Russian column in Manchuria

Introduction, Index, and Sources

In the late Nineteenth Century, the expanding Russian and Japanese spheres of influence began to collide in Korea and Manchuria - the Russian occupation of Manchuria in 1900 led to war by February 1904.  At the outset, the Russians were supremely confident, but it was the far better prepared Japanese who won victory after victory in a series of immense land and naval battles.  Both nations were exhausted by the summer of 1905, and peace was concluded in September in a conference hosted by Theodore Roosevelt.

The war was a disaster for Russia.  The humiliating defeats weakened the Czar's authority and set off a revolution that contributed to the eventual triumph of the Bolsheviks a dozen years later.  Indirectly, the war’s effects on Japan were equally unfortunate, as its ambitions - especially in China - began to grow uncontrollably.

(1): The Background, from the 17th Century to January 1904

(2): The Outbreak of the War, February - April 1904

(3): The Fighting Intensifies, May - December 1904

(4): The Climax and End of the War,  January - November 1905

Sources include:
Noel F. Busch.  The Emperor’s Sword: Japan vs. Russia in the Battle of Tsushima.  1969
Trevor N. Dupuy.  Harper Encyclopedia of Military History, Fourth Edition.  1993
Ian V. Hogg.  Battles: A Concise Dictionary.  1995
W. Bruce Lincoln.  In War's Dark Shadow: The Russians Before the Great War.  1983
Colin MacKerras.  Modern China: A Chronology from 1842 to the Present.  1982
Franklin D. Margiotta (ed).  Brassey’s Encyclopedia of Military History and Biography.  1994
Michael Montgomery.  Imperialist Japan: The Yen to Dominate.  1987
Ian Nish.  Japanese Foreign Policy  1869-1942: Kasumigaseki to Miyakezaka.  1977
David Walder.  The Short Victorious War: The Russo-Japanese Conflict, 1904-1905.  1973
Hugh Seton -Watson.  The Russian Empire  1801-1917.  1967
Denis and Peggy Warner.  The Tide at Sunrise:  A History of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905.  1974