Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Russo-Jap War Naval: Port Arthur Break Out (Part 5) Tooth and Claw

The Russian Admiral seemed to like to take very similar "pairs" of photographs. Perhaps Russian intelligence has developed a stereoscopic 3D image viewer? Anyway, top left you can see a pesky Russian destroyer flotilla have laid a defensive smokescreen to cunningly shield the main squadron of Japanese battleships from hitting the First Russian Battleship Squadron. Over to top right, the reverse situation is in play where a Japanese destroyer flotilla shield the Japanese Obsolete Battleship Squadron from Russian battleships. Meanwhile the two squadrons of protected cruisers (one Japanese and one Russian) fight it out at the bottom of the picture. One Russian protected cruiser has received critical rudder damage and it sailing in the "wrong direction". To the left hand side the Mikasa and the two Japanese armoured cruisers have reformed from their disorder and are attempting to reenter the battle. The Russians are hoping to vigorously "punch through" (see below):

The same scene from a slightly different angle. The Russian heavy forces look like they might just have enough momentum to push on through, if the Japanese Protected Cruiser Squadron can be disposed of (see below):

The smokescreens dissipate and a maelstrom of battleship gunfire erupts. Although it is within effective range the renewed opening bout of salvos are strangely bloodless. The Russian destroyer flotilla (now without torpedoes) which has strayed too close to the Japanese Battleship Squadron is however "damaged" for its troubles. The major conflict here is between the protected cruisers at the bottom of the picture  (see below):

Spot the difference? A missing orange tape measure? Note the Mikasa bottom left, taking "a pop" at the protected cruisers (see below):

Again the Russian Admiral was keen to take "composite" shots of the scene from various slightly different angles. Nice photographic composition (see below):

Note: The edge of the table seen [right] below is no good as the Russian Fleet has to escape to the bottom of the table, past the Japanese protected cruisers.

Panning out you can just see the "exit table edge" to the right hand side and the orange Japanese tape measure on the left hand side (see below, bottom right):

The cruiser action up close. In the initial exchange the Japanese were besting the Russians as all the Russian ships were carrying permanent "red damage" markers. It is just the question as to whether the Japanese can get in a killing blow. A second hit is "silenced", but a third would be "crippled". The only thing to add is that the Russian battleship van is also "carrying damage" with two out of three of the battleships carrying a "red" hit (see below):

The battle is approaching its climax!

Next: The Final Push


Pete. said...

Great stuff- thanks for posting again.



Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

One last post to come!