The Russo-Japanese War, 1904

Why did Russia lose?


There were six reasons why Japan won the war:


  1. Japan made a surprise attack on Port Arthur in 1904 (as it was to do at Pearl Harbor in 1941!).   It took Russia a while to organise its response.


  2. Although Russia had just finished (1904) the trans-Siberian railway, every gun, bullet and ration had to be sent thousands of miles by rail from St Petersburg .   Korea was at the end of a VERY long supply line.


  3. The Russian Tsar was incompetent and fell prey to political intrigue therefore his best adviser Witte fell from power and other advisers came and went so the Russian high command was incompetent and kept changing its strategy.   The Russian generals hated each other and tried to make the others fail.


  4. Just when the Russians had organised their army and looked as though they might be able to get the upper hand in the land war, in Jan 1905 the Russian commander of Port Arthur surrendered, without asking his officers and with plenty food and weapons for a longer siege.


  5. Japan had been growing stronger for many years.   It had a big army, and the Japanese simply defeated the Russians in a very bloody land war (battles of Fuhsien and Liaoyang in 1904, and Mukden in 1905).   It also had a big navy (remember the Anglo-Japanese naval Treaty of 1902) when the Russians sent their Baltic Fleet to try to help, the Japanese NAVy also ambushed and defeated them at sea at the battle of Tsushima (which effectively ended the war).


  6. The British helped the Japanese they stopped the Russian Baltic Fleet going through the Suez canal , and the British press led a campaign against the Russians.



What happened in the war?