In addition ... the author has no doubt that dear readers of the article are well aware of the composition and armament of the squadron, which blocked the way "Varyag" and "Korean", but we allow ourselves to remind them again, indicating the strength of the onboard volley of each ship, excluding guns 75-mm caliber and less, as almost incapable of harming the enemy.
So, the cruising forces under the command of Sotokichi Uriu included one first cruiser, two cruisers of 2 rank and three - 3-th. So, the main strike force of the Japanese, of course, was the 1 rank cruiser (armored) "Asama", the normal displacement (hereinafter - according to the "Technical Form") 9 710 t.
"Asama" on acceptance tests
The artillery armament consisted of 4 * 203-mm / 45, 14 * 152-mm / 40, 12 * 76-mm / 40, 8 * 47-mm guns, 4 * 203-45-7-152-mm guns could participate in the sideboard, and 40 * 2-3-18-203-mm guns could participate in the sideboard salvo 152-mm / 5-mm, 45 * XNUMX *, XNUMX * XNUMX * XNUMX-mm / XNUMX guns. On the ship there was a XNUMX rangefinder "Barr and Strud" and XNUMX rangefinder Fiske (obviously, an analogue of our micrometer Lyuzhol-Myakishev). There were XNUMX riflescopes - one for each XNUMX-mm and XNUMX-mm guns, torpedo armament was represented by XNUMX * XNUMX-cm torpedo tubes. We will consider booking this ship a little later.
The speed of “Asama” at the official tests, which took place on 10 in February of 1899, reached 20,37 knots during the natural thrust, and when forcing the boilers - the 22,07 knot. Shortly before the war, in mid-September, 1903, “Asama”, after overhaul in Kure, developed 19,5 knots on natural thrust and at a displacement slightly more than normal, 9 855 tons. As for the tests under forced domination, they are more likely of all, they were not carried out, but it can be assumed that a cruiser would have developed no less than 20,5 ties - by the way, this is precisely how fast the “Assam” was indicated in the Appendix to the Military Instructions of the Japanese fleet.
2 class cruisers (armored) "Naniwa" and "Takachiho".
These ships were of the same type, so we will consider both at once. The normal displacement of each was 3 709 tons, the armament (hereafter - as of 27 in January 1904) was represented by 8 * 152 / 40, from which 5 and 12 * 47-mm guns could fire on one side, and 4 torpedo tubes 36-cm. Each cruiser had one Barra and Stroude range finder, two Fiske range finders and eight optical sights. Both of these cruisers were handed over to the fleet in 1886, and immediately after their official transfer, in February of the same year, were tested by Japanese sailors. When forcing the boilers, the cruisers showed almost equal results: “Naniwa” - 18,695 knots, “Takachiho” - 18,7 knots.
In general, the power plants "Naniwa" and "Takachiho" deserve high marks, however, the first 10 years of service of the cruiser were very intensively exploited, and by 1896 g their cars and boilers were very worn out. Further their история Extremely similar - in 1896-1897 years. the cruisers underwent a thorough overhaul: the Takachiho passed it from July 1896 to March 1897, the tubes in the main and auxiliary boilers were completely replaced, the propeller shaft bearings were pressured and lubricated, all components and mechanisms were checked and repaired and repaired and hydraulic lines. Similar work was carried out on the “Nanivi”, while some of the bearings were replaced by new ones.
However, all this did not help much, and the XaniM g and the Naniwa and Takachiho boilers became practically unusable, as a result of which they had to be changed on both cruisers. Later, both cruisers repeatedly repaired their power plants, and, importantly, the last time before the war they were engaged in 1900 g in January - at the same time both ships passed tests, during which both showed the maximum speed of 1904 knots (though it is not clear , on forced blast or on natural thrust).
The next in our list is the “conditionally-armored” cruiser of the 3 rank “Chiyoda”, concurrently, perhaps, the main misunderstanding of the Sotokichi Uriu squadron.
The normal displacement of the cruiser was just 2 439 t, that is, even less than that of the Novik armored deck, but the ship could boast a long 114 mm armor that covered the ship's 2 / 3 waterline and had a height of 1,5 meter. The ship’s armament was made up of 10 * 120-mm / 40 quick-firing guns and 15 * 47 mm guns of two different types, 6 guns could be fired on board, torpedo guns - 3 * 36-cm TA. The ship had one Barra and Stroude rangefinder, and one Fiske rangefinder, but for some unclear reasons, 1 September 1903 September all the optical sights were removed from the ship, so that on 27 January, the 1904 g cruiser fought without them. I must say that this was completely atypical for the ships of the United Fleet.
Even greater interest is the power plant installation. It must be said that Chiyoda went into service, having fire tube boilers - with the 1891, which took place in January on tests, the cruiser developed an 19,5 knot on the forced draft - quite good for a cruiser of such dimensions and protection. However, in the period from April 1897 to May 1898, during the overhaul of Chiyoda, the fire tube boilers were replaced with water tube, Belleville systems. However, the repair was not done very skillfully (for example, after repair it turned out that the fittings available on the ship did not fit the new boilers, so the fittings had to be re-ordered and the ship was repaired for repair, which ended at the end of 1898. However This was not enough, and from then on Chiyoda repaired the undercarriage from January to May 1900 g, then from October 1901 g to March 1902 g, after which it seemed to be returned to the active fleet, but in April of the same year they were transferred to reserve 3-her turn and again sent for repair. s the cruiser removed the pipe and unloaded all the main and auxiliary mechanisms, the repair was carried out in the most capital way, having completed it after 11 months, in March 1903 g. After that, everything seemed to be good, on the tests of 3 in March 1903. The cruiser developed a 18,3 knot on natural thrust, and according to the tactical form, the speed of the Chiyoda was 19 knots (obviously, when forcing).
But Belleville boilers do not give up so easily. Already in 27 in September 1903 g, that is, after just a little less than 7 months after the March tests, the ship was able to develop only the 17,4 node on the natural load, while the ship continued to pursue power plant failures, it remained unreliable. And as such, it manifested itself during the battle itself. According to "Top Secret War of the Sea 37-38. Meiji "6 th Division" Ships and vessels ", Chapter VI," Power plants of class III cruisers "Niitaka", "Tsushima", "Otova", "Tiyoda", s.44-45 problems with "Chiyoda" arose from the very AM 27 January, when the cruiser, who left the Chemulpo raid and headed for the connection with the main forces to about. Herido, the crawlers of both cars started to clatter, and then began to poison the steam cap of one of the cylinders of the port side machine. Japanese mechanics managed to cope with these problems even before the battle. But when Chiyoda increased speed in 12.30 to follow the wake of Asame, in a few minutes the pressure in the boilers dropped: according to the Japanese, the base of the chimney began to heat up suspiciously quickly. However, then, leaks appeared in the boilers No. 7 and No. 11, and Chiyoda could no longer maintain the speed of the Asama (at that time within the 15 nodes), which made it necessary to withdraw from the battlefield.
Well, as they say, it does not happen to anyone. But here's the thing: if we read the description of the battle between Varyag and Koreyts with the Japanese squadron as edited by A.V. We will see that the distinguished author used slightly different sources, such as: the combat reports of the commanders of Japanese ships, including Rear Admiral S. Uriu, as well as sections of the same “Top Secret War at Sea”, which we already they mentioned, but its other heads, namely: “Actions of the flagship detachment Uriu”, “Covering the landing of the expeditionary detachment and the sea battle at Inchon”, and also “The sea battle at Inchon”. And according to these sources, the malfunctions of the Chiyoda power plant look a little bit different. At A.V. Polutov we read:
"At 12.48, Chiyoda simultaneously with Asama tried to increase speed, but because of poor-quality Japanese coal and fouling of the underwater part of the hull while stationed in Incheon, he could not keep 15 nodes and its speed dropped to 4-7 nodes. In 13.10, the commander of Chiyoda reported this to Naniwa and, on orders from Rear Admiral Uriu, left the wake of Asama, circulated, and ended up in the Naniwa and Niytaka column.
As you can see, there is not a word about the leakage of two boilers, but, out of nowhere, some kind of fouling appeared. From where Before the arrival at Chemulpo, Chiyoda was docked (the exact time at the dock is unknown, but it happened from August 30 to 27 September 1903, it is clear that the bottom had been cleaned), after which the cruiser arrived at Chemulpo 29 September 1903. Attention, the question is - what kind of fouling can we talk about in the northern, in fact, port, in the period October 1903 - January 1904 g, that is, in the autumn-winter months?
It would be much easier to believe in the version about the Great Kraken, which grabbed Chiyoda for the keel at the most inappropriate moment of the 27 battle of January 1904.
Thus, we see a reliable fact - in the battle with “Varyag” and “Korean” “Chiyoda” was not able to support either the 19 nodes put to him by the tactical form, nor the 1903 nodes shown to them at the 17,4 testing in September, he even 15 I could not give nodes, “sifting” in speed up to 4-7 nodes at some point in time. But we don’t understand the reasons that caused this sad fact, because in one source we see reasons for the poor quality of coal and fouling, and in the other - the poor quality of coal and leaking boilers.
For a change, read the description of this episode in the February 9 Battle Report of Incheon by the captain of the Chiyoda Captain 1 rank Murakami Kakuichi, presented by 9 February 37 of the Meiji year, in February - that is, the document was written hot on the heels (February 9 - This is January old style 27), on the day of the battle with Varyag:
“In 12.48,“ Asama ”, by order of the flagship, went north to pursue the enemy and significantly increased speed. Before that, during the 20 minutes, I constantly followed the “Asam” on its starboard side at the aft course corners at a speed of 15 nodes. There were no breakdowns in the engine room, but the chimney began to overheat. At that time, a fire broke out in the aft part of Varyag, and he, together with the Korean, began to move towards the Chemulpo anchorage, and the distance between them and me was constantly increasing and was already ineffective for firing 12-cm guns.
At 13.10, continuing to drive for the Asama has become very difficult, as I reported to the flagship. After that, by order of the flagship, I ended up in the Naniwa and Niitaka columns and turned off the alarm in 13.20, and in 13.21 I dropped the battle flag. ”
At 13.10, continuing to drive for the Asama has become very difficult, as I reported to the flagship. After that, by order of the flagship, I ended up in the Naniwa and Niitaka columns and turned off the alarm in 13.20, and in 13.21 I dropped the battle flag. ”
As we can see, the report of respected Kaprang directly contradicts information from the “Top Secret War at Sea” - according to the latter, the pressure in the “Chiyoda” boilers fell in 12.30, while Murakami Kakuichi claims that “the movement became difficult” only in 13.10. And if Murakami was right, then the cruiser would never have had time to raise the signal-message “Nanive” on 13.10 - it still takes time. The author of this article does not know a single case so that the materials of the “Top Secret War at Sea” directly lied, unless (theoretically) they could not agree on something. That is, if in the chapter “Power plants of class III cruisers“ Niitaka ”,“ Tsushima ”,“ Otova ”,“ Tiiyoda ”it is stated that“ Chiyoda ”in the 27 battle of January two boilers flowed, then this is true, because these data based on someone else's reports or other documents. Nobody would invent these breakdowns. If in other chapters devoted to the description of Chemulpo’s battle, the leaked boilers are not mentioned, then this can be considered a simple omission of compilers who probably did not analyze all the documents at their disposal - which is not surprising, considering their total number. Therefore, the absence of references to current boilers in some chapters of the “Top Secret War at Sea” can in no way serve as a refutation of another section of it, in which such information is given. And all this means that the boilers at Chiyod in the battle still flowed.
Working with various historical documents and materials, the author of this article derived two kinds of conscious lies for himself (we will not talk about numerous instances of sincere delusion, for this is an unconscious lie): in the first case, the default method is used, when the compilers do not directly lie, but keeping silent about certain circumstances form the reader’s distorted view of reality. Such sources should be approached carefully in terms of their interpretations, but at least the facts stated in them can be trusted. It is a different matter when the drafters of the document allow themselves a blatant lie - in such cases the source is generally not credible, and any fact set out in it requires close cross-checking. Unfortunately, the “Battle Report” of the Commander “Chiyoda” refers to the second case - it contains a direct lie, saying that “there were no breakdowns in the engine room”, while two boilers flew on the cruiser: not to know about this Murakami Kakuichi could not, forget too, because the report was made on the day of the battle. And this, in turn, means that the “Battle Reports”, unfortunately, cannot be considered a completely reliable source.
And again - all this is not a reason to cast doubt on absolutely all the reports of the Japanese. Just one of them was so scrupulous that in the description of the combat damage indicated "A large telescope was damaged as a result of the fall of an injured signalman" (the report of the battleship commander "Mikasa" about the 27 battle of January 1904 near Port-Arthur), and for someone and two poured in a battle boiler breakdowns were not considered. In general, in Japan, as elsewhere, people are different.
And here is another undisclosed nuance of the “behavior” of the Chiyoda power plant in that battle. As we can see, all in all sources four reasons were mentioned for the cruiser’s speed drop - fouling, boiler flow, heating of the chimney and poor quality coal. We will not talk about the first one, and as for the other three reasons, the leakage of the boilers is mentioned only in one chapter of the “Top Secret War at Sea”, but the other two reasons are almost universal (absolutely all sources mention the pipe, only Commander Chiyoda "In your report). But here is the question - what is it about heating the chimney, why can't a cruiser in a combat situation be fully operational? Let us recall the tests of the squadron battleship Retvizan - according to eyewitnesses, a flame flew out of its pipes, and they themselves were heated to such an extent that paint was burning on the smoke housings. And so what? Never mind! It is clear that this is a very extreme way of navigation, and it is better to never bring this up, but if the combat situation requires ... But the Chiyoda didn’t burn anything and the fire didn’t fly from the pipes - it was only about heating. This is the first.
The second. The replicas about "poor quality Japanese coal" are completely incomprehensible. The fact is that the Japanese ships really used both the magnificent English Cardiff and the very unimportant domestic coal. They differed quite seriously and could give significant changes in speed. So, for example, on tests of “Takachiho” 27 February 1902 g was used cardiff, and the cruiser (when forcing the boilers) reached the speed of 18 knots, while the consumption for 1 hp / h was 0,98 kg of coal. And on tests of 10 in July, 1903 g used Japanese coal - with a natural cruiser, the cruiser showed the 16,4 knot, but at the same time the consumption of coal was almost three times higher and amounted to 2,802 kg per 1 hp / hr. However, the opposite happened - for example, Naniwa with almost equal consumption of coal (1,650 kg cardiff and 1,651 kg Japanese coal on 1 hp per hour) in the first case developed 17,1 bonds, and in the second, seemingly the worst Japanese angle - 17,8 bonds! However, again, these tests were separated in time (the cruiser 17,1 showed 11.09.1900 and 17,8 - 23.08.1902), but in the first case the tests were carried out after replacing the boilers, that is, their condition was good, and also in the forced mode, and in the second - with a natural bust.
All of the above indicates one thing - yes, Japanese coal was worse. But not so much worse that the Japanese cruiser was not able to develop 15 nodes on it! But the main question is not even that ...
Why in general during the battle with “Varyag” and “Korean” “Chiyoda” used Japanese coal?
The answer here may be one - there was simply no cardiff on Chiod. But why? There was no overdeficit of this English coal in Japan. On the eve of the war (somewhere in the 18-22 gap in January 1904 g in old style), the ships of the 4 squad, which included Naniwa, Takachiho, Suma and Akashi, took coal to the full supply. At the same time, "Niitaka" on 22 January had 630 tons., "Takachiho" - 500 tons of Cardiff and 163 tons of Japanese coal. Regarding other ships, alas, there is no data, because in the reports they limited themselves to the words “full stock of coal was loaded” without detailing it, but it can be safely assumed that the main stock of them was exactly cardiff, which was to be used in combat, and Japanese coal could spent on other ship needs. However, as we know, since September 1903 was located in Chemulpo, and, in principle, it can be assumed that there was no inviolable cardiff stock on it - although, in fact, this alone does not characterize the cruiser commander in the best way.
Well, let's say, he was not allowed to load English coal, and orders, as we know, are not discussed. But then what? The war was on the nose, and this was well known, including Murakami himself, who began to prepare the ship for battle at least 12 days before the outbreak of the war, and later made stunning plans to drown the Varyag at night in the torpedoes of his cruiser. So why the cruiser commander did not bother to, on the eve of hostilities, delivered several hundred tons of Cardiff? All this testifies to the substantial omission of the Japanese in preparation for military operations - and is it not because of the topic of the drop in the speed of "Chiyoda" in their sources is not disclosed?
The Niitaka 3 cruiser was the most modern ship of the Sotokichi Uriu squadron, which, alas, did not make it the strongest or most reliable Japanese cruiser.
This ship had a normal displacement of 3 500 tons, and its armament was 6 * 152-mm / 40; 10 * 76-mm / 40 and 4 * 47-mm guns, torpedo tubes were not installed on the cruiser. The 4 * 152-mm / 40 guns could participate in the side salvo. Like Chiyoda, the Niitaka was equipped with one Barra and Stroude rangefinder and one Fiske, the cruiser also had 6 riflescopes.
As for the chassis, at the beginning of the hostilities, the “Niitaka” had not yet passed the entire cycle of tests, and if not for the war, then it would not have been accepted into the fleet at all. Regarding its speed, it is only known that on tests of 16 in January of 1904 g (probably in a new style) the cruiser developed the 17,294 node. This is significantly less than the 20 passport units that the cruiser was to reach, but this does not mean anything: the fact is that the power plants of the ships of that time were tested in several stages, gradually increasing the power of the machines on each and checking their condition after the tests. That is, the fact that “Niitaka” developed a little less than 17,3 nodes on pre-war trials does not mean that the cruiser was somehow defective, and could not develop 20 knots, it just “did not get” even before full-speed tests. On the other hand, it is clear that, since the cruiser did not pass such tests, it was dangerous to give 20 units on it in a combat situation - any breakdowns were possible, right up to the most serious, threatening a complete loss of progress.
It is not surprising that in battle the power plant of the cruiser also proved to be not the best: “The top secret war at sea of the 37-38. Meiji says that in the period from 12.40 to 12.46, both Niitaki machines suddenly began to work intermittently, and the speed of rotation uncontrolled changed from 120 to 135 rpm, which prevented the ship from maintaining a stable speed. However, after these six minutes, the cars returned to normal. This event can in no way be reproached either to the crew of the cruiser or to its design - during the tests, far more serious deficiencies in power plants are often identified and eliminated. However, another fact is remarkable - the commander of "Niitaki", Shoji Yoshimoto, also did not consider it necessary to reflect in his report such an "insignificant" nuance.
The 3-class cruiser “Akashi” was considered to be of the same type “Suma”, although in fact these cruisers had quite significant differences in design.
The Akashi normal displacement was 2 800 T, the armament was 2 * 152 / 40, 6 * 120 / 40, 12 * 47-mm guns, and 2 * 45-cm torpedo tubes. 2 * 152-mm / 40 and 3 * 120-mm / 40 guns could be fired on one side. On the cruiser there was one Barr and Stroude rangefinder and one Fiske, each 152-mm and 120-mm cannon was equipped with an optical sight, all of them were 8.
In March, 1899 tested the ship for 17,8 ties. on natural bridging and 19,5 knots - when forcing boilers. This, in general, was already a little, but the most unpleasant thing was that the power plant of cruisers of this type turned out to be quite capricious, so that during daily operation even these figures were inaccessible. In fact, “Akashi” did not get out of repairs - being handed over to the 30 fleet in March 1899, he already had a major car breakdown in September, and got up for repair. Next, Akashi 1900 got up for factory repair four times - in January (repair of main and auxiliary mechanisms of both machines and electric generators), in May (repair of bearings of both machines, elimination of leaks in the steam lines of the left-side machine, repair and hydraulic testing of boilers) , in July (replacement of asbestos insulation in furnaces) and in December (post-repair repairs).
Despite this, more than an intensive program, in October 1902 the power plant again required repair and replacement of part of the mechanisms, and, upon leaving the Akashi dock, managed to damage the bottom and blade of the left screw, which necessitated a new repair. But already in January, 1902 g found out that the wear of two boilers is so great that the cruiser is unable to develop a course of more 14 nodes. Nevertheless, in February of the same year, the cruiser was sent to stationary service in South China - on arrival there, the third boiler “covered itself” (stopped holding pressure). As a result, in April 1902 of Akashi rises for the next repair. But a year later (March 1903 d) - another “capital” of a global nature, with the change of worn-out components and mechanisms. It is not clear when this repair was completed, but it is known that in the period from September 9 to October 1 1903, Akashi again made repairs and adjustments to the main and auxiliary mechanisms of both machines and all boilers, in December they fixed the last faults. The cruiser was docking, and, finally, thanks to this whole series of endless repairs, in January 1904 was able to develop the 1904 node on a forced draft.
As for the Japanese destroyers, the picture with them is as follows: S. Uriu had two detachments at his disposal, the 9 and 14, and the 8 destroyers in total.
The 14 squadron consisted of the 1-class destroyers Hayabusa, Kasasagi, Manadzuru and Chidori, which were designed like the French 1-class destroyer Cyclone and produced in France (but were assembled in Japan ). All these destroyers joined the Japanese fleet in 1900 g, except for Chidori (9 on April 1901 g).
The 9 th detachment consisted of the destroyers of the same type as the 14 th, the only difference was that Kari, Aotaka, Hato and Tsubame were already fully established in Japanese shipyards. On 27 in January 1904 were the newest destroyers: they entered service in July, August, October and November 1903, respectively. By the way, this is often forgotten when evaluating the results of the 9 attack of the Koreyan gunboat detachment: Kari and Hato fired at her, only Kari with a certain stretch could be considered “ready for a campaign and battle”. "- still six months in the ranks, and" Hato "in the fleet was only three months. We should not forget that “Kari” shot when the “Korean” was deployed in Chemulpo, and in this case the correct preemption (even when shooting close) can be taken only if you represent the diameter of the circulation of the ship. In general, the failure of the 9 squad to deal with the Korean is quite understandable, and, in the author's opinion, it is not necessary to draw far-reaching conclusions about the poor preparation of Japanese destroyers.
But back to the destroyers Sotokichi Uriu - as we said earlier, they were essentially a single type of destroyer with a normal displacement of 152 t. The artillery armament was 1 * 57-mm and 2 * 47-mm guns, as well as three 3 * 36 -cm torpedo tubes. It should be noted that during the Russian-Japanese war (at the end of 1904 — early 1905) they were replaced by the same number of 18-inch TAs, but in the battle against Varyag and Korean, they were 14-inch.
These torpedo tubes could fire two types of torpedoes: “Ko” and “Otsu”. Despite the fact that the former were considered long-range and the latter were high-speed, the difference in the performance characteristics between them was minimal — both torpedoes had a weight of 337 kg, carried 52 kg of explosives, fired 600 / 800 / 2500 m. The main difference was that the “Ko” screw was two-bladed, while the “Otsu” had four blades, while the speeds at the indicated ranges differed slightly. For 600 m - 25,4 knots. for Ko and 26,9 for Otsu, for 800 m for 21,7 and 22 knots, and for 2 500 m for 11 and 11,6 knots. respectively.
As for the speed of ships, alas, there are almost no exact numbers. The destroyers of the 9 squadron on the acceptance tests developed from the 28,6 to the 29,1 node, and, in theory, the same speed should have been able to develop on the day of the battle with the Russian stationary. But the fact is that there were problems in the engine rooms at Aotaka and Hato, but it didn’t have any effect on their speed. The same can be said about the "Kari", which flowed in the tiller compartment. The only destroyer, according to which everything is clear, is “Tsubame” - due to the fact that during the pursuit of “Koreyets”, the destroyer jumped from the Chemulpo channel and hit the stones, damaging the blades of both screws, its speed was limited by 12 nodes. Well, according to the 14 squad, there is only test acceptance data, during which the destroyers developed from 28,8 to 29,3 nodes - however this was in 1900 and 1901, what speed they could develop in 1903-1904, in Unfortunately, there is no data. However, there is no reason to believe that their speed too much "slipped" relative to what was achieved in the tests.