It is often said that General Douglas MacArthur didn’t have a staff, he had a court. While there were certainly a few courtiers on his staff, there were also some incredibly gifted men around him – men whose talents helped make MacArthur’s vision for the war in the Pacific a success during World War II, and men whose talents might have led to a different Korean War. General Walter Krueger was one of these men. He is somewhat of an enigma to many people today because he rarely appeared in the communiques coming out of the Pacific during the war and was seemingly uninterested in publicity or politics. MacArthur later compared him to Stonewall Jackson, but MacArthur biographer D. Clayton James compared him to George McClellan. He is often referred to as steady, methodical, and prudent – so much so that he was called “Molasses in January,” – and yet Douglas Southall Freeman considered him one of the greatest American soldiers in history and capable of directing all parts of a campaign. So who was Krueger? How valuable was he to MacArthur? What was their working relationship like?
MacArthur Memorial historians Jim Zobel and Amanda Williams recently sat down to discuss and evaluate the WWII partnership between the two men.
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