Discussion:
U.S.S.R. opts out of Pacific War 1945, does the U.S. view it as a hostile act? When does Japan surrender?
(too old to reply)
Rob
2017-07-22 17:39:19 UTC
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Two different PoDs:

A) Stalin dies by accident or a lucky German bomb or shell before summer 1945. Subsequent Soviet collective leadership, focused on the tasks of reconstruction, and establishing the most secure perimeter in Europe with VE-Day, declines to participate in the war against Japan, judging it not worth the cost in lives and equipment and financial resources, even with prospective extension of Soviet security and economic influence and war booty. The Soviets will still reclaim southern Sakhalin island, but have confidence they can get it for free after the fighting ends by only diplomatic means without arousing diplomatic hostility. The Soviets understand they are not guaranteed a transfer of the Kurils or any restored or special rights in Manchuria or Korea.

Among the post-Stalin Soviet leadership, some argue that making strategic gains at a fraction of the cost of Great Patriotic War is an opportunity not to be passed up, and elements of the Soviet military say the mission is eminently doable. Plus, it is an opportunity to get revenge against Japan for the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese intervention in Siberia and several other lesser provocations.

However, without Stalin, the Politburo and collective leadership is dominated by men much younger than Stalin, who were small children or young teenagers during the Russo-Japanese War. With the exception of Voroshilov and the non-influential Kalinin, the Politburo members were all from 12 to 24 years younger than Stalin, and thus of a different generation, so the urge for revenge against Japan is much less strong among them.

Plus, the collective leadership knows there is no bottom-up pressure from Soviet society, nor much desire, to get into a war of choice against Japan after finishing the Great Patriotic War. In 1945 as in 1953 they care a bit more about domestic economic issues of reconstruction than about imperial agendas and are more concerned to maintain societal consensus.

So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan.

Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non participation and think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were aggressive or passive?]

More immediately, when does Japan surrender? What additional efforts, if any, do the WAllies have to make to compel Japanese surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Dropping of one or more additional atomic bombs? Invasion of Kyushu or Honshu?

Does the lack of Soviet participation cause any POWs held in Manchuria or Japan to not survive the war? If Japanese surrender is delayed, does this increase untimely civilian deaths in Japanese occupied areas?




Alternative PoD:
B) Stalin decides all along he is simply not inclined to go to war with Japan unless forced too. Despite the Russo-Japanese War being a major episode for his generation, he's just not interested, and there's nobody there interested in contradicting him. At most, the Generals in the east say "we could do it boss if you want"

So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan. Indeed, there is divergence in American expectations even earlier, as Stalin has declined to give or imply promises of eventual Soviet entry at Tehran or Yalta. How does that change American planning for the later months of the war, if at all?

Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non-participation and think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were aggressive or passive?]

More immediately, when does Japan surrender? What additional efforts, if any, do the Wallies have to make to compel Japanese surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Dropping of one or more additional atomic bombs? Invasion of Kyushu or Honshu?

Does the lack of Soviet participation cause any POWs held in Manchuria or Japan to not survive the war? If Japanese surrender is delayed, does this increase untimely civilian deaths in Japanese occupied areas?
The Horny Goat
2017-07-22 18:39:54 UTC
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Interesting scenarios and worth further exploration should be
interesting.

If Stalin DOESN'T invade Manchuria in 1945 it definitely affects the
subsequent Chinese civil war one because Manchuria probably ends up in
Nationalist hands and two because in OTL, the invading Soviets
acquired a mountain of small arms from surrendering Japanese most of
which were turned over to the Chinese Red Army whose main problem in
the war against the Japanese was lack of weapons.

No Soviet invasion of Manchuria is EXTREMELY good news for Chiang
Kai-Shek's forces. Whether that would be enough to turn the balance
their way is unclear but for sure Mao isn't proclaiming the People's
Republic of China on 1 Oct 1949!

On Sat, 22 Jul 2017 10:39:19 -0700 (PDT), Rob
Post by Rob
A) Stalin dies by accident or a lucky German bomb or shell before summer 1945. Subsequent Soviet collective leadership, focused on the tasks of reconstruction, and establishing the most secure perimeter in Europe with VE-Day, declines to participate in the war against Japan, judging it not worth the cost in lives and equipment and financial resources, even with prospective extension of Soviet security and economic influence and war booty. The Soviets will still reclaim southern Sakhalin island, but have confidence they can get it for free after the fighting ends by only diplomatic means without arousing diplomatic hostility. The Soviets understand they are not guaranteed a transfer of the Kurils or any restored or special rights in Manchuria or Korea.
Among the post-Stalin Soviet leadership, some argue that making strategic gains at a fraction of the cost of Great Patriotic War is an opportunity not to be passed up, and elements of the Soviet military say the mission is eminently doable. Plus, it is an opportunity to get revenge against Japan for the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese intervention in Siberia and several other lesser provocations.
However, without Stalin, the Politburo and collective leadership is dominated by men much younger than Stalin, who were small children or young teenagers during the Russo-Japanese War. With the exception of Voroshilov and the non-influential Kalinin, the Politburo members were all from 12 to 24 years younger than Stalin, and thus of a different generation, so the urge for revenge against Japan is much less strong among them.
Plus, the collective leadership knows there is no bottom-up pressure from Soviet society, nor much desire, to get into a war of choice against Japan after finishing the Great Patriotic War. In 1945 as in 1953 they care a bit more about domestic economic issues of reconstruction than about imperial agendas and are more concerned to maintain societal consensus.
So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan.
Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non participation and think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were aggressive or passive?]
More immediately, when does Japan surrender? What additional efforts, if any, do the WAllies have to make to compel Japanese surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Dropping of one or more additional atomic bombs? Invasion of Kyushu or Honshu?
Does the lack of Soviet participation cause any POWs held in Manchuria or Japan to not survive the war? If Japanese surrender is delayed, does this increase untimely civilian deaths in Japanese occupied areas?
B) Stalin decides all along he is simply not inclined to go to war with Japan unless forced too. Despite the Russo-Japanese War being a major episode for his generation, he's just not interested, and there's nobody there interested in contradicting him. At most, the Generals in the east say "we could do it boss if you want"
So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan. Indeed, there is divergence in American expectations even earlier, as Stalin has declined to give or imply promises of eventual Soviet entry at Tehran or Yalta. How does that change American planning for the later months of the war, if at all?
Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non-participation and think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were aggressive or passive?]
More immediately, when does Japan surrender? What additional efforts, if any, do the Wallies have to make to compel Japanese surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Dropping of one or more additional atomic bombs? Invasion of Kyushu or Honshu?
Does the lack of Soviet participation cause any POWs held in Manchuria or Japan to not survive the war? If Japanese surrender is delayed, does this increase untimely civilian deaths in Japanese occupied areas?
Alex Milman
2017-07-22 19:38:51 UTC
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Post by Rob
A) Stalin dies by accident or a lucky German bomb or shell before summer 1945. Subsequent Soviet collective leadership, focused on the tasks of reconstruction, and establishing the most secure perimeter in Europe with VE-Day, declines to participate in the war against Japan, judging it not worth the cost in lives and equipment and financial resources, even with prospective extension of Soviet security and economic influence and war booty. The Soviets will still reclaim southern Sakhalin island, but have confidence they can get it for free after the fighting ends by only diplomatic means without arousing diplomatic hostility. The Soviets understand they are not guaranteed a transfer of the Kurils or any restored or special rights in Manchuria or Korea.
Among the post-Stalin Soviet leadership, some argue that making strategic gains at a fraction of the cost of Great Patriotic War is an opportunity not to be passed up, and elements of the Soviet military say the mission is eminently doable. Plus, it is an opportunity to get revenge against Japan for the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese intervention in Siberia and several other lesser provocations.
However, without Stalin, the Politburo and collective leadership is dominated by men much younger than Stalin, who were small children or young teenagers during the Russo-Japanese War. With the exception of Voroshilov and the non-influential Kalinin, the Politburo members were all from 12 to 24 years younger than Stalin, and thus of a different generation, so the urge for revenge against Japan is much less strong among them.
Was revenge for 1905 the main factor in Stalin's policy?
Post by Rob
Plus, the collective leadership knows there is no bottom-up pressure from Soviet society, nor much desire, to get into a war of choice against Japan after finishing the Great Patriotic War. In 1945 as in 1953 they care a bit more about domestic economic issues of reconstruction than about imperial agendas and are more concerned to maintain societal consensus.
I'm not sure if what you defined as a younger generation was noticeably less
imperialistic than Stalin. Nikita was quite "imperialistic" and we can only
guess about the others. OTOH, Nikita did try to improve the living conditions
by a massive housing construction (funny enough, this was not really appreciated
even by those who benefited) and to do something about economy (not surprisingly
for a person who never was responsible for any sector of economy, the results
were along the lines of a fundamental screw-up).

But this is not to deny a possibility of what you wrote.
Post by Rob
So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan.
Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non participation and think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were aggressive or passive?]
Well, it seems to be somewhat loose-loose situation for the Soviets because
they'd be resented in both cases. :-)
Post by Rob
More immediately, when does Japan surrender? What additional efforts, if any, do the WAllies have to make to compel Japanese surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Dropping of one or more additional atomic bombs?
IIRC, there were only 2 available (and used) at that time.
Post by Rob
Invasion of Kyushu or Honshu?
How about simply guaranteeing emperor's life? OTOH, why do you think that
the existing 2 bombs were not enough?
Post by Rob
Does the lack of Soviet participation cause any POWs held in Manchuria or Japan to not survive the war? If Japanese surrender is delayed, does this increase untimely civilian deaths in Japanese occupied areas?
B) Stalin decides all along he is simply not inclined to go to war with Japan unless forced too. Despite the Russo-Japanese War being a major episode for his generation, he's just not interested, and there's nobody there interested in contradicting him. At most, the Generals in the east say "we could do it boss if you want"
IIRC, there were not too many troops prior to the major transfer from the
West (at least 6 field armies and tank army, not quite sure about 2 out of 3
air armies) and most probably the troops stationed on the Far East had been
strengthened.


As for "the Generals in the east":

Commander-in-Chief - Marshal Vasilevsky, former chief of the
General Staff and commander of the 3rd Belorussian Front (and a person who
coordinated Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad and Voronezh and Steppe Fronts at Kursk)

Commander of the Transbaikal Front - Marshal Malinovsky, former commander of
the 2nd Ukrainian Front

Commander of the 1st Far Eastern Front - general (then marshal) Meretskov,
former commander of the Karelian Front

Commander of the 2nd Far Eastern Front - general Purkayev (transferred to the
Far East in 1943)

As you can see, the whole thing had been run by the commanders "from the
West". :-)
Post by Rob
So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan. Indeed, there is divergence in American expectations even earlier, as Stalin has declined to give or imply promises of eventual Soviet entry at Tehran or Yalta. How does that change American planning for the later months of the war, if at all?
What COULD they change? The naval and air parts would be exactly the same
(except for transfer of few landing ships to the Soviets) because Soviet role
in both had been close to zero. I doubt that there would be plans for landing
in Manchuria: it was obvious that Kwantung Army is not going anywhere and
would be a subject to the general capitulation.

There would be no split of Korea and Chiang Kai-Shek's regime may win a
civil war. In a long run this would probably mean that as of now we may not
have 2 major pains in our posteriors.
Dimensional Traveler
2017-07-22 21:30:52 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
A) Stalin dies by accident or a lucky German bomb or shell before summer 1945. Subsequent Soviet collective leadership, focused on the tasks of reconstruction, and establishing the most secure perimeter in Europe with VE-Day, declines to participate in the war against Japan, judging it not worth the cost in lives and equipment and financial resources, even with prospective extension of Soviet security and economic influence and war booty. The Soviets will still reclaim southern Sakhalin island, but have confidence they can get it for free after the fighting ends by only diplomatic means without arousing diplomatic hostility. The Soviets understand they are not guaranteed a transfer of the Kurils or any restored or special rights in Manchuria or Korea.
Among the post-Stalin Soviet leadership, some argue that making strategic gains at a fraction of the cost of Great Patriotic War is an opportunity not to be passed up, and elements of the Soviet military say the mission is eminently doable. Plus, it is an opportunity to get revenge against Japan for the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese intervention in Siberia and several other lesser provocations.
However, without Stalin, the Politburo and collective leadership is dominated by men much younger than Stalin, who were small children or young teenagers during the Russo-Japanese War. With the exception of Voroshilov and the non-influential Kalinin, the Politburo members were all from 12 to 24 years younger than Stalin, and thus of a different generation, so the urge for revenge against Japan is much less strong among them.
Was revenge for 1905 the main factor in Stalin's policy?
Post by Rob
Plus, the collective leadership knows there is no bottom-up pressure from Soviet society, nor much desire, to get into a war of choice against Japan after finishing the Great Patriotic War. In 1945 as in 1953 they care a bit more about domestic economic issues of reconstruction than about imperial agendas and are more concerned to maintain societal consensus.
I'm not sure if what you defined as a younger generation was noticeably less
imperialistic than Stalin. Nikita was quite "imperialistic" and we can only
guess about the others. OTOH, Nikita did try to improve the living conditions
by a massive housing construction (funny enough, this was not really appreciated
even by those who benefited) and to do something about economy (not surprisingly
for a person who never was responsible for any sector of economy, the results
were along the lines of a fundamental screw-up).
But this is not to deny a possibility of what you wrote.
Post by Rob
So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan.
Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non participation and think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were aggressive or passive?]
Well, it seems to be somewhat loose-loose situation for the Soviets because
they'd be resented in both cases. :-)
Post by Rob
More immediately, when does Japan surrender? What additional efforts, if any, do the WAllies have to make to compel Japanese surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Dropping of one or more additional atomic bombs?
IIRC, there were only 2 available (and used) at that time.
Post by Rob
Invasion of Kyushu or Honshu?
How about simply guaranteeing emperor's life? OTOH, why do you think that
the existing 2 bombs were not enough?
Apparently right up until the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria the
Japanese government thought they would be a neutral third party to help
negotiate a peace between Japan and the West. Suddenly finding out
otherwise probably destroyed their hope for anything short of surrender
or extermination.
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
Alex Milman
2017-07-22 22:48:51 UTC
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Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
A) Stalin dies by accident or a lucky German bomb or shell before summer 1945. Subsequent Soviet collective leadership, focused on the tasks of reconstruction, and establishing the most secure perimeter in Europe with VE-Day, declines to participate in the war against Japan, judging it not worth the cost in lives and equipment and financial resources, even with prospective extension of Soviet security and economic influence and war booty. The Soviets will still reclaim southern Sakhalin island, but have confidence they can get it for free after the fighting ends by only diplomatic means without arousing diplomatic hostility. The Soviets understand they are not guaranteed a transfer of the Kurils or any restored or special rights in Manchuria or Korea.
Among the post-Stalin Soviet leadership, some argue that making strategic gains at a fraction of the cost of Great Patriotic War is an opportunity not to be passed up, and elements of the Soviet military say the mission is eminently doable. Plus, it is an opportunity to get revenge against Japan for the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese intervention in Siberia and several other lesser provocations.
However, without Stalin, the Politburo and collective leadership is dominated by men much younger than Stalin, who were small children or young teenagers during the Russo-Japanese War. With the exception of Voroshilov and the non-influential Kalinin, the Politburo members were all from 12 to 24 years younger than Stalin, and thus of a different generation, so the urge for revenge against Japan is much less strong among them.
Was revenge for 1905 the main factor in Stalin's policy?
Post by Rob
Plus, the collective leadership knows there is no bottom-up pressure from Soviet society, nor much desire, to get into a war of choice against Japan after finishing the Great Patriotic War. In 1945 as in 1953 they care a bit more about domestic economic issues of reconstruction than about imperial agendas and are more concerned to maintain societal consensus.
I'm not sure if what you defined as a younger generation was noticeably less
imperialistic than Stalin. Nikita was quite "imperialistic" and we can only
guess about the others. OTOH, Nikita did try to improve the living conditions
by a massive housing construction (funny enough, this was not really appreciated
even by those who benefited) and to do something about economy (not surprisingly
for a person who never was responsible for any sector of economy, the results
were along the lines of a fundamental screw-up).
But this is not to deny a possibility of what you wrote.
Post by Rob
So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan.
Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non participation and think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were aggressive or passive?]
Well, it seems to be somewhat loose-loose situation for the Soviets because
they'd be resented in both cases. :-)
Post by Rob
More immediately, when does Japan surrender? What additional efforts, if any, do the WAllies have to make to compel Japanese surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Dropping of one or more additional atomic bombs?
IIRC, there were only 2 available (and used) at that time.
Post by Rob
Invasion of Kyushu or Honshu?
How about simply guaranteeing emperor's life? OTOH, why do you think that
the existing 2 bombs were not enough?
Apparently right up until the Soviet Union invaded Manchuria the
Japanese government thought they would be a neutral third party to help
negotiate a peace between Japan and the West. Suddenly finding out
otherwise probably destroyed their hope for anything short of surrender
or extermination.
AFAIK, they were aware of the troops transfer to the Far East but they did
not expect that the Soviets would be ready by early August of 1945. They were
trying to engage Stalin as intermediary by offering him some concessions
(sorry, was too lazy to check what exactly) if he manages to convince the
Americans to drop unconditional surrender clause. I'm not sure why this clause
was THAT important if the only (AFAIK) "negotiable" point on which Japanese
insisted was fate of the emperor who was left alive and free anyway after
surrender.

As for the "hope", the Soviet participation changed very little in practical
terms: they could do nothing outside the continent (landing on the Kuril islands
was a pathetic operation) and Kwantung army could not get to the home islands
and was pretty much useless as far as their defense was involved.
Dan
2017-07-23 01:29:54 UTC
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The issue is not could Stalin March to Tokyo but Japanese perception at the time, we all now agree Op Sealion was a no hope never going to succeed option but that wasn't the view in London in 1940.

Japan saw Korea as an integral part of the Empire and even Manchukuo had been Japanese for 15 years, the war in China is important. Suddenly they go from hoping Stalin will help them negotiate peace with honour, to seeing what remains of their ground force in Northern China cut down as the Soviets roll through them like a hot knife through butter. They both fear the Soviets taking Korea and moving south into China and them somehow crossing to the home islands.

This all happening between Hiroshima and Nagasaki contributed to the feeling of despair, absent that they would have continued tying to negotiate via Stalin or Sweeden to get what they would see as honourable terms.

No Soviet invasion in August probably means no surrender in August, but the land invasion by US of Kyushu wasn't planned till November, another few months of economic blockade both between Japan and the Asian mainland and between the islands and unlimited bombing mainly conventional and a further nuke or two, they probably still surrender before November.

Consequences, relations with the US maybe not that a big deal if the surrender happens soon anyway, very different if you have to go on to full scale invasion of the home islands in 1946 and fighting dragging into 47 with every casualty being able to be blamed on Stalin for not helping.

Impact on Chinese civil war significant if no Soviet occupied Manchuria offering supplies to Mao.

Impact even if only a slight delay in surrender on U.K., Dutch and French getting back into Imperial possessions, they would have been in a better position to move back in as a fighting force, long term independence is coming short term a more confident return might have delayed it a bit.
Rob
2017-07-23 14:34:45 UTC
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On Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 9:29:56 PM UTC-4, Dan wrote:

snip
Post by Dan
Consequences, relations with the US maybe not that a big deal if the surrender happens soon anyway, very different if you have to go on to full scale invasion of the home islands in 1946 and fighting dragging into 47 with every casualty being able to be blamed on Stalin for not helping.
Well blame is one thing, but Washington's focus is another. If America is still in through an invasion and fighting in Japan in '46, how much American attention will be focused on watching and complaining about Soviet actions in East-Central Europe?


snip
Post by Dan
Impact even if only a slight delay in surrender on U.K., Dutch and French getting back into Imperial possessions, they would have been in a better position to move back in as a fighting force, long term independence is coming short term a more confident return might have delayed it a bit.
---- This brings up an interesting point also. With the British, French and Dutch trying to campaign to reclaim colonies later into 45 and 46, do they even have much time or energy to focus on brewing disagreements with the Soviets.
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-23 19:19:53 UTC
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Post by Dan
Suddenly they go from hoping Stalin will help them
negotiate peace with honour, to seeing what remains
of their ground force in Northern China cut down as
the Soviets roll through them like a hot knife
through butter.
The Soviets invaded Manchuria at 0400 on 9 August; the
Japanese decided on surrender during the night of 9-10
August. So there was not yet time for the success of
Soviet forces in Manchuria to be perceived.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-23 19:16:35 UTC
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Post by Dimensional Traveler
Apparently right up until the Soviet Union invaded
Manchuria the Japanese government thought they would
be a neutral third party to help negotiate a peace
between Japan and the West. Suddenly finding out
otherwise probably destroyed their hope for anything
short of surrender or extermination.
Some of the hardliners argued that the US would now be
more inclined to make a deal, because the US would want
limit and offset Soviet power in East Asia.

Silly, of course.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
SolomonW
2017-07-23 01:27:19 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
A) Stalin dies by accident or a lucky German bomb or shell before summer 1945. Subsequent Soviet collective leadership, focused on the tasks of reconstruction, and establishing the most secure perimeter in Europe with VE-Day, declines to participate in the war against Japan, judging it not worth the cost in lives and equipment and financial resources, even with prospective extension of Soviet security and economic influence and war booty. The Soviets will still reclaim southern Sakhalin island, but have confidence they can get it for free after the fighting ends by only diplomatic means without arousing diplomatic hostility. The Soviets understand they are not guaranteed a transfer of the Kurils or any restored or special rights in Manchuria or Korea.
Among the post-Stalin Soviet leadership, some argue that making strategic gains at a fraction of the cost of Great Patriotic War is an opportunity not to be passed up, and elements of the Soviet military say the mission is eminently doable. Plus, it is an opportunity to get revenge against Japan for the Russo-Japanese War, Japanese intervention in Siberia and several other lesser provocations.
However, without Stalin, the Politburo and collective leadership is dominated by men much younger than Stalin, who were small children or young teenagers during the Russo-Japanese War. With the exception of Voroshilov and the non-influential Kalinin, the Politburo members were all from 12 to 24 years younger than Stalin, and thus of a different generation, so the urge for revenge against Japan is much less strong among them.
Was revenge for 1905 the main factor in Stalin's policy?
Post by Rob
Plus, the collective leadership knows there is no bottom-up pressure from Soviet society, nor much desire, to get into a war of choice against Japan after finishing the Great Patriotic War. In 1945 as in 1953 they care a bit more about domestic economic issues of reconstruction than about imperial agendas and are more concerned to maintain societal consensus.
I'm not sure if what you defined as a younger generation was noticeably less
imperialistic than Stalin. Nikita was quite "imperialistic" and we can only
guess about the others. OTOH, Nikita did try to improve the living conditions
by a massive housing construction (funny enough, this was not really appreciated
even by those who benefited) and to do something about economy (not surprisingly
for a person who never was responsible for any sector of economy, the results
were along the lines of a fundamental screw-up).
I would go further and say that they were more imperialistic. Stalin
boasted that he had limits.
Post by Alex Milman
But this is not to deny a possibility of what you wrote.
After Stalin died some like Georgy Malenkov and Beria, maybe a possibly
here for such action.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
So, the Soviets decline to declare war against Japan.
Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non participation and think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were aggressive or passive?]
Well, it seems to be somewhat loose-loose situation for the Soviets because
they'd be resented in both cases. :-)
With the atomic bomb, I think they would be happy that the Soviets stay
out.
Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rob
More immediately, when does Japan surrender? What additional efforts, if any, do the WAllies have to make to compel Japanese surrender after the bombing of Nagasaki. Dropping of one or more additional atomic bombs?
IIRC, there were only 2 available (and used) at that time.
The decision by Japan to surrender was made after the first atomic bomb
dropped.
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-23 19:14:34 UTC
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Post by SolomonW
The decision by Japan to surrender was made after
the first atomic bomb dropped.
Technically true - it was also made after the
surrender of Germany, the death of President
Roosevelt, the battle of Midway, and the Congress
of Vienna.

However, it was made during the night of 9-10 August,
_after_ the atomic bombing of Nagasaki at 11 AM on
9 August.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Alex Milman
2017-07-23 19:57:10 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
The decision by Japan to surrender was made after
the first atomic bomb dropped.
Technically true - it was also made after the
surrender of Germany, the death of President
Roosevelt, the battle of Midway, and the Congress
of Vienna.
And the Battle of Cannae....
Post by Rich Rostrom
However, it was made during the night of 9-10 August,
_after_ the atomic bombing of Nagasaki at 11 AM on
9 August.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.
http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
SolomonW
2017-07-24 10:00:08 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
The decision by Japan to surrender was made after
the first atomic bomb dropped.
Technically true - it was also made after the
surrender of Germany, the death of President
Roosevelt, the battle of Midway, and the Congress
of Vienna.
And the Battle of Cannae....
Post by Rich Rostrom
However, it was made during the night of 9-10 August,
_after_ the atomic bombing of Nagasaki at 11 AM on
9 August.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.
http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surrender_of_Japan#Hiroshima.2C_Manchuria.2C_and_Nagasaki
a425couple
2017-07-24 17:44:49 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Post by SolomonW
The decision by Japan to surrender was made after
the first atomic bomb dropped.
Technically true - it was also made after the
surrender of Germany, the death of President
Roosevelt, the battle of Midway, and the Congress
of Vienna.
However, it was made during the night of 9-10 August,
_after_ the atomic bombing of Nagasaki at 11 AM on
9 August.
Yes. That is correct.
When the War Cabinet met on the morning of 9 August
(after time to reflect on Hiroshima A-bomb)
they were still very bullish on continuing the war.
Their scientists insisted that the USA could not possibly
have enough processed fuel for another such bomb.

Then, the word came in about Nagasaki.
But, even still, they remained divided and deadlocked.
They were called back to vote at 8:00 PM, and still
remained deadlocked (and by the way, information about
the USSR invasion was still small). Finally Hiranuma
asked the Emperor to speak, and he totally broke all precedent,
and interfered with the War Cabinet, and said he did not
want to prolong the bloodshed and cruelty and wanted
to end the war.
After he walked out, the ministers, the War Cabinet,
voted to enforce the Imperial decision (between 3:00 &
4:00 AM 10 August).

I'd suggest all who have shown interest on this subject,
read Richard Frank's "Downfall".
This was written in 1999, and takes full advantage of
the declassifying of previously secret messages.
All books prior to that have VERY INCOMPLETE information.

https://www.amazon.com/Downfall-End-Imperial-Japanese-Empire/dp/0141001461
Available used, delivered to your door, for just $6.37!
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-23 19:04:53 UTC
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Commander-in-Chief - Marshal Vasilevsky ...
Commander of the Transbaikal Front - Marshal Malinovsky ...
Both transferred to the Far East long _after_ the decision to fight Japan,
and in fact after D-Day.
Commander of the 1st Far Eastern Front - general (then marshal) Meretskov...
Transferred to the Far East in April 1945, _after_ the decision to fight Japan.
Commander of the 2nd Far Eastern Front - general Purkayev (transferred to the
Far East in 1943)
An example of a general "on the ground" in the Far East who was ther
before the decision to fight Japan, and could have had input into Stalin's
decision _from_ _that_ _perspective_, unlike Vasilevsky, Marshal Malinovsky,
or Meretskov.
As you can see, the whole thing had been run by the commanders "from the
West". :-)
What Soviet generals of the period never commanded in the West?

Zhukov commanded in the Far East during the Nomonhan Incident; did
that make him "a commander from the East"?
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
Alex Milman
2017-07-23 20:09:41 UTC
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Post by Rich Rostrom
Commander-in-Chief - Marshal Vasilevsky ...
Commander of the Transbaikal Front - Marshal Malinovsky ...
Both transferred to the Far East long _after_ the decision to fight Japan,
and in fact after D-Day.
And after the German surrender. Vasilevsky - July 1945, Malinovsky - May 1945
Post by Rich Rostrom
Commander of the 1st Far Eastern Front - general (then marshal) Meretskov...
Transferred to the Far East in April 1945, _after_ the decision to fight Japan.
Commander of the 2nd Far Eastern Front - general Purkayev (transferred to the
Far East in 1943)
An example of a general "on the ground" in the Far East who was ther
before the decision to fight Japan, and could have had input into Stalin's
decision _from_ _that_ _perspective_, unlike Vasilevsky, Marshal Malinovsky,
or Meretskov.
I doubt that Purkayev was an important enough figure to have some impact
upon the strategic decisions. AFAIK, plan of the future campaign had been
made by Vasilevsky but of course this was AFTER Stalin made his decision.
Post by Rich Rostrom
As you can see, the whole thing had been run by the commanders "from the
West". :-)
What Soviet generals of the period never commanded in the West?
Well, there were army commanders on the Far East: 5 or 6 armies had been
standing there.

Then there were numerous NKVD generals and Beria who hold a rank equal to a
Marshal of the Soviet Union, Bulganin during WWII was Colonel-General (promoted
to Marshal in 1946). :-)
Post by Rich Rostrom
Zhukov commanded in the Far East during the Nomonhan Incident; did
that make him "a commander from the East"?
:-)
Rob
2017-07-25 01:32:13 UTC
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On Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 4:09:43 PM UTC-4, Alex Milman wrote:


I think we're overthinking generals in the east versus the west. What I was meant to get across was that to the extent the subject came up at all, Stalin's subordinates would want to have a "can-do" attitude without appearing too "creative" or "adventurous".
Alex Milman
2017-07-25 19:08:46 UTC
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Post by Rob
I think we're overthinking generals in the east versus the west. What I was meant to get across was that to the extent the subject came up at all, Stalin's subordinates would want to have a "can-do" attitude without appearing too "creative" or "adventurous".
Not sure what you had in mind: political decisions were Stalin's prerogative
and then it was up to Vasilevsky to come with a plan of campaign. Of course,
there could be, in theory, some military considerations that would force
Stalin to change his mind and, in a real life, the commanders could report
about the technical difficulties (need of the reinforcements, etc.).
"Creativity" was permitted (and even rewarded) within plan's framework: the
subordinate commanders had considerable freedom in planning their operations.
Rob
2017-07-25 01:12:15 UTC
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Post by Alex Milman
Was revenge for 1905 the main factor in Stalin's policy?
Sure, there were many factors, but for what it's worth, in his V-J Day speech (and V-J Day, for the USSR, is 1945-09-02), Joseph Stalin did mention the war of 1904-05 :

... the defeat of the Russian troops in 1904 during the Russo-Japanese War left bitter memories in the minds of our people. It lay like a black stain on our country. Our people believed in and waited for the day when Japan would be defeated and the stain would be wiped out. We of the older generation waited for this day for forty years, and now this day has arrived.....


He also remarked to Americans, when asking for an occupation zone for the USSR in Hokkaido, that Soviet "public opinion" would demand it, as revenge for the Japanese intervention during the Russian Civil War.

I've never seen much else purporting to be direct quotes about Soviet decisionmaking with regard to fighting Japan, mainly just reflections from what Americans said they said in meetings.
Rich Rostrom
2017-07-23 19:27:45 UTC
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Post by Rob
A) Stalin dies by accident or a lucky German bomb or
shell before summer 1945
But _in_ 1945, after Yalta?
Post by Rob
Does the Truman Administration and American military
resent Soviet non participation and think of it in
dark terms...
I doubt it. The Soviets could plead exhaustion, and who could
really dispute that? Also, the death of Stalin would trigger
a political crisis, and it would be quite understandable for
the USSR to beg off from a new war in the wake of that.
Post by Rob
B) Stalin decides all along he is simply not
inclined to go to war with Japan unless forced to.
Again, the USSR can plead exhaustion, without being
contradicted. By 1945, with some of the sinister
turns of Soviet policy in Europe (apparent betrayal
of the Polish Home Army, Communist attacks on rival
partisans in Greece) I think the US would to some
degree prefer Soviet non-participation against Japan.
--
The real Velvet Revolution - and the would-be hijacker.

http://originalvelvetrevolution.com
j***@gmail.com
2017-07-23 23:02:55 UTC
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Japan surrenders when it did on OTL.
a425couple
2017-07-24 20:48:24 UTC
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Rearrangement.
Post by Rob
B) Stalin decides all along he is simply not inclined to go to war
with Japan unless forced too.

It is my opinion, that as long as Stalin is alive, and is Stalin,
that he will go for conquering massive amounts of land available
by going to war against a very weak Japan in late 1945.
Post by Rob
A) Stalin dies by accident or a lucky German bomb or shell before summer 1945. Subsequent Soviet collective leadership, focused on the tasks of reconstruction, and establishing the most secure perimeter in Europe with VE-Day, declines to participate in the war against Japan, judging it not worth the cost in lives and equipment and financial resources,
Perhaps.
Post by Rob
Does the Truman Administration and American military resent Soviet non participation
nd think of it in dark terms, as darkly as they were perceiving Soviet
involvement by the final weeks of the war in OTL August 1945. [In other
words, would Washington by summer of 1945 inevitably put a negative spin
on Soviet decisions vis-a-vis the Far East, whether those decisions were
aggressive or passive?]

At the time of Yalta, the USA would not have been happy if Russia
would not agree to help against Japan.
By August, the USA was not so happy with them going for the land rush,
but could not say much, as the promises had been made when the USA
wanted it.
Post by Rob
More immediately, when does Japan surrender?
About the same.
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