YANGTSE INCIDENT: The Story of  by Lawrence Earl


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Of a 300 foot frigate and her men who were caught between the Nationalists and the Chinese People's Liberation Army in April, 1949, and of their 101 days of imprisonment the author makes a stirring day by day report which comes close to the adventurous account of Ill Met Here, however, instead of a mission is an innocent ship which took 53 hits, had 23 of her 183 dead and dying and 31 wounded fromCommunist battery placements on the shore of the Yangtse River. Identified, and with an abortive rescue from the who tried to get her unstuck from the mud and escort her to the open sea, the 's story, from official records and personal reports, takes in the actions of her officers, ratings and the Chinese attached to her personnel, the efforts to contact her and bring medical aid to her wounded, the stories of those who were evacuated and the final outcome of their ordeal. There is the successful arrival of a medical officer and the uninvited panel of civilian Chinese who sought part of his miraculous cures; the boredom that attended each hope of change and/or rescue; the contacts with Nationalists as well as Communists; the typhoon that preceded the tense -- but successful -- attempt to breakout of the impossible conditions under which the ship's company existed, and the proud run in July to safety. Among the footnotes to contemporary history, this adds to the record of disasters suffered for a do or die finale. Not as school boyish as Ill Met but still the Britannia of the cool, calm disdain of danger. Disaster and death, but conquer we must stuff of less than the usual Britishly reserved presentation. Hypertension.

Publisher: Knopf