Jump to content


Photo

The Little Known Ww2 Battle Of Russia Vs Japan, Manchuria


  • Please log in to reply
38 replies to this topic

#1 chino

chino

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,181 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Now in Macau
  • Interests:S2 Branch & Rifle Platoon Runner

Posted 22 June 2018 - 2019 PM

Little known because this was a major battle that occurred around the same time as two atomic bombings. It was between two armies that didn't fight each other throughout WW2 proper: 1941 - 1945. And by 1945 both armies were highly-experienced and in the case of the Russians, extremely well-armed.

 

Czarist Russia and Imperial Japan fought bitterly in 1904 - 1905 and the Russians suffered the humiliation of being defeated at sea by an emerging Asian power Japan who ended up occupying Sakhalin islands.

 

And then in WW2, the two again found themselves on opposing sides but signed a pact not to fight in 1941 so they could each handle other enemies. And Japan asserts that Russia won the war with Germany due to the fact that Japan did not break the pact not to attack Russia.

 

But after Nazi Germany's surrender, the Soviet Russians quickly broke their pack with Japan to re-engage their old adversaries the IJA Kwangtung Army. They declared war on Japan 2 days after the first atomic attack on Japan.

 

The Russians and Japanese fought for only less than 2 weeks before it was over with more than 20,000 KIA on the Japanese side and more than 10,000 on the Russian side KIA.

 

At the same time this fight was going on, Japan received a second atomic attack and eventually surrendered. But IMO the atomic attacks on Japan was not what caused IJA to surrender in Manchuria. In fact, the IJA kept fighting in Manchuria after the Emperor announced surrender. They surrendered more because they were soundly defeated. And in fact, some IJA units fought on after IJA surrendered in Manchuria either not wanting to give up or didn't get the message. Their fight with the Russians was a more personal one as they were old adversaries, and the Russians attack on the IJA was a sneaky one that completely took the IJA by surprise. The Russians first lined up their forces, declared war and attacked the next day. They did a "Pearl Harbor" on the Japanese

 

Some say the Russian's declaration of war helped push Japan to surrender and not just the atomic bombs, while others argue against that theory.

 

The most amazing thing IMO was that the Russians did not occupy Manchuria after their victory. They handed it back to China, and kept only Sakhalin and Kuril, of which Sakhalin at least, were theirs to begin with. (ETA: Manchuria was later divide between China and Russia.)

 

Here's a rundown of events.

 

May 1945 - Nazi Germany surrenders, the Soviet Russians felt it was time to settle old scores.

 

August 6 - first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. No surrender from Japan.

 

August 8 - Russia declares war on Japan

 

August 9 - second atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki. Contemplates surrender.

 

August 13 -14 - decides to surrender

 

August 14 - some IJA officers anti-surrender military coup attempt. failed

 

August 15 - official surrender announcement by Emperor Hirohito

 

August 16 - fighting continues in Manchuria

 

August 18 - Soviet amphibious landings in Korea, Sakhalin & Kuril islands

 

August 20 - Japanese surrender in Manchuria


Edited by chino, 22 June 2018 - 2032 PM.

  • 0

#2 chino

chino

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,181 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Now in Macau
  • Interests:S2 Branch & Rifle Platoon Runner

Posted 22 June 2018 - 2021 PM


  • 0

#3 R011

R011

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,002 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 22 June 2018 - 2301 PM

The news of the Soviet declaration of war and near simultaneous attack in Manchuria reached Japan's Supreme War Council shortly after they convened to contemplate the Nagasaki bombing.


  • 0

#4 R011

R011

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,002 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 22 June 2018 - 2312 PM

And Japan asserts that Russia won the war with Germany due to the fact that Japan did not break the pact not to attack Russia

 

Had Japan moved north, the Soviets could spare enough forces to limit the Japanese advance to the  fringes of eastern Siberia.  There would be no danger to the heartland or any significant reduction in material.  The worst effect would be the closing of the Pacific Lend-Lease route.  About half of all deliveries to the Soviets, mostly non-military aid,went  via Russian flagged ships to Vladivostok.  That would have to go via Iran and Murmansk.  A serious inconvenience, but one for which the Allies could probably manage a work around.

 

Of course, if they went north, they'd lose the resources of Malaya and the NEI.  They rather needed them to continue the war in China let alone expand it into Russia.  The Soviets also gave the Japanese a black eye in 1939 and it may well work out that attacking them would go very badly indeed.  This is why they went south instead and ended up at war with the US and British Empire.


  • 0

#5 DougRichards

DougRichards

    Doug Richards

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 9,428 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Looking at Tamarama Beach, Sydney, Aust
  • Interests:Degree in History and Politics. Interests are Military History, military models,

Posted 22 June 2018 - 2313 PM

I would not say that it was little known

 

But the battles of Battles of Khalkhyn Gol are a little less known except amongst those who consider that WW2 did not start with the invasion of Poland.


  • 0

#6 GARGEAN

GARGEAN

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,658 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 23 June 2018 - 0702 AM

Little note: soviets made decision to attack Japan not after Germany surrendered. Helping Allies by declaring war on Japan few months(exactly three in the end) after Germany defeat was Stalin promise that he made in Yalta in Febriary 1945.
  • 0

#7 glenn239

glenn239

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,267 posts

Posted 23 June 2018 - 0721 AM

I believe they started shifting forces to Siberia for the buildup earlier than that though, maybe late in 1944?


  • 0

#8 Nobu

Nobu

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,642 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 24 June 2018 - 0932 AM

A well-timed Japanese attack on Russia could only have increased the chances of a Russian collapse and a mental breakdown from Stalin in 1941. Marching on Moscow would be out of the question for the IJA, admittedly. The goal would be to force the Russians to operate at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway under conditions of complete Japanese air dominance and sea command.


  • 0

#9 R011

R011

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,002 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 25 June 2018 - 0044 AM

A well-timed Japanese attack on Russia could only have increased the chances of a Russian collapse and a mental breakdown from Stalin in 1941. Marching on Moscow would be out of the question for the IJA, admittedly. The goal would be to force the Russians to operate at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway under conditions of complete Japanese air dominance and sea command.

Sea power would be next to irrelevant. The available Soviet air and ground forces would be a very tough nut to crack, as proved in 1939, and the Soviets had no problem supporting army group sized forces in the region as 1945 proved. The Soviets were also quite well informed of Japanese intentions, deployments, and capabilities and deployed tgeir forces accordingly.

And then Japan, still at war with China, would literally run out of gas.

Edited by R011, 25 June 2018 - 0045 AM.

  • 0

#10 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,389 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle
  • Interests:USMC Tanker, Historian

Posted 26 June 2018 - 0504 AM

By 1945, the Japanese Kwantung army was a paper tiger, well stripped for reinforcements sent to other theaters where the Japanese were losing or threatened, replaced if at all by new drafts from the home islands, hardly toughened for what happened in August. Besides Manchuria, there was stiff fighting for the Kurile Is., which the Russians still occupy. There was a Russian occupation of Manchuria, to the extent that they retook Port Arthur as a naval base until 1953 and rail communications to the same and only later did Gorbachev gave up all claims.

 

The Russians were in no shape to begin sending reinforcements to the Far East until the German surrender, and Stalin was good to his word to commence hostilities three months later [to the day], as promised at Yalta.


  • 0

#11 Markus Becker

Markus Becker

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 2,883 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Westphalia, Germany

Posted 26 June 2018 - 0605 AM

 

 

 

Of course, if they went north, they'd lose the resources of Malaya and the NEI.  They rather needed them to continue the war in China let alone expand it into Russia.  The Soviets also gave the Japanese a black eye in 1939 and it may well work out that attacking them would go very badly indeed.  This is why they went south instead and ended up at war with the US and British Empire.

 

 

IMO not. They needed very few ground troops to take SEA. It was very poorly defended and they could bring their seapower to bear. 


  • 0

#12 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,389 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle
  • Interests:USMC Tanker, Historian

Posted 26 June 2018 - 1302 PM

The move south was the desperate act of the Imperial Council in the aftermath of US embargos that threatened the ability of Japan to continue the war against China, not just the result of a 'black eye' given them at Khalkin Gol or Lake Khasan, for those losses made little impression on the high command.

 

Japan was already out of funds for continuing the war and the required expansion of forces to deal with the US, Dutch and UK/CW in the Pacific. The move to seize the SEA resource region was the result of their fear that the Germans would defeat the USSR by the end of 1941 and a general peace that ensued would leave the UK, French and Dutch free to defend their colonies and possessions in the Far East.

 

The risking all in face of US intransigence formed the basis for what was taught Japanese school children postwar, that Japan 'had to go to war against the USA, which had directly threatened Japan's existence' or words to that effect. Thus, WWII was forced upon the Japanese Empire by the nefarious Americans.

 

I am not making this up.


Edited by Ken Estes, 27 June 2018 - 0332 AM.

  • 0

#13 alejandro_

alejandro_

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 3,043 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Oxfordshire, UK
  • Interests:History, cinema, football, aviation, armour, military history.

Posted 02 July 2018 - 1402 PM

Japan was already out of funds for continuing the war and the required expansion of forces to deal with the US, Dutch and UK/CW in the Pacific. The move to seize the SEA resource region was the result of their fear that the Germans would defeat the USSR by the end of 1941 and a general peace that ensued would leave the UK, French and Dutch free to defend their colonies and possessions in the Far East.

 

Hello Ken. Was the US government (and other countries) ready to make any particular concessions if Japan gave up war/expansion in the Pacific? Maybe some economical benefit if they Japan retired from China, or acceptance of other colonies (Taiwan/Korea).


  • 0

#14 R011

R011

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 6,002 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Posted 02 July 2018 - 1457 PM

The US was willing to lift the embargoes on Japan and resume normal trade in exchange for a withdrawal from Indochina and mainland China with the exception of Manchuria which they were willing to leave under Japanese control.  Taiwan and Korea had been Japanese possessions since before the First World War and there was no interest in changing their status.


  • 0

#15 KV7

KV7

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,542 posts

Posted 02 July 2018 - 1758 PM

The move south was the desperate act of the Imperial Council in the aftermath of US embargos that threatened the ability of Japan to continue the war against China, not just the result of a 'black eye' given them at Khalkin Gol or Lake Khasan, for those losses made little impression on the high command.

 

Japan was already out of funds for continuing the war and the required expansion of forces to deal with the US, Dutch and UK/CW in the Pacific. The move to seize the SEA resource region was the result of their fear that the Germans would defeat the USSR by the end of 1941 and a general peace that ensued would leave the UK, French and Dutch free to defend their colonies and possessions in the Far East.

 

The risking all in face of US intransigence formed the basis for what was taught Japanese school children postwar, that Japan 'had to go to war against the USA, which had directly threatened Japan's existence' or words to that effect. Thus, WWII was forced upon the Japanese Empire by the nefarious Americans.

 

I am not making this up.

Can you expand on 'out of funds' ? Was the Manchurian occupation and war with China very expensive ?


  • 0

#16 Ken Estes

Ken Estes

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 14,389 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Seattle
  • Interests:USMC Tanker, Historian

Posted 03 July 2018 - 0925 AM

For the Japanese Army, yes. At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the IJA had 51 divisions, of which 35 were in China, and 39 independent brigades, of which all but one were in China. This represented roughly 80% of the IJA's manpower. This ratio remained in effect for the rest of the war. Effectively, the US forces faced only 19 percent of the JA in WWII.

 

Put another way, the Japanese troop strength in China rose from 10,000 at the time pf the Marco Polo Bridge incident [1937] to over 1M in 1940. Supporting the operations ashore, the Japanese Navy and the air forces of both services expended huge amounts of ordnance, petroleum products, and logistical resources. casualties in the war were heavy and frequently kept secret.

 

I'm away from my references, but most naval histories show that the Japanese Navy was unable to keep up its shipbuilding schedule after 1939, leading to delays and cancellations of all classes of warships, such that the IJN was unable to make up for losses and was subject to annihilation in 1944-45. In aircraft production, Japan lacked the resources for mass production as well as the advanced research necessary to bring a new generation of aircraft into service by mid-war. Each of these, and others, were alone fatal to Japan's prospects, but in combination assured the ruinous outcome she experienced. Oddly enough, the greatest victor of the China and Great Pacific Wars was .... Mao.

 

For the final picture, I always trust Louis Morton and his classic, 'Japan's Decision for War,' to be found in the US Army Center for Military History pub, Command Decisions pp. 122-24. - 

 

 

The End of the Road

From the vantage point of hindsight, Japan's decision to go to war appears as a supreme act of folly. By this decision the Japanese leaders appear to have deliberately committed their country to a hopeless struggle against a combination of powers vastly superior in potential industrial and military strength. This view has perhaps been most effectively presented by Admiral Morison who characterized the Pearl Harbor attack which brought the United States into the war as a politically disastrous and strategically idiotic move. "One can search military history in vain," concluded Morison, "for an operation more fatal to the aggressor." [47]

But to the Japanese, their decision, though it involved risks, was not a reckless and foolhardy one. It was based, for one thing, on the expectation that the United States would prefer to negotiate rather than fight. The Japanese leaders fully appreciated the industrial potential of the United States and that nation's ability to fight a major war on two fronts. But they had to accept this risk, as General Tojo said, "in order to tide over the present crisis for self-existence and self-defense." [48]

The Japanese, it must be emphasized, did not seek the total defeat of the United States and had no intention of invading this country. They planned to fight a war of limited objectives and having once secured these objectives to set up a defense in such depth that the United States would find a settlement favorable to Japan an attractive alternative to a long and costly war. To the Japanese leaders this seemed an entirely reasonable view. But there were fallacies in this concept which Admiral Yamamoto had pointed out when he wrote that it would not be enough "to take Guam and the Philippines, not even Hawaii and San Francisco." To gain victory, he warned his countrymen, they would have "to march into Washington and sign the treaty in the White House." [49] Here was a lesson about limited wars that went unheeded then and is still often neglected.

Perhaps the major Japanese error was the decision to attack the United States at all. The strategic objectives of the Japanese lay in southeast Asia and if they had limited their attacks to British and Dutch territory the United States might not have entered the war. Such a course would have involved risks but it would have forced the United States to act first. And there was, in 1941, strong opposition to a move that would have appeared to a large part of the American people as an effort to pull British and Dutch chestnuts out of the fire. As it was, the Japanese relieved the Roosevelt administration of the necessity of making a very difficult choice. The alternatives it faced in December 1941, when the Japanese were clearly moving southward, were either to seek from Congress a declaration of war if Japan attacked the British and the Dutch in southeast Asia or to stand by idly while the Japanese secured the rich resources of Malaya and the Indies which would enable them to prosecute the war in China vigorously to an early end. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor with one blow resolved all the problems and mobilized the American people as nothing else could have done. [50]

The Japanese based much of their hope for success on the situation in Europe. The war there favored their plans and they saw little possibility of an early peace. Germany, they believed, would defeat Russia, or at least gain military domination of the European continent, but they doubted that the Germans would be able to launch a successful invasion of England. At any rate, it was clear that both the British and Russians would be too preoccupied in Europe for some time to come to devote their attention to the Far East. The United States had an important stake in Europe, too, and would be unwilling to concentrate its forces in the Pacific, the Japanese estimated, so long as the outcome in Europe remained in doubt.

The possibility of avoiding war with the United States was seriously considered and discussed at length in Tokyo, but the Japanese were apparently convinced that if they moved south the United States would go to war. Their only hope lay in knocking out the fleet and removing the Philippine threat so that the United States would be unable to take offensive action for eighteen months to two years. By that time, the Japanese estimated, they would have secured the southern area and established themselves firmly behind a strong outer line of defense. With the resources thus won-such as oil, rubber, bauxite-they would be in a position to wage defensive warfare almost indefinitely. The United States, they reasoned, would be unable to sustain the major effort required to break through this defensive screen in the face of the losses imposed by a determined and well-trained foe. As a result, the Japanese leaders felt justified in their hopes that the United States would be forced to compromise and allow Japan to retain a substantial portion of her gains, thus leaving the nation in a dominant position in Asia.

This plan was not entirely unrealistic in 1941, but it completely overlooked the American reaction to Pearl Harbor and the refusal of the United States to fight a limited war-or Japan's ability to so limit it. The risks were recognized, but the alternatives were not estimated correctly. Yet, even had the Japanese appreciated fully the extent of the risks, they would probably have made the same decision. To them, correctly or incorrectly, the only choice was submission or war, and they chose the latter in the hope that their initial advantages and the rapid conquest of southern Asia would offset the enormous industrial and military potential of the enemy.

In the final analysis, the Japanese decision for war was the result of the conviction, supported by the economic measures imposed by the United States and America's policy in China, that the United States was determined to reduce Japan to a position of secondary importance. The nation, Tojo and his supporters felt, was doomed if it did not meet the challenge. In their view, Japan had no alternative but to go to war while she still had the power to do so. She might lose, but defeat was better than humiliation and submission. "Japan entered the war," wrote a prince of the Imperial family, "with a tragic determination and in desperate self-abandonment." If it lost, "there will be nothing to regret because she is doomed to collapse even without war."

 

 

 

 

https://history.army...oks/70-7_04.htm


Edited by Ken Estes, 03 July 2018 - 0942 AM.

  • 0

#17 glenn239

glenn239

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,267 posts

Posted 03 July 2018 - 1101 AM

The US was willing to lift the embargoes on Japan and resume normal trade in exchange for a withdrawal from Indochina and mainland China with the exception of Manchuria which they were willing to leave under Japanese control.  Taiwan and Korea had been Japanese possessions since before the First World War and there was no interest in changing their status.

 

By 1943 the Hull terms of 1941 must have been looking like the greatest bargain Japan ever turned down.  Even if the US had demanded full withdrawal from China, the inevitable subsequent civil war there after the Japanese evacuation would have provided ample opportunity for Japan to reinsert itself in China in later years.


  • 0

#18 glenn239

glenn239

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,267 posts

Posted 03 July 2018 - 1105 AM

 

Japan was already out of funds for continuing the war and the required expansion of forces to deal with the US, Dutch and UK/CW in the Pacific. The move to seize the SEA resource region was the result of their fear that the Germans would defeat the USSR by the end of 1941 and a general peace that ensued would leave the UK, French and Dutch free to defend their colonies and possessions in the Far East.

 

 

 

The decision to occupy the NEI was a direct result of the oil embargo.


  • 0

#19 glenn239

glenn239

    Crew

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 4,267 posts

Posted 03 July 2018 - 1108 AM

 

Sea power would be next to irrelevant. The available Soviet air and ground forces would be a very tough nut to crack, as proved in 1939, and the Soviets had no problem supporting army group sized forces in the region as 1945 proved. The Soviets were also quite well informed of Japanese intentions, deployments, and capabilities and deployed their forces accordingly.

And then Japan, still at war with China, would literally run out of gas.

 

 

Provided the Japanese could cut the Trans-Siberian lifeline and keep it cut, the Soviet position in the Far East was hopeless.  


  • 0

#20 JasonJ

JasonJ

    majideyabai

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 8,879 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:dokodoko?
  • Interests:Being odd and unusual.

Posted 03 July 2018 - 1858 PM

To get the oil flowing again, Japan was willing to exit Indochina and redefine its relation with Germany. The US delayed their responses to only make withdrawal of China a necessary term. The hull note was obviously a dare and attack.

The difference on China was what broke down negotiations prior PH.

The US narrative on the lead up to PH is completely ignorant about China prior PH and thus wields a hammer of justice in their argument like a simpleton. The simplistic view is buttressed by "A Date Which Will Live In Infamy" and "Remember Pearl Harbor!" by quickly ushering a knee jerk reaction that makes even reconsidering the events up to PH near impossible. Any argument is entirely invalid without comprehensive understanding of the situation in China from the 1920s up to December 7th and thus again invalid without a deep consideration as to how heavy of a decision it would be for Japan to just suddenly drop the 4 years worth of what they had in China. In effect, demanding the complete withdrawal from China was almost like a declaration of war.

Edited by JasonJ, 03 July 2018 - 1900 PM.

  • 0




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users