Evaluation of Report on Soviet Troop Movements in Manchuria

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December 12, 2016
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March 22, 2000
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September 30, 1949
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proved For Release 2001/03 RDP78-01617A0007001 O12 CEU1RAL INTrLLIGr'iEE AGENCY 21 It Further study of subject report does not alter the conclusions reached in Intelligence 1?2emorandum No. 228 (Preliminary).. 27 September, a copy of which is attached as Enclosure A. 2, An evaluation prepared by the Intelligence Division, OSUSA, emphasizes that the report is not considered to be true, The Intelligence Division evaluation is substantially in agreement with Intelligence 24emorandum No. 228 (Prel.iznixaary), and is attached as Enclosure B. INTELLIGENCE M 4ORANDUM 110. 228 SUBS CT: Evaluation of Report on Soviet Troop lbveanet?nts in Manchuria RETITME11CE: Memorandum to DCI from Department of State, dated 23 September 1949, requesting evaluation of Peiping telegram (secret) Noe 1578 (20 September .1949) ENCLOSURES: A. D. CIA Intelligence Ma orandum tb. 228 (Preliminary) Intelligence Diviciora, GSUSA., Evaluation of SDPT go. 1578, dated "0 Sept. 1949 0. D. Office of Chief of Mval Operations Evaluation of tnd Comments on SDPT No. 1578, dated 20 Sept. 1949 Directorate of lnie ligence, tJSSAF, Evaluation of SDP No. 1578, dated 20 Sept. 1949 Reference telegram 3. Evaluations by the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and by the Directorate of Intelligence, USAF, also in substantial agreement, are attached as Ene1oszares C and D. State Dept. declassification instructions on file CR and a u1si.ts'Malitin retained MY 30 September 1949 ARCHIVAL RECORD PLEASE RETURN TO AGENCY ARCHIVES, BLDG. A-18 ;to67 .2 Box___ Note: Although the TAG Agencies ha-.inaterially contributed to the eat ?sparati1x~ this report, it has not been forma1iy coordinated. This decttmeat been retitewe ." IJ - ?rrrt rt 9yc.try. Tc~e NU C W1 in Class. H DECLA IED der~a~...,t to -, - Class. CHANGED TS S C 00- - tenter, el. tl D Brno, 4 Ap 7 ---- Date._-: ._ _ ...lL, .7 DL R!, 14 1 kte: 1111!!1 TT 13y: Approved For Renee 2001/03/O*?RM*'-RDP78-01 A000700190012-8 LIELOE U1 E A 27 September 1949 YNTELLYGEI)E rwnw 3UJ N0. 228 (Prsl,ilnir y) SUB Th CT s Evaluation of Report on SoAot Troop Lbvements In Manchuria REPEBEICEs Peiping Telegram (secret) No. 1578 (20 Sept. 1.949) 1. C of 1 uai on. ORE is of the opinion that t.' information conta:- d In paragraphs two to four of Peiping Tslegram Noy 3.578 (20 &pt.) 3a based wholly or largely on rumors, This report is the latest of several, received intermittently during the past tcro years, dealing with alleged Soviet military activity in V,. htwia, none of thhich has been confirmed. la. These rumors may have sane basis in fact, hocue i!, ie::esrnuch as there are indications of an increase in the tempo of Soviet activity and in the numbers of Soviet personal in rchhi-ria and in North China. It is quite probable that the USSR is treUng, advantage of the present cosarnt.ty of Sino-.Soviet intoreat to solidify its position in Manchuria. &AIMU2U of Paws. 2 _aa 3 s This report is so vague that it cannot be evaluated with confi- denee. The qualifications of the observer arc; ebscus e and his intc ra- tion appears to be based on hearsay. The report, in this respect, is similar to a number of earlier reports which, as the Consul-General remarks, "have boon unsubstantiated." 25X1X Past experiene e reports hats indicated that Chinese obse 01.. is in thef%r use of numbers, and are given toe gerat:on. Alec, regular troops may be confused with Soviet railway guards,, which are Lm= to be present in Manchuria. The phrase "rail traffic Harbint-t.Ianchuria& should probably be read either "EarbinmManahouli," or (becalm Antix ; is mentioned) "Harbin- Eorea,* but neither of these readings illuminates; the content sufficiently to permit an estimate of its significance. The "contemp .atec estab- lishment of three military lines" would be a matter of top-secret military planning, which would certainly not be availab1 to Chinese sources. Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For Rele 2001/03/0 RDP78-01610007001.90012-8 01 has no infonaation with which to corifirm the report of move- ments of tanks and troops between Harbin and Changchun; such movements are believed possible. 3.val,ti o^ P~~ra. La ~. "Explanation" I., i. e. , that the USSR believes the US to be preparing for war in the Pacific: ORE has no information to isxiicate that the USSa genuinely believes that the t is preparing to attack the USSR militarily in the near future. ~. wExplanation" III, i.e., that the WSR itself plans to launch a war in the near futures O has no information to irAicate that even wi-hti its "new" atomic capability the Soviet Union intends to resort to rdUtary aggression in the near future. St. Mxplanati " U, i.e., that the USSR is employiszg the threat of an imminent East-West (Cosmnmi et vs, non-Communist) 'gar as a means of gaining Chinese Communist acgr-4escence in the extension and con- solidation of Soviet control in China, especially in W-aahuriaa It is believed that the M SR oocasi anallya perhaps systemiatice-11y,, falsifies its estimate of the situation, in order to gain Chimes Communist acquiencence in the extension and connol.idati-n of Soviet control in China anal over the CCP. However, it is doubtful that the CCP leadership in convinced of the i inence of an armed conflict b e t w e e n t h e Co t i t and non-Co smuaist nations, or that the I R has found it necessary to employ the threat; of Imminent war in order to gain Chinese Cyst acquiescence in the Soviet program in and toward China. It appears more likely that the WSR and the CCP leadership are agreed upon the necessity Por increasing the defensive and offen- sive capabilities of the Far Eastern Communist bloc,, in preparation for an eventual, but not Immediate,, military conflict with the West. 4. .c; r ,ii .sa~f. of` ~@lSefpt'+Fs~r~~iaeft tivtyi r a In addition to the above report, of 10041.; 0,000 Soviet troops present or scheduled to arrive in Manchuria, and of Soviet troop and tank movements in chi ris, there have been recent reporrts of the arrival in Harbin of Soviet Marshal .odion r-1altr ovsky, together with a staff of 130 officers; and of the cons ti on of barn-?acksi at ' kden, adequate to house 30,000 men, which are possibly for the use of Soviet military or railway personnel. The reports have not been confirmed. MINOWNbs Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For Release 2001/03/02 :.CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 There is a general trend toward tightened Sim-Soviet control, or Soviet control with Chinese acquioscence, over r3anahiwin., particularly in the strategic Port Arthur Naval. Base area. At the sad-ne time, the MR is probably seeking to streng hers the lateral integration of 13anchur1a and North Korea, It is of major importance to the USSR, politicai3 and eaonorrdca]1 r, to improve the rail system between Utarnchuria and North China, Inas- much as railway control is used to spearhead Soviet penetrations, the recent influx of Soviet railway personnel into Manchu min and North China indicates an increasingly successful extension of Soviet control. Soviet railway personnel have quas . .ta status, an at times hwre included regular army a secret police off .cia7,s. Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For Rase 2001_ A-RDP78-0t 7A000700190012-8 EIMwsuRE B nt Peiping intelligence D Telegram No, 1578 Dated 20 SepState tember 194-9 I. A. The Soviet garrison in port Arthur-Dairen consists of 60,000 troops., with four divisions. Normal military traffic by land and sea between this detached garm'aon and the Soviet Union is not inconsiderable. This includes i ove menu of leave personnel and re- placements, occasional relief of ooi-p1ete =all units, and movements of military supplies. Despite frequent rumor s to the contrary, it is believed that the only Soviet, Army units of ar4r siMcance in F"huria are those in the Port Arthur-Dairen are rim, of the re- its of Soviet troops in IMan+churia are be3.ieved to r.'ofer to the '+n-ifo =cried. Soviet rail- way guards the patrol the railvrsye, which are jointly czwnad by the Soviet and Chinese governments. In addition, Soviet military and technical advisers to Chinese the F~~~~~i a~ s~o a Z lesser ~ ~? are believed to be present aar~oE be estimated. where in Chian. The scale of such `ais25X1'X7 . such The report at hand is from a reports, without solid confirmation., have often proms Ago be seriously exaggerated or distorted. no other reports confirm the "three milit& linen" reportedly being established., eit er in the sense of defense limes or military vo cations limes. Neither is there confirmation of a Harbim'Changeblm troop and tank movement. The telegra :, does not stato whether Soviet or Chinese troops a and tanks are i xwoive6. The report to believe& either to be untrw , or to eraia lwey greatly magnified reflection of sazbstantialiy norms m guard traffic. B. Paragraph 5 is coreuvred in. 0. Since the report is not accept, none of :has the cases is believed to be relevant. They are discussed, however,, undo r II A below. n. A. on the hypothesise that paragraphs two anes1 three trues 1. Case 1 is believed extreime3,y Improbable. The Soviets could hardly interpret evacuation of 15 citizens and the `a.,r depanaents as an indication of 4S preparations for war in the Paci.fi.c. They must For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For Rese 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01A000700190012-8 appreciate that this action is motivated by the obvious danger to the individuals' safety., and that the are no other present imdica-, tions of the types of US action that would have to accorapan r such preparations, 2, Case 2 is the most likely explanation. Soviet policy might logically consider the present as a suitable time to insure consolidation of control of Parrachuria, and movement of large bodies of troops into the area would be em aspect of such coneolida- tion. 3. Case 3 is believed unlikely, although it cannot be eategoricaUy dismissed. The probability that the Soviets art making preparations for an early offensive war must be considered in light of all indications from all areas. B. Under the hypothesis that the report is trves, other possible explanations ores 1. A move to stiffen the Chinese Co aauift armies and insure their cow loyalty by xeinforcament vrith siriable troop units as well as by technical advisory aid. 2, Reinforcement of the Fort Arthur gar son (although the force imvolved. for such a purpose is excessive). 3, A move to strox g han the p" t North Korean regime and to support a move by it against South Korea. Soviet troops from the Vladivostok area could more e2fectively accomplish this objective, hover. !,. A combination of any of the above possibilities. 0. Again on the assumption that the report is true, the following considerations bear on its effect on W security inttr?estst 1. If the matte does not extend beyond M r Kuria, the effect of the move itself would be negligible in the near future, Soviet capabilities for attacking Japan or South Korea, or both, would not be materially enhanced. 20 If the objective of the move were to reinforce and stiffen the Chinese Communist armies and strengthen Soviet control over them, it would later enhance Soviet capabilities to threaten US security interests to the extent that it succeeded in this objective. III. It is emphasized that the report is not considered to be true. It is likely to be founded on a not abnormally large troop or railway guard movement, with the incident amaggeration often fob in reports from Par Eastern sub-sources. Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For Re se 2001 /O i RDP78-01f A000700190012-8 ENCY1' C Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Evaluation of and Ccamaants on State Department Peiping Telegram No. 1578 Dated 20 September 1949 Z&;% - Evaluations. A. Although the presence in Manchuria of Soviet tank units and troops has been repeatedly reported to ONI by fairly reliable sources, numbers and dispositions of troops have not been a-,certained. Planes bearing Soviet markings have been observed in the area and Soviet naval voseels have been reliably reported operating in the Chih-li Gulf. B0 ,fir t 1. The presence of sons Soviet troops in Manchuria can hardly be questioned. C. Cale 1. This statement seems to be based o the assumption that war always follows evacuation of foreigner: from a trouble zone,. It probably expresses the hope of certain non-Go=mist Chinese who desire liberation as soon as possible. This type of thinking abounds in postwar reports from Eastern Europe and cannot be suppor cd by facto CaBe . This is the most logicea of the three statements presented inasmuch as Soviet propaganda beamed to all the world stresses the fact that the tE is preparing for war. Cam. This statement is not suppa ed by any evidence. Comments. A. Case is the most probable of the three cases. If it is publicized more than usual., the I.SSR is probably stressing "US aggression as a smoke screen to divert Chinese attention from Soviet consolidation oE Influence in Manchuria. B. No further solution. C. No change in the present atrattegic picture,.. However, the presenc:o of 100,000-150.,000 Soviet troops in r'irhuria would strengthen the already recognized Russian control of that a reap Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For R%Oase 2001/03/02 4&D ROW8-0 17A000700190012-8 EICIQST E D Directorate of Intelligence, IFAP, Evaluation of State Department Peiping Telegram No. 1578 Dated 20 September 1949 1. The Director of Intelligence, USAF, evaluates SECRET Peiping Telegram No. 1578 as follows: P Uba two Ona three t (1) Paragra~h two is evaluated as F-6 (neither source nor content can be judged) (2) Paragraph three is evaluated as F-3 (source cannot be judged; content is possibly true). P car 2h five. Tha Director of Intelligence, ASAP, agrees with the Consul General's comment regarding subject report and previous reports of the presence of Soviet troops in M'Jantchuria. IL. rarasrahh_f=. The Director of Intelligence, USAF, makes the following commanta on Cases 1, 2, and 3 of this paragraphs (1) Case 1 is considered unlikely in the light of informa- tion available to the United states Air Force and in the light of in- formation concerning United States intentions presumably available to the USSR. (2) Case 2 is considered logical and is generally in line with other reports of increasing Soviet dominance in Manchuria. (3) Case 3 is considered illogical on the basis of available information but should not be ruled out, because of the corrupted Soviet thinking processes referred to in Par. four of subject telegram, 2. The Director of Intelligence, USAF, considers that if Pars. two and three of subject telegram were true the following reasoning would apply: #. (1) Case 2 would be the most probable of the three cases listed in subject telegram. It would seem, however, that effective Soviet control of Manchuria could be achieved without the presence of large numbers of Soviet troops. (2) Case 3 could be valid if, in addition to large-soele Soviet troop movements in Manchuria, there were also other necessary war preparations, including unusual Soviet Air Force activity. Informs.- tion available to the Director of Intelligence, i AF, does not indicate such Soviet Air Force activity. Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For Vase 2001/03/02: CIA RDP78- 17A000700190012-8 t. A logical reason for Soviet troop movements into r1armhuria would be that of giving moral and/or military support to North Korean military forces in the event that the long-anticipated hostilities against the Republic of Korea materialize. Even this eventuality, how ' ever, should not require 100,000 to 1509000 Soviet troops* The Director of Intelligence, USAF, considers that any go large-scale increase of Soviet armed forces in Llanchuria would be a potential threat to E security interests, inasmuch as such forces could be used offensively against Korea, thus dealing a bloc to t prestige in the Far East, Such a Soviet advance into southern Korea., if. accompanied by a comparable increase in Soviet air.aud eea power, would constitute an increased treat to the U5 position in Japan and the island chain to the south. Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For Rse 2001/03/02 CIA-RDP78-017A000700190012-8 ENCLOSURE E INC014ING T1LEGRM4 DEPARTWNT OF STATE - DIVISION OF CO11JNICATIONS AND RECORDS Control 7825 Reo'd September 20, 1949 2:10 p.m. 25X1 FROM: Peiping TO: Secretary of State NO: 1578' September 20, 3 p.m. RECONTI1 1551 September 15. 25X1 X7 at Soviet 25X1X Same source reports 100,000 or 150,000 Soviet troops are present or coming Manchuria, that rail traffic Harbin-Manchuria has been suspended one month and half (source unclear but noted Antung somehow come into picture) and said there is contemplated establishment three military lines, respectively, along Yalu River, north/south of Pe aihu, north/ south of 1kden. He was unclear likewise regarding significance this project but designated them as first, second and third lines in above indicated order and said Soviets might anticipate Amva attack through Korea, aclvssora being introduced into Harbin organizations in large numbers. Gave examples Soviet woman doctor recently became head women's de. partment hospital and it was promptly ruled that hospital orders were ineffective without her countersignature. reports from two sources movements of troops and tanks Harbin-Changchun. Assuming movements Soviet troops into Manchuria, following, after native explanations, seems possible: 1) Noting similarity between evacuation American citizens and ones dependent 1940 and present, USSR believes USA in fact getting ready for war in Pacific; 2) Soviets are using allegation that war from side USA threatens in order get Chinese Communis'40a acquiescence their program to end that their hold shall be fastened unshakably on Manchuria; or 3) USSR itself plans war relatively near future (see COZY S 1276 August 1 and 1316 August 8). Personally judge second explanation most logical. Note informant, cited REFTEL, predicted Soviets were going to supply railway guards Manchuria. (Note possibility of use Sinkiang patterns particularly Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8 Approved For Re "e 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01S A000700190012-8 stationing Soviet brigade Iiami in guise local troops.) But if 1) seems ill. cal it is to be remembered Soviets are excessively suspicious, and if 3) seems premature it is to be remarked that Soviets have so corrupted their own thinking that their tinning may be different from that American side would consider facts warranted. All three alternatives, I feel are to be considered possible, if of unusual probability. This said, note that above reports unconfirmed and are sent at face value, and that previove reports of presence Soviet troops Manchuria have been unsubstantiated. Approved For Release 2001/03/02 : CIA-RDP78-01617A000700190012-8