Education About Asia: Online Archives

The Russo-Japanese War and World History

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By John W. Steinberg

As with any war in history, the Russo-Japanese War enjoys its share of myths and legends that range from Admiral Alekseev’s barber being a Japanese spy, to the saga of the Baltic Fleet becoming the “fleet that had to die.” Perhaps because of such legends, or perhaps because World War I broke out less than a decade after the Russo-Japanese War formally ended with the Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, the centennial anniversary of Japan’s stunning victory witnessed a resurgence in Russo-Japanese War studies. Always considered a bilateral engagement between two military powers, which it was in its most basic sense, the Russo-Japanese war also had a significant global impact.

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