I am writing a historical fiction novel with a North Korean protagonist joining anti-Japanese guerrilla forces in Manchuria in 1944.

I understand that major anti-Japanese resistance in Manchuria was eradicated in 1941 and Kim il sung retired to the border of the USSR.

What anti-Japanese guerrilla groups were still active during this time?

  • 2
    1945-1946? Manchuria was captured by the SU during Operation August Storm in August 1945, and Japan surrendered that same month. While famously some Japanese soldiers kept holdouts in remote Pacific islands (and in these the Japanese were the guerrilla units). Also, AFAIK evacuation from China was more ordered and complete. I doubt that there was any Japanese forces to resist against during from September/October 1945 onwards... Is the date range correct?
    – SJuan76
    Commented Jan 16, 2019 at 20:30
  • @SJuan76 Manchuria was a lawless place before the Communist takeover. Many of the anti-Japanese guerilla groups would have remained, either as bandits or local militia. Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 0:40
  • Thanks. But the time period is 1944-45
    – Marko
    Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 0:43
  • Your question title said 1945-1946, which caused the confusion. I changed it to 1944-1945, based on your comment and the question body. If I should not have, just change it back. Also, welcome to the group. Commented Jan 18, 2019 at 19:11

2 Answers 2


There was an "army" called "Northeast Anti Japanese United Army" ( English Wiki ) organized under the main control of the Communist Party Of China ( the name then ).

But as you can read at the link,

At the peak of their activities, NAJUA had a force of 10,000 troops. They launched the guerrilla warfare in the rear of Japanese army, who was invading the main land China. Japanese army realized that NAJUA was the main threat to their operation in the mainland China. So Japanese army, together with Manchukuo army, began the operations to sweep NAJUA in mid-1930. Like NAJUA, Manchkuo army included many Korean officers who pledged their loyalty to Japan. Such Korean officers were Park Chung-Hee, Baek Seon Yeop, and Jeong Il-Gwon, who later became the full generals in South Korean Army and (after May 16 coup) high rank officials in South Korean government. And Manchkuo army had a special troop, Jiandao Teshedui (Chinese: 間島特設隊, Korean: 간도특설대), which consisted mainly of Koreans. They assumed the most difficult tasks to attack NAJUA.

As the offensive of Japanese army got fierce, NAJUA suffered heavy casualties. Many of their soldiers were dead or taken prisoner. Moreover, Japanese military intelligence allured or tortured NAJUA prisoners to convert to Japanese side. The converted one assisted Japanese to attack their ex-comrades. In his autobiography, Segiwa Deobuleo (세기와 더불어), Kim Il-Sung recalled that such conversions of ex-comrades were more painful than Japanese fierce offensive or tough climate in Manchuria. By these reasons, NAJUA could not make activities in Manchuria any more. By the order of CPC, NAJUA escaped to the USSR. There, they were formally incorporated to the Red Army, as the 88th International Brigade, but they kept the organization of NAJUA. The troops remaining in Manchuria were totally annihilated by Japanese. The escaped troops stayed in USSR until the war ended. After Japan surrendered, Koreans and Chinese went back to their own countries and began the revolutionary activities there.

So unfortunately there was no group called an "army" even the size of the "organized group" as of 1944 largely active in anti Japanese activities. It was until the USSR invaded Manchuria that the "anti-Japanese" activities started to "function".

  • Please be noted Japanese Wiki is more detailed. And the estimated number of the first Northeast Anti Japanese Army ( aka 1st Route Army of Communist China Party ) is 6,000. But the conclusion is the same, they were eradicated completely, forced out to USSR....
    – user12387
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 11:47

There were token forces of the Communist Eighth Route Army (three divisions, one under Lin Piao), in Manchuria early in 1945. During the fall of the year, after the Japanese left, Lin pushed "several" more divisions into the region, and substantially captured it for the Communists (except the big cities).

Many Koreans in the region joined the Eighth Route Army until after the end of the war, which saw their return to (North) Korea, and their participation in that country's Communist army.

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