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August 1945: Stalin leaves it too late

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  • August 1945: Stalin leaves it too late

    When Stalin heard in July 1945 from Truman of an American "wonder weapon", he brought forward the planned attack on the Kwantang from September to the beginning of August.

    WI if he didn't bring it forward in time?

    I think the war ends on August 16, and without a pretext to attack, Manchuria, Sakhalin, Port Arthur, Dairen and 700,000 Japanese troops remain out of Soviet hands.

    China is divided equally between Chiang-Kai Shek, no Chinese civil war takes place, nor the Korean War.



    With the stimying of his coveted communist influence in the Far East, and without a revenge for the humiliation of 1905, these contribute to Stalin dying in 1950 instead of in 1953

    Tank 'kamikazes' vs T34s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIiHJHzqWbg
    Last edited by Mifletz; 13 Jul 14, 10:56.

  • #2
    Consider the silliness of the imagined "Yalta betrayal" (the Red Army was in place in Eastern Europe and not about to give away lands conquered from the nazis) in Poland and Eastern Europe in general. Similarly, Stalin would hardly have been dissuaded from occupying Manchuria and aiding the Chinese Communists. And in 1945 (with the bring the boys home demands in the UK, Commonwealth, and US) a major American effort to "not lose China" (hey, Chiang kai-Shek and the Dragon Lady lost it, not the US) would have been a major non starter. And use nukes to stop Stalin invading
    Manchuria---I don't think so. Perhaps delaying invading Manchuria would have kept the Soviets from occupying the Kuriles, but doubtful.

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    • #3
      Maybe this delays the Japanese surrender a few days? The Soviet DoW was a nasty shock to the members of Japans government. They had thought the US/Soviet alliance was at a end with the nazi defeat and they would be able to use a nuetral USSR as a counter weight to the US/British. If the Cabinet dithers long enough over the issue the next Plutonium bomb will be ready, and the Red Army will attack on the original date. My view is the cabinet would have reached a surrender decision within a week or two after the second atomic bomb attack, with or without a Red Army invasion.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
        Maybe this delays the Japanese surrender a few days? The Soviet DoW was a nasty shock to the members of Japans government. They had thought the US/Soviet alliance was at a end with the nazi defeat and they would be able to use a nuetral USSR as a counter weight to the US/British. If the Cabinet dithers long enough over the issue the next Plutonium bomb will be ready, and the Red Army will attack on the original date. My view is the cabinet would have reached a surrender decision within a week or two after the second atomic bomb attack, with or without a Red Army invasion.
        The Soviet attack helped to ensure the Japanese surrender. However, the mechanism is less obvious and we may not be helped by the use of euphemisms in some documents.

        There is good reason to believe that IJA intelligence anticipated a Soviet Attack. Ken Kotani's Japanese Intelligence in World War II quotes the Kimitsu Senso Nisshi (Secret War Record) of April 16th 1945 on page 39 http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7...0April&f=false. The problem is that we don't know what may have been meant by “complete preparation for it rapidly as the vital key to success in the Great East Asian War”.

        There is a slightly Machiavellian interpretation in “Eurasian Eclipse: Japan's End Game in World War II”, Yukiko Koshiro, The American Historical Review, Vol. 109, No. 2 (April 2004) (pp. 417-444) http://ahr.oxfordjournals.org/content/109/2/417.extract which has:

        A two-front war against both the United States and the Soviet Union was looking like an impossible scenario; the Soviet attack alone would be the end of Japan's war in Asia and the Pacific. However, Japan's surrender tactic was now to have the United States and the Soviet Union compete against each other in their planning for the future of East Asia. Thus Japan's plan for surrender and beyond, both politically and militarily in the Eurasian context, was made assuming a Soviet attack beginning in Manchuria and assessing its impact on the United States. In fact, by mid-April 1945, when the Imperial Headquarters acknowledged the rapid reinforcement of Soviet forces in the Far East, the Army War Operations Plans Division made no recommendations for preparations for counterattack. Instead, it made the following observation: the key to accomplishing the goal of the Greater East Asian War was to predict precisely when the Soviet attack would occur and to complete by then a quick and proper response and measure concerning it. The "quick and proper response and measure" seems, in this context, to mean Japan's surrender. But nowhere in the observation did it hint that Japan should do so before the Soviet attack.

        Thus according to Yukiko Koshiro some Japanese leaders calculated that waiting for a Soviet attack and then surrendering would lead to Soviet – American conflict over Korea and China which they believed offered the best chance for Japan to regain its independence. Of course finding evidence that some officers though that way in early 1945 does not prove that they were influential, still less that they were controlling Japanese policy.

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        • #5
          The Japanese had expected the Soviets to attack, it wasn't a surprise to them in any real fashion. They kept forces in Hokkaido throughout the war "just in case."
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          • #6
            A number of articles and interviews state plainly that the Japanese just used the atomic bomb as a face saving measure. The actual reason they surrendered is because the Soviet Army destroyed their army in Manchuria. Without the loss of their remaining ground forces it has been suggested that they might well have fought on.

            The utter destruction of Tokyo, Dresden, Berlin, etc. by conventional means did not cause either Hitler or Tojo to consider surrender. A number of these kind of fire bomb attacks took as many lives as the nukes did yet surrender was never discussed after those attacks. It was only after the Germans and Japanese lost their armies that they considered surrender and surrender they did.
            www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

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            • #7
              I would think that the Japanese would still surrender. If not from the atomic bombing, then from the mining of every port on the Sea of Japan closing them to all traffic.
              The Soviets were just one of many reasons the Japanese ended the war. After all, there was a faction of the IJA that wanted to fight on. I don't think anyone can pin the surrender to a single reason.

              That given, it is still of interest what the Soviets might do. If they still occupy Manchuria that might be a problem given events in Europe and it probably would influence Western responses. I have no doubt that Mao would still receive lots of Soviet support.

              I think the Korean peninsula would, in this scenario, remain out of Soviet hands. After all, their grab of the Northern half was very tenuous and last minute (like days after the war ended using small paratroop units). With a surrender of Japan and no actual ground offensive in place I don't think the Soviets could just jump into Korea out of the blue post surrender and take the peninsula.

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              • #8
                Stalin would have invaded anyway. He would smiled and said he was trying to help "tidy up" the Japanese situation in China. He would still have stripped the industry from Manchuria and would have given the Japanese arms to Mao. Unless there was a prior agreement on Korea, he would have just gone straight in.

                Pruitt
                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                • #9
                  I believe the premise is that Stalin does not attack in Manchuria and the Japanese army is intact. They would then not have surrendered and we would have incurred possibly a million casualties invading Japan proper leaving a still sizable army in Manchuria.
                  www.wwiii1946.blogspot.com
                  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...pf_rd_i=507846

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                  • #10
                    After the dropping of two Atomic Bombs the Japanese Civilian Government was ready to quit. Hirohito put his foot down and said No More! The Japanese Army and Navy would have had to remove him and that is not by any means a certain thing. Some officers might have rebelled but these had failed before in Japan.

                    Pruitt
                    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                    • #11
                      Stalin promised he would attack Japan within ninety days of Germany's surrender. He kept his word. AFAIK, the announcement was public, meaning the Japanese knew he was coming. Given the geopolitical gamesmanship going on between Stalin, Churchill and now Truman, the likelihood that Stalin would renege on his promise is nil.

                      Regards
                      Scott Fraser
                      Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge. It is the refusal to learn.

                      A contentedly cantankerous old fart

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                      • #12
                        Mining would likely have worked on its own.

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Starvation

                        After the war, the commander of Japan's minesweeping operations noted that he thought this mining campaign could have directly led to the defeat of Japan on its own had it begun earlier. Similar conclusions were reached by American analysts who reported in July 1946 in the United States Strategic Bombing Survey that it would have been more efficient to combine the United States's effective anti-shipping submarine effort with land- and carrier-based air power to strike harder against merchant shipping and begin a more extensive aerial mining campaign earlier in the war. This would have starved Japan, forcing an earlier end to the war.
                        A similar operation in Vietnam in the early 70's brought that conflict to an end for the US. Closing North Vietnamese ports cut them off from resupply of military munitions and equipment and the N. Vietnamese had no option but to negotiate a peace treaty.

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