Today in Military History: Jan. 3, 1945, end of unified command concept

Gen. MacArthur in Manila, 1945, U.S. Navy photo (L). Adm. Nimitz, U.S. Navy painting, circa 1960 (R).

On January 3, 1945, Army General Douglas MacArthur is tapped to command all U.S. ground forces that will take part in the invasion of Iwo Jima, Okinawa and mainland Japan.

Meanwhile, Admiral Chester Nimitz is put in command of all U.S. naval forces. The lack of a solo commander in charge of a major U.S. military operation is a first. This splitting of commanders is marked as the end of the unified command concept.