Military Review

One hundred years of loneliness: remember all


When World War I began in 1914, none of the participants thought that it would last for so long, lead to such sacrifices and that a number of great empires would not survive it. This war was a turning point in stories, she turned all the previously existing reality. And although then there was also the Second World War with its colossal number of victims, but the former history of Europe and Eurocentrism ended precisely during the First World War.

It is characteristic that the Second World War, with its scale and its horrors, to a certain extent concealed the First World War from subsequent generations. Today, the latter seems to be very far away, almost like the Hundred Years War of the French and the British or the War of the Spanish Succession. While the Second World War is still near us, the last veterans are still alive, ideological battles are still continuing as to who was right or not quite right in this terrible war. World War II still lives in modern politics and in people's lives, which cannot be said about the events of a century ago. Therefore, it is natural that it was almost completely forgotten. But in August 2014, there is a good reason to remember everything about the First World War. One hundred years have passed since the time when the European armies, relying on an unprecedented patriotic upsurge, made their first shots.

On the eve

The main feature of the world order in 1914 was that Europe absolutely dominated the rest of the planet. It was a golden time for “Eurocentrism”. The European powers divided practically the whole world among themselves. They controlled all the processes in their colonies, including pursuing a policy of modernization. Successes in colonial policy gave reason to talk about the mission of Europeans in the cultural development of the rest of the world. British imperialist singer Redyard Kipling called it the “white man’s burden.” In addition, the military and technological power of Europe was absolute. Enormous changes took place in the technical industry, electricity, telephone, telegraph, radio, aircraft, airship and many other things were invented and actively implemented.

The successes of Europe and Europeans made an indelible impression on everyone outside the Old Continent and led to changes in traditional values ​​in Asian and African societies. For example, it was the European power that brought about the ideology of modernism in Islam. Its supporters called for a change in traditions in order to better perceive the Muslim peoples of everything new and their ability to resist and compete with Europeans. This ideology was shared by the Jadids in the Russian Empire, the Young Afghans, the Young Turks, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The power of Europe, in addition to technology and military superiority, was also based on relevant institutions. Even in the main monarchies that emerged from former feudal times, there was self-government everywhere, at least in the cities, trade unions, political parties represented in parliaments were organized. European monarchs learned from the 1848 series of revolutions of the year.

And finally, it is worth noting the power of thought of European society. Encyclopedic educated mighty minds gushing ideas, their political discussions were a battle of giants. A narrow scientific specialization has not yet been spread, and the same lawyer, Vladimir Lenin, could write a high-quality work on the economics of contemporary Russia. It was a glorious time for intellectual thought. Technical progress developed in parallel with the public, but there was still no radicalism in the actions, because order was personified by the old states that served as a hoop for the old barrel. Just this barrel is bursting with thoughts, contradictions and everything else. Because all the basic ideas have already been formulated - about social equality, and about national self-determination, and about the possibilities of economic regulation. The question was only in their implementation. The First World War gave the necessary impetus and the old overcoat in the form of previous empires cracked at the seams.

It is difficult to say how the First World War was inevitable, but everything went towards this. At the same time, the authorities of the mighty European states, which had accumulated colossal military power, did not think that they could let the genie out of the bottle. They believed that they completely controlled the situation, and a small victorious war still did not bother anyone. Moreover, the geopolitical contradictions remained relevant.

For example, France dreamed of revenge for defeat in the 1870 year and the loss of Alsace and Lorraine. Germany needed colonies as a market for products and a source of raw materials, and the growing German economy everywhere in the world was faced with British rivals, for example, in Iraq, Afghanistan and other important territories on the outskirts of India. In turn, England wanted to protect its monopoly on the exploitation of the colonies, and therefore, in fact, a monopoly on world trade. Because the British controlled the lion's share of the resources of the entire planet.

At the same time, Russia dreamed of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, and also traditionally supported the Balkan Slavs. But the main thing is that it critically depended on England and France in ensuring economic development, their loans ensured the Russian economic growth at the beginning of the 20th century. In many ways, therefore, Russia followed in the wake of the Anglo-French policy. In addition, Germany supported Turkey, which means it hampered the implementation of the main Russian idea - to acquire the Black Sea straits. At the same time, the main German ally, Austria-Hungary, put pressure on the Serbs, who, in turn, were in favor of uniting all the Balkan Slavs in one state.

As a result, two blocks of states were formed, which were suspiciously watching each other and were ready to clarify the relationship. Needed only a reason. This motive provided the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo by the Serb radical Gavril Princip of Austrian Archduke. In August 1914, the war began. The Austrians were the first to fire, then a chain reaction followed. Russia announced mobilization, Germany also acted. The Germans, implementing the Schlieffen plan to defeat France, crossed the borders of Belgium, the inviolability of which was guaranteed by Great Britain. As a result, London entered the war. One country after another was drawn into the war. In 1917, Russia actually emerged from the war because of the revolution. In 1918, the Bolsheviks signed the Brest Peace. At the same time, the USA entered the war with their enormous resources. In 1918, Germany and its allies were defeated. As a result of the war, four huge continental empires — the Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian — ceased to exist. Began a new era of national states.

Russian empire

Naturally, for us in Kazakhstan, the fate of the Russian empire, which included the territories inhabited by the Kazakhs, is of greater interest. And we must immediately say that the First World War had a great influence not only on the fate of the empire itself, but also of all the nations that included it, including the Russians themselves.

The position of the Russian Empire on the eve of the war is assessed differently. Some claim that 1913 was the best year in Russian history. The country showed good economic results. For example, from 1887 to 1913 a year, industrial output grew 4,5 times. The national product grew annually by 3,3 percent, which was higher than in Europe. According to the main economic indicators, the Russian Empire ranked fourth and fifth in the world. The state budget for the first time in the history of Russia after 1910, became surplus.

Moreover, she entered the war on the side of the future winners, played a significant role in the fight against Germany, Turkey and Austria-Hungary. According to secret agreements between the allies, Russia was to receive after the war the Black Sea straits and access to the Mediterranean Sea through Cilicia. That is, if it were not for the 1917 revolution of the year, the Russian Empire would have emerged from the First World War with excellent results.

Others say that, despite all the indicators, Russia remained a backward country, mainly peasant. Its main export products in 1913 were wheat, butter, eggs, and wood. Moreover, every year millions of people died of hunger. In 1901, 2,8 million people died of starvation, in 1913, 1,2 million died. The grain yield was two and a half times lower than that of European countries. The salary of a worker was two to three times lower than that of Western European workers. National income per capita was 9 times less than in the United States.

The efficiency of the Russian industry was low. As a result, the Russian army was lower than the German and Austro-Hungarian armaments, especially in the area of ​​heavy artillery and machine guns. The army could not even restore the stocks of shells that were spent during the unsuccessful Russian-Japanese war. On the eve of the war, the Russian military factories could produce 600 thousand shells for three-inch guns a year. While the annual need for 1916 was 42 million shells, that is, more than 70 times. In the course of the war itself, the Russian industry was never able to launch the production of sophisticated equipment, such as airplanes. While the European powers produced tens of thousands of cars, in Russia during the whole war only a thousand aircraft and some of the French components were produced.

Russia's technological backwardness caused severe defeats in the early years of the war. The Germans won thanks to the advantage in heavy artillery. In the country, 15,5 million were called up for military service. Of these, 1,65 million died or died from injuries, 2,5 million were captured, 4 million were injured. This led to the growth of decadent attitudes in the empire and was one of the reasons for the revolution.

All this in aggregate did not allow Russia to hold out until victory over Germany and its allies and receive a prize in the form of the Black Sea straits. Then we might see a very different reality. But the 1917 revolution of the year completed the long history of the Russian Empire. Although none of his contemporaries expected such a result from unrest in the capital in February.

We can talk a lot about Russia before World War I, but in any case it was a solid country. It was still economically backward, it depended on western loans for its development, it was peasant (only 15 percent of the population lived in cities). But Russia was a whole country. Most of the population lived in peasant communities. With low efficiency of agriculture, high birth rates in peasant families and a lack of land, peasant communities and individual farms actively spread throughout the territory of the empire.

In particular, this process directly affected the interests of the Kazakh nomads, because the state confiscated their land for the needs of numerous peasant migrants. Naturally, this created tension in the relations between the Kazakh population and peasant migrants, which later manifested itself during the 1916 uprising of the year. It was thanks to these peasants that the Russian Empire was able so quickly at the beginning of the 20th century to seize the lands of Eastern Siberia and the Far East.

That is, the still patriarchal peasant country possessed colossal inertia. Her energy was partially freed by the reforms of Russian Prime Minister Peter Stolypin, who encouraged withdrawal from the communities. The active part of the peasants began to play an increasing role in the economy of the country, crowding the old landowner farms and the land-poor poor. For example, in the Russian Empire in 1913, with a population of 167 million people (including part of Poland, Finland) there were 56 million cattle, which was mainly concentrated in peasant farms. For comparison, in modern Russia with 142 million people only 8 million cattle and 60 percent of beef consumption is imported.

But the First World War broke down the inertial system of the peasant economy. Millions of people were cut off from their usual way of life. Huge sacrifices caused displeasure and made possible the fall of the empire. The revolution led the peasantry into a state of chaos, the Bolsheviks then completely eliminated the peasant community. Millions of former peasants ensured modernization in the USSR, replenished the urban population. The village in Russia today looks very sad, it seems impossible to restore community life here, and a large Western-style commodity economy requires labor, which the village has nowhere else to take.

It is possible that this is the saddest result for the Russian Empire and its fans for the outbreak of World War I that began on 100 years ago. But for many others, these consequences led to different results. For example, to the creation of national states. This was true for Poland, Finland, the Baltic States, now it seems for Ukraine.

For modern Kazakhstan, the 1917 revolution of the year halted the peasant resettlement process in previous volumes. Under the Bolsheviks, we all together participated in the modernization of the Soviet type, which was accompanied by many sacrifices and deprivations. But this modernization has changed the face of the country and the people who inhabit it. Good or bad, depends on the emotional assessment of what happened. Naturally, for all interested parties it is different. Some nostalgic for the great empire and regret that it failed to maintain its former greatness. Others, on the contrary, are happy for her fall and welcome the chances that they have opened.

But the story does not know the subjunctive mood. It happened exactly as it happened. We still do not know today how history will turn tomorrow. We can only believe in the best, as all those millions from Paris, Berlin, Vienna and St. Petersburg, who a hundred years ago in a wave of unprecedented enthusiasm went into their first bayonet attacks, most certainly believed. It is human nature to believe.

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  1. Russian jacket
    Russian jacket 28 October 2014 06: 12
    Yes, a huge tragedy ,,,, But ... That which does not break us, only makes it stronger ... hi
    1. Kibalchish
      Kibalchish 28 October 2014 06: 16
      In fact, that war is still hitting us. And she gave birth to all the meanness: from fascism to feminism (((
      1. FACKtoREAL
        FACKtoREAL 28 October 2014 06: 47
        she gave birth to all kinds of meanness: from fascism to feminism

        feminism began to "lift up skirts" from the middle of the 19th century ... wink
      2. predator.3
        predator.3 28 October 2014 08: 16
        Quote: Kibalchish
        In fact, that war is still hitting us.

        In the trenches of the First World War, the relatives of my grandfather (1908) and grandmother (1915) took an oath to each other, if they remained alive in this war, then they became related, and in the early 30s they were married, 6 sons were raised, and further offspring already count!
    2. Giant thought
      Giant thought 28 October 2014 09: 49
      This war should nevertheless serve as a lesson for us and for future generations, how fragile the world is and how to protect it.
    3. The comment was deleted.
    4. Max_Bauder
      Max_Bauder 28 October 2014 10: 12
      And I have such an attitude towards the revolution.

      It was bloody, radical, many people died during the civil war for the idea, and also many died during the famine, when uneducated people were ineptly managing the economy, both patriots and notorious scoundrels and scumbags came to power. But! it healed the sick Russian empire, which was rotting from the head. Nicholas II did not at all resemble a sovereign who cares about the country, the power had corrupt liberals who saw and felt themselves in Europe, who wanted to spit on injustice in the army and the people, and how the secular "ripped off", "laundered" this is their tradition in war, which continued into the Chechen. In the army, officers could be "noble by blood", and a man from the people could only be a soldier. The peasantry only just freed itself from serfdom. In general, it was hard for everyone, except for the rich. To describe figuratively, as it was in the next article, Russia is a man who has a gangrenous leg, his temperature is high, but instead of initially treating him when the wound was small, they brought him to the point that now he had to cut, without anesthesia. And gangrene is the traitor liberals.
  2. Same lech
    Same lech 28 October 2014 06: 22
    We can only believe in the best, as all those millions from Paris, Berlin, Vienna and St. Petersburg, who a hundred years ago, in the wake of unprecedented enthusiasm, went into their first bayonet attacks, probably believed. It is human nature to believe.

    I agree ... the revolutionaries of various poshibi use this faith hehe heh ... that we are OBSERVING IN UKRAINE right now.
  3. RusDV
    RusDV 28 October 2014 06: 22
    Today we do not know how history will turn tomorrow.

    we will not rely on the case ... we transfer closer to the steering wheel and begin slowly, but firmly, to seize control ...
  4. strelets
    strelets 28 October 2014 06: 25
    "Others, on the other hand, are happy with her downfall and welcome the chances they have."

    No matter what we say, I think that all those present, thanks to 1917, nevertheless received exactly chances that were not there before. If not for the revolution, my father would have grazed cows in the village. And so he graduated from the Mining Institute with honors (received a Stalin scholarship) and became a candidate of science.
    1. Revolver
      Revolver 30 October 2014 05: 46
      Not at all, sir, not at all. My great-grandfather was a merchant of the First Guild, owned an apartment in I do not know exactly how much, but there are a lot of rooms with windows on the Tauride Garden. "And then the hegemon came and everything went to pieces."
  5. Same lech
    Same lech 28 October 2014 06: 44
    No matter what we say, I think everyone present thanks to 1917

    And thanks to 1914, RUSSIA lost millions of able-bodied men capable of creating their own family, children, etc.
    so the war spurred the development of society in RUSSIA at the cost of the loss of millions of its citizens .... is this good ???
    1. strelets
      strelets 28 October 2014 06: 49
      It turns out that in 1914, Russia lost millions of citizens due to the revolution in 1917?
  6. pinecone
    pinecone 28 October 2014 06: 45
    Anti-Russian article, primitive presentation.
  7. saag
    saag 28 October 2014 06: 47
    "... Good or bad depends on the emotional assessment of what happened."

    Yeah, it will be bad for someone who has not exalted financially or administratively over others
  8. Ermak
    Ermak 28 October 2014 07: 18
    Judging by the title, the article was intended to show a certain objective assessment of that time, but apart from the pity of RI and what kind of backward Russia (living on credit) was taking land from the Kazakhs, there is essentially nothing in it.
  9. Ermak
    Ermak 28 October 2014 07: 24
    And judging by the article, the author takes the side of precisely those who
    Others, on the contrary, are happy with her fall and welcome the chances that they have opened up.
    , at the same time, probably considers how good it would be if RI did not exist, then they would live better. Specific Russophobia and envy.
  10. Same lech
    Same lech 28 October 2014 08: 11
    Quote: strelets
    It turns out that in 1914, Russia lost millions of citizens due to the revolution in 1917?

    No .... the revolution of 1917 was the result of the war of 1914 .... however what happened it happened, we can only not repeat the mistakes of the past.
  11. ando_bor
    ando_bor 28 October 2014 09: 04
    I "remember" the First World War, my ancestors, great-grandfather, he was a master railroad worker on the railway in Western Belarus, when the Germans attacked, they were evacuated to Siberia with their family. In the early 70s, my grandmother wrote off with relatives, cousins, second cousins ​​- they stayed there, were near Poland, went and took me. I ran under the table, I remember a lot of their conversations about those times, and only now I realize.
  12. Oldwiser
    Oldwiser 28 October 2014 09: 24
    The title of the article (based on the novel by G.G. Marquez) is completely out of the topic of the article. And why "remember everything"? Nobody's memory was erased and the "reset of the historical matrix" was also not carried out (unlike in Ukraine). It is not clear what the author of this opus wanted to convey to the public.
  13. Dimy4
    Dimy4 28 October 2014 09: 58
    For example, from 1987 to 1913

    Although I’m not a hook-and-janitor, I’m probably still from 1887 to 1913.
  14. washi
    washi 28 October 2014 11: 26
    the Bolsheviks then completely eliminated the peasant community
    The Bolsheviks recreated the community in the form of collective farms and labor collectives
    1. Dimy4
      Dimy4 28 October 2014 12: 03
      And this system fed the country during the difficult years of the Second World War.
  15. Prager
    Prager 28 October 2014 14: 50
    the whole history of Russia of all time is a struggle for survival, a tremendous strain on the forces of the people.