Central Pacific 1943

new Central Pacific strategy emerged in 1943
map from Time 1943/09 - big

March 15 - King reorganized fleets

May 8 - Joint Strategic Plan approved at Cairo

  1. South Pacific to Philippines (MacArthur)
  2. China to Hong Kong, B-29 air bases (Chiang)
  3. Central Pacific to Formosa, B-29 air bases (Nimitz)

Ultimate goal: Luzon "bottleneck" between China, Formosa, Luzon

Hellcat on Yorktown 11/43
Central Pacific, between Aleutians and Solomons, from CMH
1st light carrier USS Independence CVL22 - carriers
"Hop, Skip" - Rabaul from Time, 1943/07
"Jump" - Rabaul from Time, 1943/07 - full map
map of Marshalls - "typical atoll: Wotje" from Time, 1943/12 - big - c
Spruance, from Time, 1944/06/26
"Target for Tomorrow?" was Truk, from Time 1943/11
camouflaged Essex-class carrier at Pearl - c - d
"Whose Aleutians?" from Time, 1943/05
Chester Nimitz 1942

May 30 - new USS Essex CV-9

June 10 - PAC-10

August 30 - public first told of new carriers

Aug. 31 - Navy occupied Baker Island in Ellices

Aug. 31 - 1st test raid on Marcus Island 2700 miles from Pearl

Sep. 18 - 2nd test - air strike against Tarawa & Makin

Oct. 5 - 3rd test by TF14 - Wake Island

Nov. 1 - Halsey sent TF38 to support landings at Bougainville

Nov. 2 - Empress Augusta Bay battle between cruiser fleets

Nov. 5 - TF38 air strike vs 4 Japan heavy cruisers at Rabaul

Nov. 11 - air strike against Rabaul by 5 carriers now with Halsey

Japanese fleet at Truk was crippled

Nov. 12 - GALVANIC under Spruance began against Gilberts

Nov. 20 - Tarawa landings began on Betio

Spruance blamed by Towers

Nimitz ordered Spruance to attack Marshalls

Nov. 24 - sub sunk USS Liscome Bay escort carrier - 644 killed, including Dorie Miller

Nov. 26 - Japan sent night torpedo plane attacks from Marshalls

Nov. 28 - Japanese air attacks ended as Tarawa fell

Dec. 4 - TF50 raid on Marshalls and Kwajalein - under Pownall


December - Navy command reorganization due to success of fast carrier taskforce

TF58 - "a revolution in naval warfare" (Clark Reynolds)

March of Time released "Naval Log of Victory" in December 1943 - U.S. resources were stretched thin to fight a 2-ocean war, but the balance of naval power had changed by the end of the year. Mobilization and OSRD had strengthened the American "Arsenal of Democracy."

Success of the Central Pacific campaign made the China more important. FDR wanted Chiang Kai-shek to take the offensive against Japan, included him as one of the Big 4 of the postwar world. FDR met with Chiang at the Cairo conference Nov. 23-26, and supported China at the Teheran conference Nov. 28. To keep Chiang Kai-shek in the war, China would be supplied from India and Burma. The Allies created the South East Asia Command Nov. 15, 1943, under Lord Mountbatten to begin an offensive in Burma. Stilwell began his GALAHAD offensive in September 1943 to retake Burma with a joint American-British-Chinese army. This caused Japan to respond with the U-Go offensive in March 1944. Stilwell led a counterattack to retake Myitkyna and keep open the Burma Road supply route to Chiang-kai-Shek in Chungking. See The Burma Front and the March of Time issue "Back Door to Tokyo" of June 1944.

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