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PORT ARTHUR (Chinese, Lu-shun-k'ou)

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Originally appearing in Volume V22, Page 111 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PORT ARTHUR (Chinese, Lu-shun-k'ou), a fortress situated at the extreme south of the peninsula of Liao-tung in the Chinese principality of Manchuria. It was formerly a Chinese naval arsenal and fortress, but was captured by the Japanese in 1894, who destroyed most of the defensive works. In 1898 it was leased to Russia with the neighbouring port of Talienwan, and was gradually converted into a Russian stronghold. In 1905 the lease was transferred to Japan. The port or harbour is a natural one, entirely landlocked except to the south. The basin inside is of limited extent. Barren and rocky hills rise from the water's edge all round. A railway 270 M. long connects the port with Mukden and the trans-Siberian line; there is also railway connexion with Pekin. The harbour is ice-free all the year round, a feature in which it contrasts favourably with Vladivostok. The Liao-tung peninsula, separated from Korea by the Bay of Korea, and from the Chinese mainland by the Gulf of Liao-tung, runs in a south-westerly direction from the mainland of Manchuria, and is continued by a group of small islands which reach another peninsula projecting from the mainland of China in a north-easterly direction, and having at its north-eastern extremity the port of Wei-hai-wei. The Liao-tung peninsula is indented by several bays, two of which nearly meet, making an isthmus less than 2 m. wide, beyond which the peninsula slightly widens again, this part of it having the name of Kan-tun (regent's sword). Two wide bays open on the eastern shore of the latter: Lu-shun-k'ou (Port Arthur) and Talienwan. Both were leased to Russia. Lu-shun-k'ou Bayis nearly 4 m. long and Ii m. wide, the entrance being only 350 yds. wide. The Chinese deepened the bay artificially and erected quays. The roadstead is exposed to south-easterly winds, and in this respect the wider Bay of Talienwan is safer. Coal is found near to the port. The climate is very mild, and similar to that of south Crimea, only moister. While in occupation by the Russians Port Arthur became Europeanized. The military port, Tairen, is a few miles to the north. During the Russo-Japanese war the Japanese assailed Port Arthur both by land and sea and, after repeated assaults, on the 1st of January 1905, General Stoessel surrendered the citadel into the hands of the Japanese.
End of Article: PORT ARTHUR (Chinese, Lu-shun-k'ou)
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