Port Arthur, Siege of
(1904–1905)
   A costly but important Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War. Indecisive Russian command failed to halt the landing of Japan’s Second Army on the Liaotung Peninsula from May 5–19, 1904. General Oku Yasukata skillfully directed the Japanese advance and defeated the Russians guarding the narrow isthmus at Nanshan on May 25, which isolated Port Arthur. After the battle, Oku led his army north to engage the main Russian army, while the Third Army commanded by General Nogi Maresuke, who had captured Port Arthur 10 years earlier in the Sino-Japanese war, landed at Dalny, east of Port Arthur, and advanced on Port Arthur.
   Russian commanders made little effort to interfere with Nogi, and reinforcements by the end of July had built his force to 80,000 soldiers and 474 artillery pieces. The Japanese began probing Russian defenses in July and launched their first assault on August 7. This and successive assaults suffered heavy casualties, forcing Nogi to proceed cautiously and build extensive siege works. The key Russian position on 203 Meter Hill did not fall until December 5, but afterwards Japanese artillery on that hill shelled the city regularly. Russian General Anatolii M. Stessel surrendered the city and its garrison of 32,000 soldiers and sailors on January 2, 1905, despite ample stocks of food and munitions. Russia suffered 31,000 casualties during the siege, and Japan suffered 59,000 casualties.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Jukes, Geoffrey. The Russo-Japanese War, 1904–5. Oxford: Osprey, 2002;
    Warner, Denis, and Warner, Peggy. The Tide at Sunrise: A History of the Russo-Japanese War, 1904–1905. London: Frank Cass, 2002.
   STEPHEN K. STEIN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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