The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
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Shantung is a province of eastern China centered on the Shantung Peninsula, which projects into the Yellow Sea. Much of the province is mountainous, but it also takes in part of the north China plain around the capital of Tsinan. There are a number of ports on the Shantung Peninsula, of which the most important was Tsingtao, which was the only port on the Shantung Peninsula with good rail connections to the rest of the country.
The province was the birthplace of Confucius, but it was also one of the poorest regions in China, subject both to flooding by the Yellow River and periods of drought and dust storms. A severe period of drought in 1900 helped prompt the development of the Boxer Rebellion, which spread to devastate much of China.
Resources included the Boshan coal fields in the mountains southeast of Tsinan.
The province was overrun by the Japanese early in the Sino-Japanese War that preceded the Pacific War, although the mountainous terrain continued to provide refuge for guerrillas (the majority Communist.)
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