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THE SINO-JAPANESE WAR. 1894-1895
SELDOM does history offer a more dramatic unfolding of international relations than the evolution of the East Asiatic question, of which the China-Japan War of 1894-1895, the Boxer campaign of 1900, and the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 are but successive stages of a continuous and broadening process.
The scene of this development now covers those countries which are among the most resourceful in the world and which comprise one-third of the human race. The future is unknown. The origin of the drama, however, may at least in part be traced to the adoption of a new career by Japan. Having been singularly well trained by her long history in the past, and impelled by the dictates of her vital interests, Japan had resolutely entered upon the new career, and had step by step committed herself to an open and progressive policy from which there could be no return, and which had to be carried forward against all obstacles, if she would exist and grow as a nation. This change of Japan's course of life was a cause of her wars with China and Russia; by it the history of the Far East radically changed its character and opened its new volume. At first, the determined attitude of new Japan immediately caused a breach which continued to widen until the war of 1894-1895 came as a logical result---- for it at once appeared that Japan had torn herself away from the ancient East Asiatic civilization, of which China was the mentor and Korea the greatest pupil, but of which Japan had never been so slavish a disciple as not to develop her original traits. As soon as Japan proved receptive of Western arts and sciences, there was resentment on the part of China and Korea, which felt as if Japan had deserted the historic community of the East and turned a renegade and servile imitator of the inferior civilization of the barbarian. To an equal extent Japan desired, even unconsciously, to demonstrate that her new career not only was not misguided, but also was the only possible way to preserve herself and save the East. Conflict with China became acute when Japan desired to open to the world the tightly sealed kingdom of Korea, over which China claimed suzerainty. Japan's attempt to open Korea, then, should be taken as the starting point of our account of the war of 1894-1895. To complete our general survey, it may again be emphasized that the same problem, which caused the breach of 1894, also produced the conflict of 1904. The interests at stake had, indeed, grown wider and deeper during the ten intervening years, and Russia was a far more powerful and aggressive power than China, but the fact still remained that, from Japan's standpoint, her vital interests were at issue in 1904 as they were in 1894, and, from that of the world, the conflict raged now as it did then between an open and an exclusive policy. As has been said above, Japan's attempt to open Korea as an independent and sovereign nation was the occasion for the outbreak of the Chinese war of 1894. Why did Japan desire to open Korea? Was it because Japan would apply to Korea the treatment she herself had received from the United States and other powers? Or was it an expression of the vigor of a newly regenerated nation? Probably the motives were not so simple, for it should be remembered that from the prehistoric ages the career of Japan and of Korea had been so vitally entwined that their close relationship of one kind or another was as inevitable as their geographical proximity itself. Moreover, beyond the peninsula stood two other powers, China and Russia, whose friendship Japan could not always count upon. In providing against any possible danger from these powers, the entire question seemed to hinge upon Korea, for with the fall of the latter the very existence of Japan would be threatened. It seemed essential for Japan, in order to protect her own life, either to annex Korea before it fell prey to another power or to insure its effective independence by opening its resources and reforming its rotten administration. Japan chose the latter alternative. But this brought her to a conflict with the Koreans themselves, for they were too thoroughly imbued with Chinese civilization and too deeply corroded by official corruption not to resent Japan's eagerness to modernize and revivify Korea. Korea thus presented the singular spectacle of resisting the suggestion of a friendly nation to insure her independence and power. Japan was confronted with the colossal task of overcoming the Korean misapprehension and breaking down the Chinese suzerainty over the peninsula.
This double conflict began almost as soon as the imperial authority was restored in Japan. In 1868 Japan sent a message to Korea with a view to opening friendly relations with her. Korea, however, being ill informed of the nature of the political change which had just taken place in Japan, and acting under the false representation by China of Japan's aggressive pretensions, resolutely declined to entertain these overtures. Other similar attempts also miscarried, and, in 1872, a Korean magistrate set a placard upon the gate of the residence of a Japanese officer at Fusan, in which Japan was stigmatized as the laughing stock of the world for her slavish imitation of barbarous customs. The taunt ended in saying that Japan had been so insolent as to impose the shameless policy upon Korea also, but the latter had too high a sense of propriety to be so deluded. It is noteworthy that the objections here raised were characteristically double, what Japan was under the shadow of other powers and was losing her nationality, and that she dared to force Korea to follow her unwise example. The former was sufficiently repugnant, the latter made it unendurable. When in 1873 Japan demanded China's explanation for the repeated insults made by Korea upon Japan in the latter's attempts to negotiate with her, the Chinese government declared that it was not answerable for Korea's conduct, for she was not its dependency. This aroused an outcry in Japan that she should independently force Korea open, but a greater insult from Korea was still to come. As a Japanese war vessel on its way to Niu-chwang stopped at the Kang-hwa Island, not far from Chemulpo, in August 1875, it was fired upon by the inhabitants and two marines were killed. The Japanese-Korean treaty, which was concluded as a result of this incident, deserves a special note, not only because it was the first modern treaty made by Korea with a foreign power, but also because it for the first time showed clearly Japan's fundamental policy regarding Korea, upon which policy has depended and will for a long time depend many a serious event in the history of the Extreme Orient. By this treaty Korea was declared independent, the two parties binding themselves to treat each other on the basis of equality, and three Korean ports were shortly to be opened to foreign trade. This epoch-making treaty was concluded on February 26, 1876, at which date Korea was at last conventionally independent and partially open to the outside world.
We need not tarry to repeat the story already told of the strong internal opposition that the moderate Korean policy of the government had aroused in Japan, and of its far-reaching consequences in her domestic politics. What mainly interests us here is the question as to what effect did the treaty produce upon Korea herself, whose sovereignty it recognized in unmistakable terms. This conventional independence of Korea had hardly altered the state of her political mind. Korea, it should always be remembered, had since prehistoric ages been trained in that school of experience in which she found herself eking out her bare existence between stronger surrounding nations, which she was wont either to propitiate or to set one against another for her precarious safety. The Koreans had thus by habit and by conviction grown up an opportunist nation. They gratified Japan by complying with her wish to declare them independent, while, at the same time, they courted China's favor by maintaining their vague dependency upon that empire. As indefinitely did China support her contention that Korea at once was and was not dependent upon her. The time soon came, however, when China was obliged to define her position toward Korea, for the more apparent Japan's policy of upholding Korean independence became to China. The more urgent was it for the latter to reassert her suzerainty over the peninsula. The ambiguous phraseology with which China had masked herself was suddenly cast aside when an acute crisis came. In 1882 Tai-wen-kun, the father of the Korean kin-, assumed the administrative power at Seoul, and set about executing with great rigor his anti-foreign policy. The old patriot believed, like many a Japanese before the restoration, that exclusion and independence were synonymous. On April 23 the Japanese legation was attacked by Korean troops, its twenty-seven members barely escaping to Japan by way of Chemulpo on an English vessel. With unusual rapidity the Peking government sent forces to Korea, who captured Tai-wen-kun and carried him off to China, demonstrating in this way the latter's assumed right of forcible intervention in Korea. China thus asserted by deed her suzerainty over Korea, and herein is already forecast an ultimate conflict between her and Japan, although neither power may have expected it as yet. Japan, on her part, contented herself by securing the punishment of the guilty, payment of 50,000 yen for the killed and wounded, and also an indemnity amounting to half a million yen, four-fifths of which were remitted the next year. She was, besides, allowed to station troops at Seoul for protecting her residents against future emergencies. This Korean trouble of 1882 was followed two years later by a greater crisis, and again the occasion was a political disturbance at Seoul. In 1884, when China was at war with France over Annam, the progressive party in Korea, which had been inspired by the example of Japan, took advantage of the situation and overthrew by violent force the pro-Chinese, conservative government. Suddenly the defeated party, together with 2000 Chinese troops, invaded the palace, murdered several members of the new cabinet, and attacked and burned the Japanese legation. The minister, Takezoye, fled for his life, while many of his compatriots residing at Seoul were outraged or killed. The king, who had summoned Japanese soldiers to guard the court, now threw himself on the protection of the Chinese. In Japan the cause of the trouble was attributed to the mild Korean policy of the government. In 1885, accordingly, an agreement was made with Korea whereby the latter again promised to punish the guilty and indemnify the outrage. Korea was settled, and China had now to be dealt with. To allay the censure directed at himself by the nation, Ito proceeded in person to China, where he concluded with the Chinese commissioner, Li Hung Chang, the famous Tientsin Convention of April 18, 1885, which had so much to do with the later breach with China in 1894. It was agreed by this convention that Japan and China should withdraw troops from Korea, that they should not furnish Korea with military instructors, and that if it should become necessary at any future time for either party to send soldiers to Korea, it should notify the other of its intention. It was further stated, in a supplement, that there existed no definite evidence that Chinese troops had killed Japanese residents at Seoul, and punishment would be inflicted on the guilty only when sufficient proof was forthcoming. As a matter of fact, no investigation followed and no punishment was meted out. On the contrary, the Chinese resident at Seoul, Yuan Shih-kai----now the powerful pro-Japanese viceroy of Chihli, but then an astute promoter of China's ascendancy over Korea----who was considered to have been largely responsible for the conduct of the Chinese forces, not only was not recalled, but was reinstated as Chinese minister at Seoul The greatest displeasure of the Japanese nation, however, was felt over the clause in the convention abrogating Japan's right, gained in 1882, of stationing troops in Seoul to protect her citizens and their interests. Ito was consequently denounced at home now more loudly than before. China, on her part, equally resented the conclusion of the convention, for she was thereby obliged to treat Japan on an equal footing with herself in Korea. Both countries suffered equally, for while Japan forfeited the rights she had previously acquired, China's claim of suzerainty was seriously impaired. Things remained in this strained condition until nine years later, in 1894, when an unforeseen event forced them to a breaking point. It was the Tonghak rebellion, which brought military forces of Japan and China face to face in Korea.
The Tonghak (or " Learning of the East ") party was a secret organization, whose doctrines were embodied in a collection of tenets based upon Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. Both the practical aims and the real strength of the party were then little known. Its conduct in 1894, however, led to an international crisis of which it could not have had the slightest expectation. In May the society rose in insurrection against the universal corruption and oppression of the Korean o powerful control of the family of the queen, the Min. The Min, whose safety was thus threatened, despite an opposition in the court against the proceeding, appealed, on their initiative, to the assistance of China through the minister at Seoul, who had really suggested the move. Here was a long-awaited opportunity for China to recover her lost ground in Korea and once more assert her suzerain rights over the peninsula. The Peking government at once dispatched forces toward Korea, at the same time notifying Japan, in accordance with the Tientsin Convention, that China had been requested by Korea to send troops to suppress the Tonghak rebellion, and that she had consented to " protect the tributary state." On the same day, June 7, Japan replied in two messages, one acknowledging the receipt of China's notice, but declining to admit that Korea was tributary to her, and the other announcing that Japan also would send soldiers to Korea. To this China retorted, saying that as Japan had not been requested by Korea to dispatch forces, the object of her expedition must be to protect Japanese subjects in the peninsula, which circumstances made it unnecessary for Japan to send too large forces or to allow them to go too far into the interior. Japan's answer was that the sending of the troops was in accordance with the Korean-Japanese convention of 1882, and that she had the right to determine the number and disposition of her own forces. The first detachment of the Japanese soldiers escorting Minister Otori reached Seoul on June 10, and the Chinese troops landed at Asan the next day. If the order had been reversed, China might have regained, temporarily at least, her control over the Korean kingdom, and Japan's ardent wish to reform and strengthen Korea as an independent state might have remained unfulfilled. From her vantage ground, however, Japan made a move which in fact created the critical point of the affair, for, on June 17, her foreign minister, Mutsu, proposed to China to suppress the Tonghak insurrection by joint forces, and then reform the Korean internal government also by joint action, so as to insure stability and peace in the kingdom. It now rested with China to avoid all danger by joining hands with Japan in eradicating evils in the Korean administration, but she would hardly impose a reform upon Korea, which she would not tolerate at home. On the contrary, the more corrupt and feeble Korea was, the more dependent upon China she would be. It is little wonder, therefore, that the Peking government replied that a joint suppression of the insurrection was unnecessary, as the latter had already subsided, while a joint reform would be incompatible with the sovereign right of Korea over her own affairs, and that what remained for China and Japan to do was to withdraw their forces from the peninsula.
This reply by the Chinese government may be said to have decided the situation, for henceforth Japan felt obliged to take an independent course of action in Korea. Thus she wrote to China, on June 22, that Korea was constantly troubled by party strife's and disorders and was unable to fulfill obligations as an independent state; that this state of things seriously affected the interests of Japan, for she was near and had important economic relations with Korea; that to discard the matter would be not only against Japan's friendly attitude toward Korea, but also against her own self-preservation; and that, therefore, a reform could not be stopped, and evacuation would not be made " without some understanding which would guarantee the future peace, order, and good government of Korea."
The cooperation with China having miscarried, Japan proceeded to act alone in Korea in the interest of the reform and good administration of the latter. The Japanese minister at Seoul, Otori, opened the arduous execution of his policy by putting a direct question to the Korean government, on June 28, whether or not it considered the kingdom as independent. This pointed query seemed to have deeply disturbed the politicians at Seoul, for they at once found themselves divided between three opinions: namely, first, that Korea was of course an independent nation, and Japan was the first power to declare the fact before the world; second, that she was an historic dependency of China; and, third, that the displeasure of both Japan and China might be averted by not giving a definite answer, but by merely referring them to the treaties. Nothing reveals more clearly the fundamental weakness of the political consciousness of the Korean people than their conduct at this critical stage of their existence. A message was sent to Li Hung Chang in China asking his instruction as to what answer should be given the Japanese minister. The telegraph line toward Wiju was interrupted, and Li's reply----recommending again the ambiguous definition that Korea was at once dependent and independent-had not been received before Korea had at length to reply after three days' deliberation that she was independent.
This first question had been asked by Japan in order to clear the ground for all subsequent steps in her diplomacy in the peninsula. Korea had technically renounced the suzerainty of China, and Otori now suggested, on July 3, a thorough reform in the official organization and the financial, judicial, and military institutions. The king and the government not only concurred with the Japanese minister, but also issued edicts calling for a reform. Suddenly a change came, on the 18th, when the Seoul government declared that the presence of the Japanese troops would hinder the execution of the necessary reform. It was of course plain that, as soon as these troops left, all hopes of reform would be lost. The change had apparently been caused by the arrival of Li Hun-Chang's telegram that an overwhelmingly large army was coming from China to crush the Japanese forces in Seoul Otori at once repaired to the Korean foreign office, where he expressed his surprise at the sudden breach of faith on the part of Korea, and urged her answers within three days to the following two demands: an order for the evacuation of the Chinese troops from Asan, whose presence had become unnecessary since the Tonghak insurrection died away; and a declaration that the existing treaty between Korea and China, which contained clauses intimating the former's dependence upon the latter, was henceforth null and void. The three-day limit expired without eliciting any answer from the government. By this time----July 2---- the city of Seoul was in a state of intense excitement. Otori resolved to see the king in person, and, early in the morning of the 23d, started toward the palace in a palanquin under the escort of his guard. Korean soldiers fired at him, the Japanese troops responded, and within fifteen minutes the Korean guards were dispersed and the city gates were taken, followed in the afternoon by a complete control of the entire capital by Japanese forces. This was the first bloodshed, and unfortunately it was Korean blood that was shed. It is necessary, however, to note that the Korean resistance was a result of the extremely, unstable politics at Seoul which had enabled the pro-Chinese, corruptionist family of the Min temporarily to control the situation. With their fall Korea naturally turned about and allied herself with Japan against China. The old patriot Tai-wen-kun, father of the king, who again assumed the grand councillorship, with his unabated rigor ordered punishment of the Min, commenced a radical official reorganization, nullified the Chinese treaty, and, what was more, requested the Japanese troops to drive away Chinese soldiers from Asan. This last request at once placed the forces of the two empires in certain hostilities with one another. It was carried out on July 29, but before that, on the 25th, the first act of war took place unexpectedly on sea.
Before relating this sea fight it is important to observe that China evidently expected a war with Japan as early as July 16. It appears that she was determined, though at first reluctantly, to resist by force of arms Japan's efforts to realize the independence and reform of Korea, for in no other light can be interpreted her dispatch by land and by sea of large forces destined for Korea. China was resolved to make good her suzerainty over the Korean peninsula by staking a conflict with Japan, which she had hoped to overwhelm by superior numbers. It was generally believed in Japan at the time that the Chinese statesmen had been led to this miscalculation of Japan's capacity by the continuous feud, which had seemed to characterize the relation between the government and the national diet. Li Hung Chang and others were thought to have imagined that Japan's hands were too closely tied by this internal discord to embark upon an undertaking, which would require an intense concentration of national resources. They could not have foreseen that all the superficial differences would be, as they were, sunk before the national cause, and that a profound patriotism would unconsciously and without premeditation compel the entire nation----the government, parties, and all----to stand like one man. Between July 21 and 23 ten transports conveying Chinese troops left Taku for Korea. Three Japanese cruisers, the Yoshino, Naniwa, and Akitsushima, which had since the 23d been cruising in the Korean waters, met at 7 A. m., the 25th, near the Phung-do Island, not far from Asan, the Chinese cruiser Tsi-yuen and gunboat Kwang-yi. These vessels had steamed out of Asan is order to meet another Chinese gunboat, the Tsao-kiang, which was convoying a transport toward Asan. The two Chinese vessels did not return the salute of the Japanese ships, and when the latter turned to the southwest they were fired upon by the former. After a brisk exchange of fire for over an hour the Tsi-yuen effected an escape, and the Kwang-yi was stranded south of Caroline Bay, where its powder-magazine exploded. In the meantime the Tsao-kiang and a transport, the Kow-shing, flying a British flag and conveying 1100 Chinese troops and stores, appeared on the scene. The Tsao-kiang was captured. The Kow-shing was ordered to follow the Japanese cruiser Naniwa to the main squadron, but the Chinese soldiers on board desired to return to Taku, and threatened to kill the English captain, Galsworthy, who advised them to surrender and himself wished to leave the vessel on a boat which the Japanese would send to him. After the attempt of the Naniwa to save the English mates had failed, it hoisted a red flag at 1 p. m., or nearly four hours after it had stopped the Kow-shing. Thereupon, the captain and the crew jumped overboard, and the Chinese soldiers fired at them, killing all but the captain and two others, who were rescued by the Naniwa's boats. The Kow-shing was then sunk. Only a few of those on board her, including a German, Major von Hanneken, escaped by swimming ashore.
On the very day when the naval victory near Phung-do was won mixed Japanese brigades numbering about 4000 men, under command of Major General Oshima, started from Seoul on their march toward Asan, in order to carry out the commission of the Korean government to drive away the Chinese forces stationed there. The large reinforcements, which they had expected from China not having arrived, the Chinese troops, 3500 in number, met the enemy at the strategic point Song-hwan, east of Asan. During a sharp engagement lasting from 3 till 7.30 a.m., July 29, the Chinese gradually lost their ground, until they fled toward Ping-yang, leaving behind 5oo killed and wounded. The Japanese losses amounted to 88 killed and wounded. Asan itself had been completely evacuated by the Chinese. The victorious army returned to Seoul early in the morning of August 5, where a warm reception by the Korean authorities and Japanese residents awaited its triumphant arrival.
These hostile acts were followed by the formal declarations of war of the emperors of China and Japan. The Japanese proclamation may be translated as follows:
" We, by the grace of Heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on a throne occupied by the same dynasty from time immemorial, do hereby make proclamation to all our loyal and brave subjects, as follows: " We hereby declare war against China. We command each and all of our competent authorities, in obedience to our wish, to carry on hostilities by sea and land against China, and to make effort to attain the national aim. We command them, each according to his power, to use all the means at their disposal, consistently with the Law of Nations.
"During the more than twenty years of our reign, our constant aim has been to seek the progress of civilization by a peaceful government; and being sensible of the evils of being involved in complications with foreign states, we have instructed our ministers always to labor for the promotion of friendly relations with the treaty powers. The relations with those powers have fortunately yearly increased in good will and friendship. We never expected such a persistent want of amity and of good faith as has been manifested by China in her conduct toward us in connection with the Korean affair. " Korea is an independent state which was first introduced into the family of nations by the advice of Japan. China has, however, habitually called Korea her dependency, and openly and secretly interfered with her domestic affairs. At the time of the recent insurrection in Korea, China dispatched troops thither, alleging that her purpose was to rescue the dependent state from its difficulties. We, in virtue of the treaty concluded with Korea in 1882, caused a military force to be sent to that country, in order to be able to meet possible emergencies. Wishing to free Korea for all time from disturbance and to insure her security for the future, and thereby to maintain the general peace of the East, Japan invited China's cooperation for the accomplishment of that object. China, however, advanced several pretexts and declined Japan's proposals. Thereupon, Japan advised Korea to reform her administration, so that order and tranquility might be firmly established at home and the rights and duties of an independent state might be maintained abroad. Korea has already consented thereto, but China has surreptitiously and persistently impeded the purpose. She has, moreover, put forward various pretenses and caused delays, while at the same time she was making warlike preparations on land and sea. When those preparations were completed, China sent large forces to Korea, with a view to the forcible attainment of her ambitions, and conducted herself so arbitrarily as to open fire upon our ships in Korean waters. It is beyond a doubt that China's plain object is to make it uncertain where the responsibility of preserving peace and order in Korea resides; to obscure the independent international position of Korea which Japan first recognized, as well as the treaties declaring that position; and thereby to injure the rights and interests of our empire and to deprive the tranquility of the East of its permanent guarantee. Carefully judging her designs from her action, it must be concluded that China has from the beginning been bent upon sacrificing peace to the attainment of her sinister object. In this situation, ardent as our wish is to promote at home and abroad the glory of our empire by strictly peaceful methods, we are obliged openly to declare war [against China]. We rely upon the loyalty and valor of our faithful subjects, and hope permanently to restore peace and to complete the glory of our empire."
The Chinese emperor's proclamation was an interesting document, giving an inaccurate statement of facts and revealing some of the main features of China's warlike plans in the coming campaign. A translation of this edict reads as follows:
"Korea has been under China's suzerainty for more than two hundred years, and has rendered us annual tributes, as is well known at home and abroad. For over a decade Korea has been troubled by repeated insurrections. We, in sympathy with our small tributary, have often sent troops to her aid, and suppressed the rebels, and also placed a resident at Seoul to render protection as needed. In the fourth moon of this year [May, 1894] another rebellion took place in Korea, for the suppression of which her king made to us an urgent appeal to send troops. We then ordered Li Hung Chang to dispatch troops to Korea. As soon as they reached Asan the rebels scattered. But the Wojen [a familiar and contemptuous name for the Japanese], without cause, sent their soldiers suddenly into Seoul, and reinforced them with more than ten thousand men. Japan then forced Korea to change her system of administration, and unreasonably made various demands. According to our method of ruling the tributary state [Korea], the latter's internal affairs are left to its self-government. Japan's treaty with Korea was as one country with another; there is no law for sending large armies to intimidate her and compel her to change her administrative system. The public opinion of the various powers considers the conduct of the Japanese as unjustifiable and unreasonable. We exhorted them to withdraw their troops, but they paid no heed and offered no explanation. On the contrary, Japan has continually dispatched more soldiers, until the Korean peasants and Chinese merchants were every day more alarmed than before. We therefore sent more troops to protect them. Greatly to our surprise, a number of the Wojen ships suddenly appeared and taking advantage of our unpreparedness opened fire upon our transports off Asan, thus causing us to suffer from their treacherous conduct, which could not be foretold by us. Japan has observed neither treaties nor international law, but is running rampant with her false and treacherous actions, commencing hostilities herself, and laying herself open to condemnation by the various powers at large. We therefore make it known to the world that throughout the whole complications we have observed the utmost benevolence and righteousness, while the Wojen have broken pledges and opened hostilities, which passes our patience to bear with. Hence we command Li Hung Chang to give strict orders to our various armies to hasten with all speed to exterminate the foe; to send successive forces of valiant men in order to save the Koreans from the dust of bondage. We also command the Tartar-generals, viceroys, and governors of the maritime provinces, as well as the commanders in chief of the various armies. To prepare for war and to make every effort to fire on the Wojen ships if they come into our ports, and utterly destroy them. We exhort our generals to refrain from the least laxity in obeying our commands in order to avoid severe punishment at our hands. Let all know this edict as if addressed to them individually. Respect this! "
The second battle on land took place at Ping-yang, on September 15, or fifty days after the encounter at Song-hwan, between 13,000 to 15,000 Chinese and 10,000 Japanese. The former had arrived at Ping-yang on August 4, and had made extensive preparations to defend themselves at this almost impregnable stronghold. The offending force marched against the walled city from several directions, and, finally converging there on September 15, gallantly attacked it, practically under no cover, from the north and from the southeast. The defense was powerful, but was finally outmaneuvered by the unexpected attack of the Japanese from the rear. At 4.30 p. m the Chinese hoisted the white flag, and, taking advantage of a heavy rain and a dark night, they left the city at 8 o'clock, moving toward the coast and Wiju. The Chinese losses were estimated at 2000 killed and about twice as many wounded, while the Japanese side numbered 102 killed, 433 wounded, and 33 missing. The whole Japanese army entered the city of Ping-yang early on the 16th.
On the day of this decisive battle the military headquarters of Japan moved forward from Tokyo to Hiroshima, the emperor himself transferring his seat thither, and, in his rude temporary quarters, attending to his duties as the commander in chief of the imperial forces. It is needless to say that the moral effect of this move upon the Japanese soldiers in the field of action was thrilling.
The battle of Ping-yang had cleared Chinese troops out of Korea. Two days after a naval engagement occurred near the mouth of the Yalu, which opened for the Japanese the sea-route along the northeastern coast of the Yellow Sea. Early in the morning of the 17th the Japanese squadron, consisting of the battleship Fuso (3709 tons' displacement), eight cruisers (between 4278 and 2439 tons), a coast defense gunboat, and the merchant-cruiser Saikyo, having on board Rear Admiral Kabayama, discovered columns of smoke from twelve Chinese war vessels emerging one after another upon the horizon. These vessels, which had landed troops and stores at Ta-tung-kau on the preceding day, consisted of the two armored battleships Ting-yuen and Chen-yuen (7430 tons each), the battleships Lai-yuen and King-yuen, the coast defender Ping-yuen, six cruisers, and a torpedo-boat destroyer. The Chinese fleet excelled in tonnage and the size of the guns, while the Japanese had the advantage of the comparatively greater speed of their vessels and a larger number of small rapid-firing guns. Fire was opened by the Chinese at I2.45 at a range of 6000 meters, the Japanese replying only at 3000 meters, and lasted till near sunset. The Chinese flagship Ting-yuen had her flagpole shattered at an early stage of the battle, and consequently the fleet, stoutly as it fought, could no longer maintain a concerted movement. The cruiser Chao-yung caught fire and sunk, the cruisers Yang-wei and Chih-yuen and the battleship King-yuen were sunk, and the cruiser Kwang-chia was stranded near Ta-lien-wan; the battleship Lai-yuen also caught fire and barely escaped to Port Arthur, while one of the two greatest battleships, Ting-yuen, was severely damaged. Although the other vessels escaped with less serious injuries, the Chinese commanders reported to Li Hung Chang that not a single ship was left in a seaworthy condition. The Japanese fleet lost no vessel, although damages were suffered by several, all of which were, however, soon repaired.
Again to return to the operations on land. After the battle of Ping-yang the First Army Corps was definitely organized of the Fifth Provincial Division from the district of Hiroshima, under Lieutenant General Viscount Nodzu, and of the Third Provincial Division from the district of Nagoya, under Lieutenant General Katsura (now Viscount Katsura, premier). The Fifth Division consisted of the Ninth and Tenth Brigades under, respectively, Major Generals Y. Oshima, and Tatsumi; the Third Division was divided into the Fifth and Sixth Brigades, under Major Generals Oseka and H. Oshima. The command of the entire corps rested with Marshal Count Yamagata (later replaced, on account of his illness, by Viscount Nodzu, whose position as commander of the Fifth Division was filled by Lieutenant General Oku).
The First Army Corps advanced toward the northern frontier of Korea. The Chinese forces offered no determined resistance this side of the Yalu, for they had decided, as did the Russians ten years after, to abandon the indefensible Wiju but to defend Chiulien-cheng on the Chinese side of the river. For about ten miles to the right and left of this position, or from An-tung along the stream up to Hu-shan, over a hundred redoubts and trenches had been built, behind which forts had been constructed on eminencies. General Sung-ching, commanding about 23,000 troops, stationed a powerful detachment upon Hu-shan, an important outpost across the Ai River, which flows into the Yalu. During the night of October 24, however, the Japanese army succeeded, undiscovered by the enemy, in throwing a pontoon bridge across the Yalu in front of Hu-shan. A severe storming of the outpost, replied to by an able firing, began at 5 p. m., on the 25th, continuing until it was deserted by the Chinese at 10.30. This strategic point having been captured, the main quarters at Chiulien-cheng were vacated without further resistance during the night. An-tung was also easily occupied by the Japanese, while Feng-hwang-cheng was set on fire and deserted by the retreating forces. Thus the Japanese crossed the Korean boundary and gained an entry into the Chinese territory with the comparatively small loss Of 4 killed and 140 wounded. They organized a provisional civil administration at An-tung to govern the Chinese population in the seized territory. Mr. Komura (now Baron Komura, minister of foreign affairs) was appointed the temporary director of the administration, to be later succeeded by Lieutenant Colonel Fukushima.
After the capture of Chiulien-cheng, the First Army Corps divided itself into two bodies, one under the command of Lieutenant General Katsura following the Chinese troops that had fled toward Ta-ku-shan on the coast, and the other pointing toward Mukden. Katsura's army took Ta-tung-kau and Ta-ku-shan in succession, the latter on November 5, and then turned northward and defeated the Chinese at Siu-yen on the 17th. Tomu-cheng was captured on December I2, and Hai-cheng on the next day, while Kang-wa-seh, where 10,000 Chinese had entrenched themselves, was carried on the 18th. Meanwhile, the second division of the First Army Corps had swept the enemy from Sai-ma-tsi and other points, and marched toward Mukden in the depth of a severe Manchurian winter.
By this time a part of the Second Army Corps, commanded by Marshal Count Oyama and consisting of the First Provincial Division from the district of Tokyo, under Lieutenant General Baron Yamaji, and of the Twelfth Brigade of the Sixth Provincial Brigade of the Kumamoto district, had already captured the great Port Arthur. Having landed at a point near Pi-tse-wo, about ninety miles northeast of Port Arthur, on October 24, the First Division had taken Kin-chow on November 6 and Ta-lien-wan on the following day. The entire section then, soon after midnight of October 21, as soon as the moon rose, opened an assault from the rear upon Port Arthur, which was defended by a magnificent physical position and strengthened by the powerful forts and guns that had made the port celebrated as an impregnable stronghold. After severe onsets under terrific fires, all the important landward defenses, including the Itsu-shan (Chair Hill) forts, had been carried by the Japanese by noon. Among the shore forts, those on Hwang-chin-shan (Golden Hill) resisted most stoutly, and did not fall till 5 p. m. During the night the Chinese deserted all the other forts, leaving behind 57 large-caliber and 163 small-caliber guns. When the Japanese troops entered the city they were treacherously fired upon from the houses, where many Chinese soldiers had hidden themselves and put on civilian dress, so as to be able to shoot the enemy unawares. The Japanese, on their part, retorted by an indiscriminate search of the houses and killing of many adult males who offered resistance, so that the number of the Chinese slain amounted to almost 4000. The Japanese lost 29 killed and 233 wounded. At the same time, the harbor not being defended by Chinese war vessels, the Japanese men-of-war removed mines and entered Port Arthur on the night of October 24. The Chinese made two successive attempts, on the 21st and 22d, to recover Kin-chow, but were repulsed. A part of the Second Army Corps then joined Lieutenant General Katsura's division of the First Army Corps at Kai-ping, on December 10, and carried that town by charging it over the slippery ice of the Kai-ping River.
The remainder of the Second Army Corps, consisting of the Second Provincial Division from the Sendai district under command of Lieutenant General Sakuma and of the Sixth Provincial Division from the district of Kumamoto (excepting the Twelfth Brigade, which had already gone to the Liao-tung peninsula) under Lieutenant General Kuroki, landed, without resistance, at Yung-cheng in the Shan-tun- province, between January 20 and 24, 1895. The object of this expedition was to effect a concerted attack with the navy upon Wei-hai-Wei, where the Northern Fleet of the Chinese navy had been concentrated. Leaving Yung-cheng on the 26th, the Japanese army marched along two routes, expecting to converge at Wei-hai-Wei early in February. The two divisions met vigorous resistance from the Chinese on the way, particularly at Mo-tien-ling on the northern route, opposite the strongly fortified Liu-kung Island, where the enemy poured ants from the 68 guns planted on twelve land forts and from the war vessels anchored only 2000 meters away from the forts. Major General Odera fell in this battle, and the forts were carried only after nine hours of ceaseless fusillade. The town of Wei-hai-Wei was deserted by the Chinese, and was occupied by the invaders on February 2. This completed the work of the army, for the task of reducing the forts on Jih and Liu-kung Islands, as well as of dealing with the Chinese fleet, had been assigned to the navy. The Chinese fleet at Wei-hai-Wei consisted of i5 war vessels, including the ironclad battleships Ting-yuen and Chen-yuen, besides 13 torpedo boats, as against 25 men-of-war and 16 torpedo boats on the Japanese side. The Japanese forces not only possessing a numerical advantage on the sea, but also having captured the land forts from which the army could cooperate with the fleet, a Chinese defeat appeared a foregone conclusion. Under these circumstances, Admiral S. Ito, commanding the Japanese fleet, sent to Admiral Ting Ju-chang, his personal friend, who held supreme command of the enemy's squadron, a touching letter in which the former expressed his regret that the old acquaintances had been obliged to meet each other in hostility, appealed to the latter's enlightened patriotism by pointing out the retrogressive policy which Ting had been called upon to defend and which could only end in disaster, and then counseled him to prevent a certain defeat and unnecessary loss of life by capitulating. Ito further advised Ting to become Japan's honored guest till the end of the war, and then return to his native land in order to aid China in setting her policy on a sound basis. When Ting read this message he was visibly moved, and said to his attendants: "Kill me," meaning probably that he wished to die alone and let all others surrender. Then he again remarked: "I am thankful for the admiral's friendship, but I cannot forsake my duties to the state. The only thing now remaining for me to do is to die." The Japanese fleet, which made Yung-cheng Bay its headquarters, began to attack the forts of Jih and Liu-kung Islands on January 30, 1895, continuing with frequent interruptions till February 7, when a steady general attack began. During this time, the daring night attacks made by Japanese torpedo boats had succeeded in sinking the Ting-yuen and three other vessels, and the thirteen torpedo boats of the Chinese fleet which tried to escape toward Chifu had had six destroyed and all the others captured by the Japanese. The Ching-yuen was sunk on the 9th ; soon afterward Jih Island fell and the eastern forts of Liu-kung Island were silenced. On the morning of the 12th Ching, commander of the Kwang-ping, approached the Japanese flagship Matsushima in a small gunboat flying a white flag, and delivered a letter from Admiral Ting, containing a formal surrender of all the war vessels in the harbor and the forts and stores of Liu-kung Island. Ting requested that the Chinese and foreign officers, troops, and civilians on land and sea around Wei-hai-Wei be allowed to depart unmolested, and proposed that the commander of the British China squadron should guarantee the faithful performance of the conditions of surrender on the part of the Chinese. On receipt of this letter Admiral Ito held a council of his officers, in which many of the latter advised, as was later seconded by the army officers, that the men should not be allowed to leave, but be taken prisoners. The admiral, however, had so high an estimate of Ting's personality and service to his country and so deep a sympathy with his difficult position that he insisted that Ting's request should be cheerfully granted. In his reply, therefore, Ito again advised Ting, for the sake of his own safety and of the future good of China, to become Japan's guest, agreed to release all the men on parole, and declined to accept the proposed guarantee by the British commander as unnecessary, for Ito rested confidence in Ting's honor as a soldier. The admiral also sent a present to Ting and Commander Liu of the Ting-yuen. The next morning Ching again visited the Matsushima, this time with the Chinese flag at half-mast, and brought a reply from Ting, who, Ching sorrowfully announced, had declined to accept Ito's present, and, with Liu and Commander Chang of the Liu-kung Island, had committed suicide. All the arrangements regarding the capitulation were then made with the utmost honor to the deceased admiral, and his body was taken ashore in one of the captured Chinese cruisers. The soldiers in the army and navy who were released on parole aggregated 5124 men. The Japanese flag was hoisted on the surrendered battleship Chen-yuen, cruisers Ping-yuen, Tsi-yuen, and Kwang-ping, and six gunboats. With this pathetic fall of Wei-hai-Wei the Japanese navy completely annihilated the Northern Chinese Fleet, and gained an absolute control of the Gulf of Pechili. Admiral Ito returned to Hiroshima on March 3.
With the expulsion of the Chinese from Korea and the capture of Port Arthur and Wei-hai-Wei, Japan had accomplished the major part of the work, which she had proposed to herself. The remainder of the story of the war may be briefly told. Hai-cheng was taken by the Third Division (of the First Army Corps) on December 13, and the Chinese made in January and February three unsuccessful attempts to retake this important walled city. The First Division (of the Second Army Corps) advanced from Kin-chow on February 10 toward Ying-kow, or the treaty port of " Niu-chwang," while the First Army Corps in two bodies pressed northward and then westward with the town of Niu-chwang as its objective point, whence it intended to join the First Division at Ying-kau. Niu-chwang was seized on March 4 after a sanguinary fight on the streets in which more than 1880 Chinese lost their lives. Two days later, the First Division captured Ying-kau without the cooperation of the First Army Corps and with no effective resistance from the enemy. The two armies then joined in the cannonading of Tien-chwang-tai on the other side of the Liao River, which was razed to the ground in order to prevent the Chinese from returning to it.
Toward the end of March a column of Japanese troops seized the Pescadores Islands near Formosa. The Chinese government, which had already twice sent abortive peace envoys with insufficient powers, now ordered Viceroy Li Hung Chang to sail to Japan and sue for peace. He arrived at Shimonoseki on March 19, where he was met by the Japanese peace commissioners, Premier Count (soon to be Marquis) Ito and Foreign Minister Viscount (soon to be Count) Mutsu. Li was later joined by his son-in-law, Li Ching Fang, as plenipotentiary. Li Hung Chang proposed an armistice, but the conditions demanded by Japan appeared to him too onerous to accept. On the 24th, as he was returning from a conference to his lodging, a fanatic, R. Koyama, who had led himself to believe that Li was the disturber of the peace of the East, shot at him with a revolver and wounded him on the left cheek---an incident which plunged the entire nation into profound regret. The emperor now almost unconditionally granted an armistice for three weeks. Li soon recovered from his wound, and resumed negotiations on April 10. The Japanese terms for peace had on his request been shown to him April 1, and these with various amendments became the basis of the Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed on April 17 and ratified on May 8. By this treaty, the absolute independence of Korea was at last assured; China agreed to cede to Japan the Liao-tung peninsula, Formosa, and the Pescadores, and to pay 200 million taels as indemnity; and Kang-chow, Su-chow, Sha-shi, and Chung-king were, opened to foreign trade, and the foreigners were granted the right of engaging in manufacturing enterprises in China. The war, which had lasted for more than seven months and cost Japan nearly 200 million yen and the loss of 1005 killed and 4922 wounded (besides 16,866 deaths from disease), now came to an end. Japan had placed on the field 120,000 men in two armies and five columns, and carried out the campaign in all its complexity with remarkable success. A few words may be said regarding the effects of the war upon China and Japan. The former's reverses were in a large measure a blessing in disguise, for they revealed, as nothing else would, the radical faults of her policy and administrative system, and convinced many of her patriots of the need for a reform. It was largely due to this fact that the two nations emerged from the war with no ill will against each other. On the contrary, the more thoughtful among the Chinese seemed to be attracted to Japan by her success in the same proportion that they became alive to the causes of the failure of their own government. In such a vast and conservative country as China a reform must come slowly, but it is safe to say that some of its seeds were sown as a result of the war of 1894-1895. As for Japan herself, her position suddenly rose in the eyes of the nations of the world. Even those foreigners who had heard little of her great progress in arts and sciences and still greater hopes of further growth were now forced to admit the foresight, endurance, courage, and power of organization manifested by the Japanese during the campaign. The more one knew the practical side of so large an undertaking the more he realized the magnitude of Japan's success. This appreciation of the world naturally stimulated the Japanese to a larger ambition for future progress. The stimulus after the war, however, came as well from the victory, as from the bitter experience, which closely followed it----the forcible intervention of three European powers against Japan, which at once changed the whole aspect of the Eastern question.
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