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MacArthur in Europe

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  • #16
    In Clark's place, he would have been up in the Po valley by D-Day.
    Judging by his performance in New Guinea, it's highly possible he could have done that, and cost the Germans one of their two armies in the process.

    However, getting him to accept such a command would probably been impossible, and what good it would have done for the war overall is questionable.
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

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    • #17
      Here is what I'm trying to find out... He does take the command, does he turn in lower casualties? Can he fight a "real" war of maneuver? Can he get Overlord off sooner?
      In Vino Veritas

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      • #18
        Originally posted by dongar1 View Post
        Here is what I'm trying to find out... He does take the command, does he turn in lower casualties? Can he fight a "real" war of maneuver? Can he get Overlord off sooner?
        An Amphibious campaign is the ultimate war of maneuver, with vast options covering hundreds of even thousands of miles of water and coastlines. And yes, Mac's best saving grace is that he turned in relatively low casualty rates vs the ground gained.

        Overlord?
        I have no idea. He might, but I think there are too many variables to say from just this.

        One thing for sure, he and Monty would have had a much different working relationship than Ike did.
        Kinda like the irresistible force vs the immovable object.


        However... this whole thread is going on an odd premise. What happens to his "I shall return" thing, eh?
        "Why is the Rum gone?"

        -Captain Jack

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        • #19
          Hard to say...

          Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
          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?
          In the end, North Africa became American's finest hour, as the Nazi high command poured masses of men & equipment into the caldron, lost huge numbers of ships in the crossing, & enabled the American army to have the best finishing school possible.
          The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Roddoss72 View Post
            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.
            Indeed. The Marines on Corrigedor had a poor view of Mac as a leader, along with many others who saw him up close or from a distance. Never the less he got as far as he in the South Pacific & Phillipines, or Korea for that matter, by the efforts of some very talented generals who made Macs grand visions work at the operational & tactical levels. My take is all that would have gone far worse had Mac and Sutherlands gang been directly involved in the operational planning & decision making. AAF General Kenney had to quickly become a expert in lying to Mac and Sutherland, telling them what they wanted to hear & meanwhile executing plans that would actually work but which were at odds with Macs original instructions.

            Originally posted by dongar1 View Post
            Mac was a highly decorated WW! officer (2 DSC, DSM, 2 PH), a Brig already in 1919
            ...

            Originally posted by lirelou View Post
            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?
            Even back when those medals were awarded there other officers questioning if Mac rated them. There was more than the usual criticism of unearned medals post WWI extending across the officer corps, something much considered through the 1930s but left aside with the advent of WWII. Fairly recently it has resrufaced again in regards to Mac and others awarded medals in the Great War.

            Earlier in 1914 the several MoH handed out at Vera Cruz were clearly for political reasons. Most went to officers, and there was negligable combat there. The Marine officer Smedley Beutler refused his & was handed it anyway with the order to shut up and not make a fuss. Beutler left a number of verbal accounts and a letter describing how the action of himself and the other naval officers did not amount to combat action. He & the other worked hard at making a ad hoc and too hastily prepared landing operation work. They lost a lot of sleep and had a lot of extra hours on their feet doing this, which Beutler regarded as the minimum a military officer should be expected to do.
            Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 29 Dec 12, 16:47.

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