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273 Mr Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister (in the United States), to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram Winch 9 [WASHINGTON, 12 January 1942, 2.35 P.m.] [1]


Reference Winch 7. [2]

The following are proposals for naval operations in the Anzac
Area, which have been agreed to by the American Naval Staff, and
by the President. [3]

1. Definition of Area
A new naval area to be called the Anzac Area is to be established.

The boundary of this area will be as follows:-

(a) From longitude 141 degrees cast, eastward along the Equator to
longitude 170 degrees east, thence south-eastwards to latitude 20
degrees south longitude 175 degrees west, [thence] south along
meridian 175 degrees west.

(b) From a point on the Equator southwards along meridian 141
degrees east to the south coast of New Guinea, thence cast along
the southern New Guinea coast to meridian 143 degrees east thence
in sea areas south along this meridian to the Pole.

2. Designation
This area is designated as an adjunct of the Pacific area and
naval forces operating therein will be considered to be an adjunct
of the [United States] Pacific Fleet.

3. Command Relations
(a) The command of naval forces of Associated Powers operating in
the Anzac Area will be vested in a United States F.O. [4] directly
responsible to the Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet
(Pacific) and under his strategic direction.

(b) The Commander-in-Chief United States Pacific Fleet will
exercise general supervision over operations in the Anzac Area and
will correlate them with operations in adjacent areas; but he may
not change the allocation of vessels assigned to the Anzac Area.

4. Allocation of Forces within the Area Proposed initial
assignment of forces to the Anzac Area:

(a) by the British-one aircraft carrier.

(b) by the United States-one heavy or light cruiser.

(c) by Australia-two heavy cruisers, one old light cruiser, three
A.M.C.'s [5], three destroyers, three sloops, two A.S. [6] patrol

(d) by New Zealand-two light cruisers, one A.M.C.


(1) The remainder of R.A.N. vessels other than local defence
forces to be assigned to the A.B.D.A. Area.

(2) All local defence forces to remain at the disposal of
Australia and New Zealand.

(3) The United States will undertake to furnish to Australian and
New Zealand Governments all practicable assistance in ships,
planes, munitions, etc., to be manned by Australia and New

5. Assignment of Tasks
The tasks assigned to the forces of Associated Powers in the Anzac
Area are:-

(a) to cover eastern and north-eastern approaches to Australia and
New Zealand;

(b) to safeguard, by all practicable escorting and covering
operations, convoys in the Anzac Area;

(c) to support the defence of islands in the Anzac Area with
particular emphasis on its key points; to attack adjacent enemy
key points;

(d) to correlate operations with forces in the A.B.D.A. Area and
with United States Pacific force[s].

6. Forces assigned to the Anzac and adjacent areas are authorised
to extend their operations into other areas as may be required.


You will realise that decisions had to be taken at once and I hope
that you will agree that this is a valuable step forward to
meeting the position which you have represented to us. I have
communicated in the same sense to Mr. Fraser. [7]


1 Material in square brackets has been corrected/inserted from the
Washington copy on file AA:A3300, 219. This cablegram was
dispatched to London and retransmitted to Canberra at 3.50 p.m. on
14 January (See AA:A3195, 1942, 1.1751).

2 Document 271.

3 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

4 Flag Officer.

5 Armed merchant cruisers.

6 Anti-submarine.

7 N.Z. Prime Minister.

[AA:A3195, 1942, 1.1751]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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