Notes

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AMERICAN CAESAR 681


Korean_War

When did he leave?


MacArthur's first words on landing at Haneda after a tour of the front were always: "Where's Jean?" She was always on the tarmac, bounding up and down for a glimpse of him.

She wanted his family to be, so to speak, a . privileged sanctuary. At home she hid newspapers and magazines criticizing his conduct of the war, though she knew it was pointless-others mailed clippings to his office from the States-and she watched over him anxiously, more like a mother than a wife. She insisted he slip between the sheets at bedtime before she opened his window.

"But, Jean, I can open windows!"

he would protest. Ignoring his objections, she would finish the job and retire to her own bedroom, though not to sleep; in ten minutes or so she would peek in to be sure he had drifted off. Despite his remonstrance's, his need for her attentions grew as the peninsular conflict grew.

He seemed to sense whether or not she was nearby in the night. Once, when he returned from Korea fighting a cold, she put him to bed early; after he had dropped off, she tiptoed downstairs to read to Arthur.

Ten minutes later they heard him shuffling down in his slippers. Entering in his old robe, he grinned sheepishly and said to them: "Where is everybody? It's lonesome up there." [62]


In the morning he would be the five-star General again, however, pacing about briskly and dictating crisp memoranda while she typed. Other thoughts he jotted on the backs of envelopes or any other scrap of paper handy; these would be crammed into his pocket and transcribed in the Dai Ichi.

Revising and editing typescripts, he was polishing his plans for his great end-run around the enemy. Bluehearts had been revived and rechristened "CHROMITE." He had told Harriman that the North Koreans were "as capable and tough" a foe as he had ever faced, but that they were vulnerable because the best of them were concentrated in the southeast tip of the peninsula, hammering at "Johnnie" Walker's Eighth Army perimeter.

Now he meant to exploit that vulnerability. Earlier, he had reported to the Pentagon that an attempted UN breakout on the Pusan front would be costly and indecisive, redolent of World War I siege warfare, impaling UN troops on the In Min Gun's spearhead instead of moving against its exposed sides and rump. Therefore he had radioed the Joint Chiefs on July 23:

"Operation planned mid-September, is amphibious landing of a two division corps in rear of enemy lines.... The alternative is a frontal attack which can only result in a protracted - and expensive campaign."

Afterward he would write in his Reminiscences:

"I was now finally ready for the last great stroke to bring my plan into fruition. My Han River dream as a possibility had begun to assume the certainties of reality-a turning movement deep into the flank and rear of the enemy that would sever his supply lines and encircle all his forces south of Sŏul." [63]