The Wedemeyer Mission: American Politics and Foreign Policy During the Cold War 0820307173, 9780820307176

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Table of contents :
The Wedemeyer Mission
1. Origins
2. Wedemeyer in China
3. Wedemeyer in Korea
4. The Report
5. Reception
6. The Legacy
Bibliographical Essay
Recommend Papers

The Wedemeyer Mission: American Politics and Foreign Policy During the Cold War
 0820307173, 9780820307176

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The Wedemeyer Mission

William Stueck

Th e W e d e m e ye r M is s io n American Politics and Foreign Policy during the Cold War

The University of Georgia Press


© 1984 by the University of Georgia Press Athens, Georgia 30602 AU rights reserved Designed by Kathi L. Dailey Set in 10 on 13 Linotron 202 Primer The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durabiUty of the Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the CouncU on Library Resources. Printed in the United States of America 88 87 86 85


5 4 3 2 1

Library of Congress Cataloging in PubUcation Data Stueck, William Whitney, 1945The Wedemeyer mission. Bibliography: p. 1. United States— Foreign relations— China. 2. China— Foreign relations— United States. 3. United States— Foreign relations— Korea. 4. Korea— Foreign relations— United States. 5. United States— Foreign relations— 1945-1953. 6. Wedemeyer, Albert C. (Albert Coady), 1896. 7. China— History— Civil War, 1945-1949. 8. Korea— Politics and government— 19 4 5 -19 4 8 . 1 . Tide. E183.8.C5S8571984 ISBN 0-8203-0717-3




Contents Acknowledgments Introduction







Wedemeyer in China


3 Wedemeyer in Korea


ch apter

ch apter 4 The Report



The Reception



The Legacy Notes



Bibliographical Essay Index



Acknowledgments The project that led to this book began in the spring of 1982 when the Institute for American Culture of the Academia Sin­ ica in Taipei, Taiwan, invited me to deliver a paper at a confer­ ence on Sino-Ameiican relations during the 1940s. I chose the Wedemeyer mission as my topic, thinking that I could easily build on my earlier work. This proved to be true, but in the process of seeking to avoid the "warmed-over first book syn­ drome” I discovered a variety of unpublished sources perti­ nent to the mission that heretofore had been used only spar­ ingly or not at all. Most important of these were Wedemeyer’s own papers, which the general kindly permitted me to use while still stored in the attic of his home in Boyds, Maryland. My contact with the papers and with General Wedemeyer and Dr. Keith Eiler, his “designated biographer,” persuaded me that the man and the mission deserved treatment beyond a mere conference paper. W hatever insights this study may pos­ sess on Wedemeyer are largely a result of the assistance of these two men. Wedemeyer and Eiler undoubtedly will disa­ gree with many of the interpretations herein, nonetheless, so I hasten to add that these judgm ents are my responsibility alone. My colleague William M. Leary and the former editor of the University of Georgia Press, Charles East, convinced me that the Wedemeyer mission deserved a book-length treatment. Professor Leary offered valuable— and occasionally biting—



criticism of two early drafts of the manuscript. (Fortunately, I had the good sense to take most of his advice.) Mr. East first showed infinite patience in working with a prospective author who was not sure what he was about and then provided the motivation to meet several deadlines. Russell D. Buhite of the University of Oklahoma and James I. Matray of New Mexico State University offered helpful sug­ gestions that led to improvements in the manuscript. Bill Lewis, George Chalou, and Fred Pem ell at the Washington National Records Center and Sally Marks and Ed Reese at the National Archives steered me toward some of the lesserknown collections in their repositories. Edward J. Boone, Jr., at the MacArthur Memorial Library tracked down pertinent documents in his archive and sent me copies, thus saving me a trip there. The Harry S. Truman Library Institute, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philo­ sophical Society, and the Office of the Vice-President for Re­ search at the University of Georgia all provided funding which, although for other projects, enabled me to spend sub­ stantial periods of time in archives that held manuscripts re­ lated to the Wedemeyer mission. My wife Pat and my children Todd and Kendra merit a combination of my thanks and apologies— thanks for tolerat­ ing my protracted absences from home, apologies for being asked to endure them. It is to my family that I dedicate this volume with my deepest affection.

Introduction “You will proceed to China without delay for the purpose of making an appraisal of the political, economic, psychological and military situations— current and projected.. . . When your mission in China is completed you will proceed to Korea to make an appraisal of the situation there with particular reference to an economic aid program in Korea and its relation to general political and economic conditions throughout the country.”' This historic directive of July 9,1947, sent Lieuten­ ant General AlberfÜ- Wedemeyer across die Pacific Ocean in a last-ditch effort to stem the Communist advance in China and to avert an American debacle in Korea. One of a long series of American special missions that attempted to shape. tfieT destiny of East Asia, it was doomed to failure. A bitter lesson in the limits of American power, the Wedemeyer mis­ sion became swept up in acrimonious— and futile— partisan debates about who “lost” China and why the United States failed to avert a costly war in Korea. The widespread notion that, with ju st a bit more aid from the United States, the National government of China could have stymied one of the great revolutions of modem times would plague the American body politic for a generation to come. Together with the charge that the outbreak of war in Korea on June 25, 1950, resulted from the neglect of the peninsula by the Democratic administration of Harry S. Truman, it helped pave the way for the Republican electoral sweep in 1952, the first in more than


The Wedemeyer Mission

two decades. Misconceptions about the sources of America’s problems in China and Korea would present major stumbling blocks to the development of a realistic approach to the Orient. The mission began amidst a transformation of American foreign policy, four months after Truman’s rousing call to Congress for aid to Greece and Turkey to assist “free peoples” in their struggle against “armed minorities” and but five weeks after Secretary of State George C. Marshall proposed large-scale economic assistance for the recovery of Europe.3 With the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, the Tru­ man administration embarked on its historic policy of contain­ ing Soviet communism, thus promoting a level of involvement abroad never before contemplated in peacetime. Yet the major initiatives of the first half of 1947 did not encompass China and Korea. As in Europe and the Mediterra­ nean, anti-Communist forces in Asia confronted grave inter­ nal difficulties. In China, civil war engulfed large portions of the nation, with the Communists making steady gains. A United States Navy report of early June concluded that the recent Communist military offensive, the fourth of the year, had produced “the complete crippling of communications and strangling of industry and commerce” in Manchuria. In North China, Communist troops “infiltrating from Jehol and arriving by sea from Dairen have cut the Peking-Mukden Railroad three times in the past two weeks and are in position to disrupt railroad traffic almost at will.”3 Ambassador John Leighton Stuart confirmed these depressing facts. In the northeast, he told Washington, the National government faced “a military debacle of large proportions.” National armies held most key cities, but their inability to protect transportation and commu­ nication facilities in the countryside— or even arable land— placed them in an increasingly isolated position.4 The outlook for the Nanking regime was uniformly bleak. Without Ameri­ can assistance it appeared doomed to defeat at the hands of the Communists.



Despite Stuart’s alarm, President Truman hesitated to be­ come more deeply involved in the Chinese morass. He trusted the advice of Marshall, who had long placed Europe ahead of Asia on the list of American priorities. Marshall’s mission to China during the previous year in an attempt to negotiate a resolution to the conflict between the Nationalists and the Communists had reinforced his doubts about Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek’s corrupt and inefficient regime.5 He refused to place sole blame for the breakdown of talks on the National­ ists, but he did note in his personal statement on the mission that “there is a dominant group of reactionaries [in the Kuo­ mintang] who have been opposed. . . to almost every effort I have made to influence the formation of [a] genuine coalition governm ent” To him, “the salvation of the situation” rested in “the assumption of leadership by the liberals in the Govern­ ment and in the minority parties.”6 On returning to the United States in January 1947 to assume the post of secretary of state, he recommended to Truman a wait-and-see approach to China. To escalate American involvement in the civil war might commit the United States to a costly and hopeless en­ terprise in an area of secondary importance. Even so, the Communist advance in China disturbed Mar­ shall and his advisers in the State Department, as they all agreed that this trend served the interests of Moscow. In May, Marshall ended the American embargo on arms to China, part of a new effort to insure that Chiang’s armies had adequate supplies of arms and ammunition. In June, the United States sold 130 million rounds of rifle ammunition to the National government at 10 percent of the procurement cost.7 Marshall also tried to facilitate loans for the Nationalists through the Export-Import Bank and included China in a requested appro­ priation for post-UNRRA relief. American leaders, however, recognized such efforts as temporary palliatives. If commu­ nism was to be contained in China, further initiatives must soon follow. As the secretary of state wrote to his top assistant,


The Wedemeyer Mission

Under Secretary of State Robert A. Lovett, “the situation [in China] is critical and it is urgendy necessary. . . that we re­ consider our policy.”8 Quite simply, the choice was between deeper intervention in the civil war or continuation of a policy which would result in Communist domination of all or large portions of the mainland. In Korea, the choices were even less attractive. Since Sep­ tember ig4 5 the United States had occupied the southern half of that peninsula, with Soviet troops in the north. The Ameri­ cans had regarded this division as temporary, hoping to end it first through a multipower trusteeship and then through the granting of full independence to a united, democratic nation. But agreement with the Soviet Union on a path toward unity and independence proved elusive. At Moscow in December 1945 the foreign ministers setded on a joint Soviet-American commission to work out specifics for economic unification, a Korean provisional government, a four-power trusteeship, with Great Britain and China joining the principals.9 In May 1946, however, the Joint Commission adjourned without mak­ ing substantial progress. The body reconvened a year later, yet by July it had failed to resolve the fundamental issue of which Korean groups would be consulted in the preliminary process directed toward creating a provisional government. The Rus­ sians wanted to exclude organizations that opposed trustee­ ship, a scheme that would have virtually eliminated all rightist groups. Not only did the United States object to this demand, but it also advocated proportional representation in any provi­ sional government, which would work to the advantage of the more populous southern zone.10 W hile talks in the Joint Commission headed toward an im­ passe, conditions in South Korea deteriorated. Lieutenant General John R. Hodge, the occupation commander, reported at the beginning of July that the political situation was “more precarious. . . than at anytime since the occupation began.”" That was significant, as the American zone had been in a state



of turmoil at least since the previous fall when a series of strikes in the cities and uprisings in the countryside had led to considerable bloodshed.13 Hodge placed most of the blame for the continuing deterioration on ua strong Comintern fifthcolumn in South Korea.” Rightist groups under the leadership of Syngman Rhee and Kim Koo had contributed to the prob­ lems by pursuing their own interests so aggressively that they had driven many “liberals” into the extreme leftist cam p.'3 Whatever the sources of America’s problems, new initiatives seemed essential for their resolution. Earlier in the year, the State Department had hoped to strengthen the United States bargaining position in the Joint Commission by unveiling a three-year economic aid program for South Korea. Such a pro­ gram would assist both in persuading the Soviets that the United States had no intention of abandoning the country and in eliminating the economic conditions that helped breed un­ rest. The initial reaction of congressional leaders, however, was far from encouraging.14 Another possibility was to break with Moscow and construct an independent government be­ low the thirty-eighth parallel. Such a course would please the South Korean right and reduce its constant and disruptive pressure on the occupation command. Still, without largescale economic assistance and a military aid program to match that underway in the north, a South Korean state would be vulnerable from both within and without. The United States, of course, could simply withdraw immediately from the penin­ sula, but that alternative would lead to Communist domina­ tion of the entire country, which would be a severe blow to American credibility abroad. The summer of 1947, therefore, was not a time for optimism in Washington with regard to prospects in either China or Korea. The Wedemeyer mission had the unenviable tasks of surveying these “hotspots” and recommending a course of action. This book traces the origins, the course, and the aftermath


The Wedemeyer Mission

of this important mission. The opening of a wealth of archival material in recent years makes the present a propitious mo­ ment for such a study, as it is now possible to answer with considerable precision many of the key questions relating to the m ission.'5 Why was a mission sent to China and Korea in July 1947 and why was Wedemeyer chosen to head it? What did his superiors in Washington expect to come of it? How did American representatives in China and Korea perceive it, and what was its political impact in those countries? What were Wedemeyer’s own feelings about his tasks and how did they influence his conduct in China and Korea? How did his rec­ ommendations upon returning from Asia jibe with American foreign policy and how were they evaluated within the Tru­ man administration? What was the mission’s impact on poli­ tics within the United States not only in its immediate aftermath but in the ensuing years? How was Wedemeyer’s own career affected by the venture? In addressing these questions, one can go far in compre­ hending and assessing the ideas, the personalities, and the institutions behind United States policy in East Asia at the onset of the Cold War. Indeed, the Wedemeyer report of Sep­ tember 19, 1947, brought into sharp focus the fundamental disagreements within the American government over the na­ ture of the political forces on continental East Asia and their significance to the United States. Events at home and abroad made it impossible to smooth over those disagreements, and, in time, they captured a central position on the American po­ litical landscape. In a word, the Truman administration’s re­ sponse to the crisis in Asia during the second half of 1947 would shape both the American position in that area and the internal politics of the United States for the next two decades.

Chapter i

Origins The Wedemeyer mission of 1947 grew out of concern in the United States about conditions in China. The situation in Ko­ rea also disturbed some Americans, especially in the State Department, but inclusion of a visit to Korea in Wedemeyer’s directive was largely an afterthought. Marshall recommended the mission to the president only after considerable reflection. On June 20, John Carter Vin­ cent, assistant secretary of state for the Far East, proposed to his superior the dispatch of a presidental envoy to China “for a brief visit.” Chiang had appealed for American advice and such an envoy could discuss the situation with American and Chinese officials on the scene and prepare prosposals for United States action. O f particular significance in Vincent’s calculations was his lack of confidence in Ambassador Stuart. An educator by training and experience, Stuart was seventyone years old and in fragile health. More important, he held a sentimental view of Sino-American relations. As John F. Melby, second secretary in the American embassy, observed early in the year, uhis Christian and emotional ties to the Kuo­ mintang and all its works are tremendous and get in the way of his judgm ent all the time.”1 Vincent and his colleagues doubted that he had been “sufficiently frank with the General­ issimo” either in outlining the limited aid he might expect from the United States or in conveying the urgency of broad reforms within his government.3 The assistant secretary sug-


The Wedemeyer Mission

gested Robert Lovett or Dean Acheson, Lovett’s predecessor as under secretary, as suitable heads of a mission. Marshall did not accept the idea until at least July 2, and his choice as its leader was Wedemeyer, not Lovett, Acheson, or any other State Department member.3 In part, Marshall’s decision was prompted by domestic con­ cerns. The State Department, was beset by pressures from the Pentagon for new assistance to Chiang. For several months, Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson and his counterpart in the Navy Department, James V. Forrestal, had pushed for the réévaluation of the wait-and-see policy.4 In early June a Joint Chiefs of Staff circulated a paper that assessed the strategic consequences of a continued growth of Communist influence in China. The Chinese Communists, they believed, were wtools of Soviet policy” and thus the extension of their power could only be viewed as an advantage to Moscow. The Krem­ lin’s immediate hope was uto remove Manchuria from the Chi­ nese economy and integrate it into the economy of Eastern Siberia.” Success in such an enterprise would go far in achiev­ ing the “economic and military self-sufficiency of the Soviet Far Eastern Provinces.” In the meantime, the inability of Na­ tionalist China to exploit the resources of Manchuria com­ bined with the ongoing civil conflict in China proper probably would produce either its “complete economic collapse” or “its ultimate submission to Soviet and Communist Chinese pres­ sure.” Eventually, Soviet hegemony might expand “south­ ward through China and toward Indo-China, Malaysia and India.” The military leaders proposed a strong public expres­ sion of American support for the National government along with “carefully planned, selective and well-supervised [mate­ rial] assistance.” A mere statement of United States backing for Chiang, the military leaders surmised, might bring the Communists to terms. If not, “a relatively small amount of military assistance” should produce a decisive Nationalist military victory over the Communists.5



Sentiment in the legislative branch reinforced this growing pressure. During the third week of June pro-Chiang forces on both sides of the Pacific commenced a new campaign for ex­ panded American support against the Communists, an effort that quickly reached the halls of Congress. Dr. Sun Fo, vicepresident of the National government, launched the offensive from Nanking on June 20 when he called for new United States assistance in the form of military supplies, credits, and "vigorous political support.”6 Without such help, Sun warned, the Nationalists would lose Manchuria and perhaps all of China to the Communists, who were "absolute instruments” of Soviet policy.7 In the aftermath of Sun’s appeal, several members of the American press, led by Eric Sevareid of Co­ lumbia Broadcasting System, predicted an early "showdown” on United States policy toward China.8 In Washington, Wel­ lington Koo, the Chinese ambassador to the United States, lobbied intensively on Capitol Hill, speaking especially to Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg (Republican, Michigan), the powerful chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Congressman Walter Judd (Republican, Minnesota), an influ­ ential member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.9 Judd, in turn, saw Marshall, urging him to send Wedemeyer to China for a fresh assessm ent.10 Although Judd and other avidly pro-Nationalist legislators never constituted a majority in Congress, they did carry weight well beyond their numbers. The Republican Eightieth Congress possessed strong contingents that sought to both balance the budget and cut taxes. Another group favored an isolationist foreign policy. At the helm of the House Appropria­ tions Committee was John Taber (Republican, New York), whom Arthur Krock of the New York Times likened to "a Pilgrim Father in the savage w ilderness. . . [striving] to check and reduce the ever-growing cost of government.” Taber al­ ready was using his committee to hold up an appropriation for Greece and Turkey.11 With the Truman administration intent


The Wedemeyer Mission

upon implementing a foreign aid program adequate to save Western Europe from economic collapse, it could ill afford to ignore the views of such interventionists as Senator Vandenberg, Congressman Judd, Congressman John Vorys (Republi­ can, Ohio), and Senator Styles Bridges (Republican, New Hampshire), the chairman of the appropriations committee of the upper house, all of whom desired expanded assistance to the National government.12 On the other hand, because Congress had a limited toler­ ance for expensive foreign programs, Marshall had to be care­ ful not to intervene in China on a scale that would substan­ tially reduce funds for W estern Europe.'3 Marshall, Vincent, and other China experts in the State Department regarded the views of the Joint Chiefs as “somewhat impracticable.”'4 As Vincent wrote to the secretary of state on June 20, an increase in American aid to Chiang would “provoke the USSR to simi­ lar intervention on the side of the Chinese Communists.” Thus such assistance “would be inconclusive” unless the United States assumed “direction of Chinese military opera­ tions and administration [over] an indefinite period,” a course that would “invite formidable opposition among the Chinese people” and probably would not be acceptable to the American public. Vincent also doubted the Soviet capacity to dominate China. The Communist Chinese had an ideological bond with the Soviet Union, he admitted; but “the administrative inefficien­ cies of the Chinese themselves, the magnitude of the task of dominating China, the easily aroused Chinese resentment at foreign interference, the lack of industrial development and material resources, and the inability of the Russians to give the material assistance necessary to make China a going con­ cern”— all made a Soviet-dominated China a danger of insuf­ ficient “immediacy or probability" to justify the risks inherent in escalating intervention in the Chinese civil war.



Vincent bolstered his case with the words of the Joint Chiefs themselves. In a study of the previous month, he pointed out, military planners had ranked China fourteenth in a list of sixteen nations to whom assistance should be given because M of the importance to our national security.” In such a light, Vincent contended, the prosposal of the Joint Chiefs regarding China would constitute an unwarranted “strategic commitment.”'5 The appointment of Wedemeyer to head a mission to China involved obvious risks. The three-star general had been closely associated with China since the fall of 1944, when he had succeeded General Joseph Stilwell as Chiang’s chief of staff. Unlike his predecessor, who had often referred to the general­ issimo as “peanut,” Wedemeyer had come to like and admire the Chinese leader, characterizing him in July 1946 as “a sincere, selfless man who wants more than anything else in the world to create a higher standard of living for his people ąnd to improve opportunities for all in an atmosphere of peace.”'6 Also unlike Stilwell, Wedemeyer had never fully committed him self to granting assistance to the Communists during the struggle against Japan. In the aftermath of that struggle he had favored straightforward United States support for the National government in its effort to unify China under its ru le.'7 W hen Marshall arrived in China in late December 1945 to commence a year-long effort to negotiate a coalition government between the Nationalists and the Communists, Wedemeyer told his superior that such an approach would not work.'8 In January 1947, as Marshall took up duties as secre­ tary of state in Washington, Wedemeyer again told him he thought American policy “unrealistic.”'9 Privately, he told a friend “that we have treated China in a disgraceful manner.”20 Marshall may not have been aware of the intensity of Wedemeyer’s feelings in China, but he certainly recognized their general thrust. To put Wedemeyer in charge of a mission to


The Wedemeyer Mission

reevaluate China policy risked the emergence of proposals contrary to the secretary of state’s conception of global priori­ ties. If Wedemeyer did return with such proposals, pressure from the China block in Congress might prove difficult to resist. Balancing out this consideration was Marshall’s desire for a respite on the China issue. This vexing problem came at a time when other matters competed for the secretary’s attention. July found Marshall busy with preparations for a conference on inter-American security scheduled for Rio de Janeiro during August and with efforts to construct a viable program for Euro­ pean recovery. The appointment of Acheson or Lovett to lead the China venture was not likely to assuage Chiang’s sup­ porters in the United States, as neither man had direct experi­ ence with the Orient and Acheson was a well-known defender of past American policy toward the National government.31 Marshall overcame his reservations about Wedemeyer in part because of the function the appointment would play at home, but also because of his personal relationship with the general, his genuine concern about events in China, and his sense of the limits imposed by Congress on American ventures abroad. Mar­ shall’s contact with Wedemeyer extended back to 1938. By this time, Wedemeyer was forty-one years old and two decades into his army career. A graduate of W est Point, he had received his first commission in 1918. During the twenties and early thirties he had served in the Philippines, China, and the United States. (Perhaps his most notable achievement of the period was his marriage to the daughter of Colonel Stanley Embick.) In 1934, when he entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, his career took a positive turn. For several years he had been reading widely in history and economics, which prepared him well for the broad training in strategic doctrine that he was about to receive. His graduation with high honors in 1936 earned him a two-year stint at the prestigious



German War College. Before departing from the states, Wedemeyer had taken an interest in the “heartland theory” through the work of Sir Halford MacKinder, the British disciple of geo­ politics. W hen he arrived in Berlin, he found MacKinder’s writ­ ings in vogue and was struck by the superior quality of instruc­ tion offered by his German teachers. On returning to the United States, he wrote a lengthy report on German military thought and organization. General Marshall was then chief of war plans in the army, and when Captain Wedemeyer’s report crossed his desk, he read it carefully. Impressed, he called in the budding young strategist for an extended conversation. So began a relationship that would greatly assist the junior officer in his subsequent climb through army ranks. In 1940, with Marshall now ch ief of staff, Wedemeyer was promoted to major and assigned to the War Plans Division; a year later, he became a central figure in the development of the “Victory Program,” a plan for America’s mobilization for and conduct of a possible war against the Axis powers. When war came, Wedemeyer suddenly found him self consorting with the high and mighty on both sides of the Adantic. At a series of confer­ ences designed to coordinate the Allied war effort, Marshall gave him a leading role in persuading the British that a strike at the heartland of Europe via a cross-channel invasion was essential to the defeat of Germany and to the establishment of a stable postwar order. In October 1943 he was finally trans­ ferred to the Southeast Asia theater, but by this time he had risen to the temporary rank of major general, an extraordinary feat for a man who had never led troops into batde. A year later Wedemeyer arrived in Chungking, China, as America’s theater commander and Chiang’s chief of staff.33 Wedemeyer’s accomplishments in China over the next year and a half were impressive. His diplomatic and organizational skills far surpassed those of his predecessor. Wedemeyer suc­ ceeded in building up Nationalist armies to fight the Japanese


The Wedemeyer Mission

reevaluate China policy risked the emergence of proposals contrary to the secretary of state’s conception of global priori­ ties. If Wedemeyer did return with such proposals, pressure from the China block in Congress might prove difficult to resist. Balancing out this consideration was Marshall's desire for a respite on the China issue. This vexing problem came at a time when other matters competed for the secretary’s attention. July found Marshall busy with preparations for a conference on inter-American security scheduled for Rio de Janeiro during August and with efforts to construct a viable program for Euro­ pean recovery. The appointment of Acheson or Lovett to lead the China venture was not likely to assuage Chiang’s sup­ porters in the United States, as neither man had direct experi­ ence with the Orient and Acheson was a well-known defender of past American policy toward the National government.21 Marshall overcame his reservations about Wedemeyer in part because of the function the appointment would play at home, but also because of his personal relationship with the general, his genuine concern about events in China, and his sense of the limits imposed by Congress on American ventures abroad. Mar­ shall’s contact with Wedemeyer extended back to 1938. By this time, Wedemeyer was forty-one years old and two decades into his army career. A graduate of West Point, he had received his first commission in 1918. During the twenties and early thirties he had served in the Philippines, China, and the United States. (Perhaps his most notable achievement of the period was his marriage to the daughter of Colonel Stanley Embick.) In 1934, when he entered the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, his career took a positive turn. For several years he had been reading widely in history and economics, which prepared him well for the broad training in strategic doctrine that he was about to receive. His graduation with high honors in 1936 earned him a two-year stint at the prestigious



German War College. Before departing from the states, Wedemeyer had taken an interest in the “heartland theory” through the work of Sir Halford MacKinder, the British disciple of geo­ politics. W hen he arrived in Berlin, he found MacKinder’s writ­ ings in vogue and was struck by the superior quality of instruc­ tion offered by his German teachers. On returning to the United States, he wrote a lengthy report on German military thought and organization. General Marshall was then chief of war plans in the army, and when Captain Wedemeyer’s report crossed his desk, he read it carefully. Impressed, he called in the budding young strategist for an extended conversation. So began a relationship that would greatly assist the junior officer in his subsequent climb through army ranks. In 1940, with Marshall now ch ief of staff, Wedemeyer was promoted to major and assigned to the War Plans Division; a year later, he became a central figure in the development of the “Victory Program,” a plan for America’s mobilization for and conduct of a possible war against the Axis powers. When war came, Wedemeyer suddenly found him self consorting with the high and mighty on both sides of the Adantic. At a series of confer­ ences designed to coordinate the Allied war effort, Marshall gave him a leading role in persuading the British that a strike at the heartland of Europe via a cross-channel invasion was essential to the defeat of Germany and to the establishment of a stable postwar order. In October 1943 he was Anally trans­ ferred to the Southeast Asia theater, but by this time he had risen to the temporary rank of major general, an extraordinary feat for a man who had never led troops into batde. A year later Wedemeyer arrived in Chungking, China, as America’s theater commander and Chiang's chief of staff.23 Wedemeyer’s accomplishments in China over the next year and a half were impressive. His diplomadc and organizational skills far surpassed those of his predecessor. Wedemeyer suc­ ceeded in building up Nationalist armies to fight the Japanese


The Wedemeyer Mission

in part because of Stilwell’s earlier efforts, but Wedemeyer’s tact in dealing with the Chinese, his willingness to delegate authority, and his care in administration also enabled him to make the best of a difficult situation.33 Marshall counted Stilwell as one of his few close fhends and he consistently sup­ ported the field commander in his frequent squabbles with Chiang. Nevertheless, Marshall recognized Wedemeyer’s out­ standing contribution to the China theater, his ability to pro­ duce results while keeping Sino-American relations out of a perpetual state of crisis.34 Soon after Marshall arrived in China on his mediation mission in December 1945, he approached his protégé about becoming the United States ambassador to China. Though willing, Wedemeyer was far from enthusiastic about doffing his uniform for diplomatic garb, and the idea fell through in the face of strong Communist objections.35 When Marshall gave up his mediation efforts and became secretary of state, however, he again approached Wedemeyer about the ambassadorship.36 What Marshall needed in Nanking was someone to speak firmly yet tactfully to Chiang. Hopefully— after the experiences of the last several years the hope was only faint— the presence of such a man would produce reforms in the Na­ tional government that would enable it to fight off the Com­ munist challenge with limited American aid. The secretary of state wrote of Wedemeyer to Lovétt on July 2 that uhe is gener­ ally familiar with the China state of affairs and particularly with the important officials, and he is greatly esteemed by the Generalissimo.”37 According to Wedemeyer’s later account, Marshall’s initial approach to him during the summer of 1947 included a suggestion that he become ambassador.38 Such an appointment would have the twofold advantage of putting Wedemeyer in a position of direct contact with Chiang over an extended period and of removing the general indefinitely from the Washington scene, where he might be tempted to stir up public controversies over China policy.



But probably because he feared being sent out to pasture and saw a better opportunity to influence policy through a special mission than through the ambassadorship, Wedemeyer expressed a preference to stay in the army. Surely he aspired to be army ch ief of staff. When General Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his intention to retire from that posi­ tion in mid-1947, General Omar N. Bradley became the nat­ ural choice as his successor, but three other generals— Mat­ thew B. Ridgway, J. Lawton Collins, and Wedemeyer, then serving in Maryland as commander of the Second Army— were mentioned as possibilities as well.39 An absence from the army for a lenghty period, Wedemeyer may have surmised, might compromise his future prospects for advancement.30 Also, Wedemeyer’s views on China policy had often been ig­ nored in the past, and he was anxious to halt this trend. Cer­ tainly a dramatic report to the president after a whirlwind tour would stand less chance of being ignored than would a diplo­ mat's more routine assessment.31 W hen Wedemeyer declined the ambassadorship, Marshall offered him the post as head of a special mission. Outweighing the fear that Wedemeyer would return with proposals on China which would prove embarrassing to the administration were the secretary’s recognition of Wedemeyer as a team player and his very real apprehension that a Communist vic­ tory in China would represent a blow to American interests. In his m eeting with Marshall on June 25, Ambassador Koo stressed the need for a statement of a United States desire to assist China in “her long-range program of economic rehabili­ tation.” Such a statement would be timely because a deadline was only days away for the granting of loans by the ExportImport Bank under legislation of 1946, which had earmarked $500 million for China. Bank directors continued their refusal to approve loans, arguing that there was only remote prospect for their repayment.33 The passing of the deadline could be a psychological blow to the Nationalists and since Marshall did


The Wedemeyer Mission

not want to commit the United States to a plan for China’s economic recovery, he probably regarded the appointment of Wedemeyer as a gesture to boost sagging morale in the Na­ tional government.33 Furthermore, even a brief visit by Wedemeyer to China might prove useful in bringing about reforms within the Na­ tionalist regime. If that prospect did not develop, Wedemeyer might be persuaded that the China situation was hopeless. After all, he had never denied that reform was essential to the defeat of the Communists; during his absence from China over the past fifteen months, conditions there had deteriorated substantially. A new look m ight induce the conscientious gen­ eral to reassess his views. Thus, after considerable hesitation, Marshall recommended the Wedemeyer mission to President Truman. Marshall closely supervised the drafting of Wedemeyer’s directive from the president. Although the secretary of state asked W edemeyer to write an initial draft of his own instruc­ tions, his product received extensive revision. A key sentence in that draft empowered Wedemeyer to “state categorically” to Nationalist officials that the United States was “prepared to assist realistically and immediately a program of rehabilitation and stabilization provided the Chinese Government stipulates, guarantees and accepts definitive supervisory measures to be maintained by representatives of the United States.”34Marshall viewed these terms as “too general” and thought they implied “too m uch which may later prove embarrassing.” Lovett re­ vised the sentence and the directive to Wedemeyer approved by President Truman on July 9 stated that Wedemeyer was to “make it clear” to Nationalist leaders that the United States could “consider assistance in a program of rehabilitation only if the Chinese Government presents satisfactory evidence of ef­ fective measures looking toward Chinese recovery and pro­ vided further that any aid . . . shall be subject to the supervision



of representatives of the United States government.”35Clearly, Marshall wanted to avoid any assurance to the Nationalists of large-scale American assistance; clearly, he wished to place the burden on the Nationalists themselves to initiate reforms prior to any commitment of United States support. Vincent made other changes. He altered a clause stating “you will contact appropriate Chinese officials and leaders in the course of your survey” to read “in the course of your survey you will contact Chinese officials and leaders in business, cultural, and political fields.”36 This revision insured that Wedemeyer would not restrict his consultations with the Chinese to mem­ bers of the government and dominant Kuomintang party. Fi­ nally, Vincent added a completely new portion: “In making your appraisal it is desired that you proceed with detachment from any feeling of prior obligation to support or to further official Chinese programs which do not conform to sound American policy with regard to China. In presenting the find­ ings of your mission you should endeavor to state as concisely as possible your estimate of the character, extent, and probable consequences of assistance which you may recommend.”37 In the presidential directive, the clause “and the probable conse­ quences in the event that assistance is not given” was attached to the last sentence.3®The adjustments in Wedemeyer’s initial draft instructions make it plain that the State Department, from the secretary of state on down, wanted the mission to proceed without bias for or against increased United States intervention in the Chinese civil war. Such objectivity was impossible in a mission headed by Wedemeyer. On June 30 he wrote to a friend in China that he did “not understand how our government can send four hun­ dred million dollars to Turkey and Greece for the definite pur­ pose of blocking the spread of communism and then fail to send similar assistance to China where the spread of com­ munism is ju st as dangerous and even more advanced.”39


The Wedemeyer Mission

Before Truman even announced the mission, Wedemeyer contacted Henry Luce, publisher of the popular weekly maga­ zines Time and Life and owner of dozens of radio stations, asking him to use his communications network to counter unfavorable reactions in the press.40 Bom in China of Ameri­ can missionary parents, Luce was a long-time supporter of the Christian Chiang.41 He had already decided to send William C. Bullitt, a former ambassador to the Soviet Union, to China to prepare an article for Life on American policy there, and he was only too happy to accommodate Wedemeyer. In its July 21 issue, Time gave the upcoming mission headline treatment, claiming that the general was being dispatched “to find out how China could be held.” It asserted that the needs of the National government “were higher than ever” and that “Wedemeyer’s task was to estimate the bare minimum re­ quired to keep the sick country of China alive.” The mission meant no basic change in United States policy, however, as that policy had always been one of aid to Chiang Kai-shek: “The only question was how and on what terms.”43 As his overture to Luce suggests, Wedemeyer recognized that the selling of a sizable program of aid to the Nationalists would be no easy task. Despite the persistent efforts of Chiang’s representatives in the United States, the China bloc in Congress, and the pro-Nationalist elements in the Ameri­ can press, opinion at home was far from united on a policy of deeper involvement in the Chinese civil war. Between the last week of June and the middle of July, major newspapers in New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans, and Providence expressed opposition to American aid to Chiang prior to reforms by the National government. Such China specialists in the academic community as Na­ thaniel Peffer and Lawrence Rosinger took similar posi­ tions.43 The New Republic, a prominent voice in the liberal community, advocated “complete withdrawal.” While con­



ceding that this course represented a “gamble,” the editors contended that “a policy of nickel-and-dime aid” would only “force the Chinese Communists to seek aid in Moscow and commit their entire policy to Moscow’s direction.” “A loan program of $10 or $15 billion,” on the other hand, would “ally us to a criminal police state.” The only alternative to these distasteful choices was a hands-off policy, which would lead to either “unending strife and chaos” in China or the rise of an indigenous leadership that would “be responsible to Chi­ nese interests alone, not the military security o f . . . the United States or the Soviet Union.”44 The liberal press was not Wedemeyer’s only worry: the China experts in the State Department had direct access to the secretary of state and all those in higher ranks were dubi­ ous about increasing American support to Chiang. During the process of selecting a State Department representative for his mission, the general revealed his concern on this point. “I would not want a man,” he told Marshall, “who had strong convictions either pro or anti National Government or Com­ m unist.”45 (Apparently, it did not occur to him that by this standard he him self should not participate in the mission.) His own choice was William McAfee of the Division of Chinese Affairs, who had served under him during his earlier stint in China. McAfee, however, had entered the State Department less than a year before, and Vincent preferred the more experi­ enced and higher ranking Philip D. Sprouse, who was second in command in the division behind Arthur R. Ringwalt. A foreign service officer for nearly a decade, Sprouse had held various posts in China before returning to Washington earlier in the year. Undoubtedly aware that the China experts lacked enthusiasm for a mission headed by Wedemeyer, Marshall acceded to the wishes of Vincent.4® Vincent did not permit Wedemeyer’s implication that the State Department housed some pro-Communists to pass


The Wedemeyer Mission

without comment. The assistant secretary of state pointed out to Marshall “that there are no pro-Communist officers in [the O ffice of Far Eastern Affairs].. . . Most if not all the officers have a realistic appreciation, which 1 share, of the shortcomings of the National government under the leader­ ship of Chiang Kai-shek.”47 This exchange exposed the atmosphere of suspicion and recrimination on China policy that already permeated Wash­ ington. Earlier in the year Vincent had become a target of pro-Chiang forces. His nomination in January 1947 for the rank of career minister had provoked a sharp response from the American China Policy Association. Alfred Kohlberg, a New York-based importer of Chinese textiles who headed this private lobbying group, dashed down to Washington and met with Senator Bridges, Congressman Judd, and Wedemeyer, among others, to discuss measures to block the nomination. Bridges then approached Senator Vandenberg in an effort to influence the Foreign Relations Committee. Vincent’s detrac­ tors argued that his proposals on China were favorable to the Communists and, therefore, that he was a traitor to American interests. Thus, powerful elements in the pro-Chiang group regarded their opponents in the United States not as sincere if misguided patriots, but as sinister forces of dubious loyalty.48 Wedemeyer was not totally comfortable with the passionate Kohlberg or the intensely partisan Judd. His close association with and affection for Marshall gave him pause here, as in the past the secretary o f state had subscribed to the views of the foreign service officers. Surely Marshall was no subversive. Wedemeyer’s inclination, nonetheless, was to rationalize his differences with Marshall in terms of the “machinations or manipulations” of his advisers rather than as honest differ­ ences of opinion.49 This tendency had deep roots in Wedemeyer’s past, his Ger­ man family background, his experience at the German War



College during the 1930s, and his contacts with foreign ser­ vice officers in China several years later. Raised in Omaha, Nebraska, by second generation immigrant parents of German and Irish descent, he had reached adulthood during World War I and its aftermath. He had been revolted by the extreme anti-German, pro-British sentiment of the time, even ques­ tioning the prudence of America’s intervention in the conflict. When he commenced study at the German War College in 1936, his mind was naturally receptive to many of the political ideas circulating in his host country. Although he never sym­ pathized with Hitler, Wedemeyer quickly adopted the notion that Communism rather than Nazism was the real threat to the United States. Right up until America’s entry into World War II, he believed that Germany posed no serious menace to his nation’s interests.50 Once America entered the conflict, the strategy he proposed o f concentrating United States energy on preparations for an early invasion of the European heartland was in part a result of his concern about future Soviet expansionism. With the war raging on and German forces penetrating Soviet territory far to the east, he was perfectly willing to assist Moscow. His pas­ sionate stand during 1942 against dispersing the AngloAmerican effort through major commitments to the Mediter­ ranean and Asian theaters derived from his belief that Soviet forces needed relief and that the best way to provide it was by engaging Germany on continental Europe.51 Over the longer term, however, such an early engagement would be critical in preventing Soviet control over large portions of Europe. When at the Casablanca conference of January 1943 President Roo­ sevelt accepted British arguments in favor of an early ope­ ration against Sicily while failing to receive in return Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s commitment to a more decisive offensive across the English channel, Wedemeyer was bitterly disappointed. “We lost our shirts,” he complained to a col­


The Wedemeyer Mission

league back in the states; M we came, we listened and we were conquered.” The British “swarmed down upon us like locusts with a plentiful supply of planners and various other assistants with prepared plans to insure that they not only accomplished their purpose but did so in stride and with fair promise of continuing in their role of directing strategically the course of the war.”53 Since the previous fall had seen the turning of the tide on the eastern front, with Russian forces decimating sev­ eral German armies around Stalingrad, Wedemeyer’s concern about the fate of post-war Europe became all the more paramount.53 On temporary duty in North Africain July 1943, he wrote to a superior in Washington that “I lay in bed the past several nights trying to evolve an overall concept of winning the war in Europe— one that would stir the imagination and win the support of the P.M. if not that of his recalcitrant plan­ ners and chiefs of staff.”54 His adamance on the matter proba­ bly led to his transfer to the Southeast Asia Command later in the year.55 W hen late in the war Wedemeyer replaced Stilwell in China, his fear of communism continued to play a central role in his calculations. He soon put a damper on the proposition, supported by his predecessor and some of the China experts in the foreign service, that the United States provide the Com­ munists with American matériel assistance in the common struggle against Japan. He avoided the open and bitter clashes with America’s professional diplomats that embroiled Ambas­ sador Patrick J. Hurley, but as time passed he grew less and less confident in their judgment. In March 1945 he played a crucial role in lobbying against the proposal to grant aid to the Communists. W hile the war continued, Washington sup­ ported his approach to China, which centered on American aid to the central government. After V-J Day, however, he became frustrated with the indecisiveness of United States policy, viewing it as the result of the possibly sinister influence of State Department China hands.56



Thus, as Wedemeyer launched his mission to China, he carried with him serious doubts as to the wisdom of many of his country’s foreign policies and its chief formulators over the past thirty years. Wary of the “machinations or manipulations” of Marshall’s advisers and of the liberal press, he nevertheless took on with alacrity the challenge of turning American China policy in a new direction. As he wrote years later, his task was twofold: “to convince the Chinese that they must produce proof that American aid would not be wasted; and to convince Washington that such aid must be given.”57 On Korea, in contrast, there is little evidence that Wede­ meyer had such strong predilections. One might guess that, because of his aversion to anything that hinted of communist expansion, he would go to Korea with the idea of formulating prosposals to prevent it. This prospect would seem even more likely because Korea bordered on Manchuria, and as a result events on the peninsula could be expected to have an impact on that strategic area. On the other hand, although he had visited the peninsula briefly in the fall of 1945 and in March of 1946, his experience in and knowledge of that land were far more superficial than of China, and, therefore, his ego was far less committed to a particular point of view. Yet to pose the matter of Wedemeyer’s attitude toward his visit to Korea in the same manner as his sojourn to China would be improper: in the latter case he was being asked to choose between various levels of American involvement; in the former case his task was of less magnitude. The first draft of Wedemeyer’s directive did not even mention Korea, and whereas the China portion of the final product was detailed and worded with meticulous care, the Korea portion was more general and, in composition, probably required little expendi­ ture of time and effort. Wedemeyer was not asked to make a choice in Korea between deeper American involvement, with­ drawal, or various levels in between because the United States presence there was already much more direct than in China,


H ie Wedemeyer Mission

and State Department officials were more interested in how to protect that deeper commitment than with whether or not to expand it. If anything, on Korea the positions of the State Department and the Joint Chiefs were reversed, with the diplomats deter­ mined not to simply abandon South Korea to the Soviet Union while the military men hedged. In late April military planners observed: The primary reasons for current assistance to Korea would be that. . . this is the one country within which we alone have for almost two years carried on ideological warfare in direct contact with our opponents, so that to lose this battle would be greatly detrimental to United States prestige, and therefore security, throughout the world. To abandon this struggle would tend to confirm the suspicion that the United States is not really deter­ mined to accept the responsibilities and obligations of world leadership, with consequent detriment to our efforts to bolster those countries of western Europe which are of primary and vital importance to our national security. The State Department agreed. But the analysis did not stop there; it went on to say that “this suspicion could quite possi­ bly be dissipated and our prestige in these same western Euro­ pean countries enhanced if a survey of our resources indicated we could not afford to resist our ideological opponents on all fronts and we publicly announced abandonment of further aid to Korea in order to concentrate our aid in areas of greater strategic importance to us.”58 The State Department was less optimistic not only on the impact of a retreat from Korea on our western European allies but on the Soviet Union. If the United States did not persist when the situation worsened in Korea, then what would happen in similar situations else­ where? The Soviets would be encouraged in the idea that all they had to do was force the Americans to endure a high level of inconvenience and uncertainty over a period of time and



they would eventually leave. Small countries that relied on the United States in their resistance to Communist pressures would be disheartened.59 The State Department, therefore, was not actively consider­ ing a total withdrawal from the peninsula, and unlike with China it did not expect Wedemeyer to do so. Marshall in­ cluded Korea in the Wedemeyer mission as a symbol of Amer­ ica’s continuing commitment to that land and as an instru­ ment for gaining congressional support for an economic aid program to help sustain that commitment. The first evidence of Marshall’s intention came on July 6, when Vincent’s revised instructions for Wedemeyer included a projected visit to Korea.60 On the next day, the American military governor in Korea, Major General Archer L. Lerch, who was visiting Washington, wrote to General Hodge in Seoul that there was ua very definite revolution going on in Congress against the State Department.” Legislators felt that administration efforts to get money for foreign programs had been “sloppily handled.” Consultation had been inadequate, proposed aid to foreign countries had been “piece-meal,” and funds requested had been excessive. There was evidence, Lerch continued, that lawmakers would fail to pass appropria­ tions to sustain the American effort in Greece. In such circum­ stances Marshall planned “to study the needs of the world as a whole, to roll it all up into one big request, and if, as appears quite likely now, Congress meets in a special session this fall,. . . he will present the whole thing at one time.” This strategy involved postponement of plans to present to Con­ gress an economic aid program for Korea.61 This projected economic aid had been a key element in the State Department’s strategy in Korea for several months. Pas­ sage through Congress of such a program would demonstrate to the Soviets the determination of the Americans to remain in the south; also, its implementation would assist in resolving


The Wedemeyer Mission

some of the economic problems that fostered unrest below the thirty-eighth parallel.63 The impending submittal of the pro­ gram to Congress had received much publicity during the spring, creating great hopes in South Korea and, to some American observers, contributing to Moscow’s willingness to reconvene the Joint Commission.63 When General Lerch arrived in Washington in late June, he stressed the critical importance of this plan to American pros­ pects in Korea. Major General John H. Hilldring, the assistant secretary of state for occupied areas, promised that his depart­ ment would put its “full power” behind the Korean assistance bill when it was presented to Congress during the following week.64 On June 27, however, Senator Vandenberg told the Truman administration that he would support no new re­ quests for funds in the current legislative session.65Temporar­ ily, State Department officials thought they could at least get rapid House authorization for Korean aid, but after the first few days of July even this hope proved illusory.66 With State Department plans in shambles, Marshall undoubtedly saw a Wedemeyer visit to Korea, especially one that emphasized the economic aid program, as a method of softening the blow to South Korean expectations and increasing the likelihood of a more favorable legislative response to a bill that might be put forth during a special session in the fall.67 Specific proposals from Wedemeyer after an on-the-spot tour might be especially helpful because General Hodge did not enjoy a favorable press in the United States. Most recently, a report on Korea by Roger N. Baldwin, director of the Ameri­ can Civil Liberties Union, had received broad coverage. The report criticized the American occupation for being too quick to restrict freedom of the press, for failing to restrain the pol­ ice, and for favoring the right wing in politics.66 Hodge’s per­ formance already had come to the attention of journalists and numerous members of Congress through the complaints



about conditions by American servicemen stationed in Korea. With few exceptions, these complaints were by young men in their late teens, who were homesick and unused to the hard­ ships encountered in an economically primitive land. If any­ one was to blame for their attitudes, it was army recruiters and trainers in the United States, who had failed to prepare them for the rigors of life in undeveloped countries. As the top man on the scene, however, Hodge took much of the heat.69Thus legislation backed by a Wedemeyer report on Korea might well carry more weight on Capitol Hill than a bill supported only by the testimony of occupation officials. Finally, because of the continuing stalemate in the Joint Commission, the United Staes soon might be forced to take a new initiative on Korea. One option was to create an indepen­ dent government for South Korea alone. The prospect that this option eventually would come to the fore increased immea­ surably in early July, when Marshall determined that there could be “no compromise” on the issue of consultation by the Joint Commission of Korean political and social organizations. The Soviets insisted on excluding all groups opposing trustee­ ship and, on June 27, named eight such groups— all rightist and claiming a membership of about three million.70The sec­ retary of state stood firmly behind his position as stated in an earlier letter to V. M. Molotov, the Soviet commissar for for­ eign affairs. The letter asserted that no party would be “ex­ cluded from consultation with the Commission on the forma­ tion of a provisional Korean government because of opinions they might hold or may have expressed in the past concerning the future government of their country, provided they are pre­ pared to cooperate with the Commission.”71 If this stand led to an extended deadlock between Soviet and American negotia­ tors, the United States would have to evaluate the prospects for a separate, indigenous government below the thirty-eighth parallel and the alternative methods of producing one.


The Wedemeyer Mission

In the last area, Marshall had reason to want a fresh assess­ ment. General Hodge and State Department officials in Korea had endured stormy relations for some time, with the military leader pursuing policies, especially regarding the police, which favored the extreme right, while the diplomats, particu­ larly Minister Arthur C. Bunce, wanted extensive social and economic reform and development of a government of the moderate right and left.73 Perhaps Wedemeyer could offer in­ sights that would assist decision makers in Washington in choosing between the two viewpoints. Even if Wedemeyer was not being asked to advise his gov­ ernment on whether or not to intervene more deeply in the Korean morass, he had important and challenging tasks to perform there. As with China, his recommendations on Korea were likely to engage him in interdepartmental disputes in Washington and perhaps even in public controversy. The gen­ eral remained hopeful, nevertheless, and on July 9 President Truman approved the directive dispatching him across the Pacific. Two days later he made his intentions public.73 On July 16, after appropriate briefings and logistical preparations, Wedemeyer, accompanied by a staff of ten and with considera­ ble fanfare, departed for the Orient.74

Chapter 2

Wedemeyer in China Surrounded by a massive ancient wall some twenty miles in circum ference, Nanking lies along the right bank of the Yangtze River, 170 miles west of Shanghai. Although Peiping in the north was the nation’s traditional capital, Chiang Kaishek moved his government to Nanking in 1927, perhaps be­ cause, as one American diplomat later remarked, the sophisti­ cated populace of the former city “laughed at him as a sort of Chinese hillbilly” due to his unfamiliarity with Mandarin Chinese.1 The wall and the purple hills in the distance gave Nanking a certain scenic quality, but it lacked the excitement and amenities of Shanghai or the imperial aura of Peiping. Despite its population of well over a million and its chronic housing shortage, Nanking possessed a strangely rural atmo­ sphere, with sizable vegetable gardens scattered throughout and numerous unpaved roads and unlighted streets. Summers in the capital brought fierce heat and humidity and a seem­ ingly infinite supply of mosquitoes, which feasted on the skimpily clad human populace. _The Wedemeyer mission descended upon this steamy and beleaguered city on July 22.* The Communist press compared the American general to German fascists and Japanese imperi­ alists. Predictably, Kuomintang and other right-wing elements ITS China were in a state of euphoria, as they regarded the mission as a preliminary to “all-out American aid.”3 Dozens of Nationalist dignitaries greeted their anticipated benefactor at


The Wedemeyer Mission

the airport, where he told an audience that his survey was being conducted without “prejudgment or commitment of any sort.”4 John Melby of the United States embassy described Wedemeyer as arriving “full of hope and cheerfulness,” but the scorching heat and oppressive humidity plus the reports on conditions in China quickly altered his disposition.5 The first briefing session for the mission occurred at the embassy on the morning of July 23. American diplomats pulled no punches. Raymond Ludden, the first secretary, quoted a Chinese scholar who characterized the Kuomintang as “a political mechanism for the preservation of vested inter­ ests.” The governing party, Ludden asserted, had “neither a dynamic program nor a wide popular base with which to meet the threat of militant communism.” He thought it “highly im­ probable that the Communists can be eliminated as a major factor in China even with substantial outside assistance to the Government.”6 Carl H. Boehringer, the assistant commercial attaché, echoed Ludden’s pessimism. Because recent reforms had not been implemented efficiently or honestly, they had failed to produce the desired effect. In March Dr. Chen Li-fu had put forth a program which Boehringer regarded as “reasonable” 'and potentially “Beneficial”; but many observers saw Chen as maneuvering “cynically. . . to enlist the support of the unwary liberal elements in the party and outside” while holding no intention of enforcing the measures. Chen and his brother Chen Kuo-fu were the leaders of the notoriously reactionary “CC-Clique,” which lately had gained the upper hand in the Kuomintang over the moderately progressive Political Science Group. Most observers doubted that the kind of broad-ranging reform necessary to turn the tide in favor of the Nationalists could occur so long as the Chens remained in ascendancy. Rather than viewing salvation as resting upon their own initia­ tive, Boehringer reported, government officials envisioned it “almost entirely in die form of loans from the United States.”7

Wedemeyer in China


Perhaps most pessimistic of all was Brigadier General Thom­ as B. Timberman, a military adviser in the embassy and an old Mend of Wedemeyer.8Although his specific comments of July 23 remain uncertain, Timberman’s attitude is revealed in a memorandum he wrote less than three weeks prior to Wedemeyer’s arrival. He labeled Nationalist military leadership “fan­ tastically inept” and the government as “reluctant” as ever to accept American advice, either in tactics or strategy. The most infuriating recent example of this aversion was the removal of General Sun Li-jen from command of the American-trained and equipped New First Army, which had given “a good ac­ count of its e lf’ in M anchuria According to Timberman, the replacement of Sun had resulted from the jealousy of General Tu Li-ming, the overall commander of Nationalist forces in Manchuria, over his subordinate’s “military prowess.” Infested with rival cliques and constant manipulation from above, the Nationalist military apparatus showed little prospect of becom­ ing an efficient war machine. For years, American advisers had recommended an actual reduction in the size of the armed forces, stressing the need for increased efficiency, mobility, and “an aggressive esprit de corps,” but Chinese leaders persisted in their belief that the United States should provide equipment and supplies for thirty new divisions. To exert a positive influence on Nationalist prospects in the civil war, Timberman argued, United States advisers would have to intervene “deeply” in both logistical and tactical opera­ tions. “Under existing circumstances, and in the face of our past experience,” he concluded, “the United States can do nothing effective within the limits of practicability to improve the present worm-eaten military set-up in time and to the extent necessary to save this government from the crippling [economic] effect of a protracted war.” All might not be lost in China, however, as the Communists lacked the power and the “ ‘know how’ to take [full] advantage of such a fluid situation.” The most promising course open to the United States was to


The Wedemeyer Mission

await the em ergence of a third force “precipitated out of the political upheaval.” If a non-Communist leadership emerged “that gave promise of some stability,” the United States might “jum p into the breech” with substantial political and material support.9 After hearing this depressing news, Wedemeyer spent much of the remainder of the day with Chiang, his Americaneducated wife, and other leading Nationalist officials. The gen­ eralissimo “was most agreeable” and Madame Chiang was her usual charming self, though at a small dinner party that even­ ing she became ill and had to leave the table. Ambassador Stuart topped off the affair by spilling ice cream in his lap, an omen, perhaps, of things to com e.10 Wedemeyer’s skill in personal relations and his seriousness of purpose soon undermined resentment among American foreign service officers in China over the meddling of a special mission— especially one headed by a military man— in their sphere. Such missions always imply a lack of confidence in United States representatives in the field, and in this case the resentment was increased by the timing of the Truman ad­ ministration’s announcement of Wedemeyer’s trip. Because a leak occurred in the executive branch, the State Department had felt compelled to release news of the impending mission before informing the American embassy in China." United States diplomats on the scene learned of the upcoming visit through the Central News Agency of the Chinese govern­ m ent.13 Adding to the insult, the Wedemeyer appointment came before W. Walton Butterworth, the minister-counselor in the American embassy who was on his way to the United States, had had a chance to brief Marshall. Sir Ralph Steven­ son, the British ambassador to China, labeled Washington’s handling of the W edemeyer mission “astonishing” and noted that it “caused much heartburning” among the American foreign service officers.13

Wedemeyer in China


Wedemeyer did commit an intial faux pas in addressing Ludden as Jack— obviously confusing him with one of the several Johns among the China specialists— but he quickly made amends by paying special attention to the prickly first secretary.'4 Stuart, who insisted that Wedemeyer stay at the ambassador’s residence while in Nanking, described the gen­ eral’s response to his efforts at hospitality as one of “utmost cordiality.” “Fine-spirited teamwork” characterized relations between the mission and embassy personnel.'5 Melby por­ trayed Wedemeyer admiringly as a man who “listens well, asks the right questions. He is more than a litde shocked, almost unbelieving, to find for him self that what he had heard about conditions is if anything understatement. And he is visi­ bly annoyed by Chinese pressure tactics, especially the justly famous charm of Madame Chiang. He may well be the only living human being on which it does not work.”'6“Beset on all sides” by Chinese seeking gifts, he even resorted, as he put it, to the custom of feigning “a slight indisposition.”'7 Following briefings by the embassy staff, the American army advisory group reported to Wedemeyer. Some of the of­ ficers claimed they had made much progress in coaxing the Nationalist Ministry of Defense to move toward modem meth­ ods o f organization and command, but Major General John P. Lucas, director of the group, emphasized that military reforms would be “of not the slightest use nor will they be possible unless they are accompanied by the political reforms that are so necessary for the nation as a whole.” He went on to say that if matériel assistance was to be provided the Chinese, “we must have a very strong string attached to it.” This procedure, he believed, could be handled through his group by giving it “the power to say that the equipment for this particular Divi­ sion will be issued only when the Division is properly trained. . . and officered.” He conceded that this course would represent “an infringement on Chinese sovereignty,” but


The Wedemeyer Mission

without doing so, he concluded, wthe United States would be simply pouring it [money] down a ‘rat hole.’ ”'8 Briefers for the military advisory group all noted that their activities were severely limited by instructions from home and by their size— about four hundred. They could not participate in the actual training of soldiers or go to the front to advise Nationalist officers in the field. They seemed anxious to do so, but they stated that such an expansion of their duties would require a substantial augmentation of the group. Adoption of this option, they recognized, would represent “an extreme course,” one they thought justified by “the presumption that United States interests in Manchuria are sufficiently vital to warrant such overt action. ”19* Wedemeyer’s contacts were by no means limited to Ameri­ can and Chinese officialdom. He consulted widely with private citizens of both nationalities. O f particular interest in this re­ gard was the report of Claire Chennault, former leader of the “Flying Tigers” and of army air forces in China during World War II. After the war Chennault had retired from the army and founded a private airline in China. He was a man of varied reputation, having made a goodly number of powerful en­ emies through his stormy relations with Stilwell between 1942 and 1944, but Wedemeyer was not among them. On request, Chennault wrote a lengthy memorandum for the visiting gen­ eral. Chennault’s analysis confirmed many of the complaints of American businessmen in Shanghai, which Wedemeyer visited after his brief initial stay in Nanking. In pointed fash­ ion, he criticized Nationalist banking practices, exchange rates, importation restrictions, and currency policies. In this last area, he revealed that inflation was so rampant that the two-week payroll for his modest airline operation “weighed slightly over a ton in [paper] currency a n d . . . took five men four days to c ount. . . into bundles.” He lamented the power over business of the government-owned banks because the

Wedemeyer In China


bankers sought to exploit the “tremendous opportunities for quick profit” rather than encouraging “the development of sound business enterprises based upon reasonable earnings over a period of years.” The official rate of exchange of Nation­ alist currency discouraged legitimate export enterprises be­ cause the Chinese dollar was so overvalued as to be ruinous to anyone following regulations. The exchange rate also discour­ aged the influx of badly needed foreign currency. The source of many of these problems, he believed, rested in the absence of an effective system of taxation, which forced the govern­ ment into the business world as its major source of income. Unlike American officials on the scene, however, Chennault thought it “would take a surprisingly small, well-directed ef­ fort” to turn China “along sound lines.” Why this was so or precisely what kind of program would achieve it, he did not say.30 Wedemeyer made no effort to hide his dismay from Marshall. After several days in Nanking and Shanghai, the general wired the secretary of state with a critique of the National government that would have made the foreign service officers proud. “The Nationalist Chinese,” he declared, “are spiritually insolvent.” They blamed all their problems on the American agreements with the Soviet Union at Yalta in February 1945, which, with­ out Chinese participation, permitted the Russians to gain spe­ cial privileges in Manchuria, privileges they later used to assist the Communists.31 The people had “lost confidence in their leaders” and Nationalist troops lacked the will to fight. Most government officials strove “corruptly. . . , to obtain as much as they [could]. . . before the collapse.” In contrast, Commun­ ist ranks displayed “excellent spirit, almost a fanatical fervor.”33 Wedemeyer’s excursions during early August to Manchuria and North China reinforced his early impressions. His trip to the north included stops in Peiping, Tientsin, Tsingtao, and Mukden. In each city he consulted extensively with American


The Wedemeyer Mission

and Chinese officials as well as private citizens. He en­ countered almost universal pessimism wherever he went. Re­ ports on Manchuria indicated that the Nationalists, since their occupation of the region after the defeat of Japan, had alien­ ated the bulk of the population. Government officials, civil and military alike, were often corrupt and incompetent, and, as natives of provinces far to the south, they were usually insen­ sitive to the desires of the people at large, who resented dicta­ tion by outsiders. A United States naval intelligence report from Mukden concluded that "although the Northeast people welcomed the Nationalists as liberators and brother Chinese, the Nationalists have repeatedly evidenced that they regard the Northeastemers as enemies and puppets, objects of ex­ ploitation, and not as liberated Chinese.. . . Manchurian leaders are sometimes given token positions for the sake of face and public opinion, but they hold no power.”23 Another situation that outraged the natives was the confiscation of private homes for use by Nationalist civilian officials and army officers of every rank from regimental commander to lowly lieutenant.24 Nor could Wedemeyer have missed economic exploitation of the region by outsiders. For example, the Fu Hsing Company of Jehol, a government monopoly, sold coal at a bargain price to a Shanghai group, which then sold it on the open market for a hefty profit. To cover its losses, the company received a huge monthly subsidy from the North East Economic Commission, which received its income directly from the Manchurian people. Local farmers could make a sizable profit from the sale of their soybean crop directly to Western buyers, but National­ ist policy required that they sell to government companies at low prices so those enterprises could reap the rewards them­ selves. W hereas the natives received niggardly prices for their natural resources, they paid exorbitant fees for the products of other government-controlled companies that manufactured cotton yam , cloth, flour, and sugar.25

Wedemeyer in China


Wedemeyer found conditions in North China little better, though the Communist advance there had not progressed as rapidly as in Manchuria. On his return to Nanking on August 8, Wedemeyer wrote Marshall that “while some new informa­ tion has been obtained, most of it reaffirms and strengthens material already available.”36 Despite the pessimism among American officials in the north, they were not devoid of proposals for United States action. O. Edmund Clubb, consul general at Peiping, warned against unilateral American aid to the Nationalists because it would subject the United States to growing criticism both within China and throughout the world. To avoid this danger, he suggested that the Truman administration seek mediation of the civil war through the United Nations while offering economic assistance in areas where reforms had been or seemed likely to be carried out. Not that such an approach would lead to a negotiated setdement, but it might produce a temporary truce during which the National government would have the opportunity to clean house. A fundamental premise behind Clubb’s plan was that the recent successes of Communists were grounded at least as much in the weakness of their enemy as in their own strength. As the territory under their control increased, so too did their “political and economic problems” and, therefore, the Communists might well desire “a long period of truce.”37 Colonel David Barrett, assistant military attaché stationed in Peiping, proposed a more straightforward course than Clubb. Tactically, he conceded, the “wisest” policy for the National­ ists would be to retreat south of the Yellow River. He urged against such action, however, claiming that it would destroy Chinese morale and lead China’s “best elements” to join the other side. Rather, Chiang should make an all-out effort to regain the initiative in Manchuria, replace ineffective military and civilian officials, and show the way toward reform in the military and economic arena. If implemented “in a realistic


The Wedemeyer Mission

and hardboiled manner,” these measures “might yet save the day.” The only alternative to a program to hold Manchuria and North China, Barrett insisted, was a total end of American support for the National government, which would give the Soviets a “Roman holiday in the strategic territory from the Amur to the Yellow River.”*8 Admiral Charles M. Cooke, commander of United States Naval Forces in the Western Pacific and stationed at Tsingtao, was the most explicit in outlining the strategic significance of that area. He started by comparing the current situation to that of the 1930s, when Japanese aggression, beginning in Manchuria, eventually led to America’s involvement in a ma­ jor war. “Now once more political and ideological totalitarian­ ism is on the march,” he declared, “energized by the convic­ tion of providential appointment to save the world, to save mankind by the establishment of institutions with which all other institutions, including those democratic, are entirely in­ compatible.” Cooke argued that the loss of Manchuria by the Nationalists— which surely would occur during the autumn unless outside aid was forthcoming— would cause the collapse of a row of internal dominoes culminating in Communist domination of the entire northern reaches of China. Such a development m ight well turn the global balance of power in favor of the Soviet Union. Through World War II, he observed, the Soviet position in northeast Asia had been extremely vul­ nerable: without the warmwater ports of Dairen, Port Arthur, and North Korea and the economic integration of Manchuria with the maritime provinces, the entire eastern portion of the Soviet empire remained “dependent upon a line of supplies over the trans-Siberian railway.” Should “Soviet eastern Asia become self-sufficient by the addition and development of Manchuria, Korea, and parts of North China,” it would “be­ come an element of strength in the overall Soviet structure.” And this development would free Moscow to pursue a more aggressive stance in Europe.

Wedemeyer in China


What to do? Cooke proposed a program of financial, ma­ tériel, and advisory assistance to the Nationalists, bolstered by prior accords in which Chiang would agree to follow the sug­ gestions of American officials and to institute “specified re­ forms in both his central government and in the provincial and municipal administrations.” As if replying to doubters in the State Department, he surmised that Moscow would do “no more and no less” than already planned regardless of “what we do.” “Russia’s ability to assist the Chinese Communist Party,” he felt certain, “is limited by her own urgent needs.”*9 Wedemeyer found this kind of geopolitical analysis exceed­ ingly attractive. Since his stay at the German War College during the 1930s, his central passion had been to coordinate political, economic, and military factors on a broad basis, thereby developing a coherent worldwide strategy. Despite his revulsion at conditions in Nationalist-held areas, he insisted on viewing the Chinese civil war as “the off-shoot” of a United States-Soviet struggle throughout the globe. As if to remind him self of this fundamental reality, he wrote in a private memo on July 30 that a failure to keep in mind “and to inte­ grate all United States efforts in the attempt to retard, then stop and finally to seize the initiative against the Soviets will be catastrophic.”30 Thus the abysmal state of Nationalist China did not prompt Wedemeyer to contemplate a United States withdrawal from that country; instead, he launched an intensive campaign to persuade Chiang and his coterie of the urgency of drastic reforms. Wedemeyer commenced this effort on August 6 when he met in Mukden with General Chen Cheng, chief of the Gen­ eral Staff. A long-time enemy of the “Whampoa clique” of military leaders, he was one of the most favored Nationalist officers among Americans because of his energy, his apparent uncorruptibility, and his willingness during World War II to take American advice.31 Wedemeyer began the conference by telling Chen that the wage scale and rations for Nationalist


The Wedemeyer Mission

soldiers were far too low and constituted the primary cause for the widespread looting of the people by government armies. He then remarked that central government expenditures for the armed forces still “could be greatly reduced by organizing local militia to take over responsibility for law and order in areas not directly involved in the civil war.” When Chen iden­ tified the “surplus of incompetent generals” as a serious prob­ lem in the army, Wedemeyer asked why little was being done to get rid of them. He mentioned General Hsiung Shih-hui, the director of Chiang’s Northeast Headquarters, as one who should be immediately dismissed. He also criticized the prac­ tice of appointing military men to important civilian posts. Finally, Wedemeyer suggested an investigation of all govern­ ment and party functionaries to determine who among them were building large private fortunes abroad, and he labeled “the universal practice of corruption by Chinese officials” as a principal source of the Nationalist decline in Manchuria. He emphasized that the American people were restive over the misuse of past United States aid and questioned “the feasability and desirability” of its continuation.33 Wedemeyer introduced the same theme on August io in a lengthy talk with Chiang himself. He repeated many of the same points he had made to Chen four days earlier and added others. The Nationalists needed to develop a merit system for promotion within the armed forces, end favoritism of the rich in conscripting manpower for military service, improve rela­ tions between officers and the rank and file, and reduce inter­ ference from Nanking in the conduct of field operations. Wedemeyer could not help but show irritation on these points, as they all involved areas to which he had devoted considera­ ble attention during his previous stay in China. Toward the end of the meeting, Wedemeyer stressed the importance of eliminating the corrupt and incompetent officials around Chi­ ang. When the generalissimo insisted on being given specific

Wedemeyer in China


names, Wedemeyer mentioned General Tu Li-ming, army commander in Manchuria, and General Ho Hsih-yuen, mayor of Peiping. He also criticized the operations of the ExportImport Allocation Board and the secret police. The Chinese leader expressed appreciation for his guest’s forthrightness in speaking about these various problems.33 Chiang’s own confi­ dential talks to his subordinates during this period indicate that he was well aware of the shortcomings to which Wede­ meyer referred.34 Wedemeyer flew to Formosa the next day and, after a brief return to Nanking, he departed for Canton on August 15. Because they covered territories far removed from the center of Communist and Soviet influence, these last two trips within China held special significance. It was plausible to blame Na­ tionalist problems in Manchuria on Soviet aid to the Commu­ nists, but to explain unrest on Formosa or around Canton largely in terms of an international Communist conspiracy required an extraordinary exercise in mental gymnastics. Nor could the economic plight of these regions be fathomed by mere reference to the physical destruction suffered during wartime, as neither South China nor Formosa had experi­ enced the kind of losses endured in the northeast over the past decade.35 Wedemeyer’s initial report to Marshall on Formosa and South China was devastating. The Formosa case, Wedemeyer began, was “most enlightening.” In 1945 the people there had “anticipated sincerely and enthusiastically deliverance from the Japanese yoke. However, [Chinese Governor] Chen Yi and his henchmen ruthlessly, corrupdy, and avariciously imposed their regime.” Chen had been removed after uprisings earlier in 1947, but his replacement, Wei Tao-ming, was “weak, uni­ maginative and . . . deceitful. His wife, a mercurial admixture of Oriental cunning and French political flair,. . . [was] an arch meddler in all the affairs of the province.” Economically,


The Wedemeyer Mission

the island possessed great potential, both in human and nat­ ural resources, yet the National government had bled it un­ mercifully since V-J Day. As a result, the natives showed some sympathy toward a United States or United Nations guardian­ ship as a means of escaping further rapacity.36 Wedemeyer found the southern provinces of China teeming with corruption. Sm uggling was widespread through Hong Kong and Macao. The Nationalists had missed opportunities to foster economic recovery, and, although the region was “practically devoid of communist influence and . . . dissident and radical groups,” they suppressed “even the mildest forms of political disagreement.” Wedemeyer concluded by referring to an amusing incident during 1942 in which Marshall, in Bermuda, had been called upon to “read chapter and verse from the Book of Revelations.” “My report will be full of relevations,” the dismayed general promised the secretary of state, “but not in biblical terms.”37 In his last days before departing from China on August 24, Wedemeyer stayed in Nanking, consulting a variety of people and groups from both the private and the public sectors. Ini­ tially, the general had planned to spend this time with his mission preparing a draft of its Anal report. The team was so overwhelmed with Chinese requests for meetings, however, that such work proved impossible.3® Some of these meetings, Wedemeyer hoped, would help im­ prove Nationalist fortunes, as it was during this time that he would have his last opportunity “to jolt contesting forces” within the government into pulling together to institute the necessary reforms.39 The key figure, of course, was Chiang Kai-shek. Wedemeyer knew of the so-called “third force” move­ ments in China— that is, groups seeking a middle ground be­ tween the Communists and the Nationalists. During his stay in China, he heard many rumors of a separatist movement in southern provinces under the leadership of General Li Chi-

Wedemeyer in China


shen, a long-time opponent of the generalissimo within the Kuomintang, and even of covert British support for this scheme.40 Yet Wedemeyer never regarded regional govern­ ments or the replacement of Chiang within the framework of the present regime as viable instruments for the defeat of com­ munism. If China was to be saved, the generalissimo was the only man on the horizon who could possibly lead the way. Even so, Chiang’s course in recent years left much to be desired. Never before in his association with Chiang did Wede­ meyer come closer to abandoning faith in the generalissimo’s leadership than during those August days in China. Over and over again during his tour of the country, Wedemeyer en­ countered “obvious and shabby tricks” by Nationalist officials trying to hide real conditions.41 Roads he was to travel on were repaired, cities were cleaned up, and buildings were renovated. In Mukden city leaders ordered a new lawn planted to impress their visitor; Northeast Headquarters ordered guests to evacu­ ate the first floor of the Shenyang Hotel to provide accommo­ dations for the mission and management to redecorate the rooms and provide new uniforms for hotel employees.42General Hsiung attempted to control the mission’s contacts and he pre­ sented its head with “patently inaccurate information.”43 Chi­ ang may not have been behind these ploys, but they certainly reflected poorly on his regime. After “giving [him] my loyal support,” the general wrote to a friend back in Maryland, “it is disillusioning to learn that he either orders or condones these unfortunate conditions and attitudes” within the army. “He assures me,” Wedemeyer continued, “and if I am any judge of character he is sincere [in his]. . . desire to help his people and to eliminate corruption. Either he is Machiavellian or he lacks the power to make the changes that are critically necessary today.”44 In the end, Wedemeyer kept his faith, but only be­ cause he saw no alternative; and he more than succeeded in keeping this fact from his host.


The Wedemeyer Mission

Wedemeyer’s final meetings with Chiang and other Nation­ alist leaders produced considerable acrimony. In sessions with the generalissimo, the head of the American mission repeated many of his earlier points and added some new ones about conditions in South China and Formosa. He placed special em­ phasis on Nationalist discrimination against foreign compa­ nies, pointing out that, before leaving China in April 1946, he had told Chiang that this practice must stop and that Chiang had assured him that it would. It had not. Although most of the pertinent laws "were manifestly fair,” their implementation left much to be desired. "Legitimate business,” he stated, "be it foreign or Chinese, was penalized to an unacceptable degree,” which simply encouraged "illegitimate business” and under­ mined "the moral fiber of all banking and commercial interests in the country.” As a result of this condition foreign business and capital were fleeing from China, which seriously hampered prospects for economic recovery.45 Chiang urged Wedemeyer to present his findings to the State Council and his ministers, a request that the general hesitated to honor. Surely this job was one for the Chinese leader himself. When Chiang persisted, however, Wedemeyer finally agreed.46 On the morning of August 22 Wedemeyer addressed some sixty top Chinese officials gathered at Chiang’s residence. Few of them liked what they heard. The general began his talk with the assertion that he spoke not as a "special envoy of the President, but as a friend of China.” He then launched into a lengthy recital of the deficiencies of Nationalist rule since V-J Day. He covered a wide range of subjects, from police sup­ pression of dissent in the universities to corruption in the army and the civil service. One of the Kuomintang elders present, Tai Chi-tao, was so upset with this criticism and its accuracy that he wept openly at the end of the address.47 Despite his previous encouragement to Wedemeyer to report his findings to the group, Chiang as well as others present were

Wedemeyer in China


deeply upset with the bluntness of the criticism and with the general’s failure to even hint that he would recommend Ameri­ can aid to the National government. A record of conversations between Chiang and Wedemeyer on the eve of the latter’s talk is not available. It is probable, however, that the former’s pre­ cise desires failed to be conveyed to his visitor through the translator. The generalissimo did telephone Stuart before the talk to suggest that he caution Wedemeyer against overly criti­ cal remarks about the government, but, either because he lacked forcefulness or because he thought some harsh criti­ cism was warranted, the ambassador refused to pass on the message.48 The negative reaction to Wedemeyer’s comments derived not only from the famous Oriental concern for “face,” but also from the fear that they would provide comfort to the Communists and spark new opposition to the Nationalists among uncommitted groups.49Chiang was so offended that he even excused him self from a dinner party to be given by Wede­ meyer on the following evening, at which point the American cancelled the affair altogether. Melby characterized the final meetings between Chiang and Wedemeyer as “angry ones in which neither man minced any words.”50 The Chinese response did not distract Wedemeyer from his course. As he left Nanking on the morning of August 24, he issued a statement that, if anything, was even more pointed than his remarks to Chinese leaders two days before. Rumors of these earlier private comments were already widely circulat­ ing, but Wedemeyer’s departing statement provided a more concrete indication of his assessment of Nationalist rule. He stressed the urgent need for the government to rid itself of “incompetent and/or corrupt officials,” to devote less time to “blaming outside influences” for its problems and to “seeking outside assistance” to resolve them, and to dedicate more en­ ergy to cleaning its own house. “To regain and maintain the confidence of the people,” he declared, “the Central Govern-


The Wedemeyer Mission

ment will have to put into effect immediately, drastic and farreaching political and economic reforms.” Military action alone could not defeat communism. China possessed most of the material requirements for its own prosperity, he insisted; what China needed was “inspirational leadership and [a] moral and spiritual resurgence,” which could “come only from within China.”5' Wedemeyer’s parting blast brought a vigorous if not a uni­ fied response in China. The Communists’ radio chorded that “even a bloodthirsty butcher like Wedemeyer now sees that to support this evil government of Chiang is difficult. . . when the peoples of the world including the United States are so bitter against fascists.” Yet it was “very possible that he will urge Washington for further aid . . . to prop up the Kuomin­ tang government from imminent collapse.”5* The American general’s statement delighted liberals, student dissidents, and American businessmen. Reflecting the views of the latter group, the Shanghai Evening Post characterized the Wede­ meyer statement as “an historic document prepared on a basis of searching investigation and in a most friendly, constructive spirit.”53 In a private letter to Wedemeyer, Randall Gould, the newspaper’s editor, wrote that “the utterance of home truths by people whose friendly impartiality is beyond question is something completely indispensable. It compares with castor oil, or even a major operation. When a person or a society is sick there is unfortunately no easy, pleasant way out.”54 The mission, which many had feared would usher in new United States aid without first demanding changes in the National government, now appeared to be anything but a defender of the Chiang regime. Chiang him self called in Philip Fugh, a Chinese national who served as Ambassador Stuart’s personal secretary, to ask him about the origins of the Wedemeyer mis­ sion. Apparendy because of Wedemeyer’s expression of a need for “inspirational leadership,” the generalissimo seemed pre­

Wedemeyer in China


occupied with whether or not the United States wanted him removed from the scene.55 A Nationalist counterattack was not long in coming. To a supposedly closed session of the Executive Yuan, Foreign Minister W ang Shih-chieh detailed a series of alleged errors in Wedemeyer’s contentions. Contrary to the general’s claims, the slowness of economic recovery was a result of the disloca­ tion created by the war against Japan and the inability of the Nationalists to occupy all of Manchuria after V-J Day; the National government was not pursuing only military solutions to the struggle against the Communists; some progress had been made in combatting official corruption; and the com­ plaints of American businessmen in Shanghai were some­ times unjustified.56 The counterattack quickly spilled over into the press. Kuo­ mintang newspapers in Shanghai took the lead, but Nanking’s Central Daily News joined the crowd on August 29, when it published a lengthy essay by Wu Te-chen, the secretary-gen­ eral of the Kuomintang. The piece emphasized that China’s problems could not “be measured b y . . . Western political and economic yardsticks.” “The Chinese people,” Wu announced, “will spare no effort in securing independence and unity for their nation and they will work for the realization of a truly progressive government which is in tune with the nation’s spirit.” Since Communist “practices and policies” conflicted with “Chinese characteristics and traditions,” they had little support among the people. “Being without public support,” he predicted, the Communists “had no future in China.” Wu pro­ ceeded to attack those foreigners who reached conclusions about the deficiencies of the present regime without visiting more than a few cities. In the end, he concluded, the Chinese people, though hoping for outside assistance, must rely on their own efforts.57 During September the criticism of Wedemeyer became


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more explicit In an interview on September 2 Premier Chang Chun charged that Wedemeyer had been “lax” in his probe of China. Because he paid more attention to people outside the government than to those within it, he had acquired a dis­ torted view. In reality, many of the reforms that he demanded were already being carried out before he arrived. Other changes could come only in time.58 The Nationalists also threatened a shift in Chinese foreign policy. On September 16, Vice-President Sun Fo stated in an interview that unless the United States soon came forth with expanded aid, China would align itself with the Soviet Union. Wedemeyer’s “tactless” remarks had alienated many Chinese, he declared, thus simplifying the task of shifting toward Mos­ cow. He pointed out that China and the Soviet Union had at least one interest in common, namely that of preventing Ja­ pan’s rehabilitation as a major pow er." These remarks simply reinforced private comments by other leading Chinese offi­ cials, who were genuinely upset by recent American moves toward rejuvenating Japanese trade and a lenient peace treaty, which m ight not provide China much in the way of long-anti­ cipated reparations. Foreign Minister Wang already was in New York haggling with State Department officials over China’s support for the Soviet claim that any of the Allies against Japan possessed a veto over proposals made at a pro­ spective peace conference. If China did not hold to this line, W ang feared, Moscow might retaliate against Nanking.60 To American embassy personnel, Chinese officals actually threat­ ened to call on the Soviet Union as a mediator in the civil war.6' The Nationalist-controlled press buttressed this pres­ sure campaign by reducing the volume and intensity of its attacks on alleged Soviet activities in the north.62 Despite this anti-American, pro-Soviet campaign, some members of the National government did try to respond to Wedemeyer’s criticisms in a constructive fashion. In the forty-

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eight hours after the general’s departure, the Executive Yuan and the National Defense Ministry took several steps directed toward eradicating corruption and inefficiency. The cabinet ordered provincial governors and local politicans to enforce stringent rules for impeachment and to persuade private citi­ zens to turn in corrupt officials.63 Chiang followed up these moves by ending martial law in Shanghai and by putting Gen­ eral Chen Cheng in charge of Nationalist civil and military affairs in the northeast in place of Hsiung Shih-hui. Chen immediately arrested several leading generals in Manchuria on charges of corruption. This move, combined with his open display of concern for the well-being of the civilian population, provided a boost to anti-Communist morale.64 Back in Nan­ king, the Central Executive Committee of the Kuomintang put forth a reform program designed to broaden the base of the party and demanded that party officials present an accounting of their foreign wealth. The committee announced that a group led by T. V. Soong, former finance and foreign minister and Chiang’s brother-in-law, had started a fund for the fami­ lies of Kuomintang members who had died fighting either the Japanese or the Communists. Soong him self would contribute a sizable sum to the fund.65 With the exception of Chen Cheng’s actions in Manchuria, American observers expressed pessimism about this flurry of activity. For one thing, at the end of the Central Executive Committee meeting, Chiang demanded that the reform pro­ gram put forth earlier be dropped. uAs a result,” Stuart re­ ported, “the final manifesto of the session was couched in most general terms and said nothing that has not already been said innumerable times.”66 Furthermore, the actions did not include a wholesale housecleaning of government officialdom. As Brigadier General Robert Soule, the American military attaché remarked, “the biggest government rascals [are] still incum bent.”67 In fact, a desperate struggle had taken place


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within both the party and the government and the “CCClique” had emerged even stronger than before in relation to the Political Science Group. From what American observers could fathom of the furious behind-the-scenes maneuvering, Chen Li-fu and his allies had used the strong nationalistic sentiments aroused by Wedemeyer’s criticism to advance their own interests. Though dubious about Chen’s course, Chiang was also discontent with the United States and lacked either the courage or the power to stand up to reactionary ele­ ments.68 A month following Wedemeyer’s departure, there­ fore, prospects for the Nationalists appeared litde better than before. The intended “shock” effect of the general’s parting comments had not come to pass. Did Wedemeyer err in going public with his critique of the National government? Would he have been wiser to have cir­ culated his views only privately among Nationalist officials. Answers to these questions must remain speculative, as they involve not only an assessment of what actually did happen as a result of the course taken but an estimate of what would have happened had another course been pursued. With that qualification in mind, it is doubtful, nonetheless, that the out­ come would have been any worse had Wedemeyer offered his criticism only to individual members of the government. How­ ever honored a friend of China, Wedemeyer was still a for­ eigner addressing a people engulfed in a revolution of national consciousness. Chinese elites differed violently over the social and economic dimensions of that revolution, but they were united in their drive for national dignity and independence; and China’s culture had always placed emphasis on “face” in public affairs. Chiang already had made many of the same criticisms to his lieutenants in private, but Wedemeyer’s pub­ lic comments could not help offending many of his audience and make it even more sensitive to the prospect of American dictation or interference in Chinese affairs. Nor could the ex­

Wedemeyer in China


conation help but erode even further the rapidly declining prestige of the Chiang regime.69 It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Wedemeyer would have stood greater chance of jolting the Nationalists into taking drastic measures had he restricted him self to private admonitions. His open airing of issues simply magnified the element of national pride in the overall equation, thus reducing the attention devoted to the very real need for changes in the government. In fairness to Wedemeyer, he did discuss with Stuart in advance his talk to Chinese leaders on August 22, and Mar­ shall, Lovett, and others took an active part in the drafting of his parting statement. At the suggestion of the secretary of state, Wedemeyer deleted several paragraphs from his initial draft. These portions, however, were ones which implied criti­ cism of United States indecisiveness in China immediately after the war.70Lovett, army officials in Washington, and Mark Watson, press aide on the mission, all recommended deletion of the passages most critical of the National government. While doubting the constructive potential of a pointed mes­ sage, they regarded an innocuous communiqué as avoiding the risks of giving offense and compromising the prestige of the National government.7' But Wedemeyer rejected their ad­ vice. Intent on shocking the Nationalists into drastic action, he pushed forward with a statement that would further dis­ turb the already unsettled relations between the United States and China. That said, it remains unlikely that any tactics at all could have induced Chiang to implement the reforms necessary to stop the Communist advance. At least three formidable bar­ riers stood in the way of the implementation of drastic changes. First was the problem of power. A sharp reversal of direction by a government beset by revolution is a rare phe­ nomenon, as such a shift involves the disciplining or even the abandonment of traditional sources of support; and few


The Wedemeyer Mission

leaders are willing to assume the risks that such action entails, preferring to confront the long-term prospect of defeat by the enemy rather than the short-term one of overthrow from within. During the fall of 1947, Chiang elected to continue his past course of deft manipulation of factions within the Kuo­ mintang and the army rather than initiating meaningful re­ form. This choice made inevitable his demise on the main­ land, but it also insured his continued control of the National government. Second was the problem of ideology. Chiang’s outlook was Confucian through and through; he looked not to modernize China by adopting W estern ways, but to restore it to a glori­ ous past, protected from outside incursions by the age-old ideas of Chinese classical thought, including the absolute power of the emperor. His wartime opus China’s Destiny initially was held back from publication in English, probably because its xenophobia might ruin Chiang’s image in Amer­ ica as the enlightened leader of an emerging democratic China. The generalissimo labeled the West and its unequal treaties of the last hundred years as bringing about a degen­ eration of Chinese life and culture: Extravagant and irresponsible ideologies and political doctrines were freely advanced, either to rationalize self-interest and per­ sonal desires or to exploit them for ulterior motives.. . . The prac­ tice of following in the footsteps of the sages, of emulating the heroes and of being “friends with the ancients” not only tended to disappear, but was even considered mean and despicable. Over and above all this the people became obsessed with everything foreign. Foreign personages and things were praised to the skies while the history of the fatherland was cast aside like a pair of wom-out slippers.7* To one familiar with the thrust of such writing, it was ludicrous to think that the Nationalist leader ever would accept the slight­ est hint of dictation from or control by a foreign government.

W edemeyer in China


Third was the problem of personal relationships. Chiang had surrounded him self with a coterie of family and old friends, most of whom made certain that he heard only what h e and they wanted him to hear. Exceptions to this rule, such a s the outspoken brother-in-law T. V. Soong, endured a rocky relationship with frequent falls from grace. Perhaps closest of a ll to Chiang was Chen Li-fu, an adopted nephew whom the generalissim o treated as a son. Intelligent and energetic, Chen h a s been described by a Chiang biographer as “the arch­ upholder of traditional China, of Confucian values, and of the infinite superiority of Chinese culture.”73 If one was to pene­ trate that circle, it was not likely to be a foreigner on the verge o f departing the country. In short, Wedemeyer had set for him self an impossible task. U nw illing to accept this depressing reality, he departed from C h in a with the hope that he had at least set in motion the w heels of change. The fruits of his labors he would observe from afar— in Japan, in Korea, and, ultimately, in the United States.74

Chapter 3

Wedemeyer ki Korea On the afternoon of August 26, after a brief stay in Tokyo, the Wedemeyer mission landed at Kimpo airfield outside Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Rightist leader Syngman Rhee planned “a grand show of welcome” and wanted to meet the general at the airport, but General Hodge refused to reveal Wedemeyer’s time of arrival.1 Somehow, Kim Koo, a rival to Rhee for leadership on the extreme right, managed to meet him at touchdown anyway.3 An upstaged Rhee had to settle for mustering a crowd along the streets of Seoul to greet the distinguished American visitor. The scramble to honor Wedemeyer symbolized the furious struggle between the American occupation and Rhee, which had ravaged the political landscape in Korea for several months. By early 1947 the elderly and irascible Rhee had con­ cluded that his nation’s interests— which he found impossible to distinguish from his own— lay in the early establishment of an independent government in South Korea. This view con­ flicted with American policy, of course, which still sought to promote national unity through the Joint Commission. In the spring, following his return from a visit to the United States, Rhee mounted a campaign against Soviet-American talks, claiming that Hodge was pursuing a pro-communist course, contrary to W ashington’s intentions. Such a view required a remarkable imagination, but in the volatile atmosphere that prevailed, the “big lie” technique carried some weight. Groups

Wedemeyer in Korea


under Rhee’s control refused to sign up for consultations with the Joint Commission and “the old man” him self talked about acting on his own to create a Korean provisional government.3 In late June Hodge wrote to Rhee warning him against pro­ voking “terroristic activities and disruptions of the Korean economy,” which, according to “several usually reliable infor­ mants,” he was planning in the near future. Possibly as a result of the letter the anticipated strikes and other agitation did not occur, but Rhee took the opportunity to “martyrize him self’ by publishing Hodge’s veiled accusation and chal­ lenging him to reveal his sources.4 Hodge hinted to Washington on July 7 that he needed a declaration of support from home; two days later, Joseph E. Jacobs, the senior State Department representative in Korea, wired Marshall that he and the commanding general believed essential “a very strong statement” from the United States that Hodge was carrying out American policy.5 Instead, the Truman administration announced the impending Wede­ meyer mission. Although Marshall viewed Wedemeyer’s visit to Korea as a means of bolstering the American position there in the aftermath of the demise of the economic aid program, he did not consult Hodge on the matter. Had he done so, the occupation commander would have discouraged the visit. Rhee already was capitalizing on General Lerch’s trip back to Washington, claiming that it indicated an impending “big change” in American policy, which would turn it away from Hodge’s al­ leged pro-Soviet course.6 The South Korean right greeted the announcement of the Wedemeyer: mission with uncontrolled glee. Rhee told audiences that he would welcome the general “wholeheartedly” as he “knows the Far Eastern problem fully a n d . . . is one of my closest friends.”7 He insinuated that Wedemeyer was, as Hodge put it, “the personal envoy from the President of the United States to Syngman Rhee.”8Rhee’s


The Wedemeyer Mission

fluency in English and his extended residence in Washington prior to 1945 gave his wild claims a measure of plausibility to his Korean audience. Hodge was irate, and all the more so because the State Department initially rejected his plea for a statement of sup­ port. Assistant Secretary Hilldring believed that such a decla­ ration “would unnecessarily call attention to and dignify Rhee’s activities (and]. . . would only emphasize [the] unsta­ ble political situation among South Korean groups and play into [Soviet] hands.” Hilldring suggested an alternative: Hodge and Jacobs could call in Rhee and recite him a message from the secretary of state outlining America’s ongoing policy aimed toward a united and independent Korea through nego­ tiations with the Joint Commission.9 Hodge followed State Department advice, but Rhee twisted the essence of his ensuing conference with American occupa­ tion leaders so as to make “great face.” As the beleaguered Hodge remarked, “his public statements about me are carefully worded so 1 cannot nail him as a liar, but these assure his Korean followers and others that it [the meeting] was based on discussion of a very important policy message from the Secre­ tary of State, and intimates that it had also to do with the Wede­ meyer visit.”10W arnings from his lobbyists in Washington that his activities in Korea were creating “very great” tension in the State and War departments did induce Rhee to release a state­ ment of support for Korean-American friendship and for a gen­ eral election “directed toward establishment of an independent and united government for the peninsula.” He continued to reject cooperation with the Joint Commission, however, and the overall effect of his agitation was to undermine Hodge’s authority and to destroy whatever small prospect remained for Soviet-American accommodation.11 Fearful of the impact of the reactionary social and economic views of Syngman Rhee and Kim Koo and exasperated by their veiled attacks on the United

Wedemeyer in Korea


States command, Jacobs wired home “that in dealing with the right group we shall eventually be compelled to arrange some­ how that they select other leaders.”1* Part of the problem in Washington was that officials there, far removed from the scene of events, found it difficult to comprehend the effectiveness of Rhee in compromising the American occupation in Korea. Hilldring conceded this point in a message to Hodge of mid-July. “Before I met Rhee for the first time here [last winter],” the assistant secretary recalled, “I did not know whether I would be confronted by a barking terrier or a stiletto-carrying Mafia.” What he saw when talking to the Korean agitator was a rather senile and “tearful” man who was “very susceptible to appeals to his emotions.” Hilld­ ring conceded that “Rhee in Korea may be a very different person than Rhee in W ashington,” but he confessed finding it difficult to take the man altogether seriously.13 In early Au­ gust, perhaps in part because of Hodge's inability to keep Rhee in line, Hilldring even recommended that the United States find a new occupation commander in Korea.14 Nevertheless, on August 15, after new appeals from Hodge and Jacobs, the State Department finally issued a declaration that “there is but one American policy toward Korea and that General Hodge has faithfully and consistendy acted in confor­ mance therewith.” It noted that, although the Wedemeyer mission’s report would supplement other studies of Korea’s economic needs and would assist in constructing a future aid program, any such assistance would “be closely coordinated with the Commanding General, [just] as existing programs and policies have been.”15 Notable for its absence was any suggestion that Wedemeyer would delve seriously into the political realm. If ineffective in reversing Rhee’s position re­ garding the Joint Commission or in terminating his pressure for early elections in South Korea, the statement at least re­ duced rightist attacks on Hodge.'6


The Wedemeyer Mission

While in China, Wedemeyer played a minor role in the ex­ changes between Washington and Seoul. En route to Nan­ king, he nearly was maneuvered into serving Rhee’s purposes when, in response to a radio message from Rhee congratulat­ ing the general on his mission, Wedemeyer wired the follow­ ing to the Korean leader through his lobbying organization in Washington: “Deeply appreciate your kind message, I fully realize the importance and magnitude of my task and assure you of my earnest desire to evolve a sound solution to existing problems.” Fortunately, the American command intercepted the cable before it reached Rhee, and Hodge, recognizing the use Rhee would make of it, contacted Wedemeyer in Nanking and requested it be withheld.17 From this point onward, Wedemeyer did everything within his power to insure that no group in Korea used his visit in a manner contrary to the interests of the American occupation. Early in August he contacted Hodge, informing him that his directive required that he make him self available for consulta­ tion with Korean groups and individuals, but he offered to defer specific arrangements on the matter until after his arriv­ al in Seoul. He also asked that social activities be kept to a minimum so as not to interfere with the work of the mission.18 This request served Hodge’s purposes nicely, as Rhee was planning an elaborate reception for Wedemeyer to highlight his own prominence in the American visitor’s itinerary.'9 Wedemeyer could decline politely to attend, referring simply to the pressing nature of his tasks. By the time Wedemeyer reached Seoul on August 26, he was wary of the tremendous publicity that had been given to his mission to date. Although the South Korean press would cover his activities extensively, he gave them litde in the way of interviews or spicy releases. Unlike in China, where he sought to stir up the Nationalists sufficiently to motivate them to adopt broad reforms, in Korea he maintained a relatively low profile.

Wedemeyer in Korea


The mission’s fact-finding really began on the morning of August 27, when top occupation officials commenced a brief­ ing which lasted most of the day. Hodge led the meeting, with Wedemeyer and others occasionally injecting questions.20The commanding general’s remarks covered a wide range of issues and problems. He began by emphasizing how ill prepared for the occupation his forces had been upon arriving in Korea in September 1945. Actual units designed for military govern­ ment arrived only gradually until the end of the year. Later in his presentation, Hodge pointed out that the efficiency of his operations had been seriously compromised by the continuing turnover of personnel and the low quality of replacements. “After the war,” he observed, “the Army disintegrated.” “Team­ work” and “ ‘knowhow’ ” disappeared, “with military efficiency of the command” never rising beyond “twenty-five percent of reasonable and acceptable standards.” Turnover of manpower, including officers, was so rapid as to preclude effective rebuild­ ing. “I m yself and two other officers are the only ones I know who came in here with the initial force,” Hodge lamented, “and the other two are going home in the next two months.” The quality of enlisted men had dropped precipitously. Replace­ ments in Korea “were 17 to 19 years old— 19 years old was an old man, a man who had a shaving beard was very unusual. They came in here with five or six weeks training before they left the States, totally unfit for occupation service by age, indoc­ trination, adjustment, and home training.. . . Nobody ever told them the bitter facts of life, and many of them thought Korea was a South Sea Islan d.. . . To the question ‘Why did you en­ list,’ I got two answers, ‘GI Bill of Rights’ and ‘Free Educa­ tion.’ ” Morale in the higher levels of the occupation suffered greatly from a sense “that we are fighting the batde of Korea without people in Washington understanding or caring too m uch,” Hodge claimed. During his visit home of the previous winter, he had found “unbelievable” ignorance of Korea, a sit­ uation that “could only come from lack of interest.”


The Wedemeyer Mission

Hodge emphasized that, if the United States decided to hang on in Korea, it must give more support to its representa­ tives in the field. “In the Orient of all places,” he declared, “the individual is the one they lay blame onto if they can get away with it.” In this context, he referred specifically to his repeated requests for a statement of support from Washington for his negotiations with the Soviets. When that statement finally came, “it eased the situation a lot,” but it came too late to get the rightist groups into line so they could be eligible for con­ sultations with the Joint Commission. Support from Washington, however, required more than words: it required money, and a lot of it. The Korean economy had suffered tremendously during World War II and its recov­ ery since 1945 had been anything but rapid. Part of the prob­ lem rested in the division of the country at the thirty-eighth parallel and the inability of the Soviet and American occupa­ tion to agree on terms for economic integration. The econo­ mies of the two zones were complementary, with the north possessing most of the industry and raw materials and the south serving as the breadbasket. Agricultural production in the American zone had never approached prewar levels, in large measure because of a shortage of fertilizers. Problems were compounded by the huge influx of Koreans into the south from the north, from Manchuria, and from Japan. Hodge estimated that South Korea’s population had grown by two and a half to three million since V-J Day. He pointed out that Congress recently had cut relief funds for Korea by almost $45 million for fiscal year 1948. It was unlikely, he believed, “that we can get by with the cut this year and be able to keep Korea peaceful.” “If we intend to stay on here and hold up our heads, and tell the Korean people ’W e’ll help you rehabilitate, we’ll help you get started, we’ll help you get on your feet,’ ” he concluded, “we need more money,” and this money must be sufficient in volume to cover not only relief but to set South Korea on the road to self-sufficiency.

Wedemeyer in Korea


W hat about the political arena? Hodge labeled Koreans as “the Irish of the Orient,” describing them as “natively intelli­ gent with high potentialities,” having “a good sense of humor” but loving to fight and drink and not liking to work “unless they have to.” They were not as regimented or imaginative as the Japanese or as changeless as the Chinese, and they lacked sufficient discipline to be attracted to communism. On trends within South Korea, Hodge believed that the ef­ forts to build an interim government around a coalition of moderate groups were futile. The occupation commander had never had m uch confidence in the idea, which had been forced on him during. 1946 by State Department officials con­ cerned about American dependence on the extreme rightist forces of Syngman Rhee and Kim Koo. Late in that year Hodge had appointed many moderates to a South Korean in­ terim legislative assembly, which gave them a far larger repre­ sentation in that body than they had won in November elec­ tions. As it turned out, Hodge’s action alienated Rhee and Koo without achieving broad centrist support. By the time of Wedemeyer’s visit, the occupation commander had long since concluded that the only way he could possibly gain coopera­ tion from the moderate left was to totally purge the South Korean police of those men who had served under the Japa­ nese. He felt that all the “objectionable or crooked” ones had been removed and that the remainder were both acceptable “to law abiding Koreans” and essential in providing the foun­ dation for an efficient and professional force. Although it was “difficult to get an Oriental policeman to act like Americans think the police should in a democracy,” Hodge asserted that the unsavory practices of South Korea’s police had “been re­ duced to a point that is commendable in the Oriental.” Furthermore, Hodge did not trust leaders on the non-Communist left. Most prominent among these men was Lyuh Woon-hyung, a charismatic figure who, upon the defeat of Japan, had taken a prominent role in attempting to establish


The Wedemeyer Mission

an indigenous government over the entire peninsula. Hodge had squelched this effort, but during 1946 had tried to lure Lyuh into an Interim Legislative Assembly. Lyuh’s price turned out to be higher than Hodge was willing to pay, as he feared a complete purge of the police would make that orga­ nization an easy target for Communist control. On July 19, 1947, Lyuh was assassinated and in his possession were found several documents which, to Hodge, proved that he was be­ traying the American command by working secretly with the Russians and the Communists. Despite the stormy relationship of the American occupation with Kim Koo and Syngman Rhee, Hodge was not willing to remove them from consideration for a constructive role in Ko­ rea. Both men had established groups which were planning to form their own governments. Kim Koo even made two abortive attempts at a coup d’etat. Yet Hodge thought that if all talk of trusteeship were dropped and if he developed plans for an election in South Korea based on a law passed recently by the interim legislature, “we may be able to use them as rallying points for future good.” Hodge acknowledged that rightist youth groups would use intimidation in any election and that the resulting government could not be granted full sover­ eignty— at least not immediately. Still he insisted that the danger of intimidation would only grow worse as time passed and it could be kept to a minimum in this instance through supervision at polling places by American soliders. In any event, Koreans were “infantile politically” with little knowl­ edge of anything but “Japanese oppression and a strong indi­ vidual idea of each as to what he wants.” They had no concep­ tion of political parties in a Western sense or of majority rule. Under such circum stances, it was ridiculous to think of elec­ tions being conducted exactly as in the United States. Cre­ ation of a fully elected legislature— the interim one was halfelected and half-appointed— would enhance prospects for land

Wedemeyer in Korea


reform, which the occupation command had shied away from, feeling it was something for Koreans themselves to imple­ ment. Korean impatience for complete independence could be held under control temporarily by giving government officials “enough outside contacts and pomp to keep them happy.” The move toward an indigenous government in South Ko­ rea, of course, would represent a total break with the Soviets. If this occurred, Hodge argued, the Communist party should be outlawed. He viewed the Communists as a monolithic group completely under the sway of Moscow. The Russians had planned their move into Korea with meticulous care, us­ ing their consulate in Seoul and thousands of Koreans who had resided in the Soviet Union during the last years of Japa­ nese rule as instruments to advance their purposes. By the time the Americans arrived in September 1945, “people's com­ mittees” had been organized at the local level and were func­ tioning as Communist-controlled governments in many villages of South Korea. The United States occupation sought to break up these organizations, at least insofar as they claimed legitim acy as ruling bodies, but well-trained agitators infiltrating from the north made the maintenance of order an ongoing problem. During the previous fall, the Communists had even attempted to carry out a revolution below the thirtyeighth parallel, sparking a series of labor strikes and uprisings against landlords in the countryside. That effort had been sup­ pressed, but another attempt could be anticipated anytime deteriorating conditions and American weakness appeared to offer a chance of success. Another constant danger derived from the existence in North Korea of an army of between 150,000 and 200,000 “well-trained troops,” which contrasted with the tiny, poorly trained and equipped constabulary in the south. Though honest, Hodge’s remarks were self-serving. They represented the vision of a hard-nosed, down-to-earth combat


The Wedemeyer Mission

commander from rural Illinois, a man of profoundly conserva­ tive instincts who had come to see the hand of Communists behind all disruptions except those led by the extreme right.31 Arthur C. Bunce, the State Department’s chief economic ad­ viser to the occupation, holder of a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin, and a former employee of the Federal Reserve Board, often saw matters differently.32 While aware of the role of subversive operatives from the north in South Korea’s internal problems, Bunce placed far more emphasis on the failure of the occupation to control police and youth groups and to fully commit itself to promoting the coali­ tion committee of the moderate right and left. These failures, he argued, had fostered violence and pushed many moderates toward the extrem e left. Himself a strong anticommunist, a believer that M it would be good for our souls” to stay on in South Korea and attempt to build it up as “an example of democratic, social and economic progress in the Far East,” Bunce nevertheless viewed Hodge’s intelligence operation as feeding him ua bunch of ‘subjective bias’ ” that played to his bitter antagonism to communism. In contrast to Hodge, who took Lyuh Woon-hyung’s passing with equanimity, Bunce re­ garded it as “a major tragedy,” which could only reduce pros­ pects for a dominant middle-of-the-road coalition and, there­ fore, the early development of stability and democracy. He also thought military government deficient in its economic plan­ ning and coordination of various activities.33 Aware that not all his subordinates, especially State Depart­ ment personnel other than Jacobs, viewed events in Korea in the same manner as he did, Hodge took care to insure that dissenting opinions within the occupation did not receive equal airing with his own. On August 19, he made it clear to his staff that he wanted to review drafts of all the briefing papers prepared for the mission, ordering their submittal within three days. The more specialized briefings, therefore,

Wedemeyer in Korea


revealed little disagreement within occupation ranks. Eco­ nomic analyses stressed the paucity of shipments to date of such agricultural supplies as fertilizers, cement, seeds, insec­ ticides, fungicides, and equipment for irrigation and reclama­ tion. These déficiences severely limited crop production, which “only prolonged the necessity for large food imports.” The basic point here was that the short-term provision of ade­ quate supplies to South Korean farmers could greatly reduce the need for food relief from abroad over the long haul. Eco­ nomic reports also emphasized the need to develop electric power below the thirty-eighth parallel so as to eliminate de­ pendence for electricity on the north. In the final analysis, South Korea’s deficiencies in skilled labor and raw materials augured ill for the achievement of self-sufficiency in the fore­ seeable future.24 Other briefing papers— on the Korean press and politics and on Soviet-American relations— merely added details to Hodge’s initial presentations.25 When Wedemeyer traveled to Pusan on August 31, he did receive information that, by implication at least, was far more critical of occupation policies. Colonel F. E. Gillette, chief civil affairs officer at the South Korean port city, wrote that progress toward democracy was at a standstill “due to the premature surrender of governmental power to Koreans.” “The people re­ spected the Japanese through fear,” he observed, but we had “removed that fe a r. . . [without substituting for it a democratic ideal or a feeling of responsibility.” There existed “a widespread lack of respect for government officials, and hatred of the po­ lice.” To train the people “in the ways of democracy” would take an intensive “United States educational campaign” over at least the next decade. Instead of turning over more and more author­ ity to Koreans, as the occupation command had been doing since early in the year, the United States should move in the opposite direction. Only through an “intelligent, aggressive and well-planned campaign of education, dissemination of informa-


The Wedémeyer Mission

tion and training of officials, teachers and the public” could the Americans demonstrate that they had “something better to offer” than the Communists.*6 Gordon Flaherty of the Bureau of Home Affairs was equally critical of occupation policies and equally determined to pro­ mote American ways on the peninsula. Rather than calling for more United States control, however, he advocated a loosening of government restraints on private business and industry. To him, government operation of the economy provided too many opportunities “for graft and favoritism. Any individual not adhering to the dictates of officials in power is ruthlessly elimi­ nated for slight and even perjured misdeeds-. Private industry has little desire to invest either time, effort or capital in an enterprise which may change hands at the whim of some na­ tional official. Effort seems to be devoted more to a quick profit, honest or otherwise, before contact with any business venture is terminated because of political or personal differences.”*7 By the time Wedemeyer received these reports, he had con­ ducted a series of conversations with South Korean leaders and groups. These half-hour talks, held on August 29 and 30, produced many complaints about police activities but little in the way of solutions along the lines of Flaherty and Gillette. Because efforts to meet with the prominent Communists Huh Hun and Kim Won Bong proved unsuccessful, Wedemeyer’s discussions were with Koreans of persuasions ranging from moderate to extreme right. Kim Koo, Syngman Rhee, and others in the latter group emphasized the need to hold elec­ tions, turn over more responsibility to Koreans, and suppress the Communists, while centrists complained about police repression, which they likened to Japanese rule.*8These com­ plaints were of sufficient weight in Wedemeyer’s mind to in­ duce a request from Hodge for more information. The com­ manding general replied in part by providing the report of a joint Korean-American conference held earlier in the year to

Wedemeyer in Korea


investigate police activities in the Taegu area during the upris­ ings of October 1946. The report dwelled on the Communist role in the unrest and the need of strong police action to re­ store order. He also pointed out that the Interim Legislative Assembly recently had passed a law defining categories of "objectionable” service under the Japanese and that, as a re­ sult, some two hundred policemen were being investigated “with a view to removal or exoneration.”*9 Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of Wedemeyer’s con­ ferences with Koreans rested in his refusal to single out Rhee for special treatment. O f course, Rhee wanted the Wedemeyer mission to be his show and he made painstaking arrange­ ments to make it so. Hodge had other ideas, and he undoubt­ edly warned his visitor to be wary of septuagenarian Koreans bearing gifts. Thus Wedemeyer met with Rhee for a mere thirty minutes, ju st like all the others, and he declined all invitations to receptions sponsored by organizations of the ex­ treme right. The Rhee-backed People’s Daily Times falsely reported that the distinguished American general “consulted with him [Rhee] on the Korean situation for several hours,” but it hardly could save its sponsor from losing “face” after he was snubbed by Wedemeyer on the social circuit.30 Wedemeyer’s treatment of Rhee revealed his determination to do nothing to undermine American officials on the scene and his overall demeanor during his brief stay in Korea re­ flected his desire to avoid controversy and undue publicity. At the end of Hodge’s briefing of August 27, Wedemeyer asked his team to avoid statements of opinion on Korean affairs and his own subsequent conduct easily lived up to that standard. He accepted an invitation to appear before the Interim Legis­ lative Assembly on September 2, but his brief address proved innocuous in content.3' So, too, was his departing statement on the following day.33 This was Wedemeyer at his best, the soldier-statesman of the China theater late in World War II,


The Wedemeyer Mission

who had smoothed over many ruffled feelings left over from Stilwell’s days. Adding to the rather uneventful nature of Wedemeyer’s stay on the peninsula was the relatively tranquil state of South Korea late in the summer of 1947. Reported acts of terrorism dropped to 68 in August from 128 during July. One occupation report of early September concluded that “leftist activity in South Korea is at one of its lowest ebbs since the arrival of American troops.” Most recent terrorism had been instigated by the extreme right. Hodge’s arrest of several leading South Korean Communists for their alleged preparation of disruptive activities on Liberation Day (August 15) produced this lull, which no one expected to last for long.33Although Soviet radio stations belched the usual propaganda on the Wedemeyer mission, characterizing its head as, among other things, a “blood thirsty butcher,” leftist newspapers within South Korea restricted their coverage largely to reports of his interviews and speeches.34 One can imagine Hodge breathing a sigh of relief upon the mission’s departure: the controversial occupation commander had survived the visit without major incident. Before leaving, Wedemeyer addressed a personal letter to his host in which he thanked Hodge for his assistance during his fact-finding tour. Significantly, he added two sentences to the note which re­ flected his higher assessment of the American occupation in Korea than of the United States military advisory group in China: “The appearance, morale and conduct of Americans in Korea compare favorably with any area I have visited. When this fact is related to the difficult circumstances under which Americans are operating in this particular part of the world, I believe it to be a credit to you and the officers of the Military Government and of the Twenty-Fourth Corps.”35 With those encouraging words, Wedemeyer took off for a short visit in Tokyo and then a longer pause in Hawaii, where

Wedemeyer in Korea


he and his team would get down to the business of writing their report to the president of the United States. It remained to be seen whether they would regard the tiny peninsula of sufficient importance in the global setting to warrant the eco­ nomic rehabilitation program put forth by Hodge, which called for a $212.6 million investment for fiscal year 1949 and gradually reduced to $65.5 million by 1953. Given Washing­ ton’s past record of insensitivity to the political and material needs of the occupation, the commanding general could be excused if his attitude was less hopeful than cynical.36

Chapter 4

The Report After the great fanfare accorded his activities in China and Korea, Wedemeyer’s nine-day stop in Hawaii provided a wel­ come respite and the perfect atmosphere in which to collect his thoughts and supervise the composition of a final report. On September 8, his third day in Honolulu, he told Washing­ ton that his mission was “working day and night without letup” and doing so under “ideal conditions” of total isolation.1 Wedemeyer also took time in Hawaii and en route to catch up on his correspondence, which keyed on China. After leav­ ing that country on August 24, he had kept a close watch on developments there. While in Korea, he even issued a strong press release denying the Communist charge that he had made a deal in which the National government would receive American aid in exchange for United States military bases in China and Formosa.* O f particular interest to Wedemeyer was the response to his final admonitions to the Nationalists. Much to his consternation, his statements had produced a storm of controversy, including some uncomplimentary tele­ grams back to Washington from the American embassy in Nanking.3 Wedemeyer’s natural inclination was to defend his actions. In a series of letters and dispatches sent during the week following his departure from Korea, he sought to explain his final moves in China, especially his remarks to the State Council on August 22, while, at the same time, undoing any of

The Report


the damage they might have done. To Stuart, he wrote that he was “surprised and disappointed” with the embassy’s reports to the State Department, “particularly in view of your reassur­ ances made personally to me in Nanking.” About a list of wealthy Chinese that Wedemeyer had told Chiang he pos­ sessed but which he had refused to reveal to the Chinese leader, Wedemeyer conceded that it was “probably very inac­ curate” and thus should not be passed on. Nevertheless, Chen Cheng had given the generalissimo a list of “rich military leaders” and Wedemeyer thought Chiang might use it to be­ gin tapping the foreign holdings of Chinese citizens. If he did this, the American general surmised, his position with the masses at home would improve ju st as would Wedemeyer’s hand when he returned to the United States and advocated increased American assistance to the Nationalists. Wede­ meyer also rebutted allegations by Chinese officials that his mission had refused to meet with “many government repre­ sentatives.” In his attempt “to be objective and to refute the charge that my personal relations with the Generalissimo and the Chinese Central Government would preclude a dispas­ sionate and true evaluation,” Wedemeyer explained, he had sought to consult with “a cross section of the Chinese people.” Because time was limited, this effort had prevented his mis­ sion from seeing some of the officials who had requested an audience. His comments upon leaving China had been “de­ signed to jolt the government into action and to strengthen the Generalissimo’s position in ruthlessly and realistically accom­ plishing such reforms and changes in the government” as could “provide a basis for United States cooperation and assis­ tance.” If Chiang and other Nationalist officials “interpret it otherwise, I am sorry,” Wedemeyer concluded, “but in my heart and mind 1 feel I have conducted m yself in the best interest of my country and of the bulk of the Chinese people.” He asked the ambassador to convey these thoughts to the


The Wedemeyer Mission

generalissimo and his subordinates.4 On September io , Wedemeyer even penned a note to Chiang to be presented by Brigadier General Francis D. Brink of the American military advisory group. He congratulated the Chinese leader for his address to the Kuomintang on the previous day and expressed “the sincere hope that all patriotic Chinese rally around you in the accomplishment of immediate and realistic reforms.”5 To his superiors in Washington Wedemeyer anxiously pro­ vided information to fill out American reports from China. He noted that “the Generalissimo [had] strongly and repeatedly urged his talk” to the State Council and that Stuart had “con­ curred.” After the address, the ambassador had told him that “if my mission served no other useful purpose, the value of the talk fully justified [its] presen ce. . . in China.” Wedemeyer also pointed out that he had taken particular care “in presenting the data in a courteous manner in order not to offend the finer sensibilities of the venerable gendemen and high officials pre­ sent.” He had informed his audience that he made his state­ ments only in response to “the repeated requests” of Chiang, to whom he previously had revealed his thoughts. Finally, the general reported that he had “refrained meticulously from any hint or suggestion concerning my conclusions or projected rec­ ommendations,” a fact that “visibly piqued and disappointed Chinese officialdom.”6 In addition to his dispatches to Nanking and Washington, Wedemeyer penned letters to friends in the private sector in the United States. Again, he defended his final actions in China, but he went on to give his impressions of the situation there. On September 3, he wrote gloomily to China scholar Paul Linebarger that “you would be astounded to observe the deterioration” in all sectors of the government and all regions of the country. Corruption and maladministration are rampant and provide so little framework or substance upon which we could base our moral and material aid. I tried my damndest to

The Report


jolt the Central Government into reform s.. . . Either the Generalissimo is not honest in his oft repeated declarations. . . that he would accomplish reforms . . . , or he lacks the powers of leadership required.” (Less than two weeks earlier, Wedemeyer had written to Randall Gould that, although Chiang had asured him of impending action to end government dis­ crimination against “legitimate” businesses, foreign and do­ mestic alike, “1 have both my fingers and legs crossed for exactly the same promises were made [to me] a year and a half ago.”)7 “Actually,” Wedemeyer confided to Linebarger, “I do think that he is sincere, but there are so many cliques inter­ ested in their self-aggrandizement, his task is difficult if not impossible to accomplish.” The general believed, nonetheless, that “political, economic, and military advisors from the United States would help the situation immeasurably [and] financial and material aid carefully supervised” also would foster stability; yet he conceded that “no permanence” could be achieved unless “the Chinese themselves join[ed] in the effort to exploit every resource they have at their disposal.” Despite his critical outlook, he remained convinced that the United States must aid China— and Korea as well— “not only in our interests, but in the interest of world peace.” “How much, what kind and the timing of assistance,” Wedemeyer insisted, “should be contingent upon a global political, eco­ nomic and psychological plan that visualizes. . . first, retard­ ing the spread of Communism [then,] definitely blocking the spread of Communism [and finally,] penetrating and infiltrat­ ing those areas that are presently within or being drawn into the Russian orbit.”8 In letters to publisher Henry Luce and Virginian banker Walter Robertson, who had worked for the State Department in China during and immediately after the war, Wedemeyer repeated many of the judgm ents he had outlined to Line­ barger, and he added some interesting observations about per­


The Wedemeyer Mission

sonalities. He reported to Luce that he doubted Chiang recognized "the true situation” in this country because his advisers refused to tell him. “They are afraid to,” Wedemeyer contended, “for it [would]. . . reveal their incompetence or their corrupt practices.” “He urged me strongly,” the general confided, “to return to China as his adviser and also requested American advisers in the political, economic and military fields.”9 Wedemeyer told Robertson that, although he was “very fond of Dr. Stuart,” Robertson him self would make a much more effective ambassador in Nanking. Stuart was “completely lacking in force,” the mission head asserted, and “his Chinese appendage” and private secretary Philip Fugh, was “jeopardizing our policies” by serving as “a go-between” for the National goverfiment, thereby compromising “the se­ curity of information exchanged by the Embassy with the State Department.” Wedemeyer also stated that “the group of men given to me” for the mission were “just fine,” but that “I sometimes fe e l. . . your good friend Phil Sprouse tends to over-emphasize the many shortcomings of the Chinese Cen­ tral Government and loses sig h t. . . of the overpowering argu­ ment that it is more important to stop the Com m unists. . . on every front than it is to criticize or democratize a group of recalcitrant Chinese warlords.”10 It was with this fundamental assumption in mind that he informed his team on September 7 that he would recommend to the president “moral encouragement and material aid” to the Nationalists with the latter being supervised by Ameri­ cans in a manner similar to the assistance committed to Greece earlier in the year. He also revealed his intention to propose an approach to Manchuria comparable to that being followed in Korea. First the United States should seek a fivepower guardianship over the region. If the Soviets blocked such an arrangement— as they probably would— the United States should persuade the Chinese to request a United Na­

The Report


tions trusteeship for Manchuria. These recommendations ap­ peared in Wedemeyer’s report to President Truman on Sep­ tember 19 ." The lengthy report began with a general statement of the situation in China in the context of the global setting. Selfrighteousness oozed from its pages. Wedemeyer contrasted America’s “lofty aims” of human dignity and civil rights to Soviet designs for special influence in China while at the same time he prepared to recommend deeper American intervention in that country on the side of what he conceded to be “an unpopular repressive government.” This presentation consti­ tuted vintage cold war rhetoric. If he strayed at all from Tru­ man administration policy, it was in emphasizing the role of the United Nations in achieving United States goals. He re­ marked that some nations had charged the United States with unilateral action in the cases of Greece and Turkey because of the failure to channel aid through that organization, and that this criticism could be avoided in the case of China if the National government reported to the international body its request for American assistance. To his credit, the general did not hide his own doubts about Chiang’s commitment to re­ form. The generalissimo, he said, had assured him of his de­ termination to continue the struggle against communism, “to create a democractic form of government,” and “to make sweeping reform s. . . including the removal of incompetent and corrupt officials.” Although accepting Chiang’s sincerity, Wedemeyer conceded his uncertainty that the Nationalist leader “has today sufficient determination to do so if this re­ quires absolute over-ruling of the political and military cliques surrounding him”; and, if United States aid was to be effec­ tive, “that determination must be established.”13 The presidential envoy concluded the section by putting forth “three postulates of United States foreign policy [that were] pertinent to [his] investigations, analyses and report”:


The Wedemeyer Mission

(1) The United States will continue support of the United Na­ tions in the attainment of its lofty aims, accepting the possible development that the Soviet Union or other nations may not ac­ tively participate. (2) Moral support will be given to nations and peoples that have established political and economic structures compatible with our own, or that give convincing evidence of their desire to do so. (3) Material aid may be given to those same nations and peoples in order to accelerate post-war Rehabilitation and to de­ velop economic stability, provided: That such aid shall be used for the purposes intended. That there is continuing evidence that they are taking effective steps to help themselves, or are firmly committed to do so. That such aid shall not jeopardize American economy and shall conform to an integrated program that involves other interna­ tional commitments and contributes to the attainment of political, economic and psychological objectives of the United States.13

It is unlikely that top American officials would have disagreed with this conclusion. The only question was whether or not they would accept Wedemeyer’s concrete application of the postulates in the cases of China and Korea. The remainder of the report analyzed more specifically con­ ditions in China and Korea and put forth proposals for aid to those countries, but it often did so without taking cognizance of American needs and interests in other areas of the world or of the political and economic climate at home. Wedemeyer did outline China’s and Korea’s strategic significance to the United States. In the former case, he pointed out that in war­ time “an unfriendly China” would deny “us important air bases for use as staging areas for bombing attacks as well as important naval bases along the Asiatic coast.” Moreover, if China were controlled by “the Soviet Union or a regime friendly to the Soviet Union [it] would make available for hos­ tile use a number of warm water ports and air bases,” thus jeopardizing the effectiveness of American bases in Japan, the

The Report


Ryukyus and the Philippines. In contrast, a friendly China “would not only provide important air and naval bases, but also from the standpoint of its size and manpower, be an important ally to the United States.” Added to these considerations was the economic potential of Manchuria as an adjunct to Soviet territories in northeast Asia, a factor emphasized by Admiral Cooke in his memorandum of late July;14 and, just as Manchu­ ria could be a great economic asset to the Soviets, so too it was essential for the development of a well-rounded Chinese econ­ omy. Basic assumptions behind this analysis were that a Com­ munist China would align itself closely to the Soviet Union and that “a continuation of political and economic chaos in [China] accentuated by protracted civil war would produce the same general result.”'5 Wedemeyer offered no estimate of China’s significance to other regions, such as Western Europe and the Middle East. He recommended, nonetheless, a fiveyear program of economic assistance to China, extensive matériel support, and deep involvement of American advisers in the Ministry of Finance, in a proposed economic planning organization and in a variety of military agencies from strategy and logistics to field operations.'6 More important, he ad­ vanced a plan for a guardianship or trusteeship over Manchu­ ria that, in all likelihood, could be implemented only with the use of an uncertain but probably substantial number of Ameri­ can troops. With the exception of his program for Manchuria, Wedemeyer’s recommendations were not far out of line with the ideas being bandied about by China experts in the State Depart­ ment. Most prominent in this regard was a program of condi­ tional aid to China. A memorandum by Sprouse outlined this approach and was submitted to Wedemeyer on August 23 and to Butterworth, who had replaced Vincent as assistant secre­ tary of state for the Far East, on September 19. Like Wede­ meyer, Sprouse viewed an immediate United States with­


The Wedemeyer Mission

drawal from China as "manifestly impossible since it would. . . [cut] the ground from under. . . the Chinese government and . . . lay the country open to eventual communist domina­ tion.n At the same time, American assistance unaccompanied by broad-ranging reform in the National government could do no good. The need was for a policy which would pressure the government to institute the necessary changes. Such a policy would involve granting no aid until these changes actually were being carried out and a withdrawal of aid in the future if they did not continue to be implemented. Sprouse agreed with Wedemeyer that any United States aid must be closely super­ vised by American personnel, and he added that the entire program must be given wide publicity, not only in China but worldwide, so as to undermine communist propaganda and prepare the way for any future contingency.'7 Although Wedemeyer conceded the necessity for reform of the National government, he was not willing to withhold assis­ tance until such action was underway. To pursue a vigorous course of conditional aid, he told Sprouse, would mean that no support would ever be granted.'8 In his report, he argued that a " ‘wait and see* policy” would risk the continued deteriora­ tion of the National government to a point where it could not recover even if it instituted drastic reforms.'9 American aid was so urgent that the United States must accept Chiang’s word that reforms would be carried out and must do its best to insure the effectiveness of aid through careful supervision. In contrast, Sprouse remained willing to wait until either Chiang instituted reforms or until other forces inside or outside the government showed some promise of being capable of resist­ ing the Communists, even if only over the southern part of the nation.30 In the final analysis Wedemeyer differed with Sprouse be­ cause he regarded the implications of a Communist victory in Manchuria and North China as far more momentous than did the diplomat. W hile Sprouse did view the Communist advance

The Report


as profiting the Soviet Union, he was not at all certain either that a Communist victory in the northeast would automati­ cally produce a similar result throughout China or that, even if it did, Communist rule would lead to Soviet domination of that country. First, he contended that the Communists lacked “the administrative and technical personnel to administer all of China” and thus they might be forced to proceed slowly for a period of years in assuming total control over China. They might at least temporarily accept some type of coalition gov­ ernment, which “would be a very minor asset to the USSR.” Second, Sprouse asserted that “the spirit of chauvinism among the Chinese and the strong urge for national unity and independence make it unlikely [that]. . . any regime can last indefinitely in China if it is subservient to a foreign power.”21 Whereas Wedemeyer perceived the Communists almost en­ tirely in the context of an international conspiracy directed from Moscow, Sprouse saw them in more ambiguous terms, as to some extent growing out of and responding to internal circum stances.22 These disagreements could have been anticipated, given Wedemeyer’s long-standing differences with State Depart­ ment China hands. No such baggage existed regarding Korea, however, and thus it should be no surprise that divisions were averted within the mission over what course to follow on the peninsula. Neither Wedemeyer nor Sprouse possessed special expertise on Korea, and the State Department’s sense of com­ mitment to that country undoubtedly rubbed off on its main representative, thereby putting him in the good graces of his chief. If a split between Wedemeyer and Sprouse was going to develop on Korea, it was most likely to come over General Hodge, with the former, a military man with conservative pro­ clivities, coming to the defense of the commanding general and the latter, the diplomat with more liberal inclinations, regarding him in a more critical ligh t No such split emerged, however: perhaps Sprouse was too preoccupied with the im­


The Wedemeyer Mission

pending struggle over China policy to become deeply commit­ ted to a controversial position on Korea; perhaps he was too concerned about maintaining support in the War Department for the State Department’s attempt to salvage American pres­ tige below the thirty-eighth parallel; or perhaps the difficult conditions under which Hodge was operating sensitized him to the problems inherent in redirecting South Korean politics toward the center and moderate left. The presence of Joseph Jacobs in Korea as the top State Department representative also may have played a role. The feisty, opinionated foreign service officer had experience with preparations for the inde­ pendence of the Philippines in the late 1930s and, more re­ cently, with the communization of Albania.23 He perceived matters in much the same way as Hodge. Whatever his mo­ tives, Sprouse presented no alternatives to Wedemeyer’s rec­ ommendations on Korea as he did on C hina As with China, the Wedemeyer report recommended “moral, advisory, and material support” to South Korea Should the United States halt all economic assistance to that area, “riots and disorder” would spread throughout the Ameri­ can zone. Should United States army forces withdraw from the peninsula, either Soviet or, “more likely,” North Korean military units would move southward across the thirty-eighth parallel, with “the end result [being]. . . creation of a Soviet satellite Communist regime throughout the country.” This de­ velopment “would cost the United States an immense loss of moral prestige [in Asia,]. . . would probably have serious re­ percussions in Japan,” and would represent a sizable gain for the Soviet Union, “thus creating opportunities for [its] fur­ ther . . . expansion” to the south and east. On the other hand, “a continuation of present American policies will serve to deny the Soviet Union direct or indirect control of all of Korea and prevent her free use of the entire nation as a military base of operations, including the ice-free ports in South Korea.”24

The Report


By “continuation of present American policies,” Wedemeyer did not mean an ongoing effort to negotiate with the Soviets in the Joint Commission or the perpetuation of the United States occupation on a shoestring budget and with only limited movement toward an indigenous government. Unlike Ameri­ can policy toward China, the United States course in Korea had not existed in a state of limbo while Wedemeyer’s “factfinding” mission was in progress. In early August, an inter­ departmental ad hoc committee proposed a new initiative on Korea at the international level in the event the impasse contin­ ued in the Joint Commission. They quickly gained approval by the Truman administration and began to be implemented al­ most immediately.35 As a result, on August 26 Acting Secretary of State Lovett wrote to Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov suggesting that the four powers adhering to the Moscow agreements— the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and China— meet in Washington early in September to consider how the accords “may be speedily carried out.” Lovett also proposed the each occupation zone in Korea hold elections to choose a provisional legislature, which then would select numbers of representatives proportional to the populations of the two zones. The representatives would make up a provisional gov­ ernment for the entire peninsula. From these and several sub­ sequent stages, all to be observed by the United Nations, would emerge a united and independent nation.36 When the Soviet Union rejected both this plan and the idea of a fourpower meeting, the United States prepared to submit the Ko­ rean question to the United Nations General Assembly.37 Wedemeyer kept abreast of these developments and his re­ port was based on the understanding that the United States soon would face a choice in Korea between total withdrawal and the creation of an independent government below the thirty-eighth parallel.38 Since the first option was repugnant to


The Wedemęyer Mission

him, he directed his recommendations toward* the effective implementation of the second. This option would not achieve the American aim of a united and independent Korea, but it would fulfill the goal of keeping half the country out of Soviet hands and it might eventually lead to the “military neutraliza­ tion of the peninsula.” Despite his belief that the United States must stay in Korea, Wedemeyer expressed doubts about the American military government’s proposed five-year rehabilitation program. Al­ though this plan envisioned the industrialization of South Ko­ rea, it failed to present a persuasive case that its objectives could be achieved within the time or with the funds projected. A key problem appared to be the area’s deficiency in raw mate­ rials. Perhaps because so much American money and so many raw materials would have to be pumped into other needy countries in the years ahead, Wedemeyer thought a more modest relief program more realistic for South Korea. Even this approach would cost the United States about $150 million annually, which was nearly $60 million more than Congress had provided for in the current fiscal year.39 In the military arena Wedemeyer also envisioned expanded United States aid. At present, he noted, the South Korean police and constabulary of 28,000 and 16,000 men respec­ tively, plus the American occupation army of 40,000, faced the burden of maintaining law and order in a climate of politcal and economic unrest “aggravated by Communist terrorism.” American troops should remain on the peninsula until agree­ ment on mutual withdrawal of foreign units could be negoti­ ated with the Soviets in the north. In the meantime, combined forces in the south should be built up to a level sufficient to maintain order under any conditions save “an outright Soviet directed or controlled invasion.” Such an event was unlikely “in the near future,” but American and South Korean authori­ ties must stand prepared to counter “infiltration of Commu­ nists and of large numbers of the North Korean Army” acting

The Report


in concert "with large-scale Communist-inspired or abetted riots or revolts in the South.” Not only did it appear that “So­ viet officers and equipment are being used to groom the [North] Korean Army,” Wedemeyer observed, but also recent evidence from Manchuria suggested “that sizeable elements of Korean troops are operating with Chinese Communists, possibly to acquire battle conditioning.” To parry this threat, the United States must provide South Korean “military and quasi-military forces” with rifles and automatic weapons as well as “vehicles, telephone and radio communications, et cet­ era, and training advice.” Furthermore, Wedemeyer recom­ mended “the organization, training, and equipping of a strong Korean military force along the lines of the former Philippine Scouts.” Initially, this force would be under the United States commander and officered entirely by Americans, although they eventually would be replaced by Koreans.3® In the political realm, Wedemeyer appeared to approve most of Hodge’s policies. He pointed out that rightist groups were the best organized parties in the south and, under present conditions, would win any election to establish an indigenous government. Land reforms were needed desperately, he re­ marked, and now that unification of the peninsula seemed beyond reach, plans were being advanced to implement such a program in the near future.31 Wedemeyer did point out that activities of the South Korean police and rightist youth groups, which often acted together, had stirred up much public criti­ cism and were in part responsible for an increasing shift of popular sentiment to the left. “So long as there is no reform of the present police system and police brutality and partisanship continue,” he warned, “there seems to be little hope that a government can be established fully representative of the freely expressed will of the Korean people.”32 Yet this was a relatively minor slap on the wrist to an occupation that had functioned under adverse circumstances right from the start. While no alternative approach to Korea emerged from the


The Wedemeyer Mission

mission team itself, Joseph Jacobs, the State Department’s political adviser to the occupation, did bring into sharper focus the difficulties involved in any American effort to maintain itself on the peninsula. To make “an all-South Korea pro­ gram” work, Jacobs wired home on September 19, the United States probably would have to bolster its armed forces in the country— to commit “more or less permanently at least one division of well-trained American troops, not recruits”— along the thirty-eighth parallel, and to train and equip an indigenous army uof some considerable size.” This prognosis by no means exhausted “all [the] unfavorable factors.” The best estimates indicated that “at least 30 percent of the people of South Korea are leftists, following Cominterm Communist leaders who would support the Soviets behind United States lines.” Right­ ist and moderate forces were too divided to offer “a strong alternative to the left.” Under “most favorable circumstances,” $500 million of economic aid would be necessary to keep South Korea afloat over the next five years, and this figure did not include the cost of maintaining tens of thousands of American and native troops. To Jacobs, the key question for American strategists was whether Korea held “sufficiently vital importance [to] the United States” to warrant assuming the dangers and the costs of holding its southern half. “A corollary question” also re­ quired answering: “if it is impossible for the United States to enter into all the undertakings around the Soviet perimeter which the strategists consider vital, is South Korea one that might as safely be abandoned in favor, say, of safeguarding measures which could be undertaken in Japan or elsewhere nearby?” Although Jacobs made no effort to evaluate the strategic importance of Korea, he did express doubts that America would suffer a severe blow to its “prestige” if it withdrew from the peninsula under a unification plan that produced a Com-

The Report


munist-dominated nation. The Koreans themselves were so anxious to be rid of foreign occupation and to unite their coun­ try they were “willing to take the risks involved.”33 The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington soon produced the estimate of Korea’s strategic significance that Jacobs’s analysis lacked. In response to a State Department request for an eval­ uation of United States interest in the occupation of South Korea from the standpoint of America’s “military security,” the leaders in the Pentagon advised that the United States had “little strategic interest” in maintaining troops on the penin­ sula. Control by the Soviet Union over the entire country would increase its ability to interfere with American “communications and operations in East Asia, Manchuria, the Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan and adjacent islands,” but neutralization of this threat would be cheaper and easier through air action from Japan and the Ryukyus than through “large-scale ground operations.”34 In sum, the call to arms in northeast Asia represented by the W edemeyer report was unlikely to pass through the decision­ m aking apparatus in Washington without a severe test. Dur­ ing the summer and early fall, events at home and abroad reinforced doubts in the executive branch regarding Amer­ ica’s ability to maintain a position on the continent of Asia. Most notably, in late July Congress made severe cuts in the military budget and in the ensuing weeks conditions in Eu­ rope continued to deteriorate, thus magnifying the urgency of new assistance. Given the sensitivity to large expenditures among powerful forces on Capitol Hill, the establishment of priorities for aid was certain to be necessary. For Wedemeyer, therefore, the completion of his mission represented merely the opening stage in a battle that was sure to continue for months to come.

Chapter 5

T M Reception The Wedemeyer report set off a flurry of activity in the State Department, especially on China. Because the evolution of Korea policy had not been interrupted by the mission, because by mid-September the pivotal decision to take the Korean is­ sue to the United Nations already had been made, and be­ cause Wedemeyer’s recommendations fit well with State De­ partment predilections, the report did not appreciably inten­ sify the Truman administration’s labors over the peninsula. On China, in contrast, Wedemeyer’s proposals served as the focal point for discussion over America’s approach to the civil war. Wedemeyer delivered his report to the State Department on .September 18. Interestingly enough, the question that re­ ceived the most initial high-level attention was procedural rather than substantive: should the report be released or at least its substance revealed to the public? Wedemeyer sug­ gested that the State Department issue a press summary on the report, as he surmised that its contents soon would reach the press through the White House. Apparently, this proposal derived from the general’s assumption that his recommenda­ tions would be carried through rather quickly and, therefore, that no reason existed for keeping them secret. W. Walton Butterworth, Robert A. Lovett, and Carlisle S. Hummelsine, director of the department’s executive secretariat, disagreed. They believed that the report “certainly [was] not susceptible

The Reception


to publication in full.” Butterworth recommended that “re­ gardless of leaks which will undoubtedly occur with distribu­ tion, the report should be treated as secret. . . ; that no press summary be issued and that the President so state indicating that full consideration will be given the report by all the con­ cerned Departments of the Government and it will carry con­ siderable weight in reviewing our policy vis-à-vis China and Korea.”1 Secretary of State Marshall and President Truman agreed and designated the report “top secret.” Neither Wedemeyer nor other members of the mission were to discuss its contents with the press, even in off-the-record conferences.* This decision was not taken lightly. Interest in the report, both in the press and in Congress, was considerable and to withhold it from public view was certain to spark controversy. Yet the State Department believed that one aspect of the re­ port, if publicized, would cause far more problems for Ameri­ can foreign policy than would its suppression. This was the proposal for a United Nations trusteeship over Manchuria. In the first place, to follow this course would place a burden on the young international organization that was beyond its ca­ pacity to fulfill, a fact that easily could prove fatal to its tender status. Second, the proposal implied that the National govern­ ment of China could not control a major area that it claimed as its own. Thus, revelation of the plan would render a severe blow to the already declining prestige of the Chiang regime. There is evidence, in fact, that Marshall indirectly informed the generalissimo of the reasons for the withholding of the Wedemeyer report and that the Chinese leader made no effort to contest the decision.3 Before deciding to keep the report from public scrutiny, the State Department explored with Wedemeyer the possibility of deleting the Manchurian scheme from its contents. Lovett and Butterworth met separately with Wedemeyer, but the general refused to agree to the deletion if it meant presenting


The Wedemeyer Mission

the report to the public as if no editing had been done.4 Such a deletion, he thought, would represent a major alteration of the report and, therefore, he was not willing to have it released under his name without a qualifier.5 From Marshall’s view­ point, any qualifier would only stir suspicions and specula­ tions, which would defeat the purpose of releasing the report. So its entire content remained a carefully guarded secret for nearly two years. Despite the deep initial reservations about the Manchurian proposal, Marshall did order its careful evaluation by Dean RuskUhen director of the Office of Special Political Affairs. In mid-October, Rusk produced a meticulous analysis of the plan, which was immediately passed on to the secretary of state. As did others, Rusk feared Chiang’s reaction to a pro­ posal openly grounded on the premise that the National gov­ ernment lacked the power to enforce its rule over a major portion of its own territory. He agreed that the mere presenta­ tion of the trusteeship strategy would be a blow to the general­ issimo’s prestige. This consideration might be overcome if Wedemeyer’s idea offered a promising method of keeping Manchuria, for the longer term, in possession of China. Unfor­ tunately, it did not. The Communists and the Manchurian people hardly could be expected to support the plan, so its implementation would require the use of foreign troops. The nation with the greatest military resources in the area was the Soviet Union, and it was unlikely to be any more favorably disposed toward the program than the Communist Chinese. To carry it out, Rusk concluded, would require “a heavy com­ mitment of manpower and resources on the part of the other powers, particularly the United States.”6 State Department planners simply refused to give serious consideration to the use of American troops in China. Like the Joint Chiefs o f Staff, the diplomats rated China well behind Western Europe and the Middle East in its strategic signifi­

The Reception


cance to the United States, and during the fall of 1947 Ameri­ can military resources were stretched very thin. In July, the budget-conscious Eightieth Congress passed a defense bud­ get which included substantial cuts in Army manpower re­ quests. Under the circumstances, there was no way that the United States could afford to commit tens of thousands of soldiers to China.7 Wedemeyer probably would have denied the necessity of such a commitment, but he never offered an explanation of how his Manchurian program otherwise could be imple­ mented. Perhaps he took Clubb’s suggestion that the Com­ munists, because of their own difficulties in governing the increasingly large territories under their control, might accept a temporary truce to mean that they also might accept internal administration of Manchuria.8 If Wedemeyer did so, he was letting his imagination get the best of him, as there was a huge difference between approving a truce with one’s international enemy and accepting outside intervention by an international organization dominated by a hostile superpower. Even Clubb’s idea was a longshot: however serious Communist problems were— and there existed no consensus on the matter among close observers— they were far less severe than those of the Nationalists. Wedemeyer’s plan would have had a better prospect for suc­ cess had it been adopted when first proposed in the fall of 1945. At least at that point the United States had had over 1 00,000 troops in China. A trusteeship still would have been difficult to implement: first, the Soviets probably would have objected and they had a major military presence in Manchuria at the time; second, the pressure was strong in the United States to “bring the boys home.” At best, Soviet and American occupation zones might have been established as in Korea. During late 1946, the army’s Plans and Operations Division had explored the trusteeship proposition and had expressed


The Wedemeyer Mission

doubts as to its feasibility.9 By that time, the Korean experi­ ence undoubtedly had caused most analysts to shy away from that approach. Wedemeyer does not appear to have discussed the Manchurian scheme with his mission until September 7, 1947, when he revealed his intention of including it in his report.10 The cool initial response to the proposal upon submittal of the report in Washington did not lead Wedemeyer to recon­ sider its merits. Indeed, on October 3 he reported to Marshall that, in a recent conversation with Foreign Minister Wang and Ambassador Koo, Wang, who was in the United States as head of the Chinese delegation at the United Nations General As­ sembly, had raised the trusteeship matter, the implication be­ ing that the National government would not object to it." Koo’s notes of the meeting give a contrary impression, how­ ever, namely that Wedemeyer put forth the proposal and that Wang replied that it “could not work and that no Chinese, with the exception of the Communists, could approve the idea of giving up Manchuria.” While Koo recorded his own view as more flexible, his account of the meeting as a whole cannot be read as encouraging with regard to a possibile Chinese re­ sponse to a Manchurian trusteeship.12 It is likely that Marshall him self approached Wang about the matter and was given no encouragement to pursue it.13 Wedemeyer’s other proposals received a mixed response. Marshall rejected the jd ea of a five-year economic recovery program and for American involvem enfin Nationalist civilian administration and tactical military operations. Some other re­ commendations received more favorable consideration. The secretary of state did permit the United States Army Advisory Group in China to assist the central government in reorganiz­ ing its military supply system and in training operations in Taiw an.'4 He approved surplus property procedures for the transfer to China of American munitions in the Marianas, thus

The Reception


significantly increasing United States matériel support to C hiang.'5 The Truman administration also granted his gov­ ernment $27.7 million from a foreign relief appropriation passed by Congress during the previous spring.16 In early No­ vember Marshall announced his intention to submit to Con­ gress early in the next year a fifteen-month, $300 million eco­ nomic assistance program for China.17 Since these moves all came without any evidence of a Nation­ alist commitment to reform, they reflected a discarding of Sprouse’s strategy. Domestic political pressures made impossi­ ble the implementation of a policy of “conditional aid” without jeopardizing the recovery program for Western Europe. Al­ though there was no ground swell of public sentiment in favor of expanded aid to Chiang, the China bloc in Congress was on the offensive. During the fall recess of Congress, several legis­ lators visited China. In mid-October four members of the House Armed Services Committee wired President Truman urging the immediate extension of assistance, especially mili­ tary, to the National government.'8 Early in November Congressman Judd returned from China and pressed the State Department to put forth a program for China along the lines of that to G reece.'9 House Speaker Joseph W. Martin (Republi­ can, M assachusetts) stated publicly that Congress was likely to want aid to China added to any legislation to help Europe.20 Privately,^Senator Vandenberg expressed similar opinions.2' Because this pressure came at the moment Marshall sought approval by the legislative branch of an emergency relief bill for Western Europe, he could not afford to hold out completely on the pro-Chiang group. George F. Kennan, head of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, advised the administration to “extend the minimum aid necessary to satisfy American pub­ lic opinion and, if possible, to prevent any sudden and total collapse of the Chinese government.”22 Even with the new assistance to the Nationalists and the


The Wedemeyer Mission

promise of more to come in the near future, Marshall just barely got his em ergency relief bill through Congress without funds for China. In the House, Judd and Vorys tacked onto the in­ terim aid bill a $60 million authorization for China.23This move threatened to cut funds available for Western Europe. Despite Vandenberg’s disappointment over the administration’s failure to request funds for China, he not only fended off similar efforts in the Senate, but he prevailed upon the conference committee to accept a State Department compromise, which cut the au­ thorization for China in favor of providing the Nationalists with $18 million of unexpended funds from an earlier foreign relief assistance measure. Senator Bridges’s efforts to the contrary notwithstanding, the compromise held up through the subse­ quent process of passing actual appropriations.24 Throughout the fall, an increasingly impatient Wedemeyer awaited more definitive actions on China. Such action never came. As Hutterworth explained to fellow foreign service of­ ficer John Cabot, it was imperative that the United States avoid a commitment to more direct involvement in the civil war unless there existed a high degree of probability that this intervention would succeed.25 With American priorities di­ rected toward Europe, the United States could not afford to engage its prestige in China by sending its advisers to partici­ pate extensively in Nationalist civilian and military operations. If such action did not prove adequate, the United States then would face the choice of escalating its commitment indefi­ nitely, possibly even to include an indeterminate number of combat troops or of withdrawing under conditions which might undermine American credibility worldwide. The cost of saving China, a State Department intelligence report of midSeptember concluded, could “be estimated only within wide ranges.” In economic assistance alone, the report surmised that a successful program to hold China without Manchuria would cost in the neighborhood of $2 billion over a three-year

The Reception


period. This figure excluded the price of military aid, which would involve equipment and ammunition for thirty National­ ist divisions. If Manchuria was included in these calculations, the amounts would have to be increased, “perhaps by as much as io o percent.”*6 Such appraisals carried particular weight in the face of events in Europe, the state of which deteriorated steadily throughout the summer. September brought a rash of strikes in France and Italy. Although encouraged— even engineered— by the Communists, this labor unrest had its foundations in the harsh material circum stances of a continent still suffering from the ravages of World War II. Conditions there promised to get worse before they got better, as a summer drought had resulted in the worst crop harvest in recent memory. Unless the United States provided substantial emergency aid, public discontent might enable the Communists to seize power in France and northern Italy.*7 Further to the east, in Greece, conditions also left little ground for optimism. The hope of the previous spring that funds provided under the Greek-Turkish Aid Bill would enable the government to defeat the Communist guerrillas and turn the economy on the path toward recovery had proved un­ founded. Loy Henderson, director of the State Department’s Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs, remarked in midOctober that a variety of factors had “made the success of the program infinitely more difficult to achieve.”*8 With the needs of Europe growing by leaps and bounds, the State Department looked warily upon the idea of assuming new responsibilities in China. The situation in Congress reinforced this caution. Early in October several legislators returned from whirlwind tours of Western Europe. Most of them were impressed by the severity of conditions there and some called for immediate United States aid on a massive scale. Others, in particular John Taber, the powerful chairman of the House Appropriations Commit­


The Wedemeyer Mission

tee, expressed reservations. Taber doubted that Europeans were taking adequate measures of self-help and he insisted that America avoid expenditures damaging to its own econ­ omy. Marshall’s experience earlier in the decade had given him a keen awareness of the centrality of the appropriations committees to the legislative process. If he needed any re­ minding, Taber had provided him with a refresher course dur­ ing the past summer when he bottled up appropriations for Greece and Turkey for several weeks and played a key role in cutting funds for over 13,000 officers and nearly 60,000 civil­ ians from the War Department budget.39 Thus the Truman administration faced a severe challenge in guiding new appro­ priations through the legislative branch. - • Nevertheless, had developments in China during late 1947 given evidence that a sizable but still limited augmentation of American aid could alter the situation, the Truman adminis­ tration might have risked that potentially fateful step. Reports from China suggested quite the reverse. General Chen Cheng’s efforts in Manchuria showed no sign of halting the Communist advance. Had he possessed several months to clean house within the Nationalist military apparatus there, the outcome might have been different, but the Communists would not allow him such a respite.30 Early in October they launched their sixth Manchurian offensive. An American in­ telligence report soon observed gloomily that the Communist armies had defeated Chen “in his race against time to com­ plete the reorganization and regrouping of his Manchurian forces.” Nationalist losses were heavy and Chen’s failure to check the Communist advance promised to weaken his posi­ tion in the central government, thus further reducing the pros­ pects for maintaining any foothold in the north. Nor did the Communists confine their offensive to Manchuria. Disruptive activities in other regions included minor guerrilla actions, labor agitation, and a variety of psychological measures de-

The Reception


signed to induce panic.31 Partly in response to such activities and contrary to American wishes, the National government outlawed the moderate though allegedly Communist-infil­ trated Democratic League.33 Reports on conditions within the Chiang regime reinforced the dark picture. Chinese officials expressed approval of por­ tions of a widely publicized article by former American diplo­ mat William C. Bullitt in the October 13 issue of Luce's Life magazine. The Nationalists liked Bullitt’s proposals for mas­ sive United States military aid. Yet Kuomintang organs ex­ pressed distaste for any strings that might be tied to such assistance as infhngem ents on Chinese sovereignty. Chiang him self put forth a new program for state control of private enterprise, which ran directly counter to Wedemeyer’s rec­ ommendations.33 In Shanghai, conditions in general and foij American business in particular continued to worsen. On Oc­ tober 17 Bruce M. Smith, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, wrote to Wedemeyer that “it is [no]. . . exaggeration to state that we are no longer dealing with a government— we are dealing with a disorganized group of officials, incapable or unwilling to assume responsibility in any degree.”34 In the south, T. V. Soong’s appointment as governor of Kwantung province had given no evidence of im­ proving conditions. Quite the contrary: in December Hiram Boucher, American consul general at Canton, reported that “there has been a marked increase in lawlessness, banditry, river piracy and old fashioned gangsterism ever since the early days of the Soong regime.”35 By this time, a discouraged Mar­ shall had concluded “that we probably. . . will have to accept the fact that this [National] government will have to be re­ tained in spite of our desire to change its character.”36 Neither Wedemeyer nor the China bloc were willing to give up on the anti-Communist cause. If anything, deteriorating conditions in China made them all the more intent on aug-


The Wedemeyer Mission

meriting American aid to Chiang, and pro-Nationalist forces on Capitol Hill sought to use the general to bolster their case. Although his report remained classified, few people doubted that Wedemeyer favored deeper United States intervention in China. Disgruntled legislators argued that they and their con­ stituents hardly could be expected to reach intelligent deci­ sions about America’s course in the world if they were not permitted to have at their disposal key information like the Wedemeyer report.37 Despite Wedemeyer’s growing discontent with United States policy toward China, he continued to play the good soldier throughout the fall. Rather than suppressing the infor­ mation in Smith’s letter from Shanghai, he passed it on to Butterworth. When Henry Luce asked him to read a prepubli­ cation draft of Bullitt’s article, he agreed, but he refused to comment on its contents.38 From his office in the State De­ partment, which he maintained until taking over the Plans and Operations Division of the army in November, he stayed in contact with foreign service personnel in the Office of Far Eastern Affairs and continued his correspondence with 'American officials across the Pacific. Perhaps his biggest init­ iative during October was to recommend Stuart’s replacement as ambassador by a professional diplomat. Stuart, he wrote, “had lived too long in China.” As a result, “he thinks like a Chinaman, not like an American.”39 It is tempting to interpret this recommendation as an outgrowth of personal pique over the ambassador’s critical remarks to Washington following the general’s pointed statements upon leaving China. Wedemeyer deserves the benefit of the doubt here, however, as the State Department itself lacked confidence in Stuart and often had his subordinates in the embassy bypass him in communicat­ ing with W ashington.40 Even so, Stuart remained in his post, just as United States initiatives on China fell far short of Wedemeyer’s proposals. In

The Reception


addition to being impatient, the general also expressed puzzle­ ment, as he believed both the president and the secretary of .state had told him they agreed with his recommendations.41 To Douglas MacArthur, the United States commander in the Far East, he wrote that United States policy seemed to be "one of piece-meal implementation,” with the focus on Western Eu­ rope. He had recommended to the secretary of state "a global appraisal. . . to determine the capabilities of the Soviet Union as well as our own in various areas in order that we could adopt and implement a global plan that would insure timely and proportionate effort in vital areas.” But all Wedemeyer saw was “bewilderm ent. . . concerning the direction. . . of our national and our international policies.” “We seem to lack dynamic leadership and vision in the higher echelons,” he told General MacArthur. “The President him self is really confused. . . we "have a fine honest little man in & big job.” The disconsolate Wedemeyer appealed to the Far Eastern Commander’s “sense of duty” in considering a run for the White House in iQd8.4aBy early December he was sufficiently frustrated to contact Sena­ tor Vandenberg with the idea of explaining his positions to the influential legislator on a confidential basis.43 He responded with caution, however, when Senator Bridges requested his appearance before the Appropriations Commit­ tee. He consulted departing Army Chief of Staff Dwight Ei­ senhower, who, in turn, contacted Lovett in the State Depart­ ment. They agreed that Wedemeyer must appear before the committee, but should avoid any revelations about his report. Wedemeyer immediately informed Marshall, who was in Lon­ don attending a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers.44 In questioning Wedemeyer before the committee, Senator Bridges came right to the point: “Are you prepared to make the report available to this committee for consideration in regard to appropriations being discussed today,” he queried. The wit­ ness responded that because the president had directed him


The Wedemeyer Mission

“to maintain the security of the report,” he, Wedemeyer, “would be embarrassed if the committee asked me to reveal the contents.” On the other hand, “I could give you my obser­ vations as a normal observer in that area [China], and I would try to delineate in my mind between the information that I received as a result of my special position . . . , and the infor­ mation that I would have obtained had 1 been an ordinary observer.” With that statement and a follow-up remark by Bridges that Congress was entided to all information pertinent to the fulfill­ ment of its tasks, the chairman asked Wedemeyer to give his estimate of China’s needs. The military man responded by emphasizing the necessity for assistance to various parts of the world “in consonance with an over-all plan.” “The world has been contracted by science,” he declared, “and what goes on in China or in Iran is of the utmost interest to our security.” Even so, “the timing and the proportion of aid . . . to China should be commensurate . . . with our ability to meet commit­ ments all over the world, as required by the situation. There is a bottom to our economic barrel,” he conceded. Assistance also should be determined by the “ability of the government or people to use it effectively. We should exercise the right to supervise, and insure that the American taxpayer’s dollars are being employed in China as well as in France or anywhere else, ju st as we expect them to be employed.” Wedemeyer proceeded to defend Chiang Kai-shek as a “faithful” ally, “a fine character,” and a determined opponent of communism, which were far more important qualities to consider than whether he was a “benevolent despot,” a Democrat, or a Re­ publican. No other anti-Communist leader in China could fill his shoes. The general then responded in the affirmative to Bridges’s question as to whether “it was urgent that we give military supplies and economic assistance to China” and in the negative to the query as to whether “we have kept our

The Reception


promises to China over the years.” He told committee mem­ bers that the bulk of United States surplus materials on the Pacific Islands were inappropriate for use in China, where “light equipment” was the pressing need.45 These remarks were easily susceptible to the interpretation that their author disagreed with Marshall's policy. The Wash­ ington Evening Star soon published an editorial subscribing to this view.46 To this portrayal Wedemeyer was quick to re­ spond. In a letter to B. M. McKelway, the newspaper’s editor and “an old friend,” he claimed the article misrepresented his testimony. Wedemeyer contended that he agreed with the secretary of state that Europ* had “fop pnnrity ” He dwelled on his assertion that aid to China shoulcLbe granted only. following close evaluation of its timing, of its scope and nature in relation to that country’s ability to use it effectively, of “our other foreign commitments, and, finally, [of] our own eco­ nomic situation.” Bullitt’s call for “immediate and almost un­ restricted assistance to China,” Wedemeyer insisted, more closely fit the opposing position to Marshall that the Star had described. The general forwarded a copy of this note to the secretary of state in London.47 Wedemeyer had distinguished his approach from Bullitt’s in past correspondence, but his disclaimer of differences with Marshall strained the facts and revealed Wedemeyer’s hesita­ tion to break openly with the man who had been most respon­ sible for his rapid rise through army ranks.48Still, the incident foreshadowed a break that would not be long in coming. Wedemeyer had far less cause for discontent over Korea. America’s policy toward that country did not proceed with the dispatch that the general would have liked, but it did at least move in the right direction. Although in South Korea no initia­ tives occurred toward police or land reform, the process of deterioration there, all too evident during Wedemeyer’s visit, did not escalate in the months after his departure.


The Wedemeyer Mission

Shortly after Wedemeyer returned to Washington, the United Nations General Assembly voted— at the behest of the United States and over the protest of the Soviet bloc— to con­ sider “The Problem of the Independence of Korea.” On Sep­ tember 26 the Russians proposed the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Korea early in 1948.49 State Department officials, faced with a crisis in Western Europe and a budget-conscious Congress and impressed with the analyses of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Jacobs, which emphasized the high cost of sus­ taining an American foothold on the peninsula, did not want to reject the Soviet proposal out of hand. In a high-level meeting at the end of the month, the diplomats agreed that “ultimately the United States position in Korea is untenable even with the expenditure of considerable United States money and effort.” Still, the United States could not “ ‘scuttle’ and run from Ko­ rea without considerable loss of prestige and political standing in the Far East and in the world at large.” Thus the Truman administration should seek “a settlement of the Korean prob­ lem which would enable the United States to withdraw from Korea as soon as possible with the minimum of bad effects.” Pursuit of this course required that the Americans present proposals in the General Assembly in a tentative rather than “take-it-or-leave-it manner.”50 In the following six weeks, nonetheless, the United States permitted the Joint Commission in Seoul to terminate its op­ erations and pushed through the General Assembly in New York a resolution calling for elections in Korea to choose a national assembly. Outvoted in the General Assembly by a majority of 8 to 1, the Soviets announced that they would not participate in such a process unless the international body heard representatives from Korea. The United States had no intention of conceding this point. Not only would doing so create confusion in the General Assembly by reopening the issue of which Koreans would be consulted but it also would

The Reception


lead to mounting pressure from other “nonmember states or affiliated organizations,” such as Morocco or the World Fed­ eration of Trade Unions, who sought to use the international organization as a forum for their propaganda. As October pro­ gressed, the first consideration alone became all the more compelling. Rhee made it increasingly clear that he would be content only if he him self or his allies represented South Ko­ rea before the United States. To have accepted such a demand would have turned the General Assembly into a brawl and greatly enhanced Rhee’s position at home; to have chosen other delegates from South Korea would have produced in­ creased agitation by the far right in South Korea against the United States command.5' By mid-November, therefore, the United States appeared well on the way not to a total with­ drawal from the peninsula but to sponsorship of an indepen­ dent government below the thirty-eighth parallel. The stage was set for the creation of the Republic of Korea during the following year. With that approach Wedemeyer hardly could have complained. Nor could he have complained seriously with the fact that his visit to Korea had proved little more than a minor setback to Rhee. By December, Jacobs even had resigned him self to the eventual emergence of a Rhee-dominated regime in South Korea, hoping that the assumption of power would make the rightist leader more amenable to American advice.52 Wede­ meyer undoubtedly regarded Syngman Rhee in a manner similar to Chiang Kai-shek, that is, as the only likely alterna­ tive to the Communists. On the economic and military fronts, the movement was less decisive. The State Department abandoned its plans of the past summer to present to Congress an economic assistance program for the peninsula. The decision to suppress the Wedemeyer report and to hold back an aid package for China until the following year combined with the uncertain status of


The Wedemeyer Mission

the Korean issue before the General Assembly removed any prospect for an immediate augmentation of funds to Korea. In addition, the Pentagon failed to decide on whether to equip and train a South Korean army or merely to expand the pres­ ent constabulary. Even so, the way was cleared for augment­ ing by a third the economic aid funds to be requested from the legislature under the occupation budget for fiscal year 1949. Eventually, the figure appropriated rose to $147 million, which virtually matched Wedemeyer’s estimate of South Ko­ rea’s needs, over the $112 million of the previous year. In the military sphere, the movement, though painfully slow, was at least based on the premise that the United States must build up South Korean forces, both through the supply of arms and the training of personnel.53 Most important in the absence of any flirtation by Wede­ meyer with an open break against American policy on Korea were the continuing success of the United States holding op­ eration on the peninsula and the ongoing lack of interest in Korea of the public and Congress. No one on Capitol Hill de­ manded inclusion of Korea in the interim aid bill as several did of China. Prior to June 25,1950, Korea simply lacked a signifi­ cant constituency in the United States. As a result, the general was not constantly under pressure from powerful groups to speak out on American policy there as he was with regard to China. In the end, China and Korea would link up in the American mind. When they did, the legacy of the Wedemeyer mission and its aftermath would gain a fair share of the attention in a public and highly partisan examination of United States-East Asian relations in the aftermath of World War II. In that pro­ cess, critics of Truman administration policies naturally called on Wedemeyer to say his piece and the general, albeit reluc­ tantly, got caught up in a political whirlpool that served neither his interests nor those of his country.

Chapter 6

The Legacy The culmination of the debate over the Wedemeyer report would not come until June 1951, nearly four years after an­ nouncement of the mission. During that interval, congres­ sional malcontents over China often tried to use Wedemeyer as an instrument for either changing American policy or em­ barrassing the administration. Predictably, the first such case during 1948 came while the Marshall Plan for the recovery of Europe was before Congress. As earlier,_the_China bloc sought to use the sense of urgency regarding conditions in Europe to force deeper American inter­ vention in the Chinese civil war. The administration held back for several weeks from presenting an aid bill for China, hoping thereby to prevent its association with the program for Europe. In mid-February, however, the pressure became so intense for immediate presentation of assistance for the Nationalists that the State Department yielded, lest the more important legisla­ tion for Europe be put in jeopardy. Although the China bill called for $570 million in economic aid over a fifteen-month period, which was a considerably larger sum than that pro­ jected by the secretary of state during the previous fall, Chiang’s supporters in the House Foreign Affairs Committee ob­ jected to its omission of military support. Congressman Judd requested Wedemeyer and Bullitt to testify, obviously hoping they would help build the case for such a program.' He was not disappointed. Bullitt appeared first and in typi-


The Wedemeyer Mission

callv bombastic fashion labeled the administration’s record on China “both dishonorable and disgraceful.” “In view of the desperate need of the United States in the preservation of Chinese independence,” he concluded, “it is clearly in the interest of the people o f . . . [this country] that our Govern­ ment should at once fulfill its broken promises.”2 Wedemeyer proved more restrained, but he finally did concede that he and Marshall had “an honest difference of opinion.” Economic "help to the Nationalists was not enough under present cir­ cumstances; carefully supervised military assistance was also necessary.3 Wedemeyer was entering into the most difficult period of his career, as his convictions and his patriotism conflicted more and more with his personal ambitions and his belief in team play. His high position in military planning circles, where there were far more men sympathetic to his views than in the State Department, and his cultivation by the China bloc on Capitol Hill, fed his discontent and nudged him closer to an open break with official policy. By the summer of 1948, however, Wedemeyer had lost con­ fidence that aid of the sort recommended in his report could prevent further Communist gains in China. In the spring, when Congress authorized $125 million for military assistance to the National government,ü è presseïlorcefully for Americarrsüpérvïsion of its use by the Chinese. Yet he backed away from the idea of stationing American advisers with Nationalist field commands. Chiang had lost much control over his gener­ als and thus American advice might be ignored. Moreover, earlier in the year, General Lucas had estimated that $1 billion in matériel aid would be required to reverse the trend in China. Wedemeyer agreed with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that, if used efficiendy, the $125 million might serve to “buy time” for and-Communist forces, but he no longer wanted to commit the United States Army to an enterprise comparable to that in

The Legacy


Greece. Eventually, Wedemeyer accepted the vague proviso that the United States Military Advisory Group in China merely should “check on the delivery of the military supplies from that end.”4 His efforts throughout the remainder of the year to expedite shipments to China were related as much to fear of domestic criticism of the army in the aftermath of a Nationalist defeat as to faith that military supplies from the United States would have an appreciable impact on the civil war.5 The Wedemeyer report and much more might have sunk into oblivion had it not been for President Truman’s upset victory over Republican challenger Thomas E. Dewey in the election of 1948. By keeping the Republicans in opposition and giving a Democratic administration sole control over United States policy toward China for the duration of the civil war, this outcome at the polls insured a heated partisan debate. This debate was not long in coming. With the Nationalist defeat in Manchuria late in 1948 and the rapid Communist advance southward early in 1949, China received more atten­ tion in Congress and the American press than at any time since World War II. Critics of the Truman administration’s course in China moved on two interrelated fronts. One was an attack on past United States policy, the other an effort to in­ crease aid to anti-Communist forces on the mainland.6 In March the Joint “Watchdog” Committee on Foreign Aid, chaired by Senator Pat McCarran (Democrat, Nevada), tried to drag Wedemeyer into the debate. Despite his Democratic affiliation, McCarran was a strong supporter of new aid to Chiang. He approached the general, who now was the Army’s Deputy Assistant C hief of Staff for Plans and Combat Opera­ tions, and asked him to testify on China before his committee. Wedemeyer replied that he would rather not appear, that he had not visited that country for over eighteen months and,


The Wedemeyer Mission

therefore, could not supply “timely or complete” information. The committee then subpoenaed the reluctant warrior, who informed the State Department and the secretary of the army and penned an apologetic note to Army C hief of Staff Omar N. Bradley. “Frankly,” he told his boss, “I am embarrassed again by these developments for I have the conviction that the ‘Watch Dog’ Committee— at least some of its more vociferous members, are trying to embarrass the administration, particu­ larly the State Department— using me, an Army officer, merely as a pawn. Mr. Royall understands my position and suggested that I handle matters insofar as practicable.”7 Mer­ cifully, Wedemeyer’s testimony was in executive session and apparently was of insufficient promise to the pro-Nationalist forces to warrant their calling on him again in the ensuing months. Yet before long the State Department’s efforts to counter the offensive against United States policy on China would put W edemeyer’s name back in the news. In the spring the State Department decided to compile a White Paper explaining Sino-American relations during and alter WorldWar II. Dean Acheson, recently appointed secretary of state, hoped that this document would both rebut attacks on past policy and pave the way for United States accommodation with emerging recilîtlës' in Asia. While the White Paper was in preparation, discontented elements in Congress, especially in the subcommit­ tee of the Senate Appropriations Committee that was consider­ ing the State Department budget for the upcoming fiscal year, renewed pressure for release of the Wedemeyer report.8 In mid-May, Acheson decided that the impact of the White Paper would be compromised if the report remained secret and that the most advantageous method of making it public would be in the White Paper itself, where it could be put “in its proper place in the context of the over-all problem of our relations with China.”9 The president accepted this reasoning, and in

The Legacy


early August the China portion of the famous report finally appeared in print as part of a massive volume entitled United States Relations with China with Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949.10 The narrative portion of the volume in­ cluded an outline of the reasons for initially withholding the report from public view as well as for rejecting some of its recommendations." Acheson’s letter of transmittal concluded that “the ominous result of the civil war in C hin a was beyond the control of the government of the United States. Nothing th af this country did or could have done within the reasonable limits of its capabilities could have changed that resu lt.. . . It was the product of internal Chinese forces, forces which this country tried to influence but could not.”13 While the interpretation put forth in the White Paper had its defenders, long-time critics of American policy in China were quick to launch a counterattack. The Hearst and McCormick newspaper chains and Luce's Time magazine all lambasted the document as a whitewash and pointed to Wedemeyer’s proposals of 1947 as viable alternatives to State Department policy. These publications even attributed sinister motives to the initial suppression of the report. Legislators in both houses of Congress joined in the outcry against the State Depart­ ment’s portrayal of events.'3 Perhaps surprisingly, Wedemeyer did not become person­ ally involved in the debate. Because of his increasing disagree­ ment on a wide range of issues, from aid to Chiang to save Formosa to the recognition of the Francisco Franco regime in Spain and the rearming of West Germany, Wedemeyer re­ quested during the summer to be transferred from his policyplanning role in Washington to command of the Sixth Army in San Francisco, whicîT was about to be vacated by General Mark Clark.'4 For nearly two years after that Wedemeyer car­ ried out his field duties in relative obscurity. In the spring of 1951, however, events in Asia and in


The Wedemeyer Mission

Washington conspired to bring him back into the limelight. The Korean War raged on with no end in sight. General MacArthur offered a way to victory on the peninsula by bomb­ ing Manchuria and instituting a naval blockade of China, but President Truman rejected this plan and, when his field com­ mander objected publicly, relieved him of all his posts. “The hummingbird called home the hawk,” irate Republicans cried, as they mobilized their forces for the strongest attack to date on United States policy in Asia. MacArthur was welcomed home as a conquering hero and, after delivering a moving address before a joint session of Congress, became the first witness in lengthy hearings of the Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations to examine the circum­ stances of his removal. Far from bashful about using the inci­ dent for partisan gain, Republicans soon turned the spectacle into a broad examination of America’s course in Asia since World War II. Naturally, Wedemeyer was called forth to out­ line his views. In early May, with the permission of the State Department, the committees published the Korea portion of his report of 1947.15 A month later he went before the senators to testify. By this time Wedemeyer had applied for retirement from the army. He was only fifty-four years old, but he did have thirty years of service and, therefore, was eligible to retire with a full pension. Speculation in the press tied the general’s decision to MacArthur’s firing and the revelation of his earlier recommen­ dations on Korea.16 More likely, the move represented a final act of frustration after several years of seeing his views passed over in high councils. The senators examined Wedemeyer on a variety of issues, both past and present. Republicans may have expected to score points against the Truman administration for failing to carry through Wedemeyer’s recommendations on Korea of ig47, thus preparing the way for North Korea’s attack across

The Legacy


the thirty-eighth parallel on June 25,1950. Senator William F. Knowland (Republican, California) had foreshadowed such an attack during the previous December when he noted on the floor of the upper house that the Korea portion of the Wedemeyer report remained classified. Recently, however, the State Department had permitted him to see this classified ma­ terial. Although he was not at liberty to reveal its contents, he assured his audience that, if made available to the public in 1947, “it would have put Congress and the country on notice of some of the grave dangers in withdrawing our troops from Korea” as we had done in 1949; “or if we were to withdraw our troops from Korea, it would have put us on notice that the army of the Republic of Korea should have been better equipped than it was finally equipped by this Government when we did withdraw.”'7 When Wedemeyer revealed that in 1949 he had supported the withdrawal of American troops from the peninsula, however, Republican senators turned to questions on China policy between 1944 and 1947 and the current situation in Korea.'8 Wedemeyer’s statements alternated between humility and the defense of grandiose schemes. On the one hand, he con­ fessed that he sometimes had been wrong in the past, as in his advice of early 1945 that Russia was needed in the Pacific war and in his harsh public statements about the Chinese Nation­ alists in August 1947. He also expressed confidence in the loyalty of the four China experts— John Paton Davies, John Stewart Service, John K. Emmerson, and Raymond Ludden— who had served under him after he replaced Stilwell in 1944. Despite their critical statements about the National govern­ ment and their more favorable reports on Mao forces, he ex­ pressed confidence that they were neither Communists nor “fellow travelers.” OiTthe other hand, he claimed that if his Manchurian plan of 1947 had been adopted many of the pres­ ent problems in Asia could have been averted. He complained


The Wedemeyer Mission

that State Department officials had failed to discuss with him “the philosophy behind the recommendations.” On current conditions in Korea, he conceded that he lacked much of the information available to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but he proposed, nonetheless, that we should either fight to win by bombing the Chinese Eastern Railway and instituting a naval blockade of China or withdraw from the peninsula and mobilize our economic, military, and “psychosocial” resources against the Soviet Union. “We have the greatest humanitarian record of any country in history,” he declared as he defended the use of our “punitive air” to guard United States interests abroad. “1want American technology to protect the things that I hold dear. I don’t want to spill American blood all over the battlefields of Europe and the Far Eas t . . . , indiscriminately, and that is my fear.” When pressed about the opinions of America’s allies, he expressed difficulty in imagining “any civ­ ilized nation not going along with us,” but in the end the United States should be willing to go it alone in a program designed to seize the strategic initiative from the Soviets. The American public, he believed, would follow “courageous leadership” if informed of what their country was seeking to accom plish.19 Wedemeyer’s ideas received a mixed reception. Democratic senators posed some probing and pointed questions of the witness, while their Republican counterparts were gende and supportive. After listening to the general’s closing summation, Republican senators showered him with accolades. Even lib­ eral Democrat Theodore Green (Rhode Island) congratulated Wedemeyer for a “unique record” in having “made friends of all those who questioned him.”30 Despite its preoccupation with defending American policy in Korea and criticizing Sena­ tor Joseph R. McCarthy (Republican, Wisconsin) and his al­ lies for their wild accusations of Communist infiltration into the government, the New York Times took time out to com­

The Legacy


mend Wedemeyer. Although it disagreed with many of his views, the Times wrote, “it is impossible to read his testimony without the conviction that here was a witness with no axe to grind, a witness who was talking strm ghtj^m the heart and not merely for the record.” Obviously contrasting him to MacArthur, the Times found it particularly “refreshing to hear a general. . . acknowledge that he had [sometimes] been wrong in the past and ‘could be so wrong’ again.”31 Wedemeyer avoided pushing his views before the public during his remaining weeks in active service. On the advice of army'officials in Washington, he turned down an invitation to appear on Lawrence Spivak’s popular radio program “Meet the Press.” He told Major General F. L. Parks, the army’s chief Information officer, that not only would he continue to avoid unnecessary expressions of his views while in uniform, but after he retired as well.33 Yet Wedemeyer was a man of deep convictions and a sizable ego. He was a visionary with an almost mystical conception of his nation’s virtue and persuasive power. He did not envision “a future world wherein we just continue as we are now,” he told the Senate committees in June, “following the inane cycle of first destroying and then rehabilitating. It does not make sense to me. Civilized people ju st do not operate that way. We can find a solution. We must find a solution.”33 And that solution did not rest in the Truman administration’s course over the past six years. "Wedemeyer had lost in his campaign four years before to increase United States involvement in China and that country had fallen to the Communists. Now, with the Chinese fighting the United States in a costly war in Korea, his nation appeared to be reaping the whirlwind. Under in­ tense pressure from friends in both public and private life to speak out on the issues, he eventually submitted to the temp­ tation to take his case to the American people. Upon leaving the army in August, he became vice-president of Avco Manu-


The Wedemeyer Mission

facturing Corporation. His passion for public affairs remained, however, and he made numerous attacks on Truman adminis­ tration foreign policies. In September 1951, first in a lengthy feature interview for a prominent news weekly and then in testimony before a Senate subcommittee, he pressed his at­ tack on American policy toward China and its framers in the State Department. Showing far more certainty than he had in 1947, he told the U.S. News and World Report that he knew that “Chiang Kai-shek would have cooperated with America had [additional] aid been furnished” after World War II. UI am confident also,” he went on, “that, if moral, economic and military aid given in a selective and supervised manner had been forthcoming [from the United States], Chiang could have stopped the expansion of the Reds in Asia.” He claimed that American policy in Asia had been shaped, in part, by “Communist influences” within the United States govern­ ment.24 At hearings conducted by the Senate subcommittee on internal security, Wedemeyer refused to state “categori­ cally” that the reports of foreign service officers on his staff in China during World War II were “pro-Communist,” but he did leave the impression that these men were either disloyal to their country or incredibly naive about the Chinese Commu­ nists.25 Two months later, in an article for Collier’s, he charac­ terized Washington as “crowded with sycophants who too often merely rationalize the policies promulgated by their su­ periors.” “Among us,” he warned, “are disruptive elements, those of little faith or loyalty who have fallen under the influ­ ence of Communist doctrine.”26 In 1952, Wedemeyer became deeply involved in the struggle for the Republican presidential nomination. Initially, he in­ tended to support MacArthur, but when the former Far Eastern commander refused to become an active candidate, Wede­ meyer settled on Senator Robert A. Taft of Ohio. Wedemeyer found the senator’s emphasis on restricting United States com-

The Legacy


mitments abroad especially attractive. “He is neither an isola­ tionist nor is he an internationalist,” Wedemeyer declared. Rather, he is a “realist” who has “uniformly . . . placed Amer­ ica’s interest first.” In addition, as president, “Mr. Republican” would “turn our country away from socialistic trends . . . [and] uproot subversive influences in the Government and coddlers of disloyalty.”27 Taft was only too happy to have Wedemeyer on his team, describing him as “one of the few among our out­ standing military leaders who has given a correct appraisal in recent years of the situation in the Far East. Had his estimates of the situation been followed, China would never have gone Communist and there would have been no Korean War.”28 Taft lost the nomination to Eisenhower after a bitter conven­ tion floor fight over the seating of the Texas delegation. In the midst of the battle, Eisenhower backers denied Wedemeyer, now chairman of tRe Citizens-for-Taft movement, the privi­ lege of addressing the convention, at which point he lamented that the proceedings had descended “from partisanship to vul­ gar discourtesy.”29 Upon Eisenhower’s nomination, he grum­ bled that he was “a good loser but a disappointed American.”30 During their military careers, Wedemeyer and Eisenhower had enjoyed amicable if not intimate relations, but now the younger man refused even to endorse the Republican candi­ date until October 22.3' Wedemeyer’s role in the 1952 campaign, especially his strong support for Taft’s approach to American foreign policy, eliminated any prospect that he might be approached for a key post in the new Republican administration. Eisenhower did offer him an ambassadorship, which Wedemeyer rejected be­ cause it did not permit him to exploit his facility in the German language.32 Never again would he become so deeply involved in presidential politics, although in ig6o he recommended that Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover head the Republican ticket as “the one man best able to com-


The Wedemeyer Mission

bat communism in this country” and four years later he cam­ paigned for Barry Goldwater in his futile quest for the White House.33 On the eve of his retirement in 1951, Wedemeyer told Eisen­ hower that writing held a strong appeal to him because there soon would be “no inhibitions whatsoever.”34 His later efforts along those lines, however, provided only modest results. When he finally published his memoirs in 1958, the book quickly ran through several printings; but it received a varied reception. Richard L. Walker, writing in the Catholic journal America, labeled the work “one of the important books on World War II” and “an even more important book in telling of the problem of a strategy for national survival.” “Many will question Wedemeyer’s judgm ents and interpretations,” Walker conceded, “but few will doubt his absolute sincerity or his brilliance.” On the negative side, the popular military writer S. L. A. Marshall described the book as “a weird potpourri of statements half­ profound and irrelevancies wholly naive.”35 Its reception did nothing to spur Wedemeyer on to write a second volume in which he had originally planned a detailed analysis of his and his country’s experiences in East Asia. Indeed, despite its sub­ stantial sales and favorable reception in some quarters, Wede­ meyer Reports! hardly seemed a fitting denouement for a man whose star had shone so brightly at the end of World War II. What had happened? By V-J Day he was a hero to most close observers of America’s effort against the Axis powers. In 1946, in a best-selling critique of American policy on China, journal­ ists Theodore White and Annalee Jacoby gave Wedemeyer prime credit for the rising spirit and performance of the Na­ tionalists late in the conflict against Japan. They described him as “an almost perfect staff man” and a man whose “en­ gaging personality made friendliness easy.” He was known “as one of George Marshall’s bright young men,” “one of Amer­ ica’s most brilliant strategists,” and possibly “a future chief of

The Legacy


staff of the United States Army.”3®Yet by the late 1950s, just entering his sixth decade of life, he was shut off from the corridors of power and relegated to supporting such hopeless causes as persuading the United States to withdraw from the United Nations and terminate aid to Communist Yugoslavia.37 The solution to the puzzle rests largely in the fact that Wedemeyer was a military man who functioned best in war rather than in peace, in a world mobilized for battle, where the lines were clearly drawn and political systems were fully committed to a cause. In a nation with a more authoritarian tradition, such as Germany, Wedemeyer might have thrived even in a peace­ time environment; in the United States, with its pluralistic structure and its long history of inattention to foreign affairs, he was out of his element. He entered the postwar era flushed with success and determined to undertake new challenges. UI have reached the point in life wherein 1 can call a few of my shots,” he told an acquaintance in June 1947.38 But most of his countrymen were not ready to listen. They were in the midst of being aroused to the Soviet threat abroad, to be sure, but they remained unwilling to undertake the kind of complete commit­ ment to its destruction that Wedemeyer craved. ^ His biggest shortcoming rested in his tendency to perceive international politics in terms of absolutes— good and evil, ffiends and enemies, victory and defeat. Communism repre­ sented a value system antithetical to our own and, therefore, its proponents must be regarded as sinister forces bent on our destruction and resisted at every turn. The liberal capitalist values of the United States represented the hope of mankind and America’s humanitarian record had no equal. Noncommunist nations that failed to comprehend these facts and fol­ low American leadership could never be true allies— this was particularly so with Great Britain. We must accept this reality and go our own way rather than bend our methods or purposes to suit an alliance relationship. Communism was a disease


The Wedemeyer Mission

which unless constantly confronted with aggressive resis­ tance aimed at its eventual destruction would ultimately infect the entire world and destroy our civilization. There was little room in this outlook for partial solutions to complex problems: for a tense coexistence with the Soviet Union over an indefinite period, for the deft manipulation of conflicts within the Communist camp, or for a give-and-take relationship with Western nations whose interests were gen­ erally compatible with but never identical to our own. “The world today does not understand what in the hell we Ameri­ cans are striving to do,” he complained to a Mend on the eve of his mission to China in 1947. “If we would but enunciate to Mends and potential foes alike the broad political, economic and psychological objectives that we want to attain in Amer­ ica, it would do much toward clarification and would cause concentration of effort on the part of all peoples interested in our way of life.”39 In short, Wedemeyer was an ideologue who insisted on total solutions in an environment, both domestic and international, that dictated a lesser standard. Wedemeyer’s retrospective assessment of Marshall in 1958 illustrates this point. Whatever his brilliance in grappling with the momentous strategic issues of World War II, Marshall had failed to grasp “the nature and aims of communism in general and of the Chinese Communists in particular.” The former protégé attributed this failure to Marshall’s lack of study of communism, his mental and physical exhaustion after the war, and his vanity in thinking he could master a situation with which he had litde direct experience or knowledge. These weaknesses made him “easy prey to crypto-Communists, or Communist-sympathizing sycophants” who first advised him to try and force the Nationalists to accept the Communists into a coalition government and later cautioned him against extend­ ing sufficient aid to Chiang to enable him to fight off the Com­ munist onslaught.40

The Legacy


True, Marshall was no expert student of communism, he was a tired and aging man after V-J Day, and he was hardly "devoid of the common human frailty of personal vanity. Cer­ tainly the Marshall mission’s effort during 1946 to achieve a coalition government u f China was bound to fail. In part, this approach reflected, tlw. American tendency tó apply the meth­ ods of governance in the United States to conditions abroad. Thé adoption of democratic procedures in China, including the full representation and open participation in the govern­ ment of minority parties, would help eliminate corruption and ineptitude within the Nationalist camp. Although Wedemeyer him self was not immune to this common American trait, he was more inclined than many State Department officials to view the substance of policy and the efficiency of its imple­ mentation as separate from the method of its development.41 Yet Wedemeyer’s assessment of Marshall was seriously flawed. The United States then as later confronted a series of unattractive options in that country.43 If the Chiang regime of 1945 was not the hopelessly corrupt and inefficient organiza­ tion that it had become by the fall of 1947, the difference was more one of degree than of kind. It is unlikely that at either date the American people were willing to support the action necessary to sustain the National government against the Communists. To Wedemeyer, the problem was essentially one of leadership, of communicating forcefully to the American public the necessity of halting communism on every front.43 Perhaps so, but no one at the time contended that the Ameri­ can people or Congress would tolerate the use of United States ground forces in China— or even the commitment of billions of dollars^overseveral years— and Wedemeyer offered a highly dubious case that the Communists there could be stopped without such a commitment. With conditions deteriorating in Europe and the Truman administration far from sure that it could persuade Congress to support an adequate program for



The Wedemeyer Mission

European recovery, it would have been the height of folly to have attempted the implementation of Wedemeyer’s propos­ als. /Marshall’s refusal to accept the more adventurous of Wedemeyer’s recommendations helped to secure his rank as one of the preeminent formulators of American foreign policy in the Cold War era. For in that refusal, the United States averted what might have become a Vietnam-like escalation which would have done service neither to domestic tranquility nor to America’s interests abroad. This is not to say that the United States paid no price for a Communist victory in China. The most sizable advantage of this event to the Soviets came in the years immediately follow­ ing its occurrence. Indeed, there was a grain of truth in the common Republican refrain of the early 1950s that the Korean War and the Communist advance in Indochina were directly related to Mao’s defeat of the Nationalists in China. That de­ velopment was central in disrupting the military balance in Korea, as it led to a substantial bolstering of North Korean forces. Tens of thousands of Korean nationals who had fought in Communist armies in Manchuria during the civil war re­ turned to their native land during 1949 and early 1950 and helped man the lead units in North Korea’s move across the thirty-eighth parallel on June 25, 1950.44 Then it was Com­ munist Chinese troops that entered Korea later in the year, thus preventing a United States victory there and tying down several divisions of American troops in that peripheral area for an extended period. Certainly the Communist victory in China significantly aug­ mented Ho Chi Minh’s strength in Indochina. Although the Communist-led Vietminh did not gain reinforcements in man­ power from China as did the North Koreans, it did receive matériel aid from the new regime in Peking and a psychologi­ cal boost from having a friendly government in power in the giant nation to the north.

The Legacy


Still, it is likely that much of America’s agony in Korea and Indochina could have been avoided through more prudent policies in Washington. North Korea might have been de­ terred from attacking southward in June 1950 had the Ameri­ cans made their commitment to the peninsula more clear-cut. This might have been accomplished through strong state­ ments of support for the Rhee regime, which had been estab­ lished in August 1948, greater matériel aid, the maintenance of token troops in the south, or a combination of the three.45 Once begun, the Korean War might have been terminated within three or four months, and at minimal cost to the United States, had American leaders been sufficiently wise to halt their troops well short of the Chinese border. The unification of the peninsula under an anü-Çommunist regime woiild have served United States interests, but it hardly was crucial to Am erican security. T he same could be said regarding Indochina. ^Contrary to the predictions o f American strategists since the late 1940s, the Communist advance there did not produce “a row of j elling Hnminnps" throughout the region. JVhere local regimes have maintained a high degree of public acquiescence or sup­ port, communism has proved eminently containable with lim­ ited United States support. From the perspective of two generations, the Communist triumph in China might actually be considered a blessing to the United States. Contrary to the predictions of Generals Wedemeyer and Chennault, Admiral Cooke, and others, that event did not enable the Soviets to become more aggressive in Europe. The Kremlin’s exploitation of the northern provinces of China waTśddctly sfioh-term and limited in scope. For the long term, the Communists developed a strong united nation which removed Soviet influence from Manchuria and actually forced Moscow to maintain huge forces to secure its eastern frontiers. To the south, the Communist victory in Indochina,


The Wedemeyer Mission

by greatly reducing the American presence in the area, exac­ erbated the Sino-Soviet conflict, thereby enhancing prospects for a balance of power in East Asia at minimal cost to the United States. In a word, a Communist-dominated China was something with which the United States could live, even in the short term; and it did live with that power at what probably was a far smaller cost than would have been required to save Chiang on the mainland. What Wedemeyer and his allies missed in as­ sessing Asia was the onrushing force of nationalism and the degree to which it limited the impact of ideology in interna­ tional politics. They were correct in viewing communism as deeply hostile to the American way of life, but they erred in ^concluding that that force needed to be resisted at every turn. Iln that assertion they ignored the limits of American power and interests in a quest for a total victory that was neither necessary nor possible. Although Marshall’s State Department advisers, the alleged “crypto-Communists” or “Communist sympathizing syco­ phants,” underestimated the capacity of Maoist forces to unite and rule China, they were far more sensitive to the nationalist tide and, as a result, far less inclined to believe any foreign power could exert a dominant influence there. Even so, these men believed a Communist victory in China would be contrary to American interests, and they said as much. That the conservative Butterworth or the contain­ ment-inspired Kennan or even the more liberal Vincent and Sprouse were in any way pro-Communist is patently absurd. Whether in the embassy in Nanking or the Office of Far Eastern Affairs and Policy Planning Staff in Washington, those analyzing United States alternatives in China viewed “conditional aid” to the National government as the only pos­ sible method of defeating the Communists within the limits of American capabilities. As the fall of 1947 progressed, it

The Legacy


became clear that conditions in the United States and China simply were not conducive to the effective implementation of such a course. Thus M ^shaü.çliose. the policy put forth by Kennan, that of granting sufficient aid to Chiang to prevent his precipitous decline and to maintain support from the China bloc in Congress for the European recovery program. It was an untidy course— many critics labeled it a policy of drift. In 1949, when the Communists emerged triumphant, there remained a residue of support for the Nationalists which greatly complicated the task of reaching some accommodation with the new masters of China. This policy also prevented an open debate of the options in China, as such a spectacle would have advertised the many shortcomings of the National gov­ ernment, which could only have undermined its prestige at home. Without such ą.„debatę, the Truman administration could not help but face charges later on that it had “lost” China. Such chargés,“ especially after the consummation of the Sino-Sovietalliance in February 1950 and the Communist Chinese intervention in Rorea eight months later, would have a growing appeal to a public increasingly frustrated over its government’s inability to offer quick and decisive solutions to its problems abroad.._____ _ - - ....... ....... Under the conditions of 1947, however, it is difficult to see how Marshall and his advisers could have done better in China. In the vigorous contest of ideas among intelligent and patriotic męn, the foreign service officers won out over Wedemeyer, and the judgm ent of posterity must be that this outdofne was for the best. Unfortunately, a generation would pass before this view became acceptable to the large majority of articulate Americans. The most vulnerable part of American policy toward north­ east Asia in the aftermath of the Wedemeyer mission was in Korea, where State Department planners failed to adopt a course which took into account limited United States capabili­


The Wedemeyer Mission

ties. American “prestige” to the contrary notwithstanding, it made little sense to create an independent South Korea through the United Nations at a time when the Truman ad­ ministration was writing off Manchuria and when Congress showed litde disposition to support the kind of military expen­ ditures which would enable the United States to sustain the new government. In fairness to the State Department, once that new govern­ ment had been created the diplomats pressed for several months for the postponement of a total withdrawal of United States troops from the peninsula. Only in the spring of 1949, under ongoing pressure from the army, which was increas­ ingly hamstrung by a shoestring budget, did Secretary of State Dean Acheson finally accept a date for the departure of the remaining 7,500 American soldiers from South Korea. And Acheson sought to compensate for this move through the abandonment of a sizable amount of small arms and ammuni­ tion to the South Korean army and the presentation to Con­ gress of a program of economic assistance for the young re­ public below the thirty-eighth parallel.46 This represented a course quite similar to that recommended in the Wedemeyer report.47 Wedemeyer hardly played the hero through this series of events. In 1947 he was completely insensitive to the shortage ofarm y personnel to sustain in China a program similar to that in Greece or to uphold the American presence in Korea. Rather than offering reinforcement to a China policy that was basically sound, he attacked in that area while providing con­ firmation for a Korea policy that made far less sense. By the spring of 1949, after experiencing for many months in the army’s Plans and Operations Division the problems of maintaining America’s commitments abroad on a tight mili­ tary budget, and after visiting the peninsula again early in the year, Wedemeyer was all too willing to see United States

The Legacy


troops withdraw from Korea. At the time, he was more intent on saving Taiwan as a last bastion for the Nationalist Chinese, now retreating from the mainland, than on maintaining a foot­ hold in Korea. Because of Taiwan’s insular position, it was far easier to defend than the southern portion of the peninsula; because of the island’s location, it was far more significant than Korea to the maintenance of an offshore defense perime­ ter in the western Pacific.48 Wedemeyer’s calculations lacked estimates of the political cost to the United States of defending a discredited regime on Taiwan or of abandoning to a Soviet proxy in the north a South Korean government which, how­ ever imperfect, was essentially an American creation. Wedemeyer frequently emphasized the importance of political and psychological factors in foreign policy, but he often failed to recognize that these dimensions required sensitivity to the attitudes and perceptions of others, even when they conflicted with one’s own. It would be easy to question General Marshall’s own judg­ ment in sending his protégé back to China and Korea in mid1947, as the outcome of that mission proved to be a painful thorn in the side of the Democrats for years to come. Surely the secretary of state displayed a confidence in Wedemeyer that later proved unjustified. Wedemeyer’s excursion to China followed several others, with those of Vice-President Henry Wallace and Patrick Hurley of 1944 and of Marshall himself in 1946 being only the most prominent. None of these had been notàble for their service to American interests. As Lord Wil­ liam Strang once remarked in a different context, “The belief that personal interventions in the international field can arrest or substantially deflect the march of national purposes, rooted in history and geography and based on facts of power, is one that dies hard.”49 Still, given the complex pressures faced by ifiê executive branch at the time and Wedemeyer’s splendid past performance in China, it is understandable that Marshall


The Wedemeyer Mission

viewed such a survey as fulfilling a useful purpose. Even with­ out the mission and Wedemeyer’s subsequent recommenda­ tions, ^Truman and his advisers were bound to confiront intense criticism for their refusal to become more deeply volvêd in the Chinese civil war. The demands of partisan poli­ tics, after all, often discourage the opposition party from ac­ cepting the limits of American power. The Wedemeyer report and its initial suppression, which probably averted a rancorous debate over China at a most inopportune moment, simply gave pro-Chiang forces in Congress and the press one more round of ammunition in their unending attack on an administration that had failed to build peace and security in Asia after the victorious struggle against Japan.

Holes A bbreviations ACW DB CWP


Albert C. Wedemeyer Private Papers, Hoover Institution Library, Stanford, Ca. Diplomatic Branch National Archives, Washington, D.C. U.S. Department of State, United States Relations with China with Special Reference to the Period 1944-1949 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office,


U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1955-1982) John F. Melby Papers, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Mo. Modem Military Branch, National Archives, Washington, D.C. National Archives, Washington, D.C. New York Times Public Records Office (Kew), London, England Record Group Records of the Wedemeyer Mission to China Wellington Koo Papers, Buder Library, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. Washington National Records Center, Suidand, Md.


Notes to Pages 1—5

Introduction 1. “Directive to General Wedemeyer,” July 9, 1947, FRLIS, 1947 7:640. 2. Truman’s address to Congress is in U.S. Department of State, Bulletin, March 23, 1947; Marshall’s address at Harvard com­ mencement exercise, ibid., June 15, 1947. 3. Office of Chief of Naval Operations, “Memorandum of Informa­ tion: China, Current Situation and Future Prospects,” June 3, 1947, box 3, RWMC, RG 59, NA. 4. Stuart to Marshall, June 7,1947, box 3, RWMC, pp. 171-73. For a more detailed treatment of military events, see Lionel Max Chassin, The Communist Conquest of China: A History of the Civil War, 1945-1949, trans, from the French by Timothy Osato and Louis Gelas (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), 1 17-21,125-26. 5. On Marshall’s long-standing commitment to “Europe-first,” see Forrest C. Pogue, George C. Marshall: Ordeal and Hope, 19391941 (New York: Viking Press, 1965), chaps. 6-7; on Marshall’s doubts about Chiang and the National government, see Michael Schaller, The United States Crusade in China, 1938-1945 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979), 164-74, 298-300, and Paul A. Varg, The Closing of the Door: Sino-American Relations, 1936-1946 (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1973)» chaps. 10-11. 6. CWP, 687-88. 7. CWP, 974. 8. Marshall to Lovett, July 2,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:635. 9. U.S. Department of State, Moscow Meeting of Foreign Ministers, December 16-26, 1945 (Washington, D. C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1946), 14-16. 10. For records of Joint Commission proceedings, see RG 43, NA. 11. Hodge to Marshall through General Douglas MacArthur, July 2, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:682. 12. The most detailed treatments of internal developments during the American occupation are: Far Eastern Command, “History of United States Army Forces in Korea,” 3 vols., unpublished manuscript available at the MMB; Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981).

Notes to Pages 5 -9


13. Hodge to Marshall through General MacArthur, July 2, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:683. 14. William Stueck, The Road to Confrontation: American Policy Toward China and Korea, 1947-1950 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981), 78-82. 15. For previous treatments of the China portion of the mission, see ibid., 47-58; H. Bradford Westerfield, Foreign Policy and Party Politics, Pearl Harbor to Korea (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955), 256-66; Tang Tsou, America’s Failure in China, 1941-1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 44770; John Hansen Feaver, “The Truman Administration and China, 1945-1950: The Policy of Restrained Intervention” (Ph.D. diss., University of Oklahoma, 1980), 288-93, 310-13. The Korean side of the mission has been treated in even less depth than the China portion. See Stueck, Road to Confronta­ tion, 86-87; Soon Sung Cho, Korea in World Politics, 19401950 (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967), 16567; Charles M. Dobbs, The Unwanted Symbol: American For­ eign Policy, the Cold War, and Korea, 1945-1950 (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1981), 208; James I. Matray, “The Reluctant Crusade: American Foreign Policy in Korea, 19411950” (Ph.D. diss., University of Virginia, 1977), 302-4. C h ap ter 1 : O rigin s 1. John F. Melby, The Mandate of Heaven: Record of a Civil War, 1945-1949 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968), 181. 2. Vincent to Marshall, June 20,1947, box 7025, RG 59, NA. 3. Marshall’s note to Lovett of July 2 (FRUS, 1947 7:635-36) indi­ cates that the secretary of state was leaning strongly toward sending the mission but had not yet made a final decision. 4. Stueck, Road to Confrontation, 38-41; Walter Millis, ed., The Forrestal Diaries (New York: Viking Press, 1951), 285-86. 5. “Memorandum by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the State-WarNavy Coordinating Committee,” June 9, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:838-48. 6. New York Herald-Tribune, June 21,1947, p. 1. 7. NYT, June 21,1947, p. 9. 8. “Daily Summary of Opinion Development,” June 23, 1947, box 3, Records of the Office of Public Opinion Studies, RG 59, NA.


Notes to Pages 9 -1 2

9. Wellington Koo Diary, entries of June 24-28,1947, box 217, and Koo memorandum of conversations, June 23, 25, 1947, box 124, WK. 10. Marshall met with Judd on June 30,1947 (Department of State, Policy Information Committee, “Daily Staff Summary,” June 30, 1947, box 40, General Records of the Office of the Executive Secretariat, RG 59, NA). See also Wedemeyer’s testimony in U.S. Congress, Senate Committees on Armed Services and For­ eign Relations, Military Situation in the Far East, 82d Con., ist sess., 1951, 2296, 2312; also Westerfield, Foreign Policy and Party Politics, 260 n. 35. 11. NYT, May 7,1947, p. 22; Cary Smith Henderson, “Congressman John Taber of Auburn: Politics and Federal Appropriations, 1923-1962” (Ph.D. diss., Duke, 1964), 299-300, 331-33. 12. See Westerfield, Foreign Policy and Party Politics, chaps. 11 -12, and James Alan Fetzer, “Congress and China, 1941-1950” (Ph D. diss., Michigan State University, 1969). 13. Vincent observed to M. Balfour of the British embassy in Wash­ ington that it was “more and more difficult to secure approval for allocations for aid to foreign countries.” Balfour to Foreign Of­ fice, July 16, 1947, F0371/63325, PRO. 14. Marshall to Lovett, July 2, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:635. 15. Vincent to Marshall, June 20,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:849; Vincent to Marshall, June 20, 1947, box 7025, RG 59, NA; “China,” unsigned and undated memo prepared in the Office of Chinese Affairs in late June 1947 (from context) in box 13, Records of the Office of Chinese Affairs, RG 59, NA; Joint Chiefs to the StateWar-Navy Coordinating Committee (with appendix), May 12, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:734- 50. 16. Wedemeyer to Horace Eng, July 10,1946, ACW. 17. On Wedemeyer’s impatience with U.S. policy during late 1945, see Wedemeyer to General Eisenhower, November 26, 1945, FRUS, 1945 7:679-84; Wedemeyer to Ivan Yeaton, December 13, 14, 1945, box 13, General Albert C. Wedemeyer files, RG 332, WNRC. 18. Albert C. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports! (New York: Henry Holt, 1958), 362-63. 19. Wedemeyer to Alvan Gillem, February 1,1947, ACW. 20. Wedemeyer to Francis Brink, January 4, 1947, ACW. 21. U.S. Congress, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Assistance to Greece and Turkey, 80th Cong., ist sess., 1947,16-18,47-49.

Notes to Pages 13-15


22. Keith Eihler, “The Man Who Planned the Victory: An Interview with General Albert C. Wedemeyer,” American Heritage 34 (October-November 1983): 36-47; Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Re­ ports, 61-301; John Keegan, Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris, June 6th—August 25th, 1944 (New York: Viking Press, 1982), 31-38; Current Biography, 1945 (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1945), 663-65. 23. On improvements in the Chinese army under Wedemeyer, see Brigadier General George Olmstead to Wedemeyer, August 8, 1945, box 10, Office Files of Major General Albert C. Wede­ meyer, 1944-1946, RG 332, WNRC, and Theodore H. White and Annalee Jacoby, Thunder Out of China (New York: William Sloane Associates, 1946), 260-63; for a detailed treatment, see Charles F. Romanus and Riley Sunderland, Time Runs Out on CBI (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1959). 24. The American media also recognized Wedemeyer as outstand­ ing. Time magazine featured Wedemeyer on the cover of its June 4, 1945, issue. A month later Collier's gave Wedemeyer space for a lengthy article on the new situation in China. See “China,” Time, June 4, 1945,40,42,45, and Albert C. Wedemeyer, “Don’t Count China Out,” Collier’s, July 7, 1945, 24-25,46. 25. For correspondence on this matter, see box 8, Marshall Mission Records, 1944-1945, RG 59, NA; Wedemeyer to A. Bland Calder, June 30, 1947, and Wedemeyer to Marshall, June 13, July 12, 1946, ACW: FRUS, 1946 9:259, 447, 512, 927, 105960, 1297-98,1317. 26. Wedemeyer to Alvan Gillem, February 1, 1947, ACW. 27. Marshall to Lovett, July 2, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:636. 28. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 382. This source must be used with caution as it was written by an embittered man whose ca­ reer had come into eclipse at least in part because of the China issue. In this case, I am inclined to accept Wedemeyer’s account because it is fairly certain that Marshall was discontent with Stuart’s performance and because the advantages of Wedemeyer serving as ambassador rather than as head of a special mission are obvious. See also Wedemeyer’s suggestive letter to A. Bland Calder, June 30, 1947, ACW. 29. NYT, June 20, 1947, p. 17. 30. In August, Wedemeyer actually wrote to General MacArthur asking him not to promote him at that time to the post of army chief of staff. He admitted, however, that “I would be lacking in


31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.

44. 45. 46. 48. 49.

Notęs to Pages 15-20 candor if I stated that I would not be happy and honored to be selected for that, the highest position in our Army.” See Wedemeyer to MacArthur, August 26, 1947, ACW. Wedemeyer to A. Bland Calder, June 30, 1947, ACW, is sugges­ tive on this point. See Stueck, Road to Confrontation, 41. Koo memo erf conversation with Marshall, June 25, 1947, box 124, WK. Wedemeyer to Marshall, July 2, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:636. “Directive to General Wedemeyer,” July 9, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:640-41. Vincent to Marshall, July 6,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:638-39; “Draft Directive by Vincent," July 6,1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. “Draft Directive by Vincent,” July 6, 1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. “Directive to General Wedemeyer,” July 9, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:641. Wedemeyer to A. Bland Calder, June 30,1947, ACW. Wedemeyer to Luce, July 8,1947, ACW. W. A. Swanberg, Luce and His Empire (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1972). “The Other Side of the Hump,” Time, July 21,1947, 15. The newspapers were the New York Herald-Tribune, the New Orleans Item, the Kansas City Star, the Washington Post, the Providence Journal, the Denver Post, the Chicago Sun, and the Christian Science Monitor. Peffer’s and Rosinger’s articles ap­ peared in Harper’s and the Foreign Policy Bulletin respectively. See U.S. Department of State, Office of Public Opinion Studies, “Daily Summary of Opinion Development,” June 25, 27, July 7 9,14, 21,1947, box 3, RG 59, NA. “Gambler’s Choice in China,” New Republic, July 21,19 47,1415Wedemeyer to Marshall, July 2,1947, FRUS 1947 7:637. Interview with Wedemeyer, August 17, 1982; Department of State Register, 1950, 331, 478; Vincent to Marshall, July 6, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:639Gary May, China Scapegoat: The Diplomatic Ordeal of John Carter Vincent (Washington, D.C.: New Republic Books, 1979), 160-67. In Wedemeyer’s letter to Luce (July 8, 1947, ACW), the gen­ eral attributed the demise of his projected ambassadorship to

Notes to Pages 20-26

50. 51.


53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59.


61. 62. 63. 64.


China during the previous year to "machinations or manipula­ tions on the part of certain individuals in the State Depart­ ment, supplemented by violent Communist protest.” I have found no evidence that anyone other than Marshall had any­ thing to do with initiating the move to drop the idea of Wedemeyer’s appointment Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 10, 30-32,49-54, 77-96. Maurice Matloff and Edwin M. Snell, United States Army in World War II: Strategic Planning for Coalition Warfare, 19411942 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1953). 187-88. Wedemeyer to Major General Thomas T. Handy, January 22, 1943, as quoted in Maurice Matloff, United States Army in World War II: Strategic Planning for Coédition Warfare, 19431944 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1959). 106-7. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 223,228-29,242. Wedemeyer to Handy, July 4, 1943, as quoted in Matloff, United States Army in World War II: Strategic Planning for Coédition Warfare, I943~I944,164. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 246-49. Ibid., 303-20; Schalter, The United States Crusade in China, i939-t945,202-7, 216-18. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 388. “United States Assistance to Other Countries From the Stand­ point of National Security: Report by the Joint Strategic Survey Committee,” April 29,1947, FRUS, 1947 6:744. State Department views on Korea during 1947 are best reflected in "Draft Report of Special Interdepartmental Committee on Ko­ rea,” February 25, 1947, and "Report by the Ad Hoc Committee on Korea,” August 4, 1947, in FRUS, 1947 6:610-18, 738-41; also Millis, The Forrestal Diaries, 273. Vincent to Lovett, July 6, 1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. Marshall did add Korea in his own handwriting to Wedemeyer’s initial draft of July 2, but the date on which he did this is unknown. See FRUS, 1947 7:637. Lerch to Hodge, July 7,1947, box 67, RG 338, WNRC. Vincent to Marshall, January 27,1947, FRUS, 1947 6:602-3. Lerch to Hodge, July 1,1947, box 67, RG 338, WNRC. Lerch to Hodge, June 27,1947, box 67, RG 338, WNRC.


Notes to Pages 26-31

65. Acheson to Marshall, June 27,1947,740.00119 (Control Korea), RG 59, NA. 66. Hilldring to E. A. Jamison, July 30, 1947, box 3, Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas, RG 59, NA; Lerch to Hodge, July 18,1947, box 67, RG, 338, WNRC. 67. For a revealing off-the-record comment by Marshall, see “Memo­ randum of the Press and Radio News Conference,” July 16, 1947, in Press Conferences: Verbatim Reports, vol. 18, RG 59, NA. 68. NYT, June 27, 1947, p. 13; “Korea,” Time, June 30, 1947, 2526; Baldwin, “Memorandum on Korea,” May 28, 1947, box 68, RG 338, WNRC. 69. For correspondence on this matter, see box 67, RG 338, WNRC. 70. Joseph Jacobs to Marshall, June 28, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:68082. 71. Marshall to Jacobs, June 27, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:680; Depart­ ment of State Bulletin, May 18, 1947,995. 72. See Bunce to Edwin M. Martin, February 24, 1947, box 7124, and Bunce to Marshall, April 29,1947, box 7138, RG 59, NA. 73. NYT, July 12,1950, pp. I, 4. 74. NYT, July 17,1950, p. 9. Chapter 2: Wedemeyer in China 1. Melby, Mandate of Heaven, 112. 2. The mission included Wedemeyer, Sprouse, Rear Admiral Carl A. Trexel, Lieutenant Colonel C. E. Hutchin, Jr., David Ross Jenkins (Treasury), Melville H. Walker (State), Captains James J. Boyle and Horace Eng, Sergeants Alvin Garbs and Albert J. Gasdor, and Mark Watson of the Baltimore Sun. 3. NYT, July 20, 1947, p. 37; Stuart to Marshall, July 17, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:651-52; H. Merrill Benninghoff to Stuart, July 29,1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. 4. NYT, July 23,1947, p. 4. 5. Melby to “Maggie,” November 5,1947, box 6, JFM. 6. Ludden to Wedemeyer, July 23, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:656-69. 7. Memo by Boehringer, July 23,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:661-67. 8. On February 1,1947, Wedemeyer wrote the following to Lieuten­ ant General Alvan C. Gillem, who was then stationed in Peiping with Timberman: “Please give my best regards to General

Notes to Pages 31-36




12. 13.

14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.


22. 23.


Timberman. I am very devoted to old Timmie and have high regard for his abilities.” See ACW. Timberman to W. Walton Butterworth, July 5, 1947, box 1, Butterworth Papers, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexing­ ton, Va.; also NYT, July 25,1947, p. 3. This report from Nanking of July 24 reviewed the general thinking of American military advisers in the Chinese capital. The nationalist officials included General Chen Cheng (army chief of staff), General Pai Chung-hai (minister of National De­ fense), Dr. Wang Shi-chieh (Chinese foreign minister), and Chang Chun (president of the Executive Yuan). See memoranda of meetings with these officials of July 23,1947, ACW. Marshall to Stuart, July 16, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:650-51. Mar­ shall was apologetic, but concluded that “I count on you to render all possible assistance to Wedemeyer.. . . I would like to assure you . . . that Wedemeyer’s mission is a temporary expedi­ ent.” Stuart to Marshall, July 16,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:650. Stevenson to the British Foreign office, July 17, 1947, FO 371/63325, PRO; also Melby, Mandate of Heaven, 222. Wede­ meyer was informed of the incident while en route to China. See Maxwell Taylor to Wedemeyer, July 18,1947, ACW. Wedemeyer memo, July 30,1947, ACW. Stuart to Marshall, August 4,1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. Melby, Mandate of Heaven, 226. Wedemeyer memo, July 30,1947, ACW. “Remarks of General Lucas,” July 30, 1947,091 China (TS), RG 319, MMB. “AAG Combined Services Division Briefing,” July 25,1947,091 China (TS), RG 319, MMB. Chennault to Wedemeyer, July 27,1947, ACW. On the plight of American businessmen in China, see Samuel S. Lamb to Wede­ meyer, July 29, 1947, ACW, and the numerous letters to Wede­ meyer from Americans in box 1, RWMC, RG 59, NA. These privileges included a naval base at Port Arthur, recogni­ tion of Russia’s “preeminent interests” at the port of Dairen, and joint operations with the Chinese of the South Manchurian and Chinese-Eastern railroads. Wedemeyer to Marshall, July 29,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:682-84. U.S. Navy, Mukden, “The People’s Expression of the Situation


24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41.

Noies to Pages 36-43 in the Northeast and Their Suggestions for a Solution,” August 5, 1947, box 5, RWMC, RG 59, NA. U.S. Far Eastern Command, Military Intelligence Section, Gen­ eral Staff, Intelligence Summary, September 17,1947, box 1340, RG 407, WNRC. Ibid. Wedemeyer to Marshall, August 8,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:712. See Clubb, “Public Opinion and American Interest in China” and “Soviet Policies, Attitudes and Actions in Respect to Man­ churia,” both of August 3, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:700-6. Barrett memo, August 6, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:707-9. Notes of Cooke for the Wedemeyer Mission, July 25,1947, Cen­ tral Security-Classified Records of the Offices of the Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations, Naval Archives, Washing­ ton Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. Cooke actually talked at length with Wedemeyer in Nanking and Shanghai, before the general’s tour of the north. See Cooke to Admiral Louis Denfeld, July 30, 1947, box 3, Charles M. Cooke Papers, Hoover Institution, Stan­ ford, Ca. Wedemeyer memo, July 30,1947, ACW. Butterworth to Lovett, December 29, 1949, box 7124, RG 59, NA. Memorandum of conversation of Wedemeyer with Chen Cheng, August 6,1947, ACW. Memorandum of conversation of Wedemeyer with Chiang Kaishek, August 10, 1947, ACW. See Lloyd E. Eastman, “Who Lost China? Chiang Kai-shek Tes­ tifies,” China Quarterly 88 (December 1981): 658-68. See, for example, Edward Anderberg, “Economic Situation in South China,” August 10,1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. Wedemeyer to Marshall, August 18,1947, Top Secret Incoming and Outgoing Messages, 1938-1955, RG 319 (Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), WNRC. Ibid. For Wedemeyer’s account of the incident in Bermuda, see Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 100-1. Wedemeyer to Marshall, September 8, 1947, ACW. Wedemeyer to Lovett, August 22, 1947, ACW. FRUS, 1947 7:690-91, 712-13, 716-17. Melby to “Maggie,” November 5,1947, Box 6, JFM; Angus Ward to Marshall, July 28,1947, box 599, RG 59, NA.

Notes to Pages 43-48


42. NYT, August 22, 1947, p. 2. 43. Ward to Marshall, August 20,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:734-35. 44. Wedemeyer to Major General Robert C. McClure, August 22, 1947, ACW. 45. Wedemeyer to Chiang, August 20, 22,1947, box 1, RWMC, RG 59. NA. 46. Wedemeyer to Wang Shih-cheih, September 5,1947, and Wede­ meyer to Henry Luce, September 6,1947, ACW; Wedemeyer to Stuart, August, 30,1947, Top Secret Ingoing and Outgoing Mes­ sages, RG 319, WNRC. 47. Stuart to Marshall, August 26, 1947, CWP, 824-26; Monnet Davis to Marshall, September 3,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:764-65. 48. Stuart to Marshall, August 26,1947, CWP, 825. 49. Ibid. 50. Melby to Butterworth, August 25,1947, box 1, JFM. 51. Stuart to Marshall, August 24,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:759-61. 52. CWP, 816-17. 53. Davis to Stuart, August 25,1947, box 2071, RG 84 (State Depart­ ment Post Files), WNRC. 54. Gould to Wedemeyer, August 30, 1947, ACW. Gould was a longtime acquaintance of Wedemeyer. For the liberal and stu­ dent reaction, see Stevenson to Bevin, September 10, 1947, F0371/G3326, PRO, and Elmer Newton to Hiram Boucher (both of the American consulate in Canton), September 3, 1947, box 56, RG 84, WNRC. 55. Stuart to Marshall, August 26,1947, CWP, 824-26; Stevenson to Bevin, August 27, 1947, F0371/G3326, PRO. 56. NYT, August 27,1947, p. 14. 57. Wu Te-chen, “A Correct Interpretation of China’s Current Prob­ lems,” enclosed with Stuart to Marshall, August 29, 1947, box 56, RG 84, WNRC. On the Shanghai press, see Stuart to Mar­ shall, August 26,1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. 58. NYT, September 3,1947, p. 14. 59. NYT, September 17,1947, p. 18. 60. "Notes of a conversation between Foreign Minister Wang Shihchieh and Secretary of State George C. Marshall,” September 14, 1947, and “Notes of a conversation between Foreign Minister Wang Shih-chieh and Dr. Koo on one part and Charles Bohlen, assistant secretary of state on the other,” September 17, 1947, box 124, WK.

136 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68.


70. 71.


Notes to Pages 48-52 Stuart to Marshall, September 20,1947, CWP, 830. Stuart to Marshall, October 4, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:307-8. NYT, August 27,1947, p. 14. Ward to Marshall, September 20,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:287-88. NYT, September 14, 1947, p. 46. Stuart to Marshall, September 20,1947, CWP, 831. Soule to the Department of the Army, September 19,1947, Con­ fidential and Secret Outgoing Messages, 1939-1955, RG 319, WNRC. Stevenson to Bevin, September 17, 1947, F0371/G3327, PRO; Davis to Stuart, September 21, 22, 1947, box 2071, RG 84, WNRC; Stuart to Marshall, September 20, 1947, CWP, 829; NYT, September 18, 1947, p. 7. Several months after the event, Wedemeyer wrote that he never would have made his statements of August 22 and 24 had he known that large-scale American aid to China would not soon be forthcoming. That may be so, but he certainly had no right to act under the assumption that his recommendations to Marshall would be implemented. See Wedemeyer to Stuart, December 10, 1947, ACW. On Chiang’s private talks to his lieutenants, see Eastman, “Who Lost China?” 658-68. Wedemeyer to Marshall, August 19, 1947, and Marshall to Wedemeyer, August 21, 1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. Colonel Maxwell D. Taylor to Wedemeyer, no date but about August 12, 1947, from context, and August 19, 21, 1947, ACW; Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 390; Lovett to Wedemeyer, August 21, 1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. Chiang Kai-shek, China’s Destiny, authorized translation by Wang Chung-hiu (New York: Macmillan, 1947), 72. For another translation, which highlights even more clearly the xenophobic and reactionary nature of Chiang’s ideas, see Chiang Kai-shek, China’s Destiny and Chinese Economic Theory, with notes and commentary by Philip J. Jaffe (New York: Roy Publishers, 1947). Although the translations are comparable for the passage quoted herein, the Jaffe version is, as a whole, more true to the original. As Melby remarked in his diary in 1947, “Hie official one was put out by the Ministry of Information and is obviously designed for American consumption. It makes all the ’correct’ statements about the virtues of democracy and the glories of international cooperation. The unofficial translation, which is the true one, is a

Notes to Pages 52-54


real Confiician feudal document.” Melby, Mandate of Heaven, 186. 73. Brian Crozier with the collaboration of Eric Chou, The Man Who Lost China: The First FuU Biography of Chiang Kai-shek (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976), 241. See also Robert Payne, Chiang Kai-shek (New York: Weybright and Talley, 1969). 53-54. 25774. Wedemeyer arrived in Tokyo around midday on August 24 and left for Seoul on the morning of August 26. After leaving Korea on September 3, he again made a brief stop in the Japanese capital. No record has been found of Wedemeyer’s talks with American officials there, but it is likely that he did discuss the situation in Asia with General Douglas MacArthur. In early Au­ gust, Wedemeyer wrote to MacArthur that he would “like very much to have a heart to heart talk with you concerning my observation [in China].” ”1personally have the highest regard for your keen perception and powers of analysis,” Wedemeyer noted, “and I am sure you would assist us in our effort to present to the President realistically and convincingly a sound U.S. pol­ icy.” See Personal Correspondence, VIP file, RG 10, MacArthur Archives, Norfolk, Va. Apparendy, the visiting general had din­ ner with the Far Eastern commander on both August 24 and September 3 (see L. E. B. to the Commander-in-Chief, August 24, September 3, 1947, SCAP, Daily Appointments and Memos to the Commander-in-Chief, RG 5, MacArthur Archives, Nor­ folk, Va.). It would be a mistake, nonetheless, to view MacArthur as having a significant influence on Wedemeyer, as the latter’s mind had long been made up regarding the necessity of in­ creased aid to China. An avid Asia-firster, MacArthur could only have reinforced Wedemeyer’s attitudes. Chapter 3: Wedemeyer in Korea 1. Mrs. Syngman Rhee to Major E. E. Steck, August 21,1947, and Major Steck to Mrs. Rhee, August 21, 1947, box 67, RG 338, WNRC; Hodge to Marshall, July 21,1947, box 3, Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas, RG 59. n a . 2. “Korean Press Summary,” August 28, 1947, box 8, RG 332, WNRC.


Notes to Pages 55-59

3. MacArthur to Marshall, July 2, 1947, and Hodge to Marshall, July 7, 17,1947, FRUS, 1947 6:682-84,691-93, 708-9; Jacobs to Marshall, June 27,1947, box 7124, RG 59, NA. 4. Jacobs to Marshall, July 7, 1947, box 3, Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas, RG 59, NA. 5. Hodge to Marshall, July 7, 1947, and Jacobs to Marshall, July 9, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:692-93,697. 6. Jacobs to Marshall, July 27,1947, box 7124, RG 59, NA. 7. “Translations of Daily Newspapers,” July 18, 1947, box 8, RG, 332, WNRC. 8. Hodge to Marshall, July 21,1947, box 3, Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas, RG 59, NA. 9. Marshall to Jacobs, July 14,1947, FRUS, 1947 6:701-3. 10. Hodge to Marshall, no date but received on July 21,1947, box 3, Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occu­ pied Areas, RG 59, NA; Hodge to Marshall, FRUS, 1947 6:708-9. 11. Jacobs to Marshall, July 17,1947, box 3, Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas, RG 59, NA; U.S. Twenty-Fourth Corps, G-2, “Periodic Reports,” July 21, 1947, box 18, RG 332, WNRC. 12. Jacobs to Marshall, July 21,1947, FRUS, 1947 6:711. 13. Hilldring to Hodge, no date but mid-July from context, box 3, Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occu­ pied Areas, RG 59, NA. 14. Hilldring to Marshall, August 8,1947, box 7124, RG 59, NA. 15. Hilldring to Jacobs, August 15, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:754. 16. U.S. Twenty-Fourth Corps, G-2, “Periodic Reports,” August 19, 1947, box 18, RG 332, NA. 17. Jacobs to Marshall, July 21, 1947, box 599, RG 59, NA. I have been unable to find any record of Wedemeyer’s reply, but it would have been entirely out of character had he not gone along with Hodge’s request. 18. Wedemeyer to Hodge, August 2,1947, box 27, RG 332, WNRC; also see box 78-11, RG 331 (Allied Operational and Occupational Headquarters, World War II), WNRC. 19. U.S. Twenty-Fourth Corps, “Periodic Reports,” August 13,1947, box 18, RG 331, WNRC. 20. The ensuing description of the briefing is based on “Conference: Lieutenant General Wedemeyer and Staff and Lieutenant Gen­ eral Hodge at APO 235 (Seoul, Korea) on 27 August 1947,” box 2, RWMC, RG 59, NA.

Notes to Pages 64-69


21. The most in-depth treatment of Hodge is in Bruce Cumings, The Origins of the Korean War, vol. 1. 22. On Bunce, see Department of State, Register, 1948,44. 23. Bunce to Edwin M. Martin, February 24,1947, July 12,22,1947, box 7124, RG 59, NA; Bunce to Marshall, April 29, 1947. box 7138, RG 59, NA; see also a description of Bunce’s views in D. W. Kermode (British Counsel-General in Seoul) to Ernest Bevin (British Foreign Secretary), June 23,1947, FO 371/63851, PRO. 24. For a summary of the briefings, see U.S. Military Government in Korea in Collaboration with the Korean Economic Mission, De­ partment of State, “A Report Prepared for Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer: The Present Economic Status of South Korea,” August 1947, box 2, RWMC, RG 59, NA. 25. These reports are in box 3, RG 59, NA. 26. Colonel F. E. Gilette, “Report on Activities of Provincial Military Government,” August 31,1947, box 3, RG 59, NA. 27. Gordon Flaherty, “Bureau of Home Affairs,” n.d., box 3, RG 59, NA. 28. Notes on Wedemeyer’s conversations with Korean leaders are in box 3, RG 59, NA. 29. Hodge, “Memorandum for Lieutenant General Wedemeyer: Joint Korean-American Conference,” August 30, 1947, box 5, RG 338 (U.S. Armed Forces in Korea), WNRC. 30. U.S. Armed Forces in Korea, “Translation of Daily Newspapers,” September 3, 1947, box 8, RG 332, WNRC; U.S. Twenty-Fourth Corps, “Periodic Reports,” September 2, 1947, box 18, RG 332, WNRC; U.S. Armed Forces in Korea, “G-2 Weekly Summary for the Period 24 August to 31 August 1947,” box 10, RG 332, WNRC; Hodge to Joint Chiefs of Staff, September 8,1947, box 27, RG 332, WNRC. 31. Stars and Stripes, September 4,1947, box 22, RG 332, WNRC. 32. Korea Graphic, September 14, 1947, box 22, RG 332, WNRC. 33. U.S. Twenty-Fourth Corps, “Periodic Reports,” September 2, 5, 1947, box 18, RG 332, WNRC. 34. Ibid., September 3, 1947; U.S. Far Eastern Command (Tokyo), Intelligence Summary, September 3, 1947, box 1340, RG 407, WNRC. 35. Wedemeyer to Hodge, September 3, 1947, box 67, RG 338, WNRC. 36. Hodge to Wedemeyer, September 1, 1947, box 2, RWMC, RG 59. NA.

Notes to Pages 70-75


Chapter 4: The Report 1. Wedemeyer to Washington, September 8,1947, ACW. 2. NYT, August 29,1947, p. 7. 3. The only U.S. embassy telegram on Wedemeyer’s statements found in American records is Stuart to Marshall, August 26, 1947, CWP, 824-26. This dispatch, although sent under the ambassador’s name, was written by the embassy staff. Wede­ meyer’s correspondence at the time indicates that there were other critical dispatches sent to Washington from Nanking and that Wedemeyer saw copies while in Hawaii. For more detailed descriptions of Stuart’s and the Chinese reaction to Wedemeyer’s parting blasts, see British ambassador Ralph Stevenson’s dis­ patches to his foreign office of August 27, 28, and 29, 1947, in FO 371/63326, PRO. 4. Wedemeyer to Stuart, September 3, 1947, ACW. 5. Wedemeyer to Brink, September 10,1947, ACW. 6. Wedemeyer to Washington, September 8, 1947, ACW. 7. Wedemeyer to Gould, August 23,1947, ACW. 8. Wedemeyer to Linebarger, September 3,1947, ACW. 9. Wedemeyer to Luce, September 6, 1947, ACW. 10. Wedemeyer to Robertson, September 7,1947, ACW. 11. Wedemeyer to Members of the Mission, September 7, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:769-70. 12. Later in the report, Wedemeyer provided a long list of reforms that might be implemented. They include: Complete separation of the Kuomintang from the Government and the emergence of the Generalissimo as the leader of the nation rather than of the party; reorganization of the National Government, includ­ ing both the Executive Yuan and the State Council, to ensure partici­ pation by responsible Chinese without regard to party affiliations; a clearcut delegation of responsibility in the Government to increase efficiency, foster initiative, prevent the domination of governmental affairs and policies by one person and encourage entry into Govern­ ment service of capable and progressive Chinese now unwilling to serve in the Government; the strengthening of the Control Yuan to ensure the removal and punishment of corrupt officials; the abolition of the existing secret police system; the cessation of arrests of civil­ ians by military organs; the prompt and public trial of persons arrested and the full exercise of the right of habeas corpus; the cessa­ tion of the use of force and intimidation against teachers and stu­ dents and the reinstatement of university professors and students dis-

Notes to Pages 75-81


missed solely for their political views; the carrying out of a land reform program which would lighten the burdens of usury and taxa­ tion on the peasant as well as provide him land; decentralization of governmental power to permit more local autonomy and local partici­ pation in administration; removal of military officers from posts in civil government while on active status; and publication of complete information regarding fiscal policies and their implementation and of detailed data covering government revenues and expenditures, in­ cluding National, Provincial and Municipal budgets.

13. 14. 15. 16. 17.

18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

See CWP, 779-80. CWP, 767-69. See my discussion in chapter 2. CWP, 810. CWP, 802. Sprouse to Wedemeyer, August 23,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:752-53; for an earlier exposition of the conditional aid option, see “China,” an unsigned and undated memo written in the Office of Chinese Affairs early in the summer (from context), box 12, Records of the Office of Chinese Affairs, RG 59, NA. Sprouse Oral History, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Mo. CWP, 779. Sprouse to Wedemeyer, August 23, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:75859Ibid., 7:748-51. Ibid., 7:748. Department of State Biographical Register, 1950, p. 255. U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Armed Services, Report to the President Submitted by Lieutenant General Albert C. Wede­ meyer, September 1947, Korea (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govern­ ment Printing Office, 1951), 13-14. “Report by the Ad Hoc Committee on Korea,” August 4, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:738-41. Lovett to the Embassy in the Soviet Union, August 26, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:771-72. Lovett to the Embassy in the Soviet Union, September 16,1947, FRUS, 1947 6:790. “Report to the President on China-Korea, September 1947, Sub­ mitted by Lieutenant General A. C. Wedemeyer,” FRUS, 1947 6:803. U.S. Congress, Report to the President Submitted by Lieutenant

Notes to Pages 82-90


30. 31. 32. 33. 34.

General Albert C. Wedemeyer, September 1947, Korea, 21-2? 24, 26. Ibid., 24, 26. Ibid, 11-12. “Report to the President on China-Korea, September 1947, Sub­ mitted by Lieutenant General A. C. Wedemeyer,” FRUS, 1947 6:802. Jacobs to Marshall, September 19, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:803-7. Memorandum by the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee to the Secretary Joint Chiefs of Staff, September 15, 1947, and Forrestal to Marshall September 26, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:789, 817-18.

Chapter 5: The Reception 1. Humelsine telephone message to Marshall, September 22,1947, box 601, RG 59, NA; Butterworth to Marshall, September 24, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:776. Marshall was in New York attending the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. 2. Lovett to Walter Mallory (Executive Director, Council on For­ eign Relations), October 8, 1947, box 601, RG 59, NA. 3. Humelsine to Brigadier General Marshall S. Carter, September 25, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:778; Butterworth to Acheson, May 10, 1949, box 601, RG 59, NA. 4. Humelsine to Carter, September 25, 1947, and Butterworth to Lovett, September 26, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:777-78; CWP, 260. 5. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 397. 6. Rusk to Butterworth, FRUS, 1947 7:320-24. 7. Edward A. Kołodziej, The Uncommon Defense and Congress, 1945-1953 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1966), 60— 70. 8. See my discussion in chapter 2. 9. Norstad to Eisenhower, November 16,1946,092 (TS), RG 319, NA. 10. Wedemeyer to Members of the Mission, September 7, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:769-70. 11. Wedemeyer to Marshall, October 3, 1947, box 601, RG 59, NA. 12. “Notes on a Conversation between Dr. Wang and Dr. Koo and General Wedemeyer, after dinner, September 30,1947, at Twin Oaks,” box 124, WK.

Notes to Pages 91-93


13. A State Department memo of May 10, 1949 (box 601, RG 59, NA), stated the following: “It is understood that General Mar­ shall informed Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, orally through one of the Generalissimo’s trusted subordinates, of these reasons [for the report’s suppression] and that the Generalissimo himself took no steps which would have constituted disapproval of the failure of the U.S. Government to suggest formally to the Chi­ nese Government that it seek United Nations action regarding Manchuria.” Since Wang and Marshall were in New York for a good portion of the period following submittal of the Wedemeyer report, it would have been logical for the secretary of state to have chosen his Chinese counterpart as the person through whom to communicate with Chiang. 14. CWP, 810-13; Butterworth to Marshall, October 15, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:895-96; Lovett to Stuart, October 24, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:901. 15. “Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee of Two,” November 3, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:90916. CWP, 367. 17. U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Interim Aid for Europe, 80th Cong., ist sess., 1947, 2-10, 43. On the general status of Wedemeyer’s proposals as of early 1948, see Butterworth to Marshall, February 19, 1948, box 13, Records of the Office of Chinese Affairs, RG 59, NA. 18. Stuart to Marshall, October 11,1947, FRUS, 1947 7:892. 19. Butterworth to Marshall, November 11, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:917-18. 20. NYT, November 11,1947, p. 1. 21. Vandenberg to C. Reid Webber, October 14,1947, box 3, Arthur H. Vandenberg Papers, Bendey Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Butterworth interview with the author, November 16, 1971. 22. Kennan to Marshall, November 4,. 1947, Policy Planning Staff Files, RG 59, NA. 23. U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Third Sup­ plemental Appropriations Bill for 1948, 80th Cong., ist sess., 1947, 227-28, 245-48. 24. See James Alan Fetzer, “Senator Vandenberg and the American Commitment to China,” Historian 36 (February 1974): 283-303. 25. Cabot to Butterworth, February 6,1948, FRUS, 1948 8:467-71.


Notes to Pages 93-96

26. Office of Intelligence Reśearch Report No. 4517, September 18, 1947, FRUS, 1947 7:287. 27. For an analysis of the situation in France, see Douglas MacArthur (second secretary to the American embassy in France) to Woodruff Wallner (associate chief of the State Department’s Division of Western European Affairs), October 10,1947, FRUS, 1947 3:766-73; on Italy, see James C. Dunn (U.S. ambassador to Italy) to Marshall, October 10,1947, and Policy Planning Staff Memo, September 24, 1947, FRUS, 1947 3:988-89, 976-81 respectively. 28. Henderson to Lovett, October 15, 1947, FRUS, 1947 5:369-76. 29. NYT, October 10,1947, p. 3, and October 24,1947, p. 3; Hender­ son, “Congressman John Taber of Auburn,” 299-300, 330-33, 336, 340-44. On Marshall’s perception of the power of the ap­ propriations committees see Frank Pace Oral History, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Mo.; on cuts in the War Depart­ ment budget, see Kołodziej, The Uncommon Defense and Con­ gress, 1945-1953.60-64. 30. Soule to the Department of the Army, October 6, 1947, Confi­ dential and Secret Outgoing Messages, RG 319, WNRC. 31. U.S. Far Eastern Command, Military Intelligence Section, Gen­ eral Staff, Intelligence Summary, October 15, 1947, box 1340, RG 407, WNRC. 32. CWP, 265, 832-40. 33. U.S. Far Eastern Command, Military Intelligence Section, Gen­ eral Staff, Intelligence Summary, October 23, 1947, box 1340, RG 407, WNRC; William C. Bullitt, “Report on China,” Life, October 13, 1947, 3 5 -3 7 , 139- 5434. Smith to Wedemeyer, October 17,1947, ACW. 35. Boucher to Stuart, December 6, 1947, box 572, RG 84, WNRC. 36. “Minutes of a Meeting of the Committee of Two," November 3, »947. 337 (TS), RG 319, NA. 37. See, for example, Senator George A. Wilson (Republican, Iowa) to Lovett, October 30,1947, box 601, RG 59, NA. 38. Wedemeyer to Monnett Davis, October 15,1947, ACW. 39. Wedemeyer memo, October 21, 1947, President’s Secretary’s Files, Harry S. Truman Papers, Truman Library, Independence, Mo. ; Admiral William Leahy’s notes on conversation with Wede­ meyer, October 21,1947, China 1942-1947 folder, Leahy Papers, Naval Archives, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C.

Notes to Pages 97-102


40. John Cabot Oral History, Truman Library, Independence, Mo. 41. Wedemeyer to MacArthur, October 20,1947, and Wedemeyer to Davis, October 15, 1947, ACW. 42. Wedemeyer to MacArthur, October 20,1947, ACW. 43. On December 9, 1947, Vandenberg wrote to Wedemeyer thank­ ing the general for his letter of December 5, “1 shall certainly welcome an opportunity to talk with you personally whenever it is mutually possible,” the senator continued. He also agreed to consider any comments Wedemeyer might make “as entirely confidential unless and until you indicate otherwise.” I was unable to find Wedemeyer’s original letter in his private papers. Nor is there any evidence that a meeting subsequendy took place. 44. Wedemeyer to Marshall, December 16,1947, ACW. 45. U.S. Congress, Senate Appropriations Committee, Third Supple­ mental Appropriations BUIfor 1948,80th Cong., ist sess., 1947, 128-34. 46. Washington Evening Star, December 20,1947, p. 8. 47. Wedemeyer to McKelway, December 23,1947, and Wedemeyer to Marshall, December 23,1947, ACW. 48. Wedemeyer wrote to Monnet Davis on October 15,1947 (ACW), “Bill Bullitt’s article in Life has caused considerable discussion. It was pungent and almost dramatic. Many of the premises that he established are sound. Unfortunately some of his statements are exaggerated and would be difficult to defend.. . . I have re­ ceived letters from friends in China that would indicate Bill’s idea of all out aid, but I can not conscientiously agree with such an approach.” 49. Jacobs to Marshall, September 26, 1947, FRUS, 1947 6:8161750. Butterworth to Lovett, October 1, 1947, FRUS, 19476:820-21. 51. Jacobs to Lovett, September 25, 1947, and Jacobs to Marshall, October 2, 8,18,1947, FRUS, 19476:815-16,822-23,824-25, 838-3952. See Roswell H. Whitman (acting chief, State Department Divi­ sion of Occupied Areas) to Bunce, December 12,1947, box 7124, RG 59, NA. 53. On the military side, see ibid., 99; on the economic side, see U.S. Congress, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Background In­ formation on Korea, 81st Cong., 2d sess., 1950,40.


Notes to Pages 103-107

Chapter 6: The Legacy 1. For the background to and passage of the China Aid Act, see Stueck, Road to Confrontation, 58-59; Fetzer, “Congress and China,” 148-71. 2. U.S. Congress, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, United States Foreign Policy for a Postwar Recovery Program, 80th Cong., ist and 2d sess., 1947-48,1900. To sustain his assertion that the United States had not fulfilled its obligations to China, Bullitt referred to Wedemeyer’s statement before the Senate Ap­ propriations Committee during the previous December. Wedemeyer had ordered a study of the matter within the army’s Plans and Operations Division. The study concluded that the best case for such an assertion rested in America’s failure to complete the 8/3 Air Group Program and to keep American-equipped divisions adequately supplied. See RFS to Wedemeyer, December 19, 1947,091 China (TS), RG 319, NA. 3. U.S. Congress, United States Foreign Policyfor a Postwar Recov­ ery Program, 80th Cong., ist and 2d sess., 1947-48, 2065-73. 4. Memoranda of conversation by the Secretary of State, June 7 ,11, 1948, and McAfee to Butterworth, June 9, 1948, FRUS, 1948 7:84, 89, 90-99; Kenneth Royall to Forrestal, May 12, 1948, Royall to General Omar Bradley, Wedemeyer, and William Draper, June 7,1948, and Wedemeyer to Royall, August 4,1948, 091 China (TS), RG 319, NA. 5. H. G. Sparrow to Wedemeyer, no date but August 1948 from context, and handwritten note by Wedemeyer to his staff, Au­ gust 16,1948,901 China (TS), RG 319, NA. 6. See Robert M. Blum, Drawing the Line: The Origins of the American Containment Policy in East Asia (New York: W. W. Norton, 1982), chaps. 3, 5. 7. Wedemeyer to Bradley, March 14, 1949, 201 Wedemeyer, RG 319. NA. 8. U.S. Congress, Senate Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, Hearings on Department of State, Justice, Com­ merce and Judiciary Appropriations Bill for 1950, 81st Cong., ist sess., 1949,108-9. 9. Butterworth to Acheson via Webb, May 10, 1949, box 601, RG 59. NA. 10. CWP, 764-814.

Notes to Pages 107-113


11. CWP, 260-73. 12. CWP, xvi. 13. George C. Roche III, “Public Opinion and the China Policy of the United States, 1941-1950” (Ph.D. diss., University of Colorado, 1965). 306- 4414. U.S. Congress, Senate Committees on Armed Services and For­ eign Relations, Military Situation in the Far East, 82d Cong., ist sess., 1951, 2310-13, 2483-86. Wedemeyer wanted to increase American efforts to save Formosa from the Communists, to rec­ ognize the Franco government, and to rearm West Germany. In all these areas, he proved merely to be ahead of his time. 15. U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Armed Services, Report to the President Submitted by Lieutenant General A. C. Wede­ meyer, September 1947, Korea (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Govern­ ment Printing Office, 1951). 16. NYT, May 8,1951, pp. 1, 9. 17. Congressional Record, 81st Cong., 2d sess., vol. 96, part 12, De­ cember 18, 1950,16693. 18. U.S. Congress, Military Situation in the Far East, 82d Cong., ist sess., 1951, 2327. Wedemeyer said he supported the with­ drawal from Korea in 1949 because of economies in the army, which created a situation in which there were not enough “bodies to go around.” 19. Ibid., 2314-15, 2369, 2375, 2401-2, 2423, 2454-55, 2499, 2522, 2533, 2536. 20. Ibid., 2566-67. 21. NYT, June 16, 1951, p. 14. 22. Memorandum for the Record, by Major General Paries, June 13, 1951, 201 Wedemeyer, RG 319, NA. 23. U.S. Congress, Military Situation in the Far East, 82d Cong., ist sess., 1951, 2531. See the various news clippings for August 1951 in ibid. 24. “Interview with Albert C. Wedemeyer,” U.S. News and World Report, September 14, 1951, 36-42. Wedemeyer’s picture graced the cover of this issue of the popular news weekly. 25. U.S. Congress, Senate Judiciary Committee, Institute of Pacific Relations, 82d Cong., ist sess., 1951,775-841. 26. Collier's, November 17,1951, 40. 27. NYT, May 6,1952, p. 23. 28. NYT, May 5, 1952, p. 16.


Notes to Pages 113-123

29. NYT, May 25,1952, p. 41. 30. NYT, July 12, 1952, p. 6. 31. NYT, October 23, 1952, p. 13. For correspondence between Ei­ senhower and Wedemeyer, see box 123, principal file, Eisen­ hower Pre-Presidential Papers, Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Ks. 32. Wedemeyer to the author, October 14,1983. 33. NYT, April 15, i960, p. 53, and May 12,1964, p. 22. 34. Wedemeyer to Eisenhower, June 21, 1951, box 123, principal file, Eisenhower Pre-Presidential Papers, Eisenhower Library. 35. Richard L. Walker, “Need of Strategy for Survival,” America, January 24, 1959, 525-26; S. L. A. Marshall, “Memoirs of a Military Meteor,” Saturday Review, December 13,1958, 20-21. 36. White and Jacoby, Thunder Out of China, 260-61. 37. See, for example, Wedemeyer, “Nothing for Neutralists,” Ameri­ can Mercury, July 1958, p. 160; NYT, April 15, i960, p. 5. 38. Wedemeyer to Calder, June 30,1947, ACW. 39. Ibid. 40. Wedemeyer, Wedemeyer Reports, 370, 376, 402. 41. FRUS, 1946 9:680; FRUS, 1947 7:648-50. 42. For an insightful discussion of this matter, see Russell D. Buhite, Soviet-American Relations in Asia, 1945-54 (Norman: Univer­ sity of Oklahoma Press, 1981), chap. 1. 43. Wedemeyer to MacArthur, October 20,1947, ACW. 44. U.S. Far Eastern Command, Intelligence Summary, July 6, 1950, RG 260 (Records of the Occupation of Japan), WNRC. 45. See Stueck, Road to Confrontation, 156-71. 46. Ibid., 105-9,158-5947. Compare, for example, Wedemeyer’s recommendations on Korea with NSC 8/2 of March 22,1947, in FRUS, 1949 7:969-78. 48. U.S. Congress, Military Situation in the Far East, 82d Cong., ist sess., 1951, 2313, 2327, 2363; Wedemeyer to Butterworth, May 24, 1949, box 7021, RG 59, NA. 49. Lord William Strang, Home and Abroad (London: Andre Deutsch, 1956), 32.

Bibliographical Essay The primary and secondary materials now available on United States-East Asian relations during the Truman administration are virtually limitless. This essay makes no attempt to be comprehensive, but rather focuses on sources of central importance to the field or of particular significance to a study of the Wedemeyer mission. Strange as it may seem, some of the key manuscript collections in the latter area have been largely ignored in recent work on the United States’ post-World War II policy toward China and Korea, including my own. Other useful bibliographies covering aspects of America’s rela­ tionship with China and/or Korea include Nancy Bemkopf Tucker, Patterns in the Dust: Chinese-American Relations and the Recogni­ tion Controversy, 1949-1950 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), 321-81, which is particularly strong on private papers and secondary works but weak on military records; Charles M. Dobbs, The Unwanted Symbol: American Foreign Policy, the Cold War, and Korea, 1945-1950 (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1981), 217-35; and my Road to Confrontation: American Policy Toward China and Korea, 1947-1950 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981), 299-311. For discussions of recent secondary literature, see Warren I. Cohen, ed., New Frontiers in American-East Asian Relations: Essays Presented to Dorothy Borg (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), especially the essays by Ernest R. May, Warren I. Cohen, and Bruce Cumings. Manuscript Collections The most important new collection used in this study is Wedemeyer’s private papers. With the assistance of Dr. Keith Eiler, Wedemeyer’s designated biographer, I spent two days at Wedemeyer’s farm in


Bibliographical Essay

Maryland working through the portions of the papers pertinent to the mission. Subsequently, these papers were shipped to the Hoover In­ stitution Library, Stanford, Calif., where they are currently in the process of being organized. When fully available to scholars, they promise to be a rich source for the study both of Wedemeyer’s career and personality and U.S. policy toward China during and after World W arll. State Department records housed in the Diplomatic Branch of the National Archives (Washington, D.C.) include voluminous materials related to the Wedemeyer mission. Most prominent here are the Rec­ ords of the Wedemeyer Mission, which encompass eleven boxes. This collection includes hundreds of memoranda and minutes of meetings relating to the mission, both before and after it departed from Washington, as well as letters to Wedemeyer from private citi­ zens, organizations, and government officials in China and Korea. The State Department decimal files in Record Group 59 are essential for the reports of American diplomats in the field, but they also in­ clude some important documents on exchanges within the executive branch in Washington. The Records of the Office of Chinese Affairs are most useful for the period 1948-1950, although box 12 includes some revealing documents regarding opinion among foreign service officers dealing with China. The Policy Planning Staff, which was created in the spring of 1947, included China specialist John Paton Davies, and its records reveal a contempt for Chiang Kai-shek and a resignation about the fate of China that pervaded the State Depart­ ment. On Korea, the Records of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of State for Occupied Areas, 1946-1949, possess correspondence be­ tween Generals John R. Hodge and Joseph Jacobs on the one hand and General John H. Hilldring on the other, between General Hilldring and Syngman Rhee, lobbyists in Washington, especially Robert T. Oliver, and among various State Department officials in Washing­ ton. The Records of the Office of Assistant Secretary and Under Secretary of State Dean Acheson, 1941-1948, contain some back­ ground material on Korea, but nothing on 1947. The same may be said for China of the Marshall Mission Records, 1944-1948, which are particularly important in understanding the demise of the plan during 1946 to appoint Wedemeyer U.S. ambassador. On public and congressional opinion related to China and Korea, the Records of the Office of Public Opinion Studies are essential as are volumes 2 and 18 respectively in the Offic? of Special Assistant to die Secretary in

Bibliographical Essay


Charge of Press Relations, Daily News Conferences, and Press Con­ ferences Verbatim Reports. The General Records of the Office of the Executive Secretariat present vital material on the day-to-day activi­ ties of the secretary of state while in Washington plus daily sum­ maries of reports from abroad. The files of the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (from September 1947 the State-Army-Navy-Air Force Coordinating Com­ mittee) are in Record Group 353 and are available in microfilm at the National Archives. These records are significant in revealing the in­ teraction of the State Department and the military on China and Korea. The Modem Military Branch of the National Archives holds Rec­ ord Groups 319 (Records of the Plans and Operations Division, U.S. Army) and 218 (Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), which are the key collections for tracing military attitudes regarding China and Korea. The name file within Record Group 319 has proved useful in tracing Wedemeyer’s activities from 1949 until his retirement in 1951. Finally, the Modem Military Branch has recently taken posses­ sion of an unpublished three-volume study entitled “History of United States Army Forces in Korea," which was compiled within the Historical Office of the army command in Korea. It offers more infor­ mation on the occupation than any other single source, though it devotes little attention to the Wedemeyer mission. The Washington National Records Center, Suidand, Md., houses several important collections. Record Group 332 (Records of the U.S. Theaters of War, World War II) includes both the Office Files of Major General Albert C. Wedemeyer, 1944-1946, and the Records of the Occupation of Korea. The first collection provides a valuable glimpse at Wedemeyer’s handling of Chiang in the aftermath of Gen­ eral Joseph Stilwell’s recall. Especially significant here are minutes of meetings between the American and Chinese military staffs during the later stages of the Pacific war. The records of the American occu­ pation of Korea are poorly organized, but well worth the trouble of sifting through for anyone dealing with events in Korea from 1945 to 1948. Intelligence reports and summaries of Korean newspapers were particularly useful in my study of the Wedemeyer mission. Daily intelligence summaries compiled by the U.S. Far Eastern Command in Tokyo and located in Record Group 407 (Records of the Far East­ ern Command) also proved useful, especially on China. For addi­ tional reporting on events in China, see Confidential and Secret


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Outgoing and Incoming Messages, 1939-1955, and Top Secret In­ coming and Outgoing Messages, 1938-1955, both in Record Group 319 (Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), and the U.S. consulate and embassy records for cities visited by Wedemeyer in Record Group 84 (State Department Post Files). Record Group 338 (Records of U.S. Army Forces in Korea) is critical for a study of the Korean side of the Wedemeyer mission as it includes an extensive correspondence be­ tween Generals Arthur L. Lerch and John R. Hodge while the former was visiting Washington during the summer of 1947 as well as a wealth of material on events within South Korea, both on the eve of and during Wedemeyer’s stay. Record Group 331 (Records of Allied Operational and Occupation Headquarters, World War II) includes correspondence between Wedemeyer and Hodge while the former was in China The Library of Congress and the Naval Archives at the Washing­ ton Navy Yard close out the list of primary repositories in the nation’s capita] for U.S. policy toward China and Korea. Congressional collec­ tions in the Library of Congress— the Tom Connally, Robert A. Taft, and Theodore Green papers— are of limited use, as are the Joseph and Stewart Alsop and Eric Sevareid papers. The Robert P. Patterson papers are another story, however, as they show forcefully the impact of budgetary constraints on our policy toward Korea. They also convey the secretary of war’s lack of interest in Korea and his increas­ ing concern about events in China. At the Naval Archives, the Wil­ liam Leahy papers and the Central Security-Classified Records of the Offices of the Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations pro­ vide a clear view of the Navy’s outlook on China after World War II. The Navy, in fact, was the most aggressive of the services in pushing for deeper U.S. involvement in China. The papers of Admiral Oscar Badger are useful as well, but for a later period as Badger did not succeed Admiral Charles Cooke in Tsingtao until early 1948. Several libraries distant from Washington hold important materials on the Wedemeyer mission. Wellington Koo’s papers at the Butler Library, Columbia University, New York, N.Y., are extensive and include, in English, the former Nationalist Chinese ambassador’s diary and many memoranda of conversations. For those scholars with a competence in the Chinese language, there are many of Koo’s dispatches to the National Government in Nanking and later Taipei. The James V. Forrestal papers at the Seeley Mudd Library, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., are of limited use because the most sig­ nificant sections are published in Walter Millis, ed., The Forrestal

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Diaries (New York: Viking Press, 1951). Former Senator H. Alex­ ander Smith’s papers, also at Princeton, are perhaps the richest col­ lection of an individual legislator for the entire Truman era, yet they reveal Smith to have been little concerned with China until late 1948 or Korea until mid-1950. The Arthur H. Vandenberg papers at the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich., are more helpful for the period of the Wedemeyer mission. Pertinent records at the MacArthur Archives, Norfolk, Va, include a limited correspondence between Wedemeyer and MacArthur in Record Group 10 (General of the Army Douglas MacArthur’s Private Corre­ spondence, 1932-1964) and a few documents relating to prepara­ tions for Wedemeyer’s stops in Tokyo on the way to and from Korea in Record Group 5 (Records of General Headquarters, Supreme Com­ mander for Allied Powers). Unfortunately, MacArthur did not permit notes to be taken of his private conversations with visitors. The most valuable papers at the Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Mo., are those of John F. Melby. Despite the fact that Melby’s diary cover­ ing his stay in China has been published in The Mandate of Heaven: Record of a Civil War, 1945-1949 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1968), his unpublished correspondence remains well worth perusal. The Truman papers are less helpful than might be expected, although the Central Intelligence Agency’s reports in the President’s Secretary’s Files reinforce State Department assessments of condi­ tions in China. In the Dean Acheson papers, the transcripts of the “Princeton seminars” provide occasional insights into the Truman administration’s policy toward China both during 1947 and later on. On Korea, this source is useful primarily from the outbreak of war in June 1950 onward. The seminars involved Acheson and numerous other high State Department officials, including George Kennan, Paul Nitze, and Dean Rusk among others. They took place in 1953 and 1954 shortly after the Truman administration left office and in­ cluded discussions of all the major foreign policy issues of the early Cold War. George C. Marshall’s papers at the Marshall Research Foundation, Lexington, Va., are disappointing, but W. Walton Butterworth’s are of some use to scholars of Sino-American relations in the Truman era The Hoover Institution Library, Stanford University, Stanford, Ca., holds several private collections that include corre­ spondence on the Wedemeyer mission. These are the papers of Ran­ dall Gould, Alonzo Bland Calder, Ernest B. Price, and Charles M. Cooke. The papers of Arthur N. Young, Robert Allen Griffin, Ivan D. Yeaton, and Bruce M. Smith also relate to events in China during the


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civil war. On the subject of Korea, M. Preston Goodfellows’s papers provide materials on Rhee’s contacts with his American allies in the United States. Joseph E. Jacobs’s papers, however, are a disappoint­ ment. The Dwight D. Eisenhower papers at the Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kans., offer nothing direcdy related to the Wedemeyer mis­ sion, but the prepresidential collection does contain interesting corre­ spondence between Eisenhower and Wedemeyer extending from World War II to 1951. Especially noteworthy are drafts of three lec­ tures on strategy that Wedemeyer delivered in England in May 1947. Finally, the F0371 series in the Public Records Office (Kew) in London, England, is useful in providing the perspective of British diplomats on events in China and Korea. British representatives in China generally looked upon trends in China in a manner similar to their American counterparts. In Korea, on the other hand, British officials were far more critical of the Americans while, at the same time, viewing Koreans in a most condescending fashion. Oral Histories The Truman Library holds a large collection of oral history tran­ scripts based on interviews with prominent personages during the Truman era The quality of the material varies widely. There is litde on Korea prior to mid-1948, but on China the interviews with Philip D. Sprouse, Arthur R. Ringwalt, O. Edmund Clubb, and Arthur N. Young all are of some use. The interview with Frank Pace is most pertinent to the period after 1948, but Pace’s insight into Marshall has proved important in my interpretation of the secretary of state’s response to the Wedemeyer report. My own interviews occasionally have been significant in this work. Most notable were those with W. Walton Butterworth (November 16, t97i), Thomas B. Timberman (December 30,1973, and August 13, 1974), and Albert C. Wedemeyer himself (August 17,1982). In addi­ tion, conversations with Dr. Keith Eiler, a long-time associate of Wede­ meyer, a well-trained scholar, and Wedemeyer’s designated biogra­ pher, gave me insight into the general’s personality and character. Published Primary Sources The starting point for any study of published documents is the State Department’s series Foreign Relations of the United States (Wash­

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ington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1955-1982). For 1947, volume 7 deals exclusively with China and contains many documents from both the State Department and the military. Prior to 1950, coverage of Korea is much less extensive. Volume 6 for 1947 includes less than three hundred pages on Korea. Volume 1 for 1947 is also indispensable to an understanding of China and Korea policy as it includes documents on national security planning, which give a clear view of American priorities for foreign and military aid. On China, many documents, including the bulk of the Wedemeyer report, are published in the State Department’s United States Relations with China with Special Reference to the Period 19441949, which appeared in August 1949. Despite the controversy sur­ rounding it at the time, the volume offers a largely accurate por­ trayal of U.S. policy toward China as well as a generally persuasive defense of it. The Korea portion of the Wedemeyer report was published, with a few deletions, in U.S. Congress, Senate Committee on Armed Ser­ vices, Report to the President Submitted by Lieutenant General Al­ bert C. Wedemeyer, September 1947, Korea (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1951). Deleted portions were included in “Report to the President on China-Korea, September 1947, Sub­ mitted by Lieutenant General A. C. Wedemeyer,” in FRUS, 1947 6:796-803. Congressional hearings represent an essential source for under­ standing American policy toward China and Korea. The most impor­ tant single collection here is the transcript of the so-called “MacArjhur hearings,” which took place after Truman’s dismissal of the Far Eastern commander in April 1951 (U.S. Congress, Senate Commit­ tees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations, Military Situation in the Far East, 82d Cong., ist sess., 1951). Republican senators used the hearings as a forum for probing the direction of U.S. policy to­ ward East Asia since the Yalta Conference of early 1945. With the exception of Harry S. Truman and Robert A. Lovett, all the top U.S. foreign policymakers testified. Many dissenters from American poli­ cies, including Wedemeyer, also appeared. The published record in­ cludes 3,560 pages of testimony and 113 pages of documents. Several hundred pages of the most sensitive testimony remained classified until the early 1970s when it became available in the Diplomatic Branch of the National Archives as part of the records of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. All portions related to the Wedemeyer


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mission appeared in the published version. For a good description of the unpublished portions, see John Edward Wiltz, “The MacArthur Hearings of 1951: The Secret Testimony,” Military Affairs 42 (De­ cember 1978); 166-73. Hearings of 1947 and early 1948 are reveal­ ing, first, in that they almost totally ignore Korea; second, in showing how the Truman administration tried to handle the China issue be­ fore the legislative branch; and, third, in demonstrating that, at least in the Senate, support for an expanded program of aid to Chiang Kai-shek was very limited. House hearings include Foreign Affairs Committee, Assistance to Greece and Turkey, 80th Cong., ist sess., 1947, and United States Foreign Policy for a Postwar Recovery Pro­ gram, 80th Cong., ist and 2d sess., 1947-48. Senate hearings in­ clude Appropriations Committee, Third Supplemental Appropria­ tions Bill for 1948, 80th Cong., ist sess., 1947; Foreign Relations Committee, Interim Aid for Europe, 80th Cong., ist sess., 1947; and Foreign Relief Assistance Act for 1948,80th Cong., 2d sess., Histori­ cal Series, 1973. This last publication is of hearings which were held in executive session. For an extensive collection on the U.S. occupation of Korea, see Supreme Commander, Allied Powers, Japan, Summation of NonMilitary Activities in Japan and Korea, 1945-1946, vols. 1-5,194 546, which from mid-1946 took on the tide Summation of United States Army Military Government Activities in Korea, vols. 6-22, 1946-47, and then in 1947 became South Korean Interim Govern­ ment Activities, vols. 23-25,1947-48. There is a wealth of autobiographical and memoir literature relat­ ing to Sino-American relations during and after World War II. Most important for the Wedemeyer mission are Wedemeyer’s own memoir Wedemeyer Reports! (New York: Henry Holt, 1958) and Melby’s di­ ary Mandate of Heaven. Because of Wedemeyer’s bitterness, his ac­ count must be used selectively, but the book offers important insights into both the man and the mission. Keith Eiler’s recent “The Man Who Planned the Victory: An Interview with General Albert C. Wede­ meyer,” 34 American Heritage (October-November 1983); 36-47, shows that the man has mellowed somewhat over the years. Melby’s book is a delight to read: it is a spicy, opinionated, and excellent account of the atmosphere in China during 1947. It represents the perspective of a talented foreign service officer who, through the frustrations of dealing with the National government, kept his sense of humor. Other memoirs are less direcdy pertinent to the Wede-

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meyer mission itself, but offer, nonetheless, significant insights into America’s prospects and policies in China from 1941 to 1950. These include John Paton Davies, Dragon by the Tail: American, British, Japanese, and Russian Encounters with China and One Another (New York: W. W. Norton, 1972); John Moors Cabot, First Line of Defense: Forty Years Experiences of a Career Diplomat (Washington, D.C.: School of Foreign Service, 1979); O. Edmund Clubb, The Wit­ ness and I (New York: Columbia University Press, 1971); John K. Emmerson, The Japanese Thread: A Life in the United States For­ eign Service (New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1978); George F. Kennan, Memoirs, 1925-1950 (Boston: Little, Brown, 1967), and Memoirs, 1950-1963 (Boston: Little Brown, 1972); John Stewart Service, The Amerasia Papers: Some Problems in the History ofU.S China Relations (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1971); John Leighton Stuart, Fifty Years in China (New York: Random House, 1954); Charles E. Bohlen, Witness to History, 1929-1969 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1973); Dean G. Acheson, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department (New York: W. W. Norton, 1969) and Sketches from Life of Men l Have Known (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1959); Paul Paddock, China Diary: Cri­ sis Diplomacy in Dairen (Ames: Iowa State University Press, 1977); John R. Beal, Marshall in China (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1970); David D. Barrett, Dixie Mission: The United States Army Observer Group in Yenan, 1944 (Berkeley: University of California, Center for Chinese Studies, 1970); Wilma Fairbank, America’s Cul­ tural Experience in China, 1942-1949 (Washington, D.C.: Govern­ ment Publishing Office, 1976); Oliver J. Caldwell, A Secret War: Americans in China, 1944-1945 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois Uni­ versity Press, 1972); Milton E. Miles, A Different Kind of War: The Unknown Story of the United States Navy’s Guerrilla Forces in World War ll (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1967); Joseph W. Stilwell, The Stilwell Papers, ed. Theodore H. White (New York: Sloan, 1948); Theodore H. White, In Search of History (New York: Harper and Row, 1978); Claire L. Chennault, Way of a Fighter: Memoirs of Claire L. Chennault (New York: Putnam’s, 1949). Chester A. Ronning’s A Memoir of China in War and Revolution (New York: Pan­ theon, 1974) includes the recollections of a Canadian diplomat who served in China from 1945 to 1951. For the perspective of the Nation­ alist Chinese, William L. Tung’s Revolutionary China: A Personal Account, 1926-1949 (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1973) and Liang


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Chintung’s General Stüwell in China, 1942-1944: The F11U Story (New York: St. John’s University Press, 1972) are valuable. Tung briefly mentions the Wedemeyer mission and criticizes Wedemeyer for his public criticism of the National government. Arthur S. Vandenberg, Jr., The Private Papers of Senator Vandenberg (Boston: Little, Brown, 1952), is useful on executive-legislative relations re­ garding China, and Walter Millis, The Forrestal Diaries, is helpful on the development of policy within the executive branch. On Korea, there is far less material covering the period before June 1950. The second volume of Truman’s memoirs, Years of Trial and Hope (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1956), offers more on Korea than on China. John M. Allison was an important State Department official in Korea during 1947, yet his Ambassador from the Prairie or Allison Wonderland (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973) is disappoint­ ing. A. Wigfall Green’s The Epic of Korea (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1950) is more useful. Green was a high official in the American occupation. John C. Caldwell’s The Korea Story (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1952) is the work of an embittered former foreign service officer in Korea. Lester B. Pearson’s Mike: The Memoirs of the Light Honorable Lester B. Pearson, vol. 2 ,1948-1957 (Toronto: Uni­ versity of Toronto Press, 1973), is valuable on Korea’s impact on Canadian-American relations once the issue got to the United States in late 1947. Journalistic accounts of South Korea under U.S. occupa­ tion include Mark Gayn, Japan Diary (New York: W. Sloane Asso­ ciates, 1948), and O. H. P. King, Tail of the Paper Tiger (Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton, 1961). E. Grant Meade’s American Military Govern­ ment in Korea (New York: King’s Crown Press, 1951 ) is a critical and perceptive analysis of the occupation by one of its lesser officials. Both the New York Times and the New York Herald-Tribune de­ voted major attention to Wedemeyer’s visit to China. As was charac­ teristic of the American press before June 1950, however, these news­ papers gave less attention to Korea during Wedemeyer’s stay there. Secondary Literature Most monographs deal with either China or Korea but not both to­ gether. Two recent exceptions are Russell D. Buhite’s Soviet-American Relations in Northeast Asia, 1945-1954 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1981) and my Road to Confrontation: American Policy Toward China and Korea, 1947-1950. Buhite’s book is

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shorter, is excellent on U.S. policy toward China but weak on Korea. My book is more balanced in its treatment of China and Korea policy but offers only superficial coverage of the period prior to 1947. Neither book deals extensively with Chinese or Korean society. Use­ ful surveys of the U.S. and East Asia include Akira Iriye’s The Cold War in Asia: A Historical Introduction (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974) and Lisle Rose’s Roots of Tragedy: The United States and the Struggle for Asia, 1945-1953 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1976). Buhite’s “Major Interests: American Policy Toward China, Taiwan, and Korea, 1945-1950,” Pacific Historical Review 47 (August, 1978): 425-51, represents an important effort to define the evolution of U.S. attitudes toward those three areas. Yonosuke Nagai and Akira Iriye, eds., The Origins of the Cold War in Asia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), offer interpretive essays on both China and Korea. The most detailed treatment of Sino-American relations during the 1940s remains Tang Tsou’s America’s Failure in China, 1941-1950 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963). This volume, however, was written before major archival materials were available. It mistak­ enly views U.S. policy as unrealistic and shaped by sentimentality. On World War II, Tsou’s work has been superseded by Michael Schaller’s The United States Crusade in China, 1938-1945 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979); Paul A. Varg’s The Closing of the Door: Sino-American Relations, 1936-1946 (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1973); and Robert Dallek’s Frank­ lin D. Roosevelt and American Foreign Policy, 1932-1945 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1976). Of these works, Schalleris the most critical of American policy, Dallek the least so. Aspects of U.S. policy late in the war and/or early in the postwar era are covered in Kenneth S. Chem, Dilemma in China (Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1980); Dorothy Borg and Waldo Heinrichs, eds., Uncertain Years: Chinese-American Relations, 1947-1950 (New York: Colum­ bia Universiy Press, 1980); Ernest R. May, The Truman Administra­ tion and China, 1945-1949 (New York: J. B. Lippincott, 1975); Steven I. Levine, “A New Look at American Mediation in the Chinese Civil War: The Marshall Mission and Manchuria,” Diplomatic History 3 (Fall 1979): 349-75; and John Hansen Feaver, “The China Aid Bill of 1948: Limited Assistance as a Cold War Strategy,” Diplo­ matic History 5 (Summer 1981): 188-206. Feaver’s “The Truman Administration and China, 1945-1950: The Policy of Restrained In­


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tervention” (Ph.D. diss.. University of Oklahoma, 1980) and Michael Lewis Baron’s M Tug of War: The Battle Over American Policy toward China, 1946-1949” (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1980) are im­ portant unpublished works. Feaver’s work is the more comprehen­ sive of the two. Both deemphasize domestic politics in the formula­ tion of policy, but Feaver sees the Truman administration’s concern about Communist expansion as central to the U.S. course whereas Baron views bureaucratic politics within the executive branch as critical. The roles of Congress and public opinion have received considera­ ble attention. Of the studies cited above, Tsou and Dallek place the greatest weight on domestic politics in foreign policymaking, Buhite and Feaver the least. Virtually all recent studies see Congress as more influential than public opinion. Important books in this area include Ross Koen’s The China Lobby in American Politics (New York: Harper and Row, 1974); H. Bradford Westerfield’s Foreign Policy and Party Politics, Pearl Harbor to Korea (New Haven: Yale Univer­ sity Press, 1955); and Nancy Bemkopf Tucker’s Patterns in the Dust: Chinese-American Relations and the Recognition Controversy, 1949-1950. Lewis McCarrol Purifoy’s Harry Truman’s China Pol­ icy: McCarthyism and the Diplomacy of Hysteria, 1947-1951 (New York: Franklin Watts, 1976) sees public and congressional opinion as central to the development of American policy toward Asia, but it ignores archival materials. The most important unpublished work is James Alan Fetzer’s “Congress and China, 1941-1950” (Ph.D. diss., Michigan State University, 1969). Fetzer’s “Senator Vandenberg and the American Commitment to China,” Historian 36 (February 1974): 283-303 also is valuable. Cary Smith Henderson’s “Congress­ man John Taber of Auburn: Politics and Federal Appropriations, 1923-1962” (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 1964), is particularly useful on the impact during 1947 of a highly partisan and opinion­ ated legislator with considerable influence over the appropriation of funds. Floyd Russel Goodno’s “Walter H. Judd: Spokesman for China in the United States House of Representatives” (D.Ed. diss., Okla­ homa State University, 1970) offers valuable information on a key member of the China bloc in Congress. Gary May’s China Scapegoat: The Diplomatic Ordeal of John Carter Vincent (Washington, D.C.: New Republic Books, 1979) presents a detailed analysis of the de­ struction of a China specialist’s career in the foreign service as a result of congressional pressures. E. J. Kahn, Jr., The China Hands:

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i6 i

American Foreign Service Officers and What Befell Them (New York: Viking Press, 1975), offers broader coverage than May but is far less insightful. The scholarly literature on the Chinese civil war remains thin. Lio­ nel Max Chassin’s The Communist Conquest of China: A History of the Civil War, 1945-1949, trans, from the French by Timothy Osato and Louis Gelas (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1965), is the best treatment of military events. Suzanne Pepper’s Civil War in China: The Political Struggle, 1945-1949 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978) compares the relationship of the Nationalists and the Communists to Chinese society but tells little about the inter­ nal workings of the governments themselves. The book is most impor­ tant in developing the argument that the Nationalists suffered a tre­ mendous political setback in the immediate aftermath of World War II by using Japanese troops in North China and Manchuria in the initial attempt to prevent those territories from falling into the hands of the Communists. William M. Leary’s Perilous Missions: Civil Air Trans­ port and CIA Covert Operations in Asia (University: University of Alabama Press, 1984) is valuable in conveying the atmosphere in China from 1946 to 1949 from the perspective of American private citizens who were actively engaged in aiding the National govern­ ment. On Chiang Kai-shek and the personalities within his regime, Brian Crozier with the collaboration of Eric Chou, The Man Who Lost China: The First Full Biography of Chiang Kai-shek (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976), and Robert Payne, Chiang Kai-shek (New York: Weybright and Talley, 1969), are valuable as is Theodore White and Annalee Jacoby, Thunder Out of China (New York: William Sloane Associates, 1946). Lloyd E. Eastman’s The Abortive Revolu­ tion— China Under Nationalist Rule, 1927-1937 (Cambridge: Har­ vard University Press, 1972) is indispensable in analyzing the narrow base of support of the Nationalists even prior to the Japanese move­ ment southward into China proper during 1937. James Sheridan’s Óiina in Disintegration: The Republican Era in Chinese History, 1912-1949 (Nev/ York: Free Press, 1975) integrates this material into his analysis of the fate of the National government during the 1940s. Eastman’s “Who Lost China? Chiang Kai-shek Testifies,” China Quarterly 88 (December 1981): 658-68, uses the generalissimo’s own words to demonstrate the corruption and inefficiency of his re­ gime. Hsi-sheng Ch’i, Nationalist China at War: Military Defeats and Political Collapse, 1937-1945 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan


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Press, 1982), critiques much of the past work on the National govern­ ment, including Eastman’s view of the regime as essentially fascist in outlook, but he reaffirms the argument that its base of support was always narrow and that the roots of its demise on the mainland were well in place by 1937. Richard Thornton’s China: The Struggle for Power, 1917-1972 (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1973), is cme of an increasingly rare breed of scholarly treatments which subscribes to the thesis that, with a little more aid from the United States in the immediate aftermath of World War II, the Nationalists could have defeated the Communists. The attitude of the Chinese Communists toward the United States remains a source of controversy. James Reardon-Anderson’s Yenan and the Great Poivers: The Origins of Chinese Communist Foreign Policy, 1944-1946 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980) views Mao Tse-tung as attempting to establish an independent for­ eign policy rather than committing himself firmly to the Soviet or American side. Tucker’s book as well as my own, both cited earlier, see Mao as flexible in his view of the United States but seriously influenced by American support for the National government. Mi­ chael Hunt argues in a similar vein in his “Mao Tse-tung and the Issue of Accommodation with the United States, 1948-1950,” in Dorothy Borg and Waldo Heinrichs, eds., Uncertain Years: ChineseAmerican Relations, 1947-1950. Contrary arguments are developed in Buhite, Soviet-American Relations in Northeast Asia, 1945-1954; Okabe Tatsumi “The Cold War in China”; Yonosuke Nagai and Akira Iriye, eds., The Origins of the Cold War in Asia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977); and Steven M. Goldstein, “Chinese Com­ munist Policy Toward the United States: Opportunities and Con­ straints, 1944-1950,” in the Borg-Heinrichs volume cited above. Ef­ forts at reconciling the two views are made in Steven I. Levine’s “Chinese Communist Perceptions, 1945-1950,” in the Borg-Heinrichs book and in Warren Cohen’s “The United States and China Since 1945,” in New Frontiers in American-East Asian Relations. It is important to understand that the arguments against deeper Ameri­ can involvement in the Chinese civil war are by no means dependent upon acceptance of the view that the Chinese Communists wanted an accommodation with the United States. China experts in the State Department at the time and scholars since have argued against Wedemeyer’s proposals largely on the basis of America’s limited re­ sources and China’s limited significance to the United States, not on an estimation of Mao’s attitudes over the short term.

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The literature on Korean-American relations in recent years has been less voluminous than that on China, but substantial nonethe­ less. Bruce Cuming’s "Korean-American Relations: A Century of Conflict and Thirty-Five Years of Intimacy” in New Frontiers in American-East Asian Relations reviews the literature over the en­ tire span of America’s connections with Korea. My presentation here is restricted to works directly pertinent to the period from 1945 to 1950. The rough equivalent for Korean-American relations of Tang Tsou’s pioneering study of U.S. policy toward China is Soon Sung Cho’s Korea in World Politics, 1940-1950 (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1967). Like Tsou on China, Cho mastered the published materials on Korea in both English and the native lan­ guage. Cho wrote from the perspective of a conservative Korean na­ tionalist, but his analysis was most meticulous in treating U.S. policy toward the peninsula. A year after the publication of Cho’s monograph came Gregory Henderson’s more broadly interpretive Korea: The Politics of the Vor­ tex (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1968). This brilliant study of Korea, both past and present, explains America’s relationship to the peninsula from 1945 to 1950 in terms of the interaction of the U.S. occupation with a society lacking intermediate groups between the center and the locality or between the upper and lower classes. Henderson spent much of the five years from the end of World War II to the outbreak of the Korean War in South Korea as an American foreign service officer. He is extremely critical of Hodge’s policies. Most of what has been written on Korean-American relations dur­ ing the 1970s and early 1980s represents an effort to either build upon or modify the works of Cho and Henderson. With the opening of American archives and the increasing availability of Korean language materials since the late 1960s, there has been a flurry of activity among both Korean specialists and students of American foreign pol­ icy. Among the former, Robert A. Scalapino and Chong-sik Lee’s two-volume study Communism in Korea (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1972) stands out for the earlier part of the period just as Bruce Cumings’s The Origins of the Korean War: Liberation and the Emergence of Separate Regimes, 1945-1947 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1981) looms large in the later por­ tion. Far more than Cumings, Scalapino and Lee rely on interviews with Koreans; far more than Scalapino and Lee, Cumings departs from Henderson’s depiction of Korean society. In an impressive use


Bibliographical Essay

of Korean language materials and social science literature, Cumings downplays factionalism in Korean politics and emphasizes class con­ flict. Like Henderson, however, he presents a devastating assessment of the American occupation. Despite the scope of his research and the range of his intellect, Cumings’s work suffers from an overemphasis on the internal nature of South Korea’s problems and an assessment of events in North Korea that borders on the naive. In concentrating on developments indigenous to Korea itself in tracing the origins of the Korean War, nevertheless, Cumings builds on Robert R. Sim­ mons’s earlier book The Strained Alliance: Peking P’yöngyang, Mos­ cow and the Politics of the Korean Civil War (New York: Free Press, 1975), on Joyce and Gabriel Kolko’s The Limits of Power: The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1945-1954 (New York: Harper and Row, 1972), and on Okonogi Masao’s “The Domestic Roots of the Korean War,” in Nagai and Iriye, eds., The Origins of the Cold War in Asia. For a critique of the label “civil war” to describe the conflict in Korea from 1950 to 1953, see my article “The Soviet Union and the Origins of the Korean War,” World Politics 28 (July 1976): 622-35, which is a review essay of the Simmons book. For my critique of the Kolkos’s interpretation with rebuttals from the Kolkos, see “An Ex­ change of Opinion,” Pacific Historical Review 42 (November 1973): 537-75. John Merrill’s “Internal Warfare in Korea, 1948-1950: The Local Setting of the Korean War,” in Bruce Cumings, ed., Child of Conflict: The Korean-American Relationship, 1943-1953 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1983), adds new material on Korean politics and society for the period immediately following the Ameri­ can occupation. Much of the debate over the next decade on Korea between 1945 and 1953 is likely to be over what emphasis should be placed on the internal and external factors shaping Korean politics and society. American diplomatic historians have added litde to our under­ standing of Korea’s internal politics, but have contributed much on U.S. policy toward the peninsula. The most important single theme has been that American leaders, however ill-prepared they may have been for the occupation, took Korea seriously from the very beginning of the post-World War II era. James I. Matray’s “An End to Indiffer­ ence: America’s Korean Policy During World War II,” Diplomatic History 2 (Spring 1978): 181-96, and his “Captive of the Cold War: The American Decision to Divide Korea at the Thirty-Eighth Paral­ lel,” Pacific Historical Review 50 (May 1981): 145-68, are essential

Bibliographical Essay


on this point as is Mark Paul’s “Diplomacy Delayed: The Atomic Bomb and the Division of Korea, 1945,” in Cumings, ed., Child of Conflict. Cumings’s introduction “The Course of Korean*American Relations, 1943-1953,” in the above volume traces the sense of U.S. commitment to Korea from World War II through the Korean War. Matray’s “Korea: Test Case of Containment in Asia,” also in the Cum­ ings volume, his “America’s Reluctant Crusade: Truman’s Commit­ ment of Combat Troops in the Korean War,” Historian 42 (May 1980): 437-55, Charles Dobbs’s The Unwanted Symbol: American Foreign Policy, the Cold War, and Korea, 1945-1950, and my Road to Confrontation all add to our grasp of the ongoing U.S. concern about the peninsula, even during the period of withdrawal of Ameri­ can troops from 1947 to 1949. In “Truman’s Plan for Victory: Na­ tional Self-Determination and the Thirty-Eighth Parallel Decision in Korea,” Journal of American History 66 (September 1979): 314-33, Matray links the decision to move American forces into North Korea in the fall of 1950 with the long-standing desire for a united, indepen­ dent peninsula. Despite the recent trend toward interpreting the U.S. intervention in Korea in June 1950 as a logical extension of past policies and attitudes under new circumstances, there remain dissenters. Both Lewis McCarrol Purifoy in Harry Truman’s China Policy and Ste­ phen Pelz in “U.S. Decisions on Korea Policy, 1943-1950: Some Hypotheses,” in Child of Conflict, emphasize domestic political mo­ tives in the Truman administration’s decisions. Pelz’s presentation is far stronger as it is grounded in extensive archival research. John Lewis Gaddis, “Korea in American Politics, Strategy, and Diplomacy, 1945-1950,” in Nagai and Iriye, eds., The Origins of the Cold War in Asia, emphasizes “the chronic inability of the policymakers involved to estimate accurately the consequences of their own actions.” He dwells, far more than other recent students of U.S. policy in Korea, on “the gap. . . between intentions and results.” In doing so, he ignores the basic argument of others that America’s initial intervention in Korea in 1945 had as its central purpose the containment of the Soviet Union. The two most useful unpublished dissertations on Korean-American relations are William George Morris’s “The Korean Trusteeship, 1941-1947: The United States, Russia, and the Cold War” (Univer­ sity of Texas, 1974), which provides the most detailed account of America’s flirtation with a trusteeship for Korea, and Matray’s “The


Bibliographical Essay

Reluctant Crusade: American Foreign Policy in Korea, 1941-1950” (University of Virginia, 1977), which offers the most detailed treat­ ment of American policy toward the peninsula from the U.S. entry into World War II to its intervention in the Korean War. Soviet policy in Korea remains somewhat of an enigma. Recent studies by specialists on Soviet foreign policy argue that Stalin’s con­ sistent objective was to dominate the peninsula but that his tactics varied. These are Robert Slusser’s “Soviet Far Eastern Policy, 19451950: Stalin’s Goals in Korea,” in Nagai and Iriye, eds., The Origins of the Cold War in Asia, and William Taubman’s Stalin’s American Policy: From Entente to Detente to Cold War (New York: W. W. Norton, 1982).

Index Acheson, Dean, 8 ,12,10 6 -7,122 Albania, 80 America, 114 American Chamber of Com­ merce in China, 95 American China Policy Associa­ tion, 20 American Civil Liberties Union, 26 Avco Manufacturing Corpora­ tion, 111-12 Baldwin, Roger N., 26 Barrett, David, 37-38 Bermuda, 42 Boehringer, Cari H., 30 Boucher, Hiram, 95 Bradley, Omar N., 15, 106 Bridges, Styles, ro, 20,92,97-98 Brink, Francis D., 72 Bullitt, William C., 18, 95, 96, 99, ro3-4, r45 (n. 48), r46 (n. 2) Bunce, Arthur G , 28, 64 Butterworth, W. Walton, 32, 86-88, 92, X20 Cabot, John, 92 Canton, 4t. 95

Casablanca, 21 CC-Clique, 30, 50 Central Daily News (Nanking), 47 Chang Chun, 48 Chen Cheng (general), 39-40, 49. 71. 94 Chen Kuo-fu, 30 Chen Li-fu (doctor), 30, 50, 53 Chennault, Claire L., 34, 119 Chen Yi (governor), 4 t Chiang Kai-shek: regime of, 3; appeals for U.S. advice, 7; U.S. aid proposed to, 8, 39, 90-91, t2r; activities of al­ lies in U.S., 9, 12, 18, 20, 95-99. 103. 105-6, X2t, 124; and Wedemeyer, 13, 14, 32, 40-46, 71-72, 75, 98, ror, ri2, ir6; moves capital to Nanking, 29; and Manchu­ ria, 37, 87-88, t43 (n. 13); concern about U.S. view of, 46-47; and reform, 49-53, 75, 78, r40 (n. 12) Chiang Kai-shek, Madame, 32, 33 China: U.S. debate over, r, 2, 9, 95-99. 103-13. rr6-2t,

168 China: {cont’d) 123-24; civil war in, 2, 4, 10, 17. 18, 37, 39, 48, 79, 92, 94-95. 103, 105-6, 120-21, 124; U.S. misconceptions about, 2, 47-48, 117; U.S. aid to, 3, 77-79, 90-92, 1035, 122; and Korean trustee­ ship, 4, 81 ; poor U.S. pros­ pects in, 5, 37-38, 92-93, 120-21; proposed presiden­ tial envoy to, 7; Soviet Union in, 8, 10, 79, 118-20; Vin­ cent on, 10-11, 20; U.S. in­ terests in, i i , 39, 88-89, 92; Marshall desires respite on, 12; during World War II, 14, 22, 34, 67; Wedemeyer’s views on ignored, 15; Wede­ meyer’s task in, 18; compared to Korea, 23-25, 28, 61, 80, 81, 89; reaction to Wede­ meyer’s arrival in, 29-30, 32-33; “third force” in, 4243; last days of Wedemeyer in, 42-46; Wedemeyer’s part­ ing statements in, 45-46, 50-53, 70-71; Wedemeyer’s purposes in compared to Ko­ rea, 58; Wedemeyer’s corre­ spondence on, 70-74; and Wedemeyer report, 75-79, 86, 88, 103; Wedemeyer’s testimony on, 98-99, 146 (n. 2); in Korean War, h i , 113. See also Nationalist China, Chinese Communists China's Destiny, 52, 136 (n. 72) Chinese Central News Agency,


Index Chinese Communists, 49; ad­ vance of, 2, 9, 37-38, 104, 105, i n , 118-21; and Wede­ meyer, i i , 29, 35, 46, 47, 74, 101, 112, 113, 116, 131 (n. 49); Marshall’s apprehensions about, 15; reforms essential for defeat of, 16, 30, 117; New Republic view of, 19; during World War II, 22; lim­ ited capacities of, 31, 39, 47, 79, 89, 120; claim Wedemeyer-Chiang deal, 70; Kore­ ans in armies of, 83, 118; and Wedemeyer report, 88; U.S. China hands’ assessment of, 109; and Korean War, 113, 118, 121 ; Joint Chiefs of Staff assessment of, 118-21 Chinese Eastern Railway, n o Chinese Export-Import Alloca­ tion Board, 41 Chungking, China, 13 Churchill, Winston S., 21-22 Citizens-for-Taft, 113 Clark, Mark, 107 Clubb, O. Edmund, 37, 89 Cold war, 6, 75, 118 Collier’s, 112, 129 (n. 24) Columbia Broadcasting System, 9 Comintern, 4, 84 Communism: and Wedemeyer, 21, 73, 115-16, 120; in Ko­ rea, 23, 63, 66; and Chiang, 75; in Europe, 93; in U.S., 112; in Indochina, 119. See also Chinese Communists Confucius, 52 Cooke, Charles M., 38-39, 77, 119, 134 (n. 29)


Index Council of Foreign Ministers,


Credibility, of U.S., 5, 92, 123. See also Prestige Dairen, 2, 38, 133 (n. 21) Davies, John Paton, 109 Democratic League, in China,


Democratic Party, 98, 105, n o, 123 Dewey, Thomas E., 105 East Asia, U.S. policy toward, 6 Eisenhower, Dwight D., 15, 97, 113 Embick, Stanley, 12 Emmerson, John K., 109 Europe, n o ; U.S. aid to, 2, 10, 85. 97. 103, 117-18; and World War II, 13, 21-22; fate of in relation to Korea or China, 24, 38, 77, 88-89, 91, 92, 99; conditions in, 93, 100, 117-18 European Recovery Program, 121. See also Marshall Plan Flaherty, Gordon, 66 Flying Tigers, 34 Formosa, 41, 70, 107, 147 (n. 14). See also Taiwan Forrestal, James V., 8 Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 12 France, 93, 98 Franco, Francisco, 107, 147 (n. 14) Fugh, Philip, 46, 74 Fu Hsing Company, 36

German War College, 13, 202 1 .3 9

Germany, 13, 21, 107, 115, 147 (n. 14) Gillette, F. E., 65, 66 Goldwater, Barry, 114 Gould, Randall, 46, 73 Great Britain: and Korean trus­ teeship, 4; and Wedemeyer, 21-22, 115-16; and third force in China, 43. See also United Kingdom Greece, 2, 9, 17, 25, 75, 93, 94, 104-5 Green, Theodore, n o Guardianship, 74, 77. See also Trusteeship Hawaii, 68-69 Hearst newspaper chain, 107 Henderson, Loy, 93 Hilldring, John H., 26, 56-57 Hitler, Adolf, 21 Ho Chi Minh, 118 Hodge, John R.: on conditions in Korea, 4-5, 57-65. 67; Lerch writes to, 25; criticism of in U.S. and Korea, 26-28; and Wedemeyer’s arrival in South Korea, 54; visit of to U.S., 54; and Rhee, 54-58; background of, 63-64; Wede­ meyer assessment of, 68, 83; economic aid program of, 69; possible Wedemeyer-Sprouse split over, 79-80 Ho Hsih-yuen, 41 Hong Kong, 42 Honolulu, 70 Hoover, J. Edgar, 113

170 Hsiung Shih-hui, 40, 43, 49 Huh Hun, 66 Hummelsine, Carlisle S., 86 Hurley, Patrick J., 22, 123 Illinois, 64 India, 8 Indochina, 8, 118, 119-20 Iran, 98 Italy, 93 Jacobs, Joseph E., 55-57, 80, 84-85, 100, 101 Jacoby, Annalee, 114 Japan, 36; and World War II, u , 13-14. 22. 47. 49. ” 4. 124; aggression of, 38; China concern about, 48; and Ko­ rea, 60, 62, 80, 84, 85; people of compared with Koreans, 61 ; in Wedemeyer report, 76-77, 80 Jehol, 2, 36 Joint Commission in Korea, 4, 26, 27, 54-55. 56, 57. 60, 80, 100 Judd, Walter, 9-10, 20, 91, 92, 103 Kennan, George F., 91, 120-21 Kim Koo, 4, 54, 56, 61, 62 Kim Won Bong, 66 Knowland, William F., 109 Kohlberg, Alfred, 20 Koo, Wellington, 9, 15, 90 Korea: Wedemeyer directed to visit, i, 23-24; American mis­ conceptions about, 2; situa­ tion in, 3-4, 7; possible trus­ teeship over, 4, 27, 74, 89-

Index 90; U.S. options in, 4-5, 24, 27, 60, 63, 65-66, 84-85, 121-23; Wedemeyer in, 23, 53-54. 58-68; compared to China, 23-25, 28, 61, 89-90, 99, 102; reasons for Wede­ meyer mission to, 25-28; American servicemen in, 27; economy of, 60; people of compared to Westerners, 62; Communists in, 63,66; Wede­ meyer advocates U.S. aid to, 73; and Wedemeyer report, 76, 79-83. 86, 108, 109, 122. See also North Korea, South Korea, Korean War Korean War, 1, 108-9, 113, 118, 119 Kremlin, 8 Krock, Arthur, 9 Kuomintang: and Wedemeyer mission, 17, 29, 44, 46, 47; character of, 30; opposition to Chiang in, 43; efforts at re­ form in, 49; Chiang manipu­ lation of, 52, 72; and Bullitt proposals, 95; proposed sepa­ ration from government of, 140 (n. 12) Kuomintang Central Executive Committee, 49 Kwantung province, China, 95 Lerch, Arthur L., 25-26, 55 Li Chi-shen, 42-43 Life, 18, 95, 145 (n. 48) Lbiebarger, Paul, 72-73 London, 97, 99 Lovett, Robert A., 4, 8, 12, 16, 51, 81, 86-88, 97



7-8, 16; relationship with Wedemeyer, n -1 4 , 20, 11415; approaches Wedemeyer about mission, 14, 15, 129 (n. 28); and directive to Wede­ meyer mission, 16-17, 131 (n. 60); and State Depart­ McAfee, William, 19 ment representative on Wede­ Macao, 42 meyer mission, 19-20; and MacArthur, Douglas, 97, 108, possible Wedemeyer ambas­ n o , 129 (n. 30), 137 (n. 74) sadorship, 14-15, 131 (n. McCarran, Pat, 105 49); and inclusion of Korea in McCarthy, Joseph R., 110 Wedemeyer mission, 25-28; McCormick newspaper chain, Wedemeyer reports to from 107 McKelway, B. M., 99 China, 35, 37, 41-42. 51 ; and Wedemeyer report, 87MacKinder, Sir Halford, 13 Malaysia, 8 88, 90-91. 97. M3 (n- 13); and Congress, 94; assess­ Manchuria: conditions in, 2, 31, ment of, 117-18, 123-24 35- 37. 40-41. 47. 49. 94; Marshall, S. L. A., 114 Kremlin aims in, 8; link to Korea of, 23, 118; importance Marshall Plan, 2, 103, 117-18 of. 34. 37- 39. 78- 79. 85; and Martin, Joseph W., 91 Maryland, 15, 43 Yalta accords, 35, 133 (n. Mediterranean sea, 2, 21 21); Wedemeyer’s visit to, Melby, John F., 7, 29, 33,45, 35-36; movement of people 136 (n. 72) to Korea from, 60; in WedeMiddle East, 77, 88-89 meyer report, 74-75. 77. 78, Molotov, V. M., 27, 81 87-90, 109-10; cost to Morocco, 101 U.S. of holding, 92-93; Moscow, 3, 4, 8, 19, 21, 26, MacArthur’s desire to attack, 108 38-39. 48, 63, 79, 119 Moscow Accords (December MaoTse-tung, 109, 118, 120 Marianas, 90, 99 1945). 4 Marshall, George C.: proposes Mukden, 35, 36, 39, 43 U.S. assistance to Europe, 2; mission to China of, 3, 117, Nanking, 14, 29-30, 33, 34, 35, 123; on U.S. China policy, 3 37, 40, 41, 45, 47, 48, 49, 58, 70, 71, 72, 74, 120, 140 (n. 4, 10, 23, 90-91. 95. 103. 120-21; recommends Wede3) Nationalism, 120 meyer mission to president, Lucas, John P., 33, 104 Luce, Henry, 18, 73-74. 96. 107 Ludden, Raymond, 30, 33, 10g Lyuh Woon-hyung, 61-62, 64


172 Nationalist China: misconcep­ tions about, 1-2; and Man­ churia, 8, 36, 37-38, 40, 7475. 94- 95. 105. 142-43 (n. 13); pressure for U.S. aid to, 9-10, 12, 40, 91-93. 103-6, 120-21; in World War II, 13-14; and Wedemeyer, 14, 16, 39-41. 43- 53. 58, 70, 71. 7 4 ,116; and directive to Wede­ meyer, 16-17; greets Wede­ meyer mission, 29-30; U.S. embassy assessment of, 3032; U.S. advice to, 34; Chennault analysis of, 34-35; Wede­ meyer dismayed with condition of, 35, 41-42; and rape of Formosa, 41-42; and Japan, 48; flirtation with So­ viet Union, 48; barriers to re­ form in, 51 -5 3 ,9 5 ,1 17; Wede­ meyer report on, 74-75, 78, 87, 140-41 (n. 12); Sprouse on aid to, 78; defeat of, 118 Nationalist Chinese Central News Agency, 32 Nationalist Chinese Executive Yuan, 47, 49 Nationalist Chinese Ministry of Defense, 33, 49 Nationalist Chinese New First Army, 31 Nationalist Chinese State Coun­ cil, 44-45, 70, 72 Nazism, 21 Nebraska, 21 New Orleans, 18 New Republic, 18 New York, 18, 20, 48, 100 New York Times, 9, n o -1 1

North Africa, 22 North China, 2, 35, 37-38, 78-


North East Economic Commis­ sion, 36 North Korea, 38, 63, 82-83, 108-9, 118. 119 Omaha, 21 Pacific Ocean, 28, 96, 99, 109, 123 Parks, F. L., h i Patterson, Robert P., 8 Peffer, Nathaniel, 18 Peiping, 29, 35, 37, 41. See also Peking Peking, 118. See also Peiping Peking-Mukden Railroad, 2 Pentagon, 8, 85, 102 People’s Daily Times (South Ko­ rea), 67 Philippines, 12, 77, 80 Philippine Scouts, 83 Political Science Group, in Kuo­ mintang, 30, 50 Port Arthur, 38, 133 (n. 21) Prestige: of U.S. in Korea, 24, 80, 84-85, 100, 121-23; of Nationalist government in China, 87-88, 121; of U.S. in China, 92, 123. See abo Credibility Pusan, 65 Republican Party, 1, 9, 98, 105, 108-9, IIQ. 112 -13 ,118 Republic of Korea, 101, 109 Rhee, Syngman, 4, 54-58 ,6162, 67-68, 101, 119

Index Ridgway, Matthew B., 15 Ringwalt, Arthur R., 19 Rio de Janeiro, 12 Robertson, Walter, 73-74 Roosevelt, Franklin D., 21 Rosinger, Lawrence, 18 Royall, Kenneth, 106 Rusk, Dean, 88 Ryukyus, 77, 85 San Francisco, 107 Sea of Japan, 85 Seoul, 25, 54, 58, 63, 100 Service, John Stewart, 109 Sevareid, Eric, 9 Shanghai, 29, 34, 35, 36, 47, 49. 95 Shanghai Evening Post, 46 Shenyang Hotel (Mukden), 43 Sicily, 21 Smith, Bruce M., 95, 96 Soong, T. V., 49, 53, 95 Soule, Robert, 49 South China, 41 Southeast Asia, 13, 22 South Korea: conditions in, 4 5. 54-69. 84, 99-102; U.S. options in, 5, 24, 27, 60, 63, 65-66, 100-102, 121-23; economic program for, 5, 2526, 60, 69, 80, 84, 101-2, 122; need for reform in, 28, 64, 65-67, 83, 123; Wedemeyer arrives in, 54 ; and Wedemeyer report, 80-83, 12122; armed forces of, 82-83, 122-23 South Korean Interim Legisla­ tive Assembly, 61-62, 67


Soviet Union. See Union of So­ viet Socialist Republics Spivak, Lawrence, h i Sprouse, Philip D., 19, 74, 7780, 91, 120 Stalingrad, 22 Stevenson, Sir Ralph, 32 Stilwell, Joseph, 11, 14, 22, 34, 68, 109 Strang, Lord William, 123 Stuart, John Leighton: on con­ ditions in China, 2, 3; lack of confidence in, 7, 74, 96, 129 (n. 28); with Wedemeyer in China, 32, 33, 45, 51; and Wedemeyer’s departure from China, 46, 140 (n. 3); corre­ sponds with Wedemeyer, 7 172; Wedemeyer recommends replacement of, 86 Sun Fo, 9, 48 Sun Li-jen, 31 Taber, John, 9, 93-94 Taegu, 67 Taft, Robot A., 112-13 Taiwan, 123. See also Formosa Texas, 113 Tientsin, 35 Timberman, Thomas B., 31-32, 132-33 (n. 8) Time, 18, 107, 129 (n. 24) Tokyo, 54, 68 Truman, Harry S.: proposes aid for Greece and Turkey, 2; trusts Marshall on China, 3; and directive to Wedemeyer, 16, 28; announces Wede­ meyer mission, 28; and Wede­ meyer report, 87, 97, 106-7;


174 Truman, Harry S.: (cont’d) pressure on regarding China, 91; defeats Dewey, 105; fires MacArthur, 108. See also Truman administration Truman administration: and crisis in Asia, 1,6, 111 ; aid to Europe, 9-10, 103, 117-18; aid to Korea, 26; announce­ ment of Wedemeyer mission, 32, 55; contrasted with Wede­ meyer regarding China, 75, 117-18; initiative of on Ko­ rea, 81, 100; aid to China, 91, 103; and Congress, 94; and critics, 102, 105, 121 Truman Doctrine, 2 Trusteeship: for Korea, 4, 27, 74; for Manchuria, 74, 77, 87-88, 89-90 Tsingtao, 35, 38 Tu Li-ming, 31, 41 Turkey, 2, 9 ,17, 75, 93 Union of Soviet Socialist Re­ publics: and Korea, 4-5, 24, 26, 27, 38, 56, 60, 63, 68, 80, 100, n o ; Far Eastern Prov­ inces of, 8; connection to Chinese Communists, 8, 9, 10, 19, 41, 118-20; aims and capabilities in China of, 8, 10, 39; expansionism of, 21; in World War II, 21-22; and Yalta accords, 35, 133 (n. 21); and northeast Asia, 38, 77, 85, 118-20; Nationalist flirtation with, 48; and Man­ churia, 74, 77, 85, 88, 89, 119; and United Nations, 76;

significance of China to, 7677, 79; Wedemeyer wants as­ sessment of, 97 United Kingdom, 81. See also Great Britain United Nations: and China, 37, 75; and Formosa, 42; and trusteeship over Manchuria, 74-75, 87-88, 89, 143 (n. 13); U.S. support for, 76; and Korea, 81, 86, 122; and Wedemeyer, 115 United Nations General Assem­ bly, 90; and Korea, 81, 100IO I

United States: aid to China of, 3, 77-79, 90-92, 103-5; op­ tions of in Korea, 4, 5, 24, 27, 60, 63, 65-66, 81-82, 84-85, 100-102, n o , i n , 118; Chiang supporters in, 8, 9, 12, 18, 20, 95-99; interests of in China, 11, 39, 88-89, 104, 120; options of in China, 16, 17, 23, 31-32, 34, 37- 38, 40, 51. 73, 74. 77-79. 95. 106, 117-18, 120-21; in World War II, 21-22; involvement of in China and Korea com­ pared, 23-25, 81, 89; and in­ dependent government for South Korea, 27, 54, 81-82, 101; Nationalists expect aid from, 30-31; Chinese Com­ munist view of, 46; interests of in Korea, 57, 119; occupa­ tion of Korea analyzed, 5967; politics in compared to Korea, 62; Wedemeyer’s let­ ters to friends in, 72-74;

Index United Nations in foreign policy of, 75, 115; postulates of foreign policy of, 75-76, 115-16; “bring the boys home” sentiment in, 89; need for aid from to Europe, 9394. 97. 99. 100, 117-18; al­ leged Communist influence in, 112 United States Army, 115; in Ko­ rea, 59, 147 (n. 18); and China, 104-5 United States Army Advisory Group in China, 33, 90 United States Army Command and General Staff School, 12 United States Army Plans and Operations Division, 89-90, 96, 122 United States Army War Plans Division, 13 United States Congress, 2; and aid to Korea, 5, 25, 82, 100102, 122; alignments in, 9; and aid to China, 9, 12, 18, 91. 95-99. 102, 117-18; and foreign aid, 10, 93-94, 100; and Hodge, 26-27; and mili­ tary spending, 85, 89, 100; and Wedemeyer report, 87, 97-98, 107, 124; and Wedemeyer, 103-4; and Marshall Plan, 103, 117-18; criticism of White Paper in, 107; and MacArthur, 108 United States Congress Joint Watchdog Committee on For­ eign Aid, 105, 106 United States Export-Import Bank, 3, 15

175 United States Joint Chiefs of Staff: presses for aid to Chiang, 8, 104; ranks China low as priority for aid, 11, 88-89; and Korea, 24, 85, 100, n o United States Military Advisory Group in China, 105 United States Navy, 2 United States Second Army, 15 United States Senate, 9-10, 92, 109 United States Senate Appropria­ tions Committee, 97-98, 106, 146 (n. 2) United States Senate Armed Services Committee, 108, h i United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 20, 108, i n United States Sixth Army, 107 United States State Depart­ ment, 84; concern about China in, 3; and economic aid for Korea, 5, 25-26, 1012; concern about Korea in, 7, 24-25. 56-67, 79-80, 100, 121-23; pressures on from Pentagon, 8, 104; views of China experts in, 10, 19, 22, 23. 39. 77-79. 86, 88-89, 92-93, 117, 120, 121; atti­ tude of toward Wedemeyer mission, 17, 32-33; and Hodge, 28, 55-57, 64; and Sino-Japanese relations, 48; reports to from China, 71; se­ curity of information on China in, 74; and Wede­ meyer report, 86-93, Io8,

176 U.S. State Department: (cont’d) 109; Wedemeyer in, 96; and China aid bill, 103; White Paper of on China, 106-7 United States State Department Division of Chinese Affairs, 19 United States State Department Office of Far Eastern Affairs, 20, 96, 120 United States State Department Policy Planning Staff, 91, 120 United States War Department, 56, 80, 94 University of Wisconsin, 64 U.S. News and World Report, 112 Vandenberg, Arthur H., 9-10, 20, 26, 91-92, 97, 145 (n. 43) Victory Program, 13 Vietminh, 118 Vietnam, 118 Vincent, John Carter, 7, 10-11, 17, 19-20, 25, 120, 128 (n. 13) V-J Day, 22, 42, 44, 47, 60, 114, 117 Vorys, John, 10, 92 Walker, Richard L., 114 Wallace, Henry, 123 Wang Shih-chieh, 47, 48, 90, M3 (n. 13) Washington, D.C., 2, 5, 10, 11, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 28, 32, 54, 55. 56, 57» 60, 69, 70, 72, 81, 85. 90, 96. 100» 107» 108. 112, 119, 120, 140

Index Washington Evening Star, 99 Watson, Mark, 51 Wedemeyer, Albert C.: directed to visit China and Korea, 1; report of on China and Korea, 6, 70, 74-83. 85, 124; pro­ posed for China mission, 9; background of, 11-14, 2023; risks in appointment of, n -1 2 ; and Chinese Com­ munists, i i , 29, 35, 46; and Chiang, 13, 14, 32, 40-46, 50-53. 71-72. 98, 101; and ambassadorship to China, 14-15, 129 (n. 28), 130-31 (n. 49); asked to head mis­ sion to China, 15; aspires to be army chief of staff, 15, 129-30 (n. 30); and drafting of directive to, 16-17; lack of objectivity of on China, 17 18, 19; concern about selling U.S. aid to China, 18-19; tries to block Vincent nomi­ nation, 20; differences with Marshall, 20, 104; directive to on Korea, 23-24; in Korea, 23. 53-54. 58-68; purpose of mission to Korea, 25-28, 55, 57-58; departs for Orient, 28; arrives in Nanking, 29; and Timberman, 31; meet­ ings with Nationalist officials, 32, 39-41; skill in handling U.S. representatives in China, 32-33; evaluation of National government, 33, 35, 37, 44, 45- 46, 72- 73; and Chennault, 34; and Cooke, 38- 39. 77, 119. 134 (n. 29);


Index on Formosa, 41-42; last days in China, 42-46; parting state­ ment in China of, 45-46, 50-53. 136 (n. 69), 140 (n. 3); criticized by Nationalists, 47-48, 50-51; in Japan, 5354, 68, 137 (n. 74); and Rhee, 55, 67, 101; activities of in China and Korea com­ pared, 58, 67-68; farewell letter to Hodge, 68; in Haw­ aii, 68-75, 14° (n. 3); denies deal with Nationalists, 70; de­ fends actions in China, 7073. 136 (n- 69); report of on China, 75-79. 86-90, 97-98, 101, 103, 106-7, 140-41 (n. 12); views of compared to Sprouse, 77-80; report of on Korea, 79-83, 101-2, 103; delivers report to State De­ partment, 86; growing dis­ content of, 92, 95-99, 104, 107, 145 (n. 43), 147 (n. 14); as Army’s director of plans and operations, 96, 122, 146 (n. 2); and MacArthur, 97, 129 (n. 30), 137 (n. 74); re­ tirement of, 108, in - 1 2 ; and MącArthur hearings, 108-11, 147 (n. 18); postre­ tirement career of, 108-11, 147 (n. 18); in U.S. media, n o -1 1 , 129 (n. 24); assess­ ment of, 115-19, 122-23; and Bullitt, 145 (n. 48), 146 (n. 2). See also Wedemeyer mission

Wedemeyer mission, 116; direc­ tive to, i, 7, 16-17; questions posed about, 5; task of, 5, 18, 55; origins of, 7-28; recom­ mended to president, 16; de­ parts for Orient, 28; an­ nounced by president, 28, 32, 55; briefed by U.S. embassy in China, 30-32; departs from China, 46; factfinding of in Korea, 59; ordered not to discuss report, 87, 97; legacy of, 102, 121-22; assessment of, 123-24; members of, 132 (n. 2). See also Wedemeyer, Albert C. Wedemeyer Reports! 114, 129 (n. 28) Wei Tao-ming, 41 Western Europe. See Europe West Point, N.Y., 12 Whampao clique, 39 White, Theodore, 114-15 White House, 86, 97 World Federation of Trade Unions, 101 World War I, 21 World War II, 11, 13, 14, 21-22, 34, 38, 39, 60, 67-68, 93, 102, 105, 108, 112, 114, 116 Wu Te-chen, 47 Yalta, 35, 133 (n. 21) Yangtze River, 29 Yellow River, 37-38 Yellow Sea, 85 Yugoslavia, 115