The Last Stand of the Battleship Knyaz Suvorov (unknown artist, 1905)
This depicts a scene from the naval Battle of Tsushima on 27/28 May 1905 fought in the straits between Japan and Korea. Admiral Zinovy Rozhestvensky had sailed the Baltic Fleet over 18,000 nautical miles (33,336 kilometres) without major maintenance, as British-controlled ports were closed to his fleet as Britain backed Japan in the war.
He only had enough coal in his bunkers to make landfall at Vladivostok without a reserve for manoeuvring. The bottoms of his ships were fouled (cutting their top speed to under 10 knots), the machinery was in need of a refit, and his crews were exhausted after being at sea since October 1904, some eight months. Nevertheless, he made the choice to run for Vladivostok rather than sail to internment in a British or American port (the Anglo-Saxons were (and still are) rabidly anti-Russian). His last major port for coaling and rest had been Cam Ranh Bay in French Indochina (now, Vietnam) (then, as now, France was friendly to Russia, unlike the Anglo-Saxon powers).
This was the longest voyage of a coal-powered steel battleship fleet. Taking that into consideration, the fact that the Russian crews fought tenaciously to the end testifies to their courage under fire and the steadiness of their officers. The Japanese were fresh, they were in home waters, and their ships were in top mechanical order. They were handed this advantage through the perfidy of the Anglo-Saxon Protestant powers, who had an unreasonable and abiding hatred of Russia. Nothing much has changed, has it?
The Knyaz Suvorov was a new ship, only commissioned in September 1904. Admiral Rozhestvensky flew his flag from her as the fleet flagship. When the action commenced on the evening of 27 May, she was hit repeatedly by heavy shells. Admiral Rozhestvensky was severely wounded, and his men transferred him to a destroyer whilst he was unconscious. The Knyaz Suvorov fought on, took three torpedo hits, but, it kept firing until the end. She went down with all hands.
Glory to their bravery!