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10 February 2020

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Danielle

How many times in the last 7 years (and going back to THOR) have you read a sentence to the effect of "This will be a quick easily won war!"?
More so than others, this episode (which was fantastically done BTW) really connects the dots for me about the history of the 20th century and the last few millenia. It hits on all the trademarks of conflict in one snapshot of a larger story. Racism, Nationalism, incompetent conservative egos, Liberal shortsightedness, (supporting the war and then blaming the conservatives upon its failure). The propaganda machines loaded with double think, and the inability to see humanity through the cloud of us vs. them.

How this war opened sounds amazingly like Pearl harbor. The public outrage in Russia after the "unprovoked attack" after years of Russians instigating Japanese resentment and frustration.

The more I hear your podcasts the more I hear the same handful of stories repeating throughout the history of the last few thousand years. The names of people, details, and scale of infrastructure may change, but the plot is always the same. The human nature that repeatedly leads us to the same deplorable outcome that is war is incredibly consistent and incredibly sad.

Anonymous

And so. Japan blitzed Russia 36 years before the more famous blitzes by Germany.

For those wanting to learn military practice and theory surrounding Japan, this war informs a lot of their thinking.

TGUT

Yeah the Russo-Japanese War definitely informed a lot of Japanese military thinking in the first half of the 20th century, and unfortunately also their geopolitical thinking. Because when you get down to it, Pearl Harbour was literally trying to re-enact the raid on Port Arthur on a much bigger scale.

Although an important caveat that needs to be added to all of this is that Japan was actually on the brink of financial meltdown by the end of the war. This one of the greatest ironies of the war - the revolution caused by the disastrous opening phase of the war required the tsar to seek peace at pretty much at the moment when Russia was about to start winning. (Without wanting to give credence to a 'stab in the back' myth)

tom

it's the cape of good hope, not the cape of good horn you nerd!! you nerd!!

Ron Sparks

At least the Western powers did not underestimate the Japanese or treat them with racist condescension after this. Oh. Wait. Never mind.

Overstatedpatho

Why couldn't the Russian fleet use the Suez Canal?

Adam

@Overstatedpatho
Part of the ships went through the Canal, but for some it was to shallow. There's a nice map on Wikipedia showing the routes of Baltic fleet.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Battle_of_Japan_Sea_%28Route_of_Baltic_Fleet%29_NT.PNG

CJ Colehour

@Overstatedpatho @Adam
Probably had more to do whith the Russian fleets trying to shot up a bunch of British fishing vessels because they thought Japan had moved torpedo boats into the north sea, somehow. Needless to say that made Britton angry, as in almost went to war angry and closed the suez to the Russian fleet, which had been the plan orgonaly.
Also the battle of the yellow sea wasn't as one sided as shown here, Japan had basically the same designed ships as the Russians (the all big gun dreadnought was built in 1905) and where actually surprised by how good the Russians gave (this being russias elite fleet out of the 4) and if the Russians had pressed on whith a better leader (like the one killed from that mine) the it's interly possible for the Russians to make the Japanese land camepane untenable.

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