Wallies tell Stalin to leave Japan to them.

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Admiral Beez

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Oct 21, 2019
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"At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Stalin agreed to Allied pleas to enter World War II in the Pacific Theater within three months of the end of the war in Europe.". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet–Japanese_War#Summary

But what if instead, at both Tehran in 1943 and at Yalta in 1945 the Wallies tell Stalin to remain neutral against Japan? What happens to Korea and FIC postwar?
 
You need to look earlier than Yalta and even Tehran to see how these territorial issues were to be resolved. You need to go back to the Cairo Declaration to see the intentions of the then Big Three i.e. Britain, USA and China. Sextant Conference in Cairo 22-26 Nov 1943 immediately prior to the Eureka Conference in Tehran 28 Nov 1943 to 1 Dec 1943.

"The several military missions have agreed upon future military operations against Japan. The Three Great Allies expressed their resolve to bring unrelenting pressure against their brutal enemies by sea, land, and air. This pressure is already rising."
"The Three Great Allies are fighting this war to restrain and punish the aggression of Japan. They covet no gain for themselves and have no thought of territorial expansion. It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence and greed. The aforesaid three great powers, mindful of the enslavement of the people of Korea, are determined that in due course Korea shall become free and independent."
"With these objects in view the three Allies, in harmony with those of the United Nations at war with Japan, will continue to persevere in the serious and prolonged operations necessary to procure the unconditional surrender of Japan."[2]

So, most importantly, this was an agreement between those countries that were already at war with Japan. So Russia had no need to be involved at that stage.
No territorial expansion by any of the three parties. So no USA grabbing anything.
Japan to be stripped of all island territories gained since outbreak of WW1
China to get back certain territories lost to Japan
Japan to be expelled from other territories e.g. FIC, DEI, British colonies etc. So a return to the pre-war position even though the USA doesn't like colonialism.
Korea to become independent "in due course". (that phrase "in due course" later caused trouble with the Koreans because it did not put a date on it)

Note that Russia was not a party to this agreement and its territorial issues pre-date WW1. The Russian Kuriles were exchanged with Japanese territory on Sakhalin as far back as 1875 as part of an attempt by both parties to agree a border between them that had been seriously confused for over a century. Japan had then regained Southern Sakhalin as a result of defeating Russia in the 1905 war between them.

As an aside, the terms of the Cairo Declaration were then incorporated into The Potsdam Declaration to which all three nations were signitories (again Russia was not a party since it wasn't at war with Japan). See clause 8:-

"8. The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands as we determine."

Roll forward to the Tehran Conference and it is the USA that is seeking Russian involvement in the Pacific War. Planning for the offensive war in the Pacific was only beginning in mid-1943 following the Quadrant Conference in Quebec 17-24 Aug 1943. Part of that was planning for a strategic air offensive against Japan for which bases were required. Bases in the CBI were planned initially but supporting heavy bombers there would prove challenging logistically. So trying to persuade Stalin to enter the war against Japan and provide bases for 1,000 aircraft in the Russian Far East provided a solution. But at that stage Stalin was not prepared to go further than agree in principle to do so once the European War was over. He clearly wanted to avoid having to split his forces between east & west.

By late 1943 Russian forces in the far east were considered to be the bare minimum required for defence. They were reinforced somewhat during 1944. Then in Feb/Mar 1945, following Yalta, serious planning for the war with Japan began. And in May large numbers of troops and equipment began moving east limited only by the capacity of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The other factor to bear in mind was the substantial US personnel casualty lists for the war against Japan up to that point and one which wasn't showing any signs of diminishing. Involving Russia might help reduce US casualties.

At Yalta Stalin agreed to a timetable but extracted a price for doing so (see the extract below):-

"AGREEMENT REGARDING JAPAN

The leaders of the three great powers - the Soviet Union, the United States of America and Great Britain - have agreed that in two or three months after Germany has surrendered and the war in Europe is terminated, the Soviet Union shall enter into war against Japan on the side of the Allies on condition that:


1. The status quo in Outer Mongolia (the Mongolian People's Republic) shall be preserved.
2. The former rights of Russia violated by the treacherous attack of Japan in 1904 shall be restored, viz.:
(a) The southern part of Sakhalin as well as the islands adjacent to it shall be returned to the Soviet Union;
(b) The commercial port of Dairen shall be internationalized, the pre-eminent interests of the Soviet Union in this port being safeguarded, and the lease of Port Arthur as a naval base of the U.S.S.R. restored;
(c) The Chinese-Eastern Railroad and the South Manchurian Railroad, which provide an outlet to Dairen, shall be jointly operated by the establishment of a joint Soviet-Chinese company, it being understood that the pre-eminent interests of the Soviet Union shall be safeguarded and that China shall retain sovereignty in Manchuria;
3. The Kurile Islands shall be handed over to the Soviet Union.

It is understood that the agreement concerning Outer Mongolia and the ports and railroads referred to above will require concurrence of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. The President will take measures in order to maintain this concurrence on advice from Marshal Stalin.

The heads of the three great powers have agreed that these claims of the Soviet Union shall be unquestionably fulfilled after Japan has been defeated.

For its part, the Soviet Union expresses it readiness to conclude with the National Government of China a pact of friendship and alliance between the U.S.S.R. and China in order to render assistance to China with its armed forces for the purpose of liberating China from the Japanese yoke.

Joseph Stalin
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Winston S. Churchill


February 11, 1945."
Note that there is no mention of Korea in the above Agreement.

Having decided to undertake what has become known as Operation August Storm and defeating the Japanese in Manchuria, they continued their assaults to ensure that they held northern Korea, Sakhalin & the Kuriles. Operations in Sakhalin began on 11 Aug and the Kuriles didn't begin until 18 Aug 1945. And they were poised to begin operations against Hokkaido, Japan's most northern island until Stalin stopped them on 22 Aug 1945.

By early 1945 the need for Russian airbases had diminished with bases becoming available in the Mariana Islands in the Central Pacific. But critically US casualty rates against Japan were increasing (see the campaign of on Peleliu for example) and there was every prospect that similar rates would be incurred in other invasions as a pre-cursor to a final invasion of the Japanese Home Islands that would be required to finish Japan. Iwo Jima and Okinawa were still in the future. Still no A-bomb at that stage.

So lets for a moment go with the suggestion that the USA decided in 1943 or even in 1945 that it didn't need Russian help. The British/US/Chinese position is clear from the Cairo Declaration. But it does nothing to solve Russia's issues with Japan. Russia has old scores to settle. Not only 1905 but more recently 1939 and the Battle of Khalkhin Gol where Japan defeated them. Why, with a now weakened Japan facing them, would they accede to a US request to remain neutral and refrain from attacking Japan? Why not carry on as historical and take advantage?

So, freed of a European War, they could redeploy to Far East as historical and invade whenever they so chose, to at the least recapture the territories they wanted back from Japan. But without a Japanese surrender there would be nothing to stop them rolling on for as long as they chose to. That implies much more of China, all of Korea and probably part of northern Japan. And there was not a thing that the US could do about it. US operations only envisaged an invasion of Kyushu on 1 Nov, all being well. No way could that operation be accelerated as too much preparation was required. The USA was only able to deploy troops to Korea on 8 Sept 1945 once the routes to the west coast port of Inchon had been cleared of mines.

And the other question then becomes, without a Russian invasion of Manchuria, does the deployment of the A-bomb by itself provide enough encouragement to Japan to surrender as historical, or would they choose to absorb a few more cities being obliterated and forcing a US invasion?
 
The neutral pact with Soviet expires in April, 1946.
Story after that will be same.

A-bomb is not a crucial factor to surrender in 1945-1946 as Japanese are finding out how to cope with it led by the
nuclear physicist Dr. Nishina. Two thousands deaths of Kamikaze attackers cannot be wasted so soon.
 
And North Korea. My thinking is the US grabs it all. FIC is Vietnam War, where the Russians supported the North.

If the Russians don't pile in after Hiroshima, their getting North Korea is not going to be likely.

The French were already shouting about getting colonies back. Had the US supported Ho, the Russians may not have gotten involved -- but how realistic is it that the US supports him against the French? Not very. But -- the Russians didn't start giving support there until well after the PRC.
 
The French were already shouting about getting colonies back. Had the US supported Ho, the Russians may not have gotten involved -- but how realistic is it that the US supports him against the French? Not very.
The American were not big fans of their blood being spent for the sake of rebuilding the European empires. Washington did little to help the Dutch reassert themselves in DEI. Truman may have even less inclination to support France regaining their empire.

Truman should have taken this letter to heart.

 
I have a book written by a man whose last name is Vann (can't find it now). His contact with Ho during WW2, Ho was anti Japanese and for independence, convinced Vann that Ho's version of Communism would not spread. It was, according to Vann, what Tito eventually had in Yugoslavia. Vann's information was not listened to in Washington and when Ike became president, the French were in. It is interesting, according to Vann, Ho was interested to work with the US in 1945.
 
The American were not big fans of their blood being spent for the sake of rebuilding the European empires. Washington did little to help the Dutch reassert themselves in DEI. Truman may have even less inclination to support France regaining their empire.

Truman should have taken this letter to heart.


I know all that, but remember that the Americans had strong allergies to anyone with Ho's Leninist pedigree. They would and did support French colonialism in (eventually vain) hope of limiting Communist expansion. When you consider this strong anticommunist antipathy that would soon explode into rank national hysteria thanks to McCarthy, there's no way Truman or DDE don't support the French.
 
I have a book written by a man whose last name is Vann (can't find it now). His contact with Ho during WW2, Ho was anti Japanese and for independence, convinced Vann that Ho's version of Communism would not spread. It was, according to Vann, what Tito eventually had in Yugoslavia. Vann's information was not listened to in Washington and when Ike became president, the French were in. It is interesting, according to Vann, Ho was interested to work with the US in 1945.
Vann? Or was it Charles Fenn?

Articles here about the US OSS (pre-cursor to the CIA) activities in FIC in 1945.
 
The USSR won at Khalkhin Gol which was one of the reasons Japan didn't declare war against the USSR when
Hitler expected/wanted them to.

The rest of your post is an excellent summation.
You are correct. The one piece of info I didn't check before posting and I got it wrong!
 
You are correct. The one piece of info I didn't check before posting and I got it wrong!
Doesn't really matter though as the premise of your post is absolutely correct.

Added to that is also the Soviet advantage to be gained in the "liberation" of countries in Eastern Europe, which
meant that until Germany was defeated the USSR had a vested interest in keeping as many US and Commonwealth
forces engaged against Japan as possible.

This was achieved by having Soviet sympathisers in military establishments sending information on movements and
plans to Moscow. This information was then fed to Tokyo and the practice was continued into 1945. The discovery
that this was going on lead to the formation of organisations such as ASIO (Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation)
and had an influence on the subsequent Macarthyism (read distrust of the Soviets - therefore communists in general).

It was all a bit hard to take when it was an ally who was feeding information to the enemy.
 
Vann? Or was it Charles Fenn?

Articles here about the US OSS (pre-cursor to the CIA) activities in FIC in 1945.
I have looked, but because of the disorder caused by moving, books are no longer on shelves but scattered in stacks and in file drawers. I remember the author as "Vann" but the time and descriptions sound the same. He may have used a pen name for the book, or I may misremember. A very interesting time in history. A slight different direction in policy may have changed the lives of my generation.
 
Not to the extent that America supports Ho.
I'm more thinking there's a Ho down, and that circumstances may occur where someone else, more US-leaning may lead FIC. The USA didn't get in Ghandi's way when independence from Britain was being pushed.

According to Wikipedia.

"Much to the annoyance of the Dutch, the United States played a major role in demanding Indonesian independence in the late 1940s. The Cold War played a critical role as the Indonesian Republic conclusively demonstrated its willingness and ability to suppress internal communist threats, as directed by the Comintern."
 

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