A/N: I will endeavour to maintain historical accuracy with regards to the start of the various crises, but the US is going to be a lot more self-conscious of what happens in its occupied territories, and since it's kind of awkward fighting your own puppet at times… Uncle Sam employs someone else to do the dirty work when things get too big to ignore. This chapter skims most of the background of the Korean War and sets things up for the next chapters, then it gets fun (Tali paraphrase there)!
Note that anything that may be construed as racist was a matter of due course back then, or just an objective observation (such as "Koreans have a strong sense of racial purity" when referring to the GI Baby Syndrome as SI termed it). Reader discretion is advised.
I know saying one SI division has firepower equal to 40 Japanese divisions is overdoing it, but did you look at armour counts and such? Because of the massed attack tactics SI employs, it can bring to bear at one point in time around 4-5 times the firepower of an American division, although much of this superiority is as they are more capable of penetrating and wreaking havoc in the enemy's rear. 1 SI division against 4 American ones will be in BIG trouble unless they can engage the American ones one after another, but 10 vs. 40 division ratios is a whole different story. One of the Manchu kings, the one just before they took over China, said in the late 1500s or around 1600 that "However many ways you come, I will only go in one." Also, at Okinawa in our history Japanese calculated American divisions to be 6 or 7 times theirs in firepower. Now, with better US hardware and Japanese industry basically half-dead, it's gone up to 8 or 9 Jap equals 1 US. So even though one SI division can take on maybe 25 Japanese divisions directly, 8 can engage at least 256 or even 400 comfortably. Are you aware how bad the Japanese tanks were? At medium ranges, a 40mm shell from a Bofors (Hannah stole some schematics, then engineered her own version before Bofors could build and patent theirs, hence we have the A-WTC-40-75A) can punch through the armour of one, and a 95mm shell would cut through multiple Japanese "medium" tanks in one shot if they were lined up, even at long range, if it was an armour-piercing shell.
Chapter 1: Peninsular Problems
The UN had long before passed Resolution 112 calling for a general election ASAP under the supervision of the UN Commission. However, Communist China blockaded the UN Commission from accessing the northern part of Korea and ostensibly held elections with 99.6% voter turnout (impossible) and 86.3% voting in favour of the government-backed candidates. To Hannah, this stank of puppet ideological states. The UN commission seemingly ignored this at first and demanded a general election in South Korea on July 10.
The division of Korea was why the US troops only really took Kyushu during the Invasion of Japan, they were busy jumping off to Korea. It was on May 1 that the communist Worker's Party of South Korea planned to hold rallies denouncing and blocking the upcoming general elections scheduled for July 10. 2500 party cadres were arrested and at least 300 machine-gunned in the clear in front of US forces under MacArthur, who could do exactly nothing.
On June 3, 1948, 80 days after Hirohito's execution, the trigger-happy police of Jeju Island opened fire on a demonstration commemorating the Korean struggle against Japanese rule. Outraged, the people of the island attacked 12 police stations, in the chaos, hundreds were killed and rebels burnt polling centres for the upcoming election, in addition to attacking political opponents and their families. Then the rebels issued an appeal to the populace to rise up against the American occupation forces. The appeal found sympathy due to the local government and police being believed to have collaborated with the Japanese, plus the heavy taxation on agricultural goods the US levied in return for US relief supplies. The latter point was true across all liberated territories that wanted US support as SI did not offer long-term relief, though much of the scrap materials it scavenged in the latter part of World War Two had still been recycled into machinery used in the reconstruction of Germany.
Hannah phoned the South Korean government upon hearing of the revolt, as her troops were, if nothing else, a total of about 5000 tank-mounted (and more APC-mounted) bulldozer blades that were available for clearing rubble. "Hello, this is General Hannah Shepard, I would like to inquire if you would like to purchase the services of one or two Brigades of my forces for employment on Jeju Island."
"Hello… Generalissimo…" The man's contemptuous tone toward one infinitely greater than he would ever be grated on her nerves a bit. Was it ever mentioned that Hannah HATED the sexist aspect of Oriental society? "We can assure you that we have the situation under control." Oh, and she really didn't like being too focused on saving face not to see a disaster coming, with the tensions between the Koreas, something had to give.
"Really? That's good to hear." She couldn't exactly hang up or ask if he was sure, if things got worse, they would blame it on her, and based on Oriental sexism the people with power i.e. the males would probably swallow whatever their government fed them if it was against her, be it propaganda, poison or, in her personal opinion/commentary, semen.
With the SK government seeking a speedy resolution, 3000 troops were sent from the South Korean 11th Constabulary Regiment to reinforce local police, but hundreds of soldiers mutinied on the 29th of June, handing over large numbers of small-arms to the rebels. The next event saw the first instance where Hannah and an Allied government went bayonet-to-bayonet…
Several hundred members of the so-called "Northwest Youth Association", young anti-communist male (of course, Hannah thought, most of the women in most Oriental societies of the 1940s are barefoot and pregnant…) "refugees" from North Korea, were sent in as a paramilitary force. It only took a couple days before they gained notoriety, because they were committing atrocities right in front of the noses of the US troops present. MacArthur discreetly phoned Hannah "If you could stamp down that NYA mess over in Jeju we'd all be very grateful, it's getting embarrassing back home that it's happening in an Allied-held territory." The NYA members often murdered Jeju civilian males and then forced the women into marriage with them so they could inherit the land.
Even Truman found it a bit embarrassing, but he couldn't denounce the South Koreans as the situation on the peninsula was quite tense and if the US didn't support South Korea, the Allies wouldn't have a convenient jump-off near the USSR and China. However, he did sent Hannah the message of "If you'd like to help mediate a peace via some means on Jeju, feel free to go ahead."
This time, she didn't bother taking too many forces, Jeju was after all a tiny island. First Division was based on Kyushu now, and was the nearest to the crisis. It would be enough. The troops had, two divisions by two divisions, been given a month of leave. April had First and Second on leave, mid-April to mid-May had Third and Fourth on leave, mid-May to mid-June had Fifth and Sixth on leave after First and Second returned, and Seventh and Eight would be off for all of June, then be sent to Europe. So at present, and for the near future, she had at her disposal in the Pacific only six divisions, 120,000 troops.
She had come to an arrangement through which she could support such a vast military, with ten fully modernized or beyond-modernized divisions and two significant fleets. Since tank manufacturing plants were also automobile plants SI had begun preparations for peacetime operations as soon as the Battle of the Bulge began. In addition to manufacturing high-end and medium-level consumer goods ranging from cars to mining gear (one of their special recipes for rubber, one of those used in tank armour, made very good helmets) to bicycles in the many, many factories she owned, her troops were also being rented out. They served as training personnel, hazardous construction/deconstruction personnel, local law enforcement, relief distribution, road-paving, practically anything. After all, a tank being used as a dozer is MUCH sturdier than, well, a dozer being used as a dozer, hence needed less replacing, less coddling, and "undefined" larger (any non-zero number divided by 0 is undefined) numbers of shells. The 95mm cannons proved highly useful for demolitions of truly dangerous buildings… much as they'd been used in the War. Thanks to all these jobs that governments contracted her for, and the consumerism proliferating in America after the war by another generation of soldiers just wanting to forget the horrors they'd seen, she was getting by, even if her budget was a bit tight thanks to the amount of support she was giving Gunter and Germany.
Anyways, on July 5, after the 5,000 death mark had been passed on Jeju, Hannah finally determined that she would intervene even if the job went unpaid. First Division loaded up into freighters—another major income source for her, as the American Liberty Ships weren't nearly as mine-resistant, nor were they as fast or anywhere close in size—at Fukuoka. It was almost like a ghost town nowadays, but the Japanese that remained tried to get on with their lives and the SI troops helped where they could. First Aviation Brigade had established its main bases near Fukuoka, so it was a relatively simple thing to call in close air support for offensives—it was an hour away—but not so much for defensive operations.
Upon arrival, the first priority was rooting out and exterminating the bands of Northwest Youth Association soldiers ruthlessly and efficiently. The troops didn't take much persuading after hearing of the NYA's atrocities from Hannah, who they unconditionally trusted. 300 NYA members were reported killed within the first two days as her troops covered the island, without South Korean complaints as MacArthur had seemingly delivered a message to the effect of "we're cleaning up your mess, don't insult the janitor", and the rebels, seeing this, agreed to peace talks. The rebels demanded disarmament of the local police, who had supposedly collaborated with the Japanese during the War, dismissal of all local governing officials, prohibition of paramilitary youth groups on the island, and re-unification of the Korean peninsula.
Hannah met with Kim Dalsam, the leader of the rebels, personally the day after the rebel's envoy arrived. She began with, after the greetings, "On my orders the whole island is under lockdown, so any evidence of corruption or collaboration by the officials will be found by my troops, who are searching all over the place for relevant documents. Those found guilty will be dismissed, you can be assured of that, the local police have all been rounded up and their documents have been seized so that we may go through them. Don't worry, my men will be quite thorough, they didn't like the killing and forced marriages the NYA were doing, considered them barbaric really… We're eviscerating the NYA from this island, and you can put up a local law banning similar groups, but you'll have to agree to peace first."
"Those do not sound like unreasonable terms, since you're not asking for us to all to just become prisoners or something…" Dalsam stated with a small frown "But what about reunifying the peninsula?"
"I can guarantee that there will be no long-term Great Divide or anything similar between the Koreas, but that is only if North Korea does something immensely stupid and makes me go after it. Please explain to me, what is so good about a Communist system compared to a democratic one? I have read the basic works of communism and socialism, and they demand a democracy, do you see the USSR being a democracy? No, it has a mad dictator named Stalin who conducted big purges throughout the country. That doesn't happen in the US, or at least no one would be so brazen about it whereas the people of the USSR are cowed into submission and starving due to the failures of collectivized farming."
Dalsam snorted "What about yourself? You are essentially monarch over Palestine right now, are you not?"
"Not really, I don't participate in much, I have veto power, but major decisions either come my way for scrutiny naturally or aren't against my ideology anyways since the Constitution s so thorough. Believe me, I support socialism, but I believe that socialism needs democracy and that Communism will fail if it doesn't deliver democracy."
After one hour of ideological debating the man was floored and convinced that Hannah knew best, and it only took four days for peace to be re-established on the island after that, with the few surviving NYA members dealt with over the next week. They were rooted out by the rebels, who Hannah acknowledged as the Jeju Militia, or burnt alive in their hiding places by Raider IIs fitted with flamethrowers once the rebels cornered them and confirmed their identities. Many of the local officials and police WERE found to be corrupt and collaborating with the Japanese, so they were tried in a People's court and exiled from the island as Hannah didn't let them get shot and arranged the transportation anyhow. The South Korean government was powerless to do anything as the US supported Hannah behind the scenes. However, it did manage to leave the island with a crop of loyal, upstanding officials who were the ones making the best out of a horrible situation during the Japanese occupation, along with a chastised and much cleaner police force, in addition to preventing more civilian casualties… for now.
As for the records of the rebels the South Korean government wanted, Hannah told Dalsam to collect all their files and dump them in a dry cave for "safe-keeping", with her and him supervising the process. Then they went inside to check the stowage of the documents and ordered them stowed in organized shelf-style on the two crates they'd been brought in. Finally, Hannah asked everyone else to leave, and once they did she pulled out her pistol and fired the whole clip in an irregular rhythm into the depths of the cave as she ran outside. "Ambush attempt, NYA members! Burn them before they can steal the documents!" She shouted to the commander of the Raider II that they'd brought as a security precaution.
The bulky but surprisingly agile 57-ton Main Battle Tank rolled up to the cave mouth and torched all the documents and records of the rebels so that they would not be persecuted too much. To quote Hannah's operational report "The documents were tragically lost when we were fired upon, and had to burn out any more NYA members who might have been hiding in the cave." It was not outside the realm of possibility that NYA members were still hiding in the cave after the search, since it had happened once (resulting in the deaths of three SI soldiers) before. No one dared question the factuality of the report, and with her reputation of always "doing what's right" only a few even thought to question it. Of course, that was in terms of people who actually mattered, quite a few South Korean Naval Intelligence officers questioned SI's involvement in their internal affairs. They were right to question it, for it, not North Korea, would be the greatest threat to the Syngman Rhee government, and the worst thing was that it had the quiet backing of the United States, which South Korea could not afford to offend if it wanted to continue existing.
A/N: Why can Hannah persuade people like Kane could? You'll find out later, much later.
Hannah had pulled back to Japan, and was rather annoyed when she heard of further revolts in Yeosu, Suncheon and nearby towns near the southernmost tip of the Korean Peninsula, apparently sparked by her support of the Jeju Island rebels. She disapproved of the rampant corruption and dictatorial government of South Korea, but she wasn't going to intervene on their side this time, since the rioters were murdering rightist families and Christian youths. Women were, as typical, being raped… and hence First Division abruptly shifted location again to, split up into brigade-sized combined-arms units (one battalion from each Brigade), squash the rebellions utterly. Surprisingly, Rhee actually thanked Hannah for this favour, though of course he said nothing about how his government had been found so badly wanting back when she weighed their sins against the Jeju Island rebels.
Seeing these and other conflicts among the Allies, and severely in need of a massive armoured force of his own to project against his foes, Mao Zedong, leader of Communist China, asked Hannah via an envoy to help stop the corruption in South Korea, Tibet, Sinkiang and southern China. Her reply was that "I will act… but if and only if their sins become far too great to ignore. Good luck, Chairman, I hope you will be less corrupt than the Nationalists…" She didn't like the man, but that didn't mean she couldn't respect him, much as she'd respected and hated Hitler and Hirohito… though she didn't hate Mao nearly as much.
The Mungyeong Massacre on the 24th of April had awakened her to the true nature of the beast, and she had a feeling it had an effect on MacArthur too. That, she surmised, was why he'd called this glum meeting. "So, General, what do you want to see me for?" She asked, sitting casually opposite the glum-looking American man.
"I think Rhee's gone a bit too far… I can't see how we can keep the people's support behind him, and if it wasn't for the President insisting we support that American-educated…"
*NOTE: To prevent readers of this archive from being offended and suing again, MacArthur's foul language has been censored from this edition, for proper reference, please look for a Uncensored Edition copy of this Archive. We at Shepard Industries Archivists ® are sorry for this inconvenience, if you wish to lodge a complaint as to the censorship, please protest at your nearest South Korean consulate or embassy, however, before doing so, please don appropriate protective gear and have armoured support on standby in case things turn ugly.
MacArthur used a few choice words before continuing "…shooting children and old people right in front of my troops… what were they thinking? They should know my men almost shot the killers… they learnt from your troops that the best way to deal with sentient beings acting like rabid animals was to shoot them like they were rabid animals. The only thing that stopped my men from dealing with the killers, who by the way acted like nothing had happened even while we, ahem, slowed them down for a chat while my men asked me about it, was ME personally ordering them to spare the fuckers."
"I don't know, General, I don't know what to say, what to do, everyone on the peninsula seems to have gone insane, but as long as I have operational freedom, I'll put down Syngman Rhee if and when it becomes necessary… when his crimes demand it. You okay with that General?"
MacArthur snorted "I would donate a bottle of champagne for the occasion if I could get away with it politically. By the way, how do you have so much political immunity? It would be nice if I could get so much freedom."
Hannah shrugged "I don't know, I think it's because I only do bad things to people who really deserve it… and otherwise keep strict discipline over my troops' behaviour" She knew full well that it came with having a large Propaganda Department taking care of public relations, but she wasn't going to say it directly…
That meeting had been some time ago, when MacArthur had made it clear that he would turn a blind eye as long as Hannah's troops did nothing totally outrageous. In this case, they were going to be hanging around Kyushu doing nothing while their General went on a vacation to Tibet for a few months. She took a long horse trek across the Himalayas so that she could get a good look of what Tibet really was like. She didn't like what she saw.
It was a feudalistic society where the serfs were punished severely by the aristocrats—mostly the monks—for even the smallest of things. Stealing a chicken would get your nose or some other body part cut off, and boiling/skinning people alive as punishment was not exactly rare. She had video footage of everything, captured by Tanya's skilled and stealthy team, which accompanied her into Tibet, and she had a feeling that if Propaganda sold this right the people back home would be barking for a crusade of some sort. She came out of Tibet utterly sick of what they were doing to innocents (whatever she did, she did to the deserving) and sent Mao a one-line message "If you want to liberate Tibet, I will support you in the world media".
A/N: Believe it or not, the only people protesting China reclaiming Tibet (it was historically Chinese territory or client state) are the escaped nobility and top level of the feudal society, the underdogs, the vast majority, are happy to be "liberated" and stayed where they are today, in Tibet. Before you start yapping about the Sinkiang thing, note this: The Chinese had established a presence in the area before 500 AD, the rioting minority group came from Siberia about 1000 AD, the locals let them settle there… and now they're telling the old residents to leave "their land". Remember, the privileged don't want a system to change no matter how despicable it is. The current Dalai Lama was only a child at the time so he is not at all to blame, and I don't believe he fully understands what he is advocating, he deserves respect, but his cause…
Oh, and I think this will present the media defeat/rift that you wanted, S058, if you're still reading at all.
Hannah was hardly surprised when North Korea invaded, or at least when she was briefed. however she was surprised by the brutality both sides displayed. The North Koreans were conducting a massive purge as they came south, which in her opinion slowed their operations down, and Syngman Rhee was ordering a "Pre-emptive Apprehension of Leftists" nation-wide. On the 27th of June, as he evacuated from Seoul, the son of a bitch ordered the execution of all Bodo League (suspected political opponents or possible sympathizers) members and South Korean Worker's Party members. It was like the motherfucker never took a good look in the mirror to see if he wasn't being like the Japanese in World War Two…
Douglas MacArthur had acted with speed suited to his office, as soon as the reports were confirmed, he ordered the immediate halting of all massacres across South Korea and authorized his troops to employ "Whatever means necessary to prevent the deaths of innocents at the hands of the south Korean military". It was too late to save the 200,000 already killed, but it stopped further killings. On multiple occasions US troops and British soldiers, after liberating sites where thousands of children had already been killed, nailed the perpetrators to the ground with stakes and ran them over, feet-first, with tanks. Hannah personally endorsed this behaviour, and the slogan "Grinding treads prevent dead children" was essentially shouted from the rooftops by her organization's Propaganda Department.
Unfortunately, the in-fighting this caused and the political backlash meant that the Allies were disadvantaged. Against the 89,000 North Korean troops, the Republic of Korea Army buckled like a wet paper bag, and the Far East US forces were not doing much better. Due to recent budget cuts to military equipment in favour of putting funding into the Marshall Plan (rebuilding Europe) MacArthur's forces were under-strength and using relatively aged equipment, including bazookas incapable of penetrating the Soviet-made T-45s the North Koreans were using. The M48 tank had been invented, yes, but it was still not in the scene on the Far East and would not be for several critical months. Perhaps it was fate that put elements of the 21st Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division as the first line of US forces to engage, on July 5, 1950, the North Koreans at Osan. The North Koreans were first spotted around 0730.
Of the first column of 8 tanks, only two were destroyed or disabled, the rest rumbling by ignoring the ineffectual American fire, though they did destroy two of the howitzers present, the ones that had been placed forward and been issued the only twelve HEAT shells the division had. To quote MacArthur on the report "This… is why I wished we'd switched to all-HEAT artillery load-outs when our buddies did." The first Bazooka model could not penetrate the T-45 (an up-armoured, up-powered version of the T-40 fitted with an 85mm gun), but the second could, and MacArthur had already requisitioned the better weapons as soon as the war started. Unfortunately, they took time to get there.
At about 1100, a column of three tanks leading a column of trucks, upward of 9 kilometres long, was spotted, and at 1145 when the column was under 900 meters away the Americans opened fire with everything they had. It took until 1430 for the man in charge of the US troops, Colonel Smith, to order a withdrawal. They had only 120 bullets each for their rifles, and were running out after nearly three hours of fighting. His troops had mostly only eight weeks basic training, and it was pretty bad, mostly about marching, saluting, and looking right, they were inexperienced, and the hordes of better-trained North Korean troops proved too much for them. However, they still mostly retreated in orderly fashion, despite the enemy slowly moving to envelope them. C company, then the medics, then the HQ, and finally B company pulled back. 2nd Platoon, B Company, failed to get the order, however, and when they found themselves alone it was too late. They had to leave their wounded and an attending medic as they routed.
Those wounded would later be found shot to death in their litters and the medic was never found. The vehicles of Task Force Smith were found intact and took the troops away. Upon first count, 20 had been killed, 130 wounded or missing, and around 36 captured. Later it would be found that 60 had been killed, 21 wounded, and 82 captured, with only 50 of those captured returning alive.
The next delaying action on the road south from Suwon was at Pyongtaek, the 34th Infantry Regiment of the 24th Infantry Division engaging the North Koreans on July 6, 1950. It was similarly very badly equipped, and given faulty intelligence that said the advancing North Koreans were poorly trained and equipped. Only a few troops had WWII combat experience, and they'd been transferred from another division only days ago. Each man had less than 100 bullets for his rifle… though fortunately everyone had at least a rifle. Brigadier Barth told the unit to only hold as long as it could, and not risk being flanked or enveloped. This caution led to half the regiment's strength being moved south to Chonan, followed by an utter rout as soon as contact was made with the enemy. Not having been subjected to even simulated live-fire, the troops often hid in their foxholes instead of shooting back. General Dean, the divisional commander, was extremely angry about the rout, and took the blame for himself as he'd allowed one inexperienced battalion to try to hold against an enemy superior in all respects. The man's journal morbidly said "It was almost worse than what I heard of the conquest of Tokyo…"
Chonan was a better fight, as the Americans held through the night of the 7th and into the morning of the 8th of July, but still in the end local numerical superiority, better training and better equipment saw the North Koreans push the Americans into another rout. It was to MacArthur, listening to the report, strangely nostalgic of how the Axis forces had routed in the looming mechanical tide that Hannah's army represented in WWII. Annoyingly, Hannah had been slow to mobilize her forces, thanks to the massacres Syngman Rhee had ordered, and warned the man that should he flee Korea at any point in the war he would be "dealt with".
General William F. Dean joined his men in the house-to-house fighting that raged around Taejon until July 25th, then retreated. The man was awarded a Medal of Honour for joining his men under fire to hunt the North Korean tanks with the new Bazookas they'd recently been shipped. He had however bought time for the establishment of the Pusan Perimeter, and the North Korean leadership began issuing stricter rules on prisoner treatment out of concern for what their soldiers were doing. Unfortunately these would not be enforced per se for several months.
On the other hand, the Pusan Perimeter had been fully dug in, and considering the stockpiles of rations brought in at first to help feed the Japanese and now being offered for sale to MacArthur at a reasonable price, he had food for his troops. The 7.5mm Battle Rifles the US Army used, which were SI-designed guns, mostly licensed for production in the US, were easy to find ammunition for once he asked. However, he still had little for his artillery and even fewer tanks. What he could comfort himself on was the intel gleaned from captives, who said the North Koreans were subsisting on one or two meals a day and didn't have enough ammunition in their forces to exploit any new breakthroughs.
While the Pusan Perimeter Campaign was raging and the UN was holding the line just fine, Hannah received alarming intelligence reports from Jeju Island about thousands being detained, then sorted into perceived-threat groups, labelled A, B, C and D. Due to the sheer stench of Gestapo-like activity around the island, she decided "to offer better close air support against North Korean positions and forces in South Korea" by moving two divisions there, one of them an Aviation Division, without more than an hour's prior notice.
Needless to say, that turned out disastrously when the troops caught wind of the mass executions and burnings of villages conducted by South Korean soldiers. The young men and women kidnapped form the villages were still being killed a day after Hannah issued an ominous warning to the commander of the troops, so she decided to abandon all pretences and declare "All South Korean military forces on Jeju Island participating in the purging of the population are fair game for neutralization."
Once it was found that the young men were killed after kidnapping and the women killed after being gang-raped over several weeks, as per the reports of Tanya's commando team after eliminating several South Korean Army installations, Hannah sent the report to Truman. They went along with a warning that if Syngman Rhee did any more of this she would declare war on his PERSON.
Unfortunately, some of her soldiers became so angry that they gunned down some of the South Korean troops after they surrendered, without authorization to do so. These men and women were restrained and brought to their superiors, then dishonourably discharged (i.e. fired) and shipped back to Canada. The Korean girls who'd been gang-raped were given the chance to identify their rapists. These rapists were then strung up in chains and bolted spread-eagle to walls before their victims, armed with issued bayonets, were let loose on them. To quote one SI soldier as he watched the slaughter "I don't do innocent-killing, pretty much all of us don't, and we're strictly not allowed to, but these guys… they earned it. I can't argue with that."
When the battle-field reporter asked him why, he replied that "I was one of the soldiers who overran them bastards, I remember kicking down a door with my SMG and catching five son of a bitches with their pants down raping…that girl over there." He pointed at one young woman who was stabbing one of her once-rapists over and over again, screaming obscenities in Korean and sobbing as their blood splattered her face. "It wasn't pretty, if they hadn't put their hands up to be cuffed and tied up by my squad, any one of us would have mown all of them down right there for 'resisting', but they did, and we weren't authorized to kill prisoners of war after a surrender unless it was approved by at least a Theatre Commander… It's good to see these men getting the only justice they'll ever get, they burnt sixty percent of the island's villages, did you know that? Fifteen thousand people died at their hands, and now they're getting what they deserve, nothing more, nothing less. When we get hands on the North Korean secret police units that are conducting the purges they're doing as they come south, and maybe the South Korean units doing their own purges, we'll do some more dispensing of justice if our Generalissimo allows it." Propaganda met unexpected resistance selling that one in America, though it worked well elsewhere. However, it also meant that UN public support for this War shifted from "Support South Korea" to "Remake South Korea" which the US did not like. Hence the US Army stopped purchasing firearms from SI factories and began their own firearms development, trusting that their current stocks would hold fine in the interim. That alarmingly meant SI was at an extremely thin profit margin unless Hannah cut down on supplies shipped to Gunter or started charging more than a formality for them.
As for the political part of the backlash, when Hannah, Syngman Rhee and MacArthur met in Pusan, she had blinked stupidly when he demanded "What happened to my men? How did so many of them get killed after you took over the security of the island?"
"The ones burning villages and killing people out in the open even after we told them to stop" That message had been in English just so that not too many would immediately get the point and give her a casus belli "we thought they were North Korean insurgents. Mr. Rhee, you had to have told your men we were coming to help… but when they're busy burning, raping and looting, I can't tell the difference between your men and North Koreans, so I had to stop them. As for the rapists, I don't know how the civilians got bayonets," Her way of handling out bayonets was by opening several crates of bayonets and leaving them on the ground in front of the wall that the rapists were chained to, though the meaning was very clear thanks to a paper sign that was burnt after the fact "maybe the civilians your troops captured got tired of being used for bayonet practice and seized their bayonets. The ones that were identified as rapists by the local civilians were being held for questioning when the mob swarmed our guards, who were limited to peaceful means of pushing the mob back, and killed the scumbags. We weren't about to shoot down a crowd of victimized women for getting a little revenge…"
"That's called letting people get away with war crimes, Generalissimo Shepard, what happened to your policy of doing what was right?" Rhee sneered. MacArthur's lips were pursed and his eyes open wide, his face obviously straining to hold in laughter at the absurdity of the situation. He was privately thinking that he never did like Rhee and that Hannah was probably more correct than the man was.
"Letting rapists die is a good thing for your country, your people, Mr. Rhee, you would do well to remember that." Shepard leaned forward imperiously. "Most of your men were spared, and have been returned to you unharmed, only the guilty ones were dealt with. You would do much worse yourself, or have you forgotten the Bodo League Massacre? Or the killings the North Koreans are conducting as they come south? Are you no better than them?" The only reason she hadn't intervened was that she would crush the North Koreans so fast and so thoroughly China would swarm her, and she wanted decent relations with that country. It could be a useful counterweight for the USSR or US, depending on circumstances.
That meeting did not end on the best of terms, and Rhee only ceded defeat on the Jeju Island issue and accepted because of how valuable the massed fighter-bomber support from the Island was proving in the western and southern sectors of the Perimeter. They were being used in everything from sir-superiority—though the aging warplanes were not quite as good as the P-51 Mustang—to parachuting supplies to units. MacArthur continued the talk with Hannah after Rhee left. "I'm planning a landing… would you mind leasing me some hardware?"
Hannah smirked "Where and when?"
"Inchon, 15 September or thereabouts."
"Why do you need my ships? Don't you have enough of your own?"
"We all know you have the only decently armoured and armed landing craft available to me right now, Hannah, no need to be modest. The harbour at Inchon isn't great, but it's at least not mined, so it's a good spot to land."
"Alright, I'll lease the services of one Supply Flotilla to you for a duration of two weeks, starting on the 11th and ending on the 24th, that alright with you?"
MacArthur nodded slowly "Twenty-five 20,000-ton capacity freighters, eight of your Corvettes, three Frigates and a Destroyer… that should be more than enough when coupled with the extra bombardment capacity I can bring to bear."
Hannah nearly died of shock when she realized what MacArthur was doing. He was pushing on Seoul in an advance so grindingly slow that the North Koreans were getting a chance to retreat. Despite the heaps of supplies her freighters delivered once their landing ship job concluded in success with only minor, negligible damage to the ships, MacArthur was going for Seoul instead of slashing across the waist of the peninsula. He could have cut off all North Korean forces in South Korea permanently, but he had to fulfill his personal promise to the South Koreans to reclaim their capital. Her opinion of him went from very high to medium-low in an instant after getting that news. As a result, about 30,000 North Korean soldiers made it north across the Yalu River, where clandestine support from the USSR and China saw their units reformed and re-equipped. Stalin seemed to be using the Koreans as a dump for his obsolete T-45s… while he himself was involved in the development of newer and better tanks.
Anyhow, MacArthur's strategy was totally unlike the decisive German strategies in the Baltic area in WWII, with limited recon, rear command posts, cautious, restrictive orders, and phase lines, taking 11 days to move 20 miles. She could have cut across the whole peninsula in 11 hours‼! The Americans squandered their strategic success, unlike the WWII Germans who made 200 miles in 4 days using breakthrough mentality. The Germans had done things in her current way: positioning leaders as far forward as feasible, relying on oral or short written orders, reorganizing combat groups, and engaging in vigorous recon. Still, by the time she could have jumped into the fray it was already too late to simply tear a huge hole in the North Korean military. As a result, Hannah stayed mostly out of the war… for now.
October came and went, with the Battles of Yongju and Chongju, then November came, and with it the pouring of Chinese forces across the Yalu River. MacArthur had wanted to take the initiative with China, yet Truman disagreed and ordered a limited war, handing the initiative on a silver platter to the Chinese. The Communist Chinese were vastly underprepared for a blitzkrieg-style modern war, but having the initiative they pushed the UN forces south steadily. Zhou Enlai was the overall commander and coordinator of the war effort and Peng Dehuai was the field commander. UN air recon failed epically as the Chinese employed dark-to-dark marching, from 1900 to 0300 each night, and would remain motionless if an aircraft appeared. They managed to surprise the UN forces and quickly turn the tide through sheer numbers, directed against the weaker South Korean units instead of the strong American units.
Hannah had to face-palm regarding the combat reports from Unsan, as optimism had prevented the UN forces from taking warnings about overwhelming Chinese forces seriously and resulted in UN forces being smashed embarrassingly. Her commanders were drilled that should an attacker be expected to appear in force enter the field at all an immediate fisting of forces needed to occur and a breakthrough be made, or an organized retreat, ideally under cover of darkness. However, China had pulled back, obviously to resupply and regroup, since their lack of full-scale mechanization meant they couldn't bring that much food and ammunition with them into Korea, and with how thoroughly the Chinese-Korean border railways had been annihilated that wouldn't work either.
Still, by November 15, when the Chinese first offensive phase was over, MacArthur believed Chinese involvement to be currently limited and that he had adequate forces to deal with them. The dropping temperatures made maintenance difficult and he purchased additional supplies stockpiled in Japan, namely thousands of canisters of used Winter Lubricant dating from the original invasion of Japan. They were somewhat contaminated with Standard Lubricant thanks to how the things were changed and recycled for reuse, but popping a couple fresh canisters to top them off allowed the old canisters to be sold to MacArthur for his troops. Typically, fresh, pure Winter Lube was only needed every year if one was entering, say, Siberia or the Antarctic. Otherwise, one could recycle it in a temperate-zone operational theatre for up to five or even ten years without it becoming too contaminated for use, as long as one was careful when changing the lubricant, which also functioned as heat exchange fluid and such.
Working with intel that said only 30,000 Chinese could be hiding in the hills, MacArthur ordered the bridges over the Yalu bombed. When Hannah reminded him that appearances weren't everything, his reply was "Not everyone has the submersible tanks and APCs you do, Generalissimo, I believe that the Chinese only have a handful of tanks, period, so… I believe it would be a good idea to hit them now before they could purchase enough hardware from the USSR."
She couldn't disagree with that thought, but she did tell him "Stationary columns are near-impossible to detect from the air, and I doubt you'll get all the big troop movements over the Yalu river…"
Still, MacArthur launched the Home-By-Christmas offensive on November 30. Unbeknownst to him, Peng Dehuai had more than 180,000 People's Volunteer Army soldiers in North Korea, and aimed to push the UN forces to just north of Pyongyang with his Second Phase Offensive. More troops were arriving every day, so he ordered his units to fake a rout north, releasing prisoners along the way, and authorized the start of the Second Phase Campaign on November 30. The UN troops had such high morale that there was an average of less than one grenade and 50 rounds of ammunition carried per man into the offensive. Most of the helmets were also discarded by the overconfident UN troops.
By contrast, the Chinese had an average of one rifle per three soldiers… and five days of rations per man. However they still fought tenaciously and in the Battle of Ch'ongch'on River drove the US and UN forces back hard. The ensuing Battles of Wawon and Chosin Reservoir destroyed about 50% of China's PVA forces and allowed the US forces to establish another defence line south of the 38th Parallel. However, the front line then stabilized with the Chinese running low on food and ammunition, for example, at Ch'ongch'on River the PVA lost officially about 20,000 troops as combat casualties, though the total casualty count was 45,000 from hunger and cold. Eighth US Army, or what was left of it, took the opportunity and entrenched south of the 38th Parallel. A ceasefire at the 38th Parallel was proposed to China on December 11, 1950.
Mao chose to see this proposal as a sign of weaknesses that China could and should exploit further. Against the advice of Peng and other generals, he ordered the PVA to invade South Korea, a mission well beyond the PVA's fragile supply capabilities. It would prove to be such an embarrassment that the war would be settled on amicable peace terms between the major belligerents, but there would be much bloodshed before that point…
Beginning on December 10, reports piled in of night attacks and encirclements with loud trumpets and gongs. MacArthur surmised in his memos to her—and Hannah agreed—that the trumpets and gongs were both for disorientation and signalling. Seoul was lost again on January 9, 1951 as the UN forward defences collapsed under the sheer weight of the Chinese offensive, and MacArthur began contemplating the use of nuclear weapons against the interior of North Korea. The fallout zones would disrupt North Korean and Chinese supply chains, he hoped, but he was also concerned with side effects for his own forces and how immediately effective—or decidedly not—it would be.
It had been found with two nuclear tests in Nevada that radiation belts could last for at least many months after an atomic bomb went off, and that these belts were very dangerous. A bunch of actors using a valley were dying even now because of the valley being the location of the second nuclear test, even though they had waited two months before going in. Still, MacArthur had to wonder how the massive manpower available to China would, or would not, be affected by the fallout, probably it wouldn't even put a dent into the hordes.
Before he could decide, General Ridgeway arrived in-theatre and the morale of the battered Eighth Army began ballooning again, so MacArthur cancelled the use of nukes. The fact that the PVA had severely outrun its supply capability helped greatly in the stabilization of the front, and by February the starving Chinese forces had been forced to abandon their forward battle lines. The reconnaissance-in-force Ridgeway ordered turned into a general offensive as X Corps gradually advanced under UN air superiority. However, the tide turned again on February 25th when the Chinese launched their Fourth Stage Offensive. Fortunately it was soon blunted by UN units, now far better supplied, standing and fighting it out. Fighting at odds of 15 to 1, the UN forces held off the Chinese attacks, though they themselves sustained heavy casualties.
In early March, 1951, Ridgeway fired up Operation Killer on the entire front as his three Corps-class units moved forward in a coordinated push to kill/capture as many Chinese and PVA soldiers as possible. By March 25, via Operation Ripper, Seoul was back in UN hands, the pre-war population of 1,500,000 down to 200,000 and with severe food shortages. It was the fourth conquest of the city in a mere year, leaving it a total ruin. But it was on April 1 that Stalin agreed to loan Soviet Air Force units to the Chinese, ostensibly under the guise of selling the planes, just to get some experience for his pilots.
Things would have been nice if MacArthur could get his hands on Patton for the Korean War, but the guy was tied up supervising forces under Eisenhower in Europe. Still, the tanks named after the guy, the M48 Patton, had arrived, and along with British Centurion tanks they dominated the battlefield wherever their deployment was feasible. To counter the MiG-15 Fagot, MacArthur brought in masses of F-86 Sabre jets, and air superiority was quickly back in UN hands as Stalin could only send so many fighters without damaging his own air forces badly. The man also seemed to want to test his technology without going to war with the Allies, which was a relief for Truman.
April and May 1951 saw several things happening: the fifth major Chinese offensive, and the war coming to a stalemate at Line Kansas, just north of the 38th Parallel. In late April, Peng Dehuai had sent his deputy to brief Zhou Enlai in Beijing about the real situation at the front. To quote him "Our soldiers do not fear the enemy, they fear that they have nothing to eat, no bullets to shoot, and no trucks to carry them to the rear when they are wounded." Of course, he said this in Mandarin Chinese, but that was what he meant.
It took until June 1st, 1951 for the situation to escalate far enough for Hannah to be interested in entering the war. Maybe she should have joined earlier, but she didn't hold her foes to the same standards as her friends, hence she had only thought of the North Koreans' conduct as barbaric instead of inexcusable. However, the US troops were shooting civilian refugees just because of fear of infiltrators, hence she wasn't interested in supporting THEM per se, and by the time she chose to join the war, another situation had cropped up: Tibet.
A/N: I hope I didn't skim too shallowly for everyone, this gives a basic political overview, and I know she's a bit hypocritical in demanding more of her allies than enemies, but the PVA conduct was by far the best overall of the belligerents. The POWs got rather better rations and supplies than the soldiers, though many still died of hunger and disease. The PVA was, to quote the Chinese description, "Millet Plus Rifle". They didn't even have RICE to eat‼‼