Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
Teaser Image

General Douglas MacArthur's Strategy of Highly Selective "Island-Hopping": General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, Press Release, 21 September 1943

General Douglas MacArthur, commander of Allied forces in the Southwest Pacific, is generally regarded as one of the greatest and most successful exponents of the Pacific War "island-hopping" strategy. He himself, however, wished to make it clear that the policy he favored was more of a leapfrogging strategy and that he had no wish to take every island dividing American forces and the Japanese homeland.

My strategic conception for the Pacific Theater, which I outlined after the Papuan Campaign and have since consistently advocated, contemplates massive strokes against only main strategic objectives, utilizing surprise and air-ground striking power supported and assisted by the fleet. This is the very opposite of what is termed "island-hopping" which is the gradual pushing back of the enemy by direct frontal pressure with the consequent heavy casualties which will certainly be involved. Key points must of course be taken but a wise choice of such will obviate the need for storming the mass of islands now in enemy possession. "Island-hopping" with extravagant losses and slow progress . . . is not my idea of how to end the war as soon and as cheaply as possible. New conditions require for solution and new weapons require for maximum application new and imaginative methods. Wars are never won in the past.


Further Reading
Charles A. Willoughby et al., eds., Reports of General MacArthur: The Campaigns of MacArthur in the Pacific, 2 vols. (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1966), 1: 118–120. .
 

©2011 ABC-CLIO. All rights reserved.

  About the Author/Editor
  Introduction
  Essays
  A
  B
  C
  D
  E
  F
  G
  H
  I
  J
  K
  L
  M
  N
  O
  P
  Q
  R
  S
  T
  U
  V
  W
  X
  Y
  Z
  Documents Prior to 1938
  1939 Documents
  1940 Documents
  1941 Documents
  1942 Documents
  1943 Documents
  1944 Documents
  1945 Documents
  Images
ABC-cLIO Footer