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The Clash Of Two Continental Empires: The Land War Reconsidered

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents a preliminary description of Japanese organizations for intelligence gathering and their activities, as well as assesses their effect on Japan's war efforts. Only few primary sources are available today on the intelligence activities of Japan during the Russo-Japanese War. There are a number of private collections, especially at the disposal of Kensei shiryōshitsu, the National Diet Library, Tokyo. Fluent in Russian and proficient in ballroom dancing popular in St. Petersburg, Major Tanaka Giichi knew the war arena first hand and kept abreast of local affairs. In retrospect, the role of Japanese intelligence during the Russo-Japanese War was to gather accurate information on Russia, thereby allowing the decision makers in the government and both the army and the navy to assess the potential and limitations of Russian power projection. Finally, the Japanese intelligence services suffered during this war from very limited cryptanalysis capabilities.

Keywords: Japanese network of intelligence-gathering; Kensei shiryōshitsu; Russo-Japanese war; Tanaka Giichi



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