Douglas Macarthur: 4 screw ups?

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,353
Sydney
Never mind the quantity , the man was a piece of work

" General Lucian Truscott had this to say about Fredendall: “Small in stature, loud and rough in speech, he was outspoken in his opinions and critical of superiors and subordinates alike. He was inclined to jump to conclusions which were not always well founded. Fredendall rarely left his command post for personal visits and reconnaissance, yet he was impatient with the recommendations of subordinates more familiar with the terrain and other conditions than he.” Fredendall routinely ignored intelligence reports, bypassed subordinate commanders, and micromanaged troop dispositions down to company level.

Fredendall did not go up to the front line, instead relying on maps at his headquarters and issuing orders over the radio.

He often used blowhard, tough-guy sounding language in an attempt to cover up his inability and indecisiveness. Phrases such as “Go smash ‘em,” “Pull a Stonewall Jackson,” “Go get ‘em at once,” or “Use your tanks and shove” were common.

He also issued orders using wording that no one understood. His intention was to confuse the enemy if he was listening in, but orders such as “Move your command, i.e., the walking boys, pop guns, Baker’s outfit and the outfit which is the reverse of Baker’s outfit and the big fellows to M, which is due north of where you are now, as soon as possible. Have your boys report to the French gentleman whose name begins with J at a place which begins with D which is five grid squares to the left of M,” only managed to baffle his own people.

the fact that he was always in the rear was noted by his men, who called his headquarters “Speedy Valley,” “Lloyd’s very last resort,” and “Shangri-la, a million miles from nowhere.” Inevitably, the situation affected morale and severely eroded the confidence of Fredendall’s men in their leader.

In early February, General Eisenhower managed to get away from Casablanca and visit II Corps. What he found shocked and appalled him. Fredendall had located his headquarters an incredible 70 miles behind the front line (some have said even farther back). Seemingly obsessed with an air attack, Fredendall had a battalion of engineers working to blast out underground bunkers in the side of a ravine for his staff, while having the headquarters ringed with antiaircraft guns.

“It was the only time during the war that I ever saw a higher headquarters so concerned over its own safety that it dug itself underground shelters,” Eisenhower remarked later."

Lloyd Fredendall: The General Who Failed at the Kasserine Pass
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,353
Sydney
Maybe we should mutate the thread to
"the top five worst US commanders of WW2"

some suggestions

Douglas MacArthur , Philippines , New Guinea ,

Lloyd Fredendall , 2nd Corp North Africa

Mark W Clark 5th Army , Italy

John P Lucas 6th corps Anzio

Jay MacKelvie 90th infantry division , Utah beach

Bill Rupertus 1st Marine division , Peleliu

Alan Walter jones , 106th infantry division , Ardennes forest

Norman Cota , 28th infantry division , Hurtgen forest
 
Last edited:
Apr 2014
411
Istanbul Turkey
Maybe we should mutate the thread to
"the top five worst US commanders of WW2"

some suggestions

Douglas MacArthur , Philippines , New Guinea ,

Lloyd Fredendall , 2nd Corp North Africa

Mark W Clark 5th Army , Italy

John P Lucas 6th corps Anzio

Jay MacKelvie 90th infantry division , Utah beach

Bill Rupertus 1st Marine division , Peleliu

Alan Walter jones , 106th infantry division , Ardennes forest

Norman Cota , 28th infantry division , Hurtgen forest
You have forgotten Ernest Dawley commander of VI Corps during Operation Avalanche in September 1943 , he was almost pushed back into sea
Courtney Hodges , 1st US Army Commander between August 1944-May 1945 (battle of Aachen , Hurtgen Forest , caught suprised when Ardennes Offensive started and lost control of battle)
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,353
Sydney
Ernest Dawley might not have been a great commander but had to implement a bad plan which he did
having six German divisions chewing you up is not a comfortable place
there is some reason to think that he was made to take the blame by his commander Mark Clark who was a weasel

Ernest Dawley biggest minus for me is that he was a protege of lesley McNair ,
 
Aug 2017
48
Tijuana, Mexico
I won't restate what Pinguin stated, but will state he is right. FDR, not just Mac, made promises that had to honored and taking the Philippines made good stratigic sense.