字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント They were designed to be the best… they met enemies face to face, endured tragedies and enjoyed victories… they went down in history due to the bravery of their crews… they are the ships that deserve to be called “Naval Legends!” In this episode: living heroes of Tsushima In a Japanese town Yokosuka, 62 miles away from Tokyo, Battleship Mikasa is permanently anchored. And four thousand marine miles away from her, cruiser Aurora is anchored in one of the quays of the Neva River in St. Petersburg Although these ships belong to different types and their stories are very different, there is a common moment in their biography: both ships participated in a major naval battle, the Battle of Tsushima, that was the culmination of the Russo-Japanese War in the beginning of the 20th century… In 1895, Japan defeated China and occupied the Liaodong Peninsula where a warm-water seaport, Port Arthur was located. This port was very important for the Russian Empire. Together with European states, Russia used military and political pressure to make Japan renounce that peninsula, and later signed a contract of lease of that territory with China for 25 years. Using the opportunity of the Yihetuan Movement, also known as the Boxer Rebellion, Russia expanded into Manchuria and Korea. The Japanese were very worriedby the expansion policy and decided to start preparations to reinforce their fleet. Within seven years, the Japanese fleet was reinforced by four new cruisers and four battleships. Battleship Mikasa, built in British dockyards, became the most powerful new ship of the Land of the Rising Sun. Cruiser Aurora was built in Russia during the same period. This was just a small part of a large scale program aimed at enhancing the country's military potential at sea: The creation of the major Pacific Fleet. But they failed to fully implement the program: on February 9, 1904, Japanese ships attacked Russian fleet near Port Arthur. They also attacked Cruiser Varyag and Gunboat Korietz in the Korean port Chemulpo The Russo-Japanese War began… From the first days, this war was unfortunate for Russia: Varyag and Korietz were sunk, and the Russian Pacific Squadron was blocked in Port Arthur by the Japanese fleet. After a little while, Battleship Petropavlovsk tripped a mine and sank with the Fleet Commander—Vice Admiral Stepan Osipovich Makarov on whom high hopes were placed—on board. Later the battle in the Yellow sea developed and though the Japanese suffered significant losses, they didn't let the Russian ships break through to Vladivostok Due to all of this, the Japanese fleet dominated in the theatre of war. In April 1904, Russia started the formation of the Second Pacific Squadron: for the first time in the history of the world fleets, a menacing unit of over 30 warships of different classes and age set off on a prolonged trip— from Libau (now Liepaja) to Port Arthur, round Africa and crossing the Indian Ocean. Overall, about 20,000 miles were covered— this is almost the length of the equator. The conditions were very severe as we didn't have any naval bases. And we didn't have allies to help us throughout the voyage… During this unprecedented crossing, the Russian seamen heard about the loss of the First Squadron and were reinforced with ships under the command of Rear Admiral Nebogatov With this lineup, the Second Pacific Squadron entered the Korea Strait. Its Commander—Vice Admiral Rozhestvensky— decided to take a shortcut to break through to Vladivostok… Zinovy Petrovich Rozhestvensky was born in 1848. He had experience commanding a number of Russian ships, he knew naval diplomacy perfectly well, he was the right person in the right place… To understand his role, you need to know a lot and experience the bridge of a Headquarter ship in that moment. The morning of May 14, 1905, was gloomy. The Russian fleet didn't even try to hide: Rozhestvensky simply declared war. He even gave up on reconnaissance because he was sure that Japanese warships would meet them in the Korea Strait. Soon ships from the combined fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy appeared from the damp haze. They pursued a parallel course and were commanded by Vice Admiral Togo Heihachiro who appointed Battleship Mikasa to be the Headquarter ship. Togo Heihachiro was born into a Samurai family of Kagoshima When he was 18 years old, he participated in the Anglo-Satsuma War as one of Samurai. Then, after the establishment of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, he enrolled there to study the theory of naval science. Selected from the lower Samurai class, Togo quickly progressed in life and managed to attain a high rank whilst fighting several battles. He knew the real nature of war from his experience. When Admiral Togo was assigned to the commander of the combined fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Emperor Meiji asked his Navy Minister: “Is Togo good enough for this position?” The minister answered, "Yes, because he has a great deal of personality and is known as a very lucky guy". The Emperor was satisfied with that comment. Overall composition of the participants' forces before the Battle of Tsushima. The Second Pacific Squadron of the Russian Empire: 8 battleships 3 coastal battleships 3 armored cruisers 2 large protected cruisers 3 small protected cruisers 1 cruiser 2nd class (aviso) 1 auxiliary cruiser 9 destroyers 7 support vessels. Japanese Combined Fleet: 4 battleships 1st class 8 armored cruisers 2 large protected cruisers 10 small protected cruisers 1 battleship 2nd class 3 cruisers 2nd class 3 torpedo cruisers (aviso) 21 destroyers 43 torpedo boats Gradually, the Japanese fleet started approaching the Russian squadron. Admiral Togo took a risk straight away preparing to envelop the head of the adversary's ship column with a circular maneuver. At the same time, Russian battleships opened preliminary fire the Battle of Tsushima began at 13:49… People say that Togo employed the tactic of “Crossing the T” in the Battle of Tsushima, taking position ahead of and perpendicular to the adversary's ships. But the actual maneuvers of the ships were like this… Togo’s real tactics was more of a “rotating attack”, which was similar to the classical „Kuruma Gakari“ formation of Uesugi Kenshin in the medieval Japan. At the very beginning of the battle, a signal flag appeared on Battleship Mikasa: "The fate of the Empire rests on the outcome of this battle. Let each man do his utmost." Moving fast, Mikasa concentrated her fire on Battleship Knyaz Suvorov at the beginning of the battle. In return, several Russian ships fired at Mikasa immediately. Russian salvoes were considerably precise at first: within the first 15 minutes, Togo’s battleship was hit by 19 large- and medium-caliber shells, including five 12-inch rounds But the Japanese fire was more precise, and the damage from the adversary's attacks was less significant. During the battle, luck was on Togo's side. Most shells of the enemy fleet hit Mikasa amongst the Japanese ships, during what became known as the Battle of Tsushima. Admiral Togo standing on the bridge near the compass of the Headquarter ship survived. Meanwhile, Rozhestvensky was observing the battle from the conning tower of his ship. A shell flew into his compartment and exploded, badly wounding the Vice Admiral’s head. The battle continued for over 40 minutes more before the Russian Squadron Commander received a second wound. During this time, one Russian battleship sank, and two other battleships were seriously damaged. A third ship took lead of the squadron trying to break through to Vladivostok. Admiral Togo maneuvered to change the engaged side: his Division 1 turned en masse taking a course away from their adversary and thereupon turned around to open fire on the Russian ships from the left side. As a result of this maneuver, the firepower of the Japanese ships became as powerful as it was at the beginning of the battle. At the same time Battleship Borodino, heading the Russian ship’s column, passed the Japanese squadron on an opposite course and approached the Russian cruisers that protected transport. Aurora was part of the cruiser division headed by Rear Admiral Enqvist, who received an order to cover the squadron transport ships. Together with Cruiser Oleg, they joined the battle 40 minutes after it started: when the transport ships were attacked by eight Japanese cruisers and the old Battleship Zhenyuan Our ships were caught in densely aimed fire from the adversary. Hits followed one after another: the explosion from an 8-inch high-explosive shell shook the whole cruiser. Two guns were taken out of operation— one in the battery room, and the other on the upper deck. But despite all the damage, Aurora skillfully maneuvered at almost maximum speed, battled with, and managed to break through the enemy's line. …they had high morale. They were prepared for battle, for victory, and naturally willing to sacrifice themselves. …Japanese shells exploded nearby, and Aurora was pierced by shell fragments… During the battle, nine people were killed; one of them was an officer, a ship commander, and dozens of people were left injured… After 3 hours of battle, the line of the Russian squadron was heavily broken. Badly wounded, Vice Admiral Rozhestvensky placed the squadron under the command of Rear Admiral Nikolai Ivanovich Nebogatov. Japanese Battle Division 1 headed by Mikasa was moving eastward along a parallel course and was reaching the head of the Russian column again. The final battle of the day was extremely dramatic— two Russian battleships were sunk one after another within 20 minutes… During their rotating maneuver, the Japanese ships fired all their shells, using broadside guns and guns at the front and rear. On the other hand, the Baltic fleet hardly managed to fire their front guns. The “circle attack” of the Japanese fleet was so effective— the opponent had no chance to escape. The sun set, the battle was over. The remaining squadron ships continued to move towards Vladivostok. Aurora—as part of cruiser division—sailed to the left of the squadron’s main body along a parallel course, in total darkness, with its lights turned off. But Admiral Togo wasn't going to let the remaining Russian ships go... If the Baltic fleet had reached the area around the Tsugaru Strait, almost half of the fleet might have been able to escape into Vladivostok. In this situation, the rest of the fleet would have conducted raiding causing the annihilation of the Japanese army in Manchuria. That’s why the Baltic fleet had to be completely destroyed. For this reason, night attacks from the torpedo boats started after the daytime battles. Using these tactics, and the power of Mikasa, Japan managed to defeat Russia. On the following day, with the remaining ships shot down, all hulls breached, and surrounded by the enemy's fleet, Rear Admiral Nebogatov surrendered to Vice Admiral Togo. Only four cruisers and three torpedo boats managed to escape the Tsushima trap. Aurora was one of them: countering torpedo boat attacks, escaping 17 enemy torpedoes, the cruiser avoided being captured and sunk. Losses for the forces after the Battle of Tsushima: The Second Pacific Squadron of the Russian Empire: 19 ships sank in the battle, 2 ships were blown up by their own crew 5 ships and 2 hospital ships were captured by the adversary Captured: 3 cruisers, 1 destroyer 2 auxiliary vessels. Broke through to Vladivostok: 1 cruiser 2nd class (aviso) 2 destroyers. Out of 14,334 Russian seamen and officers, 5,015 were dead, 803 were injured, and 6,106 were captured. Japanese Combined Fleet: 3 torpedo boats sank 699 men were killed and injured. After the Battle of Tsushima, the Russian fleet practically ceased to exist in the Pacific. And soon a treaty of piece was signed, that was obviously unfavorable for the Russian Empire. Since that time, 110 years have passed. And there are only two ships left that participated in that dramatic battle— a Japanese and a Russian one. Today, Mikasa and Aurora are not just monuments; they are a history of the world’s shipbuilding that you can touch in the truest sense of the word.