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TH E B A TTLE OF T H E

SE A O F J A P A N

CAPTA I N N I C O LA S K LA DO

( OF T H E I M P E I L R A R USSI AN N AVY)
b a _
"P b ;

P R OFESSOR A T T H E N A V AL AND M L I ITA Y A CA D M I


R E ES O F ST . PETE R SBUR G

ATE
L F LA G -CA PT I N TO A D M I A L
A OZ H R R ESTVBN SKY

AN D
u

ESSELS
Q

NU M ER OUS OT H E R OFFI C E R S EYE WI TNE SSES


,
-
, A N D CO M M A N D ER S OF V

WH O PA R TI CI PAT ED I N T H E BATT L ES OF HI MA
V Q

T SUS A ND M ATSUSH I M A

AN AUTH OR I S ED A S A
T R N L TI ON F R OM TH E R USSI AN
BY

1 H
. . D I CKI NSON , D L1 T
. .
, AN D F P M A R CH A NT
. .

WI T H N UM EROUS I LLUS TRAT I ON S , M P A S , AN D P L ANS

HODD E R AN D STOUG HTON


P U B L I S H E RS LON DO N
PR E F A C E

F I RST had the h o n o u r o f tran s l ati ng o n e o f Captai n



K l ad o s w o rk s last y e ar wh e n he e n trust e d m e with t he

translation o f T he Russia n N a vy i n t he Russo J apa n e s e


-

War i nt o E n g l ish Th is bo o k w as s o w e ll r e c e iv e d both by



.
,


the P r e ss an d P ub l ic o f th is cou n try , a n d Captai n K l ad o s
position as a n e mi n e n t n aval critic s o o p e n ly r e cogn iz e d ,

that I u nd e rt o ok with the gr e at e st p l e asur e t he translatio n and


compi l atio n o f th is vo l um e
.

From the d ocum e nts s e n t m e I hav e translat e d al l that I


th ought would i n t e r e st my cou n trym e n . As w il l be s ee n the
,

wh ol e o f t he rst a nd m uch o f the s e co nd part i s writt e n by


Captai n K l ad o T he r e mai n d e r co n sists o f r e p orts auth e n tic
.
,

narrativ e s an d l e tt e rs fr o m t he s e at o f war by o ffi c e rs and


,

oth e rs w ho took a n activ e par t i n the n av al battl e s .

Th e s e va l uab l e con tributio ns w e r e obtai n e d by t he auth or ,

with ou t wh os e i n u e n tial aid it wou l d hav e b ee n di fcul t fo r


me to s e cur e th e m . As th e y giv e t he b e st acc o u n t o f the
n ava l batt l e s which i t h as b e e n possib l e t o obtai n up t o t he

pre s e n t I am d oubly tha nkfu l that I am ab l e t o p l ac e th e m


,

b e for e t he re ad e rs o f this work .

I m ust e xpr e ss my than ks t o M r F P M archan t without


. . .
,

whos e va l u e d assistanc e the publ icatio n o f th is vo l um e wou l d


hav e b e e n c o nsid e rably r e tard e d ; t o the manag e r o f T he

Ti me s with whos e ki nd p e rmissi o n I re prod uc e e xtracts fr o m
,

som e high l y in t e re sti ng an d importan t artic l e s which app e ar e d


i n that pap e r ; a n d l astly to my r e ad e rs whos e ki n d i n d ulge n c e
,

I crav e an d w ho will m or e tha n re comp e ns e m e fo r my labour


,

if th e y accord t he sam e r e c e ptio n to this trans l atio n as th e y d id


to t he last .

I H A R G R E A V E S D I C K I NSO N
. .
IN regar d to the ma p s an d p l ans t he s p el l i n g o f the na m e s of s h i p s
,

an d p l ac e s d i ffe rs h e r e an d t h e r e fro m t h at g i v e n i n t he acc e p te d B r i t i s h

a u t h or i t i es an d naval h an d b ook s I t i s h e re g i v e n as i n the or i g i na l


.

R u ss i an p l ans an d m a p s r e p ro d u c e d i n t he vo l u m e w h i c h are at
,

var i anc e a l so i n t h i s r e g ar d a m on g t h e m s e l ve s T h e re d o es not see m


.

to be any xe d or ofc i a ll y acce p te d syst e m of ort h og ra p h y i n the


m att e r an d i n the c i rc u m stance s i t h as b ee n t h o u g h t w i s e r not to a l t e r
,

t he or i g i na l R u ss i an ort h o g ra p h y on the p l ans an d m a p s g i ve n an d ,

to re p ro d u ce the na m es i n q u e st i on as or i g i na ll y p r es e nt e d i n R uss i an .
C ON T EN T S

PA RT I

C H A PT E R I
D I V I D E D C O U N S E LS
S T AR T O F T H E S Q UA D R O N

R E D TA PE A ND R EF U S A L O F R E S P O N S I B I LI T Y
M O R E DI V I D E D C O U N S ELS : O V E R CO N F I D E N CE
-

D U TI E S O F T H E PR ESS
R E S PO N SI B I LIT I E S O F M I N IST R I ES A ND A D M I RA LS N ELS O N S B LI ND

E YE
T H E EFFEC T OF T H E F A LL OF P O R T A R T H UR
A D M I RA L R O Z H EST V EN S KY S O BJE CTI V E

R E S O URCE S O F V LA D IV O ST O K N EG LECT E D

C H A PT E R H
A N A LYSIS A ND TA BLE S
S O M E F A LLA CI E S O F C O M P AR IS O N
L AR GE A ND S M A LL GUN S
R ELA T I V E S T R E N GT H
V LA D IV O ST O K S Q UA D R O N

S UM M AR Y O F C O M P AR IS O N S
S O M E A R TI LLE R Y R EFO R M S A ND T Y P E S W IT H TA BLE
D EF ECTS O F A M M U N ITI O N A ND G U N S
D A N C ER S T o A R M O UR E D V E SS ELS

C H A PT E R H I

C O M P AR IS O N OF EN GA GEM E N TS A T C LO S E A ND L O N G R A N GE
E M E R GEN C I E s : D E A T H O F T H E L E A D E R I N A CTI O N
N EW C O M M A ND E R I N C H I EF O F T H E PA CI FI C F LEE T
- -

I N FO R M A T I O N F UR N I S HE D I ND IS CR EE T LY
T H E R IV A L A D M I RA LS A B O U T T o JO I N B A TT LE : T H E I R P LA N S
S IG N I FI CA N CE O F A B A TT LE I N T H E S T RA ITS
viI
C O N T E NTS

C H A PT E R I V

THE TACTI CS AN D S T RATE GY OF T H E B A TT LE


A D V A N T A GE S O F L I N E F O R M A TI O N
H o w T H E TRA N S P O R TS P R O V E D A H I ND RA N CE
F R O N T A L A ND L I N E F O R M AT I O N S Ex P LAI NED
T H E P E R S O N A L E LE M E N T

I N CO M PET EN T C O M M A ND ER S R EJECT ED : T H EI R S U B S EQ
UEN T

POI N T M EN T
S T R ONG AND WEA K M EN

C H A PT E R V

A R UD E AWA KENI N G
I s T H E S URR E ND E R O F A S H I P J UST I FI E D ?

W AS I N FO R M A TI O N WI T H H E LD ?
W H A T WER E T H E C I R CUM ST A N CES OF N I EB O GATO V S S URR END ER ?

V I EWS OF T HE E M PER O R S N I CH OLA S I A ND NA P OLEO N O N S UR


.

R E ND ER
T HE R UR IK L I EUTEN A NT I vANo v s R EPO R T

A D M I RA L R OZ H ESTV ENS K Y S C AP T UR E : F A TE O F V ESS E LS


S URR E ND ER O R S E LF D EST R UCT I O N O F V ESS E LS : H IST O R I CA L E x


-

A M P LE S
CR ED I EI LI TY O F R E P O R TS O F A B A TT LE

G EN ERA L LI NI EVI TCH S R EPO R T WI T H S UPPLEM ENTARY D ETAI LS



,

G EN ERA L S UM M AR Y

C H A PT E R V I

PR OBA BLE C A US E S O F D I S A ST ER
S P A S M O D I C O UT CR Y : WH O I s T H E G UI LTY P ER S O N ?
I M PO SS I B LE F O R ES I G H T D EM AND E D BY A M AT EUR CR I TI c s
D UTI ES O F T H E G OV ER N M EN T A ND T H E M I N I ST R I ES O F WAR
M AR I N E
LUCUs A NO N L UCE ND O
C O N T E NTS

PART I I

C H A PT E R I
TELEGR A M S OF T H A N KS FR O M H M T H E T S AR . .

TELE G RA M FR O M A DJUT ANT G E N ERA L R O Z H EST V EN S KY T O H I S I M


-

P E R I A L H IG H N E SS

A D M I RA L EN Q UI S T S R E P O R T

A C H A P LA I N S N ARRA T I V E

T E LEG RA M FR O M T H E C O M M A ND E R O F T H E I Z UM R U D
T E LE GRA M FR O M G E N E RA L O F I N F A N T R Y LI N I E V I T CH T o H I S I M
- -

P E R I A L H IG H N E SS T H E GRA ND D U K E G E N E RA L A D M I RA L

TELE G RAM FR O M T H E B R AV Y C O M M A ND E R T o H I S I M PE R I A L

H IGH N ESS T H E GRA ND D UKE G E N E RA L A D M I RA L -

AN O FF I CE R S L E TT E R

X I EX PER I EN CES I N T H E Z H EM TS HUG


.

C H A PT E R H
NARRA T I V E FR O M T H E
O LE G

R EP O R T FR O M T H E C O M M A ND E R O F T H E D E ST R O Y E R GR O Z N Y
E X PE R I E N CE S O N B O AR D T H E TRA N S P O R T KOREA E X T RA CTS
.

F R O M A PR IV A T E L E TT E R

EX PE R I E N CE S I N T H E TRA N S P O R T
K O R E A F R O M T H E L E TT E R
,

O F A N O T H E R E YE W IT N E SS

EX PE R I E N CE S O N B O AR D T H E TRA N S P O R T K O R E A FR O M T H E ,

L E TT E R O F A N EY E W IT N E SS
-

A NARRATIV E F R O M A N O FFI CE R A T V LA D I V O ST O K
F UR T H E R D ET A I LS F R O M T H O S E I N T H E C R U IS E R DI V IS I O N
O N B O AR D T H E S I S SO I V E LIKY

D ES CR I P TI O N O F T H E B A TT LE B Y T H E O FF I CER S O F T H E I Z UM

R UD

C H A PT E R H I
A CT I ON I S LA ND M A TS US H I M A

TH E OF 27 M AY OFF T H E OF

L E TT E R F R OM T H E C O M M A ND ER O F T H E GR O Z N Y

E X A M I N A TI O N O F F A C TS
D UTI E S O F T H O S E R E S PO N SI BLE
C OULD T HE S URR E ND E R H A V E B EE N PR E V E N TE D ?
S UM M AR Y OF C O N CLUSI O N S
C O NT E NTS

C H A PT E R I V
A UT H EN TI CITY A ND C O M P LE T E N ESS OF I N FO R M A T I O N
T H E A CCU S E R S A T F A U LT
L ACK O F O FFI CI A L I N FO R M ATI O N
S UGGE S TI O F A LSI . S UP P R E S SI O VE R !
A N E ED E D C AUTI O N : T H E TR UT H A B O UT T H E B A Y A N
R E S ULT O F K E EP I N G B AC K N EWS F R OM T H E T H E AT R E O F W A R

C H A PT E R V

I . O UR F UT UR E D UTY
II. NA TI O N A L R E P R E S E N T A TI O N
NA V A L S T R EN GT H OF R USSI A A ND J A P A N A T THE C O M M E N CE M E N T
OF THE W AR

C O M P ARATI V E TA B LE S OF THE R USSI A N A ND J A P A N E S E N A V I Es AT


THE END OF THE W AR
I ND E X
I LL UST R A T I O N S

FULL PAGE -

S hip s
c om p an y of S uvorov
t he b attl es hi p .

B attl e s hi p I m p e r ato r A l e xan d e r I I I


.

Si s s o i V e l iky

.

I m p e r ato r N i k o l ai I .

T s es ar ev i tc h .


N av ari n .

O s l ab ya .

F i rs t c l as s c rui s e r D m i t ri D o n s ko i
-
.

S e con d c l as s c rui s e r N o v i k
-

.

F i rs t c l as s c rui s e r P al l ad a
-
.

A s ko ld .

Gro m o b oi .

V ari ag .

B o g atyr .

S e co n d c l as s c rui s e r A l m az

-
.

C o as t d e fen c e b att l e s hi p A d mira l S e n i av i n


-
.

B attl es hi p O re l .

F irs t c l as s c rui s e r R urik


-
.

Ros sia .

A u ro ra

.

C o as t d e fe n c e b at t l es hi p A d mira l Us h ak o v
-
.

A rm o ur e d c rui s e r P am i at A zova

.

E l ba

V ari ag

, K o r e i e ts
, .

T he Vari ag an d K o re i e ts l e av i g t he r o ad s te ad o f C h em u l p o fo r

n

t he O p e s e a w h e r e the Jap an e s e S qua d ron aw ai t e d t h e m AS t h e y



n .

p as s e d b e fo r e the fo r ei g n ve s s e l s the b and s m e n o f the V ari ag ,

w i t h o u t o r d e r s r an fo r t h e ir i n s t ru me n ts an d p l ay e d t he Rus sian
, ,

N ationa l A th e m n .

B ri ti s h p i c k e t bo at r e t ur n i n g t o Ch e m u l po afte r d e l i v e ri n g t o A d mi ra l
U riu t he P r o te s t fr o m t he c ap tai n s of the T a l bot E l ba an d ,

,

P asc al .

T he C o m t e d e N iro d o n t he bri d g e o f t he V ari ag .

T he fo r w ar d b at t e ry o f the V ari ag c o m m an d e d by E nsi g n Go ubo n iev .

B ri dg e o f the V ari ag afte r the b urs ti n g o f a s h e ll .

T he r s t s h e ll s r e d by t he Jap an e s e e e t at a d i s t an c e o f n i n e t h o u s an d

m et res

.

At t hr ee m e t r e s fr o m the K o rei ets a to r p e d o ti l te d u p o n en d an d


d i s app e ar e d ( A n i c i d e t o f t he g h t o ff C h em u l p o )
. n n .

F i ri g t he r t s h ot fr o m the K o re ie ts
n s .
xii I L LU ST R A T I O NS

T ran s fe rri n g the Rus sian w o u n d e d o n b o ar d t he P as c al



.

Li e u t e n an t Le v itz ky w i t n es s i n g t he d e s t ru c ti o n o f t he Ko reie ts ,

w hi c h he had b e e n c o m m an d e d t o b l o w u p .

Ad mira l Je s s e n on b o ar d the Ros sia .

Ad mira l Jes s e n s c abi n T w o s h e ll s p e n e t rated i t



. .

Fir s t c l as s c rui s e r Ros sia


-

.

Gen e r al v i ew o f t he d am ag e d s t arb o ar d s i d e fo r w ar d an d ami d s hi p s ,

s h o w i n g s h e ll h o l e an d i nj uri e s t o hu ll an d e q ui p me n t .

B o w s o f t he rs t c l as s c rui s e r Rossia
-

.

A fte r p ar t o f t he c rui s e r Ros sia


-

Ge n e r al v i e w o f d am ag e r e c e i v e d
. .

F irs t c l as s c rui s e r Ros sia A mi d ships o n the s tarb o ar d s i d e s h atte r e d


-
.

,

h al f p o r ts o f 8 i n g un an d t r ac e s o f re in t he fo r ec as tl e D ama g e
- -
.
,
.

t o fo r e mas t ; t he s h e ll bur s t i n g h e r e s e n t fr ag m e n ts i n to t he d y n am o
e n g i n es b e l o w O t h e r d amag e to hu ll fr o m v e l arg e s h e ll s vi s ib l e
.

i n t he hu ll .

B etw e en the fo re mas t an d t hi r d fu n n e l o f t he Rossia Ge n eral v i e w .

o f d am ag e t o t he s i d e

The fo r w ar d fu n n e l o f t he c rui s e r Ros si a s h o w i n g the s h atte re d ,

c as i n g an d i n t e r n al d am ag e

T o t he ri g h t are s e e n t he b l i s te r e d t r ac es o f a re t h at br o k e o ut i n the
fo r ec as tl e

.

A ft e r ( fo ur th ) fu n n e l o f the Ros sia S h o w i n g d am ag e c au s ed by a ,

S h e ll s triki n g o n the p o r t s i d e an d e xp l o d i ng i n s i d e the fu nn e l .

S p l i n t e r h o l e s are s ee n in t he v e n ti l at i n g c o w l s .

D e t ai l s o f d am ag e t o t he t hir d fu nn e l o f t he c rui s e r Rossia .

A s h ell s t ru c k o n t he p o r t s i d e an d ri pp ed O p e n b o t h the i n n e r an d o u te r
c as i n g s o f t he fu n n e l S p l i n t e r h o l e s ar e v i s ib l e i n t he v en t i l ati n g c o w l s
. .

D etai l s o f d am ag e t o the fo r w ar d 8 in g un o n t he p o r t s i d e o n b o ar d -
.

the Ros sia .


T he h al f p o rts an d p o r t
-
w e re h atte r e d by
s tw o u cc es s i v e s h e ll s w hi c h
s

bur s t i n t he c as e m at e an d c au s e d a re . T he e n t i r e g un c r e w w e r e
ki ll ed

.

I n si d e t he fo r w ar d 8 in g un c as e m at e o n b o ar d t he Ros sia ( p o r t
-
.

s ide) S et o n re as t he r es u l t o f t he e x p l o s i o n o f t w o l ar g e Jap an es e
.

s h e ll s w hi c h s t ru c k al m o s t s i m u l tan eo u s l y .

F irs t c l ass c rui s e r Gro mo boi


-
Gen e r al v i ew of the d amag e d s t ern
.

s t arb o ar d s i d e .

Fi rs t c l ass c rui s e r Gro m oboi


-
.

D ama g e fr o m s h e ll s at t he s tem an d aft of the 6 ih b atte ry w h ere the ,


-
.
,

o i c e rs c abi n s are S i t u at e d

.

F irs t c l as s c rui s e r Gro mo boi


-
.

A fte r p ar t o f t he s hi p fr om m ai n mas t to s te m s tarb o ar d s i d e g e n e r al


-
,

v i e w o f d am ag e s r ec e i v e d s h at te r e d s p o n s o n an d c arri a e o f
g 7 5 mm .

g un an d h o l e s t hr o u g h t he u n ar m o ur e d s i d e t w o o n t he l e v e l o f t he
, ,

b atte ry d ec k i n the n e tw o rk b el o w the after bri d g e an d on the u pp e r


,
-
,

d ec k .
I L L U ST R A T I O N S xiii

Fir s t c l as s c rui s e r
-
ro m o b oi

G .

O n t he s tarb o ar d s i d e abr e as t o f afte r bri d g e s h o w i ng t he s h att e r e d -


,

s p o n s o n o f 7 5 mm g un aft o f t he s i d e ac c o mm o d at i o n l add e r ; al s o
.

d am ag e fr o m s h e ll s t o the n etti g b e l o w t he afte r bri d g e an d h o l es n -


,

t hr o u g h t he u n ar m o ur e d S i d e at t he l ev e l o f the u pp e r an d b att e ry
d ec k s .

Firs t c l as s c rui s er Gro mobo i


-
.

P o r t s i d e fo r war d o f the s i d e ac c ommo d ati o n l add e r O n e of the s h ell .

h o l es s h o w s an ar m o ur p l ate d e nte d a d c r ac k e d fr o m a d ir e c t b l o w n

at ri g h t an g l e s fr o m a h e av y p r oj ec ti l e A S h e ll al s o p ene t r ate d the .

bu n k e r i mm ed i ate l y u n d e r t he 6 in g un i n the c e n t r e o f the p ic t ur e -


. .

St arb o ar d s i d e o f t he c rui s e r Gro m o b fr o m the fo r e bri dg e to t he


oi ,
-

m ai n m as t g i v i g a g en e ral v i e w o f i nj uri es r ec e i v e d
-
, n .

Fi rs t c l as s c rui s e r Gro m o bo i
-
.

A mi d ship s o n the s tarb oar d s i d e s h o w i g s h atte r e d s p o n s o n o f 7 5 mm n .

g un abr e as t o f t he c en t r e fu n e l an d o t h e r d am ag e t o hu ll ; O p e i n gn n

i n t he n e tw o rk t o r n by a fr ag m e n t o f a s h e ll ; al s o h o l e m ad e i n t he
i
c as n g o f an as h s h o o t .

Gene r al V i e w o f d am ag e t o tarb o ar d i d e o f the c rui s e r Grom oboi


t he s s

D et ai l s o f d am ag e t o t he t hir d fu n n e l o n b o ard t he c rui s e r Gro mob oi .

T he s h e ll bu r s t o n s t riki g t he fu el n nn .

D et ai l s o f d am ag e t o the s p o o n o f t he 7 5 mm g un fo rw ar d o f the ns .

t hir d fu ne l o n b o ar d t he
n G om ob oi


r .

D amag e to the s e c o n d fu n e l o n b o ar d the c rui s e r G o m oboi ( p o r t


n r

s i de) .

E xte r al e ec t o f a burs t h e ll t riki g the ar m o ur o f a 6 ih g u


n
'

s s s n -
. n

c as e m at e o n b o ar d t he G om o b

oi r .

P o r t s i d o f the c o nn i g to w e r o b o ard the Gromoboi and adj ac e nt


e n n

p o rti o o f t he bri dg e
n .

A h e ll s t ruc k the e dg e o f the b ri dg e s ma hi g the te ak b e am at t he


s
, s n

e dg e a d
, e d i g fr ag m e n ts i
n s n i d e the c o i g t o w e r
n S om e Of ns nn n .

t h e e al o
s t ru c k t he i n i d e e d g e o f t he r o o f o f t he c o n n i g to w e r
s s s n ,

an d ri c oc h ette d i i d e wo u d i g e ar l y al l p o s ted t h e r e
ns , n n n .

D ama g e d te m o f t he c rui e r B og atyr


s s .

H o l e s i n the k e e l o f the B og atyr e x p o i g o e o f t he c o al bu n k e r ,



s n n s.

T he d e n t e d k e e l o f t he B og atyr t arb o ar d s i d e s .

H o l e i n t he k e e l o f the B o g atyr po rt s ide .

T he A s k o ld i d oc k at Sh an g h ai n .

W h e r e a h e ll t ruc k the A s k o ld
s s .

Rus sian w u d e d o b o ar d t he A s k o ld at Sh a g h ai

o n n n .

T he bu l w ark o f t he c rui e r s A s ko ld at Sh ang h ai afte r the b att l e o f


s

A u g us t l o th .

E n t ra c e to P o r t A r thur
n .

V l ad i o to k
v s .

P o rt A r thur Ou te r r o ad tead w h e r the rs t e g ag e me t to o k p l ac e


. s e n n .
xiv I L LU ST R A T I O N S

T he Russia n Fleet en te ri n g t he i n n e r r o ad ste ad of P o r t A r thur ,

F e bru ary 9 th

.

T he A sko ld i the fo reg r o u d n n .

D ama g e d s i d e o f t he b att l e s hi p T s e s ar ev i tc h at T sin D ao -


.

T he br e ac h o n t he l e ft w as c au s e d by t he s h e ll w hi c h ki ll e d A d mira l
W i thoeft .

A ttac k o n P o rt A r thur by the Jap an e s e F l ee t .

V l ad i v o s t o k .

R o ad s te ad o f P o r t A r t hur .

T he s u rr e n d e r o f P o r t A r t hur T he s u n k e n b at t l e s hi p R e t v i s an
. .

T he s urr e n d e r O f P o r t A r t hu r A fte r t urr e t an d q u ar t e r d ec k o f t he


.
-

b attl es hi p R e tv i s an .

A t t he s urr e n d e r o f P o r t A r thur T he c rui s e r P al l ad a . .

c u t t e r s s t ru c k by a s h e ll

O n e o f the P all ad a s .

T orp e d o d am ag e t o the hu ll o f t he c rui s e r P al l ad a .

T he s urr e n d e r o f P o r t A r thu r T he P e re s v i e t an d P o l tav a tak e n


.

fr o m the R et v i s an .

T he s urr en d e r o f P o r t A r thur T he P o l t av a v i e w e d fr o m the s h o r e


. .

T he s urr e n d e r o f P o r t A r t hur T he P o l tav a an d P al l ad a v i ew e d


.

fr o m t he s h o r e .

T he c rui s e r B og atyr o n t he r o c k s o C ap e B ri o s M ay 2 0 th t
,
.

T he d e c k o f t he b at tl e s hi p Pob i ed a w h e n b l o w n u p o n t he s urr e n d e r
o f P o r t A r t hur .

IN TH E T E X T
Sk e tc h e s of li ne fo r mati o n s .

P h as es o f the b att l e o f T s ushima


F ir s t mo v e me n t . I I .
go a m . .

S e con d M i dd ay .

Thir d p m . .

F o ur th 2 p m . .

F ifth 3 p m . .

Si x th 7 p m . .

T he a pp e ar an c e o f the Jap an es e at t he beg i n i g o f t he b attl e n n .

S e con d s t ag e C o n c e n t r ate d re o n t he l e ad i n g Russian b at tl es hi p s


. .

Sk etc h h o w i n g the c o ur s e o f t he Z hem t s hug


s .

R e l ati ve p o s i ti o n s o f t he e e t s o n t he s i n ki n g o f t he B o r od i no .

T he p os i t i o n at ab o u t p m o n M ay a7 th . . .

H 3 p m

p m . .

7 p m . .

P l an of t he T s ushima b at tl e .

S k e tc h i ll u s t r at i n g t he m e t h o d o f d e s t r o yi ng t he B ay a n .

M ap o f the t h e at r e o f w ar l ik e O p e r at i o n s .
I N T R O D U CT I O N

N T E R E ST was rst arous e d i n E n g l a n d con c e rni ng Cap


tai n K l ad o wh e n i t b e cam e kn own ho w he h ad torm e nt e d
t he Russi a n bur e aucrats by his articl e s an d l e ctur e s b e for e an d ,

duri ng the war i n which


, he advocat e d t he absolut e n e c e ssity
of a strong n avy for Russia ,
an d urge d t he lazy o fcials to
b e stir th e ms e lv e s and for onc e i n th e ir live s to
,
do th e ir d uty
t o t he cou n try wh os e v e ry l ife an d d e ath d e p e nd e d upon
, he r
navy .

This i n t e r e st was r e viv e d consid e rably by t he publicatio n i n


this cou ntry o f t he s e nsational articl e s ,
fo r the writi ng of wh ich
Captai n K l ad o was thrown i nto priso n .
1

Th e r e for e i n givi ng a short biography


, of t he author , I fe e l
sur e I shall add to the i n t e r e st of this vol um e .

N i c o l a s Lav r e n ti ev i tc h K l ad o l at e F l ag Ca p tai n to A d m i ra l R o z he s t
,
-

ven sk
y Ca p ta i n O f fr i g at e Profe ssor at the Na v a l an d M i l i tary
, ,

A ca d e m i es o f S t P et e rs b urg O fc i e r d A cad m i e C h eva l i er d e l a


.

, ,


Lg i o n O r d e r of S t V l a d i m i r e tc was b orn 1 3 N ov em b e r
d H o n n e ur , .
, .
, ,

1 86 1 . H i s fat h er w h o was an ofc e r on the Ge n e ra l S ta ff d i e d i n 1 88 1


, , ,

w h i l st i n com m an d o f t he V l a d i vosto k Port .

E d uc a t e d at h o m e Ca p ta i n K l ad o e nt e r e d the Na v a l S c h o o l at t h i rt ee n
,

years o f ag e an d l e ft i t i n A p r i l 1 88 1 H e t h e n m a d e two cr u i ses o n e


, , . ,

on b oar d t he P ete r the G reat an d the ot h e r on the A s ko ld



,
.

I n 1 8 84 he p roc ee d e d to t he E m p e ror N i co l a s Na v al A c a d e m y q

u i tt i n g ,

i t i n 1 886 w h e n he was a pp o i nte d t u tor at t he Na v a l S c h o o l W h en


, .

nom i nate d to t he co mm an d o f t he Pac i c S q u a d ron i n 1 889 A d m i ra l ,

N akhi m o v ma d e hi m h i s d i r ect ass i stant an d C h i e f o f t he S taff an d ,

t h e re fore d u r i n g two y ears an d a h a l f Ca p tai n K l ad o was a b l e to l earn a l l


a b o u t C h i na an d Jap an .

H e too k p art i n the voya g e u n d erta k e n b y t h e T s a r N i c o l as I I an d ,

1 T h R u ss ia N avy i t h R u
e n J ap a Wan eH u r t Bl a k tt 9 5
s so - nese r . s c e , 1 0 .
I NT RO D U CT I O N

was w i t h hi m on b oar d the a at A z o v a


H e t h us s u cc ess i v e l y
P mi .

v i s i te d Sa i g o n S i n g ap ore Batav i a H o n g K on g H an kow N ag asa k i


, . , , , ,

K a g os h i m a K i o b e an d V l a d i vosto k r e t u rn i n g to R us s i a b
, , y way o f ,

A m er i ca H e w as n ext appo i nte d Pro fessor O f M at h em at i cs at t he


.

N aval S c h o o l an d t h i s was soon fo l l ow e d by h i s e l ect i on as a i d e d e


,
-

ca m p to A d m i ral A rs ie n i e v Di rector of the N av al S c h oo l ,


.

D u ri ng s u m m e r h ol i d ays K l ad o e m b ar k e d on b oar d the F re nc h


t he


cr u i s er Lato u c h e T r e v i ll e for a co u rs e o f i nstr u ct i on an d s h are d

,

i n t he m an oe u vre s d i recte d b y A d m i ral Ge rva i s .

He is a u t h or o f s e v eral b oo k s on naval h i story nava l tact i cs nava l


t he , ,

war t he i m p ortance o f nava l p ower etc an d i n r ecog n i t i on of h i s val u


, , .
,

a b l e contr i b u t i ons to naval sc i e nc e was m a d e O


i c i e r d A c ad m i e an d

C h e va l i e r d e l a L g i o n d H o n n eur F ro m 1 89 6 he u n i nt e rr u p te d l y con

.

t i n ued h i s wor k as Pro fessor an d i n 1 9 00 l ect u r e d at t he S c h oo l o f W ar


,

an d t he T sars koye S c h oo l an d w as t he t u tor o f t he G ran d D u k e C yr i l


,

V l adi m i ro v i tc h an d t he E m p e ror s b rot h e r t he Gran d D u k e M i c h ae l



,

A l e xan d ro v itc h A S far b ack as 1 9 03 w h e n t he E ast e rn war c l o u d was


.
,
-

a m e re s p ec k on the h or i zon Captai n K l ad o w h o i s o n e o f t he n est , ,

orators i n E uro p e com m e nce d a s er i es o f p u b l i c l ect u res at S t P ete rs


, .

b u rg M oscow W arsaw H e l s i n g fors etc i n w h i c h he s h ow e d t he


, , , , .
,

g r e at i m p ortanc e o f t he r Ol e w h i c h t h e e e t h a d to p l ay an d i ns i st e d on ,

t he n ec ess i ty o f cr eat i n g p owe r fu l s q u a d rons W i t h won d e r fu l i nt u i t i on .

he p ro p h e s i e d t he d own fa ll o f Port A rt h u r an d t he d e str u ct i on o f t he

e et .

I n A p r i l 1 90 3 he was app o i nte d c h i e f o f t he strat eg i ca l s ect i on o f


, ,

A d m i ra l S kry d l o v s sta ff an d w h e n t he l atter was a pp o i nt e d C o m



,

m an d e r i n C h i e f o f t he R u ss i an Na v a l F orc e s i n the Pac i c he l e ft w i t h


- -
,

hi m for Port A rt h u r ; b ut co m m u n i cat i ons w i t h t he fort h av i n g b e e n


,

s e ve re d t h ey we nt on to V l a d i vostok
, .

W h i l st t h e re , d rew u p the p l ans for the sort i es w h i c h w e r e so


K l ad o

d ar i n g l y e xe c u te d b y the sw i ft cr u i s er d i v i s i on an d i n recog n i t i on o f h i s ,

s erv i ce s i n t h i s d i rect i on he rec e i v e d the O r d e r of S t V la d i m i r w i t h the .


,

swor d .

A t the e n d o f A ug ust he r et u rn e d to S t P et ers b u rg w i t h i nstruct i ons .


,

to com m un i cate A d m i ra l S kry dl o v s p l ans an d i nte nt i ons to the autho ri


t i e s t h e re .
I N T RO D U CT I O N x vii

On 14 O cto b e r he ag ai n l e ft R u ss i a on b oar d t he K n i az S u v o ro v ,

i n the cap ac i ty o f F l ag Ca p ta i n to A d m i ra l R o z he s tv e n s ky an d as he
-
,

w as p re s e nt d u r i n g t he N ort h S e a i nc i d e nt h i s c h i e f s e nt hi m b ac k to
,

R u ss i a i n or d e r t h at he co u l d a pp e ar b e for e t he H u ll C o m m i ss i on .

K l ad o h a d b e e n so str u c k w i t h t he w e ak n e ss o f R o z he s tv e n s ky s

sq u a d ron t h at d u r i n g h i s s h ort stay i n S t P e t e rs b u rg he c o m m e nc e d


, ,
.
,

t o w r i t e m ost s e nsat i ona l art i c l e s to t he N o v o y e V rem ya u n d e r the


p s e u d onym o f Pr i b o i
i n w h i c h he d e m onstrat e d t he u s e l e ssn e ss o f
,
3

se n d i n g R o z hes tv e n s ky a l on e ag a i nst T o g o an d b o l d l y i ns i ste d on t he


,

d es p atc h Of re i n forc e m e nts H e p l ea d e d h i s ca u s e so we l l an d h i s


.
,

art i c l e s cre ate d s o m u c h p u b l i c d i scont e nt t h at the a u t h or i t i e s i n c ar


,

ce rate d hi m A s u b scr i p t i on w as t h e n rai s e d an d t he p u b l i c d i sconte nt


.
,

b ecam e g re ate r t h an e v e r u nt i l at l ast t he a u t h or i t i es W h o m he


, ,

t h oro u g h l y o u ste d r e l eas e d hi m an d gav e way to h i s d e m an d s T h us


, .
,

t he d e s p atc h o f r e i n forc e m e nts s m a l l an d i n e f


, c i e nt t h o u g h t h ey w e r e ,

w as e nt i r e l y d ue to t he i n i t i at i v e o f C a p tai n K l ad o H e was c h i e f
.

R u ss i an w i tn e ss b e fore t he H u ll C o m m i ss i on i n P ar i s an d t he r e p ort o f
,

t h i s C o m m i ss i on as we ll as h i s art i c l e s m a d e h i s na m e fa m i l i ar to t he
, ,

w h o l e c i v i l i ze d wor l d

.

I n A p r i l 1 90 5 he was g i v e n t he co m m an d o f t he g u n b oat
, ,
A m ur ,

an d i n Ju n e 1 90 5 was d e p r i v e d of a ll h i s O i c ial p os i t i ons b eca u s e o f the


, ,

w ar wag e d agai nst t he R u ss i an b u rea u crats an d t he wor l d w i d e p u b l i ca


,
-

t i on o f h i s scat h i n g i n d i ct m e nts A ll t h ro u g h he h as st ea d fast l y u p h e l d


.

h i s conv i ct i ons an d i t h as b e e n s ai d w i t h tr u t h t h at K l ad o i s t he on l y
,

m an i n R u ss i a w h o d ar e vo i c e t he O pi n i ons s h ar e d b y so m any o f h i s

co u ntrym e n .
J H D . . .
P A RT I
C H A PT E R I

( I ) D IVI D E D C O U NS E L S

E T us rst co nsid e r the circumstanc e s u nd e r which R o zhe s t



vensk
y s ee t l e ft Russia. I t d e p e nd e d o n t he c o O p
-
e ration
o f t he G ov e rn m e n t an d t he M i n istry o f M ari n e a n d the P r e ss fo r

t he d e spatch o f t he B al tic Fl ee t to t he Far E a s t A S l ong as


.

that d e spatch w as n o t d e cid e d upon it was stil l O p e n t o poi n t o ut


,

that i n this war e v e ryth ing d e p e nd e d o n t he turn e v e n ts m ight


tak e at s e a I t was fo r t he b e n e t bo th o f the cou n try an d t he
.

Gov e rn m e n t that that S h o u l d be re aliz e d both by the M i n is


,

tri e s o f War an d M ari n e i n ord e r that the qu e stio n might


,

be d e n it e ly s e tt l e d o n e way o r t he oth e r A l s o the qu e stio n


.
,

w as wh e th e r th e r e was any chan c e an d if s o what chan c e o f


, ,

O btai ni ng the com man d o f t he s e a ; and as a corollary wh e th e r ,

the e e t should b e s e n t o ut o r n ot . T o poi nt o ut al l t he short


comi ngs an d d e ci e nci e s o f that e e t an d o f t he v e ss e ls composi ng
i t was the duty o f t he Ad miralty rath e r than o f the Gov e rn
m e nt i n ord e r that the l att e r m ight n ot be l e d astray i n adopting
,

e ith e r cours e This o f cours e could n o t be don e through t he


.
, ,

P r e ss as it would u n doubt e dly hav e r e v e al e d m ilitary s e cr e ts


, ,

to the obvious adva ntag e o f o ur e n e mi e s shoul d t he e e t be


actually d e spatch e d . R e cko ni ng could o nly be mad e o n the
basis o f t he i nformati on c o ntai n e d i n n aval handbooks acc e ss
ibl e to all . B ut wh e n onc e t he G ov e rn m e n t ha d r e al iz e d t he
gr e at i mportanc e o f t he part b e for e t he N a vy wh e n o nc e a ,

publ ic subscriptio n was op e n e d at the i nstanc e o f the Gov e rn


m e n t i n aid o f the augm e ntatio n of t he e e t onc e t he d e spatch
,

o f t he e e t was d e t e rmi n e d o n a nd its c ompositio n had to be


,

B
2 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
d e cid e d o n th e n e v e ry o n e w ho was i n a position to k now the
,

truth about the e e t an d cons e qu e n tly its w akn ss r e aliz e d


e e

that it migh t arous e hop e s that w e r e ill fou nd e d Th e s e p e opl e


- .

th e n who r e a l ly kn e w w e r e bou nd by al l the m e ans at th e ir dis


posal si nc e th e y kn e w that t o s e nd the e e t was o nly t o o ffe r
a gratuitous triumph to t e e n e my to impr e ss b oth o n the
h
,

Adm iralty a nd the Gov e rn m e n t the absolut e n e c e ssity o f s e ndi ng


,

a still strong e r forc e o r n othing at all I f t he d e spatch was


.

d e n it e ly d e cid e d upon th ey w e r e bou nd to us e th e ir b e st e o r ts


'

to prov e that a larg e r forc e was i ndisp e nsabl e a nd that i n add i ,

tion to t he ships told o ff for t he purpos e such and such oth e rs ,

must also be s e n t This had n e c e ssarily to be don e n ot through



.
,

t he P r e ss bu t through
,
S e rvic e chan n e ls Oth e rwis e th e r e
.

wou l d hav e b e e n too gr e at a disclosur e o f o ur plans o f war ;


and b e sid e s t he military c e nsorship would n e v e r h av e pass e d
,

such strictur e s .Lastly wh e n the compositio n O f the e e t w as


,

nally s e ttl e d and k nown to e v e rybody and mor e e sp e cially ,

wh e n t he forc e d e t e rmin e d o n was alr e ady o n its way and all t he ,

world kn e w o f ho w many sh ips t he e e t was compos e d th e n ,

e v e ry o n e w ho r e al iz e d that t he forc e s e n t was i nad e quat e was

at l ib e rty t o d e monstrat e its insu fci e ncy i n the P r e ss I t was .

his duty t o S h o w both the Gov e rn m e n t and the Ad miral ty th e ir


mistak e an d to draw the att e ntio n th e r e to o f the public o n
, ,

whos e opi nion i t was n e c e ssary to r e ckon Th a t b e ing s o i t .


,

was naturally admissibl e t o support o n e s ass e rtio n s by t he data
to be fou n d i n the n aval han dbooks I f th e s e data prov e d con
.

vin c in
g, th e y wou l d s e rv e a doubl e purpos e E ith e r such re i n
.

forc e m e nts as t he Gov e rn m e n t pronounc e d ad e quat e would be


s e n t wh e n t he qu e stion was d e cid e d for th e m by t he Admiralty
which would giv e a r e asonabl e hop e o f succ e ss o r t he t
; e e

s e n t o ut would be r e call e d o n the ground o f its i ns u i c ie n c y and


the impossibil ity of r e i nforci ng it . T o poin t out which of th e s e


cours e s was t he right o n e n o l ong e r r e st e d wi th t he P re ss Th a t .

would hav e m e an t t he e xposur e o f matt e rs which at th at tim e


w e r e s e cr e ts of vital importanc e to t he E mpir e O nly the .

G ov e rnm e nt could mak e the d e cision b e caus e t he Admiral ty n ot


,
D I V I D E D C O U N S E LS 3

only might but was bound to t e ll it e v e ryth i ng M or e ov e r the


, , .
,

Admiralty was also i n a position to obtai n i nformatio n dir e ct ,

an d asc e rtai n t he O pi n ion s o f t he com ma nd e rs o f t he squadro ns


that m igh t s ucc e ssiv e ly be s e nt t o t he Far E ast Th e r e was n o .

lack o f such opi ni ons . Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky had r e port e d


op e nly o n al l the sh ortcomi ngs o f h is com ma nd I t is o nly n ec e s .

sary t o r e ad e xtracts from his r e por t o f 1 J an uary 1 90 5 si nc e , ,


publish e d i n the R azs v i e t wh ich he co ncl ud e s with the fran k
,

avowal that he labour e d u n d e r a g re at d is ad v an tag e owi ng to .

t he dir e c t pr e ssur e put upo n him by t he T e ch nical C om m itt e e ,

which had ord e r e d him t o be v e ry car e fu l W hat cours e he st e e r e d


with t he m ore r e c e ntly ad d e d u n its Thus the P r e ss was on ly
.

at lib e rty t o publish s uch h i nts as w e r e withi n its r e ach but ,

cou l d n o t dictat e wh at d e cisio n sh ou l d be adopt e d .

As t o t he r e aso ns why the s e co n d P aci c Fl e e t was s e n t j ust as


it was a n d i n n o gre at e r n umb e rs w e may n o w s ay a word T he
, ,
.

n e c e ssity o f d e cid i ng wh e th e r t o d e spatch it o r n o t an d if it w e r e ,

s e n t what its compositio n shou l d be b e cam e e vid e n t o n the v e ry


, ,

rst day o f t he war wh ich witn e ss e d the e li m i natio n from o ur l in e


,

of battl e o f v e o f o ur larg e r sh ips i ncl udi ng t w o o f o ur b e st


,

battl e ships an d t w o o f o ur n e w e st cruis e rs M e anwhil e u p to


.
,

2 5 April
( a p e riod o f m o n ths ) n o d e cision w as arriv e d at
, ,

e ith e r as t o what sh ips sh ou l d compos e t he e e t o r e v e n who ,

shoul d comman d i t I t is tru e that the work o n the n e w cruis e rs


.

und e r constructio n was h ast e n e d S om e what bu t t he u tm ost ,

e fforts w e r e by n o m e an s m ad e Th e n th ough the com man d e r


.
,

i n chi e f was s e l e ct e d
-
viz
, . Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky y e t he
, ,

con ti n u e d to ac t as ch i e f o f the G e n e ra l Sta ff Th us he h ad .


,

still o n h is han ds a vast an d compl e x task an d could n ot giv e ,

hims e lf up to t he duty o f dir e ctly s up e rv iz i n g the e quipm e n t of


h is e e t . H e had n o o n e t o h e lp hi m i n organ izi ng it ; t he
composition was n ot d e cid e d upon A S an e n tity it was h e ld
.

tog e th e r sol e ly by t he forc e o f will of i ts ch i e f ; an d e v e n wh e n


the squadron was alr e ady sailing t o its d e sti n ation i t had n ot

b e com e a l ivi ng forc e .

I n this way 2 } m o nths o f pr e cious tim e w e r e l ost This


7 .
,
4 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
corr e ctly sp e aking w as the o nly p e riod at which t he war was to
,

any e xt e nt a popular o n e an d wh e n m uch m or e might h av e b e e n


,

achi e v e d th an was afte rwards possibl e I t was o nly at th is .

p e riod a l so wh e n th e r e had s o far b e e n n o disaste rs wh e n th e r e



, ,


had b e e n n o P e tropavlovsk catastroph e as y e t wh e n t he ,

pr e stig e o f o ur army was still i n tact wh e n the block ships o f ,


-

t he J apan e s e and th e i r bo mbardm e nts o f P or t Arthur had prov e d

in effe ctual that th e r e was a chanc e o f coming to a n u nd e rstand


,

i ng with E ng l an d with r e gard to t he B l ack S e a Fl e e t b e ing


allowe d t o pass t he D ardan e l l e s I n proportio n as o ur disast e rs
.

an d t he victori e s o f o ur e n e mi e s b e cam e m or e n um e rous th is ,

u nd e rstandi ng b e cam e n atural l y m or e an d more di fcult E n g .

land i nsist e d mor e and mor e up o n the m ai nt e nanc e O f he r allianc e


with J apan SO the pre cious opportu nity was lost for e v e r ! I
.

can n ot blam e o ur diplomacy for this Th e r e was n obody to give .

it the right dir e ctio n wh ich migh t h av e b e e n t he outcom e o f a


,

rm r e solv e o n the part o f the G ov e rn m e n t to s e n d to t he Far E a s t


t he most pow e rful e e t possibl e I t w as n ot till aft e r Adm ira l
.


M akaro v s tragic d e ath that t he id e a o f s e n ding a s e con d e e t
w as s e riously m oot e d T he n e wly appoi nt e d comma nd e r sub
.

m i tte d a d e tail e d stat e m e n t o f what its str e ngth sh ould b e and

how it sh oul d be organ iz e d E v e n at that tim e this stat e m e n t


.

i nclud e d all t he v e ss e ls that e v e n tually form e d part o f N ie bog ato v s


squadro n an d thos e m e anwh il e lay at C ro nstadt T he n umb e r


, .

o f torp e d o craft to b
-
e s e nt as w e ll as tra nsports a nd r e pair ships
, ,

was consid e rabl e a n d he propos e d that balloons war kit e s a nd


, ,
-
,

submarin e s of small dim e n sions should also accompany the e e t .

I n ord e r th at al l th e s e m igh t be forthcomi ng h ow e v e r that t he , ,

n e c e ssary funds migh t be i n hand and pl e nary pow e rs giv e n to ,

t he ch i e f to organ iz e the various e xp e ditionary forc e s o n such a

larg e scal e an d y e t l os e n o tim e it was e ss e n tial that the d e cisio n


,

should l ie not with the acting h e ad o f t he Admiral ty o r e v e n


, ,

with its d e f acto h e ad but dir e ctly with his M aj e sty the E mp e ror
,
.

At t he sam e tim e t he qu e stio n was rais e d as to t he nal appoi nt


m e n t o f the com man d e r i n chi e f for which th e r e w e r e alr e ad y
- -
,

two nominat e d viz : Admirals R o z hes tv e n s ky a nd T s huk hn i n


, . .
D I V I D E D C O U N S E LS 5

On 2 7 Apri l a sp e cia l com m itt e e was appoi n t e d u nd e r t he pr e si


d e n c y o f a n august p e rso nag e s o that a rapid a n d na l d e cisio n
,

migh t be h op e d for .

At this j u n ctur e som e th i ng d isastrous h app e n e d which I ,

mys e lf witn e ss e d an d k n ow w e l l an d pr e cis e ly t he caus e s


that l e d t o it . E arly o n the m orn i ng o f 2 4 2 5 April whil e

,

looking ov e r s om e urg e n t work fo r t he sitti ng o f the com ing day ,

I was s udd e nly i nform e d at 4 a m that t he C ou ncil as th e n


,
. .
, ,

constitut e d was postpon e d a n d would be h e ld lat e r u n d e r t he


, ,

auspic e s o f t he h e ad o f t he Ad m iral ty B e for e e v e ni ng th e re .

was a fr e sh chang e i n the pr e sid e n cy a n d t he acti ng ch i e f o f ,

t he M i n istry o f M ari n e s e l e ct e d As migh t hav e b e e n for e s ee n


.
,

t he C om m itt ee as thus r e co nstitut e d arriv e d at n o far r e achi ng


, ,
-

con c l usio ns T he matt e r was dock e t e d a nd pig e on h ol e d th e r e


.
-

w e r e d e m urs a n d a l o ng corr e sp on d e nc e a n d t o p u t the matt e r ,

bri e y t he a ffair cam e t o n oth i ng T he sol e upshot an d that


, .
,

a m ost u nsatisfactory o n e o f this S itti ng w as the cou ns e lli ng


, ,

of t he b ol dly co nc e iv e d an d car e fully th ough t o ut pla n o f a


yi ng squadro n o f cruis e rs to O p e rat e i n Far E ast e rn wat e rs ,

fo r which a sp e cial vot e had al r e ady b e e n s e t apart a nd for ,

which all the i n itia l pr e paration s an d disposition s had a l re ady


b e e n mad e . I nst e ad how e v e r n oth ing was d on e but t o m ov e
, ,

two auxi l iary cru is e rs from t he B lack Se a t o the R e d S e a and ,

tw o mor e fro m t he B altic t o t he Atlan tic A s w e al l r e m e mb e r .


,

this futil e manoeuvr e m e r e ly e xcit e d t he a n im osity o f t he n e utral


P ow e rs agai n st us a n d subs e qu e n tly stood i n the way o f o ur
,

oth e r sh ips b e i ng al l ow e d t o e n t e r n e utral ports e n d ing with the ,


sham e ful surr e n d e r to E ngland i n t he matt e r o f the M a l acca .

Th us the qu e stio n o f com man d i n chi e f o f t he P aci c Fl e e t was


- -

l e ft without r e sult worthy t he n am e b e i ng arriv e d at Aft e r .

that Ad mira l R o z he s t v e n s ky was d e n it e l y appoi n t e d com man d e r


,

o f t he wh o l e e xp e dition ,
a dat e was x e d by wh ich the S hips told
O ff for s e rvic e w e r e t o b e r e ady for s e a an d a r e al e ffort was mad e
,

to hav e th e m r e ady i n as bri e f a tim e as possib l e .


6 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N

( I I) TH E S T A R T O F TH E S U A D R O N Q
T he s quadron got un d e r sail o n 1 3 August 1 90 4 an d i n the , ,

cours e o f that mon th its comp ositio n was a m att e r of commo n


kn owl e dg e I t was by n o m e ans o f the sam e stre ngth as wh e n
.

it l e ft Li ba u i n Octob e r I t had n ot th e n b e e n j oi n e d by the



.


battl e ship Or e l t he cruis e rs
,
Ol e g Z he m t s hug
, and ,

I zumrud and s e v e ra l torp e do v e ss e ls


,
.

At that tim e many p e opl e said that Adm iral R o z he s tv e n s ky


hims e lf was v e ry much agai nst t he d e spatch O f any m ore ships .

What this O pin ion O f his was b as e d upon I can n ot s ay I only .

h e ard from him the doubt as to wh e th e r ships that w e r e n ot


i n a thorough stat e of r e pair woul d e v e r be ab l e to mak e the
long s e a voyag e H e said that th e y would hav e to be i nt e rn e d
.

in n e utra l ports wh e r e th e y would be disarm e d wh ich woul d


, ,

be a n e w disgrac e to our navy Appar e n tly his opin io n o nly



.


Navari n ( which had

appl i e d to obsol e t e sh ips such as t he

,


d e fe ctiv e boil e rs ) the Admiral N ak hi m o v an d t he
, D mitri
,

D o n s ko i, an d to oth e rs that had b ee n hurri e dly buil t and


w e r e far from b e i ng compl e t e I n th is l att e r cat egory was
.


t he O l eg o n e of the cyli nd e rs of which had a crack ( wh ich
,

had b ee n o fcially r e port e d to t he Admiral ty ) and S O cou l d


only go half sp e e d wh e n the e ngin e had mad e cou ntl e ss
r e vol utions ; also t he cruis e rs
Z he m ts hug and I z u m rud .

T he l att e r had b e e n turn e d o ut by the N e vsky works i n a


dirty and i ncompl e t e stat e A nyh ow the Ad miral s e t hims e lf
.
,

agai nst the d e spatch o f th e s e v e ss e ls which subs e qu e n tly c o n


,

stitut e d N i e bo g ato v s s quadro n



.

A S it turn e d o ut R o z he s tv e n s k y prov e d to b
, e m istak e n i n his

prognosticatio ns ; all th e s e ships stood t he voyag e adm irably ,

and r e ach e d t he sc e n e of op e ratio ns at a high rat e o f sp e e d as ,

did also Admiral N i e bo g ato v s squadro n



Co ns e qu e n tly he
.

may hav e b ee n m istak e n about t he r e st o f the i nformatio n which


caus e d him to d e cid e agai nst any addition to his o w n forc e s .

T o my m i nd that is not t he qu e stio n at issu e E ve rybody has .

a righ t to his o w n opi nion i ncluding R o z he s tve n s ky ; bu t h ow


,
B A TT LE SH I P T SE S AR E VI TCH
R E F U SA L O F R E S P O N S I B I L I TY 7

was it that al l i n sist e d on l y o n t he dark sid e of the situation ,

and con t e nt e d th e ms e l ve s with that

( I I I) R E D TA P E AN D R E F U SA L O F R E S P ONS I B I L I T Y
As if that cou l d be any j usti cation fr o m a l arge n umb e r ,

o f p e rson s i n t he M i nistry so m e o f th e m o ccupyi ng the v e ry


,


high e st positions I h e ard t he sam e prot e s t agai ns t t he
,

str e ngth e n i ng o f t he ee t Was n o t the A d mira l hims e l f


.

agai nst it ? th ey s aid


I c an u n d e rsta nd tha t it m us t be v e ry
.

co nv e n i e n t t o shak e O ff such r e spo nsibi l i ty a nd tak e r e fug e


b e h i nd s o m e o n e e l s e but that it c o u l d be righ t I s e rious l y
,

d oubt . What I m e an is that if the Admiral was to b l am e fo r


a n e rror i n j udgm e n t t h e n n o o n e e ith e r c o u l d o r sh ou l d hav e
, , ,

att e mpt e d to j ustify h is mistak e Th at c o uld n o t possibly


.

be right A n d ho w wre tch e d m ust be t he m an w ho worki ng


.
,

o n a broa d p l an c an y e t n d n o o n e w ho dar e j ustify h im


, ,

o r dar e poi n t o ut t o him his e rr o rs a nd y e t at t he sam e t im e h is


,

nam e is e mp l oy e d as a c l o ak fo r e v e rythi ng A n d agai n why .


,

w as A d mira l R o z he s tv e n s k y h i n d e r e d i n s o many ways wh e n


e quippi ng his squadro n Why w e r e his m o s t r e as o n ab l e r e qu e sts
re fus e d ,his han ds ti e d o v e r e v e ry tri e during a pro l o ng e d
and e xhaus t iv e corr e sp o nd e nc e an d he h ims e l f i nsu l t e d wh e n he
,

righ tly d e sir e d to br e ak c e rtai n hard an d fas t ru l e s to t he ,

b e n e t o f t he caus e a n d the av o idanc e o f l oss o f t im e ? Why


w e re his r e qu e sts n o t c o m p l i e d with at t he tim e ? I k now
why ! I t was a ll o wi ng t o t ha t rui n o us a nd gui l ty dr e ad o f
r e spon s ibility t he d e sir e to sh ift i t o n to o th e r shou l d e rs an d an
, ,

absorbi ng c ar e fo r p e rs o na l p e ac e an d qui e tn e ss .

F o r i ns ta nc e suppos e R o z he s t ve n s ky r e quir e d som e thi ng


,
.

Th e re w as a ll the l e ss a n xi e ty an d r e spo nsibility fo r the O fcia l s



We sha l l n o t n o w th e y


fo r givi ng h im wha t he r e quir e d : ,

said , hav e t o hush up o ur shortc o mi ngs b e for e s uch an d such


high e r o i c ial s Fo r i nstan c e if he r e quisitio n e d thr ee s e ts
.
,

o f signal ag s a nd the r e gu l ati o ns o n l y a ll ow e d t w o


-
th e n , ,

e v e n th o ugh such ags w e r e o nly a p e n ny api e c e t he word ,

I agr e e m ust be a fx e d to his d e mand ; an d ho w d re ad fu



8 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N

to sign o n e s nam e to this criminal word an d tak e r e sponsibility
for it ! Th e n quibbl e s would aris e T o be co nvict e d of irre gularity
.


wou nds on e s prid e Th e r e for e it would hav e b e e n b e tt e r

.
,


to say , So an d s o gran t e d an d s o an d s o r e fus e d
- -
, a nd by - -
,

saving fac e i n that way mak e t he r e fusal e asi e r and mor e


palatabl e .

Le t us r e turn to the O pin io n form e d by Admiral R o z he s t


v e n s ky as to t he prop e r compl e m e n t o f t he e e t What was .


t he Admiral s e xact position ? Th a t o f Com man d e r o f t he
s e cond e e t and n othi ng mor e H e was i n n o way re
.

sponsibl e for t he g e n e ral con duct of t he war but o nly for h is ,

own eet . At that tim e anoth e r ee t stil l e xist e d at P ort


Arthur un d e r Admiral Wi tho e ft H is opi nio n was n ot o f such
, .

v e ry gr e at importanc e and h is e stimat e as to what furth e r forc e


,

shoul d be s e nt to str e ngth e n his e e t was n ot nal though owi ng , ,

to h is e xp e ri e n c e o f war i n g e n e ral it was r e ally o f high val u e


, .

I m e r e ly m e n tion this en p ass an t T he b urni ng part o f the .

qu e stion is wh e th e r th e r e was any admiral e ntitl e d to co n trol


both e e ts as supr e m e Command e r i n C hi e f urgi ng th e m o n - -
,

to i ncre as e d an d u n it e d e n e rgy activity an d i n itiativ e ; though


,

e v e n that would n ot hav e e nsur e d succ e ss As the p e rsonag e s .

to whom I hav e r e fe rr e d could n o t be gai nsaid as d uri ng t he ,

war th es e i ndividuals w e r e sup e riors for t he ti m e th e y took ad ,

vantage o f th e ir m ischi e vous i nu e nc e with this high e r auth ority ,

which could n ot of its e lf dir e ctly s e ttl e such qu e stions an d by s o ,

doi ng at onc e shift e d t he burd e n of r e sponsibility from th e i r o w n


should e rs and shi e ld e d th e ms e lv e s b e hi n d authoriti e s agai nst
,

which th e r e was n o app e al Of cours e if Admiral R o zhe s tve n


.

sky pr e fe rr e d that c e rtain ships shou l d not form par t of his


squadron th e n it was quit e right to giv e h im car te b
, l an c ke s o ,

that t he com mand e r migh t hav e con d e nc e i n the S hi p s he l e d .

B ut a third squadron o f all th e s e r e maining ships could hav e


b e e n e n trust e d to a s e parat e command e r and it would hav e b e e n ,

right to i nv e st t he supr e m e command of th e s e two squadro ns i n


t he Com mand e r i n Chi e f
- -
Fi nally R o z he s tve n s ky was n o t the
.
,

only o n e to be consult e d a nd highly as I rat e his O pi n ion the


, , ,
D U T I E S O F T H E P R E SS 9

i nt e r e sts o f t he public could n ot be sacri c e d to hi m i n th is m att e r ,

provid e d o nly that the high e r authoriti e s had r e aliz e d t he fact .

IV M O R E D IVI D E D C O U NS E L S O VE R C O N F I D E N CE
( ) -

I n Augus t t he s tat e of affairs h ad m at e rially chang e d T he .

P ort Arth ur Squadron and t he Vlad ivostok Cruis e r S quadron had


b e e n disastrously d e fe at e d an d t he form e r was d isman tl e d to
,

r e in forc e t he forti cations To my thi n ki ng from that tim e


.
,

on ward th e r e was n o r e asonabl e chanc e o f succ e ss T he .

Baltic Fl e e t had a t e rribl e task be for e it t o disput e t he comman d ,




of the s e a s zng Ze lzan aea with t he J apan e s e Wh e th e r w e l ik e d
-
.

it o r n ot w e had to thi nk the matt e r ov e r an d u nd e r th e s e con


, ,

di rions wh e n t he e e t was r e ady to sail a cou ncil was h e ld o n


, , ,

1 2 S e pt e mb e r at which t he qu e stio n was d e bat e d wh e th e r the


,

e e t should be d e spatch e d o r n o t S o m e o f the m e mb e rs pro .

t e st e d against its b e ing s e n t oth e rs again s t its b e i ng S e n t i n n o


strong e r forc e I t was n ally d e cid e d h owe v e r that i t should
.
, ,

sail though an oth e r wh ol e mo nth pass e d b e for e i t g o t u nd e r



w e igh I t is h ighly int e r e sti ng to n ot e that th e r e was o n e v 0 ic e

.

rais e d i n favour o f its n o n d e spatch b e caus e o ur army would


-
,

soon sw e e p t he J aps b e for e it T his be it o bs e rv e d was aft e r


.
, ,

Liao Yang had b e e n fough t


-
.

We coul d quit e u nd e rstan d t he e e t b e ing h e ld back o n


accou n t o f its i nad e quacy, but the r e aso n h e r e cit e d is simply
too absurd I t is o n l y by t he bl e n di ng o f opi n ion s that I c an
.

accou n t for the o n e val id O bj e ctio n b e ing s e t asid e viz the ,


.

w e ak n e ss o f the forc e an d i n n o oth e r way c an I accou n t for


,

the subs e qu e n t r e sol ution t o s e n d i t as i t was for th e n th e r e w e r e ,

only two cours e s possib l e e ith e r i nstan t r e inforc e m e n t by maki ng


,

t he utmost e

o r ts o r if that was o ut o f t he qu e sti on not to s e n d


, , ,

it at all .

(V) D U T I ES OF TH E P R E SS
T he circumstan c e s u n d e r which t he e e t at last g o t u n d e r
w e igh r e c e ivi ng i n st e ad o f a s e n d O H a n ill om e n e d hi n t from
, ,
-
,
-

the T e ch nical Com mitt e e as to t he possibil ity of its b e st an d


10 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A P A N
most mod e rn battl e ships b e ing r e call e d are th e s e I t was w e ak , .

i n its e lf had n o t b e e n r e i nforc e d and was d e spatch e d i n d e anc e


, ,

o f t he O pi nions o f a l arg e numb e r o f t he high e st authoriti e s o n

n aval matt e rs Th a t b e ing s o what could t he P r e ss do e xc e pt


.
,

poi n t o ut by e v e ry possibl e m e ans t he w e ak n e ss o f the e e t a nd ,

c l amour for i ts im m e diat e r e inforc e m e n t at all costs ? To p oi n t


o ut that i t should hav e b e e n r e call e d was for t he P r e ss an i m

p e r at i v e n e c e ssity T h e n all its sh ortcomi


. ngs wou l d hav e b e e n
mad e public which m e ant the b e trayal o f military s e cre ts

, In .


N o 1 6 5 o f t he S l o v o M r N A D e m ts hi n s ky says that t he
.
, . . .


d e fe cts o f t he p er s on n el i n particular w e r e what mad e t he e e t s
d e spatch most p e rilous ; but at t he sam e tim e t he trage dy o f
t he situation as it th e n was lay i n t he fact that w e could s ay
, ,

n othing at the tim e O n l y o n e thi ng r e mai n e d to us viz to


.
, .

'

d e monstrat e t he w e ak n e ss i n m ate r zel r e lyi ng o n t he data ,

at o ur command which consist e d o f man ua l s acc e ssibl e to a ll


,
.

O nly t he G ov e rn m e nt cou l d r e call t he e e t an d only th e n if ,

co nvi nc e d o f i ts w e ak n e ss and o n r e c e ivi ng from t he M i n istry


,

o f M ari n e a full an d candid admissio n o f i ts d e fe cts both i n ,


'

m ate r ze l an d p e rs on n el B ut th is did n ot occur T he e e t c o n


. .

ti n n e d its voyage I t b e cam e n e c e ssary i n cons e qu e nc e to


.
, ,

d e mand e v e n mor e urg e n tly and d e n it e ly t he d e spatch o f


, ,

r e i nforc e m e nts Th is ought n ot to h av e b ee n the guidi ng s e n ti


.

m e nt si nc e t he ships s e n t w e r e goi ng t o th e ir d e struction



, .

W e r e th e y n ot e n ough to be th e ir cou ntry s loss ? Why



,

th e n s e n d mor e to t he sam e doom ? Who would hav e had the


,

courag e to tal k lik e that ? I f what was w e ak could be k e p t


back and could be mad e mod e rat e ly stro ng the natural cours e ,

was to giv e it support o f som e ki nd if n o t i n quality th e n i n , ,

quantity P e rhaps it was e xp e ct e d that R o z hes tv e ns ky wou l d


.

i nsist e xplicitly o n t he absol ut e n e c e ssity o f turn ing back an d ,

by s o d oi ng tak e upon hims e lf the r e sponsibility o f a r e trograd e


mov e m e n t I f such was t he e xp e ctation it was distinctly u nfair
.
,

to him T o d e cid e upon such a cours e w as the most d i


.
i c ul t
thing that could be e xp e ct e d o f him for he wou l d hav e b ee n ,

accus e d o f cowardic e This should hav e b e e n r e al iz e d Wh e n


. .
R E S P O N S I B I L I T I E S O F M I N I ST R I E S 1 1

so much was at stak e he had had , t he courag e to tak e upon


hims e l f a grav e r e sponsibi l ity .

( VI ) R E S P ONS I B I L I T I E S O F M I N I S T R I E S AN D A D M I R A L S .


NE LS O N S B L I N D E Y E
B ut m e anwhil e ti m e pass e d and t he e e t sai l e d farth e r and ,

farth e r o n its rout e I t was n e i th e r stopp e d n o r r e i nforc e d


. In .

Russia p e op l e e xp e ct e d R o z he s tve n s k y to tak e the i nitiativ e


[1 6 naturally e xp e ct e d it t o com e from h om e A clos e circl e .

e xist e d wh ich cou l d o n l y be brok e n th rough by a stro ng will


,

and d e te rmin ation .

Wh e n a sign al to re tr e at w as r e port e d to N e l sOn during o n e


o f his battl e s he put his glass to hi s blin d e y e an d said
, ,

(
D d if I s ee A d mira l P ark e r s signa l K e e p mi n e for .


C l os e r action ying I f n e c e ssary n ai l i t t o t he m ast Th a t s
.
,
.


how I answ e r such or d e rs .

I t is owi ng t o this nob l e dari ng says a n E ng l ish historian


that t he E ng l ish Fl e e t cam e safe ly through the battl e
,

.

,

B oth Admira l P ark e r a n d Admira l N e lso n sh ow e d manli n e ss ,

e ach i n hi s way i n assumi ng r e spon sibi l ity fo r h is proc e dur e


,
.

And it was j ust this riva l ry in h igh mi nd e d n e ss a n d that p re -


,

c i o us quality o f r e adi n e ss t o tak e r e spo nsibility wh ich t he ,

M i nistry o f M ari n e sh ou l d h av e give n a n e xamp l e o f S o any .

o n e wil l agr ee w ho has t he m o s t e l e m e n tary k n owl e dg e o f n aval

history I n this r e sp e ct th ough t he ignoranc e i n o ur naval


.
, ,

s e rvic e ba f e s d e scription T he M i n istry should hav e u nd e r .

stood that as r e gards t he d e spatch o f a s e con d squadro n if it


, ,

was i mpossibl e t o s e n d ad e quat e r e i nforc e m e nts n ot owing to



the win d a nd curr e n t as i n P ark e r s cas e b ut owi ng to sl own e ss
, ,

and irr egu l arity th e n i t had al l the gr e ate r r e aso n to fol l ow



P ark e r s e xamp l e an d tak e the r e sponsibility upo n its e lf e v e n if
, ,

its r e putation su ffe r e d th e r e by B ut as th i ngs w e r e t he futur e .


, ,


h istorian wil l hardly sp e ak o f o ur M i nistry s conduct as Admiral

J uri e n d e l a G ravi er e did o f P ark e r s To such a nobl e outburst .

1
J u ri en r i r
d e l a G av e e,
N av al Wars u n d e r t he S e co n d R p ubli
e c an d t he Em pir e,

vo l . II p
, . 19 .
1 2 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
o n t he part o f Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky th e r e would hav e b e e n n o

occasio n to mak e t he sam e r ejoind e r as N e lson did to P ark e r s

signal I n th is cas e the obstacl e was qu it e a di ffe r e n t o n e and
.
,

he O f all p e rsons r e al iz e d th is an d all ow e d it to b


, , e s e e n i n his ,

r e ports which op e nly s e t forth t he squadron s d e ci e n ci e s
, .

I f h ow e v e r such had n ot b e e n t he cas e ; if R o z he s t v e n s ky


, , ,
/
though n ot having t he sam e r e ason s as N e lson had n e v e rthcz , ,

l e ss follow e d h is e xampl e by pr e t e ndi ng to turn a d e af e ar t o


,

i nstructions fro m St P e t e rsburg th e n t he M i nistry shoul d hav e .


,

tak e n a high m i nd e d cours e an d b e e n stil l m or e pr e cis e i n


-
,

its i nstru ction s ( I hav e allud e d to N e lso n s signal mor e i n c o n
.

n e x i o n wi th Ad miral N i e b

o g at o v s signa l as r e gards surr e n d e r .

T he com mand e rs o f sh ips should th e n hav e giv e n him t he



sam e answ e r as N e lson gav e ) T he d e spatch o f R o z he s tv e n s ky s .


squadron and the G ov e rn m e n t s action with r e gard to t he whol e
,

con duct o f the war show e d up the impracticabl e m e th od o f ,

conducti ng O p e rations from the capital S O I poi nt e d o ut at t he .

tim e with r e gard to the abolition o f t he naval g e n e ral sta ff wh e n ,

t he command o f all t he n aval a n d military forc e s pass e d from


1
Admiral A l e x e i e v to G e n e ral Kuropatki n .

T he Com man d e r i n Chi e f hims e lf wh o is i m m e diat e ly r e s p o n


- -
,

sibl e for t he g e n e ral co nduct o f op e ration s o n l an d an d s e a ,

o ught to h av e d ir e ct e d t he g e n e ral li n e s o f t he squadrons p ro


c eedin
g to t he Far E ast n ot St P e t e rsburg Of cours e for , . .
,

this purpos e he o ugh t t o hav e had a n aval sta ff o f t he sam e


importan c e as th at for m ilitary op e rations and n ot m e r e ly a ag ,

o fc e r s e n tourag e Th e n t he C ommand e r i n Chi e f ough t wi th



.
- -
,

t he h e lp o f h is n aval sta ff havi ng b e for e th e m t he cat e gorical ,

i nformatio n d e mand e d by h i m from the M inistry o f M ari n e to ,

hav e d e cid e d wh e n a nd i n what ord e r the squadrons should sail .

T he C omman d e r i n Ch i e f ough t c e rtai nly to h av e had manhood


- -

e n ough i n hims e lf to u n d e rtak e r e sponsibility for his d e cisions ,

he b e i ng actually a nd im m e di at e ly r e sponsibl e fo r t he co nduct o f


t he O p e rations D ir e ctio n o f a ffairs i n war by di ffe r e n t p e opl e
.

P p 5 9 66 f th pa at di ti f m y art i l Aft r th D p art u r f t h S co d


d i my b k
. 2 - 2 o e se r e e on o c es, e e e e o e e n

Pa i S q u ad r
c c tai T h R u i a N avy i th R u
o n,

c on ne J apa nWa oo , e ss n n e s so- n ese r,

p ubli h d i E gl a d by M r H u r t Bl a k tt a d pp 474 7 f my w rk N a al Wa
s e n n n es s s . s c e , n .
-
o o , v r.
S E C ON D C L A SS C R U I SE R

F I R S T C L A SS
-
C R U I S ER
F A L L A D A

F I R S T C LA S S C
-
R U I SE R
A SK O L D
E F F E CT O F T H E F A L L O F P O RT A RT H U R I 3

j oi ntly is cond e m n e d by all military history I t has n e v e r l e d to .

anything but disord e r con fusion an d misfortu n e A nd th is has


, , .

b e e n fundam e n tally forgott e n by us a n d the M i n istri e s hav e


,

had e xc e ll en t opportu n iti e s o f vitally crippling t he work of th e ir


command e rs i n chi e f
- -
.

( VI I ) T H E E FF E C T O F TH E F A L L O F P O R T A R T H U R
Wh e n t he e e t start e d o n its cruis e i n my opi n ion th e r e was
,

n o furth e r doubt that t he c o O p e ratio n -


o f t he ships at P ort
Arthur could n ot be cou n t e d upo n ; but e v e n if anybody did
not shar e this vi e w al l hop e s ough t t o hav e b ee n abando n e d
wh e n 2 03 M etr e H i l l was tak e n o n 9 D e c e mb e r Afte r that .
,

the S e c o n d Squadro n ough t to hav e r e l i e d sol e ly o n its own

str e ngth T he n e ws r e ach e d S t P e t e rsburg o n 2 0 D e c e mb e r


. .
,

jus t as N i e bo g ato v s squadro n comm e nc e d pr e paration s for its


d e partur e O f cours e this w as b e lat e d At that mom e nt only


.
, .
,

t he v e ss e ls i n Li bau cou l d b e
g o t r e ady quickly Cro nstadt .was
i c e bou nd and t he tim e for t he S h i p s th e re to g e t o ut had b e e n
-
,

a ll ow e d to pass Th e r e had b e e n n o pr e paration for s e nding


.

o ut ships at short n otic e and th e ir tti ng o ut had n o t y e t


,

b e gu n .

T he fal l o f P ort Arthur coi ncid e d with t he arri val o f Admiral


R o z he s t v e n s ky at M adagascar At that poi n t th e r e for e t he
.
, ,

qu e stion had agai n to be answ e r e d Should the squadron co n


t i n ue its j ourn e y ? Shoul d i t wai t fo r N i e b o g at o v o r r e turn ,

h om e ? T he a nsw e r o f cours e d e p e n d e d upon h ow m uch was


e xp e ct e d of it I t was n o l ong e r n e c e ssary to hurry to t he r e li e f
.

o f P ort Arthur R o z he s tv e n s k y h i ms e lf had all t he data for


.

s e ttling the qu e stion I n t he e n d aft e r r e mai n ing i n t he


.
,

n e ighbourhood o f M adagascar for abou t two m o nths R o z he s t ,

n squadro n sail e d without waiting for N i e b



vensk s o w at o
y o g v ,

wh o had hims e lf got as far as Cr e t e .

What was t he caus e ? I hav e n o e xact e vid e nc e a nd can ,

th e r e for e o nly m ak e co nj e ctur e s but t he facts sp e ak for t h e m


s e l v e s Apart from th is I kn ow from s e v e ral sourc e s that
.
,

R o z he s tv e n s k y had n ot i n t e nd e d to wait for N i e b



og ato v s
14 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
squadron Th a t is co nc l usiv e ly prov e d by t he fac t that he sail e d
.

at a tim e wh e n o nly two o r thr e e w e e ks would h av e b e e n


su fci e n t to e ffe ct a j u nction I r e fus e to admit that a d e sir e
.

to i nt e rfe r e with t he J apan e s e pre parati ons was a sou n d r e aso n


for hurry At the e arl i e st if it had n o t b e e n d e tai n e d n e ar
.
,

M adagascar R o z he s tv e n s ky s squadron could on ly hav e r e ach e d
,

t he Saddl e Group about t he middl e o f M arch F ro m 1 4 August .


,

wh e n the P or t Arth ur ships had a l re ady b e e n shut i n an d o nly a


small forc e su ffi c e d to mai n tai n the b l ockad e t he J apan e s e ,

would hav e had 7% mo nths at the l e ast i n wh ich t o pr e par e fo r


a n e ngag e m e n t with Admiral R o zhes tv e n s ky I n r e a l ity th e y .

had 9% m on ths .

I thin k how e ve r that t he J apan e s e had su fci e n tly prov e d


, ,

th e ir for e sigh t t o con vinc e o n e that th e y would be r e ady fo r t he


e arli e st arrival o f t he e n e my an d w e r e n o t l ik e ly to cou n t o n
,

his possibly b e ing lat e I n 75 mon ths with th e ir charact e r


.
,

i s t i c e n e rgy with t he spl e ndid e quipm e n t O f th e ir n aval ports


,

and lib e ral h e lp from E ngland a nd Am e rica any amou n t o f ,

pr e paratio n could hav e b e e n accompl ish e d .

Why th e n did Admiral R o z hes tv e ns ky stay at M adagascar


, ,

if he was n ot waiting for N i e bog at o v I f he was waiting why ,

did he l e av e without hi m ? Th e r e w e r e s e v e ral r e asons Aft e r .

t he fal l o f P or t Arth ur which as m e n tion e d coi ncid e d with t he


, , ,

arriva l o f R o z hes tv e n s ky at M adagascar t he arrang e m e n ts for ,

supply of coal b e cam e disorganiz e d owing to various disagre e ,

m e nts with t he G e rman colli e rs T he J apan e s e had an n ou nc e d


.

th e ir d e cision of si nking colli e rs accompanying t he Russian Fl e e t ,

without r egard to th e ir n atio nal ity I t was n e c e ssary th e n to.

alt e r the organ ization for if t he coal supply was n o t assur e d to


,

t he e n d o f the cruis e it was dang e rous to go farth e r Th e n .

som e tim e was sp e nt in waiting for t he d ivisio n o f Captai n


D ob ro t v o rs k
y .

Lastly i nto all the plans th e r e probably e nt e r e d though t


,

of for e ign cruis e rs upon which it is n ot n ow the tim e to dilat e


,

though i t has a long and r e markabl e history .

I can n ot ad mit that t he con ti nuatio n of o ur squadron o n



A D M I RA L R O Z H E ST V E N S K Y S O BJ E CT I V E 1 5

its j ourn e y i n its th e n con ditio n was n o t i nu e nc e d by the


conviction th a t had so m e how g o t abou t that i t was aft e r all
not s o w e ak whil e the J apan e s e had b e e n consid e rably
,

w e ak e n e d With such opin io ns h e ld i n Russia Admiral


.
,

R o z he s tv e n s ky would hav e fou nd i t v e ry hard t o e xpr e ss a


contrary vi e w I f w e suppos e tha t he had h ims e lf fa l l e n i n with
.

such vi e ws t he r e aso n o f his l e avi n g M adagascar is n o l ong e r


,

obscur e At K am ran h as far as I k n o w R o z he s tv e n s ky agai n


.
, ,

wait e d n o t fo r N ie bog ato v but for c o al I f the coal had r e ach e d


, , .

him soo n e r he w o uld n o t hav e wait e d fo r a j un ctio n Again if


, .
,

my i nformat ion is corr e ct th is was d ue t o his t o o gr e a


, t con
d e n c e i n his o w n s tre ngth O th e r e xplan atio n I can n o t n d
. .

With the sh or e s o f I n d o C hi n a l e ft b e hin d th e r e was an e n d


-
,

to m e r e cruising T he e e t h ad to u nd e rtak e s tr ateg zcal


.

mame uvr zng .


(V I I I) A D M I RA L R O Z H E S T V EN S K Y S O B JE C T IV E
From the m o m e n t Ad miral R o z he s tve n s ky l e ft t he shor e s
o f I n d o Chi n a his m o v e m e nts o ught t o hav e b e e n primarily
-

dir e ct e d by t he mai n o bj e c t he had i n vi e w This was i n al l .

probability e ith e r t o forc e h is way through to Vladivostok e v e n ,

though i n s o doing he w e re to sacri c e par t o f his e e t s o as t o ,

j oi n i n t he s e rious nava l op e rations alr e ady taking plac e n e ar


tha t port ; o r e ls e to s e e k a g e n e ra l e ngage m e n t wi th t he mai n
forc e o f the J apan e s e at o nc e a nd aft e r the battl e mak e for
,

V l adivostok a nd form a bas e th e r e .

I n t he rst cas e it would h av e b e e n d e sirabl e to avoid a


d e cisiv e battl e : i n t he s e co nd i t w as n e c e ssary t o hav e c o n
,

d e n c e i n h is o w n sup e riori ty I n e ith e r cas e the d e gr e e


.
,

o f s e curity o f t he e e t i n t he matt e r o f coal was o f i m m e ns e

inu e nc e o n t he m e an s O f e x e c uting what had b e e n d e cid e d


on. H o w far t he squadro n was s e cur e as t o this I do not ,

k now an d c an o nly argu e co nditio nally


, I shal l suppos e .

that this s e curity did e xist i e that the supply o f coa l had
, . .

b ee n calcu l at e d as su fci e n t fo r t he pl an o f action Oth e rwis e .

it would n ot be worth whil e t o argu e fo r any plan o f action .


1 6 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
Which e v e r o f th e s e two tasks Adm iral R o z he s tve n s ky s e t
hims e lf his d ir e ct advan tag e was t o t e mpt t he J apan e s e F l e e t to
,

ght at a d istanc e from th e ir bas e s s o far from th e ir S hore s that


,

th e ir torp e do craft an d e sp e cially th e ir submari n e s cou l d not


-
, ,

accompany th e m .

I n th e s e circumstanc e s t he cours e o f the e e t straigh t from


t he Saddl e I slands to t he Straits of Kor e a can b e e xplai n e d o nly

i n o n e way by a mistak e n b e l i e f i n th e ir o w n sup e rior stre ngth ,

an d a still m ore mistak e n supposition that t he s e e mi ng i n activity


o f t he J apan e s e was d ue to w e ak n e ss a nd an i n t e ntio n o f l e t
,

ti ng o ur e e t through to Vladivostok without a d e cisiv e battl e .

T he rs t m istak e did not e xclud e the disadvantag e s o f a battl e


i n the Straits and the i ndiscr e tio n a n d n e gl e ct as to the d is
,

advantag e s o f th e ir e nviro n m e n t c e rtai nly m ust hav e b e e n t he


r e sul t of ov e r c o n d e n c e i n th e ir o w n str e ngth Still if it had
- .
,

d e cid e d to att e mpt a passag e through the Straits o f Kor e a th e n ,

t he e e t ought to hav e anchor e d som e wh e r e n e ar i n ord e r to ,

hav e had tim e to n d o ut for its e lf with compl e t e c e rtai nty what
h indranc e s th e r e w e r e a nd choos e t he most favourabl e mom e n t
, .

I f this w e r e n ot succ e ssful i t ought to hav e d e sist e d from


,

t he att e mpt .To hop e for an u n e xp e ct e d app e aranc e i n t he


Straits was impossibl e si nc e to g e t th e r e took mor e than
,

forty e ight hours and it was n e c e ssary to pass among islands


-
,

b e longing to J apan M or e ov e r t he fact that o ur colli e rs w e r e


.
,

l e ft at Shanghai sh ow e d cl e arly that R o z hes tv e n s ky had


n e ith e r s e t off o n a voyag e rou nd J apan n or to occupy som e ,

bas e i n Kor e a Oth e rwis e he would hav e tak e n th e m with hi m


. .

P lai nly he i nt e n d e d to forc e his way through t he Straits o f


Kor e a From this poi n t of vi e w t he l e aving o f o ur colli e rs i n a
.

plac e con n e ct e d by t e l e graph with J apan s ee ms v e ry strang e ;


th e ir d e spatch by a skilfully chos e n rout e m ight hav e l e d the
J apan e s e astray Of cours e to hav e occupi e d a t e mporary bas e
.
,

i n t he Straits of Kor e a would hav e b e e n by n o m e ans safe .

Th e re t he squadron migh t hav e b e e n out of the r e ach of torp e do


attack but th e r e would not hav e b ee n any l e ss risk in att e mpti ng
,

t he passag e of t he Straits .

A D M I RA L R O Z H E ST V E NS K Y S O BJ E CT I V E 1 7

An advantage o f such a st e p would hav e b e e n this that a



position would hav e b ee n occupi e d wh ich thr e at e n e d J apan s
li n e s o f com mu n ication with t he th e atr e o f war a nd as long as ,

o ur ee t was n o t forc e d from i ts position this commu n ication ,

would hav e b e e n e ith e r brok e n e n tir e ly o r r e nd e re d dange rous ,

and u nc e rtai n Th is though c oul d n o t h av e i m m e diat e ly a l t e re d


.
, ,

the charact e r o f t he op e ratio n s o f M arsha l Oyama A protract e d .

struggl e wou l d h av e comm e nc e d fo r the poss e ssio n o f t he Straits


o f Kor e a a nd i n this th e r e might hav e b e e n a chanc e o f s e izi ng
,

a favourab l e m om e n t fo r battl e o r fo r for c i ng a way through to


Vladivostok F o r t he purpos e it w o u l d h av e b e e n n e c e ssary to
.

hav e occupi e d o n e o f the bays o n t he coast o f Kore a but i n ,

ord e r to s e cur e i t fo r a c e rtai n tim e o n t he lan d sid e a nd d e fe nd ,

approach e s to it fro m t he s e a i t woul d h av e b e e n imp e rativ e to ,

hav e had with the e e t t he m e ans fo r cr e ating and fortifying a


t e mporary bas e i n t his r e sp e ct This co nsid e ratio n forc e d m e to .

r e fe r i n my articl e s to t he n e e d I h ad man y tim e s h e ard m e ntio n e d


1
by w e ll i nform e d a nd e xp e ri e nc e d m e n O f h avi ng i n r e adi n e ss
-
,

t w o d e tachm e n ts o f sh ips l oad e d with mat e rials for formatio n o f a

t e mporary bas e O n e o f th e s e d e tach m e nts ough t to have b e e n


.

station e d at Vlad ivostok the o th e r should h av e b e e n with ,

R o z he s tv e n s k y Th e n a sourc e would hav e b e e n at han d


.

wh e nc e th e s e d e tach m e n t s cou l d hav e b e e n provid e d with


pr e par e d mat e ria l s an d bodi e s o f m e n sp e cially trai n e d for the
rapid organizatio n o f a t e mporary bas e j us t as w e h av e had for ,

a l ong tim e i n t he O d e ssa M i l itary C ircuit Th e r e has b e e n .

mor e than s u i c i e n t tim e fo r this Y e ar aft e r y e ar at t he man .

oe uvr e s th e r e has b e e n proof that cr e ws a nd mat e rials c an b e got

r e ady an d e mbark e d i n a w e e k N o mor e tim e would hav e .

b ee n r e quir e d t o g e t it re ady to go t o V l adivostok by rail .

An d if Adm iral R o zhe s tv e n s k y had had r e ady to hand what was


n e c e ssary fo r the formatio n of a t e mporary bas e he woul d ,

p e rhaps n ot hav e p e rsist e d i n his fatal d e cision to g o dire ct to


t he Kor e an Straits withou t asc e rt a i n i ng the di fculti e s b e for e

1 Pp . 22
5
-
2 30 of t he se parat e e di t i on of ri l
t he a t c es

Af te r t he p r ur
De a t e of t he S e co nd
Pa i S q u ad r
c c on .
1 8 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
han d and without maki ng an att e mpt to d islodge A dmira l T o g o
,

from t he spl e ndid position he occupi e d i n the Straits Th is .

could hav e b ee n e ffe ct e d by m e ans o f op e rations thr e at e n ing the


chi e f lin e o f commu nication b e tw e e n J apan an d Kor e a through
a t e mporary bas e e stab l ish e d at t he south e rn most e xtr e mity o f
Kor e a .

We can n ot how e v e r d e ny that Admiral R o zhe s tve n s ky had


, ,

oth e r m e ans o f action far m or e advantag e ous if o nly t he


organ ization o f the coal supp l y had b e e n i n worki ng ord e r viz , .

drawing the e e t o f T o g o i n to the O p e n by m e ans o f a m e nac e


to the sh or e s o f J apan o n t he P aci c sid e H e coul d and ought .

to hav e p ut i nto the Saddl e I slands if only fo r the purpos e o f


,

fr e ighti ng his colli e rs with the whol e supply o f coal pre par e d fo r
him at Shanghai With r e asonab l e arrange m e nts this coal
.
,

supply migh t stil l h av e b e e n l oad e d i n v e ss e ls bought fo r the


purpos e oth e rwis e th e y could n o t follow the squadron Th e r e
, .

n e ve r was any scarcity i n t he n umb e r of such v e ss e ls for purchas e .

From h e r e t he squadrons coul d hav e sail e d d ue e ast and


occupi e d a t e mporary bas e o n o n e o f the islands O ff t he south
o f J apan b e l onging to t he J apan e s e This would have do n e
.

away with t he i nconve ni e n c e of stayi ng i n n e utral wat e rs T he .

Bon in I slands situat e d about o n e thousand mi l e s from the


,

Saddl e I slands and t he sam e distanc e from t he e ntranc e to the


,

Tsugaru Straits and from the e ntranc e t o t he Se a o f Okh otsk


b e tw e e n t he Kuril e I slands and s ix hu ndr e d mi l e s from T o k i o
, ,

would hav e prove d e sp e cially us e ful I n th e s e islands are bays


.

conv e ni e n t for a e e t Th e ir occ upation is v e ry e asy si nc e


.
,

th ey are u nd e fe nd e d an d the m e nac e from th e r e to t he


,

whol e coast li n e o f J apan bord e ri ng o n t he P aci c could n o t


-

fai l to hav e drawn T o go to that sid e C e rtai nly if R o z hes t .


,

v e n sk
y had had with him t he m e ans o f cr e ati ng a t e mporary
bas e this would hav e b e e n a gr e at assistanc e i n t he occupatio n
,

of th e s e islands To blockad e o ur e e t h e r e to l e t loos e


.
,

agai nst it th e ir array o f torp e do boats and submari n e s w as o ut


-
,

of the qu e stio n for t he J apan e s e I t would hav e m e ant that all


.

t he straits w e r e l e ft u nd e fe nd e d i n any of which the Russian


,

A D M I RA L R O Z H E ST V E N S K Y S O BJ E CT I V E 1 9

Fl e e t coul d hav e app e ar e d at an id e n tical i nt e rval o f tim e aft e r


l e avi n g t he B oni n I slands .

Fi nally th e r e was still o n e oth e r possibl e combin atio n fo r o ur


,

ee t , viz a voyag e to P e tropavlovsk 1 5 00 m il e s distan t T he


.
, .

harb our o f P e tropavlovsk is o n e O f the b e s t an d m ost e xt e nsiv e


i n t he world ; th e r e c o al cou l d hav e b e e n tak e n i n without
i nt e rruption t he h ulls o f t he v e ss e ls could have b e e n c l e an e d
, ,

and all possib l e and n e c e ssary r e pairs carri e d o ut by oati ng


worksh ops From P e tropav l ovsk t he squadro n coul d hav e sai l e d
.

south t o t he S e a o f Okhotsk an d hav e app e ar e d qu it e un e x


, ,

p e c t e dl y , i n t he Straits o f La P e r o us e I sa
y u n e xp e ct.e dly ,

sinc e P e tropav l o vsk has n o co n n e xion what e v e r with t he outsid e


wor l d as o n l y thos e ships g o th e r e which ar e e ngag e d i n the
,

fur t ra i c ; a n d n otwithstan ding t he possibility o f t e mporary


d e lay by m e e ting such ships t he probab il ity o f that was v e ry
,

small as for th e s e ships to g o to a t e l egraph statio n and giv e -

informatio n as t o havi ng m e t the Russian F l e e t woul d hav e


r e quir e d a n appr e ciabl e ti m e F o r o n e a nd a half to t w o
.

m onths the J apan e s e woul d hav e lost sight o f the Russian Fl e e t ,

an d w o u l d hav e had to wait fo r it wi th e qua l u n c e rtai n ty at the


, ,

Straits o f Tsugaru and La P e rous e t he latt e r o f which is by n o ,

m e ans s o fav o urabl e fo r d e fe nsiv e purpos e s as the Straits o f


Kor e a Y e t an o th e r thi ng woul d hav e b e e n i n o ur favour viz
.
,
.

that o n e sh or e o f the Straits o f La P e rous e is Russian t e rritory .

T he wh o l e o f t he Sakhali n shor e i s con n e ct e d by t e l e graph an d ,

from som e ch o s e n poi n t by m e an s o f a d e spatch v e ss e l all that


was happ e ning i n t he Straits o f La P e rous e an d o n o ur coast

o n t he J apan Se a from t he Kor e a n fro n ti e r t o St Olga s B ay
, .
,

cou l d hav e b e e n asc e rtai n e d an d i nformation a l so as to t he


,

doings o f t he S hi p s at V l adivostok T he mai n d i i c ul ty o f such


.

a voyage wou l d hav e b e e n the fogs o f t he n orth e rn s e as B ut .

th e s e fogs wou l d hav e hidd e n o ur m ov e m e nts and a squadron ,

might hav e go n e i n s e parat e d e tach m e n ts as long as th ey had ,

d e nit e r e nd e zvous e g P e tropav l ovsk and P ati e nc e B ay i n


, . .


Sakhali n . I n ge n e ral o ur e e t aft e r its s e v e n m onths voyag e
, ,

was so accustom e d to t he s e a i n al l circumstanc e s that i t would , ,

i n all probability h av e d e alt with t he fog d i fcu l ty


, .
20 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N

(IX) RES O U RCES OF V L A D IV OS T O K N E G L E C T E D


B ut what e v e r way o ur e e t had chos e n si nc e i t was to start ,

from t he Saddl e I slands and was lying th e r e clos e to Shanghai


, ,

i t coul d have commu n icate d fro m th e r e wi th Vladivostok two


days b e fore t he battl e I f i t was i n t e nd e d com e what might to
.
, ,

go by way o f t he Straits o f Ko r e a it was still possibl e to h op e for


.
,

a j u nctio n with the forc e th e n lying at Vlad ivostok b e for e the


battl e .H o w did i t happ e n that nothi ng was h e ard about
the Vladivostok forc e ? B e sid e s torp e do v e ss e ls and s ub -

mari n e s th e r e w e r e thre e fast rs t class cruis e rs th e r e


, If - .

submari n e s c an actually trav e l v e hu ndr e d mil e s from th e ir


bas e as som e a frm h e r e sur e ly was a n e opportu n ity o f
, ,

trying this Th e y could h av e b e e n tow e d thre e quart e rs o f t he


.
-

way by cruis e rs o r e v e n m e rchan t ships a nd t he cruis e rs could ,

always hav e r e tir e d to Vlad ivostok i n t he e v e nt o f e ncou n te ri ng


sup e rior forc e s o f t he e n e my whi l e the l oss O f t he m e rchan t
,

ships would not hav e b e e n o f sp e cia l importanc e T he pr e s e nc e .

o n t he n orth of t he Strai ts o f Kor e a o f a squadron o f cruis e rs

with an e scort of torp e do v e ss els and submari n e s at the tim e


-

o f the battl e o f 2 7 M ay might hav e gr e atly i nu e nc e d t he


,

r e sul t of t he battl e i n our favour I s i t possibl e tha t t he abs e nc e


.

o f all this shows that as littl e att e n tio n was giv e n to t he e quip

m e n t of Vladivostok and supplying i t with a c e rtain n umb e r of


torp e do v e ss e ls and submarin e s transport e d thith e r by rail as i n
-
, ,

r e gard to t he r e main i ng r e quir e m e n ts o f the captai ns of t he e e t


a nd t he C ommand e r i n Chi e f r e pr e s e nt e d to t he M i nistry o f
- -
,

M ari n e a y e ar b e for e t he urg e n cy of which I p e rso nally c o n


,

rm e d i n t he nam e s of thos e p e rsons o n my r e turn from Vl adi


, ,

vostok to St P e t e rsburg ? T he answ e r I r e c e ive d was that to d o


.

this was impossibl e as t he torp e do boats would hav e to be tak e n


,
-

to pi e c e s ( th e y could n ot be tak e n whol e by rail ) that th e y ,

would n e v e r r e c e iv e th e m at Vlad ivostok s o w e should ,

n e ith e r hav e th e m h e r e nor th e r e O n my saying that this .

might hav e b e e n e n trust e d to for e ign workm e n who w e re ,

mor e e xp e ri e nc e d i n that th e y answ e r e d that it would cost too


,
R ES O U RC E S O F V L A D I V OST O K N E G L E CT E D 2 1

much an d that for e ign e rs c ould n o t go to Vladivostok B u t


,

t he poi nt o f t he r e ply was this : T o s e nd th e y said sup , ,

pli e s torp e do boats workm e n an d e ngi n e e rs to Vladivostok was


,
-
, ,

s e n s e l e ss At t he sam e tim e it woul d be a frivol ous e x p e n d i


.
,

tur e o f m on e y sinc e th e y might n ot e v e n be n e c e ssary !


, In

vai n I po int e d o ut that a ll th e s e torp e do boats w e r e quit e us e l e ss -

to us h e r e ; that it would be a gr e at advantage for us e v e n if


only part o f th e m w e r e succ e ssfully r e c e iv e d at Vladivostok ;
that the e ngi n e s an d acc e ssori e s c ould be tak e n o ut and s e nt ,

and n e w h ulls construct e d at Vladivostok whil e t he e mpty hulls ,

h e r e m igh t hav e n e w e ngi n e s put i n th e m ord e re d quickly e v e n ,

from abroad I t could n ot b . e h e lp e d ; sinc e wil l an d e n e rgy

w e r e lacking it was vai n t o argu e Su c h b e i ng t he stat e o f


,
.

1
t he matt e r I e xpos e d i t i n t he P r e s s w he n I had lost al l hO p e
, ,

o f the id e a b e ing r e aliz e d th rough o fcial chan n e ls D id this .

hav e any practical r e sult ? I d o n ot k n ow ; I suppos e n o t .

Oth e rwis e t he J apan e s e would n o t h av e totally ignor e d Vladi


vostok an d c onc e ntrat e d all th e ir forc e s o n Admiral R o z he s t

ve n sky s squadro n i n the Straits o f Kor e a e vid e n tly i n n o ,

fe ar o f the app e ara nc e o f any forc e from Vladivostok No .

J apan e s e ship was s e e n at that tim e o ff the port I think , .

h ow e v e r this was n o t the r e sult o f car e l e ss n e ss n o r o f ov e r


, ,

con d e nc e I k n ow the surrou n di ngs o f Vladivostok v e ry w e ll


.

it is impossibl e t o hid e anything from sigh t at this port e v e n ,

the small e st ship T he wh ol e roadst e ad an d port can b


. e s ee n

quit e disti nctly from man y plac e s acc e ssibl e to all a nd at the ,

sam e tim e t he p l ac e swarms with Ch i n e s e wh o work o n t he ,

forti cations i n the por t worksh ops and i n t he con structio n o f


, ,

roads T he s e rva nts ar e al l C hi n e s e and u p to the pr e s e n t it


.
,

has b e e n impossibl e to do with out th e m .

I am profou n dly c onvi nc e d th e r e w e r e many J apan e s e spi e s


among th e m owi ng to t he ign oranc e o f t he Russians w ho hav e
, ,

n o knowl e dg e o f the C hin e s e languag e an d can not th e r e for e


d e t e ct th e m Th e r e for e th ough t he arrival of any ship torp e do
.
, ,

1
Pp . 2 2 2 2 2
5 of t he se parat e e di ti on o f t he ar i l
t

Af
c es te r t he p r ur
De a t e of t he S e co d
n

P ac rc S q u ad r o n.

22 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
boat o r submari n e wou l d c e rtai n l y n ot be pri nt e d i n t he n e ws
, ,

pap e rs y e t i t would u ndoubt e dly be k n own to t he J apan e s e j ust


, ,


as through th e s e sam e Chi n e s e th e y h e ard o f all that o ur army

did . F o r i nstanc e wh e n t he B ogatyr was r e paire d aft e r
,

ru n n i ng agrou nd Chin e s e w e r e at work o n he r and c o n s e


, ,

qu e n tly s aw al l he r damage
, .

Wh e n I car e fully dr e w up a r e port i n t he pre s e nc e o f t he


Com mand e r i n Chi e f about t he most e n e rg e tic m e asur e s which
- -

ought to be tak e n fo r the e quipm e nt o f Vladivostok an d for ,

transporti ng thith e r a v e ry l arg e n umb e r o f torp e do boats an d -

submari n e s I did n o t k n ow an d n o o n e told m e that this qu e s


, , ,

tio n had b ee n sh e lv e d som e mo nths e arli e r th ough e v e rything ,

had b e e n arrang e d i n t he v e ry b e st way fo r its accomplishm e n t .

I t is c e rtai n agai n that i n F e bruary o n e o f o ur nava l o fc e rs


o ffe r e d to transport to V l adivostok t he mach i n e ry of al l the rs t
class torp e do boats i n E urop e an Russia an d to mak e hu l ls fo r
-
,

th e m at that port H e v e ry e n thusiastically dr e w up his plans


.

an d ask e d for an audi e nc e at t he M i n istry o f M ari n e which w as


grant e d him
Th e r e th e y said to him
. w e wil l ta l k ov e r
, ,
,

th is matt e r but si n c e y o u propos e thi s y o u must also n d such


,

workshops as would be n e c e ssary fo r t he work tha t is fo r , ,

taking to pi e c e s the m ach i n e ry h e r e for pu tti ng it tog e th e r ,



agai n at Vladivostok and for b uil d in g t he hu ll s th e r e
,
.

T he origin ator o f the proj e c t did n o t stop e v e n at th is a nd i n ,

h is qu e st he app e ar e d to be v e ry fortu nate H e foun d manu .

fac t urers e xp e ri e nc e d m e n who agr ee d t o tak e to pi e c e s trans


, , ,

port and pu t tog e th e r agai n at Vladivostok n o t o n l y the e ngi n e s


, , ,

but the hul ls as w e l l a nd the e xp e ns e o f th is would b


, e n ot mor e

than 2 5 p e r c e n t o f t he cost o f e v e ry torp e do v e ss e l T he tim e


.
-
.

w as limit e d to s i x o r s e v e n m onths .

Aft e r this t he proj e ct was brought b e for e t he N aval T e ch n ica l


Comm itt ee and this i nstitutio n coul d n ot n d mat e rial obj e ctio n
,

to it B ut i n spit e o f that at t he e n d o f J u n e aft e r t he con


.
,

sid e ration o f the proj e ct had tak e n four mo n ths t he matt e r


e nd e d i n a r e fusal o n t he part o f t he authoriti e s and i n spit e o f ,

strong outsid e pr e ssur e the torp e do ve ss e l s w e r e n ot s e n t - .


R E SO U RC E S O F V L A D I VOSTO K N E G L E CT E D 23

I t c e rtainly was o f litt l e co ns e qu e nc e th at I p e rsonally was n o t


i nform e d o f this as t he tran smitt e r o f r e qu e sts i n t he nam e s o f
,

p e rsons o n whom r e spo nsibility fo r the con duct o f t he war


d e p e nd e d but it was o f gre at c o ns e qu e nc e that th e s e p e rsons
,

th e ms e l v e s w e r e n o t i nform e d an d that n o t o n e o f th e m was


,

consult e d That th is w as n o t don e I am c e rtain sin c e al l acc e ss


.
,

to the staff o f the Command e r o f the F l e e t was through m e .

O n e c an e asily pictur e t o o n e s e l f ho w a ll t he O p e rations o f


R o z he s tv e n s ky wou l d hav e b ee n r e n d e r e d e asi e r what e v e r c o m
,

bin ati o n s he m igh t have chos e n if at t he tim e o f h is arrival at


,

the s e at o f war th e r e had b e e n a otilla o f som e half a scor e o f

d e stroy e rs an d t orp e d o boats at Vladivostok This otilla would


-
.

doubtl e ss hav e drawn to its e l f a consid e rab l e part o f the J apan e s e


forc e s an d h av e tak e n a most activ e part i n the battl e b e tw e e n
,

t he mai n ee ts .
C H APT E R I I

(I) ANA LY S I S A ND T A B LE S

L L the particulars giv e n i n t he foll owing tabl e s pp 2 6 2 7 are ,


.
, ,

tak e n from sp e cial i nformatio n suppli e d by t he R e gist e r o f


the Gran d Duk e Al e xand e r M i k hail o v i tc h for the y e ar 1 9 0 4 I .

m e r e ly l l up som e omission s from for e ign books of r e fe r e nc e .

Th e s e are mark e d by a star indicati ng the sourc e wh e nc e d e rive d


,
.

As r egards the sp e e d of the diffe r e nt ships I giv e thos e r e cord e d


,

at the actual trials o r e l s e the con tract rat e s wh ich to disti n


, , ,

guish th e m from the form e r are u n d e rli n e d


, .

Conc e rn ing sp e e d I consid e r i t n e c e ssary to pr e mis e that from


,

th e rat e s O b tai n e d at trial and mor e e sp e cially the co ntract rat e s


i t must not b e u nd e rstood that the origin al sp e e d could b e

mai ntain e d i n action N othing diminish e s s o rapidly i n a ship


.

o n s e rvic e as he r sp e e d T he dimin ution o f sp e e d is far from


.

b e ing u niform i n all v e ss e ls Th o s e i n which e v e rything is


.

sacri c e d to sp e e d wh e r e e v e rything e ls e is tr e at e d as a
s e condary consid e ratio n i n ord e r to O btai n it wh os e e ngin e s ,

an d boil e rs are v e ry complicat e d and d e licat e r e quiring t he car e ,

of watchful a nd e xp e ri e nc e d m e n will with s e l e ct e d coal a nd


,

t he assista nc e o f e ngi n e e rs a nd stok e rs from t he works attai n ,

surprising sp ee d o n th e ir trials ; bu t th e y are liabl e to a gr e at


d e cr e as e o n s e rvic e S p ee d may also be gr e atly mi nimiz e d by
.

the condition o f t he s e a M or e ov e r the small e r t he v e ss e l the


.
,

gr e at e r the sp e e d S p ee d is l ik e wis e dimin ish e d by bad coal ,


.

e v e n though a larg e r quan tity of it may b e consum e d B e sid e s .


,

it must not be thought that the c ontract rat e o r the trial rat e , ,

e v e n if it w e r e pr e s e rv e d would be the ordi nary sp e e d o f the


,

ship T o attain the high e st sp e e d most s tr e nuous e fforts are


.
,

24
A N A LYS I S A ND TA B L E S 2 5

re quir e d from the m e n i n t he e ngi n e room t oge th e r with a gr e at


-
,

consumptio n o f coal wh ich i n c r e as e s m uch fast e r tha n t he rat e


,


of sp e e d This e xplain s t he long voyage s p e rform e d by ships
.


at the S o cal l e d e co n omical rate wh e n t he gre at e st distanc e s
-
,

are trav e ll e d o n a giv e n am ou n t o f coal irre sp e ctiv e o f sp e e d , .

Shi p s c an o nly trav e l at full sp e e d for from 1 2 t o 2 4 hours n o t ,

more ; oft e n fo r n o t n e arly s o l ong F o r i nstanc e the cruis e r


.
,

N ovik wh os e h igh e st sp e e d w as 2 5 k nots could on ly k e e p


, ,

up that sp e e d fo r 2 4 hours with he r stock o f coa l d uri ng which


tim e s he trave ll e d 660 m il e s At he r e con om ical rat e ( 1 2
.
,

knots ) s he might d o 2 3 70 mi l e s b ut fo r that woul d r e quir e e ight


, ,


tim e s 2 4 h ours T he battl e sh ip
. P oltava at full sp e e d ( 1 53 ,

kn ots ) c ou l d cov e r 1 75 0 mil e s i n 412 days but o nly o n the .

impro b ab l e suppositio n that t he cr e w boil e rs a n d mach in e ry


, ,

ge n e ral ly could k e e p up the e ff ort throughou t Wi th a sp e e d


,
.

of I O k n ots s he cou l d cov e r 3 7 5 0 m il e s i n t he c o urs e o f 1 5 %


days .

I n my !tabl e s o f sp e e d t he gur e s mus t be look e d upon as


d e n oti ng the o rigin al sp e e d from which d e ductions m ust be
,

ma d e i n consi d e ratio n o f a v e ss e l s l e ngth o f s e rvic e an d various
oth e r c ircumstanc e s i n o rd e r t o be abl e t o j udge approximat e ly
,

b e tw e e n t he J apan e s e sh ips an d o ur o w n o n t he poi n t o f sp e e d .

This is o f c o urs e l oos e an d i nd e n it e , but as th e re are n o oth e r


, ,

gur e s th e s e are b e tt e r than no n e at all As t o m y cautio n with


.

regard t o e xp e n s e I consid e r e d it my duty t o p ut this forward


,
.

As a rough appr o ximat e w e c an pro t by the subj oi n e d gur e s ,


,

but with c e rtai n e xc e ptions .


J A PA N E S E N A V A L P O W E R
E E L M E N TA R Y ST A T E M E N TS

A R T I LLE R Y

B attl es hi p S quadro n.

M i ka a
1 86

s 1 9 00 4
A ah i s

1 899 1 83 4

S h k i hi m a
P udj i
I s 1 89 8
1 896 18 s

4
4
Y a hi ma s 1 896 192 4

A rm ur d C ui
o e r se quad r on

Ni i ss n 1 9 03

K a ug a ss 1 90 2

I at v e 1 90 0 21
'
8
I d s um o 1 899 22 o

T o ki va 1 89 8
'
22 7
A s am a 1 89 8

A d s um a 1 899
'
21 o

Y a mo ku 1 899 20 7

T o ta l f th arm u r d
o e o e

s q u ad r ons 1 44 , 1 04

O l d I r lad onc .

1 8 82 1
T s e n ien - 145

Deck p rotecte -
d C rui se r s.

Seco n d -
cl ass .

T s hi to s e 1 898 22 9
Tak a ag s o 1 89 7 4 , 3 00 23 5
H a h id at s e 1 89 1 14 5
M at u h i m a s s
9

3
1 890 15 7
I d s uk us hi m a 1 8 89 15 7
3
T ak at s hik ho 1 88 5 1 8 0
N an i v a 1 88 5 1 78

1 90 3 21 o
1 9 02
1 90 2
1 89 7 195
1 89 5 20 0
1 89 2

1g o
1 89 0

21 o
x88 3
-
17 4

De s atc p h Ves l se s .

T c hik haia 1 90 0 20 5
Tat u ta s 1 89 4 . 86 4 21 o

Y aie y am a 1 889 1 , 609 20 0


'

T o ta l of t he d k
ec -
p ro
t e c ted c ru i rse s

Toh m b dd d l h
t ese ili y i
us t e a e no e ss t an 8 aux ar c r u sers, 9 l 8 g b a ab
f
co as t -d e e n c e vess e s , 1d un o ts , out l
7 0 t orpe o -v esse s ,
o f hi h b
w b bly
c bda yo ut no
h p ro a are t -
es tr o e rs T e l d g b a f mall i m
coas v d e fe n c e v e ss e s an un o ats re o s p or tance at s e a,
b i f b gh mig h g i h b gi i g f h w h i b
. .

ut ro u d t o n r l v e rs t re n er re at ass st anc e At t e e nn n o t e ar t e re w e re t wo r v er- oats o f t he


l y hi l l h d i E gl i mb ha g ly i a d
.

at es t t p e of t N s c as s , aun c e n n an d n 1 ow t h m
e nu us t r eat nc re s e
90 3 er ve .

Thi d i di1
S s s p ee was att a ne n 1 90 2 .
2 p eed t ak f m All h W ld Fig h i g Sh i 9
en ro t e or
'
s t n ps , 1 04.

3 Sp ee d at ta n e d i n i h y a
t e e d 9rs 1 90 an 1 02.
R U SS I A N N A V A L P O W E R
E L E M E N T A R Y ST A T E M E N T S

A R T I LLE R Y

Fi rs t B att lesh ip D ivi s ion


Su r vo ov
I m p rat r A l xa d r III
e o e n e
B r di o o no

Or l e

Se d Battl h ip Di i i o
con es v s n.

O l ab yas

Si i V liky
sso e
Na a i v r n

T tal u d r m ma d f
o n e co n o

A d m i ral R h t oz e s ven

k y b f r t h arr i al
s e o e e v

f Ad m i ral N i bg at
o e o ov

T hi d B attl h ip D i i i
r es v s on .

I m p rat r Nik l ai I
e o o

A d m i ral S ia i en v n

A d m i ral U h ak s ov

G ral A d m i ral A p a i
en e - r x n

T tal u d r A d m i ral N i
o n e e

b gat o ov

T tal f th u i t d b attl
o o e n e e

h ip di i i
s v s o ns 12 1 00 51
Ol d F fr t l a A rmoure d s -
c ss
C rui r se .

A d m i ral N ak hi m ov 1 88 5 166

C ruis ers .

I 903 23

Dm ti ri D on s k oi
" 1
1 883
Vl ad i m i r M o n o m ak h 1
1 88 2 152

Sv ie tl an a 1 896
Z he m t s hug 1 90 3 3 , 1 03 24
I u mrud
z 1 90 3 3 , 1 03 24

D espatch V es s e l .

A l maz 1 9 03 19

T o ta l of A d m i ral R oz
he s tv e n s ky rui r

s c se s 3 37 18 54 19

l i
V ad v os t ok S uad on q r
Ar
.

r
F i st- c as s mou ed l r
ui se s Cr r .

G ro m o boi 20
R ia oss
"
97
F irst -
c l as s A rm ured o
C rui r se .

B gaty r
o

T tal f t h V l adi
o o e v os t o k
q u ad r
s ons

To t h ese

m us t
add e d 5 aux ar be c r u sers ( merc an t s te am e rs c arr ili y
un s) , i h yi g g
D in e pe r ,
i
R on ,

K b u an ,
l b g
n

q
"
Ur , an d a

T e re k , 8 t o 1 2 n e w s uad ro n t o r p e d o - oats o f 2 40 to 3 5 0 to n s , an d 8 co as t uard t o rp e d o vess e ls i n
l i i gh i g f
o

V ad v os tok , w e n ro m 7 0 t o 1 80 t o n s

l il f l i gh i g hi y
.

1 S p ee d at t he as t t r a i n 1 8 6 t ake n ro m
9 7 ( A l l t he

or d s F t n S p s for t he e ar W
2 A dd e d at t h f m i at on of t he q
Se co n d S uad ro n T asc h b hd uc K ri e gs o t te n of 1 90 5 ) Fo r t he correc tne ss o f
h h
e or en er
t es e s t at e me n t s we c an n o t v o uc

h i lN b l hi
.

3 Wi t o ut t he c ru se r i A dm ra akhi m ov , s he c an
as be add e d t o t he att es ps
g h ih i i l
.

4 "
To et er W t t he cru se r A d m ra N akhimo v .
28 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
Co n tract built v e ss e ls u nd e rgo a sp e e d trial at t he works
- .

N e ith e r t he cont act sp e e d nor that obtai n e d at formal trials


r

must be e xp e ct e d duri ng war s e rvic e T he gr e at e st sp e e d i n .

practic e which w e will call t e h w a r sp ee d wh ich t he v e ss e l


,

can only mai n tai n for a sh ort tim e e g d uri ng battl e m ay b e ,


. .

put down at 0 9 as shown i n t he tabl e s T he sp e e d at which


,
.

a passage of importanc e may be mad e with out r e gard to e x ,

e n d i t ur e of coal and simply with a vi e w t o rapidity w e will call


p , ,

t he mar i ti m e sp e ed I t may b e put d own at 0 8 sp ee d ( s e e tabl e s


.
) .

With the ordi nary consumption of coal a nd at the ordinary rat e


of trav e lli ng a ship can go with half he r boil e rs at work Th e n
,
.

t he sp e e d will b e about 0 7 Fi nally i t app e ars from t he p re .


,

c e di ng that o n t he e conomica l syst e m with a l e ss rat e o f sp e e d ,

and a gre at e r distanc e to trav e l t he rat e o f sp e e d woul d be ,

about
N ow with r egard to t he artill e ry i n t he tabl e s from 3 calibre ,

upwards Light e r gu ns than th e s e hav e n o importan c e e xc e pt


.
,

for d e fe nsiv e purpos e s and i n con n e xio n with r e p e lli ng torp e do


boats E v e n for that purpos e h ow e v e r the l at e war has shown
.
, ,
"
that th e y are too w e ak and that n othing l ight e r tha n 3 gu ns ,

sh ould be carri e d .

( I I) S O M E F A LL A C I E S O F C O M P A R I SO N
I n the e Vr e mya

Novoy
No app e ar e d a tabl e o f , .

our naval stre ngth and that o f t he J apan e s e at t he th e atr e o f


war from which w e may draw som e i n t e r e sti ng conclusions
, .

H aving compar e d t he two battl e sh ip squadro ns of Admiral


R o z he s t v e n s ky b e for e h is j un ction with Admiral N i e b
, o g at o v ,

with the two armour e d squadrons o f Admira l T o g o w e s e e what ,

an imm e ns e pr e pond e ranc e of str e ngth th e re was o n t he sid e o f


t he J apan e s e T he rough e st m od e o f comparison is to compar e
.

t he displac e m e n t o f t he ships composing t he squadro ns or ,

1
I
uld r m m d t h w h d i r t g i t th ub tl ti f t hi q u t i t r f r
wo ec o en ose o es e o o n o e s e es o s es on o e e

t th
o x ll t a t i l
e e ce th ubj t by t h xp rt V Afa a i i t d i t h V K A M
en r c es on e s ec e e e . n s ev , nser e n e . . . .

H a db k ( d 9 4 pp 4 8
n oo eI w uld ly m t i t h at hi t rm i l gy g d i t i
. 1 0 , . 1 o on en on s e no o , e. . e n on

of w a S p d i d i ff r t
r ee H al ul a i
, s a e f u r i mparably m r d tai l d but
en . is c c t ons re, o co s e, n co o e e e ,

th y e qm rert ai d ata w hi h t i d i f ul t t b tai


re c e n c i s c o o n.
F I R ST -
C AS S
L C R U I SE R R U R I K

F I R ST C L A SS
-
C R U I SE R
R O S S I A

l I R S T C L A SS
-
C R UI SE R A U R O R A
SO M E F A L L A C I E S O F C O M PA R I S O N 29

S imply t o asc e rtai n by add iti on t he combi n e d w e ights S uch a .

calculatio n would S h ow the J apan e s e t o hav e b e e n 1 4 8 tim e s as

strong as ours e l ve s B ut h e r e n o acco un t is tak e n o f t he parti .

c ul ar val u e o f i n dividual sh ips t he d i ffe r e n c e s i n th e ir artill e ry , ,

armour prot e ctio n sp e e d n u mb e r o f torp e d o tub e s an d abov e , ,


-
, ,

all most r e c e n t improv e m e n ts


, T he m ore m od e rn the c o n .

'

struction t he m or e e ffe ctiv e the m ate r zel F o r i nstanc e t he



.
, ,


N avarin h ad ord i nary st e e l armour whil e t he S is s o i ,

O s l ab

V e liky y a ,
an d four J apan e s e battl e ships a nd two o f ,

th e ir armour e d cru is e rs h ad s te e l arm our t e mp e r e d o n the H arv e y


syst e m T he Russian arm our clads o f the typ e o f the Suvo

-
.

1
rov t he ,
M ikasa a nd t he s i x l arg e Japan e s e armour e d ,

cruis e rs carri e d sid e arm our st e e l t e mp e re d accordi ng t o the -

improv e d Krupp syst e m T he d i ff e r e nc e i s this I f a ny ki nd o f . .

shot at a giv e n distance pi e rc e s through a p l at e o f ordi n ary st e e l


s a t e n i nch e s thick with a plat e o f b e tt e r m at e rial i t might
y
not br e ak through at al l T o n d o ut wh at th ick n e ss o f plat e it .

could br e ak through p e rfe ct e d by the syst e m o f H arv e y o r ,

1
Tim T he f 3 S p t mb r 9 5
es t aoi d a a1 u t ( fre m w hi e h w g i ex t ra ,
t 1) 0 , c on ne n c co n o c e ve e c s

o f th d t ru t i
e esf t hi cl by a d x pl i
on o s vess e re n e os o n .

Th Mik a a w a at a h r ff S a b w h a x p l i
e s s u rr d A d m i ral T o g o w a
nc o o se o en n e os on o cc e . s

no t b ard T h b r k ut at t h ba f t h m ai m a t F l am S p r ad w i t h gr at
on o . e re o e o e se o e n s . es e e

rap id i ty a d au d t h aft r m aga i t bl w u p i l t h a a h u r aft r th u t b r ak w a


, n c se e e z ne o o n ess n n o e e o e s

r t d is r d T h batt l hi p a k i h all w w at r a d it i
s c ov e e . e es q u t ly b li d t h at it w ill
s n n s o e , n s c on s e en e ev e

b p ibl t rai a d r p ai r h
e oss e o T h b at t l hi p
se n S hik i hi m a a d
e A ahi th t rp d
er . e es s s

n s ,

e o e o

gu b at Tat u ta th d t r y r M u ak um a d K a u m i a d th au x ili a y rui r


n o

s ,

e es o e s

r o

n

s ,

n e r c se s

N ipp M aru Taik ku M aru a d R i j u M aru al l


on ,

o t p ar t i t a i t th
,

n o n ,

s en es o ss s e

M ika a ws r w a d t h r w r h a y a u al ti am g t h m fr m t h
'
s o n c e , n e e le e e v c s es on e en o es e vess e s

a w ll a am g t h M ik a a w mpl m t V ar i u j tu r a u r t a t th

s e s on e s s o n co e en . o s c on ec es re c r en s o e

au f th t g rally a p t d at t ibu t i g it t th fu i g f a l t ri w i r
th m
c se o e re, e os ene cce e r n o e s n o n e ec c e.

Th Mik a a w a
e f t h f u r m t p w rful f t h J ap a
s

s on e o b attl h i p h i t re o os o e o e nese es s, er s s e s

b i g th H at u t h Shik i him a a d t h A ahi T h Mik a a w a l aid d w at


e n e

s s e,

e

s ,

n e

s .

e

s

s o n

B arr w i F u r o -
i h- 899 l au h d i th f ll w i g y ar a d m p l t d f a by th m f
ness n 1 , nc e n e o o n e , n co e e or s e e r o

Vi k r Sc e s, a d M ax i m i on s ,
9 W i t h a di p la m t f
n tn 1 a l gt h f 4 5 f t
02 . s ce en o on s , en o 1 ee ,

a d a b am f 7 5 % f t
n e h had a d rau g h t f 7 9
o 5 fee t a ,
d a
s rr i ed t h f ll w i g ar m am t o 2 ee , n c e e o o n en

f ur g u f u rt ty 4 p i g h t 3 p f u r 5 p a d i g h t M ax i m a w ll a

o 12 tw
ns , o een en -
r. , e - r. , o 2 -
r. , n e s, s e s

f u r t rp d t ub
o o e H o- gi f es h r p w r w r u pp li d w i t h t am by t w ty
. er en nes , o o se o e , e e s e s e en

B ll ill b il r a d ga
ve e ev e h a p d f 86 k t
o e s, n Th M i ka a"b r t h ag f
ve er s ee o 1 n o s. e s o e e o

A d m i ral T o go a d w a m m a d d by C ap tai I j i hi w h ub q u tly att m p t d ui id


, n s co n e n c , o s se en e e s c e.

H wa e ff P rt A rt hu W i t h t h t
s o o th i g h t f 8 9 F b ru ary 9 4 w h th r t t rp d
r e ee on e n o -
e , 1 0 , en e s o e o

atta k th R u
c oni a t w a m ad Sh ub q u t ly t k p art i al l th b m b ard m t f
e ss n ee s e. e s se en oo n e o en s o

t h b l ag u r d f rt r
e e e I th a t i
e e f 3 Ju
o a d t h at
ess. f A u g u t t h M i ka a l d th
n e c on o 2 ne n o 10 s e

s

e e

J ap a li
n es e I t h b attl n e. f t h S a f J ap a n f 7 M ay
e 9 5 e h w a t h r t hi p t
o e e o n o 2 ,
1 0 , s e s e s s o

Op en th R u
re on i a t A l t h u g h t h l t t h J apa
e ss n ee t w ill t b
. ri u a o e oss o e n es e ee no e s o se o s s

i t w uld h a o b if p a had t b ve ee n lud d i t m u t b e ce ar ily r ly f l t i


no een c on c e ,
s e n e c es s s e ve e e , s nc e

i t w ill t l c os a m i lli a d a h al f t
c os e o n r p l a h w i t h a m r m d r S hi p a d i th
on n o e ce er o e o e n , n n e

m a t i m th h m g
e n e i ty f t h J apa
e o t m u t u ff r
o en e o e n es e ee s s e .
3 0 TH E B A TT L E O F T H E SEA OF J A PA N
Krupp it would be n e c e ssary i n the rst plac e to m ultiply t he
,

t e n i nch e s by and agai n by


I n d e e d , the more mod e rn t he ship the m or e p e rfe ct t he c o n
struction o f her armour B ut th e r e are s om e tim e s e xtraordinary
.

d e viations from this rul e as wh e n i n t he bui l ding o f a ship t he


,

archit e ct is pursuing a ch im e ra Fo r i nstanc e i n the N avari n



.
,


and Sis s o i V e l iky the e xtr e miti e s o f t he ships w e r e n o t p ro
t e c t e d by armour a syst e m that was long ago pron ounc e d a
,

sourc e o f dang e r T h e s e e xtre miti e s might c e rtai nly be pi e rc e d


.

at the wat e r li n e by shots from m e dium quick ri n g artill e ry


- -

pouring i n a co ntin uous str e am o f proj e ctil e s which would ,

r e n d e r the ship wate r logg e d an d u nmanage abl e



-
.


I n t he Sis s o i V e liky o f late r dat e than t he , N avarin ,

th e r e w e r e fe w e r vul n e rabl e poi nts T he sam e d e fe cts though



.
,

i n a s mall e r d egr ee w e r e ad mitt e d to e xis t i n the O s l ab


, y a ,

n otwithstanding her comparativ e mod e rnity and the thick e st part ,

o f her armour b e lt was s o narrow tha t wh e n s he had tak e n

e v e rything o n board with that pl e ntiful n e ss fo r which o ur ships


are s o r e markabl e s he san k s o d ee ply that he r armour w as
-

subm e rg e d T he arm our m or e ov e r was comparativ e ly thin and


.
, , ,

did n ot cov e r the e xtr e miti e s o f the ship T his is ho w it cam e .

about T he id e a was to mak e this ship som e thing b e tw e e n a


.

battl e ship and an arm our e d cruis e r ;and as was to be e xp e cte d , ,

s he b e cam e n e ith e r o ne n o r t he o th e r ; o n ly u n it e d i n h e rs e lf t he

d e fe cts o f both We may add h e r e by the way that o f the


.
, ,

th irt ee n J apan e s e armour e d v e ss e l s t w o the P udj i and the
Yashima
,

l au nch e d i n the y e ar 1 8 9 6 had n e ith e r o f th e m ,

armour e xt e n ding to t he e xtr e miti e s T he g e n e ral d e fe ct o f all


.

t he ships w e hav e b e e n consid e ri ng with t he e xc e ption o f four



Russian ironclads o f t he Suvorov typ e is that o f b e i ng uh ,


prot e ct e d o r only partially prot e cte d by 3 gu ns ; and it w as
pr e cis e ly i n ord e r to prot e ct th e m that th e ir gu ns w e re plac e d
so l ittl e abov e the wat e r lin e an d co ns e qu e n tly ri ng b e cam e
-
,

di fcult i n rough w e ath e r through the gu n positions g e tting


swamp e d .

M or e ov e r , the m or e m od e rn t he ship , t he b e tt e r are he r


LA RG E A N D S M A L L G U N S 31

artill e ry arrang e m e n ts C on stan t progr e ss i n tha t dir e ctio n has


.

brough t us t o this poi n t : that a v e ss e l c an d e v e lop strong re ,

not only from starboard and port d e l iv e ring what are call e d

broadsid e s
but s traigh t ah e ad an d straigh t ast e rn from
-
,

bows an d st e rn I n th is r e sp e ct the mos t p e rfe c t o f o ur battl e



.

ships app e ar e d t o be t he four o f t he Suvorov typ e


B ut a l l .

our oth e r ships w e r e i n fe rior i n th is to thos e o f the J apa n e s e .

I t is n o w s e e n tha t a l l th e s e qualiti e s som e o f wh ich are v e ry


,

importan t are e n tir e ly l ost sigh t o f wh e n sh ips ar e compar e d i n


,

the mass through th e i r t o n nag e E qually di i c ul t woul d i t b


. e

t o arriv e at any d e n it e j udgm e n t as to the valu e o f gu n p o w e r


by simply coun ti ng the pi e c e s o f th is an d that calibr e .

( I I I ) L A R G E A N D S M A L L G U NS
"
Of the n ew 1 2 gu n s o n e ship wi th a n oth e r had about tw e nty
,

R o z he s tv e n s ky e nj oy e d t he advantag e o f h aving e xtra o n e s four



o ld typ e 1 2 gu ns e igh t ( als o o l d 6 gu ns th e s e making up all t he
-
, )

artil l e ry o f the N avari n T he J apan e s e had n o o l d typ e gu ns
.
-
,

'
but thr e e n e w 1 0 as w e l l as t he 1 2 gu ns T he J apan es e .

had o n board th e ir battl e e e t th irty 8 gu ns o f which o n


-
, ,

R o z he s tv e n s k y s sid e t h e re was n o t o n e
, T he pr e p o n d e ranc e o f
.


the J apa n e s e i n 6 an d 3 gu ns w as e n o rmous Of the form e r .

th ey had 1 0 5 m or e than R o z he s tve n s ky ha d tim e s as many


of t he l att e r e igh ty fou r mor e 1 8 tim e s as ma ny
- .

Of cours e t he gr e at e r the range at which ghting tak e s plac e


, ,

the mor e importan t i s the par t p l ay e d by gu ns o f larg e calibr e .

Th e ir shot b e ing h e avi e r c an k e e p pre cisio n fo r a long e r ti m e


, , ,

and pi e rc e arm our which sh ot o f m e dium ca l ibr e ca n n ot r e ach .

T his w as c l e arly show n i n t he battl e s o f 1 0 an d 1 4 August wh e n ,

"
the part o f big gu n s was play e d by t he 8 gu ns T he J apa n e s e .

did n o t wish t o com e t o clos e rang e an d this th e y had t he ch oic e


,

of doing si nc e th e y had the sup e riori ty i n sp e e d C ons e qu e ntly


, .
,

our sh ips had to ght fo r the gr e at e r part o f t he tim e at a distanc e



of fty t o sixty cabl e s ve to si x m il e s o r 8i to I o v e rsts

,
.

B ut compar e d with gu ns o f m e dium calibr e big gu ns pr e s e n t


, ,

s erious disadvan tag e s I n t he rst plac e th e y are comparativ e ly


.
,
3 2 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
n ot num e rous ; th e r e are usually four gu ns o f larg e calibr e to
thirty to thirty s ix o f m e dium calibr e of which about half are
-
,


6 on e s S e condly th e ir re is m uch sl ow e r Th e r e for e though
.
,
.
,

th e y strik e with mor e pre cisio n the n umb e r o f th e ir hits is ,

i nsign i can t T he shot o f the m e diu m artill e ry is d ischarg e d i n


.

such quan titi e s thanks to its rapi d ri ng ( e g whil e a 1 2 gu n


. .


r e s only o n e shot t he 8 gu n re s four t he 6 gu n from e igh t to
, ,


tw e lv e and t he 3 from sixt e e n to tw e nty ) a nd to th e ir gr e at e r
,

n umb e r that th e y lit e rally s e n d forth show e rs o f sh e l ls which , ,

how e v e r fall som e what at ran dom and o n striking the


, , ,

arm our e d parts o f a v e ss e l d o n o t p e n e trat e B ut som e ships ,


.
,

O s l ab

e sp e cially t he Russian y a S i s s o i V e liky and N ava , ,


rin w e r e i n many plac e s n ot prot e ct e d at all and th us damage
, ,

was i nict e d o n th e m F o r e xampl e i t was by such ri ng that


.
,

Admiral Wi tho eft was kill e d a n e v e n t which had a fatal i nu e nc e ,

o n t he issu e o f t he August battl e .

At short range t he sup e riori ty o f the big gu ns ov e r the smal l


o n e s disapp e ars T he light gu ns can n ow r e ach th e ir mark as
.

w e ll as the big on e s th e ir capacity for pi e rcing armour how e v e r , ,

r e main s o f cours e l e ss but is still v e ry consid e rabl e i e i ncr e as e s


, . .

n ot o nly absolut e ly but r e lativ e ly a nd t he advantag e d e riv e d ,

from th e ir g r e at e r nu mb e rs an d gr e at e r rapidity i n ri ng still



r e mai ns T he 1 2 gu n nds its m ost s e rious O ppon e n t i n t he
.


8 gun with which all t he J apan e s e cruis e rs w e r e suppl i e d j ust
, ,

as th e ir battl e ships w e r e suppl i e d with big gu ns i n pairs pl ac e d , ,

i n two turr e ts o n t he for e castl e a n d quart e r d e ck s o th at th e y -


,

could re from both e nds 1


T he foll owing tabl e s show that th e y .

play an importan t part e v e n i n battl e s fought at l ong distanc e s

v e r s ts .

2 1 1
49
1 8 8 76
1 79 10 6
1 1
4
'

59 3 n ot pi e rc e d

2
9

3 9 2 I not pi e rc e d n o t pi e rc e d

4 s

I

5 I

04 not pi e rc e d n o t pi e rc e d no t pi e rc e d

1
Al l t h es e fac t s a b uto o ur R u i a N a al A t ill ry a
ss n v r e re we ll k n ow n.
R E L A T I V E ST R E N G T H 33

We will ho w
far t he 8 gun c an carry an d what it is abl e
s ee ,

to pi e rc e I t r e pr e s e nts the late st d e v e l opm e n t i n a class o f


.

we apon d e sti n e d t o play a n i mportan t rOl e i n l ong range battl e s -


.


Of cours e i t has l e ss p e n e trativ e pow e r than e ith e r t he 1 2 o r 1 0
,

gun That pow e r h ow e v e r d e cl in e s v e ry gradual ly from the


.
, ,


12 an d 1 0 t o t he 8 gu n ; wh e r e as the d e cl i n e wh e n o n e pass e s ,


from the 8 t o the 6 gu n is v e ry con sid e rabl e , B e sid e s as the .
,

calibr e o f t he gu n dim i nish e s the pr o p e llan t p o w e r o f t he ch arg e


i ncr e as e s I n o ur Russian N aval Artil l e ry t he charg e o f the
.


1 2 gu n co n tai n s 1 p er c e nt o f i ts o w n w e igh t i n e xp l osiv e matt e r
.
,

i e abou t 8 l b whil e a charg e o f t he sam e ki nd for t he 8 gu n



.
. .
,

would c ontai n i n e xpl osiv e m att e r 1 7 p e r c e nt o f its o w n w e ight .


,


i e abou t 3 7 lb
. . a nd si nc e t he 8 gu n i n t he sam e spac e o f tim e
.
, ,


proj e cts from thr e e t o four ti m e s as m any missil e s as t he 1 2 gun ,

it would re i n t o a v e ss e l fro m 1 1 t o 1 5 lb o f e xp l osiv e s to the .

.

8 lb o f t he 1 2 gu n This gur e how e v e r m ust be corre spo n d
.
, ,

i n gl y r e duc e d as th e r e would b

, e parts o f t he e n e my s v e ss e l


which a 1 2 gu n cou l d p e n e trat e but at a c e rtai n d istan c e n o t
'

, , ,


t he 8 gu n I n a ny cas e th e s e gu ns r e pre s e nt gr e a t striking
.
,

forc e an d T o g o had o n board his batt l e ships thir t y such gu n s


, ,

whi l e R o z he s tv e n s ky had n o t o n e .

( I V ) R E L A T IV E S T R E NG T H
I t s ee ms to m e that al l the for e goi ng co nsid e ratio ns d isti nct l y
prov e that to compar e v e ss e ls by th e ir displac e m e n t is a v e ry
crud e m e thod a nd o n e go e s astray i n att e mpti ng to balanc e al l
,


th e ir qual iti e s That is why I h av e tri e d t o e stimat e th e m by
.


what is call e d th e ir battl e str e ngth which agai n is far from -
,

b e ing the e xac t m e asure o f th e i r str e ngth T o s um up all i ts .

e l e m e nts would b e t o o complicat e d ; but som e o f th e s e may b e

i nd icat e d t he quan tity an d syst e m o f armour plati ng rapidity


-
,

of ri ng sp e e d o f v e ss e l an d s o o n A S to j udgi ng e e ts by
, .
,

th e ir to n n ag e o r displac e m e n t Togo s e e t was said to be



,

tim e s as gr e at as that o f R o z he s tv e n s k y i e b e for e N i e bo g ato v . .

j oi n e d him B ut o n e xami n ing t he matt e r i n d e tai l I fou n d that


.

t he sup e riority o f t he J apan e s e i n to n nag e was far gr e at e r .

D
34 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
Compari ng the adv e rsari e s by th e ir military co e fci e n ts T o g o ,

was 1 8 1 tim e s strong e r than R o z hes tv e n s k y This plainly .

shows how t e rribly i n n ee d o f battl e ships R o zhes tve n s k y w as ,


a nd the importanc e attach e d to h is j u nctio n with N iebo g at o v .


A comparison of Togo s battl eships with the u nit e d warships
of R o z he s tv e n s ky and N i e bo g ato v ough t p e rhaps to hav e s e t
our mi nds at r est I t c e rtai nly app e ar e d that T o g o w as o nly

.


I 2 strong e r

, and without t he Yashima n ot mor e than


strong e r But wh e n t he t e st of military co e fci e nts was appl i e d
.

the str e ngth of t he Russian combi n e d e e t b e cam e much l e ss .

T o g o is sh own to be tim e s strong e r than ours e lv e s o r 1 3 7


tim e s without the Yashima
. Le t us consid e r which o f the
di ffe r e n t co nclusions is t he more probabl e .

N ie b

o g ato v brought R o z he s tv e n s k e l e v e n n e w 10 gu ns ; a
y
contributio n of gr eat importanc e This m ad e the h e avy
.

artill e ry o f his e e t n e arly 1 7 mor e pow e rful than that o f the



J apan e s e admitti ng o f cours e that the I O gu ns w e r e e qual to

, ,

1 2 guns Without coun ting t he Yash ima it mad e his h e avy


.

artill e ry twic e as pow e rful as that o f t he e n e my B ut the r e st o f .

N ieb

og at o v s artill e ry was i nsign i

can t : tw e lv e 4 7 gu ns o n

board four v e ss e ls ; an d the gu n s o f the I mp e rator N ikolai I ,

which w e re all o l d T he pri ncipal w e akn e ss o f Admiral


.

N ieb

o g at o v s ships how e v e r lay i n th e ir armour I n all the

, , .

battl e ships the armour was of ordi nary st e e l e xc e pt t he Admiral ,



A p rax i n, which had H arv ey e d arm our T he gun s of m e dium
.

calibr e i n all four v e ss e ls w e re without prot e ctio n T he armour



.

o n t he hull o f t he
I mp e rator Nikolai I was satisfactory ,

e xt e ndi ng from prow to st e rn On board t he oth e r thr e e t he


.

armour was mor e than w e ak Th e r e for e at a long rang e al l


.
,

th e s e thre e battl e ships might s e riously su ffe r from the re of


m e dium cal ibr e artill e ry
-
Fi nally compar e d to t he Japan e s e
.
, ,

th e ir sp ee d was e xtr e m e ly mod e rat e ; so that wh e n e v e r the ,


J apan e s e might wish to approach th e m R o z he s t ve n s ky s ,

sup e riority through his h e avy gu ns would be gr e atly dimi n ish e d .

Also t he I mp e rator Nikolai I s O bsol e t e artill e ry would a ffe ct


matt e rs consid e rably . To this m ust be add e d that t he thr e e


R E L A T I V E ST R E N G T H 35

arm our e d coast d e fe nc e v e ss e ls i n cons e qu e nc e o f th e ir s mal l


-
,

siz e w e r e u nsuit e d to t he op e n s ea
,
I n battl e this would be
.

e vin c e d i n a mark e d man n e r a n d also i n rough w e ath e r


,
Whil e .

all the oth e r ships woul d be fr e e ly usi ng th e ir artill e ry t he actio n


of th e s e s mall v e ss e ls would be imp e d e d by th e ir gu n positio ns
g e tting ful l o f wat e r t he accuracy o f th e ir ri ng b e ing a ffe ct e d ,

mor e ov e r by the h e av e o f t he s e a Fi n e w e ath e r o n a day o f


,
.

battl e c an n ot o f cours e be cou nt e d o n ; bu t i n cons e qu e nc e o f


, ,

th e ir h igh e r sp e e d t he J apa n e s e could e n t e r i n to o r r e tir e from


,

battl e i nd e p e n d e ntly o f w e ath e r j ust as it suit e d th e m


, .

T he g e n e ra l sup e riority o f all t he J apan e s e arm our e d v e ss e ls


ov e r ours n o t y e t m e ntio n e d was d ue to th e ir b e tt e r s e aw o rt hi
, ,

n e ss and small e r susc e ptibility t o rolling .

C e rtai nly I o nc e mo re r e p e at all th e s e d e tails can n ot be put


, ,

forward as sh owi ng comp l e t e ly t he sum o f t he m il itary c o


e i c i e n ts B ut the m ost importa nt on e s stan d o ut a nd to this
.
,

mod e o f compariso n I giv e the pr e fe r e nc e Th os e n o t co nt e n t .

with my m e thod may be r e com m e nd e d t o try a noth e r All .

faciliti e s for this are giv e n i n t he tabl e s I hav e drawn u p .

I n addition to h is s quadro n o f arm our e d cruis e rs Ad miral


N ie b o g at o v brough t o n e w e ak cruis e r t he Vladim ir M on o ,
,

makh . Th e r e woul d be n o us e th e r e for e i n c omparing o ur


, ,

cruis e rs i ndividually with th os e of J apan e v e n aft e r the j un ction ,

of N ie bo g ato v with R o z he s tv e n s k y T he inu e n c e o f th e s e .

squadrons o n t he ge n e ral r e sul t o f the ghti ng would be i n s ig n i


cant B ut i n the pr e limi nary stag e s th e y migh t hav e play e d an
.

importan t part as scouts ; also i n accompanying a nd aidi ng


attacks o f the torp e d o v e ss e ls upo n which fe l l t he d uty of
,

e nd e avouri ng to w e ak e n t he e n e my by harassing O p e ration s

b efor e the d e v e l opm e n t o f the g e n e ral actio n .

I n ord e r to r e puls e the J apan e s e squadrons a n d to a nticipat e


th e ir attacks the Russian Admiral ought to hav e s e n t o ut his
,

cruis e rs wh ich to be succ e ssful ough t to hav e poss e ss e d


, , ,

su fci e n t str e ngth to driv e back t he i n truding e n e my N ot o nly .

should th e y hav e poss e ss e d gr e at e r str e ngth bu t also gre at e r ,

sp e ed as i n cons e qu e nc e of t he sup e riority o f th e ir torp e do ee t


,
36 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
an d the b e tt e r i nformation that r e ach e d th e m t he J apan e s e w e r e ,

sur e to tak e t he i n itiativ e R o z hes tv e n s ky ough t to hav e had a


.

gr e at e r n umb e r of cruis e rs si nc e i t was i mpossibl e for him to


,

divi n e wh e nc e t he e n e my s attack would be d e liv e r e d U n fo r tu



.

mat e ly t he sup e riority i n cruis e rs was altog e th e r o n t he sid e o f


,

t he J apan e s e Against our four cruis e rs o f t he rst and s e cond


.

class th e y had s e v e n of the s e co n d class Agai ns t o ur thr ee .

third class cruis e rs th e y had e ight and thr e e d e spatch v e ss e ls


-
,
-

a g ainst our o n e T o this it m ust be add e d that the work o f t he


.

scouting s e rvic e was much aid e d by torp e do craft i n which the ,

J apan e s e had a crushing pr e pond e ra nc e O n board t he J apan e s e .


cruis e rs th e r e w e r e 8 guns whil e w e poss e ss e d no n e ; and the
,


di ffe r e nc e b e tw e e n t he 6 gu ns o f t he Russian cruis e rs and

t he 4 7 guns o f t he J apan e s e was n o t s o gr e at i n battl e
b e tw e e n S h ips u nprot e ct e d with armour ( Se e tabl e s o f e xtr e m e
.

distanc e an d p e n e trativ e pow e r o f gu ns o f di ffe r e nt cal ibr e ,

page
T he
Ol e g was strong e r than t he T s hi t o s e
an d the

Takasago O wi ng to part o f he r artill e ry b e ing prot e ct e d by

,


strong e r shi e lds B ut i n the Aurora
. th e r e was n o such
sup e riority and he r sp e e d was infe rior to that of t he Japan e s e
,

cruis e rs T he e mpl oym e nt of Japan e s e armour e d cruis e rs for


.

scouti ng purpos e s was always v e ry possibl e si nc e i n approach ,

i ng our mai n forc e i n small n umb e rs an d e v e n si ngly th e y , ,

e x pos e d th e ms e lv e s to no gr e a t risk e sp e cially i n t he daytim e


,
.

T he Russians had n o such cruis e rs with which to driv e th e m O ff

an d from the battl e ships th e y could e asily e scap e than ks to th e ir ,

sup e rior sp e e d

.

Our cruis e rs Z he m ts hug and I zumrud had e xc e ll e n t


sp e e d which might h av e prov e d of gr e at us e in pursuing the
,


e n e my s torp e do craft But if t he latt e r w e r e cov e r e d by any o n e
.

of th e ir third class cruis e rs th e n our cruis e rs would hav e had


-
,

to m e e t th e m o n e against o n e with m uch strong e r artill e ry o n


, ,

t he e n e my s sid e

I t was pr e cis e ly i n such circumstanc e s that

.


t he

N ovik ( of the sam e typ e as t he Z he m ts hug an d t he
I zumrud p e rish e d ghti ng against a cruis e r of the typ e of
,
V L A D I VOST O K S Q U A D RO N 37

t he

Tsush ima , wh os e artill e ry armam e n t was n e arly twic e as
strong as h e rs .

I n com pari ng o ur cruis e r squadro n with that o f t he J apan e s e


e stimati ng t he displac e m e n t a nd t he str e ngth o f t he artill e ry
( by )
it is s e e n that i n t he rst cas e t he J apan e s e w e r e 1 6 tim e s

strong e r ; whil e i n t he numb e r o f o ur 6 and 3 gu ns w e hardly

yi e l d e d to th e m at all B ut th e y had s e v e n 8 gu ns o f which w e
.
,

had n o t o n e ; an d as to the n umb e r o f 4 7 gu n s th e y had 5 6


tim e s as many as t he Russia ns I n l ik e man n e r th e y carri e d o n
.

board th ei r cruis e rs n e arly thr e e tim e s as many torp e do tub e s as -

w e had i n ours .

( V ) V L A D IV OS T O K S QUA D R O N
T he ch anc e s o f Admiral R o z he s tv e n s k y would hav e b e e n
consid e rably i ncre as e d c ould he hav e add e d to his e e t the
Vladivostok squadro n T he G ro m o bo i and the
.
Rossia
would th e n h av e form e d part o f his armour e d s quadron an d t he ,


Bogatyr o f h is cruis e r squadron i n wh ich the latt e r would
,

hav e mad e with t he
,
Ol eg a spl e n did pair
,
B ut w e ought .

not to conc e al from ours e lv e s t he di fculty o f such a u n ion T o .

e ffe ct aj u nctio n i t would hav e b e e n n e c e ssary to appoi n t a s e cr e t

r e nd e zvous b e for e hand a n d to main tai n its s e cr e cy wh ich woul d


, ,

hav e b ee n r e n d e r e d v e ry di fcul t by t he fr ee dom with which


for e ign t e l e graphic li n e s w e r e us e d M or e ov e r as soo n as the
.
,

Vladivostok squadro n cam e o ut R o z he s tv e n s ky woul d hav e fou nd


,

it al most impossibl e to l e t Adm iral J e ss e n k n ow of any chang e s


mad e s o that i t wou l d h av e b e e n di fcul t fo r the latt e r to n d a
,

r e nd e zvous for his squadro n T he d i . i c ul ty of forming a j unction


wou l d hav e b ee n incr e as e d by t he fact th at Admiral J e ss e n woul d
hav e had to pass the J apan e s e squadro n which lay b e tw ee n h im
an d Adm iral R o z he s tv e n s ky H e would hav e i ncurre d t he
.

s e rious risk o f falling upo n an im m e ns e ly strong forc e b e i ng cu t ,

Off from V l adivostok ,


an d b e i ng an n ihilat e d N or m ust w e
.

e xagg e rat e t he importan c e o f a j u nctio n of R o z he s t v e n s k with


y
the Vladivostok cruis e rs O n board the
. Rossia n ot a si ngl e
gu n w as prot e ct e d by armour a nd s he was infe rior as r egards
, ,
38 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
prot e ction to e v e ry o n e of the e ight J apan e s e cruis e rs T he

.
,

Gro m o b

oi i n this was m uch sup e rior ; though e v e n i n he r
, ,


th e r e r e main e d unprot e ct e d two 8 an d four 6 gu ns B e sid e s

.
,

o n board t he Rossia as i n t he G ro m o bo i t he 8 guns


,

,

could o nly re o n the broadsid e wh e r e as o n board al l the,

J apan e s e armour e d cruis e rs th e s e gu ns w e r e plac e d i n turr e ts ,

i e th e y w e r e prot e ct e d and could re in diffe r e n t dir e ctions ;


. .

whil e o nly a fe w poss e ss e d 6 gu ns i nsu fci e ntly prot e ct e d



.

Fi nally t he prot e ction for t he hul l i n t he J apan e s e cruis e rs was


,

much b e tt e r and agai n on board o ur cruis e rs t he armour b e lt


, ,

was m uch n arrow e r and did not e xt e nd to the e xtr e miti e s o f the
ship .

( VI ) S U M M A R Y O F C O M P A R I SONS
P assi ng to the g e n e ral comparison of t he total str e ngth o f
which w e an d t he J apan e s e could dispos e i n t he th e atr e o f war ,

w e s e e that as r e gards displac e m e nt t he sup e riority o f t he

J apan e s e was i n s ig n i c an t o nly 6 74 9 to ns r e pr e s e nti ng o n e


v e ss e l o f m e dium siz e wh il e if w e r egard e d t he Yashima as
d e stroy e d th e n the sup e riority to t he sam e n umb e r o f tons pass e s
, , ,

ov e r to our sid e We might also hav e foun d consolatio n i n t he


.

fact that w e had a gre at e r n umb e r o f big g uns tim e s mor e


"
i f w e cou nt 1 0 guns as e qual to 1 2 gu ns ) B ut n othi ng e ls e .

was i n o ur favour .

T he J apan e s e had i n 8 gu ns 4 6 tim e s as many as t he


" "
Russians ; i n 6 gu ns tim e s as many ; i n 4 7 gu ns thr e e
tim e s as m any ; an d i n 3 gu ns tim e s as many O n th e ir .

sid e was t he advan tag e i n sp ee d a nd co ns e qu e nt choic e o f rang e


i n batt l e and t he possibl e O pportu nity o f turn ing to good account
,

th e i r m e dium artill e ry Th e ir ships in g e n e ral w e r e b e tt e r


.

armour e d n e w e r and mor e num e rous Th ey w e r e con c e ntrat e d


, , .
,

wh e r e as t he Vladivostok squadro n was s e parat e d from R o z he s t


vens k
y by an e n ormous distanc e T o r e cko n o n t he possibility
.

of t he J apan e s e d e tachi ng a mat e rial portion o f th e ir forc e to


watch t he Vladivostok squadro n was o ut o f t he qu e stio n From .

a r e con naissanc e by o ur torp e do craft it app e ar e d that t he


J apan es e w e r e n ot troubling th e ms e l v e s with Vladivostok at all .
SO M E A RT I L LE RY R E FO R M S 39

Th e y conc e ntrat e d al l th e ir forc e s i n vi e w o f battl e with R o z he s t


v e n s ky Th e ir d e stroy e r an d torp e do o till as had an imm e ns e
.

sup e riority o ve r ours ; th e ir positio ns w e r e w e l l prot e ct e d by


a lin e o f oati ng mi n e s which R o z he s tv e n s ky did n ot poss e ss
,

at all .

( VI I ) S O M E A R T I L L E R Y R E F O R M S A N D T Y P E S O F GUN
W I T H T A B LE
I n compari ng o ur n ava l artill e ry with tha t o f the J apan e s e
we hav e had occasio n to sp e ak o f t he gu ns as N

n ew an d
Ol d as t o which i t m ust be u n d e rstood the latt e r can not i n
, ,

any d e gr e e be compar e d with t he form e r .E v e ry o n e w ho is


i nt e r e st e d i n th is qu e stio n an d looks i n t o som e Y e ar B ook i n

ord e r t o s e e what th e s e O ld a nd n e w gun s are will n d

that th e r e i s n o di ffe re nc e b e tw e e n th e m as r e gards cal ibr e .


T h ey are all 1 2 o r 6 gu ns T he only di ffe re nc e appare ntly
.
, ,

is i n t he l e ngth o f t he gun That is usual ly m e asur e d by


.

ca l ibr s the e quiva l e n t i n i nch e s o f diam e t e rs o f t he tub e I n



e .


the R e gist e r o n e wil l s e e the gu ns o f t he Navari n put

down as 3 5 calibr e s lo ng T he l e ngth o f t he o ld 1 2 gu n o n
.

board the I mp e rat o r N ikolai I was o nly 3 0 ca l ibr e s I n all .

the J apan e s e ships t he maj ority o f t he gu n s w e r e 40 ca l ibr e s i n

,

l e ngth and w e r e cal l e d n e w . I n the Russian ships o nly the
"
1 2 gun s w e r e o f 40 calibr e s i n l e ngth the oth e rs b e i ng o f 4 5 ;
,


whil e the 3 pi e c e s w e r e as m uch as 5 0 calibr e s an d also d e scrib e d

as n e w but th e y w e r e n o t the n e w e st typ e T h e r e was n o
.


di ffe re nc e b e tw e e n th e s e and t he J apan e s e guns M e anwh il e

.
,

the n ew J apan e s e gun s d i ffe r e d i n l e ngth from t he o ld
Russian o n e s by 5 calibre s though t he maj ority o f t he n e w
,

Russia n gu ns w e r e sup e rior t o t he n e w J apan e s e gu ns Th is .

appare ntly co n tradictory stat e m e nt n e e ds e xplanation I t is .

this : that from t he rst i ntrod uctio n o f ri e d can n on i n ord e r ,

t o e nsur e high e r v e l ocity to t he proj e cti l e t he l e ngth o f the gu n


,

w as conti n uously i ncr e as e d . O n ri ng wh il e t he missil e was


,

passing down the barr e l to t he m uzz l e o f the gu n a larg e r ,

quantity o f powd e r had tim e to be ign it e d t he charge also ,


40 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
acting mor e sl owly and l e ss d e structiv e ly upo n the gu n Con .

s e qu e ntly with t he sam e str e ngth o f mat e rial it was foun d


,

possibl e for t he gu n to be m ad e re lativ e ly light e r From 1 7 .

calibr e s at rst its l e ngth has r e ach e d 5 0 cal ibr e s M e anwhil e


,
.
,

progr e ss was b e i ng mad e i n oth e r dir e ctions Rapidity of ring .

had b e com e t he mai n obj e ct an d all kin ds o f e xp e rim e n ts w e r e


,

mad e in facilitati ng and simplifyi ng t he ring o f gu ns i n r e gard


to loadi ng aiming and the supply of am mun ition Smok e l e ss
, ,
.

powd e r was e xp e rim e n t e d afte r b e caus e th ick smok e i nt e rfe r e d


,

with rapid ri ng by obscuri ng the targ e t and so on Thus , .


,

at t he b egin ning o f 1 8 90 i n Russia ( an d s e v e ral y e ars e arli e r


abroad ) aft e r t he tim e wh e n t he h e avy gu n had r e ach e d 3 5
,

calibr e s naval artill e ry sudd e nly mad e a strid e forward i n all t he


,

di ffe r e n t dir e ctions spok e n of Smok e l e ss powd e r was i nv e nt e d


.
,

t he quality of gun m e tal consid e rably improv e d


-
r e nd e ri ng it ,

possibl e to light e n the gu n consid e rably ; and m e an s w e r e also


discov e r e d to incre as e i n a gr e at d e gr e e rapidity o f ring H igh .

e xplosiv e s w e r e us e d i n ammunition a nd t he gun s also w e re ,

l e ngth e n e d up to 40 an d 4 5 calibr e s .

For instanc e the 1 2 gun of t he l e ngth of 3 0 cal ibr e s


,

I mp e rator Nikolai with an i n itial v e locity o f 1 8 70 ft p e r .

s econd w e igh e d 3 1 40 p oorl y } With the l e ngth e n ing o f this


,

gu n to 3 5 calibr e s ( N avari n
its w e ight i ncr e as e d to 343 3
p e arl s a nd its in itial v e l ocity to 2 0 9 0 fe e t p e r s e cond
,
From t he .

y e ar 1 8 94 our ships b e ga n to be arm e d with the 1 2 gu n 4 0


,

cal ibr e s i n l e ngth wh e n the i nitial v e l ocity i ncr e as e d to 2 600


,

fe e t p e r s e cond the w e igh t of the gu n b e i ng dimi n ish e d to 2 6 1 4


,

p oods . T he proj e ctil e s us e d i n all th e s e gu ns w e r e o f t he sam e



w e ight 8 1 0 lb At that tim e t he 6 guns 3 5 calibr e s i n l e ngth

.
, ,

I mp e rator N ikolai I and ring



with smok e givi ng o r black powd e r w e igh e d 3 90 p e arls had
-
,

, ,

an initial v e locity of 2 1 1 7 fe e t p e r s e co nd a nd r e quir e d b e twe e n ,



e v e ry shot 1 to m i n ut s i n t e rval Th e s e gun s w e r e h e avy
5 2
e .


and slow to handl e A similar gu n of 4 5 calibr e s l e ngth r e s
.

with smok e l ess powd e r We ighs 3 5 5 p oods its sh ot w e ighs


, ,

A p d 3 lb 1
oo ! 2 .
S O M E A RT I L L E RY R E FO R M S 4 1

101 lb ;
it has a n i nitial v e l ocity o f 2 600 fe e t p e r s e con d
.
,

can be trai n e d e asily i n all d ir e ctio ns and ri ng with gr e at , ,

rapidity can d ischarg e from two to four shots i n a mi n ut e


,
.

I t was pr e cis e ly at this p e riod o f gr e at chang e s that the


Japan e s e b ega n to build th e ir e e t an d th e y e ag e rly adopt e d
,

e v e rything th at was n e w a nd p e rfe ct e d s o that all th e ir ships


,

w e r e arm e d with mod e rn quick ri n g artill e ry Also i n som e


-
.
,

of thos e built e arli e r the O l d artill e ry was sp e e dily re plac e d by


,

n ew This accou nts for th e ir havi ng n o O ld gu ns We i n this


. .
,

r e sp e ct w e r e much b e hi n d th e m Th ough w e b e ga n to mou n t


,
.

n e w guns i n o ur ships i n 1 8 94 at t he b e gi n n ing o f the war


,

( )

i
. e t.e n y e ars aft e rwards th e r e w e r e o nly t w o ships an d th os e ,

of n o sp e cia l military val u e t he Vladi mir M o n o m ak h


and
D mitri D o n s k o i o n board which th e y had b e gu n to
chang e the artil l e ry wh il e i n t he who l e group o f arm our clads
,
-
,

n e w e r than t he t w o cruis e rs j ust m e n tion e d the gu n s w e r e o f


t he o l d typ e (

,


I mp e rator N ikolai I I mp e rator Al e xand e r
II
N avari n v e Black S e a battl e ships
,

N ak hi m o v

, , , ,

P am i at Azova With this O bsol e t e artil l e ry



an d

,


thr e e o f the S hips ( I mp e rator N ikolai I N avari n an d
, ,

N ak hi m o v start e d fo r t he th e atr e o f war .

All t he gr e at improv e m e n ts o f wh ich I hav e spok e n in c o n


n e x i o n with artill e ry r e forms had b e e n adopt e d by t he J apan e s e .

Th e ir rapidity O f ri ng was as gr e at as ours an d t he i n itial ,

v e locity o f th e ir gu ns was d e p e nd e nt n ot o nly o n th e ir l e ngth


, ,

but also o n the quality o f t he powd e r an d the siz e of t he charg e .

T he small e r l e ngth o f gu n carri e s l e ss w e igh t an d allows mor e


artill e ry to be m oun t e d For i nstanc e i n t he G e rman e e t th e y
.
,


adh e r e i n the most p e rsist e n t man n e r t o t he 6 gun ( with a l e ngth
o f 4 0 calibr e s
) an d t o a gu n ( wh ich till quit e lat e ly
,
had ,

a l e ngth o f only 3 0 cal ibr e s th ough n o w th e s e guns h av e b e e n


,

a littl e l e ngth e n e d but o n ly to 3 5 calibr e s wh e r e as o ur 3 gu n s


,

,


had a l e ngth o f 5 0 calibr e s ) Such comparativ e ly short 6 an d
.

3 ? guns hav e b e e n plac e d by t he G e rmans o n board som e o f


th e ir n e w e st battl e ships whil e fo r th os e th e y are proposi ng to
,

build th e y hav e ord e r e d n e w gun s of but o nly 4 0 calibr e s


42 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
long ( R e gist e r of t he Grand D uk e A l e xand e r M ik hail o v i tc h
. ,


p . M e anwhil e i n Krupp s factori e s gu ns are b e ing con
,


struct e d of 5 0 calibr e s l e ngth .

I n co n n e xion with th is the followi ng gur e s may be consult e d


, ,


showi ng t he di ffe r e n t typ e s o f 6 gun s O n e of th e s e d is .
,

t i n g ui s he d by l e ngth had cou nt e rparts i n t he e e ts o f R o z he s t


,

e gist e r o f t he Grand D uk e Al e xand e r


v e n s k y and Togo ( R .

M i k hail o v i tc h pp 1 1 8 1 5 4
,
.
,

2 600
'

45 101 33 3 1 s
8 2 67 9
40 1 2 43 2
9 15
1 2 38 2 753
4 34 31
50 ( T2 5 1 2 43 8 3 9 33 2927

40 3 0 18
C an at ( F r e n c h ) 45

5 90 3 1 66
50 33 41

A rm t ro
s ng
( E n g lis h ) I I I
'
O 2
535

E nglish pou nds are r e duc e d t o Russian .

T he gr e at i n itial v e l ocity which som e guns giv e wh e n h e avily


charg e d and also fail to giv e with charg e s o f t he sam e w e ight
, ,

may be e xplain e d by the di ffe r e nt qualiti e s o f powd e r e mpl oy e d .

T he E ngl ish us e a most pow e rful powd e r wh ich h ow e v e r has , , ,

v e ry d e structiv e e ffe cts o n t he gu n ; and the J apan e s e s e e m


to hav e us e d similar powd e r For t he accuracy o f t he gur e s .

giv e n i n my tabl e I can n ot of cours e vouch e xc e pt as r egards the ,


Russian 6 gun s Still th e y show that a gun o f 40 calibr e s i n
.
,

l e ngth n e e d n o t be i nfe rior to a l onge r gun .

To this i t must be add e d that t he J apan e s e guns act e d


e fci e ntly i n t he battl e s o f 1 0 and 1 4 August at t he gr e at e st

rang e as chos e n by the J apan e s e th e ms e lv e s a nd the inu e nc e


,

o f t he gr e at i nitial v e locity which s e e ms to be a co ns e qu e nc e of

t he l e ngth e ning of the gu n points e eter zs p ar zb


' '

us to the ad van , ,

tag e o f l ong d istanc e s .


D E F E CTS OF AM M U N ITI O N A ND GUNS 43

( VI I I ) D E F E C T S O F A M M U N I T I O N AN D G U NS
Am ong t he various d e ci e nci e s i n t he m ater i el o f o ur e e t
poi n t e d o ut i n t he P r e ss att e n tio n has b ee n dire ct e d to t he bad
,

qual ity a nd i nsu fci e n t quan tity o f o ur amm un itio n ; an d n ot


without r e aso n E sp e cially has o ur e e t su ffe r e d co ntin ually
.

from wan t o f ammu n ition N e w ships hav e b e e n con


.


struct e d an d arm e d wi th the l at e st gu ns but sh e lls for th e s e ,

gun s w e re omitt e d N o h urry for sh e l ls ; th e y can wait !

Things cam e to such a pass that o n o n e occasion w e w e r e


strai n ing ev e ry n e rve to g e t r e ady a squadro n o f ships for
a d e n it e purpos e which for i ts succ e ssful r e alization r e quire d a
sudd e n on slaught E v e rythi ng had t o be r e ady for t he s quadron
.

to sail fully pr e par e d t o ght tw e n ty four hours aft e r r e c e ivi ng


,
-

ord e rs E v e rything was r e ady but fo r about half t he n e c e ssary


.

sh e lls That would be hard to b e at o n e wou l d th i nk


.
,
I t was .

j ust this attitud e t o i ts work i n han d long charact e ristic of ,

the M i n istry o f M ari n e a con t i n ua l u npr e par e d n e ss of the e e t


,

for battl e that l e d to t he S e co nd Squadro n b e i ng i ncompl e t e ly


,

provid e d with am mu n ition wh e n o n t he poi n t of starti ng Th e r e .

was o n board su ffi ci e n t fo r o n e e ngage m e n t an d about 1 5 to ,

20
p e r c e n t i n r e s e rv e
. For o n e ght that was mor e than
.

e nough e sp e cially fo r t he h e avy gu ns probably th e r e wo uld hav e


, ,

b ee n e nough for t wo e ngag e m e nts ; but practic e ri ng was o ut


of the qu e stion For practic e i t is tru e a v e ry l imite d quan tity
.
, ,


of sh e lls had b e e n provid e d but o n l y for the 3 guns s o that it
, ,

was impossib l e t o practis e with al l the gu ns a nd mor e ov e r , , ,

owing to t he l imit e d rang e of th e s e s mal l gu n s practic e ri n g ,


-

at long ra nge (j us t what was most n e c e ssary ) could n ot be


carri e d o ut .

As for t he qua l ity of o ur ammun ition i n t he manufactur e ,

of sh e lls w e S how a m ark e d div e rge nc e from t he practic e of


oth e r cou ntri e s I n o ur sh e lls the quantity o f e xplosiv e us e d is
.

far small e r than e l s e whe r e Sh e l ls e mploy e d i n n aval warfar e


.

are of two kinds armour pi e rci ng and m e r e ly e xplosiv e di ffe r


-
,
44 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A OF J A PA N
ing i n t he quantity o f e xpl osiv e us e d T he sh e ll contain i ng .

most e xplosiv e has th in n e r wall s and e xplod e s r e adily o n coming


i n contact with armour plat e O n t he oth e r hand wh e n such a .
,

sh e l l strik e s parts prot e ct e d by thi n arm our o r compl e t e ly


unprot e ct e d it i nicts gr e at e r dam age owi ng to its h e avi e r

, ,

charg e Such a sh e ll is call e d a n o n pi e rci ng o n e T he

- .
.

oth e r is call e d a n armour pi e rci ng S h e ll - .

T he subj oi n e d tabl e shows t he proportio n o f t he quan tity o f


e xplosiv e t o t he total w e igh ts of proj e ctil e i n armour pi e rcing
-

and non pi e rci ng sh e lls o f o ur o w n a nd E ngl ish artill e ry r e sp e ct


-

iv e l y
. I tak e t he E nglish artill e ry as I h av e pr e cis e o ffi cial ,

d ata and t he J apa n e s e e e t b e i ng provid e d with gu ns o f


, ,

E ngl ish patt e rn had probably b e e n suppli e d with am mu n ition


,

from E ngland duri ng t he cours e of t he war


I2 II

A r m o ur A r m o ur
Sh ell p i e rc i g n Non -
p i erci n
g p i e rc i g n N on -
p i e rc i ng

Russian 1 z 2 2

E nglish 5 7
I
Z
'

0 3 2 5

This tabl e cl e arly sh ows that e v e n i n o ur n on pi e rcing sh e l l s -

th e r e is far l e ss e xpl osiv e than i n t he E n glish armour pi e rci ng -

sh e lls As a matt e r of fact w e hav e n o r e a l n o n pi e rcing sh e lls


.
,
-

at all Agai n our S h e lls are charg e d with pyroxyl e n e whil e the
.
, ,

E nglish sh e lls are charg e d with lyddit e ( the sam e as m e l in it e ) ,

with gre at e r e xpl osiv e i nt e n sity I t may be argu e d as a n o ff s e t .

that o ur sh e lls are lik e ly to be b e tt e r for armour pi e rcing than -

t he E nglish on e s but this i n t he cas e of big cal ibr e sh e lls is a


, ,
-
,

disput e d poi n t T he proportion of t he e xplosiv e us e d i n the


.

lling of t he E nglish sh e lls is s o gr e at that apart from t he forc e ,

of impact t he viol e nc e of t he e xplosio n con tribut e s to t he


,

d e structio n o f t he armour M or e ov e r E nglish n aval artill e ry is


.
,

furnish e d with sp e cial sh e lls for pi e rcing t he thick e st plating .

Th e s e S h e lls h av e n o charge an d are u nkn own i n o ur cou ntry ,


.

Lastly i n our e e t cast iro n sh e lls are u nfortu n at e ly still i n us e


, ,
-
, , ,

though totally u n suitabl e for gh ti ng ; and what is still wors e , ,

such sh e lls are supp os e d to form a third of t he whol e stock


D E FE CTS O F A M M U N I T I O N A N D G U N S 45

carri e d by a ship i n tim e o f war ( Se e Y ats i n s . e of



Cours

Naval Gu n n e ry p ,
.


Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky s squadro n carri e d this proportio n of
cast iro n sh e lls N o w accordi ng to E nglish o fcial data ( H a nd
-
.
,

book o n Am mu nitio n issu e d by authority o f the Lords C om


,

missio n e rs o f t he Ad miralty ) all sh e lls o n b oard E nglish m e n o f


,
-

war are o f st e e l I n g e n e ral o ur n aval artill e ry su ffe rs from m any


.
,

d e fe cts an d i n the e e t it is b e l i e v e d that the blam e r e sts e ntir e ly


,

upon t he gu n n e ry d e partm e nt o f t he T e ch nical Com mitt e e T his .

d e partm e nt sh ows a cri mi nal n e glig e nc e i n n ot i n troduci ng i nto


o ur N avy improv e m e nts i n artill e ry which hav e l ong sinc e b e e n

adopt e d i n w e ste rn cou n tri e s .

Why this i s t he cas e I will n o t e xplai n h e re I d e sir e to .

discuss t he qu e s tion o f t e l e scopic sighti ng T e l eS CO p i c sighting .

consists i n usi ng a bi n ocular or t e l e scop e by which t he obj e ctiv e


, ,

c an b e c l e ar l y disti nguish e d T he i mportan c e o f this is e vid e n t


.

wh e n it is n e c e ssary to r e at a d istanc e o f 60 t o 70 cabl e s With .

t he nak e d e y e absolut e ly n oth i ng could b e d istinguish e d at s o

gre at a d istanc e This imp o rtant matt e r was rumin at e d ov e r for


.

an u nh e ard o f p e ri od an d i n a quit e O bj e ctl e ss m an n e r by o ur


-
, ,

u nlucky M i n istry with the r e sult that th e y w e r e o n ly j us t i n


,


tim e to supply Adm ira l R o z he s tv e n s k y s e e t with th e s e sights .

I nd e e d wh e n the war brok e o ut n o t o n e o f o ur ships poss e ss e d


, ,

a t e l e scopic sight I n t he cours e o f co n ve rsatio n wi th gu n n e ry


.

o fc e rs b e longi ng to the ships tha t fought i n the actio n of


1 0 August , 1 9 04 I was i nform e d that owi ng to the wan t of
, ,

te l e S CO p i c sigh ts o n board th e ir ships th e y had t o sh oo t v e ry


,

much at ra n dom I n d e e d s o n e c e ssary w e r e th e s e sigh ts that


.
, ,

th e y had t o be i m p ro v i z e d with t he m e an s at han d Th e y had .

b ee n r e quisitio n e d for P ort Ar thur ti m e s o ut of n u mb e r e v e n ,

b e for e the war but t he d e man d was as a voic e cryi ng i n t he


,

wild e rn e ss Such was the n eglig e n c e display e d i n this m att e r


.

that the turr e ts o f o ur n e w e st iro nclads o f the Suvorov typ e ,

( which ships by t he way had n o t th e n b e e n lau n ch e d ) w e r e


, , ,

not tt e d to tak e t e l e scopic sights an d that to o i n spit e o f t he


, , ,

fact that such sigh ts had alr e ady b ee n i nv e n t e d an d t e st e d s e v e ral


46 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
y e ars pr e viously ! he y w e r e t e st e d i n 1 9 0 1 an d it had virtually
b e e n d ecid e d that such sights w e r e i ndisp e nsabl e i n m od e rn
warfar e .

This fact had b e e n compl e t e ly forgott e n a nd i t w as n ot till


,

aft e r t he e e t l e ft Libau that e fforts w e r e mad e with the aid of,


t he ship s e ngi n e e rs to con struct O p e n in gs i n t he upp e r part
,

of t he turr e ts to suit t e l e scopic sights .

Owing to t he lack of applianc e s o n board this l abour was ,

lik e making bricks wi thout straw Wh e n Vigo was r e ach e d


.
,

thr e e w e e ks aft e r t he e e t l e ft Russia the work was still goi ng o n


, .

Again tak e t he m e thod o f ri ng gu ns o f m e d ium calibr e ;


,

our attitud e i n this qu e stion has b e e n a n d sti l l is n o l es s pitiab l e


, , .

I n o ur N avy a gu n is r e d by pull ing a m e tal la nyard which ,

is liabl e to bre ak an d is co nti n ually coming away T he r e sul t .

is that th e r e is oft e n a d e lay i n the ring ; i n oth e r words the ,

discharge do e s not tak e plac e at the m om e n t wh e n the gu n n e r


r e l e as e s the hamm e r by a j e rk o n the lanyard but som e what ,

l at e r
. T he worst of it is you n e v e r c an t e ll j ust ho w much
,

d e lay th e r e will be Som e tim e s it is l e ss som e ti m e s gre at e r ;


.
,

e v e ry n ow an d th e n t he i nstrum e n t miss e s re altog e th e r Th is .

d e lay i n the discharg e consid e rably impairs the accuracy o f t he


shooting and t he gr e at e r the sp e e d o f t he ship and the gr e at e r
, ,

t he rolli ng t he gr e at e r will b
, e t he e rror caus e d by t he d e lay ,

as the gu n will point e ith e r too low o r too high At a distanc e .

of only forty cabl e s an e rror o f o n e tw e lfth o f a d egr e e in d i re c


-

tion m e an s that the sh e ll would miss a ship and mor e ov e r , ,

during t he rol ling t he v e ss e l shifts its angl e o f i nc l i natio n at


t he rat e o f 2 1 i n a s e co nd I n the battl e o f Tsushima th e r e

.

was j ust this h e avy rolling to co nt e nd against E fforts have


.

for a l ong tim e past b ee n mad e to re by m e ans of e l e ctricity ,

i n ord e r to mi n imiz e d e lay I n t he E nglish e e t such a m e a ns


.

has long b e e n i n us e ; and w e n d it e xpr e ssly m e n tion e d i n


t he O fcial publicatio n I hav e r e fe rre d to abov e Our o w n .

o fc e rs o n board the Rossia who w e r e pr e s e n t at the naval


Q
,

r e vi e w h e ld o n the occasio n of t he J ubil e e of the lat e u e e n


Victoria mad e a r e port o n this applianc e This was y e ars ago
, .
,
E LB A ,
AN D
PA S C A L
DA NC E R S T O A R M O U R E D V E SS E LS 47

and y e t w e still g o o n usi ng t he sam e o l d lanyard which has ,

b e e n con d e m n e d by gu n n e ry o fc e rs i n e v e ry r e port o n gu n n e ry
practic e O n e could poi n t o ut pl e nty mor e o f such thi ngs but
.
,

it would tak e t o o long i n the t e lli ng .

( I X ) D ANG E R S To A R M O U R E D V E SS E L S

T he most dang e rous i nj ury t o a n armour e d v e ss e l i n battl e is


damag e u n d e r wat e r for th is i nvolv e s h e e li ng ov e r to e ith e r sid e
, .

H e r e is t he caus e o f this h e e ling T he i n t e rior o f a ship o f war


.

is divid e d i n t o a n u mb e r o f compartm e nts wh ich pr e s e rve


he r from si n ki ng o utrigh t s o that o nly part is ll e d with wat e r
, .

I n cons e qu e nc e h o w e v e r o f this part b e ing o n the sid e wh e r e


, ,

the i nj ury occurs s he b e gin s t o h ee l ov e r T he v e ss e l o f


,
.
,

cours e can n ot con ti n u e h e e ling t o a n u nlimite d e xte n t ; wh e n


,

it r e ach e s a c e rtai n poi n t s he turns o v e r .

T he capability o r t e nd e ncy o f a v e ss e l t o righ t h e rs e l f wh e n


s he h e e ls is call e d he r s tab i l i ty and it is p l ai n tha t the gr e at e r
,

he r stabil ity t he gr e at e r t he am ou n t o f h e e l ing a ship can


,

susta i n with out capsizi ng I t is also e vid e n t tha t the stabi l i ty is


.

gr e at e r i n proportio n to t he d e pth at which the gre at e st w e ights


are stow e d ; an d s o m uch l e ss wh e n th e s e w e ights ar e abov e .

Sinc e th e r e are ma ny o f th e s e o n board warships wh e r e t he ,

bulk o f th e ir armour a n d al l th e ir gu ns are n e c e ssarily ab ov e

w ater battl e ships are l e ss stabl e for th is r e aso n tha n com m e rcial
,

craft At the sam e ti m e t he stabil ity vari e s accordi ng to the


.

br e adth o f t he v e ss e l at t he wat e rl i n e F o r th e s e r e ason s war


.

v e ss e ls e sp e cially thos e carryi ng h e avy arm our an d many gu ns


, ,

i e battl e ships are mad e e xc e ptio nally broad


. .
, H e e ling ho w .
,

eve r , is dang e rous t o a v e ss e l n o t o nly b e caus e s he m ay turn


,

ove r from it Long b e fore t he h e e l i ng re ach e s a da ng e rous


.

limit the S hip l os e s he r pow e r o f ring an d man oe uvri ng i e is


, , . .

r e nd e r e d practically h e lpl e ss I t is impossibl e to re b e caus e


.
,

the gu ns o n t he sid e faci ng t he e n e my are comp e ll e d to i ncl i n e

downwards o r upwards accordi ng to the sid e o n wh ich t he i nj ury


,

occurs I n t he rst plac e b e caus e th e y can n ot be poi n t e d ;


.
48 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
s e condly all t he m e chanism for th e ir handling ( e sp e cially i n
,

turr e ts and with t he h e avi e r gu ns ) c e as e s to act b e ing d e sign e d ,

o nly for small i nclinations of t he v e ss e l M or e ov e r wh e n


.
,

t he h e e li ng is v e ry gr e at on t he sid e opposit e from t he i nj ury ,

t he subm e rg e d part of t he v e ss e l u nprot e ct e d by armour


, ,

b e com e s e x pos e d and if t he e n e my happ e n s to be o n that sid e


,

he can e asily riddl e he r with sh e lls o f small calibre Fi nally .


,

a battl e ship h e e l ing ov e r d e e ply b e com e s a n e asy pr e y for


torp e do v e ss e ls e sp e cially o n t he sid e rais e d o ut of t he wate r
-
,
.

Wat e r may ow i n to t he i nt e rior o f the v e ss e l n ot only from ,

i nj uri e s d e e p down b e low t he wat e rli n e but from rolli ng , ,

from h e avy s e as and from shot h ol e s only slightly abov e t he


,
-

wat e rlin e . T he cons e qu e n t h e e ling p e rmits t he wat e r to e n t e r


at still high e r shot hol e s s o that t he h e e li ng an d the dange r to
-
,

t he v e ss e l i ncr e as e s i n d e gr e e Thus i t is all importan t n ot to


.

p e rmit t he i nitial caus e o f h e e ling shot hol e s b e low t he wat e r


,
-

l in e T he d ang e r o f this has b e e n consid e rably i n t e nsi e d by


.

t he i ntroduction of quick ri n
-
g guns which discharging
, rapidly
, ,

may riddl e e v e ry unprot e ct e d part o f t he v e ss e l i e at t he wat e r ,


. .

lin e an d along t he portion wh e r e th e r e is e ith e r n o armour o r it


is i nad e quate O n this accoun t t he id e a has l ong pre vail e d
.
,

that i t is n e c e ssary along t he whol e l i n e of a v e ss e l from st e m


,

to st e rn to plac e a b el t of armour at t he wat e rli n e an d t he


, ,

d ee p e r this b e lt is and the high e r it stan ds abov e t he wat e r t he


, ,

gr e at e r t he s e curity of the v e ss e l from shot hol e s n e ar t he wat e r


-

lin e and cons e qu e ntly from h e e ling


, This vi e w has b e e n
.

stro ngly h e ld by the Fr e nch a nd form e rly was by t he Russians


,
.

All Russian armour e d v e ss e ls d e sign e d up to the s e cond


half of t he e ighti e s carri e d armour along the wat e rl in e T he .

r e pr e se ntativ e s of this syst e m of armour plati ng b e aring t he ,

typ e of armour e mploy e d at that tim e but n ow h e ld to be



O bsol e t e i n R o z he s t v e n s ky s squadro n w e r e t he battl e ship

,

I mp e rator N ikolai I an d t he cruis e rs Vladimir M o n o m ak h


an d Dmitri D o n s k o i
Such also w e r e t he four B lack Se a

.

v e ss e ls of the T s he s m a typ e lau nch e d i n 1 8 86 G e rmany


, .

quickly b e cam e a n adh e r e n t of this syst e m E ngland on the .


,
DA NC E R S T o A R M O U R E D V E SS E LS 49

contrary construct e d armour e d v e ss e ls with u nprot e ct e d e xtr e m


,

iti e s and but slowly yi e ld e d to t he n e c e ssity o f plati ng th e m all


ov e r O nly i n 1 8 9 7 w e re he r rst v e ss e ls lau nch e d with th e ir
.

e xtr e miti e s prot e ct e d and th e n o nly by v e ry thi n armour It .

would r e ally be hard to consid e r this as r e al armour m e r e ly two ,

i nch e s i n all Also even i n thei r very n ew es t vess el s the E ng l i s h


.
,

have var i ed v e ry s l i ghtly f r om thi s U nfortu nat e ly fo r us i t was


.
,

at that tim e the fashion I d o n ot v e n tur e t o cal l i t anythi ng


ls
e e to imitat e E nglan d i n many things an d u nluckily ,

among oth e rs i n her syst e m o f armour plating I n this .

way w e re armoure d n e arly all o ur battl e ships d e stroy e d at



P ort Arthur ; an d i n R o z he s tv e n s ky s squadro n the thr e e battl e

ships O s l aby a
Sis s o i V e liky
,
N avari n with t he thr e e ,
,

armour e d v e ss e l s for coast d e fe nc e as w e l l as o ur armour e d ,

cruis e rs at Vl adivostok T he J apan e s e proc e e d e d i n a con trary


.

dir ectio n O n co nstructi ng th e ir e e t afte r the Chi no J apan e s e


.
-

War th e y s e t o ut o n a n i nd e p e nd e n t cours e This w as cl e arly


, .

d e monstrat e d i n th e ir syste m o f armour plati ng I n spit e .

of the fact that al l the i r ar m our ed vess el s w e r e con s tr ucted i n


E ng l an d, on ly i n the tw o
r s t the
F jiud

an d the Yas hi m a

( O nly t he form e r took part i n t he


Kor e an Straits ) battl e of t he

di d they f ol l o w the E ng l i s h ex amp l e I n t he r e st o f th e ir .

battl e ships o f which thr ee took part i n t he b attl e they ar m our ed


, ,

the ex tr em i ti es ve ry p ow er ul y with s uf thick armour of


f l c i e n t l y
four inch e s Th e y i n troduc e d this syst e m a l so i n al l th e ir
.

six armour e d cruis e rs t he e xtr e miti e s o f which w e r e prot e ct e d



,

1
by 3 7 armour Of this typ e too w e r e t he cruis e rs N ishi n
and K as s ug a purchas e d i n I taly ; i n th e s e latt e r t he armour
,

on bows and st e rn w as e v e n thick e r


I n this m an n e r as r e gards armour plati ng along t he wat e r
,

lin e t he J apan e s e arm our e d squadro n pr e s e nt e d the gr e at e st


,

homoge n e ity .

With us a compl e t e an d s e cur e d e fe nc e along t he wat e rli n e


was r e aliz e d i n t he n e battl e ship Ts e sar e vitch construct e d ,

i n Franc e and th is typ e a l so was C hos e n as a mod e l for t he co n



,

struction o f v e similar v e ss e ls of wh ich four the Suvorov , , ,


E
50 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N

I mp e rator Al e xand e r I I I ,

a nd
B orodino
e form e d ,

Or l ,

part of R o zhe s tve n s ky s squadro n Two o f th e s e how e ve r .
, ,

w e r e sunk by artill e ry re and o n e su ffe r e d so much th e r e from


,

that a dang e rous h e e ling was s e t up .

I can only advanc e the following opi nion i n e xplan ation of this

.


Armoure d v e ss e ls kn own as o f t he i mp roved Ts e sar e vitch
,

typ e poss e ss e d s e rious imp e rfe ctions i n comparison with th e ir


,

prototyp e Abov e all th e y w e r e t e rribly ov e rw e ight e d i e w e r e


.
, , . .

subm e rg e d m ore d e e ply than was in t e nd e d ( a l most tw o fee t) ,

and t he b e lt of the thick e st armour at t he wat e rl in e did no t


ris e two fe e t abov e the wat e r Thus the subm e rge d armour .

prov e d us e l e ss T he ov e rw e ighti ng ( th is is the scourg e o f


.

Russian shipbui l di ng ) and t he caus e for i ts e xis te nc e c an b e st be


e xplai n e d by our naval e ngi n e e rs w ho as I am awar e are O ft e n
, , ,

plac e d u nd e r impossib l e conditions thanks to o ur r e gulations ,

for ship construction All are how e v e r acquain t e d with this


.
, ,

fact : that this ov e rw e ighting is only abs e n t i n v e ss e ls construct e d


abroad that is wh e r e w e l e av e t he i n itiativ e i n constructio n to
,

t he yards i n which th e y are built T he Japan e s e v e ss e ls w e r e


.

co nstruct e d e xc l us ive ly abroad and w e r e n o t burd e n e d with this


,

ov e rw e ight Wh e n e v e r t he armour go e s t o o far b e low wate r it


.
,

migh t quit e as w e ll be abs e n t altog e th e r armour th e n constitut e s


m e r e ly a sup e ruous w e ight fo r t he v e ss e l Th e re for e it is cl e ar .

that the stability of armour e d v e ss e ls o f t he Suvorov typ e was


v e ry u nc e rtai n .

J ust o n the e v e of the d e partur e o f t he s e con d squadron from


Libau a pap e r was s e n t to Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky by sp e cial
,

couri e r from t he M i nistry i n which it was i ndicat e d that i n c o n


,

s e qu e nc e o f various caus e s t he stability of his n e w battl e ships had


prov e d t o be far l e ss than it ought to hav e b e e n and he w as ,

r e com m e nd e d to tak e al l possibl e pr e cautions to dimi nish th e ir


rolling particularly wh e n i n c ons e qu e nc e of t he e xp e nditur e o f
, ,

coal t he w e ights b e l ow wat e r would be diminish e d T he m e as


, .

ur e s r e comm e nd e d proc e e d e d to such m in ut e n e ss that i t was


sugge st e d for e xampl e to strik e the signal yards t he w e ight of
, , ,

which was practically n i l This sh ows that straws w e r e b e i ng


.

TH E COMT E DE NI R OD ON TH E BR I D G E OF TH E VA AG
RI
D A N G E RS T O A R M O U R E D V E SS E LS 51

cl utch e d at a nd s e rv e s as a charact e ristic e xampl e of the


,

s e riousn e ss o f t he dang e r T he co nt e n ts o f this pap e r w e r e


.

not of cours e comm un icat e d for t he g e n e ral i nformatio n o f the


e e t as i t migh t hav e produc e d a d e pr e ssi n g e ffe ct B ut o n this
,
.

v e ry accoun t th e s e four battl e ships w e r e s e parat e d from t he r e st


of the e e t an d wh e n t he r e mai nd e r o f the battl e sh ips and larg e
,

cruis e rs w e re proc e e di ng fro m Skage n t o Ta ngi e r th e y ough t to


hav e r e main e d b e hi n d at Br e st i n ord e r to coal b e fore crossi ng
the B ay o f B iscay .

B ut the e e t did n o t g o th e r e simply o n acc o u n t o f fo g T he


, .

s e a b e cam e p e rfe ctly calm an d t he barom e t e r i ndicating that the


,

n e w e ath e r would last R o z he s t v e ns ky took advantag e o f th e s e


,

favourabl e c ircumstanc e s an d mad e t he passag e t o Vigo l e avi ng ,

t he dang e r o us B ay o f B iscay b e h i n d T he ov e rw e ight o f th e s e .

battl e ships an d t he i nsu fci e ncy o f th e ir stability w e r e display e d


at the tim e o f the s o call e d H ull I ncid e n t
-

T he s e a was o nly .

slightly rough y e t t he battl e ships roll e d v e d egr e e s e ach way


, .


M or e ov e r i n co ns e qu e nc e o f the top hamp e r the 3 gu ns e s p e c i
,
-
, ,

ally suit e d for r e pulsing torp e do boats w e r e brought s o n e ar t he -


,

wat e r tha t t he s e a e n t e re d fr e e ly th rough t he ports an d m e n and



,

guns w e r e s tand i ng i n wate r O n b oard t he battl e sh ip Or e l


.

o n e of t he gu ns took i n wat e r at its muzzl e and at a subs e qu e n t ,

discharg e burst I n som e o f th e s e ships the gu n ports w e r e not


.

op e n e d at all I t was d e cid e d n o t to re from th e m m e r e ly be


.
,

caus e o f the d ang e r that th e s e parts w o uld be swamp e d .

T he d i m i n utio n o f the stabil ity o f armour e d v e ss e ls o f t he



Suvorov typ e pr o v e d h ow e v e r n ot s o dang e rous as i t
, ,

app e ar e d at the b egi n n i ng si nc e th e y al l sustai n e d v e ry rough


,

passag e s e sp e c ially o n t he way to M adagascar ; but this was


,

not s o i n the battl e D uring t he battl e i n cons e qu e nc e o f t he


.
,

ov e rwe ighti ng i nj uri e s from shot occurr e d v e ry cl os e to the wat e r


,


lin e At that tim e i t was n o t possibl e to d o without using the 3
.

guns and cons e qu e ntly th e ir ports had to be O p e n Th e y would


, , , .

th e n be o nly slightly abov e the wat e r and if th e s e ports un p ro , ,



tec t e d by arm our w e r e struck by t he e n e my s sh e lls th e n with
, , ,

anything o f a s e a o n ( which j udgi ng by d e scriptions was t he , ,


5 2 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
cas e d uring t he battl e i n t he Kor e an Straits ) a consid e rabl e ,

quantity of wat e r would e asily e nt e r the sh ips an d caus e h e e ling


to a particularly dang e rous d e gr e e I f th e s e ships righ t e d
.

th e ms e lv e s as for e xampl e t he battl e ship


, , , I mp e ra t or Al e x
and e r I I I d id th e r e was o nly o n e m e ans o f doing s o nam e ly
, , ,

by l e tting i n t he wat e r o n the sid e O pposite that o n which the


v e ss e l h e e l e d Thus the quantity o f wat e r i n t he v e ss e l woul d
.

be doubl e d addi ng consid e rably to t he w e ight Thus also


,
.
, ,

a large r portion o f t he armour would be u nd e r wat e r an d the ,

probability o f r e c e iving an i nj ury admitting wat e r wou l d be still


gr e at e r ; the wav e s would still mor e e asily swamp t he ports
of t he 3 gu n s which at l e ngth woul d sin k t o t he wate rli n e
, .

Th e r e w e r e e ight pi e c e s o n e ach sid e B ut t he pri ncipal caus e


.

o f this was t he ov e rw e igh t and t he slight stabil ity

T he armour e d v e ss e l Ts e sa re vitch sp l e ndidly prov e d he r


stability and e n duranc e both at the tim e o f the torp e do attack
,

o n the n ight o f 89 F e b ruary 1 9 04 an d d uri ng t he batt l e o f


, ,

1 1 J uly O n t he form e r occasio n S he list e d t o T he four



.


ships o f the improv e d typ e prot e ct e d th e ir 3 gu n positio ns

with 3 armour o f whic h th e r e was n o n e o n board t he T s e s are
,

v itc h
. I n this way the w e igh t o f t he v e ss e ls ab ov e w ate r i e , . .

th e ir capacity for r e sisti ng h e e li ng was dimi nish e d ,


And .

b e sid e s th e ir l e ngth was i ncr e as e d by 8 % ft wh il e th e ir br e adth


, .
,


was d e cre as e d by 1 ( s e e t he Naval P ock e t Book for 1 9 04 ,

p. i e th e ir stability was still furth e r dim i nish ed


. . H ow .

this disadvantage was comp e nsat e d is u nkn own but the fact ,

o f t he dimi n ution o f t he stability is appar e nt .

For my own part this is my O pi nion as to o n e o f the caus e s


,

o f t he d e structiv e ov e rw e ighting .

E xactly contrary to t he e stablish e d law i n ship building as -


,

it s e e ms to m e that progr e ss consists i n i ncr e as e d wat e r d is


,

plac e m e nt th e r e has with us always b e e n e con omy i n r e gard


, , ,

to displac e m e nt striving to compr e ss withi n small displac e m e n t


what should r e ally be dispos e d i n a v e ss e l of large r proportions .

As a r e sult th is is n ot succ e ssful T he displac e m e n t still .

prov e s gr e at in cons e qu e nc e o f the consid e rabl e ov e rw e ight ,


D A N G E RS T O A R M O U R E D V E SS E LS 53

and the i nco nve n i e n c e s and compromis e s n e c e ssitat e d by the


disposal o f e v e rything in t he small e st spac e are appar e n t Th is .


is cl e arly prov e d by a comparison o f o ur battl e ships o f the
Suvorov typ e with the J apan e s e v e ss e ls o f t he M ikasa


an d Asah i typ e s T he displac e m e n t o f t he l att e r is
.

tons ( with a l e ngth o f 40 0 ft br e adth o f 7 5 ft an d draugh t o f



. .
, ,

2 7% T hat o f the Suvorov o ugh t t o hav e b e e n
tons ( with a l e ngth O f 3 9 3 ft br e ad th o f 76 ft a nd draugh t o f
.
, .
,

26 I n co ns e qu e nc e o f o v e rw e ight s he w as almos t two fe e t


,

d e e p e r i n t he wat e r an d he r d isplac e m e nt e xc e e d e d
,
tons .

O n board t he J apan e s e v e ss e ls e v e ryth i ng was arrang e d i n


accordanc e with th e ir larg e r proportio ns Th e r e was n ot fo r .
,

e xampl e ,
a si ngl e gu n plac e d t o o l o w an d al though t he l ow e r
d e ck ports w e r e n e ar the wat e r th e r e was armour at t he e xact
,

l e v e l for which i t was d e sign e d ; i e it ful ll e d its i n te ntio n


. .
, ,

and s o o n .

T he fact that o ur v e ss e ls p e rish e d an d n o t thos e o f t he ,

J apan e s e i n a pure ly gu n re e ngag e m e n t may possibly be


,
-

e xplai n e d i n o th e r ways O ur artill e ry was c e rtai nly n o t i n fe rior


.
,

and o ur sh e lls w e r e b e tt e r adapt e d fo r pi e rcing arm o ur if w e ,

r e m e mb e r that t he J apan e s e sho t and sh e ll w e r e o f t he E ngl ish


typ e ; but t he d i ffe r e nc e i n m e th o ds o f ri ng which u ndoub t e dly ,

e xist e d cou l d n o t e x e r t such a vast i nu e nc e T ha t the S hips



.
,

of t he Suvorov typ e w e r e d e stroy e d e arl i e st wh il e the l e ss



,

e f

ci e n tly prot e ct e d Sis s o i V e liky N avari n ,
I mp e rator ,

N ikolai I an d the armour e d coast d e fe n c e v e ss e ls h e ld o ut


,
-

long e r o nly prov e d tha t t he J apa n e s e co nc e ntrat e d upo n th e s e


,

a l l th e ir u nit e d e fforts That th e s e arm our e d v e ss e ls o f ours


.

had s e rious imp e rfe ctions is what I wish e d to prov e an d th e ir ,

imp e rfe ctio ns are s o c l e arly i n e vid e nc e duri ng rough w e ath e r


that the matt e r ough t t o l e ad t o v e ry car e ful att e n tion i n o ur
plans for the futur e .
C H APT E R I I I

(I) CO M PA R I S O N O F E NC A C E M E NT S A T C L OS E
A ND L O NG R ANG E

E will n ow dw e ll o n som e o f t he qu estions i nvolv e d in


vi e w o f t he nava l batt l e T he naval r e vi e w e r o f T he
.


T e mps pr e viously said that i n cons e qu e nc e o f Admiral

R o z he s tve n s ky s sup e riority i n h e avy gu ns he ought to s e e k ,

battl e at clos e quart e rs T his was n o t at al l t he cas e ; and if


.


it had b e e n to R o z hes tv e n s ky s advantag e to g e t n e ar i t would ,

hav e b e e n for di ffe r e nt r e asons I n re gard to t he most ad v an


.

t ag e o us rang e i n n ava l ghti ng th e r e e xists a p e rfe ctly logical


an d natural rul e Th is rul e stat e s that any s up er i or i ty ove r the
.

pp on en t
o c om pel s on e to e n deavo ur to i n c r eas e the g g
hti n r an
g e

w hi l e any i nf er i or i ty m akes a g ht at s ho r t r an
g e m or e advan
tag eo us .

I will giv e an e xampl e Suppos e I have o nly h e avy long


.

rang e gu ns whil e my oppon e nt has gun s ring mor e quickly


, ,

but of l e ss calibr e an d n ot carrying s o far


, I t is e vid e nt that it .

is m or e to my advantag e to i ncr e as e t he distanc e su fci e ntly to


be abl e to hit the e n e my whi l e r e maini ng practically i n v ul n er
,

abl e mys e lf H e o n the oth e r h and has but o n e r e sourc e to


.
, ,

try to g e t n e ar Of cours e th e r e is a l imit to i ncr e asing t he


.
,

distanc e ; oth e rwis e a l though the e n e my s proj e ctil e s would
,

no n e of th e m r e ach t he mark the probability o f h itti ng with


,

on e s own gun s would b e com e s o small that the ght would be


without appr e ciabl e r e sult d eg e n e rating i n to a m e r e e xp e n ditur e


,

of am mu nition Th e or e tically the qu e stio n would be d e cid e d


.
,

corr e ctly i n this cas e too ; but practic e will o f cours e i n e ach , ,

cas e i ndicat e the most r e asonabl e limit I n j ust t he sam e way .


,

a long rang e is mor e advan tag e ous to m e if the quality of t he


54
C O M P A R I SO N O F E N GAG E M E NTS 55

guns b e i ng t he sam e on both


sid e s my
gu n n e rs are t he b e tte r
marksm e n But if I al l ow the e n e my to approach the ring
.
,

will be s o e asy that the di ffe r e nc e b e tw e e n my good gu n n e rs a nd


his bad gun n e rs may vanish T he sam e i nu e n c e is e x e rcis e d
.


by the quality o f the ship s armour I f my ship with artill e ry
.
,

e qual t o that o f t he e n e my i s co nsid e rab l y the b e tt e r prot e ct e d


, ,

it is to my advan tag e to carry o n the actio n at such a distanc e



that my oppon e n t s guns are n o lo ng e r abl e to pi e rc e my armour ,

whil e my gu ns conti n u e to riddl e his w e ak plat e s E vid e n tly he .

will strive to g e t n e ar s o that my armour may be vu l n e rabl e for


his guns .

T he so l e m e ans fo r pr e s e rvi ng t he m ost advantag e ous distanc e


is sup e riori ty i n sp ee d . Th e r e for e wh e n an arm oure d v e ss e l
,

m e e ts o ne tha t is u n arm our e d the l att e r if fo r som e r e aso n ( e g


, ,
. .

infe rior sp e e d ) s he can not e scap e ghti ng m ust striv e to g e t as ,

n e ar as possibl e o th e rwis e s he wil l be d e stroy e d with o u t i n ic t


,

i ng any damage o n he r o ppon e nt B ut as short rang e d o e s


.

n o t suit t he latt e r s he wil l g o about and k ee p O ff


, From t he .

acc e pt e d poi nt o f vi e w o f lan d ghti ng such b e haviour o f the


strong e r party s e e m s rath e r strang e as it l ooks l ik e r etr eat
,
,

T his m isappr e h e nsio n is quit e i n t e lligibl e : o n land by moving ,

i n the dir e ction aw ay f r om the opp on en t a pi e c e o f grou nd ,

is surr e nd e r e d to h im having m or e o r l e ss va l u e i n many


r e sp e cts . B ut t he ar e a o f s e a o v e r which ships mov e during a n
action is without va l u e fo r e ith e r o f th e m an d t he s e e mi ng ,

r e tre at is n oth ing mor e than a pro tabl e m anoeuvr e i n ord e r t o


inict m or e damag e o n the O ppo n e n t I n this way a h ug e
.
,

battl e ship wi ll r e tr e a t b e for e a ti ny torp e d o boat T he latt e r of .


,

cours e must com e t o clos e quart e rs rstly i n ord e r to re its


, ,

torp e do and s e con dly i n ord e r to hit the obj e ctiv e


, T he batt l e .

ship o n t he oth e r hand which must e ith e r si nk o r s e riously


, ,

damage t he torp e do boat b e fore t he l att e r succ e e ds i n ri ng its


-

torp e do has n o advan tage i n going to m e e t it as s he will thus


, ,

dimi nish the tim e he r O ppo n e n t is u nd e r re an d also r e duc e ,

the accuracy o f he r o w n re ; t he gu n n e rs will l os e th e ir cool

n e ss at the approach o f t he torp e do boat a nd from t he rapid -


,
56 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
chang e o f distanc e will constan tly mak e e rrors i n t he range .

All th e s e circumstanc e s wil l e vid e ntly be chang e d for the


b e n e t o f t he battl e ship if s he shows he r st e rn to t he torp e do
,

bo at
I f w e apply this rul e o f n aval ghting to t he m e e ti ng o f o ur

e e t with t he J apan e s e w e n d that for Adm iral R o z hes tv e n s ky s
,

rst battl e ship d iv is ro n c o n s is ti n g of four e xc e ll e ntly prot e ct e d



w

and h e avily arm e d ships of the Suvorov typ e i t was mor e


advantag e ous to k e e p at a gre at d istanc e T he sam e thi ng .

appl i e s i n the cas e o f t he thr e e coast d e fe nc e arm our clads u nd e r


- -

Admiral N i e bo g ato v Th e ir chi e f and i nd e e d o nly str e ngth , ,


was i n th e ir e l e v e n I o gu ns ; as th e ir m e dium artill e ry ( six 4 7
gu ns o n o n e sid e ) was absol ut e ly i nsigni cant M or e ove r o n .
,

accou nt o f th e ir small siz e and low fr e e board th e y o ffe r e d a v e ry ,

small targ e t This is of cours e a n advan tag e and mak e s it


.
, , ,

advisabl e to k e e p at a gre at dist an c e ; as at short ra ng e i t is


almost e qually e asy to hit a larg e o r a smal l mark Fi n ally at .
,

long rang e t he w e ak armour o f t he thr e e v e ss e ls woul d su fc e .


To a l e ss d e gr e e t he sam e appl i e s to t he Sis s o i V e liky T he .

O ppon e n ts o f th e s e four ships j ust nam e d w e r e J apan e s e ar


, ,


mour e d cruis e rs having n o 1 2 o r 1 0 gu ns Al l th e ir battl e
, .


ships dire ct e d th e ir e fforts again st o ur four ships of the

Suvorov typ e O n t he oth e r hand the battl e ships Im

.
,

p e rat o r N ikolai I an d Navari n a nd t he cruis
, e r N ak hi m ov ,

if plac e d i n li n e of battl e r e quir e d a shor t rang e o n accoun t o f


,

th e ir obsol e t e h e avy ordnanc e and of the n e c e ssity of having


with th e ir w e ak gu ns to p e n e trat e t he arm our o f t he w e l l
prot e ct e d J apan e s e armour e d cruis e rs I t was for this r e ason .
,

possibly that R o z he s tv e n s ky had to s e e k battl e at clos e range


, .

H e may also hav e b ee n attract e d by t he d e sir e to mak e t he


action as d e cisiv e as possibl e T he advantag e o r d isadvan tag e
.

of such proc e dur e is how e v e r not a subj e ct for discussio n


, , It .

could o nly be s e e n o n the spot and could o nly be t he r e sult o f a


prop e r appr e ciation by him o f the wh ol e o f t he circumstanc e s .

T he r e al m isfortun e was that t he ch oic e of rang e did not r e st


with him . N ot only had his ships l e ss sp ee d but he was ham ,
F O R WA R D B AT T E R Y OF T HE
V A R I A G
C O M M AN D E D BY
TH E
E N SI GN G OUB ON I E V .
E M E RG E N C I E S : D E AT H O F L E A D E R 57

p e r e d by a e e t o f transpo rts o f which som e w e r e far slow e r


,

than t he sl ow e st o f his battl e ships T he J apan e s e ee t was .

more h omog e n e ous a nd woul d gai n at short rang e s ; but it may


,

hav e b ee n r e strain e d fro m ghti ng i n that way by its r e luctanc e ,

to e ngage in a d e cisive g e n e ral action Ad miral R o z he s tv e n s k y .

woul d have to submi t to this cours e though aft e r all i t was n ot ,

without advantag e s fo r him I n such cas e he would g e t al l


.

possibl e advantag e from his sup e riority i n the n u mb e r o f h e avy


guns .

( I I) E M ERGE N C I ES : D E A T H O F T H E LEA D E R
IN A C T I ON
O ne ofp e culiariti e s o f a n aval action is t he gr e at prob
the

ability o f t he O fc e r i n supr e m e com man d b e ing kill e d o r


wound e d At the sam e tim e it usually happ e ns that m any o f
.

his assistan ts als o may be plac e d ho r s de com b at O n la nd this .

probability i s i ncomparably l e ss T he com man d e r o f an army .

is n o t i mm e diat e ly u nd e r re ; i f he e xpos e s hi ms e lf he is j ustly



blam e d fo r s o d oi ng E v e n the com m and e r o f a c orp s d ar mec
.

the l at e C ou nt K e ll e r w as fou n d faul t with for havi ng gon e


-

in to a plac e o f dang e r quit e us e l e ssly A G e rma n m il itary .

writ e r to o blam e d Kuropatki n n o t for b e ing u n d e r re but fo r


, , , ,

b e ing t o o n e a r t he fron t ; an d h e ld up M arsha l Oyama as a n


e xampl e fo r r e mai ni ng far i n t he r e ar an d r e c e ivi ng i n formatio n
,

by t e l e graph o f a ll t ha t w as taking plac e i n t he gh ting zon e ,

dir e cti ng the battl e l ik e a gam e o f ch e ss T his i s h ow i t sh ou l d .

be ; and th e re for e the putti ng o ut o f actio n o f sup e rior ofc e rs


on land i s v e ry rar e happ e n i ng only by chanc e Lastly e v e n .
,

if som e accid e n t sh ould happ e n th e r e is always a capabl e sub


,

s ti t ute at hand among a n um e rous sta f f A t s e a it is quite t he .

r e v e rs e T he chi e f o f a e e t o r squadro n m ust be o n board


.

o n e o f the ships i n compa ny with t he whol e o f hi s sta ff


,
I t is .

h

e nough fo r th is ship t o down as fo r e xampl e was t e cas e
g o ,

with the P e tropavlovsk for the C ommand e r i h Chi e f to be



,
- -

lost with t he wh ol e o f h is sta ff O n board the admiral is .


,

subj e ct to the sam e risk as any s ailor and e v e n mor e so than ,


5 8 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
som e ; as for e xampl e the e ngin e room compl e m e nt a n d thos e
, ,
-
,

i n the magazin e s and sh e ll rooms I n g e n e ral a l l b e l ow t he


-
.
,

armour e d d e ck an d co ns e qu e ntly b e l ow t he wat e r l i n e are o ut -


,

o f r e ach o f dir e ct hits ,


an d i ncur co nsid e rably l e ss i mm e diate
dang e r than th os e abov e Th is is why t he o fc e r i n command
.

has so oft e n b e e n put o ut o f action e g in this war Admirals , . .


,

M akarov a nd Wi tho e ft I t was so i n form e r tim e s T he famous


. .

N e lson and t he n o l e ss famous D e Ruyt e r both p e rish e d i n


, ,

actio n T he chi e f o ffi c e rs of the sta ff are usual l y group e d round


.

t he admiral i n a small spac e e ith e r i n t he c o n n i ng tow e r o r o n


,
-

t he bridg e an d th e re also is t he captai n o f t he sh ip


,
All th e s e .

p e rson s w e r e put out o f actio n o n board the Ts e sar e vi tch o n


3 J uly by a si ngl e shot
,
T o transfe r t he comman d to a noth e r
.

admiral in a noth e r ship is v e ry di fcu l t I t m ust be do n e by .

S ignal ; but i t ofte n turns o ut that the sign al l ing ge ar which o f ,

n e c e ssity is quit e e xpos e d is d e stroy e d or damag e d as was


, ,

t he cas e with Ad mira l U k ht o m s k y This is also n othing n e w


. .

I n t he Si n op e action wh e n N ak hi m o v d e l ight e d with t he


, ,

manoe uvr e s of his subordi nat e Ad mira l N o v o s il s k y wish e d to


, ,

e xpr e ss hi s gratitud e by sign al i t prove d impossibl e as al l the


, ,

signal h alliards w e re d e stroy e d Fi nally a n admira l w ho has


.
,

j ust tak e n ov e r t he comman d although he has s e e n what has


,

occurre d i n t he actio n y e t n o t havi ng b e e n i n constant c o m


, ,

m un i c at i o n with his C hi e f can n ot kn ow al l his i nt e ntio ns an d


,

plan s d e v e lop e d as th e s e have b e e n i n t he cours e o f the battl e


, .

Th e r e is n o possibility what e v e r o f transmitting al l this o n ,

accou n t of t he di fculty o f sign all i ng in actio n Furth e r he can .


,

no t l e arn i t from any o n e o f the sta ff o f the l at e admiral ; all o f


th e m e ve n if not ki ll e d are at any rat e o n board an oth e r ship
, , .

I t is quit e impossibl e to plac e t he chi e f o f the squadron


i n a positio n of absol ut e safe ty H e must s e e e v e ryth ing
.
,

and as i n a naval action e v e nts d e v e lop quickly he m ust with ,

out d e lay giv e t he n e c e ssary ord e rs As it may happ e n that .

it is impossibl e to do this by sign als he must be abl e to S how ,

his i n t e ntions by t he mov e m e n ts o f h is o w n ship for which ,

purpos e he must be ah e ad of his squadro n I n ord e r to .


N EW COM MAND E R -
IN -
CH IEF 59

d imi nish as far as possibl e the risk o f b e ing put o ut o f action ,

t he C hi e f o f t he squadron in ust b e o n board t he larg e st a nd b e st


prot e ct e d ship H e nc e it was that Togo h oist e d his ag o n the


M ikasa and R o z he s tv e n s k y o n t he Suvorov Admiral .

Ukhto m s k y i n co nv e rsatio n with som e corr e spo nd e nts a nd also


,

i n his r e port said that his squadron g o t scatt e re d b e caus e n o


,

o n e s aw his signa l

Fol l ow m e wh ich was h oist e d o n the rail
,

o f t he bridg e . I t was i mpossibl e to h oist i t o n the masts as th e y


had b e e n carri e d away This though is m or e than strang e
.
, , .

T he di ffi culty o f sign a ll i ng i n actio n I r e p e at i s n ot n e w and , , ,

the ru l e , always e xisti ng i n n aval ac tions is to follow t he ,

motio n s o f the admira l I f Admiral U kht o m s ky had re


.

m e mb e re d this and mad e fo r V l adivostok the whol e squadron ,

would hav e do n e s o t o o Wh e n he turn e d back t o P ort Arthur


.
,

e v e n without b e i ng abl e t o mak e o ut his sign a l al l fo l low e d suit .

From what w e hav e said i t is e vid e n t that i n future naval


,

action s e v e ry possibl e e ffort is l ik e ly t o be mad e at t he o uts e t



to damag e t he C om ma nd e r i n C h i e f s agship
- - .

( ) N EW
I I I C O M M AN D E R I N C H I E F O F - - THE

P A C I F I C F LE E T

U n til Vic e Admira l Biri l e v was appoi n t e d comman d e r o f the


-

e e t in the P aci c this p ost had re mai n e d vacant fo r al m ost ve


,

months aft e r the appoi n tm e n t o f Vic e Admira l Skry dl o v as -

m e mb e r o f the Ad miralty C ou n cil Th e n the n e c e ssity was .

again re cogn iz e d fo r the post at t he s e at o f war a n d it is ,

only to be r e gr e tt e d that th e r e should hav e b e e n such h e sitation


with r e gard t o t he organ izatio n o f the high e st command i n
our nava l forc e s T he positio n o f Com ma nd e r o f the F l e e t
.

is o f t he utmost importan c e as u n iting in the hands o f o n e


man all the O p e ratio ns o f t he d i ffe r e n t parts o f the e e t oft e n ,

s e parat e d by e normous d istan c e s T o do this is n o t withi n .

the pow e r o f a l oca l s quadro n comma nd e r as he is oft e n away ,

at s e a B e sid e s this t he activi ti e s o f t he nava l d e partm e nts


.
,

ashore m ust be so dir e ct e d as to assist t he activ e ee t i n the


60 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
b e st m an n e r This is also attain e d by al l b e i ng subordinat e d
.

to a command e r i n chi e f U n fortu nat e ly th e ir r e latio n to the


- - .
,

ch i e fs of squadrons an d s e parat e d e tach m e nts is n ot pr e cis e ly


d e n e d i n our naval organ ization and th e r e is a possibility th e r e
,

for e o f various d isput e s o r e v e n oppositio n ; a nd as a r e sul t


,

inj ury to the e nt e rpris e i n han d Fi nally a l ik e i n d e n i te n e s s


.
,

attach e s to the re lations o f a squadro n command e r with t he land


authoriti e s of coast fortr e ss e s O n the oth e r h and withi n the
.
,

r e gions assign e d to him all the commandants o f coast fortr e ss e s


,

are subordi nat e d to t he Command e r o f the F l e e t .

T he appoi ntm e nt o f Admiral Bi r il e v t o this distinguish e d post


could only be w e lcom e d H e w as o n e o f o ur b e st admirals and
.
,

had sp e n t his whol e care e r o n activ e s e rvic e i n u n i nt e rrupte d ,

s e a work ,
having com mand e d v e ss e l s si nc e 1 880 From 1 8 9 7 he .

occupi e d the posts rst o f chi e f o f the gu n n e ry squad ron and -


,

th e n o f Command e r o f the M e di t e rran e an squadro n I n the .

rst capacity he mad e his mark by the fact that havi ng foun d ,

it i n an archaic stat e with gre at skill an d e n e rgy he form e d i t


,

o n quit e n e w bas e s i n harmony with the pre s e n t conditio ns o f


,

gun n e ry sci e nc e I t m ust n ot be forgott e n that it was he w ho


.

dir e ct e d att e ntio n to t he e mi n e n t tal e nts o f R o z he s tve n s ky w ho ,

was th e n his subordinat e an d a captai n o f the s e n ior grad e T he .

latt e r was also far from b e i ng i n favour but Bi ril ev did al l he ,

could to advanc e a tal e n t e d o i c er A s C ommand e r i n Chi e f at


.
- -

Cronstadt Admiral B i ri l e v e xhibit e d spl e ndid qua l iti e s as an


,

organiz e r e v e ry o n e k nows what e n e rgy he d e vot e d to the tting


out of the s e cond and third squadron s fo r t he Far E ast I n .

E urop e he was i n charge o f t he d e fe nc e s o f t he Baltic and c o n ,

s e qu e n tly was thoroughly pr e par e d fo r similar d uty o n o ur coasts


i n the P aci c Oc e an .

( IV ) I N F O R M A T I O N F U R N I S H E D I N D I S C R E E T LY
We n otic e d with a fe e li ng satisfactio n that o ur P r e ss aft e r a
of

ti m e c e as e d to publish i nformatio n which migh t be us e ful to the


J apan e s e e sp e cially what was appar e n tly con d e n tial We may
, .

r e call the publ icatio n by the Admiralty four days b e for e the rst
,
V A R I A G A FT E R B U R ST I N G OF A S H E LL
BR I D GE OF THE

TH E
I N FO RM A T I O N F U R N I S H E D I N D I S C R E ET LY 61

sorti e by Admira l Wi t ho e ft from P ort Arthur ( o n 2 3 J u n e ) o f a ,

d e tai l e d c ommu n icatio n o n t he compl e tio n o f t he r e pairs to o ur


ships t he con s e qu e nc e o f which was the co nc e ntration o f t he
,

whol e J apan e s e e e t o ff P ort Arthur by t he dat e o f t he so rti e o f


o ur e e t T ak e agai n the r e ports o f G e n e ra l Grip e nb e rg a nd
.
,

many it e ms o f i nform atio n e xtract e d from the re por ts o f various


s e n ior o fc e rs at the s e at o f war wh ich o ur m ilitary c e n sorship
a l low e d to app e ar i n the P r e ss This a l so happ e n e d i n N o 1 4 2

. .


o f t he Rus I r e ad a conv e rsati o n with the Ch i e f o f t he M i n istry
,

o f M ari n e fo r which n o doubt t he pap e r was n o t t o blam e


,
From .


it I l e arnt t hat Adm ira l R o z he s tv e n s ky fe l t worn o ut as the ,

i n e vitabl e e ffe ct o f the c o nsta n t t e nsio n o f n e rv e s an d fatigui ng


work .

Furth e r ,

this fatigu e was particu l arly tryi ng o n accou nt

o f his h avi ng su ffe r e d from kid n e y dis e as e b e for e hi s d e partur e .


I t was l at e r add e d that t he stat e o f Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky s
h e alth had n e ve rth e l e ss n o t d e t e riorat e d a wh it si nc e he starte d
on his voyag e T his was i n e vid e n t co n tradictio n to the
.

rst stat e m e nt but i t wou l d n o t r e mov e its impr e ssio n o n t he


,

J apan e s e .


I t was n e x t giv e n o ut that R o z he s tv e n s ky s s e co n d i n c o m
mand R ear Admiral Fe lk e rs ham t he comma nd e r o f half t he

-
,

batt l e sh ips w as il l Th is was also n o t a bad



. ti p fo r o ur
O ppon e nts I t w as also ass e rte d tha t t he
. l o ng stay o f t he
squadron i n t he l atitud e o f M adagascar with i ts tropica l h e at , ,

had a ffe ct e d t he h e alth o f Admira l F e l ke rs ham m or e than the


r e st i e that o n the wh ol e t he h e a l th o f t he squadro n w as n o t
,

. .

v e ry grand Fi n al l y w e l e arn e d tha t the m ai n task o f Adm iral



.
,

R o z he s tv e n s k y w as t o co n duct t he e e t t o Vladivostok and ,


it was h i nt e d al so i n n o ambiguous man n e r that h e re with h is

task m igh t e n d as he was still chi e f o f the G e n e ral Naval


,

Sta ff .

Aft e rwards w e w e r e wo n d e ri ng wh at cours e R o z he s t ve n s k y


,

would tak e an d what t he J apan e s e would r e ally d o ; w e w e r e


,

glad that t he J apan e s e h ad at last s e t th e ms e lv e s a riddl e which


w e ours e lv e s w e r e not h e lping th e m to r e ad wh e n all o f a

sudd e n th e r e app e ar e d stat e m e n ts as to R o z he s tv e n s ky s mai n
62 T H E B ATT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
task what he was to do wh e n he r e ach e d Vlad ivostok by what ,

m e ans he woul d comp e l Admiral Togo to acc e pt battl e if the


latt e r tri e d to avoid it how w e s e n t o ur st e am e rs with coal to
,

Vladivostok e tc e tc all us e ful facts for the e n e my


, .
,
. .


I n conclusion I will bri e y criticiz e Admiral U k hto m s ky s
,

action i n the gh t of 1 0 August I n the stat e m e n t mad e r e fe rri ng


.

to that action t he vi e w was e xpr e ss e d that t he r e turn to P ort


,

Arthur was j usti e d by among oth e r things the circumstanc e s


, ,

that two of his ships turn e d back for that poi nt o n th e ir o w n i n itia
tiv e as th ey did not s e e h is sign als and that he fou nd th e m alre ady
, ,

i n P ort Arthur wh e n he hims e l f arriv e d This ass e rtio n is v e ry .

strange . I k now from cre dibl e sourc e s that d uri ng the action ,

o n e of t he ships was a long way ah e ad o f t he wh ol e e e t and ,

all e xp e ct e d that s he would be support e d A s a matt e r o f fact .


,

s he o nly turn e d back wh e n s he s aw that all t he r e st t he Admiral ,

i nclud e d had don e the sam e Dark n e ss th e n cam e o n a nd s he


, .
,

l ost sight o f t he oth e r ships bu t b e i ng a fast v e ss e l arriv e d i n


,

P ort Arthur b e for e the oth e rs I t app e ars th e n that S he w e n t


.
, ,

th e r e n ot on he r o w n i nitiativ e but through fol lowi ng t he cours e


, ,

of t he Admiral s ship P e rhaps t he oth e r sh ip also r e ach e d P ort
.

Arthur b e for e the Admiral for the sam e r e ason .

( V) TH E R IV A L A D M I R A L S A B O U T T O JO I N B A T T L E
T H E I R P L ANS

A whol e s e ri e s o f d e spatch e s sh ow e d that Admira l R o z hes t


ve n sk h
y load e d coal at t e Saddl e I slan ds ( lyi ng o ff t he mouth o f
t he Yang ts e Kiang ) and o n t he e v e n ing of 2 7 M ay o r o n t he
- -
,

morn ing of 2 8 M ay sail e d to the n orth e ast i e i n t he dir e ction -


, . .

of the Gulf o f Kor e a I n t he gulf li e s t he island o f Tsushima


.
,

n ews of t he app e aranc e of t he Russian squadro n o ff which was ,

giv e n i n commun ications from Tokio of 2 8 M ay We must .

r e ckon t he gr e at advantag e R o z he s tv e n s ky had i n its b e ing


possibl e to tak e i n coal s o n e ar the most probabl e l ocality o f a
battl e with t he J apan e s e Although from t he Saddl e I slands to
.

Vladivostok is about a thousand mil e s all t he large ships o f t he ,


THE R I V A L A D M I R A LS 63

Russian squadro n had coal suppli e s for a ru n of about two


thousand mil e s T he battl e ships had n o t o n an av e rag e so
.

much b e caus e it was m uch e asi e r for th e m than for oth e rs to


,

coal en r oute at s e a Wh e n awaiti ng battl e it is n e c e ssary to


.

hav e st e am up i n all boil e rs i n ord e r i n cas e of n e e d to g e t up


, , ,

full sp e e d ; also through the u navoidabl e damag e i n battl e to


,

fun n e ls the e xp e nditur e o f coal is sur e to be m uch augm e n t e d


,
.

I d o n o t know e xactly what w e r e the co nsid e ratio ns which


i nduc e d Admiral Togo to allow o ur e e t to go s o far with out
opposition and p e rmit it to coal p e ac e fully I t is cl e ar how e v e r
,
.
, ,

that Togo r e s e rv e d t o h ims e lf the advan tag e o f givi ng battl e i n


the imm e diat e n e ighbourhood o f his o w n ports .

Togo s plan w as th us d e n e d : that he with his whol e e e t



should bar R o z he s tve ns ky s passag e i n the Tsushima Straits .

Accordi ng t o o n e o f o ur lat e st r e ports he k e pt hims e lf duri ng t he


whol e tim e at M asampo a n e bay o n t he Kor e an sid e o f the
,

Straits T he bay w as at o n e tim e i nt e n d e d as t he bas e of t he


.

Russia n e e t an d o n e o f o ur most disti nguish e d admirals


,

strongly advis e d t he occupation o f this plac e i n pr e fe r e nc e to


P ort Arthur T o re turn to Togo s plan H e cou l d n o t d e nit e ly
.

.

for e s e e t he rout e that Admiral R o z he s tv e n s k y would tak e an d ,

could n o t d e cid e wh e th e r it would r e al l y be i n the Straits


of Tsush ima that he would m e e t him i n battl e ; but he cl e arly
r e solv e d n o t t o g o and s e e k fo r h is an tago nist o n t he wid e
oc e an. H e would await him i nst e ad i n s uc h a plac e wh e r e he
, ,

would assur e dly hav e to pass clos e by Of such plac e s th e r e .

w e r e o nly thr e e Tsushima T sugaru and La P e rous e Straits


, ,
.

T he last t w o w e re u nsuit e d to t he Russian e e t b e caus e i n ,

ord e r to re ach th e m a gr e at e xp e nditur e o f coal was n e c e ssary .

For the J apan e s e t he di fculty lay i n the distanc e o f th e s e straits


from th e ir bas e s S tation i ng s e v e ral scouti ng v e ss e ls tt e d with
.
,

wire l e ss t e l e graphy at som e 2 00 to 2 5 0 mil e s o ff the Strai ts


,

of Tsugaru to O bs e rv e any sh ips comi ng i n th is dir e ctio n rou n d


,

t he e ast e rn sid e o f t he island o f Y e zo and with t he h e lp o f the


,

coast look o ut stations o n t he Kuril e I slands Togo would from


-
,

tim e to tim e hav e r e c e iv e d n e ws of t he approachi ng Russian


64 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
ee t a nd could th e r e fore hast e n with his e e t to any poi nt i n
,

th e s e wat e rs sinc e his cours e would l i e o ff t he w e st coast of J apan


, ,

e g
. . o ff t he islan d o f Sado H e would c e rtainly hav e arriv e d
.

th e r e from M asampo i n t he sam e tim e which should hav e brought


Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky past Formosa o ff the e ast e rn coast ,

o f J apan I hav e pr e viously discuss e d t he imm e ns e di


. i c ul ty o f
s e archi ng for a fo e i n t he op e n s e a wh e re he m ay s e l e ct his o w n
,

rout e l e aving b e hin d n o trac e what e v e r Togo s d e cisio n was
,
.

consid e rably a ff e ct e d by this This r e solv e c e rtai nly go e s to S how


.

that o n n o accou nt did T og o d e sir e to l e t Admiral R o z he s t



ve n s k s squadro n e nt e r Vladivostok about which s o much was
y ,

writt e n at t he tim e s o as to s e cure for its d e structio n the m e an s


,

which succ e e d e d s o w e ll for t he J apan e s e at P ort Arthur N e ith e r .


did he e vid e ntly wish to ru n t he risk of t he Russian ee t s
e scap e a risk that was u ndoubt e d had he gon e i n s e arch o ff t he

coasts o f J apan T he s e con d re ason which l e d Togo t o his


.

d e cision was as I m e n tion e d above a d e sir e to giv e battl e i n


, ,

proximity to his own ports I n that r e sp e ct the Tsushima


.

Straits O ff e r e d t he gr e ate st advantag e s .

Th e s e straits are divid e d by t he island of Tsushima i nto two


chan n e ls ; t he e ast e rn which is the wid e r b e ars t he nam e o f t he
, ,

Strait of Kor e a ; the w e st e rn is kn own as B roughto n s Gulf .

N e ar t he e ntranc e to t he form e r o n the J apan e s e coast is , ,

situat e d o n e of t he ch i e f n aval ars e nals o f J apan Sas e bo ; and ,

n ot far south of that is Nagasaki wh e r e are also docks and ,

e xt e nsiv e m e ans for t he r e pair of ships I n t he c e n tr e o f t he .

gulf is a narrow passag e l e adi n g to the Se a of J apan


, It .

is d e fe nd e d by pow e rful forti catio ns and n ot far distant is ,

a s e con d rs t class ars e nal Kur e


-
At a distanc e of about
, .


tw e n ty four hours st e ami ng from t he op e ning of t he strait
-
,

th e r e is y e t anoth e r n aval ars e nal M ay tz ur u I n Broughton s .

G ulf th e r e are n o plac e s suitabl e for naval bas e s ; bu t at t he


comm e nc e m e nt o f t he war Fusan an d M asampo w e r e e quipp e d
,

by t he J apan e s e who as usual spar e d n o pai ns to mak e th e ir


, , ,

work p e rfe ct Of l arg e docks th e r e are no n e ; but th e r e may


.

hav e b e e n oating docks for ships of mod e rat e dim e n sions and , ,
S I G N I FI CAN C E OF A B A TT L E 65

l ik e wis e all n e c e ssari e s for r e pairi ng v e ss e ls which might call


,

h e r e i nst e ad o f making t he j ourn e y to Sas e bo o r Kur e .

Fi nally an ars e nal o f t he s e co nd rank T ag e s aki is situat e d


, , ,

on t he islan d o f Tsushima T o this must be add e d that all


.
,

th e s e ports are situat e d at t he h e ad o f e xc e ll e nt an d wid e


bays which admit o f e asy d e fe n c e by m i n e s forti cations a nd
, , ,

artill e ry B e sid e s th e s e al ong t he coast o f Japan an d also


.
,

along th is par t o f the coast o f Kor e a th e re are good and


conv e n i e n t harbours i n which a damag e d e e t may n d t e m
o rar r e fug e an d which wou l d s e rve as suitabl e plac e s for t he
p y ,

num e rous J apan e s e torp e do o ti l l as a nd the submari n e s .

T he i naction o f t he J apan e s e torp e do o t i ll as s e e ms strang e .

By op e rati ng from Formosa an d t he P e scador e s I slands ,

th e s e o t i ll as would hav e caus e d n o t a l ittl e e mbarrassm e n t to


t he Russian squadro n o n its arrival o ff t he coas t o f Cochi n

China an d the Saddl e I slands T he o nly logical e xplanatio n


.

of such inactio n was that Togo d e sir e d to pr e s e rv e all his


str e ngth an d all his torp e do v e ss e l s i n compl e t e r e adi n e ss for
t he supr e m e b l ow i n t he Straits .

(VI ) S I GN I F I C A N C E O F A B A T T L E IN T H E S T RA I T S
T he d e sir e t o giv e battl e i n t he Straits might also e n t e r in to

Togo s plan s an d t he m e an i ng o f th is is only to o cl e ar as I
, ,

hop e to S h ow I hav e alre ady said that i n a n ava l e ngag e m e n t


.

it is co nv e ni e n t to poss e ss t he possibil ity o f m ov e m e n t i n any


r e quir e d dir e ctio n a nd abov e all t o be abl e t o e ngag e at t he
,

most conv e n i e n t rang e for o n e s e lf I f your antagon is t d e sir e s


.

to draw n e ar an d it is m or e advan tag e ous for y o u to giv e battl e


at a l ong rang e t he o nly way o f pr e v e n ti ng hi m is to draw
,

o ff i n t he dir e ction opposit e to that fro m wh ich your a ntago nist

is approachi ng Sh ould t he e n e my hav e the sup e riority i n


.

sp ee d it i s at l e ast n e c e ssary to adopt such tactics as will so


, ,

far as possibl e pr e v e n t his approach t o t he rang e most favourabl e


,

for him . I hav e pr e viously discuss e d i n d e tail t he most ad v an


t ag e o us rang e s I n passi ng through a strait how e v e r both
.
, ,

of whos e coasts w e r e i n t he ha nds o f t he e n e my an d studd e d ,


66 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
with bays i n which his torp e do otilla and submari n e s might
be conc e al e d ; o n e also as i n this cas e which o ffe r e d the b e st
, ,

chanc e s o f r e ach i ng Vladivostok with any damag e d ships ,

Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky was s e riously hamp e r e d i n manoe uvring .

H e could only st e am ah e ad along the Strait whil e Togo might ,

manoeuvre th e r e in as he pl e as e d T he Strait was also mor e


.

conv e ni e n t for t he op e ratio ns o f the many J apan e s e torp e do


craft an d submari n e s I n a naval ba t tl e i t is d e sirabl e to tak e
.

up a d e n it e positio n i n r e lation to t he e n e my having re gard ,

to the positio n of t he s un t he dire ctio n o f t he wi nd an d the


, ,

tr e n d o f t he coasts if t he battl e be fough t i n th e ir n e ighbour


,

hood .

I t is most conv e n i e n t t o hav e the s un aste rn e sp e cially in ,

t he m orn ing o r e v e n i ng wh e n it is n o t high abov e t he horizon


, ,

for th e n it shin e s dir e ctly into the e y e s o f t he e n e my s gun n e rs
and gr e atly hi nd e rs th e ir aim whil e for us o n the contrary
, , ,

the targ e t is e xc e ll e n tly l it up I n a n aval battl e which


.
, ,

prop e rly sp e aki ng is an artill e ry du e l this is a v e ry val uabl e


, ,

co nsid e ration .I nd e e d during t he battl e o f 1 4 August 1 9 04


, , ,

Admira l J e ss e n was guilty o f a gross e rror i n manoeuvri ng wh e n


he allow e d Admiral Kamimura to tak e up a positio n b e tw e e n
h ims e lf and t he sun I t is tru e that to e scap e the harmful e ffe ct
.


caus e d by the sun s rays shin ing straight i n to t he e y e s o f t he
gu n n e rs the latt e r put o n y e llow coloure d glass e s ( and th e r e -

was an ampl e supply o f such glass e s o n board Admiral R o z hes t



ve n s k
y s eet
) but
, th e s e o nly partly min imiz e d t he troubl e .

I t is i n any circumstanc e s mor e di fcult to sink an approaching


, ,

ship wh e n th e r e is a brilliantly sh ining s un ast e rn o f he r I t .

is also v e ry importan t to tak e advan tag e o f the dir e ction o f t he


wi nd sinc e t he advan tage s are particularly gr e a t wh e n the br e e z e
,

is so strong as to caus e a fairly rough s ea I n this cas e it would .

be mor e co nv e ni e n t to st e e r o n e s e e t i n li n e abr e ast against


t he wind and allow t he e n e my to follow ast e rn


, I n so doing .

t he e n e my s bow chas e gu ns will b



-
e e xpos e d t o a h e ad s e a and

t he spray an d th e ir action cons e qu e n tly h ind e r e d


, whilst o ur ,

st e rn chas e guns would re i n p e rfe ct free dom T he e n e my


-
.
S I G N I F I C A N C E O F A B A TT L E 67

would also su ffe r from l e aks i n t he bows o f th e ir v e ss e l s from


shot hol e s r e adily admitting wate r ; wh e r e as o ur l e aks i n the
-

st e rn would be far l e ss da nge rous a nd it woul d be m uch e asi e r


,

to r e pair th e m as opportu n ity o ff e r e d .

Finally if a n e ngag e m e n t tak e s plac e n e ar t he shor e i t is


, ,

b e st t o tak e up a positio n b e tw e e n l an d an d t he e n e my s o that ,

v e ss e ls outli n e s may be co n c e a l e d against the loom o f t he land



.

Oth e rwis e a ship stands cl e arly o ut o n t he li n e o f t he horizon ,


and this has a disti nct i n u e nc e o n t he coup d ee i l o f t he gu n n e rs

.

M or e ov e r t he gre at e s t e rrors i n placi ng shots aris e from an


,

e rro n e ous e stimat e o f t he fo e s ra ng e Wh e n th e r e is a cl e ar
.

horizo n ast e rn o f the e n emy it is v e ry e asy t o j udg e this distanc e


,

corr e ctly wh e n the shor e is at his back this can n ot be do n e .

I t is e vid e n t tha t i n ord e r t o g e t t he ful l b e n e t o f th e s e ad v an


tag e s i n positio n o f s un a nd shor e an d the dire ctio n o f the wind
, ,

it is n e c e ssary t o be abl e to man oe uvr e fr e e ly i n any d e sir e d dir c e


tions an d i n t he Tsush im a Straits ( the sam e o f cours e holds
, , ,

good for the Straits o f Tsugaru an d La P e rous e ) this would hav e


b ee n impossibl e fo r R o z he s tv e n s ky b ut much e asi e r fo r Adm iral
,

Togo . This all app e ars p e rfe ctly l ogical T he outl e t from
.

Tak e siki port towards the island o f Tsushima is i n t he dir e ction



of Broughto n s G ulf s o that i n this chan n e l submari n e s and
, ,

torp e do boats thr e at e n e d o ur squadro n from tw o sid e s but i n the


-
,

Kor e an G ulf o n l y from o n e sid e Arriving o ff t he island o f


.

Tsushima u nobs e rv e d this i t wou l d app e ar was t he ack n ow


, ,

l edg e d fact j udgi ng by t e l egrams R o z he s tv e n s ky would l e av e


,

al l t he J apan e s e ports and t he part o f the J apan e s e coast i n



d e nt e d with bays b e hi n d h im I n B rough to n s Gulf o n t he oth e r
.
,

hand th e r e was n on e o f this


, Fi nal l y he migh t r e c e iv e n e ws
.
,

to the e ffe ct that Tog o was stil l at M asampo and i n addition , , ,

starting from the is l an d o f T sushima ( i e from the O pposit e . .

poin t wh ich he was a l re ady u n abl e to pass u np e rc e iv e d ) wh e r e ,


the Kor e an Gulf wid e ns and B roughto n s G ulf co ntracts Co n .

s e qu e ntly t he l ib e rty of m anoe uvri ng at war sp e e d b e cam e mor e


and mor e limit e d i n the l att e r i nstanc e whil e i n the form e r it was
,

possibl e to m or e r e ad ily conc e al on e s e lf from shor e .


C H APT E R I V

(I) TH E T A C T I C S AN D S T R A T E G Y O F TH E B A T T L E
N OW turn to t he analysis o f t he battl e its e l f from t he poi nt
o f vi e w o f n aval tactics .O n e is i m m e d iat e ly struck with
t he id e a that o ur e e t was tak e n quit e u nawar e s by t he J apan e s e ,

as if it w e r e n ot e xp e cti n g to m e e t the whol e e e t o f t he e n e my .

I f this w as i n d e e d so it m e ans tha t t he r e con n oitri ng was v e ry


,

badly manage d .

Al though t he forc e o f cruis e rs with Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky


was m uch w e ak e r tha n that o f the J apan e s e y e t wh e n o ur e e t
,

l e ft the Saddl e I slands an d was at n o gr e at distanc e from t he


Straits o f Kor e a whil e i t still had t he chanc e t o r e tr e at this
, ,

forc e might have go n e forward t o r e con noitr e o n both sid e s of


Tsushima island and hav e satis e d its e l f as to t he pr e s e n c e
,

h e r e o f a consid e rabl e forc e o f t he e n e my C e rtain ly i n this cas e


.

th e r e woul d h av e b e e n a risk o f losi ng part o f the cruis e rs but ,

this would hav e b e e n a r e aso n abl e loss an d at l e ast the situa


tio n would hav e b e com e cl e ar .

From t he d e scriptio n o f t he battl e it is e vid e n t th at o ur e e t


,

e nt e r e d t he Straits with t he cruis e rs drawn up o n t he ank i e


,
. .

t he battl e ships and cruis e rs e n t e r e d at t he sam e tim e . This


m e ans that t he cruis e rs t he e y e s o f t he e e t w e r e n ot mad e us e
of. Th e y migh t hav e gon e far ah e ad an d comm u n icat e d with
,

t he battl e e e t by wir e l e ss t e l e graphy By m e ans o f a chain


.
,

form e d of groups of cruis e rs the situatio n migh t hav e b e e n


,

r e con n oitr e d two h u ndr e d m il e s ah e ad Th e r e woul d n ot h av e


.

b e e n any sp e cial di fculty i n guardi ng again st a torp e do attack - .

Such attacks o n ships u nharm e d by gu n re and h avi ng room to


,

manoe uvr e hav e littl e chanc e o f succ e ss This was prov e d i n


, .

t he battl e . T he ships which p e rish e d i n t he torp e do attack on


68
A DV A NT AG E S O F L I N E FO R M A T I O N -
69

the night o f 2 7 2 8 M ay w e r e e ith e r thos e wh ich had b e e n badly


dam ag e d by the e n e my s re o r th os e surrou nd e d by o th e r ships

,

an d d e priv e d o f room to manoe uvr e T he gr e at maj ority of.

cruis e rs did n ot r e c e iv e t he h e avi e st r e o f t he e n e my and w e r e


not m uc h damag e d Th e s e app e ar e d u n hurt o n the morn i ng o f
.

2 8 M ay although o n e o f th e m according to t he r e port o f he r


, ,

com mand e r had a n arrow e scap e from t he J apan e s e torp e do


,

boats which lau nch e d s e v e nt e e n torp e do e s at a short d istanc e


, .

T he app e aranc e o f o ur cruis e rs i n t he Straits tw e n ty four ,


-

hours b e for e t he m ai n forc e would probably h av e drawn thith e r


,

a con sid e rabl e d e tach m e n t o f the J apan e s e an d from th is i t ,

migh t h av e b e e n gu e ss e d t h at t he mai n b ody o f t he e n e my was


not far o ff T he o n ly possibl e e xplan atio n o f t he fac t that
.

cruis e rs w e r e n o t s e n t ah e ad t o r e co n n oitr e is that th e r e was a ,

hO p e that o ur e e t would r e ach t he Straits u n o bs e rv e d an d pass


quickly th rough b e for e t he J apa n e s e w e r e pr e par e d t o bar t he
way I n that cas e s e nding ah e ad a cruis e r d e tach m e n t would
.
,

hav e b e tray e d o ur i n t e n tio ns H ow e v e r it is hard t o b e li e v e i n


.
,

this e xplan atio n wh e n o n e co nsid e rs ho w m uch sup e rior the


,

e n e my s e e t was i n scouti ng v e ss e ls M e an wh i l e if t he
.
,

pre s e n c e o f the mai n body o f t he J apan e s e i n the Straits had


b ee n discov e r e d o ur squadro n c o u l d hav e turn e d back an d
,

wait e d fo r m or e favou rabl e w e ath e r sail e d r o u n d t o t he e ast


of Japan o r tri e d to b a f e the e n e my by fals e m o v e s
, E v e n if .


the pr e s e nc e o f t he e n e my s pri ncipal forc e had n o t b e e n d is

cov e r e d a nd i t h ad b e e n d e cid e d fo r som e good r e aso n to


,

advanc e to t he Kor e an Straits a n e l e m e n tary k n owl e dge o f


,

tactics ough t t o have S h ow n R o z he s tv e n s ky th at gran t e d a ,



m ee ting w ith t he e n e my s m ai n forc e was u navoid abl e i t was ,

most lik e ly t o tak e plac e i n t he m ost u n favourabl e situatio n fo r


us i n a strait , u n d e r circu mstanc e s t he v e ry worst for us a n d

b est for t he e n e my I f th is was s o t he formation adop t e d by


.
,

our e e t i n passi ng th rough the Straits is i n e xplicabl e .

( I I ) A D V AN T AG E S O F L I N E F O R M A T I O N
-

I t is a fun dam e n tal rul e i n n aval tactics that i n batt l e a e e t ,

must be draw n up i n li n e
M any y e ars e xp e ri e n c e i n n aval
.
70 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
warfare t he r e sults of manoeuvr e s the O pi nio ns o f al l promi n e nt
, ,

naval writ e rs all agr e e that a e e t i n t w o o r mor e lin e s is not


,

i n good ord e r for battl e T he r e ason for th is is cl e ar I n t he


. .

app e nd e d sk e tch are shown d i ffe r e nt formations o f t he e n e my


black with r e gard to o ur ships ( whit e ) i n o n e an d two li n e s
( ) .

I f t he e n e my e qual t o us i n numb e r an d str e ngth of ships


, ,

is drawn up e ntir e ly o n o n e sid e o f o ur singl e li n e ( Fig I ) the .

chanc e s o f both i n t he artill e ry battl e are e qual S i nc e the ,

numb e r o f ri ng guns are id e ntical We can re with t he guns.

on t he port sid e whilst the e n e my will us e thos e to starboard .

O n board a ship t he m aj ority o f quick ri n g gun s re o n o n e-

broadsid e ( Fig . I n the turr e ts plac e d for e a nd aft are t he



larg e gu ns ( i n battl e ships 1 2 and and i n the J apan e s e
armour e d cruis e rs Th e s e as c an be s e e n re o n both sid e s
, ,

o f t he ship . I f t he e n e my w e r e to divid e and plac e o ur lin e be


tw e e n two r e s ( Fig 2 ) it would be to his disadvan tag e I n the
. .

rst plac e the n umb e r of o ur gu ns i n action would be n e arly


doubl e h is S inc e he c ould only us e the turr e t gun s ri ng for e
,

and aft and half his small e r guns ; whil e w e should n ot hav e a
,

si ngl e gu n idl e M or e ov e r t he e n e my s shots wh ich w e n t ov e r
.
,

our ships wo uld probably strik e his o w n v e ss e l s O n e advan tag e .

to the e n e my would be that the ships at t he e xtr e miti e s o f our


li n e would be ri ng at long rang e ; but for this advantage to be
mat e rial o ur l in e would hav e to be v e ry long Figs 3 an d 4 . .

show that the r e sult would be quit e di ffe r e nt if o ur e e t w e r e


drawn up i n two l i n e s I n the rst cas e ( Fig 3 ) t he numb e r of
. .

o ur gu ns i n action would b e half thos e o f t he e n e my and his ,

S hot which pass e d ov e r o ur li n e o n the port sid e would fall o n


o ur starboard li n e I n t he s e con d cas e the n umb e r o f our gu ns
.

i n actio n would be the sam e as his ; but t he chanc e s of victory


would be gre at e r for the e n e my I t do e s n ot do to r e cko n that
.

t he ships of o n e l in e can re through t he i n t e rvals b e tw e e n t he

ships of an oth e r lin e Such ring would be only casual irre gular
.
, ,

and i n the thick of battl e dang e rous to a d e gr e e


, , .

A vital disadvantag e of formation i n two colum ns consists


i n the di fculty of manoeuvri ng A naval battl e is a contin uous
.
7 2 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
mov e m e nt A si ngl e col um n can wriggl e lik e a snak e and
.
,

chang e dir e ction agai n an d agai n I f th e r e are two colum ns


.
,

wh e n such m ov e m e n ts are sudd e n ly mad e and i n t he h e at o f ,

battl e collisi ons must r e sult


,
For i nstanc e if t he chi e f o f
.
,

t he e e t is with t he starboard colum n a nd is oblig e d to turn

to port th e n to avoid confusion he must go ah e ad o f the port


,

colum n i n ord e r that it m ay los e way ; if he m ov e s to star


board n ot losing way th e n the port colum n is consid e rably
, ,

b e hin d .

O n e can pictur e to on e s e lf h ow all th e s e i nco nv e n i e nc e s


which I hav e m e ntion e d are i ncr e as e d wh e n th e r e are n o t two
columns m e r e ly but s e v e ral Th e n i nd e e d chaos m ust be the
.
, ,

r e sult Again formation i n s e v e ral colum ns is sp e cially i n c o n


.
,

v e n i e n t on passi ng through a strait wh e r e a torp e do attack is


,
-

e xp e ct e d , or wh e re th e r e may be oating mi n e s scatt e re d about .

Wh e n th e r e is a singl e colum n if the rst ship do e s n ot strik e a


,

mi n e th e n t he way is safe for the oth e rs ; but wh e n th e r e are


s e v e ral colum ns the probability o f striki n g mi n e s i s gr e atly
i ncr e as e d An d s o too th e r e is a gr e at e r possibility o f striking
.

on a s e ri e s o f min e s scatt e re d abou t o r thrown across a strait .

Succ e ss i n the r e puls e of a torp e do attack d e p e nds t o a large


e xt e nt o n fr e e dom o f manoe uvri ng but this fr e e dom is wanting
,

wh e n the e e t is i n s e v e ra l colum ns Lastly the dange r o f such


.
,

a formatio n is i n nit e ly gr e ate r i n a fog for this is t he most ,



favourabl e O pportu nity for t he e n e my s torp e d o attack Th e s e .

ar e r e asons why wh e n e xp e cti n g to m e e t t he e n e my a e e t


, ,

always forms i n o n e li n e .

I n poin ti ng o ut the advan tag e s o f a si ngl e column I had i n ,

vi e w battl e ships and armour e d cruis e rs which according to , ,

th e ir stre ngth are capabl e o f ghting i n a s o call e d l i n e This


,
-
.

e xpr e ssion has b e e n i n us e from tim e imm e morial an d i ndicat e s

what ough t to be t he battl e formation wh e nc e t he phras e , ship ,



of t he lin e With r egard to light cruis e rs som e of th e s e are
.
,

s el e ct e d to form s e parat e divisions o n e o r s e v e ral accordi ng to ,

th ir n umb e r to be k e pt e ntir e ly o ut of t he battl e formation at


e
,

a s u i c i e n t distanc e so as n ot to i nt e rfe r e with man oe uvr e s .


TH E T R A N S P O RTS P ROV E D A H I N D RA N C E 73

Th e ir task by taki ng advan tag e o f t he di ffe r e n t combi nations of


,

t he battl e is to r e n d e r h e lp accordi ng to th e i r ability wh e r e it is


,

r e quir e d to attack t he w e ak poi n ts i n t he h ostil e formation a n d


, ,

to pr e v e n t t he e x e cution of si milar attacks by sim ilar ligh t


cruis e rs of t he e n e my I n a l ik e s e parat e d ivision the torp e do
.

v e ss e ls are form e d This d ivisio n e nd e avours to so dispos e i ts e lf


.

as to avoid the re o f the e n e my a n d m ust obs e rv e pr e cautions


,

up to t he e n d of t he battl e s o as to be t to assail t he e n e my s
,

damag e d sh ips .

( I I I) H O W T H E T R ANS P O R T S P R O V E D A H I N D R AN C E
As r e gards the transports wh ich i n the battl e i ts e lf prov e d a
,

hi ndranc e it is usually co nsid e r e d wis e to k e e p th e s e as far as


,

possibl e from t he e e t and out o f sight o n t he sid e O pposit e


, ,

from wh e r e the e n e my m ay be e xp e ct e d I n t he pr e s e n t cas e


.

t he prop e r plac e fo r th e s e transports would h av e b e e n about


tw e nty to thirty mil e s b e hi n d t he battl e e e t Aft e r t he battl e .

had op e n e d i n t he e ast e rn passag e o f which th e y would h av e b e e n


,

awar e by the sou n d o f the ri ng o r l e arn t by wire l e ss t e l e graphy ,

th e y migh t h av e m ad e dir e ctly fo r t he w e st e rn passag e an d


th e nc e to Vlad ivostok D uri ng t he g e n e ra l e ngag e m e n t i n the
.

e ast e rn passag e pushi ng t he tran sports through t he w e st e rn pas


,

sag e woul d hav e o ff e re d t he b e st chan c e s o f succ e ss I t woul d .

hav e b e e n quit e r e aso n abl e to h av e k e pt t he transports with t he


ee t an d prot e ct e d th e m if t he e ncou nt e r with t he J apan es e
had tak e n plac e i n the vici n ity o f Formosa o r farth e r south ; ,

but i n that e v e n t the b e st d e fe n c e woul d h av e b e e n to hav e s e n t


th e m during the hours o f battl e as far from the e e t as possibl e
, ,
.

H e r e wh e n from the sc e n e o f actio n it w as at m ost o nly forty


, , ,


e ight hours cruis e from Vladivostok th e r e was n o sp e cial n e e d to
,

k e e p t he transports with t he e e t an d th e y might e asily hav e


,

b e e n e ith e r l e ft b e h i nd at t he Sadd l e I slan ds or tak e n roun d


t he e ast o f J apan or ,
as m e ntio n e d abov e s e n t through t he
, ,

w est e rn part o f t he Straits o f Kor e a .

At all e v e nts i n vi e w o f the proxi mity o f Vladivostok it m igh t


, ,

hav e b e e n possib l e to risk th e m an d s e nd th e m ( along with the


,
74 T H E B ATT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
colli e rs an d auxiliary cruis e rs l e ft at Shanghai ) through t he
w e st e rn passag e during the night pr e c e ding the app e aranc e of
t he e e t i n t he e ast e rn passag e Th e y would hav e attract e d
.

to th e ms e lv e s a consid e rabl e n umb e r o f torp e do v e ss e ls and -

small craft To k e e p th e m about t he e e t d uri ng the battl e


.
,

and guard th e m from ri ng a nd t he attack o f smal l cruis e rs was ,

a s e ns e l e ss proc ee ding an d t he worst way to prot e ct th e m


, .


Th e y t e rribly imp e d e d t he squadro n i n manoeuvr e s and all t he
cruis e rs an d e v e n large r v e ss e ls lik e the Ol e g Aurora
,

, , ,

D mitri D o n s k o i a nd M o n o m ak h w e r e sp e cia l ly occupi e d


, ,

i n th e ir d e fe nc e ; t he torp e do v e ss e ls also crowd e d round th e m


-
,

b e ing th e r e by r e nd e re d o f practically n o advantage I f the .

torp e do craft had k e pt t o o n e sid e of the ar e a o f the battl e as


-
,

t he J apan e s e arrang e d th e irs ( t h e y o nly m ov e d th e m o ut aft e r

su ns e t ) ours might hav e had C hanc e s at night o f attacking t he


,

J apan e s e e e t and doi ng th e ir work as d e stroy e rs prot e cti ng ,

t he v e ss e ls at t he e xtr e mity o f o ur squadro n agai nst which the


,

ful l forc e of t he J apan e s e torp e do v e ss e ls was conc e n trat e d


-
.

Among the l att e r w e r e v e ry many small torp e do v e ss e ls for coast-

d e fe nc e and h e re would hav e b e e n su fci e nt work for o ur


,

d e stroy e rs H ow e v e r b e ing scatt e r e d among t he colum ns


.
, ,

u nd e r a cross re part w e r e withdra w n from t he l in e fo r n o


,

r e ason at all ; o th e rs con n e d th e ms e lv e s to savi ng m e n from


si nki ng v e ss e ls part l e ft the s c e n e of action with t he cruis e rs as
nigh t cam e o n at t he v e ry mom e n t wh e n th e y might hav e b e e n
o f advantag e to t he e e t I t may possibly be that i n d e fe n di ng
.
,

th e s e un fortun at e tra nsports o ur cruis e rs w e r e r e nd e r e d us e l e ss


, .

At t he tim e t he J apan e s e cruis e r d ivisio n app e ar e d i n sight


o f o ur squadro n
1
2 7; h ours b e for e t he battl e o f t he mai n e e t
, ,

a nd havi ng obs e rv e d i ts disposition r e port e d it to Admiral


, ,

Togo e nabling him to arrang e his plan o f op e rations accord


,

i n g l y ; at that tim e the cruis e r division duri ng t he battl e, ,

pass e d from o n e wi ng to t he oth e r o f o ur e e t an d produc e d ,

compl e t e co nfusion among t he transports Our cruis e rs k e pt .

clos e to t he e e t and the tra nsports and mad e no att e mpt to


,

pr e v e n t t he J apan e s e cruis e rs givi ng th e ir admira l a compl e t e


F RO NT A L A N D L I N E FO R M A T I O N S 75

r e port o f t he str e ngth a n d d ispositio n o f o ur e e t M e anwhil e .


,

i n vi e w o f o ur squadron th e r e app e ar e d to por t ( s e e the r e port of


,

G e n e ral Li n ie v i tc h p 1 1 1 ) a particularly w e ak scouti ng division


, .

-
t w o s e con d and t w o third class cruis e rs and to starboard o nly-

o n e third class cruis e r


-
T he d ivisio n to port approach e d s o
.

n e ar o ur squadro n that t he s e co n d d ivision o f battl e sh ips op e n e d



re o n i t ( s e e Li n i e vit c h s r e port ) Aft e r h aving i nsp e ct e d e v e ry
.

thi ng i t withdre w As nigh t dre w o n al l o ur cruis e rs whos e


,
.
, ,

task sh ould h av e b e e n to attract to th e ms e lv e s t he torp e d o attacks -

against t he battl e ships an d d e stroy the J apan e s e torp e do boats -


,

quitt e d t he arm our e d sh ip divisio n n e ar which i n t he morni ng , , ,



th e r e w as o nly o n e cruis e r t he I zumrud , .

I r e turn n ow t o the th re e d ivisio ns o f armour e d v e ss e l s o f four ,

ships i n ea ch At rst th e y w e r e i n o n e colum n ( s ee Li n i e v i tc h s


.

r e port ) e xt e nd e d alo ng t he strait o n e divisio n ast e rn o f the


, ,

oth e r About 1 2 hours b e for e t he app e aran c e o f t he e n e my


.
1
,

how e v e r th e y w e re form e d i nto tw o colu m ns with a n i n t e rval


, ,

b e tw e e n th e m o f thr e e cabl e s ( thr e e h u ndr e d s az hen s o f s i x fe e t ) .

T he starboard co l um n c o nsist e d i n al l o f four battl e ships o f the


Suvorov typ e an d ast e rn o f the port co l um n was attach e d
,

Adm ira l E n q
ui s t s d ivisio n o f cruis e rs .

( IV ) FR O N T A L AN D L I N E F O R M A T I O NS EX P LA I N E D

I n sp e aki ng o f the n e c e ssity o f ships b e i ng i n o n e li n e for


battl e I did n o t poi n t o ut that this m igh t be don e by two
,

m e thods What is kn own as a l i n e ah e ad is wh e r e v e ss e ls


.

fol l ow o n e an oth e r i n l e I f th e y are e xt e nd e d i n o n e li n e
.
,


abr e ast o f o n e an oth e r i e fro m sid e t o sid e th e n such formation
, .
,

is k n own as li n e abre ast E ach formation has its advantag e s


.

and i ts d e fe cts but b oth are n e c e ssary a nd e ach forms t he com


, ,

pl e m e nt o f the oth e r .

I hav e alre ady m e n tio n e d o n e o f t he advan tag e s o f t he


l in e ah e ad formation the e xibility an d facility of turn ing
,

it a ffords and i n this r e sp e ct t he l i n e abr e ast formatio n is t he


,

dire ct opposit e I n ord e r to chang e d ir e ctio n whil e i n this


.
7 6 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
latt e r formation i t is n e c e ssary that t he e n d v e ss e l at t he sid e on
,

which t he t urn is to be mad e should r e mai n stationary whil e ,

t he v e ss e l at t he oth e r e xtr e mity sh ould d e scrib e an arc


whos e radius is the l e ngth of t he whol e l i n e M e a nwhil e .
,

t he i n t e rv e n ing v e ss e ls d e scrib e arcs of corr e spondingly l e ss

radius All this is e x e cut e d accordi ng to d e n it e rul e s r e quiri ng


.

gr e at att e ntion b e sid e s signalling ; th e r e for e it is e vid e ntly v e ry


,

d i i c ul t to p e rform i n tim e o f battl e I t is also g e n e rally


.

di i c ul t to r e tain this formatio n i n ord e r if rst o n e v e ss e l


m ov e s ah e ad and th e n an oth e r B ut if w e imagi n e t w o
.

e e ts advanci ng dir e ctly towards o n e an oth e r o n e i n l in e ,

abr e ast and the oth e r i n li n e ah e ad the advan tag e to the form e r
,

will be e norm ous T he v e ss e ls o f t he form e r e e t can


.

conc e n trat e the re o f all th e ir bow gu ns o n t he for e most v e ss e l


of t he latt e r but t he v e ss e ls formi ng t he S e con d ee t scr e e n
,

t he e n e my from o n e an oth e r an d t he r e armos t v e ss e ls h av e


,

to r e at too gr e at a distanc e T he for e most v e ss e l o f t he


.

s e cond e e t will probably be o v e rpow e r e d ; and as t he


agship usually l e ads th e r e is t he gr e at e st probability o f t he
,

admiral b e ing put out o f action F o r th is r e as o n. on c e ,

t he e n e my approach e s us i n l i n e abr e ast formation it is ,

n e c e ssary to ad opt t his formation also o r if this is un d e s ir , ,

abl e to e xt e nd t he li n e ah e ad formation un til it b e com e s


,


parall e l to t he e n e my s formation Th e n o ur position would
.

be e ve n mor e advan tag e ous as w e ca n bri ng all o ur guns o n


,

t he port sid e to b e ar whil e he can o nly r e ply with h is bow gu ns


, .

M or e ov e r w e can thanks t o the e xibility o f o ur formation


, , ,

b e gi n to o utan k t he port sid e o f t he e n e my To hi nd e r us from .

doing that he will hav e to r e form o ut from l in e abr e ast to l in e


,
-

ah e ad for which purpos e his ships will hav e to turn S imul


,

tan e o us l y to port at right angl e s I f he w e r e lat e i n b e gin n ing


.

this manoeuvr e an d w e w e re alr e ady o n his ank this mov e


, ,

w ould b e v e ry dang e rous for him as his for e most v e ss e l form e rly
, (
on t he l e ft ank ) would be e xpos e d to t he conc e ntrat e d re
of all o ur e e t an d th e n all hi s v e ss e ls would hav e to turn
,

at right angl e s to s tarboard an d b e gi n to turn our r e ar whil e w e ,


K O R E I E T S
FI R I N G TH E F I R ST S H OT F RO M TH E
THE P E RSO N A L E L E M E NT 77

shou l d carry o ut the sam e r e lation t o h is r e ar v e ss e ls Th e n the .

chanc e s would be e ve n F o r th e s e r e aso ns I am o f opi n io n that


.

it is e vid e n t t hat i n a n aval battl e t he li n e ah e ad formatio n an d


t he lin e abr e as t formatio n ought to al t e rnat e an d e ith e r ,

antago n ist sh oul d be abl e at any m om e n t to pass from o n e


formatio n t o t he oth e r T o e ffe c t this th e re m ust be fr e e dom to
.

manoeuvr e which w as l acki ng from o ur ee t at Tsushima owi ng


,

to i ts formation i n parall e l co l um ns and als o t o the pr e s e nc e o f


,

t he transports which cr e at e d pan ic hamp e r e d the whol e forma


, ,

tion a nd i n trod uc e d d isord e r


,
.

( V) THE P E R S O NA L E LE M EN T

To compl e t e o ur e xami natio n o f t he caus e s which l e d o ur


ee t t o d isast e r at Tsushim a w e m ust n o w discuss t he chi e f
caus e the p e rso na l e l e m e n t I nd ee d upo n this factor fa ll al l
.
,

the strat e gic e rrors i n t he e e t s m ov e m e nts ; tactical m istak e s

i n battl e ; t he surr e nd e r o f som e v e ss e ls and t he d e partur e of ,

oth e rs from t he sc e n e o f actio n ; wro ng ri ng ; an d nally bad ,

e quipm e n t an d fau l ty co nstructio n o f v e ss e ls F o r a l l th e s e .


,

men are cl e arly to blam e I t has oft e n b ee n d e clar e d i n the


.

P re ss a n d publicly that the ch i e f caus e o f th e s e d e fe cts i n t he


, ,

p e rson al e l e m e nt may b e fou n d i n t he fac t that g e n e rally sp e ak ,

ing w e are n o t a mariti m e n atio n that o n this accou nt good


, ,

sailors can n ot be rais e d amo ng us ( H o w is i t possibl e to ght


.

at s e a without good sailors ?) Agai n i t is said that b e caus e ,

the J apan e s e are a s e a goi ng nation th e y bui l t an e xc e ll e n t e e t


-

i n som e t e n t o ft ee n y e ars I t is also said that aft e r all a e e t


.

is of n o us e t o us what e v e r and s e a warfar e is s o u n natura l


,

to us that i t should be put a stop to o n c e for all .

I can n ot agr e e with this i n any way I t was of cours e .

di i c ul t t o discuss t he m att e r wh e n t he impr e ssio n produc e d


by t he an nihilation o f n e arly all t he Russian ee t was so vivid ,

and wh e n many wan t e d to e xplain t he d isast e r by pur e ly


e l e m e n tal caus e s . Now how e v e r i t is di ffe r e n t
, ,
I d o n ot .

consid e r it right to k e e p sil e nc e .


78 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
M ost o f all I am struck by t he suppos e d d e sp e rat e condition
of our lan d forc e s B ut i n t he fac e s O f thos e who talk lik e th is
.
,

can not the fact be thrown that this war has cl e arly shown that
o ur army is bad o ur dipl omacy bad an d many oth e r things bad
, ,

A r e w e th e r e for e not to hav e a n army b e caus e it has sh own its e lf


bad and display e d through lack o f d e v e lopm e n t and cul tur e its
, ,

i ncapability of adopting t he m e thods o f mod e rn military art ?


H as t he J apan e s e army prov e d wors e than the J apan e s e e e t ?
H as i t on c e los t a battl e H as it n ot tak e n P ort Arthur from
us and captur e d th ousands o f our m e n n ot only at P ort Arthur
, , ,

but aft e r M ukd e n H as not artill e ry fall e n i n to its hands o n


land with l arg e stor e s of provision s and military stor e s our
, ,

plans and e v e n s e cr e t ciph e rs ? All that has b e e n t he cas e T his


, .

m e ans that the J apan e s e hav e c onstruct e d v e ry rapidly n o t only ,

a n e xc e ll e nt e e t but a n e xc e ll e nt army an d that n o l e ss rapidly


, ,

than t he e e t I t m e ans that J apan is n ot only mor e o f a naval


.

nation than w e are but mor e o f a la nd pow e r as w e ll


, I n J apan .

th e r e are scarc e ly any h ors e s for th e y are n e ith e r e mploy e d for


,

l ocomotio n nor agricul tural purpos e s y e t for all that it app e ars
that th e ir caval ry d id b e tt e r than ours What do e s all this .

m e an ? I n my opi nio n it m e ans that the caus e s by which the


J apan e s e hav e e xc e ll e d i n th e ir diplomacy i n th e ir army an d ,

navy are as g e n e ral as thos e by which e v e rythi ng has turn e d


,

out badly for us I t is possibl e to cre at e e v e rythi ng a nd to


.
,

t e ach e v e ry o n e u nd e r soun d conditio ns with broad cultur e ,

an d d e v e lopm e nt o f the p e opl e consc ious o f patriotism and


,

lov e o f country a nd participating i n a ffairs according to the


, ,

ability o f e ach by m e ans o f a syst e m o f popular r e pre s e ntation


, .

Wh e n I am told that o ur e e t was d estroy e d i n the Straits o f


Kor e a simply b e caus e w e are i n ge n e ral bad sailors I can not ,

agr e e with th is at all W e r e thos e bad sailors who compl e t e d a


.

voyage u nh e ard o f i n the history o f e e ts u nd e r e xc e ption ally ,

difcult conditions o n m is e rabl e u nstabl e and partly worn out


, , ,
-

v e ss e ls and succ e e d e d b e sid e s i n taking such v e ss e ls safe ly to


,

t he s e at of war ? W e r e thos e bad naval e ngin e e rs who i n such

an e xc e ptionally d i i c ul t voyag e kn e w how to pr e s e rv e t he


THE P E RS O N A L E L E M E NT 79

boil e rs a nd e ngi n e s from s e rious d e fe cts N o a thousan d tim e s ,

n o ; a nd I thi nk e v e ry o n e d e void of bias will agr e e with m e .

E v e ry o n e who k n ows o ur e e t will also agr ee that bad sailors


and bad n aval e ngi n e e rs sail e d from Libau b e caus e ou r p er s on ,

n el had n e v e r b e e n oblig e d to l e arn s e a duti e s suc h was


the p e rn icious syst e m o f s e ns e l e ss e co n omy favour e d by t he

M i nistry o f M ari n e ! An d y e t th e s e bad s e am e n sons o f a ,

nation o f h op e l e ss lan dsm e n b e cam e good sailors b e caus e i n the


, ,


cours e o f a s e v e n m o nth s voyag e u n d e r most tryi ng conditions
, ,

th e y practis e d i nc e ssan tly an d l e arn e d h ow to cop e with e v e ry


di i c ul ty Th e y e ndur e d t e rribl e storms tropical h e at fogs
.
, , ,

privations and i nd e e d surmou nt e d all thi ngs b e caus e th e y had


, , ,

practis e d an d l e arn e d N ot o nly did bad s e am e n sail from


.

Libau but also bad ghti ng s e am e n i n cl uding admirals c o m


, , ,

man d e rs and o ,
i c e rs w ho had n e v e r studi e d t he sci e nc e of naval
history n o r n aval strat egy n o r m od e rn n aval tactics Th e y had
, ,
.

al l grow n up i n an atm osph e r e of pr ej udic e as to t he un n e c es


sary charact e r of all this an d e v e n co n t e mpt for naval history an d
,

any sci e nc e what e v e r M any r e main e d i n this fram e of m ind


.
,

whil e thos e wh o fe lt that th e r e was som e th i ng wrong a n d strov e


to improv e th e ir kn owl e dg e had n o possibil ity o f doi ng s o N O .

O pportu niti e s e xist e d an d t he s e rvic e di d n o t furn ish th e m


, In .

our navy for i nstanc e it is ag e s s i nc e th e r e w e r e a ny manoe uvr e s


, , .

That is why t he tactical m ov e m e nts o f the e e t prov e d bad ,

why th e r e w as n o scouti ng s e rvic e an d why n o battl e forma ,

tion was adopt e d T o t he sam e wan t o f practica l k n owl e dg e


.

may be attribut e d the fac t that o ur v e ss e ls w e nt i nto acti o n


paint e d black with th e ir fun n e ls brightly pick e d o ut i n y e llow ;
,

that is why n o o n e was told O ff t o work o ut t he chi e f s plans
b efor e hand although history d e als with the urg e n t n e c e ssity of
,

this All this could n o t be l e arn t duri ng a voyag e e sp e cially


.
,

by m e n u nd e r the con victio n th at such thi ngs w e r e n ot n e c e s


sary to be troubl e d about W e ath e r h e at and fogs did n ot t e ach
.
, ,

that T he battl e did wh e n it was too lat e E xactly t he sam e


. .


thing happ e n e d with t he army I n N o 1 49 of the Rus M r . .
, .

N K iri l o v who publish e d t he O pi n ions of a soldi e r j ust r e turn e d


.
80 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
fro m M anchuria r e plyi ng to t he qu e stion Why w e r e w e b e at e n ?

,

a nsw e rs and d e cisiv e ly


,
B e caus e from the v e ry rst st e p
,

tak e n i n this war w e cast away all that w e had s o long and
dilig e n tly studi e d at the Acad e my and r e fusi ng t he i nstruction
, ,

o f sci e nc e an d he r truths comm e nc e d to d e vis e o ur o w n tactics


,

and strat egy imagi ni ng that w e poss e ss e d m or e g e ni us than


,

gr e at military l e ad e rs . I t was a sor t o f bacchanal ia of i m p ro v i z


a rions
T he only diffe r e nc e was this that o ur l and forc e s had studi e d
,

an d d e spis e d sci e nc e whil e o ur sailors had pr e viously d e spis e d


,

it an d n ot stud i e d it Which cours e is t he mor e culpabl e o r


.

co nt e mptibl e is a qu e stio n to be argu e d This con t e mpt for .

sci e nc e h ow e ve r is a g e n e ral charact e ristic among us I do


, , .

n ot d e sir e to bl am e e ith e r o ur admirals o r o ur o fc e rs for th e y


could n ot h e lp th e ms e lv e s i n this u niv e rsal ign oranc e of tactical
matt e rs i n which the p er s on n el o f o ur e e t has stagn at e d I .

k n ow many who mad e tr e m e n dous e fforts t o fre e th e ms e lv e s o f


th is ign oran t spirit ; but t he whol e syst e m was against th e m ,

and it was all but impossibl e to con t e nd with it I t is e asi e r to


.

study tactical matt e rs than to b e com e a good sailor and if o ur ,

o fc e rs had o nly studi e d th e s e as dilige ntly th is I k n ow for a


fact as t he J apan e s e studi e d th e n o ur e e t would hav e b e e n
,

n o wors e than th e i rs i n this r e sp e ct Fi nally n ot o nly did


.
,

i n e fci e nt s e am e n and o fc e rs l e av e with the e e t from Libau ,

but m e n whos e i n struction i n gu n n e ry had c e as e d t w o o r thr e e


y e ars b e for e ; an d som e of th e m too had l e arn t m uch that was
, ,

i ncorr e ct This might n o doubt hav e b e e n r e cti e d o n t he


.
, ,

j ourn e y our s e am e n l e arn r e markably quickly wh e n th e y are


w e ll i nstruct e d bu t th e y did n o t r e c e iv e any i n struction s o that ,

during t he battl e o ur ring was much wors e than that o f t he


J apan e s e and this was add e d to by t he rolling of t he ships
,
.

We turn e d out e xc e ll e n t sailors an d e x p e rt gun n e rs e v e n i n the ,

old days of saili ng ships wh e n natural aptitud e for t he s e a


,

play e d an i ncomparably gr e at e r rOl e than it do e s n ow This .

was at p e riods wh e n our m e n w e r e w e ll and e arn e stly trai n e d ,

wh e n t he p e rsonal e l e m e n t was r e gard e d as t he chi e f consid e ra


T H E P E RSO N A L E L E M E NT 81

tion and m on e y was n ot spar e d ov e r th e ir i nstructio n


,
N ow i n .
,

an ag e o f all ki nds of m e chan isms wh ich h e lp to si mplify t he


struggl e wi th t he s e a e sp e cially w ith the e l e m e nt its e lf th is
is mor e possibl e than e v e r I t is possibl e fo r us ; an d o nly i n
.

this way can t he caus e s be r e mov e d which hav e mad e o ur army


d e t e riorat e an d w e be abl e to poss e ss a good ee t

.
,

B ut t he surr e nd e r o f four arm oure d v e ss e ls an d t he Bie d o vy ,

with the u nco nscious Comm and e r i n Chi e f o n board the aban

- -
,

d o n m e n t o f t he Bie d o v y by t he d e stroy e r Grozny a nd ,

the d e partur e from the sc e n e of actio n o f som e o f the cruis e rs

wha t d o al l th e s e m e an ? Th e y are i nd e e d practically t he


, ,

most pai nful and d istr e ssi ng e v e n ts co n n e ct e d with the disast e r .

Th e s e ign omin ious facts i h particular wh e r e t he ships yi e l d e d


,

with ou t a struggl e are a r e sult o f t he u ndoubt e d d e pr e ssio n o f


spirits b ut n o word o f mi n e sha l l be us e d t o lay all t he
,

blam e without r e s e rvation upo n thos e w ho surr e n d e r e d T hat


, ,
.

th e y act e d sham e fully dir e ctly ag ai n s t the R eg ul ati on s an d


, ,

ag ai n s t the n aval g osp e l at the f


r ead i n
g o w hi c h al l on b
oar d

un cove r al l, th is i s tru e B utb e sid e s this th e y w e r e u nd e r


.
,

the i nu e nc e o f th e ir im agi n atio n as t o ho w th is would b e

r ec e iv e d by oth e rs as to what the e e t the authoriti e s the


, , ,

natio n woul d s ay Th is do e s n o t i nu e n c e t he strong a nd


, .

e n e rg e tic ; b ut i n e v e ry p e r s on n el th e r e is a n u mb e r o f w e ak ,

wave ring a nd u nfaithfu l souls ! H o w n e c e ssary i t i s to dir e ct


,

th e s e an d rigidly t o plac e a n id e a l b e for e th e ir e y e s how th e y


,

should act an d what must be r e gard e d as a disgrac e by all !


,


Such matt e rs gr e atly assist i n raisi ng m e n s spirits an d i n th e ir
d epre ssio n and as t he spirits o f all i n t he e e t had long b e e n
,

much d e pr e ss e d th e y s e rve d m or e r e adily to d e pr e ss than to


,

rais e I t b egan with t he v e ry comm e n c e m e n t o f t he w ar N o


. .

o n e app e ars to b e r e sponsibl e for t he crimi nal aband o nm e nt of

our squadro n i n t he out e r roadst e ad O f P ort Arthur o n the night


of 8 9 F e bruary an d for the i nad e quat e l ook out wh e n all k n e w
,
-
,

that war w as imm e diat e l y ah e ad an d the id e a w e n t abroad


also tha t such n e gl e ct m igh t n ot r e sult e v e n i n c e nsur e still ,

l e ss i n pun ishm e n t Aft e r that th e r e is t he story o f the


.
82 T H E B ATT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
Variag Al l are agr e e d that this was a matt e r e xalt e d far
.

b eyond m e asur e ; that it d e mand e d i nv e stigatio n as w e l l as


r e wards I think that t he participants i n th is a ffair w e r e
.

astou nd e d wh e n th e y l e arn e d t he cr e dit assign e d to th e ir act .

H ow pitiful it all app e ars i n compariso n with for e xampl e the



, ,


e xploit of the Rurik I do n ot sp e ak o f t he Ste re g us ht
shy . B ut did this e xploit r e c e iv e a thousan dth part o f c o m m e n
dation i n comparison with that accord e d ove r t he a ff air o f the
Variag N o o n e scarc e ly said a word about it a nd for thos e ,

wh o took part th e r e o nly r e main e d t he consolation d e riv e d from


t he consciousn e ss of duty actually and n ot o nly visibly ful ,
ll e d , .

An i ncid e nt i nd e e d which h as r e mai n e d e ntir e ly un i n v es ti


,

gat e d is t he abandon m e nt o f t he
,

Rurik by he r two big
cruis e r consorts P e rhaps th e r e was n o oth e r cours e to adopt
.
,

but many did n ot b e li e v e this I w e ll r e m e mb e r h ow t he re port


.

of t he action was k e pt back for n e arly forty e ight hours -


.

Why ? An oth e r a ffair has lik e wis e n ot b e e n i nv e stigat e d how ,


-

our division o f cruis e rs o n 1 4 August w e r e cut o ff from V l ad i v o s


tok although th e r e w e r e r e asons for this wh ich also contribut e d
to t he d e fe at Fin ally this has r e main e d e n tir e ly u ni nv e stigat e d :
.
,

how was it that o n board t he cruis e r which had by far the b e st


arm our o n he r sid e s t he loss e s i n m e n w e r e i ncomparably
,

gr e at e r than i n an oth e r almost u n prot e ct e d by armou


,
Th is
was i n cons e qu e nc e o f lack o f ord e r and skill but n o o n e ,

has drawn att e ntion th e r e to An d why was n o pun ishm e nt


.

award e d i n t he cas e of two of our thr e e cruis e rs at Vlad ivostok


b e ing ru n o n t he rocks ? As all wh o are acquai n t e d with t he
matt e r kn ow it was i n circumstanc e s wh ich could i n n o way be
,

j usti e d D ue appr e ciation was n ot award e d i n r egard to t he



.


d e partur e of the Askold for Shanghai t he D iana for
Saigon and the,

L e na for San Francisco
,

Th e s e a ffairs could n ot but e x e rt a d e pr e ssi ng i nu e nc e


upo n our p er s on n el an d pri n cipally o f cours e upo n its w e ak e st
,

m e mb e rs Th e y could not h e lp mak ing the d e ductio n that


.

al l this was i n t he ord e r of th i ngs all this migh t safe ly be ,

do n e . Th e r e for e what grou nds are th e r e for surpris e that


,
I N C O M P E T E N T C O M M A N D E RS 83

three cruis e rs l e ft t he sc e n e o f a battl e an d w e nt t o a n e utral


port un til it h ad nish e d ? That the Grozny abandon e d the

B i e d o vy

That at l e ngth t he farth e s t pos sibl e st e p was tak e n

in this dir e ction i e v e ss e l s b ega n t o surr e nd e r al most uh
. .

scath e d and with out maki ng any att e mpt t o S i nk th e ms e l ve s

( VI ) I N C O M P E T E N T C O M M AN D E R S R E JE CT E D : T HEI R
S U BSE UE NT A P PO I N T ME N TQ
I n concl udi ng with this s urr e nd e r o n wh ich i t is s o difcult ,

to stay my p e n as it a ffe cts us all s o pai nfully I will m e ntio n ,

o n e mor e fact .

Wh e n Admiral R o zhe s tve n s ky was e quipping his squadro n


and s e l e cti ng his comman d e rs he fou nd that two o f th os e p re
,

s e nt e d did n o t poss e ss t he r e quir e d quali catio ns I do not .

wish to s ay that th e s e w e r e bad O fc e rs but th e ir r e putation ,

in the e e t as i ncapab l e o f c o mmandi ng a ship o f war w as


, ,

notorious I l e av e asid e h ow th e y attai n e d this ran k ; that


.

would l e ad m e t o o far i n r egard t o wh e r e lurks t he chi e f caus e


of al l o ur disord e rs a nd d e fe ats I will S im ply n ot e tha t it
.

was from this fact th at t he s e c o mman d e rs w e r e r e fus e d by


R o z he s tv e n s ky Y e t both th e s e m e n w e r e appoi n t e d captains
.

i n N i ebo g at o v s divisio n ; i e the M i n istry s e nt to R o z he s t



. .


ven s k
y s h e lp t he v e ry com mand e rs whom he h ims e l f had r e fus ed

to r e c e ive a fe w m onths e arli e r Of cours e as was boun d to .


,

happ e n both th e s e captai ns s urr e nd e r e d th e ir sh ips with all


, ,

th e ir o fc e rs aliv e and w e ll This fact n e e ds n o comm e n t an d


. ,

is charact e ristic E v e rybody i n the e e t was stirr e d by it


.
,

though n o o n e poss e ssing authority fou nd it n e c e ssary t o p ro


t e st agai nst it ; though th e r e had b e e n ampl e tim e to chang e
th e s e comman d e rs I k n ow o f many similar occurr e n c e s during
.

this war . M e n kn own t o b e utt e rly i ncomp e t e n t hav e b ee n

appoin t e d an d mai n tain e d i n r e sponsibl e positions an d for t he ,

most part o ut o f what is suppos e d to be good fe e li ng f r om n o ,

des i r e to oen d I t has b e e n forgott e n h ow much Russia su ffe rs


.

th e re by .
84 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N

( V I I ) S T R O NG A ND WEAK M EN

T he d e structiv e i nu e nc e upo n t he pe r s on n el o f t he r e c e ption


accord e d t he di ffe r e nt e v e nts o f this war has shown its e lf in ,

t he cl e ar e st man n e r among t he w eahe r m e n o f the o fc e rs of

o ur e e t I hav e how e v e r said n othi ng o f t he s tr ong and


.
, , ,

i n showi ng r e sp e ct t o th e s e I wish to conc l ud e my pr e liminary


n ot e s o n t he battl e i n t he Straits o f Kore a M ay the gr e at e st .

glory honour an d gratitud e be accord e d t o th e m b e caus e th ey


, ,

did n ot giv e way u nd e r the m ost trying conditions ; a nd that


th e y without re c e ivi ng dire ction from outsid e fou nd th e s e pow e rs
, ,

i n th e ms e lv e s ! Th e r e w e re many more o f th e s e s trong m e n


than o f t he w e ak O n board t he battl e sh ips d e stroy e d on
.

2 8 M ay ri ng n e v e r c e as e d u ntil t he m om e n t th e y sank wh e n
, ,

e v e ry m om e n t it was e xp e ct e d o n board that th e y would capsiz e .

Th e y w e n t d own with the captai n s and th e ir staff o n t he bridge s ,

o i c e rs i n the turr e ts e ngi n e e rs an d stok e rs b e low wh e nc e


, ,

th e r e was n o possibility o f e scap e D own b e low the wat e rlin e


.
,

probably in s e m i dark n e ss th e y s aw the wat e r e nt e r pouring


-
, ,

o ut of o n e compartm e n t i n to an oth e r an d co n t e nd e d with it


,

to t he last mom e nt H on our and gl ory to th e m ! Th e y al l


.

p e rish e d b e caus e th e y did n ot d e s e r t th e ir posts This w as the .

sp e ctacl e o n board the sh ips d e stroy e d by the torp e do attack at -

n ight ships alr e ady utt e rly e nfe e bl e d th e ir m e n having b e h e ld


, ,

t he awful fat e o f th e ir comrad e s wh o p e rish e d by day V e ry fe w .

w e r e r e scu e d from th e s e v e ss e ls .

B ut y e t a ll th e s e v e ss e l s fought and p e rish e d without losing


hop e o f succ e ss o r o f at l e ast i nictin g damag e o n t he
,

e n e my Th e y had not y e t s e e n all t he t e rrors : k n e w n othing


.

o f t he sham e fu l surr e n d e rs Th e y still r e mai n e d sid e by S id e


.

with th e ir o w n com rad e s d id n ot r e cogn iz e th e ir compl e t e


,


isolation and w e r e n e v e r d e priv e d of hop e U nd e r such t e rribl e
, .

conditions strong m e n w e r e fou n d o n board the l ittl e Admiral



Ushakov and i n the cruis e r Svie tl an a still mor e insign i cant ,

i n poin t o f stre ngth



.

T he Admiral U shakov paid n o att e n tion to the warn ing of


AN S F E R R I N G TH E R U S SI AN W O UN D E D ON BO ARD TH E P A SC A L
TR
ST RO N G A ND WEAK M EN 85

the J apan e s e that s he was isolat e d and that all he r compan ions
,

w e r e an n ihilat e d o r had surr e nd e r e d She e nt e r e d upo n a d es


.

p erate struggl e an d fe arl e ssly and proudly san k b e n e ath t he re


of an e n e my e xc e lli ng he r i n str e ngth m any tim e s ov e r

.

T he littl e S v i e t l an a ( that half cruis e r half yacht a capric e


, ,

of o ur luckl e ss n aval co nstructors ) o n that sam e 2 8 M ay r e c e iv e d ,

a hol e i n the bows b e low wat e r an d cons e qu e nt l y was d e priv e d


,

of the pow e r o f movi ng What happ e n e d to he r during t he


.

night is u nk n own . N e xt day S he was fou n d al on e forc e d ,

against a hostil e shor e by t w o J apan e s e cruis e rs a nd p e rish e d ,

i n a d e sp e rat e struggl e n e ith e r low e ri ng he r ag n o r yi e ld i ng


,

to the e n e my her m utilat e d body d e priv e d o f the m e an s o f


,

resistan c e .

O nc e m or e g l ory and ho nour t o all fo r this proud and strong


,

spirit ! I d o n o t b e l i e v e that o ut o f a pe r s on n el which has such


disti nguish e d m e n am o ng its gr e at mass o n e can not form n o t ,

only e xc e ll e nt sailors but , g ht i n


g sailors T h e ass e rtio n
. is
fals e that w e can n ot poss e ss a ee t b e caus e w e can not form a
good p er s on n el We can h av e o n e but fo r this it m ust be
.
,

r e cogniz e d that the chi e f factor for a e e t t o be form idabl e is the


p er s on n e l
. Also that th is must be dilig e ntly train e d e d ucat e d
, , ,

and car e d for more than anything e ls e With us for a l ong tim e .

the p er s on n e l has b e e n car e d fo r l e ast o f all I t has n o t b e e n


.

e ducat e d but allow e d to r e mai n ign orant G e n e rally sp e aki ng


.
,
,

it has b e e n t e rribly n e gl e ct e d a n d its spirit ov e rborn e by soul


,

l ess form alism an d the futi l iti e s o f e tiqu e tt e T he r e sult has .

b ee n the an n ih i l ation o f o ur ee t i n t he Se a o f J apan


C H APT E R V

I
( ) A R U D E A W A K E N I NG
E a ll an ticipat e d a m iracl e and s o passion at e l y d e sired
one that many o f us clos e d o ur e y e s to the e xtr e m e ly
,

doubtful ch aract e r o f o ur chanc e s and cr e at e d for ours e lv e s


,

som e S ort o f assuranc e that this miracl e was i n e vitably b e ing


e ffe ct e d ; that i nd e e d it could n ot be oth e rwis e
, , With this .

ard e n t longi ng at h e art p e opl e an xiously h u nt e d through t he


,

tabulat e d calculatio ns Thus only could th e y g e t an i d e a of


.

the e ndl e ss variatio ns i n t he di ffe r e n t proofs that t he e e t of

Admira l R o z he s tv e n s ky was mor e pow e rful than t he J apan e s e


e e t I n r e cko ni ng the n umb e r of v e ss e ls th e ir displac e m e nt
.
, ,

a nd t he n umb e r o f guns th e y compar e d what was r e ally i n


,

comparabl e an d w e r e comfort e d .

B ut alas i n the e n d t he m iracl e did n ot com e o ff H ard


, ,
.

facts i n th e ir most p itil e ss asp e ct d e mol ish e d all the calculations


and h ow mournful do th e y s e e m to us Russians now We did
n ot lik e to look the t e rribl e sp e ctr e o f the futu r e ful l i n t he fac e
an d now wh e n this sp e ctre has change d to r e ality i t is doubly
, ,

gri e vous for us to lift our e y e s and s e e it Of cours e the .


,

chanc e s always w e r e that pr e pond e ranc e i n n umb e rs pow e r , ,

warlik e e xp e ri e nc e pr e par e d n e ss of t he e e t suitability o f the


, ,

th e atr e o f war and t he e quipm e n t of t he armam e n t of t he e e t


, ,

would gai n the day So i nd e e d it has happ e n e d Th e r e may


.
, ,
.
,

of cours e be occasions wh e n much may be e qualiz e d by t he


,

tal e n t and e n e rgy of t he com man d e r and w e trust e d to that ,

mor e than all ; but o n this sp e cial occasio n r e ally l ittl e could
be e xp e ct e d as prove d to be the cas e To grumbl e at what has
, .

happ e n e d w e hav e n o right N o o n e could be d issatis e d as


.

86
A R U D E AWA K E N I N G 87

matt e rs hav e turn e d o ut . H ardly any o n e has t he h e art to b l am e


R o z he s tv e n s k y .

I t migh t be ask e d : Why did he n o t mak e for t he Straits o f


T sugaru o r La P e rous e ? B ut if he w e r e t o answ e r I had too ,

l ittl e coal fo r that


what could be said i n r e ply ? N othing
, .

And if this w e r e s o and t he furth e r supply o f coal was a n i m


possibility i t was still i mp e rativ e to pass by t he Straits o f Kor e a
, ,

i n spit e o f what e v e r dang e rs thre at e n e d i n that quart e r What .

th e n ? Still l e ss was th e r e a chan c e by t he t w o oth e r straits .

Th e r e the situatio n was the wors e fo r t he J apan e s e o nly i n this


r e sp e ct that th e ir military ports w e r e farth e r away P orts .
,

how e v e r ar e n e c e ssary af ter a batt l e A t the ti m e o f battl e a


,
.

conv e n i e n t e ld o f actio n is quit e as n e c e ssary I h av e alr e ady


.

spok e n o f t he advan tag e s wh ich a battl e i n t he S traits would


o ffe r to t he J apan e s e an d how such a battl e would be un p ro
,

pitious for t he Russian squadro n T he chi e f o f th e s e d i s ad van


.

tag e s was the possibility o f the J apan e s e utilizi ng th e ir i m m e ns e


pre pon d e ranc e i n torp e do boats an d submari n e s an d th e ir
-
,

opportu niti e s for placi ng oati ng mi n e s i n the v e ry cours e o f the


squadron I do n ot thi n k that th e y did l ay o r e v e r i n t e nd e d to
.
,

lay x e d mi n e s i n th e s e Straits such as th e y laid b e for e P ort


, ,

Arthur T he d e pth o f wat e r is too gr e at t o allow o f this ; the


.

curr e n t is a s e rious hin dranc e also a n d abov e all a l arg e n umb e r


,

of J apan e s e and n e u tral ships constan tly pass t he Straits o f


Kor e a an d Tsugaru .

Th e y probably laid oating m i n e s i n t he cours e o f the Russian


e e t b ut of such constructio n that aft e r r e mai ning i n s i t u for a n
,

hour o r two th e y would si nk and n o long e r pr e s e n t dang e r .

A particular circumstan c e favouri ng t he actio n o f torp e do craft


is fog an d i n this r e sp e ct t he Straits o f Kore a would app e ar to
,

be the l e ast dang e rous s e e ing that t he probability o f fog is vastly


,

gre at e r i n t he two n orth e rn straits I n addition t he Tsugaru


.
,

Strait is much n arrow e r tha n the Straits of Kor e a and m ore ,

tortuous As t o La P e rous e alth ough i t is both broad and


.
,

dir e ct y e t to e n t e r th e r e i t is n e c e ssary i n t he rst i n stanc e to


,

trav e rs e t he narrow straits b e tw e e n t he Kuril e I slands i e o n e . .


88 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
m ust cut through two straits l yi ng at a distanc e o f 2 3 0 mil e s
from o n e an oth e r and n o t through o n e an d th e r e is gre at e st
, ,

probability o f e ncou nt e ri ng fog .

Torp e do v e ss e ls submarin e boats and x e d torp e do d e fe nc e


-
,
-
,

form t he b e st m e a ns o f coast prot e ction an d the prot e ctio n of a ,

narrow strait r e duc e s its e lf to d e fe nc e of t he shor e s This is why .

th e s e ag e nts play e d a promi n e n t part h e r e which th e y n e v e r could


hav e play e d i n t he O p e n s e a O n th is accoun t battl e ships m ust
.

n e v e r approach shor e or fac e obstacl e s wh ich favour the us e of such


m e ans Th e y shoul d n e v e r com e n e ar batt e ri e s u nd e r cov e r o f
.

which min e s hav e b ee n laid and n e v e r mov e forward i n that d ire c


,

tion by n igh t o r i n fog T he on ly occasion on wh ich a e e t cann ot


.

e scap e th e s e obstacl e s is wh e n it has to cross a strait occupi e d by

t he e n e my T o e ncou n t e r a fog at that mom e n t o r b


. e surpris e d ,

by n ight at o nc e r e n d e rs t he positio n o f the approachi ng e e t i n


,

the high e st d e gr e e risky T o gh t torp e do v e ss e ls i t is i ndis


.
-

p e nsabl e to be abl e to man oe uvr e fre e ly I n passing through .

straits o n e must sail i n o n e d e n it e d ir e ction a nd thus giv e


opportu n iti e s to torp e do v e ss e ls which are r e nd e r e d doubly
-

favourabl e i n a fog o r duri ng the nigh t .

T he rst o fcial Russian i nt e llig e nc e carri e d to Vladivostok by



t he cruis e r Almaz an n ou nc e d the loss i n a d ay e ngage m e n t of
our thr ee b e st battl e ships t he Suvorov ,

Borodi no and ,
,

O s l ab y a an d o
, f s e v e r e damag e to t he battl e ship I mp e rator

Al e xan d e r I I I .

O nc e agai n fat e show e d h e rs e lf unki n dly to us At t he com .

m e n c e m e n t o f t he e ngag e m e n t Ad miral R o z he s tv e n s k y was


wou n d e d and though succ e ssfully transfe rr e d to an oth e r v e ss e l
,

he was n ot i n a conditio n to dir e ct t he battl e T he n e xt s e nior .

to h im Adm iral F e lk e rs ham as is k nown from a r e port at t he


, ,

M in istry o f M arin e had lat e ly b e e n il l ; i nd e e d accordi ng to


, ,

privat e rumours he r e ally d i e d b e for e the battl e Cons e qu e n tly .

the command was transfe rr e d to Admirals N i e b o g at o v an d


q
E n uis t .

o fcial d e spatch of Admiral Togo co n rm e d the worst


T he
that could be imagin e d i n r e porti ng that Admiral N i e bo g ato v
LI E UT E N AN T LE V I T Z KY VV I T N E SS I N G THE D E ST R U CT I ON O F TH E K O R E I E T S '

WH I C H HE H AD BEEN CO M M AND ED TO B L O W UP
I S S U R R E N D E R J U ST I F I E D ? 89

with four battl e ships an d o n e torp e do boat d e stroy e r had b e e n - -

tak e n prison e r This w as the most cru e l blow o f all following as


.
,

it did o n t he catastroph e t o t he e e t T he n am e s o f t he v e ss e ls
.


which surr e n d e r e d w e r e t he warships Or e l I mp e rator
Nikolai I ,

an d t he coast d e fe nc e ships -
Ad miral S e n i av i n
,

and G e n e ral Ad miral A p rax i n


-
From the n umb e r o f prison e rs
.

r e c e ive d at Sas e b o ( 2 2 2 3 m e n ) th is would app e ar t o hav e b e e n a


r e liabl e r e port A t e l e gram fro m Tokio m e n tion e d that t he
.

command e r o f t he Admiral N ak hi m o v was also tak e n


prison e r : th is cruis e r p e rhaps was capture d i nst e ad o f o n e
, , ,

of the coast d e fe nc e battl e sh ips


- Th e r e was also an oth e r
.

t e l egram from T oki o t o t he e ffe ct that accordi ng to r e ports from


,

priso n e rs t he Vladivostok squadron r e c e iv e d o rd e rs t o put to s e a ,

but r e turn e d t o port aft e r a short cruis e .

T he Russian O i c i al d e spatch e s o nly an n ou nc e d the r e sult O f


the day battl e t he J apan e s e d e spatch e s e vid e n tly e mbrac e d t he

night e ngag e m e n t i n which th e ir m any torp e do boats play e d a


,
-

most importan t r Ol e .

( I I) IS TH E S U R R E N D E R O F A S H I P JU S T I F I E D ?

Th e s e are t he words o f s e ction 3 5 4 o f t he N aval R e gulations


I n tim e o f battl e t he comm and e r m ust s e t a n e xampl e o f
manl i n e ss a nd con ti n u e t he struggl e to the v e ry e n d
, F o r the .

avoidan c e o f us e l e ss bl oodsh e d he may d e cid e with t he g e n e ral ,

cons e n t o f al l t he o fc e rs ho w t o surr e n d e r the ship if u n d e r


, ,

the foll owi ng ci rcumstanc e s : rs tly if t he ship shall be s o


,

struck that it i s impossibl e to k e e p d own t he l e aks and s he is ,

plainly ab ou t t o si n k ; s e condly if al l am mu nitio n a n d sh ot are


,

sp e nt gu n s p ut o ut o f action an d m e ans o f d e fe nc e g e n e rally


, ,

e xhaust e d o r if the loss e s i n m e n ar e s o consid e rabl e


, that
opposition app e ars i mpossibl e ; thirdly if th e r e S hall be re o n ,

board t he ship wh ich it is impossibl e to e xti ngu i sh with o n e s
own r e sourc e s ; a l so if b e sid e s t he occasions i ndicat e d th e r e
, ,

should be n o possibili ty o f d e stroyi ng t he v e ss e l and s e e ki ng


safe ty for t he cr e w o n shor e o r the boats T he m e an i ng o f .
90 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
this claus e is plai n an o fc e r may d e cid e to giv e up n ot only t he ,

ship but also t he p er s on n el so as to avoid us e l e ss bloodsh e d


, , .

H e migh t surr e nd e r t he ship to t he e n e my i n t he pr e s e nc e o f


a whol e s e ri e s o f conditions s e t forth i n this claus e ;at l e ast o n
a n occasio n wh e n th e r e w e r e n o m e ans for bl owing up the ship .

Form e rly wh e n v e ss e ls w e r e buil t o f wood it was d i


,
i c ul t to ,

d e stroy th e m To blow up a ship i t was n e c e ssary to hav e i n


.

hand a s u i c i e n t quan tity o f gu npowd e r which migh t n o t b , e

t he cas e at t he e n d o f a battl e wh e n al l ammu nition is usually


,

e xhaust e d Fi nally n o r e gulatio n could d e mand more than


.
,

this wh ich i nvolve s the d estruction o f all hands whil e the shrift
, ,

is shor t and t he e xploit agonizing T o si nk a wood e n v e ss e l was


.

i n a high d e gr e e di fcult and d e mand e d a consid e rabl e tim e


, .

B ut as soon as battl e ships b egan to be construct e d o f iron and


st e e l t he si nking o f ships was much simpli e d : i t was o nly
,

n e c e ssary to O p e n the Ki ngsto n valv e s ( which are op e n ings


b e l ow the wat e r li n e for the admissio n o f wat e r to all parts o f
-
,

t he v e ss e l ) a nd i t would only r e main for t he victor to tak e t he

p e opl e from the sinking ship T o pr e v e nt a ship i n such a cas e


.

from si nking is al most impossibl e as i t would be n e c e ssary to


,

s e arch for t he wh ol e s e ri e s o f Kingsto n valv e s i n t he low e r


s e ctio n of the v e ss e l for which agai n o n e would hav e to k now
,

t he i n t e rior construction B e sid e s that t he low e r portion o f


.
, ,

cours e is t he rst t o ll with wat e r


, To clos e t he Kingston
.

valv e s u nd e r thos e condition s would be practically a n i m


possibility .

M e an s for op e n ing a nd c l osi ng som e o f t he Ki ngsto n va l v e s


ar e at hand i n t he upp e r part o f t he ship but the e n e my would ,

hav e t he gr e at e st di fculty i n d iscov e ri ng th e s e ; an d mor e ov e r


th e s e m e an s may e asily be d e stroy e d Thus i t happ e n e d with .

Li e ut e nan t I van ov who aft e r t he d e ath o f t he command e r and


,

s e n ior o fc e r r e main e d o n board the Rurik on the 2 7 th and



, ,

was drown e d wh e n t he ship fou nd e r e d She did s o without havi ng


.

he r ag haul e d down and th e r e on ly r e mai n e d for t he J apan e s e


,

to r e scu e t he cr e w about ha l f o f whom w e r e sav e d



S O also

, .


did two u nk nown I vans o n board t he d e stroy e r St e r e
WAS I N FO R M A T I O N W I T H H E L D ? 9 1

g us ht sh
y . Owing to t he simpl e structur e of that d e stroye r and
the possibility o f quickly r e ach i ng its i nt e rior s o as t o clos e t he

Kingsto n valv e s it w as obvious that t he J apan e s e would e asily


,

succ e e d in C losing th e m soo n aft e r boarding Th e s e u nk nown


I va ns d e cid e d t o pr e v e n t this by e nclosi ng th e ms e lv e s i n
t he part wh e r e t he Ki ngsto n valv e s w e r e Th e s e parts w e r e
.

ood e d b e for e anything e ls e and at t he cost o f th e ir h e roic


,

liv e s th e y pr e v e n t e d the J apa n e s e from savi ng t he S i nki ng v e ss e l


.

She w as n ot surr e nd e r e d ; n ot a si ng l e Russian rais e d hi s han d


to strik e t he ag e v e n though al l o n board w e r e hor s de com b
, at .

( )
I I I WA S I N F O R M A T I O N W I T H H E L D ?
Was n othing similar to this don e ? This must n ot be ask e d
for i n r e fe re nc e t o larg e v e ss e ls sin c e th e re is n o n e c e ssity for

,


t he qu e stion why was n o t what was don e i n t he
,
Rurik
p e rform e d i n o ur four battl e sh ips tak e n by t he J apan es e ?
B ut ho w did this captur e happ e n ? This qu e stio n was i n
,

supportab l y d istr e ssi ng fo r e v e ry Russian e sp e cially com ing as


,

it did aft e r a t e rribl e strok e o f m isfortu n e a g e n e ral nava l


action th rown away an d al l hop e o f r e gai n i ng comman d o f t he
s e a with i t .

Was what w e r e ad in the J apan es e d e spatch e s co nc e rn ing the


n umb e r o f u ndamag e d w e apo ns found o n board th e s e ships
trustworthy as was t he cas e aft e r t he surr e n d e r o f P ort Arthur
, ,

wh e n it was r e port e d that a larg e quantity o f u nus e d war store s


had b e e n l e ft b e hi n d ? Was i t also tru e that by way of a s e t
of f th e r e was n o o fcia l e xplan atio n o ffe r e d r e garding t he
abandon e d suppli e s aft e r the fall o f P ort Arth ur ? Y e t such
knowl e dg e was u n qu e stio nably i n the poss e ssion o f t he M i n istry
of War .

With wha t distr e ssi ng impati e nc e did t he Russia n p e opl e await


n e ws conc e rning t he surr e nd e r o f t he four ships What i n dignan t
rumours a nd foul accusation s d id n ot th e ir susp e ns e e nge nd e r !
T he M i n istry o f M ari n e sh ou l d hav e r e cogniz e d that t he Russian
public was ov e rcom e with t he most painful doubt Th e y shoul d .
9 2 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
hav e tak e n st e ps at o nc e to l e arn from Admiral N iebo g ato v the
circumstanc e s u n d e r which he was captur e d with four battl e
ships ; how it was that th e s e v e ss e ls w e re n o t s unk but w e r e ,

tow e d i nto t he e n e my s ports as t he Japan e s e an n ou nc e d with
, ,

th e i r o w n victorious ag waving abov e t he disgrac e d Russian


standard We n e e d e d to k n ow all this at o nc e n o t aft e r the
.
,

J apan e s e had alr e ady circulat e d th e ir o w n fantastic accoun ts .

T he public had t he right to k n ow t he whol e truth and n othi ng


l e ss D uring t he cours e o f this ill fat e d y e ar i nd e e d w e had
.
-
, ,

b ecom e s o us e d to disast e rs that n o v e rity could pr e s e n t t e rrors


w e wan t e d t he truth withou t conc e alm e n t ; rum ours doubts a nd , ,

i n de n i te n e s s are harmfu l an d always torm e n ting R e ports l ong


.

con tin u e d to be m e agr e e sp e cially r e gar ding the l oss e s o f the


,

Japan e s e Togo said his l oss e s w e r e i nsign i can t but thos e o n



.


board the Russian transports Kor e a an d Svir d e c l ar e d
that th e y witn e ss e d the sinki ng o f thr ee J apan e s e ships an d that ,

v e w e r e damag e d . Accordi ng to t e l egrams from Tsi n dao t he -

J apan e s e adm itt e d that th e y l ost two battl e ships o n e cruis e r an d


, ,


ni n e torp e do boats Th e r e was also a n i nt e re sting r e port i n a
-
.

t e l e gram from the o fc e rs o f t he Al maz s e n t by the sp e cial


corr e spond e n t o f the R us


.
,

Th e s e o fc e rs stat e d that altho ugh ,

th e ir sh ip sail e d away at the b e gi n n ing o f t he e ngage m e n t th e y ,

w e r e abl e with th e ir glass e s to mak e o ut that t w o J apan e s e


warsh ips fou nd e r e d an d t w o sustai n e d h e avy damag e T he

, .

wou nd e d command e r o f the Grozny co n rm e d th is i n a


conv e rsatio n with a corr e spond e n t o f t he
Rus wh o visit e d
,

him i n t he hospital at Vladivostok Why was nothing said o f all


.

this i n o ur o i c ial com mu n ications n othing i nd e e d conc e rn i ng


t he arrival o f the
, ,


Grozny at Vladivostok Th e r e is still o n e
v e ry w e ighty d e tail i n t he re port o f the o i c e rs o f t he Almaz
.

Th e y stat e d that wh e n th ey st e am e d from t he sc e n e o f battl e ,

thick m ists s e ttl e d down . I f this was so the colossal succ e ss


,

of the J apan e s e is m or e i nt e lligibl e I t was a bad sign that


.

th e r e w e r e n o O fcial tidings from t he Russian sid e about



Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky s fat e Similarly th e r e was no n e ws con
,

c e rning Admiral E n q uis t an d t he warships Sis s o i V e liky



,

N I E B O GA T O V S SU RRE N D E R 93

Navarin ,

Admiral
U shakov an d al l o ur cruis e rs , H ow .

was it that w e had to tak e the J apan e s e r e ports for our sol e
guid e ? Togo stat e d o fcially that alr e ady o n 2 7 M ay t he , ,

Japan e s e torp e do v e ss e l Saz an am i h ad cl e ar e d for action and



-


captur e d the Russian v ess e l B i e d o vy o n board which w e r e ,

Admira l R o z he s t v e n s ky an d h is sta ff ; i n addition to an oth e r


admiral both of wh om w e re s e e n to be s e v e r e ly wou nd e d
, .

From the furth e r d e spatch e s o f Admiral Togo it app e ar e d


that th e r e w e r e also su n k the armour e d v e ss e ls I mp e rator Al e x


and e r I I I , Sis s o i V e liky N avari n and the coast d e fe nc e
, ,
-


v e ss e l Admira l U shakov t he cruis e rs Ad miral N ak hi m o v
Vladimir M o n o m ak h
,

Z he m ts hug
,


a nd, t he transports ,


K am tc hatk a I rtish and thr e e d e stroy e rs T he cruis e r
, , .

D mitri D o n s k o i grou nd e d o n a sand ban k So far nothing



-
.


was k nown o f t he Ol eg Aurora
, S v i e tl an a I zumrud
, , ,

and t w o o r thr e e d e stroy e rs I t was rumour e d th at the cruis e r


I zumrud had r e ach e d Vl adivostok Thus t he r e ason s why .

the Vladivostok cruis e rs did n ot tak e part i n t he battl e are

mad e e vid e n t From Tokio i t was an n oun c e d that the cruis e r

G ro m o b

oi struck a m i n e o n its e xi t from Vladivostok and ,

that Admiral J e ss e n r e turn e d .


Thus almost the whol e o f R o z he s tv e n s k y s s quadron was
,

d e stroy e d or captur e d by the J apan e s e al l thr e e admirals mad e ,

prison e rs and e v e n if the four cruis e rs had succ ee d e d i n g e tting


,

to Vladivostok t he rOl e o f the Russian e e t i n the war was at a n


,

e nd .

( IV ) W H A T W E R E T H E C I R C U M S T AN C E S O F
N I E B O GA T O V S S U RR E N D E R ?

T he surr e n d e r o f Adm iral N i e bo g at o v was a d isgrac e such as


had n e v e r b e e n h e ard o f b e for e both to t he Russian e e t and to
,

the cou ntry I fan cy that it was the Admiral hims e lf wh o was
.

t he prim e mov e r i n that surr e nd e r a n d v e ry much d oubt wh e th e r


,

the o fc e rs i n g e n e ral ass e n t e d to it as t he Naval R e gulation s ,

r e quir e I t is e vid e nt that th e s e r e gulatio ns w e r e n ot carri e d


.

out i n this r e sp e ct n o r w e r e t he m e ans of r e sistanc e e xhaust e d .


94 THE B A TT L E OF THE SE A OF J A PA N
T he chi e f and most dire ct proof of this may be foun d i n the fact
that v e ry sligh t loss o f m e n was i n curr e d by t he sh ips wh ich
surr e nd e r e d , with the possibl e e xc e ption o f the Or e l What .

surpris e s m e is that the Admiral s staff an d t he o fc e rs O f the



,

agship allow e d t he signal for surr e nd e r to be h oist e d also that


,

t he o f c e rs o f the oth e r ships co ns e n t e d to carry out the Admiral s
ord e r to l ow e r the Russian ag Lastly I am rmly co nvi nc e d .
,

that th e r e was n o muti ny among t he cr e w I am s o sur e o f this .


,

b e caus e as far as I k now o ur sailors th e y are i ncapabl e o f such ,

conduct i n action I t is a sland e r ; and al l the mor e vil e b e caus e .

1
th e y can not d efe nd th e ms e lv e s against i t .


O n e o f the Comman d e r i n Chi e f s lat e st r e ports o n t he battl e - -

compris e d n othi ng n e w but simply r e duc e d to som e sort o f ord e r ,

t he whol e o f t he pr e c e di ng o n e s which w e r e m ost i ncompl e t e ,

an d disj oi nt e d Am o ng the caus e s that may hav e contribut e d to .

t he loss o f t he battl e as t he r e port a frms was that t he squadron , ,

e n t e r e d t he straits i n thr e e colum ns li n e ah e ad ( the third colum n ,

b e ing transports ) a nd that wh e n the e ngag e m e n t comm e nc e d ,

e v e n t he battl e sh ips w e r e still i n doubl e col um n I t was this .

1 i p r
I n an m il B attl f th S a f J ap a i T h T i m
o tan t art c e on f Augu t
t he e o e e o n

n
e es o 22 s ,

co m p il d by t h T ki
e rr p d t fr m J ap a
e o u r a d illu trat d by p la th
o co es on en o n ese so ces n s e ns, e

f ll w i g app ar w i t h r g ard t N i b g at u rr d r '


o o n e s e o e o ov s s en e .

T h i i i d t f th b attl at u rally x i t d m u h m m t A d m i ral N i bg at


s nc en o e e n e c e c co en . e o

ov s

e x p l a at i w a t h at r i ta b i g fu t il h f l t
n on s ,t rai d t a th li
es s f th
nce f r e n e, e e c ons ne o s ve e ve s o e o ce s

a d m
n u d r hi m m a d u m b ri g m r t h a
en n e s co B ut hi rit i afrm t h at
n , n had e n o e n 2 000 . s c cs e ve n

h Ope d t h K i g t al a d t hi S hi p t t h b tt m ly a y mall fra t i


ene e n s on v ve s n sen s s o e o o , on ve r s c on

o f hi m w uld h a
s p i h d w i th t h m S u h m s t h a b th i w tak by
en o ve er s e e . c s ee o ve ee n e v e en

t h T ar al
e s f H i M aj ty r fu d t
, so, or a ti th r l a
s f N i b g at esa d hi O f r e se o s nc on e e e se o e o ov n s ce s on

p ar l th u gh th J ap a
o e, o w r w i lli g t r l a th m T
e i a J ap a
n es e A d m i ral
e e n o e e se e . o c on c e v e n ese

s u rr d i g i i m il ar i r u m ta
en er n i
n s ar ly p ibl y t it i i t r ti g t k w w h at a
c c s nces s sc ce o ss e, e s n e es n o no

p r m i t J ap a
o n en a al O f r ha aid th
n es e n ubj t v ce s s on e s ec

F lk l ki g w i th ryd ay y
o s oo n d m t h i u rr d r a w ardl y a d di l y al But t h
e ve e es c o n e n s s en e s co n s o . e

h a g t h at a ldi r ti m t u d rg u h ai a t a i m p l m at t r lik t h
'
c n es so e s s en en s n e o on s c oc c s ons re n o s e e e e

m o vem t f h m
en s o at a d k A d m i ral N i b g at i a f r f r p u tat i a d m m
c es s en es . e o ov s n o ce o e on n co on

s en se. H u ff r d fr m l a k f r lu t i t bl w u p hi f u r hi p a d t hu p r t t h m
e s e e o no c o e so on o o s o s s n s e ve n e

fr m fall i g i t th my h a d B ut th f at w uld h a b h ard t a m p li h



o n n o e en e s n s. e e o ve een o c co s .

Sy m p athi i g w i th th p ai t h R u i a A d m i ral m u t h a f l t I t hi k t h at th w h
s n e n e ss n s ve e , n ose o con

d m hi m f
e n u rr d ri g r ally u d rrat th kill h w by T g a d th ff rt m ad by all
or s en e n e n e e e s s o n o o n e e o s e

u d r hi mm a d t r d r t hi u rr d r i i tabl C id r t h r a
n e s co n o en ef th ap i tul a
s s en e n ev e. on s e e e s on s o e c

i
t on N t
. ly had th R u i a
o on l b d p r i d f a larg p art f t h i r g h t i g p w r
e ss n ve sse s e en e ve o e o e n o e

du ri g th b attl f t h p r i u d ay but t h r aft r t h y had b


n e e o e ubj t d t a t rribl
ev o s , e e e e ee n s ec e o e e

t rp d
o e l au g h t t h r u g h u t t h i g h t T h y w r
o ons w a y a t
o b al m t i apabl
o e n . e e e so e r s o e os nc e

o f m m t o ve T h y did t k w w h at had b m f t h i m rad


en . e no A t t hi h u r f no ec o e o e r co es. s o o

a g ui h a d d a g r T g ag hi p udd ly ap p ar d at th h ad f a t f tw ty
n s n n e o o s s s en e e e e o ee o en -
s e ve n
,

w ar h i p s tr g a d fr h Wh at w a t b x p t d but u r d r i u h di t i
s, s on n es . Th s o e e ec e s r en e n s c c on o ns ? e

Ru i a O f r a j u t a b ra a u
ss n ce s N re S h uld fall i t th rr r f i mag i i g t h at
s s ve s o rs . o on e o n o e e o o n n

a y rd i ary id rat i w uld i du th m t u rr d r


n o n c on s e on s o n ce e o s en e .

N I E B O GA T O V S SU RRE N D E R 95

that pr e v e n t e d o ur e e t from d e v e l opi ng the full re o f t he sh ips


composing i t ; b e caus e this formatio n is o n e from which ships
can not be r e adily d e pl oy e d i n to lin e a n d it was also owi ng to
,

this formatio n that the J apan e s e w e r e e nabl e d to co nc e ntrat e th e ir


full re o n o ur tw o l e adi ng ag s hip s I t is also cl e ar that t he
.

transports gr e atly hi n d e r e d t he man oe uvri ng o f the battl e sh ips ,

whil e supr e m e e ff orts had to be mad e to prot e ct th e m u ntil i t was


d e cid e d to sacri c e th e m s o that i nst e ad o f e nd e avouring t o
,

prot e ct o ur transports agai nst the J apan e s e cruis e rs w e had nally


to conc e n trat e all o ur forc e agai nst the m ai n body o f the e n e my .

I t is p e r fe ctly e vid e n t how t he thr e e cruis e rs u nd e r Admiral


E nq uis t succ e e d e d i n e scaping t o t he south I n t he rst plac e
.

w e l e arn that it was n ot th e n dark as Adm iral E n q


,
ui s t aft e rwards

r eport e d an d tha t whil e the battl e sh ips st e e r e d n orth e ast t he



-
,

cruis e rs with t he Ol e g l e adi ng stopp e d th e ir e ngi n e s an d


, ,

turn e d southwards T he battl e ships th e n turn e d to port to try


.

and form a j u nctio n with th e m though the cruis e rs should hav e


k e pt i n the wak e o f t he battl e ships a nd n ot v i c e v er s a Many .

oth e r cruis e rs st e e r e d n orthwards at the sam e hour Ad mira l .

E nq uis t h ow e v e r o bsti nat e ly k e pt his cours e to t he south


, ,
It .

was n ot till aft e r th is that dark n e ss fe ll I agai n r e p e at th at this


.

ight o f the thr ee cruis e rs to the south was an e xc ee dingly


shady busi n e ss . I t is t o be r e gre tt e d t o o that i n t he , ,

Command e r i n Ch i e f S r e por t n o e xplan atio n was give n o f the

- -


in explicabl e b e haviour o f the Grozny .

I r e turn t o the qu e stio n o f t he captur e o f Admira l N ie bog at o v


with four battl e ships T he sol e r e asons I had for pr e viously
.

i ntroduci ng t he paragraph o f the R e gulatio ns which migh t hav e



b ee n adopt e d to j ustify the ship s surr e nd e r with out e v e rything
having b e e n d on e t o d e stroy he r was t he impossibility of
-

s e e king safe ty by run ni ng ash or e o r g e tting o ff i n t he boats .

Although th e s e co nditio ns are s e t d own i n t he R e gul ations i t ,

is n e v e rth e l e ss di fcul t an d i n t he maj ority o f cas e s lik e ly to


,

be quit e impossibl e t o carry th e m out


, I n battl e t he boats
.

would be damag e d soon e r th an anythi ng e ls e This is obvious .


,

sinc e th e y are susp e nd e d fro m t he sid e s of t he sh ip or sta n d o n ,


96 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
the bridg e s or upp e r works an d are e ntir e ly i n the op e n Th ey
, .

sp e cially su ffe r i n mod e rn battl e s wh e r e e ach sho t that hits


,

carri e s hu ndr e ds nay thousands o f spl in t e rs an d a hail o f


, , ,

missil e s is scatt e r e d owing to the quick ri ng of mod e rn artill e ry


,
.

I n the battl e s of t he past th e r e w e r e occasions wh e n all t he boats


w e r e damag e d ; e g at t he battl e of Trafalgar wh e n Admiral
. .
,

Vill e n e uv e was n ot abl e to e scap e from h is agship ( which was


damag e d with sh ot ) to an oth e r v e ss e l an d th us w as tak e n ,

prison e r o n board his o w n ship At the pre s e n t day it is bar e ly


.

possibl e for e v e n o n e boat to r e mai n s e rvic e abl e o n board ship


e sp e cially would that b

e u nlik e ly wh e n all t he ship s gu ns had

b e e n sil e nc e d at t he clos e of a battl e E qually futil e is t he poin t


.


as to t he safe ty of the cr e w o n shor e Th e r e agai n it is also .

n e c e ssary to tak e to the boats e v e n if the ship is ,


ru n o n
shor e T he v e ss e l may ru n o n to a shallow bottom but t he ,

shor e its e l f may be still far distan t G rou nding o n a sand bank is
.
-

o nly o n e of the e xp e di e nts by which a ship is d e stroy e d an d is ,

much l e ss dang e rous for the p er s on n e l though i n oth e r r e sp e cts ,

not half so c e rtai n as the op e n ing of t he Kingston valv e s Aft e r .


groun ding it is n e c e ssary to compl e t e a ship s d e struction by
,

e xplosions i n he r di ffe r e nt vital parts by spiking the gu ns a nd , ,

so on ; or ,at all e v e nts to forc e he r agrou nd i n such a m an n e r


,

as to r e n d e r it impossibl e for the e n e my to r e o at he r an d carry


t he v e ss e l a priz e i n to his own ports H ow can w e e xplai n t he
.

fact that all t he four battl e ships captur e d by the J apan e s e w e r e


brought i nto th e ir ports with in two or thr e e days ( 3 0 M ay ) aft e r
t he battl e That impli e s that th e s e ships wh e n surr e nd e r e d , ,

coul d hav e k e pt t he s e a for som e days at l e ast .

Th e s e ships w e r e captur e d at t he island of O k i n o s hi m a From .

th e r e to M ays ur u wh e r e t he mor e s e riously damag e d warship


,

Or e l was brought i s about 1 6 5 mil e s an d from th e s e islands


, ,

to Sas e bo wh e r e t he r e mai n i ng battl e ships w e r e tow e d is about


, ,

2 3 5 mil e s. I was mys e lf n o l e ss ill at e as e conc e rning t he n umb e r


of prison e rs which w e r e said to be about 2 3 00 O n board battl e
, .

ships O f t he Or e l typ e th e r e are about 8 00 m e n i ncluding the ,

o fc e rs o n t he warship I mp e rator N ikolai I about 600 and o n


, ,
N I C H O LAS 1 . ON SU RRE N DE R 97

t he coast d e fe nc e sh ips up to 400 m e n Th e r e for e o n board


-
.
,

all the four v e ss e ls this mak e s a total o f abou t 2 2 00 m e n A p .

are n t l y t he Japan e s e w e r e n o t abl e t o r e cko n t he num b e r of


p
prison e rs an d kill e d which l e d to the conj e ctur e that the kill e d
,

among the cr e ws cou l d n o t hav e b ee n n um e rous Th e s e qu e stions .

n ee d e d to be an sw e r e d and withou t d e lay and aft e r th e m ma ny


,

mor e such qu e ri e s r e mai n e d .

( V ) VI E W S O F T H E E M P E R O R S N I C H O L AS I . AND
NA P O L E O N O N S U RR E N D E R
T he E mp e ror N ich olas kn e w what he was doi ng wh e n he
cashi e r e d a l l the o fc e rs o f the frigat e Rapha e l for surr e nd e r
ing without striki ng a b l ow I n this way he r e ad a l e sson to t he
.

p er s on n el o f t he e e t Th e y l e arn e d it an d n o more o f th e s e

.
,

incid e nts happ e n e d aft e r that H o w thoroughly this l e sson.

has b e e n forgott e n is shown by the fact that the admira l who


surr e nd e r e d e w his ag o n board an arm our e d v e ss e l b e ari ng
the nam e of the v e ry E mp e r o r w ho s o d e cid e dly e xpr e ss e d his

vi ews about surr e n d e r w ho is r e spo nsibl e for t he dictum


,

Wh e r e o nc e t he Russian ag has b e e n h oist e d it c an n e v e r be ,



lowe r e d .

I t is o f n o avail that Admiral Tog o wrot e in h is r e port that


Nie b o g at o v act e d w e ll i n surr e nd e ri ng his v e ss e ls This was .

no doubt a good th i ng fo r t he J apan e s e such a glory such ,

an unh e ard o f triumph four practical l y sou n d v e ss e ls as


-
,

priz e s
. B ut h e r e is the qu e sti o n was it o f any advantage to
Russia
Napol e o n cond e m n e d surr e n d e rs v e ry sharply and m e rcil e ssly .

I n l e avi ng to o i c e rs o r g e n e rals t he righ t to surr e nd e r o n



Ru l e s Thoughts and Opi nio ns of

capitulation , he says , ,

Napol e on o n the Art o f War M il itary Library vol I V )



,
we ,
.
,

in evitably e xpos e t he troops to v e ry gre at d ang e r : martial


spirit i n t he p e opl e is e xtinguish e d an d t he s e ns e of hon our is
,

w eak e n e d . I f military statut e s co nd e m n e d all g e n e rals o fc e rs , ,

and sol di e rs wh o surr e nd e r e d o n capitulatio n to h umiliati ng


corporal pu nishm e nt it would n ot e n t e r the h e ad of a ny o n e to
,

H
98 THE B A TT LE O F T H E S EA OF J A PA N
sav e hims e lf from dang e r by th is m e ans and all would n d th e ir
,

so l e salvatio n i n m anli n e ss and ste adfastn e ss T he qu e stion


.

can be s e ttl e d i n n o oth e r way if w e d o n ot want to w e ak e n


,

martial spirit an d subj e ct ours e l v e s to v e ry gre at dange rs .

I t is most costly if a g e n e ral sav e s h ims e lf from disgrac e


i n this way surr e n d e ri ng arms an d ags by a tr e aty which ,

th ough s e curi ng som e advantag e s fo r thos e u nd e r him is un ,

pro tabl e for the army an d t he cou n try such proc e dur e
must be prohibit e d and pu nish e d by d e privatio n o f ho n our and
,

life : a t e n th o f t he ge n e rals a nd o
i c ers a fti e th o f the j un ior
,

o i c e rs an d a thousandth part o f the m e n


, H e who ord e rs .


the l aying d own o f arms is a crimi nal an d worthy o f d e ath , .

This sid e o f the qu e stio n is r e ally o f vital importanc e .

T he e xisti ng naval l aws apply as r e l e ntl e ssly to d e parture


from t he sc e n e o f battl e and t o surr e nd e r H e r e is what is l aid
.

down i n Artic l e s 2 74 an d 2 7 9 o f o ur pr e s e nt military an d naval


standing ord e rs as to pun ish m e nts
Articl e 2 74 H e wh o during batt l e o r i n V i e w o f the e n e my
.

turns t o ight an d by his e xampl e e xcit e s disord e r i n t he ran ks


, ,

o r giv e s occasion to oth e rs t o r e tr e at is subj e c t to d e privation o f


,

all rights o f his ra nk and t o t he p e n alty o f d e ath


, .

2 .

Articl e 7 9 H e w ho comm anding a e e t squadron o r
, , ,

division o f ships o r v e ss e ls l ow e rs his ag b e for e t he e n e my


, ,

o r lays down arms o r conclud e s a capitulation with him without


, ,

ful l ling his obligations o f duty u nd e r oath and not i n accord ,

anc e with t he r e quir e m e nts O f military ho n our and t he rul e s of


n aval law shall be subj e ct to dismissal from the s e rvic e with
, ,

d e privati o n of rank if such proc e e dings are carri e d out without


ghti ng o r i n d isr e gard o f the possibility o f s e lf d e fe nc e to the -
,

p e nalty o f d e ath .

O n r e adi ng t he pl e asant d e claratio ns o f Admiral Togo o n e ,

i nvoluntarily asks on e s e lf What would he have said if battl e ships


of hi s squadro n had surr e n d e r e d ? I t is b e l i e v e d that G e n e ral
N ogi n e ar P ort Arthur sh ot o
, i c e rs an d soldi e rs wh o did n ot
,

surr e nd e r but m er ely w i thd r ew without s u


, i c i e n t r e ason Why .
NAPO LE O N ON SU RRE N DE R 99

did a wh ol e J apan e s e r e gim e n t on board the K hi tat c hi M aru


,
-
,

a transport a nd cons e qu e n tly utt e rly h e lpl e ss agai nst our


,

pow e rfu l cruis e rs ( 1 5 J u n e 1 9 04 i n the Straits o f Kor e a ) si nk


, , ,

without surr e nd e r ? P robably plai n warni ng had b e e n giv e n


t o th os e Japan e s e O i c e rs who surr e nd e r e d a mo n th b e for e o n

board t he st e am e r K i n tc hi o M aru an d th os e i n t he Khit
-
,

atchi M aru k n e w w e ll what to e xp e ct o n r e turn i ng to th e ir


-

country from captivity .

P ag e 6 8 o f B ook 1 6 o f the N aval R e gulations d e clar e s : A


subordinate is mad e r e sponsibl e for his o w n actio ns wh e r e in ,

ob eying ord e rs he can n ot h e lp s e e i ng that his chi e f e nj oi ns


,

violation o f oath an d loyalty to t he s e rvic e o r the p e rformanc e ,

of som e action cl e arly cri mi nal H ow e ve r amazi ng at rst


.

glanc e may be the fact that comman d e rs an d O i c e rs fou nd it


possibl e to submit to N i e bo g ato v s ord e r to surr e nd e r i n

,

r e ality th e y n o d oubt sh ow e d th at r e gard fo r discipli n e wh ich


has fo r s o many y e ars b e e n un d e viati ngly i nculcat e d among
the p e r s on n el i n o ur e e t Th at is
.

n ot t o dare t o r e ason about
,

what the authoriti e s may com mand Wh e n o nc e th e y giv e


.

ord ers the r e sponsibility is o ff my shou l d e rs a nd what e v e r


, ,

I )
may r e sul t is n o t my busin e ss Al l p e rsonal i nitiativ e all
.
,

r esolv e t o assum e p e rson al r e sponsibility al though for t he ad v an


,

tage o f t he situatio n is d e stroy e d am ong us wh e n o nc e such


,

r esolv e is tak e n irr e sp e ctiv e o f the ord e rs o f t he authoriti e s I t


,
.

was possibl e t o be culpably i n activ e an d l azy i t was possibl e ,

to be e n tangl e d i n t he most d ubious transactio ns ; all th is was


pardo n e d an d ov e rlook e d B ut to p oin t o ut e v e n o n m ost
.
,

importan t occasions tha t the authoriti e s w e r e acti ng crimi nally


, ,

making arrang e m e n ts t e n ding to t he e vid e n t i nj ury of t he


country that was n e v e r pardo n e d H e r e has b e e n r e ap e d what
.

was sown All are afraid o f r e sponsibility all hid e b e hi nd o n e


.
,

anoth e r ; al l consid e r th e ms e l v e s right if th ey e x e cut e the ord e rs


of t he authoriti e s e v e n if th e s e are cl e arly harmful
,
Napol e o n .
,

adv e rting to an occasion wh e n a c e rtai n g e n e ral ob ey e d an


ord e r to surr e nd e r from a noth e r alr e ady a priso n e r says
H e was palpably i n e rror touching the m e an ing of military
,
1 00 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
subordi natio n A g e n e ral i n the hands o f the e n e my has no
.

long e r any right to issu e ord e rs and he wh o ob e ys th e m is


,

guilty . And is n o t a chi e f poss e ss e d by t he pow e r o f h is o w n


,

s e lf l ov e a nd the d e sir e to pr e s e rv e h is pr e stig e e v e n to t he


-
,


i nj ury of t he busin e ss i n hand i n a similar position to the chi ef
,

mad e prison e r by the e n e my ? N apol e on mak e s i t cl e ar : N o t a


singl e sov e r e ign n o t a singl e r e public n ot a sing l e military
, ,

ordi nanc e authoriz e s military chi e fs t o surre nd e r ; t he sov e r e ign


,

o r cou ntry ord e rs subalt e rns an d t he ran k and l e to O b e y t he


chi e fs i n all that may s e rv e to the pro t o r glory o f arms Arms .

ar e e n trust e d to a soldi e r un de r oath t o d e fe n d hims e lf to t he

last drop of his bl ood A command e r r e c e iv e s ord e rs a nd


.

dir e ctions to e mploy the army for t he d e fe nc e o f t he country


Wh e nc e do e s he d e riv e a righ t to ord e r thos e u n d e r him to l ay

down arms and acc e pt chai ns i n e xchang e ?
T he rank an d l e th e r e for e o n board t he surr e nd e r e d v e ss e ls
, ,

ought to hav e r e m e mb e r e d n ot o nly th e ir right but th e ir O bliga


tion to r e fus e to e x e cut e t he ord e rs o f Admiral N i e bo g at o v .

P e rhaps it was i mpossibl e to O ppos e th e m I do n o t u nd e rtak e


to j udg e o f that ; but to follow t he e xampl e o f the Rurik
was c e rtai n ly possibl e O nly o n e com m issio n e d O fc e r was

.


l e ft u ni nj ur e d o n board t he Rurik ; half the cr e w w e re
hor s de c om b

at ; y e t all t he sam e he succ e e d e d i n sin king his

ship O n t he con trary i n the coast d e fe nc e ships Se n iav i n

. -
,

and A p rax i n al l w er e al i ve an d w e l l as the chi e f o f the naval


,

sta ff r e port e d I f t he combatan t ofc e rs s e e m e d irr e solut e in


.

t he matt e r t he e ngi n e e rs a nd ar ti
, c e rs ought to hav e O p e n e d

t he Ki ngston val v e s o n th e ir o w n i n itiativ e Th e y w e r e j ust .

as guilty as t he r e st for t he sham e ful surr e nd e r Th e y had not .

for nought r e c e ntly r e c e iv e d o


i c e rs rank I n oth e r e ve nts of
.

th is war t he e ngi n e e rs and combatan t ofc e rs rivall e d e ach oth e r


i n S e lf d e n ial and courag e Of all the o
-
. i c e rs i nvolv e d i n t he
surr e n d e r o nly thos e w e r e i n n oc e n t w ho w e r e s o s e riously
,

wou nd e d as to be hor s de c om b Th e r e was I hav e said



at .
, ,


not a singl e o n e o f th e s e i n the Se n i av i n a nd the A p rax i n .

I can not i n any way blam e t he rank and l e I t would be asking .


THE
RU RI K
101

too m uch Th e y ob e y e d th e ir o fc e rs a nd did n ot ful l th e ir


.
,

duty to the cou ntry b e hi n d th e ir backs I prot e st e d wh e n t he


.

surr e n d e r was ascrib e d to t he m uti ny of the l ow e r d e ck han ds an d -


,

sti l l prot e st if th e y are blam e d o n such an occasio n for ob eying


th eir o fc e rs H ow e v e r I should c e rtai n l y hav e admir e d th e m if
.
,

th ey had act e d as the Japan e s e ran k and l e act e d o n board t he


K i n tc hi o Maru aft e r th e ir o fc e rs had surr e nd e r e d According
-
, .

to the r e port o f Admiral J e ss e n th e y O p e n e d re o n o ur cruis e rs


, ,

and he w as oblig e d to sin k t he K i n tc hio M aru by a torp e do -

but aft e r that as l o ng as s he was abov e wat e r the J apan e s e


, , ,

so l di e rs con ti n u e d ring and non e w e r e sav e d With r egard


, .

to muti ny among t he rank an d l e I hav e r e c e iv e d a l e tt e r


,

contai n i ng an i nstanc e o f e xpr e ss e d coll e ctiv e discon t e n t among


t he cr e w o f o n e o f the cruis e rs i n cons e qu e nc e o f n ot r e c e ivi ng
,

th e ir a ll owa nc e o f br e ad I d o n ot h e sitat e to b e l i e v e this


.
,

knowi ng o f simi l ar i nstanc e s ; but I was n o t sp e aki ng of such


e v e nts as th e s e H ow e v e r l ong su ffe ring o ur p e asan t i s an d the
.
-

soldi e r o r sail or is hims e lf a p e asant wh e n he s e e s that he is


op e nly robb e d ( an d u nfortu nat e ly such i nstanc e s ar e n ot rar e ) ,

he is capab l e o f c o n trivi ng som e thing l ik e a muti ny abat e d , ,

how e v e r i n a mom e n t wh e n his lawful d e mands are satis e d


, I .

do not kn ow o f a ny such r e volts i n which t he rank an d l e w e re


not substantially right i n th e ir d e mands I am p e rfe ctly c o n
.

vi n c e d
,
though that should t he e n e my app e ar duri ng such a
, ,

mutiny i n a m om e n t th e r e would be an e n d o f it All would


,
.

be at th e ir posts an d would ght with compl e t e s e l f d e n ial to


,
-

the l ast man .

( VI ) T H E

RU RIK L I E U T E NAN T IV AN O V S R E P O R T

A compariso n with the cas e o f t he Rurik agai n i nvoluntarily


pr e s e n ts i ts e lf an d it is worth wh il e r e cal ling c e rtain passag e s i n
,

the d e spatch o f Li e ut e nan t I van ov o n t he 2 6 th about the


R urik s

last h ours Th e s e are th e y
. At 8 a m t he rudd e r .
,

.
,

was damag e d by a proj e ctil e ( the prot e cti on by the armour e d d e ck


was v e ry i ncompl e t e o n board the Rurik an d r e mai n e d x e d

on the port sid e ( s o that o n st e ami ng ah e ad the cruis e r would


1 02 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
turn abruptly O ff to starboard an d thus k e e p turn ing rou nd
an d rou n d o n the spot wh e r e s he w as ) S he sank from a hol e .

b e low the wat e rli n e ; t he till e r and t he e ntir e st e e ri ng g e ar


w e r e shot away and t he co ns e qu e nt st e e ri ng o f t he ship with the
,

e ngin e s was di f cult in the e xtr e m e T he ship could n ot ob ey


.


t he Admiral s signal t o foll ow at full sp e e d aft e r the Rossia a nd
G ro m o b

oi ,
which w e r e carrying o n a battl e with four J apan e s e
cruis e rs S he th e r e for e r e main e d an d r e sum e d he r gh t with t he
.


t w o cruis e rs T ak ats hi k ho and

N an i v a wh o took advan tage ,


of t he damag e d state o f the R urik s s t e e ri ng ge ar mai n tai ni ng
a prol o ng e d r e upon he r o n t he starboard sid e an d causing her
gr e at damag e with th e ir quick ri n g gu ns o f h e avy cal ibr e
-
.

Att e mpts to ram th e m w e r e d e t e ct e d by the e n e my w ho without ,

di fculty mai n tai n e d th e ir adva ntag e ous p ositio n O ur re .

gradually w e ak e n e d in co ns e qu e nc e o f the gr e at n umb e r o f gu ns



put o ut of action and at tw e lv e o clock i t compl e t e ly c e as e d Al l
, .

o ur gu ns had b e e n sil e nc e d and w e had many d e ad an d wou nd e d

among the O fc e rs an d m e n At this mom e nt a torp e do w as


.

d ischarg e d from o n e o f o ur tub e s but it d id n o t hit an d th e n


, ,

t he torp e do -
ri n
g g e ar was d e stroy e d T he command e r and
. n e xt
s e nior o fc e r w e re m ortally wou nd e d at the v e ry comm e nc e m e nt
of t he battl e and o ut o f tw e nty two o fc e rs s i x w e r e kill e d and
,
-

n i n e wound e d Th e r e r e m ai n e d u nh urt o ne midshipman o n e


.
,

e nsign t w o arti
, c e rs two warran t O fc e rs a nd a chaplai n O ut
,
.

of e igh t hu n dr e d m e n clos e upon two hu ndr e d w e r e kill e d


,

and 2 7 8 wou nd e d .

As th e r e was no possibility of st ee ri ng the ship owing to t he ,

loss of the rudd e r an d as som e o f t he pri ncipal st e am pip e s


,

had b e e n shot through ( the e ngin e s th e r e for e c e asing to work ) ,

I could n ot g e t away from t he e n e my I n cons e qu e nc e o f the .

an nihilation o f all m e an s o f d e fe nc e i n fac e o f the approach o f


,

four armour e d cruis e rs r e turning from pursuit o f o ur own and ,

also of the r e app e aranc e o f thr e e s e cond class cruis e rs ( in -

addition to the two wh ich had b e e n e ngagi ng t he Rurik and


v e torp e do boats I r e solv e d to blow up t he ship
-
, I e n trust e d .

t he carrying out of this to M idshipman Baro n Schilli ng t he only


(

THE RU RI K 1 03

naval o fc e r r e ma i n i ng u ni nj ur e d ) but t he att e mpt did not


,

succ e e d A portio n o f the supply of B ickford fus e ( th is fus e


.

burns sl owly s o that aft e r igniti ng it o n e may g e t cl e ar ) had b e e n


,

d estroy e d by the bursti ng o f a gu n a nd the r e mai nd e r was stor e d


,

in a compartm e nt that h ad b ee n ood e d I th e r e for e gav e ord e rs


to sink the v e ss e l by O p e n i ng the Ki ngston valv e s which the ,

arti c e rs e ffe ct e d T he i nt e rval b e for e t he sh ip fou nd e r e d was


.

d e vot e d to savi ng the wou n d e d a nd t he cr e w by t he aid o f the ,


mattr e ss e s ( sailors mattr e ss e s are stu ffe d with cork ) l ife b e l ts ,
-
,

pi ec e s of wood e tc b e caus e all the boats w e r e sh ot away At


, .
,
.

noon the cruis e r w e n t t o t he bottom and t he s urvivors w e re ,



tak e n up wh il e swim mi ng by t he e n e my s ships wh ich con v ey e d
, ,

us to Sas e bo with e v e ry car e .


T hus the Rurik actually act e d according to the R e gulati o ns .

She did n o t l ow e r he r ag e v e n th ough d e priv e d o f all m e ans o f


,

d e fe nc e a nd having i n front o f he r ni n e h ostil e sh ips an d ve



,

torp e do boats
-
. Lik e wis e t he sm a ,
ll Ad miral U shakov re
fus ed to surr e nd e r th o ugh havi ng fo r antago n ists t w o l arg e
,

armour e d cruis e rs e xc e l l i ng he r 45 tim e s i n disp l ac e m e nt and


, ,

incomparably m or e pow e rfu l i n gu ns an d armour O ur ship .

h eroically e n d e d he r car e e r by si nki ng b e n e ath a hail o f the



e n e my s proj e ctil e s T he m is e rably w e ak
. D mitri D o n s k o i
did n ot strik e he r ag t o t he fourth J apan e s e divisi on an d s e con d
torp e do boat otilla bu t ran h e rs e lf agrou nd h op e l e ssly i nj ure d
-
, ,
.

Aft e r all this the thought is stil l m or e torm e n ting that Admiral
,

N ie b o g ato v surr e n d e r e d with fo ur batt l e ships T he m ost cru e l .

and o ffe n siv e rum ours w e r e circulat e d r e gardi ng the caus e s o f


this surr e nd e r . B ut this was n o t a l l I e xpr e ss e d asto nishm e n t
.

at the tim e that i n the o fcial i nt e l lige nc e n othi ng was m e n tio n e d



about the G ro z n y s arrival at Vladivostok Appar e n tly s he .
,

arriv e d th e r e abou t 1 0 a m o n 3 0 M ay wh e n sp e cial c o r


. .
,

r espond e n ts t e l e graph e d t he t e n or o f th e ir co nv e rsation s with


he r command e r .
1 04 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N


( VI I ) A D M I R A L R O Z H E ST V EN S K Y S CA P T U RE
F A T E O F V E SS E L S
O n r e ading t he o fcial i n te llig e nc e my surpris e gav e way to
,

i ndignation for the followi ng r e aso ns I t app e ar e d that t he



.
,

d e stroy e r Grozny sail e d i n company with the B i e d o vy o n ,

board wh ich was Admiral R o z he s tve n s k y and his sta ff Th e y .

w e r e pursu e d by two J apan e s e v e ss e ls and a battl e e nsu e d i n


, ,

which the torp e do d e stroy e r B i e d o v y was su n k by an e x p l o


-

sion O n e o f the J apan e s e v e ss e ls h o w e v e r was d e stroy e d by the


.
, ,


Grozny which th e n sail e d fo r Vladivostok with out asc e rtain i ng
,

what had b e com e of t he Admiral I l e av e fo r a whil e t he qu e stio n


.


o f the comma nd e r s curious b e haviour i n aban do n i ng his ad miral ,

an d n ot m e n tion i ng him i n h is d e spatch For us this poi n t was


.

cl e ar the Bi e d o vy did n o t surr e nd e r to o n e J apan e s e torp e do


v e ss e l with o ut a battl e and as s he p e rish e d the J apan e s e r e scu e d
, , ,

Admiral R o z hes tv e n s ky from the wat e r H o w was i t that i n .


,

s e nding h is d e spatch of th e s e e v e nts to the P r e ss Togo did n ot ,

commun icate this an d l e ft o ut what hours b e fore was alr e ady



, , ,

k n own to t he M i n istry o f M ari n e from the Gro z n y s d e spatch ?
Or was it n e c e ssary to pass this d e spatch through som e form o f

proc e dur e ? H e r e is an e xtract from t he St P e t e rsburg

.


Gaz e tt e T he Russian admirals o f the e e t which has
p e rish e d did n ot poss e ss manhood e nough to pr e fe r d e ath to
ign omi ny an d th e y with A dm i r al R oz hes tven s hy at thei r head
, , ,

s ur r en der ed the ms e l ves as c ap t i v es This cli ngi ng to life throws


.

a partial light o n the caus e o f t he disast e r to t he e e t Appar .

e n tly thos e alon e ar e victorious who d o n ot fe ar d e ath T he .

surr e nd e r of t he B ie d o vy to the J apan e s e i n particular


produc e s an angry i mpr ession e tc , .

This i nsult to Admiral R o z he s tv e n s k y was r e volting and


u nj ust M ay t he r e sponsibility fo r such tactl e ss i nj ustic e i n
.

r e gard to the abs e nt and wou n d e d Admiral re coil o n thos e who


did not publish t he truth s o anxiously await e d by the public

From Togo s l at e st d e spatch e s it app e ar e d that t he cruis e r

Sv i e tl an a was su nk by t wo J apan e s e cruis e rs and probably ,
B OWS F I R ST -
CL A SS C R U I SE R R O SS I A
S U R R E N D E R O R S E L F D E ST R U CT I O N
-
1 05

the sam e fat e b e fe l l the cruis e


r Aurora A s t he Sv ie tl an a
.

was sun k i n proxim ity to the S h or e and d uring the day the
, ,

gr eat e r part o f the cr e w w as probably sav e d by the J apan e s e



.


T he r e port o f t he si n king o f t he Z he m ts hug app e ar e d
pr e matur e .

Accordi ng to Togo t he loss e s o f the J apan e s e w e r e strikingly


small Th e y had only thr ee torp e do boats su n k an d t he damage
.
-

to the oth e r v e ss e ls was i nsigni can t H e also co n rm e d t he


.

n e ws that t he battl e was fought i n a fog ; which gav e a vast


signi can c e t o the pr e pond e ran t sup e riority of the J apan e s e
i n torp e do craft ; b ut from t he m e agr e d e s cription s o f t he battl e
-

it app e are d that it was mai nly a n artill e ry du e l the torp e do craft ,
-

attacking the Russian ships o nly wh e n alr e ady s e v e r e ly damag e d


b y gu n re which d e cid e d t he fat e o f t he battl e
,
.

( VI I I ) S U RR E N D E R O R S E L F D E S T R U C T I O N O F V E SS E L S
-

H I S T O R I CA L E X A M P L E S

One can n ot r e frain from turn i ng to c e rtai n h istorical r e s e arch e s


on the subj e ct o f this frightful catastroph e i n t he Straits o f
Tsush ima . Fro m thos e days wh e n t he transformatio n o f t he
war e e t to an arm our e d o n e com m e nc e d a nd wood e n ships , ,

which w e r e i n the h igh e st d e gr e e di i c ul t to si nk b e gan t o ,

disapp e ar t w o occasio ns o nly are r e cord e d O f t he surr e nd e r o f


,

ships i n such a stat e t hat t he e n e my w e r e abl e to pro t th e re by


the cas e s o f t he South e rn cruis e r
T e n n e ss e e
7 J uly 1 8 6 4 , , ,

and the P e ruvian mo n itor H uascar 9 Octob e r 1 8 7 9, ,


.

T he form e r was attack e d by t he N orth e rn squadro n u n d e r t he


comman d O f t he r e nown e d Ad miral Farragut aft e r his dash in to ,

the Bay of M obil e . I n this battl e thr e e armour e d a nd fourt e e n


,

wood e n ships took part o n the N orth e rn sid e with a n i mm e ns e ,


quantity of gu ns i n all 1 7 6 N orth e rn gu ns against 6 South e rn
,
.


T he T e n n e ss e e w as surrou nd e d corv e tt e s butt e d he r with
,

th e ir st e ms ( th e r e w e r e n o rams o n th e m ) th e y r e d o n t he ship
'

from e v e ry quart e r an d t he South e rn e rs struck th e ir ag I i hours


,

aft e r the battl e b egan aft e r the commandan t had had h is foot
,
1 06 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
torn away by a can n on ball a nd the o nly fu n n e l had b e e n shot
-
,

away s o that smok e lling the i n t e rior o f t he v e ss e l su ff ocate d


, , ,

t he cr e w .Be sid e s this t he ship although n o t p i e rc e d by shot


, , ,

was compl e t e ly shak e n to pi e c e s by t he th umps o f the st e ms



an d proj e cti l e s from t he h e avi e st gu ns o f that tim e ( 1 1 and 1 5
gu ns ) and s he b ega n to l l with wat e r
, .

I n the s e con d cas e t he P e ruvia n m on itor H uascar a v e ss e l


, ,

o f 2 00 0 to ns ( carryi ng tw o larg e an d thr e e small guns fough t


)

,

t he two C hilian iro nclads o f 3 5 00 to ns e ach ( Admiral


Cochran e and
B lanc o E ncalada -carryi ng 1 2 larg e
a nd 4 small gu ns i n both T he gh t com m e nc e d at a rang e
.

of 4 0 0 yards which co ntin ual l y dim in ish e d


, T he Chi l ian .

warships w e r e o n e ach s id e o f th e ir a n tago n ist At t he c o m



.


m e n c e m e n t o f t he battl e t he H uascar s
,
rudd e r g e ar was
damag e d an d the comman d e r with h is s e n ior li e ute na nt was
, ,

kill e d . Th e n the n e xt s e nior o i c e r was kill e d and o n e o f


t he two larg e gun s sil e nc e d Aft e r this all t he o fc e rs e xc e p t
.
,

o n e w e r e e ith e r kill e d o r w o u nd e d ; r e brok e o ut i n s e v e ral

plac e s ; all t he gu ns w e r e sil e n c e d ; an d it was impossibl e to


work the h e lm T he cr e w which b e sid e s P e ruvians co ntai n e d
.
, , ,

many for e ign e rs ( som e E urop e ans ) lost courag e an d d e mand e d ,

t he surr e n d e r o f t he ship T he only u ni nj ur e d o fc e r Li e ut e nan t


.
,

P e dro G ari s o n d e clar e d i n r e ply that he wou l d soon e r si nk


, , ,

t he ship tha n surr e nd e r a nd stan ding r e volv e r i n han d by


, , ,

t he ag thr e at e n e d t o S hoot the


, rst man who att e mpt e d to
haul it down . B ut as he had t o g o b e l ow to s up e rv i z e the
op e n i ng o f t he Ki ngston valv e s t he cr e w i n h is abs e nc e s e iz e d
,

th e ir opportu n ity a nd struck the ag o f th e ir o w n accord T he



.


C hili an s i mm e diat e l y s e n t boats t o t he H uascar but wh e n ,

th e y r e ach e d he r t he hol d had alr e ady four fe e t o f wat e r i n it ,

and s he b e gan to si nk by the st e rn I n a fe w m i nute s s he would.

hav e go n e to the bottom T he Chilian o . i c e rs board e d ran ,

to t he Kingsto n valve s and comp e ll e d the artic e rs to clos e


,

th e m Owing to t he n e w e ath e r th e y succ e e d e d i n towing


.
,

t he H uascar to t he n e ar e s t port an d to this v e ry day s he is ,

n umb e r e d among the u nits o f the C hilian navy .


S U R R E N D E R O R S E L F D E ST R U CT I O N
-
1 07

N o oth e r such occurr e nc e is k n own I n t he battl e o f Santiago


.
,

1 898 ,
during t he H ispan o Am e ric an war t he Span iards s ur
-
,

r e nd e r e d to the Am e ricans but b e for e doi ng s o th e y ran th e ir


,

cruis e rs o n t he rocks s o that t he Am e ricans did n o t gai n poss e s


,

sion of a si ngl e o n e .

I m e n tio n th e s e occasi o ns t o poi n t o ut that som e thi ng quit e


e xc e ptio nal a n d till th e n i nc o mpr e h e nsibl e
,
occurr e d o n b o ard
,

o ur battl e ships whic h w e r e t o w e d i n t o J apan e s e ports .

I f N i ebo g ato v a nd t he c o m mand e rs o f th e s e v e ss e ls w e r e


actually guilty w e sh o uld hav e kn own this from a sourc e wh ich
would n ot awak e n a ny d o ubts .

I n the days o f saili ng e e ts t he surr e n d e r o f v e ss e l s and I


,


hav e alr e ady i n dicat e d why happ e n e d mor e fr e qu e ntly but ,

a l ways aft e r obsti nat e battl e a nd i n d e sp e rat e an d i n e x tricabl e


situatio ns Th e r e app e ars to be but o n e e xc e ption that o f t he

.
,

Russian frigat e Raph a e l which o n 1 1 M ay 1 8 2 9 e n c o un


, , ,

t e re d a Turkish squadro n o f ft e e n ships b e tw e e n Sizopol an d


the e n try t o t he B osph o ru s and surr e nd e r e d without ri ng
,


a sh ot T he Turks r e n am e d he r Fazl i Allah which signi e d

-
.
,


Gift o f God . N o twithsta ndi ng t he e n e my s im m e ns e s up e
r i o r i ty
,
l e avi ng as i t app e ar e d n o ch an c e o f e scap e t he c o m ,

mand e r an d all the O fc e rs w e r e d e grad e d a nd t he foll owi ng ,

d e cr e e was issu e d by t he E mp e ror N ich olas I co nc e rn ing t he


frigat e h e rs e l f I f s he fa l ls i n t o o ur hands re must be op e n e d
,

upon he r as b e i ng u nw o rthy t o y t he Russian ag Th is .

actually happ e n e d T he frigat e was with the Turkish squadro n


.

at t he battl e o f Si n o p e an d w as s e t o n re by o ur artill e ry T he
,
.

n e c e ssity o f d e fe ndi ng h e rs e lf to t he v e ry last an d having n o ,


regard wh at e v e r t o the e n e my s pr e po n d e ran c e i n str e ngth was ,


brillian tly d e m o nstrat e d by the brig M e rcury wh ich thr e e , ,

days aft e r the Rapha e l i ncid e n t e ncou n te r e d the sam e


,

Turkish squadro n At rst s he s e e m e d l ik e ly to e scap e bu t t w o


.
,

of t he larg e r T urkish warships ov e rtook he r and a n u n e qua l


e ngag e m e n t was u n avoid abl e O n board t he M e rcury w e re
.

1 8 small gu ns o n b oard t he t w o T urkish ships 1 8 4 gu ns o f l arg e

ca l ibr e T he comm and e r cal l e d a cou ncil o f war i n which


.
,
1 08 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
Li e ut e n an t P roko e v as j u n ior o fc e r rst gav e his opi n ion

, , .

I t was u n iv e rsally acc e pt e d I t was d e cid e d to bl ow up the


.

brig wh e n furth e r r e sistanc e was impossibl e This d e cisio n was


.

commun icat e d to t he cre w wh o acc e pt e d i t with a full k nowl e dge


,

of t he cons e qu e nc e s T he battl e laste d for thr e e h ours a nd the


.
,

Turks ma noe uvr e d so u nsucc e ssfully that i n addition to the


damag e caus e d th e m by t he
M e rcury s small gu ns had to
,

be add e d that caus e d to o n e an oth e r i n the thick smok e duri ng ,

which the brig e scap e d I n addition to oth e r r e wards t he


.
,

E mp e ror Nicholas I ord e r e d e ach o i c er t o h av e a pistol add e d


to h is cr e st t he w e apon chos e n by the o
,
i c e rs for blowi ng up t he
brig wh e n it shoul d be impossibl e t o co n ti n u e t he d e fe n c e T he .

n am e o f the brig is pr e s e rv e d i n t he Russian n avy i n t he



n am e of o n e o f its ships P amyat M e rc urii ( m e mory of t he

which also i e s the G e orgian ag co nfe rr e d on


t he brig . We have also nam e d o n e o f o ur torp e d o boats t he -


Captai n K az ars ky aft e r t he nam e o f he r command e r
, .

H ow e v e r w e hav e dw e lt e n ough upo n t he past a nd m ust c o n


,


t i n ue to sum up e v e nts of the pr e s e n t I n Captai n F e rs e n s
.

d e spatch it r e mai n e d u nd e cid e d why he l e ft N ie bo g ato v s

squadron T he o nly logical e xplanatio n i n my O pi n io n is that


.

this e xc e ll e nt o fc e r d id not d e sir e to tak e part in t he surr e n d e r .

From his d e spatch e s it is plai n that th e r e w e r e n i n e d e stroy e rs



with t he ee t an d w e h ad n e ws of o nly four ( the Bi e d o vy t he
Grozny the ,

,


B rav y ,
an d the B ui n y I nd e e d w e had ,
,


o nly r e liabl e n e ws of thr e e si nc e the rumour of t he B ui n y s
,

d e structio n had pass e d through s e v e ral chan n e ls from t he cr e w


of t he
D mitri D o n s k o i
through the command e r of t he
,

K as s ug a ,
Admiral Togo and t he J apa n e s e E mbassy i n
,

London T he s e con d r e port r e c e iv e d through similar chan n e ls


.
, ,

to t he e ff e c t that Admiral F e lk e rs ham was kill e d on d e ck i n t he


O s l ab e fut e d by t he o f

battl e ship y a was
,
r cial con rmati on of
h is d e ath som e days b e for e t he battl e I t is cl e ar that the
.

O s l ab a fou nd r d i n cons qu nc f gu n T h S i ss oi


e e e e e o re e
y .


V e liky and the Vladim ir M o n o m ak h appar e ntly sank of
th e ms e lv e s wh e n o n t he morn i ng o f 2 8 o r 2 9 M ay four J apan e s e
,
R E P O RTS O F A B A TT L E 1 09

auxiliary cruis e rs app e ar e d i n S ight to captur e th e m Th us .

thos e ships although disabl e d co n ti n u e d t o k e e p t he s e a aft e r an


, ,


artill e ry battl e a n d a wh ol e s e ri e s o f torp e do attacks According .

to he r command e r the cruis e r Adm iral N ak hi m o v found e r e d


,

on 2 7 M ay 1 5 hours aft e r the comm e nc e m e n t o f t he battl e


, .

T he cruis e r D mitri D o n s k o i was also su nk by he r o w n cr e w ,

who O p e n e d t he Ki ngst o n valv e s o n t he morn i ng o f 2 9 M ay .

( I X ) C RE D I B I L I T Y O F RE P O R T S O F A B A T T LE

T he pictur e o f t he battl e r e m ai n e d to my m i n d v e ry confus e d .

Afte r such a n e v e n t w e h e ar the narrativ e s of a fe w participants


and ey e witn e ss e s but th e s e narrativ e s o f what is u nc e rtai n and
-

vagu do n ot mak e matt e rs c e rtai n and cl ar i nd e e d only


e e
,

invo l v e d T he main point i s what l e d t o such utt e r d e structio n


.
,

of our squadro n ? I t i s a fact su fci e n tly w e ll k n own that the


, ,

narrativ e s o f d ie re n t participan ts i n a battl e form u nfavourabl e


'

mat e rials for the constructio n o f a g e n e ral pictur e All turns .

upo n the fo ll owi ng facts : D id things g o succ e ssful l y o r oth e r


wis e i n the vicin ity o f the participan t ? was he wou nd e d o r
unhurt did he tak e part i n the a ffair t o t he v e ry e n d o r o nly up ,

to a c e rtai n mom e n t ? H is story o f t he whol e battl e will usually


r e e ct t he impr e ssio n d e riv e d from what occurr e d im m e diat e ly
round h im I t must be obs e rv e d also that this p e culiarity o f
.

s e parat e narrativ e s chi e y appli e s i n the cas e of a lan d battl e and ,

by n o m e ans to the sam e e xt e n t at s e a O n land a g e n e ral .

e stimat e of a batt l e is pow e rfu ll y a ffe ct e d by l ocality e v e n if t he ,

battl e do e s not tak e plac e upo n a sp e cially larg e ar e a Though .

as a matt e r of fact a g e n e ral e ngag e m e n t usu ally occupi e s a


larg e sph e r e i nci d e nts happ e n i ng a l most sid e by sid e m ay be
,

conc e al e d by risi ng groun d a wood buildi ngs an d so o n What


, , ,
.

the e n e my is doing h is n umb e rs and e ffe ctiv e forc e are still l e ss


, ,

visibl e al l through this i nu e nc e o f local ity T he s e n ior o


, i c e rs
.
,

and the com man d e r i n c hi e f i n particular are also i nvisibl e and


- -
, ,

only mak e th e ir pr e s e nc e fe l t by signals r e c e iv e d through the


t e l egraph or t e l e ph on e o r by m e ans o f ord e rli e s At s e a this is
,
.
1 10 T H E B ATT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
n ot t he cas e Th e r e is a s i n g l e smooth surfac e an d co ns e qu e n tly
.
,

all that happ e ns o n e v e ry sid e m ay be p e rc e iv e d ov e r a v e ry


consid e rabl e ar e a Form e rly e sp e cially i n cal m w e ath e r smok e
.
, ,

from powd e r s e rious l y i nt e rfe r e d with a wid e vi e w but n ow th e r e ,

is smok e l e ss powd e r O nly o n a fe w o f the Russian v e ss e ls


.

taking part i n this e ngag e m e nt d id the powd e r cr e at e smok e .

T he coal us e d i n the Russian e e t was also u nd e rstood to b e

sm ok e l e ss and although i t may be suppos e d that th e r e was n o n e


, ,

of the b e st quality o f coal o n board the Russian v e ss e ls the ,

smok e from t he fu n n e ls woul d n ot imp e d e t he vi e w H ostil e .


ships an d th e ir n umb e rs an d m ove m e nts w e r e all mor e or l e ss
, ,

visibl e Th e ir admirals could also be mad e o ut an d t he g e n e ral


.
,

scop e o f th e ir i nt e n tions was grasp e d Tru e signals v e ry oft e n .


,

r e fus e t o ac t but t he cours e o f t he admiral s agship is always
,

visibl e and to u nd e rstand h is d e signs it is o nly n e c e ssary to


,

fol l ow th at sh ip By doing this n o gr e at e rror could be com


.

m i tt e d I n discussi ng the compara t iv e facility o f obs e rving t he


.

g e n e ral cours e o f e v e nts i n a naval battl e h ow e v e r I m ust e xplai n , ,

that it is strictly n e c e ssary to distinguish w ho t he narrator is .

F o r i nstanc e an ar ti c e r i n the l ow e r part of t he v e ss e l n e ar t he


,

e ngi n e s o r boil e rs would s e e practically n othi ng he would only


h e ar t he r e port o f ri ng an d fee l t he vibratio n o f the v e ss e l wh e n
a h e avy shot struck he r armour ; and could o nly sp e ak to the
damag e to t he e ngin e s and r e port what ord e rs for sp e e d he
,

r e c e iv e d from t he captai n th rough sp e aki ng tub e s o r if t he -


,

ship sprang a l e ak ; but the caus e o f this wh e th e r a sh e ll o r ,

torp e do from a torp e do v e ss e l would be quit e u n known to h im


-
,
.

T he vast maj ority o f m e n o n board are i n a similar position si nc e ,

all are d oing th e ir d e nit e duti e s i n littl e compartm e nts t he


cas e mat e co n ni ng tow e r magazin e s stok e hold e ngin e rooms
,
-
, , ,
-
,

e t c wh e n c e n othing is visibl e
. or at most o nly part of t he , , ,

horizo n O n the oth e r hand th e r e is a group o f m e n o n board


.
,

who can an d hav e t o s e e a gr e at d e al the command e r t he ,

navigating o fc e rs ( w ho assist the command e r i n st e e ri ng t he


v e ss e l an d he r g e n e ral safe ty ) t he o
i c e r dir e cti ng t he gu n re
, ,

an d som e fe w oth e rs To th e s e I r e fe rr e d i n sp e aki ng of t he


.

G E N E RA L LI N I EV I T C H S R E P O RT 1 1 1

di ffe r e n c e b e tw e e n the disp ositi on s o f a l an d an d a n aval battl e .

I n t he form e r cas e t he local ity imp e d e s the vi e w o f al l and i n ,

the latt e r a f e w ca n s e e th anks t o the abs e nc e o f the obscuri ng


,

inu e nc e s o f l ocal ity .

Thus a sp e cial valu e attach e s to t he t e stimony o f com mandi ng


o i c e rs B ut h e r e w e e n cou n t e r utt e rly u n i nt e lligib l e transmissio n
.

of this t e stim ony by corr e spond e n ts I c oul d give i nstanc e s


.

wh e r e a corr e sp o nd e n t did n o t utt e r a word o f truth M any o f .

such stori e s g e t ab o ut a n d i n a l arg e n umb e r o f th e s e it i s n o t


,

easy to d e t e ct t he fals e hood Th e r e is m uch t e n d e n cy t o fals e


.

hood with ou t a ny possibility O f d isti nguish ing a nd r e futi ng th e s e


,

cou n tl e ss stori e s I m e nti on this t o assign th e ir prop e r va l u e to


.

fabrications an d t o warn all s o far as l i e s i n my pow e r from


, , ,

placing t o o much faith i n th e m T he gr e a te s t val u e th e r e for e


.
, ,

attach e s t o the dir e ct r e p o rts o f c o m man di ng o fc e rs a nd i n , ,

cons e qu e nc e words fail t o e xplai n t he p e rpl e xity a nd asto n ish


,

m e nt ov e r the br e vity an d i n d e n it e n e s s o f t he r e p orts s e n t o ff at


that tim e o r if the r e ports w e r e n o t abbr e viat e d th e n at th e ir
, , ,

d e lay and m utilatio n


Th e s e r e ports o f the c o mma ndi ng o
'

i c ers should hav e b e e n


ask e d for a nd publish e d with ou t d e l ay as w e l iv e d o n for e ign ,

inte llig e nc e i n the styl e fo r i nsta nc e o f a c e rtai n an n ou nc e m e n t


, ,

r ec e iv e d from London to t he e ff e ct that t he J apan e s e had gai n e d


a victory ov e r t he Russian squadro n
,


which n e ith e r k n e w ho w
,

t o re n o r t o manoe uvr e an d j oi n ed b attl e as if they di d n ot w an t


,

to g ht .

X
( ) G E N E R A L LI N I E V I T C H S R E P O R T W I T H

,

S U P P L E M E N T A R Y D ET A I L S
Aft e r som e tim e i t w as possibl e to att e mpt to draw a pictur e
of the battl e i n accordanc e with the d e tai l e d r eport of G e n e ral
Li n i e v i tc h D e tails lacki ng i n th at r e port hav e b e e n tak e n
.

from e arli e r r e ports by t he com mand e rs o f squadro n s a nd i ndi


vidual s l i p s T he sk e tch e s attach e d to this s e ctio n must be
i
.

consid e r e d as approximat e Th is is e sp e cially t he cas e i n r e la


.


tion to the squadro n s position at thr e e o c l ock on t he day o f
1 1 2 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N


battl e As e arly as 2 5 M ay the e n e my s wir e l e ss m e ssag e s w e re
.


tak e n i n o n board the cruis e r U ral and if such m e ssage s ,

w e r e r e c e iv e d i n our e e t the e n e my must have r e c e iv e d th e m


, .

O n the e arly morn i ng o f 2 7 M ay o ur squadron approach e d t he


e ast e rn Straits of Kor e a in two colum ns l in e ah e ad t he tra ns , ,

ports b e i ng b e tw e e n th e m T he co l um n to port con sist e d o f


.

thr e e divisio ns o f battl e ships .

T he l e adi ng divisio n co nsist e d o f four battl e ships o f t he


Suvorov typ e which ship h e ad e d its colu m n and carri e d
,


Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky s ag She was follow e d by a divisio n

.

O s l ab

thr ee battl e ships ( the

of y a S i ssoi V e liky, and ,

an d by t he prot e ct e d cruis e r Ad miral Nakhi


m ov
. O n board the O s l ab y a

t he lat e Ad miral F e l k

e rs ham s
,

ag was yi ng Four batt l e ships o f Ad miral N i ebo g ato v s


.

divisio n compl e t e d t he colum n R e ckon ing about thr e e cabl e


.

l e ngths for e ach sh ip i n battl e formation t he l e ngth o f that ,

co l um n was about six v e rsts o r four m il e s , I f at the tim e .


of the e e t s e ntry i nto the Straits the w e ath e r was foggy ,

t he i n t e rval b e tw ee n t he ships fo r fe ar o f collision was probably

gr e at e r but at t he tim e o f m e e ti ng the J apan e s e e e t t he fog


,

had cl e ar e d up a nd the i nt e rval was v e ry lik e ly n ormal To .

starboard o f t he battl e ships was rang e d a colum n o f e igh t trans


K am t c hat k a


ports Anadyr I rtish Kor e a Rus
Svir ,

Or e l
,

and
,


Kostroma
,

Consid e ring the gr e at


.
, , ,

l e ngth o f som e of th e s e ships th e ir captai ns b e ing u n us e d to


,

battl e formations and th e ir h e t e roge n e ity the transports prob


, ,

ably e xt e n d e d ov e r a gr e at e r distan c e than the battl e ships It



.

is probabl e that t he Or e l a nd Kostroma as hospital ships , ,

w e r e som e wh e r e outsid e the battl e zo n e ; but the fact was n ot


m e n tion e d in any of t he r e ports N e ar t he transports w e r e
.

t he torp e do boats but n oth i ng was said aft e rwards about th e ir


-
,

b e ing group e d i n to divisio ns an d this l e ads m e to b e li e v e


,

that th e y w e r e scatt e r e d Two cruis e r d ivisions w e r e to star


.

board o f the transports : ah ead a division o f four larg e cruis e rs



Aurora ,

D m itri D o n s k o i an d Vladimir M ono ,

A d m i ral j ij E n q ui s t the command e r of t he cruis e r
,

G E N E RA L LI N I EV I T C H S R E P O RT 1 1 3

I n the r e ar was a divisio n o f

division w as i n t he
,
e Ol g .


light cruis e rs u nd e r Captai n Sch e i n o f the Sv i e tl an a c o n
sisting o f the auxil iary cruis e r
an d the third class
, ,


U ral

-
,


cruis e rs I zumrud Z he m t s hug
,
and A l maz , T he ee t .

r emai n e d i n this formatio n u ntil a m (s ee p



. . .


At 7 a m t he J apan e s e cruis e r I d s um i had alr e ady ap
. .


n o t u nti l e l e v e n o c l ock


e are d to starboard o f o ur col um ns but
p ,

did t he Vladim i r M o n o m ak h l e av e the li n e o f batt l e at a ,

g i v e n signa l to driv e o ff t he e n e my s cru i s e r T hus fo r four
, .

hours a h ostil e cruis e r was a l l ow e d to r e mai n i n vi e w o f o ur


ee t t o cou n t its ships obs e rve i ts position an d co n ti nuous l y
, , ,

commu nicat e u ns ee n by us t o o th e r J apan e s e cruis e rs o r coast


, ,

stations Th e re for e Admiral T ogo from 7 a m coul d fol l ow


.
,
. .
,

the mov e m e nts o f t he Russian ee t as ch e ss play e rs c an fo l low -

by te l egraph o n th e ir ch e ss tabl e ( the map i n this cas e ) a ll t he


-

mov e s o f th e ir rival and study th e m at l e isur e As the w e ath e r


, .

was misty t he cru is e r approach e d clos e to o ur l i n e T his is


, .

also corroborate d by the fact that s he was r e cogn iz e d by o ur


ee t wh e re as at a gr e a t d istanc e s he could e asi l y hav e b e e n

,


mistak e n fo r the cruis e rs Suma Akashi or ,
Akitsu ,
n
S hima . She e vid e n t l y tri e d to com e as n e ar as possibl e as l ong
as we did n o t i n t e rfe r e with he r i n o rd e r to mak e a cl os e o b
,
s er

vation . B e ing abl e t o k e e p o n a paral l e l rout e with o ur e e t ,


s he could e asily a s c e rtain t he l att e r s sp e e d b e caus e i n ord e r to ,

k ee p l e ve l s he had to g o at e v e n sp e e d T o driv e O ff t he
, .

cruis e r at i ts rst app e aran c e was t he dir e ct d uty o f Adm iral


Enq uis t u nd e r whos e com mand w e r e s e v e ral cruis e rs o f gr e at e r
,

sp ee d t han t he o l d I d s um i which w as bui l t i n 1 8 8 3 an d had



,

a sp e e d o f o nly 1 7 5 k n ots according t o he r 1 9 0 2 trials H e


,
.

could hav e att e mp t e d to captur e o r d e stroy he r This migh t .

have fail e d o f cours e had th e r e b e e n b e hi n d he r a sup e rior


, ,

forc e to cov e r he r withdrawa l ; but e v e n th e n t he va l u e o f such


a pursuit would hav e b e e n gre at Scouti ng might hav e b e e n .

e ffe ct e d t o som e advan tag e by o ur cruis e r d e tachm e n t As a



.


fact o ur slow e st cruis e r
, Vladimir M o n o m ak h which was a
, ,

still old e r ve ss e l ( commission e d rst i n was d e spatch e d


1 14 T H E B ATT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
agai nst he r but o n l y aft e r a laps e o f four h ours P e rhaps such
,
.

a S ignal was giv e n by Adm iral R o z he s tv e n s k y hims e lf who ,

could n ot obs e rv e the J apan e s e cruis e r hidd e n by the transpor t


,

an d cruis e r col um ns but o nly e spi e d he r aft e r som e tim e A l l


, .

th is is still u n e xplain e d but i n er ti a abs e nc e o f i n itiative and


, , ,

misund e rstandi ng o f t he situation o n t he part o f the command e r


o f t he cruis e rs w e r e palpab l e i n t he high e st d e gr e e
, H e ought .

t o h av e assum e d from the Command e r i n Chi e f t he r e sponsibility


- -


o f prot e cti ng t he s quadro n agai nst t he e n e my s scouts T his .

was the plai n du ty o f the command e r o f a cruis e r d e tachm e n t .

I n cons e qu e nc e o f the sam e strang e arrang e m e nt an d the



immobil ity o f t he cruis e r d e tach m e nt at e l e v e n o c l ock t o port o f
, ,

t he squadro n a J apan e s e scouti ng d e tachm e n t o f t w o s e cond


,

class a nd two third class cruis e rs mad e i ts app e aranc e


-
.

Agai n fo r a whol e hour th e y w e re al l ow e d to obs e rv e t he


,

formation o f o ur e e t u n til as lat e as , wh e n ( onc e m or e at


a signa l and n o t through a nybody s p e rs ona l i nitiativ e ) re was
,

,

op e n e d upon th e m by the s e con d group o f battl e ships This .

d e tachm e n t i nd e e d o ught t o hav e b e e n im m e diate ly d riv e n


, ,

o ff by o ur larg e cruis e rs and sh ould n o t h av e b e e n a ll owed


,

t o approach within gu nshot o f o ur pri ncipa l ships .

A S it was t he J apan e s e d e tachm e n t did n o t co nsist of


,

arm our e d cruis e rs which could n o t hav e b e e n oppos e d but ,

o f v e ss e ls n o strong e r than Admiral E n q


ui s t s four cruis e rs .

Thus it is cl e arly d e monstrat e d that i t was n e c e ssary to have


had the cruis e r d e tachm e n t i n advanc e o f the squadron prior to
t he app e aranc e o f t he J apan e s e i n forc e .

Such migh t h av e b e e n the cas e ;an d th e r e shou l d n ot have b ee n


pr e s e n t the u nfortu nat e d e tachm e n t O f transports for the p ro tec ,

tio n o f which it w as said o ur cru is e rs we r e s o foolishly arranged ,

although th ey cou l d n o t e e c t such prot e ction T he I d s umi


'
.
,

as w e l l as t he J apan es e cruis e rs which app e are d o n the port


sid e could th e n hav e b e e n n o t o nly imm e diate ly drive n o ff but
, ,

would hav e b e e n i n dang e r o f b e i ng c ut o ff from th e ir main


forc e s to the n orth T he m e r e pr e s e nc e o f o ur cruis e r d e tach
.

m e n t i n advanc e wou l d hav e comp e l l e d th e m to avoid approach



G E N E RA L LI N I E V I T C H S R E P O RT 1 1 5

ing our mai n forc e A s i t was th e y coolly disapp e ar e d as soon


.
,

as re was op e n e d upo n th e m i e aft e r t h e y had compl e t e d


, . .

th e ir m ission o f scouting T he app e aranc e o f t he main J apan e s e


.

forc e would n o t hav e b ee n a surpris e to o ur e e t as t he l att e r ,

would hav e r e c e iv e d e arly i nformatio n fro m the cruis e rs post e d


in fron t, and coul d hav e prop e rly e ffe ct e d its batt l e formatio n .

At a ny rat e t he app e aranc e o f the J apan e s e scouts sh o w e d


,

that the e n e my s mai n fo rc e m ight be e xp e ct e d from t he n orth


'
.

T he tim e ought t o h av e b ee n uti l iz e d i n s e nding back t he trans


ports pushi ng t he cruis e rs ah e ad an d u nd e r cov e r o f th e s e
, , ,

fast craft, which wou l d be ab l e t o n otify i n good tim e wh e re t he


e n e my s app e ara nc e shou l d b

e l ook e d fo r formi ng t he battl e ships ,

in li n e abr e ast i n which formation the advanc e through t he


,

Straits w o u l d be mad e This sh ould h av e b e e n do n e m or e


.
,

esp e cially aft e r t he disapp e ara nc e o f the J apan e s e scouts T h e ir .

r eports as t o o ur formatio n an d the pr e s e n c e o f transports with



our ee t wou l d th e n hav e b ee n e rro n e o us an d Admira l Togo s ,

calculations w o u l d hav e b e e n ups e t to a c e rtai n e xt e nt .

T h e n if Admira l T og o had a l s o app e ar e d i n li n e abr e ast o ur


,

positio n wou l d n o t h ave b e e n wors e than h is ; an d i n t he e v e n t


of his app e aranc e i n l in e ah e ad formatio n the advan tag e would ,

hav b n sid I t i n c ssary add that f



y e t e ee o n o ur e s e. e t o o r o u r

battl eships o f the Suvorov typ e a li n e abr e ast formatio n had


sp ecia l adva n tag e s ; b e caus e i n compariso n with the J apan e s e
,

batt l eships th e s e v e ss e ls hav e co nsid e rabl e advan tag e i n bo w


,

re .

Last l y agai nst t he e n e my s li n e abr e ast formation the
,

principal part would hav e b ee n p l ay e d by the h e avy gu ns o f t he


forward turre ts T he m e dium artil l e ry born e o n the broadsid e s
.
, ,

can only tak e a v e ry l imit e d part i n such circumstanc e s Our .

advantag e consist e d i n a gr e at e r n u mb e r o f h e avy gu ns .

What was re a l ly don e was this I m m e diate l y aft e r t he d is


.

app e aranc e o f t he J apan e s e scouts a d e tach m e n t o f Adm iral


En q
ui s t s larg e cruis e rs was plac e d ast e rn o f t he battl e sh ip

column i e was again ti e d down t o the ee t and d e priv e d o f


, . .

ind ep e nd e n t action F o r t he prot e ctio n o f t he transports o n


.

the right wi ng a d e tach m e n t o f ligh t cruis e rs w as t o l d o ff


i ,
1 16 T H E B ATT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N

u n d e r Captai n Sch e i n s command At midday wh e n t he e e t .
,

assum e d the cours e along Tsush ima I sland t he rst division ,

o f battl e ships dr e w o ff mor e to starboard and occupi e d a position

at thr ee cabl e l e ngths to starboard o f t he s e co nd battl e ship


-

division Our e e t co nti n u e d its voyag e i n such formatio n up


.


to t he mom e nt of the app e aranc e o f the e n e my s pri ncipal forc e .

Thus at this mom e n t o ur e e t was sailing in the formatio n of


, ,

ff
f /Y
areme/if

5 0A I f .

0
Jap an e s e J ean/7,7 9
e fd chm en f
0
I
0 0

1sef
i (13 11 1121

1 1 4.

C f0
2

fo ur co l umns lin e ah e ad l
, e ading o n e of which viz t,he s e cond , .


to port was Admiral R o z hes tv e n s ky At t he h e ad of t he port
, .

colum n was t he O s l abya yi ng Admira l F e l ke rs ham s ag ;

t he r e pairing ship K am t c hatk a ,

was at the h e ad o f t he
transport c olum n ; and t he Sv ie tl an a h e ad e d t he starboard
colum n o f cruis e rs At t he h e ad of t he colum ns should have
.

b ee n the most e xp e ri e nc e d an d r e sponsibl e m e n the s e nior



admi rals as manoeuvri ng i n battl e is n ot bas e d on signals ,

which as a matt e r of fact oft e n can not be mad e but o n the


rul e ,

,


Follow t he Admiral who shows h is i nt e ntio ns by the
,

,
,

G E N E RA L LI N I EV I T C H S R E P O RT 1 1 7

mov e m e n ts o f t he agship I n this battl e how e v e r Admirals


.
, ,

Nie b o g at o v a nd E n q ui s t w e r e plac e d i n t he r e ar M or e ov e r .
,

the Com mand e r i h Chi e f was at the h e ad o f o n e o f t he c e ntr e


- -

colum ns ; tha t is to s ay h is manoeuvri ng was li mit e d t o star


,

board as w e l l as t o port .

And n o w i n vi e w o f such formation th e re app e ar e d from t he


, ,

north at the J apan e s e mai n forc e co nsisting o f e igh t e e n ,

ships accord ing t o som e d e scription s i n li n e ab r e ast


, I t is .

possib l e and co n rm e d by ma ny i ndications am ong t he many


,

d e scriptions o f the battl e that th e s e e ight e e n ships consist e d


, ,

in addition t o the tw e l v e mod e rn armour e d v e ss e ls ( four


batt l e sh ips and e igh t armour e d cruis e rs) o f t he followi ng : t he

battl e ship Ts e u y e n with four o ld typ e 1 2 guns arrang e d
-
,
-
,

for bows o n re ; thr e e cruis e rs o f t he


-

H ash idat e typ e tw o ,

of which h ad o n e h e avy gu n e ach capab l e o f ri ng ov e r t he


bow ; an d t w o cruis e rs o f t he N an i v a typ e
T o th e s e
H
.

O s l ab

e ight e e n ships only thr e e o f o ur forc e coul d r e ply

y a ,
"
Suvorov an d Sv i e tl an a
, Th e s e l att e r e sp e cially t he rst
.
,

two o n wh ich t he J apan e s e co nc e n trat e d th e ir re w e r e the rst


, ,

to be p ut o ut o f actio n At th is mom e n t o ur e e t comm e nc e d


.

ring ; b ut what ri ng
T he transports mad e o ff t o starboar d and w e r e fol l ow e d by ,

Admiral E n q uis t t o prot e c t th e m o n t he p ort sid e ; t he rst


battl eship d e tach m e n t turn e d t o port i n o rd e r to be at t he h e ad ,

of the s e co nd and th ird divisions i e t o again form o n e colum n , . .


to m ee t the e n e my s l i n e abre ast formatio n ; i n o th e r words to ,

occupy the m os t disadva ntage ous position possibl e T he natural .

cours e for t he rst battl e sh ip d e tach m e n t wou l d h av e b e e n to


turn to starboard a nd form i n l i n e ah e ad o f the r e mai n i ng two
,

divisions ; such a m anoe uvr e would h av e r e quire d l ess tim e


than t he rst T he rst an d s e co n d battl e ship d e tach m e nts
.

might hav e turn e d almost si mu l tan e ously Th e n o ur battl e ship .

colum n would h av e b e e n draw n up paral l e l t o the e n e my i n


lin e abr e ast i e would hav e b e e n plac e d i n such an advan tag e ous
, . .

position that the J apan e s e woul d only d o o n e thing turn all


th e ir ships simultan e ously e ith e r to starboard o r port at righ t
m u
"
m
.
epm y :
i

J
fl) ,

0V6J/M J p l

arse s6745 }
/

I
C O U R S E O F A C T O N B E T W E E N N OO N AN D 3 P M
. .

G E N E RA L LI N I EV I T C H S R E P O RT 1 1 9

ang l e s and form a simi l ar c olu m n


, I t was t o o l at e for us to
.

arrange a li n e abr e ast formation Such formation r e quir e s tim e


.
,

and could n o t be mad e u nd e r re I t was n e c e ssary t o r e main


.

i n such formatio n as w e w e re o n t he poin t o f e ncou n te ri ng t he


,

e n e my .

T he J apan e s e utiliz e d o ur disord e r an d form e d colum n i n l i n e


ah ead . I t w as n e c e ssary for that o nly t o turn th e ir ships to
starboard T he re form e d co l um n th e n turn e d bodily t o port a nd
.
-

comm e nc e d t o o utan k the wi ng o f o ur batt l e ship divisio ns .

Th ey con c e ntrat e d a ll th e ir re agai nst t he rst battl e ship


division ( wh ich i nc l ud e d o ur most pow e rfu l battl e ships ) an d
agai nst t he O s l aby a
As i t d e l e d at a distanc e o f only
.

tw e nty cabl e l e ngths the J apan e s e co l um n was abl e to d e v e lop


-
,

the full str e ngth o f its quick ri n


g artill
-
e ry and to mak e t he m ost
of its e norm ous n um e rical sup e riority i n this r e gard A s a .

O s l ab e put hor s ae com b



r esul t the Suvorov and

, y a w e r at

and the Al e xand e r I I I and S i s s o i V e liky t e mporarily
disabl e d T o prot e ct th e m o ur re mai n ing battl e ships had to
.

form li n e ah e ad to starboard B ut it was n ow too lat e for this


.

man oeuvr e o n o ur part T he J apan e s e mai n forc e had alr e ady


.

succ ee d e d i n turn i ng o ur r e ar an d t he th r e e cruis e rs of t he


,
1 20 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
H ashidat e typ e which s e parat e d th e ms e lv e s from t he main
,

body tog e th e r with th e ir scouti ng division had succ e ssfully turn e d


,

o ur transports from an oth e r sid e Th e s e had gon e o ff to the


.

O pposit e wing an d b e com e mix e d up with t he cruis e rs At .

7 p m
. t he.pri ncipal J apan e s e forc e had alr e ady app e ar e d to
starboard o f o ur battl e ship colum n which up to this m om e nt
was l e d by t he
Borodi n o
.
8
All t he transports a nd cruis e rs
,

w e r e i n two groups l e d by Admiral E n q,


uis t and Captain

Sch e i n and w e r e to port o f o ur battl e ships T he d e tachm e n t o f


,
.

Japan e s e cruis e rs pursu e d th e m from t he l e ft r e ar H avi ng again .

conc e ntrat e d th e ir re upon o ur l e adi ng ship t he Japan e s e ,

Herm on/t [fi l med /a


f /
y aff ef q
van es e fome d o
Ja vessel s .

1
1
1 l l 0U
0 0 00I
a

battl e ship division sank the Borodin o T he l e ad was th e n .


tak e n by t he battl e ship I mp e rator N ikolai I yi ng Admiral ,

N ieb

o g at o v s ag an d t he e e t agai n took t he cours e l e ading to
,

t he Straits T he sun was n ow s e tting an d t he Japan e s e torp e do


.

otilla ( s e e abov e ) app e ar e d o n t he horizon T he J apan e s e battl e .

ship divisio n had mov e d away as if th e y i nt e nd e d to l e av e fr ee


,

action to t he torp e do boats At rst our battl e ships and cruis e rs


-
.

s e parat e d b e for e t he approachi ng torp e do boats but t he battl e -


,

ships fe aring to r e mai n alon e d uri ng t he torp e do attacks and


,
-
,

s e e i ng that t he cruis e rs did not i n t e nd to follow th e m turn e d for ,

the purpos e of j oi ning th e m T he cruis e rs should hav e sacri c e d


.

th e ms e lv e s an d d e stroy e d the torp e do boats T he battl e ships -


.
,
G E N E RA L S U M M A R Y 1 21

how e v e r fail e d to m ak e a j un cti o n with t he cruis e rs for Admiral


, ,

Enq ui s t with thr e e o f his b e st an d l e ast damag e d v e ss e ls co n


,
-
,

tin n e d h is rout e towards t he s outh and quitt e d the sc e n e of


action Of t he n um b e r o f cruis e rs wh ich w e n t to t he N orth the

I zumrud c e rtai nly e ffe ct e d a j u nction with the battl e ships ,

and this was probably also the cas e with t he Vladim ir M on o



makh . As the r e sul t o f t he night torp e d o attacks the -


I mp e rator Al e xand e r I I I wh ich had b ee n s o badly damag e d
,

by artill e ry re that i n any cas e s he would soon hav e fou nd e r e d



N avarin t he armour e d
,


the battl e ships S i s s o i V e liky and

,


cruis e r N ak hi m o v ,
a n d probably also t he Vladimir M o n o
makh w e r e d e stroy e d
, .

( xi ) GEN E RA L S U M MA RY

I n summ ing up th is battl e it i s n o t n e c e ssary to say a ny


thing sp e cially n e w n othi ng but what b e for e this war woul d
, ,

hav e b e e n co nsid e r e d as a n e stablish e d fact T he importanc e


.

of the scouti ng s e rvic e had alre ady b e e n d e n e d by N e l so n


as follows
I f a e e t is d e priv e d o f cruis e rs an d is i n
pursuit o f the e n e my I c onsid e r i t t o be i n e rror ; if a e e t is
tryi ng to avoid the e n e my I consid e r it to be i n a dang e rous

positio n . O ur ee t was i n a dang e rous positio n Though .

not without cruis e rs t he latt e r w e r e n um e rically fe we r than


,

thos e poss e ss e d by the e n e my an d si nc e t he e e t did not


,

utiliz e th e m th e y m igh t as w e l l hav e b ee n abs e n t T he .

advan tag e s i n c e rtai n circumstan c e s o f b e i ng i n li n e abr e ast


formation is als o n o t n e w I n t he lit e ratur e o f naval warfare
.

of all cou n tri e s this qu e sti on was e n e rg e tically discuss e d a fe w


y e ars b e for e t he war I s i t n o t t he iro ny o f fat e that the b est
.

and full e st i n v e stigatio n cam e from t he p e n of a Russian naval


writ e r Captai n K hl o d o vs ky a n e xc e ptio nally tal e nt e d o i cer

, , ,

who m e t an u n tim e ly d e ath o n board the cruis e r Rurik wh e r e ,

he had b e e n long e r i n comman d tha n his s e n iority warran t e d ?


We ought to h av e tak e n car e o f such a n o i c e r to hav e utiliz e d
,

his conspicuous abiliti e s and wid e kn owl e dg e i n the sph e r e o f


1 22 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S EA O F J A PA N
l e adi ng and dir e cti ng n aval a ffairs ; i nst e ad he was r e l e gat e d ,

t o a positio n which any o fc e r o f ordi nary tal e nt could hav e

ll e d . We d o n ot s e l e ct o fc e rs accordi ng to th e ir abiliti e s but ,

c l ass th e m all alik e thus spoili ng many care e rs a nd the hO p e o f


,

e v e r havi ng e f ci e n t naval o fc e rs T he battl e was d e cid e d by


gu n re ; n ot e xcl usiv e ly o f h e avy guns but als o with m e dium ,

quick ri n g guns which lit e rally riddl e d o ur ships T he e ffe ct


-
, .

o f that artill e ry tol d as soon as the rival e e ts cam e withi n sh o rt

rang e This is i n e vitabl e i n e v e ry dec i s i ve battl e I n t he


. .

artill e ry du e l which d ecid e d t he fat e o f t he battl e o nly thos e ,

ships wh ich had b ee n sp e cially co nstruct e d fo r e e t actions


participat e d i n i t battl e ships and armour e d cruis e rs U n .

armour e d cruis e rs o f various siz e s attack e d the transports ,

without participating i n t he battl e o f t he main forc e s I n the .

rst ph as e o f t he battl e t he body o f t he J apan e s e m ai n col um n


c o ntai n e d a fe w prot e ct e d cruis e rs with h e avy gu ns but th ey ,

w e r e aft e r wards s e parat e d fo r combin e d actio n with the re


main i ng u n prot e ct e d cruis e rs O nc e mor e the gr e at valu e o f
.

armour its prop e r distributio n and good shipbuilding g e n e rally


, , ,

was con rm e d All t he J apan e s e battl e ships a nd armour e d


.


cruis e rs r e main e d un damag e d whil e o ur thr e e b e st battl e sh ips

,

O s l ab

t he Suvorov B orodino an d
, , y a w e r e su nk by ,

artill e ry re a v e ry rar e occurr e nc e i n mod e rn batt l e s but wh ich


, ,

was e n tir e ly d ue to t he following caus e s : e xc e ssiv e ove rw e ight


and top hamp e r o n board all thr e e abs e n c e o f stability t he low
position of the ports i n t he rst two an d t he obso l e t e arrang e ,

m e n t o f the armour o n the last I n cal m w e ath e r i t m ight not


.

h av e happ e n e d but i n a rough s e a t he wav e s cou l d fr e e ly e nt e r


,

shot hol e s an d ports situat e d so n e ar to the wat e r l in e Con


-
.

s e qu e n tly the d e fe cts which had b e e n s o crim i nally p e rmitt ed


,

w e r e fatal to th e m T he torp e do craft of t he e n e my play e d t he


.
-

r Ol e assign e d to th e m to attack and sink ships alr e ady damag e d

by artill e ry This th e y e ffe ct e d and u nd e r m os t favourabl e


.
,

circumstanc e s At night wh e n t he s e a b e cam e cal m th e y sank


.
, ,

four or v e ships among thos e which w e r e the worst batt e re d by


gu n re during the day To be crippl e d by gu n re m e ans to
.
G E N E R A L S U M M A RY 1 23

be r e nd e re d d e fe n c e l e ss again st torp e do attacks and quick ri n g


- -

guns and to be d e priv e d o f t he s e arch light apparatus wh ich


,
-
,

is g e n e ral l y d e stroy e d duri ng an artill e ry d u e l I t happ e n e d .

s o i n this b attl e and c on s e qu e ntly o ur v e ss e ls cou l d n e ith e r s e e


,

the approaching torp e do v e ss e ls n o r -


re upo n th e m ; an d in
addition to th is u n e nviab l e stat e the w e r e a l r e ady ha l f fu ll o f
,
v
.


wat e r through t he dam age caus e d by the e n e my s gu ns Fi nal l y .
,

o ur damag e d batt l e ships w e r e d e priv e d o f t he assistanc e o f t he

cruis e rs a n d d e stroy e rs at t he m om e n t wh e n th e y m ost n e e d e d


th e m a nd had e v e ry righ t t o r e ly upo n th e m i e d uri ng t he , . .

torp e do attacks
-
I n my o pi nion if t he J apan e s e r e ally had
.
,

from s e v e n ty t o a h undre d t orp e d o boats th e y should hav e


-

d e stroy e d m or e ships t he situatio n was s o favourab l e for


th e m Th is though did n o t happ e n an d the d i fcul ty o f
.
, , ,

attacki ng a ship wh ich has pr e s e rve d i ts pow e r o f r e p e ll ing


attack was fu ll y d e mo nstrat e d by t he fac t that thos e o f o ur
ships wh ich w e re sav e d fro m d e structio n w e r e t he o n e s l e ast
damag e d by gu n re d uri ng the day t he battl e ship Ore l ,

all the battl e ships o f N i e bo g ato v s d e t achm e n t an d a l most a l l



,

the cruis e rs . This was n o t a m e r e accid e n t M e anwhil e ho w .


,

many p e opl e r e p e at e d the o l d story that big ships are us e l e ss


and that n ava l wars may be s e tt l e d by torp e d o o til l as -

F o r t he rst fe w d ays aft e r t he batt l e wh e n t he n e w s was o f


,

such an i ncomp l e t e and e rro n e ous nature as could o nly be


e xp e ct e d u nd e r t he circumstanc e s i t was i mpossib l e t o r e aso n
,

with s uch p e op l e th e y did n ot e v e n wan t to list e n What .

app e ars v e ry strang e to me i s that if a batt l e w e r e t o tak e plac e


o n lan d an d a d e fe at e d army s u ffe re d gr e at l oss at t he han ds o f
cavalry during its ight n obody would advis e doi ng away with
,

infantry an d h e avy arti l l e ry a nd i ntroduci ng cavalry i nst e ad .

Wh e n how e v e r nava l war is spok e n o f e v e rybody al l ows his


, , ,

imagi nation ful l play T he n e c e ssity o f torp e do craft as an


.
-

auxiliary arm for e e ts has a l ways b ee n r e cogn iz e d and it was ,

consid e r e d i mpossi bl e to hav e l e ss tha n o n e torp e do v e ss e l fo r -

e v e ry battl e ship an d cruis e r D uri ng 1 9 0 1 I was S e cr e tary o f a


.

Commissio n compos e d o f t he high e st m e mb e rs o f o ur n avy ,


1 24 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
wh os e obj e ct w as to d e n e the compositio n o f a m od e rn
squadro n ; ho w many battl e ships armoure d an d prot e ct e d ,

cruis e rs torp e d o v e ss e ls and auxiliary v e ss e ls ought to con


,
-
, ,

s t i t ut e a ee t . T he i nfe r e nc e s o f this C ommission w e r e h ighly


com m e n dabl e but , th e y hav e n e v e r b e e n adopt e d ; a nd
, ,

what is mor e curious the e xist e nc e o f the Com missio n its e lf was
,

hardly know n to anybody i n the n avy T he r e sults o f the Com .

missio n C am e t o nothi ng simply b e caus e o n e o f the m e mb e rs


,

wh o form e d it was r egard e d with suspicion by an oth e r ; and


alth ough th e s e t w o m e mb e rs d id n o t quarr e l t he s e cond o n e ,


simply plac e d the whol e thing u nd e r the re d cloth So the
'

Russian navy was the su ffe r e r I k now o f a good many C o m


. mis
sion s which h av e attai n e d similar r e sults .

T hough the J apa n e s e assur e d us that th e ir submari n e s did n o t


participat e i n t he battl e owi ng to rough w e ath e r I do n o t ,

b e li e v e it
. T he wav e s c e rtai nly i nt e rfe r e with submari n e s ,

n e utralizi ng the p e riscop e s ( obs e rvi ng o r sighti ng apparatus ) but ,

it is impossib l e that t he J apan e s e S hould n o t h av e mad e an e ffort


to e mploy th e irs B e tt e r surroun dings for attacki ng m ovi ng
.

v e ss e ls could n ot hav e b ee n i magi n e d T he co nditio ns most .


favourabl e for submari n e boats are wh e n t he e n e my s sh ips are
stationary I fully b e li e v e that practic e has sh own t he gre at
.

d i i c ul ty o f manoe uvring submari n e s an d ring torp e do e s , ,

again st a movi ng e n e my I t is a fact that a oati ng Whit e h e ad


.

torp e do was sigh te d from o n e o f o ur cruis e rs an d i t is mor e than ,

probabl e that this torp e d o cam e from a submari n e T he J apan e s e .

wil l n atural ly k e e p strictly s e cre t all t he actions o f th e ir s ub


mari n e s wh e th e r th ey w e r e succ e ssful o r n ot b e caus e i t is t o
, ,

th e ir i nt e r e st n ot to al low any o n e to utiliz e th e ir ghting


e xp e ri e nc e . I f i t be acc e pt e d that submari n e s hav e play e d a
mi nor part i n the battl e e v e n though th e y may n o t hav e actually
,

sunk any ship t he fac t is h ighly importan t a n d i t is n e c e ssary to


,

pay ful l att e ntion to this n e w i nstrum e nt o f m od e rn warfar e .

T he p e rfe ction o f submari n e s has o f r e c e n t dat e b e e n rapidly


push e d forward a nd th ey will c e rtainly b e com e a v e ry dang e rous
,

w e apon though on ly a n auxiliary o n e


,
I mak e this ass e rtion
.
G E N E R A L S U M M A RY 1 25

b ecaus e as y e t the oating n avy has n o t e xhaust e d all m e ans


of coping with torp e d o e s This qu e stio n h as b e e n ably solv e d
.

by the Russian n ava l e ngi n e e r M r G ul i ae v a nd as l ong as


, .
,

such m e ans are n o t e xhaust e d the n avy at s e a can n ot a nd m ust


not consid e r its e l f van quish e d T he advantag e s o n i ts sid e i n
.
,

comparison with th os e o f submari n e s are far gr e ate r I m e r e ly


, .

d e sir e to e xpr e ss my opi n ion tha t submari n e s wil l hav e t o act as


an auxi l iary w e apon fo r a long tim e t o com e an d to play a rOl e
,

simi l ar t o that n o w ll e d by torp e do boats


-
. I n my opin io n this
do e s n o t i n any way l e ss e n th e ir importanc e I t c e rtai nly fails
.

to j ustify the crimina l i ndi ffe r e nc e wh ich w e hav e paid to th e m


up to the pre s e n t
.
C H APT E R V I

(I ) P R O BA B LE CA U S E S OF D I SAS T E R

N OW turn to th os e caus e s wh ich may h av e l ed to t he


an nihilation o f our e e t i n the Straits o f Kore a and will ,

e nd e avour as far as is within my compr e h e nsion to e xplai n


which o f th e s e caus e s l ay withi n t he op e rations an d control
of Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky an d with what i nu e nc e s he had to
,

r e ckon which w e r e not u nd e r h is con trol .

I do n ot of cours e c onc e al t he di fcul ty o f such a n e xami natio n ,

o n accou n t o f t he m e agr e and O bscur e data coll e ct e d about this


battl e ; a n d I trust that e v e ry o n e will r e gard this a nalysis
as pr e limi nary and con ditional e rrors i n which ar e n o t on l y
,

possibl e but i nh e r e n tly in e vi tabl e .

I particularly d e sir e that n o o n e should fancy an i nt e ntion o n


my part to criticiz e the op e rations o f Admiral R o z hes tv e n s ky .

I simply wish to h e lp t he public astound e d by th is t e rribl e


,

occurr e n c e to gai n som e id e a o f the caus e s o f the e v e n t an d s o


,

to disp e l u nj ust r e e ctions an d opin io ns which may r e adily be


,

form e d from contradictory and oft e n fantastic n e ws .

Th e s e caus e s may be s e t o ut i n t he following ord e r


.1 T he w e akn e ss o f t he armour e d s e ction o f Admiral R o z hes t

v e n s k y s e e t i n comparison with t he armour e d s e ction o f that o f

Admiral Togo which gav e the Japan e s e pr e pond e ranc e i n a


,

pure ly artill e ry combat .

.2 T he w e akn e ss and paucity o f n u mb e rs o f his cruis e r division ,

which s e riously a ff e ct e d compl e t e n e ss of knowl e dg e an d accuracy



as to t he e n e my s mov e m e nts d e riv e d by m e ans o f r e con naissanc e s
,
.

.
3 T he ov e rwh e l mi ng sup e riority o f t he J apan e s e i n t he numb e r
of torp e do c raft mor e than that in d e e d i n t he probab l e pr e s
- m

, ,

e nc e among th e m of submarin e s .

1 26
P RO B A B L E C A U S E S O F D I S A ST E R 1 2 7

4 . T he n e c e ssity if such e xist e d for Ad miral R o z he s t v e n s k


, y , ,

ind e p e n d e ntly o f w e ath e r an d oth e r circumstanc e s to pass with ,

out d e lay i nto t he Kore a n S traits i n spit e o f al l disadvantag e s ,

for him i n the e v e n t o f a battl e i n th e s e straits .

T h formations a nd e vol utio ns o f t he Russian S quadron at


5 . e

the tim e o f battl e .

I will proc e e d t o e xplai n th e s e poin ts i n ord e r .


A S to t he w e ak n e ss o f Ad mira l R o z he s tv e n s k y s squadron i n
r e sp e ct o f armour e d v e ss e ls cruis e rs a n d torp e do boats I n e e d , ,
-
,

scarc e ly dw e l l upon this h e r e I was al ways profou n dly c o n .

v i n c e d o f th is w e ak n e ss a n d hav e co nsist e n tly striv e n t o mak e

this appar e n t o n e v e ry opportu n ity ; at rst i n the sph e r e o f my


form e r posi tio n i n the s e rvic e an d si nc e that tim e i n the P r e ss

, ,

b egi n n ing i n N ov e mb e r 1 9 04 with t he artic l e s Aft e r the , ,

d e partur e o f the S e con d P aci c Squadron 1


.

H e re I S hould mak e a re s e rvatio n Wh e n I r e fe r t o th e s e .

articl e s I m ay always e xp e ct the r e proach tha t I d o this o ut o f


mor e tha n a littl e p e rsona l fe e ling : viz a d e sir e t o i ndicat e that .

I had alr e ady spok e n o f th is that I gav e warni ng o f i t but was ,

not list e n e d t o a nd s o o n Th is is n o t s o at all


, I t would be
. .

an u nworthy fals e h o od o n my part What I wrot e i n thos e .

articl e s had lo ng pr e viously b e e n subm itte d to many o fc e rs i n


the e e t and I sum m e d up i n th e m o nly wha t I k n e w from many
,

docum e nts what I had h e ard arou nd m e b e i ng plac e d i n


, ,

a sph e r e wh e r e such O pi nio ns had sp e cia l va l u e I o nly car e .

fully r ej e ct e d from t he mat e rials i n my poss e ssio n what m igh t


hav e born e t he charact e r o f com mu n icating us e fu l i nformatio n
to the e n e my I r e fe r to my articl e s and n ot e s simply b e caus e
.

th er e i n e v e rythin g is brough t tog e th e r i n o n e plac e AS .


Admira l R o z he s tv e n s ky s e e t proc e e d e d the opin io n b ega n ,

to be form e d , rst i n the fore ign P r e ss and aft e rward s am ong ,

ours e lv e s that this e e t was n ot s o w e ak aft e r all ; that i t


,

poss e ss e d the adva ntag e i n n umb e r o f h e avy gun s ; tha t o ur


artill e ry g e n e rally was b e tt e r ; and t he n otio n b e gan also to
1
C i d o nt a n e in
Th Ru i N yie ss an av n t he Ru s s o- J apa ne se War , by C aptai n N . Kl ad o ,
tra l at d by
ns eJ H . . D i ki
c n s on . H ur st Bl a k c e tt , 1 9 0 5 .
1 28 T H E B A TT LE O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
e e
spr ad afr sh i n spit e o f t he dang e r poi nt e d out by m e with
sp e cial i nsist e nc e that t he J apan e s e had l ost many ships ; t hat
-

t he r e mai nd e r w e re damag e d and worn o ut ; that th e y had fe w

torp e do boats l e ft ; an d so o n
- .

Wh e n it was shown that Admiral R o z hes tve n s ky had c o n


d uct e d his e n tir e e e t to t he sc e n e o f actual op e rations an d had ,

b e e n j oin e d by t he divisio n o f Admiral N i e bo g ato v p e opl e b egan ,

to s ay op e nly that the Russian ee t was t he strong e r ; tha t if


R o z he s tv e n s ky could carry o ut h is battl e plan s with as m uch
tal e n t as he had display e d i n con ducting his e e t victory w as ,

b eyond qu e stion a nd the in activity o f t he J apan e s e was a sign


,

o f th e ir w e akn e ss an d s o o n
, T he J apan e s e o n th e ir sid e did
.
, ,

n ot o f cours e disp e l th e s e opin ions P robably th e y aid e d by .

propagati ng th e m i e con ti nu e d the sam e ki nd o f O p e ratio ns


, . .

as b e for e o ur e e t l e ft Libau .

Appar e ntly this fram e o f mi nd was r e e ct e d i n o ur e e t as w e l l ,

and e v e n i n l e tt e rs from r e sponsibl e and highly plac e d p e rsons .

T o what e xt e nt con d e nc e n ot on l y i n th e ir e quality i n str e ngth


,

with t he J apan e s e but i n a c e rtai n sup e riority was pre val e n t


, ,

i n o ur e e t I can n ot o f cours e u nd e rtak e to s ay but m e re ly


, ,

obs e rv e that i f this co n d e nc e e xist e d sustai n e d by the appar e nt ,

i nactivity of t he J apan e s e it may h av e possibly i nduc e d l e ss


,

car e ful att e ntion to t he th e atr e o f action i e the con ditions for , . .

battl e i n the Straits .

Wh e n this con d e nc e w as sudd e nly brough t in to con tact with


t he r e ality which ov e rthr e w all t he suppositi ons upon which it

was bas e d the sudd e n awak e n ing may w e l l hav e co ntribut e d


,

to t he co nfusion and u nc e rtai nty i n o ur manoeuvr e s that uh


doubt e dly aggravat e d the disast e r sustai n e d by t he Russian
e e t I writ e this o f cours e e n tir e ly as a hypoth e sis Wh e th e r
.
, ,
.

anyth ing lik e it r e ally e xist e d o r not is a matt e r of history .

I hav e spok e n o f t he e xtravagan t e stimat e s o f o ur str e ngth ,

and th e ir i nu e nc e upon the p e opl e i n g e n e ral among whom a ,

c e rtai n a nticipation of succ e ss i nst e ad of a tr e mbling h op e had, ,

b egu n to form Wh e n failur e follows such u nfou nd e d anticipa


.

tion s it is much hard e r to b e ar an d accusations b e com e mor e


, ,
P RO B A B L E C A U S E S OF D I S A ST E R 1 29

acut e a nd passio nate with the gr e at e r probability that i n the e n d


,

th ey will n o t be dir e cte d agai ns t the right p e rsons .

This v e ry dang e r comp e ll e d m e to r e p e at my att e mpt t o


p e rsuad e t he public that o ur e e t e v e n aft e r t he j u nctio n with
,

Ni e b

o g at o v s division c o n ti n u e d to be consid e rably w e ak e r than
,

the J apan e s e . This m o re o v e r was n o t my p e rso nal opi n io n


, ,

on l y it was that o f ma ny v e ry c o mp e te n t naval authoriti e s .


B e gin n i ng with 1 2 M ay I i ns e rt e d a compl e t e s e ri e s of
,

artic l e s i n t he N ovoy e Vr e mya bas e d upon a wh ol e array
,

of data i n which I o nc e m o re att e mpt e d to d e monstrat e this


, .

R eckoni ng t he stre ngth i n e ach c as e e xactly I cam e to t he



,


conc l usio n ( N ovoy e Vr e mya M ay ) that e v e n with

of 1 9

the abs e nc e fr o m t he J apan e s e o f t he batt l e sh ip Yashima


which actua ll y occurr e d o ur e e t was stil l approximat e ly
l
tim e s w e ak e r than T o go s T o balanc e the incr e as e o f
.

our sup e riority i n n umb e r o f l arg e ships I e nd e avour e d to


d e monstrat e the e xc e ll e n t charac te r o f t he w e apo ns which t he

Japan es e poss e ss e d fo r batt l e a nd the l o n g range o f th e ir 8 gu ns ,

of wh ich w e had n o n e at a ll . I a l s o adduc e d all the facts that


refut e d t he O pi n i o n that the J apan e s e artil l e ry was i n g e n e ra l far
wors e tha n o urs . C on c e rn i ng the to rp e d o craft I e xpr e ss e d the
-
,

convictio n that i n spite o f l o ss e s sustai n e d th e ir torp e do o tilla


had n o t d e cre as e d but ha d , o n t he c o ntrary i ncr e as e d aft e r the
, ,

comm e nc e m e n t o f the war Fin a ll y i n ord e r to e xplai n why o ur


.
,

ships w e r e l e ss pow e rfu l i n spit e o f the appar e n t e quality i n


displac e m e nt a nd i n gu n n e ry I had to touch o n a m ost importa nt
,

and d e l icat e qu e stio n tha t o f t he capabiliti e s o f o ur v e ss e l s i n


,

comparison with thos e o f the J apan e s e d e riv e d from t he syst e ms ,

and m e rits o f th e i r c o n struction I n ord e r to approach th is


.

qu estion I hav e r e v e rt e d t o my form e r n ot e s I n discussing the .

syst e m of co nstructio n o f o ur v e ss e ls i n th e s e I could o nly r e fe r ,

e
to sourc s com mon to a ll the n ava l t e xt books which su fc e d -

to e nabl e m e t o point o ut that i n the vast majori ty o f o ur batt l e


ships the e xtr e m iti e s w e r e u npro t e ct e d by arm our i e t he bows

. .

and st e rn ; that thi s has l ong b ee n con s i de r ed d ang e r o us

1
See p ag e 34 an te .
1 30 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
that th is was admitt e d e v e n i h the cas e o f such mod e rn v e ss e ls as
t he
O s l aby a

. As t o t he m e rits o f the construction o f o ur

v e ss e ls i nd e p e n d e ntly o f the typ es adopt e d it was still m or e


, ,

di fcu l t to sp e ak Th e s e did n o t app e ar i n t he t e xt books and


.
-
,

it was compulsory n o t to comm u n icat e anythi ng which ought t o


r e mai n u nk nown t o t he J apan e s e Fo r th is r e ason I m e r e ly
.

quot e d from the t e xt books the rat e s o f sp e e d of o ur sh ips and


-

thos e o f the J apan e s e from wh ich it could be s e e n ho w far ours


,

w e r e b e hi nd . I also m e n tio n e d the to p hamp e ring of o ur v e ss e ls


-

and th e ir d e fe ctiv e s e aworthi n e ss i n comparison with thos e o f


t he Japan e s e N o w that a l l o ur ships i n qu e stion hav e e ith e r
.

c e as e d to e xist o r are i n the hands o f the J apan e s e w ho hav e the ,

opportun ity o f nding o ut all about th e ir capabiliti e s I consid e r ,

that I may sp e ak o ut o n matt e rs that I could not r e fe r to th e n ,

which d o not app e ar i n t he t e xt books Th e r e can be no qu e stion


- .

n ow o f r e ve aling military s e cre ts At the sam e tim e it must be


.

sh o wn what v e ss e ls Admiral R o z hes tve n s ky poss e ss e d a nd his ,

e ffe ctiv e forc e o f m e n i n ord e r to cl e ar th e m from the r e sponsi


,

bil ity for failur e which i t would be cru e lly unj ust to cast upon
th e m . B e sid e s it will be n e c e ssary fo r us i n future t o construct
,

v e ss e ls quit e as good as thos e o f p o ssibl e adv e rsari e s an d o n e o f ,

t he b e st m e ans o f s e curing this is co ntrol by t he public and the

r e pr e s e n tativ e s o f t he public the P r e ss This wil l be the subj ect


.

o f a l at e r s e ction .

(I I ) S P AS M O D I C O U T C R Y ,

WH O I s T H E G U I L T Y P E R SO N ?

B efor e co nti nui ng this e xamin atio n o f t he probabl e caus e s of


t he disast e r to o ur e e t i n the Strai ts o f Kor e a o n e can not h e lp ,

pausi ng to consid e r som e cons e qu e n c e s o f t he impr e ssion it


produc e d So bitte r was the d e fe at so pain ful an d sham e ful for
.
,

all s o many hop e s w e re dash e d to the groun d th e re by at


, ,


this turning poin t i n the cours e o f a n u nfortu nat e war that
-
,

t he natural outburst o f many was Fi n d and poi n t o ut the


guilty p e rso n I t can not be that n o o n e is guilty T o blam e
t he bur e aucratic r eg i me o ur g e n e ral u npr e par e d n e ss

,
was im ,
A M A T E U R C R I T I CS 3 1

p e rsonal and to o g e n e ral That i nd e e d could satisfy n o o n e


.
, , .

And i n th e s e passion at e spasm odic s e arch e s for guilty parti e s


,

som e w e r e said t o hav e b e e n discov e r e d i e thos e wh o spok e o f


, . .

the absol ut e n e c e ssity o f d e spatch ing a e e t t o t he Far E ast from

the Baltic ; and v e ry prop e rly th os e w ho poi n t e d o ut the abso l ut e

n e c e ssity o f s e n di ng re i nforc e m e nts afte r the d e partur e o f the


s e con d squadro n Of c o urs e aft e r a c ertai n tim e ang e r b e com e s
.
, ,

som e what as s uage d fo r t e mp e r soon cools and th e n such


, ,

O pin ions fall t o the grou n d o f th e ms e lv e s b e i ng e ntir e ly bas e l e ss


,

and e vok e d by t he sorrowful asp e ct o f the m om e n t ; but th e y


are y e t i n e xist e nc e As I mys e lf w as amo ng th os e w ho mai n
.

tai n e d t he n e c e ssity for str e ngth e n i ng t he S e co nd S quadron I ,

can not r e frai n from adv e r ti ng t o th e s e O pi nions ; t he mor e so


as c e rtai n circumstanc e s c o n n e ct e d with t he d e spatch o f o ur
Bal tic Fl e e t t o the Far E ast are w e l l k nown to m e .

( I I I ) I M P OSS I B L E F O R E S I GH T D E M AN D E D
B Y A M AT E U R C R I T I C S

N ow that the matt e r is o f t he past the utmos t fore sigh t is


e xact e d from us .

,

Y o u ought to hav e k n o w n w e are told that


, ,

the e e t w as proc e e di ng t o c e rtai n disast e r ; why did y o u n ot

poi nt o ut that o nly a naval victory would bri ng t he campaign


to a succ e ssfu l issu e T h is fore sight acc o rdi ng t o som e should
, ,

hav e b ee n shown e v e n wi th r e sp e ct t o the circumstanc e s o f


Admira l N ie bo g ato v s surr e nd e r Wh e n rum ours b egan to

.

spr e ad I k n o w n o t wh e nc e d e riv e d an d e n tir e ly u ncon rm e d


, ,

that the caus e o f this surre n d e r was a mutiny th e n i t was said to ,

me n ot i n j e st but i n e arn e st
, Y o u ought to hav e for e s ee n this ;
you must h av e k n own that N i e bo g ato v s S hips l e ft Libau i n t he

middl e o f l abour disord e rs an d y o u ough t t o hav e b e e n awar e


,

that this could n ot but be r e e cho e d among the cr e ws o f th e s e


-

ships ! Y o u ough t to hav e for e s e e n that th e y would r e fus e to


ght and would e x e rcis e an e vi l i nu e nc e o n t he cr e ws o f oth e r
,

v ess e ls wh e n th e y j oi n e d th e m ; and tha t th e r e for e i t was par


t ic ul arl n e e dful t t d spatch this division M or e ov e r this
y n o o e .
,
1 3 2 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
divisio n o nly hi nd e r e d Admiral R o zhes tv e n s ky i n t he battl e
which you must also hav e b e e n ab l e t o for e s ee A l though it is .

v e xi ng to hav e to answ e r such random ass e r t ions o nc e th e y are ,

utt e r e d it is imp ossibl e to k e e p sil e nc e



.

Le t it b

e as y o u s ay I r e tort e d at the t im e
, Le t us suppos e .

t he caus e o f the surr e nd e r was r e ally a mutiny although I do

n ot s e e who cou l d k n ow it n or h ow it cou l d be kn own still l e t


, ,

us suppos e this Y o u app e ar to hav e forgotte n that I wrot e


.

about the n e c e ssity for d e spatching r e i nforc e m e nts i n N ove mb e r ,

a nd that t he strik e s brok e o ut mor e than a month lat e r Accord .

ing to you o nc e th ey ha d brok e n o ut an d might i nu e nc e the


,

cr e ws I ought to hav e b egu n to writ e : D o n ot desp atc h


,

A dm i r al N i e b

og atov s di v i s i on , as they w i l l s ur r en de r thr oug h

a m uti ny the e r t he
f o c r ews n ot th
A re
e s e pr e visions aft
e v e nt the sourc e o f t he rumours about t he circumstanc e s o f t he

surr e nd e r o f Admiral N ie bog ato v ? With r e gard t o the poi nt


that his divisio n would only be a hi ndranc e i n the batt l e such ,

a supposition has n o fou ndation what e v e r I f it w e r e c o n c e iv .

ab l e that at the comm e n c e m e nt o f the battl e the ships o f this


division would b egin to si nk thus causi ng d e pr ession o f spirits
,

among the cr e ws o f the oth e r v e ss e ls an d that from th is caus e


,

confusio n aros e among th e m I cou l d hav e u nd e rstood that o n e


,

might hy p otheti cal ly argu e i n this way B ut as a fact the c o n


.

trary happ e n e d H ow could he h i nd e r v e ss e ls from p e rish i ng ?


.

H e could o n l y h e lp th e m by r e mai n ing abov e wat e r and drawing



on hims e lf part o f the e n e my s forc e O n t he morn ing o f
.

2 8 M ay only the o n e division o f Admiral N i e b o g at o v an d t he

battl e ship
Or e l fac e d the e n e my Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky
. ,

wou nd e d was alr e ady at that tim e outsid e t he sph e re o f the



,

batt l e o n board the d e stroy e r B ie d o vy


Admiral E n q . uis t ,

with thr e e cruis e rs at that ti m e e nt e r e d M an ila far to the south


, ,
.

Was i t n e c e ssary to for e s e e th at an d n o t d e spatch Admiral


,

Enq uis t an d t he cruis e rs accompanyi ng him ? O n e may trav el

v e ry far with this sort o f r e ason ing Som e folks los e th e ir


.

h e ads to such an e xt e n t as to h url r e proach e s at Admiral R o z


hes t ve n s ky ; d id he n o t for e s e e that he was going to c e rtain
A M AT E U R C R I T I C S i 33

d estruction ? And for e s e e i ng th at why did n ot he an d all h is


, ,

ee t e nt e r a n e utral port an d d isa rm ? Thos e wh o talk th us


,

do n o t u nd e rstan d that i n Russia at that tim e many p e opl e


wou l d hav e accus e d Admiral R o z hes tv e n s ky o f fai n th e art e d n e ss ,

cowar d ic e o r e v e n o f tr e ach e ry A n d th e n thos e wh o talk e d i n


, .

this way an d mad e random accusatio ns : wou l d th e y n ot hav e


b e e n among the rst t o blam e the Admira l fo r a disgrac e ful dis
armam e n t o f the whol e e e t o n the e v e o f an e n cou n t e r with
the e n e my ? Would this h av e i nvolv e d l e ss disgrac e a nd loss o f

pr e stig e to Russia with l e ss i nu e n c e o n t he cours e of m i l itary


,

Op e rations than e v e n such a t e rribl e d isast e r i n battl e ? H o w


,

would it be if e v e ry military captain r e cognizi ng his w e ak n e ss


, ,

we r e t o l ay d own arms b e for e han d An d w ho has any righ t to


d e man d such a thing ?
N e ws r e c e iv e d from V l adivostok from t he sp e cial corr e s
pond e nt o f the Novoy e Vr e mya thr e w s u

i c i e n t ligh t o n
som e o f t he caus e s o f the disast e r I t is appar e n tly tru e that
.

Admiral R o z he s tv e n s ky allow e d hi ms e l f t o be e ncoun t e re d un


e xp e ct e d l y not b e ing i n battl e array at t he m om e n t o f e ncou nt e r
, .

Two co l um ns i n li n e ah e ad formatio n are a v e ry u nsu itabl e array


for battl e A e e t is d e priv e d o f t he n e c e ssary e xibi l ity t o
.

reply rapidly by corr e spondi ng man oe uvr e s to e ach m ov e o f t he


Through th is appar e ntly o ur tw o l e adi ng batt l e

e n e my


.
, ,

ships the Suvorov and the O s l by



a a succ umb e d to the
conc e n trat e d re o f the mai n forc e o f the J apan e s e e e t an d ,

th e ir d e struction could n ot o f cou rs e but produc e a d e pr e ssi ng


effe ct upo n the r e st . P robably i nd e e d it brough t about dan
, ,

g e r o us confusio n am ong th e m I t
. is co n rm e d that t e

O s l ab y a p e rish e d from shot hol


-
e s forward which
,
thanks to
the m e thod o f o ur n ava l c onstruction w as without armour as I ,

hav e alr e ady writt e n . I t is prov e d that o ur v e ss e ls w e r e lite rally



stre wn with a hai l o f 6 sh e lls which w e apons som e p e opl e for
, ,

th e ir o w n r e asons mad e light o f pr e viously b e ing i nt e r e st e d


, ,

only i n h e avy gu ns T he sup e riority i n this class of ord nanc e


.

among the J apa n e s e was e n orm ous I t is also a fact that t he


.

w e ath e r w as v e ry stormy H e n c e m uch is compr e h e nsibl e as


.
T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N

1 34

r egards the d e structio n o f the battl e ships o f the Suvorov


typ e ; and i n particular as r e gards the i nu e nc e o n the battl e o f
t he e vid e nt p re e mi n e nc e of t he J apan e s e ships i n s e aworth in e ss
-
,

thanks agai n to the imp e rfe ctions o f o ur syst e m o f naval con


struction .

( I V ) D U T I E S O F TH E GO V E R N M E N T
AN D T H E M I N I S T R I E S O F W A R AN D M A R I N E
T he qu e stion o f t he d e spatch o f t he B altic F l e e t to t he Far
E ast was i ns e parably bou n d up with the vi e w tak e n by thos e
with wh om t he conduct o f t he war r e st e d What b e ari ng a .

succ e ss gai n e d by such a e e t would be l ik e ly to hav e o n t he


issu e o f t he struggl e r e st e d with t he d e cision o f thos e l e ad e rs at
t he various stag e s o f the war I t was fo r th e m to s ay wh e th e r
.

t he o ffe n siv e sh oul d b e assum e d at all hazards and to w hat


,

r e sults such actio n m ight l e ad or wh e th e r th ey should stand o n


t he d e fe nsiv e , and if s o what should be t he farth e st point to
,

which th e y ough t to r e c e d e I t was fo r th e m to d e cid e nally


.

wh e th e r the war should be co nti n u e d o r dropp e d an d its h op e


,

l e ssn e ss and th e ir o w n impot e nc e acc e pt e d d ropp e d I r e p e at


, ,

and p e ac e acc e pt e d o n a ny t e rms what e ve r h ow e v e r sham efu l


,

and O ppr e ssiv e th e y migh t be E v e rybody hop e d that God


.

would gran t a sp ee dy ass e mbly of t he r e pr e s e ntativ e s o f Russia ,

that th e y migh t tak e the r e spo nsibility attach e d to t he d e ciding


of th e s e harassi ng qu e stio ns ; but m e a nwhil e t he d e cision
r e st e d with the Gov e rn m e nt I t r e a l ly matte r e d littl e who
.

s e ttl e d th e s e qu e stions : the M i nistry o r an ass e mbly o f t he


,

natio n s r e pr e s e ntativ e s T he part to be p l ay e d by t he m ilitary



.

authoriti e s throughout would r e mai n t he sam e to supply a



trustworthy e stimat e o f t he warlik e forc e s and m ate r i e l at o ur
command and afte rwards wh e n thos e co nducting t he war
, ,

( who e v e r th e y migh t b e
) had adopt e d o n e o r oth e r cours e to ,

poin t out t he b e st m e ans of applyi ng thos e forc e s and r e sourc es


to attai n the d e sir e d re sult .

That t he issu e i n th is cas e d e p e nd e d e ntir e ly upon t he com


mand of the s e a th e r e is no n ee d for m e to poi nt o ut All are .
DUTI ES OF THE G OV E R N M E NT 1 35

n ow fully co nvi nc e d of it B e for e the d e claration o f war ho w


.
,

e v e r e v e n wh e n t he p ourp ar l e r s wi t h J apan had b e gun t o tak e


,

an alarming turn n e ith e r t he M i n istry n or the Adm ira l ty w e r e


,

so convi nc e d B e sid e s that t he latt e r had n o t ful ll e d t he primary


.
,

duty i ncumb e n t upon th e m t o mak e c l e ar t o the Gov e rn m e n t


,

t he w e akn e ss o f o ur e e t i n Far E ast e rn wat e rs its u npr e par e d ,

n e ss an d the d e fe n c e l e ss stat e o f o ur naval bas e s th e r e


, I f that .

had b e e n do n e an d if t he M i nistry o f M ari n e had b e e n i n a position


,

t o sh ow that succ e ss w as o ut o f t he qu e stio n without command

of t he s e a con c e ssio ns would hav e b e e n m ad e to Japan and war


,

thus av e rt e d O nc e war had brok e n o ut both th e s e qu e stions


.
,

b e cam e o f s e con dary i mportan c e Th e n t he task o f t he M i n istry


.

w as co n n e d to conc e n trati ng at t he s e at o f war as larg e a n aval

forc e as possibl e and pushing o n the n e c e ssary pr e paratio ns with


,

the utmost sp e e d E v e ry n aval o fc e r w ho was giv e n the o pp o r


.

tun i ty of e xpr e ssing his opi n i o n at t he tim e e ith e r withi n t he ,

l imits o f his profe ssion a l capacity o r through c orr e spo nd e nc e i n


the P r e ss could o nly cal l for the adoptio n o f o n e cours e
, That .

was t he imm e diate d e spatch t o the Far E as t o f as m any battl e ships


,

as possibl e T he qu e stion wh e th e r o r n o t th e y cou l d g e t th e r e


.
,

wh e th e r th e y w e r e su fci e n t o r i n good co ndition an d s o forth


, , ,

cou l d only a ffe ct i n a m in or d e gr e e the urg e ncy o f th e s e d e tails .

On l y t he G ov e rn m e n t cou l d p ut a stop to the war o n c e i t h ad c o m


m e nc e d and as it did n o t tak e this c o urs e the authori ti e s had
, ,

to op e rat e as b e st th e y cou l d with t he m e ans at th e ir command ,

though r e a l izing the i ndi ffe r e nt quality o f thos e m e ans th e y


, ,

w e r e bou nd t o d o th e ir utmost t o put th e m o n as good a footing


as possibl e H e r e again r e aso nab l e l im itations sh ould hav e b e e n
.
, ,

r egard e d F o r i nstan c e wh e n o ur squadro n i n t he Far E ast n o


.
,

longe r e xist e d wh e n n o m or e th an tw o battl e ships w e r e l e ft i n


t he Bal tic o f which o n e though re arm e d an d r e mod e ll e d could
,
-
,

only be class e d as obsol e t e b e sid e s o n e armour e d cruis e r an d a


,

c e rtai n n umb e r o f small e r v e ss e ls wh ich cou l d n ot affe ct t he issu e


,

of mod e rn warfar e for t he Tsush ima battl e was d e cid e d by gu n


re wh e n i t was k nown for a c e rtai nty that t he J apan e s e e e t
had r e ally su ffe r e d n o appr e ciabl e loss I say that i n th e s e circum ,
1 3 6 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
stanc e s it would u ndoubt e dly hav e b ee n rank folly to d e spatch
t he propos e d Fourth Squadron .

B ut mat t e rs w e r e by n o m e ans in that stat e at the outbr e ak o f


hostiliti e s T he squadro n at P ort Arthur consid e rably i nfe rior
.
,

to t he J apan e s e e e t th ough it w as constitut e d a con sid e rabl e ,

forc e n ot to be s e n t rashly t o c e rtai n d e structio n as long as


,

t he possib ility r e main e d o f i ts b e ing r e i nforc e d wi th such a l arg e

body o f ships as i n addition would s e cur e a good chanc e o f


, ,

succ e ss O nly such a victory coul d turn the sca l e i n o ur


.

favour I t was how e v e r j ust the knowl e dg e o f the w e ak poi nts


.
, ,

i n our e e t both as r egards ships and m e n ( an d th e y w e r e v e ry


,

w e ll kn own to our Admiral ty ) th a t sh ould hav e spurr e d th e m ,

o n to fr e sh an d titanic displays o f e n e rgy i n tting out and


d e spatchi ng such a forc e as n ot only o n pap e r but i n numb e r o f
, ,

gu ns an d to n nage of ships should be e qual to t he J apan e s e ee t


, ,

an d e v e n surpass it Th e n n o t co n t e nt wi th r e sti ng o n th e ir
.
,

l aur e ls th e y should hav e s e n t mor e e v e rythi ng that could oat


,

an d was capabl e of r e achi ng the s e at o f hostiliti e s I n this way .

th e y ough t to h av e tri e d to crush o ur oppo n e n ts by sh ee r w e ight


of n umb e rs I t would c e rtai nly hav e b e e n mor e e xp e d i e nt to
.

s e nd all this forc e at onc e a nd n o t i n d e tach m e nts ; o f that at


, ,

l e ast th e r e can be n o qu e stion


, .

H ow could it be for e s e e n th ough that e v e n all this would n o t


, ,

sav e the situation that our squadro n would twic e put o ut from ,

an d twic e r e turn to P ort Arthur that i t would be sunk i n i ts o w n


,

harbour without e ffe cting anythi ng ; and that the fortr e ss its e lf
would be i nvolv e d i n its rui n To s i t calmly by an d r e s e rv e t he
ee t i n hom e wat e rs for som e futur e occasion and n ot only to ,

for e s e e all this but to be also s o rmly co nvi nc e d o f it as to


,

be d e t e rmi n e d to d o n othi ng surpass e s all human pow e r and ,

capacity .

I f such a gift o f pr e vision and d e t e rmi nation w e r e gran t e d to


humanity th e n it would c e rtai nly be the gr e at e st boo n that
,

could fal l to us si nc e wars would c e as e ipso f ac to Who would


, .

go t o war k nowing b e for e hand that he would be d isastrously


,

d e fe at e d and subj e ct e d to far gr e at e r and mor e humiliating


D E T A I LS O F D AM AGE TO TH E THI RD F UNN E L OF TH E C R UI SE R
"
R O SSI A
D UT I ES OF THE G OV E R N M E NT 1 37

conditio ns afte r that war than b e fore Wha t naval o r m ilitary


command e r i n poss e ssi o n o f such a p o w e r of for e sigh t could
, ,

mak e up his mi n d to acc e p t battl e I n a l l quarr e ls t he w e ak e r


wou l d submit to the str o ng e r a nd acc e pt his d e mands without
,

o ffe ri ng r e sistanc e B ut fo r t he pr e s e n t th is all e mbraci ng p re



-
.

vision which may w e l l gr o w t o be for e kn owl e dg e abs o l ut e


,

s M il ton says ) is on l y a dr e am h
( a , i t a s n e v e r b e e n k nown as

e
y , t an d i n all pas t wars t he van quish e d caus e h a s b e e n that
which was palpably o v e r c o n d e n t Th e r e was as m uch r e aso n
-
.

to fore s e e th at o ur armi e s w o u l d be d e fe at e d o r rath e r i t ought to , , ,

hav e b e e n e asi e r t o for e s e e it Land warfar e had alr e ady taught


.

us the rat e at which succ e ss must be purchas e d A ny man ua l o f .

strat egy would hav e i nfo rm e d us that it would be impossib l e to


fee d an d pr o vid e by a s i ng l e l i n e o f railway at a distanc e o f ,

som e 4 700 mil e s an army o f m o re than a c e rtai n str e ngth how e v e r


, , ,

gr eat might be the r e s o urc e s at the oth e r e n d o f that l i n e and


that the sh ortn e ss c o nv e n i e nc e and safe ty o f t he lin e o f c o m
, ,

m un ic ati o n s forms a m ost importan t factor i n the prob l e m o f


campa i gn i ng With n o l e ss d i fculty the fall o f P o rt Arthur
.

might hav e b e e n for e s ee n an d the futi l ity o f d e fe n di ng it as also


, ,

the issu e o f t he battl e o f Liao yang apart from that o f M ukd e n


-
, ,

and the fol l y o f s e ndi ng fr e sh tro o ps to c e rtai n d e structio n aft e r


such a warn i ng .

A conscious n e ss o f the n atural di fculti e s pr e s e nt e d by the


sc e n e o f op e ratio ns and a c l e ar p e rc e ptio n o f the u npr e par e d n e ss
,

and shortcomi ngs o f o ur navy a nd army should hav e i mp e l l e d ,

the M i nistri e s o f War and M ari n e t o d o al l that lay i n th e ir

pow e r to co nvin c e the G ov e rn m e n t that th e r e was n o chanc e


of this war b e i ng succ e ssfu ll y co nduct e d I f the G ov e rn m e n t .

fai l e d to list e n to th e m o r had u nfortu nat e ly tak e n t he fals e st e p


,

of d e clari ng war it was i ncumb e n t upo n th e m to display the


,

utmost e n e rgy i n turning t o t he b e st possibl e accou n t t he m e a ns


at th e ir command .

M or e e sp e cially w as it the duty o f t he M i n istry of M ari n e t o


mak e cl e ar t he fact that the succ e ss o f t he war d e p e n d e d o n a
victory at se a an d onc e hostiliti e s had comm e n c e d to i nsist o n
,
1 3 8 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
t he e mploym e n t o f all o ur avai l abl e n aval forc e s Of cours e this .

cou l d n o t be e xp e cte d o f t he M i nistry o f War co nsid e ri ng h ow ,

l ittl e o f n aval warfar e is k n own i n Russia e v e n among p ro fe s


,

sio ua l sai l ors O n s e v e ral occasions I had t he good fortu n e to


.

h e ar G e n e ra l Kuropatkin e xpr e ss the O pin io n that n avi e s i n


g e n e ral and n ot o nly the Russia n navy w e r e o f ve ry lit t l e
, ,

utility This O pin ion conti nu e d to r e c e iv e suppor t at t he War


.

O fc e e v e n aft e r o ur disaste rs o n l and which w e r e sol e ly ascrib e d


, ,

t o t he mistak e s o f t he l at e C o mmand e r i h Chi e f th ough r e a ll y



- -
,

d ue t o t he much d e rid e d - command o f the s e a, a nd the li n e


of commu nicatio n i t afford e d the J apan e s e That was r e a ll y .

rui n ous T he M i nistry o f M ari n e could n o t u nd e rstan d it


.
,

b e caus e if tru e th e r e was n o way o ut e xc e pt a candid and


, ,

d e nit e admission to the G ove rnm e n t o f th e ir imp o t e nc e o r to


l e t t he furth e r e v e n ts o f the war d e m o nstrat e th e ir i ncapabi l ity
or e ls e to mak e an e n d o f the who l e matte r a nd com m e nc e
pr e parations fo r the d e spatch o f such a forc e as wou l d at l e ast be
n um e rically sup e rior to that o f the e n e my B ut th e y vacil l at e d
.
,

postpon e d a d en it e d e cision and all the tim e s e cr e tly hop e d


,

that G o d willi ng n e ith e r army n o r e e t would be r e quir e d


, , .

M e an whil e th ey car e fully h id th e ir wou nds as also did t he War


, ,

O fc e an d still ch e rish e d the hop e that o ur army would n ot fai l


,

to be victoriou s ov e r such an i nsigni can t e n e my as the J apan e s e .

This gam e o f blu ff whil e savi ng the fac e o f things a cours e


,

pro mpt e d by failur e to u nd e rstand the r e lativ e co nditions o f t he



combatants might hav e b e e n e xpos e d i n a fatal way I t is the .

habit o f D e partm e n ts t o co nc eal the truth from t he Gov e rn m e n t ;


n ot t o hav e the man l in e ss to op e n th e ir e y e s e v e n during t he
most critical j u nctur e i n the life o f the E mpir e a nd to forg e t that ,

th e y are r e s ponsibl e to the whol e n ation I am rmly co nvinc e d


.

that if th e y had o nly act e d di ffe re ntly t he G ov e rn m e n t wou l d


c e rtainly hav e list e n e d to th e m and war would most lik e ly hav e
b e e n av e rt e d o r if it had o nc e b ee n d e clar e d i t wou l d hav e had
,

a diffe r e n t and mor e succ e ssfu l issu e This w as admitt e d by all


.
,

e v e n by t he Gov e rn m e n t although alas ! to o l at e bu t it is


, ,

bou nd e n d uty o f a Gov e rn m e nt n ot only t o adopt a d e ci


LU C US A NO N LU CE N DO 1 39

cours e but als o to p ut the M i nistri e s i n qu e stio n fac e to fac e


,

with the cou ntry an d tur n th e ir activity i n to the right chan n e l


whate v e r the issu e wh e th e r to c o n ti nu e t he war o r to concl ud e
,

p e ac e I t s hou l d hav e mad e th e m t e l l t he grav e truth an d


.

act o n that truth .

( V) L U C U S A N O N L U C E N D O

O fcia l n e ws r e c e ive d lat e r gav e som e particu l ars but did n ot ,

e lucidat e the facts ab o ut R o z he s tv e n s k but n e v e r t h e l e ss i t was


y
impossib l e to pass o v e r th e m i n sil e nc e I n particular the matt e r
.
,

was furth e r comp l ica te d by t he i n e xp l icabl e fact o f t he d e stroy e r


Grozny parting c o mpany with the Bi e d o vy on board
,


which t he wou nd e d Admira l was at the tim e Accordi ng to an
accou nt by t he c o m mand e r o f the Grozny an d tak e n down

by t he corr e spo nd e n t o f the R us wh at happ e n e d was that the
,


Bie d o vy hai l e d hi m a n d i n qu ir e d what sp e e d he c o uld go at .

As soo n as he r e p l i e d he was o rd e r e d to mak e fo r V l adivostok .

But who coul d hav e giv e n him such an ord e r ? From the

Admiral s r e port i t is c l e ar that he w as i ns e nsibl e al l the ti m e and
,

did n o t h e ar of the B i e d o vy s surr e n d e r u nti l t he e v e n i ng o f
2 8 M ay That sign i e s that the o rd e r c an o nly have b ee n
.

giv e n by R o z he s tve n s ky s ag cap t ai n K l an ie r d e K o l o n C o m



-
,
- -
.


man d e r Baran ov o f the Bi e d o vy was j u n ior t o Command e r
,

Andr e i e v o f t he Gr o zny ,

T h e r e fo r e it m ay be i nfe rre d that


.


t he ord e r for t he B i e d o vy s surr e nd e r m ust als o have b e e n
giv e n by R o z he s tv e ns ky s ag captai n Why did the c o m


-
.


mand e r o f t he Gro zny which had a l r e ady su n k o n e o f t he
,

Japan e s e boats by a l ucky S hot n o t try to improv e his succ e ss


,

and r e scu e t he captur e d C om mand e r o f t he Fl e e t ? Sur e ly for


such a priz e it woul d hav e b e e n worth whi l e to ght to the v e ry
last All th e s e qu e stion s sh o u l d h av e r e c e iv e d an o fcial r e ply
.

l ong ago s o that on l y th os e who w e r e guilty migh t hav e b e e n


,

h e ld r e sponsibl e and n o t th os e w ho w e r e i n n oc e nt ;o n th e m al o n e
,

public r e probatio n sh ould fa l l t he prop e r outcom e o f o fcia l


,

d e mands a nd r e pr e s e ntatio ns B ut how could th e s e r e pr e s e n ta


.
1 40 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N
tions be mad e wh e n n o pr e cis e i nformatio n was vouchsafe d
,

to us ?
I n pr e cis e ly t he sam e way it long r e mai n e d an op e n qu e stion
why the four battl e ships surr e nd e re d at t he sam e tim e as Admiral
i b
N e o g to a v t he most vital a nd burn i ng part of this gr e at

nationa l qu e stion O n t he str e ngth o f accou nts of doctors and


.

chaplai n s w ho mad e th e ir way to Shanghai , aft e r r e l e as e from


capture w e w e r e told that N i e bo g ato v without aski ng t he c o n
,

s e n t o f his captai ns h oist e d the signal


,
,

,

I am surroun d e d s o ,

shall surr e nd e r . I should hav e tak e n t his for o n e of the most
e laborat e ctio ns o f war corr e spond e n t s as t o the conduct of
Russian o fc e rs but I could n ot do s o i n t he fac e of th e s e r e ports
,

from Shanghai T he fact is th at th e y disti nctly s ay that the rst


.


r e port o f t he command e r o f t he I zumrud dat e d 3 J u n e c o n
, ,

clud e d with j ust such an ass e rti o n r e sp e cting N i ebo g at o v s

S ignal and that this signal pr e cis e ly accou nt e d for the


,

I z um rud s igh t t o Vlad ivostok T he proof that som e th ing
.

wro ng r e ally did happ e n is to be fou nd i n t he fact that i n t he


m e ssag e o f thanks an d approval from the Thro n e ( e v e n to t he
ships that ed from the sc e n e O f action ) N ie bo g ato v was e xpr e ssly
e xclud e d B ut what part should his captains hav e play e d a nd
.
,

ough t th e y to h av e ob e y e d the signal ? All this n e e d e d e xplana


tio n si nc e e v e rybody blam e d t he cre ws
, .I n the r e ports o f
Admirals E n q uis t an d R he i n s te i n bas e d o n the r e pr e s e ntations
,

o f t he comman d e r o f t he B o dry , th e r e was also som e d is
c r e p an c
y I t
. is plai n from t he r e port o f t h e form e r that som e of

t he cruis e rs u nd e r his command fo r e xampl e t he Ol eg

,

,

Aurora and Z he m ts hug turn e d sou th quit e lat e at n ight


,
, ,

aft e r s e v e ral att e mpts to g e t through to n orthward and nding ,

h ims e lf d e s e rt e d o n the morn ing o f 2 8 M ay t he Admiral wait e d


for the r e s t o f the squadron hoping that i t would com e h e adi ng
,

to t he south .I t might hav e n ee d e d to tak e that cours e i n ord e r


to coal from t he transports l e ft i n that dir e ctio n .

T he last claus e i n Admiral E n q



uis t s r e port som e h ow or oth e r

did n ot ri ng sou nd I t is tru e that he witn e ss e d t he loss of som e


.

of our b e st battl e ships and tha t wh e n he s aw that t he r e st w e r e


LUC US A NO N LU CE N DO 1 41

s e riously d amag e d he u n doubt e dly fe lt that t he day was a l r e ady


l ost What th e n r e mai n e d fo r the surviving S hips to d o pursu e d
.
,

as th e y w e r e by a sup e ri o r fo rc e o f the e n e my e xc e pt st e e r i n ,

s e arch o f the transports s o that th e y m ight re coal Th e ir o nly


,
-

chanc e o f safe ty was to bre ak through i n the dir e ctio n o f


V l adivostok As a fact this is j us t wh at th e y shou l d hav e do n e
.
, ,

judging from oth e r acc o u n ts o f the battl e .

And mor e ove r as I hav e p o i n t e d o ut ab o v e the r e port o f the


, , ,

comman d e r o f the Bo d ry a l s o c o n tradict e d this Accordi ng .

to him all the cruis e rs a nd s o m e o f the t o rp e do boats turn e d


,
-

southward abou t p m a n d h e e vid e.n tly


. s
, aw th is I t was .

not quit e dark fo r he i nfo rm e d us that som e what l at e r the



,


Dmitri D o n s k o i V l adim ir M o n o m ak h
, I zumru d , ,

A l maz a n d Svi e tl an a st e e r e d to t he n o rth an d o nly the
, , ,

thr ee cruis e rs n am e d pursu e d th e ir c o urs e to t he south i n


company with R e ar A dm iral E n q ui s t t he c o m mand e r o f t he
-
,

cruis e r division C o ns e qu e n t l y the maj or part o f the cruis e rs


.

e nd e avour e d t o fo ll o w t h e ir adm iral but t hought b e tt e r o f


,

it aft e rwards an d st ee r e d to the n o rth T h e y probably did s o .

b e caus e th e y s aw tha t al l the u ndamag e d batt l e ships had tak e n


that cours e .

Admiral E n q ui s t ha d s e e n n o thi ng o n t he m o rn i ng o f 2 8 M ay ,

i e if he had gon e at fu ll sp ee d al l n igh t ( say 1 5 k nots )


. .
,


which as he k n e w batt l e ships can n o t mak e e sp e cia ll y wh e n th ey
, , ,


are inj ur e d T he c o m man d e r o f t he
. B o d ry i n his r e port
s ee m e d to poi n t to the sam e c o n c l usi o n wh e n he said that whil e
he was e ngag e d i n r e nd e ri ng aid to the B l e s ti as ts hy
,

the

cruis e rs u nd e r Admira l E n q uis t mad e o ff a nd that he coul d n o t ,

ove rtak e th e m H avi ng e xp e nd e d a ll his coa l n o oth e r cours e


.
,

was l e ft to hi m than to ac t as he did Altog e th e r the conduct .

of this portio n o f t he e e t a n d i n particu l ar its igh t u nd e r


,

Admiral E n q uis t to M an ila was far from b e i ng cl e ar as was , ,

also N i ebo g ato v s surr e nd e r an d that o f t he d e stroy e r Bie d o vy



.

I can not h e lp poi nting o ut that both i n t he cas e o f the ships ,

that mad e for M an ila an d th os e that tri e d to g e t through to


,

V l adivostok the l oss i n m e n was triing This was e sp e cially


,
.
1 4 2 T H E B A TT L E O F T H E S E A O F J A PA N


t he cas e board t he
battl e ships I mp e rator N ikolai I

on ,

Admiral S e n i av i n
,
a nd Admiral A p rax i n , whil e the
B i e d o v y had n o m e n e i th e r kill e d o r wound e d . N or must i t
be forgotte n that th e s e furth e r r e ports mad e n o m e n tion o f
min e s . I t is r e ally not e asy to admit that th e r e w e r e any i n the
n e ighbourhood e sp e cially as t he J apan e s e w e r e u n d e r way an d
,

circl ing rou nd o ur squadron as is mark e dly cl e ar from l at er


,

r e ports Th e re can also be n o re asonabl e doubt that the actio n


.

was pur e ly an arti l l e ry d u e l a nd that e v e n battl e ships o f the


Suvorov an d o f the O s l ab ,

y a typ e s d e lib e rat e l y w e nt o ut

of range o f gu n re .
PA R T I I

N A R R A T I V E S O F T H E PA R T I C I PA NTS
C H A PT E R I

( )
I TEL EG R A M S OF T H A N KS FR O M HI S M AJ E ST Y THE TS A R .

TO KI O To A dj utan t- Gen e r al R oz hes tven s h


y

. .

From my soul I than k y o u an d al l ra nks o f t he squadro n


who hon ourably d ischarge d th e ir d uti e s i n battl e for th e ir s e lf ,

s ac ri c i n g s e rvic e s to Russia and t o m e By t he wil l o f t he .

Most H igh your e xp l oi t was not d e sti n e d to be crown e d with


succ e ss but the Fath e r l an d wil l e v e r be proud o f your u nbou nd e d
,

manhood I wish you sp e e dy r e cov e ry and m ay G od comfort


.
,

you all N I CH O LAS .

M AN I L A To R ear A dm i r al E n ui s t q

-
. .

I si nc r l y tha nk y o u t he com m and e rs o


e e i c e rs an d cr e ws
, , ,

of the cruis e rs O l e g Aurora and Z he m ts hug fo r t he un

,

,

,

bound e d hon o urabl e s e rvic e i n a hard battl e M ay y o u al l be .

consol e d by t he co nscious n e ss o f d uty fu l ll e d i n a sacr e d



man n e r N I C H O LAS .

V L A D I VO ST O K .


To the Co mm an de r f o the
A l m az , A i de de - -
c am p Ts h