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Harry Turtledove: Index > Senior Generals in Joe Steele


I have been considering who was what and when in the Joe Steele novel. On page 397 the Republicans tried to draft Eisenhower or Bradley as their candidate for President. Eisenhower is described as "the architect of victory in the Pacific" while Bradley is the "conqueror of Western Europe". This confirms what is implicit in the story namely that Eisenhower fills the role played by MacArthur in OTL and Bradley fills in for Eisenhower. Further, Eisenhower is the de facto military governor of Japan from the end of WW II to and probably including the Japanese War. Now Marshall attends the cabinet meeting when Hitler invades the USSR to brief Steele on the Soviet's chances. This suggest he was Chief of Staff of the Army as in OTL. However, when Steele dies, he is the Secretary of War so he obviously changed positions in the intervening years. It could have been just after the end of WW II as in OTL but it might have been after the Japanese War. The scene where Steele dies had his "Pain Trust" discussing James Van Fleet's complaint about lack of reserves in ammunition and Eisenhower's response that he was worrying about nothing. Van Fleet is clearly Eisenhower's subordinate but he commands only the troops at the DMZ so Eisenhower could still be in charge of all of South Japan or he could have replaced Marshall as Chief of Staff.

Any other thoughts? ML4E (talk) 18:35, June 7, 2015 (UTC)

Yeah, that's been bothering me as well. Even in a relatively good-to-great book, HT pulled his "Oh, this guy's doing this thing, did I mention that?" trick.

Re: Marshall as Chief of Staff--I think that's probably the case on more or less the schedule of OTL. In addition to what you pointed out above (although I should note that in OTL, Marshall was a 4-star general, whereas in the novel he's only a 3-star), when Steele is trying to recall MacArthur, there is a reference to having Marshall do it by reminding MacArthur that refusing to obey an order was a court-martialable offense. I don't think MacArthur would have come back for just another general, but he would come back for Chief of Staff.

Ah right, I had forgotten about that. ML4E (talk) 18:36, June 8, 2015 (UTC)
Since Eisenhower wasn't executed after the outbreak of the Japanese War, I'm inclined to think he must have been in a new position before 1948. Chief of Staff does fit the facts we have, which would leave Bradley in Europe. I suppose an alternative possibility is that Ike was in command of South Japan through the end of the Japanese War, and that Steele was more forgiving of the North Japanese attack than he was of Pearl Harbor in light of Ike's winning the Pacific. That seems out of character for Steele (and Stalin), though. TR (talk) 19:30, June 7, 2015 (UTC)
Good point. I hadn't considered what Steele's reaction would be to whoever was in command when the Japanese War broke out. ML4E (talk) 18:36, June 8, 2015 (UTC)

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