TBF if they can push China back over the Yalu and keep them there then Mao won't have a choice TBH. Either he accepts defeat or he fully commits to the war in which case your looking at things spiraling out of control till the Soviets intervene and then WW3 starts up.
The problem for the UN forces is there are not enough troops to cover the border adequately. The Walker Line is approximately 100 miles long with fair lateral lines of communication, but the northern border of Korea balloons to 420 miles with poor lateral LOC. The ChiComs will find a crack to infiltrate through, and when they do, it's bugout time for the UN until they can form up a solid line of... approximately 100 miles in length.
 
Yeah we're looking at either a fully unified Korea or a rump NK that barely holds sliver of the north.
Which would probably mean a fully unified Korea post Cold War anyway. A rump NK wouldn’t be viable the way an NK with the 38th parallel as its Southern border is, not without being propped up even more...
 
There's also the possibility that post cold war China annexes it. About the only thing that's certain is that it wouldn't be maintained as a NK.
 
There's also the possibility that post cold war China annexes it. About the only thing that's certain is that it wouldn't be maintained as a NK.
Parts of NE China were once part of the Kingdom of Korea, and millions of ethnic Koreans live there as Chinese citizens. It's a source of some anxiety for the PRC, and one of the reasons Beijing fears a unified Korean State. Annexing a Rump NKPA would add a few million more Koreans into the mix. On the other hand China envisions NK as part of their NE Economic Zone, and the DPRK fears becoming a Chinese Vassil State. Kim Jong Un killed his half brother a few years ago, because he was a Chinese Puppet in waiting. The Kim family have been nationalists, trying to maintain NK's independence from China.

Modern NK is a failed State, ruled by an evil regime, surrounded by larger, and more powerful neighbors, which is in a desperate struggle for survival. You have to keep these facts in mind when trying to understand the apparently irrational actions of the regime. They fear being absorbed by the ROK, like E-Germany was by W-Germany, or being completely dominated by China. The level of paranoia on the part of the regime is so high, the danger of miscalculation leading to war is a major risk. China can't fully control, or restrain NK, no matter how much NK may be economically dependent on them. Someday when the regime falls the ROK & China will have to determine what happens to the former lands, and people of NK. Whatever happens it won't be an easy, or smooth process.
 
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Part III, Chapter 19
CHAPTER 19

And still later as a General
Have I galloped with Murat
When we laughed at death and numbers
Trusting in the Emperor's Star.

November 8, 1950


“They’re gone.” Oscar Koch said. “I just got off the phone with General Coulter, he says that the Chinese volunteers have gone. Everywhere.”
Patton lit a cigar. He had tried quitting again a few days ago, and had been rewarded only with a miserable two days before he gave up the effort. “What do you mean gone? Any army can’t just vanish into the abyss like that.”
“The ROKs think that they did. Gone. Vanished. One day, there’s a couple of hundred thousand CCF troops attacking everywhere. The next, not a sign they were ever there at all.” Koch said.
Patton gave his cigar another couple of puffs, thinking the intelligence chief’s comments over. “How do you rate their capabilities? Not today or yesterday, but all through this attack.”
“If you imagine a larger and more determined version of the North Korean army, you won’t be far off. Lots of light infantry, carrying nothing more than a few balls of rice and ammo for their rifle. No artillery, although a lot of them have small mortars. No bombers except for the biplanes. But they fight like the devil and are willing to negotiate any terrain.” Koch said. That wasn’t an exaggeration either: the Pujon Reservoir was surrounded by some of the tallest mountains Patton had ever had to negotiate as a commander. The Chinese had crossed them as easy as you would a plain.
“And our air recon is useless.” Patton noted.
“Unfortunately, that is closer to being true than I’d like. The North Koreans were good at hiding their tracks. Red China makes them look like amateurs.” Koch said. “They slipped 150, maybe 200 thousand men across the Yalu and through those mountains without anyone seeing a thing. The B-26s got a few tanks hat were left out in the open, other than that we can’t get much from the air force. Planes have been watching North Korea every chance they’ve had. Hasn’t done us a lick of good.”
“They’re not gone.” Patton decided. “Any more than the German army was in the winter of 1944.” Then he got up, opened the door and called “Abe, can you come and join us?”

“What do you need, sir?” Creighton Abrams asked. This room wasn’t really big enough for three, but it would do. Better than trying to plan something over the chatter that filled the rest of the headquarters.
“We’ve lost the Chinese.” Koch said. “All attacks on Coulter’s forces have ceased.”
“Impressive.” Abrams said. “We’ve underestimated them, that’s for sure.”
“I think I know where they are.” Patton said. He’d been thinking about this for a little while now. “Actually, I know that I do.”
“Where’s that?” Koch asked.
“They haven’t pushed forward – the ROK lines are thick enough now that we’d know if they did. They haven’t run back across the Yalu. That would be stupid. Just like if Monty had landed at Normandy and then ran back across the Channel as soon as he took Caen. Utterly senseless. They’re not where they were last night, a couple of ROK divisions were in the middle of an attack. They’ve retreated, but they’re out there somewhere.” Patton said. “I’ve seen this trick before. I’ve fought this trick before.”
“Against the Germans?” Abrams asked.
“No.” Patton’s brow dropped and his face became more fierce. “Against the Russians. There I was, riding with Murat along the old road to Kaluga. We had just defeated Count Bennigsen at Borodino and taken Moscow. For all purposes the Russian Army had been shattered. The old Count knew he could not survive another battle with our army, so he scattered his men into the forest in the dead of night. Then every day, a small band of Russian cavalry was seen heading east. Murat ordered us to follow, only to realise that he made a mistake. So he ordered me to build camp, to watch and wait. A few nights later, a horde of Russians descended upon our corps. We barely got back. We never returned.”
“Tarutino.” Abrams said. “That’s the name of the village. I studied that battle, a couple of years ago.”
“I fought there.” Patton said. “On October eighteenth, 1812. Just as we study the campaigns of Washington and Grant at West Point, the Russians must teach Bennigsen and Suvorov. When China went communist, the Red Army sent their experts. And who would the experts teach? None other than my old opponent. It all makes sense.”
“At Tarutino, Napoleon had no second corps.” Abrams noticed.
“Napoleon wasn’t there.” Patton said. “I’d have seen – oh, yes, we didn’t. Why do you say that?”
“Because we, the UN forces, do.” Abrams said. “Yours, and the Koreans. And if the enemy is using Bennigsen’s playbook, which I’m in agreement that they probably are, then I have a plan to win this war before Christmas. Not MacArthur’s boast that we’ll just get to the Yalu eventually. A real plan. Let’s go out there. The whole staff will want to hear it.”
Patton just nodded. “Lead on.” He’d decided back in 1945 that Abe ought to be made a general one day. He only wore a bird now, and that was because that was as far as Patton could promote him without Congress getting a say. This was the chance for Abe to prove he deserved a star.

“Gather round, everyone!” Abrams shouted as he laid out a map on the largest table this headquarters boasted. A thick red line had already been drawn where US forces were located. Both sides of Koreans were somewhere north, there wasn’t much of a coherent front up in the mountains. The Chinese had vanished. No need for markers today.
“You all know by now that the Chinese have disappeared. General Patton thinks he has found them. They’re hiding, somewhere in the far northern mountains. We don’t know where exactly, and we don’t know what their plans are. What we do know is that they will fight again.” Abrams announced. “This withdrawal was intentionally ordered by the Chinese: a lot of the ROK units were still retreating when it happened so it wasn’t due to a collapse of any sort. Armies that stop a successful attack only do so if they can’t attack for lack of supplies, or they have reached their objectives. They’ve captured nothing of note in the north, so either their objective was to scare us or they cannot attack any more. If they’re out of supplies, they’ll have more soon – their dumps are just across the Yalu. If they’re setting up an ambush, Syngman Rhee will order his troops into it before too long. If they’re planning a second attack, it will come. In any case, the ROKs and the Chinese will be fighting each other again soon. I suggest that we let them.”
Colonel Landrum was the first to speak “Hold off…?”
“Let him speak.” Patton commanded.
“We have two choices when it comes to ending this war.” Abrams said. “Either we drive to the Yalu, or we choose a line somewhere and leave the communists with a piece of Korea as a puppet. Even with every improvement in logistics that we can make, the Yalu will be difficult to hold for long. It is far from our bases and right next to the enemy’s. A quick, decisive strike at the Yalu is the only way for the river to mean anything. If it fails, we will inevitably be pushed back. The Chinese can drown us in manpower. A slow offensive will only end in the same result just drawn out over time. An ironclad defence of a chosen line further south, where the Chinese supply lines are vulnerable to our bombers, prevents this manpower challenge from being insurmountable, but I trust no-one on Eighth Army’s staff wishes to fight this war on the defensive.
“Regarding the Chinese Army, we know from our reports from General Coulter, and the recent offensive, that they can sustain effective operations for a week or two. Like the Russians in the last war, they can push strong and hard for a while, but then have to reorganise. Accounting for the time it will take for our troops to march up to the front, if we begin moving the day after the ROK line comes under attack by the Chinese next, our troops will reach the battlefield at a critical time. The Chinese will be low on supplies, but not so low that they will be prepared to retreat into their mountain hideouts. Think of it like a bar fight: two men are going after each other with broken bottles, concerned only with what the other is doing, while we, the third man, jump one of them from behind.”
“We use their own game against them.” Landrum noticed. “They hide in the mountains, waiting for the time to strike. Only we strike after they’ve shot their bolt.”
“Precisely.” Abrams said.

While everyone else on the staff discussed parts of Abe’s plan, a thought flicked into Patton’s head, reminding him of the one problem he had been facing ever since Pyongyang was captured.
“Colonel, how do you propose to get approval for this operation?” Patton asked. “Not from me, I think it’s fantastic. From Washington.”
“Simple.” Abrams said, which Patton was inclined to doubt. “Every time you have asked for authorisation to attack, it has been signed with your name or MacArthur’s. Washington thinks you too aggressive to be trusted with a carte blanche approval on an attack near the Yalu. President Truman, and from what I understand most of the Joint Chiefs, can’t stand MacArthur, and I doubt he’s in their good graces after the Inchon mess. But the Koreans aren’t going to beat China on their own, so eventually some operation is going to have to be approved. Put my name on it, and send it to Washington on the next flight out of here. I’ll deliver it by hand if that’s what it takes.”
“We’ve got the teletype.” Patton reminded him.
“For this, no.” Abrams said. “Russian spies stole the atom bomb. They could steal this. I don’t think it worth the risk.”
“And you’re confident your name will be enough to convince them?” Landrum asked. “Forgive me, but you are just a colonel.”
“Marshall’s the Sec Def now.” Abrams said. “He’s a great judge of character. I worked for him for a few months when he was Chief of Staff. He’ll back me.”
“What about Truman?” Oscar Koch asked. “The whole point of sitting here is to avoid provoking the Chinese.”
“I’d say they’re provoked well enough by now.” Abrams said, triggering more than a few laughs. “Besides, I’m not asking for authorisation to attack. I’m asking for authorisation to win. MacArthur thinks the war can be over by Christmas. Rhee won’t manage it: his troops have been moving at a crawl for days. This way, we might.”
“We do it.” Patton said. “Send a messenger, not a colonel, to Washington. Other than that, I’ll back you completely.”

***

November 13, 1950

Doyle Hickey had been witness to over a hundred teletype conferences since the war in Korea began. Most of them discussed the routine matters of managing an army, with Washington providing information, questions and instructions, and MacArthur reports, answers and ‘yes, sir’s. MacArthur told his deputy chief of staff just about everything hours before Washington heard any of it. Not many telecons surprised him. One in July had – Patton hadn’t been the commander MacArthur seriously expected to get. This one had done so again.
As he picked up the phone and asked for Eighth Army, he tried to remember how many times the request for Patton to move past the Walker Line had been rejected. Since Pyongyang, at least. Thirty times? Forty?
“This is General Patton.” came the voice on the other end.
“Hickey here, sir.” Hickey said. “Washington just told us, you have approval to cross the Walker Line in accordance with the plan you discussed, conditional on notifying the Joint Chiefs at the earliest opportunity when the Chinese attack comes. Your new boundary will be the North Korean border. I don’t know how you did it sir, but you did.”
“I have my G3, Colonel Abrams, to thank for it.” Patton said. “While you’re there, can you let General MacArthur know something.”
“Anything, sir.” Hickey said.
“If Tokyo hears anything about a major Chinese offensive, I need Hoge’s men loading on the boats immediately. Don’t wait for me or Coulter. Immediately, got it?” Patton said.
“We’ll do it, sir.” Hickey said.

- BNC
 
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So the plan is to let the Chinese take a swing at the ROK troops, and then hit them with a hard cross to the jaw when they aren’t looking? No wonder Patton approved this, it’s his kind of plan.
 
Well, even if all will go as planned, I think, that the war might be far from be ended. Cause even after that still the UN and the US Army 'd be needed to plan/be ready to defend their still hypothetical new lines and/or the former NK-RPCH border from the likely renovated Chinese army attacks against them...
 
Here's hoping that Patton can deliver his Christmas Present to Rhee and Truman.
Rhee is most certainly NOT on Patton's Christmas list! If anything I think he'd present a conquered North Korea to MacArthur :)

I love the bit with Patton and his "past self".
Those parts are by far the most fun bits of the TL to write.

I was sleepy while reading this and I thought Patton was hallucinating (forgive me!).
Are you totally sure he wasn't?

- BNC
 
Part III, Chapter 20
CHAPTER 20

Till at last our star faded,
And we shouted to our doom
Where the sunken road of Ohein
Closed us in it's quivering gloom.

November 18, 1950


The hour was late. On any other day, Douglas MacArthur would have stopped working by now. He had not intended today be any different from the others. The small but growing stack of papers on his desk, itself a difference and an unwelcome one at that, meant he could not leave his office, not yet. Some meetings had to be had.
“Sit, General, sit.” he said as Doyle Hickey entered the room and saluted. “I wish for this to be as brief as we can possibly make it.”
“As you wish, sir.” Hickey said, sitting down. “What do you need?”
“Read those papers.” he commanded. There was at least a dozen of them, many of them several pages long. Even read quickly, it would take over an hour to get through them all.
Hickey began to read, and for a couple of minutes MacArthur wondered if his deputy chief of staff would need that hour to get through them all. Then he said “sir, these are speeches by General Patton. And you’ve marked them.”
“Precisely, General.” MacArthur said. “Read the parts I marked again. Do you sense a theme?”
Hickey mumbled to himself as he read the papers – much more quickly this time – aloud. Then he realised. “Nazis. Huns. Even a kraut or two. He’s not even referring to his time in Europe half the time.”
“Not in any of those.” MacArthur said. “Every one of those has him labelling the Chinese with the same insults he would have used in Europe. Curious, really. I’m starting to wonder if he thinks he never left at all.”
“Sir, why did you ask me to meet you?” Hickey asked. “If it is merely to listen to Patton some more, well I already do that for an hour or more each day, and I hope you understand how tiresome he can be.”
“Where do you think I got these papers?” MacArthur asked.
“I beg your pardon, sir.” Hickey said, although he couldn’t possibly have misheard.
“Where do you think I got these papers?” MacArthur repeated calmly.
“I don’t know, sir.” Hickey said. “I suppose the soldiers might have copied the speeches down, I know folks who did so when he gave that famous one in England, but a corporal’s diary isn’t too likely to end up on your desk.”
“That corporal tells his comrades-in-arms. Then they tell theirs. Before long, someone who knows someone in the press corps has told the story. If it comes out of Patton’s mouth, that time is short indeed. They end up in front of my censors. The first of these papers is from September 2nd. The reporter thought it a mistake at first, albeit a strange one, so we changed the word to ‘Communist’ and suppressed the matter.” MacArthur said. “Unfortunately, secrets have a habit of leaking. Our friend George knows that better than anyone – that slapping fiasco was world news four months after it happened. This will get out eventually. When they do, I worry that Washington will start rubbing their noses in the war effort again.”
“Sir, that does not answer my earlier question. Why do you need me?” Hickey asked again.
“Because you know Patton.” MacArthur said. “You served under him, and now you converse with him much more often than I do. We both know I would like to retain George in command. I would like your advice on whether that is possible.”
Hickey leaned back in his chair and sighed. “He has not had one full day of rest, not even on the flight to Midway, since he arrived in the summer. George’s sixty-fifth birthday passed a few days ago, and commanding an army is hard work for an old man.” Realising MacArthur had already passed seventy, he said a quick “sorry, sir.”
“Carry on.” said MacArthur unbothered.
“I was talking with a major on Willoughby’s staff the other day, and that major also knows someone on Patton’s intel team. Word is, back at Pyongyang, someone there made a statement, that this war is going to kill George.” Hickey said. “Unless this war ends shortly, I believe they’re right.”
“How long do you mean by shortly?” MacArthur asked.
“The end of winter, perhaps sooner if Washington grows concerned.” Hickey said. “The more gaffes he makes, the more likely it becomes.”
A loud knocking on the door interrupted the two generals. “What is it?” MacArthur called.
“Urgent message for General MacArthur, sir.” the voice – Almond, MacArthur realised – said.
“Come in, Ned.” MacArthur said.
“Sir, the Chinese have launched another major offensive.” Almond said. “All across the line, began less than an hour ago.”
“Find Pinky Wright.” MacArthur ordered. “Tell him to have X Corps embarked immediately and en route for Iwon.”

As Almond left, Hickey spoke up once again. “I’d like to amend my previous statement. Make it, ‘the end of this offensive’.”
“And why is that?” MacArthur asked.
“Because if this fails, Patton won’t be able to launch another one.” Hickey said. “That’ll kill him worse than any bullet ever could.”

MacArthur dismissed him and headed to the room where the teletype operators worked. “Put me through to Washington.” he ordered. “Marshall made us a promise and I’m holding him to it.”

***

Lieutenant General John B. Coulter hoped the Korean family that owned this place never found out that he had ever been here. The map wall was more pin holes than it was wall at this point: the pins didn’t represent very large units, and North Korea was a big place when you measured it by the battalion. The pins moved, but the holes would remain forever. Since this latest offensive, there were a lot more holes than ever before. Yellow pins, representing the Chinese, were to blame.
“Sir, it’s Major Fleming again.” one of his aides said, offering the telephone.
“What is it, Harry?” Coulter asked, taking it. This offensive was far worse than the last had been – there wasn’t any time for pleasant greetings tonight.
“Our lead elements report that they’ve been surrounded.” Major Harry Fleming replied. “We’re near Toksil, ten miles south of Changjin.”
“Lead elements? How big are we talking?” Coulter asked. Fleming was attached to a regimental command, but the guy attached to the next regiment in the line had gotten killed about a week ago, so more often than not he spoke for the whole division now.
“200 men, near enough.” Fleming said. “Colonel Lim thinks the whole 6th Division is going to be cut off if we don’t pull back immediately.”
“He is to hold his ground.” Coulter said firmly. “No retreats. Dig in and wait. What are your supplies like?”
“96 hours, maybe a bit more.” Fleming said automatically. Patton, or more likely his logistics bosses, had ordered every Korean unit to keep three days’ worth of supplies on hand at all times. This plan of theirs was relying on the Koreans remaining in the fight for some time.
“Good. I’ll say it again, hold out where you are. That’s an order from the top.” Coulter said, putting down the phone.

“So what do you think?” he asked his intelligence chief after another yellow pin went into the wall and he explained it.
“There’s a lot of them.” Colonel James Tarkenton said. “Just how many, there’s no way of knowing. It could be 70,000 like Willoughby thinks. It could be 700,000.”
“Koch thinks it’s about 200.” Coulter observed.
“He thought that.” Tarkenton corrected. “This one’s a lot bigger than last time. Everything I’ve seen of Koch tells me he knows what he’s doing too.”
“More than you did?” Coulter asked jokingly. They both knew that one of Patton’s first actions as Eighth Army’s new commander was to sack half of the old staff, and that included Tarkenton. Quite a few of them worked for Coulter now instead.
Tarkenton just chuckled. “None of us had a chance against the Bastogne gang. And if they’re right, the ROKs could be in trouble. 200,000 outnumbers them almost two-to-one. Worse if there’s more. Up in the mountains, it might not matter too much. Can’t move anywhere except straight into the lines. I’d be worried about this area though.” he said, pointing towards the flatter lands of the northwest.
“Why’s that?” Coulter asked.
“If those pins have any bearing at all on the enemy’s relative strength, most of the CCF is going to be falling on the ROKs at their weakest point. Patton’s gambling with the lives of his men telling them to hold Onjong.” Tarkenton said.
“Not our men.” Coulter said. “Koreans. And I doubt he cares a bit.”

***

November 19, 1950

“Sir, you asked to see me.” Lieutenant Commander William T. Amen said, saluting as he waited at the door of the Eighth Army headquarters.
Returning the salute, Patton ordered him to “come in, come in.” He waved to an empty chair and lit a cigar. “I’m told you’re the only son of a bitch around here who’s managed to knock one of those things down.” A picture, taken about a week ago, was sitting on the table showing a MiG-15 leaving behind a trail of smoke.
“The new jet? I believe I was the first, sir, but I’m sure the other pilots could do just as well against them given time.” Amen said.
“Yes, the damned Russian jet. Doug MacArthur will be sending more B-29s up to flatten what’s left of North Korea as soon as this weather clears up a bit, and I want to know what we’re in for.” Patton said. He also knew two B-29s had been lost in a recent raid on Kim Il-sung’s mountain citadel at Kanggye, but the pilot didn’t need to know about those.
“Sir, put bluntly, they are better than anything we’ve got. I was flying a Panther, a Navy plane, and it was a lot faster than that. A guy I know who flies an F-80 said much the same thing. By the looks of things, those ones are built as interceptors. Send bombers in, a lot of them won’t return.” Amen said.
“And what did you think of the pilots?” Patton asked. “Russian, or Chinese?” He didn’t even bother acknowledging the possibility of Korean pilots. Kim Il-sung’s puny air force had been wiped out months ago. If they had any crews worth knowing about, they had hidden them well.
“They’re pros.” Amen decided. “And they don’t want to be caught, that’s for sure. Even with that fantastic plane of theirs, the first thing they do when they see us is turn for the north and scram. I’ve seen them twice in the last couple of weeks, they didn’t hang around for more than a minute either time. But anywhere within fifty miles of the Yalu, especially the west part of the country, that’s going to be dangerous. Unless we get better planes, we’re going to lose a lot of pilots up there.”
“That smells like the Russians.” Patton said. “If we captured a Chinese, it’d be like the hundreds of the bastards the gooks picked up already. No-one would care. Why the hell would they hide it? The Russians now, they still want to pretend they’re not the ones who started this mess.”
Before Amen could reply, Colonel Landrum came into the room and said “Sir, Admiral Struble reports the fleet is nearing… the landing sites.” he hesitated saying Iwon, as the operation was still technically a secret even though a Navy man undoubtedly knew about it in some form. “Less than two hours before we begin unloading.”
“I have to see it.” Patton decided. “You find out everything that Commander Amen knows about the new Commie plane and send the report to Stratemeyer. Commander, it was nice speaking with you.”
Then he got up and found Sergeant Mims. His plane would be waiting at the nearby airstrip. That could get him to Hamhung, a little more than half the way. A jeep would be waiting for him at the other side. The trip might – just – be possible in two hours. Eighth Army was moving up at full speed now, but it wouldn’t meet the enemy until tomorrow at the earliest. The staff could manage without him. If they couldn’t... he’d have found a new staff years ago.

- BNC
 
Only 4 more parts till you've said Patton bows out IIRC. The story is at its climax and the die has been cast! Either Patton pulls this off and dies having won or fails and that ends up killing him.
 

chankljp

Donor
Hickey mumbled to himself as he read the papers – much more quickly this time – aloud. Then he realised. “Nazis. Huns. Even a kraut or two. He’s not even referring to his time in Europe half the time.”
“Not in any of those.” MacArthur said. “Every one of those has him labelling the Chinese with the same insults he would have used in Europe. Curious, really. I’m starting to wonder if he thinks he never left at all.”
This really reminds me of an anecdote during the Battle of Las Guasimas in the Spanish-American war, with General Wheeler, who served as a former Confederate officer in the Civil war, supposedly shouted out 'Let's go, boys! We've got the damn Yankees on the run again!' in the heat and excitement of battle while encircling the Spanish.
 
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