Douglas Macarthur: 4 screw ups?

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
Sorry but i consider Mac Arthur as a sort of mediatic clown of the american military legend .
He was a very bad tactician and strategist.
He was ridiculous in the Philippines campaign in 1942, he was nicknamed by his soldiers "double hidden".
He left his soldiers alone preserving his image trough the famous "i'll come back"
I think he was a very carrierist general with a very, very big ego of spoilt little boy (by his mother).
It's very surprising that he wasn't fired afer such a disaster werehas he was warned after Pearl Harbor .
How to explain Air force deployement by december the 8 1941? how to justify his behaviour? (no respects of orders)....

For the Philippines campaign of 1944, sure it wasn't a good idea and he wanted to come back in "his Philippines".
But most part of the U.S staff was in favour of this useless and bloody campaign (Marshall for instance).
Useless because no doubt that Philippines would surrender as Malaysia did it and for the same reasons.
But Philippines was a former american colony (no still completely independant) captured by Japanese and leaded by the general Mac Arthur
Better srategists like Nimitz were opposed to Philippines campaign (even if officially he supported Leyte landing but only with the idea to provoke and destroy restant of japanese fleet) .
U.S had a close shave in Leyte cause problems of leadership about the Navy (Halsey Under authority of Nimitz and Kincaid leaded by Mac Arthur therefore 2 differents srategy: to protect landing or to search and destroy japanese fleet ).

I don't know if Mac Arthur was seen as a propaganda symbol by political managers, then Under a mediatic protection (for instance, like Rommel for Nazi Germany )

On the other hand, he was an excellent adminisrator in the Philippines and Japan and had the excellent idea of Inchon landing he promoted alone (with a mediocre strategic exploitation).
For the rest of the Corean war, he wasn't very good and understimated chinese threat even if he wasn't responsible of the crossing of the 38th (but he was about the move to the Yalu river too much close to chinese border but CIA thought that chinese wouldn't move).
After being fired by Truman, he tried a politic come-back but it was his last and definitive failure.
Then he made the same mistake disobeying a Presidential order not to cross the Yalu, with more serious consequences.
I agree with most of this.

Going back to the Philippines would have happened later just as it did when the war was still in full flood, except there wouldn’t have been the fanatic Japanese admiral who refused to give up Manila. This resulted in many unnecessary deaths and the pretty complete destruction of the old city (Intramuros?).

This has to be balanced against the plight of the thousands of US soldiers, nurses, nuns & doctors who were prisoners of the Japanese. This treatment by the Japanese wasn’t exactly according to the Geneva Convention, but then very little about the War in the Pacific respected those rules of war and its aftermath., the United States included. When the enemy is determined to fight to the death, it might be best to let them.

Macarthur was a very strange man. He spent very little of his adult life in the continental United States. Leaving his bombers parked in the open on base where they could be destroyed by the Japanese was not only dumb - some might say “stupid” - it would, under slightly different circumstances, be labeled “idiotic” and a fire-able offense. I guess Roosevelt needed a figure to rally around in he Pacific. Besides, one thing Roosevelt did not want, was Macarthur back in the states to spread his poison.

I would have fired the egomaniacal sonofabitch.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
Emphasized section is the most important part of the quote.
Absolutely ZERO evidence offered for this assertion.

Earlier in this thread, evidence WAS provided that ALL the PTO
commanders favored invading at least some of the Philippines.

I would be very interested if there is EVIDENCE contradicting
that. But sorry, random opinions do NOT cut it in historical discussions.
You can disagree. I don’t mind. I was just going by the evidence - repeatedly demonstrated - of Mac’s towering ego and very prickly personality. If ever there was a general who fit the description of an egomaniac, Mac is it, IN MY OPINION.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,685
I agree with most of this.

Going back to the Philippines would have happened later just as it did when the war was still in full flood, except there wouldn’t have been the fanatic Japanese admiral who refused to give up Manila. This resulted in many unnecessary deaths and the pretty complete destruction of the old city (Intramuros?).

This has to be balanced against the plight of the thousands of US soldiers, nurses, nuns & doctors who were prisoners of the Japanese. This treatment by the Japanese wasn’t exactly according to the Geneva Convention, but then very little about the War in the Pacific respected those rules of war and its aftermath., the United States included. When the enemy is determined to fight to the death, it might be best to let them.

Macarthur was a very strange man. He spent very little of his adult life in the continental United States. Leaving his bombers parked in the open on base where they could be destroyed by the Japanese was not only dumb - some might say “stupid” - it would, under slightly different circumstances, be labeled “idiotic” and a fire-able offense. I guess Roosevelt needed a figure to rally around in he Pacific. Besides, one thing Roosevelt did not want, was Macarthur back in the states to spread his poison.

I would have fired the egomaniacal sonofabitch.
The Japanese did not treat POWs etc. according to the Geneva Convention. Basically no one did in WWII, except the US and Britain and to some extent Germany with western POWs. There was about a 30% fatality rate of POWs of the Japanese, which is similar to that of Germans by the Soviets and Soviets by the Finns. There was about a 70% fatality rate of Soviets captured by the Germans. The Soviet camps resembled the Gulag, but the German camps resembled their concentration camps.

There were 10x as many Japanese prisoners taken by the Soviets in Manchuria in afew weeks as by the US the British Empire in the whole war. The Japanese wanted their soldiers to fight to the death, and staged fake surrenders which encouraged the Allies to not take prisoners. The result was Allied forces were generally ordered not to take prisoners. There was also the US bombing of cities and atomic bombing.

He didn't need to be fired, but it seems questionable that he was given the command in Korea after his handling of the defense of the Philippines.
 
Feb 2019
5
Quitman, Mississippi
1) MacArthur was not responsible for provoking the Chinese to enter the Korean War. The decision to cross the 38th parallel and take North Korea was made in Washington by Truman and his advisors. MacArthur was only following orders. However, he did screw up by failing to give credence to the possibility that the PRC might come in until it was way too late, and his decision to divide his forces during the advance was a major and costly blunder.

2) Invading the Philippines in 1944 was the right thing to do, in my opinion.

3) The defence of the Philippines in 1941-1942 was mishandled pretty woefully. Under ordinary circumstances this should have ended MacArthur's career.

4) No excuses for the wretched affair with the bonus marchers.



The reason can be summed up in three words: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It was FDR who kept MacArthur on as Army Chief of Staff through most of his first term (and refused to accept his resignation, when it was offered), and later resurrected his career to give him a new command in WWII, ordered him to escape to Australia from Bataan, supported his campaign to reconquer the Philippines, and made him commander in chief of the Pacific forces, which effectively set the stage for him to take charge of the Japanese occupation.

The President's motives for doing all this were murky and complex, but it basically boiled down to his view of MacArthur as a distasteful but highly convenient political tool, who could be made useful as long as he was kept under control.
Yeah I wound say the attack on the Bonus Army was horrible & casted s dark shadow on MacArthur & President Hoover!
 
Feb 2016
537
ROK
Then he made the same mistake disobeying a Presidential order not to cross the Yalu, with more serious consequences.
MacArthur didn't cross the Yalu River, which is the Chinese border and north of North Korea. He crossed the 38th parallel/partition line (south of North Korea). This was after liberating the regions of South Korea that were occupied by North Korea.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,398
Sydney
as an Australian I would rank Mac Arthur right up there in the ranks in the rank of Prima dona political courtesants
at all time his first concern was with his political career than with doing his job
he stopped being a soldier after his rather distinguished WW1 record and became a whore

 
Oct 2015
331
Belfast
1) Disobeys orders attacking bonus marchers, 2) Mishandles defense of the Philippines, 3) Pushes for invasion of the Philippines, and 4) Provokes China to enter Korean War.

He was brilliant, well-connected, and had a flare for showmanship, but it is hard to understand how he was allowed to make so many mistakes. Or do you disagree they were mistakes?
Provokes China to enter Korean War? From what I've read about him, his ambitions of conquest didn't stop there. Did he really want to push on into China and then into the Soviet Union? If that's the case then President Truman was right to fire him.
Although Truman was an avowed anti-communist who deeply mistrusted Stalin, he didn't want to risk a war with the Soviet Union. So therefore, General MacArthur was "dismissed" as a liability.
 
Apr 2014
318
Istanbul Turkey
If I also remember correctly , right after Chinese hoodwinked him and entire UN Army on Yalu in November-December 1950 , MacArthur with wounded ego and pride insisted bombing Communist targets in mainland China including using nuclear weapons. Combined with his insubordination this was the last straw. Truman was right to fire him. MacArthur already past his prime and peak efficiency and thinking like a politician playing for domestic electrote in US for his preidential ambitions since 1930'ies.

After Eisenhower became president MacArthur visited him and insisted Ike to bomb China with nuclear weapons , that way "Eisenhower would become greater than Jesus Christ" he said to Eisenhower.
 
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
  • VHS

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If I also remember correctly , right after Chinese hoodwinked him and entire UN Army on Yalu in November-December 1950 , MacArthur with wounded ego and pride insisted bombing Communist targets in mainland China including using nuclear weapons. Combined with his insubordination this was the last straw. Truman was right to fire him. MacArthur already past his prime and peak efficiency and thinking like a politician playing for domestic electrote in US for his preidential ambitions since 1930'ies.

After Eisenhower became president MacArthur visited him and insisted Ike to bomb China with nuclear weapons , that way "Eisenhower would become greater than Jesus Christ" he said to Eisenhower.
Both earned their fame as soldiers initially, how did Eisenhow and MacArthur differ?
 

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