Russo-Japanese War
Overview
 
The Russo-Japanese War (8 February 1904 – 5 September 1905) was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 ambitions of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 and Japanese Empire
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 over Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 and Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

. 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
Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea, which is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert sand storms that turn the surface of the water golden...

.

The Russians sought a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean, for their navy as well as for maritime trade.
Encyclopedia
The Russo-Japanese War (8 February 1904 – 5 September 1905) was "the first great war of the 20th century." It grew out of rival imperial
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 ambitions of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 and Japanese Empire
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 over Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 and Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

. 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
Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea, which is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert sand storms that turn the surface of the water golden...

.

The Russians sought a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean, for their navy as well as for maritime trade. Vladivostok
Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

 was only operational during the summer season, but Port Arthur
Lüshunkou
Lüshunkou is a district in the municipality of Dalian, Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was formerly known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun....

 would be operational all year. From the end of the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

 and 1903, negotiations between Russia and Japan had proved impractical. Japan chose war to maintain dominance in Korea.

The resulting campaigns, in which the Japanese military attained victory over the Russian forces arrayed against them, were unexpected by world observers. As time transpired, these victories would transform the balance of power in East Asia, resulting in a reassessment of Japan's recent entry onto the world stage.

Background

After the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
The , also known as the Meiji Ishin, Revolution, Reform or Renewal, was a chain of events that restored imperial rule to Japan in 1868...

 in 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 less than half a century. The Japanese wanted to preserve their sovereignty and be recognized as an equal with the Western powers.

Russia, a very powerful Imperial power, had ambitions in the East. By the 1890s it had extended its realm across Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 to Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, absorbing local states in the process. The Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 stretched from Poland in the west to the Kamchatka peninsula in the East. With its construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

 to the port of Vladivostok
Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

, 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)

The Japanese
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 government 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. At the very least, the Japanese wanted to keep Korea independent, if not under Japanese influence. Japan's subsequent victory over China during the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

 led to the Treaty of Shimonoseki
Treaty of Shimonoseki
The Treaty of Shimonoseki , known as the Treaty of Maguan in China, was signed at the Shunpanrō hall on April 17, 1895, between the Empire of Japan and Qing Empire of China, ending the First Sino-Japanese War. The peace conference took place from March 20 to April 17, 1895...

 under which China
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 abandoned its own suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 over Korea and ceded Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Pescadores and the Liaodong Peninsula (Port Arthur
Lüshunkou
Lüshunkou is a district in the municipality of Dalian, Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was formerly known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun....

) to Japan.

However, the Russians, having their own ambitions in the region persuaded Germany
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 and France
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 to apply pressure on Japan. Through the Triple Intervention
Triple Intervention
The was a diplomatic intervention by Russia, Germany, and France on 23 April 1895 over the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki signed between Japan and Qing dynasty China that ended the First Sino-Japanese War.-Treaty of Shimonoseki:...

, Japan relinquished its claim on the Liaodong Peninsula for an increased financial indemnity.

Russian encroachment

In December 1897, a Russian
Imperial Russian Navy
The Imperial Russian Navy refers to the Tsarist fleets prior to the February Revolution.-First Romanovs:Under Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich, construction of the first three-masted ship, actually built within Russia, was completed in 1636. It was built in Balakhna by Danish shipbuilders from Holstein...

 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, to consolidate their position, the Russians began a new railway from Harbin
Harbin
Harbin ; Manchu language: , Harbin; Russian: Харби́н Kharbin ), is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China, lying on the southern bank of the Songhua River...

 through Mukden to Port Arthur. The development of the railway was a contributory factor to the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

 and the railway stations at Tiehling and Lioyang were burned.
The Russians also began to make inroads into Korea. By 1898 they had acquired mining and forestry concessions near Yalu and Tumen rivers, causing the Japanese much anxiety. Japan decided to strike before the Trans-Siberian Railway was complete.

The Boxer Rebellion

The Russians and the Japanese were both part of the eight member international force
Eight-Nation Alliance
The Eight-Nation Alliance was an alliance of Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States whose military forces intervened in China to suppress the anti-foreign Boxers and relieve the siege of the diplomatic legations in Beijing .- Events :The...

 sent in 1900 to quell the Boxer Rebellion
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

 and relieve the international legations under siege in the Chinese capital. As with other member nations, the Russians sent troops into Beijing. Russia had already sent 177,000 soldiers to Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, nominally to protect its railways under construction. The troops of the Qing empire and the participants of the Boxer Rebellion could do nothing against this massive army. As a result, the Qing troops were ejected from Manchuria and the Russian troops settled in. Russia assured the other powers that it would vacate the area after the crisis. However, by 1903, the Russians had not yet established any timetable for withdrawal and had actually strengthened their position in Manchuria.

Pre-war negotiations

The Japanese statesman, Itō Hirobumi
Ito Hirobumi
Prince was a samurai of Chōshū domain, Japanese statesman, four time Prime Minister of Japan , genrō and Resident-General of Korea. Itō was assassinated by An Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist who was against the annexation of Korea by the Japanese Empire...

, 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
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 had signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance
Anglo-Japanese Alliance
The first was signed in London at what is now the Lansdowne Club, on January 30, 1902, by Lord Lansdowne and Hayashi Tadasu . A diplomatic milestone for its ending of Britain's splendid isolation, the alliance was renewed and extended in scope twice, in 1905 and 1911, before its demise in 1921...

 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 necessary.

On 28 July 1903, the Japanese Minister in St. Petersburg was instructed to present his country's view opposing Russia's consolidation plans in Manchuria. On August 12, the Japanese minister handed on the following document to serve as the basis for further negotiations:
  • "1. Mutual engagement to respect the independence and territorial integrity of the Chinese and Korean Empires and to maintain the principle of equal opportunity for the commerce and industry of all nations in those countries.
  • 2. Reciprocal recognition of Japan's preponderating interests in Korea and Russia's special interests in railway enterprises in Manchuria, and of the right of Japan to take in Korea and of Russia to take in Manchuria such measures as may be necessary for the protection of their respective interests as above defined, subject, however, to the provisions of Article I of this Agreement.
  • 3. Reciprocal undertaking on the part of Russia and Japan not to impede development of those industrial and commercial activities respectively of Japan in Korea and of Russia in Manchuria, which are not inconsistent with the stipulations of Article I of this Agreement. Additional engagement on the part of Russia not to impede the eventual extension of the Korean railway into southern Manchuria so as to connect with the East China and Shan-hai-kwan-Newchwang lines.
  • 4. Reciprocal engagement that in case it is found necessary to send troops by Japan to Korea, or by Russia to Manchuria, for the purpose either of protecting the interests mentioned in Article II of this Agreement, or of suppressing insurrection or disorder calculated to create international complications, the troops so sent are in no case to exceed the actual number required and are to be forthwith recalled as soon as their missions are accomplished.
  • 5. Recognition on the part of Russia of the exclusive right of Japan to give advice and assistance in the interest of reform and good government in Korea, including necessary military assistance.
  • 6. This Agreement to supplant all previous arrangements between Japan and Russia respecting Korea".


On October 3, the Russian Minister to Japan, Roman Rosen
Roman Rosen
Baron Roman Romanovich Rosen was a diplomat in the service of the Russian Empire.-Biography:Rosen was from a long line of russified Baltic German nobility that included musicians and military leaders...

, presented to Japanese government the Russian counter-proposal as the basis of negotiations, as follows:
  • "1. Mutual engagement to respect the independence and territorial integrity of the Korean Empire.
  • 2. Recognition by Russia of Japan's preponderating interests in Korea and of the right of Japan to give advice and assistance to Korea tending to improve the civil administration of the Empire without infringing the stipulations of Article I.
  • 3. Engagement on the part of Russia not to impede the commercial and industrial undertakings of Japan in Korea, nor to oppose any measures taken for the purpose of protecting them so long as such measures do not infringe the stipulations of Article I.
  • 4. Recognition of the right of Japan to send for the same purpose troops to Korea, with the knowledge of Russia, but their number not to exceed that actually required, and with the engagement on the part of Japan to recall such troops as soon as their mission is accomplished.
  • 5. Mutual engagement not to use any part of the territory of Korea for strategical purposes nor to undertake on the coasts of Korea any military works capable of menacing the freedom of navigation in the Straits of Korea.
  • 6. Mutual engagement to consider that part of the territory of Korea lying to the north of the 39th parallel as a neutral zone into which neither of the Contracting Parties shall introduce troops.
  • 7. Recognition by Japan of Manchuria and its littoral as in all respects outside her sphere of interest.
  • 8. This agreement to supplant all previous Agreements between Russia and Japan respecting Korea".


Negotiations followed and, on 13 January 1904, Japan proposed a formula by which Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 would be outside the Japanese sphere of influence and, reciprocally, Korea outside Russia's. By 4 February 1904, no formal reply had been received and on 6 February Kurino Shinichiro, the Japanese Minister, called on the Russian Foreign Minister, Count Lambsdorff
Vladimir Lambsdorff
Count Vladimir Nikolayevich Lamsdorf was a Russian statesman of Baltic German descent who served as Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire from 1900 1906, a crucial period which included the Russo-Japanese War and the Russian Revolution of 1905.- Early career :Like so many other Russian diplomats,...

, to take his leave. Japan severed diplomatic relations with Russia on 6 February 1904.

This situation arose from the determination of Tsar Nicholas II to use the war against Japan as a spark for the revival of Russian patriotism. His advisors did not support the war, foreseeing problems in transporting troops and supplies from European Russia to the East. This attitude by the Tsar led to repeated delays in negotiations with the Japanese government. The Japanese understanding of this can be seen from a telegram dated December 1, 1903 from Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Komura to the Minister to Russia, in which he stated:

"the Japanese Government have at all times during the progress of the negotiations made it a special point to give prompt answers to all propositions of the Russian Government. The negotiations have now been pending for no less than four months, and they have not yet reached a stage where the final issue can with certainty be predicted. In these circumstances the Japanese government cannot but regard with grave concern the situation for which the delays in negotiations are largely responsible".


The assertion that Tsar Nicholas II dragged Japan into war intentionally, in hopes of reviving Russian nationalism is disputed by his comment that "there will be no war because I do not wish it". This does not reject the claim that Russia played an aggressive role in the East, which it did, rather that Russia unwisely calculated that Japan would not go to war against its far larger and seemingly superior navy and army. Evidence of Russians' false sense of security and superiority to Japan is seen by their reference to the latter as an "infantile monkey".

Declaration of war

Japan issued a declaration of war
Declaration of war
A declaration of war is a formal act by which one nation goes to war against another. The declaration is a performative speech act by an authorized party of a national government in order to create a state of war between two or more states.The legality of who is competent to declare war varies...

 on 8 February 1904. However, three hours before Japan's declaration of war was received by the Russian Government, the Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 attacked the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur. Tsar Nicholas II 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. Japan shrewdly made reference to the Russian attack on Sweden in 1809
Finnish War
The Finnish War was fought between Sweden and the Russian Empire from February 1808 to September 1809. As a result of the war, the eastern third of Sweden was established as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland within the Russian Empire...

 without declaration of war, and 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
Principality of Montenegro
The Principality of Montenegro was a former realm in Southeastern Europe. It existed from 13 March 1852 to 28 August 1910. It was then proclaimed a kingdom by Knjaz Nikola, who then became king....

 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
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. However, for reasons of logistics and distance, Montenegro's contribution to the war effort was limited to the presence of Montenegrins serving in the Russian armed forces. The Qing empire favoured the Japanese position and even offered military aid, but Japan declined it. However, Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

 sent envoys to Japanese generals several times to deliver foodstuffs and alcoholic drinks. Native Manchurians joined the war on both sides as hired troops.

Campaign of 1904

Port Arthur, on the Liaodong Peninsula in the south of Manchuria, had been fortified into a major naval base by the Imperial Russian Army. Since it 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 Togo Heihachiro
Togo Heihachiro
Fleet Admiral Marquis was a Fleet Admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and one of Japan's greatest naval heroes. He was termed by Western journalists as "the Nelson of the East".-Early life:...

 opened the war with a surprise torpedo boat destroyer attack on the Russian ships at Port Arthur. The attack badly damaged the Tsesarevich and Retvizan
Russian battleship Retvizan
Retvizan was a Russian pre-dreadnought battleship built before the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 for the Imperial Russian Navy in the United States. She was built by the William Cramp and Sons Ship & Engine Building Company of Philadelphia, although the armament was made at the Obukhov works in...

, the heaviest battleships in Russia's far Eastern theater, and the 6,600 ton cruiser Pallada
Russian cruiser Pallada (1899)
The RUS Pallada was the lead ship in the of protected cruisers in the Imperial Russian Navy. It was built in Admiralty Shipyard, Saint Petersburg, Russia...

. These attacks developed into the Battle of Port Arthur
Battle of Port Arthur
The Battle of Port Arthur was the starting battle of the Russo-Japanese War...

 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 Makarov on 13 April 1904.

However, these engagements provided cover for a Japanese landing near Incheon
Incheon
The Incheon Metropolitan City is located in northwestern South Korea. The city was home to just 4,700 people when Jemulpo port was built in 1883. Today 2.76 million people live in the city, making it Korea’s third most populous city after Seoul and Busan Metropolitan City...

 in Korea. From Incheon the Japanese occupied Seoul
Seoul
Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world...

 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
Yalu River
The Yalu River or the Amnok River is a river on the border between North Korea and the People's Republic of China....

 into Russian-occupied Manchuria.

Battle of Yalu River

In 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
Trans-Siberian Railway
The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East and the Sea of Japan. It is the longest railway in the world...

, which was incomplete near Irkutsk
Irkutsk
Irkutsk is a city and the administrative center of Irkutsk Oblast, Russia, one of the largest cities in Siberia. Population: .-History:In 1652, Ivan Pokhabov built a zimovye near the site of Irkutsk for gold trading and for the collection of fur taxes from the Buryats. In 1661, Yakov Pokhabov...

 at the time. On 1 May 1904, the Battle of Yalu River
Battle of Yalu River (1904)
The Battle of Yalu River, 30 April to 1 May 1904, was the first major land battle during the Russo-Japanese War...

 became the first major land battle of the war; Japanese troops stormed a Russian position after crossing the river. The defeat of the Russian Eastern Detachment removed the perception that the Japanese would be an easy enemy, that the war would be short, and that Russia would be the overwhelming victor. 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. The subsequent battles, including the Battle of Nanshan
Battle of Nanshan
The was one of many vicious land battles of the Russo-Japanese War. It took place on 25 May 1904 across a two-mile wide defense line across the narrowest part of the Liáodōng Peninsula, covering the approaches to Port Arthur and on the 116-meter high Nanshan Hill, the present-day Jinzhou District,...

 on 25 May 1904, were marked by heavy Japanese losses largely from attacking entrenched Russian positions.

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. A similar attempt to block the harbor entrance during the night of 3–4 May also failed. In March, the charismatic Vice Admiral Makarov
Stepan Makarov
Stepan Osipovich Makarov was a Ukrainian - born Russian vice-admiral, a highly accomplished and decorated commander of the Imperial Russian Navy, an oceanographer, awarded by the Russian Academy of Sciences, and author of several books. Makarov also designed a small number of ships...

 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
Pre-dreadnought
Pre-dreadnought battleship is the general term for all of the types of sea-going battleships built between the mid-1890s and 1905. Pre-dreadnoughts replaced the ironclad warships of the 1870s and 1880s...

 battleships, the flagship Petropavlovsk
Russian battleship Petropavlovsk (1897)
The Petropavlovsk was the lead ship of the Petropavlovsk class of battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy. During the Russo-Japanese War, Petropavlovsk was a flagship of the First Pacific Squadron, taking part in battles against the Imperial Japanese Navy. On March 31, 1904, the battleship...

and the Pobeda slipped out of port but struck Japanese mines off Port Arthur. The Petropavlovsk sank almost immediately, while the Pobeda had to be towed back to port for extensive repairs. Admiral Makarov, the single most effective Russian naval strategist of the war, perished on the battleship Petropavlovsk.

On 15 April 1904, the Russian government made overtures threatening to seize the British war correspondent
War correspondent
A war correspondent is a journalist who covers stories firsthand from a war zone. In the 19th century they were also called Special Correspondents.-Methods:...

s who were taking the ship Haimun
Haimun
SS Haimun was a Chinese steamer ship commanded by war correspondent Lionel James in 1904 during the Russo-Japanese War for The Times. It is the first-known instance of a "press boat" dedicated to war correspondence during naval battles....

into warzones to report for the London-based Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

newspaper, 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, the and the , were lured into a recently laid Russian minefield off Port Arthur, each striking at least two mines. The Hatsuse sank within minutes, taking 450 sailors with her, while the Yashima sank while under tow towards Korea for repairs. On June 23, 1904, a breakout attempt by the Russian squadron, now under the command of Admiral Wilgelm Vitgeft
Wilgelm Vitgeft
Wilgelm Karlovich Vitgeft , sometimes written Wilhelm and Withöft was an admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy, noted for his service in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.-Biography:...

 failed. By the end of the month, Japanese artillery were firing shells into the harbor.

Anglo-Japanese intelligence co-operation

Even before the war, British and Japanese intelligence had co-operated against Russia. Indian Army stations in Malaya
British Malaya
British Malaya loosely described a set of states on the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Singapore that were brought under British control between the 18th and the 20th centuries...

 and China often intercepted and read wireless and telegraph cable traffic relating to the war, which was shared with the Japanese. In their turn, the Japanese shared information about Russia with the British with one British official writing of the "perfect quality" of Japanese intelligence. In particular, British and Japanese intelligence gathered much evidence that Germany was supporting Russia in the war as part of a bid to disturb the balance of power in Europe, which led to British officials increasingly perceiving that country as a threat to the international order.

Siege of Port Arthur

Japan began a long siege of Port Arthur
Siege of Port Arthur
The Siege of Port Arthur , 1 August 1904 – 2 January 1905, the deep-water port and Russian naval base at the tip of the Liaotung Peninsula in Manchuria, was the longest and most violent land battle of the Russo-Japanese War....

. On 10 August 1904, the Russian fleet again attempted to break out and proceed to Vladivostok
Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

, but upon reaching the open sea were confronted by Admiral Togo's battleship squadron. The situation was critical for the Japanese, for they had only one battleship fleet and had already lost two battleships to Russian mines. Admiral Togo knew that another Russian battleship fleet would soon be sent to the Pacific. The Russian and Japanese battleships exchanged fire, until the Russian flagship, the battleship Tsesarevich, 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.

As the siege of Port Arthur
Siege of Port Arthur
The Siege of Port Arthur , 1 August 1904 – 2 January 1905, the deep-water port and Russian naval base at the tip of the Liaotung Peninsula in Manchuria, was the longest and most violent land battle of the Russo-Japanese War....

 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. Thus, all capital ships of the Russian fleet in the Pacific were sunk. This is likely the only example in military history when such a scale of devastation was achieved by land-based artillery against major warships.

Meanwhile, attempts to relieve the besieged city by land also failed, and, after the Battle of Liaoyang
Battle of Liaoyang
The Battle of Liaoyang was one of the major land battles of the Russo-Japanese War....

 in late August, the northern Russian force that might have been able to relieve Port Arthur retreated to Mukden (Shenyang
Shenyang
Shenyang , or Mukden , is the capital and largest city of Liaoning Province in Northeast China. Currently holding sub-provincial administrative status, the city was once known as Shengjing or Fengtianfu...

). Major General Anatoly Stessel, commander of the Port Arthur garrison, believed that the purpose of defending the city was lost after the fleet had been destroyed. Several large underground mines were exploded in late December, resulting in the costly capture of a few more pieces of the defensive line. Nevertheless, the Russian defenders were effecting disproportionate casualties each time the Japanese attacked. Despite this, Stessel decided to surrender to the surprised Japanese generals on 2 January 1905. He made this decision without consulting the other military staff present, or of the Tsar and military command, who all disagreed with the decision. Stessel was convicted by a court-martial
Court-martial
A court-martial is a military court. A court-martial is empowered to determine the guilt of members of the armed forces subject to military law, and, if the defendant is found guilty, to decide upon punishment.Most militaries maintain a court-martial system to try cases in which a breach of...

 in 1908 and sentenced to death for his incompetent defense and disobeying orders, though he was later pardoned.

Baltic Fleet redeploys

Meanwhile, at sea, the Russians were preparing to reinforce their Far East Fleet by sending the Baltic Fleet
Baltic Fleet
The Twice Red Banner Baltic Fleet - is the Russian Navy's presence in the Baltic Sea. In previous historical periods, it has been part of the navy of Imperial Russia and later the Soviet Union. The Fleet gained the 'Twice Red Banner' appellation during the Soviet period, indicating two awards of...

, under the command of Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky
Zinovy Rozhestvensky
Zinovy Petrovich Rozhestvensky was an admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy. He was in command of the Second Pacific Squadron in the Battle of Tsushima, during the Russo-Japanese War....

. The squadron sailed half way around the world from the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 to the Pacific via the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

. After a port of call
Port of Call
-Synopsis:Berit, a young woman living in a working-class port town begins a relationship with Gösta, a sailor newly returned from overseas and intent upon staying on land...

 at Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, then Cam Ranh Bay
Cam Ranh Bay
Cam Ranh Bay is a deep-water bay in Vietnam in the province of Khánh Hòa. It is located at an inlet of the South China Sea situated on the southeastern coast of Vietnam, between Phan Rang and Nha Trang, approximately 290 kilometers / 180 miles northeast of Hồ Chí Minh City / Saigon.Cam Ranh is...

 (later part of South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

), Rozhestvensky finally reached the Far East in May 1905. On 21 October 1904, while steaming past Great Britain (an ally of Japan, but neutral, unless provoked by a non-combatant nation), vessels of the Russian fleet nearly sparked a war with Britain in the Dogger Bank incident
Dogger Bank incident
The Dogger Bank incident occurred when the Russian Baltic Fleet mistook some British trawlers at Dogger Bank for an Imperial Japanese Navy force....

 by firing on British fishing boats that they mistook for enemy torpedo boats.

Campaign of 1905

With the fall of Port Arthur
Lüshunkou
Lüshunkou is a district in the municipality of Dalian, Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City or Lüshun Port, it was formerly known as both Port Arthur and Ryojun....

, the Japanese 3rd army was now able to continue northward and reinforce positions south of Russian-held Mukden. With the onset of the severe Manchurian winter, there had been no major land engagements since the Battle of Shaho
Battle of Shaho
The Battle of Shaho was a land battle of the Russo-Japanese War fought along a front centered at the Sha River on the Mukden–Port Arthur spur of the China Far East Railway just north of Liaoyang, Manchuria.-Background:...

 the previous year. The two sides camped opposite each other along 60 to 70 miles (112.7 km) of front lines, south of Mukden.

Battle of Sandepu

The Russian Second Army under General Oskar Gripenberg
Oskar Grippenberg
Oskar-Ferdinand Kazimirovich Gripenberg was commanding general of the Russian Second Manchurian Army during the Russo-Japanese War.-Biography:...

, 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, Gripenberg was ordered to halt by Kuropatkin
Aleksey Kuropatkin
Alexei Nikolayevich Kuropatkin was the Russian Imperial Minister of War who is often held responsible for major Russian drawbacks in the Russian-Japanese War, notably the Battle of Mukden and the Battle of Liaoyang.-Early years:Kuropatkin was born in 1848 in what is now Pskov, in the Russian...

 and the battle was inconclusive. The Japanese knew that they needed to destroy the Russian army in Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 before Russian reinforcements arrived via the Trans-Siberian railroad.

Battle of Mukden

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 50 miles (80.5 km) front. Approximately half a million men were involved in the fighting. Both sides were well entrenched and were backed by hundreds of artillery pieces. After days of harsh fighting, added pressure from the 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, General Kuropatkin decided to withdraw to the north of Mukden. The Russians lost 90,000 men in the battle.

The retreating Russian Manchurian Army formations disbanded 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 was not decisive, and the final victory still depended on the navy.

Battle of Tsushima

The Russian Second Pacific Squadron (the renamed Baltic Fleet) sailed 18,000 nautical miles (33,000 km) to relieve Port Arthur. The demoralizing news that Port Arthur had fallen reached the fleet while at Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

. Admiral Rozhestvensky's only hope now was to reach the port of Vladivostok
Vladivostok
The city is located in the southern extremity of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula, which is about 30 km long and approximately 12 km wide.The highest point is Mount Kholodilnik, the height of which is 257 m...

. 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 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
Combined Fleet
The was the main ocean-going component of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Combined Fleet was not a standing force, but a temporary force formed for the duration of a conflict or major naval maneuvers from various units normally under separate commands in peacetime....

, which 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 Borodino class, as well as cruisers, destroyers and other auxiliaries for a total of 38 ships.

By the end of May the Second Pacific Squadron was on the last leg of its journey to Vladivostok, taking the shorter, riskier route between Korea and Japan, and travelling at night to avoid discovery. Unfortunately for the Russians, while in compliance with the rules of war, the two trailing hospital ships had continued to burn their lights, which were spotted by the Japanese armed merchant cruiser Shinano Maru. Wireless 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 battle in the Tsushima Straits on 27–28 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 chain of the Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

 Islands to force the Russians to sue for peace.

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 the perspective of "embedded
Embedded journalist
Embedded journalism refers to news reporters being attached to military units involved in armed conflicts. While the term could be applied to many historical interactions between journalists and military personnel, it first came to be used in the media coverage of the 2003 invasion of Iraq...

" positions within the land and naval forces of both Russia and Japan. These military attachés and other observers prepared 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 not taken into account in World War I. From a 21st century perspective, it is now apparent that tactical lessons available to observer nations were disregarded in preparations for war in Europe, and during the course of World War I.

In 1904–1905, Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton
Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton
General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton GCB GCMG DSO TD was a general in the British Army and is most notably for commanding the ill-fated Mediterranean Expeditionary Force during the Battle of Gallipoli....

 was the military attaché of the British Indian Army
British Indian Army
The British Indian Army, officially simply the Indian Army, was the principal army of the British Raj in India before the partition of India in 1947...

 serving with the Japanese army in Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

. Amongst 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
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

 William Gustavus Nicholson, 1st Baron Nicholson, later to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff.

Treaty of Portsmouth

The defeats of the Russian Army and Navy shook Russian confidence. Throughout 1905, the Imperial Russian government was rocked by revolution
Russian Revolution of 1905
The 1905 Russian Revolution was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies...

. The population was against escalation of the war. The Empire was certainly capable of sending more troops and probably winning the war, but the poor state of the economy, the embarrassing defeats of the Russian army and navy by the Japanese, and the relative unimportance of the disputed land to Russia made the war incredibly unpopular. Tsar Nicholas II elected to negotiate peace so he could concentrate on internal matters after the disaster of Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1905)
Bloody Sunday was a massacre on in St. Petersburg, Russia, where unarmed, peaceful demonstrators marching to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II were gunned down by the Imperial Guard while approaching the city center and the Winter Palace from several gathering points. The shooting did not...

 on January 22, 1905.
American President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 offered to mediate, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 for his effort. Sergius Witte led the Russian delegation and Baron Komura
Komura Jutaro
was a statesman and diplomat in Meiji period Japan.-Biography:Komura was born to a lower-ranking samurai family in service of the Obi clan at Nichinan, Hyuga province . He attended the Daigaku Nankō...

, a graduate of Harvard, led the Japanese Delegation. The Treaty of Portsmouth
Treaty of Portsmouth
The Treaty of Portsmouth formally ended the 1904-05 Russo-Japanese War. It was signed on September 5, 1905 after negotiations at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine in the USA.-Negotiations:...

 was signed on September 5, 1905, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard , often called the Portsmouth Navy Yard, is a United States Navy shipyard located in Kittery on the southern boundary of Maine near the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is used for remodeling and repairing the Navy's ships...

 in Kittery, Maine
Kittery, Maine
Kittery is a town in York County, Maine, United States. The population was 9,543 at the 2000 census. Home to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Seavey's Island, Kittery includes Badger's Island, the seaside district of Kittery Point, and part of the Isles of Shoals...

. Witte became Russian Prime Minister the same year.

After courting the Japanese, Roosevelt decided to support the Tsar's refusal to pay indemnities, a move that policymakers in Tokyo interpreted as signifying that the United States had more than a passing interest in Asian affairs. 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, and ceded the southern half of Sakhalin
Sakhalin
Sakhalin or Saghalien, is a large island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N.It is part of Russia, and is Russia's largest island, and is administered as part of Sakhalin Oblast...

 Island to Japan (to be regained by the USSR in 1952 under the Treaty of San Francisco
Treaty of San Francisco
The Treaty of Peace with Japan , between Japan and part of the Allied Powers, was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California...

 following the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, against the wishes of the majority of Japanese politicians).

Casualties

Sources do not agree on a precise number of deaths from the war because of lack of body count
Body count
A body count is the total number of people killed in a particular event. In combat, a body count is often based on the number of confirmed kills, but occasionally only an estimate.-Military use:...

s for confirmation. The number of Japanese army dead in combat is put at around 47,000 with around 80,000 if disease is included. Estimates of Russian army dead range from around 40,000 to around 70,000 men. The total number of army dead is generally stated at around 130,000. China suffered 20,000 civilian deaths, and financially the loss amounted to over 69 million tael
Tael
Tael can refer to any one of several weight measures of the Far East. Most commonly, it refers to the Chinese tael, a part of the Chinese system of weights and currency....

s worth of silver.

During many of the battles at sea, several thousand soldiers being transported by sea drowned after their ships went down. There were no agreed consensus about what to do with transported soldiers at sea, and as a result, many of the ships denied rescuing casualties that were left shipwrecked. This led to the creation of the second Geneva Convention
Second Geneva Convention
The Second Geneva Convention, for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea, is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. It was first adopted in 1906, after the Russo-Japanese war, but was significantly updated in 1929 and again in...

 in 1906, which gave protection and care for shipwrecked soldiers in armed conflict.

Political consequences

This was the first major military victory in the modern era
Modern history
Modern history, or the modern era, describes the historical timeline after the Middle Ages. Modern history can be further broken down into the early modern period and the late modern period after the French Revolution and the Industrial Revolution...

 of an Asian power over a European nation. Russia's defeat was met with shock in the West and across the Far East. Japan's prestige rose greatly as it became seen as a modern nation. Concurrently, Russia lost virtually its entire Pacific and Baltic fleets, and also much international esteem. This was particularly true in the eyes of Germany and Austria–Hungary before World War I. Russia was France and Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

'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 Serbia. The war caused many nations to underestimate Russian military capabilities in World War I.

In the absence of Russian competition, and with the distraction of European nations during World War I, combined with the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 that followed, the Japanese military began efforts to dominate China and the rest of Asia, which eventually led to the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 and the Pacific War
Pacific War
The Pacific War, also sometimes called the Asia-Pacific War refers broadly to the parts of World War II that took place in the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and in East Asia, then called the Far East...

 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
Russian Revolution of 1905
The 1905 Russian Revolution was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies...

, an event Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II of Russia
Nicholas II was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Prince of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church.Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until...

 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 Revolution
February Revolution
The February Revolution of 1917 was the first of two revolutions in Russia in 1917. Centered around the then capital Petrograd in March . Its immediate result was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the end of the Russian Empire...

 of 1917. In Poland, which Russia partitioned
Partitions of Poland
The Partitions of Poland or Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth took place in the second half of the 18th century and ended the existence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland for 123 years...

 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 unrest. Notably, some political leaders of the Polish insurrection movement (in particular, Józef Piłsudski) sent emissaries to Japan to collaborate on sabotage and intelligence gathering within the Russian Empire and even plan a Japanese-aided uprising.

In 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
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

.

Effects on Japan

Although the war had ended in a victory for Japan, Japanese public opinion was shocked by the very restrained peace terms which were 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 requirements, expected after 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 were forced to settle for half of it after being pressured by the U.S.

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 affect 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 Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson
Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, which resulted in a number of...

's hair was given to the Imperial Japanese Navy by the British Royal Navy after the war to commemorate the victory of the Battle of Tsushima, which was considered on a par 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 assaults against defensive positions, which would become the standard of all European armies during World War I. The battles of the Russo-Japanese War, in which machine guns and artillery took a heavy toll on Japanese troops, were a precursor to the trench warfare
Trench warfare
Trench warfare is a form of occupied fighting lines, consisting largely of trenches, in which troops are largely immune to the enemy's small arms fire and are substantially sheltered from artillery...

 of World War I. A German military advisor sent to Japan, Jakob Meckel
Jakob Meckel
Klemens Wilhelm Jacob Meckel was a general in the Prussian army and foreign advisor to the government of Meiji period Japan.-Biography:...

, 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 War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

 of 1894–1895. However, his over-reliance on infantry in offensive
Offensive (military)
An offensive is a military operation that seeks through aggressive projection of armed force to occupy territory, gain an objective or achieve some larger strategic, operational or tactical goal...

 campaigns also led to a large number of Japanese casualties.

Military and economic exhaustion affected both countries.
Japanese historians regard this war as a turning point for Japan, and a key to understanding the reasons why Japan may have failed militarily and politically later. After the war, 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" at becoming a Great Power
Great power
A great power is a nation or state that has the ability to exert its influence on a global scale. Great powers characteristically possess military and economic strength and diplomatic and cultural influence which may cause small powers to consider the opinions of great powers before taking actions...

, grew and added to growing Japanese hostility towards the West, and fueled Japan's military and imperial ambitions. Only five years after the War, Japan de jure annexed Korea as its colonial empire. In 1931, 21 years later, Japan invaded Manchuria in the Mukden Incident
Mukden Incident
The Mukden Incident, also known as the Manchurian Incident, was a staged event that was engineered by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for invading the northern part of China known as Manchuria in 1931....

. This culminated in the invasion of East, Southeast and South Asia in World War II in an attempt to create a great Japanese colonial empire, the Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere
Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere
The Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was a concept created and promulgated during the Shōwa era by the government and military of the Empire of Japan. It represented the desire to create a self-sufficient "bloc of Asian nations led by the Japanese and free of Western powers"...

. As a result, most Chinese historians consider the Russo-Japanese War as a key development of Japanese militarism
Japanese militarism
refers to the ideology in the Empire of Japan that militarism should dominate the political and social life of the nation, and that the strength of the military is equal to the strength of a nation.-Rise of militarism :...

.

Not only Russia and Japan were affected by the war. As a consequence, the British Admiralty enlarged its docks at Auckland
Auckland
The Auckland metropolitan area , in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country with residents, percent of the country's population. Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world...

, New Zealand; Bombay, British India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

; Fremantle
Fremantle
Freemantle is a suburb of Southampton in England.Fremantle or Freemantle may also refer to:- Places :* Fremantle, the port city to the capital Perth, Western Australia...

, Australia; British Hong Kong
British Hong Kong
British Hong Kong refers to Hong Kong as a Crown colony and later, a British dependent territory under British administration from 1841 to 1997.- Colonial establishment :...

; Simon's Town
Simon's Town
Simon's Town , sometimes spelled Simonstown; is a town in South Africa, near Cape Town which is home to the South African Navy. It is located on the shores of False Bay, on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula. For more than two centuries it has been an important naval base and harbour...

, Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

; Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 and Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Australia. The 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 stationary 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

  • 1904 Battle of Port Arthur
    Battle of Port Arthur
    The Battle of Port Arthur was the starting battle of the Russo-Japanese War...

    , 8 February: naval battle
    Naval battle
    A naval battle is a battle fought using boats, ships or other waterborne vessels. Most naval battles have occurred at sea, but a few have taken place on lakes or rivers. The earliest recorded naval battle took place in 1210 BC near Cyprus...

     Inconclusive
  • 1904 Battle of Chemulpo Bay
    Battle of Chemulpo Bay
    The Battle of Chemulpo Bay was an early naval battle in the Russo-Japanese War , which took place on 9 February 1904, off the coast of present-day Incheon, Korea.-Background:...

    , 9 February: naval battle
    Naval battle
    A naval battle is a battle fought using boats, ships or other waterborne vessels. Most naval battles have occurred at sea, but a few have taken place on lakes or rivers. The earliest recorded naval battle took place in 1210 BC near Cyprus...

     Japanese victory
  • 1904 Battle of Yalu River
    Battle of Yalu River (1904)
    The Battle of Yalu River, 30 April to 1 May 1904, was the first major land battle during the Russo-Japanese War...

    , 30 April to 1 May: Japanese victory
  • 1904 Battle of Nanshan
    Battle of Nanshan
    The was one of many vicious land battles of the Russo-Japanese War. It took place on 25 May 1904 across a two-mile wide defense line across the narrowest part of the Liáodōng Peninsula, covering the approaches to Port Arthur and on the 116-meter high Nanshan Hill, the present-day Jinzhou District,...

    , 25 May – 26 May, Japanese victory
  • 1904 Battle of Telissu, 14 June – 15 June, Japanese victory
  • 1904 Battle of Motien Pass
    Battle of Motien Pass
    was a minor land conflict of the Russo-Japanese War, between the Imperial Japanese Army under General Kuroki Tamemoto and the Imperial Russian Army under General Count Fedor Keller over control of a strategic mountain pass on the main road between the coast and Liaoyang, Manchuria on 27 June...

    , 17 July, Japanese victory
  • 1904 Battle of Ta-shih-chiao, 24 July, Japanese victory
  • 1904 Battle of Hsimucheng
    Battle of Hsimucheng
    The Battle of Hsimucheng was a minor land engagement of the Russo-Japanese War. fought on 31 July 1904 near Hsimucheng, a hamlet about 20 kilometers [13 miles] southeast of the strategic junction town of Haicheng, on the main road connecting Haicheng with the coast.- Background :On the Japanese...

    , 31 July, Japanese victory
  • 1904 Battle of the Yellow Sea
    Battle of the Yellow Sea
    The Battle of the Yellow Sea was a major naval engagement of the Russo-Japanese War, fought on 10 August 1904. In the Russian Navy, it was referred to as the Battle of 10 August. The battle foiled an attempt by the Russian fleet at Port Arthur to break out and form up with counterparts from...

    , 10 August: naval battle
    Naval battle
    A naval battle is a battle fought using boats, ships or other waterborne vessels. Most naval battles have occurred at sea, but a few have taken place on lakes or rivers. The earliest recorded naval battle took place in 1210 BC near Cyprus...

     Japanese victory strategically/tactically inconclusive
  • 1904 Battle off Ulsan
    Battle off Ulsan
    The naval Battle off Ulsan , also known as the Battle of the Japanese Sea or Battle of the Korean Strait, took place on 14 August 1904 during the Russo-Japanese War, four days after the Battle of the Yellow Sea.-Background:The Vladivostok Cruiser Unit of the Russian fleet...

    , 14 August: naval battle
    Naval battle
    A naval battle is a battle fought using boats, ships or other waterborne vessels. Most naval battles have occurred at sea, but a few have taken place on lakes or rivers. The earliest recorded naval battle took place in 1210 BC near Cyprus...

     Japanese victory
  • 1904–1905 Siege of Port Arthur
    Siege of Port Arthur
    The Siege of Port Arthur , 1 August 1904 – 2 January 1905, the deep-water port and Russian naval base at the tip of the Liaotung Peninsula in Manchuria, was the longest and most violent land battle of the Russo-Japanese War....

    , 19 August to 2 January: Japanese victory
  • 1904 Battle of Liaoyang
    Battle of Liaoyang
    The Battle of Liaoyang was one of the major land battles of the Russo-Japanese War....

    , 25 August to 3 September: Inconclusive
  • 1904 Battle of Shaho
    Battle of Shaho
    The Battle of Shaho was a land battle of the Russo-Japanese War fought along a front centered at the Sha River on the Mukden–Port Arthur spur of the China Far East Railway just north of Liaoyang, Manchuria.-Background:...

    , 5 October to 17 October: Inconclusive
  • 1905 Battle of Sandepu
    Battle of Sandepu
    The Battle of Sandepu, was a major land battle of the Russo-Japanese War. It was fought within a group of villages about 36 miles southwest of Mukden, Manchuria.-Background:...

    , 26 January to 27 January: Inconclusive
  • 1905 Battle of Mukden
    Battle of Mukden
    One of the largest land battles to be fought before World War I, the , the last major land battle of the Russo-Japanese War, was fought from 20 February to 10 March 1905 between Japan and Russia near Mukden in Manchuria...

    , 21 February to 10 March: Japanese victory
  • 1905 Battle of Tsushima
    Battle of Tsushima
    The Battle of Tsushima , commonly known as the “Sea of Japan Naval Battle” in Japan and the “Battle of Tsushima Strait”, was the major naval battle fought between Russia and Japan during the Russo-Japanese War...

    , 27 May to 28 May naval battle
    Naval battle
    A naval battle is a battle fought using boats, ships or other waterborne vessels. Most naval battles have occurred at sea, but a few have taken place on lakes or rivers. The earliest recorded naval battle took place in 1210 BC near Cyprus...

    : Japanese victory

Cause of IRN and IJN Warships Sunk During the War 1904–1905

Although submarines, torpedoes, torpedo boats, and steel battleships preceded the Russo-Japanese by many years, since 1866 in the case of the automotive self propelled torpedo for example, and its first successful use in 1877 during the Russo-Turkish War. The Russo-Japanese war was the first conflict to see the first massive deployment of all of those weapon systems. The war would witness the deployment of over a hundred of the newly invented torpedo boats and nearly the same number in torpedo boat destroyers (termed destroyers by the end of the war), from both sides. The Imperial Russian Navy would become the first navy in history to possess an independent operational submarine fleet on 1 January 1905. With this submarine fleet making its first combat patrol on 14 February 1905, and its first clash with enemy surface warships on 29 April 1905, all this nearly a decade before World War I even began.

During the course of the war, the IRN and IJN would launch nearly 300 self propelled automotive torpedoes at one another. Dozens of warships would be hit and damaged, but only 1 battleship, 2 armoured cruisers, and 2 destroyers would be permanently sunk (not salvaged). Another 80 plus warships would be destroyed by the traditional gun, mine, or other cause. The Russian battleship Oslyabya
Oslyabya
Rodion Oslyabya was a Russian monk from Saint Sergius's Trinity Abbey who became famous for his part in the Battle of Kulikovo. According to Oleg N. Trubachev, the nickname "Oslyabya" is a hypocoristic for "donkey". His Christian name has been given in various sources as Roman, Rodion, Andrian and...

was the first modern battleship sunk by gunfire alone, and Admiral Rozhestvensky's flagship, the battleship Knyaz Suvorov was the first modern battleship sunk by the new "torpedo" on the high seas.

Vessel type and cause of loss

  • Battleship
    Battleship
    A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

    s lost to naval gunfire-3 (plus 1 Coastal Battleship) IRN
  • Battleships lost to land/shore batteries-4 IRN
  • Battleships lost to combination of gunfire & torpedoes-2 IRN
  • Battleships lost to strictly torpedoes-1 IRN
  • Battleships lost to mines-2 (plus 1 Coastal Battleship) IJN/1 IRN
  • Cruiser
    Cruiser
    A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

    s lost to naval gunfire-5 IRN
  • Cruisers lost to land/shore batteries-3 IRN
  • Cruisers lost to mines-1 IRN/4 IJN
  • Destroyer
    Destroyer
    In naval terminology, a destroyer is a fast and maneuverable yet long-endurance warship intended to escort larger vessels in a fleet, convoy or battle group and defend them against smaller, powerful, short-range attackers. Destroyers, originally called torpedo-boat destroyers in 1892, evolved from...

    s (DDs, GBs, TBDs, TBs) lost to naval gunfire-6 IRN/3 IJN
  • Destroyers (DDs, GBs, TBDs, TBs) lost to shore batteries-3 IRN
  • Destroyers (DDs, GBs, TBDs, TBs) lost to gunfire & torpedoes-1 IJN
  • Destroyers (DDs, GBs, TBDs, TBs) lost to torpedoes-2 IRN
  • Destroyers (DDs, GBs, TBDs, TBs) lost to mines-3 IRN/3 IJN
  • Auxiliary cruisers lost to naval gunfire-1 IRN
  • Auxiliary Cruisers lost to shore batteries-1 RN
  • Auxiliary Gunboats lost to mines-1 IJN
  • Minelayer
    Minelayer
    Minelaying is the act of deploying explosive mines. Historically this has been carried out by ships, submarines and aircraft. Additionally, since World War I the term minelayer refers specifically to a naval ship used for deploying naval mines...

    s lost to shore batteries-1 IRN
  • Minelayers lost to mines-1 IRN
  • Submarine
    Submarine
    A submarine is a watercraft capable of independent operation below the surface of the water. It differs from a submersible, which has more limited underwater capability...

    s-3 lost to scuttling & 1 lost by shipwreck IRN (Note: Only IRN submarines were operational during the war)


The above data includes vessels that were sunk and consequently salvaged (raised) and put back into service by either combatant. Data regarding surface
Surface
In mathematics, specifically in topology, a surface is a two-dimensional topological manifold. The most familiar examples are those that arise as the boundaries of solid objects in ordinary three-dimensional Euclidean space R3 — for example, the surface of a ball...

 vessels either shipwrecked or scuttled was excluded.

Imperial Russian Navy warships sunk, 1904–1905

From 1880 through the end of the war, Russia prepared a systematic plan to build their navy into a major naval power, able to meet any modern adversary—which during this time period were primarily based in Europe. By 1884 Russia lead the world in numbers of the newly invented torpedo boats and torpedo boat destroyers with 115 such vessels. By 1904, the IRN was a first rate navy, but by the end of 1905, Russia was reduced to a third rate naval power.

Warship type, name, and date of loss

  • Battleship
    Battleship
    A battleship is a large armored warship with a main battery consisting of heavy caliber guns. Battleships were larger, better armed and armored than cruisers and destroyers. As the largest armed ships in a fleet, battleships were used to attain command of the sea and represented the apex of a...

     Navarin 28 May 1905
  • Battleship Sissoi Veliky 28 May 1905
  • Battleship (Coastal) Admiral Ushakov 28 May 1905
  • Battleship Petropavlovsk
    Russian battleship Petropavlovsk (1897)
    The Petropavlovsk was the lead ship of the Petropavlovsk class of battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy. During the Russo-Japanese War, Petropavlovsk was a flagship of the First Pacific Squadron, taking part in battles against the Imperial Japanese Navy. On March 31, 1904, the battleship...

    13 April 1904
  • Battleship Sevastopol
    Russian battleship Sevastopol (1895)
    Sevastopol was the last of three ships in the Petropavlovsk class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1890s...

    2 January 1905
  • Battleship Oslyabya
    Russian battleship Oslyabya
    The Oslyabya was a battleship of the Russian Imperial Navy, belonging to the . She was named for Rodion Oslyabya, a 14th century monk of the Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra and a hero of the Battle of Kulikovo....

    27 May 1905
  • Battleship Borodino
    Russian battleship Borodino
    The Borodino was the class leader of the , and the second ship of her class to be completed. The ship was named after the 1812 Battle of Borodino. Borodino was lost at the Battle of Tsushima on 27 May 1905 due to explosions set off by a Japanese shell hitting a 6-inch magazine...

    27 May 1905
  • Battleship Imperator Aleksandr III 27 May 1905
  • Battleship Knyaz Suvorov 27 May 1905
  • Cruiser
    Cruiser
    A cruiser is a type of warship. The term has been in use for several hundreds of years, and has had different meanings throughout this period...

     Vladimir Monomakh
    Russian armoured cruiser Vladimir Monomakh
    Vladimir Monomakh was an armoured cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy during the 1880s. The vessel was named after Vladimir II Monomakh, Grand Prince of Kiev. She spent most of her career in the Far East, although the ship was in the Baltic Sea when the Russo-Japanese War began in 1904...

    28 May 1905
  • Cruiser Dmitri Donskoy
    Russian armoured cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi
    Dmitrii Donskoi was an armoured cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the early 1880s. She was designed as a commerce raider and equipped with a full suite of sails to economize on coal consumption. The ship spent the bulk of her career abroad, either in the Far East or in the Mediterranean...

    28 May 1905
  • Cruiser Admiral Nakhimov
    Russian armoured cruiser Admiral Nakhimov
    Admiral Nakhimov , was an armoured cruiser in the Imperial Russian Navy during the Russo-Japanese War. She was named after Admiral Pavel Nakhimov)-Construction:...

    28 May 1905
  • Cruiser Rurik 14 August 1904
  • Cruiser Svetlana
    Russian cruiser Svetlana (1896)
    The Russian cruiser Svetlana was a protected cruiser built in France in the mid-1890s. In peacetime, she was used as a yacht for the Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Russian Navy.-References:...

    28 May 1905
  • Gunboat
    Gunboat
    A gunboat is a naval watercraft designed for the express purpose of carrying one or more guns to bombard coastal targets, as opposed to those military craft designed for naval warfare, or for ferrying troops or supplies.-History:...

     Gremyashchi 18 August 1904
  • Gunboat Otvajni 2 January 1905
  • Torpedo Boat Destroyer (TBD) Steregushchi 19 March 1904
  • TBD Strashni 13 April 1904
  • TBD Stroini 13 November 1904
  • TBD Vnushitelni 25 February 1904
  • TBD Vuinoslivi 24 August 1904
  • TBD Buini 28 May 1905
  • TBD Gromki 28 May 1905
  • TBD Glestyashtchi 28 May 1905
  • TBD Bezuprechni 28 May 1905
  • Torpedo Boat (TB) Tantchikhe (#201) 21 August 1904
  • TB
    Torpedo boat
    A torpedo boat is a relatively small and fast naval vessel designed to carry torpedoes into battle. The first designs rammed enemy ships with explosive spar torpedoes, and later designs launched self-propelled Whitehead torpedoes. They were created to counter battleships and other large, slow and...

     Ussuri (#204) 30 June 1904


The above list excludes captured, surrendered, or sunken warships that were raised and put back into service by either combatant.

Financing

Despite its gold reserves of £106.3 million, Russia's pre-war financial situation was not enviable. The country had had large budget deficits year after year, and was largely dependent on borrowed money.

Russia's war effort was funded primarily by France, in a series of loans totalling Fr.800 million; another loan in the amount of Fr.600 million was agreed upon, but later cancelled. These loans were extended within a climate of mass bribing of the French press (made necessary by Russia's precarious economic and social situation and poor military performance). Although initially reluctant to participate in the war, the French government and major banks were co-operative since it became clear that Russian and French economic interests were tied. In addition to French money, Russia secured a German loan in the amount of M500 million.

Conversly, Japan's pre-war gold reserves were a modest £11.7 million; a major portion of the total cost of the war was covered by money borrowed from England and America.

During his canvassing expedition in London, the Japanese Vice-Governor of the Bank of Japan met Jacob Schiff, a Jewish-American banker and head of Kuhn, Loeb & Co. Schiff was sympathetic to Japan's cause, and extended a critical series of loans to the Empire of Japan, in the amount of $200 million.

Arts 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 disastrous war was among the reasons that spurred Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
    Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five.The Five, also known as The Mighty Handful or The Mighty Coterie, refers to a circle of composers who met in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in the years 1856–1870: Mily Balakirev , César...

     to compose his satirical opera, The Golden Cockerel
    The Golden Cockerel
    The Golden Cockerel is an opera in three acts, with short prologue and even shorter epilogue, by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Its libretto, by Vladimir Belsky, derives from Alexander Pushkin's 1834 poem The Tale of the Golden Cockerel, which in turn is based on two chapters of Tales of the Alhambra by...

    , 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.
  • Russian novelist Vikenty Veresayev
    Vikenty Veresayev
    Vikenty Vikentyevich Veresaev , , was a Russian writer and medical doctor. His real last name was Smidovich.-Early life:...

     wrote a detailed and scathing memoir of his experiences in the Russo-Japanese War, entitled In the War.
  • Russian-born British spy Sidney Reilly
    Sidney Reilly
    Lieutenant Sidney George Reilly, MC , famously known as the Ace of Spies, was a Jewish Russian-born adventurer and secret agent employed by Scotland Yard, the British Secret Service Bureau and later the Secret Intelligence Service . He is alleged to have spied for at least four nations...

    's role in providing intelligence that allowed the Japanese surprise attack that started the Siege of Port Arthur
    Siege of Port Arthur
    The Siege of Port Arthur , 1 August 1904 – 2 January 1905, the deep-water port and Russian naval base at the tip of the Liaotung Peninsula in Manchuria, was the longest and most violent land battle of the Russo-Japanese War....

     is dramatised in Episode 2 of the TV series Reilly, Ace of Spies
    Reilly, Ace of Spies
    Reilly, Ace of Spies is a 1983 television miniseries dramatizing the life of Sidney Reilly, a Russian Jew who became one of the greatest spies to ever work for the British. Among his exploits in the early 20th century were the infiltration of the German General Staff in 1917 and a near-overthrow of...

    .
  • The Siege of Port Arthur
    Siege of Port Arthur
    The Siege of Port Arthur , 1 August 1904 – 2 January 1905, the deep-water port and Russian naval base at the tip of the Liaotung Peninsula in Manchuria, was the longest and most violent land battle of the Russo-Japanese War....

     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. He was contused and narrowly evaded amputation of both legs in the hospital. His father, Nikolay Stepanov, commanded one of the Russian onshore batteries that protected the harbor. Through him, Alexander knew many of the city's top military commanders personally—generals Stessels, Belikh, Nikitin, Kondratenko, Admiral Makarov, and others. He wrote the novel in 1932, based on his diaries and his father's notes. Though it might be subject to an ideological bias, as anything published in the USSR at that time, Russians generally consider it one of the best historical novels of the Soviet period.
  • "On the hills of Manchuria
    On the Hills of Manchuria
    "On the hills of Manchuria" is a haunting waltz composed in 1906 by Ilya Alekseevich Shatrov, a military musician who served in the Russo-Japanese War, while the lyrics are the work of the poet Stepan Petrov, better known by the pen-name of Skitalets....

    " (Na sopkah Manchzhurii), a melancholy waltz
    Waltz
    The waltz is a ballroom and folk dance in time, performed primarily in closed position.- History :There are several references to a sliding or gliding dance,- a waltz, from the 16th century including the representations of the printer H.S. Beheim...

     composed by Ilya Shatrov, a military musician who served in the war, became an evergreen popular song in Russia and in Finland. The original lyrics are about fallen soldiers lying in their graves in Manchuria, but alternative lyrics were written later, especially during Second World War.
  • The Russo-Japanese War is occasionally alluded to in James Joyce
    James Joyce
    James Augustine Aloysius Joyce was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century...

    's novel, Ulysses
    Ulysses (novel)
    Ulysses is a novel by the Irish author James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, and then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, in Paris. One of the most important works of Modernist literature,...

    . 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 1969 Japanese film Nihonkai daikaisen (Battle in the Sea of Japan) depicts the naval battles of the war, the attacks on the Port Arthur highlands, and the subterfuge and diplomacy of Japanese agents in Sweden. Admiral Togo is portrayed by Toshirô Mifune
    Toshiro Mifune
    Toshirō Mifune was a Japanese actor who appeared in almost 170 feature films. He is best known for his 16-film collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, from 1948 to 1965, in works such as Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Yojimbo...

    .
  • The Russo-Japanese War is the setting for the naval strategy computer game Distant Guns developed by Storm Eagle Studios.
  • The Russo-Japanese War is the setting for the first part of the novel The Diamond Vehicle, in the Erast Fandorin
    Erast Fandorin
    Erast Petrovich Fandorin is a fictional 19th-century Russian detective and the hero of a series of Russian historical detective novels by Boris Akunin. The first novel was published in Russia in 1998, and the latest was published in December 2009...

     detective series by Boris Akunin
    Boris Akunin
    Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili , a Russian writer. He is an essayist, literary translator and writer of detective fiction.-Life and career:...

    .
  • The Domination
    The Domination
    The Domination of Draka is a dystopian alternate history series by S. M. Stirling. It comprises a main trilogy of novels as well as one crossover novel set after the original and a book of short stories...

    series by S.M. Stirling has an alternate Battle of Tsushima where the Japanese use airship
    Airship
    An airship or dirigible is a type of aerostat or "lighter-than-air aircraft" that can be steered and propelled through the air using rudders and propellers or other thrust mechanisms...

    s to attack the Russian Fleet. This is detailed in the short story "Written by the Wind" by Roland J. Green
    Roland J. Green
    Roland James Green is an American science fiction and fantasy writer and editor. He has written as Roland Green and Roland J. Green; and had 28 books in the Richard Blade series published as Jeffrey Lord .- Early life and personal matters :Green was born in Bradford, Pennsylvania, in 1944...

     in the Drakas! anthology.

See also

  • Kentaro Kaneko
  • Baron Rosen
  • Imperialism in Asia
    Imperialism in Asia
    Imperialism in Asia traces its roots back to the late 15th century with a series of voyages that sought a sea passage to India in the hope of establishing direct trade between Europe and Asia in spices. Before 1500 European economies were largely self-sufficient, only supplemented by minor trade...

  • Liancourt Rocks
  • List of wars
  • Russian Imperialism in Asia and the Russo-Japanese War
  • Sergius Witte

Further reading

  • Corbett, Sir Julian. Maritime Operations In The Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905. (1994) Originally classified, and in two volumnes, ISBN 1-55750-129-7.
  • Hough, Richard A. The Fleet That Had To Die. Ballantine Books. (1960).
  • Jentschura, Hansgeorg; Dieter Jung, Peter Mickel. Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1869–1945. United States Naval Institute
    United States Naval Institute
    The United States Naval Institute , based at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is a private, non-profit, professional military association that seeks to offer independent, nonpartisan forums for debate of national defense issues...

    , Annapolis, Maryland, 1977. Originally published in German
    German language
    German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

     as Die Japanischen Kreigschiffe 1869–1945 in 1970, translated into English by David Brown and Antony Preston. ISBN 0-87021-893-X.
  • Jukes, Geoffry. The Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905. Osprey Essential Histories. (2002). ISBN 978-1-84176-446-7.
  • Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. Scarecrow. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5.
  • Matsumura Masayoshi, Ian Ruxton (trans.), Baron Kaneko and the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05), Lulu Press 2009 ISBN 978-0557117512
  • Morris, Edmund (2002). Theodore Rex
    Theodore Rex (book)
    Theodore Rex is a biography of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt written by author Edmund Morris. It is the second volume of a trilogy, preceded by the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt and succeeded by Colonel Roosevelt which was published on November 23, 2010.Theodore Rex...

    , Books.Gooble.com. New York: Random House. 10-ISBN 0-8129-6600-7; 13-ISBN 978-0-8129-6600-8
  • Novikov-Priboy, Aleksei. Tsushima. (An account from a seaman aboard the Battleship Orel
    Japanese battleship Iwami
    Japanese battleship Iwami was one of eight Russian pre-dreadnought battleships captured by the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. It was built as the Russian battleship Oryol , and was commissioned into the Imperial Russian Navy's Baltic Fleet...

    , which was captured at Tsushima). London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd. (1936).
  • Nish
    Ian Nish
    Ian Hill Nish CBE is a British academic, a specialist in Japanese studies, and Emeritus Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science ....

    , Ian Hill. (1985). The Origins of the Russo-Japanese War. London: Longman
    Longman
    Longman was a publishing company founded in London, England in 1724. It is now an imprint of Pearson Education.-Beginnings:The Longman company was founded by Thomas Longman , the son of Ezekiel Longman , a gentleman of Bristol. Thomas was apprenticed in 1716 to John Osborn, a London bookseller, and...

    . 10-ISBN 0-582-49114-2; 13-ISBN 978-0-582-49114-4
  • 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 0-465-05792-6. (2002).
  • Saaler, Sven und Inaba Chiharu (Hg.). Der Russisch-Japanische Krieg 1904/05 im Spiegel deutscher Bilderbogen, Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien Tokyo, (2005).
  • Seager, Robert. Alfred Thayer Mahan: The Man And His Letters. (1977) ISBN 0-87021-359-8.
  • Semenov, Vladimir, Capt. The Battle of Tsushima. E.P. Dutton & Co. (1912).
  • Semenov, Vladimir, Capt. Rasplata (The Reckoning). John Murray, (1910).
  • 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 0-7146-5256-3.
  • Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Correspondence Regarding the Negotiations between Japan and Russia (1903–1904), Presented to the Imperial Diet, March 1904 (Tokyo, 1904)

External links

  • RussoJapaneseWar.com, Russo-Japanese War research society.
  • BFcollection.net, Database of Russian Army Jewish soldiers injured, killed, or missing in action from the war.
  • BYU.edu, Text of the Treaty of Portsmouth:.
  • Flot.com, Russian Navy history of war.
  • Frontiers.loc.gov, Russo-Japanese Relations in the Far East. Meeting of Frontiers (Library of Congress
    Library of Congress
    The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

    )
  • CSmonitor.com, Treaty of Portsmouth now seen as global turning point from the Christian Science Monitor, by Robert Marquand, 30 December 2005.
  • The New Student's Reference Work/Russo-Japanese War
  • Montenigrina.net, Montenegrins in the Russo-Japanese War (Montenegrin).
  • Stanford.edu, Lyrics, translation and melody of the song "On the hills of Manchuria" (Na sopkah Manchzhurii).
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