GDK-Russo-Japanese War CH3

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Pre-Dawn – Feb 9th – Admiral Dewa

Togo had orders to follow up his night attack immediately, to make the most of the element of surprise, and to seek a decisive engagement if possible. Togo would not to give the Pacific Squadron any more time to recover than he had to. He was determined to strike a second blow before the Russians recovered.

Admiral Dewa, commanding the Third Division of the Combined Fleet, was on the approach towards Port Arthur with his four protected cruisers, Kasagi, Chitose, Takasago, and Yoshino, when they encountered the protected cruiser Diana. It was a surprise encounter to both parties in the early morning hours with the barest hint of twilight in the sky. Diana, the only remaining cruiser available to Admiral Stark, was on patrol twenty kilometers off the roadstead. Her lookouts spotted the four approaching light cruisers at less than four kilometers distance. Without a moment of delay, her captain ordered flank speed and an immediate turn to port, seeking the protection of the battleships and shore batteries. The anxious gunners manning Diana’s 152mm guns opened fire on the enemy ships as she turned and fled back towards Port Arthur. The roar of ship’s cannon shattered the quiet of the sea at night for the men of Third Division, and alerted the Japanese to Diana’s presence, as they had not spotted her till that moment. The Japanese were thrown into confusion, as they were unaware they had encountered only a single ship, and spent valuable minutes searching about for more. After a couple of minutes, Dewa gave the order to pursue what seemed to be a single patrolling cruiser.

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