Contents - Hirohito's War
11 Limits of Empire: Doolittle and New Military Strategies
[February 1942–May 1942]
[Maps: 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.6, 11.7]
The ARCADIA Conference (p 319) Size Matters: The Limits of Empire (p 319) Victory Disease (p 321) Japan’s Indian Ocean Raid and Divided Strategies (p 324) The American Strategic Dilemma (p 326) The Logistics of Supply to China (p 328) Roosevelt Agrees an Airlift (p 330) The Hump (p 331) The Ledo–Burma Road: The Strategic Need for a Land Supply Route to China (p 336) The Restructuring of US Naval Command (p 338) Admiral Nimitz: The Cool Commander (p 339) Admiral ‘Bull’ Halsey: The Fighting Admiral (p 341) America’s Fight Back Begins (p 343) Public Relations and Roosevelt’s Plan to Bomb Japan (p 345) Lieutenant-Colonel ‘Jimmy’ Doolittle (p 346) The Doolittle Raid (p 347) Intended and Unintended Consequences of the Doolittle Raid (p 350)
The ARCADIA Conference: [Map: 11.1] With America drawn into the war with Germany by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Churchill and Roosevelt quickly needed to determine how the war with Germany, Italy and Japan should be fought and what were to be its objectives. The First Washington Conference (ARCADIA ) took place at a series of meetings in Washington between 22 December 1941 and 14 January 1942. The first declaration from the conference appeared on 1 January 1942 and was clearly intended as a New Year declaration of intention. Twenty-six Allied nations (not including France whose Vichy Government had allied itself with Nazi Germany) declared that they would adhere to the principles of the Atlantic Charter signed by Britain and America on 12 August 1941. In hindsight it can be seen that this declaration foreshadowed the creation of the United Nations. The Atlantic Charter gave warning that total war would be waged until total victory had been achieved. There was also an undertaking that each nation would not conclude a separate peace with their enemies. At a stroke Japan’s notion that it could fight a limited war and force America to the negotiating table was demolished.
In the course of the conference, British and American military committees worked out details of co-operation. The outcome was a formal standing organization known as the Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS ) that was permanently established in Washington for the coordination and management of British and American war efforts. Although there were frequent disagreements within this organization, it worked in a largely productive manner for the duration of the war. Noticeably it was not something replicated by the Axis powers, though for reasons of geography and logistics it is arguable that Germany and Japan were never in a position to support each other.
Perhaps the most important decision of the conference, and one from which the Allies never wavered, was that, notwithstanding Pearl Harbor, the war in Europe would take precedence over the war in Asia. For Churchill this decision was a huge relief. For Asia, it meant that the Allied response to the rapid expansion of the Japanese Empire would necessarily be compromised.
Size Matters: The Limits of Empire: The whole premise of Japan’s aggressive military action in attacking the United States was to retain its gains in China and to expand on them so as to create a Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. An Asian bloc with Japan