Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
Delta Tank
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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Delta Tank » 06 Apr 2021 12:01

Brian Ross,

Brian Ross wrote:
However this still fails to detract from the point that Macarthur was not overly popular, nor was he as quite as brilliant as he himself believed or his personal PR machine made him out to be. While he was the ranking US Army officer and by rights, should have returned to Washington, once brought back into the US Army from retirement in IIRC 1940, to become the Chief of the US Army Staff, he was deliberately kept both by his own ambitions and by Marshall's wishes, at arms length and foisted upon the Australians

The Chief of Staff of the US Army is selected by the President of the United States, it is NOT based on seniority. General Marshall was selected over several more senior officers, General Hugh Drum being one.

Mike

rcocean
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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by rcocean » 07 Apr 2021 00:53


The Chief of Staff of the US Army is selected by the President of the United States, it is NOT based on seniority. General Marshall was selected over several more senior officers, General Hugh Drum being one.

Mike
Poor Hugh Drum. He's been almost forgotten. But he was only one year older then Marshall and was Marshall's boss in France. By the early 30s he was a major General while Marshall was still a Colonel. The Deputy Chief of Staff under MacArthur, he was runner up to Craig in 1935, and then passed over again in 1939. After Pearl Harbor Stimson waned him to be the Commander of what became CBI, but somehow Marshall and Drum didn't get along and that was the end of Drum. Its one of the big "What-if's" of the American Officer Corps in WW 2. With Drum in China, Stillwell - as a Marshall favorite - would've been slated to command a Corps in North Africa or perhaps 5th Army in Italy. The impact on Bradley, Patton, and Clark's career could have been enormous.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by daveshoup2MD » 07 Apr 2021 02:32

rcocean wrote:
07 Apr 2021 00:53

The Chief of Staff of the US Army is selected by the President of the United States, it is NOT based on seniority. General Marshall was selected over several more senior officers, General Hugh Drum being one.

Mike
Poor Hugh Drum. He's been almost forgotten. But he was only one year older then Marshall and was Marshall's boss in France. By the early 30s he was a major General while Marshall was still a Colonel. The Deputy Chief of Staff under MacArthur, he was runner up to Craig in 1935, and then passed over again in 1939. After Pearl Harbor Stimson waned him to be the Commander of what became CBI, but somehow Marshall and Drum didn't get along and that was the end of Drum. Its one of the big "What-if's" of the American Officer Corps in WW 2. With Drum in China, Stillwell - as a Marshall favorite - would've been slated to command a Corps in North Africa or perhaps 5th Army in Italy. The impact on Bradley, Patton, and Clark's career could have been enormous.
My recollection is Drum was offered the post early in 1942 (at the time, he commanded the 1st Army and Eastern Defense Command) by Marshall and he equivocated long enough that Marshall lost confidence in him and chose Stilwell instead; Drum retired in (I think) 1943 and was given a NY state commission and commanded the state forces raised in the absence of the NY NG, since they had been federalized.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Delta Tank » 07 Apr 2021 03:37

Brian Ross,

Brian Ross wrote:
Australian opinion was important when America needed Australia - first to provide fighting troops and a base then later, for something to keep Macarthur out of the US, so that he couldn't screw up the US Army (remember, he was the senior ranking US Army General).
So, how was MacArthur going to screw up the US Army?

Mike

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Delta Tank » 07 Apr 2021 03:53

JamesNo1,

JamesNo1 wrote: “His appalling mismanagement of the defence of the Philippines must have been apparent even to a man with MacArthur’s vanity.”

MacArthur’s appalling mismanagement? Please define.

Mike

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by hoot72 » 08 Apr 2021 01:48

One of the less discussed topics I feel is the distrust and "politics" behind the scenes between senior leaderships of the allies in the Pacific, in particular the British and the Australians who at times, simply did not get along on some issues and were going over each other to get approvals or appointments done or decisions made. I find this happening a fair bit in 1944 and 1945, in particular when it comes to air missions against Japanese targets by RAAF pilots. There is from my recollection, even a mutiny by RAAF pilots on Morotai, as an example, as they are operating less and/or are being assigned non crucial missions that may cost lives. And they protest and mutiny.
Whever we went, whatever we did, we quoted the songs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgUhjWJVVCQ&t=199s

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by daveshoup2MD » 08 Apr 2021 05:02

hoot72 wrote:
08 Apr 2021 01:48
One of the less discussed topics I feel is the distrust and "politics" behind the scenes between senior leaderships of the allies in the Pacific, in particular the British and the Australians who at times, simply did not get along on some issues and were going over each other to get approvals or appointments done or decisions made. I find this happening a fair bit in 1944 and 1945, in particular when it comes to air missions against Japanese targets by RAAF pilots. There is from my recollection, even a mutiny by RAAF pilots on Morotai, as an example, as they are operating less and/or are being assigned non crucial missions that may cost lives. And they protest and mutiny.
After the end in Singapore early in 1942 and before the BPF basing decision was made late in 1944, there wasn't much for the British and Australians to "get along" about, however; other than the three squadrons of RAF Spitfires that deployed to Australia, there were a lot more Australian air and naval units of various types deployed under British command in the Indian Ocean, MTO, and Atlantic then the other way around, even after the 9th Division went back to Australia early in 1943.

The only allied operations of significance to Australia for most of 1942-44 were those of the US, and given that US troops, air, and sea power were what defeated the Japanese, that's pretty much to be expected.

The Australian-led operations against the various Japanese enclaves left as the Allied offensive moved north, west, and north, eventually to the Philippines, were, for the most part, the Australians' decision to pursue (or not); whether the RAAF - or any other Australian forces - were used or not used in the rear areas of the SWPA, or against the Japanese-occupied NEI, was up to the Australians. The RAAF squadrons on Morotai were under Australian command, and the mutiny (less than a dozen officers threatened to resign) was, frankly, probably symptomatic of the RAAF's rather fractured leadership and internal disputes over its roles and missions; the Jones-Bostock dispute is another example, as were the various leadership fights that led to the Williams/Ellington/Goble/Burnett saga...

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by rcocean » 10 Apr 2021 00:30

Bringing back MacArthur as C-o-S would've meant getting rid of Marshall, appointed in Sept 1939, which makes no sense at all. Further, MacArthur would've had no reason to return as C-o-S in 1940, since we didn't get into the war until Dec 7th 1941. Interestingly enough, FDR was thinking in Jan 1944, per Stimson diaries, of bringing back MacArthur as Chief of Staff, and sending Marshall to Europe. George Marshall would have equal rank and be in charge of ETO, MTO, and Middle east, and have a direct line to Stimson and FDR. Big Mac would handle everything else.

This would've resulted in the destruction of any Republican attempts to run Macarthur for VP or POTUS in 1944, and allowed Marshall to go to Europe and command D-Day. MacArthur was liked by Congress and FDR was used to working with him. However, Stimson was totally against it. And FDR dropped the idea. Which may have been serious, or just a trial balloon.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by daveshoup2MD » 10 Apr 2021 05:50

rcocean wrote:
10 Apr 2021 00:30
Bringing back MacArthur as C-o-S would've meant getting rid of Marshall, appointed in Sept 1939, which makes no sense at all. Further, MacArthur would've had no reason to return as C-o-S in 1940, since we didn't get into the war until Dec 7th 1941. Interestingly enough, FDR was thinking in Jan 1944, per Stimson diaries, of bringing back MacArthur as Chief of Staff, and sending Marshall to Europe. George Marshall would have equal rank and be in charge of ETO, MTO, and Middle east, and have a direct line to Stimson and FDR. Big Mac would handle everything else.

This would've resulted in the destruction of any Republican attempts to run Macarthur for VP or POTUS in 1944, and allowed Marshall to go to Europe and command D-Day. MacArthur was liked by Congress and FDR was used to working with him. However, Stimson was totally against it. And FDR dropped the idea. Which may have been serious, or just a trial balloon.
Not that Marshall should have been replaced, but Malin Craig, although five years older than GCM and Mac, was a lot more "current," having been chief of staff in 1935-39. MacArthur had been overseas for almost a decade by 1944.

Other possibilities could have been McNarney or McNair, presumably.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Delta Tank » 10 Apr 2021 10:58

daveshoup2MD wrote:
10 Apr 2021 05:50
rcocean wrote:
10 Apr 2021 00:30
Bringing back MacArthur as C-o-S would've meant getting rid of Marshall, appointed in Sept 1939, which makes no sense at all. Further, MacArthur would've had no reason to return as C-o-S in 1940, since we didn't get into the war until Dec 7th 1941. Interestingly enough, FDR was thinking in Jan 1944, per Stimson diaries, of bringing back MacArthur as Chief of Staff, and sending Marshall to Europe. George Marshall would have equal rank and be in charge of ETO, MTO, and Middle east, and have a direct line to Stimson and FDR. Big Mac would handle everything else.

This would've resulted in the destruction of any Republican attempts to run Macarthur for VP or POTUS in 1944, and allowed Marshall to go to Europe and command D-Day. MacArthur was liked by Congress and FDR was used to working with him. However, Stimson was totally against it. And FDR dropped the idea. Which may have been serious, or just a trial balloon.
Not that Marshall should have been replaced, but Malin Craig, although five years older than GCM and Mac, was a lot more "current," having been chief of staff in 1935-39. MacArthur had been overseas for almost a decade by 1944.

Other possibilities could have been McNarney or McNair, presumably.
I thought the plan was for Eisenhower to become Chief of Staff and George C. Marshall to go over to command the invasion of France.

Mike

rcocean
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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by rcocean » 10 Apr 2021 15:18


I thought the plan was for Eisenhower to become Chief of Staff and George C. Marshall to go over to command the invasion of France.
Mike
Interestingly enough, Stimson recorded this conversation in early Jan 1944, when Ike was back in the USA on a mandated Vacation. It could be that FDR had second thoughts about keeping Marshall from the commanding D-Day. It should be noted that everyone thought that Marshall was sacrificing fame and glory by not commanding D-Day. FDR knew, like everyone else, that Pershing became famous and the Chief-of-staff Peyton March more or less had faded into obscurity. So, its natural that FDR would have 2nd thoughts.

As for Ike replacing Marshall, I've never seen any comments from FDR or anyone else that this switch was set in stone. Nobody in Congress knew Ike, and he'd been an obscure Brigadier General on 12-7-41. Admiral King had clashed with Ike early in 1942, and Eisenhower wrote that some very nasty things about King in his diary. I'm not too sure that King would've relished Ike replacing Marshall. Churchill and the Brits certainly would've approved since Ike was a known quantity. The acting C-o-S would've been a more obvious point. Its funny I can't even remember the guy's name -McNary? - evidently he never impressed anyone, since I've seen almost zero writing about him, despite his having an incredibly important job..

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by daveshoup2MD » 10 Apr 2021 16:22

Delta Tank wrote:
10 Apr 2021 10:58
daveshoup2MD wrote:
10 Apr 2021 05:50
rcocean wrote:
10 Apr 2021 00:30
Bringing back MacArthur as C-o-S would've meant getting rid of Marshall, appointed in Sept 1939, which makes no sense at all. Further, MacArthur would've had no reason to return as C-o-S in 1940, since we didn't get into the war until Dec 7th 1941. Interestingly enough, FDR was thinking in Jan 1944, per Stimson diaries, of bringing back MacArthur as Chief of Staff, and sending Marshall to Europe. George Marshall would have equal rank and be in charge of ETO, MTO, and Middle east, and have a direct line to Stimson and FDR. Big Mac would handle everything else.

This would've resulted in the destruction of any Republican attempts to run Macarthur for VP or POTUS in 1944, and allowed Marshall to go to Europe and command D-Day. MacArthur was liked by Congress and FDR was used to working with him. However, Stimson was totally against it. And FDR dropped the idea. Which may have been serious, or just a trial balloon.
Not that Marshall should have been replaced, but Malin Craig, although five years older than GCM and Mac, was a lot more "current," having been chief of staff in 1935-39. MacArthur had been overseas for almost a decade by 1944.

Other possibilities could have been McNarney or McNair, presumably.
I thought the plan was for Eisenhower to become Chief of Staff and George C. Marshall to go over to command the invasion of France.

Mike
That was one option, but as pointed out below, it has positives and negatives. One of the largest, of course, is that Eisenhower was Marshall's subordinate, and swapping posts would have reversed that, which is generally a fairly challenging situation for any organization.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by daveshoup2MD » 10 Apr 2021 16:26

rcocean wrote:
10 Apr 2021 15:18

I thought the plan was for Eisenhower to become Chief of Staff and George C. Marshall to go over to command the invasion of France.
Mike
Interestingly enough, Stimson recorded this conversation in early Jan 1944, when Ike was back in the USA on a mandated Vacation. It could be that FDR had second thoughts about keeping Marshall from the commanding D-Day. It should be noted that everyone thought that Marshall was sacrificing fame and glory by not commanding D-Day. FDR knew, like everyone else, that Pershing became famous and the Chief-of-staff Peyton March more or less had faded into obscurity. So, its natural that FDR would have 2nd thoughts.

As for Ike replacing Marshall, I've never seen any comments from FDR or anyone else that this switch was set in stone. Nobody in Congress knew Ike, and he'd been an obscure Brigadier General on 12-7-41. Admiral King had clashed with Ike early in 1942, and Eisenhower wrote that some very nasty things about King in his diary. I'm not too sure that King would've relished Ike replacing Marshall. Churchill and the Brits certainly would've approved since Ike was a known quantity. The acting C-o-S would've been a more obvious point. Its funny I can't even remember the guy's name -McNary? - evidently he never impressed anyone, since I've seen almost zero writing about him, despite his having an incredibly important job..
If you mean Joseph McNarney, he is and was not obscure; he was an airman who rose to deputy chief of staff of the Army in March, 1942, and served as such until October, 1944, when he went to Europe and served as deputy SACMED and CG, US Army MTO to the end of the war.

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Apr 2021 22:19

rcocean wrote:
10 Apr 2021 15:18

I thought the plan was for Eisenhower to become Chief of Staff and George C. Marshall to go over to command the invasion of France.
Mike
Interestingly enough, Stimson recorded this conversation in early Jan 1944, when Ike was back in the USA on a mandated Vacation. It could be that FDR had second thoughts about keeping Marshall from the commanding D-Day. It should be noted that everyone thought that Marshall was sacrificing fame and glory by not commanding D-Day. FDR knew, like everyone else, that Pershing became famous and the Chief-of-staff Peyton March more or less had faded into obscurity. So, its natural that FDR would have 2nd thoughts.

As for Ike replacing Marshall, I've never seen any comments from FDR or anyone else that this switch was set in stone. Nobody in Congress knew Ike, and he'd been an obscure Brigadier General on 12-7-41. Admiral King had clashed with Ike early in 1942, and Eisenhower wrote that some very nasty things about King in his diary. I'm not too sure that King would've relished Ike replacing Marshall. Churchill and the Brits certainly would've approved since Ike was a known quantity. The acting C-o-S would've been a more obvious point. Its funny I can't even remember the guy's name -McNary? - evidently he never impressed anyone, since I've seen almost zero writing about him, despite his having an incredibly important job..
I always read the conversation was “everybody remembers Grant but nobody remembers General Halleck.”

And apparently FDR stated something along the lines that “He would not be able to sleep with General Marshall out of Washington DC.”

I read these lines in books, so they may or may not be true! Just because it is in a book doesn’t make it so!!!!

Mike

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Re: Australia's involvment in the Pacific War

Post by rcocean » 12 Apr 2021 15:21

I think it would be fair to say that if wasn't for Marshall becoming Sec of State and giving Europe the "Marshall Plan", he probably would be far less known to the general public. Had he commanded D-Day, I can see Marshall running for POTUS in 48 or at least being asked to by Truman. Instead Ike got the big prize. If you look at the biographies, there weren't many about Marshall till the mid 80s other than Pogue's dry semi-official one.

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