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The last moment of Dingyuan Ship
On September 2, 2019, after more than two months of underwater archaeological investigations, the sinking position of the former Beiyang Marine Division flagship "Dingyuan" was finally determined by experts. At this time, the distance from the Dingyuan ship to sinking in Weihaiwei has passed 124 spring and autumn.
Time went backwards on November 14, 1894. On the evening of the day, against the setting sun, a fleet of wounded ships staggered into Weihai. At this time, China and Japan had begun war for three and a half months. The Qing Army was defeated on the ground, and the front was pushed forward from North Korea to the northeast hinterland. On the maritime battlefield, although Dadonggou did not win the battle, the Beiyang Marine Division, who was regarded as the main force of the empire ’s coastal defense, suffered huge losses, and many warships sank. Fortunately, the main force still exists. Although the two iron armored ships "Dingyuan" and "Zhenyuan", which are regarded as pillars, are scarred, "they are strong and magnificent, and the Toyo giant is famous." . At this time, the Beiyang Marine Division was still a feared existence in Japan.
However, the grim situation made Lushun Port no longer safe. On November 13, the Marine Admiral Ding Ruchang was helpless and led the fleet to leave Lushun and go to Weihai for shelter. Only 10 days later, Lushun was captured by the Japanese. In view of the fact that the Beiyang Marine Division has moved to Weihai, the Japanese base camp soon formulated a Weihai landing plan, with the intention of annihilating the Beiyang Marine Division in one fell swoop. At this time, there was a gloomy cloud in the Weihai Port. On the morning of November 14, just as Beiyang naval ships were preparing to sail into the mouth of Weihaiwan Bay, the sister ship "Zhenyuan" of the "Dingyuan" ship accidentally touched the reef, and then sideways occurred. It had to be towed to shallow water.
At dawn on January 19, 1895, the Japanese army landed at Rongcheng Bay. By January 30, the Japanese advance troops had advanced to the southern turrets around Weihai. In just a few hours, the positions of the southern gang fortress, which was the main site of Weihai in Weihai, fell successively. As a modernized military port, Weihaiwei deployed a defense material consisting of mines, iron chains and wooden platoons outside the port at the beginning of construction to prevent enemy ships from approaching. Based on this situation, the commander of the Japanese Joint Fleet, Ito Yoshimori, formulated a plan to seduce the main force of the Beiyang Marine Division to go to the sea and fight against it. In the early morning of the 30th, Weihai was blocked, but was counterattacked and returned without success. On February 2, the Weihai Acropolis and the Beibang Fort were captured by the Japanese. The Beiyang Marine Division had lost all its land defenses and had to rely on Liugong Island to hold on. Ito again seduced him, but he was still stubbornly resisted by the officers and men of the Marine Division. "The clear ship has been encircled, and Ding Ruchang has no fear and persists in resistance."
The unexpectedly tenacious Beiyang Marine Division left the Japanese army helpless. Ito had to change his tactics and "resolutely implement bold schemes to undermine the defense barriers" ("Record of the War of Qing Dynasty"). On the night of February 3, Japanese torpedo boats dived into Weihai Bay to damage the port defense materials, but were quickly found and had to flee. However, the Japanese torpedo boat that failed the mission unexpectedly discovered a 40-meter gap in the east blockage line on the way to escape, just to allow the slender torpedo boat to pass. Knowing this important information, Ito immediately changed his plan: let the torpedo boat directly pass through the gap in the defense material and attack the Beiyang ships with the torpedo.
At 3 am on February 5, Japanese torpedo boats swarmed through the gap in the defense material, but their whereabouts were immediately found. The searchlights in the harbour turned on one after another, leaving the day boat nowhere to hide. In a panic, the No. 22 boat of the third torpedo boat of the lead team sank on the reef, and the group of headless boats fell into chaos. At this time, when the No. 10 boat left behind was scrambling around the west side of the iron pier of Liugong Island, he saw a huge black shadow standing in front of himself. The searchlight on the ship suddenly turned on, and Captain Nakamura Matsutaro couldn't believe his eyes. This was Dingyuan! Soon, the artillery on Dingyuan's ship began to fire fiercely, and Nakamura recalled: "My boat continued to advance north, and the enemy's artillery fire became more and more fierce, hitting our boat many times" ("The Chronicle of the War of Qing Dynasty"). No. 10 boat, which had run out of ammunition, withdrew from the battlefield soon, but Dingyuan's position was completely exposed. Soon, the No. 9 track of the second detachment rushed over, rushed to the Dingyuan ship 200 meters, cast two torpedoes, and then went away. One of the torpedoes directly hit the Dingyuan ship's crotch.
With a dull bang, the bow of Dingyuan's ship shuddered violently, emitting black smoke. The officers and men in Dingyuan's cabin were frightened by this sudden shock. "The rumor sounded like a thunder, and its sound was unheard of in life. The whole ship shook, and there was something scattered on its head like rain. Channeling "(" Lu Yuying's navy career recalls the old ").
The area hit by the torpedo was just below the waterline behind the port side. As an old iron armored ship, the armor arrangement above the waterline of Dingyuan Ship was impeccable, but there was no protection below the waterline to resist torpedo attacks. A large opening was ripped at the bottom of the hull, and the seawater poured into the cabin instantly, and the Dingyuan ship suddenly fell into chaos. Ding Ruchang, who was discussing the battle plan with the staff in the captain's room, rushed to the bridge and saw that the Dingyuan ship was severely damaged. He had to order the officers and men to immediately put away the anchor and forcibly move eastward into the shallow water to run aground and wait for the next day.
When the sky was white, the chaotic scene in Liugong Island gradually became clear. The stranded Dingyuan ship lay on the shoal softly like a wounded beast. The officers and men desperately tried to pump water to stop the break. mouth. However, the turbulent water continued to flow in, and the hull continued to sink. After noon on February 5, the situation worsened, the deck was flooded with seawater, and the entire giant ship was unable to move. On this day, Ding Ruchang sent a letter to Liu Hanfang of Donghaiguan Road in Yantai, writing sadly: "Some of the thunderboats behind the moon stole along the south bank, desperately focused and settled, and turned back. I did n’t have much to run fast. At the end of the thunder, the engine room was flooded with water, and Dingyuan drove the stranded sand in an emergency, hoping to remedy it and use it as a turret. Later, he was too injured and could not be used. "
Ding Ruchang, who had a foreseeable defeat, ordered the stranded Dingyuan ship to be blown up on February 9 to avoid falling into the hands of the Japanese army. At 3 pm on the same day, the body of Dingyuan Ship was charged with 350 pounds of explosives. After a loud noise, the stern of Dingyuan Ship was smashed and the boiler was burned to death. This was the end of the first giant ship that once esteemed East Asia A life of ups and downs.
Toward the end of life with Dingyuan Ship, there is Dingyuan Ship Leader Liu Buchan, who is very respected by Li Hongzhang. After being attacked and wounded by Dingyuan Ship, he was saddened and once kneeled at Ding Ruchang. Crying loudly in front of him: "As a pipe belt, I am so lost. There is a crime of malfeasance, and the only thing I am grateful for today!" ("Statement of an official from a torpedo boat"). In the afternoon after the Dingyuan ship was bombed, Liu Buchan swallowed a large amount of opium and committed suicide.
(According to "Beijing Evening News")