You know who doesn’t break out into hives and start sobbing uncontrollably into their pumpkin spice vanilla chai no-foam half-caf lattes when it comes to showing mass-murdering tyrannical North Korean terrorist dictators what a giant swinging pair of cast iron human testicles looks like?
South Korea. And General Douglas Motherfuckin’ MacArthur.
It’s fitting that one of the U.S. Army’s most famously-colossal super A-Holes was the dude who basically invented aviator sunglasses as a thing that cool dudes do, and MacArthur is honestly best summed up by biographers routinely describing him as “controversial”, which is just a fence-sitting diplomatic way for non-stance-taking historians to say “he was an asshole but he got. Shit. Done.” It’s safe to say that Douglas MacArthur is basically your old pissed-off WWII-veteran mean uncle who irrationally hates Commies and the media and wears his pants too high, and you and your buddies all laugh about him behind his back, but the second some intruder comes knocking on your door in the middle of the night your run to his door becaue you know he’s going to kick it down in his underwear with aviator sunglasses and a .45 busting caps and swearing like a motherfucker until every criminal in a three-block radius is coughing their own blood into their ski masks. In 52 years of unrelentingly, egomaniacially hardcore military service to the Red, White, and Blue, Mac fought in two World Wars, rode horses with Teddy Roosevelt, single-handedly wiped out a gang of banditos in Mexico with his forty-five, almost nuked the entire country of North Korea, and received a Medal of Honor, three Distinguished Service Crosses, seven Silver Stars, and seven Distinguished Service Medals for bravery in good, righteous, manly combat face-to-face with the enemy.
deal with it
Douglas MacArthur was literally born in a military barracks. He came into the world on January 26, 1880 at an army fort in Little Rock, Arkansas where his dad, Medal of Honor recipient General Arthur MacArthur Jr., was stationed to fight off Apache attacks from badass dudes like Geronimo. Growing up on the frontier made Mac tough as hell, and according to him, he could “ride and shoot even before I could read or write… almost before I could walk or talk,” which is about as American as if he'd been breast fed by an apple pie and raised in a McDonald's PlayPalace. This was a dude who understood the concept of “telling not spelling”, and it served him well because he graduated first in his class at West Point as a combat engineer in 1903 and never looked back. His first posting was in the Philippines, where he survived malaria and fought off a hardcore bandit attack in the middle of the Philippine jungle. A couple poor fools sprung a trap and he responded by quick-drawing his pistol cowboy-style and sniping the jackasses who were dumb enough to think they could get the drop on him. After that he chilled in Panama to work on the canal, no bigs, and then served as Teddy Roosevelt’s military aide in the White House for a year. The idea of those two awesome dudes smoking pipes in an Oval Office full of taxidermied animal heads talking about large-caliber rifles makes me so happy I could uppercut a bison.
In 1914 MacArthur was sent to Veracruz to help provide stability at the height of the Mexican Revolution, and ended up getting himself in an insane running gunfight deep in the lawless interior of the Yucatan Peninsula. Apparently him and a couple other dudes were riding out along the railroad tracks searching for some missing locomotives, when suddenly they were ambushed out of nowhere by TONS of fucking banditos on horseback with rifles and pistols. Riding hard back towards the lines, Mac and his compadres were repeatedly hit by by these raiders, but every time the Americans shot their way out of there thanks to MacArthur’s insane pistol marksmanship. In the recommendation for the Medal of Honor (he didn’t receive it because the mission to find the locomotives was unauthorized), he’s credited with whacking out six guys and a horse, and for escaping one part by hand-cranking one of those train cars like the dudes in the cartoons. When he took his uniform shirt off at the end of the night, it had three bullets in it, but not one scratch on his body.
sorry, i didn't see you there.
i was too busy not giving a fuck.
A few years later MacArthur volunteered to go to France to blow shit up in World War I, and helped organized the creation of the 42nd Infantry Division – a unit made up of National Guardsmen from New York, Iowa, and Alabama. As Division chief of staff, he trained his men hard in the rigors of trench warfare and got them to kick ass as a cohesive unit, which is a big deal because two of his regiments – the 4th Alabama and the 69th Infantry – had just fought against each other at the Battle of Antietam fifty years earlier. He led them through dozens of front-line battles over the course of a year and a half and showed the Europeans that the States could field a pretty decent group of heavily-armed asskicking motherfuckers.
Once in France, MacArthur personally led three full-scale assaults on German trenches, as well a hundreds of scouting missions, and something known as “trench raids,” which are when you suicidally sneak through no-man’s land in the middle of the night past barbed wire, machine gun nests, and dead bodies, jump into the enemy trench, beat the shit out of everyone, stab sleeping dudes with a knife (because it needs to be silent), and then somehow find a way to bring any survivors back to friendly lines as prisoners. MacArthur was an expert at this insane stuff, and in dozens of trench raids he received six Silver Stars, two Distinguished Service Crosses, and the French Croix de Guerre for bravery. He was also wounded three times, gassed a couple times, and ended the war as one of the most decorated soldiers in the United States Military.
In the boring break between World Wars when there weren’t any enemies he could legally kill, MacArthur served as the Superintendent of the Military Academy at West Point, did a stint as the highest-ranking General in the United States Army, and randomly got called to head the 1928 Summer Games Olympic Committee – he famously told the athletes they’d gone to the Netherlands “to win medals, not lose gracefully,” and they ended up pulling down twenty-four golds and breaking seven World Records. In 1932 he got in trouble for beating up some unemployed veterans who were protesting on Capitol Hill (he thought they were all a bunch of hippy Commies and needed to have a couple tanks rolled up on them… I don’t know enough about the incident to comment one way or another) so they shipped him out to the Philippines, where he went to work basically creating the Philippine military and preparing them for their alread-agreed-upon independence from the United States. The President of the Philippines was so pumped he made MacArthur the first (and to date only) Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.
The Japanese attacked the Philippines almost simultaneously with Pearl Harbor in December 1941, and, like almost everyone else in the U.S. military structure, MacArthur was completely caught off guard by the presence of a massive sea, air, and land invasion force suddenly humping his military district from every angle at the same time. His entire air force was destroyed on the ground in the first few hours, but this guy had been working hard on his cadre of dedicated, hardcore warriors, and he brilliantly organized a fighting, never-say-die defense against impossible odds. Fighting every step of the way, he withdrew back to the Bataan Peninsula in late December (almost exactly 73 years ago today), and held back overwhelming, ferocious enemy assaults by personally running up and down the defenses during the thick of the fighting to direct troops and pump up his men. When it was obvious that Bataan was going to be a last stand, the President ordered MacArthur to leave the country and assume command of the Army in the Pacific. Reluctantly, he took his wife and baby and snuck his way through Japanese lines on a PT boat in the middle of the night. When he arrived in Australia, the first thing he did was radio his old command and tell them, “I shall return.”
Then he went to work keeping his promise and exacting cold bloody delicious revenge.
Commanding all U.S. forces in the Southwest Pacific, Douglas MacArthur landed his troops on New Guinea and immediately started cracking skulls with a tack hammer. Using land, air, and sea power to “leapfrog” up and down the islands near Australia, MacArthur won battle after battle, smashing the Japanese with constant, aggressive attacks that hit them hard in the oil fields, airfields, and other bases they absolutely needed to keep fighting the war. Back home, he was a national hero, a larger-than-life dude who was beating in heads to save America, and he loved every damn second of it. Before long, this guy was personally overseeing the American landings at Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, storming through the surf to the beach as wave after wave of assault craft around him headed in on their mission to liberate the islands. MacArthur had been tapped to command the U.S. invasion of mainland Japan, but when that didn’t end up being necessary he got the honor of personally accepting the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri as it was anchored in Tokyo Bay.
After the war, rather than being a total asshole, MacArthur led the occupation force of Japan and started working surprisingly hard to help the country recover physically and economically. Thanks to his reforms and leadership, Japan quickly became an American ally in the Cold War rather than a bitter conquered enemy. Knowing what we know about WWII Japanese civilization, this could not have been an easy achievement.
Korea had been part of the Japanese Empire since the early 1900s, but after World War II it got split at the 38th Parallel, with the North being a Communist country allied with Red China and the Soviet Union and the south being allied with the United States and Taiwan. This lasted, oh, about five years before both sides started killing each other. In 1950, the North Koreans charged across the frontier like a bunch of bats out of hell, ripping through the unsuspecting defenders and tearing the American and South Korean lines apart. The United Nations (read: the U.S. and Britain) were called in to provide military assistance, and, naturally MacArthur was brought in to make sure shit got done.
When Mac rolled up on Korea, the situation wasn’t good. Desperate ad hoc American formationss had tried a couple times to stem the onrushing horde of enemy infantry, but every attempt to make a stand had been completely demolished and overrun. His guys were falling back towards a small pocket around the port city of Pusan, badly outnumbered, cut off, undersupplied, and like 95% of the Korean peninsula was in enemy hands.
MacArthur cracked his knuckles, lit his corncob pipe, put on his shades, and decided it was time to FUCK SHIT UP ASSHOLES!!!!!!1111
First he organized the shattered Korean and American forces in the Pusan pocked, pulling them together and launching a fearless series counterattacks into the teeth of the enemy onslaught. Then, while the North Koreans were on their heels, reeling from a stiff jab to the nose, he did a truly insane thing – he launched a massive amphibious assault at Inchon, a port that was probably among one of the worst places on earth to launch an amphibious assault -- to deliver a right hook and TKO the Koreans once and for all. He sent his troops – mostly badass U.S. Marines – into a crazy-turbulent wave-riddled harbor in the middle of an enemy-occupied industrial center hundreds of miles behind enemy lines and on the opposite coast from the rest of the UN forces in Pusan. Since the harbor wasn’t really built for anything much bigger than a fishing boat, Mac had the attack go in at low tide, and then the Marines had to get out of the assault craft, throw ladders up on the sea wall, and scale it like they were attacking a medieval castle.
You know what? It fucking worked.
The Marines and Army took the city, held it, and then plowed the Pusan attackers from behind, ripping them a new one with artillery, tanks, and bayonets. The entire North Korean force was shattered without mercy, and MacArthur ruthlessly pursued them all the way to the Chinese border, way the fuck out of the peninsula -- not only had he defended the borders of South Korea, he'd conquered North Korea as well. When President Truman was like, “hey, don’t you think it might piss off the Chinese if we have men so close to the Yalu River?” MacArthur sent him an all-caps email from an AOL account that was like, “FUCK CHINA” and suggested just going in and taking out Mao while they were up there anyway. Truman wasn’t super into starting World War III with China and Russia so he ordered MacArthur to halt his advance. He did, and was promptly counterattacked by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, who hit the Americans hard and started pushing them back away from the Chinese border and down the peninsula again. MacArthur suggested spraying China and North Korea with “twenty to thirty” nukes and then helping Taiwan invade Shanghai to create a second front, so Truman removed him from command because, let’s face it, as much as we all hate North Korea, as a citizen of Earth I also realize that it’s probably not a good idea to create, as MacArthur put it, “a cordon of radiation" simply as a means to prevent further Chinese reinforcements from arriving. After being removed from command, MacArthur gave a bunch of speeches about how politicians shouldn’t get involved with War because they’re all idiots anyways, and then he took a job at Remington where he made typewriters and Colt 1911 .45-caliber handguns LIKE A FUCKING AMERICAN because that’s what he is.
In his last public speech, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur simply told the American people that “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
Then he did just that.