Nomonhan, 1939

Nomonhan, 1939

The Red Army's Victory That Shaped World War II

Book - 2012
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Stuart Goldman convincingly argues that a little-known, but intense Soviet-Japanese conflict along the Manchurian-Mongolian frontier at Nomonhan influenced the outbreak of World War II and shaped the course of the war. The author draws on Japanese, Soviet, and western sources to put the seemingly obscure conflict--actually a small undeclared war-- into its proper global geo-strategic perspective.

The book describes how the Soviets, in response to a border conflict provoked by Japan, launched an offensive in August 1939 that wiped out the Japanese forces at Nomonhan. At the same time, Stalin signed the German- Soviet Nonaggression Pact, allowing Hitler to invade Poland. The timing of these military and diplomatic strikes was not coincidental, according to the author. In forming an alliance with Hitler that left Tokyo diplomatically isolated, Stalin succeeded in avoiding a two-front war. He saw the pact with the Nazis as a way to pit Germany against Britain and France, leaving the Soviet Union on the sidelines to eventually pick up the spoils from the European conflict, while at the same time giving him a free hand to smash the Japanese at Nomonhan.

Goldman not only demonstrates the linkage between the Nomonhan conflict, the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, and the outbreak of World War II , but also shows how Nomonhan influenced Japan's decision to go to war with the United States and thus change the course of history. The book details Gen. Georgy Zhukov's brilliant victory at Nomonhan that led to his command of the Red Army in 1941 and his success in stopping the Germans at Moscow with reinforcements from the Soviet Far East. Such a strategy was possible, the author contends, only because of Japan's decision not to attack the Soviet Far East but to seize the oil-rich Dutch East Indies and attack Pearl Harbor instead. Goldman credits Tsuji Masanobu, an influential Japanese officer who instigated the Nomonhan conflict and survived the debacle, with urging his superiors not to take on the Soviets again in 1941, but instead to go to war with the United States.

Publisher: Annapolis, Md. : Naval Institute Press, c2012.
ISBN: 9781591143291
1591143292
Branch Call Number: 952.033 GOLDMAN
Characteristics: xi, 226 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.

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SEBoiko
May 20, 2013

By supplying the Spanish Loyalists and the Chinese Natinalists with enough war material to prevent them from being overwhelmed, the Soviet Union, at relatively little cost to itself, was able to keep the three anti-comintern powers occupied in combat at the two extremities of Eurasia, far from Soviet borders.

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SEBoiko
May 20, 2013

Japan's plunge into China, which greatly reduced the threat to the Soviet Far East, wrought a predictable change in Soviet policy toward Japan.

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SEBoiko
May 20, 2013

Russo-Japanese cooperation would be paid for in Chinese coin.

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SEBoiko
May 13, 2013

There has been no formal peace treaty between Japan and the Soviet Union or its successor, the Russian Federation.

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SEBoiko
May 13, 2013

Again Japan's leaders were compelled to chose between the northern and southern paths, between war with the Soviet Union and war with the United States. Which course held the greater promise, the lesser risk?

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