Battle of Port Arthur

The Battle of Port Arthur (Japanese: 旅順口海戦 Hepburn: Ryojunkō Kaisen)[2] of Monday 8 February – Tuesday 9 February 1904 marked the commencement of the Russo-Japanese War. It began with a surprise night attack by a squadron of Japanese destroyers on the Russian fleet anchored at Port Arthur, Manchuria, and continued with an engagement of major surface combatants the following morning; further skirmishing off Port Arthur would continue until May 1904. The battle ended inconclusively, though the war resulted in a decisive Japanese victory.

Battle of Port Arthur (naval)
Part of the Russo-Japanese War
Battle of Port Arthur crop2

Japanese print displaying the destruction of a Russian ship
Date8–9 February 1904
Location
Result Tactically inconclusive;[1] strategic Japanese victory
Belligerents
Japan Empire of Japan Russia Russian Empire
Commanders and leaders
Empire of Japan Tōgō Heihachirō
Empire of Japan Dewa Shigetō
Empire of Japan Nogi Maresuke
Russian Empire Oskar Viktorovich Stark
Strength
6 pre-dreadnought battleships
9 armored cruisers, with escorts
7 pre-dreadnought battleships
5 protected cruisers, with escorts
Casualties and losses
90 men and slight damage 150 men and seven ships damaged

Background

The opening stage of the Russo-Japanese War began with pre-emptive strikes by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the Russian Pacific Fleet based at Port Arthur and at Chemulpo. Admiral Tōgō's initial plan was to swoop down upon Port Arthur with the 1st Division of the Combined Fleet, consisting of the six pre-dreadnought battleships Hatsuse, Shikishima, Asahi, Fuji, and Yashima, led by the flagship Mikasa, and the 2nd Division, consisting of the armored cruisers Iwate, Azuma, Izumo, Yakumo, and Tokiwa. These capital ships and cruisers were accompanied by some 15 destroyers and around 20 smaller torpedo boats. In reserve were the cruisers Kasagi, Chitose, Takasago, and Yoshino. With this large, well-trained and well-armed force, and surprise on his side, Admiral Tōgō hoped to deliver a crushing blow to the Russian fleet soon after the severance of diplomatic relations between the Japanese and Russian governments.

On the Russian side, Admiral Stark had the pre-dreadnought battleships Petropavlovsk, Sevastopol, Peresvet, Pobeda, Poltava, Tsesarevich, and Retvizan, supported by the armored cruiser Bayan and the protected cruisers Pallada, Diana, Askold, Novik, and Boyarin, all based within the protection of the fortified naval base of Port Arthur. However, the defenses of Port Arthur were not as strong as they could have been, as few of the shore artillery batteries were operational, funds for improving the defenses had been diverted to nearby Dalny, and most of the officer corps was celebrating at a party being hosted by Admiral Stark on the night of 9 February 1904.

As Admiral Tōgō had received false information from local spies in and around Port Arthur that the garrisons of the forts guarding the port were on full alert, he was unwilling to risk his precious capital ships to the Russian shore artillery and therefore held back his main battle fleet. Instead, the destroyer force was split into two attack squadrons, one squadron with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd flotillas to attack Port Arthur, and the other squadron, with the 4th and 5th flotillas, to attack the Russian base at Dalny.

Night attack of 8–9 February 1904

The destruction of Russian destroyers by Japanese destroyers at Port Arthur
Illustration of the destruction of Russian destroyers by Japanese destroyers at Port Arthur

At about 22:30 on Monday 8 February 1904, the Port Arthur attack squadron of 10 destroyers encountered patrolling Russian destroyers. The Russians were under orders not to initiate combat, and turned to report the contact to headquarters. However, as a result of the encounter, two Japanese destroyers collided and fell behind and the remainder became scattered. At circa 00:28 on 9 February, the first four Japanese destroyers approached the port of Port Arthur without being observed, and launched a torpedo attack against the Pallada (which was hit amidship, caught fire, and keeled over) and the Retvizan (which was holed in her bow). The other Japanese destroyers were less successful; many of the torpedoes became caught in the extended torpedo nets[3] which effectively prevented most of the torpedoes from striking the vitals of the Russian battleships.[4] Other destroyers had arrived too late to benefit from surprise, and made their attacks individually rather than in a group. However, they were able to disable the most powerful ship of the Russian fleet, the battleship Tsesarevich. The Japanese destroyer Oboro made the last attack, around 02:00, by which time the Russians were fully awake, and their searchlights and gunfire made accurate and close range torpedo attacks impossible.

Despite ideal conditions for a surprise attack, the results were relatively poor. Of the sixteen torpedoes fired, all but three either missed or failed to explode. But luck was against the Russians insofar as two of the three torpedoes hit their best battleships: the Retvizan and the Tsesarevich were put out of action for weeks, as was the protected cruiser Pallada.

Surface engagement of 9 February 1904

Em Porto Arthur
A Japanese torpedo boat approaches a Russian torpedo boat. A Japanese sailor attacks with a saber the commander of the enemy ship and then throws him to the sea in a furious impetus (Angelo Agostini, O Malho, 1904).

Following the night attack, Admiral Tōgō sent his subordinate, Vice Admiral Dewa Shigetō, with four cruisers on a reconnaissance mission at 08:00 to look into the Port Arthur anchorage and to assess the damage. By 09:00 Admiral Dewa was close enough to make out the Russian fleet through the morning mist. He observed 12 battleships and cruisers, three or four of which seemed to be badly listing or to be aground. The smaller vessels outside the harbor entrance were in apparent disarray. Dewa approached to about 7,500 yards (6,900 m) of the harbor, but as no notice was taken of the Japanese ships, he was convinced that the night attack had successfully paralyzed the Russian fleet, and sped off to report to Admiral Tōgō.

Unaware that the Russian fleet was getting ready for battle, Dewa urged Admiral Tōgō that the moment was extremely advantageous for the main fleet to quickly attack. Although Tōgō would have preferred luring the Russian fleet away from the protection of the shore batteries, Dewa's mistakenly optimistic conclusions meant that the risk was justified. Admiral Tōgō ordered the First Division to attack the harbor, with the Third Division in reserve in the rear.

Upon approaching Port Arthur the Japanese came upon the Russian cruiser Boyarin, which was on patrol. Boyarin fired on the Mikasa at extreme range, then turned and fled. At around 12:00, at a range of about 5 miles,[1] combat commenced between the Japanese and Russian fleets. The Japanese concentrated the fire of their 12" guns on the shore batteries while using their 8" and 6" against the Russian ships. Shooting was poor on both sides, but the Japanese severely damaged the Novik, Petropavlovsk, Poltava, Diana and Askold. However, it soon became evident that Admiral Dewa had made a critical error; the Russians had recovered from the initial destroyer attack, and their battleships had steam up.[5] In the first five minutes of the battle Mikasa was hit by a ricocheting shell, which burst over her, wounding the chief engineer, the flag lieutenant, and five other officers and men, wrecking the aft bridge.

At 12:20, Admiral Tōgō decided to reverse course and escape the trap. It was a highly risky maneuver that exposed the fleet to the full brunt of the Russian shore batteries. Despite the heavy firing, the Japanese battleships completed the maneuver and rapidly withdrew out of range. The Shikishima, Mikasa, Fuji, and Hatsuse all took damage, receiving 7 hits amongst them.[1] Several hits were also made on Admiral Kamimura Hikonojō's cruisers as they reached the turning point. The Russians in return had received about 5 hits, distributed amongst the battleships Petropavlovsk, Pobeda, Poltava, and the Sevastopol.[1] During this same time, the cruiser Novik had closed to within 3,300 yards (3,000 m) of the Japanese cruisers and launched a torpedo salvo. All missed although the Novik had received a severe shell hit below the waterline.

Outcome

Although the naval Battle of Port Arthur had resulted in no major warship losses, the IJN had been driven from the battlefield by the combined fire of the Russian battleships and shore batteries, thus attributing to them a minor victory.[1] The Russians took 150 casualties to around 90 for the Japanese. Although no ship was sunk on either side, several took damage. However, the Japanese had ship repair and drydock facilities in Sasebo with which to make repairs, whereas the Russian fleet had only very limited repair capability at Port Arthur.

It was obvious that Admiral Dewa had failed to press his reconnaissance closely enough, and that once the true situation was apparent, Admiral Tōgō's objection to engage the Russians under their shore batteries was justified.

The formal declaration of war between Japan and Russia was issued on 10 February 1904, a day after the battle. The attack, conducted against a largely unassuming and unprepared neutral power in peacetime, has been widely compared to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.[6]

Subsequent naval actions at Port Arthur, February–December 1904

On Thursday 11 February 1904, the Russian minelayer Yenisei started to mine the entrance to Port Arthur. One of the mines washed up against the ship's rudder, exploded and caused the ship to sink, with loss of 120 of the ship's complement of 200. Yenisei also sank with the only map indicating the position of the mines. The Boyarin, sent to investigate the accident, also struck a mine and was abandoned, although staying afloat. She sank two days later after hitting a second mine.

Admiral Togo set sail from Sasebo again on Sunday 14 February 1904, with all ships except for Fuji. On the morning of Wednesday 24 February 1904, an attempt was made to scuttle five old transport vessels to block the entry to Port Arthur, sealing the Russian fleet inside. The plan was foiled by Retvizan, which was still grounded outside the harbor. In the poor light, the Russians mistook the old transports for battleships, and an exultant Viceroy Yevgeni Alekseyev telegraphed the Tsar of his great naval victory. After daylight revealed the truth, a second telegram needed to be sent.

On Tuesday 8 March 1904, Russian Admiral Stepan Makarov arrived in Port Arthur to assume command from the unfortunate Admiral Stark, thus raising Russian morale. He raised his flag on the newly repaired Askold. On the morning of Thursday 10 March 1904, the Russian fleet took to the offensive, and attacked the blockading Japanese squadron, but to little effect. In the evening of 10 March 1904, the Japanese attempted a ruse by sending four destroyers close to the harbor. The Russians took the bait, and sent out six destroyers in pursuit; whereupon the Japanese mined the entrance to the harbor and moved into position to block the destroyers' return. Two of the Russian destroyers were sunk, despite efforts by Admiral Makarov to come to their rescue.

On Tuesday 22 March 1904, Fuji and Yashima were attacked by the Russian fleet under Admiral Makarov, and Fuji was forced to withdraw to Sasebo for repairs. Under Makarov, the Russian fleet was growing more confident and better trained. In response, on Sunday 27 March 1904, Tōgō again attempted to block Port Arthur, this time using four more old transports filled with stones and concrete. The attack again failed as the transports were sunk too far away from the entrance to the harbor.

On 13 April 1904, Makarov (who had now transferred his flag to Petropavlovsk) left port to go to the assistance of a destroyer squadron he had sent on reconnaissance north to Dalny. He was accompanied by the Russian cruisers Askold, Diana, and Novik, along with the battleships Poltava, Sevastopol, Pobeda, and Peresvet. The Japanese fleet was waiting, and Makarov withdrew towards the protection of the shore batteries at Port Arthur. However, the area had been recently mined by the Japanese. At 09:43, Petropavlovsk struck three mines, exploded and sank within two minutes. The disaster killed 635 officers and men, along with Admiral Makarov. At 10:15, Pobeda was also crippled by a mine. The following day, Admiral Togo ordered all flags to be flown at half mast, and that a day’s mourning be observed for his fallen adversary. Makarov was officially replaced by Admiral Nikolai Skrydlov on 1 April 1904; however, Skrydlov was unable to reach his command due to the Japanese blockade, and remained at Vladivostok overseeing command of the Vladivostok cruiser squadron until recalled to St Petersburg on 20 December.[7]

On 3 May 1904, Admiral Togo made his third and final attempt at blocking the entrance to Port Arthur, this time with eight old transports. This attempt also failed, but Togo proclaimed it to be a success, thus clearing the way for the Japanese Second Army to land in Manchuria. Although Port Arthur was as good as blocked, due to the lack of initiative by Makarov's successors, Japanese naval losses began to mount, largely due to Russian mines. On 15 May, two Japanese battleships, the 12,320-ton Yashima and the 15,300-ton Hatsuse, sank in a Russian minefield off Port Arthur after they both struck at least two mines each, eliminating one-third of Japan's battleship force, the worst day for the Japanese Navy during the war.

Further naval operations from Port Arthur resulted in two break-out attempts by the Russians. The first was on 23 June 1904, and the second on 10 August, the latter of which resulted in the Battle of the Yellow Sea, which was tactically inconclusive. Afterwards, the Russian fleet did not make any more attempts to break out from their port, while the Japanese fleet dominated the waters for the duration of the war. But mines laid by Russian minelayers were a continuing problem for the IJN and resulted in more losses. On 18 September 1904, the 2,150-ton gunboat Heien struck a Russian mine west of Port Arthur and sank. The same fate befell the 2,440-ton cruiser Saien on 30 November in the same minefield, and on 13 December, the 4,160-ton cruiser Takasago sank in another Russian minefield a few miles south of Port Arthur while giving naval gunfire support to the Japanese armies now besieging the port.

See also

  • Sidney Reilly, who allegedly handed plans of the Port Arthur defenses over to the Japanese

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Forczyk p. 43
  2. ^ Sometimes also Ryojunkōgai Kaisen (旅順港外海戦)
  3. ^ Grant p. 16, 17
  4. ^ Grant p. 40
  5. ^ Forczyk p. 42
  6. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1499&dat=19420119&id=-e4ZAAAAIBAJ&sjid=8SIEAAAAIBAJ&pg=4412,1516787
  7. ^ Kowner, Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War, p. 356.
  • Forczyk, Robert (2009). Russian Battleship vs Japanese Battleship, Yellow Sea 1904-05. Osprey. ISBN 978-1-84603-330-8.
  • Grant, R. Captain (1907). Before Port Arthur in a Destroyer; The Personal Diary of a Japanese Naval Officer. John Murray, London; 1907.

Further reading

  • Connaughton, Richard (2003). Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-36657-9
  • Kowner, Rotem (2006). Historical Dictionary of the Russo-Japanese War. The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-4927-5.
  • Nish, Ian (1985). The Origins of the Russo-Japanese War. Longman. ISBN 0-582-49114-2
  • F. R. Sedwick, (R.F.A.), The Russo-Japanese War, 1909, The Macmillan Company, N.Y.
  • Schimmelpenninck van der Oye, David (2001), Toward the Rising Sun: Russian Ideologies of Empire and the Path to War with Japan", Northern Illinois University Press, ISBN 0-87580-276-1

External links

Coordinates: 38°46′48″N 121°15′28″E / 38.78005°N 121.25782°E

1904 in Japan

Events in the year 1904 in Japan.

1904 in Russia

Events from the year 1904 in Russia

Battle of Lushunkou

The Battle of Lüshunkou (Chinese: 旅順口之戰; Japanese: Ryōjunkō-no-tatakai (旅順口の戦い)) was a land battle of the First Sino-Japanese War. It took place on 21 November 1894 in Lüshunkou, Manchuria (later called Port Arthur, in present-day Liaoning Province, China) between the forces of the Empire of Japan and the Empire of China. It is sometimes referred to archaically in western sources as the Battle of Port Arthur (that name is now primarily used for the opening battle of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904).

Chinese cruiser Jiyuan

Jiyuan (simplified Chinese: 济远; traditional Chinese: 濟遠; pinyin: Jiyuan, sometimes Chiyuan; Wade–Giles: Tsi Yuan), was a protected cruiser of the Imperial Chinese Navy, assigned to the Beiyang Fleet. She was constructed in Germany as China lacked the industrial facilities needed to build them at the time. Jiyuan was originally intended to be the third ironclad battleship of the Dingyuan class, but was reduced in size due to funding issues. Upon completion, she was prevented from sailing to China during the Sino-French War.

In the First Sino-Japanese War, she was involved in the Battle of Pungdo, and at the Battle of Yalu River, which resulted in the subsequent execution of her captain. She was captured by the Imperial Japanese Navy as a prize of war at the Battle of Weihaiwei, and commissioned as Saien (済遠 巡洋艦, Saien jun'yōkan) on 16 March 1895. Under the Japanese flag, she was used to bombard positions in the Japanese invasion of Taiwan, and was sunk on 30 November 1904 after striking a Russian mine during the Battle of Port Arthur of the Russo-Japanese War.

Fuji-class battleship

The Fuji class (富士型戦艦, Fuji-gata senkan) was a two-ship class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the mid-1890s. They were the first battleships in the IJN, and were constructed in the UK as Japan lacked the industrial facilities needed to build them. Their design was based on the battleships being built for the Royal Navy at that time.

The ships participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur in February 1904 and two bombardments of Port Arthur during the following month. Yashima struck a mine off Port Arthur in May and capsized while under tow several hours later. Fuji fought in the Battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima and was lightly damaged in the latter action. She was reclassified as a coast defence ship in 1910 and served as a training ship for the rest of her active career. The ship was hulked in 1922 and converted into a barracks ship fitted with classrooms. Fuji was finally broken up for scrap in 1948.

Japanese battleship Fuji

Fuji (富士) was the lead ship of the Fuji class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy by the British firm of Thames Iron Works in the late 1890s. The ship participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war with her sister Yashima. Fuji fought in the Battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima and was lightly damaged in the latter action. The ship was reclassified as a coastal defence ship in 1910 and served as a training ship for the rest of her career. She was hulked in 1922 and finally broken up for scrap in 1948.

Japanese battleship Hatsuse

Hatsuse (初瀬, Hatsuse) was a Shikishima-class pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy by the British firm of Armstrong Whitworth in the late 1890s. The ship participated in the early stages of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war. She was involved in the subsequent operations until she struck two mines off Port Arthur in May 1904. The second mine detonated one of her magazines and Hatsuse sank almost immediately afterwards with the loss of over half her crew.

Japanese battleship Mikasa

Mikasa (三笠) is a pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the late 1890s. Named after Mount Mikasa in Nara, Japan, the ship served as the flagship of Admiral Tōgō Heihachirō throughout the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war and the Battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima. Days after the end of the Russo-Japanese War, Mikasa's magazine accidentally exploded and sank the ship. She was salvaged and her repairs took over two years to complete. Afterwards, the ship served as a coast-defence ship during World War I and supported Japanese forces during the Siberian Intervention in the Russian Civil War.

After 1922, Mikasa was decommissioned in accordance with the Washington Naval Treaty and preserved as a museum ship at Yokosuka. She was badly neglected during the post-World War II Occupation of Japan and required extensive refurbishing in the late 1950s. She has been partially restored, and is now a museum ship located at Mikasa Park in Yokosuka. Mikasa is the last remaining example of a pre-dreadnought battleship anywhere in the world.

Japanese battleship Yashima

Yashima (八島, Yashima) was a Fuji-class pre-dreadnought battleship built for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) in the 1890s. As Japan lacked the industrial capacity to build such warships, the ship was designed and built in the United Kingdom. She participated in the early stages of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war. She was involved in subsequent operations until she struck two mines off Port Arthur in May 1904. She did not sink immediately, but capsized while under tow a number of hours later. The Japanese were able to keep her loss a secret from the Russians for over a year so they did not try to take advantage of her loss.

Lüshunkou District

Lüshunkou District (also Lyushunkou District; simplified Chinese: 旅顺口区; traditional Chinese: 旅順口區; pinyin: Lǚshùnkǒu Qū) is a district of Dalian, in Liaoning province, China. Also called Lüshun City (旅顺市; 旅順市; Lǚshùn Shì) or literally Lüshun Port (旅顺港; 旅順港; Lǚshùn Gǎng), it was formerly known as both Port Arthur (亚瑟港; 亞瑟港; Yàsè Gǎng; Russian: Порт-Артур, translit. Port-Artur and Ryojun (Japanese: 旅順). The district's area is 512.15 square kilometres (197.74 sq mi) and its permanent population as of 2010 is 324,773.Lüshunkou is located at the extreme southern tip of the Liaodong Peninsula. It has an excellent natural harbor, the possession and control of which became a casus belli of the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05). Japanese and then Russian administration was established in 1895 continued until 1905 when control was ceded to Japan. During the first decade of that period, it was world-famous and was more significant than the other port on the peninsula, Dalian proper In Western diplomatic, news, and historical writings, it was known as Port Arthur, and during the period when the Japanese controlled and administered the Liaodong (formerly Liaotung) Peninsula it was called Ryojun (旅順), the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters in the city's name as kanji. After the Japanese defeat in World War II, the city was under the administration of the Soviet Union, which rented the port from China, until 1950. Although the Russians presented the port to China in 1950, Soviet troops remained in the city until 1955.

Petropavlovsk-class battleship

The Petropavlovsk class, sometimes referred to as the Poltava class, was a group of three pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy during the 1890s. They were transferred to the Pacific Squadron shortly after their completion in 1899–1900 and were based at Port Arthur before the start of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. All three ships participated in the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war. Petropavlovsk sank two months after the war began after striking one or more mines laid by the Japanese. Her two sister ships, Sevastopol and Poltava, took part in the Battle of the Yellow Sea in August 1904 and were sunk or scuttled during the final stages of the Siege of Port Arthur in early 1905.

Poltava was salvaged after the Japanese captured Port Arthur and incorporated into the Imperial Japanese Navy. The ship, renamed Tango in Japanese service, participated in the Battle of Tsingtao in late 1914, during World War I. She was sold back to the Russians in 1916 and renamed Chesma as her original name was in use by another battleship. The ship became the flagship of the Russian Arctic Flotilla in 1917, and her crew supported the Bolsheviks later that year. Chesma was seized by the British in early 1918 when they intervened in the Russian Civil War, abandoned by them when they withdrew and scrapped by the Soviets in 1924.

Russian battleship Peresvet

Peresvet (Russian: Пересвет) was the lead ship of the three Peresvet-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy at the end of the nineteenth century. The ship was transferred to the Pacific Squadron upon completion and based at Port Arthur from 1903. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05, she participated in the Battle of Port Arthur and was seriously damaged during the Battle of the Yellow Sea and again in the Siege of Port Arthur. The ship was scuttled before the Russians surrendered, then salvaged by the Japanese and placed into service with the name Sagami (相模).

Partially rearmed, Sagami was reclassified by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a coastal defense ship in 1912. In 1916, the Japanese sold her to the Russians, their allies since the beginning of World War I. En route to the White Sea in early 1917, she sank off Port Said, Egypt, after striking mines laid by a German submarine.

Russian battleship Petropavlovsk (1894)

Petropavlovsk (Russian: Петропавловск) was the lead ship of her class of three pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy during the last decade of the 19th century. The ship was sent to the Far East almost immediately after entering service in 1899, where she participated in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion the next year and was the flagship of the First Pacific Squadron.

At the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, Petropavlovsk took part in the Battle of Port Arthur, where she was lightly damaged by Japanese shells and failed to score any hits in return. On 13 April 1904, the ship sank after striking one or more mines near Port Arthur, in northeast China. Casualties numbered 27 officers and 652 enlisted men, including Vice Admiral Stepan Makarov, the commander of the squadron, and the war artist Vasily Vereshchagin. The arrival of the competent and aggressive Makarov after the Battle of Port Arthur had boosted Russian morale, which plummeted after his death.

Russian battleship Pobeda

Pobeda (Russian: Победа, lit. 'Victory') was the last of the three Peresvet-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy at the end of the nineteenth century. The ship was assigned to the Pacific Squadron upon completion and based at Port Arthur from 1903. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, she participated in the battles of Port Arthur and the Yellow Sea. Having escaped serious damage in these engagements, Pobeda was sunk by gunfire during the Siege of Port Arthur, and then salvaged by the Japanese and placed into service under the name Suwo (周防).

Rearmed and re-boilered by the Japanese, Suwo was reclassified by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a coastal defense ship in 1908 and served as a training ship for several years. She was the flagship of the Japanese squadron that participated in the Battle of Tsingtao at the beginning of World War I and continued in that role until she became a gunnery training ship in 1917. The ship was disarmed in 1922 to comply with the terms of the Washington Naval Treaty and probably scrapped around that time.

Russian battleship Poltava (1894)

The Russian battleship Poltava (Russian: Полтава) was one of three Petropavlovsk-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1890s. The ship was transferred to the Pacific Squadron shortly after completion and based at Port Arthur from 1901. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05, she participated in the Battle of Port Arthur and was heavily damaged during the Battle of the Yellow Sea. She was sunk by Japanese artillery during the subsequent Siege of Port Arthur in December 1904, but was raised by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) after the war and renamed Tango (丹後).

During World War I, she bombarded German fortifications during the Siege of Tsingtao. The Japanese government sold Tango back to the Russians at their request in 1916. She was renamed Chesma (Чесма) as her former name had been given to a new ship. En route to the White Sea, she joined an Allied force that persuaded the Greek government to disarm their ships. Her crew declared for the Bolsheviks in October 1917, but made no effort to resist when the British decided to intervene in the Russian Civil War in early 1918. In poor condition, the ship was used as a prison hulk. Abandoned by the British when they withdrew in 1919 and recaptured by the Bolsheviks, she was scrapped in 1924.

Russian battleship Sevastopol (1895)

Sevastopol (Russian: Севастополь) was the last of three ships in the Petropavlovsk class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1890s.

Named for the siege of Sevastopol during the Crimean War, the ship was commissioned into the First Pacific Squadron of the Russian Pacific Fleet and was stationed at Port Arthur (today Lüshunkou District, Dalian, Liaoning, China), a Russian naval base acquired from China in 1898 as part of the Kwantung Leased Territory. One of the first ships to use Harvey nickel-steel armor and Popov radios, she displaced 11,854 long tons (12,044 t) at full load and was 369 feet (112.5 m) long overall, and mounted a main battery of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns in two twin turrets. She was laid down in May 1892, launched on 1 June 1895 and completed in 1899. Her sea trials lasted until 1900.

Sevastopol saw service in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. Slightly damaged during a surprise attack on Port Arthur in early February, the ship later participated in several attempts to break out from the besieged port. The most notable of these was the Battle of the Yellow Sea, where she was damaged by several shells but managed to make it back to port with the remnants of the Russian Fleet, leaving one crewman dead and 62 wounded. Immediately after the surrender of Port Arthur, Sevastopol was scuttled to prevent her capture by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Japanese never raised her. The remains of the ship still lie outside the entrance to the port.

Russian cruiser Bayan (1900)

The cruiser Bayan (Russian: Баян) was the name ship of the four Bayan-class armoured cruisers built for the Imperial Russian Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. The ship had to be built in France because there was no available capacity in Russia. Bayan was assigned to the First Pacific Squadron after completion and based at Port Arthur from the end of 1903. She suffered minor damage during the Battle of Port Arthur at the beginning of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05 and supported destroyers as they patrolled outside the harbour. After bombarding Japanese positions in July 1904, the ship struck a mine and was out of action for the next several months. Bayan was sunk during the Siege of Port Arthur and was then salvaged by the Japanese after the war.

Renamed Aso by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) she served as a training ship after extensive repairs. The ship was converted into a minelayer in 1917 and was decommissioned in 1930 to serve as a target ship. She was eventually sunk as a target in 1932.

Russian cruiser Boyarin

Boyarin (Russian: Боярин, "Nobleman") was a protected cruiser built for the Imperial Russian Navy by Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen, Denmark. She served in the Russian Pacific Fleet and was sunk by a Russian naval mine near the entrance to Port Arthur, Manchuria, just after the start of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904.

Shikishima-class battleship

The Shikishima class (敷島型戦艦, Shikishima-gata senkan) was a two-ship class of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1890s. As Japan lacked the industrial capacity to build such warships herself, they were designed and built in the UK. The ships participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, including the Battle of Port Arthur on the second day of the war. Hatsuse sank after striking two mines off Port Arthur in May 1904. Shikishima fought in the Battles of the Yellow Sea and Tsushima and was lightly damaged in the latter action, although shells prematurely exploded in the barrels of her main guns in each battle. The ship was reclassified as a coast defence ship in 1921 and served as a training ship for the rest of her career. She was disarmed and hulked in 1923 and finally broken up for scrap in 1948.

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