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a strait between the Korean Peninsula and the Japanese islands of Iki-shima, Kyushu, and the southwestern extremity of Honshu. The Korean Strait links the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Width, 180 km; minimum depth in the navigating channel, 115 m. The strait is divided into two channels by the Tsu-shima Islands—the Eastern Channel (Tsu-shima Strait) in the southeast and the Western Channel in the north-west.
During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, a battle between Russian and Japanese cruiser squadrons took place in the strait on Aug. 1 (14), 1904. When the Port Arthur squadron set out to sea on July 28 (August 10) for a breakthrough to Vladivostok, a detachment of cruisers (two armored and one armored-deck cruisers) under the command of Rear Admiral K. P. lessen left Vladivostok on July 30 (August 12) to aid it. On the morning of August 1 (14), the Russian cruisers encountered Admiral Kamimura’s Japanese squadron (4 armored cruisers; later two light cruisers arrived), which significantly surpassed the Russian ships in arms, armor, and speed. The armored-deck Russian cruiser Riurik soon suffered heavy damage. Two other cruisers tried to help her during the next two hours, diverting the enemy fire to themselves; they then attempted to break through to the north. The Riurik went down heroically in an uneven battle, and the other cruisers managed to get to Vladivostok. The Russians lost 336 men killed, 625 captured (of whom 230 were wounded), and 347 wounded. Japanese losses were 44 killed and 182 wounded.
G. F. SILAEV