Chapter XVI
Strategic Inventory
December 1942

By December 1942, a year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the tide of war was beginning to turn in favor of the Allies. The strategic initiative was slipping away from both Germany and Japan. The Red Army had not only held the invading German armies but also inflicted mortal losses on them. In North Africa, Guadalcanal, and New Guinea the offensive power of the western Allies was beginning to make itself felt. After a Near of crises, the danger of losing the war had become remote, but the prospect of winning it was also remote. The specific problem of applying the growing American strength to the defeat of Germany seemed more complicated, if not more difficult, than it had a year earlier.

Growth of the U.S. Army

When the Army planners came to survey the world-wide strategic situation a year after Pearl Harbor, they could look back on a year of unprecedented expansion of the Army. Fluctuations in British-American military plans and changing operational needs had greatly affected the programs for expanding the U.S. Army in 1942--in total growth and in internal distribution of strength, as well as in overseas deployment. From a total strength of 1,686,403 (including 37 active divisions and 67 air combat groups) on 31 December 1941, the Army had grown to 5,397,674 (including 73 active divisions and 167 air combat groups) by the close of 1942.1 This expansion in total strength exceeded original War Department estimates of strengths for 31 December 1942, those in the Victory Program Troop Basis of late 1941, and those in the War Department Troop Basis of January 1942.2 The Victory Program Troop Basis, circulated in late December 1941, had projected total Army, strength as 3,973,205 commissioned officers and enlisted men (to include 59 divisions and an air force of


804,439) by 31 December 1942.3 The approved War Department Troop Basis of January 1942 had projected total Army strength as 3,600,000 enlisted men (to include 73 divisions and an air force of 998,000) by the same date.4 These early blueprints for building, equipping, and supplying the wartime Army, had been drawn before the defensive strength of the Soviet Union, the influence of British strategy, and the extent of American commitments in the Pacific had become fully evident.

Additions to the total strength in the Troop Basis for 1942 had been made mainly to meet modifications in British-American war plans and changing operational requirements of that year. One important revision of the 1942 goal of 3,600,000 men had been made in flay 1942, when the President authorized an increase of 750,000 men, chiefly to support the new plan for the build-up of strength in the United Kingdom (BOLERO). Another important addition had been made in September 1942, when the armed forces were faced with expanding requirements for the Pacific and North African offensives. At that time the President and the JCS approved another increase for the Army, this time of 650,000, raising the authorized enlisted strength of the Army by the end of 1942 to 5,000,000.5 These additions were necessary to cover overdrafts on the 1942 Troop Basis already made or planned.

Distribution of strength within the Army shifted greatly in 1942. Both the air forces and service forces grew more rapidly than estimated in the January 1942 Troop Basis. During 1942 the ground arms more than doubled, but the service branches and the Air Corps increased over fourfold.6 Among the ground forces themselves, moreover, in the early defensive phase of the war, antiaircraft units were authorized over and above the numbers at first planned, and the Coast Artillery Corps (mainly antiaircraft) actually expanded more rapidly in 1942 than tire, other ground arms. Antiaircraft units were sent to the defense commands and to the several overseas theaters. Finally, the dispersion of Army forces on defensive and supply missions and the requirements of the first offensive operations raised the proportion of service and air units more and more above the proportion given in the Troop Basis of January 1942.

Changes in the military situation and in military plans affected not only the way in which the Army grew in 1942, but also expectations of the growth of the Army there after and calculations of the total number of divisions, the "cutting edge" needed to will World War II. The assumption in common


use in the War Department throughout most of 1942 had been that it would ultimately be necessary to support at least two hundred divisions. The official estimates in the Victory Program Troop Basis of late 1941 had projected an Army at peak strength of approximately 217 divisions. 1n keeping with the assumption that the Red Army might collapse and the United States and Great Britain might have to defeat Germany unaided (and in accordance with the War Department determination to ignore the possibility of a dispersion of effort requiring large service forces), this initial Victor Program projected an Army consisting primarily of air, armored, and motorized forces capable of defeating the huge armies of Germany and its allies.7 The projected number of divisions grew in 1942, partly because estimated requirements for defeating Japan were superimposed on the original estimates of requirements for defeating Germany. In September G-3 reached its peak estimate of about "350 divisions necessary to win the war."8

Late in 1942 the War Department long-range estimates were finally called into question by the JCS. In November the Joint Staff Planners projected an Army strength of over ten million men by 31 December 1944 and ultimately--by 31 December 1948--of over thirteen million. The thirteen million-man Army would contain 334 divisions. The JCS rejected these estimates as excessive. 9 By the close of 1942 the planners were beginning to take account of experience and to recalculate long-range requirements to fit the expectation that large service forces and air forces would often precede and always accompany the movement of ground,forces. The approved goal for air groups which had been set in January1942 at 115 and changed in July to 224,was raised in September to 273.10 Given the anticipated limitations in shipping, it was apparent that the projected deployment of a huge air and service force overseas by the end of 1944 would greatly restrict the number of combat divisions which could be sent overseas by that time. In late 1942, moreover, procurement plans for the armed services for 1943, particularly for the Army ground program, were revised downward by the JCS--in conformity with a War Production Board recommendation. It was clearly undesirable to withdraw men from industry and agriculture too long before they could actually be employed in military operations. Given one year to train a division, the mobilization of much more than a hundred divisions by the end of 1943 appeared to be premature. All these indications pointed to the need for scaling down previous long-range calculations, as well as for economizing in the use of manpower within the Army.11

The result was the distribution in January 1943 by G-3 of an approved Army Troop Basis authorizing a total Army strength of 8,208,000 by the end of 1943, and setting the mobilization program for


1943 at one hundred divisions.12 This Troop Basis marked a turning point in War Department and Joint Staff calculations, though it was still too early to say to what extent the various cause, of mobilizing more slowly would operate to limit the final size of the Army and the number of divisions it would contain.13

Expansion of the Army Overseas

The disposition of Army forces, like the rate of growth and the composition of the wartime Army, was actually quite different from what the military planner had projected. Army forces outside the continental limits of the United States had risen from about 192,000 men in December 1941 to approximately 1,065,000 men in December 1942.14 The ratio of overseas troops to total Army strength had risen from about 11 percent in December 1941 to about 19 to 20 percent from August through December 1942. Progressively larger numbers of troops were sent abroad in each of the latter months of 1942, but the rapid growth of the Army through new inductions held the overseas ratio in this period at a fairly stable rate.15 Included in this overseas deployment a year after Pearl Harbor were 17 divisions and 66 air combat groups.16

Deployment to the United Kingdom

Largely as a result of successive commitments in the Pacific and Mediterranean, for which the War Department had not allowed, the distribution of troops was also at variance with the Army's plans. The chief effect had been to retard the growth of Army forces in the British Isles. The BOLERO plan had had scarcely more to do with the actual movement of Army forces overseas than the tentative schedules drawn up in 1941 under RAINBOW 5.17 By July 1942 Army troops already present in or en route to areas other than the British Isles had exceeded the War Department objectives for deployment to those areas for December 1942.18 By December 1942


other commitments had repeatedly been exceeded, but forces for the British Isles had not attained the strength projected in early BOLERO planning. Instead of a strength of about 500,000 troops planned for December 1942, the actual figures for the United Kingdom showed as present and en route, by early December 1942, slightly more than 170,000 (including about 123,000 ground and 47,000 air troops.)19 Only one division (29th Infantry) and the approximate equivalent of sixteen air combat groups were then present in the British Isles.

In effect, the American forces that became available in 1942 had served as a pool upon which all theaters and operations had laid claims since British-American war plans had changed and immediate operational needs and demands in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Pacific had required their deployment. The collapse of the whole project of preparing a cross Channel invasion for 1943 and the heavy withdrawals already made and projected from. BOLERO forces in the United States and the United Kingdom had led the War Department in the late summer and fall of 1942 to revise downward its estimated Army deployment objectives to be attained in the United Kingdom by the spring of 1943. Under the BOLERO plan of the spring of 1942, the United States was to furnish approximately 1,000,000 men (including 30 divisions) for an invasion from the United Kingdom by 1 April 1943. By the end of 1942 the War Department had scaled down the objective to a balanced ground force of 150,000 by the spring of 1943--for supporting, defensive, and emergency offensive operations--and, at an indeterminate date, to a force which would reach a total of approximately 427,000.20

Deployment to North Africa

The demands of the North African campaign, their in progress, continued to constitute a first claim on American forces and resources.21 As a result of the failure to forestall the German defense of Tunisia and the determination of the German High Command to reinforce the position there, the British and American staffs faced the problem of building up, over a much longer line of sea communications and a much less developed line of land communications, a decisive superiority over the forces the Germans chose to commit to Tunisia. The cost of the effort was compounded by haste and waste. The primary effects were felt in the ports of Great Britain, the United States, and North Africa, and the secondary effects on all the active fronts, in the capitals, and throughout the training camps, factories, and shipyards of the United States and Great Britain.

Deployment to this area--which had followed from the TORCH decision--was still in progress as American forces sought in the closing weeks of 1942 to consolidate their holdings and prepare for the decisive fight for Tunisia. At the beginning of December 1942 all or parts of six divisions (the 1st, 3d, 9th, and 34th Infantry Divisions, and the 1st and 2d Armored Divisions) were present, along with eleven air combat


groups. The ground troops, estimated at 128,000, were slightly more numerous than those in the United Kingdom. The air troops were calculated at somewhat under 13,000. However, the air forces in the United Kingdom constituted a reserve which could be and was heavily drawn upon for North Africa. The effect of the deviation from BOLERO became even more strikingly apparent by 21 December 1942 when the total U.S. Army forces in French North Africa slightly exceeded those in the British Isles. By that time the number of ground combat troops in French North Africa was almost double the total strength of ground combat troops in the British Isles. The trend was also projected, in Army planning estimates at the close of 1942, for troop movements in the near future. The projected total U.S. troop strength for North Africa was then estimated at 450,000, somewhat more than the total projected for the United Kingdom.

Deployment to Iceland

A year after Pearl Harbor, Iceland, which had been included in the European Theater of Operations as set up in June 1942, had been garrisoned with a fairly large Army force. Over 40,000 troops were present in early December 1942, including the 5th Infantry Division, two fighter squadrons, and a number of antiaircraft and coast artillery units. Another 12,000 American troops were projected for Iceland according to current War Department planning. American troops had begun to arrive in Iceland in late 1941, even before the United States entered the war. The major objectives of deployment to Iceland were the protection of the transatlantic air ferry routes and sea lanes and the relief of the British garrison.

Deployment to the Middle East

In the Middle Last, events of 1942 had forced successive modifications in the Army's policy toward that area of British strategic responsibility. At the beginning of December 1942 about 25,000 American troops were present in or en route to the Middle East--primarily service and air troops, including seven air combat groups. The enlarged Middle East commitments by the close of the year reflected, in part, the increased operational air activities by United States forces in support of British-American offensive action in the Mediterranean. In part, it reflected the greater need for service units required to construct, operate, and maintain the Persian Gulf supply route for shipments to the Soviet Union.

Besides the troops belonging to U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME), there were those of U.S. Army Forces in Central Africa (USAFICA), which had been set up in June 1942 to control U.S. Army forces across equatorial Africa. USAFICA was to unify air. transport activities along the trans-African air routes--dispatching American aircraft to the Middle East, the USSR, India, and China. By early December 1942 Army personnel in the Central Africa area, mostly air and service troops required for the operation of the Central Africa air ferry route, numbered about 5,000.

Deployment in the Western Hemisphere

Similarly reflecting changing needs and plans of the critical first year of United States participation in the war was the state of deployment in the Western Hemisphere (excluding the continental United States) at the end of 1942. In early December


1942 approximately 237,000 U.S. troops were present in or en route to bases in the Western Hemisphere, including Latin America, Alaska, and the rest of North America.22 This total included about 185,000 ground troops and 50,000 air troops (nine combat groups) actually present. The total U.S. Army strength in these Western Hemisphere bases exceeded by a substantial margin the total U.S. Army strengths in either the United Kingdom or North Africa. It also exceeded--by over 100,000--the ceilings, envisaged as part of the original BOLERO planning, on strategic deployment for the area by December 1942. The heavy outlay--in antiaircraft, air, and scattered infantry units--represented in part a carry-over from the early defensive phases of the, war for garrison forces to meet threats of invasion, naval bombardment, and sabotage in the North American and Latin American theaters. Fluctuations in plans for the European offensive, the long-continued threat to the security of the South Atlantic area from French West Africa, combined with the continued critical shipping shortage and the demands of antisubmarine warfare, had as yet precluded an extensive "squeezing out" process to shift Army strength to more active theaters outside the Western Hemisphere. On the other hand, as American forces were committed to limited offensives, American overseas theaters were built up, and Allied demands for American planes increased, further allocations to the Western Hemisphere of U.S. troops--especially service, air, antiaircraft, and sundry infantry units--were made in 1942 for the extension, operation, and protection of North and South Atlantic air ferry routes.

The main operational development in the Western Hemisphere was the heavy allocations for Alaska. A year after Pearl Harbor there were over 87,000 troops (present or en route) including about 72,000 ground and 14,000 air troops (2 air combat groups) actually in the area. This total was more than twice the number envisaged for the area by the close of 1942.

During 1942, additional troops were also dispatched for the construction and operation of the Alcan Highway (opened in November 1942) in western Canada. This project, authorized by a joint agreement between Canada and the United States, was originally planned and initiated to improve transportation links between Canada, United States, and Alaska and thereby to reduce threats to Alaskan installations.

The increase in Army strength in Alaska reflected the changing situation in and plans for the northern Pacific in the year following the United States entry into war. Japanese landings in the western Aleutians in June 1942 had made it politically urgent to dispatch some reinforcements to Alaska and to develop Alaska as an advance base. Critical needs for trained combat divisions, ships, and planes elsewhere in the Pacific, and in the European theater, in strategically more decisive areas, precluded immediate action to recapture Kiska and Attu. The build-up in sundry categories of Army personnel, nevertheless, continued to grow in this secondary theater. The first countermeasures were taken in the summer of 1942. American troops landed at Adak on 31 August. Advance airfields were developed and air strikes undertaken against Japanese installations in the Kiska region. In addition


to providing for defensive-offensive needs for Alaska, the increased allocations at the end of 1942 also included personnel for servicing the Alaska-Siberia air ferry route for delivery of lend-lease aircraft to the USSR (opened in September 1942) . At the close of the year, as pressure became stronger upon the War Department for dislodging the Japanese from the Aleutians, a further increase to about 100,000 troops was projected for Alaska.

Deployment to the CBI

In the China-Burma-India theater early limitations on Army deployment had been maintained far more successfully during 1942 than either in the Middle East or in the Western Hemisphere. In the Asiatic theater, as in the Middle Fast, the circumstances of world war had plunged the American troops into an area of highly complicated jurisdictional, strategic, and logistical problems for the Allies. Basic strategic considerations, as well as limited Allied resources for mounting major attacks on the Asiatic mainland and pressing immediate needs of other theaters, combined to keep the CBI theater, throughout 1942, low on the list of priorities set by the CCS for overseas deployment. For the United States, one objective of strategic policy since the very beginnings of the international conflict had been to keep China actively in the war without a major investment of American forces. In accord with American policy, General Stilwell's mission to China had been directed in February 1942 toward increasing both the effectiveness of American assistance to the Chinese Government and the combat efficiency of the Chinese Army. After the Burma Road was cut by the Japanese, American policies and Stilwell's mission had remained the same. The problems had become far more difficult--supporting the Chinese, getting their cooperation, and exercising pressure through China on Japanese strategic policy. But for the U.S. Army the area remained a secondary air and,supply theater. From the summer of 1942 onward, the technical and tactical instruction of Chinese forces in India became an increasingly important activity. A year after Pearl Harbor about 17,000 American troops were present in or en route to the China-Burma-India area. This total included about 10,000 air troops (4 air combat groups) and about 5,000 service troops actually in the theater. The total strength was close to early wartime Army and joint planning estimates for the end of 1942, only slightly exceeding the total commitments for the area projected in the JCS 23 study of mid-March 1942.

Deployment to the Pacific

The great divergence from early American planning for the war against Japan in 1942 was in the scale of Army strength reached in the Pacific by the. end of that year. The character and extent of deployment in the Pacific were shaped by the requirements of a largely oceanic theater with its main bases lacking in railroads, docks, and warehouses; separated by vast stretches of water; and situated thousands of miles from the west coast of the United States. The Pacific war provided, therefore, a formidable exercise in the science of logistics. For every combat division of 15,000 ground troops sent to the Pacific, for example, twice as many service troops were required for transport and supply. The first year of the war in the Pacific was largely spent by the United States armed forces in establishing and protecting supply lines and bases from


which offensives might later be undertaken against Japan.

The trend in excess of allocations over commitments for the Pacific during 1942 had fallen into two major phases, roughly divided by the Battle of Midway of June 1942. During the early months of the war in the Pacific, the War Department had tried to keep the forces and means allotted to the minimum consistent with the agreed objectives of defending Australia, New Zealand, and the lines of communication from the United States to the Southwest Pacific. Strategic deployment planning had not kept abreast of operational planning to meet the requirements of this defensive phase. The critical need of reinforcements and readjustments for delaying and containing the Japanese advance led to successive ad hoc increases in allotments of Army troops to the Pacific. Adjusting the requirements in ground forces was largely a matter of overcoming shipping limitations. Pacific air deployment, however, was the subject of a great deal of controversy among the American planners, complicated by the commitments of planes to the Allies and by the determination of the AAF to initiate large scale daylight bombardment of Western Europe. 1n executing the build-up and holding policy in the Pacific, the War Department did not fully anticipate the great need for air and ground service-type units for Australia and Pacific island bases. By the beginning of June 1942 about 245,000 U.S. Army troops--nearly half of those stationed outside the United States (about 505,000), or over three quarters of those stationed outside the Western Hemisphere (about 320,000)--had been sent to defend the line Hawaii-Australia.23 They included seven of the ten divisions outside the United States and nearly all the air combat units outside the Western Hemisphere.24

The rebuff to the Japanese forces in the Coral Sea (May 1942) and Midway battles June 1942 by no means slowed down Army deployment to the Pacific. That deployment, in the new phase of the Pacific War, was no longer calculated in terms of garrisoning a "line" of bases to support a harassing naval defensive, but in terms of tactical offensive moves beyond that line. Until August 1942 the actual numbers deployed each month in the Pacific continued to be greater than those deployed in the Atlantic.25 A Series of limited offensive operations, beginning with the Marine landings on Guadalcanal in August 1942, was plotted and inaugurated. Emergency reinforcements were dispatched in the fall of 1942 for both the Guadalcanal and Papua


Campaigns, tactically offensive moves against advanced enemy positions in the South and Southwest Pacific area. The allocation and movement of service units, filler replacements, and air units to the Pacific commands remained unsettled problems. The growth of air, ground, and service forces in the South and Southwest Pacific was accompanied by a multiplication of higher echelons of Army branch and island commands within these areas--particularly in the South Pacific, where a separate Army command, U.S. Army Forces in South Pacific Area (USAFISPA), had bear established in July 1942. Among the added activities of the Army in that area was the assumption in early December 1942 of responsibility on Guadalcanal, involving the employment of several Army and Marine ground combat forces.26

The cumulative results of the piecemeal process by which the Pacific theater had been built tip to meet the changing needs during the year after Pearl Harbor were indicated in,the division of Army strength among the Pacific areas at the close of 1942. By 3 December 1942 a total of about 141,000 air and ground troops was in the Central Pacific Area (including 4 divisions and 4 air combat groups). Totals for the South Pacific Area then numbered about 91,000 (3 divisions and 5 air combat groups), and for the Southwest Pacific Area about 110.000 (2 divisions and 10 air combat groups).27

In each of these sections of the Pacific the limitations on Army deployment set its part of the original BOLERO planning had been substantially exceeded. Though the Central Pacific then contained the greatest number of Army troops, events of 1942 had considerable reduced the threat of Japanese invasion and capture of island bases in this sector that had appeared so imminent early in the war. Before the close of the year some of the garrison strength was being transferred to aid offensive action in the South and Southwest Pacific.28 No similar slackening off in Army build-up appeared in prospect for the South and Southwest Pacific Areas. On the contrary, the trend toward continued increases of Army forces for these areas seemed stronger than ever.29

For the Pacific theater as a whole, the total of Army forces deployed a year after Pearl Harbor (about 346,000) was about equal to the total Army forces deployed in the United Kingdom and North Africa (about 347,000). The Pacific build-up exceeded by about 150,000 the total number projected for the area by the end of 1942 in the original BOLERO planning. Nine of the 17 divisions overseas and 19 of the 66 air combat groups overseas were ire the Pacific.

In effect, by 31 December 1942 slightly over one half of the divisions overseas and about one third of the air combat groups


overseas were deployed in the war against Japan. All the remaining overseas divisions, and slightly over one half of the overseas air combat groups were deployed in the war against Germany. The rest of the overseas air combat groups were distributed among Latin American and South Atlantic bases. The total U.S. Army forces then deployed in the war against Japan exceeded by about 50,000 the total U.S. Army forces deployed in the war against Germany.30 (See Chart 3.)

Distribution of Aircraft and Shipping

The cumulative effects of the successive diversions of 1942 were also shown in the relative distribution of aircraft in the overseas theaters at the end of the year. Of the total Army Air Forces planes (5,626) on hand overseas at the close of December 1942, less than half (2,065) were deployed against Germany. The total number of planes deployed against Germany only slightly exceeded the total (1,910) deployed against Japan.31 Allocations of aircraft had exceeded commitments by the end of 1942, particularly in the Pacific and Alaska.32 In addition, a good many planes had been sent to meet the special operational and Supporting needs that had developed during 1942 in both of the essentially supply and air theaters--the Middle East and China-Burma-India. Within the European theater itself, the requirements of the North African campaign were draining the United Kingdom of U.S. aircraft. Barely one half of all the U.S. combat planes envisaged in the Marshall Memorandum of the spring of 1942 for the cross-Channel invasion on 1 April 1943 (3,250) were on hand in theaters across the Atlantic at the end of 1942. Less than one third of these combat planes projected for 1 April 1943 were actually in the United Kingdom at the end of 1942. In effect, as the Army planners emphasized, strength and resources originally earmarked for the main effort, BOLERO-ROUNDUP, had served in 1942 as a pool from which aircraft, as well as air units, had been diverted to secondary efforts.33 The accepted British-American, view of strategy called for the main effort to be made against Germany. The trend, however, as Army planners observed at the close of the year, was toward the continued diversion of planes to the Pacific, the secondary theater, rather than toward a concentration of air forces against Germany, the main enemy.34


The costs of maintaining the widely dispersed air forces were heavy. To furnish planes and many items needed on short notice to keep the overseas combat units in operation, the AAF had had to expand its air ferry and transportation service. General Arnold described the problem as one of making "too little go twice as far as would be necessary tinder normal operating conditions." He went on to explain:

Dispersed as they are in seven active theaters totaling thirteen operational areas, our air forces require many more planes on the spot as reserve and in transit to replace attrition losses than if we had the same number concentrated in one theater.

The distances between the United States and the theaters of operations were so great that it was necessary to maintain in each theater front 20 to 50 percent reserve, and to begin delivery of planes to make rip operational losses as much as three months before they would actually be placed in combat service. As a result, American production capacities were being strained to the utmost and American training units were not up to strength.35

The scattering of men and planes among the theaters of operations was paralleled by the parceling out of shipping to move and maintain troops overseas. Throughout 1942, shortages--especially of escort vessels and landing craft--imbalances between available troop and cargo shipping, and the heavy rate of sinkings had made "shipping" the "limiting factor" in Army overseas deployment. During 1942 shipping in the service of the Army had grown from 871,368 dead-weight tons (31 December 1941) to 3,940,791 dead-weight tons (31 December 1942)--an increase of over 350 percent.36 The distribution of shipping between the Atlantic and the Pacific during 1942 showed how great an effort it was to move, establish, and support forces in the South and Southwest Pacific--the voyage was long, the unloading was often slow, and the forces were dependent for many of their supplies upon the United States. Since turnaround time in the Atlantic was much shorter, the shift in the distribution of tonnage in favor of the Atlantic in the latter part of the year was far less pronounced than the shift in the ratio of troops and munitions moved. Through mid-1942 the total troop and cargo tonnage tinder Army control engaged in the Pacific area (including Alaska) had each month actually exceeded total troop and cargo tonnage for the Atlantic (including the Caribbean). Beginning With July, monthly dead-weight cargo tonnage engaged in the Atlantic exceeded that engaged ire the Pacific, reversing the trend of the previous half year. Until December 1942 troop tonnage in Army service in the Pacific (with the exception of February and July) continued to exceed troop tonnage in the Atlantic for each month of that year. In December 1942 the total of almost four million cargo and troop dead-weight tons under Army control was, as it had been since July, divided in favor of the Atlantic--a deadweight tonnage of 1,520,677 was engaged in the Pacific area, and 2,420,114 engaged in the Atlantic area. The sharp increase in tonnage in the Atlantic theaters of operations err that month over November 1942


reflected largely the increase in shipping activity in the Atlantic-Mediterranean area attendant on and resulting from the North African campaign.

Shipping limitations continued to affect planning for future overseas deployment of United States troops. In December 1942, SOS planners calculated that, on the basis of prospective increases in American shipping capabilities, a total of almost one million U.S. Army troops might be moved and maintained overseas in 1943, in addition to the one million already overseas at the end of 1942.37 Current commitments to move troops during 1943, including replacements and reinforcements for troops already overseas, were expected by the SOS planners to absorb the larger part (a total of 628,000) of the approximately one million troops that might be moved overseas in 1943. The shipping capacity left for overseas deployment and maintenance of United States troops might be further reduced if additional commitments for the United Kingdom economy or the Russian Protocol were made. In accord with current United States shipping estimates, increases of approximately 210,000 in the first quarter of 1943, and another 240,000 in the second quarter, and about 265,000 in each of the remaining quarters, might be made in the number of U.S. Army troops deployed overseas.38 War Department planners estimated that a total of thirty seven additional American-equipped combat divisions would become available for task forces by the end of 1943--seven at the end of the first quarter, twelve at the end of the second, eight at the end of the third, and ten at the end of the fourth.39 Supporting combat and service units, air and ground, they expected, would be available for such task forces as might be organized, given the availability of divisions and shipping. By shifting air-strength, they concluded, the United States and its associates could support Army ground operation that they were capable of undertaking. Available shipping--including escorts, combat loaders, and landing craft--stood out, in their calculations, as "the controlling factor" in American planning for 1943.40


Table of Contents
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1. (1) Strength of the Army Reports prepared by Strength Accounting Br, AGO (STM-30). The STM-30 reports prepared after 1945 contain time series with corrected figures for the war years. (2) Kent Roberts Greenfield, Robert R. Palmer, and Bell I. Wiley, The Organization of Ground Combat Troops, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II; Washington, Government Printing Office, 1947), table: Ground Forces in the Army, Dec 41-Apr 45, p. 161, and table: Growth of the Army by Branch, 1941-45, p. 203. (3) Army Air Forces Statistical Digest, World War II, prepared by Off of Statistical Contl (Dec 45), tables, pp. 3-4.

2. See Ch. III, above, for WD estimates of initial Victory Program as a guide for supply planning. The War Department Troop Basis was issued somewhat informally at first and in 1944-45 very formally by G-3, WDGS, to provide a basis for the activation and organization of units, including combat divisions.

3. For the Victory Program Troop Basis of December 1941, see: (1) memo, Wedemeyer for L.T. Gerow, 19 Dec 41, no sub, WPD 4494-23; (2) memo, WPD for G-4, 27 Dec, 41, sub: Tr Basis for Victory Program, WPD 4494-26. (3) Tr Basis for Victory Program [Dec 41], env with WPD 449426: and (4) memo, Wedemeyer for Gerow, 7 Jan 42, sub: Victory Program, Folder Book with WPD 4494

4. For the War Department Troop Basis of January 1942, see (1) memo (drafted by G-3), SW for President, 8 Jan 42, no sub, WPD 3674-81 (2) memo, G-3 for WPD, 15 Jan 42, sub: Mobilization and Tng Plan, Jan 42, WPD 3674-83; (3) copy, 1942 Tr Basis, WPD 3674-90; and (4) Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 198-99.

5. (1) memo, OCS (SGS) for WDGS and three Comds, 19 May 42, OPD 320.2 BOLERO, 8. (2) Min, 31st mtg JCS, 1 Sep 42. (3) Memo, Leahy for President, 30 Sep 42, no sub, with JPS 57/5/D in ABC: 370.01 (7-25-42), (4) Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 202-09.

6. For the growth of the Army by branches in 1942, in terms of percentages and strength figures, see Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, Organization of Ground Combat Troops, p. 210 and table, p. 203. See also Strength of the Army report cited n. 1 (1) .

7. See Interim Rpt by Sp Army Com, 1 Jun 43, title: Rev of Current Mil Program, submitted with memo, Col Ray T. Maddocks, Col Edwin W. Chamberlain, and Lt Col Marshall S. Carter for CofS, 1 Jun 43, sub: Rev of Current Mil Program, filed in ABC 400 (2-20 43).

8. Memo, G-3 for CofS, 15 Sep 42, sub: Mobilization Plans, WDGCT 320 (9-15-42).

9. (1) JCS 154, 24 Nov 42, title: Tr Bases for All Servs for 1944 and Beyond. (2) Min, 44th mtg JCS, 1 Dec 42.

10. The 273-group program remained the AAF guide in World War II. (1) Craven and Cate, AAF I, pp. 250-51. (2) Arnold, Global Mission, p. 356.

11. For a full analysis of what was taken into account in late 1942 in calculating the Army Troop Basis, see Greenfield, Palmer, and Wiley, Organization of Ground Combat Troops, pp. 214-17.

12. Memo, G 3 for CG AGF and CG SOS, 25 Jan 43, sub: Tr Unit Basis, 1943, WDGCT 320.2 Gen (1-25-43).

13. In fact, the peak strength of the Army (almost 8,300,000) did not much exceed, and the number of divisions organized (ninety) did not reach, the authorizations for 1943.

14. See Strength of the Army reports cited n. 1 (1) and Appendix D, below.

15. Ibid. The high point in 1942 was reached in September with an overseas ratio of 20.7 percent.

16. Not all of these divisions and combat groups were complete. For the shipment of divisions overseas by month, see below, Appendix F, Shipment of Divisions, 1942.

Unless otherwise indicated, the remainder of this section is based on the sources of, and tables in, Appendix E, below. Since the various statistical summaries of Army overseas strength in early December 1942 do not agree exactly, all figures cited are to be taken, with the cautions noted in Appendix E, as the best estimates available.

17. The figures cited in this section in connection with original BOLERO planning are based mostly on those approved by the JCS in JCS 23 (14 March 1942), and on the Marshall Memorandum (BOLERO plan) itself. JCS 48 (2 May 1942), intended as a revision of JCS 23, was not actually approved. (For discussion on JCS 23, the Marshall Memorandum, and JCS 48, see Chs. VII, IX, above.)

18. Annex A to OPD brief, Notes . . . 25th mtg JCS, 14 Jul 42, with CCS 91 in ABC 381 (9-25-42),2.

U.S. Army Ground Forces
(Including Service)
Area Dec 42
JCS 23 and 48
Present or
En Route
Jul 42
Pacific (includes Alaska)   237,836     252,230  
Western Hemisphere and Atlantic Bases (excludes U.S.)   87,750     117,040  
CBI--[Middle East]-Africa*       4,460         7,440  
[Total]   330,046     276,710  
* No figures were cited for the Middle East in JCS 23 or JCS 48.

19. For varying early planning estimates of December 1942 figures for the United Kingdom, see: (1) J CS 23, 14 Mar 42: (2) Tentative Mvmt Sched, AGF, BOLERO plan, 9 May 42, and Folder 2 Tab 38 in ABC 381 BOLERO (3-16-42), 4: (3) CPS 26/3, 13 May 42, title: First Rpt of BOLERO Combined Com: and (4) paper, Troop Ship Capabilities to Accomplish BOLERO, Plng Div, Transportation Serv, SOS, 21 May 42, Folder 2, Tab 71, ABC 181 BOLERO (13-16-42), 4.

20. See above, pp. 322 ff.

21. See p. 307, above.

22. Army forces in Latin America (including South America and the Caribbean Defense Command) came to about 120,000 troops including 7 air combat groups; troops in North America (including Newfoundland, Greenland, Bermuda, Bahamas, and eastern and western Canada) to 30,000.

23. These figures are based on OPD Weekly Status Map, 4 Jun 42, AG 061 (4 Sep 45). They include about 46,000 troops en route to destinations outside the continental United States. For purposes of this computation, Iceland is classified as outside the Western Hemisphere.

For a simplified breakdown as of 31 May, by months, for, major theaters, see Strength of the Army, 1 May 46, pp. 56-57, prepared by Strength Accounting Br, AGO, under direction of Strength Accounting and Statistics Off, OCS.

24. As of the beginning of June 1942 divisions overseas, including those en route, were: 34th Infantry and 1st Armored (en route)., Northern Ireland: 5th, Iceland; 24th, 25th, and 2 7th, Hawaii Americal, New Caledonia: 37th (en route), Fijis; and 41st and 32d, Australia. (See OPD Overseas Tr Basis, 1 Jun 42, filed in Off of Army Comptroller.)

Figures for air units in the Pacific as of the beginning of June 1912 are extremely confusing because of emergency transfers. Principal air combat units were then located in Hawaii, Australia, and on the lines of communication. For the overall distribution of air groups, see: (1) OPD Weekly Status Map, 4 Jun 42, AG 061 (4 Sep 45); and (2) OPD Overseas Troop Basis, 1 Jun 42.)

25. OPD Weekly Status Maps, Jan-Aug 42, AO 061 (4 Sep 45). This statement holds true whether or not deployment within the Western Hemisphere is included.

26. During most of December the Americal Division, the 147th Infantry, the reinforced 2d and 8th Marines of the 2d Marine Division, and Marine defense battalions were the ground forces available to the Army command tinder General Patch. (See Miller, Guadalcanal, p. 214.)

27. The divisions in the Central Pacific Area were the 24th, 27th, and 40th Infantry present, and 25th Infantry in process of transfer. The three divisions in the South Pacific were the Americal, 37th, and 43d Infantry Divisions. In the Southwest Pacific were the 32d and 41st Infantry Divisions.

28. The 25th Division began Moving to Guadalcanal from Hawaii on 25 November and arrived on 17 December 1942.

29. By 31 December 1942 current and projected strengths, air and ground, for the South and Southwest Pacific, as shown on the OPD Weekly Status Map of that date (AG 061, 4 Sep 45) (reproduced in Chart 3, below), were:

Present Projected
Southwest Pacific 108, 630 189, 170
South Pacific 102, 880 146, 040

30. Figures based on (1) AAF Statistical Digest (1945), Table 1, p. 4; and (2) OPD Weekly Status Map, 31 Dec 42, AG 061 (4 Sep 45).

In this computation, total forces deployed in the war against Japan-including Alaska and CBI amounted to approximately 461,000. Farces deployed against the European Axis Powers--including Africa-Middle East and Persian Gulf Service Command--numbered about 411,000.

31. The figures in this section are based on AAF Statistical Digest (1945) tables, pp. 151-78. According to these tables, total aircraft an hand in each theater at the end of December 1942 was: ETO, 944; Mediterranean, 1,121 ; POA, 386: Far East Air Forces, 957: CBI, 271; Alaska, 296; and Latin America, 539. The figures on airplanes have been checked against figures in (1) OPD Weekly Status Map, 31 Dec 42, AG 061 (4 Sep 45), and (2) Tab Aircraft, SYMBOL Casablanca Books, Vol 11, Exec 6.

32. See JCS 23, 14 Mar 42 and JCS 48, 2 May 42.

33. Memo, Col Lindsay for Col Maddocks, 4 Jan 43, sub: Remarks on Gen Partridge's Memo re Commitments of U.S. AAF, with CCS 135/2 in ABC; 381 (9-25-41), 4.

34. (1) Memo, Brig Gen Earle. E. Partridge, JUSSC, for Gen Wedemeyer and Brig Gen Orvil A. Anderson, 30 Dec 42, sub: Projected Commitments of U.S. AAF, with CCS 135/2 in ABC 381 (9-25-41), 4. (2) See also OPD graph atchd to memo cited n. 33.

35. Min, 3d mtg MRP, 28 Aug 42, ABC 334.8 MRP (5-6-42). The occasion of Arnold's remarks on the U.S. aircraft situation was a meeting in Washington of Military Representatives of Associated Pacific Powers.

36. The figures on shipping in this section arc based on Appendix G, below, Dead-weight Tonnage of Vessels under Army Control in Pacific and Atlantic Areas from November 1941 through December 1942.

37. (1) See memo, Maj Gen Charles P. Cross, Chief of transportation, for Gen Somervell, 7 Dec 42, sub: Shipping Implications of Certain Proposed Opns, Item 20, OPD Hist Unit File. (2) Cf. with Incl IX (8 Jan 43) to SOS Logistics study, 4 Dec 42, title: Proposed Opns in Certain Theaters [in Strategic Logistics Div, ASF Plng Div Piles A 47-147], superseding and correcting estimates of 7 Dec 42 memo.

38. (1) JPS 57/4, 23 Sep 42, title: Availability of U.N. Shipping for Mil Transport. (2) Paper, Shipping Info Re P.M.'s Msg [to President, 22 Sep 42, No. 154] furnished by Maj Rush B. Lincoln, Jr., SOS. Atchd are informal papers by Col Baumer, OPD, and Tab A, Availability of Shipping, Item 20, OPD Hist Unit file. Tab A, containing shipping estimates from JPS 57/4 and SOS (Plng Div), is reproduced its paper, Shipping for Overseas Trs with Tab Trs and Tr Shipping, C, in SYMBOL: Casablanca Books, Vol II, Exec 6.

39. Paper, Availability in 1943 of U.S. Trained Forces, Shipping and Amph Equip, with Tab F-1 in SYMBOL: Casablanca Books, Vol I, Exec 6.

40. (1) Ibid. (2) Outline Strategic Plan, title: Cross-Channel Opns (Modified ROUNDUP, 1943), Tab F-5a, SYMBOL: Casablanca Books, Vol I, Exec 6. See Leighton and Coakley, Logistics of Global Warfare, Chs. XIV, XV, and XXII for the conclusions that (a) the planners included escorts with troop and cargo carrying ships as "shipping," and (b) that only in these broad terms was the "shipping shortage" a limiting factor.

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