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Report to Brigadier General Joseph C. Castner1
April 2, 1927 Tientsin, China
Report of Board concerning measures
to be taken in present emergency.2
1. Situation: A demonstration of the character threatened would probably be initiated simultaneously in a number of localities. The most probable areas would seem to be the Japanese concession, Italian concession, down town section of British and French concessions and southern end of Ex German concession, in the order named. Efforts to disrupt telephone service and, at night, the electric light system would probably be attempted. While defensive measures would be more difficult at night, the collection of the agitators during hours of darkness would be more easily detected if the native police can be depended on for that purpose.
2. Policy: Any measures taken to meet a disturbance of the character threatened must probably be continued in effect daily for an indefinite period. It is recommended that dependence be placed on the prompt dispatch by truck, horse and foot, of previously designated detachments from the Compound through various portions of the area, with a reserve of two large trucks to be ordered to the section or sections where the situation is known to be serious. Later action to be determined after the situation has developed.
It is recommended that the women and children remain indoors in the event of a disturbance in our area, in order that the streets may be cleared of all Chinese, by fire action if necessary; that if the trouble arises elsewhere and it then appears advisable to concentrate the foreign women and children in our area, that they be collected at the American Compound and, if necessary, quartered in the vacant houses opposite the corral.
It is recommended that detachments sent out to meet a demonstration of the character threatened be given the following general orders:
“Disperse all groups of Chinese. Clear streets of rioters or suspicious characters. Use fire action in self defense or to disperse those opposing you with arms.”
3. Detailed Plan: The following detailed plan for carrying the foregoing policy into effect is submitted:
To cover a possible emergency the following is effective this date:
a. Troops at the alert.
One rifle company and one machine gun platoon, 15th Infantry, to remain in Compound constantly. Detail of organizations will be made daily by roster. Troops will be in readiness for instant duty through the twenty-four hour period. Three men who are able to drive Ford trucks will be detailed in addition to the above if they cannot be secured from the organizations detailed.
b. Instructions for the Officer of the Day.
The Officer of the Day will remain in the Compound throughout his tour. When he leaves Regimental Headquarters he will notify the charge of quarters and advise him of his whereabouts. In case of any suspicion of an emergency he will call the nearest officer to the Compound as assistant Officer of the Day. He will also notify the Commanding General; the Regimental Commander and the Chief of Staff, U.S.A.F. in C.
c. Trucks for transportation of troops.
Three commercial trucks and two army trucks will be kept available in the Compound. The three commercial trucks will be used for transportation of patrols at the beginning of any emergency.
The army trucks will be used for transportation of sufficient men and equipment to meet a disturbance, definitely located.
d. Action when Emergency arises.
(1). The senior officer present in the Compound when an emergency arises will take the required action.
(2). When it is reasonably assured that an anti-foreign disturbance has commenced in any part of the city, patrols will be dispatched over the routes indicated on the attached sketch,3 as follows:
(a). Three patrols of one squad each (six rifles and two automatic rifles) commanded by an officer or sergeant, each conveyed by commercial truck.
(b). A dismounted patrol of one rifle squad.
(c). A mounted patrol of twelve men.
(d). All available military police will be sent out to guard bridges over Weitze Creek, to prevent the entry of Chinese into the Ex-German concession.
(3). The following orders will be given to the above patrols:
“Move rapidly over the route indicated. Disperse all groups of Chinese. Clear streets of rioters or suspicious characters. Use fire action in self-defense or to disperse those who oppose you with arms.
Report back to the Compound on completion of your circuit unless a serious disturbance is encountered. In the latter case suppress the disturbances, communicating full information immediately to the Compound.”
(4). At the first indication of any disturbance in the city, the reserve details to be loaded on the two army trucks will stand by. Each detail will consist of:
2 Rifle squads, 100 rounds per rifle and 420 rounds per automatic rifle,
2 Machine gun crews of 3 men each, 2 machine guns, 1000 rounds per gun.
(5). When a disturbance of any seriousness has been definitely located in the Ex-German concession, one or both army trucks will be sent to the scene of the disturbance. Officers in charge of trucks will be governed by general orders to patrols above, supplemented by additional orders to meet any special situation.
G. C. Marshall, Jr.
Document Copy Text Source: Records of the Adjutant General’s Office 1917- (RG 407), 370.22, China, National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Maryland.
Document Format: Typed report signed.
1. Castner had replaced Connor in the autumn of 1925. The next year he was granted permission to consolidate the Fifteenth Infantry command with his own Army Forces in China headquarters, effective December 10, 1926.
2. Marshall was the president of this four-man board which included Major Joseph W. Stilwell (U.S.M.A., 1904), who had arrived in mid-l926 from Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Staff School.
3. Not printed.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 1, “The Soldierly Spirit,” December 1880-June 1939 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981), pp. 300-302.