American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur 1880-1964

Manchester, William

Little, Brown, 1964

p. 336

MacArthur beat the Japanese in the Pacific in part by bypassing heavily fortified islands and then cutting off supply routes. He never showed up on some Islands (Rabaul, e.g.). The defenders on Rabaul were mortified and consternated that there was no invasion. “All [the Japanese soldiers] wanted was an opportunity to sell their lives dearly before they were killed or eviscerated themselves in honorable seppuku. They believed that they were entitled to a Nipponese gotterdammerung, and MacArthur was denying them it, and they were experiencing a kind of psychological hernia.”