The End of CBI Theater
The issue of the wartime relation between China and the United States was now in the hands of the two men who controlled the foreign relations of the two powers, the Generalissimo and the President. Many weeks had gone by since the Generalissimo had promised the President to place Stilwell in command, and now the President was addressing the Generalissimo directly. If the Generalissimo accepted the President's message in good part, then the President could hardly avoid responsibility for what might follow in China Theater. If the Generalissimo did not accept, his refusal, however skillfully executed, would mean that the President was not directly involved in the future conduct of affairs in the China Theater. Such being the case, Mr. Roosevelt might feel under no particular obligation to advance the position and interests of the Generalissimo and his government.
The Note Delivered
After the "plain talk" with Soong on 16 September, Hurley had continued his task of trying to work out the details of the command position which the Generalissimo had agreed, on 12 September, should be given to Stilwell. He was with the Generalissimo a good deal of the time on 17 and 18 September and believed that he had made steady progress toward persuading the Chinese leader to accept the directive and letter of appointment that Hurley had drafted. When they finished their discussion, Hurley arranged to meet again at the Generalissimo's home on 19 September.
At 0945, 19 September, the code machines at CBI Theater headquarters tapped out the last of two messages to the Generalissimo. One was from the President and the Prime Minister, telling the Generalissimo of the plans just made at Quebec. From it the Generalissimo would learn that that the American offensive across the Pacific was aimed at opening a Chinese seaport. This combined message bore directions that Stilwell was to give it to the American and British Ambassadors for joint presentation to the Generalissimo.1 The other message was from the President alone to the Generalissimo. The radios went to the code room, and by 1100 the President's radio had been decoded and was in
Stilwell's hands. Glancing at it, Stilwell saw that he had an important message that was as "hot as a firecracker."2 He also wondered whether he should deliver it personally or whether he should give it to Hurley for delivery. A variety of thoughts probably crossed his mind. Stilwell's analysis of his 16 September talk with Soong suggests a belief that the Generalissimo was negotiating in bad faith. On 18 September he recorded in his diary that Gen. Pai Chung-hsi had told him the Generalissimo's plan was to delay two months at Kweilin until American pressure from the Pacific made itself felt in China, and Stilwell had interpreted this as meaning that the Generalissimo was simply stalling the negotiations. But this message was a very strong note, possibly a turning point, so Stilwell asked counsel of his chief of staff, as to whether he should deliver it. General Hearn six years later recalled saying he did not see how Stilwell could stop a message from the President to the Generalissimo. Hearn was not shown the message, for knowledge of the negotiations was restricted to Stilwell and Hurley.3 The last message from the President to the Generalissimo, only a week before, had been delivered through Stilwell, and Stilwell had so reported to OPD. Such a practice was ordered by Mr. Roosevelt in May 1944, and forty-four years in the Army predispose a man to obey the orders of his superiors. So Stilwell decided to make the deliveries himself. The message about the Quebec decisions he gave to U.S. Ambassador Gauss, at 1400, then drove to the Generalissimo's residence, Huang Shan.4
As Stilwell was approaching Huang Shan, Hurley was in conference with the Generalissimo and a group of Chinese personages, including T. V. Soong, Gen. Ho Ying-chin, Gen. Pai Chung-hsi, who had been Stilwell's choice as a potential successor to the Generalissimo, Gen. Chu Shih-ming, and several members of the National Military Council. On the table were the draft commission for Stilwell, the draft directive, and a simple draft diagram of command channels. Hurley believed the Generalissimo was about to place his chop on each in the presence of the gathering.
As General Hurley later recalled the course of events, at about 1730 an orderly came in and spoke to the Generalissimo. Stilwell had arrived. He was invited to come in but it appeared that he wished to see Hurley first. Fearing that Stilwell brought news of a reverse in Burma, Hurley excused himself and left the room.
On the veranda, Stilwell showed Hurley the President's message. Reading it, Hurley remarked that in effect it was an ultimatum, and suggested that
Stilwell let him paraphrase the message to the Generalissimo. Briefly, they discussed their respective roles. Stilwell stated that he considered he was under orders to deliver the message personally, and the two men returned to the conference room.
The tea-drinking rite was observed, then Stilwell arose, announced he had a message from the President for the Generalissimo and gave it to Gen. Chu Shih-ming to translate. General Chu prepared to read it to the Generalissimo. This was a tense moment. One of the Generalissimo's greatest assets in Chinese domestic politics was the support he had been able to command from the United States. The President's message was a clear hint that this support might end, and it was about to be read before a powerful Chinese who had impressed Stilwell at least as a potential successor to Chiang Kai-shek.
Hurley remembers rising quickly, taking the note from General Chu, and handing the Chinese portion of it to the Generalissimo with the excuse that it would save time if the Generalissimo read it himself.5
Running his eye down the long columns of Chinese script the Generalissimo received the President's demand for action from China:
After reading the last reports on the situation in China my Chiefs of Staff and I are convinced that you are faced in the near future with the disaster I have feared. The men of your "YOKE" Forces crossing the Salween have fought with great courage and rendered invaluable assistance to the campaign in North Burma. But we feel that unless they are reinforced and supported with your every capacity you cannot expect to reap any fruits from their sacrifices, which will be valueless unless they go on to assist in opening the Burma Road. Furthermore, any pause in your attack across the Salween or suggestion of withdrawal is exactly what the Jap has been striving to cause you to do by his operations in eastern China. He knows that if you continue to attack, cooperating with Mountbatten's coming offensive, the land line to China will be opened early in 1945 and the continued resistance of China and maintenance of your control will be assured. On the other hand, if you do not provide manpower for your divisions in north Burma and, if you fail to send reinforcements to the Salween forces and withdraw these armies, we will lose all chance of opening land communications with China and immediately jeopardize the air route over the Hump. For this you must yourself be prepared to accept the consequences and assume the personal responsibility.
I have urged time and again in recent months that you take drastic action to resist the disaster which has been moving closer to China and to you. Now, when you have not yet placed General Stilwell in command of all forces in China, we are faced with the loss of a critical area in east China with possible catastrophic consequences. The Japanese capture of
Kweilin will place the Kunming air terminal under the menace of constant attack, reducing the Hump tonnage and possibly severing the air route.
Even though we are rolling the enemy back in defeat all over the world this will not help the situation in China for a considerable time. The advance of our forces across the Pacific is swift. But this advance will be too late for China unless you act now and vigorously. Only drastic and immediate action on your part alone can be in time to preserve the fruits of your long years of struggle and the efforts we have been able to make to support you. Otherwise political and military considerations alike are going to be swallowed in military disaster.
The Prime Minister and I have just decided at Quebec to press vigorously the operations to open the land line to China on the assumption that you would continue an unremitting attack from the Salween side. I am certain that the only thing you can now do in an attempt to prevent the Jap from achieving his objectives in China is to reinforce your Salween armies immediately and press their offensive, while at once placing General Stilwell in unrestricted command of all your forces. The action I am asking you to take will fortify us in our decision and in the continued efforts the United States proposes to take to maintain and increase our aid to you. This we are doing when we are fighting two other great campaigns in Europe and across the Pacific. I trust that your far-sighted vision, which has guided and inspired your people in this war, will realize the necessity for immediate action. In this message I have expressed my thoughts with complete frankness because it appears plainly evident to all of us here that all your and our efforts to save China are to be lost by further delays.
After reading the message, the Generalissimo remarked quietly, "I understand," and closed the gathering.7
The President's message was not immediately recognized as a turning point in the negotiations. Having delivered the message, Stilwell recorded it as evidence that the President's attitude had changed a great deal since 8 March 1943, when Mr. Roosevelt told General Marshall that one could not speak harshly to the Generalissimo nor exact concessions from him. At last, thought Stilwell, the President's eyes had opened.8
It may be surmised that Stilwell concluded the President had decided on a new policy toward China, that of insisting on action by the Chinese in exchange for U.S. support, which had long been urged by Stilwell and the War Department. That the President should take so firm a stand without advance warning and with no attempt to tell Stilwell what he had in mind would not by itself be a circumstance to disturb Stilwell, for the President had never made a practice of telling Stilwell what his China policy was. And if the President had indeed begun such a course of action, Stilwell as his subordinate would interfere with or undercut the President's new policy at the peril of later disciplinary action.
The Generalissimo's Wrath
Rightly or wrongly, the President and the War Department believed that the Generalissimo's subordinates had carefully edited the President's messages prior to May 1944 to make sure they would be pleasing to Chiang. Consequently, the Generalissimo may not previously have read anything over Mr. Roosevelt's signature that would offend him. When he read the 18 September note, his response was bitter wrath and indignation, and he was later reported to have called in T. V. Soong and told him that the President's message canceled his promise to give Stilwell command.9
The remarks of the Generalissimo's close advisers suggest that the Chinese leader thought of another explanation which would square with his belief that the President was his devoted friend who would never address him so harshly. On 16 September Stilwell had spoken very bluntly indeed to Soong. The Generalissimo may have concluded that after speaking to Soong Stilwell had framed a harsh message, sent it to Washington, and arranged for it to be sent back as though coming from the President.10
Hurley himself came to accept the same interpretation of events. Without any liaison with the War Department, which had simply bypassed him in sending the 18 September note to Stilwell, and receiving no guidance from the President, Hurley was severely handicapped in his efforts to straighten out the tangle. He suspected that Stilwell had no desire to come in at the last minute to take command of a beaten army, and was using this tactic to escape the assignment. He, therefore, began to reach his own conclusions as to the origins of the note and as to Stilwell's motives in delivering it in person. When a few days later Soong asked Hurley point-blank if Stilwell had not arranged the whole episode just to humiliate the Generalissimo, Hurley refused to ask Stilwell.11
If the Generalissimo believed that Stilwell had deliberately engineered an attempt at his public humiliation, this conclusion was some days in making itself felt. Perhaps he hesitated to act on it at once, for on 20 September Gen. Pai Chung-hsi called on Stilwell with good news. The Generalissimo and the National Military Council had approved Stilwell's 18 September plan for the
defense of Kweilin. Stilwell at once sent appropriate orders to Timberman in east China:12
Have prevailed on G-mo to change plans at Kweilin and order 31st Army to fight outside of town. Pai is coming down tomorrow to put new plan into effect and promises to make artillery commanders listen to American liaison officers. Be ready to get artillery liaison officers back on the job if they have been withdrawn, and tell them to throw their weight about. Good luck.13
The information was repeated to Marshall with the added word:
. . . Also the CG of the 93d Army was executed today, which should encourage the rest of them. The Gmo is beginning to listen apparently, but he is moving slowly on the main questions of command and the use of the Reds.14
Stilwell also ordered that G-4, Z-Force Operations Staff, fly about 200 tons of ordnance to Kweilin and Liuchow.15
Not until 21 September did Stilwell learn that the Generalissimo was genuinely angry, which struck Stilwell as being very, very funny. He marked the occasion with a wry bit of doggerel, added a Biblical quotation, and mailed both to Mrs. Stilwell.16
Being in close touch with the Generalissimo, Hurley knew of his anger, and knew too that because of it the negotiations were now deadlocked. He met with Stilwell on 21 September, which was when Stilwell learned of the Generalissimo's wrath, and during the next two days he and Stilwell began drafting an initial progress report to the President. They also considered various ways to get the negotiations moving forward again.17 To Marshall, Stilwell on 22 September expressed the opinion that the Generalissimo was simply delaying in the belief that the U.S. advance in the Pacific would spare him further effort, and permit him "to avoid taking the bitter pill of recognizing the Communists and putting a foreigner in command of the Army." Hurley and he were standing firm, Stilwell reported, and when the shock of the President's radio wore off results might be accomplished, though a relaxing of American pressure would confirm the Generalissimo's belief that his policy of delay would ultimately succeed.18
What Stilwell hoped to do in China if the Generalissimo could even yet be persuaded to place him in command was indicated by a planning directive from Stilwell to his staff on 22 September. An operation against the Canton-Hong Kong area, with the Hanoi-Haiphong area as an alternate target, was to be planned. The staff were to assume resources from within China Theater, such as thirty Chinese divisions and the existing U.S. Army Air Forces and SOS in CBI, and from without China Theater, such as a reinforced U.S. corps of 70,000 men. Possibly Stilwell had been informed of Marshall's agreeing on 16 September to consider sending a corps to CBI. Stilwell told his staff that he planned to move the Chinese Army in India with its five crack divisions and Wei Li-huang's Y-Force divisions to the Kweiyang area. The Canton-Hong Kong area would be the next target. That vital point taken, and its major port and rail facilities open, Stilwell would drive north up the Canton-Hankow Railway, take Hankow, then pivot east and move down the Yangtze valley on Shanghai. Manchuria was the ultimate goal.
Behind this directive lay months of effort by CBI theater planners, beginning April 1944. Col. William M. Creasy and General Sultan of the New Delhi headquarters had taken the initiative in launching staff studies of future CBI operations in China so that there might be a guide for theater deployment and projects. The planning focused on two objectives--establishing a secure, efficient base at Kunming and opening a port in the Canton-Hong Kong area. In June Stilwell's approval of the final draft was given to Colonel Creasy. Meanwhile, in China, Col. Thomas F. Taylor was studying the problem of effecting a lodgment on the southeast China coast. His paper complete, in mid-July Taylor brought a copy to the New Delhi staff, and returned to China with their draft of plans for future operations in China. Taylor developed these studies during August and September. His work called attention to the need for a central reserve at Kunming, to the desirability of establishing areas of Sino-American responsibility across the avenues of approach to Kunming, and to the vital importance of Kweiyang. Stilwell had these studies before him in September and they were discussed at length among his senior staff officers. As noted above, Stilwell accepted the work of the CBI planners, but implementation waited on the Generalissimo's decision on Stilwell. The work of the CBI planners laid the foundation of later China Theater planning.19
Hurley's report as it was finally written and dispatched on 23 September took a more optimistic line than the situation as known to Hurley and Stilwell actually warranted. It made only brief reference to the events of 19 September, and said nothing of the manner in which the President's radio had been delivered to the Generalissimo. There was a hint that the Generalissimo
contemplated a very strong reaction to the President's message. The key passages of Hurley's report were:
As early as the 8th of September the Generalissimo said to me that he was willing, for the purpose of the unification of China, that the Communist troops should be incorporated into the National Army but they should serve as components of the Chinese Army and not as a separate or independent force and, finally, that they must submit to the command of the Generalissimo. The Generalissimo has been working on this subject diligently since our arrival here. Last week he caused to be published the terms submitted by the so-called Communists, and he delivered an address on the subject to the People's Political Council. All of which leads toward harmony with the so-called Communist troops. I am insisting that the conference be shortened and that action be taken without delay. I am familiar with the State Department message to the Generalissimo on the Communist question.20 I have informed the Generalissimo that the so-called Communist troops in China are not considered real Communists by Molotov; Russia's attitude toward China is friendly and that Russia is not attempting to use the Communist troops to prevent military unification of China. Russia desires closer and more harmonious relations with China. I am familiar with your message which General Stilwell delivered to the Generalissimo on September 19th. I have been advising the Generalissimo not to make a response to your note which might cause a deadlock. What is needed to save the situation in China is harmonious action, not a deadlock. The Generalissimo realizes this.
The nature of General Stilwell's mission, the obstruction he has met due to jealousy and concern for face of the Chinese Chief of Staff and others, the inherent dislike for any foreign control on the part of the Chinese and in particular of the Generalissimo, the necessity for safe-guarding American interests have put General Stilwell frequently in a position where he has had to differ with the Generalissimo and stand alone in telling the truth. This has in the past led to friction, due to the fact that the Generalissimo holds very decided views, in most cases not subject to argument, and that Stilwell has to get on with his mission somehow or other. I believe that in spite of the differences in their viewpoints, the situation will now iron itself out. The extent to which General Stilwell has agreed to a reasonable allotment of authority and the fact that his chief concern is to avoid having responsibility without adequate authority and the fact that the Generalissimo has said he will give Stilwell field command of the Ground and Air Forces and with it his complete confidence should indicate to you that while the situation is difficult a harmonious solution is possible. General Stilwell has read and approved this report.21
At Stilwell's urging, Hurley had deleted two paragraphs from his report. One of them related Stilwell's suspicion that the Generalissimo's offer of command might be no more than a device to shift "the responsibility for collapse." Hurley himself believed the situation could be saved and that American officers should assume responsibility where offered, always providing responsibility was matched with adequate authority. Hurley had also proposed saying that "as is usual where two strong personalities are so intimately involved in the question of distribution of authority, the Generalissimo and Stilwell appear to be personally and fundamentally incompatible. They appear to be mutually suspicious of
each other." And then his draft had resumed: "The extent to which Stilwell has agreed . . . ."22
In briefing Hurley's progress report, the Operations Division missed every warning hint and presented the whole course of events to Handy and Marshall in bright, affirmative tones.23
But optimism was unwarranted, for Stilwell and Hurley were fully aware that the negotiations were now at a standstill.
After a routine conference that same 23 September, Gen. Ho Ying-chin, Chief of Staff of the Chinese Army, took Stilwell aside for a private talk. Apparently General Ho knew that something big was under discussion, but had not been taken into the Generalissimo's confidence.24 Stilwell gave Ho a general outline of the discussions and revealed that the negotiations were stalled. Ho's reaction was that American control of lend-lease was the central issue, that the Generalissimo resented the fact that the British Commonwealth and Soviet Union could distribute lend-lease, after receiving it, without American supervision. Stilwell agreed with Ho that such was the obstacle that had stalled negotiations, which suggests he did not believe any act of his was the major factor.25
Quickly expanding Ho's suggestion, Stilwell prepared an agenda for a renewal of talks and gave it to Hurley that same day of 23 September:
Something must be done to break up this stalemate, and it is up to us to do it. CKS is sulking, and the WD [War Department] expects us to handle it.
It is obvious that CKS is listening to our recommendations. He changed his plan at Kweilin, he put Pai Chung-hsi back in, he executed the commander of the 93d Army, and he is going to move six divisions down from the northwest [where they had been watching the Communists]. Apparently he is ready to pass command, and will use the REDS, if they will acknowledge the authority of the Central Government. What he is gagging at is L-L, and it is a serious matter of face with him that Stalin and the Br. can handle the stuff and he can't. The pros and cons are well known; the ques. remains. I propose that we go to the GMO and take up the following items for his consideration.
That I be sent to Yenan to make the following propositions to the Reds:
The Reds to acknowledge the supreme authority of the GMO, and to accept command through me.
The Red Forces to be employed north of the Yellow River, out of contact with the Central Government Troops.
Equipment and ammunition to be furnished five divisions with supporting artillery.
Keep these Red Divisions at full strength at all times.
Both the KMT [Kuomintang] and the Reds to drop discussion of political matters until the Japanese are beaten.
That lend-lease materials (military) be turned over to the GMO on delivery in China for distribution, with the understanding that:
The "X" and "Y" Forces have first priority.
That the remainder of the first 30 divisions, the Reds, and the Kweiyang Force (to be formed [from the units in east China]) to have equal priority.
That no other units be equipped until after these units are fully outfitted. This includes maintenance.
That the command question be settled by the publication of orders as suggested by General Hurley.26
So far as is known, this is the first detailed proposal to supply arms to the Chinese Communists made by General Stilwell to the Chinese and U.S. Governments. He proposed to arm sixty Nationalist and five Communist divisions, with first priority to the Nationalists.
Highly pleased with the new agenda, Hurley accepted it with characteristic gusto and the remark: "This will knock the persimmons off the trees!"27 He took the agenda to the Generalissimo's residence on 24 September. There he found that the Generalissimo had reached his decision; Hurley later wrote on Stilwell's agenda: "Too late!"
The Generalissimo had decided he would not accept Stilwell. Diplomatically refraining from objections to anything the President had said or done, the Generalissimo placed his stand on the ground that because Stilwell had given him the President's message, that, in the Generalissimo's opinion, made him Stilwell's subordinate. Were Stilwell appointed, the Chinese Army might mutiny.28 Then the Generalissimo gave Hurley an aide-mémoire, explaining his refusal to appoint Stilwell, which he desired Hurley to forward to the President. Reading the aide-mémoire, Hurley was startled to see it framed in language which in his opinion was insulting to the President. Considering that he had been sent to China to harmonize Sino-American relations, and believing he held in his hand a paper that would snap them Hurley told the Generalissimo the aide-mémoire would have to be redrafted, that not until the paper could be read by the President without offense would he forward it.29
That afternoon and evening the Chinese worked on their state paper, moderating and polishing it until finally Soong gave it to Hurley in a form that Hurley considered could be sent to the President. With the aide-mémoire Hurley sent his regrets that he had been unable to bring about harmony between Stilwell and the Generalissimo, but believed that the two men were incompatible. "The decision not to appoint General Stilwell," Hurley remarked, "was not made by the Generalissimo until after General Stilwell, a subordinate, handed the Generalissimo your message of September 18."30
In his aide-mémoire the Generalissimo repeated his agreement of 8 and 12 September on the choice of an American officer as commander-in-chief of the "Chinese-American" forces fighting against Japan in China, agreed to place all Chinese field armies and air forces under his command, and concurrently appoint him chief of staff of China Theater. He would welcome Americans taking over the Chinese SOS. He would make "such important changes" among Chinese personnel as would be necessary for the "harmonious" operations of the new American field commander. But Stilwell had to go.
Stilwell must go, the Generalissimo said, because:
. . . it was made manifest to me that General Stilwell had no intention of cooperating with me, but believed that he was in fact being appointed to command me. If you will place yourself in my position, I believe you will understand how in the future I can never direct General Stilwell, or in all seriousness depend on General Stilwell to conform to my direction. If ignoring reason and experience, I were to appoint General Stilwell as Field Commander, I would knowingly court inevitable disaster.
3. In view of the many fine and soldierly qualities which General Stilwell has shown in the past, it is with deep regret that I come to this decision. But my recent experiences with him merely reinforce the experiences of the past two and one-half years, which have firmly convinced me that General Stilwell is unfitted for the vast, complex and delicate duties which the new command will entail. Almost from the moment of his arrival in China, he showed his disregard for that mutual confidence and respect which are essential to the successful collaboration of allied forces. I have repeatedly caused word of this fault in General Stilwell to be conveyed to the President. Last October, I intended to ask for his recall, but when General Stilwell solemnly promised that in the future he would unreservedly obey my orders and would give me no further cause for disappointment, I withdrew my request. Unhappily, General Stilwell's solemn promise has never been implemented. Far from leading to an intensified effort against the common enemy, the appointment of General Stilwell as Field Commander would immediately cause grave dissensions in the new command, and do irreparable injury to the vital Chinese-American military cooperation.31
And the Generalissimo closed by pledging his support to any qualified American officer who might be sent to China as field commander.
The Generalissimo's comments about Stilwell suggest his understanding of what the role of an American field commander in China would be. The field commander would receive the Generalissimo's orders, and the Generalissimo would depend on him "to conform to my [the Generalissimo's] direction." In suggesting that the Generalissimo appoint an American to command the Chinese Army, the President had not proposed that the officer chosen be an instrument for relaying the Generalissimo's directions, but had used such phrases as "full responsibility and authority" (6 July), "absolute command without any hindrance . . . delegating at once to one individual the powers to take immediate military direction. . . ." (15 July), "directly under you [the Generalissimo] he commands the armed forces in China" (23 August), and
finally on 18 September, "in unrestricted command."32 Manifestly, there was as yet no agreement regarding either the powers and duties of the proposed American field commander or his identity.
The Generalissimo's aide-mémoire went unanswered for nearly two weeks. Several replies were prepared by General Marshall for the President's signature, but were laid aside, some after informal talks at the White House. Certain passages that Marshall repeated suggest his concept of the impact of operations in China on the war in Europe. Marshall contemplated asking the President to point out to the Chinese that the American effort over the Hump was badly hampering the war in other theaters because so many transports were involved in bringing supplies to Chennault for an effort that the Joint Chiefs had advised the President on 4 July 1944 was a futile one. For example, the draft of 28 September which Marshall sent to the other members of the JCS said:
. . . General MacArthur's urgent requirements for air transport have not been met. General Wilson in Italy has not had the transport planes he needs. The situation in Holland now hangs in the balance, the outcome dependent largely upon adequate support by air for the forces flown in to secure the Rhine crossing. . . . The United States effort exerted in your theater if placed in other areas would undoubtedly have expedited and shortened operations and resulted in saving many American lives. . . .
After the war, General Marshall considered that the heavy commitment of transport aircraft to the Hump had prevented exploitation of the break-through on the Italian front in the summer of 1944, and had prevented air supply of Lt. Gen. George S. Patton's swift armored advance across France to the German frontier in late summer of 1944.33
The proposed draft also offered an explanation by Marshall of the manner in which the President's message had been delivered by Stilwell:
. . . The delivery of my message by Stilwell personally was a routine procedure which had been in effect for more than a year due to difficulties encountered in the past in securing prompt deliveries and in at least one instance of some evidence that the phrasing of my messages to you had been tampered with. You have my apology for the procedure in the present instance and I much regret that the transmitting agencies in the War Department did not think to give instructions for the message to be presented by General Hurley. Further, I have given instructions which will avoid any offense of this kind in the future.34
Stilwell himself reacted angrily to the Generalissimo's aide-mémoire. His immediate response to Marshall was that the cause of the impasse might possibly be a Japanese broadcast which claimed that Stilwell was plotting a coup d'état that would make him czar of China. "In view of the character of CKS, such stuff, silly as it is, is dangerous." Stilwell repeated his previous contention that the Generalissimo was simply waiting out the war, and was putting its entire burden on the United States. The Generalissimo had "no
intention of instituting any real democratic reforms or of forming a united front with the Communists."35
Stilwell charged that the aide-mémoire was a mass of false statements. Said Stilwell, the Generalissimo had given to Hurley but one concrete example of Stilwell's refusal to co-operate. This was the attack on Bhamo the Generalissimo had desired. Stilwell stated that the Americans had actually paid to fly replacements to Yunnan, had been rushing munitions by air to units not included in CBI Theater plans. "As to conduct, you may be sure I have made no breaks in Chinese etiquette. His statement that I believe I was appointed to command him requires no comment."36 Marshall relayed the message to the White House.
On 29 September, Stilwell reported to Marshall that he had discussed the issue with Gens. Ho Ying-chin and Lin Wei and reported them as unable to guess what the vague disasters were that the Generalissimo had prophesied might follow Stilwell's assumption of field command. The Chinese told Stilwell that the Generalissimo had discussed the issue in a meeting of the National Military Council and no objections had been raised. After that meeting, the Generalissimo had confided only in T. V. Soong, and it was then, said Stilwell, that the Generalissimo had reversed himself.37
Wondering what the Generalissimo might fear from his assumption of command, Stilwell told Marshall that since
. . . the Gissimo might have the notion that I am trying to arm the Communists against him, I informed Ho and Lin that this matter of Communist participation might well be deferred for the time being, if such a solution would let us proceed to face the crisis with the other means available. In other words, work on the X and Y Forces, and salvage and reorganize the remnants south of the Yangtze. They said that this should surely make it possible to get going. I do not know how such a proposal fits in, but it was the only point I could imagine that would explain the Gissimo's stand. It is significant that there was no opposition to me in the Military Council, and that the GMO reversed himself only after Soong moved in and the others were left out. The delay in replying to the GMO's last message has had a marked effect on T. V. Soong who is in a highly nervous and disturbed condition. The only other point that might bear on the situation is that the GMO may believe that I asked the President to send the message in order to humiliate him.38
As he had so often done in the past, during this period of waiting for the
President's reply Soong himself turned to Harry Hopkins and asked him to intervene.39
End of the Deadlock
September ended with the actors in the drama in suspense. Stilwell heard nothing from Marshall, and Soong had no word from Washington.40 But Soong did not have long to wait. Word from Washington came on 1 October, and Soong immediately passed it on to Hurley:
October 1, 1944
Dear General Hurley:
The Generalissimo will see you at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. I shall come to fetch you.
For your immediate information, the Generalissimo today received a significant telegram from Dr. Kung. Dr. Kung stated that Harry Hopkins had told him at a dinner party that the President had received the Generalissimo's Aide-Mémoire and my accompanying letter; that the President was glad of the Generalissimo's acceptance of an American Commander-in-Chief; and that since it concerned the sovereign right of China, the President intended to comply with the Generalissimo's request for the recall of General Stilwell and his replacement by another American officer. At the same time, Mr. Hopkins also told Dr. Kung that the President had not yet seen General Marshall.
According to Dr. Kung, the intention is for the President to discuss the problem of General Stilwell's successor with General Marshall, and as soon as that has been solved, to reply to the Generalissimo's message.
(Signed) T.V. SOONG
(Typed) T.V. SOONG41
Next day, the Generalissimo told a meeting of the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang that he had definitely declined to appoint Stilwell as field commander of the Chinese forces but that he would appoint an American to that post.42 The Generalissimo could hardly reverse himself after such a statement without irrevocable loss of face. In effect, he cast the die after Kung's cable from Washington.
Learning of these events, Stilwell accepted the apparently inevitable and on 2 October began to write farewell letters to officers of his command and to Chinese personages.43
What would be the reply from Washington when it did come? Some indications of the attitude of Stilwell's superiors, rather different from those volunteered by Kung, came from General Merrill, just back from the OCTAGON Conference and Washington. Stilwell called him to Chungking, and Merrill arrived on 3 October. Next day the two officers discussed the current situation. Many years later, Merrill recalled Stilwell's telling him that he had (originally) summoned Merrill to China to act as Stilwell's chief of staff if the latter became field commander of the Chinese forces. Stilwell told Merrill of receiving the President's 18 September message, remarking that he had questioned the wisdom of his delivering it as it really should have gone through Hurley, but that he had been given an order and had carried it out. Stilwell then gave Merrill a number of "eyes alone" messages on the command crisis, saying as he did so that Merrill was the only one besides Stilwell who had seen most of them, and that they were not to be discussed with anyone.44
Then Merrill told Stilwell what he had learned in Washington, and shortly after submitted his observations in memorandum form:
I was surprised to find a general willingness to tighten up and put some definite pressure on the Chinese. [Marshall] is having much less trouble in getting agreement from the White House on pressure than in the past. As regards planning for this Theater, I had a long session with Generals Handy, Hull, and Roberts. Following this, as agreed, General Roberts went into specific details. Points of immediate interest to us are:
Nimitz' repeated statements that we require bases on the China Coast are purely as a cover for our real operations.
We have no interest in the Canton-Hong Kong area.
We would be interested in any operations conducted from the interior of China towards the coast with Amoy being the southernmost limit and Tsingtao the northern limit of the coastal strip in which we might possibly be interested in.
All plans for operations against the Japanese assume that China does nothing but contain some Japanese.
We do not desire to get mixed up on the Continent with large U.S. forces.
We will probably not assist China more than already promised. (30 divisions plus 10% for 2d 30 divisions) thru India. War Department recognizes we may eventually have to equip entire Chinese Army but intends to do this only when it can be done through a port on east coast. . . .
General Handy admitted Stilwell mission was primarily political and that not much in the way of real action by the Chinese was hoped for.45
The mood of the War Department, if Merrill assessed it correctly, was one of detachment toward the military problems of China Theater. There was no longer a military reason for a major U.S. effort in China Theater. If the War Department felt that way, and since at Tehran Marshal Stalin had pledged that the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan when Germany was
defeated, then the Generalissimo's bargaining power vis-à-vis the United States was rapidly diminishing. The China problem was becoming one of diplomacy and personalities, while the stiffening of German resistance ended the possibility of sending a corps to CBI.
The Secretary of War on 3 October recorded his impression that the scales were inclining against Stilwell. In his diary he noted his belief that now as so often in times past the President was preparing to side against Stilwell. And, that same day, Marshall told Stimson that if the United States "had to remove Stilwell he would not allow another American general to be placed in the position of Chief of Staff and Commander of the Chinese armies, for it was so evident that no American would be loyally supported."46
Stilwell's political adviser, who was still in the United States and was unaware that Stilwell's recall appeared probable, believed that the War Department and the Joint Chiefs were losing interest in China, and submitted to Stilwell a plan to be sent to the JCS in hope of recapturing their attention. Its diplomatic implications were great. The plan proposed that the United States in company with the Chinese Communists seize the Shanghai area, after which large quantities of captured German arms would be given to the Chinese Communists. The whole operation was to be kept secret from the Generalissimo and his government until it was executed, and the Chinese Communists were to be treated as a sovereign power to the complete exclusion of the Central Government. Stilwell made an identifying note on the cover of the plan and dropped it in his file.47 From Merrill, Stilwell knew that his adviser had incurred the displeasure of the War Department for what the Department thought a breach of discretion in February 1944.48
When the President's reply to the Generalissimo's aide-mémoire arrived, it indicated that the President was willing to compromise. As Stilwell recommended on 1 October, this Presidential message was sent to Hurley for delivery.49 Hurley gave it to the Generalissimo on 6 October. Its terms suggest that the President as well as the Generalissimo understood the uses of circumlocution. Though there had been no great change in the military situation in China since 19 September when the President had insisted that the Generalissimo place Stilwell in command at once, the President now remarked that the ground situation in China had so deteriorated since the summer that he did not want the United States to assume responsibility. Possibly the President agreed with Marshall that no American should command in China because none would be "loyally supported" there:
Your message of September 25th has been carefully considered. I must state my surprise and regret at the reversal of your agreement of August 12th to accept Stilwell for the command of all forces in China. The ground situation in China has so deteriorated since my original proposal that I now am inclined to feel that the United States Government should not assume the responsibility involved in placing an American officer in command of your ground forces throughout China.
However, the maintenance of the Hump tonnage is of such tremendous importance to the stability of your Government that the continuance of a reasonably secure situation regarding operations over the Hump demands that Stilwell be placed in direct command under you of the Chinese forces in Burma and of all Chinese ground forces in Yunnan Province, it being understood that adequate support in replacements and supplies be furnished these armies by you. Otherwise I am convinced that the Hump tonnage will be interrupted by Japanese action.
I accept your proposal that he be relieved as your Chief of Staff and I intend to relieve him of further responsibility in connection with Lend-Lease matters.
I am willing in the present situation to continue General Chennault in command of the 14th Air Force and for General Hurley to continue as my personal representative with you regarding military affairs in China.
Tonnage over the Hump will be under the direction of General Sultan in Burma. There are further details regarding American administrative responsibilities not pertaining to Chinese personnel which will affect the arrangement of affairs in China but instructions regarding these matters will be issued as soon as the various details can be carefully considered. This would include matters relating to the training by American officers of Chinese units other than the forces of Yunnan Province and the Chinese forces in Burma. The training of these latter should of course be under General Stilwell. At an early date, I will designate an officer to assume supply responsibilities for the U.S. forces in China and who can serve as an advisor to you in similar matters for Chinese forces.
I hope that you will inform me by telegraph that the foregoing proposals are acceptable because I feel that should we remove Stilwell from the Burma campaign the results would be far more serious than you apparently realize.50
Reporting to the President his delivery of the message, Hurley informed Mr. Roosevelt of the Kung-Hopkins exchange, on the strength of which the Generalissimo had publicly committed himself to Stilwell's removal. Hopkins hastened to deny any such statement as that credited to him by Soong: "I told him . . . that I had no idea how the President would reply to the Generalissimo in regard to the latter's request for Stilwell's withdrawal."51 The President's explanation, as given to Hurley in February 1945 and recalled by Hurley in 1949, differed. The President stated he had told Hopkins that he would appoint another American officer, presumably referring to a statement in the Generalissimo's aide-mémoire that any of three Americans whom he listed would be acceptable. Hopkins had relayed the statement to Kung, who drew the conclusions Soong had reported to Hurley.52
The Generalissimo Places the Blame
After the arrival of the President's new proposals, there was another lull, though a brief one, while the Chinese weighed their answer. It was a weekend, and the Generalissimo called Hurley to Huang Shan, his residence. That the Generalissimo would insist on Stilwell's recall was evident at once; had not the President stated through Hopkins that the Generalissimo had only to be firm and the Americans would yield to China's sovereign right? But such a step had to be justified, and the Generalissimo and Soong poured out their complaints against Stilwell. Hurley listened, and answered where a defense of Stilwell seemed necessary. He defended Stilwell as best he could, and finally reduced the Chinese case to what seemed its hard core. But in his discussions Hurley was handicapped by the hasty and inadequate briefing he had received before his departure from Washington. Charge after charge was leveled against Stilwell, and Hurley had no information to the contrary. Moreover, no liaison existed between the War Department and Hurley, so that Hurley still knew nothing of the antecedents of the President's 18 September radio. His reactions were inevitably colored by these circumstances. The discussions at Huang Shan ended with the Chinese seemingly resolved on what they presented to Hurley as an irrefutable case and Hurley returned to his quarters.53
The formal Chinese reply to the President came in two parts. First was a simple and dignified note from the Generalissimo, and then T. V. Soong presented Hurley with an aide-mémoire "covering his [Chiang's] weekend conversations with you."54 The Generalissimo's note to the President assured Roosevelt that the two men were in accord on all points, denied that there had been reversal of policy on his part, but regretted that he could not confide the execution of such important matters to so unqualified an officer as Stilwell. He asked that Stilwell be immediately replaced.55
But the Generalissimo was not content to leave the matter at that. The aide-mémoire denounced Allied strategy in Southeast Asia and toward China as responsible for the loss of east China. Primary responsibility for the debacle was placed on Stilwell, in that this Allied strategy was, according to Chiang, his creation, and the aide-mémoire hinted that Stilwell had been deceiving the President as to the situation in China. Stilwell, whose appointment the President had been urging since the previous July, seemed obviously incompetent to the Generalissimo, a fact he now undertook to point out to Roosevelt:
To Major General Patrick J. Hurley.
In my telegram replying to the President which I have just handed to you, you will note that in order to avoid what may be considered controversial matter, I have purposely limited it to a simple statement of lack of confidence in General Stilwell and a request for his recall.
So long as I am Head of State and Supreme Commander in China, it seems to me that there can be no question as to my right to request the recall of an officer in whom I can no longer repose confidence.
There are, however, certain essential points which I wish to make informally, with a view to obtaining full and clear personal understanding between the President and myself. I am anxious to secure such an understanding since the President's courageous and farsighted leadership in the war against Axis aggression has won my unbounded admiration, and since he has my lasting gratitude for his generous assistance to China in her struggle to win independence and her rightful place in the family of nations. The President has been a constant inspiration to me and my people, so that any misunderstanding between us distressed me most deeply.
Both the President and the War Department are dependent on General Stilwell for information concerning the military situation in China. Thus the President may not be aware that I not only have no confidence in General Stilwell, but also lack confidence in his military judgment. I believe the record sustains my opinion, and I shall summarize it briefly.
General Stilwell and I have never agreed about the Burma campaign. I have most naturally been anxious for a campaign in Burma which would reopen land communications with China. At the same time, in view of the enemy's superior communications in that area, and the difficult terrain, I have always insisted that the only strategically sound campaign in Burma was one which included amphibious operations in south Burma to insure rapid collapse of the enemy's resistance. From the first, I have repeatedly warned General Stilwell that a limited offensive in north Burma would be most costly than could be justified by the results and might even prove exceedingly dangerous. I have also given my opinion to the President when we met in Cairo.
At the Cairo Conference, commitments were finally made by the representatives of the United States and Great Britain which appeared to insure the kind of Burma campaign which I could approve. Unhappily, those commitments were abandoned shortly after I left Cairo. General Stilwell then came to me and announced that he proposed to proceed with a limited offensive in north Burma. I again warned him of the consequences, stating specifically that I feared the project would be difficult and costly, and would engage all of China's limited resources at a time when this would be dangerous. He treated my warning lightly, and intimated that if I maintained my attitude, China would be suspected of wishing to withhold any real contribution to the Allied cause. At length I consented to his employing the Ramgarh troops which were entirely American trained and equipped and with the clear understanding that these forces were all that would be forthcoming.
It was not long before my warning was substantiated. The moment obstacles were encountered in Burma, General Stilwell began to use every sort of pressure to induce me to commit additional forces. I shall not enter into details. It is enough to say that by the beginning of May, the Burma campaign had drained off most of the properly trained and equipped reserves in China. At the same time, it had greatly reduced the incoming supply tonnage so that during critical ensuing months it was impossible to strengthen the military position in any area within China. It was not until June that the Hump tonnage, exclusive of the B-29 project, again reached the January level.
As I had feared, the Japanese took advantage of the opportunity thus offered to launch an offensive within China attacking first in Honan and then in Hunan. Owing to the Burma campaign, no adequately trained and equipped reinforcements were available for these war areas. Owing to the effect of the Burma campaign on the Hump tonnage, supplies were not forthcoming for the Chinese armies stationed in Honan and Hunan. The forces brought to bear by the Japanese in their offensive in east China were six times as great as those confronting General Stilwell in north Burma, and the consequences of defeat were certain to outweigh in China all results of victory in the north Burma campaign. Yet General Stilwell
exhibited complete indifference to the outcome in east China; so much so that in the critical days of the east China operations, he consistently refused to release Lend-Lease munitions already available in Yunnan for use in the East China fighting. Prior to June 1944 with the exception of the Yunnan Expeditionary Forces, the entire Chinese Army did not receive a single rifle or piece of artillery from American Lend-Lease. It was not until the first week of June 1944, that General Stilwell at last visited Chungking to discuss the east China situation with me. When the enemy's offensive was already on the way to its objectives, General Stilwell finally consented to give a small quantity of equipment to the Chinese armies in east China, and to facilitate more effective air support. In all, excepting the Yunnan Expeditionary Forces, the Chinese armies have received 60 mountain guns, 320 anti-tank rifles and 506 bazookas.
In short, we have taken Myitkyina but we have lost almost all of east China, and in this General Stilwell cannot be absolved of grave responsibility. Even now he appears to be unaware of the implications of this fact and the grave damage to prestige and morale of the Chinese Army. It is possible that this fact, fundamentally important as it is, had not been pointed out to the President. Whatever my opinion of General Stilwell as a man may be, I might bring myself to appoint him to command in China if I thought well of him as a military leader. However, with all the facts before me I have come to the conclusion that he is not competent to envisage or to deal with a problem of such range and complexity as now confronts us.
From what I have said above it is also specifically evident that the various areas of war in China cannot be divided into independent sectors. Already what has happened in Yunnan and Burma has instantly and vitally affected all of China. To limit General Stilwell's authority to Yunnan and Burma does not constitute a solution of the problem.
In his last telegram, the President asserts that the China situation has deteriorated so far that he is now inclined to feel the U.S. Government should not assume the responsibility involved in the appointment of an American commander of the Chinese forces. I do not altogether understand this statement, for two reasons. First, no matter what happens, no matter what command arrangements are adopted, I cannot personally escape ultimate responsibility for the future of the China Theater. Even the responsibility of General Stilwell's errors must be borne by me since I allowed myself to be overpersuaded against my judgment to countenance them. Second, I cannot feel that the deterioration is so serious as the President suggests. After long years of experience and first hand knowledge of Japanese methods and strength, despite the defeats of east China, I cannot foresee any disaster fundamentally incapacitating China.
The statement was also distressing to me in another sense. While I do not anticipate disaster, the situation in China is indeed critical. Aid is most needed in an hour of crisis. Yet the statement I have referred to appears to imply that aid will be withheld precisely because this is an hour of crisis.
I am disturbed by the fact that the President has expressed regrets at my "reversal of agreement" with respect to the appointment of General Stilwell in command of the Chinese Forces. My telegram to the President dated August 12th, showed great readiness to meet his wishes as far as humanly possible. Developments which I described in aide-mémoire of September 25th, have, I trust, made it clear why it has become impossible to appoint General Stilwell.
I am wholly confident that if the President replaces General Stilwell with a qualified American officer, we can work together to reverse the present trend and achieve a vital contribution to the final victory.
To this aide-mémoire Hurley added his own conclusion, which was that the Generalissimo was the Chinese leader best qualified to execute a policy of
Sino-American co-operation. To Hurley, Stilwell and the Generalissimo appeared fundamentally incompatible. Therefore, the issue was narrowed down to a choice between Stilwell and Chiang Kai-shek. "There is no other issue between you and Chiang Kai-shek. Chiang Kai-shek has agreed to every request, every suggestion made by you except the Stilwell appointment."56
The Generalissimo's aide-mémoire was an extraordinary document to dispatch to President Roosevelt, for as the President read it he may have wondered at whom the Generalissimo's shafts were aimed, Stilwell or himself? The events described by the Generalissimo must have been fresh in the President's memory, for Mr. Roosevelt had been a principal actor in them within the last eighteen months.
In response to heavy pressure from the Generalissimo and his associates, pressure reinforced by Harry Hopkins, the President in May 1943 had agreed to the Generalissimo's demand that Chennault receive the bulk of Hump tonnage. In the course of this the Generalissimo had promised Mr. Roosevelt on 29 April 1943 that "in the event the enemy attempts to interrupt the air offensive by a ground advance on the air bases, the advance can be halted by the existing Chinese forces."57 So the President had agreed to the Generalissimo's demands, Chennault had received first priority, and now the Generalissimo was complaining that no arms had gone to his ground forces in east China.
Concerning the North Burma Campaign, the President had sent radio after radio to the Generalissimo urging him to take part. Action had finally come after the President told the Generalissimo on 4 April 1944, "It is inconceivable to me that your 'YOKE' Forces, with their American equipment, would be unable to advance against the Japanese 56th Division in its present depleted strength. To me the time is ripe. . . ."58 Now the Generalissimo was blaming the loss of east China on the North Burma Campaign. Did some concept of etiquette impel the Generalissimo formally to state that the North Burma Campaign was uniquely Stilwell's project, as though the latter's American superiors bore no responsibility for him? But even so the President might decide the attack was aimed at himself, for he could hardly have forgotten the series of radios he had sent the Generalissimo five months before.
With the President's military advisers appearing indifferent to what China might contribute to the war, the President could reasonably feel that the alliance with China was now primarily a sort of insurance policy to be drawn on if anything went wrong with the central Pacific offensive, which currently (mid-October) was within a few days of reaching the Philippine island of Leyte. The policy should be kept in force, but there was no need to pay an exorbitant premium.
There remained the diplomatic aspects. The United States was China's only champion among the Great Powers. That policy had been the President's own concept and he had been forceful in its execution. Now at a time when China's military importance was rapidly diminishing, the Generalissimo sent the President an aide-mémoire in which he sought to place the blame for China's misfortunes, in terms the President might well regard as directed at himself.
Waiting for the Decision
That the future of CBI depended on exchanges of radios between the President and the Generalissimo gave a curious rhythmic quality to events in Chungking. A message would come from Washington, and there would be a flurry of activity. The answer would be prepared, and then would come a period of suspenseful waiting, while Washington in turn wrote a reply. In the current period of suspense, Stilwell and Hurley each sent off radios, Stilwell to Marshall and Hurley to the President, offering their solutions.
In his radio to Marshall, Stilwell accepted a suggestion of General Merrill's, and revived an old (January 1943) proposal of his own, that a joint Sino-American committee of senior staff officers be set up in Chungking. "Such a plan," wrote Stilwell,
. . . would have effect of putting China on the same status as our other Allies and increasing the prestige of the Generalissimo. It would permit him to win his point with regard to me personally to the extent that I would not be anything but a field commander executing orders which would come from the Generalissimo. However as field commander I could ensure that orders were obeyed and that the plans and policies, which would be largely created by the Joint Sino-American Military Committee, were actually executed and that the maximum military effort was made.
Stilwell went on to say that in his opinion the situation was at a deadlock because the Generalissimo did not want to make any voluntary military effort, and was simply using Stilwell's removal as a step in his delaying tactics. Two and one half years of struggle had convinced Stilwell, he told Marshall, that the Generalissimo would not make an effort against the twenty-four Japanese divisions Stilwell thought to be in China unless he was pushed into it. There was a deadlock as a result of Kung's telegram, but if pressure was applied from Washington, and the Generalissimo given a face-saving escape, Stilwell thought the Generalissimo might even yet agree.59
Hurley's final comments were sent several days after Stilwell's and suggest he was familiar with the contents of Stilwell's message to Marshall. By this time, Hurley was in complete disagreement with Stilwell on the proper approach to the problems of China. In language highly reminiscent of the President's views of 8 March 1943, Hurley told the President that Stilwell's fundamental mistake was the idea that he could subjugate a man who had led a nation in revolution and who for seven years had led an ill-fed, poorly equipped, practically unorganized army against an overwhelming foe. Not
attempting to place any responsibility for the state of the Chinese Army, Hurley went on to say that if the President in the present controversy sustained Stilwell he would lose the Generalissimo and possibly China too. He did not agree with the President's reason why the United States should not assume responsibility, for he believed that the very danger of a Chinese collapse was the reason America should assume responsibility for the guidance of China's military affairs. Hurley was convinced that China could be kept in the war, that the Chinese Army could be reorganized, and that this could be done through the Generalissimo. It could not, he told the President, be done through Stilwell.
Hurley saw nothing to be gained by a prolonged debate as to whether the Generalissimo or Stilwell was responsible for the state of affairs in China. He was also opposed to Stilwell's suggestion for a Sino-American policy committee, thinking it would complicate a situation already complex enough.
Hurley concluded by urging that Stilwell be relieved and that another American officer be appointed to command the Chinese Army. This man should be willing to accept the responsibility the Generalissimo wished to place on an American, that of command of the Chinese forces. Hurley said that he respected and admired Stilwell but that he was simply not the man for the job.60
Though expecting the final word from Washington would be an order to return, Stilwell during the interval carried the burdens of command in full measure, including two problems that involved General Chennault. On 13 August, one of Chennault's aircraft reconnoitered the Manila docks, presumably to prepare for an attack on them. The move angered Stilwell and embarrassed him in his relations with his neighboring theater commander, General MacArthur. Stilwell wondered how Chennault could justify operations in MacArthur's theater when he complained that he did not have enough supplies for effective operations in China. From MacArthur, Chennault's move drew a frigid warning direct to the airman that under no circumstances was he to bomb the Manila docks. MacArthur told Chennault that he had no authority to make the attack for he had not obtained from MacArthur permission to operate in MacArthur's theater. Were Chennault to bomb the docks, it might well provoke a premature uprising in the Philippines and seriously embarrass MacArthur's projected operations.61
Stilwell sent a strong message to Chennault about this affair and received in reply what he considered to be a false official statement from Chennault. The matter was at once turned over to the theater inspector general, and on 13 October an investigation was opened at Kunming. Three days later the inspector general reported to Stilwell that there was no proof of the charge and the matter was dropped.62
The inspector general's inquiry was conducted concurrently with a bitter dispute between Stilwell and Chennault as to whether the latter had made unauthorized use of the stockpile of gas accumulated for support of U.S. operations in the Pacific by China-based aircraft. In May 1944 the Joint Chiefs ordered Stilwell to begin accumulating gasoline for support of Pacific operations, target date November 1944. Little could be done in the summer of 1944 because of the overriding necessity of supporting Chennault's efforts in east China. Then, in August the JCS weighed the effect of the loss of the east China airfields on the support that might be given U.S. operations in the western Pacific and decided to hold Chennault's Hump tonnage allocation at the 10,000-ton level in order that CBI might begin building up the stockpile ordered in May. If emergencies arose Stilwell could permit diversions from the stockpile.
On 27 September, after his trip to Kweilin and east China, Stilwell authorized Chennault to borrow 1,000 tons of gasoline from the stockpile. At the end of the month, when the time came to take inventory of the stockpile and prepare October Hump allocations, CBI Theater headquarters discovered that the Fourteenth Air Force had overdrawn its account by 2,400 tons. Accordingly, theater headquarters decided to even the books by cutting Chennault's October allocation to 7,600 tons. Chennault at once protested, and the matter was brought to Stilwell's attention. Chennault argued that Stratemeyer had authority to divert 3,500 tons and that he had simply drawn on that in order to stay in the fight.63
Stilwell's reply was an administrative admonition. He told Chennault that the drain on the theater stockpile had hindered CBI in carrying out commitments for the support of MacArthur's and Nimitz' Pacific operations. Chennault was taken aback by this sharp response for he felt the matter had been discussed with Stilwell in an atmosphere of friendliness, and so on 19 October he asked further details that he might reply to Stilwell's charges.
The issue was rapidly being submerged in the flow of greater events; Stilwell in effect finessed it by replying that his radio had been an admonition, and so not a subject for discussion.64
B-29 missions in support of Pacific operations, one of the types of support for which gasoline had been stockpiled, were flown on 14 and 16 October from China. Since so much importance was attached to these operations, which were
launched a few days before American forces landed on Leyte Island in the Philippines, Stilwell flew to Cheng-tu to be on hand for the first attack. Attacking ground installations of the Japanese air force on Formosa, 120 B-29's dropped 650 tons of bombs on the island. Examining photographic assessments of the attack, Stilwell was not impressed by the results attained.65
In the midst of these problems at the highest level of strategy, Stilwell took a quick trip to Myitkyina where he talked until late in the night with the survivors of GALAHAD, or Merrill's Marauders as they were now known to every reader of the press. The grievances accumulated during the North Burma Campaign, whose most dramatic expression came during the siege of Myitkyina, needed a hearing, and so Stilwell was advised by Lt. Col. Fred Eldridge, of his public relations staff, to visit the unit. On 6 October, Stilwell spoke with the survivors of GALAHAD, now organized as the 475th Infantry Regiment. First he met with the regiment as a whole, then with officer and enlisted man delegates from each battalion.66
On 14 October, Stilwell flew to east China. Since the Generalissimo had accepted his 18 September plan, preparations had been made, and Gens. Chang Fa-kwei and Pai Chung-hsi were getting ready to pass to the offensive. D Day was set for 20 October, and the Chinese were optimistic.
The result of this effort belongs to a somewhat later period. The Chinese finally decided on a limited-objective attack with one army to counter the Japanese drive north from Canton. With strong air and artillery support, the 64th Army drove toward Meng-shan on 21 October. The Chinese took their initial objective, Meng-hu, but a Japanese counterattack that night threw them back out of the town. Shortly after, General Chang told the American liaison officer assisting him, Col. Howard C. Bowman, that "the morale of the Chinese soldier was broken and he no longer had the will to fight." This estimate offered slight hope of holding Kweilin and Liuchow.67
Though at the time he was mildly optimistic about the 64th Army attack, for himself, Stilwell had no great hopes. John Davies, newsmen Brooks Atkinson and Theodore H. White, and General Hearn, all were told that recall was imminent.68 In far-off Yenan, capital of Red China, John S. Service revealed his detachment from events by drafting a long memorandum to Stilwell urging "greater realism" in the United States' dealings with the Generalissimo. Service recommended that the United States enter into diplomatic discussions with the Yenan regime, and that the United States should make clear that it was considering withdrawing its support from the Generalissimo and its recognition from the Nationalists. The language of the memorandum strongly suggests
Service was unaware that he was addressing it to a man whose farewell letters had been written two weeks before Service mailed it.69
The President Ends CBI Theater
In Washington, the discussion about the next step was narrowing down. On receipt of Hurley's 13 October message, the President briefly considered appointing an American officer.70 The exact nature of the President's answer was discussed between the White House and the War Department, and several drafts were prepared and rejected by either one or the other. Giving increased powers to Chennault was contemplated for a time.71 The Generalissimo was asked to name three Americans who would be acceptable to him.72 In reply, through Hurley, he listed Alexander M. Patch, Albert C. Wedemeyer, and Walter Krueger.73
In the nature of things, the reply would be a complex one, for the Generalissimo was still asking for an American general to assume the title of commander of the Chinese Army and to wield powers which, in the light of the Generalissimo's 25 September aide-mémoire, may have seemed to the President and General Marshall to offer as much chance for later controversy as those which had seemed so clearly defined and so carefully negotiated when Stilwell assumed them in January 1942. There was the further question of what to do about the China, Burma and India Theater, whether it should be split, or continued as one. There was also the question of the President's personal reaction to the charges made by the Generalissimo in his 9 October aide-mémoire.
The President's decision, in his reply of 18 October 1944, was that Stilwell would at once be recalled. For himself and the Prime Minister, he accepted responsibility for the North Burma Campaign, and told the Generalissimo that no American would command the Chinese Army in China. The Generalissimo was also asked to continue the North Burma Campaign he had denounced so strongly.
Your message of 9 October 1944 was transmitted to me through General Hurley. I am issuing instructions to recall General Stilwell from the theater immediately.
General Stilwell was not responsible for the decisions with respect to attacking in North instead of South Burma. This decision was made by the Combined British and American Staff and was fully approved by the Prime Minister and myself. Our conclusions, which were inescapable, were reached only after serious consideration of all pertinent facts. Your decision to employ Yunnan forces on the Salween was sound in my opinion. The maintenance and the increased facilities for a supply route into China demanded the occupation of Myitkyina and I am now informed that the vital gas supply and low level flying route are assured by the opening of the pipeline at Myitkyina on September 29.
As stated in my October 6 message, I do not feel that an American should in the present
situation assume responsibility in a command position for the operations of Chinese forces in China. However, I will furnish a qualified officer to serve as your Chief of Staff. General Hurley informed me that you prefer either Generals Patch, Wedemeyer, or Krueger. General Patch is commanding an army now attacking the Germans in the vicinity of Belfort, France, and cannot be spared. General Krueger is commanding an army now launched in a most difficult offensive operation. General Wedemeyer can be made available after confirmation from you that he will become your Chief of Staff. I would also appoint him Commander of all U.S. Forces in the China Theater.
The recall of General Stilwell and appointment of General Wedemeyer will necessitate changes of which I will outline the most important. What has heretofore been the U.S. China-Burma-India Theater will be separated into two theaters so far as American interests are concerned, of which China will be one and the India-Burma Theater under General Sultan will constitute the other. The 14th Air Force will remain in the China Theater under General Chennault who in turn will be under Wedemeyer as Commander U.S. Forces in the China Theater. I assume that you desire that the Ramgarh training and the supply and training the X Forces should be continued, otherwise the fighting power of these units will inevitably and quickly dwindle away. I hope that the necessary replacements will be furnished to enable the X Force to continue on its present mission, and that you will delegate control of Chinese forces in India-Burma to General Sultan. Please let me hear from you on these points.
The offensive operations of the Y Forces will continue to be most important and I should like your assurance that they will advance in conjunction with the offensive operations in Burma of Admiral Mountbatten. Coordination between operations of the China-based Yunnan forces and Chinese forces based in Burma could be effected by General Wedemeyer as your Chief of Staff in communication with Sultan and Mountbatten.
I think all the above is the best solution and that it will expedite the solution of our immediate joint problem. Let me hear from you as soon as possible.74
With receipt of the President's message in Chungking, the Generalissimo's victory was an accomplished fact, though not of the dimensions at which he and his advisers had aimed. Stilwell was now on orders to return to the United States, but there was no American to take the responsibility for whatever might happen in China. In retrospect, the Generalissimo's triumph acquires an aspect it probably did not wear at the time. It was the last diplomatic victory he was to win for many years. Moreover, the President's answers to the Generalissimo, progressively colder and less accommodating, suggest a corresponding alteration of attitude on Mr. Roosevelt's part toward the Generalissimo and China. In May 1943, at the Washington Conference, Roosevelt had been solicitous in his concern not only for China but for the personal position and prestige of the Generalissimo. Not three months after the Generalissimo had forced Stilwell's recall, Roosevelt met with the Prime Minister and Marshal Stalin on Russian soil at Yalta, February 1945. The attitude the President there adopted toward the territory and interests of China suggests that the Generalissimo's triumph of October 1944 was one of the steps that led to the Manchurian partition of February 1945.
A personal radio from Marshall warned Stilwell that recall was coming, and
Stilwell quickly made what few preparations for departure seemed necessary.75 He had rather expected to be recalled, and the mere fact did not overly disturb him. As he prepared to leave the theater where he had spent two and one half years, the question that troubled him was whether he would be made a scapegoat for the fracas that followed when he delivered the President's 18 September message to the Generalissimo. Stilwell did not want the American public to think that nothing more was involved than a personality clash between himself and the Generalissimo, and hoped that the War Department would permit him to issue a statement explaining the issues as he saw them.
As Stilwell went about his last-minute preparations at Chungking, he found time to sketch the record of his mission and his recall as he saw it then:
After CEC [Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang] disclosures and knowledge of relief, informed W [Theodore H. White?], A [Brooks Atkinson?], and I [Harold Isaacs?] 1) Confirmed relief. 2) Reasons given by Gmo. Incompetent, non co-op, lack of respect, and disobedience of orders, unwarranted diversion of munitions and men to Burma. Responsibility for disaster in South China. Explained orders to attack Bhamo. Explained "trade of S. China for N. Burma." 3) Issue of CKS vs. JWS. Real issue China make effort or not. 4) Offer of Burma and Yunnan command.
CEC. Refusal of US demands. JWS must go. (Hurley: CKS said I was trying to subjugate him.)
Given a mission and no means. Hamstrung by "no bargaining." Three years of struggle. Secret reports by Chinese, British, and special emissaries--Currie, Willkie, Wallace, Nelson, Hurley. Command functions reduced by ATC, XX BC, 14th AF, Miles. Bucked by the British. Bucked by the Chinese.
In spite of it all, just ready to blossom, and then made whipping dog for CKS. It was September 19 radio that got CKS. He blamed it on me--FDR was his great friend. FDR did not stand up to it. I was relieved on the arbitrary stand and false statements of Chiang Kai-shek. Q. Will a statement be made to explain the relief? Will I be allowed to make a statement?
The issue was not CKS vs. JWS. Hurley realized too late what he had done. Took CKS at face value. Believed his promises. Said to me he had bitched it up. When radios came in via Navy, and when Hurley did not show them to me, I knew I was the goat.
Asked for policy at Cairo. All I was told was: "We want to help China."76
Stilwell left India for the United States on 27 October 1944. The hope that he would be able to explain his conduct of their affairs in China to his countrymen was never realized. On his return, he was told by the War Department that he could not discuss Chinese matters with the press, and his death in 1946 prevented his completing the personal account he had begun several times.77 Never carried beyond an initial survey of Chinese culture and history, the surviving fragments offer no guide to what he planned to say.78
The comment of the United States Government on Stilwell's work in China, Burma, and India was spoken by Secretary of War Stimson on 10 February
1945, just over three years after Stimson had invited him to his home for a conference on China. The occasion was a ceremony to decorate Stilwell with another Legion of Merit and with the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Service Medal. Stimson, pinning the awards on Stilwell, later wrote in his diary:
I was particularly happy to lay this encomium on Stilwell's hard and terrific work in Burma and in China and so I read the two citations myself and made a few comments to Stilwell which I think he appreciated. I said I thought he had had the toughest job of any of our generals and that I had never conveyed one of these medals with such pleasure as I had in doing this.79
When Stilwell left the CBI Theater, the situation in China appeared dark. As far as the American contribution to China Theater was concerned, the most hopeful factor was that the projects begun in the equally dark days of 1942 were about to yield results on a scale far beyond 1942 and 1943. The fast-approaching completion of the projects begun by Stilwell or under his command would give his successors resources far beyond any that Stilwell ever had.
The projects that were Stilwell's own were those coming from his War Department orders to "improve the combat efficiency of the Chinese Army." In attempting to carry out that mission, he had created in the Chinese Army in India a force of five divisions that compared very favorably with any in the Japanese Army. What seemed to him a lack of interest on the part of Chinese authorities had limited the results he had achieved within China proper, but even there something had been done. Service schools and training centers had been set up, and the Y and Z Forces had been exposed to U.S. training.
The North Burma Campaign had not been fought at the time or in the manner Stilwell had proposed to his superiors, but he had successfully executed the directives of the Joint and Combined Chiefs of Staff. Under Stilwell, the Chinese Army in India had conducted the first sustained Chinese offensive against a Great Power, taken the key centers of north Burma, and planted the Chinese and American flags within forty miles of the Chinese border. The Chinese divisions now firmly gripped a part of the prewar Burmese road net, which linked with the old Burma Road. Inevitably, the Japanese would be driven from the last portion they held, and the existing road from Myitkyina to Wanting in China could readily be brought to the desired standard. The Japanese blockade of China was doomed.
The great line-of-communications projects in CBI were not Stilwell's in conception or in primary concern, for he was a troop trainer and a tactician, not an engineer; but the degree to which they were completed, or brought close to completion, very nearly equals the difference between his successor's problems and his own. By October 1944, the bottleneck of the Assam line of
communications, which had hindered all operations in CBI, was only a bad memory. In May 1943, the month of TRIDENT, when Roosevelt had approved the Chennault Plan, the Assam line of communications had brought 5,117 long tons of U.S. supplies, exclusive of gas and oil, to Assam. From this trickle Stilwell had been expected to support the Fourteenth Air Force and the Generalissimo's 300-odd divisions, build the Ledo Road, prepare for the North Burma Campaign, and support the Americans in the Assam base area. In October 1944, 124,499 tons came forward over the Assam line of communications. The improvement was a remarkable feat of engineering and organization, and great credit is due the railwaymen, the engineers, and Generals Wheeler, Covell, and Somervell.
The airline had significance in that the tonnage it brought to China was the sum of the resources the U.S. theater commander could throw into battle there. In all of 1942 the air force and the ATC flew 3,706 long tons to China. In 1943, 61,151 tons were flown to China. And when Stilwell went home in October 1944, in that one month 35,131 tons were flown to China by the ATC, by the CNAC which by this time was under government contract, and by other contract carriers. (See Chart 5.)
The Ledo Road was nearly complete on 24 October 1944. The two great terrain problems, the Patkai Hills and the marshy lowlands, had been conquered. Trucks could now drive in eighteen hours from the Ledo base area to Warazup, which in turn was only seventy miles from Myitkyina. The road survey was complete to the neighborhood of Kamaing. Before the monsoon lifted, a great collection of road-building machinery had been assembled in the high ground of the upper reaches of the Hukawng and Mogaung valleys, and was put to work as soon as the ground was dry enough. The progress in completing the Ledo Road was making possible a significant change in the method of supplying the forces in north Burma, for in October 1944 more tonnage was delivered by truck than by air, and the difference was to increase sharply in the months ahead.80 (See Chart 7.)
The pipeline had far outstripped the Ledo Road. On 2 October one of the two pipelines was in operation from the Digboi refineries via Ledo to Myitkyina. Henceforth Myitkyina would become a great supply center fed by road, by air, and by pipeline.
Therefore, with the Assam line of communications bringing up supplies in a great stream, with the Hump airline at an all-time high in efficiency, with a pipeline delivering fuel to Myitkyina, and the Ledo Road soon to reach Myitkyina, the stage was set for the last act in China's wartime drama, in which the blockade would be broken. Thanks to Stilwell, his successors in 1945 would have the means to carry on the work he had almost single-handedly begun in 1942 in compliance with Marshall's order: "Support China!"
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (11) * Next Chapter (Bibliographical Note)
1. (1) Rad WH 68, Roosevelt to Generalissimo, 18 Sep 44. Item 2850, Bk 8, JWS Personal File. (2) See n. 6 below.
2. Stilwell Diary, 19 Sep 44.
3. (1) Interv with Hearn, 17 May 50. General Hearn's recollection was that Stilwell said: "Tom, I have a wire from the President to Chiang, and Hurley doesn't want me to give it to him. What should I do?" This clearly implies that Stilwell saw Hurley before he saw Hearn, which cannot be reconciled with the chronology of Hurley's own recollections. It seems safer to assume that Stilwell and Hearn first discussed the matter at CBI Theater headquarters, after which Stilwell departed for the Generalissimo's residence. (2) SUP 37.
4. Stilwell Diary, 19 Sep 44.
5. (1) Intervs with Hurley, Jan 49. (Hereafter cited as Hurley Interviews.) (2) Stilwell's writings have no mention of the scene on the veranda. The theme of his diary entries and miscellaneous jottings is that he had simply delivered the President's note, and that responsibility lay with the President. His diary for 19 September 1944 states:
. . . Peanut at Huang Shan. Got the letter translated and took it across the river. 5:40 PM handed it to him. The harpoon hit him right in the solar plexus, but, although he turned green, he never batted an eye. He just turned to me and said: "I understand." What! No teapots? No, just a calm silence. I got out promptly and came home. Pretty sight, crossing the river, lights all on in Chungking.
The other letter from FDR and Churchill for Gauss and Seymour . . . I delivered to Gauss at 2:00. GI Movie.
6. (1) Rad WH 64, President to Generalissimo, 16 Sep 44. Item 11, OKLAHOMA File, JWS Personal File. Sent from Washington on 18 September 1944. (2) General Okamura comments that the Japanese did not relate operations in Burma and China, as the President was assuming. In theory, said Okamura, it would have been "appropriate" to relate the two operations, but in actual practice China Expeditionary Army and Southern Army had no close co-operation. Japanese Officers' Comments, Incl 3, Okamura.
7. Stilwell Diary, 19 Sep 44.
8. The Stilwell Papers, p. 333.
9. (1) See Ch. VIII, above. (2) Joseph W. Alsop, "Why We Lost China," The Saturday Evening Post, January 21, 1950, p. 111. The text suggests that Alsop received his data from Soong.
10. (1) On 29 September, Soong asked Hurley if Stilwell had arranged for the President to send the note: "The G-mo thinks I had it done and then tore his face off with it." The Stilwell Papers, p. 338. (2) Hurley Interviews. General Hurley in 1949-50 believed Stilwell had been responsible for the radio, thereby defeating Hurley's diplomatic efforts.
11. (1) Hurley Interviews. (2) The Stilwell Papers, p. 338. (3) When Hurley discussed the episode of the note with Mr. Roosevelt in February 1945, the President confirmed Hurley's suspicions. Roosevelt, perhaps forgetting that his message had been discussed by the Combined Chiefs of Staff in his presence at OCTAGON on 16 September 1944, disclaimed authorship of the note, and said he had been taken by surprise when the press called it an ultimatum. He left Hurley with the impression that he had simply initialed the note when it was presented to him amid a group of other official papers. Hurley Interviews.
12. Stilwell Diary, 20 Sep 44.
13. Rad CFB 22920, Stilwell to Timberman, 20 Sep 44. Item 2854, Bk 8, JWS Personal File.
14. Rad CFB 22921, Stilwell to Marshall, 20 Sep 44. Item 12, OKLAHOMA File, JWS Personal File.
15. (1) Z-FOS Journal, KCRC. (2) Ltr, Col Carl R. Dutton, Rr Ech, Z-FOS, to Timberman, 25 Sep 44. AG (Z-FOS) 319.1, KCRC.
16. (1) The Stilwell Papers, p. 334. (2) Stilwell Diary, 21 Sep 44. (3) Many examples of children's verse, nonsense verse, short sketches, essays, stories, poems, and articles by General Stilwell can be found in the Stilwell family papers. He wrote a great deal, but for the entertainment of himself, his family, and a few intimates.
17. (1) Stilwell Diary, 21 Sep 44. (2) Stilwell gave Hurley his suggestions for a new agenda on the 23d, writing as he did in his diary: "Decided to try and break the deadlock." The Stilwell Papers, p. 335.
18. Rad CFB 22995, Stilwell to Marshall, 22 Sep 44. Item 14, OKLAHOMA File, JWS Personal File.
19. (1) Outline of Proposed Future Operations in China, prepared by Hq USAF CBI, 22 Sep 44. Folder 10, Hq AAF IBS, USAF CBI, KCRC. (2) Ltrs, Col. Thomas F. Taylor (Ret.) to Maj. Gen. Albert C. Smith, Chief of Military History, 1, 9 Jun 54. OCMH. (3) Interv with Maj. Gen. William M. Creasy, Chief Chemical Officer, 9 Jun 54.
20. See U.S. Relations with China, Annex 46.
21. Rad CFB 22988, Hurley to President, 23 Sep 44. Incl to Memo, Leahy for Marshall, 25 Sep 44. China File (Hurley), Item 61, OPD Exec 10.
22. Bk 1, Hurley Papers.
23. Brief, Marshall to Handy, 25 Sep 44. China File (Hurley), Item 61, OPD Exec 10.
24. Stilwell Diary, 23 Sep 44.
25. The Stilwell Papers, p. 335.
26. Memo, Stilwell for Hurley, 23 Sep 44. Item 31, Bk 1, Hurley Papers.
27. Stilwell Diary, 23 Sep 44.
28. The Stilwell Papers, p. 336.
29. Hurley Interviews.
30. Rad CFB 23212, Hurley to President, 25 Sep 44. Item 60, OPD Exec 10.
31. Memo, Comdr J. V. Smith, White House Aide, for Col Frank McCarthy, 27 Sep 44, with Incl, Rad CFB 23212, Hurley to President, with Aide-Mémoire, Generalissimo for Hurley, 25 Sep 44. Item 16, Item 60, OPD Exec 10.
32. See pp. 383-84, 386, 416-17, 445-46, above.
33. Interv with Marshall, Jul 49.
34. Memo, Marshall for JCS, 28 Sep 44. Item 8, WDCSA 091 China.
35. (1) Rad CFB 23254, Stilwell to Marshall, 26 Sep 44. Item 16, OKLAHOMA File, JWS Personal File. (2) Hata claimed to be unaware of the extent of the differences between Stilwell and the Generalissimo. The Japanese were aware that "a minor dispute for the right of command" was in progress between the two Allied leaders; the broadcast was intended to drive a wedge between the United States and China. Given the general standard of living in China in 1944, the only radios would be in possession of members of the Chinese elite, so the broadcast was aimed at Nationalist officialdom. It may be that Hata understates the information at his disposal, for disputes over the right to command are hardly apt to be minor.
36. (1) Quotation from radio, CM-IN 24721, Stilwell to Marshall, 26 Sep 44. (2) Memo, Handy for Leahy, 28 Sep 44. Item 20, Item 60, OPD Exec 10.
37. Rad CFB 23556, Stilwell to Marshall, 1 Oct 44. Item 18, OKLAHOMA File, JWS Personal File.
38. CM-IN 27152, Stilwell to Marshall, 29 Sep 44. For the full text of Stilwell's proposal, see page 337 of The Stilwell Papers.
39. Undated Cbl, Soong to Hopkins. Bk IX, Hopkins Papers. This is the cable quoted on pages 804-05, Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins. The author of Roosevelt and Hopkins, Robert E. Sherwood, may have mistaken the period of the cable, for he places it in the context of spring 1944. It contains details of the September 1944 negotiations which place it in that month. Soong would not have sent the message before 19 September, and events after 30 September 1944 left him no need to send it.
40. A Chronology of the Recall, SUP 5.
41. Memo for record, Gen Hull, 4 Nov 44, initialed G.C.M. General Hull noted: "The attached is a copy of a letter delivered to General Hurley and is self-explanatory." Item 59, OPD Exec 10.
42. Rad CFB 23864, Hurley to Roosevelt, 6 Oct 44. Item 41-a, Bk 1, Hurley Papers.
43. (1) The Stilwell Papers, p. 340. (2) Carbon copies of Stilwell's letters as finally sent are in OKLAHOMA File, JWS Personal File.
44. (1) Stilwell's diary sets the date of Merrill's arrival as 3 October 1944. (2) Ltr, Merrill to Ward, 26 May 52. OCMH.
45. Memo, Merrill for Stilwell, 5 Oct 44, sub: Matters Discussed in Washington. SNF 115.
46. Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 538. (2) Ltr, Dill to McNarney, 5 Oct 44. Folder 66, OPD Exec 10. (3) CM-OUT 42323, 6 Oct 44. Case 516, OPD 381 Security.
47. Ltr, Davies to Stilwell, 2 Oct 44. SNF 115. Stilwell labeled the scheme "Plan DAVIES." No references to the proposal could be found in Stilwell's papers.
48. See Memo cited n. 45, above.
49. CM-IN 665, Stilwell to Marshall, 1 Oct 44.
50. (1) Memo, Leahy for Hull, 5 Oct 44. Item 28, Item 60, OPD Exec 10. (2) Rad WH 77, Roosevelt to Hurley for Generalissimo, 5 Oct 44. Item 38, Bk 1, Hurley Papers. This message was sent through Navy communications.
51. (1) Rad CFB 23864, Hurley to Roosevelt, 6 Oct 44. (2) Rad WH 79, Hopkins to Hurley, 7 Oct 44. Item 41-b, Bk 1, Hurley Papers.
52. Interv with Hurley, 26 Jan 49.
54. Memo, Soong for Hurley, 9 Oct 44. Item 43, Bk 1, Hurley Papers.
55. Rad CFB 24103, Hurley to President, 11 Oct 44. Item 33, Item 60, OPD Exec 10.
56. Rad CFB 24103, Hurley to President, 11 Oct 44. Item 61, OPD Exec 10.
57. Incl to Ltr, Soong to Hopkins, 29 Apr 43. Bk. VII, Hopkins Papers.
58. Rad WAR 17956, Roosevelt to Generalissimo, 3 Apr 44. Item 2164, Bk 6, JWS Personal File. Quoted p. 310, above.
59. CM-IN 9592, Stilwell to Marshall, 10 Oct 44.
60. (1) Stilwell's Mission to China, Ch. VIII. (2) Rad NAVY 131200, Hurley to Roosevelt, 13 Oct 44. Item 51, Bk 1, Hurley Papers.
61. CM-IN 11955, MacArthur to Chennault, 13 Aug 44.
62. Stilwell Diary, 1, 13, 16 Oct 44.
63. (1) CM-OUT 31202, JCS to Stilwell, 2 May 44. (2) CM-OUT 87086, Marshall to Stilwell, 26 Aug 44. (3) CM-IN 7032, Chennault to Arnold, 7 Oct 44. (4) Rad CRA 15931, Evans to Stilwell, 6 Oct 44; Rad CAK 9482, Chennault to Stilwell, 14 Oct 44. Items 2918, 2938, Bk 8, JWS Personal File.
64. (1) The Manual for Courts-Martial, U.S. Army, 1928 (Washington, 1943), which was in effect when Stilwell sent his admonition, defines "administrative admonition" as a nonpunitive measure, more analogous to instruction than to punishment, which a commanding officer or officer in charge is authorized and expected to use to further the efficiency of his command or unit. (2) Rad CFB 24389, Stilwell to Chennault, 17 Oct 44; Rad CAK 9733, Chennault to Stilwell, 19 Oct 44; Rad CFB 24556, Stilwell to Chennault, 20 Oct 44. Items 2935, 2950, 2953, Bk 8, JWS Personal File.
65. (1) CM-OUT 39817, Arnold to Stilwell, 1 Oct 44. (2) Stilwell Diary, 14 Oct 44.
66. (1) Stilwell Diary, 6 Oct 44. (2) The Stilwell Papers, p. 341. (3) An impression of the meeting is given by Cpl. Ferdinand Staunch, in Ex-CBI Roundup, Vol. 6, No. 6 (November, 1952), p. 13.
67. (1) Stilwell Diary, 14 Oct 44. (2) Campaign of Southeastern China, p. 5.
68. Stilwell Diary, 11-18 Oct 44.
69. (1) Rpt 40, Service to Stilwell, 10 Oct 44 (mailed the 16th--probably the day the courier aircraft departed). Item 48, Bk 1, Hurley Papers. (2) The Stilwell Papers, p. 340.
70. Memo, McNarney for Marshall, 14 Oct 44, sub: Relief of Gen Stilwell. Item 36, Item 60, OPD Exec 10.
71. (1) Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 539. (2) Item 60, OPD Exec 10.
72. Leahy, I Was There, p. 272.
73. Rad, NAV 151825, NCR 4780, Hurley to President, 15 Oct 44. Item 60, OPD Exec 10.
74. Memo, McCarthy for Handy, 18 Oct 44, with Incl, Memo, President for Generalissimo. Item 39, Item 60, OPD Exec 10.
75. CM-OUT 48285, Marshall to Stilwell, 18 Oct 44.
76. Data Notebook.
77. Stilwell Diary 3, 4 Nov 44.
78. The Stilwell documents in the Hoover Library contain several tentative beginnings of such a work.
79. Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 541.
80. Rpt, Gen Pick to Gen Wheeler, 9 Aug 45, charts, pp. 97-98. OCMH.