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Editorial Note on Reinforcement of the Philippines
Army planners began, during the summer and autumn of 1941, to revise their views of the defensibility of the Philippine Archipelago in the face of growing Japanese military power. Formerly, they had assumed that the islands could offer only a temporary citadel defense of the naval facilities around Manila. (Louis Morton, The Fall of the Philippines, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1953], p. 65.) By mid-summer of 1941, however, “as a result of the alignment of Japan with the Axis,—followed by the outbreak of war between Germany and Russia, the strategic importance of the Philippines was enhanced.” (Marshall [draft by W.P.D.] to MacArthur, October 18, 1941, NA/RG 165 [WPD, 4175-18]. See Memorandum for General Arnold, July 16, 1941, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #2-510 [2: 567-68]. Accordingly, revisions to the Far East portion of basic war plan Rainbow 5 were initiated and further steps were taken to reinforce the Philippines.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 598-599.