CHINA: Defend the Graveyard

"Shanghai will be the Communists' graveyard," read posters slapped on store fronts throughout the city last week. "Sacrifice everything to defend Shanghai," exhorted others. But outside the besieged city the Nationalist defense perimeter shrank slowly. From the east, Communist armies moved to within shell range of the city without meeting any real opposition. One night, for the first time in China's civil war, a Communist shell whined into Shanghai's heart.

As Red columns moved into nearby truck-farming areas, fresh vegetables disappeared from the city's open-air markets. Shanghai's fishing fleet lay idle at the docks. The price of yellow fish, one...

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