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The Little Known Ww2 Battle Of Russia Vs Japan, Manchuria


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The Japanese in WWII (1931/37 - 1945) set new standards for barbaric behavior against civilians and military alike, such as officers' wagering contests for numbers of heads cut off in a certain time frame or comparing numbers of Chinese aligned and shot with the same rifle bullet for sport. USN pilots captured in the initial exchange of attacks at the battle of Midway were tortured mercilessly to obtain information on the US task forces, their remains dumped overboard.

 

Such things happened a mere generation after the Japanese earned high praise from the International Red Cross for their humane treatment of POWs during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. I have yet to read a satisfactory explanation for the change in collective behavior. There is of course the obvious observation that the Russians were considered fellow humans and the Chinese not, viz. the record books of Special Unit 731, reporting the expenditure of x number of 'logs' in an experiment, such being the Chinese used for various tests. In combat, quarter was neither given nor expected, but there is far more to it than that, certainly.

Edited by Ken Estes
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The Japanese in WWII (1931/37 - 1945) set new standards for barbaric behavior against civilians and military alike, such as officers' wagering contests for numbers of heads cut off in a certain time frame or comparing numbers of Chinese aligned and shot with the same rifle bullet for sport. USN pilots captured in the initial exchange of attacks at the battle of Midway were tortured mercilessly to obtain information on the US task forces, their remains dumped overboard.

 

Such things happened a mere generation after the Japanese earned high praise from the International Red Cross for their humane treatment of POWs during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. I have yet to read a satisfactory explanation for the change in collective behavior. There is of course the obvious observation that the Russians were considered fellow humans and the Chinese not, viz. the record books of Special Unit 731, reporting the expenditure of x number of 'logs' in an experiment, such being the Chinese used for various tests. In combat, quarter was neither given nor expected, but there is far more to it than that, certainly.

Unwelcome occupying and especially colonising forces tend to become quite brutal.

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Nothing to like about those episodes. But for some reason, it didn't really seem to rally the commonfolk Chinese in mass to fight. Probably due to relatively small scale of those brutal actions. The nationalists had major issues in recruiting. No wonder Americans in Burma found the Chinese of little help.

This was a deadly affair in which men were kidnapped for the army, rounded up indiscriminately by press-gangs or army units among those on the roads or in the towns and villages, or otherwise gathered together. Many men, some the very young and old, were killed resisting or trying to escape. Once collected, they would be roped or chained together and marched, with little food or water, long distances to camp. They often died or were killed along the way, sometimes less than 50 percent reaching camp alive. Then recruit camp was no better, with hospitals resembling Nazi concentration camps like Buchenwald.3 Probably 3,081,000 died during the Sino-Japanese War; likely another 1,131,000 during the Civil War--4,212,000 dead in total.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Revolutionary_Army#Conscription
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One of the reasons Japan decided to act on their long-held desire to control the mainland and its occupants was the sensing that China was politically disunited, almost an amorphus mass. thus, a relatively small force could co-opt or overcome variously the war lords, petty oligarchs and regional governments and set them against each other, winning over collaborators and thus placing the coastal regions and certain inland provinces of value under Japanese suzerainty, if not actual rule.

 

Such had worked out well with Manchukuo in 1931 and the occupation of North China as a protectorate seemingly worked up to the Marco Polo Bridge incident. The resulting expansion of the war to total war completely exceeded what the Japanese had in mind, for the expanse of China's territory exceeded any resources of the Japanese Empire.

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You mean like the US should have let the Nazis carry on withour increasing pressure on them? I like the way you want to claim that the Japanese were hardly committing war crimes at all after Nanking. Its bullshit, but you do have nerve.

The Japanese were willing to redefine their relationship with Germany to get the oil flowing again. Was it possible for the US to find a way into WW2 without demanding the Japanese to exit China is your question.

 

Give me a break, I have pointed out many times of Japanese brutalities. But I do say that they were not uniquely worse. If they were any worse, then there's no way Wang Jingwei and others would have become collaborators.

 

 

The Nazis murdered millions of Russians, Ukrainians, Belorus, and others. They had no lack of collaborators too - even Jewish ones.

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As for the 'withdrawal from China' part in Hull's Ultimatum - did that also mean withdrawal from Manchukuo? Logically it would be the case, as the US didn't recognize Manchukuo.

 

No. This apparently wasn't clear to the Japanese, or so they claimed after the war, but instead of making a counteroffer or seeking clarification, they declared war.

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One of the reasons Japan decided to act on their long-held desire to control the mainland and its occupants was the sensing that China was politically disunited, almost an amorphus mass. thus, a relatively small force could co-opt or overcome variously the war lords, petty oligarchs and regional governments and set them against each other, winning over collaborators and thus placing the coastal regions and certain inland provinces of value under Japanese suzerainty, if not actual rule.

 

Such had worked out well with Manchukuo in 1931 and the occupation of North China as a protectorate seemingly worked up to the Marco Polo Bridge incident. The resulting expansion of the war to total war completely exceeded what the Japanese had in mind, for the expanse of China's territory exceeded any resources of the Japanese Empire.

 

One might think that after four years of quagmire, they might be interested in a way out that didn't involve admitting defeat by the Chinese. Once their allies in Europe won the war, they could always grab up the Asian remnants of the defeated powers' empires.

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The Japanese in WWII (1931/37 - 1945) set new standards for barbaric behavior against civilians and military alike, such as officers' wagering contests for numbers of heads cut off in a certain time frame or comparing numbers of Chinese aligned and shot with the same rifle bullet for sport. USN pilots captured in the initial exchange of attacks at the battle of Midway were tortured mercilessly to obtain information on the US task forces, their remains dumped overboard.

 

Such things happened a mere generation after the Japanese earned high praise from the International Red Cross for their humane treatment of POWs during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. I have yet to read a satisfactory explanation for the change in collective behavior. There is of course the obvious observation that the Russians were considered fellow humans and the Chinese not, viz. the record books of Special Unit 731, reporting the expenditure of x number of 'logs' in an experiment, such being the Chinese used for various tests. In combat, quarter was neither given nor expected, but there is far more to it than that, certainly.

 

Note that Unit 731 was in full operation before 1937.

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As for the 'withdrawal from China' part in Hull's Ultimatum - did that also mean withdrawal from Manchukuo? Logically it would be the case, as the US didn't recognize Manchukuo.

 

Manchukuo was an artificial construct, a puppet regime for Tokyo, while the Hull memo said that all of China must be under the Nationalist government. Since Manchuria is indisputably part of China and no government in power in China would recognise a Japanese fiefdom in Manchuria, it seems pretty clear that the answer to your question is yes.

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This thread is starting to get interesting. There was no honor in the conduct of a very independently led Kwangtung Army/IJA in China, admittedly. This fills me with anger in various ways from a racial accountability standpoint.

 

The seeds of this conduct are partly cultural and rooted in deep and almost-never-admitted-to insecurities held by Japan and Japanese toward China and Chinese throughout history and all the way to the present day.

 

More particularly, Japan and Japanese of the war generation were taught to dehumanize China and Chinese as their cultural and racial inferiors. This is one of the reasons why Abe's recent involvement in a school with a curriculum purportedly doing the same was and is so polarizing.

Edited by Nobu
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Since Manchuria is indisputably part of China and no government in power in China would recognise a Japanese fiefdom in Manchuria

 

The Chinese Communists plus a coalition of Chinese warlords of questionable loyalty to Chiang certainly might have, if supported and approached in the right way, and at the right moment, by Japan. A level of meddling/regime change to legitimize the annexation of Manchuria was always on the table. Total war with China was both a mistake and a tragic underestimation.

Edited by Nobu
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Can you expand on 'out of funds' ? Was the Manchurian occupation and war with China very expensive ?

Japan had expected to be involved in China with just 3 infantry divisions. Total cost would be no more than 100 million ¥, but by 1939 there were 28 infantry divisions, 15 infantry brigades and other units equivalent to more than a million men. There were also 1.000 tanks, 1.000 tanks and thousands of guns. By then the cost had risen to 2,500 million ¥

 

The following link contains an excellent article on the economic cost of the war in China. It is in Spanish but graphs are in English. Use google translate.

 

http://www.forosegundaguerra.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&p=401178&sid=28d3442b0145cc0e94f03dc511698a65#p401178

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Can you expand on 'out of funds' ? Was the Manchurian occupation and war with China very expensive ?

Japan had expected to be involved in China with just 3 infantry divisions. Total cost would be no more than 100 million ¥, but by 1939 there were 28 infantry divisions, 15 infantry brigades and other units equivalent to more than a million men. There were also 1.000 tanks, 1.000 tanks and thousands of guns. By then the cost had risen to 2,500 million ¥

 

The following link contains an excellent article on the economic cost of the war in China. It is in Spanish but graphs are in English. Use google translate.

 

http://www.forosegundaguerra.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&p=401178&sid=28d3442b0145cc0e94f03dc511698a65#p401178

 

Thank you.

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A well-timed Japanese attack on Russia could only have increased the chances of a Russian collapse and a mental breakdown from Stalin in 1941. Marching on Moscow would be out of the question for the IJA, admittedly. The goal would be to force the Russians to operate at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway under conditions of complete Japanese air dominance and sea command.

Attack where? Vladivostok? Would the Japanese be capable of holding this city even if they did capture it?

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A well-timed Japanese attack on Russia could only have increased the chances of a Russian collapse and a mental breakdown from Stalin in 1941. Marching on Moscow would be out of the question for the IJA, admittedly. The goal would be to force the Russians to operate at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway under conditions of complete Japanese air dominance and sea command.

Attack where? Vladivostok? Would the Japanese be capable of holding this city even if they did capture it?

 

Well, they were able to attack AND hold quite a lot of places at the time, and Stalin in latter half of 1941 had much bigger problems.

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If the northern plan went down, and without a Pacific campaign, development of ground force equipment wouldn't have been delayed. By 1943, new 57mm anti-tank guns were developed, a medium lenght one of about 46 calibers and a long one of of around 57 calibers. These were not adopted because of resouce limitations due to the Pacific War, so the 47mm marched on.

 

Type 98 or Type 2 light tanks might have gotten priority for production for replacing the Ha-Go.

 

The Type 1 Ho-Ni was fully developed and tested out by the end of 1941 but production was limited and delayed. It was a direct fire 75mmL38 field gun with 50mm front plate, open top. So it would be expected that these would have been in full production by late 1941 if it was Far East war. Tank regiments were designed to be 1 company of LTs, 3 companies of MTs, and 1 company of "gun-tanks". The Ho-Ni was designed to fill the "gun-tank" role which was fire support. In 1942, the Ho-I "gun-tank" was developed. It was a revolving closed turret with a short 75mm, 50mm front armor, 240hp.

 

Instead of Chi-Ha with the Shin-hoto, priorities in production would have went to the Type 1 Chi-He.

 

So for 1942, could expect tank regiments to be made up of Type 98s Ke-ni LTs (if not the Ha-Go), Type Chi-He mediums, and either Ho-Ni or Ho-I

 

The Chi-To medium tank program was also delayed with a delayed prototype completed in May of 1944. If given priority, maybe it would be ready a year eailier. At that stage, it was 420hp diesel engine, 25 tons, 57mmL46, 75mm front armor. So by mid to late '43, these would be taking the place of the Chi-He. It received the demand for a long 75mm gun when the protype was completed in 1944. Maybe priorities would speed up requirement for the long 75mm so maybe could be available before early 1945.

 

If Chi-To was able to be developed in a timely manner as described, then there would be no need for the stop-gap tank which.was the Type 3 Chi-Nu, so then no Chi-Nu development.

 

Still, the Soviets summoned up one heck of a force in mid 1945. And soviet tanks still had the bigger guns and heavier armor.

Edited by JasonJ
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A well-timed Japanese attack on Russia could only have increased the chances of a Russian collapse and a mental breakdown from Stalin in 1941. Marching on Moscow would be out of the question for the IJA, admittedly. The goal would be to force the Russians to operate at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway under conditions of complete Japanese air dominance and sea command.

Attack where? Vladivostok? Would the Japanese be capable of holding this city even if they did capture it?
Yes, as the logistical advantage would be in the favor of Japan and Japanese in such a campaign based on proximity to the industrial output of Manchuria alone, under the capable leadership of Abe's grandfather.

 

The advantage of surprise would take a devastating toll on Soviet airpower in such a campaign as well. One their air force in the region would not recover from without priority over Europe.

 

Vladivostok? Without question. If Stalin demands its recapture, together with the requisite expenditure of Soviet manpower and resources to undertake the offensive required of the attempt as the Wehrmacht rampages in European Russia, so much the better.

Edited by Nobu
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The last time Japan attacked the Soviets, in 1939, it went very poorly for them. Stalin was not about to weaken the Far East unless he was confident Japan was not going to attack. Soviet intelligence was very well informed about Japanese intentions at the time decisions needed to be made.

 

Not to mention Japan needed the rubber and oil of the south. There was little or nothing to gain from attacking Siberia.

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A well-timed Japanese attack on Russia could only have increased the chances of a Russian collapse and a mental breakdown from Stalin in 1941. Marching on Moscow would be out of the question for the IJA, admittedly. The goal would be to force the Russians to operate at the end of the Trans-Siberian Railway under conditions of complete Japanese air dominance and sea command.

Attack where? Vladivostok? Would the Japanese be capable of holding this city even if they did capture it?

Well, they were able to attack AND hold quite a lot of places at the time, and Stalin in latter half of 1941 had much bigger problems.

Sort of. The places in question were rather lightly defended colonial outposts.

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Going back to the first post (about the Soviet invasion in 1945), the KIA ratio (12k USSR vs 20k Japanese) is pretty surprising given the disparity in forces, mechanization, etc. I wonder if either Japan put up a much tougher fight than most accounts give them credit for, or the sources are suspect (no idea either way).

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Rather difficult to challenge the Soviet Air Force as well they did in the skies over Manchukuo in 1939 with Imperial Army Air Force pilots drunk on anything, their professionalism and combat experience at this time point notwithstanding.

Edited by Nobu
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