Early in the twentieth century it became fashionable for larger nations to acquire colonies. This resulted in a common expression in that time period: The sun never sets on the British Empire. In 1910 Japan by force acquired the entire Korean peninsula. During World War Two (WWII) Korean men were drafted into the military and the report persists that Korean women were forced to serve for the “comfort” of Japanese troops.
At the February 1945 Yalta Conference, Stalin agreed with President Roosevelt (FDR) on a four-power trusteeship for Korea, the powers to be for the for Korean trusteeship were the United States, China, Russia and Britain. The trusteeship called for a unified administration of all Korea with the government of Koreans to be freely elected to govern the Korean peninsula. This Korean decision was ratified when Harry Hopkins met with Stalin in Moscow later in 1945.
When Japan quit, there arose the question of accepting surrender of Japanese forces in the field. It was reported some subordinate officers in the Pentagon recommended the Russians accept the Japanese surrender north of the thirty eighth parallel in Korea, while the American troops would accept it south of the line. This was obviously contrary to the Yalta trustee agreement. However, by some elusive process, the thirty-eighth parallel process was implemented.
In the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committee on June 8, 1951 it was disclosed the Korean division was taken not by “some subordinate officers “but by Secretary of War General George Marshall.
Was this “bonus” of North Korea to Stalin by Marshall an unprecedented incident? Not hardly! At Yalta, with General Marshall and Alger Hiss at FDR’s elbow, he was told we could expect another year and a half of war in the Pacific — so it was necessary for Russia to enter the war in Asia after the war ended in Europe. Fleet Admiral Leahy who out-ranked Marshal and was Chief of Staff for FDR insisted we did not need Russia’s help because Japan was nearing collapse by our air and sea power. But Leahy’s realistic opinion was overborne by Marshall.
Going back to the 1943 Cairo Conference, FDR promised Chiang Kai-shek that if China effectively engaged the Japanese occupiers in China and Manchuria, at the wars end, Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores would be returned to China. China executed this mission very well. Based on Marshall’s advise at Yalta, FDR reneged on the promise to Chiang Kai-shek and offered Manchuria, an area heavily laden with resources, to Stalin. In addition, $800 million worth of war machinery would be given to Russia for use in Asia.
Russia entered the war in Asia on August 9, 1945 — three days after Hiroshima.
Russian troops rushed into Manchuria and gave the Japanese war material to the Communist Chinese. The Russians also gave the Communist Chinese the $800 million dollars worth of war material the U.S. had given Russia for entering the Asian war.
In spite of all the material Russia turned over to the Communist Chinese, they were regularly defeated by the Nationalist Chinese forces. Marshall cut off the supply of ammunition. General Marshall openly boasted: “As Chief of Staff (of the Army) I armed 39 Anti-Communist divisions, now with the stroke of the pen I disarm them.” The result is history.
Marshall’s fostering communism in North Korea, Manchuria and China was accompanied by similar work in the European war. In 1942, Stalin clamored for the Allies to invade across the English Channel. Marshall supported this suicidal venture. Fortunately Churchill prevailed. It was two years before the Allies could be ready for Normandy.
After North Africa was secured and the Allied forces were well established in Italy, the British and U.S. General Mark Clark proposed to advance from Italy into Austria and Germany ahead of the Russians. Marshall was able to steer the strategic direction of the war to a more arduous path via Normandy and a bloody amphibious assault.
If Marshall were simply stupid, the law of probability would dictate some of his decisions would have served this nation’s interest. Marshall’s rejection of extensive interviews gives rise to the question about his motives. It is not surprising the left frequently praises George Marshall.
Reprinted with permission from the Roseburg Beacon News, Vol. 11-Issue 29 July 18, 2018