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Foreign News: Recalled

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“I feel sure of China gaining a final victory. Japan will fail both in war and peace.”

With these words 60-year-old General Alexander von Falkenhausen left Hankow, China’s temporary capital, for Germany last week. With him went 20 or more other German military advisers. No secret was it that General von Falkenhausen had no desire to leave China, that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had used all means to persuade him to remain, that the German military commission departed only after peremptory orders had been issued from Berlin. It was reported that in “a farewell message to the Chinese troops, General von Falkenhausen declared undying sympathy with the Chinese Army, that Berlin sent him a strong reprimand for saying so.

Ever since the year-old Japanese invasion of China began, Japan has resented the fact that the seasoned veteran, General von Falkenhausen, German chief of staff of the Turkish Armies during the World War, was advising the stubborn if not wholly successful Chinese military strategists. Japan is an anti-Communist ally of Adolf Hitler’s Germany and Benito Mussolini’s Italy. She felt that Germans should not aid China, well knowing that the Germans constituted to a considerable extent the brains of the Chinese Army. Two months ago Germany obliged her Far Eastern ally by recalling the commission. When Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek showed strong reluctance to release the Germans from their contracts, Germany recalled Ambassador Oskar Trautmann from Hankow, hinted he might not be allowed to return.

Departure of the commission ended nine years of military association between German militarists and China’s Central Government. Ousting his Russian military advisers in 1927, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek first bought the services of Lieut.-General George Wetzell, who was followed by General von Falkenhausen. For a brief period General Hans von Seeckt, former commander of the German Republic’s Reichswehr, served as a super-adviser. Under German advice, Prussian discipline—including the goosestep—was introduced into Chinese crack divisions. Most important to Germany was the fact that the mission persuaded China to buy German military equipment.

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