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Re: MacArthur [Was: Slow period for list]
In a message dated 12/21/02 7:57:16 AM Pacific Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
With all due respect, I was living in that time period, and I assure you it was a liberal Government, in fact, more accurately, almost Socialist.
Truman's administration was about as socialist as the current president's is fascist. In fact the latter is far more close to reality than Truman's so-called socialism. I was living then also. My parents were staunch Democrats, and during the '48 elections, I remember my father, after a few belts of courage, getting out his baseball bat, waiting to use it on any Wallace campaign supporters that might show up. Truman was no socialist, he initiated what was to become the Cold War by establishing the first post-war efforts to control the expansion of Communism. See previous post. BTW Truman got rid of Wallace as a cabinet member, because of the latter's socialist orientation.
Many respondents to message boards today are too much affected by the political terminology in use today, where any one to the left of Strom Thurmond is declared to be a socialist. There is little differentiation between liberals and socialists in today's mind set of the radical right. It was totally different in the 1940's.
>>In addition, Truman had little regard for the Military Brass, having failed entry exams for West Point, <<
With all due respect, HOGWASH. Truman was a proud supporter of the Army and his days as an artillery Captain in WW I, regardless of any feelings that he had towards West Point. I can't recall any history that reports that he held a grudge towards that institution. The reason that he couldn't get into "the Point" was because of his poor eyesight.
Truman was in awe of Bradley and Marshall. He named Marshall as his special representative to China after WW II in an attempt to halt the fighting between the Nationalists and Communists. Marshall was named Sec. Def and Sec State at Truman's request long after M wanted to retire.
He accepted Bradley as the second Chmn of the Joint Chiefs and he asked him to stay on as his military advisor after Bradley left that post.
He hated the pro-Navy (and Marine) perspective of FDR. After moving into the White House, he said that he was going to get rid of the ward room atmosphere that prevailed inside the White House. But that didn't stop him from naming Navy Admirals to various posts including the post of the post war predecessor to the CIA, the Central Intelligence Group (CIG).
>>and considered the Marine Corps reputation a product of their own public relations officers, and no more than the Navy's police force. That's why when the Marine
Brigade landed at Pusan they were under-strength, with
two platoons to a Company, and two companies to a Battalion. They had been cut to the bone. <<
That statement is true on its face value. But, the facts behind the situation had a complex history. The original culprits of the war against the Marines, if truth be told, were the senior officers in the US Army. This started immediately after WW I. See previous post. During the build up for WW II Marshall was quoted as saying that his job was to keep the Marine Corps, small, very small. Eisenhower was quoted as making similar comments. They were not the only ones.
Both the Army and AAF were making plans as early as 1943 to eviscerate the Marines. LtCol Merrill Twining, (later MGen) USMC was visiting his brother, BGen Nathan Twining during that year and he was flabbergasted to learn that the Army officers there were outwardly proclaiming that they weren't going to allow the Marines to command any Corps sized units. Admirals Halsey and Nimitz made short shrift to that, by designating Marine Corps generals to command their amphibious Corps.
Either you didn't read my previous post on the subject or ignored it. If you choose to ignore my post let me recommend Allan Millett's History of the USMC, pp. 436 ff. Victor Krulak's First to Fight, An Inside view of the Marine Corps, is a smaller book but it discusses in detail the fight against the Marine Corps by Sec Def Louis Johnson. And then there are the bio's of Archer Vandegrift, Commandant during the early years of the Truman administration, Merritt Edson, General Gerald Thomas. Edson resigned his commission as an up and coming BGen to fight against the disestablishment of the Marine Corps. And finally there is the Congressional record provides the history of this period within its jurisdiction.
Truman had gotten burned with his comments about the Marines being the police force of the Navy; and his comment about the Marines having the best propaganda machine next to Stalin's. The former observation brought about a great brouhaha from the American public, and various supporters of the Marine Corps in Congress and many organizations that supported the Marines. This resulted in an apology to the Marines in the form of an address to the Marine Corps League. While he had accepted the existence of the Marines, its position within the Military hierarchy was still being fought by him. His henchman, Louis Johnson was getting too good at his assignment and if the Korean War hadn't broken out, he would have reduced it to an ineffectual military organization. As it was, Johnson was sacked shortly after the outbreak of the war and the Marine Corps under the guidance of the then Commandant, Cates, finagled its way into the war, by going directly to MacArthur, and offering its service to him.
Cates ordered Lemuel Shepherd, CG FMFPAC, to go to Tokyo and offer him a division and attached air wing. MacArthur immediately agreed and asked the JCS to order this. The JCS still in their dithering mode about the Marine Corps' position in the military services waited for a couple of weeks before the order was issued. The saving grace providing this was by retrieving Marines in assignments all over the world, taking units from 2nd MarDiv and skeletonizing the remaining forces at Camp Pendleton. And the greatest force that they were able to call on were the Marine Reserves. Still, they had a division of only two regiments. A plan was made to scavenge more troops from both Marine divisions and using a battalion afloat in the Med to integrate it into the newly revived 7th Marines. While not being available for the landings on Sept. 15th they shortly joined 1st MarDiv and the rest is history.
As for as the first MAW, it was in pretty good shape with reserve contingents, which were brought into it as individuals joining established squadrons, and a few squadrons activated as intact squadrons.
From that point forward the Corps' existence and its role within the defense establishment was never threatened. The main hangover from the period of Truman's paring down of all the services, and attacking the existence of the Corps was the USAF's ongoing attempts to control all Marine Corps aviation assets.
May I suggest that the Washington Times and other such publications are not the best sources for history matters.