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Notes: The RURIK drew quite a bit of attention when she was first built, but she was "a thoroughly unsatisfactory design with only half her armament available on the broadside, inadequate protection and poor compartmentation." (Conway's FIGHTING SHIPS 1860-1905, p. 189; see Bibliography) Her armored belt covered nearly three-quarters of her length but was less than seven feet tall. The 8" guns were in sponsons, while the 6" guns on the main deck and the 4.7" guns on the upper deck were protected by shields. Heavy bulkheads gave some protection to 14 of the 6" guns. The armored deck was between 2.5" and 3.5" thick. RURIK was barque-rigged, and her hull was sheathed in copper.
In 1904, RURIK was based at Vladivostok as a member of the Far Eastern Fleet. After several sorties against Japanese shipping (with little success), RURIK and her squadron mates ROSSIA and GROMOBOI encountered a Japanese squadron of four armored cruisers at the Battle of Ulsan on 14 August 1904. RURIK, at the end of Admiral Iessen's line, took much of the Japanese fire. And not only were the Russian cruisers outgunned, but the Japanese ships had the early morning sun at their backs, while the Russian gunners had to "squint" into the sun in attempts to direct their fire. A little more than an hour into the battle, RURIK had her speed reduced and her steering jammed, leaving her turning in a circle to starboard. Iessen made at least four attempts to aid the RURIK, but eventually escaped to the north and away from the battle. Unable to catch the retreating ROSSIA and GROMOBOI, Admiral Kamimura moved his ships to finish off the badly-damaged RURIK. The RURIK's junior gunnery officer, Lt. Ivanov (who was the senior officer still alive), thought the Japanese would try to capture the RURIK. After ordering the wounded up on deck, he ordered the ship to be scuttled by opening her Kingston valves. RURIK sank stern first, her bow high in the air. Japanese forces were quick to rescue survivors, with 625 (232 of which were wounded) of the RURIK's compliment being rescued; 192 of her crew were killed.
(The information of RURIK's demise at Ulsan came from Peter Brook's "Armored Cruiser versus Armored Cruiser: Ulsan, 14 August 1904", published in WARSHIP 2000-2001, Conway Maritime Press, London, England, 2000; pp. 34-47)