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CHINESE ESCAPING FROM ENEMY TRAP (Real Time + 70 Years)
Microfiche-New York Times archives | 5/17/38 | Hugh Byas

Posted on 05/17/2008 6:43:00 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson

CHINESE ESCAPING FROM ENEMY TRAP

Japanese Report Foe Fleeing to West ‘Like Avalanche’ in Lung-Hai Region

DEFENDERS SHOW SPIRIT

Deny Railway Has Been Cut – Assert 27,000 Japanese Have Been Slain in Shansi

By HUGH BYAS
Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
TOKYO, Tuesday, May 17. – The Chinese have begun a general retreat, according to the Tokyo Asahi’s correspondent with front-line Japanese troops in the Lung-Hai Railway region. Heretofore no large Chinese troop movements had been observed during daylight, he reports, but since yesterday morning “the enemy has been fleeing westward like an avalanche.”

The question now engrossing the Japanese high command is how far General Juichi Terauchi’s enveloping strategy will result in the destruction or capture of Chinese armies and how far large bodies of Chinese troops may again escape, disorganized but numerically important and capable of reorganization.

General Terauchi, the Japanese commander in chief, has unexpectedly arrived at the front. As soon as he arrived he leaped from his plane and began studying a map with air officers who had been reconnoitering Chinese movement.

Japanese Disappointed

Traces of disappointment may be read between the lines of the messages dispatched by correspondents attached to the Japanese headquarters at Peiping. These dispatches perceptibly modified the earlier confidence that the Chinese armies would be trapped like rats in a bag.

The great battle that had been expected was being converted into a pursuit of retreating Chinese, who, according to a Peiping correspondent, have been escaping to the west and southwest since Saturday.

The Asabi correspondent at the front interviewed General Terauchi yesterday as he landed. Steps were not available, and officers looked around for a box to assist the commander to alight, but General Terauchi jumped out and said to the correspondent:

“Hello, you here? Have you got a good story?”

“I am waiting for the biggest story of all, the capture of Suchow,” said the correspondent.

“Suchow is not a difficult problem,” said General Terauchi. “Whenever Japanese troops are ready it will be taken. It is our tactics to smash at one blow any force that must be smashed.”

General Terauchi immediately turned to air officers and began questioning them about Chinese movements.

Victory ‘a Matter of Hours’
By DOUGLAS ROBERTSON
Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
PEIPING, China, Tuesday, May 17. – The Japanese forces, encircling the Chinese in the Suchow region with right and left flanking movements, were making numerous advances, it was said last night by a Japanese military spokesman, who added that junctions of the Japanese forces moving south and detachments advancing north were only a matter of hours.

A number of foreigners yesterday boarded trains here for Suchow, as communications officials said service was continuing with no more than the usual danger of aerial bombings.

The Chinese spokesman also denied last night that the Lung-Hai had been cut east of Suchow, as formerly reported. He said that the town of Sinanchen taken by the Japanese was not the Sinanchen on the railway but another town thirty miles southward of the rail line. The spokesman announced that the Chinese were making steady advances in their general counter-offensive on the South Shantung front, where Japanese had weakened their forces somewhat.

Capture of Hofei, about eighty miles westward of Nanking, was denied by the Chinese spokesman, though he admitted a battle was going on around that city.

The spokesman at a press conference yesterday gave a detailed review of the Shansi situation. He said that in the last month the Chinese had regained control of thirty-four counties in Shansi and had nullified virtually all the gains of the big Japanese offensive in March. He said the Japanese had lost in men killed between March 7 and May 10 more than 27,000. No figures on the number of wounded were given. The Japanese strength in Shansi was now said to be three divisions, which “will all soon be wiped out.”

The spokesman expressed the opinion that a Japanese drive on Hankow was now impossible because the forces were insufficient, with the Chinese position still strong in the Suchow area. Chinese military officials generally were not pessimistic over the recent reverses, although Hankow civilians were visibly depressed.

An expert foreign military observer, who returned yesterday from Suchow, which he had left five days previously, said the Chinese morale was still high and that considerable optimism was still justified.

Prepare to Bombard Suchow
SHANGHAI, Tuesday, May 17 (AP). – About 200,000 Japanese converged from all sides today on Suchow, with one force of the invaders poised for a direct attack on the vital railway junction.

Japanese troops fighting from the southwest reported they were within ten miles of Suchow, which is 330 miles northwest of Shanghai, and that it was “only a matter of hours” before they would unlimber their guns on the city itself. The commander of this force said the Chinese defenses about the strategic city were clearly visible from this newly won position on a low mountain range near the Suchow-Siaohsien highway.

Inside the Japanese movement were an estimated 240,000 Chinese defenders seeking to stave off the fall of the nerve center of the Central China war front. Spread out over a forty-mile radius were the Japanese, whose spokesman declared the Chinese must now “surrender or perish.”

Sharply challenging them, Chinese Army spokesmen in Hankow said the Japanese were still “remote both in strength and distance” from the east-west Lung-Hai Railway, which crosses the north-south Tientsin-Pukow rail line at Suchow. The Chinese denied flatly Japanese reports that the Lung-Hai had been cut, although the spokesman said the defenders were “fighting with their backs to the railway.”

Japanese advices said the Lung-Hai was severed at Tangshan, west of Suchow, and at Sinanchen to the East.

The Chinese said there had been no defections from their ranks in Suchow and that their forces there would “continue the fight to a finish.”

A second Japanese converging column reported it was eight miles southeast of Taierhchwang, thirty-five miles northeast Suchow. The Japanese made no mention, however, of recapture of that famous village, which the Chinese won back April 6 in handing the Japanese war machine its first major defeat in modern times.

Farther to the east Japanese were reported driving south to fill in gaps between Suchow and Sinanchang on the Lung-Hai Railway.

The force that slashed its way within ten miles of Suchow on the southwest earlier had captured the town of Tangshan, fifty miles west of the strategic rail junction.

Japanese spokesmen said their commanders used an extremely difficult enveloping offensive movement requiring precise coordinated action on widely separated fronts to gain the advantage which they said they now have. These movements, they said, were against Chinese defenses that had the advantage of “every natural military feature” in positions and terrain, but the defenders failed to use them.

Yesterday Japanese dispatches said troops fighting toward the Lung-Hai Railway from the north and south converged near Tangshan and then fought their way eastward along the railway to Hwangkow, only thirty miles from Suchow. They also said that Pihsien, long besieged city north-west of Suchow, had been captured and the Chinese defenders driven across the Grand Canal.

South of Suchow, along the Tientsin-Pukow Railway, the Japanese said yesterday they had surrounded and were besieging Kuchen while the main body continued up the railroad to assist in the assault on Suchow. About 20,000 Chinese troops under command of General Liu Ju-Min were fighting to prevent the Japanese from closing the avenue of possible retreat near Tangshan, it was said.

Meanwhile foreign sources in Shanghai heard that Paoting, important city in Central Hopeh Province, had been surrounded and besieged by 20,000 Chinese troops and that fighting was going on in the suburbs. Ten Americans were said to be in Paoting.

$7,000 in Quinine Sent to China
A million quinine tablets, worth $7,000 will be shipped to China on the Penrith Castle of the Barber Line, sailing tomorrow, for distribution to refugees threatened with a malaria epidemic in Central China. The medicine was purchased with funds collected by the American Bureau for Medical Aid to China and was addressed to Mme. Chiang Kai-shek to be distributed under her supervision.

VISIT OF JAPANESE STIRS CHINESE COURT

Plan to Take Over Settlement Tribunal Is Suspected

Wireless to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
SHANGHAI, May 16. – What is believed to be the first move in a Japanese plan to assume control of the international Settlement’s Chinese court, established in 1928 by the foreign consular body under the Mixed Court Rendition Agreement, was seen late this morning when three Japanese officials visited the court compound and all nine courtrooms where cases involving Chinese are simultaneously heard. The Settlement Police Commissioner stationed extra guards around the compound and placed barbed-wire barricades at all strategic entrances.

The Japanese officials, two of whom were sent to Shanghai from Tokyo, included a judge, a procurator and a representative of the Shanghai consulate. They listened intently to trials in various courtrooms and asked many questions relevant to civil and criminal procedure.

Their visit climaxed persistent rumors that the Japanese-sponsored reformed government in Nanking was completing preparations to seize control of the court. It is understood in the most reliable foreign circles that the Shanghai Municipal Council is prepared to resist strenuously any Japanese attempt to control the court. The Council will even move the court personnel south of Soochow Creek and operate directly with the authority of the consular body under entirely reorganized procedure, the same foreign circles declare. This would mean virtual discarding of the Chinese Criminal and Civil Codes, substituting Municipal Council regulations.

SOVIET REJECTS PROTEST

Japanese Complaint Against Speech Brings ‘Amazement’

MOSCOW, May 16 (AP). – Soviet Russian authorities today announced the rejection of a Japanese protest against a May Day speech by Navy Commissar Peter Alexandrovich Smirnoff.

Japanese Ambassador Mamoru Shigemitsu delivered the note last Wednesday, protesting what it called “slanders against Japan” in an address by the Commissar in connection with a May Day parade at Vladivostok.

Tokyo charged that Smirnoff had said that “Japanese imperialists” were attacking China “like blood-thirsty mad dogs.”

The Soviet Foreign Office replied with an expression of “amazement” at the protest, since Japan, as the Foreign Office asserted, had been guilty of “a systematic campaign of slander and war propaganda” against Russia in recent years – a campaign in which the Foreign Office said Japanese official frequently had taken part.

Boris Stomoniakoff, Vice Commissar of Foreign Affairs, said the government could not consider the Japanese protest “until the Japanese Government changes its attitude toward war propaganda against the Soviet Union and especially puts a stop to participation of officials in it.”

U.S. PROTESTS ON NANKING

Grew Asks Tokyo to Reopen the City to American Residents

TOKYO, Tuesday, May 127 (AP). – Joseph C. Grew, the United States Ambassador, protested to Foreign Minister Koki Hirota today against the continued refusal to allow Americans to return to their homes and businesses in Nanking, China.

The Americans evacuated during the Japanese push into Nanking last December. The Japanese control transportation from Shanghai and elsewhere to Nanking and thus far have refused permission to foreigners to go there.


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: milhist; realtime

1 posted on 05/17/2008 6:43:00 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
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To: fredhead; GOP_Party_Animal; r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; ...
There are several related short articles tacked on at the end.

CougarGA7 said on the May 11 thread:

Also starting around this time is what was called the Japanese Spring Offensives in China.

On May 10th 1938 Japan captured the port city of Xiamen. As spring progressed the Japanese move on to capture Xuzhou on the 20th, Kaifeng, on 6 June, and Ankang on 12 June.

These stories reflect how the spring offensive is rolling along.

The times apparently has both Japanese- and Chinese-speaking correspondents sending back news. I'll bet it is still difficult to get accurate information. Both sides are spinning the situation to their own benefit and communications are probably dicey anyway.

2 posted on 05/17/2008 6:50:45 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

This was seventy years ago, of course, not seventy years from now. Title should read “-70”.


3 posted on 05/17/2008 6:53:08 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
Have you kept a list of your "Real Time + 70 Years" threads? The ones labeled that way are easy to find, but I remember a few with different additions to the title.
4 posted on 05/17/2008 6:57:18 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Pray for Rattendaemmerung: the final mutually destructive battle between Obama and Hillary in Denver)
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To: Petronski

You are of course correct that it should by -70 yet until I saw your post I figured it was 70 years prior.

That said, I found the articles to be extremely interesting, especially the part where the Japanese protest to the comments of the Russian who said the Japanese were attacking like “blood-thirsty mad dogs.”

That was of course putting it extremely mildly given what was later learned of Chinese atrocities against the Chinese.


5 posted on 05/17/2008 7:10:36 AM PDT by gogov
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
Thanks so much for posting these. I found them to be fascinating.
6 posted on 05/17/2008 7:17:58 AM PDT by gogov
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To: KarlInOhio; CougarGA7
Have you kept a list of your "Real Time + 70 Years" threads?

No. I should probably do that on my home page. CougarGA7 said something about keeping monthly lists, but I don't know if he did or not.

7 posted on 05/17/2008 7:41:19 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

Oh come on now! Everyone knows we dropped the bombs on Japan because they were merely defending their culture and way of life! (Extreme sarcasm). Yes, the controversial Smithsonian exhibit was actually going to depict the Japanese as “defending their way of life.” What it wasn’t going to depict was that their “way of life” apparently including subjugating other peoples and massacring them. Like the Chinese at the time.

But times do change, don’t they? I doubt the Chinese have any real fear of this happening today.


8 posted on 05/17/2008 10:06:56 AM PDT by henkster (Obama '08: A 3rd world state, here & now!)
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To: KarlInOhio

I have now bookmarked all my RT+70 posts (I think). So they are listed as links on my profile. The problem is they are in alphabetical order and mixed in with all the other articles I have bookmarked over the years. Maybe there is a way to manipulate the links into related categories.


9 posted on 05/17/2008 12:06:36 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
Hi Homer - Almost all of the 'news reporting' from this era is complete manufactured horse muffins. The 'reporters' were given an assignment to make Peanut Head look as good as possible to justify US support form his 'efforts' - actually his lack of efforts was more correct.
I heartily recommend the book Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945 by Barbara W. Tuchman for the most accurate rendering of what was really going on during this period.

It gives explanation for a lot of todays political set-up in the China/Taiwan area.

I live here and its on my desk for constant reference. Its also a very well written book that has stood the scrutiny of time in its accuracy.
10 posted on 05/17/2008 9:08:32 PM PDT by Tainan (Talk is cheap. Silence is golden. All I got is brass...lotsa brass.)
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To: Tainan
I heartily recommend the book Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945 by Barbara W. Tuchman for the most accurate rendering of what was really going on during this period.

Amazon has it for $13.40. I will order it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip. If I am going to be posting articles for some time to come it is important that I have good sources for info on what was really going on. That helps make the exercise enlightening.

11 posted on 05/17/2008 10:09:02 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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To: Tainan

Who is Peanut Head?


12 posted on 05/17/2008 10:10:20 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
That was General Stilwells 'secret code name' for Chiang Kai-shek. He did not intend for it to an endearing term of affection.
Chiang played everyone against each other to get them, meaning other countries, to fight the war against the Japanese, and later his one-time allies the communists, for him. 'Vinegar Joe', as he was known among his detractors and admirers was none the diplomat in his dealing with Chiang.
13 posted on 05/18/2008 1:23:45 AM PDT by Tainan (Talk is cheap. Silence is golden. All I got is brass...lotsa brass.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
"I heartily recommend the book Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945 by Barbara W. Tuchman for the most accurate rendering of what was really going on during this period.

Amazon has it for $13.40. I will order it tomorrow. Thanks for the tip."

Tuchman's book

Tuchman is one of the best of the best historians. Highly recommended. Check out the reviews on this book! From one:

"Stilwell was generally contemptuous and disrespectful toward those with whom he disagreed (mostly Chiang Kai-Shek). This was a source of irritation to FDR, who felt that Chiang Kai-Shek was a head of state, and ought to be accorded the level of respect due one in that position. Stilwell did not see it that way. He constantly referred to Chiang in his diary as "Peanut," or "Hickory Head." Several times he referred to FDR himself as "Rubber Legs." The Japanese he called "buck-toothed bastards." "

You gotta love that Stilwell. ;-)

14 posted on 05/18/2008 8:11:30 AM PDT by BroJoeK (A little historical perspective....)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson; 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten; 359Henrie; 6323cd; 75thOVI; abb; ACelt; Adrastus; ...
To all: please ping me to threads that are relevant to the MilHist list (and/or) please add the keyword "MilHist" to the appropriate thread. Thanks in advance.

Please FREEPMAIL indcons if you want on or off the "Military History (MilHist)" ping list.

15 posted on 05/18/2008 12:38:21 PM PDT by indcons
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To: gogov
You are of course correct that it should by -70

Based on my unscientific review of posts on this topic, I would say you and Petronski are in the minority on the matter of +/- 70 years. Adding weight to the argument is the fact that the Plus posters also have something insightful or otherwise substantive to say about the events under discussion, whereas Petronski never betrays the slightest understanding or interest in the history of the mid-twentieth century. To put it another way, the smart money is on Real Time Plus 70 Years.

16 posted on 05/18/2008 4:32:03 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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To: BroJoeK; Tainan
Tuchman is one of the best of the best historians.

Based on her titles she has a lot of depth and breadth. I didn't remember her as author of Guns of August. I do recall being captivated by that book when I read it many years ago. At any rate, Stilwell and the American Experience in China 1911-1945 will now be coming my way.

17 posted on 05/18/2008 4:36:00 PM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson; abb; bert; Milhous; indcons; LS
Almost as notable as these stories, from the Duranty era, is the NYT writer's name: Hugh Byas
18 posted on 05/18/2008 5:03:09 PM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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To: Petronski

This is getting old bud.


19 posted on 05/18/2008 8:46:45 PM PDT by CougarGA7 (Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.)
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To: KarlInOhio

I’ve been bookmarking them. I think at the end of the year I might post a thread that has all of Homer’s 1938 links all together like a year in review.

I can send you the links if you want.


20 posted on 05/18/2008 8:49:16 PM PDT by CougarGA7 (Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.)
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To: CougarGA7

Yeah, the same mistake over and over.


21 posted on 05/19/2008 7:52:59 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

No. I mean you. You think that’s a mistake. We get it. And no one cares. Let it go.


22 posted on 05/19/2008 8:12:49 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.)
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To: CougarGA7

It is a mistake.


23 posted on 05/19/2008 8:16:37 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

So what. Let it go.


24 posted on 05/19/2008 8:18:57 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.)
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To: CougarGA7

Accuracy is important.


25 posted on 05/19/2008 8:21:32 AM PDT by Petronski (Scripture & Tradition must be accepted & honored w/equal sentiments of devotion & reverence. CCC 82)
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To: Petronski

Fine. Now let it go. You made your point and you dont add anything to these threads.


26 posted on 05/19/2008 8:23:11 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson

Since this thread is focused on the Pacific theater it’s a good place to mention this (I don’t have an exact date, just month)

It was in May of 1938 that Hideki Tojo left his post as Chief of Police Affairs for the Kwantung Army (the Kempeitai) to become Vice-Minister of War. This post took him out of China and back to Japan. By October 1941 he was Prime Minister of Japan.


27 posted on 05/19/2008 9:09:15 AM PDT by CougarGA7 (Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.)
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