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  • - Rozhestvensky objected to this, stating that he does not want to mix his modern fleet with even more "archaeological collections of naval architecture."

    - The Second Pacific Squadron was hailed by a Russian freighter, the Gortchakoff, carrying mail from back home.

    - Except that the mail the Gortchakoff carried was not mail from back home, but the mail the Russian sailors and officers had sent from Madagascar to back home.

    - This was only discovered after dumping thousands of letters and parcels on the decks of all the ships.

    Thanks for reading, and don't forget to drink your water.
    - The Admiralty in St. Petersburg, apparently, ordered Rozhestvensky's 'Second Pacific Squadron' to destroy the Japanese naval presence in the Pacific.

    - Rozhestvensky discovered that these were his orders from the newspaper he read that morning, because the Admiralty forgot to tell him what his new orders were.

    - His original mission was to reinforce the existing Russian Pacific Fleet, not singlehandedly destroy the entire Japanese Navy.

    - Another Admiral, Nikolai Nebogatov, was sent (as 'Third Pacific Squadron') with his order being, in full: *"You are to join up with Rozhestvensky, whose route is unknown to us." * That's the whole telegram.
    - Rozhestvensky partially recovered from his illness and ordered firing, torpedo, and formation drills.

    - Their stationary target, the Aurora, faced them abreast. Every shot missed.

    - The battleships missed the Aurora as well, but the flagship scored a single hit... On the ship towing the Aurora.

    - During torpedo drills, only seven actually fired, of which:

    - One jammed.

    - Three swung off their targets.

    - Two had propeller malfunctions.

    - One swung around back to the destroyers, causing a great panic.

    - The Kamchatka believed itself to be hit by a torpedo and that it was sinking, but in reality a steam pipe had cracked.

    - His destroyers were unable to form a column. They just couldn't figure it out.
    - While stationed in Madagascar:

    - Rozhestvensky got Malaria

    - Folkersham had a brain hemorrhage that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

    - Dysentery and typhus broke out.

    - A sailor unintentionally got much of his ship addicted to opium after buying 2,000 black market cigarettes.

    - During a burial at sea ceremony the Kamchatka accidentally used a live shell, which hit the battleship Aurora.

    - Bolshevik revolutionaries tried to stage a mutiny on the battleship Admiral Nakhimov.

    - A munitions ship, the Irtysh, was dispatched to resupply the fleet with ammunition. It arrived late, carrying winter uniforms (12,000 fur lined coats and hats) and literally nothing else.

    - The average temperature in Madagascar is 76° Fahrenheit. (24º Celsius)
    - Klado picked the worst and most outdated ships he could find in the hopes that he could see Rozhestvensky's face and how angry he would be at their rendezvous.

    - Rozhestvensky, refused to give Klado the satisfaction and instead bought exotic animals from a nearby "zoo" to cheer up his crew.

    - A poisonous snake wrapped itself around one of the 12-pounder guns and bit an officer who tried to pry it off.

    - A freezer ship specializing in carrying frozen meat had a malfunction. The spoiled beef was jettisoned into the water, which quickly attracted sharks.

    - They then managed to reach Madagascar.
    - The three (of six) battleships became so caked in coal dust that they began spewing the stuff, which trailed the fleet and whose smoke cloud could be seen for miles.

    - The dust spread onto the 38 ships behind them. The humidity created conditions on the three battleships resembling lung cancer. Sailors began to drop unconscious.

    - The fleet ran into another storm off the coast of Angola, on their way to Cape Town.

    - The Kamchatka again became separated but during a request for a status report, Kamchatka's flag signaler accidentally asked if the battleship Borodino saw any torpedo boats, causing a minor panic.

    - Captain Klado arrived at Cape Town with ships to reinforce the fleet.
    - This would not have been possible had one of the battleship's anchors not accidentally cut the single newly installed underwater telegraph cable connecting Tangier to mainland Europe trying to find a natural harbor to dock at.

    - International law at the time forbade fleets from refueling if they were sailing off to war. This did not apply to foreign vessels however, and German coal ships refueled the 'Second Pacific Squadron' off the coast of Western Africa.

    - I said earlier that one of the battleships sank due to being overloaded. Three other sister battleships were overloaded as well, and they could have sunk at any time in the journey. Holding enough coal would be a problem.

    - Rozhestvensky solved the issue by storing whatever coal couldn't fit in the hold on deck.
    - The incident leaves 2 dead and six injured, half of which were Russians due to friendly fire.

    - On the other hand, the battleship Oroyol fired 500 rounds of ammunition, without hitting anything.

    - The Battle of Dogger Bank almost sparks a war between the UK and the Russian Empire.

    - The British and Tsar Nicholas II agree to let the fleet pass if Rozhestvensky sends the officers responsible back to Russia. He sends only one man home, a Captain Klado, well known rival of Rozhestvensky.

    - The Kamchatka is separated from the fleet off the coast of Tangier.

    -Upon resuming contact, the Kamchatka reports sinking three enemy Japanese vessels and firing 300 rounds.

    - In reality these ships were a Swedish cargo ship, a German fishing trawler, and a French schooner.

    - Not wanting to have another international incident waste valuable time, the 'Second Pacific Squadron' moves on as if nothing happened.
    - A battleship (the flagship, no less) of the fleet runs aground off the coast of Latvia. A cruiser loses it's anchor and chain. It just fell off the ship. A destroyer accidentally rams the battleship Oslyaba and has to return to port for repairs.

    - The fleet reaches Denmark when they see Japanese torpedo boats waiting to ambush the fleet's vanguard.

    - After every battleship firing a salvo (and missing), the boat is revealed to be a fishing trawler carrying a message from Tsar Nicholas II to Rozhestvensky, congratulating him on his promotion to Vice Admiral.

    - Japanese "mines" were narrowly and deftly avoided by the fleet in the North Sea.

    - A support ship, the Kamchatka, signaled that it was being attacked by "eight Japanese torpedos, in all directions." The fleet arrives at Dogger Bank, finding more "Japanese torpedo boats", this time disguised as British fishing trawlers from Hull.
    - The fleet was composed of six battleships (three of which were outdated), seven cruisers (one was literally a retrofitted frigate from the Napoleonic Wars), nine destroyers, and 23 support ships of various purposes.

    - The Fleet is commanded by the shockingly competent Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky.

    - Rozhestvensky is not allowed to pick his second and third-in-command.

    -HIs Second was the morbidly obese and terminally ill (w/cancer), the Rear-Admiral Dmitry Gustavovich Folkersham.

    -His Third was Rear-Admiral Oskar Enkvist, described by Rozhestvensky as "an empty space."

    - One battleship, the Oroyol, sank at port due to being overloaded with munitions. The fleet has not even begun it's voyage.

    - Rozhestvensky sort of just... changes his fleet's name from the Baltic Sea Fleet to the Second Pacific Squadron. The Admiralty in St. Petersburg is not aware of this.

    - The journey begins.
    Today, I thought of telling you all about the shitshow that was the Imperial Russian Navy's Second Pacific Squadron. This all happened during the Russo-Japanese War. Hopefully, to you, whoever you might be that ends up reading this, you'll find this interesting, and have a couple of giggles too.

    So here we go:
    From 1942, they joined the Pacific, replacing the losses of Pearl Harbor and receiving a radar. Outside the Washington and North Carolina classes, they were the most modern BBs in the US Navy, did not suffer any really serious damage in operations while taking their fair share of operations throughout the Pacific campaign. The old vets were eventually withdrawn and stricken in 1948, the last dismantled in 1956.

    Here are a couple pictures for you, the first is USS Mississippi, BB-41 as it was before the class wide rebuild. The second is USS New Mexico, BB-40, post rebuild.

    Thank you for reading, and remember to drink your water.
    The class included the New Mexico - in service in May 1918, Mississippi, in service in December 1917 and Idaho, in service after the war in February 1919. Originally designed at 32,000 tons, they differed from the previous Pennsylvania-class by their more modern hull with a clipper bow, abandoning the old spur in favor of a more marine and functional shape. However, like the latter, they kept the four triple turrets arrangement allowing to stack a broadside of twelve 15 inch (356 mm) guns. The secondary battery used the standard 127mm guns in barbettes. Their silhouette was recognizable by their typical corbelled cage masts, adopted during construction. They would be completely reconstructed in 1931-34 and became new ships at least in appearance, ready to take on another conflict.
    About nine classes of battleships went through both world wars, two from UK, Japan, France and Italy, and five from the USA. In the latter case, the two oldest even saw action under a Greek flag after being sold. The three New Mexico-class battleships were the last class to enter service and see little action during the closing month of 1918. They were launched indeed in January-June 1917 and of a brand new radical design.
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