GENERAL JOSEPH W. "VINEGAR JOE" STILWELL - AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH - HFSID 348931
Sale Price $850.00
Vintage matte-finish 8 x 10 photo of General Stilwell wearing his four-star uniform
Photograph signed: "Joseph W. Stilwell/Gen., U.S.A.", 8x10. Collector's notations to reverse date the autograph to May 28, 1946. Joseph Warren Stilwell (1883-1946) was a tactically skilled US Army officer who, at the date of this letter, was training the newly formed US Seventh Division. If assigned to the European or Pacific Theaters when World War II commenced, Stilwell might have been remembered as a gifted corps commander. Instead, President Roosevelt sent him in 1942 to the China-Burma-India Theater, where he led British and Chinese forces in combat and served as Chief of Staff to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. Stilwell, who reveled in the nickname "Vinegar Joe," was not a talented diplomat. Although he led British troops on foot in a daring escape from Burma, he soon antagonized British commanders and Chiang himself.(Stilwell came to believe, not unreasonably, that Britain was more concerned with protecting its colonial possessions in Asia, and Chiang with retaining power and preserving his forces for a later showdown with Mao Zedong's communists, while waiting for the US campaign in the Pacific to defeat Japan.) Stillwell thought Chiang, whom he privately called "Peanut," corrupt and militarily incompetent. He also clashed with US General Claire Chennault, Time magazine editor Henry Luce, and other leaders of the emerging "China Lobby." In October 1944, Chiang demanded Stilwell's recall. He commanded the US Tenth Army in the Okinawa campaign, but succumbed to stomach cancer at Fort Ord shortly after war's end. After his return from China, Stilwell urged the US to disengage from its involvement there. Historical evaluations of Stilwell vary widely, depending on each writer's appraisal of US policy in East Asia from the Chinese Civil War to the Vietnam War. Joseph Stilwell, Jr., who had served under his father in China, rose to the rank of brigadier general and served as an advisor to the South Vietnamese army. Light rippling and toning at edges. Minor crease at bottom-right corner. Ink notes (unknown hand) on verso. Fine condition. Accompanied by PSA/DNA LOA.
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