Best/Worst WWII Generals?

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Feb 23, 2003.

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    Xracer
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    Posts: 104
    (4/2/01 5:19:45 pm)
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    OK, let's REALLY stir the pot.

    In your opinion, who were the Best and Worst generals of WWII.....allied or axis.....any theater of operations.

    OK Polish.....now you can have your "Big Mac Attack"! LOL

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 44
    (4/2/01 8:40:24 pm)
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    I have a hunch Polish and I aren't going to fight too savagely over this. Talking about Macarthur the Younger, right? He of the long corncob? In first grade I saw one of his Roman Triumphs. We were given the day off from school. Of course, it was a Catholic school, it was Wisconsin, and it was during the heyday of yet another Mac.

    But here was the man responsible for two out America's three worst military disasters -- in two different wars -- who had just been fired for gross insubordination, saluting from the back seat of a 51 Cadillac.

    Man, did he look like a soldier! We loved him.

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 154
    (4/2/01 8:56:25 pm)
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    There is pretty good research now that explains WHY the 17s and 40s were caught on the ground 8 hours AFTER Pearl Harbor, and why MacArthur wouldn't even SEE Kinney when he went to get permission to use the 35 B-17s to strike Formosa.(Which would have arrived right when the Jap strike was lined up for takeoff because they were delayed by fog...)

    $5 Million. In 1941 US $! Quezon PAID MacArthur not to launch or "appear aggressive" to the Japanese so "maybe" they wouldn't attack the Republic of the Phillipines territory.

    The worst part is Macarthur needed somebody in the Roosevelt Administration to OK the transfer of funds before the Phillipines fell. The research, which is inconclusive, is that he threatened to go public with Rooseveltian "Dirty Laundry" if he didn't get the OK to accept and transfer the money to his bank in NY, which for a serving US Officer, is very illegal.

    Guess who authorized the transfer? Harold Ickes, Sr. Sound familiar? Harold Ickes, JR. (his son)was White House Chief of staff for Slick Willie Clinton.

    Anybody wonder why Roosevelt let Mac "get away" with just about anything?

    That, Ladies and Gents, is Treason in anybody's book.

    (When Eisenhower was Mac's Chief of Staff, Quezon offered him "several hundred thousand" for the same reason, and he REFUSED on the grounds that it was illegal.)

    Plus, every unit that fought in the Phillipines recieved the Presidential Dist, Unit Citation EXCEPT the 4th Marines.
    MacArthur's justification?

    "The Marines had too many medals already..."

    The Bast*rd should have been shot.

    Maybe no Inchon, but then no Frozen Chosin either.

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 4/2/01 9:58:21 pm

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 47
    (4/2/01 11:53:31 pm)
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    The disaster to 8th Army would have been repeated with X Corps if the Marines had not sensibly and uncharacteristically dragged their feet on the way up. Damn, the man had solid intelligence dating back a month pointing conclusively to massive Chinese infiltration.

    No, I won't give him Inchon either. When you have an enemy army at the end of its rope fighting far down in the south, you're on a peninsula, and you have total command of the sea and the air, an amphibious landing becomes sort of obvious, doesn't it?

    It certainly was to the Navy. The question was where? The Navy, with considerable recent experience in such assaults, was solidly against Inchon. Tidal and port conditions made it the worst possible choice for an OPPOSED landing; sort of like launching D-Day directly against Cherbourg. (The Japanese landed there in 1904, but the nearest Russians were waiting patiently on the Yalu). If the North Korean Army hadn't been so utterly exhausted, Inchon might have been a thorough and needless disaster.

    Kdubya
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    Posts: 82
    (4/3/01 12:29:27 am)
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    The worst of the worst blunders of Inchon was the fact MC A halted the troops to clear and take Soul (sp) for political reasons - all generals keenly desired to take capital cities for some self gloryifing reason (re: Mark Clark with Rome in WWII). Had he dictated they continued to drive for the east coast and completely cut the NK's line of supply and retreat (become the anvil for the UN forced driving up from Pusan in the south's hammer) the NK's would have been sewn up with no where to go and it would have ended right there. Sigman Rhee exerted pressure on Mc A AND Truman to continue to the Yalu so as to consolidate the Korea's under his "democratic" rule. This accommodation was extended, especially with Mc A's assertion that he could wind everything up before the end of the year and that China/Russia wouldn't come to the aid of NK.
    Keep off the Ridgeline!!

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 49
    (4/3/01 8:36:34 am)
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    Kdubya, I agree completely with your strategic assessment, was going to mention something of the sort myself but was afraid of using too much space again.

    And, whatever delusions he may have been suffering from, Macarthur knew he was sending troops toward Manchuria in November. Worst failure to prepare for winter action since the Wehrmacht stopped short of Moscow and Leningrad in 1941. Have you seen the photos of those poor, frostbitten Marines who did make it back?

    Hey, if this keeps up, I'm going to have to start defending the guy. Let's see. His uniforms were always nicely pressed.



    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 163
    (4/3/01 8:51:01 am)
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    You know, I have tried hard to like and justify MacArthur ever since High School when we had a distiguished old Principle narrate his "Duty, Honor, Country" speech to the Band's accompanyment at a concert we did. GOD that was moving, especially as it was immediately after Vietnam...people were crying in the audience.

    BUT, about all I can give him is the campaign in New Guinea. Arguments can be made that that campaign broke the back of Jap Air, (If you include Cactus) and MAY have been the campaign that hurt Japan the most! And he did it with little Naval Support and actually pretty light casualties, which is why it didn't get much press.

    It seems the more I read about him, though, the more I find to despise!

    He was a "shallow" man...if you don't look much beyond the surface, you love him, and people did!

    While I have been accused of being a biased Republican, if he would've gotten the GOP Nomination for President he probably would have won, and if that happened...

    I guess that proves there IS a God.

    If not for anything else, I respect Truman most for canning his royal butt when everyone told him it was political suicide.

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 51
    (4/3/01 1:00:06 pm)
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    Casualties were light in the New Guinea campaign, but just what was the point? Once Port Moresby is secure, why do you need political control over a lot of little guys with sharp teeth who worship C47s?

    Yes, the fight for equality and eventual Japanese attrition had to occur, but why not straight across the Central Pacific, where supply problems are simplified and where each advance takes you materially closer to the goal?

    That's assuming that the goal is Tokyo, of course. If, on the other hand, it's Manila...

    Very cool-looking shades, too.

    Kdubya
    Moderator
    Posts: 84
    (4/3/01 3:48:36 pm)
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    And, as I recall, in the New Guinea campaign the troops got bogged down in the swamps with Jap ambushes, making little headway toward the coastal objectives. Tanks couldn't operate, artillery and mortar fire ineffective in the morass, resulting in inch gains by hand to hand. MC A became extremely upset and was going thru commanders like toilet paper trying to get the offensive moving again. Lots of manpower was swallowed up in the jungles in attempts to placiate Big Mac. Can't remember the specific island now that lay off the New Guinea coast to the north that he had assaulted, Palu, I think, that was so costly in lives for little gain, as the island wasn't stratigic for the southwest area campaigns, but Mac didn't want to release his assets to the Navy for their work and found these operations to keep his people busy.
    Oh yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
    Being just a kid during those days, I remember everyone being very patriotic. The papers were filled with glowing accounts of all military actions, as well as radio news, and all thought McAuthor walked on water.
    Keep off the Ridgeline!!

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 105
    (4/3/01 3:55:05 pm)
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    obelix......New Guinea was occpuied to secure Australia. It was typical Army thinking that the enemy had to be driven completely from a territory. The strategy of "withering on the vine" was an Ernie King idea that came later.

    Mac's plan was to drive north....New Guinea/Solomons/Phillipines/Formosa/Japan.....a slow but sure plan. Unfortunately for him, the Navy's island hopping campaign went much faster than anybody expected....and there was the Navy, ready to storm the beaches of Japan while he was still sitting in the Phillipines.

    Actually, I think that Mac's battle plans in both New Guinea and the Phillipines were excellent......I also don't think they were his. His Chief of Planning was Krueger (a true military genius), who received little, if any, credit.

    Well, it looks like we're all pretty much of a like mind on McArthur.......how about some other generals?

    Clark, Montgomery, Bradley, Rommel, Guderian, Patton.....others?

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 56
    (4/3/01 8:40:24 pm)
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    Yamashita. Now that was a great general, and the reward for being a great general was... Naw, somebody else better start.

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 76
    (4/7/01 4:29:18 pm)
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    Japanese generals don't count as best? Ask that MacArthur-breathing slime Percival. I am open, perhaps to the accusation of intemperance.


    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 204
    (4/7/01 6:57:07 pm)
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    New Guinea actually was a brilliant campaign, aimed at cutting off Borneo and it's oil from Nippon.

    (Even if it really wasn't as good a grade of oil as the Japs first thought, and even if they never got production to the point where it could fuel their whole wartime economy {never did}, and even IF the US Subs weren't sinking anything that LOOKED like a Tanker because the Japs never figured out convoys or AS warfare...)

    You can argue that the New Guinea campaign, especially the Air Campaign in which most of the best Jap pilots, both Army and Navy, were killed and thousands of irreplaceable planes shot down, and Rabaul fully, and Truk partially neutralized BEFORE Nimitz started the Central Pacific Offensive, was the more important campaign. That's not to take ANYTHING away from the Navy, Marines, or Nimitz, but the US Public DID get more PR Propaganda from the Navy in the SWPAC and CPAC offensives than Mac got in the SPAC ones, mainly due to the shortage of correspondents who wanted to spend time in the Jungle versus on a ship, as well as the lesser casualties. The public ALWAYS wanted to know more about the battles where there were more US casualties, even if that may have only been because of mistakes by commanders or wrong tactics.

    You have to admit, the seaborne landings, airborne landings, and Army/Navy coordination in the fights all the way to Wewak and Leyte took a heckuva lot more strategy and planning than the plain old frontal assaults like Tarawa, Saipan or Iwo!

    Even if MacArthur was a traitor.
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