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Re: Ben Frank and Ned Almond
At 10:44 PM 4/16/2000 -0400, Ben Frank wrote:
>I would be pleased to read your laying out of what his pluses
>were. I know of none, especially when they have anything to do with
>matters concerning him and the 1st Marine Division in Korea.
Your comments were not limited to his involvement with the 1st Marine
Division. Had they been so, I probably would not have commented, as you
have made your feelings well known.
But a more balanced assessment of Almond has to accept his success as the
arbiter of the Japanese occupation. Without getting off on MacArthur and
HIS operating style, allow me to point out that Almond ran the occupation
of Japan for several years prior to the invasion of South Korea, and seems
to have done so capably and competently. MacArthur called the big shots
and set policy, and Almond administered it, and seems to have done so ably.
And his Pre-World War II career seems capable enough, as well, as does his
The controversial periods in Almond's life are his division command in
Italy in World War II and his Corps command in Korea. Without covering
these -- and you and I disagree strongly on his abilities during these
periods, but let's leave that one out of the equation for now -- he still
deserves credit as a capable military officer before the Second World War,
between the Second World War and Korea, and after Korea.
There are a lot of fine military officers who are not good combat
commanders. This is a given: the US Navy, for instance, had so evaluated
Nimitz prior to December, 1941, and the US Army had similarly evaluated
Walter Krueger, Dwight Eisenhower, and Sandy Patch, all of whom proved
themselves competent combat leaders. But many others were great desk
troops without having the ability to lead troops in combat. Perhaps Almond
belongs in their number.
The truth is that Almond never would have made any rank at all if he were,
as you so charmingly said, "unfit to be a PFC".
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