Thursday, 27 May 2010

Pre-Dreadnought Pictures: Part 10

To commemorate Tsushima Day, and to remember the sacrifice of the men of both Fleets, I thought I'd have a quick look through the SteelonSand Postcard collection, and share a few images of the Russo-Japanese War with you all.

Above we see a German card circa 1920, from the Kudka Series, with the title "Bombardment of Port Arthur by the Japanese Squadron" - and a very spirited rendition it is, too, although I can't answer for which ships are being pictured, but I think it captures the spirit of such an action very well.

Next up, a British postcard entitled "Port Arthur - Reception of the Minister of War", that was postally used in October 1905, so I'm not sure if it is from a view taken before the actual RJW had broken out.

Certainly, we can discern the distinctive five funnelled silhouette of the Cruiser Askold, notable for the smaller fore-funnel, and mighty nice she looks here, too, although the artist colourisation of the postcard has added some rather garish yellow gun shields, and what appears to be a pink lifeboat forward!

Next up, a bit of contemporary reportage in the shape of the 'War Series No: 5224' from S. Hildesheimer and Co. - entitled "Japanese attempt to seal up Port Arthur".

This card was postally used in May 1905, and has a great bird's eye viewpoint of the scene, with sunken blockships, the distinctive shape of the 'Tiger's Tail' peninsula, and the Russian Fleet beyond - it would make a good primer for a scale model, and is the kind of thing I always hope to re-create on the table-top - never quite turns out this way, though....

Next an interesting Tuck's Oilette card, which shows in rather moody chiaroscuro, a scene of the Japanese arranging decoy lanterns before Port Arthur:

Quite a crafty strategy to keep the Russian defenders on their toes, but not a job I would want to volunteer for - the arrival of an enemy Torpedo Boat in the midst of setting these up would definitely ruin your evening....

Finally a modern view of the sole Russian survivor of the RJW, namely the Cruiser Aurora docked at St. Petersburg:

Of course her lines have changed somewhat since 1905, but if your ever in those parts, don't miss the chance to see one of the few remaining pre-dreds out there.


  1. Thank you for the images . . . particularly the aerial view of Port Arthur and the Askold.

    -- Jeff

  2. Hi Guys, thanks, as always for your kind comments - in spite of it being Tsushima day, seems I only had images relating to Port Arthur itself!

    Still quite a few images in the collection that have as yet gone unscanned, including some Boxer Rebellion Naval related ones, so keep your eye out for more to come....