25 Mar 2011

Theater Organization WW II in Hollandia - Papua

General MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Area headquarters was an inter-Allied, interservice command exercising operational and policy-making functions. The staff was organized generally along U.S. Army lines except that many technical and administrative special staff sections were not included. Administrative services for U.S. Army forces within the theater were concentrated at Headquarters, United States Army Forces in the Far East, also commanded by General MacArthur. Logistic and technical service functions for U.S. Army forces were under Headquarters, United States Services of Supply, Southwest Pacific Area, which also had certain inter-Allied and interservice logistic responsibilities. Allied combat operations were conducted through four operational headquarters subordinate to General MacArthur--the Allied Air Forces, the Allied Land Forces, the Allied Naval Forces, and ALAMO Force.
Allied Air Forces was commanded by Lt. Gen. George C. Kenney (USA). Its major component parts during the early period covered in this volume were the U.S. Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force Command, Allied Air Forces. Later, the U.S. Thirteenth Air Force was redeployed from the South Pacific Area to pass to the control of the Allied Air Forces, Southwest Pacific Area. At the time of the Hollandia operation, General Kenney was also in direct command of the Fifth Air Force, while the Royal Australian Air Force Command was under Air Vice Marshal William D. Bostock (RAAF), who also had operational control over the few Dutch air organizations in the theater.
The Allied Naval Forces was commanded by Vice Adm. Thomas C. Kinkaid (USN), whose organization comprised the U.S. Seventh Fleet (commanded directly by Admiral Kinkaid) and ships assigned from the Royal Australian Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy. Admiral Kinkaid's chief subordinate for amphibious operations was Rear Adm. Daniel E. Barbey (USN), who was the commander of the VII Amphibious Force, Seventh Fleet.
Allied Land Forces was commanded by General Sir Thomas Blamey (AIF), who was also the commander in chief of the Australian Army and who had operational control over the very few Dutch ground force troops in the Southwest Pacific Area. ALAMO Force was commanded by Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger (USA), also the commander of the U.S. Sixth Army. The staffs of ALAMO Force and Sixth Army were identical. As Sixth Army, General Krueger's command was subordinate to General Blamey's Allied Land Forces, but as ALAMO Force it was subordinate only to General Headquarters. Allied Land Forces, while retaining operational control of U.S. Army troops in continental Australia for defensive purposes, controlled during the period of operations described in this volume the offensive operations of only those ground task forces primarily Australian in character. Conversely, ALAMO Force directed offensive operations of ground organizations comprising principally U.S. Army troops.2
In mid-April there were almost 750,000 troops in the various ground, air, and naval services under General MacArthur's command. Included in this total were approximately 450,000 U.S. Army ground and air personnel. Major ground combat components of the U.S. Army were 7 divisions (6 infantry and 1 dismounted cavalry), 3 separate regimental combat teams, and 3 engineer special brigades. Australian ground forces comprised 5 infantry divisions and enough division headquarters, brigades, or brigade groups (the latter equivalent to a U.S. Army regimental combat team) to form two more divisions.3
Within the boundaries of the Southwest Pacific Area were approximately 350,000 Japanese, of whom 50,000 were hopelessly cut off in the Bismarck Archipelago. In the New Guinea area were 5 Japanese divisions (3 of them greatly understrength); in the Netherlands East Indies 3 divisions and 2 independent mixed brigades (the latter somewhat larger than a U.S. Army regimental combat team); and in the Philippines 1 division and 4 independent mixed brigades.4

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