What forces are there? Our 34th Infantry Division, a very good unit, not elite but very good. The RGC (Chinese) 11th and 13th Divisions are there also, fortunately they have good morale and are at about 90% stength. The 11th RGC Div. is currently performing route security between I'Chang and the Wuhan area. What part does I'Chang play in our dispositions? I'Chang is an exposed position approximately 100 miles NW of Wuhan. We have both river and road connections to I'Chang at present. It provides us some depth in our defensive perimeter around Wuhan. SE of I'Chang is the Wuchang/Hankow area of Wuhan, and the main rail line running back to Peiping. In Wuhang we have the 3d, 6th, and 40th Divisions, and the 18th Mixed Brigade. Units of average combat ability. Across the Yangtze on the north side of the river is Hankow, the center for our defense of the area. There we have the 11th Army Headquaters under LGen Korechika Anami commanding. In the Hankow area we have the 13th Tank Regiment (Type 95 light and Type 97 medium tanks), 13th Infantry Division, 14th Independant Mixed Brigade, 9th Armored Car Co. (Type 93 armored cars), the 2d and 8th Independant Engineer Regiments, 22d AA Regiment, 14th Medium Field Artillery Regt, 15th Independant Medium Field Artillery Regt, 2d Independant Mountain Gun Regt, 1st Mortar Bn, 51st Mountain Gun Bn, 52d Mountain Gun Bn, 51st Road Construction Co., the 20th Independant Mixed Brigade is in the countryside to the east guarding that flank, the 58th Infantry Regt, 14th RGC (Chinese) Division guarding the NE flank between Hankow and Sinyang, the Hankow Special Base Force and 54th JAAF Support Bn at the airbase. At Sinyang, located on the rail line, about 110 miles NE of Hankow, we have the 52d Road Construction Co., 1st Independant Mixed brigade, 12th and 18th RGC (Chinese) Divisions and 67th JAAF Airfield Support Co. The 12th, 14th and 18th RGC Divisions are the perfect examples of why we need a Chinese Army re-organization. All three are at about 1/3 strength and have very low morale. I would rather re-organize them into three usable regiments than three ineffective, unusable divisions. Do KMT forces in I'Chang present a threat to our defensive perimeter? Not to the Wuhan position itself, but they are positioned to threaten I'Chang or Sinyang, they also threaten to cut the rail supply line. I do not think they could take I'Chang because we can easily maintain a supply/communications line up the Yangtze with naval riverine forces. Sinyang is quite vulnerable, mainly due to the weak RGC formations we have there and the KMT forces ability to quickly mass forces. Their normal tactic is to cut the supply line to the forward position and force a withdrawl. Does it have a part to play in later operations? I do not like to criticize the previous decisions made by our army commanders, but I serve you and you asked a direct question. So dispite my discomfort I will give you my honest opinion. The army should not have abandoned I'Chang after its initial capture. The Navy was correct in insisting upon its re-occupation. They wanted it for future air operations against Chiang's bases further inland. The additional 100+ miles closer to Chiang's base extends the reach of our aircraft. The occupation of I'Chang also severed the supply lines to Chiang's forces east of the Yangtze. This forces them to use a circuitous route through rough, unimproved terrain, limiting their supply and reinforcement. This limits their ability to conduct operations. We have made virtually no progress improving the airfield at I'Chang, the IJA has not committed the resources and units necessary to do so. A problem of lack of interservice cooperation. If we eventually intend to push inland and attack Chiang's base of operations or place pressure upon him, I'Chang is critical. Can forces recovered from there speed operations elsewhere? Yes, the three divisions there are very good capable formations. However, I feel we have sufficient forces in the Wuhan area that if we were to use them in an offensive role we could relieve the pressure on Sinyang and destroy or severely attrit the KMT forces on that side of the Yangtze. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a tendency to be aggressive in my planning. I have attempted to restrain this trait thus far in our operational planning. I am ideologically alligned with France's Napoleon, and America's Lee and Jackson, and the value of audacity. I tend to believe that to seize and hold the initiative allows for a greater potential of success in military operations. To have the enemy reacting to our moves leads to them making mistakes and if we are prepared to exploit those mistakes we have a chance to defeat them in detail. I am also a adherent to detailed planning and feel that proper preparation, is the key to overall victory. Jackson and Lee used such methods and an expert use of terrain, intellignce gathering and deception, to achieve stunning victories. When Lee was forced due to circumstances beyond his control to abandon the secure base provided by intelligence and fighting on ground of his choosing, yet continued to let audacity control his actions he suffered the great defeat at Gettysburg. I have attempted to temper my audacious, offensive traits with proper preparation and attention to detail to lay a firm foundation for success. As an after thought the 11th and 13th Divisions should be retained intact and redesignated RoC National Divisions. Their combat performance if properly used for propoganda pieces in nespapers will go a long way to improve morale and fighting spirit in our new/reorganized formations. Also, in conjunction with our recent defeat at Changsha, a withdrawl from I'Chang could provide a morale boost to KMT forces. Despite the fact that Chiang would not be forcing our withdrawl from that location, it will appear so and he will use it to improve his troop morale and standing with western governments.