On the 75th anniversary of the Victory in World War II, the TV channelHistory"Conducts a nationwide campaign-competition" I am proud. " Each person can shoot and send a video to the contest about why he is proud of his great-grandfather, grandfather or someone close to them who participated in the Great Patriotic War. This is a story of a feat that is stored in every Russian family. You can familiarize yourself with the rules of the contest, as well as send your work on the site jagorzu.rf
Hitlerite Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945, but World War II did not end there. In the Pacific, the allies fought fierce battles with the forces of militaristic Japan. On August 9, the USSR attacked the Japanese in northern China. The millionth Kwantung army was defeated in three weeks. This offensive was the last military operation of World War II. How did the Soviet troops defeat the most powerful army in Asia? On what conditions did Japan capitulate? And how did the inhabitants of Manchuria greet the Red Army?
Under the yoke of Japan
The Chinese city of Dalian is today a major business and commercial center of East Asia. It is home to over 6 million people. The city is located in the south of the Liaodong Peninsula and is washed by the waters of the Yellow Sea on three sides. By Chinese standards, Dalian has a relatively short history. It was founded by Russian settlers in the late 19th century as the terminal station of the Sino-Eastern Railway. In 1905, following the results of the Russo-Japanese War, the city was transferred to Japan. The next forty years, Japanese militarists ruled here. During World War II, they completely looted the captured Chinese territories. Most of the locals were enslaved or destroyed in the most cruel ways. Here, in northeastern China, the Japanese experienced bacteriological weapon, infected people with plague, cholera, anthrax and other deadly diseases. The nightmare was put to an end by the liberation of Dalian and the whole of Northern China by Soviet troops in 1945. Thus ended the era of national humiliation of the Chinese people. During the liberation of North China from the Japanese, more than 12 thousand Soviet soldiers and officers died. Today, 58 of our military graves are carefully preserved in China. One of them is located in the town of Lushun, forty kilometers from Dalian. This is the largest burial place of soldiers of the Red Army in East Asia.
The military-political conflict between Russia and Japan arose long before the outbreak of World War II. In 1904, the Japanese fleet attacked the Russian squadron in Port Arthur. The bloody war lasted more than a year. After the defeat of the Russian fleet in the Tsushima Strait, the government of Nicholas II signed the Portsmouth Peace Treaty with Japan, which deprived our country of influence in the Far Eastern region. By the mid-1920s, Japan was becoming one of the richest and most militarized Asian powers. The cult of war and military man was strong here. In terms of training and equipment, Japanese troops were not inferior to many European armies of that time. Japan needed territories and resources that the Japanese islands lacked. The government in Tokyo has embarked on the creation of a colonial empire, whose economy should be built on the subjugation and plunder of neighboring nations.
In the fall of 1931, Japanese troops invaded northern China. In Manchuria, the Japanese announced the re-establishment of the Manchurian Empire. It also housed the largest group of Japanese armed forces, the Kwantung Army, which in different years numbered from two hundred thousand to one and a half million people. With the help of these troops, the Japanese command planned to occupy the Soviet Far East and reach the Urals. Nazi Germany became the main ally of the Japanese Empire in Europe. Both regimes had a common enemy - the Soviet Union, a war with which in Berlin and Tokyo was considered inevitable. In the fall of 1936, the Japanese entered into an agreement with Hitler, known as the Anti-Comintern Pact. In it, both regimes pledged to wage a merciless struggle against the communist international and support each other in establishing world hegemony.
On May 11, 1939, Japanese troops, having three times superiority in manpower and military equipment, attacked the Mongolian border guards in the area of the Khalkhin Gol River. Arriving to the aid of the Mongols, Soviet troops entered into a fierce battle and forced the Japanese to retreat.
On April 12, 1941, Japanese Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka arrived in Moscow for negotiations. The next day, in the Kremlin, in the presence of Stalin, a five-year Soviet-Japanese neutrality treaty was signed. Countries have pledged not to attack each other in the event of a military conflict with any third power.
On June 22, 1941, Germany attacked the USSR. By the end of the summer, the Wehrmacht occupied most of Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states. In September, the Germans took Smolensk and entered the direct road to Moscow. The Soviet command to the last did not dare to transfer troops from the Far East to protect the capital. In this difficult time, Japan could attack the Soviet Union at any moment. Throughout the war, Hitler did not abandon attempts to persuade Japan to attack the Soviet Union. In 1942, he specifically invited the Japanese ambassador to Berlin, General Asima, to tour the occupied territories of the USSR. This was done not only in order to push Japan to enter the war against the Soviet Union, but also to demonstrate to the Asian ally the success of Germany in the development of the seized resources and territories. Having visited the enterprises of Odessa, Nikolaev, Mariupol, Sevastopol, Rostov-on-Don and Kiev, Asima wrote a report in Tokyo, where he expressed confidence in the imminent victory of Germany over the Soviet Union.
By the summer of 1945, the Kwantung Army of Japan was the largest and most well-trained military unit in Asia. It was led by General Yamada Otzo. To strengthen the Kwantung divisions, Japanese troops from southern China were transferred to Manchuria. They were supported by the Manzhou Guo Army and the collaborative troops of Inner Mongolia. The total number of Japanese forces in the Far East exceeded 1 million 300 thousand people. In service with the Kwantung Army there were 1215 tanks and 1907 aircraft. Under the army of Otozo there was a special-purpose brigade - suicide bombers. Near the Soviet border, 17 fortified areas with a total length of one thousand kilometers were equipped. In June 1945, large forces of the Kwantung Army occupied fortified areas near the Soviet and Mongolian borders. Here, the Japanese hoped to delay the advance of the Red Army. The main forces of the Japanese were to force the Soviet troops to go on the defensive, and then, together with the approaching Japanese reserves from China and Korea, throw them back and invade the territory of the USSR.
The transfer of Soviet troops to the Far East began immediately after the end of the war with Germany. Echelons with soldiers, military equipment and ammunition covered over 10 thousand kilometers along the Trans-Siberian Railway. By August, 1,5 million Soviet soldiers, five and a half thousand tanks and about five thousand aircraft were on the border with Manchuria. Marshal of the Soviet Union Alexander Vasilevsky was appointed commander in chief of this huge army.
The Soviet plan called for encircling the enemy by simultaneously attacking the armies inland from Manchuria from the territory of Mongolia and Soviet Primorye. The troops had to travel huge distances in a desert and arid environment. The operation was carefully prepared. Thousands of tons of fuel, a six-month supply of food and fodder were brought to the border.
On the evening of August 8, the Soviet ambassador in Tokyo informed the Japanese government that the Soviet Union was breaking the treaty of neutrality. It was early morning in the Far East at this time. By the evening of the same day, Soviet troops went on the offensive on all fronts. Having passed through the dense coastal forests, our units began the assault on the fortified Hutou region, which the Japanese had been building for five years and considered impregnable. For every kilometer of Japanese fortifications there were about 30 artillery and machine-gun pillboxes. During the assault on Hutou in just a few days, more than a thousand Red Army soldiers died. On the third day of the fighting, the Red Army broke through the Japanese defenses in the areas of Heihe and Fujin and approached the suburbs of Harbin. When the resistance of the Japanese firing points was suppressed, the kamikaze went into battle, who sneaked up on groups of Soviet soldiers and undermined themselves among them. At the approaches to the city of Mudanjiang, 200 suicide bombers, hiding in the dense grass, tried to block the way for Soviet tanks. The desperate resistance of the Japanese was suppressed only by August 19, when the Red Army entered the approaches to Jirin and the Korean border, finally cutting off the communication of the Kwantung Army with the Japanese islands. Towards the Far Eastern fronts, troops of the Transbaikal Front came out from the territory of Mongolia. The path to central Manchuria passed through the Gobi desert and the rocky mountains of Greater Khingan. Tanks and car convoys moved along the swampy valleys of mountain rivers and the steep slopes of hills reaching up to thirty degrees. Soviet sappers had to expand roads with the help of directed explosions. The most advanced sections of the Red Army overcame this most complicated stretch of track several hundred kilometers long in just two days. Finding Japanese soldiers, the columns did not even slow down, destroying the enemy with special assault troops. Already on August 11, Soviet tanks entered the Manchurian plain and approached the cities of Mukden and Changchun, cutting off the Kwantung army from the Japanese reserves in northern China. On August 19, Soviet airborne troops landed in large cities in central Manchuria. The fighters were tasked to occupy airfields, railway stations and arsenals, cut communications and prevent the Japanese command from leaving the besieged cities. The swift offensive of the Red Army came as a complete surprise to the Japanese command.
On August 14, 1945, Emperor Hirohito turned to the nation on the radio and called on Japanese troops to capitulate. Upon learning of this, the commander of the Kwantung Army, General Otozo, ordered his soldiers to lay down their arms. During the days of the Manchu battles, the Soviet Pacific Fleet entered the Sea of Japan, blocked enemy bases and cut communications that connected Korea and Manchuria with the Japanese islands. On August 11, the Soviet Marines landed in the ports of southern Sakhalin, and a week later - on the islands of the Kuril ridge. By September, Soviet troops liberated 56 islands. 50 thousand Japanese were captured. On August 15, Soviet troops landed at Seishin port in northern Korea. By August 20, Soviet troops completed the encirclement of the main forces of the Kwantung Army. For 11 days of fighting, the Japanese lost 84 thousand people killed. Such a quick defeat of the most powerful Asian army became a worldwide sensation.
With the advent of the Red Army, the 14-year period of the Japanese occupation of North China ended. In the Chinese villages ravaged by the Japanese, there was not even food left. The Soviet Union provided China with its first humanitarian aid.
On the eve of the Soviet offensive in Manchuria, the Americans dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The explosions were such a force that in Hiroshima alone, half of the city buildings were destroyed. At a distance of a kilometer from the place where the bomb fell, all living things died instantly. At least 100 thousand people became victims of the attack. According to the official version of Washington, the main goal of the nuclear strike was to completely demoralize Japanese society and force Tokyo to surrender.
On September 2, 1945, at 9 o’clock in the morning, an act of surrender of the Japanese Empire was signed aboard the American battleship Missouri, which was stationed in a raid in Tokyo Bay. Thus ended the Second World War. In 1951, in San Francisco, the United States of America and its allies signed a peace treaty with Japan. In this document, the Japanese government forever abandoned any claims to southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. However, the status of these territories was not defined in the agreement. Contrary to the promises that Roosevelt made to Stalin at the Yalta Conference, the Americans did not recognize the Kuril Islands as part of the USSR. The Soviet delegation refused to sign this document. The peace treaty between Russia and Japan has not been concluded to this day.