Back at an actual keyboard, so I can type my thoughts on the KMT.
They did not have much fight left at the end of 1941 but that was because of all the hard fighting they had done in the previous years. Their war began in 1937, it started bad and only went worse. By the time of PH the Japanese had so much more firepower and better logistics that they could win any battle the KMT was foolish enough to enter. So one can’t balme them for being cautious.
Correct me if I’m wrong but it is my impression that the USA didn’t realize how bad their situation was and that they didn’t correct the USA’s wrong impression.
Now to something I know more about, the BCI. It was a bit of a backwater but reopeneing the Burma road had a high priority. And you’d imagine that the KMT would enthusiastically support that! Yes, it would cot them some men and equipment in the short run but once open every weapon lost would be replaced several times over. The KMT would benefit immensely from it.
The American GOC in the BCI was Stilwell. He needed the participation of NRA units to open the road. Chiang again and again promised the NRA’s support but the NRA almost always arrived not at all or late or fought most cautiously. Why? Because Chiang went behind Stillwell’s back and countermanded the original orders. Stillwell figured that out quickly and you can guess what kind of impression he got about the KMT in general and Chiang in particular. And I guess by 1944 plenty of other US military leaders had also realized that the US could not expect much from the KMT. So why do even more for them?
With Mac Arthur and the invasion of the PI out of the picture the US could have concentrated on the Central Pacific. On the other hand, they already had taken the Marianas by the summer of 1944 but could they have let the significant SWPA forces sit around doing next to nothing while the war was still going on? Probably not, so let’s say they decide to invade Formosa close in on Japan from the south too.
Wold that have helped the KMT during the war? And to what degree could the US have supported the KMT from Formosa after the war? Until the end of the war there would have been a very strong US presence on Formosa. AFAIK when the demobilisation began a lot of weapons and equipment were not brought back to the USA. The KMT could have gotten its hands on much of that I guess.
But how much would that have helped?