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Joseph Warren Stilwell

Stilwell, Joseph Warren, 1883–1946, American general, b. Palatka, Fla. Commissioned in the army in 1904, he fought in World War I and later served for 13 years in China. In Feb., 1942, during World War II, he went back to China, where he became (Mar., 1942) Chiang Kai-shek's chief of staff and commander of U.S. troops in the China-Myanmar-India area. Defeated in Myanmar by the Japanese troops, he retreated (May, 1942) through the jungles to India, where he built up forces for the successful counterattack (1943–44) in Myanmar. In Oct., 1944, Stilwell was recalled to the United States because of friction with Chiang. He became (Jan., 1945) chief of Army Ground Forces and commanded the U.S. 10th Army on Okinawa in the final months of the war. A frequently tactless but astute general, he was known as Vinegar Joe. His experiences in Asia are recorded in the Stilwell Papers (ed. by T. H. White, 1948; repr. 1972).

See study by B. Tuchman (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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