January 9, 1942 – News From Radio China – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
The Battle of Wuhan, popularly known to the Chinese as the Defense of Wuhan, and to the Japanese as the Capture of Wuhan, was a large-scale battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Engagements took place across vast areas of Anhui, Henan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Hubei provinces over a period of four and a half months. This battle was the longest, largest and arguably the most significant battle in the early stages of the Second Sino-Japanese War. More than one million National Revolutionary Army troops from the Fifth and Ninth War Zone were put under the direct command of Chiang Kai-shek, defending Wuhan from the Central China Area Army of the Imperial Japanese Army led by Shunroku Hata. Chinese forces were also supported by Soviet Volunteer Group, a group of volunteer pilots from Soviet Air Forces.
Although the battle ended with the eventual capture of Wuhan by Japanese forces, it resulted in heavy casualties on both sides, as high as 1.2 million combined by some estimates. With the Japanese suffering their heaviest losses of the war, they decided to divert their attention to the north, prolonging the war until the attack on Pearl Harbor. The end of the battle signaled the beginning of a strategic stalemate in the war, shifting from large pitched battles to localized struggles.
This very rare and unusual broadcast comes by way of Radio China shortwave. And as such was prone to all the sonic defects and dim reception inherent in that technology at the time. Shortwave was not enjoyed by the mass audience as much as it was by other news organizations, other governments and dedicated enthusiasts who had the ability to receive these by way of the expensive equipment needed to listen to these broadcasts.
Here is a fifteen minute newscast in English, as it was broadcast on January 9, 1942.