Preparing a Drive to the China Coast
The requests for tonnage that Wedemeyer presented to India-Burma Theater and the ATC were the logistical requirements for operations to take the Canton-Hong Kong area and support the transfer of the Tenth Air Force from SEAC to China. As soon as plans and preparations for ALPHA were well under way, Wedemeyer had ordered his planners to outline an operation in which the U.S.-sponsored Chinese divisions of the ALPHA plan would take the offensive toward the seacoast. On 29 January 1945 the Generalissimo was advised of the trend of Wedemeyer's thinking, and in the days that followed Wedemeyer mentioned shifting the center of China Theater operations toward the east.1
By informally writing to General Hull, Wedemeyer began laying the groundwork for War Department approval of his plans. He told Hull that he envisaged a strategic air force (the Fourteenth) and a tactical (the Tenth) in China, the two commanded by some officer like General Stratemeyer. This powerful new force would support the ALPHA divisions in taking a seaport in the fall. By so writing, Wedemeyer was accepting an organization proposed by the Tenth Air Force on 15 January 1945.2
Operations on the scale envisaged would require aid from neighboring theater commanders and the concurrence and support of the Joint Chiefs. On 5 February Wedemeyer outlined his intentions for the benefit of his colleagues and his superiors. He thought that the ALPHA troops could take the offensive in July or August, with the weather in southeast China favoring their operations. By then, fifteen to twenty-five divisions should be ready. "We have considered an attack from Kweiyang eastward to acquire air bases and to cut enemy communications lines in area Heng-yang-Ling-ling.
MEETING AT YALTA, in the Crimea, attended by President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Joseph Stalin.
This would be feasible only if enemy materially reduces forces south of Yangtze. An air and ground outline plan is being prepared for drive on Liuchow-Nanning area thence east against Canton-Hong Kong."3
While this radio was being studied by the staffs to whom it was addressed, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin were meeting on Russian soil, at the Crimean resort town of Yalta. One of the topics of discussion was China. Probably it was in preparation for Yalta that Marshall on 26 January asked Wedemeyer to report on the situation in China, which Wedemeyer did on 5 February. "In event" the Russians entered the war in Asia, Wedemeyer thought they could do so four months after the German defeat (estimated as late spring) and that they could add thirty divisions to the thirty he credited the Soviets with having in
the Far East. If this estimated timing proved correct, winter might restrict Russian operations in the Far East. Wedemeyer did not suggest that anything be done to obtain Soviet entrance into the Pacific war. His comments on the future course of Chinese operations suggest that as of 5 February he thought the Chinese armies carrying out the operations he now contemplated could "destroy the Japanese on the Asiatic mainland" and make impossible any large-scale Japanese redeployment from the Asiatic mainland to Japan in time to meet an American invasion.
It will probably be the first of July at the earliest before effective ground operations can be undertaken. China Theater is striving to undertake coordinated ground and air operations against the Japanese from the west in time to disrupt their planned redeployment to meet possible U.S. advances from the Pacific and to prevent the withdrawal of forces from Asia into Japan proper. It is believed that if our operations can be initiated in July they will catch the Japanese off-balance and probably preclude planned redistribution of their forces. In the event they are preparing to withdraw bulk of forces to the north of the Yangtze these operations will probably hasten that withdrawal. In any event, our operations, if successful, would give the Chinese army much needed combat experience and confidence and could result in opening port of Canton-Hong Kong. When sea communications are reestablished, it will be possible to dispense with the prodigious effort required to supply China via India. Further, the increased flow of supplies in conjunction with victorious battle experience may inspire confidence and create conditions that will enable the Chinese forces to destroy the Japanese on the Asiatic mainland without large-scale American ground participation.4
At Yalta, President Roosevelt was willing to pay a high price for timely Soviet entry into the war against Japan. The three Powers agreed that the United States would obtain Chinese concurrence to the conference protocol's listing of Soviet aspirations in Manchuria as a quid pro quo for prompt Soviet intervention against Japan, and further guaranteed fulfillment of these Soviet claims. The Generalissimo was not to be informed of this agreement until the Soviet deployment was largely complete. During these conversations, Premier Stalin observed that he recognized "the need for a united China under Chiang Kai-shek's leadership." However, in the formal statement of accord between the three Great Powers at Yalta, the Soviet intent was modestly defined as "readiness" to conclude a pact with Nationalist China "for the purpose of liberating China from the Japanese yoke."5
The probable sphere of Soviet military action, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, and north China, was far removed from the area of projected Sino-American
operations in China, the Canton-Hong Kong area, but if the Japanese concentrated their forces in north China to meet the Soviet threat, as Okamura had been warned was likely, then opportunities in southeast China would open for Wedemeyer and the Generalissimo. That, in retrospect, seems to have been the extent of the connection between U.S. theater headquarters in China and the implementation of the Yalta agreements.
The plan drafted by Wedemeyer's staff for an offensive in southeast China was an ambitious one. On 14 February, formulated as Plan BETA, it was formally presented to the Generalissimo at a gathering in Wedemeyer's headquarters. Present as distinguished American guests were Ambassador Hurley and Rear Adm. Charles M. Cooke, the latter just back from Yalta. Among the Chinese delegation was General Chen Cheng, Minister of War.6
BETA assumed that the war in Europe would end 15 May 1945; that Allied Pacific operations would continue as planned and force the Japanese armies in China to redeploy north and east to meet actual or projected U.S. landings in China; and that the Japanese would steadily weaken in 1945. As for logistical support, it was assumed that a four-inch pipeline would be complete to Kunming 15 July, and that the Hump and the Stilwell Road together would deliver 60,000 tons a month.
BETA's objectives, as listed by the theater planners, were fourfold: (1) to make effective use of the anticipated increase in supply deliveries to China; (2) to improve the local military situation and contribute to Pacific operations; (3) to improve the morale and efficiency of the Chinese Army; (4) to open a seaport, and help prepare China Theater to begin the preliminaries involved in destroying the Japanese armed forces on the continent of Asia.
Moving southeast to capture the Liuchow-Nanning area was Phase I. Kunming's present defenders, now in the Kweiyang area, could move on those cities by the target date of 1 May without disturbing their current dispositions or training schedules. Air and ground lines of communications to Liuchow could be set up to support further operations eastward. The Japanese seemed overextended and taking the area would cut their lines of communications to the south. Phase II was consolidation of the Liuchow-Nanning area. At this time, any soft spots which might reveal themselves, particularly toward the sea south of this area, would be exploited. Phase III would be the preparatory period for the actual attack on Canton and Hong Kong. The planners believed that one indication of completion of this phase would be successfully cutting off the Japanese to the south. At its conclusion the assault forces would be concentrated, fully equipped, at full strength, with their line of communications and supply dumps all in order.
The China Theater planners, under Col. Paul W. Caraway, realized there
might be a very vigorous Japanese reaction, so they had an alternative course at hand. This was to open a coastal base in the vicinity of Luichow Peninsula, so that supplies brought in from the Pacific could give added weight to the attack on Canton and Hong Kong.
Phase IV of BETA was the actual attack on the two great seaports, to open an oceanic line of communications to a major Chinese port early in 1946. Such a port would be a great base from which to support later offensives, would permit a tighter air and sea blockade of Japan, and would facilitate cleaning up Japanese garrisons in Formosa, south China, and Hainan.
To assist this main effort diversions were contemplated all the way from Hanoi to Hsian. Ground patrols, reconnaissances in force, limited objective attacks, all were to distract the Japanese and keep them off balance. Wedemeyer's staff believed that some 208 Chinese divisions, with 1,700,000 men, could help in this, though it was thought shortages of small arms and ammunition would make it unsafe to plan on receiving help from more than 10 to 15 percent of these forces.
The time schedule for training and equipping divisions to take part in BETA was:
1 May 1945: 10 Chinese divisions for the main effort 15 May 1945: 5 Chinese divisions to menace Hanoi; 3 to threaten Heng-yang 15 July 1945: 7 Chinese divisions to complete the build-up in the Liuchow area 1 September to
1 November 1945:
11 Chinese divisions plus all that could be trained, equipped, and supported under this plan 1 November 1945: 36 Chinese divisions, numbering about 500,000 men at full strength
Twenty specially trained commando units, numbering 200 men each, were also to be created to be used as soon as possible before 1 May 1945.
The air forces were to have a major role in BETA, for they were to attempt the isolation of the Japanese defenders from their sources of supply in north and central China. To do this, the American air forces in China were to subordinate everything but maintenance of local air superiority to carrying out their share in BETA. The planners believed that Japanese lines of communication from north China and the homeland converged in the Hankow area. Thence, southward, the Japanese sent supplies by rail and river to Changsha, and from there by rail and road to Kweilin, Liuchow, and Nanning. BETA contemplated continuing interdiction of these routes by medium bombers and fighters and, in the latter phases, interdiction of
local roads and rail lines in the objective area. Tactical air support was to be made available throughout. In the final phase, there was to be heavy bombing of the Japanese defenses in the Canton-Hong Kong area.
Air supply was to play a major part in moving the Chinese forces eastward. Heavy reinforcements of transport aircraft were expected after Germany's defeat. These were to help provide air supply to the forward areas. Once Liuchow was taken, then an airline from Luzon to Liuchow was to be organized. The planners thought this would be a potent means of accumulating supplies. The heavy dependence on air transport reflected awareness of the difficulties of moving arms and men in China. Though trucks were coming in over the Stilwell Road in increasing numbers, bad roads, poor drivers, scarcity of fuel, spares, and maintenance facilities all made it desirable, if the means were at hand, simply to fly over the hampering road net. Additional airfields would be needed, the planners concluded, and they wanted U.S. aviation engineer battalions to build them.
After weighing the pros of the operation, such as the tremendous impetus to U.S. activities in China that would come from opening a port, and the cons, such as the circumstance that much of BETA would have to be carried out during the season of low clouds and heavy rains, the fact emerged that internal distribution of supplies was the key to effective logistical support for BETA. Wedemeyer's staff hoped that bringing enough supplies into China to support two air forces and equip thirty-six Chinese divisions, then moving this tonnage many hundreds of miles east from Kunming, could be done by the contemplated increased Hump tonnage and by opening the airline from Luzon. Within China, every means of transport was to be utilized--truck, sampan, coolie, and aircraft.
The supply requirements for BETA, in terms of tonnage, reflected the planning of all the major theater agencies. If any erred in its estimates, activities all over China in 1945 would be affected. Tonnage requirements for BETA were estimated as follows:7
Agency Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug AAF 24,470 29,560 26,000 31,000 39,356 41,711 42,097 42,883 SOS 8,500 8,500 8,800 9,300 9,600 9,900 10,200 10,500 CCC-CTC 1,500 1,500 1,700 1,900 2,100 2,300 2,300 2,500
This, then, was BETA, a four-stage operation to open a seaport, and on the afternoon of 14 February it received the Generalissimo's approval. For the first time since China and the United States became Allies, the Generalissimo agreed to a major offensive effort within the historic provinces of
China proper.8 It was now necessary to obtain the approval and support of the U.S. Government.
Wedemeyer's Visit to Washington
From the War Department Wedemeyer received permission to return to the United States to present BETA to the JCS, together with his comments on the organizational changes he would like to make in China Theater to knit his command more firmly together. Ambassador Hurley elected to return with Wedemeyer. Some years after the war Hurley recalled that he had heard rumors of extensive concessions to the Soviets at China's expense, and that, since any such development would greatly affect his mission to China, he was anxious to be informed.9
Wedemeyer's presentation of BETA was effective. The Joint War Plans Committee presented the view that U.S. operations against Okinawa would lead the Japanese to thin out their forces in south China and so make BETA possible by September. On 20 April the JCS approved BETA. On the vital question of logistical support, Wedemeyer and his party left Washington with the distinct impression that the C-54 transports required to support BETA and the displacement of the Tenth Air Force to China on the schedule desired by Wedemeyer would be forthcoming. For its part, the War Department understood that it had approved sending Stratemeyer and his headquarters to command in China, to be followed by the Tenth as support became available. So as they parted, Wedemeyer and his staff expected to hear that C-54's were coming to India, while the War Department expected to learn of Stratemeyer's move to China.10
In the field of high policy, the War Department was able to present Wedemeyer, together with MacArthur, Sultan, and Wheeler (the latter at SEAC), with a statement of U.S. policy toward China. Explicitly desiring guidance for its staff and for Wedemeyer, the War Department had asked the State Department to furnish it. The State Department responded, Secretary of War Stimson described the paper as "OK," and the War Department passed it to Wedemeyer with appropriate cautions: ". . . This policy should be made known only to key American staff officers who require the knowledge in the discharge of their duties . . . it represents the current State Department position and is subject to revision in the light of later development." Wedemeyer was further told that the paper was for his "guidance." Such a statement of policy regarding China was something of
a novelty, for Stilwell had complained several times that he could not find out what was U.S. policy toward China.11
The paper stated that the short-term objective of the United States was to unify all China's resources for war against Japan. The long-term objective was to help develop "a united, democratically progressive, and cooperative China." The State Department believed that Wedemeyer should focus on the short-term objective, and the letter of transmittal put the stamp of War Department approval on the advice. Some rearmament of Chinese forces would result, but measures "now" to arm China so as to make her a strong power did not, according to the view stated in the paper, appear practicable. The State Department would have liked to see the arming of all Chinese willing to fight Japan. Currently, it was impolitic to arm the Chinese Communists. If the United States was to undertake operations on the China coast, commanders should be prepared to arm the Communists. The paper observed that interest in unifying China did not necessarily mean that China should be united under the Generalissimo. It closed by stating that a degree of flexibility should be maintained, which would, in turn, leave open the question of a specific postwar rearmament program.
The first impact of the attempt to state U.S. policy in China would appear to have been on Ambassador Hurley's efforts to mediate between the Nationalist and Communist forces, for he came to believe that the Chinese Communists, having obtained a copy of the statement of policy, were thereby encouraged to resist his efforts at mediation. For, if the United States was prepared to concede that unifying China did not necessarily mean that China should be united under the leadership of the Generalissimo, Chiang Kai-shek, then the Chinese Communists had a powerful incentive to maintain their identity and resist the Generalissimo's terms.12
In a sphere less august but still one where Wedemeyer had feared embarrassment, that of clandestine activity in China, he was able to have his wishes satisfied. Navy Group, China, including its activities as part of SACO under General Tai Li of the Chinese secret police, was put under his control. Slightly earlier, OSS, China, had also been brought into the fold.13
While in Washington, Wedemeyer, Hurley, and Commodore Miles of Navy Group, China, offered their observations on the scene in China. They spoke against a background of China Theater's effort to create thirty-six U.S.-sponsored Chinese divisions, well fed, well led, fully equipped, and trained, supported by an efficient services of supply and a revitalized air force, and thoroughly blooded by driving the Japanese out of south and central China. Their appraisals of China's future implicitly assumed the existence of such a force.
In his memoirs, Admiral William D. Leahy recalled that on 27 March Wedemeyer and his associates told the Joint Chiefs that "the rebellion in China could be put down by comparatively small assistance to Chiang's central government. Wedemeyer seemed to believe then that further serious advances of the Japanese in China could be prevented, but he was encountering difficulties in controlling the Chinese war lords and political officers as well as having trouble with the British officials in Asia and with some of his own temperamental general officers." A low estimate of the future military capabilities of the Chinese Communists and concern for British activities in China were expressed several times by Wedemeyer in April and May 1945 and by Hurley often in the first six months of 1945 and are part of the background against which they shaped their policies.14
Hurley left Washington 3 April 1945, to return to his post at Chungking via London and Moscow. Having gone to Washington from China because he was disturbed by the versions of the Yalta agreement circulating in Chungking, he went to the White House to clarify the matter, and in a rather belligerent mood. But finding the President looking worn, he approached the matter tactfully and quietly. Over the next few days Roosevelt and Hurley had several discussions of the Yalta agreement, in which Hurley made plain his impression that the territorial integrity and political independence of China had been affected by the Yalta accord. Initially, the President denied this,
but when Hurley reinforced his arguments by citations of the text of the agreement--after he had finally broken the elaborate security barrier and obtained a copy--the President agreed that something should be done, in Hurley's later phrase, to "ameliorate" the Yalta accord.
Hurley's reports of 13 and 17 April, written a few weeks after these interviews, give the instructions of the President as:
. . . to obtain cooperation from the British and Soviet Governments for the American policy to support the National Government in China; to unite the military forces of China to bring the war with Japan to a speedy end and to support all reasonable efforts of Chinese leaders for the purpose of creating a free, united, democratic China. . . . [13 April 1945]
. . . to confer with Prime Minister Churchill on unification of the armed forces of China and endorsement of China's aspirations to establish a free, united, democratic government of China. . . . To promote the foregoing program it had been decided to support the National Government of China under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek. [17 April 1945]
Hurley's interviews with Churchill and Stalin on such large questions of policy were no casual matter, but a major diplomatic effort, undertaken on behalf of the President because Roosevelt had had long second thoughts on the Yalta agreement. Repair of the weaknesses in the Yalta accord could not be accomplished overnight; the first step was to persuade the other parties to agree firmly to support U.S. policy in China. Once that was obtained, then the Yalta accord would have to be interpreted in the light of the later Soviet and British commitments.
These interviews with Churchill and Stalin seemed to Hurley to have been eminently successful, and he so reported to the State Department, and to President Harry S. Truman, who at this delicate juncture in American foreign policy development had just succeeded President Roosevelt. In Hurley's report of 17 April he told the State Department: "We obtained from Prime Minister Churchill and Foreign Secretary Eden complete concurrence in the policy. . . . Stalin stated emphatically that the Soviet Government would support the policy. He added that he would be glad to cooperate with the U.S. and Britain in achieving unification of the military forces in China."15
On returning to Chungking, Hurley discussed the provisions of the Yalta
agreement with Chiang Kai-shek, but without identifying them as such. Thanks to this device, on 10 May 1945 he was able to give Chinese reactions as: "I am convinced that he will agree to every one of the requirements but will take exceptions to the use of two words 'preeminent' and 'lease.' These words have bad connotations in China. They have been involved in the controversies over extraterritoriality. These two words seem to impinge on the principles of the territorial integrity and independent sovereignty of China." Hurley, therefore, advised the President that the Chinese objected to the Soviets' having pre-eminent interests in the port of Dairen, to the lease of Port Arthur as a Soviet naval base, and to the pre-eminent interests of the Soviet Union in the Manchurian rail system. All that China would willingly have agreed to in the Yalta accord were those provisions relating to Japanese territory and to Outer Mongolia--neither of which was apt to pass under Chinese control. In his message Hurley suggested that Stalin's assent to telling Chiang Kai-shek formally of the Yalta accord be obtained as soon as possible. In acknowledging Hurley's report Truman confined himself to the question of notifying the Chinese of the Yalta agreement. He did not think the time appropriate.16
Logistical Obstacles to BETA
Even as Wedemeyer was presenting BETA to the Joint Chiefs, his staff and principal subordinates in China were beginning to find the logistical problems of BETA assuming a steadily graver aspect. As presented to the JCS, BETA set very definite and rather modest tonnages for the SOS and Chinese Combat Command. For the SOS, monthly tonnages were to rise slowly from 8,500 in January to 10,500 in July. The CCC was to have 1,500 tons in January and 2,300 in July. However, a rather considerable number of Americans were flown in to China in early 1945 to increase theater strength. The most conspicuous example was the project of bringing in the men who had formed MARS Task Force. As a result of these increases, the SOS jumped in strength from about 4,000 men in January 1945 to 10,000 in June 1945. The Chinese Combat Command went from about 4,000 men to 7,000.17
SOLDIERS ON A TROOP TRAIN en route from Kunming to Chanyi, 27 March 1945. These men are MARS Task Force veterans of the North Burma Campaign.
Since the SOS estimated that every American soldier brought to China required delivery of .62 tons of supplies every month, these increases meant that approximately 3,600 more tons were needed in June to supply the SOS than in January, while 1,800 tons more were needed for CCC. Therefore, even as the plan for an offensive against the Canton-Hong Kong area was being discussed, the logistic underpinnings were being taken away by a growth of the U.S. forces themselves which far outstripped that anticipated. So marked was the trend toward devoting an ever greater share of the Hump effort to support of the Americans themselves that whereas in January 1945 only 48 percent of the Hump's capacity had been so used, by August Americans used 73 percent.18
Moreover, estimates varied sharply as to the usefulness of these Americans once they had arrived. For example, the MARS soldiers were two representative
regiments of U.S. infantry, who in combat had done all their superiors asked of them, and done it well. On arrival in China they were expected to act as liaison personnel and instructors for Chinese troops. But many of the MARS personnel did not have either the background or the temperament to act as teachers and advisers. The G-3, Central Command, later testified that only 17 or 18 percent of the 900 MARS men assigned to Central Command were usable in their new roles. The rest, he thought, were simply a burden.19 Yet they needed about 500 tons of supplies every month, tonnage that would if converted to ammunition be enough to maintain a Chinese army for thirty days.20
The tonnage figures in the BETA plan given above refer to tonnage laid down at Kunming. From Kunming, supplies had to be moved east, and this effort to distribute Hump tonnage to the ultimate users in China was a major one. In drawing up BETA, the supply planners estimated that 14,000 tons of Hump tonnage would have to be used for intra-China supply movements. In actual practice it was found that for August 1945, for example, the ground forces would need 29,060 tons to distribute their share of the supplies received over the Hump.21
By 26 March these factors were making themselves apparent. One of the junior participants at a commanders' conference in Kunming on that date, at which Chennault presided in Wedemeyer's absence, spelled out their impact:
For the month of April, we have 52,615 tons available to us; the bids are for 72,314. In May, 55,590 tons available to us; bids are for 76,707; in June, we have 56,650 tons available to us; the bids are for 86,877 tons; in July, we have 64,400 tons available to us; the bids are for 88,965 tons. . . .We are faced with a great deficit unless we get [Hump] augmentation, or the plans are changed and bids changed accordingly.22
These remarks, accepted by the other conferees, showed that arrival of the C-54's was needed to give added capacity over and above that originally given as the cost of BETA.
In April came a further blow--the Chihchiang campaign, with its demands for Hump tonnage to move Chinese troops to that area.
After completing his mission to Washington, Wedemeyer returned to China via Calcutta. There on 9 April 1945 he met with the senior officers of the Tenth Air Force and the India-Burma Theater to discuss what now appeared to him to be settled policy, early movement of the Tenth Air Force to China. In the course of the conference Wedemeyer remarked that since no U.S. divisions would be available for operations in China, Chinese troops would have to open a seaport. General Stratemeyer's chief of staff, Brig.
Gen. Charles B. Stone, III, continuing the discussion, said that supply tonnage would be available to move the Tenth Air Force to China. On its arrival, the Tenth would become the tactical air force of the theater, while the Fourteenth, with the mission of interdicting Japanese lines of communications to southeast China, would be the strategic. General Stone added that Marshall and Arnold had approved bringing the Tenth to China. When Wedemeyer and his party returned to China, China Theater headquarters sent IBT its suggested schedule for transferring the Tenth.23
On his return, Wedemeyer had another task to perform, that of telling Chennault that the Fourteenth Air Force would be subordinate to another air headquarters, and that Stratemeyer would become the senior air officer in China. Chennault was not pleased by the prospect. On other occasions during this period he argued that moving the Tenth to China would not actually increase U.S. combat strength, because the Fourteenth was not receiving enough supplies to operate at capacity. The Fourteenth Air Force minutes of the 19 April conference between the two men record:
General Chennault stated that BETA Plan was dependent on gas and that SOS had completely fallen down on delivery of aviation supplies. General Wedemeyer said, "In fairness to Cheves, don't say that,"--"logistic supplies have made a difference; the Chinese are making inroads into these. If I had 30 or 50 well-equipped divisions in this Theater, I could go places. So far the effort has not been concentrated."
Gen. Chennault asked--"Do you supply these people?" [Chinese]
Gen. Wedemeyer stated that he wanted to cannibalize certain divisions and organize labor battalions under semi-military control.
Gen Chennault stated, "To illustrate what we mean about the tonnage deliveries--last year we received 6,500 tons; this year the figure is 1,000 over the Kweiyang highway by truck."
Gen. Wedemeyer stated [to Col. Caughey] "Make a note of that."--"We apparently haven't improved the situation in China at all. The figures should be just the opposite."
* * * * * * *
Gen. Chennault then summarized all the foregoing discussions in the statement that we have enough airplanes to do the job in mind but have not been able to operate them due to logistical status.
Gen. Wedemeyer stated that if Gen. Chennault were theater commander he would do the same as he is doing. Had no ground forces worthy of the name when I arrived and the ground effort is now nil, but I have got to increase it.
Gen. Chennault stated he was not questioning the above, but merely pointing out that we have enough air units in China now and that logistic matters will be even worse with additional units.
Gen. Wedemeyer stated we will have to move them in to prevent their going South.24
* * * * * * *
MAJ. GEN. HOWARD C. DAVIDSON, Commanding General, Tenth Air Force.
In another interview with Wedemeyer, Chennault said that he would stay in China as long as his health permitted. Chennault commented freely on his long feud with Stilwell, and told Wedemeyer of his having corresponded directly with Roosevelt. But he assured Wedemeyer that he had no intention of circumventing Stilwell or the War Department.25
Then a misunderstanding over the commitments made at Washington began to appear, with an announcement of 25 April from Washington that because of the redeployment program from the European theater there would be no great influx of C-54's. The ATC would, however, be able to deliver to China at Kunming 49,400 tons in May, 50,400 in June, 51,400 in July, and 53,400 in August (so-called "short-haul" tonnage). Ten thousand tons more would be flown in from Myitkyina. This approximated previous estimates. On 1 May Wedemeyer issued a general order naming Stratemeyer as
Commanding General, Army Air Forces, China Theater, with the Tenth and Fourteenth as subordinate forces.26
But when Sultan's and Stratemeyer's staffs had time to study the 25 April message from the War Department, they concluded that it implied China Theater would receive 25,000 tons a month less than was now known to be needed.27
Seeking to adjust his organizational plans to the lesser amount of support available, Wedemeyer asked Stratemeyer if he would be willing to come to China as commander of a smaller air force, with Chennault at Cheng-tu having a strategic mission and General Davidson of the Tenth at Lu-liang, a city east of Kunming, with a tactical mission. Wedemeyer explained that there appeared to be no alternative and that "I personally am interested in obtaining the service of officers like you and Davidson whom I know in my heart and mind would be loyal members of our team. I can not be confident of team play under any other possible arrangement."28 Stratemeyer declined. Since in Wedemeyer's opinion the War Department had not implemented the ATC plan to the extent promised, his hands were tied. Stratemeyer did not think Wedemeyer would want him to step down to a command so small as the one contemplated. Instead, he suggested that what he called "the three old men," Chennault, Stratemeyer, and Davidson, all be sent back to the United States. However, if after noting Stratemeyer's views Wedemeyer wanted him, Stratemeyer would gladly go to China.29
Thus matters stood when Wedemeyer held a staff conference 7 May to study the question of moving the Tenth Air Force to China. He was aware that the whole of the Tenth could not go to China, but was still interested in bringing in Stratemeyer to command there.30 Representatives of the Fourteenth Air Force attended the meeting. After the war Chennault believed that they had demonstrated that moving the Tenth to China would actually reduce the air effort through that air force's demands on Hump tonnage. Apparently, Wedemeyer accepted their arguments, for he decided that the Tenth as such could not be moved to China. He contemplated a rather elaborate air command structure, with Headquarters, AAF, China Theater, in Chungking next to his headquarters, a tactical air headquarters in the field adjacent to the tactical headquarters directing the drive to the coast, and a strategic headquarters at Cheng-tu. For the present, he reserved decision as
to the identity of the senior air officer in China. To the War Department, he reported 11 May that China Theater's plans to augment its air strength were being restudied. He also observed that the Japanese drive on Chihchiang had been stemmed only at heavy cost in Hump tonnage. This fact had further affected plans to open a seacoast port, so that it was necessary to restudy these plans as well. Wedemeyer then told Stratemeyer he had advised the War Department that the Tenth Air Force could not be absorbed in China for several months. Chennault was told that he would be the commander of the augmented China-based air forces after the Tenth arrived, and he and his staff began planning for the change.31
The developments and realizations described above registered their impact on the theater command. On 12 May Brig. Gen. Douglas L. Weart, commanding Rear Echelon headquarters, stated that General Wedemeyer did not want his officers to discuss the merits of theater plans with officers from outside China Theater. The BETA plan (RASHNESS) might be beyond China Theater's present capabilities, Weart continued, but it did offer an approach toward the co-ordination of existing capabilities, and should be supported. Changes would be made as conditions developed. China Theater headquarters also decided that it would have to set 60,000 as the personnel ceiling for the year 1945--presumably till a seaport was somehow opened.32
The program for equipping Chinese divisions to take part in RASHNESS was affected by these influences. Though General McClure of the Chinese Combat Command could not agree with Wedemeyer's fears that Chinese divisions which had no place in RASHNESS were currently being equipped from U.S. stocks, he admitted that he found the equipment problem a puzzling one. As he put it: "Actually, Al, I have never known how many divisions could be equipped during 1945 or 1946, nor when any promised equipment would arrive in China. I do not know at present and there is no one I have met yet in the theater who can tell me. How in the Sam Hill can any of us plan on anything definite with such an indefinite L of C?"33
SOS Problems and China Operations
General Cheves, the SOS commander in China, faced a dilemma, that of coping with the transport problem without burdening the theater's resources. He was very much concerned with the transportation problem, to one phase
of which McClure alluded, and wrote on 20 March that transportation was and would continue to be his "bottleneck and headache." To solve the problem, to give the CCC the barest minimum of support, required men to drive and maintain the trucks, and to store and disburse supplies. Here General Cheves came up against his dilemma, for every man brought into China was a further drain on supplies, yet the SOS could hardly operate without more men. The shortage of spare parts, the shortage of trucks, the fact that soldiers cannot be made qualified truck drivers by an order, the primitive nature of the Chinese road net, all were further complications. So a week later Cheves told Stratemeyer, "I am accomplishing very little in the field." He had plans and money in abundance, but there was a sheer lack of men to do the SOS work, and so much of what he hoped to do had to stay on paper. Writing to an officer about to begin work with the Chinese SOS, Cheves observed: "I cannot give you any specific directive. All I can do is put you in the area, turn you loose, and tell you to see to it that the Chinese soldier gets a break in food, ammunition, and clothing and do not let technicalities stop you."34
Cheves attacked the transport problem in several of its aspects. Though the supply trucks were arriving steadily over the Stilwell Road, they were still relatively few, fewer even than drivers. So Cheves set up what he called the "block system." Under it, trucks were driven and maintained by men assigned to a section of the LOC, rather than to any one vehicle, and would, so Cheves hoped, operate for fifteen to twenty hours of the twenty-four. By 27 March the general staff sections of SOS began to feel that the block system was proving itself on those roads where it had been set up.35
The condition of the roads was disturbing. Even the best and newest of Detroit's products developed maintenance problems on China's washboard roads, while drivers grew tired and suffered various ailments. Roads and road repairs were under the Chinese Ministry of Communications. To approach its problem coherently, SOS concluded that it should assist the Chinese to repair those roads necessary to support the thirty-six-division program. This meant aiding the Chinese with U.S. earth-moving equipment and operators. The next difficulty lay in obtaining funds for the Ministry of Communications from the Chinese treasury, and then in persuading the Ministry to spend the money on projects not of its own devising. General Ho Ying-chin's field headquarters wanted General Cheves, as in effect commander of the Chinese SOS, to take over the whole project. Ho's chief of staff, General Hsiao I-hsu, thought the Ministry was reluctant to yield up such sizable sums and perhaps with it control of important public works. Untangling these problems
of administration and bureaucratic rivalry took time and during it the roads went unrepaired.36
In mid-April, Cheves observed that it was necessary to keep after the Chinese agencies. For the American part, he had not been able to bring in more than a negligible amount of heavy equipment, and on the matter of bridge material he was just beginning to get some encouragement.
The problem of finding adequate numbers of qualified service personnel was increased by the reluctance of the Chinese Government to permit Negro troops to move freely about China. Initially, the Chinese hesitated to admit Negro troops at all. General Wedemeyer protested, saying that a hard and fast rule would interfere with the war effort. Many of the American service troops in India were Negro, and would be needed in China as the war effort moved eastward. The Generalissimo then agreed that Negroes might enter China as far as Kunming. The Chinese leader felt that his people might be excited by the sudden arrival of the Negro troops, that they were just now becoming accustomed to the presence of white people.
By early February the Generalissimo was willing to let Negro troops go east of Kunming if required, but shared with Wedemeyer the understanding that they would be admitted to China in small numbers. Plainly, Cheves had to weigh more than administrative efficiency in deciding what units to requisition from India-Burma.37
On the question of obtaining drivers, the picture was beginning to brighten by mid-April. Discussions about starting a driver's school for the Chinese had been under way since the preceding November. Now, it was agreed that SOS would be responsible. Since the block system required numbers of drivers to make it work, recruitment was a vital point, but Cheves feared it was not appreciated by the Chinese, nor, he hinted, by Wedemeyer's headquarters. Surveying the whole of the SOS field, so profoundly affected by transportation problems, he felt that the SOS was not meeting Wedemeyer's requirements. To this view, Wedemeyer himself now inclined.38
Help that India-Burma Theater might give Cheves was rigidly limited by the slowly growing capacity of the line of communications to China. As early as 3 April, General Somervell of Army Service Forces doubted that India-Burma Theater could support China's projected operations. China Theater had, as noted above, decided to recommend suspension of the six-inch pipeline project in order to release personnel for service in China.39
This decision troubled Somervell, who thought the estimates of what might be flown in to China far too comprehensive. So he called the matter to the attention of India-Burma's deputy theater commander, General Merrill, who had accompanied Wedemeyer to Washington. Merrill replied that India-Burma felt it should not question Wedemeyer's decisions once their implications had been explained to him. Somervell said the answer puzzled him, and went on to add that he thought the air estimates were too large, and that if the road and pipeline projects were not continued at something near their original levels, then the projected campaign in China might suffer. Merrill replied there would be enough troops in India-Burma to maintain and operate the Stilwell Road and the four-inch pipeline. This did not satisfy Somervell: "You leave me with the gravest doubt that you will be able to support Wedemeyer's operations. Are you confident of your ability to do so?" Support of Wedemeyer depended on the ATC's doing as well as promised, Merrill thought, and if the ATC did, with the road and the pipeline, he could do the job.40
With the SOS in China finding its operations so hampered by the shortage of transport facilities, and with tight limitations on the number of Americans who could be brought to China for SOS work, it was plain that SOS in China could not of its own resources improvise anything to aid RASHNESS. And India-Burma Theater, through Merrill, made it plain that cutting back the road and pipeline in accord with the decision to concentrate on building up the Hump left it to the ATC to support the drive to take a seaport. That prospect seemed dim indeed in early May. Apparently China Theater could proceed with equipping the thirty-six divisions. The performance at Chihchiang showed that Chinese troops could stop anything short of a really major Japanese effort, but if China Theater was to advance beyond the planning stage and take the initiative, a major new development was needed.
The Japanese Save RASHNESS
In appraising RASHNESS for the JCS, the Joint War Plans Committee had ventured the opinion that by late summer or early fall of 1945 the Japanese might feel such pressure on Japan proper as to begin moving troops out of south China toward more vital areas in the north. This had been one of the suggested reasons for JCS approval of RASHNESS, so from the point of view of Washington, planning for RASHNESS had some of the aspects of a worthwhile speculation on anticipated Japanese weakness.
After the failure of the SHÕ Operation for a complex and powerful counteroffensive on the American drive into the western Pacific,41 Imperial General
Headquarters in Tokyo during December and January had to plan a troop deployment for anticipated American exploitation of success in the Philippines. Surveying the Asiatic and Pacific theaters, Imperial General Headquarters feared it had to counter Soviet and U.S. thrusts into north China by land and sea, respectively; U.S. amphibious attacks on islands near Japan, such as Okinawa; U.S. amphibious attacks on south China; and even amphibious assaults on Japan itself. There seems to have been no thought among the Japanese leadership of retiring to some citadel area on the mainland of Asia and there fighting it out. Japan was their home. They would die there in defense of what they held sacred. They did not contemplate fleeing from their remembered shrines and pine-clad hills to die on the Manchurian plains. So the Japanese staff shaped all their deployments to guard Japan, in the hope that at last the Americans might tire of the war. If they reinforced north China, it would be to hold staging areas from which Japan might be attacked and factories and mines which could still arm the Japanese soldier.
Differences in point of view and responsibility produce very different outlooks, and Okamura's headquarters in China, China Expeditionary Forces, took a much less grave view of the situation during December and January, 1944-45. He and his staff wished to make a major effort to take Kweichow Province, whence roads branched to Kunming and Chungking, and to end the war in China. They were overruled. Higher authority in Tokyo believed that the Chinese saw victory inclining to the Allies, that they saw the end of the war approaching, and so Okamura's superiors did not think that even taking Kunming and Chungking would persuade the Generalissimo's government to make a separate peace. Instead of driving into the interior of China, Okamura was ordered on 25 January to turn his attention to the seacoast and to north China. These orders were an interim solution, and planning was still in progress.
Whatever the outcome of the planning might be, it would require troops, and Imperial General Headquarters set in train an ambitious mobilization that would strengthen the forces with which Wedemeyer would ultimately have to deal if he carried his campaigns to central China. To meet the feared invasion of Japan, Imperial General Headquarters activated sixteen coastal divisions in April, and eight fully mobile field divisions in May. To equip these forces, approximately one third of all the Japanese ammunition in Manchuria, about 30,000 tons, was sent to Japan. The Japanese thought this would supply thirteen divisions for three months. With it went as much of railroad matériel, bridging matériel, foodstuffs, and antitank munitions as the strained railroads and ferries could transport.
Okamura was to receive major reinforcements, and did in fact have his numerical strength increased 25 percent. Imperial General Headquarters wanted to secure air bases in China, maintain order in north China, defend southeast
China, and prepare a reserve for the Manchurian front. So the Japanese set about increasing Okamura's force to 20 fully equipped divisions for operational duty; 20 more lightly equipped divisions for occupation duty; 6 more divisions for what was called guard duty; 17 independent mixed brigades; and 50 battalions to guard the railways. This was no mere paper program; by April 1945 Okamura received 230,000 men. From them he obtained a net gain of 1 division, 11 independent mixed brigades, and 13 independent guard units. Save for 4,000 troops from Manchuria, and 12,500 reservists mobilized in China, these men came from Japan. Thanks to them, by summer 1945 Okamura had 1,050,000 men south of the Great Wall, though their training, equipment, and supplies were not up to past standards.
Manchuria was the area whose resources seem to have made possible the Japanese deployments of 1944 to meet the American advance through the Pacific and of 1945 to defend the homeland and north China. On the map Japanese-occupied Manchuria was an exposed salient jutting into Soviet-held territory. Salients are hard to defend and the Japanese did not intend to try to defend this one. They intended only to hold a line across its base. So elite divisions came out of Manchuria to fight in the Pacific, and with them came supplies, plus cadres to activate new divisions. In January 1943 the Japanese had 14 divisions in Manchuria. Two years later, 10 divisions plus 50,000 men in smaller units had been shipped out. Only 7 had been assigned to replace them, leaving a total of 6 well-trained divisions and 5 inferior ones. Manchuria-wide mobilization began in February 1945. To fill the gap left by loss of the good units and to create an appearance of strength, 8 divisions (121st to 128th) were activated, whose cadres came from the 3d Cavalry Brigade and border garrison units. These were inferior units, to be regarded as part of a cover plan rather than as fighting strength.
On 19 February 1945 the U.S. Marines landed on Iwo Jima, a volcanic outcropping midway between the Mariana Islands and Tokyo. Fighting was bitter, and at a pace which insured it would not be prolonged. By 8 March U.S. fighter aircraft were operating off Iwo, and an alarmed Imperial General Headquarters issued orders 15 March recalling the 4 best divisions left in Manchuria to the homeland. With them across the Korean straits came 3 new divisions and 6 tank brigades.
The American landing on Okinawa 1 April was another grave blow to the Japanese, for its loss would give the Americans staging areas close to Japan itself. The beginning of operations on Okinawa coincided with the completion of Imperial General Headquarters' studies of a deployment to meet the grave danger to Japan.
The plan to defend Japan was called KETSU. It embraced operations in both Japan and Asia. To find the troops for KETSU, and to place the troops in Asia in position for their share in KETSU, the Japanese decided to shorten
their lines in China and mass their troops, some around Hankow and Shanghai in central China, and the rest in a great rectangle across north China, south Manchuria, and north Korea. The effects of this decision began to appear on 8 April in orders from Tokyo that sketched KETSU for the benefit of the field commands. At this same time, but coincidentally, a new premier, Admiral Baron Kantaro Suzuki, took office. He and his cabinet represented elements who wanted to make peace.
On the 14th Imperial General Headquarters sent a warning order to Okamura that four of his best divisions were to be moved to central and north China. Tokyo had earlier intimated willingness to evacuate Hunan Province, the great area where stood the contested cities of Changsha, Heng-yang, and Chihchiang. For its part, China Expeditionary Army did not want to give up Canton, Hankow, or the rail line between them, so in accord with Tokyo's and its own views, it prepared to take its troops off the Hunan-Kwangsi railroad. This line ran through Heng-Yang, Kweilin, Liuchow, and Nanning, and a branch forked off to Kweiyang. These were the cities of the east China airfields. In order that north China might be reinforced, the Japanese were willing to yield them. On 20 May the Japanese began to withdraw from Ho-chih, their garrison farthest west on the branch line to Kweiyang. On the 26th they evacuated Nanning, and thus broke land communications with Indochina. Deployment for KETSU was under way.42
As they assembled for KETSU, Japanese were harassed by OSS teams operating behind their lines. The Japanese were spread very thin over China, in a deployment very like that of an army of occupation, and there were many opportunities for guerrilla action. The OSS had five teams on or near the east-west truck railroad from Hsian to the coast. Four more teams operated near the rail line from Nanning to Heng-yang. A third group harried the Japanese engaged in the Chihchiang operation, and the remainder were near the coast. These teams guided U.S. aircraft to profitable targets, gathered intelligence, and reported that they blew up Japanese trains, shot individual Japanese, attacked small parties of Japanese, blew up warehouses and supply dumps, and sought generally to distract and gather information on the Japanese. That they exercised any influence on the course of events in China is not apparent from the Japanese studies; however the effort was still on a very modest scale, and the OSS was steadily gathering and training fairly large guerrilla forces behind the Japanese lines.43
The cities the Japanese now were yielding had been the targets of RASHNESS Phase I. To accomplish that phase, all the Chinese had to do was to follow
behind the Japanese. Any pressure they might apply would be all to the good. The implications of the Japanese withdrawal registered at once in Wedemeyer's headquarters, and a reaction was not delayed.
The Drive to the Sea Moves Off Dead Center
The War Department's announcement that ATC augmentation would not take place as rapidly as Wedemeyer had expected and the accumulating difficulties of supply and transport within China created a brief period, only a few days, when the drive to the sea hung on dead center. Then came the electrifying news that the Japanese were withdrawing. Wedemeyer appreciated the new situation, and wrote General Marshall in early June: "The recent Japanese withdrawals from the Nanning-Liuchow-Kweilin corridor, our occupation of Nanning and the anticipated capture of Liuchow and Kweilin has virtually eliminated Phase I of CARBONADO [new code name for the offensive]. As a result a revision of our plans has been directed to permit the early occupation, seizure, and development of the Nanning-Liuchow- Kweilin area as a base for an assault during the last quarter of 1945 against the Canton-Hong Kong area."44
As part of the Chinese Combat Command organization project of February 1945, the Central and Kwangsi Commands had been created opposite the area the Japanese were now evacuating. The Central Command included the Kweiyang area; the Chinese 94th Army from that command had distinguished itself in the Chihchiang campaign. The Kwangsi Command included that great province, and in it lay Ho-chih, Nanning, and Kweilin. The Central Command troops were under General Tang En-po's III Army Group Command, assisted by Brig. Gen. Frederic W. Boye. General Tang's forces included the 26th, 29th, 20th, 13th, and 71st Armies, totaling ten divisions. The II Army Group Command, General Chang Fa-kwei, included the 46th, 62d, 64th, and New 1st Armies, totaling eleven divisions. General Chang was assisted by Brig. Gen. Harwood C. Bowman. Of these twenty-one divisions, only those of the New 1st Army were ALPHA or U.S.-sponsored divisions. However, Generals Chang and Tang had co-operated in carrying out a considerable reorganization of their forces. Facing them were the Japanese 3d and 58th Divisions, and the 22d and 88th Independent Mixed Brigades.45
The food and medical situation had improved since February. General Chang had consolidated what had been six armies into three, launched a training program, and begun a systematic rebuilding of his forces.46
GENERAL TANG EN-PO, Commander, III Army Group, China (center), and Brig. Gen. Frederic W. Boye (waving), former Commanding General, Central Command, Chinese Combat Command, drive along the Nanking Road in Shanghai. (Photograph taken 7 September 1945.)
The original mission given Chang's troops under RASHNESS had been that of diversionary attacks. Preparations to that end were being carried on, but the armies themselves were still weak. The only offensive activity was that of a so-called Commando Battalion, which during April and May raided the hundred miles of Japanese-held road from Nanning to Chen-nan-kuan (Nam Quan) on the Indochinese border. The Chinese were not thought capable of moving across the road in force.
These Chinese "commandos" should not be confused with the rigidly trained, superbly equipped elite British units of the same name; rather they were Nationalist partisan detachments which had been given adequate food, training, and medical care, then assigned a mission within their capabilities. It was a long time since organized Chinese troops had shown the flag in that area; the Chinese civilians soon began bringing their surplus produce to the Chinese lines rather than the Japanese.47
In mid-May reports began to reach the Chinese that the Japanese were
contemplating withdrawal, and Chang began to redeploy so as to follow any evacuation. Over 19 and 20 May reports came that the Japanese were destroying the public utilities of Nanning. On 26 May the Chinese drove the small Japanese rear guard from Nanning. Bowman personally visited Nanning "to verify the capture," for the air forces had been skeptical. There were sixteen dead Japanese, and many Chinese casualties. There could be no further skepticism about the withdrawal.48
Theater headquarters at once began staff studies on how to exploit the Japanese move. Making a rapid advance to the Luichow Peninsula in order to gain access to the sea began to seem one possibility; with the U.S. forces now established in the Philippines, supplies could quickly be brought to the China coast from Manila. Wedemeyer requested the Generalissimo to order the local Chinese commanders to (1) keep close watch on all Japanese movements in the Canton-Hankow corridor, (2) keep pressure on the Japanese but avoid committing any large numbers of Chinese troops, (3) hold armies not in contact for reserves as the situation clarified, (4) continue to build up supplies for use by air and ground forces in forward areas, and (5) coordinate limited ground operations with U.S. air support. He wanted to avoid premature and large-scale commitment of forces that might be used in a drive for a seaport. That the Japanese would probably soon evacuate the Kweilin-Liuchow area offered help toward solution of the logistical problem of supporting the offensive, for supplies could be flown directly from India to east China and then distributed locally.
General Wedemeyer's revision of RASHNESS, called CARBONADO, was drawn up early in June. In preparing to take advantage of the Japanese concession of the objectives of what had been Phase I, the planners sought to change the existing plan as little as possible. The significant addition was giving a major role to the Kwangsi Command and Chang Fa-Kwei's troops. Where formerly these had been limited to diversionary attacks, now before CARBONADO was launched they were to seize the small seaport of Fort Bayard on the Luichow Peninsula about 250 miles southwest of Canton. Fort Bayard would then be a forward supply base to sustain CARBONADO.
CARBONADO itself now called for an attack on 1 September from the Kweilin-Liuchow area toward Canton, to take suitable forward concentration areas. From these the final assault would begin on 1 November. On 15 July there was to be a diversionary attack into French Indochina, to keep the Japanese too occupied for them to consider harassing the Kunming-Nanning line of communications. The air forces were to concentrate in the earlier phases on cutting Japanese communications, then switch to tactical support. The Philippine-based Far East Air Force would be asked to undertake strategic bombing of Chinese targets.
In Wedemeyer's opinion, the biggest barrier to carrying out CARBONADO on schedule was the need to accumulate supplies in the forward area. Air transport would be relied on heavily. The fields around Liuchow were to be developed, together with one halfway between Liuchow and Canton, known as Tanchuk (Tan-chu). Supplies were to be flown direct from India-Burma to these fields, which were to be used for logistical support. Kweilin was to be reserved for combat. Roads to the forward area were to be repaired and their capacity increased.49 These engineering projects would be a heavy burden on the Chinese SOS and governmental agencies.
New Commanders for CARBONADO
Execution of CARBONADO would be the task of new commanders and staffs, both air and ground. The most significant immediate change was that in the command of the Fourteenth Air Force. In his messages to the War Department after word was received that augmentation of the Hump airlift would be postponed Wedemeyer had pointed out that deployment of the Tenth Air Force to China would also be delayed. Apparently, he thought that this by implication covered the question of Stratemeyer's going to China. But the War Department did not take it so. On 16 May Wedemeyer was told by Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, of AAF headquarters, that Chennault would be replaced in any event. A letter to Wedemeyer from General Hull of OPD suggested that there had been a basic misunderstanding when Wedemeyer and his party left Washington about the Hump airlift that was to be established. While Hull conceded that the War Department had not been able to meet the schedule of C-54 aircraft that Wedemeyer had presented, he did not believe that there had been any failure to meet any commitment made during Wedemeyer's visit. Since redeployment would not permit the C-54's to come to India, the War Department had agreed that the AAF in China should set its requirements in terms of tonnage delivered, rather than in numbers of aircraft assigned to the Hump. Hull also remarked that unless the Tenth Air Force could be supported in China a major part of it would have to be returned to the United States. Nothing was said about Stratemeyer, but since Hull believed the War Department was meeting all of its commitments to China Theater he may have felt that headquarters should proceed with the reorganization Wedemeyer had presented in Washington and to which the commitments were related.
These letters were exchanged against the backdrop of tremendous events elsewhere. On 12 April 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt died, and was succeeded by the Vice President, Harry S. Truman. President Roosevelt had taken a keen personal interest in the conduct of American affairs in China, and had
kept many of the threads in his own hand. From 1942 to the fall of 1944, he had sent several special emissaries to China, and kept in touch with the Generalissimo and his entourage through many informal channels. Roosevelt had also been firm in his support of General Chennault in the disputes over strategy in China.50
About three weeks after Roosevelt's death the war ended in Europe. The German chancellor, Adolf Hitler, died in the ruins of his shattered capital as the Russians took Berlin. The German armed forces surrendered at Reims on 7 May. The end of the fighting in Europe produced administrative and logistical problems as complex as those that followed on Pearl Harbor, though of a more agreeable nature. With plans and orders succeeding one another in rapid fashion, it is not strange that the AAF plans should also have been in a state of flux, so that on 22 May Stratemeyer's headquarters heard that C-54's were on their way to India after all. However, the letters from Washington with their indications, clear in retrospect, that the War Department believed reorganization of the China air force would proceed and the news of the impending move to India of the C-54's did not bring any reaction from China Theater headquarters.
Then came clear indication that higher authority in Washington wanted Stratemeyer to command the air force in China, for on 8 June General Marshall asked why the reorganization had not been carried through.
A detailed explanation was prepared by General Wedemeyer and held for several days in his files in case Marshall should want a fuller explanation than the brief one Wedemeyer sent him. In it, Wedemeyer analyzed the Hump tonnage problem, then said his radios of May had not specifically referred to Stratemeyer because he still hoped to bring him to China. He had wanted to discuss this arrangement with Arnold. However, this had not been possible so he had decided to make Chennault Commanding General, China Air Force, and had so advised General Hull. Wedemeyer's present relation to Chennault "rendered it difficult" summarily to relieve him, and replace him with Stratemeyer. He therefore had to keep as his air officer a man who did not have Marshall's or Arnold's confidence (and the text of the detailed explanation showed that Wedemeyer briefly contemplated saying he himself agreed with Marshall and Arnold). The explanation closed by saying that while it would be preferable to replace Chennault with Stratemeyer or someone else the impetus for that move had to come from Washington.
A week later, when Arnold was in Manila, he summoned Stratemeyer to confer with him. At the conference, Arnold made it plain that he wanted
THE GENERALISSIMO HONORS GENERAL CHENNAULT. The retiring commander of the Fourteenth Air Force is guest of honor at a banquet given by Chiang Kai-shek. Facing forward, from left: Ambassador Hurley, the Generalissimo, General Chennault, Mr. Wing Shih-chih, and Mr. Ellis O. Briggs. General Wedemeyer is in profile at extreme right. General Chennault is wearing the medal presented by Chiang Kai-shek.
Stratemeyer to command in China, that Stratemeyer had been promoted to lieutenant general for that purpose. Returning to China, Stratemeyer brought with him a letter from Arnold that suggested that Chennault be soon retired from the Air Forces, that the Tenth Air Force be brought to China, and that the Tenth and Fourteenth Air Forces be put under Stratemeyer. In compliance Wedemeyer replied that he was setting up such a structure, with Chennault as Commanding General, Fourteenth Air Force. About two months later Chennault retired. Headquarters, Tenth Air Force, opened at Kunming 23 July.51
By delaying immediate compliance with Arnold's letter, Wedemeyer let Chennault complete eight full years of duty in China, five with the Chinese Air Force and three with the American. In appreciation of his efforts for China, the Generalissimo presented him with the Order of the White Sun and Blue Sky, China's highest honor. His own government, on Wedemeyer's recommendation, gave him a second Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished
Service Cross. In leaving China, Chennault felt "anger and disappointment" because he had not been able to participate in the final victory, a victory to which he and his airmen had contributed in great measure with very small resources. If he could not complete his plans, in this he shared the frustration China inflicted on all the Americans in high command there, including both Stilwell and Wedemeyer. After the war a Japanese military historian concluded that until summer 1945 the Fourteenth Air Force had been the principal obstacle to Japanese operations in and troop movements from China.52
The conduct of ground operations was entrusted on 1 July to a newly activated Tactical Headquarters, and the former Rear Echelon at Kunming was scheduled for inactivation. The concept of a rear echelon headquarters had been criticized in the past on the ground that its activities duplicated those of Headquarters, SOS.
As originally conceived in April and May 1945, Tactical Headquarters was to be a forward command post of the theater commander, essentially an extension of theater headquarters. Thus, when General Wedemeyer took the field he would operate from Tactical Headquarters. So the deputy theater commander, Maj. Gen. Douglas L. Weart, had been made ex officio commander of Tactical Headquarters with the mission of co-ordinating the tactical plan and administrative operations of the SOS, the Chinese Combat Command, the Chinese Training Command, and the air forces. By 1 July, when Weart's headquarters opened, the basic concept had changed and Tactical Headquarters had become the headquarters of the China Theater's forces in the field. Weart and his staff were seen by the China Theater staff as a separate headquarters receiving orders from Headquarters, China Theater, through command channels, rather than as a part of theater headquarters which had moved forward.53
The relationship between the Chinese and American headquarters staffs took a long step forward in July. As originally conceived, when Wedemeyer began his work, the relationship was like that in the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff in that representatives of the two staffs met to form a conference, rather than an integrated staff. By 22 June the two staffs were ready to tell Wedemeyer: "It was concluded that the only desirable features of the [Combined] staff at the present time were the presentation of the
intelligence and operational summaries." This was perhaps too modest an appraisal, for meetings had always been followed by decisions and the choice of an appropriate executive agency. However, the Combined Staff now suggested, through its secretariat, that the "ultimate goal" be "joint planning on all phases of military operations." To accomplish this, the creation of Chinese-American G-2, G-3, and G-4 staffs was suggested. The Combined Staff suggested as well a transitional period of several months in which subjects of common interest would be discussed. Wedemeyer agreed, and told the Generalissimo that when the staffs had completed the transitional period the new Chinese-American staff sections would be ready for joint planning of intelligence, operations, and logistics. The Generalissimo's approval was given 10 July 1945; an experiment of great potential importance was about to begin.54
Preparations To Open a Seaport
In June 1945 active plans and preparations to open a seaport were under way in both India-Burma and China Theaters, and began to involve Admiral Nimitz' and General MacArthur's commands in the Pacific. The immediate goal on which attention was focused was taking Fort Bayard in August, but the training and construction programs in China for the thirty-six divisions, now further bolstered by the three returning from Burma, looked beyond Fort Bayard to carrying out CARBONADO operation, of which Fort Bayard was the overture. Opening Fort Bayard would be the task of Chang Fa-Kwei's divisions, most of which were not U.S.-sponsored. The modest preparations of Chang's men began with a visit by General McClure, 7 June, to Bowman's Kwangsi Command, to warn them of their new task.
General Bowman and his staff were complimented by McClure with the statement that they had done "more with less than any other group in China," a remark which reflected both their non-ALPHA status and their success in getting food and medical attention for Chang's men. The scarcity period was now to end. Chinese weapons to complete the Tables of Equipment would be expedited. Three ALPHA armies, 8th, 54th, and New 1st, would take their place with Chang's men. Adequate supplies were promised.
Meanwhile, two of the Kwangsi Command armies, the 46th and 64th, followed the withdrawing Japanese. Moving north, the 46th found itself slowed by the old bogy of Chinese forces, lack of food. The Chinese SOS had not set up a line of communications, and the countryside had no food
KWANGSI COMMAND HEADQUARTERS in Nanning. Brig. Gen. Harwood C. Bowman, Commanding General, Kwangsi Command, is visited by General McClure, 7 June 1945. From the left, unidentified Chinese officer, General McClure, General Ho Ying-chin, General Chang Fa-kwei, and General Bowman.
to offer. The 46th had to halt, and in any event, since Liuchow, its goal, was in Tang En-po's area, General Ho wanted it to stop. Reluctantly Chang issued appropriate orders, but his 175th Division continued ahead, perhaps without his knowledge. To the south, the 64th Army occupied Nanning itself as the bulk of its Japanese garrison moved north. Kwangsi Command headquarters was established there. The 46th's difficulties showed what had to be done before Chang's men could take Fort Bayard; his forces had to be assembled well forward, and a ground line of communications had to be set up to feed them. Weather permitting, air supply could provide ammunition, but it could not feed whole armies of Chinese, such as CARBONADO would require. To provide a proper logistical base for the operation, of which Fort Bayard was the preliminary, preparations had to be made all the way from Calcutta to Kunming.55
By 19 June China Theater was ready to set forth the detailed concept of Fort Bayard operations. The fort was to be taken 1 August 1945 by non-U.S.-sponsored Chinese troops at no appreciable cost to the main effort of CARBONADO. India-Burma and China Theaters were to support the project jointly, and develop it to the extent permitted by their resources, but hold construction to a minimum. Once Fort Bayard was taken, it was to be an auxiliary forward supply base, receiving supplies at a logistic cost far below that of Hump operations and distributing them to the Chinese troops in CARBONADO. These supplies were to be principally packaged gas and oil, vehicles, and ammunition. From an airstrip supplies would be flown to the airfields at Kweilin, Liuchow, and Tanchuk. The scale of the supply operation can be estimated from the provision that five Liberty ships a month were to bring supplies. China Theater was most enthusiastic over the project, believing that 25,000 tons a month laid down at Fort Bayard would permit delivery of 15,000 tons a month in the forward area, whereas the current line of communications required 60,000 tons a month at Calcutta to deliver 15,000 tons in east China. India-Burma's reception of the plan was affected by the belief that it could not find the troops for the project, that they would have to come from neighboring U.S. theaters in the Pacific. The planning problems were thus beginning to emerge, and the chain of conferences began. Nothing, of course, could be done without continued and effective operation of the line of communications from India, whose adequacy to support the projected operations in China had earlier been seriously questioned.56
In retrospect, India-Burma Theater headquarters believed its biggest operations problem in June and July 1945 was expanding theater facilities to support the incoming C-54's on which so much depended. Opening a Chinese port would mean that India-Burma could begin to close down, since the line of communications to China Theater would then run from the Philippines to the port. But for the present, receiving the new C-54's involved a number of expansions and improvements. Existing airfields had to be enlarged and new ones built. The fuel system serving the fields had to be enlarged to deliver the greater quantities of fuel and oil required. The turnaround time for Hump aircraft would have to be cut. More hands would be needed, which meant hiring more Indians. More supplies would have to be obtained to fill the cargo space in the new transports. This was not going to be easy, since India-Burma rarely had more than a ninety-day level, including supplies destined for China Theater. These added supplies would have to go on requisition in adequate quantity and of appropriate kind, be received in the ports (a further strain), and pass up to Assam over
railways now burdened with supplies for Mountbatten's forthcoming attack on Singapore.
So India-Burma engineers went to work. New fields were begun at Tezgaon (Bengal), and Shamshernagar (Assam), and the B-29 fields near Calcutta were converted to ATC use. A field near Bhamo in Burma was being rushed to completion to supplement the Myitkyina field. Also revived was the project to restore the prewar line of communications from Rangoon north, this time to the Myingyan area of Burma, forty miles southwest of Mandalay. Here more fields were contemplated, in the belief that 15,000 tons a month laid down at Rangoon might permit delivery of 8,000 tons of gas and oil to China. Not until the first week of August 1945 was the Myingyan project finally abandoned. At this same time construction elsewhere was proceeding steadily, some of it on the highest priority. Preliminary action was under way to provide storage space--1,000,000 square feet of closed and 7,000,000 of open--at Kharagpur, all to support the C-54's.57
Problems of the Ground Line of Communications
Operation of the ground line of communications to China brought some difficulties and embarrassments to India-Burma Theater in summer 1945. The difficulties arose over the division of control of the Stilwell Road and pipelines as between India-Burma Theater and China Theater. The original agreement between the theaters provided that India-Burma would operate the pipeline, motor transport to the China border, and signal communications to Kunming. In return, China Theater would support India-Burma personnel along the China part of the road, and maintain the road in China. After several months' trial, both parties were finding flaws in the arrangement. China Theater would not accept vehicles for delivery until India-Burma had overhauled them, yet the maintenance facilities it provided did not seem suitable to India-Burma personnel. India-Burma, for its part, had not made adequate provision to repair the trucks. India-Burma's Advance Section was dissatisfied with the rations given its drivers and mechanics as they arrived in China, and was bringing extra food to China by truck from Ledo. Maintenance of the Burma Road from Wanting to Kunming had been poor. In short, divided responsibility was not proving a solution. The question appeared to be whether the road should be put under one headquarters from beginning to end even if that entailed one headquarters operating in the area of another.
The several staff sections of India-Burma Theater considered the matter at some length, for proposing to operate one commander's line of communications in another commander's theater is a delicate matter. However,
Wedemeyer's problems and limited resources were well known. India-Burma's mission was to support China Theater, and it was reasonable to assume that China Theater had done its best. So India-Burma Theater recommended that with a few minor exceptions it assume control of the road and pipeline operation all the way to Kunming.
On 5 August the two theaters agreed in Kunming that India-Burma would have all control, responsibility, and administrative functions for constructing, operating, maintaining, and guarding the line of communications from Ledo to the Kunming area. General Aurand, China Theater SOS commander, in turn agreed to conduct relations with the Chinese Government. China Theater would provide troops to guard installations in China and turn over to India-Burma all equipment and installations along the road, plus 10,000 Chinese laborers. To carry out its part of the task, Advance Section, SOS, India-Burma, was ordered to establish an Eastern Area Command including the Wanting-Kunming area.
The embarrassing aspects of road operation arose from the desire of the Government of India to make sure that the Stilwell Road was used only to support military operations. Of the five Chinese divisions in Burma, three returned to China by way of the Stilwell Road. The very large number of Chinese at Ramgarh also returned by road, in trucks under their control. Moreover, the Stilwell Road led from the bazaars of Assam to the shops of Kunming and Paoshan. These Chinese movements opened many opportunities to bring goods to China.
Shortly after the Stilwell Road opened the Government of India complained that Assam, which with the rest of India had inflationary problems, was being stripped of goods for Chinese account. These were leaving India without due regard to export formalities. So, between 7 March and 18 April, a combined investigation of the road, from Ledo to Kunming, was made by British Intelligence and the U.S. Criminal Investigation Department.
Completing their survey in May, the investigators called the Stilwell Road a "Chinese Army trade route" and stated:
No complete estimate can be made of the tonnage of merchandise seen by the investigators along the Road still less of the volume of merchandise transported along the Road in any given period. The godowns of Namti and the Myitkyina area, the well-stocked Chinese bazaar at Bhamo, the overflowing bazaar at Paoshan, the innumerable displays in shops and stalls along the Road, to say nothing of the extremely well-stocked shops and stalls of Kunming, contain in the aggregate literally hundreds of truckloads.58
After the report was received, correspondence and conferences between the Government of India and U.S. authorities followed, in which the communications from India assumed a steadily stronger tone. Since the convoys were guarded by Chinese soldiers who did not hesitate to use force to keep
U.S. troops from checking them, it may be assumed India-Burma Theater hoped to avoid clashes with the Chinese until such time as the troop movements to China ended, thus limiting the smuggling to openly commercial ventures with which Indian and Burmese authorities could cope without international complications.59
By 20 July the Government of India felt constrained to observe "that when they agreed that control of traffic on this road should remain entirely American, they assumed that American control would be effective. At present it clearly is not and the Government of India therefore request that steps should be taken to make it as effective as possible. . . ." On 9 August, at which date but one more Chinese military convoy was expected, a conference at Ledo agreed to arrange an elaborate pass system for Stilwell Road traffic in Burma.60
The problems did not affect the performance of the line of communications by air and ground, which delivered a considerable quantity of supplies to China in July 1945, over and above the very considerable illicit traffic in consumer goods and post exchange supplies:
* Net tons of goods carried, exclusive of vehicle deliveries.
Tons Total 91,183 ATC 71,043 China National Aviation Corporation 2,639 Stilwell Road *5,900 Pipeline 11,601
The Stilwell Road also brought to China 4,745 motor vehicles, plus 828 trailers, and 53 troop units including 935 more vehicles.61
From late May 1945 until the end of the war, operation of the Ledo Road proceeded under monsoon conditions. There were a number of bridge failures in the Mogaung area, just as a year before there had been failures in the Hukawng area. In both cases, only the impact of the monsoon floods could reveal whether bridge structures could withstand the strain, and what remedial steps were necessary. These interruptions, plus the physical difficulty
of road operations during the pouring monsoon rains retarded deliveries. What the Ledo Road might have delivered to China during the dry season of 1945-1946, under better driving conditions and with more efficient loading and operation of the vehicles, is a matter of conjecture.62
Logistical Problems of Fort Bayard
Tonnage entering China was now more than enough to support the drive to the coast, especially since Fort Bayard would be opened in August. The BETA plan had estimated that 62,000 tons would be needed for July 1945. The figure was later found to be about 14,000 tons too small because of underestimated costs of intra-China distribution. Thanks to the ATC, which overcame a 3,400-ton shortfall in pipeline deliveries by delivering 71,000 tons as against an anticipated 44,000, there would be enough.63
The logistical problems of Fort Bayard thus became the lesser one of being sure that the four Chinese divisions chosen to take the port had food and ammunition to carry them through the operation and the greater one of finding the troops and the supplies to put the port into operation, after the resources had been safely convoyed across the South China Sea from the Philippines. The difficulty was to find the resources without interfering with the initial invasion of Japan, now scheduled for 1 November 1945. Nimitz believed his forces could supply harbor defenses and naval escort for the operation, which he heartily endorsed, but he did not think that the landing craft so useful for putting ashore supplies in an underdeveloped port area could be found in his command. He envisaged resupply as being carried out by twenty landing ships (tank) but feared he could not spare them. As for MacArthur, in late June he promised "every practical assistance" and, turning the discussion at once to the highly practical, asked what air cover could be given to convoys as they entered Chinese waters.
The replies of China Theater's neighbors made it necessary for the War Department to co-ordinate the operation, find resources, and give local commanders assurance that they could release some of their resources. Shipping for the operation was located by 25 June--five Liberty ships, the first three of them to be loaded in the United States rather than in the Philippines. China Theater at once radioed to Army Service Forces its recommendations for the ships' cargoes, which principally comprised steel airstrip matting, sixty days' rations for 5,000 American troops, tentage, refueling equipment, gasoline, and ammunition.
India-Burma Theater's contention that supplying troops for Fort Bayard would reduce its ability to support China via the existing line of communications
was discarded; IBT undertook to supply 3,147 men, to China's 506. IBT's units ranged from a 40-mm. antiaircraft battery to a veterinary food inspection battalion, and included most of the units needed to operate a small port and supply center. Navy personnel to operate amphibious trucks and landing craft (medium) had arrived in India by 10 July, for Hump lift to China. Some of the units were to fly to east China from Bhamo and Myitkyina. However, no headquarters and headquarters company, port battalion, could be spared, nor could several Quartermaster units. In this case, the War Department undertook to fly Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 501st Port Battalion, from Europe to India.
Giving air cover was complicated by the fact that it was 470 air miles from the east China fields to Fort Bayard. Seizure of an advance airstrip appeared essential, yet might reveal the plan. Taking the island of Wei-chou, near Fort Bayard, was considered but rejected. The solution adopted was to have the convoys arrive near the China coast at dusk, make the run-in during the hours of darkness, and thus be an estimated 110 miles closer to shore when day broke and China Theater had to give air cover. The cover missions would be flown from Nanning. It was hoped that Tanchuk airfield, halfway to the coast, would be taken by Chinese troops en route to Fort Bayard and the distance to the convoys thus shortened.
Compared to operations in other theaters, the Fort Bayard operation was on a small scale, with five Liberty ships, improvised air cover from deep in China, and second-string Chinese troops. But it seemed essential if Wedemeyer's varsity was to succeed in its first big game. By late July plans and preparations for Fort Bayard were well advanced, awaiting only final coordination between Nimitz', MacArthur's, and Wedemeyer's theaters.64
To reach the stage where action was imminent, the project to open a seaport had had to survive many obstacles and setbacks. Having estimated his supply requirements, Wedemeyer had then presented the project to the Joint Chiefs. They had approved, and he had understood that the ATC expansion necessary to support his drive to the sea would be forthcoming and that he would also be able to improve the air support for the plan by moving the major part of the Tenth Air Force from India to China. Then further study had shown that the supply requirements had been seriously underestimated, while the end of the war in Europe seemed to preclude any immediate movement of transport aircraft to India to support China Theater. For a while the port project seemed to hang on dead center. Then the Japanese began to withdraw from the area of China that had been the objective of the first phase of the drive, and the transport situation greatly improved. Powerfully aided by these circumstances, the port project began moving steadily toward fulfillment as July passed into August 1945.
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (10) * Next Chapter (12)
1. Min, Mtg 34, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 29 Jan 45. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.
2. (1) Ltr, Wedemeyer to Hull, 29 Jan 45. Case 37, OPD 381 (TS), Sec II. (2) The Army Air Forces in World War II, V, 268.
3. Rad CFB 32476, Wedemeyer to MacArthur et al., info Marshall and King, 5 Feb 45. Wedemeyer Data Book.
5. (1) Conversations Regarding Entry of USSR into War Against Japan, 10 Feb 45. Foreign Relations of the United States: Diplomatic Papers, Dept State Pub 6199, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta. 1945 (Washington, 1955). (2) Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948). pp. 866-68. (3) Quotations from Statement of W. Averell Harriman, 13 July 1951, to the Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations of the United States Senate, 82d Congress. Hearings on the Military Situation in the Far East, Pt. 5, App. and Index, pp. 3,333-34.
6. Min, Mtg 39, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 14 Feb 45. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.
7. Plan BETA, Tab D, App E. OCMH. The same plan gives the 1945 tonnage requirements for all China Theater activities, by month, as:
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug 43,089 40,900 43,000 53,500 62,000 62,000 62,000 62,000
8. (1) BETA is described in History of China Theater, Ch. IX, pp. 1-14. (2) Min, Mtg 39A, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 14 Feb 45. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.
9. (1) Rad CFB 32477, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 5 Feb 45. Item 346, Bks 1 and 2, ACW Personal File. (2) Interv with Hurley, Jun 49. The Yalta meeting lasted from 4 to 11 February 1945. Hurley left soon after.
10. Memo, Capt E. D. Graves, USN, Dep Secy JCS. for ACofS OPD and Aide to COMINCH, 20 Apr 45, sub: Priority of Resources for Operation RASHNESS. ABC 384 China (15 Dec 43), Sec 1-B.
11. (1) Ltr with Incl, Hull to Wedemeyer et al., 27 Feb 45, sub: U. S. Short and Long Range Objectives in China. (2) The paper is described as a "statement of policy" in a memorandum, Col. Harrison A. Gerhardt, Executive to Mr. John J. McCloy, Assistant Secretary of War, to General Handy, 26 February 1945. Gerhardt explained further that McCloy obtained the paper from the Under Secretary of State, Mr. Joseph C. Grew. (3) McCloy told Stimson: "As you recall, this report was requested by the War Department for the guidance of the staff and General Wedemeyer." Memorandum, McCloy to Stimson, 17 February 1945, with penned note from Stimson: "So far as it goes I think is OK--and I don't see how we can go much further in formulating policy until we are in the Jap homeland--and also know what Russia is going to do. H.L.S." All above in ABC 336 China (26 Jan 42), Sec 1-B. (4) Stilwell's Command Problems. Ch. XII.
12. (1) Hurley, in 1949, told the authors that a contact of his among the Chinese Communists gave him his first knowledge of the 27 February policy statement by using it to clinch the Communist argument that Hurley's statements to the Yenan regime did not represent current U.S. policy. There is no mention in the supporting papers to the 27 February statement of China policy that a copy of it was being sent to the U.S. Ambassador to China. (2) Ltr, Hurley to Stephens, 15 Dec 56. OCMH. (3) Memo, Somervell for Marshall, 15 May 45, sub: Overland LOC to China. WDCSA 091 China. This memorandum discusses the BETA operation (called RASHNESS for security reasons) from the ASF point of view. (4) Lt. Col. Gustav E. Johnson, The Deployment of the AAF to China From India and Events After August, 1945, 7 May 1956. Research Studies Institute, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Hereafter, Johnson MS. (5) JCS 1238, 30 January 1945, approved an offensive in China. (6) JPS 609/1, 27 Feb 45.
13. (1) CM-OUT 34942, Marshall to Wedemeyer, 7 Feb 45. (2) Memorandum for Record by General Hull of OPD, 29 March 1945, WDCSA 091, China, covers Navy Group, China.
14. (1) Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy, I Was There: The Personal Story of the Chief of Staff to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman Based on His Notes and Diaries Made at the Time (New York: Whittlesey House, McGraw Hill Book Company, Inc., 1950), p. 337. (2) See Memorandum of Conversation between Generalissimo and Hurley, 16 February 1945, in which Hurley told the Generalissimo that when the war was over his well-equipped divisions would have a walkover if he fought the Communists. Item 35, Bk 2, Hurley Papers. (3) Rad, Hurley to Truman, 20 May 45. Item 98, Bk 2, Hurley Papers. (4) Rad CFB 38387, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 31 May 45. Item 787, Bks 3 and 4, ACW Personal File.
15. (1) Intervs with Hurley, 1949. (2) Hearings Before the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations, United States Senate, 82d Congress, Part 4, pp. 2884- 87. (3) Memorandum by Edward Page, Second Secretary of Embassy, Moscow, on Meeting 15 April 1945 Between Harriman, Hurley, Stalin, and Molotov. Item 69, Hurley Bk 2. Oddly enough, although Hurley began his interview by discussing with Stalin the question of unifying the armed forces of China, he said that the main purpose of his visit to Moscow had been to discuss the next question brought up by Stalin: When was Chiang to learn of the Yalta accord? When the unification issue was apparently settled, almost as soon as it was raised, by Stalin's ready acquiescence, Hurley may have thought it tactful to attach major importance to a point Stalin raised. (4) Rad, Hurley to Truman. 13 Apr 45. Items 66, 67, Hurley Bk 2. (5) Rad, Hurley to Secy State, 17 Apr 45. Item 73, Hurley Bk 2. In this radio, drafted by Hurley, the emphasis is on Stalin's agreement to support U. S. policy.
16. (1) Rad, Hurley to President, 10 May 45; Rad, President to Hurley, 13 May 45. Items 88, 89, Hurley Bk 2. (2) Supporting the impression of second thoughts in regard to Yalta that is left by the Hurley papers are two documents in ABC 336 Russia (22 Aug 43) Sec 3. On 12 May 1945, the State Department asked Stimson for War Department comment on the diplomatic issues arising from the expected Soviet entry into the Pacific War, and said it thought the United States should receive safeguarding commitments and clarifications to the Yalta accords before carrying out its part of them. Ltr, Joseph C. Grew, Actg Secy of State, to Stimson, 12 May 45. Tab 2. The War Department replied that the USSR had the power to take what it wanted in the Far East. Because of this the War Department felt something other than military means was needed to obtain the desired commitments, which it agreed would be helpful. Ltr, Stimson to Grew, 21 May 45, Tab 5.
17. Rpt, Col Roger A. Flood, Pres, Boards of Investigation on Strength, Distribution, and Organization of American Personnel in China Theater, 10 Oct 45, Tabs J, K, L. CT 41, Dr 1, KCRC.
18. Memo, Cols Edward H. Young, Albert S. Johnson, John W. Childs, for Actg CofS China Theater, 7 Jan 45, sub: Recommendations Pertaining to Reconsideration of Rpt on Strength, Distribution, and Organization of American Personnel in China Theater, Tab 16, CT 41, Dr 1, KCRC.
19. Testimony, Col David A. Craig, Tab 8 of Memo cited n. 18.
20. Maintenance factors for Chinese units are given on page 75 of the Plan BETA. OCMH.
21. (1) Plan BETA, p. 35. OCMH. (2) Folder: Supply, China Theater-1945. By Service Forces for Air and Ground Forces. OCMH. Table, "Cost of Distributing Hump Tonnage in China." The Johnson manuscript states that CCC and SOS greatly underestimated their needs.
22. Min, CT Conf, 26 Mar 45. OCMH.
23. (1) Johnson MS. (2) See Chapter IX, above, on the timing of the Tenth's move and the Burma campaign.
24. Ltr with Incl, Col Fred C. Milner, AG Hq Fourteenth AF, to Wedemeyer, 28 Apr 45, sub: transmittal of "Notes on Conference." AG 337 Misc, Folder, Meetings from 1944 to 30 Aug 15, Box BA 51513, KCRC.
25. (1) Min, Conf at Fourteenth AF Hq, 19 Apr 45. OCMH. (2) Ltr, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 13 Apr 45. Case 45, OPD 319.1 Sec I.
26. (1) CM-OUT 72735, Marshall to Wedemeyer, 25 Apr 45. (2) GO 59, Hq USFCT, 1 May 45.
27. (1) Rad CFB 37059, Wedemeyer to Sultan, 9 May 45. (2) For example, in March, 89,000 tons were bid for July, but the 25 April radio indicated only 61,400 would be received.
28. Rad CFB 36860, Wedemeyer to Stratemeyer (prepared by Wedemeyer personally), 5 May 45. Item 647, Bks 3 and 4, ACW Personal File.
29. Rad CAB 5754, ACG, Stratemeyer to Wedemeyer, 6 May 45. Bks 3 and 4, ACW Personal File.
30. Item 833. Bks 3 and 4, ACW Personal File.
31. (1) Chennault, Way of a Fighter, pp. 348-49. (2) Memo for Record, Gen Gross, Actg CofS, 8 May 45. AG 337, Folder, Conferences, Meetings, Etc. 1944-1945, Box BA 51513, KCRC. (3) Ltr. Wedemeyer to Marshall, 11 May 45. TS Reg 06106-M, DRB AGO. (4) Johnson MS.
32. Min, Comdr's Mtgs, China Theater Hq, 12, 8 May 45. OCMH.
33. Rad CFY 15688, McClure to Wedemeyer, info Weart, 5 May 45. Item 660, Bks 3 and 4, ACW Personal File.
34. Ltr, Cheves to Brig Gen Edward C. Rose, 20 May 45; Ltr, Cheves to Stratemeyer, 27 Mar 45; Ltr, Cheves to CO American Sec, Chinese SOS, Kweiyang. AG 201 (SOS-Cheves), KCRC.
35. Min, SOS Gen Staff Conf, 27 Mar 45. SOS USFCT Files, KCRC.
36. Min, Combined Staff (CCC and Chinese Supreme Hq) Mtg, 21 Feb 45. China Theater Files, KCRC.
37. History of IBT, II, 283-84. (2) Min, Mtg 25, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 31 Dec 44; Mtg 38, 7 Feb 45. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.
38. (1) Ltr, Cheves to Wedemeyer, 17 Apr 45, sub: Opns of Chinese and American SOS's. OCMH. (2) Ltr, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 13 Apr 45. Case 45, OPD 319.1, Sec I.
39. See Ch. VII, above.
40. Rad CRA 10316, Merrill to Sultan, info Wedemeyer, 3 Apr 45. Item 641 Bks 3 and 4 ACW Personal File.
41. See Ch. II, above.
42. (1) Japanese Study 45, pp. 160, 166-80, 183-94, 190-91, Chart 11, p. 197, 226-27, 231, 233-34. (2) Japanese Study 129, pp. 132, 133, 161, Chart 5, p. 81, 84, 82-86. (3) Ltr, Col Preston J. C. Murphy, FECOM Hist Sec, to Gen Ward, 18 Nov 52. OCMH. (4) Japanese Officers' comments on draft MS.
43. OSS Weekly Opnl Rpts, AG (OSS) 322 Bk 1. TS Reg 06108-3-J, DRB AGO.
44. Ltr, Wedemeyer to Marshall, with Incl, 13 Jun 45, sub: Activities and Developments, CT, May 45. TS Reg 06105-M, DRB AGO.
45. (1) Japanese Study 129, map facing p. 86. (2) History of Chinese Combat Command, p. 11. OCMH.
46. History, II Army Group Command, CCC (Prov), Apr-Jun 45. OCMH. (Hereafter, History, II Army Group Command.)
47. Bowman comments on draft MS.
48. (1) History, II Army Group Command. (2) Bowman comments on draft MS.
49. History of China Theater, Ch. IX, pp. 21-23.
50. (1) The Hopkins Papers in the Roosevelt Memorial Library, Hyde Park, N. Y., contain many interesting details of the President's interventions in military matters in China. (2) Stilwell's Mission to China, Ch. IX.
51. (1) The Army Air Forces in World War II, V, 269-72. (2) Chennault, Way of a Fighter, pp. 345-52. (3) Wedemeyer's explanation is in Item 833, Bks 3 and 4, ACW Personal File. (4) Ltr, Hull to Wedemeyer, 15 May 45. By some quirk of the filing system this is in AG 014, Civil Affairs, TS Reg 06108-D, DRB AGO.
52. (1) Chennault, Way of a Fighter, p. 355. (2) Col. Susumu Nishiura, in Japanese Officers' comments on draft MS.
53. Compare the statement of China Theater's chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Ray Maddocks, who "reviewed the remarks of the various chiefs of section and stated that, although the original concept was to have the Tactical Headquarters staff a projection of the Theater staff, the present plan of operations is to consider the tactical headquarters a separate entity under Theater." AG 337. Folder, Conferences, Meetings. Etc. 1944-1945, has a "Summary of Discussions with Chiefs of Staff Sections, Theater Headquarters" on the several concepts of a tactical headquarters.
54. (1) Memo 630-7, with Incls, Wedemeyer for Generalissimo, 4 Jul 45. AG 337 Misc Folder, Meetings from 1944 to 30 Aug 45, Box BA 51513, KCRC. (2) Memo 99, Gen Chien Ta-chun, Chief of First Dept, Generalissimo's Hq, for Wedemeyer, 10 Jul 45. Item 110, Bk 8, ACW Corresp with Chinese.
55. (1) History, II Army Group Command, pp. 11-16. (2) Bowman comments on draft MS.
56. History of IBT, I, 6-8. OCMH.
57. Ibid, pp. 69-76.
58. Quotation in History of IBT, I, 29.
59. On 19 May Wedemeyer told the Generalissimo of an incident involving Ledo Road Convoy 120, of the Chinese 30th Division. The trucks, which were lend-lease equipment, were returning the 30th Division, with its lend-lease equipment, to China. When they were inspected on 14 May by U.S. troops near Pao-shan the latter discovered and seized certain unauthorized material being carried in the trucks. The Chinese convoy personnel then surrounded them and took the goods back at gunpoint. As a result orders were issued that U.S. troops were not to inspect convoys.
Wedemeyer pointed out to the Generalissimo that the sole purpose of the inspection was to be sure that all space was used for equipment that had been issued to the Chinese. To the extent that the Chinese used the space for commercial ventures, Hump tonnage would have to be used for replacement. Memo 578, Wedemeyer to Generalissimo, 19 May 45. Item 2, Bk 9, ACW Personal File.
60. History of IBT, I, 31.
61. Ibid., pp. 37, 74.
62. Leslie Anders, a History of the Ledo Road, pp. 303-06, 328-31. Hist Div, Corps of Engineers.
63. Table, Estimated Tonnage into China, Plan BETA, p. 101. OCMH.
64. (1) History of China Theater, Ch. II. (2) History of IBT, I, 3-15.