Soviet-Japanese Border War 1939

(Battle of Khalkin Gol)

[ 1939 ]

The increased military activities in China--and the Japanese idea of establishing "Mengukuo" in Inner Mongolia and the Mongolian People's Republic--soon led to a major clash over rival Mongolia-Manchukuo border claims. When Japanese troops invaded eastern Mongolia, a ground and air battle with a joint Soviet- Mongolian army took place between May and September 1939 at the Battle of Halhin Gol. The Japanese were severely defeated, sustaining as many as 80,000 casualties, and thereafter Japan concentrated its war efforts on its southward drive in China and Southeast Asia, a strategy that helped propel Japan ever closer to war with the United States and Britain and their allies.

In 1938 and 1939 Soviet and Japanese armies tested each other in two full-scale battles along the border of Manchukuo. But in April 1941 a neutrality pact was signed with the Soviet Union, with Germany acting as intermediary.

The Japanese Kwangtung Army, then occupying Manchuria, attacked Soviet and Mongolian forces holding disputed territory along the Khalkin River (May 1939). The Japanese attacked in divisional strength (15,000 to 20,000); three Soviet and Mongolian divisions, including several armored brigades, in all numbering 60,000 to 70,000 and commanded by General Georgi Zhukov, successfully counterattacked, reoccupying and holding the disputed territory. Their elite forces badly beaten, the Japanese withdrew, ending the undeclared war (September 1939).

After their border war defeat by Soviet and Mongolian forces and their lack of progress in China, the Japanese turned decisively toward the invasion of Indochina and the coming war in the Pacific.

<table class='table table-bordered col-lg-12 col-md-12 col-sm-12 col-xs-12 margin20 row-30' border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%" style="font-family: 'Times New Roman'; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><tbody><tr><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">State</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Entry</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Exit</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Combat Forces</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Population</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Losses</font></td></tr><tr><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Japan</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1938</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1939</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1000000</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">77000000</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">15000</font></td></tr><tr><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">Russia</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1938</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">1939</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">5000000</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">170000000</font></td><td width="20%"><font face="Arial" size="2">4000</font></td></tr></tbody></table>

Total Casualties 19000 Killed and Wounded
Casualties Killed / Wounded
Military Casualties Killed 19000 /Wounded
Civilian Casualties Killed / Wounded
Belligerents Initiation Date Termination Date
Russia (USSR) and Empire of Japan 1939 / 5 / 11 1939 / 9 / 16 View
Mongolian People's Republic and Manchukuo 1939 / 5 / 11 1939 / 9 / 16 View
Weapon Name Weapon Class Weapon Class Type
BT tank Vehicle Armoured Fighting Vehicle

Related Conflicts

No Releted Conflicts