In 1905, the imperial ambitions of Czarist Russia and Japan precipitated a war for control of Korea. While the Japanese decisively defeated the Russian fleet at the battle of Tsushima Straits, the war on land was far more costly to both sides. The Russians had established a strong defensive perimeter around Port Arthur, China, that consisted of bunkers, trenches, barbwire, and machine gun emplacements. Both the Russians and Japanese possessed long-range artillery using high explosive shells.

The fighting around Port Arthur resulted in extremely high casualties for both the Russians and Japanese; the impact of modern artillery and automatic weapons was devastating on the battlefield. Although the Russo-Japanese War provided clear warnings of how the next major war would be fought, many military professionals took little account of the conflict.

 

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