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MacArthur tested the waters of politics in 1948 by allowing his name to be placed on Republican Party primary ballots in a number of states in the spring and summer prior to the 1948 election. However, after a disastrous primary defeat in Wisconsin, MacArthur did not actively lend his name to any additional political activities.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Adm. Chester Nimitz at Pearl Harbor, August 1944.

Still another chapter in MacArthur’s life opened when the armies of North Korea attacked South Korea June 25, 1950. On July 14, the general was named to direct U.N. Forces in the defense of South Korea. With the few and poorly trained troops that were then stationed in Japan, MacArthur fought a holding action against a powerful North Korean army. His forces were pushed down the Korean Peninsula until a defense perimeter was finally established at the southeastern segment of the Peninsula around the vital port city of Pusan.

At the end of July, MacArthur flew to Taiwan for two days of talks with Chiang Kai-shek. At the end of these talks MacArthur made a vague announcement praising Chiang’s anti-Communism, but further stated that “arrangements have been completed for effective coordination between American forces under my command and those of the Chinese government.” This sounded suspiciously as though Chinese Nationalist troops were to be introduced into the Korean fighting, which was definitely not U.S. government policy. MacArthur cavalierly refused to give details of his supposed plan to the State Department, and even waited four days to report to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, nominally his superiors, on this important meeting.

In spite of his embattled situation along the Pusan Perimeter, MacArthur nonetheless found the time to excoriate administration policy in his message to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) August 20. He dismissed any threat of the war’s expansion by arguing that as the most knowledgeable expert on “oriental psychology” he knew that most Asians admired his aggressive, resolute and dynamic leadership.” President Harry S. Truman forced MacArthur to withdraw the statement, but mutual ill-will continued to fester between the two leaders.

"Gen. Douglas MacArthur wades ashore during the initial landings at Leyte in the Pacific, in October, 1944.

On September 15, MacArthur, now age 70, directed the surprise amphibious landing behind enemy lines at Inchon, just west of Seoul. His plan had been opposed by most high military officers in Washington, but MacArthur was able to convince the Joint Chiefs of Staff of its feasibility and the operation succeeded famously. By the end of the month, the North Korean forces began to collapse quickly and were rolled back across the 38th Parallel. On October 8, U.N. troops pushed the enemy north into North Korea and followed in hot pursuit. MacArthur was, of course, only following the directives of the president and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The following day, he issued an ultimatum to Pyongyang, calling on the North Korean government “for the last time” to surrender immediately and inviting its people to cooperate with the United Nations in creating a “unified, independent, and democratic government of Korea.” The Stalinist premier of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea), not surprisingly, ignored such overtures. Many North Koreans collaborated with U.N. forces, for whatever reasons, and had to be evacuated when those forces withdrew.

Elements of MacArthur’s command actually reached the Yalu River marking the border between China and Korea by late October. But these forces were divided into two commands, X Corps and Eighth Army, which had practically no communication with each other and which seemed to invite an enemy offensive to destroy them piecemeal. MacArthur refused to believe that the Chinese, firm allies of North Korea, would enter the war in any strength, and opened his “end the war by Christmas” offensive. (Later, and very improbably, he termed this offensive “a reconnaissance in force” still later and even more improbably, he claimed to have “upset the enemy’s timetable.”) Some writers have even contended that MacArthur’s intelligence was good enough that he realized that the Chinese were likely to intervene and welcomed this opportunity for a showdown with Asian Communism. A more considered appraisal of the general, however, would have to conclude that he was neither that clever nor that stupid.

Douglas MacArthur and Jonathan Wainwright reunite after the war

MacArthur’s “intelligence failure” is more understandable, however, when it is remembered that his staff was responsible for information on the current enemy, that is North Korea. Determining what other nations, such as the People's Republic of China, might do was up to the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department. The available records indicate little intelligence sharing or coordination, and blame for that failure can be apportioned all around.

On November 24, Chinese forces struck hard, and MacArthur’s divided U.N. troops were pushed back across the 38th Parallel in a matter of weeks. The once ebullient U.N. commander now seemed sunk in gloom and alarmism, which in numerous cases permeated the entire command by the end of the year. U.N. Forces retreated to well below the 38th Parallel.

The two U.N. counteroffensives of late winter and early spring 1951 were primarily the work of General Matthew B. Ridgway, General Walton H. Walker’s successor as commander of Eighth Army, although MacArthur gave Ridgway his blessing. But stiffening enemy resistance as their lines of communication shortened brought Operations Killer and Ripper to a halt near the 38th Parallel, but with the ruins of Seoul once again in U.N. hands. MacArthur again called upon the enemy commander, this time not to sign a surrender instrument but to meet with him to negotiate a cease-fire and acceptance of U.N. objectives for Korea. This move was probably designed to forestall peace proposals about to be forwarded by the Truman administration. MacArthur may well have wished to torpedo negotiations, and if so, he succeeded.

Rebuffed by the Communists, MacArthur called for an extension of the war into China that would pave the way to victory in Korea and an end to Communism in Asia. He advocated the bombing of bases in Manchuria, the blockading of the Chinese coast, and the introduction of Nationalist Chinese forces into the war. This plan was, of course, completely contrary to the policies of the Truman administration, and of the succeeding Eisenhower administration as well, for that matter. Neither, whatever their differing public expressions, had any desire to escalate the limited Korean conflict.

It should be noted also that none of MacArthur’s plans for air or sea attacks stood any chance of execution; they lacked any basis in logic or in logistics, and it is surprising that so experienced a commander would forward them. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were well aware of the deficiencies of MacArthur’s ideas; only later, in their testimony before various Senate committees, did they claim that his ideas ran the risk of igniting World War III.

Yet, despite the perfervid rhetoric of some of MacArthur’s opponents, there is no evidence that the general had any intention of overthrowing or even challenging the American constitutional principles of civilian control of the military. MacArthur was fired for public insubordination. He also deserved at least to be quietly retired for incompetence. At any rate, MacArthur was relieved of his commands by the president April 11, 1951.

His brilliant military career at an end, MacArthur returned to the United States for the first time in 15 years. He received a hero's welcome at a number of cities throughout the country as he made his way to Washington. On April 19, MacArthur was invited by conservatives to address a joint session of Congress. In a memorable speech he defended his plan for escalating the war that had led to his dismissal, concluding with a line from an old Army ballad that has since come to be associated with him: “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”

With the exception of a brief run for the presidency in 1952, (he delivered a listless keynote address at the Republican National Convention that year) MacArthur retired to a quiet private life. He died at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., April 5, 1964, at age 84.

History has treated MacArthur as the consummate soldier, a leader of men, but a man who could give orders better than he could take them. For most, he was the genius behind America’s victory against Japan. In Korea, the legacy of MacArthur is usually expressed as much in the controversy that led to his firing as the brilliant landing at Inchon that changed for a time the entire character of the war.
1 posted on 06/14/2003 4:35:03 AM PDT by snippy_about_it
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To: All
General Douglas MacArthur

U.S. military leaders in Korea visit the front linres north of Suwon on 28 January 1951. General MacArthur is at the right front. General Ridgeway is in the center, third from the left. (DA photograph)

Douglas MacArthur was the son of Civil War hero Arthur MacArthur (they constitute the only father and son to have won the Medal of Honor), graduated from West Point in 1903, with some of the highest grades ever recorded. An engineer, he held a variety of staff and academic posts, but no troop commands (albeit that he got into action during the Vera Cruz Operation), until World War I, when he helped organized the 42nd "Rainbow" Division, composed of National Guard units from several states. As a staff officer, later deputy division commander, and for two days acting division commander at the end of the war, MacArthur often went into action with the troops. After the war he reorganized West Point's academic and cadet discipline programs (he made a concerted effort to abolish hazing, which was only partially successful), served on the Billy Mitchell court martial, commanded in the Philippines, and served as chief-of-staff of the Army, during which he violently suppressed the 'Bonus March,' apparently against orders from the President.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur signs as the Supreme Allied Commander of the Pacific Theater during formal surrender ceremonies in Tokyo Bay

In 1935 he was sent to the Philippines again to help organize the Commonwealth's defense forces, and in 1937 resigned from the Army in order to continue in the service of the Commonwealth. When, in mid-1941, the Philippine Armed Forces were activated by the President and merged into the US Armed Forces, MacArthur was recalled to duty as a full general and placed in overall command. Caught napping by the onset of the war (he lost his entire air force on the ground nine hours after Pearl~Harbor), MacArthur seriously bungled the initial defense of the Philippines, but managed to salvage the situation by a belated retreat to the Bataan Peninsula. Ordered to Australia by President Roosevelt in February 1942, MacArthur assumed command of Allied forces there, and shortly began an offensive that would eventually recover New~Guinea and the Philippines. As Army Commander-designate for the invasion of Japan, MacArthur instead commanded the occupation forces, and became virtual ruler of the country for several years.

In 1950, MacArthur assumed command of U.N. force in Korea. He planned the spectacularly successful Inchon Operation, but subsequently mismanaged the pursuit of the defeated North Korean Army and totally misread Chinese intentions, with disastrous results. After repeated warnings from the President about his unauthorized political statements, MacArthur was relieved of duty in April of 1951. Despite the belief by many that he would undertake a political career, he spent the rest of his life in retirement.

MacArthur was a commander of erratic capabilities, when he was good he was brilliant, but he was often careless and self-centered, which led to errors in planning. Although generally regarded as a staunch conservative, he had no personal political principles, merely saying what seemed to please whomsoever he was speaking with (among other things he endorsed socialism and the American Civil Liberties Union). He had no friends, as he had no equals. MacArthur is buried in a pompous monument at Norfolk, Virginia.

Additional Sources:

2 posted on 06/14/2003 4:35:49 AM PDT by snippy_about_it (Pray for our Troops)
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To: snippy_about_it
On This Day In History

Birthdates which occurred on June 14:
1736 Charles-Augustin de Coulomb physicist (formulated Coulomb's Law)
1811 Harriet Beecher Stowe author (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
1820 John Bartlett US, editor (compiled Familiar Quotations)
1855 Robert Marion La Follette Wisconsin, pres candidate (Progressive)
1856 Andrey Markov Russia, mathematician (Markov Chain)
1864 Alois Alzheimer Germany, psychiatrist/pathologist (Alzheimer Disease)
1868 Karl Landsteiner immunologist/pathologist (Nobel 1930)
1874 Edward Bowes radio host (Major Bowes Amateur Hour)
1906 Carl Esmond Wien (Vienna) Austria, actor (Smash-Up)
1906 Gil Lamb Minneapolis, actor (Hit Parade of 1947, Riding High)
1908 John Scott Trotter Charlotte NC, orch leader (George Gobel Show)
1909 Burl Ives Hunt Ill, folk singer/actor (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
1910 Rudolf Kempe Niederpoyritz Germany, conductor (Tonhalle Orch 1965-72)
1917 Lash La Rue Gretna La, cowboy actor (Lash of the West, Wyatt Earp)
1918 Dorothy McGuire Omaha Neb, actress (Old Yeller, Summer Magic)
1919 Sam Wanamaker Chic Ill, actor (Holocaust, Competition, Raw Deal)
1921 Gene Barry NYC, actor (Bat Masterson, Name of the Game, Burke's Law)
1925 Pierre Salinger newsman (ABC)/press secretary (John Kennedy)
1928 Ernesto (Che) Guevara Latin American revolutionary
1929 Cy Coleman [Seymour Kaufman], songwriter (Witchcraft, Sweet Charity)
1931 Marla Gibbs Chicago Ill, actress (Florence-Jeffersons, Mary-227)
1933 Jerzy Kosinski novelist (Painted Bird, Being There)
1940 Ben Davidson LA Calif, actor (Rhino-Ball Four, Code R)
1940 Jack Bannon LA Calif, actor (Art-Lou Grant, Trauma Center)
1943 Muff Mervyn Winwood singer (Spencer Davis Group-Gimme Some Lovin)
1946 Donald Trump master builder (Trump Towers/Plaza/Castle)
1946 Ralph McAllister Ingersol II NYC, newspaper publisher
1949 Bob Frankston programmer (VisiCalc)
1949 Rochelle Firestone Kansas City MO, actress (Hellhole)
1952 Eddie Mekka Worcester Mass, actor (Carmine-Laverne & Shirley)
1954 Will Patton Charleston SC, actor (No Way Out, Ballzaire the Cajun)
1958 Carina Persson Stockholm Sweden, playmate (August, 1983)
1958 Eric Heiden Wisc, .5/1/1.5/5/10K speed skater (Olympic-5 golds-1980)
1961 Boy George O'Dowd androgynous rock musician & druggie (Culture Club)
1969 Steffi Graf West Germany, tennis player (Grand Slam 1988)
1970 Simone Fleurice Eden Arcadia Ca, playmate (Feb, 1989)
2160 Montgomery Edward Scott Aberdeen, Scotland (Star Trek)

Deaths which occurred on June 14:
1144 Aboe 'l-Kasim Mahmoed ibn Omar al-Zapowersjari, theologist, dies at 69
1801 Benedict Arnold Revolutionary War general, dies in London
1828 Charles Duke of Prussia, dies at 70
1962 Anna Sleasers first Boston Strangler victim
1965 H.V. Kaltenborn newscaster (Who Said That?), dies at 86
1977 Alan Reed actor (Mr Adams & Eve/voice (Fred Flintstone), dies at 69
1977 Robert Middleman actor (Barney-The Monroes), dies at 66
1982 Marjorie Bennett actress (Blossom-Dobie Gillis), dies at 87 of cancer
1986 Alan Jay Lerner Broadway librettist, dies in NY at 67
1986 Jorge Luis Borges Argentine author, dies in Geneva at 86
1986 Marlin Perkins "Wild Kingdom" host, dies near St Louis at 81


POW / MIA Data & Bios supplied by
the P.O.W. NETWORK. Skidmore, MO. USA.

On this day...
1623 1st breach-of-promise lawsuit: Rev Gerville Pooley, Va files against
Cicely Jordan. He loses (Still under appeal)
1642 1st compulsory education law in America passed by Massachusetts
1775 US Army founded
1777 Continental Congress adopts Stars & Stripes replacing Grand Union flag
1834 Hardhat diving suit patented by Leonard Norcross, Dixfield, Maine
1834 Sandpaper patented by Isaac Fischer Jr, Springfield, Vermont
1841 1st Canadian parliament opens in Kingston, Ontario
1846 California (Bear Flag) Republic proclaimed in Sonoma
1847 Bunson invents a gas burner. Lab teachers celebrate worldwide
1850 Fire destroys part of SF
1863 Battle of 2nd Winchester, Virginia
1864 Battle of Pine Mt, Gen Leonidas Polk killed in action
1870 All-pro Cincinnati Red Stockings suffer 1st loss in 130 games
1876 1st player to hit for the cycle (George Hall, Phila Athletics)
1876 California Street Cable Car Railroad Co gets its franchise
1881 Player piano patented by John McTammany, Jr, Cambridge, Mass
1900 Hawaiian Republic becomes the US Territory of Hawaii
1906 J H Metcalf discovers asteroid #600 Musa
1917 Gen Pershing & his HQ staff arrived in Paris during WW I
1919 1st nonstop air crossing of Atlantic (Alcock & Brown) leaves Nfld
1923 Pres Harding is 1st US president to use radio, dedicating the
Francis Scott Key memorial in Baltimore
1924 WOKO-AM radio begins transmitting from Albany NY
1928 Republican Natl Convention, met in KC, nominated Herbert Hoover
1931 French "St Philbert" overturned off St Nazaire France, drowns 450
1934 Max Baer KO's Primo Carnera in 11 for HW box champ in Long Island City
1934 WOQ-AM in KC Missouri goes off the air
1935 Chaco War between Bolivia & Paraguay ends
1936 C Jackson discovers asteroid #1490 Limpopo
1938 Chlorophyll patented by Benjamin Grushkin
1938 Dorothy Lathrop wins the 1st Caldecott Medal (kid books author)
1940 German forces occupied Paris during WW II
1941 Ground broken for Boeing Plant II (ex-AFLC Plant 13) Wichita KS
1942 1st bazooka rocket gun produced Bridgeport Ct
1942 Walt Disney's "Bambi" is released
1944 1st B-29 raid against mainland Japan
1945 Rod Argent, rocker (The Zombies-Never Even Thought)
1946 Canadian Library Association established
1949 State of Vietnam formed
1951 1st commercial computer, UNIVAC 1, enters service at Census Bureau
1952 Keel laid for 1st nuclear powered sub the Nautilus
1953 Elvis Presley graduates from LC Humes High School in Memphis, Tenn
1953 Yanks sweep Indians 6-2, 3-0 before 74,708 win streak at 18 straight
1954 Pres Eisenhower signs order adding words "under God" to the Pledge
1961 106øF, hottest temperature in San Francisco
1963 Valery Bykovsky in Vostok 5 orbits earth 81 times in 5 days
1965 Beatles release the album "Beatles VI"
1965 Cincinatti Red Jim Maloney no-hits NY Mets but loses in 11, 1-0
1965 John Lennon's 2nd book "A Spaniard in the Works" is published
1967 Launch of Mariner V for Venus fly-by
1967 USSR launches Kosmos 166 for observation of Sun from Earth orbit
1969 John & Yoko appear on David Frost's British TV Show
1970 Cincinatti Red Stockings loses 1st game after winning 130 straight
1975 Janis Ian releases "At 17"
1975 USSR launches Venera 10 for Venus landing
1976 "Gong Show" premieres on TV (syndication)
1976 12th Mayor's Trophy Game Yanks beat Mets 8-4
1978 Down 9-7 in 10th with 2 outs, Yanks Paul Blair hits a 3 run HR
1979 Rock group "Little Feat" disbands
1980 E Bowell discovers asteroid #2937 Gibbs, #2938 Hopi & #3160 Angerhofer
1982 Argentina surrenders to Britain on Falkland Is, ends 74-day conflict
1983 5 killed in a fire at a Ramada Inn in Fort Worth, Tx
1985 Lebanese Shiite Moslem gunmen hijack TWA 847 after Athens' takeoff
1987 4th full-duration test firing of redesigned SRB motor
1987 LA Lakers win NBA title with a 106-93, victory over the Celtics
1989 Ground breaking begins in Minn on the world's largest mall
1989 Nolan Ryan becomes 2nd pitcher to defeat all 26 teams
1989 Pistons sweep LA for NBA title, Kareem Abdul Jabber's final NBA game
1989 Rocker Carol King gets a star in Hollywood's walk of fame
1990 Detroit Pistons beat Portland, 4 games to 1 for NBA championship
1991 Leroy Burrell of USA sets the 100m record (9.90) in NYC
1991 Space Shuttle STS 40 (Columbia 12) lands

Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

Afgh nist n : Mother's Day
US : Flag Day (1777)
Massachusett : Children's Day - - - - - ( Sunday )
Paraguay : Chaco Peace Day (1935) - - - - - ( Sunday )
Shelby, Mich : National Asparagus Festival - - - - - ( Thursday )
Great Britain : Queen's official birthday (National Day) - - - - - ( Saturday )

Religious Observances
Christian : Feast of SS Valerius & Rufinus
Luth : Commem of Gregory of Nazianzus & Gregory of Nyssa, bishops
old RC, Luth, Ang : Comm of St Basil the Great, bp of C‘sarea, doc

Religious History
1715 Robert Norden became licensed pastor of the Baptist congregation in Prince George County -- the first Baptist church organized within the American colony of Virginia.
1940 Auschwitz, largest of the Nazi concentration camps, was first opened near Krakow, Poland. Before its liberation by the Allies in 1945, over 3 million Jews would be exterminated there.
1956 President Eisenhower signed a congressional resolution which added the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance. The last phrase now reads: ' nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'
1966 The Vatican announced that its 'Index of Prohibited Books' (created by Pope Paul IV in 1557) had been abolished.
1984 The Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution opposing the ordination of women for ministry in the Baptist Church.

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.

Thought for the day :
"There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes."
16 posted on 06/14/2003 6:03:57 AM PDT by Valin (Age and deceit beat youth and skill)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning snippy. Great thread about MacArthur. My father served under "Dugout Doug" in the Pacific and Korea.
19 posted on 06/14/2003 6:58:12 AM PDT by CholeraJoe (White Devils for Sharpton. We're bad. We're Nationwide)
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