Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

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Delta Tank
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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Delta Tank » 06 May 2021 12:16

Delta Tank wrote:
06 May 2021 12:14
daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 02:26
Delta Tank wrote:
06 May 2021 01:42
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.
So Hart prepared for war?? Really? So, what actions if any did Admiral Hart take to defend the Philippines? I copied this from a post I did in June 2010.

Now a little discussed matter, why does everyone give the US Navy a pass on the defense of the Philippines? They had enough submarines stationed in the Philippines to sink the entire invasion force, yet as far as I know they did nothing or virtually nothing!
Have you read the history of the Asiatic Fleet? How about Force Z? How did sending a surface action force without air cover into harm's way work out for Prince of Wales and Repulse?

As far as the USN's submarine force, ever read anything about the problems with the submarine force's most modern torpedo design?

Asiatic Fleet fought and won the only action approximating a victory against the IJN before the Coral Sea; there was a reason why Balikpapan could be fought and won.
No! Do tell! When was this war?? Oh my god!! How did I miss this!

Notice I said nothing about surface forces, you did.

My comment was: “ Now a little discussed matter, why does everyone give the US Navy a pass on the defense of the Philippines? They had enough submarines stationed in the Philippines to sink the entire invasion force, yet as far as I know they did nothing or virtually nothing!” The navy had problems with their torpedoes, when did they discover that? Before the war or after the war began? When did the navy decide that the torpedo was faulty and the problem was not crew performance? Gee, and after Admiral Lockwood figured out what was wrong with the torpedo and initiated corrective action, the commander of the submarines in Australia refused to believe anything was wrong with the torpedo that he helped design.

The Germans also had trouble with their torpedos in the beginning of the war. Instead of blaming the crew, they immediately looked at the torpedo. I think that little tidbit of information explains a lot about the culture of the US Navy!

Now, the Navy torpedo problem was caused by, the US Army or just MacArthur?

Mike

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 06 May 2021 16:06

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
06 May 2021 05:13
[quote=rcocean post_

Thanks.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 06 May 2021 16:21

Hart and the Navy did a terrible job in the Philippines. Hart was a defeatist and disliked by everyone who worked with him in Java and Manila. The Dutch and Brits complained about him and he was fired and sent back to the USA inf Feb 1942. The Navy had what 29 subs, yet they sunk almost nothing. As Clay Blair states in his "Silent Victory" its not just torpedo problems that were responsible, the commanders were overly cautious and had unrealistic ideas about Japanese ASW. I'm still trying to figure out why Hart left Manila by sub without telling the Army, or why he was out of touch for almost a week. He easily could have gone to Corregidor, continued to withdraw ships and supervise the Naval Forces and left in early January by Seaplane. That's why MacArthur called him a coward.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 06 May 2021 16:54

Here's a perfect example of Hart's incompetence and defeatist attitude, from The Marshall Papers Volume 3, document 3-042 (George Marshall Foundation website ):
January 4, 1942
To Admiral King,

I [Marshall] am attaching two messages, one from General Brett reporting Admiral Hart’s decision that it was not practicable to send a submarine with ammunition in to General MacArthur, and another message from MacArthur on the same subject.1

In view of your previous directions to Admiral Hart in this matter, I request that he be pressed to make the effort to relieve General MacArthur’s critical situation regarding antiaircraft ammunition.2

Notes:
1) On January 4 General MacArthur suggested using submarines to run the Japanese blockade of his forces. Marshall ordered that MacArthur’s message be forwarded to Major General George Brett in Australia with instructions to consider all means for getting supplies to the Philippines. Simultaneously, Admiral King instructed Admiral Thomas C. Hart to assist in this effort, but the latter replied that he had no submarines available for such missions. On January 9 MacArthur complained to the chief of staff about Hart’s response and urged that “steps be taken to obtain a more aggressive and resourceful handling of naval forces in this area.” (Morton, Fall of the Philippines, pp. 390-91. See Papers of DDE, 1: 40-41, 62-63.)

2) Brigadier General Eisenhower personally carried this message to Admiral King, who replied: “You may tell General Marshall that if any more drastic action is necessary than is represented in my usual method of issuing orders such action will be taken.” Two days later King notified Marshall of the imminent departure of two submarines carrying ammunition to the Luzon forces. (Eisenhower Memorandum for the Record, January 9,1942, on the file copy of Marshall’s memorandum; King Memorandum to General Marshall, January 11, 1942, NA /RG 165 [OPD, Exec. 8, Book 2].) Both submarines arrived in the Philippines safely. A large blockade-running operation was established in Australia involving aircraft, small surface ships, and submarines

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 May 2021 05:08

Delta Tank wrote:
06 May 2021 12:00
daveshoup2MD wrote:
06 May 2021 02:16
Delta Tank wrote:
05 May 2021 20:27
To all,

The Washington War by James Lacey pages 227-229
Lacey, a career army officer, is critical of King ... shocking.

His priorities in trying to advance his thesis that: "the more I delved into the clashes that made up the Washington war, the clearer it became that these titanic rows almost always led to better outcomes than would have prevailed had there been a single man or apparatus directing events” are, um, interesting, as has been said.

Lacey devotes a page to D-Day and a chapter to the Morgenthau Plan. Even if the punitive blueprint for postwar Germany had been adopted — it wasn’t — the largest amphibious operation in history deserves better.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/ ... story.html
I know Jim Lacey, I can get him maybe, he did once before, to come up on the net and you can address your comments to him. However, I noticed you did not refute what he wrote about King’s action in relation to the U-boat assault. What is that old saying, “if the facts aren’t on your side argue the law”.

Mike
Not having his book, I can't make any assessment of his sourcing. Having said that, I'm not aware that either Harold Stark or Ernest King was the king of the United States in 1942... for example, look up who was responsible for blackouts in the US defense and civil defense organizations of 1942...

Having said that, King was not the flag officer in command of ESF in the winter of 1942, when PAUKENSCHLAG occurred. Likewise, as CNO after replacing Stark as such in the spring of 1942, he was responsible as the senior naval commander for USN operations world-wide - again, he was not the flag officer in command of ESF for PAUKENSCHLAG, or, for that matter, GSF, CSF, or PSF (or Trinidad Sector East or West) for NEULAND.

Criticizing the CNO for the operational decisions made by operational commanders at the regional/theater/task force level is rather like criticizing the Chief of Staff of the Army for the decisions made by, say, a corps commander. Which seems like an interesting oversight by a career army officer...

The other point, of course, is there was a reason the Germans called PAUKENSCHLAG and NEULAND the "second" happy time; as was evidence by the British experience in UK waters in 1939-40, in the Med in 1940, in West African waters in 1941-42, in Canadian waters in 1942, and even in South African waters in 1942, makes it clear that ASW organizations and forces do not come into existence because one wishes for it ... the RAN had the exact same experience in 1942-43 when the IJN submarine force moved into their waters.

Surprisingly enough, there was not a single Allied naval force that managed to be "ready" for a "new" Axis submarine offensive, at any time, in 1939-42 ... which suggests that the realities of standing up ASW forces and commands in wartime are not as simple as Mr. Lacey or Mr. Gannon may think (or have thought).

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 May 2021 05:16

Delta Tank wrote:
06 May 2021 12:14


Now, the Navy torpedo problem was caused by, the US Army or just MacArthur?

Mike
It was caused by the prewar management of the program, obviously; so no matter how much bravery and diligence was exhibited by the Asiatic Fleet's submarine force, they were not going to stop the IJN.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 May 2021 05:20

rcocean wrote:
06 May 2021 16:21
That's why MacArthur called him a coward.
The Navy knew the PI was indefensible, and had known it for decades ... And MacArthur was the paragon of combat command?

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 May 2021 05:28

rcocean wrote:
06 May 2021 16:54
Here's a perfect example of Hart's incompetence and defeatist attitude, from The Marshall Papers Volume 3, document 3-042 (George Marshall Foundation website ):
January 4, 1942
To Admiral King,

I [Marshall] am attaching two messages, one from General Brett reporting Admiral Hart’s decision that it was not practicable to send a submarine with ammunition in to General MacArthur, and another message from MacArthur on the same subject.1

In view of your previous directions to Admiral Hart in this matter, I request that he be pressed to make the effort to relieve General MacArthur’s critical situation regarding antiaircraft ammunition.2

Notes:
1) On January 4 General MacArthur suggested using submarines to run the Japanese blockade of his forces. Marshall ordered that MacArthur’s message be forwarded to Major General George Brett in Australia with instructions to consider all means for getting supplies to the Philippines. Simultaneously, Admiral King instructed Admiral Thomas C. Hart to assist in this effort, but the latter replied that he had no submarines available for such missions. On January 9 MacArthur complained to the chief of staff about Hart’s response and urged that “steps be taken to obtain a more aggressive and resourceful handling of naval forces in this area.” (Morton, Fall of the Philippines, pp. 390-91. See Papers of DDE, 1: 40-41, 62-63.)

2) Brigadier General Eisenhower personally carried this message to Admiral King, who replied: “You may tell General Marshall that if any more drastic action is necessary than is represented in my usual method of issuing orders such action will be taken.” Two days later King notified Marshall of the imminent departure of two submarines carrying ammunition to the Luzon forces. (Eisenhower Memorandum for the Record, January 9,1942, on the file copy of Marshall’s memorandum; King Memorandum to General Marshall, January 11, 1942, NA /RG 165 [OPD, Exec. 8, Book 2].) Both submarines arrived in the Philippines safely. A large blockade-running operation was established in Australia involving aircraft, small surface ships, and submarines
Odd, where are Hart's or King's records in all that?

And the ultimate achievement of that blockade-running operation were what, exactly? The GIs and Filipinos surrendered in April/May to spend most of the next four years in Japanese prison camps and Mac and his staff got out safely, didn't they?

Very impressive.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by EKB » 07 May 2021 06:11

Don’t know why so much shade is thrown on Douglas MacArthur. He accomplished more with less than the Allies in Europe.

If he traded places with Dwight Eisenhower, how would MacArthur deal with Montgomery and Winston Churchill. Would MacArthur green light the airborne operation in Holland before the Allied supply chain was secured through Antwerp. Would MacArthur agree with Eisenhower that resuming the futile Hürtgen forest campaign was better than allowing the U.S. 6th Army to cross the Rhine at Strasbourg. Would MacArthur get caught with his pants down, when Germany invaded the Ardennes for the third time since 1914.

Would MacArthur handle the situation differently in North Africa. How would he deal with flaws in the coalition chain of command that led to defeat at Kasserine Pass.

Where did responsibility end for service chiefs Marshall and King. No important authority figures were fired for any of the above crises. Likewise for the Fall of the Philippines, the battles of Wake, Savo Island, the Rapido River, Anzio, Cassino, the USAAF Schweinfurt raids, high losses to U-boats and the calamity at Slapton Sands. In 1999, the U.S. Senate voted to exonerate Husband Kimmel and Walter Short, recasting them as the last two victims of the Pearl Harbor attack. It wasn’t made clear that other individuals should have been officially charged with dereliction of duty. It’s a timeless tale, those at the top are insulated from harm while subordinates are scapegoated.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Delta Tank » 07 May 2021 12:25

daveshoup2MD wrote:
07 May 2021 05:28
rcocean wrote:
06 May 2021 16:54
Here's a perfect example of Hart's incompetence and defeatist attitude, from The Marshall Papers Volume 3, document 3-042 (George Marshall Foundation website ):
January 4, 1942
To Admiral King,

I [Marshall] am attaching two messages, one from General Brett reporting Admiral Hart’s decision that it was not practicable to send a submarine with ammunition in to General MacArthur, and another message from MacArthur on the same subject.1

In view of your previous directions to Admiral Hart in this matter, I request that he be pressed to make the effort to relieve General MacArthur’s critical situation regarding antiaircraft ammunition.2

Notes:
1) On January 4 General MacArthur suggested using submarines to run the Japanese blockade of his forces. Marshall ordered that MacArthur’s message be forwarded to Major General George Brett in Australia with instructions to consider all means for getting supplies to the Philippines. Simultaneously, Admiral King instructed Admiral Thomas C. Hart to assist in this effort, but the latter replied that he had no submarines available for such missions. On January 9 MacArthur complained to the chief of staff about Hart’s response and urged that “steps be taken to obtain a more aggressive and resourceful handling of naval forces in this area.” (Morton, Fall of the Philippines, pp. 390-91. See Papers of DDE, 1: 40-41, 62-63.)

2) Brigadier General Eisenhower personally carried this message to Admiral King, who replied: “You may tell General Marshall that if any more drastic action is necessary than is represented in my usual method of issuing orders such action will be taken.” Two days later King notified Marshall of the imminent departure of two submarines carrying ammunition to the Luzon forces. (Eisenhower Memorandum for the Record, January 9,1942, on the file copy of Marshall’s memorandum; King Memorandum to General Marshall, January 11, 1942, NA /RG 165 [OPD, Exec. 8, Book 2].) Both submarines arrived in the Philippines safely. A large blockade-running operation was established in Australia involving aircraft, small surface ships, and submarines
Odd, where are Hart's or King's records in all that?

And the ultimate achievement of that blockade-running operation were what, exactly? The GIs and Filipinos surrendered in April/May to spend most of the next four years in Japanese prison camps and Mac and his staff got out safely, didn't they?

Very impressive.
So, daveshoup2MD,

With your 20/20 hindsight what should have MacArthur done that would of dramatically change the outcome in the Philippines?

Mike

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 07 May 2021 15:02

EKB wrote:
07 May 2021 06:11
..Savo Island, the Rapido River, Anzio, Cassino, the USAAF Schweinfurt raids, high losses to U-boats and the calamity at Slapton Sands. In 1999, the U.S. Senate voted to exonerate Husband Kimmel and Walter Short, recasting them as the last two victims of the Pearl Harbor attack.
I'm not too sure about Short but Kimmel was certainly a scapegoat for Marshall and Stark. The prior pacific fleet commander Richardson had pointed out to Stark and FDR that Pearl Harbor had poor defenses and was inviting a Japanese attack (and also was a poor place for Pacific Fleet Training) but was fired for his trouble in November 1940 (See his book "On the Treadmill to Pearl Harbor").

The US Navy Torpedo scandal was the worst. Sub skippers were reporting problems with the torpedoes on December 1941, in the first attacks. Yet, almost nothing was done, and it took action and tests by the Sub commanders in Summer 1943 to finally prove to the higher ups that the Magnetic firing system and the firing pin itself was defective. The U-boats had the same problem with Magnetic torpedoes but solved it within MONTHS of the first indications.
Last edited by rcocean on 07 May 2021 15:12, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 07 May 2021 15:09

I think Bradley and Ike were never held account for any of their errors, partly because Marshall wanted his subordinates to take risks (and causalities). Marshall was constantly complaining that his Generals were too cautious, and wanted to be bolder. IRC, he wanted to drop 3-4 airborne divisions on Paris on D-day, and was sad that Ike didn't go along with his idea. He also proposed invading Japan itself, and skipping both Leyte and Formosa in 1944. And of course, if Marshall had been totally in charge, he would've invaded Brest with what we had in the Summer of 1943. This was his suggestion to FDR when asked in December 1942, what was the next step.

So, when Ike was overly aggressive and took unnecessary losses or got knocked back by German counter attacks, Marshall didn't much care.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Delta Tank » 07 May 2021 19:15

rcocean wrote:
07 May 2021 15:09
I think Bradley and Ike were never held account for any of their errors, partly because Marshall wanted his subordinates to take risks (and causalities). Marshall was constantly complaining that his Generals were too cautious, and wanted to be bolder. IRC, he wanted to drop 3-4 airborne divisions on Paris on D-day, and was sad that Ike didn't go along with his idea. He also proposed invading Japan itself, and skipping both Leyte and Formosa in 1944. And of course, if Marshall had been totally in charge, he would've invaded Brest with what we had in the Summer of 1943. This was his suggestion to FDR when asked in December 1942, what was the next step.

So, when Ike was overly aggressive and took unnecessary losses or got knocked back by German counter attacks, Marshall didn't much care.
It was not Paris, but it was deep Le Mans? I can’t remember, but Rich probably has it on the tip of his tongue. And it probably would of been a disaster.

Mike

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 07 May 2021 21:15

It was not Paris, but it was deep Le Mans? I can’t remember, but Rich probably has it on the tip of his tongue. And it probably would of been a disaster.
According the the Eisenhower Papers, ON Feb 19th, 1944, Ike shot down Marshall's idea for a 3-4 Division drop near
Evreux France. It was in response to Marshall's Feb 10th 1944 letter. Marshall thought the Evreux drop would be a "True Vertical development" and "a complete surprise" and "cause a major revision in the German's defensive plans" by threatening Paris and the Seine crossings. Marshall wanted to sent two staff officers to England to brief Ike on the plan personally.

Eisenhower, basically told Marshall that Airborne were immobile, and the German's didn't "scare" and any airborne drop had to be "tactical" rather than "strategic". However, being the master politician he ended his letter this way:
I instinctively dislike ever to uphold the conservative as opposed to the bold. You may be sure that I will earnestly study the ideas presented by the two officers, because on one point I am in almost fanatical agreement - we can only lick the Hun by staying ahead of him not only in material resources but in ideas.
what a great way to trash your boss' proposal!

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 07 May 2021 21:22

Oh, just found Marshall's Feb 10th letter online. Here's the plan:
Plan C — Establishes an air-head in keeping with my ideas on the subject, one that can be quickly established and developed to great strength in forty-eight hours. The area generally south of Evreux has been selected because of four excellent airfields.

This plan appeals to me because I feel that it is a true vertical envelopment and would create such a strategic threat to the Germans that it would call for a major revision of their defensive plans. It should be a complete surprise, an invaluable asset of any such plan. It would directly threaten the crossings of the Seine as well as the city of Paris. It should serve as a rallying point for considerable elements of the French underground.

In effect, we would be opening another front in France and your buildup would be tremendously increased in rapidity.

The trouble with this plan is that we have never done anything like this before, and frankly, that reaction makes me tired. Therefore I should like you to give these young men an opportunity to present the matter to you personally before your Staff tears it to ribbons.1 Please believe that, as usual, I do not want to embarrass you with undue pressure. I merely wish to be certain that you have viewed this possibility on a definite planning basis.2

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