Douglas Macarthur: 4 screw ups?

EmperorTigerstar

Ad Honorem
Jun 2013
6,397
USA
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?
1. Agreed
2. Well, he didn't have the resources to defend them for much longer.
3. It was the right thing to do IMO.
4. Agreed, although it was probably inevitable.
 
Jan 2008
18,733
Chile, Santiago
The irony in all this is that according to major general Leslie Groves, the director of the Manhattan project,"without active and continuing British interest, there probably would have been no atomic bomb to drop on Hiroshima." And as you know, the atomic bomb led the war to a speedy end.
Actually, the old notion that Hiroshima caused the Japanese to surrender is most likely a myth. The overwhelming weight of evidence suggests that the prospect of Soviet Russia entering the conflict was the decisive factor influencing the Japanese government to throw in the towel. With the benefit of hindsight, the atomic bomb was probably unnecessary. Here's a good article that lays it out:

The Bomb Didn't Beat Japan: Stalin Did | Foreign Policy

Interestingly, MacArthur was one of the very few senior American officials who suspected (as early as March 1945) that a dovish coalition was forming in Tokyo, and who urged (mostly unheeded) the Pentagon and the State Department to be alert for conciliatory gestures. If U.S. diplomacy had been more adroit, it is possible - even likely - that the enemy surrender could have been induced even sooner.

This cannot be true - Mountbatten was supreme commander of South East Asia while MacArthur was in charge of the South West Pacific Area. Malaya and Singapore fell into the area that Mountbatten was incharge of according to this map.
That map is from 1942, when MacArthur was indeed merely the commander of the Southwest Pacific Area. After April 1945 however, he was promoted to become commander in chief of all Army and Air Force units in the Pacific, which erased the old boundary lines of his authority.

As a result of this, there were a lot of arguments post-April 1945 about who held responsibility for what in the Pacific. The snafu over Malaya was only one of many things that had to be straightened out in conference.

I thought the U.S. was anti-imperialist in nature?
The U.S. was anti-colonialist in nature - there is an important distinction. Anti-imperialism on the other hand, was mostly a matter of semantics.
 
Jan 2008
18,733
Chile, Santiago
Buahahaha....I'm not laughing with you-I'm laughing at you.
It may have escaped your notice diddy, but I wasn't laughing.

If you'd accused me of hero-worshiping certain other figures in the past or present (Franklin Roosevelt and Julius Caesar spring to mind) then I would likely have copped to that quite cheerfully.

However, you have multiple times now called me a hero-worshiper of MacArthur, which is false. It demonstrates that you either misunderstand what 'hero-worship' is, or (what seems to be the case) you are bent on misreading what I have written about the man and my opinion of him.

If you want to have a civil debate about our disagreements vis-à-vis the strengths and weaknesses of MacArthur's record, I'm happy to do that. But if you're intent on keeping up your insulting and belittling attitude, then there's obviously not much point.
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
As noted before, the entry of the Soviet Union into the Pacific War was no surprise to the Japanese. The bombs were. Hirohito mentioned the bombs in his broadcast to the people, but not the USSR. Gen. Anami changed his mind about surrender after Nagasaki.

Revisionist history has so many problems with reality.
 
Jan 2008
18,733
Chile, Santiago
As noted before, the entry of the Soviet Union into the Pacific War was no surprise to the Japanese. The bombs were. Hirohito mentioned the bombs in his broadcast to the people, but not the USSR. Gen. Anami changed his mind about surrender after Nagasaki.

Revisionist history has so many problems with reality.
Except that the overwhelming weight of evidence we have about the chain of events within the Japanese government, suggests that the bombs made only a minor impact at most on the decision to surrender. Even if they had never been dropped, it probably would have made no difference at all. There was already a coalition of interests within Japanese politics that understood the jig was up, and wanted to negotiate an end to the conflict, and it was only a matter of time before they gained the upper hand. They would probably have done so earlier if U.S. diplomacy had been less heavy-handed.

The reason that the Japanese subsequently fixated on the bombs as the catalyst for their surrender was essentially the same as the Americans: self-serving propaganda. Just as it suited the U.S. to forget the decisive role played by the Soviets in tipping the balance against the hawks in Tokyo, it suited Japan to remember its ultimate defeat as the result of a sudden unexpected apocalypse wrought by the technological superiority of the West. That was a much more comfortable memory than admitting that the surrender came because the politicians and industrialists were cowed by their fear of the Russians.

Also, you're wrong about Anami. Even after Nagasaki, he was still strongly opposed to surrender. He only relented because of the intervention of the Emperor.
 
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OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
That's a pretty weak rebuttal...
Nope, a standard dismissive reply. You want to change history, you provide evidence to support the change. So far you've failed to do that quite routinely. Ergo, there's no reason to do more than repeat the fundamental requirement of evidence until you either do so or admit that your own "evidence" fails the test of validity.
 

Lowell2

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,541
California
The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs weren't shocking in the amount of destruction. The Tokyo fire bombs had done more damage. The shock to Japan was that this was ONE bomb and ONE aircraft. The Tokyo bombing had been by a large squadron with hundreds of bombs. The idea that the US might follow Nagasaki with a squadron of aircraft with such bombs rightfully horrified Japan. Russia was something they knew and understood. They'd been battling US ground forces and navy. These things had not stimulated them to surrender. They didn't have any capacity to stop the air force. The idea that they might have every city so bombed did indeed cause them to surrender. It wasn't a matter of fighting other men. It was a matter of surrender or total annihilation by an enemy they could not touch.
 

OpanaPointer

Ad Honoris
Dec 2010
11,643
Near St. Louis.
And this from Truman (Year of Decisions, page 411):
There were many reasons for going to Potsdam, but the most urgent, to my mind, was to get from Stalin a personal affirmation of Russia's entry into the war against Japan, a matter which our military chiefs were most anxious to clinch.
We can put the "the bombs were dropped to beat the Russians" to bed.