Naval Battle of the Yellow Sea/Battle of the Yalu River (1894)
The Battle of the Yalu River (simplified Chinese: 黄海海战; traditional Chinese: 黃海海戰; pinyin: Huáng Hǎi Hǎizhàn; Japanese:Kōkai-kaisen (黄海海戦, "Naval Battle of the Yellow Sea")) was the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese War, and took place on 17 September 1894, the day after the Japanese victory at the land Battle of Pyongyang. It involved ships from the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Chinese Beiyang Fleet. The Chinese fleet was bigger and armed with bigger guns. The Japanese fleet was much faster. As a result, the Japanese would have an advantage in open water. On paper, the Beiyang Fleet had the superior ships, included two pre-dreadnought battleships, Dingyuan and Zhenyuan, for which the Japanese had no counterparts.Though well drilled, the Chinese had not engaged in sufficient gunnery practice beforehand. This lack of training was the direct result of a serious lack of ammunition.
The main squadron of the Japanese fleet initially followed the same course as the flying squadron towards the Chinese left but completed the turn all the way round to circle behind the Chinese fleet. As the flying squadron again turned south, the Beiyang Fleet was caught between the two Japanese squadrons. Dingyuan and Zhenyuan resisted the heaviest bombardment as a result of their armour; however, the quick firing Japanese guns decimated crews on their decks.The Japanese fleet's more reliable, better-maintained ordnance and overwhelming superiority in rapid-firing guns gave it tactical advantage over the Beiyang Fleet, which fought with limited stocks, consisting of older foreign ammunition and shoddy domestic products. Japanese shells set four Chinese vessels ablaze, destroying three. A total of about 850 Chinese sailors were lost in the battle with 500 wounded. The Chinese severely damaged four Japanese warships and lightly damaged two others. Japanese losses were roughly 180 killed, and 200 wounded.