

22. Ltr, Col John L. De Witt, and Capt William H. Standley (USN) to JB, 20 Jun 24, sub: Joint Army-Navy Basic War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 228.

23. Memo, Secy JB to JPC, 10 Jul 24, sub: Joint Army-Navy War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 228.

24. Ltrs, Col Walter Krueger and Standley, 16 Jul 24; Rear Adm Edward W. Eberle, JB to Secy War, 15 Aug 24, sub: Joint Army-Navy Basic War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 228.

25. Hector Bywater, Sea Power in the Pacific: A Study of the American-Japanese Naval Problem (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1921), pp. 256-57.

26. Proposed Joint Estimate and Plan--RED-ORANGE, prepared in WPD (Army) and approved by CofS, 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 the same file, 245-A through F and in WPD 3202. No plan was ever approved.

27. In 1923, the Army draft of RED-ORANGE started with the statement, "Under existing conditions a coalition fo 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, Dir ONI to Dir 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.

28. Joint Army-Navy Basic War Plan ORANGE, 6 Oct 26; Ltr, JPC to JB, 11 Oct 26, sub: Revision of Plan ORANGE; Mins, JB Mtg, 14 Oct 26, all in JB 325, ser. 280.

29. Ltr, JPC to JB, 26 Nov 26, sub: Revision of ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 280.

30. Ltr, JPC to JB, 9 Jan 28, sub: Joint Estimate of Situation BLUE-ORANGE, and Joint Army-Navy War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 280.

31. Memo, JB for JPC, 26 Jan 28, sub: Joint Army-Navy Basic War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 280.

32. Joint Basic War Plan ORANGE, 24 Apr 28, JB 325, ser. 280. Other papers relating to the plan are in the same file. The plan was approved by the Secretary of the Navy on 19 June 1928, and by the Secretary of War on 10 July.

33. Ltr, JPC to JB, sub: Independence of Phil Is, 28 Feb 34, JB 305, ser. 525. See also JB 305, ser. 499 for earlier views.

34. Memo, Brig Gen Stanley D. Embick for CG Phil Dept, 19 Apr 33, sub: Mil Policy of U.S. in Phil Is, and 1st Ind, Hq Phil Dept, 25 Apr 33, WPD 3251-15.

35. Memo, Chief, WPD for CofS, 12 Jun 33, sub: Mil Policy of U.S. in Phil Is, WPD 3251-15.

36. Ibid.

37. Ltr, CinC Asiatic Fleet and CG Phil Dept to CNO and CofS, 1 Mar 34, sub: Inadequacy of Present Mil and Naval Forces in Phil Area . . . , JB 325, ser. 533.

38. Memo, Brig Gen C.R. Kilbourne for Army members, JPC, 1 May 34, sub: Mil Policy in Phil Is, WPD 3251-18; Ltr, JB to Secy War, 20 Jun 34, sub: Inadequacy of Present Mil and Naval Forces . . . , JB 325, ser. 533.

39. Ltrs, MacArthur to JB, 18 Jun 35; JPC to JB, 23 Apr 35; JB to Secy War, 8 May 35, all titled Revision of Joint Army-Navy Basic War Plan ORANGE and filed in JB 325, ser. 546. The Secretaries of War and Navy approved the revised plan on 9 May 1935.

40. Ltr, Actg Secy War and Secy Navy to Secy State, 26 Nov 35, JB 305, ser. 573. Stanley K. Hornbeck, Chief of the Division of Far Eastern Affairs, was appointed the State Department representative. ltr, Hull to Woodring, 27 Nov 35, same file.

41. App. A to Memo initialed S.D.E., 2 Dec 35, sub: Mil Aspects of . . . Retention of U.S. of . . . Phil Is, JB 305, ser. 573.

42. Memo, Krueger for CofS, etc, 14 Feb 36, sub: Mil and Naval position in Far East, with Incls dated 6 Feb and 5 Mar 36, JB 305, ser. 573; Ltr, JB to Secy War, 19 May 36, sub: Revision of Joint Army and Navy basic War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 570; Ltrs, JPC to JB 13 May 26, sub: US Forces, Hawaiian Is, and JB to Secy War, 19 May 36, same sub, JB 325, ser. 580; Ltr, JB to Secy War, 9 Dec 36, sub: Changes in ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 594.

43. Army Strategical Plan ORANGE, 1936 Revision, JB 325, sers. 546 and 325. For MacArthur's plans to build a Philippine Army, see Louis Morton, The Fall of the Philippines, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR I (Washington, 1953), pp. 8-13.

44. Memos, JB for JPC, 10 Nov 36, sub: Joint Basic War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 617; Embick to WPD, 3 Nov 37, same sub. AGO 225.

45. Draft memo, Krueger, 22 Nov 37, sub: Some Thoughts on joint War Plans, AGO 225.

46. Ltrs, Army and Navy Members JPC to JB, 29 and 30 Nov 37, sub: Joint Basic War PORANGE, JB 325, ser. 617. The Army plan is in Appendix A, the Navy's in Appendix B.

47. Ibid.

48. Directive JB to JPC, 7 Dec 37, sub: Joint Basic War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 618.

49. Ltr, JPC to JB, 27 Dec 37, sub: Joint War Plan ORANGE, JB 325, ser. 618.

50. Ibid.

51. Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 79th Cong., 1st sess., Hearings, pt. I, p. 294.

52. Joint Basic War Plan ORANGE, 21 Feb 38, JB 325, ser. 618. The plan was approved by the Secretary of the Navy on 26 February and by the Secretary of War two days later.

53. Ibid.

54. House Doc. 65, 76th Cong., 1st sess., Report on Need of Additional Naval Bases to Defend the Coast of the United States, Its territories, and Possessions (Hepburn Board Report), pp. 27-28.

55. Ibid., p. 28.

56. Ibid., p. 27.

57. Hearings, House Committee on Naval Affairs, 25 Jan-17 Feb 1939, p. 55.

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