The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s 2013 Kangas Lecture will focus on a critical early battle that shaped the course of World War II.
Stuart D. Goldman, a scholar-in-residence at the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, will discuss his book, “Nomonhan, 1939: The Red Army’s Victory That Shaped World War II,” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Davis Senior Center, 646 A St. The annual OLLI event is free and open to all.
Goldman argues that a little-known Soviet-Japanese conflict along the Manchurian-Mongolian frontier influenced the outbreak of World War II. The author draws on Japanese, Soviet and Western sources to put the obscure conflict in its proper perspective.
The book describes how the Soviet Union, in response to a border conflict provoked by Japan, launched an offensive in August 1939 that wiped out the Japanese forces at Nomonhon. At the same time, Josef Stalin signed the German-Soviet Nonagression Pact, allowing Nazi Germany to invade Poland.
Goldman not only links the conflict with the outbreak of World War II, he also shows how it influenced Japan’s decision to attack the United States.
OLLI at UC Davis Extension offers courses and events for seniors. For more information, call 530-752-0881 or visit www.extension.ucdavis.edu/olli.