Petropavlovsk, Japan, and After

  • Andrew C. Rath


The seeds of an Allied defeat at Petropavlovsk took root on the afternoon of September 1, 1854, and this timing was especially sudden. Allied warships led by the frigate Forte had bombarded two Russian batteries at Shakov and Koshka into temporary silence and had taken a third, Krasny Yar, by landing sailors and marines. Even one of the largest Russian emplacements, the five guns entrenched on Point Shakov at the base of a rocky hill, simply could not match the broadsides of the Forte and its English peers, the President and Pique. These warships were able to hurl hundreds of rounds against the battery. Allied shots rained rocky fragments from a cliff behind the Russian battery down on its gun crews, wounding their commander and eventually rendering the cannon impossible to man.1


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© Andrew C. Rath 2015

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