At the end of the 19th century, Great Britain parted from its splendid isolation policy and extended friendly gesture to Japan which was eager to eliminate Russian influence from Korea and Manchuria. Since the end of the 19th century, Japan had common interests with Great Britain in the Far East in preventing Russia from expanding southward. Russian policy of southward expansion had fatally threatened the interests of both Great Britain and Japan in terms of Manchuria and Korea. As the result of such a situation, Japan approached Britain and signed an alliance with Great Britain in 1902. With the success of the defensive alliance with Great Britain, Japan made France as well as Germany declare a neutral position from Russia, which was one of the Tripartite. Anglo-Japanese alliance thus made a strategic environment favorable to Japan and encouraged Japan to attack Russia. During Russo-Japanese war, Great Britain gave many aides to Japan as an ally.
The purpose of this research is to clarify the role of naval power upon the Russo-Japanese War which was begun by surprise attacks at sea and ended by naval battles. The contents of this research include the background and causes of Russo-Japanese War, process of the naval battles and elements of victory of naval battles. The time period of the research is from the year of Tripartite(1895) when Russia and Japan began to collide directly to the year of 1905 when the Russian Baltic Fleets were destroyed completely at the battle of Tsushima.
The research method is literature analysis based on the specialized books, documents, research papers on the Russo-Japanese war. In order to analyze the roles of naval powers in the war, Kenneth Waltz's 3 images concept was adopted, which consists of individual level, national level and international level.
The research consists of 6 chapters: chapter 1 is introduction chapter 6, the last chapter, presents strategic options and directions for contemporary Korea.
The results induced from the research are as follows. The individual level, as Von Clausewitz argued, consists of 3 elements called Trinity, which is ① government, ② military commander and his troop, ③ people's passion. Russia could not achieve Trinity while Japan succeeded. The Russo-Japanese war was a totally fallible war for Russia because Baltic fleet was sent to wrong places, let alone wrong time. 'Wrong place' means that the Russian fleet was remote from Vladivostok squadron and 'wrong time' means that Baltic fleet was too late to rescue Russian fleet in port Arthur. Therefore it was natural that Russia was defeated.
From the analysis of national level, which means naval powers in this study, Japan used her navy aggressively for achieving the command of the sea through decisive battles at sea while Russia insisted on 'fleet-in-being' strategy. The strategy confined her fleet in fortress in spite of Russia's superior naval power, which might be used to interdict sea lanes of Japanese communication and landing on the Korean peninsular and Manchuria.
From the analysis of international level which means naval diplomacy. Japan could defeat Russian fleets one by one through Anglo-Japanese alliance which provided Japan with favorable strategic environment even though Japan had inferior naval power. Moreover, Japan could pre-plan the war and make a surprise attack as well as continued fighting thereafter with the help of Anglo-Japanese alliance. Thus, Japan could achieve her victory in the war. Great Britain not only supported positively the enhancement of the Japanese naval forces which was a critical element in defeating Russian Baltic Fleets in the battle of Tsushima, but also stood strongly by the side of Japan through the war. In diplomatic field, Great Britain did not allow the Russian Baltic Fleets passing through Suez Canal for Asia, and did not supply the required war materials as well as coals. Without the Anglo-Japanese alliance, Japan could not have had battleships nor have financial support for the war, without which Japan might not have thought of the war and surprise attack to Russian navy at Incheon Korea as well as Port Arthur.
The best of the best diplomatic policy is to have and keep an alliance with super ultra power while the worst of the worst diplomatic policy is to impair a strong relationship with the super ultra power. Korea is in a military alliance with USA, which is the only ultra super power. The ROK-US alliance is thought to be the prop of war restraint on the Korean peninsular and the only means to prevent military intervention from our neighbor countries. In this context, keeping a stable ROK-US alliance is assumed to be the utmost strategy favorable to Korea. The alliance is desirable in order not to give North Korea and our neighboring countries any misperception, which might be the result of the weakening relationship between ROK and US. chapter 5 introduces lessons from the war chapter 4 explains how the naval powers influenced the war chapter 3 analyses the background and causes of the war, the process of the war and the struggle for initiative on the naval battle to have the command of the sea chapter 2 is analytical frame work