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Old 05-27-2019, 12:03 AM
 
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McClellan and MacArthur seem to be mentioned quite often on these types of lists.

No doubt MacArthur wasn't a very nice person, and quite overrated as a general.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...r-served-58912

Quote:
Alas, call it the laws of probability or just cosmic karma, but every nation produces bad generals as well as good ones—and America is no exception.

What is a bad general? Defining that is like defining a bad meal. Some would say that failure on the battlefield warrants censure. Others would say that it is not victory, but success in fulfilling a mission that counts.

But for whatever reason, some American commanders have lost the battle for history. Here are five of America's worst generals:


10 Reasons People Have Called General Douglas MacArthur a “Jerk”
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Old 05-27-2019, 04:53 AM
 
Location: London
4,336 posts, read 3,626,360 times
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MacArthur was removed in Korea by the president himself.

Mark Clark must be up there with them.
In WW2 the Germans to defend Italy would put a defensive line coast to coast. They allies were about to encircle the Germans and finish them off. Clark was ordered to complete the encirclement. He never, running his troops off to Rome for a party and newsreel photo shoot, allowing the Germans to retreat then reform the line. If he was German he would have been shot.

Last edited by John-UK; 05-27-2019 at 05:06 AM..
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,369 posts, read 18,468,173 times
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I'm going to question the legitimacy of any list of bad American generals which fails to include General William Hull. He is the fellow who during the War of 1812, surrendered his entire force defending Detroit without putting up a fight, to an inferior force which was running a bluff.
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:14 AM
 
Location: USA
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Generals and their political leadership are in the horrible position to trade lives for objectives, political objectives. I would have to put Westmoreland right up there for the worst. However, I am in no position to judge them.
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:28 AM
 
Location: London
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I'm going to question the legitimacy of any list of bad American generals which fails to include General William Hull. He is the fellow who during the War of 1812, surrendered his entire force defending Detroit without putting up a fight, to an inferior force which was running a bluff.
Sounds like British General Percival in Singapore. The Japanese came to the table to surrender as they had ran out of ammunition. He got in before them and surrendered first when his troops had arms and ammunition.
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:46 AM
 
9,133 posts, read 9,215,624 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburban_Guy View Post
McClellan and MacArthur seem to be mentioned quite often on these types of lists.

No doubt MacArthur wasn't a very nice person, and quite overrated as a general.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/bu...r-served-58912





10 Reasons People Have Called General Douglas MacArthur a “Jerk”
Its easy to judge from the comfortable distance of history. Some of these men though deserve a defense.

McClellan was not a terrible general. He just simply lacked the willingness to take the risks necessary to defeat the confederates. There are several things though he did that were important and useful. He instituted training for the soldiers of the Grand Army of the Potomac that helped make them a real fighting force. McClellan was loved by his men because he got them the supplies and equipment that they needed. He refused to risk their lives when he felt he didn't have adequate military intelligence about what his enemies were doing. Many people forget that he stopped the confederate army at the Battle of Antietam when they were advancing across Maryland. No military disaster can be laid at McClellan's feet. After Lincoln relieved him in 1862, he actually put him back in charge of the Army of the Potomac after experimenting with a couple of other bad commanders. McClellan wasn't going to win the Civil War, but he committed no major military blunders.

Lloyd Fredenhall was placed in the unenviable position of commanding inexperienced troops that had never fought the Germans before. The battle of Kasserine Pass was a loss for Americans, but it was not a large enough loss to be a catastrophe. What Fredenhall's superiors understood though was that they needed not only a change of command, they needed a change in the whole tone of American operations. George Patton provided that change.

MacArthur is an extremely controversial general. However, according to historian William Manchester, MacArthur shares the distinction of capturing more miles of territory in the Pacific Theater with fewer casualties than any other general in the war. His early decisions at the outbreak of the war in the Philippines were flawed. However, he quickly got his act together and successfully evacuated his soldiers to the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island. By doing this, he kept his soldiers fighting the Japanese for about five months. American forces on the Philippines held out against the Japanese longer than allied forces in Singapore, Hong Kong, Wake Island, and everywhere else in the Pacific. MacArthur deserved to be relieved for the way he treated President Truman in Korea. However, in his defense he pulled off a magnificent maneuver during the Inchon Landing. In retrospect, not using nuclear weapons was the correct thing to do in this war. However, it was not clear at the time and MacArthur had a point of view that was shared by many.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:15 AM
 
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They forgot to mention George Custer.
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Old 05-27-2019, 09:42 AM
 
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List put together by amateurs. Grant was a terrible general who wasted lives. Had he not had the immense industrial and manpower of the North to refill his ranks, he would have lost. Lee could not replace his losses while Grant could. Giving Grant great credit for his generalship is like giving the guy with a minigun credit against a musket.

Macarthur was actually an outstanding general. His mistake was assuming Truman would be willing to use total force against the Chinese to keep them out of the war. In failing to do so, Truman let down the world in a manner that extends to today. Macarthur should not have argued with Truman, but Truman felt Macarthur would be a unbeatable political opponent in the next election. It was politics of the highest order, not generalship that got Macarthur.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:14 AM
 
582 posts, read 122,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marino760 View Post
They forgot to mention George Custer.
If you're referring to the Little Bighorn debacle, that was led by Lieutenant Colonel Custer.

Custer held wartime ranks of general in the U.S. Volunteers and ranks of brevet general in the Army. In 1865 he was reverted to a rank of captain, then promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1866, a rank he still held at his death.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
26,809 posts, read 5,726,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
Its easy to judge from the comfortable distance of history. Some of these men though deserve a defense.

McClellan was not a terrible general. He just simply lacked the willingness to take the risks necessary to defeat the confederates. There are several things though he did that were important and useful. He instituted training for the soldiers of the Grand Army of the Potomac that helped make them a real fighting force. McClellan was loved by his men because he got them the supplies and equipment that they needed. He refused to risk their lives when he felt he didn't have adequate military intelligence about what his enemies were doing. Many people forget that he stopped the confederate army at the Battle of Antietam when they were advancing across Maryland. No military disaster can be laid at McClellan's feet. After Lincoln relieved him in 1862, he actually put him back in charge of the Army of the Potomac after experimenting with a couple of other bad commanders. McClellan wasn't going to win the Civil War, but he committed no major military blunders.

Lloyd Fredenhall was placed in the unenviable position of commanding inexperienced troops that had never fought the Germans before. The battle of Kasserine Pass was a loss for Americans, but it was not a large enough loss to be a catastrophe. What Fredenhall's superiors understood though was that they needed not only a change of command, they needed a change in the whole tone of American operations. George Patton provided that change.






MacArthur is an extremely controversial general. However, according to historian William Manchester, MacArthur shares the distinction of capturing more miles of territory in the Pacific Theater with fewer casualties than any other general in the war. His early decisions at the outbreak of the war in the Philippines were flawed. However, he quickly got his act together and successfully evacuated his soldiers to the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor Island. By doing this, he kept his soldiers fighting the Japanese for about five months. American forces on the Philippines held out against the Japanese longer than allied forces in Singapore, Hong Kong, Wake Island, and everywhere else in the Pacific. MacArthur deserved to be relieved for the way he treated President Truman in Korea. However, in his defense he pulled off a magnificent maneuver during the Inchon Landing. In retrospect, not using nuclear weapons was the correct thing to do in this war. However, it was not clear at the time and MacArthur had a point of view that was shared by many.

Just read a lengthy bio on MacArthur and I agree with you...
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