After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dwight D. Eisenhower was assigned to the General Staff in Washington, where he served until June 1942 with responsibility for creating the major war plans to defeat Japan and Germany.
In January of 1942, the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, China, and 22 smaller or exiled governments issued the Declaration by United Nations, thereby affirming the Atlantic Charter, and agreed on an obligation not to sign separate peace deals with the Axis powers.
Then on February 9, 1942, top United States military leaders including Dwight Eisenhower debated the appropriate grand military strategy to pursue.
As Germany was considered the most powerful member of the Axis, all agreed that the defeat of Germany should be the primary objective.
The America military leaders favored a straightforward, large-scale attack on Germany through France.
The Soviets were also demanding a second front.
The British, on the other hand, were arguing that military operations should target peripheral areas in order to throw a “ring” around Germany which would wear out German strength, lead to increasing demoralization, and bolster resistance forces.
The consensus was that Germany should be the subject of a heavy bombing campaign.
Then an offensive against Germany would be launched primarily by Allied forces without using large-scale armies.
Conversely, while Japan’s conquests garnered considerable public attention, these invasions were mostly located in British colonial areas deemed less essential by planners and policymakers.
The specifics of Allied military strategy in the Pacific War were therefore deferred to lesser resources made available to Pacific theatre commanders.
Eventually, the British persuaded the Americans that a landing in France was infeasible in 1942 and they should instead focus on driving the Axis out of North Africa.
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