5-405 To Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem, Jr., March 27, 1946

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: March 27, 1946

Subject: China

To Lieutenant General Alvan C. Gillem, Jr.

March 27, 1946 Radio No. WAR-82259. Washington, D.C.


I have had a list of about 110 colonels, lieutenant colonels and a few majors approved for China service with Executive Headquarters. They have been selected from efficiency reports. A number of them have volunteered but there has not been time to secure voluntary action from the entire list. They have not delayed here to screen these people, that can be done in Peiping. I think from this list it should be possible to obtain the services of sufficient men to oversee the demobilization and reorganization of armies or possibly to provide additional Manchurian team leaders. These men have been leaving at a rate of 6 a day by air from Hamilton Field,1 some will go by water.

I have also arranged for a number of junior officers, approximately 100 company grade officers and 25 first three grade enlisted men, to be sent out. Officers will all go on one vessel departing on or about 2 April. This should help you meet the present dilemma in personnel.

I am trying to rush the provision of equipment both for the Communist school and for at least a skeleton outfit for the important ten Communist divisions. This has to be managed if possible within lend lease provisions which means the materiel should reach China prior to June 30 if it is at all possible to arrange. The extension of lend lease beyond June 30 is a critical political problem. Once the materiel is in China the situation is considerably improved.

I am glad to see the teams are at last going into Manchuria. Let me have an estimate of the present political jam between the Kuomintang and Communists.2 That cannot be allowed to brew up to an explosion. Something positive will have to be done.

Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, China Mission, Memoranda-Messages-Cables, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.

Document Format: Typed radio message.

1. Hamilton Field was twenty-five miles north of San Francisco, California.

2. The chief cause of the “political jam,” Gillem responded, was the strategic situation in Manchuria, where “the Communists are definitely the aggressors.” Communist strength there on V-J Day had been approximately thirty to forty thousand, but it had since grown to three hundred thousand, notwithstanding the cease-fire agreement’s stipulation that only government forces should move into or within Manchuria. Chou En-lai was pressing Gillem and Executive Headquarters to resist further Nationalist troop movements into the area, but he had recently approved using U.S. resourses to move two additional Nationalist armies to Manchuria. (Foreign Relations, 1946, 9: 716-17.)

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. 515-516.

Digital Downloads




Holding Rights: Public Information
Holding ID: 5-405

Rights: Public Information