MacArthur's supporters had good reason to be upset at his dismissal. MacArthur was undoubtedly a great military mind and an American hero; he had been a crucial leader in the World War II Pacific campaign, and had devised the brilliant landing at Inchon that turned the Korean War around. While many admitted some of his recent decisions, such as crossing the 38Th Parallel or unilaterally threatening the PRC, were not well thought-out, they had a legitimate complaint concerning the fairly rude way Truman, thanks to his botched transmission, had dismissed this general who had committed so much of his life to fighting for the US. When MacArthur returned to the US after being fired, he was greeted by extravagant celebrations and parades in San Francisco and New York. In the end, for historians, MacArthur is a very ambiguous and problematic figure. On the one hand he was a military genius who served America brilliantly; on the other hand he was an egomaniac who refused to follow orders and got America involved in battles to serve his own personal and political ends.

Popular pages: The Korean War (1950-1953)