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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 18, 1945

ORDER BY ALEKSANDR VASILEVSKY TO THE COMMANDER OF THE 1ST FAR EASTERN FRONT

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    Vasilevsky sends orders to continue the occupation of Manchuria and prepare for invasion of the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
    "Order by Aleksandr Vasilevsky to the Commander of the 1st Far Eastern Front," August 18, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Dmitriń≠ Antonovich Volkogonov papers, 1887-1995, mm97083838, Reel 5, containers 7 through 9. Translated by Sergey Radchenko. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122332
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18.8.45

COMMANDER OF THE 1ST FAR EASTERN FRONT

COPY: HEAD OF THE GENERAL HEADQUARTERS OF THE RA [RED ARMY], HEAD OF THE HEADQUARTERS OF SOV FORCES IN THE FE [FAR EAST], COMMANDER OF THE POF [PACIFIC OCEAN FLEET]

MAP 500,000

Forces of the Front, developing attack in the Far East during 17.8.45, continued to implement the task put before them under sharply diminished resistance of the adversary. Along some directions during the day there were instances of capitulation of separate contingents and detachments of the adversary, and also the dispatch of parliamentarians to us. During the day of 17.8.45 up to 25000 Japanese-Manchurian soldiers and officers were disarmed. Capitulation continues along some directions; skirmishes occur along parts of the front.

On the basis of the tasks placed before the forces of the Far East, I order:

1. The Far Eastern front during the period of 20.8 to 1.9.45 is to occupy the territory of Manchuria to the south of the Boli line, inclusive of Harbin, and to the east of the line [extending from] Changchun, [to] Tonghua, Zhujian [sic] River and the territory of Korea, including all the way to the 38th parallel north.

During the occupation of the said territory, take all measures for the fastest disarmament of the Japanese-Manchurian forces; finish the occupation of the cities of Harbin, Kirin no later than the morning of 21.8.

Along your sections of the frontline, where fighting action on the party of the adversary ceases, immediately cease fighting action on the part of the Soviet forces.

In order to expedite the occupation of Manchuria and Korea, create a [illegible] squad for the fastest capture of the most important cities, points [illegible] and road junctions.

Besides the establishment by the front and army command of points of disarmament of the Japanese-Manchurian forces, allow commanders of divisions [and] brigades to set up contacts with Japanese-Manchurian command, establish on their own the order of reception and disarmament of the forces of the adversary along their sections.

Once again affirm to the forces the necessity of showing good attitude towards soldiers and officers of the Japanese-Manchurian forces who voluntarily surrender.

2. Alongside the implementation of the task, pointed out in point one of this order, in the period from 19.8.45 to 1.9.45, occupy a half of the island of Hokkaido to the north of the line from the town of Kushiro to the town of Rumoi, and the southern part of the Kurile Islands to the island of Shimushiru-to [Shimushir] inclusive.

To this end, with the help of ships of the POF [Pacific Ocean Fleet] and partly the merchant fleet in the period from 19.8.45 to 1.9.45 transport two rifle divisions of the 87th rifle corps.

Within the same timeframe redeploy one destroyer and one bomber air division [illegible] to Hokkaido and the Kurile islands.

3. Simultaneously with the implementation of the aforesaid task, categorically demand from the forces of the front to immediately organize the accounting for and the transfer on one’s own territory of the captured weaponry, foodstuff and equipment of industrial enterprises.  

4. Confirm receipt of the order, send to me and the head of the General Staff of the RA [Red Army] copies of issued orders and directives.

Report daily on the progress of occupation in accordance with the schedule of operative reporting.

14/III VASILEVSKII, [illegible]

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