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WAR IN CHINA: 400,000 Trapped?

2 minute read
TIME

Back last week from the safety of British Hong Kong to often-bombed Hankow sped Chinese Premier Dr. H. H. Kung. There he met Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek whom Chinese newspapers had reported personally leading 400,000 troops against the Japanese in North China. Generalissimo Chiang and his German military adviser, General (retired) Baron Alexander von Falkenhausen, chatted optimistically with correspondents, while they watched several newly arrived Soviet battle planes take the air against Japanese bombers.

In North China, meanwhile, the 400,000 Chinese troops were holding off the Japanese advance in the Suchow sector with some success. Large Japanese forces were then found to be sweeping around their flank some distance inland, and neutral experts debated whether the 400,000 would be trapped, routed, or might succeed in withdrawing in good order. Although the Japanese flanking movement came mostly down along the Peiping-Hankow Railway, Chinese guerilla troops recaptured last week a 75-mile section of that railway in territory nominally “conquered” by Japan. Gloomy Chinese blew up the longest steel bridge in China to keep Japanese from crossing the Yellow River at Chengchow. In Shansi Province, to the West, Japanese columns were reportedly closing in on Linfeng, temporary provincial capital, which is some 60 miles north of the river.

To increase China’s food supplies and also curtail the production of opium, Generalissimo Chiang last week directed the governors of five provinces to convert poppy fields into farm lands.

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