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

What the Japanese were doing elsewhere in the Pacific.
From http://www.pwencycl.kgbudge.com/F/o/Fortifications.htm

The Japanese standardized the construction of fixed and deliberate works, based on the kind of firepower the bunker was expected to withstand (Rottman 2003):


Classification
Offers protection from
Reinforced concrete
Rock and coral
Rock and brick
Sand and soil
Special A
1 ton bomb or 16" (406mm) shell
9.75' (3m)
16.5' (5m)
Special B
500 lb (227 kg) bomb or 8" (203mm) shell
5' (1.5m)
8.25' (2.5m)


A
250 lb (113 kg) bomb or 6" (152mm) shell
2.6' (0.79m)
5' (1.5m)
6.5' (2m)
26' (8m)
B
100 lb (45 kg) bomb or 3" (76mm) shell
1.66' (0.5m)
2.66' (0.8m)
4' (1.2m)
16.5' (5m)
C
25 lb (11 kg) bomb or large fragments
1' (30 cm)
1.66' (0.5m)
2.33' (0.71m)
6.5' (2m)
D
13.2mm bullets or small fragments
2.5" to 4" (6.4cm to 10cm)
9" (23 cm)
9" (23 cm)
3.25' (1m)

However, while the basic layout and construction of fortifications was dictated by Army field manuals, the Japanese showed considerable flexibility, particularly in construction. Japanese logistics being as stretched as they were, Japanese engineers often had to make do with local materials.


Photograph                  of Japanese antitank ditch


U.S. Army. Via ibiblio.org
Photograph                  of Japanese antitank barrier


U.S. Army. Via ibiblio.org

The Japanese made particularly heavy use of antitank ditches and other antitank obstacles and antitank mines to compensate for their inferior antitank weaponry. The Japanese were frequently short of purpose-built antitank mines and improvised, using aircraft bombs or large artillery shells, which were either electrically fired remotely or detonated by a soldier in a spider hole with the bomb. The latter was encountered in Burma (Allen 1984):

They had been over this ground the day before, and [Colonel Alan Wakefield] now noticed that it was covered in pock marks in regular lines. He told the tanks to stop and cover him with their guns, then went forward and began to shoot each human mine in the head. Every now and then he would pause to reload, then move on to the next series of pock marks. None of the Japanese detonated their bombs— Wakefield was not a tank, and they had been told to do it only for tanks — and he remained miraculously unscathed by fire from the Japanese in the railway station ... The ground was clear, and the tanks rolled on.

Where the terrain permitted, Japanese fortifications tended to be sited on reverse slopes or other locations where they were not exposed to fire except from relatively short range. This was meant to minimize the firepower advantage of the Allies, though at the cost of restricted fields of fire.

One weakness of Japanese fortifications was the elaborate systems of communications trenches promulgated in field manuals. These reflected the lack of experience in trench warfare of the modern Japanese army, and were relatively easily overrun.

Infantry attempting to assault a bunker had little choice but to attempt to get close enough to throw grenades through the firing slits. Ideally, the bunker's occupants, as well as those of neighbor bunkers, should have been pinned down first by supporting fire from automatic weapons; but the excellent cover provided by the bunkers made fire superiority extremely difficult to achieve. Most soldiers attempted to put a grenade through a bunker's firing slits only once.


The bunkers at Buna were eventually reduced with the aid of artillery and tanks. The Australians contrived to bring in 25-pounder artillery pieces by barge, and the heavy shells of these weapons were able to tear apart the Japanese bunkers, or at least stun their occupants enough to allow a successful infantry attack. The Japanese lacked antitank weapons, and so tanks were able to approach bunkers with impunity, providing cover for friendly infantry and direct fire support with their guns, which were able to shoot into the firing slits of the bunkers.


Similar bunkers were encountered at the Gifu position on Guadalcanal, where the Japanese had built a line of about 45 bunkers. Each bunker was dug into the ground so that it projected only three feet (one meter) above the surface, with walls two logs thick and roofs three logs thick. Earth was thrown up around the walls to provide concealment and further protection. There was room in each for about one or two machine guns and their crews plus two or three riflemen. Nothing short of a direct hit from a 105mm gun was capable of destroying such a bunker. It is a tribute to the hardiness of the Japanese that their hungry, ragged engineers were able to construct such bunkers in such numbers in the depths of the jungle.
 
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.
Erm, no. The initial conversation in this thread was sparked by casualty estimates. And length of time does not translate into ease of victory.

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?
Given the Japanese showed a total lack of comprehension for terrain, weather conditions, and logistics throughout the war, you are going to have to back up that statement with more then just an assertion. Logistics in particular: Mark Parillo in "The Japanese Merchant Marine in WWII" rather nicely summarizes the Japanese attitude towards it by noting that a General Staff operations officer complained that the logistical experts remarks on the matter were "contaminating his ears." He further elaborates that "The Japanese Army continued to stress spiritual qualities rather than the element of rationality as the decisive factor in victory. The product was an officer who frequently manifested an irrational spiritualism along with his limited intellectual vision." (Page 26) The Japanese military were frankly terrible at logistics.

And the assumption that the Soviets will still be on a 700 km long truck-based supply by the end of September, still over a month-and-a-half away, is one you have yet to prove.

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.
Now you are showing a base lack of knowledge about the Battle of Manila. The actual numbers were 12,500 IJN personnel and 4,500 IJA soldiers, not 14,000 IJN personnel. Most weapons were Japanese standard armament, not left overs from 1945. Fortifications were prepared for a month, made of concrete, andintegrated into the city's brick-and-stone structure, not wooden field work on the outskirts prepared for less than two weeks.

Let me ask this point blank: what open flank are you imagining the Soviets can operate on?
That's gonna be a bit dependent on the Japanese tactical dispositions. This is would best be explained through the use of maps, but the files too big for direct upload and imgur is being a pain-in-the-ass, so I'm gonna have to place this one on hold for the moment. I'll state when I edit in an explanation.

The raw numbers; you're being disingenuous by only doing percentages here.
No, I'm not. The percentages tend to be what actual military men look at.

There is no such unit in the 6th GTA; to what are you referring?
Stuff like this tells me you are, at most, skimming Glantz instead of actually reading and understanding what he says. Because if you did, you'd see stuff like this:

"The 6th Guards Tank Army differed considerably from other tank armies and the TO&E model. Augmented with additional tank and motorized rifle forces because of the required scope of its operations, this army consisted of two mechanized corps, one tank corps, two motorized rifle divisions (a remnant of the 1941 force structure), two self-propelled artillery brigades, two light artillery brigades, a motorcycle regiment, and other normal support units." -Page 53

The mech and tank corps were pretty standard for a 1945 tank army. The motorized-rifle divisions, as Glantz indicates, were not. Obviously there's also the question of where the SU and artillery brigades were, but it's reasonable to assume they also were either rendered static (although maybe some elements had been attached to the corps) or were horse-drawn and lagging behind.

No, he does not and I already directly quoted him on the matter. To directly screenshot the man:

View attachment 573840
"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."[/quote]

Yes, he does and your direct quote shows as much, as the sentence right before is where he states which units of the 6th Guards Tank Army were the ones that seized Mukden:

"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."

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.
Manila, a built-up city with concrete fortifications constructed for over a month, was defended by 12,500 IJN sailors and 4,500 Japanese army soldiers. Not ~10,000 in field works. There are not 4-5 divisions at Mukden (Hell, there aren't 4-5 divisions in the whole of the army: there's only

Liaoyuan, defended by the 108th Division. Also notable that it doesn't offer any sort of flanking attack upon Mukden...
You're ignorance of Manchurian geography is showing again. Per your quote of the monographs, the 108th was at Liaoyang, which is to the south of Mukden, not Liaoyuan, which is to the north and had already been captured by the time the 5th Guards and 9th Mech marched for Mukden.

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.
No, I'm using what the monograph says about their locations and orders as quoted. Of the cited, only the 136th division and 108th independent would be involved in the defense of Mukden (I finally located Peiling on a map instead of getting confused by a name change and turns out it's basically contigious with Mukden and the 130th was intended to man the same set of defenses, go figure). The 108th, as noted, is not at all to the north of Mukden: Lioyang lies 61 kilometers to the south. Obviously, it is in no position to guard any approach to Mukden that the 6th Guards Tank might take. Having finally located Tungling, turns out it is contiguous with Fushun, so basically the 63rd division and 1st independent tank brigade are 43 kilometers to the east, which means they are in about as much position to contest a 6th Guards Tank advance on Mukden as the 108th. What's notable is that the western approach is wide open, so if the 53rd Army swings around in from that direction, there is nothing to stop them from moving to the assistance of the 6th Guards Tank.

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.
No, Glantz's sentence is pretty clearly talking about rifle divisions in 1945 in general, not for August Storm in particular. When he does talk about the rifle divisions for August Storm a page later, he states that the formations de-facto strength more reflected what was to become de-jure in the rifle divisions 1946 TO&E:

"The typical Soviet military organizations were heavily task-organized for the Manchurian venture. In many instances, a rifle division had attachments that included a separate tank brigade, a self-propelled assault gun regiment, and one or more additional artillery regiments. The presence of this armor allowed every rifle division to form its own forward detachment for deep penetrations and pursuits. In effect the typical Soviet rifle division in Manchuria was a forerunner of the 1946 rifle division for all rifle divisions."- Page 280

For reference, a 1946 rifle division had just about as many men as the 1945 one. The Zaloga quote I've already cited only reinforces this, except more explicitly so.

And given that 3rd Guards Tank was given as the typical and was at full strength, it is quite relevant. In fact, as Glantz notes, the 6th Guards Tank Army was overstrength compared to a typical tank army, but that'd be because of the addition of the motor-rifle divisions rather then anything about the corps themselves. Compared to the 136th Division, which so far seems to be the only division they'd actually have to fight, they have a nearly 3:1 manpower advantage, even disregarding the fact that the monograph says the 136th dispatched a regiment down south for some reason. If the fight last long enough, then the arrival of the 53rd Army could pump that advantage up far more.

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.
I already pointed out how the 108th was not at Liaoyuan but at Liaoyang, a completely different city, and I don't see how the operational approach dictates how the two corps must maneuver tactically: once the forces arrive at the edge of Mukden and deploy from the march, they can strike Mukden from the north, west, or east any way it damn well chooses. Only the southern flank is secured due to the river, unless there are some fords the Soviets might be able to make use of...

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.
Not at all, because the Manchurian Railways capacity today is also much higher than in 1945. That's not a result of different railways, that's just change over time. You have not provided the slightest evidence that in 1945, the railways around the Tungang valley were of much higher capacity than that of the east coast North Korean railway and that Ishigawa's supply intake was similarly disproportionate.

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....
Because it means you haven't proven it. Care to cough up evidence that's why he retreated?

I have not seen any link
Seriously? Is it because I embedded it in the text? Alright, let's try it independently then:


And before you bitch about how it's in Russian, the translation:

Carrying out this task, army troops defeated parts of the Japanese 3rd and 34th armies and liberated the cities and ports of Wangqing (15 August).Seishin (August 16), Ranam and Yanji (August 17) and others. From 18 to 20 August, the 25th Army disarmed the surrendering Japanese troops. At the end of August, army formations were redeployed to the Pyongyang area.
To illustrate that in pictoral form:

1597085570611.png


So, as I've been saying: the Soviets advance five miles on the 17th. Whether that means they were checked or not depends on where precisely the Japanese defenses actually were. If they covered Ranam, then that's evidence the original quote is wrong. If they didn't, then that doesn't mean the quote is wrong, but just not telling the whole truth since the Soviets would still be advancing in places that the defenses didn't exist despite being checked in the places where they were.

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.
No, I'm taking in the whole quote rather then your cherry-picking on a single sentence. If the Japanese division retreats 60 miles, as it did, then that means the Soviets will advance 60 miles. Unless you are now going claim thin air will check the Soviets...

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?
The quote does not demonstrate that the two corps had inadequate fuel of ammunition for tactical maneuvering. "Resolute resistance compounding 6th Guard Tank Army's difficulty regarding fuel and ammunition resupply" is not the same thing as "the corps did not possess enough fuel and ammunition to deal with resolute resistance". Additionally, you are incorrect on the number of corps that were still mobile: it was three corps, just the third was moving off on a separate direction. We have already established that you are incorrect at the number of divisions at Mukden (it's one division and a brigade, not 4-5 divisions). And, the movement by train for 6th GTA was done for an operational move of 360 kilometers and is nonindicative of it's ability to conduct tactical maneuvers over a space of some 20 kilometers. That you can't distinguish the two speaks volumes of how little you understand about military tactics, operations, and strategy.

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.
This tells me you know very little about Japanese planning and intelligence functions by 1945. The Japanese had already horribly fucked up with the Soviets: they were months off in the guessing the timing of the offensive, failed to spot the redeployment of multiple Soviet armies, failed to anticipate the speed and approach of a number of their forces, and got overall Soviet intentions tremendously wrong (that they ever thought the Soviets would be willing to act as an intermediaries was a frankly laughable belief and alone puts paid to any supposition that the Japanese had accurate planning and intelligence towards the Soviets).

On the Americans, they routinely underestimated the quantity of forces sent against them, overestimated the ability of the forces they dispatched to inflict casualties, and completely misread the American will and ability to continue the fight. They got that the US intended to land at Kyushu right, but this was a stopped clock phenomenon: it was done without any actual intelligence about American planning and intentions. Ketsu-Go made no real estimates on what forces the Americans would send and notably contained no plan B for what would happen if the US decided to abandon a planned invasion at Kyushu despite that being well within the US's power to do. They couldn't even get the character of the war they were fighting right. In strategic terms, Ketsu-Go was a operational plan whose strategy was built on the same flawed assumptions and beliefs as it's immediate, and absolutely defeated, predecessor Sho-Go.

Cathal Nolan in "The Allure of Battle: A History of How Wars Have Been Won and Lost" summarizes Japanese planning in the last year of the war pretty well:

"Things were going very badly for the Axis by the middle of 1944. Fascist Italy was knocked out of the war and Nazi Germany's so-called Festung Europa was breached on both ends. But little changed in Tokyo. On July 24, with some of Hitler's generals hanging on piano wire from meat hooks after trying to kill him four days earlier, IGHQ issued a new directive. Without a hint of self-consciousness or irony, it was called Sho-Go ("Operation Victory"). It proposed to retrench from the defense perimeter, already breached in any case from Burma to the Marianas, to return to its original decisive battle concept. The Rikugun was to commit 70 percent of all its remaining assets to this singular effort, leaving just 30 percent to hold its positions in China, across Southeast Asia, and in the Pacific. Shukketsu was over. Instead of bleeding the enemy slowly as he advanced, the Rikugun committed to again seek victory by a single great battle. It identified four possible areas where it might yet win such a victory: the Philippines, Taiwan, the home islands (excluding Hokkaido) and Hokkaido (excluding the other home islands). It was more rank delusion, well past when there was any possible excuse for it.

The most extreme form, perhaps ever, of the temptation to battle as an escape from a strategic cul-de-sac of the generals' own making ensured that the war would end for Japan in absolute destruction. Although that is not how Japanese leaders saw it at the time. They said that Allied stamina would fail first, because decadent Western powers did not have the moral character to finish the fight, that their reliance on material hid a fatal cultural and spiritual weakness. Their peoples could not absorb casualties the way the unique Yamato race could, in a seishin devotion of sacrifice. New tactical manuals were written and issued to the troops. They called for all-out, fanatic fighting on any islands that remained while the main forces gathered for the final and winning battle. They insisted on no surrenders, demanding glorious death in the run-up to the final battle. Sho-go thus guaranteed catastrophic losses on land and at sea, and the destruction of Japan's cities in 1945. Literally to the last day of the war - after both atomic bombs fell and the Red Army attacked in overwhelming force on the mainland - IGHQ kept shifting the location of this elusive miracle of arms that would redeem all their losses and all the suffering of the Japanese people. As the enemy advanced toward the home islands Sho-go, too, was moved ever closer to Japan, then to the home islands themselves. Faith in deliverance by battle was not allowed to waver. Tragically, it grew more fanatic and absurd and morally vulgar as the end neared." -Page 605-606

The claim that the Japanese were "routinely spot on about both the Soviets and Americans" has as little basis in reality as actual Japanese strategic planning in 1945.

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....
That's an assumption, not a fact. In reality, quite a number of tanks that were knocked out were repaired in time to rejoin the battle. Since 1943, it was routine for Soviet tanks would to be knocked out as many as 4 times in the same battle. And yes, there is good reason to believe that the Soviets will hold Mukden by the end of the battle. Even if the two corps are not up to the task, the 53rd Army could move in from the west before the end of August and 38th, plus the 6th Guards Tank other mechanized corps, could come down from the Changchun if they finish clearing that city.

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.
Nice numerical inflation. In actual fact, as I mentioned all the way back on page 1, Soviet estimates were 540,000 casualties, of which only 160,000 would be irrecoverable as noted here.

"For the Manchurian invasion, the Soviets made medical provisions for 540,000 casualties, including 160,000 dead (a forecast predicated on an assessment of Japan’s paper strength)."

This is a lower figure then what the Soviets suffered for Operation Bagration (770,000 casualties, of which ~180,000 were irrecoverable), which in turn was about . So to claim that this is an "absolute beating" by Soviet standards illustrates a complete lack of knowledge about what Soviet standards actually are. But, as both I and the link noted, Soviet calculations were predicated on the assumption of a Kwantung Army more than 300,000 men stronger then they actually were ("a forecast predicated on an assessment of Japan's paper strength" as the article puts it), which is why there is good reason to believe they were somewhat overestimating.
 
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On the Americans, they routinely underestimated the quantity of forces sent against them, overestimated the ability of the forces they dispatched to inflict casualties, and completely misread the American will and ability to continue the fight. They got that the US intended to land at Kyushu right, but this was a stopped clock phenomenon: it was done without any actual intelligence about American planning and intentions.
And it really did not take a genius to assume that southern Kyushu would be the Americans' target - I mean, why else take Okinawa? Kyushu would be the only place the Americans could have any kind of land-based tactical fighter support.
 
Popping in some new sources, Тыл Советских Вооруженных Сил в Великой Отечественной войне has rail repair in the rear of the Transbaikal Front as maxing out at 33km per day, with 20km per day on average for the Far Eastern Fronts. On the main Harbin-Pogranichny portion of the China Eastern railway it's 400km, and from Harbin-Mukden it's another 600km. So we're looking at 50 days to repair the CER to Mukden, which puts the supply situation in the Mukden area at 100% around late September. Of course all the Fronts were in the process of shifting their rears forward and actual ammunition/fuel consumption hadn't dented their depots.

For 6th GTA it was receiving 78-178 tons of fuel per day by air 11-16 August, and a similar amount by road during the combat portion of August. 1 full refill of diesel is 353 tons, gasoline 511 tons. 160-360 tons of fuel per day, compared to a 1,000ish ton refill, adding other fuels/lubricants. Normal consumption is .2-.3 refills per day, .4-.5 during high tempo operations like Vistula-Oder, so using the higher numbers that's 400-500+ tons per day needed vs 160-360 available.

Looking at it another way, a ZiS truck uses .75 refills per 100km, with 6th GTA advancing 950 km by 8/20. That's 7.125 refills or 7,125 tons of fuel needed, vs 5,000 total received by air and truck during the operation (Decreasing the closer to Mukden it gets).

6th GTA's rate of advance was unsustainable, which is obvious given the severe attrition it was experiencing (IE emptying several tanks to fill one). To meet its supply capabilities in late August it would need to reduce its advance to 10-20km per day in Southern Manchuria. I think this would allow it to fight around and capture Mukden, but further advances would be unrealistic. The Red Army would have to wait to resume the offensive until the CER is fully repaired in September, going on the attack towards Korea in early October maybe.
 
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Popping in some new sources, Тыл Советских Вооруженных Сил в Великой Отечественной войне has rail repair in the rear of the Transbaikal Front as maxing out at 33km per day, with 20km per day on average for the Far Eastern Fronts. On the main Harbin-Pogranichny portion of the China Eastern railway it's 400km, and from Harbin-Mukden it's another 600km. So we're looking at 50 days to repair the CER to Mukden, which puts the supply situation in the Mukden area at 100% around late September. Of course all the Fronts were in the process of shifting their rears forward and actual ammunition/fuel consumption hadn't dented their depots.
Hm... the distance of my proposed Miaozhuli-Qiqitahar-Liaoyuan railhead is about 1,000 kilometers. Applying the Trans-Baikal rates of repair to that gives me 29-30 days total for rail repair. That would put a railhead within 300 kilometers of Mukden by mid-September. Running it down to Mukden from there would first require the garrison at Ssupingshen be cleared out, probably by the 39th Army as it heads for Chongchen, and would take another 12 days.

6th GTA's rate of advance was unsustainable, which is obvious given the severe attrition it was experiencing (IE emptying several tanks to fill one). To meet its supply capabilities in late August it would need to reduce its advance to 10-20km per day in Southern Manchuria. I think this would allow it to fight around and capture Mukden, but further advances would be unrealistic. The Red Army would have to wait to resume the offensive until the CER is fully repaired in September, going on the attack towards Korea in early October maybe.
Sounds about right to me.
 
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I'm a bit late to this discussion, but from what I know ammunition supplies would eventually become a problem for the Japanese sooner rather than later. According to Coox "Nomonhan" p. 1064 the Kwantung Army had only 3 months of ammunition for just over 13 divisions, 'apart from the needs of other tactical units.' I do not know if this includes the 17th Area Army in north Korea (presumably it doesn't since this command didn't come under Kwantung control until 0600 on 10 August - JM-154 p. 7), and probably not the 6 divisions and 6 brigades from northern China. The Japanese might have been able to stretch this because most of their divisions were badly undermanned and their strategy was to avoid heavy combat for the initial phase of the fighting, but eventually the situation might have degenerated into one similar to that of the holdouts in northern Luzon: relatively passive resistance in mountain strongholds.

This depends on how aggressively the Soviets intended to reduce the redoubt area once they realize what was happening; at that time they referred to Mukden as "Objective No. 1" (Shtemenko p. 353), the collapse of which would 'cause the whole Japanese defense in Manchuria to fall to pieces.' However, General Ushiroku eventually agreed to withdraw his army to the Hunjen area, abandoning the all-out defense of Mukden and Changchun (JM-154 p.18)
 
Hm... the distance of my proposed Miaozhuli-Qiqitahar-Liaoyuan railhead is about 1,000 kilometers. Applying the Trans-Baikal rates of repair to that gives me 29-30 days total for rail repair. That would put a railhead within 300 kilometers of Mukden by mid-September. Running it down to Mukden from there would first require the garrison at Ssupingshen be cleared out, probably by the 39th Army as it heads for Chongchen, and would take another 12 days.



Sounds about right to me.
33km/day was only their maximum pace, the average was likely quite lower. And that was only achieved because they were repairing the TB Front’s rear on the original narrow gauge. The CER was being converted to the USSR’s wide gauge, which would give it a much greater cargo throughput (No need for transshipment or captured trophy locomotives) and shorten the time to get additional Trans-Sib material through significantly.

In any case, sometime in September the USSR has a functioning railhead to move supplies from the Amur to southern Manchuria. I could actually see pretty staunch Japanese resistance in Korea, with its terrain, but without supplies/reinforcements it’s hard to see how they hold out beyond December.
 
I wonder why the Soviets didn't push for an earlier encirclement. Was it likely that they would be able to pocket Japanese forces north of Changchun, or were they escaping south already?

In any case I still don't believe 6 GTA alone can take Mukden in mid August, even assuming full strength. 1 tank corps and 1 mechanized corps would still have only 16 infantry battalions (from what I can tell Soviet motorized infantry battalions were quite smaller than those of many WW2 armies, even at full strength) unless they did something with the TO&E of corps in 1945. At the very least they might want those motor rifle divisions to catch up.

Surprised that they had motor rifle divisions lying around, tbh. Were these remnants of 1941, or brand new organizations organized?
 
I wonder why the Soviets didn't push for an earlier encirclement. Was it likely that they would be able to pocket Japanese forces north of Changchun, or were they escaping south already?

In any case I still don't believe 6 GTA alone can take Mukden in mid August, even assuming full strength. 1 tank corps and 1 mechanized corps would still have only 16 infantry battalions (from what I can tell Soviet motorized infantry battalions were quite smaller than those of many WW2 armies, even at full strength) unless they did something with the TO&E of corps in 1945. At the very least they might want those motor rifle divisions to catch up.

Surprised that they had motor rifle divisions lying around, tbh. Were these remnants of 1941, or brand new organizations organized?
TB Front’s combined arms armies were 8-10 days behind 6 GTA on 8/20, so it probably wouldn’t have been wise for it to attack on its own. A win doesn’t let it prevent a Japanese withdrawal to southern Manchuria/Korea, and a loss doesn’t make the Japanese situation any more tenable. So at best the USSR gets an interesting AAR to study for the future, at worst a bloody nose at the end of a successful campaign.
 
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