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We Shall Return!

We Shall Return!: MacArthur's Commanders and the Defeat of Japan, 1942-1945

Copyright Date: 1988
Edition: 1
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    We Shall Return!
    Book Description:

    They were the forgotten commanders of World War II. While the names of Bradley and Patton became household words for Americans, few could identify Krueger or Eichelberger. They served under General Douglas MacArthur, a military genius with an enormous ego who dominated publicity from the Southwest Pacific during the American advance from Australia, through New Guinea, to the Philippines. While people at home read about the great victories that were won by "MacArthur's navy" and "MacArthur's air force," his subordinates labored in obscurity, fearful lest attention from the press lead to their replacement.

    Historians too have paid little attention to the men who fought so well in the far reaches of the Pacific, and not a single biography has appeared in the decades since V-J Day. Yet General Blamey played a key role in the early battles of New Guinea. Generals Krueger and Eichelberger led American armies to major victories over the Japanese. General Kenney was one of the foremost air strategists of the war, while few airmen could match General Whitehead's tactical brilliance. Admiral Kinkaid took a crucial part in one of the greatest naval engagements in history. Admiral Barbey was an acknowledged master of amphibious warfare.

    We Shall Return!addresses a serious shortcoming in the literature of World War II. Revealed for the first time is the full extent of the contributions made by MacArthur's commanders to the defeat of the Japanese. As the authors of these essays so ably demonstrate, many of MacArthur's bold decisions and innovative tactics were urged upon him by his subordinates. Clearly, these men deserve more credit for his successes than they have received.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-4925-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Maps
    (pp. vi-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  7. Douglas MacArthur and the War against Japan
    (pp. 1-22)

    More than any other American commander in World War II, Douglas MacArthur symbolized this country’s fears, hopes, and expectations about the war. In the early, dark days of that conflict, he was the lonely hero in a desperate fight, boldly and firmly withstanding the onslaught of an evil foe. In his dramatic escape from siege to sanctuary, he epitomized the faith that victory lay even within defeat and that Japan’s initial conquests were neither decisive nor permanent. In his pledge to return to the Philippines, he proclaimed the moral basis of America’s cause and, in his forceful advance north from...

  8. Blamey and MacArthur: The Problem of Coalition Warfare
    (pp. 23-59)

    Of General Douglas MacArthur’s subordinate commanders during his campaigns in the Southwest Pacific, none faced as wide a range of problems and challenges as the commander of Allied land forces, General Sir Thomas Albert Blamey. Equally, none of MacArthur’s subordinates presented him with as tough an opponent as the controversial Australian general, his only foreign senior subordinate. MacArthur and Blamey were a formidable pair, and an examination of their adversarial relationship throws valuable light upon MacArthur’s methods of command, on Australian strategic policy making, and on the problems of coalition warfare.

    Blamey was burdened with three major tasks during the...

  9. Walter Krueger: MacArthur’s Fighting General
    (pp. 60-87)

    Had it not been for a family tragedy, Walter Krueger might well have become a seniorWehrmachtcommander during World War II. He was born in 1881 on the large crown estate of Flatow, West Prussia (Zlotow, Poland, after World War II), which had been leased by his father, a former officer in the Prussian army who had fought in the Franco-Prussian War. The father, Julius O.H. Krüger, died in 1885. Four years later, his mother brought Walter and two younger children to the United States to live with her maternal uncle, Edward Nixdorff, a prominent brewer in St. Louis,...

  10. George C. Kenney: MacArthur’s Premier Airman
    (pp. 88-114)

    The U.S. Army Air Forces produced a number of great operational air commanders in World War II. Although such leaders as Spaatz, Eaker, LeMay, and Doolittle richly deserve the acclaim that they have received, some historians and airmen would rank George Churchill Kenney first among equals for his ability to overcome severe organizational, logistical, personnel, technical, and strategical difficulties.

    In the Southwest Pacific area during World War II, as commander of the Allied air forces and the Fifth Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Forces, General Kenney became the complete airman. He inherited a terrible situation, and he moved...

  11. Thomas C. Kinkaid: MacArthur’s Master of Naval Warfare
    (pp. 115-154)

    On October 26, 1943, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox announced that Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid would replace Vice Admiral Arthur S. Carpender as commander, Seventh Fleet (“MacArthur’s Navy”).¹ To those who read the war news closely, Kinkaid was not a total stranger. Though he was rarely mentioned throughout 1942, he had earned six battle stars on his Asiatic-Pacific campaign ribbon as a cruiser group commander in such engagements as the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway and as theEnterprisetask force commander in three major engagements in the Guadalcanal area. Detached from his...

  12. Robert L. Eichelberger: MacArthur’s Fireman
    (pp. 155-177)

    Robert Lawrence Eichelberger was born on March 9, 1886, in Urbana, Ohio, the youngest of five children. His father was a prominent lawyer who had served with the Union army in the Civil War; his mother, who came originally from Port Gibson, Mississippi, had witnessed the ravages of the Vicksburg campaign as a young girl. His own boyhood was spent on a farm near Urbana that his father had purchased “more as a place in which to raise his family than to provide a livelihood.” Here he led an active life with his three brothers, sharing the farm chores, riding...

  13. Ennis C. Whitehead: Aerial Tactician
    (pp. 178-207)

    In any large war such as World War II, there are always a few brilliant and dedicated commanders who through dislike of publicity or oversight—deliberate or unintended—on the part of superiors fail to receive the plaudits of the public or the recognition merited by their performance. The Southwest Pacific theater seemed to have more than its share of such individuals, and foremost among them was Lieutenant General Ennis Clement Whitehead, U.S. Air Force serial number nine. Few air commanders accomplished as much with as little as did Whitehead. Yet his successes remain obscure and his name largely forgotten....

  14. Daniel E. Barbey: Amphibious Warfare Expert
    (pp. 208-243)

    Amphibious operations played a central role in the defeat of Japan in the Southwest Pacific, and Daniel E. Barbey was the man who made them work. Born in Portland, Oregon, on December 23, 1889, he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1912, then rotated from sea to shore billets of ever-increasing responsibilities. Photographs of special landing craft, with hinged bow ramps, that the Japanese had used during an assault on Tientsin, China, in 1937, sparked Barbey’s interest in amphibious warfare. In 1940 he updated the navy’s almost useless landing manual of 1918 and produced the modern amphibious bible in...

  15. NOTES
    (pp. 244-273)
  16. MAPS
    (pp. 274-281)
    (pp. 282-291)
    (pp. 292-294)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 295-305)