761.9315 Manchuria/96: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kirk) to the Secretary of State

112. Yesterday’s press published the speech of Stern, Commander-in-Chief of the first Far Eastern army which took part in the action at Lake Khasan last summer.21 He emphasized the completeness and finality of the Soviet victory in this engagement and stated inter alia that documentary evidence had been captured that indicated the Japanese had carefully prepared this “aggression” beforehand. One of the results of the engagement at Lake Khasan, Stern stated, had been to reveal that the Soviet armed forces in the Far East were better armed in all basic branches than the Japanese Army. Stern stated that although it might be believed that the Japanese would draw the logical conclusions from the incident at Lake Khasan this apparently was not so and quoted recent speeches of Japanese leaders as evidence of Japanese aggressive intention against the Soviet Union. Stern referred in this connection to the extent and development of Japanese military preparations in Manchuria and stated that since 1934 the length of railroads in Manchuria had been increased from 6.5 to 11,000 kilometres; the Japanese forces in Manchuria and Korea had increased from 95 to 400,000 and “these transfers were continuing at the present time”; the number of airdromes in Manchuria had increased from 130 to 250 during the same period. Stern likewise charged that the Japanese were preparing an attack on Outer Mongolia. He concluded that the Soviet Far Eastern army is many times more powerful than it had been in 1934 and was fully equipped to defend the Soviet Far East.

  1. For correspondence concerning border hostilities, see Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. iii, pp. 441 ff.