Q: MacArthur was always whining in the Southwest Pacific about not getting
enough support and troops and materiel. Did Eisenhower feel that he had
everything he needed in Africa, would he have reacted that way, did he
ever whine and complain?|
AMBROSE: There's never been a general in history who didn't feel that he could
have used more troops and a large part that's one of the responsibilities of a
theater commander is to demand more support from the home front. So, of course,
Eisenhower was demanding more support and in some measure getting it.
This business of everything went to Europe and MacArthur was fighting on
a shoestring in the Pacific, however, is a myth. 60% of the American effort
went into Europe, 40% went into the Pacific. Now that's about right when you
think about the relative strength of Germany and Japan.
To hear MacArthur tell it, the nation just ignored the war going on in
the Pacific and especially the political leaders. But in fact, we undertook
our first offensives in World War II in the Pacific at Guadalcanal and
follow-up we didn't go over to the offensive in Europe until 1943, into the
Mediterranean. No general ever has enough support. MacArthur was getting
plenty of support.
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