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The Pacific


Directive To The Commander-In-Chief Of The Pacific Ocean Area


By agreement among the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States, the Pacific Theatre (see Annex 1) is designated an area of United States strategic responsibility.


The Pacific Ocean Area, comprising the North, Central, and South Pacific Areas, has been constituted as defined in Annex 1. You are designated as the Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Ocean Area, and of all armed forces which the governments concerned have assigned, or may assign, to this area.


You will appoint a commander of the South Pacific Area, who, acting under your authority and general direction, will exercise command of the combined armed forces which may at any time be assigned that area. You will exercise direct command of the combined armed forces in the North and Central Pacific Areas.


In consonance with the basic strategic policy of the governments concerned, your operations will be designed to accomplish the following:


Hold the island positions between the United States and the South West Pacific Area necessary for the security of the line of communications between those regions; and for supporting naval, air, and amphibious operations against Japanese forces.


Support the operations of the forces in the South West Pacific Area.


Contain Japanese forces within the Pacific Theatre.


Support the defence of the continent of North America.


Protect the essential sea and air communications.


Prepare for the execution of major amphibious offensives against positions held by Japan, the initial offensives to be launched from the South Pacific Area and South West Pacific Area.


You will not be responsible for the internal administration of the respective forces under your command. You are authorised to direct and co-ordinate the creation and development of administrative facilities and the broad allocation of war materials.


You are authorised to control the issue of all communiques concerning the forces under your command.


When task forces of your command operate outside the Pacific Ocean Area, co-ordination with forces assigned to the area in which operating will be effected by the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the Combined Chiefs of Staff, as appropriate.


Commanders of all armed forces within your Area will be immediately informed by their respective governments that, from a date to be notified, all orders and instructions issued by you in conformity with this directive will be considered by such commanders as emanating from their respective governments.


Your Staff will include officers assigned by the governments concerned, based upon requests made directly to the national commanders of the various forces in your Area.

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The governments concerned will exercise direction of operations in the Pacific Ocean Area as follows:


The Combined Chiefs of Staff will exercise general jurisdiction over grand strategic policy and over such related factors as are necessary for proper implementation, including the allocation of forces and war materials.


The Joint United States Chiefs of Staff will exercise jurisdiction over all matters pertaining to operational strategy. The Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet, will act as the Executive Agency for the Joint United States Chiefs of Staff. All instructions to you will be issued by or through him.


The New Zealand Chiefs of Staff will be responsible for the land defence of New Zealand, subject to such strategic decisions affecting this responsibility as may be made by you for the conduct of naval operations in the Pacific Ocean Area.

Change September 1942


In the exercise of command over armed forces which the New Zealand Government has assigned, or may assign, for the local defence of New Zealand, the New Zealand Chiefs of Staff will be the Agency through which such local command is exercised.


In the exercise of command the principles of command as set forth in paragraph 14 of ABC-1 are applicable.


With regard to the possible movement of New Zealand forces out of New Zealand territory, the following by the United States Chiefs of Staff to the President is self-explanatory:

‘Proposals of the United States Chiefs of Staff (for operation in the Pacific Ocean Areas) made to the President as United States Commander-in-Chief are subject to review by him from the standpoint of higher political considerations and to reference by him to the Pacific War Council in Washington when necessary. The interests of the Nations whose forces or whose land possessions may be involved in these military operations are further safeguarded by the power each Nation retains to refuse the use of its forces for any project which it considers inadvisable.’