What myth do you hate the most?

Me, it would be the one related to the sherman tank (1 tiger for 5 sherman, "death trap), the clean wehrmacht (Wehraboo wanting to separate the wehrmacht from the party despite the ommand structure and the fulfilment of nazi war goal+the command structure of the organisation itself that was tied to the party), clean SS (yeah those kind of wehrb exist, somewhat the same rhetoric as the clean wehrmacht but worst), clean rommel (because he overshadow more legitimate anti nazi within the wehrmacht like lutjens even if his participation in the 20th jully plot seem dubious), Dresden with wehraboo always using it in a fallacious with the classic “but what about x ally crime?” even if the ally commiting war crime don’t make what the nazi did more ok somehow.


The myth that Indy Neidell just said in the latest video about Western commanders in China.

The myth is “The Chinese didn’t fight the Japanese and they horded the lend lease they received to fight the communists”

It’s not true.

  1. The Chinese did fight Japan… a lot. Like they did it for 4 years before anyone else got involved and they were the only ones to win a victory against Japan in the six months after Pearl Harbor.

The origin of this is that when Americans (Stilwell) arrived in theater in force, they weren’t willing to listen to what the Chinese had learned about fighting Japan with Chinese forces. For example, the Chinese had a rule of thumb, “We need to be outnumbering Japan 3 to 1 for a successful defense, and 5 to 1 for a successful offense” When the Americans heard this, they ascribed it to cowardice. For some reason, it didn’t occur that maybe 4 years of bitter experience have given the Chinese a pretty good idea for under what circumstances their generally poorly trained, poorly equipped, less mobile troops can be expected to win.

What many British and American commanders wanted was for China to just throw troops at Japan. “You have soldiers, the Japanese are there, you should be attacking!” To get an idea of how dumb this is, look to the Regia Marina in Italy. The Italians had a respectable navy, less than the Royal Navy, but respectable. One thing the Italians didn’t do was sail all of it out and throw ships at the Royal Navy at every opportunity. The Italians knew that this would get their fleet very quickly destroyed and then the Royal Navy would still have many ships while the Italians would have zero. By keeping the fleet safe, and only launching out at the most favorable of conditions, the Italians forced the British to spend a lot of resources in the Mediterranean, guarding against the Italian fleet.

This was how the Chinese viewed their armies. Weapons, artillery, officers, these were all things that the Japanese could replace far more easily than the Chinese could. So launching attacks for the sake of launching attacks was a bad idea. It would leave both Japan and China worse off but Japan would be able to recover faster.

When Japan launched their largest attack, Operation Ichigo, China’s best troops were diverted from fighting Japan in China to helping the Allies fight six times fewer troops in Burma.

  1. Chiang Kai Shek horded lend lease to fight the communists.

Chiang Kai Shek got very little lend lease. Before Pearl Harbor, Lend lease could only enter through Burma and Hong Kong. Stuff going through Burma had to ride the rails 800 km from Rangoon to Lashio and then they had to be driven or carried another 800 km to Kunming, and then maybe they could get to useful Chinese units. Stuff going through Hong Kong had to be smuggled out of Hong Kong on small boats and then secretly loaded onto a railway to Changsha. To make matters worse, the British would actually shut these down for months at a time in 1940.

After Pearl Harbor, the occupation of Burma and Hong Kong would shut both of these down. But not to worry, the Allies would make the HUMP, a heroic airlift operation that moved supplies from India over the Himalayas to China. It would start slow, but by wars end moved 685,000 tons of stuff over the mountains into China.

Now why didn’t Chiang use all of that to launch a massive offensive against China…? He must have been hording!

Well no, see 98% of that tonnage went to supporting US army units in China (airplanes, personnel, etc.) So only 13,000 tons went directly to the Chinese army. Chiang Kai Shek didn’t horde the American equipment because there was nothing to horde. But that didn’t stop US planners from counting all 650,000 tons as “Lend Lease to China.” The Allies weren’t really able to send anything to China in any numbers until the beginning of 1945.

The end of the war did see the Chinese get some American equipment but not very much and they had little time to get used to it.

All of this is in books that the Timeghost team say they have read, such as Forgotten Ally by Ran Mitter or Tower of Skulls by Richard Frank… but somehow it still got into an episode.