domingo, 8 de febrero de 2015

February 8: Today is anniversary of the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904.

Russian expansion during the XIX century in Far East

A surprise night attack by the Japanese fleet fired torpedoes against the Russian fleet which was anchored in Port Arthur, Manchuria. Thus began what would be perhaps the greatest shame in Russian history.

Greater Manchuria. Russian (outer) Manchuria is the lighter red region to the upper right.

Some Japanese slighted in the Western world are thrown into a war against the Russian Bear, increased military empire in Asia and with very respectable historical trajectory in the Western world.

                      The Russo Japanese War (1904-1905). 

In 1896 the Russians had managed to get concessions from the ChineseQing court in order to have access to Manchuria. The Russians wanted to build their Trans-Siberian railroad straight through Manchuria to connect it to the port of Vladivostok. Tne Russians would save hundreds of miles off of their route.

                Japanese infantry during the occupation of Seul, Korea in 1904.

The Peace of Portsmouth in 1905 ended the conflict. Japan won the southern part of Sakhalin, Port Arthur, and the protectorate over Korea, and southern Manchuria.

An illustration of a Japanese assault during the Battle of Mukden.

At the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Japan had become a new major world power in the true sense of the word. Now it was justly called Imperial Japan (Dai Nippon), and full participation in Western imperialist rivalries within East Asia.

               Retreat of Russian soldiers after the Battle of Mukden.

The Russian humiliation led to the Russian Revolution of 1905, by which the Russian people demanded the Tsar to liberalize politics, and let be an assembly of the people who much later will be call "Duma". Disasters of the Russian army will be repeated during the First World War, and thus came the Great Russian Revolution of 1917.