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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 21, 1945

ORDER BY ALEKSANDR VASILEVSKY TO ALEKSANDR NOVIKOV

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    Orders for preparations for a planned invasion of the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the southern Kurile Islands.
    "Order by Aleksandr Vasilevsky to Aleksandr Novikov," August 21, 1945, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Dmitriĭ Antonovich Volkogonov papers, 1887-1995, mm97083838, Reel 5, containers 7 through 9. Also published in V.P. Galitskii, V.P. Zimonin, “Desant na Khokkaido Otmenit’,” Voenno-Istoricheskii Zhurnal, No. 3 (1994), p. 8. Translated by Sergey Radchenko. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122338
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Commander of the first and the second Far Eastern Fronts, commander of the Pacific Ocean Fleet [POF], the main marshal of the air force Cde. Novikov.

Copy to: Admiral of the Fleet Cde. Kuznetsov, head of the General Staff of the Red Army

The timing of the beginning of the operation to land our forces in the Northern part of the island of Hokkaido and the southern part of the Kurile Islands will be additionally specified by the general headquarters of the Supreme Main Command. The landing of our forces to the aforesaid islands is to be carried out from the southern part of the island of Sakhalin.

To this end:

1. Using the favorable conditions in the vicinity of the port of Maoka, immediately and in no event later than the morning of 21.8.45, begin loading the 87th rifle corps so that in the absolute minimum of time to concentrate it in the southern part of Sakhalin in the vicinity of the port of Otomari and the city of Toyohara.

2. Commander of the POF [Pacific Ocean Fleet] Admiral Cde. Yumashev, using appropriate means of the merchant fleet, is to consider the deployment of the 87th rifle corps to be his main task. The plan of the deployment of the 87th rifle corps is to be reported to me by cypher no later than 12.00 on 21.8.45.

3. Commander of the forces of the Second Far Eastern Front, without waiting for the landing of the forward detachments of the 87th rifle corps of the Far Eastern front, to continue the operation to clear the southern part of the island of Sakhalin from the forces of the enemy, so as to take the port of Otomari and the vicinity of the city of Toyohara no later than the morning of 22.8.45. After the entry of the forces of the 87th rifle corps into this area, the freed up forces of the 2nd Far Eastern front are to be used to augment its forces acting on the Kurile Islands.

4. Commander of the air force of the Red Army the main marshal of the air force Cde. Novikov and commander of the POF Cde. Yumashev immediately after the occupation by our forces of the southern part of Sakhalin are to begin redeployment of the main bulk of the air force of the 9th air army and the POF to the island of Sakhalin and, no later than 23.8.45, to have it ready to take part in the operation to capture the northern part of the island of Hokkaido. I place the general leadership both in the questions of redeployment, and in the questions of the planning of military actions in the forthcoming operation of the air force of the 9th air army and the POF on the main marshal of the air force Cde. Novikov. The plan of redeployment and the use of the air force is to be reported to me no later than 14.00 on 22.8.45.

5. Commander of the POF Admiral Cde. Yumashev after the capture by our land forces of the southern part of the island of Sakhalin and the port of Otomari is to redeploy here the necessary quantity of military ships and transport means so that after receiving instructions of the Supreme General Command to immediately begin the landing operation from southern part of the island of Sakhalin to the island of Hokkaido. In the planning of the landing operation, to consider simultaneous deployment to Hokkaido of at least two infantry divisions, each of 2-3 echelons.

6. Commander of the first Far Eastern front and commander of the POF are to report their considerations to me no later than 23.00 on 22.8.45.

7. I underline again that the operation to deploy the 87th rifle corps to the island of Sakhalin, to the vicinity of the port of Maoka, must be begun immediately. The timing of the beginning of the landing operation on the island of Hokkaido will be additionally specified by me. The main base in this operation for both land forces and for the air force of the POF must be the southern part of the island of Sakhalin. The timing of the readiness for this operation is the end of 23.8.45.

VASILEVSKY

21.8.45
1.15

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