Russo–Japanese War ( ; Romaji: Nichi-Ro Sensō; Russko-Yaponskaya
Voyna; , 10 February 1904 – 5 September 1905) or the
Manchurian Campaign in some English sources, was a conflict that
grew out of the rival imperial ambitions
of the Russian
Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and
Korea. The major theatres of operations were
Southern Manchuria, specifically the area around the Liaodong
Peninsula and Mukden, the seas
around Korea, Japan, and the Yellow Sea.
Russians were in constant pursuit of a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean, for their navy as well as for maritime
trade. The recently established Pacific seaport of
Vladivostok was only operational during the summer season, but
Arthur would be operational all year.
From the end
of the First Sino-Japanese
and 1903, negotiations between the Tsar
's government and Japan had proved futile. Japan
chose war to maintain exclusive dominance in Korea. All European
countries expected that Russia would ultimately win.
The resulting campaigns, in which the fledgling Japanese military
consistently attained victory over the Russian forces arrayed
against them, were unexpected by world observers. These victories,
as time transpired, would dramatically transform the balance of
power in East Asia, resulting in a reassessment of Japan's recent
entry onto the world stage. The embarrassing string of defeats
inflamed the Russian people's dissatisfaction with their
inefficient and corrupt Tsarist government, and proved a major
cause of the Russian
Revolution of 1905
Origins of the Russo-Japanese war
After the Meiji Restoration
1868, the Meiji government embarked on an endeavor to assimilate
Western ideas, technological advances and customs. By the late 19th
century, Japan had emerged from isolation and transformed itself
into a modernized industrial state in a remarkably short time. The
Japanese wished to preserve their sovereignty and to be recognized
as an equal with the Western powers.
Russia, a major Imperial power, had ambitions in the East.
1890s it had extended its realm across Central Asia to Afghanistan, absorbing local states in the process.
Russian Empire stretched from Poland in the west to the Kamchatka peninsula in the East. With its construction
of the Trans-Siberian Railway
to the port of Vladivostok, Russia hoped to further consolidate its influence
and presence in the region.
This was precisely what Japan
feared, as they regarded Korea (and to a lesser extent Manchuria)
as a protective buffer.
Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895)
regarded Korea, which was close to Japan, as an essential part of
its national security; Japan's population explosion and economic
needs were also factored into Japanese foreign policy.
Japanese wanted, at the very least, to keep Korea independent, if
not under Japanese influence. Japan's subsequent defeat of China during the
First Sino-Japanese War led
to the Treaty of Shimonoseki
under which China abandoned
its own suzerainty over Korea and ceded
Taiwan, Pescadores and the Liaodong Peninsula (Port
Arthur) to Japan.
their own ambitions in the region persuaded Germany and France to
apply pressure on Japan.
Through the Triple Intervention
, Japan relinquished
its claim on the Liaodong Peninsula for an increased financial
In December 1897, a Russian
fleet appeared off Port Arthur. After three months, in 1898, a
convention was agreed between China and Russia by which Russia was
leased Port Arthur, Talienwan and the surrounding waters. It was
further agreed that the convention could be extended by mutual
agreement. The Russians clearly believed that would be the case for
they lost no time in occupation and in fortifying Port Arthur,
their sole warm-water port on the Pacific coast, and of great
strategic value. A year later, in order to consolidate their
position, the Russians began a new railway from Harbin through
Mukden to Port Arthur.
The development of the
railway was a contributory factor towards the Boxer Rebellion
and the railway stations at
Tiehling and Lioyang were burnt.The Russians also began to make
inroads into Korea, by 1898 they acquired mining and forestry
concessions near Yalu and Tumen rivers, causing the Japanese much
anxiety. Japan decided to strike before the Trans-Siberian Railway
The Boxer Rebellion
The Russians and the Japanese were both part of the eight member international force
was sent in to quell the Boxer
and to relieve the international legations under
siege in the Chinese capital. As with other member nations, the
Russians sent troops into China, specifically Manchuria
to protect its interests. Russia assured
other powers that it would vacate the area after the crisis.
However, by 1903 the Russians had not yet adhered to any timetable
for withdrawal and actually strengthened their position in
The Japanese statesman, Itō
, started to negotiate with the Russians. He believed
that Japan was too weak to evict Russia militarily, so he proposed
giving Russia control over Manchuria in exchange for Japanese
control of northern Korea. Meanwhile, Japan and Britain
had signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance
in 1902, the
British seeking to restrict naval competition by keeping the
Russian Pacific seaports of Vladivostok and Port Arthur from their
full use. The alliance with the British meant, in part, that if any
nation allied itself with Russia during any war with Japan, then
Britain would enter the war on Japan's side. Russia could no longer
count on receiving help from either Germany or France without there
being a danger of the British involvement with the war. With such
an alliance, Japan felt free to commence hostilities, if
July 1903, the Japanese Minister at St. Petersburg was instructed to represent his country's view
opposing Russia's consolidation plans over Manchuria.
Trade-offs followed and the situation was
reached on 13 January 1904 whereby Japan proposed a formula of
Manchuria being outside her sphere of
influence and sought in return a similar statement relating to
Russia's discontinuing interest in Korea.
February 1904, no formal reply had been forthcoming and on the 6th
February Mr. Kurino Shinichiro, the Japanese Minister, called on
the Russian Foreign Minister, Count
, to take his leave. Japan severed diplomatic relations
on 6 February 1904.
A "sense of urgency" within the Japanese government was now
prevalent and they sought to acquire naval submarines from a
"neutral" government as quickly as possible. Several months
thereafter, the Imperial Japanese
purchased five Holland Type VII-P
submarines from the American Electric Boat Company
. They were assembled
at Fore River Ship and Engine
Company of Quincy, Massachusetts by December 1904.
These first of five
submarines were shipped to the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal
direction of Arthur Leopold
. Busch was a naval architect and shipbuilder who was
responsible for the IJN's first fleet of underwater craft –
delivered and (reassembled) under his direction on behalf of the
Electric Boat Company in 1905. Another Electric Boat
representative, Frank Cable
was sent to
Japan in the summer of 1905 to train the IJN (officers) in the
handling and operation of these underwater naval craft.
Declaration of War
Japan issued a declaration of war
on 8 February 1904. However, three hours before Japan's declaration
of war was received by the Russian Government, the Imperial Japanese Navy
Russian Far East
at Port Arthur. Tsar Nicholas
was stunned by news of the attack. He could not believe that
Japan would commit an act of war without a formal declaration, and
had been assured by his ministers that the Japanese would not
fight. Russia declared war on Japan eight days later. However, the
requirement to declare war before commencing hostilities was not
made international law until after the war had ended in October
1907, effective from 26 January 1910. Montenegro also declared war against Japan as a gesture of
moral support for Russia out of gratitude for Russian support in
Montenegro's struggles against the Ottoman Empire.
However, due to
logistical reasons and distance, Montenegro's contribution to the
war effort was limited to those Montenegrins
who served in the Russian armed
Campaign of 1904
Arthur, on the Liaodong
Peninsula in the south of Manchuria, had been fortified into
a major naval base by the Imperial Russian Army.
Battlefields in the Russo-Japanese
needed to control the sea in order to fight a war on the Asian
mainland, Japan's first military objective was to neutralize the
Russian fleet at Port Arthur.
Battle of Port Arthur
On the night of 8 February 1904, the Japanese fleet under Admiral
opened the war with
a surprise torpedo boat attack on the Russian ships at Port Arthur.
The attack badly damaged the Tsesarevich
heaviest battleships in Russia's far Eastern theater, and the 6,600
ton cruiser Pallada
. These attacks
developed into the Battle of Port Arthur the next morning.
A series of indecisive
naval engagements followed, in which Admiral Togo was unable to
attack the Russian fleet successfully as it was protected by the
shore batteries of the harbor, and the Russians were reluctant to
leave the harbor for the open seas, especially after the death of
Admiral Stepan Osipovich
on 13 April 1904.
these engagements provided cover for a Japanese landing near
Incheon in Korea. From Incheon the Japanese occupied
Seoul and then the rest of Korea.
By the end of
April, the Imperial Japanese Army under Kuroki Itei
was ready to cross the Yalu river
into Russian-occupied Manchuria.
Battle of Yalu River
contrast to the Japanese strategy of rapidly gaining ground to
control Manchuria, Russian strategy focused on fighting delaying
actions to gain time for reinforcements to arrive via the long
Trans-Siberian railway which
was at the time incomplete near Irkutsk.
On 1 May 1904, the Battle of Yalu River
first major land battle of the war, when Japanese troops stormed a
Russian position after an unopposed river crossing. Japanese troops
proceeded to land at several points on the Manchurian coast, and,
in a series of engagements, drove the Russians back towards Port
Arthur. These battles, including the Battle of Nanshan
on 25 May 1904, were
marked by heavy Japanese losses from attacking entrenched Russian
positions, but the Russians maintained their focus on defending,
and did not counterattack.
Blockade of Port Arthur
The Japanese attempted to deny the Russians use of Port Arthur.
During the night of 13 February – 14 February, the Japanese
attempted to block the entrance to Port Arthur by sinking several
cement-filled steamers in the deep water channel to the port, but
they sank too deep to be effective. Another similar attempt to
block the harbor entrance during the night of 3–4 May also failed.
In March, the charismatic Vice Admiral Makarov had taken command of
the First Russian Pacific Squadron with the intention of breaking
out of the Port Arthur blockade.
On 12 April 1904, two Russian pre-dreadnought
battleships, the flagship
and the Pobeida
slipped out of port but struck Japanese mines off Port Arthur. The
sank almost immediately, while the
had to be towed back to port for extensive
repairs. Admiral Makarov, the single most effective Russian naval
strategist of the war, had perished on the battleship
On 15 April 1904, the Russian government made overtures threatening
to seize the British war
who were taking the ship Haimun
into warzones to report for the
citing concerns about the possibility of the British giving away
Russian positions to the Japanese fleet.
The Russians learned quickly, and soon employed the Japanese tactic
of offensive minelaying. On 15 May 1904, two Japanese battleships,
were lured into a recently laid Russian minefield off Port Arthur,
each striking at least two mines. The Hatsuse
minutes, taking 450 sailors with her, while the Yashima
sank while under tow towards Korea for repairs. On 23 June 1904, a
breakout attempt by the Russian squadron, now under the command of
Admiral Wilgelm Vitgeft
the end of the month, Japanese artillery were firing shells into
Battle of the Yellow Sea
began a long siege of
Port Arthur. On 10 August 1904, the Russian fleet again
attempted to break out and proceed to Vladivostok, but upon reaching the open sea were confronted by
Admiral Togo's battleship squadron. Known to the Russians
as the Battle of
August 10 , but more commonly referred to as the Battle of
the Yellow Sea, battleships from both sides exchanged
The battle had the elements of a decisive battle,
though Admiral Togo knew that another Russian battleship fleet
would soon be sent to the Pacific. The Japanese had only one
battleship fleet and Togo had already lost two battleships to
Russian mines. The Russian and Japanese battleships continued to
exchange gunfire, until the Russian flagship, the battleship
received a direct hit on the bridge, killing the fleet commander,
Admiral Vitgeft. At this, the Russian fleet turned around and
headed back into Port Arthur. Though no warships were sunk by
either side in the battle, the Russians were now back in port and
the Japanese navy still had battleships to meet the new Russian
fleet when it arrived.
Siege and Fall of Port Arthur
Port Arthur continued, Japanese troops tried numerous frontal
assaults on the fortified hilltops overlooking the harbor, which
were defeated with Japanese casualties in the thousands.
Eventually, though, with the aid of several batteries of 11-inch
(280 mm) Krupp howitzers, the Japanese were finally able to capture
the key hilltop bastion in December 1904. From this vantage point,
the long-range artillery was able to shell the Russian fleet, which
was unable to retaliate effectively against the land-based
artillery and was unable or unwilling to sortie out against the
blockading fleet. Four Russian battleships and two cruisers were
sunk in succession, with the fifth and last battleship being forced
to scuttle a few weeks later. This constituted the sinking of all
capital ships of the Russian fleet in the Pacific, and was likely
the only example in military history when such a scale of
devastation was achieved by land-based artillery against major
Meanwhile, on land, attempts to relieve the
besieged city by land also failed, and, after the Battle of Liaoyang in late August, the
northern Russian force that may have been able to relieve Port
Arthur retreated to Mukden (Shenyang).
Major General Anatoly Stessel
commander of the Port Arthur garrison, believed that the purpose of
defending the city was lost after the fleet was destroyed. Several
large underground mines were exploded in late December, resulting
in the costly capture of a few more pieces of the defensive line.
Still, the Russian defenders were effecting a disproportionate
scale of casualties each time the Japanese attacked, and the
garrison was still well-stocked with months of food and
Despite this, Stessel decided to surrender to the surprised
Japanese generals on 2 January 1905. He made this decision without
the consultation of the other military staff present or of the Tsar
and military command, who all disagreed with the choice. Stessel
was convicted by a court-martial in 1908 and sentenced to death for
his incompetent defense and disobeying orders, though he was later
Meanwhile, at sea, the Russians were
preparing to reinforce the Far East Fleet by sending the Baltic Fleet, under Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky The fleet sailed
around the world from the Baltic Sea to China via the
Cape of Good
The Baltic Fleet would not reach the
until May 1905.
October 1904, while steaming past Great Britain (an ally of Japan
but neutral in this war), vessels of the Russian Fleet nearly
provoked war with England in the Dogger Bank incident by firing on British fishing boats that they
mistook for enemy torpedo boats.
Campaign of 1905
Harsh winter and final battles
fall of Port
Arthur, the Japanese 3rd army was now able to continue
northward and reinforce positions south of Russian-held Mukden.
the onset of the severe Manchurian winter, there had been no major
land engagements since the Battle of
the previous year. Both sides camped opposite each other
along 60 to of front lines, south of Mukden.
The Russian Second Army under General Oskar Grippenberg
, between January 25–29,
attacked the Japanese left flank near the town of Sandepu, almost
breaking through. This caught the Japanese by surprise. However,
without support from other Russian units the attack stalled,
Grippenberg was ordered to halt by Kuropatkin
and the battle was
inconclusive. The Japanese knew that they needed to destroy the
Russian army in Manchuria
reinforcements arrived via the Trans-Siberian railroad
The Battle of Mukden commenced on 20 February 1905. In the
following days Japanese forces proceeded to assault the right and
left flanks of Russian forces surrounding Mukden, along a front.
Both sides were well entrenched and were backed with hundreds of
artillery pieces. After days of harsh fighting, added pressure from
both flanks forced both ends of the Russian defensive line to curve
backwards. Seeing they were about to be encircled, the Russians
began a general retreat, fighting a series of fierce rearguard
actions, which soon deteriorated in the confusion and collapse of
Russian forces. On 10 March 1905 after three weeks of fighting,
withdraw to the north of Mukden.
The retreating Russian Manchurian Army formations disintegrated as
fighting units, but the Japanese failed to destroy them completely.
The Japanese themselves had suffered large casualties and were in
no condition to pursue. Although the battle of Mukden was a major
defeat for the Russians it had not been decisive, and the final
victory would depend on the navy.
Victory at Tsushima
The Russian Second Pacific Squadron (the renamed Baltic Fleet)
sailed to relieve Port Arthur. The demoralizing news that Port Arthur had
fallen reached the fleet while at Madagascar. Admiral Rozhestvensky's only hope now was to
reach the port of Vladivostok.
There were three routes to Vladivostok,
with the shortest and most direct passing through Tsushima Straits
between Korea and Japan.
However, this was also the most dangerous route as it passed very
close to the Japanese home islands.
Admiral Togo was aware of the Russian progress and understood that
with the fall of Port Arthur, the Second and Third Pacific
Squadrons would try to reach the only other Russian port in the Far
East, Vladivostok. Battle plans were laid down and ships were
repaired and refitted to intercept the Russian fleet.
The Japanese Combined Fleet
had originally consisted of six battleships, was now down to four
(two had been lost to mines), but still retained its cruisers,
destroyers, and torpedo boats. The Russian Second Pacific Squadron
contained eight battleships, including four new battleships of the
, as well as
cruisers, destroyers and other auxiliaries for a total of 38
By the end of May the Second Pacific Squadron was on the last leg
of its journey to Vladivostok. They decided to take the shorter,
riskier route between Korea and Japan. They travelled at night so
they might not be discovered. Unfortunately for the Russians, one
of their hospital ships exposed a light, which was sighted by the
Japanese armed merchant cruiser Shinano Maru
communication was used to inform Togo's headquarters, where the
Combined Fleet was immediately ordered to sortie. Still receiving
naval intelligence from scouting forces, the Japanese were able to
position their fleet so that they would "cross the T
" of the Russian fleet. The Japanese
engaged the Russian fleet in the Tsushima Straits on 27 May–28 May
1905. The Russian fleet was virtually annihilated, losing eight
battleships, numerous smaller vessels, and more than 5,000 men,
while the Japanese lost three torpedo boats and 116 men. Only three
Russian vessels escaped to Vladivostok. After the Battle of
Tsushima, the Japanese army occupied the entire Sakhalin Islands chain to force the Russians to sue for
Military attachés and observers
Military and civilian observers from every major power closely
followed the course of the war. Most were able to report on events
from a perspective somewhat like what is now termed "embedded
" positions within the land and
naval forces of both Russia and Japan. These military attachés and
other observers prepared voluminous first-hand accounts of the war
and analytical papers. In-depth observer narratives of the war and
more narrowly-focused professional journal articles were written
soon after the war; and these post-war reports conclusively
illustrated the battlefield destructiveness of this conflict. This
was the first time the tactics of entrenched positions for infantry
defended with machine guns and artillery became vitally important,
and both were dominant factors in World War I. Though entrenched
positions were a significant part of both the Franco-Prussian War
and the American Civil War due to the advent of breech loading
rifles, the lessons learned regarding high casualty counts were
learned in part after World War I. From a 21st century perspective,
it is now apparent that tactical lessons which were available to
the observer nations were disregarded or not used in the
preparations for war in Europe
and during the
course of World War I.
In 1904–1905, Ian
Standish Monteith Hamilton
was the military attaché of the
British Indian Army
the Japanese army in Manchuria
the several military attachés from Western countries, he was the
first to arrive in Japan after the start of the war. As the
earliest, he would be recognized as the dean of multi-national
attachés and observers in this conflict; but he was out-ranked by a
soldier who would become a better known figure, British Field Marshal William Gustavus
Nicholson, 1st Baron Nicholson
, later to become Chief of the
Imperial General Staff
Peace and aftermath
Treaty of Portsmouth
The defeats of the Russian Army and Navy shook Russian confidence.
Throughout 1905, the Imperial Russian government was rocked by
. Tsar Nicholas II
elected to negotiate peace
so he could concentrate on internal matters. Even though the
Russians would have probably won once they managed to get enough
troops all the way to east Asia, they realized that it would take a
long, and drawn out war. They elected to negotiate instead.
The American President Theodore
Roosevelt offered to mediate, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his effort.
Sergius Witte led the Russian delegation and
Baron Komura, a graduate of
Harvard, led the Japanese Delegation. The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed on 5
September 1905 in the U.S. naval station in Portsmouth,
Witte became Russian Prime Minister the
Russia recognized Korea as part of the Japanese sphere of influence
and agreed to evacuate Manchuria. Japan would annex Korea in 1910,
with scant protest from other powers.
Russia also signed over its 25-year leasehold rights to Port
Arthur, including the naval base and the peninsula around it.
also ceded the southern half of Sakhalin Island to Japan.
It was regained by the USSR
in 1952 under the Treaty of San
following the Second World
. However, the cession of Southern Sakhalin to the USSR was
not supported by the majority of Japanese politicians.
Sources do not agree on a precise number of deaths from the war
because of lack of body counts
. The number of Japanese
dead in combat is put at around 47,000 with around 80,000 if
disease is included. Estimates of Russian dead range from around
40,000 to around 70,000. The total number of dead is generally
stated at around 130,000. China suffered 20,000 collateral deaths,
and financially the loss amounted to over 69 million taels
worth of silver.
This was the first major victory in the modern era of an Asian
power over a European one. Russia's defeat had been met with shock
both in the West and across the Far East. Japan's prestige rose
greatly as it began to be considered a modern nation. Concurrently,
Russia lost virtually its entire Pacific and Baltic fleets, and
also lost some international esteem. This was particularly
true in the eyes of Germany and Austria–Hungary; Russia was France and
Serbia's ally, and
that loss of prestige had a significant effect on Germany's future
when planning for war with France, and Austria–Hungary's war with
The war caused many nations to underestimate Russian
military capabilities in World War I. They did not realize that
Russia was capable of beating Japan, but it did not find it worth
the long, drawn out war.
In the absence of Russian competition and with the distraction of
European nations during World War I
combined with the Great Depression
which followed, the Japanese military began its efforts to dominate
China and the rest of Asia, which eventually led to the Second Sino-Japanese War
, theatres of World War II
Revolution in Russia
Popular discontent in Russia after the war added more fuel to the
already simmering Russian
Revolution of 1905
, an event Nicholas II of Russia
had hoped to
avoid entirely by taking intransigent negotiating stances prior to
coming to the table at all. Twelve years later, that discontent
boiled over into the February
of 1917. In Poland, which Russia partitioned
in the late 18th century,
and where Russian rule already caused two major uprisings
, the population
was so restless that an army of 250,000–300,000 – larger than the
one facing the Japanese – had to be stationed to put down the
. Notably, some political leaders of Polish insurrection
movement (in particular, Józef
) sent emissaries to Japan to collaborate on sabotage
and intelligence gathering within the Russian Empire and even plan
a Japanese-aided uprising.For Polish–Japanese negotiations and
relations during the war, see:Bert Edström, The Japanese and
Europe: Images and Perceptions
, Routledge, 2000, ISBN
1873410867, Google Print, p.126–133
Jerzy Lerski, "A Polish Chapter of the Russo-Japanese War",
Transactions of the
Asiatic Society of Japan
, III/7 p. 69–96
Russia, the defeat of 1905 led in the short term to a reform of the
Russian military that allowed it to face Germany in World War I.
However, the revolts at home
following the war planted the seeds that presaged the Russian Revolution of 1917
war probably did more good for Russia than bad. It caused Russia to
get in gear, so that by 1911, its industry rivaled that of the
United States. It was on a plan that would boost its military
industry to a level equal to Germany, but that plan was
unfortunately interrupted in 1914, when World War I began.
All above dates are believed to be New-Style (Gregorian
, not the Julian
used in Tsarist Russia: for
conformity, where there are two, use the one that reads 13 days
"later" than the other).
Effects on Japan
Although the war had ended in a victory for Japan, there was a
noteworthy gap between Japanese public opinion and the very
restrained peace terms which negotiated at the war's end.
Widespread discontent spread through the populace upon the
announcement of the treaty terms. Riots erupted in major cities in
Japan. Two specific demands, expected from such a costly victory,
were especially lacking: territorial gains and monetary reparations
to Japan. The peace accord led to feelings of
distrust, as the Japanese had intended to retain all of Sakhalin
Island, but they were forced to settle for half of it
after being pressured by the US.
Assessment of war results
Russia had lost two of its three fleets. Only its Black Sea Fleet
remained, and this was the result of an earlier treaty that had
prevented the fleet from leaving the Black Sea. Japan became the
sixth-most powerful naval force, while the Russian navy declined to
one barely stronger than that of Austria–Hungary. The actual costs
of the war were large enough to have affected the Russian economy;
and despite grain exports, the nation developed an external balance
of payments deficit. The cost of military re-equipment and
re-expansion after 1905 pushed the economy further into deficit,
although the size of the deficit was obscured.
A lock of Admiral
's hair was given to the Imperial Japanese Navy from the
Royal Navy after the war to commemorate the victory of the Battle
of Tsushima; which was in tune with Britain's victory at Trafalgar
in 1805. It is still on display at Kyouiku Sankoukan, a public
museum maintained by the Japan Self-Defense Force.
The Japanese were on the offensive for most of the war and used
massed infantry human wave attacks
against defensive positions, which were the standard of all
European armies during World War I
Battles during the Russo-Japanese War were a precursor to trench warfare
of World War I, in which
machine guns and artillery had taken their toll on Japanese troops.
, a German military advisor
sent to Japan, had a tremendous impact on the development of the
Japanese military training, tactics, strategy and organization. His
reforms were credited with Japan's overwhelming victory over China
in the First Sino-Japanese
of 1894–1895. However, his over-reliance on the use of
infantry in offensive
campaigns also led
to the large number of Japanese casualties.
Military and economic exhaustion affected both countries.Japanese
historians consider this war to be a turning point for Japan, and a
key to understanding the reasons why Japan may have failed
militarily and politically later on. The acrimony was felt at every
level of Japanese society and it became the consensus within Japan
that their nation had been treated as the defeated power during the
peace conference. As time went on, this feeling, coupled with the
sense of "arrogance" of becoming a Great
, grew and added to their growing hostility towards the
West and fueled their own military and imperial ambitions, which
would culminate in Japan's invasion of East, Southeast, and South
Asia in World War II
in an attempt to
create their own great colonial empire in the name of creating the
Greater East Asia
. Only five years after the war, Japan de
jure annexed Korea as its colonial empire, and invaded Manchuria in
the Mukden Incident
21 years after
in 1931. As a result, most Chinese historians note the war as a key
development of Japanese
Not only Russia and Japan were affected by the war. As a consequence, the
British Admiralty enlarged its
docks at Auckland, Bombay, Freemantle, Hong
Kong, Simonstown, Singapore and Sydney.
1904–1905 war confirmed the direction of the admiralty's thinking
in tactical terms while undermining its strategic grasp of a
changing world. For example, the Admiralty's tactical orthodoxy
assumed that a naval battle would imitate the conditions of
stationery combat, and that ships would engage in one long line
sailing on parallel courses; but in reality, more flexible tactical
thinking would be required in the next war. A firing ship and its
target would maneuver independently at various ranges and at
various speeds and in convergent or divergent courses.
List of battles
Port Arthur, 8 February: naval
Chemulpo Bay, 9 February: naval
battle Japanese victory
- 1904 Battle of Yalu
River, 30 April to 1 May: Japanese victory
- 1904 Battle of Nanshan, 25 May
– 26 May, Japanese victory
- 1904 Battle of Telissu, 14
June – 15 June , Japanese victory
- 1904 Battle of Motien
Pass, 17 July, Japanese victory
- 1904 Battle of
Ta-shih-chiao, 24 July, Japanese victory
- 1904 Battle of Hsimucheng,
31 July, Japanese victory
the Yellow Sea, 10 August: naval
battle Japanese victory strategically/tactically
Ulsan, 14 August: naval
battle Japanese victory
- 1904–1905 Siege of Port Arthur, 19 August to 2 January: Japanese
- 1904 Battle of Liaoyang, 25
August to 3 September: Inconclusive
- 1904 Battle of Shaho, 5 October
to 17 October: Inconclusive
- 1905 Battle of Sandepu, 26
January to 27 January: Inconclusive
- 1905 Battle of Mukden, 21
February to 10 March: Japanese victory
Tsushima, 27 May to 28 May naval
battle: Japanese victory
Art and literature
World attention to this military conflict inspired unanticipated
consequences in art and literature:
- Between 1904–05 in Russia, the war was covered by anonymous
satirical graphic luboks that were sold at
common markets and recorded much of the war for the domestic
audience. Around 300 were made before their creation was banned by
the Russian government.
- The disatrous war was among the reasons that spurred Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov to compose
his satirical opera, The Golden
Cockerel, which was immediately banned by the government.
- The Russo-Japanese War was covered by dozens of foreign
journalists who sent back sketches that were turned into lithographs and other reproducible forms.
Propaganda images were circulated by both sides and quite a few
photographs have been preserved.
role of Russian-born British Spy Sidney
Reilly in providing intelligence that allowed the Japanese surprise attack which
started the Siege of
Port Arthur is dramatised in Episode 2 of the TV series
Reilly, Ace of
- Siege of Port Arthur is covered in an encompassing historical novel
'Port Arthur' by Alexander Stepanov
(1892–1965), who, at the age of 12, lived in the besieged city and
witnessed many key events of the siege. He took a personal
role in Port Arthur defense by carrying water to front line
trenches; was contused; narrowly evaded amputation of both legs
while in the hospital. His father, Nikolay Stepanov, commanded one
of Russian onshore batteries protecting the harbor; through him
Alexander personally knew many top military commanders of the city
– generals Stessels, Belikh, Nikitin, Kondratenko, admiral Makarov
and many others. The novel itself was written in 1932, based on the
author's own diaries and notes of his father; although it might be
subject to ideological bias, as anything published in the USSR at
that time, it was (and still is) generally considered in Russia one
of the best historical novels of Soviet period.
- The Russo-Japanese War is occasionally alluded to in James Joyce's novel, Ulysses. In the "Eumaeus" chapter, a
drunken sailor in a bar proclaims, "But a day of reckoning, he
stated crescendo with no uncertain voice—thoroughly monopolizing
all the conversation—was in store for mighty England, despite her
power of pelf on account of her crimes. There would be a fall and
the greatest fall in history. The Germans and the Japs were going
to have their little lookin, he affirmed."
- The Russo-Japanese War is the setting for the naval strategy
computer game Distant Guns
developed by Storm Eagle
- The Russo-Japanese War is the setting for the first part of the
novel The Diamond
Vehicle, in the Erast
Fandorin detective series by Boris
- The Domination series by S.M. Stirling has
an alternate Battle of Tsushima where the Japanese use airships to attack the Russian Fleet. This is
detailed in the short story "Written by the Wind" by Roland J. Green in the Drakas!
- Connaughton, R.M., The War of the Rising Sun and the
Tumbling Bear—A Military History of the Russo-Japanese War
1904–5, London, 1988, ISBN 0-415-00906-5.
- Paine, S.C.M., The Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895:
Perceptions, Power, and Primacy, 2003, ISBN 0-521-81714-5
- Corbett, Sir Julian. Maritime Operations In The
Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905. (1994) Originally classified,
and in two volumnes, ISBN 155-7501-297.
- Grant, R., Captain, D.S.O. Before Port Arthur In A
Destroyer. (The Personal Diary Of A Japanese Naval Officer –
Translated from the Spanish Edition by Captain R. Grant, D.S.O.
Rifle Brigade). John Murray, Albemarle St. W. (1907).
- Hough, Richard A. The Fleet That Had To Die.
Ballantine Books. (1960).
- Jukes, Geoffry. The Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905.
Osprey Essential Histories. (2002). ISBN 9-78184-17644-67.
- Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the
Russo-Japanese War. Scarecrow. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5.
- Morris, Edmund (2002).
Theodore Rex . New York: Random House. 10-ISBN
0-812-96600-7; 13-ISBN 978-0-812-96600-8
- Novikov-Priboy, Aleksei.
Tsushima. (An account from a seaman aboard the Battleship Orel (which
was captured at Tsushima). London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.
- Nish, Ian Hill. (1985). The Origins
of the Russo-Japanese War. London: Longman. 10-ISBN 0-582-49114-2; 13-ISBN
- Okamoto, Shumpei (1970). The Japanese Oligarchy and the
Russo-Japanese War. Columbia University Press.
- Pleshakov, Constantine. The Tsar's Last Armada: The Epic
Voyage to the Battle of Tsushima. ISBN 0-46505-792-6.
- Saaler, Sven und Inaba Chiharu (Hg.). Der
Russisch-Japanische Krieg 1904/05 im Spiegel deutscher
Bilderbogen, Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien Tokyo,
- Seager, Robert. Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Man And His
Letters. (1977) ISBN 0870-21359-8.
- Semenov, Vladimir, Capt. The Battle of Tsushima. E.P.
Dutton & Co. (1912).
- Semenov, Vladimir, Capt. Rasplata (The Reckoning).
John Murray, (1910).
- Strachan, Hew. (2001). The First World War: To Arms. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
10-ISBN 0-199-26191-1; 13-ISBN 978-0-199-26191-8
- Tomitch, V. M. Warships of the Imperial Russian Navy.
Volume 1, Battleships. (1968).
- Warner, Denis & Peggy. The Tide at Sunrise, A History
of the Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905. (1975). ISBN