Russian dead on 203 Meter Hill, near Port Arthur
 .

(3) The Fighting Intensifies, May to December 1904


MAY 1904

Naval Operations.
==May.02-03.[night] > The third Japanese attempt to seal Port Arthur harbor with block ships fails, but Togo reports it a success

Port Arthur Front.
==May.05 > The Japanese 2nd Army lands unopposed near the Kwantung (Liaotung) Peninsula at Pi-tzu-wo, sixty miles northeast of Port Arthur [530.AM]  - Viceroy Alexeiev flees from Port Arthur [1100.AM] - THE PORT ARTHUR CAMPAIGN to Jan.1905

Manchurian Front.
==May.06 > Japanese forces defeat the Russians at Fengcheng

Naval Operations.
==May.06 > Viceroy Alexeiev urges the Port Arthur fleet to attack the Japanese landings - the fleet does nothing

Port Arthur Front.
==May.10 > The last trains escape from Port Arthur - Port Arthur is cut off
==May.13 > The entire Japanese 2nd Army has landed on the Kwantung Peninsula
==May.14 > Japanese forces are probing the outposts of the first Russian defense line on the Kwantung Peninsula, near Nanshan forty miles northeast of Port Arthur

Naval Operations.
==May.15 > The Japanese battleship Hatsuse and the cruiser Yashima are sunk by Russian mines off Port Arthur - the cruiser Yoshino and the gunboat Oshima are sunk in collisions - the gunboat Tatsuta runs aground  -  the Japanese battle fleet looses a third of its strength but succeeds in concealing most of the losses
==May.16 > The Japanese destroyer Miyako is sunk by a mine
==May.17 > The Japanese destroyer Akatsuki is sunk by a mine

Manchurian Front.
==May.19 > The Japanese Fourth Army lands unopposed at Ta-ku-shan (Dongou), west of the mouth of the Yalu - ~it begins advancing north

Korea.
==May.19 > Korea finally breaks relations and abrogates its treaties with Russia

Port Arthur Front.
==May.25 > The Battle of Nanshan, to May 26: Japanese attacks drive in Russian outposts, but fail to take Chin-chou
==May.26 > The Japanese take Chin-chou and begin costly assaults on the main Nanshan defense line [early.AM] - after a determined defense the Russians are driven from Nanshan [dusk]: Port Arthur’s first line of defense is breached - severe Japanese losses, 6,200 out of 30,000 engaged compared to 1,100 out of 3,000 Russians

Manchurian Front.
==May.27 > The aggressive Viceroy Alexeiev and the realistic General Kuropatkin argue violently over Russian strategy [evening]

Port Arthur Front.
==May.27 > The Russians evacuate Dalny, but fail to destroy either the harbor or the supply stores [early.AM]
==May.30 > The Japanese occupy Dalny
==May.30 > The inept General Stoessel tells the gallant Russian survivors of Nanshan: “You are a wretched, undisciplined corps of traitors, cowards, and blackguards.”
==end.May. > ~Stoessel is squabbling with Port Arthur fortress commander Smirnov

Korea.
==May.31 > The Japanese cabinet adopts plans to control Korean foreign policy, military, police, finances, communications, and transportation - vague plans are formulated for Japanese migration to Korea and for exploitation of its resources

Russia.
==May.--- > The Russian economy is being seriously impacted by the disruption of trade brought on by the war


JUNE 1904

Yasusuke Nogi

Port Arthur Front.
==Jun.04 > General Nogi takes command of the Third Japanese Army and the Port Arthur front - ~by summer he has 80,000 men opposing the Russian garrison of 40,000

Manchurian Front.
==early.Jun > Japanese-led guerilla forces are active around Liaoyang in Manchuria, harassing Russian outposts and gathering intelligence

Korea.
==early.Jun to end.Sep > A Japanese attempt to impose the Nagamori Plan to develop Korea fails in the face of strong Korean opposition

Japan.United States.
==Jun.13 > Theodore Roosevelt warns the Japanese Ambassador against the dangers of Japan entering “into a general career of insolence and aggression” - ~ he writes “I am perfectly well aware that if (the Japanese) win out it may possibly mean a struggle between them and us in the future.”

Manchurian Front.
==Jun.14-15 > The Battle of Te-li-ssu: a premature Russian relief expedition is routed eighty miles north of Port Arthur: the Russians loose 3,500 out of 25,000 men; the Japanese loose 1,200 of 35,000

Naval Operations.
==Jun.15 > Russian warships sink two Japanese transports off Japan - over 2000 men and several batteries of siege guns are lost
==Jun.20 > Imperial Naval Conference: Russia decides to send its Baltic Fleet around the world to the Far East
==Jun.23 > After many delays, the Russian Port Arthur fleet makes an attempt to escape to Vladivostok, but returns when the Japanese fleet appears - ~Alexeiev’s repeated orders to sail are ignored

Port Arthur Front.
==Jun.24 > Japan decides to take Port Arthur, rather than merely isolate it, if casualties can be kept fairly light
==Jun.26 > Japanese forces quickly check a Russian attack at Port Arthur

General.
==Jun.--- > Japan finally allows some reporters near the front, under strict controls

Poland.
==Jun. to Jul. > The Polish radical leader Pilsudski travels to Japan, but fails to secure Japanese funds for anti-Russian activity


JULY 1904

Manchurian Front.
==beginning.Jul > The rainy season breaks in Manchuria, and the roads quickly become choked with mud

Port Arthur Front.
==Jul.03 > Japan decides to take Port Arthur as quickly as possible, regardless of losses
==Jul.03-04 > Japanese forces probe Port Arthur’s outer defenses

Manchurian Front.
==early.Jul > ~Japanese First Army easily takes Motien Pass on the Antung-Liaoyang road

Naval Operations.
==Jul.06-Sep.03 > Russian warships stop vessels in the Red Sea - British protests lead to a settlement with Russia

Manchurian Front.
==Jul.17 > The Battle of Motien Pass: a Russian counterattack is cut up by Japanese First Army’s artillery
==Jul.22 > General Oyama takes command of Japanese forces in Manchuria, with Kodama as his Chief of Staff
==Jul.24 > The Battle of Ta-shih-chiao (Dashiqiao): Russian forces withdraw after being attacked by the Japanese Second Army

Russia.
==late.Jul > Japanese intelligence chief Akashi meets with Russian revolutionaries in Switzerland - ~Japan subsidizes Lenin

Port Arthur Front.
==Jul.27-28 > Japanese forces probe Port Arthur’s outposts - ~Russian forces retreat to a line in the Wolf Hills, five miles north of Port Arthur, but are soon ousted

Diplomacy.
==Jul.--- > Count Witte extends Russian peace feelers to the Japanese Ambassador in London
==Jul.--- > The United States warns Russia that it will aid Japan if Germany or France extend aid to Russia
==Jul.--- > Foreign Minister Komura submits a formal draft of Japanese peace terms to the government: Japan plans to extend its influence in Korea, Manchuria and China


AUGUST 1904

Manchurian Front.
==Aug.01-25 > Russian forces in Manchuria are falling back on Liaoyang

Korea.
==early.Aug > The Korean court agrees to appoint pro-Japanese advisors on financial and foreign affairs - ~the Korean currency is reformed, securing Japanese financial hegemony

Port Arthur Front.
==early.Aug > Port Arthur’s food supplies are dwindling
==Aug.07 > The first shells from Japanese land forces fall on Port Arthur during a church service to pray for victory
==Aug.07-09 > The Japanese take Big and Little Orphan Hills northeast of Port Arthur, loosing 3,000 men in furious fighting

Naval Operations.
==Aug.07 > Admiral Vitgeft receives an order signed by the Czar to take the Port Arthur fleet to Vladivostok
==Aug.10 [afternoon] > The Battle of the Yellow Sea: Togo repels a final escape attempt by the Port Arthur fleet; Russian Admiral Vitgeft is killed
==Aug.14 [early morning] > The Battle of Ulsan: Japan mauls the Russian Vladivostok fleet; the Russian cruiser Rurik is sunk, other ships are damaged - Japan consolidates its naval dominance off Manchuria

Port Arthur Front.
==Aug.16 > A Japanese offer for Port Arthur’s surrender is angrily refused by the Russians
==Aug.19.[dawn]-Aug.24.[dawn] > Nogi’s first assault on Port Arthur’s main defense lines - very fierce fighting; appalling Japanese losses in repeated frontal attacks - Russian troops are driven from 174 Meter Hill and from the Pan-lung forts - the Japanese loose over 18,000 men; the Russians loose 3,000

Manchurian Front.
THE IMMENSE BATTLE OF LIAOYANG in Manchuria:
==Aug.26 > The Japanese First Army takes Kosarei Peak and Hung-sha Pass southeast of Liaoyang - Kuropatkin pulls back from the outer Russian defense line, with the Japanese in determined pursuit (or from Aug.25)
==Aug.29-30 > Russian troops repel intense Japanese assaults on the main defense lines south of Liaoyang - the Japanese Second and Fourth Armies are exhausted
==Aug.31-03 > The Japanese First Army crosses the Tai-tzu River northeast of Liaoyang, holding off confused Russian counterattacks
==Sep.04 > Kuropatkin evacuates Liaoyang [early.AM] - ~the city is sacked in succession by Russian, Chinese, and Japanese forces - Japanese losses are 23,600 out of 125,000 men engaged; Russian losses are 17,900 out of 158,000


Zinovy Petrovitch Rozhdestvensky

Naval Operations.
==end.Aug > Admiral Rozhdestvensky takes command of the Baltic Fleet (or Second Pacific Squadron), and begins trying to prepare it for its voyage to the Far East
==Aug.31 > The Russian cruiser Novik, having escaped from Port Arthur, is sunk by the Japanese off Sakhalin Island

Diplomacy.
==Aug.--- > Britain warns Germany not to aid Russia against Japan

Korea.
==Aug.--- > Korean collaborators form the Ilchinhoe (‘Restoration Society’ or ‘Progress Society’) to support Japan - Japanese authorities remain wary of the group


SEPTEMBER 1904

Manchurian Front.
==early.Sep > Considerable Russian reinforcements are arriving in Manchuria via the Trans-Siberian Railroad

Naval Operations.
==early.Sep > Preparing for its voyage to the Far East, the Russian Baltic Fleet holds a drill; most crew members sleep through it - ~the fleet’s first target practice scores no hits at all

Port Arthur Front.
==early.Sep > The Japanese begin using siege techniques against Port Arthur’s defense lines
==Sep.18 to end.Sep > Renewed Japanese attacks at Port Arthur - the Waterworks, the Temple Redoubts and NamakoYama Hill soon fall
==Sep.19 > The Russians repel the first Japanese attacks on the key 203 Meter Hill

Manchurian Front.
==Sep.24 > The Czar announces the creation of the Russian Second Army, commanded by the deaf and inexperienced General Grippenberg

Russia (Siberia).
==Sep.25 > The Lake Baikal rail loop officially opens - after thirteen years of construction, the Trans-Siberian Railroad is completed

Russia.
==Sep.30-Oct.09 > Russian liberal and revolutionary groups secretly meet in Paris to form a united front, with the support of Japanese intelligence chief Akashi - ~rising political agitation in Russia


OCTOBER 1904

Naval Operations.
==Oct.01 > Japanese siege guns open fire on the Russian Port Arthur fleet
==Oct.03 > The Russian Baltic Fleet sails from Kronstadt for Reval: the battleship Orel immediately runs aground

Diplomacy.
==Oct.04 > Germany informs Russia that it will honor its coaling contract to Baltic Fleet, even if drawn into war with Britain and France

Manchurian Front.
The indecisive Battle of Sha-Ho in Manchuria:
==Oct.05 > A Russian general offensive opens north of Liaoyang, with the main advance to be through the mountains to the east - Russian attacks on the left flank gain ground to Oct.11
==Oct.10 [evening] > Oyama orders a major Japanese counter-offensive to strike the Russian right
==Oct.12-13 > The Japanese halt the Russian advance in the mountains to the northeast of Liaoyang - the Russian center south of the Sha River is threatened
==Oct.16-17 > Renewed fighting south of the Sha River exhausts both armies - the Russians have lost 41,000 out of 200,000 engaged against 20,000 Japanese lost out of 170,000

Naval Operations.
==Oct.09 > At a farewell banquet for the Russian Baltic Fleet, the captain of the Alexander III says: “...You have wished us victory but there will be no victory... (If the ships arrive in the Yellow Sea), Togo will blow them to bits.  His fleet is infinitely better than ours and the Japanese are real sailors. I can promise you one thing, however. (We) shall at least know how to die.” - on May.27, the captain is killed at the Battle of Tsushima
==Oct.13 > The German ambassador to Britain erroneously warns Russia that Japanese warships are active in the North Sea
==Oct.15 > The Russian Baltic Fleet sets out for the Far East, from Libau
==Oct.17 > The Baltic Fleet steams into the North Sea
==Oct.22 > The Dogger Bank Incident: in the North Sea, the panicky Russian Baltic Fleet mistakes English fishing trawlers for Japanese torpedo boats and fires on them, sinking one and damaging their own cruiser Aurora [after midnight] - ~the furious British press calls the Russians “this fleet of lunatics” - sharp British-Russian crisis

Manchurian Front.
==Oct.25 > Viceroy Alexeiev yields his military powers to Kuropatkin; he leaves Manchuria five days later

Port Arthur Front.
==Oct.26-Nov.02 > Renewed forceful Japanese attacks on the Chinese Wall at Port Arthur achieve little

Naval Operations.
==Oct.28 > London informs its naval commander at Gibraltar: “It may become necessary for you to stop the Baltic Fleet.”
==Oct.28 > At the urging of France, the Czar agrees to refer the Dogger Bank dispute to the Hague Tribunal - the last great British crisis with Czarist Russia is defused

Manchurian Front.
==fall > ~With winter approaching, the Russian army in Manchuria is drastically short of adequate clothing and food


NOVEMBER 1904

Port Arthur Front.
==Nov.17-24 > Japanese forces set off mine explosions under the forts at Port Arthur, with limited success
==Nov.26-27 > The Japanese renew their general assault on the Port Arthur lines in severe winter conditions, and suffer very heavy losses for little gain
==Nov.27-Dec.05 > Extremely violent fighting on 203 Meter Hill at Port Arthur, with massive barrages from Japanese siege guns

Japan.
==Nov.--- > The Japanese government approaches opposition parties for support on the war budget - ~the origins of a corrupt secret deal between the parties to rotate control of the government, in effect until 1913


DECEMBER 1904

Port Arthur Front.
==Dec.05 > The last surviving Russian officer on 203 Meter Hill desperately calls for help just before line goes dead [400.PM] - Japanese forces complete the conquest of 203 Meter Hill, overlooking Port Arthur [500.PM] - 14,000 Japanese and 5,000 Russian troops have been lost on this one small hill

Naval Operations.
==Dec.05 > In Port Arthur harbor, the battleship Poltava is blown up when a magazine is struck by a Japanese shell
==Dec.06 > A Japanese observation post on 203 Meter Hill directs the siege guns’ fire on the Russian fleet stranded in Port Arthur harbor - most of the fleet is destroyed by Dec.09
==mid.Dec > ~ The Japanese Combined Fleet returns to its home bases for refit and intensive gunnery training

Port Arthur Front.
==Dec.15 > At Port Arthur, the capable Russian General Kondratenko is killed by a Japanese shell; commandant Stoessel replaces him with the incompetent General Fock

Russia (Siberia).
==mid.Dec > The Trans-Siberian Railroad is temporarily thrown into chaos by a derailment west of Lake Baikal

Japan.
==end.1904 > The Japanese government’s foreign debt stands at ¥ 312 million, having tripled within a year

Port Arthur Front.
==Dec.29 > A Russian war council is held in Port Arthur - commandant Stoessel is pressured into fighting on

Manchurian Front.
==Dec.--- > ~The Russian reinforcement and supply situation in Manchuria is starting to improve

Japan.United States.
==Dec.--- > Theodore Roosevelt comment on Japan: “I wish I were certain that the Japanese down at bottom did not lump...all of us, simply as white devils inferior to themselves...to be treated politely only so long as would enable the Japanese to take advantage of our various national jealousies, and beat us in turn.”- “So long as Japan takes an interest in Korea, in Manchuria, in China, it is Russia which is her natural enemy.” - ~America tacitly encourages Japanese expansion in Asia

Japan.
==1904. > ~Japanese schools are systematically promoting ultra-nationalism


 

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

(2) February-April 1904   ///   (4) January-November 1905

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