Japan’s declaration of war on Russia

On this day — 9th February [O.S. 27th January] 1904 — the Empire of Japan issued a declaration of war on Russia. However, three hours before Japan’s declaration of war was received by the Russian government, and without warning, the Japanese Imperial Navy attacked the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur.
Emperor Nicholas II was stunned by news of the attack. He could not believe that Japan would commit an act of war without a formal declaration, and had been assured by his ministers that the Japanese would not fight. When the attack came, according to Cecil Spring Rice, first secretary at the British Embassy, it left the Tsar «almost incredulous». Russia declared war on Japan eight days later.
The Russo-Japanese War lasted 1 year, 6 months and 4 weeks, from 8th February 1904 — 5th September 1905, resulting in a humiliating defeat for Russia. The Russian Imperial fleet was virtually annihilated, losing eight battleships, numerous smaller vessels, and more than 5,000 men.
The war concluded with the Treaty of Portsmouth, signed on 5th September 1905 after negotiations lasting from 6th-30th August, mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt.

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