CHINA: Railroad Game

A year before the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese war, the Chinese completed the great Canton-Hankow Railway, linking South and Middle China—1,095 kilometers of arterial steel. To delay the Japanese advance, China's defenders wrecked much of the precious railroad. They dynamited one or two major bridges, collapsed five tunnels by exploding TNT-laden trains inside them, sent 95% of the line's equipment rolling off into the Kweichow gorges, where it still rusts. The Japanese never fully repaired this damage, never ran a train between Canton and Hankow.

Early in 1946, with the Japanese gone,...

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