(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Cassell's history of the Russo-Japanese war"

(assiirs: fflSTOKT .OF : the 

RlSSOyAPANESEWAR 



nT TTQTW ATPTi 






COKlNhLL I -iVERSlTY 

LIBH "lES 

ITOACA ,\. Y. 14853 




Charles W, Wav.n Collection 
on China a^'- 'he ''"hine'^e 



Cornell University Library 
DS 517.C34 1904 
V.2 
Cassell's history of the Russo-Japanese 




3 1924 011 912 379 



Cornell University 
Library 



The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 



http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924011912379 






VOLUME II. 




37 




w 

H 
O 



o 

.. w 
m H 

s^ 

o ^ 

A. W 

u 
w -^ 

W O 






:M^1 



-m^^'i 



^A 



CASSELL'S HISTORY 



OF THE 



Russo-Japanese War 



HUitairateti 



VOLUME II 



CASSELL AND COMPANY, LIMITED 
LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK AND MELBOURNE. MCMV 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 



CORNELL 

UNIVERSITY 

LIBRARY 




GIFT OF 
William Davis 




I'hoto: J. F. J. AichibaU. 



KEJOlCINGa IN TOKIO 0\'ER A \ICTOR\ 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER XLVII. page 

INSIDE PORT ARTHUR A SPIRITED DEFENCE — THE JAPANESE APPROACH OYAIIA IN 

COJIMAND DIARY OF THE SIEGE TORPEDO ATTACKS CAPTURE OF WOLF's HILL 

NAVAL INCIDENTS ........... 3 

CHAPTER XLVIII. 

A NEW PHASE CONCERTED MOVEMENTS — THE RUSSIAN BARRIER IvUROKI TAKES THE 

OFFENSIVE YU-SHU-LING-TZU AND YANG-TZU-LING — ARTILLERY PERFORILANCES 

CAPTURE OF TO-JIU-CHAN — OKU'S ADVANCE TO HAI-CHENG — JAPANESE TRANS- 
PORT .............. iS 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

NAVAL SORTIE FROM PORT ARTHUR THE JAPANESE ON THE ALERT — A FLEET ACTION 

AT SEA — BATTLESHIPS AT CLOSE QUARTERS THE RUSSIAN FLEET DISPERSED 

LOSSES AND INJURIES AN EPOCH-MAKING FIGHT ...... 



33 



PAGE 



vi CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER L. 

KAMIMURA ON GUARD THE VLADIVOSTOK SQUADRON SIGHTED A CRUISER ACTION 

DESPERATE FIGHTING SINKING OF THE " RURIK " JAPANESE HUMANITY 

AT VLADIVOSTOK HOPES AND FEARS .... ... 47 

CHAPTER LI. 

SEQUEL TO THE NAVAL SORTIE FROM PORT ARTHUR CAPTURE OF THE " RESHITELNY " 

ANGRY PROTESTS JAPAN'S JUSTIFICATION REFUGEE SHIPS AT KIAO-CHAU, 

SHANGHAI, AND SAIGON DISARMAMENT . ...... 57 

CHAPTER LII. 

THE " NOVIK " HER FLIGHT TO SAKHALIN ISLAND — -THE JAPANESE SEARCH A CRUISER 

DUEL THE " NOVIK " SUNK A FAMOUS LITTLE SHIP JAPANESE REAPPEAR AT 

KORSAKOVSK ............ Qj 

CHAPTER LIH. 

RUSSIA AND NEUTRAL SHIPPING DANGEROUS STATE OF TENSION LORD LANSDOWNE'S 

STATEMENT OF BRITISH POLICY THE VOLUNTEER " CRUISERS " RE-APPEAR 

PROTEST OF THE LONDON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE THE " FORTE " FINDS THE 

" PETERBURG " AND " SMOLENSK " IMPROVED PROSPECTS . , . . JJ 

CHAPTER LIV. 

THE ADVANCE ON LIAO-YANG^INTERVENING EVENTS BIRTH OF THE TSAREVITCH 

THE TSAR STILL BELLICOSE— RUSSIAN AND JAPAN POSITIONS PRELUDE TO THE 

LIAO-YANG BATTLES . . . . . - . . ... . .88 

CHAPTER LV. 

THE HISTORIC BATTLE OF LIAO-YANG RUSSIAN ADVANCED POSITIONS JAPANESE 

STRATEGY KUROKl'S THREE COLUMNS CAPTURE OF THE TANG-HO POSITION 

OKU AND NOZU ADVANCE RUSSIANS EVACUATE AN-SHAN-CHAN FIRST PHASE 

ENDED ...... ...... 103 



CHAPTER LVI. 

BATTLE OF LIAO-YANG CONTINUED THE SECOND PHASE LIAO-YANG ITSELF RUSSIAN 

DEFENCES OKU'S AND NOZU'S ADVANCE TERRIFIC ASSAULTS KUROKl's FLANK- 
ING MOVEMENT PASSAGE OF THE TAI-TSE . . . . ■ . .110 



CHAPTER LVII. 

BATTLE OF LIAO-YANG, THIRD PHASE KUROPATKIN SAVES THE SITUATION RUSSIAN 

MOVEMENTS SCENES IN LIAO-YANG — ^JAPANESE OPERATIONS CAPTURE OF LIAO- 
YANG KUROKl's FLANKING MOVEMENT ........ I33 



CONTENTS. vli 



PAGE 



CHAPTER LVIII. 

SIEGE OF PORT ARTHUR CONTINUED — AN INTERMEDIATE STAGE — THE COMMANDANT 
AND HIS HEROIC WIFE GARRISON SUMMONED TO SURRENDER INDIGNANT RE- 
JECTION OF TERMS A GENERAL ASSAULT TYPICAL FIGHTING A SECOND ASSAULT 

LIFE AT PORT ARTHUR THRILLING EPISODES FRESH PREPARATIONS . . I CO 

CHAPTER LIX. 

LIAO-YANG AND AFTER RUSSIAN AND JAPANESE VIEWS IMPERIAL MESSAGES THE 

ARMIES IN THE FIELD TYPICAL SOLDIERS* LETTERS JAPAN AND THE WAR CORRE- 
SPONDENTS EUROPEAN OPINIONS . . ...... 16/ 

CHAPTER LX. 

THE RUSSIAN MILITARY COMMAND IN MANCHURIA NEW ARMY WANTED A MOBILISA- 
TION ORDER GENERAL GRIPENBERG'S APPOINTMENT INTRIGUES AT ST. PETERS- 
BURG KUROPATKIN GENERALISSIMO ALEXEIEFF LOSING FAVOUR COMPOSITION 

OF SECOND ARMY. . . . . . . . . . . . 184 

CHAPTER LXI. 

KOREA THE RUSSIAN ADVANCE EFFECT OF THE BATTLE OF LIAO-YANG RUSSIAN 

RETIREMENT JAPANESE PREPARATIONS JAPAN'S CIVIL WORK IN KOREA 

POPULAR AGITATION REFORMS EFFECTED — HOSTILE NATIVES . . . . I98 

CHAPTER LXII. 

RUSSIA AND GERMANY JAPAN'S SUSPICIONS IRRITATION IN GREAT BRITAIN GER- 
MANY'S FAR EASTERN INTERESTS AN OSTENTATIOUS NEUTRALITY THE " TIMES " 

STATEMENT— TRENCH NEWS PRACTICAL SYMPATHY . . . . .210 



CHAPTER LXIII. 

THE BALTIC FLEET RUSSIAN SHIP-BUILDING CONDITIONS PROBLEMS OF THE ROUTE 

ADMIRAL ROZHDESTVENSKY ASSUMES COMMAND A TRIAL CRUISE COMPOSITION 

OF THE SQUADRON NERVOUS FEARS ,,....,. 220 

CHAPTER LXIV. 

JAPANESE ADVANCING RUSSIANS AT MUKDEN THE IMPERIAL TOMBS POSITION OF 

THE OPPOSING FORCES JAPANESE SOLDIER'S OUTFIT — CHANGE OF ATTITUDE 

RUSSIANS PREPARE TO TAKE OFFENSIVE KUROPATKIN'S ORDER OF THE DAY . . 23O 

CHAPTER LXV. 

KUROPATKIN TAKES THE OFFENSIVE THE SHA-HO BATTLEFIELD THE FIGHTING 

FROM DAY TO DAY A TITANIC CONFLICT RUSSIANS FORCED TO RETIRE JAPANESE 

VICTORIOUS SOME THRILLING INCIDENTS ....... 246 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER LXVI. 



PAGE 



CONTINUED FIGHTING LOSS OF JAPANESE GUNS RESULT OF THE BATTLE FORCES 

ENGAGED FRIGHTFUL CASUALTIES— PATHETIC SCENES COMPARISON WITH LIAO- 

YANG A LESSON ............ 259 

CHAPTER LXVII. 

RUMOURED RECALL OF ALEXEIEFF A VICEREGAL ORDER OF THE DAY DEPARTURE 

FOR ST. PETERSBURG UNPLEASANT REFLECTIONS ARRIVAL IN RUSSIA DOUBT- 
FUL RECEPTION INTERVIEWS AND EXPLANATIONS ..... i 26/ 

CHAPTER LXVIII. 

ON THE DOGGER BANK BRITISH FISHERMEN AT WORK SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF 

BALTIC SQUADRON RUSSIANS OPEN FIRE KILLED AND WOUNDED BRITISH 

INDIGNATION ROYAL SYMPATHY GOVERNMENT TAKES ACTION NAVAL PRE- 
PARATIONS ............. 276 

CHAPTER LXIX. 

NORTH SEA INCIDENT CONTINUED BRITISH GOVERNMENT TAKES ACTION NAVAL 

PREPARATIONS RUSSIAN ADMIRAL'S REPORT ON THE BRINK OF WAR A PEACEFUL 

. SOLUTION CONTINENTAL VIEWS RUSSIAN FLEET PROCEEDS — DOUBTS AND FEARS 

ANGLO-RUSSIAN AGREEMENT SIGNED . 289 

CHAPTER LXX. 

PORT ARTHUR ONCE MORE SUBSIDIARY DEFENCES THE GREAT FORTS ATTACKED 

FOUR DAYS OF FRENZIED FIGHTING BLOCKADE RUNNERS INSIDE THE FORTRESS 

— THE "birthday ATTACK" .... ..... 3I2 

CHAPTER LXXI. 

japan's WINTER OUTLOOK PROVISION AGAINST WAR WASTAGE A NEW MILITARY 

SYSTEM NAVAL PREPARATIONS HOME-MADE BATTLESHIPS A PAINFUL EPISODE 

FINANCIAL PROSPECTS FOREIGN RELATIONS BRITAIN, GERMANY, AND AMERICA 328 

CHAPTER LXXII. 

RUSSIA IN OCTOBER ARMIES IN MANCHURIA SIBERIAN RAILWAY DISCONTENTED 

RESERVISTS FRESH WARLIKE PREPARATIONS DARDANELLES QUESTION REVIVED 

FEELING IN ST. PETERSBURG EFFECT OF THE WAR ON TRADE FINANCIAL OUTLOOK 346 

CHAPTER LXXIII. 

VLADIVOSTOK JAPANESE RAID IN KAMCHATKA THE DAMAGED SQUADRON IN- 
TERRUPTED COMMUNICATIONS IMPROVED DEFENCES WINTER PROSPECTS THE 

BALTIC FLEET AN ANXIOUS OUTLOOK . . 364 

CHAPTER LXXIV. 

ON THE SHA-HO THE JAPANESE AND YEN-TAI MUKDEN FORTIFIED CAPTURE OF 

WAI-TAU-SHAN CORDIAL INTERCOURSE KING'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION 

DESULTORY FIGHTING ATTACK ON RUSSIAN LEFT WINTER THE THREE RUSSIAN 

ARMIES • • 376 



CONTENTS. ix 



PAG I! 



CHAPTER LXXV. 

THE SIEGE OF PORT ARTHUR — SUGGESTIONS OF SURRENDER— THE " RAZTOROPNI " 

INCIDENT DRAMATIC SEQUEL OPERATIONS AGAINST THE GREAT FORTS ATTACK 

BY JAPANESE SWORDSMEN FIGHTING ROUND METRE RANGE COSTLY ASSAULTS 

FINAL ADVANCE — CAPTURE OF 203 METRE HILL 39O 

CHAPTER LXXVI. 

SIEGE OF PORT ARTHUR CONTINUED SEQUEL TO THE CAPTURE OF METRE RANGE 

DESTRUCTION OF THE RUSSIAN FLEET TORPEDO ATTACKS AGAINST THE "SEVASTO- 
POL " A GRAND NAVAL RECORD THE LAND OPERATIONS THREE PRINCIPAL FORTS 

TAKEN BY ASSAULT . 406 

CHAPTER LXXVII. 

THE SECOND PACIFIC SQUADRON AN INSTRUCTIVE VOYAGE THE THREE DIVISIONS — ■ 

SHAMEFUL BEHAVIOUR IN CRETE PASSAGE OF THE SUEZ CANAL OFF MADAGjVS- 

CAR JAPANESE PREPAR.^TIONS THE KLADO INCIDENT A THIRD SQUADRON 

NEW RUSSIAN NAVY . . . . ' 419 

CHAPTER LXXVIII. 

MORE FIGHTING ROUND PORT ARTHUR THE BEGINNING OF THE END NEGOTIATIONS FOR 

CAPITULATION HISTORIC MEETING OF DELEGATES TERMS OF SURRENDER THE 

FORTRESS FALLS PRISONERS AND SPOILS NOGI AND STOESSEL DEPARTURE OF 

THE RUSSIANS VICTORS AND VANQUISHED STRIKING CONTRAST REJOICINGS AT 

TOKIO 436 

CHAPTER LXXIX. 

JAPANESE ENTRY INTO PORT ARTHUR A NOTABLE PROCESSION THE KAISER DECORATES 

NOGI AND STOESSEL FOREIGN OPINIONS ON THE FALL OF THE FORTRESS THE NEW 

SITUATION WAS SURRENDER JUSTIFIED ? OPINION IN RUSSIA A TRIBUTE FROM 

THE TSAR . . ... -455 

CHAPTER LXXX. 

TROUBLE LOOMING IN RUSSIA THE BLESSING OF THE NEVA SENSATIONAL INCIDENT 

STRIKES AT ST. PETERSBURG FATHER GAPON PETITION TO THE TSAR RED 

SUNDAY SHAMEFUL SLAUGHTER FURTHER REPRESSION SPREAD OF THE MOVE- 
MENT ... .... .... . 474 

CHAPTER LXXXI. 

ON THE SHA-HO CONDITION OF THE OPPOSING FORCES KUROPATKIN'S GOOD SPIRITS 

TYPICAL ENCOUNTERS TRYING TO PIERCE THE LINE MISHTCHENKO'S RAID R.\IL- 

VVAY WRECKING ATTA.CK ON A STORE DEPOT CHINESE NEUTRALITY VIOLATED . 492 

CHAPTER LXXXII. 

THE NORTH SEA INQUIRY THE COMMISSIONERS FIRST PUBLIC SITTING BRITISH AND 

RUSSIAN CASES— THE EVIDENCE QUESTIONABLE TESTIMONY THE FISHERMEN 

EXAMINED A BRITISH NAVAL EXPERT . 5 10 



X COA'TENTS. 

CHAPTER LXXXIII. ^^^^ 

IN' THE SIIA-IIO REGION — SEQUEL TO MISHTCHENKO's RAID A LIKELY BATTLE-GROUND 

— GRIPENBERG CROSSES THE HUN-HO AN IMPRESSIVE MOVEMENT THE BATTLE OF 

HEI-KOU-TAI — DEFENCE OF SAN-DE-PU JAPANESE ATTACKS RUSSIANS DRIVEN 

BACK — GRIPENBERG AND KUROPATKIN ........ 522 

CHAPTER LXXXIV. 

A YEAR OF WAR — THE LESSON OF MAINTENANCE AN EXCEPTIONAL STRUGGLE 

DRAMATIC ATTRIBUTES THE ACTORS THE "SCENERY" NAVAL AND MILITARY 

LESSONS .............. 539 




THE SURRENDER OF PORT ARTHUR : THE CAPITULATION FLAGS. 



mill 



'■ere!'**!''- 




Pliolo : T. Riiddtuian Johnston, Tokio. 

RUSSIAN PRISONERS FROM PORT ARTHUR ARRIVING AT TAKAHAMU, JAPAN. 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Shelled from three points : the destruction of 

a Russian battery by the concentrated fire 

of the Japanese ...... 

Main street of Harbin 

Arrival of Russian cavalry at Port Arthur 

before its investment .... 

Before Port Arthur a second time: Marshal 

Oyama, Commander of the Japanese Field 

Forces ....... 

The secret naval base for the Japanese attacks 

upon Port Arthur ..... 
Russian submarine mines removed by the 

Japanese from outside Port Arthur . 
The megaphone in use by a Japanese signalling 

party 

The Tsar as the " Little Father " 
Lieut. -General Count Keller .... 
Japanese religious observances in the field 
"Each man a household": Japanese troops, 

with full kit, embarking from the Custom 

House steps at Shimonoseki 
Bringing a wounded Russian into the Japanese 

lines ........ 



13 



16 



17 



24 
25 



29 



32 



Typical group of naval officers 

Admiral Ukhtomsky .... 

A sortie from Port Arthur 

The Japanese battleship Fuji . 

Togo at work : a distant glimpse of the Por 

Arthur fighting .... 

The Japanese battleship Slii/iishima . 

Admiral Vitoft 

Japanese cruiser Idziima .... 
Japanese naval brigade landing under fire ai 

Pitsani ...... 

Chart of the Vladivostok raids up to the 

sinking of the Rurih .... 
The Russian cruiser Rurih 
Japanese " small arm men " of the battleship 

Asahi ...... 

Japanese bluejackets: a typical group 

board the Asahi .... 

Kiao-chau Bay and Tsing-Tau 
The Russian cruiser ^-IsA-oM 
Admiral Togo on board his flagship the 

Mihasa ...... 

The Russian cruiser Novih 



PACE 

33 

35 
37 
39 

41 
44 
45 
48 

49 

52 
53 

60 

61 
64 
65 

68 
71 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Japanese bluejackets on the Mikasx . 

Chart showing the dispersal of the Russian 

ships after Togo's and Kamimura's naval 

victories . . , 
Japanese warship of the Shogun, of the period 

Ka-yei (a.d. 1848-1S54) .... 
Mr. Balfour addressing the deputation from 

the London Chamber of Commerce . 

H.M.S. Forte 

The raiders of the Red Sea . . . ■ 
Hand to hand : Russians and Japanese at close 

quarters .... 
Shanghai Harbour ... . . 

The Tsarina in full Court, dress . . < 
Sketch map showing positions of the rival 

armies at the end of August, 1904 ■ 
Lieut. -General Sir Ian Hamilton, British 

attache, as guest of the British war corres- 
pondents at Feng-Hwang-Cheng 
Japan's irresistible advance .... 
Russians requisitioning mules from the Chinese 

when in occupation of Niu-chwang . 
Russia's care for the wounded : interior views 

of railway hospital car connecting the 

fighting front with the hospitals at the 

base .... . . 

Liao-yang : a busy thoroughfare 

Battles around Liao-yang : first period, August 

23-28 ... . . 

The evening of battle : prayer round a Russian 

camp fire in Manchuria 
Rugged Manchuria ; difiiculties of Japanese 

artillery transport 
Liao-yang suburbs, looking east 
General Kuropatkin's headquarters and special 

train at Liao-yang 
Japanese artillery on the march 
General Greikoff ..... 
Back to shelter: Cossacks repulsed during a 

reconnaissance in force, retiring under 

cover of their own guns 
Battle of Liao-yang : second period, August 

29-31 . . . . 

Russian cadets 

Major-General Orloff .... 
With General Kuropatkin's guns outside LiaO' 

yang . . .... 

Battle of Liao-yang : third period, September 

1-3 

General Baron Oku 

The early days of Liao-yang : Kuropatkin'i 

artillery passing the Tai-tse-Ho 
Requisitioned Manchurian ponies being en 

trained in Eastern Mongolia 
The siege of Port Arthur : sketch map 



72 



75 
76 

81 
85 
87 



92 
93 

96 



97 

lOI 



105 
108 



109 



113 



117 
120 



125 
127 



129 

131 
132 

135 
137 

141 
143 

145 

149 
152 



General Stoessel ... ■ . 153 

Stores of vodka at Port Arthur . . . 156 
Lieut.-General Smirnow : in charge of the 

Port Arthur forts 157 

The mole in the night : the stealthy Japanese 
throwing up earthworks before Port 

Arthur 161 

After the assault 165 

Native quarter in Liao-yang . . . 167 

" Missing " : Japanese dead and wounded in a 

field of millet 169 

General Kuropatkin awarding the Cross of St. 

George on the battlefield .... i73 

Oyama's objective : the approach to Mukden 176 
The cost of victory : the hideous carnage on 
the Sou-Shan Hill, one of the most hotly 
contested positions at Liao-yang . . 177 
The staff of a Russian travelling hospital . 180 

How Japan landed her forces in Korea and 

Manchuria ...... 181 

Type of Cossack guard station and watch 
tower for the defence of the Siberian 

Railway . 183 

Prince Khilkoff on Lake Baikal . 184 

General Bilderling ... 185 

General Kashtalinski ... . 187 

General Kuropatkin and staff examining a 

position . . .... 189 

General Sukhotin . . . 191 

General Gripenberg 193 

Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievitch . . 197 

Street in Seoul 200 

Map illustrating Russia's projected incursion 
into Korea ... ... 201 

European newspaper correspondents being 

presented to the Korean Emperor . 205 

The " War Office," Seoul . . . 209 

Russian cruiser stopping a contraband steamer 

on the high seas .... 213 

The Russian battleship Tsarevitch after the 

fight off Port Arthur, August 10 . 216 

The German Emperor .... 217 

Mo-Tien-Ling Pass, with the Russian positions 

in the distance 219 

Russials second fleet : warships .of the Baltic 
scjuadron designated for service in the 
Far East . . .... 221 

Admiral Wirenius . . . 224 

Departure of the Baltic fleet for the Far East . 225 
Admiral Avellan ...... 228 

Effects of Japanese shells on a Russian war- 
ship . . .... 229 

A formidable Russian defence at Liao-yang : 
Japanese stormers caught in pitfalls and 
barbed-wire entanglements . . 233 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Xlll 



General Kuropatkin interviewing Chinese 

officials during the stoppage of his special 

train at Mukden 

The sacred tombs of Mukden . ... 

Miss McCaul 239 

Campaigning kit of a Japanese infantryman . 240 
Procession at Yokohama to celebrate the 

victory at Liao-yang .... 
Massing of Cossack cavalry before a fight 
Russian practice with land mines near Mukden 248 
Japanese pontoon bridge over the Tai-tse river 249 
Map showing area of the battles on the Sha-ho 253 
The camera as war artist : Russian troops 

taking position along a hill-top to repel 

an attack . 
After the battle : Russian Red Cross nurses 

preparing for the arrival of the wounded 
Cossack cavalry under shell fire 
A typical station on the Trans-Siberian Rail 

way in peace time 
Russian forage carts passing along the main 

street of Mukden 
Major-General Pflug 
The Russian outrage in the North Sea : the 

first shot . . 
Admiral Alexeieff . . 
The damaged trawlers Moulmein ana Mino 

bringing back the dead and wouPvled 

fishermen to Hull, October 23 . 
A shot hole in the Moulmein 
The North Sea outrage : the trawler Crane 

sinking under the shell fire of the Russian 

Baltic squadron. The Gull standing by 

to rescue the survivors 
Maps illustrating alternative routes from 

Europe to Japanese waters 
Admiral Rozhdestvensky .... 
Admiral Sir John Fisher 
The watchdogs of the Straits 
Map illustrating the course of the Baltic Fleet 

from Kronstadt to Vigo and Tangier, and 

the dispositions of the British Fleets at 

the time of the crisis .... 

Ready, aye ready ! . . . 
Lord Charles Beresford . . . t 

The Rock of Gibraltar from Algeciras 
Britain's sea power ...... 

Sketch map showing the relative positions of 

the Russian and Fishing Fleets when 

the warships opened fire . 
Effect of shell fire on the trawler Moulmein 
Shot holes on the trawler Mino . • . 
Mr. Balfour speaking at Southamption . 
M. Paul Carabon, French .Ambassador 

London . . . » . 306 



236 
237 



241 
244 



257 

261 
265 

266 

269 
272 

273 
275 



277 
J79 



2S1 

283 
285 
287 
289 



291 

293 
294 

295 
297 



299 
300 
301 
305 



Count Benkendorf, Russian Ambassador in 

London , . .... 308 

Sir Charles Hardinge ... . 309 

How the Japanese tightened their grip upon 

Port Arthur 313 

The weariness of strife : the dawn of another 

day at Port Arthur 317 

A flag of truce 320 

A human pyramid 321 

Night turned into day at Port Arthur . . 325 
Shooting below the water line : submerged 

torpedo-tube in action . . . 329 

A war correspondent's passport in the Far East 332 
A sadly familiar scene at Tokio . . . 333 
Russian pitfalls : an ingenious device for 
arresting the impetuous attacks of the 

Japanese 337 

The great struggle on the Sha-ho : fighting in 

the streets of Lin-chin-pu .... 341 
The assault on the key to the Russian centre 

at Liao-yang '. 344 

Native quarter, Harbin 345 

General Kaulbars, Commander-in-chief of the 

third Russian Manchurian Army . . 348 
The railway station, Harbin . . . . 349 

The Trans-Siberian Railway under construction 351 
A reminiscence of the early days of the war . 353 
Russian Moujiks ..... 355 

A Russian fort that cost the Japanese 3,000 
men : the semi-permanent redoubt on the 
level plain, one mile south of Liao-Yang . 357 
Some Russian caricatures of the Japanese . 361 
A lull during the fighting: a. Russian en- 
trenched position on the Manchurian 
hills .... . . 365 

Royal solicitude for the suffering . . 36S 

Songs on the way to the battlefield : a 
common incident on the Trans-Siberian 
Railway ... . 369 

Prison barge on the Amur. Down the Amur 

in times of peace . . . 372 

The wooded banks of the Amur. Cossack 
camp on the Amur .... 373 

The Japanese battleship Asahi 375 

Harbin ... .... 376 

The enormously strong palisade erected by 
the Russians at I..iao-yang, which the 
Japanese hacked down at great loss . . 377 
The Japanese advance in Manchuria : a night 

attack on a Russian position . 381 

Celebrating the birthday of their allies' King . 385 
Russian soldiers bartering with Chinese street 

vendors 389 

A modern Spartan : General Nogi, the indomit- 
able besieger of Port Arthur . . . 393 



XIV 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Diagrams illustrating methods of attack upon, 

and defence of, a fortress . . . 396 

The Russian night assault on the Japanese 
sappers and miners when cutting parallels 
on Banduzan (Pan-lung-shang) October 2, 

1904 • 

Map of the main defences of Port Arthur 

General Nakamura 

Underground fighting before Port Arthur 

Russian battleship Sevastopol . 

Captain Essen, who first commanded the Novih 

and afterwards the Sevastopol 
The engineer who fortified Port Arthur 
The ghastliest post before Port Arthur : the 

thirty-minute trench . 
An international scene at Tangier during the 

Russian Fleet's stay at the Moroccan 

port 

Rear-Admiral Folkersahm 

The Russian battleship Kniaz Smaroff : Admiral 

Rozhdestvensky's flag-ship 
Russian bluejackets : drinking the Admiral's 

health on board ship . 
Admirial Birileff 
Outside Port Arthur : Metre Range from Hoo- 

zan Hill . . . 

Captain Klado 

" The grim escarpment of Pilusan ". 
The West Erhlung Fort after its capture, 

December 31, 1904 
Useless for the fight : the sunken Pohieda and 

Pallada in harbour of Port Arthur 
General Ijichi, with members of General 

Nogi's staff 
The angel of the siege 

The pledge of honour: Nogi and Sloessel drink- 
ing to each other's health after arranging 

the terms of capitulation of Port Arthur . 449 
A panorama of the Russian positions around 

Port Arthur 452-3 

The first Japanese to enter Port Arthur after 

the capitulation . . . . 456 

The fortress in the balance ; General Stoessel's 

staff inspecting the forts . . . . 457 
General Kondratchenko .... 459 

Perils of Red Cross work before Port Arthur . 461 
Men of the Japanese 9th Division awaiting 

their turn in the "thirty-minute" trench . 464 
Champagne and shells : officers' conviviality 

interrupted at Port Arthur . . 465 

Japanese battery of ii-inch guns firing the 

terrible 500-lb. shells into the doomed 

fortress 468 

The cost of conquest : the scene after an 

attack upon the Cockscomb Fort . , 469 



401 
404 
405 
409 
412 

413 
416 



• 417 



420 
421 

424 

425 
429 

433 
435 
436 

437 
440 

441 
445 



A near view of 203 Metre Hill from the Russian 
side before its capture . . . . 

Russian peasant types 

The ceremony of the blessing of the Neva 

Father Gapon's fruitless appeal 

Precincts of the Winter Palace, St. Peters- 
burg .... ... 

The grand entrance. Winter Palace, St. Peters 
burg 

Nevsky Prospect, St. Petersburg 

Maxim Gorky . ... 

General Trepoff .... 

Workmen of St. Petersburg 

Martyrs in the cause of freedom 

Grand Duke Vladimir 

British Embassy, St. Petersburg 

In defence of Mukden : the quarters of the 
Tomsky regiment at Ku-an-shan 

Desolation ! . . . . 

A change of sides: big Russian guns being 
used by the Japanese on the Sha-ho . 

A typical Japanese trench in Manchuria . 

The Russian cavalry raid on the railway near 
Niu-chwang 

General Mishtchenko . • . 

Examining passports on the Manchurian Rail- 
way in times of peace 

Commissioners of the North Sea Inquiry 

A British witness before the North Sea Inquiry 
Commission .... 

The Right Hon. Sir Edward Fry, D.C.L , 
F.R.S., British Legal Assessor . 

Russian cruiser Aurora ■ . 

The hospital mission ship Alpha 

Supplies for the Russians : country pack train 
coming into a Manchurian town . 

A remarkable scene of activity between the 
hills of Manchuria: Japanese building 
their dug-outs, trenches, and temporary 
places of shelter . . . 

A Russian battery baulked by the smoke of a 
village purposely set on fire by the 
Japanese .... . . 

General DragomirofI 

Sketch map of the battle of Hei-kou-tai 

What modern war looks like: A fierce 
artillery engagement in the Manchurian 
hills . . 

A Russian column in retreat . 

Captured Chunchuses being tortured before a 
Chinese magistrate's yamen 

Sketch map showing the situation at the begin- 
ning of 1905, and by the shaded portion, 
the territory then in the hands of the 
Japanese ...... 



472 
474 
477 
481 

482 

483 
485 
486 
487 
488 
489 
490 
491 

493 
497 

500 
501 

505 
508 

509 
51Z 

513 

516 
517 
521 

522 



525 



529 
531 
532 



533 
537 

538 



540 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



XV 



Port Arthur's heavy artillery : a big gun ready 
for action 

The huge shells hurled by the Japanese siege 
artillery against the Russian ships and 
forts 

The cost to Japan of the capture of 203 Metre 
Hill, Port Arthur 

The battered Percsvict in Port Arthur harbour. 



541 



545 

548 
549 



The last days of Port Arthur ; the battered 

town and submerged ships in the harljour. 553 

The fortified hill outside Port Arthur, called 
by the Russians "The Eagle's Nest," 
which was captured by the Japanese on 
January i, 1905 ...... 556 

The casemates of Port No. 11, Port Arthur, 

where General Kondratchenko was killed 557 




DALNV THE.^TRE CONN'EKTED INTO A RETREAT FOR SICK AND WOUNDED 
JAPANESE SOLDIERS. 







mf -|k 1 4 




PhatSi: Urban, Limited. 



MAIN STREET, HARBIN. 



THE HISTORY 



OF 



THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR: 



CHAPTER XLVII. 

INSIDE PORT ARTHUR — A SPIRITED DEFENCE — THE JAPANESE APPROACH — OYAMA IN 

COMMAND — DIARY OF THE SIEGE — TORPEDO ATTACKS CAPTURE OF WOLf's HILL — 

NAVAL INCIDENTS. 



THE morning' mist lias lifted from 
the sea, and in the growing light 
of a summer day Port Arthur and its 
environs are revealed in clear-cut det.Til. 
A contrast, this, with the midnight gloom 
in which, also at Port Arthur, the first 
great opening scene of the war was 
■enacted; and the contrast deepens as we 
examine more closely the appearance of 
the great Russian fortress after nearly 
half a year of almost continuous and 
strongly determined fighting. 

The Russian flag is still flying, and 
flying with a pride that is fully justified 
hy a splendidly stubborn defence. In the 
harbour Russian warships are still 
grouped in no inconsiderable strength. 
Our old friend, the battleship Tsareviich, 
-with several consorts and a fair show 



of cruisers, including the trusty Bayan 
and the plucky little Novik, are still at 
their moorings; and there are more than 
enough destroyers for the purpose of 
patrolling the restricted area left un- 
guarded by the blockading enemy. But 
even here the change is marked, indeed, 
from the aspect at the beginning of 
February, when Russia fondly believed 
that at sea as well as on land her weight 
of metal would give her a supremacy 
which Japan would hardly dare to ques- 
tion. The ships have been patched up, 
and are more or less ready for sea, but 
here and there it is evident that the batter- 
ing which some have received has left its 
mark upon speed and fighting efficiency. 
Nor is the harbour either the post of 
refuge or the centre of activity which it 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



has been at a comparatively recent stage 
of the war itself. Occasionally it suffers 
from the high-angle fire of the Japanese 
guns, and the docks and workshops, by 
reason of the Chinese exodus, are no 
longer full of the busy hum of men. In 
place of the former rush of work, and 
ceaseless clanging of hammers and 
whirring of lathes, there is little beyond 
the business of ordinary repairs, and a 
general air of anxious waiting for the 
moment when relief from the present 
suffocating strain can be obtained by 
vigorous action. 

Seldom has a powerful fleet suffered 
such a period of enforced idleness as 
that imposed upon the Russian warships 
at Port Arthur by the wrong-headed- 
ness of Russia's naval policy, coupled 
with Japan's watchful superiority in all 
that relates to operations at sea. It is 
surprising, indeed, that any efficiency or 
morale should remain after the vicissitudes 
of the past few months, and, though it 
does remain, and is presently to be de- 
monstrated, there is no question that the 
Squadron moored in Port Arthur harbour 
in July is sadly changed from that of 
which the battleships lay grouped in the 
outsMe roadstead on the night of Feb- 
ruary 8th. 

Coming ashore, we find the difference 
between then and now still more marked. 
It is a curious characteristic of most great 
sieges that, after the alarm of the early 
bombardments, and the realisation of the 
fact that relief is practically out of the 
question, a disposition sets in to accept 
the situation, and to make little of it by 
resumption of the ordinary modes of life. 
It is not a matter of bravado so much as 
of sheer ennui. People get tired of think- 
ing about nothing else than their uncom- 
fortable surroundings, and long for some 
relief from the monotony, even if added 



danger be incurred in the process. Ac- 
cordingly, at Port Arthur this July morn- 
ing there is still some show of animation 
in the streets. Captain Bradley, of the 
Hipsang, the British steamer which, as 
narrated in Chapter XLIII., was tor- 
pedoed in Pigeon Bay on July i6th, re- 
ports that the general appearance of the 
town does not at this period indicate a 
state of siege or, indeed, of any sort of 
distress. The shops and stores are open, 
and business is brisk. Captain Bradley 
expressly mentions that during his de- 
tention at Port Arthur, which lasted a 
fortnight, he was twice allowed to leave 
his quarters in order to purchase 
provisions, which were plentiful and 
moderate in price. He also speaks of 
seeing ladies and children in the streets, 
and remarks on the maintenance of com- 
munication, presumably by blockade 
runners and wireless telegraphy, with 
Chifu and other places. Altogether an 
impression which goes far to contradict 
the gloomy reports given by Chinese and 
other refugees, who declare that Port 
Arthur has been reduced to very con- 
siderable straits, that the supply of fresh 
meat has been exhausted, and that only 
the troops are getting salt meat, non- 
combatants subsisting mainly on oatmeaJ 
and rice. 

Perhaps the absolute truth lies some- 
where between Captain Bradley's favour- 
able description and the highly-coloured 
account given by men possibly not un- 
willing to exaggerate a little in order to 
procure some added sympathy. It must 
be remembered that, in the case of a close 
investment, it is almost invariably sought 
by the besieged to give outsiders the 
idea that, practically speaking, no incon- 
venience is being suffered, and that 
provisions, in particular, are plentiful. 
It may be that no special precaution was 



INSIDE PORT ARTHUR. 5 

taken in this respect with Captain oldest ruses of war, this of attempting- 
Bradley; but it is equally possible that to convey indirectly to the outside world 

the notion that a sie!,'e is bein^ rather 
enjoyed than otherwise; and without, of 



the authorities, in view of his release, 
made a special effort to convince him that 
Port iVrthur was in a g-ood way as re- 
gards necessaries of life, and that the 
inhabitants regarded with comparative in- 



course, any thought of disparaging Cap- 
tain Bradley's evidence, there is n(j harm 
in supposing that he was to some extent 




From stenograph Copyright, UiulcrK'ootl <!' Undtn^ooit, Loudon and Kcio York. 

ARRIVAL OF RUSSIAN CAVALRY AT FORT ARTHUR BEFORE ITS INVESTMENT. 



difference the circumstance that they were 
literally encompassed by a strong and 
skilful enemy. In fact, it is recorded 
that when the master of the Hipsang was 
examined by the captain of the Retvisati 
the latter roundly asserted that Port 
Arthur was provisioned for three years. 
Similarly, when Captain Bradley was per- 
mitted to purchase provisions, it is not 
improbable that he was allowed to buy 
them at a low price. It is one of the 



purposely misled as to the real state of 
affairs inside the fortress. 

On the other hand, there is even greater 
cause to mistrust the reports of the 
relugees, some of which are proved in 
other directions to have been quite base- 
less. It is quite possible that "useless 
mouths " at Port Arthur during the later 
developments of the siege were not often 
filled with substantial food, but that is 
the ordinary fate of civilians who persist 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



in remaining' in a beleag'uered town, 
usually in hope of making: some inor- 
dinate profit, when they have been given 
a strong hint to get away. But what- 
ever may have been the unsatisfied long- 
ings of the non-combatant population, 
there is no reason to suppose that the 
troops at Port Arthur during- July were 
suffering from any lack of provisions, or 
from any other kindred hardship except, 
it seems, the loss of vodka and tobacco. 
In these, it appears from a private letter 
from an officer of the garrison to a friend 
in Mukden, which was smuggled out of 
the fortress by a Chinaman, there is a 
veritable famine. In the letter in ques- 
tion, the genuineness of which is vouched 
for by the Daily Express Correspondent 
at Chifu, " an impassioned appeal " is 
made to the Mukden friend to get China- 
men, at any cost, to run the blockade with 
cigarettes concealed on their persons, and 
it is declared that the lack of anything to 
smoke is the chief cause of the depression 
among the gallant defenders of Port 
Arthur. 

It is not likely that in the imaginary 
visit we are paying to Port Arthur we 
should notice such a detail as this, but 
there are other matters connected with 
the position of tKe besieged which would 
not fail to catch the eye. First, we could 
not but notice many traces of the re- 
peated bombardments to which the town, 
as well as the forts and harbour, has been 
subjected. Captain Bradley speaks of 
the town as being " uninjured by the 
bombardment; " but here again it is 
natural to suppose that care was taken 
to disguise from him the more serious 
ravages caused by the constant arrival of 
big shells charged with one of the most 
powerful explosives known. It is men- 
tioned in the above-quoted letter, which 
was written before the great attack on 



Port Arthur was commenced, that even 
then the Japanese shell-fire was causing 
daily losses among the troops ; and before 
a shell causes the death of a single 
soldier it may well happen that half-a- 
dozen buildings are wrecked. 

But it is not in Port Arthur town that 
the main interest of the siege is centred, 
but in the defensive works, the men be- 
hind the guns, and the officers who direct 
the latter. It is possible that on board 
the ships in the harbour we may have 
caught a glimpse of Admiral Vitoft — 
whose name in earlier despatches, by an 
error of transliteration, is usually given 
as " Witgert " — and Grigorovitch, and 
now on shore we are very likely to en- 
counter General Stoessel on his daily 
round of the defences. The gallant com- 
mandant is, perhaps, preparing, as he 
goes along, one of those spirited 
speeches which he constantly delivers to 
the men, telling them that the eyes of 
the Tsar and of all Russia are upon 
them, that they must help him to hold 
out to the last, and that Kuropatkin is 
only biding his time to sweep the Liao- 
tung- Peninsula clear of the Japanese, and 
thus bring ths temporary isolation of 
Port Arthur to a great and glorious con- 
clusion. At heart, one fears, poor 
General Stoessel is not so confident. 
That he will hold out to the last, like the 
good fighting soldier he is, need not be 
doubted; but he has probably little doubt 
as to the inevitable result of the siege, 
for it appears that he is about to send 
away Madame Stoessel, who has thus 
far devotedly stayed by his side ; and in 
a letter written not long after this period 
he is said to have used the pathetic 
vi-'ords, " Good-bj'e, good-bye, for Port 
Arthur will be my tomb ! ' ' 

But of such sad foreboding there is no 
reflection, we may be sure, in the 



INSIDE PORT ARTHUR. 



General's proud demeanour, nor in that 
of his subordinates. For there is ample 
evidence that throughout this period the 
discipline and morale both of the troops 
and the fleet are excellent. Captain Brad- 
ley particularly notices the smartness and 
good spirits exhibited by the officers; and 
where these preserve their indifference to 
an ugly and uncomfortable environment 
we may be sure the Russian rank and 
file are up to the mark. Yet it inust 
need all their fortitude to maintain a bold 
front with the clear knowledge that day 
by day the enemy's grip is tightening, 
and that as yet no solitary gleam of hope 
beyond the Commandant's assurances 
. has brightened the monotony of constant 
fighting and repeated losses. The health 
of the troops is declared to be excellent ; 
but there must be hundreds in hospital 
suffering from wounds, and for a garri- 
son now reduced, it is expertly estimated, 
to about 22,000 men, the wear and tear 
of duty in the trenches alone must be 
very exhausting. For attacks by night 
are frequently delivered by the Japanese, 
not, in all probability, with any idea of 
creating any deep, impression, but merely 
to prevent the garrison from getting rest. 
P'or the rest, it would seem that for 
the defenders of Port Arthur during July 
the main interest lies in the fact that, 
even before the final series of attacks is 
delivered, the altered character of the 
siege is becoming daily more apparent. 
No longer is the sea the quarter from 
which danger is to be chiefly appre- 
hended. There are attacks occasionally 
carried out by venturesome Japanese tor- 
pedo craft against the Russian guard- 
ships, and mines continue to be sown; 
but the era of alarm caused by continual 
attempts to block the harbour by sunken 
merchantmen seems to have passed. 
Considerable liberty of movement is 



allowed to the Russian ships, for we 
hear of opportunities seized by the brisk 
little Novik to dash out and bombard the 
enemy's positions on the narrowing semi- 
circle which shuts in Port Arthur by 
land. But the brunt of the present fight- 
ing has to be borne by the troops, and 
for these there is practically no respite. 
Day in and day out, and at all hours, 
not only must the gun-teams be on the 
alert, but the infantry must be prepared 
to resist a violent inrush, and, if they are 
compelled to give way, they must lose 
no time in girding themselves for a des- 
perate eft'ort to regain some useful posi- 
tion they have lost. We shall never, in 
all probability, have any circumstantial 
and coherent account of the manner in 
which the Russian troops in Port Arthur 
fought out the long weary days and short, 
sharp nights of July in one almost con- 
tinuous struggle against the gradually 
advancing forces of the Japanese. But 
there is no doubt that the record 
in question, were it available, would 
be one of unflinching heroism, of steady 
reluctance to fall back, of passionate 
devotion to duty, and of calm loyalty 
to the old watchword, " Mighty Russia 
and the Tsar ! " 

And now let us endeavour to construct, 
from the scanty materials available, at 
least an outline narrative of these initial 
weeks of siege, taking a few known facts 
as our starting point, and discarding 
many of the doubtful rumours which, 
under the appropriate designation of 
" Chifooleries," are forthcoming in rank 
abundance at this period. The task Is 
no easy one, for the reticence of the 
Japanese authorities reaches its cul- 
minating point in respect of the earlier 
operations around Port Arthur, and for 
nearly six weeks since the occupation of 
Dalny not one single official report 



8 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



concerning the doings of the besieging 
army is sent out from Tokio. Indeed, so 
rigorous is the censorship that an 
English journal published at Yokbhama, 
which issued the news of the fighting on 
June 26th, to which allusion was made 
in Chapter XXXVI., was promptly cited 
before a law court and fined. Subse- 
quently a special veto was placed upon 
the appearance in any paper produced in, 
or any telegram sent from Japan, of any 
sort of news likely to throw light on the 
siege operations at Port Arthur. From 
time to time there are messages from 
General Stoessel, and here and there the 
statements of the refugees bear signs of 
being remotely trustworthy. But, as the 
Tokio correspondent of \h&' Times, writ- 
ing on July loth, remarks, it is scarcely 
too much to say that at no period of the 
war have military affairs been shrouded 
in greater secrecy than at this.' Nor is 
the obscurity likely to be much lightened 
in regard to the earlier stages of the 
siege, in which the fighting was mostly 
desultory, and fortune seems to have 
favoured both sides pretty equally. 

A brief reference has already been 
made in Chapter XXXVI. to the fighting 
of June 26th and July 4th, in the course 
of which the Japanese succeeded, first in 
occupying a line of eminences confront- 
ing the fortress on the east, and after- 
wards in capturing the Miaotsui Fort 
(page 440). These operations fell to the 
share of the column advancing from 
Dalny by way of the Siao-ping-tao Pro- 
montory, which lies only about fourteen 
miles from the eastern face of the Port 
Arthur fortifications. Simultaneously, as 
before mentioned, there is another 
column following the central road from 
Kin-chau, and working its way toward 
Shui-shi-ying, or " Naval Camp," which 
is plainly marked on the plan on page 



437. About half a mile south of the 
village of Shui-shi-ying is an eminence 
about 200 feet high, and surmounted by 
a temple which is known as Wolf's Hill, 
and which must not be confounded with 
the White Wolf Mountain to the south- 
west of the Tiger's Tail. Of a very 
determined struggle which took place at 
this point something will be said pre- 
sently. In the meantime, mention is 
merely made of the locality in order to 
indicate the converging nature of the 
Japanese attack. 

As another interesting piece of pre- 
liminary information, it should now be 
stated that Field-Marshal Count Oyama, 
who, as noted at the close of Chapter 
XXXIV., left Tokio on July 6th to as- 
sume his active duties as Commander-in- 
Chief of the Japanese armies in the field, 
has elected to make the siege operations 
at Port Arthur his earliest care. He is 
accompanied by General Baron Kodama 
as his Chief of the Staff, and by Major- 
Generals Fukushima and Inokuchi. It 
is not difficult to imagine the joyful satis- 
faction with which the veteran captor of 
Port Arthur, in 1894 is received at Dalny, 
where there is already a notable revival 
even of commercial activity. To Marshal 
Oyama himself the landing must indeed 
be pregnant with reflections, with 
memories of the vigorous operations he 
directed aforetime with such prompt 
success, with grave anticipations of much 
greater difficulties now to be surmounted. 
There is something historically most re- 
markable in this instance of a military 
commander being called upon a second 
time within a decade to take charge of the 
siege of a mighty fortress. To an 
emotional people- such a repetition might 
seem to carry with it the best of omens 
for a fresh success. But to a singularly 
level-headed thinker like Oyama it will 




BEFORE PORT ARTHUR A SECOND TIME: MARSHAL OYAMA, COMMANDER OF THE 

JAPANESE FIELD FORCES. 

Ten years ago Marshal Oyaiiia directed the operations lahich led to the capture of Port Arthur. He has nou taken 
the field in person u-ith a vine to repeating Jiis former success. 



lO 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



probably have seemed that the very 
successfulness of his first endeavour was 
a bad preparation for the strongly en- 
hanced obstacles that beset his present 
enterprise. For it is no disparagement 
to his victorious entry of Port Arthur in 
1894 to say that between the rushing of 
the fortress then and its present invest- 
ment there is almost as much difference 
as there was between the Mahdi's long 
siege of Khartoum in 1884-5 ^"d Kitchen- 
er's swift capture of Omdurman in 1898. 

After the fighting on July 4th there 
appears to have been a slight lull; but 
accounts from two distinct sources agree 
that there was a brisk renewal of hostili- 
ties two or three days later, in which the 
Russians claim to have recaptured an ad- 
vanced hill commanding the Lung-wang- 
tang Pass. On July 9th another sus- 
pension takes place, during which the 
Japanese intrench themselves in such 
positions as they have secured. The 
Russians press them with rifle fire, and 
the work is further impeded by heavy 
falls of rain. 

On July loth the Russian cruisers 
Bayan, Diana, Pallada, and Novik, with 
two gunboats and seven destroyers, em- 
erge from the harbour, preceded by many 
mine-clearing dredgers. In the afternoon 
they are nearing the entrance to the 
Lung-wang River when they are met and 
attacked by a Japanese flotilla, which ex- 
changes fire with the Bayan, and is so 
persistent in its attentions that the 
Russian ships retreat into the harbour. 
The same night a spirited attack with 
torpedo-boats is carried out by the 
Japanese, but with no results. According 
to the Port Arthur journal, the Novy 
Krai, the attack was delivered by twenty 
torpedo-boats covered by six cruisers and 
five gunboats. The Russians were on 
the alert, and the Japanese were repulsed 



without, however, sustaining apparent 
loss. It is reminiscent of former Japanese 
naval exploits that later in the night a 
single torpedo-boat should have made for 
the harbour entrance at full speed, after 
the manner of the Asagiri and Hayatori 
on the night of February 13th. But on 
this occasion the plucky little adventuress, 
whoever she is, is met by a hail of shells, 
and is compelled to withdraw without 
having effected her purpose. 

Mention of the Hayatori brings us to a 
clever capture made about this time by 
that smart destroyer, which succeeds in 
waylaying a junk carrying a bag of letters 
from Port Arthur to Chifu. The haul is 
a useful one, for among the letters are 
some conveying valuable information re- 
garding the naval and military conditions 
at Port Arthur. It is pleasant to be able 
to add that, with scrupulous courtesy, the 
Japanese forward all letters not dealing 
with warlike topics to St. Petersburg, 
with the request that they may be duly 
delivered thence to the addresses. 

The attack by the torpedo craft on 
July loth may possibly have been in- 
tended to keep the Russians pleasantly 
occupied pending the reception of the 
touring vessel Manchu Marti, with the 
Navy Department's guests on board, by 
Admiral Togo. This function appears 
to have taken place on July 14th at the 
"secret naval base" of the Japanese 
Fleet in the EHiot Group, three or four 
hours' steaming from Port Arthur. 
Admiral Togo would naturally prefer not 
to be interrupted on such an interesting 
occasion by being compelled to hover 
round Port Arthur with his larger ships, 
and so may have devised the torpedo 
attack as a means of deterring the 
Russians from venturing outside the har- 
bour for some few days. Be this as it 
may, there is no further sortie for the 



THE FIGHTING IN JULY. 



II 



present ; and Admiral Togo is able to 
show his guests a very imposing spectacle 
in the shape of five battleships and nine 
cruisers, with gunboats and torpedo- 
craft, all grey and powder-stained, but 
presenting a magnificent panorama of 
fighting power and readiness. 

It is utterly impossible to follow the 
land operations in detail during the next 
fortnight ; but some credence may be 
given to the report that on July 12th a 
considerable Japanese force succeeded in 
effecting a temporary lodgment in a fort 
only four or five miles east of Port 
Arthur, but was surrounded and practi- 
cally annihilated by the Russians before 
reinforcements could come up. It is said 
that on this occasion the Russian land 
mines were exploded with particularly 
deadly effect. 

On July i6th occurs the episode of the 
sinking of the Hipsang, to which allusion 
was made in Chapter XLIII. From 
further details now available, it would 
seem that the Russian account of this in- 
cident is altogether misleading, for the 
vessel, having apparently been mistaken 
for a Japanese transport, is torpedoed 
and sunk in an outrageously off-hand 
fashion, for which in due course an in- 
demnity will be demanded. 

According to Chinese accounts, which 
fit in rather better than usual with the 
probabilities of the situation, there was 
heavy fighting round Lung-wang-tang on 
July 17th and i8th. The Russian 
wounded brought in by carts and rick- 
shaws were estimated at 400, and there 
is no question that throughout July the 
fighting on this eastern face of the Port 
Arthur defences must have been extra- 
ordinarily severe and deadly. 

On July 24th the destroyer Lieutenant 
Burukojf, which has recently run the 
blockade and made a daring journey to 



and from Niu-chwang (by a misreading 
of the earlier despatches this vessel, on 
page 429, was stated to have been com- 
manded by Lieutenant Burukoff), comes 
to grief in a fog. In company with two 
other destroyers she falls foul of two 
Japanese gunboats and some torpedo- 
boats, and is torpedoed and sunk, her 
companions being variously reported as 
cripples and total losses. 

Hitherto, most of the land fighting 
round Port Arthur has been done by the 
column operating from Dalny, but on 
July 25th the column advancing along 
the Kin-chau road on Shui-shi-ying 
begins to come into very active promin- 
ence. On the afternoon of that day the 
Japanese artillery opens fire, and the 
Russians, evidently noticing an increase 
in the weight of metal employed, sleep 
that night on their arms in the trenches, 
which are said to occupy a line nearly 
fifteen miles long. At six o'clock in the 
morning of the 26th the Japanese again 
open fire, and continue all day bombard- 
ing the whole length of the Russian line. 
"The Japanese aim," says the Novy 
Krai, " was more accurate than before, 
showing the benefit of the previous day's 
practice. Their heaviest fire was directed 
against the batteries, which included the 
i2-in. naval guns, commanded by Prince 
Tscheodse and Captain Skrydloff. A 
perfect shower of shells struck the earth- 
works or went screeching overhead into 
the valley behind the batteries, causing 
considerable havoc among the artillery- 
men." 

According to some accounts, the 
Japanese made one or more attacks on 
Wolf Hill — the position of which has 
already been described — in the course of 
the 26th, but were heavily repulsed, and 
spent the night lying on the slopes lead- 
ing up to the temple-crowned eminence. 



12 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



July 27th is a day of terrific struggle. 
That particularly severe fighting is anti- 
cipated by the Japanese is evidenced by 
the .fact that Marshal Oyama leaves 
Dalny, and moves out to the zone encir- 
cling Port Arthur in order to superintend 
the operations in person. 

At daybreak a terrific cannonade is 
directed more especially against the Rus- 
sian right wing, of which General Kon- 
dratchenko is in command, the naval 
battery again bearing the brunt of the 
fire. A hail of shrapnel is also thrown 
into the valley behind the Russian bat- 
teries, evidently under , the impression 
that the Russian reserves are collected 
there. . The Russian artillery appears to 
have been silenced, but the defending in- 
fantry and a number of quick-firers lay 
concealed in the trenches, well-protected, 
and suffered little loss. 

At about nine o'clock the Japanese ad- 
vance to the attack, and there is reason 
to believe that some of the hottest fight- 
ing of the whole war takes place at this 
juncture. The struggle is hot in more 
senses than one, for the sun -is scorching, 
and in an atmosphere thickened by such 
tremendous discharges of artillery and 
musketry, and by the constant bursting 
of she.lls, the work on both sides must 
have been terribly exhausting. But 
neither attackers nor defenders take 
much heed of such trifles. In a dark wave 
the Japanese surge up .the slopes, and are 
met by a fire so tremendous that it is 
described as resembling " a thousand 
volleys in one simultaneous explosion." 
As far as can be gathered, the whole 
Japanese force round Port Arthur must 
have taken part, directly or indirectly, in 
this assault ; for there is evidence to show 
that the Russian right was heavily en- 
gaged, as well as the real objective. 
Wolf's Hill. But the attack in this quar- 



ter does not seem to have been pressed 
home. When the Japanese advance 
ceased, says the Novy Krai, "the Rus- 
sians cheered ; but at this moment the 
news arrived from General Stoessel that 
the terrific pounding of the right flank 
had been a mask covering the concentra- 
tion of the Japanese to attack the left 
flank, of which Wolf's Hill was the key. 
General Stoessel commanded the pre- 
sence of General Kondratchenko, who, 
with his staff, mounted and rode off 
immediately. After a brief ride the 
General was compelled to choose be- 
tween two roads, a long one safe from 
fire, and a short cut through a shell- 
swept valley. ' May God favour the 
brave,' he said, and galloped through 
the valley in safety." 

Meanwhile, the attack on Wolf's Hill 
is developed, and as the Japanese ad- 
vance towards the eminence, the con- 
cealed machine guns and riflemen open 
fire, and the slopes are strewn with slain. 
Still the gallant Japanese struggle on, 
and, according to, one account, they 
actually succeed in carrying the position, 
but are driven out by a strong force of 
Russian reserves which has been held in 
readiness for this purpose. Very reluc- 
tantly, we may be sure, do the gallant 
Japanese fall back from the ground they 
have temporarily won at such fearful 
cost, leaving General Stoessel at the 
close of the 27th in occupation of the 
advanced positions he has so brilliantly 
held against an enemy of greatly superior 
strength. Indeed, it is said that in these 
two last days the Japanese have showed 
that they have at their disposal some 
70,000 men. 

The infantry attack, at any rate on 
Wolf's Hill, does not appear to have 
been renewed on the 28th and 2gth, 
doubtless for the reason that the Japanese 



fr 



msm 




14 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



were not a little shaken by the re- 
pulses of the 26th and 27th. But the 
cannonading continued, and on the 28th 
the Japanese artillery succeeded in mak- 
ing a useful breach in the Russian shelter 
trenches. 

At four o'clock in the morning of July 
30th the Japanese, strongly reinforced — 
it is said that the attackers on this occa- 
sion numbered 60,000 — deliver their final 
assault on the Wolf's Hill position. To 
all intents and purposes it is a night 
attack, but there is no question of a sur- 
prise. The Russians are very much on 
the alert, and when, after creeping up 
under cover of the darkness to within 
fifty yards of the summit of the hill, the 
Japanese rush forward in three columns, 
they are met with the bayonet, and a 
hand-to-hand combat ensues in which the 
Russians appear for a time to hold their 
own with briUiant success. Wolf's Hill 
itself is defended by the 13th Regiment, 
which repeatedly drives back the enemy, 
but is forced from its position by sheer 
weight of numbers. The 14th Regiment, 
however, rushes up and dislodges with 
the bayonet the Japanese, who have 
begun to raise cheers of victory. The 
tide of battle now ebbs and flows till the 
slopes are covered with dead and dying, 
and literally stream with blood. For this 
is ghastly butcher's work which is being 
done in the dim light , of the breaking 
day. It is not as it is in the ordinary 
attack when, as the thin line or denser 
column rushes forward, the crackle of 
musketry breaks out from the defenders' 
trenches, and men stagger, throw up 
their arms, and fall back, or stumble for- 
ward on their faces, cleanly hit by bullets 
which often leave no easily perceptible 
mark. Very different are the results of 
the grim bayonet play on the slopes of 
Wolf's Hill this July morning. 



Both sides are in deadly earnest, and 
both are masters of the weapon which in 
good hands can deal destruction more 
surely, if not more swiftly, than either 
lance or sword. For the latter, wielded 
by mounted men, m.ay be robbed of half 
its effect by a horse's sudden swerve, 
and in the storm and stress of a cavalry 
charge comparatively few of the cuts and 
points delivered are hkely to prove fatal. 
But in hand-to-hand fighting with the 
bayonet there is no promiscuous slashing 
and thrusting, and then galloping on to 
slash and thrust again. The infantry 
soldier at close grips with the enemy sees 
before him for a moment but a single 
figure, bent like himself on killing ; and 
the combat, if not to the death, must be, 
at any rate, to a temporary finish. A 
thrust, well guarded perhaps; a counter- 
thrust, which maybe only rips a sleeve or 
pricks a thigh; a spring to one side to 
catch the adversary at a disadvantage; 
a side left unexposed; a strong lunge 
forward with the whole weight of the 
body in the rifle ; and, as the cruel point 
penetrates, the stricken one collapses in 
an ugly heap, his life-blood welling out 
long before " first aid " can reach him. 
It is gory, unlovely work, this bayonet 
fighting, and yet there is something more 
human, less uncanny, in it than the de- 
struction of enemies out of sight by long 
range fire; and in the majority of cases 
the killing and wounding process is, 
perhaps, more merciful in the case of 
the bayonet than in that of the bursting 
shell. 

But it is not all cold steel that comes 
into murderous operation at Wolf's Hill. 
The Russians have protected their posi- 
tion with mines, and one of these is said 
to have wiped out five hundred Japanese. 
"It was an awful sight, and can only 
be described as a volcano of stones and 



THE FIGHT FOR WOLFS HILL. 



dismembered bodies. The sky was lit up 
with a purple glare, and the mud walls 
of the Chinese villages were thrown down 
by the shock." Of all forms of obstacle 
a mine is the one which most demoralises 
the stoutest-hearted infantry, and this is 
so well understood that a familiar ruse de 
guerre is to surround a position with the 
little flags used to denote the presence of 
mines, in the hope of cheaply inspiring a 
numerous enemy with a wholesome dread 
of the " real thing." Even when mines 
have exploded prematurely or ineffec- 
tively, it is sometimes difficult to get men 
to continue the advance. It is then no 
ordinary tribute to the tenacity of the 
Japanese soldier, and the grip which the 
Japanese officer has of him, that, after 
seeing half a battalion swept suddenly 
away by the explosion of one of these 
dreadful engines, the attack should still 
have been pressed with unabated fury, 
until at last the Russians are utterly over- 
powered, and the coveted summit of 
Wolf's Hill is won. 

As far as can be gathered from the 
information available, the Japanese right 
worked round to the enemy's left rear, 
and the pressure so exercised forced the 
Russians to the eastward, thus enabling 
the Japanese to advance and complete 
their occupation of these outworks. The 
Russians are stated to have retired in 
good order, covered by their artillery, 
having, in truth, fought an excellent 
fight that for many a long year will take 
high rank as a magnificently dogged de- 
fence against odds which, taking not 
only the numbers, but also the fanatical 
determination of the enemy into account, 
■can only be classed as overwhelming. 

The " butcher's bill " on this moment- 
ous occasion is altogether obscure. Dur- 
ing July 26th, 27th, and 28th, General 
Stoessei admits that he lost about 1,500 



men and 40 officers killed and wounded; 
but of the fighting on July 30th he merely 
remarks that "' our losses are not great." 
The Japanese are still more reticent. On 
the evening of July 30th the General 
Staff at Tokio breaks the silence it has 
hitherto observed with respect to Port 
Arthur, by stating that in the fighting 
since the 26th five officers have been 
killed, and forty-one wounded, but no 
mention is made of the losses in men. 

In the trenches on Wolf's Hill the 
Japanese captured two Maxims and a 
Nordenfeldt. The last bore the mark 
of the Kure arsenal, and was evidently 
a gun taken from one of the Japanese 
merchantmen sunk in the attempt to seal 
Port Arthur. 

Let us now examine a little more 
closely the nature of the success which 
Japan has won at a cost which, if not so 
terrific as the Russians would have us 
believe, must still have been greater 
than any as yet suffered by the attack 
in any one operation of the war. The 
real importance of Wolf's Hill has not 
primarily to do with the military measures 
against Port Arthur. The hill lies about 
a mile outside the perimeter of the Port 
Arthur defences, and is not of serious 
value for the purpose of shattering the 
latter, because in front of it, and within 
the main line of the Russian defences, 
there are two greater elevations. Obelisk 
Hill and Poya-shan,' which block to a con- 
siderable extent the line of fire. But be- 
tween these two hills there is a gap less 
than half a mile wide, through which 
direct fire, at some 6,000 yards range, 
from Wolf's Hill, can reach the usual 
anchorage of the Port Arthur Fleet, which 
is near the end of the Tiger's Tail. 

The immense importance of Wolf's Hill 
to the Japanese thus becomes quickly 
apparent. If they can succeed in planting 



lb 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 




RUSSIAN SUBMARINE MINES REMOVED BY THE JAPANESE FROM OUTSIDE PORT ARTHUR. 



sieg'e guns on this position they will 
be able to rain shells upon the ships in 
the harbour until the latter becomes a 
veritable inferno, and the Fleet will be 
simply compelled to take to the open, 
where Admiral Togo will, of course, be 
ready to give it an equally warm, if not 
still warmer, welcome. 

The purpose of this chapter is not to 
carry the land operations round Port 
Arthur to a later date than the end of 
July, thus bringing the siege lo the 
chronological level of the other move- 
ments belonging to what, for the purpose 
of this narrative, has been accepted as 
the second phase of the war. It may, 
however, be usefully anticipated here that 
by August 8th the Japanese succeeded in 
the exceeding^lv difficult and dangerous 
task of bringing- up siege guns and plant- 
ing- them on Wolf's Hill in the face of 
the heavy fire from the Russian forts. 
The results of this fine, and probably 
costly, perlormance \\\\\ be found in a 



later chapter, but it may be remarked 
that they are sufficiently dramatic to in- 
vest the preliminary capture and occupa- 
tion of Wolf's Hill with something more 
than ordinary interest. 

Meanwhile, there are one or two naval 
episodes of this period which merit 
record. On July 26th the Bayan, Askold, 
Palladc, Novik, and some gunboats, 
steamed out of Port Arthur with the in- 
tention of bombarding the Japanese 
positions. They were attacked by the 
old battleship Tsin yen, which Japan took 
from China in 1894, the cruisers Chiyoda, 
Itsiikushhna, and Maisusliima, two second- 
class cruisers, and thirty torpedo-boats. 
The Russians claim that an 8-in. shell 
from the Bayan burst in the stern of 
the Itsukiisliima, and that the CJiiyoda 
was damaged by a Russian mine. The 
following dav the same Russian cruisers, 
together with the Rdvisan, three gun- 
boats, and twelve torpedo-boats, under 
command of Rear-Admiral Leschinsky, 



EXCITING INCIDENTS. 



17 



were sent out towards Lung-wang-tung 
to bombard the enemy's positions, by way 
of supporting General Stoesscl's right. 

About this time — the exact date is not 
specified — an exciting incident occurs 
near Lung-wang-tung while the Japanese 
are engaged in sweeping for mines. A 
Japanese gunboat becomes entangled 
with a Russian mine, and in trying to 
free herself she gets caught in the sweep- 
ing apparatus and drifts helplessly to 
Hsien-sheng Point, where she is exposed 

to a heavy Russian . 

cannonade. Captain / 

Hirose in another 
gunboat g'oes to the 
rescue, and is tow- 
ing the unfortunate 
little ship away when 
a Russian destroyer 
darts out and attacks 
the two Japanese 
gunboats with great 
spirit. Captain Hi- 
rose's vessel is hit 
twice, he himself and 
ten others are 
wounded, three men 
are killed, and it is 
only after an hour's 
hard fighting that the 
Japanese gunboats 
succeed in shak- 
ing off their trouble- 
some assailant. 

Another brisk little 
engagement takes 

place on July 5th, which shows that the 
spirit of the ofTicers who handle the 
Japanese destroyers is being well main- 
tained. Two Japanese destroyers, the 
Oboro and Akebono, are scouting near 
Port Arthur about 4 p.m., when fourteen 



Russian destroyers emerge swiftly from 
the harbour and split up into three 
flotillas. One of four destroyers steams 
south-west, another of seven south, and 
a third of three steers for Hsien-sheng, 
evidently with the intention to surround 
the Akcbnno and Oboro. The latter, after 
exchanging a heavy fire at 5,000 yards, 
also make for Hsien-sheng, and attack 
the smallest of the three Russian flotillas, 
which, however, declines a combat and 
makes for the harbour. Afeanwhile, 
another Japanese de- 




THE MEGAPHONE IN USE BY A JAPANESE 
SIGNALLING PARTY. 



stroyer, the Ikad- 
siiilii, comes up to 
reinforce, and the 
three plucky little 
vessels, instead of 
retiring quietly in 
the face of a 
\ery superior force, 
prompt!}' steam 

south in order to 
do battle with the 
remaining ele\en 

Russian ships! 
These, perliaps, im- 
pressed by the au- 
dacity of the Japan- 
ese, do not seek to 
make the most of 
their opportunitv, 
but withdraw into the 
liarbour. No loss ap- 
pears to have re- 
sulted from this af- 
fair, but as an ex- 
hibition of fine pluck the incident is an in- 
spiring one, and has doubtless by this 
time taken an honoured place among the 
many similar achievements which con- 
stitute the brilliant, if " short and simple, 
annals " of the Navy of Japan. 



38 



i8 



CHAPTER XLVIII. 

A NEW PHASE— CONCERTED MOVEMENTS— THE RUSSIAN BARRIER— KUROKI TAKES THE 
OFFENSIVE— YU-SHU-LING-TZU AND YANG-TZU- LING— ARTILLERY PERFORMANCES- 
CAPTURE OF TO-MU-CHAN— OKU'S ADVANCE TO HAI-CHENG— JAPANESE TRANSPORT. 

Notwithstanding- the 



SINCE the capture of Hsihoyen by 
the " rig-ht column" of General 
Kuroki's Army on July 19th, of which 
an account was given in Chapter XL., 
no important movement has been made 
by the Japanese forces to the east of 
Liao-yang-. Towards the end of July, 
however, the success of General Oku's 
Army at Ta-shi-chao, followed by the 
occupation of Niu-chwang-, has broug-ht 
the Second Army into such close touch 
with the First and Takushan Armies that 
a concerted advance becomes practicable. 
Accordingly, on the last day of July we 
see an extremely interesting movement of 
this character commenced, and carried to 
a temporary conclusion, with singular 
vivacity and thoroughness, notwithstand- 
ing really serious obstacles. The whole 
operation comprises three separate battles, 
coupled with several distinct tactical and 
strategical movements. Any attempt to 
produce a panoramic description of such 
widely scattered, although carefully co- 
ordinated, fighting would be quite hope- 
less. Attention, therefore, will first be 
paid to General Kuroki's victories, and 
here again priority of treatment will be 
accorded to the more northerly of the two 
engagements- 
It will be remembered that a couple of 
days before the capture of Hsihoyen the 
Russians made a series of attacks on the 
Japanese positions at the Motien-ling and 
elsewhere, all of which were more or less 



heavily repulsed, 
failure of this attempt to beat back the 
Japanese line, and the subsequent failure 
to hold the very important Hsihoyen 
position, the Russians evidently cling to 
the idea of putting as many obstacles as 
possible in the way of a further advance 
in the direction of Liao-yang, and General 
Count Keller, in spite of his previous 
mishaps, remains in command of a strong 
force, the business of which is to act as 
a barrier between Liao-yang and General 
Kuroki's Army. General Count Keller 
himself is occupying the Yang-tzu-ling, 
a pass six miles to the west of the Motien- 
ling, with the 3rd and 6th Divisions, a 
brigade of the gth Division, and four 
batteries. Another force, also acting as 
a barrier, occupies Yu-shu-ling-tzu, four 
miles to the west of Hsihoyen, the detail 
being a brigade of the gth Division, the 
main part of the 31st and 35th Divisions, 
and four batteries. 

There are thus, at a moderate computa- 
tion, some 60,000 Russians screening 
Liao-yang and holding strong advanced 
positions, each about twenty-five miles 
distant from General Kuropatkin's head- 
quarters. At daybreak on July 31st the 
forces under General Kuroki's command 
commence operations for the attack of 
these positions, both of which are said 
to possess" great natural advantages in 
having precipitous ground to the front, 
while the rugged sides of the mountains 



THE ATTACK ON THE YANG-TZU-LING. 



19 



end abruptly in open valleys. According- 
to Mr. McKenzie, the war correspondent 
ol' the Daily Mail, the Japanese were 
divided for the two attacks into three 
columns, of which one and a portion of 
another attacked Yu-shu-ling-tzu, the re- 
mainder being eng-aged in frontal and 
turning- movements against the Yang-'tzu- 
ling. 

On the nig-ht of July 30th the advanced 
guards of all three columns worked hard 
to repair the roads, so as to make them 
practicable for artillery. The)' succeeded 
as far as the guns were concerned, but 
it was found impossible to get forward 
the ammunition waggons. The shells 
had therefore to be carried by hand, con- 
siderable shortage of ammunition during 
the following day being the natural result. 

Taking the Yu-shu-ling-tzu position 
first, this, it appears, was quite as strong 
as that at Hsihoyen, and much more 
strongly held. As the correspondents 
appear to have been mostly engaged in 
watching the Yang-tzu-ling fighting, 
there are only scanty details available 
of the northerly engagement, but it must 
have been a very brisk little affair, cul- 
minating in a marked Japanese success, 
notwithstanding the equal, if not 
superior, strength of the enemy. The 
attack commenced at 8 o'clock in the 
morning, and evidently included a bold 
turning movement, for we hear of heavy 
losses inflicted upon the right flank of the 
Russians, who are said to have had about 
500 casualties. In the course of the 
afternoon the Russians raised the Red 
Cross flag in order to carry away their 
wounded, the Japanese promptly suspend- 
ing their fire to allow this duty to be 
performed. By sunset the Japanese 
claim to have defeated the enemy, but 
owing to the large forces opposed to 
them, and the strength of the positions 



occupied, they were unable to capture 
the latter. 

At daybreak the next day the attack 
is resumed, and by noon the Russians 
are finally expelled from their positions, 
and are retreating towards An-ping. 
General K^uroki says that the Japanese 
pursued for four miles, and that the 
enemy " fled," but Reuter's corres- 
pondent declares that the Russians fell 
back in splendid order and in admirable 
fashion. " Their line in contact with 
the enemy," he writes from the battle- 
field, " can be seen for miles, and the 
conduct of the men is irreproachable." 

Reverting to the attack on the Yang- 
tzu-ling, here again we have an extra- 
ordinarily strong position, the centre of 
which is a fort erected by the Russians 
above To- wan, the name given to the 
pagoda at the western entrance to the 
Motien-ling. No pains have been spared 
to make the position apparently im- 
pregnable to either frontal or fiank 
attack, and a special feature of the de- 
fence is the employment of batteries, 
admirably placed, of the new Russian 
field-gun, which is a true quick-firer of 
great range and power, carrying a fifteen 
pound shell as against the eleven pound 
shell carried by the Japanese gun. 
Hitherto, the latter has had it all its own 
way against the pld pattern Russian gun ; 
but now the conditions are to be partly 
altered, and experts do not hesitate to 
say that if the Russians can now bring 
into action a sufficiency of their newer 
weapons, the Japanese will find them- 
selves placed at a serious disadvantage. 

The action commences at 7 a.m., the 
orders apparently being that the Russian 
right should be held by the Japanese 
troops in position at the Motien-ling ; 
while on the Japanese left a triple attempt 
is to be made to weaken the enemy's 



20 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



right, to work round to his rear, and to 
threaten his communications on his left 
rear with Liao-yang. 

During the earlier part of the day the 
action was merely confined to the 
artillery, and it is clear from the state- 
ments of eye-witnesses that the duel was 
one of great severity, in which the 
Japanese worked manfully to make up 
for the enemy's superiority in weight and 
range by a skilful use of indirect fire. 
Although their guns are not quick-firers, 
in the true sense of the word, the Japan- 
ese had by noon fired a thousand shells 
against the enemy's three infantry and 
artillery positions. Of the Russian 
artillery practice, several correspondents 
speak in terms of warm admiration. In 
the earliest stages of the fight a Russian 
battery opened fire upon a Japanese 
battery at 5,000 yards, found the range 
immediately, and compelled the Japanese 
gunners to take cover. Shrapnel appears 
to have been used throughout by the 
Russians, but towards the afternoon the 
Japanese, who, as noted above, were a 
good deal handicapped by not being able 
to bring up their ammunition waggons, 
exhibited a marked preference for com- 
rhon shell. 

Coming to the actual attack, it is 
fortunate that there should be available 
an eye-witness 's account of this engage- 
ment, which for clearness, coupled with 
much picturesqueness of description, 
could not readily be surpassed. The 
account in question is that telegraphed 
on the morrow of the fight by the Special 
Correspondent of the Standard, and from 
it some deeply interesting extracts may 
usefully be made. The first relates, as 
will be seen, to the attempts against the 
Russian right : — 

" Part of our left wing had been pushed 
forward during the night, with the object 



of getting to the right rear of the enemy. 
The Russians sought to frustrate this 
flanking movement by a counter attack, 
which was repulsed with great loss. 

" Early in the afternoon the order (vas 
given to move forward. The command 
was obeyed with alacrity, though the 
situation appeared hopeless for the 
assailants. The enemy occupied a 
wooded hill, on which their batteries were 
well screened, and held three tiers of 
trenches, which, being carefully concealed 
by branches, it was not easy to locate 
precisely. 

' ' Both the day and the deed constituted 
a tremendous test of endurance. The 
air pulsated with the burning heat, and 
the men were exhausted with their labour 
and the exposure to a pitiless sun. When 
they reached the foot of the wooded hill 
many were suffering from sun-stroke and 
heat apoplexy. 

" Further advance was impossible 
under such a rain of bullets and hail of 
shrapnel as swept the slope, yet the 
Japanese stuck to their position, taking 
whatever cover the exposed hill-side 
olfered. 

" Before their blistered eyes ran a 
mountain stream, to reach which they 
had to cross a fire-swept zone; but thirst 
overpowers the fear of death, and, as I 
have seen British soldiers do more than 
once, many of the Japanese risked their 
lives for a draught of water. 

Seeing that the advance was hopeless 
under such conditions, the order was 
given to retire, and the men withdrew to 
shelter behind the hill, there to await 
developments in the centre. 

" Two regiments suifered heavily, 
having 300 casualties. Among the slain 
was Lieutenant Shirasawa, who had 
served with great distinction at Hamatan, 
where he led his section up a hill and 



M 




^fi^ 


< ' 


■ 




^^^^Mji 


\ 






■rV^paJypI 








,^gm/tiS^^pf^^\i 








K^ fi jSr 








K^u 






i 


§tt[' ^^^mL ' '^ /^B^^^^^m 




\ 


**^ 


^^ 




''^ 




p^^^K^ 








If' -\ - ' ^^fll^aB^^, ' ' '"--'^^^il^^^^taril^^^' 




@ 


^jMMlj 


^«r 


s 






K^^lhJ^^ 




1 




^^ . -^^j^^^^gtjtf^ 




•* 
4 




W'^pl^m^ 




\ 




l^e^Sl^lBrf^ 














-«=*i^^ 



•■-fsgir 



22 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



captured a Russian battalion. Lieutenant 
Kiyokka, a member of a noble family, 
was also killed. With his last breath 
he cried, ' Long: live the Mikado ! ' " 

Passing- to the manner in which the 
Japanese troops at the Motien-ling- held 
the Russian rig-ht, while the flank attacks 
were being developed, the Standard 
correspondent adds : — 

" Our centre at Motien-ling remained 
inactive in the meantime, its purpose be- 
ing to threaten the Russian right while 
the attack was being pressed on both 
flanks. 

" This was not a difficult task, nor an 
unwelcome one, for the sun was blazing 
down upon us. We watched in tran- 
quillity the development of the turning 
movement. 

" In the early morning we had seen a 
few of the enemy's horsemen in the valley 
of To-wan, which divided the Russian 
position, and had also observed, at the 
base of the pagoda, a dummy battery. 
But the real artillery position was on a 
sharp ridge to the east. 

" From this lofty height, between two 
conical peaks, the enemy's guns kept up 
a steady cannonade. Their shells 
searched closely the spur on the western 
front of the pass, where two of our 
batteries were posted. 

" Here again the Russian gunners dis- 
played unwonted skill, and proved the 
superior weight and range of their 
weapons. The trees on the hill in front 
of them had been felled, and the range 
measured to a yard. 

" The accuracy of the shooting became 
apparent when the shells began to burst 
in the midst of our battery, wounding 
several of the men — among them the 
officer in command, who was slightly in- 
jured — and sending the others to cover. 

" There was, however, one gun in 



position on a slope to the left of the Pass 
which the enemy had not succeeded in. 
locating, so carefully had it been con- 
cealed. 

" Hour after hour went by, and the 
cannonade neither paused nor ceased. 
The hills echoed with the roar of it, and 
the sky • was flecked with tiny white 
clouds, out of which poured down a hail 
of lead. It began to look as if the day 
was to end as it had begun, with the 
duel of artillery. 

" Our left wing had been checked. So 
much was manifest from the continued 
inaction of the centre, whose movements 
were dependent on success in other parts 
of the field. What was happening on 
our right, where we knew that a large 
force was at close grips with the enemy ? 

" At half-past two in the afternoon 
there were symptoms among the Rus- 
sians of a disposition to retire. The 
movement seemed to argue that_ we had 
scored a success on our flank, but it was 
of short duration. 

" The guns continued to speak, and 
towards five o'clock began to turn their 
attention to the valley fronting our posi- 
tion. 

" Into this valley was descending a 
large body of infantry. It advanced 
speedily in open order, forming two sides 
of a triangle, with the points turned 
towards the right and left of the position 
held by the Russian guns. 

" From the pyramid-shaped hill to the 
south rose up more riflemen, who had 
lain for hours, like yellow stones in a 
ploughed field. They, too, descended 
into the valley at right angles to the line 
of the infantry advance. 

" Then our centre moving rapidly for- 
ward, with the Japanese colours flying 
as a warning to our batteries, began to 
threaten the enemy's right. 



DEATH OF COUNT KELLER. 



23 



" The key to the position was now in 
our hands, and the left wing was free to 
press tlie assault. 

" The order was given for a general 
advance, and the whole line surged for- 
wards. The Russian guns were with- 
drawn in haste. One was struck by a 
shell and sent spinning down the hill. 
The muzzle buried itself deep in the 
ground, and, as we came up to it, we 
could see a shell still lying in the open 
breech. 

" Another gun, breaking loose, tum- 
bled down the precipitous slope, and lay 
turned up on end in the road near the 
village of Tien-yu-cheng. 

" The gunners had removed the 
breech-block, but the presence of two 
score live shells in the emplacements 
above was proof of the haste with which 
they had abandoned the position. 

" Though our left wing was now free 
to move, the advance was still difficult 
and hazardous. A thickly-wooded hill, 
fortified with a triple line of trenches, 
remained in the possession of the enemy, 
and was defended with desperate gal- 
lantry. 

" The plunging fire directed against 
them by our batteries on the neighbour- 
ing heights made no apparent effect, so 
thoroughly were the Russians concealed. 
But the situation was an obviously hope- 
less one, and the remnant of the defend- 
ing force eventually fell back. 

" At dusk our centre occupied Tien-tzu- 
ling, a village on the road to Liao-yang. 
Our left was in possession of To- wan and 
the neighbourhood, where it made ready 
to drive the enemy from the Pass to the 
north. 

" But force was no longer called for. 
The Russians retreated in the night 
to another position five miles to the 
north." 



The concluding statement seems to re- 
quire some slight modification. In his 
official report General Kuroki says that 
by sunset his troops had carried the 
enemy's principal positions, but that a 
portion of the enemy offered the most 
stubborn resistance, and that the Japan- 
ese therefore bivouacked on the night of 
July 31st in battle formation. " At day- 
break on August I St," says the General, 
" we resumed attack, and at 8 a.m. all 
heights fell into our hands, and the 
enemy fled towards Tang-ho-yen.J' 

The total casualties during the battles 
of Yu-shi-ling-tzu and Yang-tzu-ling 
must have been very large. General 
Kuroki 's report of his own losses include 
40 officers and goo men killed and 
wounded. He believes that the enemy's 
losses were at least double. Eight Rus- 
sian officers and 149 men were taken 
prisoners, and two guns and 500 rifles 
were captured. 

Among the Russian killed was the 
General commanding, Count Fedor 
Keller, an extremely interesting person- 
ality. Count Keller belonged to a well- 
known Prussian family which was en- 
nobled by the Austrian Government in 
1737, and has many important Contin- 
ental connections. Count Fedor himself 
was related to several distinguished 
French families, being a cousin of the 
Marquis de Beauvoir, and was persona 
grata in France, where he had followed 
the French manoeuvres, and had been 
created a Commander of the Legion of 
Honour. General Keller, who was born 
in 1850, had had a notable career, having 
succeeded Kuropatkin as Skobeleff's 
aide-de-camp when the present Russian 
Commander-in-Chief was wounded in the 
Shipka Pass in 1877. He retired on half- 
pay in 1887, but seven years later was 
appointed Governor of Ekaterinoslaf. 



24 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



At the beginning of the war he volun- 
teered for service in the Far East, and 
was employed for a time as Intelligence 
Officer. He was much esteemed by 
Kuropatkin, who, on his arrival at the 
front, presented him to the troops as the 
man most fitted to revive the Skobeleff 



of first-class abilit}', and by some Con- 
tinental critics his loss at such a juncture 
was regarded as irreparable. 

The death of this fine officer was evi- 
dently due to reckless self-exposure. An 
eye-witness says that when the artillery 
fire on the 31st ult. began to slacken, 




LIEUT. -GENERAL COUNT KELLEl?. 



tradition. When General Sassulitch was 
recalled after the battle of Is!iu-lien-cheng, 
Count Keller was appointed to supersede 
him. Although he had not been by any 
means successful in either his defence of, 
or his attempt to recapture, the Motien- 
ling, Count Keller was evidently re- 
garded in the Russian Army as a leader 



Count K.cller proceeded to make an in- 
spection of his positions. " On arriving: 
at the passes he was warned that he 
was the object of the enemy's fire. The 
General, who had now reached a battery 
in a somewhat exposed position, there- 
upon dismounted ; but, notwithstanding 
this, almost immediately afterwards a 



DEATH OF COUNT KELLER. 



2; 



shrapnel shell burst three paces from him 
between two ol' the guns. The General 
was thiown to the t,^round. A sergeant 
rushed up and tried to raise him, but 
Count Keller only said, ' Leave me 
alone,' and expired in a few minutes. 
He had been struck by two fragments in 
the head, and by three others in the 
chest, besides which he had thirty-one 
shrapnel bullet wounds in different parts 
of his bodv. " 

There are several interesting- features 
to which attention may be drawn in con- 
nection with, more espcciallv, the Vang- 
tzu-ling battle. The fighting for both 



sides was an extremely exhausting busi- 
ness, for this summer in Manchuria is an 
exceptionally hot one, and the tempera- 
ture during July 31st is reported by 
General Kuroki to have been 100 degrees 
Fahrenheit. But with this exception the 
disadvantages seem to have been entirely 
on the side of the attack. The steepness 
of the ground and the lack of suitable 
artillery positions are specially noticed by 
the victorious commander; but it is evi- 
dent that the Russians, in addition to 
their improved artillery practice, had 
taken special pains \\ith their trenches, 
and defended them with great skill and 




Plwto : fi.lni s II ii.> 

j\r\Nr--E Kj-Lr(.ioi^ oh-.rk\iNcis in rift iirii> 
A Shinto service at Feng-Hwang-Clieng in the presence of the Japanese General Staff and Military Allaehis. 



26 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



tenacity. The manner in which the 
attack on the Russian right was checked 
was in marked contrast with previous ex- 
hibitions of irresolution on the develop- 
ment of a flank attack. It is said, on the 
other hand, that no effort was made to 
screen the Russian artillery, and that in- 
direct fire was not attempted. Speaking 
generally, the battle may be said to have 
been won by the patience, persistence, 
and desperate gallantry of the Japanese 
infantry. As to results, the Russian 
barrier has been pushed back, and the 
Japanese have gained at least ten miles 
in their advance towards Liao-yang. In- 
cidentally, it is remarked by Continental 
critics that the bulk of the troops which 
General Kuroki has thus unceremoniously 
pushed out of what seemed almost im- 
pregnable positions belonged to newly- 
arrived Army Corps. It had been con- 
fidently predicted, by German experts 
more particularly, that the stability and 
uniform constitution of these fresh Euro- 
pean troops would enable them to make 
a much better show than their Siberian 
comrades. The result, however, has 
shown that even these new arrivals are 
hardly a match for the once despised, 
but now thoroughly respected, " yellow- 
skins. " 

We must now leave General Kuroki in 
order to see how admirably his efforts at 
Yu-shu-hng-tzu and Yang-tzu-ling have 
been seconded by the " Takushan 
Army," and by General Oku, having as 
their immediate objectives Tomuchan 
(Shimucheng) and Hai-cheng respec- 
tively. 

If we turn back to page 509 we shall 
see that on the eve of General Oku's 
attack on Ta-shi-chao the Takushan 
Army sent out a detachment in the direc- 
tion of Tomuchan, which encountered, a 
little to the east of the latter, the 17th 



Siberian Rifles. It would seem from 
what follows that this regiment must be 
part of a force of about two divisions 
which, under General Alexeieff, has for 
many weeks past been working hard to 
make the most of an important position 
at Tomuchan. The actual Russian posi- 
tion, which was strongly fortified, appears 
to have extended along a range of heights 
two or three miles north of Tomuchan, 
the right restmg on Hung-yao-ling, 
which appears to lie about four or five 
miles north-west of Tomuchan, and about 
ten or eleven miles south-east of Hai- 
cheng. Against this position the Taku- 
shan Army moved on July 30th, deploy- 
ing westward from a place called Ta- 
fang-shen, some three miles south-east 
of Tomuchan, until the whole line of the 
Russian defences was faced and, on the 
right, slightly overlapped by Japanese 
troops. 

At dawn on July 31st the Japanese 
commenced what seems at first to have 
differed very slightly from a frontal 
attack, in the course of which the Russian 
right, where there was a strong artillery 
position, proved a very hard nut to 
crack, owing to constant reinforcements 
both in men and guns, the number of the 
latter being increased to twenty-one. 
The Japanese left, however, was corres 
pondingly stiffened, and at 3 p.m., after 
a hot cannonade, the Russians were 
driven back. Meanwhile, the Japanese 
main body had attained some success 
among the highlands on the Russian 
left, forcing the enemy out of their in- 
fantry positions at 10 a.m. Continuing 
the advance, it was checked by the heavy 
fire from the Russian artillery posted on 
the heights, and at 5 p.m. was suddenly 
called upon to assume the defensive 
against a brisk Russian counterstroke. 
The enemy had been strongly reinforced. 



THE ADVANCE ON HAI-CHENG. 



27 



but their efforts proved ineffectual. The 
Japanese were well prepared, and the 
Russians found themselves smartly re- 
pulsed, with heavy loss. Again the 
Japanese would have advanced, but were 
prevented by the admirable manner in 
which the Russian artillery was served. 
The Japanese official report makes 
particular mention of the " quick-firers," 
and the extent to which they impeded the 
advance. 

At the close of the day the two armies 
bivouacked close to each other. During 
the night the Russians evidently took 
into grave consideration the success of 
the Japanese left wing during the 
previous day, and, fearing lest daylight 
should bring about a determined effort to 
cut their line of retreat, they took ad- 
vantage of the darkness to retire to Hai- 
cheng. This performance could hardly 
have been a premeditated one in view of 
the pains taken to strengthen the Tomu- 
chan position, and the useful purpose it 
served in hindering any junction between 
the Second and Takushan Armies. 

The losses of the Russians in the Tomu- 
chan engagement must have been very 
large, since it is officially stated that 
about 700 Russian corpses were buried 
by the Japanese. The latter also captured 
six field guns, many rifles and shells, and 
large quantities of flour and barley. But 
these notable results were not achieved 
without considerable sacrifice. The 
Japanese casualties are returned at 194 
killed and 666 wounded. 

But the advance of the Takushan Army 
against Tomuchan is not the only 
southern movement in co-ordination with 
Kuroki's attacks on the barrier in front 
of him. On August ist the Second Army 
under Genera] Oku leaves Ta-shi-chao in 
five columns and advances on Hai-cheng. 
Here at one time it was suspected that 



the Russians would make a specially de- 
termined stand, but Kuropatkin's policy 
is still one of gradual withdrawal, and, 
accordingly, on August 3rd we have 
General Oku's Army entering Hai-cheng 
practically unopposed, and also occupying 
Old Niu-chwang, which lies some thirty 
miles north-east of the Port at the mouth 
of the Liao river. 

There is little or no information con- 
cerning this advance, but it appears to 
have closely resembled the rest of the 
recent operations in the north of the Liao- 
tung Peninsula. The Russians are said 
to have fought several rear-guard actions 
before finally evacuating Hai-cheng, and 
General Kuropatkin claims that the 
eventual retirement along the An-shan- 
chan road was carried out in perfect order 
without any molestation by the enemy. 
" Every effort," he adds, " was made to 
lighten the burdens of the infantry, and 
carts were given to each company to 
carry the men's great-coats and the kit 
bags. Nevertheless, the heat of the sun 
was so intense that, in spite of the 
measures taken to relieve the soldiers, 
the number of the men who succumbed 
to sunstroke was considerable." 

A good deal of sympathy will un- 
doubtedly be felt with the Russian soldier 
in these trying circumstances. It has 
already been hinted that he has begun to 
grumble at the continual " strategical re- 
tirements " in which he is compelled to 
take part, and from the letters which 
are beginning to appear in the Russian 
and German papers it is evident that he 
has other and substantial causes for com- 
plaint. The tinned food is said to be 
scarcely fit to eat, and where it is edible 
it is neither nourishing nor sustaining. 
Provisions, moreover, are sometimes 
wanting altogether, and the medical and 
sanitary arangements not at all what they 



28 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



should be. Even the doctors, though ad- 
mitted to be devoted to their work, are 
said to be often insufficiently trained and 
badly equipped. Lastly, the heavy boots 
with which the Russian soldier is shod are 
a grievous burden, alike in the. frightful 
heat and in the alternating spells of 
torrential rains which convert the low- 
lands into a sea of mire. 

While, then, the Russian generals may 
talk proudly of the " perfect order " in 
which their repeated withdrawals from 
strong positions are carried out, there is 
little question that the sufferings of the 
rank and file are not calculated to keep 
them consistently at any very high pitch 
of either fighting efficiency or fighting 
enthusiasm. 

Very different is the case of the 
Japanese soldier, now engaged in the 
comparatively exhilarating process of 
pursuit. Certainly, he has discomforts 
to endure, but the trouble which is taken 
to alleviate them, and the anxious 
solicitude displayed in continually oiling, 
as it were, every little wheel and rod in 
the military locomotive are truly remark- 
able. For in the Far East little can be 
done in this way by unpremeditated 
effort, however heroic, on the spot. 
Everything, more especially in the way 
of supply and transport, has to be thought 
out months before, and a host of in- 
genious precautions taken against the 
constant probability of a break-down. 

From time to time, in the course of 
this narrative, casual allusions have been 
made to the Japanese supply and trans- 
port arrangements ; but now an oppor- 
tunity occurs for making a more detailed 
reference to this extremely important, and 
by no means uninteresting, subject. In a 
letter of considerable length, the Times 
correspondent deals specially with " The 
Transport of the Japanese Army," in- 



cluding some mention of the supply 
depdts ; and from this valuable communi- 
cation — all the more valuable because it 
is evidently based on an intimate know- 
ledge of our own Indian system, hitherto 
regarded as " bad to beat " — an excellent 
idea may be gleaned of the thoroughness 
and marvellous grasp of local require- 
ments which the Japanese have applied 
to this extraordinarily significant branch 
of their warlike preparations. 

The Japanese regular transport system, 
as already pointed out in Chapter XXVI., 
is a three-fold one, including horse-carts, 
hand-carts, and pack-horses; and to this 
are added, as opportunity serves or occa- 
sion requires, coolies and the local cart 
transport available more particularly in 
Manchuria. The horse-cart is thus de- 
scribed in detail by the Times correspon- 
dent : — " It consists of a platform of light 
bars of wood, 6 ft. long and 30 in. broad, 
placed upon an axle fitted into wheels 
3 ft. in height, so that the floor of the 
cart is raised from the level of the ground 
only some 18 in. In front there is a skele- 
ton framework of light iron rising 2 ft. 
above the body of the cart, upon which 
is a seat for the driver. The shafts, after 
leaving the sides of the cart, make a 
sweep upward so as to reach the level of 
the flanks of an ordinary sized Japanese 
horse. The wheels look very little stouter 
than those of a perambulator, but being 
built of thoroughly seasoned wood, and 
being well tired, they are much stronger 
than they look. The whole cart is firmly 
bound together and braced by light iron- 
work. Harness (of a very serviceable 
kind) and cart together weigh 400 lb." 

The transport horses, as to which a 
very unfavourable opinion was formed by 
correspondents who saw them when they 
were first landed at Chemulpo and Chin- 
nampo, have turned out a good deal 




M 
O 

o 



w 

H 
1/5 



< o 



o 

H 

CO 
D 
U 

M 



u ■* 

W S 



30 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



better than was expected. Of these 
maligned animals the authority quoted 
gives a particularly interesting and in- 
structive account. " Out of thousands," 
he says, " which I passed on the road to 
An-tung I did not see one which did not 
step jauntily along, making light of the 
loaded cart to which it was harnessed. 
The horses were the same — skinny and 
weedy. But every neck was arched, 
every coat shone like silk, every eye was 
bright, every ear alert. Truly, three 
months of regular daily work had agreed 
with these animals. And for excellent 
reasons. The Japanese have the reputa- 
tion of being bad horsemasters ; and so, 
indeed, they often appear to be. But in 
dealing with their transport horses they 
have exercised great judgment. They 
have acted on the principle which a pru- 
dent man adopts in regard to his income 
— that of living within it. They ask a 
horse to do only that which is easily 
within his compass. They load him, not 
with what he can pull on the level road, 
but with what he can drag up a steep 
mountain pass without inducing serious 
fatigue. The weight of an average 
Japanese horse is over 800 lb. With a 
load of 400 lb., and a cart weighing a 
similar amount, we have a total well 
within the draught capacity of the animal 
employed. Twelve to eighteen miles 
loaded, and the return journey empty, is 
the task usually allotted to the horse and 
cart. It has been found that work to this 
extent can be endured for twenty to 
thirty consecutive days, after which the 
horses become rather fine drawn and are 
given a day off. 

" It is interesting to note that on occa- 
sion the cart transport with the drivers 
seated can cover a distance of four kilo- 
metres in twenty minutes, a performance, 
I think, beyond the capacity of the 



regular transport service of any other 
army in the world. The daily ration of 
each horse is 8 lb. of uncrushed barley, 
8 lb. of hay, and 8 lb. of straw, of which 
the latter two items have frequently to 
be reduced, as the. Japanese depend on 
the country through which they are 
marching-, and cannot always obtain them 
in sufficient quantities. The veterinary 
returns for the horses of the 12th 
Division, which was the first to land, 
and which made the trying journey from 
Chemulpo to Ping-yang which the horses 
of the other divisions escaped, show a 
decrease in effective strength of 6 per 
cent. Mortality accounts for only a small 
portion of the losses, the greater part 
being due to sore backs, from which the 
animals affected are fast recovering. 
This remarkable result has been attained 
by the moderate nature of the tasks im- 
posed upon their horses by the Japanese, 
and by the fact that they never work a 
sick, lame, or exhausted horse. At the 
first sign of unfitness the animal is passed 
over to the veterinary department for 
treatment." 

The hand-carts are built on the same 
idea as the horse, or rather pony, carts, 
and resemble the now familiar jinrick- 
shaw, having short shafts joined by a 
cross-bar, and weighing about 200 lb. 
" One coolie between the shafts pushes 
and steers on the cross-bar, another 
pushes behind, whilst one, two, or three 
more are available to drag with ropes or 
help otherwise as circumstances demand. 
Here again there is applied the principle 
of requiring only work well within the 
capacity of the worker. The coolies look 
the picture of health, strength, and cheer- 
fulness. They are not so dapper in ap- 
pearance as when they landed, and many 
have discarded the army boot in favour 
of Korean sandals, and even bare feet. 



A JAPANESE SUPPLY DEPOT. 



31 



They are easily capable of transporting- 
a load of 300 lb. fifteen miles per day 
and making the return journey empty- 
handed. At a pinch they can do thirty 
miles with a full load. So well is it 
within the power of the appointed number 
of coolies to manage their work, that their 
strength to each cart is frequently cut 
down to four, and even three. The per- 
centage of sickness amongst these men is 
the astonishingly small one of 2 per cent. 
The unintermittent labour, of a kind 
accomplished without any undue strain 
on the vitality, and the simple, yet ample, 
ration of rice, has built up these young 
fellows, already chosen for compactness 
of physique, into splendid specimens of 
their race." 

The pack-saddle is of the Indian 
pattern, but half the weight. Indeed, 
the Japanese appear to have studied our 
Indian system most carefully, and then to 
have set to work to introduce improve- 
ments with, it must be admitted, con- 
spicuous success. On the other hand, 
the fact that, putting aside ammunition, 
for which the usual heavy waggons are 
provided, the main requirements of 
Japanese troops are rice, with barley for 
the horses, makes the problem of trans- 
port much easier for Japan than for any 
country whose marching columns include 
European troops. Both rice and barley 
can be, and are, packed in bags, the 
former weighing about 70 lbs., the latter 
about 40 lbs., thus enabling them to be 
readily carried either in carts or by pack- 
horses or coolies. 

Mention has before been made in these 
pages of the perfection of the Japanese 
Supply arrangements ; but the following 
Jittle picture of a Japanese supply depot 
must not be missed: "The Httle plain 
by the depot is one mass of men and 
horses. Approaching from all directions 



are endless trains of transport carts, 
pack-horses, hand carts, Chinese carts, 
wheelbarrows, and Korean coolies, who 
have hung on to the army, reaping a 
golden harvest by carrying rice sacks 
at a daily wage five times as high as they 
have been accustomed to earn. From 
the dep6t run roads to each point of the 
compass, and at the beginning of each 
road stands a pulpit-like erection in which 
sit uniformed tally-clerks, who check the 
incoming and outgoing goods. Here 
and there are little encampments where 
Japanese merchants have set up business 
to cater to the soldiers. You can buy 
beer, sak6, hot tea, tinned food, biscuits, 
cigarettes, writing materials, and a host 
of other things that the soldier wants. 
It is one of the distinctive features of a 
Japanese army that wherever it goes the 
little private purveyor is allowed to 
follow. He is a champion robber, and 
mulcts his customers one hundred per 
cent. But then it costs him a good deal 
to bring his goods to market, and there 
is risk and hardship; so perhaps his prices 
are not so high after all, particularly 
when one remembers the anguish of pay- 
ing in South Africa a sovereign for a 
bottle of bad whisky, five shillings a tin 
for butter, and half-a-crown for a tin of 
milk. The Chinaman, too, is glad to 
turn an honest penny, and he offers bread, 
cakes, eggs, and vegetables. There is 
thus a large selection of eatables, and I 
make a satisfactory lunch on beer, hard- 
boiled eggs, and a Chinese roll." 

What a contrast all this with the sur- 
roundings of the Russian soldier. That 
the Russian supply and transport 
arrangements are altogether bad cannot 
be seriously maintained, but, even if they 
were very much better than we have 
reason to believe is the case, it would be 
impossible for them to work altogether 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



32 

satisfactorily under conditions of almost 
uninterrupted retirement. The wonder is 
that the Russian Army hangs tog-ether so 
well as it does in circumstances calculated 
to take the heart out of almost any 
troops. Conversely, we must remember 
that, although even when things are go- 
ing smoothly in the field, the transport and 
supply of large armies is a most difficult 
and exhausting business, we have as yet 



only seen the Japanese system working 
in success. It is not altogether certain 
that arrangements so precise, and to 
some extent complicated, would not be 
liable to serious disorganisation in the 
case of a long series of rear-guard 
actions, such as the Russians have fought 
since the day their venture southward 
was so rudely checked by General Oku 
at Telissu. 




BRINGING A WOUNDED RUSSIAN INTO THE JAPANESE LINES. 

By this method of conveyance joltinf^ is almost obviated, as the short bamboos on which the slin-^s are hung act 

Like springs. In dealing with the wounded the Japanese have cared for friend and foe alike. 




Photo : S. Cribb, Soufhsea, 

TYPICAL GROUP OF NAVAL OFFICERS. 

(Taken on board the " Mikasa," noixj Admiral Togo's Jlagship.) 



CHAPTER XLIX. 

NAVAL SORTIE FROM PORT ARTHUR — THE JAPANESE ON THE ALERT — A FLEET ACTION 

AT SEA BATTLESHIPS AT CLOSE QUARTERS — THE RUSSIAN FLEET DISPERSED 

LOSSES AND INJURIES AN EPOCH-MAKING FIGHT. 



I 



T is 5 o'clock in the morning; of August 
loth when the overture to one of the 
greatest performances of the war begins. 
Within the next fifteen hours we are to 
see what \\ith studied accuracy has been 
described as " the first serious fleet action 
on blue water in the histor}' of armoured 
navies," an event for which the critics 
of half a score of nations have been 
eagerly waiting, and which, however 
inconclusive the result, cannot but add 
greatly to the sum of naval knowledge. 
For such one-sided conflicts as the so- 
called Battle of the Yalu in 1894, and the 
naval Battle of Manila Bay and Santiago 
in 1898, have left untouched several great 
39 



problems, the solution of which can only 
be hoped for when two fleets of something 
like equal size and strength come into 
collision under leaders desperately deter- 
mined to make the most of their re- 
spective opportunities. 

The day thus fraught with tremendous 
issues has been slowly but surely led up 
to by a series of incidents, of -^^hich the 
most important were related in the last 
chapter but one. We have seen how 
carefully Admiral Togo has kept watch 
and ward over the entrance to Port 
Arthur harbour; we have noted the unre- 
mitting industry with which the work of 
repairing the damaged Russian ships 



34 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



has been carried on ; and particular stress 
has been laid on the significance from the 
naval standpoint of the land attack on 
Wolf's Hill. It is this latter circum- 
stance that now brings matters, as re- 
gards the Port Arthur Fleet, to a head, 
and eventually produces the general 
action at sea, which twice before — on 
April 13th and June 23rd — has been 
within an ace of happening. 

Through the narrow opening between 
Obelisk Hill and Poya-shan the Japanese 
siege guns on Wolf's Hill begin, from 
about August 7th, to pour shells upon the 
Russian anchorage, and on the 8th 
Admiral Vitoft reports that the com- 
mander of the Retvisan, Captain 
Shtchensnovitch, has been wounded, and 
that his own position has become intoler- 
able. Admiral Alexeieff accordingly for- 
wards to Admiral Vitoft the Tsar's orders 
to effect a sortie and, if possible, a 
junction with the Vladivostok Squadron. 
At dawn on August loth the operation 
commences by the movement of the Port 
Arthur Fleet from the inner harbour into 
the outer roadstead. 

At 8.30 the following vessels leave the 
entrance to the harbour preceded by a 
flotilla of mine-clearing launches : — 
Battleships, Tsareviich (flying the flag of 
Rear-Admiral Vitoft, commanding the 
squadron), Retvisan, Pobieda, Peresviet 
(flying the flag of Rear-Admiral Prince 
Ukhtomsky, commanding the ironclad 
division), Sevastopol, Poltava; cruisers, 
Askold (flying the flag of Rear-Admiral 
Reitzenstein, commanding the cruiser 
division), Pallada, Diana, and Novik. 
The last-named goes ahead of the 
squadron, and eight torpedo craft of the 
first division are posted near the leading 
battleship. Two gunboats and the second 
division of torpedo craft accompany the 
exit of the squadron, in order to protect 



the mine-clearing flotilla on its way back. 
The hospital ship Mongolia, flying the 
Red Cross flag, steams on one side of the 
squadron. A good many hopes, and 
perhaps some fears, must be packed 
away in this imposing procession of fine 
ships, which, with becoming caution, be- 
gins to make its way across the mined 
roadsteads that separate the harbour en- 
trance from the open sea. But upper- 
most, no doubt, is a feeling of profound 
relief at escaping from the thraldom of 
the siege, and especially the recent storm 
of shells, to which it was not possible to 
make effective reply. With this rhust be 
coupled strong regret at leaving so many 
brave comrades still exposed to the un- 
wearying attentions of the Japanese 
gunners, and particularly at having to 
part with the trusty Bayan, which cannot 
join in the sortie by reason of serious 
damage too recently received to have 
rendered timely repair possible. 

From the time the sortie commenced 
the Japanese must have been on the 
watch, and, as soon as the movement out 
of the harbour is perceptible, a message 
is despatched by wireless telegraphy to 
Admiral Togo, who is doubtless at or 
near the naval base in the Elliot Group. 
We learn that the news is ' ' received with 
delight." Admiral Togo rapidly makes 
all his dispositions, his plan being " to 
draw the Russians as far south as 
possible, in order to prevent a repetition 
of the fiasco of June 23rd." He is not, 
of course, aware what the Russian 
destination is, and so steers south, rely- 
ing on his scouts to give him constant 
information of the enemy's proceedings. 

At nine o'clock the Russian commander 
hoists the signal to make for Vladivos- 
tok. A thrill of satisfaction runs through 
the fleet at the issue of an order which 
may mean a bright ending to a sadly 



MAKE FOR VLADIVOSTOK!' 



35 



inglorious term of wearing- watching, and 
which must mean bringing matters to a 
clear issue by the stern arbitrament of a 
fight. For there can hardly be a Russian 
bluejacket that docs not know what the 
gradual thickening of the Japanese ships 
on the horizon means. Twice have the 
Russians seen the 
battle-flags hoist- 
ed on .Vdmiral 
Togo's splendid 
scjuadron, and 

well they know 
that it was not he 
who refused battle 
on those memor- 
able occasions. 
" :\lake for Madi- 
vostok " is a 
goodly signal; but 
between Port Ar- 
thur and the 
Golden Horn lie 
all the countless 
possibilities in- 
cluded in the now 
certain prospect 
of a determined, 
probably decisive 
fight. 

Successfully, if 
somewhat tedi- 
ously, the Russian 
ships thread their 
\^ay across the 

roadstead, at the bottom of ^^■hich there 
must lie enough mines, Russian and Jap- 
anese, to send half-a-dozen squadrons to 
destruction. The passage takes two 
hours, and it is not until 10.15 that the 
mine-clearing flotilla returns to Port 
.Arthur under escort of the gunboats and 
the second torpedo-boat division. 

The squadron now steams out, making 
at first eight and then ten knots, and 




Daziaro, St. Petersburg. 

ADIURAL UKHTOMSKY 



reaches the open sea. .Vt noon the speed 
is thirteen knots. By this time the com- 
bined Fleet of Japan has been sighted in 
three di\'isions, the first being to the port 
of the Russian ships, steaming so as tO' 
cross their course. This division includes 
the battleships l\likasa (flying the flag of 
Admiral Togo, 
commanding the 
Fleet), Asiilii, Shi- 
kishima, Fuji, and 
YasJiima, with the 
new armoured 

cruisers, N isshm 
and Kasuga. 

On the horizon 
are two other 
di\isions, one con- 
sisting of the 
one armoured and 
three protected 
cruisers, the other 
of one armoured 
and four protected 
cruisers, with the 
old battleship Tsiii- 
yci?, and about 
forty torpedo- 

craft. 

The squadrons 
gradually ap- 

proach, the Jap- 
anese ships be- 
ing to the east. 
At 12.30 a point 
some t\^■enty-five miles south of Port 
.Arthur having been reached, .Admiral 
Tog-Q signals to his ships to go 
into action. The Russians respond 
by forming single column line ahead 
— a formation of which a graphic illus- 
tration is given on page 96 — with the 
TsarevlU/i leading. .At i p.m. the fight 
begins. 

It is a tremendous moment. The long 



36 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



lines, which for some time have been 
nearly parallel, converge slightly; the 
Admirals and Captains in their conning 
towers gaze anxiously to east and west, 
as the case may be, watching the decreas- 
ing interval; the sailors stand to their 
guns, the tension growing almost beyond 
human endurance; and on, on, go the 
great ships, steaming well within their 
powers, for, when both sides in a great 
encounter at sea mean fighting, it is the 
capacity to hit, not the capacity to over- 
take or to run away, which first needs 
exhibition. 

A roar breaks the close stillness of the 
summer day as, the action open with shells 
from the battleships' big guns — shells 
weighing between seven and eight hun- 
dredweight, and specially pointed for 
armour-piercing purposes. The Russian 
aim is not good, probably because the 
gunners have had little practice in firing 
at moving objects from moving plat- 
forms. Shot after shot flies wide, and 
the hope of scoring early by reason of the 
possession of a battleship to the good, 
grows gradually fainter. 

The Japanese, on the other hand, now 
profit by the constant opportunities they 
have enjoyed during the past six months, 
at any rate, of firing from moving plat- 
forms, and the efforts of their gunners 
are well seconded by the scientific train- 
ing of the officers in the art of calculating 
distances. Time after time the Japanese 
shells go home against the armoured 
sides of the Russian battleships, for it is 
upon these that Admiral Togo's fire is 
mainly concentrated. Twice the lines 
approach and recede during the first two 
and a half hours of fighting which con- 
stitute the first phase of the battle, and 
th-en at 3.30 the two fleets separate for 
an hour. In this interval it is found that, 
. among other damage, the Russian cruiser 



Askold, which has been following directly 
behind the battleship Poltava, has been 
struck in the forward funnel by a shell 
which has rendered the forward boiler 
useless. 

The Russian cruiser squadron now 
leaves the line and takes up a position 
with the leading ship level with the 
Tsarevitch, on the port side. At about 
half-past five the Japanese Fleet again 
approaches, and the Russians open fire, 
which is largely concentrated on Admiral 
Togo's flagship. A trifle like this, how- 
ever, does not disconcert the Commander- 
in-Chief, who remains quite unconcerned, 
and calmly directs every operation. 

The Russian vessels now^ change their 
direction to the south-east, and the Jap- 
anese follow the movement closely. At 
7.30 the fight, which until now has 
brought no serious disadvantage to either 
side, suddenly changes in character. The 
Russian battleship Tsarevitch is still gal- 
lantly leading the Hne and keeping up a 
constant fire, when almost simultaneously 
two great disasters overtake her. The 
gallant Admiral Vitoft is struck by frag- 
ments of a shell, loses both legs, and dies 
instantly ; and another shell strikes the 
flag-ship on the port side, damaging her 
engines and steering gear. The Tsare- 
vitch falls suddenly out of the line to star- 
board, making the signal " The Admiral 
transfers the command," and the ships 
following put their helms to port and 
starboard in order to avoid collision, and 
fall into confusion. 

The Japanese are quick to seize such 
a favourable opportunity. Closing in to 
about 3,500 yards they pour in a hot fire, 
and do more damage apparently in the 
ensuing half-hour than has been done in 
the whole action hitherto. One after the 
other the Russian battleships are struck 
and damaged so seriously that their fire 



38 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



is virtually silenced. The Retvisan holds 
out stubbornly, being- handled with con- 
spicuous gallantry ; but Admiral Togo 
orders his squadron to concentrate its fire 
upon her at little over 3,000 yards, and 
she, too, is soon reduced to fitful dis- 
charges from one or two ol her guns. 

Meanwhile, the Russian cruiser division 
commanded by Rear-Admiral Rdtzen- 
stein, who flies his flag on the Askold, has 
been, practically speaking, inactive. In 
an engagement of this character the brunt 
of the fighting falls naturally on the bat- 
tleships, and the cruisers, unless very 
heavily armed, like the Nisshin and 
Kasuga, do well to keep out of the way 
of firing against which their compara- 
tively light armour affords no adequate 
protection, and to which they, cannot 
effectively reply. It has already been 
mentioned that in the second phase of this 
fight the cruisers Askold, Novik, Diana, 
and Pallada took up a position to the 
starboard of the battleship line, and it 
may readily be imagined that when 
Admiral Reitzenstein perceived that the 
Tsarevitch had been practically disabled, 
and read the signal " The Admiral trans- 
fers the command," he felt that his posi- 
tion had suddenly become one of grave 
responsibility. It is said that the last 
signal which Admiral Vitoft personally 
ordered to be made was " Remember the 
Tsar's command not to return to Port 
Arthur," and in any case it must have 
been clearly impressed upon all the sub- 
ordinate commanders before leaving har- 
bour that morning that every sort of 
effort should be made to reach Vladivo- 
stok. As the Russian battleship squadron 
is now clearly getting the worst of it in 
circumstances in which the cruisers could 
not lend any practical assistance, it would 
seem that Admiral Reitzenstein is fully 
justified in deciding to break through the 



enemy's line without loss of time. Wliat 
immediately follows is best told in the 
Admiral's own words: — "Having sig- 
nalled to my squadron to follow me, I 
left with the Askold at the head to cut a 
passage. We were struck by the open- 
ing shots. Behind me came the Novik, 
and at some distance followed the Pallada 
and the Diana. The cruiser squadron 
was sent to cut another passage, and en- 
countered four of the enemy's second- 
class cruisers and several torpedo-boats, 
while to the right of it were three cruisers 
of the Matsushima type. 

" The seven Japanese ships riddled our 
cruisers with shells. Approaching the 
enemy's circle I remarked that one of the 
four cruisers blocking our way was a 
vessel of the Asama type. The quick- 
firing guns of the Askold seemed to do 
some damage to the three Japanese 
second-class cruisers ; while they also set 
fire to the big cruiser, which then re- 
tired, leaving the Askold a free passage. 
Four of the enemy's battleships then 
approached and attacked the Askold, 
firing four torpedoes, which, however, 
did not hit her. A Japanese torpedo- 
boat was sunk by a lucky shot from one 
of the Askold's 6-in. guns, while another 
retreated precipitately. ' ' 

According to Admiral Reitzenstein 's 
official despatch, this cruiser action lasts 
twenty minutes, and is of a very lively 
character. Shells fall like hail, especially 
on the Askold, which, however, with the 
Novik, succeeds in getting through the 
enemy's line, followed by the Pallada and 
Diana. The Japanese cruisers give chase 
to the Askold and Novik, but these vessels, 
notwithstanding the hammering which 
the Askold has received, can still steam 
twenty knots, and so have little difficulty 
in drawing away from their pursuers. It 
is now dark, and Admiral Reitzenstein is 



PRINCE UKHTOMSKY'S SQUADRON. 



39 



unable to make out whether the Pallada 
and Diana are following- or not. As a 
matter of fact, the Pallada has dropped 
behind, and at dawn the next day is 
back in Port Arthur harbour. In the 
Japanese accounts of the battle it is 
stated that the fifth Japanese destroyer 
flotilla under Captain Mathuoka ap- 
proached a cruiser of the Pallada type, 
and fired a torpedo at her from a distance 



from its stern guns on the enemy's battle- 
ships. Rear-Admiral I'rince Ukhtomsky, 
whose flag is flown on the Peresviel, has 
taken command, but is unable to signal 
his orders satisfactorily, owing to the 
damage to his flagship's masts. He dis- 
plays the sig-nal " Follow me " on the 
captain's bridg^e, but it is hardly likely 
that all the ships were able to distinguish 
it. 




Plwto : S. Cl'ibb, Soutltsea. 



THE JAPANESE BATTLESHIP FUy/. 



of 400 3'ards. Captain Mathuoka saw 
the torpedo hit the vessel and explode. 
The inference is that either the Pallada 
reached Port Arthur in a very damaged 
condition, or that the stricken vessel was 
the IJiana, which subsequently reaches 
the French port of Saigon. The Diana 
is a sister ship to the Pallada, and 
would easily be mistaken for her in a 
bad light. 

It is time to return to the Russian 
battleship squadron, which is now falling 
back, at the same time keeping up a fire 



As the Peresviel has lost many killed 
and wounded, and her armament, hull, 
and electric apparatus are seriously 
damaged, Prince Ukhtomsky decides, in 
contravention of the Imperial orders, to 
return to Port Arthur. The battleships 
Relvisan, Pobieda, Sevastopol, and the 
TsareviicJi, and the Red Cross ship TMon- 
golia, start on the return course, but now 
the Japanese destroyers dash in and 
cause further damage and confusion. 
The TsarcviUlt drops out, and, after re- 
peated changes of course, owing to the 



40 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



constant torpedo attacks, the shattered 
squadron regains with difficulty the 
harbour it had so proudly left the previous 
morning-. At dawn only the battleships 
Peresviet, Reivisan, Pobieda,' Poltava, and 
Sevastopol, and the cruiser Pallada, with 
three out of the eight 'destroyers, were at 
Port Arthur. The battleships are badly 
crippled, but Prince Ukhtomsky reports 
that in all only 38 men have been killed, 
and 21 officers, and 286 men wounded, 
50 severely ; by no means a heavy list of 
casualties considering the fierceness of 
the engagement and the power of the 
enemy's armament. 

The unfortunate Tsarevitch not being 
able to • follow the battleship squadron, 
and losing sight of it, takes a southerly 
course in order to attempt to reach 
Vladivostok under her own steam. 
During the night she, too, is attacked by 
Japanese torpedo-boats, and at dawn is 
in the vicinity of the Shan-tung Promon- 
tory. An examination is now made of 
the ship, and her injuries are found to be 
such that Rear-Admiral Matussevitch, 
who is on board, decides that she cannot 
hope to make Vladivostok, and that the 
only course open is to proceed to the 
German port of Kiao-chau, in the hope 
of being allowed' to repair. The ship has 
suffered terrible punishment. Her rudder 
shaft is broken and one gun disabled ; 
her life-boats have been shot away, her 
masts are bent in the form of a cross, and 
the funnels riddled with shot. The bridge 
is twisted, and there are holes above the 
water line, which have been plugged with 
makeshift stoppers of wood. The 
damage to her engines is so considerable 
that, she can only steam four knots — her 
nominal speed is eighteen — and she can 
only compass this by burning immense 
quantities of coal. 

The Tsarevitch may justly claim to have 



borne the brunt of the fighting in this 
great battle. During the action her 
decks are said to have been slippery with 
blood, and she had three officers killed 
besides Admiral Vitoft, and eight officers 
wounded, including Admiral Matusse- 
vitch, who speaks highly of the unex- 
ampled bravery of both officers and men. 
Altogether the Tsarevitch lost fifteen 
killed and forty-five wounded.. 

The Tsarevitch reaches Kiao-chau at 9 
o'clock in the evening of August nth, 
and finds there the cruiser Novik and the 
destroyer Bezchumni. These had arrived 
between 4 and 5 p.m., the Novik slightly 
damaged, but with no dead aboard, and 
the destroyer pretty badly knocked about. 
Later, two more destroyers seek this post 
of refuge, which is guarded by a German 
squadron of four cruisers and two gun- 
boats. 

Returning to the Askold, which we left 
showing its heels to the pursuing Japan- 
ese cruisers, we learn that Admiral 
Reitzenstein, noting that the chase was 
being abandoned, slowed down to wait 
for the other ships of his squadron. How 
she has contrived to make the speed she 
has is remarkable, considering the 
damage she has sustained. It is esti- 
mated by Renter's correspondent, who 
afterwards visited her in port, that the 
Askold must have been pierced by nearly 
200 shells, and in another account it is 
stated that she was hit eighty times below 
the water-line, a signal testimony to the 
accuracy of the fire. The following de- 
scription of the AskoWs injuries is in- 
teresting as showing what punishment a 
modern warship can receive without go- 
ing to the bottom : — ■' ' Her first and third 
funnels are riddled with machine-gun 
bullets, and the base of one funnel has 
been almost entirely blown away at the 
level of the deck by a big shell. The 




O -a 

'■^- s 

H S 

X '- 

o § 

E ^ 

Pi 3 43 
H > S 

g p 

« s 

all 



5 S 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



after-funnel has been cut in two and 
telescoped. Its remains are only held up 
by the guy ropes. An 8-in. armour- 
piercing shell entered the starboard side 
forward about two feet above the water- 
line, and lodged in a bunker. A 12-in. 
shell exploded in the starboard hammock 
netting amidships, the fragments riddling 
and destroying four metallic life-boats. 
Another similar shell entered the state- 
room of the starboard quarter and cut 
its way across the deck, exploding in the 
officers' quarter on the port side, and 
destroying everything en route. The 
deckhouse on the superstructure under 
the forward bridge was riddled by frag- 
ments of a shell, which exploded in the 
forward funnel. The vessel's search- 
lights are all damaged beyond repair. 
The torpedo netting was cut up by a 
shell, and is practically useless. In the 
ship's bottom there are several old and 
new injuries, one torpedo having made a 
big hole through the side into a bunker, 
which happily proved fairly watertight." 
It may be noted that with all this 
structural damage, the Askold has only 
eleven killed and forty-eight wounded, 
more than half of the latter having been 
but slightly injured. None the less, the 
ship has been right bravely fought. 
Admiral Reitzenstein drawing special 
attention to the heroism of the chaplain, 
who went from one part of the ship to 
another with a cross, giving his benedic- 
tion to the men ; while the doctors, under 
a hail of shells, removed the wounded to 
a place of safety. 

Admiral Reitzenstein during the night 
is apparently joined by the Novik and the 
destroyer Grosovoi. The former he 
allows to act independently, and, as v^^e 
have seen, she makes forthwith for Kiao- 
chau. The Askold is for the present kept 
well out to sea in order to avoid torpedo 



attacks from Shan-tung. At dawn at 
attempt is made to put on more speed, 
but it is found that the engines will not 
bear the strain, and accordingly the idea 
of proceeding to Vladivostok has to be 
abandoned. It is believed that on the 
night of the nth the Askold d,nA Grosovoi 
attempted to follow the Novik into Kiao- 
chau Bay, but were headed off by- a Jap- 
anese cruiser, and ultimately made for 
the neutral port of Shanghai, which was 
reached in the early morning of the 12th. 
We have located every vessel of the 
dispersed Port Arthur Fleet with the 
sohtary exception of one destroyer. 
For, according to Prince Ukhtom- 
sky's official report, the battleships 
Peresviet, Pobieda, Reivisan, Poltava, 
and Sevastopol, the cruiser Pallada, 
and three destroyers out of eight were 
at Port Arthur; the battleship Tsare- 
vitch, the cruiser Novik, and three de- 
stroyers are at Kiao-chau ; the cruiser 
Diana is at Saigon ; and the cruiser 
Askold and one destroyer are at Shang- 
hai. There remains one destroyer, the 
Reskiielny, which later becomes the 
centre of a very dramatic incident, to be 
related hereafter. For the present it is 
sufficient to say that, when on the night 
of the nth the Japanese destroyers were 
let loose on the dispersed Russian Fleet, 
two of them, the Asashio and JCasumi, 
gave chase to the Reshitelny and, after 
losing her in the darkness, found that 
she had entered Chifu. The Japanese 
destroyers wait for a tim^ outside the 
port, and here we may leave them in 
order to pay a visit to the victorious Jap- 
anese squadron, which has thus so uncere- 
moniously dispersed one of the most 
powerful fleets ever collected in Far East- 
ern waters. 

In comparison with the injuries sus- 
tained by the Russian ships those of the 



A STAGGERING BLOW. 



43 



Japanese squadron are slight. Admiral 
Tog-o specially reports, on the forenoon of 
August 1 2th, " Our ships suffered no 
serious damage, and are fit to resume 
their places in the line of battle. Our 
total casualties were 170 of all ranks." 
Later returns give the casualty list as 
follows : In the Mikasa — killed, 4 officers 
and 29 men; severely wounded, 6 officers 
and 29 men; slightly wounded, 4 officers 
and 49 men. In the Yakumo — killed, 
I officer and 11 men; wounded, 10 men. 
In the Nisshin — killed, 7 officers and 9 
men; wounded, 2 officers and 15 men. 
In the Kasuga — 10 men wounded. In 
the Asagiri — 2 men killed. In Torpedo- 
boat No. 38 — I man killed and 8 wounded. 
Commander his Imperial Highness Prince 
Kwacho was slightly wounded on board 
Admiral Togo's flagship. 

It is, perhaps, almost more by the 
insignificance of these injuries and casu- 
alties that the greatness of Admiral 
Togo's victory will eventually have to be 
judged than by the damage he has suc- 
ceeded in inflicting on the Russian ships. 
It is possible that if he had been in a 
position to display a little greater reck- 
lessness the results would have been 
much more striking. One of the most 
obvious things about this battle is that 
the fighting was confined almost entirely 
to the battleships, and in these at the 
commencement the numerical superiority 
lay with the Russians, for of course the 
old T sin-yen does not count. It is true 
that the Nisshin and Kasuga appear to 
have been fought as small battleships, 
which to all intents and purposes they 
are ; but the fact still remains, that with 
better shooting it might have been quite 
possible for the Russians at the outset 
to have so disabled some of their larger 
adversaries that a subsequent junction 
with the Vladivostok Squadron would 



have been easily practicable. It behoved 
Admiral Togo, then, to be extremely 
careful not to allow the superiority which 
the efficiency of his ships and the splen- 
did training of his officers and men gave 
him to pass from him at an early stage 
of the engagement. 

The caution exhibited by the Japanese 
met with its reward. To be able to say, 
two days later, that all his ships were able 
to resume their places in the line of battle 
was something of which Admiral Togo 
mi^ht well be proud, and indicated per- 
haps as great a service as it was possible 
for him to render his country at this 
juncture. For if he had succeeded in 
still more completely crippling the Port 
Arthur Fleet at a corresponding loss to 
his own, a new set of risks would have 
come into operation which might ulti- 
mately have had to be very seriously con- 
sidered by a country unable to procure 
fresh battleships and large cruisers until 
the end of the war. It must be remem- 
bered that at this time the Vladivostok 
Squadron was still in being ; Port 
Arthur, although heavil)' pressed, was 
still in effective Russian occupation ; and 
the sailing of the Russian Baltic Fleet, 
although a remote and rather shadowy 
contingency, would undoubtedly have 
been accelerated if it had transpired that 
another Japanese battleship or two, in 
addition to the ill-fated Hatsuse, had been 
permanently disabled by a few well-aimed 
12-inch shells. 

As things are, the blow which Admiral 
Togo has delivered is a staggering one. 
It is true that five out of the six battle- 
ships and one of the four cruisers have 
regained Port Arthur harbour, whence it 
is possible that, with the astonishing 
vitality possessed by Russian warships, 
they may emerge at no distant date 
apparently not very much the worse for 



44 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



wear, in company, maybe, with the 
rejuvenated Bayan. But it must be re- 
membered that the main reason why the 
Port Arthur Fleet went out on the morn- 
ing of the loth was because the harbour 
was fretting- too hot to hold them, and 
there is small likelihood that the fire from 
Wolf's Hill will now slacken. As to the 
remaining battleship and three cruisers. 



Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese 
Navy would, perhaps, have secured a 
heartier round of popular applause, even 
from his own countrymen, if he had gone 
in a little closer and sent two or three of 
the Russian battleships to the bottom, as 
he doubtless could have done had he 
chosen to take the risk. But his caution 
has been abundantly justified ; and it may 




Fkuiij : Syniuiui^ 



Co., Poit^month. 

THE JAPANESE BATTLESHIP iHlKlSniM.l. 



one of the latter cannot yet be accounted 
for, and we may anticipate the future a 
little by saying that the Tsarcvilcli, 
Askold, Uwna, and Novik will soon have 
to be regarded as Jwrs de combat. /Vdmiral 
Togo, then, has not only dispersed, dis- 
, organised, and to some extent demoral- 
ised his powerful ad\crsary, but has weak- 
ened him very considerably in just those 
very factors of strength which are of 
paramount importance to the mainten- 
ance of Japan's naval superiority. The 



be many a long day before another action 
at sea is fought between fleets on the 
whole by no means unequally matched, 
in which the victor will succeed in pun- 
ishing the vanquished so seriously with 
such conspicuously little hurt to himself. 
More detailed accounts of the battle 
may reveal interesting- and instructive 
points on which fresh tlieories can be 
based, and in no case can it be expected 
that the full significance of such an 
epoch-making fight will dawn all at once 



THE LESSONS OF THE FIGHT. 



45 



on even expert spectators at a distance. 
But for the present, two monumental facts 
stand out with sinyuhir clearness. One 
is, that where there are battleships, 
cruisers must be content to remain in the 
background, if they do not retire alto- 
gether ; the other great lesson to be 



all their own, although without them a 
na\-al action must soon become little more 
than a grim .absurdity. But rapid and 
accurate fire means either the assertion 
of an immense and immediate superiority, 
or the levelling of many ad\antages pos- 
sessed by the other side. A few well- 



'J 


g 




^^ 








B 


^^^^^^^^BnjT/ 1 tL l:\ 


^^^H^H| 


m 


^^^^^^^^b iJ^^^^K^y^f'^^^' 



ADMIRAL VITOFT. 



derived from this encounter of giants 
is that, more especially, perhaps, with 
battleships and 12-inch guns, superior 
gunnery is absolutely the first consider- 
ation. Speed is, of course, a valuable 
aid in forcing a battle upon an unwilling 
adversary, and at times it may play an 
all-important part in manoeuvring. Dis- 
cipline and courage have a significance 



aimed shots produced both the disable- 
ment of the Tsarevitcli and the complete 
derangement of the Russian line of 
battle. But it is in the handling of the 
biggest guns of all that the good practice 
must be made, if appreciable results are 
to be secured. The Japanese themselves 
may perhaps ha^'e taken to heart the 
fact that, while the riddling of the Askold 



46 



HISTORY 0F_ THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



with nearly 200 shells is a strong- evidence 
of notable marksmanship, an even more 
impressive result might have been at- 
tained by a tenth of the projectiles had 
they all come from 12-inch muzzles. 

Closely related to the question of rapid 
and accurate practice is that of concen- 
tration of fire, a matter as to which 
Admiral Togo, in common with most up- 
to-date authorities, evidently holds strong- 
views. It would seem that the Tsareviich 
and Reivisan suffered particular injury 
from the concentrated fire of the Japanese 
battleships, and it can be readily under- 
stood that the effect of the simultaneous 
arrival of two or three winged messen- 
gers of destruction weighing- not very 
far short of half a ton apiece must 
be terrific. The Russians, too, appear 
to have devoted a disproportionate 
amount of attention to the Mikasa. But, 
of course, concentrated fire requires to be 
accurate, and it is clear that in this 
respect the Russians were sadly inferior 
to their opponents. 

Apart from such technical consider- 
ations, there is much in the conclusion 
of this great naval battle calculated to 
inspire grave and earnest reflection. In 



a sense it is a decisive victory, for it has 
settled, at any rate for a long interval, 
the question of the capacity of the Port 
Arthur Fleet to dispute seriously the 
command of the sea with the Navy of 
Japan. Extraordinary credit is due to 
the Russians for the persistence with 
which, after repeated disasters, they 
patched up their ships and brought them 
out in fighting trim to do battle bravely 
with such a formidable antagonist. But 
the great collision has taken place, and 
Russia has been beaten — beaten and scat- 
tered beyond hope of re-union — and the 
disparity has been so increased that it 
seems hopeless to think that any com- 
parison can ever again be made between 
the naval power of Russia in the Far 
East and that of Japan. Till this fleet 
action was fought a hundred things 
might have happened to qualify, if not to 
alter radically, the result. But the time 
is over for such uncertainties. The fight 
has been, as far as such a fight could be, 
to the finish, and, while the ships of 
Russia seek here and there an inglorious 
refuge, the morrow's dawn brings added 
and lasting glory to the Rising Sun of 
Japan. 




47 



CHAPTER L. 

KAMIMURA ON GUARD — THE VLADIVOSTOK SQUADRON SIGHTED — A CRUISER ACTION — 
DESPERATE FIGHTING SINKING OF THE RURIK — JAPANESE HUMANITY AT VLADI- 
VOSTOK — HOPES AND FEARS. 



THE day breaks beautifully clear on 
August 14th, and Admiral Kami- 
mura, who has been lying with a 
squadron of four cruisers off the southern 
coast of Korea, is not likely to let any- 
thing slip past him in conditions so 
favourable to the task he has in hand. 
Since the night of the loth he has been 
aware of the sortie of the Port Arthur 
Beet, of Admiral Togo's victory, and of 
the dispersal of the Russian ships. He 
has been warned that some part of the 
scattered fleet will probably try to force 
the Tsu-shima Strait and make for Vladi- 
vostok, and that the Vladivostok Squad- 
ron will probably co-operate in this enter- 
prise. Very alert, then, has Admiral 
Kamimura been these last three days, 
and possibly now he is beginning to fear 
lest once again ill-luck may be dogging 
his footsteps, and that once again the 
enemy's ships may have contrived to 
elude one of the smartest and keenest 
officers of the Japanese Navy. 

The Admiral's flag is flying on the 
fine armoured cruiser Idzumo of 9,800 
tons, which has a nominal speed of 
over 24 knots. In his squadron are 
the Idzumo' s sister ship, the Iwaie, which 
has on board Rear-Admiral Misu ; the 
Tokiwa, which is the sister ship to the 
well-known Asama, and is of 9,750 tons, 
with a nominal speed of 2i"5 knots ; and 
the Adzuma, of 9,438 tons, with a 
nominal speed of 21 knots. Altogether, 



a very powerful and homogeneous 
squadron, splendidly fitted not only for 
the purpose of patrolling a strait which 
heavily armed vessels of the enemy may 
attempt to force, but also for that of 
bringing any but battleships to book. 
For all are well armed with British guns 
supplied from Elswick, all have good 
armour protection, and the slowest has 
a very fair turn of speed. 

It is a little before 5 a.m., and the 
squadron is near Ul-san, which lies some 
thirty miles north-east of Fusan, when 
on the port bow a great and glorious 
sight is discerned. The three Vladivos- 
tok cruisers are seen steering south ai 
a distance of n,ooo yards! Earnestly 
the Japanese pray that, at last, their 
vigilance will be rewarded, and that the 
squadron which has given such infinite 
trouble will not again escape. For a short 
time the Russian ships come on at full 
speed, evidently unconscious of the 
enemy's proximity ; but soon they catch 
sight of the Japanese vessels, and, true 
to their old policy, they endeavour to 
get away. Putting about, the Russian 
Admiral makes a course to the north- 
east, with the object of reaching the 
open sea. The Rossia (12,200 tons, 
nominal speed 18 knots) is leading ; the 
Gromoboi (12,336 tons, nominal speed 
20 knots) follows ; and the rear is brought 
up by the Rurik (10,940 tons, nominal 
speed 18 knots). The three ships steam 



48 



HISTORY OF THE R 



at their full speed, but evidently cannot, 
at first, make more than 15 or 16 knots, 
and the Japanese soon o\ertake them, 
holdintr a parallel course, and forcing; the 
Russians to accept battle. 

It is now 5.20 a.m. and the two squad- 
rons are 1^,750 jards apart. The 
Russians are still in single column line 
ahead, but the Japanese now adopt a 



USSO -JAPANESE WAR. 

matched, for the numerical inferiority of 
the Ivussians is compensated by the fact 
that all the three Russian ships are 
considerably heavier than any in the 
Japanese squadron. On the other hand, 
the Japanese have a distinct superiority 
in speed, and in weight of broadside fire. 
But here again, as in the battleship 
action described in the last chapter, it is 




From photo supplied by Sir W. G. Armstrong, Whitworih & Co., Ltd. 

JAPANESE CRUISER IDZUHA. 



T-shaped formation, in which later they 
cross the enemy's course, raking his 
ships fore and aft, while these mask each 
other's fire. Further, Kamimura subse- 
quently manoeuvres to keep his back, as 
far as possible, to the sun, thereby giving 
his gunners a marked advantage. 

The fight begins at 5.23 — one can 
imagine 7\dmiral Kamimura taking out 
his watch and noting the time with 
punctilious exactitude — and it is soon 
evident that the struggle will be a severe 
one. In point of strength the two 
squadrons are by no means unevenly 



the accuracy of fire that eventually tells. 
The tactical advantage of speed is finely 
illustrated by the fact that Admiral 
Kamimura was enabled to force a battle 
on an enemy whose one idea was to es- 
cape it, and it must have largely assisted 
the manoeuvring of the Japanese ships 
with a view to concentrating their fire, 
and hindering that of the Russians. But 
it is the constant hitting which enables 
Admiral Kamimura from the first to take 
a dominant part in the proceedings, and 
finally to cmerg-e from them with an im- 
portant little victory to his credit. 




40 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Repeatedly the Japanese projectiles 
take effect, and Admiral Jessen is be- 
ginning to realise that at last a day of 
reckoning has come for the valiant 
squadron which has hitherto waged such 
relentless war upon transports and un- 
armed merchantmen. He is still en- 
deavouring to make for the open sea to- 
wards the north-east when, in the dis- 
tance, he sees another Japanese warship 
coming up from the southern straits. 
This is the famous Naniwa, which took 
such a prominent part in the war with 
China, and which is now, consequently, 
no longer in her fighting prime. Still, 
she is a handy light cruiser of nearly 
4,000 tons, and with a speed of about 
17 knots. With her now is her sister 
ship, the Takachiho, the two belonging 
to what is known as the " Fourth 
Squadron," under command of Rear- 
Admiral Uriu. 

Observing that the Russian squadron 
is trying to get away to the north-east, 
the Naniwa shapes its course with a view 
to preventing the execution of this man- 
oeuvre. " Consequently," says the 
Russian Admiral in his official despatch, 
" choosing a favourable moment, I 
turned sharply to the right and steamed 
towards the north-east, calculating that 
I should be able to turn northwards be- 
fore I reached the Korean coast." There 
seems to be some error — possibly arising 
in the translation — as to the direction in- 
dicated, since it is difficult to see how the 
Korean coast could possibly have been 
reached in the circumstances on a north- 
easterly course. But if we read the 
despatch, " I turned sharply to the left 
and steamed towards the north-west," 
the manoeuvre appears to become quite 
intelligible. 

According to the Russian Admiral there 
seemed an excellent chance that the 



manoeuvre m question would succeed, for 
he had increased his speed to 17 knots, 
at which rate the Japanese might have 
had some difficulty in overtaking him. 
But in less than five minutes after the 
new movement commenced the Rurik 
leaves the line and hoists the alarming- 
signal "Steering gear not working." 
She is told to steer by means of her 
engines, and to keep on in the course on 
which the Rossia and the Gromoboi are 
steaming ; but she makes no response, 
having, indeed, a good deal at this unpro- 
pitious moment to occupy her attention. 

For the Japanese soon take advantage 
of the Rurik's inferior speed, and, coming 
up swiftly, concentrate their fire on her 
at a range of 4,500 to 5,500 yards. 

The Russian Admiral, observing the 
Rurik's plight, immediately checks his 
retreat and does his best to redeem the 
unenviable reputation of his squadron for 
persistent anxiety to run away from 
danger. As he says, all his subsequent 
manoeuvres have the sole object of afford- 
ing the Rurik an opportunity of repairing 
her damaged gear, and the Japanese bear 
ready testimony to the devoted gallantry 
with which the Rossia and the Gromoboi 
endeavour to draw on themselves the 
whole of the Japanese fire. 

The two big ships circle round their 
smaller comrade, and the fighting be- 
comes fast and furious. The Japanese 
cruisers rake the enemy again and again, 
and the Russians reply with every avail- 
able gun. But the sacrifice is to little 
purpose. The Rurik bursts into flames, 
and describes uneasy circles which show 
clearly that the injury to her steering 
gear is a deep-seated one. " I cannot 
steer," she signals pathetically, and 
again the Rossia and the Gromoboi 
manoeuvre in front of her so as to give 
her an opportunity of retiring in the 



direction of the Korean coast 
two miles distant. 

At 8 o'clock the Russian Admiral 
hoists the signal to make for Vladivo- 
stok. This is repeated by the Hurik, 
which follows in the wake of the Rossia 
and Gromoboi towards the north-west, 
apparently steaming at considerable 
speed, and only separated from the ship 
in front of her by about four miles. 

The Rossia and Gromoboi have mean- 
while sustained considerable damage. 
According to one account both have been 
repeatedly set on fire, flames pouring out 
from their port holes, and much confusion 
evidently being caused before the fires 
can be extinguished. On board the 
Rossia three of the boilers are reported 
by the Admiral to have been rendered 
useless at this stage. 

At 8.30 the end of the unfortunate 
Rurik is not far off. She has been fight- 
ing all the time with the Japanese cruisers, 
who have been holding a parallel course 
and pouring in well-aimed shells at a 
range of about 5,000 yards. She now 
begins to lag very much behind, and to 
exhibit an ugly list to port. But her gal- 
lant crew never flag in serving their guns, 
until towards the last only two guns are 
left in action, and the ship, with her miz- 
zenmast shot away, presents a truly bat- 
tered condition. 

At 9 a.m. the Rossia and the Gromoboi 
note that the Rurik has been engaged by 
the two light cruisers of the Fourth 
Squadron, the Naniwa and Takackiho, 
and shortly afterwards she is lost to 
sight. This enables Admiral Kamimura 
to follow the Rossia and Gromoboi with all 
his four armoured cruisers, and in the 
circumstances Admiral Jessen can hardly 
be blamed for his abandonment of the 
Rurik. His hope is that the latter may 
beat off her two opponents and, in spite 



THE SINKING OF THE '' RURIKr 
now only 



of the damage she has sustained, may be 
able to reach Vladivostok under her own 
steam. In view of the splendid fight he 
has already made, and the manner in 
which he has exposed his two remaining 
ships in order to cover the Rurik, it will 
be a captious critic indeed who finds fault 
with Admiral Jessen for a decision which 
cannot but have cost him a bitter pang. 

In any case, hi-, own position is suffici- 
ently serious. Shortly before 10 o'clock 
the Jipanese open a particularly deadly 
fire upon the Gromoboi and Rossia, and 
those in the latter feel sure that this is a 
prelude to an increase of speed with a 
view to a final attack. But, to the aston- 
ishment of the Russians, something quite 
different happens. The whole Japanese 
squadron bears away, the ships turning 
to the right in succession and ceasing 
fire. 

The action of Admiral Kamimura in 
abandoning a pursuit which if continued 
might have enabled him to sink both the 
remaining ships of the Vladivostok 
Squadron, has been much criticised. 
The only explanation seems to be that 
the Gromoboi and Rossia were still steam- 
ing at great speed, and gave their pur- 
suers the idea that although their hulls 
and armament were severely injured their 
engines were working satisfactorily, and 
that it would be hopeless to attempt to 
overtake them. It may be, too, that, in 
conjunction with this estimate, Admiral 
Kamimura took into consideration the 
chance that the Rurik might still succeed 
in beating off the Naniwa and Takackiho. 
The bare possibility of the Rurik' s escape 
would be most seriously distasteful, for 
the Japanese have a strong sentimental 
grudge against this particular vessel, 
apart from her co-operation in the feats 
of the Vladivostok Squadron. For, as 
the Tokio Correspondent of the Standard 



S2 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



points out, the Rurik was the flagship of 
the Russian Squadron ten years ago on 
the historic occasion when the combined 
Russian, German, and French Fleet de- 
monstrated in the Gulf of Pe-chi-li in 
support of the joint intervention which 
forced Japan to relinquish I'ort Arthur, 
her legitimate prize of war. 

Whatever may have been at the back 
of Kamimura's mind when he abandons 
the pursuit of the Rossia and Gromoboi, 
there is no questioning the relief which 
the Russians experience at getting rid of 
their pursuers. Immediately after the 
Japanese cruisers have put about, Ad- 
miral Jessen proceeds to ascertain the 
losses and damage sustained by his ships, 
in the vague hope that it may still be 



in the Rossia eleven holes have been made 
below the waterline, and in the Gromoboi 
six. The losses of officers in the two 
cruisers exceed half their total number, 
while those of the men amount to 25 per 
cent, of the entire strength. In these 
circumstances it is manifestly impossible 
to renew the conflict. Accordingly, ad- 
vantage is taken of the calm weather to 
repair the more serious breaches, and in 
due course the squadron proceeds mourn- 
fully to Vladivostok. 

Let us now leave the Gromoboi and 
Rossia and return to the unfortunate 
Rurik, which, dealing now with the 
Naniwa and Takacliilio, renews the fight 
with splendid gallantry. But she is too 
far gone to maintain any but a brief and 




CHART OF THE VLADIVOSTOK RAmS UP TO THE SINKING OF THE RURIK. 

possible to renew the fight by returning feeble resistance. Gradually she sinks, 

to the spot, now thirty miles to the south, and with touching solicitude the sailors 

at which the squadron had parted com- hasten to place their wounded comrades 

pany from the Riirik. It is found that on planks and lower them into the sea, 



THE SINKING OF THE ^' RUN IK." 



53 



so that they may have a chance of drill- 
ing- away before the end comes. Almost 
to the very last the guns are fired. Fin- 
ally the Riirik " stands up," that is, her 



his ships, too, lower their boats, and a 
splendid record of life-saving work is 
accomplished. Indeed, in their anxiety 
to rescue their gallant foes the Japanese 




THE RUSSIAN CRUISER RURIf^. 



bows rise into the air, and she goes down 
by the stern, eleven thousand tons ot 
steel, and in her day one of the best- 
known and most formidable fighting 
machines afloat. For the past few hours 
she must have been a hell to those on 
board, for her construction favoured the 
outbreak of fire, and the flames are 
known to have been raging furiously 
through the doomed vessel from a com- 
paratively early stage of the fight. 

The sea is now strewn with planks 
and hammocks, to which hundreds of 
Russians are clinging. With ready 
humanity the Naniwa and Takachiho 
lower their boats in order to save life, 
and a torpedo-boat flotilla, which has just 
arrived, lends its assistance. 

Meanwhile, Admiral Kamimura has re- 
turned from his chase of the Rossia and 
Gromoboi, and, seeing the state of affairs, 



liluejackets dangerously overload many of 
their boats, one of which returns to its 
ship with 52 Russian sailors on board. 
Altogether, the oOlcial list of those saved 
includes 16 officers, of whom se\en were 
wounded, one priest, four warrant 
oflficers, of whom three were wounded, 
and 592 sailors, of whom 166 were 
wounded. The survivors stated that the 
Captain, Commander, and most of the 
officers of the Riirik were killed during 
the battle. 

The Japanese regard the rescue of the 
Riirik's sailors with peculiar satisfaction. 
On the morrow of the fight a prominent 
oflficial remarked to the Kobe Correspon- 
dent of the Daily Express, " Japan has 
avenged the Hitaclii Mam. The men 
Kamimura rescued and succoured yester- 
day aided in the sinking of the Hitachi 
Mam, and sailed away from a hundred 



54 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



of their drowning victims. We offer 
their living for our dead." 

The Japanese loss and damage in this 
remarkable engagement were very small. 
Admiral Kamimura reported that his 
ships " suffered somewhat, but nothing 
serious," and there is other evidence to 
show that their fighting power was un- 
impaired. The Japanese casualties were 
44 killed, including two officers, and 65 
wounded, including seven olficers. 

Before we proceed to discuss the 
lessons and results of this brisk naval 
engagement let us take a parting glance 
at the Rossia and Gromoboi, as they 
steam slowly towards Vladivostok. It is 
a melancholy crowd of officials and 
civilians which lines the water-front of the 
great northern port when the two return- 
ing cruisers are sighted. For the fate of 
the Rurik is known, and by this time the 
magnitude of the disaster which has re- 
sulted from the naval sortie from Port 
Arthur is realised. What a different 
home-coming from that which might 
have been had even a portion of the Port 
Arthur Fleet succeeded in breaking 
through the Japanese blockade and 
effected a junction with Admiral Jessen's 
three ships, now reduced to a wretched 
pair ! What a miserable ending to the 
"commerce-destroying" exploits of 
which Vladivostok has been so proud, 
possibly because they have, at any rate, 
served to draw her from the obscure posi- 
tion to which she had been relegated dur- 
ing the early stages of the war by the 
studied indifference of Japan ! One can 
hardly imagine a more complete upsetting 
of calculations, a cruder wrecking of 
hopes, than this, which the Russian resi- 
dents of the " Sovereign City of the 
East ' ' are now undergoing. 

An eye-witness gives a graphic account 
of the depressing spectacle afforded by 



the two cruisers themselves as they make 
their way gloomily into the Golden Horn. 
They never seem previously to have pre- 
sented a particularly spick-and-span ap- 
pearance, but they always gave the idea 
of being powerful and efficient fighting 
ships, and now even this grimly attractive 
aspect has given place to one of rather 
woebegone forlornness. Funnels, masts, 
and bridges have been riddled with shells. 
" Iron plates, temporarily riveted over 
breaches made by the enemy, fairly cov- 
ered the hulls of both ships " — ^giving 
them, one would imagine, rather the 
appearance of wounded elephants with 
their hurts hidden by gigantic squares 
of court - plaster. "Some of these 
breaches," it is stated, " were large 
enough for a man to creep through." 
There are other signs of heavy fighting 
to be seen, and, as a fillip to the 
human interest of a dreary scene, a figure 
lies prone under an awning on the quar- 
ter-deck of the Gromoboi, the figure of a 
badly wounded officer, Captain Dabitch, 
the commander of the cruiser, who was 
twice hit during the action, but clung to 
his post till it was over. 

There are inspiring stories told of Cap- 
tain Dabitch's behaviour. He took his 
stand on the upper bridge of the Gro- 
moboi and remained there until he was 
wounded. As soon as his wound had 
been treated he again assumed command, 
and again mounted the bridge. Another 
shell almost immediately burst on the 
Gromoboi, killing several officers and 
again wounding the captain. Captain 
Dabitch had now to send his own signals 
to the engine-room, for no officer was 
available for the duty. A little later, 
thinking his gallant fellows wanted heart- 
ening, he himself, in spite of his second 
wound, and weak as he was from loss 
of blood, came down on deck and showed 



THE RESULTS OF THE ENGAGEMENT. 



55 



himself among the sailors, saying, " You 
see, men, I'm all right." 

There are similar stories told of the 
gallant captain of the Rossia, who at one 
period of the fight was informed that 
out of twenty guns only three were work- 
able. He then calmly ordered the 
torpedo lieutenant to have everything in 
readiness to send the ship to the bottom. 
" His coolness and good spirits never 
wavered." 

From these bright tales of Russian 
gallantry we must now turn to make a 
few very brief comments on the general 
aspects of this cruiser engagement. 
There is really very little to say beyond 
what has been said already as to the 
supreme value of accurate gunnery, and 
the extent to which this levels other 
considerations when once a naval action 
has become inevitable. In this particular 
case it will have been noticed that 
accurate fire, in a sense, takes the place 
of speed. It seems quite possible that, 
if the Rurik had been able to maintain 
the 17 knots at which she was steaming 
at one period of the fight, the Russian 
ships might have got away without 
much injury. But the straight powder 
of the Japanese soon knocked the Rurik''s 
.speed out of her, and, by rendering her 
helpless, placed the Gromoboi and Rossia 
also at a disadvantage. That this 
action, following on that of August loth, 
will give a great impetus to the study 
and practice of naval gunnery, there can 
be little doubt. It is possible that, even 
in the greatest navies of the world there 
may be exhibited a more frequent 
tendency to practise with full charges, 
and perhaps a little less reluctance to 
subordinate gunnery needs to the exi- 
gencies of man-of-war smartness. 

As to the manoeuvring, here, as in the 
case of the battleship action of the loth, 



there may be technical lessons to be de- 
rived from the full details which will 
ultimately, no doubt, be available. But 
naval tactics are for the most part either 
so simple as to require no explanation, 
or so dependent upon data, which few 
but genuine naval experts understand, as 
to be beyond the scope of useful discus- 
sion in a work of this description. For 
the present, then, at any rate, let us be 
content with the assurance that Admiral 
Kamimura's victory was mainly due to 
accuracy of fire, and that it would prob- 
ably have been just three times as de- 
cisive as it was had he known as much 
as we know now of the condition of the 
Russian ships. 

Of the moral effects of the success it is 
easy to speak with greater confidence. 
Although the snake has not been killed, 
he has been badly scotched, and there 
does not seem much likelihood that ever 
again will a " Vladivostok Squadron " 
become such a terror, or rather, such a 
pestilential nuisance, as did the one 
which has just been so roughly handled. 
Even assuming that the big holes in the 
hulls of the Gromoboi and Rossia can be 
satisfactorily patched, and their other 
defects made good, they will undoubtedly 
be more cautious now in venturing forth 
in order to waylay innocent merchant- 
men, causing intense irritation among 
neutral maritime nations by their high- 
handed exposition of their own laws of 
contraband. There is a grave difference 
between hunting in couples and hunting 
in threes in such a case, more especially 
now that more Japanese armoured 
cruisers can be spared for the. express 
purpose of preventing and punishing any 
raids from Vladivostok. 

In this connection it may be mentioned 
that, in thanking Admiral Kamimura for 
the great service he has rendered, the 



56 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Mikado takes occasion to dwell specially 
on the fact tliat hitherto it has been the 
Admiral's sole duty to guard the Korean 
Strait. This is understood to be in- 
tended as a rebuke to the previous 
criticism which has been lavished upon 
Admiral Kamimura for not preventing 
the sorties of the Vladivostok Squadron. 

As a matter of fact, it may well be that, 
with the loss of the Rurik and the 
hammering of the Rossia and Gromoboi, a 
new- era has commenced for Vladivostok. 
Sooner or later the Japanese should have 
to take into serious consideration the de- 
sirableness of reducing this place, and 
much of the naval diificulty has now been 
removed. Little more than a fortnight 
after Admiral Kamimura's victory the 
St. Petersburg correspondent of the 
Echo de Paris declares that the Japanese 
are about to attempt to seize the island 
of Sakhalin, in order to make it a base for 
operations against Vladivostok. The 
correspondent adds that General Linie- 
vitch has already sent troops to the is- 
land, and will shortly despatch rein- 
forcements thither. This may be an al- 
together premature surmise, but, at any 
rate, it shows that the Russians them- 
selves are alive to the altered situation. 

It may incidentally be mentioned that 
about this time Admiral Alexeieff pays a 
visit to Vladivostok, with the intention, 
it is said, of conferring with General 
Linievitch as to the formation of a new 



army to operate independently of that 
under command of General Kuropatkin. 
Here, again, we seem to be in the region 
rather of shadowy contingencies than of 
practical politics, taking into considera- 
tion the carrying capacity of the Siberian 
Railway. But the suggestion is in- 
structive, partly as indicating that the 
antagonism between Alexeieff and Kuro- 
patkin still continues unabated, and 
partly as a proof of the Viceroy's 
possession of a very pronounced never- 
say-die quality, which cannot but extort 
admiration, even where it fails to com- 
mand respect. Apart from this, there 
is something rather sad in the apparent 
fact that Alexeieff is beginning to look 
upon Vladivostok as a last resort. Port 
Arthur, the Port Arthur which is in- 
timately associated with the Viceroy's 
assertion of himself and his great office, 
still holds out, but it is beyond hope of 
relief by land or sea. Mukden is now 
being menaced by the advance of the com- 
bined armies of Japan upon General 
Kuropatkin 's position at Liao-yang. 
Before a final withdrawal to Harbin 
takes place Admiral Alexeieff evidently 
thinks that advantage can be taken of 
the comparative immunity from attack 
which Vladivostok has hitherto enjoyed. 
It is not unlikely that his visit there is 
the prelude to some strenuous and inter-; 
esting endeavours, if not to some 
dramatic results. 



57 



CHAPTER LI. 

SEQUEL TO THE NAVAL SORTIE FROM PORT ARTHUR — CAPTURE OF THE RESHITELNY — 

ANGRY PROTESTS — JAPAN's JUSTIFICATION — REFUGEE SHIPS AT KIAO-CHAU. 

SHANGHAI, AND SAIGON DISARMAMENT. 



THE dispersal of the Russian Fleet 
after its sortie from Port Arthur 
on the memorable August loth has a 
strangely variegated sequel. Some of 
the ships, as has already been noted, 
have found their way back to the harbour 
whence they emerged on that fateful 
morning, while others have sought refuge 
in no fewer than four different ports, 
Chifu, Kiao-chau, Shanghai, and Saigon. 
These last especially meet with curious 
experiences in circumstances of very 
great interest from an international 
standpoint. But before we proceed to 
follow their respective adventures, a few 
words must be given to the bulk of the 
defeated squadron which, under Prince 
Ukhtomsky, succeeded on the night of 
August nth in regaining the doubtful 
shelter of Port Arthur. The ships in 
question were, it will be remembered, the 
battleships Peresviet, Pobieda, Sevastopol, 
Retvisan, and Poltava, and the cruiser 
Pallada. Most of these were known to 
have suffered considerably during the 
action, but the Russians are so skilful 
and industrious in repairing their 
damaged warships — not to speak of the 
wide experience they have recently had in 
this melancholy direction — that it will not 
be surprising if at no distant date the 
majority of the vessels named are again 
to be encountergd outside the harbour, 
in company with the cruiser Bayan, which 
could not join in the sortie owing to a 
recent " accident." 



But it soon becomes evident that Ad- 
miral Prince Ukhtomsky is to receive 
little credit for having brought this con- 
siderable remnant of the Fleet out of 
action. In Russia great indignation is 
expressed at his failure to carry out the 
Tsar's behest to remove the ships at all 
costs from Port Arthur to Vladivostok, 
and the opinion is freely ventilated that 
he altogether failed to realise the re- 
sponsibilities which devolved upon him 
on the death of Admiral Vitoft. There is 
no question that great results were ex- 
pected to follow the escape of even part 
of the main fleet to Vladivostok, and that 
the return of five battleships and a cruiser 
to the shell-swept harbour of Port Arthur, 
followed by the defeat of the Vladivostok 
Squadron and the loss of the Rurik, has 
impressed the Russians perhaps more dis- 
agreeably than any previous naval in- 
cident of the war. Accordingly, it is 
hardly to be wondered at that, in spite 
of his important connections. Prince 
Ukhtomsky should be immediately de- 
prived of his command, with a view, it 
is said, to his trial by court martial. 
A little later Captain Wiren, commanding 
the cruiser Bayan, is appointed to take 
Prince Ukhtomsky's place, with the rank 
of Rear-Admiral Commanding the Port 
Arthur Squadron. 

We may now pass to an incident 
which, although it only affects the fate 
of a single Russian destroyer, i§ of more 
dramatic, and, indeed, to sorne extent, 



58 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



of greater historical interest than even the 
return of the greater portion of the Port 
Arthur Fleet to its original base. This 
is the capture of the Reshitelny in the 
harbour of Chifu, an important Chinese 
port situated at the entrance to the Gulf 
of Pe-chi-li about So miles nearly due 
south of Port Arthur. Some allusion has 
already been made to Chifu as a hotbed 
of doubtful rumours. It may be added, 
that the place contains some 50,000 
Chinamen and a fair sprinkling of foreign 
residents. There is reason to believe 
that, apart from the blockade-runners, 
a pretty constant communication has 
been kept up between Port Arthur and 
the Russian Consulate at Chifu by means 
of a system of wireless telegraphy, a re- 
ceiving pole in connection with which 
is said to have been set up in the Con- 
sulate grounds in defiance of Japan's pro- 
test against what seems a clear violation 
of China's neutrality. 

In Chapter XLIX. we left two Japanese 
destroyers waiting outside Chifu for the 
re-appearance of the Reshitelny, which 
was known to have taken refuge here. 
It appears that the Russian destroyer, 
having effected its escape after the action 
of August loth, arrived at Chifu with im- 
portant despatches and, it is said, with 
several personages on board disguised as 
engineers. According to the account 
given by the commander of the destroyer. 
Lieutenant Rostachakovski, the ship was 
forthwith disarmed, the breech-blocks of 
the guns and rifles being handed over to 
the Chinese Admiral at the port, and the 
ensign and pennant lowered. 

The Japanese official reports say that 
the destroyers Asashio and Kasumi, 
having waited till nightfall on August 
nth for the Reshitelny to come out, 
entered the harbour and found the 
Russian vessel not yet disarmed. Ac- 



cordingly, Lieutenant Terashima, with an 
interpreter and a party of Japanese blue- 
jackets, was sent on board the Reshitelny 
to offer the commander the alternative of 
surrender or departure from the port at 
dawn. 

A very graphic description of what 
follows is given by Renter's corres- 
pondent at Chifu. It appears that when 
the Japanese lieutenant boarded the 
Reshitelny, followed by his boat's crew 
armed with rifles and bayonets, the 
Russian commander protested. " I am 
unable to resist," he said, "but this is 
a breach of neutrality and courtesy." 
He then gave secret orders for prepara- 
tions to be made to blow up the ship. 
In order to gain time for this operation, 
Lieutenant Rostachakovski proceeded to 
argue the points of international law 
bearing on the case, being met by 
vigorous injunctions either to get out into 
the open sea for a fight or prepare to be 
towed out. The Japanese officer added 
that, if Lieutenant Rostachakovski would 
surrender, his life would be spared. 

" This insult so stung me," said the 
Russian officer afterwards, " that I 
struck the Japanese officer before I meant 
to, as I was afraid that the explosive for 
blowing up my ship was not yet ready. 
My blow knocked the Japanese lieutenant 
overboard. In falling he dragged me 
with him, he dropping into his boat, I 
into the water. I clung to the lieu- 
tenant's throat, pummelling him till my 
hold was broken." 

Lieutenant Rostachakovski subse- 
quently attempted to return to his ship, 
but was shot at while in the water and 
wounded in the leg. He then swam to a 
neighbouring junk, whose crew beat him 
off with a boathook. He is said to 
have remained in the water fifty minutes, 
swimming, though hampered by his 



A STARTLING PERFORMANCE. 



59 



wounds, till he was picked up by a boat 
from the Chinese warship liai-yung. 

Meanwhile, a free fight had commenced 
between the Russian and Japanese 
sailors. One of the former jumped ovei'- 
board with the Japanese interpreter, and 
the confusion was intensified by the ex- 
plosion of the Reshitelny's magazine 
causing several casualties. Eventually 
the Japanese got the upper hand, hoisted 
their flag, and one of their destroyers 
towed the Reshitdny out of the harbour. 

The Japanese lost one man killed and 
fourteen wounded in this affair, which, 
as witnessed from the deck of the Chifu 
lightship, is said to have been of a very 
picturesque description. The Japanese 
destroyers had their search-lights turned 
on the Reshitelny, and one could see 
plainly the altercation between the 
Russian and Japanese lieutenants, fol- 
lowed by the discharge of rifles, the flash 
of cutlasses, and the springing of the 
Russians overboard. The actual fighting 
lasted only ten minutes, when the maga- 
zine explosion took place, blowing away 
the main bridge, but not damaging the 
hull. 

There is some mystery as to the 
Russian despatches carried on board the 
Reshitelny. According to one account, 
some secret papers were burned before 
the Japanese boarded the vessel; accord- 
ing to another, they fell into the hands of 
the captors. But it is understood that 
Lieutenant Rostachakovski's mission was 
an important one, and that the capture 
of the ship was a serious blow to the 
Russian plans. 

The reports as to the action of the 
Chinese naval authorities during this 
startling performance are very conflict- 
ing ; one indicating complete non-inter- 
ference, another alleging complicity with 
the Japanese, and a third suggesting that 



the Chinese Admiral did make serious 
protests, but, finding them disregarded, 
was so deeply hurt that he handed over 
the command of his squadron to one of 
his captains ! But the main point seems 
to be that, whether China did or did not 
wish to' take active steps to prevent the 
violation of her neutrality, her attitude 
made no practical difference in the result. 

At first the capture of the Reshitelny 
created a tremendous hubbub. The 
Russian Government protested both in 
Peking and, through the French Minister, 
in Tokio that the capture was an " as- 
tounding violation " of Chinese neutrality 
and of international law. In the Russian 
note to the Chinese Government com- 
plicity was distinctly charged, and the 
Chinese naval authorities accused of 
either cowardice or treason. A full ex- 
planation was demanded, also the punish- 
ment of the Chinese Admiral, and the 
restoration of the destroyer. At Peking 
the Russian demands are said to have 
been supported by the French and 
German Ministers. 

Even in Great Britain Japan was at 
first pretty roundly blamed for having, 
in this case, departed from her usual 
attitude of strict correctness in regard to 
neutrality. In a word, an international 
situation of some gravity seemed to have 
been created, when Japan issued a re- 
markably clear and dignified statement 
defining her position both in regard to 
this particular incident and to Chinese 
neutrality in general. The following is a 
reproduction of the greater part of this 
extremely interesting and important com- 
munication, which was first made through 
Renter's correspondent at Tokio. The 
Japanese Government begins by declaring 
the status of China in the present 
struggle to be quite unique. She is not 
a party to a conflict, most of the military 



6o 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



operations connected with which are be- forces would g-ive effect to the proviso in 

ing- carried on within her borders, and, the Japanese eng-af,'ement, which would 

according-ly, some of her territory is justify her in considering: ports so occu- 

belligerent, while the rest remains pied or used as bellig-erent. In other 

neutral. In such words, the Japan- 



an anomalous and 
contradictory 
state of affairs the 
only way of limit- 
ing the area of 
hostilities at the 
commencement of 
the war was lor 
both Russia and 
Japan to regard 
the case as a 
special one, and 
to g"i\c their ad- 
hesion to a special 
understanding'. 

" !n the inter- 
ests of foreig"n in- 
tercourse and the 
g-eneral tranquil- 
lity of China, 
the Japanese Gov- 
ernment agreed 
to respect the 
neutrality of 
China outside the 
regions actually involved in war, pro- 
vided that Russia made a similar agree- 
ment and carried it out in good faith. 
The Japanese Government considered 
that they were precluded by their engage- 
ment from occupying or using for warlike 
purposes of any kind the territory or ports 
of China outside the zone which was 
made the theatre of war, because it 
seemed to them that such occupation or 
use would convert places thus occupied 
or used from neutral to belligerent 
territory. Equally it seemed to them that 
anv such occupation or use of neutral 
Chinese territory or ports by the Russian 




I'lwlu : C. Cozens, Sviithsca. 
JAPANESE " SMALL-ARM MEN " OF THE EATTLESHII- 



ese Government 
hold that China's 
neutrality is im- 
perfect, and ap- 
plicable only to 
those places which 
are not occupied 
by the armed 
forces of either 
belligerent, and 
Russia cannot es- 
cape the conse- 
quences of an un- 
successful war by 
moving her army 
or navy into those 
portions of China 
which have by ar- 
rangement been 
made condition- 
ally neutral. 

" From Port 
Arthur Russia 

sought in Chifu 
an asylum from 
attack which her home port had ceased 
to afford her. In taking that step 
Russia was guilty of a breach of the 
neutrality of China as established by 
agreement between the belligerents, 
and Japan was fully . justified in re- 
garding the harbour of Chifu as bel- 
ligerent so far as the incident in ques- 
tion is concerned. With the termina- 
tion of the incident the neutrality of the 
port was revived. The action taken by 
Japan at Chifu was the direct and natural 
consequence of Russia's disregard of her 
engagement, but it was not alone in this 
matter, not alone at Chifu, that Russia 



CHINA' S NEUrRALILY. 



6) 



flagrantly violated China's neutrality and 
ig"nored her own engagement." 

The Japanese Government here pro- 
ceeds to instance the establishment ol the 
system of wireless telegraphy between 
Port Arthur and the Russian consulate at 
Chit'u. It also mentions the case of the 
Russian gunboat J\IaHdji(r, which at the 
beginning of the war remained at 
Shanghai for weeks after receiving formal 
notice to leave, and was only disarmed 
after protracted negotiations. Finally, 
the case is quoted of the Askold and the 
Grosovoi, now seeking refuge at Shang- 
hai, to which allusion will be made 



consent to Russian warships, as the result 
ol a broken engagement and violated 
neutrality, finding unchallenged in the 
harbours of China a safe refuge from 
capture or destruction. The declaration 
concludes as follows : — 

" The statement of the commander of 
the Reshitclny that his vessel was dis- 
armed upon her arrival at Chifu is un- 
true. The vessel was fully armed and 
manned when visited by Lieutenant 
Terashima, but in any event her dis- 
armament would not fulfil the require- 
ments of the regulations concerning 
China's neutrality. It was, moreover, 




U b Ull I 1 

JATANESE LLLEJACKETS ; 



A TYPICAL GROUP ON' BOARD THE ASAHI. 



presently. The Japanese Government for China, and not Russia, to decide 

observes that it has no intention of dis- whether the alternative of disarmament 

regarding China's neutrality as long as would be acceptable. It is suggested 

it is respected by Russia ; but it cannot that the present case is comparable with 



D2 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



that of the Florida, among others, but 
the Japanese Government draw a clear 
distinction between the two events. The 
neutrality of Brazil was perfect and un- 
conditional, and the port of Bahia was a 
long- distance from the seat of war ; 
whereas the neutrality of China is im- 
perfect and conditional, and the port of 
Chifu is in close proximity to the zone of 
military operations. The Russian officers 
who took part in the Chifu incident agree 
that the Reshiielny was the aggressor and 
the first to begin the hostilities which re- 
sulted in her capture. This fact would, 
the Japanese Government believe, deprive 
Russia of any grounds for complaint 
which she might possess if the legality 
of the capture were otherVise in doubt. 
In this respect the case resembles the 
cases of the American privateer General 
Armstrong and of the British ship 
Anne. 

" The case of the Reshiielny is in itself 
of trifling importance, but it involves a 
principle of paramount importance. Ex- 
perience has shown that China will take 
no adequate steps to enforce her 
neutrality laws. If in these circum- 
stances the Reshiielny could make Chifu 
harbour a port of refuge, then the great 
ships of the Russian Navy might do the 
same, and nothing would prevent these 
ships from issuing forth from their re- 
treat to attack Japan. The necessity of 
guarding against such an eventuality was 
too commanding and too overwhelming 
to permit the Reshiielny to establish a 
precedent." 

It is significant that after the publica- 
tion of this weighty statement the 
Reshiielny incident seems to recede into 
the background, and we hear as little of 
Japan's " astounding violation of neu- 
trality " as we now do of her 
" treachery " in attacking the Russian 



ships at Port Arthur on the night of 
February loth. 

The next episode in connection with 
the dispersal of the Port Arthur Fleet is 
that of the battleship Tsareviich and the 
tiiree Russian destroyers in Kiao-chau 
Bay. The latter lies on the east coast of 
the Shantung province, and at its en- 
trance is the important German port of 
Tsing-tau, where Germany has a control 
as absolute as is ours at Wei-hai-wei. 
Several German warships are in the 
harbour, and it is clear that the position 
may become at any moment inconveni- 
ently strained unless Germany takes far 
prompter steps than did China to vindi- 
cate her neutrality. This Germany is 
happily in a position to do, and does with 
a thoroughness which is regarded as 
quite satisfactory everywhere except 
possibly in Russia, where fantastic views 
of German friendliness are believed to 
have been entertained. 

When the news of the arrival of the 
crippled Russian ships reaches Berlin, the 
authorities immediately transmit to the 
Governor of Kiao-chau, Naval Captain 
Truppel, the necessary instructions for 
the observation of the strict rules of 
neutrality. The Russian ships are to be 
accorded a period of grace, during which 
the repairs needful to ensure seaworthi- 
ness may be undertaken, and after the 
lapse of which the vessels are to be sum- 
moned to leave German territory within 
twenty-four hours. On the other hand, 
no work of any kind calculated to re- 
store or increase the fighting efficiency 
of the Russian refugees is to be 
countenanced. 

On August 15th it was stated that the 
Tsareviich and the three Russian de- 
stroyers were in the hands of the local 
German Government for repairs, and that 
the Governor had made a formal visit to 



THE LOSS OF THE ''BURN/:' 



63 



the ships to demand the hauling down of 
the Russian flag pending the completion 
of repairs. On the approach of the 
Governor and his staff the crew of the 
Tsarevitch were at first alarmed, and 
seized their weapons ; the excitement, 
however, being quickly allayed. On the 
day following the striking of the ensigns, 
the Russian ships were dismantled, it 
being evident that they would not be 
able to cope with the greatly superior 
Japanese force which was lying in wait 
outside the harbour. All the ammunition 
was removed and stored in the German 
magazine, and the guns rendered tempor- 
arily quite useless. The terms of parole 
obliged the Russian officers and sailors 
to remain at Tsing-tau until the end of 
the war. Meanwhile, every precaution 
was taken to prevent a repetition of the 
Chifu incident ; a German cruiser remain- 
ing on guard outside the harbour, while 
an intimation is conveyed to the Jap- 
anese that any ship entering the harbour 
at night without lights will be fired upon. 
On August i6th Admiral Ikadzuki with 
his staff arrived at Tsing-tau in a Jap- 
anese destroyer and called upon the 
Governor, who reassured him as to the 
complete dismantling of the Russian 
ships. The Admiral then left the har- 
bour, duly saluted by the German war- 
ships, and the incident was evidently re- 
garded as closed by all concerned. About 
three weeks later a correspondent ac- 
companied several Italian naval officers 
over the Tsarevitch, and reported that, in 
addition to the injuries mentioned in 
Chapter XLIX., the battleship had two 
holes below the water-line, which, how- 
ever, had been easily handled. The 
general impression made upon the visitors 
was that the ship was far from being 
Jiors de combat, and that she would have 
been capable of inflicting severe damage 



on the Japanese had she remained in the 
fight. She had plenty of ammunition and 
coal, and, though her electrical steering 
gear was gone, her hand and steam 
steering gear remained. On the other 
hand, it must be remembered that the 
Tsarevitch eventually parted company 
with the other ships because she could 
not keep up with them, and that when 
she arrived at Tsing-tau she was only 
making four knots with an immense ex- 
penditure of coal. Also, it is possible 
that the repairs effected in Kiao-chau Bay 
were considerable, for, even after the dis- 
mantling, the Russian sailors continued 
to work on the damaged vessel. 

Before leaving Chifu and Kiao-chau a 
note may be made of the loss of a Russian 
torpedo-boat near Slian-tung in the early 
morning of August 12th. The boat in 
question was the Burni, commanded by 
Lieutenant Tyrtoff ; but it is not quite 
certain that she was in the action of the 
loth, since all the torpedo-craft which 
accompanied the Port Arthur Fleet in its 
sortie appear to be otherwise accounted 
for, three having returned to harbour, 
three being at Kiao-chau, one at Shang- 
hai, and one, the Reshitelny, having been 
captured by the Japanese. An alterna- 
tive suggestion is that the Reshitelny only 
emerged from Port Arthur after the 
action. The point, however, is not im- 
portant, and mention is only made of the 
Burni because her crew sought refuge in 
a British port. The vessel went on the 
rocks near Shan-tung in a fog, and was 
blown up by order of her commander. 
Lieutenant Tyrtoff and his crew, all of 
whom were saved, made their way on 
foot to Wei-hai-wei, where they were ac- 
commodated on board H.M.S. Tiumber, 
and afterwards sent to Hong-kong. 

There remain the case of the cruiser 
Askold and the destroyer Grosovoi, which 



^4 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



arrived at Shanghai on August 12th, 
and that of the cruiser Diana at Saigon. 
The position of the first two ships gave 
rise to a great deal of trouble, which at 
one time threatened to become acute, 
owing to fresh attempts on the part of 
Russia to take advantage of China's in- 
ability to enforce her neutrality. For 
several days a sort of " triangular duel " 
went on between the Russian, Chinese, 



increase the fighting efficiency of the 
ships, such as, for instance, the pro- 
vision of new funnels. The Chinese 
authorities met both Russian and Jap- 
anese demands with a series of diplomatic 
contortions, the practical result of which 
was, of course, that nothing was done 
except to produce a really dangerous 
state of tension. The situation was still 
further complicated by the fact that the 




KIAO-CHAU BAY AND TSING-TAU. 



and Japanese authorities. The Russians 
claimed the right to remain in the river 
until necessary repairs to the two ships 
had been effected, it being suggested that 
in the case of the Grosovoi this would 
occupy eighteen, and in that of the 
'Askold twenty-eight, days. Japan vigor- 
ously demurred to this, pointing out that 
the only repairs contemplated by the laws 
of neutrality were those necessary to 
make a ship seaworthy, and that no work 
ought to be done of a nature likely to 



dock in which the repairs to the Askold 
were being effected was in the hands of 
a British company not subject to Chinese 
jurisdiction. 

After some ten days of verv acri- 
monious negotiation it became evident 
that Japan would not allow herself to be 
trifled with much longer, and apprehen- 
sions were beginning to be felt that she 
would proceed forthwith to take the law 
into her own hands. At least, when the 
matter had apparently reached a climax, 



THE CASE OF THE ''DIANA:' 



6S 



an order from the Tsar arrived at Shang- 
hai commanding: Admiral Reitzenstein to 
disarm the Askold and Grosovoi without 
further delay. The flags of both vessels 
were accordingly lowered, and during the 
ensuing week the disarmament was duly 
carried out. Some further difficulty 
arose in respect of the crews of the two 



sulatcs, namely, Cliifu, Ticn-tsin, Han- 
kau, Shanghai, and I<"u-chau. 

The case of the cruiser Diana, which 
took refuge at the port of Saigon, the 
capital of the French colony of Indo- 
China, also remained a considerable time 
in abevance, but seems never to have 
gi\'en rise to much anxiety. The Diana 




Photo : Rcnard, Kiel 



THE RUSSIAN CRUISER 



ships. Japan demanded that these 
should be " interned " until the war was 
ended, having been apprised of the fact 
that the crews of the Varyag and Koriets, 
who A\ere sent home on parole, were now 
serving again with the Baltic Fleet. On 
the other hand, it was felt that the 
presence of such a large body of Russian 
sailors at Shanghai might lead to serious 
disturbances. Accordingly, it was ultim- 
atelv decided to intern these crews, and 
distribute them among the Treaty Ports 
cf China where there are Russian Con- 
41 



was damaged by a shell below the water- 
line in the action of August loth, while 
another shell killed an officer and three 
men, and wounded twenty-three men. 
The Diana was making for Shan-tung, 
but was obliged to change her course, 
ns she met some Japanese torpedo-boats, 
\\hich are said to have discharged nine 
torpedoes at her without effect. Accord- 
ing to the St. Petersburg correspondent 
of the Telit Parisien, it was expected in 
the Russian capital that the Diana, after 
having undergone the necessary repairs, 



66 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR 



would leave Saigon for the Red Sea " to 
assist the volunteer fleet vessels in their 
search for contraband of war " ! But 
this ingenuous suggestion proved to be 
inaccurate. On September 4th the com- 
mander of the Diana received orders from 
the Russian Admiralty to disarm the 
vessel, and two days later the French 
Minister at Tokio formally notified the 
Japanese Government that the Diana 
would disarm at Saigon. 

It has been necessary to follow this 
remarkable series of incidents rather 
closely, partly because the issues are 
somewhat complicated, but chiefly be- 
cause the events themselves open up a 
new chapter in the history of warfare. 
As the Japanese Government has justly 
observed, the position of China in this 
war is altogether unique, and that the 
position has not long ago become utterly 
insupportable is, perhaps, the finest 
tribute to the good sense of the ' ' looker- 
on " nations that could possibly be 
imagined. Even as it is, the behaviour 
of the Chinese authorities at Chifu and 
Shanghai has brought matters perilously 
near to the point at which China cer- 
tainly, and perhaps three or four 
European nations, might have become 
suddenly embroiled. On the other hand, 
even the prompt and correct action of 
the Germans at Kiao-chau hardly re- 
moves the impression that the interna- 
tional law of neutrality as regards the 
rights of refugee warships is not in an 
altogether satisfactory state. At present, 
everything seems to depend upon the 
capacity of the nation whose neutrality 
is thus affected to maintain that neutral- 
ity, if necessary by force of arms. One 
suspects that if Kiao-chau had belonged 
not to Germany but, say, to the tiny 
Republic of Andorra, Japan would have 
stood upon little ceremony, and would 



have cut out the Tsarevitch just as she 
did the Reshiielny. Europe would have 
been profoundly shocked, but no Euro- 
pean nation would care to declare war 
against Japan merely out of anxiety to 
keep Andorran neutrality inviolate. 

Possibly, then, the incidents narrated 
in this chapter may have a signifiance all 
their own, in that they may lead up to 
new and much more binding international 
agreements as to refugee ships. For, at 
the bottom of much of the fuss and fury 
which have arisen lurks the distinct 
probability that Russia has been cynically 
using the uncertainty which prevails as 
to the treatment of refugee ships to assist 
her materially in her warhke operations. 
It is of no slight advantage to her to lock 
up a considerable portion of the Japanese 
Fleet in watching the exits of harbours 
in which crippled Russian warships are 
being more or less leisurely repaired. 
All this relieves the pressure on Port 
Arthur, and puts off the day of reckoning 
for Vladivostok. Probably Russia from 
the first had no intention of allowing 
the Tsarevitch, Askold, and Diana to 
leave their respective shelters ; indeed, 
she might not have been displeased to 
see all her remaining ships in the Far 
East comfortably interned where there 
was a chance of recovering them at the 
end of the war. All this is highly de- 
trimental to the interests of Japan, whose 
sole consolation is that, if she continues 
victorious, she may be able to make it 
a condition of peace that the ships now 
lying dismantled in Chinese ports shall be 
handed over to her, together with any 
found at Port Arthur or Vladivostok. 
Probably Japan would cheerfully relin- 
quish such remote reversionary chances 
for the present satisfaction of dealing 
with the refugee ships at sea, or, at 
least, of seeing them promptly disarmed. 



67 



CHAPTER LII. 

THE NOVIK — HER FLIGHT TO SAKHALIN ISLAND — THE JAPANESE SEARCH — A CRUISER 
DUEL — THE N0V2K SUNK — A FAMOUS LITTLF: SHIP — JAPANESE REAPPEAR AT 
KORSAKOVSK. 

" ■" I '^HE cruiser Novik, which possesses 
* a good turn of speed, was allowed 
to act independently. ' ' So wrote Rear- 
Admiral Reitzenstein, commanding the 
criiiser squadron of the Port Arthur 
Fleet, in the official report of the move- 
ments of his four ships on the night of 
the memorable battle of August loth. 
The sequel to the independent action of 
the Novik is a sad one, but the story is 
relieved by many touches of real interest, 
and well deserves to be told in a separate 
chapter. For the Novik is a little ship 
with a big record, compiled in six short 
months, of sturdy fighting under condi- 
tions seldom favourable to a vessel of 
her class. Since February gth, when she 
ran out of Port Arthur and boldly faced 
the bombarding fleet of Japan, but was 
soon crippled by her giant adversaries, 
she has been the " plucky little Novik " 
to all students of the campaign, and has 
won many a round of hearty applause 
from the friends of both the combatant 
nations. Her end is drawing near, but 
it is an end worthy of a gallant ship, and 
far less to be deplored than loss by strik- 
ing a mine or any such untoward acci- 
dent born of negligence or foeman's 
craft. Before passing to the details of 
the Novik's last fight, let us see what 
manner of a ship she was, and how 
poorly she was fitted to meet any but the 
very lightest warships in the Japanese 
Navy. The Novik was launched at 



Elbing, Germany, in 1900, and iBay be 
described as a very fast protected cruiser 
of 3,300 tons, and with 18,000 horse- 
power engines. She had a nominal 
speed of 25 knots, and carried coal 
sufficient for a run of goo miles at full 
speed. She had triple screws and was 
three funnelled, and her armament con- 
sisted of six 4"7 inch guns and six 
three-pounder and two one-pounder 
quick-firers. She had also five torpedo 
tubes. The weak spot in her design was 
that her engines were not entirely below 
the water-line; but she was a great 
favourite in the Russian Navy, and her 
brisk performances at Port Arthur were 
a constant source of pride and satisfac 
tion throughout the Empire. 

After parting company with the 
Askold on the night of August loth, the 
Novik made for Kiao - chau harbour,, 
which she entered on August nth, and, 
after coaling, left the following morning. 
It was lucky that at this stage she 
escaped the attentions of Admiral Togo's 
watch-dogs, which shortly afterwards 
kept such close guard over the entrance 
to Kiao-chau Bay in order to intercept 
the Tsarevitch should the latter attempt 
to make an exit. 

From Kiao-chau the Novik shaped her 
course round Japan for Vladivostok. It 
is believed that the intention of her com- 
mander was to make a dash through the 
Tsugaru Straits, in which the Vladivostok 



THE FLIGHT OF THE '' NOVIK.- 



69 



Squadron aforetime has disported itself, 
but the forts had extinguished their 
lights, making the passage impos- 
sible. Accordingly, the Novik proceeded 
north until on August 20th she reached 
the port of Korsakovsk in the Island of 
Sakhalin. 

Here the Novik was among compa- 
triots, for the Island of Sakhalin, which 
lies off the east coast of the Maritime 
Province of Siberia, is Russian territory, 
and is peopled largely by Russian con- 
victs, some 5,000 of whom are employed 
to work the coal mines. The southern 
extremity of Sakhalin is separated from 
the Japanese island of Yezo by the Strait 
of La Perouse, sometimes called the Soya 
Straits, from Soya Point on the Yezo 
coast. The southern part of Sakhalin 
used formerly to be claimed by Japan, 
but in the year 1875 s^^^ ceded it to Russia 
in exchange for certain of the Kurile 
Islands. 

The captain of the Novik was evidently 
minded to make no long' stay at a port 
which, although Russian, afforded no 
real shelter from the enemy's cruisers. 
He probably was well aware that his 
ship had been sighted at different points 
of her northward journey, and that the 
Japanese would make every effort to in- 
tercept her in the Soya Straits. His 
only hope seemed to be to coal as quickly 
as possible, and try to get through to 
Vladivostok before it was too late. By 
4 p.m. on the afternoon of August 2Qth, 
he had coaled, and was preparing to 
come out of the harbour when a vessel 
was sighted, which proved to be a Japan- 
ese cruiser. True to the traditions which 
had already clustered round his gallant 
ship and crew, the captain of the Novik 
put to sea in order to give battle to the 
new-comer, hoping, perhaps, that in an 
interval his turn of speed would allow 



him to slip away through the Soya Strait, 
and make direct for the Golden Horn. 

We must now turn to the Japanese, 
and see what steps they have been taking 
to catch this swift-winged refugee from 
Port Arthur. As already hinted, the 
Novik has been reported once or twice 
during her journey up the east coast of 
Japan, and two fairly fast cruisers, the 
Tsushima and Cliitose, have been de- 
tailed, if possible, to bring her to book. 

The Chiiose is a sister ship to the 
Kasagi, is of 4,784 tons displacement, 
and has a nominal speed of 22'5 knots. 
The Tsushima is a sister ship to the 
Niitaka. She is of only 3,420 tons dis- 
placement, with a nominal speed of 20 
knots. Both ships are, however, much 
more heavily armed than the Novik, the 
weight of the Chiiose' s broadside fire 
being 800 pounds, and that of the 
T sushima' s 920 pounds, while the Novik's 
broadside only aggregates 180 pounds. 

It is early in the morning of August 
19th that the Tsushima and Chiiose learn 
that the Novik has been sighted from 
the Atoeya lighthouse on the Kurile 
Islands. The two vessels immediately 
head for the Soya Straits at full speed. 

At dawn on Saturday, August 20th, 
the Chiiose arrives at a point 20 miles 
north-east of Rebunshiri Island, and pro- 
ceeds to search the Soya Straits, but is 
greatly handicapped by the heavy 
weather. At 8 o'clock the T sushima, 
which has been searching to the west- 
ward, joins the Chiiose close to Rebun- 
shiri Island, and further measures are 
concerted. One can understand with 
what anxiety the chances are reckoned, 
and what close calculations are made of 
the possibility that the Novik has already 
made her escape. Of course, it is all a 
matter of coal and speed. It is clear 
, that, even at the comparatively slow rate 



7° 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



at which she must have been steaming 
when she passed up the east coast of 
Japan, the Novik's coal must have been 
running rather short when she rounded 
the Kurile Islands. The problem seems 
to have been whether she had husbanded 
enough to enable her to get across to 
Vladivostok without touching at Sak- 
halin Island, and it is evident that the 
Japanese judged such a contingency to 
be possible, or they would not have com- 
menced their search so far to the west- 
ward. The facts of the case as stated 
above show that the Novik must have 
been more or less compelled to coal at 
Korsakovsk before making finally for 
Vladivostok, and the rapidity with which 
she did this and put out again to sea 
shows that she, too, realised what a 
matter of minutes her chance of escape 
must have been. 

The two Japanese cruisers, having 
compared notes upon' the situation, set 
about the renewal of their search in a 
very methodical manner. Soya Straits 
at their narrowest are only forty miles 
wide, but the Chitose takes the line from 
Cape Soya to Isiretoko Point, some 
seventy miles to the north-east on the 
coast of Sakhalin Island, doubtless fol- 
lowing what is called a " curve of 
search," such as is usually adopted by 
warships on the lookout for a moving 
enemy whose whereabouts are not ac- 
curately known. Meanwhile, the Tsu- 
shima is despatched towards Korsakovsk. 
It should be noted that both the Japanese 
cruisers, although comparatively small 
vessels, are duly equipped with the wire- 
less telegraphy system which the Japan- 
ese have already shown their ability to use 
to the very fullest advantage. Doubt- 
less, the Chiiose, being the larger ship, 
would in ordinary circumstances have 
been selected to proceed to Korsakovsk, 



but the Chitose had often been seen in 
action by the Novik, which, it was feared, 
might dart off at once on the approach 
of what she knew to be a hostile ship. 
The Tsushima, on the other hand, having 
two masts and three funnels, somewhat 
resembles the Bogaiyr, and there was 
just a chance that the Novik might be- 
lieve that that unfortunate vessel, which 
went on shore near Vladivostok in May, 
had been refloated, and was coming to 
her assistance. As a matter of fact, this 
expectation seems to have proved quite 
groundless, the Tsushima being promptly 
recognised by the Novik as a cruiser of 
the Niitaka type, but the suggestion 
shows how carefully every little move- 
ment of the Japanese warships is thought 
out, and how extremely anxious these 
two in particular were lest their quarry 
should escape them. 

The Tsushima steers due north after 
parting from the Chitose, and in the 
afternoon comes sufficiently near to 
Korsakovsk to sight a three-funnelled 
ship lying inside the harbour. Ap- 
proaching still closer, the Japanese dis- 
covered the Novik preparing to come out. 
She heads to the south, and has evidently 
planned to escape through the Soya 
Straits. The Tsushima places herself in 
a position to bar any sudden dash in 
that direction, and manoeuvres so as to 
keep her port guns trained on the Novik. 
At the same time, a message by wireless 
telegraphy is despatched to the Chitose. 

A duel at sea in any circumstances can 
hardly fail to be of great dramatic inter- 
est, but in this case there is much to 
accentuate the impressiveness of a scene 
which will live long in the annals of the 
two navies concerned. It is not so much 
the actual surroundings, as the moral 
conditions in which the fight to a finish 
is about to take place that lend special 



A GRIM ENCOUNTER. 



71 




fhoto: Topical Press Photo Agency. 



THE RUSSIAN CRUISER A0I7A\ 



fascination to the grim encounter. Yet 
there is something weird about the very 
remoteness of the spot, far removed as 
it is from any trace of civihsation other 
than that which but Hghtly tinges a con- 
vict settlement, more especially, perhaps, 
one like that on Sakhalin Island. At 
Korsakovsk there may be some few spec- 
tators of the combat, for there is a de- 
tachment of Russian troops in the place, 
and the officers will be anxiously follow- 
ing the movements of the two vessels 
with their glasses. For the rest, there 
are probably only a handful of wretched 
Mongols and Ainus who could possibly 
be witnesses of this sharp, short struggle 
between two modern warships, one 
hoping still to find a shelter after her 
long flight from Port Arthur, the other 
nervously resolute to spare no effort to 
disable a renowned and highly respected 
adversary. 

As will have been gathered from the 
details given, the two combatants are 



not unequally matched. The Tsusliima 
has the weight of metal, and the Novik 
has the turn of speed. Nor, in all prob- 
ability, has the former any such advant- 
age in the matter of gunnery as the 
Japanese have hitherto enjoyed in their 
naval encounters with the enemy. This 
is the Tsushima^ s maiden fight, for hither- 
to she has been engaged exclusively in 
patrol duties. On the other hand, the 
isovik has been so constantly in action 
that her gunners have had perhaps more 
practice than those on board any other 
Russian vessel ; while it is certain that 
she will be well handled from the start 
by her gallant captain, whose splendid 
seamanship has already won him many 
a frank encomium from Admiral Togo's 
officers and men. 

It is half-past four, and the vessels 
have drawn within fairly close range of 
one another. The captain of the 7"^?^- 
shima presses a button, and the whole 
of the ship's port broadside, nearly half 



72 



HISTORY OF THE RL'SSO -JAPANESE WAR. 



a ton of steel, is poured against the 
enemy. The Novik responds inimedi- 
atel_v, and the shells from her 4*7 inch 
guns come screeching round the TsusJiima 
in such a businesslike fashion as to make 
it evident that the victory is no foregone 
conclusion for the more heavily-armed 
ship. Hot and furious becomes the 
interchange of f^re. The Japanese gun- 
ners are desperately eager in their efforts 
to hit the IS! ovik, and some of the officers 
become so hoarse trying to make them- 
selves heard above the din of battle that 
they completely lose their voices, and 
are reduced — so says the Standard' s 
Tokio correspondent — to writing their 
words of command with chalk ! 

After three-quarters of an hour's hard 
fighting, the Novik puts about and heads 
again for I-Corsakovsk harbour. She 



has three holes below the water-line and 
two above, while part of her steering 
gear is damaged, and only six of her 
boilers are in good order. As she steers 
northwards, still fighting, the Tsushima 
follows. Suddenly one of the Novik's 
shells comes ricochetting from the water 
and strikes the Tsushima on the star- 
board side near the coal bunkers. The 
ship begins to leak, but the handy Japan- 
ese soon effect temporary repairs. Fur- " 
ther pursuit is, however, out of the 
question, and the engagement accord- 
ingly ends at 5 o'clock. 

The Tsushima now makes further sig- 
nals by wireless telegraph}' to the Cliitose, 
and it is indicative of the smartness of 
the Russians that, notwithstanding their 
rather sorry plight, they should trv hard, 
and for a time successfully, to intercept 




Photo : S. Crihb, Southsea. 



JAPANESE BLUEJACKETS ON THE Mlf:ASA. 



THE END OF THE '' NOVIK: 



73 



these messages by their own wireless 
installation. At last, however, the 
Tsushima manages to inform the Chiiose 
that the Novik is in Korsakovsk harbour, 
which she herself proceeds to keep under 
observation during the ensuing hours of 
darkness. 

And what of the Novik? Alas, the 
good little ship has fought her last fight, 
and her end is very near. Her captain 
had hoped to effect repairs in Korsakovsk 
harbour, which would enable him to put 
to sea again at night. But the rudder 
is found to be past all hope. Moreover, 
fresh lights show that the Tsushima is 
being reinforced — for the Chitose is 
now coming up — and with sad reluct- 
ance, we may be sure, the captain of the 
Novik decides to abandon his beloved 
ship, and to sink her in shallow water, 
in the vague hope that some day it may 
be possible to refloat her and restore her 
to the list of Russia's fighting ships. 
During the night of August 20th, accord- 
ingly, the officers and crew and stores of 
the Novik were conveyed ashore. The 
crew are still engaged in landing at dawn 
when they are disturbed by the sudden 
appearance of the Chitose, and have to 
take rather hurriedly to their boats and 
launches. 

The Chitose, the officers and crew of 
which are doubtless a good deal dis- 
heartened at their bad luck in missing 
the duel, enters the Korsakovsk harbour 
at daybreak, and finds the place seem- 
ingly deserted. With the exception of 
the sailors, who are landing from the 
Novik, there is no one about, and the 
houses are closed. It seems likely that 
the town, such as it is, has been tempor- 
arily abandoned, the residents withdraw- 
ing to a safe distance beyond the reach 
of a warship's guns. 

The Novik herself lies beached close to 



the town. She has listed ten degrees to 
port, and her upper works aft are awash. 

From about half-past six to quarter 
past seven the Chitose shells the Novik' s 
hull, with a view to completely disabling 
her. An inglorious process, truly, but a 
wise precaution to take with a modern 
warship which has as many lives as a 
cat, and can be made " as good as new " 
after having been to all appearances 
riddled like a sieve. 

After coming to within 2,500 yards of 
the partly submerged vessel the Chitose 
steams away, her officers satisfied that 
the Novik' s injuries are such that no 
amount of repairs will ever restore the 
vessel's fighting efficiency. 

Thus ends the brief and brilliant career 
of the " pet toy of the Russian Navy," 
a ship whose exploits are of just that 
class that go far to keep naval opinion 
in a healthy state of flux. No one, of 
course, who is moderately sane contends 
that a plethora of Noviks can ma'Ke up 
for a deficiency in battleships, and we 
have already seen the Novik herself, on 
the morning of February 9th, compelled 
to withdraw very hastily out of range of 
the great Mikasa's guns. Half a dozen 
Noviks might well hesitate to attack a 
single battleship, except on the desper- 
ate chance of getting some of their 
torpedoes home while two or three of 
themselves were being sent to the 
bottom. But there is much virtue in a 
fine record of success in actual fighting, 
and the services which the Novik has 
been able to render Russia in the first 
six months of war are such that she will 
long serve to support the arguments of 
those who believe the future to have 
great things in store for very fast light 
cruisers a quarter of the size of our 
monsters Terrible and Powerful, and 
with some of the Novik' s more serious 



74 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



limitations removed. For the Novik 
might be fighting Russia's battles still, 
if any one of her three chief defects had 
been remedied. If her coal capacity had 
been but a little greater she would un- 
doubtedly have reached Vladivostok 
before she could have been overtaken ; 
if she had been less vulnerable, her 
boilers would not have suffered as they 
did, and she might have escaped during 
the action itself; and, finally, if she had 
had heavier guns, she might have suc- 
ceeded in sinking the Tsushima instead 
of merely crippling her for the time 
being. 

Be all this as it may, the Novik's 
course is run, and she will live in his- 
tory as one of several little ships which 
have gained immortality by the exhibi- 
tion of sheer audacity and entire indiffer- 
ence to overwhelming odds. In our 
naval history there are some notable ex- 
amples. Take, for instance, the case of 
Lord Charles Beresford's gunboat, which 
earned the famous signal, " Well done, 
Condor! " at the bombardment of Alex- 
andria. A finer record still is that of the 
" mad little craft " which forced the 
fifty-three great ships of Spain, and of 
which our Tennyson sings so gloriously : 

" And so 

The little Revenge ran on sheet-jnto the heart 
of the foe, 

With her hundred fighters on deck and her ninety 
sick below ; 

For half of their fleet to the right and half to 
the left were seen. 

And the little Revenge ran on thro' the long sea- 
lane between." 

No single vessel of small size could 
hope nowadays to emulate the glorious 
last fight of Sir Richard Grenville's ship, 
for naval science has sadly diminished 
the value of the points which once be- 
longed to seamanship alone. But the 



Novik has won the right to be classed in 
the noble company of such great little 
men-of-war, and her flag should fly all 
the more proudly in the atmosphere of 
naval history by reason of the poor show 
made by so many of the bigger and 
stronger ships in the Navy of which she 
has been a sparkling ornament. 

The casualties in the duel between the 
Novik and the Tsushima were quite sur- 
prisingly small. The latter, indeed, ac- 
cording to the official report, had not a 
single man killed or wounded. On the 
Novik there were two sailors killed, and 
two seriously wounded, while a lieuten- 
ant and fourteen sailors were slightly 
wounded. 

In Japan the news of the fate of the 
Novik creates great satisfaction, tem- 
pered by sincere sentimental regret for 
the loss of a gallant adversary. The 
escape of such a fast vessel to Vladi- 
vostok might have caused Japan serious 
inconvenience, and have greatly dis- 
counted the advantages secured by the 
sinking of the Rurik, and the damages 
inflicted on the Rossia and Gromoboi. In 
St. Petersburg, the destruction of the 
Novik frees a flood of deplorable recrim- 
inations at the Admiralty, much of it 
apparently quite disconnected with the 
mishap itself. This is no uncommon 
phenomenon, but it is one of rather more 
than ordinary significance in such a hot' 
bed of officialdom in Russia. At pre- 
sent the favourite scapegoat seems to be 
Admiral Skrydloff, who is greatly blamed 
for having allowed the Vladivostok 
squadron to go so far south in the hope 
of joining the Port Arthur Fleet. Cer- 
tainly, if he had sent them instead to 
the Soya Straits to meet and assist the 
Novik, he might have saved the latter, 
and sunk either the Chitose or Tsushima, 
or both. But it is easy to be wise aftet 



THE END OF THE '' NOVIK" 



75 



the event ; and doubtless it was expected 
at Vladivostok that the Novik would slip 
through the Tsugaru Strait, as she is 
said to have attempted to do. 

Some little doubt appears to be felt 



tion. Early in the morning of Septem- 
ber 6th the Russian look-out stations at 
Korsakovsk report that two Japanese 
ships are approaching, and the Russian 
detachment of troops stands to its arms. 



orsakovsk. 



POLTAVA 
SEVASTOPOU 



1 Reported to Kave ire.lu.irM.eet to 
/ TovtArtKur in dajno^ei condition. 



Paulada 
SAYAN ^ 



MflNCHURlPl 




BattUslliflS.Hius RETVISAN 
Cl-U.l.s«.fs ■ SAYAN 

tVott.'nvt "r.3.D. S.isk«.trtl«.( rap. 
tWt b\oi:kixc(i>. to CKifu. btfoi-i tlie. 
■pov-L- ftptK.-.!- SDi-h'e. >^ W0.5 Sti's^u*- 
oJt CKl^u. bil tKe. ]o.po-Ke3«. 



CHART SHOWING THE DISPERSAL OF THE RUSSIAN SHIPS AFTER TOGO S AND KAMIMURA S NAVAL 

VICTORIES. 



at Tokio as to the completeness with 
which the destruction of the Novik has 
been carried out, and about a fortnight 
after the duel an expedition is sent to 
ascertain definitely the cruiser's condi- 



When the ships — according to one 
account they are cruisers ; according to 
another, transports — have arrived within 
8,ooo yards of the Korsakovsk station, 
two steam pinnaces are seen to put from 



76 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the vessels, and head towards the cruiser 
Novik, which they reach about lo 
o'clock. Japanese sailors are seen 
rnoving- on the bridge of the Novik. 

The commander of the Russian de- 
tachment now orders his men to fire on 
the boats, and on the deck of the Novik. 
The fire is sufficiently accurate to disturb 
the Japanese at their work, and to cause 
them to return to their ships. The Rus- 
sians continue firing, and the Japanese 
reply from their boats, but no damage is 
done on either side. 

The ships — the unlikelihood of their 
being cruisers is supported b}' the fact 
that they have not attempted to shell 
the Russian detachment — having taken 
the boats on board, weigh anchor about 
noon, and stand away to sea. The 
Russians now proceed to examine the 
Novik, in which they find some mines 



and electrical conductors, evidently laid 
with the intention to blow up what re- 
mained of the cruiser. 

The Japanese officers of this expedi- 
tion on returning to Tokio report that 
the Novik has now a list of 30 degrees, 
and, with the exception of a small por- 
tion of the bows, is entirely submerged, 
the water being knee-deep even at the 
shallowest parts on the upper deck. The 
conning-tower and upper works are badly 
knocked about, and the destruction under 
water is evidently considerable. 

There is a later telegram to the effect 
that two Japanese warships bombarded 
Korsakovsk on September 7th, and fired 
torpedoes at the sunken cruiser. Evi- 
dently the Japanese want to make sure 
that the " plucky little Novik " will not 
once more walk the waters, and have to 
be destroyed all over again. 




Fioiu a ISatnc Diais-m^ 
JAPANESE WARSHIP OF THE SHOGUX, OF THE PERIOD KA-YRI (a.D. 1848-1854). 
(From .irthur Diusy's "The New Far East.") 



77 



CHAPTER LIII. 

KUSSIA AND NEUTRAL SHIPPING — DANGEUOUS STATE OF TENSION — LORD LANSDOWNe's 

STATEMENT OF BRITISH POLICY — THE VOLUNTEER " CRUISERS " RE-APPEAR 

PROTEST OF THE LONDON CHAMBER OK COMMERCE THE FORTE FINDS THE 

PETERBURG AND ^TI/Oi^.V^-A'— IMPROVED PROSPECTS. 



IT is annoying to be compelled to recur 
at this juncture to the subject of 
Russia's interference with neutral 
shipping, a subject which it is not easy 
to invest with anything like picturesque 
attractiveness. But even a war history 
cannot be all " purple patches," and in 
this case an otherwise rather dull series 
of episodes has some bright redeeming 
features. Above all, we must remember 
that, quite apart from the big commercial 
interests involved, this particular chapter 
of events had at one time a very lurid 
interest for Great Britain. It is easy, 
now that the danger seems to be over, 
to say that there never was much danger, 
and that, even if things had gone further 
than they did, the " common-sense of 
most " would have asserted itself, and a 
peaceful issue would have been found. 
But the facts point all the other way, and 
it is not too much to believe that, during 
this period" some very anxious moments 
were passed by our responsible states- 
men, in the fear lest diplomacy might not 
be able to prevent a complication from 
which any sort of pacific withdrawal 
would be hopeless. 

In Chapter XLIII. the question of 
Russia's interference with neutral ship- 
ping was discussed up to a point at which 
it seemed that a settlement would almost 
immediately follow. An understanding 
had been arrived at with regard, at any 



rate, to the Volunteer Fleet steamers, the 
Peterburg and Smolensk, and it was clear 
that the Russian Minister of Foreign 
Affairs was in earnest in his endeavours 
to bring about a more satisfactory situa- 
tion. But the Russian Admiralty had 
issued a memorandum with reference to 
the Malacca incident, which was open to 
some objection, and the performances of 
the Vladivostok Squadron had given rise 
to such anxiety among shipowners in this 
country, that the P. and O. — followed 
later by other lines — had announced its 
determination to suspend temporarih' its 
service to Japan. 

In other words, notwithstanding official 
assurances, there was an uneasy feeling 
abroad that further trouble might be 
brewing" even in regard to the \'olunteer 
Fleet. It was also abundantly clear that 
the actual situation was an exasperating" 
one to the greatest maritime nation in the 
world. The withdrawal from the Japan 
service of the P. and O., Holt, Thomp- 
son, and other leading English lines gave 
a prompt and decided stimulus to the 
carrying trade of Germany, and British 
shipowners naturally viewed with grow- 
ing bitterness this serious transfer of 
profits to rivals whose risks ought to 
have been the same as theirs, but who 
nevertheless continued to accept as 
freight merchandise undoubtedly con- 
traband according to the Russian 



78 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



view. Rightly or wrongly, the idea 
was strengthened that German ship- 
owners expected to secure from Russia 
more favourable treatment than that 
which would be accorded to British 
vessels. It goes without saying, that 
a suspicion of this sort, coupled with 
a most serious pecuniary loss in the 
present, and the knowledge that the 
British carrying trade to Japan would 
probably suffer future lasting injury by 
reason of this suspension, was hardly 
calculated to promote friendly feeling. 
Indeed, it is difficult to exaggerate the 
intense irritation which existed during 
July and August, and more especially, 
perhaps, during the first three weeks of 
tl>e latter month, with reference to the 
extraordinary position in which British 
shipping interests had been placed by 
Russian pretensions as to the right of 
search. In not a few quarters was to be 
heard the bitter lament that Palmerston 
could not rise from his grave and take 
in hand a situation which doubtless he 
would have dealt with summarily, though 
possibly with hardly satisfactory results. 
For there is not much doubt that a 
good deal of the trouble which arose 
from Russia's treatment of neutrals was 
deliberately anticipated by a certain 
section in Russia which would have been 
only too pleased if the British Govern- 
ment had acted according to the Pal- 
merstonian tradition. As has already 
been indicated in this narrative (see page 
530), the Russian Admiralty is swayed by 
the anti-British influence of the Grand 
Duke Alexander Michailovitch to such an 
extent that the Russian Foreign Office 
has the greatest difficulty in carrying on 
its negotiations with Great Britain. Had 
the Marquis of Lansdowne acted at any 
stage of the Malacca affair as the great 
high-handed Pam would have done, war 



would probably have been inevitable, 
since the anti-English party at St. Peters- 
burg would have found it easy to per- 
suade the Tsar that the honour of Russia 
had been grossly insulted. Even as 
things were, there must have been a time 
when only by a supreme effort could 
Count Lamsdorff get the mastery of the 
forces working against him. 

To some who love history for history's 
sake, it may seem that, in the whole 
record of the first six months of the war 
between Russia and Japan, there is no 
more striking situation than this, which 
has been organised by a small but im- 
mensely powerful clique of high person- 
ages seeking to cover their country's 
humiliation by a display of arrogance 
certain, if carried to much greater 
lengths, to create a fresh and much more 
powerful adversary. One may go 
further and doubt whether in the re- 
corded annals of the world there is any- 
thing that quite tallies with this remark- 
able development of an already great and 
epoch-making war. For half a year it 
has been clearly apparent to the civilised 
nations of the earth that Russia will have 
as much as she can do to prevent the 
utter annihilation of her Far Eastern in- 
terests by the Army and Navy of Japan. 
Her finances are in no flourishing con- 
dition, her internal state is full of 
dangerous possibilities ; yet, deliberately, 
those highest in the councils of the Tsar 
are seeking to provoke the resentment of 
a Power which, whatever may be its 
limitations, has certain warlike attributes 
calculated to inspire respect. 

The exact cause of this phenomenon 
will probably never be known. It has 
been suggested that, while the idea of 
making terms with Japan was utterly re- 
pugnant to the proud entourage of the Tsar, 
it was thought some less humiliating 



J^USSIA'S QUICK. CHANGE CRUISERS. 



79 



compromise could be effected if Great 
Britain could be goaded into a declara- 
tion of war which would link her with 
Japan in a fighting alliance. Other 
theories point to a wish to entangle Great 
Britain at any cost, in the hope of securing 
the intervention of France or Germany, 
or both. A third supposition is that, in 
some Russian circles it was still believed 
that a Russian descent upon India could 
be made which would soon wipe out the 
memories of reverses in the Far East, 
and would even compensate the destruc- 
tion of what is left of the Russian Xavy. 
Whether any or none of these hypotheses 
be sound, the fact remains that the 
Russian Admiralty strained the patience 
of the British nation in August, 1904, 
well-nigh to the breaking-point, and that 
the tension was fully as great as it was 
after the Panj-deh incident of 1886 or 
I'affaire Fashoda of 1898. 

What added enormously to the indig- 
nation felt in this country was the studi- 
ously aggravating fashion in which 
Russia set to work, after the apparent 
settlement of the Peierburg and Smolensk 
dispute, to devise fresh means of subject- 
ing British commerce to scrutiny and de- 
lay. Putting aside for the moment the 
question as to the right of Volunteer 
steamers, which had passed the Dar- 
danelles as merchantmen, to transform 
themselves suddenly into men-of-war, the 
Russian Government proceeded to con- 
vert other merchant vessels into 
" cruisers " merely for the purpose of 
searching for contraband ; and one or 
two liners purchased from Germany were 
reported to have undergone this strange 
transformation. At first, it was believed 
in this country that such a proceeding 
was in sheer defiance of the international 
laws of war, and that, in fact, the ex- 
ample of the Alabama was here being 



closely imitated. But it subsequently 
transpired — and the point is of the great- 
est interest — that, according to the Law 
OflScers of the Crown, " there can be no 
doubt that merchant ships may be sold 
by neutrals to any government, and that 
government may turn these ships into 
cruisers if they please." 

On the other hand, there is something 
questionable in the action of a govern- 
ment which seems to strain its legal 
powers more for the purpose of giving 
annoyance to neutrals, or, as is suggested 
in this case, one particular neutral, than 
with any definite hope of achieving 
practical results. Contraband is, of 
course, being carried to Japan in British 
and other ships, and contraband will con- 
tinue to be carried, in every war in which 
there is a chance of making a profit suf- 
ficient to compensate the risk. But the 
amount of genuine contraband of war 
which is being taken to Japan is certainly 
relatively small, for the simple reason 
that Japan does not want it. As regards 
war material she is amply supplied, and 
now, to a great extent, self-supporting. 
But it is easy for Russia to pretend the 
contrary, in order to give her an oppor- 
tunity of interfering with the world's 
commerce. Accordingly, her " quick- 
change cruisers " — merchantmen one 
day and warships the next — are sent to 
various points of the compass to intercept 
British ships, board them, worry the 
captains with questions, talk bigly about 
their belligerent rights, and, in short, 
make themselves seriously objectionable. 
Well may the British master mariner — 
sometimes a choleric individual — chafe at 
being stopped by vessels whose sole 
claim to be considered men-of-war lies 
in a flag and a few hastily imported 
guns. Well may British shipowners ask 
how it is that a strong Government, with 



8o 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the greatest navy in the world at its beck 
and call, cannot secure its mercantile 
marine from such constant and often 
causeless interruption. 

The British Government is not slow to 
perceive that the temper of the nation is 
rising, and that more particularly the 
case of the Knight Commander, the vessel 
actually sunk by the Vladivostok Squad- 
ron, has aroused the sort of feeling which 
no Government can afford to disregard. 
On August nth, then, in reply to a care- 
fully pointed question from the Marquis 
of Ripon, the Marquis of Lansdowne, 
the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 
makes a singularly important statement 
as to the policy of the Government in re- 
gard, first, to the sinking of the Knight 
Commander ; secondly, to the general 
question of contraband of war ; and 
thirdly, to the passage of the Dardanelles 
by steamers of the Russian Volunteer 
Fleet. 

A statement of policy like this is, of 
course, a very serious, indeed a most 
solemn rnatter, quite apart from the 
personality of those concerned in it. Yet, 
to some present on this occasion, it must 
have seemed that only with difficulty 
could two statesmen representing oppo- 
site parties in the House of Lords have 
been selected to replace the Marquises of 
Lansdowne and Ripon as the appropriate 
chief actors in such a scene. Both have 
been Viceroys of India, both have been 
Secretaries of State for War, and each 
has many separate claims to distinction 
on the score of brilliant public service 
wholly dissociated — for both are noble- 
men of immense wealth and influence — 
from any idea of personal aggrandise- 
ment. Lord Lansdowne speaks with all 
the added dignity conferred by his actual 
position, as well as by the historic 
prestige of the " F. O." ; yet a peculiar 



interest is attached to the question put 
by Lord Ripon, in that the latter won his 
marquisate by services as chairman of 
the Alabama Commission. The exploits 
of that famous privateer, which, under 
the Confederate colours, captured nearly 
seventy Northern vessels in her career 
of nearly two years, and eventually cost 
this country three and a quarter millions, 
are fading from men's minds. But it 
may be recalled of her that, like the 
Vladivostok Squadron, she did not da 
much fighting, but preyed on merchant 
vessels that could not fight. It is one 
of the minor curiosities of history that 
such a memory should have been revived 
— although the fact does not appear to 
have been noted at the time — in con- 
nection with episodes like the sinking of 
the Knight Commander and performances 
like those of the unlicensed rovers of the 
Russian Volunteer Fleet. 

From which digression let us revert to 
Lord Lansdowne's weighty statement. 
The Foreign Secretary deals first with 
the question of the passage of the Dar- 
danelles by the Volunteer Fleet steamers. 
With reference to the Peterburg and 
Smolensk, he observes that the question 
has now passed out of the acute stagej 
and he adds, " As we now know that the 
instructions which have been sent to these 
ships to desist from similar seizures have 
reached their destination, we may therefore 
assume that no further seizures will take 
place." In view of what follows, the 
words italicised should be remembered. 
As to the reports current respecting 
further movements of Volunteer steamers 
through the Dardanelles, Lord Lans- 
downe confirms the statement that the 
Turkish Government has insisted that in 
future such vessels should contain no 
munitions of war nor armament, that they 
should fly the commercial flag during 




MR. BALFOUR ADDRESSING THE DEPUTATION FROM THE LONDON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. 



42 



82 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



their whole voyage, and should not be 
turned into cruisers. 

Lord Lansdowne next proceeds to dis- 
cuss the question of contraband of war, 
the definition of which by Russia has not, 
he states clearly, been acquiesced in by 
the British Government. This is not the 
place to go clearly into the question of 
absolute and conditional contraband, 
some expert remarks upon which were 
given at the close of the first volume of 
this history. But it may be said briefly 
that Lord Lansdowne emphatically denies 
that this country had recognised Russia's 
right " to decide that certain articles or 
classes of articles are, as a matter of 
course, and without reference to other 
considerations, to be dealt with as con- 
traband of war, regardless of the well- 
established rights of neutrals." On the 
■contrary, the British Government has en- 
tered a firm protest on the subject, and 
has refused to be bound by or to recog- 
nise as valid the decision of any Prize 
Court which violates neutrals' rights or is 
otherwise not in conformity with the 
recognised principles of International 
Law. 

Thirdly, the Foreign Secretary uses 
particularly plain language on the sub- 
ject of the sinking of the Knight Com- 
mander. " We are altogether unable, 
my lords," says the noble marquis, 
speaking for his Majesty's Government 
in the full consciousness of what that 
spokesmanship implies, " to admit that 
the sinking of the Knight Commander was 
justifiable according to any principles of 
international law by which this country 
has ever regarded itself as bound." He 
goes on to observe that the case of the 
Knight Commander awaits trial by the 
appellate Prize Court at St. Petersburg. 
If the St. Petersburg Court should re- 
verse the decision of the Vladivostok 



Court, that will be a matter for congratu- 
lation. " But, whether that be the case 
or not, we are in any case unable to ad- 
mit that the destruction of the vessel was 
justifiable, or that the proceedings of 
these vessels have any validity so far as 
this particular case is concerned." There 
is nothing more uncompromisingly lucid 
than the language of British diplomacy 
when at last the moment for " straight 
talk " has arrived, and Palmerston him- 
self could not, with all his bluff homeli- 
ness, have stated the Government policy 
with regard to the sinking of the Knight 
Commander more directly and em- 
phatically than did the courtly and 
polished statesman who followed the 
great Lord Salisbury as our Minister of 
Foreign Affairs. 

In concluding this memorable utter- 
ance. Lord Lansdowne dwells on the 
cumulative effect upon British commerce 
which such measures as those adopted 
by Russia could not fail to exercise. He 
gives examples, too, of the cruel in- 
justice which might be perpetrated if the 
doctrines advocated by Russia were 
pushed to very ordinary lengths. Strong 
representations have been made to 
Russia to the effect that its conduct in 
lEiis matter has gone far beyond what the 
British Government considers justifiable. 
The language of the Russian Govern- 
ment favours the belief that acts of de- 
struction of neutral prizes will not be 
repeated, and there is room for hope 
that a reasonable and amicable under- 
standing will be arrived at upon the 
question of contraband. " I can assure 
your lordships," says the Foreign Secre- 
tary, in a peroration which draws cheers 
from an audience not usually emotional, 
' ' that we deeply realise the gravity of the 
question to which the noble marquis has 
called attention, and we shall deem it 



RE-ENTER THE " SMOLENSK:' 



83 



our duty to insist strongly upon the rights 
which this country possesses as a neutral 
Power, rights which, owing to her pre- 
dominant interest in the commerce of the 
Far East, she is, more than any other 
Power, called upon to vindicate." 

A few days after the making of this 
statement in the House of Lords a note 
was presented to the Russian Govern- 
ment through Sir Charles Hardinge, the 
British Ambassador at St. Petersburg, 
in which the questions raised by Lord 
Ripon were specifically dealt with. Ex- 
ception was taken to the Russian doctrine 
concerning the contraband nature of food- 
stuffs, the right of Russia to sink neutral 
merchantmen was contested, and com- 
pensation was demanded in the case of,- 
the Knight Commander. Simultaneously! 
the Government of the United States 
made a protest against the confiscation 
of flour found on board the Arabia, and 
also contended that, in the case of a 
variety of articles mentioned in the 
Russian list of contraband of war, a dis- 
tinction should be drawn between abso- 
lute and conditional contraband ; that 
coal, for instance, should not be regarded 
as contraband unless it is obviously in- 
tended for use by the enemy's warships. 

A conciliatory spirit was beginning to 
be manifested by the Russian Govern- 
ment with regard to these protests when, 
on the top of various despatches an- 
nouncing detentions and searches by 
Russian "warships," came a telegram 
from Durban stating that on the previous 
day the steamer Comedian had been 
stopped by our old friend the Smolensk, 
still posing as a Russian man-of-war ! 

The impression created by this an- 
nouncement was a painful one. It had 
been confidently believed that, as Lord 
Lansdowne stated in the House of Lords, 
the instructions to the Feterburg and 



Smolensk to cease masquerading as war- 
ships had been duly delivered, and that 
no further trouble would arise in respect 
to these two vessels. Even when it trans- 
spired that the instructions had not 
reached their destination, having arrived 
at Suez after the Smolensk had left, it 
was recalled that in the terms of the 
Russian Admiralty Memorandum quoted 
on page 526, the two vessels had re- 
ceived a " special commission," the term 
of which had long ago expired. It was 
impossible to recognise the reappearance 
of the Smolensk in her old role as com- 
patible with that declaration, which now, 
more than ever, seemed to partake of the 
character of a diplomatic fiction. The 
British Press commented with signifi- 
cant vigour upon an incident which 
savoured so strongly of bad faith. It 
is pleasant to be able to add that even 
in Russia the news was very unfavour- 
ably received in official circles, in which 
some regard was still felt for the tradi- 
tions of honourable diplomacy. It was 
felt that once again Count Lamsdorff had 
been placed in a difficult position ' ' by 
the same great personages who had 
thwarted all his efforts, and overruled all 
his advice in the early stages of the 
disastrous Far Eastern imbroglio." The 
fact that the Smolensk and her consort 
had not yet been put in possession of the 
orders terminating their "commission" 
was evidently regarded as an indication 
that forces were still at work in Russia 
itself which might seriously counteract 
the best efforts of her diplomatists. 

Although not directly arising out of the 
Smolensk's stoppage of the Comedian, 
there is little doubt that a marked agita- 
tion among British shipping circles was 
brought to a head by this incident. At 
any rate, on August 25th a large and 
representative meeting of the East India 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



and China Trade Section of the London 
Chamber of Commerce, and others in- 
terested in the shipping industry, was 
held in Cannon Street, with a view to 
making representations to his Majesty's 
Government on the unsatisfactory con- 
dition of affairs as regards contraband of 
war and trade with the Far East 
generally. The Prime Minister had con- 
sented to receive subsequently a deputa- 
tion from this meeting, whose delibera- 
tions were, therefore, of even more than 
usual gravity and interest. 

A great deal of quiet impressiveness 
surrounds a meeting of any of the larger 
Chambers of Commerce in this country, 
more especially, perhaps, where huge 
shipping interests are concerned. The 
Merchant Princes of England are men 
who as individuals almost invariably com- 
mand respect. For the mere existence 
of a successful business enterprise in 
these day$ of progress and competition 
generally depends upon the possession 
by the head of the firm of altogether ex- 
ceptional qualities of administration, not 
to speak of singular gifts of resolution, 
alertness, and sagacity. Many of the 
strong, calm faces to be seen at such 
meetings as that under allusion belong to 
men who are called upon a dozen times 
in the day to decide at short notice 
issues involving the movements of scores, 
perhaps hundreds, of employes, and the 
disbursement of thousands, perhaps tens 
of thousands, of pounds. A special in- 
fluence, of course, is wielded by those 
who place huge steamships on the sea, 
and direct their movements from port to 
distant port as easily and confidently as 
a child shifts his fleet of paper boats. 
These, perhaps more than all the rest, 
are, if not the kings, at least the true 
" Ablemen," as Carlyle would say, of 
commerce, for they rule both by land and 



sea, crowding the ocean highways with 
craft which in size and swiftness rival 
the finest warships afloat, and in ports 
and cities swaying great staffs of workers, 
and dealing daily with massive problems 
of freight, insurance, passenger traffic, 
and what not else of maritime signifi- 
cance. 

The collective influence of a body of 
men like this can never be accurately 
gauged. It is a thing so many-sided, 
so indefinite, that those whom it most 
affects cannot always be sure from what 
quarter the pressure comes, or the ex- 
tent to which it is being exercised. But 
it is safe to say that the London Chamber 
of Commerce can, if it wishes, wield a 
power in some respects not very far short 
of that possessed by the House of Com- 
mons itself. It generally surpasses that 
Assembly, too, in knowing what it wants, 
and in the force and brevity with which 
it does its business. 

At this historic meeting these last- 
named attributes are sharply in evidence. 
The chairman, himself a member of Par- 
liament, Mr. William Keswick, of the 
great China firm of Jardine and Co., after 
briefly stating the reasons why the meet- 
ing had been called, pointed out how im- 
portant it was that what they had tc 
represent should be discussed " quietly, 
reasonably, and with proper appreciation 
of the difficulties." This was the note 
to which this remarkable meeting was 
attuned ; and very quietly, very reason- 
ably, and with every consideration for 
the position of the Government, resolu- 
tions were passed voicing the apprehen- 
sions felt in the City as to the effect upon 
British trade of Russia's interpretation 
of contraband, and calling upon the 
Government to take immediate and 
effective steps for the protection of 
British shipping. In one respect the 



J/A'. BALFOUR'S SPEECH. 



3; 



resolution appealing- to Goxcrnnu-nt was 
remarkable. It was asked that an cfl'ort 
should be made to " ensure the same 
dcg-rce of immunity Irom vexatious 
stoppages and examinations as was ap- 



underwriters who were prepared to in- 
sure foreign ships proeeeding; to the I'ar 
Mast at far lower rates than those at 
which they would insure British ships. 
With regard to contraband of war, INIr. 



parently enjoyed by the shipping of other I^alfour repeated the assurance given by 

nationalities." the Marquis of Lansdowne, and alluded to 

^^'ben, later in the day, a deputation the presentation of a note to Russia de- 

from this meeting was received bv Mr. fining a position from which it was im- 




Photo : S. Cribb, Soul/iL'tii. 



H.M.S. 1-OJiTJl. 



Balfour at the Foreign Office, the Prime 
Minister went very carefully into the 
question of the alleged preference shown 
to shipping of other nationalities, and he 
did his best to show that no differential 
treatment had in fact occurred. He 
even entered into a little rule of three 
calculation of the ratio of captures to 
the value of shipping in the case of Ger- 
many and ourselves. But the deputation 
were not profoundly impressed. They 
pointed out that they had to deal with 



possible for the British Government to 
recede. 

One piece of special information the 
Prime Minister had for the deputation. 
This related to the appearance of the 
Piicrburg and Sninlensk in South African 
waters, an " unfortunate occurrence," as 
Mr. Balfour moderately observed. The 
Russian Government had now asked the 
British Government to search for the two 
ships, and convey a message carrying out 
the pledges already given. Accordingly, 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



two British cruisers from the Cape 
of Good Hope Squadron had been 
ordered to make the search, thereby, it 
was to be hoped, bringing the Volunteer 
Fleet episode finally to an end. 

The sequel to this arrangement is of 
some interest. Unfortunately, at the 
moment the Cape of Good Hope Squad- 
ron, which is under the command of 
Rear -Admiral John Durnford, C.B., 
D.S.O., is not very well placed for carry- 
ing out such a search as the one in- 
dicated, being a good deal scattered ; 
while the only ships at the headquarters 
of the Squadron, St. Simon's Bay, are 
the cruiser Terpsichore and the depot- 
ship Simoom, both of which are under- 
going repairs, and the cruiser Barrosa, 
which is under orders for Walfisch Bay 
to relieve the gunboat Partridge. Ad- 
miral Durnford with his flagship, the 
cruiser Crescent; the cruisers Pearl and 
Forte and the sloop Odin are near Zanzi- 
bar, and it is clear that some time will 
probably elapse before the two rovers 
are found in the extensive hunting 
grounds in which they are now moving. 

As a matter of fact, it is not until 3 
o'clock in the morning of September 6th 
that H.M.S. Forte, having weighed 
anchor and steamed south from Zanzi- 
bar, observes the masts of two suspicious 
steamers in Menai Bay, South Island. A 
German steamer had, on the previous day 
at Zanzibar, reported sighting two 
Russian " warships " in territorial 
waters, and there can now be no doubt 
that these are the identical pair. In the 
dim morning light the two vesseis do 
not notice the Forte until she is fairly 
close to them, but when they do catch 
sight of the British cruiser they hurriedly 
interchange signals and weigh anchor. 

The Forte — which is a second-class 
cruiser of 4,360 tons commanded by 



Captain Charles Dundas — runs up the 
signal " Have important despatches," 
and the Russian vessels drop anchor 
again. Captain Dundas now sends a 
boat conveying a Russian telegram in 
cipher and the British Government's 
formal demand that the two " cruisers " 
are to desist forthwith from interfering 
with British shipping. It is a somewhat 
exciting moment, for it is clearly under- 
stood that instructions have been given 
to the captain of the Forte to " stand na 
nonsense." Presently the boat returns 
with the message that a reply will be sent 
shortly from the Peterburg. 

In due course Captain Skalsky, of the 
Peterburg, conies on board the Forte, and, 
as he is unquestionably a captain in the 
Imperial Russian Navy, whatever may 
be the status of his vessel, he is received 
with the usual compliments. He proves 
to be a very courteous and polished 
gentleman, speaking English fluently. 
He states that he only arrived yesterday, 
and that stress of weather accounts for 
the presence of the two " cruisers " off 
Zanzibar, and for the fact that they have 
only searched one steamer. 

It is impressed upon Captain Skalsky 
that he must not linger in these parts, 
and the Russian captain declares that 
the two ships shall leave at once. With 
admirable presence of mind he asks to be 
permitted to coal at Zanzibar now that he 
is under orders for Russia, but Captain 
Dundas says that it will be necessary to 
refer home before thi.s request can be 
granted. In view of what follows, the 
request made by the Russian captain is 
rather entertaining. 

Captain Dundas duly returns Captain 
Skalsky's visit, and it is ascertained that, 
notwithstanding the latter's assurance, 
the Peterburg is full of coal. She carries 
seven 5-in. and a few smaller guns ; the 



THE END OE THE EPISODE. 



87 



Smolensk's armament being apparently 
eleven guns of different calibres, the one 
large gun being of not much use, while 
all are more or less obsolete. Such is 
the warlike " make-up " of these bogeys 
of the British shipping trade. 

As soon as Captain Dundas has re- 
turned to the Forlc the Smolensk and Peter- 
burg get under way and stand off to the 
south. The t'orie remains watching the 
pair closely. When they are about seven 
miles off another steamer is sighted, 
making for their previous anchorage. 
She proves to be their collier, and is be- 
lieved to be the Hamburg-American liner 
Holsatia. She alters her course, and the 
Russian vessels do the same. When 
last seen the three vessels are fifteen 
miles to the west of the south point of 
Zanzibar. Earnestly is it to be hoped 
that this is really and absolutely the 
termination of an episode which has 
strained the patience of Great Britain 
most severely, and has added another to 
the long list of instances in which 
Russian good faith has not been dis- 
played to sparkling advantage. 

Much more might be written concern- 



ing the interference of Rusjia with 
neutral shipping in the course of the first 
six or seven months of the war, and there 
are various cases — those of the HipsMig, 
the Colchas, and others — to which atten- 
tion could be drawn were this intended 
to be an absolutely comprehensive 
history. But enough has been said to 
give a general idea of a development 
which, however important, becomes a 
little tedious as the more serious risks 
connected with it are eliminated. And 
this is happily what is now being fore- 
shadowed at St. Petersburg as well as 
in the neighbourhood of Zanzibar. A 
joint commission representing the 
Russian Ministries of Foreign Affairs^ 
and Marine, with Professor Martens, the 
eminent jurist, as president, is assembled 
at the commencement of September to 
discuss the desirableness of drawing a 
distinction between absolute and con- 
ditional contraband. A few days later 
their report is handed by Count Lams- 
dorff to the Tsar, and it is anticipated 
that a conciliatory reply to both the 
British and the American Notes will be 
forthcoming. 



PLTLRBURG 


svoLLMr: 






r- 


4 


tji^>- 


1 


'1 \\iA 


- J^S 


L^if 


^ 


^^i^^r^Sm 


siri^^^WJl 




■ -iiriTraffffsi-iiiiaiaafS 


^^^&»^^^^ 


— .-^?E^^ 


S*" 


r\„: 1^ 




.„ 





THE RAIDERS OF THE RED SEA. 



CHAPTER LIV. 



THE ADVANCE ON LIAO-YANG — INTERVENING 

TSAR STILL BELLICOSE RUSSIAN AND 

LIAO-YANG BATTLES. 

RESUMING our warlike narrative, 
we find in the early days of 
August a situation which may remind 
some of that prison in Edgar Allan Poe's 
famous story, the walls of which moved 
inwards a little each day, until eventually 
the wretched prisoner was crushed be- 
tween them. It is true that Kuropatkin 
gives little sign of viewing his surround- 
ings with the frenzy of despair ; it is 
true that the outcome in this case is not 
so completely tragic as we are led to 
infer it was in that of Poe's miserable 
captive. But the process by which the 
Japanese seek to compass the envelop- 
ment of the whole of the main Russian 
Army is certainly not unlike the mechan- 
ism of those ghastly prison walls, and at 
the period which is now to be dealt with, 
the prospects of escape, when the machin- 
ery shall have done its work, seem almost 
equally hopeless. 

In Chapter XLVIII. we left General 
Kuroki several valuable and hard-won 
miles nearer to Liao-yang by reason of 
the successes of his troops at Yu-shu- 
ling-tzu and Yang-tzu-ling. By his 
occupation of the latter, which is four 
miles west of Hsihoyen, he is within very 
easy distance of the Tai-tse-ho, the river 
which runs thro,ugh Liao-yang and joins 
the Hun-ho, which, again, is a larger 
tributary of the Liao river, and at its 
upper reaches flows near Mukden. The 
Takushan Army commanded by General 
Nozu often called the Third Army, al- 
though the Japanese have not hitherto 



EVENTS BIRTH OF THE TSAREVITCH — THE 

JAPANESE POSITIONS — PRELUDE TO THE 

used that designation in their official 
despatches — has advanced to Tomuchan, 
or, as it appears on some maps, Shimu- 
cheng, and is said to be receiving rein- 
forcements, which have been landed at 
Takushan. General Oku's army has oc- 
cupied Hai-cheng and the city of Old 
Niu-chwang, some twelve miles to the 
west. When we recall the steps by 
which this arc of a greatly diminished 
circle has been reached by armies which 
not long since were at Port Adams, 
Takushan, and Feng-hwang-cheng re- 
spectively, the comparison with Poe's 
moving prison walls seems to gain in 
force and accuracy. 

The period covered roughly by the first 
three weeks in August is of importance 
out of all proportion to the actual opera- 
tions carried out. These, as will be 
seen, were not of a very dramatic de- 
scription, largely owing to the inter- 
vention of torrential rains. But they 
form the prelude to one of the most tre- 
mendous conflicts of modern times, and 
in themselves present several points of 
interest. In the course of this chapter 
they will be duly summarised, and, in the 
meantime, they afford a convenient 
centre round which to group a number of 
those incidental details respecting the 
condition and prospects of the two 
opposing forces, which have such a 
special attractiveness in connection with 
this particular war. For, the deeper one 
dips into the recorded information con- 
cerning this momentous conflict, the 





HAND-TO-IIAND : RUSSIANS AND JAPANESE AT CLOSE QUARTERS. 

During the fif^ht at Tclissu ihc Russians crept so close up to the Japanese trenches 
that in some places neither side could use their rijlcs, oicing to an intervcmn^ 
rise in the ground. Finally, the Japanese began to hurl doivn stones vpon their 
adversaries. 



go 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



more frequently is one reminded of the 
epoch-making difference between it and 
any other previous campaign. Crowded 
as it is with naval and military lessons of 
special value at a transitional period in 
the history of warfare, it is even more 
closely packed with that human interest 
which is often more conspicuous in the 
settlement of great political and racial 
questions than it is in the actual conduct 
of warlike operations. 

Do we seek an instance? It is here 
ready to our hand, and the manner of 
its introduction is peculiarly hixman. 
Ill the second -week of August, when the 
main armies of the Tsar and the Mikado 
are " jockeying for their places " in 
what, it is thought, may prove a decisive 
contest ; when, for the first time, the 
Russian and Japanese Commanders-in- 
Chief are set against one another in a 
definite trial of wits ; when soldiers fresh 
from Europe are beginning to know what 
it feels to come to hand grips with the 
once despised yellowskin ; when almost 
daily within five and twenty miles of 
Liao-yang is to be heard the rattle of 
musketry that tells of an affair of out- 
posts or an encounter of patrols — there 
appears on the scene at St. Petersburg 
a person of little weight but of much con- 
sequence, who may come to have a 
greater influence upon the course of the 
war than Kuropatkin or Oyama them- 
selves. There is more human interest 
attached to the arrival at this juncture 
on the stage of the world's affairs of a 
certain small baby boy than there is in 
the storming of Nan-shan or the sortie of 
ships from Port Arthur. Perhaps it 
may transpire that, even in naval and 
military significance, and even in relation 
to this very war, the tiny Tsarevitch's 
coming may prove to be of the three 
events the one of greatest import. 



Since the second Nicholas of the 
House of Romanoff married, in 1894, 
our Queen Victoria's granddaughter, 
Princess Alix of Hesse, four daughters 
had been born to the devoted Imperial 
couple, but never an Heir. The Heir 
Presumptive to the Throne of All the 
Russias was still the Grand Duke Michae' 
and to a deeply superstitious people it 
seemed as if the blessing of Heaven did 
not lie upon a union which was yet known 
to be marked by notable domestic 
happiness. It was an open secret that 
the Tsar and Tsarina — the latter a par- 
ticularly 'sympathetic figure in English 
eyes — ^felt deeply the untoward growth 
of this unfortunate development of 
Russian sentiment. It is whispered, 
that in the case of the Tsar, the actual 
fear lest the absence of a direct male 
Heir to the Throne portended grave 
Divine displeasure produced at times a 
serious despondency, tending to vagaries 
which would have suited the soothsayer- 
led kings of early Egypt better than 
they did the latterday court of a Euro- 
pean monarch. But the Tsar's helpless 
confidence in spiritualist and other 
counsellers was soon obscured by the 
concentrated interest of the civilised 
world in the announcement that a fifth 
Imperial baby was expected. On August 
12th the event took place, and the birth 
of a Tsarevitch plunged the Russian 
Empire into joy, and evoked the most 
sincere and lively satisfaction throughout 
Europe. 

At the front, it is needless to say, the 
joyful news is received with a genuine 
burst of enthusiasm by the Russian 
troops, partly out of honest loyalty to 
the Tsar, partly by reason of the super- 
stitious idea above alluded to. Kuro- 
patkin in person parades the troops, and 
expresses a hope that, as an appropriate 



THE BIRTH OF THE TSAREVITCH. 



91 



sequel to the event, he will soon lead the 
Russian Army to victory. At Port 
Arthur the tidings are similarly honoured, 
and even in the dock at Shanghai one 
of the battered survivors of the naval 
action of two days before takes appro- 
priate notice of the realisation of the 
Empire's heart-felt wish. The cruiser 
Askold, sorely damaged as she is, and 
on the point of being dismantled, and so 
for the time ceasing to have a recognised 
existence as a man-of-war, " dresses 
ship " and covers her crippled spars with 
gay bunting in honwir ^of the- little Tsare- 
vitch. 

Yet who shall say that the new Heir 
to the Russian Throne comes altogether 
as an evangel, even to the Empire in 
which he has been received with such a 
vociferous welcome? His advent makes 
for unquestioned good in some directions, 
for the shadow of an alienation between 
the crowned heads of a mighty people 
and the people themselves, whatever the 
basis on which it rests, is a grievous 
thing. It may be even a terrible thing 
in a land where, arrayed against the 
forces of despotism and bureaucracy, are 
those of a desperate socialism, which 
acknowledges no law save that of 
successful violence. The pardons and 
amnesties which follow the birth of the 
happy Tsar's baby son not only are the 
gracious expression of a kindlier feeling, 
more especially towards the Finlanders, 
who have lately been far from basking in 
the sunshine of Imperial favour, but may 
be productive of future better feeling in 
hundreds of remote corners of the Tsar's 
dominions. The divinity that doth hedge, 
a Russian Autocrat, God-favoured by an 
Heir, is great. But even in ignorance- 
sodden Russia there is a growing appre- 
ciation of the Tsar's power to better 
ordinary conditions of life by the per- 



formance of very ordinary acts of ad- 
ministrative goodness. 

But as to the war, alas, the infant 
Tsarevitch's influence is not likely to be 
beneficial. Quite the contrary. The 
fear of Heavenly indignation has passed 
from his Imperial sire, and it would seem 
that his warlike purpose has been 
stiffened by an event which, from a kind- 
lier human standpoint, would have in- 
spired hope of peaceful counsels. This 
view receives striking confirmation at the 
christening of the Tsarevitch, to whom 
our own King Edward, bound to the 
Tsar by close family ties, stands sponsor. 
The King sends as his representative to 
St. Petersburg Rear-Admiral Prince 
Louis of Battenberg, who, doubtless by 
his Majesty's desire, is said to have al- 
luded in conversation with the Tsar to 
the possibility of peace in the near future 
between Russia and Japan. The re- 
ported sequel is impressive. Standing 
up, and with a deliberation which in- 
duced the belief that the utterance was 
meant to be repeated, the Tsar said 
solemnly, " As long as a Russian soldier 
remains standing, and there is a rouble 
left in the Imperial Treasury, I shall con- 
tinue this war against the Japanese, who 
forced me to take up arms. There are 
no disasters in the field that can move me 
from this resolution." 

With Nicholas II. in this anything 
but pacific frame of mind, it may be 
imagined that both in Russia and at the 
front an active state of warlike prepara- 
tion continues. We have seen that these 
efforts, even in the short period under 
review, are being discounted by the 
naval successes of Admiral Togo and Ad- 
miral Kamimura, and perhaps still more 
by Admiral Prince Ukhtomsky's fatuous 
mistake in bringing the bulk of the main 
Russian Fleet back to Port Arthur. But 



92 HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 

'* ..... 

Russia can still hope to retrieve on land suits in this direction ; but it may once 

what she- has lost at sea, and there is again be recalled, that at a very early 
little doubt that now her machinery of stage of this narrative the military possi- 
military reinforcement is beginning to bilities connected with the region in 




SHANGHAI HARBOUR. 



work with far greater smoothness than 
it has done until quite recently. As will 
be seen w"hen we come to dissect the 
operations round Liao-yang, the number 
of men at Kuropatkin's disposal is larger 
than is supposed by some who have cal- 
culated the rate of his possible reinforce- 
ment with mathematical precision. We 
have no means of knowing exactly what 
troops are now being conveyed by the 
Siberian Railway, or how they are being 
disposed on arrival at Harbin. But there 
is a growing conviction that slowly but 
surely Russia, in the matter of reinforce- 
ment, is beginning to make real headway, 
and that before long she will be in a 
position not only to meet General Kuro- 
patkin's requirements, but to provide a 
reserve, which will enable movements to 
be made if necessary in support of, or in 
alternation with, those of the main army. 
It is as yet premature to anticipate re- 



"which Vladivostok is the chief point 
were carefully indicated. Whatever 
may be the result, these possibilities still 
exist, and are by no means entirely dis- 
sociated from the position round Liao- 
yang. 

It may be said that, if this be so, the 
Russians are acting foolishly, since con- 
centration is the end and aim of tactics, 
and generally of strategy also. More- 
over, with the example of Port Arthur to 
guide them, it would be strange if the 
Russians made the similar mistake of 
locking up a number of troops at Vladi- 
vostok. But there is no question of lock- 
ing up troops here, merely one of utilis- 
ing a second military centre which, it 
must always be remembered, has two 
very distinct advantages over Port 
Arthur. It has not behind it an isthmus 
only a few miles wide like that at Kin- 
chau, and it has communication not only 



KCROPATKIN'S PLANS. 



93 



with Harbin by the Siberian Railwa)', 
but also by rail with Khabarovsk on that 
great stream the Amur, down which 
thousands of Russian soldiers can be, 
and have aforetime been, floated on rafts. 
Attention is here called to these dim 
possibilities, because they constitute a 
background to the operations round Liao- 
yang which may be a little hazy at 
present, but is not without suggestive- 
ness. 

Whether there is or is not a disposition 
on the part of 
Russia to en- 
deavour to have 
for the future 
" something up 
her sleeve " is, 
however, for the 
moment a mat- 
ter of secondary 
i m port an c e. 
The supreme 
question is, will 
K u rop a t k i n 
fight at Liao- 
yang, and, if so, 
how is he pre- 
pared to resist 
the skilful and 
industrious at- 
tempts which 
the Japanese are 
making to en- 
velope him ? 
He is known to 
be withdrawing 
a quantity of 
stores and war 
material from 

Liao-yang to Mukden and Harbin, and 
yet he remains in very great force round 
the first-named, which he has strongly 
fortified, and where there still remains a 
large accumulation of supplies. We may 




A . Pas^tfi, St. Petersburg. 

THE TSARINA IN FULL COURT DRESS. 



anticipate the future to the extent of say- 
ing that Kuropatkin does mean to fight 
at Liao-yang, and that he will not leave 
it by any means with s.uch readiness as 
has characterised the withdrawals from 
the various points in the Liao-tung Penin- 
sula and, more recently, from Ta-shi- 
chao and Hai-cheng. The position at 
Liao-jang has all along constituted a 
definite point from which it was not in- 
tended to recede unless under pressure 
amounting to forcible expulsion, and this 

view of its pur- 
poses is about 
to be justified. 

There is 
much to admire 
in two aspects 
of the Russian 
scheme of opera- 
tions up to and 
including this 
prelude to the 
Liao-3'ang fight- 
ing. We have 
to bear in mind 
that, having 
been compelled 
against his will 
to adventure a 
con si d era bl e 
portion of this 
force in an 
insane attempt 
to relieve Port 
Arthur, General 
Ivuropatkin was 
thrown out of 
all his calcula- 
tions on the 
subject of reinforcement, and might have 
been taken at a serious disadvantage 
had he been attacked by the combined 
armies of Oku, Nozu, and Kuroki, be- 
fore he had time to make up the deficit 



94 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



caused by the disastrous defeat of Telissu. 
Here, doubtless, is the explanation of the 
series of rear-guard actions fought by '■ 
the tail of what was once General Stackel- 
berg's fine force. Although those actions 
meant a loss which, in the aggregate, 
amounted to some thousands, they also 
meant the gain of a good many days, 
during which reinforcements were coming 
in steadily ; and Kuropatkin, although 
still far from having the crushing 
superiority to which he has aspired, is 
in a far better position to meet his tri- 
une adversary than he would have been 
nearly two months ago. For Telissu 
was fought on June 15th, and, unop- 
posed, General Oku might have found 
it a matter of not much more than a fort- 
night to reach Hai-cheng, which he does 
not, as it is, occupy till August 3rd. Al- 
though Kuropatkin cannot yet say that 
he, like Fabius, cunctando restiiuit rem, it 
is now possible to see that, if he had 
not given his commanders in the south 
orders to render General Oku's advance 
as difficult as possible, he might have 
been long ago either forced to give battle 
at a most serious disadvantage, or to 
beat a really inglorious retreat. 

Indeed, by way of parenthesis, one can 
hardly help thinking — and the elaborate 
defensive preparations made at Ta-shi- 
chao, for instance, support this view — 
that at one time Kuropatkin hoped that 
he would have been able to delay the 
union of the three Japanese Armies 
sufficiently to render a combined attack 
impossible before winter set in. This 
would have enabled him to hold Kuroki 
alone until the great Russian Army, 
400,000 strong, which is believed to re- 
present Kuropatkin 's estimate of the re- 
quirements of the situation, had been 
collected for the purpose of a great 
offensive. But Japanese method and per- 



sistence have at least shattered any such 
dream as this for the present. The 
columns have converged, if not with 
the same precision, or to such a restricted 
area, as at Koniggratz, with much the 
same practical result as far as the men- 
aced adversary is concerned. A fight 
may not be inevitable, but the invitation 
is, at any rate, so pressing, that Kuro- 
patkin does not, in short, decline it when 
the time comes, a little later, for him to 
fight or run. 

The other feather tem.porarily in 
Russia's cap is the stubborn defence of 
Port Arthur. This, in due course, will 
be dealt with in detail separately, but it 
is essential to note here what singular 
good service the Port Arthur garrison is 
rendering the Russian Commander-in- 
Chief by their heroic resistance. Kuro- 
patkin would doubtless be very pleased 
to have with him the five-and-twenty 
thousand or so gallant fighters who are 
holding Port Arthur so nobly against the 
almost frantic efforts of a powerful ad- 
versary. But the reinforcement would 
cost him dear if it involved the release of 
the 100,000 Japanese who are now, it is 
said, lying about the beleaguered-? 
fortress. Had the defence not been con- 
ducted with superb skill and gallantry, 
the entire garrison might by this time 
have been annihilated, and perhaps some 
60,000 men added in a couple of weeks 
to General Oku's Army. Well may the 
Russians be proud of a tenacity which 
has served them so well at such a critical 
juncture, and which may come to have 
a yet more important influence upon the 
future of the land campaign. 

Turning now to the Japanese, we have 
naturally to reverse the conditions under 
which Russia has gained some advantage 
by the retarding of General Oku's ad- 
vance, and the detention of a large in- 



OKU'S MOVEMENTS. 



95 



vesting force round Port Arthur. There 
is no question that, as regards the latter, 
the Japanese are by no means pleased 
with the turn which affairs have taken. 
There is reason to believe that they 
counted confidently on reducing Port 
Arthur before they proceeded to the at- 
tempted envelopment of Kuropatkin at 
Liao-yang. It is true that their 
machinery has not been by any means 
thrown out of gear by this unexpected 
check, and the mere circumstance that 
they can carry on the siege of Port 
Arthur and threaten the main army of 
the enemy concurrently, and with such 
apparent ease, is in itself a singular 
tribute of their foresight in providing 
against mishaps. But it is a grave 
matter that an operation of such magni- 
tude as the reduction of Port Arthur 
should be delayed week after week, and 
that, after two months of desperate 
fighting, during which the losses of the 
attackers may well have been in propor- 
tion to the numerical superiority of the 
latter, the fortress should still be holding 
out manfully. The Japanese shopkeepers 
at Tokio have probably packed away the 
lanterns and other decorations with which 
quite a long time since they were prepar- 
ing to celebrate the fall of the fortress 
whose very existence as a Russian strong- 
hold touches Japanese sentiment so 
deeply. Marshal Oyama himself has left 
the siege operations in order to direct the 
operations against Liao-yang. But this, 
we may be sure, is not the measure of 
Japan's disappointment at the postpone- 
ment of what seemed a certain triumph 
in view of the singular success of the 
preliminary steps taken to procure it. 
The complete defeat of Kuropatkin at 
Liao-yang might render the siege at Port 
Arthur an operation which could be com- 
pleted almost at leisure, with a fraction 



of the sacrifices now being incurred. 
But Kuropatkin has not yet been com- 
pletely defeated, and the Japanese 
General Staff has shown itself from the 
first by no means so premature in count- 
ing unhatched chickens as the confident 
little Tokio shopkeeper. 

As to the northward march of Oku's 
Army, it is easy to see that this might 
have been notably expedited — was doubt- 
less intended to be expedited — by the re- 
lease of the bulk of the force investing 
Port Arthur. At the same time, it is 
thought by some advanced critics that, 
as has been hinted at one or two stages of 
the fighting in the Liao-tung Peninsula, 
Oku might have been in position at Hai- 
cheng some weeks earlier. Port Arthur or 
no Port Arthur, had he been a little 
less methodical, less Teutonic in his 
movements. There is no gainsaying the 
advantages of thoroughness in warfare, 
as in most other things, but it is possible 
to be too thorough. There is a good 
story told of a British and a German de- 
tachment which were detailed during the 
international operations in China to 
capture a Chinese village. The forces 
marched by different routes, and there 
was no special agreement as to a rendez- 
vous. The German commander was re- 
solved to leave nothing to chance, and 
his arrangements for the capture of that 
doomed village were quite convincing in 
their completeness. He had well-nigh 
surrounded the place, and was about to 
give the final word to attack, when an 
object was discerned on one of the roofs, 
which caused an immediate " stay of 
execution." It was merely the British 
flag, planted by the British detachment 
which had arrived and entered the village 
hours before ! 

It is, perhaps rather unfairly and un- 
kindly, suggested that, if Oku had been 



96 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



a little less anxious to make good his 
foothold each time he drove the Russians 
from one of. their positions, he might 
have saved himself some trouble, and 
have gained some precious weeks in 
bringing himself up in line with the First 
and Takushan Armies, by - adopting a 



beaten enemy moving, particularly one so 
skilled in rear-guard operations as 
Russia. Had Oku swept victoriously on- 
ward he would probably have prevented 
the Russian rear-guard from re-forming 
repeatedly and showing its teeth, and 
this alone would have savedthe Japanese 




SKETCH MAP SHOWING POSITIONS OF THE RIVAL ARMIES AT THE END OF AUGUST, I9O4. 



more go-ahead style of movement. With 
him there was no necessity to steady his 
rate of advance ; on the contrary, there 
was much advantage in pushing forward, 
even if Kuroki and Nozu had not been 
so ready, as they clearly were, to take up 
their parts in the combined movement. 
For there is great virtue in keeping a 



some hundreds of good fighting men. 
But such criticism must be tempered with 
the reflection that Oku may have had to 
contend with difficulties, more especially 
as regards supplies, of which we, owing 
to the Japanese censorship and the fact 
that the bulk of the correspondents were 
with Kuroki's Army, know nothing. 



98 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Again, it is easy to see that the positive 
advantages which Japan has gained, 
partly, perhaps, by reason of this same 
dehberation of movement, are very sub- 
stantial. There is little doubt that in 
the matter of the Liao-tung Peninsula 
the Japanese are looking ahead much in 
the same way as in the case of Korea, 
although necessarily the precautions to 
be taken are of a different character. 
The railway running down to Port Arthur 
is to Liao-tung in the present what the 
railway in course of construction from 
Seoul to Wi-ju will be to Korea in the 
future, and we may be sure that, with 
each successive stage of Oku's advance 
to the north, something has been done 
to confirm Japan's control of this main 
artery of communication. It is sug- 
gested, and the idea is a probable one, 
that as the Japanese proceed they are 
altering the gauge of the line to enable 
their own light rolling stock to move 
along it, and at the same time to render 
future use by the Russians impossible 
without alterations, which would take a 
long time. 

It may be remarked in passing, that 
possibly here we have the inception of a 
very large and far-sighted scheme for the 
permanent aggrandisement of Japan and 
the permanent hindrance of Russian 
supremacy in the Far East. For it 
seems that, in addition to the Seoul-Wi- 
ju line, the Japanese have been construct- 
: ing a light railway from An-tung, on the 
opposite side of the Yalu, to Wi-ju, in the 
direction of Feng-hwang-cheng. Pre- 
sumably, in due course, this is intended 
to be carried on to Liao-yang. Now, if 
the Japanese can alter the gauge of the 
Manchurian Railway up to Liao-yang, 
the latter would be a possible junction 
for narrow gauge systems both in Liao- 
tung and Korea, in the working of which 



Japan, if victorious in this war, could 
easily retain a dominating influence. At 
the same time a break of gauge, even at 
Liao-yang, would of itself be an apt re- 
minder of the passing of Russian 
supremacy in this quarter. This is look- 
ing very far ahead, but " long shots " 
are necessary in order to understand a 
good deal of Japan's silent strategy. 

Another advantage which the thorough 
and methodical operations of General 
Oku, prior to his arrival at Hai-cheng, 
have conferred upon the Japanese, is the 
complete control of the Liao River from 
the mouth up to-Old Niu-chwang. With 
the latter, as well as the Port of Niu- 
chwang (Ying-kau), in Japanese hands, 
the supply system of the Second Army 
has already been greatly simplified, and 
this additional line of communication will 
doubtless prove of still more extended 
value in the future, when a temporary 
concentration further north than Hai- 
cheng takes place. 

It is now time to turn our attention to 
the actual operations south and west of 
Liao-yang during the first three weeks of 
August. It will simplify our compre- 
hension of these if we commence by 
borrowing from the Times a few observa- 
tions by an evidently well-informed 
correspondent on " Summer Conditions 
and Food Supplies in Manchuria." From 
this important source of information it 
appears that there is a considerable differ- 
ence in the circumstances of Kuroki's 
Army and those of the other two armies 
under Nozu and Oku respectively. The 
hilly region north and west of Feng- 
hwang-cheng is much healthier and much 
better supphed, at any rate as regards 
cereals, bean-cake — on which horses 
thrive — and fuel. " It should be well 
understood," says the writer of this 
article, " that there are two harvest 



SUMMER IN MANCHURIA. 



99 



seasons in Manchuria. The first is that 
of wheat and barley, which in the central 
and southern provinces ripens at the end 
of June or early in July, immediately be- 
fore the usual summer rains ; whereas 
in the northern provinces it follows the 
rainy season, being cut towards the end 
of August. The second or greater 
harvest commences in the extreme south 
in September, and later as one advances 
northwards ; around Harbin, for instance, 
about the first week in October." 

A good deal depends, of course, on 
these rather variegated conditions ; but, 
speaking generally, it may be inferred 
that until Liao-yang is reached, General 
Kuroki is more happily placed than 
either of the other two Japanese generals, 
or than Kuropatkin, since he not only 
has a fertile country from which to draw 
supplies, but is less affected than they 
are by the alternations of summer heat 
and rain. " The roads from Feng- 
hwang-cheng, whether north to Tie-ling 
or Mukden, west to Liao-yang and Hai- 
cheng, or even to Siu-yen, Ta-ku-shan, 
and the (Liao-tung) Promontory, are the 
best in Manchuria for summer traffic. 
After a heavy and continuous rain certain 
streams cannot be crossed, but the water 
usually sinks rapidly, and boggy places 
are rare, and when found, could be easily 
made passable. All through the summer 
heavily-laden native carts travel to Muk- 
den, Liao-yang, Hai-cheng, and Kai- 
ping. " All this seems to favour, though 
it may not account for, the fact that in 
the operations against Liao-yang, the 
forces under the immediate control of 
General Kuroki take from start to finish 
a leading part. Yet even these must 
have been hampered both by the lain 
and by very tall crops of millet, to the 
tactical importance of which, as screens, 
attention was drawn in Chapter XXXIV. 



On the other hand, it is important to 
remember that the intelligence and in- 
dustry with which this fertile region is 
cultivated by the Chinese is of great ad- 
vantage to Russia also, as long as she 
holds the great grain region east and 
north of Harbin ; for, provided she can 
import a fair quantity of hay from the 
west, she can, at any rate, feed her im- 
mense number of horses and animals on 
beans and other food obtainable in 
quantities locally. Again, as regards 
the meat supplies which are available, 
and which come almost entirely from 
Mongolia, the Russians at present have 
the chief control. 

Hai-cheng, it will be recalled, was oc- 
cupied by General Oku on August 3rd, 
and on the following day his advanced 
guard was ten miles to the north of that 
important position. Meanwhile, the 
Russians have been falling back also 
before General Kuroki's forces, and on 
the 6th we hear of them five miles from 
the Japanese in the Motien-ling, but with 
a larger encampment at An-ping, only 
twelve miles south - east of Liao-yang. 
About this period — the date is uncertain, 
but the affair appears to be an early 
sequel to the Yang-tsu-ling fight on July 
31st — the Japanese score a very decided 
success at the Chobaidai Pass, ten miles 
from the Motien-ling. A brigade of the 
centre column races two Russian regi- 
ments for the possession of the summit 
of the pass, which commands the Russian 
flank. The Japanese get there first, and, 
seizing an overhanging cliff, they fire 
upon the ascending Russians, of whom 
they kill about a thousand in a few 
minutes, with a loss to themselves of only 
twelve. 

On August 4th a great fall of rain 
takes place at Liao-yang, and for some 
days the roads in the immediate neigh- 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



bourhood are transformed- into marshes. 
A spell of torrid heat follows, with the 
thermometer standing at 120 deg. Fahr. 
At Liao-yang itself there are many 
wounded — Colonel Gadke, the corres- 
pondent of the Berliner Tageblatt, has 
been allowed by the censor to state this 
fact — and there is a growing apprehen- 
sion as to General Kuroki's movements. 
It may also be mentioned, in passing, 
that on August 6th not only Kuropatkin, 
but Alexeieff is at Liao-yang. The ob- 
ject of the Viceroy's visit is not recorded, 
but it may well have reference to the 
enormous quantities of military stores 
which have been accumulated at Liao- 
yang, and which now are evidently in 
some danger. It is estimated by the 
Russian Press that this accumulation 
amounts to upwards of a million poods 
(a pood is about 36 lbs.), and the opinion 
is freely expressed that the destruction 
or loss of these resources would be 
equivalent to the loss of a battle. 

At the close of the first week in August 
the operations appear to have come once 
more to the same sort of standstill as 
followed each of the principal Japanese 
successes during the past seven or eight 
weeks. To the south of Liao-yang 
General Oku is still a few miles north 
of Hai-cheng, with the Russians con- 
fronting him at An-shan-chan. Between 
Liao-yang and the Motien-ling the chief 
Russian advanced position is at An-ping. 
Some thirty miles to the east of Liao- 
yang the Japanese are in considerable 
force on the left bank of the Tai-tse 
River, but are at present unable to cross 
the river owing to the presence of 
Russian detachments at Pen-si-hu on the 
right bank, which are stubbornly defend- 
ing the fords.' A few days later it is re- 
ported from Liao-yang that the Russo- 
Chinese Bank is moving to Tie-ling. 



The women and children have already 
left. It is rather symptomatic of the 
state of affairs that some rich Chinese,' 
anticipating the Japanese entry into Liao- 
yang, should now be addressing letters to 
Generals Oku and Kuroki placing houses 
at their disposal. 

During the ensuing week the principal 
development is a display of strangely 
marked activity among the Chunchuses, 
the bandits whose hostility to Russia was 
noticed at a very early stage of this 
narrative. These troublesome roj'^ues 
under, it is said, Japanese leadership, are 
now very much in evidence in the region 
of the Liao River above Niu-chwang, 
and have even been bold enough to attack 
the railway between Liao-yang and An- 
shan-chan. 

At the close of the second week in 
August the rains have commenced again, 
and, beyOnd daily affairs of outposts, 
there is not much movement. The 
Russians have been a good deal heartened 
by the announcement of the birth of the 
Tsarevitch, and general satisfaction is 
expressed at the infant Prince's appoint- 
ment to the Colonelcy-in-Chief of the 
1 2th Siberian Regiment, which took a 
very gallant part in the Battle of Kiu- 
lien-cheng and in all the recent fights 
with General Kuroki's Army, including 
that of July 31st. 

On August i8th the Times corres- 
pondent with General Kuroki's Army 
telegraphs that, after four days' dis- 
astrous rain, which has rendered both 
rivers and roads impracticable, the 
weather has dried, but continues threaten- 
ing. He adds that the Japanese camp 
has been much disturbed by the presence 
of several Russian soldiers hiding in the 
cornfields. In other directions there is 
evidence that, practically speaking, con- 
tact exists between the opposing forces 




I'Sv 



O .= •= 

D 

< 

J >-, If 



^ 
^ 



102 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



along the whole line from about An-shan- 
chan through An-ping to the Tai-tse-ho, 
and, between advanced parties, at points 
beyond these. Evidently the great 
collision cannot now be long delayed, and 
we may be sure that on both sides there 
is the keenest eagerness to bring matters 
to a clear issue, and put an end to a 
trying period of suspense. 

Such is the state of affairs up to about 
August 23rd, when the situation round 
Liao-yang begins to take a new shape, 
and we enter upon the contemplation of 
one of the most terrific struggles the 
world has ever seen. In subsequent 
chapters each phase of this great conflict 
will be carefully dealt with, and many 
no doubt will prefer to study it as an 
independent set of operations. But, 
none the less, much of the real interest 
of the fighting round Liao-yang lies in 
the preliminary stages by which the 
armies of Kuroki, Nozu, and Oku have 
gradually been brought up from Korea, 



Takushan, and the Liao-tung Peninsula 
respectively, to the accompaniment of 
much hard fighting and unremitting 
labour. There is, too, something deeply 
attractive in the spectacle of Kuropat- 
kin anxiously striving to improve what 
he must have known from the first to be 
a situation full of risks. In the near 
future we shall see both the pushful in- 
dustry of the Japanese and the monu- 
mental patience of Kuropatkin to some 
extent rewarded, and in the storm and 
stress of a historic series of battles much 
of what has gone before may be for- 
gotten. But the true lessons of the Liao- 
yang operations can never be fairly! 
grasped by those who have not studied 
the antecedent strategy of the Japanese, 
or who fail to appreciate Kuropatkin 's 
masterly consolidation of a force, im- 
potent, it is true, to stem the enemy's 
advance, but sufficient, at least tempor- 
arily, to save Russia from irreparable 
disaster. 




i'hoto: ^ottvclU, J\iri.s. 

RUSSIANS REgUISmO.NIXG MULES FROM THE CHINESE WHEN I.N OCCUPATION OF NIU-CHWANG. 



103 



CHAPTER LV. 

THE HISTORIC BATTLE OF LIAO-YANG — RUSSIAN ADVANCED POSITIONS — JAPANESE 
STRATEGY — KUROKl's THREE COLUMNS — CAPTURE OF THE TANG-HO POSITION — OKU 
AND NOZU ADVANCE — RUSSIANS EVACUATE AN-SHAN-CHAN FIRST PHASE ENDED. 



ON August 23rd, 1904, the curtain 
rises on an act which for thrilling- 
interest spread over a wide expanse of 
country, for eager devotion animating 
huge masses of fighting men, for rest- 
less activity extending over a long space 
of time, has an almost unique fascina- 
tion. Unfortunately these attributes are 
somewhat to the disadvantage of one 
who essays to make popular history of a 
great and complicated military opera- 
tion. In a case like this a bird's-eye 
view is impossible, and generalities would 
be hopelessly misleading. At a dozen 
different points quite distinct aspects pre- 
sent themselves. Only here and there 
can the connection between the working 
of this body of troops and that be traced 
without cautious explanation. Even the 
landscape is strongly variegated. Here 
a river with level banks " comes crartk- 
ing in " ; there a line of steep hills stands 
out sharply against the sky. Bare 
precipices alternate with immense patches 
of cultivation, and from day to day vio- 
lent changes in the weather produce 
further bewildering combinations. No 
composite picture will ever do justice to 
the battle, or, to speak with precision, 
the closely linked series of battles, of 
Liao-yang. 

On the other hand, this tremendous 
conflict will undoubtedly, as time goes 
on, and full information as to details 
shall have become available, prove to be 
curiously crowded with isolated incidents 



such as will give full scope to either the 
pictorial or the literary artist. Some of 
these incidents will be found dealt with 
in the ensuing narrative. But it may be 
years before any but a very incomplete 
idea can be gained of the countless minor 
acts of heroism and endurance which go 
to make up the sum of this ten days of 
continuous fighting. Indeed, one could 
hardly expect it to be otherwise, since, 
even as to the larger movements on both 
sides, there are tongues yet to be loosed, 
records yet to be laid bare. The pride 
of Russia, the reticence of Japan may, 
for a whole generation, veil much that it 
would be deeply interesting to know con- 
cerning strategical plans and tactical de- 
velopments. 

With all this abundance, with all these 
limitations, the operation about to be de- 
scribed has one claim to special attention 
to which it is well, perhaps, to draw em- 
phatic notice before we proceed to the 
discussion of the actual course of events. 
There are not a great many battles in 
history which can truly be described as 
historical events, and Liao-yang is un- 
mistakably one of them. It was not 
decisive, but it has none the less left an 
indelible mark ; and the mere fact that the 
object of the victors was not fully accom- 
plished has an instructiveness, the extent 
of which can hardly at present be realised. 
It may be possible to deal later with the 
historical aspect of the Liao-yang fight- 
ing as regards results, but its antecedents 



104 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



alone, as lightly sketched in the preced- 
ing' narrative, are sufficient to show that 
genuine history, as well as tactics, is 
involved in the study of this battle. For 
here we have the culmination of, the first 
definite attempt in modern times of an 
Eastern nation literally to overwhelm the 
main field army of a European Power. 
If the reader carries that reflection along 
with him, as in imagination he charges 
with the glorious infantry of Japan, or 
falls ■ back stubbornly contesting every 
step vyith the splendidly tenacious Russian 
rear-guards, every incident will take a 
graver meaning, every sacrifice will be- 
come more significantly picturesque. 

After this brief introduction let us en- 
deavour to realise the position and 
strength of the opposing forces on the 
date, August 23rd, on which the first 
phase of the Battle of Liao-yang may be 
said to commence. In order to escape 
the necessity for repeated explanations, 
it may be well at this point to state, that 
for the purpose of this narrative the fight- 
ing before, at, and beyond Liao-yang 
will be considered as a Battle of three 
Phases, one lasting from August 23rd 
to 28th inclusive, the next from August 
2gth to 31st, and the third from Septem- 
ber I St to 3rd. It may also be remarked 
that, although the Japanese after the 
earliest stage of the fighting had been 
concluded expressed an intention to speak 
of their three armies in future as the 
Right and Left Wings and the Centre, 
this division will not be strictly adhered 
to here. The assignment of three dis- 
tinct forces to Generals Kuroki,' Nozu, 
and Oku has become a familiar arrange- 
ment, and, as no inaccuracy is involved 
by adhering to it a little longer, it will 
be preserved except in cases where 
the new designation tends to greater 
simplicity. 



On August 23rd the Russian position 
in front of Liao-yang had a total extent 
of about forty miles. The extreme right 
was at An-shan-chan, some twenty miles 
to the south-west of Liao-yang, and close 
to the railway. From An-shan-chan the 
line of defences, ran eastward to Kao- 
feng-shu; thence in a north-easterly 
direction to the immediate east of An- 
ping; and finally to the Tai-tse-ho. The 
position and course of the latter stream, 
which runs past Liao-yang and joins the 
Hun-ho, a tributary of the Liao River, 
should be attentively studied on the map. 
It will be noted that about ten miles east 
of Liao-yang the Tai-tse receives an 
affluent, the Tang-ho, on the right bank 
of which, to the south-west of Liao-yang, 
lies An-ping. 

In this outer chain the Russians have 
only two, or at most three, chief 
positions, that at An-shan-chan, that near 
Kao-feng-shu, and that — the most im- 
portant of all — in front of An-ping. The 
latter may be termed the Tang-ho 
position, and consisted of a line of steep 
hills running in a south-westerly direction 
from Hun-sha-ling. This position was 
strongly fortified, and is said to have been 
defended by 120 guns, and held by 65,000 
men. The whole of the loth Army Corps 
was here, and half of the 17th, with other 
troops, including the mountaineer contin- 
gent from the Caucasus. 

The position near Kao-feng-shu appears 
to have been closely linked up with that 
to the east of the Tang-ho, about an 
army corps, perhaps, being distributed 
among the highlands in this quarter. On 
the Russian right the position at An-shan- 
chan was one of great natural strength, 
a saddle-backed hill which commanded 
the surrounding plain being utilised, and 
the line of entrenchments being stiffened 
by semi-permanent fortifications. 



DISSIPATED OFFICERS. 



105 



It must not be supposed that Kuro- 
patkin's entire force was engaged in oc- 
cupying this chain of advanced positions. 
At least one army corps was held in re- 
serve beyond Liao-yang, and the number 
of troops in and immediately around the 
town itself was very 
considerable. And 
hereby hangs a tale 
by no means credit- 
able to the Russian 
Army, and one 
which goes far to 
explain the actual 
sequel According 
to Renter's corres- 
pondent at Liao- 
yang, who did not 
accompany the 



quarters could be heard the clink of 
glasses and the tinkle of musical boxes." 
As a shrewd observer remarks, the 
coulisses of a Russian Army are seldom 
edifying, but it would seem that in this 
case a very high pitch of shameless in- 




Phato : Urban, Limited. 

RUSSIA'S CARE FOR HER WOUNDED : INTERIOR VIEWS OF RAILWAY HOSPITAL 

CAR CONNECTING THE FIGHTING FRONT WITH THE BASE HOSPITALS. 
/, General Ward. 2, Of'eratin^ Room. 



Russians in their e\entual retreat, the 
dissipation and demoralisation of the 
Russian officers at this period was very 
marked, and scenes were observable at 
the Pagoda Gardens which boded ill for 
the success of the Russian arms in the 
coming struggle. " From the officers' 



difference to the 
gravity of the sur- 
roundings must 
have been reached. 
We have now to 
conside the forces 
at the disposal of 
the Japanese com- 
manders. Accord- 
ing to the Times 
correspondent with 
General Oku's 
Army the Japanese 
strength remained 
at eight divisions, 
the distribu- 
tion from right to left being as 
follows : — \Vith General I\.uroki the 
Guards Division, 2nd Division, and 12th 
Division; with General Nozu the loth 
Division and 5th Division ; and with 
General Oku the 4th Division, 3rd 
Division, and the 6th Division. One 



io6 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



brigade of the latter was holding Ying- 
kau until it was relieved by the reserve 
troops from Japan. As regards the 
armies of Generals Oku and Nozu, the 
above estimate is doubtless exact, and 
very possibly the detail of divisions 
allotted to General Kuroki is nominally 
correct also. But there is reason to be- 
lieve that the last-named commander had 
under his control many more than the 
60,000 men which could be represented 
by three Japanese divisions at full 
strength. He is known to have been 
strongly reinforced, and it will not 
probably be found an over-estimate if 
we place the entire strength handled by 
General Kuroki at not far short of 80,000 
or 90,000 men. Assuming General Oku's 
and General Nozu's forces to be at the 
fullest strength, with some reinforce- 
ments, the total Japanese Army under 
command of P'ield Marshal Oyama can- 
not have amounted to much less than 
200,000 men, and may well have exceeded 
that figure. Opposed to these, the 
Russians appear to have had about 
160,000 to 180,000 men. The Russian 
guns are calculated by the Japanese to 
have numbered 572. The most likely 
estimates place the number of Japanese 
at about 600. But gross totals of this 
sort are generally misleading. In the 
first place, such numerical superiority as 
is assigned to the Japanese Army should 
here have been more than compensated 
by the strength of the Russian positions. 
Secondly, in these large battles, occupy- 
ing an enormous tract of territory, 
thousands of troops are often not en- 
gaged at all during whole days of the 
fighting, and, although a certain moral 
value may be, and often is, attached to 
the possession of considerable num- 
bers of unwearied troops in reserve, 
it is not mere -figures alone but the 



actual concentration of fighting bodies 
that usually wins a battle. 

We need not, in any case, for the 
present lay great stress upon the statistics 
of these two armies beyond saying, that 
all things being considered, the original 
odds seem to have been very fairly 
balanced, and that the better side won 
because it was the better side, and not 
because it was so many tens of thousands 
of men to the good. Indeed, as will be 
seen, it was largely by reason of sheer 
inability to bring enough troops into 
action in the region of the Tai-tse-ho 
that the winners failed to secure the full 
fruits of their extraordinary exertions. 
This is a hardly fair anticipation, but 
may be defended on the ground of 
anxiety to enhance the interest of the fight 
by showing that from start to finish mere 
numbers were never thrown unduly into 
the Japanese side of the scale. 

For some days before August 23rd 
there had been a marked cessation in the 
operations, partly owing to the weather, 
and there had also been an apparent 
modification in the Japanese plans. In 
particular, the extreme right of General 
Kuroki's Army seems to have fallen 
away from Tai-tse-ho and to have been 
withdrawn a good deal further south. 
Perhaps this was due to the considerable 
strength of the Russian detachments on 
the right bank of the river, which are said 
to have repeatedly foiled the attempts 
made by General Kuroki's right column 
to cross the river. On the other hand, 
this column may have hitherto been act- 
ing merely as a corps of observation, and 
its work may have been completed the 
first fortnight or so of August. At any 
rate, we know that, although the Jap- 
anese have not yet crossed the Tai-tse-ho 
in force, their patrols have been en- 
countered on the right bank working in 



KUR OKI'S OPENING ATTACK. 



107 



the direction of Mukden.' It is' likely, 
then, that Kuroki's right column was nbt 
withdrawn ' before it had acquired' sonie 
useful information as to the Russiain 
movements on the line of ' communica- 
tions, which Japan' will soon make a 
strenuous endeavour to cut. 

For the time has now come for the de- 
velopment of the main Japanese strate- 
gical plan, which is to strike th^ Russian 
communications north of Liao-yang con- 
currently with an attack on Liao-yang 
itself from the south-east and south. By 
this means the Japanese hope to accom- 
plish their ambitious project of closing , 
in on the main field army of Russia, and 
either annihilating it or forcing it to sur- 
render. 

At the outset the obstacles are, first, the 
difficulty of crossing the Tai-tse-ho ; and 
secondly, the . strong and admirably 
chosen Russian advanced positions, more 
especially that to the east of An-ping. 

On August 23rd General Kuroki, whose 
Army is still divided into three columns, 
makes the first move against the Kao- 
feng-shu and Tang-ho positions. The 
left column moves out by the Yang-tzu- 
ling, and driving in the enemy's out- 
posts, takes up a position from Erh-tao- 
lio to Pe-ling-tzu, a few miles -to the 
westward. Here it waits until dawn on 
the 26th, by which time some striking 
developments have been brought about 
by the right and centre columns operating 
with the precision and perfect co-ordina- 
tion which have marked the work of the 
First Army throughout. 

The right column appears to have 
moved out on the 24th, and to have rested 
until the very early morning of the 26th 
in the immediate neighbourhood of Hun- 
sha-ling. 

The centre column, with which are 
most of the correspondents, leaves Tien- 



• shu-tien on August 25th, and bivouacs 
among the cornfields in some ravines four 
miles to the north-west. 

The three columns of the First Army 
are now in position to attack the Tang- 
ho and Kao-feng-shu positions, which 
■have a front ten miles' long, and beyond 
■which, at a distance of five miles, runs the 
Tang-ho. ' 

At 3 a.m. on the 26th the centre' column 
■ delivers a great- infantry attack u^on the 
Russian defences at Kung-chang-ling. 
The hills are steep, but the active Japan- 
ese swarm up them, and for a time carry 
all before them. The Russian main 
position is captured, but the 'defenders 
are strongly reinforced, and in a second 
and third position offer stout resistance. 
There is plenty of hand-to-hand sword 
and bayonet fighting, and up to noon it 
looks as if the Japanese might be com- 
pelled to abandon what they have won. 
For the Russian artillery now posted at 
An-ping keeps up a heavy fire, to which 
the Japanese, having no positions for their 
guns, cannot reply. For a time, accord- 
ing to General ; Kuroki's report, the 
column is in jeopardy, but it succeeds in 
holding its ground and, eventually, in 
driving"the enemy back into the valley of 
the Tang-ho. 

A very graphic description of the per- 
formances of the central column is given 
by Mr. McKenzie, the war correspondent 
of the Daily Mail, from whose cabled 
despatch the following is an extract : — 

" The Japanese infantry advanced in 
an arc-shaped formation towards the 
Russians. Massing at every convenient 
point of shelter, they soon reached the 
foot of the mountain, where the angle of 
the slope afforded protection. 

" From a hill opposite I saw a steady, 
persistent move forward, now by twos 
and threes, now in long lines, as the 



io8 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Japanese crept from point to point. Then 
a heavy fusiUade began. 

" The Japanese soldiers tore off their 
coats in order to move more freely, thus 
presenting splendid white marks to the 
enemy. 

" The Japanese guns apparently found 
it difficult at first to get the exact range. 
Soon, however, the spurting smoke and 
flame showed where the respective bat- 
teries of the two combatants were work- 



ping common shell and shapnel right 
into the midst of the Russian trenches, 
they caused the Russian fire momentarily 
to waver. Then it was renewed more 
vigorously than ever ; but it was the be- 
ginning of the end. 

" Some Japanese, after creeping around 
and wriggling through the corn, burst un- 
expectedly on the trenches. There was a 
bloody fight. 

" Then, as though by magic, white 




Fhoto : Urban, Limited. 



LIAO-YANG : A BUSY THOROUGHFARE. 



ing ruin. There was a ceaseless crackle 
from the front. 

" A blue haze above the rifle-pits re- 
vealed, the presence of the infantry. The 
day grew warmer. The white-clad 
soldiers, sharply silhouetted against the 
flowers and dark autumn-green tints of 
the landscape, became more numerous 
and conspicuous. 

" Then two Japanese mountain guns, 
greatly daring, advanced on the right 
below the Russian front, concealing 
themselves in the corn. Rapidly drop- 



flags with blood red centres appeared all 
up the mountain sides. 

" On the summit stood a man waving 
the flag of the Rising Sun aloft. Stand- 
ard-bearers could be seen tearing up the 
slope eager that their companies should 
have the honour of reaching the top of 
the mountain first. 

" The Japanese infantry now opened 
fire upon the Russians descending the 
opposite slopes, while the Russian ar- 
tillery turned savagely upon the heights 
held shortly before by their own men. 



no 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



" Almost to a man the Russians died 
at their posts or got clear away, only 
three prisoners being brought in by the 
centre column. 

" As the result of the day's fighting, 
the Japanese losses were very heavy. 
One company is reported to have had over 
one-half its total strength killed or 
wounded. Sixteen officers in one regi- 
ment were killed or wounded. The total 
casualties of the centre were probably 
600. 

" The Russian artillery covered the re- 
treat. Russian soldiers, plunging down 
into the valley, quickly took up other 
positions as the shells fell behind them." - 

Meanwhile, the right column, also 
starting into action before dawn on the 
26th, has attacked Hun-sha-ling and the 
heights a few miles to the south. The 
latter are successfully escaladed, but, al- 
though the fight lasts till sunset on the 
26th, it is found impossible to capture 
Hun-sha-ling.' 

The left column at dawn on the 26lh 
attacks Tai-shu-kou, its artillery engag- 
ing the enemy's guns, which are posted 
in a position defended by semi-permanent 
works extending north to Ta-tien-tzu and 
north-west to Kao-feng-shu. The duel, 
writes General Kuroki, was most vehe- 
ment, and lasted two hours. The Times 
correspondent with the central column 
adds that, in spite of the distance and 
the intervening mountains, the agitation 
of the air was so great, that he and those 
with him were affected as if by the vibra- 
tions of a magnetic current. 

The Japanese succeeded in occasionally 
silencing the enemy's guns, but could not 
gain any marked superiority. Russian 
reinforcements were brought up, and 
pressed heavily on the left column. 

During the afternoon a tremendous 
thunderstorm broke over the hills, which 



were afterwards so enveloped in mist as 
to render a complete suspension of hos- 
tilities necessary. 

" To sum up these operations," says 
General Kuroki with characteristic terse- 
ness, " we pierced the enemy's centre, 
but our wings were unable to carry his 
positions before nightfall on the 26th." 

It is a pity that no correspondent seems 
to have been allowed with the right 
column, and that those with the centre 
column were not permitted to see the 
first stage of the attack on Kung-chang- 
ling. For General Kuroki states that the 
night attacks on the latter and Hun-sha- 
ling produced the heaviest fighting of 
this section of the operations. " The 
moonlight enabled the enemy to detect 
our advance, and exposed us to a heavy 
fire. The enemy was also able to roll 
down rocks from the summit of the hills, 
whereby many were killed and wounded. 
Nevertheless, our men never flinched. 
They scaled the steep hill and charged 
into the enemy's lines, suffering heavily." 

During the night of the 26th the 
Russians delivered several counter-at- 
tacks from Hun-sha-ling and Tai-shu- 
kou. These the Japanese right and left 
columns repulsed, the former pushing its 
success, occupying Hun-sha-ling, and cap- 
turing eight of the guns from which it 
had suffered so severely during the pre- 
vious day. 

By the morning of August 27th the 
hills fringing the right bank of the Tang- 
ho were practically untenable for the 
Russians, who had been out-flanked 
where they had not been expelled, but 
still clung tenaciously to the lower slopes 
commanding the river. The morning 
was very foggy, and very little movement 
was possible. The Russians, however, 
commenced their retirement, and the Jap- 
anese under cover of the fog managed to 



JiUSSlAN RETREAT FROM THE TANG-HO. 



Ill 



establish a field battery on a position 
commanding the line of retreat to An- 
ping. At this point it is satisfactory to 
be able to quote a very vivid piece of 
descriptive writing by the Times corres- 
pondent : — 

" As the afternoon wore on, the mist 
rose occasionally, and the battery at long 
range swept the road on which parties 
of the enemy were seen retiring. At 5 
o'clock the wind caught the curtain which 
was hiding the landscape, and by a sud- 
den movement tossed it aside, displaying 
to my gaze a scene worthy of the great 
wars of the last century. Between two 
deep rifts in the hills the front of the 
broad valley containing the Tang-ho 
could be seen. On the far side stood 
glistening thousands of white tents, and 
the great baggage train stretched west- 
ward into the hills. Tents were falling 
fast, and being piled on waggons by the 
feverish efforts of a host of ant-like 
figures. Fronting the narrow bridge 
was a black mass of troops and baggage, 
and conveying it from different valleys in 
front of us were long transport trains, be- 
sides columns of artillery, cavalry, and in- 
fantry. The Russian forces were in full 
retreat. 

" Within sight were three divisions of 
troops with an enormous following of 
transport. With the rising of the mist 
our guns opened a heavy and regular fire 
upon the upper part of the valley before 
the artillery. Our division, some miles 
to the right, now came into action, and 
we could hear the roar of their guns and 
see the smoke of the bursting shrapnel. 
In the valley beyond An-ping the loud 
rattle of musketry also came to us, show- 
ing on the left our infantry hot on the 
heels of the retiring enemy. Presently, 
far beyond the ridge, two Russian 
batteries came into action. The enemy's 



guns were directed against the attacking 
infantry which threatened the bridge and 
the melee of troops and baggage waiting 
to cross. Mingling with the white clouds 
raised by our shrapnel, we could see the 
darker smoke of the enemy's shrapnel, 
but the effect of the fire was veiled by the 
intervening hills. The block at the 
bridge was somewhat relieved near night- 
fall by cavalry fording the river. The 
stream was rapid and deep, the horses 
were almost covered by the rushing 
water, and many were unable to cross. 
Some were swept off their feet by the 
current and hauled out of danger by those 
more strongly mounted. As we watched 
the shadows were lengthening, and pre- 
sently the sun sank beyond the horizon, 
leaving great masses of crimson clouds 
to veil the Russian retirement. The re- 
treat was conducted in perfect order and 
evidently planned beforehand. The 
enemy now retired to the left bank of the 
Tang-ho, to seize which was the imme- 
diate object of General Kuroki's move- 
ments. " 

By the morning of August 28th the 
greater portion of General Kuroki's 
Army was occupying the right bank of 
the Tang-ho. Before them lay the river, 
200 yards wide and running rapidly. On 
the opposite side rose precipitous hills 
on which in every direction the lines of 
the enemy's trenches could be traced. 
The Japanese were at a serious disad- 
vantage, for here again they lacked artil- 
lery positions, and only single mountain 
guns could be used at the main point of 
attack. These began to speak at 8 
o'clock, and, as the shrapnel burst among 
the Russian trenches, the latter were for- 
saken, the defenders streaming to the rear 
into a patch of millet, and then climbing 
the steep ascent beyond. Although their 
cream-coloured linen coats made each 



112 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



man a perfect target against the green 
hillside, and the shrapnel burst with great 
precision at a range of 3,000 yards, the., 
retiring Russians were observed to suffer 
strangely little loss. But better results 
were obtained a little later by the Japan- 
ese, when three of their field batteries 
which had been posted on their right, now 
resting on An-ping, came into action 
against the trenches on the Russian left. 
An attempt was made to reinforce the 
latter, two companies marching down 
boldly from the higher slopes in the rear 
for this purpose. But at the bursting 
of the first shell from the guns at An- 
ping, these companies turned tail and 
fled up a ridge on the left, followed al- 
most immediately by the occupants of 
the trenches, among- whom the hail of 
shrapnel this time wrought considerable 
havoc. 

The Russian trenches were now sys- 
tematically searched for half an hour in 
preparation for the passage of the Tang- 
ho. For a description of this operation 
we are again indebted to the Times cor- 
respondent, who' was extremely well- 
placed for watching it, being posted on 
a peak a mile distant from the river and 
commanding it for many miles : — 

" Oh either hand our men in four 
columns lay close to the river under cover 
of the millet. At i o'clock the attacking 
forces set in motion four columns which 
crossed the river bed, entering the water 
in a storm of long-range rifle fire. The 
column immediately beneath was very 
clearly visible. The men, in extended 
order, dashed into the water and were 
soon immersed to the waist and after- 
wards to the shoulders. Holding their 
rifles above their heads, some were swept 
off their feet by the rapid current, and a 
few were wounded. Fortunately for the 
Japanese, the Russian guns did not com- 



mand the crossing. In ten minutes three 
columns were across; the fourth, attempt- 
ing to cross at an unfordable point, had 
to return to seek a better place. During 
their half-hour of exposure I could not see 
any casualties, although the water and 
sand around them were churned by the 
rain of bullets. 

" On landing, the various columns, 
without delay, advanced in long strings 
into the ravines leading to the enemy's 
main line, a mile beyond the river." 

The above remarks apply chiefly to the 
2nd Division, which the Times corres- 
pondent seems to have accompanied, and 
the Guards Division on the right. The 
i2th Division on the left must meanwhile 
have been engaged in rolling up the 
Russian right, and assisting its retreat 
along the main road — the Peking road, as 
it is called, to Liao-yang. The Japanese 
left column seems to have met with a 
much more stubborn resistance than that 
encountered by the centre and right 
columns, as to which the Times corres- 
pondent speaks very disparagingly. " I 
find it impossible," he says, " to refrain 
from remarking on the pusillanimous 
flight of the enemy from their advanced 
trenches. I heard a foreign attach^ say 
when he saw the Russians running that 
it made him ashamed for white men. 
Possibly the Russians did exactly as they 
intended, but their selection of the posi- 
tions of some of their trenches suggested 
that these were meant to be held, and it 
is difficult to understand why they con- 
structed earthworks for 2,000 or 3,000 
yards offering an exposed line of retreat, 
unless they deemed it necessary seriously 
to retard the passage of the river by the 
infantry." 

It is only fair to balance this by an 
allusion to General Kuropatkin's des- 
patches, in which the Commander-in- 




44 



114 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Chief praises warmly the " devotion of 
all the troops on the east front," which 
alone enabled the withdrawal from the 
advanced positions to be carried out in 
good order. " Only after incredible 
difliculties was it found possible to drag" 
all the guns without exception and all the 
baggage through the passes. Some of 
the guns were carried through the 
mountains by the infantry. Difficult as 
the retreat through the passes under 
pressure from the enemy had been, the 
march across the open country was still 
more arduous. The left and centre 
columns, however, succeeded in getting 
all their artillery and baggage to Liao- 
yang." In passing one is a little sur- 
prised at the emphatic statement of 
General Kuropatkin as to the safe with- 
drawal of all the guns belonging to the 
Russian left and centre columns. It will 
be remembered that General Kuroki's 
right column was stated to have cap- 
tured eight guns at Hun-sha-ling, and 
this statement is endorsed by General 
Kuroki himself in his official report. In 
such a case " where doctors disagree " it 
is, indeed, difficult to decide ; but the mere 
discrepancy is interesting, as indicating 
the occasional difficulties that beset the 
compilation of a story like this. 

While for the moment we are dealing 
with the Russian side, it should be men- 
tioned that some uncertainty exists as to 
the identity of the Russian commanders 
on the left and centre. A certain amount 
of shuffling appears, to have taken place 
on the left, but it is mentioned by Renter's 
correspondent that the late General Keller 
has been succeeded in command of the 
troops immediately opposed to General 
Kuroki by Lieutenant-General Ivanoff, 
an officer fifty-three years of age, who won 
considerable distinction in the Russo- 
Turkish War, and has since, from 1890 



to 1899, commanded the garrison artillery 
at Kronstadt. 

At nightfall on August 28th- we have 
all General Kuroki's three columns on 
the left bank of the Tang-ho, and the 
right column cannot be more than a very 
few miles from the junction of that stream 
with the Tai-tse-ho. The Russian left 
and centre have fallen back on the Liao- 
yang position, and so we may reckon 
General Kurpki's object to have been, if 
laboriously, at any rate successfully, ac- 
complished. It now remains to ascertain 
whether the forces of Generals Oku and 
Nozu have been equally fortunate during 
this First Phase of the great Liao-yang 
Battle. 

We left General Oku at the close of 
Chapter LIV. still at Hai-cheng, in close 
communication with General Nozu. To 
his front lay a strong screen of Russian 
troops, and beyond them one of the 
Russian main advanced positions at An- 
shan-shan. General Oku's advance ap- 
pears to have commenced on August 25th, 
his force marching in several columns 
along the west of the Hai-cheng-Liao- 
yang road, while General Nozu's corps 
marched to the east of it. It will be re- 
membered that the detail of divisions 
from right to left is said to have been as 
follows : — 10th and 5th Divisions with 
Nozu; 4th, 3rd, and 6th Divisions with 
General Oku. 

Of General Nozu's advance there is 
very scanty information available. He 
appears to have followed the first valley, 
furnishing a road parallel to the railway, 
and may later have branched off more to 
the east, in order to drive in the Russians 
holding the chain of minor advanced 
positions between An-shan-shan and Kao- 
feng-shu. We know that on the 28th 
General Nozu had worked up sufficiently 
far north to be able to detach the loth , 



KUROPATKIN RETIRES AGAIN. 



11=; 



Division to form a junction with General 
Kuroki. On the previous day he had ap- 
parently assisted General Oku by over- 
taking the enemy, who were then in full 
retreat upon Liao-yang, and throwing 
them into much confusion by a well- 
directed artillery fire. These perform- 
ances support the view advanced in a 
previous chapter, that the junction of 
General Nozu's force has hitherto been 
not so much to attempt individual opera- 
tions of importance as to render timely 
help to the armies on his right and left 
as occasion might require. 

General Oku's force to the west of the 
railway evidently met with a good deal of 
opposition, and on the 26th there was a 
sharp engagement lasting an hour, after 
which the Russians retired on the An- 
shan-shan position. 

An interesting glimpse of the Russian 
position at An-shan-shan is given by the 
Liao-yang correspondent of the Paris 
Journal, M. Ludovic Naudeau, who 
reached this point on August 26th. 
"The configuration of the country," he 
says, " permitted me to obtain a wide 
view. Not only could I observe the 
shooting of the Russian batteries, but I 
could also follow the explosion of their 
shrapnel in the wooded country held by 
the Japanese. In the afternoon every- 
thing had been prepared for a great 
battle. A long rocky crest of steep 
heights barring the plains was held by 
a line of sharpshooters. Below them, 
half-way down the slope, were the in- 
fantry in five pentagonal redoubts in a 
position to deliver a cross-fire. The rain 
fell heavily, yet the troops stoically passed 
the night in these favourable positions, 
where the Japanese ought to have suffered 
enormous losses on the morrow." 

But the morrow's great battle of An- 
shan-shan was not to be. It will be re- 



membered that during the night of 
August 26th General Kuroki's right 
column had completed to all intents and 
purposes the capture of the Tang-ho posi- 
tion by an assault upon Hun-sha-ling. 
The loss of this position and the attendant 
heavy casualties seem now to have 
rendered Kuropatkin disinclined to risk 
another reverse on his right. Accord- 
ingly, the order was sent to the force at 
An-shan-shan to retire upon the Shu-shan 
Hills, an order which, we are told, 
created profound disappointment. This 
is hardly surprising in view of the long 
and weary series of rear-guard actions 
which this force had fought since its re- 
pulse at Telissu, and the immense labour 
which must have been expended on the 
fortifications at An-shan-shan. Probably 
the Russian hopes had seldom run higher 
than on this occasion, more especially 
as, with the exception of the engagement 
on the 26th, there had been no fighting 
of any consequence for weeks, and the 
Russian troops were far fresher than be- 
fore most of the preceding actions. 

" On the 27th, at noon," writes M. 
Naudeau, " the retreat was accomplished, 
and from a high vantage ground I wit- 
nessed a stirring sight. Towards the 
north the Russian infantry, abandoning 
its positions, retired in good order in 
columns, with bands playing. To the 
south the Japanese scouts came out into 
the open, followed by dense masses, 
whose approach I could distinctly follow. 
For half an hour I watched the two 
hostile armies marching simultaneously 
northward. Columns of smoke went up. 
The Russians were burning the An-shan- 
shan station and the railway bridge south 
of the station." 

The subsequent course of the Russian 
retreat was hardly so orderly as it ap- 
peared at noon to the well-posted cor- 



ii6 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



respondent of the Journal. We have 
already seen how the retiring Russians 
suffered to the east of the railway at the 
hands of General Nozu's force. Nor 
was General Oku's Army, although some- 
what fatigued, behindhand in taking ad- 
vantage of the unexpected evacuation of 
An-shan-shan. Having hastily occupied 
the latter a force was pushed forward, 
which succeeded in overtaking a con- 
siderable body of the Russians and 
punishing it severely. 

This incident, to which General Kuro- 
patkin makes feeling allusion in one of 
his despatches, must have been a strik- 
ing one. The Russian retirement was 
now being conducted under terribly trying 
conditions. The rain was falling heavily, 
and the great Liao plain to the west of 
the railway must have been in a fright- 
ful state. Laboriously the guns and 
baggage waggons were being dragged 
over this tract of mud, when one whole 
battery became bogged in some marshy 
ground, and the guns began to sink. 
The enemy were pressing on the rear and 
flanks, and the situation was one calling 
for the best sort of energy and fighting 
courage. It would appear that the 
Russians rose well to the occasion. 
While the rear-guard, under Major- 
General Rutkovsky, faced about and did 
its best to keep the enemy at bay, tre- 
mendous exertions were made to save the 
guns. As many as twenty-four horses 
were hitched on to each piece, while com- 
panies of infantry with long ropes as- 
sisted in the work. The horses and men, 
however, sank so deep in the soft ground 
that many of the latter could not free 
themselves, and had to be hauled out by 
their comrades. Major-General Rutkov- 
sky remained in his position so long in 
order to cover the work of extricating the 
guns, that his force sustained heavy 



losses. The gallant General himself and 
Colonel Raaben, commanding the 4th 
Regiment of Eastern Siberian Sharp- 
shooters, were killed. 

It is quite painful to add, that in spite 
of these heroic efforts and serious sacri- 
fices, the guns, which had sunk as far as 
the tops of the wheels, had to be 
abandoned, and in due course fell into the 
hands of the Japanese. 

On August 28th the Armies of General 
Oku have approached to within about a 
dozen miles to the south and south-west 
of Liao-yang. 

It now remains to review briefly the 
operations, more especially of the past 
four days, and to make a rough estimate 
of the losses and gains on both sides. 
As regards casualties there seems little 
to choose. The Russians confess to hav- 
ing had " about 1,500 " killed and 
wounded on the right and centre, and 
General Kuroki returns his casualties on 
the 26th and 27th at 2,000. On the 
other hand, the Russians must have 
suffered very much more severely than the 
Japanese in the fighting, such as it was, 
round An-shan-shan. Perhaps we shall 
not be very far from the mark if we put 
the losses on each side at a little over 
2,000, by no means a heavy list consider- 
ing the very large numbers engaged and 
the desperate character of some of the 
fighting. 

Turning to the results achieved, we 
find the Russians withdrawn from all 
their advanced positions into the inner 
line of Liao-yang defences, which are 
now being definitely menaced by the com- 
bined Japanese forces. Quite apart from 
the cut-and-run performances of the 
Russian infantry on the left bank of the 
Tang-ho, it can hardly be argued that the 
attitude of the Russian Army during the 
First Phase of the Battle of Liao-yang has 



THE FIGHTING BY THE TANG - HO. 



117 



Ijeen a dignified one. Even if we assume 
that an early retirement on the inner line 
of defences was intended, it seems in- 
credible that such a force as Kuropatkin 
had disposed on the line An-shan-shan — 



deadly effect, but this they were unable 
to do in the attack on the Tang--ho 
position, and had no occasion to do in 
the case of An-shan-shan. The con- 
viction is forced upon us that the troops 




RUGGED MANCHURIA : DIFFICULTIES OF JAPANESE ARTILLERY TRANSPORT. 



Kao-feng-shu — An-ping- should have been 
unable to inflict a greater loss upon the 
enemy from behind such elaborate and 
admirably planned defences. The case 
would have been different had the Japan- 
ese been able to use their artillery with 



defending the Tang-ho were indeed de- 
moralised by the badness of their officers, 
to whom the proximity of Liao-yang with 
its various unwholesome attractions has, 
as we have already seen, proved a con- 
stant snare. Indeed, Renter's corres- 



ii8 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



pondent at Liao-yang- says, explicitly, 
that after the evacuation of the Tang-ho 
position numbers of the officers who had 
been engaged hurried back to Liao-yang 
and there plunged into unlovely dissipa- 
tion. 

The force at An-shan-shan might have 
made a far better show had it had the 
chance, being composed largely of officers 
and men who had fought dogged rear- 
guard actions up the north of the Liao- 
tung Peninsula, and were probably in 
first-rate trim as regards morale. Indeed, 
the episode of the stand made in the hope 
of saving the bogged guns indicates 
a very different spirit from that which 
was exhibited on the Russian right and 
centre. 

The Japanese may claim to have carried 
out the first part of their programme with 
conspicuous success, and with remarkably 
small loss. They have captured all the 
advanced positions of the enemy and six- 
teen guns, with a loss only half as great 
as that endured in the attack upon Nan- 
shan. This is a truly remarkable per- 
formance, and all the more so since the 
result has been achieved by steady, 
straightforward fighting. On the other 
hand, the First Army has undoubtedly 
been a good deal strained in the process, 
and at the close of the 28th is not 
sufficiently concentrated to be able to take 
up its allotted task — that of moving 
north, and to cut, if possible, the Russian 



communications — with the requisite speed 
and vigour. 

It has been suggested that it vvould 
have served the Japanese purpose better 
had General Nozu's Army co-operated 
with General Kuroki instead of with 
General Oku, thus rendering the attack 
on the Tang-ho position less wearing. 
But, when we come to the bed-rock of 
fact, it is difficult to see how this would 
have been possible without serious risk. 
The Japanese had no right to suppose 
that the An-shan-shan position would be 
evacuated, as it was, almost without a 
shot being fired. Even assuming the 
prompt capture of the Tang-ho position, 
it was hardly to be foreseen that Kuro- 
patkin would not allow An-shan-shan to 
be defended for a single day, in the 
course of which a blow might have been 
dealt against the unaided Army of 
General Oku from which it might not 
readily have recovered. Surely the Jap- 
anese are not to be blamed for looking 
ahead in this direction, more especially as 
the actual numbers at Kuroki 's disposal 
appeared amply sufficient for the first 
part of the task allotted to him. 

Beyond these incidental reflections we 
need not at present go. It is sufficient 
to say that the First Phase of the Battle 
of Liao-yang is now ended, and that to- 
morrow (August 29th) the struggle will be 
resumed with equal determination and far 
more sanguinary results. 



119 



CHAPTER LVI. 

liATTLE OF LIAO-YANG CONTINUED — THE SECOND PHASE — LIAO-YANG ITSELF — RUSSIAN- 
DEFENCES— OKu's AND NOZU'S ADVANCE — TERRIFIC ASSAULTS — KUROKl's FLANKING 
MOVEMENT— PASSAGE OF THE TAI-TSE. 



HEAVY with lurid significance opens, 
on the morning of August 29th, 
the Second Phase of the battle of Liao- 
yangf. Now at last we are getting at the 
heart of a situation gradually produced 
by months of- attematrng- feverish activity 
and patient waiting. It is one of those 
situations, too, ot which the outcome is 
complicated by a dozen considerations 
that cannot be brought together in any 
sort of harmony. At the moment not 
Oyama, not Kuropatkin, not the most 
sagacious critic at a distance can foretell 
with certainty the final issue. We our- 
selves may be able to invest this Phase 
with greater interest if we assume a simi- 
lar incertitude. But we may trench on 
our Store of post-eventual wisdom by 
taking it for granted that the three days' 
period with which we are about to deal 
is an intermediate period, in which, 
although there is fighting of the most im- 
pressive sort and on a truly massive scale, 
there is hardly such a definite result 
secured as in the case of the Phase dealt 
with in the preceding chapter. On the 
other hand, many present doubts will in 
this interval have been removed, and by 
the evening of the 31st a point will have 
been reached from which to the really in- 
terested observer the end should be 
in sight. 

In the account given of the First 
Phase of the Liao-yang fighting prece- 
dence was accorded to the columns under 



General Kuroki. In dealing with the 
Second Phase it is expedient to commence 
with the operations of Generals Oku and 
Nozu, the latter of whom still plays a 
somewhat secondary role. But before we 
proceed to examine the movements of the 
attacking Japanese we may profitably 
devote attention to the new Russian posi- 
tion which, as already explained, em- 
braces the inner defences of Liao-yang, 
and in which Liao-yang itself is conse- 
quently a centre of interest, though not 
of engrossing tactical importance. 

Liao-yang has been described as the 
Russian military capital of Southern 
Manchuria. A large town of about 
60,000 inhabitants, its position at the 
junction of the two main roads to Korea 
and Port Arthur respectively gives it 
v'ery considerable commercial signifi- 
cance. But its value to Russia was chiefly 
bound up in the railway, and it was 
round the railway station that the Rus- 
sian settlement had grown up, with an 
immense agglomeration of magazines, 
storehouses, hospitals, and other estab- 
lishments connected with the maintenance 
of the army in the- field. From time to 
time in the course of this narrative allu- 
sion has been made to the conditions of 
life at Liao-yang and to its more prom- 
inent features as a military centre. It 
now remains to see what steps Kuro- 
patkin has taken to justify his long 
sojourn at a spot from which many critics 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO- /APANESE WAR. 




I'lwtn : Urban, Limited. 



LIAO-YANG SUBURBS, LOOKING EAST. 



think he should have retired months ago, 
and in which it is possible that he is 
€ven now sojourning- against his better 
judgment. 

Although the place is far from being 
impregnable, there is no question that 
Russian engineering skill has transformed 
1-iao-yang into a field fortress of very 
real strength. From the first, consider- 
able natural advantages were present. 
South-west of the town, at a distance of 
about six miles, stands a rocky eminence 
some 900 feet high, known as Mount 
Shu-shan, and from this to the south 
and south-east of the town runs in cres- 
cent shape a chain of hills terminating 
near the left bank of the Tai-tse-ho, not 
far from its junction with the Tang-. 
This first line has been furnished with 
elaborate fortifications commenced before 
the war broke out, and since greatly ex- 
tended and perfected. Many large guns 
said to have been removed from Russian 
fortresses in p]urope ha\e been emplaced 
here, and the point to the south has been 
rendered difficult of approach by wire 
■entanglements and other obstacles. Dur- 
ing the actual defence of Liao-yang 
Mount Shu-shan will be used as an ob- 
servatory from which all the artillery fire 



to the south can be directed by telephone. 
The main position to the south of Liao- 
yang, and the one against which the 
chief attack will be delivered, runs east- 
wards from Mount Shu-shan for about 
five miles, and consists of several dis- 
tinct hills joined by low saddles. In 
front of this — it is the Times correspond- 
ent with the Japanese Left Army who 
furnishes this information — is a gently 
sloping plain many hundred acres in ex- 
tent, deep in crops, and studded with half 
a dozen Chinese hamlets. In front of 
Mount Shu-shan, again, is a Chinese vil- 
lage the walls of which are loopholed. 

To the left of the Russian main position 
the country was broken and unentrenched, 
the Russians trusting to a second posi- 
tion on a supporting range 1,000 j'ards 
to the north for protection in this quar- 
ter. The defence of Liao-3'ang against 
an attack from the east need not now be 
taken into account. To the right of 
Mount Shu-shan an extension of the main 
position carried the line of defence west- 
wards to Hsin-li-tun. Lastly, it inay be 
noted that, in anticipation of a fight to a 
finish, a " line of clever entrenchments 
actually in the flats of the suburbs " had 
been prepared by the Russian engineers. 



AN IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE. 



121 



On August 29th the preliminaries of 
the Second Phase of the battle of Liao- 
yang- were accomplished without much 
fighting. General Oku's headquarters 
were halted, while his advanced guard 
felt the Russian front. Meanwhile, 
General Nozu's 5th Division — it will be 
remembered that he had detached the 
loth Division on the previous day to co- 
operate with General Kuroki's army — 
came into contact with the Russians who 
were holding the unentrenched broken 
ground on the left of the enemy's main 
position, and made some impression on 
them. But no attempt was made to 
deliver an organised attack, chiefly, no 
doubt, owing to the delayed concentra- 
tion of the First Army, to which allusion 
was made at the close of the last chapter. 
The gradual closing up of General Oku's 
and General Nozu's forces to within strik- 
ing distance of the Shu-shan hills may 
well have been an impressive, although 
perhaps not a spectacular, performance. 
In the case of the Second Army the pro- 
cess represents the climax in a long and 
toilsome series of fights and marches, 
which for many of those concerned has 
/lasted since the landing which preceded 



the battle of Nan-shan. To all both of 
Oku's and Nozu's officers and men the 
prospect of getting at the vitals of the 
Russian strategical scheme must have 
been inexpressibly welcome. One can 
imagine the enthusiasm produced by the 
sight of the Shu-shan hills, only half a 
dozen miles beyond which Liao-yang it- 
self was known to lie. When, too, at the 
close of the 29th, the Japanese to the 
south of this formidable position bivou- 
acked in the full knowledge that on the 
morrow would commence some of the 
fiercest fighting of the campaign, the uni- 
versal feeling must have been one of 
joyful resolution to spare no effort, 
shrink from no sacrifice, to make the day 
and those following it stand out in his- 
tory to the eternal credit of Japan. 

At 5 o'clock in the morning of August 
30th, General Oku's army marched out 
in three columns from its lines at Sha-ho- 
cheng, about ten miles to the south-west 
of Liao-yang. The advance was made 
under cover of the crops, and it was not 
until an hour and a half later that two 
Russian batteries opened fire on the ad- 
vancing, snake-like columns from a 
saddle south of Mount Shu-shan. .Simul- 




I'lmto L ihan, Limited 

GENERAL KUROPATKIN'S HEADQUARTERS AND SPECIAL TRAIN AT LIAO-YANG. 



122 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



taneously, heavy • firing was heard from 
the direction of General Nozu's army on 
the right. It would appear that at this 
stage the Japanese infantry was adven- 
tured somewhat too freelyj^ and that it 
was severely punished by the accurate 
shrapnel fire of the Russians. Neverthe- 
less, the three columns of Oku's army 
pushed on, preserving close touch with 
Nozu's 5th Division, until by mid-day a 
position was reached, the left of which 
extended westward so as to overlap Hsin- 
li-tun. 

The artillery on both sides now came 
hotly into action, and, in fact, to the 
south of the Shu-shan hills the firing 
seems to have lasted practically all day. 
The Japanese suffered from some dis- 
advantage, as in the damp atmosphere 
the smoke of their guns raised a haze 
which was wafted higher than the tall 
millet stalks conceaHng them. Of such 
good marks the Russian artillery, itself 
admirably masked, would not fail to take 
advantage. 

■Meanwhile the infantry columns 
worked forwards more cautiously, the 
divisional commanders receiving orders 
to attack at dusk. For this attack pre- 
paration was made by a tremendous 
artillery fire from 100 Japanese field-guns 
and 60 howitzers. The Russians replied 
from about 50 guns, or half the number 
said to be mounted on the Shu-shan hills. 
The Special Correspondent of the Paris 
Temps was on Mount Shu-shan while 
this cannonade was proceeding, and says 
that the peak was raked with shrapnel. 
General Stackelberg, by whose side the 
correspondent was standing, was nearly 
killed by a shell which burst only a few 
yards off. 

In order to prepare for the coming in- 
fantry attack the Russians now brought 
up their reserves, and the cavalry under 



General Mishtchenko was disposed with 
a view to dashing in upon the Japanese 
flanks. 

The result of this first infantry attack 
was, says the Times correspondent with 
the Left Army, abortive. " Gallantly 
the little infantrymen responded to the 
order in their groups of twelve, which is 
their formation for such an attack, and 
pressed up towards the inferno prepared 
for them." The leading battalions of 
the 4th and -6th Divisions dashed at- the 
approaches of Mount Shu-shan itself, 
" but a sheet of lead from the loopholed 
village at the base of the eminence and 
from the supporting trenches swept them 
back, and they were fain to dig them- 
selves into the soft mud on the fringe of 
the standing corn. 

" The 3rd Division, with the gallant 
34th Regiment leading, made a similar 
attempt nearer the centre, but the result 
was the same harrowing slaughter. 

' ' On the Russian left the right brigade 
of the 3rd Division and the 5th Division 
had made better progress. . . . The 
men of the 3rd Division had seized a 
small underfeature, and the 5th Division 
had made good the hills in front of therrr 
which the Russians had failed to en- 
trench. ' ' 

Towards evening the rain began to- 
come down heavily, and at nightfall the 
Japanese forces, drenched and weary, 
were faced by the fact that their first 
attack on the inner defences of Liao-yang 
had been a costly failure. 

In his official report. General Oku at- 
tributes this result largely to the state of 
the roads, which had hindered the collec- 
tive action of his artillery, and thus made 
it impossible to weaken the enemy's fire. 
One can understand the disappointment 
of a general with 160 pieces of artillery 
at his disposal, and a screen of crops 



A DISCOURAGING DAY FOR THE JAPANESE. 



123 



nearly ten feet high behind which to 
work them, yet utterly unable to mass 
them by reason of muddy roads. 

An interesting feature of the operations 
on August 30th was the employment by 
the Russians of a captive balloon for the 
purpose of observing the enemy's move- 
ments. It would be difficult to imagine a 
case in which aerial reconnaissance would 
be more useful than it must have been in 
this. Evidently the balloon scouts 
caused General Oku active -annoyance, for 
he speaks of them as ' ' frequently modify- 
ing the tactics on the various fronts." 
This is a rather cryptic phrase, it is true, 
as it may mean that either the Russian 
or Japanese tactics were affected. But 
clearly General Oku resented the pre- 
sence of these inconvenient scouts, to 
whom most of his manoeuvres in the tall 
millet patches must have been easily dis- 
cernible. 

It might be thought that after such a 
heavy and discouraging day's fighting 
the Japanese Second Army would have 
been allowed a brief respite in which to 
recuperate. But nee mora nee reqides is 
the motto of the Japanese infantry in the 
field, and at nightfall on the 30th it was 
determined that the three columns, under 
cover of the darkness, should destroy the 
obstacles and renew the attack, which, if 
successful, should be repeated at dawn. 
Of this gallant attempt the best and only 
detailed description appears to be that 
given by General Oku himself in his 
official despatch. 

" At 3 a.m. on the 31st the infantry of 
the first column made a resolute attack, 
and about dawn a regiment on the 
column's left captured the highlands 
south of Shou-shan-pao. But in conse- 
quence of a heavy fire on its front and 
both flanks and a counter-attack by a 
superior force of the enemy from the 



heights to the north, the regiment was 
compelled to fall back to the foot of the 
hills after a hard fight in which it suf- 
fered many casualties. The column's 
right also, though bravely advancing un- 
deterred by the great difficulties and 
heavy losses, found the enemy's fire so 
withering and the hills so steep that the 
men were finally obliged to lie down at 
the foot of the heights and were unable 
to rise. 

"The second column, repulsing fre- 
quent counter-attacks from i a.m., fol- 
lowed up the enemy during the darkness, 
and, in spite of a heavy fire from machine 
guns, pushed on to the railway, getting 
within 50 to 100 metres of the enemy's 
position. But being overlooked from the 
heights and suffering heavily from the 
enemy's fire, it was unable to make a 
final charge before daybreak, when five 
battalions from the third column, deploy- 
ing to the left of the second column, 
greatly stiffened the latter. At 7 a.m. 
three battalions, advancing from the main 
road, reinforced the left of the first 
column. However, although the first and 
second columns attacked in full strength, 
while the artillery of the whole force 
hotly cannonaded the forts at effective 
ranges, yet they did not succeed in open- 
ing a way for pressing home the attack." 

General Nozu's 5th Division co-oper- 
ated in this attack, and its temporary 
success against the Russian left is well 
described by the Times correspondent. 
" The position here was composed of a 
brush-covered hogsback, sloping to the 
east, defended by a triple line of trenches 
with a glacis protected by a lo-ft. entan- 
glement covering a honeycomb of pits 
containing spikes at the bottom. The 
lower feature of this hill was a salient, 
but the upper works were flanked by a 
conical hill in front which acted as a 



124 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



bastion, and which was also cunningly 
entrenched. 

" In the semi-darkness of the morning 
the 41st Regiment carried this under- 
feature after losing 75 of the 100 pioneers, 
who hacked their way through the en- 
tanglement with axes. The men, rush- 
ing through the gap. Overpowered the 
sentries in the trenches before the sup- 
ports, sleeping in splinter proofs behind, 
could reinforce them. But daybreak 
brought a tragedy of the kind which is 
so common in modern war. Shell fire, 
believed to be from Japanese guns, drove 
this gallant storming party from its hold, 
filling the Russian trenches with Japanese 
dead. Thus an hour after sunrise the 
position of the defence and of the attack 
on this front was practieaJly the status 
^uo." 

From this same correspondent, whose 
lucid and impartial despatches have now 
the approval even of Russian newspaper 
critics, we borrow a particularly fine de- 
scription of the work of the 5th Division 
during the morning and afternoon of the 
31st. 

" The weather was now fine, and the 
energy of this southern attack all the 
morning was concentrated in an artillery 
fire on the bushy hill that had been won 
and lost. At 10 o'clock we could see 
the 5th Division moving up against the 
Russian left. The slow and creeping 
work of this division had enabled them 
to approach within nearer range of the 
enemy, and their little hand howitzers, 
which weapons accompany every infantry 
brigade, were now brought up to the 
support of the firing line. They massed 
against rocky excrescences which gave 
cover from the Russian artillery fire until 
the preparation seemed complete, then 
they extended down the inner and outer 
slope of the ridge in company columns in 



single line, shoulder to shoulder, lying 
down. At a quarter to 12 the advanced 
lines broke into groups of twelve, and 
began a series of rushes according to the 
usual method of Japanese infantry 
attack. After making a short rush the 
men lie down. They do not fire, rifle 
support coming from the supports in 
rear. In this case the firing line was 
thrown out along the actual crest which 
divided the two attacking lines. 

" There is a moment of intense excite- 
ment while the summit of the Russian 
position is like a miniature Mount Pelee 
in eruption owing to the bursting of 
dozens of Shimoshi shells. The head of 
the assault is in the gap in the entangle- 
ment. The artillery is supporting the 
assault. Three or fovtr-gjBOund mines ex- 
plode in the midst of the leading assault- 
ing groups. Then as the smoke clears 
the black-coated Russians are seen leav- 
ing the position. In a moment the 
Japanese are in, and the whole of the 
lines in support on the crest are firing 
down the slope into the retreating 
Russians. 

" But one swallow does not make a 
summer. Although the underfeature of 
the bushy hill was carried, the rest of the 
assault failed miserably. No Japanese 
could live within 500 yards of the bastion 
hill, and though the Japanese came out 
of the corn until the groups were so 
numerous that I can liken them only to 
swarming bees, it was only to be swept 
backwards into cover again, leaving be- 
hind the heavy price of their valour. The 
handful of men who seized the hill were 
able to hold it, but could not advance an 
inch, and thus the afternoon wore on. 
All along the line no movement could be 
traced except the moving nearer in of 
some few Japanese batteries. The artil- 
lery duel, however, continued unabated. 



A DIVERSION ON THE JAPANESE lEFT. 



\2- 



Along- the fringe of the Japanese front ported that a considerable body of the 

individual infantrymen had crept forward enemy with some guns had appeared two 

and dug themselves in where mounds or hours previously to the north-west of 

watercourses made it possible to escape Go-tau-ka-tse, the remaining reserves of 

the searching fire of the Russian rifles, the third column were sent to meet them, 




JAPANESE ARTILLERY ON TUli MARCH. 



while all the time the Russian shrapnel 
was causing hundreds of casualties in 
the flats." 

About 5 p.m. a diversion took place on 
the extreme Japanese left. The com- 
mander of the third column having rc- 



and the Japanese cavalry, also operating 
in this quarter, reconnoitred in the direc- 
tion of Liao-yang. 

By 7 p.m. General Oku was getting 
desperate, and accordingly it was deter- 
mined to make yet one more attack, the 



126 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



third in twenty-four hours. At the hour 
named, accordingly, the artillery fire was 
concentrated on the fortifications, which 
appeared to be greatly shaken by the 
terrific, cannonade. During the night, 
says General Kuroki in his official de- 
spatch, the infantry on all faces, after 
full preparation, forced the secondary 
obstacles, and by gallant charges the first 
column seized the hills west of Go-tau- 
ka-tse, the second column gained an 
eminence to the west of Mount Shu-shan, 
and the second column's auxiliary force 
occupied the hills along the highway. 

At this dramatic point, which was 
reached shortly after midnight on August 
31st, we shall leave for the present the 
Japanese forces to the south of Liao- 
yang. But before we break the thread of 
the narrative of General Oku's grand per- 
formance it may be well to elucidate two 
doubtful points. According to the Times 
correspondent's account the artillery pre- 
paration from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. was fol- 
lowed by an attack which was a failure. 
" It was a repetition of all the previous 
assaults except at one portion of the line. 
For the rest there was gruesome evidence 
on the following morning to show how, 
like hares in snares, the heroic infantry 
had struggled into barbed wire entangle- 
ments to die, how, blundering in the dark- 
ness, sections had thrown themselves 
down 30 yards from the flaring line of 
muzzles whose flashes marked the goal 
they were never to win. But the first 
battalion of the 34th Regiment, which 
for forty-eight hours had been lying in 
the scrub at the foot of the green glacis 
on the centre hill, broke through abatis 
and entanglements, and, in spite of a 
flanking fire which swept away group 
after group, had enough endurance to 
reach the first trench. 

" What happened there none know; 



but in the morning, when we viewed the 
position, Russians and Japanese were 
lying intermingled waist-deep in the 
ditch, while from parapet to entangle- 
ment, perhaps 150 yards, the thick trail 
of prostrate khaki told a tale that no pen 
can describe." 

The inference seems to be that there 
was an unsuccessful attack which General 
Oku's published report leaves imtouched, 
and which was followed by a successful 
advance possibly in the teeth of some, 
though not serious, opposition. For, as 
we shall see when we come to the open- 
ing of the Third Phase of the battle, the 
Russian defence of the Shu-shan hills has 
now been completely broken down. 

This brings us to the second point, as 
to which there is some anxiety. Accord- 
ing to Reuter's correspondent at Liao- 
yang. General Stackelberg with the ist 
Army Corps was still facing General Oku, 
while General Nozu was confronted by 
General Ivanoff, who, with a large por- 
tion of the " Eastern Army," had been 
driven back from the region of the Tang- 
ho. On the extreme Russian right was 
General Mishtchenko, with a mixed 
cavalry, infantry, and artillery force. 
During the night of August 31st, if not 
before. Generals Stackelberg and Ivanoff 
withdrew their headquarters, the former 
to Liao-yang itself, the latter across the 
Tai-tse to a point sheltered by the city 
wall on the road to Yen-tai. General 
Mishtchenko was transferred to the 
north-east with a view to meeting 
General Kuroki's movement in that quar- 
ter. The veteran cavalry leader, General 
Greikoff, was left in charge of the ad- 
vanced defence with a force consisting 
apparently of the whole of the Siberian 
Reserves Division, part of the ist and 
Sth Rifle Divisions — in all, perhaps, some 
25,000 men — and about 50 guns. These, 



THRILLING EVENTS. 



127 



too, at 3 a.m. on September ist, were re- diers, and hear the commands of the 

treating- in the direction of Liao-yang. oflicer.s. Here and there the opposing 

While naturally the main interest of the troops were so close that they even hurled 

desperate fighting- to the south of Liao- stones at each other. 

yang on August 31st is centred in the The ^^-ell-kno\vn Russian war corrc- 

attack, there are some thrilling- details spondent, M. Nen-iiro\itch Dantchenko, 

given of the scenes witnessed from the says : — 

side of the defence. It is evident that " The battlelield was a perfect hell. 




GENERAL GREIKOFF. 



at times the struggle was of the closest 
and bitterest sort imaginable. At one 
point the Russian officers drew their 
swords and revolvers in order to prepare 
for hand-to-hand fighting, but a timely 
arrival of infantry reserves postponed the 
actual collision. At another the railway 
embankment alone separated the adver- 
saries. The Russians could see quite 
distinctly the forces of the Japanese sol- 



General Stackelberg, wounded but de- 
spising death, remained immovable at 
his post, watching the progress of the 
fight. In the evening he sent a message 
to General I'Curopatkin to say that not 
only could he hold his positions, but 
could, if necessary, even take the offen- 
sive immediately with every hope of 
success. 

" Among other incidents of the fighting-, 



128 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the Russians pursued two Japanese 
battalions throug-h the kao-liang grass to 
Saitzza, and surrounded them. A des- 
perate fight ensued. The Japanese re- 
fused to accept quarter, preferring death 
to surrender. The Russians would have 
liked to spare them, but they had no 
alternative in the circumstances but to 
kill them all. 

" In another part of the field the Japan- 
ese reached a trench which had been 
abandoned by the Russians. Another 
Japanese force, in the belief that the 
trench was held by the enemy, shelled the 
position, and then captured it by assault. 
It was only on reaching; the trench that 
they realised they had killed their own 
comrades. They fell on the prostrate 
bodies in the trenches, covering them 
with their tears. 

" The Russian Frontier Guards re- 
mained at their posts, and died refusing 
to surrender. It was the anniversary of 
the creation of their regiment, and they 
had spent the previous night in celebrat- 
ing the event, singing the military songs 
as is the usual custom of the Russian 
troops, in spite of constant alarms. The 
regiment lost a large number of its 
officers on this fatal day. 

" The Russian soldiers worship their 
guns and quote the words of General 
Kuropatkin, who said to them, ' Soldiers, 
die for your guns as you would for your 
flags.' The pits dug by the Russians in 
the kao-liang grass were filled with 
Japanese corpses, over which their com- 
rades passed. The Russian evacuation 
of the forts and entrenchments was 
carried out without loss. The troops 
crossed the river by the pontoon bridges 
and the railway bridge in perfect order 
and safety." 

We must now turn our attention to 
General Kuroki's army, which we left 



on August 28th with its right and centre 
columns preparing to move northwards 
with a view to crossing the Tai-tse river 
in order to attempt the severance of the 
Russian corrimunications. 

It will be rerhembered that on the 28th 
General Nozu detached the loth Division 
for the purpose of co-operating with 
Kuroki's army. This division was still 
seeking a junction when at 6 a.m. on the 
30th it found itself confronted by the 
enemy on the hills to the east of Dawa, 
and forthwith opened an artillery fire 
upon him. This was followed by an in- 
fantry attack, which at first promised to 
be successful. But at 10 a.m. a large 
column from Liao-yang came out in re- 
inforcement of the Russians, augmenting 
the latter's force to two divisions with 
50 or 60 guns. The Russians now as- 
sumed the offensive, and made a strong 
attack, which the loth Division must 
have had great difficulty in resisting. 
However, by 3 p.m., after a hot and gal- 
lant struggle, a junction was effected 
with the left column of Kuroki's army, 
which, as mentioned in the last chapter, 
had been a good deal delayed by the 
stout opposition it had encountered in it? 
march up from Pe-ling-zu. The two 
united columns now had little difficulty in 
tackling the Russians and forcing them 
to retire. Subsequently, the left column 
of the First Army moved in a north- 
easterly direction from the neighbourhood 
of Dawa so as to form, as illustrated in 
the map of this Phase on page 109, a 
screen in front of the Russian left. 

Meanwhile, the right and centre 
columns of Kuroki's army are moving 
in order to carry out, if possible, the 
arduous task assigned to them. Such 
troops as are on the left bank" of the 
Tang-ho recross the river with a view to 
making the passage of the Tai-tse at 




45 



1^0 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



points not commanded by the Russian 
guns posted on the hills near Si-kwan- 
tun. August 29th and 30th are occupied 
in the necessary concentration and recon- 
naissance, and at about midnight on the 
30th the passage of the river begins. 
The right column crosses in its entirety, 
but the centre leaves a portion to assist 
the left column in its work of keeping the 
Russian left occupied. The Tai-tse is in 
flood, but the Japanese are characteristic- 
ally prepared for all contingencies, 
having brought their extremely service- 
able pontoons with them from the Yalu. 

An interesting experience befalls the 
correspondents with General Kuroki's 
central column on August 30th. On this 
date they catch their first sight of Liao- 
yang, which for the last few days, al- 
though within comparatively easy dis- 
tance, has been hidden by intervening 
hills. One can hardly hope to vie with 
an eye-witness in trying to reproduce an 
impression of this kind, and on that ac- 
count, as well as for its intrinsic merits, 
the following passage is borrowed ver- 
batim from the account given by the 
Special Correspondent of the Standard : — 

" From the sut imit of a lofty mountain 
I now looked down on a plain which 
stretches far away north, to the very 
fringe of the mysterious desert of Gobi. 
The interminable expanse of green and 
brown seemed to be dotted with dark 
graves. At our feet flowed the waters of 
the Tai-tse river, within whose sinu- 
ous embrace lay the destined city. Above 
the houses rises a famous pagoda, dedi- 
cated to the eight incarnations of Buddha. 
Among the trees gleamed the walls of 
houses. Vast stores were scattered over 
the plain ; and far away to the north 
was the white trail of the railway line. 
To the west of Liao-yang the flats spread 
like a desert. To the south were a few 



low ridges and isolated hills. To the 
east was the tossing sea of mountains 
over which the Japanese troops had pain- 
fully toiled, but not in vain. 

" Conscious of its impending doom, 
the city of Liao-yang awaited the assault 
which was to mark the end of the First 
Phase of the memorable war between 
the East and West. The stillness which 
hung over the scene was charged like a 
thundercloud with the certainties of fate, 
yet only to the experienced eye was there 
any visible sign of the mighty struggle 
upon which we were about to enter. On 
the crests and slopes of the hilly ridges 
south and east of the city lay the legions 
of the Czar. On the plain and behind 
the low ranges were batteries of artillery, 
presently to awake in thunders. Nearer 
to me, on the Fevel country, south, east, 
and west of the city, the soldiers of 
Japan stood to arms, never for a 
moment doubting of the issue of the 
coming contest. Their regiments, bri- 
gades, and divisions were stretched out 
like one great circle, ready to close the 
road of escape to the north, and at the 
same time overwhelm the tranquil-look- 
ing city." 

On August 31st General Kuroki's right 
column and the bulk of his centre column, 
having successfully crossed the Tai-tse- 
ho, pushed steadily on in a north-westerly 
direction, driving back the enemy's in- 
fantry where found, and occupying with- 
out Pen-si-hu, where the existence of im- 
portant fortifications had favoured expec- 
tation of a stout resistance. During the 
night of the 31st the field guns, which 
were waiting for the river to be bridged, 
crossed and joined the force. At this 
point, which marks the close of what we 
have regarded as the Second Phase of 
the battle of Liao-yang, we will leave 
General Kuroki, just as we left Generals 



O TAMA'S RESPONSIBILITIES. 



131 



Oku and Nozu, in a highly dramatic 
situation, the further and final develop- 
ment of which must be left until the next 
chapter. 

But some special attention must be 
paid to this remarkable movement on 
military grounds. In the first place, it 
is impossible to realise it properly, even 



kept as many Russian troops as possible 
occupied south of the Tai-tse. But think 
of the higher generalship required to con- 
trol such a movement as Kuroki's, and 
at the same time to direct such a series 
of almost frantic attacks as those 
launched by Oku and Nozu against the 
bristling entrenchments and frowning 



_l_ 



K:wqT.-i.sK fvli.\es. 



Jopo-laese 







Uiui-skia-Uaq 



BATTLE OF LIAO-YANG : SECOND PERIOD, AUGUST 29-3!. 
Attack on the inner tine. Beginning of Kitrolii's /lank movement. 



from the tactical standpoint, unless one 
remembers what was going on simultane- 
ously in other parts of the fighting area. 
We know that it was General Kuroki's 
business to dash northwards and attempt 
to isolate Liao-yang, while Oku's and 
Nozu's armies, and such part of Kuroki's 
as could be, or had to be, left behind, 



artillery on the Shu-shan hills. No pen 
can accurately convey the immensity of 
conception, the variety of execution, in- 
cluded in this vast simultaneous manipu- 
lation of military force. The only way 
in which those interested in such exercises 
can hope to gain any realistic idea of an 
operation like this is by moving mimic 



132 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



units over a larfje scale map with great 
deliberation, and filling- in the intervals 
with as much industrious imaginativeness 
as possible. By a careful collation of 
dates and hours it may then, sometimes, 
be found remotely possible to form a 
vague idea of the responsibilities of a 
general who has to keep 200,000 men and 
600 guns moving against a strong and 
skilful adversary. 

What a day of tremendous, many-sided 
action must y\ugust 31st have been on the 
Japanese side alone in that great twenty- 
mile arc of a circle which was bent round 
Liao-yang from the west of the Shu- 
shan hills to the north of the Tai-tse-ho ! 
From one end of the fighting front of 
Oku's and Nozu's armies to the other, 
the glorious infantry of Japan were hurl- 
ing' themselves with sublime intrepidity 
against positions held by some of the 
most stubborn soldiery in the world, be- 
hind shelters devised by engineers second 
to none in experience and skill. From 
hundreds of iron throats shot and shell 
were being vomited almost ceaselessl}'. 
Even the cavalry were not allowed to be 
idle in the midst of this intense preoccu- 
pation. Yet this was but the secondary 
part to that being played by Kuroki's 
force now moving swiftly onward in the 



hope of dealing a far more deadly blow 
against Russia than can be dealt in a 
score of desperate assaults on the Shu- 
shan hills, or a week of furious fighting 
on the banks of the Tang. How can we 
hope in cold words to do justice to the 
almost pathetically laborious foresight 
involved in the mere preparation of such 
a plan, to the iron tenacity of purpose 
and wholesale sacrifice necessary to its 
grim and sanguinary execution? 

And what of Kuropatkin during this 
fateful period of storm and stress? The 
star of his military luck may not be in 
the ascendant, but never more brightly 
shone his military genius. He has been 
cornered before he deems himself fully 
ready, but he faces the situation on the 
whole finely, and the skill vv'ith which he 
extricates himself from it is a revelation. 
The full beauty of his performance can- 
not yet be made clear without undue anti- 
cipation. But it may be said that on 
the night of August 31st, when the final 
oiders were given for the withdrawal 
from the Shu-shan hills position, and 
Mishtchenko's command was at once 
transferred to the trans-Tai-tse region, 
Kuropatkin did more to help Russia and 
hinder Japan than has been done in any 
month since the outbreak of the war. 




RUSSIAN CADETS. 

(From Foster Fraser's "The Real Siberia^) 



133 



CHAPTER LVII. 

BATTLE OF LIAO - YANG, THIRD PHASE — KUROPATKIN SAVES THE SITUATION — RUSSIAN 
MOVEMENTS — SCENES IN LIAO - YANG — JAPANESE OPERATIONS — CAPTURE OF LIAO- 
YANG — KUROKl'S FLANKING MOVEMENT. 



ON September ist — the anniversary of 
Sedan ! — the position round Liao- 
yang may be summarised as follows : — 
During- the previous night Kuropatkin, 
realising that his main danger lay to the 
north-east, from which quarter it was 
now clear that Kuroki would presently 
seek to cut the Russian line of retreat, 
had withdrawn the bulk of the troops 
still remaining in Liao-yang, and had 
started northwards towards Yen-tai, in 
order to secure his threatened flank of 
communication with Mukden. Kuroki, 
having crossed the Tai-tse-ho with a 
large portion at least of his army, was 
now striking north-westwards in the 
hope of reaching the railway before the 
main Russian force could be disentangled 
from Liao-yang. In Liao-yang itself a 
comparatively srnall body of Russians — 
possibly numbering about 30,000 — was 
fighting what was to all intents and pur- 
poses a rear-guard action against the 
Army of General Oku stiffened by General 
Nozu's Fifth Division. The latter forces, 
after the frightful struggle of August 
31st, were now taking possession of the 
Shu-shan Hills position to the south of 
Liao-yang, but were at present powerless 
to press beyond it. Utterly exhausted 
by their tremendous efforts, they had still 
before them an enemy which, if shaken, 
was yet capable of further dogged re- 
sistance, and was by no means badly 
posted to resist a further precipitate ad- 



There is another eri^lanation of this 
lull in the Japanese advance from the 
south. Even if General Oku had 
imagined that he could now capture Liao- 
yang by a coup de main, he would prob- 
ably have been held back from any such 
enterprise by his superior officer, Field- 
Marshal Oyama. The end and aim of 
all the appalling sacrifices made by Japan 
in the past week of close and bitter 
fighting have been, as was evident from 
the first, not so much the capture of the 
Russian military capital of Manchuria as 
the complete enclosure of the main 
Russian Army. Liao-yang, it well may 
have been anticipated by Japanese 
students of military history, would prove 
a sort of Sedan for Holy Russia. Just 
as the French Army, with its veteran 
Commander Jiors de combat, was crowded 
into Sedan or under its walls with nearly 
500 Prussian guns playing on it, so the 
Japanese may have pictured the Russian 
Army of Manchuria caught at Liao-yang, 
and either annihilated or forced to sur- 
render. And, with such a picture before 
its eyes, the General Staff at Tokio would 
hardly have allowed Oku to consider him- 
self at liberty to expel — if he could — 
what he probably supposed to be a very 
large retaining force from Liao-yang 
before he knew that K.uroki was in a 
position to intercept it. 

But whether this interesting tactical 
speculation be sound or not, the point we 
have now to consider is that, in reality, 



134 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the anniversary of Sedan marks the 
opening of a new Phase of the Liao-yang; 
Battle at the very point at which the 
likelihood of an envelopment has been 
dispelled. Not any mistake on the part 
of Kuroki, not any hesitancy on that of 
Oku and Nozu, but the combined luck 
and judgment of Kuropatkin have already 
saved the situation for Holy Russia. 
What the Russi^xi Commander-in-Chief 
is doing resembles what Wellington did 
on August 2 1st at Vimiera, although the 
result is hardly what it was in Welling- 
ton's case. Still there is a fair compari- 
son to be drawn between the manner in 
which the Great Duke, then Sir Arthur 
Wellesley, transferred four brigades from 
his right to his left almost at the moment 
of contact, and Kuropatkin 's masterly 
withdrawal of the greater part of his 
army from Liao-yang to the right bank 
of the Tai-tse-ho in order to fend off 
Kuroki from the railway and the road to 
the north. 

Let us commence our study of the 
Third Phase of the Battle of Liao-yang 
by a glance at the Russian movements 
from the night of August 31st onwards. 
In one of his simple and soldierly 
despatches Kuropatkin himself gives a 
summary of his plan, which, if studied 
in connection with the map of the Third 
Phase printed on page 141 of this narra- 
tive, will go far towards increasing the 
interest and instructiveness of the entire 
operation. In Kuropatkin's own words, 
" The troops having crossed to the right 
bank, the Army was to take up positions 
between the village of Si-kwan-tun and 
the heights near the Yen-tai coal-mines, 
which were to have been occupied by 
Major-General Orloff's detachment, com- 
posed of thirteen battalions. Taking a 
position near Si-kwan-tun as a pivot, 
the Army was to have effected a move- 



ment to the right to flank the Japanese 
positions, which extended from the Tai- 
tse, near the village of Kwan-tun, to- 
wards the Yen-tai collieries." 

It will be seen that the second half of 
the plan introduces a new development. 
Kuropatkin evidently hoped that he would 
be enabled not only to hurl Kuroki back, 
but to turn the tables on him by a flank- 
ing movement which would have the 
effect of cutting him off completely from 
the Armies of Generals Oku and Nozu. 
This idea was not destined to be realised, 
but the mere conception is a strong and 
able one, and shows that Kuropatkin, 
throughout this anxious period, not only 
kept his head as to the immediate busi- 
ness in hand — that of extricating his 
army from a cunningly thrown net — but 
displayed that peculiarly high form of 
generalship which consists in a fine at- 
tempt to push home a counterstroke. 

There is something particularly grand 
— and, indeed, it is the grandeur of this 
idea which dominates the whole of this 
phase — in the spectacle of Kuropatkin at 
this moment playing his best card for the 
honour of Russia and his Imperial 
Master. What the Russian Commander- 
in-Chief's difficulties at this moment were 
it is almost impossible to realise. With 
a powerful and relentless enemy in the 
Viceroy, he was well aware that anything 
which could be done by Alexeieff to 
thwart his plans, to magnify his failures, 
to belittle his success, would be done as 
a matter of course. At home the in- 
trigues against him would continue what- 
ever the result of the present conflict. 
But far more pressing than either of 
these embarrassments must have been 
the bitter reflection that there were ele- 
ments of rottenness in his own army, to 
the existence of which allusion has al- 
ready been made, and which were beyond 



R USSL-dN DRA WBA CKS. 



135 



hope of removal for some time to taking place. As for the officers, the 
come. Kuropatkin's feelings when he heroes of the Pagoda Gardens and other 
heard of the poor show made on the "unworthy places," to quote the words 



banks of the Tang especially are better 
imagined than described, and it is a 
striking triljute to his magnificent sang- 
froid that, even with his confidence 
sapped bv such a miserable exhibition, 
he should have launched his main armv 



of Renter's correspondent, they, too, 
must have felt a little dismayed at the 
prospect of being suddenly deprived of 
the doubtful pleasures which had, so 
far, helped to alleviate the hardships of 
campaigning. But ollicers and men, 




MAJOR-GENERAL ORLOFF. 



on the greatest and most daring opera- 
tion he had as yet undertaken. 

Something is due, too, to the Russian 
troops for the manner in which they 
pulled themselves together at this crisis. 
Taught to believe that the great Russian 
victory of the war would be won long 
before the Japanese could reach Liao- 
yang, the simple soldiery must have felt 
their last hopes slipping from them when, 
on the night of August 31st, it became 
evident that a general retirement was 



whatever may have been their private 
sensations, seemed to have risen to the 
occasion. Whether Kuropatkin resorted, 
as he has so often done, to personal ex- 
hortation, coupled with some drastic 
measures of correction, we have no means 
of knowing. It may be that at last it 
was beginning to dawn on all ranks of 
the Russian Army in Manchuria that, 
even individually, the Japanese soldier 
was a match — and often more than a 
match — for the soldier of the Tsar. But, 



1^5 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



be the reason what it may, there is no 
question that the manner in which the 
withdrawal of the main army from Liao- 
yang- on the night of August 31st was 
effected reflected the greatest credit upon 
all concerned. 

It must have been a strange and in- 
spiring- spectacle. It will be remembered 
that this was a military, movement only, 
since not until the next morning was the 
order received for non-combatants to 
leave the town, and for another two days 
the latter was still to be in some sort of 
Russian occupation. But during- the 
night of Aug-ust 31st an imaginative ob- 
server might have heard an imaginary 
bell ringing- dully a very dismal chime — 
the death-knell of, at any rate, the 
present existence of Liao-yang- as the 
centre of Russia's military interests in 
the Far East. Streaming- columns of 
men, weary lines of waggons conveying 
wounded, had told, towards nightfall, a 
tale of desperate fighting-, of which, on the 
same scale and in the same quarter, there 
would be no renewal. And now, as the 
columns of troops and lines of transport 
pass through and to the side of Liao- 
yang:, and the centre of activity is shifted 
to the bridges, permanent and pontoon, 
which span the Tai-tse in the neig-hbour- 
hood of the town, another chapter is be- 
ing: unfolded. To the actual onlooker it 
bodes not well, this transfer of the bulk 
of the army from one threatened quarter 
to another, while as yet there is no news 
of a Japanese repulse. Presently the 
rumour gains strength that this is no 
tactical movement undertaken to snatch 
or drive home a victory, and to render 
secure by heavy blows dealt upon the ad- 
vancing enemy. It becomes known that 
these battalions and batteries are march- 
ing in from abandoned positions, which 
the Japanese will surely occupy to- 



morrow, and are doing so in order to 
meet a fresh attack far away on the 
north-east. The question is asked, what 
would the success of that fresh attack 
mean? Would it not be followed, more 
especially now that the advanced defences 
to the south, upon which such care has 
been lavished, have been left to the 
Japanese to enter at their leisure, by 
an envelopment from which no es- 
cape would be possible? One may 
well imagine that a prospect of this 
sort was profoundly objectionable to 
the variegated mass of humanity which 
the presence of the Russian head- 
quarters in Liao-yang had collected. 
Yet for the moment the steady tramp 
of battalion after battalion towards 
the river may have served to kindle a 
hope that, after all that has happened, 
Kuropatkin's patience was to be re- 
warded, and that a concentrated effort 
would serve to hurl the Yaponskis back 
in disastrous rout. 

At the river itself the arrangements 
made for crossing seem to have worked 
admirably. Several subsidiary pontoon 
bridges had been constructed, and the 
roads to and from them clearly marked 
out, with the result that, notwithstanding 
the darkness of the night, " all the 
troops destined to take the offensive " — 
to use Kuropatkin's own words — were 
safely on the right bank of the river. 
This must be reckoned a remarkable per- 
formance in the circumstances, and 
spectacularly the scene afforded by this 
rapid passage of a great body of troops 
over the pontoon and other bridges avail- 
able must have been an impressive one. 
What might have happened had Oku's 
and Nozu's troops been in a position at 
this juncture to deliver a night attack is, 
perhaps, an idle speculation ; but it may 
assist one to understand the risk run in 



138 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



carrying out a movement of this kind, 
practically speaking in the presence of 
the enemy. The reflection should also 
increase our admiration of the steadiness 
and precision with which the work was 
carried out, and the forethought dis- 
played in the arrangements which made 
such a result possible. 

Leaving Kuropatkin's " troops de- 
stined to take the offensive " on the right 
bank of the Tai-tse-ho, let us now return 
to I^iao-yang, the inner line of defences 
to the south of which are now being held 
by a rear-guard still, apparently, under 
command of General Greikoff. On the 
morning of September ist all non-com- 
batants were ordered to leave Liao-yang, 
the Chinese being given two days in 
which to remove themselves and their be- 
longings. It was observed that the 
Japanese were beginning to take posses- 
sion of the Shu-shan liills position, and 
about midday this fact became un- 
pleasantly clearer. It has been men- 
tioned before that at Liao-yang the chief 
centre of activity is the railway station, 
and at the latter the main point of as- 
sembly seems still to have been the buffet. 
Here about noon on the ist was the 
special correspondent of the Paris Tempi 
with a crowd of other customers, when 
suddenly a shell burst fifty yards away, 
followed by a second, and then a third. 
" The crovv'd rushed to the platform. 
The line was occupied by ambulance 
trains. Several persons were killed, and 
a Sister of Charity was wounded. In the 
mad hubbub everyone ran away without 
his baggage. The Chinese coolies pil- 
laged everything, while the Cossacks fell 
upon the champagne. The station hands 
displayed admirable coolness. The trains 
started in good order," 

As a fitting pendant to this graphic 
little pen-sketch may be quoted the allu- 



sion of Renter's correspondent to the 
opening stages of the bombardment 
which followed. " Shells burst over the 
post-office, the Red Cross tents, the 
station garden, the hospital, and also 
in the park under the ancient Pagoda, 
where a crowd of people who had been 
refreshing themselves at a restaurant 
there, headed by the restaurant keepers, 
fled helter-skelter with panic-stricken 
officers, orderlies, and a horde of mis- 
cellaneous people seeking refuge behind 
the north wall of the city. The Chinese 
immediately began looting, but swift 
punishment overtook them." 

How often one is reminded in this war 
of Russian incapacity to realise the 
presence of danger, coupled with the ex- 
hibition of a disregard which is neither 
dignified nor simply courageous, but 
grossly foolhardy ! Of course, a man 
must eat, and many of the frequenters of 
the buffet and the Pagoda restaurants 
may simply have been snatching a meal 
in the intervals of real business. But 
many more must have been mere loafers 
unwilling to tear , themselves away from 
the chance of a little dissipation in " good 
company " until the advent of winged 
messengers of death in the shape of shells 
scatters them in shameless flight. More 
businesslike, but hardly more edifying, is 
the behaviour of the Asiatic element. 
The Cossack falls upon the abandoned 
champagne, the Chinaman upon the 
derelict property. Meanwhile the Japan- 
ese guns thunder from the everlasting 
hills, and the Ta Pagoda (see Vol. I., 
page 558), the oldest inhabitant of Liao- 
yang by three centuries at least, solemnly 
awaits its chance of being reduced to 
ignominious dust along with the mush- 
room structures of Russian " civilisa- 
tion." It is a queer mixed picture this, 
not of real warfare, but of what may 



BATTLEFIELD SCENES. 



139 



be termed the " behind-the-scenes " of 
war. 

But we must not tarry with the per- 
turbed "customers" at the various 
drinking-places of Liao-yang-. It is 
necessary now to cross over to the Jap- 
anese side, and in doing so we may again 
have preliminary recourse to the splendid 
account given of the operations of General 
Oku's force by the special correspondent 
of the Times. The latter begins by ex- 
plaining how, on September ist, he 
arose from his bivouac in a Chinese vil- 
lage to find the Japanese infantry in 
possession of the whole southern Russian 
position, namely, the line from Mount 
Shu-shan to the rough country seized by 
General Nozu's 5th Division. " As seen 
from the summit of the position Liao- 
yang lay in the plain due north, a walled 
city with a predominating pagoda." 
The correspondent continues : — 

" The general impression was that we 
had only to advance to occupy the town, 
but the armies of General Oku and 
General Nozu required a day's rest. In 
fifty hours the former had made four 
general infantry assaults which had 
failed, and had subsisted through the in- 
clement weather solely on rations carried 
on the person, while the reserve of am- 
munition had to be replenished. 

" The Russians had fallen back in good 
order, taking everything with them except 
some 200 of their latest dead, while the 
only prisoners who fell into Japanese 
hands were seven men who were enr 
tombed in an observation mine casemate 
on the brush-covered hill. The Japanese 
storming party had piled sandbags over 
the orifice of the casemate. It was alto- 
gether an extraordinary incident, for the 
entombed Russians had shot two officers 
who wished to parley with them, and 
eventually surrendered thirty-six hours 



later. They were in a horrible state, 
three being desperately wounded. 

" I will not dwell on the sickening and 
harrowing sights of the battlefield except 
to mention one incident in the centre. 
Here during the evening assault on the 
31st the stormers of the ist Battalion of 
the 34th Regiment had penetrated to the 
highest trench and had overpowered the 
Baikal Cossacks who were holding it, 
but supports from the splinter-proof 
shelter behind had fallen with their 
bayonets on the gallant Japanese in the 
moment of their success, and the bodies 
of both Japanese and Cossacks lay piled 
thick upon each other in a hideous heap." 

A little later the Times representative 
adds : — ■ 

" I returned to our bivouac over the 
battlefield through acres of millet, where 
the Japanese infantry had been mown 
down in hundreds. Already twenty or 
thirty columns of smoke showed where 
the Japanese dead had been collected for 
cremation. I visited several dressing 
stations of the field hospital. All were 
filled to double their capacity. The 
victims were cheerful, glorying in their 
wounds. The hospital arrangements 
were splendid, but the position was taken 
at a terrible cost. The casualties of the 
Japanese five divisions at the lowest com- 
putation were not less than 10,000, and 
probably were more, for owing to the 
crops many wounded were not found, 
and must have died miserably, while 
many bodies will never be found until the 
crops are cut. 

" All the time reserves were passing up 
to the fighting line to fill the vacancies, 
while trains of ammunition carts were 
hastening forward. It is impossible even 
to conjecture what the expenditure was. 
An examination of the enemy's trenches 
showed that the Japanese shell fire was 



140 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



not so devastating as was anticipated, 
and, as I surmised, only charges of shrap- 
nel were found in the Russian batteries, 
whose fire was indirect from the reverse 
of the position throughout. 

" It is impossible to estimate the Rus- 
sian losses, but, giving the Japanese 
shrapnel its due, and knowing that the 
rifles of the sth Division did great execu- 
tion among the enemy retreating from the 
bushy hill, I should say that they 
amounted to half those of the attacking 
force. It must be remembered that my 
estimate of the Japanese casualties does 
not include those of the loth Division nor 
those suffered by General Kuroki's 
force." 

About noon on September ist, as has 
already been indicated in the account of 
the Russian movements, the Japanese 
began firing on the Liao-yang railway 
station, subsequently extending the bom- 
bardment to other parts of the town. 
Meanwhile the captured positions were 
more completely occupied, and at night- 
fall the tired soldiers of Japan bivouacked 
within about six miles of the " Russian 
military capital of Manchuria." 

At daybreak on September 2nd a move- 
ment was made towards Liao-yang by 
the armies of Oku and Nozu. It was 
soon discovered that the Russians in- 
tended to make a stubborn defence in a 
position closely screening the town itself. 
In the accompanying map of the Third 
Phase of the Battle the railway is very 
clearly shown entering Liao-yang on the 
western side, the station being separately 
marked. The existence of what might be 
termed a suburban line of defences was 
mentioned in the last chapter, and it is 
now only necessary to explain that the 
position ran from the v/est of the railway 
eastwards through the southern suburbs, 
and then turned up north towards the 



Tai-tse-ho. A corresponding curve was 
followed by the attacking forces, the re- 
spective arcs being perhaps four and 
twelve miles in length. 

The fighting on September 2nd need 
not be closely followed, although interest- 
ing from the expert standpoint, and 
throughout of a very brisk and vigorous 
sort. The Japanese pushed the advance 
manfully, though obviously still tired, and 
the Japanese artillery came into combined 
action with much spectacular impressive- 
ness. But the Russians showed no signs 
of yielding, and, to quote General Oku's 
report, owing to the strength of their de- 
fences and the desperate character of 
their resistance sunset came before the 
Japanese could push the advance home. 
During the night an isolated attempt was 
made to charge some of the forts on the 
Russian right, but failed owing to the 
obstacles encountered and a scathing 
cross-fire from the Russian machine guns. 

" At dawn on September 3rd," writes 
General Oku in his official despatch, 
" our guns reopened fire and the enemy 
continued his obstinate resistance ; where- 
upon our guns were advanced within rifle 
range with the object of breaching the 
forts and silencing the machine guns. As 
a result one part of the enemy's force 
seemed disordered, but the remainder 
stood firm. Our artillery, therefore, con- 
centrated again, pending a general at- 
tack by the infantry, which had gradually 
crept up within 200 to 300 metres of the 
enemy's position. Finally at 7 p.m., 
while the whole of the artillery redoubled 
their fire, the infanti'y charged along the 
entire line. A heavy fight ensued, last- 
ing into the night, but at 12.30 a.m. the 
enemy's position was completely forced, 
and the line of fortifications was captured 
amid vociferous cheering." 

It is difficult to imagine from the above 



CAPTURE OF LI AO- YANG. 



I4t 



terse paragraph that what is alluded to 
is, in one sense, the climax of the great 
Battle of Liao-yang, in other words, the 
capture of Liao-yang itself ! And yet 
there is, perhaps, something of dramatic 
appropriateness in thus placing at any 
rate the outline of the denouement before 



liussians time after time hurling back 
with stubborn vigour these iranlic on- 
slaughts until plain and slopes were 
strewn with corpses. For days past we 
have watched artillery duels alternating 
with infantry rushes ; have noted the 
heavy smoke from bursting shells relieved 




BATTLE OF LIAO-YANG : THIRD PERIOD, SEPTEMBER I-3. 
Kuropatkin holds Kuroki by vigorous counter attacks and gradually evacuates Liao-yang. 



our readers in the brief and simple words 
of the Japanese Commander chiefly re- 
sponsible for the great result in question. 
We have already had to pass under re- 
view a long sequence of desperate at- 
tacks, informed with splendid valour, and 
superbly typical of the fighting spirit of 
the Island Nation. We have seen the 



by the sharp flashes from answering 
guns ; have realised that yonder fair 
standing crops have been but so much 
cover for ghastly carnage. Whv tell in 
slightly altered language the tale of 
another day's deadly struggle fought out 
on almost identical lines? Better, surely, 
to join Oku's and Nozu's gallant fellows 



142 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



in their final irresistible charge, which was 
to be followed a few hours later by the 
complete Japanese occupation .of Kuro- 
patkin's former stronghold. 

But, perhaps, some of us might like to 
choose our place in that glorious move- 
ment. With many the preference might 
lie with the grand 20th Regiment, which 
formed part of Nozu's force, and which 
had already suffered terrible losses during 
the past few days. Its regimental com- 
mander and one battalion had fallen near 
An-shan-shan. Two more battalion com- 
manders had been killed at Weijago, 
near Dawa, in the Second Phase of the 
fighting. On September 2nd the regi- 
ment lost its new colonel commanding 
and two new battalion commanders. 
There was thus none left on the 3rd to 
take the regimental command, which was 
accordingly assumed by Major-General 
Marui. 

General Nozu in his official despatch 
gives a stirring account of the behaviour 
of this magnificent corps in the final 
struggle of September 3rd. Its leading 
line was almost swept away, and, al- 
though stiffened by reserves, the regiment 
was wavering under a withering fire when 
Captain Egami led the colour company 
in- advance of the skirmishers, where- 
upon the whole regiment charged 
furiously, tore away the obstacles, and 
carried the opposing forts, cheering for 
the Emperor. Some idea of the terrific 
casualties entailed on individual corps by 
the fighting on September 3rd may be 
gathered from the fact that one battalion 
of the 20th Regiment lost every officer, 
the command of companies being as- 
sumed by first-class privates; one com- 
pany was reduced to fourteen or fifte-^n 
men, a.nd the regiment's total casualties 
were 1,200 to 1,300. 

While the armies of Oku and Nozu 



were thus successfully pressing home 
their final assault — the eighth in five 
days — upon the inner defences of Liao- 
yang, the Russian rearguard was making 
strenuous preparations for retirement. 
On the whole the usual preliminaries 
to evacuation were carried out well, and 
it was afterwards remarked that the 
spoils of war which fell into Japanese 
hands were quite insignificant when one 
considers the former importance of Liao- 
yang as a Russian possession. The rail- 
way station and nearly all the ware- 
houses were burned — the rolling stock 
had been pushed forward previously — the 
railway bridge was wrecked, and a quan- 
tity of ammunition and provisions was 
destroyed. The actual falling-back of 
the rearguard, too, seems to have been 
accomplished with considerable steadi- 
ness, and, when the passage of the Tai- 
tse-ho had been effected, the pontoon 
bridges were duly dismantled and the 
pontoons removed. But a regiment 
which had been stationed in Liao-yang 
itself had seized the opportunity before 
retiring to sack all the European shops 
and many of the houses of the wealthy 
Chinese. It may be inferred, then, that 
the night of September 3rd in Liao-yang 
afforded a good many unlovely scenes, 
and was thus, perhaps, a not altogether 
inappropriate termination to the ex- 
istence of the place as the headquarters 
of the Russian field army. 

Kuropatkin himself, of course, had not 
witnessed these closing episodes. He 
had left Liao-yang at eight o'clock in 
the morning of September 2nd, in the 
famous train in which so much of his 
work as Commander-in-Chief had been 
done for months past. Well may he have 
felt a pang at being thus unceremoni- 
ously forced to leave a place from which 
it is clear that one time he had hoped 



KUR OPA TK/N'S CO OLNESS. 



143 



to take a final offensive \\ith an over- yang- when he left it, he was the last 
whelming- army. But, throughout the man to betray any sentimental regrets, 
whole of the war hitherto, Kuropatkin's or to let. bystanders imagine that he 




GENERAL BARON OKU. 



attitude has been one of stoical indiffer- now felt the ground slipping from under 

ence to reverses which would have driven his feet. 

many more higi-hly-strung generals crazy, The Russian Army, then, main body, 

and, although he probably had no illu- Commander-in-Chief, and even rear- 

sions on the subject of the fate of Liao- guard, is now, at dawn on September 



144 



HISTORY OF THE JRVSSO - JAPANESE WAR. 



4th, on the right bank of the Tai-tse-ho. 
Not a live Russian is left in Liao-yang, 
save a few deserters dressed in Chinese 
clothes who are hiding among the houses. 
The Russian settlement is in ruins, and 
in the old town there is hardly a sign 
of life. A day or two back, the Chinese, 
on noting the evacuation of the Shu-shan 
Hills position, had started to make 
Japanese flags in order to welcome the 
victors in the great battle. But the loot- 
ing performances of the loth Siberian 
Rifles, and the bombardment of the pre- 
vious two days, in which a large number 
had been killed, had sent them bolting 
into their dens like scared rabbits. 

Nor were their troubles now over, for 
Reuter's correspondent, who had been 
until recently with the Russian Army, 
and had been taken unawares by the 
Japanese entry, reports that the Japanese 
troops showed for the first time at Liao- 
yang that lack of restraint which has 
often been exhibited by European troops 
in similar circumstances. " They had 
been fighting for five days without food, 
except dry rice, and broke loose on 
entering the town, looting right and 
left. As the shops had already been 
rifled, the Japanese turned their atten- 
tion to private houses. They were chiefly 
in search of food, but overlooked nothing, 
Their officers were much dis- 
turbed, and the men were finally taken 
out of the walled city, which they were 
no longer allowed to enter without a 
special pass." 

While, as has been noted, the legiti- 
mate spoils of war which fell into the 
hands of the Japanese after the capture 
of Liao-yang were insignificant compared 
with what they might have been had the 
retirement been less skilfully conducted, 
the total is impressive. Putting aside 
General Kuroki's captures, which include 



the eight guns taken at Hun-sha-ling, 
Generals Oku and Nozu secured nearly 
3,000 rifles and about a million rounds 
of small arms ammunition, some 7,000 
rounds of gun ammunition, and a quan- 
tity of mixed munitions and provisions. 

A rather unnecessary sensation was at 
first created by the suggestion that the 
Japanese found among the captured 
boxes of cartridges a quantityi of so- 
called " Dum-dum " ammunition, our 
own occasional use of which in past 
frontier and other expedi'cions has 
aroused much humanitarian huboub. In 
this instance the fuss and fury were the 
more superfluous, since on exa^iination 
the so-called " Dum-dum " 1 bullets 
proved to be those belonging to revolver 
cartridges, which are often fitted with a 
flat-nosed projectile for " man-stdpping " 
purposes. Cases also seem to have 
occurred in the course of the war of 
wounds caused by sporting ammunition 
fired from the sporting carbines carried 
by Russian officers, just as they were 
carried by our own officers in South 
Africa. The point is not one calling for 
serious discussion, but, as the Japanese 
laboured it somewhat at the time, it 
seems desirable in this record to give it 
passing and explanatory allusion. 

As to casualties, these it will never be 
easy to compute with exactitude. Here 
again, on the Japanese side, we must first 
set apart General Kuroki's Army, and 
having done so we find the official re- 
turn of the losses of General Oku's Army 
to be 7,681, and those of General Nozu's 
Army 4,992. The official telegram Irom 
Tokio conveying this information is dated 
September nth, by which time the full re- 
ports should have been received from the 
field hospitals. On September 22nd the 
Russian General Staff at St, Petersburg 
issued detailed lists of the Russian casual- 



146 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO- TAPANESE WAR. 



ties at Liao-yang. The number of men 
killed was 1,810; 10,811 men were 
wounded, and 1,212 were left on the 
field. Of the regimental officers 54 were 
killed, and three generals were wounded, 
and five officers were left on the field. 

It is not easy to make out whether the 
Russian lists are really comprehensive, 
■or whether they only include the officers 
and men who fell in the fighting with 
Oku's and Nozu's Armies. In the former 
case the total would have to be balanced 
by the 4,866 officially reported in General 
Kuroki's Army, which brings the total 
Japanese casualties between August s^tli 
and September 4th up to 17,539. Prob- 
ably a gross total of 35,000 to 40,000 
casualties on both sides is not very far 
from the actual mark. 

Before leaving the Armies of Generals 
Oku and Nozu in order to turn to the 
■details of General Kuroki's flanking 
movement, it may be of interest to note 
how it is that such comparatively full and 
satisfactory information is available con- 
cerning not only the movements of these 
two forces, but also the last stages of the 
Russian defence. As regards the latter, 
it has already been mentioned that 
Reuter's correspondent with the Russian 
Army was taken unawares by the Japan- 
■ese, who, it seems, rushed into the town 
while he, relying on General Sassulitch's 
assurance that the town would not be 
evacuated before September 4th, was 
assisting to tend the Chinese sick and 
wounded. On the entry of the Japanese 
he was ordered to consider himself a 
prisoner, but managed to get a long and 
vivid despatch placed on the wires before 
he could be prevented. 

The experiences of the special corre- 
spondent of the Times with General Oku's 
Army exhibit in a still stronger light 
the energy and resourcefulness of the 



Knights of the Pen under very trying 
circumstances. Knowing well that it 
would be hopeless to expect a Japanese 
censor to pass such a despatch as he pro- 
posed to send, this correspondent, after 
witnessing the occupation of Liao-yang 
on the afternoon of September 4th, rode 
out to the Shu-shan Hills, and remained 
there all night. Early the next morning 
he left, accompanied by a confrere, on 
horseback, and, riding all day with a 
Chinese guide, reached old Niu-chwang 
on a branch of the Liao River towards 
evening. Here he succeeded in engaging 
a junk, in which he and his friend pro- 
ceeded down stream all night and till 
noon on the following day, when contrary 
winds made it necessary to abandon the 
boat. The two correspondents thereupon 
marched on foot the remaining twenty 
miles to Ying-kau, where they arrived 
after dark on the 6th. They crossed the 
following morning to the railway station, 
reaching Shan-hai-kwan the same even- 
ing. Here the Times representative put 
on the wires one of the finest descriptions 
of a great operation ever cabled — one 
which, with much descriptive power, 
combines a singular sense of proportion 
and quite exceptional critical faculty. 

Let us now turn to General Kuroki's 
flanking movement. We left the First 
or Right Army on the morning of Sep- 
tember 1st, pushing on from the right 
bank of the Tai-tse-ho, to which it had 
just crossed, in a northerly and north- 
westerly direction. During the day very 
little progress was made, owing to the 
increasing strength of the enemy, who 
was being hourly reinforced by the troops 
which had been withdrawn during the 
night from Liao-yang. Throughout the 
day there was a vigorous interchange 
both of artillery and rifle fire, but no 
advantage was gained by either side, 



THE STRUGGLE AT HET-YAN-TAI. 



147 



with the possible exception that the first 
or right Japanese column succeeded in 
establishing itself in the hills to the east 
of the Yen-tai coal-mines. 

During the night of September ist-and 
the Japanese delivered a series of attacks, 
the first column struggling to get nearer 
TO the coal-mines, while the second 
column attacked the Russian posi- 
tions at Si-kwan-tun and Hei-yan-tai. 
The detachment which attacked the Si- 
kwan-tun ridge was not only heavily 
cannonaded by the enemy concentrated 
here, but was sharply counter-attacked 
at 10 a.m. on the 2nd. Nothing, accord- 
ingly, was effected in this direction, but 
the attack had served to cover a success- 
ful movement against Hei-yan-tai. Here 
some of the bloodiest fighting of the war 
took place, and it is almost inconceivable 
that troops should have been found to 
return to attack after meeting with such 
terrible experiences as were encountered 
at this important vantage ground. Ac- 
cording to one correspondent the Rus- 
sians had even gone to the length of de- 
fending their trenches with lines of -wire 
liighly charged with electricity. The 
Japanese touching these in the darkness 
are said to have received severe shocks, 
while further confusion was caused by- 
hand grenades thrown from the trenches 
among the attackers. 

During September 2nd the Japanese 
maintained a precarious footing at Hei- 
yan-tai, exposed to a terrible cross-fire 
from the Russian batteries on the Si- 
kwan-tun ridge. " Thus the second 
column," writes General Kuroki in his 
official report, " was extremely harassed. 
The soldiers since the preceding night 
had not eaten one meal nor drunk a drop 
of water, subsisting on the few grains of 
raw rice carried in their wallets." 

But where was the third column all 



this time? Evidently it was fully oc- 
cupied in filling up the gap between Hei- 
yan-tai and the Tai-tse-ho, thus prevent- 
ing the insertion of the wedge with which 
Kuropatkin had hoped to cut Kuroki 
completely off from communication with 
Oku and Nozu. 

At sunset on September 2nd the Rus- 
sians, with two or three brigades, made 
a determined effort to recapture Hei-yan- 
tai. Fortunately a portion of the third 
column, which had been summoned dur- 
ing the afternoon, advanced and relieved 
the pressure. But even the combined 
forces were not able to drive back the 
enemy. Once, indeed, the Japanese were 
driven from their trenches, but returned 
to the struggle and expelled the Rus- 
sians. Then, it would seem, the Russians 
counter-attacked a second time, and were 
badly repulsed. 

Renter's correspondent draws a har- 
rowing picture of the scene after the final 
struggle at Hei-yan-tai : — 

" The spectacle which the hill pre- 
sented has seldom been equalled in any 
war. The top of the hill is less than a 
quarter of a mile long. The crest, slopes, 
and ravines were literally honeycombed 
with trenches, ditches, and furrows for 
shelter. Trenches and counter-trenches 
ran in every direction, testifying to the 
number of attacks and the different points 
from which assaults had been attempted. 
Close to the summit 200 Russians lay 
with their rifles where they had fallen. 
It appeared that they had advanced upon 
the word of command, and the whole 
line was mowed down when almost upon 
the trenches. The bodies were black, 
having lain there in the sun while the 
firing was so constant and fierce that the 
Japanese were unable to bury them. 
Many corpses were strewed in the fields 
below. Hundreds of shells had fallen on 



148 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the hill, tearing pits and furrows in it. 
Fragments of steel were everywhere 
under foot. Several Russian drums and 
two or three hundred Russian rifles and 
cooking pots were all torn and shattered 
by shot, bayonets were twisted and 
broken, and the rags of uniforms and 
caps were shot-torn and blood-soaked. 
Blood was smeared everywhere, in the 
trenches, and on the turf. It was im- 
possible to step without treading on 
bullets." 

Meanwhile, on September 2nd, the 
right column of General Kuroki's Army 
had been heavily engaged near the Yen- 
tai coal-mines with a Russian force under 
General Orloff, who was in a strong posi- 
tion on the heights to the north of the 
mines. General Orloff detached part of 
his force in order to aid the troops fight- 
ing at Si-kwan-tun, and this detachment 
fell in with the Japanese right column, 
and was severely handled by it. The 
Russian troops advanced to the attack 
through fields of kao-liang or tall millet, 
and were met by such a heavy frontal 
and flank fire that they became confused 
and lost their bearings in the kao-liang. 
Eventually they fell back, and subse- 
quently Orloff's main body in the hills 
also retired westward, the Japanese fol- 
lowing and extending northwards until 
they had occupied the whole range of the 
hills and the Yen-tai mines. In this 
movement General- Orloff' was wounded, 
and also General Fomin, who later suc- 
cumbed. 

There is no doubt that General Orloff's 
mismanagement of the part entrusted to 
him was a great blow to General Kuro- 
patkin. In his report he says, evidently 
with some bitterness, that at the time 
of their retirement General Orloff's troops 
were ' ' within two versts (less than a 
mile and a half) of the other forces," 



and it is clear that the arrival on the 
scene at this critical time of a consider- 
able body of comparatively fresh troops 
might have rtjade all the difference to the 
Russian Army. There are conflicting 
stories, but perhaps what was originally 
intended was that Orloff should advance 
with his whole force and roll up the 
Japanese right as soon as the Yen-tai 
mines were seriously threatened. It is 
suggested that he was held back by 
Admiral Alexeieff at Mukden. As we 
have seen, the whole movement was a 
fiasco, and the Yen-tai mines, which were 
of great importance to Russia in connec- 
tion with the railway, fell into the hands 
of the Japanese, notwithstanding a des- 
perate final resistance by a dismounted 
sotnia of Samsonoff's Siberian Cossacks. 
General Orloff, for his share in this un- 
fortunate performance, was afterwards 
recalled from the Manchurian Army and, 
generally speaking, came to be regarded 
in Russia as having been mainly respon- 
sible for the failure to convert the fight- 
ing from September ist to September 
3rd into a great Russian victory. Such 
scapegoats are not uncommon in the his- 
tory of war ! 

The repulse of the Russian counter- 
attacks on Hei-yan-tai practically speak- 
ing concluded the fighting part of the 
Liao-yang battle. On September 3rd, 
writes General Kuroki, the first and 
second Japanese columns did not move, 
but awaited assistance from the third 
column, which was rendered the more 
speedily as it was clear that the Russian 
idea of working round the Japanese left 
flank had been abandoned. 

The fact is that early on September 3rd 
both armies made discoveries. Kuropat- 
kin found that it would be useless to 
attempt to take the offensive against 
Kuroki, and that obviously his best policy 



THE END OF THE GREAT BATTLE. 



149 



was to g^et his army away to Mukden as 
soon as possible. Kuroki, on the other 
hand, became finally aware that the Rus- 
sians were too strongs for him, and that 
any hope of rendering; his flanking' moAC- 
ment effective had evaporated. 

The result of these discoveries was ap- 
parent in the mo\cments of .Septcmljcr 



4th. Kuropalkin commenced the with- 
drawal of his troops towards Mukden; 
Kuroki advanced a little, and then swung; 
northwards in pursuit. Thus ends the 
g'reat battle of Liao-yang, of the lessons 
and incidents of which we may ha\'e 
something; more to say in another 
chapter. 




REgUISITIONED SIA^■CHURIAN POMES BEING ENTKAINEI) 
IN EASTERN MONGOLIA. 



l.iO 



CHAPTER LVIII. 

BIEGE OF PORT ARTHUR CONTINUED— AN INTERMEDIATE STAGE — THE COMMANDANT 
AND HIS HEROIC Vv'IFE — GARRISON SUMMONED TO SURRENDER — INDIGNANT RPJECTION 

OF TERMS A GENERAL ASSAULT TYPICAL FIGHTING — A SECOND ASSAULT LIFE 

AT PORT ARTHUR — THRILLING EPISODES FRESH PREPARATIONS. 



ONCE more the imaginary balloon of 
observation, from which we have 
looked down on such a long' series of 
stirring scenes in this historic drama, 
floats over Port Arthur. Once more we 
see below us the spreading cluster of 
white houses which marks the European 
settlement, with the camp and parade 
grounds to the rear, and the harbour to 
the front. Once more our eyes wander 
round the chain of forts, taking in the 
sea defences of the Tiger's Tail, and that 
notable work on Golden Hill, from which 
so many of the naval incidents and acci- 
dents of the past half-year have been 
witnessed. Once more we see beyond 
the line of Russian fortifications the con- 
tracted ring of Japanese investment. 
Port Arthur besieged claims our atten- 
tion again, and the spectacle afforded is 
sufficient, surely, to make us forget for a 
time even the colossal conflict which is 
taking place to the north between the 
main armies of the two combatant 
nations. For not less indelibly than the 
Battle of Liao-yang and the operations 
which followed it will the Siege of Port 
Arthur be written on the tablets of the 
world's history. Nor, although it is but 
an interval in the story of that Siege 
which we are about to describe, is that 
interval lacking in episodes fully as in- 
spiring as the fanatical heroism displayed 
on the slopes of the Shu-shan Hills, fully 
as dreadful as the holocaust of slaughter 



that closed the grim struggle for Hei- 
yan-tai. 

We dropped the narrative of the land 
operations against Port Arthur at the end 
of July, by which time the Japanese were 
in possession of Wolf's Hill, that impor- 
tant eminence half a mile south of Shui- 
shi-ying, from which it is possible to cast 
shells through the narrow opening be- 
tween Obelisk Hill and Poya-shan into 
Port Arthur Harbour. In Chapter 
XLVH. the stage we are now entering 
upon was so far anticipated as to make 
it clear that the Japanese occupation of 
Wolf's Hill was swiftly rendered effective 
by the emplacement of siege guns which, 
by the end of the first week in August^ 
had begun to rain projectiles upon the 
fleet at anchor. In Chapter XLIX. the 
result of this development was dealt with. 
We saw the harbour becoming untenable, 
and we followed the Russian Fleet in its 
disastrous sortie. At nightfall on that 
memorable August loth we watched the 
reduced and crippled squadron crawling 
back into Port Arthur, the naval strength 
of which was reported on the following 
day to consist of the battleships Peresviety 
Pobieda, Reivisan, Poltava, and Sevastopol^ 
the cruisers Bayan and Pallada, and per- 
haps a dozen torpedo destroyers. What 
a day of gloom must August nth have 
been for Port Arthur ! For, although 
the departure of the Fleet in the small 
hours of the previous morning deprived 



MADAME STOESSEi:S HEROIC WORK. 



iSi 



the garrison of much sul^stantial assist- 
ance in the way of long range artillery, 
there may well have been high hopes 
cherished of a victory at sea such as could 
not but lessen the stringency of the block- 
ade even if it did not relieve the pressure 
of the land investment. 

How terrible must have been the drop 
from any such aspirations, how griin the 
disappointment, how blank the prospect, 
as those in Port Arthur who were not 
busy in the trenches gazed at the rem- 
nant, large and still imposing, but sadly 
battered, of the powerful squadron which 
only yesterday morning had worked its 
way out through the heavily-mined har- 
bour entrance into the open sea. In the 
course of the next few days, too, we may 
be sure that news began to trickle in 
showing the real extent of the loss en- 
tailed by yesterday's battle : Admiral 
Vitoft killed; the TsareviUh and Askold, 
and later the Diana safe, it is true, in 
neutral ports, but dismantled; and, lastly, 
the poor little Novik sunk. Those must 
have been bad days, indeed, for Port 
Arthur, and worst of all for the sailors 
who, through the public reproaches cast 
on Admiral Prince Ukhtomsky, were 
made to feel that by returning to Port 
Arthur they had brought on themselves 
the sharp displeasure of their Imperial 
Master. 

Henceforth, at any rate, during the 
intermediate stage with which we are now 
concerned, the main work of defending 
Port Arthur devolves upon the land 
forces, and right valiantly do they dis- 
charge their responsibilities, sustained 
daily by fresh tingling exhortations from 
the indefatigable Stoessel. In Chapter 
XLVII. we left this heroic Governor 
going his rounds, outwardly as full of 
pluck and buoyant energy as possible, 
but at heart, perhaps, a little despondent. 



more especially at the thought of having 
to part shortly with Madame Stoessel, 
who a little later was reported to have 
left the place in a destroyer. More recent 
advices show that the Governor's brave 
wife scorned to take advantage of the 
opportunities offered her of escape from 
the beleaguered fortress, and remained at 
her husband's side taking a noble share 
in the work of maintaining a stout resist- 
ance to the enemy. Prince Radziwill, a 
Russian lieutenant, who succeeded in get- 
ting away from Port Arthur to Chifu with 
despatches on September i6th, speaks 
enthusiastically of this heroic lady's be- 
haviour. " Madame Stoessel," he says, 
" takes the lead in the Red Cross work, 
and is in almost constant attendance at 
the hospital, tenderly caring for the 
wounded. In the midst of this exhaust- 
ing work she finds time to aid orphans 
and widows, and superintend the making 
of bandages. The soldiers consider her 
their guardian angel." 

During the first fortnight in August 
the Japanese land operations against 
Port Arthur chiefly affect the east and 
west forces of the defensive system. On 
the east the principal objective is Ta-ku- 
shan, an eminence which lies a little to 
the east of the fort marked No. 8 on 
our plan on the following page ; on the 
west the main effort is made to gain a 
foothold to the west of Itzu Hill. The 
latter operation, although stoutly op- 
posed, appears at first to have given less 
trouble than the former, since landing 
was easy on the shore of Louisa Bay, the 
more northerly of the two inlets to the 
west of the Kwan-tung Promontory; 
while from Pigeon Bay the Japanese ships 
could lend occasional valuable assistance 
to the troops on shore. 

The attack on Ta-ku-shan appears to 
have been a most hotly-contested affair, 



i;2 



HISTORY OF TEE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the fight lasting for fifteen hours. During 
the whole of August 8th the Jap:inese 
had been exposed to a terrific fire from 
the forts on the east front, and must 
have suffered greatly. On August 9th, 
however, they succeeded in occupying 



successful, and on the night of August 
loth, the date of the Fleet action, the 
Japanese, during a heavy rainstorm, 
made a determined attack on the east 
fort, evidently in the hope of rushing 
forts Nos. 8 and 9. The attack was sup- 



ppi-oxiw^a.t'e Sccle. EkoIi s 



k M ; I as , 




THE SIEGE OF PORT ARTHUR. 



both Ta-ku-shan and Siao-kou-shan, 
which lies to the south on the shore of 
Takhe Bay, and fronts Fort Xo. g on our 
plan, just as Ta-ku-shan fronts I"'ort 
No. 8. The Russians made, on the night 
of the 9th, a strenuous efl'ort to reco\er 
the Ta-ku-shan position, but were not 



ported by a demonstration along the 
whole of investment as far as Wolf's Hill; 
but the Russian fortifications were too 
strong, the defenders were too alert, and 
no impression was made. Some idea of 
the severity of the fighting may be 
gained from the fact that the admitted 




GENERAL STOESSEL : THE HEROIC DEFENDER 
OF PORT ARTHUR. 



154 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



losses of the Port Arthur garrison from 
August 8th to August loth were 7 officers 
and 248 men killed, 35 officers and 1,553 
men wounded, and i officer and 83 men 
missing. This is a very heavy tale of 
casualties in a force fighting behind 
elaborately constructed fortifications, and 
it must be inferred that the losses suf- 
fered by the Japanese were far greater. 
At the same time the latter have gained 
a substantial advantage by their sacri- 
fices, as far as those incurred in the cap- 
ture and retention of Ta-ku-shan and 
Siao-kou-shan are concerned. For they 
have secured two new positions for their 
guns, from which a constant fire can be 
kept up not only on the forts immediately 
in front, but also upon those to the north, 
some of which it should now be possible 
to harass with reverse fire. 

It may be noted that about August 
loth the Japanese reserves arrived, thus 
greatly stiffening the attack. On the 
night of the 13th a determined effort was 
made on the left of the Russian defences, 
the Japanese advancing from Louisa Bay, 
and at the same time making an attempt 
to capture certain important positions to 
the north-east of Ta-ku-shan. Two of 
the latter were occupied, notably that at 
Pa-li-chwang, which lies about four miles 
to the north-east of the town, west of 
the railway and south of Shui-shi-ying. 
It would seem that the Russians suc- 
ceeded in recapturing these positions on 
their right, but did not re-occupy them, 
contenting themselves with preventing 
the Japanese from returning and emplac- 
ing siege guns there. 

On the Russian left wing the fighting 
was fast and furious all through the 14th 
and 15th, the Japanese continuing to lose 
heavily, more especially through mine 
explosions, but still pressing onward until 
they had captured and placed batteries 



on several important points dominating- 
the town. The result of this movement, 
which cannot be said to have terminated 
much before the 17th, is that the line of 
investment is now bent round Port 
Arthur in a pretty complete semi-circle, 
running from the shores of Pigeon Bay 
up through the open country to the north 
of Itzu Hill, past Shui-shi-ying, and 
thence in a south-easterly curve tO' 
Ta-ku-shan and Siao-hou-shan. The only 
sections of the defensive system now not 
directly menaced seem to be the forts in 
the Liao-tie-shan Promontory on the 
Tiger's Tail, and on Golden Hill. These 
cannot at present be attacked by land 
without weakening the remainder of the 
investment, and they are too strong to- 
render it advisable at this stage- to risk 
valuable ships against them. 

On the night of the 15th there is a lulf 
in the firing, and General Stoessel re- 
ceives word that the Japanese desire to 
send in a " parlementaire. " The latter, 
in the person of a Japanese field-officer, 
Major Yamaoka, presents himself at the 
Russian advanced posts, and, after the 
usual cautious and courteous prelimin- 
aries, is conducted to General Stoessel's: 
presence. 

The reception of a parlementaire during 
an important siege is usually a somewhat 
theatrical performance. Elaborate for- 
mality prevails, for the officer who carries, 
the message from the besiegers has 
generally been carefully selected for his 
tact and good manners, while on the side 
of the besieged there is almost invariably 
a strong wish to assume an attitude of 
dignified repose. Above all, it is the cus- 
tom to make every effort to convince the 
parlementaire that things are going splen- 
didly within the walls of the beleaguered 
town, that the besieged rather enjoy the 
circumstances than otherwise, and that 



•A JOKE IN BAD TASTE." 



of food in particular there is an over- 
flowing abundance. These harmless de- 
ceptions never convince any practised 
observer, who quietly disregards them 
and does his best, without exciting sus- 
picion, to note other points which cannot 
be so readily concealed. But it is one of 
the rudimentary principles of the art of 
war that a parlementaire should be bam- 
boozled, if possible, into reporting that 
those whom he has visited are in first- 
rate " fettle," and it is not likely that the 
Russians departed on this occasion from 
the time-honoured precedent. 

Major Yamaoka comes, it should be 
mentioned, not in the name of Field- 
Marshal Oyama, who is now proceeding 
northwards to direct the operations 
against Liao-yang, but in the joint names 
of General Nogi, on whom the controj of 
the land operations against Port Arthur 
has now devolved, and Admiral Togo. 
The Major brings two documents. The 
first is an order recently issued by the 
Mikado through Field-Marshal Yama- 
gata, directing that facilities should be 
given to women, priests, merchants, and 
diplomatic officers of neutral Powers to 
leave Port Arthur, and that if necessary 
shelter should be accorded to any refugees 
at Dalny. The order declares that the 
Emperor is prompted by a feeling of 
humanity and a desire to spare non- 
combatants at Port Arthur from the de- 
vastation wrought by fire and sword. 
The second document is of a more sensa- 
tional nature. It calls upon the Russian 
garrison of Port Arthur to surrender, the 
terms being as follows : — The troops to 
march out with all the honours of war 
and with permission to join General Kuro- 
patkin; all civilians to be brought to a 
place designated by the Russian Admiral; 
and the Russian ships in the harbour, 
namely, the Reivisan, Sevastopol, Pobieda, 



Peresviet, Poltava, Bayan, and Pallada, 
four gunboats, and twelve or more 
destroyers, to be handed over to the 
Japanese. 

The terms are such that to a despon- 
dent commander they might well have 
afforded comfort and relief. For not only 
to march out with all the honours of war, 
but to be enabled to join the main army 
in the field, is a concession indeed. But 
terms of any sort involving the surrender 
of Port Arthur and the ships in har- 
bour are doubly impossible to the Russian 
Commandant, even if he had the remotest 
inclination in that direction. For only 
recently he has received the Tsar's warm 
congratulations on the bravery exhibited 
by the Russian troops at the close of July, 
the message concluding with an appeal 
to Heaven to ' ' protect the fortress of Port 
Arthur from the attacks of the enemy." 
Surrender after such a veiled mandate 
would in any case be out of the question. 

As a matter of fact. General Stoessel 
does not need any sort of stimulus to 
work him up to the rejection of these 
terms. Except in the matter of address- 
ing fiery orations to the troops, the 
General is a silent man; but when the 
terms are submitted to him, his habitual 
taciturnity deserts him, and he bursts 
into a storm of invective. Not, it would 
seem, against Major Yamaoka, whom 
personally he treats throughout with 
great courtesy, but against the " cursed 
spite " which has subjected him to what 
he regards — somewhat fantastically — as 
a humiliation. After stamping up and 
down the room for some time he regains 
his composure, and turning to the parle- 
mentaire, remarks that the action of the 
Japanese in sending him such a summons 
is " a joke in bad taste." As- for the 
terms, they are, of course, rejected. 
Apparently the General also formally 



156 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



declines to consider the Mikado's sug- 
gestive order as to the removal of non- 
combatants. Major Yamaoka now asks 
for a three days' truce to bury the dead. 
Kven this is refused. The tieneral will 
assent to nothing, will do nothing' but 
fight. Acc(5rdingly, the Japanese parle- 
mentaire withdraws, and in a few hours 
fighting is resumed with furious vigour 
on all sides. 

The Japanese papers of this date pro- 
fess unstinted admiration of (iencral 
Stoessel's determination to defend I'ort 
Arthur to the last, but blame him greatlv 
for not acceding to the suggestion as to 
the removal of non-combatants. There 
is some doubt on the latter point, and it 
is expedient that Cieneral Stoessel should 
be given the benefit of it. ft is bv no 



made, it is distinctly stated that, at one 
period or another of the siege, three hun- 
dred women engaged in hospital work at 
Port Arthur were " advised to leave, but 
replied that they would rather face 
massacre than desert their posts." 

As regards non-combatants generally, 
it is not altogether surprising that the 
Commandant of Port Arthur should not 
altogether relish the idea of these being 
afforded shelter at Ualny, where they 
would inevitably be " pumped " for in- 
formation as to the resources of the 
garrison, and might, innocently enough, 
tell a good deal which it was not alto- 
gether desirable the besiegers should 
know. Humanity is, of course, a primary 
consideration; but, in such a case as that 
of Port Arthur, non-combatants must be 




I'holo : .\uuvcll^\ Pans. 



STORES OF VODKA AT PORT ARTHUR 



means certain that he did not give the regarded as having remained, if not to 

non-combatants in the town the chance of serve their own ends, at any rate at their 

taking advantage of the offer, and, in own risk, and a commander would be 

the account given by I'rince Radziwill, justified in regarding their safety as not 

from which a quotation has already been necessarily a more serious responsibility 



THE FOREIGN ATTACHES LEAVE PORT ARTHUR. 



157 



than his duty towards the combatant 
garrison. 

The foreign Attaches, it should be re- 
marked, were permitted, if not urged, 
to take their departure aljout this time, 



an hourly rislv of exposure to a storm of 
bullets. The Attaches, it should be men- 
tioned, appear all to ha\'e left f^ort Arthur 
in junks, one of them escorting three 
h'rcnch ladies, who could hardly have left 




LIEUT. GENERAL SMIRNOW : IN CHARGE OF THE PORT ARTHUR FORTS. 



the General presumably trusting to their 
honour not to talk too freely about the 
state of affairs inside the fortress. Vox 
some little time past these Attaches had 
been quartered in the Tiger's Tail bat- 
tery, 600 feet above the sea level. Shells 
often burst near them, but apparently 
without effect. The Attaches were treated 
with great consideration, but were not 
allowed to go near any point from which 
they could view more particularly the 
naval operations. As to the land fighting, 
it would have been difficult, seemingly, for 
anyone not in a balloon to have obtained 
any coherent idea of this without running 



the place unnoticed had General Stoessel 
been resolved to inhibit all non-com- 
balants other than attaches from escap- 
ing. 

Between August i8th and 22nd some 
of the hottest fighting of the whole siege 
occurred, culminating in a general as- 
sault on the latter date, which the Rus- 
sians succeeded in repelling, though only 
with great difficulty. The main attack 
was delivered against the Russian centre 
and left, but the only real success attained 
seems to have been the capture of a 
small work on the east front, called 
Poyodo Fort, lying between Ta-ku-shan 



158 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



and the main line of defences. On the 
Russian left and centre the fighting was 
terribly severe. Assisted by artillery fire 
from Shui-shi-ying and Louisa Bay, the 
Japanese made a series of desperate 
charges into the open country to the 
east of Pigeon Bay, driving the Russians 
back to the main forts. But all about 
here it is flat, and the kao-liang had been 
cut. Consequently the Japanese failed to 
hold the positions they had captured, and 
were swept back repeatedly by the deadly 
artillery fire from the forts. Time after 
time the ghastly process was gone 
through. A grand charge, hand-to-hand 
bayonet fighting, and then a temporary 
triumph. Siege-guns would now be 
dragged up, and frantic efforts made to 
get them into position. But by this time 
the Russian forts would be relieved from 
the risk of firing on their own infantry, 
and their powerful modern guns would 
open on the clustering Japanese. A few 
well-aimed shells, and the ground won at 
great sacrifice would become quite un- 
tenable. Reluctantly the victors in the 
recent hand-to-hand struggle would re- 
tire, paying another heavy toll to the 
enemy's guns. One important fort on 
the I-shan Hills, midway between the 
■western sea-coast and the railway, about 
half-way between Pigeon and Louisa 
Bays, is said to have been captured and 
evacuated in this trying fashion. The 
position was first subjected to a heavy 
bombardment for forty-eight hours. 
" The Japanese infantry then advanced, 
compelling the Russians to retire, but 
the captors in their turn were driven 
out by the fierce fire of the Russian 
batteries." 

Although the Japanese assault on this 
occasion was unquestionably repulsed 
with serious losses, it is evident that the 
defence, too, was considerably shaken by 



the desperate onslaught, accompanied, as 
the latter was, by an almost ceaseless 
bombardment. It is said that during the 
four days over 5,000 shells, large and 
small, were fired into the town, the Japan- 
ese artillerymen having located the public 
buildings, and being bent on destroying 
them. Poor General Stoessel's head- 
quarters seem to have received special 
attention, for they are described as being 
" continually shelled." A grimly quaint 
incident takes place on the igth in con- 
nection with a Chinese theatre in the 
native town, at which, in sublime Celes- 
tial indifference to the surroundings, a 
performance is proceeding. The latter is 
rudely interrupted by the arrival of a 
nine-inch shell, which bursts and kills 
eighteen of the wretched audience. 

The Russian losses during this period 
must have been very severe, although 
doubtless not so heavy as those of the 
Japanese. It is said that the storage 
buildings along the docks are now being 
turned into dead-houses, whence the 
bodies are hurried to pits dug on the out- 
skirts of the town and covered with 
quick-lime. 

" The civilians have grown careless of 
bursting shells, and are leaving their 
bomb-proof shelters. During Friday's 
(August 19th) bombardment they walked 
freely about the streets, smoking and 
speculating where the next shell would 
drop." Thus writes the Express corre- 
spondent at Chifu, which now seems to 
be receiving almost daily intelligence 
from Port Arthur. The Japanese evi- 
dently do not trouble to prevent the 
Chinese from carrying to Chifu and else- 
where a goodly stock of " news," much 
of which has, however, to be received 
with caution. 

On August 22nd the Japanese fire per- 
ceptibly slackened, and the failure of the 



CAN PORT ARTHUR HOLD OUT? 



ir9 



Japanese tissault not only inspirits the 
besieged, but creates a very favourable 
impression in St. Petersburg, where it is 
now confidently expected that the fall of 
Port Arthur, believed a few days ago to 
be imminent, will be indefinitely post- 
poned. General Stoessel, who has been 
created Aide-de-camp to the Tsar, is now 
the hero of the hour, and for the twen- 
tieth time the despatch of the Baltic Fleet 
to redress the naval balance in the Far 
East is enthusiastically mooted. 

It is not only in St. Petersburg that the 
failure of the recent general assault on 
Port Arthur causes some revulsion of 
popular feeling. In Europe generally 
there had been a disposition to believe 
that, when the time came for the Japan- 
ese to deliver a grand attack, that attack 
would in all probability be successful. 
The impression created by previous 
Japanese triumphs certainly favoured the 
idea that, after such a deliberate and 
■costly preparation, and with such large 
resources in the way of men and guns at 
their disposal, the Japanese, carried on as 
at Nan-shan by desperate valour and 
almost frantic resolution, would find some 
means of driving their first real assault 
home. But it was now evident that the 
strength of the Port Arthur fortifications 
and the spirit of the defenders had been 
underrated. Public opinion underwent a 
decided reaction, and in many quarters it 
was freely anticipated that the garrison 
might still contrive to hold out until help 
arrived, and that, in any case, the Japan- 
ese could not hope to make a successful 
entry until they had suffered losses still 
more appalling than those already in- 
flicted upon them by the obstinate de- 
fenders. 

At Tokio itself the failure of the assault 
caused much discouragement, and great 
dissatisfaction was openly expressed with 



Field-Marshal Oyama, just as it had been 
in the case of Admiral Kamimura until 
the latter won his way back into favour 
by the sinking of the Rurik. This ex- 
hibition of feeling may seem trivial, but 
is a useful reminder of the unquestioned 
fact that, while the Japanese extort our 
admiration by their patience in the field, 
they are not as a nation very good losers, 
and in this war have become so accus- 
tomed to success that they are far too 
prompt to blame their commanders, naval 
and military, for failures which cannot in 
any way fairly be traced to incompetence 
or lack of energy. 

About this time the idea becomes pre- 
valent that, in view of the heavy losses 
hitherto incurred, the Japanese will ab- 
stain from regular assaults on Port 
Arthur, and will endeavour to starve out 
the unfortunate garrison. This idea, 
although erroneous, receives some sup- 
port from the increased watchfulness of 
the vessels told off to maintain the block- 
ade, and a growing reluctance to allow 
Chinese refugees to leave the town. As 
yet, however, there is no trustworthy talk 
of scarcity at Port Arthur, and the United 
States Naval Attache, who left the for- 
tress in the third week in August, is said 
to have stated definitely that the place 
could hold out as regards food for another 
three months, at any rate. Moreover, 
where there is any sort of a chance of 
successful blockade-running it will always 
be attempted, and cannot be invariably 
hindered. As far, then, as this inter- 
mediate stage is concerned, we need not 
trouble ourselves to formulate the pros- 
pect of the reduction of Port Arthur by 
the grim process of waiting until the food 
supplies give out. More inspiring is the 
circumstance that, although the Japanese 
hopes as regards the eflicacy of general 
assaults may have been somewhat 



i6o 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO - TAPANESE WAR. 



clashed, they continue to hammer away 
at the tremendous obstacles before them 
with httle or no diminution of fighting 
energy. 

During and after the general assault 
of August 1 8th to 22nd there is some in- 
dication of an attempt on both sides to 
introduce once more the naval element. 
On August 20th a Japanese torpedo 
flotilla tries to steal into the harbour in 
the hope of damaging some of the ships 
at anchor, but is surprised by the shore 
batteries, and returns unsuccessful. In 
the forenoon of August 23rd the great 
Japanese armoured cruisers Nisshin and 
Kasuga steam in close to the Lao-li-tsui 
Forts (No. 9 on our plan) and silence 
them. On the same day the Russian 
battleship Sevastopol also takes a hand in 
the operations, and bombards the Japan- 
ese line of investment from the roadstead. 
But while engaged in this occupation the 
unfortunate vessel strikes a mine, and is 
seen by a Japanese destroyer to list badly 
to starboard with her bows submerged. 
She is afterwards towed into harbour. 
The following' day a Russian destroyer 
strikes a mine and sinks off the harbour 
entrance. Meanwhile the ships in har- 
bour are going through troublous limes. 
They are scattered about in the hope of 
escaping the rain of shells, but it is said 
that the Reivisan, Bayan, and Poiava have 
been badly hit, the damage' to the first 
being below the water-line. 

After the general assault of August 
i8th to 22nd there was a slight lull; but 
on the night of August 23rd, at eleven 
o'clock, the Japanese moved up a con- 
siderable force for an attack on Zare- 
doutni Fort, a strong position on the 
Russian right flank. According to the 
Novy Krai, the well-known Port Arthur 
newspaper, " the Japanese made clever 
use of the available cover, and by mid- 



night they formed up within striking dis- 
tance of the fortifications. They made a 
powerful rush forward, but were mowed 
down on all but 'one side, where a detach- 
ment succeeded in entering the port 
over the dead bodies of their comrades. 
Nearly all of them were bayoneted, and 
the remnant retreated, suffering severe 
losses. The Japanese were soon rein- 
forced, and again furiously attacked the 
fort, only to be once more repulsed, and 
a third attempt was also unsuccessful. 
At daylight there was an artillery duel. 
The fort suffered considerably, and the 
garrison was ordered into the undamaged 
trenches." 

Let us endeavour briefly to realise this 
scene, which is probably typical of many 
of the desperate attacks made by the 
Japanese in the course of the siege on 
individual positions. The fort in ques- 
tion is a comparatively small one, but it 
is evidently strong, and very possibly, as 
is often the case with Russian defences, 
rather over- than under-manned. In the 
darkness we may not be able to make 
out much more than a single face of the 
work, but even a glimpse will show how 
thoroughly the Russian engineers under- 
stand their business, and what determina- 
tion and sacrifice are necessary to effect 
an entry into such a stronghold. Most of 
the forts round Port Arthur have their 
parapets fronted by very deep ditches 
which, again, have at intervals what are 
known as kaponiers, or bomb-proof struc- 
tures containing quick-firing guns so 
arranged as to sweep the ditch from end 
to end. Beyond the ditch there may be, 
and in this case doubtless are, wire en- 
tanglements with a view to breaking a 
sudden rush, and in the ditcH itself there 
may be other obstacles in the way of 
spikes or branches of trees. 

The fort may or may not be provided 




THE NIGHT: THE STEALTHY JAPANESE 
EARTHWORKS BEFORE PORT ARTHUR. 



l62 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



with a search-light. The chances are 
that it is; but it does not follow that this 
appliance is very freely used, for many 
eng-jneers consider it to be rather like 
a two-edged tool, which is a little apt to 
hurt the unskilful user. A search-light 
shows up an attack very clearly, but it 
a^so gives the latter the right direction 
from the first, and, thoug'h the sensation 
of advancing to an assault with the 
search-light playing on them may be any- 
thing but pleasant, many soldiers will go 
forward more readily in such conditions 
than in complete darkness. 

It is evident that, search-light or no 
search-light, the attacking party which 
is creeping up for a rush has a trying 
experience before it. After collecting in 
sufficient strength within striking dis- 
tance, the signal for the advance is given, 
and the devoted band goes forward with 
bayonets fixed and probably with wire- 
cutters in readiness. They cannot hope 
to reach the ditch before the alarm is 
given, and parapets in front — in this case, 
perhaps, three faces of a pentagonal re- 
doubt are being simultaneously assaulted 
— are bristling with the defenders' rifles. 
Flashes break out continuously along the 
lines of breastwork, the search-light, if 
there is one, begins to traverse the front 
of the fort, machine-guns come into 
action, and scores of fine fellows throw 
up their arms and fell back, or stumble 
limply forward, never to rise again. 
Arrived at the ditch, an attempt may be 
made to use scaling ladders either as 
ladders or bridges, but most of the Port 
Arthur forts are built to frustrate esca- 
lade. There remains the heroic process 
of jumping into the ditch and climbing up 
the opposing slope — the escarp, it is 
called — which is made as steep as pos- 
sible in order to render the ascent more 
difficult. At this stage the quick-firers 



in the kaponiers come into play, and the 
ditch is soon heaped high with corpses. 
Pouring over the dead bodies of their 
comrades come fresh hordes of attackers, 
and, clambering up the escarps and the 
exterior slopes of the parapet, they not 
unfrequently meet the defenders hand-to- 
hand on the top or " superior slope " of 
the parapet itself. Here it is all bayonet 
work of the most desperate character. 
The Japanese might be thought to be at 
a disadvantage in the matter of bayonet 
fighting as compared with their big ad- 
versaries; but they are, of course, ex- 
tremely active, and, moreover, are 
specially trained to stoop and deliver an 
upward thrust with the bayonet so as to 
get under a tali man's guard. 

We may take it, then, that not through 
any inequality in this respect do the 
Japanese fail in the attack on Zaredoutni 
Fort. It is simply because the loss in- 
curred in getting a foothold has been so 
terrific that the foothold cannot possibly 
be retained. Three times, we are told, is 
the attack renewed, and we may be sure 
that each time the Japanese fought with 
almost demoniacal fury. But the odds, 
natural and artificial, against them are 
too great, and gradually they are beaten 
back, leaving hundreds, maybe, of their 
gallant fellows dead or dying in and 
around that dreadful pentagon. 

Between August 23rd and 27th we do 
not hear of any but incidental fighting. 
In the interval the Japanese are busy 
preparing for another general assault. 
Special attention is paid to the left of the 
Russian line of defence, doubtless with a 
view to future operations in the Liau-ti- 
shan Promontory. A large park of artil- 
lery is formed at Louisa Bay, and on the 
shores of Pigeon Bay a considerable fort 
is said to be in course of construction. 

Between August 27th and 31st there is 



J?CSSUN ''GRIT AND GO} 



\b% 



more heavy fighting, the Japanese open- 
ing the ball by an attack delivered at 
3 a.m. during a storm, upon the positions 
on the Russian left flank-. Later the 
attack seems to have developed all along 
the line, but was only successful in the 
case of the position of Pa-li-chwang, 
which has already been mentioned as 
lying about four miles to the north-east 
of the town. This time the Japanese not 
only capture, but retain the position, on 
which they proceed to mount heavy guns. 
On the evening of the 29th, about nine 
o'clock, there is a brisk little engagement 
near Shui-shi-ying, where the Japanese 
have ingeniously unroofed some strong 
Chinese houses made of mud, and con- 
verted them into redoubts. A Russian 
regiment makes a sudden onslaught on 
one of these improvised forts, and forces 
the Japanese back at the point of the 
bayonet to a second " redoubt. " The fire 
from the latter is, however, too fierce for 
the Russians, and they retire. The inci- 
dent seems trivial, but is interesting as 
an instance of the numerous counter- 
strokes made by the Russians during the 
siege. Such performances reflect great 
credit on the defenders, and, moreover, 
serve to emphasise the extraordinary 
difficulties which the besiegers have to 
encounter. For it argues a notable 
quality of resistance that, towards the 
close of what may, perhaps, be fairly 
described as the second general attack on 
Port Arthur, in the course of which the 
fortifications have been repeatedly shaken 
by a fearful cannonade, the defenders 
should have the " grit and go " necessary 
to emerge and engage hand-to-hand with 
the attacking infantry in their trenches. 
On August 30th, at three o'clock in the 
morning, the Japanese moving out from 
their new position at. Pa-li-chwang de- 
Hberately assaulted Sun-shu-shan (Pear 



Tree Hill) and Er-lung-shan (Two 
Dragon Hill) Forts (Nos. 4 and 5 on 
the plan), making repeated attacks until 
two o'clock in the afternoon, when, ac- 
cording to Reuter's correspondent at 
Chifu, they were compelled to fall back, 
having lost over a thousand men. 
" Finding these forts impregnable, the 
next morning, at four o'clock, the Japan- 
ese forces hurled themselves against 
another fort near Er-lung-shan, and after 
a hand-to-hand fight succeeded in driving 
out the Russians occupying the position. 
Artillery was brought up, and desperate 
efforts were made to render the position 
secure; but after enduring for seven 
hours the artillery fire of the other forts, 
the Japanese were comipelled to retire. 
They succeeded, however, in making the 
position useless to the Russians, and it 
is now (September 3rd) unoccupied." 

Here is an example of the application 
of the principle of reciprocal defence to 
fortification, by which we have to under- 
stand that, in a big scheme of defence, 
the forts are commonly arranged so that 
if one is captured it can be immediately 
swept by artillery fire from one or more 
other forts. It is this circumstance which 
often deprives a splendidly successful 
assault of any practical result, and, in- 
cidentally, it is for this reason that 
general assaults are sometimes delivered 
in cases in which anything like general 
success is quite hopeless. Probably in 
the latter suggestion lies the secret of 
the retention of the position at Pa-li- 
chwang. The fort or forts from which it 
could have been harassed after its oc- 
cupation by the Japanese were doubtless 
kept bu.sy until, with sandbags and by 
rapid trenching, sufficient protection was 
afforded for guns and men to enable both 
to remain in the new position. 

During the first fortnight of September 



164 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the fighting: is continuous, the Japanese 
here and there scoring a sUght success, 
but not appreciably advancing the line of 
investment. On the 2nd and 3rd the 
Japanese bombardment was very heavy, 
and a couple of guns in a fort near Er- 
lung-shan are said to have been dis- 
mounted. On September 4th the Rus- 
sians retorted by shelling the covered. 
Japanese trenches in front of Pa-li- 
chwang and destroying them. 

The Novy Krai mentions a typical case 
of heroic self-sacrifice on the part of a 
Japanese on September 5th. The man 
calmly left a redoubt occupied by his 
comrades, and deliberately marched to- 
wards the Russians, carrying two boxes, 
and thinking, perhaps, that the Russians 
out of curiosity would allow him to come 
among them before shooting him down. 
As it was, he was not picked off by the 
sharpshooters until he had approached 
quite near. When the body was examined 
it was found that the boxes contained 
lyddite, and . that fuses were carefully 
attached to them. 

Between September 8th and loth the 
Japanese capture a fort situated on a 
high hill two miles east of Golden Hill. 
The position is taken by assault, but we 
are told that the fighting is not severe, 
and that the Japanese are enabled to 
remain in the fort on account of the poor 
powder which is now being used by the 
Russians at Golden Hill. Small as the 
distance is, many of the Russian shells 
fall short, and others fail to explode. A 
month ago the batteries on Golden Hill 
used to respond briskly to the firing 
from Shui-shi-ying, but now this is quite 
out of the question. The shortage of 
ammunition is evidently, a fact, judging 
from the triumphant satisfaction dis- 
played about this time at the discovery 
of a secret depot established by the 



Chinese before the war with Japan, in 
which some three hundred Krupp guns, 
and a quantity of ammunition had been 
stored. It is reported a little later that 
many of the projectiles falling into the 
Japanese lines are Chinese shells which 
have been filed down to fit the Russian 
guns in position. 

Several interesting accounts of life in- 
side and outside Port Arthur at this, 
period are available. Writing on August 
30th, a young Dane, in a private letter 
which finds its way to Copenhagen, says 
that General Stoessel " has asked all the 
inhabitants for their own sakes to take 
at least six hours' rest per diem, though 
he never seems to sleep himself. He is 
always bright and cheery. . . . The 
Japanese are wonderfully plucky fighters 
— they stand the heaviest fire quite coolly 
— young boys, too, of seventeen or eigh- 
teen years of age. The explosions of 
mines, for which we use Whitehead tor- 
pedoes, are truly awful to see, dismem- 
bered bodies flying all round. Thousands 
of mines have been laid. How will the 
Japanese fare when they get nearer? " 

Prince Radziwill, who, as noted above, 
left Port Arthur on September 15th, gives 
a terrible account of the intensity of the 
fighting. During a recent assault "the 
Japanese had charged madly in deep 
columns, losing heavily from. the Russian 
shell-fire. There were horrible scenes 
when they reached the Russian lines. No 
quarter was given, and couples were 
found locked in a death embrace, the- 
teeth of one in the other's throat, and 
fingers plunged into the enemy's eyes. 
The 9th Japanese Division had charged 
in double columns. The first having 
fallen back under the avalanche of shot 
and shell, the general in command of the- 
second fired upon it, exterminating it! " 

There were, however, moments whens 



ACTS OF HEROISM. 



165 



good humour took the place of sa\':it,^e 
rag;e. On a rainy A-a\ one of a number 
of Japanese massed beneath a heiy;ht 
crowned by a fort cried out to the Rus- 
sians, " I say, you fellows up there, come 



an end to his resistance. Before his 
sword broke he put eig'ht Japanese Jiors 
dc combat, meanwhile recei\ing- wounds 
all over his body. 

Another inspirinj^- story is told of a 




AFTER THE ASSAULT. 
The Japanese succouring their wounded by searcJdight after an attack upon ttie batteries before I'ort Artliur. 



down and take our place; it's your turn 
to g"et wet through ! ' ' 

Individual acts of heroism were numer- 
ous, a particular case cited being that of 
Lieutenant Petroff, who was surrounded 
by Japanese and fought successfully until 
his sword was broken. He then used his 
fists; but Japanese bayonets quickly put 



company which occupied a perilous out- 
post, and, finding the position untenable, 
sent word to General Stoessel, " We are 
unable to hold the position." " But you 
can die," the General replied. And so 
they died. 

Mme. Anna Kravchenko, an English- 
woman married to a Russian officer, who 



i66 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



escaped froni Port Arthur at the same 
time as Prince Radziwill, speaks highly 
of the spirit displayed by the garrison : 
" I cannot imagine a braver or finer set 
-of men. They come from three days' 
duty in the trenches singing and laughing, 
though there are many vacant places in the 
ranks. They have all unlimited confidence 
in their power to hold the fortress." 

A very trying feature of the siege is the 
number of dead bodies which are lying 
unburied round the town, poisoning the 
air. The stench from these is so awful 
that the Russian soldiers have to stuff 
Camphor up their nostrils in order to 
avoid being overcome. 
I The Japanese are, of course, free from 
many of the disabilities which oppress 
the besieged, but are not without their 
trials and privations. The supply system 
is said to be working satisfactorily, but 
there is a scarcity of good drinking water 
and, apparently, some sickness in con- 
sequence. But the Japanese are at a 
great advantage by reason of their oc- 
cupation of Dalny, which they are turning 
to the best possible account. They have 
recently repaired the Russian dry dock, 
having discovered the dock gates, which 
the Russians had sunk on abandoning the 
port. A steamer, sunk by the Russians 
at the entrance to the dock, and a number 
of launches sunk near the pier, have also 
been raised and taken into use. The 
workshops at Dalny are now busy in con- 
structing and sending forward heavy gun- 
sjiields which are to be used in the case 
of future captures of forts as a protection 
against the fire of other forts. 

Great preparations are being made for 
the next big assault, which, it is under- 
stood, will be delivered against Er-lung- 
shan and Chi-huan-shan (Cockscomb Hill) 



Forts (Nos. 5 and 6 on the plan). The 
preliminary work is being carried out 
chiefly at Pa-li-chwang. " The hills 
crowned by Chi-huan-shan and Er-lung- 
shan have," says Renter's correspondent 
at Chifu, " regular stopping places, 
enabling a large force of Japanese to 
rest securely some distance up the slope. 
The force has tents pitched, and the 
troops are relieved every three days. 
Food, ammunition, etc., are brought up 
to the troops under cover of darkness, as 
detachments have to cross a level stretch 
before reaching safety. Trenches almost 
under the Russian noses are partially con- 
structed. The Russians constantly en- 
deavour to level the incline by shelling 
all projections affording any shelter to 
the attackers. The Japanese artillery en- 
gages the Russian guns to prevent the 
cover from being destroyed. 

" Two full divisions of infantry are 
available in this vicinity under Generals 
Oshima and Tuchiya. The entire force 
surrounding Port Arthur numbers 80,000 
fighting men." 

The above preparations are said to 
have been completed on September 15th, 
and at dawn on that day the Japanese 
bombardment from Shui-shi-ying, Pa-li- 
chwang, and Pigeon Bay is redoubled 
in intensity. There must have been other 
serious fighting on the 15th, as General 
Stoessel, in a telegram to the General 
Staff at St. Petersburg, says that 45 
Russian guns were destroyed, and that 
there were 400 killed and 800 wounded, 
of whom 5 per cent, were officers. 

In a future chapter the story of the 
siege of Port Arthur will be resumed at 
this point, at which the termination of our 
" intermediate stage " seems clearly in- 
dicated. 








I'hiilu : I'iban, Lid. 



NATIVE QUARTER IN LIAO-VANG. 



CHAPTER LIX. 



LIAO-YANG AND AFTER — RUSSIAN AND JAP 

ARMIES IN THE FIELD TYl'ICAL SOL 

CORRESPONDENTS — EUROPEAN OPINIONS. 

ALTHOUGH three chapters of con- 
» siderable leng'th have been devdted 
to the Battle of Liao-yang-, there remains 
a host of important and interestinr;- con- 
siderations demanding' close attention 
from those who are real students of this 
historic event. In a narrative like the 
present it is not necessary to discuss such 
sequels and side issues at all exhaustively. 
But it will be convenient, before leaving 
the Liao-yang operations and pushing on 
to the equallv, if not more momentous 
movements which followed them, to touch 
lightl}' on the immediate consequence of 
the battle, and to glance at certain mili- 
tdrv, sentimental, and international ques- 
tions arising from it. 

First, let us look at what has happened 



AN1{SE VIEWS — IMPEICIAL MESSAGES THPT 

DIEKS' LETTERS — JAPAN .AND THE WAR 

from the standpoint of the nation whose 
army has been \ ictorious in this long" 
series of engagements. Public opinion 
in such matters is not alwavs a very sure 
g'uide, and the fact tliat the capture of 
Liao-yang was celebrated bv copious 
" mafficking " in Tf)kio cannot be taken 
as the measure of the national sentiment 
on the subject. As usual, the Tokio 
populace was a little " previous " in its 
rejoicing, and as earlv as the evening of 
September 2nd an immense torchlight 
procession took place, in which, accord- 
ing to the Express correspondent, stu- 
dents, business men, g^irls, and women 
participated. " The marchers carried 
fanciful paper lanterns, tin trumpets, 
and illuminated banners, which rudely 



i68 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



pictured the flight of Kuropatkin. The 
bands played the Japanese national 
anthem over and over again. The pro- 
cession passed through the principal 
streets, and at a late hour was massed 
around the brilliantly lit headquarters of 
the Army Staff, where a further report 
from Marshal Oyama was impatiently 
awaited." To some extent, as we know, 
the result justified an expression of public 
satisfaction, and doubtless the temptation 
to use up the paper lanterns prepared in 
anticipation of the fall of Port Arthur 
was great. But the occasion was hardly 
one for such an extravagant departure 
from the studied moderation with which 
the Japanese have hitherto received the 
news of their successes in the field or at 
sea. 

A higher note was struck a few days 
later by a long message of congratula- 
tion from the Mikado to his gallant 
troops. In this communication the Em- 
peror shows that he is under no illusions 
as to the indecisiveness of the recent 
victory. In particular he alludes to the 
end of the war as being still far distant ; 
and we may take it that the publication 
of this important and well-considered 
message acted as a very useful corrective 
to the premature and exuberant enthu- 
siasm of the Tokio " maffickers." 

To the Japanese in the field the vic- 
tory, such as it was, at Liao-yang did not 
bring by any means complete satisfaction. 
They are said by Renter's correspondent 
to have been greatly disappointed at the 
failure of their plan to bring about a final 
and decisive battle at Liao-yang, result- 
ing in the annihilation of the present Rus- 
sian army in Manchuria. In any case, 
they could not have failed to recognise 
the fact that never before — except, of 
course, at Port Arthur — have they met 
with such dogged resistance, coupled 



with a tactical ability which must have 
extorted their complete respect. Accus- 
tomed hitherto to see their schemes of 
envelopment resulting, if not in enclosure 
of the enemy, at any rate in his early 
evacuation of his positions, they have 
been somewhat rudely awakened at Liao- 
yang to the occasional risks attendant 
upon such movements. They have cap- 
tured Liao-yang itself, it is true, but they 
have only done so at a very heavy price, 
and there were times in the course of 
Kuroki's flanking movement at which the 
position of the Right Army must have 
been distinctly precarious. Such reflec- 
tions must have been grave ones, indeed, 
for the more thoughtful Japanese officers 
in the field, who, more clearly than the 
General Staff at Tokio, were able to ap- 
preciate the quality of the Russian re- 
sistance on the Shu-shan hills, and the 
unpleasant surprise caused on the other 
side of the Tai-tse-ho by finding Kuro- 
patkin's main army in position instead of 
a weak, unprotected line of communica- 
tions. 

It is the more creditable to the Army 
of Japan that it should have realised as 
promptly as it did the imperative neces- 
sity of not allowing the grass to grow 
under its feet after the occupation of the 
former Russian military capital of Man- 
churia. One does not allude so much to 
the pressure still exercised upon the Rus- 
sian Army which, after September 4th, 
retired on Mukden and Tie-ling, as to 
the vigorous efforts made in connection 
with Liao-yang and the lines of communi- 
cation. There is no question that much 
of the Japanese success in the subsequent 
operations was due to the extraordinary 
industry and energy which the new 
occupiers of Liao-yang infused into the 
business of making the most of their im- 
portant acquisition. The town had hardly 





"MISSING": JAPANESE DEAD A\D WOUNDED IN A FIELD OF MILLET. 

The millet field:; of Manchuria have both aided and handicapf:'ed (he Japanese in their struff^U 
u-uh Kuyopatkin. The crops have served to mask the movements of their troops, but ihev 
have also made the work 0} the parlies searching jor dead a7id wounded exceptionally difficult. 



lyo 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



been entered when Marshal Oyama made 
it his headquarters, and in less than a 
week the old Russian settlement was 
beginning- to wear the appearance of a 
modern Japanese town. Meanwhile the 
occupation of Niu-chwang was also being 
justified in a remarkable manner. Rein- 
forcements and supplies were being 
pushed up thence to the north by every 
conceivable means, the estuary and tribu- 
taries of the Liao River beinpf crowded 
with boats, while along every road and 
bypath leading to Liao-yang there were 
strings of hand-carts bearing grain and 
ammunition. 

Nothing is more remarkable in the con- 
duct of warlike operations by the Japan- 
ese than their seizure of every opportunity 
of this sort to push up supplies to the 
front in order that the soldier in the ranks 
may be made as comfortable as means 
will permit. In too many European 
armies the tendency is to make constant 
overdrafts on the energy and endurance 
of the soldier without making really 
adequate efforts to refund him, so to 
speak, the moment there is a chance of 
doing so. The consequence is that he is 
sometimes suffering hardships and priva- 
tions even in the hour of victory, not be- 
cause there are not abundant supplies in 
rear, but because no proper arrange- 
ments have been made to bring them up 
promptly as soon as ever the hostile 
pressure in front has ceased. That is 
evidently not the Japanese idea. With 
this level-headed army the central notion 
seems to be that the maintenance of the 
soldier at the highest point of efficiency 
throughout a campaign depends largely 
on the care which is taken of him. He 
is expected at times to do extraordinary 
things on a few grains of dry rice, but he 
is made to feel that at the very earliest 
possible instant he will again be properly 



fed, and even have his small luxuries in 
the way of cigarettes and so forth. The 
hurling back of the enemy will thus mean 
not only " Long life to Japan ! " but will 
be followed by an almost immediate im- 
provement in the present hard conditions 
of existence. However glorious a sol- 
dier's spirit may be, he is seldom blind 
to the comfortable prospect of a " square 
meal,'' and we may be quite sure that 
none of Oyama's men was altogether 
indifferent to the spectacle of supplies 
pouring into Liao-yang the moment it 
was ascertained that Kuropatkin was in 
retreat. 

It will be very interesting if ever we 
can get at the back of the minds of the 
Japanese soldiery at this period. But 
necessarily a long interval must elapse 
before even officers, not to speak of fight- 
ing men in the ranks, will be allowed to 
talk or write freely of a great battle in 
which Japanese losses were so appalling. 
We have it on Field-Marshal Oyama's 
authority that the spirits of the troops 
after the battle were high in spite of the 
ten days' continuous fighting in which 
they had been engaged, and the hammer- 
ing they had received. This is hardly to 
be wondered at when the glowing patriot- 
ism which inspires the humblest Japanese 
conscript is taken into consideration. In 
which connection it may be interesting if 
we here interpolate a genuine Japanese 
soldier's letter which, if it does not de- 
scribe any fighting, is at least a useful 
indication of the sort of fervour with 
which Oku's glorious infantry dashed 
themselves against the Russian positions 
at Liao-yang in a series of frontal attacks 
unsurpassed for burning courage and 
grim tenacity. The correspondent who 
sent the letter from Japan — it was printed 
in the Times shortly after the battle of 
Liao-yang — mentions that it was written 



A REMARKABLE LETTER. 



17 1 



by a former servant in an English 
resident's family to a fellow-servant. 
" One thing-, you may be certain," says 
the English correspondent, " the writer 
means every word he says; and, mind 
you, this is no descendant of Samurais, 
but a humble fellow from the country, 
who will willingly die if he can but strike 
one blow for his Emperor and his native 
land. What will stop a nation of such 
men? " 

The letter translated runs as follows : — 
" Hokkaido, August 5th, 1904. 

" Since the war began we have been 
for months impatiently longing for orders 
to mobilise; this very day, the 5th, the 
order has been given to our division, and 
fortunately I have been selected for one 
of the field infantry companies, and have 
to be ready in twelve days, and we are 
leaving our native country for the front 
to fight with the enemies of right. For- 
tunately, ever since the first fights on sea 
and land, our officers and comrades have 
been gaining victories by the assistance 
of Heaven and the virtue of our Emperor; 
and I, too, though merely a humble fellow 
from the country, have the chance to 
strike one blow at the Russians. The 
Russo-Japan War is quite different from 
the China-Japan War, and we pray that 
now by our efforts we may spread the 
glory of our empire throughout the world. 
We are going into the battlefield, and we 
do not know whether we shall come back; 
but it is a great thing to be able to sacri- 
fice our lives for the Emperor and our 
beloved country. I am in a hurry to pre- 
pare for the front, hereby I write to say 
good-bye to you and the rest of the house- 
hold, and also to inform you of my good 
luck while yet I am alive. 

" Yasumitsu Mukai, 
" 26th Regiment Infantry, 
" Asahigaiva, Hokkaido." 



Turning our attention now to the Rus- 
sian standpoint we find here again, 
strange to say, a tendency to premature 
rejoicing over the earlier stages of the 
Liao-yang battle. The preliminary re- 
pulse of the armies of Oku and Nozu by 
the force entrenched on the Shu-shan 
seems to have been altogether overrated 
even by the Russian military authorities 
at the front, and on August 31st, the 
Russian Q-fficial Messenger announced that 
a great Russian victory had been gained ! 
It is needless to dwell on the manner in 
which this illusion was painfully dispelled, 
more especially since, to the thinking 
Russian public, it soon became evident 
that even if a victory had not been se- 
cured, and something in the nature of a 
sharp defeat had been sustained, at least 
a great disaster had been averted. Bitter 
as was the disappointment at finding that 
once more the detested Yaponskis had 
scored a triumph, it was a great consola- 
tion to feel that the bulk of the Russian 
army in the field was still in being, and 
that the retirement from Liao-yang had 
been conducted in a manner by no means 
discreditable to the reputation and tradi- 
tions of the Russian Army. 

For some days no attempt was officially 
made to put the Russian public in pos- 
session of the facts; but about September 
14th General Kuropatkin's admirable 
despatch, dated the nth, and giving an 
account, simple and unvarnished, of the 
operations from August 26th to September 
7th, was officially reproduced, and created 
a very good impression. In the circum- 
stances it is not surprising that a good 
deal of obloquy should have been show- 
ered upon the unfortunate General Orloif, 
whose failure either to secure, or to 
create a useful diversion from, his posi- 
tion near Yen-tai was such a melancholy 
feature of the Russian movements in the 



172 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Third Phase of the battle. For the rest, 
the Russian public was evidently still 
prepared to regard Kuropatkin as a great 
commander, who had done his best in very 
difficult circumstances, and every effort 
was made in the Press and elsewhere to 
discount the importance of the loss of 
Liao-yang. 

The Tsar was not behindhand in assist- 
ing to make the best of a doubtful busi- 
ness. On receipt of General Kuropat- 
kin 's despatch he forwarded to him the 
following message : — 

" I see from your report that you were 
unable to hold the fortress of Liao-yang 
owing- to' the enemy threatening to cut off 
your communications. 

" The retreat of the whole army in 
such difficult circumstances and over the 
terrible roads was an operation excellently 
carried out in face of grave difficulties. 

" I thank you and your splendid troops 
for their heroic work and their con- 
tinued self-sacrifice. God guard you. — 
Nicholas." ' 

This gracious message General Kuro- 
patkin caused to be read before the troops 
of all detachments of the field army with 
solemn ceremony. In commenting on it 
in a General Order he remarked that it 
contained a ■ further expression of lofty 
benevolence on the part of the Tsar — 
presumably with reference to the part 
played by the .Commander-in-Chief him- 
self — and added : " I am quite sure that 
in the work that lies before the Man- 
churian Army every soldier will put forth 
his best efforts to achieve victory over 
the enemy, and to become worthy of the 
confidence of the Emperor of Russia." 

To his Imperial Master General Kuro- 
patkin telegraphed that the entire Man- 
churian Army rejoiced inexpressibly at 
his Majesty's appreciation of its labours 
and its military deeds. " We are all 



animated," he declared, "by the one 
desire to beat the enemy and to justify 
the confidence placed in us by the 
supreme chief of the Russian Army, who 
may feel perfectly sure in regard to the 
troops' future self-denial and devotion." 
With somewhat remarkable insistence the 
General goes on, or is made by his 
St. Petersburg editors to go on, to repeat 
that the departure from Liao-yang, in the 
conditions in which it was accomplished, 
was an absolutely indispensable though 
most difficult undertaking. Attention was 
further drawn to the fact that the enemy 
has laid no claim to captures of prisoners, 
guns, or other trophies. Finally, it is 
pointed out that General Kuroki's report 
confirms the statement that on the morn- 
ing of September 4th the Russian Army 
might have been cut into two if steps 
had not been taken to prevent that catas- 
trophe. 

While these amenities are , being ex- 
changed between St. Petersburg and 
Mukden on the subject of the recent great 
battle, there is reason to believe that there 
is still some want of harmony at the 
front, and that the leadership 01 the Rus- 
sian generals is being subjected on the 
spot to a good deal of acrimonious criti- 
cism. " Everywhere," telegraphs a 
French correspondent, " I hear com- 
plaints and recriminations against officers 
of high rank." He adds his own con- 
viction that ' ' with certain rare excep- 
tions, such as the late Count Keller and 
General Bilderling, the Manchurian Army 
has suffered greatly from the lack of com- 
petent officers. As far as personal cour- 
age went they seem to have behaved ad- 
mirably; but individual heroism, when 
not backed up by qualities of leadership, 
initiative, and resource, is of little use to a 
commander called upon to handle troops 
against such enemies as the Japanese. 



THE SHEEP- LIKE RUSSIAN SOLDIER. 



173 



Incompetence on the pai't of junior 
Russian officers was the more deplorable 
because, as has been hinted before in this 
narrative, the Russian soldier is not 
trained to act on his own responsiljility. 



hcd. Contrast this with what the famous 
Russian war correspondent, M. Ncmiro- 
\itch Dantchenko, tells us about the 
bra\e but, in this respect, rather sheep- 
like Russian soldier. " There have been 




fho^o : •■ Cuilicr'i Weekly." 

GENERAL KUROPATKIN AWARDING THE CROSS OF ST. GEORGE ON THE BATTLEFIELD. 



We saw in the course of the battle of 
Liao-yang' how, during- one stage of the 
fighting, Japanese " first-class privates " 
had to take command of companies, all 
the company officers having been killed; 
and it is evident from the result that the 
sudden promotion was abundantly justi- 



cases," he says with mistaken pride, 
" when all the officers being killed, the 
troops appealed to the officers of the Red 
Cross detachments to take the command, 
because they would be left alone without 
permission to attack the enemv." From 
the standpoint of practical warfare there 



174 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



is nothing whatever to admire in this 
Casabianca-like attitude, which undoubt- 
edly goes far to explain the Russian 
failure in such a hurly-burly of fighting- 
as the battle of Liao-yang became at 
several stages in its progress. 

But it is not easy to find further fault 
with the gallant, good-hearted, simple- 
minded Russian fighting-man. A little 
while back we quoted a letter from a 
Japanese conscript who had just been 
ordered to join his regiment. Here are 
a few extracts from a Russian soldier's 
letter which was published by a Moscow 
paper, and was translated and repro- 
duced in the Moscow correspondence of 
the Standard. The letter begins : — 

" You wanted me to write you, brother, 
all about the service. Well, here you 
are " And the writer goes on to de- 
tail his experiences, commencing with the 
attack on Port Arthur on February 8th, 
which, using the Old style of the Russian 
calendar, he makes January 27th. From 
Port Arthur his regiment, the loth, was 
transferred to the Yalu, and hence we 
may follow his letter verbatim, again re- 
minding readers that the difference of 
thirteen days between the Old and New 
styles must be allowed for : — 

" On March 29th, the second day of 
Easter, thirty of our scouts, with three 
officers, went across the River Yalu to 
make a reconnaissance, and had a turn- 
up with the Japanese — five killed and 
twenty-three wounded we had. This was 
our first baptism of fire, and from that 
day forward we had skirmishes every 
day. On April i6th, 17th, and i8th was 
the big battle at Turen-chen, lasting 
from five in the morning till one o'clock 
in the day. We got the orders to retire 
to the rear, and very sorry we were to 
have to abandon our killed and wounded, 
but we couldn't possibly take them up. 



Our losses were 800 men. So we retired 
back 150 versts (100 miles), carrying 
wounded men on our backs. Here we 
stopped till May 17th, and they changed 
our commanding officer. In place of 
Sassulitch came Lieut. -General Count 
Keller, and with him we advanced again. 
He had not gone above seventy versts 
when we came upon the Japanese, and 
there was a fight. We retired on our 
positions, where we remained till June 
1 2th. On that day the Japanese began 
to attack our position, about a division 
strong, and in the position there was 
only our one regiment. In the night we 
retired to the rear, fifty versts. In the 
night of June 20th we went for the Jap- 
anese, cut off two of his pickets, and 
rushed at them with the bayonet. This 
was a night fight. But, as always, the 
Japanese sent against us a countless host, 
and we retired to our detachment with a 
loss of 250 men killed and wounded. 

" On July 3rd there was a night affair. 
We marched out at two o'clock in the 
night, but the Japanese spied us and re- 
tired. On July 4th at dawn the whole of 
our regiment was sent into the firing line, 
and there was a fight lasting from five in 
the morning till three in the afternoon. 
It was a hot business, and we lost about 
a thousand men. We did not want to 
retire, but they gave us orders to go. 
On July i8th there was a still more 
terrible fight, when the Japanese killed 
our hero. Count Keller, with a shell. 
All our fellows are very sorry to lose our 
glorious brave leader. God gave him a 
good death from shell; he was hit in the 
head, and did not live more than twenty 
minutes after. After this fight we re- 
tired on Liao-yang, and are now posted 
fifteen versts (ten miles) from it. Here 
we got a new chief, Lieut. -General 
Ivanov. They say there will soon be a 



JAPAN AND THE WAR CORRESPONDENTS. 



I7S 



general engagement. Is it possible we 
shall retire again? Of our regiment 
there is not much left after all our losses, 
some killed, some badly wounded and 
died. Myself, I have not been wounded 
once, although I have been under the fire 
of the Japanese in all our fights. I have 
a cap that I put on, and so long as I 
wear that no bullet can get me. I got 
it from a Chinaman at Port Arthur, a 
good fellow he was, too. I wonder 
where he is now. The Sergeant-Major 
tells me I shall soon be sent up for the 
St. George's Cross. God grant it, and 
then I shall return to you, brother, a 
regular cavalier. . . ." 

Scarcely less captivating than the Jap- 
anese soldier's fiery patriotism is the 
sturdy fighting spirit displayed in the 
above characteristic document with its 
stolid references to a long series of hard 
fights, and the queer, little superstitious 
touch about the charmed cap. It will 
be noted that from first to last there is 
only one complaint, that of being called 
upon to retire when " we " would have 
preferred to stay and fight it out to the 
bitter end. Incidentally it may be re- 
called that this gallant fellow's regiment 
was certainly concerned in the Battle of 
Liao-yang. As a matter of fact, it was 
the loth Siberian Rifle Regiment which 
occupied the old town of Liao-yang, and, 
before retiring, took the opportunity of 
looting the place. Let us hope that our 
simple friend was not concerned in that 
objectionable performance, but took his 
manful share of the fighting, duly pro- 
tected by his wonderful cap ! 

Having dealt with the impression 
created by the Battle of Liao-yang upon 
the Japanese and the Russian public, and 
having further taken a glance at the 
armies in the field, let us now turn to 
the effect of this great operation upon 



British and Continental opinion. It is a 
very interesting circumstanc? that this 
battle marks a very decided change in 
the policy of Japan as regards foreign 
criticism of her naval and military opera- 
tions. Allusion has been made on 
several occasions to the strictness of the 
Japanese censorship, and every allowance 
has been made in this narrative for the 
necessity imposed upon a country, which 
is literally fighting for its fife, of shroud- 
ing its movements in the greatest pos- 
sible secrecy. But Japan has gone, per- 
haps, a little farther than is necessary 
in this direction, and has fettered hon- 
ourable and experienced representatives 
of the foreign Press with restrictions 
which have not unnaturally been resented. 
The fact that the representative of the 
leading English journal should have had 
to sever his connection with the Japanese 
Army in order to furnish his paper with 
an independent account of the movements 
of Generals Oku and Xozu was painfully 
suggestive of a needless attempt at gag- 
ging. It was becoming apparent, too, 
that the position of foreign corres- 
pondents would not be improved unless 
the Japanese authorities were made to 
feel that Press censorship can be carried 
to extremes which are not only objection- 
able, but risky. There is no need here 
to expatiate upon the means adopted, but 
after the Battle of Liao-yang the Jap- 
anese Government suddenly became 
aware that, in treating the representatives 
of the foreign Press as if they were a 
pack of prying children, it had converted 
powerful friends into embittered critics. 
As a Tokio journal remarked, it began to 
seem likely that the success of the next 
Japanese loan would be endangered b}' the 
anxiety of the Japanese generals to keep 
all the correspondents about them closely 
and perpetually blindfolded. 



176 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 




OYAMA's OBJECin'E ; Tl-Ili APPROACH TO MUKDEN, AND THE PASS OF TIE-LING. 

At Tic-lin^ the plain closes in to a valley through lohich run the river, railway, and main road. This is the 
loidc gate between Northern and Southern Manchuria. 



There is no occasion for us to argue matter of the censorship had serious 

the pros and cons of this question. It drawbacks, and that public opinion in 

is sufficient to say tliat the Japanese foreign countries was a factor to be 

Government realised that its polic)' in the reckoned with. Accordingl}', Field-Mar- 



178 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



shal Yamag:ata, as Chief of the General 
Staff at Tokio, telegraphed to Field-Mar- 
shal Oyama as follows : — 

" The Imperial declaration of war, as 
proclaimed to the people, is universally 
recognised as being based upon broad 
principles of justice. It makes no dis- 
tinction of race, religion, or national 
manners and customs. The sole objects 
of the war are to ensure the safety of 
this Empire, to guarantee the peace of 
the Orient, to spread the blessings of 
civilisation and humanity, and to pro- 
mote the general interests of all nations. 
It is, therefore, earnestly hoped that these 
principles will also find expression in the 
treatment of the foreign officers and cor- 
respondents attached to our army, and 
that, so long as the rule of military 
secrecy is not infringed, frank and candid 
consideration will be extended to them, 
so that the spirit of sincerity which ani- 
mates this Empire may be fully demon- 
strated to the whole world." 

It is clear that this exhortation had its 
due effect, for after Liao-yang the Press 
correspondence becomes much fuller and 
very much more instructive, and one re- 
presentative sends a special message ex- 
patiating upon the happy change that has 
taken place in the conditions under which 
he is working. 

While the correspondents with the Jap- 
anese Army have had much cause for 
complaint, those with the Russian head- 
quarters have hardly been on velvet. 
But the grievance here has been not so 
much on the score of the censorship as 
on that of doubtful treatment as regards 
creature comforts. M. Naudeau, the 
correspondent of the Paris Journal, from 
whose despatches, duly passed by the 
censor, several passages relating to the 
retreat from Liao-yang were quoted in 
Chapter LVIL, speaks very bitterly of 



the difficulties thrown in the way of him- 
self and all his confreres, M. Dantchenko 
alone excepted. It is said that, but for 
an occasional French missionary, these 
correspondents might more than once 
have risked dying of hunger ! Almost 
all had had dysentery, of which one had 
died. It must, however, be remembered 
that the Russian Army had, at the time 
this statement was made, been almost 
constantly in retreat, and in such cir- 
cumstances the claims of Press cor- 
respondents to consideration are apt to 
be disregarded. 

It now remains to ascertain, as far as 
is possible in a brief and rapid survey, 
to what extent British and Continental 
opinion on the war has been modified by 
the Liao-yang operations. It is not al- 
together easy to do this, because the 
standpoints from which the non-belliger- 
ent nations of Europe approached the 
subject were so curiously different, each 
being more or less complicated by con- 
siderations of alliance or by a reluctance 
to give offence to a Power which, not- 
withstanding its Far Eastern reverses, 
still loomed very large on the horizon of 
European politics. England may be said 
to have been frankly prejudiced in favour 
of her ally, Japan, just as France was 
naturally inclined to stand by her ally, 
Russia. Germany may have been 
anxious not to offend her " Eastern 
neighbour " by overmuch plainness of 
speech, and Austria-Hungary, associated 
with Russia in the question of forcing the 
reforms in Macedonia upon the Sultan, 
would doubtless have preferred not to 
have expressed an opinion, one way or 
another. Indeed, for some time past the 
oflficial Press in Vienna had maintained 
great reserve on the subject of the war, 
and editorial references to the Japanese 
successes had been entirely suspended. 



BRITISH OPINION. 



179 



But the Battle of Liao-yang was an event 
of such commanding' significance, was of 
such absorbing interest in a historical as 
well as political and military sense, that 
it could not be passed over in silence. 
Accordingly, for about a week the Press 
of Europe simply hummed with comment 
on the recent fighting and the new situa- 
tion which it had produced. 

It is one of the surprises of contempor- 
ary history, that nowhere was the Jap- 
anese victory at Liao-yang received with 
more cool discrimination than in this 
country. Here and there dithyrambics 
were indulged in ; but the general 
tendency among competent critics was 
to lay somewhat serious stress upon the 
indecisive character of the success at- 
tained, and to point out that, unless it 
were rapidly followed up, such improve- 
ment as had taken place in the Japanese 
position would soon be obscured by fresh 
risks. It was realised that the skill with 
which Kuropatkin had extricated himself 
from what might have been a very deadly 
situation, and had even at one time 
gravely menaced his adversary, placed 
the future chances of Russia in a new 
light. A general capable of such en- 
lightened strategy was a force to be 
reckoned with, now that the main armies 
of the two combatant nations were in 
conflict. Every credit was given to the 
Japanese conception of an envelopment ; 
but the failure of the plan, and the heavy 
losses inflicted upon the armies of Oku 
and Nozu by a comparatively small 
Russian rear-guard, considerably im- 
pressed the more thoughtful among 
British military critics. That the result 
was 'a Japanese victory was extremely 
gratifying to Japan's ally, but British 
military opinion is nothing if not candid, 
and in more than one quarter it was felt 
that the success had been far too dearly 



bought, and that more must be done, 
and done quickly, if Japan were to reap 
any sort of advantage from her recent 
movements. 

The Japanese were much hurt at this 
" change of sentiment," as they imagined 
it to be, and attributed it largely to the 
dissatisfaction of the war correspondents, 
because they had not been given larger 
facilities. They pointed out that they 
had secured Liao-yang, " the richest 
town in Manchuria, the chief emporium 
of local supplies and foodstuffs, and the 
principal strategical base." They urged 
that the Russians had been " signally 
defeated," and had been compelled to 
burn or abandon ammunition and pro- 
visions in such quantities that to make 
good the loss would demand several 
months' work on the Siberian Railway. 
Finally, they hoped that the embittered 
criticism of war correspondents with a 
grievance would not be allowed to warp 
the judgment and undermine the con- 
fidence of the British nation at large. 

It is almost needless to say that the 
class of expert British military opinion, 
to which reference has been made, could 
not have been seriously influenced by the 
treatment, however tactless, accorded by 
the Japanese to the foreign correspond- 
ents. Nor would any military critic 
worthy of the name fail to recognise and 
give full weight to the substantial ad- 
vantages secured by Japan in the oc- 
cupation of Liao-yang. But the fact re- 
mained that Japan had spent some months 
in weaving a net wherewith to catch the 
entire Russian Army, and, when the time 
had come for casting it, the meshes had 
been found too large, and the fish had 
mostly slipped through. Nor could any 
amount of argument explain away the 
fact that Kuropatkin was still in evidence 
only a few miles off with nearly 200,000 



i8o 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



men, and with the Siberian Railway 
bringing- him fresh men and supplies al- 
most every hour. 

As we shall shortly see, the British 
estimate of the gravity of the situation 
after the Battle of Liao-yang came to be 
modified by a fresh instance of Russian 
military unwisdom which could hardly 



been somewhat similarly placed in deal- 
ing with remote menaces to our 
supremacy. While deference to Japanese 
susceptibilities forbids the enlargement of 
this argument, the allusion may be use- 
ful to defend British critics from the 
charge of being quite unworthily preju- 
diced by small personal considerations. 




THE STAFF OF A RUSSIAN TRAVELLING HOSPITAL, 



have been foreseen. But, at the time, 
the expert view taken by men who would 
not allow their Japanese sympathies to 
blind them to clear military facts was 
undoubtedly the only view that compre- 
hended the European as well as the Far 
Eastern prospect. AVe, perhaps more 
clearly than any other European nation, 
understood what the preservation of the 
bulk of f<uropatkin's Army from de- 
struction meant to Russia, for we have 



While in Great Britain the feeling was; 
one of some apprehension lest a new 
prospect not wholly favourable to Japan 
had been unfolded. Continental journals, 
were almost unanimous in deploring the- 
great blow which had fallen upon Russia. 
In Erance the prevailing sentiment was 
one of profound regret for Russia, 
coupled with a strong hope that now 
some peaceful settlement would be pos- 
sible. A Erench correspondent, whomi 



182 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



we have quoted before, was allowed to 
speak very candidly in the Journal as to 
Russia's prospects of gaining the upper 
hand. " No doubt if Russia sets her 
teeth to this task she will yet be vic- 
torious, but this will imply astounding 
efforts, the results of which will be out of 
all proportion with the sacrifices. An 
impartial witness is necessarily saddened 
by the struggle. I, for my part, am per- 
suaded that it would be in the interest of 
both parties to renounce their national 
pride, and by mutual concessions put an 
end to this war, which is a real and 
terrible disaster that will be the ruin of 
both. I make no mention of the un- 
fortunate population of a whole vast 
province which, belonging to neither 
party, is the blood-stained victim of their 
terrible struggle. There are cases in 
which national pride should not be blindly 
heeded." 

The military criticism offered by France 
upon the operations at Liao-yang was 
naturally cautious. In the Temps General 
Orloff was made the scapegoat of the 
defeat, which was not regarded as a 
tactical disaster, but only as the " sorry 
conclusion of courageous, sterile, and 
persevering efforts." Lieut. -General Pic- 
quart, in L'Aurore, emphasised what has 
already been independently put forward 
in this chapter as to the utter want of 
initiative displayed by the Russian 
soldier. " In Russia it is impossible 
to employ an infantryman on patrol duty 
or as a scout. The ordinary soldier 
there is comparatively useless if he does 
not manoeuvre in obedience to order and 
in compact formations." As for Russian 
tactics, they are those of " ignorant and 
fanatical persons! " The Japanese suc- 
cesses are " the victory of the Japanese 
schoolmaster over the "Russian pope." 

The German Government journals did 



their best to minimise the significance of 
the Russian defeat ; but in other organs 
much admiration was expressed for Jap- 
anese tactics. A sentence from the 
Kreus Zeitung of September 2nd, written 
while the battle was still in progress, may 
be quoted as an instructive though not 
quite accurate prediction : " The ist of 
September, 1904, presents an extraordin- 
ary likeness to the ist of September, 
1870, with this difference that, radiating 
in all directions from Sedan there was a 
large number of roads by which it was 
possible to break through, whereas from 
Liao-yang there is only the road leading 
to Mukden. The Russians will assuredly 
not fail to break out in that direction, 
but one cannot help doubting whether 
they will succeed." In the Lokalanzeizer 
of Berlin, Count von Pfeil wrote a little 
later that Kuropatkin evidently relied on 
the assistance of General Linievitch, who, 
it was suggested, was held back by Ad- 
miral Alexeieff. 

In Austria-Hungary, where, apart from 
official circles, pro-Japanese sentiments 
were pretty freely expressed, the Liao- 
yang battle was very seriously discussed. 
" The fuller tidings of the Japanese 
triumph," wrote the Vienna correspond- 
ent of the Times, " evoked enthusiasm. 
The tenacity and dogged bravery of the 
Russian troops are everywhere recog- 
nised, and nowhere is it suggested that 
any European soldiers would have made 
a better stand against such a foe ; but 
admiration for the brilliant leading of 
the Japanese attack, and for the un- 
precedented combination of scientific 
training with passionate gallantry among 
the Japanese rank and file, overcome 
every other sentiment." 

In Italy the fullest credit was given to 
the Japanese generals for their tactics, 
but much the same view was expressed 



LIAO-YANG AND LEIPSIC. 



183 



as in England as to the doubtful prospect. 
Liao-yang was compared with Leipsic, 
and it was suggested that Kuropatkin 
might consummate his effort to escape by 
winning another Hanau. 

These excerpts will suffice to show the 
trend of European opinion on the Liao- 
yang battle, individually considered. But 
many more would be needed to demon- 
strate what was, after all, the most 
serious result of the Japanese victory as 
far as Europe was concerned. This re- 
sult has been defined by one Continental 
paper as " the collapse of belief in 
Russian omnipotence," and beyond this 
happy definition it would be premature 
to travel far at present. At the same 
time it will be readily understood that 
the Battle of Liao-yang marked the be- 
ginning of an inevitable change in the 
position, diplomatically and internation- 
ally speaking, of Russia in Europe. 
Russia's immense resources, and, more 
particularly, her military strength, had 
long been articles of faith among 
European nations, and she had presumed 
heavily on them by asserting her right to 
interfere very arbitrarily, more especially 
of course in all Near Eastern affairs. 
Although there had still remained a 



shrewd notion that the feet of the 
Colossus were of clay, a good deal of 
diplomatic deference had been paid to 
Russia on the ground that it was better 
to make some concession than to call 
into operation the tremendous forces 
which the Tsar was supposed to have 
under ready control. The first six 
months of the Russo-Japanese War had 
gone far towards rectifying these mis- 
taken notions. But, until the Battle of 
Liao-yang took place, Russia could al- 
ways plead unpreparedness or an over- 
whelming numerical superiority on the 
enemy's part. Now she had b,een fairly 
and squarely beaten in an honest trial of 
strength, and the crumbling of her Far 
Eastern supremacy was not unnaturally 
followed by a marked diminution of her 
European prestige. It is too early as 
yet to estimate the precise effect of her 
humiliation upon the balance of power in 
Europe. But it may be freely said that a 
long interval must elapse before she is 
again allowed to dominate, for example, 
the Near Eastern Question, as she did 
while as yet her main army in Manchuria 
was unbeaten, and Oyama had not ex- 
pelled nearly 200,000 of her best troops 
" bag and baggage " from Liao-yang. 



c 








' 1 


P'^-'ilt-iTMrTiny^-*"*"'^ 




^sof- !■!-*-— 


*-■■"- -^ 




^gj-iV,Ti — r 


-T — 


1 y. 1 . flUw 




g 


n 









TYPE OF COSSACK GUARD STATION AND WATCH TOWER FOR THE 

DEFENCE OF THE SIBERIAN RAILWAY, 

(From Foster Fraser's " The Real Siberia.") 




Photo: Nonvellc, Paris. 



PRINCE KHILKOFF ON LAKE BAIKAL. 



CHAPTER LX. 



THE RUSSIAN MILITARY COMMAND IN MANCHURIA — NEW ARMY WANTED — A MOBILISA- 
TION ORDER GENERAL GKIPENBERG's APPOINTMENT INTRIGUES AT ST. PETERSBURG 

KUROPATKL\ GENERALISSIMO ALEXEIEFF LOSING FAVOUR COMPOSITION OF SECOND 

ARMY. 

IN the preceding chapter we have in a military sense Russia not only was 

glanced at the Russian Army in the utterly unprepared for war with Japan, 

field, have touched lig-htlv on the short- but had arranged her forces in the Far 

comings of the officers, and have dealt East on about as bad a system as could 

more or less indulgently with that brave, possibly have been conceived with a view 

simple-minded fellow the Russian private to urgent probabilities. When the crisis 

soldier. We have now to follow the arrived there was no one on the spot 



military operations of Russia in a new 
direction, one of immense interest and 
importance, namely, the attempted con- 
struction of a new Manchurian Army, 
and a readjustment of the entire system 
of Russian military control in the Far 
East. 

On looking back it will be seen that 



who could be safely entrusted with the 
supreme militarv command; and, when 
in due course a Commander-in-Chief, 
Kuropatkin, was imported from Russia, 
he was the last man between whom and 
the Viceroy Alexeieff anv harmonious co- 
operation was possible, ^^'e have seen 
the terrible effects of this mistaken 



AN UNWIELDY ARMY. 



i8S 



policy, and have gleaned some idea of 
the shameless intrigues which haA-e pre- 
vented Kuropatkin from doing himself 
justice. At the close of the Battle of 
Liao-yang it has become clear that to 
persevere along- this insane line will 
simply mean a series of fresh and prob- 
ably more serious disasters. Something 
must be done, and done quickly, and 
Russia does it. Whether what is 
done is the right thing is another 
matter ; but at any rate the new con- 
ception is impressive, and from a 
Russian standpoint full of attractive 
possibilities. 

In a story of this sort there is no 
necessity to pay very close attention 
to details of military organisation, 
and care has been taken not to over- 
load these pages with precise allu- 
sions to Army Corps and otlier units. 
In the course of this chapter it may 
be necessary at times to particularise 
a little more closely, but for the 
present it is sufficient to say that, 
shortly after the Battle of Liao-yang 
Ivuropatkin must have still had at 
his immediate disposal the equivalent 
of between six and seven army corps ; 
in other words, perhaps rather more 
than 200,000 men. What is a more 
important consideration is that the 
bulk of this great army is, so to 
speak, bunched together, and in any 
case is expected to respond more 
or less swiftlv to the direct instruc- 
tions of the Commander-in-Chief. This 
is doubtful policy, since there have been 
few leaders in the world's history who 
have been capable of controlling effec- 
tively an army of more than 100,000 or, 
at most, 150,000 men. Even when partly 
distributed, huge bodies like this occupy 
a great deal of ground, and it needs 
very extraordinary military talent to 



manoeuvre with equal freedom and effec- 
tiveness forces which ma}' be twenty or 
thirty miles or more apart. 

In the case of Japan, it is clear that 
not far short of quarter of a million men 
are in a sense under the control of Field- 
Marshal Oyama; but the conditions are 
altogether different. The forces of Japan 




GENERAL BILDERLING. 

are intelligently distributed into armies, 
only one of which. General Kuroki's, 
approaches the maximum which one 
commander of real ability can comfort- 
ably handle. Each of the three armies 
engaged round Liao-yang, moreover, was 
led by men to whom a very considerable 
amount of discretion could be allowed, 
and who could, at the same time, be 



i86 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



trusted to carry out the general ideas of 
their supreme chief. What Oyaina com- 
manded, then, was not so much an army 
of 250,000 men as three first-class 
generals to whom he could safely leave 
the details necessary for the execution of 
the strategy decided upon by himself in 
co-operation with the General Staff at 
Tokio. 

Contrast this with the difficulties with 
which Kuropatkin has had to contend. 
Never could a man be more truly said to 
command an army, for under him there 
is hardly a single man of first-class merit 
as a controller of great forces of all arms. 
In point of experience and, perhaps, 
sagacity. General Linievitch, who com- 
mands the Amur military district, of 
which the chief military centre is Vladi- 
vostok, is the most prominent. But 
Linievitch is getting old, and it is ex- 
tremely doubtful whether he could stand 
such a strain as even the post of second- 
in-command to Kuropatkin would in- 
volve. The only other first-class general 
in the Russian Army in Manchuria seems 
to be General Bilderling, who, however, 
has yet to be tried on a large scale. 
Generals Stackelberg and Zarubaieff 
have not greatly distinguished themselves 
so far, except in rear-guard fighting, 
which is a thing apart. General Ivanoff 
has been a doubtful successor to General 
Count Keller, and General Sassulitch 
has hardly as yet made amends for his 
poor handling of the Russian troops at 
Kiu-lien-cheng. General Meyendorf, who 
recently came out from Russia in com- 
mand of the First Army Corps, may be a 
" dark horse," but will have to display 
a number of unsuspected qualities before 
he can be regarded as on quite the same 
footing as Kuroki and his two colleagues 
Oku and Nozu. 

Of course, there are some very good 



men among the Russian major-generals, 
but the successful major-general does not 
always do well when promoted to 
higher responsibilities. Thus Kashta- 
linski created a favourable impression 
at Kiu-lien-cheng, but did not shine very 
brightly in the attack on the Motien-ling 
on July 17th. Again, General Gerngross 
has yet to enlarge upon the good work 
he did at Telissu and elsewhere before 
he can be accounted as fit to rank with 
commanders of the first class. The same 
remark applies, with variations, to dash- 
ing leaders like Samsonoff, Mishtchenko, 
and Rennenkamf, not to speak of the 
senior, but probably, as regards troop- 
handling, less experienced Chief of the 
Staff, Sakharoff. 

It will be seen from this brief survey 
that Genera] Kuropatkin may be not 
inappropriately described as over-manned 
and under-officered. He has at his 
disposal more men than any but a 
Napoleon could properly handle, and he 
cannot essay the role of a Moltke be- 
cause the deficiencies of his generals 
make it necessary for him to appear con- 
stantly in what is to all intents and pur- 
poses an executive part. The Tsar and 
his advisers at St. Petersburg, then, are 
face to face with the initial problem of 
making some change in the higher system 
of military control in the Far East which 
will enable better results to be obtained 
both from Kuropatkin and from the very 
considerable army already in the field. 

On the heels of this problem presses 
another. Large as Kuropatkin 's army 
is, it is evidently inferior both in numeri- 
cal strength and efficiency to that under 
the control of Field-Marshal Oyama. In 
order successfully to resist, not to speak 
of making headway against, the future 
efforts of Japan, reinforcements of the 
biggest sort and size will be necessary, 



RUSSIA'S RESOURCES. 



187 



the campaig-n being practically reopened 
on a fresh basis in the spring-. This is 
not such an empty dream as it might 
have seemed a few months ago, although, 
of course, there arc grave ditliculties in 



Of course, as regards mere soldiers 
Russia's resources arc ample. She has 
normally twenty-five army corps in 
Europe and the Caucasus, besides two 
in Turkestan, and the two v^hich nor- 



the way of reinforcing an army already mally belong to the Amur district. Six 

in a somewhat precarious position both or seven corps have been sent, or are on 

as regards hostile pressure and supplies. their way, to the I^ar Iiast, and although 

Not only is the Siberian Railway still for purposes of war in Europe the Rus- 




GENERAL KASHTALINSKI. 



working, but its usefulness has been 
enormously increased by the construction, 
under the energetic personal supervision 
of Prince Khilkoff, the I^ussian Minister 
for Public Works, of the Circum-Baikal 
Section. This, it will be remembered, 
was put vigorously in hand at the com- 
mencement of the war in order to save 
the trying journey across Lake Baikal; 
and the recent opening of the section is a 
striking monument to Russian persever- 
ance and disregard of engineering obstacles. 



sian scheme of mobilisation is a some- 
what tardy and cumbrous one, the 
collection of an imposing array of forces 
for transference by comparatively easy 
stages to the Far East is not half such 
a difficult task as that of arranging for 
their transport and maintenance. 

Let us now examine the steps which 
Russia, after the Battle of Liao-yang, 
takes to improve her military position in 
the h"ar East; to put into practice the 
lessons she has acquired by her own 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



failures and the Japanese successes; and 
to profit by the substantial advantages 
conferred by a huge trained army and a 
stringent system of compulsory military 
service. 

On August 2oth it was announced 
from St. Petersburg that an Imperial 
ukase had been issued ordering the call- 
ing out of the reservists in forty-seven 
districts of the governments of Poltava, 
Kursk, Tver, Samara, Saratoff, Astrak- 
han, Ufa, Simbirsk, Perm, St. Peters- 
burg, Novgorod, Pskoff, Livonia, 
Esthonia, Archangel, and Olonetz. Cer- 
tain categories of reservists vs^ere specially 
called out in addition, and all reserve 
officers throughout the Empire were 
called to the colours. 

This ukase, described by the St. 
Petersburg correspondent of the New 
York Herald (Paris edition) as " Russia's 
reply to the Japanese assertions that the 
war is nearly over," created a profound 
impression throughout the Tsar's domin- 
ions. Affecting as it did all classes of 
the population, the gravity of this mili- 
tary measure was eagerly discussed by 
crowds even in the streets of St. Peters- 
burg, and general alarm and apprehen- 
sion were excited as to the effect of the 
apparently interminable war upon the 
political and financial future of Russia. 

When the British Army Reserves were 
called out in the South African War, an 
example of patriotic enthusiasm was 
afforded which is not likely to be for- 
gotten by those who witnessed it. Even 
in the case of married reservists who had 
to throw up good positions in civil life 
in order to rejoin the colours, the utmost 
willingness was exhibited ; and employers 
and the public readily came forward in 
order to 'guarantee comfortable subsist- 
ence allowances to wives and families 
thus deprived of their chief means of 



support. But it must be remembered 
that with us in those days the Army 
Reserve only numbered about 80,000 
men, a large proportion of whom would 
have gladly gone back^ war or no war, 
to the service which they had voluntarily 
adopted as their profession. There is an 
obvious distinction to be drawn between 
a case like this and that of a country 
where military service is compulsory, 
and where the available reserve is esti- 
mated to contain over a million men. 
Of course, the Imperial ukase referred 
to above does not mean that all that 
number of men were withdrawn suddenly 
from civil occupations. As a matter of 
fact many thousands of reservists have 
been called up already, and many more 
will remain after the present ukase has 
been complied with. But the districts 
now affected are mostly those in which 
reservists are in fairly good positions, 
earning decent wages, and supporting 
often considerable families. The outlook 
in the latter case is especially depressing. 
The wives and children of the men now 
summoned to the colours, and the 
mothers and fathers of unmarried reserv- 
ists dependent upon the latter for support, 
are, it is true, entitled to a Government 
allowance, but it is indeed a meagre one. 
A wife is allowed three roubles (a rouble 
is worth about 2s. 2d.) a month, with one 
rouble for each child. A monthly allow- 
ance of three roubles is also made to 
mothers who lose the support of unmar- 
ried sons. It goes without saying, more- 
over, that where the call to arms affects 
such enormous numbers, private bene- 
volence can do little to assist the victims 
of official parsimony. 

The natural result is that the mobilisa- 
tion order meets with a very doubtful 
response. In some instances there are 
numerous reservists who simply decline 



1 90 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



to turn up at the district headquarters on 
the appointed day. In other cases there 
are grave disturbances, and nowhere is 
there any display of real enthusiasm. 
Some of the statistics of the " missing " 
are instructive. A little later than the 
ukase just quoted comes the order for 
mobilisation in the four governments of 
Kherson, Bessarabia, Ekaterinoslaf, and 
the Taurida. In the last named the pro- 
portion of absentees is said to be not 
very great, but in Ekaterinoslaf about 
3,000 reservists are reported missing, 
about the same number in Bessarabia, 
and nearly 8,000 in Kherson. In the 
government of Kherson there are a great 
many Jews who have emigrated during 
the last four or five months, evidently 
with a view to escape the mobilisation, 
and this fact seems to have greatly 
swollen the absentee return. But in any 
case the lists are painfully indicative of 
anything but patriotic fervour. 

Some striking information on the sub- 
ject of these absentees, who are in effect 
deserters, is given by one of the Russian 
correspondents of the Times. It is said 
that they will do anything to avoid being 
sent to Manchuria, and that men in- 
scribed in one military district are to be 
found hundreds of miles away from it, 
living from hand to mouth, without pass- 
ports, in the hope that their existence 
may be forgotten. " The police are 
overwhelmed with work in trying to 
track out these deserters, and the partial 
relaxations of the measures against 
political offenders is due to this cause. 
Desertion is becoming so general, that it 
is hardly possible to cope with it." 
There is also the strongest disinclination 
to Far Eastern service on the part of 
officers of the reserve, for the most part 
men who have put in a year's service 
as privates and, having then passed an 



examination after a few weeks' special 
training, have returned to business or 
private life. However, it seems that 
reserve officers are not alone in their 
reluctance to serve their country against 
the Japanese. " One officer in a Guards 
regiment in St. Petersburg, on being 
asked by a British officer, who happened 
to be in Russia, if he were not going to 
the front, and whether he could not ob- 
tain some Staff billet by means of in- 
fluence at Court, replied : ' Of course I 
could, but I much prefer remaining with 
my regiment in St. Petersburg!'" 
This is hardly the same spirit as that 
which prompts our Guards' officers to 
volunteer for all sorts of arduous ser- 
vice in remote and unhealthy wilds, and 
which sent representatives of every noble 
family in the country to fight as Imperial 
Yeomen against the Boers. 

But, of course, taking all these draw- 
backs into account, Russia's capacity to 
put in the field, or at any rate to 
mobilise, an army quite as large as that 
already under Kuropatkin's command is, 
practically speaking, undoubted. We 
may now, therefore, turn to the question 
as to what Russia intends to do in order 
to put, the matter of the supreme com- 
mand of her troops in Manchuria on a 
better footing. 

As early as the middle of July there 
were rumours that the General Staff at 
St. Petersburg was preparing, in concert 
with the Tsar and the principal Imperial 
officials, a modification of the existing 
mihtary hierarchy in the Far East. Not 
only was it becoming evident that 
General Kuropatkin could only with 
difficulty control the remote extremities 
of his constantly increasing forces, the 
General Staff had also been profoundly 
impressed with the mobility of the Jap- 
anese, which was clearly due in great 



A NEW APPOINTMENT. 



191 



measure to their division into three 
armies under independent commanders. 
According-ly, the idea was mooted of a 
Second Russian Army entirely separate 
from the First, whicli would still be com- 
manded by General Kuropatkin. The 



neither of these two was selected, but 
General Sukhotin may well be kept in 
view by the reader as an ofBcer with a 
brilliant reputation, who is likely sooner 
or later to come to the front in connection 
with the war. 




GENERAL SUKHOTIN. 



two " favourites " for the command of 
the Second Army were General Sukhotin, 
ex - President of the General Staff 
Academy, and now in command in 
Eastern Siberia ; and General Sukhom- 
linoff, now in command of the Kieff 
JVIilitary District. As it turned out, 



On September 25th considerable sensa- 
tion was created at St. Petersburg' by the 
announcement that General Gripenberg, 
commanding the Military District of 
Wilna, had been appointed to the com- 
mand of the Second Manchurian Army. 
Simultaneously it became known that in 



192 



HISTORY OF THE RVSSO -JAPANESE WAR. 



acquainting General Gripenberg- with his 
elevation to this extremely responsible 
post, the Tsar had written him the follow- 
ing" autograph letter : — 

" The intense energy with which Japan 
is conducting the war, and the stubborn- 
ness and high warlike qualities displayed 
by the Japanese, impel me to make con- 
siderable additions to the strength of my 
forces at the front in order to attain a 
decisive success within the shortest pos- 
sible time. Since in the accomplishment 
of this the number of military units will 
reach such a figure that their continuance 
in one army is not admissible without 
prejudice to the proper direction, man- 
oeuvring, and mobility of the troops, I 
have found it necessary to divide the 
troops destined for active service in Man- 
churia into two armies. 

" While leaving the command of one 
of these armies in the hands of General 
Kuropatkin, I appoint you to command 
the second. Your many years of ser- 
vice, your warlike exploits, and your 
wide experience in the warlike training 
of troops give me full assurance that you, 
following the general directions of the 
Commander-in-Chief, will successfully 
lead to the attainment of the object of 
this war the army which is entrusted to 
you, and which will show its own valour 
and power of endurance in the fight 
against the foe for the honour and dig- 
nity of the fatherland. God bless you for 
your great and glorious services to me 
and to Russia. I remain ever your 
affectionate Nicholas." 

Oscar Casimirovitch Gripenberg, who 
has received this signal mark of Imperial 
confidence, was born in 1838, and is now, 
therefore, sixty-six years old, and with 
exactly half a century of military service 
to his credit. He won his spurs in the 
Crimea, served later in the Polish Insur- 



rection, and distinguished himself greatly 
in the campaign in Turkestan. During 
the Russo-Turkish War, as colonel in 
command of one of the regiments of the 
Guards, he won an action at Arab Konak, 
and received the third class of the Order 
of St. George, besides bein^ appointed 
one of the Tsar's aides-de-camp. After 
holding several posts connected with the 
Guards, General Gripenberg became, in 
1900, Commander of the 6th Army Corps, 
at Warsaw, and later was given charge 
of the military district of Wilna. Only 
a few weeks back, on the occasion of the 
baptism of the Tsarevitch, the Tsar gave 
him the title of Aide-de-Camp General. It 
is said that General Gripenberg's train- 
ing under Gourko, in Turkestan, helped 
to make him " not merely an officer 
capable of rapid decision and a strict dis- 
ciplinarian, but a strategist of the first 
rank, who has the absolute confidence of 
his troops." On the other hand, he is 
believed to be a little unpopular among 
his officers, he is getting on in years, and 
he has had one attack of apoplexy. It 
must also be remembered that, notwith- 
standing his " warlike exploits," of 
which the Tsar speaks so approvingly, 
the new Commander of the future Second 
Army of Manchuria has held in none of 
his campaigns any command of sufficient 
importance to enable us to judge whether 
he can lead a large army successfully 
against such an enemy as the Japanese. 

On yet another ground the appoint- 
ment of General Gripenberg is surpris- 
ing, for he is described by one authority 
as "a Protestant and a German from 
Livonia," and by another as of Finnish 
extraction. In this connection the Paris 
correspondent of the Times makes the 
interesting observation that of late the 
confidence of the Tsar has been freely 
bestowed on officers of foreign origin. 





GENERAL GRIPENBERG, COMMANDER- 1\ - CHIEF 
OF THE SECOND MANCHURIAN ARMY. 



49 



194 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Apart from General Gripenberg, one of 
whose Finn ancestors is said to have 
distinguished himself under Charles XII., 
and another under Gustavus III., the 
families of Admiral Avellan, Minister of 
Marine, and Admiral Wirenius are also 
Finnish, while the Jessens and Rennen- 
kamfs are of German extraction. General 
Kuropatkin himself is believed to be one 
of the few pure-blooded Muscovite 
superior officers who have distinguished 
themselves in the Far East. 

General Gripenberg is said by some to 
owe his appointment largely to the in- 
fluence of Prince Mirski, the new Minister 
of the Interior in place of the assassinated 
M. de Plehve. Others declare that the 
Tsar acted on the advice of the Grand 
Duke Vladimir, the latter having exerted 
himself to place at the head of the Second 
Manchurian Ajrmy an officer whose char- 
acter and military traditions are the 
opposite of those of General Kuropatkin. 
Almost universally the appointment is 
considered to be an undeserved snub to 
Kuropatkin, more especially as it is ex- 
plained that the term " Commander-in- 
Chief," in the Tsar's letter to General 
Gripenberg, is intended to refer, not to 
Kuropatkin, but to the Viceroy, Alexeieff. 

The Tsar is evidently anxious not to 
hurt Kuropatkin 's feelings unduly, for, 
according to a very well informed French 
correspondent, he telegraphs in affection- 
ate terms to the only Russian Com- 
mander-in-Chief in Manchuria who is 
worthy of the name, explaining his 
reasons for the formation of a second 
army, and for the choice of General 
Gripenberg. Kuropatkin happily replies 
that he is grateful for the appointment 
of his friend and former companion in 
Turkestan. A little later he telegraphs 
to Gripenberg himself as follows : — 

" As soon as the rumours of your ap- 



pointment as Commander-in-Chief of the 
Second Manchurian Army reached me I 
sent you a letter and various documents 
which I thought were likely to be useful 
to you in connection with your appoint- 
ment. Now that the news is official, I 
beg you to accept my sincere congratular 
tions. I recall with the keenest pleasure 
the time we served the Fatherland in 
Turkestan. During that campaign you 
were my master in the art of war. I am 
sure we shall work here as friends. May 
God further all your undertakings." 

Truly it must be said of Kuropatkin 
that, whatever may be his shortcomings 
as a strategist — shortcomings for which 
he personally is not always responsible — 
he presents a very attractive example of 
a chivalrous, patriotic, and high-minded 
' ' officer and gentleman. ' ' 

Following on the appointment of 
General Gripenberg to the command of 
the Second Army there ensues an interval 
of lively intrigue at St. Petersburg, in 
which, as usual, nearly everyone with 
influence at Court seems to take part. 
The condition of affairs created by the 
Tsar's letter to Gripenberg undoubtedly 
favours military wire-pulling at home. 
Although it may suit Kuropatkin's op- 
ponents for the present to regard Admiral 
Alexeieff as not only Viceroy but Com- 
mander-in-Chief, it is clear that there 
will be grave objections to the continu- 
ance of any such arrangement. Even the 
Russian aristocracy is not wholly im- 
pervious to foreign opinion, and must 
have taken to heart such criticism as that 
frankly uttered by the German military 
paper the Reichswehr, which says — " It 
is the strangest thing possible, and surely 
without any known parallel, that a naval 
man should hold the chief command over 
two armies operating on land. If there 
might have been some sense in it so long 



THE GRAND DUKE NICHOLAS. 



195 



as co-operation between the Russian 
Army and Navy was still possible, it is 
incomprehensible now." Not less out- 
spoken are several other Continental 
journals, one of which declares that the 
Viceroy will still " frustrate every mea- 
sure not quite to his liking ; " while 
another remarks that ' ' on both Com- 
manders will weigh the heavy hand of 
the intriguer Alexeieff ! ' ' 

The first solution of the problem thus 
arising is highly characteristic of Rus- 
sian methods. The suggestion is that 
the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievitch, 
the Tsar's cousin, who is now Grand 
Master of the Russian Cavalry, should 
be appointed Commander-in-Chief in 
Manchuria, while Admiral Alexeieff re- 
mains at Harbin as Viceroy. There is 
probably a strong body of Court influence 
in favour of this arrangement, which 
would hamper Kuropatkin almost as 
much as does the existing plan, and 
would not necessitate Alexeieff's recall. 
We may take it that, in particular, the 
support of General Sakharoff, the Min- 
ister of War, has been gained for this 
proposed measure, since that official has 
shown himself a very pliant tool in the 
hands of the Grand Dukes. This 
General Sakharoff, by the way, must not 
be confounded with the General Sakharoff 
at the front, who has been acting as 
Kuropatkin's Chief of the Staff. He is 
the man who succeeded Kuropatkin as 
Minister of War when the latter went 
out to Manchuria, and he has been one of 
his predecessor's worst friends ever since. 

Another proposition which finds favour 
in some quarters is that the veteran 
General Dragomiroff, whose name is a 
" household word " in the Russian Army, 
and who is largely responsible for the 
Russian system of military training, 
should be appointed to the supreme com- 



mand. Here, again, antagonism to the 
unfortunate Kuropatkin is indicated, for 
Dragomiroff is strongly opposed to the 
latter. The objection to this eminent 
soldier is that he is undoubtedly old and 
infirm, but his friends insist that this 
need not be a bar to his appointment, 
since " stationed at Harbin he would be- 
come the Russian Moltke." 

Quite at the end of September a Grand 
Council of War is held at Peterhof to de- 
termine the grave question of the 
supreme military command in Manchuria. 
There are present at this momentous con- 
ference the Tsar, the Grand Dukes 
Vladimir and Nicholas, the Minister of 
War, the Chief of the General Staff, and 
the Tsar's Aides-de-Camp. Although 
the deliberations of such an august as- 
sembly are, of course, shrouded in 
secrecy, there is every reason to believe 
that the result was much as described 
by M. Hutin, the able and well-posted 
St. Petersburg correspondent of the Echo 
de Paris. This authority, with what are 
evidently exceptional sources of informa- 
tion at his command, says that the ap- 
pointment of the Grand Duke Nicholas 
was carefully discussed in that digni- 
tary's own presence. It says much for 
Russia and her future chances that, at 
this critical moment, and in such circum- 
stances, a voice should have been raised 
in strong opposition to the Grand Duke's 
claims, and in loyal support of those of 
Kuropatkin. 

Whose voice this was we have no 
means of knowing. But M. Hutin says 
distinctly that it was not that of the 
Minister of War, and it is hardly likely 
to have been that of the Grand Duke 
Vladimir. " One of the Imperial Coun- 
cillors . . . declared that General 
Kuropatkin had incontestably committed 
blunders during this campaign, but that 



196 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



he had sufficient qualities of energy, en- 
durance, and efficiency to turn to account 
in the next campaign the experience he 
had already acquired. This councillor 
affirmed that the highest interests of the 
Fatherland required before the world the 
maintenance of General Kuropatkin at 
the head of both armies, and that final 
victory depended on his retaining the 
post of Commander-in-Chief." 

It is said that the Tsar was much im- 
pressed by these arguments, and that, on 
the breaking-up of the Council of War, 
he telegraphed to General Kuropatkin, 
announcing that the latter was to con- 
sider himself in command of both armies. 
Shortly afterwards it was semi-officially 
understood that the Grand Duke Nicholas 
Nicolaievitch had withdrawn his candi- 
dature for the supreme command in 
Manchuria, on the ground that he did not 
possess the necessary " qualities " for 
such an extremely responsible post. 
Thus to all appearance ends a singularly 
mteresting and instructive chapter of 
Russian intrigue, which may be accepted 
as typical of much that has taken place 
with reference to the Far East both be- 
fore and since the outbreak of the war 
with Japan. As remarked above, it is a 
very healthy sign of Russia's return to a 
condition of sanity, as regards her true 
interests in Manchuria, that the flood of 
underhand scheming against Kuropatkin 
should have thus been checked by vigor- 
ously delivered counsels of prudence. 
But the question remains whether the 
check may not have been administered 
too late to be of much practical use. 

And now, what of the " heavy- 
handed intriguer " Alexeieff? It goes 
without saying that any mark of Im- 
perial favour bestowed on Kuropatkin is 
a snub to the Viceroy, and the recogni- 
tion of the former, not merely as the 



" General Commanding in Manchuria," 
but as Commander-in-Chief or, as some 
say. Generalissimo, cannot but detract 
somewhat from the Viceregal position. 
Indeed, it would seem as if Alexeieff's 
glory were now distinctly on the wane. 
Not only in the Continental Press, but 
in St. Petersburg society, is he begin- 
ning to be spoken of in a tone of con- 
tempt. Especially is his conduct after 
the Battle of Liao-yang criticised. An 
officer of high rank has written home— 
and the letter is evidently exhibited freely 
— to say that, when the news of the 
retreat upon Mukden reached that place, 
Admiral Alexeieff, who was there, lost 
no time in preparing for the departure 
of his train. " He was in so great a 
hurry that he interrupted for some hours 
the departure of the southward bound 
trains, and, a stationmaster having neg- 
lected to signal the Viceroy's special, 
there was a terrible railway accident, 
forty wounded men in the ambulance 
train being killed." It will probably be 
hard even for a Russian Viceroy to " live 
down " an incident like that. 

For some time after the Peterhof 
Council of War, rumour was busy anti- 
cipating Admiral Alexeieff's recall. It 
was said that he was about to be sum- 
moned home in order to discuss the situa- 
tion more closely with the Tsar than was. 
possible by correspondence or by wire; 
and that, once in St. Petersburg, he was 
to be kept there in some high appoint- 
ment. But apparently his influence is 
still powerful, for nearly a month later he 
is again at Mukden " conferring " with 
Kuropatkin, notwithstanding the con- 
viction which prevails that he is no- 
longer regarded as having any military 
responsibility. 

We may now revert to the question of 
the future composition and command of 



THE THREE RUSSIAN ARMIES. 



iQy 



the two Russian armies. It is not yet 
settled, at the beginning' of October, who 
is to command the First Army when tlie 
Second comes into existence, and Kuro- 
patkin formally assumes the Commander- 
in-Chiefship. The choice appears to lie 
between Generals Linievitch, Bilderling, 
and Kaulbars, but the matter is one which 
need not yet be seriously discussed. As 
regards the Second Army, it is officially 
announced that Lieut. -General Russki, 
who is understood to be a pupil of 
General Dragomiroff, has been appointed 
Chief of the Staff to General Gripenberg, 
Major-General Schwank becoming Quar- 
termaster-General, and Lieut. -General 
Kahanoff Inspector of Artillery. 

The Second Army, it is said, will be 
composed of the 4th, 8th, and i6th Army 
Corps, the 6th Siberian Corps, and 
several brigades of sharpshooters. It 
should be noted that the 6th Siberian 
Corps is already under Kuropatkin's con- 



trol at Mukden, and that, therefore, it is 
clearly intended to cut down the hirst 
Army to rather more handy dimensions. 
It may be added that, before proceeding 
to the Far East, the i6th Army Corps is 
to undergo a change of commanders. 
General Toponin succeeding General 
Razgonoff. It is thought that the .Second 
Army may be ready to take the field in 
January, and already the foimation of a 
Third Army is contemplated, "but it 
cannot be ready before the spring." 
Optimism as regards military organisa- 
tion is a plant of very rapid growth — one 
which has been known to flourish among 
oursehes. The fact, however, that one 
of General Gripenberg's corps is already 
at the front, while another, the 8th 
or Odessa Corps, is on the point of start- 
ing for the Far East early in October, 
indicates that, at any rate, the .Second 
.\rmy is likelv to materialise at no distant 
date. 




GRA.ND DUKE NICHOLAS NICOLAIEVITCH. 



198 



CHAPTER LXI. 

KOREA— THE RUSSIAN ADVANCE — EFFECT OF THE BATTLE OF LIAO-YANG— RUSSIAN 

RETIREMENT — ^JAPANESE PREPARATIONS JAPAN'S CIVIL WORK IN KOREA— POPULAR 

AGITATION — REFORMS EFFECTED — HOSTILE NATIVES. 



WE have to go back rather a long way 
in order to pick up that thread of 
our narrative which has reference to the 
progress of affairs in the " Hermit 
Kingdom " of Korea. Since, in Chapter 
XXX., reference was made to the re- 
ported bridging of the Tumen River by 
the Russians, about the middle of June, 
nothing has occurred to compel our 
serious attention in this direction. Nor 
would it now be necessary to deal very 
closely with Korea and the Koreans but 
for the fact that the Battle of Liao-yang 
has reacted very strongly upon the im- 
mediate prospects of this country and 
people. It may seem a little strange that 
such a battle should have such an effect. 
But a brief survey of the facts will soon 
render the position clear, and, incident- 
ally, some interesting glimpses will be 
revealed of a curious spectacle — that of 
a nation, which is a principal bone of 
contention in a great war, being almost 
turned inside out and thoroughly re- 
formed, while as yet the end of hostilities 
is not in sight. 

It is useful to remember, and to keep 
on remembering, the pregnant words 
with which Mr. Di6sy, in his Introduction 
to this History, dilated upon the extra- 
ordinary importance of Korea to Japan. 
After speaking of the natural wealth of 
this " distressful " country, and of the 
manner in which Japan set herself long 
before the war to develop these neglected 



resources, Mr. Di6sy remarked that 
" Japan has thus created for herself in 
the Korean Empire interests so consider- 
able that they would alone entitle her to 
a predominant position in that peninsula 
even if its geographical situation did not 
make it so vitally important." In detail- 
ing, then, as we shall do presently, the 
progress of the Japonification of Korea, 
we shall be merely continuing an old 
story, to which, in this narrative, some 
contributions have been made in the way 
of allusions to the construction of the 
Seoul-Wiju Railway, and to attempted 
internal reforms. 

But it is the warlike pattern inter- 
woven in this fabric of peaceful progress 
that makes it trebly interesting. For, 
as we have seen, the fighting possibilities 
of Korea did not by any means cease 
with the Battle of the Yalu, and even 
now there is the prospect that the north- 
east corner of the " Hermit Kingdom " 
may prove, if not the objective, the start- 
ing- point of serious operations. In this 
narrative the relation of Korea to Vladi- 
vostok has always been kept clearly in 
view. Primarily, of course, the proposi- 
tion was that Russia would threaten 
Korea by a descent from Vladivostok 
along the coast of the Ham-yeng 
province. But there was the converse 
possibility that, in due course, the Russian 
advance in this direction being defeated, 
or checked, or diverted, the Japanese 



BVE.YTS IN KOREA. 



199 



would themselves take the same line, 
workingf up from Gen-san northwards to- 
wards Vladivostok. 

In view of the result there is no need 
to g'o very closely into the details of the 
Russian attempted invasion of Korea 
from Vladivostok. In some quarters it 
has been suggested that the idea of such 
an invasion only existed in the imagina- 
tion of Russian and French journalists. 
But there is ample evidence to show that 
the project was a serious one, and that 
at one time it was gravely hoped that by 
this means a most useful diversion would 
be created. A writer in the Russian 
Viedomosii, an important Moscow organ, 
has not only admitted that an expedition 
from Vladivostok into Korea formed an 
important part of Russia's plan of cam- 
paign, but has given some interesting 
details which prove clearly that the end 
in view was a very definite one, and by 
no means confined to mere interference 
with the Japanese occupation. The idea 
was that, eventually, the expedition 
should act much as did General Sher- 
man's in the American Civil War, which 
marched round to the rear of the Con- 
federates, who, pressed by Grant on the 
north and Sherman on the south, were 
driven to the sea and compelled to sur- 
render. 

The writer in the Viedomosii evidently 
thinks that the expedition was fore- 
doomed to failure from the moment that 
the Russians lost the command of the 
Japanese Sea. So no doubt it was, as 
far as its later developments were con- 
cerned. But a properly organised raid 
on a large scale into Korea might have 
had important results, notwithstanding 
the risk of an attack by troops landed in 
rear. It would seem, too, that the Rus- 
sian military authorities held this view, 
for they continued their preparations, 



and did not abandon them until long 
after every vestige of a chance of wrest- 
ing the command of the sea from Japan 
had disappeared. What eventually 
crushed the expedition from Vladivostok 
into Korea was not the misfortunes of 
the Port Arthur ships, not the failure of 
the Vladivostok Squadron, not even the 
tardiness of the Baltic Fleet in getting 
to sea, but the Battle of Liao-yang. 

After the reported bridging of the 
Tumen River by the Russians we do not 
hear much of the movements of the latter 
until the second week in July, when some 
adventurous Japanese scouts found the 
Tumen closely guarded, and a permanent 
fort in course of construction near Kyeng-r 
Keung on the river's bank. There had 
previously been a considerable Russian 
garrison at Hun-chan, some twenty-eight 
miles north-west of Kyeng-Keung, but 
this had now been reduced to one 
battalion, a larger concentration being re- 
ported on the shores of Possiet Bay. A 
little later Russian scouts were reported 
nearly 150 miles south of the Tumen. 

On July 19th a telegram from the 
Tokio correspondent of the Times an- 
nounced that the Russians in North-east 
Korea were reported "to be building 
roads, bridging the Tumen, and other- 
wise making preparations which suggest 
the advent of a large force. ' ' 

Early in August it was stated that the 
Russians had established a small per- 
manent garrison of 220 men at Kyeng- 
heung, in addition to strong patrols north, 
south, and east of that point. Com- 
munication with Vladivostok was said 
to be maintained by torpedo-boats and by 
telegraph. Twenty Russian engineers 
with several hundred coolies had recon- 
structed the road running to the south- 
west along the Tumen River for about 
100 miles as far as the town of Mu-san. 



200 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



They had also repaired the road to Song- 
Ching- (Sin-Chyong), and extended the 
telegraph to that point. These roads, 
formerly mere paths, were now nine feet 
wide, ft was added that, as the Russian 
military control advanced, Russian and 
Chinese traders followed, resuminsr tlie 



leaving- three dead and taking away 
seven wounded. There were no Japan- 
ese casualties. The incident is interest- 
ing, as this is, for the present at any 
rate, the most southerly collision between 
the Russians and the Japanese in this 
quarter, and is rather typical of the whole 




r ? JiiM ^^ ^ aivtug 






STREET IN SEOUL. 
{From Arthuy Diosy's "The New Far East.") 



tiade interrupted by the outbreak of the 
war. 

On August 4th a detachment of 400 
arrived at Ham-yeng, and four days later 
a scouting party of thirty troopers ap- 
peared about three miles north-west of 
Gen-san, and were immediately driven 
off by the Japanese. On August 9th, 
at dawn, 200 Cossacks with machine 
guns attacked Gen-san, but found the 
Japanese alert and in superior force. At 
half-past eight the Cossacks retired, 



of the proceedings in North-east fsorea 
during the past three months. 

On August 4th there ^\•ere 200 Russians 
at Ko-wen, only about a dozen miles 
north--west of Gen-san. The Russians 
had now, in addition, 500 men at K!yeng- 
seng (Kyong-syong), 100 each at Kil-ju 
and Song-ching, and 2,200 at Ham-yeng, 
with some Hotchkiss guns. 

At the close of August it was reported 
from Gen-san that numerous Chinese 
junks were busily transporting military 



FORESHADOWING OF A LONG CAMPAIGN. 



201 



supplies from Vladivostok to Kyeng-- 
seng, the transportation to the south 
being effected overland. " The Russian 
commissariat preparations on this coast," 
writes the Gen-san correspondent of the 



It is at this point that the Battle of 
Liao-yang (August 28th — September 4th) 
intervenes with crushing effect as 'far as 
the Russian invasion of Korea is con- 
cerned. For, telegraphing at the begin- 




MAP ILLUSTRATING RUSSIA S 'PROJECTED "INCURSION INTO KOREA. 



New York Herald, " foreshadow a long 
campaign with a large body of troops. 
The Ham-yeng River still marks the 
furthest southerly point of the Russian 
advance in force. Road-repairing and 
reconnaissance parties only are moving 
nearer Gen-san." 



ning. of the second week in September, 
the above-quoted correspondent says that 
a column of two thousand Russians with 
six field-guns has left Ham-yeng, taking 
the Kap-san road to the north, and leav- 
ing a quantity of supplies unprotected at 
Ham-yeng. 



202 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



The turn of the tide is not long in 
coming. By the close of September the 
Liao-yang victory is having some remark- 
able results in the " Hermit Kingdom " 
in the way of increased garrisoris and 
preparations. Telegraphing on the 25th, 
a Seoul correspondent says that in the 
last ten days 2,500 troops have arrived 
at Chemulpo, and that others are ex- 
pected. The Japanese authorities at 
Gen-san are collecting 4,000 pack ponies 
for the use of the army in its advance 
along the eastern coast towards Vladi- 
vostok. 

It is not intended in this Chapter to 
carry the course of events in Korea to a 
later date than the end of September. 
It is only necessary, then, to state briefly 
that by the 25th the advance had already 
begun. Sixteen hundred Japanese troops, 
five machine guns, 500 pack ponies, and 
400 coolies were reported to have arrived 
at Ham-yeng. The advanced guard of 
this force appears to have an unpleasant 
experience. Some Cossacks had re-oc- 
cupied the town, and these now fired upon 
the Japanese, killing ten men and wound- 
ing seventeen more. The advance guard 
was completely surprised, and had to fall 
back and wait for the main body to come 
up. At Gen-san the garrison was being 
reinforced from Seoul and Ping-yang. 

Before we turn to the record of civil 
progress in Korea during the past four 
months, a few words may usefully be 
added to what has already been said with 
reference to these interesting military de- 
velopments in the north-eastern corner of 
the country. The more closely one 
studies the question, the stronger grows 
the conviction that, if the Battle of Liao- 
yang had been anything less of a victory 
than it was, Japan would have found this 
corner productive of more trouble than 
any section of the theatre of war, Port 



Arthur, of course, excepted. It is true 
that her communications would not have 
been seriously menaced, for even the 
First or Right Army is now so placed 
that it could, if necessary, change its base. 
But if Kuropatkin had succeeded in his 
design of isolating Kuroki, and, even if 
not victorious, had punished the latter 
somewhat heavily, the Japanese would 
have found it extremely inconvenient to 
stem the Russian irruption into Korea, 
which would have immediately followed. 
As things are, the result of the Liao- 
yang battle has been exactly contrary. 
The Russian "trek" has been, to use 
the late Mr. Kruger's historic phrase, 
" damped," and, instead of the Russians 
invading Korea, and scattering the good 
effects of Japanese reforms in civil ad- 
ministration to the winds, the Japanese 
appear to be on the point of attempting 
the passage of the Tumen — in other 
words, of actually invading Russia ! 

But the alternative which is now dis- 
appearing is not without its lesson. And 
this lesson is that a very big Power in 
conflict with a comparatively small 
Power, in a very large theatre of opera- 
tions, can, even while it is getting the 
worst of it, exert pressure at unconsidered 
points, which it may tax the smaller 
Power heavily to meet. Russia knows 
this well enough, and, up to a certain 
point, the pressure exercised upon Gen- 
san was skilful, and calculated to prove 
eventually effective. But something of 
Linievitch's age and caution is reflected 
in the actual handling of the Russian 
force, small as it was, in this quarter. 
A resolute attack on Gen-san by the 
whole of the Ham-yeng force would 
probably have resulted in its capture, and 
in a marked increase of the anti-Japanese 
feeling among the Koreans. Doubtless 
the place could not have been held, but 



JAPAN'S GREATEST DANGER. 



203 



the diversion would have been a useful 
one, and much more impressive than the 
ridiculous Cossack failure recorded above. 
We have now to consider the steps 
which Japan, since she assumed a virtual 
protectorate over Korea, has been taking 
both to discharge her new responsibilities 
and to consolidate what is not an alto- 
gether satisfactory position. The im- 
portance of such a survey is great even 
from the military standpoint. Although 
the main interest of the war has now been 
shifted to Manchuria, although for the 
present the idea of a Russian invasion 
of Korea has evaporated, Japan cannot 
by any means afford to take it for granted 
that the country will not again become 
the scene of serious hostilities. As we 
know, she has taken adequate precautions 
on the banks of the Yalu ; she has an im- 
portant dep6t at Ping-yang ; the future 
Seoul-Wiju Railway will be a valuable 
aid to any possible, if improbable, 
frontier operations ; and on the north-east 
side preparations are apparently being 
made for taking an offensive which is 
not likely to be checked, at any rate 
south of the Tumen. But in a peninsula 
like Korea frontiers are not everything. 
Moreover, there must be Japanese states- 
men who realise that, although there is 
no present prospect that Japan will ever 
lose the command of her seas, there is 
always the bare chance that some day 
Russia, with assistance, might contrive to 
land a force in Korea such as could only 
with difficulty be dealt with by a country 
whose resources have been sapped, and 
whose army has been enfeebled, by the 
strain of perhaps some years of constant 
and exhausting warfare. 

Of course, at the bottom of ah these 
reflections lies the simple fact that Korea 
is a prize very well worth striving for. 
In competent hands it is a region capable 



of producing not only far more than 
would be required in the way of supplies 
for a largely increased population, but 
also an important revenue. Herein, 
perhaps, lies the greatest danger of 
Japan, a danger which, we may be sure, 
she thoroughly understands. Even if 
she can keep Korea, practically speaking, 
for herself, she is hardly in a position — 
and at the end of the war may be still 
less in a position — to develop the re- 
sources of the country without foreign 
assistance. She is not like England, 
which can lend a Colony twenty or thirty 
millions without any appreciable effort. 
Later on, the conversion of Korea from 
a semi-barbaric Sleepy Hollow into an 
up-to-date centre of commercial and in- 
dustrial activity will require large capital 
and enterprise, and for this Japan, with 
all her glowing energy and boundless 
ambition, will have to depend largely 
upon the foreigner. But the foreigner 
who puts capital and enterprise into what 
is to all intents and purposes a new 
nation wants one of two things, in ad- 
dition to a handsome return upon his out- 
lay. He wants either a good working 
administrative system which will protect 
him and his business interests, or the 
chance of taking a hand himself in the 
management of the country, with a view 
to realising his own ideals in the way of 
Government assistance for himself and 
Government discouragement for everyone 
else. 

Now, of course, this is the very last 
thing which would suit Japan. Self-con- 
fidence is the salient feature of the Jap- 
anese character, and we may take it that 
sooner or later Korea is intended to be 
an exemplar of Japanese administrative 
capacity to the rest of the civilised world. 
There is nothing very presumptuous in 
this idea. Japan herself has achieved 



204 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



wonders in a quarter of a century, and, 
what is more to the point, she has at- 
tained a really remarkable success in 
Formosa, which fell into her hands after 
the war with China. But it is essential 
to the proper working of her methods 
that she should enjoy absolute freedom 
from interference. In the early stages 
of the development of her navy and army 
she had to seek foreign advice and adopt 
foreign models. But at the earliest pos- 
sible moment she discarded the advice 
wholly, and, to some extent, the models 
also ; and, so far, has had no cause for 
regret. Whether she can safely ignore 
foreign counsels in the future government 
of such " kittle cattle " as the Koreans is 
another matter ; but it is evident that she 
intends making the experiment, and is 
quite confident as to the result. 

We see, then, Japan actuated by a 
double motive in her actions with regard 
to the — shall we say civilisation? — of 
Korea. In the first place, a settled 
country with a large admixture of Japan- 
ese immigrants will afford far greater 
facilities for any future military move- 
ments or dispositions than did the Korea 
of last P'ebruary. Secondly, if foreign 
assistance has subsequently to be sought 
in the opening up of the great stores of 
mineral and other wealth which are here 
available, it will be procured at far less 
cost, and dispensed with far sooner, if 
the civil administration is working 
smoothly, if peace and order reign 
throughout the land, and if there are pro- 
ductive public works to offer as security 
for loans. 

Unfortunately Japan, in regard to 
Korea, labours under two disadvantages. 
The first is her own attitude, or rather 
that of the average Japanese individual, 
towards Asiatics and, above all, towards 
Chinamen and Koreans. There is no 



doubt that the Japanese in general are 
extraordinarily overbearing where these 
two races are concerned, and doubtless 
they are, to some extent, justified in re- 
garding the bulk of the inhabitants of 
the Celestial and Hermit Kingdoms from 
a standpoint of contemptuous superiority. 
But it is a grave question whether in the 
long run it is the best policy to treat the 
Oriental, whether Mongol or Aryan, in 
this fashion. We do not find it so in 
India, where our experience has been not 
only uniquely wide, but also uniquely suc- 
cessful. Of course, occasionally, the 
pride, or rather the arrogance, of race 
improperly asserts itself ; but, on the 
whole, the relations between the British 
and the natives in India are admirably 
balanced on a give-and-take basis. It 
is the same with Russia in Central Asia. 
The Russians would never have attained 
such results as they undoubtedly have at- 
tained in Turkestan if they had not 
cemented their military achievements by 
the display of a very skilful regard for 
the susceptibilities of the queerly con- 
stituted races now under their protection. 

It may be that an Asiatic cannot safely 
apply to another Asiatic the same rules 
of forbearance and consideration that are 
expedient in the case of a European who 
wants a native of India, or of China, or 
of one of the Central Asian khanates, to 
render him willing, loyal, and efficient ser- 
vice. But it is at least questionable 
whether the Japanese have not yet to 
learn an important lesson in this respect, 
and whether their present failure to com- 
prehend the need of such a lesson may 
not in the end prove a costly one. 

A second disability against which the 
Japanese have to contend is the character 
of the Koreans themselves, a subject 
which was dealt with as far back as 
Chapter XI. of this history. Even in the 



2o6 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



early days of the war it was clear that 
the Koreans were by no means entirely 
grateful to the Japanese for their benevo- 
lent intervention in Korean affairs. As 
the campaign has progressed, and 
Japan's intentions with regard to reforms 
in the civil administration have become 
manifest, distrust and suspicion have 
deepened ; while naturally, where vested 
interests have been threatened, active op- 
position has been aroused. It is quite a 
mistake to suppose that liberal payment 
for military supplies and labour is suf- 
ficient to neutralise animosities of this 
sort in a country in which indolence, ig- 
norance, and corruption flourish to such 
an extent as they do in Korea. More- 
over, of late, another class besides the 
Korean official and the Korean coolie has 
had reason to deplore the intervention of 
the Japanese. This is well brought out 
in an interesting letter from- the cor- 
respondent of the Standard on board the 
Manchu Maru, the passengers on which 
were taken to Seoul in the course of 
their memorable tour. ' ' In almost every 
town of any importance, ' ' writes this cor- 
respondent under date July i8th, " you 
will find that the best of the smelling, 
muddy lanes which pass for streets have 
been bought up by the enterprising Jap- 
anese trader, whose stall at once sup- 
plants that of the Korean. In every 
town, if you want to stop the night, the 
only possible habitation is the Japanese 
tea-house, which makes its appearance 
directly a few settlers from the Land of 
the Gods have taken up a permanent 
residence. Here you will find comfort, 
cleanliness, good food, and attendance — 
a veritable oasis in the midst of the sur- 
rounding squalor and filth. The Korean 
sees with dismay the Japanese settler 
ousting him, slowly but surely, from his 
former trades and monopolies. 



Unfortunately, the character of the Japan- 
ese settlers is not all that could be desired. 
Like the pioneers of most new countries, 
the Japanese, directly he removes from 
the influence of his home surroundings, 
ceases to lead a life compatible with the 
civilisation of the country to which he 
belongs. In Korea he often behaves in 
a way that disconcerts his fellow country- 
men . . not always being over honest 
in his dealings with the natives. This," 
adds the Standard correspondent, con- 
Srming strangely what has been said 
above, " combined with the naturally ar- 
rogant and somewhat overbearing Jap- 
anese character, especially when brought 
into touch with other Oriental races, is 
responsible for the growing dislike of the 
Koreans for the Japanese." 

The writer just quoted speaks else- 
where of the Korean's fatuous belief in 
the ' ' power and sanctity ' ' of his country. 
It is an interesting coincidence that, while 
these impressions were being committed 
to paper on board the Manchu Maru — 
which had then proceeded on her voyage 
— events should have been taking place 
at Seoul sharply indicative of the 
Koi'ean's suspicious objections to the Jap- 
anese, and their fear lest the latter might 
have designs upon the " integrity " of 
the kingdom. An ex-Japanese official, 
Mr. Nagamori, had conceived the idea 
of applying for a waste-land concession 
in Korea, and had calmly asked for a 
fifty years' lease of all unutilised moors 
and other lands in the peninsula, except 
such as belonged to the Throne or served 
for burial or religious purposes. It is 
expressly stated by the Times correspond- 
ent in Tokio that the Japanese Govern- 
ment had not originally been connected 
with the Nagamori Syndicate. " That 
they approved of the project is tolerably 
certain, since it would have simultane- 



THE NAGAMORI PROPOSITION. 



207 



ously enriched Korea and opened a con- 
venient source of food supply for Japan. 
But they did not support it officially, 
or interfere in any way," until after- 
wards. In the first instance the Japanese 
representative at Seoul mei'ely presented 
the application in the ordinary course of 
routine. 

The result was impressive. " Many 
Koreans," says the Times correspondent, 
" are still disposed to sit on the fence 
between Japan and Russia ; the events 
of the war have not yet convinced them. 
Many others are distinctly pro-Russian. 
Both of these classes, the waverers and 
the Russophiles, regarded, or pretended 
to regard, the Nagamori proposition as 
a sinister design upon the territorial in- 
tegrity of their country. A clique of 
agitators — many of them thoroughly 
honest no doubt — was quickly organised 
under the name of the ' peace-preserva- 
tion party,' and by menace or persuasion 
they induced the Court not only to assist 
them with money, but also to sanction 
the formation of a native company which 
should itself be the nominal recipient of 
the very concession sought by the Naga- 
mori Syndicate." 

Here was a pretty kettle of fish ! No 
sort of doubt existed as to the violence of 
the commotion created, or the reality of 
the feelings aroused. The Korean 
officials were powerless to cope with the 
situation, and in Seoul itself a body of 
rioters, 2,000 strong, assembled and re- 
fused to disperse although ordered to do 
so by the Emperor himself. The inter- 
vention of the Japanese troops was neces- 
sary before tranquillity could be restored. 

It is characteristic of Japanese smart- 
ness that it was found possible to turn 
even this incident to advantage. The 
first step of the Japanese Minister at 
Seoul was to issue a proclamation stating 



that, in consequence of the recent disturb- 
ances, the Japanese would assume the 
police power in all matters affecting 
Japanese interests, and that in future no 
anti-Japanese meetings would be allowed. 

Finding itself forced by the organisa- 
tion of the bogus native company to in- 
tervene on the question of the waste-land 
concession, the Japanese Government had 
little diniculty in arranging a compromise. 
The concession granted, or about to be 
granted, to the native company was 
knocked on the head, and the application 
of the Nagamori Syndicate was under- 
stood to have been favourably considered 
"in principle." At the same time, in 
view of the popular clamour on the sub- 
ject, the application was to be regarded 
as in abeyance for the present. Thus 
ended an incident which, if it did nothing 
else, served to show that, in attempting 
internal reforms in Korea, Japan has al- 
most as hard a task in an administrative 
sense as she has strategically and tactic- 
ally in Manchuria and before Port Arthur. 

Japan's next step was to lay before the 
Emperor of Korea a detailed scheme of 
reforms containing some thirty items, of 
which a few may usefully be mentioned. 
It was suggested that advisers recom- 
mended by Japan should be appointed 
to the Departments of Finance and 
Foreign Affairs ; that the Japanese Min- 
ister should be privileged at any time to 
have audience of the Emperor without 
the intermediary services of the Korean 
Foreign Minister ; that the Korean Army 
should be reduced to a bodyguard of 
1,000 men ; that the Japanese currency 
should be adopted ; that all Korean Min- 
isters and Consuls in foreign countries 
should be recalled, and Korean interests 
placed in charge of Japanese Ministers 
and Consuls ; and that official corruption 
should be rigorously suppressed. 



208 



HISTORY OF THE RVS&O -JAPANESE WAR. 



This scheme was submitted by Mr. 
Hayashi, the Japanese Minister at Seoul, 
on August 1 2th, and ten days later an 
agreement was signed with regard to the 
serious question of foreign and financial 
advisers. The Korean Government 
agreed to engage as financial adviser a 
Japanese subject recoinmended by Japan, 
whose counsel should be taken in all 
matters of finance. It further agreed to 
engage as diplomatic adviser a foreigner 
recommended by Japan, whose counsel 
should be taken in all important matters 
concerning foreign relations. The last 
paragraph of this noteworthy agreement 
Vv'as as follows : " The Korean Govern- 
ment shall consult the Japanese Govern- 
ment before concluding treaties or con- 
ventions with foreign Powers, and in 
dealing with other important diplo- 
matic affairs, such as the granting of 
concessions to, or contracts with, 
foreigners. ' ' 

In accordance with the above agree- 
ment Mr. Megata, " one of the ablest 
among the junior members of the Jap- 
anese Treasury," was chosen for the 
post of Financial Adviser to the Korean 
Government. An excellent Diplomatic 
Adviser was forthcoming in an, American, 
Mr. D. W. Stevens, for many years 
Secretary of the United States Legation 
in Tokio, and now Counsellor to the Jap- 
anese Legation in Washington. 

About the same time that the above 
agreement was entered into the Japanese 
are said to have obtained a monopoly 
of the fishery rights on the Korean coast, 
and to have induced the Korean Govern- 
ment to cancel the concession made to 
Russia for the exploitation of the vast 
forests in the region of the Ya-lu and 
Tumen Rivers. The timber concession 
in question had a good deal to do with 
the outbreak of the present war. For 



it was taken over in a very paternal sort 
of way by the Russian Government, and 
made the pretext for various acts of ag- 
gression, against which the Japanese pro- 
tested vainly until they backed up their 
arguments with the torpedo and the 
bayonet. 

Japan now proceeded to turn her at- 
tention to the extension of the railway 
system. At the commencement of the 
war there was only one short line running 
from Seoul to the port of Chemulpo. 
Thanks to the energy of the Japanese 
military engineers, railway communica- 
tion between Seoul and Wi-ju on the 
Yalu was now, practically speaking, an 
accomplished fact. In the first week of 
September a railway between Fusan and 
Ma-san-po was begun, and seemed likely 
to be continued to Seoul. About the 
middle of the same month we heard that 
Mr. Hayashi had recommended the con- 
struction, as a commercial venture, of 
yet a new line between Seoul and Gen- 
san. There is an important future, one 
would imagine, for such an extension on 
military as well as commercial grounds, 
and it goes without saying that, with 
all the more important Korean railways 
completely under Japanese control, Japan 
would be able, if necessary, to exercise an 
altogether exclusive influence upon the 
future development of the country. At 
the same time there were not wanting 
signs of Korean opposition to this policy. 
During September the Japanese found it 
necessary to execute three Koreans whom 
they caught in the act of wrecking 
property on the new Seoul-Wi-ju line, and 
who were found to be in the pay of Rus- 
sian sympathisers. 

At the end of September it was re- 
ported that the Bank of Japan, which is 
officially connected with the Tokio 
Finance Department, was establishing 



THE JAPANESE IN KOREA. 



209 



branches in important towns throughout 
Korea. Tlius Japan in two or three 
months had successively attacl<ed the 
Cjuestion of Korea's civil administration, 
her diplomatic relations, her trade and 
industries, her railways, and her public 
and private liiiance. Such a perform- 
nace in such circumstances is unique, and 
the somewhat close attention we have 
given the subject is surely justified on the 
ground that here we ha\-e one of the 
most remarkable side-issues of a war, 
still in active progress, which has ever 
been chronicled in history. 

Will the Japanese succeed in this as- 
tonishing endeavour? If energy and 
enterprise, and apparent sincerity of pur- 
pose, can effect what is desired, no doubt 
they will. But it \\ ill be an uphill task, 
infinitely more troublesome than was that 
which Japan had to face in effecting her 
own emancipation from the semi-bar- 
barism of her former state. Even in the 
month to the close of which we have 



brought this rapid survey there are con- 
tinued indications of Korean pig-headed- 
ness and reluctance to be civilised at any 
price. At the gate of the limperor's 
Palace Korean petitioners kneel in the 
old Korean way, praying the Emperor to 
adopt a strcKig anti-Japanese policy. 
The Emperor declines to accept mem- 
orials, the Japanese police arrest the 
petitioners, yet the latter " continue the 
exercise fearlessly.'' h^ven in the country 
the anti-Japanese feeling flourishes. In 
the north, it is said, " another secret 
society " has been formed bv Russophil 
Koreans " with the object of becoming 
affiliated to the Tonghaks and lending 
assistance to the Russian advance." 
There are two \\ a\s of dealing with 
fractious children. Japan has tried, is 
still trying, one. If she be compelled to 
try the other, one fears that there are 
troublous times in store for the Hermit 
Kingdom and its blindly foolish inhabi- 
tants. 









h^^SSSJSL 


^ 






Ml 


■W 


«N\~ 






, - '■: 


- ' 




.*' 


^^^^^^^^^^|flBH^^HH^-^'^'•MiTi^yQl^ 


Ifc*^. ,-rf_ 


A. 


zi^rtj 


- 




"' 


' - -a 


•ii 



50 



THE "WAR OFFICE, SEOUL. 
(By permission Jvom " Koreans at Home.") 



210 



CHAPTER LXil. 

RUSSIA AND GERMANY — JAPAN's SUSPICIONS — IRRITATION IN GREAT BRITAIN — GERMANY'S 

FAR EASTERN INTERESTS — AN OSTENTATIOUS NEUTRALITY THE TIMES STATEMENT 

FRENCH NEWS — PRACTICAL SYMPATHY. 



IT will be remembered that when, in the 
second week of July, the 85th (Wi- 
borg) Regiment of the Russian Army was 
ordered to the Far East (see Chapter 
XXXVII., Vol. I, p. 448), its Colonel- 
in-Chief, the German Emperor, addressed 
to it a somewhat remarkable telegram of 
congratulation and encouragement. Even 
in Berlin this message was regarded as a 
" demonstration too friendly in the man- 
ner of its expression not to deserve 
criticism." In St. Petersburg it first 
raised glowing hopes of German inter- 
vention in the conflict, but further com- 
ments on these lines were promptly, and 
doubtless authoritatively, suppressed. 
In Tokio the message was treated 
jocosely, but there is little question that 
it was regarded with some seriousness. 
In other quarters the opinion was freely 
expressed that the German Emperor had 
gone a good deal further than was neces- 
sary or desirable to emphasise his evi- 
dent wish for Russia's success. 

Some time before this unfortunate mes- 
sage was put on the wires Japan had 
begun to entertain pretty definite sus- 
picions of Germany's partiality for Rus- 
sia, and it is not surprising that, in the 
wake of these suspicions, marked resent- 
ment should have followed. It was not 
exactly soothing to Japan to learn that, 
in the words of the correspondent of the 
Paris Matin, the German Embassy in St. 
Petersburg was " as busy as a newspaper 
office," every member of the staff being 



engaged in the collection of news and 
rumours, and the minutest details being 
despatched daily to the Kaiser, " who im- 
mediately sends his congratulations, or 
condolences and wreaths." It is true 
that in St. Petersburg it was clearly 
understood that the German people did 
not entirely share their impulsive 
Sovereign's Russophil sentiments. But 
it was hardly to be expected that Tokio 
would discriminate very carefully be- 
tween well-restrained Japanese sym- 
pathies of an unknown section of the 
German public and the open friendliness 
of the German Emperor for Japan's great 
and deadly enemy. 

It soon became evident, moreover, that, 
whether sympathetic or not, there were 
plenty of Germans ready to render Russia 
very practical assistance by sailing quite 
close to the wind in regard to neutral 
obligations. We have already discussed 
in a previous chapter the actual legality of 
the sales by Germany to Russia of large 
merchant vessels, which the latter can, 
and does, convert forthwith into " third- 
class cruisers." It is understood that 
this practice does not contravene the in- 
ternational laws of war, and, accordingly, 
the conduct of Germany in this respect 
cannot be fairly called in question. At 
the same time, if one nation acts in a 
very unfriendly way towards another, the 
mere fact that the laws of neutrality have 
not been actually infringed does not pre- 
vent that other nation from feeling sore. 



GERMANY AND RUSSIA. 



211 



It has also been pointed out in the 
course of this narrative that the apparent 
existence of a bond of sympathy between 
Russia and Germany has aroused a good 
deal of irritation in this country. When 
the excitement created by the perform- 
ances of the Volunteer cruisers and the 
Vladivostok Squadron in regard to neu- 
tral shipping- was at its height, it was not 
only felt, but pretty openly remarked, that 
the injury done to the commerce of Great 
Britain was attended by singular ad- 
vantages to our German rivals. Putting 
aside the question whether German ship- 
ping did or did not suffer in the same 
proportion as ours did from the lawless 
behaviour of Russian naval officers, the 
fact remained that freights to the Far 
East were accepted for German vessels 
at a much lower rate of insurance than 
for English ones. The discontinuance, 
moreover, by several English steamship 
lines of their services to Japan meant an 
advantage to German companies, which 
would hardly have been conceded to them 
had British owners been convinced that in 
the Far East there was still a fair field 
and no favour for all neutral vessels. 

We shall presently go a little more 
closely into the question whether these 
suspicions on the part of Japan, and this 
irritation on the part of ourselves, were 
justified. But in the meantime it will be 
well to say a few words as to the possible 
reasons for Germany's anxiety to stand 
well with her Eastern neighbour in regard 
to the struggle for supremacy in the Far 
East. It will be necessary, perhaps, to 
speak somewhat plainly on this subject; 
but the facts are not seriously in dispute, 
and in drawing a few simple inferences 
from them we need not display a tithe of 
the partiality which Germany has so often 
manifested in commenting upon British 
policy and methods. 



For some years past it has been Ger- 
many's dream to become an Asiatic 
Power, and, ever since her occupation 
of Kiao-chau she has lost no opportunity 
of developing in the great Chinese 
province of Shan-tung a position similar 
to that which Russia formerly occupied 
in Manchuria. Writing about the middle 
of July — with reference, by the way, to 
the German Emperor's telegram to the 
Wiborg Regiment — Dr. George Mor- 
rison, the Times correspondent at Peking, 
makes the following significant observa- 
tions : — " In Europe even yet you fail to 
realise how great has been the energy de- 
voted by Germany to the Germanisation 
of the province of Shan-tung. Long ago 
she secured pratical railway and mining 
monopolies throughout the entire pro- 
vince. The weak, old Governor plays 
into her hands. She has an extensive 
postal system, and has even refused to 
carry the Imperial Chinese mails on the 
German trains. There are more than 500 
German officials and civilians scattered 
through the province. In Tsinanfu, the 
capital, for example, there is a German 
infantry instructor, a German Supervisor 
of the Construction of Roads, a German 
professor in the Shan-tung Provincial 
College, a German postmaster, a German 
Consul, a German Chancellor, a German 
oculist, besides business men, hotel- 
keepers, railway employes, and mining 
engineers. In the Customs at Kiao-chau 
there is an exclusively German staff, and 
the name of every employe has to be sub- 
mitted first by Sir Robert Hart to the 
German Governor for approval." 

It does not require much insight to 
understand that Japan's supremacy in the 
Far East might be a serious bar to the 
development of these substantial and 
growing interests. In the first place, 
Japan is fighting in the present instance 



212 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



not only on account of Korea, but also, 
to some extent, as the champion of the 
integrity of China, Assuming that she 
succeeds in turning Russia out of Man- 
churia, it is not at all inconceivable that 
her next step would be directed against 
the expulsion of Germany from Shan- 
tung. 

A moment's reflection will show that, 
in any such event as this, Germany's 
position would be one of humiliating im- 
potence. It is all very well to talk of 
Germany's mailed fist when a nation like 
China is concerned, but with a possibly 
hostile Japan the case is altogether differ- 
ent. It is quite true that Germany is 
not only stronger than Japan on land, but 
has a larger navy. But Germany's land 
forces are of comparatively little use to 
her in the Far East, with which she has 
not, as Russia has, any land communica- 
tion. As for her Navy, it is true that 
she has twelve modern battleships, ad- 
mirably officered and manned, but it is a 
grave question whether she would care to 
send out in any case even half of these 
to the Far East. Even supposing she 
sent them all, the problem of coaling, 
which has not yet been satisfactorily 
solved in the case of the Russian Baltic 
Fleet, would have to be faced. Lastly, 
if trouble arose between Germany and 
Japan, after the latter had gained posses- 
sion of both Port Arthur and Vladivostok, 
the question of a Far Eastern naval base 
for Germany would be a difficult one. As 
a matter of course, Japan would blockade, 
if she did not capture, Kiao-chau (Tsing- 
tau), and Germany could hardly expect 
either Great Britain or France to allow 
her warships to make a convenience of 
their harbours. Germany would there- 
fore be compelled to rest her chances on 
a Fleet action at sea, and, unless she 
emerged from this more completely vic- 



torious than it would seem wise for her 
to expect, she would have no more chance 
of hurting Japan than a tiger has of 
catching a skylark. Not only this, but 
almost in any case the damage done to 
her trade with China would be terrific. 

It has been necessary to put this matter 
somewhat crudely, not in the least with 
a view to fomenting anti-German senti- 
ment, but merely by way of a common- 
sense explanation of the German attitude. 
A very ordinary error into which the 
British pubhc has fallen with regard to 
the friendly feeling evinced by Germany 
for Russia during the war in the Far 
East is a failure to appreciate the ex- 
istence of German interests and ambitions 
in China, interests and ambitions which 
of themselves command some sort of ad- 
miration if not of respect. Whether a 
nation, whatever it may stand to gain. 
Of lose, is justified in playing such a 
part as Germany has played in this case 
is one thing ; whether such a policy as 
Germany's is likely to prove in the long 
run a safe one is another. But it is idle 
to ignore the fact that Germany's tempta- 
tion was a strong one, and that the 
situation appealed with special force to 
the German Emperor and those who, like 
himself, had strained every nerve to gain 
a foothold for Germany in the Far East, 
and were eager to see some early return 
for the expenditure of money and energy 
incurred. 

At the same time, while it was clearly 
to Germany's interest that Japan should 
not emerge from her struggle with Rus- 
sia so completely victorious that her 
supremacy in the Far East would be, 
practically speaking, assured, there were 
certain other considerations which made 
it necessary for, at any rate, the German 
Government to exhibit great caution. 
Probably the last thing in the world which. 



214 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Germany wanted was to become herself 
embroiled in the war. There is no man 
living who understands what sea-power 
means better than the German Emperor, 
and the fact that any overt act of hostil- 
ity against Japan on the part of Ger- 
many Vv'ould necessarily bring the British 
Navy on the scene, must have been con- 
sidered by such an authority in every 
possible aspect. Putting aside, however, 
a contingency which it would not be g^ood 
taste to discuss in detail, Germany was 
obliged to reckon to some extent with the 
force of public opinion, not only on the 
Continent, but in the United States. 
Powerful as she is she cannot afford to 
disregard, as Russia has habitually disre- 
garded, the very strong views which 
highly civilised nations now take when 
international laws are too rudely slighted. 
The role which Germany has so greatly 
enjoyed playing, that of the " honest 
broker," would become impossible if her 
honesty became too obviously fly-blown. 
Accordingly, she has now to " walk deli- 
cately," as regards her avowed diplo- 
macy, and, above all, her outward ob- 
servance of the laws of neutrality must 
be such as to enable her to pose before 
the whole world as a model of studious 
impartiality. 

When, therefore, after the naval action 
of August loth, certain Russian ships 
sought refuge at Tsing-Tau, Germany's 
attitude was almost fussily correct. 
There were not wanting unkind critics 
to suggest that the German authorities 
at Tsing-Tau had anticipated the arrival 
of some portion of the Port Arthur Fleet, 
and had considerately made arrange- 
ments for coaling with the utmost des- 
patch such vessels as might be able to 
take the sea again. This, it will be re- 
membered, was actually done in the 
case of the Novik, which managed to coal 



and get away within the twenty-four 
hours' time limit. The remaining ships, 
however, were so knocked about that 
escape was hopeless, and in these cir- 
cumstances the German authorities had 
no option but to dismantle them and in- 
tern their crews. This was done with 
much ceremony, it being doubtless ex- 
pected that the world would be suitably 
impressed by the spectacle. As a matter 
of fact, it would have been extremely 
risky for Germany to have failed in her 
obvious duty on this occasion. Such a 
flagrant breach of neutrality would, 
surely, have been tantamount to an act 
of war against Japan, and the latter 
would have been clearly justified in 
appealing — as she had threatened in such 
an event to do — to the terms of the 
Anglo-Japanese Alliance. Whether Ger- 
many is as yet anxious to pit her newly- 
formed Navy — admirably efficient and 
powerful as it is — against the fleets of 
Great Britain is open to question. But 
the fact remains that, if Germany had not 
behaved as she did towards the Russian 
ships in Tsing-Tau Harbour, she would 
have incurred the prompt and, perhaps, 
dangerous resentment of Japan ; would 
have stood convicted before the world of 
a shameless breach of the laws of nations, 
and might have had to fight Japan's ally. 
The proud references, therefore, of the 
German Press to the " scrupulously con- 
scientious manner " in which Germany 
" performed her duty as a neutral Power 
at Tsing-Tau " have not any very grave 
historical or other value. 

The prevailing doubt as to the abso- 
lute soundness of German neutrality 
found expression in various ways, and 
on September 14th the Times published 
as "From a Correspondent" an article 
in which the existence of a " Far Eastern 
Understanding " between Russia and 



GERMANY AND RUSSIA. 



21^ 



Germany was alleged with singular force, 
and with aid of several striking ex- 
amples. Apart from the sug'gestion that 
the Germans at Tsing-Tau would gladly 
have assisted the crippled Russian war- 
ships, if they could have done so with- 
out incurring- the odium of the civilised 
world, other instances were quoted in 
which the friendliness of Germany 
towards her Eastern neighbour seems to 
have been pleasingly demonstrated. 
Thus, it was remarked by this plain- 
spoken correspondent that, at the outset, 
" the German Emperor took the initiative 
by proffering- to the Tsar explicit assur- 
ances of support, amounting to a prac- 
tical guarantee of immunity from all 
danger of interference in Europe, which 
enabled the Russian War Office not only 
to withdraw from the western provinces 
of the Empire some of its finest troops of 
all arms for service in the Far East, but 
even to dismantle to some extent the 
western fortresses, in order to provide 
siege g-uns for Port Arthur, Vladivostok, 
Liao-yang-, and Harbin. 

" This spontaneous demonstration of 
German friendship was followed by a 
variety of smaller services, down to the 
arrest and surrender to Russia of deser- 
ters who had escaped across the German 
frontier. Every facility was given for 
the execution of Russian contracts for 
war material at Essen and in other Ger- 
man workshops more or less directly con- 
trolled by the German Government. The 
two great German shipping- companies, 
the North-German Lloyd and the Ham- 
burg-America, were allowed to transfer 
several of their ocean steamers to Russia 
to be converted into cruisers, and to enter 
into large contracts for coaling Russian 
cruisers on their commerce-destroying 
errands, as well as the Baltic fleet on its 
way out to the Far East, if circumstances 



allowed of its despatch. It has even 
been stated that torpedo-boats from 
Schichau have been transported in sec- 
tions across the German frontier. When, 
owing to excesses of zeal that are prob- 
ably inevitable in such circumstances, one 
or two ships were sunk or seized by 
Russian cruisers which turned out to be 
not British but German ships, the German 
Government, instead of entering vigorous 
protests and mobilising the semi-official 
Press against Russia, as it did in 1900 
against England after the seizure of the 
Bundesrath, confined itself to the most 
gentle remonstrances in St. Petersburg, 
and furnished its organs at home with 
all manner of explanations and assur- 
ances in order to minimise the importance 
of these incidents." 

The conclusions arrived at by this 
clearly well-informed as well as fearless 
critic of Germany's " most benevolent 
and elastic " neutrality accorded pretty 
closely with the ideas advanced in the 
earlier part of this chapter. After hint- 
ing that Germany had already in July ob- 
tained important concessions in a new 
commercial treaty with Russia, it was ob- 
served that William II. "is apparently no 
less confident than the most sanguine of 
Russians that Russia will ultimately 
wear out Japan, and that sooner or later 
she is bound to become the predominant 
Power in Eastern Asia. As it is also his 
idee -fixe that in Eastern Asia lies the best 
and largest field for the expansion of 
German influence beyond the seas, from 
the base which Germany has already ac- 
quired in Shan-tung, the present juncture 
has been eminently favourable for laying 
down the lines upon which German and 
Russian interests may be promoted in the 
Far East with the least prospect of ul- 
terior friction. It would be rash to as- 
sume that the understanding now es- 



2l6 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR 



talDlished between Germany and Russia is 
confined altogether to the Far East ; but 
it may safely be asserted that it secures 
for Russia Germany's support in the ul- 
timate settlement of the terms of peace 
with Japan, and for Germany, as far as 
Russia is concerned, a free hand in the 
future for carrying- out her scheme of 
Welt-polilik on the lines of least re- 
sistance in China — i.e. where it will come 



anecdote concerning German diplomatic 
methods with reference to Press state- 
ments and contradictions. It was in Bis- 
marck's time, and Prince Gortchakoff was 
discussing a more than usualh' audacious 
statement evidently issued from the Wil- 
helmstrasse in Berlin. Another dip- 
lomatist, knowing full well that there was 
little love lost between the old Russian 
Chancellor and the old German Chancel- 




THE RUSSIAN BATTLESHIP TS.ARIiriTCH AFTER THE FIGHT OFF PORT ARTHUR, AUGUST 10. 

The " Tsarcvitch " put into Kinchau in a badly battered condition. Her rudder-shaft was broken, one gun disabled, the 
lifeboat lost, the masts bent, and the bridge twisted, while the holes above the water-line had to be plugged with 
makeshift stoppers of wood. 



into contact only with British interests." 
Of course, the German Press was very 
angrv ■\\ith the Times for giving currency 
to this frank statement, and dementis 
were fortjicoming in plentv. Unfortun- 
ately, the semi-official organs seemed to 
be chiefly concerned in contradicting 
statements never made in the Times nor 
elsewhere in this country. This circum- 
stance moved the writer in the Times to 
relate in a subsequent article an amusing 



lor, ventured to observe : — " Lc fait est 
qiL\m sait jctlimcnt incntir a Berlin." 
Prince Gortchakoff prompth* rebuked this 
undiplomatic abruptness of speech. 
" Pas dc gros mrjts, je vous en pnCy 
chcr ami. Disons plutot e/ii^on salt 
joliment ciementir a Berlin ! " Apparently, 
as the Times writer remarked, the art of 
dementis is still practised in the German 
capital, but it is no longer " a fine art." 
This almost historic indictment, and the 



GERMANY AND RUSSIA. 



217 



ponderous attempts to quash it which fol- heart so clearly anxious to propitiate one 

lowed, have a serious bearing upon the of the two belligerent Powers, 

history of the war. The one opened In October two circumstances combined 

many eyes to the existence of tremendous to foster the growth of the latter senti- 




Fhoto : C. Schaai'wachtt 



THE GERMAN EMPEROR. 



possibilities arising out of the restless 
anxiety of the German Emperor to Teu- 
tonise the greater portion of the world's 
surface ; the other increased in several 
quarters the distrust of a Government so 
elaborately correct in its attitude, yet at 



ment. ^Vhen it became l^nown that in 
the new Second Army, the formation of 
which was dealt with in Chapter LX. , 
the Warsaw Army Corps might be in- 
cluded, considerable surprise was ex- 
pressed in France that Russia should feel 



2l8 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



that she could without danger withdraw 
her troops from the Polish frontier for the 
purpose of a Far Eastern campaign. 
The St. Petersburg correspondent of the 
Petit Parisien accordingly sought an ex- 
planation from a diplomatic source, and 
received an illuminating reply. This was 
to the effect that the German Government 
had given an assurance that " no com- 
plication would take place through its 
fault on the Polish frontier during the 
present war, and that Russia, if she 
thought proper to do so, could, in case of 
need, employ the picked troops quartered 
in that territory." Here we have a 
striking confirmation from an independ- 
ent source of the hint already given by 
the writer in the Times above quoted. It 
may be added that, when the correspond- 
ent of the Petit Parisien asked whether 
this active friendliness on the part of 
Germany would not affect the Franco- 
Russian alliance, the diplomatist referred 
to replied : " Certainly not. But I 
ought to tell you that the German party 
is daily gaining ground here, and you 
will see that at the end of the war Ger- 
many will obtain numerous advantages 
as a reward for her attitude during the 
painful adventure in which Russia is en- 
gaged." 

The other circumstance to which al- 
lusion is intended is the arrangement 
made for the coaHng of the Baltic Fleet. 
It is necessary for us, in particular, to 
clear our minds of cant in respect to this 
transaction. We must remember that 
our merchants have not hesitated to sup- 
ply many thousands of tons of coal which 
they knew perfectly well were destined 
for use on Russian warships. Up to a 
certain point Germany was as much en- 
titled as we were to make a profit out of 
the urgent requirements of either of the 
two belligerents, provided that the laws 



of neutrality were not violated. Nor had 
we, on the face of things, any more right 
to connect the German Emperor with the 
remarkably comprehensive plan adopted 
for the coaling of Russian warships at sea 
from German colliers than we had to sug- 
gest that the Cardiff merchants were 
being encouraged to sell coals for Rus- 
sian use by the British Government. It 
is essential in such matters to be fair, and 
to admit that in some cases where 
private interests could be served, in other 
words, where large profits could be made, 
by disregarding both national sentiment 
and international law, Great Britain's 
commercial record may not have been ab- 
solutely spotless. 

But it may reasonably be urged that in 
this matter of coaling the Baltic Fleet the 
Germans have touched a point far beyond 
any hitherto reached by this or any other 
great Power. It is, perhaps, not too 
much to say that, had it not been for this 
system organised by German contractors, 
the Baltic Fleet would never have left the 
Baltic for the Far East. Russian war- 
ships had been by proclamation forbidden 
to coal at British ports, and it is quite 
certain that no British steamship owners 
would have cared to incur the odium of 
having made the voyage of the Baltic 
squadron possible. It is much to be 
doubted whether any other country 
possessing the necessary facilities would 
have concluded such a contract as that 
now entered into by German ship-owners. 
For in such cases, where publicity cannot 
be avoided, the force of public opinion, 
to say nothing of Government dis- 
approval, tacit or expressed, must count 
for a good deal. It is quite easy to say 
that the German Government and the 
German people strongly objected to a dis- 
play of commercial enterprise which was 
obviously tantamoun-t to assisting Russia 



GERMANY AND RUSSIA. 



219 



in the most practical fashion possible to 
i^et the better of Japan. But would any- 
one attach much importance to any such 
proposition ? 

The sum of the matter is that, up to 
the sailing of the Baltic Fleet, at any 
rate, Germany, no doubt, has preserved 
her neutrality inviolate as far as strictly 
legal and public obligations are con- 
cerned. But it would be idle to suggest 
that her Sovereign and her mercantile 



community have not displayed a sym- 
pathy with Russia which has at times 
appeared to take a very practical shape. 
It is possible that this may seriously 
affect the progress of the present war. 
In any case, it can no more Ije forgotten, 
nor disregarded, from the historical 
standpoint, than Germany's co-operation 
with Russia in ousting Japan from Port 
Arthur, and her subsequent rather re- 
markable acquisition of Kiao-chau. 




MO-TIEN-LING PASS, WITH THE RUSSIAN POSITIONS IN THE DISTANCE. 

General Keller was killed on the slope of the distant mountain. 



220 



CHAPTER LXIII. 

THE BALTIC FLEET — RUSSIAN SHIP-BUILDING CONDITIONS — PROBLEMS OF THE ROUTE — 

ADMIRAL ROZHDESTVENSKY ASSUMES COMMAND — A TRIAL CRUISE COMPOSITION OF 

THE SQUADRON — NERVOUS FEARS. 



FROM a very early stage of the war 
much Russian hope and inter- 
national interest were centred in the ques- 
tion whether the Russian Fleet in the 
Baltic could be despatched to the Far 
East with some reasonable expectation of 
reaching it in fighting trim. As a matter of 
fact, it was more or less authoritatively 
announced, immediately after the torpedo 
attack on Port Arthur, that another 
powerful Russian Fleet would shortly be 
sent out from the Baltic, and the end of 
June was mentioned as the probable date 
of departure. The squadron, it was said, 
would consist of eight battleships and five 
cruisers, accompanied by thirty torpedo- 
boats, and the command was to be given 
to Admiral Rozhdestvensky, a very well- 
known officer, who had been Russian 
Naval Attache in London. The latter 
admitted in April that he had been 
offered, and had accepted, the command 
in question, but is reported to have ex- 
pressed doubts whether he would ever 
take the Baltic Squadron to the Far 
East. It might, he thought, be required 
nearer home, and, in his personal opinion, 
by September the Russian Navy would 
have nothing more to do with the Far 
East. 

It soon became apparent that in this 
last surmise, at any rate, the gallant 
Admiral was likely to prove entirely at 
fault. Accordingly, the work of pre- 
paring the squadron for sea was pushed 
on with great vigour, and in June it was 



generally understood that, by some means 
or another, the Baltic Fleet would en- 
deavour to make its way out to the seat 
of war, and redress, if possible, the 
balance of naval power, now clearly show- 
ing to Japan's advantage. In this 
country and on the Continent grave 
doubts were expressed as to the possi- 
bility of even getting ready the ships for 
sea, and these doubts, proceeding from 
authoritative sources, have been reflected 
in this narrative. It is, therefore, ex- 
pedient to say thus early that these 
predictions, like those of Admiral 
Rozhdestvensky, proved inaccurate, and 
that in due course a considerable squad- 
ron, including seven battleships, actually 
sailed for the Far East from Libau in 
October. 

This result was the more surprising, 
as Russian ship-building conditions are 
somewhat curious, and do not favour the 
rapid completion of vessels in cdurse of 
construction, as some of the new 
battleships in the Baltic were at this 
time. In the Times of June 7th appeared 
a most interesting article dealing with 
the question of the Baltic Fleet's depar- 
ture, and giving some useful details as to 
Russian ship-building methods. It ap- 
peared that at that moment there were 
five powerful battleships of the Borodino 
type lying afloat on the Neva or at 
Kronstadt. Of these two had been 
launched in 1901, two in 1902, and the 
fifth in 1903, yet even the two first — 




7- 
O 

a 
< 

D 

a 
en 

o 
H 

« 
H W 

o <: 



ft a 
s ^ 

CO f^ 

w 
w > 

U OS 



a « 

o i^ 

w Q 

w w 
H 

en -il 

< Z 

en en 

a w 

OJ Q 



^.^^^ 



■ -^af 



222 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the Imperaior Alexander III. and the 
Borodino — had been either quite recently 
finished or still had some details incom- 
plete. On the Neva, warships are 
launched as mere shells, without armour 
on the sides, and with the hulls, and more 
especially the superstructures, in a very 
rudimentary state. Hence, partly, the 
long- period which often elapses between 
launching- and completion. Moreover, 
Russian State dockyards are most im- 
perfectly equipped for dealing with the 
complicated and elaborate internal fittings 
and arrangements of warships, and much 
of this work is delegated to sub-con- 
tractors, often with very unsatisfactory 
results. 

Again, there is only a very moderate 
depth of water available for warships 
built on the Neva for their passage to 
Kronstadt. This was illustrated by the 
grounding of the Orel on her way down, 
notwithstanding the fact that she had 
been considerably lightened. Lastly, 
' ' the arsenal at Kronstadt is itself not 
well adapted for the final stages of the 
completion of ships, although work of 
that class has necessarily to be done there 
on a large scale. The docks are ex- 
cellent, but plant and equipment are not 
of corresponding quality." 

It is very remarkable that, in spite of 
these drawbacks, the Baltic Fleet should 
have contrived even to make a start for 
the Far East in 1904. But Russian 
energy and industry are immense, and the 
completion of a squadron fit for sea in 
October, after competent critics had 
doubted whether more than one or two 
battleships could be got ready this year, 
is comparable with the wonderful re- 
pository work effected on the damaged 
ships at Port Arthur. Throughout the 
war these naval surprises have been fre- 
quent, and their significance in some 



cases has been considerable. For they 
are an apt reminder of the value to a 
nation which leans on its navy of private 
ship-building yards, by the help of which 
results such as those attained by Russia 
with infinite labour and sacrifice are often 
attainable with very little trouble, always 
provided that the necessary funds are 
forthcoming. 

On June 20th, according to the St. 
Petersburg correspondent of the Paris 
Journal, the Higher Naval Board as- 
sembled under the presidency of the Tsar 
at Tsarskoe Selo to discuss the despatch 
to the Far East of the Baltic Fleet, or, 
as it was officially called, the Third 
Squadron of the Russian Fleet in the 
Pacific Ocean. The Board included Ad- 
miral Avellan, the Minister of Marine, 
and Admirals Rozhdestvensky, Niloff, 
Wirenius, Dubassof, and Birileff, the last- 
named being the Chief of the Defences in 
the Baltic. The result of the discussion 
was a decision that the Fleet should start 
early in September by the Cape Horn 
route, in order to avoid the delay in the 
Suez Canal for the coal transports. As a 
matter of fact this decision is afterwards 
altered, but is noteworthy as showing 
how, even at this date, the movement of 
the squadron was beset by doubts and 
apprehensions. 

From that time forward the Baltic 
Fleet was a fertile source of rumours, 
disappointmeiits, changes, and surprises. 
The first grave matter to be settled was, 
of course, the coaling question, and it is 
this, in large measure no doubt, which 
caused an alteration in the route to be 
adopted. In due course it was announced 
that a great German steamship line had 
undertaken to coal the fleet by means of 
colliers stationed along the route, a pro- 
ceeding as to which we had something to 
say in the preceding chapter. Some idea 



THE BALTIC FLEET. 



223 



of the magnitude of the service thus con- 
tracted for may be gathered from some 
simple figures of coal expenditure. It is 
recorded that the Japanese battleship 
Asahi, for instance, in her voyage out 
from Europe consumed about 5,700 tons 
of coal, and the Shikishima nearly 4,800 
tons, while Japanese armoured cruisers 
each consumed from 3,400 to 4,400 tons. 
It must be remembered, too, that some 
of the Russian ships have uneconomical 
engines compared with those on the 
up-to-date Japanese ships. The total 
quantity, therefore, required for a squad- 
ron of seven battleships — to say nothing 
of cruisers and other craft — proceeding 
from the Baltic to the Far East would be 
something truly enormous. 

As, moreover, many of the Russian 
ships can only carry a limited supply of 
coal, the frequent replenishment of their 
bunkers introduces a new problem. Coal- 
ing at sea is a troublesome business at 
the best of times, and in rough weather is 
practically impossible except with special 
appliances which are still in the experi- 
mental stage. 

The matter of coaling the Baltic Fleet 
may, however, be dismissed for the 
present, and a few words given to other 
difficulties surrounding this huge pro- 
jected naval reinforcement. 

Of course, from the outset there has 
been the grave risk that, after a voyage 
lasting over two months — for some of the 
Russian ships are very slow, and the pace 
must be regulated by that of the " tubs " 
— the redoubtable squadron may find 
itself in Japanese waters without a base. 
Not only Port Arthur but Vladivostok 
also may have fallen, and, in such an 
event, the position of the " Third Pacific 
Squadron " might be most uncomfort- 
able, not to say precarious. But evidently 
the Russians were confident that one, if 



not both, of their two great strongholds 
in the Far East will hold out, and afford 
a haven for their new fleet in the interval 
of its exploits on the high seas. 

Perhaps the most really pressing em- 
barrassment in connection with the depar- 
ture of the Baltic Squadron was the 
dearth of engineer officers and engine- 
room artificers of the requisite experi- 
ence. It is said that the Russian Ad- 
miralty had special difficulty in securing 
well-trained chief and second engineers, 
as the pick of these grades had been 
drafted out to the Far East before the 
war, and the Black Sea Fleet had since 
been drawn upon to make good the war 
wastage. A number of engineers were 
taken over by the Admiralty from subsi- 
dised Russian steamship and private 
companies, but these have had little or no 
experience with the Belleville boilers, 
which have been supplied to every one of 
the newer Russian battleships. It goes 
without saying that here is a difficulty of 
the first magnitude, and one which, even 
though temporarily overcome, must 
react upon the efficiency of the squadron 
if ever it comes to close grips with the 
swift and splendidly handled ships of the 
Japanese Fleet. 

In connection with this reported dearth 
of engineers it is necessary to allude to a 
charge made against Russia, which does 
not appear to have been indignantly 
met, as one would have expected it 
to have been met, by a prompt 
and authoritative denial. It will be re- 
membered that, after the destruction 
of the Varyag and the Korietz at Chem- 
ulpo, the crews of these two vessels 
were allowed to return to Russia, the 
understanding being that they should not 
be allowed to take any further part in the 
fighting. In October a correspondent of 
the Times declared that at Kronstadt it 



224 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



was generally stated, and not denied in 
Russian naval circles, that, notwith- 
standing Russian engagements to the 
contrary, the crews of the Varyag and 
Korietz had been drawn upon for the pur- 
poses of the Baltic Fleet. It is hardly 
conceivable that a Great Power should 
have stooped to 
the commission of 
an act of rank bad 
faith like this, but 
the statement was 
a circumstantial 
one, and the fact 
of its appearance 
in the columns of 
the Times should 
have facilitated 
instant and vigor- 
ous contradiction. 
As regards naval 
commanders, 
" deck officers " — 
as distinct from 
engine-room staffs 
and minor deck 
ratings — the Rus- 
sian Navy appears 
to suffer from no 
serious numerical 
deficiency. But 
the quality is 
hardly all that 
could be desired. 
The late Admiral 

Makaroff is known to have held rather 
gloomy views as to the shortage of 
officers — by which, presumably, we are 
to understand officers of the right sort 
— in the Russian Navy. A superior 
officer of the French Navy has also 
spoken with some frankness on this 
subject. "Russia," he said, "is not a 
maritime nation. Her Fleet is the result 
of a political policy. Her officers are not 





JmnK^fr^^vVi^l^^^^^^K^ "^Sui^SLi '■ i '; 








1 




k ^ ^LJ 






^^^^^^t ( \ ^BB^^^Sis/ ■■■■.,>' 




Wt^M^^ 



ADMIRAL WIKENIUS. 



in training, being condemned by the 
ice to spend six months on shore, 
where they acquire deplorable habits. 
This has been fully realised by Russia, 
who has strained every nerve to secure 
an ice-free port where her sailors 
could be kept in constant training." 

As regards the 
command of the 
" Third Squadron 
of the Fleet in the 
Pacific Ocean" 
there is no ques- 
tion that the 
reputation of the 
officer selected 
stands high. Ad- 
miral S i n o w i 
Petrowich Rozh- 
destvensky was 
born in 1848, and 
entered the Rus- 
Navyin 1865. 
Having made a 
special study of 
marine artillery, 
he passed in 1873 
with distinction 
out of the Michael 
Artillery Academy, 
and four years later 
did brilliant service 
in the Russo-Turk- 
ish War as com- 
mander of a small 
vessel, the Vcsia. Ordered by his Chief 
to attack the Turkish Fleet he did 
so, although his ship only carried two 
guns, with a reckless bravery which 
gained him immense popularity through- 
out Russia, as well as Imperial com- 
mendation. He was decorated by Alex- 
ander II., and, after a period of service 
in Bulgaria, where he organised the Bul- 
garian "Navy," he came in 1885 to 



^r?;-_ 




s?^ 



51 



226 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



London as Russian Naval Attache. Here 
he was imuch liked and respected, and 
wrote some interesting essays on the 
British Navy. During the war between 
China and Japan he commanded the Rus- 
sian Squadron in the Pacific, and in 1898 
he was appointed Chief of the Marine 
Artillery. Early in 1904 Admiral Rozh- 
destvensky succeeded, as Chief of the 
Naval General Staff, Admiral Avellan, 
the latter having taken the late Admiral 
Tyrtoff's place as Minister of Marine. 
He was formally appointed to his present 
post on the death of Admiral Makaroff in 
the Petropavlovsk, but, as noted above, 
it was some months before the appoint- 
ment could be said to have taken effect. 

Admiral Rozhdestvensky is described 
later, when events have seemed to invest 
such a description with probable ac- 
curacy, as liable to fits of nervousness, 
and not long before the squadron sailed 
he was reported to be ill. But he may 
well have been worried nearly to death 
by the heartrending anxieties of his 
position. Not only had he before him a 
long and most troublesome voyage, the 
difliculties of which would be increased 
tenfold by the constant necessity for coal- 
ing at sea. Not only had he to face the 
certainty of meeting, on the completion 
of this long and arduous cruise, an alert 
and povi'erful enemy who would have 
ample time to prepare a warm welcome 
for him. Long before these stages were 
arrived at there were tremendous ob- 
stacles to be overcome in the way of 
official ineptitude and dockyard incompe- 
tence. The higher naval administration in 
Russia, sadly liable as it is to interference 
on the part more especially of the Grand 
Duke Alexander Michailovitch, does not 
make the way smooth for an able and 
conscientious officer whose one thought 
is the efficiency of his command, and it is 



easy to understand that, from June to 
September, Rozhdestvensky must have 
gone through very wearing times. In 
particular, he probably experienced no 
little trouble in getting the armament of 
his ships arranged to his liking. In this 
direction he is likely to have proved an 
exacting critic, for he had always re- 
tained his interest in marine artillery ' 
questions, and had won the special com- 
mendation of the German Emperor by ; 
his handling of the Russian Gunnery 
Instruction Squadron at Reval on the oc- 
casion of the Imperial meeting in 1902. 

The naval action off Port Arthur on 
August loth seems to have galvanised 
the home authorities into instant action, 
for on August 14th Admiral Rozhdest- 
vensky went on board the battleship 
Knias Suvarof in the roadstead of Kron- 
stadt, and formally assumed command of 
the Third Squadron of the Pacific Fleet. 
Admiral Birileff, commanding at Kron- 
stadt, signalled a farewell message, ex- 
pressing his confidence, and wishing the 
Squadron good luck. But, in point of 
fact, a considerable time had yet to elapse 
before the former Baltic Fleet could make 
a fair start towards its remote destina- 
tion. 

On August 25th it was announced that 
the Squadron, with the exception of the 
battleship Orel, was leaving Kronstadt on 
a ten days' cruise, presumably intended 
to serve as a trial trip. The omission of 
the Ord was due to another accident to 
that unfortunate vessel, which had already 
undergone some painful experiences. 
First she stranded in the Neva, and then, 
having been got off and taken to Kron- 
stadt, her sea-plugs were unaccountably 
withdrawn, and it was some time before 
the hundreds of tons of water which 
ruShpd in could be pumped out. On the 
eve of the Squadron's departure on its 



THE ''TEN DAYS CRUTSE." 



227 



trial cruise, the Orel was found to be in- 
capable of movement ! On examination 
it was discovered that the shaft was 
cloggfed with sand, evidently put there for 
the purpose, notwithstanding the careful 
watch that had been kept. As a matter 
of course the outrage was attributed to 
the Japanese, but it is hardly likely that 
the latter, if they had had access to the 
vitals of a Russian battleship, would have 
stopped short at merely throwing her 
machinery temporarily out of order. 

Apparently the "ten days' cruise" 
had to be curtailed owing to fresh ac- 
cidents. It was rumoured that some of 
the ships were damaged in the course of 
the trials with the 12-in. guns, and on 
August 30th it was reported that the 
Squadron had returned to Kronstadt. 
Here any defects must have speedily 
been made good, for on September nth 
a telegram from Kronstadt conveyed the 
stirring news that the Fleet had " sailed 
for the Far East. " 

But a further delay was impending. 
Two days later it was announced that 
Admiral Rozhdestvensky's ships would 
remain about five weeks at Reval and 
Libau, going through firing practice and 
manoeuvres, and waiting for the battle- 
ship Orel and the protected cruiser Oleg. 
Here for the present, then, we will leave 
the redoubtable Squadron, to the com- 
position of which we may now devote at- 
tention. 

The first point to be noted is that the 
Fleet is by no means what in this country 
would be considered a good fighting fleet, 
owing to the lack of uniformity in the 
units, both of the battleship and cruiser 
divisions. Assuming the Orel and the 
Oleg to have joined, the Fleet now con- 
sists of seven battleships, two armoured 
cruisers, and five or six protected 
cruisers, with a few destroyers. The 



battleships are the Kiiiaz Suvaroff, Im- 
perator Alexander III., Borodino, Orel, 
Ossliabya, Navarin, and Sissoi Veliki. 
The two armoured cruisers are the Dmitri 
Donskoi and the Admiral Nakhimov ; the 
protected cruisers the Aurora, Almaz, 
Svetlana, Jemchug, Oleg, and, perhaps, 
the Izumrud. Before the Squadron 
actually sails from Libau, some " third- 
class cruisers " — i.e. converted mer- 
chantmen — may have to be added to the 
above list. 

The newest battleships are those of the 
Borodino class, to which the Imperaior 
Alexander III. and the Orel belong, and 
which may be said to include the Knias 
Suvaroff also, since, with the exception of 
displacing about 450 tons less, she is a 
sister ship. The Borodino is of about 
13,500 tons displacement, with 16,300 
horse-power engines, and a nominal speed 
of 18 knots. She has protective armour 
nine inches thick, tapering to four inches. 
She has six torpedo tubes, and carries 
four 12-in. guns, twelve 6-in. quick-firers, 
and many smaller guns. 

The Ossliabya, which was on its way to 
the Far East when the war broke out, is 
of 12,674 tons displacement, and was 
launched in 1898. Her nominal speed is 
also 18 knots, but she is not so well pro- 
tected as the ships of the Borodino class; 
she carries four lo-in. and eleven 6-in., 
besides numerous smaller guns, and has 
six torpedo tubes. The Navarin and 
Sissoi Veliki are older ships, heavily 
armed and protected, but slow, having an 
official speed of 16 knots, from which two 
or three may safely be deducted. The 
Navarin is of 10,000, the Sissoi Veliki of 
8,880 tons displacement. Both carry four 
12-in. guns, and eight and six 6-in. quick- 
firers respectively. 

Of the cruisers, the Dmiiri Donskoi 
and Admiral Nakhimov are both old and 



228 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



slow, the former being- of 5,796 tons, 
the latter 8,500 tons. The Admiral 
Nakhiiiiflv carries eight 8-in. and ten 6-in. 
guns, the Dinilri Donskoi six 6-in. and 
ten 4.7-in. guns. The biggest of the 
protected cruisers are the Aurora and 
Oleg, of nearly 7,000 tons, with a main 
;irmament of eig^ht 6-in. and twelve 6-in. 



g'cneous fleet like that of Japan. On the 
other hand, it must be remembered that 
Russia has still some powerful ships in 
the Far East, and that, in the doubtful 
event of this new squadron's arrival, and' 
the still more improbable event of a con- 
junction with even two or three of the 
larger vessels under Admiral Skrydloff's 




ADMIRAL AVELLAN. 



guns respectivelv. The rest are small 
ships of under 4,000 tons, but swilt 
and hand}-, with speeds varying from ig 
to 24 knots, nominally. Thev carry six 
guns — 4.7-in. and 5.9-in. as main arma- 
ment. 

It will thus be seen that the Squadron, 
althoug-h numerically strong, and con- 
taining some -^erv powerful units, is not 
well adapted to meeting- a really homo- 



command, the Russian naval forces in 
the Pacific would once more be sufficient 
to cause Japan great uneasiness. But 
this is a direction in which we certainly 
need not seek to anticipate actual events. 
A more profitable topic is the extra- 
ordinary nervousness -which the Russians 
display with reference to the future sail- 
ing- of the Squadron from the Baltic. 
When the Squadron had been at Libau 



CO CK-AND-B L 'Z L S TORIES. 



229 



about a week it became known in Copen- 
hagen that a hirge number of vessels in 
the Russian service were cruising- in 
northern waters without any delinile 
destination. A correspondent of a lead- 
ing Berlin paper wrote about this time : — 
" The chief command over this spy fleet 
is said to be exercised by a Russian 
naval captain named Hartling, who has 
for a long time been in Copenhagen, and 
who maintains an active telegraphic cor- 
respondence with numerous points on the 
coast. " It was evident that the Russians 
were being unduly influenced by the ab- 
surd stories circulated regarding Japanese 
preparations for laying' submarine mines 
in the channel through which the Russian 
Fleet must pass in order to reach the 
North Sea. Apparently they communi- 



cated their fears to others, and asked for 
assistance against the supposed nefarious 
designs of the far-off enem)'. \u)v con- 
siderable discussion was aroused in the 
Danish I'ress by the manner in which the 
Japanese Naval Attache, Captain Taki- 
kava, was " shadowed " by the D.anish 
police during a recent visit to the Skaw. 
Since even the higher naval authorities 
thought fit to lend a ready ear to such 
stories, it mav be imagined that the 
officers and men of the Fleet were not 
whollv free from apprehensions. In a 
properly trained .\a\'y constantly at 
work such silly scares would hardly be 
possible. But that they were possible on 
Russian warships is about to be proved 
bv actual happenings, the detail of which 
must be rcser\ed for another chapter. 




EFFECTS OF JAPANESE SHELLS ON A RUSSIAN WARSHIP. 
The " Gromoboi " at Vladivostok after tlie coniljat of A u^ust 13. Examination of the " Gronwboi" platt-s ii-vi:a!s 
how marvellously the Japanese contrived to concentrate tlicir fire upon the vital portions of the enemy's ship. 
Round about the gun embrasures the hits are thickly planted. 



230 



CHAPTER LXIV. 

JAPANESE ADVANCING — RUSSIANS AT MUKDEN — THE IMPERIAL TOMBS POSITION OF THE 

OPPOSING FORCES — JAPANESE SOLDIEr's OUTFIT — CHANGE OF ATTITUDE — RUSSIANS 
PREPARE TO TAKE OFFENSIVE — KUROPATKIN's ORDER OF THE DAY. 



THE indecisive character of the great 
Battle of Liao-yang is clearly re- 
flected in the condition of affairs which 
prevailed in both the opposing armies in 
the two or three weeks following; the 
Russian retirement. Had Liao-yang been 
a conclusive victory for Japan we may 
be sure that, utterly worn out as the bulk 
of her gallant soldiers were, a sufficient 
number would have been got together to 
pursue the shattered remnant of the Rus- 
sian forces beyond Mukden, and perhaps 
beyond Tie-ling, with a view to an early 
and final advance upon Harbin. Had 
they been thus pursued the Russians 
might have stood firmly at Tie-ling, but 
hardly at Mukden, which was then by no 
means well adapted for the purposes of an 
obstinate defence. In a word, the sequel 
of the battle would have been as different 
as possible from what it was, namely, a 
retirement only moderately hindered by 
pursuit, followed by a distinct lull, in 
which both sides made strenuous, but not 
at all excited, preparation for a fresh bout 
of still more deadly and desperate fighting. 
^Ve have already had occasion to speak 
in Chapter LIX. of the promptitude with 
which the Japanese after the capture of 
Liao-yang proceeded to utilise their new 
possession as an immense supply depot. 
In a .short time their facilities in 
this direction will have been enor- 
mously increased, for their engineers 
have been busy with the line of 



railway in rear, and also with the con- 
struction of the field line to An-tung on 
the banks of the Yalu, which is intended 
eventually to join the Manchurian Rail- 
way at Liao-yang. This matter of com- 
munication is of such extreme interest 
and practical importance that we may 
usefully anticipate a little, and mention 
here that before the end of September the 
first Japanese train arrived at Liao-yang, 
a change of gauge having been now 
effected between the latter place and 
Dalny. Attention has been drawn in a 
previous chapter to the seriousness of the 
blow thus dealt to the Russians, who, 
even if they succeed in recapturing the 
line, cannot use their broad-gauge engines 
and trucks upon it, and cannot easily 
reconstruct the old track, as the Japanese 
have thoughtfully cut down the sleepers. 
A neat example this of the scientific 
fashion in which warfare is conducted 
nowadays. 

Also, the Japanese took care to 
strengthen their hold upon Liao-yang 
by providing it with some useful defences 
which, although not so formidable as 
those which the Russians had time to 
construct on the Shu-shan hills, may still 
prove effective should the Russians ever 
succeed in driving the Japanese field army 
to the south of the Tai-tse-ho in the en- 
deavour to regain their lost military 
capital of Manchuria. 

Before leaving Liao-yang it is interest- 



AN INSTRUCTIVE "■ FIND}' 



231 



ing to note that among the various para- 
phernalia left behind by the Russians the 
Japanese came across a highly instructive 
"find," a set, namely, of the general 
orders issued from day to day by General 
Kuropatkin. Some very impressive ex- 
tracts from these orders are given by the 
Special Correspondent of the Standard, 
who says that " they disclose the gravest 
defects in the discipline and training of 
the Army, and more especially of the 
Cossacks. It appears from them that the 
colonel of one of the Cossack regiments 
was removed from the command for de- 
serting a post of great importance at the 
mere rumour of the enemy's approach, 
and without waiting to inform the force 
on his immediate front — a defection 
which endangered the whole movement. 

" Two colonels of the 23rd East 
Siberian Regiment were, it seems, 
cashiered, for reasons that are not stated, 
and the Commanding Officer of the 5th 
Ural Cossacks was dismissed the Service 
for conduct unworthy of an officer and for 
habitual drunkenness. 

" These are only a few examples of the 
looseness of discipline in the higher com- 
missioned ranks. Numbers of the Rus- 
sian officers, it is said, stayed behind 
drinking in Liao-yang while their regi- 
ments were fighting at the front. Many 
of them are censured by General Kuro- 
patkin for discussing in public the conduct 
of the war, and the character and ability 
of their seniors in rank. 

" The orders contain repeated com- 
plaints of the shameful treatment to which 
the Chinese were subjected, and the wilful 
destruction of property. 

" General Kuropatkin also calls atten- 
tion to the readiness with which ammuni- 
tion and transport waggons were aban- 
doned during retreat, and the serious diffi- 
culties such laxity entailed.'" 



When it is added that General Kuropat- 
kin in these orders complains bitterly of 
the enormous waste of shells by the quick- 
firing guns " which blaze away at in- 
effectual ranges ^wid without a definite 
objective," it will be understood that the 
Japanese are encouraged in the belief that 
in discipline and training, at any rate, the 
Russian Army can hardly claim superior- 
ity to their own. Such an official revela- 
tion, too, goes far to explain much of the 
Liao-yang and subsequent fighting, and 
to enhance our sympathy for a Comman- 
der-in-Chief who has to meet a dangerous 
enemy with troops so badly officered. 

We may now turn to the Japanese 
armies in the field, which, by the end of 
September, we find occupying to the north 
of Liao-yang the same order as they did 
before the battle of August 28th — Sept- 
ember 4th. In the meantime some pres- 
sure has been exercised on the retreating 
Russians, but it has not amounted to 
much, practically speaking, partly be- 
cause the troops were frightfully ex- 
hausted, and partly because between Yen- 
tai and Mukden Kuropatkin had a fresh 
force in reserve — probably one First Army 
Corps under General Baron Meyendorf — 
which Kuroki naturally hesitated to tackle 
with tired troops. While, then, the Rus- 
sians were withdrawing behind this useful 
screen the troops engaged in the Liao- 
yang operations, the Japanese Armies 
filled their empty stomachs and rested 
their tired limbs, at the same time 
strengthening their hold upon a new posi- 
tion which had to Mukden much the same 
relation as had their position on August 
28th to Liao-yang. Their right was 
thrown forward to Ben-tsia-pu-tse to the 
south-east of Mukden on the road which 
runs down to Pen-si-hu on the Tai-tse 
River. They were also in occupation of 
the Yen-tai coal-mines, and had several 



232 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



divisions on and to the west of the rail- 
way north of Liao-yang. If we compare 
this with the position shown in the map 
on page io8 of the present volume, we 
shall find a repetition such as does not 
often occur in the history of a campaign, 
although, of course, there are conditions, 
geographical and other, which modify the 
resemblance. 

Exactly what the Japanese intended to 
do by way of following up their incom- 
plete though highly important victory at 
Liao-yang will probably never be known 
except to a chosen few. But there is 
ground for the belief that they contem- 
plated a resumption of the offensive in 
three columns by way of Pen-si-hu and 
Ben-tsia-pu-tse, from the Yen-tai coal 
mines, and along the main road — the 
Imperial Road as it is called — between 
Liao-yang and Mukden. It is suggested 
that this advance would have taken 
place about September 20th, but that the 
Japanese were deterred from making it 
by finding an unexpected increase in 
the strength of the Russian forces, the 
numerical superiority of which had been 
secured by recent large and continuous 
reinforcements. But it is e.qually possible 
that they may have gleaned some idea 
of what was going on behind the Russian 
screen, and learnt that the enemy, too, 
was contemplating an offensive move- 
ment. The subsequent proceedings 
point more clearly to cheerful willing- 
ness on the part of the Japanese to 
allow the Russians to blunder into a 
hornets' nest than they do to reluctance 
to attack merely because the enemy had 
been reinforced. Be this as it may, the 
Japanese, with the exception of a slight 
movement at the end of the third week 
in September, allow the. month to pass 
without any attempt to put Mukden 
through the same damaging process to 



which they had recently subjected Liao- 
yang. At the same time they keep 
closely in touch with the enemy, and 
omit no precaution necessary to enable 
them to make a swift and effective coun- 
terstroke should the enemy be foolish 
enough to attack them on their long but 
carefully guarded front. 

We must now take a glance at the 
Russians, who, having retired to Muk- 
den and Tie-ling, take speedy advantage 
of the fact that their retreat has been 
accomplished with such comparative 
ease and freedom from interruption. 
There is pretty strong evidence that, at 
one time or another, there was a good 
deal of confusion during the retirement, 
which was aggravated by heavy rains, 
rendering the withdrawal of the wounded 
and the transport extremely difficult. 
Apparently it was Kuropatkin's expec- 
tation that the Japanese would imme- 
diately continue the pursuit, for his first 
thought seems to have been the fortifica- 
tion of Tie-ling with a view to an early 
evacuation of Mukden. It is said that 
at this stage Kuropatkin received a 
peremptory order from the Tsar to re- 
take Liao-yang, and that in consequence 
of this he altered his plans for making 
a stand at Tie-ling, and prepared first 
to check the enemy south of Mukden and 
then to march down south. But it is 
equally probable that it was the failure of 
the Japanese to press the pursuit which 
emboldened the Russian Commander-in- 
Chief to pause in his retirement, and so 
avoid the further loss of prestige which 
a hurried withdrawal from Mukden would 
have entailed. 

As a military position Mukden is of 
little use. South of the town flows the 
Hun river through a low, sandy waste 
which stretches for about twenty miles, 
and south of which, again, there appears 




A FORMIDABLE RUSSIAM DEFEN'CF. AT LIAO - VANG : JAPANESE STORMERS CAUGHT IN 
PITFALLS AND BARBED-WIRE ENTANGLEMENTS. 



234 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



to have been a long- line of sand-bag 
batteries. These, with railway embank- 
ments affording some protection of the 
Russian rig-ht. flank, and a mud rampart 
covering the suburbs, appear to have 
been the main defences of Mukden at 
this periocj, though we hear later of points 
in the neighbourhood which are rather 
vaguely spoken of by the Russians as 
"strongly fortified." But, apart from 
these military deficiencies, Mukden is a 
busy and thriving commercial centre, 
with a population of over 300,000, and 
an imposing appearance, resembling that 
of Peking, of which it is a copy on a 
smaller scale. The native town lies to 
the east of the railway station, and is 
surrounded by sixty-foot walls. It is in 
the form of a square with sides a mile 
long, each of which is pierced by two 
massive gateways surmounted by watch- 
towers and batteries. The suburbs ex- 
tend for a mile on each side of the walls 
and, as noted above, are enclosed within 
a rampart of earth. The railway station 
is about two miles from the gates in 
the western wall, and between it and 
the western suburbs is the newly built 
Russian cantonment. 

Mukden was the old Manchu capital, 
and still retains a special sanctity in the 
eyes of the Chinese, since here are the 
venerated tombs of the ancestors of the 
Imperial family. Further, quite close to 
Mukden, about five miles from the 
north-west of the city, rises a range of 
hills which, except for sundry small 
valleys, runs for about 700 miles to a 
certain lake near the summit of the 
sacred. "Ever White Mountain." In 
that lake, according to Chinese tradition, 
rests the head of the -Great Dragon, 
whose body occupies the whole aforesaid 
range of hills, and the tip of whose tail 
is immured near Mukden. 



There have been many descriptions of 
the Imperial tombs, but none more 
adapted for reproduction here than one 
contributed to the Times of September 
22nd, 1904, which states that " due north 
about two miles from the outer city, 0x1 
dry rising ground, is a beautiful semi- 
wild park of common forest trees and 
bushes, covering, probably, 2,000 acres. 
In the centre of this park is a grove pf 
fine fir trees, which are surrounded by 
a brick wall about 5oo yards in eacji 
direction, forming a perfectly square en- 
closure. The south or main approach 
is over a long stone-paved causeway, now 
overgrown with trees and grass.. Near 
the great white marble Pai-lau, or 
triumphal arch, it widens and crosses. a 
ruined marble bridge over some artificial 
water, now much filled in with reeds and 
sedge grass. Beyond a grand gateway, 
with yellow and purple glazed tiled roofs, 
stand on either side buildings which were 
once palatial halls. Within, a wide paved 
avenue flanked with huge^ stone monu- 
ments of elephants, horses, cows, camels, 
and white marble pillars, with carved 
clouds encircling them; houses in which 
the retinue of the Emperor can rest; a 
magnificent square tower, with three- 
tiered roof shelters; a huge white marble 
tablet nearly thirty feet high, standing 
on the back of a marble tortoise, and 
bearing an inscription sacred to the 
wonderful deeds of Tai Tsung, the con- 
queror of China, who compelled the 
Chinese to wear the queue (pigtail), and 
tried in vain to make their women cease 
deforming their feet, 

" Beyond, and north of this tower, is a 
high embattlemented brick wall with a 
strong gateway and guard tower, as of a 
city.- These walls are about 250 yards in 
each direction. Within their square en- 
closure are the three great halls where the 



THE TOMBS OF THE BRAVE. 



235 



worship of the spirit of the departed T;ii 
Tsung' is carried on by some Prince of the 
Blood, or the Tartar General, as proxy for 
the Emperor, on the first and fifteenth 
days of the moon, and especially at the 
solstice festivals. North of this square, 
and surrounded by a high, circular, em- 
battlemented brick wall, is a huge oval 
mound of earth, beneath which slumbers, 
surrounded by all that makes for peaceful, 
quiet beauty, Tai Tsungf, father of the 
first Manchu Emperor of China. Above 
this most sacred mound (there is appar- 
ently no entrance to the interior) appear 
the topmost branches of an old elm, still 
putting- out leaves in spring, though badly 
weakened by huge bunches of mistletoe. 
The tree is said to be the dwelling place 
of one of the spirits of Tai Tsung. It was 
the custom of his ancestors to bury their 
chiefs in hollow trees. Thus, it is said, 
were originally buried the chiefs whose 
graves lie further east, near the Manchu 
village at Yung Ling (Tombs of the 
Brave), about 80 miles east from Mukden. 
To the rear of Tai Tsung's grave mound 
is a small artificial horseshoe-shaped 
mountain to guard it from the evil north. 
" Seven miles due east of Mukden are 
about 4,000 or 5,000 acres of beautiful 
parklike forest, with steep cliffs to the 
south, under which winds the Hun river. 
Near the centre of this forest is the second 
Mukden tomb, the Fu Ling (Tomb of the 
Blessed), also called Tung Ling (Eastern 
Tomb), with buildings and arrangements 
similar to those at the Pei Ling, but a 
somewhat larger grave mound, beneath 
which rest the sacred remains of No-ar- 
chu, father of Tai Tsung. All the spirits 
hold frequent and social intercourse with 
each other and with the sacred deities of 
the Dragon Pool on the Long White 
Mountain; they travel underground along 
the ever-throbbing pulses of the Great 



Dragon. Hence the agony of the Manr 
chus when it was proposed that the Rus- 
sian railway should cross over the ridge 
between the two tombs of Tai Tsung and 
No-ar-chu. The railway eventually found 
a convenient little valley." 

As may be expected, the prospect of a 
battle in tlie vicinity of these extremely 
sacred tombs is most agitating to the 
Chinese Government, which makes urgent 
representations to the Tsar and to Gen- 
eral Kuropatkin not to allow these hal- 
lowed resting places to be desecrated. 
The Chinese Governor of Mukden even 
beseeches the Russian Commander-in- 
Chief on no account to fight a battle near 
the city, to which Kuropatkin drily re- 
plies that it would be more to the point 
to refer that request to the Japanese. 
But Kuropatkin knows well the risk in- 
curred by treating such representations 
with complete indifference, and, accord- 
ingly, on September 22nd he pays a 
special visit to the holy groves in con- 
nection with a complaint that has been 
made that the Russians have been felling 
trees there. The complaint is declared 
by Kuropatkin to be without foundation, 
and the Chinese Government is notified 
that the Imperial Tombs are badly neg- 
lected, and that the Manchu guardian of 
the sacred groves has been ascertained 
to be himself in prison for having sold 
timber from the sacred enclosure to the 
inhabitants of Mukden ! 

But Kuropatkin has other things to 
think about besides the necessity of allay- 
ing the apprehensions of the Chinese con- 
cerning the Imperial Tombs. He has a 
large and rapidly increasing force under 
his orders, and these have to be dis- 
tributed with a view not only to future 
fighting but also to present commissariat 
possibilities. The recent enormous con- 
centration of troops at Mukden is said 



2^6 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 




GENERAL KUROPATKIN INTERVIE^V1NG CHINESE OFFICIALS DURING THE STOPPAGE OF HIS 

SPECIAL TRAIN AT MUKDEN. 



to have completely exhausted the food 
reserves, and the provision dealers follow- 
ing' the army have lost most of their 
stocks during- the retreat from Liao-yang 
owing to inadequate means of transport. 
There is also a good deal of trouble ex- 
perienced in the matter of warm clothing, 
with which the Russian troops are very 
poorly supplied, and, as the cold weather 
is setting in earlier than usual, the mili- 
tary authorities resort to the plan of buy- 
ing Chinese clothing. This is strongly 
resented by the Japanese, who on several 
occasions are deceived by the appearance 
of the enemy in this unfamiliar garb. A 
point of international law is thus raised, 
for it is quite contrary to international 
usag-e to employ troops so dressed that 
they cannot be distinguished as troops, 
and, although it would seem that the Rus- 
sians have not erred in this matter know- 
ingly, it is generally admitted that the 
practice complained of is quite unjustifi- 
able. 

Notwithsta,nding commissariat and 
sartorial deficiencies, the Russian troops 



at Mukden and Tie-ling soon pull them- 
selves together after the retreat, and by 
the end of the second week of September 
General Kuropatkin is once more in com- 
mand of a large and fairly compact army. 
With this he is not only occupying both 
ISfukden and Tie-ling, the fortifications of 
the latter being still in progress, but is 
also holding the banks of the Hun-ho and 
various points between Mukden and Sin- 
min-ting, which lies between thirty and 
forty miles to the west of Mukden on the 
Liao River. The latter precaution is neces- 
sary in view of a possible Japanese flank- 
ing movement on Mukden along the Liao 
from Ying-kau, and it is rather a trouble- 
some precaution bv reason of the Chun- 
chuses, who are now bcg-inning to display 
most objectionable activitv in this quarter. 
There is no need to follow at all closely 
the movements of the two opposing forces 
during the last three weeks of September. 
It is sufficient to say that no very serious 
fighting ensues, the most important en- 
gagement being one near Ben-tsia-pu-tse 
on the i/th, which was the result of a 



THE FIGHTING IN SEPTEMBER. 



237 



reconnaissance in force by the Russians 
under Generals Rennenkampf and Samp- 
sonoff. The Russians found the Japan- 
ese strongly posted at Hen-tsia-pu-tse, 
which was well lortiliod and occupied by 
" at least one brigade of infantry with 
12 guns." General Mishtchenko, at the 
head of two Cossack regiments, had also 
been in daily contact with the enemy. 
On the 2oth-jist the Japanese made a 
forward movement to one of the several 
passes in this region which are known as 
Ta-lings, this one being an important 
position on the extreme Russian lelt, 
about fifty miles east by south-east of 
Mukden. According to the Russian official 
account this attack was repulsed bv Gen- 
eral Bildcring' after three hours' fighting 
on the J 1st, in the course of which the 
Japanese are said to ha\ e lost 700 men, 
while the Ivussian casualties were g6 men 
killed and 270 wounded. 



It was this attack, accompanied by 
indications of mo\'ement all along the 
line, that fostered the idea ol an imme- 
diate Japanese adx'ance, and the idea 
continued to prevail until the end of 
September, when the complexion of 
affairs suddenly chang-ed. louring- the 
last week of the month there were daily 
encounters of patrols, and behind the 
outpost screens on both sides there must 
have been a good deal of activity if only 
bv reason of the constant influx of rein- 
forcements. For the Japanese, as well as 
the Russians, are making good use of 
the lull in the fighting to stiffen their 
ranks. Thev have also thrown se\eral 
bridges o\er the Tai-tse-ho, and ha\e re- 
plenished their stock of ammunition until, 
bv the end of the month, they are as fit 
and eager for " business " as e\ er they 
ha\e been throughout the campaign. It 
is well they are, for the test to which they 



rf ■^• 



s^?^^ 




Marble A nli and SouUi Entrance into the North Tomb, loheve tics the fattier of tt\c first Munclin liinferoi of Cliina. 



238 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



are about to be put is one which could 
not possibly be stood by any troops who 
were not both in the pink of fighting 
condition, but also splendidly " found " 
as reg-ards every sort of equipment and 
war material. 

At the close of September the position 
of the opposing- forces was as follows : 
The Russians had two divisions on the 
Hun river south of Mukden, four divi- 
sions at Mukden itself, and detachments 
guarding Sin-min-ting to the west and a 
line running eastwards along the Hun-ho 
through Fu-shun — where there are im- 
portant coal mines — to the Ta-ling Pass 
above mentioned. The remainder of the 
Russian Army was concentrated at Tie- 
ling. 

The Japanese were in their old order, 
the Right Army, under General Kuroki, 
being to the east at Ben-tsia-pu-tse, 
where there was one division, the re- 
maining two divisions being at the Yen- 
tai mines. General Nozu's Centre 
Army, with a portion of the Left Army 
under General Oku, was o,n the main 
line of the railway and along the branch 
Ijne from Yen-tai to the mines. The 
remainder of General Oku's force was 
to the west of the railway. 

On September 30th Renter's corres- 
pondent at Mukden telegraphs that the 
Russian estimate of the Japanese strength 
iis as follows : " General Kuroki has the 
Guards, the and Division, and the 12th 
Division, totalling 36 battalions ; nine 
squadrons of cavalry and 108 guns ; a 
Separate artillery corps of 108 guns; the 
Guards' Reserve Brigade, consisting of 
eight battalions with 24 guns ; and the 
r'eserve brigades, 32 battalions with 36 
guns. The total of General Kuroki 's 
Army is 76 battalions, 18 squadrons of 
Cavalry, and 246 guns. 

" General Oku's Army consists of the 



3rd, 4th, and 6th Divisions, or 36 bat- 
talions, with nine squadrons of cavalry 
and 108 guns ; one separate cavalry 
brigade of eight squadrons ; a separate 
artillery brigade of 108 guns ; a cavalry 
brigade of nine squadrons ; reserve bri- 
gades, 24 battalions, with 26 guns. The 
total strength of General Oku's Army is 
60 battalions of infantry, 26 squadrons of 
cavalry, and 242 guns. 

" General Nozu commands the 5th 
and loth Divisions. His total force con- 
sists of 44 battalions of infantry, nine 
squadrons of cavalry, and 120 guns. 

" The grand total of the Japanese 
Army now- facing that of General Kuro- 
patkin is 180 battalions — which, allov.-i.ng 
800 men for each battalion, works out at 
144,000 bayonets, 6,380 cavalry, and 638 
guns." 

With all possible respect for the Rus- 
sian calculations, it may be seriously 
doubted whether this is not a consider- 
able under-estimate, in view of the pretty 
generally accepted facts as to the 
strength of the Japanese during the Liao- 
yang fighting, the probabiUty that a 
large proportion of the wounded must 
have resumed their places in the fighting 
line, and the certainty that vefy large 
reinforcements have been received during 
the past three weeks as a set-off to those 
which are known to have been arriving 
at Mukden. 

The marvellous preparedness of the 
Japanese Army was, perhaps, at no stage 
of the campaign more clearly demon- 
strated than it was at this juncture. In 
singular contrast to the deficiency of 
warm clothing among the Russian troops 
were the admirable arrangements long ago 
carefully thought out, and now in perfect 
working order, for affording the Japan- 
ese soldiers protection against the im- 
pending winter cold. By the end of 



THE JAPANESE A' ED CROSS SOCIE'lY. 



239 



September all the three armies in the 
held had been supplied with their cold 
weather kit, and it is undoubtedly due 
in g;reat measure to this circumstance 
that Marshal Oyama's troops were sub- 
sequently enabled to accomplish a feat 
ot endurance in the way of hard and 
continuous fit^ht- 
ini;- for which it is 
well-nigh impos- 
sible to find a 
parallel in the his- 
tory of war. 

Mention has 

been made from 
time to time in this 
narrative of some 
ol the more impor- 
tant articles of the 
Japanese soldier's 
service uniform 

and equipment. 

But at this point it 
will be specially in- 
teresting to take 
advantage of a 
very full and prac- 
tical description of 
the complete out- 
fit ^\hich appeared 
in the British 

Medical Journal of Nov. i2tli as the out- 
come of a unique opportunity for exi.mi- 
nation and report. Miss JNIcCaul, a ladv 
^\ith wide experience of active service 
conditions in South Africa, and of the 
working of the British Army Medical 
Department, had been commissioned by 
Her Majesty the Queen to go to Japan 
and inquire into the working of the 
Japanese Red Cross Societv. .She had 
brought back with her the complete out- 
fit of a soldier of the Japanese Imperial 
Guard, and these, after they had been 
inspected with great interest by the King, 




MISS M' CAUL, 



were placed at the disposal of the Editor 
of the British Medical Journal for 
examination. Subjoined is a transcript 
from the admirable report furnished by 
tliat org;an, which has al\\a\s displayed 
an extremely keen and critical apprecia- 
tion of all matters relating- to the 
physical welfare of 
fighting men. 

" The complete 
outfit," sa^s the 
British Medical 

Journal, " com- 

prises both \\inter 
and summer uni- 
forms and under- 
clothing, over- 
coats, putties and 
boots, gloves and 
hoods, knapsack, 
Awiter bottle, mess- 
tin and canteen, a 
grass-wo\en case 
to contain the 
ration of rice, 
blanket, portable 
tent, mosquito net 
for the head, 
housewife, band- 
age-wrapper and 
identification label. 
There is even a tin box containing creo- 
sote pills, -which each soldier must carry 
and is expected to take as a prophylactic 
against dysentery. One notable feature 
of all the clothing is that it is apparently 
made of the best material. The material 
for the winter clothing appears to be all 
wool, and in colour and w-armth reminds 
one of the brownish Jaeger clothing 
which is well known in this country." 

Of the summer kit which, at the period 
now being dealt with, the Japanese sol- 
dier is discarding, but which has evidently 
stood well a very exl-iausti\-e test, the 



240 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR 



following is a detailed description : — " In 
the neat blue parade uniform, jacket or 
tunic, plain flat brass buttons are used, 
but in the working; kit buttons are done 
away with as far as possible, fastenings 
being- in nearly all instances carried out 
by means of flat hooks and eyes. The 
summer jacket and 
trousers are of khaki 
drill; the jacket is per- 
fectly plain, and there 
are no buttons on any of 
the garments. A strip 
of white linen is issued 
to wind round the neck 
as a collar inside the 
tunic. The forage cap 
which goes with this 
uniform is a marvel of 
lightness. It has a de- 
tachable linen collar to 
be used in summer, 
from which hangs a 
linen screen to protect 
the neck. This screen 
being made in three 
parts — a centre and two 
sides — allows the air to 
pass freely. For all 
uniforms the trousers 
are made like riding 
breeches, in that they 
end above the ankle, 
where they are made to fit tight to the 
limb, being fastened by tapes instead of 
buttons. Putties or gaiters must, of 
course, be worn \\ith these. The or- 
dinary great-coat is of thick woollen 
cloth with bone buttons. It has a hood 
which can be drawn o\'er the head. A 
comparati\ely small detail in the cut of 
this, as also of the winter great-coat, 
shows how carefully health and comfort, 
and therefore indi\idual efficiencv, ha\e 
been considered. The free edges of the 




CAMPAIGNING KIT OF A JAPANESE 
INFANTRYMAN. 



front, instead of being cut straight, slope 
outwards below the waist, making the 
skirt of the coat lap o\'er more com- 
pletely below; it is thus prevented from 
gaping in walking, and the legs and 
knees are protected from rain. The 
front of the skirt can be buttoned back 
in order to allow free 
movement of the lower 
limbs for marching in 
dry weather. 

"A mosquito-net 

' helmet, ' or head cover- 
ing, in addition to its 
value as a preventive of 
malaria, is a great com- 
fort in summer, when 
there are many flies. 
That issued to the 
Japanese soldier is 
made of green netting, 
stretched on two circles 
of cane, so as to make a 
long drum with one end 
knocked out, into which 
the head is passed. The 
two rings of cane are 
kept apart by a wire 
spring, which allows the 
drum to be flattened 
and buttoned down for 
carriage. " 

The winter jacket and 
trousers are cut plain like the summer 
khaki suit, but are made of the aforesaid 
brown woollen material. The " cold- 
proof " winter o\'ercoat recei^-es special 
description and warm commendation 
in the British Medical Journal. " Made 
of thick woollen cloth it has a large collar 
covered with fur, which is of course in- 
side when the collar is raised. From the 
middle of the edge of this collar a cotton 
cap or hood can be pulled out so as to 
cover the head, and over this can be 




52 



242 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



worn the ample detached woollen ' cold- 
proof ' hood. Hanging by cords from 
the neck are large gloves or mittens — 
one division for all the fingers and one 
for the thumb ; they can thus be thrown 
off, when the hand is required for firing 
or any other purpose, without being lost. 
A sheepskin waistcoat with the wool out- 
side is also issued for severe weather. It 
fastens on one side. 

" The underclothing is of similar good 
material to that of the outer garments, 
a cotton shirt and drawers for summer 
and a thick knitted woollen jersey, or 
sweater, and pants for winter. The 
ribbed woollen stockings are made with- 
out heels, and warm toe-caps are issued 
in the coldest weather to wear over the 
stockings to prevent frost bite. These 
toe-caps are made of a lambswool 
material like very thick lint, the soft 
surface being inside. A roll of fine 
striped flannel, of very good quality and 
about a yard and a half long is issued to 
be wound round the abdomen, and takes 
the place of a cholera belt." 

Of the Japanese army boots it is said 
that in general appearance they resemble 
the well-known " ammunition boot " 
issued to the British soldier, " but on 
close inspection they are seen to be far 
superior.. The leather of the uppers is 
good and reasonably soft, the sole is thin- 
ner than that of our Army boot, and is 
thinned off at the waist, making the boot 
more flexible in marching.. The flat of 
the sole is studded with iron hobnails, and 
the toe and heel have brass plates. The 
boots weigh 3 lb. , as against the 4 lb. of 
our soldiers' boots. For the temporary 
use of men with sore feet, the soft native 
shoe with grass sole, such as is used by 
the ' rickshaw ' men and the people gen- 
erally in Japan, is served out. 

" The knapsack is of leather with the 



hair outside, its shape being maintained 
by a wooden frame, and this seems to us 
to be capable of improvement. The 
khaki-coloured hemp haversack is divided 
lengthwise to form two compartments, 
and resembles somewhat the haversack 
carried by our officers. A useful addition 
to the slings supporting it from the oppo- 
site shoulder is a short strap fixed in the 
centre of the top of the sack with a hook 
to fix on the waist-belt, and thus take oif 
some of the weight from the sling. 

" For carrying additional small articles 
of clothing the soldier has a long sack 
about 9 inches in width and 6 feet long, 
open at each end and stitched across at 
its centre, so as to make two bags. It 
is worn over one shoulder like a bando- 
lier, the ends being tucked under the 
waist-belt at the opposite side. 

" The water bottle, canteen, and mess- 
tin are of aluminium, the first two being 
blackened outside; the mess-tin fits in- 
side the canteen like a tray. The rice 
ration is carried in the small grass box 
shown in front of the mess-tin. The 
copper Chinese camp kettle is a very 
practical contrivance. It has double 
sides ; the water poured into the outer 
jacket is heated by burning charcoal in 
a small stove in the centre of the vessel, 
air being admitted by the lateral aperture 
near the bottom, through which also the 
ashes can be extracted. With this, water 
can be boiled even in a gale, and the 
Japanese soldiers have realised its value 
in campaigning, and use it very 
generally. " 

After this somewhat long but surely 
interesting digression we may return to 
the Japanese armies actually in the field, 
in whose attitude, as foreshadowed in 
the commencement of this chapter, a 
singular change is now taking place. 
After the movement on September 20th- 



KUROPATKIWS ORDER OF THE DAY. 



243 



2 1 St, the pressure on the Russian front 
is gradually relaxed, until it becomes 
evident that preparations are being made 
to stand on the defensive. There are 
outpost collisions in the first two or three 
days of October, but nothing in the 
nature of an advance, and about October 
3rd telegrams from Mukden state that 
the Japanese are entrenching along their 
whole front, and, assisted by a large 
number of Chinese, are constructing 
strong defences to the east of ■ the 
railway. 

Meanwhile a contrary disposition is 
being exhibited on the Russian side. On 
October 2nd General Kuropatkin issues 
to his troops an Order of the Day which 
it is necessary to quote in full, since, not- 
withstanding the onesidedness of the 
views expressed, it forms a genuine his- 
torical preface to the tremendous opera- 
tion that ensues : — 

" More than seven months ago the 
enemy treacherously fell upon us at Port 
Arthur' before war had been declared. 
Since then, by land and sea, the Russian 
troops have performed many heroic deeds 
of which the Fatherland may be justly 
proud. The enemy, however, is not only 
not overthrown, but in his arrogance 
continues to dream of complete victory. 
The troops of the Manchurian army, in 
unvarying good spirits, have hitherto 
not been numerically strong enough to 
■defeat the Japanese army. Much time is 
necessary for overcoming all difficulties 
and strengthening the active army so as 
to enable it to accomplish with complete 
success the arduous but honourable task 
imposed upon it. It is for this reason 
that, in spite of the repeated repulse of 
the attacks of the Japanese upon our 
positions at Ta-shi-chao, Lian-dian-san 
and Liao-yang, I did not consider the 
time to have arrived to take advantage of 



these successes to begin a forward move- 
ment, and I, therefore, gave the order 
to retreat. You left the positions you so 
heroically defended covered with piles of 
the enemy's dead, without allowing your- 
selves to be distorted by the foe, and, in 
preparedness for a fresh light, after five 
days' battle at Liao-yang, you retired 
on the new positions previously pre- 
pared. 

" After successfully defending all ad- 
vanced and main positions you withdrew 
to Mukden under the most difficult con- 
ditions. Attacked by General Kuroki's 
army, you marched through almost im- 
passable mud, and, fighting throughout 
the day and extricating the guns and 
carts with your hands at night, and re- 
turned to Mukden without abandoning 
a single gun, prisoner, or wounded man, 
and with the baggage train entirely in- 
tact. I ordered the retreat with a 
sorrowful heart, but with unshaken con- 
fidence that it was necessary in order to 
gain a complete and decisive victory over 
the enemy when the time came. The 
Emperor has assigned for the conflict 
with Japan forces sufficient to assure us 
victory. .-Ml the difficulties of transport- 
ing these forces over a distance of 10,000 
versts (6,666 miles) are being overcome 
in a spirit of self-sacrifice, and with in- 
domitable energy and skill by Russian 
men of every branch and rank of the 
service and every social position, to 
whom has been entrusted this work, 
which for difficulty is unprecedented in 
the history of warfare. In the course of 
seven months hundreds of thousands of 
men, tens of thousands of horses and 
carts, and millions of poods of stores 
have been coming uninterruptedly by rail 
from European Russia and Siberia to 
Manchuria. If the regiments which have 
already been sent out prove to be in- 



A BOMBASTIC UTTERANCE. 



245 



sufficient fresh troops will arrive, for the 
inflexible wish of the Emperor that we 
should vanquish the foe will be inflexibly 
fulfilled. 

" Hitherto the enemy in operating has 
relied on his great forces, and, disposing 
his armies so as to surround us, has 
chosen as he deemed fit his time for 
attack. But now the moment to go and 
meet the enemy, for which the whole 
army has been longing, has come, and 
the time has arrived for us to compel the 
Japanese to do our will, for the forces of 
the Manchurian army are strong enough 
to begin the forward movement. Never- 
theless you must unceasingly be mindful 
of the victory to be gained over our 
strong and gallant foe. In addition to 
numerical strength, in all commands, from 
the lowest to the highest, a firm deter- 
mination must prevail to gain the vic- 
tory, whatever be the sacrifices necessary 
to this end. Bear in mind the import- 
ance of victory to Russia, and, above 
all, remember how necessary victory is, 
the more speedily to relieve our brothers 
at Port Arthur, who for seven months have 
heroically maintained the defence of the 
fortress entrusted to their care. 

" Our army, strong' in its union with 
the Tsar and all Russia, performed great 
deeds of heroism for the Fatherland in 
all our wars, and gained for itself well- 
merited renown among all nations. 
Think at every hour of the defence of 
Russia's dignity and rights in the Far 
East, which has been entrusted to you 
b}' the wish of the Emperor. Think at 
every hour that to you the defence of 
the honour and fame of the whole Rus- 
sian Army has been confided. The illus- 
trious head of the Russian land, together 
with the whole of Russia, prays for you 
and blesses you for your heroic deeds. 
Strengthened by this prayer, and imbued 



with the consciousness of the importance 
of the task that has fallen to us, we must 
go forward fearlessly with a firm deter- 
mination to do our duty to the end, with- 
out sparing our lives. The will of God 
be with us all ! " 

The wording of this remarkable docu- 
ment gives rise to various reflections. In 
the first place it may be doubted whether 
any of the bombastic utterances thus 
voiced can be fairly ascribed to Kuro- 
patkin himself, and this doubt supports 
the theory that once again the Com- 
mander-in-Chief may have yielded to 
pressure in attempting to advance against 
his better judgment. For it is difficult to 
see wherein such a shrewd observer as 
Kuropatkin could have imagined his posi- 
tion to have altered so conspicuously for 
the better during the past four weeks as 
to justify the belief that he would now 
crush finally the enemy who literally 
squeezed him out of Liao-yang. 

It has further been questioned whether 
it is quite in keeping with the character 
of one who, in most respects, has shown 
himself a very able and sagacious, if 
occasionally mistaken, leader of armies, 
to make such a triumphant parade of his 
future movements. Since the French 
shouted '■'■A Berlin !" in 1870, it has not 
been the military fashion to anticipate 
too freely the hour of victory, and special 
caution is usually displayed in such direc- 
tions by generals who have recently 
suffered unmistakable defeat. While, 
therefore, something of Kuropatkin 's fine 
spirit, his personal gallantry, and his 
fiery resolution are reflected in some 
parts of this exhortation, one feels that 
other hands and minds may have been at 
work in causing Kuropatkin thus to 
pledge himself to an enterprise fraught, 
as will presently be seen, with sharp 
calamity. 



24& 



CHAPTER LXV. 

KDROPATiaN TAKES THE OFFENSIVE — THE SHA-HO BATTLEFIELD — THE FIGHTING FROM 

DAY TO DAY — A TITANIC CONFLICT — RUSSIANS FORCED TO RETIRE JAPANESE 

VICTORIOUS — SOME THRILLING INCIDENTS. 



WHATEVER may have been the in- 
spired source of Kuropatkin's 
Order of the Day of October 2nd, he 
was by no means so prompt as might 
have been expected in carrying- out 
his published intentions. Not until the 
5th does the Russian Army in Manchuria 
begin to take the offensive, and that day 
the principal feature seems to have been 
a great religious service in the field chapel 
at Mukden, at which special prayers were 
offered up for the success of the Russian 
arms. The service on this memorable 
occasion concluded with a sermon by the 
Grand Almoner, who, addressing General 
Kuropatkin, said : "Of old the parting 
warrior was told, ' Return with your 
shield or on it,' but to-day I say to you, 
' Go with the Cross, and in the Faith of 
Christ.'" If at times the Russian 
character exhibits unamiable traits, it will 
be conceded to the Army of the Tsar that 
it seems never to have allowed the hard- 
ships, the terrors, or the preoccupations 
of a frightfully exacting campaign to 
lessen its religious fervour or to neglect 
the full observance of its Church's 
elaborate rites and ceremonial. 

The task which now lay before Kuro- 
patkin and his legions was not dissimilar 
from that which faced Oyama before he 
made his arrangements for the final ad- 
vance on Liao-yang. Nor does the Rus- 
sian Commander-in-Chief disdain to em- 
ploy a very similar form of strategy. In 
fact, by turning the map upside down, 



and then shifting the two flanks, one 
arrives at a conception of the Russian 
advance which corresponds quite strange- 
ly with the actual trend of the Japanese 
operations against Liao-yang. In the 
latter case there was an advance up the 
railway against the enemy's right, strong 
pressure on his centre, and an attempt to 
turn and envelope his right. Roughly 
speaking, Kuropatkin's plan consists of 
an advance down the railway against 
the Japanese left, a vigorous attempt to 
debate with him the possession of the 
Yen-tai coal-mines, which constitute, 
practically speaking, the enemy's centre, 
and to work round his right flank at 
Pen-si-hu on the Tai-tse River. 

A gdance may now be given at the geo- 
graphical features of the situation. To 
the west of Liao-yang the Tai-tse-ho has 
two affluents, one the Hun-ho, which 
comes down from the north after flowing 
past Mukden, and the other the Sha-ho, 
or Sand River, which is crossed by the 
Imperial Road at Sha-ho-pu, about four- 
teen miles south by west of Mukden. A 
little south of Sha-ho-pu, some twenty 
miles south by west of Mukden, a small 
affluent of the Sha-ho is also crossed by 
the Imperial Road. This is the Shi-li-ho, 
which flows roughly from east to west in 
a very narrow and deep bed. 

A correspondent has given in the Times 
an interesting account of the Sha-ho, 
which, from a point a few hundred miles 
west, and for a long distance east of the 



THE BATTLE OF THE SHA-HO. 



247 



road, is in some places 500 yards wide 
and all sand. The actual river is at this 
season a mere stream which meanders 
from side to side of the bed, and is no- 
where just now more than 50 or 60 yards 
wide, and rarely more than 3 feet deep. 
South of the river there is a long series of 
sand dunes stretching for some miles 
eastward of the Imperial Road, and gen- 
erally crowned with trees. West of the 
Imperial Road the Sha-ho flows through 
a narrow and very steep bed, with 
steep banks. There is much deep 
water and a treacherous mud bottom. 
Only the railway bridge exists, and a 
passage of the stream at this point by 
a great body of troops would seem to 
be difficult. Sha-ho-pu was once a small 
town on the north bank, but was all eaten 
away during the floods of 1888, and its 
former site now forms part of the deep, 
open sandy river bed. To the south of 
the river, along a gully winding from the 
south, is the present little village, which 
consists of only about twenty houses, 
mostly in yards surmounted by high mud 
walls. 

The first few days of the great and pro- 
tracted operation which will go down to 
history as the Battle of the Sha-ho are 
uninteresting and, as regards details, 
rather obscure. 

At first, it would seem, the Russians 
met with some success in the course of 
their advance, particularly on their right. 
By the 9th their scheme was beginning to 
develop, and the actual struggle began. 
The initial result of importance appears 
to have been the Russian occupation of 
Ben-tsia-pu-tse which, as noted in the 
previous chapter, is an important point 
on the road from Mukden to Pen-si-hu, 
formerly held in some strength by the 
Japanese. The latter had fortified the 
place pretty strongly, but, it is said, had 



neglected to take into account a certain 
hill from which a galling flank fire could 
be delivered on the Ben-tsia-pu-tse posi- 
tion. The Russians, it is claimed — and 
the Japanese do not controvert this 
account — duly seized this hill, and made 
such good use of it in connection with their 
attack that the Japanese evacuated their 
position without further serious resist- 
ance. 

jNIeanwhile, the Russians had been 
pushing on against both Yen-tai and the 
Yen-tai coal-mines, and had further 
worked round first to the east and then 
southwards, until, on the morning of the 
9th, they were able to cross the Tai-tse- 
ho near Pen-si-hu \\ith a brigade of in- 
fantry, 20,000 cavalry, and two guns. 
Now General Kuroki not only had a de- 
tachment at Pen-si-hu, but one or more 
to the east of this place. Accordingly 
this Russian movement meant not only 
a menace to the Japanese right flank; 
it involved also a complete severance 
of communications between the main 
body and the detachments guarding that 
flank. 

October gth, then, finds the Japanese in 
a situation demanding high qualities of 
generalship. As far as the evacuation of 
Ben-tsia-pu-tse is concerned there is no 
particular cause for, regret, as it merely 
necessitates a shrinkage of the Japanese 
resistance, which is now chiefly concen- 
trated in and round the Yen-tai colliery 
position. But the Russian movements 
on the Tai-tse-ho need to be strongly 
checked, lest they be followed up by at- 
tacks in force calculated to throw the 
whole of the Japanese right flank into 
disorder. 

The Japanese rise to the occasion finely. 
Although there is only a weak detachment 
near Pen-si-hu, and the Russians under 
General Rennenkampf are reinforced 



248 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 




RUSSIAN PRACTICE WITH LAND MINES NEAR MUKDEN. 



by another brigade of infantry, 1,500 
more cavalry, and eight more guns, the 
attackers soon find they have their work 
cut out for them. Before their com- 
munications have been severed the de- 
fenders manage to let General Kuroki 
know what is happening, and they then 
set themselves to the business of offering 
the stoutest possilsle resistance. Be- 
tween two and three o'clock in the after- 
noon the Russian infantry and artillery 
by a sudden attack seize the heights east 
of Pen-si-hu, and, later, capture another 
position commanding the road. The 
fighting throughout the 9th in this quar- 
ter is described as being of the fiercest 
description, and the Russian losses alone 
were admitted to be " about 200." That 
the Russians were very much in earnest 
in attempting to beat down the Japanese 
resistance is apparent from the number 
of troops they showed in this quarter. 



For behind the two infantry brigades and 
the 3,000 odd cavalrv who were actually 
operating on or had crossed the Tai-tse 
River, there seem to have been large 
bodies moving down from the direction 
of the Ta-ling, prcsumablv with the inten- 
tion of completing the process of rolling 
up the Japanese right flank when the 
fighting in the centre had become more 
developed. 

But, notwithstanding their capture of 
the two positions mentioned, the Rus- 
sians may well have been taken aback 
by the furious reception they encountered. 
By all accounts they might as well have 
engaged a full division as this small, 
isolated detachment, judging by the ex- 
traordinary tenacity and hitting power 
displayed by the latter. Nor were Japan- 
ese pluck and resolution to go unre- 
warded. By 9 p.m. on October 9th a 
reinforcement despatched by General 



THE BATTLE OF THE SHA-HO. 



249 



Xuroki had fought its way to the rescue 
•of the hard-pressed detachment, and 
throughout the night a vigilant watch 
was kept in order to frustrate a possible 
attack in the darkness. 

\\'e ma}' anticipate e\cnts in this 
a httle b_v mentioning tliat on the morn- 
ing of the loth the Japanese at Pen-si-hu 
made a brislv counter-attack under cover 
■of a thiol-; fog, and succeeded by 11 a.m. 
in regaining- both of the positions lost on 
the previous day. Exasperated at this 
the Russian cavalry swept up in a des- 
perate charg'e, coming, according to 
the official despatches, " within sword- 
length," but they were repulsed, leaving 
many dead and wounded. Later the 
Russians were reinforced, but the Japan- 
-ese continued to hold their ground well, 



and there can be little question that the 
Russian failure to make a serious impres- 
sion on this flank contributed largely to 
the eventual result of the battle thus 
fiercely begun. 

The remainder of the fighting on the 
9th was not very dramatic, the Russians 
being- still engaged in covering the con- 
siderable space between the Hun-ho and 
the Japanese left and centre. During the 
morning only one division was observed 
in the centre, but in the afternoon a 
large column, five miles long, was seen 
mo\ing southwards down the railwav. 
According to Russian unollicial accounts 
one Russian force, which had crossed the 
Sha-ho on the gth, was engaged during 
the day at Ha-ma-tung, which lies to the 
north of the Ven-tai coal mines about 




THE JAPANESE PONTOON BRIDGE OVER THE TAI-TSE RIVER. 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



twenty miles south-east of Mukden. On 
the hills round Ha-ma-tung the Japanese 
had planted four batteries. When the 
Russians advanced these retired south- 
ward across a narrow valley which runs 
east and west, and joined the main 
Japanese force on the hills beyond. In 
the fighting round Ha-ma-tung a few 
Japanese prisoners are said to have been 
taken. The Russians followed the 
Japanese across the valley, taking up 
positions on the foothills, from which the 
artillery shelled the Japanese forces while 
the infantry advanced through the defiles. 

On October loth the principal fighting 
took place between the branch line from 
Yen-tai to the coal mines and the Shih- 
li-ho, the little stream flowing at right 
angles to the Imperial Road, of which 
mention was made at the beginning of 
this chapter. On the previous evening 
the Russian outposts had advanced to 
within three or four miles of Yen-tai, and 
at this point the Japanese evidently in- 
tended to check the enemy's progress. 
Accordingly they brought up strong re- 
serves with artillery, and a vigorous duel 
takes place, the Japanese not only main- 
taining their positions, but even assuming 
the offensive after they had thoroughly 
searched the Russian positions with a 
well-directed artillery fire. In the even- 
ing the Russians fell back across the 
Shih-li river in order to bivouac, but on 
the morning of the nth they recrossed, 
and fighting was resumed with the ut- 
most vigour. 

In the early morning of the loth there 
was sharp fighting far away on the 
Japanese right, some distance beyond 
Pen-si-hu, at a place called Han-chang. 
Here the Japanese had an outlying de- 
tachment, more, it would seem, for pur- 
poses of observation than with any idea 
of independent action, and the post had 



been attacked by the Russians as far 
back as October 7th. Apparently the 
solitary idea in the m.ind of a Japanese 
officer attacked under such circumstances 
is to fight and keep on fighting, and the- 
commander of this detachment is no ex- 
ception to the rule. He resists on the 
7th, and continues to resist throughout 
the 8th and gth. We have no details of 
his performances, but it is duly recorded 
by Marshal Oyama that at 3 a.m. on the 
morning of the loth the Japanese at 
Han-chang made a night attack on the 
enemy confronting them, and drove them 
back eastward. 

During the loth no serious movement 
is recorded on the Japanese left, but pre- 
parations are being made to assume the 
offensive on the following day. 

The nth is a day of close and bitter 
fighting all along the line. The Russians 
at ten o'clock in the morning open a 
severe attack on the Japanese forces at 
l-'en-si-hu, which have been considerably 
stiffened, and the battle rages hotly in 
this quarter until sundown without, it 
would seem, much advantage being 
gained on either side, the Russians being 
in considerable strength, and having now 
some 80 guns east of Pen-si-hu. 

In the Japanese centre rather more- 
marked progress is made. To the north 
of the Yen-tai coal mines there is very 
fierce fighting, in the course of which the 
Japanese begin gradually to assume the 
offensive, but as yet they do not make 
much headway in this direction owing to- 
the strength of the enemy, and the alter- 
nating fortune of war, which for a time 
places the greater portion of an impor- 
tant position east of the- mines in the 
hands of the enemy. 

It is on the left that the fighting on 
the nth assumes its most distinctive 
aspect. Marshal Oyama, finding that 



THE BATTLE OF THE SHA-HO. 



2^1 



both his centre and right can hold their 
own, has determined to reinforce his left 
considerably with a view to a vigorous 
counterstroke and an attempt to envelope 
the Russian right. By way of prelude, 
General Oku's Army flings itself heavily 
on the enemy to the north of Y;en-tai 
station, and a terrific encounter ensues, 
the heights being held alternately by 
Russians and Japanese. The former had 
General Daniloff, commanding the 6th 
Siberian Regiment, wounded. The result 
of the day's fighting in this quarter also 
was indecisive, but it was unmistakably 
favourable to the Japanese, who un- 
doubtedly on this day succeeded in put- 
ting a new complexion on the battle. In 
point of fact, the Russian attack may 
already have said to have failed, for it 
has been checked on the left and centre, 
and on the right is beginning to be rolled 
back. The Japanese, at the close of the 
nth, are threatening the Russian right 
flank and rear, and it is quite clear that, 
unless some decided Russian success can 
be gained at some other point in the 
line, some twenty-three miles in length, 
along which the fighting now extends, 
the effect of this pressure will rapidly 
become serious. 

One correspondent, describing the pro- 
gress of the battle on the nth, gives a 
lurid account of the V^orognetz Regiment 
of Russian infantry against the flanks of 
which several squadrons of Japanese 
cavalry made a desperate charge, " but 
not a man reached the Russian lines, and 
not a man returned. The Vorognetz 
Regiment was again attacked by the 
Japanese, and this time suffered fright- 
ful loss. The- opposing forces at this 
point were within 400 paces of each 
other, taking cover behind trees." 

Marshal Oyama is not slow to take 
advantage of the more favourable aspect 



of affairs presented at nightfall on the 
nth. At midnight the Centre Army 
pushes forward in a night attack, and 
starts well by capturing a couple of guns 
and eight ammunition wagons, though 
at the cost of some casualties, includ- 
ing Major-General Marui wounded and 
Colonel Yasumura killed. At dawn on 
October 12th the Centre Army had 
reached the highlands a little to the east 
of Yen-tai, and had commenced a 
vigorous attempt to keep the enemy on 
the move, eventually capturing 1 1 guns 
and 150 prisoners. 

Some capital work is now done by the 
Right Army under General Kuroki, which, 
with some assistance from the Centre 
Army, was actively engaged throughout 
the 1 2th and made considerable progress. 
Twelve miles to the east of Yen-tai a 
Russian force of infantry and artillery 
was enveloped and fled in great disorder. 
During the day General Kuroki detached 
a considerable body of cavalry under 
Prince Kanin with orders to cut off the 
retreat of the Russian force operating 
against Pen-si-hu. The latter had made 
several fresh attacks, but all had been 
repulsed, and, in view of the tendency to 
weakness now being shown by the Rus- 
sian centre, its position was becoming 
precarious, and towards evening it began 
to show signs of retreating. 

The 1 2th was a great day for General 
Oku's Army on the left. After repulsing 
a strong force of the enemy, the central 
column of this army occupied on 
\Vednesday afternoon Liu-san-kia-tzu, 
five miles north-east of Yen-tai, capturing 
16 guns.. From this point it pursued the 
enemy, and succeeded in capturing four 
more guns. The enemy twice attempted 
desperate counter-attacks, delivered with 
a gallantry which evoked the warm ad- 
miration of the Japanese, but to no pur- 



2^2 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



pose. The tide had definitely turned, the 
Japanese gave no chances, and the coun- 
ter-attacks were repulsed with heavy 
losses. 

Nor was the complete tale of the Left 
Army's achievements on this memorable 
day yet told. General Oku's right col- 
umn while pursuing the enemy near Shih- 
li-ho captured five more guns, making a 
total of 25 guns taken by the Left Army 
alone, in addition to the 13 which, with 
some extra ammunition wagons, had 
fallen into General Nozu's hands. 

At the close of the 12th the situation 
is becoming clear. Any doubt as to the 
futility of the great Russian attack may 
now be considered set at rest, for it is 
quite hopeless for the Russians to expect 
to resume the offensive unless the Jap- 
anese make some amazing error. The 
Russian right is beginning to be crumpled 
up, the Russian centre is giving way, and 
the left at Pen-si-hu is preparing to re- 
treat. The most that can be done is to 
get back in fairly good order without 
allowing the successes gained by General 
Oku to lead to a Russian rout. Early 
on the 13th the Japanese force at Pen- 
si-hu assumed the offensive against the 
Russian left, which now commenced a 
gradual retirement. During this opera- 
tion the Japanese cavalry force under 
Prince Kanin, which had been despatched 
by General Kuroki on the previous day 
in the hope of interrupting the Russian 
retreat, emerged on the enemy's left 
flank and rear, shattering his reserves, 
which, as Marshal Oyama tersely re- 
marks, " greatly improved the situation 
in this part of the field." The Russians, 
however, succeeded, eventually, as will 
be seen, in making good their retreat, 
the hoped-for isolation of their forces in 
this quarter being doubtless hindered by 
General Kuroki's inability to detach suffi- 



cient infantry for this purpose from his 
busily occupied main body. 

Throughout the 13th Generals Kuroki 
and Nozu appear to have been engaged 
in much the same sort of fighting as on 
the previous day. The Russian centre, 
although it has now been to all intents 
and purposes falling back for at least 
twenty-four hours, has yielded very little 
ground, and during the morning of the 
13th fights with the greatest courage and 
tenacity, the Tomsk Regiment especially 
distinguishing itself by the defence of one 
of the advanced positions. Kuropatkin 
himself watches the strugg-le in this quar- 
ter, and bears testimony to its desperate 
character. But not even Russian obsti- 
nacy could prevail against Japanese de- 
termination. About 2 o'clock in the 
afternoon the Russian centre finally gives 
way, and the troops composing it retire 
closer to the line of the Sha-ho, the Jap- 
anese occupying the eminences which the 
Russians have evacuated. 

Some progress is made by the Japanese 
on the 13th, but not sufficient to warrant 
any sanguine hopes of a successful enve- 
lopment. It is apparently in this quarter 
that an incident occurs which is typical of 
the extraordinary severity of the fighting 
from one end to the other of this vast 
battlefield. One has to say " appar- 
ently," for the name of the locality as re- 
corded in the Renter's telegram describ- 
ing the incident cannot be found on any 
generally accessible map. This fact does 
not materially lessen, however, the grim 
interest of the story, which is as follows : 
The Russians had on the evening, it 
seems, of the 12th occupied the village 
in question after a brilliant attack which 
was pressed home so vigorously that the 
surviving Japanese in retiring left behind 
numbers of rifles. Shortly afterwards 
the Japanese artillery bombarded the vil- 



THE BATTLE OF THE SHA-HO. 



253 



lag:e so hotly that the Russians were try using cut kaoliang as cover. With- 

obliged to evacuate it, retiring to some out awaiting orders from their ofKcers 

hilly positions in the vicinity. The Jap- the Russians made a magnificent charge, 

anese now resumed their occupation of killing their enemy to the last man. 

the place. " On the following morning the Jap- 




MAP SHOWING AREA OF THE BATTLES ON THE SHA-HO. 



Ordered to retake the village the Rus- 
sians, among whom were included the 
Zaraisk Regiment, " approached under 
cover of night and surprised the Japan- 
ese, all of whom were either asleep 
"or eating. Only a handful escaped. 
Again the Japanese attacked, their infan- 



anese advanced to the final attack, sweep- 
ing the village and heights with artillery, 
and driving the Russians out with heavy 
losses. Of some Russian companies but 
ten or fifteen men came through alive." 
Even more stubbornly than the Russian 
centre did the Russian right dispute the 



254 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



ground with the advancing- Japanese, 
and would doubtless have gone on dis- 
puting- but for an order received at night- 
fall on the 13th from General Kuropatkin 
to retire on the Sha-ho. Evidently the 
Japanese pressed hotly on their heels, for 
towards evening we hear of them com- 
mencing to attack Sha-ho-pu and Lin- 
shi-pu. 

The weather during the past day and 
night had been extremely trying. Dur- 
ing the night of the I2th-i3th a heavy 
rain and thunder-storm had burst over 
the opposing forces, and the rain and 
thunder continued all through the morn- 
ing of the 13th. 

Early on the 14th the Japanese at Pen- 
si-hu take up the pursuit of the Russian 
left and drive the enemy northwards for 
a considerable distance. Simultaneously 
the remainder of General Kuroki's Army 
and the Centre Army under General Nozu 
press forward in a grand advance, and 
force the enemy to the Sha-ho and beyond 
it. By the evening of the 14th there 
seem to be few, if any, of the troops of the 
Russian centre on the south bank of the 
Sha-ho, and the positions occupied by the 
Right and Centre Japanese Armies are 
held so strongly that Kuropatkin 's hopes 
of continuing the struggle to some defin- 
ite purpose seem quite illusory. 

On- the Japanese left the wretched little 
village of Sha-ho-pu was the scene of 
continued encounters. While the right 
column of General Oku's Army was en- 
gaged in capturing some useful heights 
south to the east, the central column de- 
voted its attention to the heights south of 
Sha-ho-pu, which it occupied during the 
afternoon. According to Russian official 
reports the Japanese succeeded subse- 
quently in getting into Sha-ho-pu, but 
were eventually ejected by the Russians 
and driven back for over a mile. At Lin- 



shi-pu the Japanese were more successful. 
Part of the central and part of the left 
column of the Left Army charged the 
position here at 4 p.m., and captured it 
after a severe hand-to-hand fight, in which 
a Russian regiment and two batteries 
were driven back. 

jNIeanwhile, the remainder of the left 
column had crossed the Sha-ho further to 
the west of the railway, and occupied a 
position at Chang-liang-pau. This the 
Russians made desperate attempts to re- 
cover, sending against it four regiments 
of infantry and a battery of artillery, all of 
whose attacks, however, were repnlsed. 

During the 14th, again, the fighting 
was rendered more difficult by torrential 
rains, a thunderstorm bursting shortly 
after noon and flooding the roads. 

The night of the 14th passed quietly, 
and on the isth the Right and Centre 
Japanese Armies advanced to the banks 
of the Sha-ho, driving back such forces 
of the enemy as still remained south of 
the river. Telegraphing at nightfall on 
the 15th Marshal Oyama remarked that 
the enemy were still in some force on the 
farther bank of the Sha-ho confronting 
the Japanese Right and Centre Armies, 
but not in sufficient strength to give 
battle. During the day the Russians Pt 
Sha-ho-pu had maintained a most stub- 
born resistance, but in the evening even 
here the Japanese were successful, and, by 
nightfall on October 15th, the great 
Battle of the Sha-ho was to all practical 
intents and purposes a Japanese victory. 

We shall deal in a separate chapter 
with the sequel to the Sha-ho fighting, of 
which a daily record has been given 
above, and may there have occasion to 
discuss some of the more important 
lessons of this momentous conflict. But 
before we leave the present stage of the 
operations there are one or two supple- 



THE BATTLE OF THE SHA-HO. 



255 



Tnentary notes and incidents that will 
more conveniently find a place here than 
at a future period. 

It will be remarked by the majority of 
readers that the Battle of the Sha-ho is 
one which does not lend itself at all 
readily to descriptive treatment. The 
area occupied by the fighting is so enor- 
mous, the space of time over which the 
■operation is spread is so considerable, 
that it is extremely difficult to make any 
account at once coherent and picturesque. 
Practically speaking-, the Sha-ho fighting 
is quite a little campaign in itself, and on 
that basis would afford material for a 
goodly volume. If we regard it, as in 
this case it is expedient to do, in the 
light of a battle, or connected series of 
battles, incidental to the war, some loss 
is inevitable. Either one must miss a 
good deal of colour and effecti\'eness in 
the attempt to make the various move- 
ments over a huge battlefield fairly clear, 
or the anxiety to " make pictures " will 
both blur the detail and spoil the con- 
tinuity of the narrative. 

The compromise here attempted, 
namely, a brief day-to-day record with 
an appendix — of which the succeeding 
chapter will form part — of such details 
as are available from various sources, is 
the more excusable since the sources in 
question are not wholly satisfactory. 
Eventually, no doubt, there will be 
notable descriptions forthcoming of the 
several phases of the battle. But the 
cabled accounts, apart from the official 
despatches, were singularly meagre. We 
had nothing in the case of the Japanese 
movements, for instance, to compare 
with the splendid record of the work of 
General Oku's Army in the Battle of 
Liao-yang by the Special Correspondent 
of the Times. Nor had we any account 
of the Russian retirement half so illu- 



minating as that which Reuter's Corres- 
pondent sent from Liao-yang itself. 

To M. Recouly, the Correspondent of 
the Paris Temps, we are indebted for one 
of the most interesting bits of informa- 
tion received in connection with the Rus- 
sian advance. M. Recouly accompanied 
the Russian left or, as he calls it, the 
Eastern Army, to the movements of 
which we have only been able to make a 
biief allusion in our daily record. The 
" Eastern Army " was " composed of 
excellent troops, and appeared to have a 
most important part to play on the 
Japanese flank — that is to say, it was to 
■make the turning movement that would 
force the enemy to retreat. It started 
from Fu-ling and Fu-shun on October 
6th, passing through the smaller valleys 
running from north to south. Its first 
engagement was on the evening of the 
loth, at Liao-chan-tzu. Its object was 
to capture the Tu-men Pass (Tu-nien- 
tzu-ling) in order to open the way to 
Pen-si-hu, on the Tai-tse River. On 
the nth there was a general attack, in 
which almost the entire Russian forces 
were engaged. The Russian left tried 
to rush an almost perpendicular height 
and was repulsed. The divisions to the 
right vigorously and successfully at- 
tacked some ridges of secondary import- 
ance, and succeeded in getting to the- foot 
of the principal position. This was a 
steep height of considerable elevation 
crowned with Japanese redoubts. At 
daybreak on the 12th six battalions de- 
livered a furious bayonet attack, scaling 
the heights, but they failed to capture the 
position. Two Colonels and a Chief of 
the Staff were killed. The fight con- 
tinued all day. The Russians climbed 
higher and higher, and the principal 
positions would have been taken if it had 
been possible to bring up the reserves. 



2S6 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Unfortunately, they were required else- 
where to check the Japanese offensive, 
and to fill a gap between the Eastern 
and Central Armies. Several companies 
of Russian soldiers remained two days, 
without food or drink, crouching- between 
the rocks on one of the steepest sides of 
the height. Yet the Japanese had but a 
small force, and the two batteries rarely 
fired." 

M. Recouly subsequently left the East- 
ern Army, and on the 13th passed west- 
ward along the whole of the Russian 
fighting front. The cannonade at the 
centre and in the west was terrific. The 
Western Army fought without intermis- 
sion for three days and nights. The 
Japanese had massed their principal 
forces on that part of the field, where 
they slowly repulsed the Russians. On 
the evening of the 13th the Russian right 
wing had given way, and the Japanese 
were still advancing. The Russian 
failure was attributed to the slowness of 
the Eastern Army, but, says M. Recouly, 
it was impossible to take the Tu-men 
Pass as rapidly as was imagined. 

Of the episodes of the battlefield none 
is, perhaps, more strangely moving than 
the following: — While the battle was at 
its height a wounded Russian officer and 
a handful of wounded men reported them- 
selves to the General in command. The 
General stormed at them, " How dare 
you leave your men at such a moment? 
Back with you at once. Wfiere is your 
regiment?" "Here, sir," replied the 
officer. " What, is that all? " the Gen- 
eral exclaimed with horror. " Yes, sir, 
that is all." 

Time after time there occurred terrible 
encounters marked by almost frantic 
ferocity. At one point some Russian 
Grenadiers deliberately threw away their 
rifles, and with their bayonets in their 



teeth climbed some almost perpendicular 
rocks held by a Japanese company. 
Both fought savagely hand to hand to 
the death. Again, Lieutenant Crosdeff, 
the only surviving officer of a Siberian 
regiment, arrived in one of the Japanese 
entrenchments with a few of his men, and 
the Japanese, having no more cartridges, 
attacked them with stones, fists, and 
bayonets. 

In another part of the field the Rus- 
sians stormed a pass which was domin- 
ated by two forts erected on an almost 
perpendicular rocky eminence, and gar- 
risoned by the Japanese. Under a de- 
vastating fire the Russians advanced 
against the rock and climbed up the steep 
sides, leaving heaps of dead at its base. 
At last they reached the top, when they 
were met by the Japanese, who rushed 
from their trenches and flung hand-gren- 
ades at them. Only a mass of fright- 
fully mutilated corpses and dismembei'ed 
arms and legs reached the bottom of the 
mountain. 

General Kuropatkin himself gave strik- 
ing proof of cool personal courage. 
When the Russian centre was in danger 
of being pierced, and reports arrived that 
the position was becoming untenable, the 
Commander-in-Chief mounted his charger 
and personally, in spite of the entreaties 
of his staff, led the Petroff Regiment 
right up to the enemy. 

Another inspiring example of persona! 
gallantry was afforded by Colonel Puti- 
loff, who led a magnificent bayonet charge 
against a prominent eminence formerly 
known as " One Tree Hill," which ap- 
pears to lie about two miles south-east 
of Sha-ho-pu. The fighting was so des- 
perate, and Colonel Putiloff's courageous 
efforts so successful, that Kuropatkin 
promptly decorated the gallant officer 
with the Cross of St. Vladimir, and caused 



2=;^ 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the eminence to be re-named " Putiloff's 
Hill " on the official maps. 

Some terrible accounts of the awful 
carnage are given by Japanese correspon- 
dents. A luridly interesting excerpt from 
these was cabled from Tokio by the Cor- 
respondent of the TJaily Express, who 
makes special mention of the incessant 
hand-to-hand fighting which took place 
on the loth and nth, and " in which hun- 
dreds of men were literally hacked to 
pieces by bayonets and knives. In an 
attack made' by a Japanese column the 
Russians, after firing volley after volley 
into the oncoming Japanese, received 
them with bayonets, and then used their 
clubbed rifles with the most terrible 
effect. Dozens of Japanese soldiers were 
found on the field with their skulls 
crushed in. 

" The surgeons on both sides found it 
impossible to cope with the never-ceasing 
stream of wounded. The Japanese Red 
Cross resources, admirable in every re- 
spect, were wholly inadequate for the 
occasion, so that thousands of wounded 
men lay on the field for hours, or crawled 
about in the most pitiful agony, without 



being attended to. In this way it is 
certain that the death-roll has been in- 
creased by hundreds of lives. 

" The great thunderstorm of Friday 
(October 14th) added to the intense 
agonies of the suffering wounded, who 
had lain all day in the field. The little 
rivulets that ran down the hills were 
literally red with the blood of the 
wounded and dying Russians and Jap- 
anese. One of the correspondents, who 
states that he rode over a part of the 
field occupied by General Oku's forces, 
telegraphs that the scene was the most 
appalling ever witnessed by man. The 
cries of the wounded soldiers, asking to 
be taken out of the rain, were heard far 
above the din of rifle fire. The stolidity 
of the Japanese soldier and the dumb 
courage of the Russian were not proof 
against the terrors of the day. In one 
place the correspondent came upon a 
heap of Russian dead piled six deep at a 
spot where a Finnish regiment had foi 
hours withstood the attacks of the pick 
of Oku's Army. They had fought to the 
last man, and their trenches were packed 
with the dead." 




259 



CHAPTER LXVI. 

CONTINUED FIGHTING — LOSS OF JAPANESE GUNS RESULT OF THE BATTLE — FORCES 

ENGAGED — FRIGHTFUL CASUALTIES — PATHETIC SCENES — COMPARISON WITH LIAO- 
YANG — A LESSON. 



ALTHOUGH, as has been stated in 
■**■ the preceding chapter, the Battle 
of the Sha-ho ended, to all intents and 
purposes, on the evening of October 
15th, the fighting was more or less con- 
tinuous for some time after that date. 
Evidently the idea in the minds of the 
Japanese was to ascertain by sustained 
pressure on the Russian front whether it 
would be possible to push the enemy back 
not only to the Hun-ho, but beyond 
Mukden. The Russians, on the other 
hand, seem at first to have been inspired 
by a vague hope of counteracting the 
disastrous failure of the past six days 
by a fresh offensive. On neither side were 
such sanguine expectations to be realised. 
The Russians were to be pressed a little 
further back, but Mukden was still to 
remain in their hands. The Japanese 
were to suffer one smart, if incidental, 
reverse, but the ground they had won 
was not to be yielded by them, nor the 
prospect of recapturing Liao-yang to be 
brought any closer to the Russians. 
Both sides were beginning to feel the 
strain of the long and uninterrupted 
fighting very severely, and, although 
such minor combats as are recorded 
during the subsequent week display al- 
most unabated fury, it is clear that the 
great battle has, to use the expressive 
phrase of one correspondent, " worn 
itself out," at any rate within two or 
three days of the time-limit — the isth — 



which Marshal Oyama officially puts 
to it. 

During the night of the 15th there was 
a very sharp encounter on the Japanese 
left. It will be remembered that the 
Japanese captured the village of Lin- 
shi-pu to the west of Sha-ho-pu on the 
evening of the 14th. The position was 
an important one, and the Japanese had 
made the most of it by transforming a 
large stone temple with thick stone walls 
into a fort surrounded with ditches, 
palisades, and barbed wire. On the 
night of the isth the Russians attacked 
the position, and by midnight had occu- 
pied most of the village. But the 
temple-fort proved too hard a nut to 
crack, although subjected to a nocturnal 
pounding with artillery. Desultory firing 
went on for many hours, the opposing 
forces being only eight hundred paces 
from one another. 

Throughout the i6th the Russians 
made repeated counter-attacks on the 
Japanese left, but without any effective 
result. A village called Li-mun-tun, a 
little to the east of the railway, fourteen 
miles south of Mukden, which had been 
occupied by the Japanese in the evening 
of the 15th simultaneously with the 
capture of Sha-ho-pu, went through much 
the same experience as Lin-shi-pu, and 
with the same result. Telegraphing on 
the evening of the i6th. Marshal Oyama 
mentioned that since the morning the 



26o 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



enemy made no fewer than six counter- 
attacks against tlie left column of the 
Japanese Left Army. All these had been 
repulsed. "Nevertheless," added the 
Japanese Commander-in-Chief, " this 
evening five or six battalions of infantry, 
with. two or three batteries, renewed the 
attack, which we are now engaged in 
repelling. ' ' 

It became desirable to increase the 
Japanese pressure on the Russian right, 
and accordingly, on the evening of the 
i6th, a mixed force under Brigadier- 
General Yamada, consisting of five and 
a half battalions and some field and 
mountain artillery, was despatched to co- 
operate with part .of the Left Army in 
an attack north of Sha-ho-pu. Coming 
into line with the troops with whorn it 
was intended to work, this force drove 
back the enemy, capturing two guns, but 
subsequently seems to have pushed too 
far forward. For, when returning to 
camp on the. evening of the 17th it found 
itself enveloped by eleven and a half 
battalions of the enemy, who fell upon 
it with much vigour. A fierce hand-to- 
hand combat ensued, in which the Japan- 
ese centre succeeded in driving back the 
enemy. The wings were not so fortu- 
nate, and were compelled to cut their 
way out. The most serious loss was that 
sustained by the artillery, most of the 
men and horses of which were shot down. 
Eventually the Japanese were compelled 
to abandon nine field and five mountain 
guns. 

The remainder of the fighting on the 
17th was chiefly in the centre, and con- 
sisted largely of artillery fire. On the 
morning of the 17th the Russians held 
a position twelve miles south of Mukden 
on the main road. Just before noon the 
Japanese found the main road and the 
village occupied by the Russians, and 



shelled them with shrapnel and Shimose 
powder contact shells, without, however, 
doing much damage. Towards evening 
there was a lull, but in the course of the 
night the Russians delivered two fierce 
attacks against the front of the right 
column of the Japanese Left Army, and 
also minor attacks in the direction of 
the Centre and Right Armies. All these 
the Japanese claim to have repulsed, the 
enemy retreating and leaving many 
corpses. 

On the 1 8th the exchange of artillery 
fire continued, but the day was unevent- 
ful save for a mishap to a force of Rus- 
sian cavalry which, while engaged on 
a reconnaissance, was enticed into pur- 
suing the enemy and lured into contact 
with a considerable body of Japanese 
accompanied by machine and field guns. 
A patrol commanded by Second Lieu- 
tenant Turgenieff met the fire of the 
machine guns at 200 paces, and all the 
troopers' horses were either killed or 
wounded. The gallant subaltern, al- 
though hit himself, helped a wounded 
Cossack scout on to his own horse and 
got away with him under fire. 

At this point we will, for the present, 
leave the record of the actual fighting 
with a few explanatory remarks as to the 
position now occupied by the opposing 
armies. On the Japanese right and 
centre it is sufficient to say that the 
Japanese now hold the left bank of the 
Sha-ho, but to the westward this defini- 
tion will not serve. For on their extreme 
left, that is to the west of the railway, 
the Japanese hold several important posi- 
tions on the right bank of the river, 
notably the temple-fort at Lin-shi-pu. 
On the other hand, a little to the east 
of the railway, the Russians hold a small 
enclave, about three miles long, of the 
left bank, at the point where " One- 



A DEADLOCK. 



261 



Tree " or Putiloff Hill is situated. The fcir the present to make any serious for- 
Russian centre has recently been rein- ward movement even il it were not 
forced, and there is still a considerable utterly fatig'ued and preatlv shaken by 




AFTER THE BATTLE : RUSSIAN RED CROSS NURSES PREPARING FOR THE ARRI\'AL OF THE ^VOUNDED. 



Russian force available to the east and 
nort-eastward. It will be seen then, that 
something- like a natural dead-lock has 
been arrived at, neither side being able 



the fightful casualties of the past nine or 
ten days. Any attempt on the part of 
the Japanese to weaken their right and 
centre appreciably, in order to bring- 



262 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



matters to a swift conclusion on tlieir 
left, would assuredly be followed by a 
fresh advance of the Russians on the 
east. On the other hand, it is only by 
keeping a most vigilant eye on both their 
flanks that the Russians can prevent the 
envelopment against which they have 
hitherto fought with remarkable skill and 
success. 

We may now turn to the discussion 
of several facts and inferences concern- 
ing this truly Titanic struggle. We have 
previously noted the Russian estimate of 
the Japanese forces engaged at the com- 
mencement, an -estimate which there is 
reason to believe was under rather than 
over the mark as regards the number, 
at any rate of the infantry, at Marshal 
Oyama's disposal. The probability is 
that the Japanese Commander-in-Chief 
could reckon on at least 200,000 of that 
arm, which would bring it on an equality 
with the Russian infantry as enumera- 
ted in the Japanese official estimate. 
According to the latter the Russian 
forces engaged at the Battle of the Sha- 
ho consisted of the ist, and, 3rd, 4th, 
5th, and 6th Siberian Divisions, the ist, 
loth, and 7th Army Corps, two regi- 
ments of Moscow Infantry, eight regi- 
ments of the East Siberia Brigades, five 
batteries of field-mortars, two batteries 
of mortars, five batteries of horse artil- 
lery, five batteries of mountain guns, one 
battery of siege guns, and one battery 
of light guns, altogether 276 battahons, 
122 batteries, and 173 sotnias, making 
about 200,000 infantry, 26,000 cavalry, 
and 950 guns. 

An impressive feature of all expert 
calculations of the forces at work on the 
Sha-ho is the extraordinary number of 
guns. According to the Russian esti- 
mate of the Japanese artillery the latter 
had only 638 " pieces," but this is almost 



unquestionably wrong, unless it refers 
only to field-guns of the ordinary type, 
and does not take into account howitzers 
and mountain guns. It is difBcult to 
believe that the Japanese could have had 
less than 800 and the Russians less than 
900 guns, and the grand total thus 
arrived at is one which will appeal 
strongly to most imaginations. Indeed, 
it is likely that the artillery duels at 
several stages of the battle must have 
surpassed in intensity anything yet re- 
corded in the annals of shot and shell. 
As evidence of this proposition it may be 
mentioned that one French correspondent 
at St. Petersburg, having access to 
much official information, declares that 
in eight days of Sha-ho fighting the 
Russian artillery fired more projectiles 
than were fired during the whole Russo- 
Turkish War ! Of the Japanese artil- 
lery, by the way, the Russians expressed 
warm admiration, noting especially the 
quickness and exactitude with which they 
found the range. The Russians, too, 
appear to have improved greatly in the 
matter of accuracy of artillery since the 
opening of the campaign. The Hon. 
Maurice Baring accompanied the 2nd 
Transbaikal Battery as War Correspon- 
dent of the Morning Post during the 
Battle of the Sha-ho, and speaks warmly 
of its " splendidly accurate " fire during 
the preliminary shelling of a hill which 
was captured on the following day and 
was found to be " covered with dead." 

It is, practically speaking, impossible 
to arrive at any exact statement of the 
casualties in the Battle of the Sha-ho, 
because the Russian and Japanese official 
returns cover periods of varying length. 
In the case of the Japanese we have an 
official despatch from Marshal Oyama 
stating that the total Japanese casualties 
from the commencement of the Sha-ho 



PITIFUL SCENES. 



263 



battle up to October 25th were 15,879 
officers and men killed and wounded. 
Probably we shall not be far wrong if we 
estimate those killed and wounded in the 
last week of this period at about 3,000 
only, which would leave about 13,000 
casualties for the period from October 
9th to October i8th. The return of 
killed, wounded, and missing in the latter 
period, which was issued by the Russian 
General Staff at St. Petersburg- on 
October 29th, amounted to a much more 
appalling total, namely, 800 officers and 
45,000 men ! 

Apart from the solemn reflections which 
are inspired by the bare statement of the 
results of this awful carnage, it will be 
seen that the above figures settle once 
and for all the question as to the reality 
of the Japanese victory. It has never 
been suggested in this narrative that 
casualties of themselves are any sure 
criterion of success. If they were, the 
Battle of Nan-shan, for example, would 
have been a Japanese defeat. But, where 
one side is attacked deliberately by 
another side, and not only repels the 
attack but considerably advances its own 
positions, captures 45 guns, and, in 
addition, inflicts losses on the enemy 
which are to its own as three is to one, 
it is idle to talk, as the friends of Russia 
sought to do at one time, of a drawn 
battle. Surely, then, Marshal Oyama 
was justified in telegraphing as he did 
on the 15th: "As a sequel to a fight 
lasting continuously for five days, we 
have driven back the superior forces of 
the enemy at every point, pursuing him 
and forcing him to the south bank of the 
Hun. We have inflicted heavy losses, 
and captured over thirty guns and hun- 
dreds of prisoners. We have defeated 
his plans and converted an offensive 
operation into a radical failure." 



It may be imagined that such ghastly 
results as those chronicled were attended 
by some very pitiful scenes, more 
especially on the Russian side. Touch- 
ing details of the misery caused by the 
constant stream of wounded into Muk- 
den were published in the Russian and 
French papers and transmitted from St. 
Petersburg and Paris by British corres- 
pondents. Here is an extract from the 
Daily Express, in which the state of 
affairs at Mukden is vividly depicted : 
" The wounded commenced to arrive at 
Mukden on October nth, and the heaviest 
day was October i6th, when the main 
road leading to the city was absolutely 
choked with ambulances, carts and 
litters. 

" So far as possible, preparations had 
been made by the Red Cross Corps to 
cope with the inexitably heavy casualty 
list. When General Kuropatkin began 
his unfortunate advance, every available 
ambulance accompanied him, as well as 
the doctors and nurses who served 
through the Liao - yang' engagement. 
Still, the facilities were miserably in- 
adequate. A large portion of the much 
needed hospital supplies were not for- 
warded to Mukden, the result being that 
the Red Cross was handicapped in 
every way- 

" Trainloads of wounded were sent 
direct to Tie-ling', and all who could bear 
the journey were shipped to Harbin, 
but there remained thousands of cases 
which required immediate attention, and 
these were ordered to Mukden. 

" The doctors have been practically 
without sleep for a week. Several 
nurses are reported to have actually 
died of exhaustion, one of them — a Sister 
of Charity — collapsing while assisting at 
an operation. The supply of medicines 
and surgical appliances has run short. 



2&4 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



"It is estimated that at least. 28,000 
wounded men have been treated- at 
Mukden. Scores of them have died 
before surgical assistance could reach 
them." 

In the formerly fertile and populous 
district south of Mukden the effect of the 
terrible casualties in the Sha-ho conflict 
was heightened by the increasing cold 
and the devastated aspect of the sur- 
rounding country. Here is a pen-sketch 
from a Paris paper whose correspondent 
telegraphs from Mukden : " Uninter- 
rupted lines of wounded and dying are 
extended along the roads, all of which 
present the same lamentable appearance. 
At each step there are rags and dress- 
ings soaked in blood. Moving parallel 
to the stream of wounded are all the in- 
habitants of the country districts, who 
are fleeing from the battlefields and 
coming to seek refuge at Mukden. 
Women and children are carried in ve- 
hicles which convey at the same, time the' 
few belongings which remain from their 
past prosperity. On the one hand are 
soldiers groaning in their death agony, 
while on the other are little children 
perishing with cold. All the doors, 
windows, and other wooden fittings have 
been taken from the huts, a large number 
of which have been razed to the ground, 
all that remains of them being a heap of 
stones. Mukden is full of fugitives, and 
thousands of families who have been de- 
prived of all their possessions are living 
in the streets." 

With some relief we turn from such 
harrowing details to the contemplation of 
the Battle of the Sha-ho in its purely 
military and historical aspects. It must 
be admitted that in neither does this tre- 
mendous operation appear, at any rate 
to the writer, to be as interesting or as 
significant as the Battle of Liao-yang. 



The latter not only bristled with big 
points of instructiveness as to the 
capacity of strongly fortified positions 
to resist infantry attack, and the possi- 
bilities of an eminently strategic retreat, 
but it was real history. It showed the 
turning-point in the war arrived at by 
the grouping of the three Japanese 
armies under the personal control of one 
man; it also marked the consolidation of 
all the Russian forces under the direct 
leadership of Kuropatkin. The battle, 
accordingly, was the first real trial of 
strength between the two opposing 
Commanders-in-Chief, and, if it resulted 
in the partial triumph of one, it gained 
for the other a greatly increased respect 
among those who had formerly ques- 
tioned his capacity for generalship of 
the higher sort. While, again, it was to 
this extent indecisive, it indicated the 
loss to Russia and the gain to Japan of 
a place only second to Mukden in point 
of local prestige, and only second to Tie- 
ling as regards strategical significance. 

The Battle of the Sha-ho loses by com- 
parison in these respects. The immense 
number of troops engaged, the enormous 
area of the battlefield, the desperate 
character of the fighting, the protracted 
period over which the operation extended, 
and lastly the ghastly length of the 
" butcher's bill," combine to make it 
remarkable, and, up to a certain point, 
both interesting and instructive. But- it 
is a veritable nightmare of strategical and 
tactical futilities, and, with the exception 
of the casualties, the result is singularly 
trivial. A fortnight later the opposing 
forces are in much the same position, and 
much the same relative strength, as they 
were before Kuropatkin took off his coat, 
like Mr. Snodgrass, and intimated that 
he was " going to begin." At the best, 
the Battle of the Sha-ho, tremendous as 




COSSACK CAVALRY UNDER SHELL FIRE. 



266 



H/SJURY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



it is, separately considered, and packed 
as it is with sufficient detail to fill, as has 
already been sug^yested, a considerable 
vohime, is curiously incidental when its 
effect on the war comes to be considered. 
Historically speakiny;, the period in \^hich 
it occurs is a mere inter\al employed by 
the Russians in makint;" a foolish experi- 
ment out of which they emerL;-e with fin- 
g"ers \ery badly burned, but with no hurts 
which Doctor Siberian Raihva)- cannot 
heal. As for strateg;y and tactics, again, 
there is ^■erv little of these in the Sha-ho 
battle which is not wholly rudimentary. 
There is nothing", for instance, to com- 
pare with Kuroki's movement across the 
Tai-tse-ho after the h'irst Army had ac- 
complished its share in the first phase of 
the Battle of Liao-yang-, and certainly 
nothing- half so impressive as Ivuropat- 
kin's effort to combine a masterly retreat 
from Liao-vangf with the isolation of 
Kiu'oki's forces. 

The critics appear to have found the 
indeterminate and at times rather con- 
fused character of the Sha-ho strug-gie 
so puzzling-, that they have hesitated to 



state the nature of the lessons to be de- 
rived from it. Rerhaps, as expert opinion 
on the subject comes to be crystallised, 
it \\\\\ be found that the one great edu- 
cational result of the battle is a negative 
one. Surely there could be no better 
example than this of the absurdity of 
atten-ipting decisive results in a single 
operation with armies so preposterously 
larg-e, and composed of so many varie- 
gated units, that control by one man is 
utterly hopeless. At one stage of the 
Sha-ho battle one, if not both, of the 
Commanders-in-Chief was striving to 
control the mo\-ements ol a quarter of a 
million of men, some detachments of 
whom had been separated by about forty 
n-iiles, with only the n-iost meagre means 
of inter-communication. Even the fine 
co-ordination of the Japanese armies was 
partialh' wrecked, while there were days 
during which portions of the Russian 
forces were as much " at a loose end 
as if thev had been in Kan-itchatka. This 
is not w ar, and it may be doubted w hether 
from any reasonable standpoint it can 
e\ en he called " magnificent." 




A TVPIC.'vL STATION ON THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY IN PEACE TIKE. 
{Frnni Foster Frasci'i '^ The Real Siberia.") 



2b7 



CHAPTER LXVII. 

RUMOURED RECALL OF ALEXEIEFF — A VICEREGAL ORDER OF THE DAY — DEPARTURE FOR 

ST. PETERSBURG UNPLEASANT REFLECTIONS ARRIVAL IN RUSSIA — DOUBTFUL 

RECEPTION INTERVIEWS AND EXPLANATIONS. 



ON page ig6 of the present volume 
we left the question of the con- 
trol of the Russian operations in the Far 
East in rather an interesting condition of 
uncertainty. After a good deal of dis- 
cussion variegated by a quantity of in- 
trigue, the Tsar had confirmed General 
Kuropatkin in the direction of military 
affairs at the front, and it was understood 
that there would shortly be two Russian 
armies in Manchuria over which Kuro- 
patkin would exercise the authority, 
hitherto nominally vested in Admiral 
Alexeieff, of Commander-in-Chief. As 
will be seen, this arrangement is modi- 
fied later by preparations for the forma- 
tion of a Third Russian Army for the 
Far East; but this is a matter which can 
be reserved for future consideration. 
What is proposed as the subject for this 
chapter is the position of the Viceroy, 
Admiral Alexeieff, as affected by these 
remarkable changes, and still more by 
subsequent rather sensational happen- 
ings. 

It will be remembered that in Chap- 
ter LX. it was remarked that, for some 
time after the great Council of War at 
Peterhof, at which it was decided that 
Kuropatkin should be officially recog- 
nised as Commander-in-Chief of the Rus- 
sian armies in Manchuria, there were 
many rumours that Admiral Alexeieff 
would shortly be recalled. Support was 
subsequently lent to this view by a re- 



port that a "travelling chancellery," 
divided into two departments, diplomatic 
and civil, had been attached to the Ad- 
miral's Field Staff, a provision which 
naturally seemed to point to an impend- 
ing journey. But the Viceroy made no 
sign, and, although it was generally be- 
lieved that he was no longer considered 
by the Tsar to possess any military 
authority, he continued to confer with 
Kuropatkin, and was by many regarded 
as the principal composer of Kuropatkin's 
famous Order of the Day of October 2nd, 
announcing the Russian movement 
against Liao-yang. It will be seen 
later that the Admiral denies the truth 
of this suggestion with some vehemence, 
but the allusion to the " treacherous 
attack " of the Japanese upon the fleet 
at Port Arthur has such an Alexeieffian 
ring that it is hard indeed to believe that 
the Viceroy had not some hand in the 
production of the unfortunate manifesto 
in question. 

It may, as a matter of history, be re- 
corded that the St. Petersburg Corres- 
pondent of the Eclio de Paris states ex- 
plicitly that it was known in the capital 
that the order was " drawn up by the Ad- 
miral and forced on the General, who 
appealed to the Emperor, but was not 
supported." On the other hand, the 
correspondent of a Russian paper, the 
Novosti Dnia, who was an eye-witness of 
the meeting between the Viceroy and the 



268 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Commander-in-Chief prior to the Rus- 
sian advance across the Sha-ho, says that 
after an interview lasting two hours and 
a half the Viceroy, in addressing his own 
Staff, said, " Having examined the plans 
of the Commander (not Commander-in- 
Chief, be it noted), I recognise their full 
significance and correctness." Further, 
this correspondent maintains that the 
meeting was of a perfectly friendly 
character, and was followed by a dinner 
at which the Staffs of both the high 
officials concerned were present. The 
question involved is not, perhaps, one of 
paramount importance; but it is some- 
what unfortunate that Kuropatkin cannot 
be more definitely relieved from the res- 
ponsibility of issuing an order the preten- 
tious ineptitude of which is a blot on his 
reputation, while it would have made very 
fittle difference to that of his rival. 

There is ground for the belief that 
during the first three weeks of October 
the Viceroy was making a pretty strong 
effort to counteract the influences now 
being exercised against him; and that, 
finding success to be hopeless, he en- 
deavoured to arrange that his " letting 
down " should be as gentle as possible. 
Such, at any rate, seems to be the ex- 
planation of a very remarkable order 
published by him at Harbin on October 
25th, of which the following is the 
text :— 

" His Majesty to-day acceded to my 
request to be relieved of the duties of 
Commander-in-Chief, and has appointed 
General Kuropatkin Commander-in-Chief 
of all our land forces in the Far East, 
while retaining me in my position of 
Viceroy. His Majesty at the same time 
deigned to favour me with an expression 
of sincere appreciation of my efforts in 
connection with the formation of the 
military forces of the Viceroyalty and 



their concentration in the war zone, and 
of my conduct of affairs as Commander- 
in-Chief of our forces in the Far East. 

" While notifying the land and sea 
forces in the territory of the Far East 
of the Imperial will, and of the mark of 
favour graciously conferred by the 
Monarch, I consider it my duty to con- 
vey my cordial thanks to the glorious 
troops under my command who have 
taken an immediate share in the military 
operations for their truly self-sacrificing 
service, distinguished by many heroic 
deeds both of men and leaders belonging 
to all grades. I also express my sincere 
thanks to the troops which have not yet 
met the enemy for their energy and in- 
defatigability in a diflficult position. I 
shall always be proud and hold it to be 
the highest honour that the special con- 
fidence of the Monarch conferred on me 
the command-in-chiefship of the glorious 
troops which have adorned their banners 
with fresh glory. 

"It is my firm belief that, with God's 
help, our strong foe will be overthrown 
by our troops, to the glory of the 
Emperor and to the welfare of our be- 
loved fatherland." 

It is hardly likely that anyone will ever 
put himself to the trouble of compifing a 
full biography of the first " Viceroy of 
the Far East," but, if such a record be 
forthcoming, surely the above-quoted 
document will be regarded as one of the 
crowning achievements of Alexeieff's 
career. It is practically certain that the 
wishes of the Tsar as to the assumption 
by Kuropatkin of the Commander-in- 
Chiefship were known to the Viceroy 
early in October, if not before. It is 
hardly to be doubted that the change 
was extremely distasteful to Alexeieff, as 
robbing him of by far the greater part 
of his dignity. Yet not until the last 



270 



HISTORY. OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



week in October does he promulgate the 
Imperial decree, and then he seeks to 
convey the idea that it is at his own 
instance that the Commander-in-Chief- 
ship has been transferred to his great 
rival ! 

The full extent of the amazing audacity 
displayed by Alexeieff at this juncture 
can be realised Vv'hen it is added that, when 
the above order was telegraphed to St. 
Petersburg, the belief at the office of the 
General Staff was that Kuropatkin was 
about to be invested with the supreme 
direction of the naval as well as of the 
military forces in the Far East. " It is 
expected," adds Reuter's Correspondent, 
telegraphing from the Russian capital, 
" that Admiral Alexeieff will very shortly 
arrive at St. Petersburg, and that his stay 
here will be of a prolonged character." 
In the melancholy history of fallen 
favourites one eannot recall an instance 
in which a former " power in the land," 
well knowing that his reign was coming 
to a sudden and inglorious end, has 
asserted himself more boldly to the very 
last. Typically Russian is, perhaps, the 
best verdict on a performance which 
somehow compels admiration of a sort, 
even though the virtues displayed be 
only pluck and tenacity of a rather doubt- 
ful order. But that a Russian should try 
to bluff Russians into accepting him at 
his own valuation, notwithstanding such 
clear signs of his depreciated authority, 
may almost be classed as one of the 
curiosities of history. 

Five days after his pubHcation of the 
order relating to the Commander-in- 
Chiefship Admiral Alexeieff and his Staff 
leave Harbin for St. Petersburg, where 
they are timed to arrive a fortnight later. 
It is officially given out that the Viceroy's 
return is due to the fact that his service 
is needed in forming new plans for the 



campaign in Manchuria; but elsewhere 
the opinion is freely expressed that the 
recall is a permanent one, and has been 
brought about entirely by Alexeieff's 
failure of late to retain the confidence of 
his Imperial Master. The old adage, 
Le Roi est mori. Vive le Roi ! is exempli- 
fied in this instance by the haste with 
which not only high military officials but 
civil and municipal bodies tender their 
congratulations to General Kuropatkin. 
On all sides, save among the Japanese, 
there seems a general disposition to re- 
gard the Viceroy's return, or recall, with 
satisfaction. The Japanese can hardly 
be expected to regard the matter in the 
same light as their enemies, for they are 
shrewd enough to have perceived that 
the conflict of ideas between Alexeieff 
and Kuropatkin hitherto has been all to 
their advantage. The prospect of a 
change from this divided authority, these 
divided counsels, and the consequent 
occasional confusion, to a strong, co- 
herent system of naval and military 
control, can hardly be welcome to an 
adversary who has scored so heavily by 
the mistakes of the regime now ended. 

Personally and individually speaking, 
no doubt, the Japanese are glad enough 
to hear that Alexeieff has left Manchuria, 
never, perhaps, to return. For there can 
be no question as to the bitterness of 
feeling inspired by this strange man 
among all classes of the Island Nation. 
It cannot, of course, be said that, if 
Kuropatkin and not Alexeieff had become 
Viceroy of the Far East after that 
momentous Council at Port Arthur in 
1903 to which allusion was made in 
Chapter XXX., there would have been 
no war between Russia and Japan. But 
it certainly would not have been entered 
on in the same spirit of insolent confi- 
dence on the one hand and aggravated 



THE VICEROY'S RETURN. 



271 



bitterness on the other. Alexeieff per- 
sonally seems to have lost no opportunity 
in those early days of behaving towards 
the Japanese with overbearing; haug-hti- 
ness, and there is no doubt that in the 
early stages of the war the Japanese 
would have given a great deal' if, as 
on one occasion seemed hkely to occur, 
their old enemy had fallen into their 
hands. Toward Kuropatkin, on the 
other hand, the attitude of the Japanese 
has always been one of frank respect, 
just as it had been in the case of 
Admiral Makaroff, and is still in that of 
General Stoessel. Chivalrous fighters 
themselves, they have nothing but ad- 
miration for brave and honourable men 
like those mentioned. For Alexeieff, the 
intriguer, the bluffer, the lover of 
luxurious surroundings, the panic- 
stricken refugee from Mukden at the 
first whisper of approaching danger, 
men like Togo, Oyama, and Kuroki 
could not be expected to entertain any 
feelings but those of dislike, suspicion, 
and contempt. 

Let us now accompany the Viceroy 
for a short time on his return journey to 
St. Petersburg. We have said that he is 
accompanied by his Staff, but the state- 
ment needs some qualification. P'or ap- 
parently his Chief of the Staff has been 
left behind to take up an appointment 
under the new administration. At the 
commencement of the war Admiral 
Alexeieff's Chief of the Staff was Major- 
General Pflug, who seems to have con- 
trolled what was known as the Vice- 
regal Bureau des Operations. For many 
weeks all the official news from the 
front came over the signature of 
General Pflug, but sudden'y this name 
drops out, and the telegrams to the 
General Staff at St. Petersburg are sent 
by General Sakharoff, Chief of the Staff 



to Kuropatkin. IMeanwhile there have 
been other changes. Kuropatkin 's 
original Chief of the Staff was Lieu- 
tenant-Gcneral Gilinski, of whom a por- 
trait was given on page 126 of the first 
volume of this History. When General 
Sakharoff became Kuropatkin 's Chief 
Staff Officer, Gilinski appears to have 
succeeded Pflug as Chief of the Vice- 
regal Staff. It is he who is now being 
left behind at the front, where such an 
able officer should be far more useful 
than in the entourage of the returning 
Viceroy. 

One can hardly envy Alexeieff his re- 
flections as his luxuriously appointed 
' ' special ' ' covers the thousands of 
versts which separate Harbin fr6m St. 
Petersburg. Little more than a year has 
elapsed since, as the newly appointed 
Viceroy of the Far East, he had leapt 
unexpectedly to perhaps the most coveted 
position in the whole Russian Empire. 
In the period that has elapsed history has 
been made at a fast and furious rate, and 
even Alexeieff must feel that at no single 
point in the chronicles of events since 
and including the first midnight attack 
at Port Arthur, does his own share of 
what has happened appear a very heroic 
one. He who inaugurated his term of 
office by an ostentatious review of the 
largest fleet ever collected at one time by 
a single Power in Far Eastern waters, 
has seen that fleet reduced to a mere 
handful of sound ships and a scattered 
array of sadly damaged cripples. He 
who thought to overawe Japan by parad- 
ing at Port Arthur some 70,000 troops, 
and adding 30,000 to the paper total, 
has seen the Japanese put almost without 
an effort some 300,000 men into the field 
which have time and again proved, man 
for man, a match for the picked soldiers 
of the Tsar. He who thought to absorb 



272 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Korea as a boa constrictor absorbs a 
rabbit, has seen Russian influence ousted, 
and Russian troops unceremoniously 
ejected, from the Hermit Kingdom, and 
the latter converted into a Japanese Pro- 
tectorate. He who counselled first the 
retention and then the relief of Port 
Arthur at all costs and risks, has seen 
tens of thousands of lives sacrificed to 
these futile ends, and now knows well 



Imperial favour. ICuropatkin may have 
failed twice in his endeavours to meet 
and defeat the Japanese in a great battle. 
But he has not lost his prestige as the 
Viceroy has. Russia trusts him, the 
Tsar trusts him, to restore the balance, 
and it is not likely that he will be dis- 
turbed in the Chiefship, for, at any rate, 
a long time to come. All this must be 
inexpressibly galling to the man but for 




MAJOR-GENERAL PFLCG. 



that the condition of affairs in the be- 
leaguered fortress is, humanly speaking, 
hopeless. And whom does the world at 
large, and Russia in particular, hold re- 
sponsible for these nine n:onths of 
humiliation and disaster? 

Surely these thoughts gain added 
bitterness for Alexeieff from the reflec- 
tion that he leaves behind him a rival, 
if not triumphant, at least for the moment 
on a pedestal of combined popularity and 



whose underhand Intrigues Kuropatkln 
would have been the First Viceroy of the 
Far East. 

It has been mentioned that Admiral 
Alexeieff was timed to arrive at St. 
Petersburg on No\ember 14th. But, 
whether owing to the facilities afforded 
by the new Circum-Baikal connection, or 
because he was in a hurry to get home 
for personal or political reasons, the 
Viceroy actually arrives on the loth, and 




THE RUSSIAN OUTRAGE IN THE NORTH SEA: THE FIRST SHOT. 

The scene on the trawler " Mino,^' the first vessel to be struck. (See p. 278.) 



54 



274 



HJSTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



is accorded what would seem to be a very 
mixed reception. Tlie accounts differ 
rather curiously, and the only safe infer- 
ence is that, while the official welcome was 
decorously warm, there was some public 
disapproval exhibited in the streets. For 
there can be no sort of doubt that Ad- 
rniral Alexeieff, far from being a popular 
hero like Kuropatkin, is now being re- 
garded by all save a small band of loyal 
friends with something akin to marked 
hostility. Herein lies the weakness of 
his present position, a weakness which 
he certainly does not fully appreciate, but 
which is clearly beginning to cause him 
and his party some uneasiness. 

For, although he at first declined to 
allow himself to be interviewed, the 
Viceroy had hardly been in St. Peters- 
burg a day before he unbosomed himself 
with singular frankness to representa- 
tives of the Paris Press. That he should 
have done this was naturally attributed 
to the disagreeable discovery that the 
Russian public were far more anti- 
Alexeieff than had been expected, and 
that vigorous effort would be necessary 
to convert them to a better frame of 
mind. The Viceregal defence, though 
hardly convincing, was so remarkable 
that some of the points which occur in 
the interviews granted to the correspon- 
dents of the Petit Farisien and Echo de 
Paris may usefully be reproduced here. 

Categorically the Viceroy declared that 
there had never been any ill-feeling be- 
tween Kuropatkin and himself; that he 
had never proffered any strategic advice 
or tactical counsel to the " Generalis- 
simo," who bore the full responsibility 
for all his acts; that he only knew of 
Kuropatkin 's Order of the Day after it 
had been issued; that he had not ordered 
the naval sortie of August loth, which 
had been decided upon by Admiral 



Skrydloff and Vitoft; and, finally, that 
he had never had any difference with 
Admiral Skrydloff. 

It goes without saying that these 
" comprehensive but belated denials," as. 
the Paris correspondent of the Times 
neatly labels them, are not generally 
regarded as very convincing. In par- 
ticular it may be noted that the Alexeieff 
who is so anxious to disclaim more par- 
ticularly the military responsibility for 
what has occurred, is the same Alexeieff 
who less than three weeks ago was 
pluming himself at Harbin on having 
been Commander-in-Chief of the Russiani 
troops in Manchuria, and announcing 
that he had been specially thanked by the 
Tsar for the excellent services he had 
rendered. 

As regards the denial that any ill- 
feeling had ever existed between himself 
and Kuropatkin, the Viceroy must surely 
either have had his tongue in his cheek 
when he made this statement, or have 
been serenely oblivious of the countless 
witnesses who could affirm from personal 
observation the direct opposite. Latterly, 
no doubt, Alexeieff has been disposed to 
be very friendly with the " Generalis- 
simo," but to suggest that he had' 
always worked in harmony with him,, 
and had never forced his views on him 
with reference to tactical and strategical 
movements, is in quite ridiculous con- 
tradiction of scores of authentic re- 
ports from Liao-yang, and entirely at 
variance, too, with the actual results of 
well-understood disagreements. Why,, 
too, it may be asked, should the Viceroy 
be so eager to claim friendly co-opera- 
tion with Kuropatkin now, when it 
would have been so much more beneficial 
to have repudiated three months ago- 
those stories which were the common talk 
of the troops at the front? 



A FALLEN IDOL. 



275 



Scarcely more happy was the Viceroy 
hi his assumption of virtuous innocence 
of tlie charge of liaxing- assisted to brini^' 
about the war. He liad foreseen the 
war, had even predicted it, he affirmed, 
but had not desired it, because lie felt it 
would be a struggle not between two 
peoples but two races and civilisations. 
He had something to say of the Yellow 
Peril, and seemed more concerned for 
the effects upon other white races in the 
Far East than for any risk to Russia, 
who " was protected by geographic 
conditions." But we need not follow 
further this herring which the \'iceroy 
would doubtless like to see drawn across 
the real track. 

Of the Japanese, too, the Admiral seems 
to have discoursed with some fluency. The 
Japanese, bethought, prepared their plans 
so carefully that thev often overlooked 
opportunities of striking rapid blows. 
He declared that at the beginning of the 
war the Japrmese would, if they had dis- 
played a little more audacity and deter- 
mination, have taken Port Arthur, as 
the forts had not been finished. In con- 
r hision, he asserted that, while in April 
the Russians had only 100,000 men in the 
field, they now had 400,000, thanks to 



the efforts of Prince Khilkoff to improve 
the carrying capacity of the Siberian 
Railway. 

We need hardly waste further comment 
on this remarkable communication to the 
Press on the part of a man who, if not 
yet disgraced, is at any rate abundantly 
discredited. Apparently his idea is, as 
the Times observes, " that all is well that 
ends well, and that an eventual Russian 
victory v.'ill secure plenary absolution for 
his errors." But the tale of the latter is 
a long and crowded one, and there are 
some memories over which the sponge is 
not likely to be passed when the record 
of Alexeieff's opportunities and his 
failures comes up, as it must inevitably, 
for future historical re\iew. P'or the 
present we may leave him to his denials, 
his optimism, his possible future intrig'ues 
against the ri\al with whom he has 
always been such capital friends. At 
this stage there seems little to add to the 
dry remark of one of the two French 
journalists to whom the aboAC-mentioned 
interviews were accorded, that " in an- 
ticipating a revival of his influence the 
Viceroy fails to reckon ^yitll Russian 
public opinion, which will have none of 
him." 




ADMIRAL ALEXEJEFF. 



276 



CHAPTER LXVIII. 

ON THE DOGGER BANK — BRITISH FISHERMEN AT WORK — SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF BALTIC 
SQUADRON — RUSSIANS OPEN FIRE — KILLED AND WOUNDED — BRITISH INDIGNATION 
ROYAL SYMPATHY — GOVERNMENT TAKES ACTION — NAVAL PREPARATIONS. 



IN the early morning of October 22nd 
— only half an hour or so after mid- 
night — the trawlers of what is known 
as the "Gamecock Fleet" of Hull are 
peacefully fishing on the famous Dogger 
Bank in the -North Sea, about 220 miles 
east by north of Spurn Head. There are 
between forty and fifty vessels in the 
Gamecock Fleet, each a little single 
screw steamer, of at most about a 
hundred tons,, specially built for the 
work, and carrying a crew of eight or 
nine men. ,The maximum speed of these 
boats is only some ten knots, but they 
are very handy and seaworthy craft, as, 
indeed, they must be to stand the stress 
of the terrible weather for which the 
North Sea has a doubtful reputation. 
These steam trawlers are, as Mr. Walter 
Wood, who is an authority on .North Sea 
matters, tells us, " the successors of the 
old fleets of sailing smacks, whose prac- 
tice was to spend six or eight weeks at 
sea, run home for a week to refit and re- 
provision, and return to the fleet which 
was always- present, though constantly 
changing in its individual parts." The 
modern practice is for a number of vessels 
to be collected in a fleet, which goes out 
to the Dogger and stays there for a 
month or six weeks, the catch being 
gathered from the fishing vessels daily by 
steam-carriers, which take the fish to 
Billingsgate, Hull, and other markets. 
A trawling fleet at work, especially at 



night, is, says Mr. Walter Wood, " a 
wonderful spectacle. Everything is done 
in orderly fashion. At the head of the 
fleet is the ' admiral,' a smacksman who 
is chosen by his fellows to guide and order 
the movements of the whole. He it is 
who gives the signal to shoot or haul the 
trawls. At night this signal would take 
the form of a rocket. On seeing it, the 
trawls would be shot — that is, got over- 
board — a simpler thing nowadays with the 
almost universal Otter trawl than it was 
in the days of the sailing. smacks with the 
beam trawl. Most of the crews would 
be below, resting while the trawl was at 
work, and getting ready to haul the trawl 
when the ' admiral ' gave the signal. At 
least there would be one man on deck, the 
man at the wheel, and probably another; 
but the look-out work on fishing craft is 
not, as a rule, rigidly conducted." 

In the case with which we are dealing, 
the " admiral " has duly given the fleet 
the signal to shoot the trawls, and has 
also indicated, according to custom, the 
tack on which the vessels are to sail dur- 
ing the night. The weather is moderate, 
a little hazy, but, from a North Sea 
trawler's point of view, nothing to com- 
plain of, and sufficiently clear to render it 
impossible to mistake the character and 
occupation of the fishing fleet. The 
latter is trawling on the starboard tack, 
and the boats are showing the ordinary 
lights of a trawler, a red, white, and 



TRAWLERS AND CARRIERS. 



277 



green lantern on the foremast, and a 
white stern light. On board some of the 
boats men are engaged in gutting fish 
in anticipation of the steam carrier's visit. 



of lights come into view, and presently 
such of the fishermen as are on deck 
discern the shapes of five large vessels, 
which prove on closer inspection to be 




THE DAMAGED TRAWLERS MOULMEIN AND iTINO BRINGING BACK THE DEAD AND 
WOUNDED FISHERMEN TO HULL, OCTOBER 23RD. 



The trawlers are spread over an area of 
some miles. One or two steam-carriers 
are close at hand, and are filling in the 
time until morning with a night's fishing. 
Suddenly from the north-east a number 



men-of-war. Some of the hands on 
board the little steamers know that the 
Russian Baltic Fleet has set sail, and, 
though the fishing grounds on the 
Dogger Bank would be some thirty miles 



278 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



out of that fleet's ordinary course, they 
jump to the right conclusion that these 
are Russian warships on their way to the 
Far East. Others of the fishermen 
believe that what they see is a portion of 
the British Channel Fleet under Lord 
Charles Beresford, which has recently 
been visiting Tynemouth. But the appari- 
tion is so sudden as to leave little time for 
speculation, and in any case there is no 
need for alarm. Everyone knows of the 
fishing that goes on in this part of the 
North Sea, and trawlers are easily recog- 
nised by their high bows, from which 
they run away to a very low counter, this, 
with the low bulwarks, being necessary 
for the purpose of boarding the fish. 
Moreover, there is plenty of light about 
the fishing fleet, and vessels coming so 
close as these warships are doing cannot 
fail to perceive the nature of the peaceful 
work in which the hands are engaged. 
The only cause for apprehension is lest 
some of the big ships should crash into 
the little ones, and in one or two cases 
those on board the latter shift their helms 
in order to give the newcomers a wide 
berth. , 

The squadron now sighted appears to 
consist of five warships, the leading one 
with her searchlight out, sweeping the 
sea in front of her from starboard to port. 
These five vessels steam quietly on to the 
westward of the fishing fleet, and within 
one hundred yards of some of the boats. 
No sooner have they passed when another 
squadron of warships looms into view, 
and begins throwing searchlights on the 
fishing fleet. On board one of the steam- 
carriers the crew are so dazzled by the 
blinding glare that they fear they will be 
run down. " So me and the rest of the 
crew," — these are the words of the boat- 
swain of the steam carrier Swift — " held 
up fish to show what we were, and to 



show that we could not get out of the 
way. I held a big plaice up. My mate, 
Jim Tozer, deck hand, showed a 
haddock." 

The second squadron does not, like the 
first, continue on its course, but goes 
away suddenly to the south-east, thus 
placing the Gamecock Fleet between it 
and the first squadron, now about a mile 
and a half to the south-westward. 

Suddenly the still night air is rent with 
the sound of firing, evidently from the 
quick-firing guns of the second squadron. 
The fishermen for the moment imagine 
that a sham fight has commenced, and 
look forward with delight to witnessing 
an interesting spectacle. But to their 
horror they discover that the firing is not 
with blank ca,rtridge, but with shot and 
shell, which pour in like hail upon the 
poor little steamers, hitting some, and 
causing the water to fly up all round the 
others. 

The fishermen are, naturally, be- 
wildered. All is confusion and terror. 
Some of the boats were in the act of 
hauling their trawl when the firing began. 
These cut away their nets, get up steam, 
and hurry away as fast as they can. On 
board others the surprise is so complete, 
the shock so awful, that the men's facul- 
ties are benumbed, and they seek refuge 
bhndly below, although they are hardly 
safer there from the shells than on deck, 
and are much more likely to be drowned 
if the ship is sunk. There are no braver, 
more hardy fellows afloat than the North 
Sea fishermen, but this is work which 
they cannot understand. Small wonder 
is it that to be caught thus helpless in a 
storm of whistling shell produces for a 
time a paralysed condition of mingled 
stupor and fear. 

The firing lasts, according to some 
accounts, not more than about ten 



ON BOARD THE " CRANED 



279 



minutes, according' to others nearly half 
an hour ; but it is easy to understand how 
the duration of such an experience might 
come to be exaggerated. In the period, 
whatever it is, several of the boats are 
hit, while the trawler Crane receives such 
injuries that she begins to sink. 

On board the Crane there has been a 
terrible scene of bloodshed. The skipper 
and the third hand are killed, and all the 
rest are wounded with the exception of 



" I turned to assist him, when another 
shell burst through the Crane's side and 
hit me on the left arm, tearing away the 
flesh. But in the excitement I did not 
until ten minutes later realise that I was 
wounded, although the shell had actually 
grazed my face and head. 

" We believed the Crane was being 
sunk, so the mate shouted ' Out boat.' 
We found, however, that we could not 
launch the boat because the winch had 




Flwto : Gledstons & Bernard, Hull. 

A SHOT HOLE IN THE MOULMEiy (MARKED 



X), 



the cook. Some shocking details after- 
wards furnished by Albert Almond, 
trimmer on board the unfortunate 
trawler, give a painfullv realistic idea of 
what happens : — " I had just turned into 
my berth when I heard the firing of guns. 
Going- on deck, I saw several ships, 
which had covered us with their search- 
lights, and which were all firing at us 
simultaneously. I ran below again, and 
was followed by the boatswain, Hoggart, 
who had nearly reached the bottom of the 
ladder when he fell backwards crying, 
*I am shot. My hands are off.' 



been riddled with shot, and would not 
work. A little later I met the chief en- 
gineer, John Nixon. He had been fear- 
fully wounded in the head, and, staring 
at me, said, ' Wlio are you? ' 

" ' Why, I am Almond,' I replied. 
Then he exclaimed, 'My head is off.' 
The poor fellow seemed almost out of his 
mind. Then I saw Captain Smith lying 
against the winch, his shoulders pointing 
to the port side. I took one glance at 
him, and I dared not look again. I 
learnt afterwards that his head had been 
blown off. The third hand, Leggett, 



280 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



was found at the bottom of the forecastle 
ladder with his face blown away except 
the chin. 

" All this time the battleships were 
firing at us, and young Smith, the son of 
the captain, was running about crying 
out for his father. We feared to tell 
him that he was dead. Two ships fired 
at us continuously, one on the port bow 
and the other on the starboard. I be- 
lieve that other ships were firing at other 
trawlers." 

The warships having ceased firing, 
now disappear, steaming away to the 
south-west. One vessel is descried 
apparently lingering to see what damage 
has been done, but, to the eternal dis- 
credit of the Russian Navy, no attempt 
is made to render such assistance to the 
sinking Crane as would have been ren- 
dered by the warships of almost any 
civilised nation in such a case, even had 
the wretched trawler been a belligerent 
cruiser. It is left for another trawler, 
the Gull, which has herself been twice 
hit, to send a boat to the Crane in order 
to take off the two dead bodies and the 
wounded. By the time the boat has got 
back to the Gull, the Crane has sunk. 

It is only right to add that, after the 
first feeling of amazement and alarm to 
which allusion is made above, has passed 
away, the fishermen rapidly recover their 
senses — the prompt help afforded to the 
crew of the Crane is evidence of this — and 
most of the boats go on trawling as if 
nothing had happened. It is not surpris- 
ing that curses loud and deep should have 
been muttered at the thought of such an 
unheard-of outrage, and many a grim 
hope expressed that^ vengeance would 
overtake the cowardly brutes who had 
been content, after wreaking such ghastly 
mischief oh a harmless fishing fleet, to 
sail away without waiting to see, and in 



some degree repair, the consequence of 
their insane mistake. 

On the evening of October 23rd the 
fishing fleet returns to Hull, headed 
by the trawler Moulmein with her flag 
flying at half-nxast, as is the custom 
when a fatality has occurred in a fishing- 
fleet. The news that the fleet had been 
fired on by the Russians flies like wild- 
fire through the town, and crowds of 
people flock to the harbour and inspect 
the riddled boats. The bodies of the 
skipper and third hand of the Crane — 
both decapitated — are taken ashore, and 
on all sides there is a hum of indignation, 
and a chorus of anxious hope that the 
British Navy will show the Russians that 
the lives and property of British fisher- 
folk are not to be jeopardised in this reck- 
less and inhuman fashion. 

On the morning of October 24th the 
newspapers are full of the outrage ; narra- 
tives by eye witnesses are given at length, 
and the heart of the nation is stirred to 
such anger as is rarely shown by the 
phlegmatic and businesslike British 
citizen. Of the manner in which this 
wave of popular feeling spreads itself de- 
tails will be given presently. But in the 
meantime the coherence of this narrative 
will be best served by our turning our 
attention to the perpetrators of this re- 
markable outrage, now known without 
the shadow of a doubt to be the ships of 
the Baltic Fleet, which, at the close of 
Chapter LXIII. we left undergoing firing 
practice and manoeuvres at Reval and 
Libau preparatory to commencing the 
voyage to the Far East. 

At the end of the first week in October 
the ships of the Baltic Fleet were con- 
centrated at Reval. On the 9th the Tsar 
arrived there, and, accompanied by the 
Grand Duke Alexis, who is Grand Ad- 
miral of the Russian Navy, and Admirals 



282 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Avellan, Birileff, and Rozhdestvensky, 
proceeded to inspect the squadron, as to 
the official title of which a slight altera- 
tion appears to have been recently made. 
There is authority for believing that the 
original intention was to call it the Third 
Pacific Squadron, the Port Arthur ships 
ranking, presumably, as the First, and 
the Vladivostok cruisers as the Second 
Squadron. Later, however, possibly in 
view of the doubtful continuance of the 
Port Arthur division as a recognisable 
unit of offence, Admiral Rozhdest- 
vensky 's command came to be habitually 
alluded to as the Second Pacific Squad- 
ron, and this distinction will be observed 
henceforth in the present narrative. 

The review of the Second Pacific 
Squadron by the Tsar appears to have 
occupied the afternoon of October gth 
and the morning of the loth. On 
October nth a telegram from St. Peters- 
burg stated that " the Baltic Fleet, con- 
sisting of forty-two ships," had left Reval 
for Libau, but this formidable number 
was considerably whittled down by a 
laf^r telegram to the Echo de Paris, in 
vi^hich it was stated that the new fleet 
comprised in all seven battleships, eight 
cruisers, nine destroyers, and ten tor- 
pedoes, several of the last-named being 
armed so as to be able to serve as 
auxiliary cruisers. 

On October 13th Admiral Wirenius at 
St. Petersburg made an interesting state- 
ment to the correspondent of the Echo de 
Paris. Alluding to the fact that the 
Second Pacific Squadron had not then 
left Libau, and accounting for the 
secrecy of its movements, the Admiral 
said : — 

' ' The Straits of the Belt and the Sound 
are particularly favourable for an attack 
owing to their narrowness, which obliges 
the fleet to proceed in Indian file. We 



know that officers of the Japanese Navy 
have left Japan for Europe. We have to 
fear an attack by means of mines thrown 
along the route of the squadron in the 
Danish Straits. They would not dare to 
do that in the English Channel, where 
there are too many neutral ships, but in 
the Belt a small craft could throw a mine 
in front of an armour-clad. . . . We 
have at least 21,000 miles to cover, by the 
Cape of Good Hope, to reach Vladivos- 
tok. At an average speed of nine knots 
the journey alone will take more than 
one hundred days. Add thirty more for 
repairs, provisioning, and coaling. In 
my opinion we may be very glad if the 
squadron arrives in the Far East at the 
beginning of March." 

Here we have a repeated indication of 
those nervous fears, to the existence of 
which attention was drawn in Chapter 
LXIIL, and the prevalence of which even 
at St. Petersburg was a poor preparation 
for such a journey as that which lay 
before Admiral Rozhdestven sky's Squad- 
ron. 

The actual start of the fleet appears to 
have been made about October 15th, and 
on the 1 8th we hear of some of the ships 
anchoring off Langeland, near Farke 
Bjerg, and taking in coal, while others 
were passing through the Great Belt. 
On October 20th the fleet had arrived in 
the bay south of the Skaw, and on that 
evening nearly half the ships proceeded 
to the North Sea, it being expected that 
the remainder, after landing their Danish 
pilots, would follow almost immediately. 
This expectation was evidently realised, 
the squadron steaming slowly in three 
divisions until, at midnight on the 21st, 
two of these came within easy distance of 
the Dogger Bank, with the dramatic re- 
sults above described. 

Something has already been said as to 



BRITISH GOVERNMENT ACTS. 



283 



the route which it is intended that the 
squadron shall take, but there is reason 
to believe that up to the last moment 
there was dubiety on the subject, even 
among the Russian naval authorities. 
For as late as October 20th two different 
versions of the route were current in 
Paris, which had, for the most part, been 



hesitancy which surrounded the earliest 
movements of the squadron ; but it is not 
of practical importance, for, whatever 
may have been the intentions formulated 
at the time the fleet started from Libau, 
there seems no question that these had to 
be considerably modified in consequence 
of the steps taken by the British Govern- 




MAP ILLUSTRATING ALTERNATIVE ROUTES FROM EUROPE 
SUEZ CANAL, ROUND CAPE OF GOOD HOPE, AXD TH 



TO JAPANESE WATERS i THROUGH THE 
ROUGH THE STRAITS OF MAGELLAN. 



kept very well informed as to the composi- 
tion and movements of the squadron bv 
St. Petersburg correspondents. Thus, 
the readers of the Maim were assured 
that the cruisers would pass through the 
Suez Canal, while the battleships \\ould 
go round the Cape of Good Hope. The 
correspondent of the J otirnal^ on the other 
hand, had heard from the former captain 
of the ill-fated Peiropavlovsk, now in St. 
Petersburg, that the whole fleet would go 
round the Cape. The discrepancy is in- 
teresting, as showing the uncertainty and 



ment as a result of the squadron's extra- 
ordinary performance in the North Sea. 

For it goes without saying that the 
British Government, well knowing that in 
such a case it had behind it the whole 
nation, was prompt to take the necessary 
diplomatic action. On the evening of 
October 24th, the day following the re- 
turn of the fishing fleet to Hull, the 
following ofhcial communication was 
issued to the English Press : — 

The Foreign Oflfice have been in com- 
munication with representatives of the 



284 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



fishing industry of Hull and Grimsby, 
and have obtained from them a full state- 
ment of the facts connected with the 
attack made during the night of the 21st 
instant by the Russian Baltic Fleet upon 
a part of the Hull trawling fleet. 

" Urgent representations based upon 
this information have been addressed to 
the Russian Government at St. Peters- 
burg, and it has been explained that the 
situation is one which, in the opinion of 
his Majesty's Government, does not ad- 
mit of delay. ' ' 

It subsequently transpired that a depu- 
tation of fishermen from the Gamecock 
Fleet had come from Hull by the night 
mail on October 23rd, and had been taken 
by the local member of Parliament, Sir 
Henry Seymour King, to the Foreign 
Office, where, in Lord Lansdowne's ab- 
sence, they had an interview with some 
of the leading officials. Of this meeting 
a little detail may be recorded. One 
member of the deputation showed part of 
a shell which had crashed through the 
side of his vessel and was found by him 
on her deck. Another was asked if he, 
like his comrade, had any tangible evi- 
dence of the cannonade. He replied 
laconically : ' ' What need ? There are 
two headless trunks at Hull. Several 
men have been struck and some crippled, 
at least one good trawler has been sent 
to the bottom, and the facts speak for 
themselves." 

The King was deeply moved when the 
news of the incident reached him, and he 
at once caused an intimation to be con- 
veyed to Lord Lansdowne, Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs, that he desired 
to see him on the subject. Lord Lans- 
downe, who was at Bowood, came up to 
town forthwith, and, after learning at 
the Foreign Office the facts of the case, 
as presented earlier in the day by the 



deputation of Hull fishermen, proceeded 
to Buckingham Palace, and had an inter- 
view with his Majesty. Meanwhile, the 
Prime Minister, on receipt of intelligence 
of the outrage, had telegraphed both to 
the Foreign Office and, significantly as it 
would seem, to the Admiralty, besides 
making immediate preparations to return 
to London. 

It was eminently characteristic of our 
gracious Sovereign that, notwithstanding 
the preoccupations of the moment, he 
should hasten both to express his 
sympathy with the victims of the outrage 
and to render prompt and practical aid 
to those to whom the incident meant 
immediate and substantial pecuniary loss. 
To the Mayor of Hull the Private Secre- 
tary to the King telegraphed as follows 
on October 24th : — 

" The King commands me to say that 
he has heard with profound sorrow of the 
unwarrantable • action which has been 
committed against the North Sea fishing 
fleet, and to ask you to express the 
deepest sympathy of the Queen and his 
Majesty with the families who have 
suffered from this most lamentable occur- 
ence. — Knollys." Later in the day the 
Mayor received from the King, through 
Sir Dighton Probyn, a donation of 200 
guineas for the victims of the outrage. 
The next morning came yet another letter 
from Buckingham Palace, forwarding 
;^ioo from the Queen " for distribution 
amongst those who are disabled, and for 
the widows and children of the fishermen 
who have lost their lives in the recent 
disaster." An expression of kindly 
sympathy for the sufferers was added, 
and a report desired of the condition of 
the men who had been wounded. 
Although no proof is ever needed of the 
personal tie which binds the King and 
Queen to their loving subjects, the strong 



BRITISH NOTE PRESENTED. 



285 



and simple manner in which their senti- 
ments were exhibited on this momentous 
occasion — and particularly, perhaps, the 
directness of the King-'s allusion to the 
" unwarrantable " character of the 
f-iussian Fleet's performances — made a 
singular impression on the public mind, 
and served to enhance the effect of one of 



and full compensation to the sufferers. 
Further, it had been insisted that an in- 
quiry should be instituted with all des- 
patch, and under conditions which should 
ensure that appropriate action would be 
taken upon the result of the investigation. 
The last demand was taken in this 
country to mean that those found respon- 




ADMIPAL ROZHDEblVENSKY. 



the most remarkable instances of British 
unanimity on record. 

By the evening of October 25th the 
situation created by the outrage was 
beginning to assume definite shape. It 
was understood that in the Note des- 
patched by the British Government to St. 
Petersburg certain definite demands had 
been put forward, comprising; in the first 
place the apologies due for the outrage. 



sible for the outrage would be adequately 
punished. This Note was duly com- 
municated to the Russian Government by 
Sir Charles Hardinge, the British Am- 
bassador at St. Petersburg, on October 
25th. On the same day Count Lamsdorf, 
the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
called at the British Embassy and re- 
quested Sir Charles Hardinge to convey 
to King Edward and to the British 



286 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Government a message from the Tsar, 
who, while he had received no news from 
the Admiral in command of the fleet, 
could only attribute the incident in the 
North Sea to a very regrettable misunder- 
standing. The Tsar wished to express 
his sincere regret to the King and the 
Government for the sad loss of life that 
had occurred, and to say that he would 
take steps to afford complete satisfaction 
to the sufferers as soon as the circum- 
stances of the case were cleared up. 

In passing, it is only fair to Count 
Lamsdorf to state that he himself had 
previously expressed his deep concern, 
and had volunteered an assurance that the 
fullest satisfaction would be afforded. 
Unfortunately, it turns out that here, as 
in the case of the Malacca incident, the 
Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs is 
not in a position to answer for the 
Russian Admiralty, which, at this critical 
moment, refuses to communicate the sail- 
ing orders given to Admiral Rozhdest- 
vensky, and professes entire inability to 
reach him wifh orders or demands for a 
detailed report of what has happened in 
his command up to date. Throughout 
the succeeding negotiations the attitude 
of the Russian Admiralty is in strange 
contrast with the far more reasonable 
and conciliatory tone of the Russian 
Foreign Office. Its defiant indifference 
to the frankly expressed opinions even of 
Continental critics produces, moreover, 
at more than one stage an uneasy feeling 
that nothing would please the personages 
connected with this Department of the 
Russian Government more than a com- 
plete rupture of those friendly relations 
with Great Britain which Count Lamsdorf 
has striven so manfully to preserve. 

The Continental criticism alluded to is, 
indeed, frank to the verge of contemp- 
tuous ridicule. In France, where there is 



naturally every disposition to palliate 
what has occurred, it is clear that a most 
disagreeable impression has been created. 
In Germany and Austria the action of the 
Baltic Fleet is subjected to the gravest 
censure, and it is freely suggested that to 
an attack of nerves, or to intoxication, or 
to both, can such an extraordinary inci- 
dent alone be assigned. To take a single 
and moderate instance of German com- 
ment, the Berliner Tageblatt permits the 
naval critic. Count Reventlow, to say in 
its columns, " The officers commanding 
these Russian ships must be all the time 
in an abnormal state of mind, and it is 
therefore not altogether unjustifiable to 
ask, as the English are asking, whether 
a squadron led as this squadron is led, 
ought to be allowed to sail the seas. " Of 
the Admiral commanding, this same 
naval critic remarks : — ' ' Rozhdestvensky 
is known to be an exceedingly nervous 
gentleman, who gets into a state of 
boundless excitement over trifles, and 
it is all the more strange that he should 
have been entrusted with a post so un- 
suitable to a person of his character. ' ' 

But we need not linger to discuss either 
the Russian Admiralty's demeanour or 
Continental opinions on the outrage. 
What is more to the point is the action 
taken by the British Admiralty in respect 
of this strange and sudden side issue of 
the Russo-Japanese War, which has sO' 
unfortunately compromised our own rela- 
tions with one of the belligerents. It 
should be mentioned that since the 
Malacca incident one important change 
has taken place in the great Department 
which controls our sea service. The 
First Sea Lord of the Admiralty is i)ow 
Admiral Sir John Fisher, G.C.B., who 
has recently been Commander-in-Chief at 
Portsmouth, and who had previously had 
charge of our magnificent Mediterranean 



AT THE ADMIRALTY. 



287 



Fleet. Admiral Sir John — far better 
known as " Jack " — Fisher enjoys the 
complete confidence and respect of the 
nation, as well as the warm affection of 
all ranks of the British Navy. He is 
essentially a practical, vigorous man of 
affairs, and he came to the Admiralty, in 
which he had already made his mark as 
Second Sea Lord, with an open pro- 
gramme of reform, 
of which the promin- 
ent feature is utter 
and complete effi- 
ciency of ships and 
oHicers and men. 

Although at such 
a crisis the handling 
of our Navy depends 
largely upon the per- 
sonality of the senior 
Naval Lord, pro- 
vided, of course, 
that the personality 
in question is a 
strong one, as in 
Admiral "Jack" 
Fisher's case, the 
influence of his Par- 
liamentary superior, 
the First Lord of 
the Admiralty, who 
represents the De- 
partment in the 
Cabinet, means much for good or 
ill. Here, too, in this time of 
stress, we are fortunate in having 
as the " Ruler of the King's Navee " an 
extremely able and popular official in the 
person of the Right Hon. the Earl of 
Selborne, who, though a comparatively 
young man of forty-five, has already held 
his present appointment for nearly four 
years, and has been a Member of Parlia- 
ment for nearly twenty. Working 
always in complete harmony with his 




Photo: G. C. Bcresford, B 
ADMIRAL SIR 



Naval colleagues, and admirably quali- 
fied to bring their views forcibly and 
sensibly before his fellow members of 
the Cabinet, Lord Selborne is well liked 
and respected for his own sake, and it 
is certain that there is no self-assertive 
greybeard living for whom, at this junc- 
ture, the British public would willingly 
exchange their present First Lord. 

It was said above 
that by the evening 
of October 25th the 
situation in regard 
to the North Sea out- 
rage was becoming 
clear. Perhaps the 
best and most strik- 
ing confirmation of 
this proposition is. 
to be found in an 
official communica- 
tion circulated that 
evening by the Ad- 
miralty to the prin- 
cipal organs of the 
British Press. It 
ran, simply and sig- 
nificantly, as fol- 
lows : — " After the 
receipt of the news 
of the tragedy in the 
North Sea on Mon- 
day, the 24th inst., 
preliminary orders for mutual support 
and co-operation were, as a measure of 
precaution, issued from the Admiralty 
to the Mediterranean, Channel, and 
Home Fleets." 

It is presently seen that at the back of 
this short and simple announcement lies, 
a demonstration of naval strength and' 
preparedness which may truly be classed 
as the most impressive which the world 
has ever yet witnessed. For the pur- 
poses of the jubilee reviews there mav 



■omploii Road, S.W. 
JOHN FISHER. 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



have been assemblages ol ships more 
numerous, and the actual readiness and 
efficiency of the British Fleet on those 
occasions may have been not greatly in- 
ferior. It is also an axiom worthy to be 
held in constant recollection that a 
British warship at sea is always, practi- 
cally speaking, on active service. But 
there is a distinct and decided difference 
between any sort of peaceful demonstra- 
tion and one rnade in such circumstances 
as those alluded to in the above Ad- 
miralty communication. 

It is a far cry from the Sea of Japan to 
the " silver streak " which has sundered 
Great Britain from the Continent of 
Europe. There is yet insufficient cause, 
moreover, why the British nation should 
be involved in the devastating conflict 
which for more than eight weary months 
has been raging in the Far East. But, 
when the British Navy is told to make 
ready for possible contingencies, it must 
do so in no half-hearted fashion, and the 
realism and thoroughness of the British 
naval preparations during the next fort- 
night are but a httle less pronounced 
than if this country had suddenly deter- 
mined to make common cause with Japan 
against the latter 's adversary. The only 
difference is that the steps openly taken 
are purely naval steps, and are, broadly 



speaking, confined to the Home, Channel, 
and Mediterranean Fleets. In the latter, 
the measures taken are, as regards fight- 
ing details, measures identical with those 
which would be taken in war, though, 
naturally, the strategy adopted might 
have been different had the outrage com- 
mitted by the Baltic Fleet in the North 
Sea been promptly construed as a hostile 
act, instead of being charitably accepted 
as an insane error. 

Moreover, as the whole incident of the 
outrage springs directly out of the Russo- 
Japanese War, the naval preparations 
made by Great Britain in consequence are 
almost as clearly connected with the his- 
tory of that war as if they took place in 
Far Eastern waters. A third argument 
in favour of a detailed account of the 
demonstration in question might be 
adduced from the effort subsequently 
made by Russia to lay the onus of the 
North Sea calamity upon the Japanese. 
Although, then, happily the immense 
naval power of Great Britain did not on 
this occasion require to be put to abso- 
lutely warlike purposes, its exhibition at 
this critical juncture forms an episode of 
the war, as well as a magnificent object 
lesson of the possibilities of naval 
supremacy backed up by superb organisa- 
tion and vigorous counsels. 




//..1/..V. Ccc<ai- 



■t<f*«.V-!iSti&::» 




THE WATCH DOGS OF THE STRAITS. 
Line of British battleships, cleared for aetion, lying off Gibraltar at the lime of the crisis. 



CHAPTER LXIX. 

\ORTH SEA INCIDENT CONTINUED — BRITISH GOVERNMENT TAKES ACTION — NA\-AL PRE- 
PARATIONS — RUSSIAN admiral's REPORT — ON THE BRINK OE WAR A PEACEFUL 

SOLUTION CONTINENTAL VIEWS RUSSIAN FLEET PROCEEDS — DOUBTS AND FEARS 

ANGLO-RUSSIAN AGREEMENT SIGNED. 



AT the time the Baltic Fleet was firin<^ 
■ on the defenceless Hull fishermc.i the 
British Home Fleet was in Scottish 
waters at Cromart}'. It consisted of the 
battleships ExmoutJi (flyings the flag" of 
\'ice-Admiral Sir A. K. Wilson, com- 
manding the Fleet), Royal Oak (flying the 
flag" of Rear- Admiral Barlow), Empress 
of India, Revenge, Royal Sovereign, 
Russell and Swiftsiire ; cruisers Bedford, 
Dido, Essex, and Juno. The Triuviph 
battleship was also attached to the Home 
Fleet, but was at the moment at Ports- 
mouth undergoing repairs. 

At various Home ports the ships of the 
Cruiser Squadron, commanded by Rear- 
Admiral Sir Wilmot Fawkes, were re- 
fitting, the Good Hope (flagship) and 
55 



Drake at Portsmouth, the Donegal and 
'Monnioulli at De\onport, and the Ber- 
ivick and Kent at Chatham. 

In addition to the eig^ht battleships and 
ten cruisers above mentioned, tliere were 
available at home or in reserve eight 
battleships and four cruisers in commis- 
sion, with others which could be com- 
missioned at sliort notice. 

At or near Gibraltar lav the Channel 
Fleet, commanded by \'ice-Admiral Lord 
Charles Beresford, and consisting of 
eight modern battleships — desar. Vic- 
torious, Hannibal, Illustrious, Jupiter, 
Magnifcenl, tiajestic, and l\Iars, and the 
cruisers Theseus, Endymion, Dons, and 
Hermes. Lord Charles Beresford 's flag 
was carried on the Carsar, that of his 



2qo 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



second in command, Rear-Admiral 
Bridgrman, being- flown on the Victoriotts. 
The battleships of the Channel Fleet 
■were all of what is known as the Majestic 
class, being of 14,900 tons displacement, 
and a speed of 17^ knots. A perfectly 
homogeneous squadron, commanded by 
one of the most renowned fighting sailors 
in the Navy, and with a particular repu- 
tation for smartness and good shooting, 
these eight battleships of the Channel 
Fleet constituted perhaps the most per- 
fect example of naval efficiency in exist- 
ence at the time. 

At the time of the North Sea outrage, 
two divisions of the Mediterranean Fleet 
were in the Adriatic on a visit to the 
Italian and Austrian ports in that sea. 
These divisions comprised the battleships 
Bulwark (flying the flag of Admiral Sir 
Compton Domville, Commander-in-Chief 
in the Mediterranean), Venerable (flag of 
Vice- Admiral Custance), Duncan, Corn- 
wallis, Irresistible, Formidable, and 
Prince of Wales ; the cruisers Furious, 
Minerva, Venus, Pandora, Pioneer, 
Pyramus, and Leander, with two gun- 
boats and six destroyers. There were 
also at or near Malta, at or near Gibral- 
tar, or between Malta and Gibraltar, the 
battleships Albemarle (flag of Rear-Ad- 
miral Hamilton), London, Montagu, Im- 
placable, and Queen, the cruisers Bacchante 
(flag of Rear-Admiral Sir B. Walker), 
Aboukir, Diana, Lancaster, and Suffolk, 
with two gunboats and twenty-two des- 
troyers. The total strength here indi- 
cated, namely, twelve battleships, twelve 
cruisers, four gunboats, and twenty-eight 
destroyers, is rendered additionally im- 
pressive by the fact that the whole of the 
Mediterranean Fleet is, practically speak- 
ing, always on a war footing, and com- 
prises habitually a large proportion of the 
most powerful ships afloat. 



Not taking into account the guardships 
and other vessels in reserve, the Home, 
Channel, and Mediterranean Fleets, with 
the Cruiser Squadron, comprised the 
magnificent aggregate of twenty-eight 
battleships and twenty-two cruisers, be- 
sides smaller craft in abundance. Such 
figures are of themselves impressive, but 
they are rendered trebly so by the fact 
that, with the three great fleets to which 
they refer, a primary consideration is the 
" mutual support and co-operation " of 
which the Admiralty speaks in its com- 
munication to. "the Press, and that this end 
is extraordinarily well served by the exist- 
ence of our naval bases at Gibraltar and 
Malta. Hitherto there had existed in the 
public mind some misconception of the 
functions more especially of the Channel 
Fleet, a misconception favoured by its 
not altogether fortunate title. The crisis 
produced by the performances of the 
Russian Fleet in the North Sea did much 
to dispel this erroneous idea. Although, 
as a matter of eventual fact, the Channel 
Fleet acted in this instance independently, 
it became clearly apparent, even to the 
" man in the street," that its graver 
function in war time might be to reinforce 
either the Home or the Mediterranean 
Fleet, according to the requirements oi 
the case, and so to produce, almost with- 
out an effort, an agglomeration of 
strength, either along the nearer coasts 
of the Continent or in the Mediterranean, 
such as might well knock, literally as well 
as figuratively, the bottom out of any 
probable coalition. 

Of the actual steps taken by the British 
Admiralty to ensure the mutual support 
and co-operation of the Home, Channel, 
and Mediterranean Fleets, if necessary, 
on this momentous occasion, only a brief 
account need be given. The Home Fleet 
left Cromarty Firth, and proceeded to 



FLEET MOVEMENTS. 



291 



take up its station at Portland, overtime 
being ordered on the battleship Triumph, 
in order to enable it to join the fleet at the 
earliest possible date. Work was also 
hurried on in the case of the six ships of 



stores, and the entire Gibraltar torpedo 
flotilla was commissioned. That portion 
of the Mediterranean Fleet which had 
been in the Adriatic, under Admiral Sir 
Compton Domviile, moved down, con- 






-J 

K 







MAP ILLUSTRATING THE COURSE OF THE BALTIC FLEET FROM KRONSTADT TO VIGO AND TANGIER, 
AND THE DISPOSITIONS OF THE BRITISH FLEETS AT THE TIME OF THE CRISIS. 



the Cruiser Squadron, with the result that 
in a very few days the squadron was 
ready for sea. The ships of the Channel 
Fleet promptly filled their bunkers, and 
replenished their ammunition and other 



centrated at Corfu, and sailed thence to 
Malta, a considerable portion of the fleet 
being immediately and subsequently des- 
patched to Gibraltar, which was now on 
a war footing, the entrance to the bar- 



292 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



bour being: closed nightly by boom 
defences. 

It will be seen that, from the 
very moment the outrage occurred, 
the British Navy was in a position 
to bring the " Second Pacific Squad- 
ron " of the Russian Fleet to book if 
the situation rendered such a drastic pro- 
ceeding in any way desirable. Either the 
Home or Channel Fleet would have been 
amply sufficient to deal with such a 
heterogeneous collection of vessels as 
those under Admiral Rozhdestvensky's 
command, and accordingly the Second 
Pacific Squadron had no sooner left the 
scene of its disgraceful exploit than it 
became, to use a happy phrase employed 
by a correspondent in writing on the sub- 
ject to the Times., " the ham of a strategi- 
cal sandwich." As far, in fact, as the 
whole strength of Russia in European 
waters was concerned, the position be- 
came, automatically as it were, so hope- 
less as to render any but a ([. e. a. solution 
impossible. If Admiral Rozhdestvensky 
had been ordered to fight he had but the 
option of being sunk by Sir A. K. Wilson 
or blown out of the water by Lord Charles 
Beresford. Retreat and advance were 
equally deadly alternatives, and escape 
across the open Atlantic was out of the 
question in view of the necessity for coal- 
ing. There remained but two or three 
Russian vessels fit for service in the 
Baltic. The Black Sea Fleet might have 
attempted to force the Dardanelles, but 
the " Overlord of the Mediterranean," as 
the Commander-in-Chief of that station 
has been appropriately called, has always 
ample forces within sufficiently easy call 
to deal effectively with any eruption of 
that sort. 

Why, then, all these tremendous pre- 
parations, all this massing of ships, all 
this throbbing activity at half-a-dozen 



dockyards and arsenals ? Such measures 
cost large sums of money, and they are 
apt to disturb the public mind to a 
dangerous extent. Could not the matter 
of reparation for the North Sea outrage 
have been safely left to diplomacy backed 
up by the normal strength and distribu- 
tion of the Home, Channel, and Mediter- 
ranean Fleets ? 

The answer to such questions • is one 
which, simple as it is, cannot be easily 
answered without even plainer speaking 
than that which was necessary in the 
chapter devoted to the attitude main- 
tained towards Russia in respect of the 
war by Germany. Of course, in the first 
instance, it was a measure of the most 
ordinary precaution on our part to secure 
ourselves against the operation of any 
possible clause, known or secret, in the 
alliance between Russia and France. We 
could not afford to take it for granted 
that the latter would decline to intervene 
in a quarrel which was none of her own 
making, more especially having regard to 
the chivalrous sentimentality — using the 
word in its best sense — habitually dis- 
played by our gallant neighbours where 
they imagine their honour to be even re- 
motely involved. But it may freely be 
stated that in no considerable section of 
the British public did the idea prevail 
that France would, in any circumstances, 
back up Russia should the latter refuse 
to give reasonable satisfaction for the 
North Sea outrage. The entente cordiale- 
was at its brightest and best during the 
anxious period which followed that 
terrible episode, and it will be seen later 
that not without reason did we count 
upon France to stand aloof from the 
support of her ally in a situation in which 
the latter's position was so wholly in- 
defensible. 

But with Germany the case was differ-- 



294 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



ent. For some years past Germany's 
naval power has been growing- at such a 
rapid pace that it would be fatuous to 
deny that those responsible for that 
growth had hopes of some day disputing 
with Great Britain the supremacy of the 
seas. Germany's main fleet of twelve 
modern battleships was one which even 
the British Navy must reckon with res- 
pectfully as a possible instrument for 
something quite outside the extension of 
German commercial 
aims. We had neither 
the right nor the 
inclination to suggest 
openly that Germany 
would have been well 
pleased if at this 
moment she could 
have caught us nap- 
ping, and, by siding 
with Russia, have 
produced a condition 
of affairs with which 
we might have been 
unable, even navall)', 
to cope. But 
neither had our 
statesmen, holding 

in trust our enormous and many-sided in- 
terests, the right, let alone the inclina- 
tion, to suppose that Germany would 
stand our friend, or would even remain 
neutral, if we came to blows with 
Russia. In the latter's trouble with 
Japan, she had preserved a sort of 
neutrality as regards K.iao-chau, well 
knowing' that, if she had not done so, her 
hopes of dominating Shan-tung would 
soon be rudely imperilled. The disarma- 
ment of the Tsarevitclt was a matter of 
policy as well as of good faith. But at 
home the tender solicitude displayed bv 
the German Emperor for the welfare of 
the Tsar's army and navy was, as has 




Photo 



been shown in this narrative, sufficiently 
marked. Of Germany's feeling towards 
ourselves we had not received of late any 
evidence calculated to make us doubt her 
cheerful willingness to do us a bad turn 
if advantage and no risk to herself were 
involved. There was also human nature 
to be considered. Proud in the posses- 
sion of an undoubtedly formidable navy, 
the German nation might reasonably wel- 
come an opportunity of employing it in 
inflicting a serious 
blow upon the pres- 
tige of the premier 
naval power of the 
world. If Admiral 
R o z h d estvensky's 
seven battleships had 
been as up-to-date 
and well-handled as 
Germany's twelve, 
and Great Britain 
had shown at this 
crisis any sign of 
weakness, it would 
hardly have been 
surprising if the par- 
tiality of the Ger- 
man Emperor for his 
Eastern neighbour had undergone some 
remarkable developments. 

Accordingly, the British Government, 
and the British Navy acting under its 
orders, took no risks, and made its pre- 
paredness, in Europe at any rate, on 
almost the same scale as if we were 
already at war with two or three Con- 
tinental Powers of the first magnitude. 
The Home Fleet stood for the moment on 
guard, while the powerful Cruiser Squad- 
ron completed its refitting, and, although 
no complete mobilisation took place at 
home, we may be sure that the prepara- 
tions for utilising the ships and men in 
I'cserve were being unostentatiously put 



r Street, W. 
BERESFORD. 



AT GIBRALTAR. 



295 



forward, and that, if war had super- 
vened, the ffome Fleet would have 
assumed impressive proportions in an in- 
credibly short space of time. Up to 
Gibraltar rolled battleship after battleship 
of the Mediterranean Fleet, ships and 
officers and bluejackets all in superb 
fighting trim, and the two last almost 
pathetically eager for the " ball to open." 
At the glorious old Rock itself — that grim 



White, the gallant Irishman who, as a 
regimental ollicer, had won the Victoria 
Cross for cool gallantry in Afghanistan, 
and, later, as a General, had successfully 
held Ladysmith against the Boers in one 
of the famous sieges of history. 

It was at Gibraltar that the naval pre- 
parations of Great Britain, in view of a 
possible untoward consequence of the 
North Sea incident, were most brilliantly 



'■% 




THE ROCK OF GIBRALTAR FROM ALGECIRAS 



memorial of so much of Britain's naval 
and military valour in the past, that 
splendid sign of her greatness and 
tenacity in the present — the hum of war- 
like preparation was heard on every side. 
The demonstrative measures now being 
taken were necessarily naval ones, but at 
such a centre as this some show of mili- 
tary activity, too, was inevitable. In 
which connection it deserves to be re- 
corded in passing that the Governor of 
Gibraltar at this time was that grand 
1 veteran, Field-Marshal Sir George 



and impressively exemplified in the alert- 
ness with which the Channel Fleet made 
ready for all emergencies. Almost in a 
flash Lord Charles Beresford's command 
not merely cleared its decks for action, 
but, to use a metaphor which denotes the 
last stage of naval fitness for the fray, 
prepared for battle. Using his cruisers 
as eyes and ears, the gallant and popular 
Commander-in-Chief of the Channel 
Squadron kept his battleships together, 
in order to bar, if necessity arose, the 
further passage of Admiral Rozhdest- 



296 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



vensky's ships. Nor is there much ques- 
tion that, if matters had come to the 
stern arbitrament of war, the care and 
labour expended by this able fighting 
seaman upon the condition of his ships, 
and the shooting capacity of officers and 
men, would have been abundantly justi- 
fied. But we must not anticipate. 
Rather let us close our account of this 
phase of the affair by recalling ,the 
characteristic message reported to have 
been signalled on the morning of October 
26th by Lord Charles Beresford to some 
cruisers detached to watch the move- 
ments of the oncoming Russian ships 
between Cape St. Vincent and Cape 
Spartel : " Situation critical ; good 
luck." 

While the British Navy was thus 
pointedly demonstrating its ability to 
back up the just demands of the British 
Government for satisfaction on account 
■of the North Sea outrage, matters were 
by no means standing still in other direc- 
tions. For a couple of days after the 
publication of the news of the disaster, 
the" British public had to rest content 
with the knowledge that the British 
'Government's Note to Russia had been 
duly presented, and with such additional 
scraps of information concerning the out- 
rage itself as could be gathered from the 
fishermen of the Gamecock Fleet. Not 
until the morning of October 27th was 
it generally known that a portion of the 
Russian " Second Pacific Squadron," in- 
cluding Admiral Rozhdestvensky's flag- 
ship, had arrived at Vigo, and that an 
attempt would be made to explain the 
attack on the fishing vessels by the 
suggestion that there were Japanese tor- 
pedo boats among them ! Some vessels 
■of the squadron had been previously re- 
ported to have put in at Brest, but these 
had been detached from the main squad- 



ron, and had seen nothing of the firing 
on the night of October 2ist-22nd. 

The arrival of Admiral Rozhdestvensky 
at Vigo was attended by some little dis- 
turbance, quite apart from the general 
anxiety to hear his explanation of his 
recent performances. Notwithstanding 
the protests of the Spanish authorities, 
the Russian war vessels sought to take 
in coal from German colliers in Spanish 
waters, and, by dint of urgent represen- 
tations, were eventually allowed to ship 
four hundred tons each, in defiance of the 
generally accepted rules of neutrality. 
Remonstrances were subsequently ad- 
dressed by Japan to the Spanish Govern- 
ment on this subject, the latter declaring 
that she had followed a precedent 
established by other Powers. But the 
Japanese have long memories, and it is 
not unlikely that some day the indulgence 
accorded to Admiral Rozhdestvensky on 
this occasion at Vigo may be recalled, to 
Spain's distinct inconvenience. In any 
case, such precedents as those quoted — 
presumably the facilities afforded by 
Germany and France — need hardly have 
led Spain to depart from an attitude in 
the maintenance of which she would have 
had prompt and ample support. The 
incident is, for the moment, at any rate, 
trifling, but it is curiously instructive, as 
indicating yet another direction in which 
this tremendous war has, to some extent, 
involved a country many thousands of 
miles from the actual area of conflict, and 
not in the remotest degree connected 
with or interested in the points of 
dispute. 

But Admiral Rozhdestvensky's coaling 
requirements are of small concern com- 
pared with his demeanour on the subject 
of the North Sea outrage. It would 
seem that when first questioned upon the 
incident the Admiral exhibited much 



2q8 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



irritability, and declined to give details 
beyond stating that he had acted accord- 
ing to his conscience, with the object of 
preventing the destruction of his squad- 
ron. He is said to have added that, be- 
fore leaving Libau, he had made known 
his intention of attacking any ship that 
approached his fleet. It should be men- 
tioned in this connection that evidently 
the Admiral's apprehensions as to the 
possible existence of mysterious enemies 
had not yet left him, for all his ships 
were still cleared for action, and all 
movements of the craft in Vigo harbour 
were closely watched by the Russian 
sentries. 

More illuminating than Admiral 
Rozhdestvensky's veiled utterances was 
the explanation given by some of the 
officers as to the Dogger Bank episode. 
This explanation, afterwards, it will be 
seen, expanded in Admiral Rozhdest- 
vensky's report, is interesting as the first 
sign of the course intended to be taken 
m reference to Russia's responsibility for 
what had occurred. According to a 
Madrid newspaper, the Russian officers 
stated to a Vigo correspondent that dur- 
ing their voyage down the North Sea 
two torpedo boats were observed between 
the lines of the squadron. Supposing 
they had to deal with a Japanese attack, 
they opened fire. They asserted that 
they saw guns in two of the boats, and 
that none of the sailors looked hke fisher- 
men. They were unaware that any of 
the crew were wounded, and they re- 
gretted " the mistake." 

Not until the 28th was the full text of 
Admiral Rozhdestvensky's official report 
available. On that day the Russian 
Naval General Staff published the two 
following telegrams from the Admiral 
Commanding the Second Squadron of the 
Pacific Fleet : — 



I. — " The incident of the North Sea 
was provoked by two torpedo boats 
which, without showing any lights, under 
cover of darkness advanced to attack the 
vessel steaming at the head of the detach- 
ment. When the detachment began to 
sweep the sea with its searchlights, and 
opened fire, the presence was also dis- 
covered of several small steam vessels 
resembling small steam fishing boats. 
The detachment endeavoured to spare 
these boats, and ceased fire as soon as 
the torpedo boats were out of sight. 

" The English Press is horrified at the 
idea that the torpedo boats of the squad- 
ron, left by the detachment until the 
morning on the scene of the occurrence, 
did not render assistance to the victims. 
Now, there was not a single torpedo boat 
with the detachment, and none were left 
on the scene of the occurrence. In con- 
sequence, it was one of the two torpedo 
boats, which was not sunk, but which 
was only damaged, which remained until 
the morning near the small steam craft. 
The detachment did not assist the small 
steam craft, because it suspected them of 
complicity, in view of their obstinate per- 
sistence in cutting the line of advance of 
the warships. Several of them did not 
show any lights at all. The others 
showed them very late. ' ' 

2. — " Having met several hundreds of 
fishing boats, the squadron showed them 
every consideration, except where they 
were in company of the foreign torpedo 
boats, one of which disappeared, while 
the other, according to the evidence of 
the fishermen themselves, remained 
among them until the morning. They 
believed her to be a Russian vessel, and 
were indignant that she did not come to 
the assistance of the victims. She was, 
however, a foreigner, and remained until 
the morning looking for the other torpedo 



RUSSIAN ADMIRALS REPORT. 



299 



i 


LclI- irs" 18 N. 








\/ 






°):^ PI 


/\ 









^ 


'^ -/ 


/ 




3 « 


A.---P°"-'-' .'' 








Oi 




/ 







,. -^ 

'Y ^ . 


?•-*' 


.0 


^' ^ 









* <\ 


■r 


^'-' 




0!.- 


' --f 












i^ffi> Ru.5sian Skips \^ 


<!5T^(^wUv-s. 1. Ru.|( CAdmirol' of Trawlers) \ 






#/ 


1 Mowilm-e-LV^. 








i. Ct"a--ne (su-rvk) 










" Gu-U 











S-. mUo 











SKETCH MAP SHOWING THE RELATIVE POSITIONS OF THE RUSSIAN AND FISHING FLEETS, WHEN 

THE WARSHIPS OPENED FIRE. 



boat, her companion, either witli the 
object of repairing her damag-e or from 
fear of betraying" herself to tliose who 
were not accomplices. 

" If there were also on the scene of the 
occurrence fishermen imprudently in- 
volved in this enterprise, I beg, in the 
name of the whole fleet, to express our 
sincere regret for the unfortunate victims 
of circumstances, in which no warship 
could, even in time of profound peace, 
have acted otherwise." 

It need hardly be said that this re- 
markable report did not meet with accept- 
ance in this country, where the idea of 
the mysterious torpedo boats moving 
about among the trawlers was openly 
scouted as a wild figment of Russian 
imagination. The fishermen had seen 



no torpedo boats, and the suggestion 
that Great Britain had connived at the 
use of her ports by Japanese naval 
oflicers bent upon thus waylaying the 
Baltic Fleet at its outset was indignantly 
repudiated. These details will be dealt 
with later, but in the meantime a point 
made by the Prime Minister in his great 
speech on the subject at Southampton on 
October 28th may usefully be anticipated. 
There is no question that on the night of 
October 2ist-22nd the Baltic Fleet was 
thirty miles out of its course. There is 
equally no question that the Admiral 
must have known that the Dogger Bank 
is always crowded with fishing boats, for 
there is a note to that effect in the 
Russian ofificial Sailing Directions for the 
North Sea. The Russian Admiral then, 



300 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



as Mr. Balfour pointed out, must have 
g-one " thirt_v miles out of his course to a 
spot which he knew was crowded with 
fishing boats, and there he found lying 
in wait among those 
fishing boats two tor- 
pedo craft. Why did 
the commander of 
these two torpedo 
craft choose that par- 
ticular station for pre- 
paring their attack 
upon the Russian 
Fleet? Why did 
they choose a station 
which, from the 
nature of the case, 
involved publicity ? 
The very fact that 
the Dogger Bank is 
crowded with fisher- 
men — and fishermen 
of all nationalities — 
would make such an 
operation absurd on 
the face of it, 'and 
if these mysterious 
craft wanted to con- 
ceal their very exist- 
ence from the public eye, would 
they have gone over the whole North 
Sea and chosen alone among all the 
spots open to them that one where 
publicity was inevitable and certain? 
And, in the second place, if they had 
wanted to lie in wait for the Russian 
Fleet, by what extraordinary powers of 
prevision did they foresee that the 
Russian Fleet would come thirty miles 
out of its ordinary course? " 

To this may be added the statement 
made by Viscount Hayashi, the Japanese 
Ambassador in I^ondon, when inter- 
viewed on the subject of the torpedo 
boat yarn : — 




Photo : Gledstone & Bernard, Hull. 
EFFECT OF SHELL FIRE ON THE TRAWLER 
MOULMEl.W. 



" The story is so ridiculous that it is 
not worth a denial. I would, however 
myself ask a few questions which, per- 
haps, the Russians may be able to answer. 
How is it possible 
that Japanese torpedo 
boats or other small 
craft could have re- 
mained constantly at 
sea in wait for the 
Baltic Fleet ever since 
it was first reported 
to be on the point of 
sailing? Is it known 
by what means such 
vessels could exist 
away from bases for 
food, water, or coal? 
Is it generally re- 
garded as possible 
that torpedo boats 
could make the voy- 
age from the Far 
East to the British 
coasts without coaling 
and without their pre- 
sence being known ? ' ' 
While cold logic 
made it difficult for 
the British public to regard Admiral 
Rozhdestvensky's two torpedo boats as 
anything but pure fancy, the receipt even 
of this doubtful explanation produced at 
once a great revulsion of feeling in St. 
Petersburg. Here there had previously 
prevailed a pretty general apprehension 
lest the culpability of the Baltic Fleet 
should prove beyond question. The 
story of the torpedo boats came as an 
immense relief to the Russian public 
mind, and several of the St. Petersburg 
papers waxed very eloquent over " the 
presentation of indisputable facts which 
justify the action of Admiral Rozhdest- 
vensky, not only in our eyes, but in the 



MORE OUTRAGES. 



301 



eyes of every impartial observer on the 
European Continent." " The lessons of 
the first days of the war," the Novoc 
Vrcmya went on to observe, " have not 
been wasted, and the new and 
treacherous attack by the Japanese has 
been met by the vig'ilant and pitiless eye 
of our 7\dmiral and the straig'ht fire of 
our guns ! " 

It is a little unfortunate that, while 
these and similar xapouring's were being 
indulged in in St. Petersburg, news 
should be received of other, though 
happily not so tragic, instances in which 
the Russians, while still in Danish 
waters, had displayed extraordinary 
nervousness and a ferocious readiness to 
regard the most harmless crait as 
treacherous enemies. Throughout Octo- 
ber 2 1 St in particular, Russian imagina- 
tion appears to have run riot in conjuring 
up fictitious foes. Thus, 
according- to a statement 
made by the captain of 
the Swedish steamer 
Aldi'baran, that vessel 
was, on the evening on 
which the North .Sea out- 
rage occurred, chased by 
a foreign warship, ap- 
parenth' a cruiser of the 
Russian Fleet, which 
threw her searchlights 
upon her. The cruiser 
then increased her speed, 
and, passing the Aldc- 
baran, fired a shot, 
which, however, did no 
damage. The AJ debar an 
now hoisted her flag, 
but did not stop. The cruiser again 
threw its searchlights upon the Aldc- 
baraii, and in a few minutes poured 
a perfect hail of bullets all around 
her, but without hitting her. The cap- 



tain now gave orders for the steamer to 
be stopped, and took refuge with his men 
below. The foreign warship thereupon 
disappeared in the darkness. The Alde- 
baran luckily sustained no damage, not- 
withstanding the " straight fire " of the 
Russian guns of which the Novne Vrcmya 
speaks so proudly. 

Another unpleasant experience was 
undergone by tlic (iernian trawler 
Soutilag, the skipper of which reported as 
follows : — " On the 21st we were off the 
Hornsriff fishing grounds, on the west 
coast of Jutland. In the morning five 
large Russian ships passed, and in the 
evening nine more. To the north of us 
was a large cargo steamer. At half- 
past eight searchlights were thrown on 
us ; iinmediatelv afterwards the first 
shells fell in our vicinity. A Russian 
ship fired in all directions, and as many 




Photo: GlCihIone & E 
SHOT 



email!, Hull. 
HOLES OX THE TRAWLER 1//.\'). 

as eighty shcls a minute. About half- 
past nine the cargo steamer came near 
us, and drew the fire upon herself. By 
the ravs of the searchlight we could see 
the shells falling close to this steamer ; 



302 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



we then observed to the south a second 
searchlight, and noticed shells falling 
near the ship which was firing at us. 
We sustained no damage. After eleven 
o'clock the shells ceased coming." 
Here, again, the shooting of the Russian 
naval gunners seems to have been tem- 
porarily a little at fault. 

Before leaving this section of a thorny 
and painful subject, it is desirable to 
draw attention to a very remarkable 
narrative published by the Daily Mail, 
in which the North Sea incident is vividly 
described by a steward on board one of 
the Russian ships. This curiously 
realistic account was procured by the 
Special Correspondent of the Daily 
Mail, Mr. Edgar Wallace, who was at 
Vigo during the visit of the Russian 
Squadron. The statement, in which, 
for obvious reasons, the names are 
suppressed, is of such unique interest 
that it is here reproduced verbatim : — 

" I am a wardroom steward on the 

Russian battleship . On the night 

bf the attack in the North Sea I was on 
duty in the pantry cleaning glass after 
dinner. I afterwards went into the mess- 
room, where I found six officers seated 
and playing cards. Nobody on board 
the vessel was drunk that evening, ex- 
cept one of the under pfficers in the men's 
quarters. 

" I was engaged in writing when a 
midshipman rushed into the messroom, 
and exclaimed in most excited tones, 
'' The Japanese are attacking us ! ' 

" All the officers immediately rushed 
on deck. I remained below. Some little 
time afterwards a sailor came down to 

me and said that Lieutenant wanted 

me to bring up on deck two glasses of 
brandy. I went up with the brandy, 
and just as I reached the upper deck I 
heard shooting. 



" All the sailors on deck were lying 
down on their faces, and the officers were 
all under cover. I must admit that I was 
very much frightened, for the officers 
were greatly excited, and were all talk- 
ing together at the top of their voices. 

Midshipman B was waving his 

drawn sword, crying out, ' The 
Japanese ! ' 

" I took the brandy to the lieutenant, 
who told me that I was to remain on 
deck, as I might be wanted. Looking 
over the side of the vessel I could see 
nothing, as there was a thin fog on the 
counter, but I could plainly discern the 
signals made by the flagship. 

" I heard one of the marine officers 
say that four Japanese torpedo boats 
had attacked the fleet. At that moment 
all the ships were firing. 

"We fired several rounds from two 
small guns, and very soon afterwards, 
under the glare of our searchlights, I 
perceived the enemy. There were a 
number of small torpedo boats, about 
twenty, I should say, at a distance of less 
than a kilometre (i,ioo yards) from u.";. 
We continued firing for about ten 
minutes, and passed the enemy without 
sustaining any damage. 

" During the whole of that night the 
entire crew stood to the guns. At day- 
light speed was reduced, and divers werjt 
over the side of the vessel to ascertain 
what injury, if any, had been done to 
her. 

" On Sunday (October 23rd) the flag- 
ship signalled by means of the secret 
code, and orders were subsequently issued 
calling attention to the regulations pro- 
hibiting sailors and soldiers from impart- 
ing military secrets to any of their rela- 
tives or friends. 

" On Wednesday an order was issued 
that any man speaking, writing, or 



MR. BALFOUR SPEAKS. 



303 



having; any communication whatever 
with relatives or friends on the subject of 
Friday nig-ht's incident would be sum- 
marily dealt with under the provisions of 
the penal code. 

" You ask me whether our officers 
were not drunk. They were not drunk, 
as I have already said, but they were 
very much excited, and one of the lieuten- 
ants fainted from sheer excitement." 

Comparison of this personal narra- 
tive with the official report furnished 
by Admiral Rozhdestvensky certainly 
favours the theory that the nervous fears 
of the Russian sailors were at their 
heig'ht during- the passage of the fleet 
througfh the North Sea, and the dis- 
crepancy between the Admiral's two tor- 
pedo boats, the marine officer's four, and 
the steward's twenty, seems to point 
clearly to inability to distinguish between 
a trawler or equally pacific steam carrier 
and a " chooser of the slain." 

On October 27th the two men killed 
on board the trawler Crane were buried 
at Hull. The bodies were followed to 
the grave by a long procession of 
mourners, and the simple funeral was 
watched by many thousands of deeply 
moved spectators. The same evening 
the Mayor of Hull received from the 
Mayor of Tokio a cablegram, asking him 
to accept the profound sympathy of the 
inhabitants of the Japanese capital for 
the victims of the Russian outrages and 
their bereaved families. History and 
human nature are both condensed in this 
timely and feeling despatch, which 
showed with curious distinctness how, 
though " East is East and West is 
West," the twain can sometimes meet. 

The 27th and 28th were anxious days 
for the country. On the 27th a Cabinet 
Council was held at which, it was under- 
stood, Admiral Rozhdestvensky 's report 



was discussed, and at the close of the day 
the Press was informed that the British 
demands had not yet been satisfactorily 
complied with, and that no public 
announcement was yet possible. Mean- 
while the British naval preparations, as 
we have seen, progressed rapidly, and 
the nation, although assuredly in no 
Jingo spirit, made ready to hear the 
worst. 

On October 30th another Cabinet 
Council was held, and the same evening 
Mr. Balfour made an eagerly looked-for 
statement at a meeting of the National 
Union Conservative Associations at 
Southampton. At the opening of this 
historic speech, the Premier dwelt with 
satisfaction on a previous utterance of 
Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, in 
which the Leader of the Opposition had 
finely enunciated the doctrine that in a 
matter such as the North Sea incident 
there could be no question of party feel- 
ing. Mr. Balfour went on to say that 
happily what he himself had to say on 
the subject of the situation created by 
the outrage was of a favourable com- 
plexion. After recapitulating and com- 
menting on what had occurred, Mr. 
Balfour stated that the Russian Governr 
ment had now ordered the detention at 
Vigo of that part of the Baltic Fleet 
which was concerned in the North Sea 
incident, in order that the naval authori- 
ties might ascertain what officers were 
responsible for it. These officers and 
any material witnesses would not proceed 
with the fleet on its voyage to the Far 
East. An inquiry would be instituted 
into the fact, an International Commis- 
sion of the kind provided for by the 
Hague Convention would be held, " and 
any person found guilty by this tribunal 
would be tried and punished adequately." 
These arrangements were, Mr. Balfour 



304 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO - /APANESE WAR. 



was careful to remark, supplementary to 
the regrets expressed and promises of 
liberal compensation made by the Tsar 
and the Russian Government. 

" I think we must admit," said Mr. 
Balfour in the course of a striking per- 
oration, " that the Russian Government 
has shown an enlightened desire that 
truth and justice in this matter shall pre- 
vail. Only a few hours ago I should 
myself have taken a very gloomy view of 
the possibilities of a satisfactory, and, 
therefore, a peaceful solution of this 
question. I think the Tsar has shown 
himself an enlightened judge of what is 
right in this matter as between nation 
and nation. We, after all, have asked 
nothing of others that I believe we should 
not gladly have granted had we been in 
their place. We have shown no desire — 
and I do not think such desire was pre- 
sent in the heart of any man-^tb take 
advantage of what might, perhaps, be 
thought Russia's difficulties, to enforce 
our demands. We Have appealed simply 
to justice, to equity, to the principles 
which ought tj govern good relations 
between nation and nation, and we have 
not appealed in vain. It might have 
been otherwise. We might have seen 
the delay of diplomacy intervene. We 
might have seen one excuse urged after 
another, until either the Russian Fleet 
had vanished into the Far East, or until 
other things had occurred. That we 
have not seen this is due, I hope, in part, 
to the justice and moderation of our re- 
quests. It is also due to the far-sighted 
wisdom of the Emperor. The world has 
now got its eyes concentrated on one 
great warlike tragedy moving through 
its appointed course in the Far East. It 
would have been appalling, but it was not 
at one time impossible, that that great 
world-tragedy should have been douM. ! 



by another, and that we should have seen 
the greatest calamity which could befall 
mankind — a struggle between two first- 
class Powers. Speaking for the Govern- 
ment, I may say that we have done all 
we could, consistently with national 
honour, to avert that calamity. I, speak- 
ing for my colleagues, gladly grant that 
we have been met in a like spirit by the 
Government with which we have had 
dealings." 

It goes without saying that the 
annovmcement made by Mr. Balfour was 
received throughout the country with 
feelings of profound relief. Conscious of 
the strength of its position, resolute in 
its determination not to allow the outrage 
to pass into the limbo of purely diplo- 
matic controversy, confident in the 
capacity of the Navy to take what war- 
like steps might be necessary, the nation 
naturally shrank from the thought of 
becoming so soon involved in another 
devastating war. The conflict in South 
Africa had caused such countless bereave- 
ments, had been attended by such grave 
financial, industrial, and commercial de- 
pression, was even now an open sore in 
thousands of saddened homes and 
shattered businesses, that a peaceful, if 
honourable outcome of the present crisis 
wss intensely welcome. For, although 
it was understood that the cloud had not 
yet rolled away, it was felt that the 
trouble had assumed a different aspect. 
Mr. Balfour's speech had shown clearly 
that, at one stage during the past few 
days, the situation had, indeed, been 
extraordinarily critical, and that a score 
of things might have occurred to precipi- 
tate a " locking of horns," from which 
no extrication would have been possible 
until a terrible end had been reached. 
That tense condition of affairs was over, 
and with the continuance of such sensible 




MR. BALI-'OUR SPEAKING AT SOUTHAMPTOX. 



56 



3o6 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



and enlightened counsels as had alrcad}- 
prevailed on both sides, a completely 
satisfactory solution of the difficulty 
might surelj' be hoped for. 

This satisfaction and hopefulness on 
the part of the British public were con- 
siderably enhanced by the discovery that 
the settlement arrived at had been greatly 
assisted by the good offices of France. 
No sooner had 
Mr. Balfour's an- 
nouncement be- 
c o m e generallv 
known than evi- 
dence began to 
accumulate that 
our neighbours 
across the Channel 
had acted from the 
first a part in re- 
ference to the out- 
rage "which was 
splendidly worthy 
of a great and 
high-minded 
nation. Promptly 
perceiving that 
war between their 
allies and their 
friends would be 
a calamity second 
only to a war in 
which they them- 
selves were impHcated, the French 
Government set themsehes to make 
e\-ery possible effort to bring about 
a better understanding, and the con- 
summate friendliness and tact displayed 
to this honourable end will always re- 
main one of the brightest features of the 
incident. It w\\\, perhaps, never be 
generally known exactly what steps were 
taken by M. Delcasse, the French Minis- 
ter for Foreign Affairs, and M. Cambon, 
the French Ambassador in London, to 




Pliotu : Abdullah Frir<.s, Conslanlinoplc. 
M. PAUL CAMEON, FRENCH AMBASSADOR IN LONDON. 



produce a rapprochement in place of the 
extremel}' dangerous situation which at 
one time undoubtedly existed. But there 
is no question, and on no side has there 
been any disposition to raise a question, 
as to the immense importance of the 
good offices of France on this occasion, 
good offices which were the more signifi- 
cant in that they were rendered on the 
e^e of the discus- 
sion of the Anglo- 
I^'rench agreement 
in the French I-'ar- 
liament. 

On the Continent 
generally, the news 
that Great Britain 
and Russia had 
come to an ar- 
rangement w i t h 
reference to the 
North Sea outrage 
was received \\\\\\ 
marked gratifica- 
tion. In Austria 
and Italy, par- 
ticularl)', there 
was great re- 
joicing over the 
prospect of a 
peaceful solution 
of a difficulty 
which had caused 
The Austrians ap- 
pear to have specially admired the 
spectacle of the numerous and powerful 
British squadrons " assembling at a few 
hours' notice, and clearing for action 
without flurry or mishap," a spectacle 
rightly regarded in Vienna as far more 
impressive than org'anised parades of 
strength, like the Jubilee naval reviews. 
This sight, to quote the Vienna corres- 
pondent of the Times, was expected to 
work as a most salutary reminder in 



grave forebodings. 



FRESH COMPLICATIONS. 



307 



quarters where the reminder was sorely 
needed; while friends of - England re- 
joiced to see that the British Navy, which 
they reg-arded as the solidest guarantee 
of liberty and justice in the world, should 
have been ready at a moment's notice to' 
emphasise the principle that wanton 
wrong-doing on the high seas shall not 
go unpunished. The Tribuna of Rome 
went further, and declared that England 
had acquired a new right to be considered 
the natural champion of justice and 
humanity. " Such a result," it observed, 
" is well worth a slight sacrifice of 
amour-propre ; one may say that England 
has won two battles, of which certainly 
the most glorious is that which she has 
won over herself. ' ' 

Even Germany was not behindhand in 
acknowledging that the issue of the 
negotiations redounded to the credit of 
the British Government, " which had an 
altogether exceptionally strong case, but 
exercised the greatest moderation and 
wisdom in pressing it upon the Russian 
Government." At the same time the 
feeling was expressed in some circles in 
Berlin that England had lost a golden 
opportunity of crushing her traditional 
enemy, that the outrage would leave 
behind it a residuum of unsatisfied 
rancour, and that in any case it was 
somewhat doubtful whether Russian 
methods of evasion and procrastination 
would not hinder a really satisfactory 
outcome of the present arrangement. 

The last day of October saw matters 
between England and Russia in a fair 
way towards amicable settlement, the 
understanding being that a portion of the 
Russian Fleet would remain for the 
present at Vigo, and that no time would 
be lost in making the necessary prepara- 
tions for the assembling of the Inter- 
national Commission agreed upon. But 



the early days of November brought cer- 
tain complications, which, for a fortnight 
at least, produced on all sides a feeling 
of great uneasiness lest, after all, the 
situation should again become acute. 
Public opinion, even in Great Britain, 
\\as not a little stirred by the occurrences 
of this anxious period, which seemed to 
indicate a weakening tendency on the 
part of the British Government, notwith- 
standing the continued vigilance and 
readiness of the British Fleet. The 
latter maintained its imposing attitude, 
both in home waters and at Gibraltar. 
At Portland on November ist the eight 
battleships and four cruisers of the Home 
Fleet were ready for action, together 
with four of the ships of the Cruiser 
Squadron, a squadron of eight cruisers 
and torpedo-gunboats and fifty-nine des- 
troyers and torpedo boats of various 
types, in all one hundred and three ships 
of war. At Gibraltar or in the neigh- 
bourhood there were on the same date 
fourteen battleships, thirteen first-class 
armoured and other cruisers, and a 
strong flotilla of torpedo-boat destroyers. 
During the past few days a portion of 
the Russian Baltic Fleet had been 
assembled at Tangier pending the in- 
quiry which was to take place at Vigo, 
and which, in this country, was expected 
to last some little time. To the general 
surprise it was suddenly announced that 
on November ist all the Russian war- 
ships remaining at \'igo had left the 
harbour, merely leaving behind them 
four ofliicers, one a Captain Clado, said 
to be the bearer to St. Petersburg of 
Admiral Rozhdestvensky's detailed 
official report, the remainder being three 
lieutenants detailed to give evidence 
before the International Commission of 
Inquiry. On November 3rd it was 
known that Admiral Rozhdestvensky had 



3o8 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO -JAPAISESE WAR. 



arrived with liis battleships at Tangier, 
and a few days kiter the Russian Second 
Pacific Squadron proceeded calmly on its 
way to the Far East, some of the ships 
making- their way through the Straits of 
Gibraltar with the evident intention of 
g-oing through the Suez Canal, the others 
proceeding to the South with a \iew to 
rounding the Cape of Good Hope. 

This was not at all what the British 
public had been led by the firm 
language of Mr. Balfour to expect, and 
a good deal of indignant surprise was 
expressed at the turn which affairs had 
taken. It was felt, and not altogether, 
perhaps, unreasonably, that Russia was 
treating' the matter of the fnternational 
Inquiry somewhat 
p e r f u n c torily by 
leaving only three 
or four witnesses, 
none of them of 
high rank, to gi\e 
evidence before it. 
It was also clear 
t h a t, except by 
" shadowing " Ad- 
miral Rozhdestven- 
sky's ships for the 
remainder of their 
voyage. Great Brit- 
ain would lose the 
control of the situa- 
tion, which she had 
enjoyed so long- as 
the Russian Fleet, 
or even an appre- 
ciable portion of it, 
remained in the 
neighbourhood of Gibraltar. It was also 
thought that Admiral Rozhdestvensky 
was escaping rather too easilv from the 
consequences of an act of which he had 
assumed the full responsibility. It was 
argued that before the world Great Britain 




COUNT BENKENDORF, RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR 
IN LONDON. 



would seem to have made a great deal of 
noise and to have put itself to a great 
deal of expense and incon-venience in order 
to secure what was apparently a very 
trifling result. It must be admitted that 
some of the irritation thus expressed was 
justified by the rather mocking- references 
of certain foreign journals to the fact that 
Russian methods were likely in this in- 
stance to prove successful, since Great 
Britain could hardly now hope to secure 
much more than the indemnity which 
Russia had from the first been willing to 
pay. 

Matters were in this unsatisfactory 
state when at the Guildhall Banquet on 
November 9th the Marquis of Lansdowne 
was enabled to 
make a statement 
which, to some ex- 
tent, induced a 
calmer frame of 
mind on the part of 
the British public. 
Speaking of the 
few-ness of the wit- 
nesses left behind at 
A'igo by the Rus- 
sian Fleet, the 
Foreign Secretary 
said that the res- 
ponsibility for the se- 
lection lay with the 
Russian Govern- 
ment, and it would 
be a great mistake 
to relieve them of it. 
"But," he con- 
tinued, " we have 
within the last day or two received from 
them a distinct assurance that the officers 
detained were those actually implicated in 
this disaster, and w'e have received a 
further supplementar}- assurance that if 
it should result from the investigations of 



THE CONVENTION SIGNED. 



309 



the International Commission that other 
officers \\erc culpable, those olTicers also 
\\\\\ be ndequatcly punished." 

Unfortunately this pronouncement, 
■while it soothed Rritisli susceptibilities, 
produced a fresh 
complication by ag- 
grawating; the grow- 
ing- annoyance in 
Russia on the subject 
of the punishment of 
the offenders. The 
Iv u s s i a n ^ iew was 
that for one Power 
to dictate to another 
the punishment of 
the latter 's officers 
was an arrog^ant 
and u n j u s t i fiable 
proceeding. It was 
further pointed out 
that Admiral Rozh- 
destvensky's report, 
to which full cre- 
dence was attached 
at St. Petersburg-, 

had introduced the question whether the 
Russian naval officers wlio directed the 
firing- were not fully justified in their 
action, and whether Cireat Britain had 
not, in fact, brought the North Sea out- 
rage on herself by lending assistance to 
the mysterious torpedo boats. 

For a time the feeling aroused in 
Russia on this punishment question 
-would seem from the lang-uag^e of the 
Press to have been fully as bitter as that 
caused in Eng^land by the calm resump- 
tion by the Baltic Fleet of its voyage 
after the hasty inquiry at Vigo. But the 
real truth seems to be that much of the 
acrimony imported into the controversy 
on this account was carefully manufac- 
tured. It is sug-g-ested that the Tsar and 
Count Lamsdorf would willingly have 




Ku:.!.cll c'.- Son!.. I laker Slic: 
SIK CHARLES HARDIN 



agreed to promise the punishment of the 
oHicers concerned in the firing, had, in 
point of I act, entered into a provisional 
undertaking- to this effect, but were sub- 
sequently induced to adopt a different 
attitude by the repre- 
sentations of the 
Russian Admiralty. 

i-i c e a g- a i n t h e 
efforts of that head- 
strong- depart n-ient, 
or rather ol the pei'- 
sonages at the head 
of it, were directed 
to bringing'- about a 
breach between Rus- 
sia and (jreat Britain, 
and thev cannot have 
fallen \erv far short 

01 s u c c c s s. L'lti- 
mateh- the question 
was settled by the 
n-iodification of one of 
the Articles of the 
proposed Con\-ention 
— .\rlicle II. — so that 

the possible responsibility not only of 
Russia but of (Ireat Britain, or some 
other countrv, should form the subject 
of inquirv. 

It remains to bring a long story to a 
close by giving- the official translation of 
the Agreement eventuallv signed at St. 
Petersburg- by our Ambassador, Sir 
Charles Hardinge and Count Lamsdorf. 
The terms of this historic document were 
as follows : — 

" His Britannic Majesty's Government 
and the Imperial Russian Government 
having ag-reed to entrust to an Inter- 
national Commission of Inquiry as- 
sembled conformably to Articles IX. to 
XIV. of the Hague Convention of the 
2C)th Julv, 1899, for the pacific settlement 
of international disputes, the task of 



3IO 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



elucidating' by means of an impartial and 
conscientious investigation, the questions 
of fact connected with the incident which 
occurred during the night of 2ist-22nd 
(Sth-gth) October, 1904, in the North Sea 
(on which occasion the firing of the guns 
of the Russian Fleet caused the loss of 
a boat and the death of two persons be- 
longing to a British fishing fleet, as well 
as damages to other boats of that fleet 
and injuries to the crews of some of those 
boats), the undersigned, being' duly 
authorised thereto, have agreed on the 
following provisions : 

Article I. 

" The International Commission of In- 
quiry shall be composed of five members 
(Commissioners), of whom two shall be 
officers of high rank in the British and 
Imperial Russian Navies respectively. 
The Governments of France and of the 
United States of America shall each be 
requested to select one of their naval 
officers of high rank as a member of the 
Commission. The fifth member shall be 
chosen by agreement between the four 
members above mentioned. 

" In the event of no agreement being 
arrived at between the four Com- 
missioners a.= to the selection of the fifth 
member of the Commission, his Imperial 
and Royal Majesty the Emperf^r of 
Austria, King of Hungary, will be in- 
vited to select him. 

" Each of the two high contracting 
parties shall likewise appoint a Legal 
Assessor to advise the Commissioners, 
and an agent officially empowered to 
take part in the labours of the Com- 
mission. 

Article II. 

" The Commission shall inquire into 
and report on all the circumstances rela- 
tive to the North Sea incident, and par- 



ticularly on the question as to where the 
responsibility lies, and the degree of 
blame attaching to the subjects of the 
two high contracting parties or to the 
subjects of other countries in the event 
of their responsibihty being established 
by the inquiry. 

Article III. 
" The Commission shall settle the de- 
tails of the procedure which it will 
follow for the purpose of accomplishing 
the task with which it has been entrusted. 

Article IV. 
, " The two high contracting parties 
, undertake to supply the International 
Commission of Inquiry to the utmost of 
their ability with all the means and facili- 
ties necessary in order to enable it to 
acquaint itself thoroughly with and 
appreciate correctly the matters in 
dispute. 

Article V. 
" The Commission shall assemble at 
Paris as soon as possible after the signa- 
ture of thi<: agreernent. 

Article VI. 
" The Commission shall present its 
report to the two high contracting 
parties, signed by all the members of the 
Commission. 

Article VII. 
"The Commission shall take all its 
decisions by a majority of the votes of the 
five Commissioners. 

Article VIII. 
' ' The two high contracting parties 
undertake each to bear, on reciprocal 
terms, the expenses of the inquiry made 
by it previous to the assembly of the 
Commission. The expenses incurred by 
International Commission after the date 
of its assembly, in organising its staff. 



WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. 



3" 



and in conducting the investigations 
which it will have to make, shall be 
equally shared by the two Governments. 
In faith whereof the undersigned 
have signed the present agreement 
(declaration) and affixed their seals 
to it. 

" Done in duplicate at St. Petersburg, 
25th November, 1904." 

At this point we may leave the episode 
of the North Sea outrage for the present. 
Admiral Rozhdestvensky with the major 
portion of his fleet is now steaming along 
the west coast of Africa; the remainder 
of his ships are preparing to enter the 
Suez Canal. The British Navy is 
gradually assuming its ordinary aspect, 
and the British public has regained its 
calm. Diplomacy has reasserted its 
sway, and for the present it only remains 
to await the assembling of the Inter- 
national Commission with patience and 
good temper. But, whatever the out- 
come may be, the actual happenings of 
the past month will be long in fading 
out of men's minds. The mere fact that 
Russia and Great Britain were literally 
on the brink of war is alone sufficient to 
invest the whole of this anxious period 
with peculiar interest for the readers of 
this narrative. The participation of the 
Baltic Fleet in what occurred, the alleged 
implicatioi;! of Japan also as the real 



fons et origo mail, the questions of 
neutrality incidentally involved, are all 
points of added interest. But these are 
of small significance compared with the 
certainty of the frightful consequences 
which must have ensued had the limit 
been transgressed, and the Russo- 
Japanese War been converted into what 
might have swiftly become a World-War, 
more terrible, more devastating than any 
yet recorded in history. That moderate 
counsels, tactful statesmanship, and the 
kindly intervention of a third great 
Power did much to avert that unspeak- 
able calamity may be readily granted. 
But for many it will be an abiding con- 
viction that what really kept the peace 
was the British Fleet. Be this as it 
may, it is not likely that the civilised 
world will readily forget the part played 
by that tremendous institution in assert- 
ing Great Britain's angry refusal to allow 
the lives of her humblest citizens to be 
trifled with. Incidentally it may be re- 
marked that, while land forces as large 
as those marshalled by Russia and Japan 
on the Sha-ho have previously operated 
in time of war, no such assemblage of 
fighting ships has ever yet cleared for 
action as that which, in this side-issue of 
the Russo-Japanese struggle, came into 
business-Hke being under the glorious 
White Ensign of England. 




CHAPTER LXX. 



PORT ARTHUR ONCE MORE— SUBSIDIARY DEFENCES — THE GREAT FORTS ATTACKED — 

FOUR DAYS OF FRENZIED FIGHTING BLOCKADE-RUNNERS — INSIDE THE FORTRESS — 

THE " BIRTHDAY ATTACK." 



AT the close of Chapter LXVIII. our 
narrative of the Siege of Port 
Arthur had been brought down to Sep- 
tember 15th, by which time tlie Japanese 
had advanced to a Une represented 
roughly by the arc of a circle starting in 
the northern portion of Pigeon Bay, and 
running through Shui-shi-ying to a point 
in Ta-khe Bay about four miles north-east 
of Golden Hill. 

It is now more than ever necessary 
to understand the difference between the 
main and subsidiary defences of I^ort 
Arthur. Terrible as has been the fight- 
ing up to date, fearful as the losses 
suffered by the Japanese unquestionably 
are, substantial as is the progress which 
they have made in the accomplishment of 
their tremendous task, it must be re- 
membered that as yet the attackers have 
not captured a single one of the series 
of greater forts, the positions of which 
are indicated in the Plan on page 152 
of the present Volume. Accordingly, the 
work which now lies before them is even 
yet more grim and deadly than that which 
for the past three months has made such 
heavy and constant demands upon their 
magnificent stock of reckless courage 
and tenacity. 

At the same time it would be a grave 
error to suppose that the Japanese have 
only, so far, touched the fringe of the 
Port Arthur defences. Although be- 
tween the main line of forts and the 
outer line of works a sharp distinction 
must be drawn, the latter in the case of 



Port Arthur are of such great strength, 
and occupy such an enormous area, that 
it is hardly too much to say that their 
reduction is literally, as well as meta- 
phorically, half the battle. Of these 
outer defences no plan which will be 
available for a long time to come is likely 
to be really accurate, for the simple 
reason that, even after the siege com- 
menced, fresh works appear to have been 
constructed, and great efforts made to 
strengthen those already in existence 
until their character had, largely speak- 
ing, been altered. As a rule there is a 
marked difference between advanced 
works and those constituting the main 
line of a fortress's defence, the former 
often hardly being worthy to be regarded 
as coming under the head of " permanent 
fortification." But at Port Arthur some 
of the auxiliary works were really of 
immense strength. A correspondent of 
the Times gives an interesting descrip- 
tion of the outer forts lying close to 
Shui-shi-ying which may be taken as 
an example of this auxiliary system. 
" Two lunettes or flanked redans, each 
in plan forming the equal sides of an 
isosceles triangle, with shorter perpen- 
diculars at their unjoined ends, were 
constructed. Deep moats, in which were 
built bomb-proof defences, roofed with 
steel plates covered with earth, sur- 
rounded them. In front, connecting the 
apices of the lunettes, which measured 
thirty yards across their open bases, was 
a vast crown work. It extended like a 



314 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



hollow square across the valley-head 
between Fort Er-lung-shan and Pan- 
lung-shan. The parapets or walls were 
of earth not less than twenty-five feet 
thick. Behind these, balks of timber, 
iron plates, etc., covered with many feet 
of earth, constituted shelters safe from 
fire for the garrison. This great work 
was defended by no fewer than two field 
guns, two mortars, three quick-firing 
guns, and four machine guns, disposed 
in the west lunette and east and west 
rear lunettes. Besides these inner de- 
fences, three great fougasses, or mines, 
filled with huge stones, to explode by 
electricity, were dug and carefully hidden 
in front of the crown work. Inside, 
again, were torpedo tubes, fish-torpedoes, 
and, last but not least, 1,000 stout 
Siberian riflemen." 

The fact that the Japanese had already 
captured several works of this descrip- 
tion must surely be taken as strong 
evidence of their capacity for dealing in 
due course with the greater forts of the 
main line. 

It will also be readily understood that 
in a progressive siege — as distinct from 
one in which the besiegers merely sit 
round a place and wait for starvation 
to produce surrender — the advantages 
attached to a strong inner line of de- 
fences are often sensibly decreased by 
the wear and tear of the incidental fight- 
ing, as well as by the insidious approach 
of the determined enemy. As long as 
the auxiliary line is held there is every 
cause for hopefulness, for a variety of 
things may happen, if not to bring the 
siege to an end, at any rate to render 
it easier to keep the attackers at arm's 
length. But, when one by one the 
advanced works fall, and are promptly 
occupied by an enemy which refuses to 
be turned out, or, if turned out, comes 



back again time after time until a final 
foothold is gained, the moral and 
material effect upon the defence begins 
to become serious. However scientifi- 
cally constructed the inner forts may be, 
the fact that they constitute, practically 
speaking, a last resort is apt to be 
strangely impressive, and its significance 
is enhanced by the greater frequency 
and accuracy with which the enemy's 
shells come dropping into the heart of 
the defence, mostly to no purpose it may 
be, but here and there doing real damage 
and discounting seriously the chances of 
the final struggle. 

Casualties, too, may sap the confidence 
of the besieged in their main line of 
defence. Of course, to garrison a con- 
tracted ring of forts does not require as 
many men as are needed to hold a greater 
outer circle, or semi-circle, or arc of 
scattered works. But, when fighting in 
the advanced line of defences has been so 
desperate as has been the case at Port 
Arthur, the sadly attenuated garrison 
cannot but be, to some extent, de- 
pressed by the thought that perhaps twice 
their number have already been killed or 
wounded in the attempt to resist an 
enemy who will not be repulsed, and 
whose striking power is maintained by 
constant reinforcements. 

All these considerations must be care- 
fully weighed in order to grasp the sig- 
nificance of the stage at which the siege 
of Port Arthur had arrived about the 
middle of September. For now, to all 
intents and purposes, the attack has 
passed out of the intermediate stage dealt 
with in Chapter LVIIL, and an organised 
attempt is about to be made to wear down 
the resistance of some of the main line 
forts. By this we must not infer that all 
the auxiliary defences have been captured 
and occupied, for, as will be gathered 



FRESH ASSAULTS. 



31S 



from the succeeding- narrative, there are 
yet important positions held by the Rus- 
sians in front of their greater works j 
positions which it will cost the Japanese 
weeks of fierce fighting to gain. Also it 
will be understood that the line we have 
roughly drawn to represent Japanese 
progress up to this point must not be 
followed too precisely, especially, per- 
haps, as regards Shui-shi-ying. From 
some accounts it would appear that the 
latter was still in the Russian hands 
about this time, and in one map, pur- 
porting to be highly authoritative, the 
Japanese are represented as being on 
August 28th still north of Shui-shi-ying, 
while on September 21st they are an 
equal distance to the south of it. The 
truth seems to be that, while the tide of 
success in this quarter ebbed and flowed 
a good deal during August and Septem- 
ber, a portion at least of Shui-shi-ying 
was pretty steadily held by the Japanese 
from, at any rate, about the middle of 
August. 

In this connection the relative positions 
of Shui-shi-ying and Wolf's Hill may 
have caused some dubiety in the minds 
of the readers of this narrative. It will 
be remembered that we have hitherto 
located Wolf's Hill about half a mile 
south of Shui-shi-ying, and this is where 
it is marked on the maps printed in the 
Times on August i8th, and again on 
September 17th. But in later maps the 
position of the hill has been shifted to the 
north o^r north-west of Shui-shi-ying. The 
discrepancy is not of first-class import- 
ance in a narrative like this, in which some 
corrections by the light of later informa- 
tion are inevitable. But it will serve to 
show the occasional difficulties which the 
conscientious compiler even of a popular 
war history has to face. It should also 
support the present writer's plea that. 



if in this detail he has erred, he has at 
least erred in excellent company ! 

Let us now endeavour to pick up the 
thread of our fighting story. It will be 
recalled that at dawn on September 15th 
the Japanese bombardment from Shui- 
shi-ying, Pa-li-chwang, and Pigeon Bay 
was redoubled in intensity. This now 
appears to have been due to the bringing 
up of some exceedingly powerful siege 
guns, ii-in. howitzers, which are heavier 
than any artillery the Japanese have 
hitherto had in position. Having placed 
these monsters in battery, the Japanese 
now proceed with what is known as the 
sap advance against the great forts which 
are now their main objective. In sapping, 
a trench is first dug under protection of 
a sap-roller or iron screen ; from this 
another trench is pushed forward 
diagonally to a convenient distance, 
when another trench is dug parallel to 
the first, and so on. By this means the 
attackers can approach closer and closer 
to their objective without exposing them- 
selves unduly to the defenders' fire, until 
the time comes to issue from the last 
parallel and make a final rush at the 
fortification which it is hoped to capture. 

On September 19th commenced the big 
assault foreshadowed in Chapter LVIII., 
of which Er-lung-shan and Chi-huan-shan 
(sometimes called Ki-kwan-shan) were 
the principal objectives. These are the 
Nos. 5 and 6 on the Plan on page 152. 
Simultaneously an effort was to be made 
to capture two new forts which had been 
built on what is known as Metre Range 
to cover the approach to the I-tzu-shan 
and An-tzu-shan forts (Nos. i and 2 on 
the Plan). There were also four lunettes 
south of Shui-shi-ying which had to be 
dealt with before any real headway could 
be made. 

Of the operations immediately south of 



3i6 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO - lAPANESE WAR. 



Shui-shl-ying a very vivid account is 
furnished by Mr. B. W. Norregard, the 
War Correspondent to the Daily Mail 
■With, the Japanese Army before Port 
Arthur. Mr. Norregard writes : — ■ 

" To take Er-lung-shan it was neces- 
sary first to capture Lung-yen redoubt, 
which, together with the lunettes, had 
been unsuccessfully attacked on August 
19 and 20, the positions forming a large 
wedge in the investing lines, making 
attacks on I-tzu-shan from the east and 
Er-lung-shan from the north impossible. 

" The whole line of forts was shelled 
from early in the morning, but the main 
bombardment was concentrated on the 
above - mentioned fortifications at two 
in the afternoon. The lunettes were 
constructed at the corners of the 
large parallelogram connected with the 
trenches. Those on the north-west side 
were strongest, being armed with two 
quick-firers, one field gun, and three 
machine guns. 

" Tivo regiments were detailed to at- 
tack them. Two battalions in the evening 
and twice in the night assaulted the 
strongest lunette, which had in front of 
it a deep trench and a deep wall stopping 
the advance. A standing fight took place 
under the breastwork, both sides using 
hand grenades effectively. Two com- 
panies attacked a small lunette on the 
north-west, but all attacks were repulsed. 

" From dawn on September 20 for 
many hours a tremendous shrapnel fire 
was poured on all the lunettes. Saps 
had been constructed to within fifty 
yards, and from the strongest a whole 
regiment which had been concentrated at 
this point rushed the lunette at nine 
o'clock m the morning, using scaling 
ladders. After a fierce hand-to-hand 
struggle, the Japanese rushed into the 
connecting trenches and took three other 



lunettes after a brief resistance. The 
shrapnel fire of the Japanese demoralised 
the defenders. 

" Simultaneously Lung-yen was at- 
tacked by four battalions. This position 
was held by two companies ' with three 
field guns and several machine guns. 
It was surrounded by a fifteen-feet deep 
moat, with almost perpendicular, sides, 
the walls being very steep. There were 
two strong kaponiers inside, and the 
redoubt was loopholed and protected by 
sandbag trenches. 

" On the evening of September 19th 
two battalions attacked the north-east 
corner, where a breach had been made 
by shells. One battalion attacked the 
eastern and the other the western 
trenches, but both were repulsed. 

" After several hours' bombardment 
the attack was renewed at noon. The 
Japanese advanced through a breach, and 
a fierce and protracted hand-to-hand fight 
took place inside the redoubt. 

" The kaponiers were smashed by 
hand grenades in the attack on the 
trenches, but the Japanese made little 
headway, and were unable to cut off the 
retreat of the Russians, who saved their 
machine guns and destroyed the large 
guns. They retreated at 4.30 o'clock. 
The Japanese casualties were over a 
thousand."' 

Not less difficult and desperate was 
the assault delivered against the Russian 
defences on Metre Range. Here, as 
noted above, were two works of recent 
construction on hills known as 180 Metre 
and 203 Metre Hill respectively. On the 
former was a plateau round which ran 
trenches fronted by wire entanglements. 
The work on 203 Metre Hill was of much 
greater strength, forming a large paral- 
lelogram 100 yards by 500. Its trenches 
were revetted — i.e. their slopes were 



3i8 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



strengthened — with sandbags, and over- 
head protection was afforded by steel 
plates covered with additional layers of 
timber and earth. This work, which was 
also protected by wire entanglements, 
mounted two heavy guns, three field 
guns, and three machine guns. 

The trenches on 180 Metre Hill appear 
to have been carried with little diffi- 
culty after an extremely severe artillery 
preparation. But the other work offered 
a much more serious resistance. Mr. 
Norregard says : — • 

" The saps were carried to the foot of 
203 Metre Hill from the south-west. On 
the 19th there was no attack. On the 
20th one regiment made an assault from 
the saps, but was unable to reach the 
breastwork owing to the furious fire. A 
battalion from another regiment attacked 
from the west side, and had to pass over 
an open field about 300 yards in extent. 
Two bodies of men, each numbering 
about sixty, tried to cross by spreading 
out and running at top speed. The 
shrapnels from 203 Metie Hill killed 
every man. This was the best artillery 
practice seen in the war. 

" On September 21st, at dawn, both 
regiments made a combined assault from 
the south-west. They gained a position 
close under a fort, when a false report 
that the hill had been taken stopped the 
artillery fire at a critical moment, giving 
the Russians the opportunity for re- 
pulsing the attacking force with heavy 
losses. 

" At noon one regiment succeeded in 
taking the north-west corner, and held 
it for hours in spite of a tremendous 
shelling. . . . On Russian reinforce- 
ments arriving, the Japanese were forced 
out later. Attacks on September 23rd 
and 24th failed, and the attempt was 
relinquished, the Japanese, however, 



holding 180 Metre, Hill; though they 
were unable to stay on the plateau." 

Of the fighting during the four days 
from Septembeir igth to' 23rd a separate 
report is submitted to the Tsar by 
General Stoessel, who claims, with some 
justice, that the main Japanese assaults 
were heroically repulsed. He admits, 
however, that two field redoubts — the 
Temple Redoubt and the Reservoir Re- 
doubt — remained in the enemy's hands, 
and that the Japanese destroyed the 
reservoir. The Temple Redoubt may be 
identical with the Lung-yen of Mr. 
Norregard 's narrative. The Reservoir 
Redoubt seems to be one of several 
forts named after Kuropatkin. This 
one is said to have been situated to the 
south of Pa-li-chwang and to the north- 
east of the Parade Ground, having been 
built for the purpose of protecting the 
main water supply. The loss of this 
woik did not, of course, deprive the 
garrison of all chance of procuring fresh 
water, as there were springs inside the 
fortress, and plenty of machinery for 
condensing sea water. But the destruc- 
tion of the reservoirs must have been 
severely felt. 

The total casualties in the assault on 
Metre Range were 2,400, of which 
2,OQO were incurred on 203 Metre Hill. 
Brigadier-General Yamatoto was among' 
those -killed in the 180 Metre Hill affair. 
"The Japanese," says Mr. Norregard, 
'■ showed great gallantry in storming 
strong positions, while the Russians 
stubbornly resisted the onset of over- 
whelming forces and the tremendous 
shelling, manfully awaiting the charges, 
fighting to the bitter end, and even 
making vigorous counter-attacks. The 
greatest individual bravery was displayed 
by the Russians in spite of the awful 
stress of the long siege. 



Japanese gunboat sunk. 



319 



-V Both sides used hand grenades filled 
with g-un-cotton, and with a fuse that 
burns for fifteen seconds. These 
grenades were often picked up and re- 
thrown. They proved very effective. 
Latterly, also, they have been fired from 
light, bamboo-hooped mortars, whose 
range varies from 50 to 200 yards with 
a regulated charge. Both Russians and 
Japanese frequently threw stones at one 
another. It is generally impossible to 
cut the wire entanglements. 

" A strong electric current runs along 
the wire. , Now and then the poles are 
cut, but this is a difficult and dangerous 
task. Sometimes the men, covered with 
bullet-proof shields, cut the wire, but 
more frequently they fasten ropes to the 
poles, hauling at them from the saps. 
When it was discovered that the poles 
were wire -braced, they were often 
blasted by long bamboos filled with black 
smoke-giving powder. These were often 
used in the attacks on the kaponiers and 
bomb-proof shelters inside the forts, 
choking the defenders and screening the 
attackers from view. 

" It most often happens that the men 
creep by night to the entanglements, and, 
lying on their backs, cut, and even bite, 
the wire. When the searchlights are 
turned on them the men pretend to be 
killed or wounded. When this ruse was 
discovered the Russians, finding it im- 
possible to distinguish between the living 
and the dead, fired on the wounded in 
the ambulances." 

In addition to the Temple and Reser- 
voir Redoubts, the Japanese, during this 
series of assaults, captured some supple- 
mentary works, the possession of which 
enabled them to bring fresh guns into 
position, and so continue the sap advance 
to good purpose. From details furnished 
officially to St. Petersburg correspondents 



of leading Paris journals, it would seem 
that the" Russians did not regard these 
successes very seriously, in view of the 
belief that the garrison still numbered 
12,000 men in good health, and that pro- 
visions were abundant. On the other 
hand, it was admitted that ammunition 
was falling low, and that the Canet guns 
with which some of the forts were armed 
were no longer working well. 

As regards the provisions, incidental 
information available about this period 
indicates that the garrison had for the 
present a sufficiency of food, but that the 
tinned meat supplies were nearly ex- 
hausted. Thirty donkeys were now 
being slaughtered daily for fresh meat, 
which was worth about 5s. a pound. 
Eggs cost lod. each. 

Before resuming our narrative of the 
land operations, it should be mentioned 
here that on the night of September i8th 
the Japanese suffered a somewhat serious 
loss by the sinking of the armoured 
gunboat Hei-yen. This vessel was en- 
gaged in guard duty in Pigeon Bay when 
at dusk a storm arose and heavy seas 
were encountered. The Hei-yen was en- 
deavouring to return to her ba.se, when 
she suddenly struck a floating mine, 
which exploded under her starboard side 
amidships. The vessel began to sink, 
and an attempt was made to lower the 
boats. These, however, were swamped, 
and all but a handful of the ship's 
company were drowned, the total loss 
being 197. 

During the remainder of September the 
garrison of Port Arthur enjoys, to use 
General Stoessel's words, comparative 
tranquillity. But the Japanese were 
gradually drawing closer, and on Sep- 
tember 28th they commenced shelling not 
only the greater forts but the ships in the 
harbour, several of which were badly 



320 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



knocked about. The Pobieda was hit 
once, the Retvisan four times, the 
Peresviet four times, and the Poltava five 
times. Some smaller craft were sunk or 



they were trying to capture the heavy 
g-uns which the Japanese had mounted in 
that vicinity. They were -in considerable 
force, with field artillery, and made 




A FLAG OF TRUCE. 



set on fire. The battleships were ob- 
served to be working their pumps, and 
using junks for landing their crews. 

On September 28th and 29th severe 
fighting is reported on the west shore of 
Liau-ti-shan near Pigeon Bay, the Rus- 
sians being the aggressors. Apparently 



several ineffectual sorties from the 
western forts. 

On the night of October 8th the 
Japanese landed a force in Ta-khe Bay, 
the Russians retiring in the face of 
superior numbers. On the next day the 
Japanese were driven out by the Russian 




Ill the ffreat ditches of the Port Arthur forts terrible struggles were necessary to suntwunt the frowning escarps 
or sides of the ditcher neatest to the defenders. When scaling ladders were not available human ladders were 
formed after a fashion sometimes practised in our own Army. 

57 



322 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



artillery, one gun which the Japanese had 
already mounted being-, according to Rus- 
sian reports, destroyed. 

Trivial as the last-mentioned incidents 
may appear when compared with the 
major operations of the siege, they are 
of interest as showing how general was 
the fighting all round the fortress at this 
stage, how careful the besiegers were to 
exercise a steady and continuous pres- 
sure, and how alert the defenders to 
contest, wherever possible, the gradual 
advance of the enemy. Particular atten- 
tion may be paid to the Russian sorties, 
which, although not always effective, 
were carried out with commendable 
vigour and gallantry. Sorties are the 
habitual accompaniment of every well- 
conducted defence, and serve the double 
purpose of harassing the attack and 
enabling the besieged from time to time 
to shake off the demoralising influences 
which are apt to creep oyer men who 
for months have been fighting under 
cover. 

During October and November the 
attempts to run cargoes of provisions, 
ammunition, and coal into Port Arthur 
became increasingly frequent, and sensa- 
tional accounts are given of the daring 
displayed by those engaged in these ex- 
ploits, and of the inducements offered 
to adventurers of various nationalities, 
Great Britain, one is sorry to say, in- 
cluded, to take the very serious risks 
involved. At one time it is said that no 
fewer than six firms were systematically 
engaged in the extremely profitable busi- 
ness of blockade-running. The craft 
usually employed were junks, of which 
an average of one in three was generally 
captured or sunk by one of the Japanese 
guardships, the prices obtained for the 
two remaining cargoes covering the loss 
and .leaving a big margin of profit. 



Vigilant as the Japanese were, it was 
impossible for them to prevent supplies 
reaching the enemy in this way. Their 
only consolation lay in the fact that 
Russia was being made to pay dearly 
indeed for the assistance thus afforded 
the beleaguered garrison. It is stated in 
this connection, that a German steamer, 
which cleared from Tsing-tau with a 
cargo of coal ostensibly for San Fran- 
cisco, had been privately chartered for 
blockade - running purposes on terms 
which indicate meaningly the risks and 
possible profits of such enterprises. The 
Russians are declared to have paid 60s. 
a ton for the coal, besides depositing in 
the bank the appraised value of the ship, 
plus a 25 per cent, bonus, and a special 
bonus to the captain of ;^25o. Inci- 
dentally, of course, the fact that such 
prices were even regarded as probable 
shows clearly that the scarcity of coal 
in Port Arthur was thought to be grow- 
ing most serious. 

Meanwhile the Japanese have been re- 
ceiving reinforcements, and the bombard- 
ment from the newly emplaced ii-in. 
howitzers continues daily, careful balloon 
observations being taken of the effects 
of the fire. To those unacquainted with 
the attributes of modern siege guns it 
may seem strange that balloons should 
be needed for this purpose when, under 
ordinary circumstances, a telescope in the 
hands of a standing officer should suffice. 
But it should be understood that in 
modern sieges almost all the artillery fire 
on the part of the attackers is " curved," 
the idea being not to strike directly some 
visible object, but to pitch, as it were, 
great shells filled with high explosives 
into the inner defences of the place which 
is being besieged. It was the introduc- 
tion of accurate curved fire which not so 
very many years ago revolutionised siege 



PORT ARTHUR IN OCTOBER. 



323 



operations, and made it necessary to build 
fortresses on an entirely new plan. Of 
course, in the old days curved fire was 
not unknown, the means employed being 
the mortar, a stout, dumpy little gun, 
from which shells were " lobbed " into 
the air and descended at a high angle, 
often with considerable effect, into the 
enemy's lines. But mortar-fire, which 
was largely a matter of chance, and 
could only be employed at short ranges, 
could hardly be compared with the fire 
from a modern howitzer of large calibre, 
which can cast a shell with surprising 
accuracy into a small area several miles 
distant. It must be remembeied, too, 
that the shells used in modern siege 
operations are of infinitely greater des- 
tructive capacity than those formerly 
used. Very long in proportion to their 
diameter, and of forged steel, they carry 
an explosive several times as powerful as 
gunpowder, and, accordingly, when they 
descend at a high angle upon the works 
of a fortress their wrecking effect is 
enormous. Hence the necessity for cover 
of quite a different sort from that which 
served in the old days, when a shelter 
could be rendered " bomb-proof " with a 
very few inches of earth. 

In the third week of October the 
Japanese devoted their attention largely 
to the great Er-lung-shan fort on the 
northern face of the main line of defence. 
Several minor positions near Er-lung- 
shan were captured, after fierce fighting, 
on the i6th. Both on Wolf Hill and on 
the section from Pa-li-chwang to Ta-ku- 
shan fresh guns of large calibre were 
brought into position, some of these, it 
is said, having been removed for the 
purpose from the fortifications of Tokio 
Bay. Sapping and mining went on in- 
cessantly, and everything pointed to the 
early delivery of another great assault. 



A private letter received at Shanghai 
on October 28th, and dated from Port 
Arthur a week earlier, gave a lurid 
account of the state of affairs inside the 
fortress. It ran as follows : — 

" General Stoessel has telegraphed to 
the Tsar and Court : ' I now bid you all 
good-bye for ever. Port Arthur will be 
my grave. ' General Stoessel has imbued 
the garrison with an heroic spirit, and 
they are ready to prefer a glorious death 
to capitulation. 

" The Japanese shells are inflicting 
great damage on the fleet and harbour 
works. The arsenal and all the ammuni- 
tion and small arms which it contained 
have been destroyed. The water supply 
having been cut off, wells are now being 
sunk. Provisions are scarce, and only 
tinned meats are left. A meal made off 
the horses killed by shells is regarded by 
the soldiers as a banquet. 

" General Smirnoff is jealous of General 
Stoessel, and would have surrendered the 
fortress had he not been overruled. The 
Polish and Jewish soldiers in the garrison 
are being closely watched in case they 
should desert or show treachery. The 
field and naval hospitals are crowded, and 
hygienic conditions are becoming de- 
plorable. The bombardment is at times 
so incessant that it is impossible to dig 
graves of any depth for the dead. Over 
one-half of the original garrison is dead, 
wounded, or sick. The high-angle fire of 
the Japanese has practically destroyed the 
new town. When the fleet attempted to 
break through the blockade, the garrison 
was to have made a desperate sortie, with 
the object of inflicting as much damage 
as possible, and then, if necessary, capitu- 
late, but the failure of the fleet to escape 
frustrated the plan. 

"The besiegers are pressing closer 
daily. It is hard to say how long we 



324 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



can hold out. When the end comes there 
will be a desperate fight, and thousands 
of the enemy will perish, as everything 
is mined." 

The letter -was entrusted to a native 
boatman, who ran ' the blockade and 
despatched the letter from Chifu. The 
recipient of the news was a prominent 
Continental merchant, who had a repre- 
sentative '. at Port Arthur. 

On October 26th commences what is 
sometimes called the " Birthday Attack " 
on Port Arthur, owing to the evident 
anxiety of the Japanese ■ to produce a 
really marked impression upon the for- 
tress, ' if- not to complete its capture, by , 
November 3rd, the birthday of the 
Emperor of Japan. By October 25th the 
Japanese saps had been carried up to 
within easy distance of the counterscarps 
of the Er-lung-shan, Sung-shu-shan, and 
East Chi-huan-shan (Ki-kwan) forts. At 
8.30 a.m. on the following morning these 
forts were heavily bombarded with siege 
guns and ■ naval ordnance, 250 shells 
taking effect. From the official des- 
patches we learn that the parapet of Er- 
lung-shan fort was demolished, and 
openings were made in it; while several 
portions of the cover were destroyed. 
Two of the most important covers to 
Sung-shu-shan ;fort were also wrecked, 
and three guns dismounted or damaged; 
From, two o'clock in the afternoon the 
remaitiing Japanese siege guns were 
directed- against the trenches on all the 
slopes of Sung-shu-shan and the neigh- 
bouring works, all of which were ob- 
served to have been badly knocked about. 
At five in the afternoon a portion of 
the Japanese right wing charged against 
the Sung-shu-shan trenches, and a por- 
tion of the centre against Er-lung-shan, 
and effected a lodgment. On the slope 
of Er-lung-shan a large mine exploded 



without, however, killing a single Japan- 
ese soldier. During these proceedings 
the Russian artillery responded briskly 
to the bombardment, but their shells 
were defective, and did not cause. rhuch 
damage. This interchange of big gun 
fire produced, as may be imagined, an 
impressive and dramatic scene. 

On the night of October 26th, with the 
object, as the Japanese despatches are 
careful to state, of preventing repairs, 
the Japanese siege and naval guns 
shelled Er-lung-shan, East Chi-huan- 
shan, Sung-shu-shan, and also the 
Russian warships and the town. The 
Russians holding Sung-shu-shan and Er- 
lung-shan made several night sorties, 
under cover - of shell and rifle fire, but 
were successfully driven back. 

The Japanese despatches, which alone 
could be relied on for both comprehen- 
siveness and accuracy at this stage,' go 
on to state that on October- 27th the 
bombardment was continued, -the fire 
being directed against Sung-shu-shan, 
I-tzu-shan, An-tzu-shan, Pei-yu-shan, Er- 
lung-shan, the dockyard, and warships. 

" Of the results of oiir bombardment, 
those deserving special mention are the 
effect realised against the fort East Chi- 
huan-shan, where a gun carriage was 
completely demolished, the destruction of 
a banquette lying between the east and 
north fort and the centre, of Er-lung-shan 
fort, the scattering of the cover of that, 
fort, the destruction of two small guns, 
and the demolition of a gun on the east 
front of the same fort. 

" Several of our shells took effect in 
the south-eastern corner of the same fort, 
destroying the cover and smashing two 
machine guns into pieces. A gun placed 
on a projected point on Sung-shu-shan 
was dislocated. A twelve-centimetre gun 
placed on the centre of the left wing was- 




NIGHT TURNED INTO DAY AT PORT ARTHUR. 

The Russians resorted to an ingenious method of illuminating the ground outlying their forts during the Japanese attacks, star 
shells being made to aid the more ordinary searchlights in disclosing the dispositions and numbers of the attacking forces. 
The one seen on the left is falling and dying out. 



326 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



demolished, wliiie the covers were also 
destroyed. 

" In the course of the same night our 
Engineer Corps was sent against the 
northern part of East Chi-huan-shan, 
and it succeeded in destroying the outer 
casemate at a projected point. 

" During the night the enemy resorted 
to every means to obstruct our worlc, 
assaulting and using bombs. At the 
same time, the Russians worked ener- 
getically, effecting repairs on the portion 
damaged by our shells. 

" On October 28th the bombardment 
with heavy and other siege guns was 
continued with good effect. Two hun- 
dred and eighty-five effective shells have 
been counted, besides several other shells, 
which took effect on forts An-tzu-shan 
and I-tzu-shan, the 203 Metre Hill, and 
Pei-yu-shan. 

" The naval guns were directed chiefly 
against Tai-yan-ku, I-tzu-shan, An-tzu- 
shan, the warships in the east harbour, 
and the western portion of the city. 

" Effects deserving special mention 
were on Er-lung-shan, banquette and 
buildings inside the fort destroyed, and 
vital portions of the fort considerably 
damaged. The enemy had placed a row 
of sandbags on the banquette destroyed 
by the previous bombardment. On the 
northern portion of East Chi-huan-shan 
the magazine exploded, and a field gun 
was destroyed. On Shan-shu-shan a 
twelve-centimetre Canet gun and another 
were hit. On I-tzu-shan the carriage of 
a twelve-centimetre Canet gun was over- 
turned and another heavily damaged. 
On 203 Metre Hill two covers and the 
wire entanglements and trenches were 
considerably damaged. 

" On Fort Tai-yan-ku the guns and 
works were heavily damaged. A con- 
flagration occuired in the old town, and 



a second conflagration was observed at 
a factory to the north-east of the base of 
Golden Hill, which lasted for three hours. 
A machinery building near the harbour 
was bombarded by our guns, as were the 
protected engineers' works." 

On the night of October 28th the mine 
directed against Er-lung-shan reached the 
outer limit of the fort, and a portion oif 
the advance defences was blown up. On 
the same night dynamite was twice ap- 
plied to the outer casemate of the eastern 
point of the fort lying north of East Chi- 
huan-shan and caused wide openings, 
killing several of the enemy inside the 
casemates. 

On October 2gth and 30th the bom- 
bardment was continued with increased 
vigour and effect, heavy damage being 
inflicted on several of the forts, and the 
magazine on Tai-yan-ku being exploded. 
On the morning of the 2gth the Russians 
made desperate attacks on the Japanese 
mines directed towards Er-lung-shan and 
Sung-shu-shan, and in the case of the 
latter effected a temporary and partial 
capture. In the afternoon, however, the 
Japanese succeeded, with the aid of ar- 
tillery, in regaining possession. 

At I p.m. on October 30th the troops 
on the Japanese right and part of the 
centre advanced, and by sunset occupied 
the glacis and " covered ways " of Sung- 
shu-shan, Er-lung-shan, and the north 
fort of East Chi-huan-shan, destroying 
some of the caponieres and the enemy's 
outer ditch. Here we may resume our 
quotation of the Japanese official de- 
spatches : — 

" Simultaneously, another part of our 
right charged against the fort standing 
midway between East Pan-lung-shan and 
the north fort of East Chi-huan-shan, capr 
turing it at 2 p.m. in spite of the enemy's 
heavy fire. We then formed intrench- 



END OF THE ''BIRTHDAY ATTACK! 



327 



ments. During the night, however, the 
enemy made several counter-attacks, one 
of which, at 10.30 p.m., drove our men 
out of the fort, but Major-General 
Ichinoh^ himself led the firing line, and 
at II p.m. recaptured the fort, which 
from that time was firmly held. 

" At 1.5 p.m. our left also moved 
against East Chi-huan-shan and the ad- 
jacent forts, capturing the fortified posi- 
tion north-west of East Chi-huan-shan. 

" At 5 p.m. on October 31st our left, 
charging the north fort of East Chi-huan- 
shan, reached the crest of the eastern 
parapet, where they intrenched. Mean- 
while, steps were taken to secure our 
tenure of the two forts captured on the 
previous day, and at the same time the 
saps in other parts were proceeded with 
rapidly. 

" On October 31st some of the heavy 
siege guns and naval guns were trained 
on the harbour mouth and dock, and by 
this means the Giliak was hit several 
times; two steamers were sunk, and a 
conflagration was caused near the wharf. 

" From 8.30 p.m. the enemy made re- 
peated frontal attacks on our extreme 
left, all of which were repulsed. 

" On November ist our heavy guns 
sank two steamers of about 3,500 tons in 
the western harbour, and one of 3,000 
tons on November 2r)d. 

" At about II a.m. on the 2nd two 
heavy explosions, probably of powder 
magazines, were heard at the north end 
of the old town. 

" In the first fort captured on October 
30th we found three field guns, two 
machine guns, three fish-torpedoes, and 
40 Russian dead. 



" From noon on November 3rd our 
naval guns directed a heavy fire against 
the dock and other parts of the eastern 
harbour, causing a great conflagration at 
12.15 P^m., which continued until 4 a.m. 
on the next day. Our heavy guns on 
November 3rd inflicted much damage on 
the fort 300 metres north-west of Wang- 
tai, and also put the field guns out of 
action in the gorge of East Chi-huan- 
shan." 

Thus ended the great " Birthday At- 
tack ' ' upon Port Arthur, the results 
achieved falling very far short of that 
complete triumph which the Japanese had 
anticipated, but the progress made being 
still very considerable. Now for the first 
time have the Japanese made good their 
footing in the immediate front of some of 
the greater forts, and how at last the 
fire of the besiegers' big guns is begin- 
ning to tell heavily. It is part of the 
plan of the present work to anticipate 
ultimate results as little as possible, but 
it may be said here that from the de- 
fenders' standpoint the crisis of the siege 
of Port Arthur was reached when the 
ii-in. howitzers of the Japanes_e came 
effectively into play, which they may be 
said to have done with particular em- 
phasis during the period from October 
26th to November 3rd. For the rest, it 
is sufficient to say that Port Arthur, hav- 
ing escaped the intended honour of being 
handed to the Mikado as a birthday pre- 
sent by his devoted soldiery, was to con- 
tinue for another two months a scene of 
continued carnage, an exhibition of 
almost superhuman tenacity on the part 
both of desperately brave attackers, and 
of a heroic defence. 



328 



CHAPTER LXXI. 

japan's winter outlook — PROVISION AGAINST WAR WASTAGE— A NEW MILITARY 

SYSTEM — NAVAL PREPARATIONS HOME-MADE BATTLESHIPS — A PAINFUL EPISODE — 

FINANCIAL PROSPECTS — FOREIGN RELATIONS — BRITAIN, GERMANY, AND AMERICA. 



A JUNCTURE has now Deen reached 
at which it will be not only ex- 
pedient, but also very interesting', to 
examine rather carefully the attitude and 
resources of the two combatant nations 
in regard to the continuance of the war 
through the winter months. Such an 
examination must necessarily be on broad 
lines, and there is no occasion to dwell 
on many details which, in the case of 
some previous campaigns, have been re- 
garded as of special significance. 

The mere fact, for instance, that winter 
is in prospect, and" winter, too, of an ex- 
ceptionally severe sort, has not anything 
like the same influence upon the warlike 
situation in the Far East as it has had 
even in comparatively recent operations 
in other parts of the world. In the first 
place, of course, this particular war com- 
menced in the winter, and both sides have 
already had some experience in tackling 
one another to the trying accompaniment 
of blinding snowstorms and icy blasts. 
In one respect, moreover, winter in Man- 
churia is a very favourable season for 
military operations, since the roads, hard 
with the continued frost, are often more 
practicable then for heavy transport than 
at any other time of the year. In con- 
sidering, therefore, the positions of Japan 
and Russia respectively at, say, the be- 
ginning of October, 1904, there is no need 
to lay undue stress upon the change of 
climatic conditions, or to take it for 
granted that there should be any serious 



cessation of activity because for a time 
the greater portion of Manchuria may 
be exposed to rigours which might 
compel some Western troops to have re- 
course to the old-fashioned, sometimes 
very detrimental, expedient of " winter 
quarters. " 

Of course, apart from generalities, 
there are, even in this connection, some 
details which make for instructive con- 
trast between the two opposing nations, 
but these are mainly such as will readily 
occur to the intelligent reader. In a naval 
sense, winter is on the whole at this stage 
of the war more favourable to Japan 
than to Russia, since it renders the 
harbour of Vladivostok for the time being 
a negligible quantity. On the other hand, 
the later blocking of the mouth of the 
Liao river with ice may cause a serious 
interruption of the sea transport of stores 
by that convenient route, which the occu- 
pation of the port of Niu-chwang, of Old 
Niu-chwang, and Liao-yang has rendered 
of so much greater significance than it 
was in February and March last. 

Again, from the military standpoint, 
Japan may be expected to score a few 
additional points during the awful cold 
weather by reason of the extraordinary 
completeness of her organisation, and her 
close and continuous attention to details 
affecting the welfare and comfort of her 
soldiers in the field. At various past 
stages of the operations this proposition 
has been illustrated, and in Chapter 



PREPARATIONS FOR WINTER. 



329 



LXIV. a special account was given of the 
Japanese soldier's winter outfit, several 
points of which, notably the design of the 
winter greatcoat, afford strong evidence 
of the most careful forethought, and 



But it is not every army that both takes 
such lessons to heart and adapts them to 
the purposes of war on a very much larger 
scale. In this connection it may be men- 
tioned that the Japanese military authori- 




SHOOTING BELOW THE WATER-LINE I SUBMERGED TORPEDO-TUBE IN ACTION. 

The aiming is done from the deck by swinging the ship round. The ship's side has been here 

partially removed to show the mater line and the distant enemy. 



shrewd appreciation of requirements, in 
this direction. Doubtless the less credit 
is due to the Japanese on this score in 
that they had a very illuminating experi- 
ence of winter campaigning in Manchuria 
when fighting the Chinese in 1894-95. 



ties have already anticipated the winter 
in a very practical fashion, as far as all 
semi-permanent occupations are con- 
cerned, by sending out double-walled 
wooden huts in sections which can be 
quickly put together as required, and are 



330 



HISTORY OF' THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



an invaluable supplement to such rude 
Chinese structures as are locally available. 

But the real interest of the situation for 
Japan, as for Russia, does not depend 
upon details of this sort. It is bound up 
with far larger considerations, among 
which may be reckoned such big subjects 
as the extent of the " war wastage " up 
to date, the development of the enemy's 
fighting capacity, the possible increase of 
home resources, the financial aspect, and 
relations with foreign countries, who are 
now spectators merely, but may, at al- 
most any moment, be tempted or forced 
to take a hand in the game. Such con- 
siderations, always significant, are ren- 
dered peculiarly so by the signs that 
Russia is now tardily beginning to realise 
the nature of the struggle in which she 
is engaged, and to take measures, in- 
commensurate perhaps with the actual 
necessities of the case, but still sufficiently 
impressive to demand attention, mQre 
especially from a combatant literally 
fighting for existence. 

The question of war wastage is far 
more complex than it seems to those who 
regard it as a mere matter of numbers. 
In various ways it has been elaborately 
discussed by numerous military writers, 
but for the purposes of this narrative an 
extract from' a letter written by the 
Special Correspondent of the Times at 
Tokio will both show, what different 
things war wastage may mean, and what 
steps Japan was taking as far back as 
the middle of July to meet deficiencies 
which in October would otherwise have 
been very severely felt. 

" The waste in every army long in the 
field," writes this correspondent, " must 
always be great ; it can be scheduled 
under half a dozen heads : contact with 
the enemy, disease, communication re- 
quirements, loss of sea transports, etc. 



Now you can put your' standing army 
into the field fairly fit at all times, at least 
if your army system is a workable system-. 
But if your standing army only totals 
some 150,000 men, and you require to 
take the field with 250,000 men, it re- 
quires considerable executive manipula- 
tion to keep pace with the wastage of so 
large a force, and to place the selections 
from the second and third reserves in the 
field in every way as physically prepared 
as the standing army had been. The 
majority of the older men who answer the 
call to arms have long lost the habit of 
a life so rigorous as that required from 
the soldier serving with the colours ; 
moreover, many of the technicalities of 
drill and armament have undergone con- 
siderable changes since the reserves were 
themselves serving with the colours. No 
one would have anticipated that the 
Japanese would be blind to the require- 
ments of a protracted campaign. There- 
fore,, although we know that over 200,000 
men have left Japan, yet from the activity 
which exists at all the military centres it 
would be difficult to realise that the fight- 
ing strength in the country had been 
reduced by a single infantryman. You 
miss, it is true, both cavalry and artil- 
lery ; that IS ooly natural, but in the 
matter of their infantry there appears to 
have been no reduction in the home estab- 
lishments, and the scheme for reinforce- 
ment is prepared for a far heavier wast- 
age than has as yet taken place. 

" Since my return to Tokio," says a 
Times correspondent, "I have spent 
much of my time on the parade- 
grounds of the military centres in the 
capital. The training to which each 
batch of reservists is put as it comes 
up for service is interesting and instruc- 
tive. They roll up from every walk in 
life. The farm labourer, bent with con- 



THE JAPANESE RESERVIST. 



331 



stant stooping in the paddy fields; the 
jinriksha coolie, as fit as nature ever 
allowed a man to be ; the potter, the 
cook, the photographer — they all come 
up in turn, the majority soft from the 
sedentary life into which the Japanese sO' 
easily falls. But this is nothing. It is 
an easily eradicated evil when it is 
balanced against that commanding asset 
that is paramount in every Japanese, that 
asset which is responsible for the history 
of the last six months. There is in- 
grained in the heart of every Japanese, 
be he prince or pauper, a patriotic desire 
for discipline, which has made the nation 
the military Power that it is. This is the 
secret. Where we in the West find our- 
selves obliged to devote most of the sol- 
diers' time with the colours to the labour 
of instilling discipline into his nature, the 
Japanese instructors have only to train 
their men to apply their natural desire for 
discipline to the best teaching in the re- 
quirements of modern warfare. It is this 
same quality which has made our Indian 
Army so good, only the native of India 
has not the qualifying temper of a na- 
tional patriotism, which is the main reli- 
gion in Japan." 

With reference to the " qualifying tem- 
per of a national patriotism " of which 
this writer so suggestively speaks, it is 
worth recalling that a few weeks later 
another contributor to the Times, its able 
and accomplished military critic, created 
a distinct sensation by giving under the 
heading " The Soul of a Nation " a very 
remarkable account of busliido, the won- 
derful code of moral and ethical principles 
which prevails in the Samurai families of 
Japan, and which is partially reflected in 
the exalted patriotism displayed even by 
the lowest classes in that astonishing 
country. 

As the article in question has been 



reprinted, and can be procured for a few 
pence from Printing House Square, it is 
not fair to lay it under contribution here. 
But the singular impression caused by 
this exposition of a prominent factor of 
Japan's success both in holding her own 
against Russia, in dealing that gigantic 
adversary a succession of terrific blows, 
and in providing for the continuance of 
the campaign, will not lightly fade out of 
Western minds, and may almost be re- 
garded as one of the events of the war. 
After this brief digression we may use- 
fully return to the description furnished 
by the Tokio correspondent abo've re- 
ferred to of the training given to the 
Japanese reservist when he rejoins the 
colours as a preliminary to taking his 
share of supplying the wastage in the 
Regular field army : " His first training 
is purely physical. He has to be hard- 
ened. The first week is spent in march- 
ing in light marching order, the distances 
covered increasing as the men's wind im- 
proves. For the following week much of 
the rO'Ute marching is at double time. At 
the end of a fortnight the men are fit 
enough to have the weight they carry 
increased. Also the time has arrived for 
a little more strenuous work than is to be 
found on the flat. Upon every drill 
ground in Japan is a miniature steeple- 
chase course, which, though an idea bor- 
rowed from the Germans, will bear de- 
scription. The course is about 250 yards 
long. The first obstacle is an open ditch 
9 feet wide, which has to be jumped. 
Then follows a stone wall 4 feet high. 
The next is a deep, open fosse, 30 feet 
wide, with half a dozen poles lying 
athwart it. These poles are less than 
I foot in diameter, and are for the men 
to walk across. The following obstacle 
is a palisade of pointed stakes — this is 
8 feet high. The final obstacle is meant 



332 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 




A WAR CORRESPONDENT S PASSPORT IN THE FAR EAST. 
N'ote the numerous stamps which had to be impressed at each military station through which the holder passed. 



to represent the face of a defended posi- 
tion. There is a deep lo-feet fosse, 20 
feet in breadth, then, a parapet revetted 
with stone, the whole surmounted with a 
moiind. It is no mean achievement to 
negotiate this course at the double, yet 
the whole squad must negotiate it to the 
satisfaction of the inspecting officer be- 
fore it is passed fit to undertake musketry- 
instruction. As soon as the detachment 
is passed as physically fit, ordinary com- 
pany training is proceeded with, and 
hitherto amongst the reservists I have 
seen nothing beyond company training. 
Battalion training doubtless takes place 
at other centres which I have not seen. 
Anyway, as soon as the men have done 
about two months at the divisional cen- 
tres they are drafted off to one of the 
large camps near the embarcation ports, 
and are lost sight of." 



A drawback from which the Japanese 
Army must have suffered coinsiderably in 
regard to the training of these reservists 
was the lack of officers and non-commis- 
sioned officers for purposes of drill and 
discipline. But in the Japanese Army a 
little is made to go a very long way. 
Practically all the higher non-commis- 
sioned officers are quite able to discharge 
the duties of company officers, as indeed 
many were compelled to do in the fight- 
ing, more especially round Liao-yang. It 
is noteworthy, however, that the Japan- 
ese Army are averse from the Continental 
'plan of giving numbers of non-commis- 
sioned officers commissions on the out- 
break of a big war. As regards the 
drilling of reservists, this, it was found, 
could safely be entrusted to privates of 
the Regular Army, and accordingly the 
training of this immense mass of valu- 



WAR WASTAGE. 



333 



able material was accomplished with the 
very minimum of borrowing- from the 
badly-needed strengths of Regular batta- 
lions. 

Some idea of the vital necessity for 
providing a reserve against war wastage 
alone may be gathered from an instruc- 
tive statement telegraphed from Tokio by 
Reuter's Agency at the end of September, 
1904. According to the unofficial esti- 
mates in this message, the number of 
sick and wounded at that time under 
treatment in Japan was not less than 
45,000. The military hospitals in Tokio, 
Osaka, and Hiroshima were said to con- 
tain 10,000 patients each. Nine thousand 
had recovered sufficiently to be sent to 
mountain health resorts. Such figures 
as these are of themselves sufficient to 



indicate the tremendous drain upon the 
manhood of Japan which had commenced, 
and which must continue, at any rate as 
long as the garrison of Port Arthur held 
out behind its deadly fringe of forts and 
guns. 

Beyond this question of war wastage 
lies that of the development of the 
enemy's resources, to which we shall refer 
more particularly in the succeeding chap- 
ter. But already we have seen the Rus- 
sians awaking to a sense of the magni- 
tude of the task before them, and taking 
at least one practical step towards sup- 
plying their present deficiencies. In 
Chapter LX. the creation of a Second 
Russian Army in Manchuria under 
General Gripenberg was foreshadowed, 
and subsequently it transpired that yet 




A SADLY FAMILIAR SCENE AT TOKIO. 

The more severely wounded Japanese soldiers are carried on stretchers from Tokio Railway Station to the Red Cross 

Hospital. A third " boy " accompanies each stretcher, so as to fan the invalid or attend to other small duties. 



33 + 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



a Third Army was in contemplation. 
The Japanese, striking as had been their 
success hitherto, even when the ilumerical 
odds were not in their favour, could not 
arfford to disregard such a dangerous 
symptom as this of their adversary's re- 
turn to sanity. The prospect of such 
enormous increases to the Russian forces 
in the field was the more disquieting in 
view of the certainty that the new armies 
to be formed would fight as well as, if not 
better than, that which Japan had already 
enco'untered, and that no insuperable dif- 
ficulty would probably be experienced in 
raising a Fourth or Fifth Russian Army 
if necessary. Accordingly Japan lost noi 
time in preparing an effective reply to the 
new menace, and the smoothness and 
rapidity with which her Government acted 
seem to indicate that she had long ago 
realised the possibility that some such 
sacrifice would be necessary. 

Under the Japanese military system in 
force at the outbreak of the war, service 
with the colours commenced at the age 
of 20, and lasted for three years, at the 
expiration of which term the men passed 
into the reserves for a period of nine 
years, and then into the Territorial Army, 
which is not liable to service abroad, for 
a period of eight years, a total period of 
20 years' liability to military service. 
Japan's reply to the formation of the 
Second Russian Army in Manchuria was 
to extend the period of service in the re- 
serves to 14 years, leaving only three 
years to be spent in the Territorial Army. 
As the new system became operative on 
the day it was promulgated, all men 
who served with the colours from 1887 
to 1 89 1 were added to the strength of the 
active Army, for, of course, all the Re- 
serves were now considered to belong to 
the latter. " Statistics," writes a Tokio 
correspondent, " show the actual number 



of such men to be 331,816, from which, 
deducting 10 per centi for ordinary wast- 
age, there remain 300,000 actually avail- 
able. This calculation is necessarily 
based on returns of earlier date than the 
programme for the extension of Japanese 
armaments of 1896, which programme as 
now modified will ultimately give an in- 
crement of about double the above 
figures, thus making the total war 
strength of the army over 1,000,000." 

It will be understood that this calcula- 
tion of increased military strength must 
not be taken as representing with abso- 
lute exactitude the advantage secured. 
It is quite possible that the allowance for 
wastage by death and from other causes 
should be placed much higher than 10 per 
cent., and in a very great many cases 
it wo'uld be impossible to recall to the 
colours men who, having been for some 
years enrolled merely in the Territorial 
Army, had passed into an obscurity in 
which they could not easily be traced. 
The problem, again, of providing these 
new reserves with officers and non-com- 
missioned officers would be a really diffi- 
cult one. On the other hand, the efforts 
made by some Continental critics to dis- 
parage this counterblast to the formation 
of the Second and Third Russian Armies 
in Manchuria seem rather futile when we 
consider how careful the Japanese have 
always shown themselves in the matter 
of estimating their own strength, as well 
as in gauging that of their opponents. 
Hitherto they have never failed to put 
into the field at any given point as many 
men as were required for the purpose in 
view, and in all their preparations there 
seems to have been ample margin allowed 
for contingencies. This precise habit of 
mind has been illustrated with great 
clearness by the method adopted ^ in the 
case of reinforcements. While it has 



JAPANESE WAR SUPPLIES. 



335 



naturally been necessary to send many 
fresh units tO' the front, a principal object 
has been to keep those already in the 
field at war strengfth, a process which 
taxes even a first-class organisation very 
severely, but which, when satisfactorily 
carried out, is a notable proof of warlike 
efficiency. 

While, then, it is quite possible that 
something; under 600,000 men have thus 
by a stroke of the pen been added to the 
active military forces of Japan, there is, 
as an expert observes, no reason to doubt 
that " the field army is in process of ex- 
pansion to half a million, at least, in 
order to compete on level terms with the 
similar deployment which Russia pro- 
poses and hopes to display in the spring'." 
It must be remembered, too, that Japan 
has a marked advantage over Russia in 
this case by reason of her shorter line of 
main communications. Theoretically, of 
course, numbers must tell in the long run, 
but, practically speaking, the fact that 
Tokio is within a week of Liao-yang, 
and is connected with it by several routes, 
while it still takes a single battalion any- 
thing from four weeks to seven to get 
from St. Petersburg to Mukden, is of 
immense significance. 

Before leaving this subject of Japan's 
special preparations for continuing the 
land campaign during the winter months, 
it may be interesting to place on record 
the fact that at this period the Japanese 
military authorities seem to have been 
particularly active in supplementing from 
abroad their vast stocks of kit and sup- 
plies of every description. It may be 
mentioned, for instance, that in October 
we hear of a London firm purchasing at 
Gouda, on behalf of the Japanese Govern- 
ment, 2,000,000 Dutch cheeses for Army 
supply purposes. It'is also recorded that 
the Japanese placed large orders for win- 



ter cloth and for tent canvas with Scot- 
tish manufacturers, who were urged to 
expedite delivery. Truly " a nation ter- 
ribly in earnest," Japan sho'wed clearly 
by her vigorous and ample policy of pre- 
paration in such matters that she realised 
to the full the complicated strain to which 
she would still, in any case, be subjected 
for months to come. 

Nor were the Japanese less alert and 
busy in their endeavours to anticipate the 
naval requirements of the coming winter. 
Here it is not easy for us to give many 
details, for the Japanese were far more 
reticent in regard to their Fleet arrange- 
ments than in regard to those affecting 
the Army. But it is evident that, far 
from ignoring the possibility that the 
Baltic Squadron might eventually find its 
way into Japanese waters, and thus 
modify very materially the naval situa- 
tion, the Mikado's Government kept a 
most vigilant eye upon the progress of 
Admiral Rodhjestvensky's ships from 
their outset, and were fully prepared with 
plans for their reception. They did not 
fail, incidentally, to expostulate with 
countries which afforded the Fleet a freer 
harbourage than the laws of neutrality 
would seem to justify, but they certainly 
did not allow the making of such diplo- 
matic protest to divert them from the 
consideration of the more practical points 
at issue. Not only were the authorities 
at Tokio kept fully aware of every move- 
ment of the Russian Squadron, not only 
were adequate arrangements made for 
watching the approaches to the China 
Sea, but orders were evidently conveyed 
to the forces round Port Arthur to re- 
double their efforts to destroy the Russian 
ships in harbour, in order to leave Ad- 
miral Togo free to engage the new- 
comers. Although everything was done 
as quietly as possible, there is reason to 



336 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



believe that in the later stage . of the 
siege the 'Japanese Fleet was , very 
little in actual evidence outside Port 
Arthur, the blockade being maintained 
by a few second- and third - class 
cruisers, and by gunboats and destroyers, 
the bulk of the squadron remaining ,in 
readiness at the naval base. Formerly 
Admiral Togo had been quite willing 
to adventure his precious ships in. the 
neighbourhood of Port Arthur, and in 
the earlier stages of the siege his guns 
had on several occasions been used with 
marked effect against the coast fortifica- 
tions. But there have been " accidents," 
possibly one or two besides those which 
were made public, and the oncoming of 
the Baltic Squadron made it doubly fool- 
ish to run risks. , Accordingly we may 
take it that during, the. close of 1904 the 
Fleet of Japan was mainly engaged in 
resting, and in testing every joint in its 
armour, in order to . prepare for what 
might prove a heavier struggle by far 
than any in which it had' yet taken part. 

Just as in the case of the Army, the 
Japanese Government did not restrict its 
naval preparations to mere obvious pre- 
cautions. With equal thoroughness and 
watchfulness it anticipated a number O'f 
requirements in the way of material, 
sending, for instance, three experts to 
Fiume to watch over the construction of 
the torpedoes to be delivered during the 
following- three years. 

On October -13th, too, it was re- 
ported from New York that a Russian 
order for thirty subrnarines had been 
promptly followed by a Japanese order, 
for fifty of these craft. In this connec- 
tion it is interesting, to recall the circum- 
stance that, at the commencement of the 
war, a well-known Japanese naval officer 
had declared his countrymen to be averse 
from the adoption of submarines, which 



were. quite unlikely ever to be used by 
Japan. ,It is possible that the evident 
inclination of Russia to take advantage 
of. this latter-day development may have 
modified ' the views of Japanese naval 
officers on the subject. But it is more 
likely that British naval manoeuvres de- 
monstrating the possibilities of submarine 
warfare, and the fact that this country 
was , now building submarines with a 
rapidity which a few years ag'o would 
have been scouted as preposterous, had 
produced in Japan a sudden resolve to 
be up-to-date in tTiis as in every other 
respect. It should be mentioned that, 
while the Russian order placed in New 
York is said to have been for submarines 
on the Protector model, the Japanese 
favoured the Holland type, a modifica- 
tion of that adopted by the British Navy. 

But of even greater significance than its 
attention to torpedoes and submarines was 
the movement of Japan in another naval 
direction, a movement which was fore- 
shadowed as far back as Chapter XLIV. 
of the present narrative. On page 546 
of Vol. I. was reproduced Admiral Yama- 
nouchi's statement to those who visited 
the Kure Arsenal in the course of the 
tour of the Manchu Maru, that in a few 
months Japan would be ready to start on 
the construction of battleships, and that 
it was hoped that very early in 1905 the 
keels of two large war-vessels would be 
laid. That statement was made in June, 
and in September it became known 
that Japan had , given an order to the 
Carnegie Steel Works for 7)500 tons 
of the finest nickel steel plates, evidently 
intended as armour for new battleships 
or for very large armoured cruisers. 

Japan had therefore lost little time in 
putting her intentions into .practice, and 
the fact that the order would take about 
three months to execute, and that the 




58 



338 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



great armour-plate rolling mill at Kure 
was expected to be ready by January, 
points to a very accurate forecast of 
working- possibilities. 

As has already been pointed out, a new 
departure of the very highest significance 
and interest is here indicated. Hitherto 
Japan has had to be content with the 
home construction of torpedo craft and 
an occasional small cruiser, such as the 
Niitaka and Tsushima, and she may well 
be proud of having attained even these 
modest results after such a short appren- 
ticeship to the shipbuilding art. Now she 
is about to attempt developments which, 
if successful, will enable her to compete 
with the naval powers of the West in a 
vitally important direction, and will 
gradually remove the one drawback 
under which she has .laboured, and la- 
boured heavily, in respect to the present 
war. A long period must elapse before 
Japan's first home-made battleship can 
take the water, but the mere fact that she 
will soon have one or two under construc- 
tion may at no distant date have a very 
serious bearing upon the continuance of 
the struggle. For, with such enthusiasm, 
skill, and industry at work as are to be 
found among the Japanese, we may be 
sure that the biggest ships will be turned 
out far more speedily at Kure and Yoko- 
suka than on the banks of the Neva ; 
ships, too, whose rivets are not of painted 
wood, whose sea-plugs are not " acci- 
dentally " left open, and whose design is 
as sound as experience, combined with 
the shrewdest assimilation of foreign 
ideas, can make it. 

But it must not be supposed that 
Japan's condition as regards the coming 
winter operations has been one of alert 
and busy preparations ooly. Her anxieties 
have been numerous and considerable, 
and in more than one direction she has 



had to combat untoward influences even 
among her own countrymen. Speaking 
generally, the people of Japan have been 
affording a magnificent example of unity 
and pertinacity combined, and the Press 
of Tokio has borne eloquent witness to 
the steadfastness and genuineness of the 
prevailing patriotic sentiment. But there 
have been " little rifts within the lute" 
which have needed careful treatment to 
prevent their widening out and causing 
real mischief. A good deal of bad feel- 
ing, for instance, has been generated by 
aspersions directed against two promin- 
ent members of Tokio society. Count 
Matsukata and Count Inoiiye, who 
founded during the early stages of the 
war an Imperial Association for the re- 
lief of widows and families rendered 
destitute by the death or absence on ser- 
vice of husbands and relatives. 

When Japanese feelings are aroused 
on a subject of this sort the expression 
of them is apt to become forcible 
to the verge of violence, and, accord- 
ingly, when statements appeared alleging 
a fraudulent misappropriation of the 
funds of this society, public indignation 
rose to a high pitch. Happily an answer 
was forthcoming to these aspersions in 
the shape of a declaration on the part of 
a former President of the Bank of Japan 
showing that the amount collected by 
the Imperial Relief Association — some 
;^50,ooo — had been securely deposited in 
various good banks, and was earning 
interest sufficient to pay the expenses of 
management. There had been delay in 
distributing the fund because the Govern- 
ment and local societies were successfully 
caring for the destitute. All may have 
been well that thus ended well, but it is 
conceivable that not a little lasting sore- 
ness was created by this incident which 
might well have been avoided by the ex- 



A PAINFUL STORY. 



339 



hibition of a little tact and common- 
sense. 

Of another and more serious matter it 
is difficult to speak with complete free- 
dom. The story — an extremely painful 
one — is told in a letter sent by a Daily 
Express correspondent from Tokio under 
date September 19th. It relates to the 
sinking of the transport Hitachi Maru 
and the shelling of the Sado Maru by the 
Vladivostok Squadron as narrated in 
Chapter XXXII. From what has since 
transpired it would appear that the loss 
sustained by Japan on that occasion was 
not confined to hundreds of valuable 
lives. The Hitachi Maru is said to have 
been loaded with the largest and best 
siege guns in Japan, and also to have 
carried two armoured trains and railway 
plants. The siege guns were, of course, 
intended for use against Port Arthur, and 
it is easy to understand that their loss 
contributed in no small degree to the 
delay in the reduction of the fortress. 

The interception of the two transports 
by the Vladivostok Squadron produced a 
painful sensation at Tokio, where the 
details of the disaster were eagerly dis- 
cussed and very free opinions were ex- 
pressed as to the culpable parties. Miss 
McCaul, in whose bright book, " Under 
the Care of the Japanese War Office," is 
a vivid description of the incident as 
related to her by two of the survivors 
during her stay at Hiroshima, makes 
special mention of the ' ' grave criti- 
cisms ' ' passed on Admiral Kamimura for 
not having prevented such a serious blow. 
That gallant sailor has long ago been 
exonerated from the charge even of want 
of vigilance, but it would seem that a 
brother admiral on the staff at Tokio, 
who later incurred suspicion of a differ- 
ent kind, has been found guilty of an 
infamous connection with the disaster 



of June 15th, and paid a terrible penalty 
for his treacherous act. 

The story as related by the Ex-press 
correspondent is to the effect that the 
Japanese admiral in question received a 
bribe of ;^i2,ooo from the Russians for 
telegrams, which were despatched first 
to Fusan and thence by wireless tele- 
graphy to the Vladivostok Squadron, and 
which enabled the latter to locate the 
transports soon after they left Moji. 
When on investigation the admiral's 
treachery leaked out, the vengeance of 
the Naval General Staff was swift and, 
according to our Western ideas, horrible. 
The doomed man having formally been 
found guilty, the sentence of death was 
read out to him by his intimate friend 
and comrade. Then followed a scene 
over which we need not linger. "The 
Staff assembled and entered the room, 
which had been cleared of all furniture. 
The prisoner was made to take off his 
uniform. He was then beaten I0 death 
by his comrades." 

Let us turn hastily from this ghastly 
episode to other considerations connected 
with this period. It is not the business 
of the present historian to discuss closely 
great questions of finance, but this is a 
juncture at which the " sinews of war " 
cannot be wholly disregarded in any fair 
survey of the warlike situation. As re- 
gards Japan, there is no sort of question 
that the financial outlook continues quite 
extraordinarily favourable, in spite of the 
terrific expenditure which has been, and 
is being, incurred. " The strain of the 
war and the drain upon the country's 
resources," says Reuter's well-inforrned 
correspondent at Tokio, " are not felt 
to any extent among the people. Some 
businesses have suffered, but the aggre- 
gate foreign and domestic trade exceeds 
that of last year, and the crops, particu- 



34° 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



larly the rice crop, are the largest ever 
grown." This statement was made at 
the end of September, and a few days 
later was amplified by an Important pro- 
nouncement by the Japanese Minister of 
Finance, Count Okuma, whose survey of 
the financial position was distinctly op- 
timistic notwithstanding several frank 
admissions. He pointed out that if the 
war lasted another two years the total 
cost to Japan would probably be from 
1,200 to 1,300 million yen, or from 120 to 
130 millions of pounds sterHng. There- 
fore, with the present debt and the 
cost of the post helium undertakings, the 
country's liabilities would aggregate 
;^2oo,ooo,ooo. Russian war-outlays over 
the same period would approximate, he 
thought, 400 to -soo- million pounds 
sterling. Even assuming Japan's in- 
debtedness to rise to a couple of hundred 
millions, that would only amount to jQ/^ 
per head of the population. There was 
no reason why Japan should regard such 
a prospect with dismay, provided ■ she 
husbanded her strength and resources, 
and did not resort too freely to foreign 
loans, the result 01 which would be to 
depreciate her' securities. 

On the day on which Count Okuma 
made this statement, the Prefectural 
Governors were having a conference with 
the Cabinet, at which some interesting 
conclusions were arrived at. Since the 
outbreak of the war the prefectural ex- 
penses had been reduced by no less than 
two millions sterling, and now other re- 
trenchments were being effected in order 
to strengthen the national finances. A 
striking instance this of the readiness of 
all classes of the population to make 
sacrifices in aid of the prosecution of the 
war to the bitter end. For we may be 
sure that these reductions in prefectural 
expenditure affected the pockets not only 



of leading provincial officials, .but of far 
humbler employes. Fair comparisons in 
such a case are difficult, but it may be 
doubted whether any similar process of 
retrenchment could be carried out in any 
W'^estern country with such, apparent ab- 
sence of irritation on the part of those 
affected. For of all forms of taxation the 
reduction of small official salaries and 
perquisites is, perhaps, the most unpopu- 
lar, and, taken all round, the hardest to 
be borne. 

The old saying that Heaven helps those 
who help themselves seems likely to be 
exemplified in the case of Japan by an 
incident which, although of doubtful his- 
torical value, seems worthy to be chroni- 
cled in passing. War time, and espe- 
cially during such a war as that which is 
now absorbing Japan's best energies, is 
hardly a favourable season for develop- 
ing or exploiting the mineral wealth of a 
belligerent country. But it may happen 
that Japan's financial responsibilities 
during the coming winter — to say no- 
thing of subsequent periods — may be a 
little lightened by an interesting discovery 
made about this time of goldfields situ- 
ated in the Kesen district of the Rikuzen 
Province, in Government property. The 
fields were promptly inspected by Govern- 
ment engineers and a proclamation issued 
entirely reserving the mining rights. Ac-- 
cording to an early estimate transmitted 
by the Times correspondent, the fields 
were believed to be of considerable ex- 
tent and richness, and capable of produc- 
ing goH to the value of two or three 
millions sterling annually. Many a far 
richer country than Japan would welcome 
such a pleasant windfall. 

It remains to say a few words as to 
Japan's relations with foreign countries 
at the commencement of the winter cam- 
paign. In the first place, it is pleasant 




o 

•X. 



o 
X 

< 

a 



D 
a. 
1 

g 

s 

o 
i 

b 

o 



o a: 
g2 



342 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



to notice that, notwithstanding the efforts 
of sundry Continental journals to the 
contrary, the good feeling between Japan 
and her ally. Great Britain, continued 
unabated, and that from time to time the 
confidence of the Japanese in the stead- 
fast character of British sympathy found 
very happy and frank expression in all 
the more influential organs of public 
opinion. As to the Continental Press 
campaign referred to, it is sufficient to 
say that it consisted chiefly of a systema- 
tic endeavour to twist British recognition 
of Russian valour into a sign of waning 
regard for Japan and growing preference 
for her adversary. As was pointed out 
earlier, there was such persistence and 
method about these silly insinuations 
that it was impossible not to think that 
they were in some measure inspired, the 
object being the twofold one of disheart- 
ening Japan and discrediting British 
diplomacy. Fortunately Japan and Eng- 
land are alike in their capacity for ad- 
miration of high courage and military 
skill, and while the London papers were 
applauding Kuropatkin's masterly retreat 
from Liao-yang, and the dogged tenacity 
of his brave soldiers, the Tokio papers 
were doing just the same thing. There 
was, then, no chance of misunderstand- 
ing on this point, and, even if there had 
been, it would doubtless have been neu- 
tralised by the other and substantial 
proofs given by Great Britain of her 
goodwill. The very considerable fund 
raised in this country for the Japanese 
wounded, alone, to say nothing of the 
marked public satisfaction displayed 
whenever news arrived of a Japanese suc- 
cess, would have been sufficient, if neces- 
sary, to convince the Island Nation of the 
Far East that the friendship of the other 
Island Nation was of the right enduring 
sort. 



Of the North Sea incident, it may be 
said in passing that the Tokio Press took 
a singularly sane view, refraining, in par- 
ticular, from any sort of expressed wish 
that Great Britain should be forced into 
the conflict against her will. Warm- 
hearted sympathy with the victims of the 
outrage was generally exhibited in Japan, 
and, as we have seen, the Mayor of 
Tokio was at pains to cable direct to the 
Mayor of Hull the sincere condolences of 
himself and his fellow-citizens upon what 
had occurred. Of what Japan thought 
about Britain's naval preparations in con- 
nection with the outrage it might savour 
of self-complacency to speak at length. 
But it may safely be said that the spec- 
tacle of her ally's magnificent readiness 
to assert, if necessary, her maritime 
supremacy in Europe was not lost upon 
a nation which had herself given the 
world such a striking object-lesson in the 
value of sea-power. 

Another foreign country Japan's rela- 
tions with which were of unusual interest 
at this stage was Germany. There is no 
question that for the first six or seven 
months of the war Japan had viewed 
Germany's, or rather the German Em- 
peror's, pro-Russian tendencies with 
grave suspicion, and even now the assist- 
ance lent in the matter of coaling the 
Baltic Fleet was not unnaturally creating 
a good deal of resentment in Japanese 
minds. But some modification of this 
bitter feeling took place at the end of 
September and the beginning of October 
in consequence of the visit of Prince Karl 
Anton of Hohenzollern to Tokio, pre- 
paratory to proceeding to the front. 
Prince Karl arrived at the Japanese 
capital on September 25th, and received 
a notable welcome, several of the leading 
papers taking the opportunity of em- 
phasising the friendship between Japan 



GERMANY AND JAPAN. 



343 



and Germany. At a farewell banquet on 
October 2nd one of the Japanese Princes, 
in proposing- the health of the Kaiser 
coupled with that of Prince Karl, re- 
marked that the despatch of so distin- 
guished a member of the German Im- 
perial family to accompany a Japanese 
army constituted a strong proo-f of the 
friendship cementing- not only the two 
Courts, but also the two Empires of Ger- 
many and Japan. 

It is not suggested that these amenities 
should of themselves be taken very 
seriou.sly, and, as hinted above, there are 
still reasons, and cogent reasons, why 
Japan should not regard Germany with 
special lovingkindness. To those reasons 
may be added the strong commercial 
rivalry which has already arisen, and 
which cannot fail to become still stronger 
in the future, between two countries who 
have never disguised their intention to 
have a fiiiger in the China pie. But it 
is none the less noteworthy that in Octo- 
ber, 1904, a marked improvement in the 
relations between Japan and Germany 
took place, the mere fact of which may 
prove to be of some historical signifi- 
cance. 

It is a singular instance of Russia's 
diplomatic methods that she should have 
stooped about this time to seek to create 
in the United States an uneasy feeling 
that Japan's continued success would 
jeopardise America's position in the 
Philippines. As the Times correspondent 
at Tokio observed, nothing could be more 
chimerical, since it is very doubtful whe- 
ther even England holds a higher place 
in Japan's esteem and affection than 
America. In explaining that this senti- 
ment is of long and unchecked growth 
the correspondent quoted indulged in a 
short historical retrospect, and added a 
note on the present relations between the 



two countries so admirably lucid and to 
the point that an extract is subjoined 
verbatim : — 

" America first among Occidental 
States agreed to relieve Japan from the 
indignity of alien tribunals administering 
foreign laws within her borders; and al- 
though this concession, inexpressibly 
prized by the Japanese, had no immediate 
practical value because of an arrange- 
ment which made its operation condi- 
tional on the concurrence of other 
Powers, the reservation, having been 
suggested by the Japanese themselves, 
did not in any sense detract from the 
grace of the act. America, again, by 
restoring her share of an indemnity 
wrested from Japan under painful cir- 
cumstances, greatly strengthened her 
place in the Island Empire's heart; and, 
when to this record is added the fact that 
in the demeanour of the average United 
States citizen towards the Japanese there 
has always been a subtle something which 
differentiates him from the generally con- 
descending- and too often contemptuous 
representative of other Western nations, 
it becomes comprehensible that among all 
her Occidental friends there is none more 
cherished by Japan than the American. 
These considerations alone should suffice 
to show how extravagant is the sugges- 
tion that Japan would e.\zr resent the 
floating of the Stars and Stripes over the 
Philippines. And there is the further car- 
dinal fact that, although Japan is actu- 
ally allied in this war with only one sec- 
tion of the Anglo-Saxon race, she believes 
herself to be theoretically allied with the 
whole of Anglo-Saxondom, since she is 
fighting for the British-American pro- 
gramme of equal opportunities for all 
peoples in an independent China, and for 
the Anglo-Saxon ideal of constitutional 
liberty against the sway of despotic mili- 




* " .a » = S B 



o 's 



o^ s b 



I « :s £ ^ ■§ I 

s . ^ Ts i« » £; 

u -« 






■=, 



: •« -s ■« 



I " 1 = i 



5,^ 



■t, 



< 

H 
Z 
M 
O 

Z 

< 

u5 

en 

P 

«■ 

M. 
X 
H 

o 

H 

>< 

w 



H 

Z 
O 

<: 



^ s .2 « s S ° 

•3.0 S 3 ■§■ = ■« 

'a !* ,'i '-'^ I i 

sa'.iw ■« = «-" 
« S •« s ■3 ? '~. 2 

." = S E js 5 £ 

ir,'** 2 o « e 'S 2 

■« IS ■** s a 2 

*i^ Hsl^s *^ » s 



•s S 






> 5 S w 



s ~1 



■i» C o j» 

'^ ^ ^= S 

K S «i p 3 

' 5 s. s a 



.a P 



S a 



Ss-s«-g3e~ 



*«• -S? R « « 






•s: 


1 




■s 


% 


^ 


-^ 


1 


1 


1 




■a. 


1 


1 


.a 


3 


-s; 


~ 


1 


■^ 


W 


■s 


> 






1 


1 


c 


^ 


< 


1 






1 


■3 


•& 


« 


■0. 


p 


X 


■M 


"hn 


S 


{? 


Si 


•;^ 


-, 






1 


5 


t 


1 


i 




1 


1 




'« 


^ 


s 


u 
^ 






^ 


^ 


s 


t;b 


^ 







?. 


K 


-s 


j; 


■§ 


>, 


« 









s 


•e 


is 


■3 

1 


.0 


§ 


£ 


^ 


s 
c 






1 



THE MIKADO TO HIS PEOPLE. 



345 



tarism. America's ^vithdrawal from the 
Philippines would be regarded by the 
Japanese as little short of a calamity, 
since her presence there constitutes a 
guarantee for the continuance of her 
wholesome interest in the affairs of the 
Far East." 

The only other foreig-n relations with 
which Japan is serio'Usly and specially 
concerned at this moment are with China, 
and here the considerations involved are 
so numerous and complex that they must 
be left for separate treatment, should 
occasion arise, in a future chapter. It 
is sufficient to say here that at present no 
cause for particular anxiety exists in this 
direction, and that, accordingly, neither 
in the East nor West is there any imme- 
diate indication that Japan will be ham- 
pered in her prosecution of the war by 
extraneous conting-encies. This circum- 
stance gives added point to the simple 



but impressive appeal addressed by the 
Mikado to his people in the second week 
of October. " Since the outbreak of the 
war," said his Majesty, "our Army 
and O'ur Navy have demonstrated their 
bravery and their loyalty, while both 
officials and people have acted in unison 
to support the Cause. So far, success 
has attended our Cause, but, the end 
being yet very far distant, it is necessary 
to be patient and steadfast in the pur- 
suance of our action, and thus aim at the 
final accomplishment of our purpose." 
Well may the Japanese have paid re- 
spectful heed to such a message, knowing 
as they did how earnestly and tactfully 
their noble Emperor was working to 
lessen the strain of the war by careful 
conservation of the national resources, 
and by the maintenance of studiously 
friendly intercourse with all neutral 
nations. 




Photo: Urban, Ltd. 



NATIVE QUARTER, HARBIN. , 



346 



CHAPTER LXXII. 

RUSSIA IN OCTOBER — ARMIES IN MANCHURIA — SIBERIAN RAILWAY — DISCONTENTED 

RESERVISTS — FRESH WARLIKE PREPARATIONS — DARDANELLES QUESTION REVIVED 

FEELING IN ST. PETERSBURG — EFFECT OF THE WAR ON TRADE — FINANCIAL OUTLOOK. 



IN seeking to do for Russia in this 
chapter what was done for Japan in 
the last, namely, to examine her con- 
dition and resources at the commence- 
ment of the winter operations, a some- 
what less grateful task is encountered. 
In the case of Japan the prospect, by no 
means one of unmixed freedom from care 
and apprehension, was relieved by many 
bright features. In particular we saw an 
enlightened monarch loyally supported by 
a united people in a policy of persistent 
and self-sacrificing endeavour. We saw, 
too, a splendidly efficient Navy and Army, 
not only maintained at a glorious pitch 
of enthusiasm and achievement by their 
own valour and endurance, but backed 
up to the utmost by the sedulo'us efforts 
made at home to keep them well fur- 
nished with supplies and war material. 
The inevitable strain of a costly and de- 
vastating conflict we found to be both 
sensibly relieved by wise administration 
of the nation's finances, and notably as- 
sisted by the circumstance of a record 
crop and an encouraging maintenance of 
trade prosperity. 

When we turn to Russia's winter out- 
look we shall meet with much less cheer- 
ing symptoms. But, before we proceed 
to discuss these in detail, a word of warn- 
ing is necessary. While in relation to 
the actual winter operations themselves, 
the condition of Russia may be shown to 
be little short of deplorable, while figures 
might easily be cited to prove that the 



blow already dealt to Russia's finance 
and commerce, to say nothing of her 
world-prestige, has been an extraordin- 
arily heavy one, it would be very foolish 
to generalise too freely from any state- 
ments of this kind. Russia, in October, 
1904, presents a very imposing figure, 
notwithstanding the fact that she has 
been handled during the past eight 
months by Japan much in the same way 
as a big-framed Western wrestler is 
sometimes handled by an undersized 
professor oi' ju-ji-tsu. She must still be 
reckoned a very great Power, tempor- 
arily, perhaps, taken at a disadvantage, 
but still an adversary of giant strength 
and literally immense resources. What 
a country like Russia can do in the way 
of fighting can never be measured by 
a few months of war. Over such a vast 
area, where such enormous possibilities 
and reserves of wealth and other aids to 
resistance are concerned, powers of self- 
recovery may come into play, of which 
history has already provided some in- 
structive examples. France, while she 
was being humbled by Germany, did won- 
derful things, and, her humiliation over, 
recovered herself with extraordinary 
swiftness. Russia herself did the same 
after her war with Turkey in 1877. 
Again, Russia's very weakness as a 
nation may prove, as Turkey's has done, 
her strength as a' fighter. 

If, then, we proceed somewhat ruth- 
lessly to examine Russia's position in re- 



THE THIRD RUSSIAN ARMY. 



347 



gard to the continuance of the war dur- 
ing the winter months, let us do so 
with our e3'es open to big' historical and 
political facts. Rome was not built in a 
da)', and for that very reason did not 
decline in a day, although the causes of 
her ultimate fall were such as would have 
brought about a speedy collapse in any 
less strongh-based empire. But Russia 
is even less liable than Rome in her lati^r 
days might have been to feel the 
full weight of such a hammering as she 
has received. For Russia is not only an 
Empire which has been a long time grow- 
ing, but one which has not done growing" 
yet, as far as internal development, at 
anv rate, is concerned. There are more 
signs of coming emancipation than of 
imminent decadence about Russia, and 
this is one of those considerations which 
has to be reckoned very seriously when 
estimating the reserve of fighting 
strength possessed by a belligerent nation 
at any stag'e of a great war. 

With these few words of caution, 
■bajsed on purely historical arguments 
v.-hich need not be elaborated here, let 
us turn to the matter directly in hand, 
and tr)' to gauge fairly the effect upon 
the winter's work which Russia's special 
preparations, and the conditions under 
which she is making them, were likeh' to 
have. In the first place we have to deal 
with the Russian Army on the spot, and 
here, before we proceed to projects of 
expansion, one or two serious points pre- 
sent themselves. In the first place there 
can be no question that the Russian 
cause has been helped to an almost in- 
credible extent by two circumstances both 
of a personal nature, one the recall of 
Admiral Alexeieff, the former \'iceroy of 
the Far East — which has been dealt with 
at length in Chapter LXVU. — the other 
the magnificent efforts of Prince Khilkoff, 



the INIinister of Public Works and Com- 
munications, to maintain and increase the 
carrying- capacity of the Siberian Rail- 
way. 

We have already seen how the recall of 
Alexeieff, the " heavy-handed intriguer " 
of the Far East, has coincided with the 
formation of a Second Russian Army in 
Manchuria under General Gripenberg, the 
original idea being that Kuropatkin 
should have supreme control of these t\\o 
armies only. But the formation of armies 
is a fascinating process, and only a few 
weeks after the notion of a Second Army 
a Third y\rmy began to be contemplated, 
and shortly afterwards became an accom- 
plished fact. It is not necessary to g'o 
into the preliminary details of this new 
organisation. A simpler plan will be to 
anticipate the state of affairs at the end 
of the year, when we find the Russian 
military strength in Jilanchuria scheduled 
by a military expert as follows : — First 
Army (General Linievitch) — First, 
Second, Third, and Fourth Siberian 
Army Corps, say 150,000, to the cast 
of the great Manchurian Road. Second 
Army (General Gripenberg) — First, 
Tenth, and .Seventeenth Russian and 
Fifth Siberian Army Corps, perhaps 
140,000 strong, to the west of the same 
road. Third Army (General Kaulbars) — 
Eighth and Sixteenth Russian Army 
Corps (even in January not completely 
mustered at the front), and the Sixth 
Siberian Army Corps, say, 80,000 men. 
To the above must be added the cavalry 
under General Rennenkamf, which is 
directly under the Commander-in-Chief. 

It will thus be seen that, thanks to the 
extraordinary energy of the Minister of 
Works and Ways, the Russians had no 
lack of men at the front both at the be- 
ginning of, and during, the winter. 
Also, according to General Kuropatkin, 



348 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the Commissariat Department was work- 
ing well, at any rate, in the autumn, for 
in September the Commander-in-Chief 
made special mention of the manner in 
which the Commissariat officials had 
carried out their duties hitherto, and 



note that at the commencement of the 
winter operations the question of food 
supplies does not seem to have caused 
any particular anxiety. The only serious 
deficiency seems to have been in the 
matter of forage, which had run very 




GENERAL KAULBARS, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE THIRD RUSSIAN 
MANCHURIAN ARMY. 



asked that their services might be 
brought directly under the notice of the 
Tsar. It is true that later accounts seem 
to indicate that this praiseworthy 
efficiency was not well maintained. But 
we are dealing in this chapter with the 
winter prospect, and it is important to 



short since the Russian evacuation of 
Liao-yang, where the bulk of the forage 
stores had been accumulated since the 
commencement of the campaign. Even 
the Harbin depot appears to have been 
rapidly exhausted, with the result that 
cavalry leaders were beginning to com- 



RUSSIAN HOSPITAL SCANDALS. 



349 



plain loudly of the restrictions thus placed 
on their movements. 

But it is when we come to look into 
other circumstances at the front that we 
begin to discover signs of a pinching 
shoe. We have already seen how, 
through want of proper winter uniforms, 
the Russian troops were compelled to 
wear Chinese clothing. It is further 
stated that there was a serious lack of 
boots, a grave matter indeed at the 
commencement of a Manchurian cold 
season. Another significant drawback 
is the condition of the hospitals, 
some of which for months past 
have been in an appalling state. 



of people suffering from dysentery those 
in authority hide, and then excuse them- 
selves on the plea that the matter has not 
been reported to them." 

The chance of any improvement in 
this painful condition of affairs is vcr)' 
small. Some indication has previously 
been given of the scandalous misappro- 
priation of funds subscribed in Russia for 
the alleviation of the sufferings of the 
sick and wounded. To this may now be 
added the testimony of one of the Rus- 
sian correspondents of the Times, who 




Writing from Mukden, a Russian 
ofTicer, under date July 20th, had drawn 
a terrible picture of the situation in this 
respect. " In the railway hospital cases 
of diphtheria and scarlet fever are lodged 
in the same building as surgical cases. 
There is literally not a vacant spot. . . . 
Splendid Royal trains for the wounded 
go half empty. But men suffering from 
dysentery are carried on straw in goods 
waggons at the rate of twenty-five sick 
men to a waggon, or in bunks of two 
tiers. And all this arouses little interest. 
When some wretched train arrives full 



Photo : Urban, Ltd. 

THE RAILWAY STATION, HAREIX. 

says : " Very little confidence is now 
felt that money given to the Red Cross 
Societv will e\er reach the Russian sick 
and wounded at all, and in the circum- 
stances this is not surprising. But even 
those who are willing to make and pay 
for their own arrangements find the task 
no easy one. An association of nobles in 
the south of Russia wished to equip a 
special ambulance for the war, and al- 
though all preparations had been com- 
pleted and the train was readv to start, 
the requisite official permission was re- 
peatedly and inexplicably delayed. At 



35° 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



last one of the members of the associa- 
tion went himself to St. Petersburg to 
try to accelerate matters. After being 
passed on from office to office and obtain- 
ing nothing but evasive replies and un- 
satisfactory promises, he discovered that 
the cause of the trouble was a certain 
highly placed military official, who would 
not give the permission until he had re- 
ceived a substantial douceur. This hav- 
ing been provided, all difficulties vanished 
and the ambulance was allowed to pro- 
ceed. 

" Another instance of peculation which 
occurred out at the seat of the war was 
related to me by a Russian who had had 
to do with the equipment of one of these 
private hospitals. A chief of police at 
Kronstadt, who had been dismissed and 
imprisoned for peculation some years 
ago, was appointed to an important posi- 
tion in the Red Cross Society, and en- 
trusted with a sum of 600,000 roubles 
(;^6o,ooo) to be expended in the Far 
East. He went out there, and soon the 
whole sum had disappeared, but nothing 
had been spent on the object for which 
it was intended. The affair came to light 
and the ex-chief of police was recalled, 
but actually given another appointment 
in the Red Cross Society's headquarters 
at St. Petersburg. 

" Although most of the nurses have be- 
haved with the greatest gallantry and 
self-sacrifice in their task at the front, 
the conduct of others has been less praise- 
worthy, and 25 per cent, of them have 
been ordered back to Russia for scandal- 
ous misbehaviour. ' ' 

It is a relief to be able to turn from 
these unpleasant stories to the details 
of the working of the Siberian Railway, 
to which approving allusion has been 
made above. In this connection the per- 
sonality of Prince Khilkoff is particularly 



interesting. He is described by Mr. 
John Foster Fraser, in his " The Real 
Siberia " (Cassell & Co.), as an elderly 
gentleman with the easiest of manners, 
and nothing Russian or official about him. 
He studied engineering as a young man 
in Birkenhead and afterwards in America. 
According to Prince Khilkoff's own ac- 
count he is " just a working man, you 
know — a sort of blacksmith.'' But he 
is something very much more than that. 
Not only is he a striking combination of 
intellect, vigour, and industry, but he is 
one of the few men who have been able 
successfully to cope with the blight of 
corruption and peculation which is such 
a frightful hindrance to the proper de- 
velopment more especially of great Rus- 
sian engineering enterprises. One after 
the other he has weeded out the higher 
officials of the vast Siberian line, until a 
staff has been formed upon which real 
reUance can be placed. Moreover, "there 
is little chance of backsliding, for the 
Minister of Communications, having set 
his headquarters at Irkutsk, is constantly 
travelling up and down the line, person- 
ally superintending the strengthening of 
the permanent way and the badly-wanted 
construction of new sidings. The result 
has been that, in spite of heartrending 
difficulties, there has not only been no 
serious breakdown, but the carrying 
capacity of the line has been sensibly in- 
creased. 

Brief mention has been made in pre- 
ceding chapters of the opening of the 
Circum-Baikal extension, by which the 
voyage across the lake is satisfactorily 
avoided. Of this extension, which was 
opened for traffic on September 26th, 
some interesting details are now avail- 
able. The line was actually commenced 
in 1899, but, until the outbreak of the 
war, the progress made was very slow 



TRANSPORT DIFFICULTIES. 



3SI 



owing- to the almost insuperable natural 
obstacles encountered. The railway is 
about 150 miles long, and no fewer than 
thirty-three tunnels had to be cut through 
the mountains with dynamite, the ul- 
timate cost being nearly six millions ster- 
ling. Some idea of the value of the line 
for purposes of reinforcement may be 
gained from the statement that ten trains, 
each of thirty carriages, can be run on 
the extension daily, whereas the ice- 
breaker Baikal, formerly the only link be- 
tween the Cis-Baikal and Trans-Baikal 



convert the railway as far as Lake Baikal 
into a double line, and a first credit of 
ten million roubles had been opened for 
the purpose. 

While on the subject of the transport 
of Russian troops to the Far East a 
glance may be given at the passage up 
from Southern Russia to the Moscow 
terminus of the Siberian line. Here is 
an interesting picture taken from a 




THE TRAXS-5IEER1AN 
RAILWAY UNDER 
CONSTRUCTION. 



lines, making three trips across the lake 
every day, could only carry twenty-five 
carriages each trip. 

But even with this important improve- 
ment the carrying capacity of the 
Siberian Railway falls very far short of 
actual requirements. The real desidera- 
tum is a second line of rails, and it is 
significant of Russia's greatness that the 
tremendous task of meeting this demand 
does not deter her responsible officials 
from making a start at the commence- 
ment of this busy winter. By the third 
week in October it had been decided to 



tten about the middle of 

ecent journey between Ekater- 
inoslaff and Odessa I counted no fewer 
than seven military trains full of troops 
going eastward. They formed part of 
the Odessa Army Corps which has been 
mobilised and is being sent out to the 
front. Each train consisted of twenty 
to thirty cars, each of which contained 
about thirty men or eight horses, kt the 
station of Znamenka there was a par- 
ticularly busy scene, as three trains were 
there simultaneously, and a number of 
soldiers, both infantry and cavalry, were 
scattered about the platforms. Most of 
the men wore dark uniforms, save a few 



352 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



who had jackets of a light greenish-khaki 
colour. They were small in stature, but 
seemed well set up and strong. They 
had very swarthy skins, and were evi- 
dently to a great extent of non-Russian 
extraction — Tartars, Circassians, etc. 
One of the officers, too, a Mahomedan, 
wore a red fez. They appeared to be 
cheerful enough, and some were even 
dancing on the platform wild fantastic 
Oriental dances, interspersed with curious 
shrieks, to the tune of a violin played by 
a musical warrior in one of the cars. 
These antics aroused considerable curios- 
ity and amusement among the ordinary 
passengers and lookers on, who formed 
circles round the performers. 

' ' The cars in which the troops travelled 
were ordinary goods vans taken from all 
the railways of the Russian Empire. A 
good many, by the way, belong to the 
Eastern Chinese Railway, the name of 
which is painted on them in Russian only. 
In each van several planks had been 
placed crossways and lengthways so as 
to form benches for the soldiers, but they 
were so arranged that they could not be 
of much comfort to any one wishing to 
sleep, and the_ men^usually. slept, /or- tried 
to sleep, on the floor. Owing; to the 
fatiguing nature of the journey,, the 
troops are allowed a day's rest after three 
days' travelling. There seemed to be 
very little in the way of kit in the cars, 
but possibly the belongings of the troops 
were in other vans. A number of cars 
had a small iron stove for heating in 
winter. Where cavalry or artillery was 
being transported, the horses were placed 
at each end of the car, with the saddles 
piled up in a pyramid in the intervening 
space, which was also occupied by a few 
soldiers. In each train there were two 
or three second-class cars provided with 
sleeping couches for the officers." 



It was particularly noticed by the 
correspondent who- penned the above 
graphic description that, although a 
number of the inhabitants of the various 
towns along the line assembled at the 
stations to see the troops pass, there 
appeared not to be the slightest enthusi- 
asm, and not a single cheer was heard 
as train after train full of soldiers 
steamed off. This brings us to the con- 
templation of the state of affairs and of 
public feeling in Russia itself as regards 
the war, and more especially with refer- 
ence to the continued calling up of re- 
servists in connection with fresh mobilisa- 
tions. That the later mobilisation orders 
issued have caused serious discon- 
tent, particularly in Southern Russia, 
there is abundant evidence. Here the 
standard of intelligence is, at any rate 
among those engaged in commerce, com- 
paratively high, and even the lower 
classes, have kept themselves fairly well 
informed as to the real progress of the 
war. Nor have officially organised lec- 
tures and other propaganda caused them 
to take a less critical view of the posi- 
tion of Russia in respect to this disas- 
trous conflict, which has already had 
such a grave effect upon trade, and in 
which they have already seen so much 
Russian blood and treasure expended. 
Small^ wonder, then, that the receipt at 
Odessa, for instance, of the order to 
mobilise should be followed by some 
rerharkable scenes, of which the follow- 
ing is an instructive example : — The Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the forces in South 
Russia was haranguing, according to 
custom, a large detachment of soldiers 
assembled for despatch from Odessa by 
military train. The men listened sullenly 
to the speech until the General thought 
fit to remind them that the call to arms 
Was an honour of which they should show 



354 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



their appreciation. Ttiis was too much 
for the patience of men whose sorrow at 
being torn from their homes had been 
aggravated by the refusal of the Gov- 
ernor to allow their wives, and other 
relations and friends, to see them off at 
the station. A murmur ran through the 
ranks, and one of the men shouted, 
" Davolno ! " — " enough." The occur- 
rence of such an incident at such a time 
is striking proof that neither the usual 
patriotism of the Russian public, nor 
their just fear of the iron discipline which 
pervades the military system of the 
country, could repress their dislike of 
the war and their indignation at being 
thus ruthlessly forced to take personal 
part in it. 

Considerable cruelty is inflicted upon 
the lower classes in the matter of the 
horse mobilisation, the calling up of 
privately owned horseflesh for cavalry, . 
artillery, and transport purposes. The 
custom is to commandeer horses freely 
alike from wealthy traders in the towns 
and from poor moujiks, or peasants, on 
their farms, a sum being paid by the 
military authorities which represents, as 
might be expected in Russia, a fraction 
of the real value of the animal taken. 
Also, as might be expected in this hot- 
bed of corrupt practices, the system 
leads to many abuses. A wealthy man 
has little difficulty in evading the requisi- 
tions by temporarily taking into use dur- 
ing the horse mobilisation period a few 
old crocks whose seizure he can regard 
without a pang, his better animals being 
kept discreetly out of the way. The con- 
nivance of the military authorities may 
be required, and is readily obtained for 
a consideration. " The poorer land- 
owners and eternally oppressed moujiks 
have no such means at their disposal for 
evading the law. The better the mou- 



jik's horse the less chance there is of 
its escaping requisition. Moreover, he 
must take what the Government offer 
him for it. He weeps, appeals, offers 
his insignificant baksheesh, and mumbles 
curses by turns as iie stands with hun- 
dreds of others in the market-place 
' concentration ' enclosure. Half his 
land must remain unploughed until he 
can add enough out of his own pocket to 
buy a new horse with the slender dole he 
may get as compensation from the 
authorities. ' ' 

A startling feature of the discontent 
in connection with the mobilisations was 
the broadcast distribution among the re- 
servists themselves of pamphlets prepared 
by the revolutionary party. These pam- 
phlets are described as beautifully printed 
and got-up, their tone being studiously 
moderate, in that no attempt is made to 
encourage outrages or even active resist- 
ance to authority. Passive resistance on 
a wholesale scale to the mobilisation 
orders is counselled, and a very careful 
effort is made to represent the war in 
its true colours. It is pointed out that 
the Russian people never have had, and 
never can have, any interest in Man- 
churian affairs, and that the war has 
been engineered solely in the interests of 
the governing classes. "Even a suc- 
cessful issue could only result in a fresh 
crop of Grand Ducal concessions."' 
Somewhat curiously a point is made of 
the suggestion that Russia's prestige has 
already suffered through her failure to 
keep her promises as to the evacuation 
of Manchuria, a strange position, indeed, 
for the writer of a Russian pamphlet to 
take up. 

Such discontent so skilfully fostered 
could not but produce an important effect 
among not only those liable to be called 
up, but also among those actually sent 



POLITICAL DISCONTENT. 



355 



to the front, and able to see for them- 
selves the difliculties under which the 
Russian Army is prosecuting- this ill- 
starred campaign. On the other hand, 
it must be remembered that the l^ussian 



In spite of disturbances the work of 
reinforcement is carried on steadily, and 
unit after unit goes to the front more or 
less completely equipped for acti\e ser- 
vice, and doubtless containing a fair pro- 




RUSSIAN MOUJIKS. 
{From Fosler Frascy's " The Real Siberia.") 



of the lower classes is, as a rule, either 
a very light-hearted or a very patient in- 
dividual, and the close camaraderie of 
active service is often an effective solvent 
of those political grievances which these 
manifestoes of the revolutionary party 
have sought to produce. 



portion of willing and capable, if not of 
enthusiastic and highly-trained, fighters. 
The strain as yet is hardly felt as regards 
the non-commissioned ranks, but it is 
noticeable that towards the end of August 
it had been found expedient to issue an 
Imperial Army Order by which over 



!=;6 



HISTORY. OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



2,000 cadets were raised to the rank 
of officer. Such a step would hardly be 
taken unless the shortage of officers had 
not already become as embarrassing' to 
mighty Russia as it did to ourselves at 
one period of the South African War. 

Here and there, no doubt, some war- 
like fervour was exhibited on the depar- 
ture of regiments for the front. Such 
may well have been the case when the 
Minsk and Volhynia Regiments were 
assembled at Balachovka station and 
were addressed by the veteran General 
Dragomiroff in the following character- 
istic speech : — 

" My brothers, do not forget each 
other. Remember that by dying your- 
selves to save your comrades you will be 
doing a good deed. Spare your cart- 
ridges, do not waste them. Do not fire 
to no purpose. , Attention ! Once more, 
spare your cartridges, spare them, spare 
them. If you fire well, twenty regiments 
of the enemy will not be able to beat you. 

" You, officers, spare your reserves. 
They are your cartridges. 

" My brothers, I have instructed your 
fathers, and now I speak to you. In at- 
tacking in line do not close up in masses; 
keep your ranks clear of each other. 
Advance boldly. ' Take care, enemy, I 
am marching on you ! ' Officers, take 
care not to give orders to fire at long 
range. It would be foolish and would be 
a useless waste of cartridges. In night 
encounters do not make a clamour. In 
silence all goes well. Let the enemy 
shout, but you rush in with the bayonet. 
Spare your cartridges, spare your re- 
serves. At night dead silence. ' Ura ' 
(hurrah) is a grand Russian word, but to 
shout it at the wrong time would be fool- 
ish. We have had such cases. 

" Give my greetings to the men of 
Podolia and Jitomir. May God grant 



you success with your bayonets. 
Brothers, strike hard ! Remember!" 

Apart from mobilisation, the Russian 
Government, like that of Japan, was very 
busy at this period in procuring fresh 
warlike stores, for a considerable propor- 
tion of which it was necessary to draw 
upon foreign sources. Russia is fortun- 
ate in being able to manufacture most of 
what she requires for military purposes 
at home, but in the matter of guns and 
ammunition the expenditure and losses 
have been so enormous that it is not sur- 
prising that free advantage was taken of 
the enterprising disregard of the laws of 
neutrality displayed by not a few foreign 
firms. A favourite port for the loading 
of such goods appears to have been Ant- 
werp, from which the sailing of a steamer 
for Libau with a full cargo of heavy guns 
and ammunition excited at the time little 
comment, although possibly some awk- 
ward questions on the subject may arise 
hereafter in this and similar cases. 

But Russia had naval as well as mili- 
tary preparations to make, and contin- 
gencies to provide for, at this juncture. 
The despatch of the Baltic Fleet has been 
separately dealt with, but a few words 
may be added here with reference to the 
submarines which may or may not have 
accompanied Admiral Rozhdestvensky's 
squadron on its adventurous voyage. 
There is no doubt that Russia was now 
freely ordering submarines. The order 
placed in America for a number of boats 
of the Protector type has already been' 
mentioned, while in the German Socialist 
papers it was freely averred that several 
submarines were in course of construc- 
tion in the Germania Shipbuilding yards. 
But in connection with the Baltic Fleet 
an incident arose which is rather an en- 
tertaining example of up-to-date enter- 
prise in the contraband supply of war 



^s- ^~ 
















s o 



s 



§ ^ 



?5S 
O :5 f^' 



'•Siis.. 



3S8 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



material to belligerent nations. While 
the Baltic Fleet was preparing- to set out, 
an American steamer arrived at Kron- 
stadt with three submarine boats on 
board, which were promptly offered to 
the Russian naval authorities with a 
choice of alternative terms and condi- 
tions. Either the boats would be sold 
outright for a lump sum, or the vendors 
would undertake to man them with their 
own crews, requiring only one Russian 
officer on board each submarine as super- 
visor, etc. In the latter case, the Ameri- 
cans would require 25 per cent, of the 
registered- value or cost of each Japanese 
vessel sunk to be paid to them. 

The cream of the proposal soon came 
to the top. " You may arrest us, if you 
like," said the Yankee negotiators, " but, 
if you do, we can tell you that your 
Baltic Fleet, with which we are anxious 
to co-operate, will be at a serious dis- 
advantage, because we have sent another 
steamer, with three other submarines of 
the same kind, to the Japanese, who will 
certainly take them ! " 

In addition to submarines the Russian 
Government was careful to order large 
fresh consignments of torpedoes for im- 
mediate use, and to extend as far as 
possible her ship-building programme by 
placing contracts for the construction of 
new cruisers and torpedo-craft in foreign 
yards. Here, of course, no breach of 
neutrality is immediately invoh'ed, since 
delivery in the case of such orders may 
not take place until long after the war 
is over. But it is rather interesting that 
Russia should not have allowed the war- 
like preoccupation of the moment to 
divert her from keeping a steady eye on 
future naval requirements. We may 
have something to say later of her new 
naval programme; for the present it may 
be recorded that quite at the end of Sept- 



ember the French Compagnie des Forges 
et Chantiers de la Mediterranee received 
an order for eleven destroyers of the 
latest pattern, and that further orders 
were expected to be given very shortly 
for four cruisers of the Bayan type. 

But these were by no means the only 
signs that in some Russian official 
quarters the mere despatch of the Second 
Pacific Squadron was not regarded as a 
conclusive bid for the recapture of naval 
supremacy in the Far East. In October 
there began to be heard with growing 
distinctness those suggestive murmurs 
as to the unfairness of bottling up a large 
portion of the Russian Fleet in the Black 
Sea, the echo of which is from time to 
time wafted over Continental Europe. 

There would seem to be some question 
whether this time there was not more 
bluff than seriousness about the Russian 
attitude concerning that long-standing 
grievance. For the Black Sea Fleet was 
now in a very bad state, and there would 
have been the greatest difficulty in putting 
any appreciable portion of it on a war 
footing. The ships' companies had been 
heavily drawn upon, more especially in 
regard to the engine-room staffs, for the 
purpose O'f supplying deficiencies in the 
Baltic Squadron, and there had recently 
been an exhibition of wholesale insub- 
ordination amounting almost to open 
mutiny. But, these drawbacks notwith- 
standing, the old, old question was 
warmly revived, " Ought the passage of 
the Dardanelles any longer to be closed to 
the warships of Russia, and was Great 
Britain justified in maintaining her in- 
conveniently stubborn opposition to Rus- 
sia's national wishes on this point? " 
At one moment it seemed possible that 
the controversy might assume a critical 
shape, and that, following on the compli- 
cations created by the North Sea incident. 



THE DARDANELLES. 



359 



fresh and yet more serious trouble would 
be created by a Russian attempt to force 
the matter to an issue. 

We are not likely for many years to 
come, if then, to know the exact course 
of Anglo-Russian diplo'macy in regard to 
the raising of the Dardanelles question 
in the autumn and early winter of 1904. 
It may be that the Russian Government 
took no direct hand in the matter, and 
contented itself with merely looking on 
while its agents, volunteer and other, 
flew their little Gallons d'essai through the 
windy columns of a certain section of 
the Press of Europe. But it will not be 
surprising if some day we learn that the 
British Government was about this time 
formally approached on the subject of the 
Dardanelles, an intimation being con- 
veyed to it that neither Germany nor 
France would object toi a revision of the 
international treaties on this point. Still 
less astonishing would it be to discover 
that Great Britain, having given definite 
assurances to her ally, Japan, had cate- 
gorically and uncompromisingly declined 
to be a party to any alteration of the 
existing agreement. Be this as it may, 
the discussion even in the Press dropped 
with some suddenness. Russia would 
doubtless have been delighted to steal a 
march upon both Japan and Great Britain 
in this matter, but the absurdity of at- 
tempting to do so with the certainty that 
the Black Sea Fleet, on emerging from 
the Dardanelles, would find the British 
Mediterranean Squadron waiting for it, 
was sufficiently obvious. 

It is now time to turn to a brief survey 
of the condition of affairs in Russia itself 
as regards not merely the mobilisation 
orders, and other measures for the con- 
tinuance of the operations, but also with 
reference to public opinion on the war 
generally, and to observed results upon 



Russian society and trade. The picture 
we shall have to draw will be somewhat 
gloomy, but not without some bright 
features. Of these, by no means the 
least pleasing is the growing Russian 
tendency to admire their enemies. That 
this tendency has travelled beyond the 
oirdinary bounds of respect which one 
combatant generally feels for an adver- 
sary who has quite unexpectedly given 
him a number of bad falls, may be 
gathered from the curiously changed tone 
of the Russian organs of public as dis- 
tinct from official opinion. Here is an 
illuminating quotation from the Russ, one 
of the most popular papers in St. Peters- 
burg : — 

" ' Monkey ' was the most frequent 
expression heard at the beginning of the 
war concerning the Japanese. The ap- 
plication of such a term to a brave enemy 
was both undignified and shabby. Most 
of O'Ur travellers who have not devoted 
their entire attention to the Geishas re- 
ported the Japanese as imitators. That 
seemed to be the opinion at the outbreak 
of the war. But the English knew better, 
and making an ally of the ' monkey ' was 
on their part a master-stroke of diplo- 
macy. All the stories told of the brutal- 
ity of the Japanese have been shown to 
be unfounded. Our soldiers who have 
been prisoners and escaped are unani- 
mous as to the kindness shown them by 
the Japanese. And the same feeling is 
expressed in letters coming from our 
soldiers, prisoners of war. Thousands of 
Japanese who have so heroically sacrified 
their lives in front of Port Arthur have 
more than wiped out the first perfidious 
attack upon our ships. A feeling of 
mutual respect has grown up between 
ourselves and the Japanese with the co'm- 
mon acknowledgment of the great sacri- 
fices which each of us has made. Such 



2,60 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO. JAPANESE WAR. 



setxtiment has grown and become rooted. 
Our opinion of the Japanese has com- 
pletely altered. Probably the opinion of 
oiur enemies is also altered towards us. 
Amid the horrors of war we have learnt 
to understand one another, and it is 
earnestly to be hoped that the awful price 
we 'and the Japanese alike have paid for 
that knowledge will form the basis for 
future peaceful relationship." 

ThSse enlightened sentiments were 
largely fostered, no doubt, by the official 
reports of the singular scrupulousness dis- 
played by the Japanese in regard to per- 
sonal property found on the" bodies of 
Russian officers and soldiers. For 
months past the General Staff at St. 
Petersburg had been receiving through 
the intermediary of the French Embassy 
large numbers of carefully ' fastened 
packets forwarded by the Japanese mili- 
tary authorities, and containing objects 
of value of all kinds, such as jewels, 
'cigar cases, purses, watches, gold 
crosses, and sums of money — sometimes 
even single rouble pieces. Even to the 
most simple-minded Russian the know- 
ledge that" the Japanese were behaving 
in this high-minded fashion could not fail 
to appeal with the greater force since 
Russian officialdom is often callous to 
the verge of brutality in such matters. 

On the other hand, it must be added 
in the interests of historical accuracy that 
some particularly painful discoveries of 
Japanese espionage made in September 
must'have gone some little way towards 
counteracting the pleasant tendency noted 
above. Before the outbreak of the war 
there were a good many Japanese in 
Russia, and among them two who were 
employed in commercial houses in St. 
Petersburg. One had gone so far as to 
join the Greek Catholic Church and had 
married a Russian lady. From docu- 



ments seized at- their residences .it- ap- 
peared that they were both naval officers 
and were acting as spies. Russians 
themselves sometimes go to considerable 
lengths in the matter of espionage, but 
a good deal of bitter and profound indig- 
nation must have been caused by these 
particular exhibitions of cynical disregg^rd 
of religious and domestic scruples. 

For the rest the social effect of the 
war in Russia can as yet be only dimly 
understood. A little later we shall - see 
signs, if not of an upheaval, at any rate 
of a disturbing tendency to make the 
war an opportunity for pressing on the 
Tsar administrative reforms of which the 
better educated Russian has long been 
dreaming, and which it is hardly likely 
that he can be much longer denied with- 
out producing a genuine reyolution. But 
this movement and its sequel hardly, be- 
long to the stage of which more particu- 
larly we are now speaking. Apart from 
the opposition to the' mobilisation orders, 
and a good deal of rather more open, 
murmuring than is usually heard in such 
a poHce-ridden country, there was still 
sufficient interest in the war to render 
the public keenly susceptible to the least 
rumour of success; arid, as long as this 
feeling continues, so long we may be cer- 
tain will revolution hang fire. 

The spirited defence of- Port -Arthur 
heartened some, the despatch of the Bal- 
tic Fleet encouraged- others, and if there 
had come news that Kuropatkin had won, 
or was within easy distance of winning, 
a marked success, the war might have 
become almost popular, so ignorant are 
the masses, and so completely are they 
under the thumb of the bureaucracy, the 
official class, which constitutes at once 
the nobility and the ruling influence in 
the Russian Empire. 

In passing, the last proposition de- 




SOME RUSSIAN CARICATURES OF THE JAPANESE. 

The outbreak of hostilities tvas the occasion of the dissemination in Russia of a flood of caricature, many of the prints 
being of a crude and gross nature, belittling their opponents and anticipating an easy and humiliating conquest. 
Events have proved how greatly public opinion in Russia had been deceived. 



362 



HISTORY OF THE RVSSO -JAPANESE WAR. 



mands a word of explanation. It is not, 
perhaps, sufficiently understood in this 
country that while in Russia there is, of 
course, a hereditary nobility, a hereditary 
title by itself commands no respect. As 
Mr. Geoffrey Drage points out in his 
" Russian Affairs," the man who in 
Russia is ipso iacto noble is the State 
official. Again, inasmuch as the State 
official owes his position indirectly if not 
directly to the favour of his Sovereign, 
it is his business to support the Sovereign 
in everything. An independent attitude 
may be assumed by the Grand Dukes, 
but there are not many of these exalted 
nuisances, and it is as impossible for the 
ordinary hereditary nobility of Russia to 
play the part of the old barons of England 
as it is for a sturdy-minded official to be 
" agin the Government " after the 
fashion permissible where there are 
"parties" and "an Opposition." It 
will readily be understood that under 
such a system it is not easy for the 
aspirations and passions of the lower 
classes to find an outlet, and that Russia 
might wage a frightfully unpopular war 
for many months before the bulk of the 
nation would denounce it, and insist upon 
an end being put to it, as would certainly 
happen in Great Britain and France, and 
probably in Germany also. 

For the present, then, we see most of 
the Russian non-official classes angry and 
discontented with the reports of constant 
failures in the Far East, but still upheld 
to some extent by the prolonged resist- 
ance of Port Arthur, by confidence in 
Kuropatkin, and by vague hopes that the 
Baltic Fleet may gloriously adjust the 
naval balance now so heavily depressed 
in favour of Japan. But there is one 
class which is under no illusions as to 
the present effect of the war, namely, 
the commercial class, which has already 



suffered heavily, and has little chance of 
recovering itself as long as hostilities 
continue. In Moscow, where the com- 
mercial influence is able to assert itself 
more freely than in St. Petersburg, the 
war is regarded in the light of a terrible 
plague, and no effort is made to conceal 
its ravages. The trouble is aggravated 
by its many-sidedness. For while a 
great shopkeeper complains that his sales 
have fallen off by fifty per cent., a large 
manufacturer points to the withdrawal 
from his factories of hundreds of usual 
hands called up as reservists to go to the 
front. A merchant, again, with interests 
over the half of Europe, sees his business 
wrecked by the dislocation of the rail- 
way traffic owing to the constant passage 
of troop trains and the engrossing trans- 
port of military suppHes. Of the effect 
of the war upon Russian trade in detail 
this is not the place to speak. But a 
solitary instance may be given from 
official figures, published as far back as 
August, of the extent to which in one 
district trade has suffered owing to the 
conflict in the Far East. In the Govern- 
ment of Moscow alone 13 estabhshments 
with about 1,300 workmen have ceased 
work altogether; 14 factories with 6,000 
workmen have reduced their output, 
throwing some 1,600 workmen out of 
employment; and 4 factories with 10,000 
workmen are working reduced time. In 
other parts of the country the situation 
is even worse. In Lodz there are said 
to be 40,000 men out of work, and in 
Warsaw 30,000. 

As yet there have been no very definite 
signs of war taxation beyond a sort of 
" benevolence " raised for the purposes 
of the Red Cross Society, a toll which, 
insignificant as it was, created consider- 
able dissatisfaction. The extraordinary 
expenses of the war have hitherto ap- 



J?OSSIA'S FINANCIAL CONDITION. 



363 



parenth' been met chiefly by sweeping- 
reductions of the expenditure previously 
assigned to public works, the Tsar him- 
self having-, it is said, made some ex- 
tremely large contributions towards naval 
requirements out of his private purse. 

But it became quite clear that foreign 
loans to carry on the war would be in- 
evitable ; and negotiations on the subject 
were opened ; but it is whispered that the 
German bankers, evidently acting under 
official inspiration, have been strangely 
careful to include in their terms certain 
politico-commercial conditions connected 
with freedom for German enterprises, 
particularly in Turkish territory. Such 
conditions are distinctly impressing to 
Russia, but it remains to be seen whether 
the absolute necessity of meeting in some 
way or another the tremendous drain 
upon the national resources occasioned 
by the war disbursements will not pro- 
duce a feeling of resignation on this 
subject, even in haughty Russia. 

In connection with the provision of 
funds must be noticed the persistent 
rumours that the Russian Treasury might 
even find it necessary to draw upon 
the property of the Russian Church, 
which, it is reported, received a sug- 
gestion to the effect that it should 
voluntarily offer some of its valuables to 
the State. It goes without saying that 
the bare prospect of such a proceeding 
is viewed with widespread dismay. Not 
only is the bulk of the Church treasure 



in such a form — priceless mosaic work, 
ikons, and sacred paintings — that it could 
never be replaced, but the gifts which the 
Church has received have come from the 
middle classes and the peasantry as much 
as from the Tsars and the nobility, and to 
throw them down the sink of Far Eastern 
war expenditure would be a blow severely 
felt and strongly resented in the most 
remote corners of the Empire. 

This rapid survey of Russia's winter 
outlook must now be closed. The con- 
dition of affairs revealed is not a pleasant 
one, but, as has been urged, it is not by 
any means an altogether gloomy one, 
and, even if it were, the time has not 
come yet for the onlooker to prophesy too 
freely as to Russia's early humiliation, 
or the conclusion by her of an inglorious 
peace. Her resources, though strained, 
are still enormous ; her supply of fighters, 
practically speaking, inexhaustible. She 
has not yet lost her greatest stronghold 
in the Far East, she has a great and 
steadily increasing army in the field, and 
she has despatched a second, and, in 
point of size and armament, formidable 
fleet. She is busy with continued pre- 
parations, her ruler is tenaciously cling- 
ing to the idea of ultimate success, and 
her foreign credit is still considerable. 
Even internally her condition is hardly 
such as to inspire real anxiety in a 
Government so inured to popular discon- 
tent, so ready with weapons of repres- 
sion, as that of twentieth century Russia. 



364 



CHAPTER LXXIII. 

VIADIVOSTOK — JAPANESE RAID IN KAMCHATKA — THE DAMAGED SQUADRON — INTERRUPTED 
COMMUNICATIONS — IMPROVED DEFENCES — WINTER PROSPECTS — THE BALTIC FLEET — 
AN ANXIOUS OUTLOOK. 



THE; position of Vladivostok during- 
the first eight or ten months of 
the war certainly falsified a .very large 
■ number of intelligent and even, to some 
extent, inspired predictions. There must 
have been few who, at the commence- 
ment of the war, did not anticipate that 
Vladivostok would be " Ladysmithed," 
like Port Arthur, at a very early stage 
in the operations. 

Almost equally certain at one time, 
as we have sought earlier to show, 
seemed the prospect of a Russian irrup- 
tion on a large scale from Vladivos- 
tok into Korea.! Neither of these things 
happened, and in their place events, 
in the shape of performances on the part 
of the Vladivostok Squadron, occurred 
which could not easily have been fore- 
seen, and which came as an unpleasant 
shock eyen to the watchful and look- 
ahead Japanese. 

With the ': sinking of the Rurik and 
the terrible battering of the Gromohoi 
and Rossia^ on August 14th, as de- 
scribed in Chapter L. , the career of 
the Vladivostok Squadron came tempor- 
arily to a sudden close, and, no other 
striking instance of naval or military 
activity having been recorded at the port 
during September and October, it might 
be imagined that the " Sovereign City of 
the Far East" was likely to settle down 
into a sort of Sleepy Hollow as -far as 
the war was concerned. 



But there was little real chance of thisj 
and Vladivostok is still so full of interest- 
ing possibilities that it must not be lost 
sight of by the careful student of the 
campaign. There is evidence, moreover, 
that in the autumn of 1904 not only was 
there a good deal being done at Vladivos- 
tok by the Russians with an eye to future 
attempts upon it, but that the Japanese 
also were by no means inclined to let this 
corner of the theatre of war fade from 
their memory. 

Before proceeding further in this 
direction the opportunity may be taken 
to make passing allusion to. the sequel 
of some of the Vladivostok Squadron's 
achievements in the way of captured ships 
sailing under neutral flags. There is 
no necessity to. go at all closely into the 
matter here, since it is but a side issue of 
the war. But it may be recorded that, 
in one or two important cases, the Appeal 
Court in ■ St. Petersburg reversed the 
decision of the Vladivostok Prize Court 
with reference to captured ships and 
cargoes, and some strong hints on the 
subject were doubtless conveyed to the 
Vladivostok naval authorities. At any 
rate, there was a notable cessation in 
the former frequent announcement of 
British vessels, either sunk offhand, or 
haled off to Vladivostok on the charge of 
carrying contraband of war, a cessation 
which cannot be attributed wholly to the 
temporary disablement of the Gromoboi 



366 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



and Rossia. For there were several de- 
stroyers still at Vladivostok, and these, 
we rriay be sure, would have cheerfully 
continued the work of interfering with 
British commerce had it been possible to 
do so with comparative impunity. 

There is another matter to which allu- 
sion may conveniently be made here, as, 
although it does not concern Vladivos- 
tok, it has to do with that north-eastern 
section of the theatre of war of which 
Vladivostok is the most important 
station. We have already included in 
the same section the island of Sakhalin 
(see page 56 of the present volume), 
which has since witnessed (Chapter LII.) 
the end of the Novik, and now we must, 
for a brief space, jump across the Sea of 
Okhotsk, in order to tell the story of a 
queer and rather obscure performance in 
that dreary and sparsely populated penin- 
sula of Eastern Siberia known as Kam- 
chatka. This region, of which the chief 
settlement is Petropavlosk, where there 
is a Russian fort overlooking a splendid 
harbour, and a resident population of a 
few hundreds only, is the object of numer- 
ous fishing and fur-hunting expeditions, 
and from the end of May various Jap- 
anese schooners had from time to time 
appeared as usual in the Kamchatkan 
estuaries. But towards the middle of 
June a vessel turned up, the crew of 
which proceeded to indulge in " fishing 
operations " of a very questionable sort. 

It would appear that the little north- 
ern Japanese colony of Shimushu rejoiced 
in an enterprising headman, styled Cap- 
tain Bunji, who was so inflamed by the 
news that war had broken out between 
his mother-country and Russia, that he 
determined to take a hand. Accordingly, 
at the end of the first week in June he 
set out with a number of others on what 
purported to be a fishing expedition in a 



sailing ship of 100 tons called the Toba 
Maru. The exploits of this expedition 
are variously described, but there is rea- 
son to believe that it landed near Javino 
on the west coast of Kamchatka, and pro- 
ceeded to make itself a serious nuisance. 
According to the Russians, Captain 
Bunji 's gentle fisherfolk plundered the 
adjacent villages, expelled the inhabit- 
ants, and issued proclamations calling 
upon the people to recognise Japanese 
sovereignty. One of these proclamations 
pasted on the chapel at Javino, on the 
roof of which the Japanese flag was 
hoisted, is said to have run as follows : — 
" This territory henceforth belongs to 
Japan ; anyone not recognising this shall 
be killed ! " 

Captain Bunji's career as a patriotic 
filibuster was, however, destined to be 
a short one. News came to Petropav- 
losk of these happenings, and the com- 
mander of the fort took prompt and 
effective measures. There happened to 
be a sailing vessel in the harbour, and on 
this a hundred Russian militia were sent 
round tO' the west coast under Lieutenant 
Shab of the Reserve, while another de- 
tachment of 100 men under a non-com- 
missioned officer marched overland from 
a place called Bolsheretsk. The two 
forces joined hands near Javino, and, 
with the help of some of the villagers, 
proceeded to lay a trap for Captain 
Bunji. The latter, thinking he had only 
the villagers to deal with, consented to a 
conference, was surrounded by the Rus- 
sian soldiers, and taken prisoner, seven- 
teen of his men being killed. The Toba 
Maru slipped her cable and disappeared, 
whereupon the Russians proceeded to 
take vengeance upon several other Jap- 
anese vessels, said to be innocent fishing 
craft, which they burnt, killing a number 
of the men on hoard. The latter proceed- 



THE VLADIVOSTOK SQUADRON. 



367 



ingf was strongly criticised at Tokio, and 
may have been indefensible. But, if 
Captain Bunji's operations were as re- 
ported by the Russians, and as more oi 
less admitted by the Japanese, it is nol 
to be wondered at that Lieutenant Shab's 
soldiers did not discriminate at all care- 
fully between the fighting adventurers 
and their fellow trespassers on what, after 
all, is unquestioned Russian territory. 

The whole incident is, of course, trivial, 
but it has an interest as showing how 
comprehensive are the tentacles of that 
grim cuttlefish War; and it is, moreover, 
rather a quaint illustration of the fili- 
bustering spirit as applied to a tiny com- 
munity with which one would have 
thought the idea of self-preservation 
would have weighed more seriously than 
that of annexing a neighbouring penin- 
sula. 

Reverting to Vladivostok we find that 
no time was lost in setting to work on the 
repairs of the Gromohoi and Rossia, which, 
as we have seen, were very badly knocked 
about in the fight with Kamimura's 
squadron on August 14th. Meanwhile, 
the loss of the Rurik had been partially 
compensated in the minds of the Rus- 
sians by the floating of the stranded 
Bogatyr, and by the end of August Ad- 
miral Skrydloff is said to have declared, 
somewhat prematurely it would seem, 
that the repairs to all three ships would 
be completed in ten days' time, and that 
they would then proceed to Japanese 
waters. A month later there was a re- 
port that the Gromoboi and Rossia had 
actually sailed in the direction of Gen- 
san, but even at the St. Petersburg Min- 
istry of Marine no credence was attached 
to this flattering tale. According to 
trustworthy intelligence received at 
Tokio in November, the Gromohoi' s re- 
pairs were actually completed, and in 



due course she went out on a trial trip. 
But ill-luck pursued the big cruiser. She 
ran on a rock, was seriously injured, 
and was barely floated off with the assist- 
ance of a number of Hghters. A cor- 
respondent who left Vladivostok on 
November 20th, and arrived a few days 
later at Nagasaki, reported that the 
Gromohoi., presumably in this adventure, 
had twenty-five frames broken, and that 
she was so badly strained that her repairs 
would take some months. The cruiser 
Bogatyr he mentioned as not in dock, but 
unserviceable and supported forward by 
pontoons. The condition of the Rossia 
had previously been reported as hopeless. 
It would seem, then, that, at any rate for 
the rest of the year, the larger ships of 
the Vladivostok Squadron could hardly 
be described as a " fleet in being." 

This notwithstanding, there is still 
naval activity of a sort to be observed in 
the "Golden Horn." On September 
23rd a despatch was received at St. 
Petersburg to the effect that two Rus- 
sian destroyers had just returned to 
Vladivostok, having captured a Japanese 
transport and a sailing vessel. More 
interesting is the later announcement that 
several submarines had been despatched 
by train from St. Petersburg to Vladi- 
vostok, and had arrived safely. By the 
middle of November they had completed 
their trials satisfactorily, and, as they 
bid fair to be the first submarines ever 
employed in actual warfare, their appear- 
ance on the scene of actual hostilities is 
of peculiar interest. 

The tenacious belief of the Russians in 
the immortality of their warships seems 
to be demonstrated by the steps taken 
from Vladivostok to do all that is pos- 
sible towards salving the unfortunate 
Novik. As explained in Chapter LII., 
the ship lay off Korsakovsk, in Sakhalin 



368 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



Island, her hull entirely submerged with 
the exception of a small portion of the 
bows. The Japanese evidently regarded 
her as a complete wreck, and the Rus- 
sians themselves may have despaired of 
ever again floating the gallant little ship. 
But this did not prevent them from send- 
ing divers from Vladivostok to ascertain 
accurately the condition of the vessel, and 



Russians are so extraordinarily skilful — 
and experienced — in the art of raising 
sunk warships, that one begins to wonder 
whether the ship herself may not one day 
be restored to the Navy of which she was 
once such a brilliant ornament. 

Another Russian peculiarity is reflected 
in Vladivostok annals about this date. 
At times official Russia displays towards 




r^om a Isaiiic Dialling. 

ROYAL SOLICITUDE FOR THE SUFFERING. 

Her Majesty the Empress presiding at a meeting of the Council of the Ladies' Branch of the Red Cross Society of Japan. 

Making bandages for the wounded. 



to remove her guns and shell ammunition. 
We learn that towards the end of Septem- 
ber the diving apparatus was damaged, 
and it would have been necessary to sus- 
pend operations had not one of the divers 
volunteered to make repeated descents 
without a diving dress, receiving the 
Order of St. George for his devoted con- 
duct. Manv, if not all, the Novik's guns 
seem to have been recovered, and the 



the war in the Far East a sort of mental 
detachment which is not without a certain 
impressiveness, although it may create 
here and there a smile. At the end of 
August, for instance, it was solemnly an- 
nounced at St. Petersburg that Vladivos- 
tok had again been constituted a free 
port, and there was much speculation as 
to whether this decision would only hold 
good as long as the war lasted, or 





SONGS ON THE WAY TO THE BATTLEFIELD; A CO.NLMON 
INCIDENT ON THE TRANS-SIBERIAN RAILWAY. 



370 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



whether on the conclusion of hostilities 
the Customs system would still be held 
in abeyance, and Vladivostok be given a 
chance of regaining its former prosperity. 
A Government financial expert had, it is 
said, been recently despatched to the 
town to confer with the local departments 
on this momentous question, and one 
would suppose from the references made 
to the subject that the matter of customs 
dues was really that in which Vladivostok 
and those connected with it were at the 
moment most profoundly interested. 

This discussion took place less than 
a fortnight after the Vladivostok Squad- 
ron had been knocked almost to pieces by 
Admiral Kamimura's guns, and the really 
serious point at issue seemed to be, not 
whether Vladivostok would continue to 
be in one sense a free port, but whether in 
a short time its freedom in another sense 
would become extremely problematical. 
Never, perhaps, was Russia's calm con- 
fidence in her ultimate success more 
curiously, some might say more fatu- 
ously, displayed than in her speculations 
as to Vladivostok's commercial future at 
a time when there was a fair prospect 
of its being subjected, like Port Arthur, 
to a most rigorous siege; at a time, too, 
when nowhere in the whole field of opera- 
tions had Russia shown any signs what- 
ever of making headway against her 
active and vigorous enemy. 

It is possible that this strange indif- 
ference to the realities of the situation may 
have been partially due to the singular 
isolation of Vladivostok as compared with 
Port Arthur — in spite of its hostile cordon 
■ — and Liao-yang. It is not quite easy to 
understand the reason for this, since the 
railway communication with Harbin is 
sufficiently direct, and there should have 
been little difficulty in maintaining it. 
But there seem to have been many inter- 



ruptions, and on September 2nd it was 
stated at St. Petersburg that the mail had 
arrived on that day at Vladivostok after 
a break of ten days ! It may be sur- 
mised that such gaps were due to a 
variety of causes. There were probably 
still a good many Japanese disguised as 
Chinese coolies in the Amur District, and 
these we may be sure were always on the 
look-out to blow up a bridge, or other- 
wise wreck the line at inconvenient 
points. It may also be taken for granted 
that most of the rolling stock formerly 
available for the Harbin-Vladivostok por- 
tion of the line had been absorbed into 
other sections for troop-carrying and 
transport purposes. None the less, 
having regard to the continuity of com- 
munication elsewhere, this isolation of 
Vladivostok must be regarded as some- 
what singular, and doubtless it con- 
tributed all along to the somewhat 
" feckless " optimism apparently in- 
dulged in by many of its inhabitants, as 
well as in the Russian capital, which was 
seldom well informed as to the real state 
of Vladivostok affairs. 

It is only fair to the military authorities 
of Vladivostok to observe that they at 
least were under no illusions as to their 
position, and took very active and com- 
prehensive measures towards putting the 
place into an improved state of defence. 
At the close of Chapter L. mention was 
made of a visit made by Admiral Alexeieff 
to Vladivostok, and of the probability 
that the Viceroy was already looking to 
the northern stronghold to take the place 
of Port Arthur. A Httle later Alexeiefl 
addressed a flattering Order of the Day 
to the Vladivostok squadron, stating thai 
the works undertaken since the com- 
mencement of the war for strengthening 
the defences of the fortress have been suc- 
cessfully carried out. 



VLADIVOSTOK FORTIFICA TIONS. 



37t 



" These works," the order continues, 
■" have been pushed on with indefatigable 
energ-y and zeal by all members of the 
g'arrison. If the fact that the greater 
part of the work was carried on under 
bad climatic conditions is taken into con- 
sideration, the success which has attended 
it testifies to their absolute devotion and 
self-sacrifice. I have found the garrison 
of the fortress to be in a perfect state of 
efficiency. I consider it an agreeable 
duty to express my deep gratitude to 
General Linievitch, commanding the Mili- 
tary District of the Amur, and to tender 
my sincere thanks to the commandant of 
the fortress of Vladivostok, as well as to 
all the officers, non-commissioned officers, 
and men of the land and sea forces com- 
posing the garrison who have taken part 
in the construction of the works intended 
to strengthen the defences of the 
fortress." 

Independent confirmation of this 
complacent assurance was forthcoming 
through the special correspondent of one 
of the Paris papers who had a friend in 
Vladivostok at this time. This friend, a 
Major Eletz, had personally inspected the 
defences, and had found the town sur- 
rounded by an unbroken line of fortifica- 
tions. The wood had been cut on the 
hills, and excellent roads connect the 
various forts. " You may telegraph to 
Paris," said Major Eletz, " that the Jap- 
anese may co'me if they like. They will 
find us superbly defended. Vladivostok 
is another Port Arthur. ' ' 

Doubtless there was some authority for 
the last statement, but it is difficult to 
see how even Russian military engineers, 
among whom are to be found some of 
the most skilful professors living of the 
art of permanent fortification, could in a 
few months have transformed the rather 
second-rate defences of Vladivostok into 



such a marvel of strength as Port Arthur. 
Still it must be remembered that General 
Linievitch had had at his disposal a good 
many thousands of men with nothing to 
do in the way of fighting, and it is aston- 
ishing what massive and powerful works 
can be constructed in a short space of 
time when there are plenty of workers 
available, even if there be little else be- 
sides earth and timber in the way of 
materials. 

Apart from the fortifications, which 
began many miles out of the town, and, 
as at Port Arthur, grew stronger as the 
city is approached, the harbour being 
heavily mined for a distance of seven 
miles, four miles with contact and three 
with electric mines. The location, how- 
ever, of these must have been rather un- 
certain, for it 'is said that a Russian 
torpedo-boat was sunk and a German 
steamer damaged by them. 

About the beginning of October the 
presence of Japanese cruisers in the neigh- 
bourhood of Vladivostok was reported 
by several correspondents, and it is evi- 
dent that the inhabitants were in expecta- 
tion of an- attack, which, however, was 
not delivered. Indeed, knowing, as they 
niust have done, of the strenuous efforts 
which had been made to improve the de- 
fences of the places, the Japanese, pre- 
occupied, moreover, by the siege of Port 
Arthur, would have been foolish indeed to 
risk their ships against the new forts and 
mines. Doubtless their visit was merely 
for purposes of reconnaissance, or in the 
hope of intercepting some of the foreign 
vessels which were known to be running 
contraband cargoes into the Golden 
Horn. 

The " runners," however, appear to 
have had little difficulty in eluding the 
Japanese warships. Thus, a German 
steamer which left Tsing-tau (Kiao-chau) 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



in the second week of Sep- 
tember with a general cargo 
for Vladivostok, returned 





DOWN THE AMUR IN TIMES OF PEACE.' 

on October 7th, having casilv escaped 
observation. She reported that a number 
of large ships had recently arrived at 
Madivostok bringing stores of coal and 
ammunition. Captain Hahersen of the 
Tungiis, which left Vladivostol-; on 
November ist, and reached Chi-fu six 
days later, also commented on the fre- 
quent arrival of ships laden with food, 
ammunition, guns, and all sorts of mili- 
tary supplies. Five vessels were in port 
unloading carg^o -when the Titngus left. 
A huge supply of coal from the neigh- 
bouring mines had, he said, been stored. 
By this time, too, communication witli 
Harbin had Ijcen completely restored, 

* We are indebted to Mr, Foster Fraser for 
permission to include tl)e above illustrations and 
those on the opposite page, from his booli entitled 
" The l^eal Siberia." 



PRISON BARGE ON THE AMUR. 

and mail trains were arriving 
and departing- daily. 

A supplementary word or two 
may here be given to General 
Linievitch, who for the first 
eight or nine months of the war 
was Commander of the IMilitary 
District of the .Amur, and of 
whose previous service some 
details were given in the First 
Volume of this work (Chapter 
X.). General Linievitch at the 
beginning of the winter was 
appointed, as we saw in the 
preceding" chapter, to the command of the 
l^irst Army in Manchuria, under Kuropat- 
kin as Generalissimo ; but it was to be 
doubted whether in his new capacity he 
would do any better work for his country 
than he had done at Vladivostok, for he 
had more Court influence than is com- 
monly supposed, and it was thought that 
Alexeieff, then at St. Petersburg, would 
scel< to play him off against Kuropatkin. 
Genera! Linievitch, by the way, is 
not of Russian blood, but comes of 
a well-known Polish Catholic family, 
which at one time had large estates in 
the Russian provinces of Volhynia and 
Tchernigoff. The family has fought well 
for Russia, the father of the present 
General ha\ing served with distinction in 
the army. General Linievitch himself, 
whose portrait appears on page 120 of 



A DISCREDITED ADMIRAL. 



Til 



the First Volume, is known to the 
Chinese by the expressive nickname, 
" The Manchurian WoU'. " 

Vladivostok was also about to lose 
Admiral Skrj'dloff, who was being' re- 
called to St. Petersburg- for work in con- 
nection with the despatch of naval rein- 
forcements to the Far East. Certainly 
there was now more scope for his abilities 
in the capital than at \'ladivostok, but it 
must be admitted that Admiral Skrydloff 
was beginning' to be regarded with very 
mixed feelings by his cornpatriots at 
home, many of whom considered that 
he had failed miserably to realise the 
expectations raised by his appointment 




isolation of the latter before he had time to 
reach, by very easy stages, the Far East, 
rendered it impossible for him to exercise 
any very acti\e jurisdiction over the Port 
Arthur Fleet, but it was felt that, apart 
from the fiasco of August loth, Skrydloff 
was much to blame for the very inglori- 
ous, and ultimately disastrous, career of 
the Vladivostok Squadron. He had, no 
doubt, many obstacles to contend with, 
but, at any rate, he had at one time a 
certain amount of naval force at his dis- 
posal, and it is hardly to the credit of 
one who professed so much that he per- 
sonally should have stuck like a limpet 
to \'ladivostok, without any better result 
in the way of plans and 
orders to his subordinates 
than the sinking of the 
Rnrik, the disablement or 
the Rossia and Gro?7ioboi, 
and the raising of some 
very serious complications 
between his country and 
Great Britain. 

We may leave Vladivos- 
tok for the present to her 
own resources as far as 



THE WOODED BANKS OF THE AMUR. 

to succeed the gallant Makar- 
off. It will be recalled that in 
taking up his post he wasboth 
leisurely in his movements 
and somewhat sanguine in 
his anticipations of what lie 
proposed to do by careful 
conservation of his ships and 
a well-ordered distribution 
of his time between Vladivos- 
tok and Port Arthur. The 




COSSACK CAMP ON THE AMUR. 



374 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



the immediate winter prospect was con- 
cerned. Her defences liad been con- 
siderably strengthened ; the fortress had, 
it would seem, a strong- and capable 
Commandant in the person of General 
Vorog-netz, and there was every prospect 
that, if the Japanese attacked it in the 
same fashion as that which they were 
compelled to adopt in the case of Port 
Arthur, they would find the process a 
laborious and costly one. But it is in- 
structive to remember that, whatever 
happened, the strategical situation re- 
mained the same. The really vital 
question was whether, on the capture of 
Port Arthur, the Japanese would not 
forthwith concentrate their attention 
upon an attempt to get first to Mukden 
and then to Harbin. A Japanese occu- 
pation of the latter, would render the 
position of Vladivostok very precarious, 
and, strategically speaking, its land 
fortifications would not be of much more 
value than if they had been built of 
cards. For Vladivostok, unlike Port 
Arthur, had no detaining value. Nor 
could it any longer be used as a military 
base. The idea of a Russian invasion 
of Korea from Madivosfok had been 
clearly abandoned as hopeless. More- 
over, most of the Vladivostok troops, 
supplementary to the garrison of the for- 
tress, were being requisitioned for the 
formation of the Second and Third 
Russian Armies round Mykden. 

Vladivostok's only hope, then, whether 
of offering an effective passive resistance 
or of developing a capacity for active 
offence, lay upon the sea, and here again 
its prospects were not rosy. There was 
little chance that the Gromoboi, Kossia, 
and Bogaiyr would ever again become 
such a terror on the high seas as the 
Vladivostok squadron of a few months 
back had contrived for a short time to 



render itself. But there was still a hope- 
that the whole or part of the reinforcing 
squadron under Admiral Rozhdestvensky 
might reach Vladivostok in safety, and 
thus pave the way for a future naval 
campaign. Unfortunately, as we shall 
see in a future chapter, this chance was- 
almost immediately to be minimised 
by the destruction of the Russian Fleet 
at Port Arthur, and the consequent 
liberation of Admiral Togo's ships, 
which were thus enabled to take their 
choice of blockading Vladivostok or of 
sallying forth to meet Admiral Rozhdest' 
vensky's squadron. 

The prospects of Vladivostok were 
thus complicated by at least three 
serious risks. First, there was the 
risk — a not very probable one — of im- 
mediate attack. In any case the Jap- 
anese were not likely to do anything in 
this direction until Port Arthur fell, and 
even then the fact that preparations must 
be made to meet Admiral Rozhdestvensky 
had to be taken into consideration, as well 
as the circumstance that the entrance to 
the Golden Horn would soon be only 
practicable by means of ice-breakers. 
Nor would troops be readily available for 
an attack by land, since the whole of the 
forces released from the investment of 
Port Arthur, and many more, were being 
required to cope with the steadily grow- 
ing reinforcement of Kuropatkin's great 
army on the Sha-ho. 

Next, there was the risk that the Jap- 
anese might get to Harbin or drive a 
wedge between Harbin and Vladivostok 
which, in conjunction with a naval 
blockade, might render the eventual re- 
duction of the fortress a mere matter of 
time and supplies. 

Finally, there was a risk that a portion' 
of the " Second Pacific Squadron of the 
Russian Navy " might succeed in making- 



A DOUBTFUL PROSPECT. 



375 



Vladivostok, a portion not large enoui^h 
to be of much practical use, but suffici- 
ently large to make it an object with 
Japan to lay siege to Madivostok on the 
same deliberate lines as those followed 
at Port Arthur. 

It W'as probably felt bv many, even at 
Vladivostok itself and at St. Petersburg, 
that these risks were sufficiently grave to 
cause some anxiety. But Russian op- 



timism, especially of the oflicial sort, is a 
plant of hardy growth, and there was a 
general tendency to attach more and more 
importance to Madivostok, regardless of 
the lesson taught by the approaching fall 
of Port Arthur, between which and Vladi- 
vostok, \\hether as a military stronghold 
or a naval liase, there never has been, nor 
can be, any sort of comparison favourable 
to the latter. 




yltoio : C. Cozens, Soitthsea. 



THE JAPANESE BATTLESHIP JIS.IHI. 



> 




Photo : Urban, Ltd. 



CHAPTER LXXIV. 



ON THE SHA-HO— THE TAPANESE AND YEN-TAI— MUKDEN FORTIFIED— CAPTURE OF 
WAI-TAU-SHAN — CORDIAL INTERCOURSE — KING's BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION — DE- 
SULTORY FIGHTING— ATTACK ON RUSSIAN LEFT— WINTER— THE THREE RUSSIAN 
ARMIES. 



IN Chapter LXVI. we left the main 
Russian and Japanese armies con- 
fronting- each other to the south of Muk- 
den, the Sha-ho serving- to some extent, 
though not completely, as a dividing line. 
As pointed out on page 260, the Japanese 
on their extreme left, that is, to the west 
of the railway, held several important 
positions on the right bank of the river; 
while, on the other hand, a little to the 
east of the railway the Russians retained 
a small enclave, about three miles long, of 
the left bank. We have hitherto fol- 
lowed German accounts in placing the 
famous One-Tree Hill within this en- 
clave, but later references in Kuropat- 
kin's despatches render the location a 
little doubtful. It is, however, certain 
that the Russians held at least one emin- 
ence south of the river as a post of ob- 
servation, namely, A\'ai-tau-shan or 
Outer Head Hill, which, like the position 
so brilliantly forced by Colonel (now 
Major-general) Putiloff, was soon to be 
the scene of a very brisk encounter. 



After the incidental fighting of 
October 1 6th- 1 8th, which formed the im- 
mediate sequel to the real battle of the 
Sha-ho, both armies remained for a 
couple of days in a condition of almost 
complete inactivity, largely due to sheer 
exhaustion on both sides. The hostile 
lines were on an average less than half 
a mile apart, and in some places a still 
smaller interval separated the trenches. 
There was occasional firing, but to very 
little purpose, the Japanese repeatedly 
tricking the Russians by displaying their 
caps on the points of their bayonets, in 
order to draw the enemy's fire. The 
Russian artillery was also moderately 
active, having, it would seem, the ad- 
vantage of the Japanese in the matter of 
commanding positions. 

Both armies had now for some little 
time to come a good deal to pre-occupy 
them besides the actual business of fight- 
ing. The Japanese had advanced their 
position considerably, and, while the 
bank of a river can often be held to ad- 



JAPANESE POSITION. 



377 



Vantage under such conditions as were 
here present, there were, in this case, 
circumstances which made it necessary 
to observe the greatest caution and vigil- 
ance. The fact that a considerable Jap- 
anese force was already across the river, 
in extremely close and continuous touch 
with the Russian right, was in itself a 
source of anxiety; and it is not surprising 
that, within a few days of the conclu- 
sion of the big Sha-ho battle, the Jap- 
anese should have been busily erecting 
earthworks, evidently of some strength, 
round the village of Li-mun-tun, the oc- 
cupation of which was described on page 
259. Still more serious was the work to 
be done in rear of the fighting line, and 
very seriously do the Japanese seem to 
have taken it in hand. Not only was the 
fortification of Liao-yang steadily carried 



forward, but a brisk effort was made to 
work the Yen-tai coal-mines, from which 
sufficient coal was soon obtained for all 
miUtary purposes. The gauge of the 
railway, also, was now being changed as 
far as Yen-tai, and quantities of supplies 
and ammunition were being brought up on 
the altered line to within a few miles of 
the Japanese headquarters. 

In passing, it may be said that in the 
whole history of warfare there is scarcely 
a more striking instance than this of the 
rapid and complete adoption to a field 
army's requirements of advantages 
wrested from an enemy by sheer fight- 
ing. The process was the more remark- 
able in that the Japanese position could 
hardly be termed absolutely secure. The 
enerhy had been badly foiled, it is true, 
in his last attempt to sweep back the 






"'"'SiilA 




THE ENORMOUSLY STRONG PALISADE ERECTED BY THE RUSSIANS AT LIAO - YANG WHICH THE 
JAPANESE HACKED DOWN AT GREAT LOSS. 



j/' 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR 



slowly advancing tide of Japanese ad- 
vance towards Mukden, but he was being 
strongly reinforced, and was clearly still 
full of fight. Liao-yang was a useful 
point on which to fall back if necessary, 
but hardly one on which complete reli- 
ance could be placed if the Russians once 
succeeded in assuming an effectual 
offensive. That, in the face of these 
large and impressive facts, the Japanese 
should have acted as they did, is a singu- 
lar proof of combined self-confidence and 
business-like anxiety to make the most 
of successes already won. It shows, too,; 
to what a curious extent the mere 
capacity of first-class troops to hold what 
they have won may be presumed on, even 
in the intermediate stages of a campaign, 
when as yet no decisive action has been 
fought, and there has not been time to 
consolidate a position by elaborate de- 
fences, or by taking advantage of some 
tremendous natural obstacle. To work 
a captured coal-mine as well as a cap- 
tured railway almost in the presence of 
an unbeaten enemy requires, no doubt, 
a good deal of nerve. But self- 
possession of this kind can be made to 
pay in war as in most other pursuits, and 
hereafter we may often see generals in 
the field profiting directly by the example 
set them by the Japanese at Yen-tai. 

While the Japanese were thus making 
excellent use of what had been but a few 
weeks before Russian property, the Rus- 
sians were finding the difficulties of their 
position sensibly increased by the ap- 
pi oach of winter. In particular the dearth 
of fuel began to make itself felt severely, 
while the number of wounded from 
the Sha-ho battle must have rendered 
even Mukden a most dreary place of 
residence. But, in spite of recent dis- 
couragements, the spirit of the troops 
seems to have been fairly well main-; 



tained, and the utmost confidence was 
evidently felt in the capacity of Mukden 
itself to resist any sudden attack. Cer- 
tainly no pains had been spared to render 
the place almost, if not quite, as strong 
as Liao-yang. Some interesting details 
of the fortifications were given about this 
time in a private letter from the Director 
of the Military Hospital at Mukden, who 
described the line of works as extending 
for nine miles, with several forts and re- 
doubts to each mile. The redoubts were 
masked in such a manner that they could 
not be recognised even at a distance of 
loo paces. Before every work had been 
dug deep, covered-up ditches, with stakes 
at the bottom, and there were three lines 
of these ditches. In front of the ditches 
there were barbed wire entanglements, 
and in front of these again mines were 
laid. Finally, there was a line of felled 
trees, with fhe crowns turned towards the 
enemy and connected with barbed wire. 
This whole space was exposed to gun- 
fire from three sides. 

The Russian extreme right appears to 
have been bent back so as to rest on the 
Lower Hun-ho; but the actual contact 
with the enemy began to the westward in 
the neighbourhood of Lin-shi-pu (see map 
on page 253). The line then followed the 
river — with a break a little to the east of 
Sha-ho-pu, where the Wai-tau-shan post 
lay south of the river as noted above — ■ 
and terminated in the hills to the north- 
west of the Tumen Pass. On the Rus- 
sian left some daring reconnaissances 
continued to be made after the fighting 
on October i6tli-i8th, and on October 
2oth some 200 Russian cavalry were re- 
ported by Marshal Oyama to have actu- 
ally crossed not only the Sha-ho, but the 
Tai-tse to the south at a point east of 
Pen-si-hu, and to have moved for some 
little distance northwards. There is 



CAPTURE OF WAI-TAU-SHAN. 



379 



some ground for the belief that this may 
have been part of a general Russian tor- 
ward movement which was planned for 
the night of October 2oth-2ist, but had 
to be abandoned owing to the swollen 
state of the Sha-ho. 

After rather more than a week of this 
indeterminate warfare the Japanese, on 
the 27th, managed to score a very con- 
siderable success by the capture of Wai- 
tau-shan or Outer Head Hill, to which 
reference was made in the opening para- 
graph of this chapter. Wai-tau-shan is 
a hill bare of vegetation, surmounted by 
a temple, which is situated about ten 
miles east of the railway, to the extreme 
left — from the Russian standpoint — of 
the enclave south of the Sha-ho, which 
the Russians had been holding. It must 
have served as a very useful post of ob- 
servation, to which the Russians evi- 
dently attached considerable importance, 
for they had occupied it with a regiment 
and five machine guns. These were well 
placed, a first and second position having 
been marked out with separate lines of 
trenches. It was clearly desirable for 
the Japanese to clear the enemy out of 
. this troublesome post, and accordingly 
orders were given to the Right Arm.y 
under General ICuroki to take the neces- 
sary measures of eviction. 

At seven o'clock in the morning of 
October 27th two Japanese batteries 
opened fire on the Russian trenches on 
Wai-tau-shan, and the bombardment con- 
tinued until about midday, v.'hen an in- 
fantry attack was commenced by the 
stealthy advance of two companies of the 
i8th Rifles up the steep slope. The en- 
terprise was a dangerous one, for there 
was little or no cover, and the Russians 
were evidently bent on offering a deter- 
mined resistance. The artillery prepara- 
tion had, however, been effective, and in 



two hours the Russians were forced back 
from their first line of trenches. The 
Japanese had now been reinforced by the 
remainder of the battalion detailed for the 
attack, and the Japanese artillery re- 
opened fire on the second line of trenches. 

It is not difficult to realise the scene 
at this juncture, which was rendered the 
more interesting by the somewhat ex- 
ceptional nature of the circumstances. 
This was now not only the sole point 
south of the Sha-ho which the Russians 
still held, but literally the southern 
terminal of Russian occupation in the 
whole of the Far East, with the solitary 
exception of closely beleaguered Port 
Arthur, now within nine weeks of its fall. 
Nor was the hill a mere isolated post, 
since in that case the Japanese would 
certainly have crushed to pulp the de- 
tachment holding it a week ago. It was 
a little Russian cape running out into a 
Japanese sea, and communication with 
the main Russian position was evidently 
easy. In these circumstances it might 
seerh strange that the Russians did not 
heavily reinforce the regiment holding- 
the hill, and drive the Japanese back by 
sheer superiority of numbers. Probably 
it was to prevent this that the Japanese 
showed so little of their strength, and 
doubtless the Russians imagined that a 
full regiment with five machine guns 
would have very little difficulty in re- 
pulsing with serious loss a single bat- 
talion compelled to creep to the attack 
up a bare steep slope. 

The result was that this autumn after- 
noon saw what was little more than a 
desperate struggle between a regiment of 
Russian infantry with machine guns 
against a Japanese battalion supported 
by two batteries for the possession of a 
hill which marked to all intents and pur- 
poses the southern limit of Russia's 



38o 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



•active authority in Manchuria. \'eiy 
full of grim sugfg'estiyeness must have 
been the spectacle at the moment when 
the retiring- Russians were settling into 
their second line of trenches, and the 
Japanese, now occupying the first line, 
and rapidly ' gathering their strength,^ 
were watching the effect of their own 
■shrapnel in order to seize a favourable 
moment for resuming the attack. 

We may take it that the Russians were 
beginning by this time to realise the 
seriousness of the situation. The 
pressure brought upon the first line of 
trenches had evidently been severer than 
had been anticipated, for two hours v.'as 
but a short time to hold such a position 
against two companies. But the hail of 
shrapnel had been continuous for six 
or seven hours, and the Japanese infantry 
advance had been steady and determined. 
Still graver was the position now with 
an entire Japanese battalion at no great 
distance, and the shrapnel bullets once 
more falling thick into the trenches. 

It was about four o'clock when the 
Japanese artillery ceased firing, and a 
thousand Japanese bayonets came spark- 
ling up to the second Russian position 
on Wai-tau-shan. It had been, a weary 
wait of nearly two hours for the im- 
patient battalion of the i8th Rifles, and 
one can understand the gleaming satis- 
faction with which the line of eager little 
infantrymen sprang from their temporary 
shejter and sped up the remaining slopes 
that led .to the summit of the hill. 

The Russian rifles were crackling 
all along their line, the machine- 
guns were vomiting lead to the accom- 
paniment of that queer " pup-pup-pup " 
which always seems such a trivial noise 
compared with the death-dealing process 
with which it is connected, and at one in- 
stant of the Japanese rush a passing 



tremor shook the attacking line as it 
does sometimes even in the most bril- 
liantly successful assault. Those are the 
moments when the defenders' hearts are 
steeled into sterner resolve, when their 
rifles are held straightest, when the feel- 
ing is strongest that those in the trenches 
are meting out punishment, not in any 
danger of receiving it. But the tremor 
v/as but momentary, and any satisfaction 
it created was short-lived. For on came 
the Japanese, and with irresistible elan 
poured into the trenches, where, for a 
time, raged the bitter hand-to-hand fight- 
ing that has terminated so rhany infantry 
attacks in this war. It seems a little 
strange that even at this stage the Rus- 
sians could not gain the upper hand. 
For they should have been still in some 
numerical superiority, since their casual- 
ties up to this time had not been in any 
way serious, and the Japanese themselves 
had suffered about equal losses in the two 
stages of their advance. But when first- 
class troops have made their way into the 
heart of a position, where they are not 
exposed to flanking fire or other fresh 
odds, they are seldom to be denied, and 
so it was in this case. Bayonets crossed 
bayonets in deadly earnest, revolvers 
spat, here and there a clubbed rifle 
wielded by a burly Muscovite may have 
smashed a Japanese skull; but in the end 
the Russians broke and ran, leaving be- 
hind them two of their machine-guns and 
a number of dead. Crowning the crest 
of the hill, the Japanese fired on the 
enemy as they retreated down the farther 
slope and acros.s the river, and did further 
execution among their scattered ranks. 

The Japanese were now to find their 
success, for the moment, discounted by 
the exposed nature of the ground they 
had gallantly won. No sooner was the 
Japanese flag hoisted on the temple at the 



382 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



top of the hill than the Russian batteries 
across the river began to speak, and a 
storm of shrapnel came hurtlingf about 
the ears of the victors in the recent 
action. The crest of the hill was thus 
rendered untenable, but the Japanese had 
evidently made good their foothold in 
spite of the Russian official despatch to 
the contrary. For the Russian artillery 
steadily bombarded the hill all the next 
morning, which they would hardly have 
done had no signs of occupation been 
visible. In the afternoon of October 28th 
the large Russian force which was con- 
centrated among the hills across the river 
disappeared rather suddenly. Subse- 
quently a small detachment of Russian 
chasseurs attempted, on the night of the 
29th, a counter-attack on Wai-tau-shan, 
but this was easily repulsed. 

The Russian casualties at Wai-tau- 
shan were estimated at 200, the Japanese 
at 170 — an insignificant butcher's bill, of 
course, which seems of itself to stamp the 
action as one of comparative insignifi- 
cance. But, as the foregoing narrative 
seems to shov^^, Wai-tau-shan was really 
a remarkable little fight, and must have 
come a^s rather an unpleasant surprise to 
the Russians, for whom now the Sha-ho 
along, practically speaking, its whole 
length was a definite obstacle. Nor 
could the Japanese fail to be heartened 
greatly by a success which demonstrated 
once more, and with vivid clearness, the 
right of Japanese commanders to regard 
their gallant fellows as, if anything, in- 
dividually more than a match for the 
fittest and most seasoned soldiers of the 
Tsar. 

The closing days of October, and nearly 
the whole of November, proved an un- 
eventful, but by no means an idle, time 
for the confronting armies. For the 
most part the fighting consisted of pretty 



continuous artillery firing, with frequenl 
but unimportant infantry collisions, usu- 
ally at night. The Russian cavalry re- 
connaissance work on both the Japanese 
flanks appears to have been well carried 
out, and on the extreme Russian left, 
where General Rennenkamf was in com- 
mand, the Cossacks are shown to have 
been particularly active. On October 
30th a party of the famous Cossacks of 
the Don — a division of which had re- 
cently joined the Army of Manchuria — 
for the first time took a part in the 
operations, and, with some infantry de- 
tachments, attacked a body of Japanese 
cavalry along the Hun River. This in- 
troduction of the Don Cossacks to Fat 
Eastern warfare does not seem to have 
been particularly auspicious, the attack 
being promptly repulsed, and the Rus- 
sians leaving behind them twenty dead 
men and thirty horses'. 

The weather was now improving, as 
far as the rain was concerned, and the 
days were fine and moderately warm. 
But the nights were growing colder, six 
degrees of frost having been recorded 
at the end of October, and ten a little 
later. The Russian troops were in good 
health, and supplies of food and warni 
clothing were coming in very satis- 
factorily. The better condition of the 
roads enabled reinforcements to detrain 
at stations further up the line, and to 
march thence to Mukden, thus relieving 
to a marked extent the pressure on the 
railway. Indeed, it would seem that, 
notwithstanding the recent reverses on 
the Sha-ho, and the absence of any com- 
pensating success, the condition of the 
Russian Army in, at any rate, the first 
half of November, was in pleasant con- 
trast to the sufferings entailed by the 
long retirement which terminated in the 
evacuation of Liao-yang, and was also 



AMENITIES OF WARFARE. 



383 



free from many of the hardships after- 
wards underg^one in the depth of winter. 

At Mukden itself a rather quaint state 
of things was reported by Mr. C. E. 
Hands, the war correspondent of the 
Daily Mail. Here the Russians were 
actually spending money freely on Jap- 
anese productions. " The shops at Muk- 
den," wrote Mr. Hands, " are packed 
with Japanese merchandise of all kinds, 
which throngs of soldiers are eagerly pur- 
chasing. In particular, they buy up the 
little comforts which troops so much ap- 
preciate, namely articles of food, drink, 
clothing, canned milk, cheese, butter, 
beer, cognac, rum, whisky, champagnes, 
Bordeaux, woollen goods, and gloves. 
Almost without exception these goods are 
adulterations and imitations. The Jap- 
anese imitate everything European, in- 
cluding labels, for which there is a great 
demand in China. All these articles are 
freely imported via Sinminting by 
Chinese merchants and Greek sutlers, and 
are distributed everywhere among the 
troops. Thus, curiously enough, the 
war has provided a new and rich market 
for Japanese commerce." 

But Mukden luxuries were, of course, 
far out of the reach of a very large por- 
tion of Kuropatkin's brave soldiers, many 
of whom had not left the trenches for 
three weeks. For these the daily ration 
had to suffice, and, where close contact 
with the enemy existed, the ration was 
often not a daily, but a nightly one, which 
had to be eaten cold, since fires would be 
a guide to the ever-watchful enemy. But 
the Russian fighting man's cheerfulness 
was proof against these discomforts, and 
M. Dru, of the Eclio de Paris, in particu- 
lar, was greatly impressed with his high 
spirits. Another correspondent mentioned 
that the Russians have taken a leaf out 
of the Japanese book, and have 'slightly 



improved on the time-honoured methods 
of drawing fire by exposing stuffed man- 
nikins as a target for the Japanese 
marksmen. 

It is pleasant to add that the cordiality 
which has so often been observed in simi- 
lar circumstances, during previous cam- 
paigns, prevailed at this period at many 
points along the opposing lines, where 
the outposts were in particularly close 
touch. Cigarettes and other little lux- 
uries were freely exchanged by the gal- 
lant fellows who had already, perhaps, 
met a dozen times in deadly conflict, and 
might at any moment do so again. 
Among various stories told is one of a 
sort of cave which used to be occupied 
by a Russian picquet during the day, and 
by a party of Japanese at night, or vice 
versa, in accordance with the outpost 
schemes of the respective combatants. 
Quite a little friendship sprung up be- 
tween the two picquets, messages being 
left by the retiring party, and grave com- 
plaints made if the retreat was not left 
in good order ! 

-An honourable understanding was also 
established in regard to water. The 
wells along the railway line having failed, 
both armies were compelled to use the 
water of the Sha-ho for drinking pur- 
poses. No difficulty was experienced as 
to this, for a simple arrangement was 
made that the water should be fetched 
from the river by -unarmed men, and it 
was made a point of honour not to fire 
upon these. Such amenities of warfare 
are common to all first-class armies, and 
it is gratifying to chronicle their occur- 
rence at this period of the Russo-Jap- 
anese War. 

Like the Russians, the Japanese were 
at this time busily engaged in bringing 
up reinforcements, and the Russian In- 
telligence Department was able to ascer- 



384 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



tain that a proportion was corning by 
way of Fengf-hwang-cheng; as well as 
from the south. It was supposed that a 
concentration was being effected for the 
purpose of assuming a brisk offensive, 
and this may well have been the case, 
since there is reason to believe that the 
Japanese were now confidently expecting 
the early fall of Port Arthur, and that 
they would have been extremely glad if 
they could have pushed on to Mukden 
before the really hard weather com- 
menced. But week after week passed 
before it was possible to make any de- 
cided move, and by the third week in 
November the cold was beginning to be 
sufficiently sharp to render any general 
advance more and more difficult. On 
both sides the line of entrenchments was 
now dotted at intervals with great bur- 
rows, into which the men crept for shelter 
as much from the biting frost as from the 
artillery fire. When entrenchment has 
reached this point an advance always be- 
comes improbable, for, even if one side 
succeeds in ejecting the other from its 
" dug-outs," it is prevented from making 
the occupation good if the frost turns 
the earth to iron, and puts it out of the 
question to throw up fresh cover. Ac- 
cordingly, the Japanese soon abandoned 
the idea of a general advance, and began' 
to make themselves as comfortable as 
the conditions would permit, even, it 
is said, going so far as to provide their 
dug-out shelters with camp beds and 
stoves. 

A pleasant interlude is recorded as 
having occurred in the Japanese lines on 
November gth. Lieutenant-General Sir 
William Nicholson, the British Military 
Attach^ at Japanese headquarters, had 
been compelled to retire to Tokio on ac- 
count of ill-health, but there were still 
several British officers present with the 



force, the senior being Colonel' Tulloch, 
To the latter, on our King's birthday. 
Prince Nashimoto, Marshal Oyama, 
General Kodama, General Oku, General 
Fukushima, and General Okubo sent re- 
presentatives to offer their congratula- 
tions, and to wish long life to the King. 
An entertainment was also given to the 
British officers and war correspondents, 
a notable feature being an exhibition of 
Japanese national sports. The spirited 
participation of the war correspondents 
'in the primitive Japanese dances en- 
hanced the success of this pleasing 
function, and the utmost cordiality 
and good-fellowship prevailed. 

But the Japanese did not "allow these 
pre-occupations to divert them in any 
way from the more warlike business in 
hand. Wherever they were in contact 
with the enemy the utmost vigilance was 
displayed, and, indeed, was necessary, 
for the Russians made a number of small 
attacks, the effect of which must occa- 
sionally have been somewhat alarming.' 
Especial care was taken to render Sha-ho 
station as strong as possible, the idea 
apparently being to construct a semi-per-* 
manent work to cover the railway line in 
case of a forced retirement. The task of 
fortification was carried out under grave 
difficulties, the Russians making strenu- 
ous efforts' to frustrate the Japanese 
plans by throwing shells from their big 
guns, of which they now had a large 
number in position, into the space in 
which the enemy were working. On 
November 13th, for instance, more than 
500 Russian shells fell in the vicinity of 
the station, the bombardment lasting 
from dawn till evening. After such an 
experience the poor little Sha-ho station 
can surely claim to rank honourably with 
any of the country-houses, farm-build- 
ings, churches, or other peaceful 







H 
< 






M 
K 
H 

O 
g 
H 

<: , 

(M 

m 

w 

ij 

w 

o 



. ^ ? ~ ■" 



; ft; 



^ bj 

§1 1 



biS 



"^•?r ■§■§■ 






fcj iS '-^ _ », S 



; 13 S S e 



61 



386 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



structures which have won immortal fame 
through being' pressed into the grim ser- 
vice of war. 

Another point to which both Russians 
and Japanese were compelled to pay close 
attention was the village of Lin-shi-pu, 
of the early fighting round which, on 
October 14th, mention was made on page 
254. It is extremely typical of the opera- 
tions subsequent to the Battle of Sha-ho, 
that for weeks the Japanese should only 
have remained in possession of part of 
this village, the remainder being so 
tenaciously held by the Russians that it 
was impossible to turn them out. 

About the middle of November the 
rivers began to freeze, and several of 
the foreign Military Attaches and war 
correspondents left the front and returned 
to Europe, confident that there would now 
be no serious fighting until the spring. 
This view was evidently taken by Kuro- 
patkin, who continued to devote himself 
to the task of organising his greatly in- 
creased forces. He had just been joined 
by General Linievitch from Vladivostok, 
who had assumed the command of the 
First Manchurian Army under the new 
scheme of Russian military commands. 

Kuropatkin himself seems to have been 
spending his time at this period very 
much as he did at Liao-yang, when the 
latter was still in Russian occupation. 
He still lived in a railway car, a light 
burning in his office all night, and officers 
being summoned to confer with*him at all 
hours. His tours of inspection along the 
thirty-five mile Russian front were ac- 
complished in a high-speed motor car, 
which was regarded by the Chinese with 
immense superstitious awe. Kuropatkin 
had, after careful enquiry, ordered, in 
addition to this car, twenty others 
specially constructed to carry ammuni- 
tion speedily in case of emergency. 



While our Army can certainly claim to 
have led the way in the matter of heavy 
motor traction in South Africa, it must 
be placed to the credit of the Russians in 
Manchuria that they were the first to 
make use of the high-speed car for the 
carriage of ammunition in the field. 

For several weeks both armies carried 
on a series of more or less desultory 
operations, only here and there relieved 
by performances of distinct tactical in- 
terest or significance. Perhaps the most 
serious movement recorded is that made 
by the Japanese on November ,^ 24th 
against the extreme left of the Russian 
position, which, as we have seen, lay 
among the hills in the vicinity of the Ta- 
ling. General Rennenkamf being in com- 
mand. The movement is , described as 
an attempt, to turn the Russian left, but 
more probably it was a mere diversion 
intended to disturb the Russians, and to 
check the activity of their reconnoitring 
parties. Certainly, there is no sign of a 
definite turning movement such as would 
undoubtedly have been designed on a 
much larger scale, and carried out with 
very much greater vigour and • persist- 
ence. The chief fighting took place near 
the village of Sin-ho-cheng, at the base 
of the Ta-ling mountains, some sixty-five 
miles, as the crow flies, north-east of 
Liao-yang. The Japanese, according to 
Russian accounts, commenced the attack 
with a brigade of infantry and twelve 
guns, but seem to have made no head- 
way either on the 25th or any of the four 
following days. On the 25th the Jap- 
anese, having been reinforced, attacked 
at noon, and again, under cover of a fog, 
at about 4 o'clock, but the Russians held 
their own manfully. On the 26th the 
fighting was renewed, with the same re- 
sult. In the evening a very daring re- 
connaissance was made on the Russian 



INCIDENTAL FIGHTING. 



387 



side by Captain Maukovsky, who, with 
seven volunteers belonging to his com- 
pany, crept up so close to the enemy's 
outposts, that the Captain himself was 
able to take prisoner a Japanese non- 
commissioned officer who had left his 
picquet. On the 27th the Japanese 
never got closer to the Russian position 
than 600 paces. Half-way through the 
fighting there was a blinding snowstorm, 
which caused a suspension of hostilities. 
When the weather cleared, about 3 p.m., 
the wily Japanese were seen to be creep- 
ing round the right of the Russian posi- 
tion. The movement was frustrated in 
time by the accurate fire of the Russian 
artillery, and about 6 p.m. the fighting 
ceased. 

On the 28th the engagement was re- 
sumed, but closed at 11 a.m. There 
being no signs of any further attack, the 
Russians set to work to collect the Jap- 
anese dead, with a view to giving them 
honourable burial. By midday they had 
found 230 bodies, all of men of the 7th 
Reserve Regiment of the 9th Reserve 
Brigade. A large quantity of rifles, am- 
munition, and entrenching tools fell into 
the hands of the Russians, who were thus 
in a position to claim a considerable suc- 
cess, more especially as their own losses 
appear to have been slight. In the after- 
noon of the 28th the Japanese troops en- 
gaged in this affair began slowly to re- 
tire. The Russians pursued, and find- 
ing the Japanese, on November 30th, 
halted in a pass seven or eight miles 
south-east of Sin-ho-cheng, General Ren- 
nenkamf took the offensive. Part of the 
Russian force effected a turning move- 
ment round the pass, while the General 
himself, covered by artillery, attacked 
from the front. " The fighting," says a 
Mukden telegram, " was short and sharp. 
The Japanese retired south of the pass, 



after burning their stores. Detachments 
of Chasseurs and Cossacks pursued the 
Japanese through the village of Seidun 
to the Tai-tse River, destroying the Jap- 
anese field telegraph. The Japanese 
burnt their depots at two other villages 
in the valley of the Tai-tse. The Rus- 
sian sotnias rejoined the main command, 
leaving, however, a strong post at 
Seidun. The Japanese lost about 50 
killed and 100 wounded. The Russians 
found 23 bodies of Japanese soldiers, and 
made seven prisoners." 

The fighting in the Russian left lasted 
fitfully into December, and produced at 
least one rather gruesome incident, of 
which an account taken from the 
Russkiva Viedomosti was transmitted from 
St. Petersburg by the Central News. 
The following is the translation furnished 
by the latter agency : — 

" The attack was made from Udutun, 
a villag'e on the right bank of the Sha-ho, 
surrounded by a grove, with a few rocky 
hillocks behind and before it. 

' ' The order of battle chosen by the 
Russian colonel was original — three lines 
of deployed ranks, five companies, then 
three, and then four, with the regimental 
banner. 

" In this order the regiment had to 
descend to the river, cross it, cross two 
large ravines occupied by infantry, then 
attack a steep but low hill, crowned by a 
redoubt, and encircled by trenches. The 
assault was accomplished by the 19th 
Rifle Regiment of three battalions, which 
formed the right flank of the attacking 
line. 

" Those who fell remained where they 
dropped until the end of the battle. All 
who could keep on their feet rushed im- 
petuously on the enemy. They dashed 
past the ravines, the trenches, and the 
redoubt without stopping, trod down two 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



batteries, and rushed after the enemy, 
who fled in a panic. 

" The villag-e with the Japanese still 
firing' from the fansas, remained in the 
rear. With great difflculty the soldiers 
were forced to return. Fortunately, the 
20th Regiment hurried up from the re- 
serve. The village was surrounded and 
set on fire. 

" Darkness set in, and the violent bat- 
tle proceeded in the light of this huge 
torch. The Japanese, seeing themselves 
surrounded, had no strength to resist. 
The majority committed suicide. Many 
preferred burning to prison, and rushed 
into the fire." 

Colonel Sychevsky, who was in com- 
mand, thus described the affair to the 
Viedomosti correspondent. ' ' I only cried 
the word of command, and the regiment 
marched on as though on parade. After 
crossing the river, I had not sufficient 
strength to walk. I cried, ' Hurrah ! ' 
and ran. 

" Before the trench, at a distance of 
from ten to fifteen steps, we stopped — 
ourselves and the Japanese. It was a 
tragic moment. One false step, and the 
tables might be turned. But all was de- 
cided by Lieutenant Alexander — a man of 
mad intrepidity. He was torn to pieces 
by bayonets before our eyes, and they 
finished him with the butts of their rifles. 

" Cracking, slashing, howling, shriek- 
ing' — on the attacking party went irre- 
sistibly. I could not run so fast, and 
could not shout. I was choking, but 
the men ran on and on. When I ordered 
the halt the soldiers murmured, and 
would not return. Fortunately the com- 
mander of the 3rd Battalion — an ex- 
perienced man — held them back near the 
banner. 

" The 19th Regiment lost about 400 
men, but all died with their arms in their 



hands. It was worse with the Japanese., 
The fansas were still smoking, spreading 
a horrible smell of burnt flesh — the bodies 
of the suicides ! " 

Into further details of the collisions 
along the lines of outposts, collisions in 
the accounts of which the names of the 
villages of Lin-shi-pu and Li-mun-tun 
have perhaps the greatest prominence, it 
is not necessary to enter. More to the 
point is it to chronicle the on-coming of 
the true Manchurian winter, and to 
glance at the progress of the great or- 
ganic changes which are taking place at 
Russian Army headquarters. As to the 
first, a correspondent with General Kuro- 
ki's force telegraphed, on December nth, 
that on the previous night the ther- 
mometer had fallen to six degrees below 
zero, Fahrenheit. The days were cold 
also, but sunshine and the absence ol 
severe winds made life tolerable. The 
hills were covered with snow, which was 
also lying an inch thick on the plains. 
All the streams were frozen over. Both 
armies were now living almost exclusively 
in subterranean shelters protected by pits,, 
wire entanglements, and here and there 
by semi-permanent redoubts. There 
were now places where the distance be- 
tween the opposing lines was only 400 
paces, and it is said that never were the 
positions of two forces so close together 
along such an extended fronf. 

To this period belonged a recrudes- 
cence of activity on the part of the 
Chunchuses, to whom the rigours of the 
season mattered less than to the regular 
troops of the two armies in the field. It 
is recorded that 1,500 of these brigands^ 
with sixteen guns, appeared some twenty 
miles to the west of Tie-ling, which lies 
on the railway to the north-west of Muk- 
den. They are said to have been re- 
pulsed by the Frontier Guard, and to 



NEW RUSSIAN ARMIES. 



389 



have lost 200 of their number. But it is 
significant that in the first week of De- 
cember a Harbin despatch should have 
mentioned the blowing" up of the railway 
line between Harbin and Mukden by 
Chunchuses, and there is no question that 
throug-hout December the latter were 
causing- considerable uneasiness in Rus- 
sian military circles by their swift and 
sudden raids. 

By the middle of December all the 
three generals who were to have Army 
commands under I-iuropatkin as General- 
issimo, had arrived at Mukden. Cieneral 
Linievitch, commanding the First Army, 
had under him the ist, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 
Siberian Arm\' Corps, with Lieutenant- 
Generals Stackelberg, Sassulitch, Ivan- 
off, and Zarubaieff as Corps Com- 
manders, and Major-General Kharke- 
vitch as Chief of the Staff. To Lieuten- 
ant-General Gripenberg", commanding the 
Second Army, the 8th, i6th, and 21st 
European Army Corps, and a Siberian 
Corps appear to have been assigned. 



The Tliird Army, under Lieutcnant- 
(ieneral Baron Kaulbai's, with Major- 
General Martson as Chief of the Stalf, is 
said to ha\e consisted of the ist, loth, 
and 17th European Army Corps, under 
Meyendorf, Tserpitzky, and Bilderling 
respectivelv, and a Siberian Corps, prob- 
ably the (jth. 

Of the new generals in chief command, 
the most self-assertive was General Grip- 
enberg, of whom a striking portrait was 
g'iven on page 193 of the present volume. 
In addressing one of his regiments at the 
time he took over command of his Army 
he said : " I am sure you will not give 
way to the enemy. There will be no re- 
tracting now. If anv one of you aban- 
dons his position I will kill him. If I 
order vou to retreat, kill me." A little 
later the Commander of the Second Army 
in Manchuria was to realise both the futil- 
ity of sucli language and the doubtful 
securitv of a position for which it be- 
came evident that he was by temper and 
militar\' capacity badly fitted. 




Photo : NoxiveUc, Paris. 

RUSSIAN SOLDIERS BARTERING WITH CHINESE STREET VENDORS. 



390 



CHAPTER LXXV. 

THE SIEGE OF PORT ARTHUR — SUGGESTIONS OP' SURRENDER — THE RAZTOROPNY INCIDENT 

DRAMATIC SEQUEL — OPERATIONS AGAINST THE GREAT FORTS — ATTACK BY 

JAPANESE SWORDSMEN — FIGHTING ROUND METRE RANGE — COSTLY ASSAULTS — FINAL 
ADVANCE CAPTURE OF 2O3 METRE HILL. 



AFTER the termination of the 
■l\ "Birthday Attack" on Port 
Arthur, of which an account was given 
in Chapter LXX., the Japanese, though 
somewhat disheartened by the limited 
success attained, made steady progress 
both with their sap work and with the 
bombardment. On November 6th the 
heads of the sap were within from 100 
to 300 yards of the big forts, except in 
the case of those on Liau-tie-shan. The 
bombardment also continued with un- 
abated vigour, and on November 8th 
the great Er-lung-shan and Sung-shu- 
shan forts were reported, for the first 
time, to have been silenced. The shells 
dropped, too, so incessantly into and 
round the dockyard, that repairing work 
had to be practically abandoned. Citizen 
volunteers and police were now reinforc- 
ing the regular garrison. 

Increased attention was henceforth 
paid to I-tzu-shan, a particularly difficult 
fort to assail owing to the peculiar topo- 
graphy of the country in the immediate 
neighbourhood, which prevents direct ar- 
tillery fire against it. On the mornings 
of November 5th and 6th fierce assaults 
were made against this powerful work, 
the Japanese advancing in both cases 
from behind distant hills in as great 
force as the ground would allow. But 
the absence of direct artillery prepara- 
tion, and the long distance which the in- 
fantry had to traverse in the face of the 



defenders' machine guns, crumpled up 
the attack, though not until the Japanese 
had reached and broken through the wire 
entanglements set close up to the fort. 
A lurid instance of the frantic tenacity 
displayed in these attacks was afforded 
by the spectacle of one unfortunate sol- 
dier, who, though his leg had been toni 
off by a piece of shell, was seen trying to 
bite through the wires in order to make 
the passage easier for those behind him. 

During the assault on November 6th 
a shell soaring over the hills from the 
eastward plumped into a mine-controlling 
station in I-tzu-shan, and set off a quan- 
tity of high explosives, with the result, 
it is said, that between 600 and 700 Rus- 
sians were killed and wounded. 

About this time the Japanese were re- 
ported to have made a rather singular 
effort to induce the Russian soldiers in 
Port Arthur to surrender without con- 
sulting General Stoessel. A Russian 
prisoner, taken on October 26th, had de- 
clared that his comrades were sadly 
dispirited, and that they clearly realised 
the hopelessness of the struggle in which 
they were engaged. General Nogi, 
upon hearing the man's story, caused a 
letter to be drafted for circulation among 
the Russian soldiers. In this a state- 
ment was given of Kuropatkin's retreats, 
and his failure to make any impression 
upon Oyama's forces. It was pointed 
out that the Baltic Fleet had only just 



SIEGE JOURNALISM. 



39T 



started, that the advance of the Japanese 
against Port Arthur, if slow, was sure, 
and that the capture of the great forts 
was only a matter of time. In conclu- 
sion, the letter offered kindly treatment 
to all who surrendered, and urged the in- 
humanity of further useless slaughter. 
Several copies of this letter were written 
in Russian, and given to the above-men- 
tioned prisoner, who, under cover of the 
darkness in the early morning of 
November 4th, regained the Russian 
lines unobserved by his officers. The 
man returned the same night, saying that 
his comrades would answer within a few 
days. He remarked that the men did 
not like the idea of an unofficial sur- 
render, but that they were evidently im- 
pressed by the tone of the letter, which 
dispelled the idea, fostered by the Rus- 
sian officers, that a Japanese entry into 
Port Arthur would be followed by a 
massacre. According to this man's 
statement, his own battalion, formerly 
800 strong, had now dwindled to thirty 
men only. 

Like a good many other of the cir- 
cumstantial stories told about the siege 
of Port Arthur, this one may be of de- 
fective authenticity, but it can hardly be 
an entire invention, and, although no 
tangible results of any such offer as that 
indicated were forthcoming, it may be 
that a proportion of the besieged garrison 
were sensibly influenced in this way. 
According to old-fashioned notions of 
military propriety, the offer, if made, was 
highly objectionable; but the case of Port 
Arthur is, in some respects, exceptional, 
and the Japanese plea that a prolonged 
resistance meant only a senseless and 
futile waste of brave lives, and that, ac- 
cordingly, some contravention of honour- 
able military usage was permissible, must 
not be lightly dismissed. 



Copies of the Port Arthur journal, the 
TSIovy Krai, were now beginning to find 
their way pretty regularly to Chi-fu, 
being carried thither by the blockade- 
running junks. Some of the glimpses 
of life in the beleaguered fortress are 
very interesting, although by this time it 
is necessary to discount rather heavily 
the comparative cheerfulness of the 
earlier numbers. There is no longer any 
fun to be got out of the chicken-hearted 
apothecary who, for a fortnight, played 
a prominent part in the columns of the 
Novy Krai. This useful person had 
found the siege so trying, that he closed 
his shop and vanished, but was pursued 
with such editorial taunts and re- 
proaches for having left a part of the 
town deprived of its medicines, that he 
eventually advertised his new address. 
In November, again, there are no more 
anxious enquiries as to the whereabouts 
of a missing monkey, or offers to pur- 
chase a horse and carriage. 

Yet, even up to within a few days of 
the period to which we have now arrived, 
the Port Arthur journalist was occasion- 
ally enabled to supplement the bare re- 
cord of the siege by some highly 
romantic "copy." Here, for instance, 
is the sensational story of a Russian 
woman who served with valour in many 
fights until she was killed. " Her hus- 
band was serving in Port Arthur, and 
she, dressing herself as a man, arrived 
there just before the siege began. En- 
listing in her husband's regiment, she 
took part in several sorties, and helped 
in the defence of Corner Hill. Though 
her sex was soon discovered, her record 
for bravery and attention to the wounded 
won her permission to remain in the 
ranks,, where she had an excellent moral 
influence on the soldiers. Her husband 
fell wounded while fighting by her side. 



392 



HISTORY OF THE RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR. 



She nursed him through the critical 
points of his illness, and then returned 
to the front, where she became a mes- 
senger to Captain Gouzakofsky, of the 
13th Regiment, riding fearlessly to and 
from the various positions, unaffected by 
the din and danger of battle. On 
October i6th, when she was visiting 
the trenches with despatches, a huge 
shell struck the earthworks, and -killed- 
her together with eight others." 

Reverting to the November chronicle 
of. the siege, we find an incident recorded 
as having. taken place on .November 14th, 
the story of which, though not officially 
confirmed, was vouched for by an Ex- 
press correspondent as having been, ob- 
tained from an absolutely reliable source 
at Shimonoseki, one of Japan's principal 
naval stations. The details are as' fol- 
lows : On the night of the 13th three 
Russian destroyers put to sea from Port 
Arthur with despatches ■ from General 
Stoessel in triplicate. Two of the vessels 
carried officers who were so badly 
wounded that it was . deemed advisable 
to send them at any risk to Chi-fu rather 
than keep them in the crowded hospitals 
at Port Arthur. The fate of all de- 
stroyers was sufficiently tragic. 

One was intercepted by the Japanese 
.cruiser Kasuga and sunk, only four 
members of the crew being rescued, one 
of whom died subsequently. 

The second was sunk by the Mat- 
sushima about twenty-five miles from 
Port Arthur. This vessel managed to 
hit the Matsushima with a torpedo, which, 
however, did very little damage. 

The third destroyer was chased by two 
Japanese torpedo gunboats from mid- 
night until four o'clock in the morning', 
when the fugitive's engines gave out off 
Liau-tie-shan. She pluckily hove-to for 
battle, but was promptly torpedoed, and 



sank immediately with all ori board. In 
all three cases the Russians on board the 
destroyers were admitted by the Jap- 
anese to have behaved with reckless 
bravery. . 

We now come to an incident which 
created at the time a very considerable 
sensation, and which was fully expected 
— though, as we shall see, the expecta- 
tion was not realised — to create serioui 
international complications. Two nights 
after