Douglas MacArthur

Douglas
MacArthur
1880
1964

American General and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Awarded the Medal of Honor

Author Quotes

And like the old soldier in that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the sight to see that duty.

I came out of Bataan and I shall return!

In war there is no substitute for victory.

On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds that on other days and other fields will bear the fruits of victory.

The Puerto Ricans forming the ranks of the gallant 65th Infantry on the battlefields of Korea … are writing a brilliant record of achievement in battle and I am proud indeed to have them in this command. I wish that we might have many more like them.

We stand in Tokyo today reminiscent of our countryman, Commodore Perry, ninety-two years ago. His purpose was to bring to Japan an era of enlightenment and progress, by lifting the veil of isolation to the friendship, trade, and commerce of the world. But alas the knowledge thereby gained of western science was forged into an instrument of oppression and human enslavement. Freedom of expression, freedom of action, even freedom of thought were denied through appeal to superstition, and through the application of force. We are committed by the Potsdam Declaration of principles to see that the Japanese people are liberated from this condition of slavery. ... To the Pacific basin has come the vista of a new emancipated world. Today, freedom is on the offensive, democracy is on the march. Today, in Asia as well as in Europe, unshackled peoples are tasting the full sweetness of liberty, the relief from fear.

China, up to 50 years ago, was completely non-homogenous, being compartmented into groups divided against each other. The war-making tendency was almost non-existent, as they still followed the tenets of the Confucian ideal of pacifist culture. At the turn of the century, under the regime of Chang Tso Lin, efforts toward greater homogeneity produced the start of a nationalist urge. This was further and more successfully developed under the leadership of Chiang Kai-Shek, but has been brought to its greatest fruition under the present regime to the point that it has now taken on the character of a united nationalism of increasingly dominant, aggressive tendencies.

I had learned one of the bitter lessons of life: never try to regain the past, the fire will have become ashes.

In war, you win or lose, live or die - and the difference is just an eyelash.

Once war is forced upon us, there is no alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory-not prolonged indecision.

The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.

Whether in chains or in laurels, liberty knows nothing but victories.

Could I have but a line a century hence crediting a contribution to the advance of peace, I would gladly yield every honor which has been accorded me in war.

I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!

It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear. While such an economy may produce a sense of seeming prosperity for the moment, it rests on an illusionary foundation of complete unreliability and renders among our political leaders almost a greater fear of peace than is their fear of war.

One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda.

The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action is confined to its territorial limits. It condemns that nation, which it is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy's sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation. Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description.

While I was not consulted prior to the President's decision to intervene in support of the Republic of Korea, that decision from a military standpoint, proved a sound one, as we hurled back the invader and decimated his forces. Our victory was complete, and our objectives within reach, when Red China intervened with numerically superior ground forces.

Defensive strategy never has produced ultimate victory.

I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil.

It seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in Asia is where the Communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest, and that we have joined the issue thus raised on the battlefield; that here we fight Europe's war with arms while the diplomats there still fight it with words; that if we lose the war to communism in Asia the fall of Europe is inevitable, win it and Europe most probably would avoid war and yet preserve freedom. As you pointed out, we must win. There is no substitute for victory.

Only those Americans who are willing to die for their country are fit to live.

The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on the plain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that "old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

While no man in his right mind would advocate sending our ground forces into continental China, and such was never given a thought, the new situation did urgently demand a drastic revision of strategic planning if our political aim was to defeat this new enemy as we had defeated the old.

Duty, Honor, Country - those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

Author Picture
First Name
Douglas
Last Name
MacArthur
Birth Date
1880
Death Date
1964
Bio

American General and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Awarded the Medal of Honor