22 JULY 1905, Page 1

The report of Admiral Rozhdestvensky to the Czar ot the

battle of Tsushima, which has hitherto been suppressed, has at last leaked out, and is a very sad document for all friends of Russia. The Admiral attributes his defeat to the condition of his squadrons, due to the dishonesty of the builders, to the incapacity of his crews, and to the spirit of mutiny among the seamen. In illustration of the first point, he affirms that on none of the vessels did the armourplating correspond to the official figures, while of the shells two-thirds would not explode. The second source of failure was so bad that two- thirds of the crews were incapable of performing the duties required of them. As to the third cause of defeat, the Admiral had to quell a mutiny off Madagascar by fourteen execu- tions, and in Admiral Nebogatoff's squadron the mutineers nearly became masters. His own squadrons, indeed, had agreed, when off Madagascar, to deliver themselves up to the Japanese, and in the battle of Tsushima Admiral Nebogatoffs men seem to have hesitated to fire, while the men of the united squadrons, after Rozhdestvensky had received his wound and Nebogatoff had taken command, refused to fight. No such record has ever been written of the condition of a fleet, and it suggests a degree of corruption, tyranny. and incapacity in the naval administration of Russia which is almost incredible. The taint thus officially admitted is indeed so deep and so widespread that it is hardly possible, in spite of the splendid self-iacrifice shown in many battles, to believe that the military administration has entirely escaped the infection. The whole system of national defence must have begun to rot before such evils could have grown up under it.