One captain, Kusanojiro, with a picked crew, in broad daylight, sculled rapidly out to an outlying junk, and, in spite of a shower of darts, one of which took off his left arm, ran his boat alongside a Chinese junk, and, letting down the masts, boarded the decks. A hand-to-hand fight ensued, and, before the enemys fleet could assist, the daring assailants set the ship on fire and were off, carrying away twenty-one heads. The fleet now ranged itself in a cordon, linking each vessel to the other with an iron chain. They hoped thus to foil the cutting-out parties.
Besides the catapults, immense bow-guns shooting heavy darts were mounted on their decks, so as to sink all attacking boats. By these means many of the latter were destroyed, and more than one company of Japanese who expected victory lost their lives. Still, the enemy could not effect a landing in force. Their small detachments were cut off or driven into the sea as soon as they reached the shore, and over two thousand heads were among the trophies of the defenders in the skirmishes. A line of fortifications many miles long, consisting of earthworks and heavy palisading planks, was now erected along-shore. Behind these the defenders watched the invaders, and challenged them to land.
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From General Nelson A. Miles
Thrilling Stories of The Russian-Japanese War, 1904