Reports

of

General MacArthur

 

JAPANESE OPERATIONS IN THE
SOUTHWEST PACIFIC AREA

VOLUME II - PART I

 

 


 

COMPILED FROM
JAPANESE DEMOBILIZATION BUREAUX RECORDS


Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 66-60007

Facsimile Reprint, 1994

 

 

 

 

 

CMH Pub 13-1


Foreword

The Reports of General MacArthur include two volumes being published by the Department of the Army in four books reproduced exactly as they were printed by General MacArthur's Tokyo headquarters in 1950, except for the addition of this foreword and indexes. Since they were Government property, the general turned over to the Department in 1953 these volumes and related source materials.  In Army and National Archives custody these materials have been available for research although they have not been easily accessible.  While he lived, General MacArthur was unwilling to approve the reproduction and dissemination of the Reports, because he believed they needed further editing and correction of some inaccuracies. His passing permits publication but not the correction he deemed desirable. In publishing them, the Department of the Army must therefore disclaim any responsibility for their accuracy. But the Army also recognizes that these volumes have substantial and enduring value, and it believes the American people are entitled to have them made widely available through government publication.

The preliminary work for compiling the MacArthur volumes began in 1943 within the G-3 Section of his General Staff, and was carried forward after the war by members of the G-2 Section, headed by Maj. Gen. Charles A. Willoughby with Professor Gordon W. Prange, on leave from the University of Maryland, as his principal professional assistant. Volume II of the Reports represents the contributions of Japanese officers employed to tell their story of operations against MacArthur's forces. The very large number of individuals, American and Japanese, who participated in the compilation and editing of the Reports would make a complete listing of contributors relatively meaningless.

Volume I narrates the operations of forces under General MacArthur's command from the Japanese attack on Luzon in 1941 through the surrender in 1945. While service histories have covered much of the same ground in separate volumes, no single detailed narrative of General MacArthur's leadership as commander of the Southwest Pacific Area has yet appeared. Chapters dealing with the reconquest of Borneo, plans for the invasion of Japan, and the Japanese surrender make a distinctly new contribution. Volume I Supplement describes the military phase of the occupation through December 1948, reporting events not treated elsewhere in American publications. Volume II on Japanese operations brings together a mass of information on the enemy now only partially available in many separate works. Collectively, the Reports should be of wide interest and value to the American people generally, as well as to students of military affairs. They are an illuminating record of momentous events influenced in large measure by a distinguished American soldier.

 

Washington, D.C.
HAROLD K. JOHNSON
January  1966
General, United States Army
 
Chief of Staff

[iii]


Foreword to the 1994 Edition

I determined for several reasons to republish General MacArthur's reports to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of World War II. First, the Reports of General MacArthur still stand as a detailed account from MacArthur's perspective of his operations against the Japanese in the Southwest Pacific Area.   Second, the Reports offer a unique Japanese version of their operations in the Southwest Pacific that remains one of the few English-language descriptions of Imperial Army campaigns during World War II. Third, excellent illustrations, many of them original artwork commissioned for the Reports, plus superb maps give these volumes an enduring value for military historians and the American public. Finally, while General MacArthur remains a towering figure in American historiography, the passage of fifty years has dimmed the contributions of the U.S. Army units that first checked the Japanese southward advance in Papua New Guinea, then spearheaded the counteroffensive along the north New Guinea coastline that enabled MacArthur to make good his promise to return to the Philippines. The veterans of these campaigns, both men and women, deserve to be remembered for their contributions to the Nation in its time of greatest peril. These are General MacArthur's Reports, but they are also his testament to the American soldiers who served under his command.

 

Washington, D.C.
HAROLD W. NELSON
31 January 1994
Brigadier General, USA
 
Chief of Military History

[iv]


Preface

This volume parallels the record of Allied operations in the SWPA from the Defense of Luzon, 8 December 1941, to the Surrender Negotiations in Manila, 15 August 1945. It is the Japanese official record, contained in operational monographs furnished by the Japanese Demobilization Bureaux, the successors to the former War and Navy Ministries, developed by Officers of the Japanese Imperial Headquarters, Tokyo, and on the Staffs of major Japanese Commanders in the field. Like Volume I, the material is thus presented by eye witnesses to events, and is supported by official documentary evidence.

It is a record of bitter resistance and tenacious fighting by a first-class Army and Navy, led by Diplomats and Military Politicians through the holocaust of national destruction, an Army that was steeped in medieval cruelty, but fought with the most modern technical skill and savage valor, until superior skill and equal valor broke the spell of the Samurai and the legend of an invincible Empire.

DOUGLAS MACARTHUR

[v]


Table of Contents–Part I

Chapter
 
Page
I
PRE-WAR JAPANESE MILITARY PREPARATIONS 1941
1
.....

.....Summary

1

.....Pearl Harbor Planning (January - November 1941)

6

.....October 1941

8

.....November 1941

9

.....December 1941

17
II
PRE-WAR JAPANESE ESPIONAGE AND INTELLIGENCE, 1940-1941
21
.....

.....General

21

.....Philippines

23

.....New Guinea

24

.....East Indies

29
III
POLITICO-MILITARY EVOLUTION TOWARD WAR
30
.....

.....Historical Background

30

.....Drift Towards Crisis

31

.....War Deliberations

34
IV
BASIC STRATEGY AND MILITARY ORGANIZATION
44
.....

.....Strategy for a Long War

44

.....Manpower and Materials

45

.....Shipping

49

.....Areas to be Occupied

50

.....Estimate of Allied Strategy

51

.....Timing of the Attack

52

.....Central Command Organization

52

.....Strength and Organization of Forces

54
V
INITIAL OFFENSIVES
59
.....

.....Planning of Invasion Operations

59

.....Operational Strength

61

.....Operations Orders

66

.....Pearl Harbor Operation

71

.....South Seas and Southern Operations

74
VI
CONQUEST OF THE PHILIPPINES
79
.....

.....Preliminary Planning

79

.....Assignment of Forces

83

.....Final Operations Plan

87

.....Launching of Operations

90

.....The Race for Manila

95

.....The Fall of Manila

102

.....Manila to Bataan

103

.....Bataan, First Phase

106

.....Reinforcement and Preparation

110

.....Bataan, Second Phase

114

.....Fall of Corregidor

117

.....Surrender

122
VII
THREAT TO AUSTRALIA: THE PAPUA OFFENSIVE
124
.....

.....Invasion of the Bismarcks

124

.....Advance to New Guinea

126

.....Plans Against Australia

131

.....Abortive Sea Advance on Port Moresby

134

.....Plans for a Land Offensive

138

.....Landing at Buna

142

.....Advance to Kokoda

143

.....Final Plans Against Moresby

143

.....Fighting on Guadalcanal

146

.....Build-up of Forces in New Guinea

149

.....Attack on Milne Bay

153

.....Owen Stanleys Offensive

157

.....Retreat from the Owen Stanleys

164
VIII
DEFENSE OF PAPUA
171
.....

.....Eighth Area Army Activated

171

.....Situation in Buna Area

173

.....First Phase of Fighting

176

.....Reinforcement Attempts

177

.....Fall of Buna

180

.....Sanananda-Giruwa

181

.....Strengthening of Bases in New Guinea

188

.....The Wau Offensive

190

.....Evacuation of Guadalcanal

193

.....Menace of the B-17's

197

.....Eighteenth Army Reinforcement

200

.....Battle of the Bismarck Sea

202

.....Shift of Emphasis to Papua

205
IX
FIGHTING WITHDRAWAL TO WESTERN NEW GUINEA
208
.....

.....Southeast Area Situation, June 1943

208

.....Defense of Salamaua

212

.....Attack at Lae

216

.....Fighting in the Central Solomons

219

.....Evacuation of Lae and Ramu Valley Operations

221

.....New Strategic Defense Zone

225

.....Dampier Strait Defense: Finschhafen

229

.....Bougainville

233

.....Dampier Strait Defense: New Britain

236

.....Saidor

240

.....Isolation of Rabaul

244

.....Bougainville Counteroffensive

246

.....Southeast Area Situation, March 1944

248
X
WESTERN NEW GUINEA OPERATIONS
250
.....

.....Strategic Planning

250

.....Western New Guinea Defenses

252

.....Setbacks to Defense Preparations

257

.....Hollandia-Aitape

261

.....Failure of the Reinforcement Plan

272

.....Revision of Defense Plans

273

.....Wakde-Sarmi

276

.....Biak First Phase

283

.....The Kon Operation

287

.....Philippines Sea Battle

292

.....Biak Final Phase- Noemfoor

293

.....Aitape Counterattack

297

.....End of the New Guinea Campaign-Sansapor

303
XI
PHILIPPINE DEFENSE PLANS
304
.....

.....Strategic Situation, July 1944

304

.....Importance of the Philippines

305

.....Local Situation

309

.....Southern Army Defense Plans

312

.....Battle Preparations No. 11

316

.....Central Planning for Decisive Battle

319

.....Army Orders for the Sho-Go Operations

322

.....Navy Orders for the Sho-Go Operations

328

.....Preparations for Battle

330

.....Final Preparations, Central and Southern Philippines

338
XII

PRELUDE TO DECISIVE BATTLE

343
.....

.....Initial Air Strikes

343

.....Invasion of Palau

347

.....Defense of Morotai

348

.....Hour of Decision Nears

353

.....Formosa Air Battle

357

 

Illustrations-Part I

Plate
 
Page
1
Imperial Rescript Declaring War
xiv
2
Japanese Aerial Photo Coverage, Northern Luzon, Nov-Dec 1940
5
3
Resting Comrades
13
4
Disposition of Air Forces in South Sea Area
22
5
Disposition of Australian Forces, July 1940
26
6
Japanese Estimates of Java Troop Strength and Disposition, 1941
27
7
Japanese Column on the March
35
8
Japan's Basic Strategy, December 1941
46, 47
9
Central Command Organization, 8 December 1941
53
10
Army Chain of Command, 8 December 1941
55
11
Navy Chain of Command, 8 December 1941
57
12
Disposition of Japan's Military Forces Prior to Outbreak of War
64, 65
13
Pearl Harbor Attack, 8 December 1941 (Tokyo Time)
69
14
Pearl Harbor on 8 December 1941 (Tokyo Time)
73
15
Southern Operations, December 1941-May 1942
76, 77
16
Japanese Air Operations in Philippines, December 1941
84
17
Military Topography of Luzon
85
18
Composition and Missions of Landing Forces
89
19
Air Raid on Clark Field
92
20
Invasion of Philippines, 8-25 December 1941
96
21
Race to Manila, December 1941- January 1942
97
22
Lingayen-Cabanatuan Operation, 22 December 1941-3 January 1942
100
23
Attack on Cavite Naval Base
101
24
Bataan Operations, First Phase, Early January-22 February 1942
105
25
Supply Train Marching Toward the Front
109
26
Fourteenth Army Plan of Attack-Bataan, 22 March 1942
113
27
Bataan, Second Phase, and Corregidor Operations
116
28
Gun Smoke Road, Corregidor
120
29
Bataan Meeting of Gen Wainwright and Gen Homma
121
30
Conquest of E. New Guinea, Bismarcks, and Solomons, 1942
128
31
Japanese Landing Operations
129
32
Battle of the Coral Sea, 4-11 May 1942
137
33
Terrain Along the Kokoda Trail
140
34
Hardships of the Troops in the Owen Stanleys
144
35
First and Second Battles of Solomon Sea, August 1942
147
36
Army-Navy Cooperation on Guadalcanal
150
37
Operations on Guadalcanal, August-November 1942
151
38
Landings on Milne Bay, August-October 1942
154
39
Owen Stanley Penetration, 21 July-26 September 1942
158
40
Takasago Unit Fighting Through Owen Stanleys
162
41
Looking at Port Moresby from Owen Stanley Mountain Range
166
42
Withdrawal from the Owen Stanleys, September-November 1942
167
43
Buna-Gona Operation, November-December 1942
178
44
Fate of Yasuda Force on New Guinea Front
182
45
Buna-Gona Operation, January 1943
186
46
Withdrawal from Buna and Wau to Salamaua-Lae
187
47
Wau Offensive, January-February 1943
191
48
Sea Battle in South Pacific
194
49
Suicide Unit Bidding Farewell to Commanding General Sano
195
50
Troops at Work, Southern Area
199
51
Battle of Bismarck Sea, 2-4 March 1942
203
52
Japanese Dispositions in New Guinea and Solomons, June 1943
210
53
Salamaua-Lae Operations, June-September 1943
214
54
Navy Supplying Army Personnel by Submarine
218
55
New Georgia Operation, June-October 1943
222
56
Ramu Valley Operation, September-November 1943
223
57
Japan's National Defense Zone, September 1943
227
58
Operations in Finschhafen Area, September-December 1943
231
59
Bougainville Operation, November 1943-March 1944
235
60
Western New Britain Operation, December 1943-February 1944
238
61
Ramu Valley and Saidor Operations
242
62
Defense of Admiralties, February-March 1944
243
63
Summary of Japanese Movements in Eastern New Guinea
247
64
Dispositions in New Guinea, 21 April 1944
254
65
Japanese Engineer Activities in South Pacific
259
66
Army Day Poster: "Develop Asia"
262
67
Hollandia Operation, April- June 1944
267
68
Deadly Jungle Fighting, New Guinea Front
271
69
Sarmi-Wakde Operation, May-July 1944
279
70
Biak Operations, May-June 1944
286
71
Naval Movements During Biak Operation, 2-13 June 1944
290
72
Fierce Fighting of Otsu Unit in Saipan
294
73
Japanese Staff Conference: West Cave, Biak
298
74
Aitape Counterattack, 10 July-5 August 1944
302
75
Changes in Shipping Routes, January 1943-August 1944
306
76
Strategic Position of Philippines, July 1944
308
77
Unloading Operations, Philippine Area
313
78
Subchaser in Action
321
79
Plans for Sho Operation No. 1, August 1944
324
80
Japanese Air Disposition in Philippines, September 1945
332
81
Japanese Dispositions in Southern Area, September 1944
336, 337
82
Japanese Ground Dispositions in Philippines, September 1944
339
83
Preliminary Operations in the Philippines, Sept-Oct 1944
346
84
Morotai Operation, September-October 1944
351
85
Air Force Day: Propaganda Poster
355
86
Transoceanic Air Raid During Typhoon
359

[vii-xiii]


Imperial Rescript Declaring War

PLATE NO. 1
Imperial Rescript Declaring War


Imperial Rescript

We, by grace of heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the Throne of a line unbroken for ages eternal, enjoin upon ye, Our loyal and brave subjects:

We hereby declare war on the United States of America and the British Empire. The men and officers of Our army and navy shall do their utmost in prosecuting the war, Our public servants of various departments shall perform faithfully and diligently their appointed tasks, and all other subjects of Ours shall pursue their respective duties; the entire nation with a united will shall mobilize their total strength so that nothing will miscarry in the attainment of our war aims.

To insure the stability of East Asia and to contribute to world peace is the far-sighted policy which was formulated by Our Great Illustrious Imperial Grandsire and our Great Imperial Sire succeeding Him, and which We lay constantly to heart. To cultivate friendship among nation and to enjoy prosperity in common with all nations has always been the guiding principle of Our Empire's foreign policy. It has been truly unavoidable and far from Our wishes that Our Empire has now been brought to cross swords with America and Britain. More than four years have passed since China, failing to comprehend the true intentions of Our Empire, and recklessly courting trouble, disturbed the peace of East Asia and compelled Our Empire to take up arms. Although there has been re-established the National Government of China, with which Japan has effected neighbourly intercourse and cooperation, the regime which has survived at Chungking, relying upon American and British protection, still continues its fratricidal opposition. Eager for the realization of their inordinate ambition to dominate the Orient, both America and Britain, giving support to the Chungking regime in the name of peace, have aggravated the disturbances in East Asia. Moreover, these two Powers, inducing other countries to follow suit, increased military preparations on all sides of Our Empire to challenge us. They have obstructed by every means our peaceful commerce, and finally resorted to a direct severance of economic relations, menacing gravely the existence of Our Empire. Patiently have We waited and long have We endured, in the hope that Our Government might retrieve the situation in peace. But our adversaries, showing not the least spirit of conciliation, have unduly delayed a settlement; and in the meantime, they have intensified economic and military pressure to compel thereby Our Empire to submission. This trend of affairs would, if left unchecked, not only nullify Our Empire's efforts of many years for the sake of the stabilization of East Asia, but also endanger the very existence of Our nation. The situation being such as it is, Our Empire for its existence and self-defense has no other recourse but to appeal to arms and to crush every obstacle in its path.

The hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors guarding Us from above, We rely upon the loyalty and courage of Our Subjects in Our confident expectation that the task bequeathed by Our Forefathers will be carried forward, and that the sources of evil will be speedily eradicated and an enduring peace immutably established in East Asia, preserving thereby the glory of Our Empire.

The 8th day of the 12th month of the 16th year of Showa.

 

Signature Title
TOJO, Hideki Prime Minister, Minister of War
HASHIDA, Kunihiko Minister of Education
SUZUKI, Teiichi Minister of State
INO, Sekiya Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
KOIZUMI, Chikahiko Minister of Health and Social Affairs
IWAMURA, Michiyo Minister of Justice
SHIMADA, Shigetaro Minister of Navy
TOGO, Shigenori Minister of Foreign Affairs
TERASHIMA, Takeshi Minister of Communications
KAYA, Okinobu Minister of Finance
KISHI, Nobusuke Minister of Commerce and Industry
HATTA, Yoshiaki Minister of Railway 

[xiv]


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