A Letter From The Publisher, Dec. 20, 1948

During the crisis stage of the battle for Suchow last month, Fred Gruin, TIME Inc.'s Nanking bureau chief, was faced with the prospect of either getting a correspondent and a photographer to the front for an eyewitness account of the fighting or confessing to his editors in New York that he did not know the score. Both the Nationalists and the Communists were claiming the victory.

At first, it looked as if the only way to get to Suchow was on foot. The Communists had cut the railroad line; no civilian airlines were operating;...

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