Pacific Theater of Operations

Pacific Theater of Operations

The Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) was the World War II military activity in the Pacific Ocean and the countries bordering it, a geographic scope that reflected the operational and administrative command structures of the period's American forces. (The other areas of the Pacific War -- the China Burma India Theater and the South-East Asian Theatre -- had their own respective command structures, independent of PTO.)

From mid-1942 until the end of the war in 1945, there were two operational commands in the PTO:
*Pacific Ocean Areas (POA; divided into Central Pacific Area, North Pacific Area and South Pacific Area), commanded by Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander-in-Chief Pacific Ocean Areas
*South West Pacific Area (SWPA), commanded by General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander South West Pacific Area. [ [ Douglas MacArthur as Supreme Commander SWPA] ]

In addition, during 1945, General Carl Spaatz commanded the separate U.S. Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific.

Because of the complementary roles of the US Army and the Navy in conducting war in the Pacific theater, there was no single Allied or U.S. commander (comparable to Eisenhower in the ETO) for the PTO. Indeed, the organizational structure was rather complex, with involvement of the Joint Chiefs of Staff frequently required, and the Army and Navy commanders each reporting to both the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy. (The consolidation of their respective cabinet departments into the Department of Defense in 1947 addressed subsequent needs for control of joint operations on such large scales.)Fact|date=May 2008

See also

* Command areas of the Pacific War


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