By C F Andrews; Profile Publications Ltd
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Extra resources for The Vickers Valiant
He envisaged retreats, stretching the enemy lines of communications, weakening him to the point of collapse. The Germans, and hence the Japanese, favoured frontal attacks, but these generally failed to dislodge the Russians who had little difficulty in holding their positions if well-sited and protected by wire and mines. Russian infantry were often spectators as Japanese infantry was shredded by indirect artillery fire. It became clear that frontal assaults would only be likely to succeed if supported by massive firepower, or if the enemy proved irresolute.
China is only now recovering that reputation lost in 1895. By contrast with Japan, China had come to seem, ‘corrupt to the core, illgoverned, lacking cohesion and without means to defend herself . . to believe in the recuperative power of China is mere wasted faith . . A. Herbert wrote, Japan has leaped, almost at one bound, to a place among the great nations of the earth . . this small island kingdom . . so little taken account of heretofore . . 122 The Anglo-Japanese alliance, concluded on 30 January 1902, was Britain’s only alliance between 1815 and 1914; from Britain’s point of view, it was more about balancing the power of Russia, and the latter’s threat to British India, than about protecting commercial interests in the Far East, although these were none the less important for that.
By copying Western technology, techniques and commerce, Japan could remain powerful in robust international company, and avoid the foreign subjugation that had humiliated China. 111 It was clear to the Japanese in the last 30 years of the nineteenth century, that power and prosperity in the world went to those who used military power to seize them, and Japan set about achieving these. 113 A treaty was signed in 1876 effectively detaching Korea from Chinese control, and granting Japanese extraterritoriality in Korea.