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THE SINKING OF THE KOWSHING
Official Report of Captain Togo of the Naniwa
"At 9.15 a.m., coming close to the Kowshing, I signaled J.W. (to stop immediately) and twice fired blank shot. The next signal was L.P. (to anchor), which was obeyed. I was at that time very anxious to catch the flying Chinese warship, and I turned a little while in that direction. At that time the Kowshing signaled D.N.W.R. (may I proceed), which I answered by the signal J.W.
"At 10.40, I sent Lieutenant Hitomi and others as prize officers to her. On seeing all the papers and other things, they found that she was carrying contraband persons. So I ordered her to follow me, which her captain consented to do. When I hoisted the signal L.R. (slip or weigh anchor immediately), she asked me by signal to send a boat for communication. I thought that the captain wished to tell me that he was prevented by the Chinese soldiers from obeying my order. So I ordered Lieutenant Hitomi to go again to her, giving him instructions to bring the Europeans on board the Naniwa, if the Chinese generals were resisting the carrying out of my order. When the lieutenant came alongside, the captain came to the gangway and said that the Chinese generals asked to be allowed to return to Taku, as they did not know that war had broken out. The lieutenant informed me that, when he went there, the Chinese soldiers were in a condition of the greatest confusion and excitement, so that the captain intentionally came down to the gangway and would not let him go on deck. Four hours had been consumed in these fruitless negotiations, and there was no longer room for hesitation, so I signaled M.L. (quit the ship immediately). To this the captain again answered by the signal demanding a boat. At that time I thought it would be rather foolish to send our officers, as the Chinese were in such an excited state. Accordingly I signaled H.J. (boat cannot come). It seemed to me that she was awaiting the arrival of the Chinese fleet; moreover, it was very dangerous to hesitate any longer, so I again hoisted the signal M.L., and at the same time a red flag on the foremast. At 1.10 p.m. I ordered one torpedo and shells to be discharged. The latter hit the engine-room.
"At 1.15 the Kowshing began to sink from her stern.
"At 1.37 I sent two cutters to rescue the captain, the officers and the rest.
"At 1.46 she sank.
"The spot where she sank is two miles south of the island of Sho-pai-oul."
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