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Author Topic: Currently studying the SWPA of WWII  (Read 104 times)

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Großer Kriegschwein

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Currently studying the SWPA of WWII
« on: August 08, 2019, 09:36:11 pm »

Battle of Buna-Gona, Hollandia, Admiralties, Leyte, Luzon, Manila

Generals MacArthur, Eichelberger, Krueger, Wainwright, Sharp, Parker, King

Let’s not forget Johnny Bulkeley. Absolute stud.

The New Guinea campaign was under-appreciated.
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Boarcephus

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Re: Currently studying the SWPA of WWII
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2019, 07:42:53 pm »

I love the term many soldiers applied to McArthur, "Dugout Doug".  He was not about to get close to the action.  Not a huge fan.
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Großer Kriegschwein

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Re: Currently studying the SWPA of WWII
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2019, 11:04:17 am »

I love the term many soldiers applied to McArthur, "Dugout Doug".  He was not about to get close to the action.  Not a huge fan.

And wholly inaccurate.

Regardless, why should he be held to a different standard than other Theater Commanders?

Eisenhower’s Headquarters we’re located in England, Mountbatten’s in the relative safety of India, Nimitz in Hawaii.

On the invasion of Leyte, MacArthur was actually on the USS Nashville directing the invasion. Same with Luzon, 

Many of the people considered his disregard for personal safety, reckless. He lived outside of Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor until the house was falling in on him. During air raids he would actually leave the tunnel to observe them.


After the invasion of Leyte, he moved ashore when the battle was actually still in doubt. He was close enough that his AAA actually had a bad round crash through his bedroom roof while he was asleep. Fortunately it was a dud. The next day at a staff meeting it was laying on his conference table and he told the Air Defense Commander that he should tell his boys to adjust their aim.

The Dugout Doug reference can only be attributed to Corregidor (he only visited Bataan once) and the Battle of Buna-Gona (the Kokoda Trail campaign). There was no place for a 4 star general during the Battle of Buna-Gona, he was exactly where he should have been, traveling between Brisbane and Port Moresby while actually running his Theater GHQ and the Field Army.

He didn’t get an Army Commander until Krueger came later. All he had at that point was a Corps Commander in Bob Eichelberger.






« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 11:28:31 am by Großer Kriegschwein »
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Großer Kriegschwein

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Re: Currently studying the SWPA of WWII
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2019, 11:44:04 am »

Also, before someone brings up Korea or his departure from Corregidor, let me add a few points of fact to the discussion.

In early 1942, MacArthur had led the only successful operation of the Pacific. That was his retreat to Bataan and holding out against repeated Japanese attacks. The movement of the Northern and Southern Luzon Forces to Bataan is still taught to this day as the most successful example of a fighting retreat in American history. Roosevelt had no choice but to pull him from Corregidor to Australia. Marshall even approved of it. They wanted him to go by submarine, but he went my PT boat through the Japanese blockade, in part, to prove that it could be done.


As for Korea, remember that he was the current proconsul of Japan. He had an Army Commander to lead 8th Army in Korea. I do however agree with some of his detractors that he should have put X Corps under the command of Walker post-Incheon. But to say that he wasn’t up front during the Korean War is just silly.
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Großer Kriegschwein

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Re: Currently studying the SWPA of WWII
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2019, 02:17:10 pm »

The only Theater Commander to observe an Airborne operation during the entire war:



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kodiakisland

Re: Currently studying the SWPA of WWII
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2019, 08:20:05 pm »

Lot of mixed feelings on Doug from the people that were around him.  Some loved him, some didn't.  Was he any better or worse than the current military leaders of the time?  For the most part they all did a poor job preparing for what many knew was coming.

An interesting read on the back story:
https://www.amazon.com/Generals-Patton-MacArthur-Marshall-Winning-ebook/dp/B00TCI404I

Arkansas hero Pappy Gunn certainly didn't mince words when it came to his opinion of MacArthur.  I just love Pappy since he ran bootleg liquor to a brothel in Searcy as a kid. 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 08:35:39 pm by kodiakisland »
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Großer Kriegschwein

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Re: Currently studying the SWPA of WWII
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2019, 01:58:31 pm »

There weren’t too many fliers in the area that liked him right after he got to Australia from the Philippines.

He treated General Brett pretty bad.

Relations with the Air Corps didn’t get better until General Kenney got to Australia.

Most of the problem between Brett and the General weren’t Brett’s fault, but sometimes that doesn’t matter. It put Kenney as the Commander of the 5th Air Force and he was absolutely the better of the two for the area.

MacArthur, Kenney, Krueger, Eichelberger...... that was a pretty talented group of Generals. There was also Kincaid and Halsey for the Navy.

MacArthur had a fairly free hand in the SWPA. The planning there wasn’t done by the war plans division back in the states like it was for Eisenhower (not that I’m taking anything away from Ike).

There’s plenty of reason to dislike MacArthur after the war was over (especially if you are Pappy Gunn). Macarthur’s absolution of Filipino war criminals (turncoats) was almost abhorrent. But his occupation of Japan was nearly flawless.

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