From: Grass Valley, California
ALLIED DEFENSIVE POSITIONS REPORT
January 1, 1942
Since December 7, 1941, the Allies have been falling back, consolidating and regrouping ships, aircraft, and troops. The Allies have established new defensive positions. As a part of this process, the Allies have, for the most part, abandoned numerous bases and have given up lots of territory. As a result, the Allies Main Lines of Resistant have become more compact and base garrisons are stronger. The Allies have taken this course of action for the following reasons:
1.) To tempt El Lobo to stretch his assets further and further from Japan. Hopefully, the consequence of which is that El Lobo will not only eat up precious fuel and supply, but will also thin out his troops and thereby present the Allies with opportunities to strike behind his lines and disrupt his logistic pathways.
2.) The Allies will have more troops to garrison less bases. Accordingly, the bases the Allies garrison will be in a better position to defend themselves. Additionally, with Allied interior lines shorter, the Allies will be able to move troops quicker to confront any Japanese attack.
3.) The ports, air bases, and forts will build faster as the defensive bases are fewer and will have more troops available to build those bases. Example: Instead of 500 bases with fort levels of one, the Allies will have 100 bases with fort levels of 3 (just a guess here, but bases will build up faster).
4.) Logistic pathways will be fewer, thereby presenting less opportunity for El Lobo to sink transport convoys. Also, with fewer bases to supply, the bases will have more than adequate fuel and supply required to bring troops to full strength and support training for pilots.
5.) These bases will provide ready-to-go jump off bases for when the Allies are strong enough to go on the offensive. The Main Lines of Resistance and bases therein have been selectively chosen to present the Allies with the opportunity to launch offensives from Alaska, the Pacific Islands, Australia, and India. Accordingly, the Allies will be able to pick and choose where they want to attack.
The Main Lines of Resistance are as follows:
Anchorage, Seward, Kodiak Island, and Prince Rupert. All three of these bases have been built up a bit with coastal guns, AA and artillery units.
Nome and Dutch Harbor troops will be bought out and retreat to one of the above three Alaskan bases.
Two infantry (Sep) regiments and one infantry battalion are at Prince Rupert; awaiting to be bought out and moved to the aforementioned Alaskan bases.
Central and South Pacific
Pearl Harbor, Midway, Johnston Island, Palmyra, Christmas Island, Tahiti, and Aitutaki.
Of these seven islands, only Pearl Harbor and Tahiti have been built up so far. USMC units have moved to and continue to move to Pearl Harbor. Tahiti has been built up with Southwest Pacific base forces, artillery, and infantry units.
Tahiti is important to the Allies as it is the main logistic path to Australia is via Tahiti. All Southwest Pacific reinforcement troops will go to Tahiti.
Midway is important to the Allies as the Allies would like to bombard the Marianas Islands a few times commencing March 1, 1942 or sooner.
By June 30, 1942, the Allies hope to have all of these Pacific Island Bases built up with sufficient engineer units to speed up port, airbase, and fort levels. Additionally, each base will have a minimum of a Marine Corps Defense Battalion and Marine Regiment.
Of course the Japanese, with the exception of Perl Harbor, can assault and take any one or more of these Pacific Islands. That is fine with the Allies. El Lobo will be a long way from home and he will have to bring substantial assets to take any of these islands once sufficiently built up.
With the exception of bases requiring garrisons, Perth, and Alice Springs, the Australians have withdrawn to the Wbyalla-Brisbane Line and points South.
The Wbyalla-Brisbane Line consists of Wbyalla, Port Augusta, Broken Hill, Bourke, Toowoomba, and Brisbane. Each of these bases have been garrisoned with a minimum of one RAN and one RAAF base force. Wbyalla, Port Augusta, and Brisbane each have an Infantry Brigade. Broken Hill, Bourke, and Toowoomba each have a Calvary Brigade.
Each base South of the Wbyalla-Brisbane Line has at least one engineer unit. With the exception of Rolo, Mildura, and Geelong, each base South of the Wbyalla-Brisbane Line has one Infantry Brigade. Rolo has the 4th Infantry Battalion. Mildura has the 39th and 53rd Infantry Battalions. Geelong has the 32nd and 38th Infantry Battalions.
Alice Springs will be built up to provide early warning of a Japanese invasion from Darwin. Presently, the following troops are either at Alice Springs or are in route to Alice Springs: 7th Military District HQc, 19th Infantry Battalion, 11th RAAF BF, Darwin RAAF BF, Wyndham RAAF BF, Katherine RAAF BF, 2nd RAN BF, Broome RAN BF, and Derby RAN BF. The required BF garrison at Tennant Creek will provide early warning to Alice Springs. If the Japanese invade in strength from Darwin, the troops at Alice Springs can easily and quickly be moved by rail to points South of the Wbyalla-Brisbane Line.
Perth has been and is presently the staging area for 11 Armor Units and 3 Machine Gun Battalions that have been bought out under I Australian Corps. 7 of these units are already in route to Bombay. The remaining Armor and Machine Gun Battalions will follow as port loading capacity permits. A list of these bought out units will be provided under India’s Main Line of Resistance.
U. S. Army Units consisting of Base Forces, Coastal AA Regiments, FA Artillery Regiments, and Infantry Regiments are in route to Australia. Without listing every unit, 6 Infantry Divisions (the 24th, 25th, 27th, 40th, 41st, and Americal) are earmarked for Australia. With the exception of the 4 regiments at Pearl Harbor and the 132nd and 182nd Regiments that haven’t arrived yet, all other infantry regiments of these 6 Divisions have left the U. S. East Coast for Cape Town. As soon as the 4 regiments at Pearl can be bought out under the Pacific Fleet Command and upon arrival of the two Americal regiments that arrive, they will be shipped from Pearl to Australia. In addition, the 87th Mountain Regiment, 2 armor units, 6 coastal AA Regiments, 6 FA Regiments and 1 FA Battalion, and 6 Engineer Units have also left the U.S. East Coast for Cape Town. Upon arrival, at least 4 more Armor Units, 2 EAB units, and 5 Seabee Units will be sent to Australia. Additionally, the II U.S. Fighter Squadrons and V U.S. Bomber Squadrons will all be sent to Australia. All of these units are estimated to be in Australia by Mid March of 1942.
All of the above U.S. units being sent to Australia will leave Australia for India no later than July 30, 1942. Hopefully, by July 30, 1942, other U.S. Army Units will have arrived in Australia and can mop up any Japanese that may be in Australia.
With the exception of perhaps Pearl Harbor and the U. S. West Coast, India has been the Allied top priority and will continue to be the Allied top priority as the Allies plan to launch an offensive to take back Burma commencing October 15, 1942.
The Main Line of Resistance in India will be the Bombay-Lucknow Line and points North. The Bombay-Lucknow Line will consist of the following bases: Bombay, Jalgaon, Bhopal, Cawnpore, and Lucknow.
It is imperative that the Allies keep Bombay, Surat, and Karachi.
However, considering the Allies plan an early invasion to take back Burma, if possible, the Allies also want to try build up and hold the Chittagong-Ledo Line. The Chittagong-Ledo Line consists of the following bases: Chittagong, Cornilla, Silchar, Imphal, Kohima, Dinapur, Jorbat, and Ledo. Presently, each of these bases have a Base Force and Infantry Battalion. If the Japanese press hard against the Chittagong-Ledo Line, the Allies will withdraw to the Bombay-Lucknow Line and points north thereof.
The Bombay-Lucknow Line and points north will be garrisoned with the Northern, Eastern, and Southern India Command forces, Burma Corps, III India Corps, Far East (ABDA), I Australia Corps, the Chinese Corps that make it to India, and eventually the U.S. Army.
Aircraft were saved from Malaya and the Philippines. The aircraft saved are as follows: 57 of the 221 RAAF, 6 of the 222 RAF, 56 of the 223 RAAF, and 92 of the 224 RAAF. These aircraft are presently based as follows: 221 RAAF is at Karachi, 222 RAAF is at Hyderabad (Sindh), 223 RAAF is at Surat, and 224 RAAF is at Bombay.
52 aircraft of AHQ India is at New Delhi.
As you will note below, the Tenth USAAF, the II U.S. Fighters, and V U.S. Bombers are also earmarked for India.
The following Australian Units have been bought out under I Australian Corps and are either in route to India or staging at Perth to board ships bound for India: I Australia Corps HQc, 17th, 19th, and 24th Machine Gun Battalions, 2/4, 2/5, 2/6. 2/7, 2/8, and 2/9 Armor Regiments, 2nd Recon. Armor Battalion, 10th Light Horse Armor Battalion, 1st and 3rd Motor Armor Brigades. The 2/3 and 2/4 Machine Gun Battalions are already in India. All I Australia Corps reinforcement arrivals in Aden are earmarked for and will be sent to Australia.
And, don’t forget the 6 U.S. Army Divisions, supplemental units, II U.S. Fighters, and V U.S. Bombers that are estimated to arrive in India by the end of August, 1942.
In addition, the Tenth USAAF is planned to arrive in India by the end of August, 1942.
With the exception of the Victoria Point BF, the entire Burma Corps is leaving Burma and bound for India. The bulk of these units are one hex away from Imphal. The balance of these units are two hexes away from Imphal.
Several ABDA units that either fled from the DEI or left from Darwin are in India.
Several III India Corps Units are in India, including but not limited too, the British 18th Division.
The 36th and 88th Chinese Divisions are in Burma at Katba and moving toward Imphal. The 96th and 200th Chinese Divisions and the 22nd New Chinese Division are two hexes Northeast of Lashio. The 2nd Reserve Division is 4 hexes Northeast of the Burma border. Accordingly, it looks like the entire 5th Chinese Corps will escape to Burma and into India.
The entire 6th Chinese Corps and 66th Chinese Corps are at Tsuyung and in all likelihood will escape to Burma and into India.
The 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 8th New Chinese Corps are beating the mules to get the wagons into Burma and out of Burma before the Japanese cut off their retreat. It will be touch and go whether any of these four corps make it to India.
Malaya, The Philippines, DEI, China, and Burma
Well, that is a brief synopsis of what the Allies have been doing and where they are heading for the next six months. Primarily, just building up the ports, airbases, and forts at the listed bases making up the Main Areas of U.S. Resistance.
Pretty much the Allies have only been engaged in defensive measures.
Bombardment of The Marianas Islands
However, with an early bombardment of the Marianas Islands in mind, the Allies have consolidate the following Warships and Support Ships, at the following locations:
Seattle: 3 CVs, 10 BBs, 11 CAs, 7 CLs, and 34 DDs. The Yorktown left San Diego for Seattle on December 31, 1941.
Tacoma: 8 DMs, 13 DMSs, 3 AVs, 6 AVDs, 5 AVPs, 7 AOs, and 3 AEs.
Lihue: 26 Submarines.
Should the Allies set sail for a coordinated strike of the Marianas Islands now while intelligence suggests the KB is in the DEI or should the Allies wait until Midway is properly built up and strike from there around mid March of 1942?
As always, The War College members analysis and comment will be appreciated on any issue presented herein.
"No one throws me my own guns and tells me to run. No one."
-Bret (James Coburn); The Magnificent Seven