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Memorandum for Field Marshal Sir John Dill
October 16, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]
Your memorandum of October 13th relieved our anxiety for General Stilwell’s project at Ramgarh and I appreciate the rapid action you succeeded in obtaining on this question from your people.1
I can readily understand your indication of Wavell’s preference for Indian troops in the district of Bihar and also his anxiety in connection with the problem of equipping the volunteers which are now becoming available to him. The equipment being used to equip the Chinese is the property of the Chinese Government. It has been accumulating in India because of our inability to get it to the Generalissimo and any diversion at this time would have explosive consequences. If an emergency developed, then I think Stilwell could handle the matter, on the ground, without deep prejudice to our relations with the Generalissimo.
I have sent a radio to Stilwell quoting your comment on the 45,000 total for Ramgarh, and should have his reply shortly.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Office of the Chief of Staff (OCS), 381 China [10-13-42], National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. Replying to Marshall’s October 6 memorandum (see Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-356 [3: 384-85]), Dill wrote that the British Chiefs of Staff would “welcome the proposal to increase the Chinese forces at Ramgarh up to the limit of the accommodation available.” Dill feared, however, that the facilities could accommodate only half of the forty-five thousand Chinese troops Stilwell planned to train there. “If that turns out to be the case, it may be difficult to persuade the Generalissimo that we are not putting a spoke in his wheel, and it is important that our stock should not slump further with that gentleman.” Dill thought that General Wavell would have preferred having Indian rather than Chinese troops in “that politically troublesome district of Bihar.” (Dill to Marshall, October 13, 1942, NA/RG 165 [OCS, 381 China].)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), p. 403.