The transports were now conveying the 6th and 11th divisions to Pitszewo; these were to form the 3rd Army (Nogi) for operations against Port Arthur.
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.
The squadron nevertheless tamely returned to harbour, Togo resumed the blockade and Nogi began his advance from Nanshan, but the 2nd and 4th Armies came to a standstill at once (naval escort for their sea-borne supplies being no longer available), and the 1st Army, whose turn to advance had just arrived, only pushed ahead a few miles to cover a larger supply area.
Nogi landed on the 1st of June, and his army (1st and 11th divisions) gradually separated itself from Oku's and got into position for the advance on Port Arthur.
Having been reinforced by the 9th division and two extra brigades of infantry, Nogi advanced again on the 26th.
Nogi had already lost 8000 men.
Marshal Oyama sent his principal staff officers to stimulate Nogi to fresh efforts, and some exhausted units of the besieging army were replaced by fresh troops from Japan.
With 100,000 men and this urgent need of immediate victory, Nogi and the marshal's staff officers felt bound to make a third general assault.
But on the 27th the fighting spread to the centre, and Nogi (originally behind Oku) was on the march to envelop the Russian right.
Nogi and Oyama were equally impressed with the strength of the new (west) Russian front, and like Grant at Petersburg in 1864, extended farther and farther to the outer flank, the Russians following suit.
Nogi and Kaulbars stood fast, facing each other on the west front; after the arrival of the general reserve, Nogi was able to prolong his line to the north and eventually to bend it inwards towards the Russian line of retreat.
On this day the fighting between Nogi and Kaulbars was very severe, and Kuropatkin now made up his mind to retreat towards Tieling.
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.
But Nogi had not yet reached the Mukden - Tieling railway when, on the night of the 9th, every preparation having been made, Kuropatkin's retreat began.
On the loth, covered by Kaulbars, who held off Nogi, and by strong rearguards at and east of Mukden, the movement continued, and though it was not executed with entire precision, and the rearguards suffered very heavily, the Russians managed to draw off in safety to the northward.