- In 1904, the Russo-Japanese War breaks out. After the Japanese Navy sinks the Lushun fleet that Russia had sent to the Far East, it devises a strategy to ambush the Baltic fleet. But the blockade of Lushun Port by the combined Japanese naval fleet fails and the war reaches a stalemate. Oyama Iwao, the commander of the army’s Manchu troops, and Kodama Gentaro, the chief of staff, go to the ‘Mikasa’ which is the flagship of the combined fleet led by Togo Heihachiro. A joint council of war is held by the leaders of the army and navy. Saneyuki advocates opening fire on the Russian fleet from 203 Highland in northwest Lushun. However, the army stresses the importance of Lushun as a stroghold and the Third Army led by Nogi Maresuke begins an all-out offensive. On the other hand, Yoshifuru’s calvary presses on in its reconnoitering and reports that Russia has gathered a great army in Liaoyang. In October, the Baltic fleet finally sets sail from Russia. Nogi, who had twice suffered heroic defeat in his offensives, is finally headed for the top of the 203 Highlands on his third assault but is defeated. Kodama temporarily takes command and at the end of the deadly combat, the 203 Highlands falls. On 20 February 1905, the combined fleet which had returned home to prepare for the decisive battle with the Baltic fleet, leaves Sasebo once again. That same day, all military commanders are convened at the general headquarters of the Japanese Manchurian Army to prepare for the big climatic battle with a Russian army led by Aleksei Nikolaevich Kuropatkin.