US-China Relations 1941-1947: Myths, Misconceptions, Miscalculations
Technical Report,01 Jan 1941,31 Dec 1947
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA CARLISLE BARRACKS
Pagination or Media Count:
The basic premise is that a series of myths and misperceptions surrounded Americas China Policy during the first five decades of the 20th Century. Many of these myths and misperceptions developed prior to World War II and, while they impacted on our pre-war policies, the more serious miscalculations occurred during the period 1941-1947 when the United States became heavily involved in Chinas internal affairs. Three major endeavors, i.e., our plan to make China a great power, our efforts to reform the Nationalist Army, and our attempt to convince Chiang Kai-shek to bring the Chinese Communists into a coalition government are discussed from the standpoints of how we misperceived the issues and miscalculated our actions. In addition, our images of the Nationalists and Chinese Communists are highlighted. Finally, the realities of each situation are compared to the illusions we held at the time. Government publications and predominantly American literature provided source material. It is concluded that despite our illusions and miscalculations there was nothing we realistically could have done to alter the chain of events during 1941-1947 or the outcome of the Civil War in 1949.