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

  • Approve

    Votes: 143 76.9%
  • Disapprove

    Votes: 43 23.1%

  • Total voters
    186
Why France? We already have a 'forward base' in the area? (Wheelus was the regional MATS hub as well) we also have a base in Morocco, and I'm pretty sure some agreements with some other areas. I can see staying out of Algiers but France is a bit far away.

Randy
I believe Wheelus was at one time the largest US airbase outside the continental US. (I lived next door to it for a few months in 1977 and we could still buy US branded groceries in the little shops nearby). Also Malta had multiple runways at Valetta and Hal Far.
 
MacArthur policy is against communism in Asia (and Egypt), but how about Cuba? How will MacArthur react to Castro winning there? And does it preferes Batista?
- I could imagine it sending troops to fight against Castro, while forming a coup against Batista
 
Thanks everyone for the comments! I've updated the chapter to reflect the suggestions. TLDR is that De Gaulle is now opposed to the landing and the bombers are based at Wheelus, although I'd encourage you to go back and read the update in full :)
47 in particular will need a rather big rewrite now, so it might be a couple days later than I had hoped for, but I'll try not to keep everyone waiting too long!

Plus, I'll add, de Gaulle might consider the benefit of having, after each three of Soviets, American and British reputation being screwed up in the Middle East, to come out of the fray as the "good guy" in this story. Foreign policy wise, he was keen on pursuing inroads with the Non Aligned Movement, but I think that was essentially because between the Americans and the Soviets, he looked for a space in which France could develop its influence and standing independently, worth the great power he thought it deserved to be after the catastrophy of WW2.
I find it amazingly ironic that a TL that consisted of Mac pretty much doing everything he can to ignore or screw over France could end with De Gaulle getting his dream of leading a third bloc. :eek: Funny how the world works like that...

MacArthur policy is against communism in Asia (and Egypt), but how about Cuba? How will MacArthur react to Castro winning there? And does it preferes Batista?
- I could imagine it sending troops to fight against Castro, while forming a coup against Batista
Mac won't react to Cuba in the TL... Castro was still in exile in 1956 IIRC, so that's a question for his successor.
OTL Mac met with JFK shortly after Bay of Pigs, and was quite critical of the Pentagon and the advice Kennedy was being given. That plus his attitude towards Vietnam gives an argument that he'd just stay out of the place.
But... OTL Cuba didn't involve him actually sitting in the President's chair, or his pride, playing a part. When his pride got involved in things.... that's usually when he overreacted to stuff.
All I can say for sure is, if he went in at all he'd go in with everything.

- BNC
 
I find it amazingly ironic that a TL that consisted of Mac pretty much doing everything he can to ignore or screw over France could end with De Gaulle getting his dream of leading a third bloc. :eek: Funny how the world works like that...
Indeed. Is it known how well did De Gaulle got along with Tito and Nehru? They’d be the biggest players in the NAM bloc.

EDIT: Also, France going it’s own way with the Non-Aligned Movement may make the UN Security Council even more incapable of action.
 
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When Almond, in a final act of persuasion, urged De Gaulle to consider the intervention an act of solidarity on behalf of the Western alliance, the French leader responded with an impressive tirade:
“What did that solidarity mean to Monsieur MacArthur when he trampled all over France’s honour at Glasgow? What did it mean when he ordered us to abandon the fight in Indochina? No! I will not stand for this nonsense! We will not fight in Egypt! France is not your puppet!
Almond, taken aback, asked the interpreter, “did he actually say that?”
“Actually he shouted it,” the interpreter said.
Hillarious. I imagine that would be part comedy from de Gaulle as I'm pretty certain that on the subject itself, he would have agreed on the necessity of leaving Indochina the same way he thought Algeria had to be done away with. But at the same time, on the form and appearance of it, it's also certain that he would have been mortified by the humiliation that MacArthur inflicted on France with his undiplomatic order to leave, so also a part of truth in de Gaulle posturing here, if I was to explain.
But imagining the guy, famous for his theatrics and his mastery of rhetorics (along Churchill, his art and mastery of rhetorics was perhaps one of the best seen in the century I read) he would also take advantage of playing the act of an outraged party to gain something out of it.

EDIT: Plus, a further benefit of this posturing I just thought of specifically is that, anti Americanism being probably higher than even OTL due to the Indochina affair, de Gaulle will smoothen and partially deflect any bad fallout from his pulling out of Algeria. Generally speaking here, it's just telling of how influential domestic policy concerns are on French foreign policy.
 
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Before the Korean Wars hot phase Northern Korea had been a heavily industrial proletarianised capitalist semi-peripheral area. It had modern industry and dense exploitation.

American air power wiped the industrial physical and much of the human infrastructure off the face of the earth.

Unrestricted high volume conventional bombing is monstrously powerful to the extent that it moves from comprehensible tragedy in WWII to incomprehensible statistics in Korea. There is no ontological grounding in people’s minds or cultures for the entire urban landscape ceasing. It has to be dealt with bureaucratically because it is incomprehensible that a city would disappear.

And America had this power and the will to use this power over Egypt.
 
Indeed. Is it known how well did De Galileo got along with Tito and Nehru?
CallMeMaybexQuatreCentQuinzexKonbiniZOOM.jpg


Joke aside, I just read an article online that mentions the friendship between Nehru and Malraux. Malraux may have been somewhat eccentric in behaviour and isolated politically, he remained part of de Gaulle inner circle as far as I know.

As for Tito, apparently de Gaulle always refused to meet him despite a certain proximity of views on foreign policies within the non aligned movement, blaming him for having Mihailovic executed in 1946 (wiki reports him saying "it's a bit like Thorez (French communist leader) had de Gaulle shot"). But I've not seen if this personal distaste has translated into actual consequences on French foreign policy, which I doubt.
 
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Also, France going it’s own way with the Non-Aligned Movement may make the UN Security Council even more incapable of action.
On that, I wouldn't say there was much difference from OTL except the timetable. Remember de Gaulle had France leave the integrated command structures of NATO in 66 and getting most American troops to vacate their bases in France, pissing off Johnson. And for all differences there may have been between him and his successors, even Mitterand who was his fiercest opponent from the Left in the 1960s, his line of foreign policy remained pretty much untouched for about 40 years. Chirac's No in 2003 wasn't so much of a surprise and more of a continuation of that line.

And speaking of NATO, I wait to see how MacArthur reacts to de Gaulle's No in more detail. I wouldn't be surprised if in the midst of the fiery exchange between the two big egos that were MacArthur and de Gaulle, France left the integrated command structure of NATO ahead of schedule. If Johnson was pissed off, how can be MacArthur?
 

Just found of this interesting testimony from Ahmed Ben Bella in the Express newspaper from 1995. Ben Bella says he acted as a go between in 1964 for Tito and Nasser with de Gaulle. For Tito who knew de Gaulle grudge over Mihailovic's death and wanted to make amends, asking Ben Bella to intervene on his behalf, and de Gaulle eventually accepting the "excuses". Then de Gaulle said: "My turn. I want to renew contact with Arab countries, and especially, there is a man that is of interest to me, Nasser". And Nasser reportedly replied to Ben Bella "Tell de Gaulle he is officially invited to Cairo. For him to pick a date".

How accurate is the recollection, I can't say, but I'm willing to believe it more or less in its entirety since it's pretty much coherent with the whole of de Gaulle foreign policy and subsequent French foreign policy towards the non aligned movement. And with the TL getting into Egypt, that could be quite useful to consider this point of view.
 
CallMeMaybexQuatreCentQuinzexKonbiniZOOM.jpg


Joke aside, I just read an article online that mentions the friendship between Nehru and Malraux. Malraux may have been somewhat eccentric in behaviour and isolated politically, he remained part of de Gaulle inner circle as far as I know.

As for Tito, apparently de Gaulle always refused to meet him despite a certain proximity of views on foreign policies within the non aligned movement, blaming him for having Mihailovic executed in 1946 (wiki reports him saying "it's a bit like Thorez (French communist leader) had de Gaulle shot"). But I've not seen if this personal distaste has translated into actual consequences on French foreign policy, which I doubt.
Hahaha, I legitimately didn’t notice auto-correct put that! I’ll correct it.
 
part of degualles annoyance with the anglo saxson powers came from his sense of france being left in the lurch in 56. For a long time France and Israel were very strong allies.
 
part of degualles annoyance with the anglo saxson powers came from his sense of france being left in the lurch in 56. For a long time France and Israel were very strong allies.
It's hugely overestimating the role the Suez crisis. Back in WW2, de Gaulle experience with Churchill was stormy at times and practically conflictual with Roosevelt. The most acute instance of it was Roosevelt and the Americans trying to force first Darlan and then Giraud on de Gaulle and Free France, having made contacts with Vichy to try having them rejoining the war; and it was only after long months of maneuver to marginalize Giraud that de Gaulle got his way. Even the liberation of Paris was subject to friction with Roosevelt, and ultimately, he had to fight his way to get a permanent seat on the security council of the United Nations.
My opinion is that the anti American and anti atlanticist sentiment that held France in the 1950s had very much its seeds in WW2. The Suez crisis was only coming on top of this sentiment.

As for de Gaulle, I don't know him personal hostility to the Americans. His stance on the Franco-American and Franco-British relations was one based essentially on the strategic imperatives of French foreign policy at the time, that is, regaining the lost status of Great Power it had lost. And maintaining France aligned on the Anglo-Americans was akin to abdicating any independent foreign policy and make nil the chances of reaching this goal. De Gaulle left NATO integrated command structures and ventured near the non aligned movement, set up Françafrique, developed the nuclear program, built nuclear ballistic submarines, all in pursuance of this goal.
 
Marvelous update. I think Eisenhower is right, but from Mac's perspective I don't see how he could have done anything differently than he did.
 
Part VI, Chapter 47
CHAPTER 47

August 17, 1956

“Good evening my fellow Americans,
“Today I bear the most unfortunate news. President Nasser, and the Government of Egypt, have ignored our requests to reverse their ill-conceived decision to seize the Suez Canal. The canal is a vital part of the trade network of Europe, with more than half of the continent’s oil passing through its waters. In the hands of a rogue leader, it represents nothing less than a knife at the very throat of our British allies. The British have always stood by our side in the most difficult parts of our history, and now it is we who must meet that time-honoured call for assistance. With the approval of Congress, I have offered President Nasser every warning, but regrettably these have gone unanswered. In accordance with the statement of Congress on the twenty-eighth of July, a phase of hostilities must now begin. We are at war.
“I did not seek this responsibility, but now that it has been thrust upon me I shall not avoid it. I may be more familiar with the toll of war than any leader to ever occupy this office, and I will not treat this matter lightly. War’s very object is victory, and every action this government takes from now until the end of the war will be directed towards a swift achievement of that end.
“Some of my critics have attempted to describe these actions as motivated by a desire to reimpose the colonial system on the people of Egypt. This could not be more false. I seek no dispute with the Egyptian people, only with a leadership that has led them onto a dangerous and irresponsible course.
“In 1898, when the war with Spain expanded our nation’s interests beyond our shores for the first time in our history, President McKinley made a statement that has resonated with me throughout my long career. ‘No imperial designs lurk in the American mind. They are alien to American sentiment, thought and purpose. Our priceless principles undergo no change under a tropical sun. They go with a fiat: ‘Why read ye not the changeless truth, the free can conquer but to save.’’
“Such is our purpose in entering this war. I am sure all Americans, whether soldier or civilian, will do your duty as you always have.”

***

The first strike in the Egyptian War was not launched by the Americans or the British, but by Israel. The Israeli attack plan, Operation Kadesh, was as bold as anything MacArthur had ever attempted. Beginning with a paratrooper operation to capture the crucial Mitla Pass, Kadesh proposed that the Israeli forces seize the entire Sinai peninsula up to a line ten miles east of the Suez Canal, in just five days. In seizing the Mitla Pass, Israel would cut off all of the interior roads connecting Sinai to the rest of the country, while Allied warships ensured the coast road would be equally unusable. A large part of the Egyptian Army would be cut off before they could retreat over the canal, and would then be destroyed or forced to surrender. The Allied operations against Port Said and Alexandria would then follow, facing a weakened enemy, and the British would have the Israelis guarding their eastern flank.
While the Israelis led the effort on the ground, the British would fight the war in the skies. Eden and some of his generals had developed what they called an “aero-psychological campaign”, which had the twin aims of eliminating Nasser’s air forces and weakening his peoples’ morale in the hopes of prompting a surrender. In preparation for the attack, Malta, Crete and Cyprus had been packed with fighters and bombers. Ten aircraft carriers were operating in the eastern Mediterranean, and still yet more planes were based in Israel. Their targets were a range of Egyptian airfields, the transmitter of Radio Cairo, and a few other targets of significance.
What Eden had described as an “aerial attack of grand proportions” soon proved to be far less than the comprehensive program of destruction that MacArthur had imagined. MacArthur’s prized B-52 bombers were given no targets, and were instead to remain on the ground in Libya. Eden said they were not necessary for the mission, and went so far as to say that the comparatively lower accuracy of a B-52 strike, as opposed to the British Canberras, would have a detrimental impact on its success. This mission was supposed to be a precise strike against Egyptian airfields and communications, and civilian deaths had to be kept to an absolute minimum, even if that meant some potential targets were left standing.
To MacArthur, Eden’s statements reeked of the same “limited war” nonsense that Harry Truman had imposed upon him in Korea. Those policies had done nothing to help win the war, in fact they had helped drag it out six months longer than it had needed to be. George Stratemeyer had flattened half of North Korea in three weeks, and the B-52 was far more powerful than the B-29 had ever dreamed of being. If the aim was intimidation via a great show of force, the complete annihilation of Cairo’s industrial districts would send a far more effective message than the silencing of a few radio towers.
Against his own better judgement, MacArthur allowed the B-52s to remain on the ground for the time being. If Eden’s limited attack was sufficient to bring about an Egyptian surrender, those industries would be able to be used to drive the country’s rebuilding efforts. For now, few American lives would be in danger if Eden proved wrong. The B-52s could still serve as a warning, and would be ready to fly at a few minutes’ notice should they be needed. In the meantime, Eden would be allowed to attempt his strategy.
America’s initial contribution to the war would instead be at sea. Two US fleets were committed to the Egyptian War: the Sixth, in the Mediterranean, and the Fifth (which had once been a part of the Seventh Fleet in the Pacific until MacArthur gave it its own command), normally based in the Indian Ocean but now assigned to the Red Sea. While the Sixth Fleet concerned itself with the final preparations for the Alexandria landing, the Fifth Fleet had orders to break the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran, and open the Israeli port of Eilat to shipping. Nasser’s puny Navy, made up of a few gunboats each smaller than a destroyer, was no match for the airstrikes sent to destroy them, and the only thing that prevented MacArthur’s forces from destroying the Egyptian shore guns was that the Israelis captured them first. The Straits of Tiran were soon opened.
On August 22nd, the White House received a call from Prime Minister Ben-Gurion. Kadesh was a mission accomplished. In one of those rare times in war, everything was going almost exactly to plan.

Almost.

Operation Telescope, the British plan to land paratroopers at Gamil airfield and Port Fuad in preparation for the Port Said landing on the 23rd, began well. Five days of continual airstrikes had crippled Egyptian defences in the area, and although the landing at Gamil was contested, the fire of the Egyptian infantry proved inaccurate. After a dawn landing, both objectives were taken by noon. The Egyptian infantry retreated, some southwest towards Cairo, others into Port Said. Port Said itself was isolated by the end of the day, as the British forces captured the city water works and all routes into, or out of, the city. The heavily fortified Barracks building remained a problem, but one that would not last much longer.
Contrary to the expectations of Anthony Eden, and indeed much of the British General Staff, the ‘aero-psychological campaign’ and subsequent arrival of British troops did nothing to weaken the Egyptian resolve. Nasser responded not with a surrender, but with a declaration of what he called “people’s war”. The Egyptian authorities would distribute weapons to the civilian population, allowing them to take up the fight against “colonialist oppression”. No longer was this a war between armies. In Nasser’s eyes, it was a fight for the very existence of the Egyptian nation.

***

August 22, 1956

To Douglas MacArthur, Nasser’s “people’s war” was an unmistakable sign that Eden’s policy of restraint - appeasement even - had failed. Nasser would not be defeated by the mere loss of his air force any more than North Korea, or Japan before it, had. MacArthur had tolerated Eden’s strategy only because it placed few Americans in danger - only his sailors and pilots had yet entered the battle - and the opportunities it offered if the war was miraculously concluded quickly. Plainly, Nasser wasn’t going to conclude the war quickly. Like his father’s war in the Philippines, “people’s war” meant this wasn’t going to be over until Nasser was captured or dead. Tomorrow American troops under General Clark Ruffner would land at Alexandria. Eden might be willing to sacrifice British soldiers for the sake of enemy civilians. MacArthur was not going to do the same. This briefing of the Joint Chiefs had been called for one reason: MacArthur, not Eden, decided American military policy.
“Sir, latest cable from the front.” Ned Almond said, brandishing a small piece of paper. “New orders from General Keightley.”
“Let me see.” MacArthur said, taking the note from his chief of staff. Reading aloud, he said:
“In light of the declaration made by President Nasser, all ground personnel in combat zones are hereby ordered to confirm the hostile identity of apparent Egyptian civilians before treating them as enemy combatants…”
Crumpling the note into a small ball before he even finished reading it, MacArthur interpreted the order. “Soldiers are being ordered to knock on doors and ask ‘friend or foe’?”
“Sir, are we to consider American troops bound by this instruction?” General Ridgway asked.
“Absolutely not!” MacArthur announced. “In the winter of 1950, when Chinese troops were streaming across the Yalu by the tens of thousands, I asked President Truman for permission to bomb the Yalu bridges. He replied that I could only bomb the Korean halves of the bridges. Never, in my long career, have I ever been taught how to bomb half a bridge. From that day forward, I have believed it impossible for a more imbecilic order to be written, yet somehow Eden has managed to write one.” He turned to his chief of staff, “Ned, I need you to send a message - no scratch that, call London. Inform Eden that if my father had attempted such a misguided policy when he was hunting the Apaches down in New Mexico, the only result would have been the slitting of his throat. The only way he will be able to truly prevent civilian losses is by allowing the generals to win this war as quickly as possible, and they cannot do so if they are bound by these idiotic policies of appeasement. I will not stand for it. There is no substitute for victory.”
Then the President turned to his former air commander in Tokyo, who now served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “How soon will the B-52s be ready for action following the Alexandrian operation?”
“Tomorrow afternoon, local time, if weather permits.” General Stratemeyer said. “What do you have in mind, sir?”
“I’d like to reply to President Nasser’s declaration with one of my own. Launch the largest raid you can possibly assemble without compromising Alexandria. The target is Cairo’s industrial district. Factories, warehouses, everything that could offer military advantage.” MacArthur said.
“Sir, what about the refineries? Mr Eden has insisted they be avoided for fear of retaliation against British oil interests in Iraq.” Stratemeyer said.
“Level them.” MacArthur said, with steel in his voice. “Eden’s policy has already failed. Effective immediately, we will fight this war the way Korea should have been fought, without arbitrary limitation.”

***

The following morning, Alexandria bore witness to MacArthur’s war ‘without arbitrary limitation’. A last-minute order to the commanders of the landings warned that the Egyptians could resist as fiercely as the Japanese had twelve years earlier. No-one could be sure what “peoples’ war” would mean for the invasion, but MacArthur remembered hearing of a Japanese plan to organise something similar had the Allies attempted a landing on the Home Islands. He would leave nothing to chance: every military resource he had in the theatre would be committed to Alexandria.
The bombardment had been delayed until 0200 on the morning of the landing, in the hopes that Nasser would believe Port Said was the location of the Allies’ main effort and thus divert his troops away from Alexandria, but when it began it was immediately devastating. The British were using mere destroyers to support the landing at Port Said. At Alexandria, American landing craft were backed up not just by destroyers or cruisers, but also the battleship Iowa, whose guns had once been trained in the bloody battle of Peleliu. Now, the hellish fire that had destroyed kilometres of Japan’s fortress caverns was directed into Egypt’s second largest city. Within minutes, Alexandria was in flames. Korean War veterans storming ashore were soon reminded of the ghastly scenes of Seoul and Pyongyang.
Fighting inside the city was just as awful. Nasser hadn’t had long to distribute weapons to Alexandria’s population, but the “peoples’ war” was alive and well in the city. Two Egyptian divisions joined the defenders, and became the targets of a round-the-clock air and naval bombardment. Yet one thing soon became clear: while the individual Egyptian soldier was brave, their leadership was weak, or at the very least, had been crushed under the weight of America’s overwhelming material superiority.

Alexandria was taken in four days.

- BNC
 
Absolutely brilliant. From start to finish you perfectly captured how I imagine MacArthur would handle the war. The fact that Alexandria was taken in four days is nothing short of amazing and certainly a feather in his cap. I also liked how you had MacArthur reference his father too.
 

Hecatee

Donor
Arf the archeological remains ! Typical american barbarian behavior !
On the other hand if a large part of Alexandria's population die maybe the archeological remains will be easier to access...
Ok, jokes appart, I hope those American pilots won't take the pyramids for a target, that would be such a loss !
 
As much as I entirely don't like such destruction of life and property, I am going to say fuck it and go all the way with this train. I can already envision the upcoming cartoons of MacArthur standing high above the rubble of Alexandria with his pipe and aviators proudly shown.

Now... I wonder how Eden shall react. Will he be pissing hiss pants, trying to keep his government together, or both?
 
The perfidity of the bourgeois powers knows no limit. With the left hand Britain offers handshakes and with the right America rains down thunderbolts. The people of the world can readily recognise the results of this barbarity in the charnelhouse of Alexandria. —Editorial Tribune (Sydney)
 
I think an interesting knock on effect may be that the 1958 Iraq coup maybe butterflied as the plotters may lose confidence or a plotter may panic and give away the plans as he knows what happens when you tread the path of Nasser and no one will come to your aid from the fact that the Soviets are silent.

I don't recall if anything about Arbenz. I guess as it is nearly 2 years since the OTL coup, we should assume that he is continuing with his light Socialist policies in Guatemala. How much is he backing Batista?

About the B-52s in Libya, is it OTL or ITTL Mac gets them stationed in Libya in those bases used by the British. Only the Aswan Low Dam probably remains the last standing Egyptian infrastructure.

Post war His Majesty can force a democracy and offer Marshall Plan like aid to them and promise to fund the Aswan High Dam and maybe that will buy a few leader to stabilize the situation. The best outcome is Mac forgoing his re-election bid and himself becoming the Administrator of Egypt to be 'His Majesty' again.
 
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