Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

Generalissimo Chiang to President Roosevelt1


955. I have received your telegram of December 21st.2 Since our meeting at Cairo, I have been even more keenly aware of your friendly assistance to and deep concern for China, and have therefore accepted your suggestion of delaying our all-out offensive in Burma until we can have a large scale amphibious operation as outlined in your telegram of December 7th.3 As regards the general strategy decided by the British-American council of Chiefs of Staff to use all available resources to defeat Germany first, I was not present during the [Page 856] deliberations and was therefore not in position to express my views. I place the greatest confidence in the soundness of your judgment. I must however say quite frankly that judging by the latest military dispositions and activities the Allied strategy of relegating the China War Theater to the background has given rise to serious misgivings on all sides. The success or failure of the Burma campaign is a matter of life and death for China. You will recall that while at Cairo4 I emphasized the fact that to dispatch our Yunnan troops to begin operations in south Burma to outflank the enemy is to court disaster—a plan of campaign to which I am unable to agree. …

  1. Sent via Army channels, “eyes only”, from Hearn to Marshall for relay to Roosevelt.
  2. Summarized in Stilwell’s Command Problems, pp. 79–80.
  3. Sent from Cairo December 5, 1943; ante, p. 803.
  4. See ante, p. 338.