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Report to Brigadier General Joseph C. Castner
April 7, 1927 Tientsin, China
Report of Board on Precautions to be taken
against Mobs and Measures to Suppress them.1
1. Obstacles: It is proposed that a barbed wire stockade be erected along the line indicated on accompanying sketch. Barbed wire chevaux de frise to be constructed for use in blocking streets and bridges as indicated on sketch and to be stored or stacked in immediate vicinity of places, to be used as work on stockade is commenced. The estimates for the above are attached hereto.
For the present it is proposed that the stockade be guarded against injury and pilferage by native police and occasional mounted patrols.
2. Troop Dispositions: When mob demonstrations are threatened, troops to be disposed in accordance with the present emergency plan, a copy of which is attached hereto. In addition, one rifle platoon and one section of machine guns to be dispatched to First Special Area Police Headquarters on Woodrow Wilson Street and quartered there. Troops at the Police Headquarters to be under the command of a Chinese speaking officer.
Mission of troops at Police Headquarters:
To prevent the collapse of the First Special Area police organization by supporting it in the performance of its functions.
3. Assumption of Control of First Special Area: At the first indication of inability on the part of the police of the First Special Area to perform their proper functions it is proposed that the complete control of the area be taken over by the U.S. Army Forces in China.
In so far as possible native policemen and officials to be retained to perform their normal duties.
Posters in Chinese proclaiming to the native population the assumption of control by the United States Army Forces in China to be displayed throughout the area. These posters to issue a warning to rioters and reassurance of protection to law-abiding citizens, urging the latter to cooperate for their own safety.
4. Arming Civilians: One rifle and one hundred rounds of ammunition to be issued to each responsible male foreigner residing in the First Special Area who applies for same. The offer by the United States Army Forces in China to issue arms and ammunition as above to be given publicity through local agencies (Chamber of Commerce, American Consul, German Consul). Individuals receiving arms to be required to sign a written agreement as follows:
That fire action will only be taken—
In self defense, or
In defense of another, or
In defense of property, or
When ordered by an officer or non-commissioned officer of the U.S. Army.
5. Action against mobs: The following general action against mobs is proposed.
a. The streets to be cleared of all Chinese, except policemen engaged in the performance of their duty.
b. (1). Where formed mobs are encountered they will be opposed by a skirmish line supported by the bulk of the unit at such a distance as to avoid hand to hand contact with the mob.
(2). Formed mobs to be exhorted to disperse. If they delay, tear gas bombs will be utilized. Thereafter, if the mob attacks, it will be fired into.
(3). Fire action is authorized in self defense and as above. All ranks will be cautioned to utilize every other means to disperse mobs before firing.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office 1917- (RG 407), 370.22, China, National Archives and Records Services, Washington, D.C.
Document Format: Typed report.
1. The attachments mentioned in this document are not printed here.
Recommended Citation: The Papers 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. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 302-304.