Episode 217 – The Red Dawn, Part 1

100 Years ago, Japan intervened in Russia to create a buffer state against the new Soviet Union. So how did that work out? We’ll start answering that question this week.

Listen to the episode here.


Dunscomb, Paul E.  Japan’s Siberian Intervention, 1918-1922

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1854-1945

Guins, George C. “The Siberian Intevention, 1918-1919.” The Russian Review 28 No 4 (Oct, 1969).


Lenin addressing Soviet soldiers at the start of the October Revolution.
Prime Minister Terauchi, who led the charge for intervention.
General Staff Chief Uehara Yusaku, a hard-nosed realist and advocate of trying to create a buffer state in the Russian Far East.
Grigory Semenov, the cossack commander allied to Japan.
Alexander Kolchak, whose British-backed White Russian government was nominally allied with Japan against the Bolsheviks.
The Russian Far East is highlighted in red. Siberia proper is just to the west. Lake Baikal is the long, thin body of water to the north of Mongolia.


1 thought on “Episode 217 – The Red Dawn, Part 1”

  1. Hi. I quite like your podcasts… though during a few of your episodes I do find myself gnashing my teeth. Ah well, I suppose incompatible value judgements on this or that point are to be expected. And no account can be neutral.

    Anyway, in this episode you mentioned a few things that made me want to reach out to you and make two requests.

    1) You’ve briefly touched on Taisho democracy elsewhere and the Seiyukai here. I wonder, could you do a series on that democracy movement , expounding the on the major ideologues, activists, as well as the rise and fall of the movement, and its place in modern Japanese history? I fear there might not be much more to say beyond what you have already, though. Please consider it.

    2) A lot of people in East Asia do not look well on the machinations of Japan in the days of the empire — naturally! as they were the victims. But I’ve found to my surprise that Mongols, both Mongolians of the republic and ethnic Mongols in China, have a pretty positive view of imperial Japan, as it played some part in the independence of Outer Mongolia and the attempt liberate Inner Mongolia from China. Could you consider doing an episode or two on Japan and its role in modern Mongolian history and politics? It would be nice to see how relations worked between the two long after the Yuan dynasty disappeared. Think of it as a coda to “Scourge of the Gods”.

    Pardon the length of the post.

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