Khalkin-Gol, Battle of
KHALKIN-GOL, BATTLE OF
In the late 1930s, as events pushed the world inexorably toward war, the Soviet Union and Japan clashed several times over the precise location of their borders. The most serious of these incidents, occurring from May to September of 1939, took place in Mongolia, by a river named Khalkhin-Gol. Soviet forces crossed the river to assert their sovereignty over a disputed tract of land and ran into serious resistance from the Japanese Sixth Army. The Japanese believed that the river marked the border and had just been ordered to treat any incursions with the utmost severity. They launched a series of attacks against the Mongolian and Soviet troops and eventually managed to push back the initial advance. Stalin and his advisors, already convinced that the Japanese army wanted to seize Siberia for its natural resources, decided that this was the great attack they feared. In response, they gave the commander on the scene, Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, all the tanks, aircraft, and manpower he would need to deal with the threat.
Zhukov put together a major offensive that would not only drive the Japanese from Mongolia, but also take the disputed land irrevocably for the Soviet satellite. By the time he was ready for his attack, at the end of August, his forces outnumbered the Japanese two to one, and he had far more tanks and artillery than the Japanese could muster. His strategy, which called for the envelopment and destruction of the enemy, worked as planned, and the Japanese army suffered heavy casualties. The Japanese commander, Michitaro Komatsubara, refused to accept the outcome of the battle, however, and had prepared a counteroffensive. This was canceled when a cease-fire was signed in Moscow. War had broken out in Europe, and neither country could afford to be distracted by minor clashes on their borders. The battle at Khalkhin-Gol convinced the Japanese army that a fight with the Soviets would be a long, drawn-out affair, and helped the Japanese empire make the decision to turn southward in 1941, rather than attack Siberia.
See also: japan, relations with; zhukov, georgy konstantinovich
Zhukov, Georgy. (1971). The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov. New York: Delacorte Press.
Mary R. Habeck
"Khalkin-Gol, Battle of." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 10, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/khalkin-gol-battle
"Khalkin-Gol, Battle of." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved December 10, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/khalkin-gol-battle
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.