Damansky Island Conflict (1969)

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
Here's a pic you don't see every day: Chinese PLA and Soviet Red Army troops confront each other, on Damansky island, on the Amur river between Russia and China, in the 60s

The conflict there went on since Khrushchev took over and denounced Stalin, which greatly offended Mao in Beijing.

The Chinese incursions erupted ever since on that disputed tiny river island.

At first, neither side wanted to actually shoot at each other. Instead, troops on both sides carried their rifles unloaded and used them as clubs in the brawls that broke out lol

(a group of Chinese attempt to advance on the Soviet line; they would have an officer there, reciting loudly, shouting, really, from Mao's Little Red Book, to encourage his guys haha)

The Chinese would attempt to overwhelm with sheer superior numbers, while the Russians, at some point, began to use APCs and long wooden poles to drive them back


This went on for a time; until, finally, the Chinese mounted an actual armed assault, using tanks and artillery; USSR responded with rockets

This was the first ever use of BM-21 "Grad" ("Hail") in combat. And it devastated the hell out of the unsuspecting Chinese, with their corpses and wrecked and burned vehicles littering the area after...

Red Army also lost dozens of men in this conflict

Today, that whole border area has finally been demarcated

The Chinese now get Damansky or whatever they called it, turn for ceding other disputed islands to Russia

They've built a museum about the conflict there

Overall though, nobody wants to bring it up any more: Russia and China are allies today

No need to remind anyone of the bad times ;)

But, yeah, that did happen, back in 1969, Russians and Chinese did kill each other...