World War: FAR EASTERN FRONT: The Battle of Rice

All last week men killed each other in northeastern Hunan. They were fighting for no new victories to write on regimental records. They were fighting simply for rice.

Hunan—a round-bellied province that hangs like a bubble suspended from the lake country of the middle Yangtze* is famous for the most beautiful women, the most peppery food, the most savage fighting peasantry in China. More than anything else it is famous as the rice-bowl province of China. Its lush wet fields produce nearly 10% of Free China's stupendous annual 47-million-ton rice harvest.

All through August, under the blue skies of Central China,...

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