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    Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

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    BTRfan
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    Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  BTRfan on Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:23 pm

    I've been reading a number of American authors who contend that the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of far less significance in forcing the surrender of Japan than the destruction of the Kwantung Army in Manchuria by the Soviets and the destruction/capture of all Japanese forces in Okinawa by the Americans. Combined with all of this was the near total destruction of the Japanese merchant fleet that was largely achieved by the middle of the summer of 1945.

    The Soviets contend that they were going to invade Hokkaido although I do not believe this claim can be seen as credible in light of the near total lack of amphibious landing craft and the generally weak state of the Soviet Far East fleet [if you want to call it a fleet]. I also do not know what the Japanese were aware of or unaware of in regards to Soviet amphibious naval capabilities. However, with the loss of Manchuria and Korea, Japan lost a large part of its thus far untouched/undamaged industry, and it lost a large force of men [albeit of questionable training] that could have been transferred to Kyushu to defend against the anticipated American invasion. The Soviet invasion of Manchuria/Korea, by itself, without any attempt to follow-up with an invasion of Hokkaido had, without question, a devastating impact on Japan's ability and willingness to attempt to remain in the war.


    The importance of the nuclear attacks have been overstated as Japan lost more in just the firebombing of Tokyo than in both the atomic bomb attacks combined, yet it did not surrender from the firebombing.

    The mine campaign against their major shipping lanes [which largely destroyed Japan's merchant marine in the space of four months], the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, and the conquest of Okinawa, were substantial factors that contributed to Japan's capitulation, much more so than the destruction of two cities. America had largely destroyed a number of Japanese cities during its non-nuclear bombing campaigns and that had not compelled Japan to surrender.


    If I had to rank the importance of certain factors that contributed to their surrender in 1945, I would rank them as follows-

    1- The loss of their merchant fleet [an argument could be made to make this #2 on the list]
    2- Soviet invasion of Manchuria [an argument could be made to make this #1 on the list]
    3- Loss of Okinawa
    4- Near guarantee that America was going to invade in Kyushu if Japan did not surrender
    5- Nuclear strikes
    6- Possible threat of a Soviet invasion in Hokkaido [with what we know now, there was no real possibility of the Soviets coming ashore against defended beaches in Hokkaido and they would have even had problems unloading in a poorly defended port due to the lack of amphibious invasion capabilities and their lack of experience with naval/amphibious logistics] but there is no way to be certain if the Japanese were aware of the Soviet limitations in amphibious operations


    The first two are the most importance, as the loss of their merchant fleet meant that people in Japan were largely starving and the military would have to make do with whatever they had. Organized and effective resistance becomes very difficult when the soldiers are malnourished and low on all manner of supplies. The Soviet invasion of Manchuria cost Japan its most intact industrial/resource base and it cost Japan 600,000 soldiers and several thousand armored fighting vehicles, many of which would probably have been transferred to Japan for the defense of Kyushu in anticipation of the American landings.


    The consistent conclusion of the authors I have been reading is that the dropping of the two nuclear bombs on Japan was unnecessary and the attacks were not the main factor in the Japanese surrender.

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  GarryB on Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:23 am

    Though I largely agree with what you have said I think there are a few other aspects that are important and need to be considered.

    First of all I think after turning away from creating a second front against the Soviets (largely because they found out about the molotov-rippentrop agreement and decided to use Germany but to not totally trust her), they perhaps thought of the Soviets... especially very late in the war as a way of negotiating with the US some sort of peace that would keep their emperor from any humiliation. Remember he was considered a god... can you imagine what they thought might have happened?

    Second regarding an invasion of Japan by the Soviets I rather suspect the US and indeed the British would have been happy to lend landing ships, and they would have been quite capable of air dropping rather large ground forces onto main land Japan to capture a small port to allow an invasion. They were dropping units 10,000 soldiers strong with their equipment in the early 1930s remember. They sent forces ahead of the ground troops in Manchuria and negotiated a few surrenders before the ground troops even arrived.

    Of course after all that island hopping in the Pacific I rather doubt the American leadership would have been happy to see Soviet troops in Tokyo so perhaps lend lease would not have been so forthcoming... there are some arguments that the bombs were used to get Japan to surrender before the Soviets occupied too much of Asia.


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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  max steel on Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:38 am

    The Bomb didnt beat Japan.....Stalin did

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/?utm_content=buffera55a3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

    Did Hiroshima save Japan from sovie occupation?

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/08/05/stalin_japan_hiroshima_occupation_hokkaido/?utm_content=bufferca03b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  BTRfan on Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:15 am

    max steel wrote:  The Bomb didnt beat Japan.....Stalin did

    http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/05/30/the-bomb-didnt-beat-japan-stalin-did/?utm_content=buffera55a3&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

     Did Hiroshima save Japan from sovie occupation?

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/08/05/stalin_japan_hiroshima_occupation_hokkaido/?utm_content=bufferca03b&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer


    There is much truth in the idea that the bomb did not beat Japan, only some truth in the idea that Stalin did...

    Japan was offering to surrender as early as February 1945... Basically they were starving to death from the American blockade and the American destruction of their merchant marine.

    The Soviet invasion of Manchuria was the final blow in a long line of blows, and Japan did not want to have the Soviets invade the home islands. However, Japan was already asking America about surrender terms, the main sticking point is they were told that it would have to be unconditional and it would have to involve the Emperor being removed, they were not willing to accept the Emperor being removed so they fought on and in the end we granted them that one term.

    Most American commanders were vehemently against using nuclear weapons on Japan, some of the top commanders were not even consulted, and were horrified with what happened. Truman wanted to try to terrorize the Soviets into making concessions in Europe by showing them what the USA could do to Japan with just a few bombs.

    Japan was mostly starved into submission by the Americans, it got to the point where in the last few months of the war the average Japanese citizen was getting less than 600 calories of food per day. In short they were literally starving to death.


    http://www.trueactivist.com/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-it-was-not-to-end-the-war-or-save-lives/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=antimedia

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  max steel on Sat Aug 08, 2015 8:23 am

    Here is the book about what truly happened related to Japan's surrender : http://www.amazon.com/Racing-Enemy-Stalin-Truman-Surrender/dp/0674022416




    the US tho seized a major japanese island...5 of them! I love how they still make excuses for dropping 2 atomic bombs on Japan. The US did not get a better deal from Japan. They got the same deal they would have without the bombs.


    Japan was not saved from Soviet occupation by Truman's nukes, but by the Japanese defeat at Khalkhin Gol and the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact of April 1941 that followed. The Soviet Union had no plan or desire to attack, invade or occupy Japan. The Soviet invaded Manchuria only because of Allied pleas to for them to enter World War II's Pacific Theater. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Stalin finally conceded and agreed to enter the war against Japan within three months of the end of the war in Europe. The invasion began on 9 August 1945 (one minute past midnight Trans-Baikal time), exactly three months after the German surrender on May 8 (9 May, 0:43 Moscow time).

    Nothing in 1945 could save Japan from occupation. The anti-Russian rant in the article is that American occupation was somehow preferable to Soviet occupation. The Chinese and most Koreans disagreed. They ended up throwing out the Americans.

    The central theme of the article is however correct ( my 2nd link) . The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not targeted at Japan but the Soviet Union. Unfortunately the message is lost under the icing of Cold War anti-Soviet propaganda clichés.

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  GarryB on Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:40 am

    I pretty much agree... the nuclear weapons were a political statement... the question is to whom it was directed.

    Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both selected amongst the alternative cities specifically because they had no military value.

    The question is was it a statement to the Japanese to say all the moralistic BS we spout is just that and we will murder every single one of you if you don't surrender now.

    Or was it directed at Stalin to say... OK you have a powerful military force but we now have super weapons so talk to us as equals...

    They might have been wanting to say both things.

    The question to ask would be why they didn't threaten the Germans and save a few million German civilians and Soviet troops? Or were they not worth anything?

    Of course after bombing the crap out of German civilians their value probably wasn't a priority, but I suspect they would never have nuked civilised white europe... much easier to kill those untrustable asians that stab you in the back like at Pearl Harbour.

    Of course the huge irony that no one in the west would even consider is that if the Soviets did invade Japan and occupy it it is very likely that they would have installed a friendly government and then withdraw like they did in China/Manchuria.

    More importantly they likely would have occupied all of Korea so that war between north and south never would needed to have happened and no one would likely know who Alan Alda is/was.


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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  max steel on Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:52 am

    Garry what's your opinion on Korea war ? Will you call it a stalemate or a victory for N.K ? Though I would love to see an unified Korea but it wiln't as long as americans don't leave south korea and n.koreans don't dismantle their nukes .

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  Werewolf on Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:31 am

    max steel wrote:Garry what's your opinion on Korea war ? Will you call it a stalemate or a victory for N.K ? Though I would love to see an unified Korea but it wiln't as long as americans don't leave south korea and n.koreans don't dismantle their nukes .

    North Korea must keep their nukes at all costs and all Koreans must work on throwing out their 5th column scum that is doing all provocative things towards their own people just to please US and keep one and the same population hostile towards each other. The Nukes are the only assurance for Koreans not being invaded again!

    If you want freedom you need assure that MAD is present at all costs.

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  GarryB on Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:54 am

    It is funny how western perception of Korea is distorted... these days the threat is supposed to be millions of North Koreans coming south... yet it was the large force of Chinese that did that in the Korean war... the North Koreans were pushed back by the UN force.

    Very simply the North Koreans crushed the South Koreans and were in turn crushed by the UN force... it was the Chinese forces that understandably didn't want US forces on its border that pushed the UN forces back to the lines they hold today.

    Personally I think the biggest stumbling block to peace is the US and their presence makes the situation about world politics and fighting communism... it should be about a unified and prosperous Korea...


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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  Walther von Oldenburg on Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:41 pm

    Actually DPRK forces were very close to pushing UN army out of the Pusan perimeter and conquering all of Korea. Some US general stated that if the Norks sent 2 more battalions into action, the war would be lost... but US airpower saved the day, DPRK infrastructure was heavily bombed and it was hard to move supplies around the country so ultimately the battle was lost.

    I am pretty sure that if the Chinese sent their forces earlier to help Norks push UN forces out, the war would be over by 1950.

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  max steel on Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:01 am

    I was wondering about rather blasé US attitude toward confrontation with Russia, the country with powerful nuclear arsenal. But then I realized a simple thing. A lot of Americans don't know squat about the effect of nuclear explosions. The concrete, palatable effects of radiation and so on. The stuff that most of the Russians and Europeans grew up with, watching, listening, and reading about Hiroshima and Nagasaki ad nausea.

    Turns out, indeed, there is a lot of documentary footage that exists, but was never released. Japanese themselves began to shoot a documentary only to be arrested by Americans. So there is about 160 minutes of it, and what was released so far, is about sixteen. It is sort of sickening. Here is an article, which is worth re-reading, even though it is few years old.

    " Still, the question of precisely why the footage remained secret for so long lingered. But McGovern told me, “The main reason it was classified was because of the horror, the devastation. The medical effects were pretty gory. The attitude was: do not show any medical effects. Don’t make people sick.”

    But who was behind this? “I always had the sense,” McGovern answered, “that people in the AEC were sorry they had dropped the bomb. The Air Force—it was also sorry. I was told by people in the Pentagon that they didn’t want those images out because they showed effects on man, woman and child. But the AEC, they were the ones that stopped it from coming out. They had power of God over everybody. If it had anything to do with nukes, they had to see it. They were the ones who destroyed a lot of film and pictures of the first US nuclear tests after the war.”

    As Dark Circle director Chris Beaver had said, “With the government trying to sell the public on a new civil defense program and Reagan arguing that a nuclear war is survivable, this footage could be awfully bad publicity.”


    The Great Hiroshima Cover-up: How the US hid shocking footage for decades.




    I can understand the argument about the need to drop the bombs to shorten the war, to make Japanese to surrender and so on. But immediately after the explosions in which about 100 thousand died right away, leaving another fifty to suffer and die in pain, there were articles published, that nuclear bomb is just another bomb, that "it is the easiest way to die", that there is nothing special about it and so on. One great guy, John Hersey, wrote a brilliant book, Hiroshima, based on eyewitness accounts, but I don't think it sank in. At least, not for the majority of the population. And of course, he didn't get a Nobel Prize for his writings, as opposed to the same type of journalism carried out by this Soviet hack, Ms. Aleksievich.

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  Werewolf on Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:39 pm

    It is actually ironic that the americans know so little about nuclear explosions and the fallout and consequences, since it was the american society that was conditioned in a pawlow like reflex with the fearmongering by US government of nuclear weapons in the 70's, i believe. With movies like "Duck and Cover" and often sirens training and conditioning of the population to that state of fear for quite some time.

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    Re: Operation August Storm [USSR invasion of Manchuria]

    Post  BTRfan on Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:45 am

    Werewolf wrote:It is actually ironic that the americans know so little about nuclear explosions and the fallout and consequences, since it was the american society that was conditioned in a pawlow like reflex with the fearmongering by US government of nuclear weapons in the 70's, i believe. With movies like "Duck and Cover" and often sirens training and conditioning of the population to that state of fear for quite some time.


    Duck and Cover was more 1950s.


    The American establishment elite and top military brass knew about radiation and fallout, they used to conduct atmospheric tests and then have entire regiments and brigades of soldiers march into the blast areas after the dust had settled, so they could get data on human exposure to radioactive fallout and determine if soldiers could be "combat effective" and coordinate maneuvers/patrols in areas that had just been hit with nuclear bombs. Of course a significant number of those soldiers wound up prematurely dying due to cancer.

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