This is coolbert:
As it was with Washington at Brandywine.
As it was with Tsuji at Malaya.
So was it too with MacArthur at the Yalu?
That senior military commander making a PERSONAL reconnaissance [recce] of the battlefield as envisioned surely a prelude to major hostilities.
Washington on horseback nearly losing his life during the recce, Colonel Tsuji during his over-flight serving in the combined capacity of G2 [intelligence] and G3 [operations] prior to the Japanese invasion of Malaya, 1941.
From "Old Soldiers Never Die":
"Before returning to Tokyo on November 25, he [MacArthur] had his pilot fly the SCAP [Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers] along the Yalu River at a height of five thousand feet. MacArthur gazed down at the harsh landscape stretching bleakly along both sides of the river: treeless mountains and steep ridges, their blackness made starker by dazzling patches on snow in the valleys and necklaces of ice glittering in the crevices. It was a desolate, merciless looking place, without any evident trace that huge number of Chinese troops had crossed in recent weeks"
And from the Manchester biography "American Caesar":
"Before flying back to Tokyo that afternoon, MacArthur decided on the spur of the moment to fly the length of the Yalu. His staff objected. The plane was unarmed, they would be within range of the Chinese and Russian anti-aircraft batteries on the river's north bank, and he specifically said he wanted to see Sinuiju, where as many as seventy MiG's had been sighted. The General obdurate, waved them [staff] aboard. The very audacity of the flight, he assured them, would be its best protection . . . They encountered neither flak nor enemy aircraft. In fact, they saw nothing except a dismal, glazed, empty landscape. MacArthur wrote: 'when we reached the mouth of the Yalu, I told Story [the pilot] to turn east and follow the river at an altitude of 5,000 feet. At this height we could observe in detail the entire area of international No-Man's Land all the way to the Siberian border. All that spread before our eyes was an endless expanse of utterly barren countryside, jagged hills, yawning crevices, and the black waters of the Yalu, . .. . If a large force or massive supply train had passed over the border, the imprints had already been well-covered by the intermittent snowstorms of the Yalu Valley.'"
That date 25 November 1950 MOST important. The over-flight of the Yalu accomplished of course during hours of daylight after MacArthur having just completed a visit to the Eighth Army headquarters!
ONLY within the span of mere hours, during that period of darkness on that same day [25 November], the Chinese Communist Forces [CCF] intervening in Korean Conflict in a massive and overwhelming manner, prodigious number of troops used in a profligate manner the assumptions made by MacArthur and his staff all wrong!!
Please recall that twice within a six-month period during the Korean Conflict was MacArthur and staff snookered and flummoxed by the communists, Far Eastern Command [FEC] intelligence caught off-guard and unready, their appraisal of the situation invalid and totally wrong!!
NO ONE denies that intelligence is a difficult subject and a hard job, uncertainty always present, but Korea undoubtedly represents failure, personal reconnaissance and even cavalier courage notwithstanding.