On August 8, 1945
denounced its neutrality pact with Japan
, and the Red Army
began their invasion by crossing the 50th parallel
of the Sakhalin
island. On September 2, V-J (Victory over Japan) Day, Japan
surrendered to America
. Russia, having only gone 100 km over the border on that day,
aimed for Hokkaido
and continued their invasion.
The worst casualties happened when 3 Japanese ships transporting 1,700 refugees from Sakhalin
were destroyed by Russian submarines
s were taken from Manchuria
and Sakhalin to work at Siberian labor camps, of which 60,000 never returned to Japan.
By the end of Russian attacks, Russia occupied the whole of Sakhalin
and Kuril islands
. Before the invasions, half of Sakhalin and four Kuril islands
were Japanese territory. Since the land below the 50th parallel has been disputed, some maps leave the lower half of Sakhalin
colored a neutral grey.
After the collapse of the Soviet
had increased hope of having the islands returned from the impoverished nation. However, in the late 90's Sakhalin struck oil
, rendering the possibility of land return unlikely.
A complete history can be found at: http://karafuto.com/timetab.html
P.S.: This was a nodeshell rescue