This Day in 1944 – Chiang Kai-shek Demands General Stilwell’s Recall

Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang, and General Joseph Stilwell pose for the newsmen in 1942. (National Archives)

Chiang Kai-shek, Madame Chiang, and General Joseph Stilwell pose for the newsmen in 1942. (National Archives)

On September 25, 1944, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of Nationalist China, formally requested that the President of the United States recall General Joseph W. Stilwell. Chiang had lost confidence in the general. He knew Stilwell disparaged him behind his back. He felt like he didn’t listen to his orders or respect him. When the Japanese Ichi-go offensive was plowing through central China, Stilwell remained unengaged, staying on the front lines in the jungles of Burma. The last straw was when Stilwell refused to advance to Bhamo, insisting that his troops rest even while the Japanese drove toward the key city of Guilin in central China. It was an act that showed how divided and broken the Allied war effort had become in the China-Burma-India Theater.

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