the Japanese base camp issued an order instructing the Kwantung Army to abandon Manchuria and retreat to North Korea as a last resort. However, the Kwantung Army, which has long regarded itself as the “trump card” of the Japanese army, still fought tenaciously and refused to surrender in order to protect its “flower of the Imperial Army”. However, this posture of beating a swollen face and filling a fat man can not arouse Japan’s morale again.

the first peak of aggression against China

in 1904, Japan sent troops to invade Northeast China and provoked the Russo Japanese war. After more than a year of fighting, Japan won. The Japanese invaders who had long coveted the land in Northeast China set up a so-called “Manchurian Railway” Garrison under the pretext of protecting the rights and interests of the South Manchurian Railway, and also stayed in a division in South Manchuria. The two units, with about 20000 troops, are under the command of the governor of Kanto. At that time, Japan set up “Kanto Prefecture” in the northeast area under its control, so this force was also known as “Kanto army”. Thus, the Kwantung Army began the criminal act of entrenching the northeast for 40 years.

in 1919, in order to improve the status of the Kanto army, Japan abolished the Kanto governor’s office, established the Kanto office with less authority, and established the Kanto army headquarters on the basis of the Army Department of the Kanto governor’s office, commanding the Japanese army departments stationed in Northeast China. From then on, the Kwantung Army was directly under the command of the emperor of Japan, and its independence was greatly enhanced.

on September 18, 1931, Japan brazenly launched the “September 18” incident. The sharpened Kwantung Army took the opportunity to rush out of the South Railway territory and occupied Shenyang, Changchun, Liaoyang and other cities within one day. At the same time, the Kwantung Army began to rapidly increase its strength: in 1931, the Kwantung Army had only three divisions and regiments, reaching 6 in 1932, maintaining the strength of five divisions and regiments from 1933 to 1936, reaching 7 in 1937, 9 in 1938, 11 in 1939 and 12 in 1940. In July and August 1941, in order to cooperate with the Nazi German attack on the Soviet Union, the Kwantung Army successively organized special large-scale exercises aimed at the Soviet Union, and again mobilized a large number of troops to hoard the northeast. The total number of Japanese troops has risen to 850000, and the total number of Japanese troops has reached 850000.

cannon fodder in the Pacific battlefield

seeing that Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union was frustrated, Japan was very afraid and did not dare to attack the Soviet Union rashly. Taking advantage of the fact that Britain, France and other countries were busy with the African War in Europe and were unable to take care of the East, the Japanese decided to launch the Pacific war first. The Kwantung Army was ordered to go south. “Spekds” and “spekds” were launched by Japan on December 1947. In June of the following year, the Japanese army suffered a disastrous defeat in the midway naval battle and was forced to stop the strategic attack and take the defensive instead. The Kwantung Army did not dare to take the initiative to stir up trouble again. In the second half of 1942, Japan’s “army integrated operation plan” specifically instructed the Kanto army to “prevent war against the Soviet Union and maintain the quiet state in the north”, but it continued to expand the strength of the Kanto army. In October 1942, Japan upgraded the headquarters of the Kanto army to the general headquarters of the Kanto army, adding two front army headquarters, the armored army, the Kanto Defense Force headquarters and the air force headquarters of the second air force.

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since the second half of 1943, in order to recover the decline of the Pacific battlefield, the Japanese base camp began to transfer troops from the Kwantung Army to reinforce the Pacific battlefield, hoping that this “elite division” can save its own fate of failure. In January 1945, the base camp dispatched 13 divisions and regiments and a special highly mechanized standing Corps from the Kanto army to the Pacific battlefield. However, instead of reversing the defeat of the Pacific War, the Kwantung Army acted as cannon fodder for the war against the United States in vain. In early April, the U.S. Army captured Okinawa Island and began air strikes on Japan. Japan had to concentrate its forces to prepare for a decisive battle at home. For this reason, seven divisions and regiments were withdrawn from the Kwantung Army, and nearly one-third of the strategic materials and a large number of personnel reserved by the Kwantung army were transferred back to China.

after Germany’s unconditional surrender in early May 1945, the Soviet Union gradually turned its attention to the Far East. The Anti Japanese armed forces in Northeast China under the leadership of the Communist Party of China also continued to attack and eliminate the Japanese forces. The Kwantung Army had to re expand its strength and prepare for war. To this end, the Kwantung Army will re recruit 250000 Japanese soldiers who have retired from the army in the northeast and form eight divisions, seven mixed brigades, one tank regiment and five artillery regiments as a supplement to the temporarily deployed troops. After rapid replenishment, the strength of the Kanto army reached 24 divisions and regiments, with about 700000 people. The increase in the strength of the Kanto army is only a superficial expansion, and its weapons, equipment and combat quality are only equivalent to the previous eight and a half divisions. In particular, due to Japan’s repeated disastrous defeats in various battlefields and low morale, the former prestige of the Kwantung Army no longer exists.

became the escape corps

. After the European war, the Soviet army began to free up its hands to deal with the Kwantung Army. On August 8, 1945, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan. At the moment, the 1.5 million heavy troops under the command of Soviet marshal vassilevski have been deployed on the Sino Soviet border under the cover of night. In the early morning of the 9th, the Soviet army suddenly launched a powerful assault on the Japanese army from three directions at the same time. At dawn, the Soviet Army crossed the national border in almost all directions, forcibly crossed the Erguna River, Heilongjiang River and Wusuli River, entered Northeast China from houbaikal, Heilongjiang coast and coastal areas respectively, and launched a powerful attack on the 5000 km frontal battlefield. On the 9th, the chairman also issued a statement on “the last war against the Japanese aggressors” to cooperate with the offensive actions of the Soviet army.

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although the Kwantung Army had long been prepared to fight against the Soviet Union and even pulled out the posture of a decisive battle with the Soviet Union, because the time of the decisive battle envisaged by the Kwantung Army was 1946, it not only failed to detect the strength of the Soviet army, but also failed to get the news of the formal declaration of war by the Soviet Union Against Japan in advance. Under the strong offensive of the Soviet army, the Kwantung Army carefully deployedThe established front soon disintegrated. The general headquarters hurriedly decided to give up the “new capital” (Changchun) and stick to Tonghua, and instructed the emperor of the puppet Manchukuo to move to Tonghua with the general headquarters in an attempt to fight a decisive battle with the Soviet army in Tonghua. At this time, the Kanto officers and soldiers had completely lost their fighting spirit and ran for their lives. The original envisaged showdown turned into a desperate pursuit game. The combat operations of all front armies of the Soviet army are progressing smoothly. In particular, the assault of the sixth group army of close guard tanks under the command of general Kravchenko in Daxinganling has achieved remarkable results. It has burst into the central region of Northeast China less than a week ago, creating a miracle. The eastern army never recovered.

cannot escape the fate of extinction

on August 10, the Japanese base camp issued an order instructing the Kwantung Army to abandon Manchuria and retreat to North Korea as a last resort. However, the Kwantung Army, which has long regarded itself as the “trump card” of the Japanese army, still fought tenaciously and refused to surrender in order to protect its “flower of the Imperial Army”. However, this posture of beating a swollen face and filling a fat man can not arouse Japan’s morale again. On August 15, Japanese Emperor Hirohito publicly announced his surrender. However, the arrogant Kwantung Army continued to resist on the pretext that it did not receive the armistice order from the Japanese base camp. By the 17th, the Kwantung Army had completely lost its resistance, except that the remnants of the Japanese army in a few fortified areas such as Hailar, Hutou and Dongning were still tenacious. Seeing that the defeat had been decided, the third general Yamada, the last commander-in-chief of the Kwantung Army, finally made a request to the Soviet army for armistice negotiations.

at noon on August 19, the Soviet Army colonel altemenko led a military mission composed of five officers and six soldiers to Changchun airport under the escort of nine fighter planes to negotiate with the Japanese army. Under pressure, yoshizo Yamada handed over the sabre symbolizing command to the Soviet Army representatives and announced that he and his subordinates had become prisoners of the Soviet army. In this battle, the Kwantung Army lost about 677000 people, of which 83000 were killed and 594000 surrendered, while the Soviet army suffered only 32000 casualties.




not only that, most of the Japanese senior war criminals who made their fortune by the Kwantung Army did not escape justice. Hideki Tojo, former commander of the gendarmerie and chief of staff of the Kwantung Army, Mashiro Ishigaki, former deputy chief of staff and chief of staff of the Kwantung Army, taro Kimura, former chief of staff of the Kwantung Army, Kenji toyohara, former commander-in-chief of the Kwantung Army and later commander-in-chief of the seventh front army, and Takeo Zhang, former commander-in-chief of the Kwantung Army and later chief of staff of the 14th front army, Were sent to the gallows. Some other notorious and vicious generals of the Kwantung Army were either punished or lived in obscurity behind the eternal curse.

(Chen Changxi from “news and Information Daily”)

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