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Osprey Essential Histories 31 : The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905

The Russo-Japanese war in 1904-1905 was the first defeat of a major European imperialist power by an Asian country. When Japanese and Russian expansionist interests collided over Manchuria and Korea, the Tsar assumed Japan would never dare to fight. However, after years of planning, Japan launched a surprise attack on the Russian Port Arthur, on the Liaoyang Peninsula in 1904 and the war that followed saw Japan win major battles against Russia. This book explains the background and outbreak of the war, then follows through the course of the fighting at Yalu River, Sha-ho, and finally Mukden, the largest battle anywhere in the world before the First World War. Japan was also successful at sea, with the Battle of Tsushima in May 1905 ending with almost all the Russian fleet sunk, captured or interned. Despite these successes, she agreed to US mediation in 1905 and the war came to an end. What might seem a minor scuffle over land had enormous international consequences. Japan emerged as a Great Power with an entrenched militaristic attitude; Russia became aware of her military weakness and attempted an overhaul of the army and navy. At the same time continued internal unrest in Russia signalled the beginning of the end of the imperialist system; finally, Korea, which lost independence, was annexed by Japan a few years later. Text by Geoffrey Jukes.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • Background to War : Russia's Foothold in the Far East
  • Warring Sides : Relative Strengths of Russia and Japan
  • Outbreak : The Strike on Port Arthur
  • The Fighting : Russian Might and Japanese Manoeuvres
  • Portrait of a Soldier : Russia's Harsh Reality
  • The World around War : Russian Defeats add to Domestic Unrest
  • Portrait of a Civilian : The Impact on Neutral China
  • Conclusion and Consequences : Witte Woos the US Public

 

Osprey Essential Histories


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