The Vice Consul at Kweilin (Service) to the Secretary of State 83

No. 15

Sir: I have the honor to submit in this despatch a report on measures taken by this Consulate for the security of American civilians at Kweilin in the event an emergency arises involving enemy action in this vicinity, and to outline briefly the contributing factors which prompted such measures.

Summary—U. S. Army authorities in this area believe that there is a possibility that the enemy may launch a paratroop attack at any time against the airfields near Kweilin. If such an attack is undertaken, it is considered possible that enemy agents and fifth-columnists in this city will endeavor to create confusion by burning American and British establishments and by attacking foreigners. Acting in close cooperation with the senior U. S. Army officer in this area, the Consulate has formulated a simple plan of action for the guidance of American civilians in Kweilin in the event that an emergency arises. The Consulate will be the concentration point for all Americans; defence of the compound will be undertaken with weapons and supplies which have been promised by the Services of Supply. The possibility of enemy action in this immediate vicinity suggests the advisability of the withdrawal of non-essential civilians while facilities are available.

Following the receipt of intelligence reports that Lieutenant General Kenji Doihara84 now has his headquarters near Canton (see Consulate’s airgrams to the Embassy nos. A–6 and A–8 of February 14 and 19, respectively85), United States Army units in this area reviewed carefully their security measures and drew up revised plans to meet any contingency. Under instructions from General Stilwell’s headquarters, Brigadier General Thomas S. Arms, commanding officer of the Infantry Training Center of Kwangsi, was made responsible for the coordination of all U. S. Army security measures in this area. While details of these plans have no place in this report, it is believed that the Department should be informed of the seriousness with which U. S. Army authorities view the possibility of aggressive enemy action against the Kweilin military establishments.

[Here follows detailed report.]

The Consulate has not undertaken on its own authority to advise American citizens to evacuate this area. It respectfully recommends this question be given consideration by the Department and the Embassy, and suggests that consultation with United States Army [Page 31] authorities may serve to place in their proper perspective reports and rumors circulating locally as to the possibility of the extension of hostilities to the vicinity of Kweilin.

Respectfully yours,

Richard M. Service
  1. Approved by the Ambassador for transmission to the Department.
  2. Commander in Chief of the Japanese Eastern Army Command, temporarily at Canton on a mission to South China; on March 22 he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Seventh War Area, with headquarters at Singapore.
  3. Neither found in Department files.