Talk:Battles of Khalkhin Gol

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"Russian" vs "Soviet"[edit]

I have fixed many areas where the text inappropriately referred to (then) non-existent entities such as "the Russian armed forces" and replaced this with the correct "Soviet." References to "Russia" i have left intact where appropriate - that is, when referring to the territory of the RSFSR. While I understand that this Russian/Soviet error is an easy one to make - Coox's book even makes this blinder IN THE TITLE, it is worth to GET IT RIGHT. You should no more tolerate references to the "Russian" army or "Russian commanders" or whatnot in the 1917-1991 period than you should listen to hearing a description of World War two in the pacific being about Japan vs California. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 29 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Maybe this info will help you out alittle bit; in the US Army during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the Soviets were also referred to as "Russians" during briefings and war maneuvers. "Soviets"/"Russians" the American fighting man, there was no difference. However, in the OPORD (Operation Orders-peace time war game versions) the terms; Warsaw Pact or Soviet 43rd Motorized Division (example, etc.) would be used. Seldom did one see the word "Russian" in the paper work orders, but they probably did exist there too. But in the field, days, weeks, months at a time...Russians or Soviets, same same. Bear in mind that the cold war was still on, and there were NOT that many Russian immigrants living in the US during those times. And some non-Russian American Servicemen who enjoyed utilizing the Russian language in the field (war games) tried NOT to get carried away with their interest, they tried to use some "common sense" caution...lest they be suspected of being a "commie" ("commie" was the actual words used while in the field). When the USSR collapsed in 1990, and Russian immigrants began their new lives in the the years passed (about 20 years now), many of these new Americans might be questioning those "Soviet" & "Russian" terms.

The US civilians were also affected; although not related to the "Russian" question, they constantly call the M60 a Patton never was designated such a thing. But the civilians are adamant (as is Wikipedia) in calling the M60 Combat Tank a "Patton." Consequently, there should be no surprise in Russian or Soviet terms either; or far worse topics and titles.

If this is any help: US personnel are also called Americans. But this might be offensive to Canadians who are North Americans, or people from Central America, or people from South America, all of whom may or may not consider themselves to be "Americans." Which is why, by the way, the "US Immigration Service" (in the 20th century) used to ask people if they were "US citizens" and not "American citizens." In time, however, the term "Soviets" will most likely transition to the term "Russians", as future generations take over the helm down the road (years from now). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:02, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

Added coordinates[edit]

I used the map linked from the article, and holding that map against Google Earth I found what seems to be the river and the approximate location of the area the battle was fought over. Ulflarsen (talk) 13:09, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Autonomous Japanese Army?[edit]

This appears in the "Background" section of the article: "Additionally, the Kwantung Army, which had long been stationed in Manchuria far from the Japanese home islands, had become largely autonomous and did not need to seek approval from the Japanese government before acting aggressively against the Soviets.[5]" I'm sorry, but this seems extremely unlikely. The Japanese government would probably not risk a war with the Soviet Union by letting their army run around autonomously making attacks. Does the sourced article really say this? Is it a reliable source? (talk) 12:23, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

The wording is clumsy, but the sense is not that far off. It nicely illustrates the mess Japanese politics had become at the time. Kwangtung Army was nominally under the control of the Army General Staff in Tokyo, but its commanders became increasingly prone to act on their own authority. The General Staff were reluctant to rein them in, in part because of the loss of face involved in admitting Kwangtung Army had gotten out of hand in the first place, and in part because a lot of the General Staff were secretly sympathetic with the Kwangtung Army's aggressiveness against the Russians. The civilian Cabinet had very little control over the General Staff, let alone the Kwantung Army, because the General Staff reported directly to the Emperor and not the Cabinet. The Emperor's role in all this remains murky; the conventional post-World War II interpretation is that the Emperor had become little more than a figurehead, so that the General Staff could pretty much issue the orders they wished in the Emperor's name. The revisionist interpretation is that the Emperor supported the Army much more than the conventional interpretation admits. I don't claim to know which interpretation is correct; I suspect the truth lies between.
In any case, the bottom line is that Kwangtung Army showed a considerably willingness to defy Tokyo. Yaush (talk) 23:08, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

The Kwangtung army had been used several times to act 'autonomously' notably during the invasion of Manchuria and allegedly totally against the wishes of central command (see i.a. the wiki entry for Kwangtun or Kantogun army). After so many such incidents the Kwantung leadership familiar with the politisiced IJA came to believe their own myth and really believed themselves to be independent. So much so that several times during the conflict the High Command was not able to control them. TrustyJules (talk) 10:14, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

A bit of editing[edit]

This paragraph contains a few mistakes:

The Russians dispatched a new Corps commander, Comcor Georgy Zhukov, who arrived on June 5 and brought more motorized and armored forces (I Army Group) to the combat zone.[10] Together with Zhukov arrived Comcor Yakov Smushkevich with his aviation unit. On 27 June, the Japanese launched an air attack. The Japanese 2nd Air Brigade struck the Soviet air base at Tamsak-Bulak in Mongolia. The Japanese won this engagement, destroying half as many Soviet planes as they lost,

It should read "The Soviets dispatched..." and "destroying twice as many Soviet planes as they lost" OR "The Japanese lost this engagement..."

AThousandYoung (talk) 04:45, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Initial Illustration Deletion[edit]

Hi everyone

I have removed the picture that purports to portray the battle from the top of the page, since it featured a T-34 tank. These didn't enter Red Army service until September 1940! if you're going to illustrate the battle in some way, don't use pictures that can be proven to be wrong!BlackMarlin (talk) 16:32, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Hi. It is not T-34 - you were mistaken. It is BT-7. At T-34 are 5 axes, at BT-7 are 4. As you can see, here at the tank are 4 axes. May be it is necessary to return a picture back? Григорий А. Харьков (talk) 02:31, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

Weakest links[edit]

This & this, to pick just two, are coming back "not loading"... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 05:52, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Zhukov here, Zhukov there, Zhukov, damn, everywhere![edit]

What about the Front commander? What did he do? Zhukov was a Corps commander and was not in position to lead Air Force, commander of which was another Comcor Yakov Smushkevich and under subordination of the front commander. For references purposes if Comcor - Comandarm ranks a little bit confusing, one should be aware that Zhukov was a Lieutenant-General, while Shtern was a Colonel-General. Aleksandr Grigoryev (talk) 07:33, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

"Total defeat"[edit]

The statement in the introduction that "The battles resulted in total defeat for the Japanese Sixth Army" seems a bit strong to me. The Russians kicked 6 Army out of the disupted territory, certainly, which makes them the nominal victors. However, they were content to stop there and not escalate the conflict, suggesting they felt their own noses had already been sufficiently bloody.

The article as a whole seems to overemphasize the idea that the Japanese were permanently traumatized by the outcome and unwilling to take the Russians on again until August 1945. This is inconsistent with a lot of other sources I've read that emphasize that the Japanese Army still considered Russia the principal enemy and Siberia the principal target for expansion, only choosing to move against southeast Asia in quest of autarky as preparation for a renewed effort to seize Siberia. Reverses in the Pacific and the continuing resistance of the Chinese meant this never took place, but I'd hardly say the Japanese Army had abandoned the idea. Yaush (talk) 23:16, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

There was nothing to escalate. Japanese cabinet resigned, "naval party" came to power and ultimately took a turn to confrontation with USA. Win/win in political and military aspects. Tbma (talk) 05:11, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

"There was nothing to escalate"


So, why do you think the Japanese governement put brakes in the Kwantung Army when they bombed the soviet airfields in 27 june without requesting permission? (something present in the article, btw).

And about the "naval party" came to power, in fact the Emperor was very angry about Nomonhan, not because at last part of the 6th Army was lost there, but because the Kwantung iniciated a small war without permission. So, even before what I will call the russian diagnosed "Zhukov's sindrome" appear, it was not the intention of Tokyo to escalte the conclict. Still, this was only one among various reasons that resulted in the attack in the pacific. In short, Yaush is absolutely correct, the pacific war was a necessity, not a wish, the Japanese never feared the soviets and their intention was always attack them, as this article explains:

In The World at War, Matsuoka's secretary claims the key points presented in the article. From the japanese side, I personally never heard about the "Zhukov's sindrome". Unfortenetly, this is present not only here in Wikipedia, but in nearly all texts about the battle. Maybe let the japanese doctors help with the "diagnosis" would be nice, isn't?

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Not sure what are you refereing to. Tbma (talk) 20:46, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

"Communist forces"[edit]

"..., would advance across the Khalkin Gol, destroy Communist forces on Baintsagan Hill on the west bank, ..." and "They had suffered over five thousand casualties to this point but still had 75,000 men and several hundred planes facing the Communist forces."

Minor issue: The supposed ideology of the forces is irrelevant here, isn't it? Why not call the Japanese forces "Fascist forces", US forces "Capitalist forces" etc? Or am I taking this too seriously? I just think it's not an accurate or elegant term. "Soviet and Mongolian forces" would be fine, or not? Ricbep (talk) 21:49, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

First of all, I agree. Communist forces doesn't sound right, for several reasons. Should be replaced with Soviet forces. I will do the edits.
In general, we can take this one step further by noting that there were never a communist country in the world (so an adjective communist with reference to countries, their armed forces, etc. is wrong). Those that are usually called communist countries, in reality were socialist ones. There was a communist ideology present (as in "communism is our goal") but there was never a claim made that communism as a political state was ever reached anywhere.
Looks to me though, that the confusion of these terms is a perennial theme in English language sources, just like the aforementioned "Soviet"/"Russian" confusion. cherkash (talk) 04:31, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Conditions of the IJA[edit]

Ok, the IJA was in fact inferior to the Soviet one, but still this article puts this inferiority much more than it really was. The Japanese forces could have won this conflict despite such inferiority. Japanese strategy of surround the Soviets was very good, and if the Army was gived the proper logistics, reserves, artillery and aerial support, it could have defeated Zhukov's forces as well as they did with them.

Now on the topic: this article should provide the conditions in which the Kwantung Army operated in this battle with not contradiction. It can't say they didn't have engineers, didn't have the required bridges, didn't have the required air support, reserve troops, and proper logistics and keep saying the Japanese were simply beated and never wanted to come back again by "fear". This is totally partial and contraditory. And was not the vision of the Japanese minds above all.

There are too many iffs in the statement regarding the alleged state of the Japanese forces. The reality is they attacked with numerically inferior but what they considered to be high quality forces with a deeply thought through strategy. They were defeated by an enemy whose position was inferior, had a communication/supply line 500 miles long to the nearest rail head (no roads in that area either) and who was not the equal of the Japanese on a 1-1 basis. The Japanese attack plan may look brilliantly conceived in theory but was impossible to execute in practice as it relied on split second coordinated timing of the attacks that did not take into account any delay or setback. They committed their numerically inferior forces on a piecemeal and unconcentrated basis allowing the enemy to rip them apart with artillery (of which the Japanese had almost none to start with) and tanks. Only under cover of darkness was there any moment in the battles where morale and troop quality allowed Japanese to gain an upperhand. Zhukov's plan by contrast was simplicity itself - a double envelopment - and he didnt attempt to crush pockets he created by frontal assault he simply pounded them into dust with artillery. Therefore Japanese forces were inferior and whats worse they didnt learn their lesson - no amount of courage can overcome a tank attack when your infantry has no anti-tank guns. The heroics of attacking with mines mounted on wooden sticks and molotov cocktails to destroy armour is more a sign of desperation than superior arms.

As regards their so called difficulties in supply - first of all they did have access to airplanes and the closes railhead was very close to the front. They simply failed to put them to use correctly and grossly underestimated Soviet resolve to supply their own troops whose logistical and reserve position was to start with inferior to the Japanese one. The conclusion of the Japanese was that if a well prepared and supplied attack on an unprepared and little regarded opponent could be so bloodily defeated it was best to leave well enough alone. Furthermore the Southern Army advocated attacking the weak Dutch East Indies instead of Siberia for the same type of resources Japan was looking for. So yes, they never came back becase of Khalkin Gol. TrustyJules (talk) 10:30, 1 September 2011 (UTC)


The Japanese couldn't change their tactics, eh?

The Red Army could take a beating from the Finns and learn. The IJA could not. Very imparial view... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marcelo Jenisch (talkcontribs) 19:37, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

At the time of initial attack the Japanese weren't numerically inferior. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:17, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Also the first photo is mislabeled. This is NOT a BT-7. Look more closely[edit]

"Archival research" was a casualty?[edit]

Is there any particular reason why archival research is listed as a casualty? I know warfare can often be quite destructive, but was unaware of any archives being destroyed by this conflict. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

That's not what it means... It's unclearly done, but it's supposed to indicate the casualty figures are from archival sources. (I'm not going to change it, 'cause I'm not absolutely sure about that...) TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 10:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)


Someone with knowledge on the subject needs to go through this document and iron out the variant spellings. Khalkhin Gol or Khalkhyn Gol should be used consistently throughout. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

"Khalkhin" is a transliteration from Russian; "Khalkhyn"—from Mongolian. Either is correct. You are, however, right that it should be spelled consistently throughout (and preferably with the article's title as well).—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); February 20, 2012; 22:14 (UTC)

Aircraft Losses[edit]

The aircraft losses we have right now compare apples to oranges. For the Soviets, the 208 number is not "aerial combat", but total loss in combat, including write-offs of combat damaged plane. The 42 "non-combat loss" consist of accidents and write-offs of older aircraft. For the Japanese - the 142 total losses (162 in my source) - do not include non-combat losses. It's a number compatible to the Soviet 208 number, also including total losses in battle and write-offs due to combat damage (there were 74 of those). There were also 436 cases of repair for Soviet aircraft (385 fighter, 51 bomber) with some aircraft getting repaired numerous times. For the Japanese - 220 aircraft were combat damaged, but repaired. Not sure if those numbers are directly compatible. The author also states airforce personnel losses were at 174 dead and missing, 113 wounded for the Soviets, while the Japanese lost 152 dead and 66 seriously wounded; the numbers involved are given as over 900 for the Soviets (maximum 580 at once) and over 400 for the Japanese (up to 200 at once). Source: ( Ded (talk) 11:45, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

  • Combat comparative charts are supposed to simplify things and make them understandable without going thru a lot of "red tape." For example, Russian aircraft losses to operational causes such as landing accidents, running out fuel, crashing due to pilot error, parts falling off in flight, etc. should equally be documented for Japanese aircraft losses. In a combat zone these would be classified as "operational losses." These operational losses would then be compared to Japanese aircraft losses...etc. Then the next column would be "losses in air to air combat" for BOTH adversaries...not just one combatant. The next column would be "aircraft lost to ground fire", again, listed for BOTH adversaries. The reverted charts showed that comparison (although they might not have been that itemized (detailed), these charts do not. They must both be equal...otherwise they are not comparing both opponents. The original two adversary graphs were simple to read and understandable, and they reflected losses equally to both combatants.

What I recommend, is that the two old graphs (charts) be combined into these current graphs. How many Russian planes were shot down in aerial combat? How many Japanese planes were shot down in aerial combat? How many Russian planes were downed by AAA (Anti-Aircraft Artillery)? How many Japanese planes were downed by AAA? How many Russian and Japanese planes were shot down by small arms fire (rifles and machine guns)? These charts need to show those figures. March 2013

I disagree. The focus on aircraft loss is really over the top. Why so much attention on every detail on these, while other losses aren't described at all (for instance tanks or artillery). Also what's the fuss about the Japanese personnel losses? One might get the feeling that in this article attention is drawn to aircraft losses to take it off the other combat losses of this war. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Recent addition of Soviet casualty estimates to summary box[edit]

I've left them in place for now, but does Glantz actually quote these figures? And how important is it to quote a figure that beggars belief? --Yaush (talk) 16:56, 21 December 2013 (UTC)