The Dogger Bank is located just 60 miles off Britain's north-east coast and was a very popular fishing ground for a strong fishing industry.

On the 21st October 1904, more than 2 dozen ships, most of which were from Hull's Gamecock fishing fleet, were fired upon by Russian ships on the way to make an attack on the Japanese Navy.

The Russians evidently thought that the fishing boats were Japanese torpedo boats, although the nearest Japanese boat was on the other side of the world, Russian intelligence was somewhat flawed, since earlier that night they had also fired upon a Swedish ship as they emerged from the Skagerak.

In all fairness the Russians were erring on the side of caution, as was the common practice at the time.

A transcript:

  • "Kamchatka"- "chased by enemy destroyers"
  • "Suvorov" - "are you really chased? How many destroyers? which direction they coming from?
  • "Kamchatka" - "we are attacked from all directions"
  • Suvorov -- "How many destroyers? Be specific."
  • Kamchatka- "approximately around eight"
  • Suvorov- "how far away from your position"
  • Kamchatka- "once got closer than the mile"
  • Suvorov- "have they fired any torpedoes?"
  • Kamchatka- "none we could see"
  • Suvorov - "what are your coordinates and course?"
  • Kamchatka- "we're afraid to state those"
  • Suvorov - "increase speed, sail west"
War with a very angry Britain was averted narrowly only by a quick apology and compensation by the Russian government.

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