Gen MacArthur




 
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August 27th, 2004  
Lilmissflamethrower
 
 

Topic: Gen MacArthur


According to Ambroise Pierce they were both brilliant and difficult.

He said many people effuse over MacArthur like he is the second coming of Christ or just too magnificent for words...

He wouldn't follow military regulations re: dress. He would contradict himself if he got into trouble, but he also brought West Point up to date and enfused modern day thinking into the academy when he was Superintendent.

He didn't want anyone to get close to him and he wanted to maintain an air of austerity. He also referred to himself in the third person.

Pierce says:

"He had a deeply rooted need to always be right. It increased as he grew older. Henceforth he would hold to his ideas, no matter wht any member of his staff might say, and if the event proved him wrong, he would deny, vehemently, that he had ever said or ordered this or that. His monumental egotism allowed him to ignore all contary documentary evidence-he simply denied its existence. MacArthur had to be right, to be omnipotent, to be MacArthur."

He failed in the Phillipines because he had an idea how Asians thought - and was sure the Japanese would not advance and they did (and they bombed Pearl Harbor).

He also had a persecution complex (I guess because the foreign policy of the President and everyone else was different then his).

He could be extraordinarily petty. Even though he lost the Phillipines, Marshall awarded him a medal of honor. Marshall wanted to award a medal of honor to someone named Wainright who served under MacArthur but they had to have a letter of recommendation from MacArthur and he refused. Finally the guy got it after the war and only because Marshall insisted.

He refused to credit the Marines for helping him in the Phillipines and when he went back to return he said "I came through and I shall return." The Office of War Information asked him if they could change it to "We shall return" and he insisted it be only "I."

Yet he did fight to go back to the Phillipines and he did and five months later the Japanese surrendered.

Pierce never denies that MacArthur was a brilliant leader and none could beat his strategy and brilliance campaigns.

Oddly enought when he went to occupy Japan he turned into a very liberal and democratic leader there.

In Korea, with an under equipped and unprepared soldiers he did a fairly good job of holding the North Koreans at bay. At one point he had idea to take his X Corps to Inchon, the Port of Seoul, and cut the North Korean supply line. Both the Army and the Navy opposed saying there was not enough landing craft, the port was too small and the tides amongst the highest in the world.

MacArthur ignored everyone and ignoring careful scientific planning, he went on instinct and totally triumphed. The Marines did get ashore, raced to Seoul and broke the siege at Puson, they went on to take back the 38th parallel, the pre-war boundary.

This time he also decided to thank the Marines and the Navy.

So I don't know what to say - he was both great and terrible. Egotistical, selfish, petty and brilliant.
August 27th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
On a scale of 1 to 10 (in military brilliance), Mac was a 7.

In his own mind, he was a 12.

His overall importance to the world: Mac was a 4.

In his own mind he was a 20.
August 27th, 2004  
Lilmissflamethrower
 
 
That sounds reasonable to me. The other meglomaniac was Patton.
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August 27th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Patton was like Guderian. A pure frontline commander who didn't have time nor patience for politics. Patton never was not the drama queen that MacArthur was, nor did he go out of his way to tell the world how good he was. And neither did Guderian. Guderian is so much of a better military commander than Patton or MacArthur ever dreamed of being, but I find the comparison fascinating. Anyone have an accurate count of the number of times that Guderian got in a screaming match fight with a superior commander? Anyone have Patton's count of that sort of thing? Neither one rose to the rank that they ought to have been because the were never the very tactful about telling off their superiors. Guderian, the best commander that Germany ever had was never raised to the rank of Field Marshall, and Patton was never a five star even though he was the best we'd had in decades.

Naw, Patton and MacArthur were nothing alike.
August 27th, 2004  
LeatherNeckRVA
 
I think MacArthur was a little more important than a 4, his occupation of Japan is one of the most succesfull occupations of all time.
August 27th, 2004  
David Hurlbert
 
I think you MacArthur lovers should read some of the posts under Who was the worst American general or battlefield tactician? Also, lets not forget he was the commander that is credited with the greatest defeat in U. S. history,
August 27th, 2004  
Lilmissflamethrower
 
 
I'm just learning about him. The only view I have read is Ambrose Pierce. So whose to say he is the definitive expert?

He did say that he was brilliant and his contributions were outstanding. Its just his personality was complex both good and very bad.
August 27th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Seems that most people on this forum either love or hate Mac. I'm neutral. I see his brilliant successes and giant blunders, weigh them together and we come out with this: The man is an above par military leader. Certainly above the average level of brilliance compared to others in similar levels of command. His ego is a very limiting factor, and ruins him on occasion. It is also his final downfall.
August 27th, 2004  
Lilmissflamethrower
 
 
Honestly - I didn't know that (about people having strong opinions about him). Since I read that one chapter about him by Ambroise Pierce, I think it would not be fair to judge him on that alone.

He does sound like somewhat of a butthead though.
August 28th, 2004  
godofthunder9010
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hurlbert
I think you MacArthur lovers should read some of the posts under Who was the worst American general or battlefield tactician? Also, lets not forget he was the commander that is credited with the greatest defeat in U. S. history,
I always was of the opinion that Vietnam (taken all together) is the worst defeat in US history.