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4-504 To General Joseph W. Stilwell, September 9, 1944

   
Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: September 9, 1944

Subject: World War II


To General Joseph W. Stilwell

September 9, 1944 Radio No. WAR-27944 Washington, D.C.

Top Secret

Eyes Only of General Stilwell from Marshall.

Your comments in radio 22236 of September 8 have been helpful.1 As regards Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Bonesteel is the only one on your list in my opinion who might possibly be used. Frankly I was somewhat shocked by the names you proposed. Benedict was relieved from corps command, Magruder was released from division command and Fredendall from corps command in Tunisia. Bonesteel was the only man who had not been relieved of command.2 Wedemeyer incidentally displayed considerable command ability in temporary command of a regiment in Sicilian operation.3

The northern combat area command field commander under Sultan cannot be named immediately but we should be able to make a suitable officer available. Meanwhile I suppose Sultan could do as you have done and command in person.

More particulars on Lend-Lease will be worked out here.

Suitable personnel will be made available to meet requirements when China-Burma-India is split into two theaters.4

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. For previous discussion of various China-Burma-India theater issues and Stilwell’s September 8 response, see Marshall to Stilwell, September 4, 1944, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #4-496 [4: 570-72].

2. As candidates for the post of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, Southeast Asia Command, Stilwell had recommended Jay L. Benedict (former commanding general of the Ninth Corps Area and, since April 1942, president of the War Department Dependency Board), Donald C. Cubbison ([U.S.M.A., 1904], former commanding general of the First Infantry Division and, since May 1942, commander of the Field Artillery Replacement and Training Center, Fort Bragg, North Carolina), Bruce Magruder (former executive officer at the Infantry School and, since March 1942, commander of the Infantry Replacement Training Center, Camp Wolters, Texas), Lloyd R. Fredendall (former commanding general of the Second Corps in Tunisia and, since June 1943, commanding general of Second Army, Memphis, Tennessee), and Charles H. Bonesteel (commanding general of the Western Defense Command at the Presidio of San Francisco, California, since July 1944). Prior to sending Stilwell’s September 8 message to Handy, Marshall wrote on the document: “The only possibility is Bonesteel who is a fine type.” Bonesteel was sent to S.H.A.E.F. headquarters in France in November 1944. Raymond A. Wheeler became Deputy Supreme Allied Commander effective November 12.

3. In June 1943, Marshall had sent Wedemeyer to visit the Mediterranean theater and to observe the Sicily invasion as an officer temporarily attached to Patton’s Seventh Army staff. He landed with the assault troops and engaged in combat. In a letter to Marshall, Patton praised Wedemeyer. (Albert C. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports! [New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1958], pp. 222-25; Patton to Marshall, July 18, 1943, NA/RG 165 [OPD, 381 ETO, Case 74].)

4. On October 24, 1944, the U.S. Army Forces in the Chinese Theater of Operations, Burma and India, was succeeded by U.S. Forces, China Theater, and U.S. Forces, India-Burma Theater.

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. 578-579.

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