Patton in Korea: A TL

He made up lots of crap. "See, even American heroes fraternized with these Nazis that I fraternized with' doesn't seem like a pointless lie.

This doesn't seem like the sort of incontrovertible fact that the OP is forced to accept as gospel truth for timeline purposes, and you are hijacking the thread for a hobby horse. So what if you don't like Patton?
Speer isn't the only person to take note of the incident. I have read about it being reported in the press, and Eisenhower blowing his top over it. I think your missing the point. This thread is about Patton, and his tactical, and leadership capabilities. It's not about if I like Patton, but yes I really don't think he was a likeable person, it's about his not having magical abilities. It's also about his mental, and emotional stability, which effected his leadership in WWII, and would be more of an issue in the the Korean War. The American Army he would be commanding was weaker, and the political constraints greater. Being 5 years older wouldn't have improved his mental state, or made him a better team player. His problems would've gotten worse not better.
 
Speer isn't the only person to take note of the incident. I have read about it being reported in the press, and Eisenhower blowing his top over it.
I can find not a single article in any newspaper from the time about this incident. Look we get it, you don't like Patton at all. There's other things about him you could try talking about instead of this most likely false accusation about him and Meyer.
 
@BelisariusII I've actually enjoyed your skepticism and the OP's responses. It has made for a better timeline. This one you are taking too far.
Sorry this point seems to have become so contentious. I only brought it up to show Patton's poor political judgment, and that his mind took him to many dark places. I really don't understand why people seem to think having a Champagne Breakfast with Goering would be out of character for Patton?
 
Its acceptable for an alternate history to posit that some of his problems get better, not worse. Which the OP has clearly done.

Also, you make fair points, but the OP has given reasonablish responses, and if he's wrong, he's wrong, let him tell his story without endless wrangling.
 
I can find not a single article in any newspaper from the time about this incident. Look we get it, you don't like Patton at all. There's other things about him you could try talking about instead of this most likely false accusation about him and Meyer.
You've been checking micro film of 1945 news papers?
 
I read some where that Patton was kicked in the head by a horse when he was young and that some people think that it effected his self control later in life. Is this true?
 
Lets not also forget that Patton was hella racist and whilst a good military commander wasn't someone to look up to really, especially now we know what he was like.

But lets not let that detract from this awesome TL.
 
Lets not also forget that Patton was hella racist and whilst a good military commander wasn't someone to look up to really, especially now we know what he was like.

But lets not let that detract from this awesome TL.
exactly, tons of historical people were racist, it was much more normalized and institutionalized at the time. besides whos to say ittl that Patton doesn't change his ways a lot which does appear to be happening somewhat.
 
exactly, tons of historical people were racist, it was much more normalized and institutionalized at the time. besides whos to say ittl that Patton doesn't change his ways a lot which does appear to be happening somewhat.
From what I've read Patton didn't care about skin color so long as you were a good soldier. His thoughts on Jews and specifically the Holocaust survivors however is inexcusable.
 
Sorry this point seems to have become so contentious. I only brought it up to show Patton's poor political judgment, and that his mind took him to many dark places. I really don't understand why people seem to think having a Champagne Breakfast with Goering would be out of character for Patton?
don't forget he and Ike both made the towns close to camps march through them to show just what the Nazis did....I do not think either of them liked the ideas the nazis had.....
 
Why are we judging people from 70+ years ago by the standards of today? Yes, they were racist, xenophobic, et al, but I dare to argue that all these sins, while not excusable, do somewhat pale in comparison to the other side. I mean, Churchill was no saint by any means, but he was a certain improvement over Hitler.

Even of Patton did have champagne with Meyer, something we have yet to see a firm evidence of, I dare to assume this was more of a "Warrior" thing, where the victor is gracious towards the vanquished then Patton deciding that he is going to suddenly open concentration camps and finish what the Nazis have started. To even assume that is doing a great disservice to the man in question and really low blow, considering that he can not defend himself, and it is easy for us, so many decades away, so fat and safe to judge others. Maybe we should all ask ourselves how will we be judged by generations yet to be born, before going and judging those that made it possible for us to be here in the first place. Nobody is perfect. Patton was not in 1945, and I assure you all, we are are not perfect in 2020.

So, can we get back to story now, or we will continue this line of discussion further, which seems likely to end up with Mods intervening and hammers flying?
 
Lets not also forget that Patton was hella racist
Yet worked around that, when it was a military advantage.
Like the Bulge, when every other army group was worried about Nazi infiltrators controlling checkpoints, while in the 3rd Army, well Patton just had
his Black troops take that job that the MPs normally had.
Nazis couldn't fake that

I really think that he was not so much as racist, as much as he just plain hated _everybody_

except guys who fought and followed all orders

“Men, you're the first Negro tankers to ever fight in the American Army. I would never have asked for you if you weren't good. I have nothing but the best in my Army. I don't care what color you are as long as you go up there and kill those Kraut sonsofbitches. Everyone has their eyes on you and is expecting great things from you. Most of all your race is looking forward to your success. Don't let them down and damn you, don't let me down!”

--George S Patton
 
Part II, Chapter 11
CHAPTER 11

See the goal grow monthly longer,
Reaching for the walls of Tyre.
Hear the crash of tons of granite,
Smell the quenchless eastern fire.

September 14, 1950


How glorious the dash across the Han would have been. A bridge across the river would have allowed Eighth Army to sweep into Seoul before the North Koreans had time to fortify it. When the bridge was spotted, the NKPA had just been defeated in a costly battle for the Suwon airfield. With only a few trucks, and an unwillingness to move by day for fear of American bombers, the communists might have made it into the city before Eighth Army got there. General Keiser had been hoping to receive their surrender.
The 2nd Division’s march through the night had gone exactly to plan. The North Koreans were in full retreat, and seemed more inclined to use the direct Western routes into Seoul while Keiser’s tanks drove along the roundabout eastern road. A rearguard had been left at Kyongan-ni, but they lacked heavy equipment and were sent running in a matter of minutes, before surrendering as the trucks caught up with them. There had been no more resistance after that: either the Koreans had died, fled or were hiding out as bandits. Bandits would be a matter for the ROKs to deal with: their army seemed better at fighting them than it did conventional battles. Patton had fought bandits more than thirty years ago in Mexico, and knew it was much harder than fighting a visible enemy. He was impressed by the allied army. Syngman Rhee still wasn’t impressed by him. He wondered if the ingratitude would continue once he retook the bastard’s capital.
Then the tanks, Pershings and Theodores both, came up to… a ruined bridge. The Grasshopper pilot must have made a mistake. He had initially thought the North Koreans had blown it up, but a local Korean woman later explained that the Air Force had bombed it and the others in the area. As far as she knew, there weren’t any crossings over the Han still standing. That wasn’t quite true, one had been found and captured at Yoju, more than forty miles away, but that using it would have made an already bad logistics situation even worse. The detour simply wouldn’t be worth it.
Instead, the Engineers had been rushed north the following morning to throw up a bridge to get the Eighth Army across the Han before the Koreans could mount a defence on the river line. The crossing should have been unopposed, but the North Koreans were ready. It took the 2nd Division two whole days to force its way across. A second bridge had been built next to the destroyed one at Punwon-ni ten miles to the east. The Han was crossed.
“General Keiser just called. He says he’s reached the outskirts of the city.” Colonel Landrum announced.
Patton flicked his cigar. “What’s holding him up?” he asked calmly. Seoul had been a slow battle for three and a half days. He wasn’t expecting something grand from it any more.
“Looks like the North Koreans have fortified the place.” Landrum said. “Kim Il-sung thinks it should be his capital too – it’s been the capital of a united Korea for close to forever. They’re not going to give it up easily.”
“No?” Patton asked. “Then we’ll just have to kill them all until they do. Get me a strength estimate both for the city itself and the surrounding area then.”
An hour later, Koch, Landrum and via the telephone Keiser, had all come up with what they thought to be a fair estimate. “We think we’re looking at ten or fifteen thousand men at a minimum, and more likely double that. Everyone we didn’t catch at Suwon or the Lump is thought to be there.” Landrum explained.
“We also think they might be pulling a couple of units from above the 38th to reinforce them.” Koch added. “By the looks of things, Inchon is completely empty. We haven’t heard anything about units west of the Han for forty-eight hours now.”
“Good.” Patton said, looking at the map again. “If they’ve got thirty, forty thousand men tied up in Seoul, that’s all the better.”
“Sir, didn’t you want to beat MacArthur into Seoul?” Landrum asked.
“I have.” Patton noted. “MacArthur’s not even landing until evening tomorrow, and he’ll need another day to get his troops up to our lines. If we don’t have Seoul by then, he might be able to spare a few men to help us finish the job. But I don’t want to waste time on another Metz.”
Metz. For six years people had said it was his worst battle. It hadn’t been very brilliant. After Ike gave his supplies to Monty and the Moselle River flooded, he hadn’t had any other option that would keep pressure on the Nazis except to strike Metz. MacArthur had reduced his supplies somewhat (Almond, another of Mac’s lackeys, would get whatever he wanted for X Corps and Patton only the leftovers), but without a couple of other Army Groups demanding gas and ammo and beans, Eighth Army was stocked well enough.
“You’re planning something, aren’t you, George?” Koch asked.
“We’re going north.” Patton said. “I need Keiser to encircle Seoul from the north. Dean can hold the south bank of the Han until MacArthur arrives. Those Korean divisions need to be trapped and forced to surrender, so they don’t raise hell further north. The rest of the army is to move north.”
“Sir, the 38th parallel is only thirty miles away. You’re not proposing to cross it?” Landrum sounded surprised. Truman had explicitly forbidden American troops from doing so.
“Not immediately, no.” Patton said. “Until I get authorisation from the President, we’re not going to cross. But I’d like to send him a message on the teletype tonight. We’ll be on the Imjin in three days. Any delay in crossing the parallel after that would only give the enemy time to regroup. Syngman Rhee also won’t stop at the border even if we tell him to, and he’ll be there early next week. We should be driving to the Yalu, not holding back because of some line on the map!”
“Sir, watch what you say to the President.” Sergeant Meeks cautioned. “FDR almost canned you twice, remember, and I don’t think Truman is quite so tolerant.”
Patton made an effort to calm down. That was some good advice. He made sure to remember it as he planned out his meeting with MacArthur that would follow the Inchon landings.

***

September 15, 1950

Douglas MacArthur looked through his field glasses at the burning battlefield of Inchon. In the morning, the Marines had taken the island of Wolmi-do (someone had told him that it was properly called Wolmi, ‘do’ being Korean for island). Losses had been light, which was a good sign, but there was no guarantee Inchon itself would be so unprepared. The operation relied on surprise, but days of shore bombardment meant the Koreans likely suspected something was up. Chromite was supposed to involve feints against a number of other coastal locations to distract the NKPA from the real target. One against Chumunjin was still going ahead. Patton had taken Kunsan back before the landings had even been approved. If he had wanted to he probably would have taken Inchon as well.
MacArthur was furious with Patton. Apparently Eighth Army was knee-deep in Seoul already. Chromite was supposed to be his great operation that would bring about a decisive, victorious end to the war. Now that Patton had bypassed Inchon, there was hardly any glory left in taking it. The whole operation had been made redundant. Only by that point, cancelling it altogether would have forced him to explain himself to the Joint Chiefs, merely three weeks after boasting it was the only way to win. He had worried before that Inchon could be the risk that ended his long career. If he was made to look foolish in front of Washington, he was sure it would be, even though Washington barely had a clue what went on out here. So Chromite went ahead.
“First wave is ashore on Blue Beach.” General Lem Shepherd announced.
Except for a brief “thank you”, the deck of the Mount McKinley fell silent. Back in Japan, Willoughby had predicted there would be minimal opposition to the landings. Patton’s G2 had also predicted that the NKPA would not be in the Inchon area in strength. Intelligence, MacArthur knew, was rarely entirely correct. He knew the consequences of it being wrong this time could be disastrous. Five minutes passed, Shepherd having disappeared somewhere else to receive reports from the front. Then ten. Then fifteen.
Finally, Shepherd returned. “We’re all clear.” he said. “They’re gone.”
MacArthur clapped his hands together in triumph, feeling a sense of relief. The daring invasion had been pulled off.
Once everyone had shaken hands and given their congratulations to each other, MacArthur had only to wait for an LST to become available to take him ashore. A camera crew should have landed already, with orders to be ready for his arrival at Inchon.
“Say, where is General Patton, sir?” Ned Almond asked. “I’d have thought he would be here by now, telling us that he took the city three days ago or something.”
“A curious question, that is.” MacArthur said. He didn’t want to say so to Almond, but he had fully expected Patton to show up on one of the landing beaches precisely at 1730, possibly with a parade or something of the sort. For all of his claims that he wanted nothing to do with the press, the General’s antics often seemed to be designed for headlines.
“Sir, the boat is ready for you.” Someone from the Marines called.
MacArthur filmed three takes of him and the staff disembarking on the so-called beach south of Inchon. Whichever was decided to be the best one would soon be added to newsreels across the globe. It wasn’t as impressive as the Leyte shot, but this invasion wasn’t as impressive as Leyte either. Patton had robbed it of all its glory. It was a success, and very nearly a bloodless one. He made sure to emphasise that last point when the reporters interviewed him.

Patton drove up to Inchon at around 2100, with just his jeep and another one in front of it with four MPs, presumably in case there were any communists on the road. The press, with the exception of the guys from Life magazine, had retired for the night. That was fortunate: Life had been a strong supporter of his for years. They’d make a good story for him. Bad press could ruin his career as easily as a failed invasion would have.
“General, I thought I gave you explicit orders to hold the line at Yesan.” MacArthur called out.
“I’ve followed them, sir. We still have control over our former positions north of the Kum.” Patton replied. Even in the lamplight, his grin was unmistakable. “You ordered me to attack on the fifteenth, I’ve done that too. I see your landing at Inchon has been a great success.”
“It has, George. Thank you.” MacArthur said. “As, by all accounts, has been your march on Seoul.”
“The march, yes, sir.” Patton said. “I’ve got the city surrounded except for a few roads out west. A couple of divisions trapped there. We’ve captured about a fifth of the city so far.”
“I presume then, that you have come to ask for X Corps as reinforcements?” MacArthur asked.
“Sir, I don’t see the purpose of a divided command.” Patton said. “I’m sure they would do an honourable job retaking the city.”
“I’ll see to it that they are transferred to Eighth Army command tomorrow morning.” MacArthur said. There wasn’t much point keeping X Corps separate any more: another amphibious landing wasn’t likely, not after this debacle. The corps would have to go to someone other than Almond – Patton would fire Ned the moment he had the authority to do so.
As they shook hands and then went their separate ways (Patton back to his jeep and presumably Taejon, MacArthur to the ship on board which he would spend one more night), MacArthur reflected upon the meeting with Patton. To his credit, Patton had at least made an effort to be gracious about the Inchon situation, and seemed to be trying to please his superior. His combat record was exemplary, and if those two divisions weren’t bottled up in Seoul they could have easily turned Inchon into a disaster. That didn’t change the fact that he was a political catastrophe and got into arguments with every second man he spoke with. What ever am I supposed to do with him now? MacArthur wondered.

- BNC
 
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