5-366 To General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, February 22, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: February 22, 1946

Subject: China

To General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

February 22, 1946 Radio No. GOLD 226. [Chungking, China]


Serious difficulty is being encountered regarding the amalgamation of the Communists and National Army Forces in China due to the fact that while a portion of the National Army divisions which are to be continued have been equipped and trained by Americans, the Communist organizations on the other hand have little or no divisional organization, having operated more or less in a guerrilla fashion, poorly equipped and have had little or no military schooling. The integration of the divisions into corps or armies presents to the Communists a serious embarrassment unless there is a delay of such length that it, in my opinion, may prejudice the whole program. Agreement has been reached on practically every phase of the problem of amalgamation except as to the actual date when integration of the divisions into army corps is initiated, which is a critical political factor in the formation of a coalition and representative government.

To solve this last problem, we are undertaking to organize hurriedly within the Communist area an elementary school for infantry and artillery officers and for division and corps staff officers and their commanders. The courses will only be three months in duration, but it is of great importance to get the first courses started without delay. The limitation is the lack of American personnel in China. The Executive Headquarters in Peiping with its numerous field teams has exhausted our resources in personnel.

Would it be practicable for you to let Wedemeyer have on a temporary duty and volunteer basis about 60 young American officers in the grades of lieutenant, captain, and possibly major, and 60 American non-commissioned officers grade immaterial from Japan, Okinawa or the Philippines to lend invaluable assistance in getting this business started. If the number of officers is too large would you consider increasing the number of NCOs? If you could see your way clear to let us have these people for a minimum of four months in China, the proportion should be as follows: officers, approximately 70 per cent infantry, 25 per cent artillery, and 5 per cent young graduates from the Leavenworth special wartime course. Enlisted men, the proportion should be 60 per cent instructors, infantry weapons, 20 per cent instructors, light field artillery, and 20 per cent clerks and draftsmen. If agreeable to you a portion of this personnel could be offered the possibility of selection for later permanent assignment to the Military Advisory Group on a volunteer basis. The Military Advisory Group will operate from Nanking in assisting the Chinese in the conduct of their schools and in the training of their armies.

I am trying to get some people from the States but that is a long drawn out and involved process under present conditions at home and I cannot delay the organization of the schools. The time for their opening is dictated by the situation here.1

Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Department of State (RG 59), Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, GOLD Messages, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. MacArthur replied that his personnel shortage in Japan was bad and getting worse; it was not physically practicable to honor Marshall’s request, otherwise he would be only too glad to help. (MacArthur to Marshall, cited in Caughey to Marshall, Radio No. GOLD 273, March 3, 1946, NA/RG 59 [Lot Files, Marshall Mission, Military Affairs, GOLD Messages].)

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. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), pp. 465-466.

Digital Downloads




Holding Rights: Public Information
Holding ID: 5-366

Rights: Public Information