after the Japanese conquest of Burma, China still had a land border with British India through the Kashmir-Xinjang border. although Xinjang was under Soviet influence and there were Russian forces in Xinjang and Xinjang warlord Sheng Shikai was (at that time in april/May 1942) aligned with the Chinese Communists, Xinjang was still nominally Chinese and supportive of the war effort against Japan since 1937. Why was there no effort to make a Kashmir-Xinjang road for bringing supplies to China through India?
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The distance from the Ledo Railhead to the existing Burma Road was about 600km. The highest point on the road is 4600ft. Building the first sections of the road got supplies to the allied forces pushing the Japanese out of N. Burma, so allowing the rest of the road to be built. A fuel pipeline had to be laid alongside the road to fuel the trucks.
Kashmir-Xinjiang is over 1,000km and there was in 1943 no road of the quality of the Burma Road between Xinjiang and the battle fronts in China. So that would be another 1000km. The lowest pass across the Western Himalayas is over 14,000ft. It would also need fuel pipelines and the fuel would need to be pumped up to 14,000ft.
Bottom line is that route was not a practical proposition compared to the Ledo Road.
There were oilfields in Xinjang.
Yes, but I don’t think they were seriously developed until the 1950s. Given that a Deuce and a Half would need over 500 gallons of diesel for the round trip; not sure if the local refining capacity would have made much a difference.
Also I just came across a major obstacle to the Kashmir-Xinjiang route while looking at the milage of a Deuce & Half. The lowest himalayan passed are higher than the maximum altitude a normally aspirated diesel engine will run at. So it would have needed special fuel injected trucks as well.
I may be wrong but the other reason I think would that the Allies were supplying China using the hump which was basically getting goods to Assam and then flying them over the Himalayas to China. So… if that was working why would they go all the way to Kashmir to supply China?
The Allies considered having a supplyroute over land to China important enough to start a military operation to take back northern Burma in 1943/1944. So, apparently only supplies through the air was not seen as enough.
I didn’t know that. Thanks.