Russo-Japanese War

Russo-Japanese War, 1904–5, imperialistic conflict that grew out of the rival designs of Russia and Japan on Manchuria and Korea. Russian failure to withdraw from Manchuria and Russian penetration into N Korea were countered by Japanese attempts to negotiate a division of the area into spheres of influence. The Russian government, however, was inflexible, and it was willing to risk an armed conflict in the belief that Japan was bound to be defeated and that a Russian victory would head off the growing threat of internal revolution in Russia. Japan broke off negotiations and severed (Feb. 6, 1904) diplomatic relations with Russia. Two days later, without a declaration of war, Japan attacked Port Arthur and bottled up the Russian fleet. A series of quick Japanese victories, which astounded the world, culminated in the fall of Port Arthur (Jan., 1905), the victory of troops under General Oyama at Shenyang (Feb.–Mar., 1905), and the destruction of the Russian fleet under Rozhdestvenski at Tsushima by Admiral Togo's fleet (May, 1905). Through the mediation of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, peace was made in September at Portsmouth, N.H. (see Portsmouth, Treaty of). The disastrous outcome of the war for Russia was one of the immediate causes of the Russian Revolution of 1905. Japan gained the position of a world power, becoming the first non-European and non-American imperialist modern state.

See I. Nish, The Origins of the Russo-Japanese War (1985); J. N. Westwood, Russia against Japan (1986).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero
John W. Steinberg; Bruce W. Menning; David Schimmelpenninck Van Der Oye; David Wolff; Shinji Yokote.
Brill, 2005
The Imperial Russian Response to American Contraband during the Russo-Japanese War: Controversy and Effects
Leshchenko, Oksana.
East European Quarterly, Vol. 31, No. 2, June 1997
Endurance and Endeavour: Russian History, 1812-1992
J. N. Westwood.
Oxford University Press, 1993 (4th edition)
Librarian’s tip: "The Russo-Japanese War" begins on p. 139
Russia: Tsarist and Communist
Anatole G. Mazour.
D. Van Nostrand, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 20 "The Russo-Japanese War and the Revolution, 1904-1905"
The Pursuit of Power in Modern Japan, 1825-1995
Chushichi Tsuzuki.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Russo-Japanese War and the Annexation of Korea"
Eastern Destiny: Russia in Asia and the North Pacific
G. Patrick March.
Praeger, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 18 "Korea and the Russo-Japanese War"
The Twilight of Imperial Russia
Richard Charques.
Essential Books, 1959
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "War on Two Fronts"
United Government and Foreign Policy in Russia, 1900-1914
David MacLaren McDonald.
Harvard University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Witte Kingdom in the Far East" and Chap. 4 "The Lessons of War"
Great Powers and Little Wars: The Limits of Power
A. Hamish Ion; E. J. Errington.
Praeger Publishers, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "The Limits of Financial Power: Japanese Foreign Borrowing and the Russo-Japanese War"
Britain and the Last Tsar: British Policy and Russia, 1894-1917
Keith Neilson.
Clarendon Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "The Russo-Japanese War"
Bayonets before Bullets: The Imperial Russian Army, 1861-1914
Bruce W. Menning.
Indiana University Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: "Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905" begins on p. 152
Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History of the Japanese Military
Robert B. Edgerton.
Westview Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. One "The Crucible of Conflict-Northeast Asia"
Port Arthur Revisited. (Frontline)
Connaughton, Richard.
History Today, Vol. 52, No. 1, January 2002
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