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To Henry L. Stimson
[May 1?, 1943] Washington, D.C.
I suggest that your par 2 of Sec. II be altered.1 What we are first fighting for—or rather struggling to do against Chinese resistance—is to develop as quickly as possible a fairly trained and at least partially equipped force in Yunnan by fall to protect the air route. The Burma road is secondary to this emergency requirement. The road will do little for us for almost 12 months after Anakim succeeds. But, we can lose the air route this summer—then, apparently, all is lost. Stilwell only asks for a total of 10,000 tons up to September, I believe.
G. C. M.
Document Copy Text Source: Henry L. Stimson Papers, General Correspondence, Yale University Library, New Haven, Connecticut.
Document Format: Handwritten letter signed.
1. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy had met with Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell at Stimson’s home on the evening of April 30, 1943, and Stimson wrote a memorandum as a result of the meeting. Section II of his memorandum concerned the training of Chinese divisions. Paragraph 2 of this section stated: “In order to train such divisions and to keep them supplied during the ensuing operation, it is necessary to get a ground supply route into China via Burma. The air route is entirely inadequate for supplying ground military operations on an adequate scale to protect our bases in China. Everyone agrees to this.” (Memorandum Made as a Result of Conversation with General Stilwell by the Secretary of War and Mr. McCloy, April 30, 1943, NA/RG 107 [ASW McCloy, Box 62].) Regarding Stilwell and Chennault’s visit, see editorial note #3-636, Papers of George Catlett Marshall [3: 674-75] and Marshall Memorandum for General Stilwell, May 3, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-637 [3: 675-76].
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. 3, “The Right Man for the Job,” December 7, 1941-May 31, 1943 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991), pp. 672-673.