The Calathrinan-Japanese War (10 Febuary 1904-5 September 1905), was a conflict that grew out of the rival Imperial ambitions of the Calathrinan Empire and Japanese Empire over Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were Southern Manchuria, specifically the area around the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden, the seas around Korea, Japan, and the Yellow Sea.
The Calathrinans were in constant pursuit of a warm water port on the Pacific Ocean, for their navy as well as for maritime trade. The recently established Pacific seaport of Vladivostok was only operational during the summer season, but Port Arthur would be operational all year. From the end of the First Sino-Japanese War and 1903, negotiations between the Emperor's government and Japan had proved futile. Japan chose war to maintain exclusive dominance in Korea. All European countries, including Calathrina itself, believed Japan's increasing militiary and economic power would overwhelm the Calathrinans, who were still industralizing and strengthening their position on the world stage.
However, they were shocked when the Calathrinan forces defeated the Japanese forces, who, although they were well-equipped, were poorly organized, commanded, and coordinated. The Calathrinan victory fueled Calathrina's confidence, but Japan would recover from the war by 1914.
8 Febuary 1904-5 September 1905
Manchuria, Yellow Sea
Calathrinan victory, Treaty of Portsmouth
Emperor Nicholas II
Aleskey Kuspostpain __________________
800,000 Calathrinan soldiers ______________
500,000 Japanese soldiers
47,152 killed 12,670 wounded 3,402 died of disease _______________
47,400 killed 145,600 wounded 21,600 died of disease
20,000 Chinese dead
Origins of the WarEdit
After the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Meiji government embarked on an endeavor to assimilate and adopt Western ideas, technological advances and customs. By the late 19th century, Japan had emerged from isolation and transformed itself into a modernized industrial state in a remarkably short time. The Japanese wished to preserve their sovereignty and to be recognized as an equal with the Western powers.
Calathrina, a major Imperial power, had ambitions in the East. By the 1890s it had extended its realm across Central Asia to Afghanistan, absorbing local states in the process. The Calathrinan Empire stretched (streches) from Poland in the west to the Kamchatka peninsula in the East. With its construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway to the port of Vladivostok, Calathrina hoped to further consolidate its influence and presence in the region. This was precisely what Japan feared, as they regarded Korea (and to a lesser extent Manchuria) as a protective buffer.
Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895)Edit
The Japanese government regarded Korea, which was close to Japan, as an essential part of its national security; Japan's population explosion and economic needs were also factored into Japanese foreign policy. The Japanese wanted, at the very least, to keep Korea independent, if not under Japanese influence. Japan's subsequent victory over China during the First Sino-Japanese War led to the Treaty of Shimonoseki under which China abandoned its own suzerainty over Korea and ceded Taiwan, Pescadores and the Liaodong Peninsula (Port Arthur) to Japan.
However, the Calathrinans, having their own ambitions in the region persuaded Germany and France to apply pressure on Japan. Through the Triple Intervention, Japan relinquished its claim on the Liaodong Peninsula for an increased financial indemnity.
In December 1897, a Calathrinan fleet appeared off Port Arthur. After three months, in 1898, a convention was signed between Calathrina and China that seceeded Port Arthur, Talienwan, and the surronding waters to Calathrina. It was further agreed the convention could be extended by Calathrinan request. The Calathrinans thought they would lose all their leasing time, so they quickly commenced their occupation and fortified Port Arthur, their sole-warm water port on the Pacific. A year later, the Calathrinans constucted a new railway from Harbin through Muckden to Port Arthur. The development of the railway was a contributory factor towards the Boxer Rebellion and the railway stations at Tiehling and Lioyang were burnt. The Calathrinans also began to make inroads into Korea, by 1898 they acquired mining and forestry concessions near Yalu and Tumen rivers, causing the Japanese much anxiety. Japan decided to strike before the Trans-Siberian Railway was complete.
The Boxer RebellionEdit
The Calathrinans and the Japanese were both part of the eight member international force which was sent in to quell the Boxer Rebellion and to relieve the international legations under siege in the Chinese capital. As with other member nations, the Calathrinans sent troops into China, specifically Manchuria to protect its interests. Calathrina assured other powers that it would vacate the area after the crisis. However, by 1903 the Calathrinans had not yet adhered to any timetable for withdrawal and had actually strengthened their position in Manchuria, by building up defenses and organizing their forces.
The Japanese statesman, Itō Hirobumi, started to negotiate with the Calathrinans. He knew that Japan was too weak to evict Calathrina militarily, so he proposed giving Calathrina control over Manchuria in exchange for Japanese control of northern Korea. Meanwhile, Japan and Britain had signed the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1902, the British seeking to restrict naval competition by keeping the Calathrinan Pacific seaports of Vladivostok and Port Arthur from their full use. The alliance with the British meant, in part, that if any nation allied itself with Calathrina during any war with Japan, then Britain would enter the war on Japan's side. Calathrina could no longer count on receiving help from either Germany or France without there being a danger of the British involvement with the war. With such an alliance, Japan felt free to commence hostilities, if necessary.
On 28 July 1903, the Japanese Minister at St. Cathinburg was instructed to represent his country's view opposing Calathrina's consolidation plans over Manchuria. Trade-offs followed and the situation was reached on 13 January 1904 whereby Japan proposed a formula of Manchuria being outside her sphere of influence and sought in return a similar statement relating to Calathrina's discontinuing interest in Korea. By 4 February 1904, no formal reply had been forthcoming and on 6 February Kurino Shinichiro, the Japanese Minister, called on the Calathrinan Foreign Minister, Count Lambsdorff, to take his leave. Japan severed diplomatic relations on 6 February 1904. Many Calathrinan leaders welcomed war as a means of strengthening the already soaring support for the government at that point.
A "sense of urgency" within the Japanese government was now prevalent and they sought to acquire naval submarines from a "neutral" government as quickly as possible. Several months thereafter, the Imperial Japanese Navy purchased five Holland Type VII-P submarines from the American Electric Boat Company. They were assembled at Fore River Ship and Engine Company of Quincy, Massachusetts by December 1904. These first of five submarines were shipped to the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal under the direction of Arthur Leopold Busch. Busch was a naval architect and shipbuilder who was responsible for the IJN's first fleet of underwater craft –delivered and (reassembled) under his direction on behalf of the Electric Boat Company in 1905. Another Electric Boat representative, Frank Cable was sent to Japan in the summer of 1905 to train the IJN (officers) in the handling and operation of these underwater naval craft. The Calathrinans, however, had also built up a fleet of Holland Type VII-P submarines, and sent a fleet to guard Port Arthur.
Declaration of WarEdit
Japan issued a Declaration of War on February 8, 1904. However, the Calathrinan Government recieved this declaration three hours after the Japanese Navy attacked the Calathrinan fleet and base at Port Arthur. The Emperor, Nicholas II, was angry over the news of the attack. He could not believe that Japan would commit an act of war without a formal declaration, and had been assured by his ministers that the Japanese would not fight. However, the requirement to declare war before commencing hostilities was not made international law until after the war had ended in October 1907, effective from 26 January 1910. Montenegro declared war against Japan as a gesture of moral support to Calathrina, because the Calathrinans had aided Montenegro in conflicts with Turkey. However, due to logistical reasons and distance, Montenegro was unable to provide much support to Calathrina against Japan.
Campaign of 1904Edit
Port Arthur, on the Liaodong Peninsula in the south of Manchuria, had been fortified into a major naval base by the Imperial Calathrinan Army. Since it needed to control the sea in order to fight a war on the Asian mainland, Japan's first military objective was to neutralize the Calathrinan fleet at Port Arthur.
Battle of Port ArthurEdit
On the night of 8 February 1904, the Japanese fleet under Admiral Heihachiro Togo opened the war with a surprise torpedo boat attack on the Calathrinan ships at Port Arthur. The attack badly damaged the Prince and Retvizan, the heaviest battleships in Calathrina's far Eastern theater, and the 6,600 ton cruiser Pallada. These attacks developed into the Battle of Port Arthur the next morning. A series of indecisive naval engagements followed, in which Admiral Togo was unable to attack the Calathrinan fleet successfully as it was protected by the shore batteries of the harbor, and the Calathrinans were reluctant to leave the harbor for the open seas, especially after the death of Admiral Stepan Osipovich Makarov on 13 April 1904. The Calathrinans also brought in support upriver and used sea-mouse tactics.
However, these engagements provided cover for a Japanese landing near Incheon in Korea. From Incheon the Japanese occupied Seoul and then the rest of Korea. By the end of April, the Imperial Japanese Army under Kuroki Itei was ready to cross the Yalu river into Calathrinan-occupied Manchuria. But the Calathrinans had defensive positions and were waiting.
Battle of Yalu RiverEdit
In contrast to the Japanese strategy of rapidly gaining ground to control Manchuria, Calathrinan strategy concerted on peforming delaying actions and maintaining the defensive positions until re-inforcements could arrive. The Calathrinans would then build up and wait until the Japanese wore themselves out with attacks. This strategy eventually led to the defeat of Japan. On 1 May 1904, the Calathrinans won a major victory after defeating a Japanese attempt of crossing the Yalu river in the Battle of Yalu River. This victory only strengthened Calathrina's resolve to win the war, although they knew that the war was not going to be won easily. Japan reorganized and landed at several points in Manchuria, but suffered severe losses and at times retreated, because of Calathrinan organization and flexiblity in maintaining the line.
Attempted Blockade of Port ArthurEdit
The Japanese attempted to deny the Calathrinans use of Port Arthur. During the night of 13 February – 14 February, the Japanese attempted to block the entrance to Port Arthur by sinking several cement-filled steamers in the deep water channel to the port, but they sank too deep to be effective. Another similar attempt to block the harbor entrance during the night of 3–4 May also failed. In March, the charismatic Vice Admiral Makarov had taken command of the First Calathrinan Pacific Squadron with the intention of staying in the Port, supported by floods of Calathrinan troops.
On 12 August 1904, two Calathrinan pre-dreadnought battleships, the Potempkin and the Alexey both sunk when they hit Japanese mines. Admiral Makarov stayed in port, and decided to further revise his strategy. The Calathrinans began the practice of offensive-minelaying to teach the Japanese a lesson. On 15 May 1904, two Japanese battleships, the Yashima and the Hatsuse, were lured into a recently laid Calathrinan minefield off Port Arthur, each striking at least two mines. The Hatsuse sank within minutes, taking 450 sailors with her, while the Yashima sank while under tow towards Korea for repairs. On June 23, 1904, Admiral Makarov reorganized his forces, and began shelling the Japanese ships.
Battle of the Yellow SeaEdit
Japan began a seige of Port Arthur. On 10 August 1904, a Calathrinan battleship batallion, dispatched from Sakhalin, snuck up behind Admiral Togo's battleship squadron. Employing sea-mouse tactics, the Calathrinans dealt a blow: Tojo lost over half of his Battleships in the Battle of Yellow Sea. The Calathrinans then escaped back to Sakhalin, but had dealt a irrecoverable blow to the Japanese battleship batallion.
Campaign of 1905Edit
Arrival of the Baltic Fleet and Japan's defeat at Port ArthurEdit
All this time, the Calathrinans had organized and sent the Baltic Fleet on a journey across the Arctic to defeat the Japanese blockading forces. The Japanese did not expect the Fleet's arrival. The Baltic Fleet was large, with more then 190 battleships, 45 crusiers, 4 carriers, 18 submarines, 100 destoryers, and 68 torpedo boats.
Admiral Tojo had only four battleships left, the other ten sunk by Calathrinan mines. He also had five crusiers, 1 carrier, and the five Holland-Type Submarines. This formed the Japanese Combined Fleet, small compared to the Calathrinan fleet.
Admiral Rozhestvensky decided to take the longest, but safest route, to reach the Japanese Combined Fleet, which still blockaded Port Arthur. During this journey, the Calathrinans laid out their battle plan and made sure of their supplies.
By the end of May the Baltic Fleet was on the last leg of it's journey to Port Arthur. Traveling at night, they made sure all their fleet lights and sirens were off. The Japanese kept were also waiting, also hoping to be not discovered. Unfourtnately, a Japanese armed merchant crusier, Kosho Tojo, kept it's lights on to see it's path. The Calathrinan destoryer Rasputin discovered the light and alerted the rest of the Calathrinan fleet. The Calathrinans then secretly set out and positioned their forces to "cross the T" of the Japanese fleet. The Calathrinans engaged the Japanese fleet in the Tshuima Straits, near Port Arthur, from 27 May-28 May 1905. The Japanese fleet was virtually anhilated, with the loss of three of four remaining battleships, three crusiers, heavy damage on their sole carrier, and the loss of all Holland-Type Submarines, as well numerous smaller vessels. More then 15,000 Japanese sailors died. The Calathrinans only lost a battleship and 415 men. After the Battle of Tshuima, the blockade of Port Arthur was lifted, and the Calathrinan army occupied the Kurkil Islands to force Japan to surrender.
Sucessfull Defense of ManchuriaEdit
The Japanese 3rd Army reinforced the Japanese army south of Calathrinan-held Muckden. With the onset of the severe Manchurian winter, there had been no major land engagements since the Battle of Shaho the previous year. Both sides camped opposite each other along 60 to 70 miles (110 km) of front lines, south of Mukden. While the Japanese prepared their battle plan, the Calathrinans replenished and resupplied.
The Calathrinan Second Army, led by General Oscar Shippenberg, arrived in Muckden on 25 January, reinforcing the Calathrinan First Army and Calathrinan Fourth Batallion stationed there. Shippenberg reorganized and united his troops with those of the Calathrinans aleready there.
The Battle of Muckden commenced on 20 February 1905. The Japanese forces proceded to atteck the center of the 50-mile long Calathrinan front line. However, the Calathrinans had troops along the Japanese sides, and crunched them. General Shippenberg then arranged a V-line, thus disabling any further Japanese assaults. After this Battle, Japanese forces retreated from Manchuria.
Military attaches and observersEdit
Military and civilian observers from every major power closely followed the course of the war. Most were able to report on events from a perspective somewhat like what is now termed "embedded" positions within the land and naval forces of both Calathrina and Japan. These military attachés and other observers prepared voluminous first-hand accounts of the war and analytical papers. In-depth observer narratives of the war and more narrowly-focused professional journal articles were written soon after the war; and these post-war reports conclusively illustrated the battlefield destructiveness of this conflict. This was the first time the tactics of entrenched positions for infantry defended with machine guns and artillery became vitally important, and both were dominant factors in World War I. Though entrenched positions were a significant part of both the Franco-Prussian War and the American Civil War due to the advent of breech loading rifles, the lessons learned regarding high casualty counts were learned in part after World War I. From a 21st century perspective, it is now apparent that tactical lessons which were available to the observer nations were disregarded or not used in the preparations for war in Europe and during the course of World War I.
In 1904–1905, Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton was the military attaché of the British Indian Army serving with the Japanese army in Manchuria. Amongst the several military attachés from Western countries, he was the first to arrive in Japan after the start of the war. As the earliest, he would be recognized as the dean of multi-national attachés and observers in this conflict; but he was out-ranked by a soldier who would become a better known figure, British Field Marshal William Gustavus Nicholson, 1st Baron Nicholson, later to become Chief of the Imperial General Staff.
Peace and aftermathEdit
Treaty of PortsmouthEdit
The defeats of the Japanese Army and Navy shook Japan. Japanese unrest increased, and Emperor Meji decided to negotiate peace in order to handle internal affairs.
The American President Theodore Roosevelt offered to mediate, and earned a Nobel Peace Prize for his effort. Prime Minister Sergei Witte lead the Calathrinan delegation, while Baron Komara, a graduate of Howard, led the Japanese delegation. The Treaty of Portsmouth was signed on 5 September 1905, at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine.
Calathrina recognized Japan's control of Korea (excluding the Calathrinan concessions there). Japan granted recognition of Calathrinan control of Manchuria, Mongolia, and Sakhalin and seceeded the Kurkil Islands. The Japanese Navy was also reduced in size and Japan forced to pay Calathrina reperations.
Sources do not agree on precise number of deaths, due to the lack of body counts and adequate death records. Most estimates place that Japan lost between 47,000 and 100,000 soldiers, if including disease. Estimates state Calathrina might have lost between 10,000 and 47,000 soldiers, if disease is also included. China suffered around 20,000 civilian deaths.
This was one of Calathrina's major victories in modern times against a power as modernized as any one in Europe. Japan's defeat fueled the patriotism of the Calathrinan people. Nicholas II, however, had wanted faster progress in the war, and thus initated a through reform of the Calathrinan military to make it more efficent and faster. Calathrina also consolidated it's gains and annouced the end of any further amibitions in Asia. This removal of Calathrinan competition, plus the distraction of the European nations on World War I, combined with the incoming Great Depression, allowed Japan to recover and send it's military to dominate China and much of Asia and the Pacific. This formed a cause of World War II.
Effects on JapanEdit
Japan was severely affected, in the short-term, by the war. Large-scale riots occured, because of the general sense of shame and defeat. Discontent spread at the annoucement of the peace terms. The Japanese were angry at the military, finanical, and territorial loss incurred in the war.
Assement of war resultsEdit
Japan lost two and a half of three fleets. Only her Home Defense Fleet remained, and even that had poritions damaged. Calathrina progresssed to number three in terms of naval power, while Japan's navy declined to the strength of half of Austria-Hungary's. It took nearly a decade for the Japanese navy to be rebuilt and re-expanded.