ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS FORT LEAVENWORTH United States
This study is a critical examination of Army Health System support in the China-Burma-India CBI theater from 1942-1944. In CBI, the Theater Surgeon was tasked with two primary missions to train and equip the Chinese Armys exhausted and ill-equipped medical units and to enable the Northern Combat Area Commands NCAC combat operations in northern Burma. Presenting each mission as a case study, this paper seeks to answer the question of how effectively the Army Medical Department supported the attainment of the United States political and military objectives in CBI. The study concludes that the Medical Department successfully generated a sustainment structure within the Chinese army that, however incomplete, was resilient enough to withstand the rigors of large scale combat. In contrast, while the NCACs mission to seize Myitkyina was an operational success, the Medical Departments failure to plan adequately for its conduct contributed significantly to an avoidable medical calamity.