did japan surrender because of russia

Repeated requests to begin the battle were denied, only to be followed by more urgent demands. Even as diplomatic messages were being exchanged, the ever aggressive Kwantung Army began preparations to eject the Russian “trespassers,” and a Japanese infantry division was rushed to the area. Fewer than 2,000 Japanese soldiers attacked in darkness and with surprise, overwhelming the Soviet defenders. The resulting battles, which lasted into August 1939, cost the Japanese between 18,000 and 23,000 casualties and achieved nothing in terms of additional territory. Immediate surrender was the only option. To prevent further Russian action, the Japanese ordered a more aggressive border security policy for all their units. There had already been a rain of ruin, and it hadn’t changed the Japanese game-plan. The Japanese, by now fully involved in the so-called “China Incident,” ignored the threat. These were conventional bombs, but no less effective at slaughtering civilians. But what if Stimson was wrong? Many requests—at Tehran, Yalta, and most recently at Potsdam—had been made for Russia to enter the war against Japan. Essentially, a strong Russian force of about 20 infantry divisions massed on the border of Japan’s puppet state, Manchukuo—formerly Manchuria—to prevent any Japanese incursions. The standard argument in favour of US President Truman’s decision to drop the bombs has always been that, by unleashing such devastating force, the president avoided an even more devastating ground war that might have gone for many more months, taking untold numbers of Allied lives. This left the Kwantung Army with inadequately trained and equipped forces should any enemy suddenly appear. Not so the Russians. Many people today don’t realise that, while the Soviets had been allied with Britain and the US in the fight against Hitler, they were not actually at war with Japan at the time of the Potsdam Declaration. So when President Truman, hinting at the nuclear attacks to come, said that the Japanese could “expect a rain of ruin from the air” if they didn’t surrender, it wasn’t really much of a threat. This move, in the spring of 1931, set the stage for the Sino-Japanese War, which would last until Japan’s defeat and surrender in August 1945. As the situation in China deteriorated, the Japanese Army used a series of staged provocations to eventually invade and seize Manchuria. The question was, how to finally crush their seemingly unbending resolve? Russia was kept out of the pacific and the US stayed because Japan surrendered to the US. As historian Tsuyoshi Hasegawa puts it, “The Soviet entry into the war played a much greater role than the atomic bombs in inducing Japan to surrender because it dashed any hope that Japan could terminate the war through Moscow's mediation.”, That’s the key point: the Japanese weren’t fighting to win. Several of the best combat divisions within the Army were called up to do battle in New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Central Pacific. The Imperial Japanese Army was particularly interested in showcasing its skills. If Japan’s leaders were going to surrender because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you would expect to find that they cared about the bombing of … It inflicted a serious body blow, but it was hardly a knock-out punch.”. The Western Allies, therefore, were anxious for some assistance in defeating Japan once Germany surrendered. General Grigori Shtern brought up his 49th Corps of the Red Banner Far Eastern Army, and repeated Soviet counterattacks drove the Japanese back, with heavy casualties on both sides. Some historians certainly think so. It inflicted a serious body blow, but it was hardly a knock-out punch.”. But these increasing violations of Chinese sovereignty brought a new player into the scenario: the Soviet Union. #OnThisDayInHistory American B-29 bomber the Enola Gay drops the world's first atom bomb over the city of Hiroshima. The Soviets could focus on taking on the Nazis without worrying about being attacked on the other side by Japan, while the Japanese were free to concentrate on their brutal battles with the US. The traditionalist conception is that the atomic bombs were crucial to forcing Japan to accept surrender, and that the bombings prevented a planned invasion of Japan that might have cost more lives. Garon attributes Japan’s delayed surrender to military intransigence and diplomatic incompetence, a dithering that subjected Japan to needless devastation. What Would Happen if a Supervolcano Erupted. Stalin decided that he had had enough of Japanese provocations. The results, of course, were the 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor, the Philippines, Wake Island, and other American, British, French, and Dutch territories in the Pacific. Neville Chamberlain: heroic peacemaker or pathetic pushover? There were no significant incidents and no struggles with the Russians. Stalin had agreed in principle but had put off releasing any details. But, as the war continued and his spies in the British and American intelligence communities reported progress on the atomic bombs, Stalin became more interested in acquiring territory in the Far East before the war ended. Finally, the local Japanese division commander launched an attack on his own, claiming that the Russians were digging defensive positions within Japanese territory. While events like Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain, the D-Day landings, not to mention the controversial Allied attacks on Dresden, have all received plenty of media attention, the only thing most of us know about the endgame in Japan is that it saw the beginning of the nuclear age. The battle in the Pacific had already distinguished itself by its horror and brutality, and the prospect of a full-scale ground invasion of Japan – a new D-Day – was nerve-jangling for millions of Allied soldiers. And yet, it can convincingly be argued that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not hugely important in the context of Japan in 1945. Cowed by such a show of force, and facing their own complete demise, the Japanese finally surrendered. As US Secretary of War Harry Stimson put it, the nuclear attacks were “our least abhorrent choice” and “ended the ghastly spectre of a clash of great land armies.”. Increasingly the Japanese militarists—primarily the Army but to a lesser extent along the coast, the Imperial Japanese Navy as well—increased their appetite for additional Chinese territory. But the celebrations were premature, because the war itself was very definitely not over. To the Soviet military, it is known as the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation. This policy resulted in the next incident, commonly known as the Nomonhan Incident. All Rights Reserved. Already in the spring of 1940, German forces had overrun much of Western Europe and had pushed the British Expeditionary Force out of Dunkirk and back to Britain. The Soviet Union and Japan had in fact signed a neutrality pact back in 1941, which served both their interests nicely. And it is their contention that the consensus on the end of World War Two completely ignores what really happened in 1945. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the Terms and Conditions, The lives of Hitler and Stalin: Two sides of the same coin, Historic Photographer of the Year Award Winners - 2020. ©2020 AETN UK. For so many decades, the moral justification of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been passionately debated. “The Hiroshima bomb did not make the Japanese ruling elite feel as though their backs were to the wall. Even major events like annihilation of Tokyo in March 1945 are still not common knowledge, while the decisive Soviet invasion of 9 August is completely overshadowed by the Nagasaki attack that same day. Although a giant in terms of land mass and population, China was viewed by most Japanese leaders in the 1930s and 1940s as a weak and largely defenseless area ripe for colonization and exploitation. The Changkufeng battle was comparatively small. Known as the Changkufeng Incident by the Japanese and the Battle of Lake Khasan by the Russians, it would set the stage for all future conflicts between the two nations. Dozens of other Japanese cities had been flattened under the never-ending barrage. Challenging the widely accepted orthodox view that the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the most decisive factor in Japan's decision to surrender, ending World War II in the Pacific Hasegawa puts forward the view that the Soviet entry into the war by breaking of the Neutrality Pact played a more important role than the atomic bombs in Japan's surrender decision.” The Russians countered, sending more troops as well. Indeed, during this crisis the leaders of the Kwantung Army seriously discussed prospects of bringing down the current Japanese government should it interfere with their operations.

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