Truman Sacks MacArthur: A Lesson In Leadership

I have long been a student of the Korean War.  It has many compelling dimensions to it—political, military, social, personal, diplomatic—and any one of these facets makes it a fruitful field for study.  I also had the good fortune to live and travel in Korea for over a year, and developed some sympathy for the people and the culture.  One revealing episode that occurred during the war has come to stand for the principle of ultimate civilian control over the military.  This was the removal of General Douglas MacArthur by President Truman in 1951.

It is difficult today to grasp fully the awe in which MacArthur was held by the American public in the early 1950s.  He had been in the public eye in one way or another since the early 1930s, and had cultivated his public image in such a way as to appear as a military genius sitting atop Mount Olympus.  A major figure in the defeat of Japan in the Pacific in the Second World War, he had remained in Japan as an administrator, ruling the country with Oriental remoteness and absolutism.  Long accustomed to doing what he wanted and adept at insubordination, he had been indulged by his superiors for so long that he came to believe himself beyond scrutiny.  His nominal bosses, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were actually afraid of him; and MacArthur, an expert political infighter, knew how to keep them off balance with a mixture of drama, innuendo, and veiled threats.


He was a man of contradictions.  As superintendent of West Point, he proved himself an efficient administrator and progressive reformer; in the Second World War, he showed his tactical brilliance on many occasions; and in Korea, his amphibious landing at Inchon turned the tide of the war and came within an ace of winning it.  Charismatic, highly intelligent, and brave, he could also be vain, spiteful, pathologically insecure, and jealous of colleagues and subordinates.

MacArthur’s gamble at the Inchon landings in 1950 had been brilliantly successful.  He had pulled off a masterstroke, outflanking the North Koreans who just weeks earlier had had the US and South Koreans boxed into a steadily shrinking perimeter around Pusan.  Against all the naysayers, he had triumphed; the North Koreans, in full retreat, seemed now close to complete collapse.  As he moved into North Korea and plunged northward, he committed two unforgiveable military blunders: he divided his forces for separate northward advances, and he refused to listen to intelligence reports that China was preparing an all-out invasion in support of its beleaguered North Korean ally.

But the Chinese did enter the war, and with both feet.  MacArthur’s forces were sent reeling back down the peninsula.  The US Army came close to full collapse; the US Marines, with their superior discipline and cohesiveness, were only with great difficulty able to extricate themselves from the frozen wastes of the Chosin Reservoir.  The situation deeply shocked MacArthur; his carelessness and vanity had been responsible for the disaster, yet he refused to accept any measure of blame.

Losing the war on the ground and increasingly divorced from reality, he reverted to living in his fantasies.  MacArthur’s public statements became more and more provocative.  He began to openly challenge US policy in the Far East:  he threatened to “unleash” Chiang Kai-Shek in Taiwan on the communist Chinese mainland, and to widen the war beyond Korea.  In increasingly bombastic and insubordinate public statements, he appeared to endorse to use of atomic bombs on China and the Soviet Union, and, even worse, edged towards suggesting the inadequacy of President Truman’s leadership.   Repeated attempts to admonish him and rein him in came to nothing.  Like a spoiled child who had been indulged too often, MacArthur’s behavior by 1951 had become nearly impossible to correct.  Thus was the stage set for one of the most dramatic confrontations in the history of American politico-military affairs.

The National Security Agency (NSA), newly created in 1947, routinely monitored communications of both friends and foes of the US from its monitoring station at Atsugi Air Base near Tokyo.  Intercepts of MacArthur’s conversations with foreign diplomats (mainly Spain and Portugal) demonstrated his inclination to widen the war outside Korea, so as to destroy the communist Chinese and chasten the USSR.  When Truman was briefed on MacArthur’s machinations, he was furious.  It simply could not be tolerated.  Even without these secret conversations, Truman had enough evidence of his general’s insubordination—from MacArthur’s professionally suicidal public statements questioning US policy in Korea–to justify his sacking of MacArthur.  He had finally forced Truman’s hand.


All that remained was to notify MacArthur of his firing.  To spare MacArthur embarrassment, it was decided to have a courier quietly hand-deliver the relief notice to the general’s home in Tokyo.  Everyone involved was sworn to secrecy.  But somehow the message traffic got stalled, and then a loose-lipped official in Tokyo leaked the story to a reporter.  Panic seized the Truman administration.  It was feared that, if MacArthur got wind of his firing before being officially notified, he might make some sort of grandstanding speech to the press to further sabotage US policy in Korea.

Truman’s only option was to preempt MacArthur by calling a press conference at one o’clock in the morning on April 11, 1951.  Truman’s announcement to the press was terse and resolute.  “With deep regret” he declared that he believed MacArthur was “unable to give his whole-hearted support” to US policies in Korea.  “For that reason I repeat my regret at the necessity for the action I feel compelled to take in this case.”  It was unfortunate that these circumstances—rousing reporters in the dead of night for a press conference–made the firing of MacArthur seem a rushed, impetuous, and irrational act by Truman, which was in fact untrue.


The comic opera continued, and had one final act.  MacArthur found out about his sacking in the worst way possible:  a colleague heard it on the radio, who then called MacArthur’s wife to inform her that her husband had been “relieved of all his commands.”  When the general himself finally got the official notice, he hugged his wife and said, “Jeannie, we’re going home at last.”


On his return to the US, MacArthur addressed a joint session of Congress with a masterpiece of oratory.  He then went on a speaking tour of America.  The fallout was devastating.  Feeling ran high against Truman, who had already been deeply unpopular on account of the little-understood Korean War.  Truman wisely laid low until the storm passed, but the public deeply resented his removal of MacArthur, and Truman’s political enemies made the most of it.  But the public, easily led astray by hero-worship and prone to emotionalism, is almost never on the side of wisdom and restraint.

As time has given us some perspective on the matter, it is clear that Truman’s removal of MacArthur was an act of deep courage, taken under circumstances that Truman knew would expose himself to hatred and retaliation from MacArthur’s political friends in Congress.  But MacArthur had had it coming, and he knew it.  He had stonewalled on his orders, had expressed open contempt for his president, had conspired against his nation’s policies behind the scenes, and had failed on the battlefield.

In the history of armed conflict, no removal of a wartime general has been as justified, and as necessary, as the removal of MacArthur.  It is a leadership lesson that resonates with us today, wherever lawful authority is fundamentally challenged by the malignant brew of charisma, hubris, and guile.  And so the fates of men and nations may hinge on the denouement of these fateful contests.

Read More:  Every Man Has A Breaking Point

72 thoughts on “Truman Sacks MacArthur: A Lesson In Leadership”

  1. I read a novel centered around the Marines at the Chosin Reservoir some years ago called the Marines of Autumn. Maybe you should give it a go if you’re interested in the Korean War.
    This actually seems pertinent Quintus, since I’m planning on launching a project later this month regarding these sorts of topics. Perhaps I should discuss more about it with you.

  2. My great uncle is one of the Marines who made it out of the Chosin Reservoir. I can’t even begin to imagine what that must’ve been like.

      1. Amen- my uncle went up a hill to guard a mountain pass with 300 guys- 6 came down a month later. Nothing but bayonet to bayonet for most of that month. They were using bodies to make shelters- let them freeze, then stack them like lincoln logs. There’s a picture of my uncle taking a dump into his helmet, so that he wouldn’t get frostbite on his taint. That generation was hard as nails.

        1. Yes, they were. This article reminded me that I should give him a call sometime. Been a few years since I’ve talked to him.

  3. But no mention of him getting caught by the Japanese with his pants down in the Philippines, hours after receiving word of the attack on Pearl Harbor. I never understood how his reputation recovered from that particular debacle.
    Southern Man

    1. I was going to comment on this as well. MacArthur lost the Philippines not just to a superior force, but due to his own lack of anticipation of Japan’s need for the territory he guarded. The war in the Pacific might have been shorter had he put up a serious fight there.

    2. MacArthur was a master at cultivating his image. He was vain and egotistical to a degree that was beyond anything his peers were doing.
      Some of this was merited. He was an imaginative, visionary, and strong-willed commander.
      But with this good came much bad. He could not work well with others, was easily roused to anger, and refused to accept any blame for his mistakes.

    3. Mac said after evacuating from philipine ” I will return”. It was his sense of belonging and anti empirialism that made him likable to asians. And after hearing that statement, the US govt tried to make him change his statement to “We will return”. He refused. What a man!

  4. Guys, guys guys!! A major historical fact missing – did you know that Truman reported into MacArthur in France during WW One… and that he trounced Truman big time as a lower ranking officer?
    Paybacks a bitch

  5. Truman was a boss. A lot of us who had grandfathers in World War II might not be here today if he hadn’t pulled the trigger on using the bomb on Japan. And he was man enough to own his decision from then on, which is not only a trait lacking in the vast majority of politicians these days, but way too many guys.

    1. MacArthur was one of the last great military men of America, from an era where our country won wars. The lackluster Truman ushered in an era in which our military became a political wing of the psychophants in DC.

    2. No longer having to contend with the Germans, Russia was gearing up for some serious payback on the Japanese for 1904-05.
      What the bomb may have done is to keep Japan out of Russian hands.

      1. Unlikely. The 2 front hypothesis that was put forward by Truman in talks with Stalin was seen as a divergence tactic to delay US help on the Eastern front. The US wanted The Reds and the Nazis to destroy each other. In 1945 there was no effective way to move ships, tanks, planes and men thru Siberia. It would have killed more Russians than Stalin could bargain for after losing 22 million to Nazis. After getting the bomb Truman didn’t need to bargain with Stalin or try to drag Russian troops thru Siberia but so it goes.

        1. Read some history books. In case you did not know – there is such thing as railways to move troops through Siberia and other territories. By the time the A-bomb was dropped the Russian troops were ready to land in Hokkaido after having successfully destroyed Japanese Kwantung army in Manchuria. USA needed to end the war quickly to avoid the splitting of Japan similar to Germany.

    3. So true. My grandfather finished up his tour in Europe, and was on a ship transport halfway between France and Japan when they got word that the Japanese had surrendered unconditionally. He said, “i’ve never seen so much booze in all my life!”

  6. Many great men are a full of contradictions.
    And it makes us sad when our heroes flounder.
    MacArthur didn’t know when to stop. He should have stopped after Korea and retired quietly, with much fame and prestige intact.

    1. Absolutely, Wald.
      He could have gone out in glory at the end of the Second World War.
      The irony is that MacArthur actually DID retire once before, right before the Second World War started. Roosevelt asked him to come back and he did.
      (MacArthur’s career was very long…he even saw service in Europe in the First World War). But the glory and power was an intoxicant to him, and he could not stop.
      He had to self-destruct.
      But the truth is that hubris means not knowing when to stop. Read Plutarch’s “Lives”, one of the best leadership books you can get.
      I am sure you can relate this parable to recent similar events you’ve observed first hand, and draw the appropriate conclusions.

      1. The history was full of those Napoleonic personalities. Pompous, opportunist, brilliant, innovative, charismatic – but self-destructive. It is a kind of character that keeps reappearing through history.
        Which is why i really admire Caesar. He possessed that antic simplicity of thought, as well as great understanding of human motivations.

      2. Front my point of view, I think this parable will be lost on those who might be wise to heed it.
        I’ve been wrong before – I hope I am now.

    2. Looks like MacArthur forgot who was really in charge, and mistakenly thought it was him.
      The Commander in Chief is an elected, civilian position with no military rank required; certain gung-ho types seem to resent that. The Truman-MacArthur showdown was a good reminder of why.

  7. the history of armed conflict, no removal of a wartime general has been as justified, and as necessary, as the removal of MacArthur
    If you get a chance, read Tom Ricks’s brilliant book The Generals, which I wrote about at the link. He points out that, in the post-WWII era, politicians became less and less likely to relieve incompetent generals of their command.
    As the saying now goes, the private who loses his rifle gets in more trouble than the general who loses the war. There’s a meta lesson here, too: don’t get into a situation in which you have much more skin in the game than the person or people supervising you. There is perhaps no endeavor in which that’s more true than the military, where someone else’s incompetence can leave you dead.

  8. Truman was a stooge. After he took over for FDR (possibly the worst President ever) Truman wrote this magnum opus piece of over 16,000 words urging Congress to start the New Deal part 2 and increase government spending. He feared a return to the great depression. Fortunately Congress ignored him, slashed taxes, and post war unemployment went from around 20 percent to around 4 percent in about a year, thus avoiding another depression. Just like his mentor FDR, Truman couldn’t brook anyone being a free thinker under his watch, and MacArthur was a casualty of that mentality. Presidents like Wilson, FDR, and Truman are the beginning of feminism with all of their government programs, equality of outcome progressiveness, and debt financed over spending.

    1. Damn right. And you see all this guys upvoting the comment about how was good to throw an nuclear bomb at Japan’s civil population (not that I care, in war you do what is necessary) and then screaming at evil nazis. Hypocrites.

      1. Yeah. I just saw a crazy comment that asserted that if Truman hadn’t bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki we wouldn’t live today. This is just more war propaganda told to us by the Establishment to get us to support the war state. Whether or not the US was justified in entering WWII (I don’t think it was, and I support the libertarian-revisionist view on this), the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unjustified. Ralph Raico, a libertarian historian, has an article on this:

      2. From what i understand there wasn’t much we could do to halt their progress as they were on the way to securing a foothold in the Philippines, which would give them a great pivot in attacking on the eastern front. After seeing what agent orange did to the some americans of the vietnamese’ genes I’d day the bomb wasn’t as bad as some think.

    2. Umm, this couldn’t be more wrong. The late 1940s and 1950s has the highest deficit spending in the history of the republic during peace time. Nothing has compared since, not even our recent bailouts to banks. I mean, how can you be ignorant of all that was done during that time? The highway system? Federal financing of the entire suburban hellhole you see around you? GI student loan programs?
      Taxes were not slashed, and unemployment had not been 20% since before the war started.
      You are buying Republican stooge crap.
      And yes, FDR was a fag.

      1. Re-read what I wrote. You are correct in that all those programs did occur. They were part of FDR’s New Deal and were put into effect before Truman took over. Truman attempted to do it AGAIN, with more money, and advocated maintaining taxes at war rates. Congress overrode his veto of their plan and did indeed cut taxes. The unemployment rate before the war was around 20 percent, then the war, then it was back to 20 percent when all the GIs returned, then went down to around 4 percent quickly after the tax cuts.
        The deficit spending you talk about was that high, but its the only time in history that it was OK, as the rest of the industrialized world was either a smoking ruin or radioactive glass. Massive spending on infrastructure and internal programs worked in our favor. Demand was so high for rebuilding materials that only America could supply with any kind of quantity and quality. So America had the ability to spend a lot of capital on internal improvements – we had little to no competition from Europe and Asia. Its the only time Keynesian economics will work.

  9. Stalin’s and Mao’s machinations in bringing the Korean War about is fascinating, especially if one enjoys political intrigue. ROK should feature an article about their scheming sometime.

  10. If you place any stock in the generational cycle theory of history, this is an interesting dynamic from a male-sphere point of view.
    MacArthur would be considered to be a member of a generation similar to our baby-boomer generation. Truman would be considered to be a member of the next generation similar to our generation X.
    Both men manifest the traits associated with these generations. MacArthur being idealist and egotistical to a fault, and Truman being the realest understanding that he would have to sacrifice to clean up an idealist’s mess.
    If you want to read a great work which will complete your perspective on history and see where you might fit, get a copy of “Generations,” William Strauss and Neil Howe. A lot of the things that we discuss here will make sense in terms of historical cycles, and the fact that the solutions are almost already baked into the cake will astonish you. It will actually wake up the millennials here. I have listened to major thinkers for the last twenty years assume that you will clean up the mess created by the boomers. Gen X gets an even worse deal. You might find that this work causes you to plan to not be used (And I mean really used.) and tell them history stops with you.

  11. Quinton, please elaborate:
    “As he moved into North Korea and plunged northward, he committed two unforgiveable military blunders: he divided his forces for separate northward advances, and he refused to listen to intelligence reports that China was preparing an all-out invasion in support of its beleaguered North Korean ally.
    But the Chinese did enter the war, and with both feet. MacArthur’s forces were sent reeling back down the peninsula. The US Army came close to full collapse; ”
    It seems the two blunders are related: if MacArthur had listened to the intelligence reports then he wouldn’t have bothered with the separate northward advances, and instead would have held a more defensible position in anticipation of the Chinese invasion. But how much would it have mattered? Were the “both feet” of the Chinese enough to send the US Army reeling no matter what position or strategy they used? Why didn’t he heed the reports? Was it really his vanity or did he think the source was unreliable? It seems like it was a numbers game and any American commander in Korea would’ve looked bad simply due to the sheer force of the Chinese.
    MacArthur’s post-Inchon-landings strategy is really his only supposed mistake that your article mentions. The rest of it seems more like political fender-rubbing with Truman.

    1. Well, from what I’ve read, it is clear that MacArthur wanted to completely rout the North Koreans and chase them right up to the Chinese border. We can debate whether this was wise or not.
      Regardless, he had two separate armies making parallel advances up the peninsula of Korea. There was a huge gap in the forces, big enough to infiltrate a couple Chinese armies into. Which is exactly what they did.
      The Chinese had repeatedly warned the US that they would not allow hostile forces on their border. MacArthur ignored these warnings, because he had open contempt for the Chinese.
      And then they struck. Hard.
      I am not a cheerleader for Truman. I am simply trying to point out an example of how one man’s arrogance led to his downfall. I think that’s the lesson that you guys need to be taking away from this.

      1. Truman wouldn’t let Mac blow the bridges on the NK CH border…. and he couldn’t use the airforce against the chinese…. if you send a general into battle, with a limited force and stupid non strategic orders – don’t be surprised if he loses…

  12. Great read! I’m a big Truman fan…I am well aware of his flaws but I wish today’s politician could take a page or two from his book…For example…when Truman’s term was over in 1952 he was BROKE….Twenty years in Washington and he didn’t put a dime in his pocket…He had to take a bank loan to help with his moving expenses!
    Please do an article on Gen Ridgway…There is a studying in leadership we could all use on this site. If he hadn’t step up to the plate and started batting home runs when he became commander of the 8th Army we would have surely lost Korea with devastating consequences.

  13. Truman was probably the worst US president and arguably the worst leader the world has even seen, which is quite a statement when put alongside characters like Mao, Stalin and Hitler…
    He dropped the second nuke on Japan too quickly needlessly killing hundreds of thousands of citizens.
    He caved to the Zionists without so much as a wimper and gave them Palestine all to themselves, when there were other options for a jewish state, and Christians, muslims and jews had lived peacefully along side each other in Palestine for two thousand years.
    Most of the problems in the world today emanate from the terrible way the Palestine situation was handled, by this spineless VP, turned president.
    Truman has more blood on his hands than probably any other world leader. I’d piss on his grave but I can’t be bothered to travel there..
    Finally the Korean war was easily won if Macarthur had been given permission to blow the bridges from NK to China and stop the chinese pouring in….. Truman lost the war, not Macarthur.
    So basically Israel, and Korea, all the worlds hot spots were caused by this clown.

    1. “if MacArthur had been given permission…” This is the real key to the Korean conflict. Truman did not have the balls and he cut off MacArthur’s. This was a UN operation and the famous British traitor spies active at the time were relaying Truman’s wishy-washy fears to Moscow and the Chinese. The Koreans and Chinese were reading our mail. They were afraid to cross into Korea until they understood Truman was afraid of them and would not even blow the bridges- so they came on full bore. Pathetic and incredibly inept strategy, true cowardice.
      Truman’s indecision and cowardice put MacArthur in a no-win situation and the frustration blew up into the conflict QC describes. Truman was no hero or general except to Lefties. He marked the move to take war from the military and keep it under strict political supervision. Worked great in Viet Nam, a place MacAurthur warned against. He was ignored again. We lost North Korea thanks to Truman.

  14. Truman was a good president, and a good man, but if there was greatness in him it lay in knowing that he should listen to one man on these matters: George C. Marshall. Marshall advised him to fire MacArthur. After that, the decision did not take courage, it simply took good sense. Marshall was the greatest soldier America has produced save one.

  15. An interesting analysis. But, what if instead MacArthur instigated a coup d’etat against Truman?
    Perhaps MacArthur wasn’t as alpha as we wish he was?

  16. You’re quite wrong about Truman. Truman tried to give north japan to the Russians a full 2 years after the war was over and it’s only thanks to MacArthur leaking it to the press did the plan fail. Truman and the joint chiefs where also sure that the landings at Inchon would fail and thus they could finally get rid of MacArthur (Read General Bradly’s biography). Truman also refused to bomb the bridges while the Chinese army was advancing over the border into north korea for 4 days after it was detected(MacArthur had urged the destruction of those bridges for weeks before the Chinese started crossing). It’s one thing to sneak troops in, but without bringing up food and ammo the Chinese army would have ran out supplies in weeks. You can thank Truman for making sure they took back the north.
    The bombing Campaign that MacArthur wanted against China would have knocked china out of the war (admitted by Mao himself). Truman refused and it cost ten of thousands of lives for his folly. Truman knew that the state department was full of communist agents and he refused to remove any of them. Truman presided over the stabbing in the back of nationalist Chinese and he gave china to Mao by cutting off ammo supplies in the middle of an offensive.
    Truman was a communist supporting jackass who probably sacked MacArthur to make sure we lost Korea. I can’t believe people still repeat his bullshit propaganda.

  17. Interestingly, Obama, having no military experience and no interest in the military, has no problem firing generals right and left. Sonme speculate that Obama is firing anyone who he thinks would balk at firing on American citizens when ordered to.

  18. To celebrate such a genocidal murderer as General MacArthur is sick. You think Hitler was bad? At least he held all his troops to a strict code of honor. MacArthur encouraged his troops to rape German women and children and murder defenseless people. We banded with the fucking Soviets against Germany for fuck’s sake! Even supposing the deliberate extermination of several people groups by Germany did happen, Allied crimes against Germany were just as bad, if not worse.

    1. You’re a fucking idiot. MacArthur was the theater commander in the southwest Pacific, a region notable for its lack of German women, German children, and Soviets. What a fucking idiot you are.

        1. You’re still an idiot. Eisenhower ordered no such things to be done. Anything else you hear is Nazi propaganda.

        2. Google “Eisenhower’s Death Camps.” Perhaps I am incorrect in this, but I still fail to see what makes the Nazis the sum of all evil when the Soviets and Communists committed acts 10 times more atrocious than the Holocaust. I can only assume it is because people see the Jews as more valuable humans than Russians, Chinese, or Ukrainians, which ironically proves that Hitler was right about Jews.

        3. “Perhaps I am incorrect in this”
          No truer words were typed.
          Anyway, not that you’ll listen, but to address your tired old question of why so much attention is paid to the Jewish deaths in the Holocaust: it is because of percentages, not numbers. 90% of the Jewish population was wiped out. No other group comes close. It is also because of the deliberateness- the Reich was willing to lose battles and supplies just to kill Jews, which was simply not the case when it came to other ethnicities. For these reasons, the Jewish holocaust stands out as a singular historical event.

        4. But, if race doesn’t matter, then why does the percentage matter; why does it matter that 90 percent of the JEWISH people were wiped out? It was 6 million of the HUMAN race, not the Jewish people right, since race doesn’t exist. You, sir, are an ignorant racist to try and divide people by ethnicity.

  19. Truman was truly awful. He and his Sec Def cut the military way too deeply, assuming they could deal with communist expansion with just nuclear weapons. When the commies called him on it, he chickened out and instead sent his underfunded, poorly trained and badly equipped Army to try to save Korea. His fuck up cost thousands of American lives.
    MacArthur was no better. While DC was cutting funding, MacArthur was still the Commander of the Eighth Army. He could have acted like it and trained them into good soldiers and cohesive units. Instead, he let them atrophy into a worthless army of occupation. They arrived in Korea out of shape and poorly trained. They couldn’t shoot and they couldn’t maneuver. Truman should have fired him for that alone.
    If the First Marine Division had not remained sharp, Truman and Mac would have had an outright loss in Korea.

  20. MacArthur should have been court-martialed for his manhandling of veterans in DC during the Depression. Instead, he was promoted.
    His disastrous handling of the Philippines Defense after Pearl Harbor should have resulted in his resignation in disgrace. He left Wainwright holding an empty bag, forcing a surrender.
    “Dugout Doug” got a Medal of Honor for his “defense” of the P. I. ! Wainwright spent the war in a POW camp.
    MacArthur was using the Korean War to campaign for the White House, just as Custer was using the Indian Campaigns. Custer had the decency to die in combat, although he took a large number of raw troops with him.
    Dugout Doug sent troops ahead and only walked ashore when the ground was safe. Even the camera crews were in greater danger.
    What a wretch.

  21. Truman was a coward for nuking elderly Japanese twice. Real heroes of America, Smedley Butler and George Patton (the latter realized we fought on the wrong side, and shortly thereafter had “an accident”.

    1. Actually the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were an excellent stroke. The Americans either had to do that, or invade, which would have cost millions of lives. Don’t think the Japanese weren’t trying to drop a dirty bomb on Los Angeles either.

      1. Utter nonsense. Japan desperately sought to surrender for months prior, only in a way that could he viewed as honorable for the Emperor. There was no reason for dropping that bomb except to terrorize the world into accepting US superpower status and kickstart the Cold War.

        1. The American forces rightly surmised that only through complete surrender, forcing the emperor to state ON RADIO that Japan had lost, could Japan be dissuaded from ever attempting this again. They were absolutely right: every Japanese person heard their HUMAN emperor on the radio speaking to them, and this obliterated the god-like status that the emperor had over the people and caused the rabid worship of him to cease. Even now many Japanese refuse to sing their national anthem Kimi Ga Yo because it deifies the emperor in a way that the average Japanese citizen knows is not true – all thanks to the US demanding unconditional and complete surrender.
          This is the reason it ended the way it did and no other.

  22. I must say that every article I have read by Mr Curtius reminds me of my favorite history classes from junior high all the way through university the man is a deep well of knowledge and yet typically has some of the smallest comments towards his posts to me this is a shame do not forget gentleman your history or you will be doomed to repeat the wrongs thank you very much Quintus

  23. Excellent article on a pivotal point in history and of the courage it took to remove the American Caesar.

  24. I will take Patton over Eisenhower and MacArthur over Truman any day of the week. The neutralizing of those two great military men was the beginning of the end of American military superiority. How have we fared in all our undeclared wars since then? Now I shudder to think of how our feminized, bureaucratized military would fare against a real enemy. We’ll find out soon enough I suspect.

  25. Had MacArthur won and invaded China, then yes, it would be a brutal war, but nowhere near as brutal as the Cultural Revolution Mao undertook. It would’ve saved lives and made a much better China for today.

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