US Army policy changed - somewhat - in the late summer of 1941, largely because of the overly rosy accounts MacArthur and company were feeding Washington, but even then, the "reinforcements" were a mix of new equipment to replace what was already in the PI (B-17s and P-40s to replace B-10s and P-35s, for example) along with one infantry regiment (three battalions), a field artillery group (four battalions), two light tank battalions, and the 200th CA (AA) regiment, largely to fill out the existing US Army infantry division and corps-level troops; this was not a decision to send a corps equivalent of three more US Army infantry divisions to Luzon in 1941-42.EwenS wrote: ↑09 Feb 2022 22:15The problem I have with this version of events is that it ignores the US change of policy in July/Aug 1941. There was an intent to heavily reinforce the Philippines.daveshoup2MD wrote: ↑09 Feb 2022 21:21MacArthur took the contract from the PC Government, did he not? If the resources were insufficient for the strategy he told Quezon et al was necessary, his course of action was obvious.rcocean wrote: ↑09 Feb 2022 18:56MacArthur wasn't making any "bad decsions". His only job from Nov 1935-July 1941 was training the Philippine army on $8 million a year, with ZERO help from FDR.And what's intriguing is that even with MacArthur making bad decisions in 1936-41 regarding the PI, the US decision makers -
Every key decision from 1936-1941 regarding the West pacific, our position via Japan, and USA defense of Philippines was made by FDR with the advice of Marshall, Craig, and the Secretary of War. MacArthur had almost nothing to do with it.
He chose not to take that action, of course, but that was his decision - in the same way that he took the contract in the first place. He was not drafted, was he?
Given the US did not lose the equivalent of four reinforced first-line infantry divisions and two-thirds of their fast capital ships in the defense of the PI in 1941-42, seems quite clear that FDR et al made exactly the right decision to not heavily reinforce a vulnerable outpost, one would think... if the US had thrown three more infantry divisions into Luzon (say, the 8th, 28th, and 29th) and lost a couple of front line capital ships (say, USS North Carolina and USS Washington, or even USS Idaho and USS Mississippi) in the island's defense, are you suggesting his critics would have accepted that result?
Between 31 July and 16 Aug 1941 plans were drawn up and approved for a substantial reinforcement of the Philippines. The first units involved in this arrived before the end of Sept and it was still ongoing when war broke out with even more planned to be sent out all the way through to early 1942. One element of this was the Pensacola convoy that left PH on 29th Nov, and on 9 Dec had its orders changed to send it to Australia where it arrived on 22 Dec. MacArthur himself seems to have gone very quickly from turning down the offer of an infantry division to asking for ever increasing amounts of equipment to equip more Philippine Army units and the War Dept agreeing to the dispatch over 23,000 personnel to back them up. Significant USAAC reinforcements were also planned. The problem was finding the transport to move all this to the Philippines. And for that reason the complete units being sent were being fed in piecemeal.
That most of this equipment and personnel didn’t arrive by 7 Dec 1941 simply suggests that the US dodged a bullet.
https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/US ... -PI-3.html
Doing so, of course, would free up some of the US Army Philippine Scout personnel to augment the understrength US Army/PS coast artillery organization, as well as the Philippine Commonwealth Army militia forces, and - possibly - get at least the PCA units on Luzon mobilized with cadre that knew something about soldiering, as opposed to the mass of the PCA officer corps and some cops TDY from the Philippine Constabulary.
The USN, of course, knew the PI were doomed. There's a reason the Asiatic Fleet went south, and managed to not lose any major units to air attack in Philippine waters - well done, Adm. Hart. That's also why the USN didn't send a batdiv to the PI in 1941 to become targets for the IJNAF, either.