The appearance of Admiral Rojestvenski's squadron in the waters of the Pacific Ocean was the decisive moment of the Russian-Japanese War. As the Imperial Russian government had lost all hope of removing the Japanese from Manchuria, it decided to undertake a naval operation in the Pacific, in order to subject Manchuria and Japan to a blockade by an attack on the Japanese lines of communication.
The Japanese, fully appreciating this initiative, gathered all their resources and brought Admiral Rojestvenski's expedition to the catastrophe of Tsushima.
The causes of this disaster were at the time discussed by all naval critics. The specialists were divided into two camps. While one part attributed the Japanese victory to their technical superiority (in guns, speed, explosives) the other, among which were many Russians, explained the Japanese success by the action of their submarines. The Japanese themselves denied any participation of the latter. Notwithstanding this, certain Russians, one of whom was my former chief, captain of the cruiser Oleg, Dobrotvorski, were absolutely convinced that the main reason for our defeat was the Japanese submarines.