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Microfiche-New York Times archives | 8/6/38 | No byline

Posted on 08/06/2008 5:41:32 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson


Japanese Expect an Attempt to Seize Changkufeng Zone Before Accord Is Reached


Some Moscow Circles Believe Litvinoff Gave Japan Way to Retreat Gracefully

By The Associated Press.
TOKYO, Saturday, Aug. 6.-Soviet artillery blasted at Japanese positions along the Siberian frontier last night while the Japanese Foreign Office radiated optimism that the border clash soon would be settled peaceably.

“We are hopeful of a speedy settlement,” said the Foreign Office spokesman after receiving reports on Thursday’s conference between the Japanese Ambassador, Mamoru Shigemitsu, and Maxim Litvinoff, Soviet Commissar of Foreign Affairs.

The Japanese Army reported Soviet guns at half-hour intervals were shelling Japanese positions at Changkufeng near the borders of Manchukuo, Korea and Siberia. An unspecified number of Soviet planes, the Japanese said, crossed the border but were driven back by anti-aircraft fire. The army declared anti-aircraft guns were the only ones fired by the Japanese answering the Russian manoeuvres.

“Japanese troops have refrained from responding to the Soviet bombardment,” said an army communiqué, “in view of the proposals for a cessation of hostilities made by the Japanese Government Thursday to the Moscow Government.”

Tokyo Settlement Proposal

The Foreign Office revealed today that Japan had proposed to Russia that the border clashes be settled, but that the Soviet’s viewpoint favored arbitration of the entire border question.

The disclosure was made when part of the text was released of the conversation between Mr. Litvinoff and Mr. Shigemitsu. Mr. Shigemitsu was quoted as having informed the Soviet Official:

“The Japanese Government view the present border incident as a local question and it is their policy to exert every effort for a peaceful and rational solution as such. The proposals of today are based on that policy.

“The Japanese Government propose immediate cessation of hostilities on the spot and the opening of diplomatic negotiations for settlement. If the Soviet Government are to accept these proposals, my government are prepared to enter upon discussions of concrete matters.”

Meanwhile, in reporting the continued Soviet artillery fire along the border, Domei News Agency dispatches asserted the Soviet troops “apparently are planning to recapture Changkufeng before a diplomatic settlement is reached.”

The news agency also reported the observation of troops moving in trucks behind the Soviet lines and said that twenty planes had been sent from Khabarovsk to positions nearer the frontier.

“However, there is no indication the Soviet infantry is cooperating with the Soviet artillery,” asserted a Japanese Army communiqué.

It stated Soviet troops had retreated across a marsh adjoining the Changkufeng heights and were erecting barbed-wire defenses.

In Tokyo the conviction grew that the fighting, which started on a large scale July 31 after skirmishes and incidents commencing July 11, would terminate as merely another border incident.

Tokyo Retreat Seen Eased
MOSCOW, Aug. 5 (AP).-Soviet circles tonight professed to believe that Foreign Commissar Maxim Litvinoff had smoothed the way for Japan to withdraw from the Far Eastern border war zone without loss of prestige.

Mr. Litvinoff referred to Japanese troops occupying the disputed Changkufeng heights, on the Siberian-Manchukuoan frontier, merely as “such remnants of their troops as might still remain on Soviet territory.” It was considered the Japanese quietly could withdraw without losing face.

Foreign observers believed, however, that any delay in Japanese action would raise the threat of vigorous Soviet military action attempting to oust the Japanese from Changkufeng.

Readers could deduce from the published communiqué of the Litvinoff-Shigemitsu meeting that Japanese soldiers still were occupying part of the border region, or Mr. Litvinoff would not have demanded troop withdrawals.

It will be exceedingly difficult for the Japanese to recognize the 1886 treaty as the basis for determining the boundary. Once Japan gives such recognition of the treaty map as the determining factor in the Changkufeng region, foreign observers pointed out, she would give Russia an advantage in future disputes over the frontier.

Soviet Artillery Active
KOGI, Korea (Near the Siberian Frontier), Aug. 5 (AP).-The extent of border warfare in the disputed Changkufeng area was indicated today in a Japanese Army statement that since July 29 Soviet artillery had fired 15,000 large and small shells into Japanese positions.

The statement was made as Soviet shells landed in Korean territory. The Japanese said they had replied with a total of 2,500 shells.

Japanese military authorities reported today their artillerymen had broken up infantry formations behind the Soviet Russian line. They said they replied at 10 A. M. with 100 rounds to a heavy Russian attack which was continuous from 4 A. M. From noon onward, Soviet gunners shelled Korean villages in a desultory fashion. Two shells landed within a half mile of the Tumen-Rashin Railway.

Soviet scouting planes appeared a few times over Changkufeng but each time darted into the cover of low-flying clouds before Japanese anti-aircraft batteries went into action.

The Japanese said the Russian forces were arrayed along a four-mile front. The Japanese expressed belief the Russians intended to attempt the envelopment of Changkufeng. Heavy mists descending along the coast of Possiet Bay were expected to delay the attempt.

Likening his position to that of a chained elephant, a high officer commanding Japanese forces in Northern Korea told this writer:

“If we were permitted, I am firmly convinced we would be able to isolate the enemy on this front and prevent a single Soviet soldier from reaching the Red base at Novokievsk.

“With minor exceptions, when the Japanese were forced to reply to the unusually outrageous Soviet incursions, shelling and air raids, the Japanese Army has persistently remained quiet, not aggravating the situation in this sector.

“What remains a dangerous factor, in my mind, is the question of how long young Japanese officers and the men under them can endure the daily shelling of Korean and Manchukuoan territory and sporadic air raids. They might at any time push forward.

“Certain units already have appealed to their officers for action.”


Their Troubles Grow as They Rush Men Toward Siberian Border – Guerrillas Bolder


Yangtze Floods Widen, Miring the Drive Toward Hankow – Nanchang Railway Bombed

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
PEIPING, Aug. 5.-Unrest is growing in North China as the Soviet-Japanese conflict on the Manchukuoan-Siberian border continues. Reports from trustworthy sources confirm that many Japanese troops have left North China.

Chinese guerrillas are becoming more active and the Japanese are virtually helpless because of an insufficiency of troops and because of the boglike condition of the terrain as a result of recent heavy rains. Armored cars and trucks, which hitherto have been effectively used by small bodies of Japanese against superior numbers of irregulars, have now been immobilized.

Travelers arriving from Manchukuo report that troop trains have been leaving Mukden northward at the rate of six a day for the last few days, and there is reason to believe that many of these troops are from Shantung and Shasi, where hostilities are at a standstill.

Moreover, Japanese troops are pouring into Mongolia through Kalgan. For months Inner Mongolia had been denuded of Japanese troops because of the demands of the North China campaign, but recently there has been a constant stream of trucks carrying troops from Kalgan toward Udte, on the border of Inner and Outer Mongolia. From Udte they are spreading northeastward along the frontier.

A trustworthy report says that a detachment of Chinese Communist troops has penetrated into Jehol from Hopeh through the Great Wall and is causing the Japanese authorities some anxiety.

Block Peiping-Tientsin Road
PEIPING, Aug. 5 (AP).-Guerrilla fighters temporarily blocked highway communication between Peiping and Tientsin today. It took a large force of Japanese troops, using six tanks and field artillery, to disperse them.

A foreign motorist who tried to reach Tientsin by road was turned back ten miles south of Tungchow when he ran into the engagement and saw the field guns and tanks in action against the guerrilla force. Tungchow is about twelve miles east of Peiping.

The number of these roving warriors in Hopeh Province has been increased by about 1,500 Japanese-trained Chinese soldiers. The Japanese Army here spent a few months training 1,500 Chinese for special service against the guerrillas. At the end of July the 1,500 were sent against their countrymen in the western hills, fifteen miles from Peiping. It has been confirmed that during the first engagement they shot several of their officers and deserted to the other side. Now they are taking part in the operations against Japanese garrisons in the small towns surrounding Peiping.

Yangtze Floods Widening
HANKOW, China, Saturday, Aug. 6.- The continued widening of the flooded areas south and west of Hwangmei, north of the Yangtze River, was reported here today. The overflow of the Yangtze through breached embankments and heavy rains have turned hundreds of square miles of territory into a vast lake above which only hills and elevated roadways stand out.

In addition to Hsiaochihkow, Lungping and Kunglung, the important city of Wusueh is now reported within the flooded zone, with some streets submerged. Flood waters are said to cover the highway west of Hwangmei in many places. Hwangmei, twenty-five miles northeast of Kiukiang, dominates a road to Hankow.

Chinese military officers believe that the Japanese will have the greatest difficulty in making headway across the flooded area toward Hankow. Most of the inhabitants are said to have fled from flooded cities and villages. Reports reaching here make no mention of civilian victims of the floods, but is appears evident hat widespread suffering is being caused among the people.

Chinese intelligence reports from Nanchang declare that as a result of recent Japanese troop transfers the invaders now have six divisions along the front on the north bank of the Yangtze and only two along the south bank.

Official reports declare that the Chinese have repulsed Japanese assaults on Chinese positions south of Kiukiang, with the Japanese suffering casualties exceeding 1,000 in fighting around Shaho on Thursday. Heavy fighting is also reported between Tsienshan and Taihu, where the Chinese are said to be repulsing repeated attacks toward Hsiaochihyih.

Nanchang and Railway Bombed
SHANGHAI, Aug. 5 (AP).-Japanese naval air squadrons attacked the entire 100-mile length of the Kiukiang-Nanchang Railway today and bombarded the city of Nanchang itself.

The Japanese aviators were reported to have blasted many Chinese troop concentrations in the railway zone. At Nanchang the bombers reportedly concentrated their attack on the railway station and munitions warehouses, setting the latter afire.

Meanwhile, the Japanese advance toward Hankow seems to have slowed to a yardage basis. Heretofore the invaders have been gaining an average of a mile and a quarter daily in their drive up the Yangtze River.

Japanese warships concentrated their efforts today on trying to sweep mines from the river above Kiukiang, Yangtze port 135 miles below Hankow. They also shelled Chinese defenses on the Yangtze’s south bank, above Kiukiang. The bombardments were preludes to Japanese infantry attacks, which, it was reported, were repulsed at the foot of Shamao Mountain.


$5,874,000 in Bullion Sent to United States in the Week Ended July 29


British Percentage Declines as Competitor’s Rises – U. S. Loses Only Slightly

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5.-The cost to Japan of the campaign in China was illustrated graphically in the weekly report of gold movements by the Department of Commerce, which showed today that Japan shipped to the United States in the week ended July 29 gold worth $5,874,400, or more than half of the $9,215,714 in gold received in this country in that week.

Other reports reveal that Japan is making heavy inroads into Chinese trade, gaining an ever-larger percentage of that business at the expense of the Western countries.

The movements of bullion also indicated a partial picture of Chinese expenditures in the Sino-Japanese War, for among $5,237,522 worth of silver received in the United States in the week ended July 29 was $4,300,000 in foreign coins shipped from England but believed to have originated in China.

The gold and silver imports constituted almost a net gain for the Unites States for in that week this country exported only $3,525 worth of gold and $38,858 in silver.

The Commerce Department’s trade figures, issued for June, showed that Japan shipped into China in that month 36 per cent of the imports received by China from all sources, compared with a Japanese total of only 21 per cent in June, 1937. This trade, as surveyed by the American commercial attaché at Shanghai, did not include Japanese exports to Manchukuo.

The greater part of the Japanese gain apparently was made at the expense of Great Britain, for the United States held 15 per cent of it in June, 1938, compared with 18 per cent in June, 1937, while the British percentage of Chinese trade declined from 18 percent in June, 1936, when it equaled that held by the United States, to 6.7 per cent in June this year.

Among others supplying Chinese requirements, Germany in June, 1938, controlled 8 per cent of that trade, thereby exceeding the British business.

At the same time, Japan was China’s best customer, if the percentage of shipments indicate movements of merchandise for which Japan paid, for China shipped 22.5 per cent of her exports in June to Japan. This compared with 8.8 per cent to the United States and 7 per cent each to Great Britain and Germany.

Symptomatic of trade conditions prevailing in China, the commerce report said “statistics show that the Japanese Empire supplied approximately 80 per cent of total imports into the North China area curing June and absorbed about 70 per cent of North China’s exports for the month.”


Government Bureaus’ Shift From Hankow Virtually Complete

HANKOW, China, Aug 5.-The transfer of the civil branches of the Chinese Government from Hankow to Chungking is virtually completed.

Premier and Finance Minister H. H. Kung flew to Chungking today, marking the shift of the offices of the head of the government to the new capital. Other Ministers who have preceded Dr. Kung are Wang Chung-hui, Foreign Affairs; Ho Chien, Interior, and Ong wen-hao, Economies. Wang Ching-wei, chairman of the People’s Political Council, has also gone to Chungking, along with the transfer there of most of the Kuomintang party’s offices.

Minister of Education Chen Li-fu, Minister of Communications Chang Kia-ngau and Minister of War Ho Ying-chin are the only members of the Cabinet still in Hankow.

Following United States Ambassador Nelson T. Johnson, the dean of the diplomatic corps, most of the heads of other foreign diplomatic missions who have been in Hankow will leave for Chungking tomorrow morning on the French steamer Fookuen. The French, Italian, Belgian and Netherlands Charges d’Affaires will be aboard the Fookuen.

The United States gunboats Luzon and Tutuila, carrying Ambassador Johnson and his staff, arrived at Ichang this morning and expect to reach Chungking early next week.


League Committee Sees Need of Aid in Yellow River Work

GENEVA, Aug. 5.-Answering China’s request for aid against the Yellow River floods the League of Nations transit committee in its report to the League Council today said that for the League to do this work under its own responsibility it would have to send a delegation to China to draw up plans and supervise their execution. It declared the Chinese Government would have to supply the necessary establishment, Chinese engineers and technical staff.

The committee stressed that unless fulfillment of these conditions was guaranteed it would be difficult for the League to assume responsibility.


Grateful for U. S. Admiral’s Aid to Shanghai Commander<

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5.-The Navy Department announced today that it had received a letter from the Army Council of the British Ministry of Defense thanking Admiral Harry E. Yarnell, commander-in-chief of the Asiatic Fleet, for cooperation and counsel that he gave the British general officer commanding in the Shanghai area during the period when the International Settlement and the property of foreign nations were in danger.

The letter was received from the British embassy by the State Department, which today sent it to the Navy Department.

Kills Himself to Release Pension
TOKYO, Aug 5.-Eighty-five-year-old Major General Yasuyuki Nishiyama committed suicide today, leaving a statement saying he was unwilling to continue to live on a government pension when the empire needed money for the military campaign.

TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: 1938; milhist; realtime
If you would like to be added to or deleted from the Real Time +/- 70 Years ping list, send me a freepmail.
1 posted on 08/06/2008 5:41:33 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson
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To: fredhead; r9etb; PzLdr; dfwgator; Paisan; From many - one.; rockinqsranch; GRRRRR; 2banana; ...
The skirmish continues. Related stories below the lead:






Kills Himself to Release Pension (You don’t see this kind of loyalty much.)

2 posted on 08/06/2008 5:45:34 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson; All
"The Japanese Army reported Soviet guns at half-hour intervals were shelling Japanese positions at Changkufeng near the borders of Manchukuo, Korea and Siberia. An unspecified number of Soviet planes, the Japanese said, crossed the border but were driven back by anti-aircraft fire. The army declared anti-aircraft guns were the only ones fired by the Japanese answering the Russian manoeuvres."

From the Sino-Russian Joint Statement of April 23, 1997:
"The two sides [China and Russia] shall, in the spirit of partnership, strive to promote the multipolarization of the world and the establishment of a new international order."

Russia, China flex muscles in joint war games
Reuters: Aug 17, 2007

CHEBARKUL, Russia (Reuters) - Russia and China staged their biggest joint exercises on Friday but denied this show of military prowess could lead to the formation of a counterweight to NATO.

"Today's exercises are another step towards strengthening the relations between our countries, a step towards strengthening international peace and security, and first and foremost, the security of our peoples," Putin said.

Fighter jets swooped overhead, commandos jumped from helicopters on to rooftops and the boom of artillery shells shook the firing range in Russia's Ural mountains as two of the largest armies in the world were put through their paces.

The exercises take place against a backdrop of mounting rivalry between the West, and Russia and China for influence over Central Asia, a strategic region that has huge oil, gas and mineral resources.

Russia's growing assertiveness is also causing jitters in the West. Putin announced at the firing range that Russia was resuming Soviet-era sorties by its strategic bomber aircraft near NATO airspace.

U.S. Navy Intercepts Russian Bombers Flying Near Ships
Monday, February 11, 2008
WASHINGTON (Associated Press) U.S. fighter planes intercepted two Russian bombers flying unusually close to an American aircraft carrier in the western Pacific during the weekend, The Associated Press has learned.,2933,330362,00.html

"the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century" -Russian leader Vladimir Putin on the collapse of the Soviet Union...
"World democratic opinion has yet to realize the alarming implications of President Vladimir Putin's State of the Union speech on April 25, 2005, in which he said that the collapse of the Soviet Union represented the 'greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.'

New Pentagon Report: China's Growing Military Space Power
By Leonard David
Special Correspondent,
March 6, 2008

GOLDEN, Colorado — A just-released Pentagon report spotlights a growing U.S. military concern that China is developing a multi- dimensional program to limit or prevent the use of space-based assets by its potential adversaries during times of crisis or conflict.

Furthermore, last year's successful test by China of a direct-ascent, anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon to destroy its own defunct weather satellite, the report adds, underscores that country's expansion from the land, air, and sea dimensions of the traditional battlefield into the space and cyber-space domains.

Although China's commercial space program has utility for non- military research, that capability demonstrates space launch and control know-how that have direct military application. Even the Chang'e 1 — the Chinese lunar probe now circling the Moon — is flagged in the report as showcasing China's ability "to conduct complicated space maneuvers — a capability which has broad implications for military counterspace operations."

To read the entire publication [29.67MB/pdf], go to (U.S. Dept of Defense) : _____________________________________________________________

Obama Pledges Cuts in Missile Defense, Space, and Nuclear Weapons Programs

February 29, 2008 :: News

A video has surfaced of Presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama talking on his plans for strategic issues such as nuclear weapons and missile defense.

The full text from the video, as released, reads as follows:

Thanks so much for the Caucus4Priorities, for the great work you've been doing. As president, I will end misguided defense policies and stand with Caucus4Priorities in fighting special interests in Washington.

First, I'll stop spending $9 billion a month in Iraq. I'm the only major candidate who opposed this war from the beginning. And as president I will end it.[i.e. not win it]

Second, I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending.

I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems.

I will not weaponize space.

I will slow our development of future combat systems.

And I will institute an independent "Defense Priorities Board" to ensure that the Quadrennial Defense Review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.

Third, I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals.

You know where I stand. I've fought for open, ethical and accountable government my entire public life. I don't switch positions or make promises that can't be kept. I don't posture on defense policy and I don't take money from federal lobbyists for powerful defense contractors. As president, my sole priority for defense spending will be protecting the American people. Thanks so much.

Article: Obama Pledges Cuts in Missile Defense, Space, and Nuclear Weapons Programs:

" is a project of The Claremont Institute devoted to understanding and promoting the requirements for the strategic defense of the United States."


Obama Promises to Dismantle Our Armed Forces
by Robert Maginnis
Posted 04/10/2008 ET

(Mr. Maginnis is a retired Army lieutenant colonel, a national security and foreign affairs analyst for radio and television and a senior strategist with the U.S. Army)

YouTube has an undated 52-second clip of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barrack Obama outlining his plans for America’s national defense. Obama’s presentation demonstrates either total naivete about important national security programs or he is just pandering for votes among the extreme left.
[Maginnis does an excellent must-read analysis of Obama's suicidal defense proposals-ETL]

Note: Here is the *original* youtube video from the Obama camp:

Human Events refers to this poor quality copy:

From "45 Communist Goals":
Congressional Record--Appendix, pp. A34-A35
January 10, 1963:

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

'Goals' 4-45 can be found here or at many other sites through a web search for "45 goals":

3 posted on 08/06/2008 6:05:12 AM PDT by ETL (Lots of REAL smoking-gun evidence on the demonRats at my Home page:
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
TOKYO, Aug 5.-Eighty-five-year-old Major General Yasuyuki Nishiyama committed suicide today, leaving a statement saying he was unwilling to continue to live on a government pension when the empire needed money for the military campaign.

wow................... with that story, a lot of Japanese would have been inspired.
4 posted on 08/06/2008 6:12:52 AM PDT by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: Homer_J_Simpson
"The news agency also reported the observation of troops moving in trucks behind the Soviet lines and said that twenty planes had been sent from Khabarovsk to positions nearer the frontier.

“However, there is no indication the Soviet infantry is cooperating with the Soviet artillery,” asserted a Japanese Army communiqueé.

It stated Soviet troops had retreated across a marsh adjoining the Changkufeng heights and were erecting barbed-wire defenses."

My impression is that Soviet General Zhukov was not in charge during the 1938 Changkufeng heights incidents, but that because of them, he was assigned there.

Does anyone know exactly when Zhukov took charge?
Just guessing -- if Zhukov were in charge, we wouldn't see serious claims of Soviet infantry & artillery not cooperating.

5 posted on 08/06/2008 11:56:28 PM PDT by BroJoeK (A little historical perspective....)
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To: BroJoeK
Does anyone know exactly when Zhukov took charge?

The quick references (ie, google) are a little hazy on that. Here is the most precise answer I found.

Successfully evading Joseph Stalin's "Great Purge" of the Red Army (1937-1939), Zhukov was selected to command the First Soviet Mongolian Army Group in 1938. Tasked with stopping Japanese aggression along the Mongolian-Manchurian border, Zhukov arrived after the Soviet victory at the Battle of Lake Khasan.

Here is another interesting tidbit.

He was briefly attached to the Republican forces during the Spanish Civil War, returning to the USSR in 1937.

The Battle of Lake Khasan (July 29, 1938 – August 11, 1938) and also known as the Changkufeng Incident (Chinese & Japanese: 張鼓峰事件, Chinese pinyin: Zhānggǔfēng Shìjiàn, Japanese pronunciation: Chōkohō Jiken) in China and Japan, was an attempted military incursion of Manchukuo (Japanese) into the territory claimed by the Soviet Union. This incursion was founded in the beliefs of the Japanese side that the Soviet Union misinterpreted the demarcation of the boundary based on the Treaty of Peking between Imperial Russia and Manchu China (and subsequent supplementary agreements on demarcation), and furthermore, that the demarcation markers were tampered with.

So Zhukov is not yet on the scene.

6 posted on 08/07/2008 8:26:31 AM PDT by Homer_J_Simpson (For events that occurred in 1938, real time is 1938, not 2008.)
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