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  • #31
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    What did it say about his tactics and losses in New Guinea? He was sending Generals off and telling them to "Take Buna or don't come back alive"? The poor guy got there and found there was no artillery or TACAIR and the men were attacking into bunkers set in Mangrove Swamps. The mortars they carried in were ineffective. He had to BORROW Australian field guns because they brought their own Artillery. The sick rate on New Guinea was outrageous. If Mac had got off his duff and visited Buna and some other places he could have inspired troops with his presence. The few places he did visit were fairly safe by the time he got there.

    In New Guinea I think he commandeered the only air conditioned building on the island!

    Pruitt
    It's been a long time since I read his book, but as I recall, New Guinea was sort of a do or die situation, the fear was that Japan would launch a strikes against Australia, when Mac got to the land down under, according to his book, the plan was to fall back half way, then dig in.
    Japanese air strikes had already taken place, it wasn't just a US mission at that point, orders had come down that New Guinea had to be taken and quick.
    It was the same with Guadalcanal, the Marines were basically dropped off and told that they were on their own. It was a desperate time. It was only after New Guinea and Guadalcanal were secured that Allied forces could pick and choose where to fight in the Pacific.
    That is in affect what Macs says in his book. And as I recall, he had communications to back up his story. The real heroes of New Guinea were the Australian forces, but that is for another thread, I'm sorry if I have side tracked this topic...
    Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
    Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by Urban hermit View Post
      I think it safe to say the Korea War was a disaster for the US and the UN. We underestimated the ability of the Chinese, were ill prepared.
      If you read Macs book, "Reminiscence" one of the things that will jump out is his belief that he "understood the Oriental mind" better then any US diplomat or anyone else (his own words) and it's true, he lived in the Orient for many years, I have respect for him, he was a very good writer, and I believe he was a damn good tactician when pushed. He takes a lot of unfair heat for staying close to his communications center during the siege of the Philippine Islands, I don't know where else a commander would be, and it wasn't like it was very far from the action. The book sheds a lot of light on his WWII experiences.
      His handling of Japan's occupation was exemplary. His loss rate during WWII was very low considering how many islands his forces liberated, his tactic of cutting islands off and letting them "wither on the vine" saved many lives on both sides.
      He should have gone out while on top.
      MacArthur was only in China once or twice and living in the Philippines would not give him an insight to the Chinese. Yes, MacArthur made some excellent tactical decisions during WWII, but he was completely clueless on the capabilities of the Chinese. His staff ignored any intelligence that did not reflect MacArthur's views on what the tactical situation was. You do realize that he split his army after Wonsan. This action was that of a General that had lost his total situational awareness and believed his own propaganda that there were no Chinese, aside from a few hundred, in Korea. The only smart move MacArthur made was his landing at Inchon. If you want to really understand what happened in Korea read any other non-fiction book not written by MacArthur. I am not attempting to belittle you, I am just trying to get you to read other accounts than his.
      Too Much To Do Too Little Time

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      • #33
        If the Australians could get Artillery there, so could the US Army.

        The Japanese advance had been stopped and they were in retreat over the Owen Stanleys. American Black Airfield Construction Engineers turned back the Japanese that landed at Milne Bay. MacArthur then had options so he decided to send an American Division to the North Coast of New Guinea without its Artillery and heavy equipment. The Australians sent their troops over the Owen Stanley Mountains,flew more in and brought Artillery with them. MacArthur's staff vetoed every request for Artillery. They said there were no barges available, that Air Transports could not load them. Actually C-46 Transports could carry 105 Howitzers. Once that Staff made a decision you could not get it over turned.

        Even more unbelievably MacArthur sent a whole Infantry Battalion over the Owen Stanleys to the East over the Kapa Kapa Trail, terrain no White Men had ever been through. The 2nd/126th Infantry went through terrain that made them crawl up a mountain. Much of the supply and equipment was carrier by Native Bearers. They ran off at Ghost Mountain. By the time they reached their objective they were worn out and MacArthur wanted them to attack. Only two of the 32nd's Regiments were sent in, the 126th and 128th. The third Infantry regiment was left in Reserve!

        General Kenney (Army Air Corps) told MacArthur that tanks could not effectively operate in the Jungle, and that the Artillery there flies! General Sutherland told MacArthur that the Japanese only had hasty field fortifications. General Willougby told MacArthur that the Japanese would not make a stand and other intelligence said there was only about 1000 sick and malnourished troops at Buna. Events proved all three wrong.

        General Eichelberger was sent in and he fired the Division Commander. Many unit commanders were also fired. Eichelberger was able to get his third Infantry Regiment back.

        Out of 9825 men sent into action the casualty count was 9956! A number of men were sent to the hospital more than once!

        So tell me again how MacArthur's casualty rates were so low?

        Pruitt
        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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        • #34
          Originally posted by FTCS View Post
          MacArthur was only in China once or twice and living in the Philippines would not give him an insight to the Chinese. Yes, MacArthur made some excellent tactical decisions during WWII, but he was completely clueless on the capabilities of the Chinese. His staff ignored any intelligence that did not reflect MacArthur's views on what the tactical situation was. You do realize that he split his army after Wonsan. This action was that of a General that had lost his total situational awareness and believed his own propaganda that there were no Chinese, aside from a few hundred, in Korea. The only smart move MacArthur made was his landing at Inchon. If you want to really understand what happened in Korea read any other non-fiction book not written by MacArthur. I am not attempting to belittle you, I am just trying to get you to read other accounts than his.
          No problem, I have read his critics. I was just post what I remember from his autobiography. I happened to agree with you, his staff told him what he wanted to hear.
          Much like our current day political leaders...
          Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
          Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
            If the Australians could get Artillery there, so could the US Army.

            The Japanese advance had been stopped and they were in retreat over the Owen Stanleys. American Black Airfield Construction Engineers turned back the Japanese that landed at Milne Bay. MacArthur then had options so he decided to send an American Division to the North Coast of New Guinea without its Artillery and heavy equipment. The Australians sent their troops over the Owen Stanley Mountains,flew more in and brought Artillery with them. MacArthur's staff vetoed every request for Artillery. They said there were no barges available, that Air Transports could not load them. Actually C-46 Transports could carry 105 Howitzers. Once that Staff made a decision you could not get it over turned.

            Even more unbelievably MacArthur sent a whole Infantry Battalion over the Owen Stanleys to the East over the Kapa Kapa Trail, terrain no White Men had ever been through. The 2nd/126th Infantry went through terrain that made them crawl up a mountain. Much of the supply and equipment was carrier by Native Bearers. They ran off at Ghost Mountain. By the time they reached their objective they were worn out and MacArthur wanted them to attack. Only two of the 32nd's Regiments were sent in, the 126th and 128th. The third Infantry regiment was left in Reserve!

            General Kenney (Army Air Corps) told MacArthur that tanks could not effectively operate in the Jungle, and that the Artillery there flies! General Sutherland told MacArthur that the Japanese only had hasty field fortifications. General Willougby told MacArthur that the Japanese would not make a stand and other intelligence said there was only about 1000 sick and malnourished troops at Buna. Events proved all three wrong.

            General Eichelberger was sent in and he fired the Division Commander. Many unit commanders were also fired. Eichelberger was able to get his third Infantry Regiment back.

            Out of 9825 men sent into action the casualty count was 9956! A number of men were sent to the hospital more than once!

            So tell me again how MacArthur's casualty rates were so low?

            Pruitt
            Again, I am relating what he wrote in his book. He came to his conclusion by comparing his casualty rate to that of the Marines, divided by the number of island each liberated.
            Please understand, if you want to challenge him, do so.
            I like to read the autobiographies of historical figures so I can see for myself their defense of themselves.
            Not so I can defend them, but so I can at least give them a fair trial. Each of them have one voice to explain themselves, they have on the other hand, millions of detractors, and few if any ever read a single word the defendant wrote, they go solely by the words of others.
            I find it impossible in my mind to judge men and women who rise to such lofty positions, there is too much white noise that surrounds their lives and weeding out fact from fiction could take several lifetimes.
            So I try to understand them.
            Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
            Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

            Comment


            • #36
              Jim,

              MacArthur had a nasty habit of only using facts he liked. Of course he wanted to use the figures for his island hopping campaigns. They were quite different than those in the Philippines and New Guinea. He also stole any accomplishments that his subordinate officers did. He did learn as he went along. He did not descend from Mount Olympus fully formed with Nymphs strewing rose petals before him.

              He learned to 'island hop' on the coast of Northern New Guinea. The first time was by accident. Then he started trying to get the same effects on later landings. He also learned to take only the airfields on islands in the Solomons. Later on the Australians replaced the American garrisons and then cleaned the remnants of the Japanese on a number of these islands.

              One interesting fact about MacArthur's army was he let older Generals come in to command troops. The younger guys ended up in Europe. Then again the campaigns in the Pacific tended to be of shorter duration, even if intense. If you look at several of the Maneuvers held in the US (Louisiana, Carolina, et al) you will see several of the Army commanders found employment under MacArthur in the Pacific.

              Pruitt
              Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

              Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

              by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

              Comment


              • #37
                He was to say the least "colorful". He was no Eisenhower. If there was ever any way to measure ego I'm sure he would break the scale.
                Dispite our best intentions, the system is dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed.
                Russ Travers, CIA analyst, 2001

                Comment


                • #38
                  Eisenhower once said he learned "theatrics" under MacArthur.

                  Pruitt
                  Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                  Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                  by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                    The Japanese advance had been stopped and they were in retreat over the Owen Stanleys. American Black Airfield Construction Engineers turned back the Japanese that landed at Milne Bay.
                    COUGH COUGH!!!

                    With two brigades now at Milne Bay, Major General Cyril Clowes was appointed to command Milne Force, which was placed under the control of New Guinea Force, now commanded by Lieutenant General Sydney Rowell, on 12 August. Clowes' headquarters was formed in Sydney at the end of July and was flown up to Milne Bay. He arrived with some of his staff on 13 August, but had to wait until the rest arrived before he could formally assume command of Milne Force on 22 August. By this time there were 7,459 Australian and 1,365 US Army personnel at Milne Bay, of whom about 4,500 were infantry. There were also about 600 RAAF personnel
                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Milne_Bay

                    Given our size we don't get all that many pivotal moments in military history. We prefer not to have the ones we do get usurped by other nations. We lost 167 soldiers at Milne Bay. The US lost 14. It was a foundational moment in our long military alliance and a key moment in the Pacific theatre, but I think we get most of the credit for this one.

                    Oh, the Aussies had little time for Mac. They saw him as a poseur with little respect for Australian troops. The called him 'Choco Doug' after the main character in an operetta called 'the Chocolate Soldier', about a guy who is basically a fraud. There was also little respect for Blamey, who was seen as mac's toady. Our blokes preferred generals who got their boots dirty once in a while.
                    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by BF69 View Post
                      COUGH COUGH!!!



                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Milne_Bay

                      Given our size we don't get all that many pivotal moments in military history. We prefer not to have the ones we do get usurped by other nations. We lost 167 soldiers at Milne Bay. The US lost 14. It was a foundational moment in our long military alliance and a key moment in the Pacific theatre, but I think we get most of the credit for this one.

                      Oh, the Aussies had little time for Mac. They saw him as a poseur with little respect for Australian troops. The called him 'Choco Doug' after the main character in an operetta called 'the Chocolate Soldier', about a guy who is basically a fraud. There was also little respect for Blamey, who was seen as mac's toady. Our blokes preferred generals who got their boots dirty once in a while.
                      You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to BF69 again

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                      • #41
                        BF,

                        The Japanese turned around and marched back over the Kokoda Trail when they heard the Americans had landed on Guadalcanal. The Japanese commanding General ordered this. I am sure the Australian Militia troops did not know why the Japanese were leaving, just that they were.

                        When the Japanese landed at Milne Bay they first troops they hit were these Black American construction troops. These Engineers held out long enough for Australian Infantry to get there. These Americans often get no credit for being in the way.

                        Pruitt
                        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                          When the Japanese landed at Milne Bay they first troops they hit were these Black American construction troops. These Engineers held out long enough for Australian Infantry to get there. These Americans often get no credit for being in the way.

                          Pruitt
                          Sorry, but you have been misinformed. The first Japanese landings were on August 25th. There was heavy fighting throughout August 26th & 27th involving elements of several Australian Battalions. There was further fighting over the next 3 days of varying intensity as the Japanese advanced toward the airstrips. Much of the fighting was at night. During the day US & Australian aircraft attacked the Japanese. It was not until early on the morning of the 31st of August that the Japanese hit a prepared defensive position at strip 3 manned by a combined force of Australian & American soldiers. That is more than 5 days after the initial landing & several days after reinforcements landed.

                          The daylight hours of the following day, 30 August, were quiet. Milne Force sent patrols to feel out the enemy in preparation for the long-delayed general advance, and the Japanese, hidden in the jungle, consolidated for another attack on No. 3 strip. The climax came that night when the Japanese made an all-out effort to take the strip. Brigadier Field was again ready for them. The only change in his dispositions was to place the .50-caliber machine guns of the 709th Antiaircraft Battery at both ends of the line instead of as before on its eastern end. The .50-caliber machine guns and 37mm. antitank gun crews of Companies D and F of the 43d Engineers were as before in the center of the line, flanked on either side by the riflemen and mortarmen of the 25th and 61st Battalions. The 25 pounders, about half a mile to the rear, lent their support, as did the P-40's from No. 1 Strip.

                          When the Japanese made their move against the airstrip, such intense fire hit them that not one man was able to cross the strip alive. The heaviest attack came before dawn. Like the others, it was repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy, who withdrew at first light, leaving 160 dead behind
                          That engagement was crucial in stopping the Japanese push and forcing a withdrawal, but they had already been engaged in hard fighting for a number of days before it happened.

                          http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/...P-Papua-6.html

                          I am also not sure about your description of the 43rd Engineers. I haven't seen any mention that they were black (though I don't claim to be sure that they are not). Are you sure you are not confusing them with the 96th battalion, which had helped to construct the airfield but was not there during the fighting. The 43rd were based in Melbourne and camped in a large park where my cricket club sometimes plays.
                          Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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                          • #43
                            So the combination of night attacks and Japanese tanks got the Japanese through the Militia Battalions and to the air strip? Sorry, but I have read somewhere about Black Engineers of the US Army helping to defend that airstrip. If I can find it, I will put on here. This subject has also been brought up in previous threads. If you care to search for them, knock yourself out!

                            Pruitt
                            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                              So the combination of night attacks and Japanese tanks got the Japanese through the Militia Battalions and to the air strip?
                              There were regular troops involved in the fighting too....and it took 5 days to get to the strip. They also received reinforcement and had some support from naval gunfire.

                              Sorry, but I have read somewhere about Black Engineers of the US Army helping to defend that airstrip.
                              You also thought they were the first troops the Japanese encountered. As I said, you have been misinformed on aspects of this. US Engineers did help to defend the strip, but the rest is either questionable or wrong.

                              If I can find it, I will put on here. This subject has also been brought up in previous threads. If you care to search for them, knock yourself out!
                              By all means. If the 43rd was indeed a black unit it shouldn't be all that hard to find some record of it. I've already done my research & presented the facts. I also did some reading - Peter Brune's 'A Bastard of a Place'. I've proven my points already. Over to you.
                              Last edited by BF69; 30 Oct 13, 03:20.
                              Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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