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On War and Leadership by Owen Connelly

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XIII

Joseph Warren Stilwell

(1883–1946)

“VINEGAR JOE”

GENERAL JOSEPH W. STILWELL was hated by many—both those above and below him in the command chain, and casual acquaintances. Irascible, acerbic, he was not a man to “suffer fools lightly,” even if one of his “fools” was the president of China, Chiang Kai-shek, whom he called “Peanut.” He was one of the great characters of World War II, who earned the nickname “Vinegar Joe” a hundred times over. He was tough, blunt, hard, and yet a man of unchallenged integrity—and a fighter who marched with his men and allowed himself nothing they did not have. Those who really knew him loved him; his staff knew that his leathery face and sharp tongue protected a man who worried about his troops and felt a ...

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