MacArthur's War: A Novel of the Invasion of Japan

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Overview

Just as Fox on the Rhine and Fox at the Front showed readers an alternate Europe in which Hitler had been killed, thereby radically changing the course of World War II, Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson bring us the Battle of Midway with a very different outcome.

The Allies are wildly out maneuvered and sent home in disgrace. Back in the States things are looking rather grim as the ultra-secret Manhattan Project runs into snafus that greatly ...

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MacArthur's War: A Novel of the Invasion of Japan

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Overview

Just as Fox on the Rhine and Fox at the Front showed readers an alternate Europe in which Hitler had been killed, thereby radically changing the course of World War II, Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson bring us the Battle of Midway with a very different outcome.

The Allies are wildly out maneuvered and sent home in disgrace. Back in the States things are looking rather grim as the ultra-secret Manhattan Project runs into snafus that greatly delay the final production of the atomic bomb.

President Roosevelt’s approval ratings drop dramatically. Congress is desperate and the country cries out for a hero.

That hero might just be Douglas MacArthur, who vowed that he would return to his beloved Philippines. He plans to do so with the backing of the entire US Armed Forces.

MacArthur’s plan of action is simple: take the war back to the Japanese, island by bloody island, until standing on the shores of Japan, he can proclaim victory.

And possibly gain the leadership of the United States as well.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Veteran video game designers and coauthors of the World War II alternate histories Fox on the Rhineand Fox at the Front, Niles and Dobson reimagine the Pacific Theater in their latest historical novel. With the American navy still smarting from Pearl Harbor and (here's the twist) a crushing defeat at Midway, Gen. Douglas MacArthur secures control of the Pacific theater. After clearing the Solomon Islands—where the authors put MacArthur at the Battle of Bloody Ridge—the campaign moves on to the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan. Following his triumphant return to the Philippines, MacArthur's march to Tokyo turns treacherous. The Japanese launch "mass suicide attacks" on Okinawa—an ominous prelude to an invasion of Honshu. Trouble, meanwhile, besets the Manhattan Project, and perhaps most ominous of all for the egomaniacal MacArthur, President Truman dispatches Gen. George Patton to the Pacific to command MacArthur's armored corps. With one eye on the Japanese and the other on Patton, MacArthur launches the long-anticipated invasion of Japan. Fans of alternative history will enjoy this imaginative but plausible what-if account of World War II in the Pacific. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
From the Publisher
Praise for the Fox duology:

“Outstanding …must reading for imaginative WWII buffs”—Booklist

“The authors' attention to military detail and maneuvers would satisfy any drill instructor, and they imbue even minor historical characters with authenticity and personality, demonstrating how an individual's actions and reactions shape history.”—Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250053664
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 5/15/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 1,035,229
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.28 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Niles is an award winning game designer and the co-author of the alternate WWII duology Fox on the Rhine and Fox at the Front. He lives in Wisconsin.

Michael Dobson is also an award-winning game designer and co-author of Fox on the Rhine and Fox at the Front. He served as a member of the team that built the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Hawaii

Wednesday, 10 June 1942

Hickam Field, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 1310 hours

The four-engine Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport plane emerged from the blazing tropical air, and for a brief instant it looked to the spy as if the plane was towing the sun across the sky like Apollo's chariot. The spy, who was posing as a reporter, listened to his supposed peers.

One of the assembled photographers started to lift his camera but gave it up as hopeless. "That's gotta be Mac's plane," he said, shaking his head.

A reporter standing next to him gave a single dry cough of a laugh. They had all been standing on the hot tarmac for nearly an hour. "You know the difference between Douglas MacArthur and God?"

"Naw. What?"

The reporter took another drag on his cigarette. "God doesn't think he's Douglas MacArthur."

There wasn't much laughter. Most of the press had long since heard that one, or some variation, and there wasn't much energy left for laughing, anyway. The regular afternoon rain shower hadn't come yet, and the normal flower-scented Hawaiian breeze had been hijacked by avgas and asphalt.

The C-54 descended, flying in a great circle over the harbor. The reporters and photographers, casual and friendly for the long and boring wait, now jockeyed and pushed for position. Notebooks and pens came out. Cigarettes were hastily finished and butts ground underfoot.

The spy stubbed out his cigarette and took out a notepad, too. He, too, was curious, though for different reasons.

"It's showtime," said the reporter who had compared MacArthur and God.

General Douglas MacArthur—the General to the people who worked for him and who had known him longest—looked through the windblasted and scratched port of the C-54. His chief of staff, General Richard Kerens Sutherland, sat across the aisle. The remaining passengers, all members of the "Bataan Gang," as MacArthur's inner circle was known, sat farther back.

"There's the Arizona," the General said, pointing. He spoke slowly, pensively. Sutherland could barely get a glimpse of the twisted hull and shattered deck of the battleship still resting on the muddy bottom of Pearl Harbor.

"You know, Dick," MacArthur continued, "the men of Bataan were the only Americans who put up any sort of a decent fight against the Japanese, the only ones who slowed the Rising Sun during these terrible months. The men of Pearl Harbor were brave, perhaps as brave, but their battle lasted only an hour, and they had no success to show for their tragedy.

"The men of Bataan delayed the enemy's advance for five months—and their suffering has yet to reach its end. Every day they suffer, MacArthur suffers with them."

"I know, General." Dick Sutherland nodded consolingly. As the plane leveled out for the landing approach, he walked to the back of the plane where a hook was fastened to the bulkhead. It held a coat hanger with MacArthur's uniform jacket on it. Row after row of medals and ribbons were perfectly in place. Sutherland cradled the General's barracks cap, old, faded, limp, in his other hand and carried both up the aisle to the waiting MacArthur.

MacArthur's eyes scanned the rows of ribbons. "My Mexican Service Ribbon is missing. Where's my Mexican Service Ribbon?" he demanded. "Dammit, Dick, I can't go out in public with my Mexican Service Ribbon missing!"

Even on a nine-row ribbon bar, the gap made by the missing ribbon was obvious. Sutherland blanched. Normally the duty of fetching the General's jacket and making sure his ribbons were in order would have been performed by an aide-de-camp, but Sutherland rarely gave away a moment of face-to-face time with the boss. He was going to be the Indispensable Man at all times, no matter what it took. "General, I made personally sure all the decorations were here. Give me one minute, sir." Sutherland began looking wildly around.

"Dick, Douglas MacArthur must have his Mexican Service Ribbon, do you understand?"

"Yes, sir. Absolutely."

Sutherland looked around frantically, then started moving toward the rear of the Skymaster. "The General's jacket is missing his Mexican Service Ribbon," he announced.

Everyone stopped what he was doing to help in the search. It was Willoughby—it had to be Willoughby, Sutherland's rival—who found it. "I've found it, General!" he announced loudly to MacArthur, rather than giving it to Sutherland. Willoughby's accent was German.

"Good man, Sir Charles," came MacArthur's sonorous voice. "MacArthur is grateful."

Sutherland's eyes narrowed. I bet the bastard stole it in the first place.

With a smug grin, Willoughby gave the green, blue, and gold ribbon to Sutherland, who trotted it back to MacArthur and quickly slid the missing ribbon back onto the ribbon bar, ears burning all the while.

As the passengers belted themselves in for landing, MacArthur took one last look out of the scratched and milky window. Far below, the Arizona rested in her watery grave.

As the Skymaster touched down on the long bomber runway at Hickam Field, the reporters started jostling again. The photographers in the front rank crouched on one or both knees, some snapping telephoto shots of the nose art: the word Bataan painted in large letters. That wasn't the name of this particular Skymaster. It was the name of any aircraft carrying Douglas MacArthur.

The transport taxied past the roped press area and swung around again, slowing. The immense roar of the four Pratt & Whitney engines drowned out all other island sounds as the flight line captain waved the C-54 to its designated parking spot and signaled "Cut." The engine noise began to die down as other ground personnel chocked the wheels. The army honor guard and the band both lined up.

The honor guard snapped to attention as the Skymaster's main door swung open. Two corporals quickly wheeled a mobile staircase in front of the door.

There was a pause.

An impeccably uniformed figure appeared in the entrance, haloed in black, sunlight glistening from mirrored sunglasses, rows upon rows of ribbons, every surface polished, every crease in place in spite of the long air journey. Only one note jarred: his old, worn barracks cap, grommet removed, thick with gold braid sported by no other officer in the United States military.

In the shadows he looked a bit like an old man, but when he stepped into the sunlight he seemed much younger, as handsome as a movie star.

MacArthur accepted the salutes of the welcoming troops, and the military band struck up a march. The General gave a firm salute in return, captured by twenty cameras. He then stepped forward to shake the hands of the welcoming party, which was led by a three-star U.S. Army general, Delos C. Emmons. MacArthur didn't know him well, but he was important to the plan.

Lieutenant General Delos C. Emmons was military governor of Hawaii and commander, United States Army Forces, Central Pacific Area. Emmons didn't work for Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur was CINCSWPA, commander in chief, Southwest Pacific Area. Emmons worked for CINCPOA, commander in chief, Pacific Ocean Areas. CINCPOA was Admiral Chester Nimitz.

Hawaii belonged to Nimitz.

This was the split command in the Pacific: two top dogs and one ocean that looked like it wasn't big enough for the both of them.

There wasn't a uniformed naval officer or a marine in sight. As far as the navy was concerned, MacArthur, traveling unofficially and out of his area of authority, was not here.

But he was. And he was in the process of invading Hawaii.

A colonel stepped forward, saluted crisply, and made the introductions. General Emmons saluted.

MacArthur reciprocated, then reached out to shake his hand. "Thank you for this warm welcome. You do this honor not merely for General MacArthur but also for the brave men languishing in Japanese captivity."

"It is indeed an honor, sir. I have a car waiting, if you would care to ride."

"Splendid. Splendid," the General said with a nod, preceding Emmons past the row of hungry reporters.

"General MacArthur! General MacArthur! Is it true that the Japs are planning to invade Hawaii?"

"I'm sorry. The General doesn't have time to answer questions today." Sutherland, at his commander's elbow, spoke brusquely.

"Oh, I believe the General may have time for one or two, just possibly." MacArthur offered a magnanimous wave of his hand. Sutherland looked quite frustrated.

MacArthur pointed at the man who'd shouted the question. "You, sir. You ask if the Japanese are now readying an attack on the Hawaiian Islands?"

"Um, yes. Yes, General, that's right."

"Let us look carefully at the facts. You're with the Star-Bulletin, if I recall correctly?"

"Yes, sir," the man replied. The spy noticed how impressed the reporter was at being remembered. And it was impressive of MacArthur to remember that much detail—that is, unless this was some kind of MacArthur trick.

"May I ask what the headline of your newspaper said on the eighth of June?"

"Uh, I think it was 'Defeat at Midway.'"

"What did the other newspaper headlines say?" MacArthur prompted.

"Well, pretty much the same thing," the reporter admitted.

MacArthur smiled triumphantly. "Several American carriers sunk, with only one Japanese carrier joining them. Correct?"

"Uh, yes, sir," the reporter acknowledged.

"And would Admiral Yamamoto know this as well, even though he's not a subscriber to your fine newspaper?"

A voice rang out in the back of the crowd: "How do you know he isn't?" Everyone laughed, including MacArthur briefly, but the spy suspected that underneath the mirrored sunglasses MacArthur's eyes had not smiled at all.

When the laugh died down, MacArthur repeated, "Even if Admiral Yamamoto doesn't have the advantage, as do I, of the fine information with which you supply your readers, do you think he knows the outcome as well as you or I?"

"Yes, sir," the reporter said.

MacArthur swooped in for the kill. "If you were Admiral Yamamoto, and after the cruel assault of December seventh and our recent loss at Midway, you had the opportunity to land troops on one of these beautiful Hawaiian Islands, islands America has taken into its sacred trust, and take its bountiful riches for your own, what would you do? And if your thoughts run in the same vein as my own, what would you then recommend MacArthur do?"

The reporter had to take a second to parse the question. "Well, I guess I would—"

MacArthur smiled as his mirrored eyes scanned the assembly, then interrupted. "Exactly. I'm afraid it doesn't take someone with MacArthur's grasp of matters military to see the risk that exists here, or to see why immediate and direct action is necessary. For all that the Pacific has been divided administratively into areas for the purpose of offense, clearly when it comes to defense, and especially the defense of these islands so close to our heart and our mainland, our aim should be cooperation. Cooperation! MacArthur is here to put his sword at your service, Hawaii! Together we will repulse the threat from the East, and together we will triumph against adversity. Thank you."

His sonorous voice, rich with an old-fashioned type of elegance, left some reporters rapt and others shaking their heads in skeptical disbelief. All of them, however, were scribbling furiously. The General finally turned to leave.

"General MacArthur! General MacArthur! Will you meet with Admiral Nimitz?"

"I'm sorry. The General really must move along now," Sutherland interjected. MacArthur, having said what he wanted to say, allowed himself to be escorted toward the waiting car.

The remaining members of the Bataan Gang formed themselves into a flying phalanx, like Roman lictors ready to lead their emperor through hostile streets.

The questions were falling like flak as the party moved out, but MacArthur, moving with majesty, ignored them with smiling graciousness.

Until one reached its target. "General! General! What about the Philippines? What about your men?"

Sutherland turned, glowering. "The General really must . . ."

"I—" The General paused, turned back toward the reporters. The focus of his mirrored eyes could not be determined. Finally he spoke.

"I promised the people of the Philippines, 'I shall return,' and I, Douglas MacArthur, shall keep that promise, with the help of God and with the American fighting man at my side. And as for my brave fighting men captured on Bataan, I pray for them nightly, and will deliver them when"—he paused—"when I can."

He turned.

"Will you see Admiral Nimitz?"

"The General really must move along now."

"What about Admiral Nimitz?"

"Move along now."

"What do you think went wrong at Midway?"

"Move along."

The spy was Captain Frank Chadwick, United States Navy. He was wearing civilian clothes to pose as a reporter. He wasn't well enough known to worry about being found out. Everyone who knew him mostly knew him for his cherry-red 1932 MG Midget, the joy of his life. The fake reporter put away his notebook and lit a Chesterfield. He stared at the reporter who asked the last question. What would an army officer know about Midway, anyway? But that wouldn't stop Mac from spouting off on the subject. He probably does think he's God.

Copyright © 2007 by Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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  • Posted October 20, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    REALISTIC ALTERNATIVE HISTORY

    I SELDOM READ ALTERNATIVE HISTORY BUT I'M GLAD I TOOK THE TIME TO TRY "MACARTHUR'S WAR".ONE OF TH PRINCIPLE REASONS I THINK I FOUND THIS BOOK SO ENJOYABLE IS BECAUSE THE PREMISE,THE INVASION OF JAPAN, WAS CONSIDERED AND ,IN FACT, ABOUT TO BECOME REALITY BEFORE THE JAPANESE SURRENDER.THE MAIN CHARACTER ,MACARTHUR HIMSELF,IS PORTRAYED PRETTY MUCH AS HISTORY PORTRAYS HIM.I ENJOYED THIS BOOK AND WILL MAKE IT A POINT TO READ MORE BY THESE WRITERS.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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