Battle Ground History

Episode 14 - Dwight D. Eisenhower versus Douglas MacArthur

July 29, 2018 Season 1 Episode 14
Battle Ground History
Episode 14 - Dwight D. Eisenhower versus Douglas MacArthur
Chapters
Battle Ground History
Episode 14 - Dwight D. Eisenhower versus Douglas MacArthur
Jul 29, 2018 Season 1 Episode 14
Mark Schauss
Pitted against each other we have generals Dwight Eisenhower vs Douglas MacArthur.
Show Notes Transcript
In today's episode we have two of the great WWII American generals facing each other, Dwight David Eisenhower and Douglas MacArthur.

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Speaker 1:
0:16
Welcome to battleground history, episode 14, Dwight d eisenhower versus Douglas Macarthur. Today's clashes from the military bracket, which means that it will only be judging the contestants based on any military activities they conducted and not on Eisenhower's presidency. Dwight David Eisenhower was born in October 14th, 18, 90, and Denison Texas tool, a long time American family who immigrated to the u, s and 1741 from Carl's Britain, Germany. His original name on his birth certificate with David Dwight, but his mother switched the names when he was two to avoid confusion with his father David Jacob Eisenhower. Dwight was the third of seven boys, all of whom have the same nickname. Ike, there was big ike little like and all sorts of other bikes. Dwight was the only one to continue to use that though through adulthood. His parents were mennonites in interestingly enough pacifists and 1891, the eisenhowers moved to Abilene, Kansas with a total of $10 in their pockets of his humble beginnings.
Speaker 1:
1:34
Dwight Eisenhower said in 1952 quote, I have found out in later years we were very poor, but the glory of America is that we didn't know it then. All that we knew was that our parents have great courage. Could say to us, opportunity is all about you. Reach out and take it. They were deeply religious and the beliefs were a cornerstone of their everyday life twice. Parents also encouraged them to stand up for themselves. Very important in a family of seven boys, hard work was also imperative not only within the family, but in the community they grew up in little ike, as he was known, had a terrible temper after a temper tantrum and Halloween, 1900. His mother said to him, quote, he, that [inaudible] his own soul is greater than he who takes it. The city when he was 76, Eisenhower wrote quote, I've always looked back on that conversation is one of the most valuable moments of my life.
Speaker 1:
2:39
When in school, his favorite subject, much to the Chagrin of his mother, Ida, was military history. According to a soaring biography, Eisenhower soldier and President Steven Dot Ambrose. The author wrote quote, he taught history to his classmates so frequently that his senior book predicted he would become a professor of history of Yale. It also predicted that Edgar would become a two term president of the United States. Dwight was set on making the navy a career, so in 1910 he took an exam but did not score high enough to get into the naval academy, but did do well enough to get into west point. His mother was disappointed that he was to become a soldier due to her pacifist beliefs. She cried as he boarded the train. He was emotionless at West Point. He did well, not exceptional. This was of course, the class. The stars fell on 265 men entered in.
Speaker 1:
3:42
Nineteen 11. One hundred 64 graduated. Now what I'm going to do after this podcast, you'll get an episodic bit about the class. The stars fell on really interesting story. It wasn't. That school was so tough. It was incredibly monotonous. It was also an institution that sought to break down nonconformists. Eisenhower though was one who would not be broken out of the hundred 64 graduates, he ranked 125th in discipline. Sports was his outlet and he was an exceptional football player until he suffered a major knee injury when he became a general, he was well known for using analogies from his favorite sport sport like Poland and run. Hit the line and get that ball across. The goal line is first assignment after graduation was at Fort Sam Houston, Texas as a second lieutenant. It was an easy assignment as the US was not at war and it was considered somewhat isolationist, but it was also the place where he would meet the love of his life.
Speaker 1:
4:50
Married Geneva dowd, better known as Mamie. They would be married on July first 1916 when she was 19 and 20. He was 25. They would remain together until his death in 1969. Less than one year later, April of 1917, the United States entered World War One at first. Eisenhower was assigned to train them into the 57th infantry, but we switched to joining the 65th engineers, which was an early tank division that was to head off to combat in Europe. It is orders, though were changed yet again, making Ike, the commander of Camp Colton, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Here he would train thousands of men and officers. Eisenhower, he was well liked and admired for his leadership abilities. On October 14th, 19, 18 is 28th birthday. He received orders that are November 18th. It will be sent to France to lead an armored unit. He was so excited that alation though it was short lived as the Germans surrendered on November 11th, the time between the wars was difficult.
Speaker 1:
5:57
On Ike, it was a school like atmosphere. We're learning more and more about mechanized vehicles alongside his soon to be longterm friend George s dot Patton, Jr. The two were about as different as can be. George was from a wealThy and eris cratic family, which was diametrically opposed to eisenhower. Yet they became friends and comrades who were both fascinated by tanks. Still, it was not a great time to be a military man, as by 1935, the usa had no fighting units and it's army was ranked 16th in the world. The eisenhowers moved from one assignment to another like Panama in the Philippines where he was to work under general douglas macarthur. I could served under the general when he was involved in clearing the bonus baby army from their encampment in Washington dc, a job he disliked greatly while in the Philippines. Eisenhower and macarthur developed a distaste for this tastes for each other, which was to carry on for years this dispute on how the philippine army should be used and how the american should behave around them.
Speaker 1:
7:06
It's been said that his time there would help. I learn how to deal with the enormous eGos you would have to command in the upcoming global war. When the japanese attacked pearl harbor, eisenhower was assigned to the general staff in Washington to make plans for the war against both Japan and Germany. He served under general George C. Marshall, who saw an icc, a capable and extraordinary talent. Eisenhower's first assignment was to be the supreme commander, the allied expeditionary force of the north african theater of operations. He was the head both opEration torch in north africa, opposing general field marshal, urban wamo. At first, things didn't go well, but over the coming months I became more and more comfortable with his command. Next eisenhower was the commander of the successful invasion of sicily, followed by operation avalanche, which led to the invasion of Italy. While it was a tufts slough with the germans putting up a fierce defense, the allied troops were making significant headway.
Speaker 1:
8:12
The men who served under eisenhower admired the general one incidents, shows his grave concern for them as demonstrated by ambrose. In his biography, the man quote, eisenhower spotted a large villa who's is that? He asked your sir. Someone replayed a butcher, had arranged it, nodding it another even larger. The eisenhower asked and that, oh, that one belongs to general spats. Eisenhower exploded. Dammit. That's not my villa, and that's not general spetses villa. None of those will belong to any general. As long as I'm boss around here. This is supposed to be for combat men. Not a playground for the brass.
Speaker 1:
8:55
It was after his time in Italy when in december of 1943 that us president, franklin d roosevelt decided to make eisenhower, the supreme allied commander in europe. It was also the head of operation ovErlord, the invasion of France through the beaches at normandy. The invasion planning was extraordinarily stressful and caused eisenhower to have to go toe to toe with men like churchill, charles de gaulle, bernard montgomery, and even his boss, fdr. He was so unsure of the success of the plan that he wrote, a speech and case had failed, quote, our landings in the cherbourg harvard area have failed to gain a satisfactorY foothold and I've withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available, the troops, the air, and the navy. Did all that bravely and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt.
Speaker 1:
9:53
It is mine alone, but we know that they were a success in the coming months from june 19, 44 until the ultimate victory over nazi Germany in may of 1945, 11 months. We're in large part due to the general shape of eisenhower, his ability to work with a different generals under his command led to the victory. One thing I was pleased to hear is that eisenhower had the forethought to document the horrors of the nazi death camps and make sure that the evidence of the holocaust would be strong enough to avoid what we now know as holocaust denial after the war. Like macarthur in Japan, eisenhower was the military governor of the american occupation zone, which was predominantly sell southern Germany. This lasted until he returned to Washington dc in november of 1945. After the war, he became the president of columbia university in New York city in 1948, but that wasn't a really good fit.
Speaker 1:
10:55
In 1950, eisenhower resigned, but the resignation was rejected. He took leave to become the supreme commander of nato. I collect the military on may 30, first 19, 50 2:37 years after we graduated from westpoint. Well, I know this is only the first part of the eisenhower story as he would become the president of the United States after the campaign of 1952 is the end of his military career and since we are in the military bracket, time to move on to the next contestant. DouglaS macarthur was born to an old and distinguished scottish american family. On January 26th, 18, 80, his father, arthur macarthur junior was the United States army general who was awarded the medal of honor for his role in the battle of missionary ridge during the us civil war, douglas and his father, the only father son, pairs that were awarded the medal of honor, the family, which was initially known as the mccarter tears, was so old and honored that it was said that quote, there's nothing older be accept the hills, a cartel and the devil.
Speaker 1:
12:07
We know the family as far back as the crusades, the 11th and twelfth century. Another interesting fact about the family in particular, douglas, is that he is an eighth cousin of winston churchill and the sixth cousin once removed a franklin d dot roosevelt, both of whom are in the tournament early on, it was expected that douglas would go into the military as his father in 18, 93 when the boy was only 13 said quote, I think there is the material of a soldier in that boy macarthur's, which was to get into west point, but surprisingly even with the backing of his grandfather, arthur senior, who was a judge and the endorsements of 13 governors, senators, congressmen and bishops, he couldn't get an appointment to get interviewed. Then it got worse as he failed a preliminary physical exam which showed that he had curvature of the spine.
Speaker 1:
13:03
The famous milwaukee physician at the time, dr franz pfister corrected the spinal abnormality at the behest of douglass, very domineering mother, pinky. She was so intent on her son getting everything she wanted for him. Then when he eventUally did get to weStpoint, pinkie moved there. She even rented A room at cranies hotel, which overlooked the campus where she could see douglass room to make sure he was studying when he was supposed to. This type of helicopter. Mom was to influence macarthur's personality for the rest of his life. He has for his personality. I'm gonna share a quote from the preamble of the book, the american caesar by william manchester, a monumental by bibly graphical work that I highly recommend he writes, quote, he was a great thundering paradox of a man, noble and ignoble and spiriting and outrageous, arrogant, and shy, the best of men in the worst of men, the protean most ridiculous and most sublime.
Speaker 1:
14:13
No more battling, exacerbating soldier ever wore uniform, flamboyant, imperious, and apocalyptic. He carried the plumage of a flamingo, could not acknowledge errors and tried to cover up his mistakes with slight childish tricks. It was also endowed with a great personal charm, a will of iron and a soaring intellect. Unquestionably, he was the most gifted man at arms this nation has produced. It was also extraordinarily brave. Is 22 medals, 13 of them for heroism probably exceed of any other figure in american history. He seemed to seek death on the battlefields repeatedly. He deliberately exposed himself to enemy snipers first as a lieutenant in the Philippines shortly after the turn of the century, then as a captain in Mexico, and finally as a general in three great wars at the age of 70. He ordered his pilot to flyman, unarmed, playing through the chinese flag over the length of the oblique yellow.
Speaker 1:
15:20
Nevertheless, nevertheless, his troops scorn him as dug out doug, the man who in 1941 return return to active duty to serve as the commander of the United States army forces in the far east at served as superintendent to the military academy at westpoint, president of the american olympic committee in 1928, chief of staff of the us army in the 19 thirties led the united nations command in the korean war and overseer of Japan from 1945 to 1950. One, he was a real mama's boy during his time at west point. He was the target of hazing early with particular attention paid on him and fellow classmate ulysses s grant, the third as sons have passed generals, one of his other classmates, oscar bose, didn't handle the hazing and eventually died of tuberculosis linked to the incident a congressional hearing was held were macarthur testified while at west point he not only played left field for the baseball team, he had the third highest academic score and the academy's history.
Speaker 1:
16:29
Douglas graduated first in his class out of 93 other senior cadets. From there, he entered the us army corps of engineers as a second lieutenant in 19 oh, five. He joined his father in the far east where he began to learn about the people in macarthur was to defend the filipinos and the people he was to wage war against the japanese. According to author manchester, asia was where he wanted to be a surprisingly, he despised europe despite his family coming from there. This disdain was disdain his reputation, not with the europeans, but with other american military men. Churchill thought them to be a glorious commander. Montgomery thought to be the us as best soldier and lord Alan Brooks set of macarthur that he was the greatest general and the greatest strategist. The war produced general marshall, though dislike douglas, but admittedly thought him to be our most brilliant general.
Speaker 1:
17:26
It was said by george c dot kenny, the commander of the us army air force in the southwest pacific area during world war ii. That quote, very few people really know douglas macarthur. Those who did or think they do either admire him or disliked them. They're never neutral on the subject. Some of his men absolutely despised him, but others like jonathan wainwright who was left behind in the Philippines when the japanese took control and spent four rough years in a pow camp said quote, I'd follow that man anywhere blindfolded. Admiral daniel barbie wrote, quote, macarthur was never able to develop a feeling of warmth and comradeship with those around him. He had their respect, but that they're sympathetic. Understanding where their affection. He was too aloof and to correct and manners. Speech and dress. Macarthur has an aristocratic air about him. Thomas carlyle wrote of him, the hero of old.
Speaker 1:
18:29
Has had to cramp himself into strange places. The world knows not well at any time what to do with him, so foreign as this aspect in this world and amusing viewpoint of douglass presence came from a cadet who was at west point when macarthur was superintendent quote, he's the only man in the world who could walk into a room full of drunks and all would be stone sober within five minutes. With all these personality issues, would kind cannot be denied. Was that douglas macarthur was a brilliant military man from his time during the vera cruz expedition where his name was put forward for medal of honor to his service during world war one where he was involved in several offenses. He was brilliant during the mus argonne offensive. He was given his fifth, sixth, and seventh silver store, yet along with another nomination for the medal of honor and the time between the great world wars, macarthur became chief of staff of the army, which put them into a major conflict that was considered highly controversial in 1932 at the height of the depression.
Speaker 1:
19:37
Douglass is in charge of clearing The bonus army of veterans from world war two from world war one, excuse me, in Washington dc, who were demanding that they're promised bonuses be paid immediately instead of waiting until 1945 when they came due, there were 43,000 protesters with rumors that they were led by a group of communist agitators, which turned out to be false. The brutal attack on the men, women and children led by macarthur, along with his aides, George Patton and dwight eisenhower would haunt for the future president. He thought it wrong for douglas to lead an attack and fellow soldiers. Eisenhower said, I told her dumb son of a bitch not to go down there. I told him there was no place for the chief of staff. His actions during world war ii were legendary after having to abandon the Philippines in the wake of the japanese invasion.
Speaker 1:
20:31
He slowly but surely guided the plan to take back all the territories the enemy had captured for the next three long years. He planned each step with the staff, especially admiral nimitz. After the war, he was the supreme commander of Japan. We're definitely decided to work with the emperor and the existing japanese government bureaucracy. Macarthur was much admired by the people and by 1949, he handed power back to the japanese and I want to make a little off script comment here. When we come up to the battle between shiro sro and I believe it's a jack the ripper, you're going to find some things that were very disturbing about what macarthur decided to do with some of the japanese war criminals, but I'll get to that in the future podcast. When North Korea invaded the south on June 25th, 1950, douglas macarthur was unanimously given the position of commander of the un forces with smashing victories.
Speaker 1:
21:31
Early on, it seemed like they made the right choice. Then the chinese began to send in trooPs which macarthur initially dismissed. This was to cause significant losses. I lost ground which tarnished his rePutation. This eventually led to his downfall as other allied nations were against the thought that yet another world war could break out because macarthur wanted to ramp things up, including using the nuclear option. President truman had no choice but to relieve the general of his command and april of 1951, he and his family returned to Washington dc. eventually settling in at the waldorf astoria hotel in New York city. Douglas macarthur died on April 5th, 1964 at the age of 84. He served his country in the world from 19 oh, three until 1950, 1:48 years. He goes down in history as one of the greatest commanders of all time. Now onto the tufts scoring. To be honest, before I did this, I had no idea how this was going to play out up until even this point, using the scoring system for battleground history, something you can find on the website of the same name.
Speaker 1:
22:45
We start with 15 points for the length of time and service to his country or people. Eisenhower served this nation in the world for 37 years while macarthur for 48, douglas gets 15. Well, I received 12. Next step is how they affected the rest of the world and their time for 20 points. It's tough to differentiate between the two men in this category as we have macarthur leave leading through the asian zone and eisenhower leading the european site. My sense here is to go with eic 20 to 18 as he had to deal with more egos and countries and macarthur and had to navigate through tougher issues. Next up is a lasting effect on world history. If we had the presidential time of eisenhower, this would be a slam dunk, but still we can't, uh, his time, his commander of nato whose existence wasn't doubt when till he took command, Gives him the slight advantage.
Speaker 1:
23:42
Twenty five to 23 last step is the big prize. The 40 points for how they affected their country for the better. Each man had an enormous effect on this country as they want to horrific war that cost the lives of tens of millions of people. I can't Differentiate the difference, so I get both men, the full 40 points. Now, let's tally up the scores in the tightest battle. In this podcast history, we have dwight david eisenhower Moving onto the next round by beating douglas macarthur with a score of 97 to 96 equal face off in the second round against khaleed been alwaleed. Well, I hope you enjoyed today's podcast. Uh, please rate the podcast on your favorite podcast or beat stitcher, google play, or itunes, spotify, or any one of the others that more people can be made aware of it, that, and head on over to battleground history website for more content on today's battle and others. And I want to remind you that next episode is an episodic lit and it's called the class the stars fell on. So, as always, remember, we are not the makers of history. We are history.
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