I am pretty excited to be playing Bolt Action for the first time tonight and am hoping it takes off. For this battle we will be using the starter sets for Japan and Russia. I have been dying to play this and have worked really hard this week to put together all the scraps I got second hand into a functional army. I will be having a test game with 2 others at the club who are interested in trying it as well.
Note these arent my models in the pictures.
This so far has been a huge second hand project and the army is gonna need some work. But that hasnt curbed my excitement for this game yet.
The battle tonight takes place in early August of 1945 in one of the pockets of resistance held out by remnants of the Kwantung Army. The wounded had been left behind to die and what little ammo and equipment that could be scavenged has been scrapped together for the defenders to try hold out. With honour they will fight to the death, against the most veteran and elite army in the world at the time, the Soviet Red Army.
The Japanese Forces contain:
1 First Lieutenant
2 Suicide Anti Tank Soldiers
1 medium Machine Gun
1 medium mortar
1 Chi-Ha Medium Tank
The Soviet Army Contain:
1 First luitenant
1 Medium Mortar
1 Anti Tank Rifle
1 T-34 Medium Tank
Both are 1000 point armies. Something to note is that these armies cost $128 USD each from warlord games. They contain so many pieces and extras as well! So its a cheap start to get into the game.
This is a super brief background of the conflicts. Like really brief. Its well worth reading in depth about these conflicts if its something you are interested in.
The Russo-Japanese War
It all starts with the Russo-Japanese war of 1904. Korea and Manchuria become a battle ground for Japanese and Russian Imperial intentions. This war had a huge impact on the wars to come but also on Japans seat in the world. During this conflict the Japanese destroyed a Russian fleet in the vital Port Arthur with the use of a Howitzer battery. This is to date on of the most devastating damage a land battery has inflicted on naval forces. On land the Japanese sent wave upon wave at Russian defenders continually forcing the defenders back. The whole world was in awe at news of constant Japaneses victory against the Russian Empire. The Russians could not hold back the ferocious wave of Japanese.
The Russian Baltic Fleet was sent to engage the Japanese navy, but had to sail around Africa in a huge journey to get there. All was in vain as the Japanese crushed the Russian Fleet with minor losses, claiming another embarrassing total victory over the Russian Empire. With such a loss, along with the Japanese army pushing ever further forward and the seeds of revolution begging in among the Russian people, Russia was forced to sign a treaty with the Japanese. This was the first time in history, an Asian power would defeat a European power in major conventional warfare and it would shape the way Japan would be viewed around the world.
The Battles of Khalkhin Gol
30 years later (1939) Soviet Russia and Japan would clash again in the Border Disputes of Khalkhin Gol. A Mongolian Calvary unit grazing in Japanese held territory would spark engagements that would give us a glimpse into future conflicts between these 2 peoples. The soon to be famous Commander Zhukov would be commanding the Soviet Forces here.
The Japanese would go on to win many victories in the skies above Manchuria, but on the ground it would suffer defeat after defeat. The first engagement saw the loss of near 100 men as they had been surrounded and destroyed. The Japanese struggled to take ground, and when they did were pushed back by armoured counter attacks. Japanese suffered from poor logistics and as a result could not sustain its attacks and properly co ordinate its soldiers.
Zhukov massed a large force of armoured and mechanized forces to eradicate Japanese forces in the area. This attack was a resounding success. It circled the Japanese forces and prevented any counter attack to relieve the Japanese Soldiers. This was all that was needed for a peace treaty to be signed for a ceasefire.
This showed the huge problems Japan had in terms of logistics, armoured fighting vehicles and military competence. Throughout the Second World War these problems and more would plague the Japanese army resulting in huge military deaths and acts of desperation. But the final clash between these 2 nations would end during the Soviet Invasion of Manchuria in 1945.
Soviet invasion of Manchuria
With the Germans defeated the Soviets had promised to turn their attentions to finishing off Japan.
The battle was quick. Japanese forces lacked, again logistics and lines of communication broke down as the army was in disarray from the double pincer attack. The Russians had surprised Japan by attacks through areas where Japan had previously thought were not accessible.
The Japanese were outclassed in every way as Soviet forces claimed Manchuria and in a couple of weeks Japan announced surrender. Pockets of resistance still held out in Manchuria, much like the famous pockets of resistance in the pacific, however they would be short lived.
The Japanese Empire came to a bloody end.