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Facts on the Russo-Japanese War

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Illustration of Japanese troops charging uphill during the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05

Japanese troops charge a Russian position in Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese War, 1904.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Snapshot of the Russo-Japanese War:

 

When: February 8, 1904 to September 5, 1905

Where: The Yellow Sea, Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula

Who: The Russian Empire, ruled by Tsar Nicholas II, versus the Japanese Empire, ruled by the Meiji Emperor

Total Troop Deployment:

Russia - approx. 2,000,000

Japan - 400,000

Who won the Russo-Japanese War? Amazingly, the Japanese Empire defeated the Russian Empire, thanks mostly to superior naval strength and tactics. It was a negotiated peace, rather than a complete or crushing victory, but hugely important for Japan's rising status in the world.

 

 

Total Deaths:

In battle - Russian, approx. 38,000; Japanese, 58,257.

From disease - Russian, 18,830; Japanese, 21,802.

(Source: Patrick W. Kelley, Military Preventive Medicine: Mobilization and Deployment, 2004)

 

 

Major Events and Turning Points:

Battle of Port Arthur, Feb. 8 - 9, 1904

Battle of Yalu River, April 30 - May 1, 1904

Siege of Port Arthur, July 30 - January 2, 1905

Battle of the Yellow Sea, August 10, 1904

Battle of Sandepu, January 25 - 29, 1905

Battle of Mukden, February 20 - March 10, 1905

Battle of Tsushima, May 27 -28, 1905

Treaty of Portsmouth, September 5, 1905, formally ended the Russo-Japanese. Signed at Portsmouth, Maine, USA

 

Significance of the Russo-Japanese War:

 

The Russo-Japanese War held great international significance, as it was the first all-out war of the modern era in which a non-European power defeated one of Europe's great powers. As a result, the Russian Empire and Tsar Nicholas II lost considerable prestige, along with two of their three naval fleets. Popular outrage in Russia at the outcome helped lead to the Russian Revolution of 1905, a wave of unrest that lasted more than two years but did not manage to topple the tsar's government.

For the Japanese Empire, of course, victory in the Russo-Japanese War cemented its place as an up-and-coming great power, particularly since it came on the heels of Japan's victory in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. Nonetheless, public opinion in Japan was none too favorable. The Treaty of Portsmouth did not grant Japan either the territory or the monetary reparations that the Japanese people expected after their significant investment of energy and blood in the war.

 

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