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The Russo-Japanese War

War, Part Three: The Long Seige of Port Arthur

Japanese Black watch
Famous Japanese Black Watch regiment was all but destroyed in their advance on Port Arthur. Charles B. Doleac collection. View larger image.
Japanese trenches
Lantern slide of Japanese soldiers in trenches outside Port Arthur. Charles B. Doleac collection. View larger image.
Japanese barbed wire
Japanese troops in barbed wire outside Port Arthur. l'Illustration. View larger image.

Japanese dead fill trenches at Port Arthur. View larger image.

Port Arthur Falls

After the battle of Nanshan, the Japanese began a long siege of Port Arthur that was marked by several very costly assaults. They eventually gained the high ground around the port and began a heavy artillery barrage on the city and sunk most of the fleet in the harbor. General Stössel, Port Arthur's Russian commander, surrendered to the Japanese on January 1, 1905, without consulting his officers and despite several months' provisions and large supplies of ammunition remaining.


After the fall of Port Arthur, General Nogi's army moved north to join the other Japanese armies at Mukden, where in March, Japan again was victorious. Some 560,000 troops fought a two-month battle, the largest confrontation of the war. Here Japan had 70,000 casualties and the Russians lost 89,000. The Russian army, defeated but still intact, retreated north toward Harbin; the Japanese were too exhausted to pursue and destroy the Russian army.

Japanese women
Japanese women sew a talisman for a soldier heading for the front. Harper's Weekly. View larger image.
Right: As Japan tightened the siege of Port Arthur, the Russian Bear diminished in size and shape as the Japanese mouse grew into a giant.
Port Arthur bear cartoon

The Japanese fleet in the harbor of Port Arthur after the siege. C. B. Doleac collection.  
Japanese human pyramid
Japanese soldiers form a human pyramid to assault a Port Arthur fort. Atop the wall is Russian Captain Lebedief, who killed many Japanese during three assaults, then was himself killed by a shell blast. l'Illustration. View larger image.
Russian Gen. Stossel
Russian General Stössel surrendered Port Arthur amid controversy. Harper's Weekly.
Russians surrender
Following ferocious assaults costing thousands of Japanese lives, the Russians abruptly surrendered Port Arthur. Harper's Weekly. View larger image.
Russian troops gather at Mukden
Russian troops gather at Mukden. C. B. Doleac collection. View larger image.
Civilians celebrate
Civilians celebrate the fall of Port Arthur. View larger image.
The battle of Mukden, the largest of the war, resulted in another Japanese victory and drove the Russians from Manchuria. C. B. Doleac collection. View larger image.

War, Part 4 »