Army Talks 1944 01 12 (PDF)


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Vol. II No. 2 ……. Two Years of War ……. This issue of ARMY TALKS is composed of extracts from the Biennial Report of the Chief of Staff of the United States Army, July 1, 1941, to June 30, 1943, to the Secretary of War. Published by the Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., it was later reprinted in England by His Majesty’s Stationery Office and is available to all service personnel and civilians. ……. GENERAL REVIEW : Reviewing briefly the military situation as we found it on July 1, 1943, it will be remembered that our entry into war was marked by a succession of serious reverses, at Pearl Harbor, in the Philippines and through the Malaysian Archipelago. With our Pacific Fleet crippled and the Philippines overwhelmed at the outset, we were forced to watch the enemy progressively engulf our resistance to his advances. One year before the German offensive in Russia was sweeping through the Donetz Basin, jeopardizing the whole of south Russia and the Caucasus, and ominously menacing the Allied positions in the Middle East, particularly the oil supply at Abadan, on which the naval forces in the eastern Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and Australia depended. Rommel’s Afrika Korps with selected Italian troops had the British with their backs to Cairo, threatening the lifeline of the British Empire. Our successes in the Coral Sea and at Midway and the repulse of the Japanese forces in the Aleutians had not prevented the Japanese from carving out a vast empire from which they threatened India, Australia and our position in the Pacific. Just a year before also the ability of the United States to transport its power in supplies, munitions and troops across the Atlantic was being challenged by submarines, which in a single month had sunk 700,000 gross tons of shipping. ….. July 1, 1943, found the United States Army and Navy united in purpose and in operation, a unity shared when the occasion demands by the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Chinese, Dutch, French and other fighting elements among our friends and supporters. Across the Atlantic the enemy had been driven from North Africa, and Europe had been encircled by a constantly growing military power. The Russian Army, engaging two-thirds of the German ground forces and one-third of the German air fleet in deadly and exhausting combat, had dispelled the legend of the invincibility of the German Panzer divisions.