793.94/13335: Telegram

The First Secretary of Embassy in China ( Salisbury ) to the Secretary of State

392. Embassy’s 382, June 20, 3 p.m.80

Japanese military plans appear to have been further altered because of (a) floods from the Yellow River and (b) flooding of the Yangtze near Taihu, 40 miles west of Anking. Following the abandoning of the attack on Chengchow preparatory to an advance down the Pinghan Railway toward Hankow, a part of the Japanese troops on the Lunghai front began moving eastward and then south to Nanking to be incorporated in the forces advancing up the Yangtze. The number of troops thus reorientated is unknown. Another part, number [Page 206] also unknown, is now moving northward across the Yellow River, the general presumption being that a renewed attack in Shansi is foreshadowed and that an advance may be made on Sian.
Flood waters from the Yangtze near Taihu appear to have impelled the Japanese to direct their land advance along the southern rather than the northern bank of the river where the immediate objective is the Matang barrier and whence a drive will probably be attempted via Nanchang to Changsha and then north along Hankow-Canton Railway. Stiff Chinese resistance and some Chinese success in counter-attacks near Matang are reported and Chinese reports claim also continuing aerial success in bombing Japanese naval vessels below the Matang barrier and in bombing Wuhu and Anking air fields. The presaged land attack on Nanchang is reportedly being preceded by heavy aerial bombardments in which the Japanese claim success.
Repeated to Embassy at Hankow, Nanking, Consul at Shanghai to Tokyo.
  1. Not printed.