Tsushima

From the first Ironclad warships to the battle of Tsushima.
Byron Angel
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Re: Tsushima

Post by Byron Angel » Tue Jun 01, 2021 4:57 pm

ImageThank you for the article citation, Dave.

Another interesting little factoid regarding Adm Nimitz -
Early in his career he served as a naval attaché in Germany prior to US entry into WW1. In that capacity, he was present at the launching of the German battlecruiser SMS Derfflinger.

Byron

hans zurbriggen
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Re: Tsushima

Post by hans zurbriggen » Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:13 pm

Hello Mr. Saxton,
you wrote:'The Russian shooting wasn't bad, but not as good as the Japanese. Mikasa was reportedly hit 30 times at Tsushima'.

I agree that Russian 3.5% hit rate was far from poor (especially in first phase of battle when it was even higher) but Japanese 14% to 9.5% was much better and (in absolute terms) exceptional for that age.
Mikasa was hit by 10 large caliber shells (305/254 mm) and 22 'small' caliber shells (152 mm), she had 8 deads and 105 wounded out of 830 crew members. Suvorov was hit by around 20 large, 20 medium (229/203 mm) and 60 to 70 'small' caliber shells (according to estimations from Piotr Olender), confirming the proportion of 3 to 4 times hit rate in favour of the Japaneses for the large and medium caliber shells.

At Yellow Sea, Mikasa was the most battered ship, receiving 13 large +12 medium +31 'small' shells (with 31 dead + 94 wounded) and very seriouos damages.

hans

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wadinga
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Re: Tsushima

Post by wadinga » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:10 pm

Hello All,

I think Korietz was actually a gunboat, not a destroyer. The story of this pre-onslaught encounter mirrors in some ways that of the USS Ward and the midget submarine pre Pearl Harbor. From Wikipedia:
I believe After the Russian transport Sungari arrived at Chemulpo on 7 February 1904, reporting the sighting of a large Japanese force approaching, Korietz (under the command of G. P. Belyaev) was ordered to return to Port Arthur to report and request instructions. In the early morning of 8 February 1904, Korietz spotted Chiyoda outside the Chemulpo roadstead, and mistaking it for a fellow Russian ship, loaded its guns for a salute. On closing in, the crew of the Korietz realized their mistake and in the ensuing confusion the guns were discharged. Chiyoda responded by launching a torpedo. Both sides missed, but this was the first actual exchange of fire in the Russo-Japanese War, and it is highly unclear which side actually opened fire first. Korietz retreated back to Chemulpo harbor.[1]
I think the summary of the juxtaposition of Russian and Japanese forces in Korea is a little over-generous to the Japanese, since they pursued colonialist designs on annexing the Korean peninsula through trade and war from the 1870s onwards as new Western weaponry was assimilated, Under the new Meiji Restoration Japan was determined to settle centuries-old scores and take Korea and some of China in offensive moves to create a new Empire. A tussle of factions attempting to form a government in Korea resulted in Chinese and Japanese troops supporting opposite sides. In early June 1894, the 8,000 Japanese troops captured the Korean king Gojong, occupied the Gyeongbokgung in Seoul and, by June 25, replaced the existing Korean government with members of the pro-Japanese faction. Victory in the first Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95 diminished Chinese influence and in the backwash of the Boxer rebellion of 1900, with all the Western powers involved grabbing what they could (yes, including the British), and with the further collapse of Chinese power, newly-rearmed and resurgent Japan wanted more than a share of the spoils. The Russians had by now established very good relations with Emperor Gojong of Korea (King from 1864 to 1897, Emperor from 1897 to 1907)( a puppet maybe) after the diminution of Chinese influence, which would thwart Japanese expansionist intent unless radical steps were taken. Which they were. :shock:

With Russia defeated, Japan occupied Korea and annexed it in 1910. Theodore Roosevelt got a Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the treaty between Japan and Russia but riots broke out in Japan because many thought they deserved more territory and reparations. As Russia had lost so comprehensively, they believed Japan should have dictated the terms. A few captured warships were something, I suppose.

Only with the Hague Convention of 1907 was the Declaration of War codified, and I don't think Bushido, the "Way of the Warrior" (revived medieval militarism) inculcated in the Japanese population by unrelenting "education" and propaganda by the Meiji government, considered an unannounced assault carried any stigma whatsoever, in fact, it was considered the assaulted had only themselves to blame for any lack of constant vigilance on their part. The bungled attempts of 1904 and 1941 to deliver Official Declarations simultaneously with the actual assault, and deliberately too late to give any useful warning were just "going though the motions" as a pretence of respect for International Convention.

Coincidence: Admiral Harold R Stark USN Chief of Naval operations was apparently caught off-guard by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and is often accused of not giving the luckless Admiral Kimmel enough warning of the rapidly deteriorating situation. Admiral Oskar Starck was celebrating his wife's birthday with a party on the quarterdeck of battleship Petropavlovsk at Port Arthur when the Japanese struck. Some apparently though the bangs and flashes were celebratory fireworks !

On a sad note though, RIP Professor Eric Groves, he of the flamboyant delivery, that irrepressible bow tie wearer, possessor of encyclopedic knowledge and numerous pithy documentary appearances, has passed away suddenly, a great loss for all those interested in naval history, taken from us far too early.

All the best

wadinga
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today!"

Byron Angel
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Re: Tsushima

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Jun 02, 2021 12:20 am

hans zurbriggen wrote:
Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:13 pm
Hello Mr. Saxton,
you wrote:'The Russian shooting wasn't bad, but not as good as the Japanese. Mikasa was reportedly hit 30 times at Tsushima'.

I agree that Russian 3.5% hit rate was far from poor (especially in first phase of battle when it was even higher) but Japanese 14% to 9.5% was much better and (in absolute terms) exceptional for that age.
Mikasa was hit by 10 large caliber shells (305/254 mm) and 22 'small' caliber shells (152 mm), she had 8 deads and 105 wounded out of 830 crew members. Suvorov was hit by around 20 large, 20 medium (229/203 mm) and 60 to 70 'small' caliber shells (according to estimations from Piotr Olender), confirming the proportion of 3 to 4 times hit rate in favour of the Japaneses for the large and medium caliber shells.

At Yellow Sea, Mikasa was the most battered ship, receiving 13 large +12 medium +31 'small' shells (with 31 dead + 94 wounded) and very seriouos damages.

hans
Hi Hans,
Some reference works I have found useful regarding the tactical and technological aspects of the RJW at sea are -

Evans & Peattie - “Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy 1887-1941.

N J M Campbell - “The Battle of Tsu-shima”; Warship Journal Volume II, in four parts (issues 5 through 8).

Stephen McLaughlin - “Russian Battleships”.

FWIW.

Byron

Byron Angel
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Re: Tsushima

Post by Byron Angel » Wed Jun 02, 2021 1:28 am

Here is another source worth examining -

Go to Google Books and search for -
"Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers"
Volume XXI
1909

- which contains several useful articles related to the naval side of the RJW.

Page
27 - - - - - Russo-Japanese War, Naval Experience (*)
40 - - - - - Fire Control, Russo-Japanese War

(*) This article is a translation of an article originally published in “Artilleristische Monatshefte”, Jan-Feb 1907

Note – The entire 1909 AANE volume runs to 1551 pages and contains a vast amount of other interesting, arcane and obscure data on naval technology from around the world. Definitely worth scanning the table of contents.


Byron

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