Patton in Korea: A TL

It's all good for Patton for now. getting above the 38th and closer to China, may give him a black eye and a bloody nose until he can regroup and reinforce his Corps.
 
So, we have Seol invested and about to fall. What is happening on the East coast and in the centre? The PLA exploited the gap that grew between the West and East coast and advanced down the mountainous centre. Will we see a repeat of that as the UN forces close on the Yalu River?
 
I am really not well versed in Korean War, so can somebody explain the differences between OTL and TTL so far? It looks like Allies have advanced faster then IOTL, and have managed to destroy/surround larger numbers of N.K troops?
 
I am really not well versed in Korean War, so can somebody explain the differences between OTL and TTL so far? It looks like Allies have advanced faster then IOTL, and have managed to destroy/surround larger numbers of N.K troops?

OTL, at this moment the vast majority of UN forces were committing a desperate last stand at the Pusan Perimeter, barely hanging on to a tiny part of Korea. The OTL Inchon landings were contested violently, with the landing forces only really forcing the enemy to retreat towards the end of the day. The UN forces would only reach Seoul on the 22nd, a full week on from the current moment TTL.

Patton's forces are literally about half of Korea further north than they would be OTL unless they would have taken part in the landings.
 
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What is happening on the East coast and in the centre?
The ROKs are manning the front everywhere east of Wonju (roughly half way between the east and west coasts), with the front somewhere between 37*20' (Wonju) and 37* (Ulchin) in the ROK sector. At this stage they are pushing north about as quickly as Patton's troops.

I am really not well versed in Korean War, so can somebody explain the differences between OTL and TTL so far? It looks like Allies have advanced faster then IOTL, and have managed to destroy/surround larger numbers of N.K troops?
@Darrenb209 summed it up pretty well (although I will note September 14 was the date where the UN held the least territory IOTL, so it does sound a little dramatic - the front ITTL Sept 15 is roughly where it was IOTL Sept 27 or thereabouts).

The biggest difference ITTL is that the battle of Taejon (covered in Ch4 and thereabouts) resulted in a UN retreat IOTL, whereas here Patton holds it. OTL Taejon allowed the NK army to secure a couple of key roads that it used to rush a series of locations on the west and then southern coasts, which eventually resulted in the western side of the Pusan perimeter being formed where it was - ITTL Patton had artillery ranged on those roads within a couple of days of them breaking out, more or less cutting them off from supply and forcing a division or so worth of troops to surrender. It also means his counterattack started from a much more forward position, about 36*30' instead of 35*50', and much further to the west as well.
Patton has also started his counterattack a full two weeks earlier than OTL Walker did, albeit against (slightly) stronger opposition than Walker faced - this is due to the NK not having been worn down quite so much by their own failed offensive ("The Great Naktong Offensive" if you want to look it up). Inchon has to be the date it is because of the tides, but IOTL the Pusan and Inchon forces were quite separated by this time - ITTL Patton had (just) captured the landing beaches.
"Under the hood" Patton has also made a lot of improvements to things like training, logistics, intelligence &c. IOTL all these things ranged from poor to extremely terrible (Walker had at least twice the manpower and many times the amounts of equipment as the North Koreans in September, yet he didn't attack in strength basically anywhere until after Inchon). ITTL, every time I mention one of these things in any sort of detail, it is a change from OTL (and usually they are things that Patton remarked upon in his book War As I Knew It, which I strongly recommend reading if you are interested in his style of command!). The opposite goes for any diplomatic relations between the Eighth Army and Rhee - IOTL Walker never had any issues with Rhee (or vice versa) and the ROK military was at times very well integrated with the US Army (indeed the KATUSA program continues to this day!), and as far as I'm aware neither Truman, Attlee* or anyone else had a problem with Walker either (MacArthur didn't like the Bulldog much, which is why X Corps and 8th Army were kept as separate commands IOTL). All the diplomatic issues between Patton and just about everyone are TTL-specific.

* On the topic of Attlee, he didn't think very highly of MacArthur at all, while he didn't have much to do with Patton due to the latter's death early into his term. The Commonwealth brigade was integrated into 8th Army both TTL and OTL, but the "keep it separate from MacArthur" is a TTL addition only.

If you're interested in learning (a lot) more about the Korean War, I recommend South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu by Roy E. Appleman, which you can read for free here: https://history.army.mil/books/korea/20-2-1/toc.htm - it has been my go-to source for a lot of the events of the war (most of my other research has been biographies of Patton and MacArthur) and is both extremely detailed yet also easy to read. :)

- BNC
 
I am really not well versed in Korean War, so can somebody explain the differences between OTL and TTL so far? It looks like Allies have advanced faster then IOTL, and have managed to destroy/surround larger numbers of N.K troops?
Patton has used the power of his presence to transform the 8th Army into the fighting force it didn't become till the Spring of 1951. In the OTL the 8th Army was made up of poorly trained, under equipped, greatly under strength units. In the first 5 weeks of the war they had been thrown into battle piecemeal, and suffered demoralizing defeats. Most of the men just wanted to get back to the soft occupation duty they'd just come from in Japan. The army had to fall back to their last line of defense, near their major supply base at the Port of Pusan. If Pusan fell the army would be lost.

The fighting around the fames Pusan Perimeter in August, and the first half of September was a desperate struggle for survival. 8th Army passed from one crisis to another. At the critical Battle of the Naktong Bulge 8th Army was saved by the 1st provisional Marine Brigade. Unlike the army the marines had maintained their training, and material standards. They counter attacked the NK's that had broken through the UN line, and wiped them out. The brigade was pulled out however so it could join the rest of the 1st Marine Division, which was part of X Corps, for the Inchon landings.

By September15 the Crisis had passed, but the NKPA was still hammering away at the Perimeter. They only started to retreat about a week after the landings at Inchon, far in their rear. after that they mostly slipped away back into NK to fight another day. There they regrouped, received replacements, and new equipment. They remained a hardened battle force, joined in on the Chinese offensives, and fought hard defensive battles in 1951.

Now in this time line they never got close to the Port of Pusan. Their advance stalled out after the first 30 days of the war, and 8th Army gained the initiative. The NKPA is rapidly disintegrating, and no longer able to deliver effective resistance. 8th Army is advancing at will, in deep thrusts like 3rd Army in France in August 1944. The enemy has been routed, and North Korea is laid open.

I expect Patton to say to a close aid. "Last night I had a dream that this whole Commy nation was mine for the taking. Do you know how I know? It's the little wheel barrel like carts they use. I saw it in France in the last war, and during Napoleon's retreat from Moscow. My God in 10 days, we could be on the Yalu. You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna call Mac, and tell him I'm gonna piss in the Yalu, while I'm eyeballing those Chinese Commy bastards across the River." Sorry if it sounds sarcastic, but I think Patton would say something like that, in these circumstances. He always saw the hand of providence in his victories, and believed he participated in the great campaigns, and under the great captains of history. Turning 8th Army around like this is one of the greatest feats of leadership in American Military History.
 
I'm gonna call Mac, and tell him I'm gonna piss in the Yalu
This was one of the first thoughts I ever had for TTL. I can guarantee it will come up later in one form or another :)

Leaving aside the plausibly concerns that were raised earlier, Patton doing this to Eighth Army should earn the man a fifth star
Are you trying to destroy the world via ego overload? Four star Patton probably needs some sort of "dangerous goods" label, and another one certainly won't make things any better!

I know that I had to make Truman tolerate Patton enough to bring him back into command, but I'm not sure he would ever approve the promotion, and IIRC Marshall also said Patton would never be promoted past Army command no matter what. Maybe he gets the fifth star as a second-retirement gift, or if by some miracle he gets Mac's spot. but honestly I don't see it happening. He hasn't exactly spent his time in Korea making friends.

- BNC
 
>We've just discovered he's got terminal cancer.
Quick give him a fifth star as he retires.

Letting the honours door smack your arse on the way out. I'm not sure that the United States' bureaucratic-political state machinery is sufficiently developed for that.
 
I know that I had to make Truman tolerate Patton enough to bring him back into command, but I'm not sure he would ever approve the promotion, and IIRC Marshall also said Patton would never be promoted past Army command no matter what. Maybe he gets the fifth star as a second-retirement gift, or if by some miracle he gets Mac's spot. but honestly I don't see it happening. He hasn't exactly spent his time in Korea making friends.
There might have been some traction in awarding Patton and Spruance fifth stars.
 
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