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Subject: Aussies did not like what they were pounding - Morotai Mutiny rss

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morotai_Mutiny

"The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal George Jones, would later contend that the RAAF, in the words of Air Force historian Alan Stephens, "was 'side-stepped' out of the final victory over Japan by MacArthur, who wanted all the glory for himself"

I have never been a big fan of Mac's - so much of what he did was for personal glory at the expense of his me, is the conclusion I get from history - and the SOB wanted a nuclear war in Korea.
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I'm sure you meant "Aussies did not like what they were pound-for-pounding"
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Steve Arthur
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Wilhammer wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morotai_Mutiny

"The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal George Jones, would later contend that the RAAF, in the words of Air Force historian Alan Stephens, "was 'side-stepped' out of the final victory over Japan by MacArthur, who wanted all the glory for himself"

I have never been a big fan of Mac's - so much of what he did was for personal glory at the expense of his me, is the conclusion I get from history - and the SOB wanted a nuclear war in Korea.



This may well be true about MacArthur but...his greatest importance to Australia in the Pacific War was that he represented the living embodiment of the US's commitment to help us in our darkest hour following the removal of the British imperial security blanket that had always appeared to serve us so well...the Singapore disaster and the cynical efforts of Churchill to keep our troops where they most served British interests revealed the hollowness of our reliance on imperial protection...MacArthur was here and we were glad to have him warts and all because of what he represented...
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I can say that a lot of people wonder what the Tarakan Campaign's point was - and was it really necessary -yet, it isn't exactly talked much in the US, because other things were going on in 1945.

Which doesn't make it any less real, but I suppose less realized.

___

Being an American whose father worked for a US vet of New Guinea, one of the side benefits of MacArthur was slagging the Australian troops there as not being up to it. I know that, as that was the opinion this particular guy gave my father -now to me, something like that only emanates from the top. MacArthur was not too interested in acknowledging anyone but himself -not even the USN apart from what parts he had any direct control over. There is a book or so out there that I have to track down, I seem to recall the title being "The Politics of War" -which iirc the author's surname was Day -and it is about MacArthur's relationship with Australia during WWII. It may have been with Australia's govt leaders as well as Blamey. And of course I got the impression that Blamey just went along with it all (I'll have to read more about it really) ... thing is I'd been to the War Memorial in Canberra, and vets (or guys I take to be vets -as in -in their 80's) are visiting all of the time- and I wonder if anyone with an American accent has ever bothered to thank them -as really isn't one person's sacrifices for the same cause equal to another's?
 
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Wilhammer wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morotai_Mutiny



I have never been a big fan of Mac's





Bill for a good read American Caesar by William Manchester
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southern_cross_116 wrote:
I can say that a lot of people wonder what the Tarakan Campaign's point was - and was it really necessary -yet, it isn't exactly talked much in the US, because other things were going on in 1945.

Which doesn't make it any less real, but I suppose less realized.

___

Being an American whose father worked for a US vet of New Guinea, one of the side benefits of MacArthur was slagging the Australian troops there as not being up to it. I know that, as that was the opinion this particular guy gave my father -now to me, something like that only emanates from the top. MacArthur was not too interested in acknowledging anyone but himself -not even the USN apart from what parts he had any direct control over. There is a book or so out there that I have to track down, I seem to recall the title being "The Politics of War" -which iirc the author's surname was Day -and it is about MacArthur's relationship with Australia during WWII. It may have been with Australia's govt leaders as well as Blamey. And of course I got the impression that Blamey just went along with it all (I'll have to read more about it really) ... thing is I'd been to the War Memorial in Canberra, and vets (or guys I take to be vets -as in -in their 80's) are visiting all of the time- and I wonder if anyone with an American accent has ever bothered to thank them -as really isn't one person's sacrifices for the same cause equal to another's?


The author of the book you refer to is David Day and it is a very good work on the relationship that Australia had with both the British and US governments...it would be very hard for non-Australians to appreciate the level of concern in this country after the fall of Singapore...it appeared that the Japanese were carrying all before them at that time and that it could only be a matter of weeks before they would begin to carry the war to the shores of the Australian mainland...nearly all our best troops were in the Middle East with one entire division captured in Malaya and Singapore...all we really had available in Australia were half trained Militia units that were of unknown quality...Churchill was actively trying to retain the veteran AIF divisions under British control hindering any effort to bring them home...at this point the Australian prime minister a truly great wartime leader named John Curtin defied Churchill's wishes and insisted on the return of the Australian divisions...this was a turning point in Australian history because it amounted to an unprecedented severing of the umbilical cord with the 'mother country' an important psychological step for us...Curtin was able to see that the US and not a far off and preoccupied Britain with it's fading empire held the key for our defense...thus MacArthur was welcomed here as the embodiment of our future security...on General Blamey...our highest ranked soldier of the war was a contraversial and polarising figure (my own father who was in the airforce during the war hated him)...though an efficient and experienced staff officer he was very concious of his own position and was very good at shifting blame and finding scapegoats...his infamous 'rabbits' speech to Australian troops in New Guinea and the unjust sacking of Brigadier Arnold Potts the hero of the Kokoda retreat are just two of the disgraceful deeds of this man...I think the Australian troops of the time if they'd known of MacArthur's disparaging remarks about them would have laughed them off,but Blamey's failure to support them amounted to a betrayal of his own counrtymen and they knew it...
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Wilhammer wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morotai_Mutiny

"The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal George Jones, would later contend that the RAAF, in the words of Air Force historian Alan Stephens, "was 'side-stepped' out of the final victory over Japan by MacArthur, who wanted all the glory for himself"

I have never been a big fan of Mac's - so much of what he did was for personal glory at the expense of his me, is the conclusion I get from history - and the SOB wanted a nuclear war in Korea.


Sorry Bill my last post got a bit off topic...'mutinies' are not unusual in the Australian armed forces when they feel they are being misused...there was at least one serious incident in WWI and Blamey was lucky that his 'rabbits' speech referred to above was received only with 'comments' from the ranks that had many officers worried for the general's safety...
 
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southern_cross_116 wrote:

Being an American whose father worked for a US vet of New Guinea, one of the side benefits of MacArthur was slagging the Australian troops there as not being up to it.


My grandfather was a navigator in a Liberator sqadron flying out of the Northern Territory.

A concern that was aired by the US Airforce before the squadron received the "new" Liberators was whether the air-crew would be "up to flying them".

Didn't go down well with my Granddad!
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I seem to remember another another complaint regarding MacArthurs strategy to use Australian troops as an assualt force and then replacing them with US troops and declining to mention Australian participation.

I'll have to chase this up and see if my memory serves me.
 
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Yes,I've heard that one about MacArthur not being keen on flying...it would be interesting to know for sure if it was true...he arrived in this country after escaping from Philipines in a Flying Fortress so I presume he could do it when he needed to...with MacArthur and New Guinea we must remember that he was out of touch with what was going on on the ground...in this respect he was let down by his own subordinates especially the Australian general Blamey and his staff...he certainly was very hard on his own troops...MacArthur's impatience was directly responsible for the disastrously premature commitment of green US army formations without adequate training or acclimatisation...
 
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Atraxrobustus wrote:


The author of the book you refer to is David Day and it is a very good work on the relationship that Australia had with both the British and US governments...it would be very hard for non-Australians to appreciate the level of concern in this country after the fall of Singapore...it appeared that the Japanese were carrying all before them at that time and that it could only be a matter of weeks before they would begin to carry the war to the shores of the Australian mainland...nearly all our best troops were in the Middle East with one entire division captured in Malaya and Singapore...all we really had available in Australia were half trained Militia units that were of unknown quality...Churchill was actively trying to retain the veteran AIF divisions under British control hindering any effort to bring them home...at this point the Australian prime minister a truly great wartime leader named John Curtin defied Churchill's wishes and insisted on the return of the Australian divisions...this was a turning point in Australian history because it amounted to an unprecedented severing of the umbilical cord with the 'mother country' an important psychological step for us...Curtin was able to see that the US and not a far off and preoccupied Britain with it's fading empire held the key for our defense...thus MacArthur was welcomed here as the embodiment of our future security...on General Blamey...our highest ranked soldier of the war was a contraversial and polarising figure (my own father who was in the airforce during the war hated him)...though an efficient and experienced staff officer he was very concious of his own position and was very good at shifting blame and finding scapegoats...his infamous 'rabbits' speech to Australian troops in New Guinea and the unjust sacking of Brigadier Arnold Potts the hero of the Kokoda retreat are just two of the disgraceful deeds of this man...I think the Australian troops of the time if they'd known of MacArthur's disparaging remarks about them would have laughed them off,but Blamey's failure to support them amounted to a betrayal of his own counrtymen and they knew it...



You know -I am looking at the situation from the perspective of an American who has been living here in Oz for about 3 1/2 years- and it is particularly poignant to me coming up on ANZAC Day. I know this isn't news to some of you guys here (I mean who am I to speak to Australians about Australia after all... I just appreciate being accepted here -well here in Oz and that is the best thing I can say about here -but for guys that might not be aware). The entire 8th Division was lost in Malaya which is a big big deal, considering how few units Australia fielded. The fact is that very few families here were not touched by war in either (probably both) WW I and WWII -in my own world I know of men who were in the 6th (from North Africa to Greece to New Guinea), to the 9th, as well as the 8th. Also the AIF units were all volunteer, not that that actually held many guys back - like WWI there would not be many families that would not have been impacted by WWII, so in my observation, this is a big reason as to why Australia is very introspective on these wars. There was an awful lot of loss based upon the relative size of the population; and that is a little hard, I think, for some folks to get their head around as well.

At any rate, the point -what you'd written above pretty much speaks to exactly the way I've seen it; but I guess the point too is you have to look to see it.

A couple of other names worth looking in to that are fairly well known here but not necessarily so much outside Australia is a guy name 'Weary Dunlop' and Sandokan. The AWM has a wall of service photos for all of the guys that died in that camp, and you know a number like 5,000 looks pretty sterile in a book, or even as a group of photos on a wall, but you have to get up close and understand the costs (and of course that holds true for other similar figures and events -it is just that this particular display was very effective).

I appreciate you bringing all that up in that fashion as it was a way I was not capable of doing, but was aware it existed.
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I know that wall of photos...it is one of the few things that always make me cry...
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Last year, my 15 year old daughter and I sat in that room, with those photos, for almost 10 minutes in silence. The most powerful thing inthe whole museum.
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Atraxrobustus wrote:


This may well be true about MacArthur but...his greatest importance to Australia in the Pacific War was that he represented the living embodiment of the US's commitment to help us in our darkest hour following the removal of the British imperial security blanket that had always appeared to serve us so well...the Singapore disaster and the cynical efforts of Churchill to keep our troops where they most served British interests revealed the hollowness of our reliance on imperial protection...MacArthur was here and we were glad to have him warts and all because of what he represented...


Even as an Australian I don't blame Churchill for what he did. Like just about every world leader at every point in time he was looking after his own interests. Much, I dare say, as the Americans were, and their support would have been equally hollow if it served them better to be so.

For those Aussies out there watching The Pacific - any verdict on it yet?
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billyboy wrote:
Wilhammer wrote:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morotai_Mutiny



I have never been a big fan of Mac's





Bill for a good read American Caesar by William Manchester


Read that years ago - not very friendly to the man.
 
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abeniman wrote:
Atraxrobustus wrote:


This may well be true about MacArthur but...his greatest importance to Australia in the Pacific War was that he represented the living embodiment of the US's commitment to help us in our darkest hour following the removal of the British imperial security blanket that had always appeared to serve us so well...the Singapore disaster and the cynical efforts of Churchill to keep our troops where they most served British interests revealed the hollowness of our reliance on imperial protection...MacArthur was here and we were glad to have him warts and all because of what he represented...


Even as an Australian I don't blame Churchill for what he did. Like just about every world leader at every point in time he was looking after his own interests. Much, I dare say, as the Americans were, and their support would have been equally hollow if it served them better to be so.

For those Aussies out there watching The Pacific - any verdict on it yet?


Been watching 'The Pacific'...the bloody ad breaks are driving me crazy...very impressed with accuracy of gear,location etc....it's early days yet but I think I liked 'Band of Brothers' better,but I'm sure I'll get the DVD when it comes out...on Churchill...I do blame him and Menzies (our PM at the begining of the war for non-Aussies) whose 'British to the bootstraps' attitude bordered on the treasonous...we were extremely fortunate that Curtin,a man of great courage and vision became PM at the crucial moment...as to American altruism...I think their attitude to us was 'the enemy of our enemy is our friend' and that was enough for total commitment...they could have left us to it,concentrated all their resources in the central Pacific and taken the straight road to Japan,but they didn't...
 
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I'm going to wait for the DvD as I don't want to put up with Channel 7's advertisements. But I will get it and I know it will affect me the same way as Flags of our Fathers did; I don't remember if I left it in one of my posts -but my uncle was in the Marines and at Iwo Jima (I found out later he was in a number of landings), all he'd ever talk about was the post-war occupation of Japan.

Shows and oral histories are the only way I will be able to relate to what he went through; it isn't that uncommon. What happened to those guys wasn't a commodity to be sold, but I don't know that all the media outlets always respect that (I am meaning media in the broadest possible terms -I have seen a lot of overpriced, chest beating cartoon-ish junk at the news agents. )

I wish someone would be in a position to do something similar for an Australian's experience and treat it with the same sort of respect that Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan and I assume The Pacific has (since they are all by basically the same people). ANZACs (about WW I) is similar, but it was done in a different time, and had some comedic elements -but it is basically the same idea. I'd remembered that they'd run in on Chicago TV back when I was a teen -so I had to pick it up when I got here.

Saw the first part of the ABC docco -Kokoda last night, I probably wouldn't have watched it if I hadn't have worked out it was based upon Paul Ham's book (the way it was promoted made it look a little more on the "History Channel" side of things- but it was a pretty straight forward docco with reenactors for some of the action scenes and mostly focussed on reading from diaries and interviews with participants, Ham and at least one other historian. It won't be to the same standard as a Speilberg production, but it was pretty effective.
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And MacArthur's failure to defend against Japanese attack on Dec. 8th, even after hearing about Pearl Harbor, further sullies his reputation as a smart military commander (and I won't even go into his attack against the Bonus Marchers.)
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southern_cross_116 wrote:
I'm going to wait for the DvD as I don't want to put up with Channel 7's advertisements. But I will get it and I know it will affect me the same way as Flags of our Fathers did; I don't remember if I left it in one of my posts -but my uncle was in the Marines and at Iwo Jima (I found out later he was in a number of landings), all he'd ever talk about was the post-war occupation of Japan.

Shows and oral histories are the only way I will be able to relate to what he went through; it isn't that uncommon. What happened to those guys wasn't a commodity to be sold, but I don't know that all the media outlets always respect that (I am meaning media in the broadest possible terms -I have seen a lot of overpriced, chest beating cartoon-ish junk at the news agents. )

I wish someone would be in a position to do something similar for an Australian's experience and treat it with the same sort of respect that Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan and I assume The Pacific has (since they are all by basically the same people). ANZACs (about WW I) is similar, but it was done in a different time, and had some comedic elements -but it is basically the same idea. I'd remembered that they'd run in on Chicago TV back when I was a teen -so I had to pick it up when I got here.

Saw the first part of the ABC docco -Kokoda last night, I probably wouldn't have watched it if I hadn't have worked out it was based upon Paul Ham's book (the way it was promoted made it look a little more on the "History Channel" side of things- but it was a pretty straight forward docco with reenactors for some of the action scenes and mostly focussed on reading from diaries and interviews with participants, Ham and at least one other historian. It won't be to the same standard as a Speilberg production, but it was pretty effective.


Missed last nights doco...(oddly enough it's wargaming night) but I have a friend who accidently left his recording gear on...Paul Ham's book on Australia's efforts in Vietnam very good...another really good read on Australia in New Guinea is Peter Brune's 'A Bastard of a Place'...also deals comprehensively with the lesser known but equally important Milne Bay battles and with the tragic US involvement on the ground...
 
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DrFlanagan wrote:
And MacArthur's failure to defend against Japanese attack on Dec. 8th, even after hearing about Pearl Harbor, further sullies his reputation as a smart military commander (and I won't even go into his attack against the Bonus Marchers.)


I believe the scope of MacArthur's ambitions extended even to the White House...if so I'm very glad that this never came to pass...








 
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DrFlanagan wrote:
And MacArthur's failure to defend against Japanese attack on Dec. 8th, even after hearing about Pearl Harbor, further sullies his reputation as a smart military commander (and I won't even go into his attack against the Bonus Marchers.)


Patton had a Bonus March cameo too... he lead the cavalry charge. shake Are there any consims depicting that "battle"?
 
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southern_cross_116 wrote:
I can say that a lot of people wonder what the Tarakan Campaign's point was - and was it really necessary -yet, it isn't exactly talked much in the US, because other things were going on in 1945.

Tarakan: an Australian Tragedy is a good read on the subject. My Dad's book also has a first-hand account of the landing.
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Damjon wrote:
A concern that was aired by the US Airforce before the squadron received the "new" Liberators was whether the air-crew would be "up to flying them".


Liberators were a bit of a beast to fly apparently, pilots need a fair bit of strength, and the crew positions were uncomfortable. So the USAF query might well have been in that vein.
 
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ftarzanin wrote:

I've read several books on the Papua campaign and NONE of them are very complimentary of MacAurthur. The man botched the Papua campaign pretty badly. First he insulted the Aussies after his intelligence completely blew the fact that they where facing a pretty large Japanese assault. Then when the american troops where thrown into combat half baked, poorly equipped and with inadequate supplies he was surprised when they didn't perform well. However, rather than just letting the Japanese starve to death, he decided to assault the Japanese using WWI tactics in the Jungle for what is likely political reasons. Then he sacked a popular division commander despite the fact that McAurther never saw the terrain nor the condition of his troops. Finally, the new commander was successful only after McAurther granted his new commander the very equipment he denied to his earlier commander.



To be fair, MacArthur was as uninformed about conditions in Papua as the Australian High Command, Blamey in particular. And if MacArthur was tough on Australian troops, his comment to Eichelburger is more so.
"Bob, I want you to take Buna, or not come back alive ... And that goes for your chief of staff, too."

I think it is best to remember that this was December 1942, and nobody yet had any experience of fanatical Japanese defence. Military convention was that defenders surrounded in hopeless positions would surrender, and squeeze them harder, they give up quicker.

About the best thing you can say for MacArthur is that if assaulting Buna and Gona were blunders, at least MacArthur didn't repeat them. From then on it was "loops of encirclement" (essentially island hopping). MacArthur had Buna/Gona, Nimitz had Tarawa.

Regarding Tarakan (June 1945), whilst MacArthur clearly wanted to use American troops in the drive on Japan, there are some legitimate reasons for the Tarakan operation.
- simplifying the command structure (i.e. no Blamey or Chifley)
- Australian AMF units (draftees) were not supposed to serve above the equator.
- nobody knew about the A-bomb, so capturing local oil sources for future war efforts made sense.

So I don't want to appear like a MacArthur fan boy, the verdict of his contemporaries and historians is that he was self-serving, career conscious and egotistical. OTOH, he clearly isn't an idiot or a coward, and he did get the job done, even if he did bruise egos around him.
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Clive "Killer" Caldwell - one of the major figures in that incident is a hell of an interesting character.

He is also probably Australia's finest ace by quite a long shot. While German experten were running up huge tallies against raw Russian recruits while flying vastly superior aircraft Caldwell was shooting them down in North Africa flying the completely outclassed P-40. Incedentally it was his unit that inspired the shark mouth nose art for the Flying Tigers in China (allthough they originally copied it from some German 110's)

He also seems to be a perennial pain in the backside to his superiors being demoted for smuggling liquor to US forces during the Morotai Mutiny as well as being reprimanded for field modifiying his Spitfire in the Pacific to carry six .50 cal machine guns instead of the approved two .50's and two 20mm because he was sick of the poor accuracy of the cannon and the frequent jamming problems.
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