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August 1, 1894 – April 17, 1895

 Jiawu Zhanzheng 甲午戰爭   日清戦争 Nisshin senso

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  Battle of the Yalu (also known as Battle of the Yellow Sea and Battle of Haiyang )  Sept 17, 1894

 

 

 

 

 The Battle of Haiyang ( Yalu ) . Drawing by Shin Ichiro Nishimura .

From : The Japan-China war : the naval battle of Haiyang  1895

Ogawa, Kazumasa

Click image for larger view .

 

The Battle of the Yau was one of the first modern navy battle between ironclad ships armed with quick fire guns and torpedoes . Admiral Ito was able to concentrate crushing through skillful maneuvers to sink five ships . However, the 14-inch armour belts of the  battleships Chen Yuan and the Ding Yuan were proof against all the guns of the Japanese ; though their upper works were burnt and riddled with shot, they still floated and could continue to fight. Some months afterwards, a Japanese officer said that the resistance of these ironclads had shown their value to the Japanese navy, which could not feel safe until they were either captured or sunk.  Sometime called the Battle of Hayang in period sources .

 

 

 Battle of the Yalu

 一八九四·甲午大海战  ( 2012 )

1894 : The Sino-Japanese War

The collision of the fleets seems to have been somewhat unpremeditated. The Chinese were engaged in disembarking troops for the re-enforcement of the army at Pyongyang, and it is a characteristically haphazard proceeding that they should have been landing troops one hundred and twenty miles from the front, to strengthen a position already abandoned. The battle which ensued raged for five hours.

The Chinese cruiser Chih-Yuen, commanded by Tang Shi Chang, sank in a rain of shells trying to ram the Matsushima after taking a fatal below the waterline hit.

 

 

 Audiobook on the Battle of the Yalu, Famous Sea Fights

by John R Hale .

The Battle of the Yalu chapter starts at 8:41:09

 

On the 14th of sept, the Japanese squadron of the Kongo, Takao, Yamato, Matsushimai, Katsuragi, and Tenryu covered the landing of the troops with  30 transports protected the disembarking of troops for the attack on Pyongyang . On the afternoon of the 16th, the two squadrons, accompanied by the despatch-boat Akagi and the merchant cruiser Saikyo-maru weighed anchor to reconnoitre the Island of Haiyang and the mouth of the River Tayang. They had expected when they left the cape to meet the enemy, but did not by any means anticipate such a great battle as actually took place on the following day. They did not wait for the return of the torpedo-boats which had gone up the Taidong to assist the army.

 

Smoke on the horizon ! The enemy fleets unexpectedly sight each other .Photo from the Japanese merchant cruiser Saikyo

 

At 11.40, the Chinese squadron came into sight. Admiral Ito signaled to the Akagi and Saikyo-maru to move to the left of the squadrons so as to be under cover. According to some Chinese sources, the Japanese flew American flags to get close to the Chinese fleet and inside the range of the battleship's guns .The Japanese men-of-war then made instant preparations for battle, the crew hastily finishing their meal. Admiral Sukeyuki Ito had his flag aboard the cruiser Matsushima with two despatch vessels as escort; the converted-liner Sei-kyo or Saikyo, British Captain John Wilson commanding; and the gunboat Akagi. The Japanese Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Kabayama Sukenori was on a tour of inspection and aboard the Saikyo. The rest of the main body consisted of the cruisers Chiyoda, Itsukushima, Hashidate, Fuso and Hiei. A flying squadron, composed of the cruisers Yoshino, Takachiho, Akitsushima and Naniwa, led the Japanese vessels.

 

Woodblock print of the Battle of the Yalu by Kobayashi Kiyochika .

By Kobayashi Kiyochika .

Click image for larger view .

 

The Chinese fleet had steamed from Tientsin, escorting six transports to Pyongyang of 7,000 troops of Hunanese, 80 Krupp field guns, 400 ponies.  The troops were disembarked the troops on Sept 16 and continued till the 17th, when columns of smoke were seen in the distance .Admiral Ding decided to stay near the shore so the transports would not be thretened by torpedo boats .

 

       

The Chinese torpedo boat Foo Lung launched two

torpedoes at the Saikyo, which missed.

 

The Chinese were in two squadrons and in line abreast with the majority of the ships in a squadron, the "First Flying Squadron," consisting of Tsi Yuen, Kwang Chia, Chih Yuen, King Yuen, Ting Yuen, Chen Yuen, Lai Yuen, Ching Yuen, Chao Yung and Yang Wei. A second squadron, the "Principal Squadron", consisted of the two gunboats Kuang Ping and Ping Yuen two torpedo boats, the Foo Lung and Tso Yih.The most formidable ships for offense and defense were of course the two iron cladsTing-Yuen and Chen-Yuen, with their twelve and one-half inch guns. These guns throw a shell three and one-half calibres long, charged with forty pounds of powder.There were but four of these shells in the fleet, all being on board the Chen- Yuen. Of a smaller, and of course cheaper shell for the same guns two and one-half cal- ibres long, used for target practice, there were in all fourteen in the two iron clads, and they were fired oflf in the first hour and a half of the engagement, after which only steel shot was left with which to continue the fight. The Chinese fleet was at a disadvantage in manoeuvring. As for the other ships of the fleet, it is acknowledged that after the first round they kept no formation, each ship fighting her own battle, except the two ironclads with the foreign officers on board, which kept moving in concert till the close.

 

Sand was sprinkled on the decks, and more was kept handy against the time when they might become slippery.

 

Japanese block print of the Battle of the Yalu

A report was received from the mast-head that the enemy's center was taken by the two largest ships. These were the famous Ting-yuen and Chen-yuen. The rest of the fleet were also the strongest of the Peiyang Squadron. The Chinese fleet was under the command of (Ding)Ting Ju ch'ang . The Chinese had a number of foreign advisers and instructors, such as Major von Hanneken, recently from Korea, was appointed as the naval adviser to Admiral Ting Ju ch'ang. W. F. Tyler, a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy Reserve and an Imperial Maritime Customs officer was appointed as von Hanneken's assistant. Philo McGiffen, formerly an ensign in the US Navy and an instructor at the Wei-Hai-Wei naval academy was appointed to Chen Yuen as an adviser or co-commander. Ding attacked in a 'V' formation and Ito adjusted his ships into a single line .

The Matsushima

The Japanese flying squadron advanced towards the enemy's centre, but soon after veered to the left to assail the enemy's right. The main squadron underwent similar manoeuvres. The Chinese came in a single irregular rank, and afterwards they formed a wedge with the great battleships at the apex. The Ting-yuen and Chen-yuan were in the centre, next to them on either side were ships of the Lai-yuen and King- yiien type, followed by the Clung- yuen and Chih-yuen, thus both wings being made of smaller vessels in the order of magnitude. The total strength of the Chinese was twelve.

Battle of the Yalu at 12:30

At 12.03, tne Japanese Imperial Naval flag was hoisted on the main mast as a signal for commencing the battle. Preparations for firing were made. At 12.19, tne Japanese Admiral signalled that the men-of-war should fire when the enemy came within a suitable range. They were not to waste their powder. At 12.30, the flying squadron, which had been ordered to attack the enemy's right, advanced at the rate often knots an hour. At 12.45, when the hostile squadrons were at 6,000 metres' distance from each other, the Chinese opened fire. The flying squadron then increased its speed to fourteen knots ; and though it was exposed to incessant fire, it continued to advance until it was at 3,000 metres, when it replied for the first time at 1.05 The flying squadron directed especial attention to the Chao-yung and the Yang-wei, the two extreme vessels of the Chinese right wing. As these were seen to feel the deadly effects of the Japanese fire, the flying squadron continued to attack them until it was within 1,600 metres of them. The Chao-yung caught fire and she listed on the starboard. She sank soon after. The flying squadron, having now passed the Chinese squadron, veered at 1.20 sixteen points to port. It was then ordered to return to the main squadron. In the meanwhile, as the main squadron advanced at ten knots, with the enemy on the port, and covering the , two ships Akagi and Saikyo, the Hiyei which could not maintain that speed, got far behind the rest ; the Fuso which brought up the rear kept close to her. As the main squadron was passing the Chinese, the latter closed upon the Hiyei.

Chinese ship sinking. Woodblock print by Kobayashi Kiyochika .

Click image for larger view .

The Ting-yuen and the Fing-yuen were within 700 metres, and poured broadsides upon her. The Chinese vessels were so close together that they began to be afraid of hitting each other, and stopped firing. The commander of the Hiyei, fearing the enemy would ram her if she continued her course, boldly turned her prow towards the space between the Ting-yuen and King-yuen, and advanced. She was at one time only 500 metres from them. Two torpedoes were discharged at her, but they crossed her path only ten or twelve metres from her stern ; and so were ineffective. She fought with several of the enemy's ships and passing through them, rejoined the main squadron. It was finely done. At this time, the main squadron had passed the enemy, and changing the course to the right, manoeuvred to get behind the enemy's squadron, which had now lost its line of battle.

The King Yuan, after being hit many times, went under after taking many 100 lb shells fired from the Yoshino

Two more Chinese men-of-war, probably the Chen-nan and the Cken-chimg, was seen at a distance ; but they did not take part in the battle. There were also torpedo-boats ; but they appear to have done little or nothing. The Hiyei which had escaped the torpedoes, was attacked by the Ting-yuen, whose great shell struck the ward-room and killed a large number, including Chief Surgeon Miyake and Paymaster Ishizaka. The room was being used as a sick-room, and several patients were also instantly killed. At 1.55, the Hiyei signalled that she was on fire. The Akagi, which now joined her, had not fared any better. She had been ordered to keep up with the flagship ; but being of low speed, she was soon left behind. She found herself alone when she saw the Lai-yncn and the rest of the Chinese left wing coming upon her, and already at 800 metres distance. Her starboard guns attacked them severely and cleared the men off the Liu-yuen's bridge. At this time, Lieut. Hirokatsu Sasaki, the captain of the first corps, was wounded, and the cadet, Kojiro Hashiguchi, was killed. At 1.20, the enemy's ships, which continued to pursue her, killed Commander Hachirota Sakamoto, the commander of the ship, and two gunners of the first quick-firing gun, while two others were wounded. Lieut. Tetsutaro Sato, chief navigating officer, took the commander's place and superintended the vessel. Just then the enemy's shells which struck the lower deck, killed four firemen, wounded a fifth, and destroyed a steam-pipe, while another which struck the tipper deck killed three gunners.

Battle of the Yalu from 2:45 to 3:30 PM

When the Lai-yuen, Chih-yuen, and Kiwang-chia, after passing behind her, were again about to attack her, the despatch-boat found the destruction of her steam-pipe completely cut off the supply of shells at the fore- castle. Ammunition could only be obtained from aft by doing away with the ventilating shaft. The vessel was in the greatest straits, but as her course was changed to port, she was at some distance from the enemy, and the Chief Engineer, Teiichi Hirabe, and his staff succeeded in making temporary repairs, and her speed was not lowered to any great extent. Though she were not close to the enemy at the time, they were seen advancing towards her at full speed. She was obliged to change her course to the south, firing all the time from the stern to arrest the pursuit. The first quick-firing gun was managed by signal men. The enemy's shells knocked down her main-mast, and the ship's flag was taken down and reset upon the stump of the mast, which had been cut off. At 2.15, the Lai-yueu and others were about 300 metres behind her. A shot from the Lai-yuen again struck her bridge and wounded the navigating officer, who had taken the commander's place.

According to Philo McGiffin on the Chen  Yuan, the Chinese ships were raked by the Japanese quick fire guns. Some quailed under this fire, but some were quite brave. One example 'The captain of one of the 12-inch guns, while training or laying it, lanyard in hand, had his head dashed, off its fragments striking those about him. As he toppled over, a man on the step below caught his body around the waist, passed it down into the arms of those below, and, catching the lanyard from his stiffening grasp, took his place, corrected the aim, and fired.' From McGiffin article in Century Magazine.

 

 

 Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh discussed the significance of the first major battle between two all-steel fleets in the pre-dreadnaught era and its ramifications for the whole of naval warfare. The Battle of the Yalu River, fought September 17, 1894, was the decisive battle of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95. The battle not only ushered in a new era of naval warfare, but marked Japan’s rise as a colonial power in Northeast Asia. Dr. Terry Beckenbaugh is an Associate Professor of Military History within the Department of Military History at the US Army Command & General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth.

At this time, firing at the stern was strenuously kept up. Lieutenant Shuzo Matsuoka, the captain of the second corps, took command of the ship, while the first-class marine, Tayeji Shindo, took the lieutenant's post at the guns. At 2.20, the Akagis fourth gun at the stern struck the Lai-yuen s stern deck and caused a great fire there. The enemy's vessels slowed down to aid the Lai-yuen, and the Japanese was soon 700 or 800 metres away from them. At 2.23, as the navigating officer's wounds had been dressed, he resumed his post on the bridge, and relieved Lieutenant Matsuoka. At 2.30, as the enemy had been distanced, the marines were ordered to rest, and slowing down, the crew began to mend the steam-pipe. At 2.40, the roll was called, and after supplying vacancies, orders were given for rest. When the Hiyei and the Akagi were hard-pressed by the enemy, the Admiral signalled to the flying squadron to advance to their rescue. The Saikyo had got behind the flying squadron, as she found the Chih-yuen and the Kwang-ping coming towards her from fore and aft. But when the flying squadron turned to starboard at 2.20 to aid the Hiyei and the Akagi, she was confronted by the Chinese. Four 30 c.m. shells from the Ting-yuen, two at a time, struck the upper deck saloon. Two passed through with no apparent effect ; but the other two, which were common shells, exploded and shattered the woodwork, and destroyed the tubes connected with the steering-gear.

Sakamodo, commander of the Akagi, killed in battle

 

 

 

The Saikyo signalled that her steering-gear was damaged. She passed between the Akitsushima and the Naniwa and coming upon the enemy's flank, met with a severe running-fire. The relieving-tackle was used, but difficulty was found in steering. The speed was lowered, but after fixing the hand-wheel, she advanced at full speed. At 2.23, the enemy's Yang-wet caught fire and was seen near Talu Island (probably stranded.) At 2.30, the Matsushima and the Ping-yuen commenced firing at each other at 2,800 metres, and gradually approached until they were only 1,200 metres from each other. At 2.34, the Ping-yuen s 26 c.m. shell penetrated the Matsushima s officers' room and the central torpedo- room, killing four men at the portside discharger ; and also exploded against the barbette. A shell, however, from the Japanese flagship disabled the Pingyucris 26 c.m. gun.

The Kwang-ping and a torpedo- boat then joined the Ping-yuen, and all three turned their attention upon the Saikyo. At 2.50, they were 3,000 metres off on her starboard. She fired incessantly upon the torpedo-boat, which then steered for land. The Ping-yuen and the Kwang-ping exchanged shots with her at 500 metres. At 3.10, another torpedo-boat was seen ahead and advanced towards the Saikyo. When she was straight before her, the torpedo- boat discharged a torpedo from a tube at the bow ; but it missed. Another discharged at 50 metres was equally ineffectual. They were most skilfully avoided by the Saikyo. The first came from the portside bow and penetrated the water across the vessel, but as the Saikyo s speed was great, the torpedo missed her; and the second passed along the starboard and sank far behind. As the torpedo-boat had crossed the Saikyo s path between the two discharges, the directions of the torpedoes had intersected each other.

The Lai Yuen caught fire aft, and burned fiercely.Temperatures reached 200 degress below decks. After several hours the fire was extinguished; but many were blinded for life, and in every instance horribly burned and disfigured.

At 3.30, the Saikyo steered southward and was from that time out of action. Her encounter with the Ping-yuen and Kwang-ping had been very severe. During that engagement, she had received many shells, resulting in damages to the foremast and the first- class cabins below the quarter-deck. One of the shells had caused a fire in these cabins, which was only extinguished after some injuries had been inflicted. Though the ship was much damaged, the wounded were few, there being absolutely none killed. Meanwhile, the first flying squadron which had gone to the aid of the Hiyei and Akagi, had fired upon their assailants and, after passing them, steered to port. At 3.0, the Matsushima and the Yoshino faced each other on the starboard. The two Japanese squadrons had the enemy between them, and the fiercest encounter of the whole battle took place. A fire broke out on the flagship Ting-ymn, while her sister-ship seemed disposed to retreat. The Japanese squadrons pressed on them until a shell of the Matsushima s great 32 c.m. gun fell within 200 metres of the Yoshino s bow. They then went further apart to avoid each other's shells.

At 3.30, the Chih-yuen was sunk ; her starboard stern first listed, and she went down in five minutes amid cheers from the Japanese. About the same time, when the Matsushima faced the Ting-yuen, a shell from the Chinese flagship's 30c.m. gun struck her battery, knocking down the fourth (12 c.m.) gun from its supports and exploded on her heap of ammunition, by the explosion of which over sixty men were killed or wounded.

Two 12 c.m. guns were disabled. The hull listed slightly. A fire broke out at the same time, but it was immediately put out. The survivors and band-players were put to the guns. The hydraulic gear and valves were impaired; and the 32 c.m. gun was damaged, but soon repaired. Commander Mukoyama, the Vice-Commander of the flagship, has expressed his high admiration of the crew on board, especially their increased energy and courage when forty of their comrades had been slain.

As an instance of their gallantry on this trying occasion, the following has been reported : The shell which played such havoc on board burst on the lower deck, and the whole place was covered with smoke. The magazine just below was in imminent danger, as it was feared that it would catch fire and ex- plode. A gunner's mate and an ordinary seaman in charge of the magazine were in peril of their lives. In spite of others' warning they still kept their stand, resolved to die at their post. The fiery smoke of the exploded shell threatened to invade the magazine through crevices ; and all feared the magazine should immediately catch fire. But the two men in charge instantly stripped themselves and crammed in their clothes wherever they thought the fire would obtain ingress. By their prompt action the magazine was saved and the Malsushima escaped a most serious danger.

During the fire on the Ting-yuen, the Chen-yuen which never left her side, ably aided and covered her. It was due to the Chen-yuen's skilful manoeuvres that the Chinese flagship did not surfer more. On these two great battleships, the Japanese main squadron exerted its utmost. Its shells at 3,000 metres, those of the 32 c.m. gun excepted, could not penetrate the battleships' 1 4-inch armour. The first flying squadron went in pursuit of the Tsi-yuen and the rest of the Chinese squadron, which began to fly in the direction opposite to that of the battleships. The Lai-yuen caught fire; and seeing her sorry plight, the flying squadron pressed on her sister ship King-yuen which was still active. At 3.52, when she was 3,100 metres to the north, the Takachiho fired at her ; and when at from 2,300 to 2,500 metres, the Yoshino opened on the vessel her three 15-0.111. automatic quick-firing guns at the bow, until she was 1,800 metres off. They told with deadly effect. At 4.48, the King-yuen listed on the starboard ; and two fires suddenly broke out at the stern and amidships. The water- line became visible on port-side and the rudder becoming useless, the vessel described swift but aimless curves. The stern then dipped deep in water and alter an explosion, probably the bursting of her boilers, amid a thick volume of black smoke, the King-yuen disappeared altogether. This was a unique case of a battleship being sunk by a cruiser ; and it was no doubt due to the efficiency of the Yoshino's new quick firing guns and of the cordite she had used.

Battle of the Yalu at 5:00 PM

It was now  close on sunset. The flying squadron was recalled. The Akagi, whose damaged steampipe had at length been mended, joined the main squadron at 5.50. Both the Saikyo and the Htyet had gone back to the base of operations. The Matsushima was sent to the Japanese admiralty port of Kure, while the Admiral's flag was transferred to her sister-ship Hashidate. As the Chinese torpedo boats had joined the Chen-yuen and Ting-yuen, a night engagement would have been disadvantageous to the Japanese. They, therefore, followed them at a distance. The Ting-yuen' s fire was at length extinguished.

The Japanese decided to wait till morning and intercept the enemy on their way to Wei-hai-wei whither they appeared to be bound. They cautiously advanced towards that port ; but at dawn failed to catch a glimpse of the enemy. Early on the 18th, the squadrons returned to the scene of the previous day's battle. The Yang-wei, which was seen stranded was destroyed with a torpedo from the Chiyoda. The Akagi was ordered in the morning to return to the temporary base of operations, whither the Japanese squadrons also returned safely on the following morning. Fuel, provisions, and ammunition were taken on board ; and preparations were made for another engagement, should the enemy offer a second opportunity. Then the Naniwa and the Akitsushima were sent westward to reconnoitre Wei-hai-wei, Chefoo, and Port Arthur. The enemy's warships, fearing another attack, had apparently concealed themselves in harbours, for they were not to be seen.

As the defences of Port Arthur were very strict, a complete reconnoitre of that port could not be effected ; but the enemy's squadron appeared to be ensconced within. At the mouth of Talien Bay, the scouts saw two of the enemy's men-of-war. One of them, which was probably the Tsi-yuen, hurriedly fled into harbour as soon as she saw the Japanese ships ; but the other, Kwang-chia, of the Fujian Squadron, had apparently run ashore in trying to escape from the naval battle. As she was, therefore, unable to move, her crew, fearing her falling into the hands of the Japanese, exploded and destroyed her. The quickness with which this destruction was effected certainly deserves praise.

Matsushima firing a salute after the battle

The news of this naval battle was, received with unbounded enthusiasm in Japan; and H. M. the Emperor of Japan sent the following congratulatory message to Vice-Admiral Ito, Commander of the Combined Squadrons : "We hear that Our combined squadrons fought bravely in the Yellow Sea and obtained a great victory, and perceive that their power will command the enemy's seas. And deeply appreciating the services of Our officers and men, We are delighted with the extraordinary results they have obtained." Soon after, Commander Saito, the Naval Chamberlain, was also sent to the Squadron to convey His Majesty's congratulations and to give a full report on the memorable battle. Among the Japanese men-of-war, the most damaged were the Matsu- shima and the Hiyei. The Matsushima had received on her battery two 30*^ c.m. shells, one of which penetrated from one side to the other and fell into the sea, while the other struck a heap of more than a hundred shells of the 12 c.m. quick-firing guns, causing at the same time a fire, which, however, was soon extinguished. Over 60 were killed or wounded. The 30 c.m. shell with which the Hiyei was struck, penetrated one side and exploded on the lower deck, destroying the aft-mast and causing a fire. Several men were killed or wounded.

The Chinese fleet sailed to Port Arthur for repairs .While there , each gun dressed with a band or scarf of red bunting around its muzzle (a ceremony having some religious significance)

Philo McGiffin in front of a damaged Chen Yuan

The principal damages done to the Japanese men-of-war were as follows :

Matsushima: Besides the two shells just mentioned, one 26-c.m. shell penetrated the torpedo-room, and the another struck a Hotchkiss quick-firing gun.

Hiyei : Besides the one above mentioned, a shell on upper deck killed four gunners.

Naniwa : A shell near water-line. An explosion in the coal- bunker, but without any serious damage.

Chiyoda : A shell above water line penetrated the hull. Itsukushima : A shell in torpedo-room ; another half-way up the mast ; and a third in engine-room. Hashidate: Ai 5 c.m. shell exploded against the 32 c.m. gun barbette.

Akagi : A shell on topmast ; and another on bridge, killing the commander.

Saikyo : Received many shells ; but the most dangerous was the one which struck the upper deck saloon. If it had struck ten feet forward, the engine-room would have been destroyed and the ship lost control. She was certainly terribly damaged ; and one of the most remarkable lessons of the battle is the amount of injuries a lightly-armed passenger steamer can bear without sinking.

Philo McGiffin recoding from his wounds at Chefoo (Yantai) McGiffin became a celebrity in America after the war. He later committed suicide in 1897 due to the pain of shrapnel from the battle .

In the battle the Chinese had 5 vessels sunk (King Yuan, Chih Yuan , Chao Yang,Yang Wei, Kwan Chia ) 3 damaged, 850 men killed in action, 500 wounded. The Japanese had 4 ships damaged, 90 killed in action, 200 wounded .The Chinese seriously damaged four Japanese warships � Hiei being severely damaged and retired from the conflict; Akagi suffering from heavy fire and with great loss of life; Saikyo, the converted liner, urged on by Admiral Kabayama Sukenori had been hit by four 12 inch (305 mm) shells and was sailing virtually out of control as a result, did cosmetic damage to two more, and killed about 90 Japanese sailors and wounded 200 . Many credit the prompt action of foreign advisers in the Chinese fleet (most notably McGiffin) for keeping even the most heavily damaged Chinese ships fighting till the very end of the engagement. Later research suggests that the Chinese ships fighting in pairs was something that had been planned ahead of time to cover the eventuality of communications being lost in the smoke and confusion of battle. At the same time, it is fair to note that the Chinese suffered more from poor quality munitions � some of the shells fired by the Ping Yuen, for example, hit the Japanese Matsushima but failed to explode, being filled with cement rather than high explosives - corrupt officials embezzling naval funds. These were made at the Tientsin factories.Sheng, the taotai or chief magistrate of Tien-tsin was responsible .

Actions of the emperor of China

The Emperor of China conferred the highest grade of the Order of the Double Dragon upon Captain Von Hannecken for his services at the naval battle of the Yalu River and to place him under practically sole control of the naval forces of China. Constantine von Hannecken, the German officer who was put

The emperor of China, early in October, began to take the initi- ative, attempting to infuse new energy into the national defense. It was indeed reported that he had disguised himself, and in per- son visited Tien-tsin, accompanied only by a few trusted servants, in order to see for himself what was going on, and particularly to learn the truth as to the alleged incapacity of Li Hung Chang to carry on the arrangements for the war. It was not, however, the emperor who made the journey in disguise, but his former tutor and trusted adviser Weng Toung Ho, the President of the Board of Revenue, or Finance Department. He also went to Port Arthur, Wei-hai-wei, and other places, and thoroughly informed himself of the state of affairs, civil, naval, and military. On re- turning to Peking he made an exhaustive report to the emperor, upon which the latter immediately began to take more interest in public affairs. He declined to sign documents until they had been previously read and explained to him, and called for special re- ports from the naval and military commanders.

 

 

 

 

 

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