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

By Paul Chwialkowski | Go to book overview

Besides this newfound confidence in Eichelberger, MacArthur also had a more subtle reason for returning his Buna commander to the front lines. Since March 1943, General Krueger had been responsible for most of the combat assignments in the Southwest Pacific. MacArthur was concerned that Krueger had demonstrated a lack of aggressiveness in some of his operations. MacArthur hoped that Eichelberger's presence would spur Krueger on to greater efforts, and that the threat of being replaced would eliminate the "timidity" in Krueger's offensives.

In posing Eichelberger as a threat to Krueger, MacArthur hoped to get the best possible performance out of both men. MacArthur was fully aware that Walter and Bob did not "get along." The two men, he believed, were sensitive, jealous, and insecure. MacArthur was confident that he would be able to turn these insecurities to his own advantage. A keen student of human nature, MacArthur reasoned that the presence of Eichelberger and Krueger in the same theater of operations would cause both men to work doubly hard; each man would fear that the other was "breathing down his neck." MacArthur assumed his two subordinates would fight for his favor; both would need the support of their boss to gain additional combat assignments at the other's expense. Since MacArthur held all the advantages, he felt little concern about placing them on the same battlefield. He understood the likelihood of interpersonal conflict, but gambled that the friction would be offset by an increase in initiative and competition, even if this competition had the potential to be mean-spirited. 35


NOTES
1.
Robert Eichelberger to Emma Eichelberger, 24 March 1943, Eichelberger Papers; Robert Eichelberger to General Charles A. Willoughby, 18 September 1943, Eichelberger Papers; Robert Eichelberger to Emma Eichelberger, 10 August 1943, Eichelberger Papers.
2.
Eichelberger Dictations, "Memorandum for Emmalina", 22 October 1943, 4; Eichelberger, Our Jungle Road to Tokyo, 100; Luvaas, Dear Miss Em, 66.
3.
Robert Eichelberger to Emma Eichelberger, 10 February 1943 and 12 February 1944, Eichelberger Papers; Malin Craig to Robert Eichelberger, 26 Feb. 1943, Eichelberger Papers; Eichelberger Dictations, (dictation refers to General Eisenhower's visit to Eichelberger in post-war Japan), no date, page 2 of dictation and 723 in notebook.
4.
Robert Eichelberger to Emma Eichelberger, 2 August 1944, Eichelberger Papers.
5.
Eichelberger Dictations, "Fuller, also Krueger", 29 May 1961, 1; Robert Eichelberger to Emma Eichelberger, 4 August 1943, Eichelberger Papers.
6.
Oral reminiscences of Major General Charles A. Willoughby, an interview with D. Clayton James, conducted in Naples, Florida, on 30 July 1971, included in the Charles Willoughby Papers at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia, Record Group 23, 11-12.
7.
Barbey, MacArthur's Amphibious Navy, 27.

-91-

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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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