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Nomonhan, 1939 [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Stuart Goldman

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Kurzbeschreibung

15. April 2012
The story of a little-known Soviet-Japanese conflict that influenced the outbreak and shaped the course of World War II In the summers of 1937, 1938, and 1939, Japan and the Soviet Union fought a series of border conflicts, the first being on the Amur River days before the outbreak of the 2nd Sino-Japanese War. In 1938, division-strength units fought a bloody 2-week battle at Changkufeng near the Korea-Manchuria-Soviet border. The Nomonhan conflict (May-September 1939) on the Manchurian-Mongolian frontier, was a small undeclared war, with over 100,000 troops, 500 tanks and aircraft, and 30,000-50,000 killed and wounded. In the climactic battle, August 20-31, the Japanese were annihilated. This coincided precisely with the conclusion of the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact , the green light to Hitler's invasion of Poland and the outbreak of World War II one week later. This book relates these developments and weaves them together. The fact that these events coincided was not accidental. Europe was sliding toward war as Hitler prepared to attack Poland. Stalin sought to avoid a two-front war against Germany and Japan. His ideal outcome would be for the fascist/militarist capitalists (Germany, Italy, and Japan) to fight the bourgeois/democratic capitalists (Britain, France, and perhaps the United States), leaving the Soviet Union on the sidelines while the capitalists exhausted themselves. The Nazi-Soviet Pact pitted Germany against Britain and France and allowed Stalin to deal decisively with an isolated Japan, which he did at Nomonhan.

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"For anyone interested in the military history of the last century, in general, or the background to the beginning of World War II, in particular, Goldman has produced a work which should be required reading. Based on a wide range of English, Russian and Japanese language primary and secondary source materials, the book is a very interesting and thought-provoking analysis of, as Goldman puts it, 'the most important World War II battle most people have never heard of' (p. 5). Rightly or wrongly, most people in the West, if they know the battle at all, identify it through the Russian or Mongolian version of its name--Khalkin Gol--rather than the Japanese version used in the title of the work--Nomonhan. Divided into seven chapters--and a number of sub-sections within each chapter--Goldman's book not only demonstrates his mastery of the material to hand, but also great thought in what is an admirably balanced and even-handed account of a much too-long neglected battle in the history of events leading to the outbreak of World War II in 1939.""-- Europe-Asia Studies" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Stuart D. Goldman is the Scholar in Residence, National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. From 1979-2009, he was the senior specialist in Russian and Eurasian political and military affairs at the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. He is a resident of Rockville, MD.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  50 Rezensionen
48 von 52 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen How Could We not Know of this Limited War? 15. April 2012
Von scaramouche - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
What does Stuart Goldman's Nomonhan 1939 have in common with William Manchester's A World Lit Only By Fire, James MacPherson's Battle Cry of Freedom or CV Wedgewood's Richelieu and The French Monarchy? The answer is they are exciting, well written and discuss historical events that have had far reaching consequences. It is Goldman's thesis that the surprise Russian victory over the Japanese at Nomonhan, a small town in Mongolia, in the summer of 1939, was a measurable factor in the non-aggression pact between Russia and Germany, the invasion of Poland, the honoring by the British and French of their alliance with Poland and thus to World War II. This short (200 page) book is filled with many of the usual suspects including Russia's Stalin and Zhukov and Japan's Emperor Hirohito and Tojo; but, it also includes one of the more fascinating virtually unknowns -- Tsuji Masanobu. Tsuji, a Major in the almost incredibly insubordinate Kwantung Army (the poster child of gekokujo -- "rule from below") perhaps was the major reason that the Kwantung Army fought the Russians despite the clear indication from Japanese Military Command that it did not want to engage. Tsuji was charismatic and incredibly brave. He was also likely responsible for mass murders of British and Americans and had an interesting post war career until he was lost in the jungles of Laos in 1961 and declared dead seven years later. But he is only one of the fascinating characters in this highly readable and thought provoking book.
43 von 49 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Good work with a good premise 31. März 2012
Von Greg Phillips - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
As someone with a lifelong interest in World War II, I found the author's premise about the connection between Nomonhan and the Russo-German Pact of 1939 intriguing. I especially liked his study of the diplomatic efforts of Stalin to play the West against Germany against Japan -- to try to ensure the USSR's safety.... after all, isn't that the whole purpose of a national leader? Like him or hate him, Stalin DID do an effective job (in this context) of protecting his nation.

As for the actual battle itself, I'd refer anyone interested to Coox's work............it is FAR more detailed and, to me, interesting. In fact, the one disappointment for me in this book was that I was hoping there would be much more regarding the battle from the Soviet side than there was. Coox's work suffers (if that's an acceptable word) from only having access to Japanese sources, since it was written in 1985 before the opening of the Soviet archives. I was looking forward to seeing more "from the other side" in this book than there was --- but the author's primary focus was on the diplomatic reasons and effects of the battle rather than the actual battle itself.

Even so, I'd recommend this to others interested in how Stalin had more of an effect on the beginning of World War II than most give him credit (blame?) for.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Rising Sun and Red Star 15. Mai 2012
Von Robert L. Goldich - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Stuart Goldman's book is an extraordinarily clear and detailed, yet concise account which integrates military and diplomatic history very deftly. Most military accounts of Nomonhan have treated the affair from either a Soviet or Japanese perspective; Goldman, who commands both Russian and Japanese, does both. Similarly, the diplomatic maneuverings that preceded the outbreak of World War II in Europe have been examined many times, but rarely have these accounts shown how the day-to-day military events in the Far East affected the day-to-day diplomatic events in Europe, and vice versa. Furthermore, Goldman's general account of the gathering storm around the world in the 1930s which opens his story is one of the best I have ever read. Highly recommended.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A View of Things to Come 3. Juni 2012
Von Retired Reader - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
This book represents what history can be and offers the reader an excellent account of an obscure campaign in the anxiety filled months before the start of WWII. Goldman ties the border clashes between Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union in Manchuria to the national security strategies pursued by both countries and clearly demonstrates how those strategies impacted on the conduct of both sides.

Goldman has filled the book with fascinating information in the course of recounting the Nomonhan (Khalkhan Gol) Campaign, the biggest clash between Soviet and Japanese forces. Remarkably the Soviet Army which had been seriously weakened by the terrible purges that had removed literally thousands of general and field grade officers from its ranks was still able to fight effectively. The Imperial Japanese Army although heavily committed to a seemingly endless campaign to subdue China was still capable of mounting a serious threat against the Soviet client state of the Mongolian People's Republic (MPR).

The series of clashes under the rubric of Nomonhan were essentially an attempt by the Japanese to readjust the border between the MPR and the Japanese client state of Manchukuo (Manchuria). Although in the end Soviet superiority in armor, artillery and aircraft proved decisive, the Japanese proved a tough and deadly foe. Several interesting pieces of information emerged from this border dispute on the state of both Soviet and Japanese forces.

For the Japanese the concept of "gekokujo" (rule from below) gave precedence to decision making by the combat commanders over that of the Imperial Army General Staff (GGS), this allowed the commander of the Japanese Kwantung Army, responsible for the security of Manchuria, to ignore the broader strategic concerns of the AGS and indeed its commands. The destruction of the Japanese 23rd Infantry Division was one result of this odd approach to command and control. The only way the AGS could regain control over the Kwantung Army was by removing its senior command and staff officers and replacing them with AGS picked officers.

Also what was interesting was that what today would be called the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities of both Soviet and Japanese forces were extremely poor, even given eventual Soviet control of the air. Despite the fact that both sides had substantial horse and mechanized cavalry at their disposal such basic actions of scouting, patrolling, and screening appear to have been only minimally employed. The Soviets did have the advantage of better strategic intelligence than the Japanese, thanks to Richard Sorge, their master spy in Tokyo.

All in all a first rate book that will keep readers of any curiosity glued to their seats.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent account of an obscure and almost forgotten battle that shaped history 3. Oktober 2012
Von Jerry Saperstein - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Stuart D. Goldman, the author of this concise history reminds us that the Soviet Union was the only major belligerent of World War II to avoid fighting on two or more fronts. This is, Goldman argues, largely because of Josef Stalin's crafty statesmanship and the outcome of an always obscure and now largely forgotten battle known to the Soviets as Khalkin Gol and to the Japanese as Nomonhan.

In 1939, the Japanese military largely, but not yet completely, rule Japan. Intense rivalry existed between the Japanese Army and Navy, both of which often acted independently during WWII, and the army itself was factionalized. Since 1905, part of the Japanese Army had been exploiting Asia, beginning with Korea, extending into Manchuria in 1931 and then in outright war with China. Japan's Kwantung Army, which grew to nearly a million men, followed a peculiarly Japanese form of insubordination known as "gekokujo", literally translated as "rule from below". This was a policy of the "usurpation and exercise of authority by in subordinates". Thus, the Army General Staff in Tokyo and even the Emperor could issue directions to Kwantung Army - and were likely to be totally ignored without repercussion.

Japanese occupied Manchuria shared a 3,000 mile long border with Soviet-dominated Outer Mongolia. The Japanese were very anti-Bolshevist and many of its leaders wanted to seize mineral rich Siberia from what they believed was a Soviet Union weakened by massive purges of its military leadership. At the same time, Hitler was looking east toward the invasion of Poland - but he did not want war (yet) with the Soviet Union.

Border clashes between the Japanese and Soviets occurred, but the Soviets were restrained in their response, which the Japanese interpreted as sign of weakness.

Japanese Major Tsuji Masanobu was a firebrand who urged making war on the Soviets.

Stalin was in a difficult position. He did not want war with anyone, though he would have been delighted to have the capitalist countries bleed each other to death. He supported the Spanish Nationalists in the hopes of fanning such a war. He didn't want war with Japan and hoped to distract them by keeping China supplied with weapons and other supplies.

The Japanese provoked an incident at an place in the middle of nowhere, Nomonhan, on the border of Manchuria and Mongolia. This developed into what Goldman describes as the first limited war of the modern era. It involved tens of thousands of troops on both sides and thousands of aircraft. It also gave a young General Georgy Zhukov the opportunity to develop what became a genius for combined arms operations. Nomonhan went on four months in 1939, little noticed by the world at large.

The outcome was a military disaster for Japan and a diplomatic triumph for Stalin. The Japanese decided to expand southward and to launch an attack on United States naval forces at Pearl Harbor.

Is eastern flank secured, Stalin negotiated a non-aggression pact with Hitler, allowing Hitler to invade Poland with the Soviets remaining neutral, while they occupied Polish territory they claimed.

This is a slim, but very well written history. Goldman packs a tremendous amount of detail into about 200 pages. The military action is not described in excruciating detail and the maps are few and crude. Military buffs who thrive on learning every detail of a military encounter will not be pleased. But those who are interested in history will thoroughly enjoy this account.

Jerry
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