CHINA: Splice the Mainbrace

Ever since her duel with Chinese Communist shore batteries off Rose Island (TIME, May 2), the shell-pocked British frigate Amethyst had been blockaded 140 miles up the Yangtze River from Shanghai, with 86 men of her original crew of 192 still aboard. The Communists kept 105-mm. howitzers constantly trained on the Amethyst at a murderous 400-yard range. The colonel commanding the batteries had warned the Amethyst's captain: "If you move, I'll sink you instantly."

As spring wore into a cruelly hot summer, the Amethyst's Lieut. Commander John S. Kerans faced mounting difficulties. The heat aboard the motionless steel vessel frequently drove...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

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 TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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