Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

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Richard Anderson
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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 May 2021 02:04

rcocean wrote:
04 May 2021 23:48
I don't see any resemblance between Trump and Douglas MacArthur. Or between Joe Biden and Douglas MacArthur. Or any resemblance between MacArthur and Abe Lincoln. But good to know your opinion is based on historical research. :D
Okay, good for you.
MacArthur certainly made mistakes. But then so did every WW 2 General. Its strange that most of the people who worked with him liked him, but SOME who didn't really had some odd hatred for him. Eisenhower had probably the most balanced view of MacArthur and was well aware of his strengths and MacArthur's weaknesses. Ike also kept in touch with MacArthur till Mac died in 1964.
Mac made mistakes? Well, yeah, sure, which was pretty much what I was highlighting. Did others make mistakes? No shit. Did most people like MacArthur? Sure, certainly Trevor, who worked directly under him in the Army of Occupation adored him (possibly because Mac may have assigned Trevor to write the new Japanese constitution, but that's another matter). Others despised him as an over-ambitious, self-righteous, empire-builder with some justification. Could he be brilliant? Sure, but that does not override the numerous flaws.

Meanwhile, what's your opinion based upon? Or are you maintaining Olympian indifference to the vagaries of man...which of course was bull$hit too.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 May 2021 02:17

Delta Tank wrote:
05 May 2021 01:41
This is from Wikipedia.
Historian Michael Gannon called it "America's Second Pearl Harbor" and placed the blame for the nation's failure to respond quickly to the attacks on the inaction of Admiral Ernest J. King, commander-in-chief of the U.S. fleet.
Gannon is unreliable on this subject. You need to look at Morison and then Blair, the latter of whom thoroughly skewers Gannon's inaccuracies and mistakes.
Because King also refused British offers to provide the US navy with their own ships, the belated institution of a convoy system was at least in substantial part due to a severe shortage of suitable escort vessels, without which convoys were seen as actually more vulnerable than lone ships.
This is like Bradley's"refusal" of "Funnies" for D-Day. The tiny kernel of truth embedded in it obscures the falseness of the narrative.
I don’t have my copy of “Master of Sea Power” by Buell nearby, maybe I will find it tomorrow. I read it in the summer of 1984, while on leave in the UK of all places. But, I believe and I will find some credible sources that claim, that King hated the British with a passion. But, maybe he hated the US Army more, don’t know. King was a passionate man, he loved women, particularly other officers wives, even though I read that may not be true, but all the participants are dead, so we will never know.
The best characterization of King came from his daughter, “he is the most even tempered person in the United States Navy. He is always in a rage.” Meanwhile, if he nearly climbed across a conference table and should have tried to punch Brooke as Joe Stillwell said, then if you've read Brooke's actual diaries rather than the bowdlerized version, you probably sympathize with King, rather than Brooke.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

rcocean
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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 05 May 2021 02:36

"Others despised him as an over-ambitious, self-righteous, empire-builder with some justification." No, I'd say MacArthur's flaws were egotism and romanticism. Eisenhower, who was a good judge stated MacArthur too often would try to get away from harsh reality and believe he could will things into being. Or he'd put a good face on something, like the Filipino Army. On Bataan MacArthur kept believing that if they just tried hard enough, the allies & the Navy could get some supplies through, and somehow they could win. Someone like Eisenhower would've simply accepted the inevitable and cold bloodedly looked for exit strategy from Dec 8th on. If MacArthur had not been ordered from Corregidor he would've died rather than surrender. The whole idea of Ike or Bradley doing that is laughable. No Romantic nonsense for them.

I don't see anything "Self-righteous" about him.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 May 2021 02:56

rcocean wrote:
05 May 2021 02:36
I don't see anything "Self-righteous" about him.
Oh, okay.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 05 May 2021 04:20

Delta Tank wrote:
04 May 2021 13:08
LineDoggie wrote:
04 May 2021 04:33
Delta Tank wrote:
04 May 2021 01:26


Do you really know the events that happened on 8 December 1941 in the Philippines?

Mike
USAFFE Air was massacred and he was overall commander and had vacillated in hitting Formosa

ergo he was surprised when his refueling air element was murdered on the ground

or are you going to try and claim the aircraft weren't shot to hell by the Japanese?
No, I am not, but I still don’t think you guys know the story. Hit Formosa? Where? Just bomb the island or should they try to hit a specific target? What could 36 unescorted B-17s do?
The plan on the table was to attack the primary airfields, those known to be capable of handling Japanese multi engine bombers.
Did we have accurate target information?
We had accurate knowledge of and locations for the airfields in question. Breton wanted to launch a reconnaissance mission to check what was on the airfields at dawn. He claims he did not receive a response for his request to launch the mission. Historians have found evidence backing up Bretons claim, but no evidence of anything yes or no from MacArthurs HQ.
Why did the Japanese attack on the airfields come so late.
They were unable to take off due to a dense ground fog that lasted past 09:00. One small group of nine bombers were able to sortie as planned & attacked their target, a auxiliary airfield on northern Luzon. This group was detected by the radar station & a warning received at the interceptor group HQ.
Should the US planes have landed and refueled?
They did. The CAP had rotated at least twice since it first flew at dawn. After the alarm from the small raid @ 09:30 the CAP was reorganized. At around 10:15 (10:30 ?) a distant thunderstorm produced some radar returns that triggered a second warning & the CAP was reinforced. When no incoming bombers were found & the radar returns vanished a order went out to land the interceptors & send up a fresh CAP. The interceptors aloft landed en masse, but another CAP was not imeadiatly launched

Meanwhile the B17s were orbiting far to the south over a auxiliary airfield on Mindanao. Not long after 10:00 they were ordered to return to Clark Field to refuel possibly and arm for the raid Bereton wanted to execute.
Was their an Air Component Commander? Squadron Commanders? What actions did they do or fail to do that caused this disaster?
My take is they lost control of themselves. The alert had been started around 03:00 & Everyone had been awake since at least 03:30. Most had missed breakfast. They air and ground crew had been launching bombers to their 'hide' position over Mindanao, & more important preping unready interceptors and keeping a CAP aloft for five plus hours. The small 09:30 raid and false alarm a hour later confused them. These were not well trained combat veterans. The commanders failed to ensure a CAP was maintained & everyone was 'at lunch' when the Japanese attack finally arrived three or four hours late.
Why didn’t President Roosevelt activate the Philippines Armed Forces in October of 1940? Could that lack of action by FDR May have been the kernel of a lot of disasters in the Philippines.

Mike
In 1940 there was nothing to activate. The PI Army was a embryonic training organization, A glorified Officer & NCO school. A pool of lower ranks was partly identified, but were labeled reservists & lacked useful training. Most of the arms had not arrived. Neither were there tents barracks, hospitals, vehicles, kitchen equipment. All that was under construction & scheduled for completion circa 1946.

Standing up a PI Army was accelerated, but the US was also starting a mobilization to turn its 235,000 RA into 1,600,000 men & double the size of the Navy. So, there was a limit on what could be accelerated. Congress was concerned with runaway military costs & in mid 1940 was not in the mood to send more money to the PI government. In any case sending up 200,000 conscripts would not have activated a army. Training of the NCOs and officers could not have accelerated fast enough even had there been shelter, food, and equipment.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 May 2021 05:10

Delta Tank wrote:
05 May 2021 01:41
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 May 2021 22:01
Delta Tank wrote:
04 May 2021 13:25
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 May 2021 03:52
Delta Tank wrote:
03 May 2021 14:52


I could change a couple words and and your statement would fit Admiral Ernest King.

During the war General Marshall had to remind FDR that the US Army was not the enemy.

Mike
King was a great CNO and JCS member; strong advocate of Germany First; a master of joint and coalition warfare; and the most successful US naval senior commander in history ... MacArthur was surprised three times by three different enemies as a theater commander.
The reason why King “appeared” to support Germany First and support Marshall was he hated the British with a passion.

Didn’t King screw the Pooch on not implementing the convoy system on the East Coast in the beginning of the war? Our merchantmen were getting slaughtered to the point that an unknown Brigadier General named Eisenhower stated something along the lines “we won’t have enough ships left to go overseas to fight”

“In the diary, according to the newspaper, General Eisenhower in early 1942 described Adm. Ernest J. King, commander of the United States fleet as World War II began, as an “arbitrary, stubborn type” and a “mental bully.” One way to help win the war, General Eisenhower is reported to have written, was “to get someone to shoot King.” Admiral King became Chief of Naval Operations, the Navy's highest‐ranking officer.” Found this online here: https://www.nytimes.com/1979/09/19/arch ... in-42.html

Mike
Go look up who was the CNO for most of Q1 in 1942, when PAUKENSCHLAG got underway, and ask yourself why that individual was replaced ... and who replaced him.

Oh, speaking of Brooke, please provide any evidence EJK "hated the British with a passion."
This is from Wikipedia.
Historian Michael Gannon called it "America's Second Pearl Harbor" and placed the blame for the nation's failure to respond quickly to the attacks on the inaction of Admiral Ernest J. King, commander-in-chief of the U.S. fleet. Because King also refused British offers to provide the US navy with their own ships, the belated institution of a convoy system was at least in substantial part due to a severe shortage of suitable escort vessels, without which convoys were seen as actually more vulnerable than lone ships.[5]

I don’t have my copy of “Master of Sea Power” by Buell nearby, maybe I will find it tomorrow. I read it in the summer of 1984, while on leave in the UK of all places. But, I believe and I will find some credible sources that claim, that King hated the British with a passion. But, maybe he hated the US Army more, don’t know. King was a passionate man, he loved women, particularly other officers wives, even though I read that may not be true, but all the participants are dead, so we will never know.

https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Admiral-K ... ch?share=1

https://warisboring.com/fifty-years-of- ... e-us-navy/

“In World War One, King served as a member of Vice Admiral Henry T. Mayo’s staff and occasionally saw action aboard British ships. It was during his time with the Brits that he developed a deep dislike of them, though he would later mimic one of their traditions of wearing a breast-pocket handkerchief under his ribbons for the rest of his career (a nod to Royal Navy Admiral David Beatty). No man has successfully carried out the tradition since.”

Mike
Wikipedia is to reliable history as Coors is to beer.

Gannon may have called it that; so what? He also subtitled one of his works "The Dramatic True Story" which doesn't mean it was a) dramatic or b) true. A story? Possibly...

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 May 2021 05:15

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 May 2021 01:43
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 May 2021 23:19
Agree with the operational reality laid out by your final sentence; hence, the point that when in doubt of the enemy's capabilities and intentions, staying out of harm's way until the situation can be resolved is good policy. Hart figured it out (and Halsey, for that matter, during the prewar operation to reinforce Wake); MacArthur, Kimmel, and Short did not.
The idea that multiple war warnings went out seems incomprehensible to us today. OTOH, we gave multiple warning in 2002 that what the government thought it was doing WRT Iraq was harebrained, the idea we would be greeted with flowers was insane, and an occupation force similar to that required for postwar Germany was necessary, but we and others expressing similar qualms were pooh-poohed...then look at Korea, Vietnam, Beirut, and so on, and you might infer that "figuring it out" in advance is not the norm, but rather is an exception.
Well, yes, first time as tragedy, second time as farce.

Nonetheless, Hart, who by thoughtful command preserved the force that won the closest thing to an Allied victory against the Japanese at sea between 12/41 and 5/42 is almost forgotten, while Halsey, who displayed far more situational awareness and understanding of risk in 1941-42 than (certainly) Kimmel and Pye, is caricatured today...

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 May 2021 05:17

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 May 2021 01:50
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 May 2021 23:28
Agreed. Set aside the question of MacArthur; what was it that made Hart order his forces dispersed? Two flag officers, roughly the same age and experience, and the one with actually more experience in Asia underestimates the Japanese...
Yep. Go figure. I suspect that Hart simply read the war warning from CNO and said something on the order of "HOLY SHIT! Maybe we ought to prepare for a possible war." MacArthur worried about overstepping his bounds with the Philippine government and playing into the hands of the Japanese...along with wondering how to be the very model of a modern generalissimo. Stark and Short worried about a myriad of other irrelevancies. Sometimes its the commanders who can simply focus on the single most important thing of the moment that wins...sort of like Alexander the Great going straight for Darius hell for leather.
Yep, back at you.

Above, did you mean Kimmel and Short?

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 May 2021 05:20

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 May 2021 01:52
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 May 2021 22:06
rcocean wrote:
04 May 2021 14:40
Yes, Ike was very upset at King because of his rude, obnoxious behavior. But then King couldn't get along with anyone. The British hated him. Stimson and Forrestal disliked him. Marshall and Leahy got along with him because they had to, for the good of the USA. Even FDR came to dislike him.

King was also terrible at "Selling the Navy" in front of Congress or at making speeches. When he retired in 1946, he was almost completely forgotten unlike Marshall and MacArthur. Not many King Biographies.
Oh, grown men who have made the military their careers are "rude" - heavens, forfend.

Try reading Buell.
Better still, look at Braxton Bragg. :D
Well, there is that...

" I don't swear for the hell of it. Language is a poor enough means of communication. We've got to use all the words we've got. Besides, there are damn few words anybody understands."

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 05 May 2021 05:25

Richard Anderson wrote:
05 May 2021 02:17
Delta Tank wrote:
05 May 2021 01:41
This is from Wikipedia.
Historian Michael Gannon called it "America's Second Pearl Harbor" and placed the blame for the nation's failure to respond quickly to the attacks on the inaction of Admiral Ernest J. King, commander-in-chief of the U.S. fleet.
Gannon is unreliable on this subject. You need to look at Morison and then Blair, the latter of whom thoroughly skewers Gannon's inaccuracies and mistakes.
Because King also refused British offers to provide the US navy with their own ships, the belated institution of a convoy system was at least in substantial part due to a severe shortage of suitable escort vessels, without which convoys were seen as actually more vulnerable than lone ships.
This is like Bradley's"refusal" of "Funnies" for D-Day. The tiny kernel of truth embedded in it obscures the falseness of the narrative.
I don’t have my copy of “Master of Sea Power” by Buell nearby, maybe I will find it tomorrow. I read it in the summer of 1984, while on leave in the UK of all places. But, I believe and I will find some credible sources that claim, that King hated the British with a passion. But, maybe he hated the US Army more, don’t know. King was a passionate man, he loved women, particularly other officers wives, even though I read that may not be true, but all the participants are dead, so we will never know.
The best characterization of King came from his daughter, “he is the most even tempered person in the United States Navy. He is always in a rage.” Meanwhile, if he nearly climbed across a conference table and should have tried to punch Brooke as Joe Stillwell said, then if you've read Brooke's actual diaries rather than the bowdlerized version, you probably sympathize with King, rather than Brooke.
"unreliable" is kind... no idea if his non-maritime work was better; one hopes so.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 May 2021 06:56

daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 May 2021 05:17
Richard Anderson wrote:
05 May 2021 01:50
daveshoup2MD wrote:
04 May 2021 23:28
Agreed. Set aside the question of MacArthur; what was it that made Hart order his forces dispersed? Two flag officers, roughly the same age and experience, and the one with actually more experience in Asia underestimates the Japanese...
Yep. Go figure. I suspect that Hart simply read the war warning from CNO and said something on the order of "HOLY SHIT! Maybe we ought to prepare for a possible war." MacArthur worried about overstepping his bounds with the Philippine government and playing into the hands of the Japanese...along with wondering how to be the very model of a modern generalissimo. Stark and Short worried about a myriad of other irrelevancies. Sometimes its the commanders who can simply focus on the single most important thing of the moment that wins...sort of like Alexander the Great going straight for Darius hell for leather.
Yep, back at you.

Above, did you mean Kimmel and Short?
Yes, brain fart, I suppose a reaction to finding out that one of the most self-righteous of American generals was actually a paragon of virtue, beloved by all and sundry. You learn something every day.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 05 May 2021 14:53

we had accurate knowledge of and locations for the airfields in question. Breton wanted to launch a reconnaissance mission to check what was on the airfields at dawn. He claims he did not receive a response for his request to launch the mission. Historians have found evidence backing up Bretons claim, but no evidence of anything yes or no from MacArthurs HQ.
Can you explain this further? First you say we had "accurate knowledge" of the airfields. We never did recon before December 8th, so how did we have accurate knowledge? Then you say that Breton wanted to "Check what was on the airfields at dawn". This conflicts with what the official Historian says in the "They fought with what they had".

Per that book, Breton wanted to Attack the harbor and take off at Dawn. Any recon mission to "check the airfields" would've taken hours. Did this request come AFTER the bombing mission was disapproved? I think you're right, but I'm getting confused.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 05 May 2021 14:59

In 1940 there was nothing to activate.
In October 1940, the commander of the Philippines Gruenart (spelling?) - NOT MACARTHUR who was retired from US Army - requested the Filipino army be mobilized, just like the National Guard was mobilized. FDR disapproved it. It wasn't until September 1941, that mobilization was approved, after MacArthur the new head of Far Eastern Command again requested it through Marshall. The mobilization was only partly complete on December 7th. Many divisions didn't have their artillery regiments, others had only part of their infantry.

Congress had just authorized $BILLIONS for national defense. Mobilizing the Filipino 10 divisions, would've cost only a fraction of what was being spent on the NG. In any case, it was never submitted to Congress. FDR didn't think it was necessary because he had ZERO interest in defending the Philippines at that point. It wasn't until Jan 1941, that the doubling of the Filipino Scouts was approved (6000 to 12000), and it wasn't until April 1942 that the first semi-modern P-35/P-36 fighters were sent the Philippines. It was only after July 1941, when the plan to base hundreds of B-17s in the Philippines was thought of and approved that MacArthur was recalled and a serious attempt was made to defend the islands.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Delta Tank » 05 May 2021 15:43

daveshoup2MD wrote:
05 May 2021 05:25
Richard Anderson wrote:
05 May 2021 02:17
Delta Tank wrote:
05 May 2021 01:41
This is from Wikipedia.
Historian Michael Gannon called it "America's Second Pearl Harbor" and placed the blame for the nation's failure to respond quickly to the attacks on the inaction of Admiral Ernest J. King, commander-in-chief of the U.S. fleet.
Gannon is unreliable on this subject. You need to look at Morison and then Blair, the latter of whom thoroughly skewers Gannon's inaccuracies and mistakes.
Because King also refused British offers to provide the US navy with their own ships, the belated institution of a convoy system was at least in substantial part due to a severe shortage of suitable escort vessels, without which convoys were seen as actually more vulnerable than lone ships.
This is like Bradley's"refusal" of "Funnies" for D-Day. The tiny kernel of truth embedded in it obscures the falseness of the narrative.
I don’t have my copy of “Master of Sea Power” by Buell nearby, maybe I will find it tomorrow. I read it in the summer of 1984, while on leave in the UK of all places. But, I believe and I will find some credible sources that claim, that King hated the British with a passion. But, maybe he hated the US Army more, don’t know. King was a passionate man, he loved women, particularly other officers wives, even though I read that may not be true, but all the participants are dead, so we will never know.
The best characterization of King came from his daughter, “he is the most even tempered person in the United States Navy. He is always in a rage.” Meanwhile, if he nearly climbed across a conference table and should have tried to punch Brooke as Joe Stillwell said, then if you've read Brooke's actual diaries rather than the bowdlerized version, you probably sympathize with King, rather than Brooke.
"unreliable" is kind... no idea if his non-maritime work was better; one hopes so.
Wikipedia is a good place to start, even if it is only to read the bibliography. If you see an error on Wikipedia, you can fix, just cite your source.

I will try to type in what James Lacey wrote about King in the book entitled “The Washington War” later today if I have time.

Mike

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Richard Anderson » 05 May 2021 15:45

Can we all just agree that "Breton" is a resident of Brittany, but the general's name in question was Brereton, as in Lewis Hyde Brereton? And George Grunert,
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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