STILWELL'S MISSION TO CHINA. By Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland. (1953, 1984; 441 pages, 6 tables, 8 charts, 7 maps, 19 illustrations, bibliographical note, glossary, index, CMH Pub 9-1.)
This volume and the next in the subseries are centered on the performance of Lt. Gen. Joseph W. Stilwell. Stilwell was chief of staff to Chiang Kai-shek, in Chiang's capacity of commander in chief of China considered as an Allied theater; he administered U.S. lend-lease aid to China; and he commanded the CBI Theater. Chiang put him in charge of his force (three Chinese armies) in Burma during the illfated campaign of 1942, and this campaign, insofar as it involved his authority, is therefore described.
The War Department's concept of aid to China was to help the Chinese to help themselves, by military advice, technical assistance, air support, and supplies needed to fill the gaps in the Chinese armory. General Stilwell was also directed to reopen a ground line of communications with China. The present volume describes General Stilwell's efforts to effect a working relationship with the Generalissimo, to formulate a program acceptable both to the host government and his own superiors, and to organize a logistical base for American assistance and air operations. It presents, in global perspective, the difficulties that were created when the President, overruling the War Department, decided that China-based and air-supplied air power was a better investment of available American resources than rebuilding the Chinese Army.
As theater commander General Stilwell had under his authority a far-flung
Services of Supply (SOS), the Fourteenth Air Force (Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault's) in China, and the Tenth Air Force in India. This and the succeeding volumes supplement the more detailed account of these air forces to be found in The Army Air Forces in World War II. They are here presented in relation to the missions and activities of the theater and General Stilwell's other responsibilities. This work and its successors also contain a general account of the extraordinary problems and activities of the SOS, plus air supply over the famous "Hump." Their presentation here can be supplemented by consulting the Air Forces history cited and the histories of the technical services in the United States Army in World War II. The present volume covers the period September 1939-September 1943. (The key topics are included in the list that follows the description of the third volume of this subseries.)
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