Gregory Clark tells one of the most disgusting and least known tales from the closing days of WWII:
August 15, 1945, is the much-remembered date of Japan’s surrender in World War II. But that date could have been much later. On a recent visit to Australia, I discovered an act of Stalinist perfidy that could easily have delayed that war end and have left much of Japan subject to Soviet occupation.
This was the fact that in 1945 Soviet leader Josef Stalin was passing on to Tokyo information from unsuspecting Australian sources that would allow the Japanese military to resist the Allied invasion from the south and provide time for a Soviet invasion into Japan from the north.
If the Soviet plan had succeeded, many more Americans, Australians and Japanese would have died as a result, and much of Japan would have come under Soviet occupation or control.
For pure ugliness and perfidiousness it rates with the Warsaw Ghetto affair when Stalin’s refusal to help the 1943 uprising there did much to allow Moscow later to take over the country and impose communist rule.
Thank God, as Paul Fussell wrote, for the atom bomb.