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Encyclopedia > South West Pacific Area

South West Pacific Area (SWPA) was the name given to one of the four major Allied commands in the Pacific theatre of World War II, during 1942-45. The SWPA included the Philippines, Borneo, the Dutch East Indies (excluding Sumatra), Australia, the Territory of New Guinea (including the Bismarck Archipelago), the western part of the Solomon Islands and some neighbouring territories. The supreme commander, General Douglas MacArthur, was in charge of primarily United States and Australian forces. Dutch, Filipino, British and other Allied forces also served in the SWPA. In general, allies are people or groups that have joined an alliance and are working together to achieve some common purpose. ... US landings in the Pacific, 1942–1945 The Pacific War occurred in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in Asia. ... Combatants Allies: • Soviet Union, • UK & Commonwealth, • USA, • France/Free France, • China, • Poland, • ...and others Axis: • Germany, • Japan, • Italy, • ...and others Commanders Strength Casualties Full list Full list World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a large scale military conflict that took place between 1939 and 1945. ... This article is about the year. ... 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1945 calendar). ... Borneo and Sulawesi Borneo (politically divided between Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei) is the third largest island in the world. ... The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, (Dutch: Nederlands-Indië) was the name of the colonies set up by the Dutch East India Company, which came under administration of the Netherlands during the 19th century (see Indonesia). ... Sumatra (also spelled Sumatara and Sumatera) is the sixth largest island of the world (approximately 470,000 km²) and is the largest part of Indonesia. ... The Bismarck Archipelago is a group of islands off the coast of New Guinea in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, named in honour of the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck and belonging to Papua New Guinea. ... Douglas MacArthur (January 26, 1880 — April 5, 1964) was a senior American military leader in the Pacific Theater who served in World War II. MacArthur helped rebuild Japan after the war, and played a key role in limiting the Communist takeover of Korea with his daring Inchon landing. ...

A map of the Pacific Theater.

Contents

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1199x873, 141 KB) THE BATTLE OF PELLIEU Pacific_Theater_Areas; http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1199x873, 141 KB) THE BATTLE OF PELLIEU Pacific_Theater_Areas; http://www. ...


Origins

The name "South West Pacific Area" appears to have originated in British military circles in 1941, purely in reference to British forces under the short-lived American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDA). The rapid Japanese advance through the Dutch East Indies effectively divided the "ABDA Area" in two, and in late February 1942, ABDA was wound up at the recommendation of its commander, the British General Archibald Wavell, who — as Commander in Chief in India — retained responsibility for Allied operations in Burma and Sumatra (which fell to the Japanese on 28 March 1942), and against Japanese held Singapore, Malaya and Thailand. For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday. ... ABDACOM Area The American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) Command, code name ABDACOM, was a short-lived, supreme command for all Allied forces in South East Asia, in early 1942, during the Pacific War. ... Archibald Percival Wavell, 1st Earl Wavell (May 5, 1883 _ May 24, 1950) was a British General and the commander of British Army forces in the Middle East during World War II. He led British forces to victory over the Italians, only to be defeated by the German army. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Sumatra (also spelled Sumatara and Sumatera) is the sixth largest island of the world (approximately 470,000 km²) and is the largest part of Indonesia. ... March 28 is the 87th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (88th in Leap years). ... The Federation of Malaya, or in Malay Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, was formed in 1948 from the British settlements of Penang and Malacca and the nine Malay states and replaced the Malayan Union. ...


On March 24, 1942, the newly-formed British-US Combined Chiefs of Staff issued a directive designating the Pacific theater an area of American strategic responsibility. Six days later the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) divided the Pacific theater into three areas: the Pacific Ocean Areas (POA), the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA), and the South East Pacific Area. Therefore most of the Pacific Ocean and its islands fell under a separate Allied command, Pacific Ocean Areas, headed by US Admiral Chester Nimitz. March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in Leap years). ... This article is about the year. ... The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) was the supreme military command for the western Allies during World War II. It was a body constituted from the British Chiefs of Staff Committee and the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. ... Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States of America symbol The Joint Chiefs of Staff, photographed in the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gold Room in the Pentagon on Jan. ... Pacific Ocean Areas was a major Allied military command during World War II. It was one of four major commands during the Pacific War, and one of two United States commands in the Pacific theatre of operations. ... Chester Nimitz Chester William Nimitz (February 24, 1885 – February 20, 1966) was the Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces for the United States and Allied forces during World War II. He was the nations leading authority on submarines, as well as Chief of the Navys Bureau of Navigation...


The Allied commander in the Philippines, General Douglas MacArthur was elevated to the post of Supreme Allied Commander South West Pacific Area. As the Japanese surrounded US and Filipino forces in the Philippines, MacArthur was ordered by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to leave his headquarters on Bataan Peninsula, near Manila, and to relocate to Melbourne, Australia. Douglas MacArthur (January 26, 1880 — April 5, 1964) was a senior American military leader in the Pacific Theater who served in World War II. MacArthur helped rebuild Japan after the war, and played a key role in limiting the Communist takeover of Korea with his daring Inchon landing. ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882–April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States, the longest-serving holder of the office and the only man to be elected President more than twice, was one of the central figures of 20th century history. ... Bataan is a province of the Philippines occupying the whole of Bataan Peninsula on Luzon. ... Manilas President Manuel Roxas Boulevard also known as the Baywalk Manila (Filipino: Maynila) is the capital of the Philippines. ... The City of Melbournes coat of arms The central business district of Melbourne, viewed from the north Alternate meanings: Melbourne (disambiguation) Melbourne is the capital and largest city of the state of Victoria, and the second largest city in Australia, with a population of 52,117 in the Central...

General MacArthur and Australian Prime Minister John Curtin.
General MacArthur and Australian Prime Minister John Curtin.

On April 17, the Australian government, led by Prime Minister John Curtin, directed Australian personnel to treat orders from MacArthur as equivalent its own. In fact, for most of 1942, MacArthur commanded more Australians than US personnel. He also commanded some Dutch forces which had retreated to Australia. Later in the war, some British and other Allied forces also came under MacArthur's command. Curtin and MacArthur File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Curtin and MacArthur File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... John Curtin (January 8, 1885 – July 5, 1945), Australian politician and 14th Prime Minister of Australia, led Australia through the darkest period of its history: when the Australian mainland came under direct military threat during the Japanese advance in World War II. Many Australians regard him as the countrys... April 17 is the 107th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (108th in leap years). ... John Curtin (January 8, 1885 – July 5, 1945), Australian politician and 14th Prime Minister of Australia, led Australia through the darkest period of its history: when the Australian mainland came under direct military threat during the Japanese advance in World War II. Many Australians regard him as the countrys...


In July, MacArthur moved his headquarters north, to Brisbane, Australia. This article is about the Australian city. ...


One result of the division of the Pacific theatre into two separate Allied/U.S. commands was that each competed for scarce resources in an economy-of-force theater, and each was headed by a commander in chief (CinC) from a different service. In particular, the division of the Solomon Islands caused problems, since the battles of the Solomon Islands campaign in 1942–1943 ranged over the whole region, with the main Japanese bases in SWPA and the main Allied bases in POA. The main Allied offensives were undertaken from the POA. The Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) is the term used in the United States for all military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, in World War II. Pacific War is a more common name, around the world, for the broader conflict between the Allies and Japan... The Solomon Islands Campaign was a large series of battles that occurred in the Pacific Theater of World War II. This was the first large-scale campaign in the War in the Pacific, and the victories achieved by the Americans in the battles of this campaign helped secure vital bases...


Although MacArthur had been ordered by Roosevelt to appoint as many Australian and Dutch officers to senior positions as possible, most of his immediate staff was made up of US Army officers who had served under him in the Philippines. The Australian Army CinC, General Thomas Blamey, was appointed Commander, Alllied Land Forces. However the CinCs of the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australian Navy were sidelined from 1942 as their subordinates were put under the operational control of the U.S. Fifth Air Force and U.S. Seventh Fleet. Similarly, from mid-1943, the U.S. Sixth Army (code name Alamo Force) was deployed under MacArthur's direct control, meaning that Blamey was excluded from command of the vast majority of U.S. land forces in the theatre after that time. The Australian Army Emblem The Australian Army is Australias military land force. ... The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. ... The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the naval branch of the Australian Defence Force. ... One of the few numbered air forces never stationed in the United States, Fifth Air Force is also one of the oldest and continuously active. ... The United States 7th Fleet is a naval military unit based in Yokosuka, Japan. ... Shoulder sleeve insignia of the U.S. Sixth Army. ...


In 1945, following the Allied landings in the Philippines, MacArthur moved his headquarters back to Manila. The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the invasion and conquest of Leyte in the Philippines by Allied forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur between October 20 and December 31, 1944. ... Manilas President Manuel Roxas Boulevard also known as the Baywalk Manila (Filipino: Maynila) is the capital of the Philippines. ...


Forces from the SWPA were to have made up a significant proportion of the Allied units set aside for the proposed invasion of Japan, scheduled to take place from November 1945. Operation Downfall was the overall Allied plan for the invasion of Japan at the end of World War II. It was scheduled to occur in two parts: Operation Olympic, the invasion of Kyushu, set to begin in November 1945; and later Operation Coronet, the invasion of Honshu near Tokyo, scheduled...


Major campaigns in the theatre

Combatants the Philippines, United States Japan Commanders Douglas MacArthur/ Jonathan M. Wainwright Masaharu Homma Strength About 150,000 120,000 Casualties 2,500 killed in action; 10,000 POWs killed/died during Bataan Death March 5,000 wounded 100,000 POWs total 1,200 killed; 500 missing in action 1... The New Guinea campaign was one of the major military campaigns of World War II. Fighting in the Australian mandated Territory of New Guinea (the north-eastern part of the island of New Guinea and surrounding islands) and Dutch New Guinea, between Allied and Japanese forces, commenced with the Japanese... The Borneo campaign of 1945 was the last major Allied campaign in the South West Pacific Area, during World War II. In a series of amphibious assaults between May 1 and July 21, the Australian I Corps, under General Leslie Morshead, attacked Japanese forces occupying the island. ...

Command structure (combat units)

Ranks cited are those on assumption of each position.
General Douglas MacArthur, Philippine Army/U.S. Army, Supreme Commander (1942-45) General of the Army, or less formally five-star general, is historically the second most senior rank in the United States Army. ... Douglas MacArthur (January 26, 1880 — April 5, 1964) was a senior American military leader in the Pacific Theater who served in World War II. MacArthur helped rebuild Japan after the war, and played a key role in limiting the Communist takeover of Korea with his daring Inchon landing. ... Military branches  Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps and Coast Guard), Air Force Military manpower - military age  18 years of age (2001) Military manpower - availability  males age 15-49: 22,435,982 (2004 est. ... The Army is the branch of the United States armed forces which has primary responsibility for land-based military operations. ...

Insignia of a United States Air Force Major General German Generalmajor Insignia Major General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Richard K. Sutherland (November 27, 1893 - June 25, 1966) was a Lieutenant General of the US Army and General MacArthurs Chief of Staff during World War II. He served with the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. The Japanese Surrender At the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on... A Brigadier General, or one-star general, is the lowest rank of general officer in the United States and some other countries, ranking just above Colonel and just below Major General. ... Richard Jacqueline Marshall (June 16, 1895 - August 3, 1973) was a Major General in the US Army. ...

US Army Forces Far East

  • US and Philippines Army forces in the Philippines, 1942
  • Lieutenant General Jonathan M. Wainwright (U.S. Army), Wainwright held the position until the Allied surrender on May 6, 1942, after which it was vacant.

Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. ... Jonathan Mayhew Wainwright IV (August 23, 1883 – September 2, 1953), as a Lieutenant General, was the commanding officer of the Philippine Department at the time of its surrender to the Japanese, during World War II. Wainwright was married to Adele Holley Wainwright (1887–1979). ...

Allied Land Forces (1942-45)

Australian Army officers, except where stated. The Australian Army Emblem The Australian Army is Australias military land force. ...

Memorial statue of Field Marshal Sir Thomas Blamey in Kings Domain, Melbourne. ...

New Guinea Force (1942-44)

  • Allied land forces in the Territory of New Guinea
    • Lt Gen. Sydney Rowell, New Guinea Force (until September 1942)
    • Gen. Blamey (in direct command), September 1942 to 1943)
    • Lt Gen. Iven Mackay, (January 30, 1943 to May 21,1943
    • Lt Gen. Leslie Morshead May 21, 1943 to August 28, 1943)
    • Lt Gen. Mackay (second time), (August 28, 1943 to January 20, 1944)

Advanced New Guinea Force Sir Leslie James Morshead (September 18, 1889 - September 26, 1959) was an Australian soldier with a distinguished career in both world wars. ...

  • Allied front line land forces in New Guinea
    • 1942-44
      • Lt Gen. Edmund Herring (1942-43)
      • Lt Gen. (temporary) Robert Eichelberger (U.S. Army) (1943-44)

Robert Lawrence Eichelberger (9 March 1886 – 26 September 1961) was a general in the United States Army, who commanded the US Eighth Army in the Pacific during World War II. Eichelberger was born at Urbana, Ohio, on 9 March 1886. ...

Australian First Army (1944-45)

  • Australian front line land units, 1944-45
    • Lt Gen. Vernon Sturdee, (1944-45)

U.S. Sixth Army (1943-45)

Walter Krueger (1881-1967) was a German-American soldier and general in the first half of the 20th century. ... Shoulder sleeve insignia of the U.S. Sixth Army. ...

U.S. Eighth Army (1944-45)

Robert Lawrence Eichelberger (9 March 1886 – 26 September 1961) was a general in the United States Army, who commanded the US Eighth Army in the Pacific during World War II. Eichelberger was born at Urbana, Ohio, on 9 March 1886. ... 8th Army Shoulder Patch The Eighth US Army is the commanding formation of all US Army troops in South Korea. ...

Allied Air Forces

U.S. Army Air Force officers, except where stated. USAAF recruitment poster. ...

  • General George Brett, Allied Air Forces (until August 4, 1942)
  • Lt Gen. George Kenney, Allied Air Forces (from August 4, 1942)

George Howard Brett, February 7, 1886 - ? 1963, was a US Army Air Corps general during World War II and was, for a short period, deputy commander of the major Allied command in South East Asia, the American-British-Dutch-Australian Command (ABDACOM). ... George Churchill Kenney, August 6, 1889-August 9, 1977, was a United States Army Air Force general during World War II and was commander of Allied air forces in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) from August 1942 until 1945. ...

1942-44

U.S. Fifth Air Force One of the few numbered air forces never stationed in the United States, Fifth Air Force is also one of the oldest and continuously active. ...

  • Controlled Allied air operations in the Northeastern Area (New Guinea, including islands)
    • Gen. Kenney (direct command)

RAAF Command

An Air Vice Marshals sleeve/shoulder insignia Air Vice Marshal is the third most senior rank active in the Royal Air Force today, after the inactivation of Marshal of the Royal Air Force as a substantive rank in peacetime during defence cuts of the 1990s. ... The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is the air force branch of the Australian Defence Force. ...

1944-45

U.S. Far East Air Force
Philippines area and southern islands of Japan.
Gen. George Kenney This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...

  • U.S. Fifth Air Force

Maj. Gen. Ennis Whitehead

Lt. Gen. Hubert R. Harmon (1944)
Maj. Gen. St. Clair Streett (1944-45)
Maj. Gen. Paul B. Wurtsmith (1945)
Like the Fifth Air Force, the Thirteenth Air Force has never been stationed in the United States; it is also one of the oldest, continuously active, numbered air forces. ... Lieutenant General Hubert Reilly Harmon (1892-1957), after a distinguished combat career in World War II, was instrumental in developing plans for the establishment of the United States Air Force Academy. ...

Maj. Gen. Thomas D. White The Seventh Air Force (7 AF) is a Numbered Air Force (NAF) under the Pacific Air Forces major command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force. ... General Thomas Dresser White (1902–December 22, 1965) was the fourth Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. ...


RAAF Command
Allied operations in Australia, Dutch East Indies and the Territory of New Guinea.
AVM William Bostock


Allied Naval Forces

U.S. Navy officers, except where stated. The United States Navy (USN) is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for naval operations. ...

Southwest Pacific Sea Frontiers Admiral is a word from the Arabic term Amir-al-bahr (commander of the sea). ... Vice Admiral is a naval rank of three star level, equivalent to Lieutenant General in seniority. ... Arthur Schuyler Carpender (October 24, 1884-1960) was an American vice admiral during World War II commanding US naval forces in the Southwest Pacific. ... The United States 7th Fleet is a naval military unit based in Yokosuka, Japan, with units positioned near South Korea and Japan. ... Thomas Cassin Kinkaid (3 April 1888 – 17 November 1972) was an admiral of the United States Navy, who commanded the 7th Fleet in the Pacific during World War II. Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid watches landing operations in Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, from the bridge of his flagship, USS Wasatch (AGC-9...

  • Australian coastal waters

The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the senior service of the British armed services, being the oldest of its three branches. ...

See also

Unit Distinctive_Unit_Insignia of the United States Army I Corps, Americas Corps. ... I Corps of the Australian Army was the main frontline corps of the army during World War II. Various Australian and other Allied divisions came under its control at various times. ... The Australian II Corps was an Australian Army corps. ... Maroubra Force was the name given to the Australian infantry force that defended Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea from the Japanese advance along the Kokoda Track during World War II. Maroubra Force successfully fought a month long delaying action through the debilitating terrain of the Owen Stanley Range, before being... The Australian First Tactical Air Force (1 TAF) was formed on October 25, 1944 by the Royal Australian Air Force to provide fighter and ground attack support to Allied ground and naval forces, fighting the Empire of Japan in the South West Pacific Area. ...

External links

Prof. David Horner, 2002, "The Evolution of Australian Higher Command Arrangements" (Australian Department of Defence)


U.S. Army in World War II (official history) "Organization and Command of the Pacific" (U.S. Army)


Maj. Jonathan B. Wills, 1997, "How Southwest Pacific Area Operations in WWII Influenced the Royal Australian Air Force" (U.S. Air Force)


  Results from FactBites:
 
NationMaster - Encyclopedia: South West Pacific Area (3554 words)
South West Pacific Area (SWPA) was the name given to one of the four major Allied commands in the Pacific theatre of World War II, during 1942-45.
The Battle of Leyte in the Pacific campaign of World War II was the invasion and conquest of Leyte in the Philippines by Allied forces under the command of General Douglas MacArthur between October 20 and December 31, 1944.
South West Pacific Area (SWPA) was the name given to one of the four major Allied commands in the Pacific theatre of World War II.
South West Pacific Area (114 words)
Australia was part of the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) of command under General Douglas MacArthur.
The westerly boundary of the Southwest Pacific Area was the westerly boundary of the Pacific theatre, the area including necessary naval and air operational areas off the west coast of Australia.
In 1943, all of the operational Air Forces in the SWPA were under the command of Lieutenant-General George C. Kenney who directed the command headquarters of the Allied Air Forces, South West Pacific Area.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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