Enjoyed Sunday dinner at Roositca last night. The spaghetti special which includes a salad, three huge meatballs, two huge sausage links, and great bread for $14. A buy! I ate all the meat. Little of the pasta. Too much food for me.
The place was packed. A gold mine!
Guy de Boer came in with a big party. He stopped to talk with me. I asked about his sister Dawn who I had never met. However, we are friends via the internet. She lives somewhere in north Florida and edits my weekly KONK Life column. Guy said she is here with me. I want to meet her, I said.
Off we went to her table. We were both overjoyed to have finally met each other in the flesh. Dawn is a lovely person in every respect.
When I eat alone, I bring something to read. Generally, a newspaper or my tablet. Last night, it was the FDR book The Mantle Of Command I have been reading. I finished it while dining.
A great book! One of the best historical novels I have read. It covers a small time frame during World War II. Eleven months. From December 7th to the following November when the Allies successfully landed in North Africa in what was known as Operation Torch.
The book was written by Nigel Hamilton. Published this year. Would make a great movie!
The novel shows a side of Roosevelt not before seen. He was a hard ass do it my way leader. Forget the generals and admirals, he was the commander in chief. He conducted himself accordingly. Rarely did he have to pull rank. He was a smoothie who manipulated and turned people to his way of thinking.
Many tried to manipulate him, stand up to him. Each failed. Churchill, Marshall, MacArthur, and Stimson were no match. They opposed him, fought him. Went behind his back. None prevailed, whatever the issue.
Hamilton had some intimate relationships that assisted in writing the book.. While a student at Cambridge, Hamilton resided with Churchill’s parents. Hamilton spent hours discussing Churchill with his quasi grandfather Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery. He also spent considerable time interviewing people who knew Churchill intimately. Churchill is a major figure in the book after Roosevelt.
This is the first book written from the perspective of Roosevelt as a controlling commander in chief. Not only of his generals and admirals, but also world leaders.
As he was to all Presidents he served under, MacArthur was a pain in the ass. Nevertheless a military genius. FDR kept him in line waiting for the American Pacific war to begin.
One thing reported about MacArthur in the book bothered me. Corregidor was about to fall. MacArthur would soon be ordered to Australia. The Philippine people and American troops were being brutalized by the Japanese.
Within days of MacArthur leaving and the Philippines falling into Japanese hands, the Philippine government gave MacArthur $500,000 which MacArthur was able to secure and get out of the Philippines. A sort of legal payment. The Philippine government was always rewarding people who helped them. This was the first time MacArthur was so rewarded.
Roosevelt was not happy about the payment and its acceptance. He kept quiet, however. He needed MacArthur for another day. The payment remained secret until 1979 when it first came to public light.
The payment did not appear proper in and of it self. It also did not look correct when men were dying in droves. Keep in mind Bataan and Corregidor.
There is a contrast. Eisenhower served under MacArthur in the Philippines from 1936 to 1939. He was a major at the time and acted as MacArthur’s chief of staff. Eisenhower was offered $60,000 from the Philippine government at roughly the same time as MacArthur received the $500,000. Eisenhower turned down the $60,000. He did not consider it in good taste.
Read the book. An interesting eye opener.
Enjoy the last day of your Labor Day weekend!