World Battlefronts: BATTLE OF CHINA: Warning in Hainan

If the Japanese had full control anywhere, it ought to have been in Hainan, the 160-by-90-mile island off China's south coast. Tough, bandy-legged Japanese marines seized Hainan in February 1939 and turned it into a training school. In the surf and on the island's beaches Japanese troops were taught tactics that helped them to win the Philippines, Malaya and the East Indies. Hainan was the main base for the invasion of French Indo-China; it supplied other offensives in the South Pacific. A big naval base is said to be under way there.

But last week it became clear that in three...

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