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The Russian-Japanese war of 1904 was a European
conflict that was
fought because one country was becoming too strong.
The conflict was mainly
fought because two separate countries had their
own special interests in far east
countries like Korea, China, and Manchuria.
and Japan recognized the independance of China and Korea, but at
time authorized each other to intervene in either territory if their own
"special interests" were threatened by another power or by internal disorder.
That power was now Russia. There was already a rivalry going on between
Britain and Russia because of the Trans-Siberian railway but now there was
another dimension. Russia now had access to the pacific. Her presence in
threatened already established Britain interests. China leased the
Arthur to Russia and allowed them to store their war ships
there. The two
empires were set on a collision course.
very reluctant to commit herself to a distant threat of war so she
a step to allying herself with the growing industrial power of Japan. In
doing so, Britain found her soldiers in the east.
At this time Russia failed
to realize how powerful Britain and Japan had
made themselves. Russia
was unable to take Japan seriously even though they
had many reports on
how large the Japanese naval and military forces were.
Russia\'s constant penetration into Korea and Manchuria
despite the presence of numbers of Japanese immagrants
had succeeded in replacing the now defunct Chinese influence with
Russia now began taking over the administrative departments and had
officers train the Korean army to fight on their side.
In April, May, and
June of 1903, Russian\'s had told the Japanese that they
would move out
of China. They did not and continued to occupy the land. In
July of the
that same year, the Japanese Ambassador proposed that Russia and
were to recognize the independance of China and Korea. Both nations
to rcognize preponderance, the Japanese in Korea balanced by russians in
Manchuria. They were to recall their troops from their respective area as
possible. In return, the Russians would protect the railways in
the Japanese would do the same in Korea.
It came to the
attention of the Japanese that the Russians were building up
and military forces in the far east. They were also moving troops not
only into Manchuria, but also into North Korea. It now became obvious to the
Japnese that the Russians had no intention of releasing their hold on Manchuria
and Korea. Nevertheless, the negotiations went on. On February 10th, 1904,
both nations produced formal declarations of war.
On February 8th, a large
part of the Russian Pacific squadron lat anchor in
the roadstead of Port
Arthur. The ships were arranged in three lines running east
The innermost consisting of five battleships: the flagship, the
the sebastopol, peresuept, pobieda, and pollada. The middle line
by two more battleships which were the tsarevich and the retvizan.
were followed by three crusiers and the outline of three more. Meanwhile,
off Round Island about 60 miles east of Port Arthur, the Japanese fleet was
making its disposition under Admiral Togo. He was in command of the
fleet which had left Japan two days before they had broken off
11:00pm the Shiralaimo, the leading Japanese destroyer, came
of the two patrolling Russian destroyers, the Pastoropin and the
To the surprise of the Japanese, the two ships turned around and
back to Port Arthur so the captains could report to the Russian Admiral
Stark. At this time there was no fighting going on at all. However, as the
turned to go and make their report, the Japanese began to fire at
the same time
that the two Russian destroyers were making their report.
Pollada was the first Russian ship to go down, they were hit mid ship
one of the coal tankers caught on fire. The Retvizan was the next with a 200
square foot hole in her port side. The Tsarevich was hit on her stern.
Unfortunately, her bulkheads shattered and the steering compartment flooded.
All three ships tried to make it to shallow water. The Pollada grounded near
light house on the west side of the harbor, and the Retvizan and the
came to grief in the narrow gullet of the harbor, almost blocking
Togo of Japan, saw this and sent five merchant ships around
with bombs to
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Japan, Russia, Russo-Japanese War, Lshunkou District, Russian Far East, Manchuria, Empire of JapanRussian Empire relations, Foreign relations of Meiji Japan
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