For anyone wanting to have a King-related discussion about something other than Atlantic convoys.
I think we need to talk about the dreaded "Anglophobia" thing.
We don't really know if that is what was going on (although quite a few of his contemporary peers thought so), but I would raise two episodes in particular:
- the "tantrum in Quebec" - sending the BPF to work alongside the USN in the Pacific has been agreed at Presidential level, but King still goes off on a wobbler at the CCS which is bad enough to warrant his being told to pipe down (again in front of the CCS) by Leahy.
- at the very end of things, when the USN starts strikes against the remaining immobilised IJN hulks at Kure the BPF is told it is not participating due to inadequate aircraft range - but then Carney (Halsey's Chief of Staff) admits that it's actually because "Washington" forbade the BPF from being involved in the final destruction of the IJN. I don't think King was named in this, but since we know the US civilian leadership wanted the BPF where it was, it doesn't leave many suspects. (Oh, and sorry about Ashigara and Haguro, old chap - do you want us to put them back?)
To me it does give a picture of someone whose ardent desire for the USN to do it all by itself sometimes tipped a bit over into irrationality. However I don't think it was ever much of a liability for the BPF - a few days' delay in orders here and there, a bit more work for James Somerville to do to butter up the old crustacean, and learning that if they wanted a bit of surreptitious logistic support from the USN it would be fine if they asked directly but not if they went through DC / EJK.
Are there any other question marks over him? Peleliu? Violating the agreed ETO:PTO resource split without authority?