Stilwell; the worst US General?

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War. Hosted by Carl Schwamberger.
Richard Anderson
Member
Posts: 4777
Joined: 01 Jan 2016 21:21
Location: Bremerton, Washington

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by Richard Anderson » 29 Dec 2021 05:51

Sigh, this isn't rocket science.

Tainan NAB - 38 G3M2, 5 L0, 20 transports, 54 A6M2/21, 72 G4M1,
Toko NSB - 6 H6K5
Taichu NAB - 36 G4M1, 2 L0
Chiai NAB - 25 L3Y1, 1 G6ML-2
Takao NAB - 53 A6M2/21, 9 C5M2, 7 A5M4
Pingtung AAB - 18 trainers, 31 Ki-51, 10 Ki-36, 12 Ki-27b
Chiatung AAB - 27 Ki-48, 9 K-15, 2 Ki-46
Chauchou AAB - 18 Ki-21, 24 Ki-27b
Chiatung AAB - 31 Ki-30
Hengchun AAB - 36 Ki-27b
Taiching AAB - 9 Ki-57
Heito AAB - 9 Ki-15II, 2 Ki-46II

There were also probably satellite fields.
"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

User avatar
AnchorSteam
Member
Posts: 339
Joined: 31 Oct 2020 05:43
Location: WAY out there

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by AnchorSteam » 30 Dec 2021 00:13

This is the question I responded to, it can be found on the bottom of page 2 ;
rcocean wrote:
23 Dec 2021 23:30
You'd think that if Big mac's defense of the Philippines was so bad, we'd have a record of him ignoring all the great Advice on HOW TO WIN from Marshall, Ike, Wainwright, Stimson, FDR, and General King. Yet, weirdly they all thought the Philippines were lost on December 7th, 1941.

In fact, I will give a "Genius Award" to anyone who can explain how any US General on December 7th 1941, could have defeated the japanese on Luzon and held Corriegidor and Bataan till the US Fleet arrived. Expected response:
well he couldn't have won, but...
- :lol:
Emphasis mine, because the origianl poster seems to have forgotten that the sum total of the parameters of the question he himself asked, just a couple of days ago.

rcocean wrote:
29 Dec 2021 05:36
Hey, you had me fooled for a while. I thought you knew something about Military matters and WW2 history, but now its just down to "Gee, everybody should have just attacked because what the hey, suicide mission, whatever!"

Just to repeat for the 10th time on this forum. On Dec 8th 1941:
......
This is the kind of childish f***ery that shows that I was the one fooled, not you. Moving the goal posts around to the Nth degree is one thing, but changing the date itself AND insisting that all of the lesser Generals involved will just keep doing whatever they wanted regardless of orders shows that you had no intention of accepting a reply that could have impinged on your pre-conceived notions in any way at all.

It would have taken a matter of hours to bring those B-17s back to Clark on December 7th, which in P.I. was the day before Pearl Harbor.
And if word from MacArthur coud have prevented any attack at all from going ahead, then it is equally possible to say that he could have ordered them to drop their bombs on targets that he had ordered them to. And if the Japanese could home in on the exact ari base that would harm the US most then the US flyers should have the same chance to do so. After all, every other air force had started out by targeting the enemy air units first, and had been doing so since 1939.

I'll be ending my part in this here, because I know better than to ask for an appology from one such as you.
But I think you know what you can do with your "genious award", don't you?

rcocean
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 00:48

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by rcocean » 30 Dec 2021 02:52

It would have taken a matter of hours to bring those B-17s back to Clark on December 7th, which in P.I. was the day before Pearl Harbor.
And if word from MacArthur coud have prevented any attack at all from going ahead, then it is equally possible to say that he could have ordered them to drop their bombs on targets that he had ordered them to. And if the Japanese could home in on the exact ari base that would harm the US most then the US flyers should have the same chance to do so. After all, every other air force had started out by targeting the enemy air units first, and had been doing so since 1939.
Sorry for the misuderstanding. Assuming I get what you're saying.

First do you realize that Manila is 18 hours ahead of Honolulu? This is why Dec 8th was used in my last reply. The Japanese Attacked at approximately 8 AM honolulu time on Dec 7th, this was 2 AM Manila time December 8th. Perhaps if I'd said "Before Pearl Harbor Attack" any confusion would've been avoided.

In any case, even if all 35 B-17s had known about the Formosa Airfields AND had planned to attack them, AND MacArthur had given the go-ahead, it would've acomplied nothing of signficance. Why? Too many airfields and only 35 bombers for one thing. Inexperienced bomber pilots and bombidiers for another. And then there's the timing:

1) the Japanese had planned to take off at dawn and attack Manila ASAP on Dec 8th. But fog covered the Airfields. They finally arrived over Manila at 12 Noon, which means they would've all be aloft and on their way by appromately 0930. Its 450 airmiles From Formosa to Manila.

3) Conversly, it would've taken AT LEAST 3 hours for the B-17s to take off and fly to Formosa to bomb the "Crowded" airfields.

4) Accordingly, any approved airstrike of Formosa that took off after 630 AM would hit empty airfields. And airstrike that took off prior to say 530 AM would've found the airfields covered in fog.

Carl Schwamberger
Host - Allied sections
Posts: 9076
Joined: 02 Sep 2006 20:31
Location: USA

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 30 Dec 2021 19:15

rcocean wrote:
30 Dec 2021 02:52
...

4) Accordingly, any approved airstrike of Formosa that took off after 630 AM would hit empty airfields. And airstrike that took off prior to say 530 AM would've found the airfields covered in fog.

I wonder what the odds of it being a low 'ground fog' were. Its not uncommon to be able to see the ground looking down, but when the pilot depends to land the horizontal visibility is measured in meters. Have a interesting anecdote on that unrelated to this topic. Wreathe Japanese pilots looking at stars or blue sky overhead, but couldn't see the runway? Or was there a thick overcast?

Looking back at the books I see one group of Japanese bombers were able to take off and attack on schedule. Their targets were the auxiliary airfields on Northern Luzon & their attack caused a scramble to reinforce the CAP over Manilla/Clark Field & contributing to 'asset exhaustion' of the fighter group there. A second alert/scramble occurred around 10:30, triggered by some distant weather resembling incoming aircraft on the Radar near Clark Field.

rcocean
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 00:48

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by rcocean » 30 Dec 2021 19:34

Its not uncommon. Please define "Uncommon" in percentage terms and provide a source for your assertion that its "Not uncommon for pilots to see an airfield well enough to bomb it, while the pilots on the ground can't see well enough to take off"

The airfields farther north in Formosa were NOT covered in fog, which is why planes were able to bomb the Northern tip of Luzon. Presumably, these airplanes could have also flown past southern Formosa, seen it was covered by "Ground fog" and told everyone they could take off. I'm sure the Japanese knew about "Ground fog" - that special kind of one-way visisual fog.

There's nothing in the histories which indicates it was some sort of "Light fog" which prevented Japanese planes from taking off, but was so light as allow Bombers to identify and bomb targets. But then who knows, maybe the Japanese General in charge was a traitor, I mean its Possible. Since we're just spectulating.

User avatar
AnchorSteam
Member
Posts: 339
Joined: 31 Oct 2020 05:43
Location: WAY out there

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by AnchorSteam » 31 Dec 2021 03:53

rcocean wrote:
30 Dec 2021 02:52
Sorry for the misuderstanding. Assuming I get what you're saying.
Good enough
rcocean wrote:
30 Dec 2021 02:52
First do you realize that Manila is 18 hours ahead of Honolulu? --
That is exactly the loophole I was exploiting. :wink:

Honestly, and in all good faith, the question is what would the right thing have been to do? And cleary, what was done was NOT the right thing.
The timeline reads like a Greek Tragedy;

Local time chronology (UTC+8):[3]

02:40 - Asiatic Fleet Headquarters received notification of the Pearl Harbor attack but did not inform MacArthur.
03:40 - Sutherland heard a commercial radio broadcast with news of the Pearl Harbor attack, and notified MacArthur.
04:00 - Sutherland notified FEAF headquarters of the Pearl Harbor attack.
05:00 - Sutherland refused Brereton's request to launch a B-17 raid on Formosa from Clark shortly after daylight. They agreed to prepare for a mission preceded by a photoreconnaissance mission, but to await MacArthur's permission for the offensive operations.
05:30 - A War Department message reached MacArthur's headquarters confirming war status with Japan requiring Rainbow 5 plan air raids against Japanese targets within range of the Philippines.[6]
06:15 - MacArthur's staff received notification of Japanese aircraft attack on Davao Field, Mindanao.[5]
07:15 - Sutherland refused to allow Brereton to speak with MacArthur and directed him to await orders.
08:00 - General Henry H. Arnold called from Washington, D.C. warning Brereton not to let his planes be attacked on the ground.[7]
08:30 - Brereton launched three squadron-sized fighter patrols and all serviceable B-17s from Clark Field went aloft in a holding pattern.[7]
08:50 - Brereton called Sutherland requesting permission to launch a raid on Formosa and was told to wait.[8]
09:25 - Japanese 5th Air Group bombers from Formosa bombed Tuguegarao Field and USAFFE summer headquarters at Baguio.[8] Brereton telephoned Sutherland, and was refused permission to launch an offensive airstrike.
09:30 - 11th Air Fleet of 26 Mitsubishi G3M bombers, 82 Mitsubishi G4M bombers and 84 Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters took off from Formosa.[9]
09:40 - Sutherland gave Brereton authorization to launch the photoreconnaissance mission.
10:14 - MacArthur gave Brereton authorization for an air strike.[8]
10:30 - Planes launched at 08:30 landed to be refueled.[7]
10:45 - Brereton orders the B-17s landing at Clark Field to be armed with 100-pound (45 kg) and 300-pound (140 kg) bombs anticipating launch at 14:00 for an attack on southern Formosa airfields at dusk.[8]
11:30 - Iba Field RADAR detected the incoming 11th Air Fleet 130 miles (210 km) out.
11:45 - Iba Field and Clark Field begin launching fighters to intercept the raid.
12:00 - Clark Field received warning of the approaching airstrike.
12:10 - Cameras for the photoreconnaissance mission arrived at Clark to be loaded aboard B-17s.
12:35 - Clark Field was launching reserve fighters as 11th Air Fleet began an hour-long bombing and strafing of Clark Field and Iba Field.
(from Wiki)

Now, a lot of people can interpret that to mean that the US Armed forces were hopelessly mired in their peace-time routines and very ignorant' about everything going on around them. However, there is the fact that they had just pulled the Marines out of China and steamed all their Gunboats down to P.I. as well.... and that is a damn risky thing to do with river gunboats. Clearly, at the higher levels, they had a pretty good idea that Japan was about to make their move.
So, the right thing to do would have been to act on that in a more coherent way.

ALSO; there appears to have been a lot of confusion on how to use their weapons. There were a lot of Subs in the Asiatic Fleet, and they were foolishly thought of as defensive weapons. We now know they are best used as nautical assassins going deep into enemy waters and running amok there.
Even in 1941, the AAF knew that Bombers are offensive weapons. The Air Force men would have pushed to use them that way, instead of being dispersed for defensive operations.
And they woudl have been right to do so.
rcocean wrote:
30 Dec 2021 02:52
In any case, even if all 35 B-17s had known about the Formosa Airfields AND had planned to attack them, AND MacArthur had given the go-ahead, it would've acomplied nothing of signficance. Why? Too many airfields and only 35 bombers for one thing. Inexperienced bomber pilots and bombidiers for another. And then there's the timing:
About that; the B-17 could carry 3 tons of bombs for a mission of less than 2,000 miles round trip, 50% better than I had thought. They also had 100 & 300 pound bombs available, just the thing for scattering their destructive energy over a wide area.

According to this link ;
https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/2018/ ... rl-harbor/
Just three B-17s were able to make a hell of a mess out of one of the major airfelds on Luzon after it had been taken over by Japan. Granted, they knew where that base was and how to hit it, but that raid was launched from Mindanao, a lot farther away than Taiwan.

And.... see below;
rcocean wrote:
30 Dec 2021 02:52
1) the Japanese had planned to take off at dawn and attack Manila ASAP on Dec 8th. But fog covered the Airfields. They finally arrived over Manila at 12 Noon, which means they would've all be aloft and on their way by appromately 0930. Its 450 airmiles From Formosa to Manila.

3) Conversly, it would've taken AT LEAST 3 hours for the B-17s to take off and fly to Formosa to bomb the "Crowded" airfields.
Another item from the above like says that 140 Japanese aircraft were destroyed by USAAF guns & bombs in that campaign. That is the historical score. That is an awfully big chunk of what was available, and saving half of the B-17s and 39% of the P-40s or at least giving them a shot at the enemy could have been a game-changer.

As I said before; its not just 35 x B-17s, there are also 18 x B-18s, and because they are slower they go first and hit the southernmost airbase in Taiwan. Sure, the B-18 is pretty bad, but not much worse than most of the Japanese bombers flying at the time, and this is hardly an unusual tactic.

Now, it would also be possible for the P-40s to escort the B-17s halfway to target, and halfway back... which is about the best they could do. So that would be 53 Bombers escorted by 40 x P-40s that have the potential to meet 108 x IJN Bombers and 84 Zeros coming the other way. So what happens then?
Keeping in mind the fact that there are still P-35s that might be waiting to intercept the bombers over Luzon.....
I have no idea.
A certain amount of flexibility would be required on the part of the Japanese commander in the air at that moment. So, its 1941, and a mid-level Japanese officer is required to make a snap decision that could alter the course of the entire campaign.
Hmmm....

About the airfields on Taiwan'
Yes, there are a bunch of them, and thanks to the excellent post at the top of the bage, the Japanese do appear to have done a marvelous job of dispersal. However, the majority of the ones that I could locate apper to be concentrated in the South West corner of the island. That isn't a huge area, you could probably see more than one of them at a time from 20,000 feet.

Now, today we all know that unescorted bombers are dead meat, but the USAAF was very stubborn about not believing that in the first half of the war, weren't they? :roll:
But here is the great thing, and it really is a kicker;
On that day, in that place, they would have been right!

The Nates and Claudes left on Taiwan for interception duty had fixed landing gear and just two rifle-caliber MGs, not swift of hard-hitting enough to swat the B-17s out of the air, many of them would have fallen to the 50cal. guns on the Fortresses. I believe that is is possible that the big bombers could have cruised around in that area, looking for the best targets on their own, just as a lot of those flyboys believed they could.
There would still have been a good number of IJA planes on the ground, and even without them there sure are a lot of facilites that could have been wrecked and runways to crater.
The Japanee Flak is known for being ineffective and they didn't have much practice at that point in the war. It could have been a hell of a thing, couldn't it?

(those are not rhetorical questions, still looking for a way to win it and finding out a lot I didn't know before as I go)
rcocean wrote:
30 Dec 2021 02:52
4) Accordingly, any approved airstrike of Formosa that took off after 630 AM would hit empty airfields. And airstrike that took off prior to say 530 AM would've found the airfields covered in fog.
The the sweet-spt would have been to launch at 6am.
Not counting on that, but seeing as how the Japanese happened to use an equally tight window to achieve their amazing results, not only on the 8th but also the 10th... it would not be a miracle if it did work out that way.

rcocean
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 00:48

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by rcocean » 01 Jan 2022 01:11

OK. Look, you're either interested in real history or your interested in something else. The facts are these:

1) The japanese airstrike on Clark Air Field was airborne at 930 AM. The B-17s needed at LEAST 3.25 hours to get from Clark AF to Formosa:

1) 2.5 hours to cover the 450 air miles to Formosa - that's at 180 MPH
2) 3O minutes to get normal cruising altitude of 18,000 feet.
3) 15 minutes to warm up engines and get into formation.

So, if MacArthur had authorized an airstrike at 615 AM, the B-17's would've still hit empty airfields. Except of course, in real life the there weren't 35 B-17s there were 18. And there were NO plans to hit the airfields, only to bomb Takao harbor.

But lets skip reality. And imagine. There's the fact that less than 50% of bombs dropped by a B-17 would've hit within 1000 feet of the airfields. That's based on 8th Airforce data. So, if 35 B-17s had bombed the Formosa Airfields DURING THE ONE HOUR OF OPPURTUNITY (aka between 830-930 AM ) less than 50% of the 630 "300 lbs bombs" (35x 18 x300) would've come within 1000 feet of the Airfields. How many would've hit the hangers? How many would've hit the parked aircraft of the 25 airfields, THAT WERE COVERED WITH FOG?

We're just playing trivial pursuit. And anyone who asserts otherwise has another agenda.

And "Good Enough"? That's not "Good enough". I'll be watching you and anymore borderline posts and you go on ignore.

Linkagain
Member
Posts: 454
Joined: 13 Apr 2021 18:04
Location: US

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by Linkagain » 01 Jan 2022 02:04

Between Stillwell and Chaing kai Shek they had different Priotries....
Stillwell wanted to use the US equipment Chinese to Drive the Japanese out of China
Chaing Kai-Shek let the allies fight the Japanese; he would build up his US equipment armies to fight his only rivals the chinese Communists....However his battle was lost before it began,,,,because the Communists by fighting Japanese...won the hearts and Minds of the People of China.....

User avatar
AnchorSteam
Member
Posts: 339
Joined: 31 Oct 2020 05:43
Location: WAY out there

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by AnchorSteam » 01 Jan 2022 07:30

rcocean wrote:
01 Jan 2022 01:11
OK. Look, you're either interested in real history or your interested in something else.
Last I heard, people are allowed to have multiple interests, and I am not really concerned if that is unacceptable to you.
rcocean wrote:
01 Jan 2022 01:11
The facts are these:

1) The japanese airstrike on Clark Air Field was airborne at 930 AM. The B-17s needed at LEAST 3.25 hours to get from Clark AF to Formosa:

1) 2.5 hours to cover the 450 air miles to Formosa - that's at 180 MPH
2) 3O minutes to get normal cruising altitude of 18,000 feet.
3) 15 minutes to warm up engines and get into formation.

So, if MacArthur had authorized an airstrike at 615 AM, the B-17's would've still hit empty airfields. Except of course, in real life the there weren't 35 B-17s there were 18. And there were NO plans to hit the airfields, only to bomb Takao harbor.
Again (and I have to wonder how much of my post above you actually read, since none of it was quoted here) I am answering the question you originally posted, and you did not add; "You are absolutely straight-jacketed by any and ALL mistakes made by everyone involved, and must follow in the footsteps of those Generals in every way I say, or you are being unrealistic!"

Didn't expect anyone to pick up the gauntlet, eh?
rcocean wrote:
01 Jan 2022 01:11
But lets skip reality.
Not exactly good sportsmanship, but I sense even worse is coming...
rcocean wrote:
01 Jan 2022 01:11
And imagine.
That's what creative people do. :milwink:
rcocean wrote:
01 Jan 2022 01:11
There's the fact that less than 50% of bombs dropped by a B-17 would've hit within 1000 feet of the airfields. That's based on 8th Airforce data. So, if 35 B-17s had bombed the Formosa Airfields DURING THE ONE HOUR OF OPPURTUNITY (aka between 830-930 AM )
As stated above, I am not even interested in hitting that sweet-spot, I don't think it is realistic to even step into that little Rabbit Hole.
However-
3 1/2 hours plus 06:15 = 9:45, which suits me just fine. Other than the 84 fighters and 10o+ bombers there were still hundreds of aircraft on Taiwan, as the lists on the previous pages show. This includes a squadron of Dive Bombers waiting to re-base close enough to go into action on Luzon, among others.
And with their Norden Bombsights that the US crews could do at least as well as the Japanese did at Clark, which was devastating.

I don't think it is likely that either side would end up with nowhere to land, even the US flyers had Nichols field to fall back on, for the time being. However, the degredation of those air bases can't help but have an impact, seeing as how those bases are where the spare parts for those specific planes are stored.... and in the case of the bombers, their bombs.
rcocean wrote:
01 Jan 2022 01:11
less than 50% of the 630 "300 lbs bombs" (35x 18 x300) would've come within 1000 feet of the Airfields. How many would've hit the hangers? How many would've hit the parked aircraft of the 25 airfields, THAT WERE COVERED WITH FOG?
Fog again? I thought that you and another poster had already covered that a few posts up the page. And once the Japanese had taken off one can only assume that the fog wasn't an issue in any case.
1) I never went along with the idea that the US planes had to arrive early, and now it seems as if I dodged a bit of a trap there.
2) That's the great thing about an island with so many airfields when you give the bombers free reign; if one is covered, go on to the ones that are not blessed with such cover.

Given the unsuitability of Nates and Claudes for intercepting B-17s, the distraction of the B-18s, and the poor performance of Japanese 75mm flak, I have good reason to say that the B-17s would not have been slaughtered, as stated above.
rcocean wrote:
01 Jan 2022 01:11
We're just playing trivial pursuit. And anyone who asserts otherwise has another agenda.
Huh.... ?
What in the world are you talking about?!

OF COURSE it is, what else would it be?
Jeez.... are your pals at West Point looking over your shoulder right now, or what?
rcocean wrote:
01 Jan 2022 01:11
And "Good Enough"? That's not "Good enough". I'll be watching you and anymore borderline posts and you go on ignore.
Fine.

rcocean
Member
Posts: 602
Joined: 30 Mar 2008 00:48

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by rcocean » 01 Jan 2022 21:37

I have no idea what you're trying to prove or even assert. The whole point is that Any airstrike on December 8th 1941 would've accomplished nothing of substance. The whole fantasy of B-17s bombing the japanese aircraft warming up for their strike on Clark Field is disproven by the facts.

If we wish to speculate, and assume the following things that were not done were done on Dec 8th and prior:

1) japanese airspace was violated and photos were take in the Formosa airfields
2) No B-17s had been sent to Del Monte and all 35 were at Clark Field
3) Airfields had been selected for attack and bomb phase lines had been produced and given to the crews.
4) the B-17s took off for the Formosa airstrike prior to the 12 Noon Japanese attack

What would have been the result? 35 B-17s would had 4.500 lbs each. (this is probably an overestimate, since I don' think a B-17 had the bomb-bay points 15 300 lbs but its close enough). The Comparison to the Japanese attack is interesting. 54 Japanese bombers released their bombs in perfect visibility with almost complete suprise. Result? According the US AAF historian only a COUPLE of B-17s were heavily damaged or destroyed by the bombers. The remaining B-17s were destroyed the Zeros strafing the Airfield. The majority of the P-40s lost in the attack were also destroyed by the Zeros, either when they were attempting to take off or in the air. The only p-40s lost to the bombers were those under repair in the hangers - and a few more caught by the bombs during takeoff.

There's no reason to believe a B-17 strike would've been more successful on a japanese airfield. Yet the Japanese only bombed two airfields. Clark was hit by 54 bombers and the Iba by 27. They cratered the airfields and destroyed the hangers, but the number of planes lost was suprisingly low.

So we guestimate, that even if the 35 B-17s had been as accurate as the Japanese bombers, we would have damaged 2 out of 20-25 airfields and destroyed a few Japanese airplanes. Since the Japanese were fighting a war in China, and had planned to fight a war against the USA, its highly probable, if not certain, that their airfields would've been more bomb proofed and their planes placed under protective cover, unlike Clark and Iba.

And even all 35 B-17s had survived the airstrike, Clark AF had been destroyed, the only place for them would've been Del Monte which was not capable of handling 35 bombers for a long period of time. The B-17s would've been withdrawn just as the 18 who were there in actuality.

So, why all this fuss about 35 B-17s. Again, it all goes back to those who Hate MacArthur, without his involvement, none of these speculations and absurdities (MarArthur's PEARL HARBOR!!! The FEAF DESTROYED ON THE GROUND!!!) would gain any traction.

User avatar
AnchorSteam
Member
Posts: 339
Joined: 31 Oct 2020 05:43
Location: WAY out there

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by AnchorSteam » 02 Jan 2022 00:03

I have no idea what you're trying to prove or even assert.
I am here to have fun with a mental exercise that is a somewhat more imaginative version of Chess.

Your turn; why did you ask this question in the first place?

If it is all about defending Mac's reputation, that's fine by me, but ain't the place to make a stand. The poor guy froze up on this day like Jackson at the 7 Days. It happens to the best of us.
And that makes this a fun one to play with.
We aren't being graded here (are we?) so if it upsets you then this should end right here.

daveshoup2MD
Member
Posts: 1541
Joined: 01 Feb 2020 18:10
Location: Coral and brass

Re: Stilwell; the worst US General?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 04 Jan 2022 06:56

AnchorSteam wrote:
16 Dec 2021 21:17
This is a very interesting vid on one of the most talked-about Generals of the war, and I think it makes very good points;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBNZqC3h_Y4

The criticism of Tuchman is something I have wanted to say myself for a while.

It makes you wonder why he was held in such high regard in the first place... so there must be more to the story than this.
It should not make anyone wonder, actually.

Stilwell was an excellent combat commander who achieved more with less than any other US Army officer with similar responsibilities, and - at times simultaneously - was saddled with a) serving as the senior commander of US forces in the CBI; b) as CoS to the Allied theater commander in the China theater; c) as deputy SAC in SEAC, a joint/combined headquarters; and d) senior US officer with responsibilities for L-L to China; and, beyond that, had a senior USAAF component commander that he had no role in selecting.

It's actually pretty impressive the Allied forces under his command accomplished the missions they were given, and extremely impressive the training/support command he put together for what became X Force was as successful as it was in creating an Allied field force that actually was effective in action, and in an extremely challenging theater where very little of the "standard" Allied advantages (mobility, sea power, massed artillery, massed tactical air power, etc.) could be employed as such.

Second lieutenant to full general, Army-level command, the DSC, and a CIB as a general officer makes it quite clear how his superiors and peers saw him.

Return to “USA 1919-1945”