Notes from American Caesar

Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964
by William Manchester

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

Site Search

Also sponsored by Peace Pins

Popular pages:

U.S. War Against Asia
Barack Obama
Democratic Party
Republican Party
Natural Liberation


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.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

MacArthur vetoed the idea of a putative expedition against the Huks, saying “They tell me the Huks are socialistic, that they are revolutionary, but I haven’t got the heart to go after them. If I worked in those sugar fields I’d probably be a Huk myself.” [420]

Manchester believes that peace feelers put out by Japan in May 1945 might have been taken up by Roosevelt, but in any case President Truman and his advisors rejected the idea of peace negotiations. In July the Potsdam declaration demanded, again, unconditional surrender. “MacArthur was appalled … ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General’s advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary.” [437]

War crimes [my interpretation, not Manchester’s]: 2 million homes destroyed. 670,000 civilians died in the bombings. Also1,270,000 Japanese soldiers killed in action. [465]

The Japanese people, who had not known of war crimes committed by Japanese soldiers, were appalled when they found out. MacArthur noted a “growing consciousness of Japan’s war guilt.” [in contrast to American’s easy consciences regarding their own war crimes and role in starting the war] [473]

Masaharu Homma (victor over MacArthur at the beginning of the war) and Tomoyuki Yamashita (loser to MacArthur at the end of the war) were prosecuted and convicted for war crimes in the Philippines. Some of their soldiers had committed crimes, but “their outrages had not been committed on instructions from their commanders.” 1,128 Japanese were charged with war crimes, 174 sentenced to death, but only 7 actually executed in Japan, hanged in unison, including Tojo and Hirota. 210,000 Japanese were forbidden reentry to public life. Homma and Yamashita were tried and executed in the Philippines. [483-485]Outside observers did not believe the trials were fair. “The twelve reporters who heard all the testimony polled one another and found for the defendant [Yamashita] 12 to 0.” [485] “But no hard evidence linked Homma with the Death March of 1942. At most he was … unable to control the brutality of his men.” [485] The U.S. Supreme Court heard an appeal but upheld the verdicts 7 to 2, but the dissenters were “vehement and persuasive.”

Next Page

III Blog list of articles