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Russian Navy servicemen mark 110 years since wreckage of famous Russian cruiser

February 09, 2014, 11:15 UTC+3 VLADIVOSTOK
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VLADIVOSTOK, February 09, /ITAR-TASS/. Servicemen of Pacific Fleet, one of the five major territorial branches of the Russian Navy, and representatives of public quarters in Vladivostok mark the 110th anniversary since the naval battle between the Japanese and Russian naval forces in the Chemulpo Bay off the Korean shores.

At the battle took place at the start of the Russo-Japanese war of 1904/1905.

Flowers were laid at a memorial to the cruiser’s sailors of the lower ranks at the city’s Maritime Cemetery, and a squad of the Pacific Fleet’s guards of honor fired a salvo from combat arms, and Orthodox priests chanted a remembrance prayer for the dead sailors of the Varyag.

February 9, 1904, the Russian cruiser Varyag (Varangian) and the gunboat Koreets (Korean) engaged in a combat with fourteen Japanese ships, which had an indisputable prevalence in terms of gunnery. Military historians say the Japanese squadron had 86 guns of the calibers varying from 47 mm to 203 mm.

The biggest number of guns /38/ had the caliber of 1252 centimeters.

On the other side, the Varyag and the Koreyets had 31 guns of the calibers from 74 mm to 203 mm, including thirteen 152 mm guns.

The battle lasted about an hour, in the course of which the crew of the Varyag fired 1,105 shells at the enemy. It sent to the sea floor a Japanese destroyer and damaged severely two cruisers.

The Varyag itself got five underwater scuttles and lost three guns. An officer and thirty sailors were killed and another six officers and 85 sailors were severely wounded or shell-shocked.

In addition to this, about a hundred men received light wounds. As for the Koreyets, no one of its crew was killed.

The Varyag was incapacitated at the end of the battle and it returned to the port of Chemulpo together with the Koreyets. The crews did not surrender to the Japanese - the Varyag was wrecked by its own crew and the Koreyets was blown up.

The name Varyag was given decades later to the flagship of the Pacific Fleet, a missile cruiser with the water displacement of 11,490 tons.

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