The Russo-Japanese war was a complicated affair. So complicated, in fact, that the Wikipedia entry on the subject is longer on political background than on the actual war.
In a nutshell: Japan was eager to flex some muscles and define its role as a modern imperial power in the East. Russia was eager to get a year-round port on the Pacific, and maybe acquire a large chunk of China. Russia was an enormous nation, which messed up logistics. Japan had better commanding officers.
The war lasted between 1904 and 1905, and was the first big conflict of the 20th century.
And Corto Maltese was in it, and so was his perpetual friend/adversary, Rasputin.
Because this is Corto Maltese, the Youth. Continue reading