Russian-Japanese War

The Russian-Japanese War was an armed struggle between Russia, ruled by the Tsar Nicholas II, and Japan, under emperor Meiji, taking place from February 1904 to May 1905, in the Far East. The cause of the war was Japanese and Russian imperial interests over Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula and the expansionist policies practiced by both countries. Since Russia was looking for an all-year-round port for her merchant and navy ships, China, under diplomatic pressure, had leased port Ryojun, known in the West as port Arthur, to the Russian government; it was located in the Lüshunku district, Manchuria. Russia did have a port on the Pacific Ocean, Vladivostok, but it remained closed during winter time for eight months.

Japan did not feel comfortable with the Russian fleet presence near the Korean Peninsula and its territorial waters. By 1904 diplomatic negotiations between Japan and Russia over Manchuria and Korea had failed. As a result, Japan launched a surprise naval attack on the Russian base at port Arthur on February 8, 1904, triggering the Russian-Japanese War. After a series of naval and land military engagements, Japan came off victorious when its fleet decisively defeated the Russians at the Battle of Tsushima Strait, which took place on May 28, 1905. One of the reasons for the Japanese victory was the fact that its battleships were faster, more maneuverable, and were fitted with longer range guns. Another reason for the Russian defeat was that the war theater was to far away from Moscow as logistic and military organization was very difficult to attain, especially in a time when aviation did not exist.

Japanese battleships in Tsushima Strait

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Siege of Port Arthur

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