MacArthur in Asia

MacArthur in Asia: The General and His Staff in the Philippines, Japan, and Korea

Hiroshi Masuda
Translated from the Japanese by Reiko Yamamoto
Copyright Date: 2012
Edition: 1
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 304
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.cttn34t1
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    MacArthur in Asia
    Book Description:

    General Douglas MacArthur's storied career is inextricably linked to Asia. His father, Arthur, served as Military Governor of the Philippines while Douglas was a student at West Point, and the younger MacArthur would serve several tours of duty in that country over the next four decades, becoming friends with several influential Filipinos, including the country's future president, Emanuel L. Quezon. In 1935, he became Quezon's military advisor, a post he held after retiring from the U.S. Army and at the time of Japan's invasion of 1941. As Supreme Commander for the Southwest Pacific, MacArthur led American forces throughout the Pacific War. He officially accepted Japan's surrender in 1945 and would later oversee the Allied occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. He then led the UN Command in the Korean War from 1950 to 1951, until he was dismissed from his post by President Truman.

    In MacArthur in Asia, the distinguished Japanese historian Hiroshi Masuda offers a new perspective on the American icon, focusing on his experiences in the Philippines, Japan, and Korea and highlighting the importance of the general's staff-the famous "Bataan Boys" who served alongside MacArthur throughout the Asian arc of his career-to both MacArthur's and the region's history. First published to wide acclaim in Japanese in 2009 and translated into English for the first time, this book uses a wide range of sources-American and Japanese, official records and oral histories-to present a complex view of MacArthur, one that illuminates his military decisions during the Pacific campaign and his administration of the Japanese Occupation.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-6619-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-xiii)
  4. 1 ENCOUNTER WITH THE PHILIPPINES
    (pp. 1-8)

    Douglas MacArthur’s encounter with the Philippines had complex origins. The first point of contact was through his father, Arthur MacArthur Jr., who attained the rank of lieutenant general in his military career. In June 1899, when Douglas MacArthur was admitted to the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, at the age of nineteen, his father, the military governor of the Philippines, was engaged in the occupation of Manila and the suppression of rebellions following the Spanish-American War. Douglas was captivated by a place in distant Asia where his much-respected father was serving. However, by June 1903, when Douglas graduated from West...

  5. 2 ORIGINS OF THE BATAAN BOYS
    (pp. 9-26)

    This chapter moves from MacArthur to the Bataan Boys, the group of fifteen army officers who served under MacArthur, and who escaped from Corregidor Island and the southern part of the Bataan Peninsula on the night of March 11, 1942.

    The Bataan Boys can be divided into two groups according to rank, position, and the process of appointment. The first, upper-level group consisted of eight men: Major General Richard K. Sutherland, Brigadier General Richard J. Marshall, Brigadier General Hugh J. Casey, Brigadier General Spencer B. Akin, Brigadier General William F. Marquat, Brigadier General Harold H. George, Colonel Charles P. Stivers,...

  6. 3 FROM THE APPROACH OF WAR TO THE EVACUATION FROM MANILA, OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 1941
    (pp. 27-50)

    At 7:49 a.m. Hawaii time on December 7, 1941, Japan’s military attack on the U.S. naval fleet at Pearl Harbor prompted the outbreak of war between the United States and Japan. What kind of plan was being worked out in Washington and Manila for the defense of the Philippines in the weeks before the attack?

    On October 8, two months before the outbreak of war, Leonard T. Gerow, chief of the War Plans Division (WPD) of the War Department, wrote a memorandum entitled “Strategic Concept of the Philippine Islands,” and submitted it to Secretary of War Henry Stimson.¹ The outline...

  7. 4 THE FALL OF MANILA AND THE FIRST OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE BATTLES, EARLY JANUARY TO EARLY FEBRUARY 1942
    (pp. 51-72)

    Formed in the shape of a salamander, Corregidor Island occupies an area of about 7.8 square kilometers (4.86 square miles), about one-twelfth the size of Manhattan. The distance from the head-shaped section in the east to what might be seen as the salamander’s tail in the west is about 6.3 kilometers (3.93 miles), while at its longest point it is just 2.1 kilometers (1.3 miles) from north to south. Geologically, the island is composed mainly of volcanic rock. It is located some 41.6 kilometers (26 miles) from the west coast of Manila City and 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) from the...

  8. 5 PLANNING THE ESCAPE FROM CORREGIDOR, EARLY FEBRUARY TO LATE FEBRUARY 1942
    (pp. 73-92)

    Manuel L. Quezon, president of the Philippines, originally declined MacArthur’s request that he withdraw from the capital. Caught off guard by MacArthur’s message, he protested: “My own first duty is to take care of the civilian population and to maintain public order while you are fighting the enemy.”¹ MacArthur’s real intention was to make sure that Quezon was not captured and, thus, to prevent the Japanese from using the head of the Philippine government as a symbol of their glorious triumph. In this sense, Quezon was an important American political hostage who should not be handed over to the Japanese....

  9. 6 THE EVACUATION OF MACARTHUR FROM CORREGIDOR, LATE FEBRUARY TO THE MIDDLE OF MARCH 1942
    (pp. 93-120)

    On January 27, 1942, having obtained the agreement of high-ranking army and navy officers, Secretary of State Cordell Hull suggested to Roosevelt that he should urge MacArthur to evacuate from Corregidor. On February 2, taking advantage of the shift in MacArthur’s view on Quezon’s evacuation, Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall additionally proposed that MacArthur’s wife and son and one “other person” (presumably MacArthur) should be added to the evacuation group. This proposal failed, and on February 4, Leonard T. Gerow, chief of the War Plans Division under Marshall, secretly asked Roosevelt to consider MacArthur’s “movement”¹ to Mindanao or...

  10. 7 THE SECOND BATAAN OPERATION AND THE DEATH MARCH, EARLY FEBRUARY TO EARLY MAY 1942
    (pp. 121-148)

    The first Bataan offensive, which started on January 9, 1942, inflicted heavy casualties on the Japanese 65th Brigade and on February 8, Homma Masaharu, commander of the 14th Army, ordered a cease-fire. The Japanese had clearly underestimated the U.S. and Filipino forces. Following the cease-fire, operational conflicts emerged among the 14th Army Headquarters, the Southern Army, and the Imperial General Headquarters.

    Within the 14th Army Headquarters there were three competing proposals regarding the next move. The first was to make sufficient preparations for resuming the attack on Bataan, at the same time moving to stabilize the security of Luzon and...

  11. 8 FROM AUSTRALIA TO THE PHILIPPINES, MARCH 1942 TO OCTOBER 1944
    (pp. 149-168)

    After arriving in Australia in the middle of March 1942, MacArthur was for a while deeply despondent. The large-scale military force that he believed would be awaiting his arrival in Australia did not exist. He found only one poorly trained U.S. division stationed there, one Australian division, and an air force of some 250 obsolete aircraft; total manpower was no more than twenty-five thousand. The main Australian army had been dispatched to North Africa and the Middle East, leaving no homeland defense force to resist the Japanese. As its sense of crisis intensified with the growing prospect of a Japanese...

  12. 9 FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO JAPAN, OCTOBER 1944 TO AUGUST 1945
    (pp. 169-192)

    MacArthur’s successful landing on Leyte meant that he had returned to the Philippines two years and seven months after his infamous withdrawal from Corregidor in March 1942. After setting up a military base at Tacloban on Leyte’s northeast coast, he moved energetically around battlefields to free the entire Philippines from Japanese control. For MacArthur, retaking the Philippines was, of course, directed at securing a geographically important base for the advance on Japan. At a deeper level, however, it was also designed to wipe out the indignity of having deserted his men when he withdrew from Corregidor. MacArthur aimed to justify...

  13. 10 THE DEMILITARIZATION OF JAPAN, AUGUST 1945 TO DECEMBER 1947
    (pp. 193-208)

    On August 30, 1945, MacArthur landed safely at his final destination and from Atsugi Airfield headed for his accommodation at the Hotel New Grand in Yokohama. Armed Japanese troops stood on guard at regular intervals on both sides of the road, their backs to MacArthur. It had been rumored that some fifty thousand so-called kamikaze pilots stood immediately behind them and that there were at least two million armed Japanese troops within a five or six kilometer (about three or four mile) radius. From this one can imagine the deep concern felt by staff officers and the twelve hundred 8th...

  14. 11 THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF JAPAN, AUGUST 1945 TO APRIL 1950
    (pp. 209-228)

    The policy of public purges was implemented on the basis of Article 6 of the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945: “There must be eliminated for all time the authority and influence of those have deceived and misled the people of Japan into embarking on world conquest.” It created a whirlwind in every aspect of postwar Japanese society.

    Already during the war, the purge issue had been discussed in Washington as a tool for the demilitarization and democratization of Japan. Immediately after the war, U.S. policy document SWNCC 150/4, authorized on September 6, 1945, and communicated to MacArthur, ordered that...

  15. 12 WASHINGTON’S POLICY SHIFT ON JAPAN AND MACARTHUR’S RESISTANCE, JANUARY 1948 TO JUNE 1950
    (pp. 229-248)

    On March 17, 1947, two-and-a-half months after the beginning of the second phase of public purges, which covered the economy, the press, and local administration, MacArthur used a press interview to call for an early peace treaty with Japan. At the time this was viewed as a sudden announcement, without any advance consultation with Washington. For MacArthur, however, it was no more than a restatement of his previous thinking. On February 20, for example, he had sent a message to the War Department, emphasizing that Japan had already achieved a democratic system and that people were enjoying its reality.¹ History,...

  16. 13 THE KOREAN WAR AND THE DISMISSAL OF MACARTHUR, JUNE 1950 TO APRIL 1951
    (pp. 249-274)

    On June 25, 1950, at 04:00 local time, the North Korean People’s Army (later North Korean army) opened an assault along the 38th Parallel (38 degrees north latitude), which served as the boundary between the northern and southern portions of the Korean Peninsula. Shortly thereafter, seven infantry divisions and one brigade of tanks thrust into the south. These actions marked the beginning of the Korean War, which lasted three years and one month. This sudden invasion put the Republic of Korea (later South Korea) into utter turmoil, and its frontline troops completely collapsed. Seoul, the capital, fell in three days....

  17. Conclusion
    (pp. 275-286)

    MacArthur’s military career occupied more than a half century of the eighty-four years of his life. It lasted for fifty-two years, starting in 1899 with his entrance into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and ending in April 1951 with his dismissal from the positions of supreme commander for the Allied Powers, commander of the United Nations Command, commander of U.S. Army Forces in the Far East, and chief of the U.S. Ryukyu Civil Government. MacArthur’s life was a military life, and his history is the history of war from World War I through World War II to the...

  18. Notes
    (pp. 287-306)
  19. Bibliography
    (pp. 307-312)
  20. Index
    (pp. 313-320)