History: The Russo-Japanese War

The Russo-Japanese war was a fight between the Russian empire and the Empire of Japan that lasted from 1904 to 1905. It started as a rivalry for dominance in Korea and Manchuria. The Russians wanted to extend the Trans-Siberian Railroad into a warmer area for strategic purposes and pressured China into letting them lease a port on the Liaodong Peninsula. However, when the Trans-Siberian Railroad was built it lacked proper transportation facilities and had limited how many troops and supplies were in Manchuria(it was unsecured). The Japanese were worried about the growing Russian influence in the region. Since the Russian army had a history of military aggression the Japanese originally wanted to make a deal with Russia. The Japanese offered to cease control of Manchuria to Russia as long as they could still maintained control over Korea. The Russians didn’t agree, wanting Korea North to be a neutral area. When negotiating failed the Japanese launch a surprise attack on Russia at the newly made navy port, Port Arthur, starting the war with the Battle of Port Arthur(February 8, 1904). The Russians were reluctant to leave the harbor because of the recent death of Admiral Stepan Osipovich Makarov who died on the Petropavlovsk in an attempt to break pass a blockade. The Japanese then attempted to launch another attack against Russia but it only resulted in many Japanese casualties. At the Battle of Liaoyang, the Japanese were able to push the Russian army back to Port Arthur from the sea, causing the Russians to send more troops to defend the area. Over the next year there were many battles and casualties, but by 1904 the Japanese navy had nearly sunk all the ships in the Russian’s navy fleet. In early 1905 a Russian commander of the Port Arthur’s garrison had surrendered, believing the port was no longer worth defending since they faced so many losses. Then the remaining Russian fleet were defeated at the Battle of Yellow Sea causing the Russian Empire to mobilize the Baltic Fleet. On May 27, 1905, the Battle of Tsushima Strait began when a Russian fleet attempted to sneak past a Japanese barracked at night, but were spotted. The war ended with the Treaty of Portsmouth, were Russia agreed to recognize Korea as part of the Japanese sphere of influence and withdrew their troops from Fort Arthur and Manchuria. The war however left a negative impact on both countries; leaving Japan nearly bankrupt and becoming one of the causes of the Russian Revolution. (Article) (Learn more)

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