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While the Soviet Union was pushing through Nazi occupied Eastern Europe, the Soviet government began moving to annex the Tuvan People's Republic. On October 11, 1944, a referendum was approved to incorporate Tuva into the Soviet Union as the Tuvan Soviet People's Socialist Republic.
On August 9, 1945, the Soviet Union invaded Japanese held Manchuria, the Karafuto Prefecture on Sakhalin island, and the Kuril Islands. By August 20, the Soviets had managed to take control over most of Manchuria and inflicted heavy losses on the Imperial Japanese Army. As the Soviets were preparing to invade Korea, the Western Allies invaded the Japanese island of Kyushu on November 1st.
In response to the American landings in Kyushu, Joseph Stalin pushed his commanders to launch and invasion of Hokkaido to begin by November 5th. By January 19, 1946, the Soviets occupied all of Hokkaido. After facing higher casualties and fiercer resistance than originally expected, Soviet High Command decided to wait until June of 1946 to invade northern Honshu.
On June 9th, 1946, Marshal Alexandr Vasilevsky was tasked with leading the invasion of northern Honshu. Soviet forces soon faced a protracted guerrilla war as they began pushing down through the Tohaku region.
On January 7th, 1947, the United States dropped the worlds first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, hoping it would convince the Japanese to surrender. When this did not occur they bombed Kokura three days later. A planned bombing of the port of Niigata was chosen as the third site, mainly to prevent it from allowing the Imperial Army from moving forces out of China to defend the home islands. The city if Niigata was heavily defended as it laid in the Chubu Fortress, a region in central Honshu heavily defended naturally by its high mountains and anti-aircraft defense along with several air bases built into the surrounding mountains. The Western Allies worked closely with the Soviets to eliminate this threat.
The code name Operation Red Star began on January 12th, 1947, and saw the largest air battle in history as some three-thousand Soviet aircraft battle approximately over two-thousand Japanese fighters. The Soviets managed to defeat the defenders, severely crippling the last remains of the Japanese air forces and destroyed the city of Nagano through heavy bombing. With the Imperial forces either destroyed or thrown into disorder, the city of Niigata was destroyed by US when it dropped the atomic bomb.
After Sendai (January 17th, 1947) and Maebashi (January 30th) were destroyed by atomic fire and the Soviet capture of Emperor Hirohito (who was overthrown and imprisoned by radicals in the Imperial Army before the Battle of Tokyo), the Empire of Japan surrendered to the Allies, ending the Second World War. Japan was divided much like Germany, Austria, and Korea. The Soviets occupied the northern part; America occupied most of central Honshu, Britain Shikoku, and Australia Kyushu and the Ryukyu Islands; China occupied all of Honshu west of Kyoto and Osaka. Tokyo was occupied by all five Allied nations; Kyoto and Osaka were divided between China and the Western Allies. On May 3rd, 1947, the southern half of Japan became the State of Japan, and although it was independent, it wouldn't be until 1957 when the last of the official occupation forces left.
To counter the formation of West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany) and West Austria (Republic of Austria) in Europe and South Korea (Republic of Korea) in Asia in 1949, the Soviets formed East Germany (German Democratic Republic), East Austria (Democratic Republic of Austria), North Korea (People's Democratic Republic of Korea), and North Japan (Aftermath) (People's Republic of Japan). The Soviet Union had also established communist puppet regimes in the other occupied states of Eastern Europe.
After WWII ended, Greece and Turkey were engulfed in civil war against communism. In Turkey, the communist forces were defeated in 1949 with the help of US aid, but in Greece, the communists took control of the mainland and most of the islands in the Aegean Sea in 1949. The newly formed UN prevented the Communists from invading Crete, now the last bastion of the former Greek state. The UN eventually chose to accept both the Hellenic People's Republic (commonly called Greece) and the Hellenic Republic (commonly called the Cretan State, or just Crete) to the UN in 1972. The Greek and Turkish Civil Wars, along with the establishment of satellite states in Eastern Europe, deeply strained relations between the USSR and the West.