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Aleksei Brusilov (1853-1926)Download nowEnlargeShow similar images

Title: Aleksei Brusilov (1853-1926)

Description: Russian general during World War I, Aleksei Brusilov (Aleksei Alekseevich Brusilov; August 19, 1853-March 17, 1926). Brusilov served as a cavalry commander during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878), promoted to General of Cavalry in 1912, and, at the onset of WWI in 1914, he was given command of the Russian Eighth Army. As such, he made deep penetrations into the Carpathian Mountain ranges against the Austrians on the Southwestern Front in 1915, being promoted to General Adjutant (four-star general). He was given command of the Southwestern Front and initiated with innovative strategy and tactics the Brusilov Offensive (June 4, 1916-September 20, 1916), which proved to be the most significant feat of arms achieved by the Russian Empire during WWI. Instead of massing artillery for a concentrated bombardment in local areas before sending infantry to attack isolated areas of the enemy, which had been the standard Russian military tactics of the past, Brusilov organized a massive front-long attack of more than 250-300 miles, using several Russian armies to simultaneously attack Austrian-Hungarian armies in Galicia (now the Ukraine), and involving the towns of Lemberg, Lutsk, and Kovel. Brusilov attacked with forty army divisions and fifteen cavalry divisions against Austrian-Hungarian forces made up of thirty-nine infantry and ten cavalry divisions, following a rolling artillery bombardment along the entire Southwestern Front that took the Austrian-Hungarian forces by surprise. Brusilov used shock troops to break through the weakest points of the enemy lines (determined by good Russian intelligence), and by June 8, 1916, Russian forces recaptured Lutsk, capturing more than 200,000 Austrian troops and making considerable gains all along the Southwestern Front until German and Austrian reinforcements and counterattacks brought the Brusilov Offensive to a halt. Brusilov had more than achieved the overall Russian strategy in that his offensive was designed to relieve the Allied forces at Verdun, causing German troops from the Western Front to be transfered to the Eastern Front to meet the Russian attack, which permanently crippled the Austrian-Hungarian armies, inflicting 1.5 million casualties and more than 400,000 troops made prisoner. Russian casualties exceeded a half million, this battle or offensive being one of the most costly military operations in history. Even at this time of Russian victory, millions of dissident Russians were planning revolution, with Bolshevik agitators convincing almost 60,000 Russian troops in Brusilov’s command to desert during that 1916 offensive, the rotting social, economic and political underpinnings of Imperial Russia leading to its collapse the following year.

Category: World War I

Keywords: WWI, World War I, Great War, First World War, Russian generals, Russian military leaders, Brusilov Offensive

Orientation: Portrait

Dimensions: 1500 x 2030 (3.04 MPixels) (1.35)

Print Size: 12.7 x 17.2 cm; 5.0 x 6.8 inches

File Size: 8.74 MB (9,163,126 Bytes)

Resolution: 300 x 300 dpi

Color Depth: 16.7 million (24 BitsPerPixel)

Compression: None

Image Number: 0000048543

Source: Jay Robert Nash Collection


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