Military Review

Alexander Guchkov: the most "temporary" of the military ministers of Russia

Alexander Guchkov: the most "temporary" of the military ministers of Russia

Its among its

As another of the Duma leaders, and not a minister, Guchkov said about himself as follows:

"The rooster must scream before the sun rises, but whether it rises or not, this is no longer his business."

It was not his own business, by all indications, and took up, when in March 1917 he became the head of the Ministry of War in the Provisional Government of Prince G. Ye. Lvov.

First Provisional Government of Russia

This was the first of the Provisional Governments, then there will be the time of AF Kerensky. The last "temporary", as few people remember, turned out to be the government of the Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, that is, the Council of People's Commissars headed by V. I. Ulyanov-Lenin.

The 55-year-old Octobrist and merchant by origin, but not in spirit, Alexander Guchkov, as a former oppositionist, has long agreed in views with the cadet Pavel Milyukov, also “his Majesty’s oppositionist”, who was already almost 60. He easily submitted to the new prime minister - to the legendary zemstvo prince Lvov.

The same Guchkov, who himself headed the Third State Duma, was looking for a post for yet another elderly politician from among "his own" - the chairman of the IV Duma, MV Rodzianko. And he was ready to give all his strength to ensure that there were as few “leftists” as possible in the Provisional Government.

The main thing is that there were no Bolsheviks, since the Socialist-Revolutionaries, the most popular party in the country even then, had to be put up with in one way or another. It must be admitted that the Provisional Government exactly coincided in composition with the very "responsible ministry" that the "February revolutionaries" so dreamed of.

At that time, while Guchkov was minister of war and naval minister, there were not so many events at the front, the main thing is that there were no big defeats. But first of all, Guchkov, who, as you know, together with Shulgin knocked out the abdication from Nicholas II, did everything to ensure that Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich did not return to the post of commander-in-chief.

The tsar's uncle, the head of the Romanov family council, was also in favor of Nicholas II leaving, but for all the Romanovs to leave was too much. Renouncing, the emperor actually forgave Nikolai Nikolayevich for the actual betrayal and, with the last decree, again appointed him Supreme, after two years of governorship in the Caucasus.

The Grand Duke, to whom General N.N. Yudenich, who commanded the Caucasian Front, presented a whole series of victories over the Turks, rode in triumph from Tiflis to Mogilev to headquarters. However, there he was greeted not only by a letter from the new prime minister, either with a wish, or with an order not to take command, but also by obstruction from the civil authorities.

The generals were generally not against it, but politicians like Guchkov, and the local authorities, literally put sticks in their wheels. Nikolai Nikolaevich, still with an impressive appearance and noisy, but not the most decisive, did not resist for a long time and drove off to the Crimea offended.

He, unlike most of the great dukes, was lucky: he will be able to emigrate from the Crimea to France ... on the British battleship "Marlborough". Alexander Ivanovich could have been calm - now any commander-in-chief is not a hindrance to him, although the post of Minister of War itself did not imply even a hint of participation in the management of the active army.

Alexander Guchkov (left). Prime Minister Lvov, Minister of War Guchkov (behind) and General Alekseev, Supreme Commander from April 2, 1917.

In the few days that Guchkov was at the head of the military department, he managed to quarrel not only with the majority of the generals, but also with all the leftists - representatives of the Soviets at the front, navy and military factories. The main thing is that he was out of tune with himself.

The minister began with a demonstrative democratization of the army: the abolition of officer titles and permission for soldiers and commanders to participate in meetings, councils, unions and parties, and most importantly - the actual recognition of the notorious Order No. 1. At the same time, Guchkov, however, did not leave the position of a supporter of war until a victorious end ...

Realizing that everything he did was a series of dangerous mistakes, Guchkov tried to maintain discipline and began something like a total mobilization of the defense industry. Now, not only the generals, all the ministers turned their backs on Guchkov, and on May 13 (April 30, according to the old style), 1917, he resigned.

Stranger among strangers

And by the summer of 1917, Guchkov, together with Rodzianko, who would never wait for the revival of the Duma in the form of a Constituent Assembly, would become real pacifists. They will create the Liberal-Republican Party, they will condemn German militarism, sitting at the State Conference, in the Pre-Parliament and the Council of the Republic.

Together they will support Kornilov's speech, finally becoming right. Guchkov, like Rodzianko, should not have even dreamed of being elected to the Constituent Assembly, although even far more "right-wing" Cadets went there. It seems that only a few months before and after February 1917, Guchkov managed to really be among “his own people”.

And before that, and even more so after, there were and will be only "strangers" around. He was born in 1862 immediately after the abolition of serfdom in Russia into a well-known Moscow merchant family. Alexander Guchkov was educated as a philologist who graduated from Moscow University.

His military experience was not limited to serving as the volunteer 1st Life Grenadier Yekaterinoslav Regiment, but he was always considered an expert in military affairs. Guchkov will still go east to serve as a junior guard officer of the Chinese-Eastern Railway in Manchuria.

A.I. Guchkov in his youth

Due to the duel, he was forced to resign and immediately went to Africa, where he fought the British on the side of the Boers. Wounded, Guchkov was taken prisoner, and when he was released with the end of the war, he went to Macedonia to fight against the Turks.

In the Russo-Japanese War, he found himself already as a commissioner of the Red Cross ... and was again taken prisoner. The merchant's son, an experienced soldier, returned to Moscow when she was already in full swing with the revolution, participated in zemstvo and city congresses.

It is easy to understand why no one had any doubts when Guchkov was appointed minister of war. But by and large he did not become a merchant, starting with the fact that he became an honorary magistrate in Moscow, where the Guchkovs were respected.

He managed to attend lectures at several European universities at once, but apart from stories they did not concern military affairs. Traveled, including to Tibet. Guchkov emerged from the revolution as one of the founders of the "Union of October 17".

He was a little over 40, and with his life experience, the post of chairman of the Central Committee of the new party was just for Guchkov. He is not only a member of the State Council, he goes to the Duma and even heads it in the third convocation.

Alexander Ivanovich, a man by no means poor, always advocated a constructive dialogue with the tsar and the government, not opposing the dispersal of all three Dumas. The fourth, as you know, died on its own - in February 1917.

Parliamentarian Guchkov criticized everything that was done in the military department, and Nicholas II considered him the most dangerous revolutionary and almost a personal enemy. Perhaps that is why he made renunciation so easily that he did not understand what to expect from Guchkov. He was not afraid of those.

Nobody's among the nobody's

Meanwhile, the future Minister of War of no longer monarchist Russia was a staunch supporter of a constitutional monarchy. He bowed to Stolypin, was for a strong central power and for the cultural autonomy of peoples, up to the independence of Poland, Finland and even, possibly, Ukraine.

During the World War II, the Duma functionary regularly went to the front, entered the Progressive Bloc and participated in the February coup, which grew into a revolution. It was Guchkov, together with the monarchist Vasily Shulgin, who accepted the abdication from the hands of Nicholas II, which many still doubt.

Leaving the post of Minister of War in May 1917, Guchkov headed the Society for the Economic Revival of Russia, returned to parliamentary games, but eventually left the Red Cross for the Volunteer Army.

General Denikin asked him to go to Paris for support for the White Army. Then Guchkov came to Crimea for negotiations with Wrangel, and in the end he simply emigrated - first to Berlin, then to Paris, where he even tried to establish ties with Trotsky, considering him a worthy future dictator of Russia.

The aging politician took over the duties of the chairman of the Russian parliamentary committee in Paris, who never managed to achieve anything real. But Guchkov was also a member of the National Committee, from where the military coup in Bulgaria was initiated.

In the coup, as if according to the tradition of tsarist times, Russian white officers distinguished themselves, but for some reason they left Boris III of the Saxe-Coburg dynasty on the throne. And Boris in the Second World War, albeit under pressure from Germany, made Bulgaria with an openly pro-Russian attitude of the population an enemy of Russia.

One cannot but pay tribute to the retired politician for his participation in helping the starving in Russia, although it had a distinct political background. Alexander Ivanovich immediately correctly assessed what Hitler and his entourage were, and before his death fought to prevent the Nazis from attacking the USSR.

Due to Guchkov's participation in the preparation of a series of conspiracies against the Nazis, the German Fuhrer called him his personal enemy. Just like Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov once did. Anyone could be proud of such enemies, not only the former chairman of the III State Duma of the Russian Empire, Alexander Ivanovich Guchkov.

The death of Guchkov, which happened on February 14, 1936 in Paris, is shrouded in secrets. There is also a version with accusations against the Stalinist agents, although the diagnosis - intestinal cancer, moreover, inoperable, made a year and a half before death, was known to the patient himself.

Guchkov was buried near the Wall of the Communards

His funeral at the Père Lachaise cemetery, well known as the burial vault of the executed Communards, brought together the full bloom of Russian emigration. Guchkov bequeathed to transport his ashes "for eternal comfort"To Moscow, but only"when the Bolsheviks fall».

However, there was simply nothing to transport, since during the years of the German occupation of Paris, the urn with the ashes of Hitler's personal enemy mysteriously disappeared right from the columbarium in the Pere Lachaise cemetery.
Photos used:,,,,,
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  1. apro
    apro 28 March 2021 04: 55
    From the article it is not clear what Mr. Guchkov wanted, what goals did he pursue when participating in the Tsar's abdication, heading the Ministry of Defense? For all good against his own bad.
    1. Senior seaman
      Senior seaman 28 March 2021 07: 56
      Quote: apro
      what goals did he pursue while participating in the abdication of the tsar, heading the ministry of defense? for all good against his own bad.

      Apparently he himself did not know what he wanted. Either democracy, or boiled pork with horseradish.
      1. Ryazan87
        Ryazan87 28 March 2021 12: 16
        Unfortunately, Guchkov knew exactly what he wanted. In the article, he looks like some dashing fool. For example, the moment was missed that Guchkov had been the chairman of the Central Military-Industrial Committee since 1915. Not a merchant ... um. There, the state order was for 400 million rubles in gold and there would have been even more (some large aircraft factories were going to build more than a dozen in 1917 and even started).
        In addition, it is not said that Guchkov was not just born into a merchant family, but into a family of Old Believers. In general, the participation of the Old Believers' capital in the destruction of the Romanovs and the empire as a whole is somehow very blurry, and this is an interesting moment. Few people hated the official government as much as they did. And they didn't just hate, they had a lot of money to fight her. However, not only money.
        Guchkov may not have liked the Bolsheviks, but only as more successful competitors. And on the whole, this is not Milyukov's "talking head" that wandered in exile ...
    2. antivirus
      antivirus 28 March 2021 07: 59
      I wanted to chat, not roll bags ........................................... ...
      1. bober1982
        bober1982 28 March 2021 08: 13
        Quote: antivirus
        I wanted to chat, not roll bags

        He really chatted a lot, and he gained popularity on this - on the sparkling criticism of the army. In addition, Guchkov was a kind of extreme, he took part in the war on the side of the Boers against the British, which won him cheap fame - the Russian inhabitants, with bated breath, watched his adventures.
        And thus, at the time of the tsar's abdication, Guchkov turned out to be the most important military expert and, was appointed minister of war, with the assignment of an honorary nickname - "gentleman in a warm coat"
        1. antivirus
          antivirus 28 March 2021 09: 20
          the abdication of the tsar, Guchkov turned out to be the most important military expert

          - according to the modern --experd.
    3. iouris
      iouris 28 March 2021 13: 20
      Guchkov is the leader of industrialists closely associated with French and British capital. Guchkov and Co. strongly feared that the future victory of the Entente (especially obvious in connection with the entry into the war of the United States on the side of the Entente) would strengthen tsarism and postpone the victory of liberalism in Russia by several decades. That is why they (and not the Bolsheviks) organized the overthrow of the tsar. However, they were greatly mistaken in their assessment of their ability to hold on to power.
  2. Lech from Android.
    Lech from Android. 28 March 2021 05: 12
    How far all these deputies, generals, princes and chairmen were from the life of ordinary citizens of Russia.
    Power for the sake of power ... there is emptiness behind it and nothing more, which was then quickly occupied by the Bolsheviks ... they had something to offer the people.
    1. apro
      apro 28 March 2021 05: 25
      Quote: Lech from Android.
      Power for the sake of power ... behind it is emptiness and nothing more,

      This is you in vain. In Russia, power usually has material opportunities. And not small ones. Which are always easy to use for personal purposes.
      Today in Russia it was the ideological heirs of February that won, and with about the same results of their activities.
      1. Lech from Android.
        Lech from Android. 28 March 2021 05: 34
        Well, a man filled his apartment with bags and suitcases with gold and bucks ... then what?
        From this he will not become an inventor, scientist, composer or other talent that our society needs. Such hamsters have one goal, to collect more food in their burrow and to eat, eat, eat all this obeying the urges of the stomach.
        When you look at the next official who has stuffed his house with money, you think that this is some kind of mental illness.
        1. apro
          apro 28 March 2021 05: 38
          Quote: Lech from Android.
          Such hamsters have one goal, to collect more food in their burrow and to eat, eat, eat all this obeying the urges of the stomach.

          The problem is that the majority of such hamsters in the Homo sapiens population, and they all understand each other, and agree with each other.
          1. Lech from Android.
            Lech from Android. 28 March 2021 05: 43
            Well, I don’t know ... to limit the population of the hamster tribe, we need to do more hunting season, get more predators on them ... everything is like in nature. If nothing is done, then these hamsters with their reproduction will devour everything and find our society to starve to death.
            1. apro
              apro 28 March 2021 05: 56
              Quote: Lech from Android.
              our society

              And this is our society.
          2. Doliva63
            Doliva63 28 March 2021 08: 23
            Quote: apro
            Quote: Lech from Android.
            Such hamsters have one goal, to collect more food in their burrow and to eat, eat, eat all this obeying the urges of the stomach.

            The problem is that the majority of such hamsters in the Homo sapiens population, and they all understand each other, and agree with each other.

            Yeah, they understand, until interests intersect laughing
            1. apro
              apro 28 March 2021 08: 58
              Quote: Doliva63
              Yeah, they understand, until interests intersect

              These are little things, one in one, all the best for yourself.
              1. Doliva63
                Doliva63 28 March 2021 17: 15
                Quote: apro
                Quote: Doliva63
                Yeah, they understand, until interests intersect

                These are little things, one in one, all the best for yourself.

                You do not understand me. I mean, hamsters who understand each other are ready to devour each other, if it promises a profit. Capitalism, however. Ugh, disgusting!
  3. bober1982
    bober1982 28 March 2021 05: 14
    Guchkov was a clever brute that was not enough to hang - these words do not belong to me, but to Alexandra Fyodorovna, and it is difficult to disagree with such a description of Mr. Guchkov.
    Former retired warrant officer Guchkov, being the main critic of the imperial army, heading the military department, quickly turned the army into a herd of sheep and successfully passed control to the former assistant attorney at law, Mr. Kerensky.
    1. Pashhenko Nikolay
      Pashhenko Nikolay 28 March 2021 08: 46
      And this is Alexandra Feodorovna's own opinion or did she voice Rasputin's opinion?
      1. bober1982
        bober1982 28 March 2021 10: 38
        Quote: Pashhenko Nikolay
        And this is Alexandra Feodorovna's own opinion or

        Yes, that's what Alexandra Feodorovna said.
        Guchkov himself was the main fighter against dark forces and representatives of the Middle Ages, in the person of Grigory Efimovich, and in this struggle the "merchant" (Guchkov's pseudonym) had many assistants - the corrupt liberal press, British intelligence (how could it be, without these), rotten high society and corrupt ranks of the gendarmerie and the army.
        1. Richard
          Richard 28 March 2021 18: 21
          Nikolai Nikolaevich, unlike most of the great dukes, was lucky: from the Crimea he will be able to emigrate to France on the British battleship "Marlboro"

          a photo Maria Fedorovna and Nikolai Nikolaevich aboard the British battleship Marlboro on April 11, 1919. Yalta is visible on the horizon
  4. Pavel57
    Pavel57 28 March 2021 07: 45
    Quote: Lech from Android.
    Well, I don’t know ... to limit the population of the hamster tribe, it is necessary to do more hunting season, to get more predators on them ...

    Predators are the same hamsters, only angrier.
  5. Astra wild2
    Astra wild2 28 March 2021 08: 44
    Author, you have a successful job. I read it with interest.
    It is a pity that you are not frequent on the site. If you are more frequent, perhaps "Samsoniada" will become less frequent?
  6. Olgovich
    Olgovich 28 March 2021 08: 47
    Due to the duel, he was forced to resign and immediately went to Africa, where he fought the British on the side of the Boers. Wounded, Guchkov was taken prisoner, and when he was released with the end of the war, he went to Macedonia to fight against the Turks.

    He was an unusually interesting and extraordinary person: from childhood, this enthusiastic and selfless fighter for the ideals of justice and the rights of all the oppressed, participated in many conflicts, wars, campaigns.

    While still a schoolboy, he tried to flee to the RTV 1878 to fight for the liberation of the Slavs.

    In 1895, together with his brother Fyodor, he traveled through the territories of the Ottoman Empire inhabited by Armenians, in which anti-Armenian demonstrations took place at that time. He collected materials that were then used in compiling a collection on the situation of Armenians in Turkey. He then embarked on a perilous journey to Tibet and became the first Russian non-Buddhist, accepted by the Dalai Lama, who preserved the Orthodox faith, survived and returned to Russia.

    Left in 1898 to the Far East, where he entered the service as a junior security officer on the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway (CER).
    Together with his brother Fyodor, he made a risky journey on horseback through the territories inhabited by warlike nomads through China, Mongolia and Central Asia to European Russia.

    In 1899, as a volunteer (again with his brother Fyodor) he went to Transvaal, where he participated in the Boer War on the side of the Boers. According to the recollections of contemporaries, in the course of heavy battles he was distinguished by resourcefulness and external calm. He was wounded in the thigh, was immobilized, but was taken to the German Red Cross hospital by another Russian volunteer A.N. Shulzhenko. After the capture of the city and the hospital by British troops, he was interned. When the position paralyzed Guchkov became critical, his older brother Nikolai urgently left for London to help him. Thanks to his brother, Alexander did not die: he was transferred to an English hospital, where his leg was saved. and became disabled for life.
    was released by the British on parole no longer to fight on the side of the Boers

    Despite his disability, he participated in the Beijing campaign of General N.P. Linevich in 1900.

    In 1903 he made travel to Macedonia to participate in the uprising of the local population against the Ottoman Empire

    During the Russo-Japanese War, he was Assistant to the Chief Plenipotentiary of the Red Cross under the Manchurian Army, Plenipotentiary of the City of Moscow and the Committee of the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. His wife, who worked as a nurse in the hospital, was with him. In the spring of 1905,fell into captivity to the Japanese, as he did not want to leave Mukden together with the retreating Russian troops and leave the wounded in the hospital. According to the rules of the International Red Cross, he handed over the wounded to the Japanese. Soon he was released by the Japanese, who appreciated his courage,

    visited China, where the authorities helpedm of China in the fight against the plague (and, like Napoleon in his time, shook hands with the sick), the Ottoman Empire, Portugal, countries where bourgeois-democratic revolutions had recently taken place and a constitutional system was established. There he was exposed to dangers from which he emerged with honor. (FROM)

    Already being the former Chairman of the State Duma, disabled person A.I. Guchkov participated in the First Balkan War in the ranks of the Bulgarian and Serbian armies

    An avid duelist, there is information about 5 of his duels, and this is only with famous people. people.

    As Minister of War, he did not give one iota more rights to the military as they have in the army today.

    During the terrible famine of 1921-22, he spent large personal funds to save the hungry in Russia.

    he died of cancer of the thigh bone, which was the result of that very severe injury in the distant Transvaal, in which he fought for the freedom of the Boers.
  7. WHAT IS
    WHAT IS 28 March 2021 08: 49
    A very interesting and adventurous person, quite in the spirit of the beginning of the century.
    In the Russo-Japanese War, he found himself already as a commissioner of the Red Cross ... and was again taken prisoner.

    But already voluntarily. When the troops retreated from Mukden, he did not want to leave the wounded, whom they did not have time to evacuate. Many accused Guchkov of adventurism and craving for thrills, but no one could deny this man courage. They say that in the Parisian cemetery of Père Lachaise, where Alexander Ivanovich was buried, people gathered who would never shake hands with each other. A controversial, but strong, bright, unusual personality.
  8. Unknown
    Unknown 28 March 2021 08: 54
    The fact that Guchkov, being an emigrant, organized conspiracies against the Nazis, was greatly surprised. And in addition, Hitler's personal enemy? Where does this information come from? The only mention associated with the Nazi movement is in the wiki ..... After coming to power in Germany, A. Hitler predicted an imminent new war, the main opponents in which would be the USSR and Germany. To prevent this war, he considered necessary a coup in Germany with the help of his colleagues - German financiers. At the same time, in order to avoid reprisals against the White emigrants living in the Axis countries, he categorically refused to answer the question: will the USSR support the armed forces of the White emigration in this war. Guchkov's fortune (at least 3 million francs) and the much greater fortune of his German friends (as well as the fact that Guchkov and these famous professional financiers could manage capital hundreds of times larger than their fortune), in principle, made it possible to liquidate Hitler's power .. ... But it looks fantastic. Guchkov did not belong to the famous financiers of Europe, let alone Germany. There were their own industrial and financial whales that brought Hitler to power, for example, the steel magnate Fritz Thiessen or the creator of another industrial conglomerate Friedrich Flick, the banker Hjalmar Schacht, and naturally Gustav Krupp von Bohlen, the head of the largest German industrial conglomerate Krupp. billions of capital and influence, Guchkov with his 3 million looks like a modest rentier who can afford a comfortable old age. How could he influence something there? And here it is, Hitler's personal enemy !? The myth about the enemies of the Fuhrer was launched by journalists. Judging by Hitler's publications, he generally treated emigrants with disdain. Yes, and Schellenberg in his scribbles does not mention a word about Guchkov, although in his position, the head of political intelligence, he is obliged to know everything about emigrants from Russia. No one needs this old man, his time has passed. Here is Kerensky's opinion .... When the tsarist government was overthrown, there was no one not only to serve, but there was no one to be in opposition. Brilliant public figures and ministers flew - everyone! - from the kick of a soldier's boot. A.I. Guchkov politically perished on the very day when his political ideals were realized, when the main obstacle to them was removed. "
  9. north 2
    north 2 28 March 2021 09: 35
    Guchkov, first of all, is the leader of the Octobrist party, and that says it all, as far as this is a party of extreme right-wing liberalism. They also called themselves the progressive opposition and, without hesitation, by their goal and by their actions, worked to overthrow the Emperor. Guchkov is a master of political intrigue and a grandmaster of helplessness in creation. He even appointed duels as future fruits of his intrigues. What is at least Guchkov's duel with Lieutenant Colonel Myasoedov. The staff lieutenant colonel had poor eyesight and Guchkov was sure that Myasoedov would miss. And Guchkov himself was only going to shoot Myasoedov in the air. And so it happened. Myasoedov missed and Guchkov fired into the air. Guchkov had to show himself as a noble liberal. But the very dispute with Myasoedov arose from the fact that Myasoedov, you see, was creating a system of political investigation in the army, and the liberals really did not like it. Well, like the special departments in the army of the USSR, By the way, as soon as the Gorbachev liberals seized power in the USSR, the first thing they did about the army was screaming that the army needed to abolish the Special departments. And then the death of Myasoedov alone was not beneficial to Guchkov. And Guchkov, through intrigues and falsifications, achieved that Myasoedov and his associates were recognized in 1915 as traitors to the Motherland and executed, although the case was fabricated and the innocent were executed. However, these are the methods of all liberals ...
    1. gsev
      gsev 29 March 2021 00: 40
      Quote: north 2
      By the way, as soon as Gorbachev's liberals seized power in the USSR, the first thing they did about the army was screaming that the Special Departments should be abolished in the army.

      As far as I know, in the Soviet army, special departments ensured the transfer of military units in Ukraine under the jurisdiction of the new Ukrainian state.
  10. Gato
    Gato 28 March 2021 11: 26
    The article is muddy, to understand without half a liter and in the modern political undercover is unrealistic, to say nothing of pre-revolutionary Russia.
    But the illustrations are great.
  11. iouris
    iouris 28 March 2021 17: 19
    In 1991, the successors of those liberals created a "provisional government" - the most liberal and most stable "provisional government" known in history. This is a great victory for liberalism.
  12. lelik613
    lelik613 29 March 2021 06: 41
    Reference asshole. He lived his life without regaining consciousness.