World War Two: Italy (3-27) The Surrender

Badoglio’s Announcement: On the afternoon of 8 September, General Roatta, the Army chief, drove from Rome to Monterotondo, his headquarters just outside the city. He found a message from Kesselring. Because air observation indicated an imminent Allied landing near Naples, Kesselring asked permission, in accord with protocol, to move the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division southward to meet the invasion.

Suspecting that the request disguised a desire to move the division closer to the capital, Roatta stalled. It would be well, he replied, to defer the movement until the following morning in order to avoid any incident between the German troops and the Ariete and Piave Divisions north of Rome. When Rintelen telephoned and renewed Kesselring’s request, Roatta yielded, though he limited the German movement to advance elements and, during darkness, to a certain line north of the capital.

Later that afternoon Kesselring’s chief of staff, Westphal, telephoned to confirm his appointment with Roatta for early that evening. Roatta said he would be waiting. At 1800, Roatta received a telephone message from Ambrosio, who urgently requested Roatta’s presence at a conference with the King. Assuming that the conference would explore the methods of persuading General Eisenhower to postpone the armistice announcement, and hopeful of its success, Roatta felt it expedient to remain on good terms with the Germans a little while longer. He decided to stay in his office to meet with Westphal and sent his deputy, Generale di Corpo d’ Armata Giuseppe De Stefanis, to attend the conference with the King.

Actually, the meeting with the King was prompted by Eisenhower’s message to Badoglio insisting that Badoglio keep his word and announce the armistice in accord with his agreement. The message had thrown the Italian Government and High Command into panic. Until the message arrived, at approximately 1730, 8 September, an hour before the scheduled announcement, the Italians had assumed that the climactic moment would be postponed, an assumption based on the fact that Taylor and Gardiner had agreed to take Rossi to North Africa. To them, this had meant that AFHQ was willing to enter into new discussion of joint Italo-Allied plans. Certainly, therefore, it appeared that General Eisenhower would take no decisive action until he heard Rossi’s “communication of fundamental importance.” And Roatta would have a few more days to complete his preparations for the defense of Rome.

Eisenhower’s telegram had destroyed these illusions. The opening sentence alone left no room for misunderstanding: “If you or any part of your armed forces fail to co-operate as previously agreed I will publish to the world full record of this affair.” This was precisely what Guariglia, the Foreign Minister, had feared when he learned that Castellano had put into writing Italy’s willingness to surrender. Worst of all, Eisenhower had the power to frustrate any attempt to patch things up with the Germans.2

Upon receiving the full text of the telegram, Badoglio summoned those most intimately involved in the armistice negotiations to assist him in presenting the problem to the sovereign. Attending the conference in the Quirinal Palace at 1815, 8 September, fifteen minutes before Eisenhower’s broadcast, were: the King; Acquarone, Minister of the Royal Household; Badoglio, Head of Government; Guariglia, Foreign Minister; Ambrosio, chief of Comando Supremo; Carboni, in his capacity as chief of military intelligence; Ammiraglio di Squadra Raffaele de Courten, Minister and Chief of Staff, Navy; Sandalli, Minister and Chief of Staff, Air Force; Sorice, Minister of War; De Stefanis, deputy chief of the Army General Staff and representing Roatta; Puntoni, senior aide-de-camp to the King; and, at Ambrosio’s insistence, Major Marchesi, who was asked to attend because of his familiarity with the negotiations Castellano had conducted in Sicily, at which Marchesi had been present. Ambrosio opened the meeting with a short exposition of the military situation. The Allied armistice date, he said, had caught the Italians with their Army plans not quite complete.

Sorice, who knew little of the previous negotiations, and Carboni, who had followed the negotiations with great care, both agreed that the Allies had broken faith with the Italian Government by moving up the date of the announcement. Because of their brusque demand, Sorice and Carboni believed that the Allies deserved no consideration. Both urged rejection of the armistice, particularly since the German reprisals would be terrible. Carboni proposed that the King disavow Castellano’s negotiations, if necessary dismiss Badoglio, and thereby indicate that the pledges given in Badoglio’s name had not been authorized. Sorice thought this a good idea.

In the discussion that followed, some generals appeared blind to every aspect of the situation except the impossibility of having the Italian armed forces face the Germans alone. Eisenhower’s telegram, they maintained, was nothing but a trap to compromise them with the Nazis.

Though not asked to speak, Major Marchesi felt that his presence at the signing of the armistice justified his comments. He rose and presented to the senior generals and statesmen a grim picture of the consequences in store for the Royal Government if it failed to keep its pledge. He explained the import of General Eisenhower’s threat: if the Allies published the surrender documents, the government would have no chance of continuing the alliance with Germany.

After Marchesi’s remarks, Guariglia, scated at the King’s left, rose to speak. He had not approved the way in which the military negotiations had been conducted, he declared, but at this stage it would be absurd to disavow them. Disavowal would leave Italy in the position of facing simultaneously the hostility of both the Anglo-Americans and the Germans. Ambrosio expressed agreement with this view.

Thirty minutes had gone by when word arrived of a Reuters dispatch from London announcing the armistice. Carboni promptly proposed that the government issue an immediate denial. But a few minutes later, when the news came that Eisenhower himself was broadcasting a detailed statement of the armistice, the councilors’ spirits sank to the nadir. Support for Carboni’s proposal to disavow everything vanished.

In Monterotondo, Roatta was conferring with Westphal and the new German Military Attache, Toussaint, on joint measures to meet the Allied invasion when the German Embassy telephoned. The American Government in Washington, the embassy spokesman revealed, had announced an armistice with Italy. Stunned by the timing of the announcement, Roatta had little difficulty convincing Westphal and Toussaint that he knew nothing of an armistice. He denounced the broadcast from Washington as an Anglo-American trick designed to embroil the Italians and Germans in warfare.[N3-27-3]

Westphal and Toussaint departed immediately. Roatta decided to move his staff back to the Palazzo Caprara in Rome. Even before the Germans were out of the building, Zanussi alerted other members of the headquarters for the move and began to select papers to be burned.

In the Quirinal Palace at the royal conference, Badoglio expressed no conviction, even at that late hour, on what course the government ought to follow. He did no more than explain to the King the alternatives which he faced. The sovereign might disavow Badoglio’s pledges, declare that Badoglio had contracted them without the King’s knowledge, and accept Badoglio’s resignation, which he, Badoglio, was ready to offer. Or, the King could accept the conditions on which General Eisenhower insisted, regardless of the consequences.

 [N3-27-3 Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 179-80; Roatta, Otto milioni, p. 318; II Processo CarboniRoatta, pp. 39-41; Albert Kesselring, Soldat bis zum ietzten Tag (Bonn: Athenaeum-Verlag, 1953), pp. 242-45; Colonel Karl Heinrich Graf von Klinckowstroem in MS #T-Ia (Westphal et ai.), ch. V, p. 9.]

Both alternatives were staggering. The Allies demanded complete and abject surrender. They refused to believe that the Italian Government was not a free agent. They shared none of their plans. They had avoided giving assurance of their readiness to occupy the country whose surrender they demanded.

What the Italians were not aware of was the politico-military Allied strategy. They did not know that the Allies were assaulting the Italian mainland with limited means, in effect, a holding attack subordinate to a cross-Channel invasion of northwest Europe. Overestimating the strength available to AFHQ for commitment on the Italian peninsula, they did not realize how vital the armistice was to the Allies. As for what the Italians could expect from Germany, there was only the grim prospect that the Germans would wage war to the bitter end. They expected to fight on the Italian peninsula and use it as the glacis of Fortress Germany. Yet they could not altogether conceal their intention to withdraw to the line of the northern Apennines. In this case, there was a basis at least for a slight hope that Rome might be spared the destruction of combat.

Since Badoglio could not or would not make up his mind on what the government ought to do, the King decided. It was no longer possible, Victor Emmanuel III concluded, to change sides once again. Italy was committed to the armistice.[N3-27-4] The decision made, Badoglio hastened to Radio Rome. At 1945, 8 September, an hour late, he read his announcement of the armistice, following exactly the text approved by AFHQ. The broadcasting station recorded the announcement and repeated it at intervals throughout the night.

To the Italian people, Badoglio’s armistice announcement came as startling news. His only other public statement had been his declaration on assuming office that the war would continue. The abrupt change itself was a shock, and the announcement gave little explanation-no indication of swift and harsh German reprisals, no suggestion that Germany had become the enemy, no guidance for the future. Badoglio merely acknowledged Italy’s defeat, and this had been apparent for some time.

[N3-27-4 Chief sources for the Quirinal Palace conference are: Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, pp, 105-06; Carboni, L’ armistizio e la difesa di Roma, pp, 30-31; Ii Processo Carboni-Roatta, pp, 38-40: Guariglia, Ricord;, pp. 704-06; Roatta, Otto milioni, p. 3 [2; Zanussi, Guerra e cataltrote, II, [79, Puntoni (Vittorio Emanuele III, pages 16[-62) incorrectly states that Roatta attended the conference,]

[N3-27-5 Badoglio, M emor;e e document;, pp. 106-07, II Processo Carboni-Roatta, p, 40; Daily Report Foreign Radio Broadcasts, Thursday, SepttCmber 9, 1943, gives the time of Badoglio’s announcement as 1345 Eastern War Time, which was 1945 B time, or Rome time, See also Telg W-12 AFHQ to AGWAR, 43, 0100/4/4,1, Telg, AFHQ to CCS, 36j, 9 Sep 43, 0100/12/165,11.]

[N3-27-6 Bonomi, Diario di un anno, pp, 93-94; Maugeri, From the Ashes of Disgrace, p. 185,] 

As for the armed forces, the radio broadcast offered no strong and definite instructions for the behavior of the few hundred aircraft, the effective and powerful fleet, the sixty divisions of about 1,700,000 men who, though woefully ill equipped, still comprised a disciplined force, Without clear directives from a central authority in Rome, the military forces did not know what to do. The vague orders issued before the armistice had reflected Badoglio’s indecision. He had not wished, and had not permitted, the armed forces to organize their plans and dispositions for real anti-German action. Hoping to the last to get an Allied guarantee to occupy Rome and protect his government, thereby gaining more time, Badoglio had refused to risk anything that might have brought a showdown with the Germans.

Flight of the King and High Command

At Monterotondo, as soon as Badoglio’s announcement confirmed the news of the armistice, Roatta telephoned 0B SUED headquarters twice to assure the Germans on his honor as an officer that when he had given his word to Westphal, he had known nothing of the surrender.

Fifteen minutes later, Roatta issued an order to the three Italian corps defending Rome to man the roadblocks around the capital. German troops leaving the city were to be permitted to go; German columns moving toward the capital were to be stopped, All units were to “react energetically against any attempt to penetrate [into Rome] by force or against any hostile actions whatsoever.” [N3-27-7 II Processo Carboni-Roatta, p. 58; Zanussi, Guerra e catastroe, II, [85-86,] The order was defensive in nature. Though reports had come in that two Italian sentinels had been killed by German troops nearby, Roatta declined to order his forces to attack. He apparently hoped that the Germans would withdraw to the north.

The initial reaction of the staff of the German Embassy to the news of the armistice encouraged this Italian hope. The announcement of the armistice had taken the Germans by surprise. Ambassador Rahn had had an audience with the King shortly before noon, 8 September, and though he attempted to discover some indication of future Italian policy, he had learned nothing. Embassy members burned papers in haste, made frenzied arrangements to evacuate civilians. About 2100, the Charge d’Affaires requested Italian armed protection, and Rahn took his embassy staff posthaste by special train to the northern border. For the first two hours after the armistice announcement, the German civilians seemed intent on escaping, the German military forces appeared to be trying to withdraw. To expedite the hoped-for exodus, Ambrosio issued instructions around 2200 to let the Germans pass if they presented themselves at the roadblocks peaceably.[N3-27-9]

The King, his family, and Badoglio had, in the meantime, taken refuge for the night in the Ministry of War, which had a detachment of armed guards. Ambrosio also installed his office there. By 2300, Roatta had transferred the key members of his staff and set up his command post in Rome.[N3-27-10]

[N3-27-9: Rudolf Rahn, Ruheloses Leben: Aufzeichn ungen und Erinnerungen (Du(‘sseldorf: Diedrichs Verlag, 1949), p. 229; Il Processo RoattaCarboni, p. 59; Rossi, Come arrivammo, p. 240: Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 189; Carboni, L’ armistizio e la difesa di Roma, pp. 35-36; Guariglia, Ricordi, p. 712. Carboni, in L’armistizio e la difesa di Roma, page 36, gives the instruction presented him by Ambrosio to let the Germans pass.]

[N3-27-10 Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, pp. 113-I4; Il Processo Carboni-Roatta, pp. 58-59; Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 189.] 

Soon after midnight, in the early minutes of 9 September, Ambrosio issued the first order to the Italian military forces. Because Promemoria 2, the order drafted several days earlier for the forces in the Balkans, Greece, and the Aegean Islands, had not reached the various headquarters in Tirana, Athens, and Rhodes, Ambrosio repeated and reaffirmed the provisions of the earlier directive. He made one addition: “Do not in any case take the initiative in hostile acts against the Germans.” [N3-27-11] Though the directive went to Roatta for his guidance, Roatta refused to transmit it to the Army troops under his command because he felt that the final prohibition contained in the addition was in conflict with his own Memoria 44, dispatched several days earlier.

[N3-27-11 Rossi, Come arrivammo, pp. 217-18: II Processo Carboni-Roatta, p. 50. 12 Roatta, Otto milioni, pp. 332-33; Il Processo Carboni-Roatta, p. 50.] 

Ambrosio’s order had not yet gone out when the rosy picture of German reaction to the armistice announcement began to assume dark shadows. Reports coming in to Comando Supremo and the Army revealed that German paratroop units along the coast near Rome had surrounded Italian batteries and had begun to attack strongpoints of the Piacenza Division. From Milan came a telephone call reporting a German attack and asking for instructions.

Though these could have been nothing more than attempts by the Germans to secure their lines of withdrawal to the north, the movement of the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division against the outposts of the Ariete Division seemed significantly and ominous, clearly not part of a northward withdrawal. Roatta then ordered the three corps in defense of Rome to close all barricades and oppose German moves with force. Not long afterwards, a telephone intercept between the German Foreign Office and the Embassy in Rome gave rise to greater alarm. The 2nd Parachute (Fallschirmjäger)Division, the message stated, was disarming adjacent Italian units; the 3rd Panzer Grenadier Division was marching south on Rome; and both divisions were confident of success. [N3-27-12]

Should, then, Roatta put into effect Memoria 44, the directive that had alerted each army headquarters in Italy and Sardinia for specified offensive operations? Carboni, De Stefanis, General Utili (Roatta’s chief of operations), and Zanussi urged Roatta to issue the order. Roatta declined to take the responsibility since he would be contradicting and disobeying the latest Comando Supremo directive, but he put the question to Ambrosio. Ambrosio decided that such a serious decision needed the assent or concurrence of Badoglio. Badoglio could not be found.

The result was that Memoria 44 was never put into effect. [N3-27-14] Badoglio’s radio announcement, which had failed to launch the armed forces on an anti-German course, remained the determining guide. Having declined to resist the movement of German troops into Italy and having acquiesced in the movement of German troops to key positions, Badoglio now failed to authorize the attempt by Italian ground forces to save themselves and their honor.

[N3-27-12 Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 190-91; Ii Processo Carboni-Roatta, p. 59.]

[N3-27-14 Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 190-91. In his postwar testimony, Badoglio affirmed that he was not asked whether to order the execution of Memoria 44.] 

The only effort toward this end was an order issued by Ambrosio at 0220, 9 September: The Italian Government has requested an armistice of General Eisenhower, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces. On the basis of the conditions of armistice, beginning today 8 September at 1945 hours, every act of hostility on our part should cease toward the Anglo-American forces. The Italian Armed Forces should, however, react with maximum decision to offensives which come from any other quarter whatsoever. [N3-27-15]

This directive too was strictly defensive, its limit precisely set, by inference at least, by the framework of Badoglio’s announcement. As for Roatta, he too confined himself to ordering his troops to react against force if hostile German acts were verified. [N3-27-16]

Increasingly serious reports continued to pour into Rome-a concentric German attack against the capital, a 2nd Parachute (Fallschirmjäger) Division advance against the Granatieri Division south of the city, threats against strongpoints along the Via Ostiense and Via Laurentina, clashes north of Rome between the Ariete and 3rd Panzer Grenadier Divisions, a movement in unknown strength north from Frascati, and about 0330, notice from the XVII Corps at Velletri that the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division was marching from the Garigliano River area north along the Via Appia with its forward point already seventy miles from the capital. [N3-27-17]

[N3-27-15 Order No. 11136463, 9 Sep 43, signed by Ambrosio, receipt acknowledged by countersignature [Generale d’Armata Italo] Gariboldi (commander, Eighth Army), IT 2.]

[N3-27-16 Roatta, Otto milioni, p. 333; Caracciolo di Feroleto, “E Poi,” p. 159. One copy of Roatta’s order is found in IT 2 as received at Territorial Defense Headquarters at Treviso, 0430, 9 Sep 43. No. 02/5651.] 

The most dangerous threat was the situation arising from the clash of German paratroopers and the Granatieri Division south of Rome. To reinforce the southern defenses, Roatta at 0330 ordered two reserve groups of the Ariete Division to move from north of the city to the south, the separate bersaglieri regiment to move south as a reserve, and all antiaircraft and field artillery units along the right bank of the Tiber River to come into support of the forces defending along the Via Ostiense. [N3-27-18]

Having taken these steps, Roatta spoke with Carboni. The latter estimated that a defense of Rome could last no more than twenty-four hours. Shortly thereafter, Roatta received word of German forces southeast of Rome engaged with Italian troops not far from the Via Tiburtina. Thus, the Germans were surrounding the capital, and the Via Tiburtina remained the only exit still open. Of an Allied approach to Rome, there was no sign. The sea south of Naples was filled with Allied ships; north of Naples, the sea was Empty.

Shortly before 0400, Roatta reported the situation to Ambrosio. Meeting Badoglio soon afterwards, Roatta, in the presence of Prince Humbert and the King’s senior aide, repeated his report.

[N3-27-17 Il Processo Carboni-Roatta, pp. 59-60; Zanussi, Guerra e catastro/e, II, 192-94.]

[N3-27-18 Il Processo Carboni-Roatta, p. 60; Zanussi, Guerra e catastrote, II, 192 (which gives the time of sending the order as between 0200 and 0230). Raffaele Cadorna, in La riscossa: Dal 25 luglio alia liberazione (Milan: Rizzoli and Co., 1948), page 37, mentions receipt of the order and the beginning of his movement at 0530.]

[N3-27-19 Il Processo Carboni-Roatta, pp. 60-61; Roatta, Otto milioni, p. 321; Zanussi, Guerra e catastrote, II, 194-95.] 

If the King and the government had any thoughts of escape, he added, they should move quickly. Only the Via Tiburtina remained open, and it too might soon come under fire. Badoglio reached a decision: the King and the government would leave Rome; the military forces defending the city would withdraw to the eastern outskirts and consolidate on positions near Tivoli. [N3-27-20]

This was a sudden decision, even though the removal of the King and the government from the German threat had been discussed on earlier occasions. Castellano had mentioned the matter at Lisbon. Badoglio had directed his Minister of the Interior as late as the morning of 8 September to prepare a plan to evacuate the government from Rome; he had canceled the order that afternoon. [N3-27-21] Similarly, the decision to withdraw the troops defending Rome to the Tivoli area east of the city was made on the spur of the moment.

Ambrosio and Roatta had planned to defend Rome if the Allies landed a powerful supporting force within striking distance of the capital. But in the absence of immediate Allied support, Badoglio’s decision made sense. It implied only a temporary change. Certainly the Allies would sweep northward quickly and seize the city. Within a week or two, the King and Badoglio would return.

[N3-27-20 Il Processo Carboni-Roatta, p. 61; Roatta, Otto milioni, pp. 322-23; Zanussi, Guerra e catastroe, II, 195-96; Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, pp. 114-16.]

[N3-27-21 Carmine Senise, Quando ero Capo della Polizia 1940-1943; Memorie di colui che seppe tutto (Rome: Ruffolo editore, 1946), p. 244.] 

Now more than ever, the Italians depended on the Allies. Hoping to remove any residue of resentment that General Eisenhower might have, Badoglio sent a message about this time to AFHQ to explain why he had delayed making his announcement broadcast: Missed reception signal agreed wireless and delayed arrival your number 45. He did not consent broadcast proclamation at agreed hour. Proclamation would have occurred as requested even without your pressure being sufficient for us pledge given. Excessive haste has however found our preparations incomplete and caused delay …. [N-27-22] Having revealed to Roatta his decision to evacuate Rome, Badoglio now told Ambrosio, then went to see the King. He found Victor Emmanuel III listening to his aide, who was reporting Roatta’s appreciation of the situation. The King quickly concurred in Badoglio’s decision, and determined to take with him Badoglio, Ambrosio, and the chiefs of the military services.[N3-27-23]

Sometime before 0500, the King, the Queen, Prince Humbert, Badoglio, and four military aides to the sovereign were readv to leave Rome. The King summoned Ambrosio and directed that he, the three chiefs of staff, and the three service ministers depart Rome by way of the Via Tiburtina and plan to meet the King’s party later that day at Pescara, on the Adriatic coast. Though Ambrosio protested that he could not leave immediately because he needed time to make final arrangements, the King insisted.

[N3-27-22 Msg 24, “Monkey” to “Drizzle,” received 0905, 9 Sep 43, Capitulation of Italy, p. 371; Cf. Castellano, Come firmai, p. 187.]

[N3-27-23 Il Processo Carboni-Roatta, p. 61; Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 196.] 

To provide for the civil government of Rome and the country during the absence of the Head of Government, Badoglio left instructions with General Sorice, the Minister of War, to inform the civilian ministers of the King’s and Badoglio’s departure and to charge the Minister of the Interior, Umberto Ricci, with the task of heading a caretaker, skeleton government. Perhaps the Germans would permit the Italian civil authorities to carryon, for, with the exception of Guariglia, the civilian ministers had no knowledge of the armistice negotiations and no responsibility for them. The departing group comprised those persons who were most directly involved in the surrender and who, therefore, had most to fear from the Germans.

Around 0500, five automobiles carrying the royal party left Rome. [N3-27-24] Ambrosio returned to his office, notified the Navy and Air Force chiefs, Admiral De Courten and General Sandalli, that they were to leave, and made arrangements for warships and planes to meet the royal party at Pescara: After leaving a message for Generale di Brigata Vittorio Palma to remain in Rome as Comando Supremo representative, Ambrosio, shortly after 0600, was ready to depart. Sometime during the night he had given Major Marchesi the diary and other compromising documents he had supposedly gone to Turin to get, and had asked Marchesi to destroy them.[N3-27-25]

Roatta, after receiving the royal command to leave Rome, though with no destination specified, decided to move his staff to Tivoli to keep in contact with the troops. He went back to his office in the Palazzo Caprara and, about 0515, in the presence of Carboni and Zanussi, he wrote in pencil on a sheet of notebook paper the draft of an order to Carboni-turning over to Carboni command of the forces defending Rome and directing Carboni to withdraw those forces to the Tivoli area. Roatta read the order to Carboni and told him to have it typed for his, Roatta’s, signature.

[N3-27-24 Il Processo Carboni-Roa/ta, pp. 62-63; Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, p.117.]

[N3-27-25 MS #P-058, Project #46, 1 Feb-8 Sep 43, Question 22.] 

After protesting that the order could not be carried out because the troops were already engaged and therefore could not break contact and withdraw, Carboni had a clean copy of Roatta’s draft order prepared. When he brought it back for Roatta’s signature, he found that the Army chief had gone.[N3-27-26]

Roatta, it turned out, had hastened to the Ministry of War around 0545 and had discovered Ambrosio ready and anxious to depart. After dashing back to the Caprara palace for a last look, Roatta joined Ambrosio, and the two officers left in the same automobile. Not until they were safely out of Rome did Roatta learn that they were bound for Pescara, there to transfer to a plane or ship that would take them to southern Italy. Other key figures followed. Zanussi got out in an armored car about the same time. De Stefanis left about 0100, Utili approximately 0815. General Sorice, Minister of War, remained. Guariglia, the Foreign Minister, remained, too. He was busy all night long, giving instructions to representatives abroad and formally notifying Germany that Italy had concluded an armistice with the Allies. He had received no message whatsoever on the decision of the government to leave Rome.

[N3-27-26 Il Processo Carboni,-Roatta. pp. 63-65: Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 196-97. 199-200: Roatta, Otto milioni, pp. 323, 327; Carboni, L’armistizio e fa difesa di Roma, p. 37. Commanding the Motorized Corps, became the commander of all the forces assembled for the defense of Rome. By now, however, the mission was changed.] 

In Roatta’s absence his deputy, De Stefanis, just before his departure, signed the order addressed to Carboni. It was in this fashion that Carboni, commander of Roatta’s intention was to concentrate these forces-except for the police and carabinieri units, which were to remain in the city to maintain order–in the Tivoli area as a threat to the Germans, who would by then, Roatta expected, have seized Rome. He therefore had ordered Carboni to move his headquarters to Carsoli near Tivoli and had instructed his own staff to set up its command post there. Carboni, however, had no clear concept of his mission. Assuming that he actually could got those forces engaging the Germans to break contact and withdraw-a difficult maneuver–what was he then supposed to do? The withdrawal would perhaps spare Rome a bombardment by German planes and reprisals on the civil population. Perhaps that alone justified Roatta’s order. But why Carsoli, unless the real purpose of the withdrawal and concentration was to protect the Via Tiburtina, the King’s escape route? [N3-27-27]

Carboni’s chief of Colonel Sahi, was bitterly critical of Roatta’s order. He started to rail against it, but Carboni cut him short. Carboni directed Salvi to prepare orders to the division commanders for the withdrawal to the Tivoli area and asserted that he himself intended to go there immediately as ordered. After going to the Office of Militarv Intelligence Service to order certain documents destroyed, Carboni went home and changed into civilian clothes. He returned to the Palazzo Caprara to look once more for Roatta, went a second time to his office in the intelligence bureau, then drove toward Tivoli. His son, who was a captain, and two other junior officers accompanied him. To avoid difficulties from Fascist or German elements along the road, Carboni’s automobile bore diplomatic license plates. There were no incidents, and shortly before 0800, the party reached Tivoli.[N3-27-28]

[N3-27-27 II Processo Carboni-Roatta, pp. 63-65: Roalta, Otto milioni, pp. 323-29: Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 197-201.]

In Rome, Colonel Salvi, upon Carboni’s departure, went to pieces. Though he prepared the detailed orders for the withdrawal to Tivoli, he did not issue them. Suspecting that Carboni was going to Tivoli not to set up a headquarters but to join the King in escape, Salvi tried to get Roatta’s order revoked. At 0730 he went to General Utili, who would soon leave the capital, showed Utili Roatta’s order, declared that Carboni was dead, and asked who would sign the orders to the division commanders. Utili suggested that Salvi get the senior division commander to do so.

Salvi returned to his office and burst into tears. Embracing a captain who entered, he cried: “‘we are abandoned by everybody!” With tears streaming down his face, he told the commander of the Granatieri Division: “The cowards! They have all escaped and left me alone!” To everyone he saw, he shouted that Carboni had gone off with the King and Badoglio. Though he managed to inform two division commanders by telephone of the withdrawal movement, he appealed to them at the same time to get Roatta’s order nullified.

[N3-27-28 II Pracesso Carbani-Roatta, pp. 73-75: Carboni, L’armistizio e la difesa di Roma. pp.37-38; Alfredo Sanzi. II generale Carboni e la difesa di Roma visti ad occhio nuda (Turin:Vogliotti editore, 1946), pp. 122-24.] 

Salvi finally determined to call up the senior division commander, Generale di Divisione Conte Carlo Calvi di Bergolo, the King’s son-in-law, who commanded the Centauro Division. Carboni, Salvi said, could not be found; would Calvi di Bergolo take responsibility for the defense of Rome? Would Salvi, Calvi di Bergolo countered, put his statement and request in writing? Salvi declined. Calvi di Bergolo then said that he had no authority to assume command of the Motorized Corps and that the order for withdrawal must be confirmed.

Only then did Salvi issue, without equivocation, the order to withdrawal to Tinlii. But by then, time had elapsed, making the maneuver infinitely more complicated. Furthermore, as the result of his antics, Salvi had disseminated distrust in the minds of the troop commanders around Rome.[N3-27-29]

Interpretations

In North Africa, no one knew that the Italian Government had fled Rome. Having flown to North Africa with General Taylor and Colonel Gardiner, Rossi arrived at EI Aouina airfield at 1905, 8 September, forty minutes before Badoglio went on the air. The Allies took Rossi to Castellano, who asked him why he had come to AFHQ. To obtain a postponement of the armistice announcement, Rossi explained. Furthermore, he had documents to show why a postponement was necessary. His shock was genuine when he learned that Badoglio had confirmed the surrender.

[N3-27-29 II Pracesso Carboni-Roatta. pp. 74-75. Carboni, L’armistizio e la difesa di Rorna. p. 41, n. 9; Sanzi, Il generale Carboni, pp. 135-37; Cadorna, la riscossa, pp. 37-38.] 

The Allies then took Rossi and Castellano to Eisenhower. Rossi explained the difficulties of proclaiming the armistice at the same time that the Allies launched their invasion; he explained the advantages, both to the Allies as well as to the Italians, that would have been gained if the armistice announcement had been delayed.[N3-27-30]

These arguments, and the “documents of fundamental importance,” were by now an old story to the Allied commander in chief. From the first meeting with Castellano in Lisbon, the Allies had stipulated in accordance with instructions from the Combined Chiefs of Staff that the announcement of the armistice way to precede the main invasion by a few hours. There had been no subsequent divergence from that condition.

General Eisenhower listened patiently to Rossi despite the irritation he must have felt. When Rossi charged Eisenhower with “anticipating” the date of the armistice announcement because he distrusted the Italians, General Eisenhower, according to Rossi’s later recollection, replied: “But we were enemies until two hours ago. How could we have had faith in you?” 

At the end of the discussion, Eisenhower sought to establish mutual good faith as the basis for co-operation. “If some mistake has been made,” he said, “we ought now to accept the situation as it is.” No more than a courteous statement recognizing the lack of complete Italian understanding of Allied plans, the remark was an invitation to look forward. The Italians interpreted the sentence as an admission of error, as conceding that Eisenhower had, in actuality, advanced the date of the announcement.[N3-27-31]

[N3-27-30 Castellano, Come firmai, pp. 186-87; Rossi,Come arriuammo, pp. 160-61.] 

All the Italians involved in the surrender negotiations believed that the Allies had “agreed to,”suggested,” or “indicated” a specific time for the surrender announcement and had then advanced the date. But the Italians displayed a lack of unanimity on the date allegedly given by the Allies. Badoglio expected the time to be the 12th or 15th of September; Roatta the 12th, as did Zanussi; Carboni awaited the 20th or the 25th.[N3-27-32]

Prime Minister Churchill, speaking in the House of Commons on 21 September 1943, seemed to confirm the Italian belief when he said: “The date, which had originally been the 15th, was, however, in fact brought forward to the 9th-the night of the 8th and 9th.” [N3-27-33] In this remark Mr. Churchill was answering the charge, raised in Parliament and in the British press, that the Allies had been slow in taking advantage of Mussolini’s downfall. Precisely what Churchill had In mind was not clear. Perhaps he was referring to the belief at AFHQ during the earliest stages of the AVALANCHE planning that shortages of landing craft appeared to make it necessary to have a longer time interval between BAYTOWN (the Strait of Messina crossing) and the assault landings at Salerno.

[N3-27-31 Rossi, Come arrivammo, p. 161; Castellano, Come firmai, p. 187.]

[N3-27-32: Badoglio, Memorie e documenti, pp. 103-04, 10,), 138; Roatta, Otto milioni, pp. 300-01 :Zanussi, Guerra e catastrofe, II, 164, 166; Carboni Il armistizio e la difesa di Roma, pp. 25-26.]

[N3-27-33 Winston S. Churchill, Onwards to Victory: War Speeches, compiled by Charles Eade (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1944), p. 259.]

Yet the only significant change in the Allied time schedule occurred between the preliminary planning in June and the final planning started in early August. In June, the earliest date for an invasion of the Italian mainland had appeared to be 1 October. In early August, when it appeared the Sicilian Campaign would be short, an earlier invasion date seemed feasible.

The Allies decided on the timing for the Italian invasion before the Italians had made significant contact with them. On 9 August, AFHQ forecast AVALANCHE for 7 September. On 16 August, three days before the first meeting with Castellano in Lisbon, AFHQ scheduled the Salerno invasion, AVALANCHE, for 9 September. No sudden change in schedule to surprise or take advantage of the Italians was ever made.

SOURCE: Sicily and the Surrender of Italy: BY; Lieutenant Colonel Albert Nutter Garland & Howard McGaw Smyth (United States Army Center of Military History)

World War Two: Italy (3-28) The Dissolution; Ex-allies Fight

World War Two: Italy (3-26)The Renunciation

World War Two: Italy: Quebec Memorandum-Surrender Terms (Long / Short)

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World War Two: Japanese Forces From Pearl Harbor to Hollandia (AP-4)

To the Allies the Hollandia operation had proved an unexpectedly easy tactical success, since the Japanese had been strangely ill prepared to defend adequately this potentially powerful base. General Mac Arthur had sent one and two-thirds reinforced divisions against Hollandia on the assumption that 14,000 Japanese, including nearly two regiments of infantry, would be found there. [N4-1] But no strong Japanese resistance and little co-ordinated defense had been encountered there. [N4-2] It appears that about 11,000 Japanese of all services were at Hollandia on 22 April and that ground combat elements were represented by no more than 500 antiaircraft artillerymen.[N4-3]

There are many reasons for Japanese unpreparedness at Hollandia. First, the Japanese had been caught by surprise, tactically speaking. Second, there had been sweeping changes in their command structure at Hollandia just before 22 April. Third, not enough combat equipment was available at Hollandia even to arm properly the thousands of service troops who were there. Finally, and most important, time had worked against the Japanese in the case of Hollandia just as time had worked against them throughout the Pacific since their first successes in late 1941 and early 1942.

Strategy and Dispositions to April 1944 The Japanese Situation to Mid-1943 The Japanese entered World War II with limited objectives in mind, having no plan to press home their attacks or to meet and defeat the main body of the forces opposing them. Initially, they intended only to knock out the U. S. Pacific Fleet, to seize Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies, to occupy the Philippine Islands, and to gain control over a defensive perimeter reaching southwestward from the Kuriles (north of Japan) through Wake Island, the Marianas, the Carolines, and the Marshalls, to Rabaul.

After attaining these objectives, the Japanese expected ultimately to obtain from the United States and Britain a negotiated peace which would leave Japan in possession of a “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.”

[N4-1 Memo, GHQ SWPA, no addressee, 1 Mar 44, sub: Considerations Affecting the Plan to Seize Humboldt Bay Area with Strong Support of Carriers, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Hollandia, 2-14 Mar 44; see also above, Ch. II. Just prior to D Day, new G-2 estimates raised the total to 15,000 Japanese, but lowered combat strength to 1,000. GHQ SWPA, G-2 DSEI 755, 16 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 16 Apr 44. This revised estimate was made too late to affect Allied plans.]

[N4-2] At first, when no fighting took place at the beachheads, General .MacArthur’s G-2 considered it probable that the Japanese had withdrawn inland to make a final, determined stand around the airfields. GHQ SWPA, G-2 DSEI 764, 25 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 25 Apr 44. 3 ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpt 44, 7 Jun 44, copy in G-2 DofA files; 18th Army Opns, III, 41-48; Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 48-51.]

The ALAMO source states that 8,981 Japanese were at Hollandia on 22 April. The 18th Army citation provides two figures: the first, as of ten days prior to the Allied landings, gives a total of 14,700; while the second, for which no specific date is given, sets figures of 10,000 Japanese Army troops and 1,000 Japanese Navy troops. In the light of other estimates, the first 18th Army figure is believed to overlook the number of Japanese Army Air Force pilots and ground crewmen evacuated from Hollandia during April before the Allied landings and, apparently, makes no allowance for casualties resulting from Allied air action before 22 April. The 2nd Area Army monograph states that approximately 10,000 Japanese were at Hollandia on D Day.

Quickly, in late 1941 and early 1942, the Japanese seized their initial perimeter and brought under military control most of the contemplated Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere except for southern China. But no negotiated peace was forthcoming. On the contrary, the United States and Britain gave every indication that they would mount counteroffensives long before the Japanese anticipated such action. The United States began to develop a line of communications to Australia and to reinforce that continent as a base for future operations. [N4-4]

Returning to plans considered but not approved prior to the war, [N4-5] Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, early in 1942, developed in a piecemeal fashion plans to expand the perimeter already seized. Discarding as impossible of execution a Navy plan to take Australia, Imperial General Headquarters determined to cut the line of communications from the United States to Australia by occupying New Caledonia, the Fiji Islands, and Samoa. Flank protection for the new perimeter was to be obtained on the south by seizing Port Moresby, in southeastern New Guinea, and on the north by securing bases in the American Aleutian Islands. The Japanese hoped that the United States would wear itself out in attacks against the new perimeter, find itself unable to mount stronger counteroffensives, and thus afford Japan better opportunity to secure a negotiated peace.[N4-6]

[N4-4: Interrog of Flt Adm Osamu Nagano [Chief of the Navy Section, Imperial GHQ, and Supreme Naval Adviser to the Emperor], 30 Nov 45, in United States Strategic Bombing Survey [USSBS], Interrog 498, copy in OCMH files; USSBS, Summary Report [Pacific War] (Washington, 1946) p.2. In addition to the specific documents cited in this chapter, the author was furnished additional information by Mr. Clarke Kawakami, research assistant to Commodore Richard W. Bates (USN), of the Naval War College. Mr. Kawakami’s remarks on the original draft of this chapter were based on research into Japanese sources and on interviews with high-ranking Japanese Army and Navy officers undertaken while he was a member of the G-2 Historical Section of GHQ FEC in Tokyo.]

[N4-5 As outlined in Combined Fleet Top Secret Opn Order 1, 5 Nov 41, translation in Joint Congressional Investigation Committee, Pearl Harbor Attack (Washington, 1946), Pt. XIII, Exhibit 8, pp. 431-84.]

[N4-6 Japanese Studies in WW II, 72, Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 45-46, 50-54, copy of translation in OCMH files; Kawakami Comments. The plan to move into the Solomons and eastern New Guinea, including Port Moresby, was developed in late January 1942; the plan to move into Fiji, New Caledonia, and Samoa, in late April; and the plan to seize bases in the Aleutians not until late May or early June.]

During the spring and summer of 1942 the initial Japanese attempts to expand the perimeter met with disaster during the Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. Undaunted, the Japanese expanded southward from Rabaul down the chain of Solomon Islands to seize air bases in preparation for the advance to Fiji, New Caledonia, and Samoa. At the same time they attempted to capture Port Moresby by overland action. American landings at Guadalcanal in the Solomons during August stopped the Japanese expansion to the southeast, and Australian troops threw the enemy back from Port Moresby later in the year. The Japanese realized by September 1942 that they had overreached themselves and directed their energies to strengthening their forces in eastern New Guinea, the Solomons, and the Bismarck Archipelago. [N4-7]

To control operations in these areas, the Japanese, in November 1942, established at Rabaul the headquarters of the 8th Area Army. Under this headquarters was placed the 17th Army, already operating in the Solomons and eastern New Guinea, and the 18th Army, which was set up at Rabaul in November to take over control of operations in eastern New Guinea. About the same time the 6th Air Division was organized, placed under the 8th Area Army’s control, and sent to New Guinea. The 17th Army failed in attempts to retake Guadalcanal, while in eastern New Guinea the 18th Army fared no better in trying to maintain its hold on the north coast of Papua at Buna and Gona. The two campaigns made heavy inroads into Japanese ground, air, and naval strength. Imperial General Headquarters paused to take stock.[4-8]

At the close of 1942 Imperial General Headquarters estimated that the Allies intended to conduct a two-pronged drive toward Rabaul (then the principal Japanese forward base in the Southwest Pacific Area) from eastern New Guinea and the Solomons. The Japanese expected that the Allies would then move up the northern coast of New Guinea toward the Philippines and, possibly,

conduct another advance toward the Philippines from northwestern Australia through the Netherlands East Indies. Recognizing that the initiative had been lost, and faced with a lack of shipping and diminishing air and naval power, Imperial General Headquarters decided upon a strategic withdrawal in order to build up defenses against the expected Allied drives and to prepare bases from which future offensives might be launched.

Accordingly, on 4 January 1943, Japan set up a strategic defensive line running through the southern Indies to Wewak, on the northeastern coast of New Guinea between Hollandia and the Buna-Gona area.

From Wewak the line ran southeastward to Lae and Salamaua, whence it jumped to the south coast of New Britain, up to Rabaul, and south along the Solomons to New Georgia. To the north the line ran through the Gilbert Islands, the Marianas, Wake, and the Aleutians.

The 17th Army now began building new defenses in the northern Solomons, withdrawing from Guadalcanal. Lieutenant General Hatazo Adachi, commanding the 18th Army, moved his headquarters from Rabaul to Lae in March and prepared to defend what was left of eastern New Guinea. To strengthen this area the 41st Division was moved from China to eastern New Guinea during the same month. About the same time the bulk of the 51st Division, some of which was already in New Guinea, began shuttling to the Lae area from New Britain. Large-scale attempts to reinforce the 18th Army ended in early March after the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, during which the 115th Infantry of the 51st Division was practically wiped out when the convoy carrying it from New Britain to Lae fell prey to Allied air action. The 20th Division, already in eastern New Guinea, was placed under General Adachi’s

command in April.[N4-9]

[N4-7 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 50-66.]

[N4-8 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 68-74; MID WD, Disposition and Movement of Japanese Ground Forces, 1941-45, copy in OCMH files; Japanese Studies in WW II, 38, Southeast Area Air Opns, pp. 2-4, copy in OCMH files.]

Operations in the Philippines and the Netherlands East Indies since the beginning of the war had been under the control of the Southern Army,[N4-10] subordinate to which were the 14th Army in the Philippines and the 16th Army in the Indies. On 7 January the 19th Army was set up under the Southern Army to relieve the 16th Army of responsibility for Timor, the islands of the Arafura Sea, Dutch New Guinea, Ceram, Ambon, Halmahera, and Morotai. The 48th Division, in the Indies since early 1942, and the newly arrived 5th Division were placed under the 19th Army, which established its command post at Ambon. Troops and supplies destined for the 19th Army passed through the Philippines, while the Palau Islands, already in use to some extent for such purposes, assumed new importance as a staging area through which men and equipment going to the 8th Area Army passed. Initially the boundary between the 19th and 18th Armies (and therefore between the Southern and 8th Area Armies) was the Dutch-Australian international border across central New Guinea. But in April 1943 this boundary was changed to 140 degrees east longitude in order to place Hollandia within the 8th Area Army’s zone of responsibility.[4-11] Japanese Strategic Withdrawals to April 1944

Slow but steady Allied progress in eastern New Guinea and the Solomons during the spring and summer of 1943 prompted Imperial General Headquarters to send air reinforcements to the 8th Area Army. The 7th Air Division, organized in January 1943 for operations in the Netherlands East Indies, was transferred to the command of the 8th Area Army in late May or early June and began sending planes to eastern New Guinea in June. To co-ordinate the operations of the 6th and 7th Air Divisions, the headquarters of the 4th Air Army was set up at Rabaul under the 8th Area Army. The 6th Air Division was to concentrate its strength at Rabaul, the Admiralty Islands, Wewak, and Hansa Bay, east of Wewak. The 7th Air Division was to develop rear area bases immediately west of Wewak and also at Aitape and Hollandia.[4-12]

In September 1943 the pace of Allied operations in eastern New Guinea was accelerated and it appeared to the Japanese that an invasion of New Britain was probable. Unable to think of any feasible way to reinforce the area in the face of increasing Allied air and naval action, Imperial General Headquarters decided upon another strategic withdrawal. Having already lost the Aleutians, Japan established a new strategic main line of resistance along the line southern Indies, Dutch New Guinea, the Carolines, and the Marianas, back to the Kuriles. The former all-important eastern New Guinea-Bismarck Archipelago northern Solomons area was relegated to the status of a holding front, while behind the new defensive line ground strength was to be rebuilt and new air and naval power was to be mustered. By the spring of 1944 the rebuilding was to be so complete that offensive operations, including a naval showdown, could be resumed in midsummer.[N4-13]

[N4-9 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 70-78; MID WD, op. cit.; Japanese Studies in WW II, 37, Hist of 8th Area Army, 1942-45, copy in OCMH files; Japanese Studies in WW II, 41, 18th Army Opns, I, 87-97, copy in OCMH files. General Adachi went to New Guinea twice in March, but his headquarters was not permanently established at Lae until April. ]

[N4-10 Some translations render Southern Army as Southern Area Army. ]

[N4-11 Hist of 8th Area Army, p. 11; Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 4-6; Japanese Studies in WW II, 21, Hist of Southern Area Army, 1941-45, pp. 29-35, copy in OCMH files. The 15th Army, in Burma, and the 25th Army, at Singapore, were also under the Southern Army. ]

[N4-12 Southeast Area Air Opns, pp. 13-18; Hist of 8th Area Army, pp. 15-31.]

Rabaul remained the center of the holding front area while Hansa Bay, previously the main port of entry for large ships taking supplies and troops to the 8th Area Army, became a small-boat base. Hollandia took the place of Hansa Bay as the principal unloading point and was to be developed into a major base from which the mid-1944 offensives might be supported. The distribution point for the eastern Indies and Dutch New Guinea became Halmahera, while Manokwari, on the Vogelkop Peninsula of western New Guinea, became the main supply base for western New Guinea. Other air and supply bases were to be developed at Sorong, at the western tip of the Vogelkop, and on the islands in Geelvink Bay. The Palaus retained their status as a staging area for men and supplies moving southeastward toward New Guinea.[N4-14]

In October and November 1943 Allied forces of the South Pacific Area drove up the chain of Solomon Islands to Bougainville, new stronghold of the 17th Army; Central Pacific Area forces invaded the Gilberts; and Southwest Pacific Area troops trapped part of the 18th Army on the Huon Peninsula of eastern New Guinea. The Japanese Navy sent the bulk of its carrier-based air strength to Rabaul in a vain attempt to stem the tide of Allied advance, but this move ended in disaster for practically all of the Japanese Navy’s carrier-based aircraft. Coupled with concurrent losses of cruisers, the decimation of the carrier-based air power resulted in the temporary immobilization of the Japanese Fleet.[N4-15]

Imperial General Headquarters now gave up hope of long holding the eastern New Guinea-Solomons-Bismarck Archipelago area and became perturbed about the opening of a new Allied front in the Central Pacific, presaged by the invasion of the Gilberts. Imperial General Headquarters was again worried lest the Allies mount an offensive toward the Philippines from northwestern Australia, and it still firmly believed that a drive northwest up the north coast of New Guinea was to be undertaken by the forces under General MacArthur’s command. To strengthen the eastern Indies and western New Guinea, plans were made to send the 3rd, 36th, and 46th Divisions to that area from China or Japan. To control future operations in the region, the Headquarters, 2nd Area Army, was dispatched from Manchuria to Davao, Mindanao, in the Philippines, where it arrived during late November 1943. Sent south with Lieutenant General Korechika Anami’s 2nd Area Army headquarters was the headquarters of the 2nd Army, under Lieutenant General Fusataro Teshima, who established his command post at Manokwari on the Vogelkop Peninsula. The 2nd Army and the 19th Army were both placed under the control of the 2nd Area Army which, in turn, was directly under Imperial General Headquarters. The 2nd Area Army was to hold the area from 140 degrees east longitude, west to Macassar Strait and south from 5 degrees north latitude. Hollandia remained within the 8th Area Army’s zone of responsibility.[N4-16]

[N4-13 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 84-96; Japanese Studies in WW II, 50, Southeast Area Naval Opns, III, 2-5, copy in OCMH files.

[N4-14 Southeast Area Naval Opns, III, 4; Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, p. 92; Hist of Southern Area Army, pp. 44-47; Japanese Studies in WW II, 42, 18th Army Opns, II, 134, copy in OCMH files.

[N4-15 Southeast Area Naval Opns III, 5; GHQ SWPA, G-3 Hist Div, Chronology of the War in the SWPA, 1941-45, copy in OCMH files; Tabular Records of Daily Movements of Japanese Battleships, Carriers, and Cruisers, in WW II Seized Enemy Records, Record Group 242, Doc 11792, National Archives; Vols. III and IV of Aircraft Carriers, part of a series of “Greater East Asia War Campaigns: Materials for Investigation of Meritorious Service,” in WW II Seized Enemy Records, Rec Grp 242, Docs 12552 and 12060, respectively. Last two as translated and analyzed by Mr. Thomas G. Wilds, Pacific Section, OCMH.]

The 36th Division began arriving at Sarmi, 125 miles west-northwest of Hollandia, in December 1943, while one regiment, the 222nd Infantry, reached Biak Island in Geelvink Bay the same month. Remnants of the 46th Division, most of which was sunk in transit by Allied submarines, arrived in the Lesser Soendas about the same time. Because of developments in central China, the 3rd Division was left in that country. Initially, the 14th Division was substituted for the 3rd, but neither did it ever reach New Guinea. The 36th Division passed to the control of the 2nd Army, and the 46th was placed under command of the 19th Army. The 7th Air Division, which had hardly started moving toward eastern New Guinea, was taken from the control of the 8th Area Army and reassigned to the 2nd Area Army. The air division headquarters was set up at Ambon in November, and shortly thereafter the few planes remaining among those previously sent to eastern New Guinea went to Ambon.[N4-17] Finally, to strengthen the front against the threat of Allied advance across the central Pacific, Imperial General Headquarters dispatched the 52nd Division to the Carolines. There it and other Japanese Army units either already in the Central Pacific or on their way to that area passed to the operational control of the Combined Fleet.[N4-18]

During the last months of 1943 and the opening months of 1944 Allied offensive moves continued at an ever-increasing rate. In the Southwest Pacific the entire Huon Peninsula area was cleared of Japanese troops, and a foothold was seized in western New Britain. In the South Pacific the Japanese could not stem the Allied advance in the northern Solomons, and the Allies moved on to seize an airfield site on Green Island, east of Rabaul and within easy fighter range of that base. The final steps in the isolation of Rabaul were the seizure of the Admiralty Islands by Allied forces of the Southwest Pacific Area in February and March 1944, and the capture of Emirau Island by South Pacific Area troops in March. In the Central Pacific events moved just as rapidly. In January and February Allied forces advanced into the Marshall Islands, while carrier-based aircraft of the U. S. Pacific Fleet struck heavily at Truk, previously the Combined Fleet’s strongest advance base.[N4-19]

[N4-16 Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 9-13; 2nd Area Army Opn Plan A-1, 23 Nov 43, as cited in Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 14-21; Hist of Southern Area Army, pp. 45-47; Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 94-96; Kawakami Comments. Lieutenant General Kenzo Kitano, the 19th Army’s commander, commanded the 4th Division in the Philippines in 1942. This division spearheaded the final Japanese drive which resulted in the American surrender at Bataan and Corregidor. See Morton, The Fall of the Philippines.]

[N4-17 Japanese Studies in WW II, 32, 2nd Army Opns in the Western New Guinea Area, pp. 1-2, copy in OCMH files; Hist of Southern Area Army, pp. 44-57; Southeast Area Air Opns, pp. 25-29; Interrog of Col Rinsuke Kaneko (JAAF), 21 Nov 45, in USSBS [Pacific], Naval Analysis Division, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, 2 vols. (Washington, 1946, OPNAV-P-03-100), II, 404-08; 2nd Area Army Opn Order, no number, 28 Nov 43, as translated in GHQ SWPA, ATIS Current Translation 131, 31 Jul 44; Kawakami Comments.]

[N4-18 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ,, p. 93; Japanese Studies in WW II, 55, Central Pacific Opns, pp. 17-18, copy in OCMH files. 19 GHQ SWPA, G-3 Hist Div, Chronology of the War in the SWPA.]

The Japanese high command was again forced to issue withdrawal orders and to make attempts to strengthen forward area positions. The Allied advances in eastern New Guinea prompted the 8th Area Army to order the 18th Army to retreat to Madang. On 8 January 1944 General Adachi moved his 18th Army headquarters by submarine from Sio, on the Huon Peninsula, to Madang, only eight days before Australian troops seized Sio. Shortly after that narrow escape, the command post was moved still farther westward to Wewak.[N4-20]

About 10 February the Combined Fleet, recognizing that the establishment of Allied air bases on the Admiralties and Marshalls would bring all the Carolines within range of Allied bombers, decided that the Truk fleet base was no longer tenable. The opinion was forcibly strengthened by the Pacific Fleet carrier strike on Truk later in the month, and Combined Fleet headquarters was moved to the Palaus. About the same time, the Japanese Navy abandoned all hope of conducting successful operations in the Bismarck Archipelago-northern Solomons area and withdrew the last remnants of its air power from Rabaul.[N4-21]

More drastic redispositions and new changes in command structure were effected by both the Japanese Army and Navy in March and early April 1944. The Combined Fleet had no intention of making the Palaus a permanent base but planned to use the base only as a temporary advanced anchorage until new base facilities in the Philippines could be developed. The ultimate withdrawal of Combined Fleet headquarters and surface units from the Palaus was speeded by the carrier raids of the U. S. Fifth Fleet on those islands at the end of March, when the American carriers were providing strategic support for the Hollandia operation. The Japanese Navy, as a result of these carrier raids and, later, the threat of Allied land-based bomber attacks on the Palaus from Hollandia, ceased to be much interested in the Palaus.

But Imperial General Headquarters, in March, was still determined to strengthen the central Pacific. Accordingly, early that month, the headquarters of the 31st Army, Major General Hideyoshi Obata commanding, was set up on Guam in the Marianas to exercise command under direction of the Combined Fleet of all Japanese Army units in the Central Pacific islands. The 29th Division was sent out to the Marianas in March also, and plans were made to send the 43rd Division to the same islands.[N4-22] The portion of the strategic main line of resistance for which the 31st Army was responsible extended along the line Bonins-Volcanos-Marianas-Ponape-Truk-Woleai-Yap-Palaus. At the Palaus the line tied into the 2nd Area Army’s zone of responsibility.

So far, the Palaus had been little more than a staging area, and few combat troops were on the islands. In March, line of communications troops, replacements, and rear echelons of various 8th Area Army units in the Palaus passed with their commander, Major General Takeo Yamaguchi, to the control of the 2nd Area Army. More wide-sweeping changes were due in the Palaus, for by March Imperial General Headquarters was worried lest the Palaus were to become an immediate target of Allied invasion. It was therefore decided to send strong reinforcements to the Palaus, and the 14th Division was scheduled for shipment to the islands from northern China. The 35th Division was promised to the 2nd Area Army in place of the 14th, but, since it would be some time before the 14th Division could reach the Palaus, the 219th Infantry (less one battalion, but with a battalion of artillery attached) of the 35th Division was sent on to the Palaus, where it landed during March. The remainder of the 35th Division proceeded to Halmahera and western New Guinea via the Philippines, delayed as a result of Allied submarine attacks on the convoy carrying it southward.

[N4-20 Hist of 8th Area Army, p. 46; MID WD, op. cit.; Interrog of Capt Shigeru Iwaki, 21 Feb 46, in GHQ SCAP, ATIS Doc 14924-A, copy in OCMH files.]

[N4-21 Southeast Area Naval Opns, III, 2-9; Interrog of Comdr Chikataka Nakajima [staff of CinC, Combined Fleet], 22 Nov 45, in USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, II, 432-35.]

[N4-22 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, p. 93; Central Pacific Opns, pp. 17-18; MID WD, Order of Battle of the Japanese Armed Forces, 1 Mar 45, pp. 72, 100. The 43rd Division’s convoy suffered heavy losses on the trip to the Marianas, but the remnants of the division arrived in the islands in May.]

The U. S. Fifth Fleet’s carrier raid on the Palaus at the end of March apparently prompted Imperial General Headquarters to expect an invasion of the Palaus in the near future. Obviously, the understrength regimental combat team of the 35th Division could not hold those islands, and herefore efforts were made to speed the shipment of the 14th Division. Destined originally for western New Guinea and even later for the Marianas, the 14th Division finally set sail for the Palaus early in April, reaching those islands safely on the 24th of the month, just two days after the Allied landings at Hollandia. During the ensuing weeks the elements of the 35th Division already in the Palaus left to rejoin their parent unit in western New Guinea. Lt. General Sadae Inoue, commanding the 14th Division, was appointed Commander, Palau Sector Group, in which capacity his area of responsibility included Yap in the Carolines, as well as the Palaus. General Yamaguchi’s staging area forces already in the Palaus passed to General Inoue’s command, probably about the same time that the 14th Division arrived in the islands.[N4-23]

Equally radical changes had been made to the south. Recognizing that the 8th Area Army and the 17th Army were irretrievably cut off, Imperial General Headquarters, on 14 March 1944, wrote them off as a loss, ordering them to hold out as best they could. About the same time the 18th Army and the 4th Air Army were transferred to the jurisdiction of the 2nd Area Army, for it was evident that the 8th Area Army’s headquarters at Rabaul could no longer exercise effective control over the two units. The boundary between the 2nd and 8th Area Armies was moved eastward to 147 degrees east longitude (the Admiralties, however, remained under the 8th Area Army). The 18th Army, then reorganizing at Madang, was brought well within the 2nd Area Army’s zone, as were the Japanese bases at Hansa Bay, Wewak, Aitape, and Hollandia.

Imperial General Headquarters ordered the 2nd Area Army to hold all the territory west of Wewak within its zone and to pull the 18th Army west from Madang to Wewak, Aitape, and Hollandia. The 2nd Area Army was also instructed to develop Hollandia into a major supply base, but neither this development nor the 18th Army’s withdrawal was to interfere with more important defense preparations in western New Guinea and the islands between the Vogelkop Peninsula and the Philippines. Given this leeway, the 2nd Area Army decided to concentrate its efforts in strengthening a strategic defensive front along the line from the Lesser Soendas through the Aroe Islands in the Arafura Sea, north to Mimika on the southwest coast of Dutch New Guinea, and thence to the Wakde-Sarmi area, 125 miles northwest of Hollandia. Although this decision would obviously leave the 18th Army out in the cold insofar as supplies or reinforcements were concerned, Imperial General Headquarters approved the 2nd Area Army’s plan without recorded comment. [N4-24]

[N4-23 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 87- 93, 109, 121-23; Central Pacific Opns, pp. 17-18; Japanese Studies in WW II, 56, The Palau Opns, pp. 4-5, 45-47, 57-61, copy in OGMH files; Kawakami Comments.]

To strengthen the 2nd Area Army, the 32nd and 35th Divisions had already been dispatched toward western New Guinea and Halmahera, where they began arriving in late April. Air redispositions also took place. The 4th Air Army headquarters and the 6th Air Division moved from Wewak to Hollandia in March (both had moved from Rabaul to Wewak in late 1943). Though reinforced, the 6th Air Division was practically wiped out by Allied air attacks during March and April, [N4-25] but its headquarters remained at Hollandia.

Defensive planning of the 4th Air Army and the 2nd Area Army was thrown askew by the aircraft losses at Hollandia, and the Japanese had to decide whether they could again afford to risk a large number of planes as far forward as Hollandia, or whether remaining air power should be re-concentrated farther westward. Since the 2nd Area Army had already decided to establish its main defensive line west of Hollandia, the decision was obvious—no more large numbers of aircraft were to be sent to Hollandia.

The 4th Air Army’s headquarters moved west from Hollandia on 15 April and reestablished the command post at Manado in the Celebes, to which town the 2nd Area Army moved its headquarters from Davao a few days later. At the same time, to coordinate command in the southern regions, the 2nd Area Army passed from the direct control of Imperial General Headquarters to the control of the intermediate link, the Southern Army. Simultaneously, the 4th Air Army passed to the direct command of the Southern Army.[N4-26]

Halmahera, already the principal distribution point for the eastern part of the Netherlands East Indies and for Dutch New Guinea, also gradually developed into a focal point for the Japanese defense of the southern approaches to the Philippines. The Palaus’ former status as a major staging base was gradually curtailed, and the islands lost their importance to the 2nd Area Army.[N4-27]

General Anami was again instructed by Imperial General Headquarters rapidly to develop, behind the new strategic main line of resistance, supply and staging bases from which a general offensive might be resumed in mid-1944.[N4-28]

[N4-24 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 107-11; 2nd Area Army Opn Order A-40, 20 Mar 44, as translated in ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpt 48, 5 Jul 44, copy in G-2 Dof A files.]

[N4-25 The destruction of the 6th Air Division is discussed in Ch. II, above.]

[N4-26 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp. 110-13, 120-23; Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 30-44,47-48, 53-55; Southeast Area Air Opns, pp. 16-18, 36; 18th Army Opns, III, 41-46; 4th Air Army Opn-Order A-250, 22 Mar 44, in GHQ SWPA, ATIS Enemy Publication 268, 4 Jan 45, copy in OCMH files; Interrog of Colonel Kaneko, 21 Nov 45, in USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, II, 404-08; AAF SWPA Int Sum 197, 8 Apr 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnl, 7 Apr 44.]

[N4-27 ALAMO Force, G-2 Est of Enemy Sit with Respect to Morotai, 1 Aug 44, in ALAMO G-3 Jnl Morotai, 2-8 Aug 44; ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpts 44 and 51, 7 Jun and 26 Jul 44, respectively, copies in G-2 Dof A files; Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp.53-55. ]

[N4-28 Hist of Army Section, Imperial GHQ, pp.84-96.]

Japan’s Pacific Order of Battle, April 1944

Thus, in the area of principal immediate interest to Allied forces of the Southwest Pacific as they moved toward Hollandia in April 1944, the Japanese high command centered in General Count Hisaichi Terauchi’s Southern Army, with headquarters at Singapore.[N4-29] Under the Southern Army was the 2nd Area Army, headquarters at Manado, which in turn controlled the 2nd, 18th, and 19th Armies. The 2nd Area Army had about 170,000 troops under its command.

In western New Guinea and the Hamahera region was the 2nd Army headquarters at Manokwari, comprising the 32nd, 35th, and 36th Divisions, and miscellaneous other units, totaling about 50,000 men. The strength of the 19th Army, spread over most of the rest of the Netherlands East Indies, was also about 50,000 troops, centered around the 5th, 46th, and 48th Divisions. The 8th Area Army, controlled directly by Imperial General Headquarters, retained under its command in the Solomons and Bismarck Archipelago the 17th Army, the 38th Division, the 65th Brigade, and the remnants of the 6th and 17th Divisions.

Total strength of the 8th Area Army in April 1944 was perhaps 80,000 men. In the Philippines the Southern Army had under its command the 14th Army, comprising the 16th Division and four independent mixed brigades. The 14th Army had about 45,000 combat troops under its control, and total Japanese strength in the Philippines was about 100,000 men, including air, naval, and army service troops. On the Central Pacific islands was the 31st Army, under the operational control of the Central Pacific Fleet and consisting of the 14th, 29th, and 52nd Divisions, with the 43rd Division on the way. The 31st Army was about 60,000 men strong. The 14th Division and other units in the Palaus, including naval and air, totaled about 30,000 men.[N4-30]

When the 18th Army, passed to the control of the 2nd Area Army in March 1944, General Adachi had under his control from 50,000 to 60,000 men. His three infantry divisions, the 20th, 41st, and 51st, had all been badly battered in fighting in eastern New Guinea and, since January, had been suffering heavy casualties during withdrawal from the Huon Peninsula area. At the time of the change in command, the 20th Division was painfully reorganizing at Madang (east of which it was fighting a rear guard action against Australian troops) and Hansa Bay. The 41st Division was deployed in the Madang area and was preparing to move westward, while the 51st Division was assembling at Wewak for rehabilitation and reorganization. The total strength of the three divisions at the time of the Allied landings at Hollandia probably did not exceed 20,000 trained combat effectives.[N4-31]

[N4-29 Southern Army headquarters moved to Manila in mid-May 1944.]

[N4-30 The figures given above were derived by Mr. Burke C. Peterson, of the Pacific Section, OCMH, from a mass of Japanese and Allied sources. The location of units was derived from the Japanese Army sources cited in the preceding section.]

[N4-31 MID WD, Disposition and Movement of Japanese Ground Forces, 1941-45, copy in OCMH files; GHQ SWPA, G-2 Monthly Sum of Enemy Dispositions, 30 Apr 44, copy in OCMH files; GHQ SWPA, G-2 DSEI’s 761 and 828, 22 Apr and 28 Jun 44, in G-3 GHQ Jnls, 22 Apr and 28 Jun 44; 18th Army Opns, Annex A-Statistics, Supplementary Chart No. 1. Definitive figures for the strength of the 18th Army in April 1944 are simply not available and all sources are contradictory. General MacArthur’s G-2 Section put the 18th Army strength for April at about 45,000 men. ALAMO Force and Allied Land Forces consistently gave much higher estimates, running from 55,000 to 65,000, while the Japanese source cites a figure of about 75,000 for 1 April.]

Co-operating with the 18th Army was the Japanese 9th Fleet, principal Japanese naval headquarters in New Guinea. The 9th Fleet’s commander was Vice Admiral Yoshikazu Endo, whose command post was located at Wewak until late March, when it moved to Hollandia. Admiral Endo’s command consisted primarily of service troops, naval antiaircraft gunners, and a few shore defense units. His surface strength comprised only a miscellaneous collection of landing craft and armed barges. The majority of the naval service troops in eastern New Guinea were members of the 27th Special Base Force, while the few Japanese naval personnel at Hollandia were under Captain Tetsuo Onizuka, naval ground commander in the area.[N4-32]

In western New Guinea, acting in concert with the 2nd Area Army, was the 4th Expeditionary Fleet. The next step up the Japanese naval chain of command was the Southwest Area Fleet, controlling all Japanese naval units in the Netherlands East Indies area and operating directly under the Combined Fleet. The 9th Fleet, formerly under the Southeast Area Fleet’s headquarters at Rabaul, passed to the control of Southwest Area Fleet in March 1944.[N4-33]

There were a few naval aircraft based at Hollandia from time to time, but Japanese naval air power was, generally speaking, a negligible factor in the New Guinea and Netherlands East Indies areas in April 1944, The Japanese Army Air Force, after the destruction of the 6th Air Division at Hollandia and the withdrawal of the 4th Air Army’s headquarters to Manado, likewise had little left with which to stem an Allied advance in New Guinea. The 4th Air Army had never been at full strength during its operations in the Bismarck Archipelago and New Guinea areas. Its heavy combat losses were aggravated by poor equipment, inadequate aircraft maintenance, supply difficulties, and rough fields which could not be kept in repair. Its history in New Guinea was principally one of frustration.[N4-34]

The Japanese at Hollandia: Planning and Command

The Japanese high command had been for some time aware of the potential importance of Hollandia and of the necessity for building up the defenses of the area. The enemy had decided to develop a major base at Hollandia as early as the withdrawal of the strategic main line of resistance in September 1943.35 The 2nd Area Army, when it took over control in western New Guinea in November, perceived that holding Hollandia would have great advantages and believed that Hollandia ought to be strongly defended as an outpost for the protection of the strategic defense lines base at Wakde-Sarmi, to the west. General Anami, commanding the 2nd Area Army, in November gave some thought to sending elements of the 36th Division east from Sarmi to Hollandia.

[N4-32 Rpt of Capt Shigeru Iwaki (staff, 9th Fleet), 21 Feb 46, in GHQ SCAP, ATIS Doc 14924-A, copy in G-2 DofA files, Doc 257846; Interrog of Captain Toshikazu Ohmae (IJN), 25 Nov 45, in USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, II, 409-10; GHQ SCAP, ATIS Doc 16947, Full Translation of Answers to Questions Concerning the Admiralties and Hollandia, 14 Apr 46, copy, in G-2 DofA files, Doc 261219; 18th Army Opns, III, 41-42.]

[N4-33 Japanese Studies in WW II, 34, Naval Opns in the Western New Guinea Area, 1943-45, pp. 1-10, copy in OCMH files.]

[N4-34 Southeast Area Air Opns, pp. 16-18, 36; 4th Air Army Opns Order A-250, 22 Mar 44, as translated in GHQ SWPA, ATIS Enemy Publication 268, 4 Jan 45, copy in OCMH files; Interrog of Col Kaneko, 21 Nov 45, in USSBS, Interrogations of Japanese Officials, II, 404-08.]

[N4-35 Hist of Southern Area Army, pp. 90-96.]

This plan was abandoned, however, for at the time Hollandia was still within the 8th Area Army’s zone of responsibility.[N4-36] The 18th Army (if not the 8th Area Army) attached some importance to Hollandia. In January 1944 General Adachi stated that Hollandia was to be “. . . the final base and last strategic point of [the 18th Army’s] New Guinea operation.” [N4-37] He outlined a plan for withdrawal to Hollandia should 18th Army operations in eastern New Guinea result in defeat, and he ordered the forces at Hollandia to exert them-selves to develop the defenses of that base. General Adachi complained that the troops at Hollandia, being out of the active combat zone, were leading a life of ease, and he hinted that all was not well with the command structure at the base. In an address to the Hollandia garrison, delivered by proxy during January, the general exhorted forces there to expend “. . . all your effort and be determined to sacrifice everything for the glorious cause.” [N4-38] But exhortations were hardly sufficient—some definite plan of action for the development and defense of Hollandia was needed.

The 2nd Area Army supplied the outline of such a plan when it assumed control of the 18th Army in March. General Adachi was instructed to hold firmly at Wewak, Aitape, and Hollandia; to institute a delaying action westward from Madang and Wewak; to use and co-operate with the 4th Air Army during this withdrawal; and gradually to consolidate the bulk of the 18th Army at Hollandia. General Adachi was to start withdrawing all his forces west from Madang and Hansa Bay beyond the Sepik River immediately, and these forces were to be concentrated at Wewak as quickly as possible. Finally, a cadre of one division was immediately to be sent to Hollandia.[N4-39]

General Adachi received his new orders on 25 March, but his reaction was not exactly that probably expected by the 2nd Area Army. The 8th Area Army had planned to continue operations east of Wewak, to make Madang the front line, and to build up strength to counterattack Allied forces.40 Possibly General Adachi, upon his transfer to the 2nd Area Army, may have had some mistaken loyalty to his former commander and a feeling that the 8th Area Army plan was the better, although he finally recognized that the latter plan would be practically impossible of execution. At any rate, General Adachi’s interpretation of the 2nd Area Army’s definitively worded order was rather strange. He ordered the 41st Division to hold the Madang area by rear guard action until the end of April, but at the same time the bulk of the division was to be sent westward 100 miles along the coast to Hansa Bay. The 20th Division was to move initially to Hansa Bay. Upon its relief there by the 41st Division, the 20th was to proceed to But, some thirty-five miles west of Wewak, and, ultimately, to Aitape. The 51st Division was ordered to move from Hansa Bay to Wewak and, beginning in late July or early August, was to push on toward Hollandia.

[N4-36 Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 22-23, 26-27.]

[N4-3718th Army Opn Order, no number, 22 Jan 44, as translated in ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpt 39, 3 May 44, copy in G-2 DofA files.]

[N4-38 Ibid.; 18th Army Opns, II, 141-46.]

[N4-39 2nd Area Army Opn Order No. A-46, 20 Mar 44, as translated in ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpt 48, 5 Jul 44, copy in G-2 DofA files; 18th Army Opns, III, 17-20; Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 30-46.]

[N4-40 18th Army Opns, III, 4-8.]

Instead of sending one division to Hollandia immediately and getting the rest of the 18th Army started on its way to that area as ordered by the 2nd Area Army, General Adachi decided to concentrate all his forces at Wewak. One concession to the letter and spirit of the 2nd Area Army’s order was made: “. . . and, if conditions permit, strengthen the Hollandia sector also.”[N4-41] The Japanese apparently expected the Allies to launch a large-scale amphibious attack along the north coast of Australian New Guinea about the end of April. However, the enemy placed Hansa Bay and Wewak, in that order, ahead of Hollandia as probable targets for the expected assault.

General Adachi apparently believed that the Allies were going to move on Hansa Bay and therefore evidently considered that he had ample time in which to reinforce Hollandia (although he did betray some slight concern about the Aitape area) but little time to strengthen Hansa Bay. His propensity for devoting most of his attention to Hansa Bay may also have resulted from some wishful thinking. While he had no great fear of Allied forces then patrolling in the area south and east of Madang, he did have some trouble disengaging his units from that region. Moreover, the 18th Army had considerable difficulty crossing the broad swamps and wide washes at the mouth of the Sepik River, between Hansa Bay and Wewak. It would have been much simpler to hold at Hansa Bay.[N4-42]

The 2nd Area Army was not satisfied with the progress of the 18th Army’s westward movement. Therefore, on 12 April, General Anami sent his chief of staff, Lieutenant General Takazo Numata, to Wewak. Perhaps coincidentally with General Numata’s arrival at Wewak, the 80th Infantry of the 20th Division was ordered to prepare for movement to Aitape. The displacement of the 80th Infantry apparently started soon thereafter, but few men of that regiment had reached Aitape by 22 April. General Numata flew back to his headquarters on 13 April, after he had instructed General Adachi to start troops moving to Hollandia as well as Aitape. On 18 April the 66th Infantry of the 51st Division was ordered to strike out from Wewak for Hollandia, where the regiment was expected to arrive about mid-June. The 66th Infantry had not started its movement when for obvious reasons General Adachi, on 22 April, revoked the regiment’s marching orders.[N4-43]

There is no evidence that the Japanese had any prepared defense plans for Hollandia. It could hardly have been otherwise. If General Adachi had entertained misgivings about the command situation at Hollandia in January, by 22 April he may well have been experiencing sleepless nights over it. The Headquarters, 4th Air Army, previously senior headquarters at Hollandia, had left that base for Manado on 15 April. The Commanding General, 6th Air Division, had arrived at Hollandia from Wewak during late March, but he and other members of that unhappy air unit’s staff had been relieved in disgrace after the loss of his planes.

His place was taken by Major General Masazumi Inada, who had been sent to Hollandia from his western New Guinea logistic support command, the 2nd Field Base Unit, by the 2nd Area Army in mid-April. Admiral Endo, 9th Fleet, commander and senior naval officer at Hollandia, had arrived from Wewak only late in March. Finally, the senior officer of all services at Hollandia was Major General Toyozo Kitazono, who had reached Hollandia from Wewak (where he had commanded the 3rd Field Transportation Unit) only ten days before the Allied landings. General Kitazono had no time to develop a comprehensive defense plan for Hollandia, let alone co-ordinate such a plan with General Inada and Admiral Endo. [N4-44] In fact, there can be some doubt that General Kitazono was in a hurry about developing the needed defenses. He had served long and well with the 18th Army and probably brought with him to Hollandia at least some of General Adachi’s belief that either Hansa Bay or Wewak would be the site of the next major Allied invasion.

[N4-41 18th Army Opns, III, pp. 4-8, 9-11; 18th Army Opn Order, no number, 25 Mar 44, as translated in ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpt 43, 31 May 44, copy in G-2 DofA files. The quotation is from the 18th Army’s translated order.]

[N-42 18th Army Opns, III, 17-28, 39-40.]

[N-43 18th Army Opns, III, 17-20, 28-32, 40-41; Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 45-46; 20th Div Opn Order, no number, 12 Apr 44, as translated in ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpt 49, 12 Jul 44, copy in G-2 DofA files; ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpt 38, 26 Apr 44, copy in G-2 DofA files.]

Japanese Reactions to Hollandia

What happened to General Kitazono is uncertain, but somehow he escaped the Hollandia area to survive the war. Whatever was General Kitazono’s situation, the 2nd Area Army, on 22 April, ordered General Inada of the 6th Air Division to assume command at Hollandia. At 0930 that morning General Inada issued a grandiose plan of resistance. Japanese troops in the area were ordered to take up positions near the town of Hollandia and also to “… destroy the enemy expected from Tanahmerah Bay.” Most of the troops that he was able to organize General Inada finally concentrated near Sabron on the Dépapré-Lake Sentani road. There the 24th Infantry Division, advancing inland from Tanahmerah Bay, found the only significant organized resistance encountered during the Hollandia operation.

But, despite General Inada’s best efforts to bring order out of the chaos created by the surprise invasion, most of the Japanese troops in the Hollandia area fled ignominiously into the hills as the first shots were fired from Allied naval guns. Late in the afternoon of 22 April, General Inada, apparently a realist, practically gave up the fight. Faced with the rapid disintegration of his organizations, at least 90 percent of which were service units, he issued a new order which expressed a defeatist sentiment usually foreign to Japaneses thought: “The division [6th Air Division] will be on guard against enemy landings and will attempt to withdraw at night.” [N4-45]

West of Hollandia the 2nd Area Army attempted to take action to counter the Allied invasion. General Anami, feeling that Hollandia was too important a base to be meekly abandoned, wanted to dispatch eastward and overland the bulk of the 36th Division from the Wakde-Sarmi area. Acting on instructions from the 2nd Area Army, the 2nd Army ordered two battalions of the 224th Infantry and a battalion of the 36th Division’s field artillery to start toward Hollandia on 24 April. It was expected that the rest of the division could start moving eastward from Sarmi about 10 May.

The Southern Army, however, would not permit the Sarmi area to be denuded of troops and on 25 April vetoed the plan to send 36th Division units eastward. General Anami stubbornly argued the necessity for the recapture of Hollandia and further recommended that a large-scale amphibious operation for its reoccupation be mounted in western New Guinea in mid-June.

[N4-44 18th Army Opns, III, 41-46, 48-54; Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 30-44, 48-51.]

[N4-45 Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 48-51; 18th Army Opns, III, 48-54; 6th Air Div Opn Orders 45 and The quotations are from the Southern Army was adamant and took pains to point out to General Anami that it would be impossible, because of lack of shipping and air support, to stage a large amphibious task force within the foreseeable future. Finally, on 30 April, the Southern Army canceled further preparations for a push to Hollandia by the 36th Division.]

[N4-46, 22 Apr 44, as translated in 24th Div Opns Rpt Hollandia, pp. 146-47.]

The best General Anami was able to obtain from his discussions with the Southern Army (and representatives had been flown to the senior headquarters to plead the 2nd Area Army’s case) was tacit approval to continue the movement toward Hollandia of such 36th Division elements as had already been dispatched eastward from Sarmi. These units, both infantry and artillery, had been placed under the control of Colonel Soemon Matsuyama, commander of the 224th Infantry, and had been designated the Matsuyama Force. The last elements of the Matsuyama Force cleared the Sarmi area on 4 May. The point of the column had advanced to Armopa, about half way between Sarmi and Hollandia, when, on 17 May, the Allies made a new landing near Sarmi. The 36th Division immediately ordered the Matsuyama Force to retrace its steps. Thus ended Japanese efforts to recapture Hollandia from the west.[N4-46]

Except for the one lucky bomb hit on supplies at Humboldt Bay, Japanese air reaction to the seizure of Hollandia was practically nonexistent, although on 22 April the 4th Air Army was ordered to concentrate all its aircraft on western New Guinea fields to prepare for strong attacks against the Allied shipping and ground forces at Hollandia.

The project was unsuccessful. The 4th Air Army did not have the necessary planes to stage major attacks; Allied naval aircraft intercepted most of the planes the Japanese were able to send toward Hollandia; Allied air action prevented the Japanese from keeping their western New Guinea fields operational; and by the time the American carriers had to leave the area, land-based air support was available to the Allies either at or within range of Hollandia. Japanese naval reaction by air, sea, or subsurface means was equally insignificant.

On 21 April, having learned of the departure of a large Allied convoy from the Admiralties, the Combined Fleet issued orders to the Central Pacific Fleet to attack the convoy with all available submarines. But difficulties arose in getting the submarines assembled for a concerted attack and, except for a few sightings off Hollandia, the subsurface vessels stayed away from the area. The Combined Fleet was itself preparing for a naval showdown in the Pacific, but this battle was not scheduled until midsummer. The Hollandia operation caught the Combined Fleet by surprise and completely unprepared for battle. The Japanese Navy quickly decided that it was powerless to undertake any action against Allied forces at Hollandia.[N4-47]

[N4-46 Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 51-53; Hist of Southern Area Army, pp. 61-64; 224th Inf Opn Orders, no numbers, 24 Apr and 17 May 44, as translated in ALAMO Force, G-2 Wkly Rpt 48, 5 Jul 44, copy in G-2 DofA files; Kawakami Comments. More material on Matsuyama Force operations is set forth below in the chapters concerning action in the Wakde-Sarmi area. ]

[N4-47 Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 48-51; Naval Opns in Western New Guinea Area, pp. 4-7; Kawakami Comments.]

Japanese Withdrawal from Hollandia At Hollandia, General Inada decided to assemble his forces at Genjem, a village about fifteen miles west of Lake Sentani. Near Genjem, situated on the main eastwest inland trail of the Hollandia area, the Japanese had started some agricultural projects. By reason of its location and agriculture the Genjem area was the logical place for gathering forces that were retreating before the Allied advance. Most of the Japanese supplies at Hollandia had been stored around the shores of Humboldt Bay. With these lost, the Japanese could muster less than a week’s supply of rations from inland stockpiles, but they might augment these rations from the projects at Genjem. The next phase of General Inada’s withdrawal plan was an overland trek of 125 miles to the Wakde-Sarmi area. From Genjem one trail led west toward Sarmi, and another trail ran north 16 miles to Demta, a bay village located on the east-west coastal trail. By 30 April some 7,000 Japanese troops had assembled in the vicinity of Genjem. Here they were reorganized, without maps and already short of rations and medical supplies, into nine or ten echelons for the long march westward through inhospitable country. The first echelon, consisting of stranded pilots and ground crews as well as the headquarters of the defunct 6th Air Division, left the Genjem area by 9 May.[N4-48]

The Japanese troops who struck out from Genjem after 1 May either had to push overland through mainly untracked wilderness (the inland trail lost its identity not far west of Genjem and deteriorated into many unmapped and dead-end jungle tracks) or risk encounter with a series of Allied outposts. Companies I and K of the 19th Infantry, 24th Division, had set up road blocks at Genjem and Demta during the first week of May. Company K sent numerous patrols over all trails in the vicinity of Genjem and combed neighboring native hamlets for Japanese stragglers. Company I patrolled south from Demta and along coastal trails leading both east and west of that village. By 6 June the two companies had killed 405 Japanese and had taken 64 prisoners in the Genjem-Demta region. Many more Japanese were found dead of starvation or disease along the trails in the same area.[N4-49]

The hardships suffered by those Japanese killed in the Genjem—Demta sector were probably fewer than those of the troops who sought to make the trek to Sarmi. Remnants of the first group, which had left Genjem on 26 April, approached Sarmi just in time for the Allied invasion of that area on 17 May; the rest had to attempt to bypass Sarmi too. For the most part, the Japanese retreating through Genjem toward Sarmi died slowly from starvation, wounds, and disease. Of those who left the Hollandia area via Genjem, the Japanese themselves estimated that only 7 percent survived to reach the Sarmi area.[N4-50]

Excluding prisoners, there could have been very few survivors of the Japanese Hollandia garrison. The following appear to be reasonable figures concerning operations at Hollandia from 22 April to 6 June 1944.

[N4-48 18th Army Opns, III, 41-46; Hist of 2nd Area Army, pp. 51-53. 49 24th Div Opns Rpt Hollandia, pp. 98-110.]

[N4-50 18th Army Opns, III, 41-46, 48-54. General Inada survived the trek to Sarmi and before the end of the war held important posts in the Philippines and the home islands. Admiral Endo was killed in the Hollandia area on or about 3 May.]

Allowing for errors in the first two figures but also taking into account the number of Japanese killed or captured in the Hollandia area after 6 June and those of the Hollandia garrison later killed or captured during operations farther west, the losses of the original Japanese garrison at Hollandia remain at a staggering figure. Assuming that the Japanese estimate of 93 percent casualties for the troops who attempted the march to Sarmi is reasonably accurate, then it appears that, including prisoners, less than 1,000 of the approximately 11,000 Japanese who were stationed at Hollandia on 22 April 1944 could have survived the war.

[N4-51 As of 27 September 1944, the last date for which comprehensive figures are available, ALAMO Force estimated that 4,478 Japanese had been killed or found dead in the Hollandia area. This is an increase of only 1,146 over the 6 June figure, a fact which lends credence to the Japanese estimate that some 7,000 troops tried the march to Sarmi. Of this number, not more than 500 could have reached the Sarmi area, indicating that 6,000, more or less, must have died from starvation or disease during the trek westward. As of 27 September, ALAMO Force accounted for 656 Japanese prisoners and 13 Formosan prisoners from the Hollandia garrison. These 27 September figures are from ALAMO Force G-2 Wkly Rpt 60, 27 Sep 44, copy in G-2 DofA files.]

Source: Approach to the Philippines: BY; Robert Ross Smith (United States Army Center of Military History)

World War Two: Aitape-Prelude to the Battle of the Driniumor (5)

World War Two: Hollandia Operation (3) Landings

Born on April 4, Happy Birthday Aries!

happy belated birthday to you dear Mira..from Piedad

Happy Birthday Aries!

IF YOUR BIRTHDAY IS ON April 3, you have a lot of admirers. At social events, you are the reason that everyone shows up. People value your opinion but you are very straightforward sometimes. The zodiac sign for a 3rd April birthdate is Aries.

You do it with a sincerity though so it is looked over and viewed as incredible insight. Yes indeed… you have the gift of verbal fortitude. Aries, you can be a mentor to those around you, especially in the workforce. Your tireless efforts don’t go unnoticed.

The birthday personality for April 3rd shows that you are thoughtful, kind and sometimes, domineering. Also, it is very possible you can be gullible, Aries. For this reason, you should take control over your hypersensitive reactions.

When it comes to others, you can be naive. You give your confidence too freely to practical strangers. You are spiritually motivated to help others. Sometimes, Aries, you spend too much on your friends and family.

As a rule, you live for today and don’t even plan for the future. Those born on this day should have the maturity to take control of your finances responsibly instead you could do a little growing in this area of your life.

As per the April 3 birthday meaning, your spontaneous and excitable attitude gets you everywhere. You seem to captivate people with your charm. You are hardly ever out of ideas or friends with whom to share them with.

April 3 born Aries natives get a kick out of romancing someone. You have a playful but sexy way of seducing your lover… it drives him or her crazy. Those born on this day are typically attentive and will enjoy flirting with a love mate who is like them. Intellectuals turn you on, Aries. The last thing on your mind is settling down but you are flexible if someone seems to have your best interest at heart.

The Aries birth date horoscope for April 3 predicts that you like to look at both salary and occupation before settling in on a career decision. You like the idea of fast money. You are flexible and have the skills to challenge almost any profession but would like to work in conditions that would be of help to others as well.

If today is your birthday, you have loads of motivation and insightful plans. You have a niche for piecing together the puzzle and for seeing things from the different angles of truth.

You know when to push forward on a project and you know when it’s not a good idea to pursue a goal. Your instincts give you a clearer view of future possibilities.

Aries zodiac birthday people are generally in good health. You may have to remind an Arian of appointments and such. You haven’t been very obedient at all when it comes to taking care of your body.

Aries born on April 3, your weakness is eating, so you have had to change what you eat. You are capable of overcoming those urges to indulge in a rich chocolate cake with crème filling.

You are also prone to having headaches brought on by tension and stress. One way to avoid stress is to take a break from your daily grind. A nice spa day with all the trimmings is recommended.

According to the Aries April 3rd birthdate astrology analysis, you are a ray of sunshine and people want to bask in your warm and charming ways. You have a gift that you would more thank likely share with those you can help better themselves. You are too trusting when it comes to people in general.

For those born on April 3, career fields and salary options rank high on the list of achievements. Arians are normally healthy people but some love to eat. You have learned how to eat and keep up your ideal weight without losing the joyful effects of eating. You could set aside a day off to pamper yourself.

 

Famous People And Celebrities Born On April 3

Alec Baldwin, Marlon Brando, Amanda Bynes, Doris Day, Chrissie Fit, Jane Goodall, Paris Jackson, Leona Lewis, Eddie Murphy

 

This Day That Year – April 3 In History

1783 – The US and Sweden agree upon a treaty for Amity and Commerce
1790 – Another branch of the armed forces was created called the US Coast Guard
1882 – An invention called the wood block alarm is introduced
1926 – Robert Goddard performs his second flight in a liquid-fueled rocket

April 3  Mesha Rashi (Vedic Moon Sign)
April 3  Chinese Zodiac DRAGON

April 3 Birthday Planet

Your ruling planet is Mars and it symbolizes raw courage, passion, love, authority and willpower.

April 3 Birthday Symbols

The Ram Is The Symbol For The Aries Zodiac Sign

April 3 Birthday Tarot Card

Your Birthdate Tarot Card is The Empress. This card symbolizes an authority figure who can make important decisions and is loving at the same time. The Minor Arcana cards are Three of Wands and Queen of Wands

April 3 Birthday Compatibility

You are most compatible with people born under Zodiac Sign Leo: This is a very loving and compatible match.
You are not compatible with people born under Zodiac Sign CancerThis Arian’s fierce nature does not go well with the Cancerian.

April 3 Lucky Numbers

Number 3 – This is an adaptable number that is creative and diplomatic.
Number 7 – This is a perfectionist number that believes in analysis and introspection before making decisions.

Lucky Colors For April 3 Birthday

Red: This color stands for energy, influence, anger, impulsiveness, and urgency.
Green: This is a stable color that represents loyalty, benefits, joy, and trust.

Lucky Days For April 3 Birthday

Tuesday – Planet Mars’s day that symbolizes rivalry, sexual urge, power, and passion.
Thursday – Planet Jupiter’s day that symbolizes money, fame, work, happiness, and abundance.

April 3 Birthstone Diamond 

Diamond gemstone symbolizes strong relationships and strengthens the effect of planet Venus in your life.

Ideal Zodiac Birthday Gifts For People Born On The 3rd Of April:

Gym memberships for the man and a gift voucher for the woman.

 

–SunSigns.org

Your Daily Horoscopes for Wednesday, April 3

Moon Alert

Caution: Avoid shopping or big decisions from 11 AM to 11 PM EDT today (8 AM to 8 PM PDT). After that, the Moon moves from Pisces to Aries.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

Be careful because most of this day is a Moon Alert. In addition, the Moon is at odds with Jupiter, which is a nice “feel-good” influence, but it also makes you want to go overboard and be extravagant emotionally and practically.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

This is a wonderful day to hang out with others and enjoy their company. Meet friends for lunch or Happy Hour. Enjoy interacting with people if you are attending meetings, classes, conferences or little get-togethers. Warning: during the Moon Alert agree to nothing important.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

You will interact with parents, bosses and VIPs today, therefore, be aware this is a poor day to volunteer for anything or to agree to anything important because of the Moon Alert. (See above.) Be careful of biting off more than you can chew, which you’re tempted to do!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

Resist the temptation to make travel plans today (see Moon Alert above). Be careful not to go overboard in discussions about racial issues, politics or religion. Today people’s emotions are bigger than life, which is why they will fight hard to defend them.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

Although you are focused on taxes, debt, wills and inheritances today – this is a poor day to do anything important or sign papers. Do your homework but defer important decisions until tomorrow. This is for your own protection. (Doesn’t that sound like you’re about to get a vaccination?)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

Be cooperative with others because the Moon is opposite your sign for most of today. Even though you might be in an easy agreement with someone, this does not mean you should agree to anything important. Don’t go overboard in any way.

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Relations with coworkers are good today. Keep to your regular schedule – don’t try anything different. Don’t introduce new ideas. Don’t get carried away with work-related travel plans. Easy does it because there is a Moon Alert for most of today.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

This is a wonderful day to be creative. It’s also a great day to party and enjoy the company of others! Enjoy sports events, playful activities with children and romantic get-togethers. Restrict spending to gas, food and entertainment.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

This is a good day to entertain at home. It’s also great day for family discussions. Don’t lend or borrow money today, and restrict your own spending to food, gas and entertaining diversions. Stock the fridge! Company’s coming!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

Your daily plans might be delayed, or they could go off the rails because most of today is a Moon Alert. However, this is a creative day because you can think outside of the box; nevertheless, it’s a loosey-goosey day, especially if you’re trying to stick to a plan. Make no promises today. Wait until tomorrow.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

Restrict your spending to food, gas and entertainment today. Postpone important financial deals until tomorrow because today you might go overboard and later regret it. Pull in your reins a little and resist excess. (That’s when you’ve gone past reasonable.)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Today the Moon is in your sign; and for most of this day, it’s a Moon Alert. On the whole, it’s a feel-good day and you will enjoy schmoozing with others. You will also be in touch with your creative muse. However, it’s a poor day to spend money on anything other than food, gas and entertainment.

If Your Birthday Is Today

Actor Alec Baldwin (1958) shares your birthday today. You are a strong leader who is compassionate and honest. You generally have good judgment. Expect exciting changes and new beginnings this year! Now is the time to clarify future goals. Think about what you want for yourself several years ahead. This is why you are pro-active and eager to act! You will also be more robust and physically vigorous

 

–GeorgiaNichols

Your Weekly Karmic Forecast for April 2 thru April 6th

Weekly Forecast: April 2 – April 6, 2019

The video version of this forecast, as read by Kelly, is available here.

The Karmic Tools Weekly Forecast covers the current planetary transits which affect people in different ways and to various degrees of intensity. Take notice when it is a Personal planet (Sun / Moon / Mercury / Venus / Mars) interacting with a Social (Jupiter/Saturn) or Collective planet (Uranus / Neptune/Pluto). And pay extremely close attention when it is a Social planet interacting with a Collective planet because that means something *big* is brewing that will move large groups of people along their evolutionary paths. Tuning in to the energy and rhythm of the planets can serve as a useful *guide* as you move along your Individual Path. It also helps to understand your place within the context of the larger Social & Collective Story. Below, you will find out how these energies tend to manifest, as well as guidance and direction.

*NOTE*  There are some days when there are NO CONTACTS (besides the Moon), please note that there are no missing entries, we just list the actual Activations of each week + the day they happen.

Weekly Forecast: March 31 – April 6, 2019

4/2 ~ Mercury (communication/expression) ~conjunct~ Neptune (imagination/spirituality): (3 of 3: 2/19 ~ 3/24 ~ 4/2)
This is a mixed blessing, but definitely an initiation either way. It can be miraculous for creativity, art or exploration. I like this one for a personal ‘conversation with God’, your Higher Self, your SoulSelf. As with any initiation, a completion must come first, and in this case with Mercury, it’s time to expand your thinking in some way – go deeper. Invite your Ancestors, Angels & Animal Guides to answer your questions and guide you at this time. Communing with them is much more supported than communing with the humans around you. So if you need to think about the mundane or confront someone about something which requires complete honesty from both parties, things could get a little hazy & confused thanks to Neptune here. There is always a veil to contend with when dealing with Neptune, but you have to know which side of it you are on so you are in alignment with the Nature around you (3D vs 5D). This energy tends to color reality, misleading you to think you are being perfectly clear in your communication or what you’re trying to express, while others are completely lost. It’s better to say nothing, rather than be completely misunderstood.

4/5 ~ ARIES New Moon:
This is an annual Initiation of the New You, the New Year and a brand New Beginning that is available for those who choose the New, leave the Old/Past behind, and bravely stepping into the unknown. The Libra Full Moon (3/20) may have revealed where more *Internal Balance* is required for you to truly anchor this emerging Identity. It may have also revealed where more *External Balance* is required for you to maintain relationships or agreements with others (or not). Most likely, some of both will manifest. This is an annual opportunity to release imbalances within ourselves and our relationships or environment, anything that is preventing the Aries/New Beginning from unfolding naturally. The Capricorn Last Qtr Moon (3/28) illuminated what you, personally, are responsible for at this time and happened the same day as Mercury Direct, allowing for some additional insights. You are on completely new ground now and the Aries New Moon launches us all to the next level. Consider how much has been cleared and released just in the last year alone. This first *Seed Point* is vital to the next 6-12 months of growth and expansion. It is truly time to close out and release anything no longer essential to your reality or evolution. The message is: Don’t Rush and Neither Postpone. This is the week to dedicate your Self to taking responsibility for whatever you have chosen to create, then consciously prepare to go for it in the very near future! Any residual imbalances can be released with the second Libra Full Moon (4/19). This month’s lunation sets us up for some very new territory, stay alert and present, especially when navigating with others.

Daily Cosmic Calendar for Wednesday, April 3

COSMIC CALENDAR

The asteroid Vesta is making waves of a fiery kind by shifting gears from Pisces to Aries (8:29 a.m.) in a cycle lasting until June 9. Focus attention on safety-security matters, insurance coverage and investment planning, sisterhood ties, and fellowship gatherings as the moon will also make its monthly conjunction with Vesta later on at 8:26 p.m. While the main themes related to Vesta are prominent throughout humanity, it is better to be finishing old business on a high note than launching bold, new projects as the moon is void in Pisces from 8:37 a.m. to 7:58 p.m. when the lunar orb enters Aries.

Adding to the favorable qualities of this 24-hour time-period are harmonious trine aspects of 120-degrees from Pallas to Juno (9:42 a.m.) and the sun to Ceres (11:12 p.m.) while healing currents rise up a notch as Mars in Gemini forms a supportive, 60-degree alliance with Chiron in Aries (8:41 p.m.). Nevertheless, it’s still easy to take a cosmic detour away from contentment by making unnecessary mistakes around the time that Mars forms a contra-parallel with Saturn (12:38 p.m.). Say no to bullying tactics or arm-twisting maneuvers.

[Note to readers: All times are calculated for Pacific Daylight Time. Be sure to adjust all times according to your own local time so the alignments noted above will be exact for your location.]

Copyright 2018 Mark Lerner & Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd. 

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