Battle of Mukden
The Battle of Mukden (Japanese: 奉天会戦 Hōten kaisen), the last major land battle of the Russo-Japanese War, was fought from 20 February to 10 March 1905 between Japan and Russia near Mukden in Manchuria. The city is now called Shenyang, the capital of Liaoning province in China.
The Russian forces numbering 276,000 were under General Alexei Nikolajevich Kuropatkin. The Imperial Japanese Army forces numbering 270,000 were led by Field-Marshal Prince Oyama Iwao.
Following the Battle of Liaoyang (24 August 1904 to 4 September 1904), Russian forces retreated to the river Sha Ho south of Mukden and regrouped. From 5 October 1904 to 17 October 1904, during the Battle of Shaho, the Russians unsuccessfully counter-attacked, however managed to temporarily slow the Japanese advance.
A second Russian counter-offensive, the Battle of Sandepu, fought from (25 January 1905 to 29 January 1905) was likewise unsuccessful.
The fall of Port Arthur to General Nogi freed up the Japanese 3rd Army, which advanced north to reinforce the Japanese lines near Mukden in preparation for an attack.
By February 1905, the manpower reserves of the Japanese army had been drained. With the arrival of General Nogi's Third Army, Japan's entire fighting strength was concentrated at Mukden. The severe casualties, bitter climate, and approach of the Russian Baltic Fleet created pressure on Marshal Oyama to effect the complete destruction of the Russian forces, rather than just another victory from which the Russians could withdraw further into Manchuria.
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