Features and reasons of the beginning conflict on river Khalkhyn Gol. 1939

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Annotation / Аннотация
In the article are the reasons of beginning of a confrontation around the river the Khalkhyn Gol in 1939 analyzed. For the first time entered into a scientific turn documents which were on closed storage.
В статье на основе архивных документов анализируется причины возникновения вооруженного конфликта в районе реки Халхин-Гол в 1939 г., впервые вводятся в научный оборот документы, ранее находившиеся на закрытом хранении.

Keywords / Ключевые слова
Japan, Manchuria, investigation, Khalkhyn Gol, the USSR, Mongolia, the Kwantung Army, The General Staff, garrison, division, border conflict. Япония, Маньчжурия, разведка, Халхин-Гол, СССР, Монголия, Квантунская армия, Генеральный штаб, гарнизон, дивизия, пограничный конфликт.

In 1935 of the USSR and Japan have established diplomatic relations. But Japan continued to plan an attack for Soviet Union. In 1928 Japan began to prepare for intervention to Manchuria. Japan planned to create a raw-material base and military base for attack to China, the USSR and Mongolia. In 1930 Japan has developed the plan of an attack for the USSR. This plan was called as "Otsu". Investigation was spent by Japanese military missions. They have been created in Russia in Civil war. 3rd department of administration of political service of gendarmerie and special departments of frontier police groups spent blasting work to Mongolia. Japanese military missions used against the USSR Russian emigrants. In 1938-1939 activity in work of "the Russian Fascist Union”. Over this organization supervised Japanese and German investigation. The Union has been created on their means. This organization was engaged including in introduction of agents, terrorists and saboteurs on territory of the USSR. At congresses of "the Russian Fascist Union" have been made decisions on support of the fascist countries in war against the USSR and strengthening of prospecting work in the Soviet territory.

In 1938 the Japanese Joint Staff has brought specifications in the plan "Otsu". Japan has planned to enter into Manchuria a significant amount of armies. Further it was planned to grasp the Soviet cities in the Far East. Documents testify that in Moscow knew about escalating of presence of Japanese army in Manchuria. The Soviet spy Rihard Zorge was the main source of the information on Japanese actions. He informed that Japanese in 1939 will go on provocation. He informed that Japan not begins to be at war now with the USSR because Japan was at war with China.

Studying of archival documents on events on the river the Khalkhyn Gol allows to establish an objective picture of events of that time. Valuable source of the information on this question are military documents of operative character, and, first of all, cable reports and decoding of telephone negotiations between heads of Joint Staff RKKA and command of 57th special case. From these documents becomes obvious that Moscow has learned about the beginning of the next border conflict from publications of the western press. Moscow wasn't the initiator of this conflict. The USSR has learned about the conflict already after the beginning of operations. Archival documents testify that small collisions on border of Mongolia and Manchuria became an ordinary reality. Therefore both the Mongolian military men, and command of 57 cases haven't given to this incident of serious value. In RGVA is stored the report of command of 1st army group on results of operation around the river the Khalkhyn Gol, and also the report of the commander G.M.Stern's 2 ranks. These reports have been written in the autumn of 1939. There is also a report of colonel S.N.Shishkin «Defeat of Japanese-Manchurian armies on the river the Khalkhyn Gol in 1939»

Authors consider that a principal cause of occurrence of the military conflict was the aspiration of Japanese military men to grasp a part of territory of Manchuria. Japan didn't have forces for more scale actions. Indications of the chief of a staff of the Kwantung Army of lieutenant general Hata Hikosaburo and the deputy chief of a staff of genera-lieutenant Matsumura Tomokatsu are interesting. General Matsumura Tomokatsu wrote that command of the Kwantung Army planned to grasp territory, then to compel Mongolia to go for a recognition of new border. The chief of a staff of the Kwantung Army the lieutenant general Hata asserted that collision at the river the Khalkhyn Gol set as the purpose to show to Mongolia power of the Kwantung Army. This intrusion should lift patriotic sentiments in Japanese army and in the people, strengthen internal and international authority of imperial army.
It was aspiration to impress favourably on the operating and potential allies, and also to show to the western countries the fighting capacity.

You can read completely article in the russian historic-archival magazine “The Herald of an Archivist”. Read more about terms of subscription here.

Полностью материал публикуется в российском историко-архивоведческом журнале ВЕСТНИК АРХИВИСТА. Ознакомьтесь с условиями подписки здесь.