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Wikipedia Summary for Douglas MacArthur

Douglas MacArthur (26 January 1880 – 5 April 1964) was an American five-star general and Field Marshal of the Philippine Army. He was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Philippines campaign, which made him and his father Arthur MacArthur Jr. the first father and son to be awarded the medal. He was one of only five to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the U.S. Army, and the only one conferred the rank of field marshal in the Philippine Army.

Raised in a military family in the American Old West, MacArthur was valedictorian at the West Texas Military Academy where he finished high school, and First Captain at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated top of the class of 1903. During the 1914 United States occupation of Veracruz, he conducted a reconnaissance mission, for which he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. In 1917, he was promoted from major to colonel and became chief of staff of the 42nd (Rainbow) Division. In the fighting on the Western Front during World War I, he rose to the rank of brigadier general, was again nominated for a Medal of Honor, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice and the Silver Star seven times.

From 1919 to 1922, MacArthur served as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he attempted a series of reforms. His next assignment was in the Philippines, where in 1924 he was instrumental in quelling the Philippine Scout Mutiny. In 1925, he became the Army's youngest major general. He served on the court-martial of Brigadier General Billy Mitchell and was president of the American Olympic Committee during the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. In 1930, he became Chief of Staff of the United States Army. As such, he was involved in the expulsion of the Bonus Army protesters from Washington, D.C., in 1932, and the establishment and organization of the Civilian Conservation Corps. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines.

MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of United States Army Forces in the Far East. A series of disasters followed, starting with the destruction of his air forces on 8 December 1941 and the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. MacArthur's forces were soon compelled to withdraw to Bataan, where they held out until May 1942. In March 1942, MacArthur, his family and his staff left nearby Corregidor Island in PT boats and escaped to Australia, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. Upon his arrival, MacArthur gave a speech in which he famously promised "I shall return" to the Philippines. After more than two years of fighting, he fulfilled that promise. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor. He officially accepted the surrender of Japan on 2 September 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, which was anchored in Tokyo Bay, and he oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. As the effective ruler of Japan, he oversaw sweeping economic, political and social changes. He led the United Nations Command in the Korean War with initial success; however, the invasion of North Korea provoked the Chinese, causing a series of major defeats. MacArthur was contentiously removed from command by President Harry S. Truman on 11 April 1951. He later became chairman of the board of Remington Rand. He died at Washington D.C. on April 5, 1964 at the age of 84.

Optimism is denial, so face the facts and move on.

--Douglas MacArthur

The history of the failure of war can almost be summed up in two words: too late.

--Douglas MacArthur

There is not one incident in the history of humanity in which defeatism led to peace which was anything other than a complete fraud.

--Douglas MacArthur

Expect only 5% of an intelligence report to be accurate.The trick of a good commander is to isolate the 5%.

--Douglas MacArthur

I have one criticism about the Negro troops who fought under my command in the Korean War. They didn't send me enough of them.

--Douglas MacArthur

Worry, doubt, fear and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die.

--Douglas MacArthur

The untruthful soldier trifles with the lives of his countrymen and the honor and safety of his country.

--Douglas MacArthur

In many situations that seemed desperate, the artillery has been a most vital factor.

--Douglas MacArthur

We are bound no longer by the straitjacket of the past and nowhere is the change greater than in our profession of arms. What, you may well ask, will be the end of all of this? I would not know! But I would hope that our beloved country will drink deep from the chalice of courage.

--Douglas MacArthur

There are no atheists in the foxholes of Bataan.

--Douglas MacArthur

A good soldier, whether he leads a platoon or an army, is expected to look backward as well as forward; but he must think only forward.

--Douglas MacArthur

Apart from an innate grasp of tactical concepts, a great coach must possess the essentials attributes of leadership which mold men into a cohesive, fighting team with an invincible will to victory.

--Douglas MacArthur

The Pacific no longer represents menacing avenues of approach for a prospective invader. It assumes, instead, the friendly aspect of a peaceful lake. Our line of defense is a natural one and can be maintained with a minimum of military effort and expense.

--Douglas MacArthur

For those to whom much is given, much is required. It is not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up. There is no substitute for victory.

--Douglas MacArthur

Men since the beginning of time have sought peace...military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn have failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war not blots out this alternative.

--Douglas MacArthur

The great question is, can war be outlawed from the world? If so, it would mark the greatest advance in civilization since the Sermon on the Mount.

--Douglas MacArthur

Old soldiers never die, they just lose their grip on reality after traumatic brain injuries.

--Douglas MacArthur

To dilute the will to win is to destroy the purpose of the game. There is no substitute for victory.

--Douglas MacArthur

It was close; but that's the way it is in war. You win or lose, live or die -- and the difference is just an eyelash.

--Douglas MacArthur

Nothing would please me better than if they would give me three months and then attack here.

--Douglas MacArthur

I came through and I shall return.

--Douglas MacArthur

I see that the flagpole still stands. Have your troops hoist the colors to its peak, and let no enemy ever haul them down.

--Douglas MacArthur

If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war.

--Douglas MacArthur

I believe that the entire effort of modern society should be concentrated on the endeavor to outlaw war as a method of the solution of problems between nations.

--Douglas MacArthur

I have every confidence in the ultimate success of our joint cause; but success in modern war requires something more than courage and a willingness to die: it requires careful preparation.

--Douglas MacArthur

Even when opportunity knocks, a man still has to get up off his seat and open the door.

--Douglas MacArthur

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.

--Douglas MacArthur

Our country is now geared to an arms economy bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and an incessant propaganda of fear.

--Douglas MacArthur

Americans never quit.

--Douglas MacArthur

L know war as few other men now living know it, and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.

--Douglas MacArthur

The chickens are coming home to roost, and you happen to have just moved into the chicken house.

--Douglas MacArthur

I've looked that old scoundrel death in the eye many times but this time I think he has me on the ropes.

--Douglas MacArthur

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

--Douglas MacArthur

Blank cartridges should never be used against a mob, nor should a volley be fired over the heads of the mob even if there is little danger of hurting persons in the rear. Such things will be regarded as an admission of weakness, or an attempt to bluff, and may do more harm than good.

--Douglas MacArthur

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

--Douglas MacArthur

I can recall no parallel in history where a great nation recently at war has so distinguished its former enemy commander.

--Douglas MacArthur

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.

--Douglas MacArthur

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.

--Douglas MacArthur

Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind.

--Douglas MacArthur

In war, indeed, there can be no substitute for victory.

--Douglas MacArthur

The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave.

--Douglas MacArthur

Longer Version:

The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It's the age-old struggle: the roar of the crowd on the one side, and the voice of your conscience on the other.


It is fatal to enter an war without the will to win it.

--Douglas MacArthur

I will defend Korea as I would my own country-just as I would California.

--Douglas MacArthur

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

--Douglas MacArthur


From the Far East I send you one single thought, one sole idea -- written in red on every beachhead from Australia to Tokyo -- There is no substitute for victory!

--Douglas MacArthur

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

--Douglas MacArthur

The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.

--Douglas MacArthur

By profession I am a soldier and take great pride in that fact, but I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creation and life.

--Douglas MacArthur

Longer Version:

By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder -- infinitely prouder -- to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; the father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentiality of death; the other embodies creation and life. And while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle field but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer, Our Father Who Art in Heaven.


Only those are fit to live who are not afraid to die.

--Douglas MacArthur

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

--Douglas MacArthur

Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.

--Douglas MacArthur

I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

--Douglas MacArthur

Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear -- kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor -- with the cry of grave national emergency.

--Douglas MacArthur

Longer Version:

Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear -- kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor -- with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the exorbitant funds demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.


They died hard, those savage men -- like wounded wolves at bay. They were filthy, and they were lousy, and they stunk. And I loved them.

--Douglas MacArthur

Like the old soldier of the 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 light to see that duty. Goodbye.

--Douglas MacArthur

Part of the American dream is to live long and die young. Only those Americans who are willing to die for their country are fit to live.

--Douglas MacArthur

I suppose, in a way, this has become part of my soul. It is a symbol of my life. Whatever I have done that really matters, I've done wearing it. When the time comes, it will be in this that I journey forth. What greater honor could come to an American, and a soldier?

--Douglas MacArthur

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

--Douglas MacArthur

A general is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him.

--Douglas MacArthur

Never give an order that can't be obeyed.

--Douglas MacArthur

In war there is no substitute for victory.

--Douglas MacArthur

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

--Douglas MacArthur

Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

--Douglas MacArthur

Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

--Douglas MacArthur

A better world shall emerge based on faith and understanding.

--Douglas MacArthur

Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.

--Douglas MacArthur

Longer Version:

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.


We are not retreating -- we are advancing in another direction.

--Douglas MacArthur

The best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.

--Douglas MacArthur

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Leadership Quotes
War Quotes

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