The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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National Archives #USA C-248
Richard Sutherland was MacArthur's
controversial chief of staff,
serving in that post throughout the war.
Born in Maryland, he was the son of Senator Howard Sutherland.
he had never commanded
in the field at any rank
higher than captain, MacArthur's patronage allowed him to rise to
rank of lieutenant general. Mayo quotes a fellow officer who
him as a "hard man" who was more feared than liked, but who "would
sometimes break the mask of hardness with a sardonic smile and
flashes of humor."
Sutherland was deeply loyal to MacArthur and was a formidable barrier to anyone wishing to take any of the latter general's time. This doubtless freed MacArthur from numerous distractions, but it likely also prevented important information from making its way to the top, as Lewis Brereton alleged took place on the first day of the war. MacArthur's own loyalty to Sutherland began to wane in late 1944, when it surfaced that Sutherland had had his Australian mistress commissioned into the Women's Army Corps so that she could remain close to him in the combat theater. By 1945, MacArthur was seriously considering replacing Sutherland with Eichelberger.
Taaffe (2011) credits Sutherland with intelligence and
considerable skill at translating MacArthur's directives into
operational plans, attributing Sutherland's brusqueness and
seeming lack of emotion to the same desire not to be distracted by
sentimentality that characterized such successful commanders as Marshall. However,
Sutherland was a brittle man who lacked the underlying warmth
needed to make this approach fully successful, and the strain of
the war caused him to develop high blood pressure that may have
significantly impaired his judgement.
||Born at Hancock, Maryland
||Graduates from Yale
||Connecticut National Guard,
||Commissioned in the National
Guard as an artilleryman.
transfers to Regular Army as an infantryman.
||Army War College
||Operations and Training
Division, Army General Staff
||Battalion commander, 15
||Advisor to Philippine
||Chief of staff, USAFFE
||Chief of staff, Southwest
||Dies at Walter Reed Medical
Arlington Cemetery Website (accessed 2008-1-18)
Generals.dk (accessed 2008-1-18)
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