China establishing a new nation in its western regions after fleeing Japanese invasion of the east during the 2nd Sino-Japanese war. Animated map depicts areas of Japanese occupation and highlights reborn old cities including Lanchow, Chengtu, and Kumming. It highlights Chungking as the new Capital City of Free China. Chiang Kai-Shek is seen leading a group of Chinese leaders as they walk through an arched gate in Chungking. A busy street with shops and apartment houses, in commercial district. It is filled with pedestrians, cart traffic along the curbs, and automobiles in the road center. Boatmen on the Yangtze River are seen below long steep steps leading up to the streets above. Views of houses clustered along the cliffs, and workmen digging bomb shelters into the cliffs. View from inside a shelter being hollowed out of the rock. Back in the Japanese occupied area, a car brings a Japanese Air Force leader who addresses a large group of fliers at an airbase. Next, Japanese air crews are seen running to their airplanes from their camp on the airfield and taking off in their Mitsubishi G3M bombers, to attack Chungking. Nakajima Ki-27 airplanes take off from the field and join in large formations overhead. A formation of Chinese World War 1 era are seen inflight, ostensibly to engage incoming Japanese bombers. Japanese crew member in a bomber sees the Chinese fighters and gunners in the bombers get ready to fire on them. The Chinese fighter planes dive at the bombers, but are intercepted by Nakajima Ki-27 airplanes flying cover. Dog fights ensue with Chinese planes being shot down, and the bombers continuing on their way. Air raid sirens sound in Chungking and people run to their shelters, including many school children. Views of bomber crews at their stations and then of bombs falling with the Yangtze river below. Bombs striking along the riverfront and inland, along the cliffs. View of machinery operating and Chinese workers occupied in underground factories in Chungking. Fires burning throughout the city,from the bombing, and Chinese fire fighters working to extinguish them.
Japanese officials meeting in strategy session. Japanese infantry on mission to cut Chinese supply lines during 2nd Sino-Japanese war. Black smoke rises as they move along a river bank. Chinese prisoner-workers are forced to rebuild railroads destroyed by the Chinese people during their great Westward trek. Japanese soldier closely guards workers. A Japanese army armored train underway on the rebuilt railroad, as Japanese soldiers cheer. Animated map shows China's supply lines by sea, to Tsingtao, Hangchow, and Amoy, cut off by Japanese naval blockade. Japanese Navy launch with officers and crew moving near commercial ships as they take over Chinese river ports. War materiel and other supplies destined for China, including trucks, sit idle, unable to be transported to their destinations. Large oil tanks and drums of gasoline are shown, as well as gun barrels and a flightline filled with parked Curtiss P-36 Hawk aircraft. The Imperial Japanese Navy destroyer Asakaze (DD-3) and another, next to it, in a Chinese river port. A Japanese freighter with anchored weighed, secured by long lines to a wharf. Small boats flying Japanese Naval ensigns are next to it. View of map showing china, Burma, Indo-China, and Chungking, with Japanese blockading fleet stationed in the South China Sea. It traces path of narrow gauge rail line from Indo-china to Kumming,China, where it connected to an overland road to Chungking. Next it traced the old Camel Caravan route, across China, from Russia. Narrator notes these were to small to be useful and too close to Japanese-occupied territory. Next, the map traces a railroad that from the port of Rangoon to Lashio, Burma. It is separated from the road to Chungking, by mountains and gorges. Views of the actual mountainous terrain. Animal pack trains moving through the area. Construction engineers in a large drafting room designing a road to transit the area. View of modern road-building caterpillar tractor equipment of the type needed to accomplish this. View of Chinese laborers using manpower instead. They push large rollers and employ pickaxes and other hand-held tools to carve away and dig road beds. Masses of Chinese laborers at work, carving a road along the edge of a mountain. Two-men teams using manual tampers to pound down the roadbed. Children are employed along with adults. A woman with a baby on her back, pounding large rocks into gravel, surrounded by other children doing the same. View from above of the "Burma Road," the product of their labors, winding its way through the mountains and gorges. Many scenes of trucks moving along portions of the Burma Road. P-40 airplanes flying past white cumulus clouds, overhead. Animated map shows continued expansion of Japanese occupied areas to encompass two thirds of the rail lines in China with goal of controlling the remainder, starting at Chengchow, in Summer, 1938. View of Chengchow region, on banks of the Yellow River. Map illustrates flow pattern of the Yellow River. View from past of the Yellow River's Spring floods toward the Sea, with Chinese people throwing rocks onto dikes that keep the river flowing in a more Northerly direction than its former course. Illustration shows how with Japanese encrouching on Chengchow, the Chinese decided to destroy those dikes and allow the river to flood over its former more Southerly course. Japanese soldiers being inundated by the flooding river. Japanese infantry and tanks regrouping on their occupied side of the new (old) path of the Yellow River. Local Chinese residents of Chengchow, wade with belongings as they leave their flooded homes.
The Chinese set up new cities in the West to escape Japanese invasion. A map shows the new areas of settlement in ancient cities among the free mountain lands. Chungking: the new capital of free China. Chinese government officials. Houses and shops on the new city streets. Men build caves for shelter from Japanese air raids. They cut through rocks and carry dirt during the construction. Japanese pilots prepare to fly off on a bombing mission to China. Japanese bombers taxi and take off. Bombers in formation fly over the air base. Chinese planes make a suicidal effort to defend Chungking. Japanese and Chinese planes fire at each other. Smoke trail from hit planes as they descend to the ground. A siren goes off in Chungking. People run into bomb raid shelters. Japanese crewmen inside the planes as they drop bombs on Chungking. Whistling sound from the descending bombs. Explosions on land and in water. Chinese men work in underground factories. Explosions due to bombardment. People walk among charred buildings after the air raid. They try to douse out the fire on streets.
Japanese invasion of China. Chinese soldiers blow the trumpet. Young men march in a field. Young men register in the Army. Millions of young people answer the call to fight for China. Volunteers from south, north, east and west China to form the people's army. Men and women with their children leave to join the forces. Drumming sound. New recruits train and perform a drill to drum beats. Soldiers practice martial arts, rifle handling, and shooting. Others train to care for the sick and wounded. Women soldiers in uniform. They learn to fire a gun. Pilots crowd around an officer. Planes in the background. Men from other countries prepare to fight for China. U.S. Colonel Claire Chennault of the American Volunteer Group Flying Tigers, talks to his men. The Curtiss P-40 Warhawks with the shark face emblems take off. Chinese soldiers march. Japan: Japanese officials in a meeting. Japanese troops penetrate China along the rivers. They rebuild destroyed rail roads using slave labor. A map depicts the Japanese strategy of cutting off Chinese supply lines. Japanese warships blockade the coast with the aim to isolate China. Japanese occupied ports in China. Japanese warships and boats in a Chinese port. Gas plants, gun factories and planes. Indochina map: The narrow gauge railway from sea to Kunming and a truck road to Chungking. The camel trail from Russia across the Gobi Desert. The railroad from Rangoon to Lashio in Burma.
Madame Chiang Kai-shek, wife of Chairman of the Nationalist Government of China Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in Chungking, China. Madame climbs down a ladder and is helped by two officers. People greet her at the Chungking Airport. Madame walks towards a car parked at the airport. Madame Chiang escorted by Chinese officers. She enters a building. Other Chinese dignitaries enter the building. C-54 Skymaster at the airport. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek walks towards the building. Chinese officers stand near a car. Madame and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, walks followed by Chinese officers. The General and wife getting into the car. The car leaves.
The Chairman of the Communist Party of China Mao Tse-Tung and the U.S. Ambassador to China in Chungking in China. Chairman Mao followed by other Communist leaders leaves the aircraft. Chairman Mao poses with the U.S. Ambassador to China Patrick J Hurley.