As General Hagen notes, MacArthur greatest attribute was the ability to blow his own horn.
He had an ample eight hours warning from Admiral Kimmel and others that the Japanese would attack, yet he permitted his airforce to be caught on the ground and destroyed. He should have been dismissed, as Kimmel (who had no warning of impending attack) was, but he fabricated press releases of heroism, which a press and a public desperate for good news snapped up without question.
He declared Manila an 'open city', meaning it would not be defended, without consulting the other commanders in the area, leaving them totally unprepared for the fall. The plan to evacuate to Bataan had been in place for months, yet after delaying the decision to enact the plan, his hasty implementation left warehouses full of rice and ammunition behind. As our defending troops starved in their desperate stand on Bataan and Corriegedor, the Japanese were fed with our stores of rice.
To the shell-shocked troops on Corriegedor, he was known as 'Dugout Dug', best known for hiding deep in the bowels of the fortress and not venturing out into the firefight.
From the safety of Australia, he belittled the commanders in the fields of New Guinea for taking too long to drive the well-entrenched, though starving, Japanese from their strongholds. While there were only a handful of U.S. Army personnel, mostly engineers, involved in the battle, his press releases credited the U.S. troops under his command with victories won at the cost of thousands of Australian lives. He received an air medal for flying over the battlefield, high over the battlefield, but never once set foot on the battlefields of New Guinea. He declared victory and, along with his adoring press, returned to Australia, days before the bloodiest battle (in terms of percentages of casualties), the battle of Sanananda. Having declared victory weeks before, MacArthur sent no press release after the bloody victory there. The author tells us that, years later, he spoke with President Eisenhower, who told him he had never heard of the battle of Sanananda. MacArthur had a knack for keeping news that would discredit or embarrass him very quiet.
When the battles were over, the Marines who had fought on the front lines of most every major battle in the Pacific, did not even warrant a passing mention by MacArthur. To hear him tell it, the U.S Army had won the Pacific, while the Navy and Marines stood on the sidelines.
As one Marine put it "I don't mind him getting the credit, but it would be nice if he would mention that we were there".
It's been a festering sore with the Navy and Marines for years. MacArthur was legend of his own creation, a blundering general with good press.
President Truman, when asked if he regretted firing him, answered that, yes, he regretted doing so two years later than he should.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.