Top 10 Greatest Military Blunders of World War II

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There’s no doubt that the Second World War was the greatest conflict in modern history and the one event that continues to impact our world to this day. Consider how the world would look today had it not been fought, or had Japan and Germany won? And, even more intriguing, what if B had happened instead of A and the world taken a different direction as a result? It staggers the imagination.

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The fact that it turned out the way it did, however, was the result of a number of factors, both positive and negative. What’s perhaps most important in understanding why one side won and the other lost is in recognizing that victory was not determined so much by who won the most battles—although ultimately that was a factor—but by who made the fewest costly mistakes.  With that in mind then, below is my list of the ten greatest blunders, missed opportunities, bad judgment and just plain bad luck committed by both sides that were instrumental in either lengthening the conflict or in managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

10. (Tie) PHILIPPINES LIBERATION, 1944

Douglas MacArthur lands

Not a defeat, but an unnecessary operation that may have extended the war by months. After having been kicked out of the Philippines two years earlier, General Douglas MacArthur was itching to get back and convinced Roosevelt that he might lose reelection in 1944 if he didn’t liberate the island chain he had so ineptly tried to defend in 1942. However, by 1944 the Japanese air and naval presence on the island had been largely nullified and it was too far from Japan to be of use as a base from which to launch raids on its cities, leaving little reason to invade the place other than because that’s what Douglas wanted (and what Doug wanted, he usually got). The time spent securing the islands and the resources committed to doing so delayed the more important invasion of Okinawa in 1945 and probably extended the war by several months—but at least it gave MacArthur the chance to wade ashore at Leyte Gulf to proclaim that he had returned.

10. (Tie) KURSK, RUSSIA, 1943

Kursk Battle Illustration

Having apparently learned nothing from the trouncing he had just taken at Stalingrad six months earlier (see below), Hitler decides to launch yet another big offensive against the now large and well entrenched Soviet defenders, this time at a place called Kursk (an important industrial city some 300 miles south of Moscow). Billed as the largest land battle in history, the Soviet lines bent but didn’t break, and ended up costing the Germans pretty much the rest of the best of its army and air force and initiating Germany’s long and slow retreat back to Berlin, with all the unfortunate consequences for Hitler and the German people that eventually entailed. Image: http://www.jodyharmon.com

9. ANZIO, 1944


What is not well known to the average history buff is that American troops had a golden opportunity to finish off the Germans in Italy early on with their surprise landing at Anzio, Italy—a quaint little place just a hop, skip, and a jump from Rome. So taken by surprise were the Germans, in fact, that a few yanks in jeeps managed to drive all the way to Rome without hindrance, demonstrating that the way was open for allied forces and portending a major disaster for the Germans dug in to the south of the city. Unfortunately, the allied commander of the operation, Major General John P. Lucas, proved to be a bit timid and decided to consolidate his beachhead before pushing on to Rome, which gave the Germans time to move their forces and contain the Americans there for the next few months and costing Lucas his job. Had the man shown a little Pattonesque-like bravado, the Germans might have been forced back to the Austrian frontier two years earlier than they eventually were and countless allied and axis lives might have been saved in the process.

8. ITALY’S INVASION of GREECE and EGYPT, 1940-41

Italy invades Greece

With dreams of restoring the glory that was Rome, Mussolini unleashed his over-sized but inept army against Albania (yes, I said Albania) and Greece in the summer of 1940, and decided to push into Egypt from his colony in Libya as well. Not remarkably, Mussolini had his head handed to them by the British-Greek forces in the Balkans and the British-Allied forces in Egypt, forcing Hitler to have to send in his army to save his hapless ally. This ended up costing the Germans dearly, for it pulled valuable resources away from other fronts and delayed Hitler’s time-table for the conquest of the Soviet Union (see below), gumming up the whole affair. Chances are had Mussolini followed Franco’s lead in Spain and simply had Italy remain neutral, Germany may have won the war.

7. MAGINOT LINE and the FALL of FRANCE, 1940

Maginot Line

Having apparently learned nothing from World War One, the French set about creating an impenetrable line of fixed defenses on its border with Germany guaranteed to keep the Huns at bay. Called the Maginot line, it proved to be every bit as formidable as advertised; the problem was it didn’t go all the way to the coast, leaving a hundred mile wide gap that the Germans were able to plow through with relative ease in the spring of 1940, thereby encircling the British and French Armies in Belgium and handing the French a humiliating defeat that they don’t like to talk about to this day. Debate rages whether the Maginot Line would have stopped the Germans even if it had been complete, but considering how much warfare had changed since the trench warfare of World War One, it probably would only have slowed them down. Once the Germans breached it at any point, most likely the results would have been the same—just a little later in being realized.

6. PHILIPPINES DEFENSE, 1942

 

 

 

Japanese Troops Bataan 1942



General Douglas MacArthur’s hare-brained scheme to defend the entire archipelago from the Japanese in the spring of 1942 was doomed from the start. Scattering his supplies of food and ammunition throughout the islands in hopes of defending every square inch of the place only ended in disaster for his men when he was quickly forced to abandon the plan—along with the stockpiles of food and ammo—and pull them all back to the Bataan Peninsula. After a few futile months of resistance, over 76,000 American and Filipino troops were starved into surrendering, leading to the greatest defeat in American military history. Not to worry, though; ‘ol Doug high-tailed it out of there before the end came and spent the rest of the war lobbying to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his brilliant defense of the place (which he got, by the way).

5. THE LONDON BLITZ, 1940

London Blitz

With the fall of France in June of 1940, England stood alone against the Germans, making the likelihood of a sea-borne invasion of England—already in the planning stages—a very real possibility. Only Britain’s undersized air force—the RAF—stood in the way of keeping the German’s much vaunted Luftwaffe from seizing air control and making a sea invasion possible. At first the Germans were winning the war of attrition by attacking British airfields, but after a small-scale RAF bomber raid on Berlin on August 25th, 1940 (which did little real damage) enraged der Fuhrer, Luftwaffe Air Marshal Goering decided to retaliate by switching targets from the RAF airfields to London. In doing so, he gave the British a much needed chance to regroup and rearm, the result being the Luftwaffe’s eventual defeat and the cancellation of the invasion of England a few months later. Image: http://www.electricscotland.com/

4. INVASION of the SOVIET UNION, 1941-1945

Invasion Soviet Union

Hitler’s ambitious plan to defeat Communism on his own doorstep by knocking out the Soviet Union in one bold move very nearly worked, but it also forced him to fight a two-front war against two enemies—the USSR and USA—that far outmatched Germany in terms of manpower and industrial capability. After Stalingrad (see below) in 1942, Germany was on the defensive and defeat, pending some miracle weapon that never managed to emerge, was inevitable. Had Hitler finished off England first and secured his western front before taking on his Soviet foe (and staying out of war with America in the process) history could well have had a very different ending. Image: http://www.graphicwitness.org

3. PEARL HARBOR, 1941

Pearl Harbor Newspaper Headline

A well-planned and executed operation that resulted in a spectacular victory for Japan, it also planted the seeds for their own eventual defeat. In concentrating their efforts on the largely obsolete battleships, the Japanese pilots failed to knock out the major infrastructure on the island—the oil farms, repair shops, and munitions storage facilities—that made it possible for the Americans to use Pearl Harbor as their forward base of operations throughout the war. Had they done so, it would have forced the U.S. to fall back to the west coast, making operations in the Pacific far more difficult and probably extending the war by a year or more. The Japanese also failed to sink the aircraft carriers—their primary targets that were out to sea at the time and a force that would come back to extract retribution later on—or attack the submarine pens. This was truly a case in which short-term victory resulted in a long term defeat.

2. DUNKIRK, 1940

1940 Dunkirk troops

Having successfully encircled the combined Anglo-French army in northern France and Belgium in June of 1940, German forces were poised to deliver the coup d’grace to the allies when Hitler inexplicably ordered his armies to halt their advance just miles short of final and total victory. It was said he did this to make a point to his generals that he was the hero of the day, not they. As a result, over 300,000 British and French soldiers were able to be evacuated to England before the noose was closed, allowing them to fight again. Had they not been evacuated, it is doubtful the British could have stood up to the Germans and Italians in North Africa the following year, potentially altering the outcome of the war by permitting the axis to take Egypt and the oil-fields of the Middle East—in which case it really would have been game over.

1. STALINGRAD, 1942

Battle of Stalingrad

This is the battle which essentially cost the Germans the war. Hitler’s ambitious plan to seize the oil-rich Caucasus region of the Soviet Union in the summer of 1942 ground to a halt on the shores of the Volga River at a city named after the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. After months of brutal fighting that left hundreds of thousands dead on both sides and the city leveled, Hitler’s man on the spot, Field Marshal Von Paulus, found his army entirely surrounded and was forced to surrender over a quarter million men in February of 1943. Had Hitler allowed him to withdraw a few months earlier when victory was truly out of reach, it would probably have staved off Germany’s ultimate defeat by months or, possibly, even years (giving them the time needed to develop an atomic bomb, perhaps?) Image: http://www.llgc.org.uk

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Jeff Danelek is a Denver, Colorado author who writes on many subjects having to do with history, politics, the paranormal, spirituality and religion. To see more of his stuff, visit his website at www.ourcuriousworld.com.


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116 Comments

  1. Biggest blunders of WW2 in Europe.
    1. Putting an in- experienced general in charge of the European campaign. 2. Fighting on an extended front. 3.Delay in opening the port of Antwerp. 4.Unconditional surrender for Germany. 5.The Ardennes. Battle of the bulge.6.Poor tank design.

  2. This guy’s dislike of MacArthur is stupid and childish. The notion in (6) that MacArthur was trying to defend the entire Philippine archipelago is simply incorrect. Mac had 12,000 US soldiers, and 100,000 lightly armed Filipino Scouts. He didn’t disperse his defense efforts across all the islands…. Everybody knows that he deliberately CONCENTRATED the bulk of his forces in central Luzon waiting for the main attack; which he correctly believed would fall on the in the Lingayen Gulf, and proceed toward the Pampanga river delta. He was just outgunned, that’s all. MacArthur kept his eye on the ball, and thru necessity ignored Japanese landings at Cotabato, Zamboanga, Davao, Infanta, Vigan, Laoag, Panay, Cebu, and other locations … waiting for the climactic battle.

    • Too bad several silly factual errors and biases weren’t avoided… such as the author’s flatly false claim in (8) that Italy ‘unleashed’ an invasion of Greece … and Albania… in 1940. He even says “yes, I said Albania”. My reply? No, not Albania! Albania was annexed by Italy in early 1939, moths before the war ever broke out, and a year and a half before Italy struck at Greece.

      Have you noticed that none of these “blunders” were committed by Britain? All were committed by the Germans, Italians, the French, the Americans, or someone else. Not the British. They apparently were golden! Looks somewhat fishy.

      I wonder why the dogged U.S. defense of the Phillippines makes the list… but not the surrender at Singapore. This was one of the most titanic defeats in all world military history; certainly in British history. 80,000 men, many fully armed, and without having seen battle, were instead surrendered into the tender mercies of the Imperial Japanese Army, by the asinine British general Percival.

      But no, that doesn’t make this list.

  3. One wonders what if….

    Barbarossa hadn’t been delayed by 6 weeks? Or had been pushed out to the spring of 42, allowing the Germans to use more troops to take Suez? Clearing the Med in ’43 increased Allied shipping capacity by a third simply by shortening the route from the gulf oil terminals.

    Churchill had persuaded we Americans to be more aggressive in Italy by landing further north… and on reaching the Poe River Valley to push NE towards Vienna.

    Japan had invaded Hawaii on Dec 7, 1941. Much more useful than what they actually did: occupying Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Burma.

  4. I think it was a big blunder that Japan didn’t invade the Soviet Union instead of attacking Pearl Harbor. Japan and Germany didn’t coordinate very well, it seems, contrary to all those propaganda cartoons I saw on TV while I was growing up where Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini were always together. Anyways, the Japs thought the US would enter the war regardless of whether they attacked or not. They didn’t appreciate Roosevelt’s political problem had we not been attacked.
    I would also say that Hitler’s invasion of Poland was a blunder. The Germans didn’t expect war with England and France as a result. They were surprised.

  5. Operation Keelhaul, (repatriating Jews back to Russia after the war) While this alone isnt a blunder, it was a very shameful act by Eisenhower. Secondly, The Marshall Plan, giving Eastern Europe to Stalin. Despicable. Marshall and Ike were stooges of Stalin.

  6. The truly biggest blunder of the war was the toothless “guarantee” of Poland’s absurd boundaries, provided by the UK and France in 1939, smack dab in the middle of a major border argument between Germany and Poland. The war which followed hastened the end of all the European empires; and led to an exhaustion from which Europe still suffers. I hope NATO becomes careful about extending similar guarantees to small countries. Think how the Russia-Georgia War of August 2008 could have escalated if the U.S. had stepped in.

  7. Sick and tired of listening to all you nazi lovers . Bottom line germany decides to assist italy in n. Africa runs back to germany with tail between legs . Decides to attack britain runs back to germany with tail between legs . Decides to attack russia runs back to germany with tail between legs . Get over it you dopes the only reason the german people even exist as a race is due to the humanity of there conquers ! Sick and tired of listening to all the excuses as to why germany lost the war . They loss because they were inferior to thier enemies . Jokers!

  8. jan Malherbe on

    Germany won many battles but lost the war due to overextending herself , they should have left the Russians alone and dealt the British (arrogant Island dwellers) the knockout blow by taking the middle east and consolidating the med into a axis lake , this was the advise of the German high command , but Mr Hitler was obsessed with bringing down communism ( good idea but to risky Russia to big, to many Russians , nasty weather). Mr Hitler became overambitious and gambled away his empire he had built with such speed and brilliance! But that the Germans were consumate soldiers, no person with a decent appreciation of matters military will deny , so to you above my friend, you obviously dislike Germans and your statements are oversimplifications of the first order!

    • Hitler had little to do with with the success of his forces early in the war. The Germans in my opinion lost the war at the battle of Dunkirk(if you’d call it a battle) as they allowed the entire British expiditionary army escape along with soldiers from many other nations. And those “arongant” island dwellers beat German in not 1 but 2 world wars so tread carefully. However I would have to agree that the German military was probably man for man the best of the war

      • jan Malherbe on

        If having the help of almost the rest of the world ; 3 empires , Soviet, American and all the dominions of the British empire to beat those nasty nazis,(Ww-2) is called a beating of the Germans in both ww1 and 2 by the British then I suppose you are right the British did beat the Germans in both wars. There is only one nation who can come close to claiming they ‘beat’ the Germans and that is the Russians (Ww-2 at least) 14 million casualties later , the Ruskies did by far most of the bleeding to defeat those tactically brilliant Germans, and by means of swamping them with vastly superior numbers, yet even then in the last desperate (for the Germans) months of the war , they still exacted a 2 to 1 kill rate against their enemies , a remarkable feat like so many other remarkable feats by the Germans in matters military!

        • all righty then on

          They never exacted a 2 to 1 kill rate against the Americans. The US military killed the Germans 5 to 1 minimum. But yes, the Brits and Soviets were killed always at a 3 to 1 clip always, in both world wars. The Germans were far superior to both of them.

  9. I do not deny that that Germans fought well in both war. In both wars the fates were decided early on in my opinion. In the first war the Germans failed to secure the diplomacy they needed and that left them with 2 failing empires as Allies along with a few other minor nations. Otto Von Bismarck said that for Germany to win a major war they would need the support of 2 other major Europe nations/empires. In ww2 the Germans high command made a huge mistake in attacking Russia when they did and probably should have read a book about the history of russia and why it’s a bad idea to invade them. Now exacting a 2-1 casualty rate is good but I would fail to call it impressive many nations have caused a much higher rate and won the war on top of that. Now before you say that the Russians are the only ones who can claim they beat the Germans take a look at the early part of ww2 and the failure of the Luftwaffe to destroy the RAF and look at the inability for the Germans to launch a successful invasion of an island.

    Regards
    Caleb

  10. jan Malherbe on

    Note that I spesifically said the 2-1 kill rate was in the final period when Germany was finally being crushed by overwhelming odds against them, the true achievement of the Wermacht was the fact that it could keep the fight going against overwhelmingly superior enemies(numerically and materially) The BoB being an outright British victory is one of the longest standing propoganda lies concocted to bolster a nation that was in desperate situation reeling before the blows of a superior enemy the battle was more like standoff , the Luftwaffe taking unsustainable losses(bombers esp), and Hitler growing impatiant , knowing time was his enemy and the friend of his foes, read the battle statistics for that fight and you will come to the conclusion the Jagdflieger in their Bf -109 ‘s were getting the better of the RAF fighter command’s Spitfires and Hurricanes , regardless of the British having the home advantage the 109’s short range etc, compared to daylight British bomber command attempts against German targets with contemporary equipment in the form of twin engined Wellington’s the Germans faired pretty well under the circumstances. The BoB was a draw if anything, an unresolved battle due to Hitlers turning his attention to a much larger fish to fry in the east with dire consequences for the thousand year Rheich!

    • I had been refraining from joining this particular conversation because, honestly sir, I felt you were goading individuals with what appeared to be comments skewed to make you appear to be either a troll or a neo-nazi. Please understand I am accusing you of neither. However, your last comment which states that the Battle of Britain was, at best, a draw seems to strain credulity. If you were to look at the statistics, as you were fond of citing earlier, Britain had the obvious advantage.

      The definitive statement, however, should come from Luftwaffe General Werner Kreipe, who described it as a “strategic (Luftwaffe) failure” and “turning point in the Second World War”. Kreipe also states the “German Air Force was bled almost to death, and suffered losses that could never be made good throughout the course of the war”.

      I would recommend reading General der Flieger Kreipe’s “The Fatal Decision:Six Decisive Battles of the Second world war from the Viewpoint of the Vanquished.” It should give you a somewhat more balanced perspective.

      Frank M., MA, History

      • all righty then on

        Well, no offense to General Kreipe, but Nazi aircraft production skyrocketed in the years following the brief and indeterminate aerial skirmishing over England in 1940, so their minor losses in that minor skirmishing were quite easily made good, many times over.

        • Since the comments of a former Air Chief of Staff don’t seem to convince, perhaps using statistics will.

          You mention how Nazi aircraft production “skyrocketed in the years following…” Let’s look at that;
          Bomber production, 1941, in Germany – 3373, Britain – 7943. 1942 – Germany – 4337, Britain – 11692. 1943 – 4799, Britain – 15075. 1944 – Germany – 2351, Britain – 16009.

          Fighter production, 1941, Germany – 3744, Britain – 7064. 1942, Germany – 5358, Britain – 9859. 1943, Germany – 10059, Britain – 10722. 1944, Germany – 24981, Britain – 10532.

          As we can see from the numbers above, insofar as bombers were concerned, British production skyrocketed while Germany had steady increase until 1944 when it dropped dramatically.

          As to fighters, other than 1944 (four years after the Battle of Britain) Germany’s production of fighter aircraft lagged behind Britain’s production. It could be argued, though I will not do it here, that the substantial increase in fighter aircraft production in 1944 was due to significant losses on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. Suffice it to say that 1944 was the only year in which it could be said that Germany’s aircraft production “skyrocketed”.

          I sincerely doubt that even these figures will convince you however. I would ask that if you make a statement such as that, please back it up with statistics and references.

          That being said, if major historians as well as historical figures fail to convince you of the importance of the battle and its repercussions as to the strategies of the Third Reich, I doubt that I will be able to do so. Indefensible Ignorance.

        • To say the Americans had a 5 to 1 kill ratio is outright stupid. The British didn’t suffer a 3 to 1 loss ratio against the Germans either, in fact, the British likely inflicted more on the enemy than they took, just look at the battle of Normandy. Also, in ww1, at the battle of the somme, the allies lost 146000 men killed, while the Germans lost 164000 killed, and that battle is regarded as a poor battle for the British, yet they still inflicted more losses than they sustained.

      • The Bf-109s got the better of the hurricanes, and were about equal to the spitfires, but the British fighters were focusing on the German bombers, the 109 isn’t a superior machine to the spitfire, not at all, just to the hurricane.

  11. I’m not quite sure how you think that the Battle of Britain was only a British victory because of propaganda. The failure of the Germans to develop a 4 engine bombs became the downfall of their Luftwaffe. The statistics show that the British and their allies fought off superior numbers and defeated the one of the if not the strongest airforce in the world. The war for the Germans was over they foolishly invaded Russia before England was captured, they invaded the Balkans which cost them time they didn’t have to spend and they attacked Russian which I think was a huge mistake. I don’t believe that the Wehrmacht deserve the credit that you give them they fought no harder than any other army in the same situation.

    Regards
    Caleb

  12. If that is your opinion or point of view then there is nothing I can say to change that, it is not my aim to to change that, but it stands clear to me that our appreciation of things are different, to me the Germans are the undisputed champions of recent large scale warfare , the statistical facts bear that out, if you don’t see it that way you are entitled to your opinion.

  13. To begin, I want to express my gratitude to all those who died in that terrible war, fought for the right cause. Eternal glory to them and memory. At the same time – eternal shame to politicians whose greed led to enormous casualties. More and more files become declassified and now we can say with certainty that the cause of the war was not a romantic struggle between two ideologies or with absolute evil. The reason for the start of any war, as this one has always been money and land, and remains so to this day. Looking back you realize that you can not change human nature, it is understood by all the great minds of all times and peoples. And in this case the rulers feed us with lies, as always before, in order to stay on the throne longer. Indeed, as Churchill said, “History is written by the winners,” so they did – “written” it for what they need. West created Hitler, while he was admired before the war, not only for his hatred of communism. Financed, west forgave all violations of disarmament treaties by him, the annexation of several countries, and everything to push him with an ulcer in Europe – the USSR. Russia in the early 20th century planned to be divided by rapidly developing and suffering from a crisis countries into zones of influence under the control of the leading powers – the yesterday enemies of theWorld War I. Interest was strictly economic, see geological map and you’ll understand why. The German people had been deceived by the most brutal manner – West slipped to them a psychopath, and doomed german people to shame for many years. Japan has also been forced to attack the United States because of economic pressure on it’s part. America needed an excuse to enter the war officially, and the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor was not surprise at all. As well as the attack on the Soviet Union was not abrupt, Stalin did everything not to give Hitler a pretext for an attack, although provocations by German troops on the border was a lot. Do you think that Hitler struck a preemptive strike of the USSR? If the USSR had not ended war with a reputation as a superpower, the genocide in its territory would continue to this day but by financial corporations of the alliance, as it was during the Civil War in Russia. (Yes, concentration camps are not a German invention – it’s British, and if not disgusting attitude of the alliance to the civilian population, the Communists would not have won the Civil War.) God knows what the world would look like if it all went on an original idea, but I assure you , could be much worse.

  14. MacArthur received his MOH in April 1942, so I don’t see how he could have lobbied for it for the duration of the war. What he did lobby for, prior to the war, was for the US to prepare for war with Japan.

    • Perhaps MacArthur did lobby to be ready for the Japanese; but that makes me wonder how come his defense of the Philippines was so pathetic. He had over 200 planes; mostly P-40s a type which was used to great advantage by the Flying Tigers, from the accounts I’ve read these were largely destroyed on the ground in neat rows with no air patrols prior to the invasion and not a single Japanese plane downed by US aircraft? Even Pearl Harbor defenders did better than that without any warning. During the initial invasion the US had 30,000 men (12,000 were captured alone at the Bataan surrender, 3000-4000 captured later at Corregidor and most of the remaining either left isolated, captured or killed prior to those surrenders, a few were evacuated with Mac Aurthur who was “ordered to leave”). A numeric equivalence ought to have been an advantage to defenders, had US and Filipino troops been adequately trained the allied forces would have been at substantial advantage over the invading Japanese . Instead the troops were ill trained and lost any chance; for example the US had better M3 tanks but the troops were not trained to use them; which lead to defeat by less capable Japanese tanks. Mac Arthur had prior warning given the attack on Pearl Harbor – and since he been advocating for a preparing, it is surprising he appeared to be completely caught with his shorts down. Sounds like he ought to have taken his own advice. Perhaps the Japanese were underestimated, they themselves were evidently timid; instead of Midway later on, they ought to have planned to invade Hawaii following up the destruction of the US fleet. Even with the US carriers being unaccounted for they had a 2 to 1 advantage.

      In any case Mac’s performance up to 1942 hardly justifies a Medal of Honor award unless turn tailing and running leaving his troops was considered an act of conspicuous bravery. No doubt the US needed hero’s and wanted to avoid the embarrassment of a top General being captured but perhaps he could have defeated the Japanese had he prepared his own troops.

  15. Goetz von Berlichingen on

    Harry, you are delusional. The Germans created Hitler. Nazi-apologists like yourself could very well lead to the next one.
    And that Churchill quote? Sure are plenty of books that have been written by the losers.
    You strike me as yet another German rationalizing the legacy of his people.
    Schande.

    • I am not a nazi-apologist, i hate nazies, it’s in my blood. I was born in USSR right before it’s collapse. Russia of 90-es was a country where “patriotism” was almost a crime in the eyes of simple people. We was taught that we are nothing and west is ewerything. Some people in other former soviet republics thought that nazies was a liberators… calling us a true criminals… and west supported them as long as they keep talking that way. That confused me… still do… That continued untill we regained our selfrespect in 21-thcentury. But it doesn’t mean we didn’t draw conclusions from recent history. I know you have no idea what i’m talking about, after all your media is less freely than in Russia. (that i will newer doubt after 08/08/08) ))) Check sponsors of the gratest tyrant of all times and his sympathisers in Brtain and USA if you able… and compare their actions and intentions according to the ideas of the west of the early 20th century. There was “nothing” wrong untill he started to lose. (Dont tell me about Britain joined the war after Hitler attacked Poland, there still was planty of room to negotiate peace from both sides, before Hitler completely gone mad.)
      Different times – different thinking. Easier to blame someone who is already dead. Politicians all a bunch of lying sons of bithes. Yet again, Hitler was a usefull tool against communism untill it started to be clear, that he is unstable, and going to lose…

  16. The author does not seem to realize that FDR, Ernest King and Chester Nimitz, George Marshall and Douglas MacArthur, et al. debated WHICH needed to to be invaded, the Phillipines or Formosa. The Phillipines were chosen for various reasons, and they made the smart decision of bypassing Formosa, which would have been a truely big mistake. The Phillipines and its people were liberated and the country became an invaluble tactical and strategic asset for troop mobilization, airpower projection and naval basing and operations for the remainder of the war. Your choice of this as a blunder is hogwash.

    Gen. MacArthur was a self-obsessed egomanic, but he was also a courageous warrior and brilliant commander; your petty insults on his name and character are shameful – if only you could be 10% of the man he was.

  17. Douglas MacArthur was an egotistical SOB who missed the opportunity to adequately defend the Philipines after having several hours notice (he did nothing) then he flees the island and then publicly rips those left behind for having to surrender to the Japanese. He later rejects medals for those left behind. As if he didnt blunder enough in WWII he continues this poor planning in Korea. He is highly overrated.

  18. Operation Market garden was a to optimistic plan from Montgemery. A desaster for so many people citizens and alied force. Nazi Terror could maybe finnished a year earlier but went that went wrong.

    But even that…..
    I thanks the man and woman who gives there blood for our freedom, something we never forget.

  19. Big Military Blunders don’t always result in major defeat. The Battle of The Bulge is one example of this. I consider The Battle of The Bulge big blunders for the both the Allies and Nazi Germany. The Allies were so caught of guard it made men from top to bottom shit their pants. The few soldiers at the front, and then the generals away drinking champagne to celebrate their brilliance, didn’t know what hit them. There was pathetic shock, confusion, chaos, terror, disaster, misery and death. It was a big failure in military intelligence, strategic prudence and tactical readiness. The decision-makers back at Allied HQ underestimated the German’s ability to mount a major offensive, and then doubted Patton’s ability to rush to the rescue (fortunately, he outflanked them). While, Germany could not stop their sealed fate, it was a huge Allied embarrassment that resulted in traumatic horror in the field and in the civilian communities in the German offensive’s path. As a footnote, I met a very dignified 91 year old man last year (2014) who served in Patton’s army. He told me how he spent a long time freezing his fingers and toes off in a foxhole while fellow soldiers all around him were being shredded and blown to pieces, while wondering how their army could have gotten this so wrong.

  20. Extremely annoying to see the term ‘England’ being used here. Try and remember that the UK is not just England. There are four countries that make up British Isles. Also the fact that the dominions also constituted a large part of the British Empire as it was then, contributed millions of troops to the cause. Its just naivety to keep spouting England all the time.