In the cycle dedicated to the Russian "lightning", the armored cruisers "Pearl" and "Emerald", we left these ships at the end of the hostilities of the Russo-Japanese War, in which they took part. For the Emerald, this was a breakthrough between the Japanese troops surrounding the remains of the 2nd and 3rd Pacific squadrons, and for the Pearls, when he, together with Oleg and Aurora, arrived in Manila after the Tsushima battle. But considerable interest are the further service and death of both of these cruisers. In the proposed material, the author will consider the tragic end. stories cruiser "Emerald".
Victim of panic moods
According to the classic point of view, the death of the cruiser was the result of a psychological breakdown of his commander, Baron Vasily Nikolayevich Ferzen. He quite reasonably and adequately commanded the cruiser in the battle of Tsushima. After the devastating day battle for the Russian squadron, in the evening of May 14, V.N. Fersen left the Emerald with the main forces of the squadron, although it would have been much safer to try to break into Vladivostok alone. And finally, despite the shock experienced by the Russian sailors and the commander of the Emerald, at the sight of the miserable remnants of his squadron and practically intact Japanese fleet morning of May 15, V.N. Fersen nevertheless found the strength to ignore the shameful order of Rear Admiral N.I. Nebogatova about surrender and go on a breakthrough.
But then the commander of the Emerald panicked. Instead of going directly to Vladivostok, for some reason he took the northeast, wanting to bring the cruiser either to the bay of St. Vladimir, or to the bay of St. Olga, and, as a result, put the cruiser on stones in the bay of Vladimir. Then, instead of sending a message to Vladivostok and waiting for help from there, he blew up the cruiser.
How sound is this point of view?
Breakthrough and chase
Let us briefly recall the circumstances of the “beautiful departure” of the “Emerald” from the main forces of the enemy, which took place on May 15. The cruiser made a breakthrough at about 10.30 am trying to develop the maximum stroke. It is difficult to say what kind of speed he reached, nevertheless, an analysis of the officers' reports suggests 21.5 knots. Russian official history claims that the 6th Japanese military detachment and the Chitose armored cruiser were chasing the cruiser. But get close to the ship V.N. Fersen at a distance of effective shooting they failed: A.A. Alliluyev and M.A. Bogdanov in his work on cruisers such as the Emerald, note that the shells fired from Japanese ships to the Emerald did not reach. According to several domestic sources, the pursuit of the Russian cruiser was stopped at 14.00.
According to Japanese data, everything was a bit wrong. Only the Akitsushima and Chitose went for the Emerald. The first “chased” the Russian cruiser for about half an hour, having a speed of not more than 14 knots. "Chitose" was a little more persistent. Having quickly lost sight of the Emerald, he was moving in the direction where the Russian cruiser had gone a little over two hours, developing 17 or 18 knots. They didn’t open fire from Japanese ships, the Emerald also did not shoot beyond the range, which follows from the report of its commander. And it can be argued that the Japanese refused all attempts to catch up with the Emerald a little later than 12.30, maybe at 13.00. Where, then, in Russian sources, the time is 14.00?
Armored cruiser "Akitsushima", Kobe, 1897
Perhaps this is taken from the testimony of the Investigative Commission of the navigational officer, Lieutenant Polushkin, who claimed that “the pursuit of the enemy cruisers lasted about 3 hours” and “around 14.00 the enemy cruisers disappeared from sight”. Here we can only assume that the officer, writing down from memory, was inaccurate, or that some other Japanese ships or ships that were mistaken for cruisers pursuing him were seen on the Emerald. It is also possible that Polushkin did not mean the Japanese cruisers themselves, but the smokes that can be seen long enough after the ships releasing them disappeared over the horizon.
Further events on May 15
Be that as it may, the Emerald believed that they had only come off the Japanese at 14.00:14 p.m. and had no doubt that the enemy cruisers would continue the pursuit - this should be taken into account when evaluating the further actions of the crew and commander of the Russian ship. From Japanese sources it follows that the chase was stopped earlier, but here there can be no complaints against our sailors. It often happens at sea that it’s not what is actually happening, especially when it comes to observations at a great distance. In addition, the refusal of the Japanese to chase looks completely unnatural. Their forces surrounding the Russian squadron had an overwhelming numerical advantage, and the United Fleet admirals had in abundance comparatively high-speed armored cruisers, which they could send in pursuit of the Emerald. Clear explanations of why this was not done, the sources do not contain. Perhaps the attention of the Japanese commanders was so captured by the capitulating squadron N.I. Nebogatova, that they had forgotten to give the corresponding order, hoping that another admiral would give the necessary command? Or did the Japanese, knowing the "passport" speed of the Emerald, believe that it would still not be possible to catch it? But even in this case, an attempt should still be made - the Japanese knew from their own experience that ships in combat conditions were far from always capable of giving the course demonstrated by tests. In addition, our opponents should take into account that in the battle on May XNUMX, the Emerald could be damaged, which did not allow it to maintain high speed for a long time.
Thus, the refusal to prosecute Emerald looked completely illogical and V.N. Fersen could not, and should not have counted on such a gift of fate. He didn’t expect it: without a doubt, both the ship’s commander and his officers understood the poor condition of the Emerald’s vehicles, but it was still clear that after “parting” with the pursuit, for some time it was necessary to go at maximum speed to finally break away from the Japanese cruisers and only then reduce the speed.
Alas, the Emerald power plant failed to withstand such a load. Somewhere between 14.00 p.m. and 15.00 p.m., that is, only within an hour after the "Emerald" ceased to "see" the pursuers, the steam line burst on the ship, supplying the steering machine and auxiliary mechanisms of the feed machine. From the side, the accident had a very eerie appearance - the cruiser noticeably lost track, and along the ramp leading to the boiler room upward thick clouds of steam burst forth. The stoker Gemakin was not taken aback: just a few minutes after the accident, he pulled canvas tarps on his hands and a bag over his head, doused with cold water, was already descending into the stoker. Soon he was followed by one of the drivers. The accident was eliminated in half an hour, but, of course, it was no longer possible to commission the steam line.
Usually it is indicated that the speed of the ship was reduced to 15 knots, but, apparently, the drop was even more noticeable. So, the senior officer of Emerald P. Patton-Fanton-de-Verraion pointed out: “Initially, the speed was about 21,5 knots, then, about 3 hours, when the steam line burst, they reduced the speed to 14-15 knots, and then reduced and up to 13 ".
Thus, by approximately 15.00:15 on May XNUMX, the Emerald from a high-speed and practically intact cruiser turned into a wounded-slow-wrecker, unable to evade the battle with the vast majority of Japanese armored cruisers. There is no doubt that if the Japanese had shown a little more perseverance in the pursuit of the Emerald, then he would have expected a heroic death in battle. Fortunately, this did not happen, but still the position of the Russian ship remained extremely difficult: in addition to the loss of course, the coal reserves on the cruiser caused great concern.
And again to the issue of overloading Russian ships with coal
Unfortunately, the exact amount of coal on the Emerald on May 15 is impossible to indicate. V.N. Fersen highlighted this issue in his testimony of the Commission of Inquiry:
"How many tons of coal were, I can’t say, the last loading of coal was on May 10 in the North China Sea, after the passage of the island groups of Mao Tao and Likey, where 750 tons were received."
The indicated 750 tons obviously led to the ship overload - according to the project, the normal coal reserve was 360 tons, and the maximum, calculated by the capacity of coal pits - 535 tons. However, it can be assumed that V.N. Fersen mistakenly overestimated the amount of coal somewhat (on the morning of May 11, the Emerald reported that he had 629 tons of coal), but in any case, it turned out that at the time of the last bunkering the coal reserves far exceeded the total coal reserve for the cruiser. It would seem - horror-horror-horror, to what this nightmare coal maniac Z.P. brought the squadron Rozhdestvensky, that's just ...
On the morning of May 13, coal reserves at the Emerald accounted for almost the maximum load, 522 tons.
Data from the morning reports of the ships of the Russian squadron submitted to the Investigation Commission by the senior officer of the Almaz armored cruiser Captain 2nd rank Dyachkov
After the battle on May 14 and the breakthrough on May 15, the cruiser was left with coal not just small, but catastrophically small. In total, the cruiser had 6 boiler rooms and 16 boilers, while in the first and second stoker there were 1 boilers, and in the rest - three. So, almost all of the remaining coal reserves lay in the pit of the first stoker. There were almost no coal in the pits of the 2nd and 2rd stoker, and the 1th, 2th and 3th stoker had no coal at all. In order to use them, the sailors had to manually carry coal from a large pit at the first stoker. In words - it’s easy, but it’s almost 4/5 of the cruiser’s length! Moreover, for this it was necessary to raise it to the upper deck, transfer it, and then lower it into the necessary stoker.
And in fact, the reserves of the first boiler house turned out to be not very large - despite the fact that the cruiser went only 1 knots the rest of the day on May 15 and 16, by the time coal arrived in St. Vladimir’s Bay, there were about 13 tons. Taking into account the testimony of Lieutenant Polushkin that the cruiser spent about 10 tons of coal per day of the economic course, it turns out that the Emerald left about 60 fuel left, with a force of 4 hours of the economic course. And this despite the fact that the whole tree on the cruiser, excluding 5 boats and masts with ropes, was sent to the furnaces and burned on the night of May 3-15 ...
Undoubtedly, at the beginning of the Tsushima battle “Emerald” had a coal reserve close to maximum. But on May 14, the cruiser did not receive any noticeable damage that would entail an increased consumption of coal. It also cannot be said that V.N. Fersen abused the speed qualities of his ship. Sometimes on May 14 the Emerald would go full speed, but for the most part it stayed close to the main forces and moved at a fairly moderate speed. The same applies to the night of May 14-15. At the same time, from the beginning of the breakthrough on May 15 to the breakdown of the steam line, when the Emerald squeezed out everything it could do from its power plant, it took 4,5 hours.
In other words, nothing extraordinary happened in the battle of Tsushima in terms of fuel consumption with the cruiser - ordinary combat work for a ship of its class. Nevertheless, by the evening of May 15, there was exactly enough coal left on the Emerald to “crawl” to Vladivostok with an economic route of 13 knots. And not a ton more.
Why did this happen? Of course, the Emerald did not have everything in order with the power plant, but alas, things were a little better on many other ships of the Russian squadron. But the fact is that the features of the running modes in battle lead to a high consumption of coal, even if the ship does not receive damage, and if it does, then it can increase even more. And the commander of the 2nd Pacific Squadron could not ignore this.
According to the author, the story of the cruiser Emerald is an excellent example that explains why Z.P. Rozhdestvensky needed "extra" coal on the squadron.
But what if the fight does happen?
The prospects of meeting with Japanese ships on May 15-16 for the Emerald were extremely depressing. Of course, the extreme fatigue of the crew would have affected. It is clear that there was no time to rest during the battle of May 14 and the breakthrough of May 15, but then V.N. Fersen had to use almost the entire crew to drag coal into the empty fireplaces. Here is how he described it himself in the testimony of the Investigative Commission: “The team that worked on May 14 without rest was so tired that three people had to be assigned to work performed in ordinary times alone, especially to supply coal to the boilers. The entire combat team was busy pulling coal on the upper deck. "
Analyzing sea battles of those times, we often confine ourselves to studying the technical condition of ships, while ignoring the state of its crew. But one must never forget that it is people who fight, not technology.
However, at the Emerald and on the technical side, everything was more than bad. In the event of a fight, of course, it would be impossible to drag coal along the deck, and this led to the need to stop the fumes in the 4th, 5th and 6th stoker, thus stopping only 9 of the 16 boilers working in this way. Naturally, the middle car had to would stop too and the cruiser would have to fight with two out of three working vehicles. But it would also be dangerous to overload them - the Emerald refrigerators were very clogged, which had a particularly bad effect on the operation of the right-hand car. The latter, even when driving at 13 nodes during May 16, had to be stopped periodically.
Thus, if, say, on May 16th, the Emerald would meet an enemy cruiser, then all that was left for it was to enter the battle, having 7 boilers out of 16 and 2 out of three under steam. Perhaps, having dispersed both of them “to the fullest”, the ship managed to give full speed, which was only possible in such a situation - offhand there are hardly more than 18 knots. But, even if a miracle happened and the cars could stand it, the coal reserves were enough for about 2 hours, after which the Emerald completely lost its course and could only move with the flow.
In the event of a battle with at least some equal enemy, the Emerald was doomed.
Actions V.N. Fersen in the evening of May 15 and 16
As you know, in order to go to Vladivostok, the Russian squadron had to adhere to the general course NO23, but the Emerald during the breakthrough was more likely to go to O, that is, to the east. This, of course, was a forced decision, since the course of the breakthrough was determined by the position of the Japanese military units, between which the cruiser should have slipped. But then, when the Japanese ships disappeared from the horizon, Baron V.N. Fersen should adjust the route and decide where exactly he will lead the cruiser entrusted to him.
Why didn't the Emerald go to Vladivostok? All sources known to the author give the same answer: V.N. Fersen feared to meet the enemy forces there. Today we know that there were no enemy cruisers on the way to Vladivostok, and this decision of the cruiser commander seems unnecessary caution. But it is today.
And then for the Russian sailors the refusal of the Japanese to pursue the Emerald was categorically incomprehensible. And the only reasonable explanation why this happened was that the Japanese, instead of fleeing east to the fast cruiser, which they might not have caught up with, immediately went north-east, along the shortest route to Vladivostok. That is how they could level the advantage of the Emerald in speed, and in addition, from the point of view of the Japanese, it would be wise to put a cruising barrier near Vladivostok to intercept not only the Emerald, but also other Russian ships that fought off the main forces of the squadron at night from May 14 to May 15.
Thus, reasoning with an open mind, the probability of stumbling upon Japanese forces on the way to Vladivostok seemed very high, while the Emerald did not have any chances to survive after such a collision. So the decision of V.N. Fersen go to the bay of St. Vladimir or St. Olga looks quite logical and reasonable.
But where exactly did the Emerald commander lead his cruiser? Here, in the sources, big discrepancies begin. So, A.A. Alliluyev and M.A. Bogdanov write:
“Coal was running out when, on the night of May 17, the Emerald approached the bay of St. Vladimir, but the commander, who had spent almost the third day almost without sleep, suddenly decided to go south, to the bay of St. Olga. But on the way, hearing about the Japanese ships that often looked there before the war, Fersen changed his mind and the cruiser, burning the last tons of coal, headed back. Unfortunately, it is in the bay of St. Olga had the coal stock so needed for the cruiser. ”
One gets the feeling that V.N. Fersen just darted in a panic, not knowing where to stumble. But here V.V. Khromov, in his monograph, describes the same events much more calmly: "At 18.00 we took a course leading to a point equidistant from Vladivostok and Vladimir Bay 50 miles from the coast, and there they were about to decide where to go." And further on according to V.V. Khromov V.N. Fersen really wondered whether to go nevertheless to go to Vladimir Bay or to go to Olga Bay, which is on the same side. And, on the advice of his senior officer, he nevertheless chose Vladimir Bay. It is also worth noting that the distance between these two bays is as much as 13,5 nautical miles, so it would not have been possible to burn a significant amount of coal even in the case of “throwing” between them.
If you read the documents, then, according to the testimony of the lieutenant of the navigational officer, Lieutenant Polushkin, the commander of the Emerald decided to go to the bay of St. Vladimir immediately after the report of the mechanic that the cruiser is unable to give a move in excess of 15 knots. due to fear of damage, that is, in the evening of May 15. Moreover, according to V.N. Ferzena: “At first I planned to go to Olga, but the senior officer expressed the opinion that this bay was probably mined to give shelter to our destroyers from the enemy. Having recognized this opinion as solid, he chose Vladimir as the closest to Olga, where he hoped, perhaps, to find a telegraph station. ”
Unfortunately, the author was unable to find an exact description of the Emerald route, which could only dot all the i's. But nevertheless, based on the foregoing, the conclusion suggests itself that there was no “shyness” between the bays, and that V.N. Fersen made a decision where to lead the cruiser in the evening of May 15. Moreover, this decision was quite balanced, made after discussion with the cruiser officers and did not look at all like any panic.
And then ... the night of May 16 and the day following it, the cruiser hardly moved at 13 knots, periodically stopping the right car. To the bay of St. Vladimir "Emerald" arrived at the first hour of the night on May 17. And here, in a good way, one should have anchored off the coast in order to enter the bay in the morning, but the Emerald did not have enough coal until the morning. Thus, V.N. Fersen had no choice but to lead the cruiser into the bay in the darkness of night.
Did the Emerald commander have any other options? The author does not see those. To anchor the cruiser at the bay and completely extinguish the firebox to save coal was extremely dangerous. In order to "unscramble" them back, it would take time, and considerable, and the sea to that and the sea, which sometimes presents surprises, and it was impossible to leave the ship without the ability to make a move at night. And just like that, it was impossible to “play” with the speed of the ship in order to manage to approach the bay during the day or vice versa, at dawn - there simply was no coal for that.
Further well-known. V.N. Fersen was planning to put the Emerald in the depths of the southern part of the Fertoing Bay (a rather complicated way of setting 2 anchors) side to the entrance to the bay and thereby be able to meet with full on-board fire any enemy ship that tries to go to the cruiser. Then the commander intended to establish contact with Vladivostok, and there already act according to the circumstances.
Unfortunately, these calculations were not destined to be executed. The Emerald quite successfully passed the entrance capes, but then, trying to pass through the three-cable passage to the southern part of the bay, took it too close to Cape Orekhova and jumped out onto the reef. The cruiser sat tight - two-thirds of its hull were very shallow, with the left side out of the water about 60 cm (two feet).
And this failure, apparently, became the very straw that breaks the back of a camel. Before the Emerald is stranded, all the actions of V.N. Fersen look logical and reasonable. But everything that happened afterwards no longer fits into the idea of the brave and resourceful commander that V.N. showed himself to be. Fersen before that.
The attempt to take the Emerald aground was carried out “for show” - only provisions and a part of the crew were transported from the cruiser to the shore, but the ammunition and water in the boilers remained in place. V.N. Fersen explained this by the fact that he could not deprive the cruiser of shells due to the danger of the appearance of the enemy, but who prevented the ammunition from being transported to the stern of the Emerald? Shoot at St. In any case, Olga could only have two 120-mm guns, a jute and a right shkane, so the rest of the guns, obviously, did not need ammunition. And if there was a need to blow up the cruiser, the shells and charges detonated in the stern no worse than anywhere else in the hull, and they would have inflicted no less damage. In addition, such a solution loaded the stern, unloading the center of the hull and bow, that is, created good prerequisites for the removal of the ship aground. The water from the boilers could probably also be drained - not from all, but only from those that could not be used anyway due to the lack of coal.
Thus, it seems that V.N. Fersen did not do everything possible to save his cruiser. Having lost hope to take the ship aground, V.N. Fersen was absolutely sure that the Japanese would soon find the Emerald and considered its destruction the only way to prevent the capture of the cruiser by the Japanese. He considered it impossible to fight, since only two 120-mm guns could shoot towards the exit of their bay.
It may well be that in terms of the battle V.N. Fersen was right. As far as the author could figure it out, the Japanese, when they appeared at Vladimir Bay there was no need to climb into it, they could shoot the Emerald maneuvering at sea. Under such conditions, 120-mm artillery could be quickly suppressed. But why it was impossible to wait for the appearance of the enemy, and only then blow up the cruiser?
In his testimony of the Commission of Inquiry V.N. Fersen explained his decision by the fact that he was not sure of the destructiveness of the prepared explosions. In other words, the commander of the Emerald feared that on the first attempt the cruiser would not receive decisive damage excluding its aground and towing, and that it would be necessary to re-mine and detonate it - but there would be no time left for it because of the enemy.
There was a certain reason for these considerations, but even taking all this into account, it was necessary to soberly assess the risks. If the Japanese appear at all, if they find a cruiser, then perhaps its undermining will not lead to decisive damage ...
Could the Japanese be expected to appear at Vladimir Bay, where the Emerald accident occurred? The author is absolutely sure that V.N. Fersen really should have expected the Japanese from Vladivostok, although in reality they were not there. But the likelihood that the Japanese would still view the coastline for hundreds of kilometers should be estimated as very small.
Yes, theoretically, without finding the Emerald near Vladivostok, the Japanese could have assumed that it was standing somewhere in the bays of the Russian coast and carried out a search there. But what would it look like in reality? Obviously, the detachment, which the Japanese could immediately send to patrol near Vladivostok after the battle, would not have to be assigned to bunkering after such a long time, so the passage to Vladivostok was again open. Why, then, should the Japanese return and search along the coastline?
Nevertheless, the ships of the United Fleet did indeed visit Vladimir’s bay, but this only happened on June 30, when the Japanese sent Nissin and Kassugu with the 1st detachment of fighters for reconnaissance and demonstration - that is, without any connection with the search for the cruiser.
In other words, even in theory, the chances of the Japanese appearing at Vladimir Bay were, although non-zero, but not high. In reality, the Japanese after the Tsushima battle are not about scouring the coastline - they even considered the patrol at Vladivostok unnecessary. Thus, the firm conviction of V.N. Fersen in the fact that the Japanese "are about to appear" was obviously mistaken.
Finally, the suspicion of the commander of the Emerald that the first attempt would not succeed in destroying the cruiser also did not materialize. For the detonation, the charging compartments of Whitehead mines were used, which were laid in the aft cartridge cellar and the provisions compartment located at the bow cartridge cellar. At the same time, the tubes of segmented shells in the cellars were installed on impact.
It is not entirely clear why the cellar itself was not mined in the nose, but the room adjacent to it, but this had a decisive effect on the effectiveness of the blasting. The explosion in the nose did not seem to cause heavy damage, but caused a fire that reached the cartridge cellar, so that the shells in it burst within half an hour. But the explosion in the stern turned the hull right up to the midsection. There wasn’t any talk about agrounding and towing, but the commander, after inspecting the cruiser, found that the vehicles were preserved and further blew them up, after which the Emerald finally turned into a pile of scrap metal.
Spoiled "Emerald" in 1905
Thus, we can state that none of V.N.’s considerations Fersen, with whom he was guided, making the decision to undermine the cruiser was not justified. The Japanese did not appear at Vladimir Bay, and the cruiser was actually destroyed by an explosion on the first try.
The third mistake V.N. Fersen should be considered a rejection of the military council. I must say that the commander of the Emerald was not inclined to collect it before, but there can be no complaints. When it was necessary to make a breakthrough, there was no time to gather advice, and the decision to turn to Vladimir Bay instead of Vladivostok was completely within the competence of the cruiser commander and the military council.
But now it was about the destruction of the Emerald, and in the absence of an immediate threat - after all, there were no Japanese on the horizon. Thus, V.N. Fersen was both an occasion and time for a military council, but instead, he limited himself to individual conversations with officers. During these conversations, only two officers, warrant officer Virenius and mechanic Topchev, spoke out against the immediate destruction of the cruiser, while the rest agreed with their commander.
But, if so, was there any sense in a military council? V.V. Khromov, in his monograph, expresses an interesting hypothesis that the decision of the council could still lead to the rejection of the Emerald. The fact is that, as you know, the youngest officer first speaks at a military council, and then in seniority. So, the first at the military council would be to speak to Ensign Shandrenko (Shandrenko?), And he, according to the entries in his diary, was against the immediate destruction of the cruiser. Behind him were the midshipman Virenius and the mechanic Topchev, who, as we know, also opposed the blast.
If this happened, and the three junior officers spoke out in favor of refusing to immediately destroy the Emerald, then it would be much more difficult for the remaining officers to support the idea of a cruiser commander. And - who knows, it could very well turn out that the military council would speak out against the destruction of the ship. However, of course, V.N. Fersen, in this case too, could have made the decision to undermine the cruiser, taking full responsibility for himself - he had such a right.
Of course, it is impossible to argue that the military council prevented the immediate destruction of the cruiser. But it is obvious that the refusal to conduct it destroyed the last chance to save the Emerald from its own commander. There is also no doubt that the Emerald could have been saved. In the bay, Olga had a telegraph, through which it was possible to contact Vladivostok, and, according to V.V. Khromov even managed to send the armored cruiser Rossiya to the rescue of the Emerald. Undoubtedly, he could share coal with a cruiser that ran aground. And it is more than likely that, using a giant armored cruiser as a tugboat, the Emerald could be put into open water, after which both ships could return to Vladivostok. There were no Japanese troops that could interfere with them.
The blame for the death of the cruiser "Emerald" should be entirely and completely laid on his commander, V.N. Fersen. The baron has established himself as an experienced navigator, having led his essentially unfinished cruiser through half the world. He reasonably commanded the Emerald in the daytime battle devastating for the Russian squadron on May 14 and did not leave the main forces of the squadron to their fate on the night that the Japanese destroyers went hunting. V.N. Fersen directed his ship to breakthrough when the rest surrendered. To do this, you had to have real courage, especially since the commander of the Emerald had a good idea of how unreliable the mechanisms of his cruiser were, and what would happen if they failed at the wrong time. And finally, all the actions of V.N. Fersen after separation from the Japanese, including the decision to enter Vladimir’s bay at night, were quite reasonable and adequate to the situation, as it was supposed to be presented on the Russian cruiser.
Apparently, V.N. Fersen did not panic even after the Emerald was stranded. But the heavy burden of responsibility for the ship entrusted to him, the fatigue of the 9-month transition to Tsushima, the psychological stress from losing the battle with a crushing score led to the thought: “The Japanese are close and about to appear and capture the Emerald, and I don’t I can prevent this ”became, for him, in fact, intrusive. Obviously, the worst thing for V.N. Ferzen was to surrender the ship to the enemy: he could not and did not want to follow the example of Admiral N.I. Nebogatova.
According to the author, the commander of the cruiser Emerald should not be blamed for cowardice. It is noteworthy that V.N. Fersen, destroying the cruiser, did not seem to play, he really was absolutely sure that he was doing the right thing. It can be assumed that V.N. Fersen's is some form of neurosis or some other form of mental disorder, and that this case should probably be studied from a medical point of view.
But there is no doubt another. The commander of a warship cannot afford such luxury as neurosis, he must be extremely psychologically stable in any situation. V.N. Fersen, alas, was not like that.
One can argue about whether V.N. Fersen Gold weapon with the inscription "For courage" for the breakthrough of "Emerald". But, according to the author, in the future he should not have been appointed to the post of commander of a ship, or, especially, a detachment of warships, as happened in reality: after the Russo-Japanese War, V.N. Fersen commanded the Aurora cruiser, the 2nd mine division, the cruiser brigade, and even the Baltic Fleet battleship brigade. Probably, he should have been left in a “coastal” position, like the commander of a major port, or persuaded to resign.
To be continued ...