On June 22, 1941, the Soviet-German War broke out.
on June 22, 1941, the Soviet-German War broke out. By May 1945, Germany surrendered, and the war between the Soviet Union and Germany, the two European powers, lasted nearly four years.
however, the Soviets did their best to fight the Germans, and Germany's ally, another fascist country, Japan did not take advantage of the Soviet Union in the far East. Until the Soviet Union declared war on Japan on August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union and Japan were in a state of relative peace.
so why did Japan take advantage of the Soviet Union during World War II?
first of all, Japan's fear of Soviet military strength is the fundamental reason why the Japanese army did not take the initiative to attack the Soviet Union.
when it comes to the feud between Japan and the Soviet Union, we have to mention the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. In this war, the Japanese openly challenged Russia's hegemony in the far East and launched an onslaught on the Russian Pacific Fleet. After a fierce battle, the Japanese wiped out the Russian Baltic Fleet and the Pacific Fleet, wiping out more than 100,000 Russian troops. The Russo-Japanese War not only made Japan report the hatred of "intervention by the three Kingdoms to return Liao", but also enabled Japan to establish absolute hegemony in the far East. Of course, the Russo-Japanese War also planted the seeds of hatred between Russia and Japan.
during World War I, the main force of the Russian army fought against the German and Austro-Hungarian armies on the western front and had no time to pay attention to the affairs of the far East. In 1917, when the October Revolution broke out in Russia, the Japanese and the armies of other allies sent troops to intervene in the Russian Revolution but were driven out of the country by the Red Army. After the Soviet regime gained a firm foothold at home, the Soviet government headed by Stalin quickly began to industrialize. For Stalin personally, he will not forget the humiliation of the Russo-Japanese War. As long as the time is ripe, the Soviet Union must seek justice from Japan.
after 1937, the Soviet Union and Japan became nervous again. In 1938, the Japanese attacked Zhang Guofeng, whose offensive was repulsed by the Soviets. In 1939, under the command of the former commander of Komatsu, the 23rd Division of the Japanese Army concentrated its forces and launched a full-scale attack on the Soviet Army. The Battle of Surino Menkan began.
before the war, the Japanese army had a relatively subjective understanding of the Soviet strength. In the view of the Japanese army, after Stalin's "great purge", quite a lot of experienced officers were killed or sentenced, and the newly grown officers did not have much command experience, which made the combat effectiveness of the Soviet army in a relatively weak state. In addition, the performance of the Russian army in the Russo-Japanese war left an "inherent impression" on the Japanese army, which made the Japanese army think that the Russian army returned after a disastrous defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, as did the Soviet army in the Nomenkan war.
however, the Japanese underestimated the military strength of the Soviet Union. After the outbreak of the Battle of Nomenkan, the Japanese had the upper hand at first, but when Stalin transferred Zhukov to the front, the situation was very different. Under the counterattack of the mechanized army composed of tanks at the core of the Soviet army, the Japanese army paid a high price. The tank division of the Kwantung Army lost more than half, the 23rd division of the Japanese army was almost wiped out, and more than 18000 Japanese officers and soldiers were killed in the war alone. Japanese newspapers have commented that "this is the worst defeat for the Japanese army since the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War."
the Battle of Nomenkan made the Japanese army fully understand the military power of the Soviet Union, and in the following few years, although the Japanese Kwantung Army was still conducting strategic exercises with the Soviet Union as its imaginary enemy, the Japanese high level always dared not make up their mind to go northward to attack the Soviet Union. This is because although the main force of the Soviet Union fought a bloody battle with the Germans on the western front, the Soviet army still retained a large number of troops in the far East, and it would be the second "Normenkan" if the Japanese attacked the Soviet Union. When there was no hope of going north to the Soviet Union, the Japanese stronghold chose to go south to attack Britain and the United States.
second, the signing of the Treaty of neutrality between the Soviet Union and Japan is the direct reason why Japan did not take the initiative to attack the Soviet Union.
the Battle of Normenkan made the Japanese fully appreciate the powerful military power of the Soviet Union, but Stalin himself still seemed uneasy about the situation in the far East. To concentrate the Soviet Union's efforts to prepare for the war against Germany, Stalin hoped to sign a treaty with Japan in the form of law. Japan also hopes that the Soviet Union will stop assisting China in the War of Resistance against Japan and maintain the stability of relations between Japan and the Soviet Union. In March 1941, Japan sent Foreign Minister Yoshihiro Matsuoka to Moscow for talks with Stalin and Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov. After talks, the Soviet Union and Japan reached an agreement. On April 22, 1941, the Soviet Union and Japan formally signed the Soviet Union-Japan Neutral Treaty.
the influence of the Treaty of neutralization between the Soviet Union and Japan is quite controversial. he objectively maintained the stability of the Soviet Union in the far East, but this treaty also exposed the characteristics of Stalin's self-serving diplomatism and damaged the external image of the Soviet Union.
judging from the overall situation of World War II, from the outbreak of the Soviet-German War in June 1941 to the German surrender in May 1945, Japan did not break the Soviet-Japanese Neutral Treaty, and there was no large-scale conflict between the armed forces of the Soviet Union and Japan. The Japanese navy did not sink American merchant ships flying the Soviet flag and carrying wartime supplies to the Soviet Union. Of course, it was precisely because of the important factor of the Treaty of neutrality between the Soviet Union and Japan that the Soviet army was able to deploy some troops from the far East to Moscow to "put out the fire" at the tensest moment of the defense war in Moscow.
third, Japan had diplomatic demands from the Soviet Union in the later period of the Pacific War.
in 1945, the US military captured Iwo Jima and Okinawa, pointing directly at the Japanese mainland. Clear-headed officials in Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs have realized that the war is bound to end with Japan's defeat and that Japan must end the war as soon as possible so as not to let itself "lose too badly."
on May 12, 1945, on the eve of the occupation of Okinawa by the US military, the top echelons of the Japanese government held a "Big six meeting". At this meeting, Japanese Navy Minister Guangzheng Minei proposed that the Soviet Union, a neutral country in the Pacific War, should mediate and end the Pacific War. Foreign Minister Mate Dongxiang also believed that the Soviet Union would not stand on the side of the United States and fight against the Japanese forces together with the allies. This proposal won the Japanese Prime Minister's bell. The approval of Mukuan Taro and other heads of the military department. With the approval of the emperor, Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued instructions to Soviet Ambassador to Japan Jung Sato: he hoped that the Soviet government would take a neutral position to mediate the war and let Japan have a decent truce. Although the Soviet government has not given a clear answer to the "idea of mediating war" of the Japanese authorities, the Japanese authorities have always been full of illusions about the "mediation" of the Soviet Union.
however, Japanese thinking is quite different from the actual situation. At this time, the Soviet Union ostensibly maintained neutral relations with Japan, but Stalin promised the United States at the Yalta meeting to fight against Japan three months after the end of the war against Germany.
to paralyze Japan, on the one hand, the Soviet Union deliberately did not give any clear answer to Japan's idea of "mediating the war." after the publication of the Potsdam Proclamation, Stalin did not sign the proclamation, giving Japan the false impression that the Soviet Union continued to maintain the "Soviet-Japanese neutral treaty." the Japanese authorities had an unrealistic idea of "the Soviet Union mediating the war" until the Soviet Union declared war on Japan.
on the other hand, the Soviet Union took all measures of secrecy and deployed 1.5 million elite troops in the far East to prevent the Kwantung Army from discovering any Soviet movements. This allowed the Treaty of neutrality between the Soviet Union and Japan to last until 23:59 on August 8, 1945. In the early morning of 9 August, the Soviet Union formally declared war on Japan. With the cooperation of 26000 artillery, 5550 tanks and 3800 aircraft, the 1.5 million army wiped out the main force of 600000 Kwantung troops in less than two weeks. Japan was forced to declare unconditional surrender.
of course, precisely because Japan sought something from the Soviet Union in the later years of the Pacific War and always cherished illusions about the Soviet Union's "mediating war", the "neutral relations" between the Soviet Union and Japan were maintained after the end of the Soviet-German War until before the Soviet Union declared war on Japan.
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the above three reasons made Japan remain "neutral" during the Soviet-German War and did not take the initiative to attack the Soviet Union until the end of World War II.