The probable reason for the “surrender” of Sakhalin during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905

The probable reason for the “surrender” of Sakhalin during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905

Quite a lot has already been said and written about the Russo-Japanese War. At the same time, the topic of Sakhalin stands apart, causing a lot of controversy among historians and other experts.

Some talk about a deliberate "surrender", others about the impossibility at that time to organize the defense of the island. Meanwhile, the capture of Sakhalin by the Japanese looks much worse than the Battle of Tsushima. During the latter, at least there was a large-scale and uncompromising battle.

It is worth recalling that by the beginning of the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905, there was a complete absence of coastal defense, fortifications and machine guns on Sakhalin. The army, if you can call it that, consisted of 6 guns and 1500 people.

Of course, immediately (on the second day) after the start of the war, mobilization was carried out on the island. True, 2400 exiled convicts with "Berdanks" and with a complete lack of military skills could hardly repulse the Japanese.

With heavy weapons, an incomprehensible situation has developed at all. The Russian Empire had at its disposal hundreds of obsolete cannons in the Black and Baltic Seas, which could be transferred along the Tatar Strait to Sakhalin and turned into a fortress. Actually, there was no shortage of people then either.

Meanwhile, 8 guns of 1877 and 12 machine guns arrived on the island. As mentioned above, 6 more guns were located there initially. Of the fortifications, only trenches on the shore were prepared. And that's all that was done a year before the Japanese invasion.

Why didn't the authorities of the Russian Empire turn Sakhalin into an impregnable fortress? After all, there was enough time for that.

The answer probably lies in economic reasons.

The thing is that in 1904 Sakhalin, despite its richest natural resources, did not bring any profit at all. Corruption flourished among the bureaucratic class.

In general, the island, with its harsh climatic conditions, was then used by the authorities of the Russian Empire as a place for the exile of convicts.

That is why senior officials preferred the defense of Vladivostok and the islands off the coast, where serious defensive fortifications were built. Sakhalin was then perceived as a territory that did not represent a high value.

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  1. +3
    31 March 2023 10: 20
    Not a good topic .... Now we already have many such "not particularly valuable territories". For some dancers, their eggs even become "not very valuable" ....
    1. +3
      31 March 2023 14: 30
      Well, what are you really?
      The beginning of the war and subsequent hostilities on land and at sea showed the frank venality of admiral generals and even ministers.
      The gendarmes conducted very careful investigations, taking into account titles and favor with the *royal house*, but even they revealed frank bribery of the admiral generals of the RUSSIAN EMPIRE by the Japanese-English-French-Germans.
  2. +11
    31 March 2023 10: 22
    Underestimation of the enemy, hatred moods, stupid and frankly harmful behavior of the government led to the fact that the Russian Empire lost half of Sakhalin, lost the Battle of Tsushima and, as a result, received a revolution.
    It's good that in 1945 - everything was returned thanks to the Soviet Soldier and Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin.
    1. +1
      31 March 2023 10: 32
      Yes, the role of the individual in history cannot be put anywhere - only not the Kuriles, but Sakhalin.
      1. +5
        31 March 2023 10: 44
        You are right, but you need to start with the fact that this Nikolai completely blew the entire Russo-Japanese war. During this time, Port Arthur and the port city of Dalniy were surrendered to the Japanese, the Port Arthur squadron was completely destroyed, then the second and third squadrons were defeated in Tsushima, and the Russian land army retreated and suffered defeat. And after the war, the Japanese were given half of Sakhalin. In addition, due to the thoughtlessness of Nicholas, a revolution of 1905 took place in the country, and in 1917 - the second revolution
      2. -1
        April 1 2023 08: 17
        Quote: Flibuster
        Yes, the role of the individual in history cannot be put anywhere - just not the Kuriles, but Sakhalin

        You, like a pig worshiper, are mixing church and state. Nicholas II became a saint for the deeds that he committed after his abdication.
        And if on the topic, then the accession of Sakhalin, the Kuriles and Alaska was associated with the barbaric production of a sea animal. In Alaska, over 10 years, 20 million seals were destroyed by Russian settlers. And the money from this production unfortunately settled in the Parisian casinos. And this is not the fault of the government of Nicholas. When he came to power, the natural resources of these regions had already been plundered.
        The same Japanese that built on Sakhalin in 50 years? It is foolish to blame the tsarist government for doing nothing. It did ... At least the transib was built. Drive through it at least once, look at the buildings that were built in those years.
  3. +4
    31 March 2023 10: 28
    Well, yes, transferring guns from the Baltic and the Black Sea to Sakhalin is a trifling matter, especially in 1904
    1. +3
      31 March 2023 10: 51
      This should have been done before 1904. The railway to the Far East was still under construction.
      I don’t think it was a big problem to load the transport and transfer it by sea-okian. But before the war, of course.
      Most likely no one thought that Russia would lose in this war.
      Probably, even now the Far East has little time and money allocated. It is necessary to actively develop these territories. There are still many treasures buried in the ground.
      1. +1
        31 March 2023 11: 42
        Seriously, to expose the Baltic and the Black Sea for the sake of Sakhalin?
        1. +3
          31 March 2023 11: 58
          The article talks about hundreds of obsolete guns in the Baltic and the Black Sea. About them and talk.
        2. 0
          April 2 2023 10: 25
          In the Baltic, obsolete cannons were of little use - on the western frontiers it was historically necessary to have the most advanced weapons in each historical period. And there was a reason - Sakhalin coal, which was local and did not have to be transported there almost across the entire globe. And at that time everything worked on coal and almost did not use oil - and the plant, and boiler rooms and a military battleship and a commercial dry cargo ship and a sea passenger liner.
          Back in 1853, the sailors of the Russian steam schooner "Vostok" on the shore of Cape Due loaded the first 15 thousand pounds of Sakhalin coal into the holds of their ship. It would be quite necessary to turn it into a "Sakhalin Fortress" by fortification, by analogy with the Port Arthur fortifications.

          Therefore, there were rather economic reasons for carefully defending it; Weird.

          The answer probably lies in economic reasons.
  4. 0
    31 March 2023 10: 30
    The reason is the same as in the NMD in Ukraine - an underestimation of the enemy, an overestimation of one's own forces and hatred moods, an inability to quickly respond to a changing situation.
  5. +1
    31 March 2023 10: 31
    Why didn't the authorities of the Russian Empire turn Sakhalin into an impregnable fortress? After all, there was enough time for that.

    It has become our national trait, to create problems for ourselves out of the blue, and then heroically solve them. request
  6. 0
    31 March 2023 11: 24
    Having lost all the republics of the USSR, they don’t cry for Sakhalin; "Yes, to hell with her, with the Kemsky volost - let them take her away, if they need her" We have a strange logic; "we will separate the republics so as not to feed them, but Sakhalin is a pity? so it also needs to be fed somehow" ... The concepts of "our" and "alien", "needed", "not particularly needed" are so famously the devil himself will not understand.
  7. +2
    31 March 2023 23: 50
    Well, suppose, according to the Portsmouth Peace Treaty of September 5, 1905, Russia did not lose all of Sakhalin, but only its southern part (south of the 50th parallel). Although during extremely difficult negotiations there was a chance to defend the entire island, the chief negotiator S.Yu. Witte failed to do this. For which he subsequently received the contemptuous nickname "Witte - Polusakhalinsky".

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