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They were forced to surrender

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They were forced to surrender


Vladimir Emelianenko
1949 Khabarovsk War Crime Trials: hearings over Japanese war criminals. Photo credit:

At the end of August, the FSB declassified the original text of the 1946-1948 Tokyo International Military Tribunal verdict. It referred to the plans of imperialist Japan to seize the Soviet Far East and Siberia. And the day before that, there was an opening of the international forum dedicated to the 1949 Khabarovsk War Crime Trials - the trial over Kwantung Army soldiers accused of developing and using bacteriological weapons.

Shortly before World War II, Japan's secret plan included Appendix 3. It listed important locations to be occupied in Eastern Siberia and Primorye - Vladivostok, Mariinsk, Nikolayevsk, Petropavlovsk, Khabarovsk, Blagoveshchensk, Ulan-Ude, Sakhalin...

The objectives were clearly outlined: "to ensure uninterrupted supply of the army" with the minerals available in this territory, as well as "mass extermination of Communists and turning those who remained alive into a labor force”. There was the directive given: "To use strictly actual force without utilizing the so-called principle of moderation. It was almost a copy of theGeneralplan Ost, the Hitler's program to "free up living space for the Germans" – that was also aimed "to destroy the commissars, the communist intelligentsia, and functionaries and thus destroy the worldview ties of the Russians.

Nevertheless, currently, a different concept of the Nazi and militarist war against the USSR is gaining momentum in the United States and Great Britain. Stalin's War: A New History of World War II, a book by historian Sean McMeekin, has been published in the U.S. The thesis of Victor Suvorov who claimed that the Soviet Union had been preparing an attack on Germany in the summer of 1941 but Hitler managed to be "ahead of the Communists" is analyzed and supported in detail for the first time in Western historiography. Previously, historians in the United States and the EU were squeamishly silent about the "non-serious" book written by the renegade Suvorov. Now there are those who try to present it as a concept. "Stalin's main idea was to use the war between Hitler and the other powers for the expansion of communism," McMeekin claims

Just like the seemingly unquestionable Western thesis that the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the United States decided the outcome of the victory over Japanese militarism in 1945 (and that Soviet participation in the war was, as it turns out, superfluous), Sean McMeekin's thesis has also a clear goal - to rewrite history.

The ‘preventive’ attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union, as well as the understatement of the Soviet Unions role in the defeat of Japan, has a certain goal - to revise the results of World War II, says doctor of history, chairman of the Scientific Council of the Russian Military Historical Society (RMHS) Anatoly Koshkin. And as the logical outcome of the intended rewriting of history, there will be the question raised in respect of the UN Security Council membership of the occupant - Russia and then China. It will be followed by their expulsion from the UN as world aggressors.

Koshkin believes that declassifying documents from 1939 to 1945 was a quite timely action by the FSB of Russia in order to stop attempts to revise history. The declassified documents evidence that the Japanese tested bacteriological weapons, which were used against China in 1938 - 1944 and against the Red Army prisoners in 1945, as well as on Khalkhin-Gol against Mongolia and the USSR in 1939.

In parallel, the RMHS scientific council insists on historical facts - it was the Red Army, in alliance with the United States at sea, that made a decisive contribution to the defeat of Japanese ground forces in 1945, thus depriving Japan of strength and hopes to continue the war.

"Emperor Hirohito acknowledged that the USSR's entry into the war had made resistance pointless," Koshkin refers to the emperor's 1945 address to the Japanese through local newspapers. "The USSR won on land, and the US won on the sea, thus depriving the militarists of the chance to use bacteriological weapons. But Japan surrendered as a result of the Soviet ground offensive, not due to the use of the atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The U.S. admitted back then that without the USSR, the war would have lasted until 1946 and multiplied the number of casualties.

The well-known military historian, senior researcher of the Research Institute of Military History of the Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Alexey Isaev agrees with the representative of RMHS. He especially emphasizes that since 1941 the Soviet Union was forced to keep more than 800,000 soldiers and officers in the Far East. They were equipped with small arms at the level that exceeded even the units on the Soviet-German front. Speaking about the use of atomic weapons by the United States in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Isaev pointed out that this factor was important, although not decisive for the surrender of Japan in 1945.

"As the U.S. military acknowledged, the power of the atomic bombs in 1945 was less destructive than the U.S. bombing of Tokyo the same year earlier," says Isaev. And the costly production of new atomic bombs required time and capital investment. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union's entry into the war meant a stroke to the Japanese that ruined their economy. This is why I cannot call Stalin's War: A New History of World War II by American historian Sean McMeekin where he claims that the USSR plundered Manchuria rather than brought victory to the United States anything but a spread of false stories. Such "books" should not be ignored. A gunshot to the past is a cannon shot to the future where someone keeps repeating the memorized words, "The U.S. defeated Japan at Hiroshima and Nagasaki."

The historian is convinced, it is not possible to ignoreattempts to revise and misinterpret events of the final months of World War II. The Khabarovsk War Crime Trials: Historic Significance and Contemporary Challenges forum has become one of the responses. The international academic conference is expected to be held also in Mongolia and China. As a result, a coordinated course on the history of World War II in the Far East is to be developed for Russian, Mongolian and Chinese schools and universities.

In this series of meetings are dedicated to the following issues: setting of Japanese bio-laboratories along the borders of China and Russia, Japanese tests of bacteriological weapons, the separate offer that Japan made to the USSR in 1945 to give over to the USSR the island of Sakhalin, the Kuril Islands, and even the island of Hokkaido if it wouldn't participate in the defeat of the Kwantung Army.

All the above facts are confirmed by the declassified documents of the Tokyo International Military Tribunal of 1946-1948. The Tokyo Trial, as it is called in the West, confirms that the Soviet Union chose the unconditional surrender of Japan and forced the Japanese militarists into it.

Chronicle of the end of World War II

April 1945. The USSR announced the denunciation of the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact of 1941, which had to remain in force until April 1946.

August 9, 1945. The Red Army, following the Allied agreement with the United States, launched an on-land offensive against Japan in the Far East, while the United States did it at sea.

August 18 - September 1, 1945. Invasion of the Kuril Islands and the defeat of Japan.

September 2, 1945. Japan signed the Act of Unconditional Surrender and accepted the conditions of the Potsdam Declaration of July 26, 1945.

September 3, 1945. End of World War II.

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