740.00119 (Potsdam)/5–2446

No. 605
Briefing Book Paper
top secret

Form of Soviet Military Participation

(1) operational zones

(a) Japanese Islands

This Government has adopted the policy that, for purposes of prosecuting the war and for military government, the Central Pacific Area and Japan come under the jurisdiction of the United States. Moreover, the military operations against the islands of Japan must be largely amphibious in character, requiring special equipment and familiarity with a special technique. The United States forces have developed this equipment and technique to a much higher degree than have the forces of any of the other nations at war with Japan. For these reasons, the Japanese islands should be primarily, but not exclusively, the American zone of operations. For political reasons it seems advisable that units from those countries actively at war with Japan, including Asiatic countries, participate in the combat operations, provided such participation is not prejudicial to the effectiveness of military operations.

(b) Manchuria, Mongolia and North China

It would appear that operations against the Japanese on the Asiatic mainland, exclusive of Korea, will be primarily land operations with air support—a type of warfare with which the Soviet forces are thoroughly familiar and for which they are well equipped. Moreover, geographical and logistic reasons would indicate that operations against the Japanese armies in the areas mentioned will be carried out principally by Russian forces, unless the Chinese are able to bring their forces into the areas. This part of the Asiatic mainland should therefore be considered as primarily a Russian zone of operations, although for political reasons it appears advisable that contingents from other Allied nations at war with Japan participate in the combat operations.1

[Page 925]

(c) Korea

Military operations in Korea may combine landings from the sea and overland invasion from Siberia. For this, and for political reasons, it would appear desirable that Korea be considered a combined zone of operations, probably under a single Allied command.

(2) mixed contingents under allied command, especially in japan

(a) Japanese Islands

Politically it appears advisable to demonstrate to the Japanese people (1) that their aggression has brought down on them the armed and active opposition of the greater part of the world; (2) that the solidarity of the United Nations is a fact; and (3) that the Pacific war is not a racial war. For these reasons it seems desirable that units from those United Nations actively at war with Japan, including Asiatic countries, participate in the combat operations against Japan, provided such participation is not prejudicial to the effectiveness of military operations, and further participate in the occupation of Japan following unconditional surrender or total defeat. Such participation may be by token forces or effective combat units, but should not be so large as [not?] to operate under the command of the American theater commander.

Soviet approval of this general plan and agreement to participate therein are desirable.

(b) Manchuria, Mongolia and North China

While the areas listed will undoubtedly fall within the Soviet zone of operations, to remove any possible source of suspicion and distrust it would seem advisable that the Soviet commander of the theater of operations invite the participation in combat operations of American and other Allied contingents, on much the same basis as the suggested Soviet participation in the American zone of operations.

(c) Korea

Various countries, especially China, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States, have an interest in Korea, either because of common frontiers or because of Korea’s strategic position, which vitally influences the peace and security of the Far East. No one of these countries would wish to see any one nation acquire a predominant position in Korea. Moreover, three of the countries, the United States, Great Britain and China, are committed to the principal [principle] that “in due course Korea shall become free and independent”2 and therefore cannot consent to conditions which would prejudice Korea’s development toward freedom and independence. [Page 926] Furthermore, the Koreans themselves, having been once conquered and enslaved, are extremely suspicious of the intentions of other nations and probably would be hostile to the forces of any single country operating within Korea. For these reasons it is considered politically inadvisable for any one of the interested countries alone to invade Korea for the purpose of driving out the Japanese. If it is militarily feasible, therefore, it is believed advisable that the invading forces be composed of units from the various interested countries, under a single over-all Allied command.

  1. With reference to this paragraph and paragraph (c) on p. 925, cf. the section on “international implications” of a paper of July 5, 1945, entitled “The Chinese Communist Movement”, prepared in the War Department and circulated to the White House and the Department of State, among other recipients. Text in Institute of Pacific Relations, Hearings Before the Subcommittee To Investigate the Administration of the Internal Security Act and Other Internal Security Laws of the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, 82d Congress, 1st Session, pt. 7A, pp. 2308–2310.
  2. See document No. 606.