Sino-Russian War
Part of the Cold War and Sino-Russian Territorial Disputes
Date 1 May 1963 - 25 October 1967
Location Sino-Russian Border
  • Manchuria
    • Yellow Sea
    • Bohai Sea
    • Korea Bay
  • Mongolia
  • Sea of Japan (briefly)
Result Stalemate; Treaty of Harbin signed
New Chinese Imperial Flag Republican Chinese Empire Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Empire of Russia
Commanders and leaders
New Chinese Imperial Flag Sun Tai-hong
New Chinese Imperial Flag Mao Zedong
New Chinese Imperial Flag Chiang Kai-shek
New Chinese Imperial Flag Bai Chongxi
New Chinese Imperial Flag Sun Li-jen
New Chinese Imperial Flag Lin Biao†
New Chinese Imperial Flag Deng Xiaoping
New Chinese Imperial Flag Su Yu
New Chinese Imperial Flag Fu Zouyi†
New Chinese Imperial Flag Xue Yue
Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Vladmir II
Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Ivan Boris
Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Alexi Putin†
Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Yuri Gorbachev†
Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Aleksei Brusilov
Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Vasily Chuikov
Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Anton Denikin†
Flag of the Russian Imperial Republic Leonid Govorov
540,000 - 967,000 678,000 - 1,000,000
Casualties and losses
163,117 KIA
257,000 WIA
40,000 POW
17,000 of other causes
239,176 KIA
411,000 WIA
30,000 POW
16,500 of other causes

 The Sino-Russian War was an armed conflict between the Republican Chinese and Russian Empires. It lasted from 1963 to 1967. It was fought over territory in the Sino-Russian border and divided into two campaigns; the largely unsuccessful Mongolian Campaign and the heated Manchurian Campaign. 


Since the 1940s, Russia and China had territorial disputes in Mongolia and Manchuria. When Vladmir I, the Emperor of Russia, died in 1952 and his son Vladmir II ascended the throne, he began planning for an eventual invasion of the "rightfully Russian territory of Mongolia". Meanwhile in China, Sun Yat-sen and his son and successor, Sun Fo, and his son and successor, Sun Tai-hong have been completely unaware of the Russian threat.  

Initial Russian Invasion and Operation: Qilin

On the early morning 1st May 1963, 3 Russian tank regiments, supported by 5000 troops, 2 air squadrons, and 50 artillery pieces crossed the Sino-Russian border across the Amur River into China. For the next 7 months, the Chinese, who were taken completely by surprise and could not assemble units quick enought, desperately fought back but were overwhelmed the Russian army, who were well prepared. By December of 1963, Beijing had fallen to the Russians and the Emperor and his family relocated their capital and base of operations to Shanghai. Just a few days after the Russian invasion of Manchuria, Russian troops crossed the Sino-Russian border at Mongolia and proceeded to capture the northern half of the Mongolian Autonomous Province, which was sparsely defended. The Chinese Army Mongolia proceeded to lead an unsuccessful offensive against the Russian invaders known as Qilin. 

Battle of Ulaanbaatar

The Russian army and air force, still gaining major victories in Northern Mongolia, decided to invade the Chinese-held city of Ulaanbaatar. In the early hours of 4 April 1964, Ivan's Fist (17th Russian Royal Dive bomber Division) flies from Moron to Ulaanbaatar and begins dive bombing military positions in the city. In response, Field Marshall Deng Xiaoping led 3 tank regiments to attack the Russians.

Chinese Counterattack

Battle of Tianjin

Sino-Russian War 1963-64 Map

At 15:30, March 10th 1965, after being able to consolidate their forces, General Chiang Kai-shek and Lt. General Mao Zedong led a group of 13,000 soldiers into the city of Tianjin. Russian machine guns and tanks began firing as soon as the Chinese troops came into view. The Chinese, in order to avoid getting shot, used a three prong assault on the Russians. Mao's troops quickly overwhelmed the the right flank of the Russian, allowing Chiang's troops to charge the Russians. The Russian troops called in reinforcements from nearby Beijing, which allowed them to push the Chinese back from the city Field Marshall Deng Xiaoping led 3 tank regiments to attack the Russians in Inner Mongolia with mixed results.

By late July 1965, the Russians had been pushed back into northern Manchuria and the Chinese were regaining territory.

Battle of Jilin

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