JCC: Russo-Japanese War Director: Charles Sherwood
Russian Side The year is 1904 and World War I is still a decade away. However, the complex and fragile power-balance have largely solidified between imperialist powers that will eventually spark the war. Within this complex web, the Russian Empire is in a fragile position both domestically and globally. Domestically, the Tsar Nicholas II and his government have been struggling to keep the lid on various revolutionary and separatist organizations that threaten the empire from within. Globally, the Russian Empire’s fierce competition with its main rival, the British Empire, in addition to the network of alliances that limit further expansion into Europe, have helped lead Russia into a competition to control the Chinese region of Manchuria and parts of the Far East. This competition has brought Russia directly into conflict with Japan, an upstart power that has been modernizing since the Meiji Reformation of 1868. The date is February 8th. Negotiations between Japan and Russia to split their influence in Manchuria and Korea have sputtered to a halt. The tsar does not see Japan as a threat—their population is dwarfed by that of Russia, and they have not yet proven themselves in battle against a fellow imperialist power. A war in Manchuria will be quick and easy, and will not only allow Russia to further its eastern ambitions, but it will also give the tsar and his court a glorious victory with which to rally his people. To fail is unthinkable and could threaten the existence of the entire empire. As Tsar Nicholas II and his court dream of triumph in St. Petersburg, the globe ships of the Japanese Imperial Navy move to surround the Russian Far East Fleet at Port Arthur.