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Old January 6th, 2019, 12:25 PM
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Default Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

Hello,

it's been a while! I am coming up with my next project, I hope you gonna like it. This pack contains 3 scenarios covering the battle of Lake Khasan, all should be played from Japanese side.

It is my first time developing a map using Venhola and I must admin this tool is BRILLIANT and I am prould of myself!

Battles are recreated in 1:1 scale with as realistic ORBATs as I could dug out. Thus first scenario is of medium size, and remaining two are rather huge and lenghy. They should not be that hard though

Scenarios come with complex historical explanation, here is general historical background:

Quote:
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7th December, 1941, it was not after a major change in the directions of expansion devised by Empire of Japan. Widely unbeknownst, the original Japanese global objective was the control of eastern Siberia and its rich natural resources the Home Islands were missing. Thus, Japanese and Soviets clashed several times during the '30s, testing each others might and resolve. These incidents - barely noticeable at first - developed into two major battles in the history of Asia, namely Battle of Lake Khasan in 1938 and Battle of Khalkyn-Gol in 1939.

Lake Khasan is a small lake located just near the Tumen river, that is considered today as undisputed and natural border between Russia and North Korea. Back then, after numerous border changes due to events occuring in Russia, China and Korea, these borders were rarely officially accepted or regulated. Just north of Tumen River, the number of hills stood, covering the Khasan Lake, the most important ones being Zaorzyornaya - or Changkufeng, Bezimyennaya - or Shachaofeng, and Podyozornaya. Technically speaking, those hills were part of Soviet territory. Yet, if a good spoter was deployed on one of those hills, he could observe and record military nad civilian movement around the port of Rason (or Rajin) that was a major centre of Japanese interests.

Shortly before the incident, Soviet NKVD General Genrikh Lyushkov defected to Japan. In his testimony, he informed the Japanese officers of poor state of Soviet Far East forces, as well as he provided a most valuable information - that thousands of good quality commanders were purged a year before and Soviet army is basically headless. Under these circumstances, Japanese decided to escalate.

In the middle of July 1938, Soviet Border Guards moved in and occupied hills around Lake Khasan. Japanese border patrols - on the other hand - regularly crossed the Tumen river and exchanged fire. Finally, when the approval from Tokyo came, the local 19th Infantry Division, commanded by ambitious General Suetaka Kamezo, was given free hand at expulsing the Soviets. General Kamezo ordered this to the commander of 75th Infantry Regiment, Colonel Kotoku Sato. His regiment was to take the hills and the rest of the division would follow and dug-in, awaiting Soviet response.

Colonel Sato executed the order during the night of 31st July 1938. Japanese troops crossed the river blindly, without lights. There was no artillery support in order to maximize the effects of surprise. Soldiers were ordered to advance without bullets in their rifles. This was first example of tactics Japanese troops would be known of and feared during the World War 2 - quick, sudden night and bayonet attacks.

Japanese advanced from several directions and took Soviets by surprise. After bitter fighting, Soviet forces were decimated and forced to flee in disarray. When the dawn came, Japanese stood victorious over the Bezimyennaya and Zeozyornaya hills and watched the sun reflections on Lake Khasan.

A day later, Soviet Fieldmarshal Vasily Blutcher was ordered to take command over Soviet Far East forces, gather, regroup and reaquire lost positions. After a week time, Soviets had more than 20000 troops in the area and about 350 tanks and hundreds of artillery pieces, not forgetting a quarter thousand aircraft. Against them stood partially deployed 19th Division with about 6000 men, 50 guns and no air support.
Soviet forces were put under command of General Grigory Shtern, while Blucher oversaw the battle. Shtern gathered his 39th Rifle Corps in the area, consisting mostly of 32nd and 40th Rifle Divisions and supported by 2nd Mechanized Brigade and couple of independent tank battalions. Forces were spread evenly between Zaozyornaya nad Bezimyennaya. Soviets were supported by massive artillery barrages - usually a single Soviet assault attempt used more ammunition than entire Japanese artillery fire missions combined during 2 weeks incident.

Both hills were occupied by 75th Regiment of Colonel Sato, while elements of 76th Regiment supported the 75th on the northern sectors, mostly around the Cerkan Hill, as other attempts of river crossings to the north were thwarted by the Soviets.
Historically - this applies to both defensive scenarios - Japanese held firm and inflicted massive losses on the Soviets. Japanese light infantry tactics proved very effective against armoured vehicles in this terrain. Soviets underestimated the narrow approaches, artillery was used ineffectively, formations bumped into each other maneuvering and attacked en masse. Words of defected general Lyushkov proved right - Soviet Army was in a tragic shape after the purges. However, huge mass and sheer dominance of firepower caused the Japanese more and more ground. Finally, after 9th of August, Japanese asked for ceasefire, a request that was immediately accepted by humiliated Soviets. On 11th August, Japanese retreated from both hills back to Korea. The incident stabilised the border as it was previously controlled. Politically, Japanese gained nothing. But militarily, Japanese hailed the battle as victory and proof that Japanese fighting spirit may overcome technical differences, particularly that man can fight a tank. This assumption was a dramatic failure. Indeed, Japanese militarily won, but mostly due to very suitable terrain and massive ammouts of Soviet commanding errors.

Japanese lost around 1500 dead and wounded, while Soviet losses reach about 4000 dead and wounded and about 100 tanks destroyed. Fieldmarshal Blucher was blamed for that defeat, arrested by NKVD and tortured to death. He was yet another victim of Stalin's purges. General Shtern was aquited of responsibility, but was killed three years later, during second purge of 1941, as result of being defeated several times by the Germans.

Japanese would test the Soviets once more, a year later, near Lake of Khalkin-Gol, or Nomonhan. Wrong conclusions from Lake Khasan will result in a disaster for Imperial Japanese Army - this time heavy mechanized Soviet force will operate around mongolian steppes, easily outflank and encircle Japanese infantry and utterly destroy Japanese 23rd Infantry Division. But this is a different story...
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File Type: zip Lake Khasan Trilogy - Scenarios 532, 533, 534.zip (734.1 KB, 73 views)
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  #2  
Old January 6th, 2019, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

FYI for everyone.

The scenario slots used here are already used by other scenarios in the patch so these ones will be put into other slots that are yet to be determined.. but I will keep them in sequence

It's great to get more battles in the 30's

Thanks !

Don
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Old January 14th, 2019, 04:07 PM

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Default Re: Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

In scenario #2 were the Russian ammo canisters at the top right of the map meant to be elsewhere? They are not supplying anything.

Also, I would consider playing this as the Russians. The AI did not counter battery enough and the Japanese arty chewed up every advance. I think a human player could win.
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Old January 14th, 2019, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

It can be played on both sides really, just Soviet one is extremely huge.
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Old January 14th, 2019, 04:41 PM

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Default Re: Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

Thanks. When I have a weekend to kill I will try it as the Russians.

Were the ammo canisters meant to be near the 82mm mortars? they are too far away to resupply anyone.
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Old February 24th, 2019, 11:41 PM

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Default Re: Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

Just finished the 3rd scenario and like the second I think it would be better played as the Russians. This would take most of a weekend to due to the size of the attacking force.

The AI does not counter battery the Japanese arty units and as such each advance gets cut down.
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Old February 25th, 2019, 09:52 AM
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Default Re: Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

There is still the unresolved issue of the 10 ammo canisters near the top left of the map. It does not look intentional as there are no Russian troops in that area and no reason to go there so why are there 10 ammo canisters left along the top right edge?
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Old March 2nd, 2019, 07:16 PM
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Default Re: Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

I still did not have time to fix it. Should I do it or will you place them near Soviet mortars? There were planned to be there, might have missed them while deploying.
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Old March 2nd, 2019, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Battle of Lake Khasan Trilogy

I will move them to be near the mortars
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