United States Army in World War II
The War Department

Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 1941-1942

Maurice Matloff
Edwin M. Snell

. . . For Those Who Served


Forward vii
Preface ix
Chapter Page
I. The War Plans 1
    The Study of War with Japan 1
  Alternatives in a World War 4
  Allied Operations in the Pacific 5
II. German Victories and American Plans: May 1940-January 1941 11
  Planning for the Worst 12
  The Planners Overruled 13
  British Strategy and American Planning 21
III. British-American Plans: January-November 1941 32
  The Terms of Reference 32
  The Washington Coversations 34
  RAINBOW 5 43
  The First Difficulties over Troop Movements 48
  Introduction to Grand Strategy 51
IV. The Showdown With Japan: August-December 1941 63
  The Singapore Conversations 65
  Reinforcement of the Philippines 67
  Aid to China versus Reinforcement of the Philippines 73
  Military Collaboration with the British in the Far East 75
  Reaction to Pearl Harbor 78
  Decision to Establish a Base in Australia 87
V. The First Full Dress Debate Over Strategic Deployment: December 1941-January 1942 97
  Grand Strategy 99
  The Northwest Africa Project 102
  The Planners' Estimates of the Forces Required 105
  The Report of the Shipping Experts 107
  The Relief of British Troops in Iceland and Ireland 108
  The Northwest Africa Project Considered as a Military Operation 111
  Reinforcement of the Southwest Pacific 114
VI. Army Deployment and the War Against Japan: December 1941-March 1942 120
  Allied Strategy Against Japan 120
  The ABDA Command 123
  Loss of Malaya, Fall of Singapore, and Ground Force Dispositions 126
  The Decision to Send the 41st Division to Australia 128
  The Isolation of Java and Air Force Dispositions 131
  Air Commitments in Asia 138
  The Siberia Project 142
VII. Army Deployment in the Pacific and Grand Strategy: January-March 1942 147
  Army Deployment In The Atlantic: January-February 1942 147
  Deployment Hawaii-Australia: January-March 1942 148
  The Question of Additional Commitments 154
  The Eisenhower Studies 156
  Joint Study of Priorities for Deployment 159
  JCS Decision on Deployment Policy 161
  Strategic Deployment in the Pacific 162
  Strategic Responsibility and Command in the Pacific 164
VIII. The Principle of Concentration in the British Isles 174
  The Cancellation of Super-GYMNAST 175
  The Washington Studies 177
  The BOLERO Plan 190
IX. Prior Claims Versus BOLERO: April 1942 198
  The Defense of the Middle East 198
  Anglo-American Collaboration and the Support of China 202
  The Soviet Lend-Lease Program 205
  The Immediate Reinforcement of the Pacific 210
X. Decision in Favor of a "Second Front:" May 1942 217
  The Pacific Theater versus BOLERO 217
  The President's Review of Strategy 221
  Deadline in the Pacific 222
  The Role of the United States in the Middle East 226
  The Question of Support for General Stilwell 227
  The Second Soviet Protocol and the Second Front 229
XI. Future Plans and Current Operations: June 1942 233
  The Revival of GYMNAST 234
  American Commitments to the Middle East 244
  Consequences of the Battle of Midway 256
XII. The Elimination of the Alternatives: July-August 1942 266
  The Pacific Alternative 267
  The Eastern Front and the Alternatives 273
  The President on the Alternatives 273
  ROUNDUP or TORCH: CCS 94 279
  The Decision to Invade French North Africa 282
  The Time and The Place 284
XIII. The Interpretation of CCS 94: August 1942 294
  The "Final" Decision on TORCH 294
  CCS 94 and the Arcadia Statement of Grand Strategy 295
  The Middle East 297
  The Pacific 298
XIV. Counting the Costs of TORCH: August-November 1942 307
  The Order of Priorities for Shipping 308
  Allotment and Preparation of Ground Troops 313
  Provision of Air Units 318
  Effects on Plans for a Cross-Channel Operation 322
XV. British and American Plans and Soviet Expectations 328
  The Caucasus Project 329
  The Persian Gulf Service Command 336
  Air Collaboration in Alaska and Siberia 339
  Soviet Plane Requirements 346
  Conclusion 348
XVI. Strategic Inventory: December 1942 350
  Growth of the U.S. Army 350
  Expansion of the Army Overseas 353
  Distribution of Aircraft and Shipping 360
XVII. After TORCH 363
  The War Against Germany 363
  The War Against Japan 367
  British-American World Strategy for 1943 376
  The Future of Planning 382

A. Outline Plan for the Invasion of Western Europe--Marshall Memorandum 383
B. War Department Draft of Instructions for London Conference 384
C. Timing of TORCH 386
D. Monthly Distribution of Total Army Strength in Continental United States and Overseas, From November 1941 Through December 1942 387
E. Geographic Distribution of Army Strength in Overseas Theaters--Early December 1942 389
F. Shipment of Divisions--1942 392
G. Dead-Weight Tonnage of Vessels under Army Control in Pacific and Atlantic Areas from November 1941 through December 1942 396
Bibliographical Note and Guide to Footnotes 397
Glossary of Abbreviations & Code Names  
Index 409


Aboard HMS Prince of Wales during the Atlantic Conference 54
Members of the War Department General Staff and the War Plans Division, November 1941 77
Draft Memorandum for the President 89
The Chief of Staff and the Secretary of War 110
Chief of the War Plans Division and His Deputies, January 1942 116
War Plans Division, March 1942 167
General Marshall and War Department Chiefs 184
Memorandum for the President, 6 May 1942 220
Churchill at Parachute Troop Demonstration, June 1942 241
Alternate Sets of Suggestions, in the President's Handwriting 274
The Combined and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, October 1942 340
The Combined and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, October 1942 340
Maj. Gen. T.T. Handy and Other Planners of the Operations Division 381

All pictures in this volume are from Department of Defense files.


No. Inside back cover
1. U.S. Army Overseas Deployment, 17 October 1941
2. Areas of Strategic Responsibility and U.S. Army Overseas Deployment, 2 April 1942
3. U.S. Army Overseas Deployment and Theater Boundaries, 31 December 1942


Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation