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

By Paul Chwialkowski | Go to book overview

"I will ask to be relieved and then ask to be ordered home to await retirement." He explained, "I do not intend to put up with any more of [ Krueger's] insults, because after all life is a wee bit short and I do not think I could take any more."62

Eichelberger seriously considered requesting his relief from his post in the Southwest Pacific, but he was talked out of it by MacArthur. At this stage of the war, MacArthur had become an expert at manipulating his subordinates' emotions. He managed to soothe Eichelberger's troubled feelings by his usual assortment of promises, excuses, and half-truths. During the third week of March, MacArthur informed Bob that Krueger really had not earned his promotion, but had been recommended for a fourth star only because General Eisenhower had pushed for the promotion of General George Patton in Europe; since General Marshall was anxious to avoid the appearance of favoritism in any particular theater, Marshall had decided to approve the promotion of both Patton and the senior combat officer in the Southwest Pacific, General Krueger. MacArthur explained that this promotion did not make Krueger an army group commander; he "would never force" Eichelberger to serve under Krueger again. Stating that he was "very delighted with [Bob's] work," MacArthur promised, "from now on you will be treated with absolute parity with reference to the Sixth Army or any other army." 63

In his typical fashion, MacArthur also appealed to Eichelberger's vanity. With the 8th Army slated for several upcoming operations in the southern Philippines, MacArthur reminded Eichelberger that he was now on an equal footing with Krueger, but that, if he were successful in these operations, it was possible that he could surpass Krueger in publicity, reputation, decorations, and even rank. MacArthur also implied that, if Eichelberger proved worthy of the task, it was possible that he would be chosen for the biggest prize of all -- the leading role in the invasion of Japan. 64


NOTES
1.
Eichelberger, Our Jungle Road to Tokyo, 164; Eichelberger Dictations, "Arrival in the Philippines", 9 May 1948, 1-2; Eichelberger Dictations, "Formation of Eighth Army", 18 March 1948, 3-4.
2.
Eichelberger Dictations, "Fuller, also Krueger", 29 May 1961, 2; Robert Eichelberger to Emma Eichelberger, 3 August 1944 and 14 August 1944, Eichelberger Papers.
3.
Robert Eichelberger to Mrs. J. B. Zerbe, 31 August 1944, Eichelberger Papers; Robert Eichelberger to Emma Eichelberger, 20 September 1944 and 21 September 1944, Eichelberger Papers; Eichelberger Dictations, "Arrival in the Philippines", 9 May 1948, 1-3; Eichelberger Dictations, "Formation of Eighth Army", 18 March 1948, 1-2; Eichelberger Dictations, "Fuller, also Krueger", 29 May 1961, 1-3.

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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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