Author Topic: Russo-Japanese War -Tsushima - Treaty of Portsmouth  (Read 21351 times)

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Offline Mike

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LRe: Treaty of Portsmouth Confrence
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2005, 03:47:08 PM »
Thanks Dominic for reminding us about this remarkable event. Lately their site has expanded significantly.  It contains now many greatly interesting images of the Russo-Japanese war that I've never seen before.

This site is a must for everybody seriously interested in Russian history.

Offline Mike

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Re: Treaty of Portsmouth Confrence
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2005, 01:19:45 PM »
Dominic,
Have you succeeded to visit any event at Portsmouth?

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2007, 09:44:47 AM »
In reading an article on the early history of radio in this month's edition of Discover  magazine, I ran across a comment that attributed Russia's debacle in the Battle of Tsushima to the fact that the Japanese were using radio equipment to monitor and report Russian fleet movements.  This equipment had been sold to them by Guglielmo Marconi, who had failed to find buyers among the western militaries.

This was the first mention I had ever encountered of radio having had such a critical part in the battle's outcome.  Not having any books on military history to hand, I went to the internet and found articles all over the lot on this issue.  Most articles did credit the Japanese victory, at least in part, to their use of radio communications.  However, one article said that the radio played no part in the Japanese victory, because its use could be monitored by the Russians -- which would imply that the Russians did, after all, have their own radio equipment.  And another article specifically disavowed the radio's playing any role in the victory, saying it was occasioned when a Russian hospital ship at the rear of the convoy mistakenly signalled a passing Japanese patrol boat.

So, to all you military historians out there . . . can you shed any light on the role of radio communications in the Battle of Tsushima?

Thanks.

Offline Mike

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2007, 12:13:40 PM »
All large Russian ships of the Admiral Rozhestvensky's squadron at Tsushima were equipped with "wireless telegraph" stations, partly produced at the Kronshtadt Navy Radio Workshop, partly imported from France and Germany. Most of the stations were installed just before the squadron's sailing from Kronshtadt, and the commanders and crews had very few ideas about their proper use, other than a simple exchange between the flagship and other vessels.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2007, 12:31:30 PM »
Thanks, Mike.

Any idea how the Japanese used their radios during the battle and whether the Russians and Japanese would have been able to monitor and understand the other side's transmissions?

Offline Mike

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2007, 02:53:16 PM »
Not sure about the Japanese, but the Russians definitely couldn't decypher and understand the enemy's transmissions. I've read somewhere that not a single man in the whole Russian squadron could speak Japanese.

Offline Kurt Steiner

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2007, 02:55:42 AM »
About Tsushima:

There is war comics are from a Japanese magazine for children 'Adventurerí (冒険王) published in 1934 in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Russo-Japanese War.

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=116935

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2007, 06:02:01 AM »
That was a very interesting link . . . on many levels.

Certainly the cartoon reflects a Japanese understanding that the radio was relevant in reporting the location of the Russian fleet.  Now that Mike has shown that the Russian ships were equipped with radio equipment, I wonder whether they made any use of it to coordinate their movements or to report events to a land-based station.

Offline Mike

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2007, 08:33:07 AM »
2Kurt: Thanks a lot, fantastic pictures! The faces and uniforms of the Russian personnel seem quite authentic. The only inaccuracy I've noticed relates to Russian navy ranks: Major General instead of Rear Admiral, etc.
 
2Tsarfan: The 2nd (Adm. Rozhestvensky) squadron couldn't maintain communication with land bases because of a short range of their radio equipment (a few dosens miles). The Port-Arthur and Vladivostok-based squadrons did use their radio stations for communicating with their respective bases. They also succeeded in intercepting some Japanese traffic and more or less decyphering it (each of these squadrons had one civilian Japanese translator borrowed from the Vladivostok Oriental Institute). It was reported that Port-Arthur-based stations (both shore and onboard-installed) performed some jamming of Japanese radio traffic. However these reports might be exaggerated in the absense of confirmation by the Japanese side.

Offline Tsarfan

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2007, 08:58:52 AM »
Well, at least it seems that the Russian navy had invested in the new radio technology and was trying to apply it effectively.  That somewhat alters the impression created by the references I have found that suggest the battle swung partly on the Japanese use of a technology that the Russians either did not have or did not know how to use.

Thanks for the information, Mike.  This stuff is hard for a neophyte such as I to locate easily.

TheAce1918

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Re: tsushima
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2007, 04:20:55 PM »
I haven't come across this one...though it looks great!
The only tid-bits of info that I've been able to come across were mainly in Massie's novels about the Romanovs, and were lightly touched upon anyway. 
Thanks for the recommendation.  ;)

Alixz

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Re: Russo-Japanese war
« Reply #26 on: May 29, 2007, 05:48:50 PM »
The sending of the Black Sea Fleet to Tsushima has always seemd to me to be a very stupid move.  It took so long to get there that, of course, the Japanese were sitting and waiting.

The Admiral Nakhimov was...

One of several Russian ships sunk at the Battle of Tsushima, including:

Kniaz Suvarov (1902) - Sunk at the Battle of Tsushima, 1905
Imperator Aleksandr III (1901) - Sunk at the Battle of Tsushima, 1905
Borodino (1901) - Sunk at the Battle of Tsushima, 1905
Oslyabya (1898) - Sunk at the Battle of Tsushima, 1905
Navarin (1891) - Sunk at the Battle of Tsushima, 1905

The exact spot of the wreck is still unknown ('Admiral Nakhimov. The battleship, sunk in 1905 in the Battle of Tsushima between Russia and Japan, yielded £1.5bn in gold and platinum in August 1984' - item in 'The Guardian' 19 May 2007).

I have  question.  Why would a battleship be carrying so much gold and platinum?  I suppose that the sailors had to be paid and goods had to be bought, but 1.5bn in British pounds?  That seems like a lot of "bling" for a battleship that could be sunk.


« Last Edit: May 29, 2007, 05:53:27 PM by Alixz »

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Re: Russo-Japanese war
« Reply #27 on: May 29, 2007, 06:05:04 PM »
The incident
The involved Russian warships were on their way to the Far East, to partake in the Russo-Japanese War. Because of wrong reports about the presence of Japanese torpedo boats and general nervousness of the Russian sailors, approximately 30 harmless fishing trawlers were attacked by the Russians, thousands of miles away from the enemy waters.

The disaster began in the evening, when the drunken captain of the supply ship Kamtchatka (Камчатка), which was last in the Russian line, took a passing Swedish ship for a Japanese torpedo boat and radioed that he was being attacked. Later in the night the officers on duty sighted the British ships, interpreted their signals incorrectly and classified them as Japanese torpedo boats, and consequently opened fire on the British fishermen. The British trawler Crane was sunk and two British fishermen lost their lives. On the other boats there were six fishermen wounded, one of whom died a few months later. In the general chaos, Russian ships shot at each other: when the protected cruiser Aurora (Aврора), which had yet to be involved, approached, she was taken for a Japanese warship, bombarded and slightly damaged. At least one Russian sailor was killed, another badly wounded.


[edit] The aftermath
The incident led to a serious diplomatic conflict between Russia and Great Britain, which was particularly dangerous due to the alliance that existed between Britain and Japan. In the aftermath some British newspapers called the Russian fleet "pirates". The Royal Navy intervened, and the Russian admiral Zinovi Petrovich Rozhdestvenski was heavily criticised for not leaving the British sailors lifeboats. The Royal Navy went after the Russian fleet and bottled her up in Vigo, Spain. The Russian government agreed to investigate the incident, after which, the Russian ships were let free. The investigation was given up after the Russian fleet was almost completely destroyed in the Battle of Tsushima. Meanwhile the Russian government paid £66,000 as compensation for the fishermen in order to placate the British government.

In 1906 the Fisherman's Memorial was unveiled in Hull in honour of the death of the three British sailors. The approx. 5.4m high statue shows the killed fisherman George Henry Smith and carries the following inscription:

Erected by public subscription to the memory of George Henry Smith (skipper) and William Richard Legget (third hand), of the steam-trawler CRANE, who lost their lives through the action of the Russian Baltic Fleet in the North Sea, October 22, 1904, and Walter Whelpton, skipper of the trawler MINO, who died through shock, May 1905.

[edit] Literature
Westwood, John N., Russia against Japan 1904-05. A new look at the Russo-Japanese war, Houndmills 1986

Sounds like thorough incompetence to me  ???

Offline mr_harrison75

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Re: Russo-Japanese war
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2007, 10:10:38 PM »
The whole Russia-Japan war of 1905 was the consequence of imcompetence.

Just one point; Japan was close to their bases and supply lines, and not Russia.

Russia fought with a Napoleonic army structure of command, Japan's armies were some of the most modern of their times.

The war was the beginning of the end for Imperial Russia, and all for nothing, because the Tsar had no need of new territories, and didn't kept any. His armies were humiliated, and the laughing stock of Europe, and the Tsar lost most of the prestige he still had in his own country.

It was just a mess!

Offline vladm

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Re: Russo-Japanese war
« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2007, 12:14:29 AM »
The whole Russia-Japan war of 1905 was the consequence of imcompetence.
Russia had no desire to enter the war with Japan, who started btw, actually Russians was ready to give up Port-Arthur and politicians had approval from the Nicholas. Japanese diplomats was always modifying demands.

Just one point; Japan was close to their bases and supply lines, and not Russia.
hhhmm, how about far east Russian territory? Greater Manchuria, Russian (outer) Manchuria is region to upper right in lighter Red. Russia had land supply, but Port-Arthur was cut off from the sea.


Russia fought with a Napoleonic army structure of command, Japan's armies were some of the most modern of their times.
During Japan-Russian War 1904-1905 Russian Pacific fleet at Port Arthur contained: 7 modern battleships and 11 cruisers
where Japan had: 6 battleships and 13 cruisers
about structure of command, Russia continue to have the same command structure, only names of the reports modified, same applies to US or French army.

The war was the beginning of the end for Imperial Russia, and all for nothing, because the Tsar had no need of new territories, and didn't kept any. His armies were humiliated, and the laughing stock of Europe, and the Tsar lost most of the prestige he still had in his own country.

It was just a mess!

Manchuria had one particular reason: final destination for Trans Siberian Rail Road for trade between Europe to Far East, and yes Russian kept territory, otherwise we would not have Vladivostok, just fyi area of Vladivostok add to Russian Empire 1868.
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