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"China’s Rise Is MacArthur’s Vindication" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse04 Aug 2020 9:32 p.m. PST

"In the midst of President Harry Truman's controversial firing of General Douglas MacArthur during the Korean War, Air Force General George Kenny, who brilliantly led MacArthur's air force in the Southwest Pacific in World War II, wrote that when the histories of the Korean War are written, they will "add still more to the luster of MacArthur's reputation as a military leader." General Kenny was wrong about historians, who have largely taken Truman's side in the debate over how to deal with China's entry into the war. But in a larger geopolitical sense, General Kenny was right. China's rise in the 21st century and its challenge to America's global preeminence have vindicated MacArthur.

Truman's partisans have long portrayed MacArthur's conduct during the Korean War as reckless, dangerous, and likely to lead to World War III. They have blamed MacArthur for attempting to liberate North Korea from communist rule, even though that was the initial policy of the Truman administration and the United Nations. They have blamed MacArthur for sending forces under his command to the Yalu River, even though MacArthur was told by General George Marshall to "feel unhampered strategically and tactically to proceed north of the 38th Parallel." They claimed that MacArthur's reckless advance into North Korea provoked China to enter the war in October-November 1950, even though China had decided to massively enter the war as early as July 1950, long before Inchon and long before MacArthur's forces crossed into North Korea. They have blamed MacArthur for suggesting that Nationalist forces on Taiwan be used to help defeat the Communist Chinese army, even though Mao Zedong's planned invasion of Taiwan was only forestalled by America's entry into the war and dispatch of warships to the Taiwan Strait. They have blamed MacArthur for suggesting the use of nuclear weapons against China, even though both Presidents Truman and Eisenhower threatened their use, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered unassembled atomic bombs to Guam in case their use was authorized. And they have blamed MacArthur for wanting to win the war instead of settling for stalemate, claiming, in the words of General Omar Bradley, that Korea was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, even though that stalemate has produced 70 years of misery and horrors for the North Korean and Chinese people, led to our disastrous defeat in Vietnam, and enabled China to consolidate its political hold on the mainland and develop into a most dangerous peer competitor of the United States…"
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Amicalement
Armand

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 9:48 p.m. PST

Apparently, even Nixon realized too late, what he'd done, after pressing for normalizing relations with China.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 10:31 p.m. PST

I just refer everyone to this series of predictions:

link

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP04 Aug 2020 11:09 p.m. PST

Interesting review conclusion.

Seems to me, given current vectors, a communist-Chinese, and/or communist Chinese/American society is very possible, Deleted by Moderator

No doubt, if that comes to pass, the movie Soylent Green will look like a picnic, by comparison.

15mm and 28mm Fanatik05 Aug 2020 7:22 a.m. PST

Blame it on Truman. Had he intervened militarily with troops on behalf of Chiang Kai-shek and the KMT against Mao Zedong in 1945, China would be a much larger Taiwan right now.

Legion 405 Aug 2020 9:05 a.m. PST

"Only Nixon could go to China." …

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP In the TMP Dawghouse05 Aug 2020 12:06 p.m. PST

(smile)

Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Aug 2020 12:59 p.m. PST

I've always believed that Truman was in the wrong, and if using nukes should be the LAST option, letting the Chinese Communists grow to this point of power has to be something approaching an act of suicide by the West.

TVAG

15mm and 28mm Fanatik05 Aug 2020 5:18 p.m. PST

Yeah, had Truman nipped it in the bud to begin with in '45 by sending US divisions to fight alongside the Kuomintang nationalists against the chicoms during the Chinese Civil War, Korea might have been unified under democratic rule without having to resort to nukes and China would be one big happy democracy instead of a rising autocratic superpower challenging US supremacy. Even if there's no guarantee that we would have won, it would have been worth a try. But after WWII there were strong sentiments on the war-weary homefront to demobilize after the job was done against the Japanese.

Woulda, coulda. Oh well.

David Hangerson05 Aug 2020 7:36 p.m. PST

Uh…. Correct me if I am wrong here, but I don't think the U.S. has ever actually won a land war in Asia. We currently can't seem to even stabilize Afghanistan after more than a decade of trying.

Purely as a matter of historical interest, how do you think a land war in China would have played out? The Japanese tried it and they were willing to spend a lot more men than the U.S. ever could have.

Didn't the bomb get dropped on Japan because we couldn't face the losses an invasion would have entailed? How would a war in .china have worked out any better? And that is assuming that no one uses atom bombs. The Russians were China's ally back then.

Dn Jackson05 Aug 2020 10:20 p.m. PST

"Uh…. Correct me if I am wrong here, but I don't think the U.S. has ever actually won a land war in Asia."

Well, there was this small one….WWII.

Legion 406 Aug 2020 7:50 a.m. PST

Yeah … we considered WWII a Win … 😁

A land war in China would be a losing situation. They consist of about 20% of the world's population. And have for a very long time. They are a huge region/nation. Many things have changed since WWII. The Japanese were willing to try to control China. They only really controlled small parts of it, per se.

The Chinese were two primary factions, the Communist and Nationalists. With a lot of peasant guerillas, etc. Their actual military was not that well armed, trained, etc.,. There was and is no winning a land war. But we don't have to today or then. The PRC is only a threat to anyone on their borders. Unless you talk about deploying nukes. Then it's game over for most of the world.

During the Korean War, IIRC Mac wanted to drop radioactive material North along North Korea-China border. As an area denial type tactic. May have worked ? You could not destroy the entire nation again unless Nukes were deployed. And it would take a lot of nukes, AFAIK. Just to takeout military, production and population centers. But if we did that, the PRC would probably not exist as it is today.

Also the PRC couldn't even mount an attack to seize Taiwan, even now. For a number of reasons. One being the USN & USAF …

And nobody could stabilize A'stan since Alexander. It's not really a nation but a region of competing tribes, religions, Mullahs and Warlords. They don't have a concept of a nation as we do. The are loyal to their own various factions. "You can't free a fish from water"


And yes dropping the A-bombs about 75 years ago this week, was to save Allied lives. Regardless of what revisionists have to say.

David Hangerson06 Aug 2020 1:04 p.m. PST

Dn Jackson, WWII in the Pacific was a land war in Asia? I mean, there were components of it that were, but the gross of the fighting there was conducted by the Chinese and the Commonwealth. How many divisions did the U.S. have on the continent itself? Was it even one?

I don't doubt that the U.S. would have dominated the air over China and the seas around it.

But what then?

That's my question. How do you see that land war as working out in the U.S.' favor?

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2020 1:31 p.m. PST

Japan is NOT a continent.

We won using multiple divisions of troops in an island hopping campaign, combined with air and naval sea power.

The atom bombs dropped saved a lot of Japanese lives too, since if we'd have invaded their home islands, a lot of Japanese civilians and military troops would have committed suicide, or fought on to the bitter end.

Instead, their emperor wisely chose to surrender, over-ruling his military personnel.

Legion 406 Aug 2020 3:53 p.m. PST

Thresher +1

I mean, there were components of it that were, but the gross of the fighting there was conducted by the Chinese and the Commonwealth. How many divisions did the U.S. have on the continent itself? Was it even one?

You are confusing the CBI and PTO. In CBI The US had a couple of smaller units, Rgt and Bn size. E.g. Merrill's Marauders link /MARS Force link , etc. maybe totaling a Light Div.

But what then?
Don't forget the USSR's Invasion of China/Manchuria link after the defeat of Nazi Germany. The Russians, overran much of the IJF's in about a week. Albeit the IJF's were not in the best condition at that time.

David Hangerson07 Aug 2020 3:56 p.m. PST

No, I am not confusing, Legion. I am saying in the CBI theater — which was continental Asia — the U.S. didn't do much fighting, did it? So one can't say WWII was a U.S. victory in continental Asia, as Jackson seems to think.

Going back to my original question, given that the U.S. has never won a land war on the Asia continent, how would a MacArthur's dream scenario played out?

Legion 408 Aug 2020 7:28 a.m. PST

No as I said the US had few units in the CBI on the ground. Yes, we know that. But the US did supply some Chinese units as well providing some air support, etc. So we can say the US contributed to the winning of the CBI. Even though for the Allies most of the units fighting the IJFs in CBI were UK and Indian. And later the USSR for a brief time …

The US in the PTO certainly attrited and destroyed many of the IJF's in the air, sea and land. Even if remember e.g. on Guadalcanal more of the IJFs died of starvation, disease, etc., after the US cut off their supply lines from the sea. And that takes into account the US Forces killed a lot of IJFs in combat. And that was not the location that more died from non-combat losses than actually being shot, bombed, shelled etc., by the Allies.

But I agree with Dn that yes the US and the Allies won WWII in all theaters, overall. It was a allied/coalition that beat the Axis. Helped a lot by the Nazis and IJFs made some very big tactical and strategic errors thru out. After some of their initial in some case "stunning" victories.

As far as the US winning a land war in Asia, very few have in modern times. Maybe the Mongols, in the distant past, but they were Asian. Asia is a huge land mass as we know. That along with the massive population of Asia, primarily China. With 20% of the planets population. India has a similar number as well.

But something I remember the author Don Galloway said who wrote "We Were Soldier Once and Young". Along with a movie based on that book. Galloway who was with the elements of the 7th US CAV at LZ X-Ray. And fought as well as being a journalist there. In an interview years later he stated, something like, "The US was fighting a war of attrition against the birth rate of an Asian 3d World country." …

As we know the VC/NVA didn't have to win. They just didn't have to lose. As long as they were killing Americans, ROK, SEATO, sooner of later the "invades/outsiders" will leave as the French did before.

Numbers can be telling in many cases especially if their leadership don't care about how many losses they are is willing to lose/sacrifice. Again, there is no controlling a large country like China on the ground. It is too big with too many people.

The US and it's Allies could control the sea and air regardless …
IMO short of using nukes the only nations that the PRC can attack are those whose borders they can walk/drive cross. They don't, at least yet, have the ability to project large forces if they are not on a border.

catavar08 Aug 2020 1:47 p.m. PST

I would consider the defense of S. Korea a win for the USA in Asia.

I mean, that was the objective, wasn't it? Why else were we there?

Sure, one could argue the US settled for a stale-mate, but I believe that gave the US political leadership what they wanted.

Had the US political will wanted more who can say for sure what the final outcome would've been?

Legion 408 Aug 2020 3:49 p.m. PST

Well I served 22 months in the ROK, with 2 tours on the DMZ, '84-'85. With a forward deployed Mech Inf Bn. And yes we are still there. There is only a Truce in place not the end of the war.

So yes by stopping the Communist North with it's support from the PRC & USSR/Russia. From turning the South into a "Workers' Paradise" it could be considered a Minor Victory for the US/UN.

Interestingly if war broke out in Korea, our mission including the ROKs and hopefully part of the UN(?). Was to push on to Pyongyang, etc. And unite Korea under the democratic South. We were not informed what they would do with the PRC. But I'm sure it did not include crossing the Yalu North into the PRC. As the saying goes "That is left to the politicians". I don't think the PRC then would have risked a WWIII in the PTO over North Korea. This time around, this is not 1950 …

The North Korean Army then and even now are mostly Infantry, supported by a lot of FA. With a little Armor. The think today that stops the destruction of the North is all the rockets, missiles, Hvy FA for hitting Seoul only about 35 miles South of the DMZ. Nobody wants to risk the lose of all the civilians in a city which is now about 12 million people . Both Korean, US primarily plus some Euro, etc.

Un would get the first shot. We couldn't shut down all his Rockets, Hvy FA and now nuclear missiles even in a preemptive strike. The PRC says if we start the war they will get involved. But if otherwise Un is
not his own. Can we believe anything the PRC … not AFAIK.

Un's army would not survive very long vs. all the ROK & US firepower, and again maybe the UN will join. Possibly the Japanese and the "ANZACs" … maybe ?

Un knows he is a one trick pony. After that he and is cronies and supporters would mostly be gone. Hopefully we i.e. the ROKs and US won't be saddled with strict ROE and fear of Collateral Damage as we were in Irag and A'stan.

Firepower only works and saves the lives of your troops if you use it. As a former Grunt Ldr/Cdr I know we'd appreciate that.

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