Reforming the Tsar's Army: Military Innovation in Imperial Russia from Peter the Great to the Revolution

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From Peter the Great to Nicholas II, Russian rulers always understood the need to maintain an army and navy capable of preserving the empire's great power status. This volume examines how Imperial Russia's armed forces sought to adapt to the challenges of modern warfare. The tsars inevitably faced the dilemma of importing European military and technological innovations while censoring political beliefs that could challenge the autocracy's monopoly on power. Within the context of a constant race to avoid oblivion, the impulse for military renewal emerges from this volume as a fundamental and recurring theme in modern Russian history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A collection of essays on various aspects of Russian military reform, by some of the most notable scholars in the field. The 18 essays are grouped into five broad categories, covering national resources, intelligence and education, specific wars and campaigns, person-alities, and some broad conclusions. Of particular value to the serious student of Russian military history, some of the essays are likely to be useful for persons interested in particular aspects of the practice of war, such as conscription, or the Napoleonic Wars." - The NYMAS Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521819886
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2003
  • Series: Woodrow Wilson Center Press Series
  • Pages: 374
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Dedication: Aleksandr Georgievich Kavtardze
Introduction 1
1 Universal Service Reform: Conception to Implementation, 1873-1883 11
2 The Limits of Reform: The Multiethnic Imperial Army Confronts Nationalism, 1874-1917 34
3 Forerunners of the Komsomol: Scouting in Imperial Russia 56
4 Strategic Railroads and the Dilemmas of Modernization 82
5 The Russian Military Press in the Reform Era 107
6 Reforming Military Intelligence 133
7 Russian Military Attaches and the Wars of the 1860s 151
8 Building Foundations for Effective Intelligence: Military Geography and Statistics in Russian Perspective, 1845-1905 168
9 Russian Military Reform in the Age of Napoleon 189
10 The Caucasus Factor in Russian Military Reform 205
11 The Offensive Revisited: Russian Preparation for Future War, 1906-1914 215
12 The Challenge of Reforming Imperial Russian General Staff Education, 1905-1909 232
13 The Politics of Command in the Army of Peter the Great 253
14 G. A. Potemkin and A. I. Chernyshev: Two Dimensions of Reform and Russia's Military Frontier 273
15 Miliutin contra Moltke: Russia's Refusal to Adopt a Prussian-Style General Staff 292
16 The Military and Imperial Russian History 307
17 Imperial Russia and Military History 322
18 Russian Military History and the Present 328
Contributors 339
Index 343
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