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“The Unknown Enemy:” The Siberian Frontier And The Russo-Japanese Rivalry, 1890s–1920s

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Chapter Summary

The Russo-Japanese War was a clash of two continental empires. Of course Japan was proud of her description as an island empire with growing power at sea; and Russia too had expanded her Pacific fleet by 1900. But this war tilted the balance away from naval empires and further toward continental expansion and the clash of the two imperial armies. Russia never won a major battle in the land war, though it claimed some minor successes. The initial aspect of the naval war was the blockade of Russian squadrons and the mining of the approaches to Port Arthur and Vladivostok. It was an outright victory for the Japanese the most clear-cut victory of the war. It was also one of the great naval battles of history, a rare example of a numerically inferior fleet defeating a superior one.

Keywords: continental empires; Pacific fleet; Port Arthur; Russo-Japanese War; Vladivostok



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