While relatively little-known in the West, this short but bitter war – known as the Nomonhan Incident in Japan, or the Battle of Khalkhyn Gol in the Soviet Union – was a crucial overture to the subsequent Second World War. Having secured its border in the Far East, the Soviet Union was free to concentrate on war in Europe, whilst the Japanese turned their attention to South-East Asia and the Pacific. Although continuing to underestimate their opponents, the Japanese introduced a major reform of their army and after realising the massive material disparity vis-à-vis the USSR, Tokyo and joined the Axis with Nazi Germany and Italy.
The second volume of Red Star versus the Rising Sun examines the land and air forces of the opposing forces in the Far East as they stood in 1939 and offers a detailed description of the conflict on and above the battlefields of Nomonhan. This volume is richly illustrated with period photographs, maps and original colour artworks of the soldiers, aircraft and armoured vehicles deployed in this conflict.