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October 22, 1904

Discussion in '"Today in History", Literature & Media Review' started by Martin Rohmann, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    The "Hull Incident"

    During the Russo-Japanese War:

    After the Japanese trapped the Russian sea and land fortress "Port Arthur" in the Far East and blocked the Russian fleet, Russia decided to take a desperate step:

    The entire Baltic fleet is renamed "Second Pacific Squadron" and sent halfway around the world to the Far East to turn the situation there ...:


    In October 1904, the squadron, commanded by Vice-Admiral Zinovy Roshdesvensky ...


    ... steams through the North Sea at the Dogger Bank ...:



    The mood on the Russian ships is extremely tense - the Japanese have successfully spread rumors that they are attacking the Russians with a fleet of torpedo boats.

    On the night of October 22, 1904 (our calendar), the Russian fleet was level with the English city of Hull.

    The supply ship "Kamchatka" ...


    ... has fallen far behind the Russian Association as a result of a machine accident and now reports: "Torpedo boats"!

    Here is the original radio communication between "Kamchatka" and the Russian flagship "Knjas Ssuworow" ...:


    Kamchatka: Am pursued by torpedo boats.

    Knjaz Ssuvorov: Are you being persecuted? How many boats and from which direction?

    Kamchatka: The attack is coming from all sides.

    Knyaz Ssuvorov: How many boats? Provides details.

    Kamchatka: There are about eight torpedo boats.

    Knyaz Ssuvorov: Are they near?

    Kamchatka: They are one cable length and closer.

    Knyaz Ssuvorov: Were torpedoes shot down?

    Kamchatka: That could not be determined.

    Knjaz Ssuworow: Which course are you stearing now?

    Kamchatka: Southeast 70 degrees with 12 knots. Request position of the squadron.

    Knjaz Ssuworow: Do torpedo boats chase you? You must first leave the danger zone, change course, then report your latitude and longitude, whereupon the course will be given to you.

    Kamchatka: We are afraid to give information.

    At around 0.55 in the night, the officers assigned to watch on the “Ssuworow” discovered ships on port - apparently British fishing boats.

    Shortly afterwards, a fishing boat fired a green missile with which she wanted to signal the signal "put over starboard necks" to the other boats.

    However, the Russian guards misinterpreted the signal.

    The Russian warships then turn their headlights on the fishing boats, which are also identified as such.

    In the beam of light from the headlights, however, another boat appeared for a brief moment, which was reminiscent of the silhouette of a torpedo boat and is heading for the Russian warships at full speed.

    The alarm is given on the flagship!

    A gun leader on the "Knjas Ssuworow" then opened fire on the fishing boats on his own without orders.

    And suddenly the entire Russian squadron fires at them!





    A trawler is immediately shot unable to maneuver and drifts helplessly onto the ship of the line, Imperator Aleksander III. to.


    In order not to be rammed by the wreck, on which there are still people, the gunners of the warship drill the trawler into the ground!

    On the flagship, Admiral Roschesdwenski must personally prevent a gun leader from sinking a helplessly floating boat. Furious, he tears the man from the gun, hits him with a few punches and yells:
    "How dare you? Without order! Don't you see that they are fishermen? "

    Roshdesvensky orders the fire to be stopped immediately.

    A trawler is sunk! Two English fishermen are killed...:



    Other fishing boats suffer bullet damage ...:


    Only a short moment later another supposed torpedo boat is sighted on port side.

    The admiral now gives orders to fire at any suspicious ship in that direction. When two ships can be seen again in the wildly twitching headlights, the entire fleet shoots away again.

    But the ships are the cruiser "Awrora" ...


    ... and "Dimitri Donskoi"....


    ... who are now heavily covered.

    Both ships are easily damaged and the Russians also have bloody losses:

    "Awrora" is hit by several projectiles and is slightly damaged. Ironically, the cruiser's cockpit loses an arm when a grenade detonates in the ship's chapel and dies a few days later.

    An officer working as a gun leader is easily injured.

    England and Russia are now on the brink of war!

    In 1906, after the British-Russian crisis had been painstakingly resolved (the Russians officially apologize and pay compensation), a memorial was erected in Hull to the fishermen who were killed.

    marco55, valiant, jai and 1 other person like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Martin

    Absolutely fascinating , never knew about this aweful tragedy

    Interesting reading again

    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  3. akaryu PlanetFigure Supporter

    Another unknown 'gem' from human's tragic history! Keep them coming Martin!

    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  4. Airkid PlanetFigure Supporter

    This is a fascinating piece of little-known history. The story of how Imperial Russia dragged a second rate fleet halfway round the world, only to be anihilated at Tsushima, is a compelling story. The book " Tsushima, Graveyard of a Floating City" by A Novikoff-Priboy is worth a read and covers the Hull incident as well as the voyage, battle and aftermath.
    Thanks again Martin for your excellent post.

    Martin Rohmann likes this.
  5. marco55 Well-Known Member

    Very interesting.

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