Russian Military Intelligence Before The Russo-Japanese War

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Russian Military Intelligence before the Russo-Japanese War

Russo-Japanese War

As ripples of Japanese affair finally diminish I humbly submit that your Imperial Army is in dire need of restructuring--some of which has already had foundation established but was unable to achieve full potential due to outbreak of war. (Chapman 41)

First, let us discuss many weaknesses that plagued army in Asia. The single most influential, or more properly, lack thereof, was our senior leadership. The complete indecisiveness of Kuropatkin, as first appeared in maneuver exercise of 1902, must bear brunt of "what went wrong"; however, this is just one of roots that helped grow tree of failure. Kuropatkin's poor leadership also fanned problems that could be found in Leer teachings, in which our generals were still attempting to utilize the Napoleonic strategy against an unpredictable enemy armed with today's most modern weapons. (Abraham 157)

Additionally, Kuropatkin was surrounded by the senior staff that was both, too old for rigors of combat, and as demonstrated, incompetent--the staffs that Kuropatkin failed to relieve or request replacement of. One final note on leadership: obvious stubbornness for naval and army senior commands to coordinate and/or agree with the course of action proved fatal, especially when Port Arthur was for all intents and purposes, key to our victory in Far East. (Shaw 260)

Further, following our military history, problem of logistics and mobilization again substantiates need for reforms.

The reliance on single Trans-Siberian railroad to both logistically support (especially once Port Arthur was lost) and reinforce proved eventual nail in coffin once Kuropatkin did decide to take to Offensive. When war broke we had only two artillery depots in Far East, and one fell with Port Arthur. (Abraham 157)

As far as reinforcements and this goes hand-in-hand with poor intelligence preparation of both enemy and battlefield, we underestimated Japanese capabilities, and allowed Kuropatkin to set out looking for the quick decision in defensive posture.

Once initial defense failed to produce expected results, mobilization of reserve troops from Europe was the slow, cumbersome process--and once Reserve forces did arrive they proved ill equipped, ill trained, and as seems to be ongoing theme, poorly led. (Chapman 41)

To expound on lack of, or poor, intelligence of our Japanese foe prior to war, I present fact that we seriously underestimated their manpower, ability and vigor. First, we relied on our navy to help our ground forces, yet Japanese decimated our Pacific Squadron with the surprise attack and ...
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