|Posted by Gilbert Stack on February 9, 2018 at 5:00 AM|
On this day (February 9) in 1904, the Battle of Port Arthur continued. A surveillance group of 4 Japanese cruisers got within 7500 yards of the harbor without being spotted. They incorrectly assumed that the chaos they were witnessing meant that the Russian fleet had been paralyzed by the surprise attack. Admiral Togo decided to risk an assault to finish off the Russian fleet, but the Russian battleships were prepared to fight and bolstered by the shore batteries convinced Togo to retreat. Technically, Port Arthur is counted as minor victory for the Russians, but because the Japanese ability to repair their vessels was superior to those of the fleet at Port Arthur, it was a strategic victory for Japan. The next day (February 10) Japan and Russia declared war on each other.