Douglas MacArthur


// Biography of General Douglas MacArthur.


General MacArthur was born seems doomed to war. His life was a succession of battles in various theaters of war, the First World War, part of the Rainbow Division, fought in Europe, fought in the Second World War in the Far East and, years later, he returned to the Pacific to fight in Korea . 

MacArthur will not have forgotten the words spoken by the then Secretary of State for Defence American, Elihu Root, on 11 June 1903, when he finished the course at the Military Academy at West Point: Before leaving the Army, to make Faith in History, you will be forced to fight a new war. 

Born on January 26, 1880 in Little Rock, Arkansas, MacArthur had traced the ancestry of Scots MacArthur to King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. With the fantasy that it was proper, justified the MacArthur family scrolls with a Scottish old maxim: There is nothing older, except the hills, than the Mac Artair and the devil.

A military family

As is true with respect to the general de Gaulle, it is difficult to imagine other career MacArthur than the arms. His father, a former general, Douglas enrolled at the Military Academy at West Point on June 13, 1889, the property would return years later as director. 

Completed the course in June 1903, was placed in the Philippines, an archipelago that again several times throughout his career and ultimately the mark, since MacArthur lived there the great moments of glory and the most tragic days. 

Promoted to Lieutenant, MacArthur was transferred to Washington, being appointed aide de camp of President Theodore Roosevelt, returning to the Philippines in 1935 with his position as head of the U.S. military mission. Two years later, in 1937, leaving the active and not for the fact that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, his career would end without brightness or glory. 

In June 1941 the asset returns for the moment that triggers the conflict nipo American, take command of the U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East.

Heroic and glorious career

Pearl Harbor and the Japanese occupation of the Philippines marks a turning point in the life of MacArthur, laying it on a heroic and glorious career at doses almost enough to satisfy his immense vanity. 

He tried using the defenses that he himself created, preventing the landing nippon in the Philippines. But the Japanese force (led by a man he would eventually put to death) was comprised of 80,000 men, twice as many defenders of Luzon. Even at a disadvantage, and knowing that their efforts would be fruitless, MacArthur defended Bataan and Corregidor until the end. 

One of his most famous expressions and reflects the tenacity of the American general: They may have the bottle, but the cork is me who has it. 

When the situation became unsustainable received orders to withdraw from the field, leaving his men to Australia. 

It hurt my heart to see men, demoralized, covered with rags ... They were dirty, full of lice, smelled bad, but I admired them. 

When Marshall advised him to take his wife and son of a U.S. submarines did not hesitate in responding: She will stay with me until the end. We both drink the same cup. 

At seven-thirty in the morning of March 11 a destroyer waiting for him to take you to Australia. MacArthur, dirty and exhausted had lost twelve pounds, went to the house where he lived and his wife, quietly, merely saying, Jane, it's time to leave. 

The odds of arriving safely in Australia were from seven to one. That same morning, Radio Japan, Tokyo Rose said that MacArthur was caught alive would be hanged at the Tokyo Imperial Square.



A historic phrase: I will return!

Hardly arrived in Australian territory gave the best known of his sentences. The full sentence, to history, would only end: I will return! (Shall I return!). And he returned. 

The August 6, 1945 flying a B-29 Superfortress dropped on Hiroshima the first atomic bomb in history, forcing Japan to surrender. The next day, not wanting to be the margin of victory and occupation of the conquered territory, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan 

MacArthur wanted the trip to Japan for the formal signing of surrender nipónica, ended at the airport in Yokohama. The Japanese expressed their displeasure at this idea, arguing that such an airport outside of the kamikaze bases, many of whom continued to reside there. More: many of these suicide pilots, had expressed their discontent, a demonstration that had taken place at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the Japanese surrender. 

On 30 August, MacArthur's plane (named after Bataan) landed at the airport in Atsugi. Hardly put a foot on land, MacArthur did not wait long to utter his words of another, this time addressed to General Eichelberger: Bob, there is great distance between Melbourne and Tokyo, but the path seems to have ended.


Surrender aboard the Missouri

The path, over 15 miles that separated Yokohama Atsugi was traversed on foot, flanked by U.S. soldiers. The official ceremony of the surrender of Japan was held on September 2, 1945, with the stage covering the battleship Missouri. No official information about what to do or say, MacArthur acted - he said the prórpio - as U.S. proconsul. Has been undoubtedly the best that could have happened. For you, for Japan and the United States. The work done does not leave doubts as to the general performance. 

The Japanese spared as far as possible, the humiliation that usually awaits the losers. The vast knowledge they had about the oriental mentality, and the passion he had for the East, were vital to the balance of his work. Even the Japanese emperor, Hirohito, has not ceased to warn his fellow citizens: Look how they treat the general. It is not an enemy. It is a friend. 

The MacArthur and the occupation policy that developed, Japan to democratic rule and prosperity today. A policy guided by fairness and moderation that many considered a lack of firmness towards the vanquished. 

In Washington and in Moscow, was required strong hand in dealing with the vanquished as remembered, had been agreed in Potsdam. Rather than listen to Americans and Russians, MacArthur chose to do justice, condemning the Japanese officers accused of war crimes. Among these officers were counted Generals Yamashita and Homma, the latter responsible for the bloody Death March of Bataan.



Caught by surprise by the Korean War

Also in Tokyo was informed that a new war had begun, this time in Korea. He himself tells how he knew this new conflict: It was early when, on the morning of June 25, 1950, the phone rang at the Embassy. I recognized the voice of an aide who told me: "General, a considerable number of North Koreans crossed the 38th parallel.». 

The UN Security Council appointed MacArthur supreme commander of UN forces in Korea. This war, the last in which he participated, one would leave bitter memories. 

Not the America of 1950 was the same America of yore or as little, the White House had a guest Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Cold War, with all its attendant fears, reservations and complicities, conditioned all political and military acts, anyone wanting to call themselves the burden of a decision binding. MacArthur recalled, then, a phrase he had heard his father: My son, the decisions of war generate fear and defeatism. 

The general did not understand the strategy outlined by Washington did not want to win but, rather, a hero of the Second World War did not create awkward situations, especially with Chinese and Russians on the other side of the barricade. 

Wars, as MacArthur discovered, were no longer made to be won but they are not lost. A logic that went against everything he had learned and had executed before. Not understood, also, the fugitive Washington their order or, in extreme cases, formal and turned down, for example, to force Taiwan to participate in the conflict.

Bitterness and dismissal

When he announced the intention to bomb the Chinese troops on the Yalu, Washington began to regard him as a threat. I wanted to then resign, being prevented from doing so by some of his friends. One day, one of the pilots asked: My General, after which side is the United States and the United Nations. 

The April 11, 1951, President Truman, who harbored no great sympathy for the general, announced the dismissal of MacArthur. Chance to dismiss God, that day said to his daughter Margaret Truman. 

In 1952, some of his Republican friends have proposed - as he had done in 1948 - the MacArthur who ran for president. Once again made it clear that he had no political ambitions.Truman, who questioned about a possible candidacy for the White House, MacArthur heard the following answer: If, in his way, stumbling in general is certainly not in me but Eisenhower. 

MacArthur, who returned to his home in New York, died on April 5, 1964. He was 84 years and fought in three wars that marked the twentieth century.

The english version of this article will be available soon. In the meanwhile, the text above was the result of a Google translation from portuguese version to english.