CHINA: Crescendo

A million men surged around Suchow in the greatest battle in China's history. A Communist victory would open the way to Nanking and probably seal the fate of the reeling Nationalist regime. A government victory might buy enough time for Chiang's harried forces to recover from their recent string of shattering defeats—and for effective aid to arrive from the West.

Suchow, junction point of the south-north rail line from Nanking and the east-west Lunghai line to the coast, is a drab, unlovely city, protected by a rim of well-fortified, rocky hills. By week's...

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