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 (1939-1945) WWII Battles
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BWilson

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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 4534

MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 2:13:06 AM
This came up in another thread ('health care'). I have replied to Wazza below and given this topic its own thread in the appropriate forum.


Quote:
We are thankful for the assistance of American forces (as well as the UK and Dutch) in the New Guinea campaign, but it was MacArthur's choice to backseat us for the rest of the Pacific campaign. -wazza


Wazza,

 Does it really matter in the end? Japs killed on Borneo or Japs killed in the Philippines? If MacArthur had put the Australians in the front of operations in the Philippines, today we would hear that 'MacArthur killed good Australian boys so the USA could reassert control over the Philippines'. Just pointing out that hindsight is only worth so much . . . and that I don't feel like hindsight does a good job of weighing how alternative courses of action might have played out.

Cheers,

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1392

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 3:23:53 AM
Mac was pretty bad for exceeding his authority and influencing the leader of an Allied foreign country, but then again Curtin was pretty bad for allowing it to happen, more accurately for encouraging it!

EDIT. Re-reading Wazza's post again I'm getting the impression of; don't sideline us for the second half of the war and then whinge about how much you did for us and how grateful we should be for it.
---------------
Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 4:12:32 AM
Riain,

Don't joint operations open up a whole can of worms logistically because you were using English equipment? Wasn't shipping a limiting factor for most of the war?

Personally I wish to God Mac had used Aussie troops in the Philippines because hindsight proves he certainly needed more troops but I really do wonder if he could have logistically supported them.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 4534

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 4:33:39 AM

Quote:
Mac was pretty bad for exceeding his authority and influencing the leader of an Allied foreign country, but then again Curtin was pretty bad for allowing it to happen, more accurately for encouraging it!

EDIT. Re-reading Wazza's post again I'm getting the impression of; don't sideline us for the second half of the war and then whinge about how much you did for us and how grateful we should be for it.
--RiaindeVoy


Riain,

 Yep, there was a reason I established a separate thread in the proper forum for this topic. Yet, Wazza's comment about Australia being "sidelined" is nothing new as a topic of discussion. What is rarely, if ever, said is that in terms of winning the Pacific War, the Philippines were about as much a backwater as Borneo and New Guinea. MacArthur was no part of the military operations, forces, and leaders who delivered the two crippling atomic blows to Japan. Seen in that perspective, MacArthur himself was sidelined as much as the Australian forces were.

Cheers,

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3897

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 8:52:46 AM

Quote:
Riain,

Don't joint operations open up a whole can of worms logistically because you were using English equipment? Wasn't shipping a limiting factor for most of the war?

Personally I wish to God Mac had used Aussie troops in the Philippines because hindsight proves he certainly needed more troops but I really do wonder if he could have logistically supported them.

--John R. Price




John, & Riain,

My late father John with the 1st US Cavalry was almost killed fighting in the Philippines, (purple heart) could have used the help of the Aussie troops, since it was only Americans fighting, just so Mac could say "I have returned!"

[Read More]


MD

And what about this guy??

[Read More]
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

dt509er
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 601

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 2:06:31 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Mac was pretty bad for exceeding his authority and influencing the leader of an Allied foreign country, but then again Curtin was pretty bad for allowing it to happen, more accurately for encouraging it!

EDIT. Re-reading Wazza's post again I'm getting the impression of; don't sideline us for the second half of the war and then whinge about how much you did for us and how grateful we should be for it.
--RiaindeVoy


Riain,

 Yep, there was a reason I established a separate thread in the proper forum for this topic. Yet, Wazza's comment about Australia being "sidelined" is nothing new as a topic of discussion. What is rarely, if ever, said is that in terms of winning the Pacific War, the Philippines were about as much a backwater as Borneo and New Guinea. MacArthur was no part of the military operations, forces, and leaders who delivered the two crippling atomic blows to Japan. Seen in that perspective, MacArthur himself was sidelined as much as the Australian forces were.

Cheers,

BW
--BWilson


Interesting line of thought that The Philippines as much as Borneo and New Guinea were "backwater"/"sideline(ed)" battles in the Pacific, more so when compared to the statement of which I have read here at MHO and elsewhere, that the war against Japan was largely a side-event and not even directly tied to WWII.

The Aussies fight in the Pacific battles were critical to the success the Allies would achieve against Japan. Port Moresby, Coral Sea, the Coast Watchers in the Solomons, the basic imprisonment of Japanese forces on Guinea (New, Papua, N.E.), and Borneo, the long-drawn attrition of Japanese a/c and shipping in these regions did much to lesson Japanese capabilities for deployment to other areas of war in the Pacific.

Were Australian forces largely delegated to a secondary force from 1943 onwards, I would say so but IMO to the Aussie's benefit as a whole. Was the same done with the recognition of Australia's effort, commitment and success during and after the war, again IMO, yes. And yet, Australia would be victorious as anyone else in the war against Japan regardless of the lack of recognition from the US and GB. That the Aussies fought as hard and as long as they did against Japan and then went back home after the war to return to life says much about the overall character of the Australian people.

I met an Aussie vet who served in WWII and while he was modest about my appreciation of his and his country's service during WWII, it is my belief he was sincerely appreciative of my comments to him.

IMO, without the Aussies' participation as it was against Japan, my belief is that a negotiated settlement would have eventually come forth between the allies and Japan.

---------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..."

I take offense to your perception of being offended!

“If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 2:53:49 PM
Hello dt509er,

Why were the Philippines considered a backwater? Weren't thousands of prisoners held in the Philippines?

Does it mean that this area was no longer strategically significant?

Cheers,

George

wazza
Sydney , Australia
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E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 452

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 2:54:58 PM
Riain puts it better than me, but it was a source of frustration that we could have isolated and starved the Japanese garrisons rather than get involved in costly mopping up operations.
The RAAF mutinied over this very reason!!! Google the Moratai mutiny for some interesting reading.

And yes very good points about the incompatibility of our force structure compared to the US. I often wonder a big what if, could we back then have formed a mo e compact Marine style expeditionary force in WWII when we really needed it rather than what we are doing today?

RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
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E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1392

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 3:14:15 PM
There are backwaters than then there are backwaters. The PI were a hell of a lot closer to Japan than Borneo and far more strategically significant and invaded some 8 months earlier. The invasion of the PI bought the IJN out to fight and be destroyed. None of these things occurred at Borneo from May 1945, the war had well and truly moved on.

The political nature of the issue is apparent when looking at what Australia offered and what was rejected. Australia offered I Corps, 6th, 7th, 9th Divisions AIF, to be allocated a part of the PI to liberate with significant operational control, but Mac (perhaps thinking of his Presidential aspirations) would only accept 2 divisions each allocated to a US Corps with no operational control. In the end no agreement could be reached and the invasion went ahead with 6th Army having 4 Corps of 8 divisions.

As an aside there were major problems with RAAF command in WW2, AVMs Bostock and Jones were of equal rank but had different responsibilities and fought constantly. As a result they often appealed to USAAF General Kenny. Curtin wanted to bring out a RAF Air Marshal to put above Bostock and Jones and solve the RAAFs command problems but Mac advised against it, conveniently retaining the de facto power over the RAAF as a result.

---------------
Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

dt509er
Santa Rosa, CA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 601

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 5:36:07 PM

Quote:
Hello dt509er,

Why were the Philippines considered a backwater? Weren't thousands of prisoners held in the Philippines?

Does it mean that this area was no longer strategically significant?

Cheers,

George
--George


Hi George:

I based my comments off of the following;
Quote:
Yet, Wazza's comment about Australia being "sidelined" is nothing new as a topic of discussion.


Of course the Philippine's was of strategic value and was so in many ways in which I do not have the capacity to address other than its importance trumped an invasion of Formosa.
---------------
"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..."

I take offense to your perception of being offended!

“If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 6:59:35 PM
Riain,

It took 2 US Armies to take the Philippines, 6th Army of 9 Divisions and 8th Army of 5 Divisions with both having multiple Independent smaller sized units. It was basically 6th Army on Leyte and Luzon and 8th Army all the rest.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1392

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/24/2018 8:02:56 PM

Quote:
Riain,

It took 2 US Armies to take the Philippines, 6th Army of 9 Divisions and 8th Army of 5 Divisions with both having multiple Independent smaller sized units. It was basically 6th Army on Leyte and Luzon and 8th Army all the rest.
--John R. Price


That's right, 6th Army was the big show and we offered to be a big piece of the big show, a Corps of 2 or 3 divisions in the most important Army. This isn't a niggardly offer, a token to keep the big boy happy, like an offer to join the 8th Army might have been or to offer a single division might have been, this was our premier fighting formation ready to shoulder the responsibility and slug it out in the main arena.

Mac rejected this offer and countered with an offer for Australia to play a bit part, shouldering no responsibility. Mac would have liked the troops, he just didn't want them to do much of note. This makes it galling when the ignorant throw out the 'we saved you in WW2', indicating a damaging popular/ist commitment to an historical untruth.
---------------
Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 4534

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 1:56:42 AM
Riain puts it better than me, but it was a source of frustration that we could have isolated and starved the Japanese garrisons rather than get involved in costly mopping up operations.

 I was hoping you or Riain would bring that up. And that is, IMO, a valid point. If the operations in the Pacific proved anything, it was that island garrisons were useless if one did not control the air and the sea.

 How many of the "backwater" operations took place in areas in which Australia had troops or official representatives before the war? Those kind of operations were the equivalent of the U.S. returning to the Philippines -- put very briefly, "we're back."

 I also find it interesting how little discussion is made here of freeing peoples from occupation by Japanese forces. As much as some of those peoples may have had an axe to grind with given Western powers, I have no doubt they preferred the presence of Western troops to those of the Japanese. A sense of duty to the people at least in part informed MacArthur's desire to return to the Philippines. Honestly: if western Europe was deserving of deliverance from Nazism ... were not the peoples of the Pacific, Indonesia, etc. equally deserving? Or was there still too much of our collective psychology hung up on a colonial mentality? IIRC, that message was played for at least propaganda purposes regarding the Chinese and their struggle with the Japanese.

 As for "backwater" operations in general, it bears recalling that all organizations/alliances/undertakings set priorities. The truth is that most of the players in any undertaking work the lesser priorities, but that doesn't make them lesser men for doing so.

Cheers,

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 7:37:55 AM
Riain,

What assignment did they want? I mean don't you think Manila, Bataan and Corregidor and the islands in the Bay was the right of the US to take because of what happened in 42? I mean after that the main jobs were opening the Wawa and Ipo Dams and the drive against Yamashita's Group ob the Villa Verde Trail, Highway #5 and Baguio and both chewed up, digested and spit out US Corps. An example the 32nd Division landed on Luzon with 625 officers and 10,499 enlisted men. On the Villa Verde Trail it suffered 41 officers and 720 enlisted KIA, 117 officers and 2,396 enlisted WIA, 1 officer and 3 enlisted MIA and 153 officers and 4,754 enlisted non battle casualties that required evacuation. The casualties were like that in the 7 Divisions that handled the "non glory" assignments on Luzon and they were pretty similar in 8th Army also plus the troops involved in Manila.

I also quickly browsed through the material I have and I keep seeing a common denominator in that they are all claiming a shortage of artillery ammunition and replacements. The artillery of every kind was on a daily allotment of shells and it did effect operations and there was a major shortage of infantrymen carrying over from the Leyte loss never being completely made good as the 32nd shows above. Fist it was a lot like Europe in that they couldn't bring in enough over the invasion beeches and Manila held out a lot longer than planned but there was also poor and/or disputed routes of supply to the front line troops. I also believe there is a shortage of shipping space available.

EDIT I check and the average allotment of rounds for each division was 1,200 105, 180 155 1nd 1,000 morter rounds of all types for 54 105's, 12 155's and I'd estimate at lrast 100 morters. That really isn't a hell of a lot of rounds per gun per day.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 7:42:52 AM
BWilson,

 As for "backwater" operations in general, it bears recalling that all organizations/alliances/undertakings set priorities. The truth is that most of the players in any undertaking work the lesser priorities, but that doesn't make them lesser men for doing so.

I'd add that yes it was great to bypass and let the garrison starve but if there was a native population they were going to starve first as were any POW's being held military or civilian. With that said were any of the more densely populated areas really a "backwater?"
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 8:56:55 AM

Quote:
I also find it interesting how little discussion is made here of freeing peoples from occupation by Japanese forces. As much as some of those peoples may have had an axe to grind with given Western powers, I have no doubt they preferred the presence of Western troops to those of the Japanese. A sense of duty to the people at least in part informed MacArthur's desire to return to the Philippines. Honestly: if western Europe was deserving of deliverance from Nazism ... were not the peoples of the Pacific, Indonesia, etc. equally deserving? Or was there still too much of our collective psychology hung up on a colonial mentality? IIRC, that message was played for at least propaganda purposes regarding the Chinese and their struggle with the Japanese.


Good points here.

How many of the occupied nations were often the colonial property of a European or American nation?

Of course, those Asian people were worthy of delivery from occupation and oppression by the Japanese as Bill says.

But I wonder whether the allied mindset was different in the Pacific from what it was in Europe.

In Europe, western people were oppressed by another western power and it was considered a noble act to free Europe from the Nazis.

I am raising the race card here but was there more concern in the Pacific with reclaiming colonial property than with saving the Asian peoples from Japanese oppression.

I believe that the US was suspicious of Britain's motives in the Pacific and concerned that Britain wanted to re-establish its empire.


Cheers,

George


Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3897

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 9:29:41 AM
Hi George,

IMHO, I think your reading to much into it, really it's quite simple, The Nazis and Imperial Japan were so oppressive & evil, they simply had to be stopped! Those Allied Countries who fought them basically had no choice! They don't call this "Our Greatest Generation", for nothing! Suggesting any thing else is a dis-service to them!?

Regards,
Dave
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6851
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 9:33:21 AM
The BPF-which Churchill DID NIT want; but was sent out to Australia at the command of the British Chiefs of Stall who threatened to resign if this was not done .It proved a sad appendage to the enormous USN Fleets but was accepted .The Americans and indeed the Australians saw it for what it was --a political ploy-which backfired and the BNPF was came to a sad end--it all ended quite badly

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 10:04:03 AM

Quote:
Hi George,

IMHO, I think your reading to much into it, really it's quite simple, The Nazis and Imperial Japan were so oppressive & evil, they simply had to be stopped! Those Allied Countries who fought them basically had no choice! They don't call this "Our Greatest Generation", for nothing! Suggesting any thing else is a dis-service to them!?

Regards,
Dave
--Michigan Dave


Dave, there was no disrespect to the soldiers who fought this war. But the military of a country exists to protect the interests of that country.

I am suggesting that the motivations to fight the Japanese and the Nazis may have been dissimilar.

And the British who fought in the Pacific were certainly intent on driving the Japanese out of British controlled territory.

The Americans had to reclaim territories that they controlled.

That strikes me as different than the motivation to drive the Nazis out of Europe and other parts of the world.

cheers,

George

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 10:22:23 AM
But the French were the only colonial power that tried to reoccupy strictly as a colony and they didn't fight in the Pacific.

Guam and Wake Island were the only American territories reclaimed. Wake I believe had no natives and Guam not a really significant number. The timeline for self determination had already been set in the Philippines. The British and Dutch set it in their soon after the war.

I think you are grasping at straws.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3897

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 10:29:01 AM
John,

I agree with you on this one, perhaps the UK's leaders had other motivation? But over all it was simply to stop Imperial Japan's terrible aggression!

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 11:13:10 AM

Quote:
But the French were the only colonial power that tried to reoccupy strictly as a colony and they didn't fight in the Pacific.

Guam and Wake Island were the only American territories reclaimed. Wake I believe had no natives and Guam not a really significant number. The timeline for self determination had already been set in the Philippines. The British and Dutch set it in their soon after the war.

I think you are grasping at straws.
--John R. Price


Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore.

Whether the Philippines were on a pathway to independence is irrelevant John. It was still an American protectorate/colony and it had been occupied.

I don't think that a declaration that a country will be permitted to become independent means the colonial ownership is somehow negated.


But that wasn't my point. The European war was not about reclaiming colonial territories. The Pacific war, in part, was.

It would be interesting to hear whether the governments that sent troops to the Pacific were concerned with the freedom of the people in conquered countries as much as they were with reclaiming lost territory.

As well, much has been written about the racial overtones associated with the Pacific war from the allied perspective. Those overtones did not exist in the European war.

The Japanese also introduced race as a factor in the propaganda game. Getting rid of the white, European invaders was given as a reason for fighting the war.



George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 11:25:43 AM

Quote:
John,

I agree with you on this one, perhaps the UK's leaders had other motivation? But over all it was simply to stop Imperial Japan's terrible aggression!

MD
--Michigan Dave


Dave, your statement means that while the UK may have had territory to reclaim, the US was motivated only by the purest of goals, to stop aggression.

Forgive me my friend but that strikes me as a little naive.

Retribution undoubtedly had a lot to do with US motivation. Fair enough.

But tell me, what interest should a country like the US have in the other side of the Pacific ocean in the first place? The area had been determined to be within the US sphere of influence and the US and the UK and France for that matter wanted to make sure that the Japanese did not end their influence in territories important to them.

For the average guy sent to fight, I don't think that he gave a lot of thought to the causes of the war and US foreign policy. The Japanese had attacked US territories in the Pacific. That means war and they did their duty.

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3897

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 11:40:53 AM
George,

Excuse me I didn't start this train of thought, I didn't even want to say the UK had ulterior motives? (just trying to see some obscure reasoning in your statements??), You seem to want to start a debate on some thing that in my opinion is not the primary reason for the Allies fighting either Japan or Germany? Since your argument is your opinion, let me be entitled to mine, Not just the US but all Pacific Allies had noble intentions, US, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Canada, England, & anyone else I seemed to miss?! It's my opinion, now leave me alone & argue with someone else?

Peace,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 1:40:14 PM

Quote:
George,

Excuse me I didn't start this train of thought, I didn't even want to say the UK had ulterior motives? (just trying to see some obscure reasoning in your statements??), You seem to want to start a debate on some thing that in my opinion is not the primary reason for the Allies fighting either Japan or Germany? Since your argument is your opinion, let me be entitled to mine, Not just the US but all Pacific Allies had noble intentions, US, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Canada, England, & anyone else I seemed to miss?! It's my opinion, now leave me alone & argue with someone else?

Peace,
MD
--Michigan Dave


It's a discussion Dave. Sorry that you are upset but I have more cynical attitude toward war and the reasons the governments send their troops.

I believe that the reasons are multiple and not altogether altruistic. Multiple factors influence the decision to fight.

WW2 more than WW1 was a more "justifiable" war and all of us fought to win.

Dave I didn't invent the theory that there were racist overtones to the war in the Pacific. There is a lot of material on that.

My other point was that those countries that fought in the Pacific were working to regain colonial territory. Not so in Europe.

I believe that Hitler was identified as evil but a country like the UK had always preferred to see a healthy balance of power among the European states and clearly the Nazis had upset that balance.

Don't you think that that is part of a history discussion?

I wish that you would explain your anger.

Look I know that you don't like to engage in debate so I'll leave it.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 4:30:21 PM
What reasons would MacArthur have had to reject the Australian proposal?

Did the Australians demand some operational control and he didn't want that?

Did he or the US have concerns about too much post war input from other allied forces once Japan was defeated? Would a heavy Australian presence have given them the right demand greater influence on developments in that area of the world?

Cheers,

George


Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3897

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 6:19:54 PM
George,

When my son was in elementary school, he would get mad, he'd say" I'm mad at chew, but if you take me to toys r us, then, I'll be your friend"!?

a wise lad,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/25/2018 7:44:46 PM

Quote:
George,

When my son was in elementary school, he would get mad, he'd say" I'm mad at chew, but if you take me to toys r us, then, I'll be your friend"!?

a wise lad,
MD
--Michigan Dave


I'd rather go to a pub.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 12:56:16 AM
No the European war was about one Allied participant claiming new colonies or are you forgetting the Iron Curtain and the fact that any country "liberated" by the Soviets had no self determination for the next 40 plus years.

I also think you are wrong. "Reclaiming" to me means the only intention is to reestablish the pre war status quo and that isn't the case for all but the French and as I pointed out they didn't fight in the Pacific. Your examples of Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaya are flawed because you aren't factoring in the Chinese Civil War, Communist victory in China, Soviet expansionism and the start of the Cold War all which didn't exist during the war nor could be expected to happen. How much do the above factor into the decisions to hold each?

You also aren't factoring in the POW's and civilian prisoners taken in the Japanese expansion and the treatment they were receiving.

I'd also be of the opinion that there has been a lot written about the Japanese racial perspective but I don't see you mentioning how they believed themselves superior to all the West and every other Asian as well. How about their occupation and basic enslavement of Korea which was going on for how long? Their actions against civilians in Manchuria and China?

And the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere played well right up until Japanese occupation and the realization that the only prosperity was going to be for the Japanese were bigger racists than the white man and more brutal also.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1392

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 2:31:27 AM

Quote:
Riain,

What assignment did they want? I mean don't you think Manila, Bataan and Corregidor and the islands in the Bay was the right of the US to take because of what happened in 42? I mean after that the main jobs were opening the Wawa and Ipo Dams and the drive against Yamashita's Group ob the Villa Verde Trail, Highway #5 and Baguio and both chewed up, digested and spit out US Corps. An example the 32nd Division landed on Luzon with 625 officers and 10,499 enlisted men. On the Villa Verde Trail it suffered 41 officers and 720 enlisted KIA, 117 officers and 2,396 enlisted WIA, 1 officer and 3 enlisted MIA and 153 officers and 4,754 enlisted non battle casualties that required evacuation. The casualties were like that in the 7 Divisions that handled the "non glory" assignments on Luzon and they were pretty similar in 8th Army also plus the troops involved in Manila.

........................

--John R. Price


I don't know the details, or even if they got that far. All I know is Australia offered a Corps to 6th Army with a level of operational freedom that would come with a national Corps command and Mac rejected that for single divisions under US Corps. I believe quite rightly that if our guys were going to fight and die in the Philippines they should do it under Australian Command as high as possible, which is why Cabinet rejected Macs suggestion, to the detriment to the overall war effort.
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Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 3:03:16 AM
Riain,

So then it was a either or proposition? I mean if the Aussie Corps goes to the Philippines then there is no invasion of Borneo with say US troops?

So what your saying is that there was a disagreement over what level of command was the highest possible? Didn't your government agree in 42 to serve in the Allied structure of command and to serve faithfully under the commanders appointed by the Allied high command no matter what nationality they were? Did you know that a son of Teddy Roosevelt was attached to the Aussie 3rd Division with his Bat and served under its command on New Guinea until WIA in early 44?

How is there not being a Aussie Corps on Luzon a detriment to the overall war effort? I mean the real strategic case for taking the Philippines is as a staging point for the invasion of Japan. Once Manila is taken and Bataan and the Bay clear that mission is accomplished because Yamashita has absolutely no mobility and can't come out of his prepared positions with any hope of success.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


RiaindeVoy
Geelong, Australia
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major


Posts: 1392

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 3:47:29 AM
Borneo has been called a political campaign, but could be more accurately described as a Generals campaign, they wanted to lead an army in the field. I doubt the US would invade Borneo in mid 1945 if Australia didn't do it, it just wasn't important.

It isn't strange for a country want its troops commanded at the highest level; we did it in WW1 with Corps and the AEF was used as a separate national army rather than split up into British Armies, and we had done it throughout WW2. In this case the argument was between Mac wanting US Officers in all the Corps and Army command slots and the Australians wanting its divisions kept together under Australian Corps command. In the end we didn't send our Corps to fight in the Philippines where the big war was being fought, and I can't imagine that was a good thing for the war effort.

---------------
Fact: The phrase "she'll be right mate" increases an Australian's healing process by 40%.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 4534

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 4:03:14 AM
The Coconut Bombers


Quote:
Some men and women involved in the Pacific War have thought that their service was not recognised in New Zealand once the war was over. 'We were branded as coconut bombers as distinct from the men of steel in the desert', one man said.
[Read More]

 Was there a similar divergence of views among Australian veterans postwar -- between those who fought in the desert, those who fought in the Southwest Pacific, and those who served only at home?

Cheers,

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 7:09:48 AM

Quote:
No the European war was about one Allied participant claiming new colonies or are you forgetting the Iron Curtain and the fact that any country "liberated" by the Soviets had no self determination for the next 40 plus years.

I also think you are wrong. "Reclaiming" to me means the only intention is to reestablish the pre war status quo and that isn't the case for all but the French and as I pointed out they didn't fight in the Pacific. Your examples of Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaya are flawed because you aren't factoring in the Chinese Civil War, Communist victory in China, Soviet expansionism and the start of the Cold War all which didn't exist during the war nor could be expected to happen. How much do the above factor into the decisions to hold each?

You also aren't factoring in the POW's and civilian prisoners taken in the Japanese expansion and the treatment they were receiving.

I'd also be of the opinion that there has been a lot written about the Japanese racial perspective but I don't see you mentioning how they believed themselves superior to all the West and every other Asian as well. How about their occupation and basic enslavement of Korea which was going on for how long? Their actions against civilians in Manchuria and China?

And the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere played well right up until Japanese occupation and the realization that the only prosperity was going to be for the Japanese were bigger racists than the white man and more brutal also.
--John R. Price


Actually, I did mention that the Japanese played their own race card John. Check back a couple of posts.

But racism was involved in the desire to defeat, utterly defeat the Japanese. In 1945, Fortune magazine conducted a survey and asked Americans whether they thought that the Japanese people were, "naturally cruel and brutal". 56% of Americans responded yes.

The same question was posed with reference to the Germans and only 39% said yes.

The treatment of Japanese-Americans and Japanese-Canadians in their home countries proves to me that part of the enmity toward the Japanese was racially motivated.

But it is more than that. The war in Europe was about restoring balance among people who were like us, who looked like us. It was about defeating a person that we considered to be a madman. As the war progressed there was great anger about the treatment of occupied nations by the Germans.

You essentially have given a list of all of the bad things that the Japanese did and using that as a justification for the US going to war. But those are after the fact.

I suggest that you are ignoring the fact that all western nations including the US not only had colonial territories but great interest in carving out their piece of China. That includes the Russians and clearly the Japanese.

Japanese hegemony over Asia would certainly put a crimp into economic plans for a lot of nations, don't you think? There were raw resources available in abundance.

I know that you would like to believe that the war was about saving the Chinese and Koreans and others from the Japanese onslaught but there are other reasons for going to war.

Had the Japanese not attacked Pearl Harbor, do you think that the US would have sent troops to China, John?

Cheers,

George



John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 8:36:00 AM
Riain,

Fair enough on Borneo.

Apples to oranges France in WWI and the Philippines in WWII. You are talking 100 divisions with more jobs than you can shake a stuck at and very extended frontage. Did your government try and dictate what part of the line and what assignments the troops were going to get in WWI? Hey maybe if assignment to 8th Army had been acceptable you could have had a Aussie Corps. The point I'm not sure you are getting is that there were very limited options/assignments for a full corps and the truth is IMHO three out of four weren't all that more backwater than Borneo. I mean how much do you know about Wawa or Ippo, the Villa Verde Trail, Highway #5 , Baguio or Mindanao? And all four of them would have required about 20,000 replacements available for a 3 Division Corps to stay combat effective and finish the job assigned.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 8:45:47 AM
No George you made a passing reference to the Japanese using it as propaganda and no Korea, Manchuria and China aren't after the fact of as all happened well before Dec 7, 1941. You forget it was the Chinese Nationalist coming to the US begging for help that sparks the economic sanction and oil embargo plus the recruiting of the Flying Tigers before Dec 7, 1941 not to mention formal aid given. All of the above are major reasons why the Japanese attacked on Dec 7,1941.

And no you don't know what I would like to think or am thinking and I wish to God you would stop trying to claim you do.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 7825

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 9:02:43 AM
John, you make discussion impossible.

If you wanted a full discussion on Japanese racism, then we could have had it.

But US and western racism and feelings of racial superiority aren't negated by the fact that the Japanese were pushing their own brand.

I am glad that you alluded to some events in China that the Japanese interpreted as interference in their claimed sphere of influence and the pressures put upon them in the form of sanctions.

Yes the Japanese decided to attack and politically and militarily it was a monumentally foolish decision.


Quote:
And no you don't know what I would like to think or am thinking and I wish to God you would stop trying to claim you do.
---------------


I really don't know what you are talking about here but this is a pretty standard response from you when someone doesn't buy into what you are selling.

And especially from me. You don't like what I say. I dare to examine US attitudes and behaviours in historical situations and you immediately take that as impugning the character of a nation. Anti-American, without a doubt.

I don't particularly find your interpretation of some events involving the US to be always accurate though your facts may be enlightening.

Operating from an idée fixe point of view and exacerbated by a philosophy of American exceptionalism means that convincing you otherwise on most topics is next to impossible.

I recall that in one conversation that you would not acknowledge the brutal treatment of rebels in the Philippines who wanted the US out. Instead, it was all about a plan for independence, sometime later somehow making the mistreatment of the population more acceptable.

So the US entered WW2 to save the world? Is that all there is to it? No political and economic motivation? No imperative to reestablish US control in what it had deemed its sphere of influence. No desire to restore the comfortable balance that had been dictated in Asia by the western powers?

I suspect that the UK had similar motivations. It's colonial properties were taken too.

BTW, I asked a question earlier. Had the Japanese not attacked on Dec. 7, do you think that the US would have sent troops to China?

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3897

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 10:47:56 AM
Remember; Mac said: "I shall return" so did he mean to retake the Philippines as part of an American Empire??
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 10:53:43 AM
US attitudes and motivation really don't matter because Japanese actions and plans leave no room for the possibility that they had a better vision. I'm also not trying to negate or offset racism by both side just pointing out the accepted norms of the time under discussion. Racism was a fact of life on both sides. You are trying to hold people to a standard that didn't exist. You are also acting like there was a viable third option and there wasn't. It was either Western or US lead influence or Japanese influence and with all due respect US influence was hands down the better choice for the people.

I'm talking about you saying "I know you would like to believe" and other such statements. You don't know what I want to or do believe.

What you won't accept is that its political and economic motivation that shapes policy and what I'm pointing out is that in this case and a few others US policy had the higher moral ground and was a benefit to a significantly larger percentage of the people than the alternative offered. You harp on what to me is the obvious, every country does what it believes is in its own political and economic interest.

If I'm such a asshole that discussion is impossible stop asking me questions


---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant
Posts: 811

Re: MacArthur, Australia, and the Pacific War
Posted on: 2/26/2018 10:59:33 AM
Dave Mac was a Field Marshal and advisor to the President of the Philippines when called back to active duty in the US Army. Basically the first Commander of the Philippine Army which had begun training. The Philippine version of West Point was open and the first class graduated in 1940 I believe. He and his family had been living in Manila for years, sine he retired from the US Army. The Philippines were due to become independent in 46 I believe
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


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