Notes from American Caesar

Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964
by William Manchester

For The U.S. War Against Asia
by William P. Meyers

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History notes

All [page numbers] reference Amerian Caesar, Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964 by William Manchester. Published by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1978, ISBN 0-316-54498-1.

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America had its share of pacifists. “the Ludlow resolution, which would have required a national referendum before a declaration of war, was narrowly defeated in Congress.” [172]

In 1937 Quezon announced that he wanted the date for Philippine independence moved up from 1946 to 1938. “Roosevelt, furious, first refused to receive him.” But Quezon could get no support from Congress. On the same trip MacArthur was going around the Chiefs of Staff to ask Congressmen for more money for the occupation army in the Philippines, but was rebuffed. “The army expressed fear that issuing arms would encourage a native uprising.” [174]

MacArthur resigned from the U.S. Army on December 31, 1937, but he stayed on as the Field Marshall of the Philippines. [180, 182]

Quezon in July of 1938 travelled to Tokyo to discuss possibly making the Philippines neutral. “Returning, he again demanded that the United States accelerate plans for Philippine independence … by the end of the 1930s. When Washington’s responses were cool, he began his slashing of defense budgets. Filipino troops at the time were paid $7 per month. Quezon talked of dismissing MacArthur. [182] Later President, then assistant to MacArthur, lieutenant colonel Dwight Eisenhower was sent to the U.S. to lobby for weapons. Congress and the War Department refused even to loan money or weapons to the Philippines. [183]

When the British, already fighting Germany, made war plans with the U.S. in 1941, the Orange plan was dropped in favor of the Joint Basic War Plan, aka Rainbow Five. The plan was to defeat Germany first, meanwhile abandoning East Asia, including the Philippines, to the Japanese. No plan was made to reinforce or evacuate U.S. troops, including Filipino units. This was done without MacArthur’s knowledge. [187]

On July 26, 1941 FDR ordered that the Filipino troops be merged into the American Army, with MacArthur its commanding general. “At the same time the President issued several other executive orders which made eventual war between America and Japan inevitable.” U.S. assets of Japanese and Chinese were frozen, Panama Canal closed to Japan, embargo on oil, iron and rubber. Britain and Holland joined the embargo at FDR’s request. “Since the Japanese had none of these resources – imperial warships couldn’t even leave home waters without foreign oil – they were confronted with a blunt choice: either withdraw from mainland China or invade Malaya and the Dutch East Indies.” [190]

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