Foreign News: Shore Battery

Early one morning last week, the 1,470-ton British sloop Amethyst steamed slowly up the Yangtze toward Nanking. On her starboard hand, massed for the assault across the river, lay the Communist armies. The Amethyst, with a 17-ft. Union Jack painted on each side of her grey steel hull, plowed the yellow-silted waters with assurance, a frail symbol of waning Western power in China. The Amethyst was to stand by the Chinese capital to protect British citizens. She never made it.

Near Rose Island, 60 miles below Nanking, two artillery shells from the Red-held north...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!