Chongqing (Chungking) is the economical center of the southwestern Sichuan province in China. Located at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jaling River, Chongqing is also known as one of China's "Three Ovens" (Wuhan, and Nanjing are the others) where temperatures become unbearable in the summer. Today, the city exports silk, citrus fruit, tea, and grain. Abundant mineral resources in the region facilitate local production of trucks, motorcycles, and metals, as well. The current population is around 20 million
Most famously, Chongqing was the temporary capital of the Nationalist China when Nanjing fell to the Japanese in December, 1937 (Or maybe the movie Chungking Express). This was an extremely wise move. The hilly location of Chungqing gives it excellent natural protection against invaders (Nanjing is just the opposite). As a result the Japanese could not launch a land assult, the terrain ruled it out. They could not launch a naval assult, a few well set explostions above the Yangtze River could cut off all access to and from the region. So they resorted to the only possible attack, aerial bombing, constant daily bombardments till the end of the war.
The bombing of the city lead the Chinese goverment to construct the world's largest
dugout shelter with a maximum capacity of 30,000 people. However, tragedy struck in June of 1941. On that day, the ventilation system failed and people rushed in and out of the small entrance to catch a breath of fresh air between the 4 hour bombing raid. At one point, mass confusion spread and the guards locked the civilians inside and left. A week later, it was revealed that 4,000 or more had suffocated to death.