Vladivostok (Владивосто́к, "ruler of the east") is Russia's largest port city on the Pacific Ocean and the administrative center of Primorsky Krai. It is situated at the head of the Golden Horn Bay not far from Russia's border with China and North Korea. It is the home port of the Russian Pacific Fleet.

Vladivostok in Days of Infamy[]

Vladivostok was the major port from which all weapons and supplies came from the United States to Russia. Due to the Non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Japan, these shipments landed at Vladivostok unmolested.

Vladivostok in The Hot War[]

Vladivostok was one of several cities in the Soviet sphere of influence the United States bombed with ordinary explosives on the night of 24 February 1951.[1] On 4 March, the United States sent multiple bombers to drop several atomic bombs on Vladivostok in retaliation for a series of attacks on U.S. cities two days before. The Soviets were prepared for the attack. Although the bombs were dropped, and Vladivostok was destroyed, only one U.S. bomber returned home.[2]

Vladivostok in "Last Flight of the Swan of the East"[]

In August 1914, a month into the Great War, a British businessman saw the Russian fleet massing leviathans at Vladivostok. He wrote about what he saw in The Straits Times. In September, German leviathan captain Karl von Müller was able to peruse the article, and realize that the Russian Pacific Fleet was preparing to attack Germany's ally, Japan.[3]

Vladivostok in "Ready for the Fatherland"[]

Vladivostok was destroyed by the United States with a sunbomb in retaliation for the Soviet Union's destruction of American-occupied Tokyo in 1953.

The incident threatened to escalate into full-out war, but the intervention of German ruler Erich von Manstein and the death of Joseph Stalin prevented that.[4]

Vladivostok in The War That Came Early[]

In April 1939, as the Soviet Union was locked in war with Germany and Poland, Japan launched an invasion of Soviet territory with the goal of taking Vladivostok. The Russians had dug in for a siege by digging vast amounts of trenches around the city and deploying lots of barbed wire and machine gun nests. The Soviets managed to hold out for a year until thousands, if not tens of thousands, of soldiers started surrendering due to a lack of food. Tenacious Soviet resistance had cost the Japanese many soldiers for every km. Many Japanese soldiers compared Vladivostok to the siege of Port Arthur in 1904-5.

By mid-1940, Vladivostok was starved into surrender. Concurrently, Germany was able to broker a peace with Britain and France, which saw them join Germany in its war against the USSR. In desperation, the Soviet government negotiated a peace that autumn at Khabarovsk. The peace treaty stipulated a mutual demilitarization of 21 km of the new border, put the best face on the humiliating fact of the Soviet Union having recognized the loss of Vladivostok and the eastern portion of Siberia. This peace allowed the USSR to concentrate resources on the more dangerous German invasion to its west and leave regaining Vladivostok to another time. Soviet troops captured Vladivostok were effectively abandoned to Unit 731.[5]

However, Stalin was far from resigned to the permanent loss of Vladivostok, regarding the agreement with Japan as a strictly temporary expedient. In 1944, the war with Germany was successfully concluded and the Soviet Army free for eastward deployment, while the US was in the midst of war with Japan and welcomed the option of an alliance. Thereupon, the Soviet Union broke the Khabarovsk Agreement, and launched a war aimed at regaining Vladivostok - and possibly going on to take something more from the Japanese.[6]

Vladivostok in Worldwar[]

As it became clear that Harbin would fall to the Race, Flight Leader Teerts who had been held captive by the Japanese in the city was evacuated to the port city of Vladivostok. From there, he was spirited across the sea to Japan.

After Harbin fell and Manchukuo was conquered, the Race then advanced on Vladivostok.[7] The Peace of Cairo two years later rendered the whole battle moot.


  1. Bombs Away, pg. 121.
  2. Ibid., pg. 165.
  3. Leviathans: Armored Skies, pgs. 317-318, loc. 4550-4568, ebook.
  4. See, e.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, tpb, pg. 92.
  5. The Big Switch, pgs. 320-321.
  6. Last Orders, pgs. 345-346.
  7. Tilting the Balance, pg. 22.