Maybe brief snippets from their perspectives?I'll see what I can do regarding the rest of the UN, although my focus is going to remain on 8th Army HQ and MacArthur (there's hundreds of interesting characters I could look at, but including all of them would drag the TL out too much - plus I'll run out of stanzas from the poem to begin each chapter with!)
Oh man i bet patton will want to personally "interrogate" that pilot if he get captured that isFairly sure that counts as a war crime under the Hague convention
Glad you like it
I'll see what I can do regarding the rest of the UN, although my focus is going to remain on 8th Army HQ and MacArthur (there's hundreds of interesting characters I could look at, but including all of them would drag the TL out too much - plus I'll run out of stanzas from the poem to begin each chapter with!)
A Soviet flyer was downed and IIRC captured about September 4 OTL (chapters 9 and 10 had other things I needed to cover, so let's just say that guy doesn't get shot down ITTL), but Patton will have a lot to say when one is found.
After Inchon that's the next big thing in the story!
He's been doing that since the day he got there. Didn't you notice I only very rarely mention Willoughby any more?
Basil Coad only has a brigade. If Patton thinks he is getting annoying he can easily stick the British in some section of the front where they won't interfere with whatever he wants to do.
I already feel sorry for Harry Truman ITTL and I haven't even started writing that part yet!
Hear the rattle of the harness
Where the Persian darts bounced clear,
See their chariots wheel in panic
From the Hoplite's leveled spear.
September 8, 1950
Much more so than in any war he could think of, Patton had noticed that the soldiers in Korea liked to give names to their battlefields. Hills that would have been known only by the numbers describing their height now were known best by whatever a group of soldiers first thought to call them. Hill 699, the tallest hill in the area southwest of Chonan, would now be forever identified as the Lump. A smaller ridge to the north – it wasn’t really a hill – was now the Little Lump. Off in the area assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, where he had visited the day before, some of the men had labelled a particularly well held North Korean position the ‘Devil’s Granny’, which had prompted laughter all through the Eighth Army headquarters once he told them about it.
Because it raised morale, he encouraged it. As far as he was concerned, raising morale was at least four-fifths of the job of being a general. Men that had high morale would be proud to be soldiers, and proud soldiers would fight harder, and would save lives as they did so. Third Army had learned that lesson back in 1944, and their performance had shown its value. Eighth Army wasn’t quite up to the standard of his old unit. It wouldn’t be for months: the kids that filled most of its ranks would need time and training to become the hardened veterans he knew they could be. In the eight weeks or so he had been out here, he had seen a great deal of improvement. Serving with Eighth Army was becoming something the men were proud of. One colonel he had spoken with had said that he would never have expected anything like it after seeing the occupation of Japan.
“Let this be a lesson to you then, colonel.” Patton had replied. “Next time there’s a war, unless it is the day we finish up here, I won’t be around to kick them into shape again. You perform well, I’ll recommend you for a star or two. Then it’ll be your job. We learned the wrong lessons from the last war, and look what happened at the start of this one. If we learn the wrong lessons again this time, next time will be worse.” He had said before that America would never lose a war. Lack of discipline in the occupation, and Truman’s budget cuts, were making him wonder if that would remain the case forever. Saying so to that colonel would lower his morale, so he kept quiet instead.
What would raise morale was decorating soldiers that had performed well. That’s why he now stood fifteen metres behind the crest of the Little Lump, presenting Sergeant Carl Dodd with the Commendation Medal. He wouldn’t be the only one receiving a medal today either: E Company had produced several fine acts of heroism and merit this week. He had ordered them remain behind while the rest of their battalion pushed two miles to the north for an award ceremony. In an hour six 2½ ton trucks would return E Company to their battalion.
“Where are you from, Sergeant?” Patton asked.
“Kentucky, sir.” Sergeant Dodd replied.
“The people back there will be proud of you, son.” Patton said, shaking Dodd’s hand. “Your quick thinking on that ridge back there saved a lot of their lives.”
Then he turned to the rest of the company. “Guard duty is damned important, men. Especially out here. The Koreans will sneak around like skunks if you give them any sort of chance. That’s a chance they will use to shove a bayonet in your guts. The object of war is to kill the other son of a goddamned bitch before he has a chance to kill you. Even when the enemy is running away, like you great men have made him do right now, stay alert all the time. Don’t be the dumb bastard who gets killed because he wasn’t watching what was going on around him.”
He was giving out four medals today – one of them for a brave young man who had run out of rifle ammo but till charged a Korean position on the Little Lump with a bayonet and two grenades, an act that earned him a Bronze Star. Each one was praised in front of the company, and with each award Patton gave a reminder to the troops about the importance of whatever skill had been demonstrated.
When he was done, the captain of the company was waiting with the trucks. After salutes were exchanged, he asked “How did you manage to get a couple of Theodores to escort us?”
“Theodores?” Patton asked, confused by the unfamiliar term.
“M46 tanks, sir.” The captain said.
“Captain, I would expect that you know the authorised name for the M46 tank is Roosevelt.” Patton said lightheartedly. The troops gave all kinds of names to things, and this was hardly the most unusual one he had come across today. “I had always thought it was named for Franklin anyway.”
“Sir, that’s what my mate’s uncle says too, and he helped build the thing.” The captain said. “He said that seeing as the British had the Churchill tank and the Russians have the Stalin, we should have had a tank named after our wartime leader as well. The bureau in charge of naming stuff agreed.”
“Then how did Theodore get involved? When he was president, tanks didn’t exist.” Patton said.
“Came out of the field about a month ago from what I’ve heard. When they first arrived in Korea, one fellow who knew his history mentioned that Franklin never served in the Army the way Churchill did, but Theodore had the Rough Riders. His mates started calling them Theodores as a joke, but the name stuck. Say, what do you reckon old TR would say if he saw them going into battle?”
Patton didn’t even have to think about that one. “I met the man once, in my West Point days. He’d say they were a bully sight indeed.”
September 11, 1950
Eighth Army headquarters was overdue for a move. A trip to the front would take at least two hours driving at the recommended speeds for jeeps on eighteen-foot dirt roads, and another two to return. Sergeant Mims could do the trip in a hair under one each way, but it was still an unwelcome delay. If he’d had any other options, he would have moved it forward a couple of days ago.
Unfortunately, there really weren’t any other choices. The next reasonably sized town north of Taejon along Eighth Army’s axis of advance was Osan, but that had been wrecked in the battle there two days ago. Phone lines had been re-established to connect the divisions back to Taejon, but there wasn’t anywhere near enough spare to connect an Army headquarters too, at least at such short notice. He had commanded the Army from the back of a pair of trucks at times in Europe, but this part of Korea was crawling with communist bandits. He was personally willing to do it again, but faced almost unanimous opposition from the staff. “An invitation to an assassin,” someone had described it, so that option was off the table. He could also have flown to the front in a Piper Grasshopper, but with nowhere to land it north of the airstrip here, there wouldn’t be much point to that. So the headquarters would move once Seoul was taken. The staff was already prepared to do just that.
Right now though, he wished he was on board a Grasshopper, or in the back of a truck, or even at the front talking with a bunch of GIs. Then he wouldn’t have to answer this phone call from Tokyo.
“Who is it?” he asked Meeks. If it was Willoughby or Whitney, he would hang up the phone even if they knew he was available to speak with them. He had decided both of them were incompetents whose sole mission in life seemed to be giving unending praise to General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur wasn’t so bad (and he couldn’t well ignore his commanding officer). The lackeys could go to hell.
“It’s General Hickey, sir.” Meeks said.
“Give him here.” Patton said, reaching for the phone. Hickey had commanded a division under Third Army. In addition to being MacArthur’s deputy chief of staff he had now taken on the role of intermediary between SCAP and Eighth Army. “Good afternoon, General.”
“Wish I could say the same to you, George.” Hickey said. “Only the weather’s been quite disruptive to our loading efforts.”
“I know you didn’t call just to talk about the goddamn weather.” Patton said. “Even a typhoon in Japan doesn’t mean a lot out here. What’s the problem?”
“I need you to stop lying about where your offensive is at.” Hickey said.
Patton’s mind flicked back over the past week. He’d called the offensive a reconnaissance in force (an old favourite term) for the first three or four days. Since then he hadn’t said a whole lot to Tokyo, and neither had anyone else in the command.
Hickey must have picked up his silence. “There’s no point in denying it any more. I know you’ve launched a big attack. So does MacArthur. So does Harry Truman if he read yesterday’s paper. I expect even Joe Stalin knows about it at this point. It’s not a big secret, George. It hasn’t been for a while.”
“And you want to know why I didn’t just sit back?” Patton asked. He didn’t want to get angry at Hickey, but the emotion was coming regardless.
“I think I know already. I was in some of those offensives myself back in Germany.” Hickey said. “The rock soup method worked, because MacArthur knows he can’t well cancel your offensive now that you’re tearing through the communist lines. He’s not going to order you to stop, and indeed if this typhoon blows over he’ll soon be on a boat to watch the landing. No, what I need is to know how far you’ve gone. Where’s the front at, right now?”
“2nd and 24th are just past Suwon. The Cavalry are about the same distance, near Yongin. 25th has advanced to Ichon but most of its strength is covering the flanks while the ROKs push forward in their sector. Coulter hasn’t given me their positions since the middle of yesterday. Some bandit cut the lines between his HQ and ours.” Patton said, looking at the large map on the wall.
“That’s a good ten miles ahead of where MacArthur placed you.” Hickey said.
“Not that surprising, the damn papers had Osan plastered all over their front page.” Patton said. He had tried to get the press away from the battlefield – they had a habit of getting him into trouble in the last war and he wasn’t keen on repeating that this time. MacArthur had insisted they cover the recapture of Task Force Smith’s old battlefield anyway.
“They’ll be distracted by Chromite for the next week now. You don’t have to worry about them. Mac’s got the entire press team prepped to repeat that shot he took in Leyte.” Hickey said. “As for you, I’ve got a request for Eighth Army. From me personally.”
Not an order then. Patton still outranked Hickey. “What’s that?” he asked.
“Stay away from the landing beaches. I know you’ll likely pass them before X Corps is ready. It’s too late to cancel now anyway. But keep your men away. We’re going to shell the beaches before we land. This war has seen more than enough friendly fire. I’d hate it if you caused more.” Hickey said, almost pleading.
“I’ll do it.” Patton said. “They’re not on our route north anyway.”
As he put down the phone, he heard Oscar Koch make a sound halfway between a shout and a cheer.
“What have you found?” he asked. That was the only explanation he could think of for his intelligence chief to be so happy.
“A bridge across the Han.” Koch said, quickly getting up and pointing to a location immediately east of Seoul on the map. “One of our Grasshopper pilots thinks it is still standing. Right about here.”
“We could take that.” Patton observed. It was about twenty-five miles away, but there hadn’t exactly been a lot of resistance lately. “We could take it. Tonight. Landrum!”
“Yes?” Colonel Landrum asked.
“Get on the line to Keiser. Tell him I want as many tanks and motorised infantry as he can assemble to move north up the Kyongan-ni road and capture that bridge intact.” Patton ordered. “And have Kean ready to cover the flank.”
“Yes, sir!” Landrum said enthusiastically. It wasn’t hard to see why he was excited. An intact bridge across the Han would put him within five miles of taking Seoul. That Grasshopper pilot might have just handed Patton the key to the city itself.
That is true. I should have included that. Those pilots were only allowed to fly over North Korean territory where there was almost no risk of them being captured by UN forces.
Ike probably won't come up, he didn't have a lot to do with Korea until he decided to run for President from what I've read.Is Eisenhower going to show up in this TL?
How's the pubic perceiving Truman handling of the war?
The Theodore: I liked the Roosevelt idea someone posted a few pages back. And a lot of names only take a single comment to become popular.The army has never named a tank after a president. The Grant was given it's name by the British. A Theodore is too cute by half for soldiers to take seriously, are they going to call it a Teddy? But it's up to you. Militarily the situation of 8th Army taking Inchon before X Corps can land in completely unrealistic. Tokyo not knowing where 8th Army is going is derivative writing, taken from what happened at Palermo. Repeatedly hanging up on Willoughby, and Whitney would be an insult to SCAP GHQ that wouldn't be tolerated. Willoughby's direct contact with Patton would be minimal anyway. His gross failures as G-2 weren't fully revealed till the Chinese intervention. Whitney was mostly involved in civil affairs, not military operations, why is Patton so annoyed with them, that he won't speak to them? Why is the NKPA falling apart? On the plus side your dialogue is interesting, and you have Patton's personality down pat.
That's a good idea - I'll see if I can fit one inAlso if you could fit a cameo from Coad I would be very pleased indeed.
Ike probably won't come up, he didn't have a lot to do with Korea until he decided to run for President from what I've read.
The public thinks that Truman is doing a better job than IOTL - Patton's swift halting of the NK advance is roughly in line with their expectations and since then the war has looked like it will indeed be short and victorious.
The Theodore: I liked the Roosevelt idea someone posted a few pages back. And a lot of names only take a single comment to become popular.
Inchon: Patton's starting point for his push north was about 45-50 miles south of Seoul... that sort of distance is certainly doable in a week and a half, especially with a superior and heavily motorised force. It's also about the same pace that Walker's armoured column moved at once it broke out of Pusan.
Palermo: Well yeah, of course I took it out of Patton's past actions - it makes sense that he would do something similar when in the same situation somewhere else He outlines it in a good amount of detail in his book, calling it the "rock soup" method. Step 1: launch a small attack and call it a recon in force. Step 2: gradually commit more and more units to the attack to increase pressure on the enemy. Step 3: present successful offensive to your commander as a fait accompli. That was his go-to just about every time he wasn't explicitly ordered to attack.
Willoughby: Let's see, first there was that incident a number of updates back where he claimed a NK unit that Patton's men had found didn't exist (Patton was fiercely supportive of anyone under his command that was doing a good job!). Then there's all the other times he was a terrible intelligence officer (in WW2, Mac literally said "There have been three great intelligence officers in history. Mine is not one of them.", so his failures weren't unknown in Sept 1950 - and Patton had no tolerance for incompetents). Willoughby was also known as "my pet fascist" by MacArthur, and was a known anti-Semite, which wouldn't have endeared him to someone who had seen the Nazi death camps first hand. And there's the Unit 731 scandal. At a minimum, Patton would have utterly loathed the man. Had he been able to, he might well have wanted to shoot him.
NKPA collapse: OTL their morale collapsed in a similar fashion after Inchon. Patton's been wearing their elan down for a while... I think it makes sense that it would break around this point.
That's a good idea - I'll see if I can fit one in
There may not have been a total collapse, but NK morale was definitely low in September. Per South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu: (I've put it in a spoiler box because I've quoted about four paragraphs)Walkers armored columns broke out of the Pusan Perimeter when the NKPA began to withdraw the week after the Inchon Landings, their moral never collapsed. Most of the NK's made it back to NK to fight another day. The Inchon Landings were too faraway from the Perimeter to trap most of the Communist troops. The JCS were probable right that Kunsan was a better place to land. Being closer to the Perimeter, and having good roads running NE. X Corps could've trapped more NKPA Troops.
andOn the eve of Eighth Army's attack [ie. 15 September]... ...Morale in the North Korean Army was at a low point. No more than 30 percent of the original troops of the divisions remained. These veterans tried to impose discipline on the recruits, most of whom were from South Korea and had no desire to fight for the North Koreans. It was common practice in the North Korean Army at this time for the veterans to shoot anyone who showed reluctance to go forward when ordered or who tried to desert. Food was scarce, and undernourishment was the most frequently mentioned cause of low morale by prisoners. Even so, there had been few desertions up to this time because the men were afraid the U.N. forces would kill them if they surrendered and that their own officers would shoot them if they made the attempt.
The last week of September witnessed a drastic change in the pattern of North Korean military activity. Enemy targets were disappearing from the scene. On 24 September some fighter pilots, unable to find targets, returned to their bases without having fired a shot. Survivors of the once victorious North Korea People's Army were in flight or in hiding, and, in either case, they were but disorganized and demoralized remnants. On 1 October there occurred an incident illustrating the state of enemy demoralization. An Air Force Mosquito plane pilot dropped a note to 200 North Korean soldiers northeast of Kunsan ordering them to lay down their arms and assemble on a nearby hill. They complied. The pilot then guided U.N. patrols to the waiting prisoners.
The virtual collapse of the North Korean military force caused General MacArthur on 1 October to order the Air Force to cease further destruction of rail, highway, bridge, and other communication facilities south of the 38th Parallel, except where they were known to be actively supporting an enemy force. Air installations south of the 40th Parallel were not to be attacked, and he halted air action against strategic targets in North Korea. 
The extent of his collapse was truly a death blow to the enemy's hopes for continuing the war with North Korean forces alone. Loss of weapons and equipment in the retreat north from the Pusan Perimeter was of a scope equal to or greater than that suffered by the ROK Army in the first week of the war. For the period 23-30 September, the IX Corps alone captured 4 tanks, 4 self-propelled guns, 41 artillery pieces, 22 antitank guns, 42 mortars, and 483 tons of ammunition. In I Corps, the 24th Division on one day, 1 October, captured on the Kumsan road below Taejon 7 operable tanks and 15 artillery pieces together with their tractors and ammunition. On the last day of September the 5th Cavalry Regiment captured three trains complete with locomotives hidden in tunnels. A few miles north of Andong advancing ROK forces found approximately 10 76-mm. guns, 8 120-mm. mortars, 5 trucks, and 4 jeeps, together with dead enemy soldiers, in a tunnel-all had been destroyed earlier by air force napalm attacks at either end of the tunnel. At Uisong, ROK forces captured more than 100 tons of rice, other supplies, and most of the remaining equipment of one North Korean division. The North Koreans had abandoned many tanks, guns, vehicles, ammunition, and other equipment because they lacked gasoline to operate their vehicles.
Patton had his ass chewed out by Eisenhower for having a Champagne Breakfast with Herman Goering.
I've never heard of that Goering incident before, and a search for it didn't come up with anything. Seeing as that video looks like it was made by a kid in Windows Movie Maker and has only a couple hundred views, I'm inclined to doubt its accuracy. That said if you can dig up a source that has dates and details about it, I would be quite interestedHe famously talked about having fought the wrong people, and wanted to get the Germans back in uniform, as fast as possible. Patton's anti Semitic, racialist, and mystic ideas are well documented. This is just a sample. https://foreignpolicy.com/2010/06/25/patton-the-anti-semite-and-hypocrite/ Patton was an unstable person, with a very dark side. He was a man who could be very charming, and he's been highly Romanized, but most people today know little about how controversial he was, and why so many people who actually knew, or studied him hated him. https://constantinereport.com/gener...mitic-believed-in-superiority-of-nordic-race/
Just get a Piper Cub and stick some MGs on it and then use it against the PO-2.Your talking about MIG-15 Jet Fighters. PO-2 Biplanes bombed the front lines at night, and even raided UN airfields in South Korea. They proved almost impossible to stop.
There may not have been a total collapse, but NK morale was definitely low in September. Per South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu: (I've put it in a spoiler box because I've quoted about four paragraphs)
I've never heard of that Goering incident before, and a search for it didn't come up with anything. Seeing as that video looks like it was made by a kid in Windows Movie Maker and has only a couple hundred views, I'm inclined to doubt its accuracy. That said if you can dig up a source that has dates and details about it, I would be quite interested
What you say about Patton being an anti-Semite and wanting to rearm ex-Nazis is a fair point (albeit a lot of that stuff came out after August 1945, when I'm not sure he was completely sane any more - and ITTL I think it is fair to assume Beatrice would have tried to change the worst of those views). Still doesn't change Willoughby's incompetence. Patton wasn't terribly consistent on a whole lot of things, but he never accepted incompetence from anyone. He'd hate Willoughby regardless.
I don't think that story about Patton and Goering having a breakfast is accurate considering it was troops from the 36th Infantry Division of the 7th Army in the 6th Army Group that captured Goering in Western Austria, not troops from the 3rd Army in the 12th Army Group that was advancing into Bohemia scores of kilometers away. Here's a story from the pilot who flew Goering from Kitzbuhel to 7th Army HQ in Augsburg:NK moral dropped because they were exhausted from the heavy fighting at the Perimeter, and then they found out X Corps had landed in their rear. The Champagne Breakfast was covered in the international press. I first read about it in one of Albert Speer's books, over 30 years ago. The American military tried to put a lid on the story, and wasn't something Patton wanted to be reminded of. Eisenhower called Patton on the carpet, and reiterated to all his commanders, that no honors should be paid to any Nazi leaders. This is interesting reading about Patton's world view, and his mental, and emotional state after the war. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/b...eneral-george-patton-was-not-unfounded-125576