Relic retrieval and historical interpretation
The below Vesti report popped up this week showing a Russian Ministry of Defense expedition in the Northern Kuriles recovering old Japanese anti-tank guns/light artillery via helicopter. They are fairly well preserved considering they have been in a windswept saltwater environment for 75+ years. Of note, they also found reportedly 700 UXO items and kaboom’d same.
The island in question is Iturup (Yetorup) or as the Japanese call it, Etorofu-tō, and was part of the Japanese Empire from 1855 to 1945 when the Soviets came in and switched flags. Although Tokyo today still refers to it as an occupied island, the Russian news report, with Moscow’s own spin, says it was liberated by the Patriotic Red Army during WWII.
Iturup is perhaps best known in military history as the staging point for the six-carrier Japanese striking force (Kidô Butai) headed to Pearl Harbor in late November 1941.