May 27 - 1905 - The Battle of Tsushima
The Battle of Tsushima was one of those battles that truly changed the course of world history. It all began when the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked a Russian controlled port in China. In response, Russia sent a large fleet from the Baltic Sea all the way around Europe, Africa, and Asia to the Sea of Japan. After an incident with British fishing boats, the Russians had to go without stopping over a course of months. This meant they faced the Japanese fleet ragged and beat up. They might not have won had they been at full strength. Led by Admiral Togo Heihachiro, the Imperial Japanese Navy was a minor miracle, as Japan had only begun modernizing and building a Navy in the 1860s. Togo also led his ships in a Naval masterclass at Tsushima, managing to take advantageous positions and press his position. The Russian fleet was essentially destroyed, while the Japanese Navy would suffer only small casualties. The Japanese victory upset the balance of power in the world, as Russia was humiliated and Japan gave notice it was now a major power. The Battle of Tsushima also made the Naval powers rethink their general strategy to warfare on the seas.