David and I agreed to do a year end report. His idea. Neither one of us have the time to put it into AAR.
I think I've been sucker punched. He is a very crafty JFB.
To: President Franklin D. Roosevelt
From: Secretary Henry L. Stimson
Date: December 31, 1942
Dear Mr. President,
In response to your request for an executive assessment of the War in the Pacific, this memo is provided at the strategic level—a more detailed briefing will be available if you wish.
Our current situation in the Pacific remains grim, but in accordance of Allied policy for of Europe First, our word wide situation is not as grim as one might expect given the Pacific tragedies of Pearl Harbor, the Battle for the Fiji Sea, and the loss of New Caledonia with thousands of our brave troops. I make this point even in light of the situation in Australia and China. The recent success on Operation Touch and our Lend Lease program with our allies, enabling their fight with Germany and her Axis allies justify our holding action in the Pacific.
The Burma-India Theater is well in hand and the Japanese advance has been blunted and counter attacks are underway. The terrible terrain in the Burma-India Theater is a quagmire for both sides. Allied airpower is flowing into the Theater and Allied air forces have begun infrastructure attacks on oil production and refining areas in Burma as well as ships anchored in Rangoon.
China remains a serious concern as the Japanese Army continues a slow but seemingly inexorable advance through central China. There is little the US or Great Britain can do but deliver supplies through our air bridge and provide limited numbers of advisors. We must pressure Russia to enter the war against Japan as soon as the Eastern Front has stabilized.
In the Southwest Pacific and Australia, the Japanese landings in Australia and New Caledonia pose a major threat to the survival of Australia. However, the IJA in Australia is operating under a major logistics challenge and the Australian fighting withdrawal to railheads in central Australia provide us a significant opportunity to bleed them logistically from Tokyo to Alice Springs with our air, land and submarine forces.
In the Central Pacific our build up of bases between Pearl and Auckland have been unopposed so far except raids by the IJN and air attacks on Fiji.
The Allies air training program has paid off, and we and our Allies have thousands of pilots and crews in the pipeline for deployment. The Common Wealth continues to benefit from the release of aircrews from the European theater as well as training programs set up in Canada and India. The estimated combined losses, due to all causes, of aircraft and crew has tipped in our favor in this month. This can be attributed both to the Allied training programs as well as advanced aircraft such as the P-38. Also, I am heartened by a single air action this month near Tenants Creek, Australia, which had a >18:1 kill ratio in favor of Allied pilots—the review of award packages for this engagement is a priority item in the War Department. There is however, a shortage of aircraft allocated to the Pacific to exploit this advantage in experienced aircrews and we should reallocate more squadrons to the Pacific Theater to exploit this advantage immediately. We are also in critical need of P-38 and B-24s, which have proved very effective in combat.
Our surface ship losses have been severe, but after a year of war the might of the Arsenal of Democracy is turning out ships in amazing numbers, including CV and CVEs. However, the current shortage of tankers continues to concern the War Dept. and myself.
USN submarine forces continue to harass and sink 10,000s of tons of merchant ships in the Pacific, from the coast of Japan to occupied islands across the Pacific. Navy Secretary Knox is now confident that the new torpedo warheads being deployed will resolved the dud torpedo problem for our submariners. This combined with our radar equipped submarines should make 1943 the year we choke the Japanese economy.
I close this letter with the assurance our boys are doing all that they can and victory awaits us.
Henry L. Stimson