Eisenhower in the Pacific Shoe String Warriors of Luzon 1935-1941 “There is one line, and one only, at which the defending force will enjoy a tremendous advantage over any attack by land. The line is the beach.... The enemy must be repulsed at the beach.” Dwight Eisenhower in a strategic appraisal to President Quezon, December 1940 Prologue In December 1941 the American and Filipino soldiers and airmen led by General Dwight D Eisenhower fought an inspired and hard fought battle against the Japanese invasion of Luzon. Most historians now credit the fine performance of the US Army Far East in what would ultimately be a hopeless stand to the fine work of Eisenhower in creating and developing the Filipino forces that fought so well alongside the American forces and inflicted an embarrassing and serious check on the Japanese during the early days of war in the Pacific. Although some historians think that General Douglas Macarthur, who briefly served as Field Marshall of the Philippine Army and who had much grander plans for the Philippine Army would have done better, his tragic death in an auto accident while visiting New York City soon after his wedding on May 1, 1937 to his wife Jean makes that a 'might have been'. This historian believes that his genius, if any, will remain unproven and his ideas of making the Philippines into the “Switzerland of the Pacific” and the ambitious plan to create a 300,000 army for the Republic of the Philippines unrealistic. Considering the financial constraints of the Philippine government (which was hard pressed to maintain a $12 million a year defense budget during the years leading up to 1941) could never have created such a thing.