During the Russo-Japanese war(8 Feb. 1904- 5 Sept.1905) there was a certain event ,in fact it was a single combat duel,between two officers of opposing sides in front of the eyes of two opposing armies.The duel was actual and real event,but not commonly known.
During that war there was a certain Japanese officer who became famous by provoking Russian officers in single combat duel in front of the eyes of Russian and Japanese soldiers,usually before some major battle in purpose of boosting moral of Japanese soldiers.That Japanese officer was not samurai per se,because after Emperor Meiji reform there was no more classical samurai,but he was,without doubt,trained in weapon and raised in samurai spirit.
It was the year 1905.Russo-Japanese war was at full steam.That wet morning two opposing armies watched each other after countless Japanese wasted charges on Russian positions somewhere in Manchuria front at place called Jun-ju-an.That situation resulted with Japanese standstill witch could not be tolerate by the generals.Regarding to that situation Japanese general ,commander of that particular front section,sent a message or verbally informed the Russian general,requesting for one Russian officer to come to duel against the Japanese officer duelist before main battle.
Nevertheless,Russian volunteer-duelist was needed,but already knowing about reputation of Japanese duelist,there was no volunteers.Not even a Kossak.
The word about Japanese challenge was spread,off course,across all Russian front line,and heard of it,one man took his his cavalry sword and coat and went right to the quarters of General Madridov.
Sharp salute- Lt.Aleksandar Saičić (1873-1911),from Berane-Crna gora,servant of his highness Prince Nikola I,now in service of His Majesty,Emperor of Russia.I am the volunteer,I would like to answer a challenge to a duel!
Russian general was very surprised because instead of Russian volunteer before him,there was standing a Serbian volunteer from Crna gora.
No time to lose,duel was waiting.Aleksandar Saičić carefully chose a new horse and left to the place where duel was to be fought.He was accompanied by numerous Russian soldiers and apparently with some military music band.
The place for the duel was chosen by Japanese general,and that place was in the middle of the “no man’s land” so that soldiers of both sides could observe the certain death of Russian duelist.
Aleksandar Saičić rode at dueling place observing his adversary at long distance on horse,also accompanied by numerous Japanese soldiers.
According to Aleksandar Saičić,when company of his challenger approached,in front of them rode out the Japanese duelist dressed in pitch black fur cloak,fearless and evil looking like some huge vulture bird,clearly overconfident.
Both duelists was on their positions,their escort set aside and soldiers on both sides were able to watch duel.
Japanese duelist made the first charge,Aleksandar Saičić then charged against and parry.They charged each other couple more times,but no avail.Aleksander Saičić later said that Japanese duelist had extremely well trained horse with lightning fast reactions.
Charge again,weapon contact,parry,but this time Japanese duelist manage to draw first blood making a small scratch on Aleksandar’s forehead.Clearly irritated not being able to win the duel for such long time,Japanese charged again with strength trying to finish the Aleksandar Saičić,but he manageed to parry again very skillfully and manage to cut off the hand with first cut ,and to cut down the Japanese duelist with another cut.Another version says that Lt.Saičić only cut down Japanese duelist.
Sound of cheering broke out on Russian part of front,Aleksandar Saičić make a salute to Japanise duelist lying down while his horse run toward Japanese line.
After that,Admiral Z.P.Roženstvenski personally congratulated Aleksandar Saičić victory over Japanese duelist(?).He was granted rank of captain in troop squadron of Pri-Amur Dragoon regiment.For bravery and gallantry shown in duel Aleksandar Saičić was decorated with highest Russian decorations,and for the rest of his life he was to receive 40 golden napoleons each year from Russian government.The sabre used by Aleksandar Saičić in duel was given to Russian Military museum,but he took home exactly the same model of sabre that we can see on his portrait.
Russian awards:Knightly order of St.Anna,I and II class,for wining in duel against Japanese officer.For gallantry and bravery.
Order of St.Vladimir with Swords and sash ,II class,for military merits
Order of St.Stanislav with swords and sash,II and III class-for gratitude from Russian Imperial house of Romanov.
Three Russian Wound medals for being wounded:First medal for being wounded in duel against Japanese officer at Jun-ju-an.Second wound medal for being wounded at Pei-an-can in Korea.Third wound medal for being wounded at Labataj.
Domestic;Order of price Danilo, IV class and Medal for bravery.
During the Russo-Japanenese War,on Russian side there was about 2.000 volunteers from Serbia and Crna gora.
*Public obituary from “Glas Crnogoraca No.16 April 16. 1911.
*Dr.Dušan Babac-Crnogorska vojska 1896-1916.page 34.
*Dr.Svetislav Marinović,Monitor- 21 MAJ 2010
*Col.ret.Slavko Saičić,(TV-Bez granica)