The Navy Department to the Department of State 76a

The below information regarding the situation at Yingkow has been received by the Navy Department from the Commander, Seventh Amphibious Force.
An engagement on 5 November, Washington time, with the Chinese Nationalist Advance Party was not kept by the Russians. The Chinese Communist sentries on the dock asserted that they have been ordered not to permit anyone to come ashore. The Deputy Mayor made his appearance at the dock with his two gunmen. He averred that any attempt to put troops ashore in the Yingkow area would be opposed by Communist troops and that the Russians had departed from the city. On both sides of the river the building of trenches and barricades is proceeding with increasing activity. The waterfront police headquarters were deserted and the police had vanished, as of 5 November. They are civil employees of long-standing, have Nationalist tendencies and formerly were friendly.
The Commander, Seventh Amphibious Force sizes up the situation as follows: It is not the intention of the Russians to help Nationalist troops in re-occupying Manchuria. It appears that they would rather have that area taken over as they withdraw by Communist or irregular troops. The following is the basis for the foregoing general opinion:
The refusal of the Russians on the basis of legal technicalities to allow the landing at either Dairen or Port Arthur of Nationalist troops.
The original Russian suggestion that Hulutao be an alternate port of entry for Nationalist forces, although the Russians must have been fully acquainted with the fact that that port was held in strength by Chinese Communists.
The agreement subsequently effected on 29 October, when it is reputed that Marshal Marinofsky [Malinovsky] guaranteed to the Nationalist forces safe landing at Yingkow at any time before 10 November and that he asked the Nationalist Advance Party to arrive at Yingkow as soon as possible for the purpose of making detailed arrangements with the Russian garrison there. The coming of the Chinese Nationalist Advance Party to Yingkow and the Russian refusal to confer for the alleged reason that instructions in the premises were lacking to them, notwithstanding the fact that they were known to be in touch with Mukden by telephone and airplane;
Communist troops pouring in recently via railways controlled by the Russians;
Yingkow and Hulutao Russian officers’ statements made repeatedly to the effect that Russians and Americans should avoid mixing in Chinese civil war;
When implementation of the agreement of 29 October became essential the unanticipated withdrawal from Yingkow of the Russians.
In the event the U. S. Navy declines to land General Tu Li-Ming’s troops at Yingkow, he requests consideration of the below proposals in the light of the importance to the Nationalist cause of re-occupying Manchuria concurrently with the Russian withdrawal and of the strategic importance in this effort of the Yingkow area:
That the 52nd Army be put ashore somewhere near Yingkow on some undefended beach;
That the date of landing be put ahead until such time as the entire 52nd Army reaches the neighborhood for the purpose of allowing the units of this force to be landed simultaneously.
General Tu Li-Ming asserted that landing at Chinwangtao and forcing a way to Manchuria via Shanhaikwan would likely be required as a result of failure to effect a landing in the Yingkow area. This alternative would be costly and slow. The formation of a separate state under a warlord with irregular troops might possibly result.
A very good beach for landing purposes with very satisfactory egress to the road south of Yingkow by approximately 20 miles is revealed by an investigation of the coast. It appeared that men in uniform laboring in the fields to the rear of this beach were Japanese. As an LCI drew near to the coastal areas closer to the town small parties of unidentified men in uniform were seen and took cover.
The Commander, Seventh Amphibious Force is confident that opposition will be experienced in putting Nationalist troops ashore at Yingkow. Intense resentment will, without doubt, be caused in all Communist areas by any landing adjacent to Yingkow, although such a landing would most likely be only slightly resisted. Such a landing [Page 1039] would identify the U. S. Navy without question in an active military way in the civil war which is now developing. The Commander, Seventh Amphibious Force, recommends that no attempt be made to effect a landing in the Yingkow area.
The Commander, Seventh Amphibious Force states that since the attitude of the Communist troops is common knowledge and since the Russians have disappeared from the scene of the conference, there is no longer any purpose to be served by his remaining in the Yingkow area. He is on his way to Chinwangtao. The first echelon of the 52nd Army is now embarked in Transport Division 36 in passage to Chinwangtao. The troops will not be landed, however, until further orders specifying the port of debarkation are received.
The Commander, Seventh Amphibious Force, recommends also that a large enough number of amphibious ships and craft and liberty ships to transport one reinforced division at once be assigned to the Chinese Government for it to man and operate under its flag. This recommendation is made with a view to avoiding recurrence of the long wandering journeys which the U. S. Navy transport ships have been required to make recently in attempts to disseminate in non-Communist regions Chinese Nationalist troops and with a view to hastening the release of U. S. Navy personnel.
T. H. Tonseth

Captain, V. S. Navy
  1. Sent by Capt. Thomas H. Tonseth of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations to the Chief of the Division of Foreign Activity Correlation (Lyon).