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

  • Approve

    Votes: 145 76.3%
  • Disapprove

    Votes: 45 23.7%

  • Total voters
I'd say it would depend on how much if any Patton would have changed since WW2. He's had several years now to look back on his experiences and those of other generals. He's also going to have a different staff then those that served under him in WW2, or if anyone that served under him in WW2 is posted to work with him in Korea, odds are they'd be a rank or two higher. A young Captain might not have the experience or nerve to rock the boat. A more seasoned Major or even newly promoted Lieutenant Colonel who has stayed in on active duty or active reserves and gone to a staff college since WW2 might be more willing or comfortable to speak up.

Patton is still subordinate to MacArthur, but unlike Walker who was a Lieutenant General, only getting his 4th star posthumously, Patton does have the slight advantage of being a full 4 star General.

Patton, for any faults the man had, was not an idiot. Here, he's been out of the game for a few years, and things have changed since he's been in. New tactics, new equipment, new training. Would he go charging in blind, or would he be willing to listen to his subordinates. Just having access to stuff like helicopters is a major change compared to WW2. Or having access to better, smaller and more portable radios.

Depends on what the ultimate outcome of the timeline gets to. North Korea being crushed and ceasing to exist. A cease fire roughly the same as OTL, maybe with the Chinese and North Koreans being bloodied worse. A divided Korea at the end roughly the same as OTL, just maybe having US/ROK/UN forces taking a new extra square miles of real estate here and there.
Part I, Chapter 2

In the form of many people
In all panoplies of time
Have I seen the luring vision
Of the Victory Maid, sublime.

July 13, 1950

President Harry Truman frowned as he looked at the piece of paper that had been placed before him. It had four names on it, the four people that the Army thought would be best to replace Walton Walker. He had asked for the list as soon as he received the bad news from Japan – although the Army’s brass was more than capable of selecting a field commander on their own, the war in Korea was as much a political job as it was a military one. Although he had the Secretary of State and two of the country’s highest ranking generals in the White House, this was a decision only he would make. The buck stopped here.

Then, handwritten at the bottom, in an obviously last-minute addition,
George Patton

“Talk me through the options, General.” Harry Truman said.
“Ridgway has been my deputy for about a year,” J. Lawton Collins began. “During the last war he commanded the XVIII Airborne Corps at the Bulge and was set to command a corps during the invasion of Japan. Everyone I have ever spoken to agrees that he is an exemplary officer.
“Clark was our top commander in Italy and is the only man on that list to have commanded an Army Group. He was also the youngest person to be awarded the four star rank, and I have great confidence in his abilities on the field.” Collins said.
“Clark also served in the occupation forces in Germany, and has some experience negotiating with the communists.” Dean Acheson added. “I expect he’s the best option we’ve got for winning a peace.
“We’ve got to win the war first.” Truman pointed out. “Go on.”
“General Dean commanded a division in France and is currently commanding most of our units in Korea.” Collins continued. “While he is the youngest and least experienced man on that list, his familiarity with the combat conditions in Korea will work better to his advantage...”
Truman took out a pen and drew a line through Dean’s name before Collins could finish. “We’ve been fighting there for a week, and it has been a hell of a mess. We need someone with experience. Consider Dean for a corps spot if one opens up.”
“That leaves us with Patton.” Collins said. “I’m sure you know all about him. He liked to boast that Third Army drove further and faster than any other American army in history, and then he retired when he wasn’t given a Pacific command in the June of 1945. He fell off the map after that, as far as I know he coached polo teams in California for a few years.”
“That sounds about right.” Truman stated. “I got a letter from his wife asking to give him a command two weeks ago.”
“Politically, he is by far the most dangerous option.” Acheson said. “FDR nearly sacked him twice for running his mouth, and he was even more convinced than Winston Churchill that we should take the fight to the Russians right after VE day.”
“I only added him to the list because I was told that Walker requested him.” Collins said. “Walker was a Third Army man, and I’ve never met a general so determined to be like his old boss as he did.”
“Brad, you haven’t said anything.” Truman noticed. “What do you think?”
“Patton was… difficult to work with.” Bradley said upon finding a suitable word. “He was my boss and then I was his. I didn’t care too much for the man personally. He thinks of war like it is a game or some piece of theatre, always showing off and being dramatic. However he may just be the man we need in Korea.”
“In what way?” Truman asked.
“Well, when we landed in North Africa the Army was a mess. Discipline was poor and nobody knew what they were doing. Got sent in at Kasserine, where the Germans chewed them up and spat them out. Then George arrived and within two weeks they were among the finest soldiers I’d seen. A few years ago I said that he got more work out of a mediocre staff than anyone else in the army, and he can do something similar with the GIs too. A lot of them will hate him for it, but by God he knows how to make men fight.”
“Something about the last two weeks has told me that we might need that.” Collins added. “The budget cuts have been hell on the army. Last week we sent Task Force Smith in to try and stop the North Koreans. They couldn’t even manage to slow them down. We need equipment and need it bad, but we also need someone who can turn those men into soldiers again.”
“Is he worth the risk? Politically, I mean.” Truman asked.
“No way to know for sure.” Bradley admitted. “I believe we’ll be fine though. I don’t know how he did it, but he’s kept quiet since he left Europe.”
“Very well.” Truman said. “Patton has command of Eighth Army from the day he gets there. Cut the orders accordingly.”

Fifteen minutes later, he was on the phone with Patton. “General, I’ve got a new command for you. Eighth Army in Korea, as soon as you can be flown there.”
“Thank you very much, Mr President.” Patton replied. “What are your orders?”
“Wait for the Air Force to send someone to get you on a plane. Once you get to Tokyo, report directly to General MacArthur. Unless the United Nations decides otherwise, you have full freedom to act south of the 38th parallel, but are forbidden to cross it.” Truman said. “And keep your mouth shut about the Russians. This is a limited war and I expect it to remain that way.”
“I’ll do my best, sir.” Patton promised.
“Anything else I can do for you?” Truman asked.
“If you can get them, I’d like a few people added to the command. John Mims, my old driver. William George Meeks, my aide. Both of them were sergeants.” Patton said, as Truman wrote down the names. “General Walter J. Muller, G4, and Creighton Abrams, who was a colonel last I saw him, and a very fine one at that. I want him for my chief of staff.”
“You’ll have them.” Truman promised. As he put down the phone, he thought he heard the old general begin to cry.


July 17, 1950

The Monday morning was bright and sunny, with scarcely a cloud to be seen over Tokyo. Douglas MacArthur sat at his desk reading a letter from a Japanese businessman thanking him for getting the business off the ground again. Quite literally in this case – the factory had been burned out in one of the firebombing raids on Tokyo just before the atomic bombs were dropped. Now it was making some sort of supplies for the army fighting in Korea (what exactly MacArthur was not sure, one of his logistics men had placed the order and he had never heard of this particular factory until today). Like everything in the last three weeks, this too was dragging his attention back to Korea.
Until recently, MacArthur hadn’t had to worry about Korea at all. His authority as Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers had ended at the Korean shoreline, while a series of other people had been tasked with dealing with affairs in South Korea itself. Evidently they hadn’t done a very good job, as the ROK army barely deserved to be called an army any more. His thoughts on the war itself were mixed: on one hand, it was distracting from his efforts to democratise and rebuild Japan. On the other, it was Mars’ last gift to an old warrior, and a chance to win unmatched glory. Operation ‘Chromite’, sitting in a folder somewhere in “Pinky” Wright’s office ready to be turned from a draft into a battle plan.
Mars, it seemed, had been handing out many more gifts than usual. As soon as he had teletyped to Washington that General Walker had been badly injured, President Truman had decided to interfere, insisting that he choose Eighth Army’s next commander. The following day, MacArthur was told that Patton would be arriving in Japan on the 16th, around nightfall. The news wasn’t particularly welcome: Patton was a prima donna, and if his performance in Europe was anything to go by, was likely to cause all of his superiors a great deal of grief. Hadn’t he told Marshall that he wanted no part of Patton’s theatrics as early as the planning for the invasion of Japan? Still, orders were orders, and it was obvious Truman wouldn’t let this one go ignored.
When Patton came in for his 0930 meeting, he gave a salute that would have impressed the toughest of drill sergeants, and far surpassed MacArthur’s much more relaxed standards. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all...
“Have a seat.” MacArthur said as he leaned back in his own chair. “How well do you remember 1918?”
“It was a long time ago, sir.” Patton said.
“So it was.” MacArthur agreed, thinking back to his last meeting with his new subordinate. “One day out by the trenches, with shells bursting all around us, I met a young major in the midst of an attack. While all the men around us were taking cover, he stood in front of me. Fearless. That young major was you, George. I’ve never forgotten that moment.”
Patton too remembered that meeting, and also that he had held a lieutenant colonel’s rank at the time, but MacArthur was already out of his chair, continuing his speech.
“I shall require you, and the rest of Eighth Army, to be as fearless as you were in France. The enemy currently holds the initiative and until the South Koreans learn to stand and fight, or reinforcements arrive from America, I expect that situation will remain the case. To that effect, you are to conduct a fighting retreat towards Pusan, keeping the front as far forward as possible while men and equipment arrive to stabilise the line. I have requested five additional divisions from Washington, and the 1st Cavalry will land on the peninsula tomorrow to join the existing forces there.”
MacArthur saw Patton’s eyes light up at the mention of the Cavalry. “You began your career with the cavalry, if I’m not mistaken?”
“That’s right.” Patton said. “Although I don’t suppose there’s too many horsemen in that outfit any more.”
“It’s a full infantry unit now.” MacArthur confirmed. “But even if they were mounted, I’d still be putting them in the line. We don’t have enough men of any sort right now. I’ve stripped the occupation forces of all but the absolute minimum, giving us about a quarter of the enemy’s estimated strength. Maybe half if the ROK units maintain cohesion. Until reinforcements arrive from America, we’ll be operating at a disadvantage. As soon as they do, I’ll transfer them to your command.
“I trust you’ll have no objection to an attack?” Patton asked.
“Eighth Army is yours now, George. Do what you think best.” MacArthur replied. He doubted that Patton would have listened if he said ‘no’.

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IMHO Patton would have a more realistic assesment of the China danger and could very well have adopted the defensive line through the península narrow point strategy and avoid approaching the China border.
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I am surprised there was enough room for both egos.
Patton was only at the Dai Ichi for a half hour or so. Might not have been enough to cause extreme structural damage :p

Self-projection is amazing.,;)
What do you mean, self-projection? MacArthur is none of those things. None at all.
- Signed, some dude who works at the Dai Ichi and is a member of the MacArthur fan club :)
- By the way, that dude's name isn't "Bite"

I like this--MacArthur and Patton...incredible.
Great start to your timeline. also I won't be surprised if the world blows up.
Definitely has my attention and I'm looking forward to more.
Glad you're enjoying it!

I guess MacArthur, too, had time to take stock and think bank of his past actions for five years. Maybe this ATL MacArthur might not get fire after all.
ATL MacArthur is exactly the same as OTL MacArthur up to the point where Patton entered the room (except for about 5 minutes in 1945 when he told Marshall he didn't want Patton to invade Japan). He isn't doing any self-reflection. Something tells me that if he was ordered to do some, he'd make one of his cronies do it for him.

Any chance of a communist China or Soviet Union POV about Patton being appointed to lead USA army in Korea?
I won't be doing one for Patton's immediate arrival - those first few days are busy enough, and while Patton is a big name I doubt his appointment alone would be enough for Stalin or Mao to have a panic attack. The UN hasn't yet put up a very strong showing on the battlefield.
Maybe later, if I can find a good reason, I might include something from the communist side (don't want too many though - a big part of the Korean War was how little the UN side knew about what the communists were up to).

Part I, Chapter 3

I have battled for fresh mammoth,
I have warred for pastures new,
I have listed to the whispers
When the race trek instinct grew.

July 17, 1950

No-one knew whose idea it had first been to set up a giant Stars and Stripes next to the airstrip at Pusan. Whoever it was had convinced the base commander, and then he had decided to invite the press and as many GIs as could be found in the city. Before long, half of the free part of Korea knew that Patton would be giving a speech upon his arrival in the country before the general did himself. He knew that these first few days in Korea would be unimaginably busy – the frontline either chaotic or outright crumbling nearly everywhere – but he decided a short speech might give the troops the good kick in the pants that some of them seemed to need. Everything came down to morale. In an army, it had to. And this would boost morale better than any yelling at officers might hope to.
“At ease!” he ordered. The crowd numbered probably several hundred, a lot of them Air Force, but the array of microphones in front of him would broadcast this speech to just about anyone with a radio.
“Just before D-Day, I said that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.” Patton announced, receiving a great deal of laughter from the audience. “That was true then and it sure as hell is true now.”
“I’ve only been in Asia for half a day, and I’ve already been told about a new word that some yellow son of a bitch has tried adding to our language. ‘Bugout’. I want all of you to forget that word at once. It does not exist. The only people who have use for such a word are cowards, and America is not a nation of cowards. America is a nation of brave men.
“We’re out here because some of those goddamn communists seem to have forgotten what brave men like you can do. Now we’re going to show them. Eighth Army isn’t falling back. We’re going to go forward, and forward all the time! If the communists don’t clear out and run back across the 38th, we’ll run them over with our tanks and then toss their guts back into North Korea. I know a lot of you want nothing more than to get out of here. The way to do that goes straight through Seoul, so the sooner we can capture it the sooner everyone can go home.
“There’s another thing I want you to remember. Three weeks after the start of the Great War, the Kaiser was worried he’d get run clear out of Prussia, so he pulled Marshal Hindenburg out of retirement, and almost immediately won a tremendous victory. We’re three weeks into this fight now. I’m not quite as old as Hindenburg was then, but I intend to do just the same thing.
“It’s an honour to be your new commander.” Patton finished. “I look forward to leading you wonderful guys into battle, and to victory!”

As he stepped off the makeshift stage, Patton was greeted by two of the men he had asked Truman to add to his command. Master Sergeants John Mims and William Meeks had both been in Korea for a few days, and had been ordered to Pusan at some point after Patton was given Eighth Army. Unlike just about everyone at the airbase, their shoes shined and their uniforms were in perfect condition. Patton was certain they were the only two on the base, probably in the whole of Korea, to be wearing ties.
“It’s good to see you again, sir.” Mims said after saluting.
“It’s good to be back.” Patton said. “Where’s the jeep?”
“Just down there.” Mims replied, pointing down the road. “I imagine you want to go to Taegu?”
“No, actually I’d like to go to the front.” Patton decided as they began walking towards the jeep. “Where is that at the moment?”
“The 24th Division – that’s General Dean’s unit – is currently fighting around Taejon, about halfway between here and Seoul.” Meeks said. “The 25th, under General Kean, is currently in position near Sangju, about forty miles east of Taejon. Rest of the line is manned by ROK troops, between Yongdok on the east coast and Kunsan on the west.”
Meeks was holding a small folder that looked full of papers. “What’s in that?” Patton asked.
“Reports out of what would have been General Walker’s headquarters, sir.” Meeks replied. “And a map.”
Patton took a look at the map, which had obviously been printed recently, and frowned. “Taejon, you say? That means the communists have overrun almost two thirds of the country in three weeks?”
“That’s what I’ve been told, sir.” Meeks confirmed.
“Then I want to go to Taejon. It looks like every road in that part of the country runs straight through it.” Patton said. “Phone Dean to tell him I’ll be coming.”
“Can’t do that, sir.” Meeks said. “We might be able to get him on the radio, but nearly all of the phone lines to the front are out.”
“Why the hell is that?” Patton asked.
“Don’t know for sure, sir.” Meeks said. “Quite likely communist guerillas are interfering with our communications.”
“I suppose we’ll find out once we find General Dean then.” Patton said. “John, get us to Dean’s command as fast as you can. I’m in a hurry.”
“I understand that, sir.” Mims said, having received such an order at least a thousand times in Europe. “I’ll do my best, but we may not be able to move as fast as we did in France. This road is one of the best in Korea, and most of the others are a lot worse.”
As Patton got in the jeep, he looked out at what the sergeant was calling one of the best roads in Korea. Really it was a hard dirt track, and no more than twenty feet wide.
With the bad roads, enemy victories up north and a clearly undisciplined army, the general could have sworn he had fallen back in time eight years, and somehow landed back in North Africa.


Even with Sergeant Mims driving at speeds far beyond what the bad Korean roads were designed for, the trip to Taejon took close to two hours, greatly frustrating General Patton. He had hoped to visit both US divisions, spend some time at the front and return to Eighth Army’s headquarters in Taegu by nightfall. By 1500, it was clear that the 25th Division wouldn’t see their new commander.
“What’s the hold up this time?” Patton demanded when Mims was forced to slow the jeep to a crawl for the fourth time.
“Refugees, it looks like.” Mims replied. “The front line’s only about ten miles up ahead.”
“Stop the car, Sergeant.” Patton ordered once he got a good look at the crowd of Koreans on the road. Sure enough, they were civilians trying to get away from Taejon, probably two or three hundred in all. Malnourished and disorganised, they weren’t moving very quickly. A bunch of them had carts being pulled by mules who had little interest in moving, others carried their possessions on their backs. They took up all eighteen feet of the road’s width. Rice fields on either side of the road ensured no-one would step off it.
A pair of MPs were in another jeep that had been following Patton’s. The general gestured for them to come over.
“What do you need, sir?” One asked.
“Get this damned road cleared.” Patton said. “Either of you speak Korean?”
“No sir.” They both replied.
Patton swore, but wasn’t too surprised. Hardly anyone spoke the language, much less the couple of kids that must have gone straight from high school into the Army.
“Learn it.” Patton said to them. Then he turned to the refugees, who had stopped moving entirely. “Off the road!” he yelled. “Now!”
A few of the Koreans reluctantly clambered into the rice fields, but most just stood there. Patton was about to repeat his orders when a Korean man of about fifty stepped forward from the crowd.
“Sir, the animals can’t in the rice.” he said. His English wasn’t very good – Patton suspected he had once been fighting for the Japanese and learned it in a prisoner-of-war camp.
“I don’t give a damn about the animals. I need your people off the road. Animals too.” Patton said.
The Korean repeated Patton’s orders back to the rest of the refugees, which made about half of them get out of the way of the jeep, although not nearly so far off the road as he would have liked. He was about to return to the car when he noticed another boy, who had an unusually stiff-looking Army pack.
“Let me see that!” Patton demanded.
The two Koreans – the old man who was now acting as Patton’s interpreter, and the boy – discussed in their own language for a minute, then the boy offered the pack.
Patton took it – he had received reports that the communists had been including spies in refugee columns. US Army packs were about as hard to find as dirt, but he suspected documents or weapons or something that might be useful to a North Korean agent. Instead he found a few C-ration tins, a book that might have been the Bible, and a length of copper wire that explained why the pack looked so stiff. As soon as he saw the wire he ripped it out and threw the pack to the ground.
“Where the hell did you get this?” he held up the piece of wire to leave no doubt what he meant.
“Off the road.” The Koreans eventually explained.
“Stolen then.” Patton said. He turned to the MPs. “Soon as we get to Taejon, I want word put out to every scrap of territory we control. Anyone caught thieving our telephone wire is to be shot. Standing order for the rest of the war.”
As soon as the order was given, the older Korean’s face dropped. “You gon’ shoot him?” he asked.
“I ought to.” Patton said, reaching for one of his revolvers. The boy couldn’t have been older than eleven, and clearly didn’t have any possessions left, so he had a little bit of sympathy for him. “Just get him out of here.”
With the MPs helping get the refugees off the road, the path was almost entirely cleared. The one exception was a mule that plainly refused to go anywhere near the rice fields. Patton by this point felt he had wasted enough time around here. Rather than waste any more, he pulled out his revolver, and put two bullets into the mule’s skull. More than a few of the Koreans gasped. The MPs didn’t need to be told to haul the corpse off the road.
“I won’t be held up on account of a jackass crowding up our roads.” It was the only explanation he would ever give for his actions. “MPs, add to that message I gave out a minute ago. Starting tonight, no refugees on the roads after dark, and no animals on any roads wider than twelve feet. Animals can be shot on sight.”
“Understood, sir.” They replied.
“Then repeat it back to me.” Patton said. So far he had yet to see anyone follow this practise in Korea, even though it was the best way he knew to ensure an order would be followed.
“Anyone caught stealing telephone wire, or any animals on roads wider than twelve feet, are to be shot on sight. Refugees are forbidden from the roads after dark.” The MP replied.
“Very good.” Patton said. Without another word, he got back in the jeep and waved for Mims to drive on.

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May I present to you the Flower-class corvettes:

Such wonderful names as Rose, Pansy, Tulip, Veronica, Sunflower, and, I kid you not, Snowflake.

A favourite of mine, though fictional; HMS Compass Rose.
How long I wonder before Patton loses his temper again and strikes a subordinate in Hospital? Alternatively he might get done for a worse crime.
Would patton accept the Chinese ultimatum about the USA army no crossing the line or would just say NUTS and try to copy OTL Macarthur and think he could defeat China

The decision to cross the 38th Parallel was made by President Truman, with the approval of the other nations under the UN Command. It's a myth that MacArthur did it on his own authority. The intelligence failure to predict China's reaction was made in Washington, not in Tokyo. The intentions of foreign powers is the responsibility of the national command authority, Pentagon, CIA, NSA, NSC, and the White House. They all failed to predict the initial North Korean invasion, or the Chinese intervention. Popular history has shifted the blame for all of this to MacArthur, as Far East Commander. Everyone was flying blind in 1950.