But of courseThe way he wanted to go, on the battlefield, instead of wasting away in peace. Nice!! I hope they honor his request and bury his remains with his men.
Like the ideaFor a complete "ban all landmines" movement, yes. But the idea of fitting all mines with a timed self-destruct might take of from this. After all it's a WW1 mine.
The headlines on the issue.
Patton deactivates a WW1 mine with one of his toes!
The mine was going to explode, but when it saw who he was going to hit, it became too scared only made "pop!".
Only the finestIt gladdens me to know that Odin makes ready the benches for a feast. Soon you will be drinking ale from curved horns. The Valkyries summon you home.
I hope they sent him off with a grand funeral.
I believe it would be best if I left his activities in the afterlife open to speculation.Or if Patton wants another go around as an American general then David Petraeus was born OTL in November of 1952.
Goddamnit, if the Archangel Gabriel gave me enough fuel I'd be pissing in the River Styx by now!
Certainly there were some around. Patton only needs one.WW1 mine? Only mines in WW1 i heard was those big ones that was burried deep
General Petraeus has a much more stable personality. The theory of reincarnation, as I understand it, is that when your reborn you have a new identity, but it's still basically you.Or if Patton wants another go around as an American general then David Petraeus was born OTL in November of 1952.
I actually thought most munitions from ww1 and ww2 was disposed off and no hazards, but after reading the iron harvest wikisite i went to the unexploded munitions page and saw that it was a bigger problem than i thought.
Damn so much happened here. Joseph Satlin dying, Lodge getting the VP slot and now Taft having cancer. I like how you had Lodge be Douglas McCarthy's running mate a more Liberal Republican to counter McCarthy's more extreme decisions. Should be goodCHAPTER 31
June 27, 1952
The so-called ‘Stalin Note’ was an interesting document. As Harry Truman read the document over for the fifth or sixth time this morning, he wondered what had made Stalin decide to send this message to him, as well as to London and Paris. If the proposal was accepted, Germany would be made one country again, with free elections supervised by the four occupiers, and while the country would be made officially ‘neutral’, it would be otherwise free to do whatever it liked. The only thing Stalin asked for in return was that Germany not be a part of the EDC or NATO.
The deal sounded too good to be true. Barely a year had passed since he had given up North Korea. State and Defence were both completely convinced that Stalin was going to find some way to get the US and its allies back. The Middle East was a possibility, but other than Mossadegh’s dispute with the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company that region was quiet. So was French Indochina, which had been up to its eyeballs in communist rebels ever since the Japanese had been thrown out. Nor could one forget that all the Russian tanks in the world were parked in East Germany, poised to storm through the Fulda Gap. Whatever Stalin’s plan was, he was masking it well.
Bluff, serious proposal, whatever this was supposed to be, it would be the Senate’s problem if they wanted to deal with it next week, and the new administration’s problem come January. It had taken the communists half a year to decide whether Chinese POWs would have to go back to Red China after nine-tenths of North Korea had been conquered (the POWs were eventually allowed to stay in the ROK). And Stalin had dragged his feet on this idea for a good seven years if he had ever been sincere about reunifying Germany. Truman had less than seven months left of his term. There wasn’t much chance of settling this before then. Afterwards? It was a problem for Taft or MacArthur or Eisenhower. Kefauver might have been on that list too, but Gallup’s latest poll put Truman’s job approval at just seventeen percent. Twenty years of Democrats, a war in Asia, and now the recession… George Washington would have had a hard time being elected as a Democrat this year.
What annoyed Truman the most was that the economists were saying the recession would end just as the next fellow took the oath of office. Once again he would get all of the blame and none of the credit.
The phone rang, and Truman was pleasantly surprised to hear Dean Acheson on the other end.
“Well, Mr President, would you like the good news or the bad news first?” Acheson asked.
“Guess I’ll take the bad news.” Truman said. Short of World War III, he wasn’t sure there could be any more bad news left in the world, but apparently Acheson had found some. Might as well get it over with.
“Bad news is, we’re no closer to finding out if this Germany thing is real or not, and now we probably won’t ever know.” Acheson said.
That was a relief. If that counted as bad news, there wasn’t any new crisis to deal with. Truman had already just about made up his own mind on it anyway. “Why’s that?” he asked.
“The good news, although I probably shouldn’t call it that seeing as we’re talking about a foreign head of state. Old Uncle Joe’s kicked the bucket. Radio Moscow just announced it.” Acheson said. “Died in his sleep is how they described it.”
Radio Moscow lied as much as Goebbels’ press had fifteen years ago, so the cause of death could be anything, but it didn’t matter that much. What did matter was, “Who’s taking over in his place?”
“No idea.” his secretary of state said. “We may not even know until after the election. After Lenin died, it took three years before Stalin emerged as the chosen successor. Three candidates we think likely are Malenkov, Mikoyan and Molotov. Beria might have an outside chance. Whoever it is, he’ll be busy consolidating his power for a while.”
“So we can forget about this Germany issue?” Truman asked. “Unless it’s going to matter before January I’d like to be rid of it.”
“The Russians probably will.” Acheson said. “We’ll still have the Senate take a look, after that I think it will be a matter for your successor if he chooses to pursue it.”
“Good, thanks Dean.” Truman said, stuffing the document into a drawer. “Let me know if you hear anything more out of Moscow.”
On July 7th, 1952, millions of Americans tuned their TV sets to the live broadcast of the Republican National Convention. Over the following five days, the discussions and debates inside the International Amphitheatre in Chicago would decide the Republican ticket, and in doing so they would effectively choose the next president as well. Going into the convention, MacArthur was considered the favourite to win, so viewers were puzzled when the first event of the convention turned out to be a seating dispute between the Taft and Eisenhower factions. Why argue about who would have the honour of coming in second?
In the weeks leading up to the convention, Taft had used his control of the Republican Party to have his allies decide the convention rules in such a way as to favour his candidacy. In particular, under the Taft rules, only those Republicans who had been party members in 1948 would be allowed to participate in the selection of delegates for 1952, which would effectively cut out those new members who had been inspired to join the party by either Eisenhower or MacArthur, and presumably give the advantage to Taft. Eisenhower’s supporters labelled this as unfair, chose their own delegates, and then challenged the party to decide which delegation would sit in the convention.
Both groups clamoured for MacArthur’s support on the issue, and both sides were frustrated when the general refused to have any part of the dispute. MacArthur had long been presenting himself as a candidate above petty political conflict, and weighing in too heavily on either side risked damaging that image. Furthermore, it wasn’t clear which side’s argument offered more benefit to MacArthur. He had seized control of around one-third of Taft’s conservative base just by announcing himself as a candidate in 1951, but he had also drawn in a faction of pro-New Deal and labour leaders to the party, particularly in the Steel Belt, who would be unable to vote for him if Taft had his way. Nor could the possibility of a deadlocked convention be ruled out: if he backed Taft or Eisenhower here, he might alienate the group whose support could later deliver him the nomination. Playing it safe, he stayed silent.
When Monday morning came, party chairman Guy Gabrielson called for a vote on the matter, and after hours of debate, the Eisenhower faction narrowly won out. MacArthur’s faction, such as it was for this debate, was split almost exactly down the middle, but here it had tipped the balance. Slates of pro-Eisenhower delegates, most of them from the South, were seated, and Gabrielson gave the floor to former President Herbert Hoover, who gave the convention’s keynote address.
The much more important discussion to select the party ticket began in earnest on Tuesday, with Eisenhower on the rise and Taft’s position weakening in the wake of the ‘Fair Play’ defeat. Some papers, most notably the New York Times, boldly stated that “Mr Taft Can’t Win” against either of his more popular rivals - though he easily beat the oft-forgotten fourth challenger in the race: Earl Warren.
What MacArthur and Eisenhower soon found was that Taft could still win. 1206 delegates would vote at this convention, so 604 would be needed to secure a majority. When the results from the first ballot came in, Taft received 399 votes. MacArthur came in second with 390, Eisenhower a still-close third at 336, with Warren claiming the remaining 81. Even if Warren instructed his delegates to vote for Eisenhower, as he was expected to do, he wouldn’t come close to tipping the balance - though Eisenhower would then be leading, he would still be close to two hundred votes short of a majority.
A second ballot was then called to see if the three-way tie would resolve itself, only to prove a disappointment in that regard: less than two dozen Taft supporters switched to MacArthur, narrowly giving him first place, and Eisenhower gained four from the Warren camp, but the evening headlines said it best: ‘CONVENTION DEADLOCKED’.
Undecided results after two ballots were nothing new: the 1940 convention had required six ballots to come to a decision, and in 1920 there had been ten, but both of those had seen numerous candidates commanding smaller delegations who would eventually break for one of the leaders. This time, Earl Warren might have been able to serve in that role, but he wouldn’t get anyone across the line on his own. Taft wasn’t going to concede easily: he had run for president twice before and knew that this would likely be his last chance. MacArthur was the longtime favourite and seemed to be ‘winning’ the convention, and at seventy-two he had even less chance of a future run than Taft, so he wouldn’t be stepping aside either.
That left Eisenhower.
As soon as the results of the first ballot had come in, Eisenhower had realised that he would not be likely to win the nomination: his fortunes were arguably at their highest ebb in months following the victory of ‘Fair Play’, yet he remained behind Taft and especially MacArthur. While he disliked MacArthur personally, their political positions were similar in most of the issues that Eisenhower considered to be important, certainly moreso than the strongly conservative Taft. Eisenhower was also influenced by popular opinion: he had only become a candidate because the people had insisted upon it, but those same people had backed MacArthur in greater numbers at most of the primaries. Thus he decided, he would offer his support to MacArthur, but only if MacArthur could swallow his ego long enough to “cross the street” and come to him. They held the same rank now. Eisenhower was not interested in being treated like a subordinate anymore.
Although MacArthur believed he could eventually capture the votes he needed with more convention ballots, Phil LaFollette was not nearly so sure. The convention room, even after the Eisenhower delegates had been welcomed to the floor, was still filled with Taft’s close friends and allies, and there was a distinct possibility that the next ballot could swing back towards Taft, or even that Earl Warren’s exit from the race would lead to a new wave of Eisenhower support. LaFollette also reminded MacArthur that the campaign had been considering the possibility of a split vote for months. Eisenhower had effectively taken MacArthur’s side during the Isabel Cooper scandal, so he was believed to be at least open to a deal. Eventually, MacArthur allowed himself to be convinced to meet his former aide (especially after no-one came to meet him), and “crossed the street” to Eisenhower’s hotel.
Eisenhower’s offer was simple: he would endorse MacArthur for president in exchange for one of his allies being endorsed as the running mate to be presented to the convention. Though the vice presidential role was not one of great influence, they would be the one to step into the top job if MacArthur died, a serious possibility considering his age. Eisenhower did not want to see one of MacArthur’s hardline conservative backers such as Kenneth Wherry or William Knowland taking over (the latter had been MacArthur’s private choice for months). A deal could make sure they didn’t.
The name they eventually agreed on was Senator Henry Cabot Lodge. Lodge had been one of Eisenhower’s strongest supporters, spearheading the ‘Draft Eisenhower’ movement in the days when MacArthur had already begun his campaign. He had spent more than fifteen years in Congress, giving him a wealth of experience in government. Aged fifty, he would be able to remove any concerns about MacArthur’s age, and as he hailed from Massachusetts he could offer some geographic balance to the ticket. All in all, he was about as perfect a match for the ticket as they came.
Eisenhower’s only concern was that Lodge might not want the job. He hadn’t been particularly enthusiastic the one time Ike had proposed it to him in the past, considering instead the possibility of another term in the Senate. Fortunately, when LaFollette telephoned him, Lodge said he would be willing to have his name put to the convention.
When the Convention continued the following day, Herbert Brownell Jr, one of Eisenhower’s closest campaign advisors, read a statement by Eisenhower announcing his withdrawal from the race and calling on his supporters to support MacArthur. They did so in the third and final ballot, which gave MacArthur over 850 votes, including some who had voted Taft twice previously. Lodge was then nominated by acclamation, completing the ticket.
Taft, greatly disappointed by his third and final defeat, would only offer a short statement declaring that he would support the party’s decision and encouraged his supporters to back MacArthur and Lodge. The senator himself would never do any more than that for MacArthur, a man who had spent months challenging Taft’s labour legislation and whose foreign policy he had many reservations about. MacArthur, for his part, seemed to believe that Taft would one day present himself and offer congratulations. That day would never come: within weeks of the Convention, Taft’s doctors would find a cancer that would force him to increasingly withdraw from politics and soon claim his life.