3-442 To Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell, December 7, 1942

Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press
Date: December 7, 1942

Subject: World War II

To Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell

December 7, 1942 [Washington, D.C.]

My dear Stilwell:

I am keenly aware of the seemingly insurmountable difficulties that you have faced daily in the creation of an efficient striking force to reopen ground communications with China. You have far exceeded our expectations in securing authority for the reorganization which you are now rapidly putting into effect. We are doing everything in our power to find the ships to carry to you at least the bare essentials you so urgently require. Incidentally, the Chiefs of Staff are taking this up with the President tomorrow.

To paraphrase Mr. Churchill’s famous statement, nowhere has so much been done with so little as under your driving leadership.

This note carries my Christmas greetings and personal thanks to you and your people. Please feel that we have you constantly in mind. I am certain that if we find ways and means to supply your most essential requirements you will give an historic beating to some Japs in 1943.

Faithfully yours,

P.S. I read your profane message for “Timberman’s eye only” and I sympathize with you in your reaction1

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

Document Format: Typed letter.

1. In a November 28 radio message to Colonel Thomas S. Timberman in the Operations Division, Stilwell ridiculed the support the War Department had promised to his theater. “If this is the backing the W.D. is going to give to an honest effort at a serious campaign, that’s their business. But the onus for failure cannot be ducked and I’ll be God-damned if I like playing goat all the time. If nothing can be done, O.K., but for Christ’s sake don’t let them go on telling me how they’re going to back me up to the limit. This is the limit, already.” (Stilwell to Timberman, Radio No. 1463, November 28, 1942, Riley Sunderland and Charles F. Romanus, Stilwell’s Personal File: China-Burma-India, 1942-1944, 5 vols. [Wilmington, Del.: Scholarly Resources, 1976], 1: 397. See also Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, Stilwell’s Mission to China, a volume in the United States Army in World War II [Washington: GPO, 1953], pp. 244-47.)

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. 474-475.

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