Monthly Podcast Season Four

Episode Thirty: Eisenhower and MacArthur

(January 2013)

In terms of personality and style, it would be difficult to find two more different men than General MacArthur and General Eisenhower.  Praised by newspapers as “Destiny’s Child,” and “Mars,” General MacArthur was larger than life - dramatic, proud, and aristocratic.  In contrast, General Eisenhower was often described by his contemporaries as personable, steady, and far more practical than MacArthur.  Ten years MacArthur’s junior, Eisenhower would spend a great portion of his career working as MacArthur’s military aide.  Predictably, their relationship was at times tense.  Privately Eisenhower would write that MacArthur was a “genius” one day, and a “baby” the next.  In a similar fashion, MacArthur would write that Eisenhower’s value to the Army was “Superior,” but would later make it clear in his autobiography that he thought himself far superior to Eisenhower.  Publicly however, both men always presented a united front – refusing to ever criticize each other in the press.  This podcast will explore the MacArthur-Eisenhower relationship – their similarities, differences, and the tensions.   (20:37)

Selected Documents:

December 7, 1948 Letter

May 15, 1951 Letter
Episode 30: Eisenhower and MacArthur
Episode Thirty One: MacArthur in Brisbane

(February 2013)

General MacArthur’s arrival in Australia in March of 1942 was an electrifying event for many Australians.  His presence sent a strong signal that the United States was committed to the defense of Australia and to the war against Japan.  MacArthur uttered his famous “I Shall Return” promise in Australia, and it was there that he began gathering forces for the next phase of the war.  By July 1942, MacArthur had located his General Headquarters in Brisbane.  Today, the MacArthur Museum Brisbane commemorates the General’s time in Brisbane and highlights the history of Brisbane during the war.  This podcast focuses on MacArthur’s time in Brisbane and features an interview with 
Col. John Dwyer and Col. Phillip Gould of the General Douglas MacArthur Brisbane Memorial Foundation.   (19:20)

Selected Documents:

Prime Minister Curtin to General MacArthur April 15, 1942
Episode 31: MacArthur in Brisbane
Episode Thirty Two: The Emancipation of Japanese Women

(March 2013)

In September 1945, with the surrender and occupation of Japan, drastic changes took place that altered the way of life for the Japanese people.  Within an incredibly short period of time, Japanese society experienced a complete social revolution.  The revised Meiji Constitution that came out of the Occupation enfranchised the people of Japan, but most particularly, the women of the country with the inclusion of Articles 14 and 24.  Women who had been denied enfranchisement were suddenly equal partners in the reemerging nation.  General Douglas MacArthur was a vocal supporter of Japanese women’s rights and later explained: “Of all the reforms accomplished by the occupation in Japan, none w as more heartwarming to me than this change in the status of women.”  This podcast will explore the development of women’s rights in Japan during the Occupation.   (15:36)

Selected Documents:

Request for Information for Historian Mary Beard August 29, 1946

Response to Mary Beard’s Information Request September 4, 1946
Episode 32: The Emancipation of Japanese Women
Episode Thirty Three: Baseball Diplomacy and Japan

(April 2013)

Baseball came to Japan in the late nineteenth century and quickly grew in popularity.  As Japanese interest in the sport grew, Japanese leagues and school teams were formed.  Visiting American teams played some of these Japanese teams – and usually won – but even in defeat, Japanese baseball players were learning from the best players in the world and were demonstrating great skill. In 1934, an American All Star team including Babe Ruth, Moe Berg, Clint Brown, Jimmie Foxx, and Lou Gehrig arrived in Japan to play a series of exhibition games.  In one game, Ruth, Gehrig, and Foxx were struck out in quick succession by Eiji Sawamura – a 17 year old Japanese pitcher.  It was an incredible performance by the young pitcher and a sign that Japanese baseball was on the rise. During the Occupation of Japan, General MacArthur would encourage “baseball diplomacy” as a way to not only help rebuild Japanese morale but to create another bridge between the United States and Japan.  Under MacArthur’s tenure, American teams once again traveled to Japan and major Japanese leagues took form.  In later life, MacArthur credited baseball with helping to win the peace in Japan after the war.   (16:52)
Episode 33: Baseball Diplomacy and Japan
Episode Thirty Four: The Army’s First Public Relations Officer

(April 2013)

When most people think of General MacArthur, they think of his ability to communicate - his ability to know the value of a good photo-op, his ability to spin stories to reporters and his ability to make dramatic headlines.  In many respects, his media savvy was an innate talent.  In other more technical aspects though, such as understanding the influence of the media, its ability to sway public opinion, and how to use it as a tool to promote an agenda, MacArthur actually had quite a bit of practical experience early on in his career.  From 1916-1918, a young Douglas MacArthur served as the head of the War Departments new Bureau of Information.  In this capacity he served as press censor and the primary liaison between the War Department and the media.  As a result, he is today recognized as the Army’s first public relations officer.  This podcast will discuss this period of service – an important, but often overlooked part of his early career.   (17:39)

Selected Documents:

MacArthur as Press Censor to Mr. Vance C. McCormick, April 16, 1917
Episode 34: The Army’s First Public Relations Officer
Episode Thirty Five: The Hazing Scandal

(June 2013)

On June 13, 1899, Douglas MacArthur entered the United States Military Academy at West Point.  It was the fulfillment of a boyhood ambition and it was to be the start of his extraordinary military career. But, it was nearly over before it began.  A little over a year into his time at West Point, a controversy erupted over allegations that hazing at West Point had resulted in the death of a cadet.  As details of the hazing at West Point emerged, it ignited a firestorm of controversy.  President William McKinley called for an investigation into the hazing, and some in congress even called for the abolition of the nation’s military academies.  MacArthur would play a central role in this drama.  Called before a military court of inquiry and then a congressional committee, MacArthur was soon making national headlines as he testified about his own experiences as a first year cadet.   (18:56)

Selected Documents:

"Booz Not Fit to Take Part in Fight,” January 18, 1901

"Point Hazing is Denounced at Academy and in Senate,” January 17, 1901
Episode 35: The Hazing Scandal
Episode Thirty Six: The Honor Guard

(July 2013)

French military historian Henri Lachouque once wrote: “An old adage runs ‘There is no Temple without a God and no Throne without a Guard.’  But there are guards and Guards.”  Lachouque was referring to Napoleon’s Imperial Guard, an elite unit which served as the French Emperor’s personal bodyguard and also as his “shock troops” to whom he turned for the most difficult assignments on the battlefield.  Throughout history some of the world’s most colorful and charismatic military leaders have surrounded themselves with a personal guard composed of hand-picked men.  General of the Army Douglas MacArthur’s Honor Guard was one of the most important and visible parts of the General’s official family during the closing months of World War II and throughout the Occupation of Japan.  The members of this elite unit were selected based on their military bearing, intelligence and physical stature, and every combat Division of the U.S. Army in the Pacific was represented in its ranks.  They were the best of the best, because when it came to the security for his Headquarters and family, MacArthur would accept nothing but the finest.   (20:35)

Selected Documents:

Personnel for Guard of Honor
Episode 36: The Honor Guard
Episode Thirty Seven: The Forgotten MacArthur

(August 2013)

Arthur MacArthur III, older brother of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, was a United States naval officer for thirty one years.  He was awarded the Navy Cross, the Navy’s second highest award next to the Medal of Honor, and the Distinguished Service Medal for service in World War I.  He was a man of his own making and during his life he never lived in the shadow of his now famous younger brother. He died prematurely, however, in the prime of his life and in the middle of a promising naval career. As a result, he is often considered the “Forgotten MacArthur.”   (21:17)

Selected Documents:

Arthur MacArthur III Service Summary

Naval Academy Information Request – Arthur MacArthur III
Episode 37: The Forgotten MacArthur
Episode Thirty Eight: The Grand Tour of Asia, 1905-1906

(October 2013)

Between 1905-1906, a twenty-five year old Lieutenant Douglas MacArthur traveled through Asia with his father Lieutenant General Arthur MacArthur and his mother Mary Hardy MacArthur.   Over a period of nine months, he traveled 19,949 miles from Japan to Calcutta, across the plains of India, to the Khyber Pass in Afghanistan, and south to what is now Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vietnam.    He then traveled through China before returning to Japan.   Writing of the trip decades later, MacArthur wrote: “[I visited] countless lands so rich in color, so fabled in legend, so vital to history that the experience was without a doubt the most important fact of preparation in my entire life.”    For the rest of his life, and the remaining 45 years of his military career, this journey would inform his thoughts about the political, military, and economic potential of Asia.   This fundamental knowledge would pay massive dividends – guiding and inspiring many of the major decisions he would later make as a senior leader in the region.   (19:30)

Selected Documents:

Arthur MacArthur in Japan
Episode 38: The Grand Tour of Asia, 1905-1906
Episode Thirty Nine: Cabanatuan Raid

(November 2013)

On April 9th 1942, Bataan fell to the Japanese.   The defenders had bravely held out, but the Japanese juggernaut was unstoppable.   As prisoners of war they were forced to march many miles on what became known as the Bataan Death March, only to stop at the infamous Camp O’Donnell, where thousands died from starvation, sickness, and the brutal treatment of their captors.   In the months and years that followed, thousands of American and Filipino soldiers would be subject to atrocities that few could even fathom.   When MacArthur’s forces returned to the Philippines in 1944-45, there were 500 of these American prisoners in a camp called Cabanatuan, on the main island of Luzon.   Intelligence reports indicated that similar camps were being liquidated by the Japanese.   Cabanatuan had to be liberated.   This podcast will explore the fate of these prisoners of Bataan-Corregidor, and how 500 of them were saved in one of the most daring and heroic raids in history.   (18:27)

Selected Documents:

POW Form Letter to Family
Episode 39: Cabanatuan Raid