History[ edit ] History records the existence of a sign language within deaf communities in England as far back as British Sign Language has evolved, as all languages do, from these origins by modification, invention and importation.
Russia was at war with Japan and a number of Russian warships mistook British trawlers for Japanese Navy ships and fired on them. In the chaotic incident a number of Russian ships also fired at each other. The incident came close to sparking a war between Britain and Russia.
Background Admiral Rozhestvenski led the Baltic Fleet. Russian and Japanese imperial ambitions had led to the Russo-Japanese War breaking out in earlywith the two countries battling over control of areas of China and Korea.
The fleet would then enter the Mediterranean and head through the Suez Canal and Red Sea and then on to Japan through the Indian Ocean — a journey of many thousands of miles.
From the outset of the journey the Russian crews were immensely nervous as rumours had emerged that the area was full of mines, while others believed that Japanese fast attack craft were stationed along the Danish coast and Japanese torpedo boats disguised as trawlers were waiting in the Norwegian fjords, ready to attack the Russians as they passed by.
Clearly, the Russians believed that Japan had the ability to attack the Baltic Fleet before it had even left European waters, even though this would have required Japan to have detailed and accurate intelligence on the movements of the Russian fleet, and have the ability to sendattack boats thousands of miles to the other side of the world.
In the early years of the Twentieth Century fishing boats were much less productive than they were now as they lacked modern engines, nets and fish-finding technology. Fishing vessels therefore had to work in fleets consisting of trawlers which would catch the fish which would then be transferred onto carrier vessels which would steam back to port, unload the catch and then return to the trawlers.
There would also be support and supply ships accompanying the fleet. One of the largest and most famous fleets was the Gamecock fleet which operated out of Hull. On the night of the 21st of October the Gamecock fleet was fishing on the Dogger Bank — an area of the North Sea approximately sixty miles off the east coast of England — in thick fog.
The Russian Fleet approached, and the trawlers used lights and flares to identify themselves as fishing vessels. However, the Russians concluded that they were Japanese Navy vessels, and possibly thought that the flares were some sort of weapon being fired at them.
Using powerful searchlights to illuminate the area the Russians began firing cannons at the fishing vessels with the trawler Crane being hit with shells killing two crew members instantly. The vessel began to sink but the remaining crew were rescued by other trawlers, despite some being seriously injured.
Once they realised they were under attack the trawlers attempted to scatter but many had their nets down as they were engaged in fishing when the attack took place and could only travel at the speed of a few knots. The trawlers Mino and Moulmein were hit with multiple shells, injuring many crew members.
However, this turned out to be more of their own ships from the Baltic Fleet coming into the area and for a short while Russian warships exchanged fire with each other. At least two Russian sailors were killed by fire from their own ships, and the battleship Aurora being damaged below the waterline by shellfire.
The chaotic scenes continued for around twenty-five minutes. Reports from the time indicate that some Russian vessels stated that torpedoes were seen in the water, and other reports said that at least one Russian ship believed that they were on the verge of being boarded and was readying crew members for hand-to-hand combat to repel the Japanese.
The fighting ended when a Russian vessels eventually displayed a blue light — the sign to cease firing — and the chaos came to an end. The Russian fleet, however, did not assist the British trawlers or help the injured men. Instead the warships rapidly left the area and continued on their journey, fearful that Japanese torpedo boats still lurked within the civilian British fishing fleet.
The damaged and battered trawlers then made their way back to their home port of Hull, flying their flags at half-mast to indicate that there had been a death at sea. The British were understandably outraged by the incident.Compare and contrast the Spanish methods of colonization with the British in from HIST at Louisiana State University%(3).
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