the island of Paramushir on the left , the southern tip of Kamchatka on the right
Shumshu is just under 2 kilometers northeast of Severo-Kurilsk on the island of Paramushir - separated by a narrow sound, the Second Kuril Strait - and 11 km southwest of Cape Lopatka , the southern tip of the Asian peninsula of Kamchatka , from which it is separated by the Kuril Strait . The island is almost 30 km long, up to 20 km wide and has an area of 388 km². At 189 m above sea level, Shumshu is only a low altitude compared to other Kuril Islands. The landscape is characterized by the marshland with numerous small lakes.
Shumshu was originally inhabited by the Ainu people, but because of its proximity to the mainland, it was visited by Russian hunters and (fur) traders as early as the 18th century. In 1855 the island became Russian territory through the Treaty of Shimoda , and in 1875 it became Japanese territory again through the Treaty of Saint Petersburg . Because of its close proximity to Russia, the island was heavily fortified. a. the Kataoka Air Force Base was built, which was later renamed Baikowo . On August 18, 1945, three days after the Gyokuon-hōsō , Shumschu was the first of the Kuril Islands to be attacked by the Soviet Union and taken after heavy fighting on August 21. It has belonged to Soviet territory since 1946 and Russian territory since 1991. Japan gave up all claims to the island in the 1951 peace treaty of San Francisco . The base and town of Baikowo on the west coast are abandoned today.
- G. Gilbo: Sprawotschnik po istorii geografitscheskich naswani na pobereschje SSSR . Ministerstwo oborony Soiusa SSR, Glaw. upr. nawigazii i okeanografii, 1985, p. 397. (Russian)