HISTORICAL NOTES: Tragedy in Chungking

On March 21, 1943, Lieut. General Joseph W. Stilwell, Commander of the China-Burma-India Theater, Chief of Staff to Chiang Kaishek, wrote to his wife in Carmel, Calif. In the letter he enclosed the following verse:

Aromatic Chungking, where I welcomed the spring,

In a mixture of beauty and stenches,

Of flowers and birds, with a sprinkling

of —,

And of bowlegged Szechuan wenches.

The contempt in those lines epitomizes the tragic failure of Vinegar Joe Stilwell, a brave soldier who broke his heart on a job a hundred times too big for him. The...

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