You are absolutely correct. MacArthur would have never landed on Peleliu, I believe.
MacArthur was seen as “difficult” by many, arrogant, conceited, etc., but on his good days MacArthur was every bit as wise and brilliant as he saw himself to be.
Look at the Inchon Landing. For some reason (a recent book makes good evidence that Stalin was doing power games with Mao) the North Korean Army was not defending Inchon, Seoul’s port, adequately. MacArthur made a practice of studying reconnaissance reports in exhaustive detail (and remembering every, I mean EVERY, detail) and saw the North Korean vulnerability from agent and Special Forces reports, aerial photographs, truck traffic on the roads, radio intercepts, etc. and was able to persuade the top American brass that, for whatever reason, the North Koreans were unprepared for an amphibious landing at Inchon. The top American Brass, highly experienced, proven men, were intensely skeptical (as was correct, of course - you want to lose the First Marine Division?) but what observers say was MacArthur’s most brilliant performance convinced them he was correct.
Inchon came off as MacArthur envisioned. This later forced the Chinese into the war (which was Stalin’s goal) but this is a later part of the story.
I have read much on the Pacific War and Korea in the early days, before Truman relieved MacArthur for trying to win the war, and am convinced that what I say is true. Simply put, MacArthur was brilliant. He was too willing to risk his own skin, maybe. Personal and moral courage personified.
Eisenhower did not like MacArthur, to put it mildly.
“Look at the Inchon Landing.”
I think people these days forget the *extreme* difficulty of merely navigating to the port of Inchon. Vast mud flats at low tide, and a serpentine channel to allow passage—at high tide? Not exactly.
“The tidal range near Inchon is one of the greatest in the world, varying from an average spring tide range of 27.1 feet to an occasional maximum of 33 feet.”
“The extensive mud flats in the harbor area necessitated a tidal height of 23 feet for landing craft, and 29 feet for LSTs. Only from 15 to 18 September were these conditions provided by spring tides, and the next opportunity would not come until the middle of October.” (Marine Corps Gazette)
Much later, in the 1980s, I was on a deep-draft ship that made a port call in Inchon. Some of the officers on the bridge had their hair turn white over night—and that’s with nobody shooting at us. Toughest sea and anchor detail I ever saw.