.
 
Alexei N. Kuropatkin

 .
(2) The Outbreak of the War, February to April 1904


FEBRUARY 1904

Russia.
==Feb.01 > Speaking at a Winter Palace dinner, the Czar predicts “There will be no war.”

Diplomacy.
==Feb.01 > Britain and France pledge neutrality in the event of war in the Far East

Japan.
==Feb.01 > Japanese Chief of Staff Oyama informs the Emperor of the plans for a pre-emptive strike and makes an appeal for war
==Feb.beginning > Japanese army strength is at 180,000, with an active reserve of about 400,000 - about a sixth of Russia’s manpower

Naval Operations.
==Feb.03 > Japanese intelligence reports that the Russian Port Arthur squadron has put to sea

Japan.
==Feb.04.[afternoon?] > The Japanese Imperial Council formalizes the decision for war, and plans to eventually have America mediate the peace agreement

Diplomacy.
==Feb.04 > The British ambassador in Tokyo assures the London Times that there will be no war between Japan and Russia

Japan.Russia.
==Feb.04 > The Japanese ultimatum to Russia expires
==Feb.05 > Japanese-Russian talks are broken off - the Japanese Ambassador leaves St. Petersburg

Naval Operations.
==Feb.05 > Admiral Togo receives the Imperial war order
==Feb.06 > A Japanese Naval war council is held at Sasebo; Togo informs his officers of the impending attack on Port Arthur [early.AM] - the Japanese main fleet under Togo sails for Port Arthur [900.AM] - the Japanese squadron under Uryu sails for Korea [early afternoon]

Korean Front.
==Feb.06 > Russian forces cross the Yalu into northern Korea

Diplomacy.
==Feb.06 > Japan breaks diplomatic relations with Russia

Port Arthur Front.
==Feb.07.[morning] > Port Arthur’s telegraph line is cut

Russia.
==Feb.08 > A Russian Imperial Conference is held on the impending war: General Kuropatkin is one of the few leaders to be concerned about Japan’s war-making ability

Naval Operations.Korean Front.
==Feb.08 > A Japanese squadron enters Chemulpo (Inchon) harbor and briefly exchanges fire with a Russian warship [215.PM]: THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR IS UNDERWAY - Japanese troops land at Chemulpo in Korea [615PM]

Naval Operations.
==Feb.08 > A Japanese destroyer squadron leaves the main fleet and makes for Port Arthur [600.PM] - a surprise Japanese torpedo attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur damages two battleships and a cruiser [1150.PM] - the Japanese Fleet gains the initiative - Russian authorities are stunned: Viceroy Alexeiev exclaims “Impossible!”


Anatole Mikailovitch Stoessel

Port Arthur Front.
==Feb.09.[morning] > ~Stoessel, the inept Russian commandant of Port Arthur, orders that all rumors cease immediately

Naval Operations.
==Feb.09.[1145AM-100.PM] > The Naval Battle of Chemulpo, in Korea: the Japanese squadron cripples Russian warships as they attempt to escape the harbor - the Russian ships soon afterwards scuttle themselves

Naval Operations.
==Feb.09.[early afternoon] > Togo’s ships shell Port Arthur and the Russian fleet

Korean Front.
==Feb.09 > Japanese troops occupy Seoul

Diplomacy.
==Feb.10 > Japan declares war on Russia
==Feb.10 > At the urging of Germany, the US sends a circular note asking the powers to prevail on Russia and Japan to respect Chinese neutrality outside of Manchuria - ~Russia and Japan soon comply

Naval Operations.
==Feb.11 > The Russian minelayer Yeneisei and the cruiser Boyarin are sunk by mines off Port Arthur with heavy loss of life

Diplomacy.
==Feb.11 > The US proclaims neutrality as regards the Russian-Japanese War
==Feb.12 > China formally declares its neutrality

Russia.
==Feb.12 > A great spontaneous pro-war demonstration occurs in St. Petersburg - ~patriotic rallies are sweeping Russia - the high point of Czar Nicholas II’s popularity

Naval Operations.
==Feb.15 > The Japanese fail in an attempt to mine the approaches to Port Arthur

Korean Front.
==Feb.16 > The Japanese begin occupying Korea in force: the Japanese 12th Division lands at Chemulpo - ~Japanese troops begin advancing north toward the Yalu - the First Japanese Army is organized

Diplomacy.
==Feb.16 > Russia declares war on Japan

Manchuria.
==Feb.20 > Kuropatkin is named the Russian Far East commander - Witte urges him to arrest Viceroy Alexeiev upon reaching Mukden

Korea.
==Feb.23 > Korea is compelled to allow Japan to ‘guarantee’ Korean independence and internal order and to deploy troops: Korea falls under Japanese domination

Naval Operations.
==Feb.24.[pre-dawn] > The Russians destroy the first Japanese attempt to seal Port Arthur harbor with blockships

Diplomacy.
==Feb.24 > Japanese emissary Kaneko sets out for the US, where he has success in enlisting support for Japan in its war with Russia

Naval Operations.
==Feb.24.[night] > Japanese destroyers launch a torpedo attack on Port Arthur
==Feb.25.[morning] > The Japanese fleet indirectly shells Port Arthur
==Feb.25 > The Japanese fleet clashes with Russian ships off Port Arthur
==Feb.26 > Japanese ships sink the Russian destroyer Vnushitelni at Pigeon Bay near Port Arthur - ~the Russian navy adopts a ‘risk nothing’ policy until Mar.07

Port Arthur Front.
==Feb.26 > Port Arthur commander Stoessel orders sentries to shoot any Chinese civilian seen ‘signaling’ - Chinese civilians are “shot like partridges”

Russia (Siberia).
==Feb.--- > ~The cessation of normal trade with Siberia occurs as the Russian military takes over the Trans-Siberian Railroad

Poland.
==Feb.--- > The Polish socialist/nationalist PPS announces that Poland would benefit from a Japanese victory over Russia - the PPS soon establishes contact with Japan


MARCH 1904

Russia (Siberia).
==Mar.01-27 > The Russians run trains directly over the frozen surface of Lake Baikal, until the locomotives break through the ice

Korea.
==Mar.03 > A bomb is thrown at the Korean Foreign Minister’s residence in protest against the Korean pact with Japan - ~anti-Japanese demonstrations

Naval Operations.
==Mar.06 > The Japanese fleet shells Vladivostok

Korean Front.
==Mar.08 > Cossacks ineffectively attack advancing Japanese troops in northern Korea at Pakchon, north of Pyongyang

Naval Operations.
==Mar.08 > The able Admiral Makarov arrives in Port Arthur to assume naval command - Russian naval morale revives
==Mar.09.[early] > Fierce destroyer night battle off Port Arthur
==Mar.10.[early.AM] > The Russian destroyer Steregushchi is sunk off Port Arthur in a ferocious night battle
==Mar.10 > The Japanese fleet shells Port Arthur town and harbor

Korean Front.
==Mar.14-18 > The Japanese Guards Division lands at Chenampo in Korea

General.
==Mar.14 to early Jul > The London Times correspondent sends uncensored war news by radio from a ship off Manchuria

Russia.
==Mar.14 > The Finnish leftist Zilliacus is the first to predict the growth of Russian anti-war sentiment and to suggest that opposition groups form a broad front to exploit it for political gain

Port Arthur Front.
==mid.Mar > The capable General Smirnov takes command of the Port Arthur fortress

Korean Front.
==Mar.17 > Japanese First Army commander Kuroki transfers his headquarters from Japan to Chenampo in Korea
==Mar.23 > The first contacts between the Japanese First Army and advanced Cossack patrols in northern Korea

Naval Operations.
==Mar.23 > Makarov successfully sorties the Russian fleet against a Japanese attempt to shell Port Arthur

Korea.
==late.Mar. > Reporting from Korea, Japanese envoy Hayashi recommends that Japan install a minister with broad powers and urges the imposition of fiscal reform, economic concessions, and permanent military bases

Russia.
==late.Mar > A RSDRP (Russian socialist) manifesto condemns the Russo-Japanese War as capitalist profit-hunting

Manchuria.
==Mar.26 > Reports circulate that Russian Viceroy Alexeiev is threatening to exterminate the Chinese population of Manchuria if they become hostile

Naval Operations.
==Mar.27.[early.AM] > A second Japanese block ship raid nearly seals the entrance to Port Arthur harbor

Manchuria.
==Mar.28 > Kuropatkin arrives in Liaoyang and assumes command of Russian forces in Manchuria

Korean Front.
==Mar.28 > In Korea, a Cossack raid on the advancing Japanese First Army fails - Japanese forces take Chengju


APRIL 1904

Korean Front.
==early.Apr > Kuroki defeats a Russian advance force near Pyongyang in northern Korea

Manchurian Front.
==Apr.08 > A weak Japanese First Army advance guard reaches Uiju (Wiju), on the lower Yalu at the Manchurian frontier - Russian forces fail to attack


Stepan Ossipovich Makarov

Naval Operations.
==Apr.13.[morning] > Japanese warships sink the Russian destroyer Strashni in a fierce fight off Port Arthur - the Russian fleet is lured out and encounters Togo’s main force - the Russian battleship Petropavlovsk strikes a mine, explodes, and sinks with most hands: Admiral Makarov is killed; the Russian fleet is profoundly demoralized, and resumes a timid ‘no risk’ policy
==Apr.14-15 > The Japanese fleet shells Port Arthur

Manchurian Front.
==Apr.15 > Kuropatkin orders a defensive campaign until Russian forces are up to strength - ~he is soon in conflict with his subordinates and with Viceroy Alexeiev
==Apr.18 > Kuropatkin orders the weak Russian force on the Yalu to avoid a decisive battle - he is ignored by General Zasulitch, the local commander

Diplomacy.
==Apr.20 > German Chief of Staff Schlieffen reports that the Russian army in Europe is in disarray due to the mobilization for the Russo-Japanese War - ~Russian international influence is weakening
==late.Apr > In his letters to the Czar, the Kaiser stops referring to Nicholas as ‘Admiral of the Pacific Ocean’

Manchurian Front.
==Apr.25-26.[night] > Japanese forces drive Russian outposts from the islands in the Yalu
==Apr.26 > A Japanese detachment crosses the Yalu at Su-ku-chin, east of the main Russian line

Naval Operations.
==Apr.26 > After the Russian Navy sinks a Japanese troop transport, every single Japanese soldier goes down with the ship rather than surrender

Manchurian Front.
The Battle of the Yalu (or Kiu-lien-Cheng):
==Apr.30 > The Japanese 12th Division crosses the Yalu in force at Su-ku-chin and begins advancing on the Russian left flank [300.AM] - concealed Japanese batteries near Wiju annihilate the Russian artillery in front of the main Japanese force on the Yalu [1000-1030.AM] - Zasulitch forbids any Russian withdrawal from the river, despite the urgings of his field officers [evening]
==May.01 > The main Japanese force crosses the Yalu at Wiju against the Russian center and occupies Chiu-Lien; the Japanese 12th Division crosses the Ai River and breaks the Russian left flank [morning] - the Russian Yalu force is routed, with part trapped and captured by the Japanese [afternoon] - the Russians have lost 2,700 out of 14,000 engaged while the Japanese losses are 1,036 out of 42,400

Russia.
==Apr.---(Old Style) > The socialist leader Plekhanov writes that the war “promises to shatter to its foundations the regime of Nicholas II.” - but overall, the Russian left is still paying little attention to the conflict
==spring > The Russian press is growing apprehensive about the war
==spring to summer > The rail gap at Lake Baikal is causing Russian regiments to pile up in Irkutsk


 

Russo-Japanese War Introduction   ///   (1) Background, to January 1904

(3) May-December 1904   ///   (4) January-November 1905

Home