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On 6 September one patrol was landed by PT boat on the southwest part of the island. With the assistance of natives, it proceeded up the coast and then crossed the island to the vicinity of Kasaba before being evacuated by air. Two other patrols operated in the northern end of the island for eight days before being withdrawn. They reported on the best landing sites, the terrain and ground cover, and the difficulty of moving from place to place. According to them, about a thousand Japanese were concentrated near Kasaka, and another three hundred near Choiseul Bay.

In mid-1942 General MacArthur announced, perhaps only for effect, that all he would need to seize Rabaul was one full well-trained division. t Soon, however, the desperate actions in New Guinea and Guadalcanal injected caution and even pessimism into the assessment of Rabaul. The changing nature of the war, combined with a new respect for the abilities of the Japanese and complicated by two different command areas, prompted many revisions of the plans for the ultimate conquest of Rabaul and produced an ambivalence that affected the planning for the invasion of the central Solomons and then Bougainville.

The maps available to corps planners in October 1943 were a foursheet photomap of the Solomons and Bougainville, five maps at 1:20,000 scale, and air force charts with a scale of 1:250,000 and 1:600,000. 20 The inadequacy of these maps would become very clear as soon as marine and army units began to move out of the initial lodgment. As early as D + 1 they would discover that much of the detail on even the best maps was incorrect. More information had been obtained from two separate patrols landed by submarine in September.

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