One of the victors’ first acts was to land at Port Arthur, and as soon as Japanese troops were ashore they massacred the Chinese garrison.
Key Point: The capture of Port Arthur marked the beginning of an aggressive nationalistic campaign in Japan, and taught Japanese leaders that a sneak attack on a port might work.
More From The National Interest: Where World War III Could Start This Year How the F-35 Stealth Fighter Almost Never Happened Russia Has Missing Nuclear Weapons Sitting on the Ocean Floor How China Could Sink a U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier On the chilly night of February 8, 1904, the Imperial Russian Navy’s Pacific Squadron lay peacefully at anchor just outside Port Arthur’s main harbor.
The hills surrounding Port Arthur shielded its harbor from the worst effects of the freezing blasts of winter wind that barreled in from the Arctic, keeping its port facilities ice free all year round.
Most prominent was the Chinese Wall, a 10-foot-high mud and brick structure that snaked its way through the western outskirts of Port Arthur.
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