Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Retribution: Max Hastings hates MacArthur

Max Hastings' book on the last year of the Pacific War is a perfect example of MacArthur Derangement Syndrome (MDS). I've never read a respected military historian who hates an Allied general as much as Max hates Mac. Here are some Hastings' comments from Retribution:

  • MacArthur by contrast seemed to reject accountability to any earthly power.(P19)
  • MacArthur displayed a a taste for fantasy quite unsuited to a field commander. together with an ambition close to megalomania and a consistently poor judgment as a picker of subordinates.(p20)
  • Army insiders held MacA personally responsible for the Philippines debacle, by failures of commission and omission, This was unjust, although his generalship was poor...(p20)
  • He shamelessly manipulated communiques about his forces achievements, deprived subordinates of credit for successes, shrugged off his own responsibility for failures.
  • He made no jokes, and possessed no small talk, though he would occasionally talk baseball to enlisted men in an effort to deceive them that he was human (p22)
  • His belief that his critics were not merely wrong, but evil verged on derangement.
  • Most distasteful of all his wartime actions was a flirtation with a 1944 run against FDR, whose liberalism affronted his own rabidly conservative convictions Only when he realized he could not defeat Dewey for the Republican nomination did he finally exclude himself. (P23).
And this is just the first 25 pages of a 560 page book! So far it seems that Hastings is the "deranged" one - not MacArthur.

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