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The Advance of the Japanese Beyond Kuyung

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sdkl"The advance of the Japanese beyond Kuyung was the signal for an orgy of burning by

Chinese troops," described Durdin on China's military strategy known as the "scorched earth"

policy. The principle behind it was not to leave anything that could be useful to the conquerors.

As they beat a retreat from Jurong (Kuyun), about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of

Nanking, Chinese troops apparently set torches to not only buildings but also "trees, bamboo

groves and underbrush."

Within the distance of 16 miles (26 kilometers) between Tangshan and Nanking, the

New York Times reporter saw whole villages burned to ruins, including barracks, mansions in

Mausoleum Park, and numerous other buildings. Durdin estimated the loss caused by

"Chinese military incendiarism" at $20,000,000 to $30,000,000.21

Inside the city wall the Chinese troops continued to set fire to shops and houses. Even

the most ornate building in Nanking, the Ministry of Communication, which, according to a

correspondent for the Times (London), cost Ј250,000, was set ablaze. Though not in Nanking

at the time, the Times reporter later interviewed foreign eyewitnesses, who said that the

building was filled with munitions and the explosions caused a "tremendous racket." 22

McDaniel also recorded the finest edifice in Nanking blowing up and blazing away in his

diary on Dec. 12.23

City under Projectiles

Since the beginning of the siege on Dec. 10, Nanking had been caught in the rain of

bombs and shrapnel. "From a point of vantage today I watched shell after shell burst into

21 Durdin, "Japanese Atrocities Marked Fall of Nanking After Chinese Command Fled," the New York Times,

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