Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
23 August 1944
I am repeating for your private information the following telegram despatched by the Chiefs of Staff to Washington, which explains the page 459 conclusions reached by the Defence Committee on our strategy for the war against Japan:
‘1. As agreed at the SEXTANT1 Conference, we have devoted prolonged study to the strategy for the war against Japan. We have considered how best our forces can be disposed and what operations they should carry out, taking into account the undertaking given by His Majesty's Government at the Casablanca Conference2 that on defeating Germany we should assist the United States to the utmost of our power in defeating Japan.
‘2. Several important developments have taken place since the SEXTANT Conference:
The Japanese have strongly reinforced Burma, and their strength in that country has risen from 4½ to 10 divisions.
The capture of Myitkyina rules out, as was always foreseen, any purely defensive policy in North Burma.
The likelihood of aggressive action by the Japanese Fleet in the Bay of Bengal is now remote.
The progress of the war against Germany on all fronts has been such as to render possible the partial or total collapse of Germany, which might free forces from the European theatre in the coming months.
We now have overwhelming air superiority in the South-East Asia theatre.
‘The following paragraphs contain our proposals in the light of the above developments:
2 Between President Roosevelt and Mr Churchill, 14–24 Jan 1943.