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To General Ho Ying-chin
April 15, 1944 Radio No. WAR-23478 Washington, D.C.
TOPSEC to General Hearn and General Stilwell for their eyes only personal from General Marshall.
Please deliver following to Ho Ying Chin:
“I was delighted to receive your message announcing your decision for the advance of the Y force to seize Tengchung-Lungling areas.1 This may well be the decisive blow in the campaign to regain control of north Burma. I am confident of the success of the movement if you can get it under way immediately and aggressively. I am sending your message on to the President who is in the south at present, for I know he will be greatly pleased to learn of your decision.”2
I leave to your (Stilwell’s) judgment whether readjustment of HUMP tonnage is warranted to assist Yunnan forces.3
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (RG 165), Records of the Operations Division (OPD), Top Secret Message File CM-OUT-23478, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. On April 14 Major General Thomas G. Hearn, chief of staff of U.S. Army Forces, C.B.I., transmitted a message from the minister of war and chief of staff of the Chinese Army, Ho Ying-chin, that China had been working on plans for offensive action against the Japanese. General Ho stated that “China has always realized her position with regard to offensives by United Nations, and it has only been because of time and lack of essential equipment that such action has not taken place before this time. . . . Decision to move part of Y Force across Salween was made on initiative of Chinese without influence of outside pressure, and was based on realization that China must contribute its share to common war effort.” Hearn added that his office was making no comment regarding General Ho’s message, except that “it is felt Chinese military leaders in all probability feel they have lost much face by failure to act. Above message appears to be attempt to convince War Department that Chinese are capable of making necessary military decisions.” He also noted that it would be necessary to restore tonnage to the Y-Force since operations were projected. (Hearn to Marshall, Radio No. 16100, April 14, 1944, NA/RG 165 [OPD, TS Message File (CM-IN-10243)].) For information on diverting tonnage, see Marshall Memorandum for the President, April 13, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-349 [4: 408]. For a discussion of the Chinese decision to attack across the Salween River into Burma, see Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell’s Command Problems, pp. 312-14.
2. General Ho acknowledged General Marshall’s message on April 21 and stated that it had been submitted to the Generalissimo. “Since our chief aim is to beat our common enemy,” replied Ho, “the Chinese forces are fully prepared to do their utmost in anything that is beneficial to our joint war effort in order to accelerate the successful development of the Allied campaign in Burma as well as to meet the warm expectations of your great President.” (Sunderland and Romanus, eds., Stilwell’s Personal File, 4: 1645.)
3. Hearn notified General Marshall on April 15 that tonnage was being restored to the Y-Force. (Hearn to Marshall and Stilwell, Radio No. JFBX-16145, NA/RG 165 [OPD, TS Message File (CM-IN-10769)].) The Chinese crossed the Salween River in mid-May. For information on the Chinese offensive, see Romanus and Sunderland, Stilwell’s Command Problems, pp. 329-60.
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. 4, “Aggressive and Determined Leadership,” June 1, 1943-December 31, 1944 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), pp. 413-414.