The North Star is Red: a Wallace Presidency, KMT Victory, Alternate Cold War TL

Chapter 1 - The 1944 DNC and End of World War II
Note: For any new readers, please use the bookmarks because my chapters aren't actually posted in chronological order.

Considered, but rejected titles include: The Place Promised In Our Early Days. So without ado, here's the POD intro post.
The 1944 DNC and End of World War II

Wide swaths of Democratic party leaders wanted to chase Henry Wallace off the ticket, feeling that he was too close to organized labor, while Southern Democrats wanted him off, viewing him as too hostile to "Southern interests" as vaguely defined. Roosevelt generally did not favor Henry Wallace either, but did not actively move against him. During the critical spring before the 1944 Democratic National Convention, Roosevelt sent Wallace to China and the Soviet Union, where while fulfilling normal Vice Presidential duties, he also famously brought large amounts of honeydew seeds to China, causing honeydew to be forever known as "Wallace melons" in China.

The President's favored choice to replace Wallace was Missouri Senator Harry S. Truman, but on June 19, under pressure by his family (they did not want to move to the White House and Truman did not want them to suffer in the presidential spotlight), Truman, after lightly saying no to Roosevelt and Democratic party leaders, forcibly told them no, stating that he would help support Roosevelt's original pick, South Carolina Governor James F. Byrnes. The convention vote was remarkably close between Wallace and Byrnes. Although most Southerners supported Byrnes, it was not unanimous, because many Southerners raised questions about Byrnes's Catholic faith. Byrnes in fact had spent much of his career (as a Catholic) ferociously opposed to the Ku Klux Klan and although those delegates had no intention of voting for Wallace, they weren't lining up behind Byrnes either. In addition, organized labor lined up almost uniformly against Byrnes, not out of hostility to Byrnes, but just due to friendliness towards Wallace.

Roosevelt clearly favored Byrnes and told a few delegates this, but he couldn't exactly openly campaign against his own sitting Vice President. For one, Roosevelt actually liked Wallace a lot and actually would have liked to see him as VP if it weren't just for overwhelming opposition in his own party. In the first ballot, Wallace triumphed with 529/1176 delegates (short of the 588 needed to clinch the race), with Byrnes trailing far behind at 220 delegates (nevertheless in a strong second). On the second ballot, whereupon most of the other candidates lost their support (most endorsing Byrnes), Wallace only increased to 555/1176, while Byrnes had surged to 473. At that point, most of the other candidates dropped out, leaving Wallace at 578 and Byrnes at 521. Although Wallace was 10 delegates short of a majority, Byrnes judged victory to be unlikely and hoping to keep the myth of a "united Democratic Party", dropped out and endorsed Wallace, whereupon many of his allies reacted in fury. Regardless, with only minor candidates left on the ballot, Wallace took 788 delegates (most of the rest refused to vote), a clear supermajority.

FDR, having mixed feelings about the outcomes, realized he could live with this. The 1944 elections, much like 1940, were a landslide victory for FDR and Wallace against Dewey and Bricker. For his part, FDR made sure to prep Wallace for the Presidency, realizing that his own health might be failing. Ultimately on April 12, 1945, President Roosevelt suffered a fatal stroke. With the Japanese and Nazi Empires on the brink of collapse, Henry Wallace was sworn in as the 33rd President of the United States. Henry Stimson only informed President Wallace of the atomic bomb on April 25th, two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany on May 8th. Berlin was ruled out as a target simply because it was currently under siege by the Soviet Union. Wallace was loathe to authorize continuation of the Manhattan Project, until he was reassured by the non-generals, aka his cabinet members, including Secretary of State Stettinius) that it would ultimately save lives.

Realizing that he was unpopular among many elements of the Democratic Party, Wallace believed his strength relied on continuing to stick with old Roosevelt loyalists, many who had worked with him for years and liked him, such as Henry Stimson, Frances Perkin, Harold Ickes, and Henry Morgenthau (who had originally recruited Wallace). Unfortunately for the Americans, this meant increasing reliance on Harry Dexter White, Morgenthau's chief aide who had Henry Wallace's close confidence. Unbeknownst to Wallace - White was a spy for the Soviet Union and eagerly leaked all of Wallace's internal discussions to the Soviet Union. There was absolutely no shuffle in the cabinet, but many of these friendships would be soon tested.

The Potsdam Conference began on mid-July, between the Big Three, Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union, Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom (replaced in the middle by Clement Attlee), and Henry Wallace of the United States. France was notably excluded, a decision made before Wallace's ascension (FDR and De Gaulle did not like each other). The biggest issue of Potsdam were a proposed Soviet entry against Japan, the division of Germany, and the economic future of Germany. Much to the dismay of Churchill, Wallace agreed with most of the Soviet proposals, often siding with the Soviets against the United Kingdom. The only difference between the two was that the Soviets only pretended to be super-interested in pushing the Polish border to the Western Neisse rivers (it was already decided that the Oder would be used). In reality, they ceded most of Silesia (using the Eastern Neisse as the border) in "exchange" for Stalin's true goal, the dismemberment of Germany. Roosevelt at Yalta had floated that possibility but largely did not approve. As another "concession", Stalin gave up on his goal of extracting mass industrial reparations from Germany.

After all, having dismembered Germany, Stalin could just take his desired wealth from his proposed occupation zone. East Germany, including Berlin, was detached and to be a "Prussosaxon Democratic Republic" under Soviet influence. The Northwest was detached into the Republic of Hanover, under British influence, while the Southeast was divided into a French-dominated Swabian-Rhenish Republic and an American-dominated Free State of Bavaria. The supposed dismemberment of Germany didn't actually last very long, but Stalin still viewed it as a triumph, heavily aided by his spies in the U.S. government. In theory, heavy reparations were due from each nation to their respective power, though they all did something different with it. The United Kingdom and United States reinvested their share of reparations in the economy, while the French split their share 50/50 between France and the locals (the Soviets did not share). This quickly caused a horrible, very personal split between former friends Henry Morgenthau and Henry Wallace.

Wallace, a strong believer in Christian humanitarianism, demanded that the reparations from Germany be immediately reinvested in American Bavaria. Morgenthau demanded that Bavaria be deindustrialized. Eleanor Roosevelt, also an advocate of a harsher peace against Germany, similarly viewed Wallace as a weak leader. Morgenthau's resignation caused a walkout of most of Morgenthau's closest cronies, leaving the American President increasingly isolated. When Wallace sought to replace Morgenthau, he found the task relatively difficult, as Republicans, conservative Democrats, and Morgenthau-types all refused to deal with him. However, most FDR-loyalists stuck with Wallace, as FDR himself had rejected the Morgenthau Plan (after initially approving) once he realized its contents. Although it proved not to be a blessing, at least a few Morgenthau types stuck with Wallace, namely Harry Dexter White (albeit only to spy on him for Stalin). Wallace appointed William Davis, a man trusted by both labor and management, largely because he was the only person Wallace could get through an increasingly hostile Senate.

In addition on Potsdam, in exchange for a quicker Soviet declaration of war on Japan, Wallace agreed to partition (though not dismember) Japan into various occupation zones, as follows. Amusingly to many in China, especially Mao Zedong, Chiang Kai-Shek was given an occupation zone he neither asked for nor wanted.


On August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the shipping industrial city of Hiroshima. The Soviets had advanced warning, as Wallace had informed Stalin of the development of the bomb and the two powers had worked out a secret agreement to cooperate towards "peaceful atomic development." The atomic bombing killed an estimated 90,000 to 150,000 Japanese, mostly civilians, shocking the nation. When the US military planned on dropping a second atomic bomb, President Wallace vetoed the decision, horrified by the death toll of the first atomic bombing. After a very nasty fight with his generals, Wallace refused to listen to their counsel, claiming that the planned Soviet intervention would force a Japanese surrender. On August 9th, the Soviet Union declared war on the Empire of Japan, crushing the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. On August 15th, the Showa Emperor officially surrendered in a radio address in the famous Jewel Voice Broadcast. World War II was over. President Wallace declared that a "global people's revolution against want, hate, fear, and fascism" had ensured global peace and that the new powers, including the Soviet Union of Joseph Stalin, on behalf of the new United Nations, would provide for perpetual peace and freedom in the world. He was wrong.
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Chapter 2 - The Two Chinas
The Two Chinas
President Wallace was well-known and trusted in China and it was believed that if anyone could broker a coalition government between Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong, a goal that was legitimately shared by both President Wallace and Joseph Stalin, it was him. He couldn't. It was almost as if both sides weren't interested in the idea. In 1946, after a year of skirmishing between Nationalist and Communist forces, the two broke off negotiations, the Soviets left Manchuria, and the two sides entered full-fledged warfare.
Outside of Chiang Kai-Shek, much of the KMT was shocked at the speed of Communist advancement in Manchuria after the break-down of the United Front. The Communists immediately established total control of the countryside, with KMT garrisons in the industrial cities quickly surrounded and destroyed. This stood in stark contrast to the rest of China, where the KMT faced a strong rural guerilla movements, but did not lose total control.[1] In many ways, Wallace was castigated for this, especially because when Chiang Kai-shek begged for US assistance to airlift troops from the rest of China into Northeast China, especially the major urban centers that the KMT still controlled, he denied their request. Humiliated and furious, Chiang Kai-shek's troops had to withdraw to Shandong.[2]

Outside of the Northeast however, the KMT remained on the offensive. The Communists were strongest in three other regions. First, the traditionally left-leaning Shandong peninsula, second the Yan’an base area, and third Henan province near the Yellow River, where the KMT was still despised for its role in the 1938 Yellow River Floods, a scorched earth policy where the KMT destroyed almost all of the local dams and dikes in order to stall the Japanese advance. The Japanese advanced did sputter out, but this led to nearly one million civilian deaths - Chiang Kai-shek was perhaps more hated in this region than Imperial Japan was.[3]

Reinforced by troops that would have otherwise been sent to guard the now-lost cities of Northeastern China, KMT armies quickly established control over central China, seizing control of the Yan’an base area. Lin Biao's Northeastern Army, the crack troops of the PLA, mopped up the remnants of KMT troops in Manchuria and began pressing in on Beijing, terrifying the Nationalists but not actually leading to a total breakthrough. For the most part, they held off the Communists at the Great Wall. By very early 1948, after another costly failure to dislodge Communist forces from their last forts in the Southwest, Soviet foreign affairs began to reassess the nature of the Civil War. Moscow had originally judged Mao’s endeavor as hopeless and ironically, much like many Americans, initially hoped for a coalition government in China. However, they began to see that as unlikely and they began to believe that a Communist buffer state in Manchuria might be preferable. The PLA seemed fairly durable in Northeastern China.In addition, Chiang Kai-Shek’s began to soften, as his American advisors, worried about the situation in Japan, encouraged him to spend less time trying to crack the Northeast and more time on solidifying his control of the rest of the country, where the KMT seemed to advance more easily.

Finally, the final blow to KMT goals was in late 1948, where the Soviets intervened to allow PRC troops to directly enter Xinjiang from the Soviet border. As of 1948, Xinjiang was ruled by a coalition government of the Xinjiang Kuomintang and the Soviet-backed East Turkestan Republic. The ETR immediately declared for the Communists. The Xinjiang KMT, wildly outgunned, simply defected completely and joined the Communists. KMT control over Xinjiang collapsed nearly overnight. Although the former leader Sheng Shicai had turned on the Communists and even killed Mao Zedong's brother in a mass purge, much of the rank-and-file bureaucrats of Xinjiang had strong Communist leanings. The government of Zhang Zhizhong, Tao Zhiyue, and Burhan Shahidi made a simple deal - they defected. Under the deal, brokered by the pragmatic Peng Dehuai, the old government would more or less reign as is, with sovereignty of Xinjiang left for a later date. Although the Soviet Union more or less controlled affairs in Xinjiang, the Soviets eventually ceded sovereignty over to the PRC, although Xinjiang was widely understood to be a Soviet satellite within the People's Republic of China.

Commentators at the time were puzzled as to why the Xinjiang KMT made the deal, but the later structure of government in Xinjiang clearly showed why. Xinjiang simply did not border the rest of the People's Republic of China in Manchuria. Although efforts were made to build a Transmongolian Railway connecting Northeast China and Xinjiang, progress would be slow and not completed for decades. Until then, the leaders of the pre-existing KMT/East Turkestan government were more or less able to rule over Xinjiang as a totally autonomous, self-governing region. Although the representative of Xinjiang sat in on all Communist Party politburo meetings (for most of this time in history, it was Saifuddin Azizi), he typically refrained from commenting too much.

Fearing that the Communists were regaining the initiative, Wallace and Stalin's pleas to Chiang Kai-Shek finally succeeded. In 1948, Chiang Kai-Shek and Mao Zedong informally agreed to the Hurley Agreement, setting the Line of Control.[4] Perhaps cleverly for the KMT, outside of Xinjiang, the territory left under Communist control was roughly analogous to the territories of former Manchukuo and Mengkukuo, leading to a generation of young Chinese being taught to revile “Red Manchukuo.” In a shock to international observers, Mao then declined to sign the agreement and resigned, turning over power to Lin Biao, successful commander of the Northeastern Field Army, claiming that he had “better things to do than sing in a yellow cage” (yellow being the traditional color of the Manchus), before disappearing.[5] Mao's army was primarily in the Southwest, the one major Communist-controlled region that they did not get to keep in the peace agreement. Lin, situated in the Northeast, immediately signed the agreement.

Wallace and Stalin, although both somewhat displeased with the situation, grudgingly tolerated it. The two of them still enjoyed a modicum of trust, though their relationship would continue to deteriorate later that year.
[1] OTL, the KMT rushed hundreds of thousands of troops to guard several cities , including modern Shenyang and Changchun, which fell when the CPC destroyed those armies. Here, they don’t, and those cities just fall immediately with fewer KMT losses.
[2] Without losing those troops, they actually manage to hold down the fort in Shandong.
[3] This is actually OTL.
[4] Patrick Hurley gets brought out of retirement to convince a largely successful KMT that they don’t need to drive into Manchuria.
[5] He’s planning something! Also, Lin Biao becomes the natural successor because he leads the most successful PLA army of the war, the Northeastern Field Army, and because well, Mao has his own internal calculations.
Disclaimer: I will try to make this map look better one day.
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Two Chinas, Two Japans...will this include Two Koreas to complete the North Star Hat Trick?

If Stalin has occupational zone in Japan, then he must have taken South Korea too.

I think that the Japanese communists will secure more independence than European satellites of the Soviet Union. They are further from the Soviet lands, they are strategically important - if they approach US then Soviets will lose influence on the Home Islands. Some sort of Socialism with Japanese characteristics maybe?
Well further in the sense that it's far from the main Soviet centre of power, and you do have a point there. I dunno how it would develop though, I suppose it depends on if a Sino-Soviet divide still happens.
Will North China be a "mega-North Korea", complete with a psychotic expy of the Kim family by any chance?

actually I could see them merging or as you say on the same page in goofyville

Perhaps a better way to put it is a very different page of goofyville? At the heart of it, Northeastern China and North Korea are fundamentally very different societies and cultures. And that has some impact. For example, East Germany, Romania, and Hungary ended up very different kind of states, albeit with common themes. Course, I'm not exactly sure yet if NK develops OTL.

Two Chinas, Two Japans...will this include Two Koreas to complete the North Star Hat Trick?

If Stalin has occupational zone in Japan, then he must have taken South Korea too.

I had to double-check, but the division in Korea arose because the US/USSR couldn't agree on a unified coalition government in Korea, which is the same thing that happened in China. Except war didn't break out because of relatively smaller armies. That shouldn't be changed, so yeah, Two Chinas, Two Japans, Two Koreas, Two Scoops of Ice Cream.

I think that the Japanese communists will secure more independence than European satellites of the Soviet Union. They are further from the Soviet lands, they are strategically important - if they approach US then Soviets will lose influence on the Home Islands. Some sort of Socialism with Japanese characteristics maybe?

Well further in the sense that it's far from the main Soviet centre of power, and you do have a point there. I dunno how it would develop though, I suppose it depends on if a Sino-Soviet divide still happens.

Yes, though outside of Eastern Europe, that was kind of the norm for even Soviet-aligned Communist states. Think Cuba and Vietnam, both of whom were USSR-aligned but had distinct systems.
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Chapter 3 - The “Red Marshall” (“赤元帥”) of Japan
The “Red Marshall” (“赤元帥”) of Japan
It remains difficult to open an modern article on the Occupation of Japan without encountering a flurry of Japanese invective against the “Red Marshall”, the derisive nickname given to the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, Douglas MacArthur. Henry Wallace approved MacArthur's assignment to Japan as Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers only because Wallace actually approved of MacArthur's agenda for Japan when he outlined it for Wallace.

Although MacArthur at first took a conciliatory approach to the preexisting Japanese political order, shelving an early proposal to ban former Imperial-era legislators from politics and limiting it to only supporters of the war [1], tensions between MacArthur and local Japanese politicians quickly became toxic upon the release of MacArthur’s draft Japanese constitution. MacArthur’s constitution, as drafted by Milo Rowell and Beate Sirota, was immediately attacked as radical. The Constitution cribbed sentences from the US Declaration of Independence (“the consent of the governed”), instituted a gender equality clause, guaranteed the right to strike, renounced war as a tool of government, instituted separation of church and state, and restricted the Emperor to being a “symbol of the state.”[2]

Furthermore, although he declined to purge many wartime politicians (this angered President Wallace, but MacArthur did not feel threatened/scared of Wallace at all), MacArthur clearly favored the moderate (Christian) socialist Tetsu Katayama [3], in his failed attempt to prevent division of Japan, further angering conservatives. After Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama informed MacArthur that he needed to make several changes to the Constitution if he wanted to guarantee the Diet would ratify it, MacArthur responded by dissolving the Japanese diet. Japan went to the elections for the second time in 1946 (the first time in April, this time in October). The elections returned a Socialist plurality, and Tetsu Katayama was made Prime Minister.[4]

The Katayama Government (1946-1948)

However, MacArthur failed to placate the Communists, who demanded a total elimination of the role of the Japanese Emperor, the removal of all symbols of Empire (including the flag), and a constitutional recognition of state control of industry.[5] However, the fact that the Communists supported the Constitution with only some changes further outraged Japanese conservatives, who tarred MacArthur as a covert Communist. Meanwhile the Communist-controlled North continued to drift farther and farther away. Wallace didn't retaliate against MacArthur, but he was rather annoyed that the SCAP leader refused to prosecute the Japanese Emperor for war crimes.

At this time, all four nations had their occupation zones, even though MacArthur was the Supreme Commander of all four. However, the beginnings of a divide were being shown. Soviet agents were slowly purging non-Communists from the North, while the Chinese had almost immediately retroceded their occupation zone to the Americans, unwilling to commit any troops to the occupation due to their pressing civil war. In addition, the British essentially obediently took orders from the United States, creating essentially two occupation zones.
[1] ITL, due to the worryingly close Communist threat, the USA bans fewer wartime Japanese politicians from office, sparing many of those who opposed the war, chief among them Ichiro Hatoyama, who ends up a MacArthur opponent.
[2] All OTL.
[3] Also OTL.
[4] OTL, this election outcome happened in early 1947.
[5] In OTL, the Japanese Communist Party supported the MacArthur Constitution but proposed some amendments.
Note: MacArthur is a stubborn person and governs almost the exact same way he did in OTL, not letting external differences change his positions. However, this leads to drastically different career and reputation outcomes in a Japanese political atmosphere that is significantly more spooked by Communism than OTL.
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Well things are started to ramp up quickly.

With Communists in control of the North, they must've been a bit more emboldened to try and bring the rest of the country to that red spectre.
Chapter 3.5 - The Second Chuang Guandung
The Second Chuang Guandung
The migration of millions of pro-Communist peasants from the Yan’an Base Area (Shanxi and Gansu) and Shandong was the largest migration into Northeastern China since the original Chuang Guandung.[1][2] This “settler heritage” would eventually became integral to the national identity of the People’s Republic. Before his resignation, Chairman Mao had impressed on his lieutenants the importance of population size to national power, and historical documentation suggests that one of Mao’s last official orders was for local Communist commissars in “liberated areas” to take back as many people with them as possible in order to maximize the population of the People's Republic.[3]

Another consequence of the quick fall of the Northeast to Communist forces was that the KMT was unable to keep its promise to the other Allied powers - to safely and securely repatriate Japanese settlers back to Japan. The Mao-Lin government outraged Tokyo by refusing to repatriate those settlers due to one simple calculus - it needed more human capital. Despite largely being very poor, stranded Japanese settlers were relatively well-educated.[4] PRC officials also suspected that many of these settlers might go instead to the American zone of Japan, which it saw as an enemy.

In the midsts of all of these radical changes, Chairman Lin declared the formation of the People’s Republic of China (Zhungxua Rhenmin Gungxeguo).

At the end of the Second Chuang Guandung, the Republic of China controlled territory with 460 million residents. The People’s Republic of China controlled territory with 64 million residents, including 16 million immigrants from the South and 1 million Japanese settlers.[3]

Oddly enough, upon the conclusion of the civil war, huge swaths of the PLA was somehow absent and unaccounted for. The First (Yan'an), Third (Shandong), and Fourth (Manchuria) Field Armies crossed the Great Wall. To the surprise of even most CPC members...the Second Field Army never showed up.
[1] Weird romanization is on purpose. Genius cookie to anyone who can guess why.
[2] Chuang Guandong is the term for the mass migration of Han Chinese into today’s Northeastern China during the Late Qing Empire. Guandong means east of the gate (of the Shanhai Pass), the famous pass in the Great Wall of China which the Manchus invaded through in 1644. Guandong is the closest Chinese analogue to the term "Manchuria", which does not exist in China.
[3] OTL Mao was a big believer in the idea that more population = more power. Not to editorialize, but it's kind of ironic when you think about it…
[4] There is some parallel with TTL PRC's treatment of Japanese and how the USSR banned Jewish emigration.
[5] 16 million immigrants out of 64 million residents is roughly 25%, which is about the same proportion of modern Taiwan’s population that came over in 1949. OTL Taiwan had 6.1 million, which swelled to 8 million.
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The Second Chuang Guandung

Oddly enough, upon the conclusion of the civil war, huge swaths of the PLA was somehow absent and unaccounted for. The First (Yan'an), Third (Shandong), and Fourth (Manchuria) Field Armies crossed the Great Wall. To the surprise of even most CPC members...the Second Field Army never showed up.

Gee. Can't imagine where they might be and what they might be doing.

(btw, [3] is listed twice in the actual text.)

(Flag of the People's Republic of China) [1]
[1] The rather unoriginal flag is a result of two things. 1) The fact that most artists and creative types are South of the Great Wall and 2) the adoption of the Five Races flag is a distinct shot against the KMT, representing the PRC's staunch anti-KMT ideology.

(Flag of the People's Republic of China) [1]
[1] The rather unoriginal flag is a result of two things. 1) The fact that most artists and creative types are South of the Great Wall and 2) the adoption of the Five Races flag is a distinct shot against the KMT, representing the PRC's staunch anti-KMT ideology.
Why not "recycle" one of the flags of the Chinese Soviet Republic?