SOVIET RUSSIA. Brief history of the USSR



Army decomposition


Entering the world war, Russia had one of the largest personnel armies. Shortly before the outbreak of hostilities in the country, the Big Program for Strengthening the Army was approved, providing for a significant increase in the number of ground forces by 1917. In general, despite serious shortcomings and miscalculations in the training of the armed forces, Russia had a powerful army capable of solving big tasks. Since the beginning of the war, the Eastern Front has become one of the main fronts. For the mentality of the personnel of the Russian army in the summer and autumn of 1914, the formula “For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland” was characteristic.


The ruling elite of the country, not without reason, counted on the patriotic upsurge of the people, perseverance, courage and dedication to the idea of ​​a war of liberation against "German slavery", for the happiness of the Slavic peoples. It is known that at the first call, 96% of those to be called up came to the mobilization centers.


However, during the war years, the army has undergone significant changes. The infantry regiments lost several sets of soldiers and officers: only a few of them lost 300% of those killed and wounded. More often, these losses reached 400-500% or more. The infantry (or infantry), being the main branch of the armed forces, turned out to be fairly battered during the summer retreat of 1915. By the autumn of 1917, personnel officers comprised only about 4% of the entire officer corps of the Russian army, and the remaining 96% were officers wartime.


Calculations of the army supply, compiled by the military department, were underestimated. As a result, the Russian army from the first days of the war felt a shortage of rifles, cartridges, guns, shells, communications equipment, etc. Command errors, huge losses, poor supply of weapons, and failures on the front seriously affected the morale of the army and the whole country. causing a political crisis.


As the revolutionary struggle of the workers grew, the soldiers did not remain indifferent to it, they were drawn into the struggle against the autocracy. In September 1915, at the Nikolaevsky (Moscow) military meeting in Petrograd, a clash of a party of warriors of 500 men was sent to the front with the police. With shouts of "Beat the Pharaohs and Parasites," unarmed recruits tried to crack down on the townships. At the same time, as stated by the head of the Petrograd security department, the armed soldiers' team, accompanying the warriors, "did not take part in restraining the disorder".


Official summaries of staffs and armies testified to the change in the attitude of the soldiers towards the army, about the decline of discipline among the troops. The desire for peace, the speedy end of a long war becomes paramount in the mood of the army. The head of the Petrograd security department in one of his reports to the Police Department in 1916 noted that "the Petrograd garrison does not believe in the success of Russian weapons and finds that the continuation of the war is useless."


The aspiration of the soldiers for a peaceful life was manifested in various forms. Fraternization and desertion acquired a wide scope. The latter, as a form of protest of the masses against the war, grew from 195 thousand people in February 1917 to 2 million people by October 1917. To this fact was added the fact that among the workers there was a strong conviction that soldiers would not participate in suppression of mass protests, as happened in the years of the first Russian revolution.



History of the Soviet Union and Russia in the 20th Century






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