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    Kurile Islands (Kuril, Chishima-Rettō)  Russia

Location
The Kurile Islands is a chain of islands that span from northeast to south west. To the northeast of the Kurle Islands is the Kuril Strait (Kurilsky Strait) and Kamchatka. To the southwest is Hokkaido. To the west is the Sea of Okaotsk and to the east is the North Pacific Ocean. To the northeast is the Aleutian Islands. Known to the Japanese as Chishima-Rettō or Chishima Retto, meaning Thousand Islands Archipelago. Known as the Kuril Islands in Russian.

Wartime History
Prewar, the Kurile Islands belonged to Japan. As early as November 22, 1941 Japanese ships began assembling in the Kurlile Islands area, for the secret "Hawaiian Operation" to attack Pearl Harbor and Oahu.

During the Pacific War, Japan blocked the passage to the Sangar Strait from Soviet ships. Although Russia and Japan were not officially at war, the Soviet Union was receiving lend-lease from the United States.

During 1943-1945, Japanese fortified the Kurile Islands, and were the target of American attacks from bases in Alaska, in a strategic effort to tie down Japanese forces in the far north. The area was occupied by the Japanese until late August 1945.

On August 9, 1945 the Soviet Union declared war on Japan and began the Soviet–Japanese War. On August 18, 1945 Soviet forces landed on Shumshu Island in the Kurile Islands. On August 21, 1945 a localized cease fire between the Soviets and the Japanese ended fighting.

Postwar
In 1951 under the terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty Japan gave up sovereignty of the Kurile Islands to Russia.

  located at northeastern end of Kuriles, southwest of Kamchatka
  located between Shumshu and Paramushir
  located at northeastern of Kuriles, southwest of Shumshu
  island to the west of Paramushir
  island to the west of Paramushir
  located at the northeastern of Kurlies, southwest of Kamchatka
  island located to the southwest of Paramushir
  island located to the southwest of Paramushir
  island located to the southwest of Onekotan
  island located to the southwest of Kharimkotan
  island located to the southwest of Kharimkotan
Chirinkotan (Чиринкотан)
  island located to the west of Ekarma
Raykoke (Raykoke)
  island to the north of Matua
  island located in the center of the Kurils with Matsuwa Airfield
Rasshua (Rashuwa)
  island located to the southwest of Matua
  island located to the southwest of Matua
  island located to the southwest of Matua
  island located to the southwest of Matua
Broutona (Buroton, о.Броутона)
  island located to the northeast of Urup, suspected seaplane base
Chirpoy (Chyornie Bratya)
  larger island located to the northeast of Urup, Чёрные Братья
Brat Chirpoyev (Chyornie Bratya)
  smaller island located to the northeast of Urup
  fourth largest island in the Kuriles
Iturup (Итуру́п and Oстров Итуру́п)
  large island in the southwestern Kuriles, Ostrov Iturup
Shikotan (Sikotan, Shpanberg, Шикотан)
   island in the southwestern portion of the Kuriles
Kunashir (Kunashiri, Kunasir, Кунаши́р)
   island in the southwestern portion of the Kuriles near Hokkaido
Habomai (Хабомаи)
   island in the southwestern portion of the Kuriles near Hokkaido

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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