Marshall Mission Files, Lot 54–D270

Memorandum Prepared by the Plans Staff of Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer44

The Problem

To determine the feasibility of integrating Chinese Nationalist and Chinese Communist armies including consideration of:

Integration within armies.
Integration at the Army Group level, and
The interchange of Commanders, the provision of integrated staffs and a thorough liaison system between integrated units.

Facts Bearing on the Problem

The directive initiating this study (Appendix “A”).45

The order of battle of Chinese Communist forces (Appendix “B”).

The order of battle of Chinese Nationalist forces (Appendix “C”).

Information on the Chinese Communists and political factors involved in any program of integration of Communist and Nationalist forces (Appendix “D”).


That negotiations between the Kuomintang and the Communists are successful to a degree permitting peaceful compromise of the present armed conflict.

That some form of coalition Government will evolve which will be the only source of authority controlling military forces in China, and,

That both Nationalist and Communist forces, whether integrated or acting independently, will serve only the recognized governing authority in China.


See Appendix “E” for discussion showing advantages of integration at the Army Group level and disadvantages of integration at this time at the division or army level.


It is concluded that any program of integration of Chinese Nationalist and Communist forces should be along the following lines:

If there is to be a real compromise of differences between the Nationalist and Communist elements in China the present armed forces [Page 179] of these two factions must be brought under the control of a single governmental authority and, in time, these two forces must be integrated into a single military system. To insure the necessary unified control and to avoid further conflict the integration plan adopted must provide that neither the Nationalists nor the Communists will maintain, secret, independent military forces.
However, integration by units should be considered a temporary expedient pending the establishment of a modern Chinese army based upon a list system for both officers and men, without regard to territorial or political affiliations.
Because of the present conflicts between Nationalist and Communist forces in matters of training, equipment, language, organization and political beliefs, it would be unwise initially to attempt integration of the two forces within divisions or armies.
Integration must be accomplished step by step and the beginning point is in the Government itself. Before there can be integration in the field units there must be understanding and mutual cooperation in higher headquarters. After this necessary preliminary integration has been accomplished at higher levels there must be a period of reorientation of field forces before integration of basic field units is undertaken. If this preliminary step is not taken, there is a real risk of chaos which would only accentuate present misunderstanding and further delay peaceful compromise and integration.
Initially, integration should not be attempted below the Army Group level. Each integrated Army Group established should be composed of one Chinese Nationalist army and a Chinese Communist army of equivalent organization and size.
The Nationalist and Communist armies involved should retain their own commanders and staffs but there should be provision for complete liaison from headquarters down to lower units, between armies and where possible between divisions in each Army Group.
For each integrated Army Group commanded by a Nationalist commander there should be another commanded by a Communist commander and they should have integrated staffs. Such Army Groups should be responsible to an area commander. There again, commands should be divided as between Communist and Nationalist commanders and the integrated staff should be repeated. These area commanders should be responsible to the Supreme Field Commander of Chinese Forces who in turn should be responsible to the National Military Council. Appropriate Communist representation should be provided both on the staff of the Supreme Field Commander and in the National Military Council. The number of integrated Army Groups to be formed should be determined by the number of Communist troops to be brought into the Chinese Armed Forces. Other Communist forces should be either reorganized into local police battalions or inactivated. (See chart46 attached to Appendix “E”).
Any integration program adopted should provide that Communist units will be furnished equipment comparable to that issued to Nationalist units.

[Page 180]


It is recommended that this study be furnished General Marshall for his consideration.

[Enclosure 1—Appendix “B”]

Order of Battle of CCP Regular Forces

During recent Kmt46a–CCP46b negotiations both sides have shown a certain willingness to effect a compromise on the question of integration of the two political armies into a National Army. At the Chiang-Mao talks in September47 the Kmt, possibly feeling that (a) the CCP army had become too large and powerful for a fusion with the Kmt and (b) that the Kmt would never be able to suppress the CCP movement merely by depriving it of the use of its army, agreed to incorporate a maximum of 20 of the divisions of the CCP into a National Army, provided that other questions of national importance could be settled first. The CCP at first proposed 48 divisions but finally expressed a willingness to settle for 24 divisions or a minimum of 20 divisions, provided that they would have a voice in the National Military Council and in matters of personnel administration. Assuming that the figure of 14,000 officers and men authorized by the Central Government in 1937 for each of the three original 18th Group Army divisions (which represented the first attempt toward military unification) were to be taken as an arbitrary T/O48 figure, the Chinese Communist Army is capable of remodeling its Army into 23 divisions.
Order of battle of Communist forces is a vague presumption of regular military organization. Possibly for security purposes or possibly because of the lack of complete military integration within the CCP, some forces are referred to by various designations, none follow standard T/O’s or T/E’s49 and frequently only slight demarcations are made between “regular” and “local” troops. The following O/B50 is only that of the regular forces; insufficient information and the nature of local and militia forces precludes O/B for units other than regulars.
The two main CCP forces are the 18th Group Army (Sometimes designated as the 8th Route Army) and the New 4th Army.
[Page 181]

[Here follows a list of the location and estimated strength of each division of two Communist armies.]


In addition to the two above listed armies there have been reports of a New 29th Army in Yenan but data is insufficient to evaluate. A South China Federated (or United) Army contains various independent “Corps”, “Columns”, “Detachments”, etc., which operate in Fukien, Hunan, and Kwangtung but these troops cannot properly be classified as “regulars”. There are 100,000 troops in Manchuria constituting a possible unidentified army tentatively accepted by the War Department. 125, 127, and 140 Divisions have been reported in South-eastern Hopeh but these units are only tentatively accepted without strength estimates.
The lack of adequate intelligence sources does not permit a verification of the above data and exact headquarters’ locations are possibly inaccurate but represent the best available information at this date. The CCP practice of seldom employing a division, instead using companies and battalions for widely scattered actions, makes it difficult to clearly establish division locations. An additional factor of confusion is the tendency of local forces to retain designations after the regulars have moved to another area; e. g. locals operating under the 1st Division will continue to refer to themselves as “troops of the 1st Division” after that unit has moved to another province.
Units most likely to be of primary consideration in CCP–Kmt incorporation plans are the 155, 120, and 129 over-strength divisions of the 18 A. G.51 and the 1, 2, and 5 divisions of the New 4th Army. Estimated strengths indicated for the various divisions are those of MID,52 War Department, December 1945, but there is evidence that these estimates may be slightly lower than actual strengths.

[Enclosure 2—Appendix “C”]

Chinese Nationalist Forges (Alpha Units)

The approximate strength of the Nationalist Army is 3,140,000. At present there are 92 armies with a total of 268 divisions; a reduction since 1 January 1945 of 28 armies and 49 divisions under the Chinese deactivation plan. Of this strength, a total of 13 armies consisting of 39 divisions are Alpha Units which are U. S. sponsored.

Present indications are that there may be 23 Communist divisions available for integration or 7 plus armies. These armies however do [Page 182] not exist as such at the present time although when molded into armies would be in North China. Hence 7 U.S. sponsored Chinese Armies of the Nationalist Army which are presently in or to be moved into North China or Manchuria should be the ones considered for this scheme of integration. Seven such armies would be the:

Unit Destination
106th Army Manchuria
101st Army Manchuria
18th Army North China
73rd Army North China
8th Army North China
74th Army North China
71st Army North China

Undoubtedly additional Nationalist units will be moved to North China before integration can take place in which case those units should be considered in preference for those destined for Manchuria.

[Here follows list of “Alpha Units” of the Chinese National Army, with names of commanders and locations of divisions.]

[Enclosure 3—Appendix “D”]

Additional Information on Communist and Political Factors Involved

All plans for the integration of the Chinese Communist Armies and the Kuomintang Armies into a National Army have usually fallen into two categories: (a) Those which proposed an amalgamation or fusion of the two armies under a single command, and (b) Those which proposed the incorporation of two autonomous armies which would preserve their individual identities under a unified command. The Central Government, refusing to brook any opposition in its attempt to unify China under Kuomintang tutelage, has always been adamant in regarding the submission of the Communist armies to the National Military Council (or fusion under a single command) as an immediate prerequisite to any further negotiation. The CCP, on the other hand, when the question of integration has been brought up, has stubbornly demonstrated its intention of maintaining control of its armies (or autonomous incorporation under a unified command) until such a time as they are confident that the party’s political existence is no longer dependent upon them.
The forces of the Chinese Communist[s] may be divided into three general categories: the Field Forces, the local forces (Guerrilla Army) and the People’s Militia. The Field Forces are capable of being moved from one area to another as the military situation demands, [Page 183] and they generally wear uniforms. The Local Forces or Guerrilla Army, usually confine their operations to particular areas, and wear plain clothes. Although the equipment and training of the field forces is usually slightly better than that of local forces, both receive their orders through regular channels of command and both are supplied by regular supply organs. The two CCP armies, the 18th Group Army and the New Fourth Army, are comprised of units from both these forces. At present the regular Field Forces are estimated at close to 1,200,000 men. The People’s Militia is the third general category. Unlike the other two forces, they engage regularly in production and perform their military duties as the occasion demands. They are composed of men and women throughout Communist-controlled areas selected and trained by the political commissars in that area. Their number is practically unascertainable; every person who has come in contact with CCP indoctrination is a potential member of the Peoples Militia and are capable of staging uprisings in isolated areas with or without coordination with regular field or guerrilla forces.

The organization of the Chinese Communist Army is closely linked with the political organization of the Communist Party and the political organization of the territory controlled by the CCP. The Chinese Communist Army is an army with a “Messianic complex”. Its mission, in addition to consolidating military gains, calls for, (a) furtherance of mass organization through the educational medium of the political section attached to each military unit, and (b) arbitration in local civil government through the political commissar attached to each operational unit of company size or above. The territory controlled by the CCP is divided into military regions, six of which are under the jurisdiction of 8th Route Army and eight under New 4th Army command. These are further sub-divided into military districts and these districts into military sub-districts. The communal organization in each of these districts or regions is under the jurisdictions of the political commissars of the units which are stationed in that area.

These political commissars, who rank with the military commander of each army unit and who in addition to their regular duties are responsible for the supervision and political training and organization of the Peoples Militia, provide the real link between the civil government and the Communist Party. The dual influence of each political commissar enables him to occupy a key position in controlling the military and civil administration of the areas to which he is assigned. The Chinese Communist army, through its political commissars, is in a very real sense the medium through which the political organization is expanded, indoctrinated and governed.

[Page 184]

In addition, there is a basic difference between Communist and Nationalist leaders which bears consideration. The leaders of the Nationalist army for the most part have been selected because of their ability; their promotion to the higher ranks is largely based upon military qualifications for the command to which they are appointed. Although political considerations are taken into account in the appointment of senior commanders in the Nationalist army, specified political affiliations on the part of the commander are not necessarily a requisite for that appointment. On the other hand, the Communist part [Party] inextricably involves its members simultaneously in military and political matters. Accordingly, any commander in the Communist army holds his position because of his political as well as military qualifications.

[Enclosure 4—Appendix “E”]


From a short range view, any plan developed for the integration of the Nationalist and Communist forces should provide sufficient military units to repatriate Japanese troops and civilians, garrison strategic areas and protect important communications facilities in China. The long range objective should provide a process under which the forces of opposing political faiths can work together to build a united, strong and independent China.

While the opposing factions should be inspired by these lofty purposes to integrate their forces and work together for the common good of all, at the same time it must be recognized that many of the existing conflicts cannot be readily swept aside and that these, of necessity, will make integration of the two forces a slow process. Such factors include differences in training, equipment, language, organization and political beliefs of the two forces.

Training: The Communist armies are known to have received specialized training in guerrilla warfare. It is not known, however, that their military program extends to offensive and defensive training in modern tactics. On the other hand 39 Chinese Divisions (CAP)52a have received broad training in most aspects of modern warfare. They are considered sufficiently indoctrinated with the rudiments of military training to fit them for most military occasions that might arise, given proper logistical support. In addition, certain specified Nationalist units have been trained in Commando tactics. The remainder of the Nationalist armies have received little or no direct [Page 185] training although many of the units, under the able leadership of particularly qualified Chinese officers, can be considered as well trained.

Equipment: The differences between Communist and Nationalist equipment are well known. This problem, however, is not considered insurmountable. If the two forces are brought close enough together to permit integration, a standardization of equipment within type organizations could be worked out in time. Any program for integration developed should provide that Communist units will be furnished equipment comparable to that issued to Nationalist units.

Language: Language difficulties exist, but this factor would not deter integration since it probably would be no more serious than exists in either Communist or Nationalist armies at the present time.

Organization: The organization of Communist as compared to Nationalist armies would not appear to present difficulty if divisional and army units are to be transferred in toto. This of course, presumes that armies making up an integrated army group will have the same relative strength and be composed of similar units. From the Army level down, the command of Nationalist forces by Nationalist commanders and Communist troops by Communist commanders should be maintained for the time being but a system of liaison between all units in the Army Group and higher headquarters should be established.

Political: For information regarding the political factors involved in the integration of the two forces, see Appendix “D”. This would probably be a deterrent to integration because it might not be acceptable to the Kuomintang or the Communists. However, this is an objection based upon possible loss of advantage rather than upon substance. From the standpoint of benefit to China it would be good to have Nationalist forces and constituency exposed to Communist doctrine. The basis for true compromise lies somewhere in between the reactionary position of the Kuomintang and Communist liberalism. Since China needs free speech and an avenue for public expression other than revolution, any lever that will force the Central Government to serve the many instead of the few and create a truly democratic state would be salutary.

Integration: If there is to be a real compromise of differences between the Nationalist and Communist elements in China the present armed forces of these two factions must be brought under the control of a single government authority and in time these two forces must be integrated into a single military system. However, any program of integration should be recognized merely as a temporary expedient and China should not lose sight of the fact that she can never have [Page 186] an effective modern military force until she abolishes completely her political and territorial forces and establishes an army based upon the list system for both officers and men.

The many differences which presently exist between Nationalist and Communist forces would make it impracticable initially to place divisions or other units of these opposing forces in the same army or to attempt integration of command at the army level or below. No past experience exists upon which such action could be taken and there is a need for experience in cooperative action from the top headquarters down before such a step is taken in the basic field units. If the necessary preliminary action is not taken on the decision and higher command levels before integration is attempted at the fighting level there is a real risk of chaos which would only accentuate present misunderstanding and further delay peaceful compromise and integration. In time, after orientation and education have been supplied to both forces regarding China’s future course and the military organization that is to evolve, integration should be possible in these lower echelons.

It is not necessary to determine here the future course that integration may take. Such action must be determined in successive steps. At this stage it appears that it would be unwise to initiate integration below the army group level. This means that for the time being armies contained in an army group should remain completely Nationalist or Communist forces. Of necessity, Communist armies would have to be reorganized to conform to the organization and strength of the Nationalist army, serving as its opposite number in the army group. A thorough system of liaison between units in the army group and with headquarters of the army group should be established.

Under this concept, one Nationalist army and one Communist army should be included in an integrated army group. Command of such army groups would be divided equally to the extent possible between Nationalist and Communist commanders. Each such army group would have an integrated staff including fifty percent representation by the opposing parties. This process should be repeated in the higher headquarters of the Area Commander and the appropriate degrees of Communist representation should be provided in the headquarters of the Supreme Field Commander of Chinese Forces, and in the National Military Council.

Since the Communist armies would have to be reorganized prior to integration, a schedule of integration cannot be shown at this time. However, two Communist armies could be created, using the 115th, the 120th and 129th Divisions of the 18th Army Group and the 1st, 2nd and 5th Divisions of the new 4th Army. (See Note 3 of Appendix B.) On the Nationalist side, two armies could be created, using one division [Page 187] from the new 1st and new 6th and the 8th, 18th, 71st, and 73rd Nationalist armies. The number of integrated army groups to be created under the process would depend upon the size of the Communist forces to be brought into the Chinese Armed forces. The remaining Communist forces should either be inactivated or reorganized into local police battalions responsible to Central Government authority. Such action regarding excessive units conforms with the procedures presently contemplated by the Central Government for reducing the size of Central Government Forces. The attached chart53 indicates generally the process of integration that is advocated.

Any integration program adopted will require the maximum of good faith and cooperation on both sides to be successful. If either the Communists or the Nationalists withhold forces from the control of the Coalition Government, to perpetuate or advance their own interests, dissension will most certainly develop and the plan can easily fail. For this reason the integration plan devised must provide that all military forces of both factions will be under the control of the National Military Council and that neither side will maintain secret, independent military units.

Advantages: There is real advantage to limiting the initial steps towards integration of Nationalist and Communist forces to action at the Army group level and above.

To recognize this, it is necessary to keep in mind that the first objective is to bring the dissident Communist forces under Central Government control and to reorient their action to Central Government purposes. Much will have been accomplished when active cooperation by Communist leaders in the Government, the Military Council and lower headquarters has been assured.

Integration at the Army Group level and above contemplates the establishment of a single chain of command by which effective control of lower echelons can be maintained. If this is accomplished and a thorough system of intra army group liaison is created a sound basis will have been laid for the welding of the two opposing factions.

Another advantage of the proposal is its relative simplicity. It involves initial contact between the more educated elements of the two factions where the purposes of the action being taken can be more readily understood and it creates a responsibility upon leadership to make the terms of the compromise work. Further, by adopting this realistic approach, there is less likelihood of chaos at the field unit level and the way is left open for the eventual reorganization of all Chinese forces on a single list system for both officers and men.

Disadvantages: By integrating the two opposing forces, initially, [Page 188] at the Army Group level, disadvantages inherent in the process of integration are probably kept at a minimum. The possibility of conflict and disorder in the basic units is minimized yet an opportunity is afforded through the close liaison advocated for these units to be brought together gradually for cooperative joint action. At the same time, through the segregation of units within army groups, the danger of explosive proselytism by political commissars attached to Communist units will be avoided.

These matters could be major problems if integration were attempted at the division or army level.

Any disadvantages incident to integration at the army group level appear to be those inherent in integration itself and therefore unavoidable if any constructive action is to be taken. These include the possibility that Communist officers selected for Army Group and Area Commands and for various staff assignments may prove unsatisfactory. This could come from unscrupulousness, disloyalty and lack of ability, any of which could jeopardize the attempted integration. These, however, are human factors which cannot be avoided and should be acceptable risks.

Another disadvantage that must be recognized is that under this proposal a Communist will command a war area and also the area occupied by an Army Group. To offset this possible objection the counterbalance supplied by control from higher headquarters, integrated staffs and equal percentages of Nationalist troops in each Army Group must be relied upon.

Preliminary integration at the army group level of necessity will delay complete integration of lower units. However, since integration on an army or division level is considered impracticable at this stage the delay in the integration of basic units must be accepted.

  1. Forwarded by General Wedemeyer to General Marshall by courier.
  2. Appendix “A” not printed; it was a memorandum of December 21, 1945, by Brig. Gen. Paul W. Caraway, Acting Chief of Staff, U. S. Forces, China Theater, to the Assistant Chief of Staff Plans, directing that a study be undertaken to determine the best means for integration of Nationalist and Communist armies in China.
  3. Not printed.
  4. Kuomintang (Nationalist Party).
  5. Chinese Communist Party.
  6. For summary, see Department of State, United States Relations With China (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949), p. 577; for other correspondence, see Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. vii, pp. 455476 ff.
  7. Table of organization.
  8. Table of equipment.
  9. Order of battle.
  10. Army Group.
  11. Military Intelligence Division.
  12. Chinese Air Patrol.
  13. Not printed.