Pacific Squadron

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Pacific Squadron


one of the three task forces of the Russian Navy in the Far East during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05.

The 1st Pacific Squadron, which constituted the principal force of the Russian Pacific Fleet, had its base at Port Arthur. It consisted of ships transferred from the Baltic and some of the ships of the Siberian Military Flotilla, for a total of seven battleships, ten cruisers (three of them obsolete), seven gunboats, two large torpedo boats, and 25 other torpedo boats (one commissioned after the war had begun). The squadron was under the command of Vice Admiral O. V. Stark. Of this group the cruiser Variag and the gunboat Koreets were permanently stationed in the port of Chemulpo (Inchon), Korea, and two gunboats were stationed at Yungtai and Shanghai in China. (Four cruisers and ten torpedo boats were stationed in Vladivostok; in late 1904 and early 1905, 13 submarines were hauled to Vladivostok by railroad. All these were part of the Pacific Fleet, but did not belong to the 1st Pacific Squadron.)

After the war had begun, Vice Admiral S. O. Makarov was appointed to command the Pacific Fleet, but he was killed on Mar. 31 (Apr. 13), 1904. The 1st Pacific Squadron played an active part in the defense of Port Arthur: most of its ships went down heroically or were scuttled by their own crews. One battleship, two cruisers, one gunboat, and ten torpedo boats of the squadron took refuge in neutral ports.

The 2nd Pacific Squadron was formed in the Baltic Fleet in October 1904 under the command of Vice Admiral Z. P. Rozhest-venskii and was sent to assist the 1st Pacific Squadron. It was composed of seven battleships, eight cruisers, and nine torpedo boats.

In February 1905 the 3rd Pacific Squadron was sent from the Baltic to the Far East. It was commanded by Rear Admiral N.I. Nebogatov and consisted of one battleship, three coastal-defense battleships, and one cruiser.

On Apr. 26 (May 9), 1905, the 3rd Pacific Squadron joined the 2nd Pacific Squadron and fought in the battle of Tsushima of 1905, in which the principal forces of both squadrons were annihilated or captured by the Japanese. Only four cruisers and two destroyers of the two squadrons escaped intact.

References in classic literature ?
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