CHINA: Cruel Generosity

Along a battered railway in North Shansi, where the year's last tasseled kaoliang still stands unreaped, the biggest, bloodiest battle in a year of China's civil war has just ended. A Government army, rolling to the relief of Tatung, effected a junction with a column from the long-besieged city.

The battle had begun in early August, when the kaoliang was still green and Communists encircled the strategic coal and railroad center. For 45 days Tatung held out against assault, until the column from Suiyuan broke the siege ring. Some 50,000 fighting men died or suffered wounds.

The victor of Tatung was...

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