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one day after being unceremoniously
appointed Supreme Commander in the coming Operation Overlord in a
handwritten note from FDR to Stalin, General Dwight David Eisenhower died
in a jeep accident while being transported from headquarters.
While some speculate that the accident was in fact Nazi assassination or
perhaps political intrigue, the majority of historians agree that it was
simply the fault of a dog crossing the road. Funeral services were
conducted in Europe and again in the United States with the war hero's
body being interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Having lost a great
leader, FDR woefully appointed Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, whom he
had earlier told, "I didn't feel I could sleep at ease if you were out of
Washington" when explaining his choice.
Many considered the appointment a demotion for Marshall, as he was in key
position in Washington to organize and manage the resources of the Allies.
Churchill himself would call Marshall the "organizer of victory", and now
it was Marshall's duty to exact that victory in Europe. With the landing
at Normandy in June 1944, victory in Europe gradually became a reality.
When the war ended, Marshall continued to his duties to America by his
appointment to China by President Truman to broker peace between the
Chinese Nationalists and Communists. No peace could be made (and Marshall
argued against the Pentagon that the United States simply shouldn't become
involved), and Marshall returned to the US, soon appointed Secretary of
State. Here he would win a Nobel Peace Prize for his "Marshall Plan" for
the organization and rebuilding of post-war Europe, also being named Time
Magazine's Man of the Year for the second time.
"Bradley was Ike's pet. Absent Ike he never rises
above corps command. He did well at the corps level in Tunisia but much
less so in Sicily. He probably continues to command the Second Corps
throughout the Italian campaign. FDR would never have let Marshal go. The
probable replacements for Ike are Devers or McNair. War probably takes
longer for the West by a month or two. Ike was the best we had at dealing
with the British in general or Montgomery in particular. " - reader's
After retiring on grounds of ill health, Marshall was again
brought to duty on the call of President Truman to be Secretary of Defense.
The Korean War had shown how poorly the post-war American armed forces had
been organized, and no one organized better than Marshall. Marshall
effectively prepared the military for demobilization in less than a year
and retired again. Meanwhile, fellow Five Star General Omar Bradley would
be instrumental in Truman's decision to relieve MacArthur of command
before he sparked a war with China.
By afternoon of December 7, the USS Saratoga was the only American carrier
in the Pacific. It raced into action to reinforce Wake Island, stopping at
the devastated Pearl Harbor along the way only long enough to refuel, but
was forced to turn back when the Japanese conquered Wake with the
remainder of its attacking fleet on its return from Hawaii. Running
patrols and hoping to recoup, the States soon launched the USS Hornet,
which had been laid down in 1939 and commissioned only two months before.
In a strike that would be tactically negligible but key to American
propaganda, the Hornet would serve and the launching platform for the
Doolittle Raid against Tokyo on April 18, 1942,, showing the American and
Japanese public alike that the US could strike wherever it wished.
"Patton died in a Buick and it *was* strange; he
suffered a broken neck while his driver had a few bruises.... " - reader's
In 1952, Marshall would be called up again, this time by the
Democratic Party. General Bradley was running on the Republican ticket for
president, and the Democrats sought a president that could surpass his
military clout. Marshall declined, saying, "I'll stick with retirement.
When men like Joe McCarthy are running around, Washington is no place for
"Would have the '56 presidential campaign a bit
more interesting... " - reader's commentsWhile the Democratic
nominee Adlai Stevenson would lose out against President Bradley,
Marshall's famous statement would cause a surge of unpopularity for
McCarthy, costing him his reelection to the Senate. Bradley's two terms
would be famed for their time of prosperity, forward development with
projects such as the Bradley Continental Highway, and his liberal
leanings, continuing New Deal programs and combating segregation, as well
as his openness in international policy with Communism.
"Assumption follows that Patton still dies in his
jeep accident, though that might be sketchy following chaos theory. If it
were an "accident" at all, of course. " - authtor's responseThe
Bradley Doctrine would prevent America from becoming something of a
policeman, instead working to ensure that proper popular elections were
held, preventing another Korea and MacArthur.
Through the course of the latter half of the twentieth century, Communism
would grow throughout the world, taking over many nations in Southeast
Asia, North Africa, and Central and South America. By the 1980s, however,
the Stalinist nations would begin to fall apart after defeat in Iran and
Afghanistan, leading to Germany reunifying and the Soviet bloc
disappearing. The other "communist" nations of the world turned either
into militaristic dictators or revolutionized themselves as seen in Red
China, conflict with which Bradley had said would be "The wrong war, at
the wrong place, at the wrong time, and with the wrong enemy".