On This Day in 1904, the Russo-Japanese War Began



Russo-Japanese War — The Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 arose from the rivalry of two imperialistic regimes for the same area of ​​expansion in China’s northeast area (Manchuria). The Russian defeat on land and sea, was a major event in the early twentieth century: the victory of an Asian people on a European power, the first for centuries, changed the balance of of international relations in this part of world. In addition, the defeat of Russia increases the difficulties of the Russian government, which was already facing the revolutionary upsurge.

The Japanese surprise attack and the sinking of the Russian fleet in the harbor of Port Arthur, February 8, 1904, followed the breakdown of negotiations for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Manchuria. Having control of the sea, the Japanese landed in Korea, occupying Seoul and Manchuria in May 1904. The Japanese armies repel Russian troops, who, badly managed, went from defeat to defeat, to the point of being besieged in Port Arthur.

In October, a rescue offensive was attempted by General Kuropatkin, Minister of War, to clear the city. Taking first the offensive, the Japanese forced the troops of Kuropatkin to retreat beyond Mukden, where they were entrenched behind a powerful line of fortifications. On January 2, 1905, Port Arthur capitulated. A few weeks later, from 20 February to 8 March 1905, the Battle of Mukden took place where 600,000 men clashed. The battle ended in defeat for the Russian troops.

A few months earlier, the Russian Baltic Fleet, which was to rescue the troops engaged at Port Arthur, departed for Japan, which it reached in May after eight months. Admiral Rojdetsvenski wanted to go refuel in Vladivostok, but Admiral Togo Heihachiro prevented him from doing so. Thus happened the disaster of Tsushima Strait of Korea, May 27, 1905: 19 of 32 Russian ships were sunk.

In Russia, the military disasters will cause a revolution that forced the Tsar Nicolas II to make democratic concessions that were to be short-lived.

From: http://cubiclane.com/14063-2-76770/

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