The German Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Japan met with Prime Minister Katsura Taro and Foreign Minister Jutaro Komura. The ambassador rendered his assurances that the German Empire will faithfully fulfill all the terms, both public and secret, of the alliance between the two nations, in the event of a war with Russia. The German Ambassador reiterated Germany’s position that Russia is merely stalling for time, waiting for the completion of the trans-Siberian railroad, and will never make concessions regarding Manchuria, and that negotiations are at an impasse.
The Japanese Prime Minister agreed, and told the ambassador barring a surprise breakthrough, that Japan will move forward with Case Green early next year.
The Ambassador replied that he will inform the Kaiser, and that Germany will immediately begin her final preparations. He informed the two men that the German Naval attache will be sent over to the Admiralty with the most recent planning revisions and status updates, and will forward any additional information as it is received from Berlin.
Continue reading GDK-Russo-Japanese War CH1
Feb 9th 1904 –
Admiral Togo w/ the Combined Fleet – South East of Round Island, Yellow Sea
“Climb Mount Niitaka”
Admiral Togo read the message that his radio man handed him. The coded message meant the Russian Pacific Squadron was at anchor in the roadstead, and that the attack could go forward.
Togo ordered a signal by means of both flag and lamp sent to those ships who had the next part in this plan. A signal that read “Attack as Previously Arranged. I pray for your success” was sent to the three assigned flotillas of destroyers, and to the ships they were escorting. The Commanding officer of the first flotilla signaled back “We expect sure success”. Togo had done all he could. The last two months of training and preparation has come down to this night. By dawn, Japan would be at war with Russia, and Togo would know if Yamamoto’s gamble paid off. For now, there was nothing left for Togo to do but wait. Come dawn, the Combined Fleet may still have a part to play in this drama.
Continue reading GDK-Russo-Japanese War CH2
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. Continue reading GDK-Russo-Japanese War CH3