Interesting Tank Battle in '39: Japan vs. Soviet Union


  • Check this article out, it’s pretty interesting.  The impact on WW2 is apparent.

    http://www.siberianlight.net/2008/01/21/khalkhin-gol-battle-nomonhan/

  • 2007 AAR League

    nice find


  • Realy interesting.

  • 2007 AAR League

    that answers the question……“why in the hell didnt the japanese go after resources in the USSR?”

    but even still, after the german invasion of russia, why in the hell didnt the japanese invade then.  and why didnt they notice that good tanks equal good battlefield results.  the continued to use their crappy nippons or whatever.

    if they would have industrialized more and made their tanks better, they could have gotten their resources and put the USSR on the ropes.  with the germans already almost able to reach moscow, the soviets had no chance of stopping the japanese.

    but thats in another dimension, found in, the twilight zone.

  • '19 Moderator

    The most remarkable thing about this is the Japanese conclusions:

    Russians are stronger than us, lets leave them alone and find someone else to fight.

    You would think it would be obvious that they needed to revise their strategy develop a combined arms approach and at the appropriate time, immediately after Barbarossa, counter under the guise of unjust soviet occupation of Manchukuo.

    I suppose this has more to do with the division of Army vs. Navy in Japan.  Army failed and was dishonored, so now Navy gets a chance.  This is an example of why Imperialism historically fails.  Imperialist societies rely too much on the infallibility of their leadership.  It’s dishonorable to be wrong, therefore I wasn’t wrong I just changed my mind.  So nothing is learned from failure.

    Good for us I guess

  • 2007 AAR League

    Jermo, nice article.  And DF, your observations are good ones.  Another way of saying the same thing is, the very characteristics that cause authoritratian regimes to expand – the cult of personality, or mythology about the superiority of one’s race or political system – are the characteristics that cause them to fail in their expanionism.  Their ideologies blind them to “inconvenient truths” – truths which, inevitably, lead to their demise.  This is the real reason communism failed, and it the reason radical Islam also will fail.  In the case of the Japanese militarists, they could not question their own ideology that caused them to expand, because that was (a) their basis for their claim to power, and (b) the basic way they saw the world.  They could no more abandon their notions of honor than they could deny the deity of the emperor – it’s who they were!  So to say they should have learned from the Soviets is kind of like saying we should learn from Al Queda’s attacks on 9/11.  They just could not conceive that the Soviets or their tactics were something to emulate – only that, as between “inferior” races, the Russians were a tougher bunch to beat than the Americans, so why not pick on the Americans.


  • What’s interesting is that the Japanese had utterly defeated the Russians three decades earlier, particularly at Tsushima where bold, new tactics won the day.

    It makes me wonder if Japan had tried to strike a deal with China (or one of its factions) in unifying against Russia, what the world would be like today.

  • 2007 AAR League

    I think one thing it proves is the Soviets (and Stalin in particular) were more flexible in their methods to reach their military ends.  I read somewhere that by 1943, Stalin was actually listening to his generals (including Zhukov in particular) and basically trusting and following their advice (for the most part) whereas Hitler was still micro-managing, ignoring his generals’ advice (for example, refusing to allow tactical retreats) and generally doing a poor job.  So the more flexible authoritarian system prevailed (it sounds funny, I know, but there it is).

  • '19 Moderator

    @Jermofoot:

    What’s interesting is that the Japanese had utterly defeated the Russians three decades earlier, particularly at Tsushima where bold, new tactics won the day.

    It makes me wonder if Japan had tried to strike a deal with China (or one of its factions) in unifying against Russia, what the world would be like today.

    This boils down to not only the same thing as mentioned before, racial superiority, but to the long-standing animosity between Japan and any and all mainland nationalities.  I have a hard time believing that The Japanese will ever be on good enough terms with China to cooperate militarily.
    @Gamer:

    I think one thing it proves is the Soviets (and Stalin in particular) were more flexible in their methods to reach their military ends.  I read somewhere that by 1943, Stalin was actually listening to his generals (including Zhukov in particular) and basically trusting and following their advice (for the most part) whereas Hitler was still micro-managing, ignoring his generals’ advice (for example, refusing to allow tactical retreats) and generally doing a poor job.  So the more flexible authoritarian system prevailed (it sounds funny, I know, but there it is).

    Good point, ironic that the fall of the soviets was due in large part to the inflexibility they relaxed to succeed in WWII.


  • @Gamer:

    I think one thing it proves is the Soviets (and Stalin in particular) were more flexible in their methods to reach their military ends.  I read somewhere that by 1943, Stalin was actually listening to his generals (including Zhukov in particular) and basically trusting and following their advice (for the most part) whereas Hitler was still micro-managing, ignoring his generals’ advice (for example, refusing to allow tactical retreats) and generally doing a poor job.  So the more flexible authoritarian system prevailed (it sounds funny, I know, but there it is).

    Yeah, definitely an interesting thing to note.  I know Hitler was trying to dictate everything even up until his suicide.  Meanwhile, Stalin was encouraging competition between his Generals for defeating the Nazis, which can be seen in The Last Stand by Cornelius Ryan.  That book is just as exciting, if not more so, than A Bridge Too Far and The Longest Day, the other books of his (IMO).

    @dezrtfish:

    @Jermofoot:

    What’s interesting is that the Japanese had utterly defeated the Russians three decades earlier, particularly at Tsushima where bold, new tactics won the day.

    It makes me wonder if Japan had tried to strike a deal with China (or one of its factions) in unifying against Russia, what the world would be like today.

    This boils down to not only the same thing as mentioned before, racial superiority, but to the long-standing animosity between Japan and any and all mainland nationalities.  I have a hard time believing that The Japanese will ever be on good enough terms with China to cooperate militarily.

    Maybe so, but the Japanese did A LOT of anti-imperial/anti-Europe/anti-whitey propaganda on the areas it conquered to breed support.  It may not have been an option with China, but who knows…
    The enemy of my enemy is my friend sorta thing…for the time being anyway.


  • I think that war made hitler and tojo become fanatics whereas stalin became a realist.


  • Wow…


  • Anyone interested in military history and especially WWII should learn about the USSR’s military campaigns in '39. This is a great find. Another thing folks here would like is The Winter War between the Soviets and Finland. The Finns handed Stalin his ass for three months until the weight of numbers became too much. The Battle of Suomusalmi was a text book example of how too dwindle down superior numbers. Also the greatest sniper ever known was a Finn. Simo Hayha took out around 500 commies in less than 100 days using open sites. That way he could keep his head lower than with a scope. Anyone interested will have to Google these things. I don’t have a site to mention.

    Two famous quotes come to mind when reading about the Japanese thinking the Americans were a better option than the Soviets for fighting against. First, the mayor of Hiroshima saying “What the f**k was that!” Second, three days later the mayor of Nagasaki looking up at Bach’s Car saying “I hope that’s a recon mission.” :evil:


  • The Winter War is an amazing tale of bravery on the Finns’ part.

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