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Old 02-11-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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Heres one for all you military buffs,after the US airforce was wiped out on 8 December 1941,and with no hope of reinforcement,why didn't MacArthur send his troops into the bush to fight a guerilla war instead of holing up on Bataan and ultimate defeat/starvation?
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:34 PM
 
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I'm not an expert on the issue, but I think MacArthur was still expecting releif and reinforcements, or at least supplies (not sure how they would have done that, with it being so far in enemy controlled waters) to lift the siege or support the defense. I know at some point he was told to expect none, not sure at what point that was Also military doctrine would state to close in your lines to a good defensible point to at least make the enemy pay in time and casualties for the remaining ground.

I don't think american troops were particularly trained for guerilla warfare, particularly not in a jungle environment, and many were support staff - supply clerks, mechanics, medical workers, etc.
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:40 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I'm not an expert on the issue, but I think MacArthur was still expecting releif and reinforcements, or at least supplies (not sure how they would have done that, with it being so far in enemy controlled waters) to lift the siege or support the defense. I know at some point he was told to expect none, not sure at what point that was Also military doctrine would state to close in your lines to a good defensible point to at least make the enemy pay in time and casualties for the remaining ground.

I don't think american troops were particularly trained for guerilla warfare, particularly not in a jungle environment, and many were support staff - supply clerks, mechanics, medical workers, etc.
Yeah, I'd have to agree with all of that.
It's important to remember that commanders at the time didn't know what we know today - that the Japanese were going to sweep over such a large area so quickly and that they were going to hold it for so long. - although clearly MacArthur knew when they retreated to Bataan that the situation was serious.

Ken
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Old 02-11-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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To me, the salient issue is why did MacArthur allow the Air Force to be destroyed on the ground in the Philippines, 10 hours after Pearl Harbor? Mind you, I'm not one of the Pearl Harbor Conspiracy nitwits. I just think it was gross incompetence from Mac, the one blot on an otherwise distinguished career.

Guerrilla warfare takes a completely different kind of training than conventional warfare. And, if you recall, American army doctrine was still rooted deeply into the First World War. So fortifying a narrow peninsula and holding out was the conventional military wisdom of the day.
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:02 PM
 
Location: SE Arizona - FINALLY! :D
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Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
To me, the salient issue is why did MacArthur allow the Air Force to be destroyed on the ground in the Philippines, 10 hours after Pearl Harbor? Mind you, I'm not one of the Pearl Harbor Conspiracy nitwits. I just think it was gross incompetence from Mac, the one blot on an otherwise distinguished career.
Indeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
Guerrilla warfare takes a completely different kind of training than conventional warfare. And, if you recall, American army doctrine was still rooted deeply into the First World War. So fortifying a narrow peninsula and holding out was the conventional military wisdom of the day.
Yes, the US forces at the time would not have even been able to survive n the jungle for any length of time, let alone fight effectively. They were very poorly equipped and trained and were in no way, shape or form up to the rigors of guerrilla warfare.

Ken
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I'm not an expert on the issue, but I think MacArthur was still expecting releif and reinforcements, or at least supplies (not sure how they would have done that, with it being so far in enemy controlled waters) to lift the siege or support the defense. I know at some point he was told to expect none, not sure at what point that was Also military doctrine would state to close in your lines to a good defensible point to at least make the enemy pay in time and casualties for the remaining ground.

I don't think american troops were particularly trained for guerilla warfare, particularly not in a jungle environment, and many were support staff - supply clerks, mechanics, medical workers, etc.
McAurthur stripped the stockpiles on the Bataan pennisula the previous two years which had been accumulated there over the previous forty as part of War Plan Orange 5,and instead decided to move to an active defense on the beaches of Luzon Island to repel invasion,being sold on this by proponents of B-17's/precision daylight bombing,my point is this,he had spread supplies throughout the island,his main forces were semi trained Filipino Army units,approximately 100,000,the only US ground forces were the Phillipine Division consisting of 34th and 57thUS Infantry(Phillipine Scouts),and 26th US Cavalry (Horsed),most American servicemen on the Islands were USAAFFE Pilots,Mechanics and Coast Artillery Units, approximately 15,000 troops total,as well as 5th US Marine Regiment,with the exception of USAAFFE personnel and Coast Artillery,ALL the professional units were used to guerilla warfare,thats why they were called scouts!horses would have been discarded cavalry are great screen/recon troops,Marines had fought numerous small unit engagements in Nicaragua,China,you name it,the Filipino Army was completetly lacking in heavy weapons and large unit training,population in great majority were for america and anti japanese,if units had dispersed Japanese forces in great number would have been tied down in the Phillipines for the duration of the war,I say all this in the full knowledge that McAurthur's bombastic ego could imagine anything more than glorious victory on the mighty field of battle!
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nitroae23 View Post
McAurthur stripped the stockpiles on the Bataan pennisula the previous two years which had been accumulated there over the previous forty as part of War Plan Orange 5,and instead decided to move to an active defense on the beaches of Luzon Island to repel invasion,being sold on this by proponents of B-17's/precision daylight bombing,my point is this,he had spread supplies throughout the island,his main forces were semi trained Filipino Army units,approximately 100,000,the only US ground forces were the Phillipine Division consisting of 34th and 57thUS Infantry(Phillipine Scouts),and 26th US Cavalry (Horsed),most American servicemen on the Islands were USAAFFE Pilots,Mechanics and Coast Artillery Units, approximately 15,000 troops total,as well as 5th US Marine Regiment,with the exception of USAAFFE personnel and Coast Artillery,ALL the professional units were used to guerilla warfare,thats why they were called scouts!horses would have been discarded cavalry are great screen/recon troops,Marines had fought numerous small unit engagements in Nicaragua,China,you name it,the Filipino Army was completetly lacking in heavy weapons and large unit training,population in great majority were for america and anti japanese,if units had dispersed Japanese forces in great number would have been tied down in the Phillipines for the duration of the war,I say all this in the full knowledge that McAurthur's bombastic ego could imagine anything more than glorious victory on the mighty field of battle!
Hmmm, interesting.

You know another fact by holding out on Bataan with an organized force is that we tied up Japanese forces for like 5 months and that gave us an oppurtunity to build up and repair our fleet and fortify some of the other allied pacific outposts. Not sure if that Japanese manpower drain would have been as effective with a guirella campaign.
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:44 AM
 
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Further Japanese conquests were more constrained by lack of available shipping than troops,only a small holding force,one division and one understrength brigade were holding down the entire army on Bataaan as late as early February '42
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