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    Sakhalin Island (Karafuto)  Russia

Sakhalin Island is an island 1,000 km long by 200 km wide at its largest extent. Located between Hokkaido Island and Russia. Known as "Karafuto" to the Japanese. It is separated from the Asian continent by a narrow strait 6 km wide.

Wartime History
On August 8 1945, Russia began "Operation August Storm" and entered the war against Japan. On August 11, 1945 Soviet troops crossed the 50th parallel, the frontier between the Soviet Union and Japan and advanced 100km southward on Sakhalin Island. On August 15, Japan accepted the declaration of Potsdam to end the war. Thousand civilians were killed by Russians, Three Japanese ships transporting refugees from Sakhalin were sunk by Russian Submarines with 1,700 killed. Fighting ended on August 22, with 600,000 Japanese, mostly soldiers from Sakhalin and Manchuria were brought to Siberia's labor camps and 60,000 never returned.

Sakhalin is one of the territories disputed between Japan and Russia and its belonging has not yet been definitely settled since WWII, along with the Kuril Islands.

Ochiai Airfield
Japanese wartime airfield

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Last Updated
August 25, 2018


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