United States Army in World War II
China-Burma-India Theater

Stillwell's Mission to China

Charles F. Romanus
Riley Sunderland

. . . to Those Who Served

Kent Roberts Greenfield, General Editor

Advisory Committee
James P. Baxter
President, Williams College
William T Hutchinson
University of Chicago
Henry S. Commager
Columbia University
S. L. A. Marshall
Detroit News
Douglas S. Freeman
Richmond News Leader
F. Dwight Salmon
Amherst College
Pendleton Herring
Social Science Research Council
Col. Thomas D. Stamps
United States Military Academy
John D. Hicks
University of California
Charles S. Sydnor
Duke University
Charles H. Taylor
Harvard University


Office of the Chief of Military History
Maj. Gen. Orlando Ward, Chief

Chief Historian Kent Roberts Greenfield
Chief, War Histories Division Col. George G. O'Connor
Chief, Editorial and Publication Division Col. Breckinridge A. Day
Chief, Editorial Branch Joseph R. Friedman
Chief, Cartographic Branch Wsevolod Aglaimoff
Chief, Photographic Branch Capt. Kenneth E. Hunter

General Joseph W. Stilwell


Foreword ix
Preface xi
Chapter     Page
The United States and China Become Allies
I. Aid to China Involves the U.S. Army 3
  China Seeks U.S. Aid 7
  Origins of Lend-Lease Aid for China 13
  Putting Air Power in China: The AVG and Currie's Lend-Lease Program 17
  The Indochina Crisis and Aid to China 21
  The Thirty Division Program 25
  Creation of the American Military Mission to China (AMMISCA) 27
  AMMISCA Receives Its Orders 29
  The Chinese Army, Fall 1941 32
  The Generalissimo Warns of Peril 37
  AMMISCA's Appraisal of the Thirty division Program 41
  AMMISCA, Lend-Lease, and the Line of Communications 44
  Summary 48
II. War Creates a China Theater and a U.S. Task Force to China 50
  The Chungking Conferences 52
  The Tulsa Incident 57
  The Creation of an Allied China Theater 61
  The U.S. Role: A Second Mission or a Theater? 63
  Selection of Stilwell and His Directive for China 70
  Moving Toward a Larger Concept 76
  Summary 80
III. Stilwell Begins His Mission 81
  The Command Situation, China-Burma-India, March 1942 86
  Early U.S. Logistical and Administrative Problems 90
  Stilwell's First Problems 93
  Darkening Prospects for Burma's Defenders 99
  The Chinese Expeditionary Force 103
  The Chinese Begin Their Fight 105
  The Loss of Air Cover 109
  The AVG Keeps Up the Fight 112
  The Attempts To Reinforce 114
  Summary 117
IV. China's Blockade Become Complete 118
  The Pyinmana Plan and the Irrawaddy Front 121
  The Collapse of the Irrawaddy Front 125
  The Japanese Drive to Lashio 127
  Attempts to Prevent the Debacle 132
  Plans for the Future 135
  The Evacuation of Burma 138
  The Chinese Withdrawal 140
  Summary 148
Plans for Breaking the Blockade of China (May 1942-March 1943)
V. Stilwell's Mission Interrupted by an Ultimatum 151
  Stilwell's Proposals To Reform the Chinese Army 152
  Beginnings of Trouble 157
  Air Transport Disappoints the Chinese 163
  Soong's Warning 167
  The Generalissimo's Anger 169
  Stilwell's Staff and Command Roles Upheld 173
  Moving Toward a Compromise 177
  The Generalissimo Modifies His Demands 180
  Planning the Air War in China Theater 187
  Summary 190
VI. U.S. Forces Organize and Prepare for New Tasks 191
  Expansion of Headquarters, U.S. Army Forces, CBI, July-December 1942 192
  Tenth Air Force Plans and Organization 198
  The Services of Supply: The Indian Base 202
  First Plans and the Karachi Area 204
  SOS Expands Across India Into China 206
  Local Procurement 207
  The Reciprocal Aid System at Work 209
  Lend-Lease Responsibilities 211
  Ramgarh Training Center 212
  Operation of Ramgarh Training Center 214
  Summary 220
VII. The Attempt to Plan a Spring Campaign 222
  U.S. Answer to the Three Demands 222
  The October Negotiations 225
  The Generalissimo Will Be Ready 229
  Japanese Plans and Dispositions in Burma 232
  Preparations in China for the Offensive 234
  Plans and Preparations in India 241
  More Than JCS Support Required 245
  The Emergence of the Chennault Plan 250
  The Chinese Hesitate 254
  The Generalissimo Says No 258
  Summary 261
VIII. ANAKIM Marks Time 262
  Talks About Reform Continue 262
  Administrative Changes for U.S. Forces 266
  The Arnold-Somervell-Dill Mission 269
  The Conferences in Chungking and Calcutta 274
  The President Overrules Marshall and Stilwell 277
  Moving Toward an Expanded Air Effort in China 283
  Obstacles in Chennault's Path 288
  U.S. Forces Establish Training Centers for Y-Force 292
  Marshaling the Yunnan Force 296
  British Operations and ANAKIM 302
  American Preparations in India-Burma 306
  Summary 310
U.S. Air Power Given the Stellar Role in China Theater
IX. Air Power Rather Than Army Reform 313
  The Air War Begins Over Burma 314
  Chiang Promises To Hold East China 317
  Chennault and Stilwell Present Their Cases 320
  The President's Decision 324
  TRIDENT Decision To Take North Burma 327
  Reactons to TRIDENT 333
  The Generalissimo Weighs TRIDENT 335
  Expediting the ATC Airfield Program 341
  Improving Chennault's Position 345
  Stilwell Shakes Up the Rear Echelon 347
  Apathy in Yunnan 350
  Japanese Reactions to Allied Preparations 353
  Summary 354
X. Putting Weight Behind the TRIDENT Decisions 355
  Allied Discussions of Southeast Asia Command 355
  The QUADRANT Conference, Quebec, 19-24 August 1943 357
  Planning Logistical Support 360
  SEAC's Organization and Directive 363
  Stilwell Resumes His Chief of Staff Role 367
  Soong Attempts To Have Stilwell Recalled 374
  Stilwell Restored to Favor 376
  Questions of Boundary and Command 379
  Somervell's Trip to India 381
  "What More Can I Do?" 384
  Summary 385
Bibliographical Note 390
Glossary 400
Index 405
1. Division of Allied Command Responsibilities in Southeast Asia: March-April 1942 88
2. Organization of U.S. Army Forces in China-Burma-India: December 1942 195
3. Organization of Chinese Infantry Regiment: 1942 236
4. Stilwell's Proposed Reorganization of a Chinese Infantry Regiment: 1942 237
5. Lend-Lease Contribution to Reorganized Chinese Regiments: 1942 238
6. Hump Tonnage Carried by All Carriers in India-China: 1943 284
7. Organization of Chinese Yunnan Force (Y-Force): March-April 1943 297
8. Comparison of Fourteenth Air Force Claims and Official Assessment of Japanese Shipping Sunk by Fourteenth Air Force: August 1942-December 1943 (Cumulative) 338
1. Initial Programming of Lend-Lease Funds for China: April 1941 16
2. Essential Ordnance requirements Requested as Lend-Lease for China 17
3. Lend-Lease Supplies Shipped to China: May 1941-April 1942 49
4. Actual and Projected Deliveries of Lend-Lease Equipment Under the Chinese Emergency Air Transport Program: May-October 1942 161
5. Increase in Personnel and Equipment Under Proposed Reorganization of Chinese Infantry Regiment: 1942 238
6. Chinese Personnel Requirements for Y-Force: 23 March 1943 300
1. Japanese Plan, December 1941 54
2. Burma  
3. Japanese Advance in Burma, 20 January-19 March 1942 83
4. Japanese Conquest of Central Burma, April 1942 122
5. Stilwell's Plan, July 1942 183
6. Transportation System, 1942-1943  
Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell  
Gen. George C. Marshall 72
Dr. Gordon S. Seagrave 82
Survivors of Japanese Air Attack 111
Fighter Planes, P-43's 115
Conference at Maymyo, Burma 119
Withdrawal From Burma[ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] 144
Notes for the G-mo 155
Snow-capped Mountain Peaks of the Himalayas 166
Brig. Gen. Claire L. Chennault 189
Ramgarh Training Center, 1942[ 1 ] [ 2 ] 216
Staff Discussion at Ramgarh Training Center, 1942 219
Services of Supply Build-up[ 1 ] [ 2 ] 243
Conference at New Delhi, India 273
Aircraft of Tenth Air Force, 1942[ 1 ] [ 2 ] 316
Flying Tigers 339
Maj. Gen. Raymond A. Wheeler 343
Construction Work on the Ledo Road, 1943[ 1 ] [ 2 ] 349
Vice-Adm. Lord Louis Mountbatten 365

The Frontispiece is a photographic copy of an oil painting by Howard E. Smith. The painting is a part of the memorial collection at West Point.

The photographs are from the files of the Department of Defense.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation