From: Northwestern Georgia, USA
A final narrative about how Operation Des Wallace came about:
1. In early October, the Allied plan to invade New Guinea and adjacent islands was underway. Many transports had arrived at Hobart, Port Kembla, etc. had unloaded, with more enroute. The Amercian carriers were near New Zealand. This move was complicated and lengthy and had follwed immediately after the frustrating Just in Time Reinforcements, Part I (Aleutians).
2. It was clear from SigInt and patrol reports that Just in Time Reinforcements, Part II (New Guinea Theater) was underway. Frustrating! Time for a snap decision - proceed or divert? The biggest factor was that John was still actively moving into the NG Theater (and thus away from Sumatra). Moving away while the enemy is moving in is optimum, so the decision was made that very turn.
3. First decision: Reload all the Tasmania troops via strat mode and move them to Adelaide (which wasn't under observation) to combat load. Move the troops in Oz to Adelaide via rail. This took a LONG time - loading scores of thousands of troops at Port 5 Hobart promised to be a challenge.
4. Second decision: immediately preposition supply xAKs, TKs and oilers from Capetown somewhere around Diego Garcia. Release Indomitable (scheduled for withdrawal in 60 days) from Capetown to participate.
5. Speed was the utmost consideration. So, as soon as the "first wave" troops were at Adelaide, they loaded on the best and fastest ships. These TFs moved out accompanied by the carriers and combat TFs. The plan being to push, push, push to Sumatra and allow the second wave and tertiary wave troops to arrive when they arrived.
6. I think the first wave speerhead departed Adelaide around October 15 or 16. It was sometime around then - or perhaps a week earlier - that I decided to divert 18th UK Div. She was at Cochin and heading for Burma. Instead, she stood down and began prepping. I think 18th Div. is roughly 55% prepped, which will be by far the highest prep level.
7. From there, it was just a matter of seeing when the enemy might become informed and institute Just In Time Reinforcements, Part III. What an agonizing 25-day journey it was.