Rising Sun (FW304)

Refighting The Battles At Lake Khasen
with Wayne Turner

Between May and September 1939 the Soviets fought an undeclared border war with Japanese forces in Manchuria, which would become known as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol or the Nomonhan Incident. However, this clash had been preceded by another battle in 1938 around Lake Khasan, also known as the Changkufeng Incident. The Lake Khasan battles arose from a disagreement over the demarcation of the boundary between the Soviet Union and Japanese-controlled Manchuria near the Korean border.

Learn more about the Battles of Khalkhin Gol here...

Japanese Forces
The 19th Division can be represented by using the Hohei Chutai (Infantry Company) on page 20 of Rising Sun. The division was an old and experienced division so they can be fielded under the Fearless Veteran 7th Division options. The Japanese don’t seemed to have employed any tanks during the battle for Lake Khasan, so the first support option is likely to be the Heavy Field Artillery Battery.

Learn more about the Hohei Chutai here...
Refighting The Battles At Lake Khasen
Refighting The Battles At Lake Khasen

The Manchurian cavalry also still a valid option, as there were a number of Manchurian troop present during the fighting. It was noted by the Soviets that the Japanese anti-tank defence was wellorganised, so use of Nikuhaku (Human Bullet) anti-tank assault teams seems likely.

The division also had a cavalry regiment, so you could also field a Kihei Chutai (Cavalry Company) on page 24 of Rising Sun. All the support options are valid for Lake Khasan except the Tank Platoon.

Learn more about the Kihei Chutai here...

Soviet Forces
The Soviet forces at Lake Khasan consisted of Rifle Divisions, so the bulk of the forces can be represented by the Strelkovy Batalon (Rifle Battalion) from pages 66 of Rising Sun. Light Tank Companies with T-26 obr 1933 light tanks were available to each division. The troops of the 2nd Mechanised Brigade included tanks, self-propelled guns, and infantry. You can field the infantry of the brigade using the Motostrelkovy Batalon (Motor Infantry Battalion) on page 62 of Rising Sun.

Learn more about the T-26 obr 1933 here...

Refighting The Battles At Lake Khasen
Refighting The Battles At Lake Khasen Tanks units can be represented by either the Light Tankovy Batalon with T-26 obr 1933 light tanks on page 56 of Rising Sun or the Fast Tankovy Batalon with BT-7 fast tanks on page 58 of Rising Sun. Weapons Companies can include KhT-26 flame-tanks, T-38 Scout tanks and anti-aircraft trucks. The self-propelled guns are a little different with the brigade being issued with SU-5-2 122mm self-propelled guns. This vehicle consisted of a 122mm howitzer mounted behind an armoured shield on T-26 tank hull.

Most of the support choices were available at Lake Khasan, except for the Heavy Tankovy Company.

Learn more about the BT-7 Fast Tank here...
Gaming Options
The Lake Khasan battles present number of scenarios that can be used to create interesting, challenging and fun gaming opportunities. You can take advantage of the Japanese Hell By Day, Paradise by Night rule (see page 12 of Rising Sun) to recreate the attack of the 75th Infantry Regiment on the Soviet positions on the hills. Create a Japanese Hohei Chutai infantry heavy force and attack a Soviet Strelkovy Batalon at night using a mission with the Prepared Positions rule to represent the Soviets dug-in on the heights. No Retreat, Hold the Line, or Pincer all would offer and exciting and unique game when combined with the night fighting rules of Hell By Day, Paradise by Night (see Rising Sun for a full explination of all of the Japanese special rules).
Refighting The Battles At Lake Khasen
You could also play games covering the Soviet counter-attacks in August. This time the Japanese are on the defensive, holding the positions along the heights, dig-in and well-prepared to receive the Red Army onslaught. You could use the Missions above with out the night rules, ore try a more mixed up game like Surrounded or Cauldron the represent the Soviets penetrating and encircling the Japanese positions. Field a Soviet Strelkovy Batalon with tank support, a Motostrelkovy with tank support, a Light Tankovy Company, or Fast Tankovy Company.

A Fighting Withdrawal game with the Japanese withdrawing ahead of a Soviet tank forces could represent the final actions around the hills as the Red Army forces the Japanese off the high ground.
Refighting The Battles At Lake Khasen
The Shachaofeng (Bezymyannaya) and Changkufeng (Zaozernaya) hills were step and rocky, with very little vegetation to conceal any troops attacking. Though, surround by the Tumen River and Lake Khasan, these bodies of water don’t seemed to have played a direct role in the battles other than channelling the Soviets attacks.

~ Wayne.
Refighting The Battles At Lake Khasen

Last Updated On Thursday, May 8, 2014 by Blake at Battlefront