The route of Russian Baltic Fleet in Russo-Japanese War


Ad Honorem
Mar 2019
The hard part might be in understanding why the Russian high command thought sending those ships was a good idea. They must have known or should have known how hard the journey would be on those ships.
It was not a high command decision. The Tzar had the first and last word

And what could go wrong? That Japanese rabble got lucky. The might Russian navy will teach those upstarts a lesson they would never forget
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Nov 2015
The Russian Baltic Fleet made a journey around the world, about 18,000 miles just to be defeated in a single naval battle. This is some of the features of this war I find difficult to understand.
It would be easier for you to understand the reason for the failure of the Russian fleet in that battle, if you consider it as one of the episodes of Russian naval history which few will impress.

The Russians spent huge amounts of money on building their navy. And its effectiveness was very low against the background of these costs. The defeat of the Russian fleet at Tsushima was probably the biggest and most unpunished defeat in whole naval history. You can compare it with another failure of the Baltic Fleet - the Tallinn evacuation of 1941.

Soviet evacuation of Tallinn - Wikipedia

During the WWII, the Germans did not use a single decent ship against this Russian navy and by the end of the war almost nothing remained of the Baltic Fleet. German aircraft, German and Finnish torpedo boats and sea mines did their job.

The most successful operation of the Russian Navy in the 20th century was the sinking of the German liner Wilhelm Gustloff by the Russian submarine in 1945. About 10,000 German refugees sank on the liner. This is the biggest catastrophe in the number of victims at sea.

In the war 1904-1905 the Russians lost almost all of their warships. Including the battleship Petropavlovsk that sank with the Russian fleet commander Admiral Makarov and the famous Russian battle painter Vereshchagin on board after an explosion on a Japanese mine. Russia believed that it would easily defeat the underdeveloped Japanese when the the war started in 1904 - and suffered a heavy defeat from them. And this is despite the fact that the Japanese shortly before this had no warships at all, and their naval experience was insignificant.

Russian posters of 1904

"Sit by the sea, wait for the weather." Behind the tiny Japanese on the poster are his patrons — England and the United States.

There was nothing left from the Japanese fleet on another Russian poster

The whole history of the Russian Black Sea Fleet looked no better. The fleet created by Peter the Great for this sea either rotted without work, or was sold to Turkey - as it happened with his most famous ship Goto Predestinacia. Excluding the successful operation of using Russian fire ships at Chesme in 1770, the rest of the sea battles of the Russian Black Sea Fleet were impressive just in the reports of Admiral Ushakov. He was a great master of writing victory reports.

The Bosphorus and the Dardanelles through which was the only way out to the outer seas for the Russian Black Sea Fleet never came under Russian control. And this makes senseless the existence of a large Black Sea fleet at all. And it seems the Russians never understood this

Another noisy operation of the Black Sea Fleet was the shooting of Turkish frigates suddenly clamped by the Russian linear fleet in Sinop Bay. But the war ended with the Russians sinking their fleet in the bay of Sevastopol without firing a shot at the Anglo-French ships. And after a long defense Sevastopol surrendered to the enemy. It will be handed over to the enemy two more times - to the German and Ukrainian troops in 1918 and to the Germans in 1942. At the same time, the command of the WWII will drop tens of thousands of its soldiers in Sevastopol, while it itself shamefully runs to the rear.

For the second time the Russians will drown their Black Sea Fleet without a single shot at the enemy in 1918. It remains to add that two flagships of the Black Sea Fleet - the battleship Empress Maria (Императрица Мария) in 1918 and the battleship Novorossiysk (Italian trophy Giulio Cesare, transferred to the Russians by the allies after the WWII). She blows up in 1955. And the Russians still do not know why both ships exploded. Versions for the Novorossyisk are here (in Russian)

Установлена причина гибели линкора "Новороссийск". Тайны больше нет.

At the same time the commanders forced about 800 sailors to remain on the deck of the tilting ship. The sailors were not busy. Nearby were rescue ships but they were forbidden to switch to them. The sailors stood on the deck for almost 3 hours and most of them sank when the ship suddenly turned over. The tragedy claimed the lives of 609 sailors

The whole history of the Russian navy will end in the 1990s by turning almost all of it into mountains of useless scrap metal.

The Russians do not have important trade communications that the military fleet should cover, and there are no outer large markets or sources of strategic raw materials for the Russia that would require decent naval forces in one region or another. It’s not clear why they need a large fleet in the Baltic or in the Black Sea deadlock. And it is even more incomprehensible why the Russians are again spending such huge amounts of money on the restoration of their navy since the 2000s.

I saw in 1990 the rusted Russian ships in Sevastopol. And I think the new Russian fleet also has a great chance to turn into a new mountain of scrap metal without any use for the Russia.
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