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The Life Of General Douglas Macarthur History Essay

Info: 2408 words (10 pages) Essay
Published: 1st Jan 2015 in History

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Douglas MacArthur was born on 26th January of 1880 in the United States in a place called Little Rock situated in Arkansas. His background was full of military men; Arthur MacArthur who was his father was a widely known general. He was an American general who achieved extensive fame as he carried out his military activities especially in the Pacific during the times of cold war and World War II.

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Douglas MacArthur was educated in a disorganized fashion on the Western frontier stations. This is well known because he states that he was able to shoot and ride way before he could write or read. When he enrolled in school, Douglas became a poor-to-average pupil and he only began to excel in the year 1899 when he entered a military academy that was situated in West Point of New York. His mother was able to watch him with a keen eye in this military academy and therefore he was able to compile an exceptional record. Douglas was convinced and proud of his carrier and destiny of becoming a military leader; he therefore graduated first in their class in the year 1903 with the best scholastic mean at the military academy in nearly 25 years. [1] 

Douglas MacArthur was able to sail for the very first military assignment to the Philippines. Due to his diligence and hard work, MacArthur was promoted in the year 1904 to being first lieutenant. In the same year in the month of October MacArthur was made to be the aide-de-camp to his father situated in Japan. After only a short time after this, MacArthur was able to embark a tour to the Far East which afterwards he termed it as the most significance preparation of his whole life and this is because he was taught a lot about the military dealings.

During the World War I, Douglas was given the responsibility of commanding 42nd Division that is located on the Western Front. During these services, Douglas was decorated for almost 13 times and also he was cited on seven additional occasions for bravery reasons. The consequence of this was that he was promoted to a higher rank of brigadier in August of 1918 and shortly after most probably three months, Douglas became the ever youngest divisional commander in the region of France. [2] 

MacArthur military career

MacArthur returned to the United States and upon return he started his meteoric rise in the ranks of military. This began by being appointed the aide-de-camp to the President who was Theodore Roosevelt in the year 1906. Later in 1913, MacArthur was appointed as a general staff member. During the World War I, MacArthur was the colonel of the so-called “Rainbow Division” and from this he emerged to be a flamboyant and talented military leader and he went back with a broad collection of the military decorations. After this war, MacArthur was able to become the superintendent and a brigadier general of the West Point, where he lived until 1922.

In 1930, Douglas was appointed to be chief of staff in the army of the United States which he held until 1935. This was after another halt in the Philippines. The years of interwar were frustrating enough for all the professional soldiers and therefore Douglas was made to lead a troubled survival. [3] 

Douglas got married to Louise Cromwell Brooks in 1922 although they later divorced in 1929. There was so much social unrest especially in the 1930s and this made him gloomy which also made him to warn an audience in Pittsburgh, Pa in the year 1932. Douglas warned that Pacifism and communism ate much deeper into their body politic. This showed his uneasiness and this may explain Douglas’s savage assault in the year 1932 in the month of June. This is when there was the Great Depression coupled with many ragged veterans and survivors of the World War I who had gathered together in Washington in an attempt to petition the Congress for an early disbursement of the war service bonuses. These men had camped together with their children and wives in a wretched small shantytown; however they were set upon by nearly four troops of cavalry coupled with drawn sabers, tanks, and a column of infantry that were steel-helmeted with unchanging bayonets. All these were led and organized by MacArthur who justified these actions by way of contending that he had averted the communist revolution. [4] 

In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt dispatched Douglas to the Philippines in an attempt to develop a strong defensive strategy for all the islands and through this MacArthur was able to find a more suitable field for his military endeavors. Later in the year 1937, Douglas married Jean Marie Faircloth. He later retired from the United States Army although he still worked for the Philippine government. Sometimes later there was intensifying crisis in Asia and Douglas was recalled to the active duty in July 1945 as a commander and lieutenant general of the United States forces in the Far East. [5] 

The forces of Philippines led by Douglas were defeated badly in December 1941 during the Japanese invasion despite an earlier warning. This reflected the military superiority among the Japanese on one part whereas on the other hand can be owed to the assessment carried out by Douglas which explained that there was unwillingness on Japan’s side to assault the Philippines. The Filipino and American forces were made to turn back to Bataan. Although the situation in Philippines was hopeless, Douglas was very determined to sustain them. This did not work out well because Douglas was made to withdraw to the Australian side in order to take command of the Pacific operations. Douglas reluctantly agreed and together with his child and wife they set out by the PT boat on a very daring escape. Douglas was greatly dismayed by abandonment of men at Bataan and the harsh defeat by the Americans and as a result he vowed that he would still return though he had earlier left. [6] 

The forces of America were organized again where Douglas was appointed as the Supreme Commander of Southwest Pacific Area whereas Admiral Chester Nimitz was made the Commander in Chief of the Pacific fleet of the United States. Together with Admiral Ernest King, commander in Chief of the Navy of the United States, the three had an objective of establishing and protecting lines of communication across South Pacific all the way to Australia. These led to battles of Midway and Coral Sea, and the Japanese Navy lost her four carriers.

Achievement in the Pacific

After the debacle in the Philippines, Douglas started the huge long campaigns of smashing the Japanese military power especially in the Pacific. At the beginning, Douglas was hampered by shortages of supplies and men although the forces led by Douglas later won various substantial victories. The personal responsibility of Douglas for the battles and also the degree of causalities caused by the commands under him were expanded by the knowledgeable news management of his own staff. They were able to win in Philippines and in New Guinea. [7] 

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Douglas was also able to convince President Roosevelt on the significance of an invasion despite various other attempts by other military leaders to circumvent the Philippines in the force on Tokyo. Therefore in October 1944, Douglas was able to wade onto the attack beach at Leyte where he gave his well prepared address into microphones that were waiting for him: “People of Philippines: I have come back….Rally to me.” This was an inspiring moment for Douglas and also millions of Americans which eclipsed into a drama of his great acceptance f the surrender of the Japanese on 2nd September 1945 in the Tokyo Bay. Douglas was awarded the Medal of Honor for the Philippine defense operations and also preparations.

President Harry Truman chose Douglas as the supreme commander of all Allied Powers in Japan immediately after the end of the Second World War. Douglas therefore set out his next six years to rebuild and remold Japanese society. The rule of Douglas was evident to be unpredictably benevolent. This kind of occupation was able to successfully encourage the establishment of religious freedom, land reform, trade unions, democratic institutions, civil liberties, and the emancipation of the women. However, this occupation did not check the monopolistic control of the industry in Japan. [8] 

In the year 1950 in Korea, there was an outbreak of fighting which resulted with the appointment of Douglas as the commander of the forces of United Nations in the month of July. In the beginning years of combat, Douglas engaged himself in anxious holding actions against the forces of North Korea and through this he was able to launch a brilliant retaliation at Inchon. These helped to route the armies of North Korea. Douglas expanded his troops and armies to Yalu River which was the boundary between China and North Korea and through this he was able to inexplicably discount the probability of intervention by the Chinese. [9] 

Douglas further assured his entire troops that they would finish and head home for the Christmas holiday. However, in the month of November, the large Chinese armies were able to send the UN forces lurching in retreat. Douglas was humiliated and angered by this move which led him to call for an extension of the ongoing war to as far as China. As a result, President Truman was forced to relieve Douglas of his command in the month of April of 1951. This was because the President had repeatedly warned Douglas to resist the idea of issuing any inflammatory statements without prior consultation. President Truman wanted to limit the involvement of America in Korea. [10] 

Experienced soldiers never die

After the demotion in Korea, Douglas returned to the United States where he was received with massive and broad public expressions of support for him and great condemnations of President Truman. Douglas in return was able to present his case on 19th April of 1951 to a combined session of Congress where he attracted tremendous television and radio audience. This speech came to a close with a sentimental note which stirred very many Americans. Douglas had concluded that he had closed his military career and that he would fade away. However, Douglas became much more active and involved than he had even predicted. Douglas was able to testify at length before Foreign Relations and Senate Armed Services committees, and thereafter barnstormed the entire country criticizing the administration of Truman. Douglas also assumed the leadership of the Americans who alleged that President Truman and his legal advisers had given away Asia to the hands of communism. George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower were also involved in this operation. [11] 

Douglas in December of 1952 met with Dwight Eisenhower who was the president-elect. Dwight wanted to hear Douglas’s views on bringing to an end to the Korean War. Douglas advocated for a peace conference and on the occasion that it would be unsuccessful, it would be followed by an atomic bombing of the enemy military installations and concentrations in the North Korea and also sowing of the best fields of the appropriate radioactive materials. This referred to bombing of China and the incoming of Chinese Nationalist troops mostly in Manchuria in an attempt to bring down the communist government. However, to Douglas’s disappointment he was not consulted again. [12] 

Drew Pearson who was a radical journalist was vastly critical of Douglas’s actions. The ex-wife of Douglas named Louise Cromwell gave Pearson all the confidential and private information about her ex-husband, Douglas. These matters included contentious issues included the true story that the promotion Douglas had received to become major general had been enabled by political invention of Edward Stotesbury who was her father. Shortly after the publication of this story, Douglas sued Pearson for $1,750,000. Later on Louise Cromwell declined to testify in the court of law and Pearson was in big trouble. However, Pearson was able to use his own contacts to find a young mistress to Douglas who had just been dispatched to return to Philippines. The young mistress handed Pearson a collection of various love letters which he was able to use in persuading Douglas to drop his libel action. [13] 

In August of 1952, Douglas was well aware of his fading political appeal; he accepted to be the chairman of the board of Remington Rand Corporation and took it up as a job. Shortly after he was affected much by an illness retreated back to a life of comparative obscurity.

Douglas was known as a soldier to the very end of his life when he died on 5th April 1964 in the Walter Reed Hospital of the army. Later his wife, Jean, passed away at the age of 101 years on 22nd January 2000.


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