Patton in the Pacific?

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by ChuckW, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. ChuckW

    ChuckW New Member

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    Suppose after the close of hostilities in Europe, Gen. George Patton had been reassigned to the Pacific, to help in their 'Island Hopping Campaign?'
    Do you think:

    A) He would have contributed to the war effort?

    B) Would his tank tactics have worked in the Pacific?
    B1) If yes, why..
    B2) If not, why..

    C) Would he have "... take and like it.." orders from MacArthur, or would his ego and Mac's ego finally come to "blows?"[/b]
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    A) He wouldnt have helped as the Pacific at all. The US commanders in the PTO were all competant. plus MacArthur simply wouldnt tolerate anyone with a big ego stealing the limelight from himself.

    B) The terrain is not conducieve to tank warfare. Plus the island hopping campaign was long over. The only thing left was the invasion of Japan itself.

    C) See "A" above.
     
  3. MP-Willow

    MP-Willow Member

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    Syscom3, I agree, Patton had no need to to be in the Pacific.
    Evan if he were to be used in the invasion of Japan, the islands and urban settings were not great for tanks.

    His Ego and MacArthur's would not co-exist.

    I think in the end he would have a long time adjusting to the PTO and then it would be over that is unless Operation Olympic were still on. :)
     
  4. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    Oh my God, putting those two on the same side of the world would not be a good idea. That being said, If you could land Patton on Japan he could do the job. But the down side is he could just as easily insight trouble with the Russian allies. Patton might have an appreciation for the code the Japanese fought by. But the invasion would have been terrible on loss of life on both sides. And am sure Mac would have not been able to control him. But Truman couldn't control Mac, so who knows, the President might find humor in letting Patton drive Mac crazy!!!!
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #5 parsifal, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    There were no major land campaigns for the US after May 1945. There were some mopping up operations on Okinawa, and then the US was busy prparing for Olympic. The major land operations were the liberation of Burma and Borneo, both carried out by British and Commonwealth troops. The US were engaged in protracted operations in the Phillipines Sierra Madre Mountain and jungle, hardly terrain suited to tank warfare. There were numerous ongoing containment operations across the Pacific but these were about minimisig casualties not trying to eliminate Japanese resistance. My opininon....there was no job for Patton. He's better off staying in Germany.
     
  6. swampyankee

    swampyankee Active Member

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    #6 swampyankee, Aug 25, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2013
    I suspect Patton is one of the generals whose reputation has been enhanced by his early death; I do not think that he would have done any better and may have done worse than did MacArthur, who certainly seemed to be somewhat more politically savvy.
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Patton's style of warfare was not suited to the island hopping campaigns.
     
  8. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    If the U.S. had not deployed the Atomic bombs and the invasion of the Japanese homeland proceeded as had been planned, I imagine that Patton and his veteran armor would have been useful once the Allied forces secured a beach-head and started the agonizing push inland.

    How well "Old Blood and Guts" would have gotten along with MacArther is pretty obvious: not at all...
     
  9. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    One of Patton's strengths was adaptability and he would thrive in any combat situation.

    Now her Majesty MacArthur would not have been thrilled.
     
  10. stug3

    stug3 Active Member

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    He certainly did in the end, when he gave him the boot from Korea. I cant imagine Patton dealing with the political complexities of the cold war very well.
     
  11. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    Absolutly right!! Patton would not do well in the cold war or the with the political games. He was a warrior at heart. He saw battle as a path to glory. But you take that mind set. Give him an oponent that will chrge to certain death rather then surrender. Now you have set the stage for his greatest moment. If the Atomic weapons were not to be used, then the mainland was a target for invasion. The army was still viable in Japan and the civilans were even armed, sometimes with nothing more that iron tipped pikes. If you had to pick a General to lead the invasion of Japan, Patton would have to be on that list. Of course there would be others like Bradley or Clark. Mac, was senior to Patton so he would have command, and Old George didn't always do well with supervision. It would have been an interesting situation. I don't understand the thoughts that Patton could only command tanks. He was well versed in infantry tactics and could have lead any force in battle. He just understood the strenght and weakness of tanks and had skills in their usage.
     
  12. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Patton's tactics were (obviously) terrific in Europe. Hard for those tactics to work when his tanks are stuck in the sand or the jungles.
     
  13. meatloaf109

    meatloaf109 Well-Known Member

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    Well said.
     
  14. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Japanese mainland is different geography than the bulk of the islands that saw combat. Even still, armor was used in the Pacific campaign.
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    Tactics yes, but strategy , not really. His rtactical strength (his initiative and agressiveness) were his strategic weaknesses (outrunning his logisitc support, overstressing a weak supply network.

    In the4 pacific, Pattons weakness would have been emphasisied, and his stregths not often able to be exploited.
     
  16. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Maybe, maybe not Parsifal. Tough to outrun his supply line on Iwo Jima when it's only 8 sq miles, or Okinawa who's widest part is only 10 miles or so. Tarawa probably isn't a mile wide.

    Larger islands like Guadalcanal he would have faced thick jungles and soft sand which would have negated his speed tactics. Maybe it would be possible to use his leap frog tactic like he did on Sicily to cover longer distances, but what happens when he has to go inland?
     
  17. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The Kanto plain area of Japan is conducive to armored warfare. But not at the Corps or Army level that Patton would have to command. If you look at the schedules for what divisions were planned for Operations Olympic and Coronet, it's obvious that the logistical limitations even at that stage of the war precluded the introduction of mechanized divisions and the logistics train that would be required.

    The JCS were not a bunch of dummies when it came to what they felt what type of units were needed and the logistics they had on hand to get the job done.
     
  18. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    My guess, and this is only my observation, would be that the B-29 and B-32 would be relied upon alot more to "soften" the defenders than armor, once the invasion got underway.
     
  19. dutchman

    dutchman Member

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    Remember, the question said after hostilities in Europe had ended. By then the Island hopping was pretty well done. So think of Patton invading the main islands of Japan. The terrain is somewhat suitable for tanks. But with little to no air support left to combat him, short of bad weather there would be no chance of even slowing Patton once on the move. I would think the ground effort would have been over in 3 months.
     
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