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  • MacArthur in Europe

    I know that this has been touched on, but forgive me if I offend.

    Let's just say that after he lands in Australia, the General is ordered to command the ETO (let's just say that instead of wanting him out of his hair, Marshall wants to keep close tabs on him).

    If I remember correctly from Manchester's :American Caesar", he told FDR that only his mediocre generals turn in high casualty numbers. Seeing that the had vast expanses of nothing (ok water) to maneuver in, how would the good General do when he has no choice but to go "up the gut"?
    In Vino Veritas

  • #2
    The alliance with the UK and Churchill would have been DOA or at least seriously injured. Marshall/FRD had him where he was needed when there was little time to waste. That was the PTO. Would Ike have done better in the PTO than MacA? I doubt it. Two good choices by DC on the matter.

    It would have been a joy to see MacA with Charles the Great of France.
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    youre entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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    • #3
      Mac was only as good as his subordnates. I know that is a bit trite, but consider The several (many?) goofs from macs personal staff. Also consider the role of Echelberger & Krueger in the Cartwheel operations and the rest right up to the liberation of Manilia and on to the end of WWII. then there is Korea.

      I expect Macs role and performance in the ETO would have been much the same as in the Pacific... with one exception. Would Churchill or Roosevelt have accepted Mac as the highest US commander in the ETO?

      While Marshalls recomendations to the President carried a lot of weight Roosevelt exercised more judgement in this than is popularly realized. He was a fairly shrewd judge of ability and character, and he understood throughly the need for serious diplomatic skills in the higher ranking US commanders for the ETO.

      Churchills desire for commanders he could manipulate are often discussed, but ther eis a bit of evidence he understood the need for superlative political skills in the senior US commanders working along side or over the Brits. Would he have seen either trait he wanted in Mac?

      Note how Stillwell was originally slated for the senior US command in Op. Gymnast, but was moved elsewhere after some exposure to the Brits during preperations for Gymnast. His weakness in tact & diplomacy perhaps had something to do with that transfer? The question of Macs match to Brit (Churchills) sensibilities is important here.

      Assuming Mac follows Ikes course & is made senior commander of Op Torch. What happens in January when Mac must inform the Allied leaders that the effort to capture Tunisia has failed & it will require until May to secure all of Africa? It is often forgotten this was a low point in Ikes career. it is to his credit he gave the unvarnished truth to Chuchhill, Roosevelt, and the combined Allied CoS at Casablanca. Would mac have done the same, or delivered some sort of egotistical whitewash claiming victory. Would Roosevelt or Churchill & their CoS have let such a load of BS pass?

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      • #4
        Just what the Allies needed, another drama queen like Montgomery.
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #5
          The first sign of trouble, he takes flight to the extreme rear and then blame others for his failures.

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          • #6
            I think if he's running the show in N. Africa it would be a far bigger mess than it was historically. Mac had a penchant for keeping generals on even after they screwed up repeatedly. He likely would have kept his same staff and his CoS Sutherland was a bureaucratic martinet with nearly zero military skill. I could see Sutherland making a mess of a disaster and then Mac keeping the causes on his staff.
            I also would think that Patton and Sutherland would be at odds early and it is likely Patton would be shuffled out of the picture because he made waves. I could see Mac actually keeping Generals Clark and Fredendall on expecting them to "get better at the job" rather than firing them first thing.

            I think Monty and Mac would become a tag team of publicity and instead of rivals be friends disaster after disaster always giving the press great stories and wonderful excuses for their inability to completely drive the Germans out of Africa.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
              I think if he's running the show in N. Africa it would be a far bigger mess than it was historically. Mac had a penchant for keeping generals on even after they screwed up repeatedly. He likely would have kept his same staff and his CoS Sutherland was a bureaucratic martinet with nearly zero military skill. I could see Sutherland making a mess of a disaster and then Mac keeping the causes on his staff.
              I also would think that Patton and Sutherland would be at odds early and it is likely Patton would be shuffled out of the picture because he made waves. I could see Mac actually keeping Generals Clark and Fredendall on expecting them to "get better at the job" rather than firing them first thing.

              I think Monty and Mac would become a tag team of publicity and instead of rivals be friends disaster after disaster always giving the press great stories and wonderful excuses for their inability to completely drive the Germans out of Africa.
              Rommel takes advantage of the obvious lack of trust and cooperation that he defeats the Allies in NW Africa and then bouyed by a strong victory goes on an offensive and secures Egypt, then Mac is then sent back to the USA with his career in the toilet.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                Rommel takes advantage of the obvious lack of trust and cooperation that he defeats the Allies in NW Africa and then bouyed by a strong victory goes on an offensive and secures Egypt, then Mac is then sent back to the USA with his career in the toilet.
                I doubt it would be a lack of trust and cooperation but rather sheer ineptness and a tendency towards lethargic action as Mac, like Monty keeps asking for more and more men, equipment, and materials to achieve victory while plodding along in a series of inept attrition battles of little imagination and lacking in energetic execution.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                  I doubt it would be a lack of trust and cooperation but rather sheer ineptness and a tendency towards lethargic action as Mac, like Monty keeps asking for more and more men, equipment, and materials to achieve victory while plodding along in a series of inept attrition battles of little imagination and lacking in energetic execution.
                  Rommel will switch his forces west, with enough troops to hold the British in the east and launch an offensive against the mainly American forces in the west and just like the Philipines, Mac's leadership is shown to be fatally flawed and Rommel defeats Mac and does the world a favour in capturing that five star idiot.

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                  • #10
                    So the old calvary man would not have been a master of manoeuvre and produced lower casualties? Would Montgomery acted different with the far senior Doug? And (dramatic music) what about MacArthur's mastery of drama? Remember the welcome he received in Australia? Would he have the same in the UK? You also have to remember that Doug would/could choose another site for the invasion in N. Africa (maybe straight to Sicily/Italy).
                    In Vino Veritas

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dongar1 View Post
                      ... You also have to remember that Doug would/could choose another site for the invasion in N. Africa (maybe straight to Sicily/Italy).
                      That would have not been Macs to choose. Grand Stratigic objectives at that time were chosen by Churchill, Brooke and Marshal, with input from the other chiefs of staff. Roosevelt generally went along with what the others wanted. Later as 1943 spun out Roosevelt became active in choosing objectives & backed Ikes recomendations. If Mac had objected to to the stratigic directives given for Torch he likely would have got crossways with both Churchill. Brooke, and very possiblly Marshal. He would have got his way provided he presented sound reasoning, delivered with tact and charm. What were the odds?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
                        .. Mac's leadership is shown to be fatally flawed and Rommel defeats Mac and does the world a favour in capturing that five star idiot.
                        As I mentioned before Mac did well in his South Pacific campaign & return to the Phillipines by using skilled generals like Krueger & Echelberger. It is not impossible he would do the same in other situations. No guarantee he would sail through smoothly, but his failure is not guarnateed either. In any case his failure is liable to come sooner at the poltical level from dealing with Marshal, Roosevelt, Brooke, Churchill & asorted other who were as smart and ruthless as he was. Mac survived the politics of WWII due to his relative isolation in the South PTO. At close quarters in the ETO he would have been matched by others who had fought tougher battles getting to the top.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                          As I mentioned before Mac did well in his South Pacific campaign & return to the Phillipines by using skilled generals like Krueger & Echelberger. It is not impossible he would do the same in other situations. No guarantee he would sail through smoothly, but his failure is not guarnateed either. In any case his failure is liable to come sooner at the poltical level from dealing with Marshal, Roosevelt, Brooke, Churchill & asorted other who were as smart and ruthless as he was. Mac survived the politics of WWII due to his relative isolation in the South PTO. At close quarters in the ETO he would have been matched by others who had fought tougher battles getting to the top.
                          Tell that to the poor wounded bastards he left behind in the Philipines and told the local commanders to hold at all costs and when the Philipines surrendered he went out of his way and called them cowards for surrendering while he drank fine whisky, smoked the best tobacco while living it up in Brisbane, Australia.

                          Many in the Australian Army that i knew who served in WW2 called him the ultimate coward and allways blamed others for his mistakes, he was a narcisist of the highest order.

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                          • #14
                            I am no great fan of Dugout Doug, he had his problems. But Churchill is a puppy compared to the Chairman and Chang Kai-Shek/Mrs. Chang that he had to deal with. Look how hard Churchill had to fight for attacking the "soft underbelly". Whatever else he was, demagogue and all, he did do politics.

                            He was also able, although after the war, to keep tight reins on the Russians.

                            True Eisenhower was political, but at a cost, and a cost in US lives. He got the Chiefs to put off/cancel the invasion of Taiwan. General Eisenhower wouldn't allow the bombing of the ancestral Roosevelt land holdings in Europe under ANY conditions (I wish I could remember the book on the Battle of the Bulge, it was done like Ryan but not him).

                            And I've read in books on Patton and Bradley their concerns about Eisenhower's "being an ally" first.

                            Marshall was owned by FDR, who promoted him from Brig. to full General in 1939 (pretty tough fight there I guess).

                            Mac was a highly decorated WW! officer (2 DSC, DSM, 2 PH), a Brig already in 1919 (Marshall in 1936). Eisenhower 1941! from 1 to 5 stars in 4 years, pretty tough going there too! And after Marshall's failure at Pearl Harbor, might have tred differently with Mac in Europe.

                            I think, though,Mac might have had an impact, for better or worse. I'm trying to wrap my mind around which.
                            In Vino Veritas

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                            • #15
                              Mac was a highly decorated WW! officer (2 DSC, DSM, 2 PH), a Brig already in 1919 (Marshall in 1936). Eisenhower 1941! from 1 to 5 stars in 4 years, pretty tough going there too! And after Marshall's failure at Pearl Harbor, might have tred differently with Mac in Europe.
                              Don't forget his seven Silver Stars, his Distinguished Flying Cross, and his Bronze Star for Valor (WWII). Yes, he was highly decorated, and note that it is the Chief of Staff of a Division who normally heads the Division Awards Board. And MacArthur's position for the majority of time in the 42nd Inf Div was??? Could it have been Chief of Staff?

                              And what about that Medal of Honor citation for Veracruz? Who recommended Captain Douggie for that?

                              Now, MacArthur was not stupid and he did have an agile mind when not blinded by his own greatness. It is quite possible that he could have more than held his own. At the very least, he would have got on well with the Free French. (But Churchill may well have added the MacArthur Scottish thistle to the Cross of Lorraine that he had to bear.)
                              dit: Lirelou

                              Phong trần mi một lưỡi gươm, Những loi gi o ti cơm s g!

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