Advertisement

Frustration in the Pacific, Shifts along the Amur

  • Andrew C. Rath
Chapter

Abstract

Britain’s and France’s 1855 campaign in the Pacific highlighted the futility of their efforts to frustrate Russian designs in the Pacific. Despite massive reinforcements, new commanders, and specific orders to coordinate the efforts of squadrons based in Chinese and South American waters, Allied forces utterly failed to accomplish their goals for the campaign. Russian forces successfully evacuated Petropavlovsk and escaped patrolling British warships, leaving a deserted provincial town instead of an attractive target. Allied forces were also unable to intercept and destroy heavily laden Russian warships and transports even after briefly locating them at De Castries Bay (De Kastri Bay). Finally, and in spite of their massive naval superiority and the shipwreck of the Russian frigate Diana, British and French warships were powerless to prevent the successful conclusion of Russo-Japanese negotiations or locate and breach Russian defenses at the Amur River’s entrance. The same “apparently aimless movements and ill success of our naval forces on the north-eastern shores of Asia”1 that marred the previous year’s campaign again characterized the Allied powers’ experiences in 1855. The game of military hide-and-seek on a grand scale played throughout the Western Pacific during that year represented a significant victory for the Russian Empire, which otherwise gained little from the Crimean conflict.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Bernard Whittingham, Notes on the Late Expedition against the Russian Settlements in Eastern Siberia (London, UK: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1856), 2.Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    John M. Tronson, Personal Narrative of a Voyage to Japan, Kamtschatka, Siberia, Tartary, and Various Parts of the Coast of China in HMS Barracouta (London, UK: Smith, Elder, and Company, 1859), 89 and ADM 1/5657 26 [December 8, 1855] (NA).Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    Boris P. Polevoi [Russian language], Defenders of the Fatherland: The Heroic Defence of Petropavlovsk -Kamchatskii in 1854: Collection of Memoirs, Articles, Letters, and Official Document, 2nd ed. (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii: Dalipzdan, 1989), 208.Google Scholar
  4. 8.
    Natalia Kiseleva [Russian language], In the Forefront of Memory: About the Siege of Petropavlovsk of 1854: Collection of Memoirs, Articles, Correspondence, and Official Documents (PetropavlovskKamchatskii: Kamchatpress, 2010), 32.Google Scholar
  5. 19.
    Thomas Wallace Knox, Overland through Asia: Pictures of Siberian, Chinese, and Tartar Life (Hartford, CT: American Publishing, 1871), 63.Google Scholar
  6. 24.
    Nikolay Schilling, trans. Erich Schilling and Peter Girard, [Russian language], Memories of an Old Sailor and [German language], Seeoffizier des Zaren (Originally published in 1892. Cologne Germany: Verlag Wissenschaft und Politik, 1971), 74.Google Scholar
  7. 35.
    Additional manuscript 49549, Folio 22 [April 16, 1855] (BL) and Andrew Lambert, Trincomalee: Last of Nelson’s Frigates (Barnsley, UK: Chatham, 2003), 98.Google Scholar
  8. 41.
    Sarah Paine, Imperial Rivals: China, Russia and Their Disputed Frontier (Armonk, NY and London, UK: M. E. Sharpe, 1996), 38. Furthermore, and despite Philipp Franz von Siebold’s awareness of his efforts, the discoveries of Japanese explorer Mamiya Rinz ~ were also unfamiliar to British and French forces.Google Scholar
  9. 49.
    Petr Ovsyankin [Russian language], “From the Memoirs of a Naval Officer.” Morskoi Sbornik, Vols. 223 and 224, Nos. 2, 3, and 4 (1888), 94.Google Scholar
  10. 59.
    Aleksey Alekseevich Peschurov [Russian language], “The Schooner Heda in the Tartar Strait.” Morskoi Sbornik, Vol. 22, No. 6 (1856), 5.Google Scholar
  11. 63.
    Francis Marx, The Pacific and the Amoor: Naval, Military and Diplomatic Operations from Fraser’s Magazine (London, UK: Robert Hardwicke, 1861), 8.Google Scholar
  12. 76.
    William McOmie, The Opening of Japan, 1853–1855 (Kent, UK: Global Oriental, 2006), 361.Google Scholar
  13. 114.
    William G. Beasley, Great Britain and the Opening of Japan, 1834–1858 (London, UK: Luzac, 1951. Reissued in paperback by Routledge, 1995), 145.Google Scholar
  14. 115.
    Pamela Statham-Drew, James Stirling: Admiral and Founding Governor of Western Australia (Crawley, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press, 2003), 500–501.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Andrew C. Rath 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew C. Rath

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations