World War I and World War II so transformed the maps of both Europe and Asia that discerning the influence of antecedent conflicts like the Russo-Japanese War can be hard. Still, the setback that the Japanese dealt to the Russians in 1904-05 helped shape the contours of Asian politics for a century. Surprisingly, given the relative backwardness of the Russian and Japanese economies in 1905, it also served as the world’s first taste of modern, industrial warfare.
Robert Farley is an assistant professor at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. His work includes military doctrine, national security, and maritime affairs. He blogs at Lawyers, Guns and Money and Information Dissemination and The Diplomat. Follow him on Twitter:@drfarls.