5-322 To General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, January 13, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: January 13, 1946

Subject: China

To General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower

[January 13, 1946] Radio No. GOLD 44. [Chungking, China]

Top Secret, Eyes Only

The following outlines my conception of possible and desirable developments out here: Early initiation of organization of Military Advisory Group on small scale based on President’s war powers, without waiting for formal congressional action.1 Wedemeyer to organize and head group during initial period continuing as head of theater to its demobilization, but released as Chief of Staff to Generalissimo.2

An officer of high rank to report here to me immediately to familiarize himself with situation in preparation for duty as U.S. representative on board or group actually carrying out reorganization and redeployment of Chinese armies. Whether or not such a representative will be desired remains to be seen but I think it will be impossible to carry out any such program without the guarantee provided by the presence of an impartial U.S. official. To prepare in time for this possibility I think either Simpson or Hull should be started out here without announcement of their prospective assignment.3

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. On the origins of the Military Advisory Group, see Marshall Memorandum for Admiral King, October 22, 1945, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #5-255 [5: 333-34].

2. In comments at the end of Wedemeyer’s January 21 letter answering State Department criticisms of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s plans for the Military Advisory Group, Marshall stated: “I have come to the conclusion that Wedemeyer should not be burdened with this duty [i.e., head of the Military Advisory Group] and, also, that for the present he should continue as Chief of Staff to the Generalissimo.” (Foreign Relations, 1946, 10: 815.)

3. Eisenhower replied that neither Hull nor Simpson could be sent to China immediately, so he suggested one of three former European theater corps commanders: Geoffrey Keyes, Walton H. Walker, or Alvan C. Gillem, Jr. (Eisenhower to Marshall, January 16, 1946, NA/RG 165 [OPD, Exec. 17, Item 36].) Marshall selected Lieutenant General Gillem, who was then in Washington, D.C., as a member of the Stilwell Board on postwar equipment. He arrived in Chungking on February 17.

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. 418-419.

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