Japanese Surprise Attack You Might Not Know About

While most people are familiar with the famous Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, you probably don't know about a similar Japanese attack 36 years earlier. The map above shows the battles of the relatively little known Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905.


The war started, somewhat familiarly, with a Japanese surprise attack on February 8th, 1904 on the Russian Pacific Fleet based in Port Arthur (modern day Lüshunkou, China). Like Pearl Harbor, the attack took place before a formal declaration of war had been issued.

While the Japanese in 1904 used destroyers and torpedo boats instead of planes (the latter, of course, having just been invented) the result was similar to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Japanese managed to damage several battleships and cruisers but they failed to deliver a knockout blow. Thus, the Battle of Port Arthur is generally considered to be inconclusive.

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