The Sources

The student of World War II is confronted with an enormous body of records and an imposing list of published works and official documents. For the World War II years alone, the Army, it has been estimated, has more than 17,000 tons of records, with an undetermined but large quantity of prewar records essential to an understanding of the wartime period. When to this total is added the extant records of the Navy, which has its own vast records depots filled with World War II records; the Air Force, which has moved many of the records to its own depots; and the Marine Corps, the result is a truly staggering mass of paper.

Obviously a large part of this material is of a purely routine nature, important for accounting purposes and orderly administration but of little interest to the student of war. He can further reduce the total appreciably by eliminating the records of housekeeping activities of the numerous military installations established during the war at home and abroad. The scope of his inquiry and the historian's own interests serve also to eliminate large bodies of records from consideration. If his research is focused on matters of strategy and organization, as this volume is, he can safely ignore the records and reports of all units but those on the highest level; if it is focused on military operations, then the records and reports of the units involved become his primary sources.1

Introduction: Guide to the Records

Though the largest part of the total body of military records can be safely eliminated by the historian so far as his purposes are concerned, the remainder constitutes a body of considerable magnitude. Fortunately, there are a number of archival aids to enable him to identify the materials he needs and locate them in the various records depositories. The most valuable of these aids is the volume Federal Records of World War II (Washington, 1951) prepared by the National Archives. The second volume of this work deals exclusively with military agencies and contains not only descriptions of the records and their location as of 1950, but also brief histories of the organizations that created them, including the overseas commands. It is the indispensable guide for all those entering for the first time the strange world of military archives.2

Federal Records of World War II provides only the most general description of the vast body of records it surveys. For more specific descriptions, the student must turn to the inventories and guides prepared from time to time by the National Archives and listed in the Guide to the Records in the National


Archives (Washington, 1948) and the latest edition of the Publications of the National Archives and Records Service (Washington, January 1961).3

The Army and Navy have their own guides to the records. These are not listed in any single publication as are those of the National Archives, but can ordinarily be obtained without difficulty from the originating agencies, both of which make provision for assistance, within the limits of existing laws and regulations, to students of military affairs.4

The major depository of records for the World War II period, in addition to the services themselves, which still hold some of the most important records of the war, is the World War II Records Division of the National Archives in Alexandria, Virginia. Formerly the Departmental Records Branch of the Adjutant General's Office, the World War II Records Division was transferred with its records to the National Archives in 1958. At the time of its transfer, the Army's Departmental Records Branch was a joint records depository serving headquarters agencies of both the Army and the Air Force, as well as the former War Department, and the present Office, Secretary of Defense. This new division of the National Archives, still located temporarily in Alexandria, Virginia, will henceforth administer all permanent records of the World War II and postwar periods transferred to the National Archives. Records for the earlier period are already located in the Archives Building in Washington and are administered by the War Records Division.

The Army's former depository of prewar and World War II records at Kansas City, containing largely unit and operational records, and the Navy's depositories comprising similar records located in Alexandria, Va., and Mechanicsburg, Pa., are now administered by the GSA Federal Records Centers in those areas. The Navy continues to control the holdings of its Operational Archives Branch in Arlington, Va., while the Historical Branch, G-3, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, maintains the archives for the Marine Corps.

The Records

Research for the present study of strategy and command in the Pacific has ranged widely over the records from the highest levels to the comparatively low level of division and corps in the theater, and from the early 1900's down to 1944. Through these records, the author has had an unrivaled opportunity to trace the approach of war and the emergence of American and Japanese Strategy before Pearl Harbor, and to follow closely the progress of the war from the lofty heights of the Combined Chiefs of Staff and the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, from the viewpoint of the Army and Navy, from the vantage point of the


theater commanders, and, finally, from the level of the commanders on the field of battle. Wherever possible, he has viewed the war from both sides and sought to find in the records the reasons for both American and Japanese actions. In some matters, the record was voluminous; in others, so sparse as to require requests for information from the participants.

It is obviously impossible to describe here all the records used directly or indirectly in the preparation of this volume. For that, the reader will have to rely on the footnotes and the various guides noted above.5 This discussion, therefore, is confined to those record collections considered most valuable for the study of Pacific strategy.

The sources for the study of strategy in the prewar period are best considered separately since they are maintained and organized somewhat differently from those dealing with World War II. It is useful also, because of the reorganization after World War I, to divide these records into two general categories: (a) those for the period 1900 to 1919, and (b) those covering the years 1919 to 1942. During the earlier period strategic planning was the function mainly of the two war colleges, the General Board of the Navy, and the Joint Army-Navy Board; in the latter period, of the War Plans Divisions of the two services, and of the reorganized Joint Board and its Joint Planning Committee, with the General Board playing a minor role.

The Joint Board kept few records. Those for the years 1903 to 1919 occupy altogether about half a file drawer in the National Archives, where they can be used without restriction. Sparse as they are, these records, including correspondence, minutes of meetings, memoranda, strategic studies and plans, contain valuable material.

The General Board of the Navy dealt with a variety of matters of the first importance and its records constitute an indispensable source for the study of strategy during these years. Still classified, these records are located in the Navy's Operational Archives Branch in Arlington and are controlled by the Naval History Division. The general records of the Navy Department for these years (Record Group 80) are located in the Navy Branch, War Records Division, National Archives. These are well indexed and in the custody of archivists whose intimate knowledge of the records greatly simplifies the task of research.

Records of the early planning activities of the War Department General Staff became part of the records of the Army War College. These as well as the records of the Office of the Chief of Staff, and other staff divisions, altogether over 4,000 cubic feet of records, constitute Record Group 165 of the National Archives holdings.6 Frequently overlooked by the student of military affairs, this collection contains the Army's plans for a variety of situations, strategic studies, comments on plans developed by other agencies, memoranda, and other documents of interest and value in any survey


of military strategy in the period 1903 to 1919.

The record for the years after World War I, especially those immediately preceding Pearl Harbor, are indispensable to an understanding of the war. Fortunately, the records become fuller with the passage of time. Those for the Joint Board from 1919 to 1941, for example, are fully ten times more voluminous than for the earlier period. A large part of this material has been declassified, and transferred to the National Archives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The same material, with the valuable addition of supporting memoranda and studies reflecting the points of view of the Army and Navy, can be found in the World War II Records Division of the National Archives in Alexandria. Though not the official record of the Joint Board, this collection represents the file of the Army members of the Joint Planning Committee and is in some ways a more valuable source than the original.

The records of the Army War Plans Division constitute the best single collection for the prewar period. Located in the World War II Records Division and carefully indexed by subject with cross references, this large body of material throws light on every major issue facing the Army during these years. The files are organized on a numerical system (not the Army decimal file system) in which each number designates a particular subject. For identification the numbers are preceded by the symbol WPD, and within each file the documents are arranged chronologically by case number. The War Plans Division also maintained a full set of joint and Army plans, supported by Development Files. Most of these are now in a special Obsolete War Plans collection in the World War II Records Division.

With the entry of the United States into war, existing agencies for planning were reorganized and greatly enlarged, and new agencies established. Planning activities increased sharply and the volume of records grew at a rapid rate. Fortunately for the student, strategic planning in the Army was concentrated in the War Plans Division (redesignated the Operations Division in March 1942), which maintained excellent records of not only its own activities but also those of joint and combined committees. These records, on which the author relied almost entirely for the story of the higher direction of the war in the Pacific, contain virtually a complete set of Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff papers, radio messages to and from the theater commanders, official correspondence, memoranda, and strategic studies and plans, together with the background and supporting documents.

The records of the Operations Division, practically all of which (with the exception noted below) have been retired to the World War II Records Division of the National Archives, are maintained in separate groups. The radio messages, the largest and most complete collection outside the permanent central file (microfilmed) of the Department of the Army, form the OPD Message Center File. In it, are the incoming and outgoing messages, arranged by number, for the entire period of the war. In many ways, this collection is more convenient to use than the official file of the Staff Communications Office, Office of the Chief of Staff, which, in addition, maintained a Chief of Staff Log of messages between General Marshall and the


theater commanders. This log contains also the records of radio-telephone conversations (telecons) as well as the daily reports from the theaters.

The OPD Central File is the largest and most valuable of the Operations Division's wartime records, probably the most important single collection of World War II Army records dealing with strategy and policy. It is organized into two groups based on classification, and within each by subject under the Army decimal system, and by case number. In each case the number is preceded by the identifying symbol OPD. Joint and combined records, including those of the subordinate committees and of the wartime meetings with the Allies, together with the studies and memoranda prepared by officers in the Operations Division, form still another separate collection of the wartime OPD records -- perhaps the most important outside the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was collected by the Strategy and Policy Group of OPD, and unlike other records of OPD is identified by the symbol ABC, combined with a number assigned according to the Army decimal system. The Executive Office of OPD maintained an informal collection of records on matters of a particularly sensitive nature that required special handling. These were not maintained or organized in any systematic way, but there exists an index of the files in the collection. Located in the Office of the Chief of Military History at the time the author used them, the Executive Office Files were scheduled for early transfer to the World War II Records Division in Alexandria.

There is no convenient collection of records for the overseas commands comparable to that of the Operations Division. Some of them are in the Washington area, some in records centers in different parts of the country, and some remain in the theater under control of successor commands. The records of the overseas commands have been further scattered by distribution among the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The main collections in the Federal Records Center Annex, Kansas City, are those of General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, and its subordinate commands, of Headquarters, South Pacific Area, and of the Hawaiian Department and its successor commands. The records of Admiral Nimitz' headquarters are divided between the naval depository in Arlington and the Federal Records Center in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Some operational records are also in the GSA Center in Alexandria. Marine Corps records, as indicated earlier, are retained for the most part in the Historical Branch, G-3, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.

The records of General MacArthur's command are of perhaps chief interest to the student of Army planning in the Pacific. Initially, these were divided between the United States and Australia, those for Allied Land Forces (and certain other specified records) going to the latter. Since most U.S. ground forces served under Sixth Army (Alamo Force), this distribution left the bulk of the ground operational records for the Americans, and these are divided between the World War II Records Division in Alexandria and in the Federal Records Center Annex in Kansas City. The records of the Allied Air Forces, General Kenney's command, were returned to the United States and are


filed with those of the Fifth Air Force and the Far East Air Force in Kansas City, where the records of the Seventh and Thirteenth Air Forces are located. Selected portions of these records have since been moved to the Air Historical Office at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama.

The early records of MacArthur's command in the Philippines, U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, were retained as a special collection in The Adjutant General's Office, since transferred to the World War II Records Division. A portion of the headquarters files of GHQ went to Kansas City, but the important G-3 Journals are in the World War II Records Division. Not all of the records of MacArthur's wartime command have been returned to the United States, or, if they have, their location seems to be unknown. Among these records are the files of the Chief of Staff and of the G-3 Planning Division.

Special mention should be made of the notes taken by the Historical Section of MacArthur's headquarters. These consist of many thousands of cards containing precis of the plans, studies, and important correspondence of the headquarters for the entire period of the war, organized chronologically and by subject, with cross references. A part of this collection is now in the possession of the Office of the Chief of Military History, which has also a further selection, typed and bound in a volume entitled Historical Record Index Cards, GHQ SWPA.

The records of U.S. Army Forces in the South Pacific Area, General Harmon's command, and of the Army headquarters in Hawaii are distributed between the Federal Records Center Annex in Kansas City and the World War II Records Division, with the bulk of the files in Kansas City but the more important ones in Alexandria. The letters of Generals Harmon and Richardson to Marshall and officers in the Operations Division are also in the OPD files, with copies in the Central Files of The Adjutant General's Office, which also contain much of the wartime correspondence of the Army headquarters in the Pacific. These files, too, are in the World War II Records Division. While there may appear to be a division of the records of Army overseas commands between the Kansas City Federal Records Center Annex and the World War II Records Division, the records in custody of the latter are mainly those which were forwarded to higher headquarters during the war. The retained organizational copies will be found in Kansas City.

Manuscript Histories

There are a great number of unpublished manuscripts available to the student of World War II. Often these works were prepared by highly qualified scholars as part of an official program that was never intended for publication. Even when their authors were not so qualified, these manuscripts represent a careful survey of a large body of records, backed by official sanction, and often with the cooperation of participants in the events described. Thus, they may not only prove valuable as a guide to the records, but may supplement the records themselves.

The number of manuscript histories dealing with World War II is very large indeed. Virtually every major agency in the War Department and every major


command in the United States and overseas prepared a history of its activities during World War II. The Naval History Division alone has almost 300 such unpublished histories. The Army's Office of the Chief of Military History has many more, and has eased the task of the researcher by preparing a series of Historical Manuscript Accession Lists.7 The Air Force, too, has a large number of these manuscripts, and, like OCMH, publishes periodically a guide to these and other studies.

By far the most valuable and, professionally, among the most competent of the unpublished histories are those prepared by the Historical Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For Pacific strategy, the two volumes of Lt. Grace P. Hayes are unsurpassed.8 Carefully and fully documented, well organized and presented, these two volumes present a detailed and accurate account of the role of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pacific war. Though the narrative is focused on the Joint Chiefs and their committees, it contains much Army and Navy material as well. Like all the manuscripts prepared by the Historical Division of the Joint Chiefs, Lieutenant Hayes' two volumes are classified and available only to those with proper clearance and access.

Two other manuscripts in the Joint Chiefs historical series should be noted in connection with Pacific strategy and command. The first is the projected 3-volume work of Vernon E. Davis on the organization of the Joint Chiefs, two volumes of which are completed.9 This work, even in its incomplete form, is the most accurate and detailed description of the organization of the high command in World War II known to this author. Its publication would be a real service to scholars. The unfinished manuscript of the late Capt. Tracy B. Kittredge, USN, Evolution of Global Strategy, also contains much of interest and value to the student of Pacific strategy, especially for the prewar period. Captain Kittredge, a lifelong student of naval affairs, was on the staff of U.S. Naval Forces, Europe, before he joined the Joint Chiefs of Staff Historical Division, and during that period prepared an account of U.S.-British Naval Cooperation, 1939-1945, that cannot be ignored by any student of World War II strategy. A copy is on file in OCMH.

Space prohibits discussion of the numerous manuscripts prepared by staff agencies in Washington and filed now in the historical offices of the Army and Navy. The Navy manuscripts are especially useful for the Pacific war, but many of the Army manuscripts also contain material dealing with the Pacific.

Histories were prepared also in the overseas commands, and these constitute a primary source for the student of the war in the Pacific since they are based on theater records and represent the theater point of view. The program in MacArthur's area was perhaps the most ambitious, though the results in terms of quality are disappointing. In addition to a 2-volume over-all history covering Allied and Japanese operations in the Southwest Pacific, it produced administrative


histories of USAFFE, the Services of Supply, and intelligence activities as well as a number of monographs, all on file in the Office of Military History. Greatest interest, perhaps, attaches to the two over-all volumes, known as the MacArthur History. Prepared after the war under the direction of Maj. Gen. Charles A. Willoughby, these volumes are based on extensive research in Allied and Japanese records. A very limited number of copies -- five in all -- were printed in Japan, and one of these, with thirty-two footlockers of supporting material, is on file in the World War II Records Division in Alexandria.

Historians were assigned also to General Harmon's headquarters, and they prepared during the war a multivolume narrative covering both the organizational and operational aspects of the war in the South Pacific. Though prepared independently, it was incorporated into the history prepared in Hawaii by the historical section of General Richardson's headquarters. This larger work consists of many parts, including a narrative account of Army forces in the theater, a record of Army-Navy relations and of Army participation in operations, and separate histories of staff sections and the major subordinate commands.10

In a separate category from manuscripts prepared by historians in uniform are those written by senior commanders as a record of their contribution to victory. In a sense, these are not histories at all, though they are cast in historical form, but primary sources. Their value, however, is undeniable. There are three such narratives, one by the first commander of Army forces in Australia, one by General Harmon, and one by Admiral Halsey -- all on file in OCMH.11

The Japanese

The Japanese side of the war, though not as fully documented as the German, is fairly well understood and becoming better known with each passing year. Aside from the documents captured by Allied forces on the field of battle,12 there are a number of other sources from which the Japanese story can be reconstructed. The chief of these, in the absence of records destroyed by the air raids over Japan and by the Japanese themselves, is the series of monographs known as Japanese Studies in World War II. Prepared by former Japanese Army and Navy officers in Tokyo after the war working under the direction of the Historical Section, G-2, of the Far East Command, these monographs cover almost every aspect of the war in considerable detail. Where available, records were used in their preparation, but more frequently the studies are


based on recollections of the officers involved, on personal diaries, and on information furnished the authors. The subjects covered range widely and include politico-military matters as well as strategy, logistics, and administration and operations of Japanese ground, air, and naval forces.13

In addition to these studies, the Far East Command assembled from a variety of sources a unique collection of Imperial General Headquarters directives and orders for the wartime period. Altogether, there are seventeen volumes in the collection, nine of which contain directives of Army Section and Navy Section of Imperial General Headquarters and the rest, Army and Navy orders. In addition, the Historical Section of the Far East Command prepared another eight volumes of interrogations and statements of Japanese wartime officials.14 All in all, the contribution of the Far East Command to the study of the Japanese side of the war represents the most valuable single collection of Japanese material in existence.

The same officers who produced the Japanese Studies in World War II also prepared a history of Japanese Operations in the Southwest Pacific Area, which forms the second volume of the MacArthur History. Though limited to only one area of the Pacific, this work is probably the most valuable Japanese account of the war. It is based on the


monographs in the Japanese Studies and in its documentation furnished an excellent guide to the series.

Another major contribution to the study of the war in the Pacific is the work of the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey (USSBS) . The result of this survey, undertaken after the war in both Germany and Japan to measure the effect of strategic bombardment, was a series of published reports dealing with all aspects of the Japanese war effort, a Summary Report (Pacific War), and two volumes of interrogations of Japanese officials.15 The last represent only a portion of the interrogations conducted by USSBS; the remainder are in the National Archives with USSBS records. Japanese shipping losses during the war are covered in another publication, the work of the Joint Army-Navy Assessment Committee, published by the Navy Department in 1947 and revised since.

For the prewar period, the best single source for the study of the steps by which Japan entered the war is the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. The testimony and exhibits of the Tribunal, stored in the World War II Records Division, represent an invaluble collection of primary source material for almost every phase of Japanese history in the decade preceding Pearl Harbor. The judgment of the Tribunal issued in November 1948, itself a multivolume work, is an additional source of considerable value. Nor should the student


overlook the thirty-nine volumes of the Hearings Before the Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack (79th Cong., 2d sess.), which contain many Japanese documents, including the diary of Prince Konoye.

One further collection of Japanese records should be noted, though this was not examined by the author. This is a collection seized by U.S. authorities after the war and containing records of the Japanese Army and Navy Ministries dating from the turn of the century. Before these records were returned to Japan in the fall of 1958, microfilm copies of certain documents were made by the Naval History Division and of others by a group of scholars under a grant from the Ford Foundation. The latter documents are on file in the National Archives.16

The student of the Pacific War interested in the Japanese story will find a number of published works by participants and by observers of the Japanese scene of considerable value. The most important of these is the 4-volume work of Takushiro Hattori, a wartime colonel and one of the chief Army planners in the general staff.17 Hattori was also head of the group of ex-Army officers who worked on the second volume of the MacArthur History and his work represents a fuller version of that volume, unedited by American hands. In this sense, it is more revealing than the Japanese history prepared by the Far East Command and can be considered virtually a primary source for the Pacific war. Useful also for a high-level view of the war as seen from Tokyo is Saburo Hayashi's KOGUN: The Japanese Army in the Pacific War (Quantico, Va.: The Marine Corps Association, 1959) and a description of Japan during the war years entitled The Lost War (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1946) by Masuo Kato. Available also in English are several excellent accounts of Japanese naval operations, including a particularly fine study, Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan (Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1955) by Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya.18

The library of secondary works and reference books on Japanese military and political institutions is large, and has no place in the present survey. But it may not be inappropriate to call attention to several works particularly helpful to an understanding of the role of Imperial General Headquarters in the formulation of policy and strategy and of the military in the national life of Japan. The most recent of these is Yale Candee Maxon's Control of Japanese Foreign. Policy: A Study of Civil-Military Rivalry (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957), which draws heavily on Japan's World War II experience. Other excellent studies in the same field are Hugh Byas, Government by Assassination (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1942); Hillis Lory, Japan's Military Masters (New York: The Viking Press, 1943); and Kenneth W. Colegrove, Militarism


in Japan (Boston and New York: World Peace Foundation, 1936).19 For a description of Japan's wartime economy, the student will find Jerome B. Cohen's Japan's Economy in War and Reconstruction (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1949) thoroughly reliable and complete.

Reference Works

Certain standard reference works will also be useful. To find his way in the vast Pacific Ocean and in areas of the world with which he may be unfamiliar, the student can turn to an atlas -- any standard atlas will do. But this is only an introduction; for a more detailed guide he will have to turn elsewhere. Maps in abundance will be found in all the volumes of the Pacific subseries of UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II [see the Reader's Guide for a complete annotated bibliography of this series] and in other series. The Allied Geographic Section, G-2 of GHQ SWPA, published during the war well over one hundred Terrain Studies, Terrain Handbooks, and Special Reports covering all areas of the entire region encompassed in General MacArthur's command. The standard reference work on the Pacific is R. W. Robson, The Pacific Islands Handbook, 1944, published in a North American edition by the MacMillan Company (New York, 1946). The 1944 edition includes a chronology of the war and its effect on each of the islands in the Pacific. In addition, the student may wish to consult for historical background, as well as geographic information, the extremely readable and thoroughly reliable works of Douglas L. Oliver, The Pacific Islands (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1952), the Geography of the Pacific (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1951) edited by O. W. Freeman, The Pacific World (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1944) edited by Fairfield Osborn, or Joseph C. Furnas, Anatomy of Paradise (New York: W. Sloan Associates, 1948). The best studies of exploration are J. C. Beaglehole, The Exploration of the Pacific (London: A. & C. Black, Ltd., 1934) and James A. Williamson, Cook and the Opening of the Pacific (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1948).

Most of the chronologies of World War II are of limited usefulness for military purposes. There are, however, several important exceptions: Mary H. Williams, compiler, Chronology: 1941-1945, UNITED STATES ARMY IX WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1959); United States Naval Chronology, World War II, prepared by the Naval History Division (Washington, 1955); Chronology of World War II, prepared by the Air War College at Maxwell Field, and, finally, Chronology of Events in the Southwest Pacific Area, prepared in General MacArthur's headquarters. Information about Army units serving in the Pacific can be found in Order of Battle of U.S. Army Ground Forces in World War II: Pacific Theater of Operations. Prepared in the Office of Military History, this volume is as yet unpublished but a limited number of copies are available.

Statistical data on a variety of subjects have been compiled but are not yet consolidated in any single work. Army strength and casualties figures can be


found in Strength of the Army (STM30), prepared in The Adjutant General's Office, and in Army Battle Casualties and Non-Battle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, prepared under the direction of the Office of the Comptroller, Department of the Army. Naval casualties, including Marine, can be obtained from The History of the Medical Department of the United States Navy in World War II, 2 vols. (Washington, 1953-54). Other statistical collections containing material on the Pacific are Statistical Review, World War II 1946), prepared by the Control Division Army Service Forces, and a volume in preparation for the Army series and available in incomplete form in OCMH, as are the other references noted above. This last work is tentatively titled Statistics and is being prepared under the direction of Theodore E. Whiting in the Office of the Comptroller.

Official Publications

Official publications dealing with the war include the published histories of each of the services and of the Allies, the reports of the wartime chiefs and major commanders, and official collections of documents. There is little need to note here the numerous titles of the official historical programs; they are readily available and not all of them are relevant to this study. The Pacific volumes of the present series, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II, prepared in the Office of the Chief of Military History and published by the Government Printing Office, have already been noted, but there are additional volumes in this series the student will find extremely helpful in his study of strategy, as did the author: Ray S. Cline, Washington Command Post: The Operations Division (1951); Stetson Conn and Byron Fairchild, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense (1960); Richard M. Leighton and Robert W. Coakley, Global Logistics and Strategy, 1940-1943 (1953) and a second volume in preparation covering the years 1943-1945; Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942 (1953), and a second volume, for the years 1943-1944 (1959), by Mr. Matloff alone; Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations (1950); Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, Stilwell's Mission to China (1953) and Stilwell's Command Problems (1956). One other publication of the Office of the Chief of Military History should be noted, Command Decisions, a collection of essays by present and former members of the office, published originally by Harcourt, Brace and Company (New York, 1959), and, with an introduction by Kent R. Greenfield and several additional essays, by the Government Printing Office in 1960.

The historical program of the U.S. Air Force produced seven volumes dealing with World War II when the Air Forces was a part of the Army. Unlike the Army series, of which it was a part, the "Army Air Forces in World War II" was published by the University of Chicago Press. Each volume in the series is the work of many hands, ably brought together by the editors, Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate. Four of the seven volumes contain material bearing on the Pacific: Plans and Early Operations: January 1939 to August 1942 (1948), The Pacific -- Guadalcanal to Saipan: August 1942 to July 1944


(1950), The Pacific: Matterhorn to Nagasaki, June 1944 to August 1945 (1953), and Men and Planes (1955).

The Navy's historical program for World War II did not contemplate the publication of a series, but by arrangement with Samuel Eliot Morison, then Professor of History at Harvard, a semiofficial "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II" was undertaken, to be published by Little, Brown and Company in Boston. At the present writing, this series of fourteen volumes is almost completed, with only one volume remaining to be written.20 Though largely replaced by Admiral Morison's work, the classified volumes published by the Office of Naval Intelligence during the war are still useful. These volumes, written by competent historians in uniform, form the series known as ONI Combat Narratives and cover virtually every naval engagement for the first two years of the war. The Navy has also published two volumes dealing with logistics in the Pacific that the student of the war will find most useful: Rear Adm. Worrall R. Carter, USN (Ret.), Beans, Bullets, and Black Oil: The Story of Fleet Logistics Afloat ... (Washington, 1953); and Building the Navy's Bases in World War II, 2 vols. (Washington, 1947).

The Historical Branch of the Marine Corps has to its credit a long list of publications on World War II. Its program was envisaged as consisting of two phases -- first, the preparation of monographs on each campaign in which the Marine Corps participated, and second, a 5-volume series entitled "History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II," all to be published by the Government, Printing Office. The first phase, which produced fifteen monographs, has been completed and an excellent start was made on the second phase with the publication in 1958 of the first volume of the series carrying the Marine story through the Guadalcanal Campaign. [More recently, a series of brief histories covering all campaigns and other aspects has been produced for the 50th Anniversary of the war.]

The official historical programs of our Allies during World War II have produced a number of volumes on the Pacific war. Of first importance is the British series "History of the Second World War" edited by J. R. M. Butler and published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. To date, two volumes of a projected five have been published on the war against Japan, and four of a projected six on grand strategy. Though undocumented, these volumes are among the best yet published on the war.21 The Australian series, like the British, is organized into separate subseries by service but does not include a series on strategy. Two of the Army volumes, one on air operations and one on the Navy have been published thus far in Canberra, with a total of three


more still to come. The official history of New Zealand forces in the war against Japan projects only one volume for the Pacific and this has already been published. Finally, the Dutch have published an account of their own operations in the Netherlands Indies in five volumes, two of which deal with the prewar period.22

The number of official publications issued by the services and other agencies of the government during and immediately after the war is enormous. These cover such a wide variety of subjects and are so uneven in quality and reliability that it would be impractical to discuss them here. But no survey of the sources for the prewar period would be complete without noting the contributions of the State Department in its Foreign Relations volumes dealing with Japan and the Far East and in the wartime Peace and War, United States Foreign Policy, 1931-1941 (Washington, 1943). These contain documents of prime importance to a study of U.S. entry into the war and complement the published volumes of the Pearl Harbor investigation, which no student can afford to ignore.23 The reports of the wartime commanders must be noted also. Unfortunately, the American commanders in the Pacific did not prepare final reports comparable to those of General Eisenhower for the European theater, but there are reports from some of the British commanders engaged in operations against the Japanese, notably those of General Wavell on "ABDACOM" (1942) in OCMH, and of Maj. Gen. E. M. Maltby, "Operations in Hong Kong, 8-25 December 1941," Supplement to the London Gazette, January 29, 1948. Nor should the student overlook the reports of Generals Marshall and Arnold to the Secretary of War, and of Admiral King to the Secretary of the Navy. These appeared in several forms and were widely distributed, appearing finally in a single volume, edited by Walter Millis, as The War Reports of General of the Army George C. Marshall, General of the Army H. H. Arnold, and Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King (Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1947).

Memoirs and Biography

Second to the records in importance are the memoirs and biographical literature of the war. On the highest level are The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 13 vols. (New York: Random House, 1938-1950) and biographies of Roosevelt and the Roosevelt era. The most valuable of the biographies is Robert E. Sherwood's Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (New York: Harper R: Brothers, 1948). The volumes of Winston Churchill's "The Second World War" contain much valuable material on the Pacific. Though Henry L. Stimson did not figure prominently in the shaping of U.S. strategy, his book, written with McGeorge Bundy, On Active Service in Peace and War.


(New York: Harper Brothers, 1948), will prove most useful.

On the military side of the high command, three of the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Leahy, Admiral King, and General Arnold have written their memoirs.24 Of these, the most useful for the Pacific war is King's volume. General Marshall never wrote his memoirs, but a definitive 3-volume biography undertaken with Marshall's consent and cooperation, is in preparation by Forrest C. Pogue, Research Director of the George C. Marshall Foundation. Until it appears, the student will have to rely on two journalistic biographies: William Frye, Marshall, Citizen Soldier (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1947), and Robert Payne, The Marshall Story (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1951). Finally, the student will find worthwhile material on the Pacific in that portion of General Eisenhower's Crusade in Europe (New York: Doubleday and Company, 1948), dealing with his tour of duty in the Operations Division of the War Department General Staff, to which he was assigned in December 1941 primarily because of his earlier association with General MacArthur.

The senior commanders in the Pacific are well represented in the memoirs and biographical literature of the war. As one would expect, General MacArthur has been the favorite subject of the biographers. Two of these were officers on his staff, closely associated with him during the war and after, and their volumes may be considered virtually as authorized biographies.25 Less favorable to MacArthur is the work of the journalist-historian team of Richard H. Rovere and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., written at the time of MacArthur's relief in 1951 and called The General and the President, and the Future of American Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Straus and Young, 1951). John Gunther has turned his talents also to The Riddle of MacArthur (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1951) to produce a fairly well-balanced and impartial account of the general. Other journalists such as Clark Lee and Frazier Hunt have tried their hand on this difficult subject, and the results, though readable, do not add much to our understanding of the complex character of General MacArthur. The only other Pacific area commander whose story has appeared in print to date is Admiral Halsey, who collaborated with Joseph Byran to write Admiral Halsey's Story (New York: Whittlesey House, 1947).

Below the level of theater commander, the number of memoirs increases substantially. Virtually all of MacArthur's senior subordinates have told their stories, perhaps because they were so inadequately told during the war. General Brereton, who commanded the Far East Air Force in the Philippines, produced The Brereton Diaries (New York: William Morrow and Company, 1946); Wainwright, with the assistance of Bob Considine, General Wainwright's Story


(New York: Doubleday and Company, 1945). General Kenney, Allied Air Forces Commander, told his story in General Kenney Reports (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1949), and the major ground force commanders, Generals Krueger and Eichelberger, theirs in From Down Under to Nippon (Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1953) and Our Jungle Road to Tokyo (New York: The Viking Press, 1950).

For some unexplained reason, naval commanders are conspiciously absent from the list. We have no memoirs from Admiral Nimitz, Admiral Spruance, Admiral Sherman, or any of the other senior naval officers in the Pacific except Halsey. There is a biography, The Magnificent Mitscher (New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 1954), by Theodore Taylor and an account by the Marine General Holland M. Smith, with Percy Finch, entitled Coral and Brass (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1949).

Unit Histories

The histories of units, ranging in size from separate regiments and lower to field armies and army groups, are most useful for operational and administrative history, and in some cases they may prove of value for other purposes. Virtually all separate units prepared a history of one kind or another during the war, since regulations required them to do so. These are on file in the World War II Records Division and the Kansas City Federal Records Center Annex, where they can be consulted readily. In addition to these unpublished histories, there are a great number of published histories of units and, for the Navy, of ships of all types. To list them would be a tedious and unrewarding exercise, and there is no need to do so for there are several excellent bibliographies to these histories. The student can consult these for any unit or vessels in which he may be interested. Major credit for the preparation of the bibliographies belongs to C. E. Dornbusch of the New York Public Library, who has made a specialty of unit histories and gathered for the library the largest collection of such histories outside Washington.26

General Works and Special Studies

The task of the student of World War II is made more difficult by the fact that much of the most useful material on the Pacific war appears in article form in journals that are not indexed in such standard references as the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature.27 Some of it, however, can be found in the National Defense Review, issued by the Army Library from 1947 to 1955, and the Periodical Index of the Air University Library. For articles and books published during the war years, there are two useful guides, one compiled by Henry O. Spier entitled World War II


in Our Magazines and Books, September 1939 September 1945 (New York: The Stuyvesant Press Corp., 1945,), and one by the Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress, a serial entitled Bibliographies of the World at War, issued in 1942 and 1943.

Valuable also are the bibliographical sections of various military journals. Military Affairs, the quarterly journal of the American Military Institute with headquarters in Washington, contains in each issue a section entitled "Military Library," and Military Review, the monthly journal of the Command and General Staff College, abstracts the leading articles from military journals throughout the world. Naval literature is covered in The American Neptune under the title "Recent Writings in Maritime History," prepared by Prof. Robert G. Albion of Harvard.

For general works on World War II the student will find useful the Harvard Guide to American History (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955). The Writings on American History, published annually by the American Historical Association, contains a fairly full listing of works on military subjects. There are also several naval bibliographies which list background materials for World War II, especially the Pacific area.28

Though there are few general accounts of the Pacific war covering both the highlevel story and the operations of all services, there are a number of works recounting the contributions of a single service or type of unit. In this category, the Army, including the Air Forces, comes off a poor third to the Marines and the Navy.29 For the Marines, we have at least two excellent unofficial histories, Frank O. Hough, The Island War (Philadelphia and New York: J. B. Lippincott Co., 1947) and Fletcher Pratt, The Marines' War (New York: W. Sloane Associates, 1946), a scholarly study written at Princeton University by Jeter A. Isely and Philip A. Crowl, The U.S. Marines and Amphibious War, Its Theory, and Its Practice in the Pacific (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1951), a History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II (Washington: Combat Forces Press,, 1952) by Robert Sherrod, a number of fine division histories, and such outstanding examples of combat narrative as Herbert L. Merillat's The Island (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1944) and Richard Tregaskis' Guadalcanal Diary (New York: Random House, Inc., 1943).

The catalogue of naval histories dealing with the Pacific war offers for understandable reasons, a large and varied fare. In addition to the excellent treatment of the Navy in World War II in


general histories of the Navy,30 the student can consult the 5-volume series Battle Report (New York: Rinehart and Company, 1944-1949) by Walter Karig and others, though he would be better advised to turn to the Morison series. A provocative discussion of the role of the Navy, useful even if the reader does not agree, is William D. Puleston's Influence of Sea Power in World War II (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1947). More scholarly and, in its field, a pioneering work, is the study of Duncan Ballantine, U.S. Naval Logistics in the Second World War (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1947). Then there are separate histories of naval aviation, destroyers, and submarines, all of them detailed and accurate. The first of these is traced in two separate works, the scholarly and readable study of Archibald D. Turnbull and Clifford L. Lord, History of United States Naval Aviation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1949) and Frederick C. Sherman's Combat Command: The American Aircraft Carriers in the Pacific War (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1950). Theodore Roscoe had written a volume on United States Destroyer Operations in World War II (Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1953) and another, United States Submarine Operations in World War II (Annapolis: U.S. Naval Institute, 1949), both large, handsome volumes that treat their subjects with loving care and attention to detail. For those who wish to pursue submarine operations further, there is the work of Charles A. Lockwood, Sink 'em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific (New York: E. P. Dutton Co., 1951) and Edward L. Beach, Submarine! (New York: Henry Holt k Co., 1952.

For those who wish to investigate the problems associated with the Pearl Harbor attack, there are two surveys of the literature in the field, one by the present author, "Pearl Harbor in Perspective" U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings (April, 1955), and the other by Wayne S. Cole, "American Entry into World War II: A Historiographical Appraisal," The Mississippi Valley Historical Review (March, 1957). The basic documents for the study of the attack have been noted above under official publications and Japanese records -- the Pearl Harbor hearings and the records of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. The best account of American foreign policy in the years immediately preceding the Japanese attack is the 2-volume work of William L. Langer and S. Everett Gleason, The Challenge to Isolation 1937-1940 (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1952) and The Undeclared War (New York: Harper k Brothers, 1953). On the Japanese side, Herbert Feis, Road to Pearl Harbor, The Coming of the War Between the United States and Japan (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1950), provides the best summary of the available Japanese evidence.

The grand strategy of the war, like the question of war guilt, has come under the close scrutiny of many military critics and scholars and is the subject of continued controversy. On this level, it is difficult to separate Pacific strategy from the strategy of global war, and most


writers have made no effort to do so. As a matter of fact, some of the most controversial questions of Pacific strategy, such as the Europe-first concept, are intimately related to the larger problems of strategy. These questions are discussed in the official histories, general histories of the war, and memoirs noted above, but other works dealing specifically with strategy should be noted here. An excellent introduction to the subject can be found in three small books, all of them readable and based on wide knowledge -- one by the former Chief Historian of the Army, Kent Roberts Greenfield, The Historian and the Army (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1954), one by Professor Morison, Strategy and Compromise (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1958), and the third by the British military historian, Alfred H. Burne, Strategy in World War II (Harrisburg, Pa.: Military Service Publishing Company, 1947). Most of the writing on Pacific strategy alone is found in military periodicals such as the United States Naval Institute Proceedings, ArmyCombat Forces Journal and the Infantry Journal), Military Review, Military Affairs, Marine Corps Gazette, the British Journal of the Royal Service Institute, and others. The list of these articles is too long for a general survey such as this one, but no study of the Pacific war should overlook this important source.


Table of Contents ** Guide to Footnotes


[1] An excellent brief account of the problems involved in the use of military records is Paul P. Van Riper, "A Survey of Materials for the Study of Military Management," American Political Science Review, XLIX, No. 3 (September, 1955), 828-50.

[2] For a general description of the problems involved in the use of federal records, see Philip C. Brooks, "The Historian's Stake in Federal Records," Mississippi Valley Historical Review, XLIII, No. 2 (September, 1956), 259-74.

[3] See also Elizabeth Bethel, "Early Records of the War Department General Staff," American Archivist (October, 1945), 241-7, and E.L. Huber, "War Department Records in the National Archives," Military Affairs (Winter, 1942), 247-54.

[4] Among the Army's publications are Guide to the Records of the Adjutant General's Office of the Secretary of War, 1939-46 (1949); Descriptive List of Studies of the USAF Historical Division (1956); Inventory of Certain Records of United States Army Forces in the Far East and United States Forces in the Philippines, July 1941-May 1942 (1952). The Navy's contribution is a short pamphlet entitled A Brief Guide to U.S. Naval History Sources in the Washington, D.C. Area (1957).

[5] He may also wish to consult the bibliographical note in each of the companion volumes of the Pacific subseries listed on p. iv, which describes not only the operational records but also those pertaining to the strategic background of each campaign.

[6] This collection is described in Preliminary Checklist of the Records of the War Department General Staff, prepared by Elizabeth Bethel, copy in OCMH.

[7] The student of Pacific commands will be interested primarily in No. 5 of this series, dated 1 August 1957.

[8] Vol. I: Pearl Harbor Through TRIDENT (19563); Vol. II: The Advance to Victory (1954).

[9] Vol. I; Origins of the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff; Vol. II: Development of the JCS Committee Structure.

[10] History of United States Army Forces, Middle Pacific and Predecessor Commands During World War II, 7 December 1941-2 September 1945, Hist Sec G-2, USAFMIDPAC, 33 volumes. Copy in OCMH.

[11] Maj. Gen. Julian F. Barnes, The Organization and Activities of the U.S. Army Forces in Australia; Lt. Gen. Millard F. Harmon, The Army in the South Pa, Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., Narrative Account of the South Pacific Campaign, 20 April 1942-15 June 1944.

[12] Captured documents are not covered here, though the author has made occasional use of them. There is no single collection of such documents known to the author, but they can usually be found filed in G-2 and G-3 Journals and in the intelligence reports of the various commands in the theater and in Washington. The largest collection of such material is in the G-2 Library, War Department General Staff. The most important are noted in the bibliographical notes of the volumes in the Pacific subseries.

[13] For a list of these monographs, see the accession list prepared by OCMH, which has on file copies of both the Japanese and English versions. There are about 180 volumes in the series, a number of which have been reproduced for limited distribution. The series is unclassified and available for use in OCMH.

[14] Personal History Statements, 2 vols.; Interrogations of Japanese Officials on World War II, 2 vols.; Statements of Japanese Officials on World War II, 4 vols.

[15] Among the titles of USSBS publications are: Air Campaigns of the Pacific War (1947); Employment of Forces Under the Southwest Pacific Command (1947); The Campaigns Pacific War (1946), which deals exclusively with naval engagements; Japanese Air Power (1946); and Oil in Japan's War (1946).

[16] The original collection, comprising 7,000 linear feet, is described by James W. Motley, "Check List of Seized Japanese Records in the National Archives," Far Eastern Quarterly (May, 1950).

[17] The Complete History of the Greater East Asia War, 4 vols. (Dai Toa Senso Zenshi, Tokyo: Masu Publishing Co., 1953). The four volumes were translated for OCMH and are on file there.

[18] See also Masatake Okumiya and Jiro Horikoshi, Zero! (New York: Ballantine Books, 1956); and Mochitsura Hashimoto, Sunk: The Story of the Japanese Submarine Fleet, 1942-1945 (London: Cassell & Co., Ltd., 1954).

[19] Two reference books, often overlooked though readily available are The Japanese Year Book, and the War Department Handbook on Japanese Military Forces (TM-E 30-480).

[20] The volumes dealing with the Pacific war are: The Rising Sun in the Pacific, 1931-April 1942 (1948), Coral Sea, Midway and Submarine Actions, May 1942-August 1942 (1950), The Struggle for Guadalcanal, August 1942-February 1943 (1950), Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier, 22 July 1942-1 May 1944 (1950), Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshalls, June 1942-l 1944 (1951), New Guinea and the Marianas, March 1944-August 1944 (1953), Leyte, 1944 (1958), and Liberation of the Philippines: Luzon, Mindanao, the Visayas, 1944-1945 (1959) [and Victory in the Pacific, 1945 (1964)].

[21] The two volumes on Japan are: The Loss of Singapore (London, 1957) and India's Most Dangerous Hour (1958), both by Maj. Gen. S. Woodburn Kirby, et al. The most useful of the strategy volumes for the Pacific war are: J.R.M. Butler, Grand Strategy: September 1939-June 1941 (1957) and John Ehrman, Grand Strategy, August 1943-September 1944 (1956). One other volume in the British series that should be consulted is S.W. Roskill, The War at Sea, projected in three volumes of which two have been published.

[22] The Australian volumes are Lionel Wigmore, The Japanese Thrust (Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1957), Dudley McCarthy, Southwest Pacific Area--First Year: Kokoda to Wau (1959), G. Hermon Gill, Royal Australian Navy, 1939-42 (1957), and George Odgers, Air War Against Japan (1957). The New Zealand official history by Oliver A. Gillespie, is entitled simply The Pacific (Wellington: War History Branch, Department of Internal Affairs, 1952); the 5-volume Dutch Series Nederlands-Indie Contra Japan" (1949-1957).

[23] Pearl Harbor Attack: Hearing Before the joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, 39 pts., 79th Cong., 2d sess. (Washington, 1946).

[24] Fleet Adm. William D. Leahy, I Was There (New York: Whittlesey House, 1950); Ernest J. King and Walter Muir Whitehill, Fleet Admiral King (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1952); Henry H. Arnold, Global Mission (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949).

[25] Maj. Gen. Charles A. Willoughby and John Chamberlin, MacArthur 1941-1951 (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., 1954); Courtney Whitney, MacArthur: His Rendezvous with Destiny (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956).

[26] For Army units, see Unit Histories of World War II (1950), issued by the Office of the Chief of Military History; Unit Histories of World War II and After: United States Army (1953), issued by The Adjutant General; and C.E. Dornbusch, compiler, Histories of American Army Units, World War I and II and Korean Conflict, (1956). For naval and Marine units, see Post-War Souvenir Books and Unit Histories of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Construction Battalions (1953), compiled by Mr. Dornbusch and issued by the Naval History Division.

[27] See Max L. Marshall, A Survey of Military Periodicals, an M.A. thesis prepared at the University of Missouri, 1952, which describes eighty-nine military periodicals. A copy can be found in the Army Library in the Pentagon.

[28] A Selected and Annotated Bibliography on United States Naval History, Naval Biography, Naval Strategy and tactics, prepared by the Naval History Division (Washington, 1956); Robert G. Albion, Maritime and Naval History: An Annotated Bibliography (1951) (a revised edition was published in mimeographed form in 1955 by the Marine Historical Association, Mystic, Conn.); Werner B. Elinger and Herbert Rosinski, Sea Power in the Pacific, 1936-1941 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1942).

[29] One should note for its value Brig. Gen. William F. Heavy, Down Ramp! The Story of the Army Amphibian Engineers (Washington: Infantry Journal Press, 1947)for its readability and accuracy Walter D. Edmonds, They Fought With What They Had, The Story of the Army Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific, 1941-1942 (Boston: Little, Brown and Co, 1951).

[30] Dudley W. Knox, A History of the United States Navy (New York: G.P. Putam's Sons, 1948) and E.B. Potter, editor, et al., The United States and World Sea Power (Englewood Cliffs; Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1955). See also John Creswell, Sea Warfare, 1939-1945 (London and New York: Longmans, Green, & Co., Inc., 1950).

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation