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Old 02-12-2009, 02:58 PM   #1
mtravellerh
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Post Collingwood, Harry: Under the ensign of the Rising Sun v1 12 feb 2009

Collingwood, in this novel, treats the naval war between Japan and Russia (The Russo-Japanese War or the Manchurian Campaign in some English sources, was a conflict that grew out of the rival imperialist ambitions of the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over Manchuria and Korea. The major theatres of operations were Southern Manchuria, specifically the area around the Liaodong Peninsula and Mukden, and the seas around Korea, Japan, and the Yellow Sea.)

Quote:
Ten minutes later we were within hail of the destroyer, which, flying the Russian naval ensign, was lying motionless right athwart our hawse, broadside-on to us. Our engines were still running at full speed, and our safety valves were lifting, allowing a “feather” of steam to show at the head of our waste-pipe, while our quartermaster grimly kept our stem pointed fair and square between the second and third funnels of the Russian.

Then skipper Kusumoto raised his megaphone and hailed the destroyer, in Russian, with:

“Ho! the destroyer ahoy! Why are you lying athwart my hawse? Do you wish me to run you down?”

There were two officers on the destroyer’s bridge, one of whom sprang to the engine-room telegraph and thrust it over to “Full speed ahead,” while the other seized a megaphone and hailed back:

“Stop your engines instantly, sir! Did you not understand my signal that I wished to speak you? Starboard your helm, you confounded fool; hard a-starboard, or you’ll be over us.”

“Then get out of my way,” retorted Kusumoto. “Starboard a little,” (to the quartermaster), “and just shave his stern. I’ll teach him to lay his tin kettle athwart a Japanese ship’s bows.”

The destroyer leaped from under our bows like a frightened thing, though not so quickly but that we caught her quarter with the rounding of our bows and gave her a pretty severe shaking up. Her skipper shook his fist at us and stamped on the bridge with fury. Then he raised his megaphone again and hailed:

“You infernal scoundrel, I’ll make you suffer for that outrage! Heave-to at once, or I’ll fire into you.”
So it's quite clear on whose side Collingwood's sympathies are. I have doubts about the historical accuracy of this book, but it is still quite interesting as an naval adventure.
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