Russo-Japanese War (Carpe Diem)

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The Russo-Japanese War was an armed conflict between Russia and the Korean Empire against the Empire of Japan between 1904 and 1906. The major theatres of military operations were the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden in Southern Manchuria, and the seas around Korea, Japan, and the Yellow Sea.

Russia had been seeking a warm water Pacific port for both naval strategy and trade. Vladivostok was ice-free only during the summer, while Port Arthur was leased to the Russians from the Qing Dynasty since 1897 and was operational year-round. Since the end of the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, Japan feared Russian encroachment on its plans to create a sphere of influence in Korea and Manchuria. Russia had demonstrated an expansionist policy east of the Urals in Siberia and the Far East from the reign of Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century.

Seeing Russia as a rival, Japan offered to recognize Russian dominance in Manchuria in exchange for recognition of Korea being within the Japanese sphere of influence. Russia refused and demanded the establishment of a neutral buffer zone between Russia and Japan in Korea north of the 39th parallel. The Japanese government perceived a threat to their plans for expansion into mainland Asia and chose to go to war. After negotiations broke down in 1904, the Japanese Navy opened hostilities in a surprise attack on 9 February [O.S. 27 January] 1904 by attacking the Russian Eastern Fleet at Port Arthur, China.

Initially suffering a series of defeats, Russia scored a decisive victory at the Battle of Tsushima, crushing the Japanese fleet and cutting Japan off from Korea. With no way to continue the war, Japan agreed to the terms set by Russia in the 1906 Treaty of Vladivostok. Manchuria and Korea effectively fell under Russian influence, and in effect, Japan was evicted from continental Asia. Subsequently, Russia would annex Sinkiang and Mongolia in the wake of her victory against Japan and increased influence over China.