The End of Wedemeyer's Experiment
The Chinese Army, Summer 1945
The time was approaching for Chinese troops to open a Chinese seaport. The Americans had made substantial progress in preparing Chinese divisions, in training key Chinese personnel, and in supplying food, ammunition, and medical care to the U.S.-supported Chinese divisions. The heart of Wedemeyer's program had been the 36-division plan, now 39 (36 plus 3 from Burma). Beyond that, for specific missions in the CARBONADO operation, a few additional Chinese divisions, such as Chang Fa-kwei's, had been reorganized and given some added weapons from the Chinese supply.
As of the first week in August, the training program for the 39 divisions, which contemplated two thirteen-week cycles, had been carried to the following point: 3 divisions had been trained to U.S. standards in India; 2 divisions had been trained and had received combat experience in Burma; 11 divisions had completed thirteen weeks' training in China; 22 divisions were one-half to three-quarters through their thirteen weeks' training; and 1 division had not begun training.
As for the rearming of the 39 divisions, if one may take a slight liberty with chronology, by 23 August 1945 all of the 39 had enough ordnance to make them completely operable in combat with the principal exception of two items, one of which was 60-mm. mortars.1
The replacement problem was still unsolved. No machinery yet existed to give the Chinese divisions a steady flow of well-trained, physically fit replacements. Gravely concerned by this weakness, which if uncorrected would cause the new reorganized Chinese divisions to waste away in combat and would deter the commanders of the rest of the Chinese Army from committing it wholeheartedly to battle, Wedemeyer on 5 August sent to the Generalissimo a report that had been received in his headquarters:
Herewith memorandum which I feel contains information that should reach you. It
has been carefully verified and I believe contains much factual data that will assist you and myself in our many intricate problems.
Conscription comes to the Chinese peasant like famine or flood, only more regularly--every year twice--and claims more victims. Famine, flood, and drought compare with conscription like chicken pox with plague. Every ravaging disease has its stages. These are the stages of the most ravaging disease that sweeps China.
Seasonal conscription occurs in spring and autumn. Sometimes aggravated by an "emergency call" whereby the government decrees that until a certain date, half a million men are to be conscripted in a certain area and for a certain purpose. The specially urgent purpose in the spring of 1945 was partly the need to get soldiers for the American-led training centers in China.
The virus is spread over the Chinese country-side by the Pao-Chia system. One Chia consists of ten families. . . . Ten Chia form a Pao. . . . In practice it seems that [notwithstanding the regulations] the violent forms of onset are the more frequent ones and that only office, influence, and money keep conscription out of your house.
There is first the press gang.
For example, you are working in the field looking after your rice . . . [there come] a number of uniformed men who tie your hands behind your back and take you with them. . . . Hoe and plough rust in the field, the wife runs to the magistrate to cry and beg for her husband, the children starve.
* * * * * * *
This very rapid onset has many variations. Another way of being taken is arrest. If one man is wanted for conscription, the Hsienchang [county magistrate] arrests ten. Nine will be given a chance to buy their way out. The poorest stays in jail until the conscription officer takes him over.
. . . . The conscription officers make their money in collaboration with the officials and through their press gangs. They extort big sums of money from conscripts which have been turned over to them by the officials and replace them with captives.
Private dealers in conscripts have organized a trade. They are buying able-bodied men from starved families who need rice more urgently than sons, or, they buy them from the Hsienchangs who have a surplus or they pay a man who wants to sell himself because he finds life too difficult and doesn't know any better than to go into the Army. The dealers in conscription resell these men to conscription officers or Hsienchangs who have let off conscripts without being able to replace them through arrest or pressgang. The dealer might give $30,000 CN to the man who sells himself, or to the family or to the official. He sells the man for $50,000 CN to the Hsienchang or conscription official who had just let off a peasant's son for $100,000 CN. So everybody is happy except the conscript who soon will realize that he has been sold to something worse than death; to the slow approach of death, each stage leading up to the next and most miserable one, and death is but the end of misery.
THE SECOND STAGE
Having been segregated and herded together the conscripts are driven to the training camps. They are marched from Shensi to Szechuan and from Szechuan to Yunnan. Over endless roads they walk, billetting in small hamlets, carrying their rice and rations and nothing else. Many of those who run away run off during the first few days. Later
CHINESE ARMY REPLACEMENTS. These soldiers await removal to a field hospital for rehabilitation before replacing troops on the battlefront. Kweiyang, May 1945.
they are too weak to run away. Those who are caught are cruelly beaten. They will be carried along with broken limbs and with wounds in maimed flesh in which infection turns quickly into blood poisoning and blood poisoning into death.
As they march along they turn into skeletons; they develop signs of beriberi, their legs swell and their bellies protrude, their arms and thighs get thin. Scabies and ulcers turn their skin into a shabby cover of an emaciated body which has no other value than to turn rice into dung and to register the sharp pains of an existence as a conscript in the Chinese Army.
In speaking of value we have to make a distinction between usefulness and market value. "Useful" is anything that can be used for a practical purpose, such as, a copy of Sun Yat-sen's "Three Principles" or an officer's walking cane. From this point of view most of the Chinese conscripts are entirely useless. Anything which is in demand has market value, however useless it may seem. . . . From this point of view the conscripts' bodies have a great value, based on a far less romantic demand than that which makes people buy ornamental knickknacks or tiger bones. A Chinese conscript's pay can be pocketed and his rations can be sold. That makes him a valuable member of the Chinese Army and that is the basis of the demand for him.
Because of this demand, his journey has no end. Being sick, he has to drag himself along. . . . Dysentery and typhoid are always with them. They carry cholera from place to place. Leaving behind them a wake of the sick and the dying, they are still fulfilling the most important function of a citizen of Free China; to be a source of income for officials. During this second stage they are rapidly developing the full picture of the disease with which they are stricken.
If somebody dies his body is left behind. His name on the list is carried along. As long as his death is not reported he continues to be a source of income, increased by the
NEW CHINESE SOLDIERS of the 205th Division, 3d Army Command, were trained under the American 39-division plan. Kweiyang, August 1945.
fact that he has ceased to consume. His rice and his pay become a long-lasting token of memory in the pocket of his commanding officer. His family will have to forget him.
* * * * * * *
The report went on to explain that those who arrived sick at the training centers, that is, too weak to stand, went to Chinese Army hospitals, which were described as similar to the German extermination camps at Buchenwald and in Poland. The U.S. Army had been obliged to leave hospital administration in the training centers to the Chinese. Only those conscripts able to walk received the better rations. Conditions in the hospitals were not entirely due to Chinese poverty. The Chinese general officer in charge of a conscript area that included an appalling hospital gave a visitor the bland explanation that the director of the hospital, who was leaving it, would naturally try to make the greatest possible profit from it. "The General had shown no embarrassment during the whole talk. He felt sure of his ground. These Chinese conscripts were purely a concern of the Chinese Central Government, which he represented."
The report closed:
. . . . Everybody in China, including the Government, knows that the Chinese Army is too big. To cut the Chinese Army in half and to distribute equipment, rations and training facilities to the stronger half and to discharge the weaker half is a measure which
TABLE 6--DIVISION TRAINING STATUS: 5 AUGUST 1945
Unit Weeks in training Unit Weeks in training New 1st Army 53d Army 30th Diva 0 Hon 2d Div 9 38th Diva 0 116th Divb 7 50th Diva 0 130th Divb 7 New 6th Army 73d Army 14th Diva 0 15th Div 3 22d Diva 0 77th Div 7 207th Divc 12 193d Div 5 5th Army 74th Army 45th Div 13 51st Div 4 96th Div 13 57th Div 5 200th Div 13 58th Div 6 2d Army 71st Army 9th Divb 0 87th Divb 6 2d Res Divb 0 88th Divb 5 76th Divb 0 91st Div 5 8th Army 94th Army Hon 1st Divb 13 5th Div 5 103d Divb 13 43d Div 6 166th Divd 6 121st Div 5 13th Army 18th Army 4th Div 13 11th Div 4 54th Div 8 18th Div 3 89th Div 13 118th Dive 0 14th Army 8th Div 13 36th Divb 11 198th Divb 10
a Ramgarh-trained, veterans of Burma.
b Veterans of Salween front.
c Assigned when New 6th Army returned to China.
d Assigned when 8th Army returned to Kunming.
e Detached, fighting at the front.
Source: (1) Status Report, Eastern Comd, 22 July 45, Sec. V. (2) Ltr, Capt Eugene D. Hill to CG CCC, 26 Aug 45, sub: Brief History of 2d Army. AG (CCC) 314.7, KCRC.
had recommended itself for a long time to every military observer who came to this country. But as soldiers are primarily a source of income for officials and a source of political power and influence for generals, which general will allow himself to be robbed of his army? And as generals rarely stand alone but are part of a clique tied up with other cliques nobody who is wise would try to force a general; and everybody who is not a fool would hesitate to hurt a clique.
Armies are instruments to win wars. Does the Chinese Government not want to win the war? The answer is: Not unconditionally. Not at the price of entrusting Chinese concerns to the American Army. Not at the price of introducing democracy which might control the government and officials. Not at the price of collaborating with the Communists, with their exaggerated ideas of how to carry on a war of resistance, who wouldn't approve of the tactic of "waiting for victory."2
The Chinese Army as a whole was a long way from combat readiness. Sixteen of its divisions had had U.S. training through at least one thirteen-week cycle, had had better diet for some weeks, had all the weapons they needed to fight, while a beginning had been made in the systematic training of twenty-three more. (Table 6) The rest of the Chinese Army was as it had been. But, the training program for whole divisions was only part of what Wedemeyer was attempting. A comprehensive school system was in operation by summer 1945, while an American style services of supply for the thirty-nine divisions was being organized. If these two latter projects were long continued, the graduates of the one and the activities and example of the other might be a beneficial leaven in the Chinese Army.
The School System of the Chinese Training Center
While the Chinese divisions of the Wedemeyer program were receiving unit training from personnel of the Chinese Combat Command, individual students plus, in some cases, cadres of special units, were being trained by the Chinese Training Center.3 Operation of service schools, preparation and distribution of training literature, and technical assistance to the Chinese Combat Command were the three missions of the center, Brig. Gen. John W. Middleton, commanding. Discipline and administration of the Chinese students was the task of a Chinese liaison officer, attached to each school with the title of assistant commandant, and assisted by a suitable staff and detachment.
Seven service schools and training centers were in operation, six of them
around Kunming.4 Of these, the Field Artillery Training Center, commanded first by Col. Garrison B. Cloverdale and later by Col. Clinton I. McClure, was the largest. At peak activity, some 1,000 Americans were training about 10,000 Chinese, some as individual aspirants for key posts in artillery units, others as members of battalions undergoing arming and unit training. Emphasis was originally placed on the 75-mm. pack howitzer, but after the opening of the Burma Road and the graduation of units that had begun their work with the pack howitzer, emphasis shifted to the 105-mm. howitzer. From October 1944 to fall 1945 the center armed and trained 11 75-mm. pack howitzer battalions and 3 truck-drawn 105-mm. battalions. In addition, 9 105-mm. battalions were partially armed from Chinese lend-lease stocks.
In training the Chinese, the Americans had to combat their pupils' tendency to keep the bulk of their artillery safely in the rear, their habit of using pieces individually to save ammunition, and the physical weaknesses which malnutrition and lack of sanitation caused in the Chinese forces. Instruction began with duties of the cannoneer and progressed to battalion massed fires.
Through the need to give students and training units weapons that would fire, the center had to develop shops that could repair existing Chinese ordnance. Ultimately, these were capable of extensive and delicate repairs.5 All together, 157 105-mm. howitzers, delivered to China by truck or aircraft, were prepared for service. The 75-mm. pack howitzers which armed most of the center-trained battalions were thoroughly reconditioned before issue; a necessary step because of the rough treatment they received in being loaded and unloaded for air transport.6
The second class of the Command and General Staff School, Col. Elbert W. Martin, commanding, was in session when the China Theater was established in October 1944. Ninety-three students, drawn from the Y-Force, were taking the three-month course. The difficult problems of training aids, instructional material, and classroom techniques had been largely solved. The school's creation had been suggested by Brig. Gen. Theodore F. Wessels and Col. Norman McNeil to overcome the tendency of Chinese senior officers to resist the innovations American-trained junior officers were taking back to their units.
In the daily operation of the school, the problem of interpretation was a major one, and affected the amount of instruction students received. Since everything the American instructor said had to be translated to his students fully half of every hour was lost. Only continuing rehearsal and practice could ensure that instructor and interpreter worked as a team. The problem of relating instruction to the everyday workings of the Chinese staff system, then largely unknown to the Americans, was met by a systematic study of their procedures.7
When summer 1945 ended, 463 students had graduated from the school under the sponsorship of China Theater. In addition, classes of the Chinese Army War College received fifteen-day courses in American weapons and staff procedures. General Ho Ying-chin, supreme commander of the ALPHA divisions, sent about 130 members of his staff for a series of lectures, beginning 22 May, on staff organization, duties of the chief of staff and the several staff sections, and the co-ordination of their activities. While this group of key officers was in attendance, the staff and faculty of the school were preparing a comprehensive plan for the reorganization of Ho's staff on lines the Americans thought more apt to be successful than the existing blend of Chinese, Japanese, and German practices.
An Infantry Training Center had been established in April 1943, then deactivated so that its plant might be used by the Command and General Staff School. In January 1945 it was reactivated under Col. Mose Kent, to train battalion and regimental commanders. Beginning initially with 18 Americans and a battalion of Chinese school troops, Kent saw the center grow until it had a staff of 233 and had graduated, by late summer, 288 students.
In preparing for the arrival of the first class in April 1945 the staff and faculty concluded that existing training literature was inadequate, and began an ambitious program of providing a manual for each of the infantry regiment's major components, plus seven more of general military topics. The principal course of the school covered three major areas: infantry weapons, military subjects of a technical nature useful to infantry such as demolitions, and, lastly, tactical training of small infantry units.8
The Heavy Mortar Training Center, Lt. Col. Albert R. Volkmuth, commandant, received its first students at Na-chi, Szechwan, on 2 April 1945.
DEMOLITIONS CLASS ON A BRIDGE. Men of the Chinese 14th Division show members of an officer candidate class how to destroy a bridge with properly placed demolitions.
Its mission was to retrain Chinese regiments as 4.2-inch mortar units. By late summer two regiments had attended the center, the latter being able to complete only one month of its unit training. The center's basic method was first to train the regimental cadre, then receive the rest of the personnel, fit them into their places, and train the whole unit.
In its daily course, the center met problems illustrative of the difficulties in teaching modern warfare to men from the simplest and most isolated of rural backgrounds. Some students had to be shown which way to turn a nut in order to tighten it. Some did not know how to use pliers or how to unfasten metal snaps. Others could not count from one to ten. On the other hand, the Chinese impressed the Americans as enthusiastic, curious, "extremely cooperative and worked exceedingly hard most of the time." Since the students wanted to learn, progress could be made by various expedients.
Thus, the men who found it hard to count were not asked to add or subtract, as they would have been had they been given fire commands of "Right (so much)," or "Left (so much); instead, they were given the complete sight setting for every change to right or left.9
To provide radio operators for the thirty-nine divisions, a Signal School, under Col. Willis R. Lansford, began operations 8 June 1945. By September it was ready to turn out 150 competent operators every month and had actually graduated 281. The school was organized by Colonel Lansford under conditions of great haste and difficulty. His 600 students were all at hand waiting instruction, while the thirty-nine divisions needed a supply of radio operators in time for the offensive against Canton. Housing was a problem, as it was with all the schools, but signal equipment was a major concern. The school had a low priority, signal equipment was scarce in China, and what did arrive at the school was often damaged in transit. Lansford and his men asked help of every American organization that might have equipment to give. Salvaged parts and assemblies were extensively used.
Many precautions ensured an acceptable student body. One of the newly organized student divisions10 supplied students; almost every member of the division had the equivalent of a high school education plus some training in English. From this group 840 were selected by means of the standard Signal Corps aptitude test, its requirements slightly eased. From this group, 632 were found suitable. When it appeared that a 20 percent mortality through failure was probable a compensating number of students was added to the waiting list.11
The Chinese Ordnance Training Center, organized by Col. Kennedy Hassenzahl, trained ordnance maintenance detachments for the thirty-nine divisions, plus twelve ordnance weapons maintenance companies for more difficult repairs; trained arsenal instructors; and, lastly, set up a permanent ordnance replacement training center. Courses were given in the repair of small arms, optical instruments, artillery, and vehicles. The Chinese Training Center hoped this portion of the training program would show the Chinese how they themselves could create their own ordnance schools to service weapons of their own manufacture. When summer ended, the Ordnance Training Center had trained and fitted out twenty divisional maintenance detachments and one ordnance weapons maintenance company.
An Interpreters' Pool, activated 14 January 1945, tried to meet the need for interpreters, a need that grew with every expansion of the training program. Its members were graduates of the Chinese Government Interpreters'
School, and had honorary rank in the Chinese Army. Most had a working knowledge of English; all needed some background in military matters. In the course of their four weeks at the pool they were taught military terminology, translation, techniques of interpretation, general military subjects, physical training, and infantry drill. Eight classes, totaling 1,777, were graduated.
Helping the Chinese SOS
As noted before,12 the first American attempts to assist the Chinese in setting up an SOS to support the thirty-nine divisions involved placing General Cheves in command, with the rank of lieutenant general in the Chinese Army, while another American, Col. Raymond R. Tourtillot, became chief of staff. Then Maj. Gen. Henry S. Aurand took over the China Theater SOS on 25 May. Aurand inherited Cheves's command status, but began to question its feasibility.13
As summer 1945 began, there were Americans present at many levels in the Chinese SOS. About 300 of them were at its headquarters. Each Chinese area command had as liaison officer the deputy commander of the corresponding American SOS command. In the field, 231 Americans manned a Chinese driver training school, and another 120 or so worked with various Chinese service elements.14
The structures of the Chinese SOS and American SOS were arranged on parallel lines, and in turn were fitted to the Chinese Combat Command. Thus, the American SOS Base Section 1 was divided into Districts A, B, and C, which in turn corresponded with Chinese area commands. The Chinese 1st Area plus District B of Base Section 1 supported the Southern Command of CCC; the Chinese 2d Area plus Base Section 2 supported the Kwangsi Command, and so on. In all, the Chinese had six numbered areas and one 1st Independent Branch. These areas in turn covered that section of China comprised in the Chinese Combat Command.15
At Chinese SOS headquarters, the distribution of the Americans suggests their estimate of the most pressing Chinese problems. Of the 300-odd present, 147 officers and enlisted men were in the Food Department, 84 in the Quartermaster, and the rest divided among Ordnance, Medical, Transportation and Signal, and Staff Departments.16 The last, rather oddly named department, took its title from its mission of advising the Chinese on staff procedures.
MAJ. GEN. HENRY S. AURAND, Commanding General, U.S. Services of Supply, China Theater, arriving at Chihchiang in June 1945 for an inspection tour, is met by officials of the Chinese Services of Supply. From the left, General Pai Yun-shung, General Chang, General Aurand, and General Cheng.
As its major activity, the Food Department sought and found some 1,400,000 bags of rice, plus an appropriate amount of salt, for the Chinese troops in CARBONADO. Quantities of rice had to be purchased in and transported from other provinces, after sacks for the movement had been procured by the Americans. The needs of the troops were estimated in tons, feeding stations were established, and SOS area commanders were told to issue rice through them to the troops as they moved east to concentration areas for CARBONADO. Another section of the Food Department co-ordinated the vegetable purchases of the Ration Purchasing Commissions with their distribution through the local Chinese supply depots. Looking toward the day of battle, another section within the department helped the Chinese to find suppliers of processed meat and dehydrated vegetable rations. The goal was a daily production capacity of 200,000 of each. By August, the one existing factory, a military establishment in Chungking, was preparing to produce 50,000 rations a day; plans had been drawn for two other factories with a
combined production of 50,000; and plans had been prepared for a variety of processing plants. The problem of animal forage was attacked from several angles, for example, by flying in six hay balers from India.
The Medical Department began work on the reorganization and redeployment of the Chinese hospitals supporting CARBONADO. The department's head, Col. Harry G. Johnson, also served as Surgeon of the Chinese SOS. In his dual capacity, Colonel Johnson sought to improve the professional quality of Chinese medical services by providing six-week refresher courses for officers of the Chinese field hospitals, by printing tables of equipment for medical units, by building up stockpiles in medical depots, and by establishing reserves in the forward areas. The department also tried to end the Chinese practice of establishing hospitals in abandoned unsanitary temples by drawing plans for temporary hospital buildings. By August, funds to build some of these had been obtained. To provide for animal transport, a separate Veterinary Service was organized at General Ho's Supreme Headquarters, and was beginning to function.
The Ordnance Department reported that its chief accomplishment was the movement, in the face of grave transport problems, of 400 tons of Chinese ammunition to Nanning. After trying every other recourse, the men found they had to airlift the 400 tons. While working on this problem, they found that American ammunition was stored in fairly large quantities in Chinese depots in western Yunnan but because of the transport problem could not be moved to the front. The Transportation and Signal Department operated a Chinese driver training school which trained 2,000 drivers and 200 mechanics. Working with General Ho's Supreme Headquarters, the American SOS and various Chinese SOS agencies, the department arranged the movement of some 130,000 Chinese troops and 6,000 tons of cargo by truck, boat, and aircraft. It also established a signal net linking Kunming, Nanning, Kweiyang, Chihkiang, and Liuchow, some of it with equipment borrowed from the Chinese. Looking toward the future, the Quartermaster Department contracted for procurement of 540,000 winter uniforms, a major feat considering the handicraft nature of the Chinese economy.17
Thus, in the summer of 1945, 39 Chinese divisions were undergoing systematic training and rearming, service schools were instructing Chinese infantry, artillery, staff officers, and communications specialists, and some 600 Americans were beginning to create a Chinese SOS capable of supporting 39 modern divisions in combat. The effort was comprehensive, but it was just beginning to gather momentum. If the Chinese Government were to command the services of 39 first-rate battleworthy divisions, and be able to support them in battle for weeks on end, then time to complete the work in hand was needed. A considerable measure of Chinese co-operation and
interest was now being given. Adequate American resources were at hand or in sight. If Japan fought on long enough, and well enough, that, paradoxically, might be the salvation of the Generalissimo's government.
The Communist Problem Emerges Again
Theater concern with the Communist issue in summer 1945 was linked with at least three antecedents--a desire to expand the CCC liaison system to Chinese units north of the Yellow River for operations against the Japanese in that area; dissatisfaction with the work of the American Observer Group in Yenan, the Communist headquarters; and the three-power Potsdam Conference of 17 July 1945. Expansion of the liaison system was related to Wedemeyer's continuing effort to persuade the Chinese to build an effective Army over and above the U.S.-sponsored divisions. On 8 May he told the Generalissimo that study had convinced him there were two deterrents to effective military effort in China: (1) dissipation of resources, and (2) piecemeal and premature commitment of troops. Wedemeyer believed the Chinese had originally had 327 divisions of which only the 5 of the Chinese Army in India were effective troops. There had been some response to his repeated pleas for a smaller Army; the Minister of War told him that 35 divisions had been inactivated. That left 253 divisions, not counting the 39 divisions in ALPHA, to be equipped and trained. Wedemeyer thought 45 would be ample for local security, over and above the U.S.-sponsored ones, and he suggested the Chinese might equip them from their own stocks. The remaining 208 divisions should be inactivated.18
A month later he reported to the Generalissimo that though the latter had ordered inactivation of divisions as a result of Wedemeyer's recommendations, the orders were being ignored. For example, Wedemeyer wrote, two armies (6 divisions) that the Ministry of War had reported as inactivated were still operating. Indeed, between 15 and 31 May the Chinese had added one army.19
Then China Theater headquarters received data from the U.S. War Production Mission which revealed that the capacities of the Chinese economy had been seriously underestimated. On the basis of the mission's conclusions, the Chinese could from their own current stocks and 1945 production equip and maintain 80 divisions. Wedemeyer accepted this view and suggested adding 40 U.S.-sponsored divisions for a total of 120.20
Operational control of 120 Chinese divisions, some of which would probably
TABLE 7--CHINESE ORDER OF BATTLE: 31 AUGUST 1945
Location Number of divisions Strength Total 290 2,700,000 Supreme Headquarters (Ho Ying-chin) 70 790,000 I War Area (Hsian)a 36 280,000 II War Area (Shensi) 27 180,000 III War Area (Chekiang-Fukien) 21 220,000 V War Area (Northwest of Hankow) 10 90,000 VI War Area (I-chang Gorge area) 16 200,000 National Military Council (Szechwan) 26 220,000 VII War Area (Canton-Hong Kong) 7 90,000 VIII War Area (West Shensi, and west of Hsian) 24 200,000 IX War Area (Hsueh Yueh) 21 160,000 X War Area (Anhwei-Kiangsu) 14 130,000 XI War Area (Shantung) 6 55,000 XII War Area (Chahar) 12 85,000
a Twelve of these divisions were in a position to blockade the Chinese Communists.
Source: Item 3, Tab B, Bk 6, Vol I, Wedemeyer Black Book, DRB AGO. The estimate of 12 divisions blockading the Communists comes from TPS-11, G-4, USFCT. TS Reg 06106-1r. DRB AGO.
operate in north China, raised issues of command. For himself, Wedemeyer had no desire to be field commander in China. He was concerned with some points he thought Ambassador Hurley might have overlooked in suggesting such command status, among them that command of Chinese troops involved power to promote, demote, punish, reward, transfer, and assign senior Chinese officers. And, appointment of an American to command would mean the United States would be credited with political motives if such an officer followed the course, inevitable for logistic and military reasons alike, of giving the greater bulk of U.S. arms to the Nationalist divisions. Such an embarrassment, Wedemeyer thought, should be avoided. His views prevailed.21
In mid-June, Marshall offered Wedemeyer the services of some of the returning American generals who had distinguished themselves in Europe, together with their key staff officers. At first, though he thought he had room for one commander, Wedemeyer hesitated, for he feared that officers accustomed to the precise discipline and logistic support of European combat would find it hard to adjust to conditions in China. Then came the realization in China Theater that several officers with their staffs would be a very welcome addition to the 120-division plan, and so the first of them, Lt. Gen. William H. Simpson, was invited to China to meet the Generalissimo.
Currently, Wedemeyer had two headquarters in China, his own in Chungking, and a tactical headquarters to co-ordinate operations south of the Yangtze in the three provinces--Yunnan, Kwangsi, and Kweichow--where U.S. activities centered. One of the two officers returning from Europe, General Simpson, would take command of Tactical Headquarters. The other, Lt. Gen. Lucian K. Truscott, would command a new Chinese Combat Command (North), leaving McClure with what would become the Chinese Combat Command (South). The dividing line would be the Yangtze. Simpson and the Generalissimo both endorsed this concept.22
Setting up a Chinese Combat Command north of the Yangtze brought two problems with it. One was purely administrative, that of finding U.S. liaison personnel for the 80 divisions. According to the practice in the 39 divisions, teams were to be sent to each division, army, and group army headquarters, totaling 1,461 officers and 2,429 enlisted men. Truscott would be in operational control of the Chinese I, II, VIII, X, XI, and XII War Areas, when these were activated.23
The second problem, that of the Chinese Communists, was major and dramatic, for their territory lay north of the Yangtze. If the new divisions were to begin fighting them instead of the Japanese the whole scheme would be endangered, while the larger consequences were unpredictable but obviously of the greatest importance. So Wedemeyer sought to take appropriate action well in advance. The solution he recommended to Nationalists and Communists alike was attachment of liaison teams to both sides, to provide him with factual data on any incident. The background to this suggestion was Wedemeyer's belief that the Soviet Union, the British Commonwealth, and the United States should take strong measures to bring the two sides together. Asked by Marshall for his opinions on the eve of the Potsdam Conference, Wedemeyer replied:
If Uncle Sugar, Russia, and Britain united strongly in their endeavor to bring about coalition of these two political parties in China by coercing both sides to make realistic concessions, serious post-war disturbance may be averted and timely effective military employment of all Chinese may be obtained against the Japanese. I use the term coerce advisedly because it is my conviction that continued appeals to both sides couched in polite diplomatic terms will not accomplish unification. There must be teeth in Big Three approach.24
The scheme for liaison teams to prevent Communist-Nationalist clashes was presented to the Generalissimo 30 July. He approved it, after suggesting that the Communist leader, Mao Tse-tung, be addressed as Mister rather than by his Communist title, Chairman.25
The avenue through which the proposal was made to the Chinese Communists was the American Army Observer Group at Yenan. The performance of this body had been a disappointment to Wedemeyer, who still felt, after the group had been almost a year in operation, that he acted in a vacuum as far as military intelligence on north China was concerned. One reason may have been that some of the group's personnel were preoccupied with political intelligence of the Chinese Communists, to the neglect of the military picture in north China. Another may have been that the Chinese Communists were unable to determine from the Americans' questions what was desired in the way of military intelligence. When the American order of battle expert was sent to Yenan, in September 1944, he found that he had to give his American colleagues a two months' training course to enable them to ask proper questions. In addition, Chinese Communist communications in north China were simple and overloaded, so that messages trickled into Yenan rather slowly. Last of all, and inevitably, the relations of the Americans in Yenan with the Chinese there fluctuated with the course of unification talks between Communists and Nationalists which Ambassador Hurley was conducting. The Communists were actively co-operative or merely polite as they were pleased or displeased with the progress of the negotiations. To them, military information was probably another bargaining tool, and in the Oriental fashion they proposed to use every bargaining asset they had.26
General Wedemeyer had also come to some conclusions about the quality of the advice and information current on the Chinese Communists. The political advisers who had been assigned to Stilwell's staff, then to his, and finally to Ambassador Hurley's, seemed to him to be primarily expert in Chinese culture, history, and language. He was not sure that this qualified them to speak with authority on political tendencies within the Chinese Communist Party, on the relationship of the several Communist parties to each other, and on other questions that might well affect the course of U.S. policy in China. So he sought for and obtained from G-2 in Washington the services of an expert on Soviet Communism and the Soviet Union, Col. Ivan D. Yeaton, to take command of the American Observer Group in Yenan.27
Yeaton presented Wedemeyer's letter to Mao about 30 July. In it Wedemeyer proposed that two American officers and five enlisted men, with a radio, be sent to each Nationalist and Communist division, in contact with or close to their Chinese opposites. These radio teams would render daily reports on unit movements down to and including companies. Wedemeyer pointed out here that there had been many conflicting reports of clashes between the Nationalists and Communists. Such a scheme would permit him to have a factual nonpartisan account to present to the United States. He told Mao Tse-tung that the Generalissimo had agreed, and urged Mao to do likewise, as a step toward averting civil war and achieving a united effort against Japan. But the march of events soon overtook this interesting suggestion.28
The progress of events also overtook what might have been a difficult situation for Wedemeyer, the use of American lend-lease arms by Chinese Nationalists to fight the Communists during hostilities against Japan. From time to time the Communists complained of such action by the Nationalists. Before late summer 1944, their complaints were almost certainly pure invention, intended to forestall any such diversion of lend-lease. But by late summer 1944, Navy Group, China, benefiting by the increased flow of tonnage over the Hump, began to receive several hundred tons a month of Hump tonnage. As noted above, Navy Group, China, worked closely with General Tai Li's secret police, and Wedemeyer believed they had issued supplies without accounting for them.
In June 1945 the Chinese Communists again complained about misuse of lend-lease by the Nationalist forces. Ambassador Hurley thought that the Communists were merely trying to stir up civil war. However, G-5 was concerned about the problem, and Wedemeyer took the complaints seriously enough to investigate the possibility that Navy Group, China, had joined in the emerging Chinese civil war. Wedemeyer appointed a board which included representatives of G-1, G-2, G-3, G-5, and Navy Group, China, with G-5 as chairman. On 22 August the board reported:
That no satisfactory evidence had been presented that Naval Group, China, personnel has been employed with Central Government or loyal patriotic troops against the Communists. However, the possibility exists, that they may be used in engagements if the Communists interfered with operations of the units against the Japanese.
That American equipment has been used at least defensively against the Communists.
That equipment has been furnished under other than lend-lease procedures; that no adequate records now exist of transfers made. . . .29
The Chinese Reoccupy Their Land
As the Japanese forces in China proceeded to concentrate in the north China plain, and yield their holdings in south and central China, the Chinese troops began to flow into the vacuum created by the Japanese withdrawal. In north-central China, toward Lao-ho-kou and Hsian, the Chinese of the I War Area found themselves on the edge of the zone the Japanese meant to hold. The city of Hsi Hsia K'ou was the center of activity as Chinese units under one of the more capable and aggressive commanders and Japanese who intended to stay feinted, sparred, and occasionally clashed all during June and into July. By then the American liaison teams sent to the area during the Japanese drive on Lao-ho-kou were ready with training programs. Activity stopped as both sides broke contact--the Chinese to reorganize and train four armies, the Japanese content to hold.30
In central China, the Chinese had ended the Chihchiang campaign in contact with Japanese forces along the precampaign line Pao-ching-Hsin-ning. During June there were skirmishes around obscure little villages, as the victorious Chinese, from regiments freed of training schedules, kept touch with the Japanese. The skirmishes were patrol actions, village fighting, outpost clashes, but that they were taking place with the Chinese attacking showed how much the quality of the XXIV Group Army had improved over that of previous years. In late July General Wang's men were ready to make the diversionary attacks called for by RASHNESS. Two regiments of the 58th Division supported by a battalion of artillery retook Hsin-ning on 5 August, killing and capturing 100 Japanese. In this area, since it shielded the railway route north out of Kwangsi and Kweichow, the Japanese were obliged to hold, and only began falling back as the first week of August ended.31
The most extensive Japanese troop movements came in south China as the divisions there moved up the railway line toward Hankow and on to north China. The American liaison troops with the Chinese of the II and III Group Army commands did not believe that Chinese pressure was forcing the Japanese to withdraw, though they noted that Chinese communiqués spoke of heavy fighting and Chinese victories after pitched battles. The historian of the Chinese Combat Command called it:
. . . in no sense a combat operation similar to the Chihchiang defensive. It can better be understood as a Japanese troop movement, largely unopposed. Having decided to withdraw, the Japanese forces did withdraw in a leisurely and ordered manner. Chinese forces, unwilling to engage in, and unable to see any reason for, costly combat operations, followed closely but carefully. What fighting did occur was largely a matter of
rear-guard patrol action. There were cases of Japanese platoons holding up Chinese regiments or divisions for several days or longer.32
The Japanese withdrawals of June 1945 from south China funneled through Liuchow. From Ho-chih on the west and the island of Hainan on the east, Japanese brigades and divisions slowly moved north. The forces retreating from Ho-chih turned on their pursuers at I-shan, perhaps to give units to the east time to clear the Liuchow bottleneck area. After taking I-shan on 10 June the Chinese were driven out the next day. The Japanese held it three days, then began moving east again. The Chinese followed after.
From Nanning, the Japanese retreated to Ta-tang, twenty-five miles southwest of Liuchow. They had to hold Ta-tang so that Ho-chih units could clear the area, and hold they did until late June. To occupy the Liuchow area the Chinese used the 29th Army plus the 175th Division of the 46th. By 22 June American liaison men could report that the city was on fire, a sure sign of imminent evacuation. Japanese resistance was limited to activity by isolated riflemen. The Chinese moved cautiously through them onto the outskirts of the former American base, now important to support of RASHNESS. The airfield was taken on the 26th, and by 1 July the Chinese had complete possession of Liuchow. The Japanese had had ample time for demolitions; the city was 60 percent burned and the airfield had thirty to forty large craters in the runway.
The Japanese retreat over the ninety miles to Kweilin paralleled that to Liuchow. Rear guards held off the Chinese while transport troops moved out equipment and demolition squads made ready to destroy utilities and bridges. North of Kweilin, however, the picture was different in that General Tang En-po's III Army Group command during July tried to cut the Japanese avenue of retreat to Heng-yang. One division from each of four armies was used. The Japanese defenses seem to have been on the reverse crests of the hills and ridges to the west of the route north. The Chinese attacked along a line all the way from I-ning just west of Kweilin to Chai-hsu, fifty miles north. The Japanese held stubbornly. The road net was notably poor, and lack of ammunition forced the Chinese 26th Division to fall back on one occasion.
By 26 July more Chinese from General Tang's army were up to the battle area, and an attack on Kweilin was possible. The CCC did not think that the Japanese would make a stand for Kweilin. Two Japanese divisions plus two brigades were believed to have cleared the area by the 26th. Next day, I-ning fell, and shortly after, Yung-fu, thirty miles south of Kweilin. Three days later the Chinese had taken Yung-fu, had covered the thirty miles, and were in Kweilin's southern suburbs. Soon after, the Japanese
LIUCHOW AIRSTRIP as it looked when Chinese troops recaptured the airfield. Note large craters in runway.
rear guards were pushed out of Kweilin, and as August began, the city was Chinese again. Except for Canton and Hong Kong, the biggest Japanese bases in south China had been relinquished by the Japanese. It was time to take Fort Bayard.33
What Are the Problems of a Sudden Peace?
Hints that events in the Pacific might be outstripping the course of the experiment in Sino-American co-operation to build a better Chinese Army, an experiment that had been under way intermittently since October 1941 when the American Military Mission to China began work, appeared in July. There were peace rumors. In distorted form, they possibly reflected happenings within Japan, where on 20 June the Emperor Hirohito moved to cut through the tangle of Japanese politics and personalities by inquiring about plans to end the war. The B-29's were devastating great areas of Japan's large cities, and her air defenses could not cope with these attacks. Japan's Navy was now grounded, camouflaged hulks, suitable for antiaircraft
RETURNING TO LIUCHOW 1 July 1945, Chinese troops find the city virtually destroyed by the Japanese.
batteries only. The Americans firmly gripped Okinawa and Iwo Jima, close to Japan's shores. The merchant navy was reduced to a few hundred thousand tons, and the specter of economic paralysis loomed. The Japanese Army was intact, however, and many of its leaders pinned their hopes on one great and bloody battle on Japanese soil after which the Americans might offer terms.
The Emperor's intervention was a plain indication of the Imperial will, which under the Japanese constitution could at times have decisive power. Then came the conference at Potsdam in July 1945 between the Soviet Union, the British Commonwealth, and the United States, as a result of which there came what in effect were terms to the Japanese, with a threat of grievous harm if they were not accepted. The United States understood that the Japanese declined them. However, the highest military authorities in the United States now believed that Japanese surrender might not be long delayed. On 30 July Marshall for the Joint Chiefs told Wedemeyer, MacArthur, and Nimitz that co-ordination of plans to be followed in event of Japanese surrender was a pressing necessity. The Joint Chiefs thought it highly desirable to occupy key ports in Asia in this priority: Shanghai, Pusan, Chefoo, and Chin-huang-tao. The radio went on: "The Joint Chiefs
of Staff do not desire to become involved in the campaign in China on the mainland other than by air, but it is considered highly desirable to seize the ports in order better to facilitate the reoccupation of the country by Chinese forces."34
Wedemeyer had no illusions about the impact of a sudden peace on events in China. Not only were there the big problems of China, but there were also disturbing minor discords. There had been an increasing number of incidents between Americans and Chinese. These had been called to the Generalissimo's attention, with a note saying that there had been a steady growth in Chinese depredations on U.S. installations in China, and that local Chinese military and civil authorities had been most un-co-operative. Shootings, stabbings, affrays had occurred. Two U.S. soldiers had been killed by troops of the 30th Division. Moreover, there were morale problems among the Americans. Col. B. J. Birk, CCC surgeon, wrote to McClure on 24 July that morale in the CCC was "very low." He listed five reasons, ranging from prolonged service overseas to a "general feeling by the personnel that their efforts are futile." Across the letter McClure wrote: "C/S See if we can raise morale. R B McC."35
So, concluding a very long survey of the current picture for General Marshall, Wedemeyer wrote on 1 August:
We are striving to prepare for any eventuality reference Japanese capitulation--early and sudden peace, fighting for the next few months, and even an extended period of war. Frankly, if peace should come within the next few weeks we will be woefully unprepared in China. On the American side we could handle our own unilateral personnel and property interests but many of our activities are inextricably tied in with the Chinese, and, if peace comes suddenly, it is reasonable to expect widespread confusion and disorder. The Chinese have no plan for rehabilitation, prevention of epidemics, restoration of utilities, establishment of balanced economy and redisposition of millions of refugees. On the China Theater staff we have one U.S. military government officer, a Lieutenant Colonel Dobson, who at present is conducting a school in Chungking, teaching selected Chinese civilian officials the functions of civil affairs. This school has been established one week. I have emphasized to the Generalissimo the necessity for advanced planning in connection with the problems and he has issued instructions to his ministries. However, I am not optimistic about the results to be attained, if my experience with the military officials can be taken as a criterion. When in Washington last February I was informed that the United States would not become involved in the operation of civil affairs in China subsequent to Japanese surrender. We may be unavoidably drawn in as advisors to Chinese officials in a status analogous to that of Americans at present with Chinese military
forces. I am sure that you will agree that we should assist the Chinese in that manner to reestablish a modicum of order and normalcy.36
In accord with the JCS views on assisting Nationalist reoccupation of Japanese-held China, and with another request from Marshall for data on the Chinese attitude, Wedemeyer spent 31 July conferring with the Generalissimo and Soong. In the course of these discussions the Generalissimo made it clear that if American troops from the Pacific landed in China they must not be commanded by Stilwell. This was a major point to Soong and the Generalissimo, who stated their objections strongly, basing them on a clash of personalities and the need for a commander who had what they called "unity of spirit" with the Chinese. The Generalissimo agreed with the JCS that Pusan in Korea should be second only to Shanghai in priority of occupation, for in his opinion this would facilitate Chinese control of Korea before the Russians could establish themselves, and would forestall a Communist Korean Government. As for Chinese ports, the Generalissimo wanted U.S. troops landed there at once to hold them until Central Government forces could be flown in.
For his part, Wedemeyer warned the Generalissimo that lend-lease from the United States would stop. He had authority from the War Department to equip thirty-nine divisions, of which twenty now had 80 percent of their full Tables of Equipment. He did not list a Korean port among those to be occupied, nor did he, if the minutes are correct, react to the Generalissimo's suggestion that China occupy Korea. Wedemeyer agreed to do his best to fly in the Central Government forces, and hoped that occupation of a port would improve his capabilities. So far as possible, U.S. forces would not collaborate with the Communists. When the Generalissimo suggested that reluctant Japanese might be a problem requiring more lend-lease, Wedemeyer agreed and said he did not think there would be difficulty over lend-lease. He cautioned the Chinese to pay attention to the problems of civil affairs in reoccupied territory, for he did not think they were seriously aware of them. When the discussion ended, Wedemeyer agreed with the Generalissimo that ports should be occupied in this priority: Shanghai, Pusan, Taku, Canton, and Tsingtao.37
Reporting on this meeting, Wedemeyer said that the Generalissimo's comments on Stilwell were the first suggestion he had heard that the Chinese Army and people did not like Stilwell. Wedemeyer recommended that any U.S. forces landing in China be placed under his own command, that they seize ports to facilitate Nationalist redeployment, and that they avoid collaboration with any forces opposing the Central Government. The Chinese
needed help in redeployment, and were worried about internal problems. He closed with the warning: "Unless and until Central Government troops are [disposed] so that they can control communications, ports, financial and food centers it would be unsound to plan upon realistic Chinese assistance in the disarmament, demobilization, and deportation of Japanese forces on the Asiatic mainland."38
Events in the Pacific Overtake CARBONADO
Meanwhile, in the field and at the planners' desks, final preparations were being made to take Fort Bayard. Last-minute co-ordination on the inter-theater level was achieved through a conference at Guam on 6 August between representatives of China Theater, the Pacific theaters, and the War Department. General Simpson and General Boatner, of the CCC, plus key staff officers of Wedemeyer's headquarters, were present for China Theater. Obtaining naval service elements such as a barge pool and a construction battalion (stevedore) was discussed. Convoy lists were set up and naval protection by escort carriers and destroyer escorts arranged. The hydrographic features of Fort Bayard were analyzed. These were the quiet, unspectacular, earnest discussions of technical matters that must precede an amphibious operation. The conference adjourned; co-ordination was effected.
Within China, the final operational planning was done between the CCC, Tactical Headquarters, and theater G-3. Examining reports from the field, these agencies concluded that the Japanese had reduced their garrison on Liuchow Peninsula, at whose base was Fort Bayard, to some 6,500 men. Offshore, on Hainan, were 8,000 more. Three Japanese divisions and one independent mixed brigade in Indochina could intervene but this did not appear likely. However, these were formidable Japanese forces to oppose Chang's men. The risk was accepted in the belief that the Japanese supply situation did not permit the enemy to offer sustained resistance or to reinforce heavily. According to the Japanese postwar studies, the area garrison, far from being 6,500 strong, consisted of two battalions that were engaged in withdrawing on Canton.39
Prepared in June, the initial plans for the advance on Fort Bayard called for the drive to be made by the Chinese 46th Army after it had occupied Liuchow. General Wedemeyer could not approve the plan because the War Department planned to have three Liberty ships arrive at Fort Bayard 15 August; planning had to be based on that. Because this target date had to be met, Wedemeyer made a significant modification in the original concept of the operation by permitting use of the ALPHA divisions, among them
the elite New 1st Army. Given these resources, McClure estimated that on the basis of Chinese capabilities 1 September could be D Day. This was unacceptable, and theater headquarters suggested that elements of the 46th Army be sent toward Fort Bayard without waiting for the completion of operations around Liuchow. That city fell 1 July, releasing troops for the drive on Fort Bayard.
Perhaps as a result of these difficulties responsibility for making the operational plans was taken from CCC and given to General Weart's Tactical Headquarters on 17 July. Weart's later plans accepted the idea of an advance on Fort Bayard prior to Liuchow's fall, and events moved accordingly. In mid-July units of the 46th Army began moving toward the coast. The New 1st Army, being flown back to China, was to land at Nanning in east China rather than at Chanyi. By 26 July the 38th Division and army headquarters had landed at Nanning, about 200 miles west of Fort Bayard. Meanwhile, to help provide air cover for the Bayard operation, the 13th Army was en route to seize the Tanchuk airstrip, halfway between Liuchow and the coast. OSS groups had taken high ground overlooking the airfield on 3 July but lost it to a Japanese counterattack. In the next attempt, on or about 26 July, a regiment of the 89th Division took the heights and followed that success next day by taking the field. The town itself was occupied 5 August, and so that part of the Fort Bayard operation was successfully completed.
From Liuchow the 46th Army advanced steadily eastward. Not till 3 August did it meet the Japanese near Sui-chi, about twenty miles west of Fort Bayard. The Japanese reacted aggressively, attacking the right flank of the New 19th Division. The Chinese were present in too great strength, for the 175th and 188th Divisions came up and simply bypassed this Japanese concentration. The weather turned bad, hampering air supply, and the pace of the Chinese advance slowed. Then came the stunning news on 6 August that an atomic bomb had been dropped on Japan. Two days later the Soviet Union announced that it was entering the war on 9 August. These developments suggested to theater planners that the war might be ending, and the attack on Fort Bayard was halted to await developments. They were not long in coming.40
At 1845 Washington time, on 10 August, the State Department acknowledged receipt of a Japanese offer to accept the Potsdam terms, without prejudice to the Emperor's position. On that same day Wedemeyer received his first postwar directive, written in terms that confronted him with a dilemma he quickly recognized. The directive's architects prefaced its operative paragraphs by telling Wedemeyer that the directive "supplements" the 24 October
1944 directive, thus leaving intact his mission of advising and assisting the Generalissimo, then added a warning: "b. All of its provisions apply insofar as action in accordance therewith does not prejudice the basic U.S. principle that the United States will not support the Central Government of China in fratricidal war."41
Wedemeyer was told that help from MacArthur and Nimitz would be given to obtain control of key ports and communication centers in China, though there was no intent of involving U.S. troops in any major land campaign in China. When these supporting troops entered China, they would come under his command, and it would be his task to co-ordinate operations with the Generalissimo. The Generalissimo would have jurisdiction over the process of Japanese surrender in China, "except for any points such as Hong Kong, of which the status is in question. . . ." If through military necessity any Japanese forces surrendered to the Americans they would be turned over to the Central Government subject to assurance of satisfactory treatment from the Chinese. Wedemeyer would assist the Central Government in rapidly moving its forces to key areas in China, and would continue the necessary support which had become a normal adjunct to his mission.42
To Wedemeyer, completely cognizant of the menacing and complex problems emerging in the wake of war in China, this directive must have seemed a not very helpful guide, for in the second week of August he sought to persuade his superiors to transfer at least some of their attention from Japan to China. His radios to General Marshall give unmistakable expression to a fear that the United States would lose the rewards of victory if it did not take vigorous action in China. The background to his warnings was his recognition that the U.S.-sponsored divisions were not yet ready to maintain public order in China, that the Nationalists could not stand alone. Many years had passed before rebuilding the Chinese forces within China received first priority from the Chinese and American governments; the lost years were now exacting their price in the unreadiness of the Central Government to re-establish its authority in its own country.
On China's part, the Generalissimo through Wedemeyer told the United States that he was anxious to obtain American aid in disarming and demobilizing the Japanese forces in China. He envisioned three occupational areas, centering on Nanking, Peiping, and Canton, with Americans as chiefs of staff to the Chinese area commanders. Five American divisions were requested, two for the Taku area of north China, two for Shanghai, and one for Canton. He also remarked that at Cairo in December 1943 President Roosevelt had promised to equip ninety Chinese Divisions.
Wedemeyer underscored the Generalissimo's appeal with the blunt caution that the U.S. Government might be failing to appreciate "the explosive and portentous possibilities in China when Japan surrenders." He saw little possibility of trouble in Japan proper, but two major dangers on the mainland, that the Chinese Communists might begin civil war and that the Japanese forces might refuse to surrender. He urged that two U.S. divisions be sent to Shanghai, one to Taku, and a regiment to Canton, that high priority be given to occupation of Chinese seaports, and that the Japanese be instructed to surrender only to the Chinese Nationalists, never to the Communists (who now asserted that right).43
The War Department's initial responses to Wedemeyer's warnings and questions indicate that the United States had not settled on what was to be its postwar role in China. The messages came in piecemeal fashion, answering now one and now another of his operational queries but remaining silent on the great problems of Asia which he raised so urgently. His initial directive was a contradiction in terms, for it told him to continue his support of the Chinese Nationalists, then ordered him not to support them if they engaged in civil war. To this, Wedemeyer replied that on 19 August he was engaged in transporting Chinese troops to the key areas of China that they might be secured and the Japanese disarmed. This support could be construed as a deceptive maneuver, to give the Nationalists an advantage over the Communists, and the foreign correspondents were beginning to press him hard on just that line.
In its other messages, of 7 and 14 August, the Department warned him that he would receive only two divisions, and these would arrive in sections as shipping became available. He was directed as his first task to secure the key areas of China--the order so difficult to square with one part of his directive, however well it matched the other--and further told that when the situation firmed he should discuss this mission with General MacArthur. A personal "eyes alone" radio from General Marshall suggested that the Chief of Staff did not share Wedemeyer's fears in regard to Asia for it dealt only with Marshall's fears that the Japanese might be so afraid of both Chinese vengeance and administrative ineptitude that they would not yield.
Immediately after Wedemeyer's warnings China Theater took a step which foreshadowed a serious and self-imposed limitation on what the Americans might do in China, for on 22 August 1945 all training under American supervision was "suspended," probably because the units concerned had to take part in reoccupying Japanese-held China. This meant the dismantling of the elaborate apparatus of liaison and operational control, advice, and assistance that Wedemeyer had erected on the foundation laid by Stilwell.
Thenceforth, the armies of the Central Government were increasingly on their own, though they had not been brought to the standard Wedemeyer contemplated.44
In the midst of these exchanges, the drive on Fort Bayard was halted 12 August by the War Department, to await developments, and active hostilities ended 14 August 1945. The soldiers who ran cheering into the streets, the Chinese civilians who offered incense and set off firecrackers, the Americans at home who shouted and wept and danced and prayed were all spared foreknowledge that in the future the day they celebrated would mark not the end of the twentieth century drama of conflict between Pacific powers but the end only of an act. The curtain was to rise again.
Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (11) * Next Chapter (Bibliography)
1. Ltr, Col Edward C. Reber to Public Relations Officer, Hq CCC, USFCT, 23 Aug 45. AG (CCC) 314.7, KCRC.
2. Memo 678-7, Wedemeyer for Generalissimo, 5 Aug 45. Item 25, Bk 8, Wedemeyer Corresp with Chinese.
3. Unless otherwise noted, this section is based on a letter and inclosures, Col Clinton I. McClure, CO, Chinese Training Center (Prov), to TAG, 1 Oct 45, sub: History, Chinese Training Center (Prov), 1 Jul 45-1 Oct 45, final rpt. OCMH.
4. With their dates of activation, or reactivation in the case of the Infantry Training Center, they were:Field Artillery Training Center, April 1943
Command and General Staff School, May 1944
Chinese Ordnance Training Center, October 1944
Infantry Training Center, January 1945
Interpreters' Pool, January 1945
Heavy Mortar Training Center, February 1945
Signal School, May 1945
5. Of the type that the artilleryman knows as 5th echelon maintenance.
6. Final Report of the Field Artillery Training Center in China, 1943-1945. OCMH.
7. That the Chinese staff system was largely unknown in fall 1944 may seem incredible, yet the language barrier alone would make it hard for an American officer to master the workings of a Chinese administrative system. To teach staff officers, it was not enough to know that personnel matters, for example, were the concern of certain sections of the Chinese staff. Forms, doctrines, filing systems, responsibilities, or their Chinese equivalents, would all have to be identified with precision and fitted into a system with accuracy. Studies based on such researches would have to be reproduced and circulated. The Americans under Stilwell began with the Chinese infantry regiment tables of organization and equipment; not until June 1944 were the problems of the higher staffs approached.
8. Final Report, Hq. Infantry Training Center. Chinese Training Center (Prov), 1 Sep 45, OCMH.
9. Final Report, Hq, Heavy Mortar Training Center, Chinese Training Center, 5 Oct 45. OCMH.
10. See p. 249, above.
11. Final Report, Signal School, Chinese Training Center, 8 Sep 45. OCMH.
12. See p. 240, above.
13. (1) GO 40, Hq USFCT, 1945. (2) Chinese Services of Supply, in Qrtrly Hist, SOS USFCT, Jul to Sep 45, 58.
14. Rosters and Chart in Tab H of Hist cited n. 13(2).
15. Chart cited n. 14.
16. Rosters cited n. 14.
17. Chinese Services of Supply cited n. 13(2).
18. Memo 560, Wedemeyer for Generalissimo, 8 May 45. Item 39, Bk 9, Wedemeyer Corresp with Chinese.
19. (1) Memo 598, Wedemeyer for Generalissimo, 4 Jun 45. Item 125, Bk 8, Wedemeyer Corresp with Chinese. (2) For the Chinese Order of Battle at the end of the war, see Table 7.
20. Memo 609, Wedemeyer for Generalissimo, 11 Jun 45, sub: Chinese War Production. Bk 8, Wedemeyer Corresp with Chinese.
21. (1) Rad CFB 38387, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 31 May 45. Item 787, Bks 3 and 4, ACW Personal File. (2) In 1954 Hurley recalled that the technical points involved in Stilwell's command crisis had been his daily concern only a few months before and that he had not forgotten them.
22. Rad WAR 17951, Marshall to Wedemeyer, 16 Jun 45; Rad CFB 39790, Maddocks to Marshall, 21 Jun 45; Rad CFB 1792, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 27 Jul 45. Items 850, 868, 991, Bks 3 and 4, ACW Personal File.
23. Memo 659-3, Brig Gen Ray Maddocks for Generalissimo, 25 Jul 45. Bk 8, Wedemeyer Corresp with Chinese.
24. (1) Rad CFB 526, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 9 Jul 45. Item 924, ACW Personal File. (2) Hearings Before the Subcommittee to Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and other Internal Security Laws of the Committee of the Judiciary, United States Senate, 82d Congress. First Session on Institute of Pacific Relations, Part 3, p. 797.
25. Min, Mtg 68, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 30 Jul 45. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.
26. Capt. Robert L. Bodell, History of DIXIE Mission. OCMH.
27. Interv with Col Yeaton, 3 Mar 52. Yeaton had been Chief, East European Section, G-2.
28. Ltr, Wedemeyer to Mao, 29 Jul 45. Tab III, Item 5, History of DIXIE Mission.
29. (1) Maj Martin F. Sullivan, G-5 Sec, USFCT, History of the Clandestine Branch, 15 Nov 45. OCMH. (2) Rad, Hurley to Secy State, 12 Jun 45. Item 12, Bk 3, Hurley Files.
30. History of China Theater, Ch. X, pp. 4-10.
31. Ibid., pp. 15-19.
32. History of Chinese Combat Command, p. 11. OCMH.
33. History of China Theater, Ch. X, pp. 32-34.
34. (1) USSBS, Japan's Struggle To End the War (Washington, 1946). (2) Rad WAR 40831, Marshall to MacArthur and Nimitz for action, info Wedemeyer, 30 Jul 45. Item 1000A, Bk 5, ACW Personal File.
35. (1) Memo 640-19, Wedemeyer to Generalissimo, 15 Jul 45. Bk 8, Wedemeyer Corresp with Chinese. (2) Memorandum 651-7, Maddocks to Generalissimo, 20 July 1945, in the same file, summarizes a number of these incidents. (3) Min, Combined Staff Mtg 73, CCC and Chinese Supreme Hq, 3 Aug 45. China Theater Files, KCRC. (4) Ltr, Col Birk to McClure, 24 Jul 45. OCMH. This is the original.
36. Ltr, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 1 Aug 45. Case 61, OPD 319.1, Sec II.
37. Min, Mtg 68A, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, Soong, and Hurley, 31 Jul 45. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.
38. Rad CFB 2305, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 1 Aug 45. Item 1001, Bk 5, ACW Personal File.
39. Japanese Study 129, Map 6.
40. (1) History of China Theater, Ch. II. (2) Bowman comments on draft MS.
41. Rad, WARX 47513, JCS to Wedemeyer, info MacArthur, Nimitz, Spaatz, and Wheeler, 10 Aug 45. ACW Personal File.
43. (1) Rad CFB 4317, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 11 Aug 45, Item 1047, Bk 5; (2) Rad CFBX 4352, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 12 Aug 45, Item 1045. ACW Personal File.
44. (1) Formal Historical Record, for the Period 29 Jan 45-1 Sep 45, Prep for Gen King, Hq IV Gp Army Comd CCC USFCT, 1 Sep 45. OCMH. (2) Rad, CFB 4082, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 9 Aug 45, Item 1034, Bk 5; (3) Rad, WARX 47945, JCS to Wedemeyer, 11 Aug 45, Item 1044; (4) Rad, CFBX 4352, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 12 Aug 45, Item 1045; (5) Rad, WAR 48661, Marshall to Wedemeyer, 12 Aug 45, Item 1064; (6) Rad, WAR 49574, Marshall to Wedemeyer, 14 Aug 45, Item 1075; (7) Rad, WAR 49550, Marshall to Wedemeyer, 14 Aug 45, Item 1080. All in ACW Personal File.