By William R. Braisted
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Additional resources for Diplomats in Blue: U.S. Naval Officers in China, 1922-1933
37 It is unclear why Connor thought he could not consult with Dunlap with regard to their respective plans. According to Dunlap, the legation guards had long possessed detailed plans for defense of the legations for which foreign male civilians could also be called up. Dunlap assumed that Connor had instructions to cooperate with him just as his orders from the Commandant of the Marine Corps directed him to cooperate with the Army. Questions of cooperation and command, nevertheless, were referred to the Diplomatic Corps by General Yoshioka without so much as a notice to Colonel Dunlap.
Claiming that he alone of the Tientsin commandants did not possess authority extending to his nation’s legation guard, Connor argued that he could not cooperate “to the fullest extent” with the other foreign commandants if the scope of his command differed from theirs. ” Connor also asked his superiors in Washington whether the new united American command during an emergency should be placed under the direction of the senior commandant at Tientsin. The senior foreign commander at Tientsin was then Major General K.
Connor and Dunlap apparently also differed on probable strategy in a conflict in North China: whereas Connor expected to hold the railway between Tientsin and Peking against Boxer-like fanatics by occupying key positions, Dunlap believed the railway would be interrupted by unmanageable warlord armies as in 1922 or by a concerted Chinese national drive to expel all foreigners. Dunlap was affronted that Connor apparently had inspected the defenses of the legation guards without notifying the Marine commander beforehand.