tv Japans War - 1943-1945 CSPAN December 17, 2018 9:04pm-10:16pm EST
look at the united states immigration commission formed in 1907 at a time when the influx of immigrants was seen in many of the national crisis. wednesday, political history with a discussion on populism and its role in the history of american politics. on thursday, authors talk about their book at valley forge. they described how they defeated continental army lasted to the harsh winter of 1777 in 1778. friday night our american artifacts. will take viewers to historic sites around the country. we toured the american exhibit at the national museum of the american indian in washington dc. next, historians discuss the military strategies of japan and the us australian coalition in the pacific during
world war ii from 1943 to 1945. it will focus on the naval operations and they will highlight the command of douglas macarthur. this one-hour program is part of a national conference for the world war ii museum. welcome back. when planning our conferences, we truly attempt to make them international. not just in subject matter, but in our presenters as well. one third of our speakers this year come from outside of the united states. our next two panels gained the most air miles in getting here. we are honored to have mister shindo from tokyo.
he is the leading expert on the military cauldron that was the pacific area of the 1930s and 40s. he contributed articles of his own and other work on world war ii and the pacific. joining him is peter dean, currently professor and pro vice chancellor of education at the university of western australia. his latest book, the coalition of the american australian alliance is part of the session in which we look at how the end of the war in the pacific was fought and why the japanese continued to fight and what is obvious to most losing more. tomorrow these two young historians is one of the most distinguished scholars. he is also a great friend and champion of the museum doctor allen.
he came to the university of new orleans after decades of the ohio state university. he is the co-author of the top single volume histories of world war ii. he is also senior military advisor to the president of the national world war ii museum. if you would, let's welcome the distinguished panel. >> it is always a pleasure to take the podium and look out on all of the faces that i cannot see because the darkness. i want to express my personal thanks for all of you who have chosen to attend this conference. i have been an advocate over time with finding iconic ways to brand this conference and today i will propose that from
here on out the moderators should be armed with a clicker to remind people when to click. jeremy, i want you to notice that. however, i feel certainly responsible for getting the kind of twist to this introduction and i just simply wanted to remind you that if the speakers one long i have a perfect care which will ensure their cooperation. no, paul, you cannot have my hand. between pete's remarks and the program, there is a good feel
for professional expertise about the presenters. to put in military language, they know the sierra hotel. without further ado, let me introduce our first speaker, one of my former graduate students. >> everybody.ning, i would like to thank the organizers of this event for inviting me. i think it has been a very interesting conference so thank the organizers for inviting me and i think this is been a very interesting conference so far. just so that the professor does
not have to use his k bar, i'll get started right away. i thought i would talk about the military strategy in 1943 of the japanese. i will not go into 1945, but i will talk about the middle. of the war. i will focus on military strategy of the japanese because of the time limit, i can only give you an overview. i think this military is very important because when japan started the war, it is very difficult for their conditions to win in any case. the decisions made, or not made from 1943 to 1944 kind of cemented japan's road to defeat to speak. also, i think that on one of the features, when you look at their military before and
during the war. the rivalry between the army and the navy shows that an interservice rivalry is not only for the japanese, it happened everywhere. the interservice rivalry really affected the waves that the strategies were put into the war effort. before i get into 1943 in 1944 i like to point out a few historical factors and you have to keep this in mind when you think about the japanese in world war ii. broadly speaking, the japanese army and navy had clearly distinct areas of responsibility with hypothetical enemies. in the case of the japanese army
their case of responsibility is northeast china today. there hypothetical enemy is the imperial russia and later soviet union. the mission is to fight a ground war against the soviet red army on the plains of manchuria. the imperial navy, the japanese navy's area of responsibility is in the pacific ocean and of course, there hypothetical enemy is the united states navy. the japanese navy's traditional mission is to fight a battle against the american navy. i think you have to keep this historical fact there the traditional aspect in mind when you think about the army and navy of japan because these factors really determine the four structures, equipment,
training and the focus on their planning, really everything and also as a result of the tension, all militaries are bureaucratic institutions. in japan's case you had many examples where the institutional interest drove the staff against each other and what they are emphasizing at any particular moment. you do have to keep those historical factors in mind and they were fighting a ground war on the plains of manchuria. in the case of the navy it is the pacific ocean and it is the american navy and the decisive sleep that way. now, with these in mind, if you look at the war, you have to
think was the navy's strategy? the traditional strategy was to fight a clean battle against the americans. in order to do that, the navy builds up their fleet and if i could have the first map, i guess i'm supposed to do this myself? ok, -- [laughter] it is right here and you can see japan up there. i am sorry.
truck is right here in the central pacific. right here they are in the central pacific and it is right there. the japanese navy felt the great fleet base and they really built it up after the 1930s during the label areas being expired. the point for this naval base is to support the battle against the americans in which the navy expects it will take place in the marshall islands further to the east where i showed you previously. when the pacific war began, the navy spoke about threats to their naval base here and they focused on revolve which is down here, right here just
northeast. since you look at it from the point over here, they had the nearest place to become a major naval base and also, good geography is good for making airfields. what they are planning on is they have to remove this threat and they do occupy in january 1942. for at least the first half of the pacific war, i will discuss this way here and this is the decisive fleet battle. also, the question for them is how to secure, defend and hold them there.
in the army's case, if you look at the interests for the pacific war, the army was a relatively, to the specific ocean area for the pacific war. like i said, if you recall the army traditional focus on the mainland, in the pacific war, the army of course are interested in the initial operations to take southeast asia. they call it the southern operations to take over what they called the southern resource area. for the pacific war, the armies interested in great britain. he is the primary enemy in the war. this is to finish the war in china. after occupying southeast asia, the army is interested in getting back to the war in china
and as far as the pacific was concerned, they are more interested in fighting the british and the americans. they're thinking of chasing the british out of singapore and malaysia. they are thinking of pushing them out of burma and possibly india. this is when the americans in the american ocean resolved this problem. even after december 1941, and so when the pacific war begins, they commit nine divisions to the new war and almost all of them are in southeast asia. the only ground force that the army commits to the pacific ocean area, east of the philippines is what they called the southeast attachment.
this is basically an infantry regiment with attached forces. this is their only commitment to the pacific ocean area. the army only makes what they call a strategic level commitment to the war and south pacific in november 1942. this is almost one year after pearl harbor. this is when they set up a higher level, of area army headquarters. another example will show how relatively late they were in committing to the war in the pacific ocean area. it is only 1943 that the army finally recognizes that america is the primary enemy of japan in this war. for example, the army war college only starts to seriously
study them after 1943. even then, the conversion is not complete because they've just continued to emphasize and study the operation intact tics against the red army. another example of how the army was late coming into the war against the americans is it is only in november 1943 at the army finally produces a doctrine for testing the assaults. until then, they had not created documents. in the pacific war, you have at least for the first half of the war, you have the structure in which the navy is fighting the americans and the army comes in late. you see this recurring pattern throughout the war putting this
simplistically, but the navy wants to do something and they tried to do it, and they get into trouble and then the army has to try to build them out. you see variations of this to the war and you will see this in 1933 and 1944. this is kind of the historical background of this. and as we get into 1943, in the first half, the japanese are about to lose the long campaigns by northeast new guinea. the japanese think they have lost the initiative, what will they do next? this was one the americans were
also thinking what they will do next after taking the canal. this is when they do the planning for operation cartwheel which is the neutral invasion. very broadly speaking, from this period, the army and navy have different strategic visions on what they should do next. very generally speaking, the navy insists on a forward defense and what they call a forward decisive battle concept. in other words, the navy's interest was to protect and revolve. into 1943 and afterwards, the navy is interested in keeping the fighting as far away from them as possible because if they are in the front lines, they cannot function as major naval bases. in comparison, what the army
wants to do is completely disillusioning what they want to do and they do not want to send them to distant islands anymore. the army starts to think about pulling its forces back to areas that can be more adequately supplied for this capability. the debate about whether to fight a forward defense or to pull back to a more reasonable area goes on between the army and navy they had to speak to bay in 1943 about what to do. they cannot reach a decision. within the army at all levels,
there is an agreement on the principle for the need to pull the front lines back to where they can be more adequately supplied. the army within itself cannot agree on when the pullback should take place and how far back it should go. in may and june 1943, studies concluded that they should pull the line back, but there is simply not enough shipping to pull the front-line units back so they cannot do it now. of course, around this period, the navy is again pulling the front lines back. in the first half of 1943, there is a low in which the army navy cannot reach a decision what they can do next. the japanese are forced by the
renewal in the south pacific at the end of june, and to july 1943 plus, they discussed the australians keeping up the pressure right by their throughout the first half of 1943. then, the americans join in and they start the offensive in the solomon islands. the fighting goes on at those places into july then, the military situation deteriorates for japan at both places. the japanese are already experiencing not being able to reinforce either place adequately. they can just barely send enough materials to keep them alive and they cannot handle
what they need to to build up a counter attack. this increasingly desperate military situation in new guinea and solomon into july finally forced the japanese into a decision. also, the emperor makes a comment in august which may have pushed them into a decision. in early august, the emperor made a comment to the japanese army chief of staff. he said you have repeatedly promised me that you will find a decisive battle which will correct the situation, you never do it, when will you fight? he was actually criticizing the navy because they keep making these promises and they never win the major battle. there is no telling how much influence that remark by the emperor had, but i think the
overall military situation in new guinea and the solomons really pushed the army and navy and send making a decision. this added impetus to it. in the second half of august, the army and navy finally agree to withdraw the main defensive line to an area which is more sustainable for japan. this is formalized on september 24 when the army and navy adopted this policy in which it is incorporated to a national policy and this national policy not only has the military
operations guidance policy, but has diplomatic initiatives with improving relations with shanghai and the occupied areas of the philippines, indonesia, malaysia and i would not get into this now, but i will look at the military part of it. now we have -- >> this new operation guidance policy is a number of features and it outlines this area that has to be held for defense. this is the area to the left of the redline and this forces to the outside of the redline which is a delay in operation
and it is to buy time while the main defense line as fortified along the line. about one year later, the plan calls for massive initiative for japan. at this time, we had to switch from the decisive battle line to a delay in strategy. this new policy fails rather easily may 1944 the defense line is breached. july 44, it is broken here. there's a number of reasons that a failed. first of all, it
was adopted too late and the forces that are supposed to fight were in better conditions, but by follow 43 they pulled out and more importantly, it is the army and navy differences on how to interpret this policy. even after it is adopted, the navy insists on holding forward positions. they exist on these broken redlines and they want also hold the solomons. what this does is it diverse is the forces that the army wanted to use to reinforce those areas and they do not like the navy which i do. in early 1944, army forces that should've been sent to delay
the fortifications. the third reason for the failure of this policy is based on the unrealistic precedents and the policy calls for a production of 50,000 aircraft in 1944. it is clear from the beginning that the japanese cannot simply import the box site to build 50,000 planes. this whole thing is based off of the planes in 1944. another example is this. the red circle here and it was
used for the massive counterattack. the new operation for the guidance policy is the ability to build 100 airbases in this area. this is another unrealistic precedents which led to the failure. what happens next is confusing and the japanese are unable to decide on the next new policy. they cannot wait for the decision and in july 1944, the army and navy decide on a
policy in which there is a piece policy. this is to fight a decisive battle. this is not to win the war, but to push for negotiations which might eventually take place. this will basically follow through to the end of 1945. i know i am overrunning my time, but that is what they were doing strategically in 1944 1945, thank you very much. >> i am going to pick up the theme of interservice -- the rivalry. i will add some into coalition into this as well.
i want to thank the museum very much and i think i do hold the record as the longest record. 29 hours to get here from australia. basically, from the other side of the globe. if you do not buy enough of my books i will have to swim all the way back. i'm going to start on the area in 1943. their 1300 miles of the crusty that separated them. in the southwest pacific area, the american brigadier general for senior operations and the australian major general is the deputy chief of the general staff. concurrently, they also
held down the physicians. this serves as the headquarters for the new guinea force. they were focused on the forward planning of the australian army. to this day, this is all for the consequent capture. he'd laid out the forces for new guinea. they specifically noted on his instruction that in today's time the allied air forces bombing f4 -- bombing effort would be to support the specific forces. the naval forces would also start to relinquish to the
australian forces. at the end of the month, this was completely switched over. after the australian's role is to focus on development of ports and airfields in support of the us advance. chamberlain meanwhile was back and busy preparing the final touches to a breaking memo. the commander-in-chief showed that it was obvious that his command which fell under the strategic decision, specifically after it was made, they attacked the japanese fortress. also, within a month the naval command struck in the islands. they wanted to retake the philippines. chamberlain thought long and hard on the drop train. he was now under the third iteration of his plan and
serious decisions would have to be made in order to facilitate that plan. a particular concern, allocation of forces for the operation, the allotment of tasks and command arrangements. to be undertaken against the current command relationships. thereafter he argued that one line of operations towards the philippines was closer to new guinea. the forces should be merged to southwest pacific commands. while all of this was logical, chamberlain was aware of what this would do. it gave rise to the question of what to do with the navy coalition that existed with the australians. the chamberlain execution was clear, the combined us forces
would form an exclusive force designed to get to the wall. the proper time has come or to divide the general area along national alliance. they would make the complete reorganization of the americans reporting the philippines and clearing off the japanese pockets. this is a plan to secure a path to the philippines and move australians of the backwater part of the war. the memo signified that a critical moment had arrived in the theater. october 1943 represented a turning point in the us australian coalition. it was acute and australia had been at war since 1939 and from 1942 the country had reached levels of mobilization that
eclipse that of the united states and any other western tower during the war. it is clear that as 1944 don, australia could not play the same military role. when the allies regained the initiative in 1943 as well. the australians would continue to play an extensive role, but as the instruction continued, and the center of gravity swung away from the australians. in 1944, they closed down the clustering campaign to new guinea, it had been cemented and it was clear that there would be no role for the austrian army in the drive for the philippines. how do we get to this point? why had australia played such an important role? how did it coalition work and what was australia's contribution being changed to being an absent ally in the
encroachments of the philippines. in 1942, the united states had come to the defense of australia. the us plans had not included australia as a significant place or in the partner against the world -- against the war against japan. when the realization of the mutual trip to japan that emerge, he came too little too late. the need for direct us engagement only became apparent with the isolation of us forces in the philippines and the necessity to respond to the rapid advancement. the japanese move then they strategic importance between us united states and as a result, macarthur arrived in australian 1942. the us decision to support the security against the japanese
was a largely on sustained and never anticipated part of the prewar plans. it did have a profound effect on the course of the war. on arrival, the purpose as i understand it was to organize an american offensive against japan. the primary objective was to get to the philippines. i came through and i shall return. the statement is landing, also his intentions when he got australia. they make no mention of australia and they paid no heed to the defense of the nation in which it is still standing and he spoke only of an american offensive rather than an allied one. a few months later, after the submarine raid, arthur reminded them of the nature of the
specific partner and the recording of the meeting occurred. they decided to point out the distinctions between the united states and united kingdom and their relationship to the responsibility of australia. australia was a part of the british empire. he said the us is an ally whose aim was to win the war and they had no sovereign interest in australia at all. the commander-in-chief said that although the american people were animated by a warm friendship, the purpose was not so much from an interest in australia, but rather its utilities against the japanese. they viewed the strategic importance of australia against japan.
now, macarthur was not upfront about his intentions. this was a temporary coalition that designed to achieve the intentions of douglas macarthur. it was governed by those interest and faced with very few options, the strain government realized that they would have to surrender sovereignty and make macarthur the field australia commercial. however, during 1942, the focus on the lines of communication would bring the us and japanese forces of the city into focus. this meant the southwest and felt less specific. the focus of the military -- on one level, this seemed really
straightforward and the united states was on much larger, economic and military power than australia. however, power is irrelevant and in the early stages of war, australia was able to achieve the forces. macarthur had to constantly haggle, beg and plead for resources for the us joint chiefs. this is across multiple fields of conflict in which the state of japan was the priority. he faced an uphill battle in which he achieved. complicating his mission was the fact that the pacific war limited the operational area. with the southwest pacific so far down, he was forced to rely heavily on his australian partners. during this period, has ground forces were overwhelmingly australian as well as his air
and naval capabilities. the coalition between the us and the australians was important during this period. we recognize these facts on macarthur's directive from the joint chiefs that outlined his responsibilities made him the supreme commander of all allied sources in the theater. he was not eligible to command directly any national force though. to carry out this mission he set out the general headquarters of the area. he declined exercises and despite those orders, all but three had been with macarthur in the philippines. his refusal to appoint any australian officers was in direct violation to the direct is issued and was first established. it is also direct opposition who -- he refused to budge which meant that the chief
headquarters would do so. they made it clear that there is no joint or combined senior headquarters in the theater. the ghq remained exclusively american and holy us dominated. the outfit was to centralize control under his personal command and to reinforce the ominous of the us over australia. the major point of intersection for the level with the service commanders and with the australians and command relationship with the australian general and his staff. critical to this relationship between ghq was the fact that he was also the commander of allied forces headquarters. the other considerable point is the difference between the us and the strain approach to command. on a practical level one of the
greatest impediments to the corporation was the fact that the us and british commonwealth differences. macarthur was very much influenced by that army doctrine is also his personal take on it. as part of his contract, they placed more on operations and also saw very well his personality. from the time of his arrival he thought to impose on the present insertion can -- control. this top-down hierarchy system of command was largely used. beyond the command, there is no shared system as you can see here of planning, control of
coordination between the two armies. with major differences with issues on the command, this is a temporarily ad hoc relationship. the focus of overcoming issues with corporation was mainly focused on the personalities. individual initiatives and a focus on operational tactical achievements with an effective means of collaboration. this is relatively ended -- understanding the coalition, this was critical. at the top of the command structure, is dominated between the two. this association would completely break down in 1944 and due to macarthur's narcissistic personality.
they worked out all the detail components of this relationship. the nan roosevelt eventually, a lot of the petty squabbling stopped. from the outside, the need to rely on personnel was problematic and in the initial stages, it crashed. as such, criticism of the australian military came fast in 1942. this is not helped by the fact that that was to senior officers in the g2 went on as costly personalities. they were widely despised and told the australians were undisciplined and undertrained and over advertised. they mentioned summerlin yesterday and i could not let that pass.
this is noted in the mid-1960s and apparently it is a good thing for mankind they said. now, senior australian officers were not immune to making their own criticisms of americans. in 1942, major general said that ghq was like a bloodied barometer. that was the fundamenm with the u.s. civilization.amenm major douglas >> that was the fundamental problem with you is civilization. major dudley macarthur, senior staff officer and later a official historian said people want to find fault with things you s. we are secretly pleased when things go wrong with him. during the early battles at lyons bay in which the ground forces were exclusively oh joined ghq made constant criticisms of the australians.
low point was reached in november of low point was reached in november 1942 in the so-called battle of britain. this was where an anti-military police right turned into an anti-military american police right and then an anti-american right resulting in death of one is drawing soldier and australians alongside them. -- among the senior headquarters in brisbane was far removed from what was happening at the front line. commanders, soldiers, airmen would quit. as a you as colonel clarence a martin regimental commander of the u.s. study second into prissy division would note, there was ample fighting for all hands and mutual respect in the same between the estrellas and americans developed. -- the americans in turn admired the fighting qualities of the asteroids practiced mutual request increased stronger as the operation progressed and the operations
fought side by side. by 1943 the coalition had turned the corner in terms of command relationships led by these operational commanders and their staff. chamberlain and berryman had to look for ways to cooperate rather than argue. u.s 50 air force command in george kenney in the seventh fleet commander admiral arthur carpenter were highly effective officers who developed excellent relations with their house during subordinates work the naval forces that developed a close and deep relationship does both air forces improved markedly adapt to the assimilation. in 1942 the theater was completely integrated down to the individual aircrew level. even after the split of his command into two separate national air force is the mutual respect, especially in the senior leadership, was maintained throughout the war. this cooperation led to some amazing successes in 1943. the battle of the bismarck on
the second on the fourth, march 1943 which was the watershed in the air were in the southwest pacific was a general combined effort involving both countries air forces. operations against solemn all work conducted against the third us rain and 41st tree division in partnership. in 1943 this is followed by the assault on -- apologies to all the airborne people in the room for my little bouncing airborne symbol. this would result in the main japanese offensive decision. the involvement operation consisting of -- from the seventh amphibious force from the united states. he was 503rd parachuting entry regimen -- -- u.s. transport aircraft. assault in new guinea proved to be the largest in australian military history with a row forces overwhelming the australians by more than five divisions the majority of the
supporting efforts most of the naval power amphibious landing craft and the airpower being american. the patriot way was the result of an outstanding orchestration of the land, sea, and air forces of two countries. it was a number of flaws in macarthur's command system. one of the biggest was the fact that the senior leadership remained largely consistent throughout the work, regular battlefront rotation of units in the divisional level, each new set of the commanders had to relearn the fundamentals of cooperation with their allies in each new campaign. spike the capture of light and the substrate -- subsequent operation reached its apex in the november 1943. thereafter chamberlain had pointed out the massive injection of american combat power into the theater and the manpower processed in australia made a change in the balance of forces in that strategic interest. restraint ground forces would be absent from front-line operations in 1944. the
australian air force would be progressively sidelined because only the australian navy whose ships and personnel were pivotal part of the u.s. seventh fleet, they remained at the front line of macarthur's war to the bitter end. in 1945 the australian army would fight a series of magnificent tactical actions. i'm rather scared of marines, so i have less than a page to go. in 1945 the australian army would fight a series of absolutely magnificent tactical actions in borneo including the very last amphibious assault of the war. very much, actually, in the model of the u.s. marine corps amphibious assault in the central pacific. unfortunate, this campaign had absolutely no strategic or operational purpose. it was a road to nowhere. in fact, it was a road in the wrong direction away from the japanese homelands. it was because macarthur told the u.s. joint chiefs that the
strong people had demanded it but at the same time selling the australian prime minister that it had to go ahead because the joint chiefs had ordered it . the coalition in the southwest pacific area during 1944 - 45 was left dominated by macarthur's acrimony and neglect of his partner on whom he had been so dependent in 1942 and 1943. in march 1945 macarthur did publicly acknowledge the australian success early in the war, which he said and i quote, 1942 w. raleigh had turned the tide in the south pacific area and it had been the basis of all future success in the theater." for many australians though this public acknowledgment was too little and too late but it did not make up for the fact that despite the amazing successes in 1942 and 1943 the coalition had fractured in 1944 and 1945 at the end of the war. thank you. >> [ applause ]
>> thank you, gentlemen. now we will get to the questions. we will start in the far right section towards the front. >> this question is for hero. you said that the strategy of the japanese navy was to fight a decisive sea battle. the americans have thought through midway as a decisive sea battle. how did the japanese view the midway campaign? >> how did the japanese view the midway battle? did they see it as a decisive battle, defeat in their regards like the americans viewed it as a decisive victory or did not play in the grand scheme of their overall strategy? >> thank you for the question. obviously, the navy understood that it was a major defeat.
they didn't view it extremely decisively parked is important, but it doesn't decide the outcome of the work for them. i think for the navy it means they have lost the offensive. it blunts the defenses momentum. as for the army, they're not fully informed of the losses at midway for a while. they don't even know about the true state of the navy after midway. in fact, this goes on through the war. after the philippine sea battle, which was the pure it i talked about, the navy concealed its losses from the army. even after the fall of saipan in the philippine sea battle tojo prime minister pro joe -- tojo things that japan is still okay because he thinks the navy is stronger than they actually were. to give out your questions, they didn't view it immediately as, the navy did, but japan as a whole, they viewed it
serious, but not extremely decisive. >> next question will be to your right as well. gentlemen? >> first of all, i would like to remit, recommend to the museum seriously considering planning a future conference just on the topics that were raised today in this section. >> [ applause ] >> my question is directed towards doctor shin do. when the united states in the revolutionary war was greatly divided and the great statesman regimen franklin reminded them, gentlemen, we are, we don't hang together that we will all hang separately. the admirals and generals in japan were highly intelligent. many of them widely traveled. could they not see that there was no way that they could survive if they continued to
push their different objectives in china and in the pacific? >> you are right but they were not idiots but they were among the elite in japan at the time. strangely enough, they never discussed it in those terms they are talking about the survival of japan, but at the same time they seem unable to put aside their differences to the extent that they had to be one of the problems in japan is it is kind of the structure of their commander system, they have no single commander-in- chief. as you may know. the emperor is supposed to play this role. for tradition and custom he is not like a regular commander-in- chief in the terms that he gives orders. he gives suggestions. he makes his opinions known. the services have nobody to
make a final overriding decision in the interest of japan itself. it is one of the mysteries of japan during the war. it is an example of dysfunction at the highest command levels. >> i would like to add that we forget that when japanese generals and admirals disagreed with the two other they sometimes assassinated one another. that certainly is a planning factor when you try to put together interservice cooperation. yamamoto went off with a combined fleet to some degree to save his life. >> if i could add just one more point, the japanese army from about the middle of the war do start talking about joint command. the navy keeps resisting it because i don't want to put their ships under army commander ironically, for the expected battle of the home islands that is when japan
actually, finally comes up with a joint command structure. it is because, mainly because, by then the japanese fleet doesn't exist as an effective fighting force. >> before we get to our next question i couldn't have planted a better statement myself, dale. thank you. february 9 we are hosting a one- day symposium on the guadalcanal and solomon's campaign. richard frank will be featured, jim horn fisher, who many of you know from previous conferences. our very own rob's to tina will be moderating. we do have some players available for you all. thank you, dale. the next question is to tom on the left. >> my maternal grandfather was a naval aviator and flew several commissions on and around trucker to this day he refers to truck as a place you didn't want to go. why did the imperial japanese navy to use truck to be such a strategic place to combine fleet? --? >> it is mainly because of
geography. the ability to base a large fleet there and to service it it is also centrally located. in the pacific it is regionally close to the marshals where the combined fleet, the battle fleet of the japanese intended to fight. i think it is mostly geography and suitability as a large naval base. that is the same reason they focused on the south as well. i also i think the ability to build a number of airfields on truck and it surrounding islands. >> i think we are going to about five minutes over our time so we can make sure we get some good questions and. the next one is going to be in the center section towards the front. this question is for doctor dean. i was first going to ask you what your opinion was of general macarthur. but i think i have a good sense of that. i don't want to have to swim to australia to get this answer.
i would be curious what australians thing today, 75 years later, after macarthur? has he been treated better as history has got along or do you all just have the same opinion of him today as you did then? >> macarthur is a complex personality. i have had many group conversations about this with my good friend richard frank. every time i got about riding into the book specifically macarthur he would then go and do something absolutely brilliant. then i would go and say, , i have to give them a credit now. that's a constant battle i have righting the book. i think that is reflective of the way is viewed in australia. he is very revered on one level as the saber of australia. when he first arrived in 1942 the u.s. counsel general was running back to the state department thing, look, these trillions have gone over the top in their admiration of him. there calling him the napoleon
of the south pacific and all types of things. later on as a lot of the popular historians have written about the war they blame macarthur a lot for the a lot of the australian deaths in new guinea in 1942 . the also blamed the australian commander- in-chief general blaming for it as well. is a mixed opinion about macarthur. on one level he is seen particularly in a lot of political circles and some areas as someone who is a great servant to the out -- to the australian people in hopes to defend our country against the japanese a potential invasion. brothers he's that general doesn't australian troops along with the u.s. 32nd infantry division against the barricades with nothing more than a rifle and a t-shirt. again, stoking japanese defense imposition. it is a will split depending on who you speak to. >> next question is to your left. gentlemen toward the back? >> doctor shindo, i was wondering if you could address the impact that japanese shipping losses had on the ability of the imperial
japanese navy and imperial japanese army to execute their change in strategy? >> yeah. that's one of the issues i wasn't able to address. the losses after the problems of the japanese to carry out this absolute national defense concept. specifically, for example, the buildup of forces, the reinforcement -- i don't know if you remember the red circle in the lower left, what the japanese called the north of australia area pick it includes western new guinea and some of the islands to the west of that. in the absolute national defense concept the rinse sort -- the reinforcement and buildup of that area is supposed to be critical but what happens is partly because of the navy's insistence on holding the marshals and the armies need to reinforce the marianna's and
the carolines first this critical area, the north of australia area, which is what the japanese called it, it is given lower priority . the air told early february, january and february of a 44, not to expect a reinforcement for the time being because we simply don't have any shipping. the relative or the lack of shipping really interferes with the japanese ability to reinforce all of the areas that they really needed to. they have to set up priorities. some areas that should have been reinforced they have extreme delays. in getting them ready. >> a practical example of that, the operation that i mentioned at lake, the japanese knew that was her main basing new guinea. a new the allies were going to like them but they plan to reinforce with an additional three divisions and an extra corporate they could get the shipping to bring those forces all the way. the battle of the bismarck stopped them from moving horses from about over to lie so they
had to come to the philippines archipelago. they did have enough shipping to get there so they all dropped a we whack and walked through the jungle and wrote on the way. they got about 1/5 of the way of building this road before the allies struck. their lack of ability to concentrate forces in the main -- really hampered their ability to defend against the l -- ally assaults. particularly by this stage macarthur had a very effective amphibious force. >> gentlemen to your right toward the back of the center section? >> yes. on thursday we learned about the lessons on world war i, focused mostly on the u.s. and the europeans. what should have japan learned from world war i and what did they learn? >> are you talking mainly about the army or the army and the
navy? >> it is willie moore the overall approach. >> okay. i think it principally involves the army. they were aware that the era of total war had arrived. because , as you may know, japan was not a direct participant in most of world war i they did send a squadron of destroyers to the mediterranean, but they did not dissipate in the ground where. they didn't have direct experience with the war. they were aware of it. they do think that they have to reform their army, principally their army, in order to prepare for the next work, which is going to be a total war. that involves the development of their national economy. at the same time, they realized , so, the army, you may have heard the short of the factual fighting in the army in the 1930s. this is kind of that resulted how do we prepare japan for a
total war? part of army says we have to develop a national economy. of the per things that japan will never have a natural -- a national industrial capability to fight a total war so we have to rely on others to violate were or we have to rely more on spiritual and emotional polities. they are aware of the need, the lessons of world war i, which is that next door is going to be a long drawn out total war. they run into limitations of their ability to prepare for it i don't know if that answers your question? >> gentlemen. two more questions. center section to your left . the the first is in the very back. >> in your opening remarks you commented that the japanese made a strategy in the pacific and that was to do -- to fight a decisive battle. what was the strategy to follow after decisive battle if they won that battle? >> it depends on what timeframe
you're talking about. they really did not have a strategy to follow the decisive battle. they pictured a repetition of with the battle of a two seamer in the russo japanese war where they would fight this decisive battle, naval battle, and then the americans would ask for peace. there was nothing, that is why they use the term decisive battle. they expected this one massive repeat of the beloved two seamer to decide everything. they did not have any concept or they didn't really think about what might happen next if the americans didn't ask for peace. >> the final question is in the center towards the front. >> thank you. this is a question for hero. japan built three of the world's largest battleships for the amato, the o'shaughnessy,
and the sonata. the sonata was converted into an aircraft carrier. do you think that japan would have been better served by not building three large battleships and direct more of those resources to building aircraft carriers as they were key to any naval battles in the pacific? fast forward to august 1945. soviet russia, stalin, did not declare war on japan until after the atomic bomb was dropped in august 1945. it did japan not pay more attention to soviet russia instead of its main adversary, the united states? >> regarding the question about the battleships, i think you are correct, they may be should not have completed the battleships. of course, in fairness to the japanese both
battleships were essentially completed by the time the pacific war began. at the beginning of the pacific war, even the american navy, to a fair extent, was still battleship oriented. i think it is easy to criticize the japanese navy for not being more aircraft oriented earlier, but it seems to be the trend in all the other navies as well. yes. i think if you took those resources and made aircraft carriers it would have served the navy a bit better. you also have to think about were they able to produce the aircraft to put on them and, more importantly, was able to train adequate air crews for them? in general, yes, i think you are right. maybe they should not have built the battleships there are other factors in the case of japan to produce all the other aspects that you need to make these aircraft carriers effective. i think maybe in our next conference we should address that situation more. as to the russians, do you mean
paying attention to them during the war or at the very end? >> he doesn't have the microphone. should there have been more mindful? we need a really quick answer on that which probably takes its own conference to address. spectre, the army was focused too much -- considering there overall situation, on the russians too far into the war. yes. i think you are right. at the end of the war, ironically, they're not focused on them enough and they don't think that the russians will -- they don't adequately assess the situation, danger from the russians as they get to the end of the war. >> thank you very much, gentlemen. >> [ applause ]
next, the author of allure of battle, a history of how wars are won and lost looks at the ways historians have evaluated war victories and defeats and a few challenges -- and he challenges many of their conclusions. this talk was part of a conference hosted by the national world war ii museum. three it is now my pleasure to ask the museum's senior historian and executive director of the institute for the study of war and democracy, doctor rob that you know, to introduce our next speaker, the whole nolan. bigmouth claude dielna books himself rob is well aware of what new and important works are out there. since i stard
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