Presentation on theme: "The Russo-Japanese War 1904-05. Long-term origins ► In 1894, Japan won a war against China with the aim of gaining land under Chinese control. ► Japan."— Presentation transcript:
The Russo-Japanese War
Long-term origins ► In 1894, Japan won a war against China with the aim of gaining land under Chinese control. ► Japan gained land around Port Arthur and a war indemnity (reparations) ► The Great Powers, including Russia were worried that Japan would now expand to threaten their economies in the East ► After diplomatic negotiations, Japan agreed to return the land to China ► Russia however had given money to pay off its war debt and China had allowed Russia to expand the Chinese Eastern Railway across Manchuria Russian influence was therefore increasing in the area
► In 1897, Germany, France and Britain all became more active in China following Germany’s invasion of Kiaochow in the East ► Russia was wary of this expansion ► Russia therefore negotiated a 25 year lease of Port Arthur from the Chinese and turned it into a naval base, connected to the Chinese Eastern Railway ► Japan was wary at the West’s growing influence, particularly due to Port Arthur’s importance for Japanese trade.
► China grew increasingly angry at the Great Powers, particularly the Russian presence at Port Arthur, and a mini war broke out between Russia and China ► Russia defeated the Chinese with Japanese help and agreed to withdraw its forces from Manchuria by 1903 ► Russian leaders believed their forces to be superior to any of an oriental army ► Disagreements between Russia and Japan continued, particularly over the issue of Korea, which both wanted control of ► Some in Russia began to push for war to settle all differences once and for all, which would also draw attention away from the social problems in Russia ► In 1902, Japan allied with Britain, with the French siding with Britain if war with Russia broke out
Short-term origins ► Russia reneged on it’s promise to withdraw from Manchuria which angered the Japanese ► They retaliated by launching an attack by night on the Pacific Squadron in Port Arthur ► Three Russian ships were damaged, as well as morale ► Japan then blocked Port Arthur and both sides prepared for a sea battle
Russia’s motives ► To pursue an expansionist policy to make up for decline in Europe ► To obtain an ice free port (all of Russia’s major ports became unusable in winter) ► To distract domestic from domestic troubles by rallying the country together Witte was aware that Russia’s expansion into the East made war a strong possibility
Key events ► Battle of Yalu, the Japanese confront the Russians in southern Manchuria where Russian forces were swiftly beaten, shocking the Tsar and other great powers ► The siege of Port Arthur continues, trapping Russian troops, they eventually surrender in December 1905 ► May 1905, Rozhestvensky’s Baltic squadron, en route to Port Arthur meets Admiral Togo’s fleet at Tsushima, where they were decisively defeated by superior Japanese technology Tsushima The fleet had taken eight months to reach Port Arthur and immediate defeat made many call for peace ► 1905, defeat for the Russians at Mukden, prompting peace talks and signing of treaty.
Impact of war ► Just like the Crimean War, the Russo- Japanese War caused doubts in the Tsar’s ability to maintain Russia’s world status ► Reform also followed, as the war had sparked a great deal of social unrest The Treaty or Portsmouth, August 1905 ► Russia to withdraw from Port Arthur, south Sakhalin and south Manchuria ► Russia to acknowledge Japanese sovereignty in Korea
Reforms ► The war exposed Russia’s military leaders as having insufficient understanding in dealing with their enemy ► The Russian people focussed their discontent at the Tsar, despite Nicholas’ hope that war would unite his people and put an end to revolutionary fervour. ► Nicholas II therefore introduced the Duma, in the hope that it would demonstrate to his people his willingness to be accountable for his actions. ► Within a short time the powers of the Duma were curtailed, a body which went against the autocratic nature of the Tsar
► Weaknesses in Russia’s transport and communication system were revealed ► The Trans-Siberian railway was still incomplete and unable to get troops and supplies where they were needed quickly enough ► More money was invested in the railways and industry ► In the rapid urbanisation which followed, health problems increased and morale dropped to an all time low as reforms promised to help the people did not
Causes Russian exapansionism Need of an ice-free port To distract from home problems Course Port Arthur fell to Japan 1905 Russian surrender of Mukden, February 1905 Russian fleet destroyed at Tsushima, May 1905 Russian surrender Outcome Loss of Manchuria, Korea and Port Arthur to Japan Reasons for Russian defeat Underestimation of Japanese strength Inadequate military planning Poor strategy Japan’s readiness, skill and spirit