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"Nomonhan and Okinawa: The First and Final Battles of the" Topic

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Tango0108 Jan 2021 3:30 p.m. PST

…Pacific War

"All man's activities impact not only the present but also the future[1], none more so than war. As Winston Churchill remarked, "Great battles change the entire course of events, create new standards of values, new moods, in armies and in nations." War sends major and minor shock waves through time affecting distant generations in ways unimaginable in the present. These influences may be as trivial as shorter hemlines to conserve fabric or steel pennies in place of copper or as significant as an 'Iron Curtain' separating former allies and heralding a fifty-year Cold War. On a grand scale, empires may rise or fall with a single battle. More immediately, wars dramatically impact families, continuing some lines, brutally ending others. As Herodotus observed, "In war, fathers bury sons rather than sons fathers."

This paper examines the confrontations at Nomonhan and Okinawa, the first and final battles of the Pacific War, appraising not only the immediate consequences of these encounters but also their long-term effects.

An editorial in the 20 July 1939 New York Times described the conflict between the Soviet Union and Japan on the border of Outer Mongolia and the puppet state of Manchukuo as "A strange war raging in a thoroughly out-of-the-way corner of the world where it cannot attract attention." Indeed, geography, the compulsive secrecy second nature to both combatants and the subsequent outbreak of World War II in Europe combined to overshadow this little known but nonetheless critical, battle. Boasting the most extensive use of tanks and aircraft since World War I, Nomonhan or Khalkin Gol, as it was called by the Soviets, impacted World War II in areas far beyond the immediate scope of the battlefield…"
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian08 Jan 2021 4:23 p.m. PST

Courtesy of Military History Online

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