Front our Russian Correspondent For over a month correspondents in Hankow have been sending accounts about the Japanese reverses sustained on the 200mile front of the Lunghai railway. Indeed, having received considerable war material and assembled great forces, Marshal Chiang Kai-Shek attacked the important town of Taierchwang on the Grand Canal, terminus of a side line of the Tientzin-Pukow railway. There has been bitter fighting around the town and on both sides of the main line. The town of Tanchang on the extreme east of the battle-front passed five times from hand to hand and it would seem that finally the Japanese, having sustained heavy losses, gave up the attempt to take Suchow, the junction of the two main railways, by a frontal attack.
Inequality of Forces In estimating the results of this operation it is important to take into consideration the inequality of the forces of both combatants. Whilst the Chinese say that they have 800,000 men on the Shantung front, the Northern Japanese Army is but 125,000 strong. It is this very inadequate force which put up so stubborn a resistance throughout six weeks. It had received a certain support from General Hata's Southern Army occupying Nankin: a force of some 50,000 based on Pengpu, a hundred miles north-west of Nan.kin, on the Tientzin-Pukow railway, has been pressing on the Chinese from the south, yet faced by 400,000 Chinese such a movement could not be very effective. The arrival of five new Japanese divisions has enabled the commanders of both armies to strike a new blow and, faithful to their habitual tactics, they have undertaken a deep flanking movement, threatening to cut off the whole Chinese army. The " pincer-movement " of General Terauchi's Northern Army from Tsining towards Kweiteh on the Lunghai railway, if successful, will compel the Chinese to evacuate Suchow and lose the fruits of their recent victories. This movement is supported by a vigorous move of the Southern Army from Mencheng to Yungcheng, 100 miles south-east of Kweiteh.