Vietnamese people commented on the event "Japanese fascists surrendered unconditionally"

Zip

Jan 2018
482
Comancheria
I can't understand what the Americans think, they destroy the world, destroy Japan, Vietnam, to Iraq ... They are absolutely not noble.
My Vietnamese in laws up in Seattle think pretty highly of Americans, but of course they're now Americans too.
 
Mar 2015
1,450
Yorkshire
Don't give the Soviets too much credit for the defeat of Japan; Manchuria was a sideshow. It was the United States that destroyed Japanese sea, air and economic power, bombarded and blockaded Japan and, oh yeah, dropped the atomic bombs that forced the Japanese to throw in the towel.
whilst I agree, I don't think you should dismiss the psychological effect of the Soviet action upon the Japanese. They had a non-aggression pact with Japan and the Japanese Foreign Ministry hoped to achieve better terms (ie saving the Emperor's throne - and possibly head) by making overtures to Stalin.

His complete refusal to be enticed by any of these, ripping up the treaty and attack , shut-off their last hopes, a very heavy psychological blow.
 
Aug 2014
296
New York, USA
So, after making a peace pact with Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union did the same with fascist Japan. It took no action against Japan until after USA dropped nuclear bombs and made clear that Japan would have to surrender; it was then that the Soviet Union decided it could gain some glory by invading China and scoring a victory against the Japanese forces that remained there.
Soviets had to sign the non-aggression (neutrality) pact with Japan as a matter of survival. Declaring war on Japan in 1941 as the Germans are near Moscow would've been Hitler-level suicidal 5D chess. Their hand was forced here, especially since US haven't declared the war on Japan yet themselves.
it was then that the Soviet Union decided it could gain some glory by invading China and scoring a victory against the Japanese forces that remained there.
While this is common reading of the events, it is false. It was agreed upon when the Soviets will attack Japan during Yalta, the Soviets agreed to attack half a year before any knowledge about nuclear bomb strikes. The Soviets attacked exactly when they were supposed to attack per agreement with Roosevelt. If anything, it is the US that decided to drop the nukes to coincide with the Soviet attack, as the US knew when it was coming.
 
Aug 2014
296
New York, USA
If I'm not mistaken, Soviets always held huge forces in the Far East ( from Russian book I have read, even in critical moments of 1941, there were more than 1000000 Soviet soldiers near Manchuria.
Soviets still transferred entire Armies from Europe to the East before the attack. Stalin was informed that the troops were ready by August 5th, they attacked on August 8th, per Yalta agreement they were supposed to attack no later than August 9th.
 

fascinating

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,373
Soviets had to sign the non-aggression (neutrality) pact with Japan as a matter of survival. Declaring war on Japan in 1941 as the Germans are near Moscow would've been Hitler-level suicidal 5D chess. Their hand was forced here, especially since US haven't declared the war on Japan yet themselves.
While this is common reading of the events, it is false. It was agreed upon when the Soviets will attack Japan during Yalta, the Soviets agreed to attack half a year before any knowledge about nuclear bomb strikes. The Soviets attacked exactly when they were supposed to attack per agreement with Roosevelt. If anything, it is the US that decided to drop the nukes to coincide with the Soviet attack, as the US knew when it was coming.
Remember the neutrality pact was signed months BEFORE the Germans invaded Soviet Union. Stalin, by all accounts, was convinced that the Germans wouldn't defy the Ribbentrop pact and invade.

In fact I do see that the Soviet operation of attacking Japanese occupiers in 1945 was done under the Yalta agreement, and it was a very impressive strategy involving huge forces travelling thousands of miles, this done after the Soviet Union had just suffered terribly (about 20 million dead) from the Nazis. It is never mentioned in the documentaries I see and I am glad to learn about it. At the same time, it seems like the clearing out of the remaining Japanese forces from China when Japan itself was already on the point of defeat by USA. There is some justification for arguing that, until the Soviet Union invaded China so successfully, the Japanese government considered they could fight on because they had all those forces in reserve (in China) ready to deploy as needed, but I really doubt that, because the USA had gained total control of air and sea and the situation clearly became hopeless for the Japanese then.
 
Aug 2014
296
New York, USA
Remember the neutrality pact was signed months BEFORE the Germans invaded Soviet Union. Stalin, by all accounts, was convinced that the Germans wouldn't defy the Ribbentrop pact and invade.
This is not true. Stalin didn't trust Hitler at all (he did not trust anyone). Do not conflate what happened in late June to what is happening in winter 40-41. Collapse of France greatly disturbed Stalin, as he thought France and Germany would duke it out like in WW1. Once France fell, Stalin needed to neutralize Japan or he would face a two front war, just like he needed to neutralize Japan in '39. Remember, in Stalin's calculus the probability of German attack becomes smaller the later he can stall out, and the more German allies he can peel off from the coalition against the Soviet Union.
 
Last edited:

fascinating

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,373
This is not true. Stalin didn't trust Hitler at all (he did not trust anyone). Do not conflate what happened in late June to what is happening in winter 40-41. Collapse of France greatly disturbed Stalin, as he thought France and Germany would duke it out like in WW1. Once France fell, Stalin needed to neutralize Japan or he would face a two front war, just like he needed to neutralize Japan in '39. Remember, in Stalin's calculus the probability of German attack becomes smaller the later he can stall out, and the more German allies he can peel off from the coalition against the Soviet Union.
I think that the peace pact with Japan didn't neutralize it, any more than the than the peace pact with Germany neutralized Germany, they were both pacts to save the Soviet Union, allowing both the fascist countries to go conquering elsewhere.
 

At Each Kilometer

Ad Honorem
Sep 2012
3,930
Bulgaria
Some historians claim that Stalin at least partially agreed to sign the NAP with Germany to avoid a risk of a two front war with both major axis powers / at the time the outcome of Khalkhin Gol was not certain and Japanese intentions were not clear. These border conflicts of 1939 with the Soviets urged the Japanese to abandon their northern doctrine / Hokushin Ron of the Army and to start expanding south according to Nanshin Ron / the southern doctrine of Japanese Navy
 
Aug 2014
296
New York, USA
Some historians claim that Stalin at least partially agreed to sign the NAP with Germany to avoid a risk of a two front war with both major axis powers / at the time the outcome of Khalkhin Gol was not certain and Japanese intentions were not clear. These border conflicts of 1939 with the Soviets urged the Japanese to abandon their northern doctrine / Hokushin Ron of the Army and to start expanding south according to Nanshin Ron / the southern doctrine of Japanese Navy
In 1938 the Japanese were certainly of great concern. What frustrated Stalin more is that the British and French were not negotiating in good faith, and were obviously refusing to unite vs Hitler.
The Japanese were still a concern to Stalin until the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Soviets still had to keep a lot of troops in the Far East even during Barbarossa.
Western historiography severely underestimates how much the situation in the Far East effected the decisions in their European theater, esp. in 1938-41 period. They treat it as two separate conflicts, when it wasn't so for the Soviets at all. Even the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 hinged on the events in the Far East. In that early Sept. of 1939, the majority of Stalin's focus is on Japan and not even Poland at all.
The whole period of 39-41 was a very closely run thing for the Soviets, and Stalin knew it as it was happening. They didn't have the luxury to create more enemies than they needed. They understood perfectly well that at the very least the survival of the regime was at stake.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Zip