The Rise of Japan
East Asia 1905.0904
The Rise of Japan, the Spanish-American War, and the Boxer Rebellion (4 September 1905)
Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific
Japan swiftly overran Korea and southern Manchuria, capturing Port Arthur after a prolonged siege. In an attempt to gain naval supremacy, Russia sent its European fleet halfway around the world - only to have the Japanese destroy it at Tsushima. Unsuccessful in the war and facing widespread unrest at home, the Russians sued for peace.
Japanese occupation of Korea
On 8 February 1904, Japanese troops landed at Chemulpo, in the Korean Empire, advancing to occupy Seoul the next day. While the Japanese fanned out across the country, the Korean government entered into negotiations, eventually signing a treaty effectively recognizing Japanese protection on 23 February.
The United Kingdom and the French Republic signed the Entente Cordiale in London, improving Anglo-French relations by settling colonial differences: Britain was given dominance in Egypt and France in Morocco; disputes in West Africa were settled in France's favor; France renounced rights to fisheries in Newfoundland; and Siam was to be divided into zones of influence.
Siege of Port Arthur
Japanese forces advanced on Port Arthur - a heavily fortified Russian naval base on the Liaodong Peninsula in Manchuria, China. After a five-month siege, in which the Japanese suffered about 60,000 casualties and the Russians 31,000, the Russian garrison agreed to surrender.
Battle of Tsushima
The Russian Baltic Fleet under Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky, having traveled 18,000 nautical miles to reach the Far East, approached the Straits of Tsushima in an attempt to pass into the port of Vladivostok. Here they were spotted by the Japanese Combined Fleet of Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō, which engaged them in battle, sinking 7 of the 11 Russian battleships for no major losses. The remnants of the Russian fleet were mostly destroyed or captured the following day, with only three warships making it through to Vladivostok.
Invasion of Sakhalin
Two parties totaling 14,000 Japanese troops landed between Aniwa and Korsakov on Sakhalin island, meeting little opposition. The Japanese moved on to capture Korsakov, defeating 2000 Russians, before heading north to capture most of southern Sakhalin by 16 July. On 24 July, they landed in northern Sakhalin where they forced the 5000 Russian defenders to surrender.