The Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905: Russian sailors abandoning a beached warship are rescued by Japanese fishermen and naval personnel in a painting by Henry Reuterdahl that appeared on the cover of the 17 June 1905 issue of Collier’s magazine. The incident is apparently imaginary (as was characteristic of the work of Reuterdahl, who was to become famous as a World War I poster artist); however, a tradition survives in Japan that Russian crews were in fact rescued in such ways. This number of Collier’s, which appeared immediately after the epochal battle of Tsushima (27–29 May), printed an analysis of that engagement by Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan: “The Battle of the Sea of Japan: A Critical Estimate of the Elements of Togo’s Era-Making Victory” (pp. 12–13).
The Japanese commander at Tsushima, Admiral Heihachiro Togo, observed Mahan, had shown himself “a naval officer who, beyond all others at the moment, can appreciate . . . the real possibilities open to each branch of naval warfare.” How Admiral Togo achieved such mastery—and more broadly, how the highest Japanese politico-military leadership performed in its first major challenge in the global arena—are the subjects of our lead article, by Vice Admiral Yoji Koda, Director General of the Joint Staff Office, Japanese Defense Agency, the equivalent of the U.S. Deputy Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Image courtesy of the Naval War College Museum.
Volume 58, Number 2