THE PHILIPPINES -- COMPETITION WITH KRUEGER
On 9 September 1944, Eichelberger received the official confirmation of his selection as the commanding officer of the 8th Army. He was notified that he had been released from the command of General Walter Krueger, and he also was instructed that his principal duties for the next several months would be to train and consolidate his new unit. MacArthur informed him that the 8th Army, consisting of over 200,000 troops stretching from Morotai Island to Australia, would participate in the proposed invasion of the central and southern Philippines. 1
This information was welcome news for Eichelberger, but a very disturbing revelation for Krueger. Krueger had assumed that his 6th Army would make all the major landings in the central Philippines. The 8th Army, he believed, would be limited to training or supply duties. Krueger suddenly realized that the formation of the 8th Army had shifted the balance of power, and that he would now have to compete with Eichelberger for his assignments in the Southwest Pacific.
This revelation did nothing to improve the relations between the two men. Krueger and Eichelberger had decided months ago that they did not like each other, and the formation of the 8th Army only provided another excuse to vent their hostility. In September and October of 1944, both men engaged in a meanspirited competition for petty advantages, with neither side willing to declare an end to their private, self-declared war.
The most obvious manifestation of this competition was the attempt by both parties to outdo each other in the construction of their camps. This competition began in September; Krueger and Eichelberger decided to build their respective headquarters near Hollandia on opposite sides of a lake. Determined to demonstrate his camp-building superiority over his former subordinate, Krueger spent a great deal of time and labor in building his headquarters. In the process, he mo-