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11-08-2015, 19:01

The Allied Strategy in Europe and Asia

Once the Allies had organized their full resources in the war effort, their superiority in arms gave them the chance to win. Their task was to put their arms to good use. Since the theatres of the war were separate, a lack of coordination among them was not a serious problem. Each assessed its position and planned its strategy as it judged best. Only the Americans and the British were obliged to coordinate operations, at leas! in Western Europe and in Africa. Soviet Russia's first objective was to liberate her occupied territories. When the Red Army regained the Soviet frontiers, the Russians would have the chance to consider alternatives and to introduce political considerations into their decisions. Until then strategy was straightforward; they applied a steam-roller principle. Stavka distributed its superior fighting force and its increasingly superior arms according to the forces of the enemy, driving the battering ram first against weak points held by troops from Germany's satellites. Three thousand men, nine tanks and sixtv guns were concentrated into every kilometer of a relatively narrow front. As they burst through the enemy line a fresh assault was launched elsewhere. This method of attack required rapid mobility of large forces and adroit control of logistics. It was skilfully employed by a battery of newly appointed marshals. The Americans resolved to give priority to the conquest of Germany, much to the encouragement of the British. The final assault on Japan would begin after Germany had fallen. They assigned considerably smaller forces to the Pacific theatre than to Europe and these required special training for jungle warfare. The decisive battles, however, occurred at sea. The Americans assumed command of Pacific operations and divided them in two. The southern zone, which comprised many widely scattered islands, was apportioned to the Army. General MacArthur, who was in command, would advance from island to island in an 'island hopping' campaign as far as the Philippines, where he had promised to return. The central area, in which ocean predominated, was assigned to the navy. Na\al squadrons were furnished with large numbers of aircraft carriers under orders to wipe out the Japanese fleet and clear the way for a final assault on the Japanese archipelago. In 1943 it was impossible to tell when or where this would occur. A secondary front was formed in China, which was accessible only to American aviation. British cooperation was not needed outside Burma. But cooperation was indispensable in Europe and Africa. The two allies shared out operations giving the British command of the Mediterranean and the Americans command of operations in western Europe. The Atlantic was left undivided. The two allies held long discussions on how to launch their combined offensive. The British wanted to return to limited attacks on the German periphery in Norway, the Balkans and Italy. The Americans, on the other hand, who were aware of their increasing power, preferred to attack the Germans directly from across the English Channel using Britain as a springboard. They agreed to campaign in North Africa and Italy, however, while the assault force was being assembled.