Military Review

Russian army on the eve of the war with Turkey

The balance of opposing forces at the start of the 1877 war of the year was in favor of Russia, the military reforms of the 1860-1870-s began to give some positive results.

The reorganization of the armed forces of the Russian Empire was led by Minister of War Dmitry Alekseevich Milyutin, who took the post of Minister of War in 1861 and was there for twenty years, speaking from the very beginning of his work as a supporter of reforms. Milyutin achieved a reduction in military service from 25 years to 16 and other changes. At the same time, they took a number of measures to improve the life of the soldiers - their food, housing, uniforms, began teaching soldiers to read and write, mitigated corporal punishment, etc.

Milyutin believed that the corps needed to be abolished, as the experience of the last corps wars showed because of its cumbersomeness (3 divisions) was still not used in full force, and the troops had to make up troops whose strength corresponded to the task. In the year 1862 began to gradually disband all existing corps - Guards, Grenadiers, 1-4 infantry, Caucasian and 1-2 cavalry. Simultaneously with the corps in the infantry brigade abolished. The highest administrative unit of peacetime, Milyutin planned to have a division. The Ministry of War has lost some of its functions. Executive power was assigned to special local bodies - the military districts. The military district was the link between the center and the troops. Then they created four military districts - Vilna, Warsaw, Kiev and Odessa. The Polish insurgency 1863 of the year suspended the reform, but in 1864, the districts of Finland, Petersburg, Riga, Moscow, Kazan and Kharkov were established. In 1865, the Caucasus, Orenburg, West Siberian and East Siberian districts were established, and in the 1867 year - Turkestan. Riga district was soon annexed to Vilnius and Petersburg.

With the formation of military districts, and then the provincial and district military administrations, the practice of drawing up mobilization plans began, which ensured a relatively quick mobilization and deployment of the army in case of war. Now mobilization could be carried out in 30-40 days, earlier it was required from 3 to 6 months. It was also positive that in wartime the district administrations could be turned into army headquarters or select personnel for their formation.

On the other hand, the Milyutin decentralization soon began to have a negative effect. The district headquarters, which were often in charge of 8-10 infantry and 2-4 cavalry divisions, were overloaded with work. The position of brigadier was also not superfluous, as they thought it was restored in 1873, too. In 1874, the Guards Corps was restored. In November, the 1876 of the year with the partial mobilization of the army formed the 7 corps (from 7 to 12 and the Caucasus) to the 2 infantry and 1 cavalry divisions in each. The corps were not called “infantry”, as before, but “army”. All in all, the army corps had 24 battalions, 18 squadrons and hundreds and 108 guns. In February 1877 of the year, on the eve of the war, 9 bodies were formed (Grenadiers, from 1 to 6, 13 and 14). During the war, 18 reserve infantry divisions and 2 serfs were formed. In total, during the war, more than 39 thousand officers were mobilized, more than 13 thousand officials and 1,6 million lower ranks. In 1878, the 2 Caucasian Corps was formed, and in 1879, the 15 Army Corps was formed, and all reserve divisions were abolished.

Russian army on the eve of the war with Turkey

Count D. A. Milutin, Minister of War, Chief Architect of Military Reform

The education reform that Milutin conducted in 1863 cannot be called successful. Of the 17 cadet corps left only two - Page and Finland. The rest were transformed into military schools and infantry schools (Pavlovskoye, Konstantinovskoye in St. Petersburg and Aleksandrovskoye in Moscow). Military gymnasiums were institutions with a purely civil lifestyle, the officers were mainly replaced by civilian ones. As a result, the excellent Nikolaev cadet corps were defeated, although they were taught no worse and were raised better than in civilian educational institutions. In military schools, students were drawn to the university. But military schools covered with their issues no more than a third of the annual army need for officers. In 1864, district junker schools with a one-year course were established, releasing ensigns into the army. The graduates of these cadet schools became the main body of military army officers, and usually did not go far in the service. A total of 16 cadet schools (11 infantry, 2 cavalry, 2 mixed and 1 Cossack) were established. Artillery and engineering troops were replenished from schools.

As a result, a significant part of the officers, for all their loyalty to duty and courage, as noted by military historian A. A. Kersnovsky, “could not, due to lack of preparation, be up to the mark of new tactics characterized by actions of rifle chains on broad fronts, fire of a rapid-fire rifle and demanding quick use of the situation and the constant manifestation of private initiative. "

12 January 1866, by merging the Inspectorate Department with the General Directorate General Directorate, formed the Main Headquarters in charge of the management of the armed forces, mobilization, personnel and manning cases for troops and military institutions, their arrangement, service, deployment, combat training and management. . However, the Main Headquarters was placed by Milyutin in complete subordination to the Military Ministry, therefore, in fact, he became one of the ministry’s offices. That is, the General Staff did not have the importance of the German General Staff, where Moltke carried out reforms from the point of view of the General Staff.

The culmination of all changes was the introduction of universal military service in 1874, instead of recruiting. The prerequisite for this reform was the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, which showed the advantage of the Prussian army. Under the new law, all young people over the age of 21 were called up, but the authorities determined the required number of new recruits every year, and they took only this number from the recruits. As a result, usually no more than 20-25% of recruits were called up for service. The charter on universal military service provided for wide benefits in marital status and educational qualifications. The only son of his parents, the only breadwinner in the family, and also if the older brother of the conscript is serving or has left the service, were not subject to draft. Those taken to the service were listed in it: in the ground forces 15 years - 6 years in the ranks and 9 years in reserve, in navy - 7 years of active service and 3 years in reserve. For those who received primary education, the term of active service was reduced to 4 years, who graduated from the city school - to 3 years, the gymnasium - to one and a half years, and those who had higher education - to six months. As a result, Milyutin pursued a good goal - to help public education. However, it turned out that the most intellectually most valuable element was worst used (it served only 6 months), which affected the army not in the best way. At the same time, the peoples of entire regions — the Caucasus, Turkestan, and the north of Russia — were exempted from military service. The clergy was freed from service.

The 1874 reform of the year is generally rated positively by military researchers. She allowed to quickly create reserves to increase the number of troops and replenish the army during the war. Unfortunately, its results did not have time to affect at the time of the outbreak of war with Turkey. Introduced three years before the start of the war, universal military conscription could not fully provide the armed forces with the necessary trained reserve. November 1 1876 of the year when announcing mobilization in the army there were 722 thousand lower ranks, in stock - only 752 thousand. States of wartime provided for the army 1 million 474 thousand people. Incomplete to the wartime states reached 480 thousand people (30%), and it was not completely possible to close it with the call of the year 1877 and the Cossacks.

All infantry in the army were reduced to 48 divisions, 8 rifle brigades and 34 battalion battalions. The infantry division consisted of 2 infantry brigades, a brigade of 2 infantry regiments of 3-battalion personnel. The battalion had a 5 mouth - 1 Rifle, 4 linear. The company shared half-beats on 2, half-beats - on a 2 platoon, a platoon - on the 4 branches. The rifle brigade had a 4 rifle battalion. In the linear battalion was 4-5 mouth, 1 of them rifle.

Russian infantry did not learn modern tactics. Infantry statutes 1860 and 1874. They could not eradicate linear traditions that ignored shooting fire. The new statutes underestimated him, considering firefighting to be the fate of only a small part of the infantry — the shooters. In the event of an offensive, only rifle companies of infantry battalions were deployed. The main mass of infantry - linear companies - followed in close formation, being an excellent target for the enemy. A quick fire led only one weak rifle chain, and only one type of fire knew a close formation - a volley. Obsolete views also prevailed when infantry was trained in defense operations. Infantry was not trained to dig. Most of the forces of the battalion were located in a closed ranks, in reserve and only a small part in the rifle chain. The enemy’s infantry was planned to be allowed closer - to 300-500 meters, then volley fire came off, and when the enemy approached closely (50 meters), our soldiers threw in bayonets.

In cavalry, the situation was even worse. The combat training of the cavalry was weak. After the Eastern (Crimean) War, a false conclusion was made about “reducing” the role of cavalry in the modern war and that it should abandon the attack on the enemy’s infantry (as the experience of the First World, Civil and World War II showed, it was still too early to abandon cavalry). The cavalry was planned to be used only for strategic maneuvers in the theater of military operations, for strikes against enemy communications, reconnaissance, etc. As a result, the regular cavalry was halved, but the role of the Cossacks increased. Regular and Cossack regiments joined in one division. The Cossacks were unhappy with this reform, believing that they were placed "on the outskirts of the Russian cavalry" (their regiments were fourth in the division). In 1875, the six-divisional divisions were disbanded, instead they created the 14 army cavalry divisions in the 4 regiment (1-th dragoon, 2-th Ulansky, 3-th Hussar, 4-th Cossack). The new cavalry division had 12 squadrons and 6 hundreds with 2 horse-drawn (or Cossack) batteries (12 guns). In addition, they established the 1-th Don Division, also in the 4 regiment. In 1860, the Black Sea and Caucasian troops were merged into one Kuban army. In the same year established the Amur army, in 1867 year - Semirechenskoe.

Field artillery was divided into foot and horse. Foot artillery was consolidated into 48 artillery brigades, according to the number of infantry divisions to which they were attached. The artillery brigade had six 8-gun batteries. The artillery was doubled: throughout 12 years (from 1862 to 1874), the number of foot batteries increased from 138 to 299, and the number of guns from 1104 to 2392. Horse artillery consisted of 66 batteries with 416 guns. In all, the field artillery had 365 batteries with 2808 guns. In the 1872 year, all the artillery brigades were brought from the 4-battery to the 6-battery composition, they still had 8 guns in the battery. In 1866, armament for field artillery was approved, according to which all the walking and horse artillery batteries must have rifled, charging from the breech of the gun. The 1 / 3 foot batteries must be armed with 9-pound (42-linear) guns, and all other pedestrian and horse-drawn artillery batteries - 4-pound (34,2 linear). In the Guards artillery, all foot batteries were 9-pounder, in field brigades, 3 battery batteries and 3 light 4 pounds. In the Caucasus, the sixth batteries were 3-pound (3-inch) mountain. Horse batteries were 6-guns and had 4-pound guns. By 1870, the rearmament of the field artillery was completed. From 1872 to 1876, the sixth field brigade batteries were adopted by the fast-firing 10-barrel Gatling racks (they were then handed over to the fortress) and the 6-stem Baranowski with a rate of 200 rounds per minute. In general, the Russian artillery was at a high level, the artillerymen showed themselves well, both in Bulgaria and in the Caucasus.

Russian artillery entered the war, having armed with bronze rifled breech-loading guns. The shells were of three types: a grenade with a shock tube, shrapnel with a distance tube and a canister. The grenade gave a good result when firing at light ground fortifications, but was ineffective against earthworks and entrenched infantry. Shrapnel and canister gave a good result only in manpower outside the fortifications.

The engineers, back in 1857, were brought together in 3 brigades. They numbered the 15,5 battalion (5 mouth in the battalion). In 1864, 6 pontoon half battalions were formed, deployed in 1877-1878. in the 8 battalions. Mobilization of 1876-1877 led to the creation of the 4, then the 5 railway battalions. The sapper units were mainly prepared for the provision of troops in engineering and generally coped well with the tasks they faced. The pontoon units were also well prepared: at the heart of their preparation lay the rich experience of the Russian army in ferries across major rivers, including the experience of multiple ferries across the Danube. The units of the engineering troops that were engaged in the setting of minefields were well prepared. He headed this case M. M. Boreskov, a participant in the war 1853-1856.

The Austro-Prussian 1866 war of the year showed the importance of the breech-loading rifle. In 1867, Karl’s needle rifles of the 6 th linear caliber with a slide gate and a paper cartridge were introduced. But it soon became clear that the advantage of the metal sleeve and 1869 was re-equipped by a large part of the army with the Krnka (Krynka) rifle with a folding bolt. Both guns beat on 2000 steps, but this range was not used, since the sights were only on 600 steps in linear companies and on 1200 in non-commissioned officers and rifle companies. As a result, our troops still did not know how to shoot at long distances. In 1868, the army adopted excellent 4-linear (10,6 mm) Berdan rifles for a unitary cartridge, and in 1870, its modified version (No. 2). Rifle Berdan № 2 different simplicity of design, accuracy and rate of fire. For her, the tetrahedral bayonet was first adopted instead of the previously existing triangular. The rifle No. 1 had a sight on 2100 steps, No. 2 - on 2400 steps. The problem was that by the beginning of the war with Turkey, only a third of the troops had received these excellent rifles, while divisions that were not assigned to the army had received them. As a result, the range of useful fire of our infantry in the 1877 campaign of the year was the same as under Sevastopol during the Crimean War. From the 48 infantry divisions, the guns of Berdan had 16, Krnka - 26, Karl - 6. Guns of Berdan had guards, grenadiers, rifle brigades and 9 infantry divisions. Karl - divisions of the Caucasian Military District and all the linear battalions. The rest of the troops had Krnk. In cavalry, both ranks of dragoons had Krnke's carbines, the hussars and uhlan had only the second rank (the first had spikes). In the period 1878-1879. All troops received rifle Berdan number 2.

Rifle Krnka

Rifle Berdan № 2

Thus, Milutin was unable to fully implement the program of rearmament of the army. The desire to establish their own production of all kinds weapons, doing without foreign orders was broken due to the lack of capabilities of the military-industrial complex of Russia. The disadvantage was the variety of small arms, while the current troops did not re-equip the most modern rifles of Berdan; the absence of field-range artillery of steel long-range cannons and mounted fire guns (mortars), as well as shells with a high-explosive impact.

Russian military thought continued to be under the influence of Prussian-German doctrines. Methods Moltke, the largest military-scientific value of the second half of the XIX century, fully possessed the minds in Russia. The Prussian army achieved excellent results in the 1866 and 1870-1871 wars. As a result, Moltke was unequivocally recognized in Russia as "world authority". Although at the same time, the French carefully studied the experience of Napoleon, of which Moltke was a student. And here, instead of studying the national commanders of Rumyantsev and Suvorov, who demonstrated the superiority of the Russian army under the conditions of the domination of the Russian methods, which allowed to create an army of “miracle heroes”, they studied Moltke. As a result, the traditional for Russia fatal mistake was made - the Russian military thought found itself in a foreign captivity, like the entire Russian top of the Romanovs. In general, it was the conceptual and cultural Westernization of the social elite of the Russian Empire that led to the 1917 disaster of the year.

The methods of the Russian strategy became dependent and, as a result, mediocre, repetitive. As A. Kersnovsky noted: "The consequences of the monstrous underestimation of the national nature of military art and the prevailing importance of the national element in military science then affected the fields of Bulgaria, Manchuria, Prussia and Galicia ...".

Thus, the positive merits of Milyutin’s reforms were immediate: it was the humanization of the army, the abolition of cruel corporal punishments, the improvement of the life of the soldiers, the beginning of their training, the creation of public and competitive military courts, military prosecutor's offices, etc. A trained reserve appeared in the army. However, there were also negative elements that affected the long term. As the military historian Kersnovsky wrote, “Milutin bureaucratized the entire Russian army from top to bottom. In all statutes and regulations, he held the predominance of staff (with a clerical bias) element over the front line, the subordination of the front-line chiefs of staffs and departments. ... The military organism was grafted with a non-military spirit ... This is a catastrophic decline in spirit, the moral impoverishment of the bureaucratic army did not have time to be felt to an appreciable degree in 1877-1878 years, but it took on formidable dimensions in 1904-1905 years, catastrophic - in 1914-1917 years. ”

Already in that era, the danger of the bureaucratization of the army was seen by an old warrior who crushed the highlanders, Field Marshal Prince Alexander Ivanovich Baryatinsky. "The morale of the army," he wrote to the tsar, must disappear if the administrative element, only facilitating, begins to prevail over the beginning, constituting the honor and glory of military service. " The Russian field marshal criticized the Milyutin Regulations on field troop control, pointing to its bureaucratic nature. “Why do the institutions of wartime expire here from peaceful institutions?” - asked Prince Baryatinsky. - Since the army exists for war, the conclusions should be reversed. Meanwhile, the new martial law came out of the current peace, giving it the basis, the frame. Nobody complained about the military charter of 46, on the contrary, he was called up by the military people of the whole world for perfection ”. Field Marshal saw in the new position “humiliation of the military principle in front of the administrative one, based now on our dual semi-subordination and on the offensive feeling of mutual distrust that is not peculiar to the military spirit ... There are no fighting qualities from the minister of war; he must be a good administrator. That is why we are more often appointed from people who are not known to the army, who have little or no experience in military affairs ... The leader of the army is elected by another start. He should be known to the army and the Fatherland for his valor and experience ... The new situation diminishes the power and position of the commander-in-chief, completely dependent on the central military administration, which received the importance of a corrugated fighter ... The command of the army is reduced in importance, the chief of staff is dependent on the harmful and unprecedented military minister ... "However, the Milyutin position of 1868 of the year was abandoned.

To be continued ...
Articles from this series:
War 1877-1878 years.

"Constantinople must be ours ..." 140 years ago, Russia declared war on Turkey
"Turkey must cease to exist"
How England battled Russia with Austria-Hungary and Turkey
How Russia saved Serbia from defeat
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  1. Cartalon
    Cartalon 25 May 2017 06: 02
    Are there any other sources besides Kersnovsky?
    1. moskowit
      moskowit 25 May 2017 08: 34
      You're right. Kersnovsky very confusedly describes this military reform. As an informative source, it is not particularly complete. And the general context of his "History ..." did not require a complete exposition of the postulates of reform ...
      1. Army soldier2
        Army soldier2 25 May 2017 09: 52
        Nevertheless, an interesting article, which, in my opinion, is a rarity for Comrade. Samsonova.
        The education reform that Milyutin carried out in the 1863 year cannot be called successful. Of the 17 cadet corps, only two were left - Page and Finland.

        I repeatedly read that, following the results of the Crimean War, an unambiguous conclusion was made that the graduates of the cadet corps did not know military affairs, did not know how to command soldiers. This was the reason for their reduction.
        1. cost
          cost 25 May 2017 23: 32
          Berdan's Cossack rifle is the main firearm of the Russian Caucasian Cossacks during the Russian-Turkish wars, songs were written about it and poems were written

  2. Olgovich
    Olgovich 25 May 2017 06: 22
    In general, is it conceptual “westernization”? And cultural westernization social elite of the Russian Empire and led to disaster 1917 yeara.

    Subject " The Russian Army on the eve of the war with Turkey 1877. And here already 1917 request
    By the way, the disaster of the German and A-Hungarian Empires also led, it turns out. "westernization of the tops"? belay
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 25 May 2017 13: 19
      Olgovich, you correctly noticed that it turns out some kind of abrocadabra. Our Samsonov got a little confused and it turned out: "in Kiev, uncle, and in the garden elderberry"
  3. bober1982
    bober1982 25 May 2017 07: 18
    Count Milyutin was a graduate of the Noble Boarding School at Moscow University, he was engaged in military educational activities, hence all the failures and failures during his military reform. The liberal program of reforming the Russian army failed.
    1. Prometey
      Prometey 25 May 2017 07: 50
      Quote: bober1982
      Count Milyutin was a graduate of the Noble Guesthouse at Moscow University, he was engaged in military educational activities, hence all the failures and failures during his military reform.

      Well, he served in the Caucasus and had combat experience. And no one is safe from mistakes.
      1. bober1982
        bober1982 25 May 2017 07: 59
        Milyutin introduced the word such as publicityHe was an ardent supporter of the democratization of the army, he literally introduced the “cult of Suvorov” into the army, which turned out to be idle talk in practice. As a result of all his transformations, the defeat in the Russo-Japanese war became the result.
        1. Prometey
          Prometey 25 May 2017 20: 17
          Quote: bober1982
          The result of all his transformations in the end was a defeat in the Russo-Japanese War

          That is, if it were not for Milyutin, then Russia, with its recruitment service, would have rolled the samurai to smithereens? And after the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878. the Russian army did not fight for nearly 30 years, and Japan trained in China.
          1. bober1982
            bober1982 26 May 2017 04: 43
            ...... the Russian army has not been at war for almost 30 years .....
            There was no need for such a rush, small arms and automatic weapons over the years had to be developed, and not: It is a simple and tactile thought that thousands of paths lead to each practical goal, and the point is to reach it, and not to reach it without fail in a certain way.
      2. yehat
        yehat 25 May 2017 13: 27
        when he served in the Caucasus, gangs fought, not armies
        what experience so ??? True, it is not clear why he underestimated the cavalry.
        1. Prometey
          Prometey 25 May 2017 20: 13
          Quote: yehat
          when he served in the Caucasus, gangs fought, not armies

          Yah? And for the reprisal of gangs Russia from the 1840s only did. which increased the armed forces in the Caucasus, and after the Crimean War brought their strength to 300 thousand bayonets and sabers. The entire Caucasian population was virtually opposed by the entire population of Chechnya, Nagorno-Dagestan and the North-West Caucasus. According to rough estimates, the mobilization potential of the highlanders was 250 thousand people. No, dear comrade, in the Caucasus from the time of Ermolov to the 60s. XIX there was a real war, in the form of permanent military clashes, military expeditions and even battles.
          1. yehat
            yehat 26 May 2017 09: 23
            and nevertheless, in the Caucasus, almost all skirmishes are several dozen people without heavy weapons. Although the theater is very similar to the border with Turkey.
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 25 May 2017 07: 47
    It’s bad whether Milyutin’s reforms were good, not the point .. The outcome of the Russo-Turkish war was the Berlin Congress ... where the victories of Russian arms were divided by European powers, "partners" ... like ...
  5. Prometey
    Prometey 25 May 2017 07: 56
    And here, instead of studying the national commanders Rumyantsev and Suvorov, who showed the superiority of the Russian army under the dominance of Russian methods, allowing to create an army of “miracle heroes”, they studied Moltke.
    The author does not mind that there is a gap of one century between the reforms of Milyutin and the times of Suvorov. What experience did you need to learn from the end of the 18th century - a bullet - a fool, a bayonet - well done? And this is already when quick-firing guns appeared on the battlefield - prototypes of machine guns. A rifled guns became long-range than the fusees of the 18th century.
    1. bober1982
      bober1982 25 May 2017 08: 09
      Bullet - a fool, a bayonet - a young man
      About this (the military thought of those years) is clearly visible in Officer's memo - thoughts and aphorisms of General M.I. Dragomirov, a unique document. Moreover, Mikhail Ivanovich was a bright and prominent supporter of the Milyutin reforms.
  6. moskowit
    moskowit 25 May 2017 08: 39
    The main goal of the reforms was to get rid of the recruitment system of recruitment (professional army) with long service life and the introduction of an all-conscription military service, which provided further trained mobilization reserve .... This was achieved.
    1. yehat
      yehat 25 May 2017 13: 28
      It was partially achieved with a lower qualification of junior ranks.
  7. Curious
    Curious 25 May 2017 08: 56
    "Russian military thought continued to be influenced by Prussian-German doctrines. The methods of Moltke, the largest military-scientific dimension of the second half of the 1866th century, completely dominated the minds in Russia. The Prussian army achieved excellent results in the wars of 1870 and 1871-1917. As a result, Moltke unconditionally was recognized in Russia as “world authority.” Although at the same time the French were carefully studying the experience of Napoleon, whose student was Moltke, but instead of studying the national commanders Rumyantsev and Suvorov, who showed us Moltke studied the Russian army’s descent under the dominance of Russian methods allowing the creation of an army of “miraculous heroes.” As a result, a fatal mistake, traditional for Russia, was made - Russian military thought ended up in foreign captivity, like the entire elite of the Romanovs. and the cultural westernization of the social elite of the Russian Empire and led to the disaster of XNUMX.
    The methods of the Russian strategy became non-self-sufficient, and as a result, mediocre, repetitive. As noted by A. Kersnovsky: "The consequences of the monstrous underestimation of the national nature of military art and the prevailing importance of the national element in the military sciences then affected the fields of Bulgaria, Manchuria, Prussia and Galicia ..."
    The above quote clearly demonstrates what Samsonov perfectly mastered - the art of manipulating facts. All the facts of Mr. Samsonov should fit into the theory of a world conspiracy. If they do not go there, so much the worse for the facts.
    The minds of the vast majority of the army command were not held by Moltke's ideas, but by the ideas of the recently abolished serfdom. The need to develop new tactics required a more trained soldier with a certain level of general and military knowledge, showing initiative. And the training of such soldiers was inevitably associated with the weakening of feudal relations, which the tsarist command so sought to maintain in the Russian army. Therefore, the tsarist command was the enemy of military reform, including the enemy of changes in the field of tactics and combat training of troops. And Minister of War Milyutin, some commanders of the military districts, and some other senior officers who understood the need for reform, could not turn the tide.
    In the Russian army, much more attention was paid to the development of rules for organizing shows and parades than to the preparation of new military manuals. So, for example, during the war of 1877-1878. Russian troops did not have a compulsory combat instruction, with the rules of joint infantry exercises with artillery of the 1857 edition, while back in 1872, in addition to the combat regiment, a special “Code of rules on the reviews and parades of large troops” was issued, which was supplemented by special orders by the military department in 1872, 1873, 1875 and 1876.
    Only on the eve of the war, in the spring of 1877, the Ministry of War managed to start drafting a pan-army "Instructions for the actions of the company and the battalion in battle," but the war interrupted this work. Inadequate general education and the training of officers and soldiers prevented the restructuring of the combat training of the Russian troops.
    Of the 15 officers who received military rank after several years of service as cadets or non-commissioned officers, general education was often often limited only to elementary literacy; most had a lower education. The soldiers were mostly illiterate. According to the Odessa Military District, among those who entered the army, there were in 000-1869. - 1870%, in 3,4-1870 - 1871%, in 4,4-1871 - 1872%, in 4-1872 - 1873% literate in relation to the payroll of the unit (5,2).
    Only as a result of the soldiers' training in literacy during the course of serving in units by the mid-70s did the percentage of literate soldiers in the infantry rise to 36.
    Now that Suvorov’s tactics have not been studied. Not only was she not studied, she dominated. In the era of the development of artillery and rapid-fire weapons, the Russian army continued to rely on the bayonet.
    bayonet combat, along with gymnastics, is becoming increasingly important in the individual training of soldiers.
    The "Rules for Training in the Use of Bayonets and Butts in Combat", published in 1857, emphasized that class leaders should focus on the individual training of each warrior. For training in bayonet combat, mock-ups of rifles with a “soft and pliable tip”, masks, bibs and gloves were provided. All tricks, in the end, were practiced in full gear. At the final stage of training, it was required to conduct free fights, and methods of fighting with a butt were outlined, in addition, there were instructions on tactics of action in hand-to-hand combat with several opponents or with fighters armed with different weapons.
    In 1861, new "Rules for the Use of a Bayonet in Combat" were published, consisting of four parts, which provided for daily training in bayonet fighting.

    In 1881, new "Rules for Training in the Use of the Bayonet in Combat" were published, which has been used for more than 25 years. And only in 1907 he was replaced by a new "Training in bayonet fighting."
    1. Curious
      Curious 25 May 2017 08: 56

      Confirmation of this can be found in the book, which served for many years as a tabletop for so many Russian military leaders. This is a “Tactical Textbook” written by a general
      M.I. Dragomirov in 1879. M.I. Dragomirov is the largest military theorist of the Russian Empire in the 2nd half of the XNUMXth century. His practical and scientific journalistic activities had a tremendous impact on all aspects of military activity, but, unfortunately, is far from always positive.
      He expressed his vision of the development of firearms as follows: “... the bullet and the bayonet do not exclude each other, but complement each other: the first paves the way for the second. This relationship between them will always remain, no matter how far the improvement of firearms goes. ”
      The authoritative sermon of M. I. Dragomirov was clearly reflected even in the Field Code of 1904 and in other charters of that time and had a considerable negative impact on the armament of the Russian army and its supply with modern technical means of struggle. For example, even in the last Charter of the field service, approved in 1912, the Suvorov’s “Instruction to the Warrior Before the Battle” was preserved, in which there were such “guidelines”: “In battle he strikes who is more stubborn and bolder, and not who is stronger and more skillful” ; "Climb forward, at least the front ones and beat”; “Do not be afraid of death”; “An enemy can be beaten either with a bayonet or fire, of the two the choice is not difficult”; “If the enemy is close, always bayonets; if far away - first fire, and then bayonets. "
      It can not be said that the Russian army did not realize the archaic nature of the constantly attached bayonet.
      So Minister of War D.A. Milyutin wrote in his diary in 1874: “The question is again raised of replacing bayonets with cleats ... following the example of the Prussians. Three times we have already discussed this issue by competent people: everyone unanimously gave advantages to our bayonets and refuted the sovereign's assumptions that the bayonets would adjoin the guns only at the time when it was necessary to use cold steel. And despite all the previous reports in this sense, the question is being raised again for the fourth time. ”
      At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, two parties existed in the military circles of the Russian Empire.
      Some recognized the "bayonet" - a sign of courage, spirit, courage - and argued that, whatever the perfection of technology and the power of fire, the main thing in the war would be a man, that it is not weapons that are important, but a man with his decisiveness, and so as a bayonet is a representative of this quality, the Suvorov aphorism “bullet is a fool, a bayonet is well done” is eternal. Others, keen on the power of modern fire, attached exaggerated importance to technology, denied the “bayonet”, and with it the Suvorov aphorism.
      M. I. Dragomirov dubbed the first “bayonets”, the second - “fire worshipers”. The first, led by Dragomirov himself, remained the winners.
      Continuing altercations of “bayonets” and “fire worshipers” led to a vagueness of understanding the issues of “bullet” (matter) and “bayonet” (spirit), to false conclusions of the theory and, consequently, to the wrong preparation of the matter for war, to excessive enthusiasm for the moral side of preparation troops to fight to the detriment of military equipment.
      So Suvorov’s tactics also dominated the Russo-Japanese war and the imperialist war.
      As for weapons, it is best to familiarize yourself with the famous report of General N.P. Pototsky in the Imperial Russian Technical Society.

      It describes very well how difficult it was for an army with so many systems during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877 to 1878.
      So the problem of the Russian army was not the domination of the Moltke doctrines. and in its unpreparedness for modern warfare due to conservatism and inertia of the ruling elite, the dual line of Alexander II. Affirming the new provisions of combat training, which were based on the desire to teach troops what is needed in the war, and demanding their fulfillment, he at the same time, with all his strength, retained the former parasitism and external picture of military exercises. The first king was forced to do under the influence of obvious factors of modern combat experience, and the second was sweeter to his heart. Many military commanders in order to ensure their careers were carried away by parasitism, tearing off troops from actual combat training.
      And then the Russian soldiers paid for all this with blood.
      1. Cartalon
        Cartalon 25 May 2017 09: 47
        You’d better write an article, because in this article there are no copyright thoughts, but only an account of a chapter from the history of the Russian army of Kersnovsky
        1. Curious
          Curious 25 May 2017 10: 09
          And where did you see Kersnovsky at me, you can in more detail.
          1. Cartalon
            Cartalon 25 May 2017 11: 11
            We are discussing Samsonov’s article “even though I promised to do it”, and the article is just excerpts from Kersnovsky, is that clear? I feel sorry for the time you spent on writing comments; you probably spent more on the whole article.
            1. Curious
              Curious 25 May 2017 11: 32
              It’s clear that I’ve also за promulgated ’, but his“ historical acrobatics ”is perceived by some as history, that’s bad.
    2. Monarchist
      Monarchist 25 May 2017 13: 51
      Curios, I agree with you: in the Russian army they were too fond of a bayonet, and even in the 30s a lot of time was spent on bayonet fighting techniques. The old man told me: the methods of bayonet fighting in the Second World War were completely superfluous
      1. Curious
        Curious 25 May 2017 13: 59

        The combat charter of the infantry of the red army. 1942 year. The experience of the first, most difficult year of the war is taken into account.

        This is the first chapter of the charter. And the first paragraph of this chapter.
      2. Moore
        Moore 26 May 2017 06: 13
        Quote: Monarchist
        The old man told me: the methods of bayonet fighting in the Second World War were completely superfluous

        Bayonet battle near the Millers 25.06.41/XNUMX/XNUMX? Constant hand-to-hand combat throughout the war? No, not heard.
  8. bober1982
    bober1982 25 May 2017 10: 04
    One of the main developers of the peasant reform of 1861. was the brother of the general - Nikolai Alekseevich.
    Both peasant and military reforms are haste, not thoughtfulness, demagogy, gross errors and miscalculations.
  9. baudolino
    baudolino 25 May 2017 10: 33
    From the point of view of modern man, it is difficult to objectively evaluate the events of the XNUMXth century. The logistics of those times is a self-organizing mess. That in the Russian army, that in any other ideal coincidence of the original intentions, the invested funds and the result was not. You simply wonder at the stamina of the then person in those conditions.
  10. Monarchist
    Monarchist 25 May 2017 14: 24
    As military history shows: generals are preparing for the past war, and the enemy always acts "not right." So it was with the "linear practice" in the Russian army, the article says this.
    "the French carefully studied the experience of Napoleon," I would say even too carefully: the French infantry in the 20th century moved on exercises as under Napoleon.
    Dear author, take Ignatiev’s book “50 years in service” and there he writes: “Dumenk was arrested for acquainting a soldier of his squadron with digging trenches” (he’ve read it for a long time and I can not correctly quote) he cites many facts that Russian military thought was then higher than French.