Aurora was one of three Pallada-class cruisers, built in St. Petersburg for service in the Far East (on the Pacific). All three ships of this class served during the Russo-Japanese War. The second ship, Pallada, was sunk by the Japanese at Port Arthur in 1904. The third ship, Diana, was interned in Saigon after the Battle of the Yellow Sea. Aurora was part of the Russian 2nd Pacific Squadron formed mostly from the Russian Baltic Fleet, which was sent from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific, under the command of Vice-Admiral Rozhdestvenski. On the way to the Far East, she sustained light damage from confused friendly fire in the infamous Dogger Bank incident. On 27 and 28 May 1905, Aurora took part in the Battle of Tsushima, along with the rest of the Russian squadron. Under the command of Rear-Admiral Oskar Enkvist Aurora managed to avoid being destroyed unlike the majority of the Russian vessels, and with two other cruisers broke through to neutral Manila, where she was interned. In 1906, Aurora returned to the Baltic and became a cadet training ship. From 1906 until 1912 the ship visited a number of other countries, in November 1911 the ship was in Bangkok as part of the celebrations in honour of the coronation of the new King of Siam. The cruiser cooperated also in the international operation to care for the survivors of the earthquake of Messina.