The United States 15th Infantry Regiment in China, 1912–1938


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About the Book

Taking up its position astride the Peking-Mukden [Beijing-Shenyang] railway beginning in January, 1912, the United States Fifteenth Infantry Regiment was engaged in protecting American interests in China. The 1000 man force was especially challenged during the 1920s, those tumultuous years when warlords struggled to gain ascendancy in the Chinese Republic. Although Chiang Kai-shek established a measure of control in China by 1928, the regiment remained in China—partially to counter Japan’s increasingly aggressive actions—despite considerable misgivings within and outside of the United States Army as to the feasibility, desirability, and ethical appropriateness of the policy retaining it there. The success of the Japanese in conquering much of eastern China finally compelled Washington to withdraw the regiment on March 2, 1938.
This work recounts and assesses some aspects of the involvement and service of the Fifteenth Infantry Regiment during its fateful quarter of a century in the Orient between the World Wars. Also detailed is the Army’s service in those years in general. Many insights are provided regarding the self-perceptions of a key generation of U.S. military personnel deployed there.

About the Author(s)

Alfred Emile Cornebise is professor emeritus of history at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. A Korean War veteran, he is the author of 14 books.

Bibliographic Details

Alfred Emile Cornebise
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 283
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1988-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-2716-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Map of North China      x

Preface      1

I. The Setting      7

II. The 15th Marches onto the Chinese Stage      21

III. History and Organization      51

IV. Leadership      61

V. The Officer Corps and the Rank and File      76

VI. The Sentinel      96

VII. Attitudes, Morale and the Daily Round      111

VIII. The Training Cycle      137

IX. Athletes, Thespians and Musicians      153

X. The Chinese Land, History and People      166

XI. Les Femmes      188

XII. The Regulars, Horses and Other Matters      197

XIII. Withdrawal of the 15th from China      210

XIV. The Regiment’s Chinese Legacy      217

Chapter Notes      229

Selected Bibliography      259

Index      263

Book Reviews & Awards

“detailed…unique and focused…fascinating…well-written and extensively researched…comprehensive…recommended…a useful addition”—Army; “recommended…compelling and informative…highly readable and interesting”—Military Heritage; “detailed…admirable…strongly recommend”—Military Review; “well balanced…a worthy addition to the literature”—History: Reviews of New Books; “Cornebise captures admirably the life and times of the regiment in China…well-written…well balanced…a worthy addition to the literature”—Noel Harvey Pugach, University of New Mexico.