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Korean War Commanders

Discussion in 'Vets and Friends' started by Salty, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Salty

    Salty 20,000 Posts Club
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    Do you think that MacArthur did a good job as Commander during the Korean War?
    Did Truman do the right thing in replacing MacArthur?


    How would the Korean War been any different if Gen Patton had been the Commander
    (had he lived)
     
  2. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    MacArthur thought Truman was ignorant so he showed up at a meeting with Truman in the Pacific out of formal uniform to show his disrespect. Truman had been a captain in WW I. Yes, MacArthur had to go.

    MacArthur saved South Korea at a time when we had mustered out almost the entire army. However, the USA had logistical problems going north as the north did going south. As you know, MacArthur wanted to bomb the Manchurian rail heads among other things while Truman feared both China and Russia would declare war.

    Ridgeway came in and refused to invade the north in light of what had happened before when the Chinese poured into Korea. Ridgeway did not have the supplies to go north again.

    The logistics would have been the same for Patton. There were logistical problems in Europe also during WW II.

    China controls North Korea so Truman should have tried to solve the military problems. The war, however, was very unpopular domestically. The communists could not have won an election in Korea so they started a war.
     
  3. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Active Member
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    Kinda like progressives will when they lose 2020
     
  4. Roy

    Roy <img src=/0710.gif>
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    As much as I dislike Truman and respect MacArthur, it seems that Truman did the right thing by firing MacArthur. General MacArthur seemed determined to go his own way without regard to his superiors in Washington. It would have set a bad precedent, for future commanders, to allow it to continue.
     
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  5. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Had he been alive, Sherman would have pulled it off.
     
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  6. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    MacArthur was a man out of time. In many ways, Mac was the last of America's 19th Century generals. Unlike Ike, he did not play well with Allies. He already showed total disregard for civilian authority with his violent breakup of the Bonus March. While Mac was brilliant with the Inchon landings, he was blind to Stalin's dictum that quantity has a quality all its own. So, the UN Forces got swamped by the flood of low-quality PLA troops.
    Further, Mac seemingly couldn't conceive that with modern communications the time between a UN crossing the Yalu and the Soviet Army taking Berlin and pushing into the Western Zones of Occupation in Germany and Austria was the time it took for a radio message to make its way west to Moscow and beyond.
     
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  7. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    His Inchon invasion plan was pure genius, but then he became very stubborn for some reason by disregarding all the intelligence about the reality of Chinese troops entering the war as our forces were pushing north.

    Absolutely. MacArthur was being insubordinate to the CIC regarding the policy set by him that the war would not be open ended, that there would be no invasion or nuking of Communist China.

    I don't think it would have been much different. Patton probably would have acted like McArthur and would have also been subsequently removed by the President.
     
    #7 Adonia, Sep 9, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  8. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    I have little respect for Truman outside his personal character, which I consider a sterling example for any in public service to emulate.

    Mac understood Asian mindsets. Truman did not.

    Had the authority and power of the US truly backed the forces, as they did in WW2, both Russia and China would have backed down.

    But, the U S was tired of conflict. Then became scared of others in the fifties.

    Frankly, been scared of others ever since.

    We still allow obvious bullies to push us about and have jelly rolls for leaders.

    There is only one result that gets the attention of bullies, total annihilation of their power base.

    Works for God, should be applied by us.

    Therefore, MAC was right, and lost any opportunity to become president.
     
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  9. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    It was a question of logistics. At the Chosen Reservoir, we were stranded and ill-equipped for the bitter cold weather and the Chinese hordes.

    When MacArthur met Truman at Wake Island, he was not dressed properly. You can see it in this video. Militarily, MacArthur was not prepared for the Chinese to cross the Yalu River. Our army from World War II was demobilized and we had to build a new army. The troops in Japan were MPs and had no combat experience.

     
  10. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    I don’t disagree.

    However, the Korean conflict wasn’t just the US versus the Communists.

    It is my view that had Truman and the Congress really wanted to deal with the conflicts, it would have been settled and not something that is still thorny.

    But, the country was war weary, and the demonic forces that do not sleep took great advantage. Still are.
     
  11. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    The war was unpopular. We were unable to supply our troops when they reached the Yalu River. Our troops were initially green. Truman was unpopular. The Dems had been in power for 20 years. Ike actually brokered the truce before he was President. Ridgeway refused to go north once he took command. I think that the Chinese dumped 250,000 men into Korea. A machine gun would get too hot to fire and they would still be charging veterans used to say. We barely got out of Chosen alive and we were not dressed for the subzero weather. Everyone knows the army travels on their stomach.

    Korea is a WW II loser because Japan invaded and assassinated the beautiful Queen Min. Then the Japanese ruled with total brutality until 1945 but Korea became divided awaiting an election. There was a war instead of an election and Korea remains divided.
     
  12. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    Not all of the troops that were rushed in from Japan were MP's. Their real problem from what I have read is that they were living the soft life as occupation troops. They were not actively training hard as an Army must do to keep it's edge, and the fault for this sorry state of affairs lies with the Army leadership then in Japan.

    Thankfully we had the Marines who were quickly assembled and sent over to Korea. The Marines of 1950 contained many WW2 veterans who remained in the service or who were reservists. They added their offensive expertise during the breakout from the Pusan perimeter and of course the Inchon operation.

    As far as other Korean War commanders, General Walton Walker was a good fighter having earned his reputation in WW2 under George S. Patton and Gen. Matthew Ridgeway (the replacement for McArthur) was also considered a very capable leader.
     
  13. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    Good post!

    We not only were fighting the Chinese army but also we were fighting the Russian Air Force. Russia had the atomic bomb in 1949.

    The Japanese assassinated Korean Queen Min in 1895 and the Korean War freed South Korea from the North Korean communist invaders but Korea remains divided and North Korea is a Chinese communist puppet with little hope of freedom from the Chinese. China also destroyed Tibet and would now like to smash Hong Kong.

    Korea should be reunited.
     
  14. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    Yes, I forgot about their involvement in the Korean War.
     
  15. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    I think that Harry Truman was a Southern Baptist. Korea was a loser in World War II. She was divided to satisfy the Chinese taste for brutality. Ike threw in the towel. The public was sick of FDR and Truman. Korea has not been its own nation since 1895, about 125 years of foreign rule in the north. South Korea became free in 1945 and it was written in concrete in 1953. The Chinese tried to bomb Quemoy and Matsu and Ike had to deter them. We helped the Chinese against the Japanese and even built a road through Burma to supply them but the communists are never grateful. Pearl Buck used to say of the Japanese and their atrocities in China that such things were not forgotten but the people that helped them have been forgotten and Pearl Buck was never able to return to China.
     
  16. Adonia

    Adonia Well-Known Member
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    Sometimes the Chinese committed atrocities on their own people. Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek deliberately killed over 100,000 of his own people by ordering the destruction of certain dams, thereby inundating a certain area with floodwaters where these people were living to deny the Japanese forces this same area as an operational base.
     
  17. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    He's a piker compared to Mao.
     
  18. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
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    Mac made mistakes, same as every other military leader, as none have the gift of foresight. When ww2 broke out, Mac was paralyzed by indecision. Had he allowed his Air Force commander, Gen. Brereton, to bomb the Japanese airbase at Formosa, it woulda prevented the subsequent air attack on Clark AFB & other facilities in the Philippines. but Mac showed brilliance with his landings in New Guinea, & in Korea at Inchon. But he was blind to China's warning about invading North Korea too deeply. However, mosta the time he was an excellent commander.

    But, under the US system, he was insubordinate to the POTUS. He didn't hold FDR in much regard, & he thought less of Truman. Now, no POTUS can allow a military leader to boss him; that'd invite anarchy. While Mac was absolutely loyal to the US, another commander, seeing him get away with defying POTUS, might not have been.

    The US was simply not then prepared for war, while Mao & Co. had just defeated the Nationalists in China. Patton wouldn't have done much better, not without the resources.
     
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