Americans In India And China During WW2: A Pictorial

U.S. Marines from Task Force "Mars" are firing at the Japanese in Burma. August 1944.
Downed in China by Japanese anti-aircraft fire an American bomber B-25J Mitchell. May 25, 1945. A B-25J-10-NC Mitchell "Jaunty Jo," SN# 43-36192 348th BG, 498th BS, 5th Air Force. She was struck by hidden antiaircraft battery just after dropping 250-pound parachute-retarded demolition bombs on the Byoritsu Alcohol Refinery in Formosa. The cockpit was torn open. Unfortunately only seconds later the plane crashed, killing all on board. Air crew: 2LT Robert J. Knauf, 2LT Martin H. Mulner, 1LT Lloyd E. Bodell, CPL Harold O. Montville, SGT Tennyson C. Harrell. The aircraft was one of 16 B-25s that were attempting to destroy the Japanese factories that process synthetic fuel from sugar cane. Byoritsu refinery was hit in March, May and July 1945.
The evacuation of a American pilot, who suffered during a forced landing. Burma. 1944
Squadron "Hell's Angels" of the air group "Flying Tigers" in flight. May 28, 1942. 3rd Squadron Hell's Angels, Flying Tigers over China, photographed  by AVG pilot Robert T. Smith.

General Stilwell leaves Burma. May 1942.

Arriving in Burma just in time to experience the collapse of the Allied defense of that country, which cut China off from all land and sea supply routes, Stilwell personally led his staff of 117 men and women out of Burma into Assam, India on foot, marching at what his men called the 'Stilwell stride' - 105 paces per minute.[17][18] Two of the men accompanying him, his aide Frank Dorn and the war correspondent, Jack Belden, wrote books about the walkout: Walkout with Stilwell in Burma (1971) and Retreat with Stilwell (1943), respectively. The Assam route was also used by other retreating Allied and Chinese forces.

In India, Stilwell soon became well known for his no-nonsense demeanor and disregard for military pomp and ceremony. His trademarks were a battered Army campaign hat, GI shoes, and a plain service uniform with no insignia of rank; he frequently carried a .30 Springfield rifle in preference to a sidearm. His hazardous march out of Burma and his bluntly honest assessment of the disaster captured the imagination of the American public: "I claim we got a hell of a beating. We got run out of Burma and it is humiliating as hell. I think we ought to find out what caused it, go back and retake it.". However, Stilwell's derogatory remarks castigating the ineffectiveness of what he termed Limey forces, a viewpoint often repeated by Stilwell's staff, did not sit well with British and Commonwealth commanders. However, it was well known among the troops that Stilwell's disdain for the British was aimed toward those high command officers that he saw as overly stuffy and pompous.

General Stilwell in Burma on the way to India cleans his Thompson. May 1942. The first step to fighting the war for Stilwell was the reformation of the Chinese Army. These reforms clashed with the delicate balance of political and military alliances in China, which kept the Generalissimo in power. Reforming the army meant removing men who maintained Chiang's position as commander-in-chief.While he gave Stilwell technical overall command of some Chinese troops, Chiang worried that the new American-led forces would become yet another independent force outside of his control. Since 1942, members of the Generalissimo's staff had continually objected to Chinese troops being used in Burma for the purpose, as they viewed it, of returning that country to British colonial control. 

Chiang therefore sided with General Claire Chennault's proposals that the war against the Japanese be continued largely using existing Chinese forces supported by air forces, something Chennault assured the Generalissimo was feasible. The dilemma forced Chennault and Stilwell into competition for the valuable Lend-Lease supplies arriving over the Himalayas from British-controlled India — an obstacle referred to as "The Hump". George Marshall, in his biennial report covering the period of July 1, 1943 to June 30, 1945, acknowledged he had given Stilwell "one of the most difficult" assignments of any theater commander.
A Chinese soldier guards American P 40 Fighter planes (Flying Tigers) in 1942.American volunteer units, AVG (American Volunteer groups) that fought on the side of China against the Japanese.

Of the pilots, 60 came from the Navy and Marine Corps and 40 from the Army Air Corps. (One army pilot was refused a passport because he had earlier flown as a mercenary in Spain, so only 99 actually sailed for Asia. Ten more army flight instructors were hired as check pilots for Chinese cadets, and several of these would ultimately join the AVG’s combat squadrons.) The volunteers were discharged from the armed services, to be employed for "training and instruction" by a private military contractor, the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company (CAMCO), which paid them $600 a month for pilot officer, $675 a month for flight leader, $750 for squadron leader (no pilot was recruited at this level), and about $250 for a skilled ground crewman, far more than they had been earning. ($675 translates to $10,666 in 2012 dollars, and at the time sufficed to buy a new Ford automobile.) The pilots were also orally promised a bounty of $500 for each enemy aircraft shot down.

Although sometimes considered a mercenary unit, the AVG was closely associated with the U.S. military. Most histories of the Flying Tigers say that on 15 April 1941, President Roosevelt signed a "secret executive order" authorizing servicemen on active duty to resign in order to join the AVG. However, Flying Tigers historian Daniel Ford could find no evidence that such an order ever existed, and he argued that "a wink and a nod" was more the president's style. In any event, the AVG was organized and in part directed out of the White House, and by the spring of 1942 had effectively been brought into the U.S. Army chain of command.

During the summer and fall 1941, some 300 men carrying civilian passports boarded ships destined for Burma. They were initially based at a British airfield in Toungoo for training while their aircraft were assembled and test flown by CAMCO personnel at Mingaladon airport outside Rangoon. Chennault set up a schoolhouse that was made necessary because many pilots had "lied about their flying experience, claiming pursuit experience when they had flown only bombers and sometimes much less powerful airplanes." They called Chennault "the Old Man" due to his much older age and leathery exterior obtained from years flying open cockpit pursuit aircraft in the Army Air Corps. Most believed that he had flown as a fighter pilot in China, although stories that he was a combat ace are probably apocryphal.

American trucks in India. Convoy of U.S. military vehicles (GMC CCKW-353 and one second-generation Dodge T214, known here as "Dodge three quarters") in India on the way to Burma.

African-American soldiers in Burma read about the German surrender. May 9, 1945
An American instructor checks of trainee Chinese soldiers. 1942. The U.S. Army's main role in China was to keep China in the war through the provision of advice and materiel assistance. As long as China stayed in the war, hundreds of thousands of Imperial Japanese Army soldiers could be tied down on the Asian mainland instead of being used to fight on other fronts. Success was thus measured differently than in most theaters. How well both General Stilwell and General Wedemeyer persuaded the theater commander-in-chief, Generalissimo Chiang, to support U.S. strategic goals, and how effectively U.S. training and materiel support could build selected Chinese Army divisions into modern tactical units, capable of standing up to Japanese adversaries, were secondary objectives. What mattered most was simply keeping China in the war against Japan. The major U.S. failure in China was logistical: America was not able to meet its lend-lease commitments. The closing of the Burma Road in 1942 made it impossible to deliver sufficient equipment, weapons, and munitions to build the dream of a well-equipped and trained thirty-division Chinese force.

Captain James W. Snyder, Army intelligence officer, who was an historian in civilian life, with a veteran guide somewhere in India. The guide served in China during the Boxer rebellion. The ribbon he is wearing is for service with the late Lord Kitchener. He also served under Lord Roberts
American soldiers Agra, India 1942 ww2
American soldiers watch a Hindu funeral in Agra, India  in 1942
American actor Joe Brown talks to children in a Chinese city. 1942. 
The actor is driving a jeep on the street of one of the Chinese interacts with Chinese children. The photo was taken in 1942-1943. Joe Brown (1891-1973) is mainly known for his role of a passionate millionaire Osgood in the comedy "Some Like It Hot" (1959). During World War II, he could not enlist in the army because of his age, so he traveled at his own expense to the theater of war and spoke to American soldiers

American generals Joseph Stilwell and Curtiss LeMay at a B 29 Bomber air base in China in 1944
American technician 3rd Class Joe Rogers at the head of a column of Chinese soldiers at the gates of the Ramgarh training camp in Bihar India, June 1944.
The Kachin Rangers in Burma. The 1st SFG (Airborne) lineage can be traced to Detachment 101 of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). This unit raised and led a guerrilla force known as the Kachin Rangers, which wrought havoc behind Japanese lines in Southeast Asia during World War II.

An American aircraft technician waving to sky borne B-24 "Liberator at a airport in China. In the foreground - the P-40 with external fuel tanks of the squadron "Flying Tigers» (Flying tigers). 1943.

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Quotes about war....

"War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man."
--Napoleon Hill

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide."
--Havelock Ellis

'Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed."
--Mao Tse-Tung (1893 - 1976)

"I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."
--George McGovern

"The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic."
--Joseph Stalin

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
--Voltaire, War

In war, truth is the first casualty.
-- Aeschylus

"The ability and inclination to use physical strength is no indication of bravery or tenacity to life. The greatest cowards are often the greatest bullies. Nothing is cheaper and more common than physical bravery."
--Clarence Darrow, Resist Not Evil

"The victor will never be asked if he told the truth."
--Adolf Hitler

"To walk through the ruined cities of Germany is to feel an actual doubt about the continuity of civilization."
--George Orwell

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country."
--Bertrand Russell

Men are at war with each other because each man is at war with himself.
--Francis Meehan

Snippets From History

German Soldiers in Russia: Part 1

Hubert Menzel was a major in the General Operations Department of the OKH (the Oberkommando des Heers, the German Army headquarters), and for him the idea of invading the Soviet Union in 1941 had the smack of cold, clear logic to it: 'We knew that in two years' time, that is by the end of 1942, beginning of 1943, the English would be ready, the Americans would be ready, the Russians would be ready too, and then we would have to deal with all three of them at the same time.... We had to try to remove the greatest threat from the East.... At the time it seemed possible.'

Battle for Berlin, 1945

'We started to fire at the masses,' says one former German machine gunner. 'They weren't human beings for us. It was a wall of attacking beasts who were trying to kill us. You yourself were no longer human.'


Berlin after it fell to the Russians, 1945

"Vladlen Anchishkin, a Soviet battery commander on the 1st Ukrainian Front, sums up the horror of the whole event, when he tells how he took personal revenge on German soldiers: 'I can admit it now, I was in such a state, I was in such a frenzy. I said, 'Bring them here for an interrogation' and I had a knife, and I cut him. I cut a lot of them. I thought, 'You wanted to kill me, now it's your turn.'
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Dramatic Pictures: Battle For Stalingrad
"...Effective command no longer possible... further defense senseless. Collapse inevitable. Army requests immediate permission to surrender in order to save lives of remaining troops."
General Paulus' radio message to Hitler on January 24, 1943

"...Capitulation is impossible. The 6th Army will do its historic duty at Stalingrad until the last man, the last bullet..."

Hitler's response to General Friedrich Paulus' request to withdraw from the city


Points To Ponder....

The fall of France was shocking. It reduced France to virtually a non-player in the Second World War. The efforts of Charles de Gualle were more symbolic than material. But the martial instincts of the French must never be doubted. Under Napoleon they were a formidable military power. The French definitely have more iron in their blood then say, the Italians [I do not mean it in a derogatory sense. War never makes sense]


Bias Of Western Historians

Soviet resistance made possible a successful Allied invasion of France, and ensured the final Allied victory over Germany.

It can hardly be called mere 'resistance'! If it hadn't been for the Russians, Hitler would have made mincemeat of British forces in Africa and landed on British shores in no time. Hitler attacked Russia first because it had more land and resources than Britain. It is as simple as that.

Eastern Front: Bias Of Western Historians