Episode 170 – The Maelstrom, Part 8

In the last major land battle of the Russo-Japanese War, two great powers enter and…two great powers leave? Wait, I’m confused. How are the Japanese winning every battle and still not winning the war?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945. 

Nish, Ian. The Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05.

Wolff, David et al. World War Zero: The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective.

Images

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The Russo-Japanese War was big news around the world. This Italian magazine carried front page coverage of the Battle of Sandepu.
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Georgii Stackelberg, the Russian general whose gloryhound tendencies resulted in him leaking the planned Russian attack on Sandepu to the press in hopes of getting credit for it.
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Russian field guns in operation at Mukden.
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A postcard showing Japanese troops storming the ramparts of the Russian defenses. In practice, these kind of massed ranks of troops were very uncommon — charging forward in such a formation was functionally suicidal. However, older romantic notions of what an infantry assault looked like still held firm in many quarters.
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Russian forces retreat towards Harbin after the battle.
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Russian field medics treat an injured soldier. About 1/3 of the Russian force at Mukden was killed, wounded, or captured.
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Episode 169 – The Maelstrom, Part 7

The Russians retreat, the Japanese advance, the losses pile up. Things are starting to get a bit worrisome for the Japanese army; could they potentially win every battle and still lose the war?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.

Wolff, David, et al. World War Zero: The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective.

 

Images

Episode 168 – The Maelstrom, Part 6

This week: the Port Arthur campaign, from start to finish. Wasn’t this supposed to be a cakewalk?

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945

Jukes, Geoffrey. The Russo Japanese War, 1904-05.

Wolff, David, et al. World War Zero: The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective.

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Kodama Gentaro, who was sent to Port Arthur to figure out what was taking so damn long when Nogi consistently failed in his attempts to take the city.
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203 Meter Hill, the key to the Russian defenses of the Port.
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A view of Port Arthur from atop 203 meter hill. From that position, Japanese artillery was able to sight in on the city and the Russian fleet.
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Russian artillery trains advancing toward the front during the Siege of Port Arthur.
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Though photography began to displace woodblock prints as the chief means of illustrating news during the war, the old ways still had adherents. This print shows the fight for 203 Meter Hill.
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Russian troops stand over Japanese dead from the assault on 203 Meter Hill. The attacks launched by Nogi were incredibly costly — and arguably, hugely wasteful.
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After the conclusion of the battle and the Russian surrender, the leadership of both sides took a photo together in the gentlemanly traditions of 19th century warfare. Nogi Maresuke is center left; Anatoly Stoessel is center right. In Japan, the photo was celebrated as an example of Japanese being treated as equal to (or superior than) the defeated Russians.

Episode 167 – The Maelstrom, Part 5

The war rages on as the Japanese land in Port Arthur and press the attack, and Oyama Iwao advances north. The Russians will attempt to make a stand as divisions open up in their leadership.

Listen to the episode here.

Sources

Drea, Edward. Japan’s Imperial Army: Its Rise and Fall, 1853-1945.

Wolff, David, et al. The Russo-Japanese War in Global Perspective: World War Zero. 

Jukes, Jeffrey. The Russo Japanese War, 1904-05. 

Images\

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Russian troops stand over dead Japanese attackers during the Siege of Port Arthur. The Port Arthur campaign was tremendously bloody; Nogi’s penchant for frontal attacks and the well-entrenched defenders combined to create huge death tolls.
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Nogi Maresuke upon his recall from retirement.
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Field guns like this 11 inch howitzer would play a huge role in the battle for Port Arthur; without them, the Japanese stood little chance of blasting through the massive Russian defenses.
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Aleksey Kuropatkin, commander of Russian forces in Manchuria. A proponent of a defensive strategy of retreats to buy time, Kuropatkin was ordered by his civilian boss Yevgeny Alekseyev to make a stand. This lay the groundwork for the Battle of Liaoyang.