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Russo-japanese war and outcomes.

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Russo-japanese war and outcomes.

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The Russo-Japanese War (1904-5) was the first conflict in this century fought between great powers. Japan seized the planned idea by launching a surprise attack on Russian naval forces in the Far East and landing an army on the Asian mainland. Yet Japan's first gains did not produce a rapid conclusion to the conflict, which lasted for almost nineteen months. The fighting on land revolved around the desperate blockade of the Russian naval base at Port Arthur and large battles fought in Manchuria. Neither side proved able to win. At sea, however, the Japanese achieved a series of notable successes over the Russian Navy. The Battle of Tsushima--in which a Russian fleet was annihilated after steaming 18,000 miles from the Baltic Sea to Northeast Asia which is often considered a classic example of a decisive fleet engagement. By the spring of 1905, both Japan and Russia were exhausted. The defeats suffered by the Russian armed forces in the Far East provoked outbreaks of revolutionary violence throughout Russia. Meanwhile, Japan was near the end of its financial and manpower reserves. The war weariness of both sides led them to accept the offer to open negotiations made by President Theodore Roosevelt, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomatic efforts.

The Russo-Japanese War is important for several reasons. First, it was fought in Northeast Asia, which has been and remains an important cockpit of conflict. As such it may provide a useful starting point for thinking about potential regional conflicts in the future. Second, Japan's successful conduct of this limited war can be profitably compared and contrasted with Prussia's conduct of the German Wars of Unification. Third, featuring as it did significant actions both on land and at sea, the Russo-Japanese war raises highly interesting questions about the interconnection between land and sea power, and the ways in which different kinds of military power can be combined for the optimal strategic results....