During the first week of April, Gen. Stilwell’s New China Army was preparing to attack Gen. Tanaka’s men, but Stilwell’s own supply base was being threatened. Urgent pleas were sent to Chiang Kai-shek to send his Nationalist Army to eastern Burma for assistance – but Chiang failed to respond.
FDR was notified of this lack of support and the president sent a cable to Chiang: “If they [Nationalist Army] are not to be used in the common cause, our most strenuous efforts to fly in equipment and furnish instructional personnel have not been justified.”
This meant that Chiang’s Lend Lease was threatened and 10 days later, 72,000 Chinese troops marched to Burma. Japan considered this action a break in their “silent” truce and the Imperial Staff ordered the…
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