After reading many history books, I've personally concluded that MacArthur was to blame for a number of things. Among them, the destruction of the Far East Air force on the ground. And the lack of supplies in Bataan.
Having said that, even if the FEAF wasn't destroyed and even if there were ample supplies in Bataan. It would only have prolonged the campaign possibly by a month or two. The fact is that the US needed 3+ years to fight its way back to the Philippines, and Bataan and Corregidor wouldn't have lasted that long.
MacArthur fought to come back even if he didn't have to. The US could have hit Formosa instead and got closer to Japan even more for a fraction of the cost of recapturing the Philippines.
I've long thought of who was to blame... of whose guilt is biggest. Well it should be the US Government, for not having the means to protect its commonwealth and abandoning it to the enemy.
For that matter, the guilt and blame really should be on the Japanese for attacking and conquering other countries to begin with. For being inhumane. If only they treated conquered people and armies humanely, then the guilt would be less for everybody.
That being said, I'm sure MacArthur lived the rest of his life with guilt at the back of his mind anyway. But yeah... he died of old age.
Incidentally, this thread has photos of him in old age, visiting the Philippines in the 60's.
Post by legionnaire on Oct 27, 2006 1:24:29 GMT -5
I always believe that the Captain goes down with the ship.
But on the ORDERS of Pres. Roosevelt C in C that MacArthur had to leave Corregidor. He was prevented from "going down with the ship" or be captured and paraded by the Japanese. Remenber he was ready to stay and possible die until the insistence and DIRECT orders from Roosevelt. This were documented facts.
And it was ONLY MacArthur who insisted and argued against better military strategy that the liberation of the Phillipines be his priority and kept his word to the Filipino people.
He's very charistmatic, I give him that. But in the beginning of the war he made a lot of mistakes almost as blatant as the commanders in Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was attacked. I can get past mistakes because nobody's perfect but the one thing that I thought was unforgiveable was that he only visited the troops once in the entire campaign (before the attacks began in earnest).
Wainwright would risk life and limb to visit the troops and boost morale because in his word he couldn't give them more food. He couldn't give them more ammunition, but he could give them a boost in morale.
TBH, I've never really understood the fixation with the "I shall return" stuff. To those utterly mesmerized with Mother America, the promise held a powerful pull. But to be accurate and honest, by the time The American Caesar came back to the Philippines, most of the work of routing and putting the Japanese on the defensive was already a fait accompli, thanks in most part to homegrown guerillas; whether under the sway of the Moscow-leaning Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas-Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon (PKP-HMB), USAFFE-personnel-led guerilla units and other independent guerilla/partisan groups.
He was a rallying point for certain quarters, to be sure; but this image must not be allowed to drown out the indigenous, independent, self-reliant units that worked long and hard to rid us of the Japanese. No, not to "prepare for the return of the Americans," but to independently fight for a free Philippines.