Monday, February 07, 2011

Marshall to MacArthur - March 29 1945

To General of the Army Douglas MacArthur1
March 29, 1945 Radio No. WAR-60363. Washington, D.C.
Top Secret

TOPSEC personal for MacArthur for his Eyes Only from Marshall.
Command in Pacific is under consideration but complete solution with respect to command and future operations has not as yet been resolved.2
For your information the following portions of the future directive seem in general to be agreed upon although JCS formal approval has not yet been given, the delaying being due to failure so far to reach agreement as to certain details referred to below.
I. The over-all objective in the war against Japan, to be brought about at the earliest practicable date, is:
To force the unconditional surrender of Japan by:
a. Lowering Japanese ability and will to resist by establishing sea and air blockades, conducting intensive air bombardments, and destroying Japanese Air and Naval strength.
b. Invading and seizing objectives in the industrial heart of Japan.
It is expected that the JCS will assign you the responsibility to:
(1) Complete the occupation of Luzon and conduct such additional operations in the Philippines as required for the accomplishment of the overall objective in the war against Japan. Further to the foregoing, conduct such additional operations toward completing the liberation of the Philippines as can be mounted without prejudice to the accomplishment of the overall objective.
(2) Make plans for occupying North Borneo, including Brunei Bay, using Australian combat and service troops and make preparations at such time as resources can be made available without detriment to the accomplishment of the overall objective. Units of the British Pacific Fleet may be allocated for this operation.
(3) Provide forces and support to Nimitz to assist him in completion of the seizure and development of positions in the Ryukyus as required in his current directive under provisions of Part II below.
(4) Establish bases in the Philippines to support further advances for the accomplishment of the overall objective in the war against Japan.
II. It appears that agreement will be reached by the JCS placing Army resources in Pacific under you. The point at issue which has so long delayed a final agreement is the degree and manner of control that you as Army Commander will exercise as to Army troops throughout the Pacific which are of necessity closely integrated in Naval Base and other operations and in the Naval Logistical problem.
You will be given responsibility for planning, preparation and conduct of actual invasion of Japan. Nimitz would be given responsibility for amphibious phase of the operation.3