LUZON The US Army Campaigns of World War II Included TOC for Reader Complete Illustrations Added This sample in ebook In Marcha Joint Chiefs of Staff directive established two US military commands in the Pacific the Southwest Pacific Area, headed by General MacArthur, and the Pacific Ocean Areas, under Admiral Chester W Nimitz The decision clearly violated the principle of unity of command However, with naval officers objecting to MacArthur, the senior officer in the region, as overall Paci c commander and with MacArthur unlikely to subordinate himself to another, the ensuing division of authority seemed a workable compromise Given the size of the theater and the different national contingents involved, it may even have been a blessing But it left no single authority in the Paci c to decide between con icting plans or to coordinate between the two Even MacArthur later wrote that of all the faulty decisions of the war, perhaps the most unexplainable one was the failure to unify the command in the Pacific, which resulted in divided effort the waste, diffusion, and duplication of force and the consequent extension of the war with added casualties and cost From a strategic perspective, this divided command had a direct impact on decisions leading up to the invasion of the Philippines During the spring of , the Joint Chiefs debated the merits of seizing Luzon or the Chinese island of Formosa as an initial point for direct operations against Japan Admiral Ernest J King, the Chief of Naval Operations, had long objected to landings in the Philippines, and by Mayhe was joined by Army Chief of Staff General George C Marshall and Army Air Force Chief of Staff General Henry H Arnold Marshall felt that MacArthur s Luzon plan would be the slow way and that it made sense to cut across from the Mariana Islands to Formosa MacArthur, on the other hand, argued that the Formosa route was militarily unsound and that the Philippine Islands provided a sensible staging area for the nal assault against the Japanese home islands As commander of the Philippine defenses in , MacArthur felt a strong moral responsibility to free the entire archipelago of the brutal Japanese occupation Making the Philippines a major Paci c objective gave his Southwest Paci c command a key mission

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