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Theater

A theater was a broad geographical region in which combat took place. The theaters of the Second World War are generally considered to include the Atlantic theater; the Northwest European theater; the Mediterranean theater; the Eastern European theater; the southeast Asian theater; the southwest Pacific theater; and the Pacific theater. The top Allied commands corresponded roughly to these theaters and included Southeast Asia Command, Southwest Pacific Area, Pacific Ocean Areas, and China. Top Japanese theater commands included Kwantung Army, China Expeditionary Army, Southern Expeditionary Army, and Combined Fleet (responsible for the  Pacific Ocean.)

Allied theater commands typically commanded troops of many nationalities, but were dominated by a single nationality at their highest levels. Thus, Pacific Ocean Areas and Southwest Pacific Area both had significant Commonwealth forces (Australian and New Zealand) under their command, but were dominated by the Americans. Southeast Asia Command had Chinese and American forces under its command, but was dominated by the British. The China theater was commanded by Chiang Kai-shek, but with considerable American aid and influence.

References

Ellis (1995)



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