Recent military programs of the Russian Empire


Oddly enough, in historiography there is no generalizing information about the funds allocated for the rearmament of the Russian army and fleet on the eve of the Russo-Japanese and World War I, nor about the impact of these costs on the economic, cultural and social development of Russia. Meanwhile, militarism fatally affected its social and political life. This was manifested primarily in the influence of the arms race on the national economy, in the deterioration of the life of the vast majority of the country's population. The effects of militarization have been especially sharply felt since the end of the XNUMXth century.

At the turn of the XIX — XX centuries. many countries are involved in the arms race (a term that received the rights of citizenship from that time). Tsarist Russia was no exception. Moreover, as a result of a number of reasons, concern for the strengthening and development of the armed forces became, in the figurative expression of P. A. Stolypin, “one of the cornerstones, one of the most important stones” in the policy of the “overstraining government” 1. This happened for several reasons.

Firstly, autocracy was the only one among other imperialist predators that contrived in the 20th century. prepare immediately for two wars. Secondly, the first of them was unsuccessful and led the army to extreme frustration, and the fleet - to almost complete destruction. Thirdly, a revolution was raging in the country for two and a half years, which had a tremendous impact on the state of the armed forces. And finally, long before 1914, it was clear to everyone that the world was uncontrollably heading towards the abyss of a “big”, “common” war, and the ruling circles of all countries reacted accordingly.

Since the second half of the 90-ies of the XIX century. Tsarism strengthened expansion in the Far East. In an effort to quickly create a fleet there stronger than the Japanese, the Navy requested the king to allow 1897 permission to quickly order 5 squadron battleships, 16 cruisers, 4 mine vehicles and minelayers, 30 destroyers with a total displacement of 150 thousand tons and the total displacement of 163 thousand tons and the total displacement of 2 thousand tons and the total displacement of XNUMX thousand tons and the total displacement of XNUMX in thousand tons and the price of X. rubles. The decisive objections of Finance Minister S. Yu. Witte XNUMX thwarted this plan, but did not lessen the desire of the maritime department to increase its fleet. By the beginning of the period under review, previously scheduled military and naval programs were carried out.

By 1898 city, according to the shipbuilding program adopted in 1895 was to supplement the Pacific Squadron battleships being constructed simultaneously 7, 2 cruiser of the first rank, a battleship of coastal defense, gunboats 2, 1 mine cruiser, minesweeper 1 and 4 kontrminonostsa total tonnage of 124 thousand tons and cost in 66 million rubles 3. All shipyards in Russia were loaded to the limit. The total cost of the program was determined in 326 million rubles 4. However, these funds were not enough, and in 1898, another 90 million rubles were allotted for the “urgent construction of new ships”. Five years later, in 1903, the king approved the new program, which was supposed to build 4 squadrons, battleships, 2 cruisers, 2 minelayer and 2 submarines. The planned amount for its implementation - 90,6 mln. Rub. - the maritime department did not meet, and expenses increased to 96,6 million rubles 5.

Thus, before the war with Japan, autocracy allocated 512,6 million rubles for naval construction. (about a quarter of the annual budget of the empire), and this despite the fact that in 1904, the new Minister of Finance V. N. Kokovtsov managed at the last moment to have the king cancel the decision of a Special Meeting on the appropriation of another 50 million. to buy up two battleships built in England for Chile and Argentina 6 (they were supposed to be included in the 2 th Pacific Squadron).

Not dozing and the Ministry of War. By 1897, the first phase of rearmament of the army with a three-line model 1891 was completed, which required 2 million new rifles. With 1898, the second stage of rearmament began, according to which 1290 thousand 7 rifles were to be manufactured. The production of rifles, ammunition and gunpowder was allocated in 1900, 16,7 million, in 1901, another 14,1 million rubles 8. Less than a third of these funds were released from the marginal budget of the 9 War Ministry, and the rest was allocated from the state treasury in addition, which was required for the second stage of rearmament of the army with a three-line rifle: 29,3 million rubles. It was released over the military budget 10.

From 1899, the re-formation of the fortress and siege artillery began, for which 94 million rubles were spent. 11, and from 1898, the army was re-equipped with a three-inch field gun. For this purpose, a special Commission on the rearmament of field artillery was created, which received 1898 million rubles in 27. She announced an international competition to develop the best project of a three-inch rapid-fire gun. After conducting two years of testing, the model developed by the Society of Putilov factories was recognized as the best, and in February 9 1900, the king approved the first phase of the rearmament of the troops with the 1900 model gun of the year. Of the 1500 tools ordered, Putilov society was to supply half, and state-owned factories were to deliver the other half. The price of the five-year order was determined in 33,7 million rubles. Two years later, 8 March 1902, the king approved an improved model of the Putilov cannon. According to the military, 7150 three-inch guns (of which 2400 of the 1900 sample) were received by the army in just three steps. The most significant order, 2830, was received by the Putilov 12 plant. It took 155,8 million rubles to rearm the field artillery. from treasury funds and about 29 mln. rub. from the marginal budget of the 13 military department.

On the eve of the Russo-Japanese War, the rearmament of serf and howitzer artillery began. By the beginning of 1902, the land fortresses lacked 1472 guns, and the sea had 1331 14. The upgrading of fortresses and the replenishment of siege parks, that is, ammunition kits, for 5 years (1899 — 1903) required 94 million rubles 15. Learning about this from the Military Report Department for the 1903, about this, Nicholas II wrote: “I declare once again in the most categorical way that the question of the incomplete tools in our fortresses seems to me to be terrible. I do not blame him for the Main Artillery Directorate, because I know that it constantly pointed to this serious gap. Nevertheless, the time has come to resolve this matter energetically, by all means. ”16. But for this there was not enough money. Going to meet the demands of the military, the king 28 June 1904 g. Sanctioned the release from the treasury 28 million rubles. on the fortress artillery 17.

All in all, on the eve of the clash with Japan, about 257 million rubles were released from the funds of the state treasury (not counting the amounts in the marginal budget) for the rearmament of the army. 18, which, together with the cost of new shipbuilding, amounted to 775 million rubles. For Russia, these amounts were very significant, to which Witte drew the attention of the king as far back as 1898 when drawing up the next marginal budgets of the Military and Maritime Ministries for 1898 — 1903 years. Noting that in the previous five years, the Ministry of War received 1209 million rubles under the marginal budget, and over it even more than 200 million rubles. from the treasury, and the naval department to the five-year marginal budget of 200 mln. rub. almost the same amount was added (more than 180 million rubles), Witte complained that the taxing capacity of the population was exhausted, the budget deficit threatened and “no country, even the richest, can withstand a continuously intense increase of the military budget” However, a new increase in military spending followed in response.

At the end of 1902, Mr. Witte turned for help to the Council of State. In his general 30 meeting in December 1902, the latter, “appealing to the sovereign's wisdom,” asked “to keep the authorities of the state at their own will at the level of compliance with the resources that the state can present, without a shock to the economic well-being of the population”. Acknowledging that everything that was possible was squeezed out of it by the tax press, the State Council warned the king that the government’s debt reached 6629 million rubles, more than half of which (about 3,5 billion) fall on foreign loans. A further increase in spending, and above all - on the arms race, will undermine "not only the financial well-being (of the state. - K. Sh.), But also its internal power and international political significance" 20.

However, the king was deaf to the advice of experienced dignitaries and kept a firm course on a Far Eastern adventure. How it ended, it is known: the fleet suffered the most severe losses. The Japanese 67 combat and auxiliary ships of the Russian fleet 21 worth 230 million rubles were killed or captured in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, and along with artillery and mine weapons stored for the fleet in Port Arthur and also captured by the Japanese amounted to about 255,9 million. 22 Tsarist Russia remained practically without naval forces: the entire Baltic Fleet was transferred to the Far East, where it died and the Black Sea was sealed, as its passage through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles prohibited international treaties.

The threat of the empire and its capital, located on the coast, even more increased due to the collapse of coastal defense. A special survey by her chief of the Main Directorate of the General Staff (GUGSH), together with the chief inspector of the engineering troops, yielded a sad result: "All coast defense seems to be completely rationed, and, of course, does not represent any serious defense"; “Kronstadt and Petersburg are not at all de facto defended.” 23: In January, the Maritime General Headquarters (MGSH) reported to the Minister of Navy that the mobilization plans previously developed in conjunction with the land department “provide for the most minimal tasks”, but their “ now, in the event of a declaration of war, we must recognize the impracticable, and the position of the Baltic Fleet - critical »1908.

In April, a joint meeting of the naval and land general staffs took place in order to determine the extent of the threat to St. Petersburg from the enemy landing. “All the work of our Baltic Fleet is reduced,” noted at the meeting, “only to a certain, and, moreover, very insignificant, delay in the enemy’s offensive in the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland (by setting a minefield. - K. Sh.). But at the same time, representatives of the Maritime Ministry stated that in their modern form the Baltic Fleet is completely unable to perform this more than modest task. ”25, since there are no coal reserves, on ships there is a shortage (up to 65 — 70%) of officers and specialists, and most importantly, of the thousands of mines required for a 6 mine, there are only 1500.

Not in the best condition after the war with Japan was the land army. “Our combat readiness on the Western fronts has suffered so much that it would be more accurate to say that this readiness is completely absent,” the Minister of War V. Sakharov 1905 admitted in the summer of 26. He was echoed by the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich, Chairman of the State Defense Council: Russian infantry needs immediate and radical reorganization, “all cavalry requires complete reorganization”, “we have few machine guns and they are far from perfect”, “heavy army artillery must be created anew "," Our equipment is imperfect; the experience of war proved it; everything needs to be fixed right away. The overload part requires a complete reorganization and the creation of new bases for its development. ”27.

During the Russian-Japanese war, many artillery and engineering units were sent from the Western military districts to the Far East, which violated the organizational structure of the entire army. Almost all combat, engineering and quartermaster reserves were spent. "The army has no reserves, and it has nothing to shoot ... it is inefficient, and therefore, in vain, only a burdening state," the Council of State Defense 7 of April 1907 of the year recognized. According to him, due to the inability to immediately receive the necessary funds of the army, it threatened to “stay for a certain period of time in a state in which none of the armies of foreign powers are” 28.

Describing the state of the army, Assistant Minister of War General A. A. Polivanov, who was in charge of his service for material support, admitted in 1912: “The army was then deprived of much needed for it, and this insecurity resulted from it on every war, but also on the fact that it was in a state of backwardness in supplying it with the means created by military equipment. Then, in 1908, almost half of the uniforms and equipment needed to enter the field of the army lacked military personnel; there were not enough rifles, ammunition, shells, carts, trenching tools, hospital supplies; there were almost no certain means of struggle, the necessity of which was indicated both by the experience of war and by the example of neighboring states; there were no howitzers, machine guns, mountain artillery, field heavy artillery, spark telegraphs, automobiles, i.e. such means that are now recognized as an essential element of a strong army; I will say briefly: in 1908, our army was incapacitated. ”29.

The Far Eastern adventure of Tsarism, the direct costs of which amounted, according to Kokovtsov’s calculations, to 2,3 billion rubles. gold 30, was the first reason that led the armed forces of tsarism in complete frustration. But perhaps the 1905 — 1907 revolution struck them even more. In the first two years alone, at least 437 anti-government soldier speeches were registered, including 106 armed 31. Whole parts passed over to the side of the revolutionary people, and often, as it happened in Sevastopol, Kronstadt, Vladivostok, Baku, Sveaborg and other cities, soldiers and sailors who raised the red flag waged real bloody battles against the troops who remained loyal to the government.

The corrupting effect on the armed forces was their constant use to suppress the revolutionary movement. In 1905, to “assist the civil authorities”, troops were called up about 4 thousand times. For the war with their own people, the War Department was forced to dispatch about 3,4 million people (including repeated calls), that is, the number of soldiers involved in the fight against the revolution more than 3 times the number of the entire royal army by the beginning of 1905. 1 million people) 32. “The army does not learn, but serves you,” said Minister of War A.F. Redigger at a government meeting to the chairman of the Council of Ministers and at the same time to the Minister of the Interior Stolypin 33.

These two circumstances led to a sharp weakening of the Tsarist armed forces. Not only the utter disorder of the armed forces as a result of the Russian-Japanese war gave cause for concern, but also the fact that it was a sad fact for the autocracy that in 1905 — 1907. for the first time in its many centuries history soldiers and sailors began to get out of control of officers, took the side of the revolutionary people.

Under such conditions, with the unprecedented fall in the prestige of tsarism and outside and inside the country, with its ever increasing financial and economic dependence on the more developed Western powers, the Romanov empire could only be maintained by strengthening and developing the armed forces. This was also demanded by the aggravation of international contradictions on the eve of the First World War, the widespread growth of militarism and “marinism” (as the naval forces were called at that time), the most obvious manifestation of which was the Anglo-German naval rivalry. It was clear to the Russian landowners and the bourgeoisie: the second Mukden, the second Tsushima, could not survive tsarism; it is necessary to do everything possible to avoid this, it is necessary at all costs to put the army and navy at the level of modern requirements of military affairs.

The first after the Russo-Japanese war was included in the development of new weapons programs by the naval department, which remained practically without combat ships, but with the same staff and salaries. Another circumstance pushed him to this: at that time, the Russian navy was partly built abroad, and partly at state-owned factories, which could not be left without orders. Insisting on the immediate laying of battleships, Maritime Minister A.A. Birilev said at a meeting in the summer of 1906 that the four largest state-owned factories were out of work, reduced the number of workers to the limit, but remained under these conditions had nothing to do. “At present,” he said, “in the foreground is the question, should the plants be supported or not?” There is no middle ground in this matter. We must unconditionally say yes or no. If yes, then you should start building large battleships, and if not, indicate who assumes responsibility for such a decision before the king, Russia and history. ”34.

The naval ministry developed various versions of shipbuilding programs even before the defeat at Tsushima, in March-April, 1905, because after leaving the Far East, the 1 and then the 2 Pacific squadrons remained almost entirely without warships. In March 1907, this ministry submitted four options for shipbuilding programs to the king at once. The minimum was to create one squadron on the Baltic (8 battleships, 4 battleships, 9 light cruisers and 36 destroyers), and the maximum - four squadrons of the same composition: two for the Pacific Ocean and one each for the Baltic and Black Seas. The cost of these programs ranged from 870 million to 5 billion rubles 35.

At the same time, the Ministry of War presented its claims to the treasury. According to the most modest of his calculations, it was necessary to spend more than 2,1 billion rubles at a time. Only for the reorganization of artillery, generals demanded 896 million rubles, for engineering - 582 million; in addition to these one-time emergency expenses (stretched, of course, for a number of years), the annual regular expenses of the Military Ministry related to the creation of new expensive artillery, engineering, etc. military branches, their staffing, supply, etc., were to increase by 144,5 million. “The amount of the amount calculated in this way,” Rediger had to admit, “precludes any possibility of relying on its appropriation, despite the fact that measures that could have been created due to this enormous amount, do not stand in the way Sheha development of our armed forces, but only in the way of their accomplishment and supplies necessary to the level of modern requirements of military affairs. " Recognizing the impossibility of allocating such a colossal amount by the state, the Minister of War demanded that the departments reduce their claims and focus on “measures deemed urgent”, and at the same time take on account the measures “to be discussed in the coming years” 36. But the minimum program required at the same time 425 mln. Rub. and an increase in the budget for 76 mln. rub. in year.

In total, the claims of the maritime and military departments amounted, therefore, from 1,3 to 7,1 billion rubles. one-time expenses, that is, about half to three annual budgets of the country in 1908. And this is not counting the inevitable increase in annual spending on the regular budgets of both ministries. The funds required a lot, and the financial situation of Russia at that time was simply desperate. Considering the estimates for 1907, 15 August Council of Ministers 1906 stated that the financial "state of the Russian state threatens with the most serious complications, and if the time of troubled by our fatherland continues, it may not be enough even for absolutely urgent needs" 37. By 1909, the national debt increased as a result of expenses caused by the consequences of the Russian-Japanese war and the struggle against the revolution, by another 3 billion rubles, and the annual interest payments increased by 150 million rubles. over and above what Russia has already paid before on the 38 state loan.

Under these conditions, with fierce disputes between the naval and military departments on the allocation of appropriations for armaments, the king decided to give preference to the fleet and in June 1907 approved the so-called Small Shipbuilding Program, allowing the Marine Department to release the new shipbuilding for four years on 31 million . rub. annually. (Later, due to the change in this program, its cost was increased to 126,6 million rubles.) A year later, in May, 1908 was received, and the War Department received permission from the Council of Ministers to appeal to the legislative bodies to allocate about 293 million. “To replenish stocks and materiel and to build premises for them” in 1908 — 1915 years of 39. The State Duma, in order not to lose control over the expenditure of this amount, decided to approve loans not immediately in full, but annually (except for those that required contracts for two or more years).

However, with 1909, the economic situation of the empire began to improve. A number of extraordinarily fruitful years followed, happily coinciding with the rise in prices on the world bread market, which significantly increased the treasury’s revenues from the main export item. The improvement of the financial situation was immediately taken into account by the Military and Maritime Ministries, which demanded an increase in military credits. From August 1909 to the beginning of 1910, at the behest of the king, four special meetings were held, led by Stolypin. The structure of them, except for military and maritime ministers and chiefs of general staffs, included the ministers of finance and foreign affairs. These meetings were created to review the 10-year program for the development of Russian naval armed forces, but in fact they were aimed at allocating funds for armaments between the army and the navy.

The results of the five-month meeting were reported to the 24 February 1910 government. The Council of Ministers decided to allocate 10 million rubles over the next 715 years. for the development of the army and 698 mln. rub. - fleet 40. To obtain these without any 1,5 billion rubles. It was decided to introduce new indirect taxes, and in particular to increase the price of vodka. In view of the achieved financial "well-being", the government found it possible in 1910 to provide the Military Ministry with twice the amount than in 1908 (then for 8 years it was planned to spend 293 million rubles, now 715 million for 10 years), and the fleet received even more times in 5,5 (698 million rubles instead of 124 million). However, the Maritime Ministry soon violated the expenses agreed and approved by the government (the 10-year program did not have time to go through legislative institutions).

This happened due to the sharp exacerbation of the military-strategic situation in the Black Sea straits region - the most painful region of the world for tsarism. France-funded Turkey decided, under the guidance of British officers, to reorganize their naval forces. Already in the spring of 1909, the tsarist government began to receive alarming news for him about the revival of the Turkish fleet, about the purchase for this purpose of ships from Germany and the order of modern battleships of Dreadnought type in the shipyards of England. All attempts to “rationalize” Turkey through diplomacy have come to nothing. The order was given to the British firm Vikkers by the Turkish government, and, according to the contract, in April 1913, Turkey was to receive the first powerful battleship capable of single-handedly cracking down on the entire Russian Black Sea fleet, whose line forces consisted of slow-moving and poorly armed ships of the old designs.

The threat of Turkish dreadnoughts appearing on the Black Sea forced the autocracy to take appropriate measures. 26 July 1910 Maritime Minister addressed the king with a special report. In it, he proposed to lay on the Black Sea the newest type of 10 summer program of the newest-approved 3 program and speed up the construction of the previously planned 9 destroyers and 6 41 submarines. Nicholas II on the same day approved the proposal of the Minister, and in May 1911, the State Duma adopted a law on the appropriation for the construction of the Black Sea Fleet 151 million rubles, and the main expense - 100 million rubles. for the construction of battleships - was not provided for the 10-year program. (At the end of 1911, due to the increase in the cost of battleships, the costs of this program increased to 162 million rubles.)

Soon, the Navy Ministry dramatically increased its demands. Having received permission from the tsar to revise the 10-year program, the Marine General Headquarters in April 1911 presented to him the draft “Law on the Imperial Russian Navy”, which planned to create during the 22 years only in the Baltic two military and one reserve squadron (each in 8 battleships, 4 battleships and 8 light cruisers, 36 destroyers and 12 submarines). It was planned to have a fleet on the Black Sea, exceeding in strength 1,5 times the fleets of states located on the Black Sea coast. The full implementation of this law required the state 2,1 billion rubles 42.

The first five of these 22 years constituted a special period, which was considered in a special “Baltic Fleet enhanced shipbuilding program for the 1911 — 1915 years”. During this period, the 4 linear cruisers and 4 light cruisers, 36 destroyers and 12 submarines were to be built on the Baltic, that is, as many as were going to be built in 10 years before. The cost of this program was determined by more than half a billion rubles. From the documents submitted by the king was delighted. “Well done work,” he told the Chief of the Marine General Staff, “it is clear that they are standing on solid ground; praise them (officers of this headquarters. - K. Sh.) for me. ”43.

In July, 1912, the Baltic Fleet Reinforced Shipbuilding Program, was approved by the State Duma, which excluded port construction loans, which reduced the costs of the program to 421 million rubles. Approved by the tsar, the “Law on the fleet”, by decision of the Council of Ministers, should have been submitted to the Duma no earlier than the end of 1914, when the implementation of its first part, the Strengthened Shipbuilding Program of the Baltic Fleet, would significantly advance and give the Maritime Ministry reason to raise the issue successfully launched 44 case.

Finally, already on the eve of World War II, in connection with the purchase of two battleships built by the British firms Armstrong and Vic-Kurs from Brazil, the government of 1914 in the summer received an additional appropriation of 110 million rubles from the State Duma. on the urgent construction of one battleship, 2 light cruisers, 8 destroyers and 6 submarines.

In total, on the eve of World War I, the Naval Ministry conducted four shipbuilding programs through the legislature, the completion of which was for the 1917 — 1919 years. Their total cost reached 820 million rubles. In addition, the maritime department was approved by the king of the “Law on the fleet”, it remained only at the right time to allocate credits to it through the legislative bodies, and, if necessary, to introduce new taxes. During 17 years (from 1914 to 1930) it was intended to spend 1 billion 45 for military shipbuilding.

The military department, not feeling such support from the tsar and the government, made not as fantastic plans as the Naval Ministry. Although the generals, unlike the admirals, proceeded from the conviction that it was the army, not the fleet, that would have to bear the brunt of the approaching war, they had long adhered to the program, approved as early as 1908. Only the law of 12 in May 1912 allowed the military department loans in the amount prescribed by the 10-year program 1910 of the year.

Meanwhile, the army was armed with very bad hands. In the autumn of 1912, at the request of the Minister of War, V. A. Sukhomlinov, the head departments calculated their reserves and informed the Council of Ministers about the degree of compliance with their approved standards. The picture was gloomy. Only food, quartermaster, sanitary stocks and the simplest types of engineering property were almost fully available, and what was missing was to be replenished during 1913 — 1914. It was believed that the army was well supplied with rifles, revolvers and cartridges (but of the old type, with a blunt bullet, which had poor ballistic properties).

With artillery, the situation was much worse: only light guns were available in the required quantity. Almost half of mortars were missing, the heavy guns of the new types were not at all, and the old guns of the 1877 model (!) Were supposed to be replaced only by the end of the 1914 year. It was planned to complete the rearmament of the land artillery by 1916 only by half, there were no weapons in the siege artillery at all, so this artillery was listed only on paper. After the announcement of mobilization and formation of new units in the army was supposed to show up the lack of 84% of machine guns, 55% three-inch grenades, field guns and 62% for mining, 38% bombs to 48-linear howitzers, 17% of shrapnel, 74% of gun sights of new systems and etc., etc. 46

The heated international situation did not leave the Council of Ministers doubt in the need to increase loans for the development of the armed forces. 6 March 1913. Nicholas II approved a program for the development and reorganization of the troops, according to which it was planned to allocate 225 million rubles for armament. simultaneously increase the annual budget of the military department by 91 million rubles 47. Most of the one-time costs (181 million rubles.) Allocated to the development of artillery.

Having received the Tsar's approval, the Minister of War decided to apply the same method as the Naval Ministry, that is, to single out and immediately carry out the most urgent measures through the legislative bodies. On July 13, 1913, the military department submitted to the State Duma the so-called Small Program, according to which it was planned to spend 5 million rubles in 1913 years (1917-122,5). for the development of artillery and the purchase of ammunition for it (97,7 million rubles), and the rest - for the development of engineering and aviation parts 48. On July 10, 1913, the tsar approved the decision of the Duma and the State Council, and the "Small Program" became law. No matter how hurried the War Department was, it was clearly late. A little more than a year remained before the outbreak of World War I, and the program was designed for five years.

At the same time, the Main Directorate of the General Staff also developed the “Big Program”, of which “Malaya” was a part. At the end of October 1913, the tsar approved the “Great Program”, imposing a resolution: “This is a special rush to hold the event,” and ordered to fully implement it by the 1917 fall of the year 49. In addition to increasing army personnel (at 11,8 thousand officers and 468,2 thousand soldiers, a third of whom were supposed to go to the artillery and engineering troops), the program required more than 433 million rubles for the development of weapons and other expenses, but funds were already released under the "Small Program", the legislature had to approve only about 290 million rubles. new allocations. Upon completion of all planned activities with 1917, the expenses for the army under the regular budget should have increased by 140 million rubles. in year. 50 did not follow the objections either from the Duma or from the State Council, and the 22 of June 1914 was imposed by the king on the “Big Program” resolution: “To be according to this”. Before the start of the war there were a few weeks left.

However, the point is not only that Russia's financial and economic weakness has delayed preparations for a world war. By its nature, this training obviously led to a further lag behind the level of development of military affairs achieved in the world. If in 1906, the generals believed that in order to bring the army into line with modern requirements, it would be necessary to obtain 2,1 billion rubles. For the armament, by the beginning of 1914, the government could only spend 1,1 billion 51 rubles through legislative institutions. Meanwhile, the arms race demanded all new tools. When the Great Program was discussed in the Duma and the Minister of War was asked whether it would completely satisfy the needs of the army, Sukhomlinov said that there was no consensus among the military on this point. The Minister of War was simply afraid to state in the Duma the full amount of expenses calculated by the military departments.

Only one of them - the Main Artillery Directorate (GAU) - considered it desirable, in addition to the Big Program, to spend the next five years on the armament of the army with an automatic rifle (including the cost of equipping factories and creating a stock of ammunition in 1500 units per rifle) - 800 million. RUB, to re-equip light field artillery with the guns of the new system - 280 mln. rub., to re-equip the fortresses - 143,5 million RUB., to build new barracks, shooting ranges, etc., the need for which was caused by an increase in the army ", And the relocation of troops needed to 650 million rubles.. and so on. 52 Total, only GAU dreamed of getting 1,9 billion rubles, and there were also quartermaster, and engineering, and other controls!

If, prior to the Russian-Japanese war, 775 million rubles were allocated from the treasury for the rearmament of the army and navy, then by the beginning of the First World War, the legislature allocated only the new weapons of the army and navy 1,8 billion. . (Of them spent for 1914, 376,5 mln. rub., that is the fifth part). In general, the cost of an arms race in 1898 — 1913. amounted to 2585 million rubles. And this is not counting the funds allotted to both departments at their regular budgets! And yet, the Marine Ministry and the land artillery department claimed another 3,9 billion rubles.

For 1898 — 1913, according to the reports of the State Audit Office, the total budget of the military and naval departments amounted to 8,4 billion rubles in gold. Czarist Russia spent more than 22% of all its expenses on the fleet and army during this time. If to this sum add certain Minister of Finance 4 — 5 billion rubles. indirect and direct losses of the national economy from the Russian-Japanese war, it turns out that the Moloch of militarism absorbed from 12,3 to 13,3 a billion gold rubles. What this value meant for the country can be understood by comparing it with other figures: the total capital of all Russian joint-stock companies (without rail) in 1914 was three times less (4,6 billion rubles 53), the cost of the entire industry - 6,1 billion rubles 54. So, there was an outflow of colossal funds in the unproductive sphere.

The overall figures of the budgets of the military and naval departments cannot give an idea of ​​the proportion of wealth that was intended for the military industry and thus influenced its development, because most of the funds allocated to the military and naval departments went to the maintenance of the army and navy personnel, the construction of barracks and other office space, food, fodder, etc. A more specific idea of ​​the financial basis that served as the basis for the development of the military industry can provide information on the appropriations and the rearmament of the army and navy.

From 1898 to 1914, the legislature released 2,6 billion rubles only to re-equip the army and navy. And although by the beginning of World War I both agencies were able to use only a part of these funds, large capital, rushing into the military industry, counted on a much larger amount. It was no secret to anyone that the tsarist generals and admirals, not being satisfied with the programs already approved, were carrying out plans for the further deployment of the army and navy, and some of these plans for 1914 were already predetermined. Thus, under the “Law on the Imperial Russian Fleet”, it was supposed to spend 1932 billion rubles for new shipbuilding for 2,1. After the approval of all its pre-war programs, the Main Artillery Directorate planned to rearm during the years nearest to 1914, requiring 1,9 billion rubles. So, 2,6 billion. on new weapons has already been approved costs and in the short term another 4 billion rubles. - such is the real amount by which the industrial world of Russia, which is engaged in military business, could orient itself. The sum, to be sure, is very substantial, especially if we recall that the entire capital of the railways at the beginning of the 20th century. estimated at 4,7 — 5,1 billion rubles 55. But it was precisely railway construction that was the locomotive that pulled the development of almost the entire large-scale industry of Russia in the 19th century.

In addition to the huge overall size, military orders had other features. First, they, as a rule, could be performed only by a large industry; secondly, the military and naval departments gave them only to those enterprises that already had experience in the production of weapons or secured the guarantees of large banks and leading industrial firms of the world. As a result, the arms race led not only to the growth of the economic power of the largest bourgeoisie, its submission through bribes and bribes to certain organs of the state apparatus, but also strengthened its claims to participate in solving important public affairs (rearmament of the army and navy), while in the hands of the autocracy, which defended primarily the interests of the nobility, served as an economic basis for the growth of the liberal-bourgeois opposition against tsarism, exacerbated social conflicts in the country.

But the main result of the influence of militarism on the Russian economy was not in this. To squeeze out of the budget 8,4 billion. Rub. in gold to the War and Navy Ministries, the tsarist government twisted the tax pressure, introducing new indirect taxes and increasing the old ones. It reduced to the limit the costs of education, science and social needs. As can be seen from the State Comptroller's Reports on the implementation of the state budget, 1900 million were spent on universities in 4,5, 9,7 million for secondary schools, 487 thousand for secondary schools, and more than 420 million for military and maritime institutions rubles. A year later, expenses for the Academy of Sciences increased by 7,5 thousand rubles, and even reduced to universities by almost 4 thousand rubles. But the military and naval ministries received at 7,5 million rubles. more.

In 1913, the cumulative expenses for these departments increased by 1900 million rubles compared to 296, and a little more than 38 million rubles were spent on the maintenance of higher and secondary educational institutions in the same year, that is, the increase in expenses for these budget sections in absolute numbers were less in 12. (Almost the same amount - 36,5 million rubles - was spent by the Ministry of Justice - "by the prison part".) The one-sided development of the economy, the impoverishment of the masses, the lack of material conditions for the development of science and overcoming illiteracy - this was the result of an arms race.


1 Reports of the State Duma Budget Commission. Convening III. Session I. St. Petersburg, 1908, Coll. ZON.
2 Central State Archive of the October Revolution (TsGAOR) USSR, f. 543, op. 1, d. 283, ll. 8 — 11.
3 The overall report of the State Comptroller for 1897, St. Petersburg, 1898, p. 35.
4 Under this program, approved by the 24 King of February 1894 and 12 on June 1895, for the Pacific Ocean, 1904 squadron battleships, 10 first-rank and second-rank cruisers and 12 mine ships (Central State Archive of the military Navy (TsGAVMF USSR), f. 42, op. 420, d. 1, l. 23).
5 ibid., F. 410, op. 3, d. 822, l. 75.
6 TSGAOR USSR, f. 543, op. 1, d. 296, l. 55.
7 ZAYONCHKOVSKY, P. A. Autocracy at the turn of the XIX — XX centuries. M. 1973, p. 159.
8 Central State Military Historical Archive (TSGVIA) of the USSR, t. 1, op. 2, d. 65, ll. 31 — 32.
9 According to the order of financing of the Military and Maritime Ministries that existed in those years, they were given a so-called marginal budget for the five-year period, which they controlled at their own discretion, but which were not allowed to go beyond. If there was a need for extra-limit expenditures, special meetings considered it and authorized the release of additional amounts from the general treasury funds.
10 TSGAOR USSR, f. 543, op. 1, d. 283, l. 1.
11 TSGVIA USSR, t. 1, op. 2, d. 65, ll. 31 — 32.
12 ibid., Op. 1, d. 71699, ll. 3, 6.
13 ibid., F. 504, op. 5, d. 87, l. 148.
14 ibid., Op. 2, d. 112, ll. 102 — 103.
15 ibid., L. 105. But it received a total of 20,5 million rubles, which stretched the rearmament by 15 — 20 years.
16 ibid., Op. 5, d. 64, l. 269.
17 ibid., F. 1, op. 1, d. 71699, l. 12.
18 The implementation of these funds was delayed until the 1910 year.
19 TSGAOR USSR, f. 543, op. 1, d. 283, l. 7.
20 ibid. D. 291, ll. 2, 15 — 17.
21 Including: 15 squadron battleships, 2 battleship coastal defense, 11 cruisers (including 5 first rank), 5 naval gunboats, 22 destroyer, 4 military vehicles and 8 port ships.
22 TsGAVMF USSR, t. 403, op. 1, d. 1721, ll. 2-4.
23 TSGVIA USSR, t. 2000, op. 1, d. 59, l. 2.
24 TsGAVMF USSR, t. 418, op. 1, d. 4182, l. 24.
25 TSGVIA USSR, t. 2000, op. 1, d. 149.
26 ibid. D. 77, l. 35.
27 TSGAOR USSR, f. 555, op. 1, d. 246, ll. 2 — 3.
28 TSGVIA USSR, t. 2000, op. 1, d. 82, ll. 106 — 107.
29 Cit. by: SIDOROV A. L. The financial situation of Russia during the First World War. M, 1960, s. 54.
30 TSGVIA USSR, t. 2000, op. 1, d. 82. The most memorable note from the Minister of Finance of November 2 1907. Later, this figure was increased to 2,6 billion rubles, and taking into account the indirect losses of the national economy from wars, it was defined in 4 — 5 billion rubles. in gold.
31 The struggle of the Bolsheviks for the army in three revolutions. M, 1969, s. 64.
32 PETROV, V. A. Essays on the history of the revolutionary movement in the Russian army in 1905, M. — L. 1964, p. 5.
33 POLIVANOV A. A. From diaries and memories of the post of Minister of War and his assistant. 1907 — 1916. M. 1924, p. 42.
34 TsGAVMF USSR, t. 2, op. 1, d. 151, l. 32.
35 SIDOROV A. L. From the history of the preparation of tsarism for the First World War. - Historical archive, 1962, No. 2, p. 126.
36 TSGVIA USSR, t. 2000, op. 1, d. 82, l. 253.
37 Special Journals of the Council of Ministers of Tsarist Russia. CH 2. M. 1982, p. 217.
38 SIDOROV A. L. Financial position of Russia, p. 15.
39 TSGVIA USSR, t. 1, op. 1, d. 74537, l. 1.
40 SIDOROV A. L. From the history of tsarist training, p. 132.
41 TsGAVMF USSR, t. 418, op. 1, d. 483, ll. 7 — 8.
42 Central State Historical Archive (TSGIA) USSR, f. 1276, op. 2, d. 444, l. 329.
43 PETROV M. A. Preparation of Russia for a World War at Sea. M, 1926, s. 141.
44 TsGIA USSR, f. 1276, op. 2, d. 444, ll. 251 — 257.
45 PETROV M. A. CC. cit. with 200; TsGIA USSR, f. 1276, op. 2, d. 444, l. 329.
46 TSGVIA USSR, t. 1, op. 1, d. 1109, ll. 67 — 69.
47 ibid., F. 2000, op. 1, d. 1837, ll. 1 — 7 et al.
48 TsGIA USSR, f. 1278, op. 6, d. 952, ll. 3 — 4.
49 TSGVIA USSR, t. 1, op. 1, d. 77921, ll. 56, 66.
50 TsGIA USSR, f. 1276, op. 5, d. 194, l. 7.
51 TSGVIA USSR, t. 2000, op. 1, d. 326, ll. 22 — 28.
52 ibid., F. 1, op. 1, d. 77912, ll. 116,122, 125,127.
53 L. Ye. KHEPELEV. Joint-stock companies in Russia. L. 1973, p. 234.
54 WEINSTEIN, A. L. National wealth and national economic accumulation of pre-revolutionary Russia. M, 1960, s. 368.
55 ibid; LYASHCHENKO PI. The history of the national economy of the USSR. T. 2. M. 1948, p. 155.
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  1. +6
    December 1 2012
    Thanks to the author for the article, definitely a plus. Pleased with the use of archival materials by the author.
  2. +2
    December 1 2012
    Many thanks. Very interesting stuff. A small request: all the same, taking the links in brackets is not very convenient to read.
  3. Lucky
    December 1 2012
    Interesting article!!! I liked it!
  4. Brother Sarych
    December 1 2012
    The material is very interesting - I would also like to know when it was written! I suspect that for a long time ...
    1. biglow
      December 1 2012
      K.F. Shacillo
      Recent military programs of the Russian Empire

      (History Issues No. 7-8 of 1991)
  5. +2
    December 1 2012
    Once again witnessed is the destructive activity of the masson Witte for the country. He did everything so that the army and navy before the Japanese war were weakened, just as after the war, he had shit with Sakhalin.
  6. bart74
    December 2 2012
    The tone of the article is incomprehensible to me, although it was plus-sign as a sign of encouragement to the author for the work done. Because of all kinds of figures, plus the unrest that began in the first revolution, we did not finish the Japs. But they were on their last legs. It is a pity for Tsar Nicholas, with such a kind liberalism, he had to rule the wrong country.
  7. AK-47
    December 2 2012
    Thank you read with interest.
    I would like to compare: the total costs of the military department, the maintenance of higher and secondary educational institutions, the costs of the Ministry of Justice as a percentage of Russia's GDP for 1900, 1913, 2011.

    I wonder what kind of expenses the state incurred for the social needs of soldiers affected by military service and their families?

    It is known that in the pre-revolutionary years there were many charitable societies and foundations.
  8. not good
    December 4 2012
    If you change the years and surnames, it seems that the article is about modern Russia.
    1. 0
      October 14 2018
      And now this feeling has only intensified !!!

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