Guide to Footnotes

The footnotes in this volume are designed to accomplish two objectives: (1) to indicate the nature of the evidence on which the author based his account, and (2) to enable the scholar and researcher to identify the document and to locate it among the mass of World War II records, with the assistance of the archivist, in as brief a time as possible. These objectives were not always consistent with brevity, but the author has used every device to reduce the length of the footnotes and to keep their number to the minimum. Thus, collective footnotes summarizing the sources for a particular subject or section of a chapter have been employed wherever possible; information not essential to identification or location has been omitted; and abbreviations and code names, rigorously eschewed in the text, have been used liberally in the footnotes. Though these short cuts should not present any difficulty for the reader familiar with military records and abbreviations, a word of explanation for the uninitiated may be helpful.

The information normally required to identify and locate a document in any of the various military archival depositories includes (a) a description of the type of document, (b) the originator, (c) the recipient, (d) date, (e) subject, and (f) file reference. With important exceptions, to be noted below, the author has made every effort to provide this information, in the order named, in the citations to this volume. The following explanation should make clear the purpose of each item in the footnote:

  1. Kind of Document. There of the sources used in the preparation of this volume varies widely, both as to type and official character, and has to be taken into account in evaluating the evidence. There is a wide gap between an informal memorandum or personal note and a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff or an order from a theater commander. Thus, the first item in the citation indicates, usually in abbreviated form, the type of document cited. Those most frequently used in the preparation of this volume are

    1. official reports, orders, plans, and directives of theater headquarters, the War Department, and the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff;

    2. minutes of meetings and conferences, ranging from those of senior staff officers and commanders, such as the Pacific Military Conference in March 1943, to the wartime meetings of the Combined Chiefs of Staff with the President and Prime Minister (recorded in bound, printed volumes called Conference Books);

    3. estimates, studies, and plans developed in the theater, by staff agencies in the War and Navy Department, and by committees of the joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff;

    4. official correspondence within and between headquarters, agencies and overseas commands in the form of radio messages, letters and memoranda;

    5. informal and often revealing exchanges of view within and between agencies, offices, and commands, expressed usually in memoranda, records of conversations, notes on meetings,


      and comments on studies and drafts of plans; and finally,

    1. notes, routing slips, and memoranda for the record, filed with the official correspondence.

  1. Originator. The originator of a document may be a single person, an office, a headquarters, or an agency. Military staff officers are dedicated to anonymity and official documents are issued in the name of a commander or an office. Thus the identity of the actual author of the document is often difficult to determine, and, in any case, is likely to be of little importance. Where it is significant, the citation so indicates.

  2. Recipient. A documents may be addressed to a specific individual, a headquarters, an agency, to no one in particular, or to everyone concerned, depending on the nature of the source. Thus, the establishment or clarification of policy by the War Department or Joint Chiefs of Staff would have no specific addressee, and a memo for record no recipient but the files.

  3. Date. In some cases, such as radio messages, the time may be an important element in the identification of a document. When it is, this information in included in the citation. The military system for dates (7 December 1941) and times (the 24-hour clock--00900 for 9:00 a.m. and 2100 for 9:00 p.m.) is used throughout, in the text as well as the footnotes. Navy radio messages are usually identified by month and a date-time group, a 6-number group of which the first two represent the day of the month and the last four the time the message was sent.

  4. Subject. Military usage dictates a subject heading for certain types of documents, notably memoranda; others, such as letters, reports, and studies, may or may not have one, and some documents such as radio messages never do. When the document cited has a subject heading, this information is included in the footnote in abbreviated form as an aid to identification.

  5. Location. Under the Army de system for filing, a document can usually be located by its file number. [For a description of the system, see War Department Decimal File System, compiled under the direction of The Adjutant General of the Army, revised edition (Washington, 1943) and supplements.] This number is invariably preceded by a letter symbol identifying the record group (or office of origin) in which the file is located. The letter symbols most often used in the present volume are:

    1. AG, denoting the central files of The Adjutant General's Office, record keeper for the Army;

    2. OCS of WDCSA, the files of the Chief of Staff;

    3. WPD and OPD, the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff and its successor, the Operations Division;

    4. ABC, the records of the Strategy and Policy Group of the Operations Division;

    5. JB, the Joint Board;

    6. OPD Exec, the special collection maintained by the Executive Office of OPD;

    7. SWPA, the Southwest Pacific Area;

    8. POA, Pacific Ocean Areas; and

    9. PTO, the Pacific Theater of Operations, a file designation and not a theater command.

    This system and the abbreviations may vary somewhat among offices and agencies, and in different periods of time (the WPD records, for example, do not employ the decimal system), but the letter symbol and number usually provide sufficient information to locate the relevant file quickly.

The files themselves are often voluminous,


consisting of several volumes (called sections), and any one numbered file may be subdivided in a variety of ways--by date, theater, country, and the like. Thus the entire file reference, including symbol, number, date, area, and section, is necessary to locate the document. Once the particular document is found, the researcher's task is easy. Most of the files are indexed, and some offices, such as the Operations Division, assigned a case number to each document showing the relative position of that document in the file. This information is indicated in the footnote whenever necessary. Thus WPD 4439-5 refers to the fifth case in the War Plans Division file 4439 (an arbitrarily assigned number for a subject heading).

Certain exceptions must be noted. Among these, perhaps the most important for this volume are the documents originating with the Joint Board, the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff, and their committees. These are usually identified by a letter symbol indicating the committee of origin (JPS for Joint Staff Planners, JSSC for Joint Strategic Survey Committee, JWPC for Joint War Plans Committee, CPS for Combined Staff Planners) or the Joint and Combined Chiefs themselves. The letter symbol is followed by a number representing a subject, and frequently by a slash and another number, indicating the numbered version of that particular document. Thus, JPS 67/4. represents the fifth version of a study (assigned the number 67) prepared by the Joint Staff Planners.

The reader should be aware also that a study may be known by different numbers, acquired as it makes its way up the hierarchy of joint and combined committees. A typical example is the strategic plan for the defeat of Japan developed in the spring of 1943. Starting in the Joint U.S. Strategic Committee as JUSSC 40/2, it became JPS 67/4 after the Joint Staff Planners had worked it over. The Joint Chiefs took the plan with them to TRIDENT as JCS 287/1, and it emerged finally from the Combined Chiefs of Staff in May 1943 as CCS 220. Though the final version differed from the first, it is still recognizable as basically the same study.

Joint and combined papers require no further identification than the number, date, and subject or title. Citations of these documents, therefore, ordinarily omit originator, recipient, and file reference. The last item is omitted also in footnote references to radio messages and certain other types of documents. Navy messages are identified usually by date-time groups, and Army messages filed in the Classified Message Center of The Adjutant General's Office (and elsewhere) by the date and CM-IN or CM-OUT number assigned by that office. Finally, it has not been necessary to furnish file references for letters, directives, and other types of documents issued by The Adjutant General since these can be readily identified and located in central files by date and AG symbol.

Frequent use has been made of Japanese sources throughout this volume. No particular difficulty should be encountered in footnote references to these sources since most of them refer either to (a) studies in the collection designated Japanese Studies in World War II (described fully in The Sources, by number and title; or (b) works published in Japan and translated for the author.


No file references are required since both English and Japanese versions are available in the Office of the Chief of Military History.

The reader will note numerous references to letters of recent origin addressed to the Chief of Military History. These letters represent, in effect, the comments of many of the wartime commanders and staff officers on the present volume in manuscript form. In their response to requests for comment, many of these officers furnished information not available in the official records. This information was used by the author in sing the volume, and the letters themselves are retained in a single file in OCMH as constituting a valuable source for the war in the Pacific.

One further type of source, manuscript histories, must be noted. These are of two kinds: those intended for publication in the present series or elsewhere; and those prepared by an office or headquarters and not intended for publication. The latter vary widely in size, quality, and form, and are described in the bibliography. Where author and title are indicated, the manuscript is cited in the usual manner. Frequently authorship is not given or known, and the manuscript identified by title and office of origin, with appropriate volume and page references. In each case, the location of the manuscript, or of the copy used by the present author, is indicated, since such manuscripts are like documents in that they can be found only in specific record collections or files.

The citation of published works and official records will present no problem to the reader; these are cited in the customary fashion and a list of most of the published sources used by the author or useful for background will be found in the bibliography.


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