Often cited as the second mechanized war, the Russo-Japanese war was fought by two powers that had expansionist plans, the tactics to fight the war were new and the outcome of the war was not as either side desired or the world expected. …
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attle hours before the formal declaration of war was delivered; Japan developed a tactic that was to become her hall mark years later (the "sneak attack.")4 Technically not a violation, because of the ultimatum, Japan mastered this diplomatic concealment tactic along with the same concealment tactic on the battlefield.
The Battle of Mukden, in Manchuria saw the first uses of suppressive fire to help a "pincer" flanking movement encircle an enemy. A highly successful military tactic that has been widely used in numerous battles from WWII, to Generals Gaip's surrounding of the French at Dien Binh Phu, Vietnam. Even modern day generals, like American General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, used this tactic in Desert Storm I - "Hail Mary."5 The significance of these tactics are important only became they directly influenced the eventual outcome of the war. Of course the butchery associated with the battles and the willingness of the Japanese soldier to sacrifice his life in battle, has also led to scars on the Japanese people that will long stand in the minds of historians.
The actual outcome of the war was not as significant as the perception the world had on that outcome. The statistics (Imperial Russia, Strength 500,000, Casualties 25,331 Killed
146,032 Wounded; Empire of Japan, Strength 400,000, Casualties 47,387 Killed 173,425 Wounded6) are skewed by the summary affects the perception had on Russia and Japan. From a statistical point, all must conclude that Japan lost and Russia won this war. Japan had 87% more fatalities than Russia and 29% more total casualties. From a body count Japan should surely have been considered the looser; however, that count alone does not signify the outcome.
Most major battles were won by the Japanese (even though they may have had...
Both powers, Russia and Japan, desired to increase their “sphere of influence” within the Asian continent, mainly at the expense of China. Japan had been forced to open its doors to Western influence by America in 1854 and the 250-year rule of the Shoguns was brought to a close by Emperor Mutsuhito (Meiji - enlightened rule - 1868-1912.) Feudal systems were abolished and western attitudes on trade were introduced and embraced. Japan desired to become a global leader like the European nations of that time. Russia, on the other hand, believed they had the strongest military in the world. It was recognized by other European nations that Russia was an established world power, with all the rights and privileges that afforded. Appearing as a world power, Russia had internal turmoil that was secretly plotting the loss to Japan in Asia that was to follow. The loss of the Russian Fleet and territories was not received well in Russia. With the loss of Russian prestige in the war the esteem of the monarchy was also lost. The country’s coffers were drained by the cost of the expensive Trans Siberian Railroad project ending with this costly war. Japan on the other hand was seen as a victor. The nation was upset with many of the terms of the Treaty of Portsmouth but the world saw the Japanese as a growing power. More importantly the Asian countries noticed that another Asian country could defeat a large European nation. For Japan the territorial land grab was just starting. Each of Japan’s subsequent action fortified her belief in Japanese superiority and Asian Influence Rights led by Japan. This belief would culminate with the creation of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere and ultimately be challenged 36 years later.
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