Forethought was still busy when, in accordance with instructions from Tokio, Kuroki on the 30th of April ordered the attack to begin at daybreak on the ist of May.
General Dispositions Scale, 1:1,960,000 English Miles 0 5 to zo 30 40 50 Russian Japanese Roads Railways distance to march, Kuroki the smallest.
The Liao-Yang central mass was still held in hand, for the landing of the 4th Army - really only a division at present - at Takushan and the wrong placing of another Japanese division supposed to be with Kuroki (really intended for Nogi) had aroused Kuropatkin's fears for the holding capacity of Keller's detachment.
Kuroki entrenched himself carefully about Feng-hwang-cheng, intending, if attacked by the Russian main army, to defend to the last extremity the ground and the prestige gained on the 1st of May.
But having secured this advantage he stood still for five days, and Kuroki had ample time to make his arrangements.
Throughout the 25th, night of 25th-26th, and 26th of August, Kuroki advanced, fighting heavily all - along the line, until on the night of the 26th the Yang.
Oku was astride the railway, Kuroki extending towards his proposed crossing-points just beyond Kuropatkin's extreme left (the latter was behind the river).
The remainder of the 2nd division was following the 12th, leaving a nine-mile gap between Kuroki and Nozu, as well as the river.
Reorganizing his southern defences on a shorter front, so as to regain possession of the reserves that he had so liberally given away to his subordinates, he began to collect large bodies of troops opposite Kuroki, while Stakelberg and Zarubayev, before withdrawing silently into the lines or rather the fortress of Liao-Yang, again repulsed Oku's determined attacks on the south side.
On the morning of the 1st of September - the anniversary of Sedan, as the Japanese officers told their men - Oyama, whose intentions the active Kuroki had somewhat outrun, delivered a last attack with the 2nd and 4th Armies, and the Guard on the south front, in the hope of keeping the main body of the Russians occupied and so assisting Kuroki, but the assailants encountered no resistance, Zarubayev having already retired into the fortress.
Next morning, when Kuroki, who had conceived the mistaken idea of a general retreat of the Russians on Mukden, was preparing to pursue, the storm broke.
Had the two divisions still kept in Japan been present Kuroki would have had the balance of force on his side, the Russian retreat would have been confused, if not actually a rout, and the war would have been ended on Japan's own terms. As it was, after another day's fighting, Kuropatkin drew off the whole of his forces in safety, sharply repulsing an attempt at pursuit made by part of the 12th division on the 4th of September.
Kuroki with only a portion of the 1st Army was left to defend at least 15, m.
Kuroki displayed the greatest skill, but he was of course pressed back by the four-to-one superiority of the Russians.
Long, were Okla (2nd Army), Nozu (4th), Kuroki (1st) and Kawamura (5th), the general reserve in rear of the centre at Yentai and the 3 rd Army in rear of Oku.
The 5th Army gradually drove in Kuropatkin's small detachments in the mountains, and came up in line with Kuroki, threatening to envelop the Russian left.
He was held under observation throughout by Russian cavalry, but it seems that little attention was paid to their reports by Kuropatkin, who was still occupied with Kuroki and Kawamura, and even denuded his right of its reserves to reinforce his left.
His centre on the Sha-ho held firm, Kuroki and Kawamura made but slight progress against his left in the mountains.
On the 9th, by Oyama's orders, Nogi extended northward instead of further swinging in south-eastward, Oku now occupied all the original line of the 3rd Army, Nozu alone was left on the south front, and Kuroki and Kawamura began to engage Linievich seriously.