The Battle of Mukden: The 50th Anniversary

Her victory in the Russo-Japanese war, writes C. Platanov, which came to an end in September 1905, established Japan as a modern world-power.

The Russo-Japanese war came to an end fifty years ago, when in September 1905, peace was signed in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The final land battle—the battle of Mukden—took place earlier in that year. It lasted for almost three weeks, and was by no means a mild affair.

The Russian and Japanese armies had been facing each other for three or four months along a front extending for sixty or seventy miles to the south of Mukden, the capital of Manchuria. In February 1905, actions blazed up on various parts of the front, which gradually developed and merged into the so-called battle of Mukden.

By then both armies had received large reinforcements, and it seemed obvious that a general and decisive battle was imminent. In spite of the length, stubbornness and scale of the operations, however, the battle of Mukden proved to be not the decisive but only the last battle of the Russo-Japanese war.

Though the Japanese drove the Russians out of their Mukden positions and took the town itself, they did not succeed in surrounding the Russian armies; they failed in their attempts to cut the Russians off the Eastern Chinese Railway and to annihilate them. After the battle, both armies remained in their new positions until peace was signed.

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