battle of khalkhin gol

I always loved the history behind this picture, the proof that WWII was really a global conflict:

Yang Kyoungjong (March 3, 1920 – April 7, 1992) was a Korean soldier who fought in the Imperial Japanese Army, the Soviet Red Army, and later the German Wehrmacht.

In 1938, at the age of 18, Yang was in Manchuria when he was conscripted into the Kwantung Army of the Imperial Japanese Army to fight against the Soviet Union. At the time Korea was ruled by Japan. During the Battles of Khalkhin Gol, he was captured by the Soviet Red Army and sent to a labour camp. Because of the manpower shortages faced by the Soviets in its fight against Nazi Germany, in 1942 he was pressed into fighting in the Red Army along with thousands of other prisoners, and was sent to the European eastern front.

In 1943, he was captured by Wehrmacht soldiers in Ukraine during the Third Battle of Kharkov, and was then pressed into fighting for Germany. Yang was sent to Occupied France to serve in a battalion of Soviet prisoners of war known as an “Eastern Battalion”, located on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy, close to Utah Beach. After the D-Day landings in northern France by the Allied forces, Yang was captured by paratroopers of the United States Army in June 1944. The Americans initially believed him to be Japanese in German uniform, and he was placed in a prisoner-of-war camp in the United Kingdom. At the time, Lieutenant Robert Brewer of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, reported that his regiment had captured four Asians in German uniform after the Utah Beach landings, and that initially no one was able to communicate with them. Yang was sent to a prison camp in Britain. Later he was transferred to a camp in the United States. After he was released at the end of the war, he settled in Illinois where he lived until his death in 1992.

Georgy Zhukov

Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov (December 1, 1896 - June 18 1974),, political, military and Marshal of the Soviet Union, considered one of the most prominent commanders of World War II.

He is known for defeating the Japanese in 1939 during the battles of khalkhin gol and during World War II for his victories against the Germans in the battles of Moscow, Stalingrad, Leningrad, Kursk, in Operation Bagration and the capture of Berlin.

Japanese tanks at Khalkhin Gol. The Soviet/Mongolian force, led by Zhukov, soundly defeated the Japanese over the four months of combat, playing a significant role in deterring later Japanese involvement in Germany’s plan to take on the USSR.

(AP)