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Re: OT-Wrong port arthur

From: agoodall@c...
Date: 5 Feb 2001 14:15:26 -0800
Subject: Re: OT-Wrong port arthur

On Mon, 05 February 2001, Corey Burger wrote:

> While I don't have any specific evidence either way, the Pacific fleet
> have been in a similar state in order to suffer so large a defeat.
It was a bit better prepared, but not by much. Earlier in the war, it
suffered from poor gunnery and very poor morale. The first attack on
Port Arthur was by torpedo boats, but the results were less than
spectacular. Funny enough, this has an interesting impact on naval
theory, as there were people who thought torpedo boats would make
battleships obsolete.

After this, there was a battle outside of Port Arthur with the Russian
ships under the protection of big coastal guns. It was inconclusive.
Admiral Makarov took over, and it was obvious he knew what he was doing.
He increased morale, and on several occasions Russian ships chased away
Japanese ships. Admiral Togo laid a trap for him in April, 1904. They
laid mines outside of Port Arthur and had a cruiser squadron pull
several Russian ships under Makarov out as bait. Waiting in the fog was
Togo's battle line. But the fog lifted in time for Makarov to see funnel
smoke. He turned the fleet back around, but the Petropavlovsk, his flag
ship, hit a mine and sank within a minute, taking him with it. 

There were a few other engagements. The Russian Admiral, Vitgeft, who
took over was more than willing to keep the fleet in port. He even
threatened to remove Captain Ivanov of the Amur for going out of the
port to lay mines! Ivanov noticed that the Japanese ships travelled in
particular lanes towards the harbour. The Amur laid mines in those
lanes, and the Japanese ended up losing the pre-dreadnoughts Hatsuse and
Yashima (the loss of the latter they kept hidden for a year).

In August 1904, Japanese troops besieged Port Arthur. The Russians tried
to pull out the fleet and run for Vladivostok. The Japanese chased them
in the Battle of the Yellow Sea. The Russian gunnery was actually fairly
accurate and held off the Japanese until shells exploded on the flag
ship, killing the admiral and wiping out most of the bridge crew. The
fleet dispersed, some ships to Port Arthur and some to China. Only one
made it to Vladivostok. After that, the Russian Pacific Fleet had little
influence on the battle.
> On another note, I believe the loses included at least on destroyer on
> Japanese side during the Port Arthur engagement, and I believe the
> flagship struck a Japanese mine and sunk, and another battleship may
> as well.

The Petropavlovsk was the ship that hit the mine. Another
pre-dreadnought, the Pobieda, also struck a mine. She hit it under her
main coal bunker, but she was repaired by June. She was hit with 21 11"
shells at the Yellow Sea. She made it back to Port Arthur, but sunk
there. She was raised by the Japanese, and served as the Suwo until she
was scrapped in 1922.

I'm doing a pre-dreadnought game based on Full Thrust (with a liberal
amount of stealing from General Quarters). I was going to do Tsushima at
the GZG-ECC but those plans fell through. I have a playtest set almost
done now, including advanced rules, but I'm working on a quick play
rules page for it. I also have to put together the stats for all of the
ships (I only have some of the more important ships done). It's taken me
a while...

Allan Goodall -

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