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.