26th February, 1927 : Two thousand British troops, supported by artillery, moved into defensive positions around the borders of the Shanghai international settlement. A critical stage has now been reached in the civil war, in which the Nationalists are battling it out with the Peking Government for the control of China. Marshal Sun Chuang-fang’s defeated Peking army is now retreating towards Shanghai, having been overrun by the nationalist forces of General Chiang Kai-Shek.

Major-General John Duncan arrives tomorrow with Colonel Viscount Gort. He will find the British already in line. Alongside them are Italian units and 300 French. The Royal navy has 22 vessels in Chinese waters.

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