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Thread: Nimitz vs. MacArthur.... who was right?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Nimitz vs. MacArthur.... who was right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    I can see that because MacArthur had stayed in the Philippines he had a fondness of the country and people(colonial administrators are the same everywhere...) and formulated it into a "duty" and "honour restoration" argument to retake these possessions (!).
    More probably it was just vanity, which was one of his primary motivators in all his actions, plus a desire to compensate for his woeful defence of the Philippines.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    But what I don't get is WHY he and his american policy makers did not think that the same was valid for the Dutch in NEI, or for the british in Malaya or for the french in IndoChina.
    Precisely because they were colonies of European colonial powers. The US was opposed to colonialism (with typical hypocrisy given its de facto economic colonialism in various parts of the planet before and during WWII, notably in South America) and wasn't keen to use its forces to restore colonies to their former powers. Admiral King rather pithily said something along the lines that he wasn't going to use his forces to help the Limey (British) bastards regain their colonies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    Wrt NEI; at final stages the Australians(!) landed in NE Borneo and Guinea (which is very underpopulated)
    But oil was there.

    The Australian invasion was of questionable need or utility at a strategic level. It had more to do with Australia being sidelined by MacArthur as he moved north from Hollandia after relying largely on Australian troops to get him to that point while he formed his forces for his northward thrust which, despite his earlier promises to the Australian government, he was determined to make an exclusively American (i.e. exclusively MacArthur) exercise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    .. but no shot at a bridgehead on Java (most populated...and scene of most brutal resentment campaigns AFTER Jap surrender..beCAUSE there were no occupying forces).
    No bridgehead on Malaya peninsula (which led to surge in Malayan communism cells) ...and no shot in N Vietnam (again...communism ripening because of absent french or western forces).
    These places were of no strategic importance on the road to Japan, and were better left alone to allow the troops there to wither on the vine.

    Nonetheless, Churchill in one of his many erratic strategic follies was keen to invade Java in the latter part of the Pacific War but, fortunately so far as the Allied cause was concerned, was successfully discouraged by his military staff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    Had the US marines been deployed in these three locations, and even only captured and held a foothold, then most of the colonial/independence/communist battles that took place after the war would have been prevented or lessened.
    I doubt it.

    The odd thing about the Japanese expansion was that it was under the guise of liberating European colonies in Asia, although it was really intended to make them colonies of Japan, but Japan’s crushing early defeats of the colonial powers demonstrated to the indigenous people that the European colonial powers and the colonists could be defeated. This led directly to the eventually successful liberation movements in the countries you mention, and others.

    Japan actually succeeded in doing what it pretended it was going to do, although that was the last thing it intended when it set out to replace the various European powers with itself as the sole colonial master of South East Asia,

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    Which is exactly why the Americans *additionally* had to land in the Philippines where there were ALSO communist sentiments and radical Muslim sentiments that could spark a bloody "revolution".
    The Muslim sentiments had much earlier sparked bloody battles, being the Muslim Moro wars for a few centuries against the Spanish and then in the first decade or so of the 20th century against the Americans after they acquired the Philippines, which continued sporadically up to the Pacific War after which the Moros, as fierce a bunch of soldiers and brigands as you’d never want to meet, focused largely on the Japanese. They’re still at it, against the Philippines government and sundry others under the modern craziness of Islamic jihad against everyone who doesn’t adhere to their particular brand of primitive religious madness. Landing the whole of the USMC in the southern Philippines wouldn’t have changed this, unless the USMC wiped out every Moro.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    I find it puzzling to see /read too often why administrators and military from one colonizer absolutely resent and detest the colonizers from the other country.
    They don’t like competition, and or envy what the other colonial powers have.

    Germany’s wars in WWI and WWII were wars of colonial expansion, as were Italy’s and Japan’s in WWII.

    Germany and Japan were both relatively poor in various natural resources, which would have been corrected by the colonial expansion they embarked upon in WWII, notably the oil in the NEI for the oil starved Japanese but also other things such as rubber in Malaya (I think it was Eisenhower who observed in a report early in the Pacific War that Japan controlled almost all of the world’s rubber production).

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankly Dude Really View Post
    Up and until the situation in the indonesian invasion(!) wars in Dutch New Guinea which were backed by Kennedy. KEnnedy !
    You’re opening a huge can of worms there, not least because there is a direct connection between Kennedy leaving Australia feeling vulnerable over West Irian / Irian Jaya in the early 1960s and Australia encouraging America into Vietnam to anchor America in defence to our north.

    Very short history. Australia supported Indonesian independence post-war, but not subsequent absurd Indonesian claims to West Irian (aka Irian Jaya, now West Papua). The claims were absurd because Indonesia’s rejection of Dutch colonialism in pursuit of Indonesian self-determination made sense to the extent that Indonesians were a Malay or related people, while the people of West Irian were Melanesian and nowhere related to, or as developed as, the Malay culture in Indonesia. The claim was doubly absurd, and grossly offensive, because Indonesia based it on succeeding to the Dutch colonial territory in West Irian, thus denying the distinct people in West Irian the same right to self-determination upon which Indonesia based its own claim to self-determination and making Indonesia the new colonial master of West Irian. Late 1940’s – early 1950s Australia supported Dutch retention of West Irian, partly because it wasn’t part of ethnic or geographic Indonesia but largely out of Australian self-interest, being fear of Indonesia being on the border of New Guinea (the other half of the island east of West Irian) which was then Australian mandated territory. Australia was surprised by Kennedy doing a deal in ?1962? to give West Irian to Indonesia. Australia felt it was being abandoned by America and left to face the growing communist threat in Indonesia, although paradoxically Kennedy did the deal to try to support the Indonesian government’s opposition to that threat (which the Indonesian government did in succeeding years, killing hundreds of thousands of communists, or maybe just people who could have been communists – probably a more violent and unrestrained version of what Senator McCarthy and his ilk would have done in America around the same era if given a free hand). By the mid-1960s Australia was engaged in low level armed conflict with Indonesia under Konfrontasi https://www.awm.gov.au/atwar/indonesian-confrontation/ Add in the earlier communist insurgency in Malaya and communist expansion and victories in parts north such as Vietnam, and America’s apparent willingness to leave Australia to fend for itself at the bottom of the Domino Theory chain from the USSR and PRC down the S.E. Asian island chain, along with a hostile Indonesia to our immediate north, resulted in Australia thinking it would be good idea to get America heavily involved in breaking that chain. Which was Vietnam. America had its own reasons for getting involved in Vietnam, but Australia encouraged that involvement for Australian reasons. By which time the Dutch, and the rest of Europe and the British had the good sense to stay out of Vietnam.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 03-10-2015 at 08:37 AM.
    A rational army would run away.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    New York

    Default Re: Nimitz vs. MacArthur.... who was right?

    I will make this short Nimitz and McCarthur were amazing in their own fields McCarthur a nice land fighting man was amazing when t came to land strategy. Nimitz was amazing when it came to naval strategy. I bet both regretted chocked they made in their military carriers but there were more victories than losses for both so over all I would say both are great because the were amazing in two different fields.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2016

    Default Re: Nimitz vs. MacArthur.... who was right?

    The primary purpose of the island hopping campaign by Nimitz was not to build airfields that could be utilized in the next objective. Nimitz of course was heavily dependent on carrier operations to provide air support. The 7th and 13th did provide air support but both organizations were never a highly necessary component of Central Pacific operations. The strategic objective was to cut Japan off from its resources in what was then called the Indies and strangle Japan's ability to wage war.

    Building airfields was a common stratagem for SWPAC and was very effective for 5th Air Force ops with Kenney. MacArthur's immediate objective after clearing New Guinea was not Luzon but Mindanao. This of course changed when after a series of carrier raids Halsey recommended that the time table be pushed up and Leyte should be the 1st objective.

    MacArthur's objective after Luzon was not Formosa. This is the plan of, and only, Ernie King. Even Nimitz disagreed with him on Formosa.
    The 2nd Philippines campaign was not the best run operation in the Pacific. MacArthur's failure to close off Ormoc Bay prolonged the fight on Leyte, his failure to see his true objective on Luzon -Homma's army- and instead he went for the "prize" of Manilla -more headlines- once again prolonged the Campaign on Luzon. Let's not get into Halsey being hood winked into leaving the Sibuyan Bay open. That was a major blunder.

    MacArthur's concept of leap frogging had many positive attributes but it also was a stratagem that he promptly abandoned once he got to the Philippines in favor of retaking every island in the archipelago and therefore having heavy casualties inflicted on divisions that were supposed to take place in Olympic. He did not receive permission to do this.

    MacArthur vs Nimitz. Which advance was strategically decisive? Which brought the war in the Pacific to a decisive conclusion?

    You must start with what were the strategic objectives of these commanders? How did they plan to fulfill those objectives?

    MacArthur had a series of plans called Reno, the final one being Reno 5. His idea was, as we all know, to leapfrog up New Guinea retake the Philippines. The Navy's job was to support him in this endeavor logistically and tactically. The only independent Naval objective in Reno 5 was to make a direct assault on Truk. Take the Philippines and Truk, the most heavily fortified objective in the entire Pacific and then.......nothing. No plan to finish the war. Was this good strategy or Mac's ego? Ernie King stated to advance along 1 line, as MacArthur proposed, without clearing lines of communication was madness.

    The Central Pacific operations were decisive and directly contributed to ending the war, not New Guinea and the Philippines. The Japanese carrier units, as we all know were decimated during The Turkey Shoot. This and the invasion of Saipan forced the resignation of the Japanese government. It was from Saipan, Guam and Tinian that Lemay turned the Japanese cities into ashes This ended the war.

    Last edited by Gsetzer; 08-01-2016 at 09:09 PM.

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