Myth-making about the Tsushima battle. Part 1

Myth-making about the Tsushima battle. Part 1
Myth-making about the Tsushima battle. Part 1
Myth-making about the Tsushima battle. Part 1

On June 17, I read the first article from the cycle "Myths of Tsushima" by citizen Andrei Kolobov. Citizen Andrei Kolobov did a great job to identify these very "myths", diligently shoveled more than a dozen documents, witnesses of those events. Only now, citizen Andrei Kolobov approached the interpretation of historical facts with a somewhat peculiar logic, which is why the final conclusions of his trilogy simply amazed me with their comfortism in relation to the already rotten tsarist regime. From the point of view of any common sense, these conclusions are extremely absurd. Elements in causation are turned upside down. We must pay tribute to the citizen Andrei Kolobov - he managed to do all this quite competently. The style of the narrative outwardly has a claim to "non-bias" and "honesty", which inspired many readers (judging by the subsequent comments) confidence in the exceptional veracity of what was stated. At the same time, I was personally frankly jarred by the open shielding of the main and obvious culprit of that tragedy - Vice Admiral Zinovy ​​Petrovich Rozhestvensky. And in general, the author does not make any special claims to the supreme military-political leadership of the Russian Empire. On the contrary - stupid, and often completely absurd, criminal orders and orders of the command are diligently justified. Say, there was no other way, there was no other way out. At the same time, the author sees the main reasons for the greatest catastrophe of the Russian Navy two factors (!): the first is the supposedly low speed of the Russian ships, the second is the supposedly bad shells. Everything is ingenious and simple. According to the author, it was these two key factors that led to the fact that the Russian fleet suffered the largest and most shameful defeat in its entire history.

Let me remind you that our combat fleet has never had such "leaks". Neither before nor after. The fact that both of these factors were only a consequence does not interest the author in the least. Or rather, not so. This confuses him very much. The reason for the first factor, as you know, was the clear and precise order of Admiral Rozhestvensky: "Keep the course of 9 knots." It would seem that everything is clear and understandable here, but in his story, citizen Andrei Kolobov took a lot of place with arguments and reasoning on the speed of Russian ships. Ultimately coming to the "logical" conclusion that even the latest battleships of the "Borodino" type, in fact, if they could move faster than 9 knots, then very little, smoothly leading the reader to the idea that Admiral Rozhestvensky, without even trying in that desperate situation to somehow realize the high-speed capabilities of the newest Russian ships, he was actually absolutely right. The same applies to the second factor, where, in the wilderness of his reasoning, the author managed to confuse the explosive charge in the Russian 152-mm and 305-mm armor-piercing shells. We will return to all this, but now about the main thing.

Why did such an almost fundamental work with a mass of seemingly logical and competent reasoning ultimately lead to such absurd conclusions? This is what we will try to find out in this article.

After carefully reading the entire story of citizen Andrei Kolobov, I came to the conclusion that this military historian, on the one hand, is quite industrious and examines in detail all the historical facts and documents that testify to them.And on the other hand, it is extremely inept, if not to say deliberately, collects them into some kind of compote, creating completely unthinkable versions of them with a bunch of logical errors, often not disdaining even outright sophistry. We will briefly tell the reader what is meant in this case.

Logical errors are violations of laws or rules of logic. If a mistake is made unintentionally, it is called paralogism, if the rules of logic are violated deliberately in order to prove the unprovable or to mislead someone, then this is sophistry. So let's go.

On the training of Russian artillerymen. Sergei Kolobov writes on the move: “In the outset of the Tsushima battle, only five head Russian battleships and, perhaps, Navarin could shoot at Mikasa. The axiom, which is offered to be taken at its word. At the same time, as for the bearing of Mikasa in relation to the flagship Suvorov, Sergei writes the following: “The distance was relatively small - 37-38 kbt,” and that's it. About bearing, i.e. the course angle, which was "Mikasa" in relation to "Suvorov", did not say a word. “A trifle”, which, however, did not prevent Sergey Kolobov from declaring exactly the following: “Besides,“Mikasa”, turning around, went across (!) The course of the Russian squadron, and our battleships could not shoot at it with their entire side - only part of the guns fought …"

I wonder why citizen Sergei Kolobov made such conclusions, not knowing even the bearing of Mikasa? Polls of people knowledgeable in this matter at the specialized Tsushima forum (those in whose competence there is no doubt) give the following picture of the beginning of the battle. At the moment of opening fire, Mikasa was indeed at a distance of about 37 cables (6, 85 km), at a heading angle of 78 °, i.e. almost abeam "Suvorov", slightly overtaking him, and was heading N / O-67. That is, he did not try to cross our course at all, but only slightly "cut". Applying simple knowledge of geometry, we determine the position of "Mikasa" in relation to the terminal ship of our squadron - the coastal defense battleship "Apraksin" and everyone else. For "Apraksin" "Mikasa" was at a distance of 47 cables (8, 78 km), which is quite accessible for his artillery and in the course angle of 50 degrees. Knowing full well the characteristics of all our ships and the capabilities of their artillery in particular, I inform you that, despite the fact that at the beginning of the battle the Japanese battleship Mikasa was out of the angle of fire from the stern artillery of most Russian ships, it nevertheless ended up under concentrated fire at least 82 Russian guns of 120 mm and more, of which 22 are 305 mm, 14 are 254 mm, 1 - 229 mm and 6 - 203 mm. All this power for a period of 15 minutes indicated by Andrei Kolobov (from 14-10 to 14-25) could theoretically release into Mikasa about 400 shells of caliber from 203 mm to 305 mm and about 2000 caliber 120-152 mm (with an average the rate of fire of these guns is 3-4 rounds per minute). That, diligently carrying out the order of Admiral Rozhdestvensky, "Hit the head", most likely she did, having lost the correct use of the LMS.

All ships were still serviceable by that time. All people are in the ranks. Everything worked. This allows the maximum possible rate of fire of Russian ships to be allowed during this period of the battle. And what do we see in the end? Andrei Kolobov writes to us: “Nevertheless, according to information from the report of Captain Packinham, a British observer stationed at Asahi, within fifteen minutes from the beginning of the battle, from 14:10 to 14:25, Mikasa received NINETEEN hits - five 12 "and fourteen 6" shells. Six more hits were received by other Japanese ships …"

Paradox, but in this case I see no reason not to believe the author of the "myths" here. 5 hits is about 1.25% of 400 large-caliber shells fired. 14 hits + 6 in other ships (it is not clear what caliber, but we will assume that it is average), a total of 20 is 1% of the total number of medium-caliber shells fired.1-1, 25% of the percentage of hits is quite normal shooting accuracy, which could be given by an exhausted squadron, which last normally conducted firing practice more than six months ago - in October 1904. And then for a distance of no more than 25 cables. Yes, of course, during the campaign, there was also one shooting, but very few and weak, at scanty distances. Shooting accuracy (1-1, 25%) is also quite consistent with the recollections of battalier Novikov about those shooting. In particular, he pointed out that when the shields were taken out of the water, not a single scratch was found on them. Miracles do not happen, comrades. A relatively large number of hits received by "Mikasa" at the beginning of the battle was achieved only by concentrated fire from a large number of Russian ships that were still fully operational at that time. I dare to assume that most of the "gifts" then "Mikasa" received from the nearest and the newest Russian ships. The rear Russian battleships and cruisers fired at a distance, requiring a good ability to work with the ship's control system, which, of course, no one had. That is, there was no "excellent shooting" of the Russian gunners then and, which is typical, there was could not… It's fake". Accordingly, other arguments of the author on this topic are nothing more than a hodgepodge of extremely unreliable, but at the same time very "convenient" for the delusional theory of citizen Andrei Kolobov.

Take, for example, the testimony of a certain officer Malechkin: “The shooting was always carried out by a squadron under the personal command and leadership of the squadron chief, Vice-Admiral Rozhestvensky … The shooting was carried out at long distances, starting from about 70 cab. (!) and up to 40 cab., but "Sisoy the Great" usually started firing from 60 cab. of 12 "guns, and …" - and immediately made on the basis of this dubious statement, the conclusion: "Apparently, Rozhdestvensky was the first in the Russian fleet to organize shooting practice at such ranges. " Honest mother! Maybe citizen Andrei Kolobov will explain to us then why we didn't shoot the Japanese from a distance of 70-80 cables?

And how is this completely reliable order of Admiral Rozhdestvensky combined with this nonsense? From the memoirs of battalier Novikov: “Four enemy cruisers continued to go on the left, in full view of us. The distance to them has decreased to forty cable… These cruisers were at the sight of our guns all the time. Many were worried why the commander did not give the order to open fire. Suddenly from the battleship "Eagle", from the left middle six-inch turret, a shot rang out unintentionally by the gunner … The battle lasted about ten minutes without a single hit from either side. The signal was raised on the Suvorov: "Don't throw shells for nothing."

How can this be related to previous "truthful" judgments? How is the reliable fact of the shooting of the destroyer Buiny by our cruiser Dmitry Donskoy combined with these statements? When the ship, which stood motionless at a distance of 200-250 meters, could only be hit by the fifth, FIFTH shot !!! So we shoot confidently from 70 cables, or can't we hit from 200 meters? Citizen Andrei Kolobov did not even mention this fact in his work. Didn't consider it necessary to mention. If the facts contradict his theory, so much the worse for the facts.

On this, according to this paragraph, you can round off, commenting only on the following. Andrei Kolobov writes: “The Russian squadron battleships had a hefty problem - the low rate of fire of the 305-mm Obukhov guns. They fired once every one and a half minutes, or even less often, while the Japanese 305-mm could fire once every 40-50 seconds.” It is necessary to give some clarifications here. First, a large-caliber cannon is not a Kalashnikov assault rifle, and it itself cannot shoot and load. A cannon is an artillery weapon or artillery system, which, in combination with its guidance drives, loading mechanisms, sighting devices and protection elements, forms an artillery installation.Today this device is called "gun mount". Then they were called simply installations. So, the rate of fire of the Russian 305-mm installations was on the order of one salvo in 90 seconds, which was really less than that of the Japanese installations of the new generation - a salvo in 50 seconds. This was due to the fact that the operation of opening and closing the gates was carried out by manual mechanisms at a zero elevation angle (and the loading of the gun was carried out at an elevation angle of +5 degrees). This was done solely for security reasons. Failure to close the bolt threatened to rupture the gun and at least the death of everyone in the fighting compartment of the gun mount, and therefore they did not dare to entrust this matter to the servo drive at that time. As for the Japanese ships, not all of them could fire a salvo in 50 seconds either, but only four of their battleships out of six. 305-mm installations of battleships of the "Fuji" and "Yashima" type produced loading only at zero horizontal angle of rotation of the turret (directly to the bow or stern), and therefore technically could not fire a salvo less than once every 150 seconds (2.5 minutes) … But the main point is that such a rate of fire required either a very short range of combat - "point blank", or a fairly perfect and high-speed control system. Both of these factors were absent in the Tsushima battle, and therefore the Japanese battleships for the entire battle fired only 446 shells of the main caliber, i.e. less than our ships, although the characteristics of the rate of fire of their installations, it would seem, suggest otherwise.

About coal transshipment. How skillfully citizen Andrei Kolobov immediately dotted the i's here. And as he competently told us about the need to have an increased supply of coal on board. You can still put up with coal on board. But you can't put up with the other. Therefore, we will not talk about "coal transshipment", but simply about overload ships. Do you feel the "trend"? So, the normal displacement of the Borodino-class battleships was 14,400 tons. And before the battle, they all weighed as much as 15275 tons. That is, by 875 tons more than it should be. And the main armor belt of the newest battleships was really completely under water at the beginning of the battle. Admiral Rozhestvensky certainly knew all this. But he did not take any measures to eliminate or at least reduce the overload. And what is characteristic, not only did he not undertake, but also explicitly forbade the ship commanders to take such measures on their own. Even though coal was necessary on ships, it was possible to unload ships in a different way. For example, a list of measures to prepare for battle was developed on the Orel. It included removing all trash, part of the cargo, unnecessary wood, as well as boats and boats from the ship. But Admiral Rozhestvensky rejected this proposal, explaining that the officers of the "Eagle" are too fond of "playing war." The result of this inaction (or rather, a conscious action) of Admiral Rozhdestvensky was that during the battle all boats and other floating craft were destroyed by Japanese high-explosive shells at the time, becoming food for fires. To extinguish these fires, water from the Sea of ​​Japan was used, from which our ships simply choked. In addition to high-explosive fragmentation shells, the Japanese actively used armor-piercing shells against our ships. Which, although they could not pierce the main armor belt (which went under the water), but sometimes they pierced the upper 152-mm belt, as well as the extremities. Through the holes, almost above the surface of the water, water again penetrated into the ships, reducing the stability to an unacceptable level. That is why "Alexander III" died. Barely, with incredible efforts, ours were able to "pump out" the "Eagle". As for the "Borodino", which allegedly died from an explosion in the cellar of a 152-mm gun mount, which citizen Andrei Kolobov compared with British battlecruisers: "Three British battlecruisers in Jutland died from such a detonation." Well, first of all, who can reliably confirmthat "Borodino" died precisely from the detonation of the cellar? Semyon Yushchin? He did not leave any evidence on this score. Those who allegedly saw the explosion? The cellar at Borodino was under a secure armored capsule deep below the waterline. And theoretically, he could either get into a barbet (feed pipe) of an average 152-mm gun mount. Under the tower, strictly speaking (I will digress - in the armor system of ships of the "Borodino" type this was a weak point, the only flaw, so to speak). Or into the tower itself. The explosion could not have been from the entire cellar, but only from two artillery shots that at that moment were moving along the barbet transporter up into the tower. Or from those shells that were already in the tower. In any case, the British cruisers perished from the detonation of the main caliber cellars - 305-343 mm. And this is not at all the same as the 152mm caliber. If it were not for this fatal hit, it is not yet known how a detachment of our ships, led by Borodino, with an ordinary guy at the helm, who does not know about the speed limits imposed by Admiral Rozhestvensky, would have behaved at night.

On the "high-speed wing" of the Russian squadron. This is one of the most "interesting" moments in the story of Andrei Kolobov. It is known that all 2TOE ships in battle went at a speed of 9 knots on the N / O-23 course and, at least as long as Suvorov remained in the main column, did not even try to maneuver. Well, do not count, in fact, for "maneuvering" Rozhestvensky's order to turn 2 rumba (this was his only order for the whole battle). So, citizen Andrei Kolobov made incredible efforts to convince the reader that the real maximum speed of even the newest battleships of the Borodino class allegedly did not exceed 13-14 knots (the rest was 11 knots). Moreover, in proving this, the author of the myths relies on the testimony of people under investigation who are directly responsible for the defeat and surrender of the fleet! What their testimony is worth is, in general, clear and understandable to any sane person. It is not clear only to Andrei Kolobov.

At the same time, on the one hand, the testimony of people much closer to technology, and on the other hand, who were simply “witnesses in the case”: engineers, mechanics, electricians, ordinary sailors, for some reason, are not interested in Andrey Kolobov. "According to the passport" and in reality, both during tests and in subsequent long-term operation ("Glory"), the maximum speed of ships of the "Borodino" type was 17, 8-18 knots. "Oslyabya" walked a little faster - up to 18.6 knots. The maximum speed, passport, of our outdated battleships, coastal defense battleships and the armored cruiser "Admiral Nakhimov" was ~ 15-16 knots - not so bad, I must say. So, there are two main points that are worth mentioning.

First. Admiral Rozhdestvensky - a man carrying direct responsibility for the defeat of the Russian fleet, escape from the "Suvorov" and the shameful surrender with the entire headquarters. Admiral Nebogatov is a man who surrendered four warships. The senior officer of the "Eagle" Shvede is a man who handed over the "Eagle" prisoner in particular. For those who do not know: Nebogatov raised the white flag only on "Nicholas I", and the rest were not obliged and should not have done the same. Accordingly, it was not only Nebogatov who surrendered a detachment of ships, these are the commanders of the "Eagle", "Apraksin" and "Sevyanin" in fact surrendered each of their ships and are responsible for this. So, any person accused of this or that crime in his testimony does not tell the true truth, unless this is a "frank confession", of course. The defendant, together with his lawyer, builds a certain line of defense and adheres to this line in his testimony. His task is to remove the accusation from himself as much as possible, to get himself out of the blow by “moving the arrow” to someone else in order to avoid punishment or minimize it. Naturally, this is exactly what Rozhdestvensky, Shvede and Nebogatov did.To whom could these people theoretically "turn the arrow"? Naturally, only for equipment, which, in their opinion, was absolutely useless for anything. Hence the ridiculous figures of the maximum speed, underestimated one and a half times. Hence the bad shells and everything else. As you know, a bad dancer is always hindered by something. Moreover, I personally cannot present any claims in this case to the same Rozhdestvensky. In the context of his line of defense at the trial, he acted, or rather, gave evidence, absolutely right. If I were in his place, I would also say something similar. Claims can be made here only against citizen Andrei Kolobov, who used this specific material in order to "determine" the real maximum speed of the ships. This is not to mention the fact that he traditionally did not pay attention to the testimony of the same engineer "Eagle" Kostenko ":" We can give 16, 5 knots without problems … "- this is after the battle. Or the commander of the Emerald cruiser Fersen: “The admiral raised the signal to keep the speed of 14 knots”, “The admiral (Nebogatov) went to Vladivostok at a speed of 13-14 knots”. And many, many others. They were simply dismissed as contradicting Andrei Kolobov's theory of the total slow speed of Russian ships. Although the testimony of these people is much more valuable, if only because they themselves were much better versed in technology, and they had no reason to hide or distort the truth, unlike Rozhdestvensky. And you can talk as long as you like about bottom fouling, bad coal, mechanical problems, etc., but I won't even do that. I will not, because all these many-page arguments in a second are beaten by one reinforced concrete fact. Andrei Kolobov writes: “On his newest ships, Rozhestvensky reported to the Investigative Commission:“On May 14, the new battleships of the squadron could develop up to 13½ knots, and others from 11½ to 12½”. Question: and they Have you tried it? To assert this?

Andrei Kolobov writes: "Taking into account that in the second squadron of battleships" Navarin "could not develop more than 12, and the third squad had a maximum speed of 11½ knots, the head battleships in a close formation had no right to hold more than 10 knots." Question: and they Have you tried it? To assert this?

The answer is obvious. NO, DIDN'T TRY… Because if they tried to accelerate, then there would not be all this heated debate around speed, research and other dregs with bad coal and fouling of the bottom. Accusing our ships of insufficient speed, those in awe of the "wisdom" of Admiral Zinovy ​​Petrovich Rozhestvensky do not seem to understand that our ships did not even try to chase the Japanese, because a noose was thrown over them in the form of the admiral's order "Keep the course of 9 knots." However, there are exceptions: the Emerald cruiser tried it and easily left the Japanese, which is typical. There are no questions to his commander Fersen in this case and cannot be. But if he had not tried, then citizen Andrei Kolobov, without batting an eye, would have proved that the "Emerald" could not get away from the Japanese. As for the real speed, practice shows that even our outdated ships: "Nikolai I", "Sevyanin", "Apraksin" could sail at a speed of 14 knots without any problems. Therefore, personally, I estimate the maximum speed of the "Borodino" with all the problems there are in the range between 16, 5 and 18 knots.

When you poke the tsarist "Old Believers" in the face with this reinforced concrete argument ("did they try?"), Then at first in response there is only gloomy silence and continuous minuses, and then the most quirky personalities finally find a certain logical chain and begin to counter-reason something like this: " If the admiral tried to accelerate his ships, then they would start to fail machines, they would lose speed, the formation was upset, and the broken ships would become easy prey for the Japanese, and anyway they would not be able to compare with the Japanese in speed … "How something like that.

Murderous logic, striking in its perversity! Andrei Kolobov is driving a car and knocks down a pedestrian without even pressing the brake. And to the investigator in the pre-trial detention center, when asked why he did not use emergency braking, without batting an eye, he said: “I could not. If I applied the brake, then my brake hose could burst, and the car would become completely uncontrollable. I could do so much trouble! I had to just move this idiot … "I'm afraid that after such" excuses "the person would have received as much as they did not initially intend to give … engineers. If you care so much about people, you should not go to military admirals, but to military doctors. And if you are a combat admiral, then, having fallen into such a desperate situation as the Tsushima Strait with the Japanese fleet on the horizon, you had to use all the capabilities of your existing equipment by 110%! And if Admiral Rozhdestvensky did this, and what Andrei Kolobov loves to talk about would really begin (breakdowns, breakdown of the formation, ships faster than 13 knots really did not go and something else like that), then in this case there are no complaints about Rozhestvensky would.

Was it the TECHNOLOGY that let the 2TOE ships down in reality? Definitely YES. According to my calculations, this happened three times. The machine of the destroyer "Buyny", which then sank the cruiser "Dmitry Donskoy" for so long and stubbornly, was out of order. The torpedo on the destroyer "Loud" did not work, which prevented it from successfully torpedoing an enemy fighter in a desperate battle (one against three). The 254-mm guns of the main caliber of the battleship "Admiral Ushakov" have completely exhausted their resource. Their thrust rings parted, and the installations were completely out of order. They could no longer shoot - they only spat shells at a short distance. This made it possible for the Japanese armored cruisers to shoot the Ushakov with almost impunity (at the same time, the Ushakov, burying its nose almost at the bow tower itself, still managed to issue as many as 10 knots of speed, although figures like Andrei Kolobov give it, completely serviceable, a maximum of 11, 5 knots). But what is characteristic, in all these three cases, the commanders of these ships did everything they could… And they didn't just do it, but they got out of their way. But the technique failed - it happens. All three of these ships were eventually lost. However, no one, I think, will dare to make claims against Kolomentsev, Kern or Miklukha. A completely different situation is with Rozhestvensky, whose "concern" about technology and people ultimately ruined both technology and people. Moreover, the Japanese suffered almost no damage.

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