Biography

Harriman, William Averell [Advisor USA]

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-- Truman’s number one advisor Averell Harriman and Alger Hiss’s best friend and in all likely hood a direct link to the Kremlin.

biography

William Averell Harriman (November 15, 1891 – July 26, 1986) was an American Democratic Party politician, businessman, and diplomat. He was the son of railroad baron E. H. Harriman. He served as Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman and later as the 48th Governor of New York. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952, and again in 1956 when he was endorsed by President Truman but lost to Adlai Stevenson both times. Harriman served President Franklin D. Roosevelt as special envoy to Europe and served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union and U.S. Ambassador to Britain. He served in numerous U.S. diplomatic assignments in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He was a core member of the group of foreign policy elders known as "The Wise Men".

Early life

William Averell Harriman was born in New York City, the son of railroad baron Edward Henry Harriman and Mary Williamson Averell, and brother of E.Roland Harriman. Harriman was a close friend of Hall Roosevelt, the brother of Eleanor Roosevelt.

During the summer of 1899, Harriman's father organized the Harriman Alaska Expedition, a philanthropic-scientific survey of coastal Alaska and Russia that attracted 25 of the leading scientific, naturalist, and artist luminaries of the day, including John Muir, John Burroughs, George Bird Grinnell, C.Hart Merriam, Grove Karl Gilbert, and Edward Curtis, along with 100 family members and staff, aboard the steamship George Elder. Young Harriman would have his first introduction to Russia, a nation that he would spend a significant amount of attention on in his later life in public service.

He attended Groton School in Massachusetts before going on to Yale where he joined the Skull and Bones society. He graduated in 1913. After graduating, he inherited the largest fortune in America and became Yale's youngest Crew coach.

Business affairs

Using money from his father he established W.A. Harriman &Co banking business in 1922. In 1927 his brother Roland joined the business and the name was changed to Harriman Brothers & Company. In 1931, it merged with Brown Bros. & Co. to create the highly successful Wall Street firm Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. Notable employees included George Herbert Walker and his son-in-law Prescott Bush.

Harriman's main properties included Brown Brothers &Harriman &Co, Union Pacific Railroad, Merchant Shipping Corporation, and venture capital investments that included the Polaroid Corporation. Harriman's associated properties included the Southern Pacific Railroad (including the Central Pacific Railroad), Illinois Central Railroad, Wells Fargo &Co., the Pacific Mail Steamship Co., American Shipping & Commerce, Hamburg-Amerikanische Packetfahrt-Aktiengesellschaft (HAPAG), the American Hawaiian Steamship Co., United American Lines, the Guaranty Trust Company, and the Union Banking Corporation.

He served as Chairman of The Business Council, then known as the Business Advisory Council for the United States Department of Commerce in 1937 and 1939.

Thoroughbred racing

Following the death of August Belmont, Jr., in 1924, Harriman, George Walker, and Joseph E. Widener purchased much of Belmont's thoroughbred breeding stock. Harriman raced under the name of Arden Farms. Among his horses, Chance Play won the 1927 Jockey Club Gold Cup. As well, he raced in partnership with Walker under the name Log Cabin Stable before buying him out. U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee Louis Feustel, trainer of Man o' War, trained the Log Cabin horses until 1926. Of the partnership's successful runners purchased from the August Belmont estate, Ladkin is best remembered for defeating the European star Epinard in the International Special.

War seizures

While Averell Harriman served as Senior Partner of Brown Brothers Harriman &Co., Harriman Bank was the main Wall Street connection for German companies and the varied U.S. financial interests of Fritz Thyssen, who had been an early financial backer of the Nazi party until 1938, but who by 1939 had fled Germany and was bitterly denouncing Adolf Hitler. Under the Trading With the Enemy Act (enacted 6 October 1917), business transactions for profit with Nazi Germany were illegal when Hitler declared war on the United States. On October 20, 1942, the U.S. government ordered the seizure of Nazi German banking operations in New York City.

The Harriman business interests seized under the act in October and November 1942 included:

The assets were held by the government for the duration of the war, then returned afterward; UBC was dissolved in 1951.

World War II diplomacy

biography

Averell Harriman (center) with Winston Churchill (right) and Vyacheslav Molotov (left)

Beginning in the spring of 1941, he served President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a special envoy to Europe and helped coordinate the Lend-Lease program. He was present at the meeting between FDR and Winston Churchill at Placentia Bay, Canada, in August 1941, which yielded the Atlantic Charter, a common declaration of principles of the United States and the UK. He was subsequently dispatched to Moscow to negotiate the terms of the Lend-Lease agreement with the Soviet Union. His promise of $1billion in aid technically exceeded his brief. Determined to win over the doubtful American public, he used his own funds to purchase time on CBS radio to explain the program in terms of enlightened self-interest. This skepticism lifted with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

On November 25, 1941 (twelve days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor), he noted that "The United States Navy is shooting the Germans—German submarines and aircraft at sea".

In the summer of 1942, Harriman accompanied Churchill to Moscow for a second meeting with Stalin. His able assistance in explaining why the western allies were opening a second front in North Africa instead of France earned him the post of U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union in 1943.

At the Tehran Conference in late 1943 Harriman was tasked with placating a suspicious Churchill while Roosevelt attempted to gain the confidence of Stalin. This conference made the divisions between the United States and Britain about the postwar world clearer. Churchill was intent on carving the postwar world into spheres of influence while the United States upheld the principles of self-determination laid out in the Atlantic Charter. Harriman delivered the news that the spheres approach was unsatisfactory to the United States for this reason. Furthermore, if this was the driving concept behind the peace, it would give Stalin a free hand in eastern Europe.

Harriman also attended the Yalta Conference where he encouraged taking a stronger line with the Soviet Union—especially on questions of Poland. After Roosevelt's death, he attended the final "Big Three" conference at Potsdam. Although the new president, Harry Truman, was receptive to his increasingly hard stance against the Soviets, the new secretary of state, James Byrnes, sidelined him. While in Berlin, he noted the tight security imposed by Soviet military authorities and the quick beginnings of a program of reparations by which the Soviets were stripping out German industry.

In 1945, while Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Harriman was presented with a Trojan Horse gift. In 1952, the gift, a carved wood Great Seal of the United States, which had adorned "the ambassador’s Moscow residential office" in Spaso House, was found to be bugged.

Cold War diplomacy

Harriman served as ambassador to the Soviet Union until January 1946. When he returned to the United States, he worked hard to get George Kennan's Long Telegram into wide distribution. Kennan's analysis, which generally lined up with Harriman's, became the cornerstone of Truman's Cold War strategy of containment.

Later in 1946, he became ambassador to Britain, but he was soon appointed to become United States Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman to replace Henry A. Wallace, a critic of Truman's foreign policies. Harriman served between 1946 and 1948. He was then in Paris, where he was put in charge of the Marshall Plan, and had friendly relations with Irving Brown, a CIA agent charged of the international relations of the AFL-CIO.

Korea

August 4. 1950 Truman chose W. Averell Harriman, onetime governor of New York, Roosevelt's wartime ambassador to Moscow, Truman's ambassador-at-large for the Marshall Plan, and, since June 25, senior White House national security adviser and troubleshooter.

 

 Harriman was then sent to Tehran in July 1951 to mediate between Iran and Britain in the wake of the Iranian nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

In the 1954 race to succeed Republican Thomas E. Dewey as Governor of New York, Harriman defeated Dewey's protégé, U.S. Senator Irving M. Ives, by a tiny margin. He served as governor for one term until Republican Nelson Rockefeller unseated him in 1958. As governor, he increased personal taxes by 11% but his tenure was dominated by his presidential ambitions. Harriman was a candidate for the Democratic Presidential Nomination in 1952, and again in 1956 when he was endorsed by Truman but lost (both times) to Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson. Harriman was generally considered to be on the left or liberal wing of the Democratic party, hence his losing out to the more moderate Stevenson.

His presidential ambitions defeated, Harriman became a widely respected elder statesman of the party. In January 1961, he was appointed Ambassador at Large in the Kennedy administration, a position he held until November, when he became Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs. In December 1961, Anatoliy Golitsyn defected from the Soviet Union and accused Harriman of being a Soviet spy, but his claims were dismissed by the CIA and Harriman remained in his position until April 1963, when he became Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. He retained that position through the transition to the Lyndon Johnson administration until March 1965 when he again became Ambassador at Large. He held that position for the remainder of Johnson's presidency. Harriman was the chief U.S. negotiator at the Paris peace talks on Vietnam.

Harriman is noted for supporting, on behalf of the State Department, the coup against Vietnam president Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963. Johnson's confession in the assassination of Diem could indicate some complicity on Harriman's part.

Harriman received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 and West Point's Sylvanus Thayer Award in 1975.

In 1973 he was interviewed in the now famous TV documentary series, The World at War, where he gives a recollection of his experiences as Roosevelt's Personal Representative in Britain along with his views on Cold War politics; in particular Poland and the Warsaw Pact; along with the exchanges he witnessed between Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin.

Family life

His first marriage, some two years out of Yale, was to Kitty Lanier Lawrance, with whom he had two daughters, one of whom was Kathleen Lanier Harriman (1917–2011). He divorced her in 1928, and about a year later he married Marie Norton Whitney, who had left her husband, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, to marry him. They remained married until her death in 1970. K.L. Lawrence died in 1936.

His third and final marriage was in 1971 to Pamela Beryl Digby Churchill Hayward, the former wife of Winston Churchill's son Randolph, and widow of Broadway producer Leland Hayward. Harriman died in 1986 in Yorktown Heights, aged 94. He and Pamela are buried at Arden Farm Graveyard in Arden, New York.

Summary of career

 

Annotaton

 

July 20, 1950 Thursday

Korean_War


Frustration in Korea * 385

Two days later I received a message from the managing editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, stating that his paper had imposed self-censorship. Once again a free press exhibited its fullest commitment to the burdens of a free society.
By July 20th, the period of piecemeal entry into action was over, the painful rearguard type of retreat under pressure of overwhelming numbers was ended, the fight for time against space was won. The enemy's plan and great opportunity depended upon the speed with which he could overrun South Korea once he had breached the Han River line. This chance he had now lost through the extraordinary speed with which the Eighth Army had been deployed from Japan to stem his rush. When he crashed the Han line, the way seemed entirely open and victory was within his grasp. The desperate decision to throw in piecemeal American elements as they arrived by every available means of transport from Japan was the only hope to save the situation. The skill and valor thereafter displayed in successive holding actions by the ground forces in accordance with this concept, brilliantly supported in complete co-ordination by air and naval elements, forced the enemy into continued deployments, mostly frontal attacks, and confused logistics which so slowed his advance and blunted his drive that we bought the precious time necessary to build a secure base. With the issue fully joined, our future action could be predicated on choice. We now held South Korea, and, in the face of overwhelming numbers, had relatively few casualties.

[1,820 to date, including 587 on this date alone]

The area in which I had military responsibility having been enlarged to include Formosa and the Pescadore Islands, I felt it necessary, late in July, to visit the island in order to determine its military capabilities for defense.

Among the problems which were discussed was the prompt and generous offer of the Nationalist Chinese to send troops to join the United Nations forces in Korea. The belief of all concerned, however, was that such action at this time might so seriously jeopardize the defense of Formosa that it would be inadvisable. Arrangements were completed for effective co-ordination between the American forces under my command and those of the Chinese Nationalists, the better to meet any attack which a hostile force might be foolish enough to attempt. Such an attack would, in my opinion, stand little chance of success. It was a great pleasure for me to meet my old comrade-in-arms of the last war, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. His indomitable determination to resist Communist domination aroused my sincere admiration.

386 * REMINISCENCES

To my astonishment, the visit to Formosa and my meeting with Chiang Kai-shek was greeted by a furor. My habitual critics, including those within the United Nations who advocated appeasement of the Soviet Union and Red China, naturally set in with their cudgels, but I was some-what startled to find myself attacked by certain groups within the United States itself. It did not dawn on me that my visit to Formosa would be construed as political or in any way undesirable. I was merely trying to make my own military estimate of the situation. There was such a frenzy of irresponsible diatribe, some of the misrepresentations so gross and obviously malicious, that I felt it necessary to make a further statement:

There have been so many misstatements made with reference to my trip to Formosa that in the public interest at this critical moment I feel constrained to correct them. This trip was formally arranged and coordinated beforehand with all branches of the American and Chinese Governments. It was limited entirely to military matters, as I stated in my public release after the visit, and dealt solely with the problem of preventing military violence to Formosa as directed by the President — the implementation of which directive is my responsibility. It had no connection with political affairs and, therefore, no suggestion or thought was ever made from any source whatsoever that a political representative accompany me. The subject of the future of the Chinese Government, of developments on the Chinese mainland, or anything else outside the scope of my own military responsibility was not discussed or even mentioned. Full reports on the results of the visit were promptly made to Washington. This visit has been maliciously misrepresented to the public by those who invariably in the past have propagandized a policy of defeatism and appeasement in the Pacific. I hope the American people will not be misled by sly insinuations, brash speculations and bold misstatements invariably attributed to anonymous sources, so insidiously fed them both nationally and internationally by persons ten thousand miles away from the actual events, which tend, if they are not indeed designed, to promote disunity and destroy faith and confidence in American institutions and American representatives at this time of great world peril.

Frustration in Korea * 387

The Administration apparently became somewhat alarmed at our deteriorating prestige in the Orient, and President Truman issued a public statement saying:

"The occupation of Formosa by Communist forces would be a direct threat to the security of the Pacific area and to the United States forces performing their lawful and necessary functions in that area."



I received the following message from President Truman:

"At my direction, my assistant, W. Averell Harriman, will leave here Friday 4 August by air to confer with you in Tokyo on political aspects of Far Eastern situation. Announcement of mission will be made here. Warm regards."



As special envoy from President Truman, Averell Harriman was sent to Tokyo to advise the President on political aspects of the Far Eastern situation. Harriman and I were friends of long standing. While superintendent of West Point I had hunted ducks on his preserve near Tuxedo. We discussed fully global conditions. I found him careful and cautious in what he said, but gained these very definite impressions:

He left me with a feeling of concern and uneasiness that the situation in the Far East was little understood and mistakenly downgraded in high circles in Washington.

[note]

July 23, 1950 Sunday

Korean_War

When did he leave? August 4, 1950 Friday


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]

[note]

August 4, 1950 Friday Begings trip

Korean_War

After MacArthur's controversial trip to Formosa, President Truman, feeling the need to establish closer liaison with MacArthur, decided to send a personal representative to meet with him. Truman chose W. Averell Harriman, onetime governor of New York, Roosevelts wartime ambassador to Moscow, Truman's ambassador-at-large for the Marshall Plan, and, since June 25, senior White House national security adviser and troubleshooter. Before Harriman took off for Tokyo on August 4, Truman, as Harriman recalled, gave him two messages for MacArthur:

"One was: 'I want him to stay clear of Chiang Kai-shek and not to get us into a war with Mainland China.' The other was: 'I want to find out what he wants and, if it's at all possible to do it, I will give it to him.' "[7-11]

* * *

About this same time the JCS likewise felt a need for closer liaison with MacArthur. For one thing the JCS still had grave doubts about the proposed amphibious landing at Inch'ŏn, and the doubt was spreading far and wide. It seemed that MacArthur was being deliberately vague about the details of Inch'ŏn and the chiefs could not understand why.

Accordingly, the JCS detailed Matt Ridgway and Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (and acting Vice Chief of Staff) Lauris Norstad (West Point, 1930) to accompany Harriman to Tokyo, to brief MacArthur on JCS thinking and to find out what MacArthur was up to. The generals took along several subordinates to do legwork. In addition, Ridgway hand carried a letter from Joe Collins to MacArthur, wishing him well and expressing the hope that MacArthur could win in Korea with the six plus American divisions already in the Far East or on the way.[7-12]

[note]

 

August 5, 1950 Saturday - in transit

August 6, 1950 Sunday arrived Japan

August

After MacArthur's controversial trip to Formosa, President Truman, feeling the need to establish closer liaison with MacArthur, decided to send a personal representative to meet with him. Truman chose W. Averell Harriman, onetime governor of New York, Roosevelt's wartime ambassador to Moscow, Truman's ambassador-at-large for the Marshall Plan, and, since June 25, senior White House national security adviser and troubleshooter. Before Harriman took off for Tokyo on August 4, Truman, as Harriman recalled, gave him two messages for MacArthur:

"One was: 'I want him to stay clear of Chiang Kai-shek and not to get us into a war with Mainland China.' The other was: 'I want to find out what he wants and, if it's at all possible to do it, I will give it to him.' "[7-11]

* * *

About this same time the JCS likewise felt a need for closer liaison with MacArthur. For one thing the JCS still had grave doubts about the proposed amphibious landing at Inchon, and the doubt was spreading far and wide. It seemed that MacArthur was being deliberately vague about the details of Inchon and the chiefs could not understand why. Accordingly, the JCS detailed Matt Ridgway and Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (and acting Vice Chief of Staff) Lauris Norstad (West Point, 1930) to accompany Harriman to Tokyo, to brief MacArthur on JCS thinking and to find out what MacArthur was up to. The generals took along several subordinates to do legwork. In addition, Ridgway hand carried a letter from Joe Collins to MacArthur, wishing him well and expressing the hope that MacArthur could win in Korea with the six plus American divisions already in the Far East or on the was.[7-12]

August

The Harriman party landed in Tokyo on the morning of Sunday, August 6, Tokyo time. MacArthur met the plane, and the two principals drove to the Dai Ichi Building, trailed by a convoy of staff cars bringing the rest of the party. After attending the GHQ morning briefing, the party lunched with MacArthur and his wife at their home in the American Embassy. Later that day, while Ridgway and Norstad conferred with Almond and other GHQ staffers and made arrangements for a quick trip to Taegu, MacArthur and Harriman conferred for another two hours, mostly about the two Chinas.

In a report he later submitted to Truman, Harriman made it clear that there was little hope that MacArthur would ever fully embrace the Truman-Acheson hands-off policy toward the Nationalists. As a soldier, MacArthur told Harriman,

"he would obey any orders that he received from the President."

MacArthur accepted the president's position on Formosa and would act accordingly but, Harriman added, without full conviction.

" MacArthur, Harriman continued, "has a strange idea that we should back anybody who will fight communism" and that Washington should stop "kicking Chiang around"

and support the rejected JCS recommendation to bomb Communist concentrations on the mainland and possibly support Chiang's dream of a

"reentry to the mainland."

Moreover, MacArthur strongly opposed Acheson's conciliatory policy toward Peking, designed to draw China back into the American orbit.[7-14]

[note]

August August

President Truman sent his special assistant, Averell Harriman, to Tokyo on 6 August, primarily to discuss Far Eastern political matters with General MacArthur. General Ridgway and Lt. Gen. Lauris Norstad of the Air Force accompanied Mr. Harriman. While these officials were in Tokyo, General MacArthur took the opportunity to express his views on the situation facing him in Korea, MacArthur believed that speed was the keystone of victory over the North Koreans. He told Harriman and the military officers that the United States could not afford to wait for a slow build-up of forces in Korea. The United States must destroy the North Korean Army as early as possible. If not, the Russians and Chinese Communists, MacArthur feared, would be able to strengthen their protégé by shipping in more arms and supplies. MacArthur also saw in a failure to settle the matter speedily, political dangers. United Nations members would grow discouraged and Oriental peoples would be disappointed with, and lose confidence in, the United States. [08-14]

[note]

August

Acheson insisted that the General's knuckles be rapped, so Secretary of Defense Johnson reminded him that he must continue to block any KMT forays against the Chinese coast, adding sharply:

"No one other than the President as Commander-in-Chief has the authority to order or authorize preventive action. against concentrations on the mainland."

MacArthur replied that he "understood" and would be "meticulously" governed by the directive, but to make assurance doubly sure and avoid any further embarrassment, Truman sent his roving envoy, Averill Harriman, to Tokyo "so that," in the President's words, "the General might be given a firsthand account of the political planning in Washington."[46]

Accompanied by Generals Lauris Norstad of the Air Force and Matthew B. Ridgway, the army's Deputy Chief of Staff, Harriman was met by MacArthur at Haneda at 9:15 on the morning of [Saturday] August 6. During their drive to the embassy guesthouse, Harriman later reported to Truman, the General enthusiastically "described the satisfactory political development in Japan since my last visit. He spoke of the great quality of the Japanese; his desire to work, the satisfaction of the Japanese in work, his respect for the dignity of work. He compared it favorably to the desire in the United States for more luxury and less work." Although Americans might forget it, the Supreme Commander was still carrying his full burden as ruler of Nippon. It was clear to Harriman that pacificatory SCAP, not warring CINCFE, was the role he enjoyed most.

[note]

August7, 1950 Monday go to Korea

August August


On Monday, August 7, Harriman, Ridgway, Norstad, and aides flew on to Taegu, where they met with Johnnie Walker and the Eighth Army staff and inspected some frontline units. All three visiting firemen were dismayed by what they found. Later, in a damning report, Ridgway wrote, in effect, that Walker's leadership of Eighth Army was abysmal. Ridgway found a "lack of force, acceptance of a mediocre staff and an unsound Base organization." Walker could not even name the "key commanders" in the ROK Army. Many of his senior staff officers appeared to be wanting in "energy and ability."[7-15]


The "mediocre" Eighth Army staff was presided over by Gene Landrum, who was nearing his sixtieth birthday. Ridgway's 82nd Airborne Division had fought alongside Landrum's 90th Division in Normandy when Landrum failed and Joe Collins relieved him of command. Ridgway found it difficult to believe that Walker would rely on Landrum too old and too weak for the task at this critical time. Nor was Ridgway much impressed by Walker's chief of plans (G3), artilleryman William Bartlett, fifty-one, whose three senior assistants were also artillerymen. Ridgway set wheels in motion which would result in early replacements for both Landrum and Bartlett and bring senior infantrymen into the planning section.[7-16]

The visitors closely scrutinized Eighth Army's senior field commanders. Ridgway had nothing to say about the division commanders, but he judged that "some" regimental commanders were "very poor." They were too old and lacked "combat experience and aggressiveness." He named no names, but undoubtedly he was referring to the three regimental commanders in the 1st Cav (Rohsenberger, Nist, and Palmer) and the 24th Infantry's Horton White. Although both Dick Stephens (21st Infantry) and Hank Fisher (35th Infantry) were considerably overage for regimental command, they were doing well, as were the "youngsters," Michaelis (27th Infantry), Beauchamp (34th Infantry), and Moore (19th Infantry). Replacements being sent by the Pentagon didn't help. "Three out of five were over fifty," Ridgway wrote.*


*The average age of the nine regimental commanders in Eighth Army that day was forty-seven years. Rohsenberger at fifty-five was the oldest; Michaelis at thirty-eight, the youngest.

August

FYI The senior Marine was a brigadier general, Edward A. ("Eddie") Craig, fifty-three, ADC of the 1st Marine Division. In World War II Craig had commanded the 9th Marine Regiment ("Ninth Marines") on Guadalcanal and during the amphibious invasion of Bougainville and Guam, winning a Navy Cross and other decorations for heroism.

[note]

August August

MacArthur held little hope that the key men transferred from the division to Korea could be replaced in kind, either from the United States or from Japan. Efforts to recover these specialists reached a new high on 7 August, when General Hickey visited Korea and sought the return of 7th Division specialists. Walker made a careful survey to determine if he could give up any of these men, but because of the low ebb in Eighth Army's fortunes and strength at the time, found their release impossible. [09-33]

The lack of specialists and trained men for the 7th Division was on General MacArthur's mind when he talked on 7 August with Harriman, General Ridgway, and General Norstad. MacArthur furnished a complete list of the specialists he needed but who could not be found in his command and asked why the Department of the Army did not quickly recruit experienced noncommissioned officers from among the many who had served in World War II. These men could be sent to him by fast ship and by air. [09-34]

[note]

August August

Flying back to Tokyo that night, Matt Ridgway, a man of high principles, whom one of his close friends described as a "12th Century knight with a 20th Century brain, agonized. He believed that Walkers leadership of Eighth Army was so poor that he should be relieved of command. Years before (1921 and 1922), Ridgway had served closely with MacArthur at West Point, when MacArthur was superintendent of the academy and Ridgway was manager of athletics. From that experience Ridgway was well aware of MacArthur's weaknesses, but on the whole, he admired him. He thought MacArthur was a military genius, and he still had a deep sense of loyalty to him. For that reason, and others, Ridgway felt compelled to recommend Walker's immediate relief to MacArthur. Yet to do so, Ridgway realized, was perilous. Walker had his back against the wall. His relief (and public disgrace) might further embolden the NKPA. MacArthur might misinterpret his motives and denounce Ridgway as a Truman lackey interfering with his operations or as a throat cutter trying to create a job for himself.[7-17]

In Tokyo Ridgway confided his inner thoughts to Harriman and asked for advice. Harriman (and Norstad) had also reached the conclusion that Walker should be relieved of command, but Harriman did not believe the suggestion should be made directly to MacArthur at this time, unless MacArthur himself opened the subject of "conditions in Eighth Army." It would be more prudent, Harriman suggested, first to talk the matter over with Collins, Bradley, Army Secretary Frank Pace, and others in Washington, including the president. Ridgway followed that advice with one exception. He expressed to MacArthur "in polite language" his view that the base organization was "unsound" and offered to send MacArthur an outstanding logistician, Paul F. Yount (who stood number one in the West Point class of 1930), to straighten it out. MacArthur apparently took no offense at this suggestion and "at once" accepted Ridgway's recommendation.

[note]

August August

Ironically, unknown to either Harriman or Matt Ridgway, at this time MacArthur's confidence in Walker, steadily undermined by Ned Almond, had eroded almost completely. Had Ridgway forthrightly raised the matter of Walker's relief, MacArthur might very well have been receptive to the idea, notwithstanding the repercussions. A further irony was that MacArthur had decided that if he did relieve Walker, Ridgway was the best man in the Army to replace him. Had the change of command occurred at this time, events in Korea would very likely have taken a different and more favorable course for the American Army.[7-19]

[note]

August 8, 1950 Tuesday Return to USA

August

Seeing his visitors off [Tuesday 8/8/1950] at Haneda, the General shouted "loudly," Harriman recalls, so all could here, "'The only fault of your trip was that is was too short."' The envoy wrote his report to Truman during the return flight. MacArthur's trip to Formosa, he wrote, had been "perfectly natural," and he was convinced that the Supreme Commander was loyal to "constitutional authority." On that basis he felt that "political and personal considerations should be put to one side and our government [should] deal with General MacArthur on the lofty level of the great national asset which he is." Yet, Harriman continued:

For reasons which are rather difficult to explain, I did not feel that we came to a full agreement on the way we believe things should be handled on Formosa and with the Generalissimo. He accepted the President's position and will act accordingly, but without full conviction. He has a strange idea that we should back anybody who will fight Communism, even though he could not give an argument why the Generalissimo's fighting Communists would be a contribution towards the effective dealing with the Communists in China.
I pointed out to him the basic conflict of interest between the U.S. . . . position as to the future of Formosa, namely, the preventing of Formosa's falling into hostile hands . . . [while] Chiang, on the other hand, had only the burning ambition to use Formosa as a steppingstone for his reentry to the mainland. . . .
I explained in great detail why Chiang was a liability, and the great danger of a split in the unity of the United Nations. . . I pointed out the great importance of maintaining UN unity among the friendly countries, and the complications that might result from any missteps in dealing with China and Formosa.[51]

[note]

Bio

It has been alleged by at least one officer of General MacArthur's staff that MacArthur, on 8 August 1950, when Ridgway was a member of a group accompanying Averell Harriman to Japan and Korea, told Ridgway that, if anything happened to Walker, "you are my No. 1 choice. General Ridgway later said privately that General MacArthur never mentioned the subject to him on that visit to the Far East.'

Gen. Lauris Norstad, the only other officer in Averell Harriman's party in this Far East Command visit, told Ridgway that MacArthur had said to him that MacArthur wanted to see Ridgway in command of Eighth Army. Ridgway was taken aback at this news and burst out to Norstad,

"Oh, don't you breathe a word of that while I am up here anyway, because it would look as though I was seeking a job there, which I am not at all."

Later, Ridgway learned that General MacArthur had indeed recommended him as a replacement if anything happened to Walker. But he had the impression that higher officials in the Pentagon had other plans for him.

It has been alleged by at least one officer of General MacArthur's staff that MacArthur, on 8 August 1950, when Ridgway was a member of a group accompanying Averell Harriman to Japan and Korea, told Ridgway that, if anything happened to Walker, "you are my No. 1 choice. General Ridgway later said privately that General MacArthur never mentioned the subject to him on that visit to the Far East.'

Gen. Lauris Norstad, the only other officer in Averell Harriman's party in this Far East Command visit, told Ridgway that MacArthur had said to him that MacArthur wanted to see Ridgway in command of Eighth Army. Ridgway was taken aback at this news and burst out to Norstad, "Oh, don't you breathe a word of that while I am up here anyway, because it would look as though I was seeking a job there, which I am not at all." Later, Ridgway learned that General MacArthur had indeed recommended him as a replacement if anything happened to Walker. But he had the impression that higher officials in the Pentagon had other plans for him.

[note]

Bio

On Tuesday morning, August 8, MacArthur again met with the full Harriman party, this time in his office at the Dai Ichi Building. For the next two and a half hours he told the group how he would win the war in Korea and what further assistance he would require from Washington to do. Ridgway thought MacArthur's briefing was "brilliant." It was made, Ridgway wrote later,

"with utmost earnestness, supported by every logical military argument of his rich experience, and delivered with all of his dramatic eloquence."

Moreover, contrary to the prevailing view in Washington, Ridgway saw no evidence that MacArthur was being disloyal to Truman.

"His recognition of authority superior to him, if his channels of command and of his sphere of responsibility was clear and unmistakable, and his loyalty to duly constituted superior authority was equally manifest.

Time was working against America in Korea, MacArthur asserted. An early military victory was "essential.' ' Any delay in achieving it increased the chances of "direct military participation" by Chinese Communist or Soviet forces and the possibility of a winter campaign when the weather in Korea was frigid "comparable to my native state of Wisconsin" and would result in heavy non-battle casualties from frostbite. To achieve an early victory, MacArthur continued, American forces must launch "a coordinated offensive," mounted by Eighth Army and an additional, independent corps to land amphibiously at Inch'ŏn by September 25. And

"once launched, this operation must be given every chance of success."

 MacArthur would personally "take in" the Inch'ŏn force and remain in Korea for two or three weeks, as necessary.

[note]

Bio

As for Formosa, MacArthur again asserted that he did not believe the Chinese Communists would launch an attack there. If they did, MacArthur said (as Ridgway noted),

"I would go there and assume command, and deliver such a crushing defeat it would be one of the decisive battles of the world a disaster so great it would rock Asia and perhaps turn back communism. Meanwhile, he repeated, America would be well advised to back the Nationalists, whose potential could be increased "

enormously with the military aid list GHQ was preparing.[7-21]

August

The Harriman party left Tokyo that same day (8/8) and flew back to Washington. Every member was bedazzled and certain that MacArthur's plan for winning the war with an Inch'ŏn invasion was sound and should be backed by every resource the Pentagon could spare. Ridgway left convinced that MacArthur should have the 3rd Infantry Division, even though it had already been gutted and was but a skeletal force. Harriman told Ridgway (as Ridgway noted) that "

political and personal considerations should be put to one side and our government deal with General MacArthur on the lofty level of the great national asset which he is."

[note]

August

By this time both Harriman and Norstad had decided that Ridgway should replace Walker as commander of Eighth Army in Korea. On return to Washington Harriman would recommend that change to Truman, Johnson, Bradley, Pace, and Collins. On the plane Norstad privately broached the subject with Ridgway, saying,

"I think you ought to be in command here." Ridgway must have been flattered, but he replied: "Please don't mention that, it will look as though I was coming over here looking for a job and I'm not."

In Washington Harriman turned in his and Ridgway's reports to Truman, Johnson, Bradley, and others. The overall effect was to build considerable support at the White House for MacArthur and the Inch'ŏn landing. But the JCS remained skeptical about an amphibious landing at Inch'ŏn. When Ridgway appeared before the chiefs to deliver MacArthur's request for the 3rd Infantry Division to replace the 7th Division in Japan, he encountered doubt and debate. Subsequently it was decided that Collins and Forrest Sherman would go to Tokyo to examine the Inch'ŏn plan in greater detail before the JCS endorsed it. Owing to the deplorable state of the 3rd Division, the chiefs seriously but briefly considered sending MacArthur the 82nd Airborne Division. However, when Ridgway suggested the possibility of incorporating the Puerto Rican 65th Regiment into the 3rd Division and other measures to provide the division greater strength, the chiefs accepted his ideas. Three days later, on August 11, Truman approved the transfer of the 3rd Division from the General Reserve to the Far East, with the understanding that it would not be sent to Korea but be based in Japan, in effect replacing the 7th Division.

Still very much concerned over the "leadership, organization and planning" in Eighth Army, Ridgway, as Harriman had suggested, met individually with Pace, Collins, and other top-level Army officials to convey his misgivings about Walker. Ridgway expressed the belief that Walker could hold the Pusan Perimeter but that he should be replaced before Eighth Army went on the offensive. Pace (perhaps influenced by Harriman), according to Ridgway's notes,

"indicated his own conviction that a change ought to be made as early as possible but that he was uncertain as to the best method of making it."

Thinking out loud about a replacement for Walker, Pace mentioned both Ridgway and West Pointer (1919) Alfred M. ("Al") Gruenther, fifty-one, then serving in the Army's upper echelons as deputy chief of staff for plans. Gruenther, who had been chief of staff to Mark Clark in Italy during World War II, had never led troops in combat.

Joe Collins appeared less anxious to sack Walker. He told Ridgway that on his forthcoming visit to Tokyo to discuss Inch'ŏn with MacArthur, he would

"visit Korea and, based on [7-sic] his observations at the time, would take up with MacArthur the question of Eighth Army command, Organization and Staff."

Should a change be necessary, Collins thought that either Ridgway or West Pointer (1915) James A. Van Fleet could replace Walker. Collins preferred Van Fleet because Ridgway was slated to replace Haislip as vice chief and because Ridgway might become "so involved I couldn't get you out." When Collins asked Ridgway what his "preference" might be, Ridgway replied that if America was headed for World War III (as still seemed likely to him),

"I would prefer to fight in Europe."

[note]

August  

Meanwhile, Harriman proposed to President Truman that Ridgway replace Walker as commander of Eighth Army. Truman's reply was to "talk to Bradley about it." The upshot was that Bradley and Collins decided that if Collins determined on his forthcoming trip to Korea that Walker should be replaced and if MacArthur concurred in this decision, Ridgway would be proposed to MacArthur as Walker's replacement. However, Collins did not inform Ridgway of this decision.

[note]

August

Over the next two days [Mon and Tue] , the presidential envoy [ Averill Harriman,] flew to Pusan for a quick inspection of UN lines and conferred with the General for more than eight hours, sometimes alone, sometimes with Gen. Lauris Norstad and Ridgway. After the first day an aide confided in a correspondent that the two men were "pretty much in agreement." There were no details, however, not even for SCAP officials. "In fact," Sebald notes,

"the underlying purpose of Harriman's visit never was entirely clear to us . . . although we had a definite stake in it. We could only guess, as did many others, that the President was seeking to reinforce his strict policy that Formosa should not be used as a base of operations against Mainland China." [48]

That was the gist of it. MacArthur promised a swift victory in Korea, said he hoped he could launch his offensive there before the onset of winter because delay would increase the chances of Chinese intervention, and predicted that if Mao tried to seize Formosa he himself would assume command there and

"deliver such a crushing defeat it would be one of the decisive battles of the world,"

but most of the time was spent discussing the shaky relations between Taipei and Washington. The General acknowledged that Chiang could never re-conquer China, though he suggested facetiously that

"it might be a good idea to let him land and get rid of him that way."

His own problem, he said, was strategic. He had been charged with the defense of Formosa, and in that role he was crippled by the tension between the KMT and the U.S. administration.

"We have not improved our position by kicking Chiang around," he said, "and I hope that the President will do something to relieve the strain between the State Department and the Generalissimo."

 That was reasonable, but then he encroached on diplomatic prerogatives by adding that he would "never" recognize Peking because that would strengthen Mao's prestige. It should be the U.S. goal, he said, to destroy that prestige.[49]

Harriman explained that

"the President wants me to tell you that you must not permit Chiang to be the cause of starting a war with the Chinese Communists, the effect of which might drag us into a world war."

 Reviving the KMT forces for a full-scale attack on the mainland, he said, had not been the intent of America's UN allies in supporting U.S. resistance to North Korean aggression on that peninsula. MacArthur replied:

"As a soldier, I will obey any orders I receive from the President."

 However, he thought it his duty to point out that in his view the Seventh Fleet's patrolling of the Formosa Strait cut two ways. It shielded Chiang, but it also "protected" the Red Chinese. According to his intelligence, it had released two Red field armies from defensive positions in South China. Later he would remind Washington of that warning.[50]

[note]

August

Over the next two days [Mon and Tue] , the presidential envoy [ Averill Harriman,] flew to Pusan for a quick inspection of UN lines and conferred with the General for more than eight hours, sometimes alone, sometimes with Gen. Lauris Norstad and Ridgway. After the first day an aide confided in a correspondent that the two men were "pretty much in agreement." There were no details, however, not even for SCAP officials. "In fact," Sebald notes,

"the underlying purpose of Harriman's visit never was entirely clear to us . . . although we had a definite stake in it. We could only guess, as did many others, that the President was seeking to reinforce his strict policy that Formosa should not be used as a base of operations against Mainland China." [48]

That was the gist of it. MacArthur promised a swift victory in Korea, said he hoped he could launch his offensive there before the onset of winter because delay would increase the chances of Chinese intervention, and predicted that if Mao tried to seize Formosa he himself would assume command there and

"deliver such a crushing defeat it would be one of the decisive battles of the world,"

but most of the time was spent discussing the shaky relations between Taipei and Washington. The General acknowledged that Chiang could never re-conquer China, though he suggested facetiously that

"it might be a good idea to let him land and get rid of him that way."

His own problem, he said, was strategic. He had been charged with the defense of Formosa, and in that role he was crippled by the tension between the KMT and the U.S. administration.

"We have not improved our position by kicking Chiang around," he said, "and I hope that the President will do something to relieve the strain between the State Department and the Generalissimo."

 That was reasonable, but then he encroached on diplomatic prerogatives by adding that he would "never" recognize Peking because that would strengthen Mao's prestige. It should be the U.S. goal, he said, to destroy that prestige.[49]

Harriman explained that

"the President wants me to tell you that you must not permit Chiang to be the cause of starting a war with the Chinese Communists, the effect of which might drag us into a world war."

 Reviving the KMT forces for a full-scale attack on the mainland, he said, had not been the intent of America's UN allies in supporting U.S. resistance to North Korean aggression on that peninsula. MacArthur replied:

"As a soldier, I will obey any orders I receive from the President."

 However, he thought it his duty to point out that in his view the Seventh Fleet's patrolling of the Formosa Strait cut two ways. It shielded Chiang, but it also "protected" the Red Chinese. According to his intelligence, it had released two Red field armies from defensive positions in South China. Later he would remind Washington of that warning.[50]

August 9, 1950 Wednesday - in transit

August 10, 1950 Thursday

August 11, 1950 Friday

Three days later, on August 11, Truman approved the transfer of the 3rd Division from the General Reserve to the Far East, with the understanding that it would not be sent to Korea but be based in Japan, in effect replacing the 7th Division.

Still very much concerned over the "leadership, organization and planning" in Eighth Army, Ridgway, as Harriman had suggested, met individually with Pace, Collins, and other top-level Army officials to convey his misgivings about Walker. Ridgway expressed the belief that Walker could hold the Pusan Perimeter but that he should be replaced before Eighth Army went on the offensive. Pace (perhaps influenced by Harriman), according to Ridgway's notes,

"indicated his own conviction that a change ought to be made as early as possible but that he was uncertain as to the best method of making it."

Thinking out loud about a replacement for Walker, Pace mentioned both Ridgway and West Pointer (1919) Alfred M. ("Al") Gruenther, fifty-one, then serving in the Army's upper echelons as deputy chief of staff for plans. Gruenther, who had been chief of staff to Mark Clark in Italy during World War II, had never led troops in combat.

Joe Collins appeared less anxious to sack Walker. He told Ridgway that on his forthcoming visit to Tokyo to discuss Inch'ŏn with MacArthur, he would

"visit Korea and, based on [7-sic] his observations at the time, would take up with MacArthur the question of Eighth Army command, Organization and Staff."

Should a change be necessary, Collins thought that either Ridgway or West Pointer (1915) James A. Van Fleet could replace Walker. Collins preferred Van Fleet because Ridgway was slated to replace Haislip as vice chief and because Ridgway might become "so involved I couldn't get you out." When Collins asked Ridgway what his "preference" might be, Ridgway replied that if America was headed for World War III (as still seemed likely to him),

"I would prefer to fight in Europe."

[note]

August

General Ridgway's trip to the Far East Command and Korea with the Harriman group in August 1950 was his first and only visit to Korea until he arrived there in December to assume command of Eighth Army. During this visit, Ridgway, in a letter to his mother on 12 August 1950, wrote that Korea looked just like parts of China he had seen.

[note]

Bio   Bio   Bio

President Truman sent his special assistant, Averell Harriman, to Tokyo on 6 August, primarily to discuss Far Eastern political matters with General MacArthur. General Ridgway and Lt. Gen. Lauris Norstad of the Air Force accompanied Mr. Harriman.

While these officials were in Tokyo, General MacArthur took the opportunity to express his views on the situation facing him in Korea, MacArthur believed that speed was the keystone of victory over the North Koreans. He told Harriman and the military officers that the United States could not afford to wait for a slow build-up of forces in Korea. The United States must destroy the North Korean Army as early as possible. If not, the Russians and Chinese Communists, MacArthur feared, would be able to strengthen their protégé by shipping in more arms and supplies.

 MacArthur also saw in a failure to settle the matter speedily, political dangers. United Nations members would grow discouraged and Oriental peoples would be disappointed with, and lose confidence in, the United States. [08-14]

On 12 August, shortly after these visitors departed, another and more fully developed draft of the landing plan was issued, setting a target date of 15 September. The strategic concept of this plan would be put into effect one month later without substantive change. Without naming major Army units, the plan proposed committing the GHQ Reserve and the 1st Marine Division in an amphibious operation to seize the Inch'ŏn-Sŏul area and to cut the main lines of enemy communications and supply to North Korean units in the south.

In conjunction with the seaborne assault, the Eighth Army was to break out of its perimeter and drive northwest along the Taegu-Taejŏn-Suwŏn axis to link up with the amphibious force. The Navy and the Air Force would carry out vital missions of transportation, security, naval gunfire support, carrier aircraft support, and strategic bombing. The 1st Marine Air Wing would furnish tactical air cover for the landing. [08-15]

These plans for landing at Inch'ŏn on 15 September met opposition both within MacArthur's own staff and in other quarters. Navy and Marine officers raised objection to the plans. These officers did not oppose an amphibious assault even though they felt that Army planners were minimizing the problems which the Navy and Marine Corps must overcome in carrying and landing the assault forces on D-day. They did not want to land at Inch'ŏn. [08-16]

Their concern over Inch'ŏn arose from its natural obstacles to military and naval operations. From the standpoint of navigation, sea approaches, and landing beaches, Inch'ŏn ranked among the worst harbor areas in Korea. The Yellow Sea in its periodic surges into the harbor (changes in the sluggish, heavy tide exceeded thirty feet) had created broad mud-banks and tidal flats which fronted the entire harbor. These flats were so soft and the muck so deep they would not support men on foot. Twice a day the tides rolled in to cover these flats. The naval officers believed it would require a 23-foot minimum tide before small landing craft could safely operate over these flats and a 29-foot tide before Navy LST's could come into Inch'ŏn's beaches. This meant that they could land men and supplies only from the time an incoming tide reached twenty-three feet until the outgoing tide dropped again to that level, a period of only about three hours. troops ashore would then be stranded until the next high tide about twelve hours later. Morning high tide for 15 September was forecast at 0650 and evening tide at 1920. As already noted, the tide on that date would be deep enough for landing craft.

Numerous islands bracketed Inch'ŏn to seaward, forming a natural pocket and restricting naval maneuver to narrow channels. Navigation through these channels, particularly the main Flying Fish Channel, was treacherous even in daylight. The channel was narrow, twisting, and dead-end. If the enemy mined this channel, approach would be virtually impossible.

In order to land, the Marines would have to scale seawalls ranging from twelve to fourteen feet high which fronted the harbor across almost its entire width. The Inch'ŏn area was heavily built-up. The enemy could mount a very effective resistance, taking advantage of buildings for protection. The Marines did not want to land in the middle of a built-up area if they could help it. To complicate matters, Wŏlmi-do, a 350-foot-high pyramidal island, heavily fortified, dominated Inch'ŏn Harbor. All in all, Navy and Marine planners found Inch'ŏn a poor place to land.

[note]

August 13, 1950 Sunday

Three days after Harriman's departure [Thurs 8/10/1950 ] SCAP issued a new statement excoriating those who had interpreted his trip to Formosa as a political move. The visit, he said, had been "maliciously represented to the public by those who invariably in the past have propagandized a policy of defeatism and appeasement in the Pacific." Since "defeatism" and "appeasement" were precisely the words Republican critics were using to describe administration courses of action -in Asia, MacArthur appeared to be back in the fray.

 Sebald expressed "deep distress" over this new incident. "These public statements," he wrote, gave "aid and comfort to the enemy by demonstrating divisions in our leadership and weaknesses in our national purpose." During World War II, he later noted, the General had presided over the victorious alliance which had defeated Japan. Now "the alliance itself became the second front in MacArthur's constant skirmishing with the outside world." [52]

[note]

On the whole Truman felt reassured. Formosa excepted, he and the National Security Council now shared the General's conviction "that we should back anyone who will fight Communism," and since his Far East commander had apparently agreed to toe the administration line, he told a press conference that he and MacArthur saw "eye-to-eye" on Formosa. The President "assumed," he later wrote, "that this would be the last of it." It wasn't; even cautioning the General, he would learn, was hazardous.

 Three days
after Harriman's departure SCAP issued a new statement excoriating those who had interpreted his trip to Formosa as a political
move. The visit, he said, had been "maliciously represented to the public by those who invariably in the past have propagandized a policy
of defeatism and appeasement in the Pacific." Since "defeatism" and "appeasement" were precisely the words Republican critics were
using to describe administration courses of action -in Asia, MacArthur appeared to be back in the fray. Sebald expressed "deep
distress" over this new incident. "These public statements," he wrote, gave "aid and comfort to the enemy by demonstrating divisions in
our leadership and weaknesses in our national purpose." During World War II, he later noted, the General had presided over the victorious
alliance which had defeated Japan. Now "the alliance itself became the second front in MacArthur's constant skirmishing
with the outside world." 52

Thursday 10

Friday 11

Saturday 12

Sunday 13

Monday 14

biography

On the whole Truman felt reassured. Formosa excepted, he and the National Security Council now shared the General's conviction "that we should back anyone who will fight Communism," and since his Far East commander had apparently agreed to toe the administration line, he told a press conference that he and MacArthur saw "eye-to-eye" on Formosa. The President "assumed," he later wrote, "that this would be the last of it." It wasn't; even cautioning the General, he would learn, was hazardous.

 Three days
after Harriman's departure SCAP issued a new statement excoriating those who had interpreted his trip to Formosa as a political move. The visit, he said, had been "maliciously represented to the public by those who invariably in the past have propagandized a policy of defeatism and appeasement in the Pacific." Since "defeatism" and "appeasement" were precisely the words Republican critics were using to describe administration courses of action -in Asia, MacArthur appeared to be back in the fray. Sebald expressed "deep distress" over this new incident. "These public statements," he wrote, gave "aid and comfort to the enemy by demonstrating divisions in our leadership and weaknesses in our national purpose." During World War II, he later noted, the General had presided over the victorious alliance which had defeated Japan. Now "the alliance itself became the second front in MacArthur's constant skirmishing with the outside world." 52

That was on a Thursday. On Monday the 14th Secretary of Defense Johnson sent SCAP fresh instructions, once more forbidding any KMT sallies across Formosa Strait on the ground that "the most vital national interest requires that no action of ours precipitates general war or gives excuse to others to do so." The General tartly replied that he fully understood the presidential determination "to protect the Communist mainland." That was insolent.

If Washington meant to take a hard line with him, this was the time to do it. Instead Truman encouraged him by altering his stand on Formosa. MacArthur had recommended a military mission for Formosa. The President now approved it, ordering a survey by MacArthur's staff of Chiang's army's needs, reconnaissance flights along the Chinese coast, and "extensive military aid to Nationalist China."

Actually these were political, not military, actions: stratagems designed to relieve GOP and China Lobby pressure on the White House. But the General could not have been expected to know that. He was, as Clark Lee put it, "jubilant over the apparent reversal of American policy of abandoning Chiang Kai-shek." That same week Clyde A. Lewis, the leader of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, invited him to send. a message to be read at the forthcoming VFW annual encampment. Whitney tells us: "MacArthur decided that this was an excellent opportunity to place himself on record as being squarely behind the President." [53]

[note]