Chapter V
The Crest of the Flood in China

In December 1944 Wedemeyer faced a grave test of his ability as a commander and staff officer. While he was still shaping his new command, the Japanese 11th Army sent two of its divisions to the border of Kweichow Province. If they drew closer to Kunming there would be an obvious menace to the principal U.S. base in China. Wedemeyer would then have to carry out two major tasks simultaneously: recommend and obtain Chinese approval of actions that could stop the Japanese; and continue with the setting up of his command and the Chinese participation in ALPHA.

Wedemeyer Asks Help From SEAC

The original orders of the Japanese command in China had directed the 11th Army to halt at the border of Kweichow Province. Taking the bit in its teeth, 11th Army raced across the boundary, with the later approval of higher authority. However, it thought of pursuit, not Kunming.1 Its 13th Division took the town of Tushan, finding there considerable quantities of arms, and defeated some fresh Chinese troops, whose presence on the scene was among the first results of ALPHA. Local Chinese command problems had been greatly complicated by a tragic error of the Fourteenth Air Force, which bombed Chang Fa-kwei's headquarters on 27 November, destroying most of his transport and signal equipment.

The road up which the Japanese were moving forked not far above Tushan, one leg of the Y leading to Kunming on the west, the other, to Chungking. This was the strategic Kweiyang area. Americans were sent there to advise and assist the Chinese on technical and operational problems: Col. Frederic W. Boye, who assisted General Tang En-po throughout the rest of the war; Colonel Bowman, who in addition to aiding Chang Fa-kwei sent out OSS demolition teams led by Cols. Dan Mallon and Alexander H.


Cummings and Lt. Col. H. V. Ennor. That colonels should lead demolition teams on hazardous missions suggests the improvisations resorted to under the Japanese pressure. Bridges had to be blown and roads trenched to slow the Japanese, and officers of colonel's rank could successfully negotiate the details with the responsible Chinese officers.2

Not even the most optimistic Chinese could for the moment interpret this Japanese move as a thrust confined to the American air bases in China, and no one on the Allied side could feel really sure where the 11th Army would halt, though the summer uniforms worn by the Japanese suggested to American observers that the Japanese might be outrunning their supply lines. It could not have occurred to anyone that the Japanese command itself was equally uncertain. Theater headquarters concluded that Chungking and Kunming were under direct, immediate threat, and high Chinese personages began to interview Wedemeyer about flying out to India.3

This Japanese thrust into Kweichow meant that Wedemeyer had to give immediate attention to bolstering the defenses of Kunming and Chungking. One of his radios of this period to Sultan suggests the nature of his thinking about his problems. Wedemeyer observed that where the ordinary military commander had but one great unknown, the enemy, he himself had two, the enemy and the combat effectiveness of the Chinese forces. He added that he was "doing everything possible to create ground forces which are fed, trained, equipped, and led properly. This will require several months, and during that period these two divisions [from Burma] must be practically my chief reliance in holding the Kunming area."4

On 30 November Wedemeyer told the Joint Chiefs and Admiral Mountbatten that the Generalissimo had decided the Chinese 22d and 38th Divisions must be transferred from Burma to China and that he concurred in the Generalissimo's conclusion. Wedemeyer stated that if Kunming was not held, operations in Burma would become meaningless and the Chinese Government might reasonably be expected to collapse. He added that his directive required that he "maintain and support the Chinese Government,"5 and conduct operations to contain and divert the Japanese and support Pacific operations. He added further that he knew Admiral Mountbatten believed


withdrawing the two divisions would imperil current Allied operations in Burma. Wedemeyer also contemplated that the Y-Force would return some of its units to Kunming immediately, and that the rest of the force would not proceed much farther into Burma.6

In addition to requesting the 22d and 38th Divisions, Wedemeyer also wanted India-Burma Theater and SEAC to send two combat cargo groups of transport aircraft to China. Since the whole Allied combat operation in Burma was based on air supply, here was a proposal that affected anything SEAC might hope to do in Burma. These requests, made as they were by an American general officer, were thought by India-Burma Theater to have implications embarrassing to the American leadership. The United States had long been the ardent advocate of a campaign in Burma to aid China, to which the British Commonwealth would of necessity contribute the majority of the combat troops--even as the United States did in the Pacific. In December 1944 the British Commonwealth was moving toward the climax of the Burma campaign, with its divisions deep in the jungle, and now Wedemeyer was urging, and the Generalissimo demanding, that two Chinese divisions and about one half of SEAC's resources in transports be sent from Burma to China.7

Mountbatten was so strongly opposed to Wedemeyer's requests that he appealed to the British Chiefs of Staff. We do not know on what view of the situation in China he acted, but it was presumably that of SEAC's Director of Intelligence who assured him that there was little likelihood of a collapse of the Generalissimo's armies even if the Japanese took Kunming or Chungking. Behind this view was the British intelligence system in China. So he protested most vigorously to the British Chiefs of Staff the proposal to withdraw the two combat cargo groups and only slightly less so the recommendation that the 22d and 38th Divisions return to China.8 Depriving SEAC of the two combat cargo groups would, he thought, force the Fourteenth Army to halt, and might even require it to return across the Chindwin River, for its supply situation would be jeopardized. Returning the 22d and 38th Divisions to China would be "disastrous," for it would imperil the campaign in north Burma and delay the opening of the road to China. Moreover, because time was required to concentrate the two divisions, fly them to China, and redeploy them within China, Mountbatten feared they would be lost to both Burma and China at a critical period. Though


he did not want to see the transports moved from service in Burma, Mountbatten was willing to release forty-eight B-24's of the U.S. 7th Heavy Bombardment Group for transport service in China.9 The steady progress of the Burma campaign was reducing the number of targets suitable for strategic bombardment and there was precedent in the theater for using B-24's in a transport role.

Wedemeyer's recommendation, the Generalissimo's demand, and Mountbatten's reluctance raised a major problem of inter-Allied and intertheater relations which had to be solved to permit bringing to China the two battle-tested and reliable divisions on which Wedemeyer's plans placed such emphasis.

Reaching a Decision

In apportioning resources between India, Southeast Asia, and China, bids for a change in the existing allocation made by a local theater commander might fall into either of two categories. Procedures were at hand to deal with each.

  1. If Wedemeyer desired the transfer of resources not under the operational control of SEAC, his requests were to go to Sultan who would relay them to the War Department. If Sultan concurred, the transfer followed. If Sultan objected, then the Joint Chiefs were called on to decide.

  2. If Wedemeyer wanted resources that were under SEAC's operational control, as in the present case, then Sultan was to relay his requests to Mountbatten. If Mountbatten approved, transfer was automatic. But if, as in this case, there was dissent, then Sultan was to present the case to the Joint Chiefs from his point of view, and Mountbatten, to the British Chiefs of Staff from his. The two staffs would then meet as the Combined Chiefs to render their decision.

Mountbatten had recommended against acceptance of Wedemeyer's request for the resources, and so, too, did Sultan, though the latter somewhat qualified his objections. Sultan believed that moving the 22d and 38th Divisions would "nullify" efforts to open the Burma Road, but he added that if Wedemeyer believed that Kunming was definitely threatened, then he would agree that the divisions should return to China. As of 30 November Wedemeyer did believe that Kunming was in danger, and said the divisions would be needed within a month to forestall disaster. Since Wedemeyer had met Sultan's point, there was now a clear-cut division between the British and the Americans in Asia and so the matter was one for decision by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

The Joint Chiefs took the position that they could not question the


Generalissimo's right to use his own Chinese forces on China's behalf, but having regard to the state of operations in Burma, where the 22d and 38th Divisions were in actual contact with the enemy, they recommended that these latter two go only if the other three divisions of the Chinese Army in India, which were not in combat, could not be used. The Joint Chiefs suggested the principle that the Generalissimo's requests should be met with the least possible damage to operations in Burma. As for the transfer of the American combat cargo groups from Burma to China, the Joint Chiefs believed China Theater should be able to call up any transport aircraft, the Air Transport Command included, that would be needed to move two divisions to China and support them once they were there. But the JCS added the significant modification that such demands should be limited to aircraft that were not engaged in supplying Allied forces in combat.

Initially, both Prime Minister Churchill and the British Chiefs of Staff agreed with Mountbatten that it would not be desirable to move the 22d and 38th from Burma to China. This support would have postponed the transfer of the divisions for several weeks and perhaps indefinitely while the CCS considered the question. Then Admiral Mountbatten reversed himself and on 3 December 1944 agreed that two Chinese divisions could be released. Reflection and survey had shown that the Japanese in Burma were so badly weakened that the transfer could safely be made.10

The question of transferring transport aircraft from Burma to China was a more vital one to SEAC because its ability to operate in Burma was directly related to air supply. Mountbatten took exception to the unilateral character of the JCS's pronouncement that China Theater might call on any U.S. transport aircraft in India-Burma Theater that were needed to move and support the two Chinese divisions. Such a step appeared to compromise Allied unity in Burma. He reminded the Joint Chiefs that the campaign in Burma had been undertaken on the basis of resources pledged to SEAC by the United States to help carry out a directive in whose drafting the United States had shared.

However, the Combined Chiefs of Staff took a broader view, and regarded the emergency nature of the need as the standard of judgment. In the spring of 1944 they had acquiesced in Mountbatten's diverting transports from the Hump to meet the situation created by the Japanese attack on India.

Now that the American Chiefs of Staff believed there was an emergency in China, the Combined Chiefs were willing to divert resources from SEAC on an emergency basis. Therefore the Combined Chiefs agreed that some transport aircraft could go to China on loan, rather than on permanent assignment. They were to be returned to Burma by 1 March 1945. On the larger


issue, of transferring U.S. resources from India and Burma to China, the Combined Chiefs agreed that the American Chiefs of Staff could transfer any U.S. resources without awaiting CCS action, if the American Chiefs believed an emergency existed in China. At the time the British Chiefs were quite explicit in concurring only on an emergency basis and until they could review the whole matter.11

Moving Reinforcements to China

With agreement on moving two divisions, plus transport aircraft for intratheater troop movements, to China, the question became one of choosing the units to go, after which the logistical problem of flying men, mules, and artillery to China would have to be solved. When in late November it first became likely that NCAC would have to send two of its Chinese divisions back to China, the NCAC and IBT commander, General Sultan, had asked Wedemeyer and the Generalissimo if it would be possible to substitute the 14th and 50th Divisions, neither of which was in contact with the Japanese, for the 22d and 38th, which were engaged, the latter heavily so at Bhamo. The China Theater authorities considered that the veteran 22d and 38th were elite units, and did not want to forego the services of both. In the light of this, Sultan suggested a compromise, the 14th Division and either the 22d or the 38th. When China Theater accepted, the selection of the 22d became automatic, since it was not so deeply involved in operations as was the 38th.

With regard to selection of transport aircraft, after discussion between India-Burma and China Theaters reduced the number to be lent to China from six squadrons to three, General Wedemeyer stated that two of the three would be used to move some of the Y-Force to the Kunming area and the third, to support the Fourteenth Air Force. To replace these transports, Mountbatten curtailed paratroop training activities.12

The actual movement of the divisions to China in time for them to be of use in defending Kunming presented some difficult problems. It was necessary to find the aircraft, to fly them over the Hump, and to make arrangements to redeploy them once they had arrived in China. Moving the divisions over the Hump might result in a heavy cost to Hump tonnage flown to China. And, such was the lack of transport facilities within China, moving the troops off the airfields once they arrived was a complicated problem involving the most careful scheduling of truck and aircraft movements within China.

In the beginning China Theater held most strongly to the view that Hump deliveries should not suffer because of these troop movements, for Hump tonnage was just as vital as were the troops in stopping the Japanese. SEAC, on the other hand, maintained that the Hump operation should be


drawn on first because SEAC's remaining aircraft resources were all engaged in supporting the offensive into Burma. As so often in Allied operations attempts were made to compromise and many organizations were drawn on for transport aircraft. For example, NCAC cut its airdrop requirements to thirty C-47 sorties a day. The Fourteenth Air Force from its meager resources was able to carry 5 percent of the total. Eastern Air Command gave two squadrons, which were engaged in the lift throughout its operation. These expedients unfortunately were not enough to eliminate calls on the ATC, which ultimately carried 40 percent of the load, at the cost of a slight reduction in Hump tonnage.13

There were some difficulties in keeping up an orderly flow of men and matériel across the Hump, and on occasion sparks flew as the India-Burma and China Theaters sought to co-ordinate their operations. Because the 14th Division was in reserve in the Myitkyina and Warazup areas, its concentration and emplaning presented a minimum of difficulty. On 5 December the first of the 14th's men and matériel began the flight back to China. The initial flow of reinforcements seemed to be progressing smoothly, the 22d Division was preparing to return, and then came administrative troubles. On one occasion, troops flown over the Hump from Burma to Chanyi field in China had to be flown back to Burma because China Theater was not ready to receive them. When the time came for the 22d Division to move, on 22 December 1944, India-Burma Theater had units ready to go on twenty-four hours' notice, and had sent the leading elements on a correspondingly tight time schedule only to receive a radio from China Theater headquarters that the move should be postponed. Since operations in Burma had been affected in order to meet what China Theater had represented as a grave emergency, Sultan reacted strongly to these delays and postponements, placing the matter before the Army's Chief of Staff, General Marshall, as well as his colleague, Wedemeyer.14

Some of Sultan's concern possibly may be traced to the fact that just a week earlier he had asked Wedemeyer if the move of the 22d could be delayed for a while until NCAC could regroup the 50th Division and begin moving the 38th away from the Bhamo area. Wedemeyer had not felt able to agree, for as of 16 December he thought that the vital Kweiyang area, gateway to both Chungking and Kunming, was still menaced, and that only the Fourteenth Air Force and the rough terrain were shielding Kunming.15


CHINESE 22D DIVISION TROOPS waiting with their weapons to board C-47's of the Tenth Air Force for the return flight over the Hump to China, 22 December 1944.

Wedemeyer, in a strongly worded telegram, took Sultan to task for placing the matter before their common superior, General Marshall. Wedemeyer did not comment on the difficulties involved in moving Chinese troops within China, which tied up trucks that otherwise would have been available to move troops from the airfields, but put his reply on the grounds that such matters should be adjusted locally between theaters. Sultan hastened to agree, and the matter was closed amicably.16

So with Wedemeyer insisting that the 22d Division had to be moved to China, even though the actual flights were a problem in intertheater co-ordination, the division began its move on 22 December, from an emergency airstrip at Nansin completed just one day before. By 5 January 1945 the movement was complete.


Flying the 14th and 22d Divisions back to China was an impressive achievement. This was a powerful force, well able to handle the same number of Japanese divisions, and better equipped than all but a few of those in China. The two comprised:17

25,105 Chinese soldiers
249 American liaison personnel
1,596 horses and mules
42 ¼-ton trucks
48 75-mm. howitzers
48 4.2-inch mortars
48 37-mm. guns, antitank

With the flow of well-trained, well-equipped, and well-led Chinese troops into China which got under way in early December 1944, and with the Chinese 38th Division occupying Bhamo on the 15th of that month, the road to China would soon be open to bring in trucks and artillery. Because of the limitations which in August 1944 the War Department had set for the road's development,18 the road would not deliver supplies at the impressive rate the Hump was now approaching, but the psychological impact of opening a ground line of communications would be present once the road was opened. Some at least of the elite troops who had opened the road could go on to China for the defense of Kunming. Ultimately, the rest of the five Chinese divisions in Burma would follow. If the Japanese overran the Kunming airfields, the Hump operation would be ended. But at the same time the Japanese in Burma would be hard put in December 1944 to find troops with which again to cut the Burma Road once it had been reopened.

The balance was beginning to tilt in Wedemeyer's favor, though the outcome was uncertain. Wedemeyer, struggling with the complex responsibilities of China, still had to face the possibility that the Japanese at the last moment might break through Kunming's defenses and seize the Hump terminals. All the results of such a stroke could not be predicted, but they would certainly interrupt his process of reinforcement and rebuilding before it was fairly under way. So in early December, as Bhamo was about to be yielded by the Japanese, China Theater applied itself to reinforce the Chinese units that were between the Japanese and Kunming.

Attempts To Reinforce the Kweiyang Area

The most immediately important part of ALPHA was the redeployment of reliable Chinese troops to stiffen the defenses of Kunming and Chungking


against the two Japanese divisions which were in early December moving steadily onward toward the vital Kweiyang area.19

The American command believed that the defense of the Kunming area was absolutely essential, that if the Hump terminals there were lost it would probably mean the end of the war in China. Three Chinese armies were scheduled by the ALPHA plan to move to the Kunming area, the 57th from Sian, the 53d from the Salween front, and the 5th Army, which had done well in 1942 in the First Burma Campaign, from Yunnan.20 General Wedemeyer believed that the Generalissimo had approved ALPHA and that the Chinese were therefore committed to carry out their part of the plan.21

The first hitch in the troop movements called for by ALPHA came with the Chinese 53d Army on the Salween front, which refused to move. When the issue was raised with the Generalissimo by General Wedemeyer, General Chien Ta-chun of the National Military Council said that the fault lay with the commander of the 53d. It later appeared that the Chinese authorities had issued orders on short notice canceling the movement but had not notified the Americans, who had kept their trucks and aircraft standing by to no avail.22

As to the 5th Army, which was to have completed this concentration, the Generalissimo announced that he had decided not to move it out of Yunnan, that it would defend Kunming the way the 10th Army had defended Heng-yang. This was an allusion to the long defense of the walled city of Heng-yang by the 10th, which had shut itself up within the city walls in July 1944 and defended the city until 8 August when it was overwhelmed by the Japanese. Wedemeyer's headquarters did not consider a heroic defense of Kunming as useful as stopping the Japanese some miles away.23

In the light of the difficulties caused by the Chinese decision to cancel the movements of the 53d and 5th Armies, General Wedemeyer felt obliged to protest to the Generalissimo on 9 December. Consistent with his appreciation of the Generalissimo's position, his approach was tactful, for he asked that all those present, save the Generalissimo, General Chen Cheng, General McClure, and the interpreter leave the room before he offered his views to China's leader:

Our memo No. 272 re operation, we think, is absolutely vital if we are to properly defend Chungking and Kunming. We have a Chinese copy attached to it. Here it is. One month ago we got together. One thing I told you then was, we must not lose the Kunming area which is our terminal of supply. It is also my understanding that you


agreed. The second thing we talked about was the defense of Chungking and the ALPHA Plan was explained to you in full. The reason why I asked for special privacy to talk to you is that I want to talk to you directly and frankly. I hope you will accept it in the spirit given. Many decisions have been made, and I was told the Gimo made them. The result was the ALPHA Plan was disrupted, precluding orderly disposition of forces and supplies. Not knowing about these decisions, it is well nigh impossible as chief of staff to the Gimo to coordinate our efforts. I would like to have permission to draft directives to commanders in the field . . . have the Gimo and his Minister of War read and approve them . . . and then send them out . . . so that we can stop interfere {sic} with the execution of these directives from Chungking. This is serious. Americans like Gens. Chennault, Cheves and Dorn are working hard, trying to help; but constant changes of order rendered such help impossible. They appeal through me to get Gimo to approve a firm plan and stick to it. Changing of troop movement is easy for your staff--e. g., changing the 57A [57th Army] from Chanyi to Peishiyi, but a lot work is involved. As regards this change, I am told it is impossible to comply with the changed order, because thousands of gallons of gas will have to be moved from Chanyi to Peishiyi. The 57A must go to Chanyi. I have been here only a month; I feel we are having coordination and I hope to be able to help. When I have reports from the field--the airmen and the SOS men showing that they do not know what to do, that they do not have any firm orders and if there are, they change daily, I feel it is impossible for me as you {sic} chief of staff to serve well. I feel badly and concerned about this. Therefore I ask for privacy to talk to you. Time is short, and unless firm decision is made so that we don't have so many changes, I don't know how to cope with the situation. I do want to serve China.

Chen: It is true that the SOS orders often conflict with Operation orders.

Wedemeyer: I don't want to interfere. Now the Gimo may want to comment on the memo. These details should be known to the others too. Do you want the others to come in?

Gimo: Alright lets get the others to come in now. [The others re-entered.] I think all the troubles are results of bad liaison.

Chen: In the CEF [Chinese Expeditionary Force; the Chinese armies on the Salween front] there are one American officer and one Chinese officer who are made responsible to make a decision. If a decision could not be made then the issue would be submitted to the Gimo. At any rate, bad liaison does bring about misunderstanding.

Wedemeyer: Right now it is important to have good liaison. We must do it immediately. Will appreciate if you do so.

Chen: In the interim the remedy would be to have the heads of different ministries to work directly with the Americans, if they cannot settle a problem, submit it to General Wedemeyer who will make a decision and then go to the Gimo for approval.24

.    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    

In the discussion which followed, the Generalissimo remarked that he had diverted the troops from Chanyi because he feared that with the troops returning from Burma there might be congestion at Chanyi. Wedemeyer assured him that he and his American SOS would take care of any congestion that might develop. The Generalissimo suggested the immediate creation of a "combined staff," presumably an integrated Sino-American group,


CHINESE-AMERICAN STAFF CONFERENCE in China Theater Headquarters, Chungking. Around the table (left to right): General Chang Ping-chun, Director of Department, Chinese Ministry of Military Operations; General Chu Shih-Ta-chun, personal Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo; General Wedemeyer; Brig. Gen. Mervin E. Gross, Acting Chief of Staff, United States Forces, China Theater; General Liu Fei, Vice Minister of the Chinese Ministry of Military Operations; Col. L. G. Clarke, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1, United States Forces, China Theater; and General Hsu En-sui, Director of the Chinese Services of Supply. (Photograph taken in 1945.)

but Wedemeyer demurred because he currently lacked personnel. So the Generalissimo moved to solve the problems of co-ordination by suggesting that Chen Cheng, General Liu Fei of the Chinese Board of Military Operations, General Yu Ta-Wei of the Chinese Ministry of War, and General Chien Ta-chun, director of the Generalissimo's headquarters, join in the staff conferences with Wedemeyer and his assistants. Then, said the Generalissimo, "Preliminary decision should be made in these meetings and then submit to me for approval, and not vice versa." Wedemeyer agreed.25


Then word came to theater headquarters from General Dorn that the 57th Army in Hsian, under General Liu, was refusing to move. The American SOS in China had trucks standing by all day long waiting for General Liu, as a result disrupting its supply schedules for that area. The American liaison officer reported to theater headquarters that Liu was in possession of proper orders but refused to heed them because he wanted to move his forces to the west. Such incidents as those of the 57th and 53d Armies could disrupt the whole of the ALPHA plan, while the resultant delay was a serious matter. Since Wedemeyer as of mid-December was in the field inspecting his theater, his chief of staff, General McClure, raised the issue with the Generalissimo on 16 December.

The Generalissimo's reaction was that the commander of the 57th Army was not to blame if he had not received his movement orders. Responsibility fell on General Ho, in Chiang Kai-shek's opinion. His final decision was that Ho should investigate while General Liu would be ordered back to Chungking to explain. Later that day it appeared that General Liu was charging that the U.S. liaison officer had tried to give him orders, to which the American reaction was that the liaison officer had simply been trying to get the movement under way according to plan.26

A few days later General Ho gave his version of what had happened to the 57th Army. Orders to move the 57th Army had been received through the American liaison officer but General Liu had received so many different orders about the 57th Army's movements that he had refused to comply with this order. Then General Ho passed to the heart of the matter, the Chinese doctrine on command. He explained that a field commander would take orders only from his superior officer, not from a liaison or staff officer. Therefore, by implication, although these orders had been issued by the Generalissimo or the National Military Council they would not be binding on General Liu because they had not been transmitted directly.27

These delays in troop movements meant that not all of the reinforcements called for by ALPHA were in place by mid-December. Part of the 57th Army was finally flown toward the Kweiyang area. The 94th Army was en route by truck and foot from its stations around Chihchiang to reinforce the 17,000-man 13th Army which was already at Kweiyang. The New Sixth Army from Burma was on the way to move into reserve behind Kweiyang; most of one division was back in China by mid-December. Falling back toward Kweiyang from the south and southeast were the remnants of the 67th and 64th Armies. These scratch forces, the Fourteenth Air Force, and mountainous


terrain stood between the Japanese and a great triumph, if the enemy was of a mind to attempt the seizure of Kunming and Chungking.28

Wedemeyer Reshapes His Organization

Having initiated troop dispositions to enable China Theater to ride out what seemed an approaching storm, Wedemeyer applied himself to setting up an organization to carry out his mission of advising and assisting the Chinese Government. His first weeks of command had been spent in studying his situation, and he had necessarily exercised command through the machinery he had inherited. Now, by mid-December, his ideas had taken form and he was ready to create an administrative machine in harmony with them.

When Wedemeyer arrived in China to take command, he found that the headquarters staff he inherited in Chungking was a small one. In March 1944 the old CBI headquarters had been divided between Chungking and New Delhi. The greater part of the staff went to New Delhi, while the members who remained in China as the Forward Echelon had duties limited to liaison with Chinese agencies, co-ordinating and supervising within China the execution of theater directives, and aiding theater headquarters in policy preparation and planning for operations in China.29 This mission resulted in a staff so small that the G-1 section, for example, had but one member. Plainly, such a staff could serve as the nucleus of a theater headquarters, but badly needed expansion.

When in December Wedemeyer reorganized his headquarters he took great care to provide continuing attention to advising and assisting the Chinese and to his own logistical problems. On 13 December 1944 Wedemeyer divided his headquarters into a forward and a rear echelon. At Chungking, the wartime capital of China, was the Forward Echelon with the assistant chiefs of staff for intelligence, operations, plans, supply, and, in January, civil affairs (G-5). The Assistant Chief of Staff, Plans, had two subsections in his office, the U.S. Joint Planning Staff and the Theater Planning Section. In addition to the general staff sections came those of the special staff, including offices for psychological warfare, air, air-ground aid, plus the adjutant general, signal officer, judge advocate general, and the engineer.

The new Rear Echelon, at Kunming, was headed by General Cheves, SOS commander, with the title of theater Deputy Chief of Staff. Cheves was also made G-1 and assistant to the China Theater G-4. Also present was the Hump Allocation Officer, with a staff channel to G-4 at Chungking. Special staff sections included the assistant adjutant general, engineer, and signal


officer, plus the ordnance officer, surgeon, provost marshal, inspector general, fiscal officer, and finance officer. Rear Echelon was therefore organized and staffed to work closely with the SOS on problems of logistics and administration, with matters arranged so that both types of problems would cross Cheves' desk. Moreover, if Japanese pressure should force Wedemeyer to evacuate Chungking, there would be administrative machinery in Kunming to which he could join the Forward Echelon at short notice. An evacuation plan was drawn up in November and December, and was ready if the Japanese moved into west China.

General Cheves had a key role in the new organization, that of coordinating logistics and administration. One of his duties was to preside over the mechanism of Hump tonnage allocation. In explaining the new arrangements to Cheves, Wedemeyer pointed out to him that he had to know both the Chinese and American deployments, since Cheves would be called on to equip the U.S.-sponsored Chinese divisions. In this connection the fact was brought out that 70 percent of the needed equipment was in China, 10 percent in India, and the rest on the way. The Chinese Combat Command, to be discussed below, was the headquarters through which Wedemeyer planned to supervise and control the operation of the ALPHA plan.

On 20 December, meeting at Kunming with senior officers of the India-Burma and China Theaters, Wedemeyer explained the thinking behind his arrangements. He intended that the greater part of China Theater's effort would be supervision over operations and supply of the ALPHA divisions. This supervision he broke down into three phases: (1) combat, in which the Americans would come very close to having operational control; (2) training, which they would completely supervise; (3) supply, where Americans would be present at every level. He remarked that it was imperative that the Chinese ground forces perform more effectively, that only the Fourteenth Air Force was presently between this conference and the Japanese.30

Wedemeyer's initial directives to his principal subordinates were issued very early in December, after consultation with Chennault (air), Cheves (SOS), and Dorn (Chinese ground operations). The theater commander's radio books reveal that his approach to these commanders was very similar to his approach to his staff; information was widely disseminated, opinions were sought, and decisions announced with enough background data to make the principal commanders in the field aware of what the theater commander was seeking.


The directive to Chennault, like that of 1942, made defense of the airline to China (the Hump) Chennault's first task. Then came, in order, air support for the troops protecting the ground line of communications to China; air cover for the SOS and air installations; air support for troops defending Kunming, including interdiction of Japanese communications; support of U.S. operations in the Pacific; air cover for the B-29's; reconnaissance; attacks on Japanese communications and supply installations; and prompt dissemination of intelligence to adjacent and higher headquarters. On the logistical side, Chennault finally received command of the Air Service Command, and was made responsible for supply of all technical items for the Air Forces.31

The SOS had vast responsibilities, for, in addition to its normal duty of logistical support to U.S. military activities, it was given "the responsibility of insuring an uninterrupted and adequate flow of supplies, equipment, matériel, and personnel to . . . certain stipulated Chinese Forces in the Chinese Theater of Operations." This included lend-lease. Cheves was charged with requisitioning lend-lease from India-Burma Theater for initial equipment (in accord with the 36-division program) and for replacements. SOS was to receive, store, maintain, distribute, and issue these stores.32

That the SOS would support certain Chinese forces was a great step forward for it meant that these troops would be assured a steady flow of food and ammunition. Many Chinese military problems, in retrospect, seem to have arisen from logistical difficulties, the sheer uncertainty as to whether food and ammunition would reach troops in battle or on a long march. Now, American logistical techniques were to be applied to supporting a select group of Chinese divisions.

On 17 November 1944 the American officers of the old Y-Force and Z-Force became the Chinese Training and Combat Command, the China Theater equivalent of a theater ground force, which received an operational directive on 2 December. This organization was superseded in January 1945 by the Chinese Combat Command. The December directive was, however, a milestone in Wedemeyer's evolving a solution to the problem of creating an effective Chinese Army. It showed that Wedemeyer now gave a dual role to the American officers going out into the field; they were to advise the Chinese officers to whose headquarters they were accredited and also to keep in close liaison with subordinate and superior U.S. headquarters so that the American forces might have a steady flow of information. Unit training was


to be in the areas assigned to the several armies under the ALPHA Plan. Two service schools would present artillery and general staff training. Three training cycles were projected for the troops. Into the first of two months was to be crammed all the basic training possible. Phases two and three would depend on the tactical situation.33

Therefore, in December, Wedemeyer set up machinery that permitted him to keep in close touch with the Generalissimo and his government at Chungking, provided a U.S. headquarters for administrative work in the rear area, gave Chennault his tasks in an order of priority that would permit the airman to be increasingly aggressive as the situation improved, gave the SOS the task of supporting selected Chinese troops, and provided for closer supervision of the training and operations of the Chinese ground forces designated by Chiang to carry out Wedemeyer's plans.

Moving Toward Better Co-ordination

Because China Theater was an Allied theater, further complicated by the presence of independent agencies, many of them in the field of intelligence, machinery alone would not solve problems unless it was harmoniously adjusted. So Wedemeyer made further efforts to better co-ordinate the different Allied agencies in China and his headquarters; the several U.S. commands and the Generalissimo; Wedemeyer and the Chinese troops in the field. Since the question of Hump tonnage entered into most Allied activities in China, control of it gave Wedemeyer a powerful lever, which he soon began applying to the Allied intelligence agencies.

In the winter of 1944-45, Wedemeyer's personal data book listed a variety of these: the Office of Strategic Services; Navy Group, China (which also functioned in another capacity as part of a Sino-American agency for guerrilla warfare under the Generalissimo's chief of secret police); the 5329th Air Ground Force Resources Technical Staff, which functioned as the Fourteenth Air Force's intelligence net; the Air-Ground Aid Section; and the British intelligence agencies in China. Some of the problems created for Wedemeyer, whether as the Generalissimo's U.S. chief of staff or as U.S. theater commander, by this group of semi-independent or completely independent organizations, can be suggested by the status of Navy Group, China. Its director, Commodore Milton E. Miles, USN, was also deputy director of the Sino-American Special Technical Cooperative Organization (SACO) whose director was General Tai Li, chief of the Generalissimo's secret police. Navy Group, China, as such, supplied meteorological and ship movement data to the U.S. Pacific Fleet. As part of SACO it trained and equipped guerrilla fighters and assisted guerrilla operations. Beginning in July 1944 it received


a fair amount of Hump tonnage, about 175 tons a month, most of it small arms ammunition, semiautomatic arms, and high explosives. Created in 1943 by special agreement between China and the United States on the cabinet level and commanded by the Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet, Navy Group, China, was independent of Wedemeyer, but a potential source of embarrassment to him.34

British intelligence activities in China were a cause for concern. Theater headquarters believed that the British had several thousand agents in China, whose primary mission was gathering intelligence on the Chinese, rather than on the enemy. Preparation for the postwar period and protection of the British stakes in China, such as Hong Kong, appeared to the Americans to be high on the list of British interests. From this intelligence activity the Americans received excellent target and shipping data, but little more.35

Wedemeyer believed this British activity concerned him both as U.S. theater commander and as a chief of staff to the Generalissimo. He feared there was a clash of national policy between the United States and the British Commonwealth. Thoroughly aware that the United States was trying to make China a Great Power, he felt that British activity was inimical to that purpose, and so warned the Generalissimo on 26 December 1944. Two days later he took action, asking the Generalissimo for permission to send a questionnaire to the several Allied agencies in China. Precipitating this move was a British request for a fairly large allocation of Hump tonnage. Wedemeyer was willing to give it if the Generalissimo so directed, but felt that as the Generalissimo's U.S. chief of staff he should know what was being attempted by the other Allied powers in China Theater.36

Giving weight to this warning, Wedemeyer sent the Chinese two memorandums which claimed that the uncontrolled activities of the various Allied military and political agencies in China held inherent dangers to the joint efforts of China and the United States, that the military activities of the other Allied powers in China might interfere with the military and political capabilities of the Chinese forces. Thoroughly alert to the diplomatic implications of these steps, Wedemeyer kept in close touch with Ambassador Hurley. On 2 January 1945 Hurley was advised by Wedemeyer that the intelligence situation was confused and potentially dangerous, and warned that integration and improvement were needed.

Shortly after, the situation and the measures taken were summed up by General McClure:

Because the Commanding General does not presently know about all groups operating in the Theater and having no control over them, the Generalissimo and the American


B-29's HEAD FOR RANGOON to bomb Japanese installations in support of British operations in Burma.

Embassy are cooperating with the CG by actually tabulating the activities of all United Nations' efforts in China. The information will include the number of organizations, personnel, missions, locations, and authority for being in the China Theater. It is hoped that all American organizations such as OSS, SACO, etc. will be placed under the American second-in-command [in China Theater?]. It is recognized that there will always be some free agents moving about in the Theater, but it is desirable that there be control at least to the extent of a check in whereby the CG will know who these people are, what they are doing, and under what instructions.37

After the war, as he looked back on the intelligence problem, the theater's chief of staff, General McClure, doubted that a great deal had been accomplished toward unification of intelligence agencies. He concluded that there had been a greater flow of low-grade information between agencies, but he had also seen evidence that separate agencies were purchasing the same information from the same sources.38


Another semi-independent agency in China, and one that bore heavily on theater resources, was the XX Bomber Command with its B-29's. In June 1944 the JCS had believed that B-29 operations from China would do more to help the Allied cause there than would turning over the B-29 stockpile to Chennault. So the B-29's flew their missions, under great logistical difficulties, and dropped 3,623 tons of bombs in Japan, Formosa, and on a few targets in China.

If this helped China, theater headquarters was not aware of it. Weighing results against costs, as early as summer 1944 General Arnold, commander of the Army Air Forces and a member of the JCS, had considered reducing the effort. From time to time, others within the Air Forces had criticized the costly B-29 effort from China.

In late October 1944, on the eve of Wedemeyer's arrival in China, General Hurley, the President's special representative in China, suggested to Roosevelt that the B-29's be withdrawn. Hurley argued that intensive air operations would hold southwestern China, that the Fourteenth Air Force was sorely handicapped because the B-29 Hump allocations were consuming its proper share of Hump tonnage. Believing that B-29 operations could not be justified in view of the emergency in China, he suggested moving them to Pacific bases. He closed by observing: "If we can hold the situation in China until National and Communist troops are united and Chinese Armies regrouped, then Chinese troops rather than Americans will be in a position to drive the Japs out of the country." The JCS asked Wedemeyer for his opinion, adding that they had planned for some time to move the B-29's to the Pacific when bases were available. But for the time being Wedemeyer was willing to have them stay.

By 4 December he concluded that the B-29's should go. Their presence in China put "prohibitive" limitations on his efforts. They consumed 14 percent of Hump tonnage in December 1944, and he felt that much greater results would be obtained, for example, by devoting that tonnage to equipping the Chinese forces and supporting the Fourteenth Air Force. On 12 January 1945 Wedemeyer repeated his recommendation.39

On 16 January 1945 China Theater received the JCS decision that the B-29's would at once move from bases in China to their home stations in India. There they would conduct limited operations before moving to the Mariana Islands in the Pacific. Having anticipated such orders, members of the XX Bomber Command staff had their plans ready; by 27 January the


bulk of the command was back in India. From then until the last India-based mission on 30 March, the B-29's attacked Japanese-held ports and Japanese shipping lanes around the Bay of Bengal, from Rangoon to Singapore. As training their attacks were invaluable, but save for their bombing of the great dry docks at Singapore, they contributed little to the war; Japanese shipping by spring 1945 was an expended asset.40

On 17 December 1944 the Hump Tonnage Allocation and Control Office was established in Rear Echelon, China Theater headquarters. Its purpose was ". . . to effect a proper balance of logistical support between the various agencies within this Theater and to facilitate allocations to meet radically changed tactical situations or other unpredictable or unforeseen contingencies."41 Every month, the new office, soon called HUMPALCO, received from the Air Transport Command an estimate of its capacity for each of the next four months, and from every agency in China that needed Hump tonnage an estimate of its needs for the next four months. Estimates for the immediate future were regarded as firm, and for the following three months as planning data.

Then HUMPALCO's members, who included representatives of the China Theater air, service, and ground force commands, and India-Burma Theater, prepared a recommended allocation, which in turn went to the Chief of Staff, U.S. Forces, China Theater. On Wedemeyer's approving the recommendations as reworked or accepted by his own staff, the allocations became firm.

In the days ahead HUMPALCO was able to work out detailed data on Hump support, what tonnage would be needed to equip and support the ALPHA forces, what was the ceiling on U.S. personnel strength in China, and so on. In addition, since every soldier who entered China from abroad was a burden on Hump tonnage, small individually but great in the aggregate, Wedemeyer's headquarters through HUMPALCO sought to control the influx of personnel.42

Still pursuing the theme of co-ordination, anxious to be sure that as Chiang's U.S. chief of staff he would in the future know what orders were going from Chungking to the Chinese armies in the ALPHA plan, wanting to give General Ho, the ALPHA divisions' commander, proper discretion in the conduct of operations, and hoping to arrange these matters during his forthcoming inspection of China Theater, Wedemeyer in the second week of December sought to persuade the Chinese to modify their system of command. When on 6 December the Generalissimo commented on some orders he had sent to Generals Hsueh Yueh and Chang Fa-kwei, Wedemeyer remarked


GENERAL WEDEMEYER VISITS WESTERN COMMAND HEADQUARTERS, Kweiyang, China, December 1944. From left, Col. John K. Sells, Commanding Officer, Western Combat Command; General Dorn; General Huang; General Szhung; General Wedemeyer; General Wei Li-huang; Lt. Gen. Yu Ta-wei, Chinese Vice Minister of War.

that the commander in the field, who was now General Ho, should make his own troop dispositions. To this theme Wedemeyer returned again and again in the days ahead, stressing that Ho should have a broad directive within which to operate. Wedemeyer pointed out that the Generalissimo was making, in Wedemeyer's phrase, "too many decisions," and that this was disrupting the ALPHA plan. There should be a firm plan, adhered to by all.43

Having prepared the groundwork, Wedemeyer next on 11 December asked if he could draft directives of the sort he had in mind. The Generalissimo was, it appeared, happy to see such, so next day they were submitted to him. With them went the polite request that they be approved by 14 December, the day Wedemeyer planned to leave for the field. The Generalissimo on


the 13th promised that the directives as submitted by Wedemeyer would be on hand at the airfield, approved, when Wedemeyer departed on the 14th.44

The order of 11 December 1944 the Chinese sent to General Ho placed him in command of the ALPHA forces. His duties would be to protect Kunming and Kweiyang, train reserves, safeguard communications, and stop enemy raids. He was to keep the enemy off balance so the concentration around Kweiyang could be completed. All air forces in the area would be under Chennault's command. The American SOS would assist Ho in solving his supply problem. Other war areas were to co-operate by attacking enemy lines of communications passing through them.45 Taking the directive with him, Wedemeyer left for the area around Kweiyang.

The Japanese Menace at Its Height

Overcoming difficulties of terrain and more especially of supply, the Japanese 3d and 13th Divisions pressed on into Kweichow Province in three columns. The 13th Division was moving up the main road on Tushan while the 3d Division moved along mountain trails to reach Pa-chai (Tan-chai), about seventy-five miles southeast of Kweiyang. A third column, thought by the Chinese to be much smaller, began attacking Li-po, well to the rear of these two advancing columns, on 3 December.

For the defenders, the situation was enormously complicated by the lack of reliable information. General Tang En-po, who was in local command, had been hastily rushed to that area, and not all the members of his staff were with him. Communications had broken in the retreat, and in many cases General Tang did not know just where his units were.46 Moreover, the condition of the defenders' morale disturbed Wedemeyer's staff; his chief of staff, McClure, told the Generalissimo that the troops south of Kweiyang were rife with desertion because their food was bad and that something had to be done to improve the rations.47 Wedemeyer had hoped that Generals Chang Fa-kwei and Hsueh Yueh would be able to put pressure on the tenuous Japanese lines of communications, but on 8 December he was obliged to report to the Generalissimo that they were not obeying orders to do so. Even worse, the XXIV Group Army had gotten out of hand and was looting Chinese villages.48

To this picture, alarming to the American command in China, the Generalissimo added a reassuring touch. He impressed upon Wedemeyer that


the troops who were to defend Kunming and Chungking would do well, for they were Nationalist troops, whereas those who had sought to defend the east China airfields were provincial troops, and he considered that this explained the latter's poor performance in combat.49

At this moment, which appeared so pregnant with disaster, the Japanese halted. The 11th Army had extended its pursuit beyond the prescribed limits and stopped only when its supplies were exhausted. It reported as much to the 6th Area Army, which with a nice appreciation of the 11th's sensitivities designated the present position of the 11th Army as the limit of the pursuit. Soon after, the 11th Army was ordered to pull the 3d Division back to the area south of Liuchow while the 13th Division was ordered to garrison the Kwangsi-Kweichow railway.50

When the Japanese withdrawal was discussed between Wedemeyer and the Generalissimo on 12 December, the latter correctly analyzed the Japanese movement, remarking that the enemy "had insufficient strength and was running out of time, anticipating Allied landings on the Asiatic mainland at any moment. The advance to Kweiyang was not part of the enemy's plan."51

Wedemeyer's Views on China's Problems

Wedemeyer was now forming more sharply defined views of China's problems, with which he as the Generalissimo's U.S. chief of staff daily had to deal. He presented them with candor and impartiality to his Chinese and American superiors. To General Marshall he sent on 16 December a long letter which Marshall forwarded to President Roosevelt:

  1. We must retain the Kunming area as our terminal of supply.

  2. Chungking should receive second priority, for its loss unquestionably would have disastrous political, economic, as well as psychological effects.

  3. The Chinese have no conception of organization, logistics, or modern warfare.

  4. The Generalissimo is striving to conduct the war from Chungking. The management of affairs of state in itself would require a Disraeli, Churchill, and Machiavelli all combined in one. The Gissimo will not decentralize power to subordinates.

In early conferences with the Generalissimo, I pointed out that we should make disposition of forces and allocation of equipment as early as possible to insure the defense of the Kunming area. I presented a plan for this purpose and he approved that plan. This was about four weeks ago. Now I find that he is vacillating--in fact, he has ordered movements of divisions from the Kunming area without my knowledge. There are increasing indications that he no longer accepts the premise that Kunming should receive first priority. Apparently his advisers in the interim have emphasized the necessity for holding Chungking which, as stated above, we agree is necessary, but only after we have made appropriate preparations for the defense of Kunming.


Recently in discussing the defense of Chungking with the Generalissimo, I mentioned that we should make plans now for evacuation should the enemy advance continue on the capitol and require our withdrawal. The Generalissimo categorically stated that he intended to remain in the capitol and die here, if necessary. He has stated this on two other occasions, General, once in Nanking and again in Hankow, but was prevailed upon by his advisors to get out at the last minute. My purpose in making plans is to preclude chaos and confusion under the circumstances and to insure that we could set up a seat of government in some other appropriate location, preferably Kunming. There are so many political implications in everything we do here that this may not materialize. For example, the Governor of Yunnan Province and the Generalissimo are very unfriendly. Further, the Generalissimo wants to remain near Szechuan Province . . . . If he goes to the Kunming area, the Governor of Yunnan may kidnap him or at least place him under protective custody. Also, he would be cut off from provinces to the north, Szechuan, for example.

In connection with the Americans, I have plans for their evacuation--in fact, I am gradually moving officers and men to the Kunming area. I will remain here with the Generalissimo as long as possible. . . .

[Wedemeyer here remarked that if he could obtain Chinese co-operation, stop vacillations, and inspire some will to fight on the part of the Chinese, all might yet be well. Then he resumed:]

My approach to the Generalissimo has been friendly, direct, and firm. I believe that he likes and respects me now. It is the influence and chicanery of his advisers, who have selfish, mercurial motives and who persuade him when I am not present to take action which conflicts with agreed plans. . . .

We have recommended dispositions which, if the Chinese will fight with determination and elan, should insure the security of the capitol. Also, we are moving an ample supply of munitions centrally located for the troops. We could make a continued Japanese advance costly, in fact prohibitive, in time and effort. It is difficult to imagine the pressure that is being brought to bear from various facets and high officials to concentrate for the defense of Chungking in lieu of Kunming. In this connection it is amusing and also tragic to note that many high-ranking Chinese officials are asking me to facilitate their evacuation to America by air. [Two such requests by senior Chinese generals are] indicative of the psychological approach of Chinese who should know better. Self-sacrifice and patriotism are unknown quantities among the educated and privileged classes.

We have taken steps to improve the diet of Chinese soldiers. The Chinese soldiers are starving by the hundreds. . . .

In connection with troop movements, the Chinese march an outfit from A to B and make no provision for bivouacs, food, and so forth along the route. This is being taken care of. If only the Chinese will cooperate! American officers have been designated to supervise such movements and we are well on the way to exercising constructive influence with regard to this very important factor. The Generalissimo often asks me to move by air 50,000 men from A to B, and after carefully studying such movement we make appropriate arrangements. Suddenly he will order a change and there are all kinds of ramifications involved which render it impossible or at least impracticable to comply with his wishes. Neither he nor his advisers really understand supply and movement problems. But they ask for the most astounding troop movements to implement their strategy, which is really piecemeal, uncoordinated employment of forces.

The Chinese SOS is terrifyingly inefficient. . . .


I have already indicated to the Generalissimo that here in Chungking we must issue broad policies and directives to responsible commanders in the field and that we definitely must not tell them how to carry them out. If we find that these commanders are not complying, then relieve them. I emphasized that it is wrong to direct operations from Chungking. Although he has agreed to the soundness of this approach, he violates his agreement almost daily, and this adds to our difficulties. I told you that he did not give me the best Chinese general for the command of the ALPHA Plan, yet I impressed upon him that it was the most important military operation with which any Chinese had ever been charged. I receive continual reports of the inefficiency of General Ho. . . . For political reasons the Generalissimo does not desire to remove him from a position of responsibility in the war effort.52

Wedemeyer also reported to the Generalissimo on the state of the Chinese armed forces and the reasons for it. On 26 December he met with the Generalissimo, U.S. Ambassador Hurley, and T. V. Soong. The occasion on which Wedemeyer spoke thus to the Generalissimo was in many ways an auspicious one. The Generalissimo, working closely with Ambassador Hurley, had effected a considerable reorganization of his government, in which Chinese who had impressed some influential Americans as being both liberal and efficient had been brought to positions of responsibility. Moreover, Hurley thought he had made considerable progress in his attempt to unify the Communist and Nationalist forces under the over-all leadership of the Generalissimo. In these weeks, T. V. Soong on 4 December became Premier of China, as well as Foreign Minister, and there was considerable optimism as to the immediate future.53

It was against this background, and to these high personages--the Generalissimo, Soong, and Hurley--that Wedemeyer offered his observations and remedies. His comments were significant in their implicit rejection of the Chinese claim that lack of arms was responsible for Chinese setbacks at Japanese hands. Rather, Wedemeyer stated in so many words, the Chinese had neglected their armed forces, and this was why Japan had been able to move her forces at will over China.

Wedemeyer introduced the topic by commenting on the problems raised by the return of the 14th and 22d Divisions to China. The two divisions had become accustomed to being properly fed and to receiving their pay in full and on time. If these two divisions, on which Wedemeyer had earlier said he placed primary reliance for the defense of Kunming, were to be placed on what Wedemeyer thought the usual Chinese standards, the resulting morale problem might cause serious concern were the Japanese to resume their drive. After contrasting the men of the 22d and 14th Divisions with


those barefooted, poorly clothed, and ill-fed Chinese troops he had seen in east China, Wedemeyer told the Generalissimo, Soong, and Hurley:

. . . We must do something although it would cost the government a great deal of money. He [Wedemeyer] has told the Generalissimo several times that the Army must be well fed, clothed, and paid in order to fight and be kept in the Army [sic]. Divisions which are loyal to the Generalissimo and soldiers who are willing to fight should receive priority in such a program. While we have the east wall secure against the Japanese attacks, we have to train. We have several hundred divisions now. That is too many. If we can train and equip 36-50 divisions well, we can drive the Japanese out.

Generalissimo said he quite agreed and had talked to General Chen Cheng about this.

General Wedemeyer said he too had talked to General Chen Cheng who agreed. About the size of a division, we feel that 10,000 should be the strength of a division. This is a good size to be adopted, at least for the remainder of the war. We don't like the tremendous number of porters in a division, for example--it was found upon inquiry that an Army of 30,000 had but 2,000 rifles to go around.

Then the issue of pay for the Chinese Army in India arose. Their pay in India had been regular, and by constant effort NCAC had seen to it that the men were able both to receive and to keep their pay. The Generalissimo's comment was that the returning soldiers should have their pay cut to the usual level. This drew a strong reaction from Wedemeyer, who ". . . replied that he didn't mean special treatment but that he thought the Chinese Government had neglected the Army. That is why the Japanese have had a free hand. He proposed to raise the standard of all other armies. Since Generalissimo has reorganized the Government, this is a psychological moment to do this and raise morale."

Taking a constructive approach to the problem, Wedemeyer said that he might be able to give each Chinese soldier $1.00 in U.S. currency a month. Acceptance of this proposal by the Generalissimo would mean that the United States might ultimately become the paymaster of the Nationalist forces. The Generalissimo at once offered a major qualification, for he insisted that the money should not be given directly to the soldier (for him to exchange on the local money market as a sort of hedge against inflation), but that the United States should give the dollars directly to the Central Government, which would then give the soldier $100 a month in Chinese Nationalist currency. This would in effect set the rate of exchange at 100 to 1. Since the black market rate was about five times that, and rising daily, the whole purpose of Wedemeyer's suggestion, which was to give the soldier some pay in stable currency, would be lost, and instead the Central Government would receive a direct monthly subsidy in U.S. dollars.

Wedemeyer replied that ". . . he didn't wish to butt in, but the Generalissimo said he would like for me to be frank. The Army is neglected and the rich do not want to sacrifice. He fully agreed with the Generalissimo that there should be no special privilege. The standard I have in Burma, should be the standard they have in the entire Chinese Army."


The last major issue raised at the conference was a brief comment by Wedemeyer, advising the Generalissimo and Soong that Wedemeyer's staff was working on Plan BETA, for an offensive against Kweilin, Liuchow, and Canton.54

Cherry Blossom and Sea Wind

Meanwhile, in the south of China, the Japanese 23d Army was establishing contact with the French Indochina Garrison Army. The 23d Independent Mixed Brigade took Nanning on 24 November after brushing aside the provincial levies who were in the way. Behind at a leisurely pace followed the 22d Division. It was then transferred from the 23d Army to the 11th Army, and the principal strength of the 23d Army began to return to home stations in the Canton-Hong Kong area. Taking over the establishment of contact to the south, 11th Army opened the road on 10 December. It then began preparations to transfer the 37th and 22d Divisions to Indochina to bolster that area against the feared American amphibious assault.

Establishment of contact with the French Indochina Garrison Army did not mean the establishment of a workable line of communications from Korea to Indochina as current Japanese propaganda claimed. Facing the realities of transport in China, 6th Area Army concluded that "The improvement in the strategic situation by the occupation of the route between Yungning and French Indochina served as practically nothing but a temporary route for passage of small groups," by means of which the Japanese sent the 22d and 37th Divisions to Indochina. The transfer made, the link "lost its practical significance."55

The week's span between 3 December 1944, when the Japanese halted their incursion into Kweichow Province, and 10 December, when they linked their forces in South China with those in Indochina, is the high-water mark of Japanese conquest on the mainland of Asia in the first half of the twentieth century. The Japanese had accomplished great martial deeds. They had carried their emblem of the Rising Sun from the border of Siberia through the great empire and culture of China, the nations and European colonies of Southeast Asia, and on to the soil of India. In so doing they had inflicted grievous wounds on that Chinese Nationalist regime which had appeared so promising in 1937, torn great provinces from the French and British imperial domains, driven the United States from the Philippines, and by shattering the


existing order given opportunity and encouragement to revolutionary forces, some of them genuinely nationalist but others deeply committed to an imperialism as militant, if more subtle, than the Japanese.

The Japanese conquest had been a tremendous feat. The empires of Genghis Kahn, Tamerlane, and Attila had been succeeded by one as vast as any of theirs, ruling over populations as great, but now to prove as ephemeral as the cherry blossom. Because the Japanese conquest was in the Oriental tradition it was to Western eyes of the twentieth century stained by deeds of cruelty. The sack of Nanking in 1938 paralleled the Mongol slaughter at Ctesiphon, centuries before. The massacre of prisoners was the fate of those who had, in Oriental eyes, by their surrender forfeited claim to consideration. Now, in December 1944, the moment of greatest expanse, the Japanese conquests were in their gravest peril.

In the Pacific, the American forces had everywhere burst through the island barrier that was to have defended Japan from attack on and over the seas. Those islands were bits of land on which the great figures of Oriental history had never gazed but their possession in the end meant more to Japan's destiny than did that of the great cities of China. On 24 November 1944, 111 B-29 bombers attacked Tokyo from bases in the Marianas, the first of many similar raids. About a month later, the Japanese line on Leyte Island in the Philippines was broken and the Americans' hold on that island was secure. The S Operation, the Japanese attempt at a decisive counterattack, was a failure, while the Americans had bases from which they could attack Japan itself. In Burma, British forces in strength crossed the Chindwin River in early December. This was the major thrust into central Burma, and its goal was Mandalay. The time had come for the Japanese to shape a new strategy and both Imperial General Headquarters and Okamura's headquarters undertook the necessary studies. Drafting new plans would take time. Meanwhile China Expeditionary Army began to prepare operations of very direct interest to the Fourteenth Air Force.

The Fourteenth Air Force Versus the Japanese

In the Suichuan area of east China, about 130 miles east-southeast of Heng-yang, the Fourteenth Air Force had an airfield from which it had staged operations toward the east in 1943. In line south of Suichuan were two other fields, Kanchow (Kan-hsien) and Namyung (Nan-hsiung). After the loss of his major fields in east China, Chennault moved a task force to these fields, which lay well to the east of the Japanese corridor through east China and so were supplied by transports flying across the Japanese lines.56


To the west of the Japanese corridor was Chihchiang, about 185 miles from Heng-yang, and this too became a base.

In their planning for ICHIGO, the Japanese had appreciated Suichuan's importance and assigned it as an operational goal, to be taken after Kweilin and Liuchow. Another mission to be completed about then was the clearing of the southern end of the Hankow-Canton railway--it will be remembered that the Japanese drive on the east China air bases had swung west in a great arc past this segment of rail line. This planning had been completed between January and March 1944, and much had happened since then. The American advance westward across the Pacific made it appear that landings on the China coast were an imminent probability. The solution to the problem set by these three factors, of which clearing the rail line seemed the most important to the Japanese, was issued as an order in early December.57

The plan called for the 40th and 27th Divisions to move south from the Heng-yang area, target date mid-January 1945. The 40th Division was to proceed down the railroad. Because the rail line was to be captured intact, the Japanese began training special raiding parties to race ahead and seize the bridges and tunnels before the Chinese could destroy them. The 27th Division was ordered to swing wide from Heng-yang to the Suichuan area, and overrun the airfields. The 23d Army at Canton was to send two columns north which would meet the 40th and 27th Divisions coming south. On the successful completion of the operation, the 40th and 27th would proceed to Canton to join the garrison there.58

Chennault appreciated Japanese capabilities and had no illusions that the enemy would leave him alone in Suichuan. The Chinese troops around Suichuan were those of General Hsueh Yueh, who had sacrificed his Tenth Army to hold Heng-yang, and Chennault did his best to obtain arms for Hsueh, as has been noted above. Hsueh was not in the good graces of the Generalissimo, and these requests were all turned down, the Generalissimo saying that Hsueh's pleas should be "disregarded."59

In the meantime, there was work to be done, and Chennault bent himself to it. After the war he looked back on the achievements of the Fourteenth Air Force in December 1944 and called then "phenomenal." Several factors contributed to the Fourteenth's ability to surmount the loss of its old fields. Its supply situation was much easier. In the last quarter of 1944, the Fourteenth received a monthly average of 9,274 tons of gasoline and lubricants as against a monthly average of 5,987 tons the quarter before. That much of


FOURTEENTH AIR FORCE B-24 heads for home after bombing Japanese supply dumps at Hengyang, China.

this was flown to Suichuan instead of Kweilin did not eliminate the effect of the increase. The Fourteenth had more aircraft, and better. Chennault himself in retrospect gave first importance to having a theater commander whom he believed to be sympathetic to him, and second to his no longer having to give close support to the Chinese, which meant he was free to attack prizes greater than well-dispersed and cleverly camouflaged Japanese infantry.60

The Fourteenth Air Force was organized into two composite wings of the Army Air Forces, one Chinese-American Composite Wing, a fighter wing, and one group of heavy bombers. The 69th Composite Wing in west China had four fighter squadrons and three medium bomber squadrons; in east China the 68th Composite Wing had three fighter squadrons with bombers attached when necessary. Covering the Yangtze River, the Chinese-American Composite Wing, which offered the hope of expansion into a future Chinese Air Force, comprised eight fighter squadrons and four squadrons of


mediums. The 312th Fighter Wing had five squadrons for the defense of Cheng-tu. In terms of aircraft assigned, the average monthly strength in the last quarters of 1944 was 501 fighters, 106 medium bombers, and 46 heavy bombers. These were supported by 30 transport aircraft and 31 photo reconnaissance aircraft.61

The opposing Japanese 5th Air Army was a much smaller and weaker force, whose principal combat elements as of mid-November had 56 fighters and 38 medium bombers and a grand total of 152 aircraft of all types. The Japanese in China were fully aware of the cumulative effect of their long series of defeats in the air. They sadly lacked experienced pilots, while there was such a shortage of aircraft that even two old biplane fighters were pressed into service. Capture of the Fourteenth's fields had not eased the problems of the Japanese, for their radar was inadequate, the bases were open to surprise attacks, and the poorly functioning Japanese lines of communications made it hard to obtain spare parts and fuel. However, the Japanese decided they would occupy Heng-yang and attempt operations from there.62

The Japanese attempt to base squadrons at a forward airfield that lacked radar warning, in the presence of an aggressive opponent, was a venture as costly as had been similar Allied efforts in 1942. On Armistice Day of 1944 the Fourteenth Air Force sent fighters against Heng-yang; the Japanese successfully intercepted. The Americans had a slight edge in the fighting which followed, and then both sides separated to refuel. While the Japanese service crews worked over their fighters, Chennaults' real effort of the day appeared--the Chinese-American Composite Wing, coming in at low level. The Japanese were strafed and bombed heavily. The Fourteenth viewed its attack as a complete success; the Japanese admit that they had to withdraw the air regiments they had attempted to base at Heng-yang. Thereafter, the Japanese operated only army co-operation aircraft out of Heng-yang, camouflaging them with care, and taking full advantage of low visibility and bad weather.63

Since the Fourteenth's supply situation permitted it to average only eight fighter and four medium bomber sorties per aircraft a month, there was a lapse of a few weeks, and then the Fourteenth marked the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 with operations against Hong Kong and Nanking. Fifteen fighters were sent against Hong Kong, and a similar force against Nanking. When the fighters returned from Hong Kong they reported sinking a 10,000-ton liner and a destroyer and damaging four transports


but postwar examination of the Japanese records does not support the claim.64

Ten days later the Cheng-tu-based B-29's were directed against Hankow, Okamura's headquarters and the supply base for Japanese activities in central and south China. When in June 1944 Stilwell had sought permission from the Joint Chiefs to use the B-29's against Hankow it had been refused on the ground that the B-29's could help more in China by attacking Japan's industry than they could by bombing Hankow. Now the Joint Chiefs were willing to let them be used against major targets in China.65

Hankow seemed a most profitable target. It was a center of industry for the Japanese, who had long stressed local procurement, e. g., "coal, alcohol, weapons, and clothing." The prosaic fighter sweeps over the Japanese rail system in north and central China and the attacks on Japanese river shipping in central China, which when lucky could produce a spectacular blaze as ship and cargo exploded, had caused a massive congestion of Japanese transport facilities in the Hankow area. Over 100,000 tons of supplies were stalled at various way points. The Japanese had pinned high hopes on rebuilding the Peiping-Hankow railway, and had it almost ready for traffic by late November. Then Chennault's airmen damaged some of the key bridges and ended for the time hopes of using that rail line to replace the Yangtze River as a line of communications. So all this complex of stockpiles, factories, and warehouses in the Hankow area was sprawled out below the American bombsights.66

The effort made by the Fourteenth Air Force and XX Bomber Command against Hankow was in proportion to its importance. Seventy-seven B-29's and 200 of the Fourteenth's fighters and bombers were sent against Hankow in the course of 18 December 1944. When the day's action was over there was a thick pall of smoke over the three Wuhan cities loosely known as Hankow. There were follow-up raids over Hankow for the rest of the month, though not on the scale of that effort. It was a dramatic operation, which ten years later the Japanese rated as "highly effective." They did not attempt retaliation.67 Their attempts to give air cover to Hankow and to their new airfields had sharply reduced their aircraft strength. What was left was deployed to the coast to counter the feared American landing.

The next phase in the Fourteenth's operations was a major effort against the rail lines that the Japanese were using. In early January 1945 the Japanese


succeeded in opening the Peiping-Hankow railway to through traffic. South of Hankow, on the line to Changsha, there were still gaps in the line where key bridges were down, but by unloading at some breaks and ferrying trains across others the Japanese found it possible to conduct a certain amount of traffic. Though the rail line was open, its performance was a disappointment because the Fourteenth Air Force destroyed so many locomotives. The cumulative effect was serious. The Japanese had planned to deliver 45,000 tons to Hankow by rail in January. They were only able to deliver 12,000, and had to supplement this figure by bringing 8,000 tons up the Yangtze.

In February the picture brightened. Twenty-five thousand tons were carried down from Peiping, and 8,000 again came up the Yangtze. But the rolling stock situation was serious. Chennault's new P-51's, with their great range, were all over north China, hitherto the citadel of Japanese power in China, and losses of locomotives were "very heavy." The Japanese had planned to move rolling stock from north China into central and south China. Now, they found that they could move only about 10 percent of the amount they had wanted to bring down, while the Fourteenth Air Force made the Yangtze almost useless. Given the cumulative effect of the Fourteenth's raids, the headquarters responsible for operations in central and south China, 6th Area Army, could see the day was fast approaching when the Japanese would be unable to use their railroads south of the Yangtze.

The supply situation with regard to food, ammunition, and clothing was satisfactory. One of the fruits of ICHIGO had been the capture of more than 10,000 tons of munitions from the Chinese. Added to local procurement and what trickled down the line of communications from Hankow, this gave the Japanese enough to eat, wear, and shoot. There was, however, a significant shortage of motor gasoline and motor alcohol. Casting up their accounts, balancing their consumption against their resources plus their expected receipts, the staff of 6th Area Army expected that 1 June 1945 would see the end of their gasoline stocks, and not until November did they expect to have alcohol in sufficient quantities.68

Therefore the grave shortage of motor fuel and the anticipated collapse of rail transport south of the Yangtze, the latter directly attributable to Fourteenth Air Force operations, caused the Japanese staff most directly concerned, that of 6th Area Army, in late January 1945 to believe that the day was coming when the Japanese would have to loosen their grip on China south of the Yangtze. These conclusions were not shared by China Expeditionary Army, which under Okamura's guidance was meditating a spectacular drive


on Chungking,69 nor were they known to the American theater headquarters, which considered that the Japanese possessed "complete freedom of action."70 Such conclusions by the Americans possibly reflected the vigorous operations that were being carried out by the troops of 6th Area Army even as the Japanese staff was making its studies. As the estimate that the Japanese had complete operational freedom was being dispatched to Washington, the Japanese were on their way to occupy the Suichuan fields from which Chennault had in effect set a time limit to their further stay in south China.

The Suichuan Operation

Though there was a brief lull in operations following the Japanese withdrawal from before Kweiyang, beginning 5 December 1944, Wedemeyer was not complacent. His current appraisals correctly estimated that the Japanese were thinking of strengthening themselves against an American landing, but as he read the reports on the strength the Japanese had available he was at a loss to account for the pause in what had seemed a threat to Kunming. There was an explanation currently circulating, and on 10 January 1945 Wedemeyer called it to the Generalissimo's attention:

The temporary slow-up of the Japanese, General Wedemeyer said, does not mean that the danger period is over. There are persistent rumors circulating that through the puppet Nanking Government [which the Japanese had set up under Wang Ching-wei to attract dissident war lords to their side] an understanding has been arrived at between the Japanese and the Generalissimo, and this understanding accounts for the Japanese slow-up. The strong Japanese force concentrated does not explain the slow-up. It is inconceivable that the Generalissimo would do such a thing without consulting his Chief of Staff. No doubt, these are malicious prevarications whose origin may be traced to the enemy.

To this the Generalissimo was absolutely non-committal. There was no indication, emotional or otherwise, that he either denied or admitted it. His spontaneous reaction was a dry cackle.71

As noted above, the Japanese were later to deny such reports, but their circulation on so high a level suggests some of the tension underlying the grave courtesy of Wedemeyer's meetings with Chiang.

Even as Wedemeyer was hinting to the Generalissimo that sinister conclusions were being drawn from the very recent course of events in east China where the local commanders had been left to face the Japanese as best they could without arms or reinforcements from the Nationalist Government, reports were arriving in theater headquarters that the Japanese were building up their strength around Heng-yang. Intelligence reports spoke ominously of Japanese troop movements into the Heng-yang area and gave details about


Map 9
The Suichuan Operation
January 1945

troop trains moving south from Peiping to Hankow, probably the 47th Division as it moved into south China from Japan. From these reports theater headquarters concluded that the odds favored a Japanese drive to open the Canton-Heng-yang stretch of the Canton-Hankow railway and to take the Suichuan fields.72 (Map 9)

In deploying for the attack to open the railroad and take the airfields, the Japanese spread out over a wide front, two divisions and one brigade over 180 miles. At the extreme right, between Ling-ling and Tao-hsien, the 40th Division sent specially trained raiding squads forward about 10 January. Their course was at about a 45-degree angle to the railroad, and as they made their way cross country they sought to avoid giving the alarm. Between 19 and 22 January they reached the railroad and succeeded in occupying the key bridges and tunnels before the Chinese could destroy them. In the center of the line, one brigade, the 57th, made its way down the railway without incident. Only on the left of the long, 180-mile line, where the Japanese 27th Division was moving on the airfields directly, did the Japanese encounter resistance. They had not expected this; their comments suggest they had not been impressed by the caliber of Chinese opposition during the east China campaign: "Judging from the enemy strength, existing situation and former tactics, it was more apparent that he would resist our attacks as a formal


gesture while his main body retired into the mountainous area to conserve its strength. It was estimated it would be difficult to make contact."73

The Japanese driving on the Suichuan fields moved in two columns. One, of probably no more than a regiment in strength, moved southeast from Chaling toward the airfields. The rest, "the main body of the 27th Division with the attached Iwamoto Detachment," took the principal roads which swung first north, then east to the airfields, thus avoiding a hill mass, the Wan-yang Shan-mo. Because in mid-January the weather in east China becomes unsuitable for air operations, the Fourteenth Air Force was unable to give support to General Hsueh Yueh's troops.

The resistance offered by that commander's troops was somewhat spotty. In the neighborhood of Chaling, northwest of Suichuan, it was completely successful. The Japanese force there failed to penetrate the Chinese lines and had to be moved back to the rest of the 27th Division. The main Japanese force seems not to have encountered serious resistance, for it covered 120 miles in ten days to occupy Suichuan on 29 January.74

With the Japanese actually on the move, Chennault again pressed Wedemeyer to obtain arms for Hsueh Yueh. A subsequent letter of Chennault's would indicate that General Hsueh had sought to bypass the Generalissimo, and had been rebuffed by Wedemeyer. In compliance with the policy guidance given him by Wedemeyer, Chennault warned Hsueh that the latter could hope to receive arms only from the Generalissimo. In a later radio, Chennault added: "In my opinion, Hsueh Yueh has now definitely affirmed his allegiance to Chungking, having learned for good and all from this episode that he cannot expect aid as an independent leader." In retrospect, it appears that perhaps it was General Hsueh's attempt to be an independent leader that lay behind the loss of the east China airfields and the reverses of the summer of 1944. The Generalissimo was not willing to send arms and reinforcements to so ambitious a subordinate, especially since a resounding victory over the Japanese by Hsueh Yueh might well result in the latter's gaining stature that would make him a rival of the Generalissimo. In any case, the Generalissimo had embargoed all arms and reinforcements for Hsueh. Now that Hsueh had made his submission, reconciliation and arms speedily followed, but far too late to affect the issue. Not until 22 February, many days after Suichuan's loss, did Hsueh tell Chennault that the Chinese Military Affairs Department in Chungking had issued him 1,200,000 rounds of rifle ammunition, 3,000 mortar shells, 270,000 hand grenades, all of which were in Chihchiang ready for delivery. Chungking also issued him


150 heavy machine guns, 300 light machine guns, and 30 mortars, which were not yet in Chihchiang.75

Japanese occupation of Suichuan was an empty victory. The Fourteenth evacuated its ground personnel and aircraft to other fields. Since its operations had been on a hand-to-mouth basis there were no great stockpiles to be destroyed. All the Japanese inherited were empty runways, while Chennault's aircraft were active as before. However, the Japanese had opened the Canton-Hankow railway, and greatly reinforced the Canton area against the prospects of an American landing in that area.

Japanese estimates of the situation, as of late January 1945, differed according to the headquarters forming them. Imperial General Headquarters, noting that the Americans had established themselves in force in the Philippines near the Canton-Hong Kong area and being in the process of reshaping its strategy to cope with the danger of invasion that now faced Japan itself, found that the completion of ICHIGO had placed strong Japanese forces in a position to counter an American attempt to move from the Philippines to the Canton-Hong Kong-Formosa area. Okamura's headquarters, China Expeditionary Army, thought that Tokyo overestimated the danger of an American landing, and wanted to attack Chungking. Sixth Area Army, which was concerned with the day-to-day conduct of operations, viewed the future with apprehension, and the recent past without satisfaction:

The immediate objective of the Hunan-Kwangsi Operation, the destruction of the United States air force bases, had been accomplished and several of the marked air bases completely destroyed. However, we checked the enemy's action only temporarily and were unable to strike a fatal blow. Our speed and limited scale of operation, based chiefly on ground operations, could hardly cope with the enemy's speed in changing and equipping airfields. The only practical fruit of this operation was the expansion of a large zone extending from North China to French Indo-China for lookouts and observation of enemy air activities.76


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (4) * Next Chapter (6)


1. (1) Japanese Study 130, pp. 26, 30. (2) Japanese Officers' Comments on draft MS.

2. (1) Comments on draft MS by Col Cummings, Brig Gen Frederic W. Boye, and Brig Gen Harwood C. Bowman. (2) Colonel Mallon was a veterinarian who had gone to Command and General Staff School. He was given the G-2 role when Z-FOS personnel took the field after the Japanese advance halted their training programs.

3. (1) Japanese Study 130, p. 30. (2) Memo, Marshall for President, 20 Dec 44. Item 20, WDCSA 091 China (20 Dec 44). (3) Rad CFB 28167, Wedemeyer to Marshall for JCS, 4 Dec 44. Item 6, Wedemeyer Data Book. (4) Bowman comments refer to the uniforms and to the Tushan arms store. (5) Min, Mtg 6, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 28 Nov 44, Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes, has Wedemeyer's apology for the bombing.

4. Rad SIG 1442, Wedemeyer to Sultan, info Chennault, McClure, Cheves, Dorn, Tunner, 21 Dec 44. Item 196, Bks 1 and 2, ACW Personal File.

5. Wedemeyer's directive does not contain this phrase.

6. (1) Rad CFB 27686, Wedemeyer to Marshall for JCS, info Mountbatten, 30 Nov 44. OCMH. (2) History of IBT, I, 121.

7. Ibid., pp. 123-24.

8. (1) Mountbatten Report, Pt. B, par. 330. (2) For a description of the British intelligence system in China, see History of China Theater, Chapter III. (3) Item 20, Wedemeyer Data Book. (4) In SEAC headquarters, the Japanese drive was sometimes called, sardonically, "the Wedemeyer Offensive." Ltr, Gen Creasy to Gen Smith, 16 Jun 54.

9. History of IBT, I, 126.

10. Ibid., pp. 127-30.

11. Ibid.

12. History of IBT, I, 130-34.

13. Ibid, pp. 136-7.

14. Rad CMC 5743, Sultan to Wedemeyer, info Marshall, 25 Dec 44. Item 232, Bks 1 and 2, ACW Personal File.

15. (1) Rad CHC 5532, Sultan to Wedemeyer, 14 Dec 44; Rad, CFB 29155, McClure to Chennault for Wedemeyer, 14 Dec 44; Rad CSF 4920, Wedemeyer to McClure, 16 Dec 44; Rad CFB 29422, Wedemeyer to Sultan, 18 Dec 44. Items 180, 181, 186, 188, Bks 1 and 2, ACW Personal File. (2) History of IBT, I, 135.

16. (1) The problems Wedemeyer found in trying to make the troop movements called for by ALPHA are discussed below. (2) Rad CFB 29872, Wedemeyer to Sultan, 26 Dec 44; Rad CMC 5812, Sultan to Wedemeyer, 29 Dec 44. Items 234, 222, Bks 1 and 2, ACW Personal File.

17. History of IBT, I, 134-35.

18. Stilwell's Command Problems, p. 389.

19. Memo cited n. 3(2).

20. For Wedemeyer's views on holding Kunming, see Rad CFB 26558, Wedemeyer to Marshall for JCS, 17 Nov 44. Wedemeyer Data Book.

21. Min, Mtg 3, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 21 Nov 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

22. (1) Min, Mtg 14, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 6 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes. (2) History of China Theater, Ch. VI, p. 20.

23. Min, Mtg 15, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 8 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

24. Min, Mtg 16, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 9 Dec 44. AG 337, Combined Staff Meetings with the Generalissimo, 1945-1946. Cabinet 2533, Dr 3, CT files, KCRC.

25. Ibid.

26. (1) Rad CFB 29139, McClure to Dorn, 14 Dec 44; Rad CFB 29244, McClure to Dorn, 16 Dec 44. Items 175, 177, Bk 1, ACW Personal File. (2) Min, Mtgs 20 and 22, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 16 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

27. History of China Theater, Ch. VIII, pp. 10-12.

28. Ibid., pp. 14-15.

29. See Stilwell's Command Problems, Ch. VII.

30. (1) Organization charts, Item 2, Wedemeyer Data Book. (2) Conf, Wedemeyer and Cheves, 17 Dec 44, Kunming, China. OCMH. (3) Min, IBT and CT Conf, 20 Dec 44, Kunming, China. OCMH. (4) The evacuation plan is described in Radiogram CFB 28509, and is also in the China Theater files, KCRC. (5) Min, Conf, McClure and subordinate comdrs, USFCT, 3 Jan 45. OCMH.

31. (1) Chennault's comments on the draft manuscript of this volume underscore his feeling of satisfaction at the ending of a situation in which he did not control his direct logistical support. (2) Opnl Dir 1 to CG Fourteenth USAF, Hq USFCT, 1 Dec 44. Item 3, Wedemeyer Data Book. (3) Previous directives to Chennault are discussed in Stilwell's Mission to China, p. 187.

32. Opnl Dir 2, Hq USFCT, 1 Dec 44. Item 3, Wedemeyer Data Book.

33. Opnl Dir 3, Hq USFCT, 2 Dec 44. Item 3, Wedemeyer Data Book.

34. Incls E, H, Item 17, Wedemeyer Data Book.

35. Item 20, Wedemeyer Data Book.

36. Min. Mtg 23, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 26 Dec 44; Mtg 24, 28 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

37. Quotation from History of China Theater, Ch. III, p. 2, quoting Notes on Theater Conf, 3 Jan 45, in Wedemeyer Personal Ltr File 2.

38. McClure comments on draft MS.

39. (1) Rad CFB 28167, Wedemeyer to Marshall, 4 Dec 44. Item 6, Wedemeyer Data Book. (2) History of IBT, II, 146. (3) Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate, eds., The Army Air Forces in World War II: V, The Pacific: MATTERHORN to Nagasaki, June 1944 to August 1945 (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1953), pp. 150-51. (4) CM-OUT 55263, JCS to Wedemeyer, 31 Oct 44.

40. (1) Item 9, Wedemeyer Data Book. (2) The Army Air Forces, V, 158-67.

41. Cir 8, Hq USFCT, 17 Dec 44.

42. Ltr, Col Louis W. Haskell, HUMPALCO officer, to Wedemeyer, 11 Oct 45, sub: Hist Rpt of the China Hump Tonnage Allocation and Control Off. OCMH.

43. See Ch. III, above.

44. Min, Mtgs, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo: 14, 6 Dec 44; 15, 8 Dec 44; 16, 9 Dec 44; 17, 11 Dec 44; 19 13 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

45. Ltr O, Generalissimo to Ho, 11 Dec 44. AG 300.4 (USFCT), KCRC.

46. (1) Japanese Study 130, p. 30. (2) History of China Theater, Ch. VIII, pp. 13, 15.

47. Min, Mtg 15, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 8 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

48. Ibid.

49. Min, Mtg 12, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 4 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

50. Japanese Study 130, p. 31.

51. Min, Mtg 18, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 12 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

52. The remainder of his letter General Wedemeyer devoted to military matters, such as permission to use the B-29's against Hankow. Memo cited n. 3(2).

53. Rpt, Hurley to State Dept, 23 Dec 44. Hurley Papers.

54. (1) Min, Mtg 23, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 26 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes. (2) See also Meeting 21 of 15 December, at which the Generalissimo said he wanted to bring the whole Chinese Army to the standard of the Chinese Army in India. (3) Exchange rate from Chart B, Annex E, History of the Procurement Branch, G-5 Section of the General Staff, Hq, U.S. Forces, China Theater. OCMH. It was 1,000 to 1 in June 1945, 3,500 in August, 1,200 in September.

55. Japanese Study 130, pp. 40, 64.

56. Chennault, Way of a Fighter, p. 326.

57. (1) Imperial General Headquarters (Army) Order Regarding Execution of Operation No. 1, 24 Jan 44, App. 1; Plan for Operation No. 1, 10 Mar 44, App. 3. Japanese Study 129. (2) Japanese Study 130, p. 43. (3) Japanese Study 129, pp. 65-66.

58. Japanese Study 130, pp. 43-44.

59. Min, Mtg 16, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 9 Dec 44. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

60. (1) Chennault, Way of a Fighter, pp. 329-31. (2) Fourteenth AF Annual Summary, 1944. OCMH.

61. (1) Organization Chart, Fourteenth AF, 1 Jan 45. Item 8, Wedemeyer Data Book. (2) Fourteenth AF Annual Summary, 1944, p. 8. OCMH. (3) Chennault comments on draft MS.

62. Japanese Study 82, pp. 118-19.

63. (1) Japanese Study 82, pp. 117-19. (2) Chennault, Way of a Fighter, p. 327.

64. (1) Chennault, Way of a Fighter, p. 328. (2) Opnl Summary, Fourteenth AF. Item 8, Wedemeyer Data Book. (3) Mil Hist Sec, Special Staff, GHQ FECOM, The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II, 1952 (Japanese Study 116). OCMH.

65. See Stilwell's Command Problems, p. 369.

66. Japanese Study 130, pp. 40-41.

67. (1) Japanese Comments on draft MS. (2) Chennault, Way of a Fighter, pp. 329-30.

68. (1) Japanese Study 130, pp. 35, 61-63. (2) Japanese Comments on draft MS.

69. Japanese Study 129, p. 70.

70. Rad CFB 31783, Wedemeyer to Marshall for JCS, 22 Jan 45. Wedemeyer Data Book.

71. Min, Mtg 27, Wedemeyer with Generalissimo, 10 Jan 45. Bk 1, Generalissimo Minutes.

72. (1) History of China Theater, Ch. VIII, pp. 28-29. (2) Japanese Study 129, p. 57.

73. Japanese Study 130, pp. 44-46.

74. (1) Japanese Study 130, pp. 45-47. (2) Chennault, Way of a Fighter, pp. 333-34.

75. Rad CAK 5697, Chennault to Wedemeyer, 15 Feb 45; Rad CAK 6017 Chennault to Gross 21 Feb 45; Rad, Chennault to West, 21 Feb 45; Rad CAK 6126, Glenn to Chennault, 22 Feb 45. Items 411, 432, 438, 439, Bks 1 and 2, ACW Personal File.

76. (1) Quotation from Japanese Study 130, p. 31. (2) Japanese Study 129, p. 66. (3) Japanese Study 45, p. 173.

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