Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Discussions on all aspects of the Japanese Empire, from the capture of Taiwan until the end of the Second World War.
UncleBourbon
Member
Posts: 82
Joined: 11 Oct 2019 09:00
Location: United States

Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by UncleBourbon » 20 Sep 2022 20:41

I'm really fascinated with Mengjiang/Japanese Inner Mongolia, and while most discussion I have seen dismisses Inner Mongolian troops as demoralized and ineffective, David Glantz's August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria states the Inner Mongolian 3rd, 5th and 7th Cavalry Divisions held off in Kanbao (Kangbao) for 2 days against the Soviet 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade under General Issa Aleksandrovich Pliyev's joint Soviet-Mongolian Cavalry-Mechanized Group in heavy battle. The only casualties listed are 1,635 Inner Mongolian prisoners.
A day later on August 18th they reached the outskirts of Kalgan ((Zhangjiakou) near the capitol of Mengjiang), where the defenders, whose units weren't described, held out for 3 days until August 21st. It isn't stated whether the defenders were exclusively Inner Mongolian troops or if the Kwantung Army was involved.
August Storm: The Soviet 1945 Strategic Offensive in Manchuria p.102

Glantz cites two sources for the Kanbao battle, however neither make any mention of it at all.
Wartime Operations: Engineer Operations in the Far East
Служим Отчизне
No sources are cited for the Kalgan battle.

Kanbao Kalgan.png
This is one of the only maps Glantz offers that shows Pliyev's Soviet-Mongolian Cavalry-Mechanized Group movements. You can see it advanced in two columns, with the right/southern column taking both Kanbao and Kalgan. However Glantz doesn't seem to specify which units were in which columns, only that the forward detachments of one column comprised the 25th Motorized Brigade and the forward detachments of the other comprised the 43rd Separate Tank Brigade.

Despite these battles being of great interest given the tenacity of Inner Mongolian 'puppet' troops, there's really very little information about them. Glantz brushes over both in a paragraph, and as mentioned his sources don't corroborate his statements. Other sources I've found mentioning the battles ultimately cite Glantz's book as well.
Is anybody able to find more information on these battles?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Akira Takizawa
Member
Posts: 3373
Joined: 26 Feb 2006 17:37
Location: Japan

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Akira Takizawa » 21 Sep 2022 01:58

The defender of Zhangjiakou(張家口) was 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade of Inner Mongolian Army(駐蒙軍). The Kwantung Army was not involved. As for the details of the battle of Zhangjiakou, read from frame 290 on the following link.

http://www.nids.mod.go.jp/military_hist ... ?kanno=064#

2nd Independent Mixed Brigade fought steadily and helped Japanese civilians to escape from the Russian. It is the pride of 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade.

Taki

UncleBourbon
Member
Posts: 82
Joined: 11 Oct 2019 09:00
Location: United States

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by UncleBourbon » 21 Sep 2022 16:30

Akira Takizawa wrote:
21 Sep 2022 01:58
The defender of Zhangjiakou(張家口) was 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade of Inner Mongolian Army(駐蒙軍). The Kwantung Army was not involved. As for the details of the battle of Zhangjiakou, read from frame 290 on the following link.

http://www.nids.mod.go.jp/military_hist ... ?kanno=064#

2nd Independent Mixed Brigade fought steadily and helped Japanese civilians to escape from the Russian. It is the pride of 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade.

Taki
Wow, thank you very much, Taki!
That's incredible and really noble that 'puppet' troops held out for days in the face of Soviet armor not only when the Kwantung Army wasn't present, but when they had received surrender orders, all to save civilians.

My apologies, since my Japanese isn't near good enough to read the source provided, but does it mention who the CO of the 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade was? Or what Soviet units fought at Zhangjiakou (whether it was still the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade from Kanbao or others)?

User avatar
Akira Takizawa
Member
Posts: 3373
Joined: 26 Feb 2006 17:37
Location: Japan

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Akira Takizawa » 22 Sep 2022 01:54

The commander of 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade was General Tatsuro Yunokawa. But, he was assigned to the commander on Aug. 1st and Col. Saneichi Nagamatsu commanded the brigade by proxy when the battle of Zhangjiakou. Japanese sources don't state the Soviet unit name at Zhangjiakou.

Taki

UncleBourbon
Member
Posts: 82
Joined: 11 Oct 2019 09:00
Location: United States

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by UncleBourbon » 23 Sep 2022 21:05

Akira Takizawa wrote:
22 Sep 2022 01:54
The commander of 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade was General Tatsuro Yunokawa. But, he was assigned to the commander on Aug. 1st and Col. Saneichi Nagamatsu commanded the brigade by proxy when the battle of Zhangjiakou. Japanese sources don't state the Soviet unit name at Zhangjiakou.

Taki
Thank you very much again, Taki.
It's interesting to see that Mengjiang still had Japanese officers in 1945; English sources are incredibly scant on details for Mengjiang/Inner Mongolia in general, but especially at this point in the war.

Do you know if General Tatsuro Yunokawa was still in the city when Colonel Saneichi Nagamatsu took over from afar?
Also, do you know who the commanders of the Inner Mongolian 3rd, 5th and 7th Cavalry Divisions stationed at Kangbao (per Glantz) were?

User avatar
Akira Takizawa
Member
Posts: 3373
Joined: 26 Feb 2006 17:37
Location: Japan

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Akira Takizawa » 24 Sep 2022 02:35

2nd Independent Mixed Brigade is IJA unit. It is the unit of 駐蒙軍. 駐蒙軍 is IJA army stationed in Inner Mongolia, not the army of Mengjiang Government.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolia_Garrison_Army

General Yunokawa was an officer attached to 駐蒙軍. Probably, he was staying at 駐蒙軍 HQ after assigned to the commander of 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade.

> Also, do you know who the commanders of the Inner Mongolian 3rd, 5th and 7th Cavalry Divisions stationed at Kangbao (per Glantz) were?

I don't know.

Taki

Eugen Pinak
Member
Posts: 1235
Joined: 16 Jun 2004 16:09
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Eugen Pinak » 26 Sep 2022 10:58

UncleBourbon wrote:
21 Sep 2022 16:30
Or what Soviet units fought at Zhangjiakou (whether it was still the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade from Kanbao or others)?
Yes, it was 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade.
And 59th Cavalry Division took Jehol.

UncleBourbon
Member
Posts: 82
Joined: 11 Oct 2019 09:00
Location: United States

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by UncleBourbon » 27 Sep 2022 23:17

Akira Takizawa wrote:
24 Sep 2022 02:35
2nd Independent Mixed Brigade is IJA unit. It is the unit of 駐蒙軍. 駐蒙軍 is IJA army stationed in Inner Mongolia, not the army of Mengjiang Government.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolia_Garrison_Army

General Yunokawa was an officer attached to 駐蒙軍. Probably, he was staying at 駐蒙軍 HQ after assigned to the commander of 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade.
Ah, understood. Thanks again!
Eugen Pinak wrote:
26 Sep 2022 10:58
Yes, it was 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade.
And 59th Cavalry Division took Jehol.
Thank you!
Do you know the commander, or the strength (armor and personnel) of, the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade at the time of the offensive?

Also do you know which units were in the southern column and which in the north, outside the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade and 59th Cavalry Division?
Glantz lists the following units under Pliyev's Cavalry-Mechanized group, but again doesn't specify which were in which columns;
85th Rifle Corps Headquarters
59th Cavalry Division (Northern column)
25th Mechanized Brigade (Separate column from 43rd Tank Brigade)
27th Motorized Rifle Brigade (Southern column)
43rd Tank Brigade (Separate column from 25th Mechanized Brigade)
30th Motorcycle Regiment
5th Mongolian Cavalry Division
6th Mongolian Cavalry Division
7th Mongolian Cavalry Division
8th Mongolian Cavalry Division
7th Motorized Armored Brigade (Mongolian)
3d Separate Tank Regiment (Mongolian)
35th Tank Destroyer Artillery Brigade
1914th Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment
1917th Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment
60th Guards Mortar Regiment
3rd Artillery Regiment (Mongolian)

Glantz pp.193-4

Again, most works in English seem to just use Glantz's work as a source.

Eugen Pinak
Member
Posts: 1235
Joined: 16 Jun 2004 16:09
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Eugen Pinak » 28 Sep 2022 09:25

UncleBourbon wrote:
27 Sep 2022 23:17
Thank you!
You are welcome.

Do you know the commander, or the strength (armor and personnel) of, the 27th Motorized Rifle Brigade at the time of the offensive?
Lt.Colonel Ivan Stepanovich Dorozhinski.
Don't know the strength, just that it was composed of 1st and 3rd Motorized Rifle Regiments. That's unusual organization.
Glantz lists the following units under Pliyev's Cavalry-Mechanized group,
That's nickname.
Official name: Group of troops of MNRA.
<Total 610 guns and mortars, 403 tanks and armored cars.

85th Rifle Corps Headquarters < It was reformed into Group's HQ. Though not officially disbanded.

59th Cavalry Division (Northern column)
25th Mechanized Brigade (Separate column from 43rd Tank Brigade)
27th Motorized Rifle Brigade (Southern column)
43rd Tank Brigade (Separate column from 25th Mechanized Brigade)
30th Motorcycle Regiment
35th Tank Destroyer Artillery Brigade
1914th Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment
1917th Antiaircraft Artillery Regiment
60th Guards Mortar Regiment
< Also 969 Engineer Battalion + other support units.

5th Mongolian Cavalry Division
6th Mongolian Cavalry Division
7th Mongolian Cavalry Division
8th Mongolian Cavalry Division
7th Motorized Armored Brigade (Mongolian)
3d Separate Tank Regiment (Mongolian)
3rd Artillery Regiment (Mongolian) < 29th Artillery Regiment (Mongolian)
< Also one air division and one signal regiment.
< Total Mongolian troops c.16000 men, 128 guns and mortars, 32 light tanks.

As for their tactical disposition, on 16 August:
1) Eastern column (advancing to Jehol) was made of cavalry, advancing one after another in such order: 59, 7, 5, 8, 6 CDs.
It was followed by Fire support reserve: 35 TDABR, 60 GdMR, 1914 AAAR.
Reserve was followed by the Group HQ.
25 MBR, 43 TBR, 1917 AAAR were sitting at Dolonnor, waiting for fuel.
2) Western column (advancing to Kalgan) on 16 August was composed of 27 MBR, 7 MARMBR, 30 MTCR.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Art » 28 Sep 2022 20:30

Kalgan (or rather fortified position north of Kalgan) was attacked by elements of the 27 Motor. Rifle Brigade (mostly two rifle battalions plus other pieces) on 20 August. After a limited advance these units received an order to fall back on 21 August as Communist Chinese troops were expected to occupy the area.
Causalities in this engagement were considerable. 27 MRB lost 5 officers and 52 other ranks as killed or dead for other reasons in August 1945, almost all on 20-21 August.

UncleBourbon
Member
Posts: 82
Joined: 11 Oct 2019 09:00
Location: United States

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by UncleBourbon » 29 Sep 2022 01:23

Mengjiang campaign (2).png
Translate.png
I found this map (cropped to focus on Pliyev's forces) that shows defenses and actions in Mengjiang in greater detail, and shows the defenses at Kanbao.
Eugen Pinak wrote:
28 Sep 2022 09:25
Lt.Colonel Ivan Stepanovich Dorozhinski.
Don't know the strength, just that it was composed of 1st and 3rd Motorized Rifle Regiments. That's unusual organization.
Thank you very much again!
Do you mean it's unusual since it's 2 Motorized Rifle Regiments instead of 3?
Eugen Pinak wrote:
28 Sep 2022 09:25

< Also one air division and one signal regiment.
Fascinating; is anything known about the composition of the air division?
I can't find much of anything on the Mongolian Air Force's role in 1945; only 1939.
Eugen Pinak wrote:
28 Sep 2022 09:25

2) Western column (advancing to Kalgan) on 16 August was composed of 27 MBR, 7 MARMBR, 30 MTCR.
My sincere thanks!
Do you happen to know the commanders and strength/composition of the 30th Motorcycle Regiment and Mongolian 7th Motorized Armored Brigade?
Also what are the chances the 30th MTCR and 7th MARMBR saw action at either Kanbao or Kalgan?
Art wrote:
28 Sep 2022 20:30
Kalgan (or rather fortified position north of Kalgan) was attacked by elements of the 27 Motor. Rifle Brigade (mostly two rifle battalions plus other pieces) on 20 August. After a limited advance these units received an order to fall back on 21 August as Communist Chinese troops were expected to occupy the area.
Causalities in this engagement were considerable. 27 MRB lost 5 officers and 52 other ranks as killed or dead for other reasons in August 1945, almost all on 20-21 August.
Thank you very much for the information; particularly casualties.
Now that you mention it, it's interesting Glantz didn't mention the Soviets taking Kalgan; just that "the defenders of the fortified region northwest of Kalgan did not end their resistance until 21 August."
Is it known how long it took the Communist Chinese to occupy the area? By the sounds of it the 2nd Independent Mixed Brigade succeeded in buying time for evacuation.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Art » 29 Sep 2022 07:29

UncleBourbon wrote:
29 Sep 2022 01:23
Thank you very much again!
Do you mean it's unusual since it's 2 Motorized Rifle Regiments instead of 3?
See the standard organization here:
http://www.niehorster.org/012_ussr/43_o ... ig-mot.htm

Also these large topic:
viewtopic.php?f=79&t=196779

For standard organization of the motorcycle regiment see:
viewtopic.php?p=2146666#p2146666

Yet I can't bee sure that it wasn't some kind of special regiment with non-standard organization, just like 27 MRB.

According to the war diary of the 27 Brigade elements that took part in combat for the fortified position north of Kalgan included 3 Battalion/1 Motorized Rifle Regiment, 3 Battalion/3 Motorized Rifle Regiment, one company of the 30 Motorcycle Regiment, 10 armored cars and two companies of the 7 Motorized Armored Brigade.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 7042
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Art » 29 Sep 2022 16:57

The description of events in war diaries and after-action reports is confusing somewhat. It appears that the 27 Motor. Rifle Brigade detached a mobile (motorized) vanguard, under personal leadership of the brigade commander, while the bulk of the infantry marched on foot further back. On 16 August this vanguard reached Zhangbei but stopped there for some three days due to a lack of gasoline. It was busy with disarming Inner Mongolia troops but there was little real combat activity. Finally on 18 August the column of the 27 MRB received an order by Malinovsky to advance to Kalgan. Accordingly on 19 August the vanguard moved out from Zahngbei but was soon stopped by a Japanese fortified position south of Zhangbei which blocked the road to Kalgan. After noon of 20 August negations with Japanese officers started but after several hours the Soviet side discovered that Japanese were unwilling to surrender and were just dragging time. Accordingly negotiations were broken off and the vanguard launched an attack on the Japanese position on the evening of 20 August. This attack continued into the nest day was mostly made by two rifle battalions (3rd battalions from the 1 and 3 Motor. Rifle Regiments) and was only partially successful capturing a portion of the Japanese position. Meanwhile the foot column of the 27 MRB reached Zhangbei after a forced march and was ready to support the attack. Yet on 21 August brigade commander ordered to halt the attack and occupy positions south of Zhangbei. Two battalion which were already in close contact with Japanese troops had to wait for the dusk to break off contact in nighttime. By a chance the Japanese troops retreated almost simultaneously. They were pursued by Soviet troops which occupied the Japanese position and took possession of some materiel abounded there. However they didn't reach Kalgan as Chinese entry into the city was expected and returned back to Zhangbei. Here all combat activities virtually ended.

Eugen Pinak
Member
Posts: 1235
Joined: 16 Jun 2004 16:09
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by Eugen Pinak » 30 Sep 2022 08:34

UncleBourbon wrote:
29 Sep 2022 01:23
Eugen Pinak wrote:
28 Sep 2022 09:25
Lt.Colonel Ivan Stepanovich Dorozhinski.
Don't know the strength, just that it was composed of 1st and 3rd Motorized Rifle Regiments. That's unusual organization.
Thank you very much again!
Do you mean it's unusual since it's 2 Motorized Rifle Regiments instead of 3?
No, because it had regiments made of battalions.
Usual organization of Soviet mobile forces was brigade made of battalions (sometimes they were called regiments, but those were still battalion-sized units). See the link Art posted.
UncleBourbon wrote:
29 Sep 2022 01:23
Eugen Pinak wrote:
28 Sep 2022 09:25

< Also one air division and one signal regiment.
Fascinating; is anything known about the composition of the air division?
No info. I'm interested in this myself, but found nothing.

UncleBourbon
Member
Posts: 82
Joined: 11 Oct 2019 09:00
Location: United States

Re: Info on the Battles of Kanbao and Kalgan, Mengjiang; 15-21 August, 1945

Post by UncleBourbon » 01 Aug 2023 10:18

It turns out I misread the citations for Glantz in the opening post and was looking at the sources for a different chapter. I've since requested the correct sources on interlibrary loan, one being's Pliyev's 'Через Гоби и Хинган', and the other being Vnotchenko's 'Победа на Дальнем Востоке. Воен.-ист. очерк о боевых действиях сов. войск в авг.-сент. 1945 г'

Pliyev's work has arrived, while I'm still waiting on Vnotchenko's. I've scanned the pages cited from Pliyev used by Glantz for the battle of Kanbao against Inner Mongolian cavalry. As I don't speak Russian, I'd appreciate if any Russian speakers could confirm that the cited pages are referring to such a battle. Sadly the filesizes are too large no matter how much I shrink them, so I've uploaded them here,
https://mega.nz/folder/EB4SXbbA#kXivEaxxBboc4ynFQX0zxA
I'll upload Vnotchenko's as well when it arrives.

Regarding the commanders of the Mengjiang cavalry divisions; the book 'The Last Mongol Prince: The Life and Times of Demchugdongrob, 1902-1966' by Sechin Jagchid (a former politician in the Mengjiang government) says on page 316 that Damrinsurung was the commander of the 7th Division. Sechin Jagchid omits the battle and only mentions Damrinsurung and his division surrendering to Soviet-Mongolian forces. However, throughout his book he tries to minimize the collaborationist aspects of the Mongolians, and omitting the battle prior to the surrender would seem to serve that narrative.
Page 309 says the 3rd Division was commanded by Song Wanli, and was of ethnic Han composition. However he makes no mention of a 5th Division.

Return to “Japan at War 1895-1945”