Biography - Douglas MacArthur - Australian Dictionary of Biography
More broadly, Horner argues, when citing economic historians Butlin and Schedvin, that 'the structure of command of the direct war effort was in disarray' and. John Curtin (), prime minister and journalist, was born on 8 January .. Furthermore, he helped to smooth the MacArthur-Blamey relationship. his wartime broadcasts, 'Men and Women of Australia' and concluded 'God bless you '. Douglas MacArthur (), army officer, was born on 26 January at Little MacArthur established a close relationship with Prime Minister John Curtin, . soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty'.
In MacArthur became military adviser to the new Commonwealth of the Philippines. On his retirement from the U. Army inhe continued as field marshal in the Philippine Army.
Aged 61, in July he was recalled to the U. Army and appointed major general general from Decembercommanding all American and local forces in the Philippines.
The Japanese attacked in December. MacArthur has been criticized for his conduct of the Philippines campaign, especially for allowing his air forces to be caught on the ground by Japanese bombers and for overestimating the capabilities of his Filipino troops.
He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honour.
- MacArthur, Douglas (1880–1964)
- Curtin, John (1885–1945)
On 21 March MacArthur arrived in Melbourne. Next month he was formally appointed supreme commander of the South-West Pacific Area, with authority over all allied naval, land and air forces in the theatre.
Australian Dictionary of Biography
In placing the Australian forces under MacArthur, the Federal government surrendered a large measure of sovereignty, but, considering Australia's limited strength and the magnitude of the Japanese threat, there was no real alternative.
MacArthur established a close relationship with Prime Minister John Curtinpromising him that 'we two, you and I, will see this thing through together. You take care of the rear and I will handle the front'.
Initially, the strategic ideas and ambitions of this foreign general were almost the same as those of the Labor government. Curtin established the Prime Minister's War Conference as the senior decision-making body, but it met rarely after July Aloof, highly intelligent, variously hated and loved throughout the U.
Army, MacArthur believed that it was his destiny to lead the Allies to victory in the Pacific, having vowed to the people of the Philippines, 'I shall return'.
His air commander inLieutenant General George H. Brett, thought that he was 'a brilliant, temperamental egoist; a handsome man, who can be as charming as anyone who ever lived, or harshly indifferent to the needs and desires of those around' him.
Everything about MacArthur was on a 'grand scale'—his 'virtues and triumphs and shortcomings'. MacArthur was also a man of personal contradictions. Conservative, moralistic and apparently religious, when he was chief of staff he had kept a young Eurasian mistress Isabel Rosario Cooper in a Washington hotel while his mother lived at his official residence.
On 30 April in a civil ceremony in New York he married Jean Marie Faircloth, some twenty years his junior, to whom he was devoted; their only child Arthur was born in the following year.
Assessments of the Curtin-MacArthur Relationship - Page 1
While living in Australia, MacArthur became the focus of public attention. MacArthur's prestige and influence in the U. In July he moved his headquarters from Melbourne to Brisbane in preparation for an offensive to regain Rabaul, but the Japanese pre-empted him. MacArthur and Blamey hurried to reinforce the Territory's defences. The Papuan campaign did not show MacArthur at his best.
After the defeat in the Philippines, he feared that another failure would result in his being superseded. Questioning the fighting qualities of the poorly supplied Australian troops, who were being driven back over the Owen Stanley Range, he asked Curtin to send Blamey to Port Moresby to take personal command. MacArthur then directed additional forces to New Guinea, including an American division.
Faced with MacArthur's demands for more speed, Blamey relieved two other senior officers. Australia provided the bulk of the ground forces until Aprilafter which the Americans bore the brunt of the fighting. Taking advantage of excellent signals intelligence and of MacArthur's hunches, his troops landed in areas where the Japanese were weakest. As the Americans approached the Philippines, MacArthur promised Curtin that Australians would take part in the islands' recapture, but that never came to pass.
MacArthur was unwilling to allow the Australians to play a major role in the recovery of American territory. Curtin was overseas for several weeks in the first half of and from November onwards his personal role in government, though not his interest and concern with his prime ministerial responsibilities, was minimal for much though not all of the time. Geographically too the two men were much further apart in the latter stages of the war. For more than two years MacArthur retained his command headquarters in Brisbane but in the second half of he first established a second headquarters in Dutch New Guinea and then in October of that year made his long awaited return to the Philippines.
He subsequently operated from there even as he was devising offensives for Australian troops to undertake. Records of Douglas MacArthur. In broad terms there are two sharply contrasting assessments of the Curtin-MacArthur relationship.
The notion of the effective and powerful collaboration, especially in the critical days ofis centred around the 'You take care of the rear and I will handle the front' dictum put forward by MacArthur. Essentially, Curtin and his government accepted MacArthur as their key military adviser while also seeking, all too often unsuccessfully, to use him as a channel for obtaining additional military resources withheld because of the 'beat Hitler First' strategy of the Allied High Command.
From MacArthur's perspective his relationship with Curtin provided an additional source of support in his quest for substantial additional resources for his command area and also ensured political stability within Australia. At the personal level each paid testimony to the other and there are strong grounds for the assertion that their 'close and enduring' relationship provided a strong and highly effective civil-military partnership that contributed significantly to the fact that in less than a year from their first meeting the tide of war had turned both at sea and on land and the threat of invasion had disappeared.
This was all the more significant given their failure at any stage to secure from the Allied High Command anything like the additional military resources which were constantly requested. By contrast, over the years a number of historians have queried and even rejected outright the view that the General and the Prime Minister had a close and effective relationship with little if any downside for Australia. There are several strands to the alternative view, not the least the assertion that the Japanese never had any coherent plan to invade Australia.
Records of the Curtin Family. That was a fight worth winning. May God bless and preserve you for the great destiny that lies ahead. In Long's view, a 'strange aspect of this alliance of an Australian government and an American commander' was how far apart were 'their views on international and local politics'. Peter Edwards suggests that in Long's view the surrender of control was 'politically distasteful and strategically futile'.