Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Blast from the past. The Chinese vs Russia battle in 1969...

Note.  How did we miss this?  I imagine it has to do with my pre-occupation of the war in Vietnam and the various fights that were happening around the world both big and small. That still doesn't explain why this battle isn't talked about more.

via National Interest.
This account relates that about three hundred PLA soldiers crossed over to the island on the night of March 2 and suddenly opened fire on the group of Russian border guards that had been sent to investigate at mid-morning, killing almost all of them. Out on the ice of the Ussuri River, the Russian unit evidently had no protection and was “quickly destroyed.” Shavaev cites medical reports revealing an even greater atrocity: “[the border guards] were brutally finished off with bayonets and shots at close range. Their sheepskin coats, felt boots and hats were removed [были зверски добиты штыками и выстрелами в упор, с них были сняты тулупы, валенки, шапки].” According to this report, thirty-two Soviet border guards perished that day, along with a couple hundred of Chinese soldiers, as well, in the fighting that ensued. “And the Ussuri ice melted from bullets … and shells. The white March snow of the Island of Damansky turned dirty and bloody,” Shavaev writes in his description.

A larger fight then unfolded on March 14 in the same area. That battle, as Shavaev notes, involved both tanks and artillery. “It was brief … but it was a war.” Most critically, the Soviets employed the Grad rocket artillery system with devastating effects. Shavaev relates: “In a matter of minutes, Chinese battle formations and rear areas turned into a bloody mess mixed with earth, corpses and metal [За считаные минуты китайские боевые порядки и тыловые районы базирования превратились в горящее, перемешанное с землей, трупами и металлом кровавое месиво.].” Thousands of Chinese soldiers are said to have been killed in the second engagement. Interestingly, this author suggests that the Soviet border guards were sacrificed, in part, due to a lack of “strategic foresight” in the Soviet military high command. Yet, it is explained that the main cause of the engagement were intrigues in Beijing that sought to “further unite the people under the banner of the ideas of the “great helmsman [еще больше сплотить народ под знаменем идей ‘великого кормчего,’” a reference to Mao obviously. With evident bitterness, Shavaev explains that Damansky Island was turned over to China in 1991 and that the PLA maintains a museum there commemorating the “victory” over the Soviet Union.
This article is a must read!  Check it out here! 

Just plain wow.

This battle is instructive.  The Chinese can be expected to attack suddenly, massively and without apparent provocation.

The Russian response is important to note.  Massive fires are needed to repel their assault.  Additionally it should be noted that these tensions remain (at least in my opinion).  China is on the hunt for resources.  With their Silk Road receiving push back as more nations are realizing that the "gifts" have enormous chains attached, I believe that they will seek more "robust" solutions to their resource problems.

Attempts to seize Russian territory has got to seem attractive.

All the more reason to ease tensions with them so that they can pivot to defending their border with China...that is the final piece in the puzzle to surrounding the dragon.

One thing I don't understand.

After such treachery, why would Russia turn over the island to the Chinese?

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