J. C. S. Files

Memorandum by the United States Chiefs of Staff 1

top secret

C. C. S. 417/11

Operations for the Defeat of Japan

1. The agreed over-all objective in the war against Japan has been expressed as follows (C. C. S. 417/92):

To force the unconditional surrender of Japan by:

(1)
Lowering Japanese ability and will to resist by establishing sea and air blockades, conducting intensive air bombardment, and destroying Japanese air and naval strength.
(2)
Invading and seizing objectives in the industrial heart of Japan.

2. The United States Chiefs of Staff have adopted the following as a basis for planning in the war against Japan:

The concept of operations for the main effort in the Pacific is (C. C. S. 417/10):

a.
Following the Okinawa operation to seize additional positions to intensify the blockade and air bombardment of Japan in order to create a situation favorable to:
b.
An assault on Kyushu for the purpose of further reducing Japanese capabilities by containing and destroying major enemy forces and further intensifying the blockade and air bombardment in order to establish a tactical condition favorable to:
c.
The decisive invasion of the industrial heart of Japan through the Tokyo Plain.

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3. The following sequence and timing of operations have been directed by the United States Chiefs of Staff and plans prepared by theater commanders:—

Objectives Target Date
Continuation of operations in the Philippines (Luzon, Mindoro, Leyte)
Iwo Jima 19 February 1945
Okinawa and extension therefrom in the Ryukyus 1 April–August 1945

4. Until a firm date can be established when redeployment from Europe can begin, planning will be continued for an operation to seize a position in the Chusan-Ningpo area and for invasion of Kyushu-Honshu in the winter of 1945–1946.

5. Examination is being conducted of the necessity for and cost of operations to maintain and defend a sea route to the Sea of Okhotsk when the entry of Russia into the war against Japan becomes imminent. Examination so far has shown that the possibility of seizing a position in the Kuriles for that purpose during the favorable weather period of 1945 is remote due to lack of sufficient resources. The possibility of maintaining and defending such a sea route from bases in Kamchatka alone is being further examined.

6. The United States Chiefs of Staff have also directed examination and preparation of a plan of campaign against Japan in the event that prolongation of the European war requires postponement of the invasion of Japan until well into 1946.

  1. Quoted by W. Averell Harriman in statement submitted to a Joint Senate Committee, August 17, 1951; printed in Department of State Bulletin, September 3, 1951, vol. xxv, p. 373. This document constituted appendix B to the final report of the Combined Chiefs of Staff to the President and the Prime Minister at Yalta. See post, p. 830.
  2. This document (not printed herein) came from the Quebec Conference of 1944.