Patton in Korea/MacArthur in the White House

i seriously doubt that Eisenhower would work for MacArthur. He had spend 7 years under him and characterized their relationship as strained. He had taken a leave of absence from the Presidency of Columbia University and I would expect him to return there.
Wouldn't Defence Secretary have been likelier- or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs?
 
T


Haven't researched Soviet missile capability too much, but a quick browse of wiki suggests that the best thing the Soviets had in 1956 would be the R2, basically an upsized V2 - not clear what the payload on those were but nukes of that era were still fairly heavy. So it might still be early enough to escape the apocalypse? Margins are certainly a good deal tighter than in 1949 though.

Well going for wiki in 1955 the URSS had a total of 200 warhead and the R-2 had an accurancy of 1.2 km (but other sources give even 4 km)...but they tested between 1953 and 56 radiological weapon like the Geran radiological warhead to compensate the lack of accurancy; naturally for all that there is the issue of reliability
 
Wouldn't there have been an amnesty offer after the war, that with the decisive victory for the South most would have taken?
That would be extended to the NKPA (or what's left of it anyway), but I can't see one being used for the dozens of communist bandit groups south of the 38 (and there were probably some to the north as well) that had been fighting the government off and on since 1945. Those are the groups Rhee was most keen on purging.

Wouldn't Defence Secretary have been likelier- or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs?
SecDef is supposed to be a civilian spot, yes the Senate can grant waivers to that rule but the SecDef spot is still quite new in 1953 and it isn't a great look to be granting waivers for every second person to get the job (kinda defeats the purpose of the rule in the first place). Plus Mac was a general himself, so keeping the civilian control over the military image is all the more important.
JCS would be an easier sell, but as Bradley (the last CJCS) was an Army man, there would be pressure on Mac to appoint someone from a different branch of service so it doesn't just become another Army position (and again, Mac was an Army general until recently)- hence Mac choosing Stratemeyer from the Air Force.

- BNC
 
Read through the page you linked, not seeing the connection to Mac? He didn't fight in Mac’s sector...
Well, this is strange, I would have thought that the way that I redacted my post was clear but evidently I was totally wrong.
Let me try again:
I never stated nor wanted to did it, that this Marines general would have had any kind of pre-existent connection nor neither that he'd have had met with MacArthur, due to his past military service.
But, rather I thought that'd be worth to mention, here, to him and the organization that he founded, and ask about either of them ITTL.
Cause, I think that ITTL, besides from his war record in the Marines, that given his extreme political views and (OTL, failed) political career aspirations would be possible that he would have had involved or supported first to Mac's nomination and after the elections, to the new administration.
Thus, I think that would be possible that, if he isn't excluded due to the be an extremist and anti-Semite, that his support would be welcomed and even later that his public support could be remembered by the new administration...
 
Well, this is strange, I would have thought that the way that I redacted my post was clear but evidently I was totally wrong.
Let me try again:
I never stated nor wanted to did it, that this Marines general would have had any kind of pre-existent connection nor neither that he'd have had met with MacArthur, due to his past military service.
But, rather I thought that'd be worth to mention, here, to him and the organization that he founded, and ask about either of them ITTL.
Cause, I think that ITTL, besides from his war record in the Marines, that given his extreme political views and (OTL, failed) political career aspirations would be possible that he would have had involved or supported first to Mac's nomination and after the elections, to the new administration.
Thus, I think that would be possible that, if he isn't excluded due to the be an extremist and anti-Semite, that his support would be welcomed and even later that his public support could be remembered by the new administration...
Ah, I gotcha now :)
I am still a bit leery of adding anything too 'extreme' into the TL... no small part of my motivation for writing the whole 'Mac is President' part of it is to show a more reasonable side to the man outside of all the 'nuclear spam' and 'complete idiot' tropes that are associated with him normally (and based off his writings and everything else I've read over the last 18 months, I do sincerely think he would make a reasonable enough President... with a fair bit of drama because he did like to be dramatic!). Adding extremists kinda takes away from that, and TBH there's plenty of exciting characters from the 'normal' roster... LBJ, Nixon, Willoughby &c that I can use to tell the story instead - plus I don't want to introduce too many people into it or everything becomes unwieldy to read!

"When Two Men in Business Always Agree, One of Them Is Unnecessary" has been variously attributed to William Wrigley, Ezra Pound and Henry Ford. Whoever said it was right.
Mac's philosophy is more like "When two men always agree, one of them needs a promotion". :p

- BNC
 
You are right. Usually that is a formula for failure. Mac would have been a disaster as President.
I really don't think he would have been a disaster. I feel like a lot of times in discussions about MacArthur people let their (often incorrect) preconceived notions about the man cloud the reality. MacArthur wasn't some power mad dictatorial figure, and he wouldn't have started WWIII. As president I find it more likely to be the case that he would be rather uninterested in domestic affairs (outside of taking credit for whatever accomplishments are made), and would likely leave the Republicans in congress and his Vice President to have more control in domestic agenda setting than is normally the case in most administrations. On foreign affairs he would focus more heavily on Asia than we did OTL, but I don't think that means he would remove troops from Europe, or that he would leave Europe open for any sort of Soviet invasion. He might be more willing to let the UK and France act more independently in regards to decolonization and the Suez Crisis than Eisenhower, but I don't think theres enough info to go on to definitively say one way or the other on that matter.

I really don't see how any of that would make his presidency "a disaster". His cronies, in the positions that they're in, wouldn't even be able to fuck things up that badly, as they still will have large experienced bureaucracies under them that are in control of the actual day-to-day functions. Having a bad chief of staff isn't really too big of an issue in all honesty in this time period. It would probably hurt relations with congress and cause for general dysfunction, but with the economic situation at the time he's taking office, the economy won't really be negatively affected by poor communication between the executive branch and congress in the same way it was at other points in our history such as under the Carter administration.
 
MacArthur wasn't some power mad dictatorial figure, and he wouldn't have started WWIII.
Well we have to speculate about what he would have done based upon what he did and advocated. He wanted to bomb China and to bring the Nationalist Chinese into the war. Either would, in my opinion, have started World War III. Eisenhower was a great President MacArthur would have been a disaster.
 
Ah, I gotcha now :)
I am still a bit leery of adding anything too 'extreme' into the TL... no small part of my motivation for writing the whole 'Mac is President' part of it is to show a more reasonable side to the man outside of all the 'nuclear spam' and 'complete idiot' tropes that are associated with him normally (and based off his writings and everything else I've read over the last 18 months, I do sincerely think he would make a reasonable enough President... with a fair bit of drama because he did like to be dramatic!). Adding extremists kinda takes away from that, and TBH there's plenty of exciting characters from the 'normal' roster... LBJ, Nixon, Willoughby &c that I can use to tell the story instead - plus I don't want to introduce too many people into it or everything becomes unwieldy to read!


Mac's philosophy is more like "When two men always agree, one of them needs a promotion". :p

- BNC
I'm just wondering, but considering that Patton is dead, and its now a Macarthur focused timeline maybe you should start a new story thread or something? It just seems weird as Patton is not really the focus of the story anymore.
 
I'm just wondering, but considering that Patton is dead, and its now a Macarthur focused timeline maybe you should start a new story thread or something? It just seems weird as Patton is not really the focus of the story anymore.
Well, IDK if a new one, but perhaps, from the Patton dead onward would be a good place to retcon the title and/or to rename this as Patton In Korea II Part-The Mac's Presidency?
 
Even though the North Koreans aren't a state anymore, would Park Chung-hee and the disgruntled military elements still proceed with the coup?

That said, the backstory behind the Military Coup in South Korea was caused by many reasons. From a failing economy, political corruption, the April Revolution, military factionalism and the legacy of Rhee's Presidency.
Plus the Coup did see South Korea develop into an economic power, with the Military Regime empowering economic interests and starting rapid industrial development.
 
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Well we have to speculate about what he would have done based upon what he did and advocated. He wanted to bomb China and to bring the Nationalist Chinese into the war. Either would, in my opinion, have started World War III. Eisenhower was a great President MacArthur would have been a disaster.
Where to start with this one....?

'He wanted to bomb China' has become a meme. A meme with some basis in reality, yes, but a meme. The truth is more complicated. First, MacArthur didn't actually advocate for Truman to use nukes on the Chinese while he was commanding the UN forces. The underlined part is important here: it isn't a policy he came up with as a way that he would have won the war. Per MacArthur's War by Stanley Weintraub (p263-4), he had requested the Pentagon grant him a commander's discretion over the nukes, to be used "only to prevent or protect the ultimate fallback" (and in his other discussions with Truman and others, wasn't keen on its use even then*). Weintraub also makes the point that the 'radioactive belt along the Yalu' idea first came from Al Gore Sr, Mac just pinched the idea in a memo to Eisenhower... in December 1952. By that point he was (understandably) quite frustrated about being cut out entirely from the ongoing discussions about Korea, and lashed out with something extravagant that he probably wasn't entirely serious about**.
*= Re this, I'll point you to the speech he made on the Missouri at the time of the Japanese surrender. "We have had our last chance" and "Armageddon will be at our door" are not the sorts of things said by someone who was as nuke happy as MacArthur is often popularly described.
**= I believe this 'lashing out' thing may actually have been a bit of a trend with MacArthur: while I don't like to take the ego trope too seriously, here I think it does explain a side of him quite well. Mac had a fairly strong sense of face - in Japan it was his understanding of this that made him such an effective occupation governor, he knew what would upset the Japanese people and what would get them to support his efforts to democratise the country (I strongly recommend reading Reminiscences for the full explanation here) - but that strong sense of face worked against him when it was he who was losing face: Inchon was as dramatic as it was because MacArthur wanted to redeem himself following the disaster that was June-Sept 1950, he was so set on his "return" to the Philippines because only their recapture would redeem him for losing them in the first place.

Regarding him wanting KMT troops, this wasn't exactly a fringe opinion at the time. But there is another way to look at it: MacArthur's view on war was basically 'when you're at war, do everything you can to win it as quickly and cheaply as possible, don't screw around', and in this viewpoint using the KMT (and the nukes, if you want to go that far) make sense - they are things that will bring more weight to bear on China, and thus should be used to end the war more quickly. Through this viewpoint, 'limited war' as Truman advocated wasn't really a possibility, because the Chinese were already committing everything (they weren't, but MacArthur believed that they were). Considering Korea was the first time that 'limited war' had ever been tried, this could be as much a "wrong side of history" case as "let's start WW3".

But I've got another theory on how to look at this:

MacArthur came from a fundamentally different generation to those in power in the 1950s. Sure, Ike and Patton and Truman and everyone else weren't that much younger than he was, but in this case I think those few years make quite the difference, because of one year in particular: 1898. The Spanish-American War was quite the transformative event for the way the USA thought about itself: before the war, a lot of Americans thought that empire-building was a bad thing, after it the United States not only had an empire, but almost overnight was one of the strongest empires on the globe. What does this have to do with anything? They represent two ways of thinking about the world. Eisenhower and to a lesser degree Truman only really knew of America in one light: that of the American Empire. The American Empire has allies, and it has enemies, and this lens explains a lot of the conventional Cold War mentality. When Eisenhower threatened nuclear war against the communists in 1953 as a way of ending Korea, he was threatening nuclear war against the communists, as if they were a unified block. (That's not to say Ike wasn't aware of differences, he certainly was, but the post-1898 mindset would always be there: when he went into Iran, or Vietnam, or Egypt, it was always "the enemy is the enemy, how do I weaken them?")
MacArthur was well aware of the American Empire ideology, but unlike Ike or the others, he had seen another mentality as well. He was 18 when the Spanish-American War broke out, plenty of time to absorb and understand the pre-1898 way of thinking, which tended to be a bit more nuanced. The America of before 1898 didn't have allies and it didn't have enemies in the same way it did after the war (and particularly after 1917). Under this way of thinking, communism might still be an 'enemy', but its not the beginning and end of the story. In Reminiscences, MacArthur makes a couple of observations about how the Red Army is positioned in a 'defensive' manner - we know now that the Red Army wasn't exactly keen on busting through the Fulda Gap, but in 1964 most people believed that's exactly what they were planning. Furthermore, there's a couple of quotes from the 'Old Soldiers' speech on p402... "...This has produced a new and dominant power in Asia [ie the PRC] which for its own purposes is allied with Soviet Russia" and "Their interests are at present parallel to those of the Soviet". In other words, Mac was thinking of Korea (and I would go so far as to say, the Cold War in general) not as an 'us vs them' situation, but as a 19th century-style great power struggle. He noticed (or guessed, hard to say for sure) that the USSR wasn't too keen on attacking the US and NATO, and if that is the case, then he is safe to escalate the war against China. And in his worldview, you want to escalate against China because that will bring them to the negotiating table sooner. The USSR was a separate problem, with separate interests, that had no interest in getting involved directly (as MacArthur saw it).

Knowing what we know today about the Sino-Soviet split, he was right about this a lot more often than he was wrong. He wasn't perfect, but there's nothing there to really suggest that he was a bomb-tossing lunatic either. Plus, Eisenhower was just as willing to make the nuclear threat as MacArthur was. If MacArthur was more overt about it, well he was more overt about just about everything.

- BNC
 
Even though the North Koreans aren't a state anymore, would Park Chung-hee and the disgruntled military elements still proceed with the coup?

That said, the backstory behind the Military Coup in South Korea was caused by many reasons. From a failing economy, political corruption, the April Revolution, military factionalism and the legacy of Rhee's Presidency.
Plus the Coup did see South Korea develop into an economic power, with the Military Regime empowering economic interests and starting rapid industrial development.
There's too many butterflies to say Park himself leads that specific coup, but I can still see Rhee being toppled at some point.

- BNC
 
Where to start with this one....?

'He wanted to bomb China' has become a meme. A meme with some basis in reality, yes, but a meme. The truth is more complicated. First, MacArthur didn't actually advocate for Truman to use nukes on the Chinese while he was commanding the UN forces. The underlined part is important here: it isn't a policy he came up with as a way that he would have won the war. Per MacArthur's War by Stanley Weintraub (p263-4), he had requested the Pentagon grant him a commander's discretion over the nukes, to be used "only to prevent or protect the ultimate fallback" (and in his other discussions with Truman and others, wasn't keen on its use even then*). Weintraub also makes the point that the 'radioactive belt along the Yalu' idea first came from Al Gore Sr, Mac just pinched the idea in a memo to Eisenhower... in December 1952. By that point he was (understandably) quite frustrated about being cut out entirely from the ongoing discussions about Korea, and lashed out with something extravagant that he probably wasn't entirely serious about**.
*= Re this, I'll point you to the speech he made on the Missouri at the time of the Japanese surrender. "We have had our last chance" and "Armageddon will be at our door" are not the sorts of things said by someone who was as nuke happy as MacArthur is often popularly described.
**= I believe this 'lashing out' thing may actually have been a bit of a trend with MacArthur: while I don't like to take the ego trope too seriously, here I think it does explain a side of him quite well. Mac had a fairly strong sense of face - in Japan it was his understanding of this that made him such an effective occupation governor, he knew what would upset the Japanese people and what would get them to support his efforts to democratise the country (I strongly recommend reading Reminiscences for the full explanation here) - but that strong sense of face worked against him when it was he who was losing face: Inchon was as dramatic as it was because MacArthur wanted to redeem himself following the disaster that was June-Sept 1950, he was so set on his "return" to the Philippines because only their recapture would redeem him for losing them in the first place.

Regarding him wanting KMT troops, this wasn't exactly a fringe opinion at the time. But there is another way to look at it: MacArthur's view on war was basically 'when you're at war, do everything you can to win it as quickly and cheaply as possible, don't screw around', and in this viewpoint using the KMT (and the nukes, if you want to go that far) make sense - they are things that will bring more weight to bear on China, and thus should be used to end the war more quickly. Through this viewpoint, 'limited war' as Truman advocated wasn't really a possibility, because the Chinese were already committing everything (they weren't, but MacArthur believed that they were). Considering Korea was the first time that 'limited war' had ever been tried, this could be as much a "wrong side of history" case as "let's start WW3".

But I've got another theory on how to look at this:

MacArthur came from a fundamentally different generation to those in power in the 1950s. Sure, Ike and Patton and Truman and everyone else weren't that much younger than he was, but in this case I think those few years make quite the difference, because of one year in particular: 1898. The Spanish-American War was quite the transformative event for the way the USA thought about itself: before the war, a lot of Americans thought that empire-building was a bad thing, after it the United States not only had an empire, but almost overnight was one of the strongest empires on the globe. What does this have to do with anything? They represent two ways of thinking about the world. Eisenhower and to a lesser degree Truman only really knew of America in one light: that of the American Empire. The American Empire has allies, and it has enemies, and this lens explains a lot of the conventional Cold War mentality. When Eisenhower threatened nuclear war against the communists in 1953 as a way of ending Korea, he was threatening nuclear war against the communists, as if they were a unified block. (That's not to say Ike wasn't aware of differences, he certainly was, but the post-1898 mindset would always be there: when he went into Iran, or Vietnam, or Egypt, it was always "the enemy is the enemy, how do I weaken them?")
MacArthur was well aware of the American Empire ideology, but unlike Ike or the others, he had seen another mentality as well. He was 18 when the Spanish-American War broke out, plenty of time to absorb and understand the pre-1898 way of thinking, which tended to be a bit more nuanced. The America of before 1898 didn't have allies and it didn't have enemies in the same way it did after the war (and particularly after 1917). Under this way of thinking, communism might still be an 'enemy', but its not the beginning and end of the story. In Reminiscences, MacArthur makes a couple of observations about how the Red Army is positioned in a 'defensive' manner - we know now that the Red Army wasn't exactly keen on busting through the Fulda Gap, but in 1964 most people believed that's exactly what they were planning. Furthermore, there's a couple of quotes from the 'Old Soldiers' speech on p402... "...This has produced a new and dominant power in Asia [ie the PRC] which for its own purposes is allied with Soviet Russia" and "Their interests are at present parallel to those of the Soviet". In other words, Mac was thinking of Korea (and I would go so far as to say, the Cold War in general) not as an 'us vs them' situation, but as a 19th century-style great power struggle. He noticed (or guessed, hard to say for sure) that the USSR wasn't too keen on attacking the US and NATO, and if that is the case, then he is safe to escalate the war against China. And in his worldview, you want to escalate against China because that will bring them to the negotiating table sooner. The USSR was a separate problem, with separate interests, that had no interest in getting involved directly (as MacArthur saw it).

Knowing what we know today about the Sino-Soviet split, he was right about this a lot more often than he was wrong. He wasn't perfect, but there's nothing there to really suggest that he was a bomb-tossing lunatic either. Plus, Eisenhower was just as willing to make the nuclear threat as MacArthur was. If MacArthur was more overt about it, well he was more overt about just about everything.

- BNC
This is an amazing response and a brilliant way to view MacArthur imo. I've always been deeply interested in MacArthur for some reason, and I would agree with @Bob in Pittsburgh if the claim was simply that Eisenhower was a better president than Mac would be. However I think a lot of the "disaster" talk is a result of what seems to have been a very successful smear carried out over the years against the man, and I don't really understand why. Your response here is the best summary of MacArthur's worldview that I've ever seen.
 
BNC, that was an absolutely eye opening post. After so many years of "Dugout Doug" bashing here, this whole TL has been very refreshing. Well done on the 21' Turtledoves!
 
About Korea I think that would seem probable that the next years/decades would be spent in a deep national rebuilding/pacification process, thus seems probably that would put their focus inward and except if forced otherwise would take a nearly isolationist stance in foreign affairs...
Also, I would guess that the Patton dead would be mourned greatly in Korea and that its figure even if a foreigner would be akin to the of a national hero...
 
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