Manchurian Offensive

We here on IST have had a bit of a discussion on the Second World War and the acts that were undertaken to end it. Basically we were discussing whether the bombs dropped were necessary.

The entry of the USSR into the war in the Pacific made Japan think that their position was hopeless was brought up….I thought I would look into that event and what were the repercussions.

At one minute past midnight on 9 Aug 1945, or 61 minutes after the declaration of war, Soviet troops organized in three fronts poured into Japanese-occupied northeastern China, a region also known by its historical name of Manchuria. Northeastern China had been governed by the Japanese-sponsored puppet regime of Manchukuo since 1932. The Soviet troops were of the Far Eastern Command under the overall command of Marshal Aleksandr Vasilevsky, who devised a giant pincer movement against the unprepared Japanese troops. In Vasilevsky’s plan, the Transbaikal Front under Marshal R. Y. Malinovsky was to attack from the west across the Inner Mongolian desert and over the Greater Khingan mountain range, with Mukden (Shenyang), Liaoning Province, China as the primary target; the attached 36th Army was to break off after the initial invasion and head toward Harbin and Qiqihar to meet the 2nd Far East Front. The 2nd Far East Front under General M. A. Purkayev attacked in the center largely in a support role only, with the primary objectives of securing Harbin and Qiqihar, upon the successful completion of which, the front was to move toward the port of Lushunkou (Russian: Port-Artur; Anglicized: Port Arthur) of the city of Dalian, Liaoning Province after the 1st Far East Front completed its primary objectives. Finally, from the east over the Lesser Khingan mountain range, the 1st Far East Front under Marshal K. A. Meretskov was to capture the cities in east, including Changchun; its secondary objective was to cut off Japanese escape routes into Korea, and its tertiary objective was to invade and occupy northern Korea. In total, 1,577,725 men in 89 divisions with the support of 3,704 tanks, 1,852 self-propelled guns, 27,086 artillery pieces, and 3,721 aircraft were utilized in the invasion.

But why did the USSR feel it necessary to enter into the War in the Pacific?

The Second World War was an unparalleled calamity for the Soviet Union. As many as 27 million Soviet soldiers and civilians died as a result of the conflict that started with the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 and ended with the Japanese surrender in August 1945.

Consumed by this existential struggle along its western border, the Soviet Union was a comparatively minor factor in the Pacific War until the very end. Yet Moscow’s timely intervention in the war against Japan allowed it to expand its influence along the Pacific Rim.

09 August 1945 was a Day of Destiny for the world.

If you, my reader, has an opinion on this historical event please feel free to join in the conversation.

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“Lego Ergo Scribo”

8 thoughts on “Manchurian Offensive

  1. It is my understanding that Japanese had a million troops with supplies, airplanes, tanks and fuel to last a year in Manchuria. I think they would have been creamed by the Russian tanks against their light and medium tanks.

    1. The Japanese already had their hands full with Mao and his troops….the Russian would have been a force to contend with….chuq

  2. Definitely a Geopolitical move by the USSR to gain ground after the war. I am also interested in your opinion on the Japanese moves to Australia. Was it their ultimate intention to invade Australia, as some Europeans suggest?

    1. I think they were just trying to neutralize the influence…I do not think that invasion was their plan….thanx for the visit and comment….I appreciate your readership chuq

      1. Yes, re the invasion plan of the Japanese. I have heard that suggestion too that they never planned to invade, but I am still a bit dubious. Australia was resource rich and we all know that is what Japan lacked and seeked to obtain. ” Northern Australia was to endure almost a hundred air raids, from Exmouth in the west to Townsville in the east. At the same time, Japanese submarines attacked merchant vessels off the coast of eastern Australia.”
        At least some of this was diversionary and to break supply lines to New Guinea, as one writer observed, however then I read about the Tanaka plan here:
        Interesting to say the least.

  3. No doubt Stalin saw a great opportunity to grab land and valuable resources by jumping on the bandwagon of the Pacific War, late in the day. And let’s not forget that forty years earlier, under the Czarist regime in 1905, Russia had suffered a humiliating defeat in a war against the Japanese. And that war was about the very same territories that Stalin was invading, namely Mancuria, and Korea. Maybe he wanted some ‘payback’ too?
    Best wishes, Pete.

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