Douglas MacArthur

By: Owen Malinauskas

Early Life

Douglas MacArthur was born on January 26, 1880 in Little Rock Arkansas. He was already bound to go to into the military, as his dad and uncles fought in the Civil War, and he was born on an Army base. He moved to San Antonio, Texas at 13 and went to the West Texas Military Academy. He showed high abilities, which were expressed through his acceptance into the military academy at West Point, where he graduated with honors. He then became a junior officer in the Army Corps of engineers. He would be anything from a construction worker to firefighter to engineer, bringing him to many countries throughout the world. (Below is an overhead view of the campus of West Point.)
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World War I

At the beginning of the war he was promoted to major, but things started to heat up when we declared war on Germany. The 42nd division was created, a National Guard unit, and he was promoted to colonel and put in command of the unit. In the several battles he fought in World War I, he proved himself as a worthy commander and leader. After he returned from the battles in Europe, he became the superintendent of West Point, and was promoted brigadier general of the Army. He kept moving up the chains, being promoted to general and selected as the Army chief of the staff in 1930. He was chosen as President Franklin D. Roosevelt's military adviser in the Phillippines, where he made a defensive military force.

World War II

MacArthur was appointed to be the commander of the Allied forces in the Pacific. He had a pretty successful campaign using the island hopping technique as a strategy to seizing islands. One of the major battles he had been a part of was the Battle of Guadalcanal. At the end of the war he was yet again promoted. this time to supreme Allied commander, and he was sent off to Japan to oversee the reconstruction of the nation. (Below is a picture of Douglas MacArthur in his military days.)
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Korean War

MacArthur was placed in command of the United Nations forces to stop the invasion of North Korea. He dealt with this, but then Chinese came into play, and it was too much to handle. MacArthur called for the war to also include China, and to drop nuclear bombs on Chinese cities. These statements were not what President Truman agreed with, and MacArthur ended up getting fired in 1951.

Later Life

When MacArthur returned home, the general public honored and respected him. They threw him parades, and even encouraged him to run for president, but Dwight D. Eisenhower ended up being the Republican candidate and President at the time (1952-53). Despite the public's opinions on him, Truman and Eisenhower weren't too keen towards him later on, with his incessive thoughts of bringing nuclear war to Asia, despite our policy of containment, which is to stop the spread of communism, not start a nuclear war. To keep himself busy after his military work had been completed, he became chairman of Remington Rand, a company that made business machines and electrical equipment. At age 84, Douglas MacArthur died on April 5, 1964 at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C. He was then buried at the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia. (Below is an image of present day MacArthur Memorial.)
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My Reaction

His life was more interesting than I expected it to be, and it was interesting to how fast he rose to power. He went from different forms of prestigious schooling to different levels of power in the military to becoming general and commander of several different things. It was just crazy to see how the public loved him and his fellow soldiers respected him. I'm not sure if he went a little crazy towards the end of his career or if a side came out of him that neither I nor president such as Truman and Eisenhower had seen, but he kept insisting on nuclear war, even though that was one of the main reasons that got him fired. It seems like it would've been a pretty bad idea if they had listened to him, and I think that was the only downside to his glorifying career, which was very interesting to learn about and do research on.