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To Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell
April 11, 1943 Radio Washington, D.C.
From Marshall to Stilwell for his eyes only.
Generalissimo radioed President April 10 as follows: “All ground facilities are being rushed according to plan and I can assure you that they will be ready at the appointed time. In the meanwhile, I would urge that you summon General Chennault to Washington to lay before you and General Arnold the plan I have been discussing with him. I believe this is most necessary in order to make effective our mutual desire to strike the enemy by air.
I believe General Chennault could conveniently come now, and it may not be feasible for him to come later.” We have discussed the possibility of your coming back to talk things over, returning with General Handy, OPD War Department, who is now en route to England, Africa, India, China and possibly may return via Pacific. I fear now that Generalissimo will feel that your return at same time as Chennault is a studied effort to offset Chennault. Rush me your reaction to all foregoing.1
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Selected Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed radio message.
1. Stilwell replied that he did not know of any new Chennault plans and did not know why Chiang Kai-shek was dealing directly with Chennault and bypassing him. “There is undoubtedly something else behind the move possibly a further build up of Chennault at expense everything else.” Stilwell suggested that Chiang be told that his proposal for Chennault to make a trip to Washington fitted in well with a War Department plan to bring Stilwell, Bissell, and Chennault to Washington for a conference to discuss ANAKIM. “My reaction generally is that unless the United States takes firm stand whole situation will soon get out of hand.” (Sunderland and Romanus, Stilwell’s Personal File, 2: 653.) For further information, see Marshall Memorandum for the President, April 12, 1943, Papers of George Catlett Marshall, #3-601 [3: 641-42].
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), p. 638.