There is yet another small-map, short-time scenario in preparation. Moving along the time-line, the Guadalcanal scenario ends April, 1943; other operations kicked-off very soon thereafter. These posed certain operational problems that were quite different from Watchtower (Shoestring) and advanced the development of amphibious operational art. They represented the definitive seizure of the initiative in the Pacific Theater, as well as clearing the board for the subsequent two-pronged advance through the central Pacific to the Ryukyus and through northern New Guinea/Morotai to the Philippines.
Operation Cartwheel kicked-off June 30, 1943, with simultaneous operations along two operational axes by ComSWPac and Com SoPac.
June 30, 1943, Toenails; the US Navy operations in the central Solomons, and Buin/Faisi in southern Bougainville under ComSoPac (ComFifthFlt).
Operations through November include Vella Lavella , Treasuries and Choiseul , and Bougainville. Toenails is set up to begin with New Georgia, staging from the Russels. Timing and objectives of subsequent ops are discretionary.
June 30, 1943, Chronicle; MacArthur’s forces take Woodlark and Kiriwina Islands.
Operations through November include Lae/Saidor, the reduction of the Huon Penninsula, and Arawe/Cape Gloucester in New Britain. These secured the Dampier and Vitiaz Straits in preparation for the seizure of the Admiralties and Emirau. Chronicle is set up to begin with Woodlark/Kiriwina, staging from Milne Bay. Timing and objectives of subsequent ops are discretionary.
???, 1943, Galvanic; US 5th Fleet, V PhibFor, operations to seize the Gilberts. Galvanic began with amphibious assaults at Tarawa/Makin, November 20, 1943. However, sufficient assets could be in place for advanced timing, and sequential assaults on chosen objectives. Historical objectives need not be chosen. Objectives are discretionary, except Gilberts, per se, must be taken. They may not be bypassed.
There is opportunity for major Japanese naval retaliation from Truk and the Marshalls, but intelligence believes contemporary US attacks in the Solomons will be seen as a direct threat to Rabaul, causing diversion/dispersion of Japanese air and naval assets, thereby reducing the risk to the amphibious forces. Are they correct?
Each of the three axes requires a different approach to operational concept and all have different levels of available assets. MacArthur, for example, had only Kinkaid’s 7th Fleet for support and VII-PhibFor only comprised LST, LCI, and LCT types. PhibForSoPac had a few robust TransRons, but not many. V-PhibFor had the vast majority of AP/APA and AK/AKA types. Needless to say, asset allocation was cast in stone and each Command had to function with what it had.
This one should pose interesting problems from several perspectives.
The scenario I wished for and considered, with another chap, to create. I still got some material extracted from various publications on the subject, as well as bits from the old WitP. So, if I can be of any assistance Matt, please do not hesitate to drop me a line.