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The History Thread Crosses the T

Welcome to this week’s History Thread.

This week’s topic: What subject do you want to learn more about? We all have gaps in our historical knowledge. Use this space to ask for information or reading/documentary/podcast recommendations on historical subjects you’d like to learn more about!

Today’s picture: May 27-28, 1905 saw one of the modern era’s most momentous naval battles, the Battle of Tsushima. At the climax of the Russo-Japanese War, with Russia’s Pacific Fleet destroyed at Port Arthur, the Russians gambled on sending the Baltic Fleet on a 17,000 mile voyage around the world to defeat the Japanese fleet. After a nightmarish voyage worthy of Herman Melville, Admiral Rozhestvensky engaged the Japanese fleet under Admiral Togo at Tsushima Strait. Togo’s fleet easily outmaneuvered the Russians, using faster, modern battleships and torpedo boats to cross Rozhestvensky’s T (“in which a line of warships crosses in front of a line of enemy ships, allowing the crossing line to bring all their guns to bear while receiving fire from only the forward guns of the enemy”) and destroy his fleet. The Russians lost 21 ships total, including 7 battleships, to just 3 Japanese torpedo boats. The battle ended Russian hegemony in the Pacific, heralding Japan’s arrival as a world power.