General Douglas MacArthur
Five Star General
For all his brilliance as a soldier he was very conscious of his image and behaved as a Prima Donna expecting spotlight wherever he chose to stand. In treating Korean War he, the soldier was for a total victory while President Harry S. Truman, the politician for a limited objective. Many of Presidential caution sent to him through his special envoys were ignored or treated as irrelevant.
Before their relationship could get any worse, the President asked for an interview. Their meeting was scheduled at Wake Island, about 4700 miles from San Francisco. The General had only 1900 miles from Tokyo.
MacArthur tried to hold up his landing so that Presidential plan would land ahead of him.
Truman got the point and he radioed the General,’You go ahead and land first. We’ve got plenty of gas and we will wait for you’. That was what happened.
During the interview MacArthur tried to embarrass the President by not turning up to receive him. After sometime the General came in his sunglasses, with his shirt unbuttoned and a cap carefully crumpled and a lot of hardware on his chest. Truman chose to ignore his outfit.
In the next meeting also MacArthur arrived late and Truman said,’Now you look here.I have come halfway across the world to meet you. I don’t give a goddamn who you do or think about Harry Truman. But don’t you ever again keep your Commander-in-Chief waiting. Is that clear.’
The face of the general went red and he nodded.
General George S. Patton (1885-1945)
The flamboyant US Army commander accepted an invitation to dine at a press camp in Africa during the WWII. The wine was served in tin mugs. Patton poured cream and sugar into his mug as though it had been filled with coffee. One correspondent who watched this and hastened to correct the general,’That is wine,sir,not coffee.’
The General who could never be wrong, replied,’I know,I like my wine this way.’ And he drank it.
General Patton paid a visit to the 15th Army officer’s club in Bad Neuheim shortly after taking charge of that US Army unit in Oct.1945. As he entered every one including three other generals present stood to attention, except for one enlisted man who had recently discharged. It was a tense moment and all tose who were present waited to see the reaction of ‘Old Blood and Guts.’
The crusty General walked up to the young man’s table and stared down him who said,’ I am not in the army anymore, General,I am a civilian now.’
‘Son don’t you have any respect for an old man?’murmured the general.
The civilian rose quickly to a rigid and respectful attention.
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