The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero

The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero

The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero

The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero

Synopsis

This volume examines the Russo-Japanese War in its military, diplomatic, social, political, economic, and cultural context. Through the use of research from newly opened Russian and little used Japanese sources the editors assert that the Russo-Japanese War was, in fact, World War Zero, the first global conflict in the 20th century. The contributors demonstrate that the Russo-Japanese War, largely forgotten in the aftermath of World War One, actually was a precursor to the catastrophe that engulfed the world less than a decade after the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth. This study not only further reveals the weaknesses of Imperial Russia but also exhibits Japan as it entered its fateful 20th century. Contributors: Oleg Rudolfovich Airapetov; Boris Vasilevich Ananich; Michael Auslin; Paul A. Bushkovitch; John Bushnell; Frederick R. Dickinson; Tatiana Aleksandrovna Filippova; David Goldfrank; Antti Kujala; Dominic Lieven; Igor Vladimirovich Lukoianov; Pertti Luntinen; Steven Marks; Yoshihisa Tak Matsusaka; David Maclaren Mcdonald; Bruce W. Menning; Edward S. Miller; Ian Nish ; Dmitrii Ivanovich Oleinikov; Nicholas Papastratigakis; Paul A. Rodell; Norman E. Saul; Charles Schencking; Barry Scherr; David Schimmelpenninck Van Der Oye; Evgenii Iurevich Sergeev; Naoko Shimazu; Yokote Shinji; John W. Steinberg; Richard Stites; James T. Ulak; David Wolff; Don Wright.

Excerpt

World war as a form of conflict spanning the continents, engaging their millions in an all-embracing do-or-die effort, and unleashing the enhanced lethality of industrialized combat, is arguably the twentieth century's most baleful legacy. Although historians commonly refer to Europe's Great War of 1914–18 as the First World War, this volume contends that in many ways the modern era of global conflict began a decade earlier with armed confrontation between Russia and Japan. The Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 was fought between an established European power and an emerging Asian power, but most of the combat occurred either in China and Korea or in adjacent waters, while the war itself was largely financed in third-party money markets. Other nations also produced many of the capital ships and heavy armaments that figured prominently in the conflict, while outside observers viewed the war as a testing ground for military theories and applications born elsewhere. Indeed, while the rest of the world proclaimed “neutrality, ” larger alliance systems governed the conduct of states in other parts of the world, disciplining expectations and participation. Meanwhile, the non-aligned states of the world tended to identify their interests with one side or another, thereby contributing to a realization that the world was rapidly dividing itself into armed camps. When peace was restored in September 1905, it came neither at Shimonoseki nor in St. Petersburg, but in the American city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, thus heralding the notion in global history that key decisions affecting Europe and Asia might be made or be substantially influenced elsewhere. Finally, the Russo-Japanese War aroused nationalist passions among peoples of the Euro-American colonial world, lending impetus to fledgling anti-colonial sentiments and movements that would continue to blossom during the twentieth century's two better-known world wars.

In narrower military perspective, the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 presaged the Great War of 1914–18 in ways that were either unknown, undiscovered, or undeveloped in its more recent European and American antecedents. By the turn of the twentieth century, the second generation of the industrial revolution had made . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.