Alternate History

Operation Manchurian Freedom (1983: Doomsday)

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Operation Manchurian Freedom
1983: Doomsday
Clockwise from left to right: Siberian tanks entering Northern Manchuria, Chinese civilians found dead near Mudanjiang, a Russian helicopter downed by Manchurian militants, Russian artillery shells militant positions.
Date April 1990 - 1991 (Invasion Phase)

1991 - 1995 (Post Invasion Phase)

Location Sino-Russian Border, Manchuria
Result Decisive Socialist Union Victory
  • Pacification of Sino-Siberian border
  • Siberian annexation of North Manchuria
  • Creation of the Manchurian Socialist Republic
  • Insurgency, foreign terrorist operations, and sectarian violence
  • Subsequent depletion of Manchurian insurgency
  • Increase in political stability and improvements in public security across Manchuria
Flag of the Soviet UnionUnion of Sovereign Socialist Republics Invasion (1990 - 1991)

Manchurian Militants
Chinese Raiders

Post Invasion (1991 - 1995)
Manchurian Insurgents

  • Supreme Command for Liberation
  • Army of the Northern Order
  • Jilin Insurgency
  • Southern Brotherhood of Manchuria
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Soviet UnionGeydar Aliyev
Flag of the Soviet Union 50,000 Origianal Force:

~5,000 Militia/Gang members

Manchurian Insurgents

Casualties and losses
1,697 killed by enemy action, 74 killed by friendly fire, 298 killed by in-theater accidents

Total: 2,069 Killed
1,657 wounded


Operation Manchurian Freedom, known by some local Manchurians as the First Manchurian War, was an armed conflict led by the Union of Sovereign Socialist Republics, consisting of an invasion of the the former Chinese provinces of Manchuria, and a period of occupation and combatance against a dwindling insurgency. The operation began in 1990 with the Siberian invasion of Northern Manchuria, ending in the annexation of the region by the USSR.

Operation Manchurian Freedom is often divided into two main phases, with the first phase only lasting a few short months, known as the Invasion Phase. This phase included an invasion of Manchuria starting on April 1990 by a Siberian invasion force. It was followed by a longer but sporadic and minor second phase of fighting, known as the Post Invasion, or Insurgency Phase, in which an insurgency emerged to try to oppose the occupying forces and the newly formed Manchurian government. Resistance to Siberian rule would continue largely until 1995, when Siberian officials declared that the insurgency had officially been exhausted, lacking proper supplies and reinforcements to continue.

The war is considered the largest conflict to erupt in the region since Doomsday, followed by the Second Manchurian War which would occur twenty-two years later following the bombing of a passenger train heading from Primorskaya Territory in Siberia to Korea, killing 137 people.


Before Doomsday the area of Manchuria was characterized by its importance manufacturing which contributed to the Chinese national infrastructure. Its industrial prominence and its key strategic location made the area a moderately targeted area on doomsday, receiving numerous nuclear strikes from the USSR, particularly along the coast and southern portions of the region. The local government was shattered immensely, leading to an increase in looting and other crimes. Several local military leaders would assume control of the area, fighting for dominance in the chaos. Several generals from the Shenyang Military Region, and the northern section of the Beijing Military Region would claim to be the true successors to the Chinese government, however to little success.

The lack of communication with Beijing and the Chinese command rendered any attempt to form some sort of government useless, with all declared factions in Manchuria eventually collapsing. Stationed officers in the region became warlords, trafficking small amounts of supplies for personal profit. Many fled into the USSR and other neighboring areas in the early months of the post-doomsday conflict. Others, struggling to survive would organize themselves into raiding parties, attacking Siberian frontier towns. Food and other necessities were in great demand for the Chinese, turning many to the border for basic supplies. The raiding soon became widespread, and with the Siberia government in chaos, defense of the border largely fell the Russian citizens themselves. Skirmishes and racial prejudice was common, leaving many dead along China National Highway 301, and other well traveled roads.

As order began to re-emerge in Siberia, the local Russian population petitioned the union for aid, as the defense of the region had become too much of an economic strain for the citizens. The Siberian government, tired of the problem, looked for a more permanent solution, hoping to establish a buffer between Siberia and lawless China to the south. Prominent Siberian generals and leaders met to decide how to end the problem once and for all. It was obvious from the start an assault into the chaos was going to be necessary, however most were unsure what the scale of the operation would be. It was decided that a sizable numbers of troops would be sent in, engaging any potential militants. After the plan was completed soldiers were gathered for the assault, operating under the code name of Operation Manchurian Freedom.


Outbreak of War

In 1990, Geydar Aliyev, leader of the Union of Sovereign Socialist Republics, approved a plan to invade Northern Manchuria by the end of spring that year. Supplies were gathered and guards were established in Zabaykalsky Krai and Amur to stale opposition in time for an army to be gathered. In April the invasion commenced as units from the 7th and 35th armies crossed into Manchuria.

Once past the border the Siberians encountered almost no organized resistance of any kind. Making quick advances south, armored Siberian convoys were primarily tasked with patrolling towns to ensure that the small insurgency formed to resist the Siberians were kept out. The opposition primarily relied on guerrilla attacks in urban settings and the use of improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military actions, to slow down the Siberians and inflict casualties, knowing that direct assault would like end horribly for the insurgency. 

North Manchuria was temporarily designated as a territory and put under military rule. The territory consisted of the Russian occupied zone up to that point, reaching into southern Heilongjiang. It was not until November 1995 that the Territory was integrated as a state in the Union and was renamed the Manchurian Socialist Republic.

For the next several months Siberian forces were primarily tasked with pacifying the newly created Manchurian territory. Small scattered attacks were common, led by Manchurian militants operating under a perceived insurgency. Unorganized and unsupported the early insurgency was unable to make any noteworthy strikes against the now firmly entrenched Siberian government, and was largely diminished.

Siberian Rule

The few raids taking place directly after the liberation, lacking any real support, were viewed mostly as small acts of terrorism from the government as well as the locals. Over the course of the next few months after the creation of the Siberian territory in the north, the Siberians would fortify their defenses in strategic and tactical areas, along with major population centers. These would fight dozens of small attacks launched from the south and west, primarily targeting civilian populations or minor infrastructure.

An uneasy peace would descend in the area after the initial period of fighting. Troops would assist the locals in the reconstruction of many damaged regions and roads and infrastructure would be repaired to make trading and the arrival of supplies easier. Troops would remain on alert for the next few months, but most would feel the bulk of the fighting completed. This was not to last more than a couple of years. Reports continued coming in throughout 1993 of small scale troop movements and attacks outside the area of control of Siberia and troops were put on high alert in case of a rebel strike against Siberian installations or within controlled cities.

Insurgency Phase

By 1993 the few remaining Manchurian insurgents willing to fight were rallied, and launched a few organized attacks against Siberian held positions and villages from the western region of Manchuria to try to drive out the Siberians. After establishing a small network of local spies and weapons traffickers in the region over the course of the early Post Invasion Phase, the insurgents would launch its first major series of attacks in early April of 1993. The militia managed to salvage enough supplies to launch a small offensive against the Siberian garrison near the border.

Fighting between insurgency fighters and Siberian forces culminated in a final assault on the small town of Linkou in April 1993, in which the last of the militia attempted to engage a nearby Siberian patrol. Over the course of the next two weeks the insurgents were repeatedly beaten back, inflicting 87 deaths and 542 wounded, while suffering an estimated 1,500 deaths. The Siberian forces in the area would chase down any remaining loyal forces to the insurgency. Ultimately the insurgency's efforts in the region failed, resulting in a massive blow to the resistance effort, and beginning the end for the insurgency.

The battle proved to the Siberian generals in the region that the Manchurian threat was still a formidable force, operating to some degree within their borders, although dwindling. Plans for an end to the rebels were written, beginning in May of 1993 with the movement of Siberian veterans farther south. It was decided the whole northern area would need to be pacified, rounding up any suspected insurgent. Many prominent insurgency members panicked, ordering their ragtag forces into Jilin. In the north Chinese forces would engage the Siberian reinforcements at the Battle of Zalantun, holding back the Siberians for a few hours to slow down their advance, although this was futile and barely managed to halt the Siberians.


Remaining forces in the area were rallied, leading the insurgency forces south to surround the Siberian advance and support rebels in the area, who was now largely collapsed. The Siberian forces caught up to the fleeing insurgents on 1 June 1993, entering the potentially hostile city of Fuyu. The Chinese were able to create defenses out of the city’s rubble, creating a valiant defense against the Siberians, who were using artillery brought in from the north. The rebel insurgents would be pinned down at Ulan Hot by the Siberian flank, preventing reinforcements from arriving in time. On 5 June the few insurgents in the city had surrendered, and the rebel leaders was captured.

Several insurgency leaders were later transferred to a prisoner camp in the northwest, facing malnutrition and disease, leading to several attempting to lead escapes, ending in their execution. Others being investigated by the Siberians were believed to have been killed in Siberian artillery barrages or patrols, resulting in many insurgency forces completely abandoning the war effort.

The USSR would station soldiers in the city of Mudanjiang in the east, one of the last main hubs of resistance against the invasion. The Chinese raiders would be completely wiped out, with the engagement leading to the destruction of major opposition forces and draw a conclusion to Operation Manchurian Freedom.


In 1991 the territory of Northern Manchuria was annexed by the USSR, ending the main phase of invasion. This area would remain under Siberian rule, although control at the start would be difficult at best, as the Siberians faced waves of scattered insurgency. Although the hostilities would eventually diminish or be eliminated, the Siberians had underestimated the size of the unorganized insurgency that would be willing to continue fighting. Rounding up of many runaway militiamen would finally be completed by 1995 and the Siberians solidified their control over the area, leading to the pacification of the Sino-Siberian border. With the north firmly in Siberian hands, the Manchurian Socialist Republic was declared in 1995, encompassing the former Siberian territory of northern Manchuria and a large section of the Siberian occupied area. 

Imperial China would continue its hostile stance toward the USSR following the war. The Qing believe that the USSR annexed several of their "fiefdoms" to the north out of "pure hostility and with brute force". This hatred would finally culminate in the Second Manchurian War, with the Siberian offensive known as Operation Mars. By the August of 2012, Imperial China was occupied and the USSR would reconstitute the Manchurian Territory - ending Chinese resistance in the south for good.

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