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  • 1945 Manchuria Operation

    Jsut so we don't forget the huge and very successful operation which led to the liberation of Manchuria and the taking of the Kuriles, jsut a salute to the Soviet forcesa who took part. How well known is this operation in Russia and the former USSR? Do Russians still support keeping the Kuriles? What role did this operation play in relations between the CCP (Chinese Communist Party and the USSR as I understand Mao did receive the Japanese arms captured by the Russians? What were the relations between the 2 during the war when the USSR had offically signed a non-aggresion pact with Japan?

  • #2
    Originally posted by joea
    Jsut so we don't forget the huge and very successful operation which led to the liberation of Manchuria and the taking of the Kuriles, jsut a salute to the Soviet forcesa who took part. How well known is this operation in Russia and the former USSR? Do Russians still support keeping the Kuriles? What role did this operation play in relations between the CCP (Chinese Communist Party and the USSR as I understand Mao did receive the Japanese arms captured by the Russians? What were the relations between the 2 during the war when the USSR had offically signed a non-aggresion pact with Japan?
    I have to say that Soviet-Japanese War is not as famous as the Great Patriotic War 1941-45.
    It was too short and incompatible by scales. But it has its own interesting features. For example usage of an old vehicles like BA-20 armored cars and BT-7 tanks which couldn't be met anywhere else that time.
    Working in the Russian State Library I was interested, how much books were published about this war. And found plenty of them. Unfortunately most of them were published in Soviet times and were not free from censorship. Now I try to collect anything about those operations, as it's not well detailed in my library. Recently I bought two books about Far East operations. Hope they covers many gaps.
    As keeping Kuriles, I can't remember period when Russians did not support this. Maybe some separate politicians (like Khakamada, who is known to be half-Jap ).
    Any Russian politician need to be kamikaze to support this. Russian community very painfully takes any territorial problems. As for Kuriles as well as half-Sakhalin island they were occupied by Japs after loss of Russia in the Russian-Japanese war. So, in 1945 Russia simply took back what it had before.
    Relations between China and the USSR were more than friendly until 1950s.
    Chinese communists got some help from the USSR (scales of which is still not well described) including weapons and military advisors and instructors.

    regards,
    Alex
    If you fire a rifle at the past, the future will fire a cannon at you.....

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    • #3
      Originally posted by amvas
      I have to say that Soviet-Japanese War is not as famous as the Great Patriotic War 1941-45.
      It was too short and incompatible by scales.
      Working in the Russian State Library I was interested, how much books were published about this war. And found plenty of them. Unfortunately most of them were published in Soviet times and were not free from censorship. Now I try to collect anything about those operations, as it's not well detailed in my library. Recently I bought two books about Far East operations. Hope they covers many gaps.
      Amvas,

      Agree, the best I have in Russian is Final, M: Nauka, 1966, then I'm into individual memoirs and unit histories.

      The best in English is David Glantz's Leavenworth Papers #7 (August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria) and #8 (August Storm: Soviet Tactical and Operational Combat in Manchuria, 1945). You can download both at http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/car...csi.asp#papers

      You may find some other books and studies of interest. If you scroll down to Special Studies you will find Soviet Operational Deception: The Red Cloak, by a young Lieutentant Colonel Richard N. Armstrong. It was one of my first works; I would be interested in your review.
      Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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      • #4
        I do not know why the saved message will not complete the email address but it is .army/carl/resources/....

        If you get to the home page for cgsc (Command and General Staff College) you will see CSI and CSGC Publications
        Leadership is the ability to rise above conventional wisdom.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by joea
          Jsut so we don't forget the huge and very successful operation which led to the liberation of Manchuria and the taking of the Kuriles, jsut a salute to the Soviet forcesa who took part.
          I want to say that the amhibious operations on Kuril Islands were very difficult. The Kuril Islands were very well fortified. A lot of Soviet Marines made feats during of those operations. It was approximately equal to the combats in the Pacific if to speak about the fury of combats.

          How well known is this operation in Russia and the former USSR? Do Russians still support keeping the Kuriles?
          Yes, the Russians suppose that the Kuril Islands are a part of Russian land. And if the Japanese don't want to make agreement with Russia befoe we give them those islands so to hell with them!.

          The crush of Japanese forces in China was considered as a retribution for the Russian-Japanese War of 1904-1905 results. When Soviet soldiers entered in former Russian fortress Porth-Artur it was like the symbol of succession of two generations of Rusian soldiers - the Soviet soldiers of 1945 were continuators of the deads of the Russian soldiers of 1905, they had returned with a victory in the places of old Russian glory. It is difficult to explain.

          I remember a photo of that time. A few Soviet soldiers stand on a hill. It is on the old fortifications of Poth-Arthur. One of them holds a Red Banner that flies over them. The Soviet soldiers are young, they had PPS-43 sub machine guns on their breasts, there are a few awards on their uniform, they are smiling. The photo is made from bottom direction and the soldiers are against a background of a sky and of old fortifications in a mountain that is behind of them. The photo had the name like "We have returned."

          One more example. It was in Yugoslavia in 1945. A couple of young Soviet officers went on a road in full dress and suddenly an old man approched to them. He began to speak in Russian with them. He touched their gold epaulets and caressed it with respect. He said to the officers: "How glad I to see you! I am proud and happy that I had time to live to this day. When I look on you I recall the time of my youth." Tears were in his eyes. That old man was an emigrant, a former White. He was glad to see how the Soviet soldiers restored Russian glory, the Soviet soldiers were not Stalin's soldiers, the people looked on them as on Russian soldiers - the continuators of their ancestors' deads and traditions.

          What were the relations between the 2 during the war when the USSR had offically signed a non-aggresion pact with Japan?
          It was not friendship pact.

          I remember an episode from Soviet movie "The order is "To not open fire!". It was about 1941-42. The Soviet forces in the border with Manchuria built fortifications and have the order - to not become the victims of Japanse provocations, to not give to the Japanese the reason to a war.

          There was an episode. Suddenly a battle alert command was said. Soviet soldiers had occuppied their fortifications along the border. They were in trenches and saw how a lot of Japanese troops with tanks deployed before the border line and began to move to the border in combat orders. Officers with unfolded sabres were before the lines of soldiers. Everyone was nervous - What is happening? The Japanese began to move to the line of border. Right before the border the Japanese had stopped and continued to stand. They stood and stood. The Soviet officers went along the treches and spoke: "Do not shoot! Do not shoot!" The Japanese stood and stood. Suddenly a shot was made from Japanese side. A sniper shot and hited a Soviet soldier in a head. His friend began to shout "Scums! You are scums!" He took his rifle and prepared to shoot but a Soviet officer run to him and grasped the barrel of his rifle: "Do not shoot! Do not shoot! It is an official order for you!"

          Here what was that agreement.

          The Soviets secretly helped to anti-Japanese forces, anti-Japanese forces helped to the Soviets (gave intelligence information about the situation in Manchuria).
          Last edited by Andrey; 18 Aug 05, 21:47.

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          • #6
            Interesting stuff. I understand why the battles are not well known as it was Nazi Germany that invaded and caused the deaths of millions of Soviet civilians.

            Still I can see it was a proud moment for Russians to come back, and the operations in Kuriles certainly deserve to be well known. Plus there is some justice as the aggressions that led to WWII started in Manchuria.

            One question, how much air opposition were the Japanese able to muster? I imagine not much eh?

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            • #7
              The Japanese Army of Manchuria had been gutted of some of its best units and equipment by the time the Soviet Offensive began.
              Thye had been sent off to fight in China and the Pacific or maybe for Home Defense.

              Also the attack came as a shock to the Japanese Government anyway though probably the local military commanders must have realised something was in the wind in the days beforehand.

              I think I read somewhere recently that the Soviet's used this campaign as a classic study case after the War to teach trainee Staff officers.
              http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

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              • #8
                Well Wolfe, I don't want to get into a debate here about the a-bombing but I have read some historians who claim the Soviet offensive was more of a shock than the a-bombs. I suppose it was more conventional and easier to digest. Oh and re-reading the thread, at Andrey, I don't think I said (and never have thought) the Soviets and Japan had a friendship pact. Non-agression is something different.
                Last edited by joea; 20 Aug 05, 08:41.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Wolfe Tone
                  The Japanese Army of Manchuria had been gutted of some of its best units and equipment by the time the Soviet Offensive began.
                  Thye had been sent off to fight in China and the Pacific or maybe for Home Defense.
                  The Soviet advance was so successful not because the Japanese were weak but because the Soviet troops were very good. The Soviets used the troops with huge experience of the combats against Germany.

                  The Japanese Quantun Army was the best and the largest Japanese Army group, it had a lot of time to prepare their defence positions. The Japanese in Manchuria had a few very powerful defence lines. The amount of the Japanese soldiers in Manchuria and Korea was 600,000-1,000,000 (I don't remember exact digit). You can compare yourself this digit with the amount of the Japanese in Ivojima and Okinava, to recall how the Japanese fought there and to make your conclusions was it easy or not to crush the Japanese in Manchuria.

                  Also the attack came as a shock to the Japanese Government anyway though probably the local military commanders must have realised something was in the wind in the days beforehand.
                  As I remember USSR had canceled Non-Aggression Pack with Japan in April of 1945 (as I remember). So the joining of USSR to the war against Japan was not too amazing event.

                  In Yalta in 1945 Stalin promised to the Western Allies to join the war against Japan 3 months after the end of the war against Germany. Add yourselve 3 months to May, 9th.

                  The Soviet Command made huge efforts to get element of surprise.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by joea
                    Oh and re-reading the thread, at Andrey, I don't think I said (and never have thought) the Soviets and Japan had a friendship pact. Non-agression is something different.
                    It was not the same like the Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler of 1939.

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                    • #11
                      Andrey, can you give me a brief summary of the differences? Is there a text in English or failing that in Russian on the Soviet-Japanese treaty?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by joea
                        Andrey, can you give me a brief summary of the differences? Is there a text in English or failing that in Russian on the Soviet-Japanese treaty?
                        After the Pact with Hitler USSR made a lot of efforts to insinuate Hitler:

                        - USSR stopped anti-fascist propaganda and began pro-German propaganda, newspapers wrote news in pro-German style;
                        - USSR began to send strategical raws to Germany, USSr began trade with Hitler that was more favorable to Hitler. When Germany attacked USSR in 1941 a German general said: "We didn't get more than we would get and wothout military actions";
                        - the delegations of military experts began to visit military plants of other side
                        - and so on.

                        In June, 14th of 1941 the famous message of TASS was published. In that message the Soviet government said top everyone that the rumors about near war between USSR and Germany are completely groundless and that the friendship between Germany and USSR is strong.

                        In the case of Non-Aggression Pact with Japan USSR didn't make such ctions to insinuate Japan. Everyone in USSR understood and knew that Japan is enemy.

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                        • #13
                          Thanks, sure looks like Stalin really fooled himself hoping to avert or delay Hitler's attack.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by joea
                            Thanks, sure looks like Stalin really fooled himself hoping to avert or delay Hitler's attack.
                            But USSR had won WWII....

                            In 1939 USSR had no T-34, KV, IL-2, Yak-1, MiG-3, "Katyusha"...

                            And sure looks like France and Britain really fooled themselve in Munich in 1938. Remember about Munich, 1938 when you will kick Stalin again...
                            Last edited by Andrey; 22 Aug 05, 19:24.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Andrey
                              But USSR had won WWII....

                              In 1939 USSR had no T-34, KV, IL-2, Yak-1, MiG-3, "Katyusha"...

                              And sure looks like France and Britain really fooled themselve in Munich in 1938. Remember about Munich, 1938 when you will kick Stalin again...
                              Yes of course you are right, go ahead and kick Chamberlain and (who was the French guy again?) if you like.

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