United States Army generalDied when: 63 years 207 days (762 months)
Star Sign: Pisces
Joseph Warren "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell (March 19, 1883 – October 12, 1946) was a United States Army general who served in the China Burma India Theater during World War II.
An early American popular hero of the war for leading a column walking out of Burma pursued by the victorious Imperial Japanese Armed Forces, his implacable demands for units debilitated by disease to be sent into heavy combat resulted in Merrill's Marauders becoming disenchanted with him.
Infuriated by the 1944 fall of Changsha to a Japanese offensive, Stilwell threatened Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek that lend-lease aid to China would be cut off, which led Ambassador Patrick J.
Hurley to decide Stilwell had to be replaced.Chiang had been intent on keeping lend-lease supplies to fight the Chinese Communist Party, but Stilwell had been obeying his instructions to get the CCP and the Kuomintang to co-operate against Japan.
Influential voices such as journalist Brooks Atkinson viewed the Chinese Communists as benign and Stilwell as a victim of a corrupt regime.
The ousting of Stilwell sparked the beginning of anti-Chiang sentiment by US policymakers that culminated in the 1947 end of American assistance to the Republic of China during the Chinese Civil War.
Stilwell's admirers saw him as having been given inadequate resources and incompatible objectives.Critics viewed him as a hard-charging but ultimately unprofessional officer whose failings contributed to the loss of China.