The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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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.
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2009 by Kent G. Budge. Index
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