Japan does not surrender after atomic bombs, how does the Soviet invasion of Manchuria go?

Of course they can send more. Just takes a bit more time. U.S. is still sending them rail stock so it isn't like their equipment is going to wear out. Add a locomotive and three flat cars per train. Hell, add trackage, got all those German PoW setting around, along with folks in the Gulags, transported Tatars, etc. We are talking Stalin's USSR; the work kills half the PoWs? It might bother Nikita in a few years, but Stalin?
It took until 1984 to finish the BAM line, so there isn't any real way to increase capacity. Looking at 1945 charts provided by the Soviets for deliveries under the Lend Lease HULA and MILEPOST agreements shows the hard limit in play:



The capacity limit for the Trans-Siberian is 10 Million tons, with the summer-time capacity of a train at 750 tons. "Analysis of Deep Attack Operations, Operation Bagration 22 June-29 August 1944" shows that average Soviet supply consumption on a per division basis in 1944-1945 as 275 metric tons per day, with the 90 divisions already in theater consuming 24,750 metric tons a day.....

As for the U.S. sending more stuff, the entrance of the Soviets into the war had shut off the ability to use USSR-flagged vessels as a means of transport that would not be harassed by the Japanese. There was U.S. planning to attempt to send supply convoys through between Korea and Japan, but even into August the U.S. had still not established neither air nor naval superiority in the region.
 
If those are PoW, specially NAZIS PoW, i don't think would bother Corn Lord at all
Bother Kruschev?

The Nazis turned his hometown into a glorified slave pen, then a battlefield, then arguably a graveyard (Kruschev was born near Kursk, hundreds of thousands of casualties between Operation Citadel and the Soviet counterattacks). He would probably be offering Comrade Stalin suggestions for how to punish the POWs for not working hard or fast enough as his contribution to Stalin's dinnertime entertainment.
 
I'm less worried about the exact position of the Japanese defensive lines and more interested in how the hell they would ever stop the Soviets. I mean, what weapon did the Kwantung have that could even penetrate the hull of a T-34, much less destroy a thousand of them?

Maybe the Soviets wheel left, maybe they wheel right, maybe it takes them two months to build up a fuel stockpile, maybe it will take three... but sooner rather than later, the Kwantung army will be slaughtered and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

The only interests in this WI for me is how it matches up with the American timeline for invasion. Japan isn't going to last more than a couple months against the combined weight of mass starvation + regular firebombings + regular nukings + Manchurian army killed and gulag'ed losses running up to near a million + God knows how many Japanese the American landings would kill.
 
Last edited:
I'm less worried about the exact position of the Japanese defensive lines and more interested in how the hell they would ever stop the Soviets. I mean, what weapon did the Kwantung have that could even penetrate the hull of a T-34, much less destroy a thousand of them?

Maybe the Soviets wheel left, maybe they wheel right, maybe it takes them two months to build up a fuel stockpile, maybe it will take three... but sooner rather than later, the Kwantung army will be slaughtered and there is nothing they can do to stop it.
The US Army handbook on Japanese anti-tank warfare says that the Type 88 75mm and Type 90 75mm guns could penetrate 70mm and 61mm, respectively, at 1500 yards, while the Type 1 47mm could pierce the M4 Sherman at up to 800 yards. The Soviets in fact did lose hundreds of tanks during the Manchurian Campaign, and not just to mechanical issues.

The only interests in this WI for me is how it matches up with the American timeline for invasion. Japan isn't going to last more than a couple months against the combined weight of mass starvation + regular firebombings + regular nukings + Manchurian army killed and gulag'ed losses running up to near a million + God knows how many Japanese the American landings would kill.
Not really for the purposes of this thread, but suffice to say there would be no mass starvation and the overall events on the mainland would have little impact on the defense of the Home Islands.
 
So, in other words, they either have to go through Fushan or Mukden, which are defended.
Mukden would have already been taken, I know you're trying to pretend otherwise, but it's way the hell out there by itself. It would not be hard to chop off and take.

Your alternative strategies are not present in the STAVKA planning
No fucking duh? The situation had not developed and the original operation was not yet complete. Once the central Manchurian Plain had been secured and the lines consolidated, the STAVKA would take a look at how the Japanese defenses are set-up and plan the offensive accordingly.

The obvious reason for this is that this exposes Soviet forces to defeat in detail by encirclement.
No it does not. The plan is in the same vein as many other Soviet operations throughout the war: operations within operations, encirclements within encirclements. The plan would be no more at risk of defeat in detail by encirclement as Bagration or the Vistula-Oder Operation. If the Japanese tried to come out of their positions and attempt to launch counterattacks, the superior mobility and firepower of the Red Army would slaughter them.

Your original statement was an attack from the North, which would require an advance through Fushan, not a two stage assault first from the East through Mukden.
Uh, no. If one actually looks at my post, the frontlines start with Mukden already having fallen. In more detail it would likely look like this:

Positions.png


Yellow is Trans-Baikal, blue is 2nd Far Eastern, brown is 1st Far Eastern. The breakthrough sector for the Trans-Baikal Front would be the region between the Fushan and Sinjuin regions, with the tactical-operational exploitation by the breakthrough armies largely being east to form the southern pincer encircling Fushan. The front-level exploitation, presumably by the rested and refitted 6th Guards Tank Army, would be southward towards Sinjuin to encircle that region. 2nd Far Eastern main breakthrough sector would be the region between Fushun and Cheningyuan. The breakthrough armies exploitation elements would exploit southward to form the northern pincer while the front-level exploitation force would drive eastward in the direction of Hailing. 1st Far Easterns breakthrough sector would obviously be northeast of Chaoyanchen. The breakthrough armies exploitation elements and the front-level exploitation elements would actually be aiming in mostly the same direction, for once: southwestward through Hailing, with the front-level exploitation elements eventually turning more southward towards Tunghua to pre-empt any withdrawal to the main positions.

From JM-155:

The Area Army plan was to meet the Soviet forces along the Hsinking-Mukden segment of the Dairen-Hsinking Railroad. Therefore, the division at once undertook the construction of field fortification around Mukden, but in doing so ran into some problems relative to the type of fortifications. The Area Army's fortification plan for Mukden in effect up to this time was called "Nago," and stipulated that defenses be constructed of concrete and steel. Upon the outbreak of hostilities, the Area Army, in view of the urgency of the situation, hastily revised this plan and prescribed that the fortifications be constructed of wood instead of the more durable materials in order 168 to hasten completion. The division commander requested that the original "Nago" plan be implemented, but the Area Army commander rejected his request on the grounds that this would be impracticable under the urgent circumstances.​
It was finally decided to start work in accordance with the revision and to reduce the radius of the fortification area.3 3 The construction of antitank obstacles along the main roads leading to Mukden was begun on 11 August, as was also the construction of firing positions in the suburbs and the open areas of the city. Third Area Army gave the division commander the additional duty of commander of the Mukden Defense Sector, and for this purpose placed all units and military offices in the Mukden area under his jurisdiction. On 12 August the Area Army assigned a second staff officer to General Nakayama's staff in view of the additional load. 34​
So in other words, defenses were being thrown together at basically the last moment, with completely inadequate materials that would be vulnerable to Soviet tank and artillery fire and chaotic preparation and with the divisional and army-level commanders backbiting each other over the preparations. Doesn't sound like they would be very formidable.

Mutachiang, which even Glantz concedes was a Japanese defensive success, which inflicted 11,000 casualties upon the Soviets and the IJA forces still managed an effective withdraw in which they remained a potent combat force according to to the Soviets themselves?
But the town fell and Soviet forces remained immensely more combat effective in the aftermath then their enemies by the Japanese admission. So by that metric, Mukden falls after four days with just under a thousand Soviet casualties, based on the rate of 3.5% of the involved force. The Japanese are tossed back to the intermediate positions, and the Soviets have their base for further operations once the rail net is caught up.

This is false, however:



Further, on the same page:

On 13 August this army resumed the offensive by pushing reconnaissance units towards Tungliao and Taonan. A reinforced tank or mechanized brigade from each corps followed the reconnaissance units as each corps's forward detachment. All available fuel in each corps was put at the disposal of these forward detachments. Other units remained in static positions awaiting fuel. At nightfall on the fourteenth, after a march hindered by wet weather and by Japanese kamikaze attacks, the forward detachment of the 7th Guards Mechanized Corps occupied Taonan, while that of the 9th Guards Mechanized Corps continued to drive southeastward toward Tungliao and Kailu.​

All but a few brigades were static by the 14th. Indeed, as Glantz notes specifically on the matter of Mukden:

The gap between the two units was more than 100 kilometers wide. Reconnaissance units (motorcycle battalions), assisted by flights of reconnaissance aircraft, operated between the corps. On 16 August the forward detachments of 5th Guards Tank Corps and 9th Guards Mechanized Corps secured Tungliao and Kaitung, respectively. On the nineteenth the main force closed in on the two cities. From Tungliao the 5th Guards Tank Corps and 9th Mechanized Corps marched in single column along the railroad bed in what was essentially an administrative march on Mukden. On 21 August 6th Guards Tank Army units occupied both Changchun and Mukden, two days after the arrival of Soviet air-landed detachments at both locations. Because of a shortage of fuel, further movement of the 6th Guards Tank Army to Port Arthur and Dalny was by rail.28​

So here we find that the actual advance on Mukden was administrative in nature, which makes sense given the Japanese had ceased resistance on the 14th/15th. Even before that, fuel shortages had already immobilized all but a brigade from each corps and even keeping them supplied was a stretch. Note also that Glantz specifically says units, not the entire force of 6th Guards Tank Army. This is consistent and explains Soviet Operational Art by John Elg, which states only forward reconnaissance detachments had reached Mukden by August 21.
In the second quote, Glantz states that the 5th Guards Tank Corps and 9th Mechanized Corps moved up to arrived at Tungliao and Kaitung two days before (specifically, he says: "On the nineteenth the main force closed in on the two cities") then the 5th Guards Tank Corps and 9th Mechanized Corps in their entirety made the move from Tungliao and Kaitung as stated in the bolded section. Not "units" of the 5th GTC and 9th MC, but the whole thing. Clearly the fuel situation had improved in the intervening time to allow for the march. While the march to Mukden was certainly administrative, it still involved Soviet armor and motorized transport travelling cross-country . John Elg provides no basis for his claim that these cities were captured by forward detachments, with the citation being Glantz but as I have already pointed out, Glantz states that it was the main force of the 5th GTC and 9th MC which made these moves.

Notably, the fact that Tungliao and Kaitung were already secure means that once Qiqihar had fallen to the 36th and 2nd Red Banner, an entire stretch of railway would be clear as far as south as Liaoyuan.

As already cited, fortifications were being built on all roads and the concentration on the North and South was in response to the major roads passing through there. The 6th Guards Tank is only going to be able to shuttle in two corps for the fight, meaning it's going to be a 1:1 fight with very little in the way of armor and artillery to help the Soviets.
Huh? According to JM-155, the whole division at Mukden was 9,000 men and that was before they sent off a regiment some 30 or 60 miles to the south on some irrelevant mission. In what world is 9,000 men somehow 1:1 with 28,000 men? The 500+ tanks and assault guns in the tank and mechanized corps will not vanish into thin air no matter how much you try to pretend otherwise. I've already illustrated how the Japanese fortification efforts at Mukden were pretty poor and JM-155 states that the Mukden forces were short on AT weapons up too and including explosive charges for suicide bombers, so they are not liable to be inflicting much in the way of armored casualties.

Beyond the fact the Japanese had division level assets in and around Mukden, had been constructing fortifications for nearly two weeks and the Soviets can only shuttle in a few brigades, so yes, I'm content to say the Japanese can hold them for a time. See the Battle of Manilla where the Japanese help up the equivalent of a U.S. Corps for a month with improvised defenses. Replicating that in Manchuria gets the Soviets taking Mukden, just as the rainy season hits....
The Japanese had one, badly understrength division at Mukden, a healthy proportion of which had been broken off to head off south. Additionally, the far more favorable defensive terrain and fortifications at Mantauchiang did not hold the Soviets up for a month, so there is little reason to expect they would manage that on an open plain with far less preparation. Additionally, the advance of the Trans-Baikal Left Wing and 2nd Eastern Front from the north from Qiqihar will roll the railheads down to the 6th Guards Army.

As already cited via Glantz, the 6th Guards Tank Army was dependent on truck based supply lines extending back 700 kilometers. What happens when it starts to rain and the entire length of their supply line turns into swamp? IOTL, just crossing the mountains forced them to abandon large numbers of Shermans due to the terrain there turning to muck; what happens when all of it is?
By that point, Mukden and the Central Manchurian Plain will have been captured and the railways extended down to Mukden, meaning the 6th Guard Tank Army are no longer depending on a truck based supply line back through the Greater Khingan Mountain Range, but a railway one coming down off the Trans-Siberian.

I welcome any citations to the counter of JM-155, but I think you're making way too many assumptions here without any evidence by trying to read into the Japanese the same way you accuse me of the Soviets. For one difference between Tunghua and Northwest Korea, the Central Manchurian Railway passes through the former.
This tells me you have never looked at a railway map of North Korea, because if you did you'd see that one of the main railway lines in North Korea passes through Northwest Korea. So no, there really is no difference on that count.

I already have via the original citation of JM-155. If you disagree with it, fine, but that's on you to cite something in counter.
No you have not. JM-155 simply says he retreated but makes no mention of the reason why Ishikawa retreats and thus does not substantiate any of your claims for why he retreated. Until you can point to where it does, your speculation on why he retreated remains as baseless as my speculation.

You spoke of the Congjin move without any reference to what citation that was from. As for the matter at hand, the source we are both using notes the Soviets were checked; admittedly, anything as to why the withdrawal was ordered is unknown, but in light of the fact that, again, the same source we are both using notes the Soviets were checked leads me to take that position.
So checked they advanced five miles on August 17th, something I pointed out with a cite but which you are still studiously ignoring. And if the Japanese on the 18th retreated, as your quote says they did, then it means the Soviets were not, in fact, checked any more.

You do realize First Front was not the Army formation tasked with defending the Tunghua, no?
Japanese forces from all over the region were supposed to retreat to defend the Tunghua region. Any Japanese force which is caught away from it and destroyed is one that is subtracted from the Kwangtung Army's strength, meaning instead of 700,000 men hold up in the Tunghua region, it's 700,000 men minus however many men were in the First Front. That further drives how many losses the Soviet will ultimately suffer down.

Sure, but as Bob pointed out before to you, consider the state of Saipan being "imperfect" versus the finished results of high casualties for the U.S. despite having several advantages the Soviets wouldn't have here. As it were, as already pointed out, the Japanese were actively constructing the fortifications and expected Tunghua to be completed by November.
The US had much greater disadvantages on Saipan then the Soviets would at Mukden. Namely, they had no choice but to assault the Japanese fortifications head-on. There was no outflanking a position on a tiny "postage-stamp" island which had something like 4-5 times the number of Japanese troops on it. The Soviets, on the other hand, can freely maneuver and roll up Japanese fortifications from the flanks.

And yeah, the Japanese expected the fortifications to be completed by October. The Japanese expected that they could conquer China, the Japnese expected they could make the US sue for peace after Pearl Harbor, that Midway would be a smashing victory for them, that they could bleed the Americans to making peace on their outer defensive perimeter, that they could bleed the American to making peace on their inner defensive perimeter. That the Japanese expected something in no way makes it true.

Of course they can send more. Just takes a bit more time. U.S. is still sending them rail stock so it isn't like their equipment is going to wear out. Add a locomotive and three flat cars per train. Hell, add trackage, got all those German PoW setting around, along with folks in the Gulags, transported Tatars, etc. We are talking Stalin's USSR; the work kills half the PoWs? It might bother Nikita in a few years, but Stalin?
The capacity limit for the Trans-Siberian is 10 Million tons, with the summer-time capacity of a train at 750 tons. "Analysis of Deep Attack Operations, Operation Bagration 22 June-29 August 1944" shows that average Soviet supply consumption on a per division basis in 1944-1945 as 275 metric tons per day, with the 90 divisions already in theater consuming 24,750 metric tons a day.....
At that rate, the Soviets have an additional 2,500 metric ton buffer. Said link also shows that the Trans-Siberian 10 million tons is the peacetime-operations capacity figure at 36 trains per day. But kicking it up to wartime operations would let them increase the number of running trains from by 8 to 18 per day (depending on which section of track you look at). That would let them add up to an additional 6,000 to 13,500 metric tons. There'd be some disruptions from this, naturally, but the Soviet Union can handle modest temporary transportation disruptions in one of it's less-economically vital regions. It survived the much more massive disruptions a huge German invasion of it's most vital economic regions, imposed after all. Certainly, they'd have no trouble replacing their irrecoverable losses (sanitary losses would most likely be kept in hospitals in theatre at Vladivostok or Khabarovsk until they recover and return to the front).
 
While the march to Mukden was certainly administrative, it still involved Soviet armor and motorized transport travelling cross-country . John Elg provides no basis for his claim that these cities were captured by forward detachments, with the citation being Glantz but as I have already pointed out, Glantz states that it was the main force of the 5th GTC and 9th MC which made these moves.
Fuel consumption fighting through an effective defense is quite a bit higher than movement. I read in one book on the 1944 offensives that the faster a Soviet tank army advanced, the less losses taken and resources used. (I can't seem to find the primary source but I think it might be taken from Soviet staff studies)

From Victory to Stalemate (C.J. Dick) said:
When the tempo of tank armies almost quadrupled to 16 to 45 km (10 to 28 miles) per day, their ammunition and fuel consumption rates fell by five-sixths and one-third, respectively, and their losses of men and tanks were likewise reduced by 70 percent and 35 percent: such was the difference between fighting through an effective defense and conducting pursuit of a beaten enemy.
That assumes of course that the Japanese had some significant organized resistance in front of the army.

If I understand correctly, the main disagreement in this thread seems to be:

Opinion A: Soviets were low on supplies, and increasing Japanese resistance/fortifications would make further advance impossible. Soviets would have to pause and build up for offensive later. (If I understand the weather correctly, mud was expected to greatly hamper supply).

Opinion B: Japanese resistance was weak enough (and defensive preparations not so great) that Soviet logistics would be sufficient to continue the offensive (with the goal of encircling major Japanese grouping? or to some other end?)

Is that more or less correct?
 
Fuel consumption fighting through an effective defense is quite a bit higher than movement. I read in one book on the 1944 offensives that the faster a Soviet tank army advanced, the less losses taken and resources used. (I can't seem to find the primary source but I think it might be taken from Soviet staff studies)



That assumes of course that the Japanese had some significant organized resistance in front of the army.
I’m familiar with it, but the Japanese don’t seem to have any effective organized defense short of Mukden in front of the 6th GTA, and 6th GTA’s ultimate objective was Mukden and Changchun.

If I understand correctly, the main disagreement in this thread seems to be:

Opinion A: Soviets were low on supplies, and increasing Japanese resistance/fortifications would make further advance impossible. Soviets would have to pause and build up for offensive later. (If I understand the weather correctly, mud was expected to greatly hamper supply).
Opinion B: Japanese resistance was weak enough (and defensive preparations not so great) that Soviet logistics would be sufficient to continue the offensive (with the goal of encircling major Japanese grouping? or to some other end?)
Mine is sorta a combination of those two? Japanese resistance/fortification at places like Mukden were certainly weak enough that the Soviets could take it after some fighting, but once they take those objectives, there’s going to have to be a period of pause, rest, and refit before they can make the next leap down into Korea. But with considerable Japanese forces already careening to destruction further north, resistance in the next advance southward is liable to be even weaker than in August Storm.
 
Mukden would have already been taken, I know you're trying to pretend otherwise, but it's way the hell out there by itself. It would not be hard to chop off and take.
Eventually, sure, but not without a tough fight likely delaying the Soviets until the onset of the rainy season.

No fucking duh? The situation had not developed and the original operation was not yet complete. Once the central Manchurian Plain had been secured and the lines consolidated, the STAVKA would take a look at how the Japanese defenses are set-up and plan the offensive accordingly.

No it does not. The plan is in the same vein as many other Soviet operations throughout the war: operations within operations, encirclements within encirclements. The plan would be no more at risk of defeat in detail by encirclement as Bagration or the Vistula-Oder Operation. If the Japanese tried to come out of their positions and attempt to launch counterattacks, the superior mobility and firepower of the Red Army would slaughter them.
Then it is pure conjecture based upon hindsight to assume they could do such, particularly when the Soviet exploitation force was 6th GTA; rather on the wrong side to effect your proposed movements, no? As for the "superior mobility and firepower of the Red Army", how are they supposed to do such with no fuel or ammunition?

Uh, no. If one actually looks at my post, the frontlines start with Mukden already having fallen. In more detail it would likely look like this:

View attachment 573620

Yellow is Trans-Baikal, blue is 2nd Far Eastern, brown is 1st Far Eastern. The breakthrough sector for the Trans-Baikal Front would be the region between the Fushan and Sinjuin regions, with the tactical-operational exploitation by the breakthrough armies largely being east to form the southern pincer encircling Fushan. The front-level exploitation, presumably by the rested and refitted 6th Guards Tank Army, would be southward towards Sinjuin to encircle that region. 2nd Far Eastern main breakthrough sector would be the region between Fushun and Cheningyuan. The breakthrough armies exploitation elements would exploit southward to form the northern pincer while the front-level exploitation force would drive eastward in the direction of Hailing. 1st Far Easterns breakthrough sector would obviously be northeast of Chaoyanchen. The breakthrough armies exploitation elements and the front-level exploitation elements would actually be aiming in mostly the same direction, for once: southwestward through Hailing, with the front-level exploitation elements eventually turning more southward towards Tunghua to pre-empt any withdrawal to the main positions.
Pray do tell, once again, how the Soviets do that with no fuel and no ammunition before late September? Again, we need only look to the Battle of Manila, where a similar sized Japanese force held up the equivalent of two Soviet Corps for a month with improvised defenses. Put that same performance in Mukden, and the Soviets take it....just as the rainy season starts.

So in other words, defenses were being thrown together at basically the last moment, with completely inadequate materials that would be vulnerable to Soviet tank and artillery fire and chaotic preparation and with the divisional and army-level commanders backbiting each other over the preparations. Doesn't sound like they would be very formidable.
See the Battle of Manila, as well as the fact the Soviets have no exposed flanks to work on.

But the town fell and Soviet forces remained immensely more combat effective in the aftermath then their enemies by the Japanese admission. So by that metric, Mukden falls after four days with just under a thousand Soviet casualties, based on the rate of 3.5% of the involved force. The Japanese are tossed back to the intermediate positions, and the Soviets have their base for further operations once the rail net is caught up.
Well for one, you're really off in the counts:

Casualties on both sides were heavy. The Japanese reported 25,000 overall casualties, including 9,391 killed, from both the 5th Army and other units subordinate to the 1st Area Army that took part in the fighting. They also admitted the loss of 104 artillery pieces. In exchange, they claimed to have inflicted 7,000-10,000 Soviet casualties and destroyed 300-600 tanks. These claims may actually have been an underestimate:[2] Soviet calculations place the 1st Far Eastern Front's losses in the Manchurian campaign as 21,069, including 6,324 killed, captured, or missing and 14,745 wounded and sick. At least half of these were incurred during the fighting at Mutanchiang.[13]
Give those same losses to the Soviets and Japanese at Mukden, and the Japanese remain in control of the city while the two Soviet corps cease to exist. The Japanese can then retire effectively to their next set of defenses or, more likely, continue to hold Mukden.

In the second quote, Glantz states that the 5th Guards Tank Corps and 9th Mechanized Corps moved up to arrived at Tungliao and Kaitung two days before (specifically, he says: "On the nineteenth the main force closed in on the two cities") then the 5th Guards Tank Corps and 9th Mechanized Corps in their entirety made the move from Tungliao and Kaitung as stated in the bolded section. Not "units" of the 5th GTC and 9th MC, but the whole thing. Clearly the fuel situation had improved in the intervening time to allow for the march. While the march to Mukden was certainly administrative, it still involved Soviet armor and motorized transport travelling cross-country . John Elg provides no basis for his claim that these cities were captured by forward detachments, with the citation being Glantz but as I have already pointed out, Glantz states that it was the main force of the 5th GTC and 9th MC which made these moves.
Yes, as they halted the rest of 6th GTA in static; i.e. the 5th GTA and 9th MC were on their own. The only thing Glantz states is that units reached Mukden on the 21st, and provides no other context; relying on him to dismiss Elg is thus baseless. Even ignoring that, see the prior points concerning the Japanese performance at both Manila and Mutanchiang. Or, for another Manchuria specific example, see how the 80th Independent Mixed Brigade held up an entire Soviet corps for nine days clearing out Hailar.

Notably, the fact that Tungliao and Kaitung were already secure means that once Qiqihar had fallen to the 36th and 2nd Red Banner, an entire stretch of railway would be clear as far as south as Liaoyuan.
I fail to see the benefit, given the lack of rail connections to the USSR and the lack of their own trains.

Huh? According to JM-155, the whole division at Mukden was 9,000 men and that was before they sent off a regiment some 30 or 60 miles to the south on some irrelevant mission. In what world is 9,000 men somehow 1:1 with 28,000 men? The 500+ tanks and assault guns in the tank and mechanized corps will not vanish into thin air no matter how much you try to pretend otherwise. I've already illustrated how the Japanese fortification efforts at Mukden were pretty poor and JM-155 states that the Mukden forces were short on AT weapons up too and including explosive charges for suicide bombers, so they are not liable to be inflicting much in the way of armored casualties.
JM-155 actually states quite to the contrary.

Nearly all Forty-fourth Army units, except those enroute to new stations, were in the vicinity of Mulden when the war ended. The main body of the 63d Division was holding its positions near Tungling east of Mukden. The main body of the 136th Division was in the western sector of Mukden, and that of the 130th Independent Mixed Brigade near Peiling north of Mukden. The 108th Division was near Liaoyang. The 1st Independent Tank Brigade was near Tungling, and the Raiding Unit was at Hsinmin. The main body of the antiaircraft artillery unit was in the city of Mukden preparing for antitank action. The main body of the 31st Signal Regiment was at Peiling north of Mukden.​

So that's the 63rd Division, the 136th Division, the 130th Independent Mixed Brigade, the 1st Independent Tank Brigade and we're being generous and not counting the 108th Division and the Raiding unit; that's basically three Japanese divisions, every bit a 1:1 and that's being generous and giving the Soviets their full TOE. In reality, as Glantz notes in When Titans Clashed:

In August 1945, the Kwantung Army consisted of thirty-one infantry divisions and twelve separate brigades. All but six of these divisions had been created during the spring and summer of 1945 as part of a last-ditch mobilization of men who were previously exempt or deemed unsuited for service. These divisions had an average strength of 12,500, or about two-thirds of their authorized size, and were far below their official establishment of artillery and heavy weapons. Half were garrison divisions intended for rear area security, without significant artillery or antitank capabilities. 11 Still, Japanese divisions with 9,000 to 18,000 soldiers were larger than their Soviet counterparts. By 1945, the Soviet rifle division was authorized 11,700 men but often had less than half that number present for duty

At an absolute best case scenario for the Soviets, they only have numerical parity and the Japanese have the AA converted to AT along with any integral AT. Given at Mutanchiang the Japanese managed to knock out 300-600 Soviet tanks, this is definitely not a good signal for Mukden!

The Japanese had one, badly understrength division at Mukden, a healthy proportion of which had been broken off to head off south. Additionally, the far more favorable defensive terrain and fortifications at Mantauchiang did not hold the Soviets up for a month, so there is little reason to expect they would manage that on an open plain with far less preparation. Additionally, the advance of the Trans-Baikal Left Wing and 2nd Eastern Front from the north from Qiqihar will roll the railheads down to the 6th Guards Army.

By that point, Mukden and the Central Manchurian Plain will have been captured and the railways extended down to Mukden, meaning the 6th Guard Tank Army are no longer depending on a truck based supply line back through the Greater Khingan Mountain Range, but a railway one coming down off the Trans-Siberian.
By all means, show us the citations. One also wonders how they can get the railways in function when the 39th Infantry division is sitting on Ssupingchieh and the 148th Division is at Hsinking, meaning any use of the railway requires them to be destroyed first. I should also note the blocking detachment at Meihokou. If the Soviet performance at Hailar is any indicator, it would take a month of urban combat collectively to defeat all of these and open the railway down to Mukden.

This tells me you have never looked at a railway map of North Korea, because if you did you'd see that one of the main railway lines in North Korea passes through Northwest Korea. So no, there really is no difference on that count.
Two words: Capacity limits. One can also add into this time and place, as what the DPRK currently uses, based on 70+ years of isolation and dependency on Russia, is a rather different affair than Japanese priorities in Manchuria.

No you have not. JM-155 simply says he retreated but makes no mention of the reason why Ishikawa retreats and thus does not substantiate any of your claims for why he retreated. Until you can point to where it does, your speculation on why he retreated remains as baseless as my speculation.
Sure, which is the point.

So checked they advanced five miles on August 17th, something I pointed out with a cite but which you are still studiously ignoring. And if the Japanese on the 18th retreated, as your quote says they did, then it means the Soviets were not, in fact, checked any more.
The citation says they were checked and you have yet to prove otherwise rather than making the purely speculative argument they were not. Again, the burden of proof falls upon you.

Japanese forces from all over the region were supposed to retreat to defend the Tunghua region. Any Japanese force which is caught away from it and destroyed is one that is subtracted from the Kwangtung Army's strength, meaning instead of 700,000 men hold up in the Tunghua region, it's 700,000 men minus however many men were in the First Front. That further drives how many losses the Soviet will ultimately suffer down.
Okay, two things here.

1) They were retreating to Harbin because that was the way the railway functions to get them to Tunghua:

Harbin.PNG


2) If we, for whatever reason, presume they remain there or somehow get encircled before they can withdraw, this further reinforces the point about the Soviets being unable to open the railway as the Japanese control of Harbin prevents such.

Either they retreat into Tunghua successfully, or the Soviets don't get to use the railway until they clear them out. Again, based on Hailar and Manila, just getting them out of Harbin would take a month.

The US had much greater disadvantages on Saipan then the Soviets would at Mukden. Namely, they had no choice but to assault the Japanese fortifications head-on. There was no outflanking a position on a tiny "postage-stamp" island which had something like 4-5 times the number of Japanese troops on it. The Soviets, on the other hand, can freely maneuver and roll up Japanese fortifications from the flanks.
Unlike the Soviets, the U.S. actually had the fuel and munitions as well as the fact that they were facing a considerably smaller Japanese force with more forces. As I have shown, this is not the case at all with the Soviets.

And yeah, the Japanese expected the fortifications to be completed by October. The Japanese expected that they could conquer China, the Japnese expected they could make the US sue for peace after Pearl Harbor, that Midway would be a smashing victory for them, that they could bleed the Americans to making peace on their outer defensive perimeter, that they could bleed the American to making peace on their inner defensive perimeter. That the Japanese expected something in no way makes it true.
The same can be said for the Soviets, stretching all the way back to 1941 with Stalin's delusions about Hitler not attacking. How about instead of focusing what each side got wrong, we look at the facts and let them decide? Fortification work was beginning in August and the Japanese thought they could complete it by November. Do you have an actual counter to that?
 
Last edited:
What is the significance of Mukden in this case? Logistics center for future Soviet offensive (after pause). Or something to take on the way to a more important objective? Was there a big rush to take this position?

In any case I'm inclined to think taking Mukden would be tough for 2 Soviet mobile corps (6 infantry battalions in tank corps + 10 in mechanized corps) to quickly take against 3 Japanese division equivalents (~27 infantry battalions?) without surprise or outflanking. (To be fair though JM-155 page 112 mentions some units being "less than half of their fighting capabilities" though I wonder if they were referring to the force as a whole or specific divisions.)

Plus, once the Soviets figure out there are significant, well prepared forces in front of them and not a routed mob, unless there was some really pressing reason to take Mukden I don't think they'd have their tank army do it. Tank armies are not for clearing defended cities, as Berlin experience should have shown them. Even if successful 6 GTA would take heavy losses and would not be much use after.

On a related note, Igor Nebolsin has published 1 volume of a 2 volume series on the history of 6 GTA so hopefully with the publication of the second volume we may see more details on that end.
 
What is the significance of Mukden in this case? Logistics center for future Soviet offensive (after pause). Or something to take on the way to a more important objective? Was there a big rush to take this position?

In any case I'm inclined to think taking Mukden would be tough for 2 Soviet mobile corps (6 infantry battalions in tank corps + 10 in mechanized corps) to quickly take against 3 Japanese division equivalents (~27 infantry battalions?) without surprise or outflanking. (To be fair though JM-155 page 112 mentions some units being "less than half of their fighting capabilities" though I wonder if they were referring to the force as a whole or specific divisions.)

Plus, once the Soviets figure out there are significant, well prepared forces in front of them and not a routed mob, unless there was some really pressing reason to take Mukden I don't think they'd have their tank army do it. Tank armies are not for clearing defended cities, as Berlin experience should have shown them. Even if successful 6 GTA would take heavy losses and would not be much use after.

On a related note, Igor Nebolsin has published 1 volume of a 2 volume series on the history of 6 GTA so hopefully with the publication of the second volume we may see more details on that end.
Mukden is basically the initial block for one of the three routes of invading Korea, and the Soviets would have to pierce through it first in order to eventually encircle the Tunghua Redoubt, which the Japanese were withdrawing into.
 
Bother Kruschev?

The Nazis turned his hometown into a glorified slave pen, then a battlefield, then arguably a graveyard (Kruschev was born near Kursk, hundreds of thousands of casualties between Operation Citadel and the Soviet counterattacks). He would probably be offering Comrade Stalin suggestions for how to punish the POWs for not working hard or fast enough as his contribution to Stalin's dinnertime entertainment.
Yeah.

I think History Learner's concerns about American war weariness are excessive, but I have never said they were a nullity. But Stalin's Soviet Union, it's irrelevant. He's going to roll over Manchuria, Korea, and even north China no matter how high the bodies stack up, or how long it takes. He can - and will - shoot whoever he needs to in order to reach his objective.
 
History Learner: Mutachiang, which even Glantz concedes was a Japanese defensive success, which inflicted 11,000 casualties upon the Soviets and the IJA forces still managed an effective withdraw in which they remained a potent combat force according to to the Soviets themselves?

But the town fell and Soviet forces remained immensely more combat effective in the aftermath then their enemies by the Japanese admission. So by that metric, Mukden falls after four days with just under a thousand Soviet casualties, based on the rate of 3.5% of the involved force. The Japanese are tossed back to the intermediate positions, and the Soviets have their base for further operations once the rail net is caught up.
Yeah, I just don't grok this one.

Glantz may be right to call Mutachiang a Japanese defensive victory in a narrow, tactical sense. They did fight well, and they did inflict serious casualties on a far larger attacking force. But fact is, it still ended with the Soviets in possession of the field, and most of their force intact - even if they actually did lose the majority of their tanks. Meanwhile, Kita had lost nearly HALF his force. Another such battle would annihilate his command.
 
Yeah.

I think History Learner's concerns about American war weariness are excessive, but I have never said they were a nullity. But Stalin's Soviet Union, it's irrelevant. He's going to roll over Manchuria, Korea, and even north China no matter how high the bodies stack up, or how long it takes. He can - and will - shoot whoever he needs to in order to reach his objective.
History Learner has a tendency to vastly underestimate the ability of the USA to fight major wars.

As for Stalin, hell, I wouldn't put it past him to take every ethnic German east of the ON line and work them to death building railroads across Siberia if he felt that the war effort wasn't going fast enough. Dude was scary.
 
Yeah, I just don't grok this one.

Glantz may be right to call Mutachiang a Japanese defensive victory in a narrow, tactical sense. They did fight well, and they did inflict serious casualties on a far larger attacking force. But fact is, it still ended with the Soviets in possession of the field, and most of their force intact - even if they actually did lose the majority of their tanks. Meanwhile, Kita had lost nearly HALF his force. Another such battle would annihilate his command.
I believe a more apt description that Glantz could have used would be pyrrhic victory.
 
Interesting discussion over the past 3 pages and always great to see maps! I think CalBear just about summed it up in his posts though.

To add to the discussion I thought it would be good to throw in the map I had done almost 9 years ago in another thread concerning Japan not surrendering and the war continuing:

Chris S said:
One good thing about Glantz's work is that he likes to put in maps. Two maps of his works which I overlayed on each other really shows where the Soviets were in Manchuria in relation to where they expected to be. When I copied these overlays onto a Manchukuo map this is what I got:


The green lines show the Soviet front lines at the time Japan started the surrender process (August 14/15) and about 6 days after the Soviets began operations in Manchuria. The blue lines show the expected advances of Soviet forces by their high command with the days of operations numbered beside the lines (so for instance a 10 beside a line indicates the expected front line after for that area after 10 days of operations)....snip...

Manchuria campaign actual Soviet advances in green with days and planned advances in blue with d.jpg
In plain and simple terms by the time Japan started surrendering the Soviets had already advanced as far in 6 days as they had been planning to advance in 10-18 days (depending on the sector) and in a couple areas even going past that. There was clearly planning for a long fight most likely due to the experience against Germany and what they could have observed from the US/Japan engagements.
 
Eventually, sure, but not without a tough fight likely delaying the Soviets until the onset of the rainy season.
Maybe it takes several days, maybe it takes a few weeks. But regardless, it would happen and once it happens it’s only a matter of time until the next operation runs through Japanese defenses.

Then it is pure conjecture based upon hindsight to assume they could do such, particularly when the Soviet exploitation force was 6th GTA; rather on the wrong side to effect your proposed movements, no? As for the "superior mobility and firepower of the Red Army", how are they supposed to do such with no fuel or ammunition?
Once you get around to realizing this would be a successive operation after the Soviets have cleaned up the Central Manchurian Plains, finished off the Japanese pockets, and extended their railnet forward then we can start actually addressing the issue, rendering the logistical conditions of mid-‘45 a total non-starter. Until then, your blowing smoke

Pray do tell, once again, how the Soviets do that with no fuel and no ammunition before late September? Again, we need only look to the Battle of Manila, where a similar sized Japanese force held up the equivalent of two Soviet Corps for a month with improvised defenses. Put that same performance in Mukden, and the Soviets take it....just as the rainy season starts.
See above, and there's no particular reason to believe the rainy season will represent any special block on the Soviets. The Soviets quite successfully conducted major mechanized offensives covering hundreds of kilometers in muddy weather during campaigns in 1943-1945. If the Japanese expected rain to be a serious impediment to Soviet operations, then that speaks to their lack of understanding about the capabilities of Soviet forces more then it does any objective analysis of the situation.

See the Battle of Manila, as well as the fact the Soviets have no exposed flanks to work on.
Rather inappropriate comparison. In addition to the Japanese forces at Manilla being better armed, the city itself was very different city to Mukden: it was larger and had far more in the way of buildings built of stone and brick rather then wood. Additionally, the terrain limited the Americans options: Manila Bay to the west and the jungle highlands to the east limited American approach either to the north or south. Mukden, by contrast, lies on a flat, broad plain which can be approached in all directions, with only the Hunhe river to the south limiting the approaches to that direction through bridges and fords. The Japanese do not have enough troops to adequately staff a full 360 defense, so yes, there will be open flanks.

Apropos of nothing: comparing maps and images of Mukden in 1945 and Mukden (well, Shenyang because renaming) today is a rather nice reminder of how much things have changed. The city has expanded outward quite a lot since then.

Well for one, you're really off in the counts:

Casualties on both sides were heavy. The Japanese reported 25,000 overall casualties, including 9,391 killed, from both the 5th Army and other units subordinate to the 1st Area Army that took part in the fighting. They also admitted the loss of 104 artillery pieces. In exchange, they claimed to have inflicted 7,000-10,000 Soviet casualties and destroyed 300-600 tanks. These claims may actually have been an underestimate:[2] Soviet calculations place the 1st Far Eastern Front's losses in the Manchurian campaign as 21,069, including 6,324 killed, captured, or missing and 14,745 wounded and sick. At least half of these were incurred during the fighting at Mutanchiang.[13]
Give those same losses to the Soviets and Japanese at Mukden, and the Japanese remain in control of the city while the two Soviet corps cease to exist. The Japanese can then retire effectively to their next set of defenses or, more likely, continue to hold Mukden.
I don't see how those numbers show I'm off on the counts. Quite the opposite: 2nd Far Eastern Front suffered 6,324 irrecoverable and 14,745 for all of August Storm and half of those were suffered at Mutanchiang, then that means the Soviets suffered approximately 10,500 total casualties out of a force of 290,000. 10,500/290,000 is 3.632586 percent. That's close to the Japanese claim of a flat 10,000, which is 3.448276% of the same. I split the difference and said 3.5%. Apply that to the two corps at Mukden of 28,000 men, that's 980 casualties.

Yes, as they halted the rest of 6th GTA in static; i.e. the 5th GTA and 9th MC were on their own.
Well, not the entire rest: the third tank corps headed to Changchun at the same time. Given it's location, it seems it would be joined several days later by the 39th Army advancing in from the northwest from the direction of Baicheng.

The armies two motor-rifle divisions do indeed seem to have been held in static though.

The only thing Glantz states is that units reached Mukden on the 21st, and provides no other context; relying on him to dismiss Elg is thus baseless.
So Glantz says that the two corps reached Mukden on the 21st whereas Elg claims Glantz says that only the forward detachments reached Mukden. Thus, there is quite good reason to dismiss Elg.

Even ignoring that, see the prior points concerning the Japanese performance at both Manila and Mutanchiang. Or, for another Manchuria specific example, see how the 80th Independent Mixed Brigade held up an entire Soviet corps for nine days clearing out Hailar.
Manila, a much stronger, heavily built city situated on rather different terrain, isn't very relevant. Hailar is indeed a more relevant comparison, but it was better fortified with permanent fortifications having been constructed there since the 1930s and even then a close examination of the battle shows that the actual city proper was secured rather swiftly by August 11th. Remaining Japanese resistance thereafter was confined to the besieged forts outside the city to the northwest and southwest. If the two corps swiftly take Mukden proper but leave some Japanese fortifications at, say, what is today the Chengdonghu residential fuming in their wooden forts impotently.

I fail to see the benefit, given the lack of rail connections to the USSR and the lack of their own trains.
That tells me you've never actually looked at a rail map of Manchuria either, because if you did you would know that the Soviet rail net crosses the Soviet-Manchurian border at both Zabaikalsk to the northwest and Blagoveschensk to north and runs down to Qiqahar. From there, the rail line runs a more or less straight-southward course through Paichengtzu-Liaoyuan. The first four cities were already captured by Soviet forces before August 15th and the last was captured on August 19th. It's so easily visible on the map in Glantz's August Storm that I caught it at a glance, but to help the visual aide, I've highlighted it in red on the following map:

Railnet.png


JM-155 actually states quite to the contrary.

Nearly all Forty-fourth Army units, except those enroute to new stations, were in the vicinity of Mulden when the war ended. The main body of the 63d Division was holding its positions near Tungling east of Mukden. The main body of the 136th Division was in the western sector of Mukden, and that of the 130th Independent Mixed Brigade near Peiling north of Mukden. The 108th Division was near Liaoyang. The 1st Independent Tank Brigade was near Tungling, and the Raiding Unit was at Hsinmin. The main body of the antiaircraft artillery unit was in the city of Mukden preparing for antitank action. The main body of the 31st Signal Regiment was at Peiling north of Mukden.​

So that's the 63rd Division, the 136th Division, the 130th Independent Mixed Brigade, the 1st Independent Tank Brigade and we're being generous and not counting the 108th Division and the Raiding unit; that's basically three Japanese divisions, every bit a 1:1 and that's being generous and giving the Soviets their full TOE.
Of these, only the 136th division and the AAA unit is actually at Mukden when the war began and prepared to defend the city and JM-155 reports only the raiding unit was moved into Mukden. The locations of 108th, 130th Mixed, 31st Signal, and 1st Independent Tank Brigade put them all well outside Mukden and all these units were immobilized in fortification building. The only one I can't pin down is the 63rd and that is because Tungling apparently underwent a name change in the past 75 years, so I can’t seem to find it’s location. It does seem to have been withdrawing in the direction of Mukden. In any case, the bottom line is that the locations and orders of these forces given by the monograph do not paint them as preparing to make a coordinated defense of Mukden, but rather hunkering down in their own positions for their own individual death stands. None of them are within weapons range of the city. Thus, counting them as part of the defense of Mukden is persiflage.

In reality, as Glantz notes in When Titans Clashed:

In August 1945, the Kwantung Army consisted of thirty-one infantry divisions and twelve separate brigades. All but six of these divisions had been created during the spring and summer of 1945 as part of a last-ditch mobilization of men who were previously exempt or deemed unsuited for service. These divisions had an average strength of 12,500, or about two-thirds of their authorized size, and were far below their official establishment of artillery and heavy weapons. Half were garrison divisions intended for rear area security, without significant artillery or antitank capabilities. 11 Still, Japanese divisions with 9,000 to 18,000 soldiers were larger than their Soviet counterparts. By 1945, the Soviet rifle division was authorized 11,700 men but often had less than half that number present for duty

At an absolute best case scenario for the Soviets, they only have numerical parity and the Japanese have the AA converted to AT along with any integral AT. Given at Mutanchiang the Japanese managed to knock out 300-600 Soviet tanks, this is definitely not a good signal for Mukden!
There are two, first off, Glantz is talking about the general state of rifle divisions in 1945, not for August Storm. His subsequent discussion on the organization of the rifle divisions for August Storm in When Titans Clashed does not explicitly state that the rifle divisions assigned for the operation were generally at full strength, but it does heavily imply it. Other authors are more explicit:

"Another characteristic of the later [rifle] divisions, although not an inherent organizational one, was an inability to maintain these divisions at near full strength, the Army having simply expanded beyond the ability of the available manpower pool to support it. This was not remedied until after Germany's fall when the Soviets were able to concentrate smaller forces [on a per-formation basis] against the Japanese Kwantung Army in 1945." -Steven Zaloga, The Red Army Handbook, page 34.

The second, and far more obvious and glaring problem is that neither the 5th Guards Tank Corps nor the 9th Mechanized Corps are rifle divisions. Soviet mechanized formations received priority for replacements and hence were generally maintained at or near full manpower strength. Again, Glantz more implies this by observing that the rifle divisions were denied replacement in favor of the mechanized forces. Zaloga is a bit more explicit, but still says it in a indirect way: on page 90 of the Red Army handbook, he gives a table showing the 3rd Guards Tank Armies component formation and unit strength as of January 28th 1945, stating that it was typical of the tank armies. The army constituted 2 tank corps of 12,010 personnel and a mechanized corps of 16,442 personnel. By comparison, the TO&E of a 1945 tank corps called for 12,321 men and a mechanized corps 16,449. In military terms, these formations (especially the mechanized corps) were basically at full strength. Thus, the claim that 6th Guards Tank Army was significantly understrength is one made completely without foundation.

So in other words, you are artificially reducing the amount of manpower the Soviets actually have by pretending that two Soviet tank and mechanized corps will be mystically turned into rifle divisions, rifle divisions from the European theater of early-1945 at that, and hence lose their priority for manpower replacements that meant they were generally maintained at or near their full-TO&Es in manpower.

By all means, show us the citations. One also wonders how they can get the railways in function when the 39th Infantry division is sitting on Ssupingchieh and the 148th Division is at Hsinking, meaning any use of the railway requires them to be destroyed first. I should also note the blocking detachment at Meihokou. If the Soviet performance at Hailar is any indicator, it would take a month of urban combat collectively to defeat all of these and open the railway down to Mukden.
Largely by ignoring them. As can be seen from the map I posted above, all of these forces are well to the east of the rail line. For subsequent conversion the rest of the way to Mukden, going through Changchun and Ssupinchieh would be the most direct route, but the westward loop which is in the process of being captured unopposed by the 53rd Army could be used instead if the Soviets experience undue hold-up capturing the cities in that direction.

Two words: Capacity limits.
Two words: prove it. Even if the capacity were substantially different, you also have to prove that they were out of proportion to Ishikawa's much smaller forces supply demands.

One can also add into this time and place, as what the DPRK currently uses, based on 70+ years of isolation and dependency on Russia, is a rather different affair than Japanese priorities in Manchuria.
Not in term of layout, no. There has obviously been expansion in capacity with stuff like electrification, rebuildings, introduction of new engines, and the construction of additional sidelines, but the mainlines North Korea has today are identical to those of 1945. But then this would also go for the Manchurian railway network.

Sure, which is the point.
So then you conceded that Ishikawa retreated and thus the Soviets were no longer held...

]The citation says they were checked and you have yet to prove otherwise rather than making the purely speculative argument they were not. Again, the burden of proof falls upon you.
So now you are blatantly ignoring my link which shows a five mile advance during the timespan the Soviets were supposedly checked and ignoring that the 55 mile retreat the quote specifies would mean the Soviets were not checked any longer.

Okay, two things here.

1) They were retreating to Harbin because that was the way the railway functions to get them to Tunghua:

View attachment 573640

2) If we, for whatever reason, presume they remain there or somehow get encircled before they can withdraw, this further reinforces the point about the Soviets being unable to open the railway as the Japanese control of Harbin prevents such.

Either they retreat into Tunghua successfully, or the Soviets don't get to use the railway until they clear them out. Again, based on Hailar and Manila, just getting them out of Harbin would take a month.
Yes, it makes sense you'd claim that because, as we can see from above and below, you seem to be rather ignorant of the actual layout of the Manchurian railnet and the actual geographic layout of Manchuria.

Unlike the Soviets, the U.S. actually had the fuel and munitions as well as the fact that they were facing a considerably smaller Japanese force with more forces. As I have shown, this is not the case at all with the Soviets.
You have not yet demonstrated the Soviets lack the fuel for tactical maneuvering and especially have not demonstrated they lack the ammunition to destroy the largely wooden fortifications the Japanese will be relying on.

The same can be said for the Soviets, stretching all the way back to 1941 with Stalin's delusions about Hitler not attacking.
Not for 1944-45! Soviet expectations, calculations, and predictions, if anything, tended to be excessively pessimistic compared to the actual reality. Japanese expectations and predictions throughout the war, however, remained uniformly terrible.

But fact is, it still ended with the Soviets in possession of the field, and most of their force intact - even if they actually did lose the majority of their tanks.
The Soviets probably put the gross bulk of those tanks back into action as well. By 1945, Soviet thank repair rates meant 90% of losses were usually refueled.

But Stalin's Soviet Union, it's irrelevant. He's going to roll over Manchuria, Korea, and even north China no matter how high the bodies stack up, or how long it takes.
And compared to past Soviet operations, it’ll probably be inexpensive. We’re likely looking at the vicinity of hundred thousand irrecoverable and another three hundred thousand sanitary. Heavy by US standards, but by Soviet standards, that’s nothing.
 
The Soviets probably put the gross bulk of those tanks back into action as well. By 1945, Soviet thank repair rates meant 90% of losses were usually refueled.
Yeah, I was curious about that.

T-34's had fairly short shelf lives, but I assume a lot of what was deployed for AUGUST STORM was relatively new production, and most would have at least one repair job resurrection in them.
 
Maybe it takes several days, maybe it takes a few weeks. But regardless, it would happen and once it happens it’s only a matter of time until the next operation runs through Japanese defenses.
The end result has never been for debate, the question is one of time. Your original contention was that it would be a relatively easy victory by sometime in surrender, while I have been saying Spring of 1946.

Once you get around to realizing this would be a successive operation after the Soviets have cleaned up the Central Manchurian Plains, finished off the Japanese pockets, and extended their railnet forward then we can start actually addressing the issue, rendering the logistical conditions of mid-‘45 a total non-starter. Until then, your blowing smoke
All of which takes time. Again, is the Kwantung Army destined for defeat? Sure.

See above, and there's no particular reason to believe the rainy season will represent any special block on the Soviets. The Soviets quite successfully conducted major mechanized offensives covering hundreds of kilometers in muddy weather during campaigns in 1943-1945. If the Japanese expected rain to be a serious impediment to Soviet operations, then that speaks to their lack of understanding about the capabilities of Soviet forces more then it does any objective analysis of the situation.
Or maybe it speaks to the intimate Japanese knowledge of the terrain and weather conditions? Or their understanding of the logistics at play, particularly given the Soviets are operating thousands of miles from their supply centers? By all means, what happens when you have a 700 km long truck based supply route and all the roads turn into mud?

Rather inappropriate comparison. In addition to the Japanese forces at Manilla being better armed, the city itself was very different city to Mukden: it was larger and had far more in the way of buildings built of stone and brick rather then wood. Additionally, the terrain limited the Americans options: Manila Bay to the west and the jungle highlands to the east limited American approach either to the north or south. Mukden, by contrast, lies on a flat, broad plain which can be approached in all directions, with only the Hunhe river to the south limiting the approaches to that direction through bridges and fords. The Japanese do not have enough troops to adequately staff a full 360 defense, so yes, there will be open flanks.
Manila was defended by 14,000 IJN sailors-not IJA soldiers-using American weapons from 1941 so I honestly have no idea where you're getting the idea they were better armed. Mukden has around 4-5 Japanese divisional equivalents, prepared fortifications, and all routes blocked. Even if we assume every Japanese division is undermanned, they have more than enough men.

Apropos of nothing: comparing maps and images of Mukden in 1945 and Mukden (well, Shenyang because renaming) today is a rather nice reminder of how much things have changed. The city has expanded outward quite a lot since then.
Let me ask this point blank: what open flank are you imagining the Soviets can operate on?

I don't see how those numbers show I'm off on the counts. Quite the opposite: 2nd Far Eastern Front suffered 6,324 irrecoverable and 14,745 for all of August Storm and half of those were suffered at Mutanchiang, then that means the Soviets suffered approximately 10,500 total casualties out of a force of 290,000. 10,500/290,000 is 3.632586 percent. That's close to the Japanese claim of a flat 10,000, which is 3.448276% of the same. I split the difference and said 3.5%. Apply that to the two corps at Mukden of 28,000 men, that's 980 casualties.
The raw numbers; you're being disingenuous by only doing percentages here.

Well, not the entire rest: the third tank corps headed to Changchun at the same time. Given it's location, it seems it would be joined several days later by the 39th Army advancing in from the northwest from the direction of Baicheng.

The armies two motor-rifle divisions do indeed seem to have been held in static though.
There is no such unit in the 6th GTA; to what are you referring?

So Glantz says that the two corps reached Mukden on the 21st whereas Elg claims Glantz says that only the forward detachments reached Mukden. Thus, there is quite good reason to dismiss Elg.
No, he does not and I already directly quoted him on the matter. To directly screenshot the man:

Mukden.PNG


"On 21 August 6th Guards Tank Army units occupied both Changchun and Mukden, two days after the arrival of Soviet air-landed detachments at both locations."

Manila, a much stronger, heavily built city situated on rather different terrain, isn't very relevant. Hailar is indeed a more relevant comparison, but it was better fortified with permanent fortifications having been constructed there since the 1930s and even then a close examination of the battle shows that the actual city proper was secured rather swiftly by August 11th. Remaining Japanese resistance thereafter was confined to the besieged forts outside the city to the northwest and southwest. If the two corps swiftly take Mukden proper but leave some Japanese fortifications at, say, what is today the Chengdonghu residential fuming in their wooden forts impotently.
Manila, a city with no fortifications defended at the last second by 14,000 IJN sailors using old American weapons versus Mukden, defended by 4-5 divisions in field work.

That tells me you've never actually looked at a rail map of Manchuria either, because if you did you would know that the Soviet rail net crosses the Soviet-Manchurian border at both Zabaikalsk to the northwest and Blagoveschensk to north and runs down to Qiqahar. From there, the rail line runs a more or less straight-southward course through Paichengtzu-Liaoyuan. The first four cities were already captured by Soviet forces before August 15th and the last was captured on August 19th. It's so easily visible on the map in Glantz's August Storm that I caught it at a glance, but to help the visual aide, I've highlighted it in red on the following map:

View attachment 573649
Liaoyuan, defended by the 108th Division. Also notable that it doesn't offer any sort of flanking attack upon Mukden...

Of these, only the 136th division and the AAA unit is actually at Mukden when the war began and prepared to defend the city and JM-155 reports only the raiding unit was moved into Mukden. The locations of 108th, 130th Mixed, 31st Signal, and 1st Independent Tank Brigade put them all well outside Mukden and all these units were immobilized in fortification building. The only one I can't pin down is the 63rd and that is because Tungling apparently underwent a name change in the past 75 years, so I can’t seem to find it’s location. It does seem to have been withdrawing in the direction of Mukden. In any case, the bottom line is that the locations and orders of these forces given by the monograph do not paint them as preparing to make a coordinated defense of Mukden, but rather hunkering down in their own positions for their own individual death stands. None of them are within weapons range of the city. Thus, counting them as part of the defense of Mukden is persiflage.
You're being very disingenuous here by using "when the war began" as the situation is very different to how it was when the Kwantung Army surrender by August 15th, which is what the citation was talking about. To re-post:

Nearly all Forty-fourth Army units, except those enroute to new stations, were in the vicinity of Mulden when the war ended. The main body of the 63d Division was holding its positions near Tungling east of Mukden. The main body of the 136th Division was in the western sector of Mukden, and that of the 130th Independent Mixed Brigade near Peiling north of Mukden. The 108th Division was near Liaoyang. The 1st Independent Tank Brigade was near Tungling, and the Raiding Unit was at Hsinmin. The main body of the antiaircraft artillery unit was in the city of Mukden preparing for antitank action. The main body of the 31st Signal Regiment was at Peiling north of Mukden.​

East: 63d Division and 1st Independent Tank Brigade
North: 108th at Liaoyang and 130th Independent Mixed Brigade
Mukden: 136th Division

In other words, all approaches to Mukden are guarded and the city itself is garrisoned by August 15th.

There are two, first off, Glantz is talking about the general state of rifle divisions in 1945, not for August Storm. His subsequent discussion on the organization of the rifle divisions for August Storm in When Titans Clashed does not explicitly state that the rifle divisions assigned for the operation were generally at full strength, but it does heavily imply it. Other authors are more explicit:

"Another characteristic of the later [rifle] divisions, although not an inherent organizational one, was an inability to maintain these divisions at near full strength, the Army having simply expanded beyond the ability of the available manpower pool to support it. This was not remedied until after Germany's fall when the Soviets were able to concentrate smaller forces [on a per-formation basis] against the Japanese Kwantung Army in 1945." -Steven Zaloga, The Red Army Handbook, page 34.

The second, and far more obvious and glaring problem is that neither the 5th Guards Tank Corps nor the 9th Mechanized Corps are rifle divisions. Soviet mechanized formations received priority for replacements and hence were generally maintained at or near full manpower strength. Again, Glantz more implies this by observing that the rifle divisions were denied replacement in favor of the mechanized forces. Zaloga is a bit more explicit, but still says it in a indirect way: on page 90 of the Red Army handbook, he gives a table showing the 3rd Guards Tank Armies component formation and unit strength as of January 28th 1945, stating that it was typical of the tank armies. The army constituted 2 tank corps of 12,010 personnel and a mechanized corps of 16,442 personnel. By comparison, the TO&E of a 1945 tank corps called for 12,321 men and a mechanized corps 16,449. In military terms, these formations (especially the mechanized corps) were basically at full strength. Thus, the claim that 6th Guards Tank Army was significantly understrength is one made completely without foundation.

So in other words, you are artificially reducing the amount of manpower the Soviets actually have by pretending that two Soviet tank and mechanized corps will be mystically turned into rifle divisions, rifle divisions from the European theater of early-1945 at that, and hence lose their priority for manpower replacements that meant they were generally maintained at or near their full-TO&Es in manpower.
No, Glantz is pretty specifically talking about the state of Divisions in general for August Storm and that is why he was comparing them to the Japanese; 3rd GTA in January of 1945 in Europe has no meaning to the status of two Soviet corps in August in Manchuria. If you want to argue they're at their full TO&E, in which case it's still a 1:1 battle for them at best.

Largely by ignoring them. As can be seen from the map I posted above, all of these forces are well to the east of the rail line. For subsequent conversion the rest of the way to Mukden, going through Changchun and Ssupinchieh would be the most direct route, but the westward loop which is in the process of being captured unopposed by the 53rd Army could be used instead if the Soviets experience undue hold-up capturing the cities in that direction.
So, in other words, they must first destroy the 108th Division fortified in Liaoyuan and by using the Western Railway, they give up any hope of attacking Mukden in the flank as you've been arguing.

Two words: prove it. Even if the capacity were substantially different, you also have to prove that they were out of proportion to Ishikawa's much smaller forces supply demands.

Not in term of layout, no. There has obviously been expansion in capacity with stuff like electrification, rebuildings, introduction of new engines, and the construction of additional sidelines, but the mainlines North Korea has today are identical to those of 1945. But then this would also go for the Manchurian railway network.
So, in other words, exactly as I said. The basic layout is meaningless, it's ability to handle capacity is; if you're saying the North Korean railway is at a much higher capacity today than in 1945, that's conceding this point as that was exactly my argument.

So then you conceded that Ishikawa retreated and thus the Soviets were no longer held...
I honestly have no idea how you took my agreeing with you that your point is no more valid than mine as being a concession....

So now you are blatantly ignoring my link which shows a five mile advance during the timespan the Soviets were supposedly checked and ignoring that the 55 mile retreat the quote specifies would mean the Soviets were not checked any longer.
I have not seen any link and the quote specifically says the Soviets were checked; you're continuously trying to read into it selectively with no proof, as you've already admitted.

Yes, it makes sense you'd claim that because, as we can see from above and below, you seem to be rather ignorant of the actual layout of the Manchurian railnet and the actual geographic layout of Manchuria.
So I take it the bluster here is to hide the fact I'm right, given you didn't address the points.

You have not yet demonstrated the Soviets lack the fuel for tactical maneuvering and especially have not demonstrated they lack the ammunition to destroy the largely wooden fortifications the Japanese will be relying on.
I have repeatedly? Hell, I cited Glantz in this regard:

The most serious difficulties the Soviets encountered were in the realm of logistics. The Soviets had foreseen problems and done all in their power to alleviate them. The logistical factor was simply part of the risk the Soviets took. Fuel shortages headed the list of problems. Even before it crossed the Grand Khingan Mountains, the 6th Guards Tank Army was low on fuel. After the crossing, the chronic problem persisted until the day the unit arrived in Mukden. Any resolute-or even token-Japanese resistance could have compounded 6th Guards Tank Army's difficulty regarding fuel and ammunition resupply. Other units, including the 39th Army and 35th Army, experienced similar problems on a lesser scale.​
As the earlier screenshot showed, all but two corps were immobilized and they had to use captured Japanese trains to move 6th GTA around. All of this is for Glantz, and I've even helpfully bolded it for you. Can you please explain how this shows a force with sufficient fuel to maneuver or how 4-5 Japanese divisions is anything less than resolute defense?

Not for 1944-45! Soviet expectations, calculations, and predictions, if anything, tended to be excessively pessimistic compared to the actual reality. Japanese expectations and predictions throughout the war, however, remained uniformly terrible.
Which tells me you know very little about the Japanese planning and intelligence functions by 1945, which routinely were spot on about both the Soviets and the Americans. If we're going to play the Whataboutism game, then we may as well quit this debate.

The Soviets probably put the gross bulk of those tanks back into action as well. By 1945, Soviet thank repair rates meant 90% of losses were usually refueled.
Doesn't matter, because if they're knocked out at Mukden they're not in play for the rest of the battle. This also presumes the Soviets are the ones holding Mukden after the battle....

And compared to past Soviet operations, it’ll probably be inexpensive. We’re likely looking at the vicinity of hundred thousand irrecoverable and another three hundred thousand sanitary. Heavy by US standards, but by Soviet standards, that’s nothing.
Actually their own medical records were predicting 640,000 casualties of which closer to 200,000 were irrecoverable IIRC. By Soviet standards, it's absolutely a beating too.
 
Top