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To General Douglas MacArthur1
[January 13, 1942] [Radio No. 932] [Washington, D.C.]
Re your number 43 January 12 colon2 Information points in our opinion to possibility of containing operations and demonstrations against you and later even in Malay states to permit employment of enemy troops in more rapid development of Japanese holdings of critical points in NEI and possibly New Guinea and New Caledonia stop
Your splendid resistance has contributed materially to general situation in Malaysia stop Unity of command should materially improve efficiency of employment of available means stop British and Indian reenforcements up to 50000 troops have been arriving since January sixth and movement will be completed by February 6th stop These are being given general allocations by Wavell particularly to set up defenses for Dutch air fields stop Our heavy bombers have been arriving in theater at rate of three a day since Sunday stop First three bombers to renew trans-Pacific flights reached Australia Sunday stop Seven thousand troops with supplies left Frisco yesterday stop Twenty one thousand leave east coast January 21st due Australia February 14th stop Another convoy of fourteen thousand leaves west coast January 30th stop This personnel largely air and air supporting units stop Success of present attacks by small bombing forces available in that theater indicate probability of strong deterrent effect of bombing by larger forces and eventual reestablishment of naval equilibrium and superiority stop We are considering ordering you out of Philippines to exercise active command and direction over American forces now gathering in Australia and NEI stop Would such action in your opinion jeopardize continued resistance by Filipino troops question.3
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs, Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Executive File 8, Book 2, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Handwritten radio message.
1. Eisenhower made a few minor changes to Marshall’s handwritten draft and wrote at the top: “Prepare for sending DDE.”
2. MacArthur’s message read, in part: “The artillery battle of yesterday has terminated. The enemy has been obliged to displace his entire line of gun positions to the rear and for the present there is every indication that I have drawn the fangs of his attack.” (NA /RG 407 [AG, 381 (11-27-41), Sec. 1].)
3. The final two sentences were omitted prior to transmission. The subject of moving his headquarters was not broached to MacArthur until February 4. See Papers of DDE, 1: 97-98.
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 60-61.