Khalkhin-Gol: The Battle that shaped WW2?

#1
I have never heardof this big dust-off between the Russkies and the Japanese in 1939. 8O

In August 1939, just weeks before Hitler invaded Poland, the Soviet Union and Japan fought a massive tank battle on the Mongolian border - the largest the world had ever seen.

Under the then unknown Georgy Zhukov, the Soviets won a crushing victory at the batte of Khalkhin-Gol (known in Japan as the Nomonhan Incident). Defeat persuaded the Japanese to expand into the Pacific, where they saw the United States as a weaker opponent than the Soviet Union. If the Japanese had not lost at Khalkhin Gol, they may never have attacked Pearl Harbor.
See Siberian Light for more...
 
#2
Japan and Russia had a history of conflict going back to 1903 (Russia refused to pull its troops out of Manchuria) leading to the 1904-05 war where Russia was soundly spanked.

If the Japanese had won this and had the resources to follow up the soviets would have had to divert forces to this region to defend it/and or fight Japan.

If Japan had been fighting Russia and not attacked Pearl Harbour would the US have entered WW2 (it took a direct attack to convince the isolationists to join in)

Would Germany then have made it to Moscow in time and prevented the removal of Russias manufacturing base past the Urals (consequently nearer to Japanese territory)

This was little more than a huge border disagreement between the two nations neither government really looking to antagonise the other into a full scale war.

The Soviets were concerned about Germany and to a lesser extent China while supplying the Chinese Communists with weapons.
Japan was fighting Chinese Nationalist and Communist forces
China's various factions and warlords were fighting everyone
 
#3
Schleswig-Holstein said:
I have never heardof this big dust-off between the Russkies and the Japanese in 1939. 8O

In August 1939, just weeks before Hitler invaded Poland, the Soviet Union and Japan fought a massive tank battle on the Mongolian border - the largest the world had ever seen.

Under the then unknown Georgy Zhukov, the Soviets won a crushing victory at the batte of Khalkhin-Gol (known in Japan as the Nomonhan Incident). Defeat persuaded the Japanese to expand into the Pacific, where they saw the United States as a weaker opponent than the Soviet Union. If the Japanese had not lost at Khalkhin Gol, they may never have attacked Pearl Harbor.
See Siberian Light for more...
I'd only heard of it in passing as the campaign which catapulted Zhukov from the comparatively lowly commander of a military backwater to the shining light of Stavka. I don't doubt it put a crimp in Jap ambitions in Siberia.

Another interesting question is, had Zhukov not been involved in successfully fighting the Japs, would he have been caught up in the anti-Trotskyist purges of '38/9 and therefore unavailable to lead the counterattack against Nazi Germany?

I do love 'What if?s', me...
 
#4
Look up Nomonahan (sp) of which Halhin-gul was a part. A really interesting and important campaign, that may well have shaped the outcome of WW2
 
#5
PartTimePongo said:
Look up Nomonahan (sp) of which Halhin-gul was a part. A really interesting and important campaign, that may well have shaped the outcome of WW2
For what it is worth there is an interesting Wiki page

It almost doesn't bear thinking about how savage the fighting must have been... i.e. nippon v USSR :omg:
 
#6
Got interested in this some years ago S-H , but the air war component.

How did Soviet Frontal Aviation with combat experience from Spain fare against the IJAF and IJN over Nomonhan River.

The site of the battlefield(s) are marked on Google Earth, just waiting for a hi-res version

Still looking for an abandoned Ki-27 :D
 
#8
I can't remember where I read it, but I vaguely remember that the IJ air assets were understrength owing to redeployment further south against the Chinese Nationalists. The Memory Pixie is also whispering that there'd been a clash with Soviet Frontal Aviation before the actual battle that had ragdolled the IJAF. Certainly, the Soviet counterstrike doesn't seem to have suffered much aerial interdiction.
 

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