Battle Spotlight 4: Battle of Manchuria

On August 8 as decided at the Tehran and Yalta conferences Russia would assist the USA in the pacific theater by invading the Manchuria part of the Japanese Empire. During the attacks, Russia was supported by Mongolia and the Republic of China (it wasn’t Communist yet). While on the other side it was Japan, Manchuria and supporters from inner Mongolia .The Soviet commander Marshal  Aleksandr Vasilevsky’s plan to capture Manchuria was simple but huge. It was to be conducted on  three fronts, Transbaikal Front (from China), the First East Front (from Vladovstok) and the Second Far East Front (from Khabarovsk).    

In this campaign the Red Army used pincer tactics against the Japanese army after they crossed the Mongolian mountains. They were far from their supply lines but the Japanese officers were away from there soldiers on a training exercise so the soldiers were disorganized. Communications were bad from the beginning but the Japanese Kwantung Army were known every where for there ferocity in battle.They fought hard even though they were unprepared. They held out for hours at the town of Hailar which is the base for most Soviet units. At this time Soviet Air Force East was bombing the Japanese air fields and capturing the rest of them, thus destroying all hope of Japanese air support within the next 24 hours. The Soviet pincer from the east crossed the Ussuri and advanced around Khanka Lake and attacked towards Suifenhe, and although Japanese defenders fought hard and provided strong resistance, the Soviets overwhelmed them.

After a week of fighting the Japanese emperor Hirohito told the nation that talks of surrender were going to be held. This shocked the nation because surrender was unheard of by the Japanese. The Japanese Army HQ was slow give the cease fire order due to poor communications. When it was given most members of the Japanese army did not believe that they were surrendering and continued fighting. Others just ignored the orders. Meanwhile the soviets continued there advance the Soviet Mongolian Cavalry captured Dolon Nur and Kalgan. The Emperor, and former emperor of china were captured along with all the Japanese high command, by the Soviet Red Amy. The cease fire order was finally communicated, but not before the Soviets gained new territory. The soviet land advance was stopped short of the Yalu river at the top of the Korean peninsula, when even the aerial supply lines became unavailable. The forces already in Korea were able to establish a bit of control in the peninsula’s north, but the ambition to take the entire peninsula was cut short when American forces landed at Incheon on September 8, six days after the signing of the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. After the battle the Soviets occupied Manchuria with 700,000 troops. Those troops looted the entire area of resources and industrial equipment. Soviet troops terrorized the populace of Mudken, but the civilians not discouraged by three days of defilement and pillage. In Harbin the Chinese promoted slogans: “Down with Red imperialism”, as they were ignored by Soviet troops.

Thanks to Ameer who helped me with this.

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