- Posts: 1541
- Joined: 01 Feb 2020 18:10
- Location: Coral and brass
Here's an option on the SW Pacific Theater - early in 1942, rather than Gen. MacArthur being given the command, Adm. Hart is, with Gen. Blamey as his deputy. US ground forces are not deployed to New Guinea; instead, the Australians defend at Imita Ridge and Milne Bay with a mix of AMF and AIF ground troops and RAAF units. After Coral Sea and Midway, the focus of the Pacific War remains in the Central Pacific, and by the end of 1942, Adm. Hart turns over the theater command to Blamey and goes back to the US.
Blamey commands a "national" theater (much like R.Adm. Murray, RCN, in the NW Atlantic) from 1943 onwards, but with limited Allied forces under command ... (mostly Dutch; the USAAF heads north to Micronesia and points west and north.)
So, what can the Australians do - essentially - by themselves in the theater, beginning in January, 1943?
Presume the three remaining AIF divisions (6th, 7th, and 9th) are available for active operations, and the equivalent of 2-3 AMF divisions (take your pick) for replacements and garrison duty, along with a limited number of corps and army-level troops, and No. 9 Group with with all of 6-9 squadrons (Tomahawks, Beauforts, Hudsons, etc.) for air support. The RAN and AMM (and the Dutch), at their historical strength in the beginning of 1943, provide the sea power... The start line is the historical one for Buna-Gona in November, 1942, except delayed until the new year (Q1, 1943).
So, what can - or should - the Australians do by themselves at this point?