9th June 1943, Reuters, Chungking
Changsha is quickly becoming a city coming under attack. First the assault came from the skies and the bomb bay doors of the IJAAF. Then the IJA joined the fray. A small recon unit cut off the railway to Kweilin and Hengyang to the West of the city on the 7th. Chinese infantry contained this weak thrust awaiting reinforcement. Supporting them were B-25’s of the USAAF. Transferred in from Burma this reporter was taken to the frontline along with other members of the International Press to see the Allied effort against Japan. 15 bombers had carried a low level bombing attack on advancing Japanese units yesterday. The scene that greeted our arrival, some 12 hours after the attack, was one of carnage. The smell of burning oil and petrol still hung in the air along with a too familiar smell of charred meat, only this time it wasn’t a burger on the barbecue. Dark plumes of black, oily smoke arose from the plains marking the funeral pyre of an armoured vehicle. 13 wrecks lay in front of us. Weak skinned armoured cars that had virtually disintegrated under the pounding of 500lb bombs dropped by the Mitchells. Grinning Kuomintang troops smiled toothy grins for the photographer and the compulsory unit photo with a captured enemy flag was taken amid the backdrop of destroyed Japanese vehicles. Morale was up and many a Chinese soldier was seen to give a thumbs up for Uncle Sam! In further news reports were also coming in from the South of the city were an enemy probing attack in Brigade strength was held back by units of the 30th Group Army.