In Caesar's Shadow: The Life of General Robert Eichelberger

By Paul Chwialkowski | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Robert L. Eichelberger was, in the words of an editorial in the Army and Navy Journal, "one of the really great soldiers that America has produced." 1 A 1909 graduate of West Point, Eichelberger held a number of prominent positions during his military career, including Superintendent of West Point and Secretary to the General Staff of the War Department. He served as a division, corps, and army commander, and was part of the "American Expeditionary Force" that was stationed in Siberia during World War I.

During World War II, Eichelberger won a number of victories against the Japanese in the Pacific Theater. As commander of the I Corps and later the 8th Army, he successfully defeated the Japanese at Buna and Hollandia in New Guinea, and at Biak in the Schouten Islands. In 1944, he participated in the invasion of Luzon in the Philippines, and played a large role in the capture of Manila. During the early part of 1945, his 8th Army landed in rapid succession on Palawan, Panay, Negros, Cebu, and Mindanao, and successfully completed a series of brilliant strikes against the Japanese forces in the southern Philippines. Eichelberger was subsequently awarded a leading role in Operation Coronet (the proposed invasion of Japan) and, after the Japanese surrender, was placed in charge of the American forces that occupied Japan.

During these many assignments, Eichelberger advanced in rank from lieutenant to lieutenant general (in addition, he received a fourth star after his retirement from the army). He also received more than a dozen decorations, and served with a number of prominent officers, including Douglas MacArthur, George C. Marshall, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar N. Bradley, and George S. Patton. Eichelberger received high marks from his superiors during every part of his career, and retired from the army in 1948 with a sterling reputation for duty and gallantry.

Despite this distinguished career, Eichelberger has never received the attention and fame that would normally accrue to a man of his talents and accomplish-

-ix-

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In Caesar's Shadow: The Life of General Robert Eichelberger
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Note x
  • 1 - ORIGINS OF A MILITARY CAREER 1
  • Notes 5
  • 2 - FORMATION OF A PERSONALITY 7
  • Notes 13
  • 3 - SIBERIA -- A PERSONALITY EMERGES 15
  • Notes 25
  • 4 - PATHS TO PROMOTION 29
  • Notes 39
  • 5 - PREPARATION FOR WARTIME COMMAND 43
  • Notes 54
  • 6 - BUNA -- THE PYRRHIC VICTORY 57
  • Notes 75
  • 7 - STRUGGLES FROM THE SIDELINES 81
  • Notes 91
  • 8 - HOLLANDIA AND BIAK -- VICTORY AND CONFLICT 95
  • Notes 105
  • 9 - THE PHILIPPINES -- COMPETITION WITH KRUEGER 109
  • Notes 124
  • 10 - VICTORY AND DISAPPOINTMENT 131
  • Notes 142
  • 11 - MILITARY OCCUPATION OF JAPAN 149
  • Notes 162
  • 12 - RETIREMENT -- AND TURMOIL 173
  • Notes 190
  • Conclusion 205
  • Notes 208
  • SOURCES 209
  • Index 221
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