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Old December 12th, 2012, 05:34 PM   #31
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Excellent thread so far with lots of critical food for thought on the OP; thumbs up!

May I ask the Historumites here their respective personal assessment on MacArthur's role & rule in Japan after WW2?
Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #32
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No matter what, he's respected in the Philippines.
And MacArthur viewed the Philippines as his second home.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 05:40 PM   #33

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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post

May I ask the Historumites here their respective personal assessment on MacArthur's role & rule in Japan after WW2?
Thanks in advance for any input.
For the time period, i think he was the only American military leader that understood that regions psyche as no other American could. Poor general only suited for a division command, but a awesome diplomat. He had quite an impact in the Philippines and Japan, especially Japan's current constitution.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 06:02 PM   #34

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For the time period, i think he was the only American military leader that understood that regions psyche as no other American could. Poor general only suited for a division command, but a awesome diplomat. He had quite an impact in the Philippines and Japan, especially Japan's current constitution.
I'd dissagree that he was only suited to "division" command, but mishandling of the defense of the Philippines and the decision to advance to the Yalu river were mistakes that those that dislike MacArthur value highly as their main points.

But MacArthur was heavily involved with Japan's post-war government. To a great extent he ruled it like an Emperor, meeting with Japanese politicians, deciding what the occupying forces could and couldn't do. Which included forbidding Soviet forces to occupy any portion of the Japanese home islands, despite the fact that they had been promised such at Potsdam.

He is credited for writing the current Japanese constitution, and allowed Hirohito to keep his throne as the Japanese Emperor, even though there were probably a fair number of American politicans that wanted the Japanese Emperor removed... unfortunately it's been just long enough since I've last read "American Caesar" that I can not say for certain how much of this was MacArthur and how much was done by aides, other Japanese politicans, or offices in the US State Department.

It also included one funny "incident." During one of the first post WW2 Diet elections, a Japanese prostitute ran for one of the seats. Japanese women, who had never voted before voted for the prostitute because they figured that since the prostitute was the only woman in the running, she was the only person they could vote for. A group of Japanese politicians came to protest to MacArthur on this and he replied, "Well, she must have an incredibly loyal clientel."
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Old December 12th, 2012, 07:01 PM   #35

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Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Excellent thread so far with lots of critical food for thought on the OP; thumbs up!

May I ask the Historumites here their respective personal assessment on MacArthur's role & rule in Japan after WW2?
Thanks in advance for any input.
I will shift gears here, guys. His task of administrating the reclamation of Japan suited his empirical personality to a "T". Beginning with his summoning the emperor to his headquarters for their first face-to-face meeting, he wore casual duty khakis... not even a tie, set the tone of what the Japanese people would expect from him. That meeting also served to calm the emperor as to his final status regarding his retaining the throne as he was not entirely sure he would not be prosecuted by the allies. MacArthur made it clear that the emperor would be the junior partner in the rebuilding of Japan, yet would nearly always consult with the emperor on many issues so as to give the people peace of mind that not all would be "America East" in the future.

When the Russians got a little froggy with the thought of occupying Hokkaido, he shut that idea down rather emphatically and in order to remind them of their obligations territorially elsewhere in the Pacific Rim, landed American troops at Inchon to prevent the Russians from overstepping the limits of their agreed zone. Yep, Inchon of the Korean War was the second time he landed troops there. I'll leave any in depth assessments of the political and economic measures he instituted or approved to our more knowledgeable members.

Sill, I hold an overall negative view of the man. In the military there was a saying that MacArthur may have heard... One "aw ****" cancels out a thousand "attaboys". MacArthur had a lot of the first, and fewer of the latter.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:00 PM   #36

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How would you rate Nimitz? I only ask because those that believe MacArthur was a fool, and the southern portion of the Pacific War was something anyone could have accomplished, that reflects on Nimitz as well in a way with the northern push.

I personally admire the hell out of Nimitz, but there are those who disagree, including mothers of marines killed at Tarawa. What do you think about old Chester?
Let's not sidetrack this. Start another thread, please.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 12:49 AM   #37
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No matter what, he's respected in the Philippines.
This is another fact that baffles me.
Maybe the Philippine people doesn't know that the country didn't need to be reconquered at all (and devastated with unbelievable sufferings: for example Manila razed with 100,000 civilians dead).

Cutting the "conquered empire" from Japanese home islands was a good result but the american submarines already blocked raw materials and oil from getting to the japanese industry. Japan could be defeated without taking back the Philippine Islands.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 09:31 AM   #38

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This is another fact that baffles me.
Maybe the Philippine people doesn't know that the country didn't need to be reconquered at all (and devastated with unbelievable sufferings: for example Manila razed with 100,000 civilians dead).

Cutting the "conquered empire" from Japanese home islands was a good result but the american submarines already blocked raw materials and oil from getting to the japanese industry. Japan could be defeated without taking back the Philippine Islands.
In some ways this argument reminds me about the Bomb argument, but we tend to forget just how apocalyptic WW II really was. Weapons were crude and inaccurate by our sanitary standards of today's stealth and pinpoint weapons, fighting took place in civilian areas, not on 19th century "battlefields" and 10's of millions of civilians were already dead, injured, made into refugees or downright incinerated. Cities were bombed into dust. Most of the generals of WW II were, in a sense, megalomaniacs who were fighting a war where moving a thousand tanks and a hundred thousand troops into a small area was like moving pawns on a chessboard. Everything they did resulted in mass casualties. Inaccurate aerial bombardments, massive artillery barrages, fire bombings, mass tank assaults and eventually The Bomb, were part of the tools of the trade and getting it over with was the highest priority.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #39
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In some ways this argument reminds me about the Bomb argument, but we tend to forget just how apocalyptic WW II really was. Weapons were crude and inaccurate by our sanitary standards of today's stealth and pinpoint weapons, fighting took place in civilian areas, not on 19th century "battlefields" and 10's of millions of civilians were already dead, injured, made into refugees or downright incinerated. Cities were bombed into dust. Most of the generals of WW II were, in a sense, megalomaniacs who were fighting a war where moving a thousand tanks and a hundred thousand troops into a small area was like moving pawns on a chessboard. Everything they did resulted in mass casualties. Inaccurate aerial bombardments, massive artillery barrages, fire bombings, mass tank assaults and eventually The Bomb, were part of the tools of the trade and getting it over with was the highest priority.
The evident even if controversial contribution of the nukes for the Allied victory has been analyzed in detail (even ad infinitum) elsewhere.

Just to understand the validity of the analogy, why exactly would the conquest of the Philippines have been indispensable for the ultimate Allied victory?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 10:52 AM   #40

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The evident even if controversial contribution of the nukes for the Allied victory has been analyzed in detail (even ad infinitum) elsewhere.

Just to understand the validity of the analogy, why exactly would the conquest of the Philippines have been indispensable for the ultimate Allied victory?
Ultimately the late 1944 was intended to be a fight to cut the Japanese home islands from the oil reserves of the Dutch East Indies. US submarines, operating in "wolf packs" like the German U-boats in the Atlantic were preying on the cargo going from the Dutch East Indies to Japan, but it was expected that a major campaign would be needed to fully cut these arteries.

And that is where the US Pacific commands got into some major differences of opinion. Nimitz and the navy favored attacking Formosa (Taiwan) while MacArthur favored the Philippines. Both the general and the admiral would attend major meetings to decide the overal Pacific strategy, which MacArthur ultimately won by playing to political concerns that FDR was already sympathetic to.

This ultimately secured the liberation of the Philippines for not just military purposes but political ones as well. But, the liberation of the Philippines would ultimately secure the prime military objective of cutting Japan off from the one source of oil that it had.

Though, I'm not entirely sure whether or not that was entirely from land based bombers flying from Philippine islands that had been liberated, US Submarines that continued to operate in the region, or the effective destruction of the Japanese surface navy after the Battle of Leyte Gulf.
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