Patton in Korea/MacArthur in the White House

Do you approve or disapprove of the way that Douglas MacArthur is handling his job as president?

  • Approve

    Votes: 91 87.5%
  • Disapprove

    Votes: 13 12.5%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
BTW any chance Jack Kennedy will show up in a update?
We'll hear what he's up to soon :)

Perhaps 1965 or ‘69 newly elected President Nixon gets up there with the greats, given his healthy 1950s with approval/trust from father figure even if he doesn’t get quite what he wants. Of course we’ll never know :)

An impressive take on the alt civil rights bill process in the differing players and circumstances of TTL as well.
Nixon had greatness in him. Perhaps TTL he becomes known for it? ;)

Something tells me we will still see federalized national guard... Crossing 3 pages seems too easy a solution.
I've still got another chapter to fill :p

Knowland may want to rethink this statement a bit.
Am I missing something here? I feel like I might be, please let me know if I need to edit the chapter!

While (at the time of writing this) seen the latest VisualPolitik video, one question rised in my head for this timeline: Will MacArthur form a struture similar to QUAD or a Pacific NATO?
We have brought justice, law and liberty as we guided the Philippines from the shackles of colonialism
Ruh-Ro, I think France and Britain just woke up! Also I think Nasser just sent Mac a gift basket!!!😜

Regarding desegregation, could Mac/Nixon use the blossoming space program and NASAs building requirements as leverage on southern Senators? That’s a lot of jobs/infrastucture that could go elsewhere.

Just think, in 60 years from this point, people ITTL will post to online forums "What if President MacArthur sought a second term?"
Personally think the 'WI Ike was President' threads might be more fun. Something makes me think they'd still manage to get something quite different from what we know to be the correct answer :)

While (at the time of writing this) seen the latest VisualPolitik video, one question rised in my head for this timeline: Will MacArthur form a struture similar to QUAD or a Pacific NATO?
Nope. I outlined his reasons in one of the chapters. He knew it was easy for a country to just nope out of an alliance if it looked like a bad idea (see Italy 1914, or even the Soviets in 1950!), and favoured building up trade relations as an alternative.

Ruh-Ro, I think France and Britain just woke up! Also I think Nasser just sent Mac a gift basket!!!
If France hasn't woken up long before this point, something is very very wrong there. Britain... well Churchill still likes Mac (and he can claim later, "I was only talking about Spanish colonialism. Which happened 60 years ago. And wasn't at all like what you're doing now" if he really needs an out).
Would be very interested to know how Mac would react to Nasser sending him a gift basket. It doesn't exactly fit in with Mac's "Nasser is being used by communist agents to cause trouble" line of thinking.

Regarding desegregation, could Mac/Nixon use the blossoming space program and NASAs building requirements as leverage on southern Senators? That’s a lot of jobs/infrastucture that could go elsewhere.
Interesting thought. Though it does require an awful lot of foresight by whoever proposes it (NASA isn't a thing yet, and space programs are still speculative), and I'm not sure it would be enough to convince the likes of Richard Russell.
In 1966, maybe? In 1956 probably not.

(NASA isn't a thing yet, and space programs are still speculative
Mac and his follow on may not make Space mostly a Civilian thing as Ike pushed for with the International Geophysical Year of 1957 for Space research, leading to the US cobbling together odds and sods of research rockets to make Vanguard TV3 go 'phhht-BOOM' on the launchpad, rather than use a pure USN, Army or USAF rocket
Mac and his follow on may not make Space mostly a Civilian thing as Ike pushed for with the International Geophysical Year of 1957 for Space research, leading to the US cobbling together odds and sods of research rockets to make Vanguard TV3 go 'phhht-BOOM' on the launchpad, rather than use a pure USN, Army or USAF rocket

Ike wanted to keep space from becoming another front in the cold war so with Johnson's help, (who had heavily attached his name to "space" during the Congressional "Sputnik" hearings) established the civilian NASA to counter the numerous different military space efforts in the US as well as to try and provide a path to reciprocation for the USSR. (Quite obviously managed to reduce the former to essentially the Air Force while the latter just kept doing what they were doing)

Vanguard WAS the "Navy" rocket based on their Viking sounding rocket, the Air Force proposed the as of yet not fully designed and certainly not flying Atlas and the Army repeated it's 1954 proposal for "Project: Orbiter" but as Ike didn't like "that damn Nazi" he was dead set against the Army satellite program.

The thing is the main question is what kind of funding does anyone receive after Mac gets into office because while I get Mac would not fall into the 'trap' that Truman and Eisenhower did OTL, when he steps into the office his Secretary of Defense is going to be bombarded with Air Force requests to remain the primary service as well as the primary means of nuclear delivery. The Truman post-WWII budget cuts essentially gutted the Army and Navy and what little WAS given was to the Air Force as long range bombers and the atomic bomb were seen as the main factors in any future war. Any 'future' war was going to be repeat of WWII only (by 1949 at least) with atomic weapons so armies and navies which were unable to deliver large atomic warheads were seen as having little value.

Korea changed this somewhat because as a less-than-all-out nuclear conflict it showed that the atomic bomb wasn't the sure-fire deterrent, but the "bomb" still held enough sway that Eisenhower continued to reduce the Army, and increase Air Force funding to develop ICBM's. (He also increased support for the CIA as he's been 'assured by experts' that the CIA could in fact replace most of the uses of the Army by Black Ops and "active counter intelligence" (very, very Gray Ops as it were) missions at a vastly cheaper price. (Just buy the CIA it's own Navy, Army and Air Force :) ) I have my doubts that such an argument will fly with Mac and given a larger focus on Asia another issue raised is the current 'state' of military transportation itself. (I'll get to that in a bit)

In this case Mac isn't that impressed with the "Bomb" but given his choice of SoD ( William M. Allen) the Air Force is going to have far more control over Defense policy than OTL with some pretty hefty consequences down the line. First of all the Air Force was trying to get ALL nuclear weapons delivery placed in its mission profile. That included missiles of all types and if they couldn't get them for any reason, (say sub launched) then the US obviously didn't NEED those missiles so why bother? This makes both the development of missile submarines and SLBM's much, much harder.

Given that William M. Allen as Secretary of Defense is going to heavily favor the Air Force I think it likely that the Air Force will end up pushing Defense policy much more aggressively than they did OTL. And I suspect that will be a VERY focused support of both manned bombers and air-breathing rather than ballistic missiles through most of Mac's Presidency. There are important differences between a Mac and Eisenhower is Ike was aiming for a "cheap" defense policy hence his 'focus' on ICBM's (cheaper than squadrons of manned bombers) and CIA shenanigan's (argued to be 'cheaper' than Army or Marine intervention) whereas Mac's choices don't run in that direction.

Something to keep in mind is that while the Air Force eventually jumped on the ICBM bandwagon it was not until about 1953 that work on the Atlas ICBM was officially approved and work begun OTL and that it took a VERY aggressive internal campaign that brokered a 'compromise' between the Air Staff and Air Force ICBM advocates in 1952 to even get that started. It took until late 1954, and even MORE pressure, including several "Presidential and Congressional Key Committees reports" to get the program made a priority and accelerated along with allowing work to begin on the Titan and Minuteman ICBMs.
The majority of the Air Staff was opposed to a large ICBM effort and preferred manned bombes specifically and grudgingly air-breathing missiles. More so as the Air Force saw it, (again wanting all nuclear delivery missions to be ONLY by Air Force systems) since they were not 'interested' in long range rockets then no one else should be either and so we have them OTL pushing for the infamous "Wilson Memo", which regulated all "long range" missile development and operations to them. Wilson is not SoD TTL but you arguably have someone in place who may in fact be worse.

The Air Force, and specifically the Air Staff initially was opposed to ICBM development as it took funding and focus away from manned bombers. (The 'good' news is in a time line like this the B-70 in operation gets more likely as does more and more advanced B-58s :) ) But this resistance didn't stop there and even the ICBM advocates in the Air Force had certain 'blind' spots about missiles, such as the development of shorter range missiles which could be used in tactical roles to support the Army and Marines being that the Air Force very much wanted that capability to also be assigned to them just as "close air support" was.
In fact it took a very special combination of several people in the right places to push through a 'compromise' and even more so to organize and finally get moving the Air Force missile program.

Let's start with Harold Talbot, who OTL was appointed by Eisenhower due to his political fundraising and who OTL spent a lot of effort early on raising the standard of living and circumstances of airmen during the tail end of the Korean war and the Cold War ramp up. He was also focused on 'advanced' weaponry projects of the Air Force and essentially took Howard Hughes and company to task over the AIM-4 missile development program which had fallout that eventually saw the main focus of the AF ICBM management program given to a different company to oversee.

He was also very much a mentor to another high level player in this part of the story, named Bernard Schriever, who with support from Talbot managed to hammer out that afore mentioned 'compromise' to even get the Air Force to look at ICBM's seriously in 1952 and begin Atlas development officially in 1953.

But it took even more support to get that development given any priority and in fact took someone else brought on board by Eisenhower, one Trevor Gardner, who chaired some of those afore mentioned "select" and "key" committees and eventually appointed as a "Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Air Force for Research and Development" who along with Schriever managed to convince both the Air Staff AND the President to raise the development of the ICBM to a priority status and commit to building more than one ICBM system.

Remove one, or have lower Presidential and/or Congressional support, (and I can see that given who's where) and it's likely that by 1956 the Atlas is slowly coming along, studies have been made for "other" ICBM's, the Air Force has taken over (and broken up) the Army missile development program in favor of a 'new' short-and-medium tactical missile system, (and while they probably tried REALLY hard to 'sink' the Navy program I still see the Navy winning that fight) which will mean that when push comes to shove (aka should the US accept a satellite launch proposal for the 1958 IGY) there will be even LESS options to chose from than OTL. Under the circumstances Von Braun and his 'team' would likely be broken up, (with many sent back to Germany or out to various private industry companies) and the Army "Redstone" and "Jupiter" development given to the Air Force. (And promptly essentially killed)

So in TTL the "Space Race" could easily be much worse forcing any future "President" and Congress to be even further behind than OLT.
I mentioned earlier about the 'state' of military transport as an issue with Mac's foreign policy because while Berlin in 1949 showed how important and effective air transport could be the Air Force, (mostly due to Truman budget cuts again) had written off a dedicated military transport system in 1947 and only specific and intense lobbying of Congress directly had gotten what was a semi-independent, (Congress paid for it rather than either the Navy or Air Force directly) "Military Air Transport Service" rather than the Air Force suggested "contracted civilian" commercial aircraft in time of need. While the Air Force gradually came around to the need for dedicated transport aircraft it was actually the need to rapidly deploy ICBM's from factory to operational site that really drover the requirement OTL. That's going to be a bit different TTL and frankly with Boeing going to be concentrating on building and delivering B-52s and everyone looking towards the North American XB-70 I can see transport getting a shorter end of the stick TTL. Sort of anyway...

Something that comes to mind is that while the XB-60 didn't make a lot of sense compared to the B-52 as a bomber, I can see a revival of an earlier idea as a means to make use of all those B-36 airframes to fit the long distance, high capacity "Asia Theater" requirements...

Wilson is not SoD TTL but you arguably have someone in place who may in fact be worse.
They would have to flip over a lot of rocks to come up with somebody worse than Louis Johnson. Under his guidance the US came this close to having basically a littoral Navy and no Marine Corp. Also the Nautilus would never have been built, so butterfly away that part of the triad. Ironically we have North Korea to thank for saving the US Navy.

Part VI, Chapter 45

May 30, 1956

“...Hungarian President Imre Nagy has announced that the police have restored order in Budapest.” The BBC announcer said. “This marks the end of four days of protests and riots in the city that are believed to have claimed the lives of several demonstrators. Meanwhile in France, the political crisis brought on by disputes between the government and the army over the war in Algeria may also be nearing an end. Famed war hero Charles de Gaulle has recently announced that he will come out of retirement to restore stability to the government and work towards a resolution of the Algerian crisis...”
Winston Churchill turned off the radio. He’d had to listen to De Gaulle all through the war, and hadn’t been sorry to see the back of him since. Now, ten years later, that man was back.
“Bloody hell.”


Senator Knowland’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate for 1956 was never in doubt. He had emerged as the successor to Robert Taft as leader of the party’s conservative wing, and he had the endorsement of a popular President. The only contest of note was offered by John Bricker of Ohio, who won only the primary in his home state. With the exception of New Hampshire, where hundreds of voters wrote in MacArthur’s name in a last-chance effort to convince him to run for a second term, every other primary returned a nearly unanimous win for Knowland.
When the Republican National Convention came, Knowland was sure that he would be able to pick his Vice President and take his ‘Continue Success’ message all the way to the White House. MacArthur remained as popular as ever, and he was the chosen successor. The economy was good, and the nation was at peace. There had hardly been a better time to be the incumbent party’s candidate.
At the Convention, Knowland was quickly confirmed as the nominee, but when he proposed the strongly conservative Representative Walter Judd of Minnesota as his running mate, the party bosses overruled him. Throughout the campaign, Knowland had been even more vocal than MacArthur had ever been about the need to concentrate America’s diplomacy in Asia, but Judd put the both of them to shame on that front. If Judd was picked, the ticket would be made up of two conservatives, leaving the party’s liberal wing off the ticket entirely. Judd was unlikely to help pick up electoral votes that Knowland would need: the Northeast had decided 1952 in MacArthur’s favour, and with the South certain to oppose the Republican stance on civil rights, the Northeast would be critical again. Nor could Knowland rely on his status as MacArthur’s chosen heir to push for Judd either: MacArthur’s face might be on the campaign posters, but the President had not campaigned for Knowland since the initial endorsement. Although it was not made public, the party bosses knew that MacArthur was privately angered by Knowland’s proposal to subject labour unions to antitrust laws, and as if to prove the point, when MacArthur had travelled to California in May, he had gone there not for Knowland, but for Nixon’s Senate campaign.
The convention’s choice was Connecticut’s moderate Senator Prescott Bush, who could offer ideological balance and support in the Northeast. Bush, not Judd, would go on the ticket.

Knowland was furious. He was furious at the party bosses for thwarting his choice of running mate. He was furious at MacArthur for not doing more to help his campaign. He was furious at Lyndon Johnson for ripping out line after line, and then whole pages, of the civil rights bill. He couldn’t do much about Bush, not after Vice President Lodge announced that he would be honoured to be succeeded by Bush, but he could do something about the other two. Or at least, he thought he could.
On the morning of July 9th, the Monday after the Convention, Knowland announced that he would be putting the civil rights bill to a vote - immediately. Even after Clint Anderson’s amendments had passed at the end of May and the expansive bill was reduced to one purely concerning voting rights, it had still been in a state of gridlock. It might have had a majority of votes, but not the two-thirds needed to beat a filibuster. Knowland knew that by calling for a vote, he was inviting a filibuster, and by inviting a filibuster he was dooming the bill. Earlier, Knowland had wanted to help his President’s bill, and had followed Nixon’s recommendations that it not be forced through too quickly, but now his President had failed him. Once he was President, he would push for a civil rights bill - a real civil rights bill - in 1957. This weak one could be left to die, and he could blame the Democrats for killing it. He would have succeeded too, had he been in the Senate over the past two weeks.

While Knowland was busy on a campaign trip through the Mountain States, Lyndon Johnson had been on the Senate floor, and in the cloakrooms and offices, desperately trying to save the bill. He knew time was running out: Knowland had been getting impatient, and if he wanted to use a filibuster to split the Democratic Party ahead of the election, it would have to be before the Democratic Convention in the third week of July. Likely weeks before. All throughout June, he had been looking for something he could use.
He found it, of all places, in MacArthur’s Labour Unions Act. That was another bill that MacArthur had talked about incessantly, but in reality was rather disappointing. The only thing of note it had accomplished was to guarantee strikers the right to a jury trial. A similar guarantee for those accused of civil rights offences, Johnson realised, would be just the sort of provision that would weaken this bill enough to appease the South: Blacks could not serve on Southern juries, so no White man had to fear one, and MacArthur couldn’t well oppose the provision without looking hypocritical.
The Northern liberals, who hadn’t spent months talking up the bill, would see through that amendment immediately, and would oppose it if he didn’t give them something too. Again he returned to MacArthur’s jury idea: Blacks could not serve on Southern juries, but if this bill allowed them to, he could pass it off as another civil right being granted to them. In practice, it would not matter: as long as there was at least one White on a jury, they would be able to prevent the unanimous verdict required for conviction. The Southerners knew they would have nothing to fear from the amendment. The liberals wouldn’t be given a chance to realise their mistake. Johnson called for votes on the amendment on July 6th, and had enough to pass it. Knowland was off at the Convention in California. He found out that the amendment passed in the Saturday morning paper, but never realised what it meant.
When he called for votes on Monday, he received seventy-one ‘yea’s. MacArthur’s civil rights bill had passed.

But it had become a hollow shell in the process.

The ink of the newspapers announcing the bill’s passage was hardly dry before the bill was proving divisive. Some civil rights activists celebrated the fact that a bill - any bill - had passed the Senate for the first time in eighty years. Others denounced it as a pathetic effort, and argued that MacArthur should veto the bill as a waste of time and allow Knowland to work for a stronger bill in 1957. Johnson was given credit for navigating the competing and often contradictory demands of the Senate, and was lambasted for acting as a pawn of the segregationists. MacArthur had either fulfilled his promise to deliver a civil rights bill, or had failed to deliver the great civil rights package that he had campaigned on.
Inside the Oval Office, the question was just as difficult as it was proving to be outside. MacArthur still had the power to veto it, and if he did there would be plenty of senators willing to uphold his veto. Richard Nixon, who for months had been pushing for the bill’s passage, had been disgusted by the end result. Johnson had made the administration look foolish, the jury amendment was a disgrace. He suggested MacArthur “scrap the damned thing”. Knowland’s election was practically a sure thing, and now that the President had riled up the civil rights crowd, he was confident that a stronger bill, one much more similar to the 1953 one, could be passed in 1957.
MacArthur had many reservations about the bill. It was far weaker than he would have liked, and was an almost pitiful end to a year of campaigning. It didn’t do anything to resolve the underlying issue of segregation in the South, and now that the South had offered the compromise he had demanded from Russell, it would be much harder to justify using the Army to enforce Brown whether he signed it or not. But Nixon was wrong. There was no guarantee that a 1957 bill would be any better than the 1956 one, or even that there would be a 1957 bill at all. For all its flaws, and it had many, this was a bill, one that had passed. Knowland could try to get something better next year, but the progress that had been made could now be made certain. Cameras were called into the Oval Office: the world would see him sign this bill.


While the press debated whether the Civil Rights Act of 1956 was a breakthrough or a bill “worse than nothing”, and MacArthur considered whether to sign or veto it, Lyndon Johnson was looking to capitalise on his greatest legislative accomplishment yet. Although he wanted to be selected as the Democratic nominee, he had stubbornly refused to officially announce his candidacy, convinced that he would have the South behind him at the Convention and would be able to somehow leverage that into the party nomination.
When the Democratic National Convention began on Monday July 23rd, he soon found out that he was mistaken. Adlai Stevenson had won the majority of the primaries, and had already gained the support of most of the convention delegates, who blamed his loss in 1952 on the personal popularity of MacArthur. His most promising challenger, and his former running mate, Estes Kefauver, had begun with a strong campaign only to suffer several defeats against Stevenson. Kefauver, knowing he would ultimately lose and unwilling to repeat the ticket that had failed four years earlier, withdrew from the race shortly before the convention. Averell Harriman, who had the public backing of former President Truman, was Stevenson’s only other serious competition, but his campaign had struggled to gain support. Even if Johnson could get the South behind him, and that was far from being a sure thing, it wouldn’t matter. Stevenson had, and received, enough votes without them. It would be Stevenson, not Johnson, who would face Knowland in November.
As had been the case in the Republican Convention two weeks earlier, the more contentious choice would not be who was on the top of the ticket, but who would be their running mate. Kefauver was the favoured choice, but he reiterated his desire not to repeat the exact ticket that had failed against MacArthur. The next choice was the young, charismatic, and until-now relatively unknown Senator John F. Kennedy from Massachusetts, but while Kennedy captured the attention of the party’s liberals, the prospect of two liberals on the ticket (and Kennedy a Catholic at that) alarmed the Democratic conservatives just as a Knowland-Judd ticket had alarmed the Republican liberals. Stevenson’s campaign was including a civil rights plank, if only to prevent Knowland from using the issue against him, but if Kennedy was his running mate, the Southerners feared they would have no voice in the executive branch and that integration would be imposed on them without any way to resist, a fear that only grew with MacArthur’s recent signing of the Civil Rights Act. The demand was made: a Southerner would serve as Stevenson’s running mate, or the South would leave the convention and run their own ticket, in the same manner as the Dixiecrats of 1948.
Without Kefauver, there were only two prominent Southerners who hadn’t signed the Southern Manifesto and would thus be acceptable to the whole party: Al Gore of Tennessee, and Lyndon Johnson. As Stevenson refused to endorse either, preferring to let the convention decide, the party bosses turned to Johnson, who had just seized the national spotlight by passing a civil rights bill after eighty years of gridlock and filibusters. The only problem was, Johnson didn’t want to be number two. He turned them down. Gore, in the name of party unity, accepted.

When Johnson opened the newspaper on Friday morning, he wondered if he hadn’t just dodged a bullet. On one topic much more than any other, the public had always trusted MacArthur’s judgement. After the story on the front page, Johnson was certain that that topic would decide the 1956 election. Now, if MacArthur said to vote for Knowland, the people would. Because that topic wasn’t civil rights.

It was war.

Even in this TL a Bush still becomes Vice President. Wasn't expecting Al Gore to be Stevenson's running mate. We're going to the finishing line now. I'm excited :) Also glad to see a civil rights bill has been signed even if it is a weak bill.
Great analysis, can definitely see the B-70 happening TTL.
I do think you might be underselling Mac's support for air transport here though... in Korea airlifts were at least as important as shipping for getting troops and supplies to the front in the early days of the war (indeed, IOTL at least they're probably the reason NK didn't get to Pusan, though ITTL that's less clear). Mac (especially with Allen as SecDef), would be more the sort to push for B-52, B-70 and some sort of transport, and if something had to be cut he'd start looking at the Navy... despite how much his campaigns relied on the Navy, I don't get the impression that he was ever very impressed with them, except when Halsey was involved.

Mac's CIA is a clown show. After Ajax there's no way he's trusting them with anything more important than the filing of papers.

Can definitely see Sputnik causing an even bigger panic than OTL, as the Air Force realises "oh hell we really screwed up our missile program quick better do something!"