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by the fact that on February Russians, an indication that 11 he reported its position some general movement was to St Petersburg, and that on foot. this report was published in At the end of the last chapseveral of the Russian papers. ter we severely criticised both We have quoted this as an
an Kuropatkin and his staff for instance, because we feel that, their want of action durin our sympathy to our allies ing Gripenberg's action. The and in the character of that reason for this criticism is sentiment which we must feel obvious, although even at this for the successes of the Jap- date we are not able to do more anese, many writers have erred than surmise the real cause on the side of over-enthusiasm, of Kuropatkin's failure. But and have thus become parti- whatever this 'cause may have
Although Kuropatkin is been, it is certain that neither a beaten soldier, we still main- he nor his staff realised how tain that, when an unbiassed nearly they had achieved a analysis of the campaign is very considerable success. For procured, it will be found that although we never will believe he is not so totally disgraced that the Russians were within
so many writers in this measurable distance of a comcountry would have us to plete tactical success, yet, if believe.
they had been able to have That there were indications forced Oyama to sufficiently of the coming Japanese ad- weaken his right flank and vance is evident to every centre to confront their atstudent of the campaign. tack, the season would have Take, for instance, the affair slipped by during which the of the Hsin - kai Bridge on Japanese had calculated to force February 11. Here, 160 their great attack,-before the miles north of Mukden, the spring thaws had rendered Russian permanent way was military movement almost attacked and out by a con- impossible. If Gripenberg's siderable force of Japanese army had been able to maincavalry. This in itself was tain its position, or to have portent enough, for it was effected a further turning of the first time that the Jap- the Japanese left, the battle of
had endeavoured to Mukden would have been postbring about any considerable poned, and possibly would enterprise of such a character. never have taken place. As The story of this raid, which it was, the Japanese had the in itself reminds us of the merest margin in which to Southern cavalry enterprises correct the displacement of during the American Civil their elaborate plans which the War, was a really magnificent Gripenberg diversion caused. piece of work. Space will not But by February 19 everyallow us to give it the atten- thing was ready, and the tion it deserves, and, as far Chief of the General Staff, as we are concerned, it must comfortably ensconced remain just as it was to the the centre of the great Japan
ese line, gave the order for begin his operations in advance
us that the object of Kuroki's advance
Oyama's striking army was special and crafty object was divided into five armies. Read- assigned, and it would appear ing from right to left, on that, in nearly every one of the February 19 the positions great fights, it was Nodzu's of these five armies were ap- army which turned the balance proximately as follows: Kawa- in Japan's favour.
It is remura's army, which, as we markable that although Japan have already stated, had been allowed foreign attachés and landed somewhere at the mouth correspondents, and their own of the Ya-lu, was lying in one correspondents, with every other of the Ta-ling valleys on the army in the field, yet they Fu-shun road. Its outposts refused to allow any one to were in touch with the Russi- accompany
General Nodzu. ans who were holding Ching. The part assigned to Nodzu in ho-cheng, one of the strong this particular battle was, in passes in the Ta-ling range. the first place, to keep the Kawamura's object was to Japanese centre from being advance upon Fu-shun by the broken by any desperate enMa-chun-tun and Ti-ta roads, deavour by the Russians to driving in and defeating the divide the Japanese army in Russian force of Siberian Rifles half; and in the second, when which, in considerable strength, Kuropatkin had finally and held these last two positions. fatally distributed the last of Kawamura had the longest and his reserves, to force the point most definite route to follow, of least resistance
the consequently, in order that, at Russian line. Nodzu's headthe crucial moment, the co- quarters were in the vicinity operation of the whole Japan- of Shi-li-ho. His outposts joined ese army might synchronise, it those of his old comrade in was necessary that he should arms, Oku, at the railway.
To Oku was apportioned a ing movement on the Russian róle almost similar to that des right flank. For this purtined for Nodzu. Ever since pose the army, towards the Hei-kou-tai the Russian staff and of February, disappeared seemed to have conceived that, into the great plain west of profiting by the lessons of the the Hun-ho. Some remarkbattle in the snowstorms, they able stories are told by corwould on some future occasion respondents at the front be able to force in and destroy with regard to the methods Oku. For this purpose they which the Japanese employed massed against him a very for- to disguise and conceal the midable artillery. This man- movements of this Port Arthur ouvre served the Japanese army. We have already repurpose well, for they also, in ferred to this subject, and this portion of the field, massed shown, quoting evidence, that a large number of field and the Russian staff were not so heavy batteries. The object much in the dark with regard of this decision on the part of to this army as these correspondthe Japanese staff would seem ents with the Japanese were led to have been to make the Rus- to believe. But that does not sians believe that the support to matter. We must, therefore, the main attack would follow give credence to the statement the railway, and thus keep that the Japanese cavalry was Kuropatkin from distributing used for the peculiar purpose his reserves too early to the of screening from view, by strengthening of his threatened surrounding in a complete corflanks. When at last conceal. don, this army of over 50,000 ment as to the nature of their men. This army was about to flank attack was impossible, carry out an operation which, this same artillery would, by doubtless, would have been far its concentrated fire, be able to better conducted if it had been prepare for and cover those effected by an independent fierce and desperate infantry cavalry division. The ultimate assaults which had made Oku's objective of Nogi's army was army famous ever since it Hsin-min-ting, the terminus of landed on the Liau-tung penin- the Kou - pang - tzu railway. sula.
Geographically, this point was There remains one army, out of the sphere of operations namely, that of Nogi. These tacitly agreed upon by the veterans from Port Arthur, as combatants, but when the camfine soldiers as any that ever paign had reached these stutook the field, had already pendous proportions this really played their part in the battle became a side issue bardly of Hei-kou-tai. In this great worth noticing. Once Hsinfinal effort, however, they were min-ting was reached, the Rusdestined to fill the lacuna sian right was turned. in the Japanese organisation In our last chapter we gave made by the paucity of its a description of the country cavalry force. In a word, Nogi in the vicinity of Hei-kou-tai. was to effect a great envelop- This description would do for
the whole of the country be- cations. And there seems no tween Chang-tan and Hsin. doubt that this manoeuvre had min-ting. This being realised, the desired result, for, as will it is difficult to understand be subsequently shown, Nogi how Nogi's army was able to arrived at Hsin-min-ting pracreach the railway terminus tically unopposed. without being opposed. If We have not access to the ever there was a doubt as to same information concerning the efficienoy of Mishchenko's the Russian dispositions as cavalry and his vaunted Cos- we have with regard to our sacks, it stood confirmed by allies, but although there has the successful occupation of been general tendency Hsin-min-ting by the Port throughout the whole Arthur army. For if, in the paign,-tendency which the whole area of operations, there Japanese have not thought it ever was a terrain that was worth while to contradict,—to suited to the movements of an overstate the Russian numbers, independent cavalry division, yet we believe that actually it was in this particular section. at the battle of Mukden the But, and here the inherent Russian army had reached its cunningness and military acu- highest total. Lord Brooke men of the Japanese is de- estimates the Russian strength monstrated, two events had as being well over 350,000.
. taken place before Nogi was These numbers to some extent launched on his dash for Hsin are borne out by the Russian min-ting, which were calculated order of battle, compiled by the to clear the road for him. The Japanese from the evidence of first was the advance of Kawa- their prisoners after the battle mura and Kuroki in the moun of Mukden. This estimate, actains against the Russian left. cording to “The Times' corresThe second was the arrival of pondent, was as follows: The three squadrons of cavalry 160 Russians had three
three armies, miles north of Mukden. The the first under Linievitoh, the Japanese staff knew his Russian second under Kulbars, and the well. He knew that if three third under Bilderling. Under squadrons arrived unexpectedly Linievitch were three
the railway communica- corps—the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tions, the numbers of the force with Rennenkampf's independwould be exaggerated out of ent corps of Cossacks, making all proportion, and that in the a total of 100 battalions of general dismay felt for the infantry, 30 batteries of artilpossible destruction of the rail- lery, and 48 sotnias of cavalry. way, which was the main and Kulbars had four army corps : only artery for the gigantic the 1st Siberian, the 5th, the force collected at Mukden, 8th, and the 10th, together any menace to its safety would with the Division of Rifles. be almost certain to cause the His army mustered 144 batwithdrawal of Mishchenko's talions of infantry, and 38 Cossacks to clear up the situ- batteries of artillery. Bilderation on the line of communi- ling's command comprised the