Sunday, October 07, 2007

Eisenhower vs. MacArthur

West Point Graduates
Both Chief of Staff
Both Heavy Chain Smokers
Both Heads of Theater Operations in WW II
Both Lt. Generals In WW II
Both Loved Football and followed the Army-navy Game Religiously
Neither man went to Church but both believed in God
Both wanted to Be President and run on the Republican ticket
Neither liked Harry Truman
Neither liked FDR
Both married Southerners.

Ike never saw Combat or commanded troops in the field. MacArthur was wounded twice, won awards for bravery and saw combat in Mexico, France, and the Philippines (1903). He commanded the 84th brigade and the 42 division in combat in WW II.

MacArthur - despite the nickname of "dugout dug" often established his HQ near the front (see Leyte and Luzon), he made constant visits to the front, over saw landings from ship, and boarded C-47 airplanes to watch the paratroopers jump to the Drop zone.

Ike on the other hand, rarely visited the front. During the North African, Italy, and Sicily campaigns he spent most of his time in Algeria. He didn't visit Normandy until June 24th, or move his HQ to France until August 1944. After the line stabilized,he moved SHAEF to Versailles outside Paris.

MacArthur was a star and rose like a rocket. 1st in his class at the Academy, aide to TR at 26. General and war hero at 38, Head of West point at 39. Major General at 45, and Lt General and Army COS at 50.

Ike by comparison was the Tortoise. Graduated in the middle of West point class in 1915. Never got to France in WW I. From 1919 to 1932 he was variously a generals aide, a recruiting officer, a football coach, ghost writer, author of a book on American battlefield monuments in France, a war planner and an aide to the Secretary of War. From 1932 to 1939 he was an aide to MacArthur. Promoted to full Colonel in 1940 and finally to General in 1941, at the age of 51. But starting in 1942 his career took off. Commander of ETO, General in December 1944, along with MacArthur. Chief of staff 1945, and President 1952

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