The Battle of Tsushima (Kindle)
In 1905 Japan and Russia were at war. With the Russian Far East Fleet destroyed, the Czar decided to send his Baltic Fleet half way around the world to exact revenge. This mammoth journey took many months and was, in itself, an amazing feat of seamanship. But, at the end of this epic adventure, the Russians were totally overwhelmed and the vast majority of the fleet went to the bottom. There was no alternative for the Czar but to sue for an ignominious peace.
The story of the journey and the final battle remain fascinating, the people involved acting and deporting themselves like characters from a novel. Russian Admiral Rozhestvensky was a gunnery expert but someone who had never held active command in a major sea battle. Japanese Admiral Togo had trained in Britain, enlisting as a cadet on the Training Ship Worcester, even though he was far too old and was forced to lie about his age. Inept generalship on the part of the Russians, combined with brilliant seamanship from the Japanese Admiral Togo, saw the complete destruction of the Russian fleet.
The naval battle of Tsushima is one of the forgotten actions of the twentieth century, but it has a significance that is immense in world history.
This is an utterly compelling story, well told by Carradice. We really sympathise with the Russian sailors, trapped on their ironclad warships for months as they battled against the elements, a largely hostile world, and even each other. The result is an excellent book that reminds us of the human cost of these massive naval battles.History of War
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The book, impeccably written by Carradice is really a page turner. It is not heavy or too technical.On The Old Barbed Wire
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The author has skilfully combined historical fact with just enough credible assumption of potential conversations and actions of key actors ranging from commanders to humble sailors, to deliver a very readable account of the incredible journey to and final battle at Tsushima. The narrative rips along with page turning momentum to tell the story. Of course we may well know the outcome but the devices used by the author in no way diminish the history and its telling impact on Russia and indeed the course of history in the Pacific.Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide