Who was the worst American general or battlefield tactician? - Page 7




 
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January 22nd, 2005  
A Can of Man
 
 
Oh, look who joined the party.

MacArthur's Inchon landing is still the most studied example of an amphibious assault. Among popular masses, the Normandy invasion is more familiar, but if you go and learn from the professionals (the military), in most cases they will show you an example of Inchon. You're talking about a guy who defeated Japan, then goverened Japan, then pulled off an operation of historical proportions which ultimately saved South Korea. If that landing failed, that would have been the end of everything. I don't know about you, but I'd say that's one hell of a CV.
The Inchon landing was the closest thing to the perfect amphibious assault in the history of warfare.
January 22nd, 2005  
Pakundo
 
True, Inchon was a great success, but if you look at MacArthur's major decisions as a general on the whole, he was quite unglamorous. The risk of Inchon succeeding or failing was easily 50/50, if not worse--MacArthur, and far more importantly, his troops, just got lucky, mainly because the North Koreans were too confident. And he is far from taking the credit all himself for defeating Japan--I would sooner give more credit to Nimitz, Halsey, ONI and Oppenheimer. I'm not sure if goading the Chinese into invading Korea and almost losing the peninsula and everything on it a second time was the wisest decision either. Nor was almost nuking China. Other generals like Ridgeway had to go in and clean up and try to salvage something out of the disaster after Truman relieved MacArthur.
January 23rd, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
I'm with GuyontheRight about Maj. General Lloyd R Fredendall. He setup his HQ in a bunker that he never came out of to view the situation on the ground and evaluate the terrain. He tried to run the battle from outdated and inaccurate maps. Doesn't come much dumber than that IMO.

Custer was an able cavalry commander in the Civil War. You don't rise from 2LT to brevet Maj. General if you aren't. He failed in the indian campaigns because he was dumb enough to think that his professional force was able to take on what he considered inferior irregulars. So he was good in one kind of battle and bad in another.

MacArthur was a great general. He had his triumphs and his failings too. Inchon, however, wasn't "lucky". It is still rated among professional military historians as one of the finest pieces of strategy of all time. It was based on sound observations of the enemy and superb evaluations of the terrain.
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January 24th, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charge_7

MacArthur was a great general. He had his triumphs and his failings too. Inchon, however, wasn't "lucky". It is still rated among professional military historians as one of the finest pieces of strategy of all time. It was based on sound observations of the enemy and superb evaluations of the terrain.
Agreed the evaluations of the tides and landing zones made Operation Chromite.
January 24th, 2005  
Sexybeast
 
MacArthur choose Inchuan to land because he knows most of north koreans were concentrated on the southern end of korea and still trying to push U.S out of korea in Pusan...
MacArthur landed in Inchuan is like giving North koreans a punch on their back....this move cuts the supply line of north korean army and start to attack them from two sides..

it is a brilliant move and it is even studied in Chinese military school as a text example (i heard that from my cousin, who is an staff officer in PLA)
February 3rd, 2005  
Zucchini
 
I think some of you are giving Mac credit for things in the South Pacific that he does not own.

How many of you are aware of his connection to the Hearst newspapers, and the nasty editorial campaign they waged against the Navy and the Marines? My mother had to read that crap while her husband was on Iwo Jima. What is interesting is my dad agreed with many of Mac's assessments of the Navy and the Marines, but when it came to Mac and Truman, he would have given his life for Truman a thousand times to one for Mac. We are a civilian country, not a military country. Mac crossed that line.

He always had a political motive in the background. Maybe all Generals do to some extent, but his was unbridled.
February 3rd, 2005  
03USMC
 
 
He started that news campaign after after Nimitz refused to release in perpetuty the 1st and 2nd Marine Division's to McArthurs control. Along with their Naval Transport assets. McArthurs goal was always the retaking of the Philippines. As early as late 1942 he was lobbying that it alone was the primary objective of the Pacific war. And all assets should be directed at that, under his command of course.

Look at Nimitz title Commander and Chief Pacific. McArthur Supreme Commander South West Pacific Area of Operations. Yeah he had an ego problem.

He also refused to reccommend the 4th Marine Regiment for the Presidental Unit Citation for Bataan/Coorigedor. Because the Marines had enough decorations.

Dug Out Doug was only a fan of the Marines and Navy if they made him look good.
February 3rd, 2005  
Claymore
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauvastika
Burnside was intelligent enough to realize that weakness, though. He refused command of the Army of the Potomac before his superiors forced him into the position. Burnside would have been more successful at the Crater if he had disobeyed Meade's order to use untrained white troops instead of the specially trained black troops to lead the assault.
Burnside would have been more successful if he had the untrained white troops properly briefed by their officers to go AROUND the crater rather than through it. Additionally, Burnside repeated his Fredericksburg error of feeding troops into a battle that was obviously lost. He sent in the USCT divisions after the plan had clearly failed and they were slaughtered in what General Mahone after the war called a "turkey shoot". In this one instance however, I will grant you that Meade was just as guilty as Burnside. If you couple this with Burnside's poor performance at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Spotsylvania Courthouse, you have a general that has to be in -at minimum - the top three of the worst American Generals.
He still has my vote for the worst...
February 3rd, 2005  
OutcastHuman
 
I personally didn't think Stonewall Jackson was all that great of a Commander. He did have his highlights but even those weren't that great.
February 3rd, 2005  
Whispering Death
 
 
Burnside gets my vote. Pretty much if you're looking for the worst America has to offer look no further than the Union during the Civil War. Outside of that war our generals have overall been very very good.