MacArthur

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
Hoist40
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Re: MacArthur

Post by Hoist40 » 17 Jul 2015 17:59

So where were the British, Guadalcanal was a British Protectorate and it controlled sea lanes which went to British Commonwealths of Australia and New Zealand. Should the US have abandoned them like the British did?

Mil-tech Bard
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Re: MacArthur

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 17 Jul 2015 20:53

Kingfish,

>>While I don't dispute the figures given, they should be considered in context.

Plus points for accepting reality

>>Despite our experience in the first world war, and the even more recent experience of our Allies in the Atlantic,
>.We did not adopt a convoy system right away.

Definite minus points here.

"Who is this 'WE' Kemosabi?"

The "WE" is Admiral King. The man who refused to provide available escort vessels because he sent them to the Pacific and lied/stonewalled when called on it.

And the kicker was that the Germans never had more than 20 subs in East Coast waters during Operation Drumbeat.

>>Certainly the PacFlt DDs would have helped, but again context needs to be considered.

This the context of USN destroyer assignment in the period in question, from "HOW THE WAR WAS WON -- Air - Sea Power and Allied Victory in World War II" --
  1. In June 1941 -- 281 ASW ships in USN inventory, of which 176 were destroyers
  2. In June 1942 -- 527 ASW ships in USN Inventory, of which 190 were destroyers
  3. In April 1942 -- ZERO destroyers for convoy escorts and "a few" Coast Guard cutters assigned to Adm. Adolphus Andrews, commander Atlantic Sea Frontier guarding the American East Coast from Florida to Maine.
That ASW escort deployment decision was SOLELY Adm. King's choice as COMINCH.

The blood of 5,000 unnecessarily killed Allied merchant sailors is on King's hands, due solely to Adm King's monomania for Guadalcanal as an independent theater for the US Navy.

The true historical context was that Adm. King was a raging egotistical monster...but he was Roosevelt's choice of raging egotistical monster, so he got to keep his job.

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Re: MacArthur

Post by Kingfish » 18 Jul 2015 00:19

Mil-tech Bard wrote: >>Despite our experience in the first world war, and the even more recent experience of our Allies in the Atlantic,
>.We did not adopt a convoy system right away.

Definite minus points here.
Make sure to let the Author know
The "WE" is Admiral King. The man who refused to provide available escort vessels because he sent them to the Pacific and lied/stonewalled when called on it.
Context seems to be a concept that alludes you. Shall we consider the reasons for King's decision in light of the strategic situation he was facing, or simply paint him as a 4-star raging egotistical monster with a hoarder complex for naval vessels?

I note you've yet answered my question regarding the military soundness for Op Watchtower. Assuming you were in King's shoes, which Pacific operation would you nix in lieu of a greater commitment in the Atlantic?
The blood of 5,000 unnecessarily killed Allied merchant sailors is on King's hands, due solely to Adm King's monomania for Guadalcanal as an independent theater for the US Navy.
One can pick any battle, theater or strategy in any war and point to losses that could have been avoided had more resources been committed. The losses in the Atlantic certainly could have been lessened with an additional 50-60 US DDs in the theater, but one can say the exact same thing with the Arctic convoys and British commitments in the Med, or German losses in Russia and its commitments guarding western Europe. The list is endless, but one common thread runs through them - they are were based on the strategic situation at that time. This is why, when critiquing the decisions made 80 years ago, context is so important.
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Takao
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Re: MacArthur

Post by Takao » 18 Jul 2015 03:39

Give it a rest Mil-tech, or at least educate yourself in what was where...

Operational USN destroyers in the Atlantic/Pacific.
Jan 42.......94/112
Feb 42.......93/114
March 42....84/114
April 42.....86/114
May 42......87/114
June 42.....83/122
July 42......85/122
August 42...89/121
September..88/125
October.....90/119
November...99/113
December...103/100

So where is this great mass of destroyers that King was hoarding for Guadalcanal...As I don't see it.

Not to mention the many destroyers, then in the Atlantic, that were apparently doing nothing, while the DDs in the Pacific were actually fighting their enemy.

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Re: MacArthur

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 19 Jul 2015 15:21

Takao,

You just made my argument. Not a single destroyer, where ever it was stationed, was assigned to convoy duty in the Atlantic prior to a direct order to do so to King from FDR.

Between Mid January 1942 and the end of July 1942 there were 360 allied merchantmen list in American waters. Only 11 of those 360 were in convoys and one of those 11 was a convoy straggler.

Only three of those 360 ships were lost in July 1942, when FDR gave the direct order to King to implement escorted Atlantic North American coastal convoys.

Jan 42.......94/112
Feb 42.......93/114
March 42....84/114
April 42.....86/114 -- April 1942, not a single DD assigned as an escort in the Atlantic Sea Frontier under Adm. Adolphus Andrews.
May 42......87/114
June 42.....83/122 -- Note, total decrease in Atlantic DD's from Jan 1942 to June 1942 was 11 DD switched to the Pacific, minimum**
July 42......85/122 -- FDR orders King to begin convoys, allied freighter losses in American waters are 3 ships.

There were no more freighters lost on American east coast for the balance of 1942.

So yes, we see DD's sent to the Pacific from the Atlantic...but we see, absolutely underlined in blood, that King as COMINCH denied Allied freighters in American coastal waters the use of available Atlantic fleet DD's.

There were 86 Atlantic fleet DD's in April 1942. There were 85 in July 1942. The difference in losses merchant ship, with one fewer DD available to the Atlantic fleet, was solely a presidential order from FDR to King to escort Allied shipping in coastal convoys on the East Coat of America.


** Losses and new construction during this period are not accounted for.

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Takao
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Re: MacArthur

Post by Takao » 20 Jul 2015 00:57

Mil-tech Bard wrote:Takao,

You just made my argument. Not a single destroyer, where ever it was stationed, was assigned to convoy duty in the Atlantic prior to a direct order to do so to King from FDR.
No...Your point was
And the biggest "crash' of all was Adm. King refusal to sent Pacific Destroyers to the Atlantic to provide convoy escorts in early 1942, so he could have his Guadalcanal campaign. This failure COST thousands of lives, over a million tons of shipping (depending on the time period used to measure the losses) and made a 1943 invasion of Europe impossible.
Which you reiterated with
This is the cost of the Adm. King's diversion of USN Destroyers to Operation Watchtower --
And again with
The "WE" is Admiral King. The man who refused to provide available escort vessels because he sent them to the Pacific and lied/stonewalled when called on it.
Yet, none of the "facts" you have provided support your "hypothesis." And the figures that I provided contradict your "hypothesis."


Mil-tech Bard wrote:Not a single destroyer, where ever it was stationed, was assigned to convoy duty in the Atlantic prior to a direct order to do so to King from FDR.
The Atlantic or the Eastern Sea Frontier? Still, given that US coastal convoys did not begin until roughly May, 1942, how and why would destroyers be assigned to non-existent convoys?

Or do you mean that destroyers were not permanently assigned to the Eastern Sea Frontier prior to FDR's "suggestion"? If this is the case, no destroyers were permanently assigned to the Eastern Sea Frontier. However, several were temporarily assigned to the Eastern Sea Frontier.


Mil-tech Bard wrote:Between Mid January 1942 and the end of July 1942 there were 360 allied merchantmen list in American waters. Only 11 of those 360 were in convoys and one of those 11 was a convoy straggler.

Only three of those 360 ships were lost in July 1942, when FDR gave the direct order to King to implement escorted Atlantic North American coastal convoys.
You are confusing many of your "facts"...

360 allied merchantmen lost in American waters?
How are you defining "Allied shipping" and "American waters"?

Because your later "Only three of those 360 ships were lost in July 1942", pertains only to the East Coast, and only to United States flagged shipping.


Mil-tech Bard wrote:April 1942, not a single DD assigned as an escort in the Atlantic Sea Frontier under Adm. Adolphus Andrews.
Odd then that the Eastern Sea Frontier's War Diary lists 23 destroyers spending what amounted to 140 days on patrol for the month of April, 1942.

You really should look into what destroyers were temporarily assigned to the Eastern Sea Frontier....

Mil-tech Bard wrote:Note, total decrease in Atlantic DD's from Jan 1942 to June 1942 was 11 DD switched to the Pacific, minimum**
** Losses and new construction during this period are not accounted for.
Two destroyers were lost - Truxton ran aground, and Sturtevant ran into a US minefield.

Destroyers were transferred from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and vice-versa, as well as time out for overhauls, not to mention a few of the four-pipers withdrawn from service. New construction seems to be roughly split, but slightly in favor of the Pacific. So, an slight overall decline in DD numbers, not all transferred to the Pacific as you presume.


Mil-tech Bard wrote:FDR orders King to begin convoys, allied freighter losses in American waters are 3 ships.
Convoying began in May, 1942...Not July.

FDR wanted an expansion of the East Coast convoy system...Not it's beginning.

The escorts of these convoys primarily were not destroyers.

Mil-tech Bard wrote:There were no more freighters lost on American east coast for the balance of 1942.
And the fact that Doenitz withdrew the last 2 U-boats in mid-July had nothing what-so-ever to do with this lack of merchant shipping losses.

Nor, the greatly increased coastal air patrols, roughly doubled, since April, 1942.

Mil-tech Bard wrote: So yes, we see DD's sent to the Pacific from the Atlantic...but we see, absolutely underlined in blood, that King as COMINCH denied Allied freighters in American coastal waters the use of available Atlantic fleet DD's.
Sigh...

You would know that this is a patently false statement if you had bothered to read the Eastern Sea Frontier's War Diary for 1942.


Mil-tech Bard wrote:There were 86 Atlantic fleet DD's in April 1942. There were 85 in July 1942. The difference in losses merchant ship, with one fewer DD available to the Atlantic fleet, was solely a presidential order from FDR to King to escort Allied shipping in coastal convoys on the East Coat of America.
Presidential Order...Hmmm...I was unaware that Karl Doenitz was ever President of the United States.

Indeed, most of the system that Roosevelt wanted...

Would not be in operation until September, 1942!

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mescal
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Re: MacArthur

Post by mescal » 20 Jul 2015 10:47

Well, it looks like the topic has drifted a bit.
Anyway ....

Mil-Tech Bard, you seem to assume a level of resources (material & organisational) in the USN that were not there or already commited to other duties.

When counting the destroyers allocated to the Atlantic, we should not assume that they were tied at the pier, waiting to escort new convoys.
By the fall of 1941, the USN had very heavy commitments, and there was actually few DDs available to escort new convoys.

For example, from mid-september 1941 (HX-150) to late february 42 (HX-175), every HX convoy was escorted 10 days out of Halifax by a US escort group.
This necessitated the commitment of six task groups (TU 4.1.1 to 4.1.6) of 4 to six warships.
Which means 30 ships actually on duty, and therefore, allowing for a ~20% unavailability rate the commitment of almost 40 ships.
The size of this groups was decreased to two ships from March 42, with the RN and RCN taking over the commitment - this is actually quite a quick reorganization : the schedule for convoys and convoys escorts were extremely complicated and could not be modified in a few days.

Then the AT convoys were started (troops to UK). Those necessitated extremely heavy escorts.
AT10 (Jan 42): 17 destroyers
AT12 (Feb 42): 9 DDs
AT14 (Apr 42): 10 DDs
AT16 (May 42): 8 DDs
AT17 (July) : 15 DDs

You also have fleet operations :
- TF39, built around USS Washington in March 42, which was based at Scapa Flow, and used at least six destroyers
- the Wasp missions to Malta (Apr/May 42), during which she was escorted by four destroyers

And among the number of "DD" listed in the Atlantic, a fair number were old four-pipers that had been converted pre-war for other duty (mainly APD) and were of extremely limited value for ASW warfare.
In January, among the 94 DD-like warships I have in the Atlantic, no less than 14 had had such a conversion (Little, Gregory, Stringham, Colhoun, McKean, Hamilton, Palmer, Hogan, Howard, Stansbury, Clemson, G. E. Badger, Belknap, Greene)

Thus there were not that many ships available to take over escort of additionnal convoys along the eastern coast.
Now, even unescorted convoys are better than no convoys, but since it's quite counterintuitive), one can understand the reluctance to do it.

And it should not be forgotten that creating a convoy system is administratively a huge task. The RN made systematic planning for convoying in the interwar, which enabled them to start as soon as september 39. But the number of independent sailings was very high at the beginning and decreased only slowly.


wrt destroyers lost in the Atlantic, USS Jacob Jones (DD-130) must be added to the two ships listed by Takao : she was sunk by U-578 on 28 Feb 42.
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Re: MacArthur

Post by Delta Tank » 20 Jul 2015 16:39

Mescal and Takao,

Mescal did you do one of those charts on US DDs?? If you did can you post the link.

Very interesting data on DD's, do you have the data for DDs and DEs from December 1941 to December 1943. I just wan to see when the building program started to produce results in the operational theaters.

But, back to the original post where a "historian" claims MacArthur was . . .fill in the blank, and he had "horns, a tail and hooves" to boot! So, what genius decided to attack Betio Island and why, commonly referred to as Tarawa. And we attacked Peleliu. . . why exactly??

And if your toast is burnt in the morning is it MacArthur's fault??

Mike

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mescal
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Re: MacArthur

Post by mescal » 20 Jul 2015 18:09

Hello Mike,

The charts regarding the US destroyers are here :
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 3&t=161584

Note that thgeographc criterion is only that - it does not tell the administrative attachment of a ship, nor what it was actually doing for a given month.
And I only have two geographic location for the ETO : Mediterranean and Atlantic.


For the DE, I only have a work in progress on the ASW-capable, blue-water capable escort ships.
It includes the DE of the Buckley, Cannon, Edsall, Evarts, Butler & Rudderow classes, but also the Tacoma class frigate and the Admirable and Auk minesweeper classes
1 had been commissioned in the USN in June 42;
15 had been commissioned in dec 42;
75 in june 43;
282 in december 43;
502 in june 44;
626 in december 44;
and 667 at the end of the war.

Note that when one is interested in coastal convoying, the smaller SC (subchaser) & PC (patrol craft) type should not be forgotten - even though they had nowhere near the capabilities of a DD.
So, what genius decided to attack Betio Island and why
There is little doubt that it's Spruance who wanted to add an attack on the Gilberts before going for the Marshall Islands, and Nimitz who accepted the proposal.
The reason was scouting. As of mid-43, there were no allied airbase in range of the Marshall, and thus attacking them directly would have been a gamble - especially as they were supposed to be better fortified than the Gilberts (it was false, but not known at the time).
We now know that a strike straight at the Marshall in november 43 could have worked - but the USN of the time didn't.
And it must be added that it was the first real operation for the fast carrier task force - doing such a first in the middle of the network of the land bases of the Marshalls (with unknown strength) would have been quite dangerous.

And there must be a 'first', when problems appear, to be corrected later.
And then you've bad luck with unpredictable tides ...

IMHO, going for the Gilberts first was a good decision - not the best one possible, but good enough to get experience, correct mistake etc before the real meaningful assault.
Olivier

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Kingfish
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Re: MacArthur

Post by Kingfish » 21 Jul 2015 11:59

mescal wrote: IMHO, going for the Gilberts first was a good decision - not the best one possible, but good enough to get experience, correct mistake etc before the real meaningful assault.
Was Tarawa chosen solely because it held a completed airfield?
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
~Babylonian Proverb

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Re: MacArthur

Post by fredleander » 21 Jul 2015 14:38

Delta Tank wrote:Steverodgers801, you need to read more, everything you just wrote is basically false. And no, I am not going to look up all of the things that you got wrong and post the correct information here. I have already done that on this forum a couple of times, you need to find them and read them.

Mike
I stand 100 % behind you on that.

Hoist40 has it well covered, too. Just my opinion: http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 5#p1955235

Fred
River Wide, Ocean Deep - a book about Operation Sealion:
https://www.fredleander.com
Saving MacArthur - an eight-book series on the Pacific War:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07D3 ... rw_dp_labf

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Re: MacArthur

Post by mescal » 31 Jul 2015 18:28

Kingfish wrote: Was Tarawa chosen solely because it held a completed airfield?
I strongly suspect it would have been chosen even without a complete airfield, as it was one of the very rare places in the Gilberts which had enough real estate to accommodate an airfield.
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Re: MacArthur

Post by Delta Tank » 31 Jul 2015 20:16

Mescal and all,

Kingfish wrote:
Was Tarawa chosen solely because it held a completed airfield?
Mescal wrote:
I strongly suspect it would have been chosen even without a complete airfield, as it was one of the very rare places in the Gilberts which had enough real estate to accommodate an airfield.
IIRC I looked into this several years ago and I could not find that we used that hard won airfield for much of anything. Did we really use it? And if we did was that the only option available? I just can't see how destroying a division to capture an airfield was somehow worth the price.

Mike

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Re: MacArthur

Post by Delta Tank » 05 Jul 2021 14:39

Mil-tech Bard wrote:
19 Jul 2015 15:21
Takao,

You just made my argument. Not a single destroyer, where ever it was stationed, was assigned to convoy duty in the Atlantic prior to a direct order to do so to King from FDR.

Between Mid January 1942 and the end of July 1942 there were 360 allied merchantmen list in American waters. Only 11 of those 360 were in convoys and one of those 11 was a convoy straggler.

Only three of those 360 ships were lost in July 1942, when FDR gave the direct order to King to implement escorted Atlantic North American coastal convoys.

Jan 42.......94/112
Feb 42.......93/114
March 42....84/114
April 42.....86/114 -- April 1942, not a single DD assigned as an escort in the Atlantic Sea Frontier under Adm. Adolphus Andrews.
May 42......87/114
June 42.....83/122 -- Note, total decrease in Atlantic DD's from Jan 1942 to June 1942 was 11 DD switched to the Pacific, minimum**
July 42......85/122 -- FDR orders King to begin convoys, allied freighter losses in American waters are 3 ships.

There were no more freighters lost on American east coast for the balance of 1942.

So yes, we see DD's sent to the Pacific from the Atlantic...but we see, absolutely underlined in blood, that King as COMINCH denied Allied freighters in American coastal waters the use of available Atlantic fleet DD's.

There were 86 Atlantic fleet DD's in April 1942. There were 85 in July 1942. The difference in losses merchant ship, with one fewer DD available to the Atlantic fleet, was solely a presidential order from FDR to King to escort Allied shipping in coastal convoys on the East Coat of America.


** Losses and new construction during this period are not accounted for.
I posted this on another thread, but it is appropriate to repost it here. Mike

To all,

The Washington War by James Lacey pages 227-229
As defeats piled up in the Pacific, things were little better in the Atlantic theater. All America had by way of an agreed war plan was the big concept of “Germany first” and holding the line in the Pacific. As a slogan it was peerless, but as a war strategy in the early months of 1942 it was useless. For the Japanese could not be held, and the Americans would have no way of getting at the Germans for many months yet. That, however, did not mean that the Germans had no way to get at America. German U-boats were having their best months of the war in both the North Atlantic and their new happy hunting grounds off the U. S. East Coast.
In mid-January the U-boats appeared along the Atlantic coast and soon thereafter in the Gulf of Mexico. Operation DRUMBEAT was beginning. Caught unprepared by Hitler’s declaration of war on America, the German submarine chief, Admiral Karl Donitz, had only six U-boats ready to send into the western Atlantic, but they were crewed by his best men and captains. Commander Rodger Winn’s London-based Submarine Tracking Room marked their passage. As Winn tracked the submarines across the Atlantic he sent a detailed message to Admiral King informing him of the looming threat. King alerted area commanders, but did nothing else.
For the Germans, DRUMBEAT was a second “Happy Time,” as they sank 48 ships in January, 73 ships in February, and 95 in March. In just three months the Allies lost well over a million tons of shipping, many of them precious oil tankers. Worse, the American Navy did not sink its first U-boat until well into April. It was a naval catastrophe far worse than Pearl Harbor, and if it continued the war was lost. The blame for this unprecedented disaster falls squarely on King’s shoulders, as he allowed his deep seated distrust for the British to color his military judgment. Though the British gave the Americans their best advice, based on over two years of experience fighting U-bots in the North Atlantic, King refused to listen. Thus, basic measures such as instituting a convoy system along the coast were not implemented. Worse, in what amounts to nearly criminal neglect, the lights along the Eastern Seaboard were not extinguished until mid-April 1942, allowing U-boat commanders to lie well offshore and pick off targets silhouetted against city lights. Miami alone threw up a six-mile glow, creating a deadly gauntlet for ships navigating around the Gulf Stream. This murderous situation continued because local communities from Atlantic City to Florida raised hell about having their tourist seasons ruined. Over 250 ships were lost before the Navy acted to turn off the lights.
In dire need, King asked Marshall for help. Marshall reacted instantly. On March 26, he ordered all Army commands possessing aircraft capable of searching over the Atlantic’s open seas to turn their full attention to looking for U-boats. He even went so far as to temporarily turn operational control of these aircraft over to the Navy. Even this doubling of the number of aircraft available for hunting U-boats was almost wasted because King refuse to accept British advice on how to organize and integrate search units.
Appalled at their ally’s catastrophic losses, the Admiralty put Commander Winn on a plane and flew him to Washington. Told by King’s chief of staff, Rear Admiral R. S. Edwards, that the “Americans wished to learn their own lessons and had plenty of ships with which to do so,” Winn exploded: “The trouble, Admiral, is it’s not only your bloody ships you are losing; a lot of them are ours.” The upshot of Winn’s withering criticisms was that King finally ordered the creation of a “tracking room” to integrate all intelligence, ship locations, and anti-U-boat operations.
Realizing that his Army Air Forces pilots were not sufficiently trained for hunting U-boats, General Arnold established a training and research site for anti-submarine warfare at Langley Field, Virginia. He then offered to establish a Coastal Air Command, run by the Army Air Forces, to help search for U-boats. In making his offer, Arnold was adopting the British model where the RAF, in close cooperation with the Royal Navy, controlled all land-based aircraft assigned to submarine duty. He told King that the Army would handle the specialized training, run the airfields, and handle all the logistic and maintenance chores, but would take all of its orders from the Navy. This was not good enough for King, who was already anticipating the day when the Army Air Forces would gain its independence and feared the Navy would be stripped of its aviation. Consequently, King replied that if he did not own the whole thing he wanted none of it. The battle between Arnold and King was still raging in May, when Arnold threw up his hands and dumped the problem in Marshall’s lap. In the meantime, ships were sinking, thousands of tons of precious cargo were lost, and hundreds of men drowned.
Marshall did not turn his full attention to the problem until mid-June. When he did, he was flabbergasted at the pettiness of the argument and the profound effects the resulting delay was having on the war effort. In a pointed letter to King, Marshall stated: “The loss by submarine off the Atlantic seaboard and the Caribbean now threaten the entire war effort. . . of the 74 ships allocated to the Army by the War Shipping Administration, 17 have already been sunk. . . I am fearful that another month or two of this will so cripple our means of transport that we will be unable to bring sufficient men and planes to bear against the enemy in critical theaters. . .” King remained unmoved.
Marshall swallowed hard and told Arnold to turn the entire operation over to the Navy. More months passed as the Navy put its own administrative backbone in place, replicating an infrastructure the Army had already built. Without a doubt, King was the man to snap the Navy out of its post-Pearl Harbor shock. Still there is little in this affair that accrues to his credit. In fact, his main biographer, Thomas B. Buell, never mentions these events. Because he disliked the British, and over a point of internal politics rising out of his fear of an -an independent air force-still years in the future, King made a very bad situation inestimably worse.

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Re: MacArthur

Post by Delta Tank » 20 Nov 2021 13:29

mescal wrote:
31 Jul 2015 18:28
Kingfish wrote: Was Tarawa chosen solely because it held a completed airfield?
I strongly suspect it would have been chosen even without a complete airfield, as it was one of the very rare places in the Gilberts which had enough real estate to accommodate an airfield.
To All,

I discovered not to long ago that we did build an airfield on the island of Abemama which Is in the Tarawa Atoll and about 80 miles from Betio Island. We captured the island with approximately two platoons!

Read here: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=260082&hilit=Abemama

Mike

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