Admiral Makarov is an interesting Russian personality from the Russo Japan war between 1904-1905. He commanded the ship Petropavlovsk, which was named in honour of the Russian defenders of Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky during the Crimean War of 1854. He was in charge of the ship for only a few days, as his ship the Tsesarevich was being repaired after sustaining damage by a surprise Japanese torpedo boat attack.The Japanese had intended to torpedo ships at the mouth of the harbour to blockade the Russian fleet in Port Arthur. As this tactic didn't work, the Japanese then laid mines at the harbour entrance at night, hoping to lure the Russian ships through the minefield.
Makarov committed a fatal error here, as he saw the Japanese ships laying mines, but thought that they were Russian ships on patrol. A few days later, the Japanese engaged a Russian destroyer that was trying to access Port Arthur. Makarov raced to the defence of the ship with other ships of his fleet, whilst the Japanese destroyers sailed out of range of Port Arthur's huge guns. Makarov did not engage the Japanese, but assisted in the rescue of the damaged ship. On returning to Port, the Petropavlovsk struck a mine which was laid by the Japanese, and sunk immediately after secondary explosions resulted. The casualties were 652 men and 27 officers, including Makarov.
In 1913, a Japanese salvage team recovered the bodies of Admiral Makarov and five of his officers. The Japanese presided over a funeral at the Port Arthur cemetery for these Russian officers. We had visited Port Arthur, so were familiar with the story of Makarov. The Japanese erected a monument in Port Arthur, as a tribute to the 20,000 Japanese soldiers that died in this battle.The monument is known as the White Jade Tower. It is said that the spiral metal staircase that winds it's way to the top of the monument was made from metal salvaged from the sunken wrecks at Port Arthur.
The Makarov Statue was unveiled at it's present location in 1999. It is easily located by walking in a westerly direction along Svetlanskaya Street from Central Square. It is approx. a 10 moinute walk. Note that you will have to use the underground walkways to get across the major intesection. Walk on the left hand side of the street, up a gentle slope and at the next major intersection the Imax Cinema should be in view on the left, on the main road which also curves to the left. The Cinema is a major landmark, and easily identified by it's circular shape and blue reflective glass. The Makarov Statue is actually to the right of the cinema, up four flights of steps. You will enjoy the sea view and breeze from this location, and after the relatively hard walk up the steps, will be glad for a rest. The public beach area and park is to the left and opposite the Cinema, and you can take a stroll in this area after visiting the Admiral.
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