There Were Three Plans For The Pacific Theater Operations. General Douglas MacArthur Got His Way.

by Daniel Russ on September 23, 2011

In July of 1944, Truman assembled his senior staff, the Chiefs of the armed forces and his top combat leaders in the Pacific theater of operations to discuss the best way to win the war. General MacArthur who had been pushed out of the Philippines wanted to go back there and show the Japanese that we could beat them on their own turf. Some historians criticize MacArthur for this in retrospect. Admiral Ernest J. King wanted to skip the Philippines. He felt that the Japanese would be befuddled and stuck there with no one to fight, and eventually they would vacate the islands as their numbers decreased from combat attrition. Instead, King wanted to take Taiwan, Formosa at the time, because its proximity to the southern Japanese mainland we could stage attacks on the Japanese and cut them off from their holdings in the Dutch East Indies. MacArthur argued then that would leave a huge Japanese force at the flank of the Allies who would be occupying Formosa. Bull Halsey wanted a third way. He advised that we should skip Formosa and the Phillipines. Instead, he offered that we should invade Okinawa in the Ryuku Islands and use that as the staging point. Strikes against a force there would be so far away from the Philippines and Formosa that the Japanese would have hard time maintaining an offensive force from that distance. It would be close enough to hit mainland Japan as well.
The campaign for he Philippines cost 14000 dead and 48000 wounded. The price was seen by many as too high. But MacArthur got his way and the rest is history
Source: Wiki, Oxford Companion to Military History

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