August 8-9, 1945 – Roundtable discussion on Russian entry into the Pacific War + NBC Programming – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
August 8/9, 1945 – With news that Russia was now officially joining the allies in the Pacific part of the War, speculation was rife that it would not only be a matter of days, but possibly hours before Japan capitulated. Russian troops were entering the war on the morning of August 9th, even as Japan itself was target of the second Atomic Bombing, this time Nagasaki.
The commencement of the invasion fell between the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima on 6 August and Nagasaki on 9 August. Although Stalin had been told virtually nothing of the US and UK’s atomic bomb program by Allied governments, the date of the invasion was foreshadowed by the Yalta agreement, the date of the German surrender, and the fact that, on 3 August, Marshal Vasilevsky reported to Stalin that, if necessary, he could attack on the morning of 5 August. The timing was well-planned and enabled the Soviet Union to enter the Pacific Theater on the side of the Allies, as previously agreed, before the war’s end. The invasion of the second largest Japanese island of Hokkaido was originally planned by the Soviets to be part of the territory taken, and finally on 7 August, the Soviets declared war on Japan.
At 11 pm Trans-Baikal time on 8 August 1945, Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov informed Japanese ambassador Naotake Satō that the Soviet Union had declared war on Japan, and that from 9 August the Soviet Government would consider itself to be at war with Japan. At one minute past midnight Trans-Baikal time on 9 August 1945, the Soviets commenced their invasion simultaneously on three fronts to the east, west and north of Manchuria.
As the day unfolded, news was coming in thick and fast and all the networks were breaking away for whatever word was coming from anywhere on progress.
Here is a one-hour slice of what happened on August 8, 1945, as it happened, complete with regularly scheduled programs at the time. Needless to say, this was another day to be on the edge of your seat in anticipation.