There are 3 incidents that are major indictments on the record of Chiang Kai Shek.
The torching of the city of Changsha in 1938, the deliberate decision to open a second front in Shanghai in August 1937 which was a heavily populated city (p 55) and the deliberate breaching of the dykes to allow the Yellow river to flood the plains in 1938. (p 73)
It is estimated CKS’s actions caused the deaths of 1. 5 million Chinese civilians.
Harmsen posits that the breaching of the dykes caused 500,000 civilian Chinese to die in the flood without any strategic advantages. He echoes many other historians.
However, if one reads other literature, one reads strategic advantages from the flooding. Diana Lary writes-
“In June 1938 the Chinese command turned the ultimate symbol of Chinese civilization, the Yellow River, into a weapon of war. The southern dyke of the river was breached at Huayuankou (Flower Garden Mouth) in Henan, 30 miles to the west of the Japanese vanguard.”
Queries- who is correct? Were the 500,000 deaths worth it? The flooding had effect of blocking supplies to prevent the Japanese from penetrator further inland beyond Wuhan.