Appendix VGENERAL HEADQUARTERS
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA
PLAN FOR THE SEIZURE
AND OCCUPATION OF THE
LAE SALAMAUA MADANG
WESTERN NEW BRITAIN
26 April 1943
Table of Contents Page Section I--General (Pages 1-9) 1 a. Task 1 b. Analysis of Task 1 2. Scheme of Maneuver 2 3. Organization 4 4. Allotment of Tasks 6 Section II--Operation I (Pages 10-14) 1. Task 10 2. Scheme of Maneuver 10 3. Organization 11 4. Allotment of Tasks 12 Section III--Operation II (Pages 15-19) 1. Task 15 2. Scheme of Maneuver 15 3. Organization 16 4. Allotment of Tasks 18 Section IV--Operation (Pages 20-23) 1. Task 20 2. Scheme of Maneuver 20 3. Organization 20 4. Allotment of Tasks 21
SECTION I -- GENERAL
- GENERAL TASK.
- The Joint Chiefs of Staff directive for offensive operations is set forth in the following form:
- The operations outlined in this directive will be conducted under the direction of the Supreme Commander, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA.
- Operations in the SOLOMON ISLANDS will be under the direct command of the Commander, SOPAC AREA, operating under general directives of the Supreme Commander, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA.
- Units of the PACIFIC OCEAN AREA, other than those assigned by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Task Forces engaged in these operations, will remain under the control of the Commander-in-Chief, PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (CINCPAC) .
- Forces will be allocated for these operations as determined by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
- Establish airfields on KIRIWINA and WOODLARK ISLANDS.
- Seize LAE-SALAMAUA-FINSCHHAFEN-MADANG area and occupy WESTERN NEW BRITAIN.
- Seize and occupy SOLOMON ISLANDS to include the southern portion of BOUGAINVILLE.
To inflict losses on Japanese Forces, to deny these areas to JAPAN, to contain Japanese Forces in the PACIFIC theater by maintaining the initiative, and to prepare for ultimate seizure of BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO.
- ANALYSIS OF THE TASK.
- The sea and land areas south of the line WAU-RUSSELL ISLAND are generally under our control, with the enemy in control north of that line. The defenses of both sides are concentrated in and around airfields. The remainder of the land areas are generally unoccupied.
- Task a. Requires establishment of airfields on KIRIWINA and WOODLARK ISLANDS, neither of which is occupied by our own or enemy forces.
- Tasks b. and c. require the employment of two general lines of advance: on the West, along the northeast coast of NEW GUINEA to seize the HUON PENINSULA AREA as far as MADANG, and then across VITIAZ STRAIT to seize the Western NEW BRITAIN AREA; on the East, northwestward through the SOLOMONS to seize southeastern BOUGAINVILLE. The stated objectives are preliminary to the seizure of RABAUL and the occupation of the BISMARCK ARCHIPELAGO.
- The establishment of airfields on WOODLARK. ISLAND is a necessary preliminary to the seizure of the Southeastern BOUGAINVILLE AREA in order to provide wider employment of air power and obtain closer support for operations against BUIN-FAISI. By arrangement the occupying forces for WOODLARK ISLAND are to be furnished by the SOUTH PACIFIC AREA but the operation will be undertaken by the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA. SOUTH PACIFIC will establish their own air forces on WOODLARK and control their operation. The establishment of airfields on KIRIWINA ISLAND is complementary to the occupation and consolidation of WOODLARK, and is required for the control of the air over the SOLOMON SEA and to assist our advance along the western axis. Early occupation and consolidation of both islands are mandatory. Full scale consolidation must await provision of adequate fighter cover on GOODENOUGH ISLAND. In order to maintain the initiative and contain Japanese forces in the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC theater, continuous air
activity on a pre-offensive scale and early infiltrating attacks along both axes, avoiding commitment of important forces, should be started immediately and prosecuted vigorously.
- Task b. requires successively the seizure of the LAE-MARKHAAM VALLEY AREA, the occupation of HUON PENINSULA, the seizure and occupation of Western NEW BRITAIN, with the objective of securing airdromes to cover further advances, and the seizure and occupation of MADANG to protect the northern flank. Operations along the eastern axis require the seizure and consolidation, or neutralization, successively of NEW GEORGIA airfields, the seizure and consolidation of airfields in the BUIN-FAISI AREA, the seizure of KIETA and neutralization of BUKA.
Generally speaking, the advance into the BUIN-FAISI AREA along the eastern axis is doubtful of success pending implementation of land-based airfields on WOODLARK ISLAND to provide a wider deployment and closer support of that operation and the implementation of airfields on KIRIWINA and in the LAE AREA to neutralize supporting Japanese air bases at BUKA, RABAUL and KAVIENG. Operations to seize and occupy the western portion of NEW BRITAIN and MADANG cannot progress prior to the implementation of airfields in the LAE and/or MARKHAM VALLEY AREA. The sequence of the advance along either axis alone or one axis in relation to the other cannot be rigidly preplanned but must remain flexible in order to take advantage of the situation obtaining regardless of the arrangement of tasks a., b. and c. in the directive.
- SCHEME OF MANEUVER.
- The general scheme of maneuver is to improve all presently occupied forward air bases; occupy and implement air bases which can be secured without committing large forces; employ air forces from these bases to soften up and to gain air superiority over the initial attack objectives along the two axes; neutralize with appropriate aviation supporting hostile air bases and destroy hostile naval forces and shipping within range; move land forces forward covered by air and naval forces to obtain first objectives (existing and potential hostile air bases) and consolidate same; displace aviation forward onto captured airdromes.
This process is repeated to successive objectives, neutralizing by air action, or by air, land and sea action, intermediate hostile installations which are not objectives of immediate attack.
The entire movement will be covered by air attack on Japanese air and sea bases along the general perimeter BUKA, RABAUL, KAVIENG and WEWAK with the objective of interrupting and denying sea supply and/or support or reinforcement of objectives under attack.
- In the initiation of the operations, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC FORCES, by amphibious means, first secretly infiltrate and later when pursuit coverage is available from GOODENOUGH ISLAND, move in force to occupy and consolidate WOODLARK and KIRIWINA ISLANDS. Diverting and covering air attacks on Japanese bases and infiltration ground attacks northwestward through the SOLOMONS and toward SALAMAUA and LAE will support the operation.
Preceded by strong land-based air action, the forces along the western axis operate against successive objectives to capture by air-borne and shore-to-shore operations air operating bases in the HUON PENINSULA-MARKHAM VALLEY AREA, in Western NEW BRITAIN, and along the North-eastern coast of NEW GUINEA to include MADANG: the forces along the eastern axis progress northwestward by amphibious operations, to secure airdromes in the BUIN-FAISI AREA, neutralizing or capturing enemy airdromes of NEW GEORGIA, later occupying the KIETA AREA and neutralizing hostile airfields in the vicinity of BUKA PASSAGE.
The general sequence and timing of the operations along either axis, or along one axis in relationship to the other, will be governed by conditions obtaining at the time in order that the maximum benefit can be derived from the successes of our own forces or weaknesses of the enemy. Generally speaking for planning purposes, occupation of WOODLARK and KIRIWINA ISLANDS will be simultaneous. The advance northward along the NEW GUINEA coast to secure airfields in the HUON PENINSULA-MARKHAM VALLEY AREA will precede major attack on the BUIN-FAISI AREA and will be covered by diverting air and ground infiltration attacks along the eastern axis. Following the displacement of SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Air Force into LAE AREA, the seizure of southeastern BOUGAINVILLE may progress covered by neutralizing attacks by SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Air Force on BUKA, RABAUL and KAVIENG. The remainder of the operations along both axes will be made simultaneously to the final objectives, the SOUTH PACIFIC Air Force assisting in the neutralization of the RABAUL area and thus partially freeing the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Air Forces to neutralize hostile air action along the Northeastern NEW GUINEA coast.
- OPERATIONS REQUIRED
- SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA.
Operation I, NEW BRITAIN FORCES.
Establish airfields on KIRIWINA and WOODLARK.
Operation II, NEW GUINEA FORCE.
IIa IIb IIc Seize LAE Seize SALAMAUA
Operation III, NEW BRITAIN FORCE
IIIa IIIb Occupy CAPE GLOUCESTER and ARAWE Occupy GASMARA
- SOUTH PACIFIC AREA
Operation A Operation B Operation C Infiltration NEW Georgia and/or/YSABEL ISLANDS Seize and occupy BUIN-FAISI and NEW GEORGIA Seize and occupy KIETA
- ESTIMATED TIMING AND SEQUENCE OF OPERATIONS
For planning purposes, it is estimated that "1st month" can be June 1943.
Operation I. -- Solid line, establishment of fighter sector KIRIWINA and WOODLARK. Dotted line, establishment of additional designated air elements.
Operation IIa. -- Dotted line, seizure of operating base in MARKHAM VALLEY. Solid line, seizure of LAE.
Operation IIb -- Solid line, seizure of SALAMAUA and FINSCHHAFEN, establishment of air support for ARAWE and GLOUCESTER operations. Dotted line, establishment of air support for MADANG and GASMATA operations.
Operation IIc -- Initial dotted line, overland approach to MADANG AREA. Solid line, combined operations to seize MADANG. Dotted line, consolidation.
Operation IIa -- Solid line, occupation of CAPE GLOUCESTER and ARAWE. Dotted line, consolidation and development.
Operation IIIb -- Solid line, occupation of GASMATA, neutralization TALASEA. Dotted line, consolidation and development.
Operation A. Solid line, infiltration into NEW GEORGIA and/or YSABEL.
Operation B. Solid line, seizure BUIN-FAISI and NEW GEORGIA AREAS. Dotted line, consolidation and development.
Operation C. Solid line, seizure KIETA. Dotted line, neutralization BUKA.
- GENERAL CHART.
- ESTIMATE OF THE FORCES AVAILABLE1
Principal combat elements available for each operation are estimated to be:
Naval2 Ground Air3 Operation I TF 74
1 RCT (US) 7 Sqs HB
4 Sqs MB
5 Sqs LB
3 Sqs F (escort)
10 Sqs F (int.)
1 Sq FR
4 Sqs TC
1 Sq OB
Requested from SPA: 3 APDs
1 Defense Bn (USMC)
1 RCT (US)
3 Sqs F
Naval Ground Air Operation II TF 74
3 Inf Divs (Aust)
1 Inf Div (Aust) (Rsv)
1 Inf Div (Aust) (Def)
8 Sqs HB
13 Sqs MB
6 Sqs LB (2 RAAF)
16 Sqs F (Int.)
2 Sqs F (night)
14 Sqs TC
1 Sq FR
1 Sq OB
Operation III TF 74
1 Marine Div (US)
1 Inf Div (US) (Rsv)
8 Sqs HB
13 Sqs MB
10 Sqs LB
16 Sqs F (int.)
3 Sqs F (escort)
2 Sqs F (night)
18 Sqs TC
5 Sqs OB
4 Sqs FR
GHQ Reserve 3 Inf. Divs. (US)
1 Parachute Regt. (US)
1 Armored Bde. (Aust.)
FORCES AS ESTIMATED BY COMSOPAC
- Land and Air Forces required for defense of continental AUSTRALIA and TORRES STRAIT, are shown in Inclosures 2 and 3.
T.F. 74 1 Crudiv
12 submarines (average)
2 PT Squadrons
T.F. 76, SWPA Amphibious Force
Means available LST LCI(L) LCT(5) APC 1 May
(Plus units from SOPAC)
- Air Forces shown are available for operations in NEW GUINEA.
- ALLOTMENT OF TASKS.
- SOUTH PACIFIC FORCES.
- Seize and occupy the SOLOMON ISLANDS to include the southern portion of BOUGAINVILLE.
- Provide strategic naval support for the operations.
- Support the operations of SOUTHWEST PACIFIC FORCES as directed.
- NEW BRITAIN FORCE.
A Task Force organized and equipped for air-borne and over-water operations in D'ENTRECASTEAUX, WOODLARK and TROBRIAND ISLANDS and Western NEW BRITAIN.
- Establish airfields on KIRIWINA and WOODLARK Islands, and occupy western NEW BRITAIN, to include the general line GASMATA-TALASEA, by combined air-borne and over-water operations.
- NEW GUINEA FORCE.
A Task Force organized and equipped for airborne, overland and shore-to-shore operations in NEW GUINEA.
By airborne, overland and overwater operations:
- Seize LAE and SALAMAUA.
- Secure in the HUON PENINSULA-MARKHAM VALLEY AREAS, air bases required for subsequent operations.
- Seize the north coast of NEW GUINEA to include MADANG.
- ALLIED AIR FORCES.
Fifth Air Force, R.A.A.F. Command and air elements SOUTHWEST PACIFIC FORCE not required for defense of installations, facilities, or shipping in the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA.
- Destroy hostile aviation in general supporting areas of Northern SOLOMONS, NEW IRELAND, NEW BRITAIN and the north coast of NEW GUINEA. Destroy naval forces and shipping.
- Support the operations of the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Task Forces.
- Support the defense of SOUTHWEST PACIFIC forward bases.
- Provide transport aviation support for SOUTHWEST PACIFIC operations.
- Be prepared to provide general air support for operations in the SOUTH PACIFIC AREA.
- ALLIED NAVAL FORCES.
Task Force 74, Task Force 72, T.F. 76, Task Group 70.1 and escort vessels.
- Support the operations of the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Task Force.
- Support the defense of forward bases in the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA and of TORRES STRAIT, and protect lines of communication.
- Embark, transport and land elements of the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Task Forces as required.
- SUPPLY SERVICES.
USASOS and the Australian Lines of Communication.
- Provide logistic support for the operations.
- Reinforce intermediate bases in the PORT MORESBY and MILNE BAY-LOUISIADES AREA and an advance base at ORO BAY.
- Establish advanced bases as required.
- COORDINATION OF OPERATIONS.
- With the initiation of Operation I, the organic Air Forces of the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC and SOUTH PACIFIC AREAS will provide defensive reconnaissance as indicated in the following paragraphs, thereafter as directed by the Commander-in-Chief, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA.
- The SOLOMON and BISMARCK SEA AREA west of the meridian East Longitude and southwest of the line BUKA PASSAGE-NEW IRELAND.
- East and northeastward of SOUTHWEST PACIFIC defensive reconnaissance boundaries as required, with a permissible overlap of one degree along the eastern boundary.
- The water area southwest of the SOLOMONS eastward of 155'E and northward of 9' South to be covered by SOUTH PACIFIC.
- Offensive reconnaissances of the two areas will cover such sectors as required without regard to defensive reconnaissance boundaries.
- Within the defensive reconnaissance areas indicated in paragraph (i), the Air and Naval Forces of the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC and SOUTH PACIFIC AREAS will attack targets of opportunity as directed by respective commanders. Within the reconnaissance area of the other Force, timely notification by each commander will be given the other of contemplated air and naval (including shipping) movements. Necessary coordination when required will be arranged by the Commander-in-Chief, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA.
- The forces of the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC and SOUTH PACIFIC AREAS will mutually support each other generally as follows, timing being directed by the Commander-in-Chief, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA:
Fighter protection for occupation of WOODLARK ISLAND will be provided by SOUTHWEST PACIFIC FORCES assisted by long-range fighters of SOUTH PACIFIC FORCES, operating from airdromes of the SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA. Both forces will support the operation along their respective axes by intensive air action against hostile rearward air bases and by diversions employing land and light naval forces threatening nearby enemy bases.
Operation II. SOUTH PACIFIC FORCES will pin down hostile air forces along their axis of advance by air attack and infiltration northwestward without commitment to major action. Operation B. SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Air Forces will cover the operations of SOUTH PACIFIC FORCES by neutralization of hostile air bases along the line BUKA-RABAUL-KAVIENG. Operation III
When SOUTH PACIFIC Air Forces are established in southern BOUGAINVILLE, SOUTH PACIFIC Air Forces will assist SOUTHWEST PACIFIC Air Forces in the neutralization of the RABAUL-KAVIENG AREA.
- The SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA and SOUTH PACIFIC AREA will exchange daily summaries of intelligence and operations. The Commander-in-Chief, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA will be furnished the plan of major operations by SOUTH PACIFIC FORCES sufficiently in advance of operations to permit necessary coordination.
- Direct command communication will be established between General Headquarters, SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA, and Headquarters, SOUTH PACIFIC AREA.
- Direct communication on operational and intelligence matters will be established between the two air forces, and reconnaissance information interchanged by the most rapid means.
- LOGISTIC ARRANGEMENTS.
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA.
- Logistic support is the responsibility of the United States Army Services of Supply and the Australian Line of Communication from the Zone of Interior (AUSTRALIA) to the intermediate bases on the YORK PENINSULA, at PORT MORESBY and MILNE BAY and to the advance base at ORO BAY and others subsequently established.
- The Australian Line of Communication will be responsible for the overwater transportation of all requirements for the YORK PENINSULA north from CAIRNS (exclusive), for the TORRES STRAIT and NORTHERN TERRITORY FORCES (except for naval forces) and, insofar as is practicable, for the Australian Land Forces based on PORT MORESBY.
- The United States Army Services of Supply will be responsible for the overwater transportation of all requirements (except for Naval forces) for the intermediate base at MILNE BAY, the advance base at ORO BAY and others subsequently established, and for all military units at PORT MORESBY, except those requirements transported by the Australian Line of Communication.
- The Allied Naval Force will furnish overwater transportation for the NEW BRITAIN FORCE until relieved.
- PORTS AND BASES.
- The Australian Line of Communication will establish port organizations on the YORK PENINSULA, in the TORRES STRAIT AREA, and in
the NORTHERN TERRITORY. In NEW GUINEA, the United States Army Services of Supply and Australian Line of Communication will maintain separate port and base organizations for the logistic support of their respective units based therein. Coordination will be effected by the Combined Operational Service Command under the Commander, NEW GUINEA FORCE.
- UNIT RESPONSIBILITY IN FORWARD AREAS.
- NEW GUINEA FORCE and NEW BRITAIN FORCE will establish their own services for logistic support forward of the intermediate and advance bases.
- At objectives under attack, organic service elements of assault forces, reinforced where necessary by Australian Line of Communication or the United States Army Services of Supply, will provide logistic support.
- NEW BRITAIN FORCE will provide logistic support of Allied Air Forces, serving in its area of responsibility.
- The United States Army Service of Supply will provide logistic support for Allied Air Forces in NEW GUINEA. Pending establishment of necessary facilities in forward areas, the NEW GUINEA FORCE will provide required logistic support.
- The Allied Naval Forces will continue their present system of logistic support for naval forces, except that Task Forces will furnish this support to naval forces in advance areas until the Navy system is established.
- SOUTH PACIFIC AREA.
- In accordance with plans and directives of the Commander, SOUTH PACIFIC FORCES.
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