Tsushima, Battle of

(1905)
   Fought May 27, Tsushima was the decisive naval battle of the Russo-Japanese War, a Japanese victory as spectacular as Horatio Nelson ’s at Trafalgar 100 years earlier. With the destruction of the Russian Pacific Fleet in the Battle of Shantung, the Baltic fleet was dispatched to help break the blockade of Port Arthur. In a feat of seamanship, Admiral Zinovi Petrovitch Rozhdestvenski led his fleet 18,000 nautical miles to the Pacific only to find that Port Arthur had fallen. Rozhdestvenski decided to sail for Vladivostok instead but was intercepted by the Japanese fleet under Admiral Heihachiro Togo in the Tsushima Straits.
   The two fleets joined battle on the afternoon of May 27, and the Japanese managed to “cross the T” of the Russian fleet twice and proceeded to destroy it systematically. Nearly the entire Russian fleet was sunk or captured; three cruisers made it to Manila where they were interned and two damaged destroyers and supply vessels made it to Vladivostok. Tsushima had two immediate and profound consequences: it hastened the day when Tsar Nicholas II would seek terms with the Japanese Empire and marked the emergence of Japanese naval power as a force to reckoned with.
   See also <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Busch, Noel Fairchild. The Emperor ’ s Sword: Japan vs. Russia in the Battle of Tsushima. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1969;
    Corbett, J. S. Maritime Operation in the Russo-Japanese War. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1995.
   ADRIAN U-JIN ANG

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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