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General Macarthur

Discussion in 'Leaders of World War 2' started by bosworth gannaway, May 30, 2007.

  1. bosworth gannaway

    bosworth gannaway New Member

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    Does anyone wish to offer any opinions on the above officer ? He certainly falls into the category of love him or hate him, since at all times in his career he was a very controversial soldier, culminating, of course, in his brush with President Truman over Korea. I learned recently that one of his regimental commanders serving in New Guinea was alleged to have shot out of hand a number of officers and men for cowardice in the Buna campaign late in 1942. It is open to speculation as to what Macarthur's feelings were upon the actions of his subordinate in this respect, and, if it is known, I would like to learn more of what his attitude was insofar as whether or not he approved of these executions.
    BG
     
  2. Ebar

    Ebar New Member

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    Wouldn't be someone I'd know a great deal about but certainly by the time he got the boot from Truman he had lost the plot.
     
  3. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    he wanted to use nuclear bombs against japans costoal defense for downfall
     
  4. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

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    Interestingly enough, in post-war Japan, he was revered by it's people. MacArrthur helped set them on course for recovery... ultimately to become an economic powerhouse of the region.

    He was a very complicated personality, and reminds me in some ways of George Patton as to his roots and connections to the elite ruling-class of America.
    I believe he saw Truman--in comparison to himself--as nothing more than a common-man. A failed haberdasher at that. These two men were destined to clash from the beginning. I think he respected FDR because of his elite-class status in comparison. MacArthur indeed was the model for "royalty" in American society and organized his command with this in the forefront.
    Still, a brilliant tactician regardless of personal opinions of his character.

    I'll always remember his closing speech and the famous quote of:
    "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."
    He was a powerful orator to the end.

    Tim
     
  5. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    yeh, just to brush up he wanted to use the A-Bomb on China when truman said no, that would start ww3
     
  6. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

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    Revere:
    I'm well aware his "insolence" cost him the command in the Far East, but the decision was never his to make. Commander-in-Chief alone bears that burden. MacArthur knew that.
    Patton admired the German people more than his Russian allies. He did make the slip of tongue--did he not?--that the US should continue on to Moscow and whip Stalins' ass while they were in the neighborhood. The Berlin Wall went-up shortly after, and the "Cold-War", the nuclear arms race and mutually-assured destruction became the mantra of the times.
    I believe the use of nukes was also debated during the Vietnam-era. All possibilities were no doubt considered at one time or another. We planned to use nuclear artillery at one time in Europe... to defend against the threat of attack by Warsaw Pact forces. West Germany as a whole, and Berlin were near-certain to be flash-points. Thankfully the day never dawned to all our good fortune.
    Surely you understand that the use of tactical nukes has always been a component of our defense, from Nagasaki to present-day.

    Tim
     
  7. JCalhoun

    JCalhoun New Member

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    MacArthur was a good tactician, strategist and organizer. Unforfunately, he was also a prima-donna. Not brash like Patton but more of an arrogance. Not many soldiers admired him.

    Little known trivia fact.
    MacArthur is responsible for the M-1 Garand being chambered in .30 caliber. Garand originally designed it to use a .276 cartridge. MacArthur liked the rifle very much but felt that the US would eventually be in a war in the near future and decided it would too much trouble having to keep up with ammo for different calibers of rifles and machine guns. This decision was made while he was Army Chief of Staff in the mid/late '30s.
     
  8. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Strategist I'm not so sure about. After all the guy needlessly split the US effort in the Pacific in order to satisfy his own desire to free the Phillipeans. Without the resources needed for those campaigns the 'island-hopping' towards Japan would have been quicker.
     
  9. bosworth gannaway

    bosworth gannaway New Member

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    MacArthur

    Wasn't he also responsible for ensuring that the Japanese Emperor was allowed to continue ruling and not be persecuted for any war crimes ?
    Given that Hirohito was well aware of the atrocities commited by his troops and often directly authorised or ordered them, I'd say that MacArthur has a lot to answer for on that one !
    BG
     
  10. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    i ment that as me brushing up on my history :) i didnt mean to offend u, i just worded it wrong hoosier :(
     
  11. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

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    Revere:
    Certainly no offense taken.
    :D

    MacArthur proposed an island-hopping campaign in the Pacific that by-passed Japanese strongholds like Rabaul, allowing them to "whither on the vine" cut-off from being resupplied and thus increasingly irrelevant to the war.
    I might argue this saved countless American lives and put our forces where the Japanese were weaker and more vulnerable, rather than expend our energies and men against a formidable barrier of stout defenses.
    (I'm reminded of the landings at Peleliu as an example of the high-cost of men and materiale expended in taking a piece of real-estate with little strategic-value.)
    The decison to invade the Phillipines also liberated Allied POWs who in the early-days had hit that sacrifice-fly that resulted in them being cut-off and overrun. Of course "dugout Doug" made a promise to return to liberate the Phillipines, a people we considered our allies. No doubt he was determined to make-good on his promise, and likely would have lost-face with his own troops, POWs and the Phillipino people.
    I personally believe the decison to invade the Phillipines was a sound and correct tactical decison. Many POWs owed their lives to MacArthur and US Forces that liberated the Islands. Japanese troops repeatedly brutalized and murdered civilians throughout their reign of terror in the islands. They killed thousands in the battle to liberate Manila.

    Tim
     
  12. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Those same POWs owed their miserable conditions during their fighting, and arguably their status as POWs to MacArthur.

    Face-saving side-shows that merely lengthen a war do not make great strategy.
     
  13. Grieg

    Grieg New Member

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    How was this MacArthurs fault? If anyone can be blamed it would be FDR and Admiral King They agreed to make the European theatre the main focus of the US war effort and declined to try and relieve the US forces in the Phillipines (though a good argument can be made that due to unpreparedness for war, little else could be done at the time).
     
  14. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

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    Ricky:
    At Wake Island, a Task Force previously sent to relieve USMC and civilian workers was recalled. I think US leadership concluded early-on that they were unable to stem the Japanese advance in the Pacific.
    The US troops in the Philippines lad-down that sacrifice fly. MacArthur was taken-off the island by direct-order. Yes, Wainwright and his men were expendable. Lots of Filipino-troops that were loyal to US Forces also passed into captivity... or the jungles to continue the fight.

    I maintain the decision to invade the Philippines was not so that MacArthur could "Save-Face" but because it was indeed a smart and savvy tactical decision.
    The fact MacArthur did make-good on his promise... and "save-face" was not lost on him however.

    Tim
     
  15. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    Please note that I did put 'arguably'. Even though it is a weak argument that is blown away by actual facts :wink: . Well, ok, the Phillipeans were never going to be anything other than a 'fight until you can't continue' case due to a mixture of geography and strategy - though a reversal of the Europe first strategy would not make a blind bit of difference here. The problem was more to do with how to actually get any kind of force capable of relieving the islands to the islands before the defensive force ws conquered. Answer - you just can't. At least, not with the 1930s (and early 40s) US military resources and locations.

    However, miserable conditions for the soldiers during the fighting (mostly a lack of food, but also the lack of pre-built defensive positions, etc etc) are entirely MacArthur's fault.

    And I still wonder how retaking the Phillipeans was a good tactical decision. Please put forward your reasoning.
     
  16. Hoosier phpbb3

    Hoosier phpbb3 New Member

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    Ricky:
    I think the fact the Japanese themselves considered it a vital conquest speaks as to it's significance in the Pacific Theatre... as it was considered crucial to the control of the South-West Pacific region.
    The creative use of amphibious-landings and "am-tanker" end-runs stymied and harrassed Japanese defenders as to where percieved attacks would be launched, and tied-down their forces throughout the Islands.

    Tim
     
  17. majorwoody10

    majorwoody10 New Member

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    the garand was chambered to 3006 because we had zillions of such cartridges already on hand in 41 ..imo , the 270 would be a better round for most 150 lb soldiers ...
     
  18. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    the BAR was chambered with a 7.62 mm round if im not mistaken, but something that has cunfused me is the 9 mm pistol round if the number suggests would be a bigger round then the 7.62?
     
  19. JCalhoun

    JCalhoun New Member

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    The BAR was chambered in .30-06 as was the M-1 Garand, M-1903, and M-1919 MG. The bore diameter is 7.62mm but is not the same cartridge as the 7.62mm NATO.

    9mm bore diameter of course is bigger than 7.62mm.
     
  20. Revere

    Revere New Member

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    So pretty much all American small arms were chambered with a 30'06?

    I knew the M1 and the .30 cal were. but whats the reason to have the BAR then if you have a Rifle and Machine gun, I know that BAR stands for Browning Automatic Rifle. whats th BAR #2 man do?
     

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