War Creates a China Theater and a U.S. Task Force to China
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, the Republic of China, the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Netherlands Indies, and the United States found themselves allies at war with Japan. To make their joint effort effective called for co-operation and mutual assistance in the highest sense. The United States had engaged in strategic planning with the British and Dutch and some arrangements for co-operation with them in the event of war had been made. There had been nothing like that with the Chinese, and, as has been noted, General Magruder, Chief of the American Military Mission to China, was ordered by the War Department not to engage in staff talks with them. The United States, however, was committed to equip a modern Chinese Army and Air Force. Logic suggested that the next step was to reach a satisfactory working relationship with the Chinese and to develop an understanding on what the Chinese would do with the lend-lease they received. For their part, the Chinese were actively interested in taking the role of a great power beside their new-found allies.
On 8 December 1941 the Generalissimo made the first of a series of proposals to create an over-all plan for the conduct of war in the Pacific and, assuming an early entrance of Russia into the war against Japan, to make an alliance of the United States, the Soviet Union, the Republic of China, and the British Commonwealth. He convoked a meeting of General Magruder; the British Envoy, Sir Archibald Kerr Clark Kerr; the British Military Attaché, General Dennys; China's Minister of Defense, Gen. Ho Ying-chin; and a senior Foreign Ministry officer, Dr. Quo Tai-shi. Madame Chiang was also present.1 At this 10 December meeting the Generalissimo presented his proposals
for Allied unity and a four-power pact. The Generalissimo suggested:
The United States should propose a comprehensive plan for joint war action for America, Britain, China, Netherlands East Indies, and Russia.
Immediately and before Russia participates in the [Pacific] war, the United States should take the leadership in initiating a comprehensive plan for action of the United States, Britain, Netherlands East Indies, and China in the western Pacific.
The locale for joint working out of details of the ABCD Plan should be Chungking.
There should result a military pact among the ABCDR for mutual assistance.2
In representing the United States in discussions of these matters with the Generalissimo, Magruder was handicapped because his directive said nothing of what line he should take in the event of war. His solution was to draft a proposed directive over 10 and 11 December and to radio it to Washington for approval.3 Until that approval came on 21 December, he acted in accordance with his own best judgment, which suggested to him that he impress on the Chinese the urgent necessity of China's taking vigorous action to contain as many Japanese troops as possible. Because of his connection with lend-lease, Magruder occupied a most important position in the eyes of his Allied colleagues, but his discretion was strictly limited by his prewar directives. The British representatives were principally interested in transfers from the Chinese lend-lease stockpile in Burma to strengthen the small, poorly equipped garrison of that vital area and in having the American Volunteer Group made part of Burma's air defense. Thus, there was little the British and American representatives in Chungking could do on their own authority with the Generalissimo's proposals.4
Notes from the Chinese Government carried the Generalissimo's plan to Moscow and Washington. The first Soviet reaction was not unfavorable, the only condition being that a joint plan for co-operation by the Great Powers must precede any declaration of war by the USSR against Japan. The Soviet military attaché told the Generalissimo that there must be such a plan already and that the Generalissimo was surely aware of it. Then a few days later a note from Marshal Stalin to the Generalissimo dismissed the project for the time being. China was assured that the Soviets would eventually fight Japan, but it was explained that the war against Germany had overriding priority and that preparation for war against Japan would take time.5
On the 15th came Roosevelt's reply, suggesting conferences at Chungking, Singapore, and Moscow to arrive at preliminary plans to pass on to Washington
by 20 December. The President expressed the hope that this might lead to a permanent organization.6 Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff were expected in Washington in late December to revise existing plans and prepare new ones; the President's deadline was obviously related to that. The Generalissimo responded by calling a conference to meet at Chungking on 17 December.7
The Chungking Conferences
The gathering did not convene in the way the Generalissimo intended, because the two senior Army officers who were to represent the British Commonwealth and the United States were unable to arrive on 17 December. General Wavell, the British delegate, was Commander-in-chief, India, and from 12 December responsible for Burma as well as India. He was pressed for time in trying to organize his new command for defense against the Japanese, and so unable to attend. The American delegate, Maj. Gen. George H. Brett, an air officer, had been ordered to China to investigate the possibility of basing heavy bombers there, and the War Department took advantage of this circumstance to make him its representative.8 He was then in Burma.
Magruder feared to betray the conference by references in a radio, and so Brett did not know why he was so urgently wanted in Chungking. Realizing the strategic importance of Burma, Brett devoted himself to trying to solve the problem created by the presence of Chinese stockpiles adjacent to defenders badly in need of arms. Brett suggested that they be transferred to the British, urging Magruder to go to Rangoon, even as Magruder was urging Brett to fly to Chungking.9
So the Generalissimo's 17 December conference saw only the formal presentation of the Generalissimo's plan for Allied unity in the Far East, a plan which provided for an Allied general staff at Chungking. Magruder and his British colleagues approved in principle but could do nothing more pending the arrival of Generals Wavell and Brett for the postponed major conference.10 There the question of providing central direction for the Allied war in the Pacific rested until the conferences of 22 and 23 December.
Simultaneously with Chinese efforts to make of the United States, Great Britain, China, and the Netherlands Indies (for that portion of the Dutch possessions was taking vigorous naval action in support of Britain and America) a real coalition in which they would share on equal terms, there were in Chungking discussions on offensive action by the Chinese armies, the
use of the AVG in Burma, lend-lease transfers, and the reinforcement of Burma by the Chinese. Hong Kong was now under heavy Japanese attack, and both AMMISCA and the War Department believed that the Japanese attacks on Allied Far Eastern territory were made by troops drawn from China. To repeated representations, including some very frank remarks by Magruder to General Yu, head of China's ordnance establishment, the Chinese made no concrete response. The impression of AMMISCA's chief of staff was that the Chinese would shun offensive action, wait until their allies had won the war, and then use their jealously husbanded supplies for the solution of the Communist problem.11
In response to suggestions from Dennys that the Chinese do something to relieve the pressure on Hong Kong, the Chinese said that they intended to use seven armies in the relief, with small-scale activities by 17 December and effective operations by the end of the month. Instead of holding its mainland positions for thirty days as Dennys promised, the Hong Kong garrison was forced from them in three.12 Indiscreetly, the British told the Chinese Minister of War that they planned to employ two bomber squadrons in China if the Commander-in-chief, Singapore, could spare them.13 Asked later if he could relieve Hong Kong without support from these twenty-four aircraft, General Ho seized on the remark to say his troops could at least distract the Japanese. On or about the 22d the Chinese felt that a Japanese threat to Changsha forced them to abandon their operations in support of Hong Kong.14 Hong Kong fell on Christmas Day. (For Japanese plans in China see Map 1.)
The Chinese were generous with the AVG, which was a part of their Air Force. Initially, they agreed to put part of it in Burma; the air warning net there was known to be poor. When, in the early days of the Pacific war, Allied aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Pearl Harbor and at Clark Field in the Philippines, the Chinese were disturbed and changed their minds, saying that Colonel Chennault (Chinese Air Force) had decided the inadequate net would force him to withdraw from Burma to Yunnan. Dennys observed that Chennault had probably been spoiled by the excellent warning net in China, that the ample warning given there could hardly be expected in Burma. To this the Generalissimo retorted that he did not want his aircraft destroyed on the ground. Despite his apprehensions he finally committed the AVG to the defense of Burma and kept it there throughout the First Burma Campaign.15
The questions of Chinese reinforcements and lend-lease transfers for Burma reached the crisis point on 23 and 25 December. Each was some weeks in developing. From the day the war began the Chinese offered to send a large
number of troops to share in Burma's defense. However, they insisted that the troops enter en masse, that they occupy a definite sector, and that they operate under a comprehensive plan. The Generalissimo explicitly and forcefully objected to any piecemeal commitment of his troops. To these Chinese offers Dennys always replied that the rice supply would permit accommodating only one regiment or, at most, two.16
There the matter stood when on 22 December Generals Wavell and Brett finally arrived in Chungking to talk with China's leaders, with the British Ambassador, and with Magruder. Brett's orders, as he received them on his arrival, were to encourage the conferees to take every advantage of Japan's "present over-extension" (an echo of the prewar underestimate of Japanese capabilities) and to put maximum pressure on every part of the Japanese front. He was to assure the others that the United States would do its part, was taking prompt measures to reinforce the Philippines by air, and was determined to insure their successful defense.17
Wavell, like Dennys, Magruder, and the War Department, thought the Japanese overextended. He was not alarmed by the evidence of Japanese activity reported by Burma Army headquarters. But if worst came to worst and Burma was invaded, Wavell, as of 23 December, expected it to be reinforced by the British 18th Division, the 17th Indian Division, and two East African brigades. There were also diplomatic considerations in his mind. He wrote later that it was desirable for Burma to be defended by imperial troops rather than foreign.18 Moreover, the Sino-Burmese boundary was in dispute, and Chinese claims went far into north Burma.19 While in Burma Brett had observed Chinese methods of operating the line of communications from Rangoon northward and had received a very bad impression of Chinese ability and integrity, an impression he believed Wavell shared.20
Therefore, when the Generalissimo repeated his earlier offers by stating his willingness to send the Chinese 5th and 6th Armies to the defense of Burma, Wavell replied that he needed one AVG squadron, supplies of various sorts from the Chinese lend-lease stockpiles in Burma, but of troops only the whole of the Chinese 93d Division, if it could be supplied from China, and a regiment of the Chinese 49th Division to be kept in reserve just across the border. To Wavell this was a "qualified acceptance" of the Chinese offer to send troops, but the qualifications were precisely those to which the Chinese had earlier
objected.21 Brett and Magruder each reported to the War Department that Wavell had refused the Chinese offer. Magruder thought Wavell's refusal inconsistent with the picture of Burma's defenseless state, presented to justify requests for the transfer of China's lend-lease. The Chinese thought it a refusal and were bitterly angry.22
Complying with Mr. Roosevelt's suggestions of 15 December, the Chungking Conference on 23 December created a permanent group to act as the local war council. Its members were: Dennys (Wavell's nominee); Ho (the Generalissimo's); and Magruder (ex officio). Having set up its part of the machinery, the meeting then launched into a long discussion of the plan to be sent to Washington. The thread of discussion was frequently broken as various of the conferees began on topics that were important but irrelevant. Madame Chiang entered freely into the exchange, stressing China's need for help. The session ended with a decision to send Roosevelt some proposals phrased by Brett, but the Generalissimo indicated his dissatisfaction by saying that he would forward a plan of his own.23
The Generalissimo's proposals were the first Chinese plans to evict the Japanese ever laid before China's allies. They may never have reached Washington either through Chinese or American channels though copies were given to the conferees. The Generalissimo proposed that the Allies, including the Soviet Union, make their main effort in Asia with the aim of defeating the Japanese in 1942. The first step, said the Chinese, was to rush air and naval reinforcements to hold Allied positions in the South Pacific. That done, the Allies should concentrate on gaining the mastery of the air. Air power was to be placed in Alaska, the Maritime Provinces, and China's coastal provinces. Japan would be blockaded. Then, when the Japanese armies in China were
isolated, the Chinese would move to crush them. If the Japanese were to seize the great area between Singapore, Rangoon, and Manila, then the Allies should prepare a pincers attack from north Burma and the Australian area.24
The plan included no discussion of command, of supply problems, or of what each partner would offer. It proposed that the Chinese armies move only after Japan had been successfully isolated from the mainland by the efforts of China's allies. The great weaknesses of the plan lay in its casual dismissal of Germany and its complete failure to realize that massive air power could not be sustained in China at the end of the inefficient and congested Burma Road. Had every ton over the Burma Road, at its December performance, gone to the air force, only eight squadrons of B-17's could have been supported in China, and those without fighter support.25 Appraising the Chungking Conference a few weeks later, the War Department concluded that "very little, in a way of concrete results" was achieved.26 The Generalissimo's announced willingness to let the British share in lend-lease stockpiles and to let the AVG stay in Burma was a slender counterweight to the animosity Wavell aroused.27
The Tulsa Incident
Almost immediately afterward Sino-British relations were strained still more by the incident of the ship Tulsa and her cargo of valuable munitions at Rangoon. The British forces in Burma, guarding the last line of communication between China and the outside world, were badly in need of equipment. Space-time factors suggested the Chinese lend-lease stockpiles as the logical means of adding to the defenses of an area in whose safety China was so vitally interested. The War Department was sympathetic to the suggestion that lend-lease be transferred to Burma's garrison, because now it fully appreciated the importance of Burma and feared an emergency might soon develop there. Accordingly, Magruder was asked to persuade the Chinese to the most strategic use of the matériel. This was the central point, for the Chinese acquired title to lend-lease goods as they left the United States and so there could be no transfer without their consent. Therefore, on 16 December Magruder received War Department permission to transfer Chinese lend-lease to the British, if the Chinese consented, with orders to report any such transaction later to the War Department.28
The responsible American officer at Rangoon, Lt. Col. Joseph J. Twitty,
was aware that the momentarily expected Japanese bombing of Rangoon might destroy the docks and warehouses and with them most of the accumulated lend-lease supplies. The ships in the harbor, among them the Tulsa, were extremely vulnerable, and the stevedores were deserting. Colonel Twitty was also under heavy pressure from the Governor-General of Burma, Sir Reginald Hugh Dorman-Smith, and from General Brett, then in Burma en route to China. Sir Reginald hinted at confiscation of the stocks in order to get the equipment which Burma's defenders so badly needed, while Brett told Twitty that American heavy bombers might be in Burma in thirty days and strongly recommended (though he never ordered) that Twitty safeguard the U.S. interest in this matter.29
Communications with Chungking were very bad; therefore, Twitty turned to the War Department for guidance, telling AMMISCA of his step on 16 December. Washington replied that Magruder had authority to act and would guide Twitty. Colonel Twitty once again turned to General Magruder and, while he was waiting for an answer, very strong hints came from sources close to the Governor-General of Burma that the stocks were about to be confiscated. Twitty, therefore, formally asked the Government of Burma on 19 December to impound and safeguard all lend-lease stocks until their ultimate use could be decided. Of these, the Tulsa's cargo was the most valuable, and so the whole affair became known as the Tulsa incident.30
Colonel Twitty then broke the news to Gen. Yu Fei-peng, the Generalissimo's cousin and the senior Chinese representative in Burma. Yu appeared reassured by Twitty's statement that this was emphatically not a confiscation but merely an impounding until a decision could be reached on emergency use. Indeed, far from seeming angered, Yu suggested that a committee of experts from the three powers be set up to decide on the best division of the stocks; Twitty agreed at once. Brett reported the impounding to AMMISCA in Chungking, saying that he had suggested it and that the whole situation waited on Magruder's arrival at Rangoon. This message reached Magruder on 21 December. At first Magruder thought of flying to Rangoon, but when he found no aircraft available he sent a radio to Twitty saying that the lend-lease material could neither be impounded nor transferred without the consent of both the Chinese and the War Department. Magruder's intention was to settle the matter at the forthcoming 23 December conference.31 Magruder's order was not received in Rangoon until the 23d.
Meanwhile, the Rangoon committee formed at Yu's suggestion began its work, examining the stocks and deciding what could be released for immediate shipment to China and what should be kept for possible future use in Burma. In the course of these efforts the committee released far more supplies to the Chinese than could possibly be trucked up the road in the near future. There was one unfortunate incident when, on 20 December, a group of British soldiers seized 150 trucks from a Chinese Government agency without reference to the committee, but this seemed to be smoothed over with apologies to General Yu and promises from Brett and Twitty that the committee's prerogatives would be respected.32
During his visit to Chungking for the 23 December conference, Brett discussed the lend-lease transfers with Magruder, as Magruder promptly told Twitty by letter. They must have discussed it in the light of General Yu's apparent acquiescence in the procedure and the Generalissimo's willingness to share with the British. They "agreed that it is a matter for the British and Chinese to settle in conference here [Chungking]."33 The phrase suggests a hope that the fait accompli of Rangoon would be accepted in Chungking, if the British saved Chinese face by presenting a detailed list of their needs even as those were being met in Rangoon. There seems to have been no discussion with the Chinese of the fact that the stocks actually had been impounded.
On Christmas Day the Joint Military Council of Dennys, Ho, and Magruder met at the Bureau of Foreign Affairs to pass on the requests for lend-lease transfers that had been made by British representatives in Chungking. General Ho began the meeting amiably enough by saying the Generalissimo had agreed to release twenty machine guns for the defense of Burma. Then Ho stunned Magruder and Dennys by reading a telegram from General Yu which accused the British of seizing China's lend-lease stocks with Twitty's connivance. He further charged that Twitty had rejected Yu's protest on the ground that the seizure was in line with U.S. policy. Therefore, Ho continued, the Generalissimo had decided that the seizure of the Tulsa's cargo was an unfriendly act and that all lend-lease at Rangoon should be given to the British or returned to the Americans. All Chinese military personnel would return to China and co-operation between Britain and China would cease, because it was impossible for them to fight Japan side by side.34 The Chinese obviously assumed that American lend-lease was a proper subject of contention between themselves and the British Commonwealth.
Magruder and Dennys made conciliatory replies, and Ho agreed to arrange an audience with the Generalissimo for Magruder. Because of Yu's telegram, Chinese anger was directed toward the British though the latter had been acting on Twitty's request. Magruder, at least, among the conferees had been informed that all the while Yu was amicably joining in the division of the lend-lease stocks. Yu's motives for sending the telegrams are unknown. It is possible that the seizure of the 150 trucks led him to repay in kind what he took to be bad faith; equally possible, that he was moved to act by the prospect of losing control of the immensely profitable traffic in lend-lease.35
Magruder found the Generalissimo in a friendly mood on 26 December. Remarking that he had already approved the initial British list of requests, he accepted Magruder's politic assurances and agreed that AMMISCA might send an officer to Rangoon to regularize the transaction. Very considerable amounts of lend-lease were afterward transferred to the British in Burma, but at Chinese insistence Colonel Twitty was relieved of his post and succeeded by Lt. Col. Adrian St. John. The War Department approved Magruder's conduct of the affair and warned St. John against any transfers not approved by the Chinese.36
In Washington, Hopkins called the matter to the attention of British authority on the cabinet level. The explanation that was returned was accepted, Hopkins being satisfied, apparently, with indicating White House interest where the Chinese were involved. The Rangoon committee survived Yu's telegrams and continued its work into 1942. The incident later caused several changes in lend-lease procedure, intended to eliminate the possibility of such disputes in the future.37
The Creation of an Allied China Theater
Immediately after the outbreak of war, Churchill and Roosevelt agreed it was necessary to examine strategy and policy anew in the awful light cast by the now world-wide conflagration. The ARCADIA Conference of the two statesmen and their service advisers convened in Washington on 22 December. There they formed a committee of the British and American Chiefs of Staff, henceforth to be called the Combined Chiefs of Staff, or CCS, to advise them on the conduct of the war.
A rapid survey of the situation when the conference convened would have revealed a scene whose externals were discouraging but which included the three greatest of the Great Powers, the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, and the Soviet Union, allied at last, a tremendous concentration of force, actual and potential. In the Pacific, the surprise Japanese blow at Pearl Harbor left 2 battleships sunk and beyond salvage, 2 more resting on the bottom but salvable, 3 more badly damaged, and the last of the 8 lightly so. It would be some months before the Pacific Fleet could intervene in force. In Asia, Japanese land operations were under way at Hong Kong, in the Philippines, and in Malaya. Two British capital ships were lost off Malaya. The Japanese were advancing steadily and smoothly.
In the Mediterranean, since 18 November 1941 the British Eighth Army under Gen. Sir Claude J. E. Auchinleck had been attacking the German and Italian forces in an attempt to retake Cyrenaica, lost at the time of Greece and Crete, and if possible drive on to Tripoli. The battle was hard and well fought by both sides, but at length the Eighth Army had moved forward deep into Cyrenaica, unfortunately without cutting off any considerable body of the enemy. Though defeated, the German and Italian forces were intact.
The Russian armies had surprised both friend and foe. Since 22 June 1941 they had lost great stretches of territory and suffered heavy casualties, but no German victory was decisive. On 4 December 1941 the Germans launched one last attack in a desperate effort to reach Moscow. It failed, and Hitler was now left to face the Russian winter, for which he had not prepared his armies. The German armies in late December were at the gates of Leningrad; they had recoiled at Moscow, but lay within sixty miles of it; and in the south the Russians had driven them from Rostov and forced a retreat of some forty miles.
Among the pressing problems created by the war was that of China, and considerable attention was given to it. The ARCADIA conferees had begun to apply the principle of unified Allied command and set up such a headquarters under General Wavell for the area of Southeast Asia. Mr. Roosevelt's concern for China was shown at a White House conference on 28 December with the American delegates to ARCADIA. There he ordered that something be done to establish a committee in Chungking to help the Generalissimo's morale. The President's first proposals for a grand council in Washington had yielded
to the more compact and workable CCS, but he still liked the idea of a subordinate council in Chungking. The establishment of Wavell's headquarters, ABDACOM (American-British-Dutch-Australian Command), had left one area in the Far East not included in the scheme of unified command. This was China, for it was agreed that the Chinese would never consent to any portion of their country being placed under foreign command.38
Therefore, on 29 December the CCS suggested the creation of a China Theater under the Generalissimo, to include also northeast Burma and such parts of Thailand and Indochina as might be occupied by what were now called the United Nations. Northeast Burma was deleted, but the announcement of the Generalissimo's theater, over which he would preside as Supreme (Allied) Commander, assisted by an Allied staff, was made on the 29th, coincidentally with that of General Wavell's appointment to his difficult post. The Generalissimo as Supreme Commander, China Theater, was in no way subordinate to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, nor was any portion of China's territory then or ever under the jurisdiction of any other officer of the United Nations. Though an Allied commander, the Generalissimo was responsible only to himself, which made him unique among those who afterward held similar posts.
Burma was placed under Wavell's command rather than that of General Headquarters (India) and India Command, its natural base, because Churchill thought it well to give the impression that Wavell was stretching out his hand to help the Generalissimo. Roosevelt agreed, saying it was particularly important to restore the Generalissimo to a good frame of mind. He added bluntly that Generals Wavell and Brett had made a very poor impression at Chungking, partly because of the coincident requisitioning of Chinese lend-lease at Rangoon and partly because Wavell had refused the Chinese offer to reinforce Burma. The President displayed great concern over the Chinese attitude and suggested to Churchill that Wavell be ordered to go out of his way to placate the Generalissimo and bring him to a more co-operative mood.39 Behind Roosevelt's expressions of concern over the Generalissimo lay his policy toward China, which his Army Chief of Staff defined after the war as "to treat China as a Great Power."40 Asking the Generalissimo to accept the post of
Supreme Commander, China Theater, so great in potential importance, the President added that to make his command effective it was believed a combined planning staff of British, Chinese, and American officers should be set up at once.41
The U.S. Role: A Second Mission or a Theater?
Prewar planning of proposals for strategic action by the United States in relation to China, should hostilities arise, had not progressed beyond the staff study phase. There were no comprehensive plans, like the RAINBOW series, setting forth in detail what the United States would propose to the Chinese and be prepared to attempt in company with them.42 When on 2 January the officer tentatively selected by the War Department and approved by the President to go to China arrived in Washington, the question of that wartime relationship became immediate and pressing. The initial choice was Lt. Gen. Hugh A. Drum, suggested for the post by Stimson. General Drum was then the senior line officer in the United States Army and one of the very few with combat experience in general officer's rank.
As he left his First Army headquarters in New York, General Drum believed he was being summoned to Washington to receive a mission of transcendent importance--in Europe. From a conversation with Roosevelt in the summer of 1939, when the European situation was growing ever more ominous, he had received the impression that, should there be another war and should the United States be involved, Drum would command a new American expeditionary force to Europe. Drum's expectations and their subsequent disappointment were a factor in his reactions, for to his surprise he was offered a post in China.
The scene in the War Department as General Drum arrived was dominated by the effort to deploy inadequate American resources to best effect in meeting a number of grave dangers. The effort was being made by a small group of men in the Department who had to improvise and adjust under appalling pressures. The speed and weight of the Japanese drive in the Pacific were upsetting all prewar concepts. If, on the one hand the defense of Southeast Asia and Australasia was necessary, on the other, the long-run strategic advantages of making the principal U.S. effort in the Atlantic could not be overlooked.
In response to these strategic necessities there were troop and aircraft movements toward the Southwest Pacific to succor Australia and New Zealand and defend the Malay Barrier. To seize the initiative in the main theater, the Atlantic, efforts were being made to prepare for the occupation of French North Africa (GYMNAST). Maj. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell arrived in Washington on 25 December as U.S. commander-designate of GYMNAST.43 To accomplish these two efforts would force the Army to scrape the bottom of the barrel of available resources. Moreover, the Anglo-American agreement that the Atlantic should be the main theater was now on record, and General Marshall was resolved that the U.S. effort should be concentrated in that area.44
The day he arrived in Washington, General Drum conferred with Secretary of War Stimson; with General Marshall; with Lt. Gen. Henry H. Arnold, who in fact if not in name commanded the air arm; with the Assistant Secretary of War, Mr. John J. McCloy; and with Brig. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, Deputy Chief of the War Plans Division for the Pacific and Far East. From these discussions with General Drum it soon appeared that the War Department was not agreed within itself on what should be done for China, that some favored a mission with command responsibilities not accorded to Magruder's, while others contemplated an American theater of operations in China from which to operate against the mainland of Japan.
Stimson told General Drum that China was in bad shape and might accept a separate peace. On the other hand, it was the best theater and offered the best bases from which to operate against Japan. Difficulties over command problems had arisen because the Generalissimo, somewhat against his will, had been limited to China proper as his sphere of operations, and because the British had insisted that Chinese troops stay out of Burma. Stimson said that the British had no respect for Chinese fighting ability and had angered the Chinese by lend-lease diversions. He saw two great objectives: (1) to secure China as a base for early operations against Japan; (2) to keep China in the war. He went on to say that some strong U.S. officer was needed in China to handle the British; to bring them to a proper feeling about Chinese military forces, about Burma Road problems, and about the handling of lend-lease supplies destined for China. The Secretary, as a final consideration, gave as the main objective steps and plans to secure China as a main theater of operations. It was mentioned in passing that T. V. Soong had suggested that the presence in Chungking of a high-ranking officer would be beneficial, that he might command the Chinese Army, and that General Stilwell had been considered for the post but
rejected, because it was feared that he would not have enough face with Chinese officials who would remember him as an attaché.45
General Drum next talked with General Marshall. Although Stimson had been talking in terms of a theater of operations, General Marshall seemed to think along the lines of a mission. Air power in China was the theme of much of Marshall's discourse. He saw Cairo and the supplies there as a base to support air power in China, though Drum would have to use great tact and diplomacy in getting the British to transfer lend-lease stores in the Middle East for use in China. After interviewing Marshall, Drum talked to Arnold, Eisenhower, and McCloy, each of whom gave him still another viewpoint, ranging from McCloy's description of a great Allied front stretching from Gibraltar to Canton, to Arnold's modest plans to operate a few air squadrons in China.46
The differing points of view given to Drum, particularly the wide gap between those of Stimson and Marshall--the former speaking again and again of a theater, the latter, of a mission and air power--made Drum feel that the War Department had not settled on what he was to do in China. His impression of divergent views in high places was confirmed by a War Department paper entitled Notes on China, which had been given to him by Eisenhower as he waited in Stimson's anteroom and which gave the War Departments' intentions as:
To provide equipment to the Chinese Army to enable it to continue operations against the Japanese. This includes assistance in the maintenance of communications.
Instigating Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek to intensify Chinese effort and to restore the waning spirit of the Chinese in carrying on the conflict.
To secure, maintain, and operate air bases for air operations against the Japanese.
To organize various types of American units by enlistment in the American Army to carry on guerrilla warfare.47
Notes on China very closely paralleled a British staff study, Aid to China, British Policy in Support of China, which had been received by the War Department in September. The emphasis which Notes on China gave to guerrilla warfare as one of the principal U.S. activities in China was at complete odds with existing U.S. policy, i.e., the Thirty Division Program, and was quietly forgotten in a few weeks.48
There was a conflict between Stimson's theater and Marshall's mission views as thus presented. General Drum felt that this had to be resolved if he were to understand his task, and so, utilizing a staff hastily assembled for him, many of whom had had long experience in China, he prepared a memorandum whose acceptance or rejection would clarify the position of the War Department. After surveying the current situation in China, Burma, and India, Drum's paper characterized the objective of the proposed mission as "nebulous, uncertain, and indefinite." He felt that sending one more mission would be an empty gesture. Drum suggested instead that the government "decide on a policy and arrange the means" before sending him to China. Though he did not ask for troops or tonnage, Drum still felt that the officer sent should be able to hold out a fairly definite indication to the Chinese of what the United States would do. He suggested that first priority be given to improving the Burma Road and that the main effort in China should be toward building up a strong air force.49
General Drum at once discussed the memorandum with Stimson and General Eisenhower, who represented the War Plans Division. Then, Stimson, expressing his views, gave Marshall and Drum a note which confirmed the impressions that Drum had received in his interview with the Secretary. Stimson wrote that his talk with Drum had helped "to clarify some inchoate ideas which I already had about the China Theatre" and commented favorably on Drum's project for an offensive from Burma into Thailand.50 General Drum considered the note as an approval of the views that he had stated, a feeling strengthened by an order from the Chief of Staff's office saying that Drum would be on an extended absence and would be allowed to retain his quarters on Governor's Island. He returned to New York on 5 January to arrange his domestic affairs and prepare for China duty.51
In Chungking, the Chinese had been weighing the nomination of the Generalissimo to be Supreme Commander of an Allied China Theater. They accepted about 5 January and asked that the President send a high-ranking U.S. officer to be chief of the Generalissimo's joint (or Allied) staff. The Chinese letter had an interesting provision: ". . . That this officer need not be an expert on the Far East; on the contrary, he [the Generalissimo] thinks that military men who have knowledge of Chinese armies when China was under war lords, operate at a disadvantage when they think of the present Chinese national armies in terms of the armies of the war lords."52 Though in Drum's interview with Stimson he had been assured that his ignorance of the Chinese language would not handicap him, this suggestion from the Chinese--that ignorance of
China's very recent military past would be an advantage--may have been disquieting to the War Department. Read in the light of AMMISCA radios, it suggested that the Chinese wanted a senior American officer in Chungking who would accept what he was told by the Chinese at face value and in effect be another Chinese envoy to the United States.53
While in New York, Drum learned that his orders were about to be discussed with the British. Desiring to be sure that his views were represented, since in certain areas he would serve under Wavell, Drum hastily returned to Washington. On arrival he spoke to Stimson. The two men were in accord about the desirability of a thrust across Thailand and Indochina to take the Hanoi-Haiphong area and open a supply line to China, but when the Secretary turned the conversation to the larger aspects of the war, he puzzled Drum. Some of Stimson's comments recalled the picture McCloy had painted of a vast Allied front from Gibraltar to Canton, and General Drum wondered why he was not told of such a project clearly and plainly. The Secretary did make clear that Drum was not to hurry to China but was to study conditions in the Middle East en route. On reflection, Drum was still further mystified by this comment and felt the interview did not make Stimson's wishes clear.54
General Drum returned to his office in the War Department and there learned that a draft of his instructions, prepared in the War Department, was being submitted to the British Joint Staff Mission for their comments. Drum believed that the precedent of Gen. John J. Pershing in World War I, whom the then Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, had allowed to draft his own instructions, ought in some measure to apply to him in taking over such an important assignment, and so Drum hastily prepared another memorandum to Stimson and Marshall, expanding and clarifying his views. While this paper was being typed in final form, Eisenhower showed him a copy of the War Department draft. The title, Immediate Assistant [sic] to China, strengthened Drum's impression that a post comparable to that of the chief of a military mission was being prepared as the American answer to China's problems. Further examining the paper, General Drum took exception to the complete absence of Stimson's views. He also felt that the paper would place the officer sent to China in a poorly defined command relation to the Generalissimo and General Wavell.55
The Drum memorandum may be summarized in his own words as "a plan of operations, mainly American, from without China to within China for the purpose of securing adequate lines of supply by which to build up in China a
theater with adequate bases, air and ground, from which to attack Japan. Every indication and study convinced me that the first problem was to establish lines of supply into China." For personnel, Drum recommended only that a general program be drawn up as a basis for planning and negotiations with the British and Chinese.56 These concepts were markedly similar to the future development of the China-Burma-India Theater. At this time they did not meet with General Marshall's approval.
The divergence between the theater concept, shared by Drum and Stimson, and the mission concept, advocated by the War Plans Division and the Chief of Staff, was now so apparent that General Drum considered he would have to make an effort to resolve the conflict if he was to have a workable directive. Therefore, he secured appointments with Marshall on 8 and 9 January.
In the first interview with General Marshall, at which General Eisenhower was also present, General Drum pointed out the difference in viewpoint between the various papers that had been circulated--the Notes on China given him as he waited in Stimson's office, Stimson's approval of Drum's 5 January 1942 memorandum, and Immediate Assistant to China. His own views, Drum remarked, followed those of the Secretary, which he thought sound. He then "pointed out the inconsistency and impracticability of my serving three masters--the War Department as U.S. representative in China, under command of Chiang in China, and under Wavell both inside and outside of China."57
General Marshall then stated his views. In explaining them, he defended the proposed command organization under which the officer representing the United States in China was to operate in accordance with Marshall's master design of securing unity of Allied command in all theaters.58 Marshall had not used Drum's 8 January memorandum because he had no intention of sending large forces to China or making an effort (in the foreseeable future?) to open supply lines to China. U.S. air units would be sent to China after more pressing problems, mainly defense of the Malay Barrier, had been solved. Marshall's immediate concern in China was to build up the American Volunteer Group. His main objective for China was to "arm, equip, and train Chinese forces in China," and he wanted Drum to take with him some officers who could act as commanders of Chinese army corps. When Drum objected that the limited capacity of the Burma Road made such a project as rearming Chinese forces impracticable, Marshall replied that "more of the equipping of the Chinese forces could be done with resources within China proper."59
Drum believed such a project was impracticable, that resources within
China were too limited. He then raised the issue of what he could really hope to accomplish in China with the resources Marshall seemed willing to allot him. It was still obvious that the Marshall and Stimson views on what should be done for China were far apart. Drum stated that, if Marshall's approach were adopted, Drum would be involved in a minor effort with no possibility of tangible or decisive results.60
Feeling that the issue of a U.S. mission to China or a U.S. theater in China was still unsettled, General Drum saw General Marshall again on 9 January. Unfortunately, in this interview, the discussion drifted away from the attempt to settle the strategic question involved and became confused with the issue of whether the proposed post was suitable for a general officer of Drum's experience. When Marshall repeated that there would be no large U.S. forces for China but some aircraft and munitions if they could be transported, Drum remarked that this meant that he, as one of the three senior officers of the Army who had combat experience with major units, would be wasted in a minor post at a time of grave crisis. This General Marshall took as a lack of enthusiasm for the task. General Drum demurred, explaining that he would be happy to go if Stimson's views prevailed. Marshall concluded the interview by saying that large U.S. forces would not be sent to China, and therefore he must recommend against Drum's assignment.61
After his interview with Marshall, Drum was left in an embarrassing position because of divided counsels in the War Department. Though Drum was not aware of it at the time, his appointment had been approved by the President before Drum had been called to Washington and a staff had been assembled for him by the War Plans Division. The studies prepared by his staff had suggested an approach to the China problem that Mr. Stimson had approved. But this approval had not been enough to clarify the picture.
Although other officers called to Washington in those days to assume field command were also meeting divided counsels and administrative confusion, as General Stilwell so picturesquely set forth in his diaries,62 it is not strange that General Drum felt that he, as one of the senior officers in the Army, was entitled to more consideration. Moreover, he believed that his views on China were shared by Stimson, the highest authority in the War Department.
On 10 January Drum restated his views and the outcome of his interviews with Marshall in another memorandum and again referred the matter to Stimson, saying that if Stimson's views prevailed, he would be happy to go but feared that he was about to be wasted in a minor post, far from the main effort. Then General Drum returned to New York, expecting an early reaction. When none was forthcoming, he sought and obtained an interview with Stimson on 13 January, in which Stimson agreed to read Drum's 10 January
note. Later, Drum heard that Stimson felt Drum had refused to go to China. This was very disturbing to Drum, who promptly obtained a further interview with Stimson. Stimson now remarked that Drum had knocked down his plans like a house of cards, a vivid phrase which illuminated the situation where the prolonged earlier presentations by the Secretary had not.
General Drum replied that--now he understood Stimson's desire to have him in China--he was anxious to go, whether China was to be an active theater or not, and reaffirmed his position in a letter to Stimson from New York on 15 January. But Stimson did not change his mind, and a brief reply on 17 January closed the episode. Not until 23 January did Drum learn of the Generalissimo's willingness since 5 January to accept an American officer as his chief of staff.63
Selection of Stilwell and His Directive for China
When it became apparent that Drum was not going to China, Marshall on 14 January 1942 proposed the name of General Stilwell.64 They had served together at the Infantry School and in China. The Chief of Staff had the highest regard for Stilwell's ability as a tactician and a trainer of troops, and his star had risen with Marshall's. Great things were expected of Stilwell, as shown by his nomination for command of the North African expedition then being planned in Washington.65 Born in March of 1883, Stilwell was no longer young, but he was energetic and indefatigable. As military attaché in China, he had examined the mechanism of the Chinese Army and meticulously studied every Sino-Japanese battle of the 1937-38 period.66 Marshall knew that Stilwell was not a diplomat,67 but the mission that was about to be offered Stilwell called for a great many other qualities. The situation in Burma was appearing ever more ominous. As early as 28 December 1941, G-2, War Department General Staff, had warned that the Japanese would be in Rangoon in five weeks unless Burma was heavily reinforced.68 During General Drum's visit to Washington the War Department had shown itself well aware of the friction among Burma's defenders. Therefore a skilled field commander from a third party might be acceptable to British and Chinese as a solution of the
local command problem and might be able to organize successful resistance to the Japanese. Moreover, the Chief of Staff was most interested in reform of the Chinese Army, as his talks with Drum had shown. The discussions between Marshall, Stimson, and Stilwell between the 14th and 23d of January 1942 strongly suggest that events had now persuaded Marshall and Stimson to choose the man who had impressed Marshall as being a gifted field commander and trainer of troops with the added qualification of being thoroughly acquainted with China and the Chinese soldier. In any event he decided to send Stilwell with all haste to Burma and China after the U.S. Government had made the necessary diplomatic arrangements.69
The situation was changing from day to day as the Japanese surged on, and AMMISCA radios were painting an ever blacker picture of conditions in China. They reported that China was not keeping significant Japanese forces in check, and that war-weariness and passivity pervaded the nation and the army. For the present, the best that could be hoped was that an area in China suitable for air attacks on the Japanese lines of communications and homeland might be kept free. The United States should not look for much in the way of military results from its lend-lease to China; the benefits should be measured in diplomatic terms and as such they were a necessary expenditure. If the Generalissimo and his supporters were kept in power China would remain at least formally belligerent, but if the regime fell the peoples of Asia would gravitate toward Japan. Describing Burma as an indispensable air base, AMMISCA suggested its primary task should be to obtain proper ground facilities, communication nets, and antiaircraft cover for American air units in Burma.70
Between the 14th and 23d of January, Stimson, Marshall, and Stilwell discussed sending Stilwell to China and Burma with the mission, as Stilwell saw it, to "coordinate and smooth out and run the road, and get various factions together and grab command and in general give 'em the works. Money no object."71 Stimson began on the 14th by stating on Soong's authority that the Chinese Army would accept an American commander.72 Asked if he would take the post of senior U.S. officer in the China Theater (nothing being said about the post of chief of staff to Chiang Kai-shek), Stilwell replied that he would go where he was sent. Asked his requirements for success in China and "especially in the Burma theatre," Stilwell listed them as "executive control,
GEN. GEORGE C. MARSHALL conferring with Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War, in the Munitions Building, Washington, January 1942.
(or?) command."73 Marshall told Stilwell to phrase the desired agreement, and the letter went over McCloy's signature to Soong for concurrence on behalf of the Chinese Government.74 On the 21st the Chinese Government agreed to Stilwell's having executive authority over British, Chinese, and American units, especially in Burma, and to his being chief of the Generalissimo's Allied staff.75 In the light of this, Marshall again spoke to Stilwell
on the 23d: "(Marshall): 'Will you go?' (Stilwell): 'I'll go where I'm sent.'"76 That was Stilwell's attitude as revealed in his private papers. He did not seek the post; he did not reveal any joy in it; he would go where he was sent.
The mission proposed for Stilwell, because of the warnings from AMMISCA and the demonstrations of Japanese prowess in Malaya, and possibly because of the influence of Drum's studies of the China problem, was very different from that suggested to Drum. Stilwell was told to go at once to the Far East. On arrival at Chungking he would become chief of the Generalissimo's as yet nonexistent Allied staff. Stilwell would then go to Burma where it was hoped he would take command of the Allied forces there, smooth out the bickerings and rivalries, and save Burma for the United Nations. Stilwell's expectation of command in Burma began to fade almost as soon as he accepted his new post, for he learned that the British had named an officer senior to him to command their forces in Burma.77
Stilwell's duties as one of the Generalissimo's chiefs of staff--the other being Gen. Ho Ying-chin, Chief of Staff of the Chinese Army--were established in an exchange of letters between China's Foreign Minister and the Secretary of War. The Chinese diplomat described the Chinese understanding of them as: "To supervise and control all United States defense-aid affairs for China; under the Generalissimo to command all United States forces in China and such Chinese forces as may be assigned to him; to represent the United States on any international war council in China and act as the Chief of Staff for the Generalissimo; to improve, maintain, and control the Burma Road in China."78 The Soong-Stimson letters also provided that Colonel Chennault (Chinese Air Force) would be the highest ranking air officer in China.79 Stilwell noted in his diary: "The 'control of defense-aid clause' is to give it to me and not Magruder."80
Stilwell's relations with the British were defined by a Combined Chiefs of Staff paper which was a revised version of the proposed instructions to Drum. Stilwell's (Chinese) forces if they entered Burma would come under ABDACOM, which would issue the necessary directives for his co-operation with the British. He would be allowed to establish and use bases, routes, and staging areas in India and Burma to support his operations, and he could make every effort to increase the capacity of the Burma Road from Rangoon to Chungking. To that end, the Burmese authorities would be instructed to make all possible improvements. Stilwell could build and operate airfields in Burma. He would be the principal liaison agency between Wavell and the Generalissimo.81 As for the feelings with which he approached his British and Chinese allies, when he took up his work, Stilwell observed: "The Burmese hate the British and Chinese; maybe they are partly right."82
Stilwell's orders assigning him to duty in China read:
By direction of the President, you are detailed as a member of the General Staff Corps, assigned to General Staff with troops, and designated as Chief of Staff to the Supreme Commander of the Chinese Theater and upon reporting to the Supreme Commander, you are, in addition, appointed Commanding General of the United States Army Forces in the Chinese Theater of Operations, Burma, and India.
You will assemble in Washington, D. C. immediately such staff as you may select, and be prepared to depart, with your staff, at an early date for Chungking, China, where you will assume the duties set forth in a letter of instructions to be issued.83
The War Department orders to Stilwell were to "increase the effectiveness of United States assistance to the Chinese Government for the prosecution of the war and to assist in improving the combat efficiency of the Chinese Army."84 These words, or a close paraphrase of them, he put at the head of each of the private analyses of his mission that he wrote in the years to come. The phrase in Stilwell's War Department orders "to assist in improving the combat efficiency of the Chinese Army" presumably meant that he was to assist the Generalissimo in such an effort. Formal notification of Stilwell's mission was given on 23 January, and he took over Drum's office and part of his staff.
Looking over Drum's staff studies, his first reaction was unfavorable.85 As he reflected on Drum's papers over the next few days and talked repeatedly to Chinese officials in Washington, Stilwell's views on what he needed began to change and jell. His conferences with personnel of China Defense Supplies, who were to be his colleagues in lend-lease affairs, gave a bad impression of
their approach to China's problems.86 In the course of his study Stilwell also heard of a developing project for bombing Japan. Review of Magruder's requests for specialists to train and equip a certain number of Chinese divisions enabled Stilwell to determine his personnel needs.
Putting all of this together in a note to Marshall, Stilwell estimated his needs and type of organization on the eve of his departure for China. Stilwell asked Marshall to approve the following: (1) that his staff and such forces as might join him be called a task force, thus permitting nomenclature more appropriate to an organization larger than a military mission; (2) that, as available, equipment for thirty Chinese divisions be sent to him; (3) that this force be supported by U.S. service units and aviation as they became available; (4) that, if Rangoon fell, the flow of supplies would not be stopped but would be continued and be diverted to a suitable base in India, preferably Calcutta; and (5) that transport aircraft would be allocated to speed the movement of supplies to China. The long-range objective of Stilwell's plans was to build up the combat efficiency of the Chinese Army and to prepare a land base of operations for a final offensive against Japan, in which at least one U.S. corps would join.87
So that he might arrive with something tangible to cheer the Chinese, Stilwell produced a shopping list of ordnance items, which with the air support then under consideration, he called the "minimum essential." He asked immediate shipment of 500 heavy machine guns, 30,000 Enfield rifles and 10,000,000 rounds of small arms ammunition. The manufacture of 7.92-mm. ammunition was requested. For artillery, Stilwell wanted 70 75-mm. howitzers with 500 rounds each, and 36 old-style (horse-drawn unmodernized) 155-mm. howitzers with 1,500 rounds each.88
The War Department examined Stilwell's requests, and a few were approved. Significantly, the long-range objective was not. There was agreement to keeping up the flow of supplies to Rangoon, to sending transport aircraft as they became available, and to permitting General Stilwell to call his group The U.S. Task Force in China. It was stated that 100 75-mm. howitzers were on the way and that raw material for China's arsenals was at
Rangoon. Shipping machine guns would complicate the problem of ammunition supply, but a few 155-mm. pieces could be sent. The final list included 200 machine guns and 20,000 rifles; 5,000 rounds for the 155's; light artillery as requested with 148,000 rounds.89
In organizing the personnel of his group before leaving for China, Stilwell gave its members assignments based on those in a corps headquarters. This suggested that he was preparing to assume command responsibilities in Burma, "over such Chinese Forces as may be assigned" to him. For personnel, he drew on the staff he had had as III Corps commander in California and inherited others from Drum's group of advisers. With the concurrence of War Plans Division, Stilwell named his headquarters, plus such U.S. forces as might come under his command, The United States Task Force in China.90
Moving Toward a Larger Concept
The War Department concept of aid to China went through a very considerable evolutionary process in January and February. In retrospect, it seems that so many U.S. projects to aid the Chinese were set afoot in those months as to make it obvious that a mission could not co-ordinate and control them all. Something closer to an American theater of operations was more and more plainly indicated. When General Drum first came to Washington, the solution had seemed to be a more impressive mission to the Generalissimo, largely diplomatic, with lend-lease, guerrillas, and a minute air force as tokens of good will. But the day before General Drum arrived, the Chinese made proposals that, when joined with others, ultimately made an American theater of operations essential. On New Year's Day they requested lend-lease matériel to build a road across north Burma to tap the Burma Road. The route would be Ledo (India)-Fort Hertz-Myitkyina-Lung-ling. The slow mills began to grind and the proposal went to AMMISCA, which in reply outlined the pros and cons, pointing out that despite the Generalissimo's optimistic figure of five months, two and one half years would be a better estimate of the construction time. Support quickly came to the project from high places in Washington.91
Lauchlin Currie told the President on 24 January that a road from India to
China across north Burma would do much to compensate for the incidents which had disturbed Sino-American relations. Currie feared they would be further upset by the probable fall of Rangoon.92 Following a memorandum from the War Plans Division to Marshall, which urged such a road, plus another from Imphal to Kalewa, as an "urgent military necessity," the War Department sent a radio to AMMISCA to hammer home the importance attached to building such a road as soon as possible.93 Visiting India, the Generalissimo reached agreement with the Government of India on a road from Ledo as well as another from Imphal, plus road, port, and railroad facilities for lend-lease in India. In early February the Chinese statesman announced that a road from Assam to China would be built. The Allied military representatives in Chungking concurred, and Washington gave its blessing with lend-lease. So, before Stilwell ever saw the road that was to bear his name, it was formally agreed on by the three powers, and the United States was committed to procure lend-lease aid, though the project was not yet a U.S. responsibility.94
The airline over the bottlenecks of the Burma Road was viewed as a recourse that could be applied immediately by sending transport aircraft to India. At the most optimistic rational estimate the Imphal Road would take seven months, but the transports could fly at once. T. V. Soong sent a memorandum to the President on 31 January 1942 forecasting the imminent closure of the Burma Road. In it he made the memorable statement that only 700 miles of "comparatively level" stretches lay between Sadiya, India, and Kunming, China. This was the famous Hump, as villainous and forbidding a stretch of terrain as there was in the world.95 One hundred DC-3's on this route, Soong assured the President, could fly 12,000 tons a month into China. Roosevelt approved and told the Generalissimo, "Definite assurance
can now be given you that the supply route to China via India can be maintained by air even though there should be a further set back in Rangoon."96 Before his departure for China, Stilwell was told to set up the airline to China even though the Burma Road was held.
Therefore, the day he met the President for an interview and final word, Stilwell could write in his diary, "Events are forcing all concerned to see the importance of Burma. We must get the air line [the Hump] going at once, and also build both the back-country roads [Ledo Road; Imphal Road]."97 A mission could not handle this, an American task force was required. That night, Stilwell recorded in his diary that the President had told him that the war would be over in 1943, that one year hence would see the turn. Stilwell was to tell the Generalissimo that Germany was not the number one enemy, that all enemies were equally important. The United States was in to see it through, and would fight until China regained "all [Stilwell's italics] her lost territory." He saw Harry Hopkins too, and Hopkins stated flatly that Stilwell was going to command troops, that the Generalissimo might in addition offer him command of the whole Chinese Army.98
The Generalissimo's chief aide-de-camp told Magruder:
Just received a telegram from Generalissimo Chiang saying: "The telegram from Mr. Stimpson [sic] as forwarded by General Magruder on February 9th was respectfully acknowledged. General Stilwell's coming to China and assuming duty here is most welcome." The Generalissimo further said: "I am deeply gratified in learning of the American War Department's help in supplying arms and equipment for the AVG." In notifying you of this matter I wish you the best of health.99
Stimson's agreements with Soong and the growing threat in the Middle East expedited War Department plans to give Stilwell the means to establish, maintain, and protect the roads and airlines, and to implement his mission to China. Designated as The United States Task Force in China, Stilwell and his staff left for Chungking on 11 February.100 War Department directives streamed out to various officers, detailing them to duty in several projects scheduled to join Stilwell in the Far East. Most advanced were the China air projects under the supervision of Col. Clayton L. Bissell. Force AQUILA (code designation for the Tenth Air Force) was soon to leave the United States under Col. Caleb V. Haynes with orders to report to Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton upon arrival in India. Brereton was already en route to India from Java with remnants of a small air force. Haynes carried instructions for Brereton to be prepared to keep open the supply route between India and China and, if
ordered, to conduct offensive missions from China Theater. Though this latter was set forth as a goal of his labors, Brereton was also told that Stilwell could order him to conduct such missions from India and Burma as Stilwell thought necessary. These orders made Brereton, rather than Bissell or Chennault, responsible to Stilwell for establishing U.S. air power in Asia.
Task Force AQUILA, containing the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Tenth Air Force, was the heart of the China aviation project. Other elements of the project were: (a) Col. Leo H. Dawson's flight of 33 A-29's, designed to deliver the lend-lease planes to the Chinese Air Force while the pilots would join the Tenth Air Force; (b) Col. Harry A. Halverson's flight of B-24's, known as the HALPRO Group and destined for the Tenth; (c) a group of 51 P-40E's at Takoradi, West Africa, for delivery to the AVG; (d) Col. James H. Doolittle's mission of medium bombers (later 16 B-25's), destined for the Tenth; and (e) a block of 35 DC-3's for transport duty with the Tenth. On 22 February, Colonel Bissell left for China to co-ordinate the China aviation projects.101
General Brereton plunged at once into his task of reorganization, reporting that he would set up a service command area and a combat area. The Ferry Command headquarters were to be at Karachi rather than Bangalore. He would put Tenth Air Force Headquarters at New Delhi to be near General Headquarters (India), the highest command echelon in the Indian Army. Brig. Gen. Earl L. Naiden would be chief of staff of the Tenth Air Force and Brig. Gen. Francis M. Brady would run the Ferry Command. In order of priority Brereton asked Washington to send air warning equipment and personnel, a P-38 reconnaissance squadron, fighter units, and antiaircraft.102
In Iran, Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Wheeler was informed that he was now commanding general of the Services of Supply in China, Burma, and India, and that his mission was to do whatever was necessary to rush equipment and supplies through to Stilwell. For this, he could assume any necessary supply and administrative functions in India. To guide his planning, Wheeler was told that a major convoy had been diverted from Australia to India, and that 120 fighter aircraft would arrive soon after. For the American forces in India, Wheeler was to keep a six months' level of supply, for the 1,000 men to be in China, a nine months' level.103 Naming the commander of a Services of Supply
for Stilwell's task force is a far cry from the concepts of the hastily assembled Notes on China that Drum was given as he waited in Stimson's anteroom.
Stilwell was brought into this redirection of policy and planning with a clarification of his powers and mission. With the rank of lieutenant general he was directed to assume command of all U.S. forces in India on his arrival there, as against the earlier order making the effective date his arrival at Chungking.104 After giving notice of his intentions to General Wavell, Stilwell could move any of his men from India or Burma to China in line with his "primary mission," laid down anew in terms of classic simplicity: "Support China!"105
In February 1942 the United States thus took a major step forward in carrying out its historic attitude toward China. China and the United States were now more closely associated than ever before in their history. China had come so far from the days of her nineteenth century impotence that a Chinese leader, Chiang Kai-shek, was the Supreme Commander of an Allied theater of war, which meant that any British or American forces to enter it would be under his orders. To carry on his duties as Supreme Commander he had asked for and had been given an American general to serve as chief of the Generalissimo's Allied staff. This officer, General Stilwell, had in turn been given a task force with which to sustain the Chinese. Thus, the beginnings of a mechanism to solve the problems of Sino-American co-operation in warring on Japan had been assembled. The problems of that co-operation remained to be solved. AMMISCA's radios had given clear warning of what they would be, that the Chinese war effort was in the realm of politics and propaganda rather than on the field of battle. How could the Chinese be induced to pull their weight in the common struggle? Stilwell's task would be a heavy one and it would require the full support and encouragement of his government if he were to succeed in it.
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (1) * Next Chapter (3)
1. Madame Chiang, sister of Mr. T. V. Soong, had spent many years in the United States. After being privately tutored in Macon, Ga., Madame Chiang entered Wellesley College, from which she graduated with honors. As the Generalissimo's wife, she entered actively into public life, both in China and on the world stage. In China, she held many governmental posts, among them that of secretary-general of the Chinese Commission on Aeronautical Affairs and that of chairman of the Women's Advisory Council of the New Life Movement. During the war she became a patroness of the International Red Cross and in the United States was honorary chairman of United China Relief. Madame Chiang received many awards from philanthropic societies in the United States for her charitable work in China.
2. Memo, Confs with Generalissimo, MacMorland, recorder, 8, 10 Dec 41. AMMISCA Folder 7.
3. Rad AMMISCA 94, Magruder to AGWAR, 11 Dec 41. AMMISCA Radio File, Job-11.
4. MacMorland Diary, 10, 16, 18 Dec 41.
5. (1) Rad AMMISCA 95, Magruder to Marshall, 11 Dec 41; Rad, Stalin to Chiang, 12 Dec 41. Bk 1, OPD Exec 8. (2) Stalin's message was by no means the first indication that the Soviets would fight Japan. On 13 October 1941 the Soviet Union "suggested preliminary staff discussions for military action against Japan. This proposal was never acted upon by our government." Memo, Brig. Gen. Raymond E. Lee, Actg ACofS, G-2, WDGS, 12 Feb 42, sub: Int Estimate. Item 5, Bk V, Hopkins Papers.
6. Rad, Roosevelt to Chiang, 14 Dec 41. Item 8, Conf File, Dec 41, CT 23, Dr 2, KCRC. The message arrived in Chungking on 15 December 1941.
7. Memo, Conf with Generalissimo, MacMorland, recorder, 16 Dec 41. AMMISCA Folder 7.
8. Rad, Consul Gen, Cairo, to Consul Gen, Chungking, 12 Dec 41. Conf File, Dec 41, CT 23, Dr 2, KCRC.
9. MacMorland Diary, 17, 18, 20 Dec 41.
10. (1) Memo cited n. 7. (2) Memo, Conf with Generalissimo, MacMorland, recorder, 17 Dec 41. AMMISCA Folder 7.
11. MacMorland Diary, 16, 18 Dec 41.
12. Rad, AMMISCA to MILAD, Washington, 14 Dec 41. Int Summary 2, AMMISCA Folder 7.
13. (1) Memo, Conf with Chinese Minister of War, Gen Ho, MacMorland, recorder, 16 Dec 41. AMMISCA Folder 7. (2) MacMorland Diary, 13, 14 Dec 41.
14. Rad, AMMISCA to MILAD, 22 Dec 41. Int Summary 9, AMMISCA Folder 7.
15. (1) AMMISCA War Diary, Ser 37, 14 Dec 41. AMMISCA Folder 2. (2) Memos cited n. 10(2) and n. 13(1).
16. (1) Memo, Confs with Generalissimo, 8, 15 Dec 41. AMMISCA Folder 7. (2) Memo cited n. 13(1). (3) MacMorland Diary, 15 Dec 41. The British Ambassador was present at the 15 December conference.
17. Rad WAR 71, Marshall to Brett, 15 Dec 41. AG 381 (11-27-41).
18. (1) Wavell candidly owns to a miscalculation. Despatch by the Supreme Commander of the ABDA Area to the Combined Chiefs of Staff in the South-West Pacific: 15 January 1942 to 25 February 1942 (London, 1948). (2) Gen. Sir Archibald P. Wavell, "Operations in Burma from 15th December, 1941, to 20th May, 1942," Supplement to The London Gazette, March 11, 1948, par. 5.
19. (1) End-paper map, China's Destiny, by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek (New York, 1947). (2) Brig. Gen. [Dr.] Ho Yung-chi, The Big Circle (New York, 1948), pp. 89-90, 130-32.
20. Ltr, Brett to Sunderland, 10 Mar 50. HIS 330.14 CBI 1950.
21. (1) Memo, Conf with Generalissimo, 23 Dec 41. AMMISCA Folder 7. (2) Wavell Despatch, December 15, 1941, to May 20, 1942, Supplement to The London Gazette, par 11. (3) MacMorland Diary, 23 Dec 41. (4) Rad DBA/10, CCS to Wavell, 5 Feb 42. War Office Folder, Earliest Messages to and from General Wavell and other Commanders in the ABDA [American-British-Dutch-Australian] Area, January-February-March 1942, A48-179. (Hereafter, Earliest Messages Folder, A48-179.)
22. Rad AMMISCA 124, Magruder to President, 25 Dec 41; Rad, Brett to AGWAR, 27 Dec 41. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 1, Tab D.
23. The six points of General Brett's plan were:Memo cited n. 21(1).
As a first essential to secure against enemy attack Rangoon and Burma, both of which are vital for China's continued resistance and any extension of joint action from China. Meanwhile to take offensive air action against Japanese bases and installations to the greatest extent that resources permit.
Maintain China's resistance by continued supplies of matériel to enable Chinese armies to prepare and train for the ultimate offensive against Japan.
Meanwhile the Chinese armies should continue to occupy the Japanese forces on their front by attacks or threats of attacks and by action against their vulnerable lines of communication.
As soon as resources permit, to pass to an offensive against Japan with all forces available, Chinese, British, and American.
This Joint Military Council sitting in Chungking will meet and submit information and proposals to enable the Allied Supreme War Council to work out strategy for East Asia.
Hope is expressed that a permanent organization to be set up in the United States will soon materialize.
24. Proposal, The General Scheme for the Associated Operation of United States, Great Britain, Union of Socialist Soviet Republics of Russia, Netherlands, and China. Item 39, Conf File, Dec 41, CT 23, Dr 2, KCRC. The Generalissimo's comments on the proposal are in the memorandum cited note 21(1).
25. A B-17 squadron required 1,000 tons a month. Memo, Col Clayton L. Bissell for Lt Gen Henry H. Arnold, CG AAF, 20 Feb 42. AG (AIR) 381 China.
26. Aide-Mémoire, Notes on China, Brig Gen Dwight D. Eisenhower, WPD, for Lt Gen Hugh A. Drum, 2 Jan 42. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 2.
27. For an expression of the ill will, see Rad cited n. 21(4).
28. Rad, Gerow to Magruder, 14 Dec 41. AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1A. Magruder received this message on 16 December 1941.
29. Ltr, Twitty to Magruder, 16 Dec 41, sub: Conf with Gov-Gen; Field Msg 10, Twitty to SW, 12 Dec 41. Items 20, 23, Port of Rangoon Folder, CT 42, Dr 4, KCRC.
30. Rad, WAR to Rangoon, 17 Dec 41; Memo, sub: Record of Events at Rangoon, 7-31 Dec 41. Items 24, 43, Port of Rangoon Folder, CT 42, Dr 4, KCRC.
31. (1) Rad, Brett to Arnold and Magruder, 19 Dec 41; Rpt, Maj John E. Russell, AMMISCA's Rangoon Off, to Twitty, 19 Dec 41, sub: Rpt of Conf Held With Gen Yu This Morning; Paraphrase of Msg, U.S. Embassy, Chungking, to U.S. Consulate, Rangoon, 21 Dec 41; Memo for Record by Magruder, 21 Dec 41, sub: Notes on Retransfer of Lend-Lease Matériel to British in Burma, Items 30, 29, 38, 17, Port of Rangoon Folder, CT 42, Dr 4, KCRC. (2) Memo, Hq 204 Mission for AMMISCA, recd 16 Dec 41. Conf Files, Dec 41, CT 23, Dr 2, KCRC.
32. Memo, R. C. Chen, Secy, Rangoon Com, 20 Dec 41, sub: Memo of First Mtg of Com for Survey of Chinese Govt Supplies in Burma; Incl to Ltr, R. C. Chen, Officiating Mgr, Southwest Transportation Co., Rangoon, to Twitty, 21 Dec 41; Min, Second Mtg of Com for Survey of Chinese Govt Supplies in Burma, 22 Dec 41. Items 32, 33, 35, Port of Rangoon Folder, CT 42, Dr 4, KCRC.
33. Ltr, Magruder to Twitty, 23 Dec 41. Item 18, Port of Rangoon Folder, CT 42, Dr 4, KCRC.
34. (1) Memo, Gluckman for Magruder, 25 Dec 41, sub: Rpt on Conf Held 25 Dec. Item 19, Port of Rangoon Folder, CT 42, Dr 4, KCRC. (2) MacMorland Diary, 26 Dec 41, 20 Jan 42. (3) Aldrich Diary, 26 Dec 41. Aldrich was told that the Generalissimo had refused to see the British Ambassador.
35. (1) Ltr cited n. 33. (2) Concerning Chinese corruption in the handling of lend-lease, Mr. Roosevelt was told:
"On the issue of whether or not any of the 'goods and munitions purchased for China never gets to China--but not for military reasons' our check to date indicates that (a) Some of the goods presumably destined for the Chinese Government are in fact purchased for private account through various corporations in the United States. These goods, upon arrival on the Burma Road, were picked up by the private individuals or firms for whom they were really destined; (b) There is some evidence of minor pilfering on the Burma Road with the resultant effect that some of the goods have been put to private rather than military use; (c) After December 7th, some pilfering has taken place at the docks at Rangoon because the material was not adequately guarded; (d) By far the major part of the goods which did not get put to military use was either destroyed or lost at Rangoon or on the Southern part of the Burma Road by reason of conditions prevailing after December 7th and the inefficiency of the port, customs, and military officials in Burma."
Ltr, Thomas B. McCabe to President, 13 May 42. Bk V, Hopkins Papers.
36. (1) Rad AMMISCA 129, Magruder to Stimson, 28 Dec 41. AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1A. (2) Memo, Conf with Generalissimo, 26 Dec 41. AMMISCA Folder 7. (3) Rad, WD to St. John, 30 Dec 41. AG 381 (11-27-41) Sec 1A. (4) Rad AMMISCA 158, Magruder to Stimson, 4 Jan 42; Rad, Stimson to St. John, 10 Jan 42. Items 205, 575, Msg File 5, A47-136.
37. (1) Ltr, Lord Beaverbrook, Minister of Supply, to Hopkins, 31 Dec 41; Ltr, Hopkins to Beaverbrook, 1 Jan 42. Hopkins Papers. (2) "General Magruder trying hard to have Rangoon board of three given enough authority to settle allocations on the spot and avoid misunderstandings that arise due to distance and slowness of communications," wrote Aldrich in his diary on 2 January 1942. (3) Memo, Col Henry S. Aurand, Def Aid Dir, for Edward L. Stettinius, Jr., Office, Lend-Lease Administration, 15 Dec 41. AG (AMMISCA) 400.3295.
38. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 458.
39. (1) Memo, Conf at White House, 28 Dec 41, 1145, Folder, Notes on Informal Conferences Held during Visit of British Chiefs of Staff to Washington; Notes taken by British Secretariat, Washington War Conf, Record of a Meeting Held at the White House on Thursday, 1st January 1942 at 6:30 P. M. WDCSA 334, A45-466. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, pp. 445, 458. (3) Rad, SN to Naval Attaché, Chungking, 31 Dec 41. Item 46, Conf File, Dec 41, CT 23, Dr 2, KCRC. Transfer of communications facilities from a Yangtze gunboat to a station at Chungking afforded the U.S. Navy an excellent contact with Washington. The Generalissimo was notified of his Allied role through this channel much to the embarrassment of AMMISCA, which did not include Navy personnel. Throughout the history of the U.S. theater of operations in China, Burma, and India the Navy channel on certain occasions was a source of concern to Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces, in Chungking.
40. Asked in so many words, "What was the President's policy toward China? Did he ever explain it to you?" General Marshall replied after some reflection that the policy was to treat China as a great power. Interv with Gen Marshall, 6 Jul 49.
41. Rad cited n. 39(3). This message was prepared in the Office of the Secretary of War on 29 December. Hopkins, Stimson, Marshall, Col. De Witt Peck, USMC, Col. Thomas T. Handy, Comdr. Bertram J. Rodgers, USN, and Lt. Col. Willard G. Wyman, WPD, drafted the final memorandum for the President. WPD 4389-61.
42. For a discussion of the RAINBOW plans, see Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations, UNITED STATES ARMY IN WORLD WAR II (Washington, 1950), pp. 103-04.
43. (1) In 1941-1942 Malay Barrier was the term commonly applied to the Malay Peninsula and the Netherlands Indies, which were viewed as protecting the Indian Ocean and Australasia against attack from the north. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 460. (3) Joseph W. Stilwell, The Stilwell Papers, Theodore H. White, ed. (New York, 1948), p. 11.
44. (1) Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, pp. 415, 528. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 445.
45. (1) A memorandum for the record prepared early in 1942 by General Drum, entitled The China Proposal, pp. 4-9. Drum Papers, Empire State Building, New York, N. Y. (See Bibliographical Note.) (2) Diary kept by Col. Charles E. Rayens, a member of the Drum party, entry of 9 January 1942. Drum Papers.
46. (1) The China Proposal, pp. 9-14. Marshall's views of 2 Jan 42 on pp. 19-25. (2) Memo, Drum's conversation with Marshall, 2 Jan 42. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 3.
47. Aide-Mémoire, Notes on China, cited n. 26.
48. (1) Aid to China, British Policy in Support of China, 5th September, 1941. AG (AMMISCA) 351. (2) At one time, Drum's role was seen as simply liaison with the Generalissimo and organizing Sino-American guerrilla units. It was so described in an undated memorandum to Roosevelt, signed by Stimson, which, since it is an original copy, presumably never left the Chief of Staff's office. The next paper in the file is dated 12 December 1941. Nothing on the Stimson letter suggests Roosevelt ever saw it. Memo, Stimson for President, WDCSA, Far East (1941-1942), A46-523.
49. Memo, Drum for Stimson and Marshall, 5 Jan 42, sub: Mission to China. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 1.
50. Memo, Stimson for Marshall, 6 Jan 42. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 11.
51. The China Proposal, Exhibit Ia.
52. Ltr, Soong to McCloy, 6 Jan 42. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 17. In the early days of the war, the terms joint, allied, and combined were used interchangeably.
53. Ltr, Wyman to Rayens, 21 Jan 42. Drum Papers. (2) On the letter, Soong to McCloy, 6 January 1942, Colonel Wyman penned this note: "This letter brought to the attention of General Drum, 23 January." History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 17.
54. (1) The China Proposal, pp. 47-49, 53-61. (2) Diary, 7 Jan 42, cited n. 45(2). Made just after the interview, this entry repeats Stimson's injunction that Drum should take his time.
55. (1) Memo for COS, 8 Jan 42, sub: Immediate Assistance to China. ABC 4 CS2, A48-224. General Drum's copy was headed Immediate Assistant to China. (2) The China Proposal, pp. 55, 56-61, 62-63.
56. (1) Memo and Annex 1, Drum for Stimson and Marshall, 8 Jan 42, sub: Strategic and Operational Conception of U.S. Effort to Assist China. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 12. (2) The China Proposal, pp. 56-61.
57. The China Proposal, pp. 63-66.
58. (1) Ibid. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 455.
59. The China Proposal, pp. 63-66.
61. The China Proposal, pp. 69-71.
62. The Stilwell Papers, pp. 15-17.
63. (1) Memo, Drum for Stimson and Marshall, 10 Jan 42, sub: Vital Considerations Relative to My Proposed Trip to China. WPD 4389-71. (2) The China Proposal, Exhibit N(1) and pp. 73-78, 81-89. (3) Ltr, Drum to Stimson, 13 Jan 42. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 15. (4) Ltr, Drum to Stimson, 15 Jan 42; Ltr, Drum to Knox, 16 Jan 42; Ltr, Stimson to Drum, 17 Jan 42, Drum Papers. (5) Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, p. 529. (6) Penned Note cited n. 53(2).
64. (1) The Stilwell Papers, pp. 25-26. (2) Stimson and Bundy, On Active Service, pp. 529-30.
65. Interv with Gen Marshall, 6 Jul 49.
66. (1) Stilwell's tactical studies of the Sino-Japanese hostilities are with his personal papers. (2) MA Rpts, Stilwell, 8 Jul 35-30 Apr 39. National Archives.
67. Interv cited n. 65.
68. Memo, Lee for WPD, 28 Dec 41, sub: Japanese Attack Against Burma. WPD 4544-35.
69. (1) Interv cited n. 65. (2) On 16 January Marshall authorized Stilwell to draft proposals for final agreement with the Chinese Foreign Minister. After this was accomplished Stilwell prepared his own directive for the mission to China. Memo, Marshall for McCloy, 16 Jan 42. WDCSA, Far East (1941-42), A46-523.
70. (1) Rad AMMISCA 163, AMMISCA to AGWAR, 5 Jan 42. AG 381 (12-19-41). (2) WPD 4389-58.
71. The Stilwell Papers, p. 26.
72. Stilwell Black and White Book (hereafter, Stilwell B&W), 14 Jan 42. (See the Bibliographical Note for an explanation of these copybooks, in which Stilwell recorded his reflections on the day's events.)
73. (1) The Stilwell Papers, p. 25. (2) Stilwell Diary, 15, 16 Jan 42. (See Bibliographical Note for an explanation of Stilwell's day-by-day diary.)
74. (1) Memo cited n. 69(2). Appended to Marshall's memorandum was a letter ready for McCloy's signature and dated 15 January. In this letter McCloy told Soong:
"In our [Marshall, Stimson, McCloy, Stilwell] opinion, the services of such an officer could be of far greater value, especially in the Burma Theater, where Chinese, American, and British factors are all present, if he were given executive power to coordinate these factors. This, of course, amounts to command power over Chinese units, as well as British and American, but there is no other way to get the same results. Also in his capacity of Chief of Staff for the Generalissimo, such an officer would be fully cognizant of all matters of policy. An expression of feeling of the Generalissimo on this matter would be appreciated."
75. (1) The Generalissimo concurred in full with the War Department's proposals. Rad, Chiang to Soong, 21 Jan 42. OPD Exec 8. (2) Ltr, McCloy to Soong, 23 Jan 42. WDCSA, Far East (1941-42), A46-523.
76. (1) Stilwell Diary and Stilwell B&W, 23 Jan 42. (2) Stimson cleared Stilwell's appointment to China on 23 January 1942. Memo, Stimson for Marshall, 23 Jan 42. WDCSA, Far East (1941-42), A46-523.
77. (1) The Stilwell Papers, p. 26. (2) On 2 February 1942 Stimson regarded Burma as being in such peril that it was first on his list for personal attention. On the 16th he insisted that an American must command in Burma, because of the United States' relations with China. He was willing to go to the President and fight for it, if General Marshall wanted to make it an issue (presumably if the British sent someone of higher rank to Burma). War Council Mtgs, 2, 16 Feb 42. WDCSA, Notes on War Council, A48-139. (3) Stilwell B&W, 24 Jan 42.
78. (1) Ltr, Soong to Stimson, 30 Jan 42. U. S. Department of State, United States Relations with China: With Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949 (Washington, 1949), p. 469. The exchange of letters between Stimson and Soong on 29 and 30 January 1942 is on pages 468-69 of this book. (2) Ltr, Stimson to Soong, 29 Jan 42, based on Memo, Stilwell for Marshall, 28 Jan 42, sub: Suggested Ltr of Instructions. WPD 4389-64. (3) Soong's original letter of agreement on Stilwell's role and authority in the China Theater in WDCSA, Far East (1941-42), A46-523.
79. In replying to Stimson's letter of 29 January, Soong stated that it was the Generalissimo's desire to retain "Colonel Chennault as the highest ranking American Air officer in China." Soong's acceptance, however, did not close the agreement as far as the War Department was concerned. On 3 February, Soong learned that Colonel Bissell, not Chennault, was to be the senior United States aviation officer in China. Ltr, McCloy to Soong, 3 Feb 42. WDCSA, Far East (1941-42), A46-523.
80. Stilwell Diary, 26 Jan 42.
81. U.S. ABC-4/9, 10 Jan 42, sub: Immediate Assistance to China. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 18.
82. Stilwell B&W, 25 Jan 42. Stilwell's phrase is not "pretty right," as in the printed text of The Stilwell Papers, page 32.
83. Ltr Order, TAG to Stilwell, 2 Feb 42. AG 210.311 (2-2-42) OD-E.
84. Ltr, Marshall to Stilwell, 2 Feb 42, sub: Instructions as U.S. Army Representative to China, with 4 Incls. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 36A.
85. (1) Diary and B&W entries cited n. 76(1). (2) The Stilwell Papers, pp. 31, 32, 34.
86. Stilwell Diary, 24, 27-31 Jan 42. Stilwell remarked: "Chow at Soong's. . . . Talk about freight transport if Rangoon falls. No thought of fighting. The Chinese 'can't do this or that'--just a flat statement. Their transport man, C. S. Liu, now has a scheme for getting in via the Persian Gulf, Iran, Caspian Sea, Turkestan, Sinkiang, etc.!!!! Soong wants dive bombers for the Yangtze, and tanks, and planes, and this, and that. He can't get the fundamental picture, of course." Stilwell B&W, 27 Jan 42. Beginning on 24 January Stilwell conferred for a week with China Defense Supplies officials.
87. (1) Memo, Stilwell for Marshall, 31 Jan 42. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Items 23, 24. (2) "A task force consists of those units (combat and service) necessary to carry out certain planned operations (task). It has no fixed organization." FM 101-10, WD, 21 Dec 44. Staff Officer Field Manual, Organizational, Technical, and Logistical Data, p. 19.
88. Draft Memo, Stilwell for Marshall, 31 Jan 42, sub: Aid to China. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 23. Though unused, this draft memorandum elaborates Stilwell's requests and explains reasons for each request. Stilwell wanted the items to be shipped to Calcutta without delay.
89. Memo with 4 Incls, Col Benjamin G. Ferris, G-4 Stilwell Mission, for G-4 WDGS, 6 Feb 42. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 37. On 7 February Eisenhower wrote on Ferris's memorandum that the list "has been approved by the C/S for the W. D., and by Gen. Somervell as Acting D C/S."
90. WPD 4389-64.
91. (1) The Stilwell Papers, pp. 26, 38. (2) Ltr, William S. Youngman, Executive Vice-Pres, CDS, to Stettinius, 1 Jan 42. AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1A. (3) Ltr, Lt Col John E. McCammon to Currie, 13 Jan 42. AG (AMMISCA) 611. (4) Ltr, Magruder to Rear Echelon, AMMISCA, 30 Jan 42, sub: Rpt on Szechwan-Assam Highway, AG (AMMISCA) 611. (5) Aldrich Diary, 13, 18, 20 Jan 42. (6) Rad AMMISCA 201, Magruder to AGWAR, 19 Jan 42. AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1A. (7) Magruder sent Maj. Paul L. Freeman, Jr., to Calcutta to reconnoiter its use as a port to receive diverted lend-lease cargoes from Rangoon. MacMorland Diary, 19 Jan 42.
92. Memo, Currie for Roosevelt, 24 Jan 42, sub: Chinese Situation. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 19.
93. (1) Gerow's memorandum gave the Chinese figure of five months as the time to build the Ledo Road, via Fort Hertz and Myitkyina. Memo, Gerow for Marshall, 11 Feb 42. AG (AMMISCA) 611. (2) Rad, Eisenhower to Magruder, 22 Feb 42. AG 400.3295 (4-14-41) Sec 1A.
94. (1) AG (AMMISCA) 611. (2) On 14 February Currie suggested that copies of correspondence on the new roads be made available to the U.S. Army Engineers because of future responsibilities that might be involved. The War Plans Division stated that it knew of no projects in the China-Burma area for which the Chief of Engineers was responsible and recommended filing Currie's memorandum. Memo, Currie for TAG, 14 Feb 42; Memo, Brig Gen Robert W. Crawford, sub: Information for Chief of Engrs, 23 Feb 42. AG (AMMISCA) 611.
95. (1) Memo, Soong for Stilwell, and Incl, Memo for President, 31 Jan 42. History of CBI, Sec. III, App. III, Item 22. (2) Though a reconnaissance of the Imphal Road by an AMMISCA officer in mid-March 1942 revealed it could not be completed in seven months, and then could be used only to support the Allied forces in Burma, Soong told the War Department that it would be open to traffic on 1 April and urged that Chinese lend-lease equipment be stockpiled in India to be sent over it. In spring 1942 he suggested a line of supply from the Arctic Circle south across Siberia and northern China to Chungking. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 529. Meanwhile, matériel was requisitioned by China Defense Supplies to be sent over these nonexistent supply routes. See AG (AMMISCA) 611, the best single source on this period and subject.
96. (1) Rad, Roosevelt to Generalissimo, 9 Feb 42. Bk VI, Sec 3, Hopkins Papers. (2) Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins, p. 513.
97. The Stilwell Papers, p. 38.
98. Stilwell Diary, 9 Feb 42. Compare the above with page 36 of The Stilwell Papers.
99. Ltr, Gen Ho Yao-tzu, Chief, Generalissimo's Aide-de-Camp Office, to Magruder, 14 Feb 42. SNF-56.
100. WPD 4389-64.
101. (1) Memo, Bissell for Arnold, 20 Feb 42, sub: China Aviation Projects, AG (AIR) 381 China. (2) Memo, Col Harold L. George, ACofS Air, WPD, for CofS USA, 24 Feb 42, sub: Establishment of an American Air Force in India. Item 2, OPD Green Book (Asiatic Sec), Gen Ref Br, OCMH. (3) Ltr, Arnold to Haynes, 21 Feb 42, sub: Ltr of Instructions. Item 24, OPD Green Book. (4) Rad WAR 637, Hq AAF to American MA, Cairo, for Haynes, 21 Feb 42. AG 400.3295 (8-9-41) Sec 8. (5) Rad WAR 239, Marshall to Stilwell, 28 Feb 42. AG 381 (2-24-42) 2.
102. Rad WAR 239, Marshall to Stilwell, 28 Feb 42; Rad AMSEG 516, Brereton to Arnold, 2 Mar 42; Memo, Eisenhower for Secy WDGS, 25 Feb 42, sub: Comd in India. AG 381 (2-24-42) 2.
103. (1) Memo, Maj Gen Brehon B. Somervell, G-4, for TAG, 27 Feb 42, sub: Designation of CG SOS USAF in India. AG 381 (2-24-42) Sec 2. (2) Rad AMMISCA 239, Marshall to Stilwell, 28 Feb 42. AMMISCA Radio File, Job-11.
104. (1) Memo cited n. 102. (2) Stilwell's date of rank as Lieutenant General, AUS, was 25 February 1942. Rad AMMISCA 230, AGWAR to Magruder, 26 Feb 42. AMMISCA Radio File, Job-11.
105. CM-OUT 247, Marshall to Stilwell, 3 Mar 42. Original draft of this radio with note, "O.K., G.C.M.," in AG 381 (2-24-42) Sec 2.