|Date||7 August 1945 - 2 September 1945|
|Description||On 8 August 1945, a week before Japan's surrender in World War II, 1.5 million Soviet troops began a gigantic surprise attack against Japanese occupation forces in northern China and Korea, an area the size of Western Europe.|
The Soviet–Japanese War, known in Mongolia as the Liberation War of 1945, was a military conflict within the Second World War beginning soon after the Soviet declaration of war against Japan on 7 August 1945, following by the Soviet invasion of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo. The Soviets and Mongolians ended Japanese control of Manchukuo, Mengjiang (Inner Mongolia), northern Korea, Karafuto (South Sakhalin), and the Chishima Islands (Kuril Islands). The defeat of Japan's Kwantung Army helped bring about the Japanese surrender and the termination of World War II. The Soviet entry into the war was a significant factor in the Japanese government's decision to surrender unconditionally, as it was made apparent that the Soviet Union was not willing to act as a third party in negotiating an end to hostilities on conditional terms.
On 30 April 2023, Kelvin tweeted:
- Japs did not surrender even after the second A bomb. They surrendered when they heard that the Russians had joined in against them.
At the Tehran Conference in November 1943, Joseph Stalin agreed that the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan once Germany was defeated. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Stalin agreed to Allied pleas to enter World War II in the Pacific Theater within three months of the end of the war in Europe.
On 26 July 1945, Harry S. Truman of the US, Winston Churchill of the UK, and General Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China made the Potsdam Declaration, an ultimatum calling for the Japanese surrender that if ignored would lead to their "prompt and utter destruction".
The commencement of the invasion fell between the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima on 6 August and Nagasaki on 9 August 1945. Although Stalin had been told virtually nothing of the US and UK's atomic bomb program by Allied governments, the date of the invasion was foreshadowed by the Yalta agreement, the date of the German surrender, and the fact that, on 3 August 1945, Marshal Vasilevsky reported to Stalin that, if necessary, he could attack on the morning of 5 August 1945. The timing was well-planned and enabled the Soviet Union to enter the Pacific Theater on the side of the Allies, as previously agreed, before the war's end. The invasion of the second largest Japanese island of Hokkaido was originally planned by the Soviets to be part of the territory taken, when finally in August 7 the Soviets declared war on Japan.
Soviet declaration of war
At 11 pm Trans-Baikal time on 8 August 1945, Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov informed Japanese ambassador Naotake Satō that the Soviet Union had declared war on Japan, and that from 9 August the Soviet Government would consider itself to be at war with Japan. At one minute past midnight Trans-Baikal time on 9 August 1945, the Soviets commenced their invasion simultaneously on three fronts to the east, west and north of Manchuria. The operation was subdivided into smaller operational and tactical parts:
- Khingan–Mukden Offensive Operation (9 August 1945 – 2 September 1945)
- Harbin–Kirin Offensive Operation (9 August 1945 – 2 September 1945)
- Sungari Offensive Operation (9 August 1945 – 2 September 1945) and subsequently
- South Sakhalin Operation (11 August 1945 – 25 August 1945)
- Soviet assault on Maoka (19 August 1945 – 22 August 1945)
- Chongjin Landing Operation (13 August 1945 – 16 August 1945)
- Kuril Landing Operation (18 August 1945 – 1 September 1945)
Though the battle extended beyond the borders traditionally known as Manchuria – that is, the traditional lands of the Manchus – the coordinated and integrated invasions of Japan's northern territories has also been called the Battle of Manchuria. Since 1983, the operation has sometimes been called Operation August Storm, after American Army historian Lieutenant-Colonel David Glantz used this title for a paper on the subject. It has also been referred to by its Soviet name, the Manchurian Strategic Offensive Operation, but this name refers more to the Soviet invasion of Manchuria than to the whole war.
This offensive should not be confused with the Soviet–Japanese border conflicts (particularly the Battle of Khalkhin Gol of May–September 1939), that ended in Japan's defeat in 1939, and led to the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact.