In 1954, on the 50th anniversary of this battle, all the participants of it were awarded with medals For Valor and For Victory over Japan. The first award is quite just and raises no questions. However, the second one generates doubts since though the sailors were true heroes, it was a defeat. Those awarded were living sailors of the legendary Varyag. On January 27 (under the Julian calendar), 1904 a Japanese squadron of 14 ships (including 6 cruisers) attacked cruiser Varyag and motor gunboat Koreyets (Korean). The Japanese advised the Russian sailors to surrender. If the lines of famous song are true, Captain 1st rank Rudnev, commander of Varyag, gave a command: “All hands ahead!”, and Russian ships accepted the unequal battle. Russian vessels could be taken prisoner, yet “we blew up Koreyets and drowned Varyag ourselves.” “St. Andrew’s Flag will never surrender!” Varyag raised the ante so high that neither the defeat in the Battle of Tsushima, nor the fact that Port Arthur was abandoned to the enemy could shatter the glory of the Russian Navy. The shame lies with the commanders, not the fleet.
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