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  • #31
    Should the Philippines have been bypassed? (a tactic that MacArthur himself implemented with good results in New Guinea)

    Hastings says in ''Nemesis''.....
    MacArthur Philippines campaign did little more to advance the surrender of Japan then Slims campaign in Burma, and with vastly less competence. It's principal victims were the Philippine people and MacArthur's own military reputation.

    The net result was some 60,000 US casualties, (or around 150,000 including non combat casualties,) and over 100,000 Filipino civilians killed, and Yamashita managed to hold out until the end of the war.
    The Japanese suffered immeasurably more, but could they have been left to wither on the vine?

    But at least Mac got to say ''I have returned.''

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    • #32
      Yes, it should have been bypassed. There was no real reason the allies needed to take it by force

      “Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” -- Albert Einstein

      The US Constitution doesn't need to be rewritten it needs to be reread

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      • #33
        Originally posted by slick24 View Post
        Yes, it should have been bypassed. There was no real reason the allies needed to take it by force
        It seems politics took precedence over military operations this time, one of the rare times Roosevelt called the shots, (compared to Churchill and Stalin)

        Nimitz argued that Formosa, located 200 miles north of the Philippines, would serve as a base to attack the Japanese in China. Nimitz reasoned that with U.S. bases on the mainland, strategic bombers would then be able to bomb the Japanese homeland. At the same time, the capture of Formosa would sever Japan from her sources of oil located to the south. But MacArthur pressured Roosevelt into retaking the Philippines first. MacArthur explained that America had a''moral obligation'' to the citizenry of the Philippines to liberate them. Insinuating that he could lose reelection in the upcoming elections in November if he didn't follow through on his pledge to retake the islands, Roosevelt quickly acquiesced and approved an ultimately costly operation. Nimitz’s arguments were purely military, but MacArthur’s rebuttals were more emotional and political.
        Although he never admitted it, the threat of defeat at the polls was probably the key motivating factor that resulted in Roosevelt's support of MacArthur's proposal.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Aussie View Post
          Another gem from Mac from 'Battle for Australia' with his thoughts on Australia's plight in '42, makes you chuckle, looks very much like he's having a dollar each way.......

          ....MacArthur briefed the Advisory War Cabinet in Melbourne. It's members may have been relieved to hear his opinion that 'it is doubtful whether the Japanese would undertake an invasion of Australia ...', though they may have entertained misgivings over his reason... 'as the spoils here are not sufficient to warrant the risk' MacArthur hardly consoled the Council by then suggesting that... 'the Japanese might try to overrun Australia in order to demonstrate their superiority over the white races', but as a strategist he thought that an invasion would be 'a blunder'....

          Seems he really had no clue what the Japanese might do, the War Cabinet must have left scratching their heads.........
          I'd rather say he was quite right in his assumptions......

          Fred
          Saving MacArthur - a book series - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ies_rw_dp_labf
          River Wide, Ocean Deep - Operation Sealion - https://www.amazon.com/product-revie...owViewpoints=1

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Aussie View Post
            Nimitz argued that Formosa, located 200 miles north of the Philippines, would serve as a base to attack the Japanese in China..
            You mean, that would have cost less than the taking of the Philippines? Invading Formosa - and China?
            Originally posted by Aussie View Post
            Nimitz reasoned that with U.S. bases on the mainland, strategic bombers would then be able to bomb the Japanese homeland..
            We know how strategic bombing worked out for both the Germans and the Allies in Europe. Were the Japanese less strong-willed?
            Originally posted by Aussie View Post
            At the same time, the capture of Formosa would sever Japan from her sources of oil located to the south...
            As would the capture of the Philippines. Actually it was the original reason for the military build-up there before the war started. As opposed to Formosa, the Philippines were also an area with a working resistance movement and a potential source for the re-establishing of the Philippine Army, an army that already before the war was organised with a core of 10 infantry divisions.
            But MacArthur pressured Roosevelt into retaking the Philippines first. MacArthur explained that America had a''moral obligation'' to the citizenry of the Philippines to liberate them. Insinuating that he could lose reelection in the upcoming elections in November if he didn't follow through on his pledge to retake the islands, Roosevelt quickly acquiesced and approved an ultimately costly operation.
            Did Roosevelt ever pledge to retake the Philippines? Also, it would be interesting to know what are your sources for the assumption that he was afraid of losing the election for this reason. This doesn't exactly conform to other "rumour" theories that MacArthur himself was aiming at the Presidency. Something he always denied. Why should he, a convinced Republican, worry about Roosevelt's re-election?
            Nimitz’s arguments were purely military, but MacArthur’s rebuttals were more emotional and political.
            Field Marshall Lord Alanbrooke, the British Chief of Staff, called MacArthur the best strategist of WW2.

            Finally I would say - the US DID have a moral obligation to The Philippines, and not necessarily because MacArthur said so.

            Fred

            P.S.: In my opinion it was a major mistake that the US elected (or, rather, the USN decided) that it should be a two-pronged attack on Japan instead of one, concentrated one. If all US resources had been used in a direct advance from Australia (with its much better potential for large bases) towards the Philippines - that is, through the Moluccans, the southern parts of The Philippines could have been liberated much earlier and the Japanese supply traffic with oil and commodities through the South China Sea strangled. This was, after all, the reason why the Japanese went to war in the first place. But, for such a strategy MacArthur would have needed the full co-operation of the Navy. That he didn't get in 1941 nor later.

            Logistically, to work up the west coast of PNG would probably have been much less problematic than what was done in RL, but MacArthur had to secure the left flank of the other US advance, that through the Solomons.
            Last edited by leandros; 09 Aug 16, 12:49.
            Saving MacArthur - a book series - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ies_rw_dp_labf
            River Wide, Ocean Deep - Operation Sealion - https://www.amazon.com/product-revie...owViewpoints=1

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