After returning from the Japanese captivity to St. Petersburg after the Russian-Japanese campaign, he immediately with other Port Arthur officers set about creating the General Naval Headquarters, a body planning the country's naval strategy in order to prevent further defeats. He ardently upheld in the State Duma a plan to strengthen the Russian fleet and, in particular, the requirement to allocate money for the construction of four battleships.
Kolchak made a great contribution to the restoration of the domestic fleet. And the fleet met a new, First World War fully armed. In the first hours after the German attack on Russia, the Baltic Fleet, according to Kolchak's plan, closed the entrance of German ships to the Gulf of Finland, arranging the mine-artillery position of Porkkala-udd - the island of Nargen. At the beginning of the war, Kolchak fought as a flag captain, developing operational tasks and plans. He possessed the rare talent of a genuine military strategist and developed unexpected operations for the enemy, non-standard operations. The commander of the Baltic Fleet, Admiral Essen respected Kolchak and fully trusted him. Possessing a capricious character, Kolchak did not recognize any authorities, and he gave Essen his personal plans for approval. This quarrel Kolchak with senior officers, but gave him the opportunity to decisively monitor the implementation of the plan at all its stages, especially since he himself tried to lead the operation. His authority grew among both bosses, officers and sailors.
He was loved for honesty, for selfless dedication, courage. “Oh, and we have a strict commander! We still have nothing, but poor officers! ”Said the sailors.
In World War I the sea became more complicated. Defensive tactics acquired great importance, namely, the setting up of minefields and the construction of minefields against enemy ships. In the autumn of 1914, a plan for an offensive operation was drawn up at the headquarters of the Baltic Fleet. Kolchak went to approve him at headquarters. Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich, Glavkoverh Headquarters, the plan did not approve. Kolchak returned to the headquarters angry, nervously reported to Essen about the failure. He noted that Essen was disliked at the Stavka, and Kolchak himself did not like the Grand Duke for his fervor. Still, the sailors decided to attack the Germans, the German shores began to "fill up" with mines by the constant operations of the destroyers. Kolchak quickly became famous as the best specialist in the mine business. But the staff work did not satisfy the captain of the first rank, his ardent, purposeful nature sought to go to sea, into battle.
Mine fields near the island of Rügen, the banks of Stolpe, in the bay of Danzig were put under his direct supervision. Four German cruisers, eight destroyers, and twenty-three vehicles were blown up in minefields. The commander of the Baltic Fleet of Germany forbade his ships to sail at sea until they cleared the fields. For effective action, Kolchak was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir 3 degree with swords.
In 1915, he is already the head of the Mine Division. Its headquarters is located on the destroyer "Siberian shooter." He does not let his ships sit in the harbor, they are all the time in the campaign. And victories become the deserved result of his activities. With fire from his ships, Kolchak suppresses enemy firing points and manpower on the shores of the Baltic Sea, helping to repel the attacks of the Germans of the 12 Army Radko-Dmitriev.
Then he began to lay mines in shallow water off the coast occupied by German troops. This ruled out the breakthrough of German submarines and blocked the way for the transports supplying the German army. The division under the command of Kolchak was engaged not only in setting up minefields, but also searched for and destroyed enemy ships, both combat and transports. Kolchak's impudence and prowess did not know the limit.
On one destroyer he broke into the port of Libavsk. The destroyer "Kronprinz" was sank there, the transport "Carlsbad" and, while the Germans shocked by the fearlessness of the Russians came to their senses, turned around and jumped out of the enemy harbor in full steam.
Russian ships practically blocked the supply channel of Germany with iron ore from Sweden, because of the constant loss of transports the Germans refused it.
Kolchak was a knight of war. Here are excerpts from his letters to his beloved Anna Vasilyevna Timireva.
“The eternal world is a dream, and not even a beautiful one, but on the other hand, you can see beautiful dreams in the war, leaving with regret on awakening that they will no longer continue” ...
“The war is beautiful, although it is associated with many negative phenomena, but it is always and everywhere good. I don’t know how She would react to my only and basic desire to serve Her with all my strength, knowledge, with all my heart and all my thoughts ”...
For Kolchak, war is a natural phenomenon of nature; it purifies the world, the earth, from the abominations of human existence, from the defilement of society. He considered that war is “one of the constant manifestations of social life, the most frequent forms of human activity, in which agents of destruction and annihilation intertwine and merge with agents of creativity and development, with progress, culture and civilization.” As for his beloved, he believed that Anna Vassilyevna was a deity given to him from above for severe military hardships ...
In April, the 1916 of Kolchak, by decree of Emperor Nicholas II, who became the Supreme Commander of the Russian Army, was awarded the title of Rear Admiral. Two months later, in June of the same year, he was prematurely promoted to vice admirals. The Supreme Commander General Headquarters appreciated the remarkable abilities of the forty-two-year-old admiral and appointed him commander of the Black Sea Fleet. Kolchak became the youngest fleet commander in the world.
Before leaving the admiral in Sevastopol, Nicholas II appointed him an audience and warmly addressed him in front of a new combat service.
The military situation there was deplorable, German cruisers and submarines ruled the sea.
Kolchak, as soon as he raised his flag and took command, immediately set sail on the battleship Empress Maria to meet the German cruiser Breslau and put him to flight. Kolchak stepped up the activity of the fleet, the ship exits into the sea became permanent. The superiority of our forces over the German and Turkish fleets became obvious. And when Kolchak installed a minefield near the Bosporus, and the German cruiser Goben was blown up on it, the Russian fleet established itself as the sole master of the Black Sea. The movement of transports was secured, the supply of our Caucasian army improved.
But the main goal was ahead! For the sake of this strategic task Alexander Kolchak was sent to the Black Sea. He, and only he, could translate this plan into reality, as the High Command believed in the Stavka and Nicholas II himself. This goal is to nail the shield on the gates of Constantinople, to capture Constantinople, this capital of ancient Byzantium, captured by the Turks. The Turks crossed Constantinople to Istanbul, and since then the Russian people have been eagerly wishing for the liberation of the Orthodox shrine from Muslim rule.
In 1878, Emperor Alexander II almost reached the cherished goal, but the intrigues of the “Englishwoman” stopped the Russian army near the outskirts of Constantinople. General Skobelev with his army stood in sight of the city. All Turkish armies were defeated, small detachments surrendered to the “white general” without a fight. Turkey was defeated. But the Russians did not enter Constantinople. The European powers stood up for a defeated Turkey, insisted that Russia soften the demands it made to make peace. Otherwise, England threatened with war and had already introduced a strong fleet into the Sea of Marmara. England supported Austria and Germany. Russia had to give up ...
And now Russia was again close to fulfilling its dream. If successful, Russia seized the strategic straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, like a cork blocking the exit from the Black Sea. Kolchak with his characteristic determination and assertiveness got down to business. He was preparing the Bosporus operation, preparing ships and troops for the landing of the landing force on the Turkish coast. Kolchak was directly subordinated to a specially formed infantry division of fired-up reliable warriors under the command of General Svechin. This division was the first to land on enemy territory, consolidate and expand the springboard for the offensive of the troops following it.
Preparations for the assault on Turkish fortifications and the capture of Constantinople was nearing completion. The operation was scheduled for the spring of 1917. But the February Revolution that had begun, frustrated all plans.
Admiral Kolchak did everything to ensure that the revolutionary anarchy did not touch the fleet, that it remained a single whole organism, and that its ships, as before, carried a combat watch. Kolchak believed: he swore allegiance to the Tsar and the Fatherland. The king abdicated the throne and commanded to serve the new government. The king was gone, but the Fatherland remained. So, you need to serve the Fatherland! This line he firmly pursued in respect of subordinates. He believed that with the change of power, the course of Russia would not change, and she, faithful to the allied duty, would fight against Germany and its satellites. He tried his best to keep discipline in the units and on the ships.
And he succeeded. The Black Sea Fleet, surprisingly to the whole country, retained its combat capability, was controlled by Kolchak confidently, as always. Classes, training, operational work were not disturbed by anything, and the usual mode was not interrupted for one hour. The officers, commanders, workers, the population of Sevastopol and the Crimean peninsula trusted him unconditionally. First of all, Kolchak managed to unite around himself strong and determined people, and this was the key to stability. The fleet carried the usual service.
But the socialists, along with the Bolsheviks, continued to disrupt the armed forces. The revolutionary infection began to erode the Black Sea Fleet. Although the external order was observed, but it was felt that everything could be crushed. Kolchak fought. Being an excellent speaker, he did not miss the opportunity to speak to the officers and sailors. His speech at the circus in front of the team representatives was amazing. He spoke inspired, concise, bright. Admiral's words made a tremendous impression, provoked a patriotic uplift in those who listened. Many wept. Immediately, the teams selected the best sailors from their 750 environment to send to the front in order to influence the soldiers who had succumbed to the Bolsheviks' defeatist agitation. In a word and personal example, the envoys of Sevastopol were called soldiers of the front to battle with the German invaders, most of the sailors of the Black Sea delegation died the death of the brave in land battles. This weakened the sailors' committees and affected the state of the fleet. The best ones left and died ...
True to his oath, the Black Sea Fleet did not give rest to the commissars. A group of Baltic sailors with “mandates” from the Central Committee of the Baltic Fleet is sent to Sevastopol to “socialize” the units. That fleet, which practically ceased to exist, threw the front, the sailors of which, hit by the "virus" of the revolution, brutally killed their commander, Vice-Admiral Nepenin. They began to gather rallies, shame and reproach people of Sevastopol: “Comrades of the Black Sea, what have you done for the revolution? You have the old regime everywhere, you are commanded by the fleet commander, who was still with the king! Do you listen to the officers? Your ships go to sea and approach enemy coasts to annex them. The people decided to make peace without annexations, and your fleet commander sends you to conquer the enemy shores! We are not so on the Baltic ... ".
Propaganda gradually corroded the sailors' ranks. The sailors began to arrest the officers, rob them weapon. The admiral sent a radio message to the ships: “The rebellious sailors demanded that officers be taken away from their weapons. This insults the faithful and valiant sons of the Motherland, who fought for three years with a formidable enemy. Resistance is impossible, so in order to avoid bloodshed, I suggest that officers not resist. ”
A group of rebels entered the cabin to Kolchak, to take away his weapon. Kolchak drove them away. “Why does he need a saber? Hanging in the closet! - the sailors were perplexed, - puts it on only at parades. For parades we will give it. " The admiral went up to the deck, approached the board near the ramp. The whole team of the flagship "George the Victorious" froze.
In complete silence, Kolchak took off his golden St. George saber with the engraving “For Bravery”, raised high above his head, looked piercingly at the blue sea distance, said in a trembling voice: “This weapon of the brave gave me a sea, let it get him,” and on a large scale threw the saber overboard.
Kolchak tremblingly, as a deity treated cold weapons. He brought two ancient saber blades from Japan and carefully kept them. This is what he wrote to Anna Vasilyevna: “I, it seems, wrote to you about the Japanese blades. The Japanese saber is a highly artistic work, not inferior to the masterpieces of Damascus and India. Probably, in no country has cold arms received such significance as in Japan, where the British call the cult of cold steel existed and still exist. This is really a cult of cold steel, symbolizing the soul of a warrior, and the embodiment of this cult is a blade welded from soft steel magnetic iron with a blade striking in its properties to steel, accepting the sharpness of a surgical instrument or razor. In these blades is a part of the “living soul” of a warrior, and they have the property to exert a special influence on those who treat them accordingly. ”
The sailors were discouraged by the admiral. They knew him as an honest, courageous military leader who had often gone on military campaigns with them, looked death in the eyes, and respected him. They knew that Kolchak received a golden weapon for bravery during the Russian-Japanese war. Sea divers, sinking to the bottom, raised their St. George's saber from the depths. The delegation of the ship handed it to the admiral.
Kolchak sent a telegram to the government that after the rebellion that had occurred he was unable to command the fleet. Admiral Kolchak was leaving Sevastopol. Sailors, residents of the city came to see him off. When he got up into the car, one of the officers loudly admonded the admiral: “Courage and valor, consciousness of duty and honor at all times served as an adornment of peoples. Hooray!". The mighty Ur-ra-a and locomotive horn merged into one farewell symphony.
We had officers mainly in the Guards regiments, the General Staff, - said Alexander Vasilyevich about the collapse of the fronts and the agony of Russia. - but they were few and lacking in numbers for such a war; for two and a half years, they saved the Motherland, giving their lives to it, and they were replaced by a new type of “wartime officer” ... Did the discipline exist in such an environment, with such leaders - but without discipline there is not first of all the courage to participate in the war, not to speak of courage ...
Arriving in Petrograd, Kolchak delivered a report on the current situation in the Black Sea Fleet at a meeting of the Provisional Government.
He openly declared to Kerensky that it was his fault that his army and fleet were decomposing, the fronts were laid bare, and Russia was losing its positions without a fight.
He demanded that the troops abolish criminal agitation, banned the soldiers and sailors' committees and again introduced unity of command. He insisted on returning the death penalty in order to restore discipline in the units. But the Provisional Government did not listen to the admiral. Kerensky, whom Kolchak called the "talkative high-school student," remained true to himself and continued to contribute to the destruction of Russia. And it is clear that after this the admiral was not offered any position. A patriot of Russia, who had served the Fatherland faithfully and faithfully for a quarter of a century, did not need a new government ...