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Saturday, 30 July 2016


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Abraham Lincoln, who had the misfortune of dealing with MacArthur's military antecedent, General George McClellan, was prescient when he famously said,

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

Interesting quote - seems to derive from Francis Bacon's essay On Adversity: Adversity doth best discover virtue while prosperity doth best discover vice. (Quote from memory so may be a little off.) Incidentally, it's poring not pouring!

"Poring" - bugger!


MacArthur should have gone on the retirement list 1936, as was the normal case.

And not half as strange as his father Major General Arthur MacArthur.

May I suggest William Manchester's biography, he gets the good an"d the bad (there isn't much in between) but sees him as man not simply The Hero" or "Bugout Doug."

Not a popular man down here with my father's generation. Particularly with those who stood across a narrow track at Kokoda to stop the Japanese advance on Port Moresby or those at Milne Bay who for the first time in WW2 pushed the Japanese back into the sea from a beach head.

MacArthur had not even bothered to go to New Guinea to see what the place was like and what the logistical problems were but was tucked away in Melbourne 3,200 kilometres south of where the fighting was taking place when he was making his criticisms. When he did go he was driven to the foot of the Owen Stanley Ranges not far from Moresby but went no further.

He was however consistent as he was equally, and unjustly, disparaging of the US troops who were sent to New Guinea. My father was of the opinion they should have left him on Bataan as there were better and less egotistical American Generals on hand.

If Trueman hadn't sacked him in Korea the bastard would have probably started WW3.

Duffers if you are interested in the Kokoda Campaign there is a good book "Mud over Blood" by Carl Johnson which is worth a read. It is the story of the 39th Australian Infantry Battalion who were the first to engage the Japanese on the Kokoda Trail.


From Wikipedia, we have the following Truman quote:

"In a 3 December 1973 article in Time magazine, Truman was quoted as saying in the early 1960s:

I fired him because he wouldn't respect the authority of the President. I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a bitch, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail."

Thanks BH.

It is an opinion which was shared by one Sergeant in the Australian Army Intelligence Corps who was at Milne Bay - and probably every other "Digger" on the ground in PNG.

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