11 August. Cadets of the Hsingan Military Academy, an officer’s school in Wangin Sum (Wangyemiao) training Mongols in Manchukuo, are ordered to retreat to Baicheng to the south to prepare to fight against the Soviet–Mongolian Army. En route, they rebel and kill their Japanese instructors, reversing direction and joining the Soviet–Mongolian forces advancing from the north.
13 August. In a speech in Yen’an to his cadres on the situation after the war, Mao Tse-tung emphasizes his determination in the face of a likely future conflict with the KMT. Chu Teh therefore refuses to comply with Chiang’s instruction to stand fast and await orders, and moves his troops toward Manchuria.
14 August. In return for Soviet pledges of moral support and military aid given solely to the KMT regime as the central government of China, plus undertakings on Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese envoys reluctantly sign a Treaty of Friendship and Alliance in Moscow. This grants the Soviets effective control of Dairen and Port Arthur along with extensive concessions in Manchuria. China also undertakes to recognize the independence of Outer Mongolia in its existing boundaries (i.e. Inner Mongolia is to remain part of China), subject to a positive referendum result.
14 August. In former Manchukuo, Mongol leaders Hafungga and Buyanmandakhu form a Committee for Inner Mongolian People’s Liberation. Working together with the Soviet–Mongolian Army, they soon establish a guard corps consisting of former cadets of the Hsingan Military Academy to maintain security in Wangin Sum, the centre of Mongolian administration under Manchukuo.
15 August. Just four hours after Emperor Hirohito’s broadcast ending the war, Japanese Ambassador Yamamoto Kuma’ichi explains and reassures Thai Prime Minister Khuang Aphaiwong about the surrender. He also raises no objections to news that Thailand’s Regent is planning to renounce the Thai–Japanese alliance.
16 August. Upon hearing of the Japanese surrender, forced labourers in North Borneo begin slowly working their way back home to Java. Elsewhere across the vast extent of Japanese-occupied Asia, tens of thousands of people drafted into supporting Japan’s war effort take their futures into their own hands and slip away from their masters. Many more must await repatriation after Allied troops arrive; they are stranded too far away from home. The fate of the many ‘comfort women’ forced into military brothels is also uncertain.
17 August. General Order No. 1, prescribing when, where and to whom Japanese forces may surrender, is approved by President Truman after having been hastily negotiated between the Allies. The formal surrender of Japan to the Americans takes priority, even though elsewhere this will leave a power vacuum until local surrenders can be accepted.
17 August. In a disturbing reminder of events leading up to the mass famine earlier in the year, flood waters breach dikes on the Red River upstream from Hanoi. Within days, 150 breaches are reported around the delta, about one third of Tonkin’s summer rice crop being inundated as a result. Its inability to deal with the situation dispels any remaining credibility that the royal government may have had. The floods also inhibit vehicle movement by both Japanese and Chinese troops, offering a temporary benefit to local insurgents.
12 August. With Soviet–MPR forces advancing more than 100 km a day, the Kwantung Army’s strategy of defence in depth is in tatters. Only at Hailar is the resistance holding. Meanwhile, thousands of Japanese settlers – mainly women, children and the elderly – attempt to flee to safety but many are engulfed in the fighting or attacked by vengeful locals. Others choose mass suicide.
16 August. Although the Kwantung Army commander-in-chief orders them to lay down their arms, several Japanese divisions to continue to fight due to poor communications or outright defiance. Next day, Stalin orders his commander to continue the advance despite Japanese requests to organize a surrender. Several pockets of resistance are bypassed as the Soviets race to seize as much territory as possible before a ceasefire. Many Japanese civilians trying to retreat to the south also die, often by suicide (or killed by their parents) to avoid capture by Red Army troops.