Who Are The American Corps Commanders In World War Ii To Be “relieved?
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Who are the American corps commanders in World War II to be “relieved of command” and why?
Lots of potential candidates b/c initially, some peace-time generals proved unready for WW-II and not adequate leaders. But I have a couple I want to point out. Norman Cota landed at Omaha Beach as one of the senior officers on the beach. He walked around in open fire yelling at troops "only two kinds of people are going to stay on this beach--the dead and those who are going to die. Get moving." He showed tremendous personal bravery and great leadership. As a result, he was promoted. He eventually ended up in charge of the 28th Infantry Division which fought in the Hurtgen Forest. This battle was notorious for being extremely bloody and effectively a defeat for US ground forces--almost none of the objectives were achieved. Cota's division took a savage beating and his tactics were soundly criticized...from deploying his armor piecemeal, or deploying tanks as artillery, to failing to send out recon patrols, or failing to move outside of his command post, to the deployment of his forces, and then continuing to send troops in to a meat grinder when initial attacks failed. You don't hear much about the Hurtgen Forest (much like you don't hear about Peleliu in the Pacific b/c both battles were bloody and ultimately served no purpose for the Allies) b/c it doesn't fit our images of a victorious US army in Europe. Cota was a good man and a brave man who was promoted beyond his level of competence. Gen Alan Walter Jones was commander of the 106th Infantry (Golden Lions). The 106th was an inexperienced unit assigned to the Ardennes and ended up in the path of the German surprise attack. T failed to note and act on tactical signs in front of them of the impending attack. While t were placed in an untenable position (having to defend over 20 miles of front), the collapsed like a house of cards, 2 of their regiments surrendered in mass in what is one of the largest mass surrenders of US troops in the history of the American military. Jones then is reputed to have said "I'm throwing in my chips" and was willing to concede St. Vith (a critical crossroads) but Bruce Clarke insisted on fighting and holding this position. Jones had a heart attack and was replaced as commander of what remained of the 106th by his adjutant Herbert Perrin. Overall, the Division's performance was so bad that it has never been reconstituted after this event. General Bill Rupertus, USMC, was commander of the 1st Marine Division ("The Old Breed") when t assaulted Peleliu. He predicted the island would fall within 4 days. Troops were sent ashore with minimal water supplies. Instead, it took nearly 75 days. I've seen some data that said the battle of Peleliu had the highest casualty rate (for US troops) of any battle in WW-II. The marines and army infantry involved in this assault were unprepared for the Japanese tactics and the assault plan was a poor one. The Old Breed was badly mauled in this invasion and was out of action until the invasion of Okinawa. Last of all, I'd name Douglas McArthur. He's idolized by many. I won't discuss his performance in Korea or decisions involving war criminals and Japan. But first, his performance in the Philippines against Yamashita was terrible. Quite simply, his troops weren't ready for war, he allowed his air force to be destroyed on the ground, his tactics were poor once t encountered Japanese forces, and the Japanese (despite being outnumbered), beat the Americans with Wainwright being left to handle the surrender (I know that McArthur was ordered to leave but Wainwright ended up holding the bag in the end). McArthur made a series of bad decisions once the US went on the offensive (his tactics in New Guinea are another great example of this). His pride insisted that he retake the Philippines (regardless of the strategic priorities). McArthur was to the American public what Montgomery was to the British public--an iconic hero who did some good things but also a lot of bad things that wasted a lot of good men out of vanity and pride.
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