This is the second and final volume in The Western Hemisphere subseries of UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II. The area covered is vast, and so are the topics. The reader will embark upon a long journey and become involved in a complex series of events, ranging from guarding inland waterways to fighting the Japanese, from rounding up one forlorn German on the coast of Greenland to battling German submarines, from conducting staff conferences with the Navy to negotiating with His Britannic Majesty's ministers, from withstanding the cold of the arctic or the heat of the tropics to overcoming the ever-present ennui of soldiers who wait for the stress of battle that never comes.
Guarding the United States and Its Outposts is instructive. Dealing often with the twilight between peace and war, it focuses upon problems of immediate relevance to the Army and the nation today. Then as now the nation found itself in a revolution in doctrine, weapons, and methods of defense. The way in which men caught in this revolution faced the situation can be a guide to those meeting similar circumstances today and in the future. This book highlights problems in unified command and contains excellent examples of military diplomacy, of how to get along, or fail to get along, with other armed forces of the United States and with our Allies. It contains authoritative accounts of several highly controversial events, especially the Pearl Harbor attack and the evacuation of the United States citizens of Japanese descent from the west coast of continental United States.
25 May 1961
WILLIAM H. HARRIS
Brig. Gen. U.S.A.
Chief of Military History
Stetson Conn, Chief Historian of the Department of the Army since 1958, holds the Ph.D. degree in history from Yale University and has taught history at Yale, Amherst College, and The George Washington University. After joining the Office of the Chief of Military History in 1946, he served as senior editor, as Acting Chief Historian, as Chief of the Western Hemisphere Section, and as Deputy Chief Historian before taking over his present post. He is coauthor of The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, the first volume of this subseries, and his previous publications include Gibraltar in British Diplomacy in the Eighteenth Century, a volume in the Yale Historical Series, and a chapter in Command Decisions, published in 1959.
Rose C. Engelman received her Ph.D. degree in history from Cornell University and taught at Hunter College before joining the Office of the Chief of Military History in 1949. Until 1953 she was a member of the Western Hemisphere Section, OCMH. She is now the historian of the U.S. Army Mobility Command in Detroit.
Byron Fairchild, a member of the OCMH staff from 1949 to 1960, received his Ph.D. degree in history from Princeton University and has taught at the University of Maine, Amherst College, and the Munson Institute of Maritime History. He is the author of Messrs. William Pepperrell, which in 1954 received the Carnegie Revolving Fund Award of the American Historical Association for the outstanding manuscript in any field of history. Dr. Fairchild is coauthor of The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, and The Army and Industrial Manpower in this series, and wrote a chapter in the official version of Command Decisions. He is at present a historian in the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
This is the second of two volumes on the plans made and measures taken by the Army to protect the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere against military attack by the Axis Powers during World War II. The global character of American participation in the war, described in the many volumes of this series, tends to obscure the primary and basic concern of the United States Government, and consequently of the Army, for the safety of the continental United States. The security of the Panama Canal and of the island of Oahu as the principal outposts of continental defense was of almost equal concern in the decades between World Wars I and II. When in the late 193o's the action of aggressor nations in the Eastern Hemisphere foreshadowed a new world war that would inevitably involve the security of the United States, Army and Navy planning officers concluded that the continental United States could not be threatened seriously by either air or surface attack unless a hostile power first obtained a lodgment elsewhere within the Western Hemisphere. To prevent that from happening, the United States adopted a new national policy of hemisphere defense.
In the opening chapters of the first volume of this subseries, The Framework of Hemisphere Defense, the authors have described the evolution of the policy of hemisphere defense from 1938 to December 1941, in relation to contemporary American military means and the sequence of world events. These chapters were designed to introduce the story told in the present volume as well as the description of the new military relationships of the United States with the other American nations that completes the first volume. Consequently, the authors have chosen to use a shortened version of the concluding chapter of the first volume as an introductory chapter to this one.
After the introductory chapter this volume describes first the organization of Army forces for the protection of the continental United States before and during the war, the steps toward improving continental harbor and air defenses, the Army's role in civilian defense and in guarding nonmilitary installations, and the measures for continental security and threats to it
after the Pearl Harbor attack. Because of the controversial character of the action, the authors have next included a rather detailed account of the evacuation of persons of Japanese ancestry from the west coast, and in chapters VIII a briefer account of the similar action planned for Hawaii. This chapters is the last of three that summarize the Army's preparations for defending Oahu and its great naval base, the reaction of the Army's Hawaiian Department to the threat and then to the reality of war, and the measures taken by the Army after the Japanese attack to secure the Hawaiian Islands against invasion. In accordance with the chronology of enemy action, the narrative turns from Hawaii to Alaska and the Aleutian campaign, the only major ground operation to occur within the western Hemisphere during the war. Then it shifts far southeastward to describe the system of Army defenses for the protection of the Panama Canal and the Caribbean area against enemy intrusion, erected within the framework of military cooperation with the Latin American nations described in detail in the first volume to this subseries. Because of the nature of the destroyer-base agreement of 1940 and the Army's focus toward South America, the account of the extension of the continental outpost line along the North Atlantic front is closely related at the outset to similar activity in the Caribbean area. In due course this extension became more intimately related to the preservation of the North Atlantic lifeline to Great Britain, and American participation in the defense of Iceland in 1941 was a prelude to action in Europe as well as a culmination of the defensive measures undertaken by the land and air forces of the United States before it became a full participant in world War II.
The events recorded in this volume occurred under circumstances and technological conditions that differed greatly from those of the present day. On the eve of World War II the concept of collective security, of hemisphere defense, had not yet been translated into firm international undertakings. The underlying threat was relatively clear-cut. Only if a hostile power acquired military bases within the Western Hemisphere could the United States be seriously threatened. Today the United States is an active member of the United Nations and the military ally of many nations in both hemispheres. The range of aircraft has transcended oceanic limitations, the intercontinental missile is a reality, and the potency of weapons has undergone a truly awful change. Nevertheless, the changes and complexities of the nuclear age have not eliminated, they have only added to and underscored, the basic threat and the old problems of national defense. The fundamental and necessary concern of the United States for its own
security remains, and this concern will continue to shape some of the general characteristics of its military defenses and of its military relationships with other American nations.
This is a work of joint authorship and endeavor. The introductory chapters and the chapters which follow on the continental United States and Hawaii are primarily the handiwork of Conn, the first two Alaska chapters, of Engelman, and the remaining chapters, of Fairchild. Much of the research for the whole volume was undertaken as a common enterprise. In preparing this volume the authors have profited immensely from participation in a large collaborative history program, in which almost every aspect of the Army's activity before and during the war has been under scrutiny. Without the free interchange of information and criticism that such a program makes possible, the research and writing for this volume would have been much more difficult and we would have presented our story with much less confidence.
In particular we are indebted to Dr. John Miller, jr., Deputy Chief Historian of the Office of the Chief of Military History, who supervised the review of this volume and offered many helpful criticisms of it. The members of the review panel whom he assembled to discuss and criticize the volume were Lt. Col. Joseph Rockis, Chief of the Histories Division, and Dr. Leo J. Meyer, from within the office; and Professor Arthur A. Ekirch, Jr., of The American University, and Dr. Kent Roberts Greenfield, former Chief Historian. To all of them we owe acknowledgment for constructive criticism, and especially to Dr. Greenfield, under whose immediate supervision this work was launched and brought near to completion. Brig. Gen. Paul McD. Robinett, former Chief of the Special Studies Division, also reviewed the whole volume with his usual thoughtfulness, and we are deeply obliged to many outside the Office of the Chief of Military History who have given freely of their time and knowledge in reviewing parts of it. Especially helpful comments were obtained from Lt. Gen. John L. DeWitt on the west coast and Alaska chapters, from Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid on the Attu and Kiska operations, and from. Maj. Gen. Charles H. Bonesteel and former Consul General B. Eric Kuniholm on Army activity in Iceland. For help of a different sort, we record our indebtedness to Dr. Herman Kahn, former Director of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library, and to members of his staff, for access to and friendly guidance into the President's papers; and to McGeorge Bundy, former professor at Harvard University, for access to the diary of Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson.
We wish also to express our appreciation to those members of the Editorial
Branch, headed by the late Miss Ruth Stout, who guided the manuscript through the last stage of preparation for the printer-especially to Mrs. Marion P. Grimes, whose copy editing was above and beyond the call of duty; to Mr. Billy C. Mossman, who prepared the maps; and to Miss Ruth Phillips, who selected the photographs. The index was compiled by William Gardner Bell.
These acknowledgments of assistance are in no way delegation of responsibility for the contents of the volume. The presentation and interpretation of events it contains are the authors' own, and we alone are responsible for faults of commission or omission.
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