World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF ASIA: Last Gap

Only the 60-mile gap around Kweilin stood between the Japs and their immediate strategic objectives in China—a continuous 2,000-mile front and communications system from Siberia to the South China Sea. Chungking, desperately hoping to make Kweilin the Stalingrad of Free China, worked mightily to stave off disaster.

The city's commander, General Pai Chung-hsi, one of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek's most trusted aides, was receiving China's pitiful best in reinforcements, arms and food. Kweilin and its strange hills, like inverted ice cream cones, began to bristle with improvised defenses: coolies dug broad trenches in the city's streets and vacant lots....

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