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Full text of "The Russian army and the Japanese war, being historical and critical comments on the military policy and power of Russia and on the campaign in the Far East"

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Reasons for our reverses {continued) : The insufficient 
tactical preparation of our troops — Measures taken 
to improve it - - - - 1 — 25 


Reasons for our reverses [conclusion) : Particular diffi- 
culties of the strategic situation — Defects in 
organization and jjersonnel — Absence of a military 
spirit in the army, and lack of determination in 
carrying operations to a finish — Breakdown of our 
organization under the strain of active service 26 — 97 


Suggested measures for the improvement of the senior 
ranks ; for the improvement of the regulars and 
reservists ; for the reorganization of the reserve 
troops ; for increasing the number of combatants 
in infantry regiments — Machine - guns — Reserve 
troops — Troops on the communications — Engineers 
— Artillery — Cavalry — Infanti-y — Organization 
generally ----- P8 — 176 


Summary of the w^ar - - - - 177 — 204 




Introduction and conclusion to Volume III. - 205 — 305 

The Royal Timber Company - - - 306 — 313 


Breakdown of the unit organization and distribu- 
tion ..... 314—335 

Index ------ 336—348 













PLACES MENTIONED - - - At the end 


MUKDEN - - - - - At the end 





The insufficient tactical preparation of our troops — 
Measures taken to improve it, 

I HAVE touched upon the fact of how our want of 
tactical training was shown up in the Crimean and 
second Turkish Wars. Especially conspicuous 
was the inability of our senior commanders — 
relying as they usually did upon quite inadequate 
information as to the enemy's strength and dis- 
positions — to co-ordinate the operations of the 
different arms towards one end, and their igno- 
rance of where to deliver the main attack. The 
minor part played by our cavalry and our com- 
paratively great power of defence were also re- 
marked. Finally, attention was drawn to the 
fact that our lack of the power of manoeuvre 
compelled us to place superior numbers in the 
field against the Turks, a course which had not 
formerly been necessary. 

VOL. II. 1 1 


After the war of 1877-78 we set to work to 
study our weak points, in order to eliminate our 
faults. Much must have been accomplished since 
then, for the tactical training of the army at the 
beginning of the recent war was undoubtedly of 
a higher standard than it was twenty-five years 
ago. Still, in some matters we had not pro- 
gressed, while in others we had actually gone 
back. The duty of training the troops rests 
with commanding officers of all ranks, and the 
responsibility for this extends right up to those 
in command of military districts. Although the 
same drill-books and manuals are used by the 
whole army, there is considerable variety in the 
way that the tactical instruction is imparted, 
owing to the diverse views held by the district 
commanders. I have taken part in many man- 
oeuvres, and was in command of the army at the 
grand manoeuvres at Kursk in 1902, and I noted 
down what I considered to be our principal fail- 
ings in this respect. In October, 1903, I sub- 
mitted a report on the subject to the Tsar, in 
which my conclusions on certain points were as 
follows : 

"1. Staff Work with the 3Iain Army and with 
Detached Columns at the Grand Manoeuvres. 

" Generally speaking, the staff work cannot be 
characterized as entirely satisfactory. The prin- 
cipal reasons for this were the somewhat unhappy 
selection of the officers appointed to be chiefs of 


the different staffs, the poor organization of the 
staffs themselves, due to a Hmited personnel and 
to an insufficient supply of the means of com- 
munication [telegraph and telephone equip- 
ment] for both the troops and staffs, and the 
neglect to arrange proper intercommunication 
between units by making use of mounted order- 
lies, automobiles, or cyclists. Intelligence of 
the enemy as well as of the disposition of 
other units w^as always received late by those 
whom it concerned, because the cavalry was 
badly organized, and could not carry out its 
orders properly. 

" The amount of writing done by the various 
staff-officers was colossal. They worked the 
whole evening and all night ; their effusions were 
lithographed or printed, and were sent off in all 
directions ; but the orders were rarely received 
by the troops in proper time. At the manoeuvres 
of the Warsaw Military District in 1899, cases 
came under my notice of general officers com- 
manding divisions receiving the order to move in 
the morning two hours after the time appointed 
for them to start. 

" In many instances staff-officers with troops 
seemed ignorant of how a reconnaissance should 
be carried out, and consequently did not 
gauge the dispositions of the enemy's forces 
with sufficient accuracy. This reacted in turn 
on the dispositions made by the chief com- 
manders, more particularly in their employment 
of the reserves (Kursk manoeuvres and those 
at Pskoff and Vlodava). Similarly, they did 
not know how to arrange for the maintenance 
of touch along the front and to the rear, a 
defect which caused a delay in the receipt 
of orders and information which was quite 



" 2. Work of the Ccwahy at Manoeuvres. 

" The increased importance now attached to 
the strategic or independent duties of cavalry has, 
in my opinion, acted detrimentally upon the 
cavalry work with the troops. The spirit of the 
strategic role was in most cases not properly 
grasped, and the chief idea of the masses of 
mounted troops of both sides appeared to be to 
meet each other. They therefore neglected to 
furnish the commanders of their sides with the 
information of the enemy, so necessary before an 
action, and left the infantry without their co- 
operation during the actual combat ; this was 
the same whether they were acting in attack or 
defence. Long-distance patrols often did useful 
work, but owing to the lack of proper means for 
the quick transmission of the information col- 
lected, it reached the troops to whom it might 
be useful after the enemy's dispositions had been 
changed. The near patrols did not work in with 
the long-distance ones. Our mounted troops 
were frequently allowed to lose touch with the 
enemy at night under the pretext that the men 
and horses required rest, and the employment of 
a dozen troopers was grudged after dark, when 
by day whole divisions and corps were futilely 
marched and countermarched, and sent upon 
duties which were not always in accordance with 
the general idea of the operations. 

" The cavalry work should be more strictly in 
co-operation with that of the other arms than it 
is at present, and all officers in command of 
mounted units should remember that their role 
is auxiliary, and largely consists in assisting the 
General in command to come to a proper deci- 
sion by the completeness and accuracy of the 


information they send back ; that the cavalry 
should help the commanders, firstly, to frame a 
plan of action, then to crush the enemy on the 
field of battle. 

"3. Attack and the Defence. 

" Here again information was wanting. When 
commanders made up their minds either to attack 
or to stand on the defensive, they were never 
able to feel, from their information of the enemy 
and the locality, that they thoroughly knew 
what they were doing, or that it really was in 
accordance with the spirit of the general idea. 
We were strong in the defence, but we rarely 
delivered a soundly conceived or executed attack. 
In the attack column commanders did not always 
take pains to obtain enough accurate information 
as to the dispositions and strength of the enemy, 
so as to be able to appreciate the situation pro- 
perly and draw up a reasoned plan of battle, to 
select the direction of the main attack, to allot 
the troops for it, and take steps to deceive the 
enemy as to its precise direction. When they 
had massed sufficient first-line troops for the 
main attack, they did not also move up the re- 
serves of all arms. 

" In particular, we did not know how to con- 
duct the advance, and then deliver the assault 
with proper preparation by artillery and rifle fire. 
JNIany commanders seem, unfortunately, to be 
wedded to the idea of carrying out a continuous 
advance without making any use of the rifle. If 
we ever encounter an enemy, such as the Ger- 
mans, who systematically train their troops to 
advance under cover of their own heavy rifle-fire, 
we shall be worsted, for in peace we often advance 


almost without firing a rifle to a range of 1,000 
or even 800 paces of the position. 

"The guns also frequently ceased fire at the 
same critical period — i.e., when their attacking 
infantry are nearing the enemy. My inquiries as 
to the reason for this were usually met with the 
reply that their ammunition was expended. If 
the absolute necessity for keeping in hand a con- 
siderable number of rounds for the assistance of 
the decisive infantry attack is not realized now 
that we have quick-firing guns, our artillery will 
in war become useless at the very moment when 
its co-operation is most vital. 

" In defence we are better than in the attack, 
and we know how to make the most of the fire 
effect of both guns and rifles. The ranges in 
front of a position are usually measured and 
clearly marked. But proper use is not made 
of reserves. We do not, as we should, throw 
them into the firing-line, so as to increase the 
volume of fire after the enemy's main attack has 
developed, nor do we launch thein in a fierce 
counter-attack after he has come within decisive 
range. The reserves are often kept in mass, and 
thrown against the attack without any supporting 
rifle-fire. Many regiments and brigades told off 
as reserves to a defensive position go through 
the whole manoeuvres without firing a single 

" 4. The Revival of the Column Foi^mation 
in the Attack. 

" Other European armies are now doing every- 
thing possible to minimize the murderous effect 
of modern rifle and artillery fire on themselves, 
and are, at the same time, endeavouring to 
develop their own fire to the utmost, both in 


the attack and defence ; indeed, the Germans, in 
their efforts to this end, have gone the extreme 
length of deploying all their troops — sometimes 
even to the sacrifice of their reserves — in long 
thin lines. We, on the other hand, judging by 
the last manoeuvres, are going to the other 
extreme, for our decisive attack is delivered 
almost without any fire preparation, and with 
men massed in quarter column ! 

" If a stop is not put to the increasing density 
of our attack formations, we shall suiter for it 
heavily. It is all the more dangerous for us, as 
we do not assist our assaulting infantry properly 
with supporting gun and rifle fire. 

" 5. The Work of the Artillery. 

"Artillery positions were in most cases skil- 
fully chosen, but the fire discipline was often 
bad. As batteries can only carry a limited 
number of rounds in the field, it is vital that 
the gunners should be taught to economize every 
round ; this is, of course, particularly important 
with quick-firing guns. But we often fired more 
rounds than were necessary : fire was opened too 
hurriedly, at quite unimportant targets, with the 
result that, at the critical moment of the attack, 
batteries had to signal that they were in action, 
for all their ammunition had been expended."'^ 

" 6. The Work of the Sappers. 

"The bloody lessons of Plevna and Gora 
Dubniak put fresh life into our military 

* [To economize ammunition at manoeuvres, batteries 
sometimes signal that they are firing instead of actually 
doing so. — Ed.] 


engineering, which lasted for a certain time 
after the Turkish War. Our sappers became 
skilful at constructing trenches and redoubts, 
and the other troops were also trained in field- 
works, and began to like entrenching themselves. 
But a reaction soon set in. This was largely 
due to General DragomirofF, who did much to 
bring about a return to the old order of things, 
when it was held that everything was decided 
by the bayonet. He was quite opposed to the 
use of cover, and carried his orders on this 
subject to the height of absurdity, even for- 
bidding his men to lie down while advancing to 
attack ! 

" To dig oneself into the ground means labour, 
and takes much time. INIoreover, instructions 
used to be issued that all trenches dug had to 
be filled in again, and all redoubts dismantled. 
This at once limited the scope of trench-work in 
the army. The entrenching tool, which after the 
Turkish War had been valued next to cartridges 
and biscuits, was relegated to the mobilization 
store, and never brought out for use or even 
for inspection. At many manoeuvres the men 
were not practised at all in the fortification of 
positions ; at others the alignment of trenches 
was traced only. While giving the sapper 
units full credit for their excellent training, I 
cannot but express my fear that they specialize 
far too much in a mass of detail, and ignore 
the fact that their main duty in war is to 
co-operate in every way with the infantry, both 
in strengthening defensive positions and in the 
attack of them. 


"7. Criticism by Commanders. 

" It is gradually becoming the custom to omit 
all criticisms* at grand manoeuvres. Mistakes, 
therefore, pass unnoticed, are repeated, and tend 
to become chronic. I remember some very 
instructive manoeuvre criticisms made by General 
Gurko, and I have listened with interest and 
advantage to others made by General Roop. 
Discussions after the operations are always held 
in the Kieff and St. Petersburg Military Dis- 
tricts, but nowadays some officers in command 
of districts neither make any remarks themselves 
when present at manoeuvres, nor expect them to 
be made by the officers commanding sides or 
the other seniors. Orders issued after a long 
period — though they may enumerate the various 
points noticed — and the reports eventually printed 
of large concentrations and manoeuvres, are com- 
paratively useless for instruction. To be of use, 
criticisms must be made by the commanders, and 
made on the spot. 

" It is, however, important to realize how rare 
the power of good criticism is. The remarks 
usually made are either quite colourless or too 
highly pitched. Some of our most capable 
general officers also seem peculiarly ' unlucky ' 
in the way they manage unnecessarily to hurt 
the feelings of commanding officers by their 
harsh way of putting things. They forget that 
to lower the prestige of a senior in the presence 
of his juniors always produces a bitter harvest, 
especially in war. They forget the infinite 
variety of the conditions of different tactical 

* [What in the British Army are colloquially known 
as " Pow-wows." — Ed.] 


situations, and that at peace manoeuvres there 
is no need for one side to Avin or lose. Again, 
independent action, though certainly not wrong 
in itself, is often put down as a mistake and 
adjudged to be wTong because the senior com- 
mander has his own opinion in the matter. Such 
narrow - minded criticism deprives officers in 
command of units of the spirit of independence, 
of initiative, and of the desire for responsibility. 
Instead, they try to discover the fads of the 
officer in command, in order to ' play up ' to 

" 8. Conclusion as to the Tactical Instruction 
of our Troops. 

" Although the opinion of the generals in 
command of military districts in all matters per- 
taining to military training should, and do, carry 
great weight, yet tliere must be some limit to 
individual action. It is impossible, for instance, 
to permit each of them to train the troops 
in his command entirely in accordance wdth 
his own views as to what is most important 
in war ; for the instruction of attack and de- 
fence should not be carried out on entirely 
diffisrent lines in the different districts. Yet 
this is more or less what has been done. We 
at headquarters are partly to blame, owing to 
the delay in the publication of the field-service 
manuals and the instructions for the combined 
training of all arms. As an example of what 
I refer to : General Dragomiroff has trained the 
troops under him in the Kieff ^Military District 
to attack according to a system of his own, of 
which the soundness is open to doubt. If some 
of his theories are carried out in war, they will 
result in heavy loss, and therefore their incul- 


cation in peace seems entirely wrong. His 
order that the skirmishers escorting artillery 
should be on a line with the guns themselves 
would only cause the premature silencing of the 
latter ; and another, that the lines of skirmishers 
advancing to attack should not lie down 
when halted, is simply impossible of execution, 
AVhen bullets are flying, a line lies dowTi of its 
own accord as soon as it halts, and quite rightly 
so, as men get cover more easily when lying 
than standing. And now, following General 
Dragomiroff's example, in the ^'ilna ^lilitary 
District General Grippenberg has begun to act 
accordmg to his own theories, and depart from 
the textbook. In his District Orders this year,* 
in which were published his criticisms on the work 
done at manoeuvres, he recommends that infantry 
in close order should receive cavalry \Wth inde- 
pendent tire T instead of with volleys. He insists, 
also, that when a line is advancing by short 
rushes, these rushes should begin from the flanks. 
'•' Unfortunately, much that I saw when in- 
specting the troops in the different districts and 
on grand manoeuvres led me to the conclusion 
that the tactical trainmg. especially in command, 
of officers commanding units, from regiments 
upwards, is neither sound nor uniform."' 

My strictures on the peace tactical training 
of the army were, unfortunately, only too well 
confii-med during the war. 

The theatre of war m ^Manchuria presented 
many pecuharities of climate, topography, and 

* [1903.— Ed.] 

t Independent fire is difficult to control, and almost 
impossible to stop in action. 


inhabitants. It was unlike any of the " prob- 
able " theatres of operations we had studied, and 
was, therefore, quite new to the troops who 
came from European Russia. The Japanese 
were not only new and practically unknown 
foes, but the nature of the information that we 
did possess about them tended to show our great 
superiority, and therefore incited us to con- 
tempt. The existing edition of our " Field Service 
Regulations " was obsolete, and the revised 
edition was still in the Press. Special instruc- 
tions, therefore, had to be issued, in order to 
assist our troops to grapple with the entirely 
strange conditions under M^iich they were placed. 
These were compiled and printed under my 
direction, and distributed to officers in command 
of all units, from companies and squadrons up- 
wards, and to all chief staiF-officers. In them 
I emphasized the necessity of getting to know 
something about the enemy, enumerated their 
strong and weak points, and drew attention 
to their patriotism and traditional indifference 
to death. I stated that their strong points 
predominated, and that in the Japanese we 
should find a very powerful opponent, even 
when reckoned by European standards. I con- 
tinued : 

" It is most important that in the first engage- 
ments, in which they will certainly be in superior 
strength, we should not give the Japanese the 


satisfaction of victory, for that will only still 
further elevate their spirit. 

"No particular or new tactics need be adopted 
against our present enemy, but we must not 
repeat the mistakes in manoeuvring which cost 
us so dear in the Turkish AVar of 1877-78." 

I then mentioned the causes of our reverses 
at Plevna, and commented in detail on the 
most important. After capturing Nicopolis, our 
troops moved on Plevna in ignorance of the 
strength and dispositions of the enemy. As far as 
obtaining this information was concerned, our 
cavalry was not well handled. In the first fight at 
Plevna (July 20, 1877) we attacked with too 
few men and in detail. We did the same in the 
fights of July 31 and September 12, but to an 
even greater extent, and the attacks were carried 
out in too dense a formation, were not suffi- 
ciently prepared by fire-effect, and our own 
numerous cavalry and that of the Roumanians 
did practically nothing. The attacks on Sep- 
tember 10 and 11, 1877, failed because our troops 
were badly distributed and untrained. I attached 
an appreciation of the work of our troops in 
the Turkish War as follows : 

"In this war the staff" work was not always 
successful. The troops often received orders 
too late, and time was wasted waiting for their 
receipt before commencing a move. Units 
arriving at night on the positions allotted to 
them did not always find the officers who should 


have been waiting their arrival to guide them. 
Officers in command of troops were often not 
informed by the staff as to the enemy's strength 
and dispositions, or as to our own neighbouring 
cohnnns. Lack of information was the prin- 
cipal cause of our disasters ; we sometimes 
attacked in entire ignorance of the enemy's 
strength and dispositions, and even partially so of 
our own. 

" As an example of what our troops can do 
in an attack may be quoted the capture of Kars ; 
it is a very instructive case. Though the weak 
field-works of Plevna resisted our efforts for five 
months, at Kars neither strong parapets nor deep 
ditches could check our onslaught. Our gallant 
Caucasians advanced on the fortress by night ; 
they were well led, and always had a body of 
scouts skilfully thrown out in front, and they 
captured strongholds that had been termed 
' impregnable ' with great bravery. 

" In the defence our troops have always 
fought well. Let us remember the defence of 
the Shipka Pass, and imitate it." 

After a short review of our errors in the 
Turkish War, I enumerated those which were 
still noticeable in our peace manoeuvres. 

As operations developed the enemy's peculiari- 
ties became as well known as our own, so I was 
able in August, September, October, and Decem- 
ber, 1904, to issue supplementary instructions. 

Notwithstanding the number of our cavalry, 
and what our scouts had been able to do, we 
had not ascertained the general dispositions and 
strength of the enemy. The information brought 


in by spies was exaggerated and unreliable. The 
result was that, when we had carried out any offen- 
sive operations, we had adv anced without knowing 
anything of the enemy. My instructions ran : 

Instructions issued in August. 

" In our attacks we have started the advance 
too rapidly, without strengthening positions 
already occupied, and without full artillery co- 
operation, and we have stopped the action at a 
period when we still had large numbers both in 
the general and regimental reserves. In retire- 
ments we have withdrawn to positions previously 
occupied by us without having taken steps to 
hold our ground on any of them, which prepara- 
tion would not only have greatly assisted the 
retirement itself, but, what was far more im- 
portant, would have enabled us to renew the 

" Another point is, that many of our defensive 
positions have not corresponded to the numbers, 
when extended, told off to defend them. Never- 
theless, the enemy's frontal attacks, even if we 
hold quite chance positions, usually fail, and we 
have been obliged to abandon our ground owing 
to the turning movements which their superior 
numbers have made possible. 

" In attacking, especially among hills, the 
infantry must wait so that the assault may be 
prepared by fire, in order to get breath or to 
give time for the co-operation of a turning move- 
ment. There is also another and involuntary 
reason for halting — namely, the enemy's fire. 
Owing to this, units halt, or, what is worse, begin 
to retire without orders ; what then usually 


happens is this : A few men begin to trickle 
back from some company that has come under a 
particularly hot fire ; they are followed by their 
own company, which is in turn followed by the 
companies on either side, even though the latter 
may perhaps be holding strong ground. Such a 
moment is, indeed, critical, and unless some bril- 
liant officer appears who possesses the secret of 
rallying retreating men and succeeds in making 
the company hold its ground, the action is lost. 
But besides setting a personal example to the 
men, a commanding officer must at once push 
forward some of his reserves to stop the rot 
among those retreating. The most important 
thing at such a crisis is the example set by the 
officers or the steadiest men, particularly by 
Cavaliers of the Order of St. George.* A com- 
pany commander's example is everything to his 
company. Therefore, however deserving he may 
be in peace, a company commander who does not 
display personal gallantry in action should be 
instantly removed from his command. 

" The most effisctive method of guarding 
against a sudden emergency either in attack or 
defence — and this is particularly true in hilly 
country — is to have in hand a strong reserve, and 
not to make use of it too lightly. This we have 
not done in recent actions ; we have told off weak 
reserves, and used them up too quickly. Whole 
regiments have sometimes been sent in support 
where two companies or a battalion would have 
been ample, f 

* [The Cross of St. George corresponds to our Victoria 
Cross, but is more easily won. — Ed.] 

f [Russian regiments in Europe, as a rule, consist of 
four battalions. East Siberian Rifle regiments in the late 
war had three.— Ed.] 


" In all kinds of operations officers in command 
must keep the forces on either flank, as well as 
their seniors, informed of everything that happens. 
We are, unfortunately, not accustomed to do 
this. Before an action the smallest details are 
reported, but as soon as an action begins we 
become so preoccupied with the fight that the 
most obvious duties are forgotten. Chief staff- 
officers of all grades will in future be held re- 
sponsible for the frequent transmission of reports 
during an action." 

The special attention of commanding officers 
was also called to the necessity for providing 
their men with hot food during action, and to 
the excessive expenditure of ammunition in our 

Instructions issued during September. 

The following were the main instructions given 
by me while preparing for an advance after the 
fighting in August ; 

"It is a regrettable fact that so far, whenever 
we have taken the offensive, we have met with 
reverse. Owing to our lack of information, to 
which I have already drawn attention, instead of 
delivering a confident attack according to a 
clearly -thought -out plan, we have acted in a 
half-hearted manner. We often deliver our main 
attack too soon, and regardless of the enemy's 
intentions. Instances have occurred where we 
have detailed attacking columns as small as a 
battalion ; in others we have operated without 
any definite plan of action. Finally, there have 

VOL. II. 2 


been cases where not enough determination 
has been shown in pressing forward to the ob- 

The importance of gaining even shght successes 
over the enemy's advanced troops at the beginning 
of a forward movement, the fact that in the 
attack of positions turning movements should 
always be made in combination with frontal 
attacks, and the advantage of pushing on ener- 
getically when once an advance had commenced, 
were all points specially noted. The necessity 
of holding on determinedly to every yard of 
ground gained was accentuated, and leading units 
in a frontal attack were warned not to deliver 
the assault until the synchronous turning move- 
ment had heeB fully developed. Every use was 
to be made of fire- effect of every sort. I vvrote : 

" A glaring case of that lack of co-operation 
from which we suffer so much was the fight 
of September 2,* when the left column began the 
action far too soon, and therefore finished by 
retiring in disorder. This had the worst results 
on the success of the whole operation. 

" I must again remind all ranks of the great 
necessity for economizing ammunition, especially 
gun ammunition. At Liao-yang we used up in 
two days our special artillery reserve of more 
than 100,000 rounds. The conveyance of gun 
ammunition to the front is very difficult, and 
batteries which have expended theirs become 
mere dead -weight to the army." 

* [Liao-yang. — Ed.] 


Opposite p. IS, vol. ii. 


The peculiarities attendant on operations in 
a country covered with such crops as kao-Uang 
were also reviewed in detail : 

" Any men leaving the ranks in action under 
pretext of accompanying or carrying away 
wounded men will be severely punished. 

" Companies and squadrons must be as strong 
as possible for an attack. To this end the most 
strict precautions must be taken to limit the 
number of men employed on extraneous duties 
and for transport work. The Cossacks are not 
to be employed as orderlies and escorts by the 
officers under whom they may be temporarily 
serving. Sound horses in possession of sick 
Cossacks should be taken from them, and made 
over to those who are horseless, but fit for duty. 

"It is to be regretted— and I have more than 
once commented on it — that commanding officers 
do not pay proper attention to the order that the 
soldier's emergency biscuit ration, carried on the 
person, should remain untouched. This reserve 
ration is constantly being eaten, and no steps are 
taken immediately to replace it. Many com- 
manding officers calmty allow the whole of the 
men's portable reserve to be consumed under 
the pleasing conviction that it is the duty of 
someone else to bring up fresh supplies to the 
regimental commissariat. 

" The above instructions only touch on a few 
details of field-work. The main guide for action 
is the ' Field Service Regulations,' but these 
cannot, of course, meet every case which may 
arise in the entirely new circumstances under 
which we are now operating. I expect command- 
ing officers of all ranks, therefore, to show greater 
initiative in the performance of their duties." 



INly instructions issued in October included 
remarks on our offensive operations during the 
end of September. Amongst other things, I 
said : 

" I still notice faults in the method of con- 
ducting attacks. Thick lines of skirmishers are 
too closely followed by the supports and reserves. 
The formations have generally been ill adapted 
to the ground, and have been such as to form an 
excellent target. If this close-order formation had 
been assumed in these cases just before a bayonet 
charge, then, despite the heavy sacrifices entailed, 
there would have been some point in it, because 
of the additional force and impetus given to the 
assault ; but it was adopted when the attack was 
still at long range, and so caused useless and 
heavy loss. We should in such cases imitate the 
Japanese, and do what we used to in the 
Caucasus — make every use of cover. Every 
effort must be made to reconnoitre well, in 
order that advantage may be taken of every fold 
of the ground, and of every stick and stone, and 
the attack may be enabled to advance as close as 
possible to the enemy with the least possible 
loss. The way to do this is for individual men, 
or groups of men, to advance by short rushes till 
the attacking units are able to collect. On open 
ground, if the attacking infantry has to wait for 
the artillery preparation, it should entrench itself 
as rapidly as possible. 

" In retreating, the movement to the rear of 
large masses together afforded the enemy a 
splendid target, for which we suffered. Again, 
to avoid unnecessary loss in retirement, portions 
of a position have often been stubbornly held 
until a withdrawal could be effected under cover 


of darkness. If the portion of ground on either 
side happens to have been already abandoned, 
and the Japanese are sufficiently mobile to make 
use of it, such isolated defence of any one section 
of a position might cost very dear. We must 
learn how to retire by day — by the same methods 
as laid down above for the attack (by rushes), and 
avoid close formations in doing it. 

" I and other senior officers have noticed 
during an action hundreds and thousands of 
unwounded men leaving the ranks, carrying 
wounded to the rear. In the fights of October 12 
to 15 "^ I personally saw wounded men being 
carried to the rear by as many as nine others. 
This abuse must be put down with the utmost 
rigour, and until an action is over only the 
stretcher-bearers should take wounded to the rear. 

" The Japanese are fortifying the positions 
along our front, converting villages, knolls, and 
hill - tops into strong, defensible points, and 
strengthening their positions with obstacles. 
These positions should be carefully studied, their 
strong points noted, and in every section of our 
line a plan of possible operations against the 
corresponding portions of the enemy's position 
should be made. The early organization of the 
artillery preparation of any attack on these 
selected points is important. 

" Detachments of sappers and scouts should 
be sent ahead of the assault to destroy the 
obstacles round fortified villages, which should 
be well shelled. Till the assault is made the 
advance should be under cover, and if the leading 
troops find they are not strong enough to capture 
the point on which they have been directed, they 
must hold on to a point as near to the enemy as 

* [The Sha Ho.— Ed.] 


possible, in order to press forward again when 

Finally, in my instructions issued in December, 
1904, I recapitulated the most important points 
brought out by our recent experiences, such as — 

" 1. The necessity, in order to avoid loss, for 
our attack formations to be better adapted to 
the ground. 

" 2. Economy in artillery ammunition. 

" 3. The more intelligent employment of rifle- 
fire, and the necessity for volley-firing at night. 

" 4. The great value of night operations. 

" 5. Proper communication between all senior 

" 6. The necessity for the mutual co-operation 
of all arms, and the maintenance of touch in 

" The surest road to success is the determination 
to continue fighting, even when the last reserve 
has been exhausted, for the enemy may be in 
the same, if not in worse plight, and what is not 
possible in daylight may be accomplished at 
night. Unfortunately, in recent figiits, some 
commanders even of large forces have confessed 
themselves unable to carry out the operation 
entrusted to them, at a moment when they still 
had in hand big reserves which had not fired a 

Of course, as soon as our disasters began, the 
papers started to accuse our troops of insufficient 
training, and they w^ere not far wrong. In the 
first place, most of the men were reservists who 
had forgotten a great deal. In the second, this 


war was our first experience of smokeless powder, 
of quick-firing artillery, of machine-guns, and of 
all the recent developments in means of destruc- 
tion, and much was strange and unexpected. 
Our preconceived notions were upset, and we 
were baffled by the deadly nature of indirect 
artillery -fire, by the new attack formations — 
when advancing infantry is rarely visible, and 
one man at a time crawls up almost unseen, 
taking advantage of every inch of cover. Our 
troops had been instructed, but what they had 
learned varied according to the personal idiosyn- 
crasies of this or that district commander. The 
stronger the officer commanding a district, the 
less did he feel bound to abide by the authorized 
method of instruction and training laid down 
in the existing drill-books. General Grippen- 
berg was no exception to this. In spite of the 
regulation as to the use of volleys for repulsing 
night attacks ; in spite of war experience which in 
every way confii'med the necessity and value of 
volley-firing; in spite of the Commander-in-Chief's 
instructions on this point, he made up his mind 
some days before a battle to re-teach the force 
under his command. He ordered the employ- 
ment of independent fire at night. His " In- 
structions for the Operations of Infantry in 
Battle " [signed by him on January 4, 1905], 
printed and issued to the troops, aroused con- 
sternation and amusement throughout the army. 


In this book it was actually laid down that volleys 
were only to be resorted to if the enemy suddenly 
appeared at close quarters, and that immediately 
after a volley a bayonet attack should be made. 
While condemning the method in which our 
troops operated at the Ya-lu, he, in the above 
" Instructions," gives a recipe for action whereby 
two of our battalions might destroy a Japanese 
division. After a summary of the amount of 
small-arm ammunition expended, he said : 

" If our two battalions had been deployed and 
had opened rapid independent fire, the Japanese 
division would have been destroyed, and we 
should have won the day." 

Such a simple matter did General Grippenberg 
consider the annihilation of a Japanese division ! 
But a few days later, when he moved against the 
Hei-kou-tai position with a strong force of 120 bat- 
talions, his own prescription proved to be value- 
less. In the first few days, when he was opposed 
by not more than two divisions, he was unable to 
take San-de-pu, got his troops into confusion, gave 
the enemy time to bring up strong reinforce- 
ments, and retired — to St. Petersburg. 

As to the attack formation adopted by the 
troops arriving from Russia, the 41st Division 
had in particular been taught to work in very 
close formation, and not taught to make use of 
the ground. It came from the Vilna district, 


which was commanded before the war by General 
Grippenberg. Our gunners also arrived at the 
front with only one idea of artillery tactics — to 
place their batteries in the open and make 
use of direct fire. For this we paid dearly in our 
very first fight. 



Particular difficulties of the strategic situation — Defects 
in organization and personnel — Absence of a military 
spirit in the army, and lack of determination in 
carrying operations to a finish — Breakdown of our 
organization under the strain of active service. 

It is the duty of every Headquarter Staff to 
work out all possibilities, and, regardless of 
existing international relations, to provide for 
war in every probable quarter. Accordingly, 
our general line of operation in case of war with 
Japan had been duly drawn up in conjunction 
with the staffs of the Pri-Amur and Kuan-tung 
districts, and had been approved. The following 
is an extract from the paper dealing with the 
subject : 

" Taking advantage of her military position — 
for she will be more ready for w^ar than we are, 
and will therefore possess in the first period of 
the campaign a great numerical superiority both 
by sea and land — Japan can afford to define her 
objectives only generally. She may (1) confine 
her attention to the occupation of Korea, and 



Sketch Map of 


showing main places along railway 
south of Harbin 

' ■ I ■ I ■ I ■ I ■ I 

Opposite p. 27, vol. ii. 


not take the offensive against us (which will most 
probably be the case) ; or (2) occupy Korea and 
also assume the offensive — 

(a) In Manchuria. 

(b) Against Port Arthur. 

(c) In the Southern Ussuri district (Vladi- 


" Should Japan decide on the first alternative, 
then, taking into consideration the number of 
reinforcements we shall need, and the adverse 
conditions under which they will have to be 
conveyed to the front, we shall be forced at first 
to allow her to seize Korea — without retaliative 
action on our part, if only she will confine herself 
to occupying that country, and not develop plans 
against Manchuria and our territory. Should 
she choose the second alternative, we should be 
obliged to fight, and ought at once to make up 
our minds not to end the war until we have 
utterly destroyed her army and fleet. In view, 
however, of her numerical superiority and greater 
readiness during the first period of the struggle, 
we shall have to assume a generally defensive 
role. Any troops we may have within the 
theatre of operations should as far as possible 
keep clear of decisive actions, in order to avoid 
being defeated in detail before we can concen- 
trate in force. 

The numerical superiority of the Japanese 
fleet will probably prevent our squadron from 
any major active operations, and it will have to 
confine its action to the comparatively modest 
task of delaying the enemy's landing as much as 
possible. The defence of our own possessions 
should be carried out by the forces in the 
Southern Ussuri and the Kuan-tung districts, 


which are formed for that particular object, and 
based on the fortresses of Vladivostok and Port 
Arthur. All the remaining troops, except those 
allotted to the line of communications and to 
maintain order in jManchuria, should be concen- 
trated in the area Mukden-Liao-yang-Hsiu-yen. 
As the Japanese advance, these troops, while 
delaying them as much as possible, \\ill gradually 
be compelled to retire on Harbin. If it becomes 
evident in the first period of the campaign that 
the whole Japanese effort is being directed 
against us in Manchuria, then the force which 
would be concentrated first of all in the Southern 
Ussuri district (1st Siberian Corps) would be 
transferred there." 

The two years succeeding the date on which 
this paper was written saw great alterations in 
the strength, dispositions, and readiness of our 
mihtary and naval forces in the Far East. There 
was also considerable change in the political 
conditions in JManchuria and in Northern Korea 
in consequence of the active policy which we had 
begun to assume. It was therefore found neces- 
sary in 1903 to consider a revision of the above 
scheme in accordance with these altered condi- 
tions. During those two years our strength in 
the Far East had grown by the increase in our 
land forces and fleet, and the improved efficiency 
of the railways. We have already seen what 
was done to improve the latter. It will suffice 
to say here that, instead of the twenty waggons 
available over the whole Chinese line in 1901, 


the War Department in 1903 received seventy- 
five in the twenty-four hours, and hoped, on the 
strengtli of promises made, to have five through 
mihtary trains by the beginning of 1904. The 
fleet, which in 1901 was considered inferior to 
the Japanese, was, at the end of 1903, stated, on 
the authority of the Viceroy, Admiral Alexeieff, 
to be so strong that any possibility of its defeat 
by the Japanese was inadmissible. But in those 
same two years Japan had not been idle, and 
had been unceasingly increasing her naval and 
military forces. In consequence of this the 
relative local strengths of the two nations were 
stiU much the same in 1903 as they had been in 
1901, and it was thought prudent to adhere to 
the same general plan of operations as had been 
drawn up and approved two years previously. 
To give an official opinion of that time, I quote 
an extract from a memorandum I submitted to 
the Tsar on August 6, 1903 : 

" In the report which will be sent in from the 
Headquarter Staff, the conclusion arrived at 
after a careful appreciation of the resources of 
both nations is the same as that reached two 
years ago— namely, that in the event of war with 
Japan, we should act on the defensive ; that the 
concentration and general distribution of our 
troops should remain the same ; that although 
we may move troops on to the line Mukden- 
Liao-yang-Hsiu-yen, we cannot hold our ground 
in Southern Manchuria in the first period of the 
war if that region be invaded by the whole 


Japanese army. We should therefore still count 
upon Port Arthur being cutoff for a considerable 
period, and hi order to avoid defeat in detail, 
should withdraw towards Harbin until reinforce- 
ments from Russia enable us to assume the 
offensive. But 1 may add that, while accepting 
the same plan of operations as we did two years 
ago, we can now have far greater confidence in 
the issue of a struggle. Our fleet is stronger 
than the Japanese, and as reinforcements will 
arrive now more quickly than they could have 
formerly, it will take less time for us to be in a 
position to advance." 

In a memorandum by the Chief of the Head- 
quarter Staff*, submitted to me on February 12, 
1904 — i.e., a few days after the enemy had 
attacked our fleet at Port Arthur — General 
Sakharoff* described the Japanese intentions as 
follows : 

" The Japanese plan appears to be — 

"1. To inflict a crushing blow upon our fleet 
so as to paralyze its activity once and for all, 
and thus guarantee freedom of movement to 
their transports. To attain this end they have 
not hesitated to attack us before tlie declaration 
of war (vide the night operations of February 8 
and 9). The tarnsfer to them by the British of 
Wei-hai-wei also has given them an advan- 
tageous naval base right on the flank of any 
operations undertaken by our squadron. 

" 2. To capture Port Arthur in order to attain 
the same object — the destruction of our fleet. 

" 3. To advance on and capture Harbin, so as 
to isolate the Pri-Amur district from the rest 
of Russia, and to destroy the railway." 


Our hopes as to the promised improvement 
of the railway were unfortunately not realized, 
while our fleet, damaged by the enemy's on- 
slaught before the declaration of war, was not 
only weaker than the enemy's, but failed even 
to perform the modest task expected of it in 
1901. Consequently the concentration of our 
troops was a far slower business than we thought 
it would be, while the Japanese, having gained 
command of the sea, threw the whole of their 
army on to the continent. Thus, gaining the 
initiative on land as well as on the sea, and fired 
as they were with immense patriotism, the enemy 
commenced the war superior to us morally as 
well as materially. However, though the task 
before us was one of extreme difficulty, our 
resources were immensely superior to the enemy's, 
and the moment when we should become com- 
pletely ready for the struggle was only post- 
poned. Notwithstanding the unfavourable con- 
ditions under which we started, after fifteen 
months' fighting we were holding the Hsi-ping- 
kai positions, and, although we had not actually 
assumed the offensive, we had by no means retired 
as far as Harbin, which had been accepted as 
a possibility in the original scheme. If we had 
only possessed the determination necessary to 
carry this scheme right through, we ought not 
to have ended the war until we had utterly 
defeated the enemy. Therefore, whatever we 


did accomplish can only be looked upon as pre- 
paratory to the decisive struggle. One of the 
assumptions of our original scheme of operations 
was that, if a strong Japanese force invaded 
Southern Manchuria, we should not be able, in 
the first period of the war, to hold it. In the 
event the whole Japanese army invaded that 
area, but the opposition shown by our troops at 
Liao-yang, on the Sha Ho, and at Mukden, was 
so effectual that, though the enemy gained 
possession of the greater portion of Southern 
Manchuria, they did not reassume the offensive 
against us for six months. The difficulties which 
the Japanese surmounted in advancing from 
Ta-shih-chiao to Tieh-ling cannot be compared 
to those which would have faced them, in the 
three defensive lines which we had constructed 
on the way to Harbin,* had they attempted to 
drive us to that place. I reiterate what I have 
so often said in the preceding chapters : though 
the war was brought to an end, the army was 
not beaten. Of the great force which lay ready 
on the Hsi-ping-kai position in August, 1905, 
one-half had never been under fire. Further on 
I will explain how it was that we never acquired 
the material and moral superiority necessary to 
defeat the enemy during the fifteen months that 
the war did last. 

* [Hsi-ping-kai, Kung-chu-ling, and Kuang-cheng-tzu, 


In the diary I kept when in Japan* I drew 
a diagram, with explanatory notes, to illustrate 
the Japanese question and show the possibility 
of our being able to defend our interests in 
Manchuria and Korea by force. 1 reproduce 
the diagramf and the notes in extenso : 

*' This diagram shows Japan's comparatively 
favourable situation with regard to the theatre 
of operations. Her base — indeed, her whole 
country — is only about 600 miles by sea from 
our shores, and 135 from Korea. 

" Our territory in Asia is so vast and so thinly 
populated that we shall be compelled to make 
European Russia, which is 3,400 to 6,000 miles 
distant, our base. For a protracted war with 
Japan it is evident that the single-line Siberian 
Railway will not suffice ; we shall be obliged to 
lay a second track, and to increase the number 
of trains in the twenty-four hours. Also, as it 
runs for a considerable distance along the Chinese 
frontier and through Chinese territory, it cannot 
be relied on in the event of war with both China 
and Japan together." 

We were glued to the railway, and could not 
move away without risk of being left without 
supplies. Our field artillery and heavy four- 
wheeled transport carts were unable to travel 
over most of the hill roads. The summer rains 
made the movements of the army, with its heavy 
baggage trains and parks, extremely difficult ; 
teams of twenty horses were harnessed to guns, 
and even empty carts had to be man-handled. 

* [1903.— Ed.] t [See next page.— Ed.] 

VOL. II. 3 






— -* 




a. -J 




D Oi 

O lO 



D. 05 
















I— I 





But of all our difficulties, the complete command 
of the sea obtained by the Japanese right at the 
beginning of the war caused the greatest. With 
their three armies they cut off Port Arthur, 
and began an advance from an enveloping base 
against our army, which was still tied to a 
railway-line. Our southward advance for the 
relief of Port Arthur was threatened by Kuroki's 
army based on Korea. Any movement against 
him was out of the question, especially for those 
corps which had arrived from Russia, as they 
were quite unused to hilly country. Our 
communications through Manchuria were only 
weakly defended, and might be cut at any 
moment by the Chinese, while those further 
west were Uable to interruption (bridges de- 
stroyed, strikes, frost, etc.). The feeding of the 
army depended on local resources, which a 
hostile population could easily conceal, carry 
away, or even destroy ; and as the amount of 
supplies obtained from Russia was extremely 
small and uncertain, the army might very easily 
have been starved. The chance actions at the 
Ya-lu and Te-li-ssu, in which our most reliable 
troops were worsted, still further improved the 
enemy's moral, and lowered ours. 

With the absence of a proper military spirit 
among our troops, and the evil influence of 
the many seditious manifestoes against the war 
circulating amongst them ; with the unsteadiness 



shown by many units in the first fights, and with 
all the other defects above mentioned, a great 
numerical superiority was necessary — I must 
speak perfectly plainly — in order to defeat an 
enemy worked up to a pitch of fanatical excite- 
ment. But we did not obtain this superiority 
until it was too late — when we were waiting on 
the Hsi-ping-kai position, and negotiations for 
peace were being carried on at Portsmouth. 
Up to December we were fighting with what 
seemed a fairly large force, according to a tally 
of battalions ; but these were greatly under 
strength, for in the most important early period 
of the war — from INIay to October inclusive — we 
lost very many men, and received but few drafts. 
In many cases the Japanese battalions were 
twice as strong as ours. While all our actions 
were hampered by insufficient information re- 
garding the enemy, the intelligence we received 
as to what was happening in our rear — in Mon- 
golia and in the Manchurian provinces — was so 
alarming as to compel us to detach a large force 
to protect our communications. Again, when 
the enemy became complete masters of the sea, 
we had to detail sufficient troops to guard against 
a landing in the Vladivostok and the Ussuri 
districts. All these things combined to com- 
plicate our position and give the enemy the 
initiative at the start, and right manfully did 
their whole nation strive to seize their advantage. 


Their land communications were safe ; their sea 
communication with their base was quick and 
sure. We, on the contrary, could only put in 
the field a fraction of our land forces, and, till 
we could concentrate sufficient men for an 
offensive, were tied down to a definite course 
of action. We had — 

1. To make certain of and protect the con- 
centration of the reinforcements which were 
arriving, so as not to allow them to be destroyed 
as they came up. 

2. To take steps to relieve Port Arthur. 

3. To maintain order in our rear, and to 
guard the railway. 

4. To feed the army — mainly on local supplies. 

5. To guard the Ussuri district. 

Had the Japanese got possession of our com- 
munications, a catastrophe unprecedented in 
military history might have resulted. Without 
any victory in the field, the mere destruction of 
the railway in our rear, combined with the cut- 
ting off of local resources, would have threatened 
us with starvation — and disaster. Such were the 
unfavourable conditions under which we fought 
for fifteen months, and our army was not only not 
completely defeated, but grew in strength, while 
our communication with Russia gradually became 
better secured and more efficient. We had 
always recognized the possibility of being driven 
back to Harbin and beyond ; but this never 


happened, and we held on to Hsi-ping-kai. 
The situation could only have been improved in 
one way — by a rapid concentration of sufficient 
troops for, and an assumption of, an offisnsive all 
along the line. While these troops were collect- 
ing, each fight — quite independent of its actual 
result — would have really helped us if it had at 
all weakened the enemy. But our departure from 
our accepted plan of operations began at the 
commencement of the war, when, instead of 
fighting a rearguard action, General Zasulitch 
got seriously engaged against the whole of 
Kuroki's army at the Ya-lu, and was defeated. 

In May, when the 3rd Siberian Division * had 
alone arrived at Liao-yang (besides the troops of 
the Pri-Amur INIilitary District), the Viceroy, 
fearing for the fate of Port Arthur, instructed 
me to assume the offensive towards the Ya-lu 
against Kuroki's army, or southwards for the 
relief of the fortress of Port Arthur. But the 
inadequate force with which General Shtakel- 
berg pushed forward, owing to ignorance of the 
fact that the Japanese were in superior strength, 
got drawn into a serious engagement at Te-li- 
ssu, and was defeated. With the arrival of all 
the units of the 4th Siberian Corps and one 
division of the 10th Army Corps, it seemed 

* It was followed by the 2nd Infantry Division ; 10th 
and 17th Army Corps ; 5th Siberian Corps ; 1st Army 
Corps, and 6th Siberian Corps. 


possible to contain Kuroki's army, to concentrate 
fifty to sixty battalions rapidly in the direction of 
Ta-shih-chiao, and to attempt to hurl back Oku 
to the south. It seemed as if our army had a 
splendid chance of operating on interior lines. 
The enemy was strung along three lines of 
advance — Dalny, Kai-ping, Ta-shih-chiao (Oku) ; 
Ta-ku-shan, Hsiu-yen, Ta-ling, Hai-cheng 
(Nodzu); Ya-lu, Feng-huang-cheng, Fen-shui- 
ling, Liao-yang (Kuroki). We occupied the 
central position — Liao-yang, Hai-cheng, Ta-shih- 
chiao — with advance guards thrown forward on to 
the Fen-shui-ling heights. We might have been 
able, by containing two armies and deceiving 
the enemy by a demonstration, to strike the third 
army in force. A blow delivered at Kuroki or 
Nodzu did not promise success, owing to our lack 
of training in, and unpreparedness for, hill warfare 
[we had no mountain artillery, our baggage was 
heavy, and we were uncertain of receiving supplies, 
owing to the insufficiency of transport material]. 
The only other course was to strike at Oku, who 
was based on the railway, but such an operation 
was risky, because Kuroki and Nodzu might 
have driven back our screens and fallen on our 
communications. On June 26 and 27, when 
only one brigade of the 31st Division of the 
10th Army Corps* had arrived at Liao-yang, the 

* The leading units of the 10th Army Corps arrived on 
June 30. 


Japanese on the eastern front (Kuroki and Nodzu) 
themselves took the offensive and seized the 
passes (Fen-shui Ling, Mo-du Ling, Da Ling) on 
the Fen-shui-Ung heights. We opposed them in 
insufficient strength, and did not even make them 
disclose their numbers. The troops of the eastern 
force withdrew towards Tkhavuop, and General 
Levestam's force to Hsi-mu-cheng. Our screens 
were thus situated as follows : on Kuroki's line 
of advance, only two marches from Hai-cheng ; 
on Oku's line of advance at Ta-shih-chiao, four 
marches from Liao-yang.* Our position was 
critical, particularly if the information we had 
received as to the Japanese collecting in consider- 
able force to operate against Hai-cheng was con- 
firmed. Still, if we were able to strike a rapid 
blow at Oku, we might rob the enemy of the 
initiative, and after forcing back Oku's army, 
have fallen on Nodzu. After we had driven 
back these troops, Kuroki's position would 
have been so far forward and so far separated 
from the other groups that the danger of his 
breaking through to Liao-yang would have been 
minimized. But for such decisive operations the 
first requisite was the concentration of sufficient 
troops for offensive operations against Oku. 

At the end of June we had altogether available 
against the three Japanese armies 120 battalions, 

* Sixty miles by a road which the rains had made very 


Opposite p. 40, vol. ii. 


and were inferior to the enemy both in the 
number of battalions and the number of men. 
Our position was made worse by an epidemic of 
dysentery which broke out amongst the troops 
at Ta-shih-chiao, and swept off a considerable 
number of men. The Krasnoyarsk Regiment* 
was the greatest sufferer, having as many as 
1,500 men down with the disease at the end of the 
month. But the main thing which delayed any 
advance on our part was the rain, which made 
all moves difficult, and some places absolutely 
impassable for transport. It was even difficult 
to convey supplies to our various stationary forces 
over distances of less than a march. In spite of 
the lack of pack-saddles, wheeled transport had 
to be given up for pack transport, and not even 
pack-animals could do more than seven to eleven 
miles in the twenty-four hours. On the Liao- 
yang-Lang - tzu - shan road things were still 
worse, for the bridges over the mountain streams 
had been carried away, and communication 
between the eastern force (3rd Siberian Corps, 
under Count Keller) and Liao-yang was inter- 
rupted for some time. Far, therefore, from being 
ready to advance, the officers commanding the 
1st and 4th Siberian Corps found the greatest 
difficulty in rationing their troops, and on 
June 29 asked that they might be withdrawn 

* [A European Russian regiment contains four bat- 
talions. — Ed.] 


towards the positions near the railway at Ta- 
shih-chiao, and that the country east of the Hne 
might be left to the cavalry, with a few infantry 
units in support.* 

General Count Keller was persistent in his 
demands that communication should be main- 
tained between his force and Liao-yang, but we 
had neither the material, the means, nor the time 
to comply with his wishes, which would have 
meant the laying of a light railway and the 
strengthening of the road bridges. As I feared 
that the Japanese might make a fresh forward 
movement on Hai-cheng, I ordered thirty-nine 
battalions to concentrate near Hsi-mu-cheng on 
June 29. The short march from Hai-cheng was 
accomplished on the 28th with great difficulty 
through a sea of mud, and on the 29th Hsi-mu- 
cheng was temporarily cut off by the mountain 
streams in flood. The feeding of the troops 
collected there was found to be so difficult that 
as soon as it was known that the enemy, instead 
of advancing, had retired towards the Fen-shui 
Ling (Pass), certain units were ordered to return 
to the railway. Taking advantage, on July 18, 
of the screen formed by a portion of the 
17th Army Corps, we attempted to advance 
against part of Kuroki's army in the hope of 
forcing our way forward and gaining a partial 
success. For this Count Keller had under his 
* My report of June 20. 


command forty-three battalions, but the attempt 
failed. He stopped the action before any large 
number of our troops had become engaged. On 
the 29th Oku's army took the offensive ; we had 
to evacuate Ta-shih-chiao and Newchuang after 
a feeble resistance, and allowed Oku and Nodzu 
to join hands. When on July 23 I inspected 
the units of the 10th Army Corps, who were 
holding the position near Hu-chia-tzu, I found 
out how absolutely incapable of operating in hilly 
country the troops newly arrived from Russia 
were. Before sending them forward, it was 
necessary to train them in hill fighting, and to 
provide them with pack transport. On July 31 
all three Japanese armies advanced, and we 
concentrated after a series of battles round 
Liao-yang. Here, in spite of our resistance, the 
three armies were able to join hands. Their 
attacks on the left bank of the Tai-tzu Ho were 
repulsed, but owing to the unfortunate nature of 
our operations on the right bank, the conditions 
became so unfavourable to us that I was obliged 
to order a retirement to Mukden. The with- 
drawal was conducted without the loss of a 
single gun or transport cart, while the enemy 
lost in men more heavily than we did. In the 
detailed accounts I have given in the first three 
volumes of the operations at Liao-yang, on the 
Sha Ho and at Mukden, our difficulties and the 
causes of our defeats are explained. The course 


of events showed that our original scheme of 
operations was quite a correct forecast, for in it 
the probable necessity of retiring towards Harbin 
had been foreseen. Indeed, matters at Liao-yang, 
on the Sha Ho, and especially at IMukden, might 
have been very much worse for us than they were, 
and might have necessitated our retirement on 
Harbin early in October, 1904, when, as a matter 
of fact, we remained in Southern Manchuria. 

Clausewitz has truly laid down that an army 
should be inseparably connected with its base, but 
our base was Russia, more than 5,000 miles away. 
The way that this one difficulty alone was over- 
come will perhaps be eventually appreciated at 
its true worth. The very complicated attendant 
circumstances demanded great and patient efforts 
on the part of the whole nation in order to turn 
them to our advantage. Our reverses were ex- 
plicable, and even in our defeat we exhausted our 
enemy, while ourselves increasing in strength. It 
was inevitable that a different complexion would 
have been put on the face of things as soon as 
circumstances became more favourable to us. 

Difficulties in Organization. 

The war showed that our army organization 
gave us too small a percentage of actual com- 
batants as compared with the total numbers 
whom we rationed. By this I mean that, in 
spite of the immense numbers that we main- 


tained in the face of great difficulties, we were 
unable to put enough men into action to win. 
Our establishments of all arms, of parks, hospitals, 
transport corps, field bakeries, staffs, and all 
offices and institutions, include a large percentage 
of non-combatants, which was swollen in the 
last war by the absence of any organized line of 
communication troops, the necessity of carrying 
out a large amount of railway construction, and 
of appointing officers and men to newly formed 
supply and transport units. Even so the 
number of non-combatants laid down in the 
establishments for each unit was not sufficient 
to perform the duties that fell to them, and it 
became necessary, for reasons which will be 
mentioned later, to detail combatants for 
domestic duties. As but few non-combatants 
were wounded in action, the proportion of them 
to the combatant element became still greater 
after every big fight. It was usual, when a 
battle was imminent, to order back to their units 
all men who were on extra-regimental duties, 
but in spite of all the steps taken, the fighting 
number was never more than 75 per cent, of the 
number of men on the strength. In the begin- 
ning of April, 1905, when we were preparing 
the theatre of war up to the River Sungari, the 
combatant element of the 1st Manchurian Army 
actually fell to 58 per cent, of the strength. 
As in previous wars, the infantry, of course, did 


most of the fighting, and also carried out by far 
the greater number of fatigues and extra duties. 
As tliey also lost more men in action, their 
fighting strength was proportionately more re- 
duced than that of the other arms.* In April, 
1905, the percentage of rifles in the 1st Man- 
churian Army to the total number of men that 
had to be rationed was 51*9 per cent. When 
the convalescents returned to the ranks, its 
strength amounted by the beginning of December 
to 192,000 men, of whom 105,879 carried rifles ; 
but we could only put a much smaller number 
in action owing to various duties, fatigues, etc. 
In August, 1905, the number of rifles was 
58*9 per cent, of the total of men rationed. 

To obviate this state of affairs, and to insure 
that companies should be as strong as possible in 
action, I gave orders on June 9, 1905 [when I 
was commanding the 1st Manchurian Army], 
that out of each of the four battalion regiments, 
not more than 369 combatants should be detailed 
for extra duties. This figure included 128 
stretcher-bearers, 35 bandsmen, and 48 men for 
baggage guards. In addition to this, a large 
number of men were required for road and bridge 

* The officer commanding the 2nd Manchurian Army 
stated that the whole war strength of his force (total of 
rifles, sabres, guns, with twenty -five men to a gun, and ten 
to a machine-gun) constituted, on an average, only half 
the actual numbers. 


work on the communications, for guards for the 
different stores, for working parties to assist 
the supply and medical services, for policing 
villages, for duty with the improvised transport 
units, etc. True, this had its compensations, 
for we were able thus to get rid of the 2nd 
Category reservists from the ranks ; but we felt 
the loss in the number of rifles we could place in 
the firing-line. Of course, there were, in addition, 
the sick, the wounded, and the convalescents 
with units and in hospital. In this way the 
total of all ranks classed as combatants but 
absent from the firing-line, or not doing com- 
batant work, amounted on the average to 800 
men out of every four-battalion regiment, or 
about one-quarter of its strength. To carry on the 
campaign without properly organized units on the 
communications, without sufficient camp guards, 
without making roads and bridges, without allow- 
ing men for transport and baggage duties, was 
impossible. Notwithstanding the good payment 
we offered, the native population did not come 
forward to work freely, especially when fighting 
was imminent. A certain number were employed 
on transport, but they were very unreliable, and 
bolted at the first alarm, often taking their 
horses and carts with them. During the battle 
of Mukden, for instance, the whole of the 
hired transport of the 1st Army, consisting of 
400 carts, entirely disappeared. Our attempts 


to obtain Russian hired labour were a failure, 
though the rates of pay offered were liberal 

The extent to which transport duties were 
responsible for weakening the fighting strength 
of the army can be seen from the fact that, during 
the fifteen months of war, 122 transport units 
were formed, and 8,656 carts, 51,000 horses, and 
20,000 pack-animals purchased. For duty with 
these, 328 officers, 22,000 men, 1,700 hired 
civilians (Russians), and 9,850 Chinamen were 
employed. These 122 units were improvised 
under adverse conditions and from small cadres, 
and, as they had to be raised in a hurry, there 
was nothing for it but to appoint to them men 
and officers from the army. 

The strength of units also decreased most 
marvellously in action. This was partly due to 
losses, but often also due to the habit of men 
leaving the firing-line to carry wounded to the 
rear. This was sometimes done with permission, 
sometimes without. Very often the men who 
retired did not have this excuse. 

I have pointed out (in Chapter VII.) that the 
army did not receive its drafts in time, and that 
we had to fight below strength ; this shortage 
was still further increased for the following 
reasons : The war establishment of a company 
was 220 rifles ; but from this number had to be 
deducted the shortage with which units arrived 


at the front, ^^ the sick, and those detailed for 
camp and other duties — a procedure which, 
though unprovided for by Regulations, was 
permitted by officers in command. Accordingly 
companies often went into the very first fight at 
a strength of only 160 to 170 rifles. For a long 
time the personal supervision exercised by com- 
manding officers to insure that units took the 
field as strong as possible was very slack. It 
seemed, on the contrary, as if their effi^rts tended 
all the other way, for they left men behind when- 
ever they possibly could, particularly those who 
were most necessary — i.e., those on whom de- 
pended the payment and regular rationing of the 
men. Thus, with the exception of the regimental 
adjutant, the staff of a regiment rarely went into 
action ; while of the men who are classed as com- 
batants, the company clerks, armourer-sergeant, 
cooks, officers' servants, the butcher, the cattle 
guards and the officers' grooms, were always left 
behind. The formation of a force of mounted 
scouts took away a certain number of men, and 
stretcher-bearers and bandsmen of course did not 
fight. Finally, owing to the peculiar nature of 
the country, donkeys for carrying water were 
provided for each company, and these required 
men to look after them, and one or two entire 
companies from each regiment had to be detached 

* This amounted in some units to as much as 20 per 
cent, in men, and 30 per cent, in officers. 

VOL. II. 4 


as baggage guard owing to the insecurity of our 
communications. Commanding officers thought 
it necessary to leave behind so many men for the 
above purposes that tlie orders given for them 
to accompany the firing-Une were either quite 
neglected, or only half carried out. It was soon 
found that eight bearers per company were 
far tt)o few for carrying wounded, and men 
from the ranks were allowed to help their 
wounded comrades to the rear. From this 
cause companies often Uterally melted away 
during a fight. There were many instances 
where unwounded men went to the rear under 
pretext of carrying away the wounded, at the 
rate of six, eight, or ten sound soldiers to one 
wounded ! The return of these willing helpers 
to the front was not so prompt as it might have 
been, and was difficult to control. The result 
was that a company hotly engaged usually only 
had 100 or less rifles after a few hours' fighting, 
although its losses might have been inconsiderable. 

JMeanwhile, as we only asked for drafts strong 
enough to bring companies up to the established 
war strength, witliout taking into account the 
above extraordinary leakage, the drafts we received 
did not bring companies up to their proper 
strength in action. 

The reason why the lines of communication in 
the field* took so large a number away from 
* [Behind and between armies. — Ed.] 


our fighting-line was that we had no proper 
communication units, and the large working 
parties necessary for the light railway, road and 
bridge work had to be drawn from the fighting 
troops. It was entirely owing to the care with 
which the commanding officers on the line of 
communications — especially those in the engineers 
— had been selected that we were able to fight, 
and at the same time to make roads of some 
hundreds of miles' length for intercommunica- 
tion between corps. For instance, at the end 
of 1904 and the beginning of 1905, when the 1st 
Army was south of the Hun Ho, out of 180,000 
men, 7,000 were on the line of communications 
At the beginning of July, 1905, when the strength 
of the 1st Army had gone up to 250,000, and 
the communications stretched back a length of 
150 miles to the River Sungari, there were 10,000 
men employed on them — i.e., 4 per cent, of the 
army's strength. The length of the road made 
on the Hsi-ping-kai positions by the 1st Army 
alone amounted to 1,000 miles, with bridges of 
more than 20 feet breadth and 50 feet span, and 
nearly 40 miles of embankment. Though the 
greater part of this was done by hired Chinese 
labour, even in this comparatively quiet period the 
troops of the 1st Army were on " works " for a 
period of 30,000 working " man days."* 

The supply service, also, as has been men- 

* [One man on one full day's work. — Ed.] 



tioned, absorbed a large number of men. The 
field commissariat were unable, at the beginning 
of the campaign, to work the bakeries owing to 
the lack of men. All the bakeries, therefore, 
were taken over by the troops, who had to build 
the ovens, buy flour, and bake the bread them- 
selves. Thus the eight field bakeries (of which 
four were in Liao-yang) which arrived in Harbin 
and Liao-yang without transport or men had 
at first to be taken over by the troops. But 
from May, 1904, onwards the Governor- General 
insisted on most of the work being handed back 
to the Commissariat Department. The energy of 
General Gubur, the Field Intendant of the army, 
in obtaining supplies locally rescued it from 
the difficult position in which it was beginning 
to find itself owing to the constantly increasing 
number of mouths and to the inadequate number 
of supply trains. Assisted by Generals Bachinski 
and Andro, General Gubur took full advantage of 
all the resources of the country. For this, again, 
officers and men were necessary to guard supply 
depots and collect and escort herds of cattle, and 
were taken from the combatant troops. A large 
part of the forage and meat the troops obtained 
for themselves, but this entailed the provision 
of strong foraging parties, which went far afield 
and often remained away a considerable time, 
and of permanent guards to tend the regimental 
cattle. When the troops of the Pri- Amur district 


were concentrated in Manchuria, they left a 
number of men behind as " base details " to look 
after their buildings and property. Touch was 
maintained between these base details and the 
units at the front during the whole war ; from 
them the troops received their warm clothing 
in winter, and to them it was sent back in the 
summer of 1905. This all meant the employ- 
ment of soldiers. Finally, men had to be told 
off for topographical work, reconnaissance, and 
as escorts for officers and other persons, etc. 

The number for all the above duties taken 
together, with the wounded and sick present 
with units, constituted on an average 400 to 
500 men per regiment. This, added to the 369 
authorized " employed " men above mentioned, 
brought the total up to 800. Obviously such a 
loss of numbers must be taken into consideration 
in appreciating the fighting work of the army. 

Other things which contributed to the same 
result were the immense development of the 
different staffs and administrations, the auxiliary 
institutions, such as supply parks and hospitals, 
the congestion on the roads caused by the masses 
of baggage which had collected, and the fact 
that both our wheeled and pack transport carried 
less than it was supposed to owing to the hilly 
country and the all-prevailing mud. After heavy 
fighting our army corps, especially those con- 
sisting of three-battalion regiments, amounted 


to less than 10,000 to 15,000 rifles, and yet the 
immense organization, miHtary parks, baggage, 
and transport, etc., for a full corps had still to 
be guarded. Even the regimental standards, 
which should have been a source of strength and 
encouragement in the fight, v^^ere in many cases 
prematurely taken to the rear under a guard of 
a company or half a company, the troops at the 
front being weakened by this number at the 
most important moment of an action. I was 
obliged to make a ruling that in action the 
standards should be kept with the regimental 
reserves, and that steps should be taken that 
they should be a symbol of victory in the most 
critical phases of a fight (as used to be the case in 
former wars), and a source of strength instead of 
weakness to the units which possessed them. 

In September and October, 1905, instead of 
one Manchurian army, three were formed (the 
1st, 2nd, and 3rd) ; they were all intended for 
operations in the Mukden area, and were based 
on the one railway which constituted their 
common line of communications. The powers 
of the army commanders were as laid down by 
regulation. Officers in command of armies were 
given (Field Service Regulations, 1890) almost 
all the powers formerly vested in the Commander- 
in-Chief. As regards fighting, it was laid down 
that " in conducting military operations the officer 
commanding an army should be guided by the 


instructions of the Commander-in-Chief, but 
should act independently." This latitude would 
be very convenient in operating in Europe, 
where each army would have its own inde- 
pendent line of communications ; but in the 
conditions which existed at Mukden — one 
common position and one line of communica- 
tions for all— and with a difference of views 
existing between the army commanders as re- 
gards the conduct of affairs, the arrangement 
was, to say the least of it, extremely unsuitable. 
A difference of opinion upon some vital matter 
might easily arise, when it might be necessary 
either to order the army commander to carry 
out an operation which he thought unnecessary, 
inopportune, or even dangerous, or else to ask 
for him to be replaced. For instance, a fortnight 
before we assumed the offensive on January 25, 
after everything had been settled and all plans 
drawn up. General Grippenberg suddenly sur- 
prised me by his opinion — that the campaign 
was lost ; that we should retire towards Harbin, 
hold that point and Vladivostok, and thence 
move with two armies in other directions. In 
which directions, he was unable to explain. The 
Commander-in-Chief's instructions on many 
essential points, such as the danger of holding 
non-continuous lines* and the necessity for having 

* [General Kuropatkin''s views on this point appear to 
have changed, see p. 270. — Ed.] 


strong army reserves, were not carried out 
because the responsibility for holding the de- 
fensive positions occupied by the armies rested 
on the army commanders. Thus my endeavours 
to send at least twenty-four battalions — if not 
the whole of the 17th Army Corps — from the 
3rd Army into the reserve failed, as the officer 
commanding that army thought that his position 
in the centre would not be safe if the regiments 
of the 17th Corps, which was in advance, were 
replaced by reserve regiments of the 6th Siberians. 
As mentioned in the account of the operations 
of the 14th Infantry Division at Hei-kou-tai, 
notwithstanding my instructions to conceal our 
intention of attacking the enemy's left flank as 
long as possible. General Grippenberg, for no 
apparent reason, and without even asking per- 
mission, assumed the offisnsive almost two weeks 
before the time that I had fixed by moving the 
14th Division towards Ssu-fang-tai (on the 
heights by San-de-pu) on January 13, and by 
moving the 10th Army Corps into the advanced 
lines between the right flank of the 3rd Army 
and the River Hun on the 16th. By this 
the enemy was informed of our intentions before 
we began our forward movement, and the front 
of the 2nd Army was spread over thirteen 

With the exception of General Linievitch, 
our army commanders were unnecessarily sen- 


sitive to interference with their powers, and in 
cases where orders would formerly have been 
issued to corps commanders it now became 
necessary to reckon with the personal opinions 
of army commanders, and to guard against 
offending their susceptibilities. After the pomp 
and parade of General Grippenberg's departure 
from the army, the relationship between the 
army commanders and the Commander-in-Chief 
became still more strained. How jealously they 
looked after their rights, and how strangely they 
interpreted their own powers, is illustrated by 
the following incident : On February 19 I sent 
for the three army commanders and their chief 
staff officers, in order to ascertain their views as 
to the plan of operations which should be under- 
taken under the unfavourable conditions brought 
about by the fall of Port Arthur and General 
Grippenberg's unsuccessful operations at Hei- 
kou-tai. The following courses were open to 
Nogi's army, no longer required in the Kuan- 
tung Peninsula : it might join the four armies 
already in the field against us ; it might, together 
with the divisions formed in Japan and the 
troops in Korea, form a force of seventy to 
eighty strong battalions for operations against 
Vladivostok, or, landing at Possiet Bay, it might 
march against Kirin and Harbin, so as to out- 
flank our position at Mukden. I had also been 
continually receiving reports from General 


Chichagoff to the effect that the enemy had 
invaded MongoHa, and, aided by numerous bands 
of Hunhuses, had begun to attack the railway 
in our rear, which had forced me to weaken the 
army by detaihng an inftmtry brigade and four 
Cossack regiments to reinforce the railway guard 
and safeguard our position. In spite of these 
reports. Generals Linievitch and Kaulbars ex- 
pressed the opinion that we ought not to change 
our plans, and should carry out the orders I had 
issued on January 25 — namely, to fall on the 
enemy's left flank. But when my Chief of Staff 
asked the officer commanding the 2nd Army — 
who was to commence the operation — how he 
proposed to employ his cavalry, Kaulbars,* look- 
ing upon the question as an interference with 
his authority, became annoyed, and said much 
that was unnecessary and quite beside the point. 
As it turned out, the Chief of the Staff had every 
reason to be anxious as to the employment of 
this Arm, for its work in the battle of Mukden 
was anything but satisfactory. 

The very large powers vested in army com- 
manders in the matter of bestowing distinctions 
was both unnecessary and harmful. They were 
authorized to award the fourth class Order of 
St. George on the recommendations of com- 
mittees convened by them ; they could give the 

* [Who had succeeded Grippenberg in the command of 
the 2nd Army. — Ed.] 


Distinguished Service Cross to private soldiers, 
and award the Orders of St. Anne, second, third, 
and fourth classes, and St. Stanislav, second and 
third classes, with swords and ribbons. As the 
forces were lying so close together, it was very 
soon noticed that the distribution of decorations 
in the different armies varied very much, being in 
accordance with the personal predispositions of the 
different commanders. In one army they were 
so lavishly bestowed as to excite general derision, 
and their value was much lowered in consequence. 
By far the worst offender in this respect was 
one well-known general, who for one and the 
same engagement [Hei-kou-tai] decorated divers 
officers with two Orders apiece, while, contrary 
to regulations, he bestowed the Distinguished 
Service Cross to fifteen and more men per com- 
pany and battery. I jotted down in my diary 
my impressions after inspecting units of the 
2nd Army. Amongst other things, I noted that 
he had awarded thirty Distinguished Service 
Crosses to a battery, of which only seventy men 
had been in action and even then scarcely under 
fire. Indeed, to my astonishment, as they stood 
on parade almost the whole of the front rank 
were wearing crosses. The officer in command 
told me that he had been ashamed to announce 
these rewards to the men, and to have to try and 
select certain specific acts for them. I told the 
men I hoped that they would show themselves 


worthy of these marks of distinction in the fights 
to come ! 

The large independent powers possessed by 
the army commanders in matters of supply were 
also superfluous in a case where there was only 
one railway and one tract of country in which to 
procure supplies. The only result was that 
prices were raised all round by the fact that the 
different armies were bidding against each other. 
In this respect General Grippenberg's behaviour 
was most incomprehensible. As meat was very 
scarce in December, I advised him to cut down 
the meat ration from 1 pound to ^ pound. 
Instead of this, by an order issued on January 3, 
he increased it to 1^ pounds per man per day. 
With the conditions that obtained generally on 
the Sha Ho, and if our army corps had been 
organized on a broader basis, there would have 
been no necessity whatever for three separate 
army commanders with their special powers ; 
but they were appointed. And yet, after the 
disaster of Mukden, it was the Commander-in- 
Chief who was generally held responsible for 

Defects in Personnel. 

As regards the personnel, I will give in full 
the impressions recorded in my report on the 
1st Manchurian Army at a time when the 
experiences of the war were fresh in my mind ; 


my opinion in the main agrees with those of other 
senior commanders. 

{a) The Command. — No appreciation of the 
senior commanders — that is to say, of the work 
done by individual corps, divisional, and brigade 
commanders — can or, indeed, ought to be made 
at present. The personal element is too pro- 
minent. We must wait till personal feelings 
have died away, so as to be able to draw im- 
partial conclusions based on authenticated facts, 
and on facts alone, as to what happened and 
who was to blame. All the same, it may be 
said that the most pronounced weak points 
amongst our senior commanders, especially in 
the first period of the campaign, were their lack 
of initiative, their ignorance of the method in 
which an attack should be conducted, and their 
want of determination. There was never any 
co-ordination in the operations of large units, 
which were really quite remarkable for their 
absolute disconnection. Indifference as to the 
position of neighbouring forces was the rule, and 
a tendency to accept defeat before a fight was 
really lost was painfully evident. Even our best 
commanders preferred their neighbour to be told 
off for the attack, while they themselves remained 
in support. If a column were retiring under 
difficulties, any other forces close at hand would 
withdraw also, instead of coming to its assistance ; 
and there was practically no instance of a bold 


forward movement. The work of the regimental 
commanders was certainly better than that of 
those higher up, but it was impossible not to 
notice that they did not possess the power of 
making the most of a situation and finding their 
way about. A regimental commander detached 
on special duty could rarely make his arrange- 
ments without the assistance of an officer of the 
General Staff; he could not, as a rule, read a 
map himself, much less teach those under him 
how to do so. This was especially the case at 
the beginning of the war, and had considerable 
influence on the conduct of operations, as regi- 
ments often either arrived late at their rendezvous 
or went to points where they were not wanted. 
The lack of eye for country is partly explained 
by the fact that our officers were quite unused 
to hills. Though this defect certainly became 
less marked as time went on, it was still per- 
ceptible in the operations round Mukden, and 
even afterwards. 

Though the officers lacked a proper mihtary 
spirit, they were generally good in other ways, 
particularly those of the regular army. The 
best proof of their gallantry is furnished by the 
number of losses sustained by the 1st Army 
from November, 1904, to September, 1905, from 
which it will be seen that their proportion of 
killed and wounded was considerably higher 
than that of the men. 




Rank and File. 


to Average 




to Average 


Killed ... 
Missing . . . 

















The losses in this army for the whole period 
of the war were somewhat higher : 



... 396 


... 1,773 

Rank and 


With the exception of those who had volun- 
teered for the front, the officers of the reserve 
were not nearly so well qualified as those of the 
regulars ; they were much behind them in 
tactical training, and did not always perform 
their duties with the zeal which should be shown 
on active service. Many ensigns of the reserve 
turned out unsatisfactory, having accepted this 
rank purely to escape becoming private soldiers 
upon mobilization ; they had no sympathy with 
the military profession, and hated soldiering. 
They were absolutely without training, and some 
of them had no authority whatever over the 


men. The ensigns and acting ensigns* pro- 
moted from the ranks for distinguished service 
were excellent in every respect. Having been 
selected from the rank and file, they usually 
appreciated their rank, and had considerable 
authority amongst the men ; they got on well 
with the officers, and proved efficient and hard- 
working assistants to the company commanders. 
The extent to which the acting ensigns sacrificed 
themselves to duty is evinced by the fact that 
of 680 in the 1st Army in February, 192 were 
killed and wounded in the Mukden battle — 
i.e., more than 28 per cent. The moral tone of 
the officers was quite satisfactory ; during the 
whole period of the war only nineteen were 
dismissed for unbecoming conduct. In reporting 
on the work done by the officers of the General 
Staff, the majority of the senior officers in com- 
mand of troops expressed the opinion that their 
theoretical training and intelligence stood very 
high, and that their work was unselfish, but that 
they were not sufficiently in touch with the troops, 
and lacked the personal, practical knowledge 
requu-ed to enable them to judge properly how 
much might be expected of men, and in what 
way an order would be carried out — a knowledge 
which is necessary if small errors are to be 
avoided in the transmission of orders, etc. They 
recommended that, to give these staff-officers the 
* Or sergeant-majors. 


necessary practical training, they should do most 
of their service with troops of all three Arms, 
and only a part of their service on the staff; 
while, to prevent them being looked upon by 
the troops as mere clerks, they should be relieved 
of the mass of clerical work that now falls to the 
General Staff. As in other bodies of men, so 
amongst these officers are to be found some 
specially fitted for field-work, and others, again, 
who prefer purely staff duties, and in my opinion 
the two classes should be separated. Generally 
speaking, the General Staff officers in the 
1st Army did everything that was required of 
them. From November, 1904-, to September, 
1905, their losses in killed and wounded amounted 
to 12 per cent, of their strength ; if the casualties 
which occurred before the formation of the 
1st Army are taken into account, the percentage 
works out as much as 25 '7. During the whole 
of the above time only four were sent back to 
Russia on account of sickness, while the majority 
of the wounded returned to the front. 

As regards the senior commanders, many 
general officers who had commanded independent 
units with great success in peace-time were quite 
unfitted to take command of large units under 
the stress of war. Few had even had sufficient 
peace practice in the actual command of divisions 
and corps, and many were not up-to-date in their 
knowledge of modern war requirements. The 

VOL. II. 5 


general characteristic displayed by most was their 
lack of the power of forming a decision and a 
disinclination to accept responsibility. Some 
arrived at the front actually holding important 
commands for which they were — either through 
ill-health or for other reasons — quite unfitted. 
From three army corps, composed of veteran 
regiments which had arrived earlier than others 
in the theatre of war, there retired, or were sent 
back, after the first fights, one corps, four 
divisional, and several brigade commanders. 
Amongst the reasons which contributed to com- 
plicate the conduct of operations were the fre- 
quent changes m the Commander-in-Chief, of 
whom there were three in nineteen months. 
From the beginning of the war till the end of 
October, 1904 — for eight and a half months — 
Admiral AlexeiefF was in supreme command ; 
from the end of October to the middle of March, 
1905 — four and a half months — I was in com- 
mand ; from the middle of INIarch till the end of 
the operations — six months — General Linievitch 
was in command. 

The fact that I only commanded for four and 
a half months out of nineteen, and that this 
period was in the middle of operations, was not 
taken into account by those who last year flooded 
Russia with pamphlets and newspaper articles, 
apparently written with the sole object of proving 
that I, both as Commander-in-Chief and as War 


Minister, was the person mainly responsible for 
our misfortunes. In a letter to the Tsar, dated 
February 21, 1906, from the village of Shuan- 
chen-pu, I wrote on this point as follows : 

" I am aware of the serious accusations levelled 
against me in the Press. Though there are 
among them many to which I would scorn to 
reply, I should be happy to accept entire re- 
sponsibility for the disasters which have over- 
taken us, but that such a course would be 
historically incorrect. It would also be a mis- 
take, because it would lessen the general desire 
of the whole army for a thorough investigation 
of all the causes of our partial defeats, so that we 
may be able to avoid them in the future. 

" I venture to say ' partial ' defeats, because 
there could be no possible suggestion that our 
land forces in Manchuria suffered defeat similar 
to that sustained by the fleet. When peace was 
concluded we had an army of almost one million 
men, still holding positions occupied by us after 
the Mukden battle, and ready, not only for the 
defensive, but for a most active advance. 

" Information that reached us from Japan 
showed that the sources from which she had been 
drawing the men for her armies were drained 
dry, that her finances had been completely ex- 
hausted, that discontent at the long-drawn-out 
war was already making itself felt among her 
people, and that for these reasons her army could 
not reckon on further success against our superior 
numbers. Therefore, the most searching and 
exhaustive study of all our weak points cannot 
shake the belief prevalent in the army that our 
troops in Manchuria would have been victorious 
if only tlie war had been continued. 



" It will be for the future historian to decide 
whether the troops we put into the field 
before March, 1905, would have sufficed for 

" Nowadays, with the complicated machinery 
of modern armies, the personality of the supreme 
commander is less important than it was. With- 
out trusty, able, and energetic subordinates, with- 
out a spirit of initiative amongst all ranks, without 
a superiority in numbers, and, what is most im- 
portant, without a military spirit amongst the 
troops and patriotism in the whole nation, the 
duty of a Commander-in-Chief is so difficult that 
it is far too much for a merely talented leader 
It may be said that a military genius would have 
overcome the moral and physical difficulties we 
had to encounter. Possibly ; but an Alexeieff", 
a Kuropatkin, a Linievitch, a Grippenberg, a 
Kaulbars, and a Bilderling were unable to do so. 

" I venture to remind Your Imperial Highness 
that, on receiving the orders appointing me to be 
Commander-in-Chief, I did not joyfully express 
my gratitude. I replied to the effect that it was 
only a dearth of commanders which led Your 
Majesty to select me. If I still firmly believed 
in victory after the Mukden battle, I had, indeed, 
good grounds for so doing." 

The author of the cleverly written article 
entitled " All about Commanders " writes as 
follows : 

" The absence of initiative, the habit of always 
relying upon superiors, and only acting when 
ordered to from above, are characteristics of 
junior commanders which made the work of 
those at the head of the army more difficult. 


The value of the time element in war also was 

The modern theorist in strategy, Blume, says : 
" Even the greatest genius in a supreme com- 
mander cannot replace independent action by 
individual leaders." 

Even during actual operations numerous news- 
paper articles appeared, well calculated to dis- 
credit the officers. They were represented as 
overbearing, rude, dishonourable drunkards. In- 
deed, one of the most gifted of our writers — 
Menshikoff — went very far in this respect, for 
he wrote of the "blunted sense of duty, in- 
temperance, moral laxity, and inveterate lazi- 
ness " of a large body of men who never spared 
their lives and performed their duty almost 
religiously. In a diatribe against military life 
by M. Kuprin, called " The Duel," private 
soldiers were represented as being treated with 
the greatest cruelty, and it was implied that it 
was the custom for our officers to slap and beat 
their men on company parades. The writer 
concluded by saying that the time would come 
when the officers would be caug^ht and beaten 
in byways, when women would deride them, 
and soldiers refuse to obey their orders. In the 
great family of officers — as in other classes — 
there are, of course, bad specimens, but no 
generalization can be made from this as to the 
class as a whole. If some officers were seen 


drunk on the lines of communications or at 
Harbin, it is not fair to jump to the conclusion 
that all officers got drunk. They should be 
judged after they have been seen in action, in 
the trenches, and on the line of march, not only, 
as they often were, by what happened in the 
rear. But it is much easier to sit in St. Peters- 
burg or Harbin and hurl abuse than it is to 
watch matters at the front. I have alluded to 
the large proportion of killed and wounded 
amongst the officers, which shows that their 
gallantry has not grown less than it used to be, 
and they certainly looked after the welfare of 
the soldier in a way that was unprecedented. 
The men were fed, clothed, cheered up, and kept 
in good fettle. The junior officers were zealous, 
soon found their feet under new and strange 
conditions, and as they grew accustomed to the 
local topography, became good map-readers. 
The most severe critic must acknowledge that 
the standard of our officers, both staff and 
regimental, has been much raised since the 
Russo-Turkish War. 

But, according to the opinion of these same 
observers, the private soldier has, on the contrary, 
deteriorated during these twenty- seven years, 
for, though a better man physically, he is 
morally a worse man than he used to be. As 
I have remarked, the men with the colours 
were quite reliable, but many of the reservists — 


especially the 2nd Category men — required much 
supervision both in action and out of it, the 
most difficult material to handle being that 
from the manufacturing centres and large towns. 
Soldiers nowadays require more looking after 
than they did formerly, when but few were 
literate. Up to the present, thank God, our 
officers still have a good hold upon the men, 
based on mutual respect ; but great endeavours 
were made at the beginning of the war to 
undermine this. 

Kirilloff and others have made a dead set 
against the behaviour of the officers of our 
General Staff in the late war, but the majority 
worked most unselfishly, and did good service 
commanding units or on the staff. A large 
number distinguished themselves by their pro- 
fessional zeal and gallantry, while some found 
a glorious death in action. At their head may 
be mentioned General Kondratenko, the hero 
of Port Arthur. Among the killed also were 
the gallant General Count Keller, Staff-Officers 
Zapolski, Naumenko, Jdanoff, Pekuti, Vasilieff, 
Mojeiko ; and of those who died from wounds 
were Andreeiff and Yagodkin. Among the 
wounded were four divisional commanders — 
Lieutenant-Generals Rennenkampf and Kondra- 
tovitch. Major- Generals Laiming and Orloff; 
also Staff-Officers Markoff, Klembovski, Gutor, 
Rossiski, Gurko, Inevski, etc. Altogether, about 


twenty officers of the General Staff were killed 
and forty wounded. The hostile attitude of the 
Press towards the officers, the endeavour of 
divers persons to undermine their authority, the 
indiffisrence of the intelligent classes in Russia 
to what was happening in Manchuria, and 
especially the anti- Government campaign, which 
was conducted with the object of creating a 
mutiny among the troops, was hardly calculated 
to raise the soldiers' vioi'al, or to encourage them 
to perform acts of heroism. There was no 
mihtary spirit in the army. 

The Rank and File. 

The rank and file, hke the officers, were of 
two classes : those serving with the colours, and 
the reservists. The former were in every respect 
good ; they were steady in action, enduring and 
well trained ; but the reservists were on a much 
lower plane altogether. In the first place, the 
older men were unable to stand the arduous 
conditions of field service, coupled with the 
rigours of the INIanchurian climate. They suf- 
fered greatly from sunstroke and heart affections 
when marching among the hills, and during the 
hot weather. At the battles of Ta-shih-chiao, 
Hai-cheng, and Liao-yang, these men fell out 
in such numbers that their units became quite 
immobile, and absolutely useless for any ofi'ensive 
operations. Moreover, the 2nd Category reser- 


vists did not know the rifle, and had forgotten 
everything they had once learnt when with the 
colours, and it required real hard work to instruct 
and train them up to the level of the serving 
soldiers. I have mentioned their unsteadiness. 
Units which were almost entirely composed of 
these men — that is to say, those units which had 
been formed by expanding the reserve regiments 
— were very unsatisfactory : it was almost impos- 
sible to get them into action. The regiments 
of the 4th Siberian Corps, which did so splendidly 
at Ta-shih-chiao, Hai-cheng, and Liao-yang, were 
an exception ; they were composed entirely of 
Siberian reservists, who, though surly fellows 
and poor marchers, were men of character and 
very steady in action. The drafts composed of 
young soldiers were magnificent. Most of them 
had only just done their recruits' course, were 
single men, and possessed both staying power and 
activity, and, being regular soldiers, were accus- 
tomed to field-service conditions. Unfortunately, 
it was only after the battle of Mukden that 
these drafts began to arrive. But these young 
soldiers who did so well in small actions would 
have done still better in a decisive engagement. 

The general feeling of discontent which already 
prevailed in all classes of our population made 
the war so hateful that it aroused no patriotism 
whatever. Many good officers hastened to 
offer their services— which was only natural — 


though all ranks of society remained indifferent. 
A few hundreds of the common people volun- 
teered, but no eagerness to enter the army was 
shown by the sons of our high dignitaries, of our 
merchants, or of our scientific men. Out of the 
tens of thousands of students who were then 
living in idleness,* many of them at the expense 
of the Empire, only a handful volunteered, t 
while at that very time, in Japan, sons of the 
most distinguished citizens — even boys fourteen 
and fifteen years of age — were striving for places 
in the ranks. Japanese mothers, as I have 
already said, killed themselves through shame 
when their sons were found to be physically 
unfit for military service. The indifference of 
Russia to the bloody struggle which her sons 
were carrying on— for little-understood objects, 
and in a foreign land— could not fail to dis- 
courage even the best soldiers. Men are not 
inspired to deeds of heroism by such an attitude 
towards them on the part of their country. 
But Russia was not merely indifferent. Leaders 
of the revolutionary party strove, with extra- 
ordinary energy, to multiply our chances of 
failure, hoping thus to facilitate the attainment 
of their own unworthy ends. There appeared 
a whole literature of clandestine publications, 

* [On account of student disorders that had led to the 
closing of the Universities. — Ed.] 
t Medical students. 


intended to lessen the confidence of officers in 
their superiors, to shake the trust of soldiers in 
their officers, and to undermine the faith of the 
whole army in the Government. In an "Address 
to the Officers of the Russian Army," published 
and widely circulated by the Social Revolutionists, 
the main idea was expressed as follows : 

" The worst and most dangerous enemy of the 
Russian people — in fact, its only enemy — is the 
present Government. It is this Government 
that is carrying on the war with Japan, and you 
are fighting under its banners in an unjust cause. 
Every victory that you win threatens Russia 
with the calamity involved in the maintenance 
of what the Government calls ' order,' and every 
defeat that you suffer brings nearer the hour of 
deliverance. Is it surprising, therefore, that 
Russians rejoice when your adversary is vic- 
torious ?" 

But persons who had nothing in common with 
the Social Revolutionary party, and who sincerely 
loved their country, aided Russia's enemies by 
expressing the opinion, in the Press, that the 
war was irrational, and by criticizing the mistakes 
of the Government that had failed to prevent it. 
In a brochure entitled " Thoughts Suggested 
by Recent Military Operations," M. Gorbatoff 
referred to such persons as follows : 

" But it is a still more grievous fact that while 
our heroic soldiers are carrying on a life-and- 
death struggle, these so-called friends of the 


people whisper to them : ' Gentlemen, you are 
heroes, but you are facing death without reason. 
You will die to pay for Russia's mistaken policy, 
and not to defend Russia's vital interests.' What 
can be more terrible than the part played by 
these so-called friends of the people when they 
undermine in this way the intellectual faith of 
heroic men who are going to their death ? One 
can easily imagine the state of mind of an officer 
or soldier who goes into battle after reading, in 
newspapers or magazines, articles referring in 
this way to the folly and uselessness of the 
war. It is from these self-styled friends that the 
re^'olutionary party gets support in its effort to 
break down the discipline of our troops." 

Reservists, when called out, were furnished by 
the anti- Government party A\^th proclamations in- 
tended to prejudice them against their officers, 
and similar proclamations were sent to the army 
in IManchuria. Troops in the field received 
letters apprising them of popular disorders in 
Russia, and men sick in hospitals, as well as men 
on duty in our advanced positions, read in the 
newspapers articles that undermined their faith 
in their commanders and their leaders. The 
work of breaking down the discipline of the army 
was carried on energetically, and, of course, it 
was not altogether fruitless. The ideal at which 
the leaders in the movement aimed was the state 
of affairs brought about by the mutinous sailors 
on the battleship Potemkin. These enemies of 
the army and the country were aided by certain 


other persons who were simply foohsh and 
unreasonable. One can imagine the indigna- 
tion that the M s, the K s, and the 

K s would feel if they were told that they 

played the same part in the army that was played 
by the persons who incited the insubordination 
on the Potemkin ; yet such was the case. Firm 
in spirit though Russians might be, the indiffer- 
ence of one class of the population, and the sedi- 
tious incitement of another, could hardly fail to 
have upon many of them an influence that was not 
favourable to the successful prosecution of war. 

Commanding officers in the Siberian military 
districts reported, as early as February, that 
detachments of supernumerary troops and re- 
servists had plundered several railway-stations, 
and later on regular troops, on their way to the 
front, were guilty of similar bad conduct. The 
drifting to the rear of large numbers of soldiers 
— especially the older reservists — while battles 
were in progress was due not so much to 
cowardice as to the unsettling of the men's minds, 
and to a disinclination on their part to continue 
the war. I may add that the opening of peace 
negotiations at Portsmouth, at a time when we 
were preparing for decisive operations, unfavour- 
ably affected the mo7Yil of the best in the 

M. E. MartinofF, in an article entitled " Spirit 
and Temper of the Two Armies," points out that 


" • • • even in time of peace, the Japanese people 
were so educated as to develop in them a patriotic 
and martial spirit. The very idea of war with 
Kussia was generally popular, and throughout 
the contest the army was supported by the 
sympathy of the nation. In Russia, the reverse 
was true. Patriotism was shaken by the dis- 
semination of ideas of universal brotherhood and 
disarmament, and in the midst of a difficult 
campaign the attitude of the country toward the 
army was one of indifference, if not of actual 

This judgment is accurate, and it is evident, 
of course, that with such a relation between 
Russian society and the Manchurian army it 
was impossible to expect from the latter any 
patriotic spirit, or any readiness to sacrifice life 
for the sake of the Fatherland. In an admirable 
article, entitled " The Feeling of Duty and the 
Love of Country," published in the Russki 
Invalid in 1906, M. A. Bilderling expressed 
certain profoundly true ideas as follows : 

" Our lack of success may have been due, in 
part, to various and complicated causes, to the 
misconduct of particular persons, to bad general- 
ship, to lack of preparation in the army and 
the navy, to inadequacy of material resources, 
and to misappropriations in the departments of 
equipment and supply ; but the principal reason 
for our defeat lies deeper, and is to be found in 
lack of patriotism, and in the absence of a 
feeling of duty toward and love for the Father- 
land. In a conflict between two peoples, the 


things of most importance are not material re- 
sources, but moral strength, exaltation of spirit, 
and patriotism. Victory is most likely to be 
achieved by the nation in which these qualities 
are most highly developed. Japan had long been 
preparing for war with us ; all her people 
desired it ; and a feeling of lofty patriotism per- 
vaded the whole country. In her army and her 
fleet, therefore, every man, from the Commander- 
in-Chief to the last soldier, not only knew what 
he was fighting for, and what he might have to 
die for, but understood clearly that upon success 
in the struggle depended the fate of Japan, her 
political importance, and her future in the history 
of the world. Every soldier knew also that 
the whole nation stood behind him. Japanese 
mothers and wives sent their sons and husbands 
to the war with enthusiasm, and were proud 
when they died for their country. With us, on 
the other hand, the war was unpopular from 
the very beginning. We neither desired it nor 
anticipated it, and consequently we were not 
prepared for it. Soldiers were hastily put into 
railway- trains, and when, after a journey that 
lasted a month, they alighted in Manchuria, they 
did not know in what country they were, nor 
whom they were to fight, nor what the war was 
about. Even our higher commanders went to 
the front unwillingly, and from a mere sense of 
duty. The whole army, moreover, felt that it was 
regarded by the country with indifference ; that 
its life was not shared by the people ; and that it 
was a mere fragment, cut off from the nation, 
thrown to a distance of 6,000 miles, and there 
abandoned to the caprice of Fate. Before de- 
cisive fighting began, therefore, one of the con- 
tending armies advanced with the full expectation 


and confident belief that it would be victorious, 
while the other went forward with a demoralizing 
doubt of its own success." 

Generally speaking, the man who conquers in 
war is the man who is least afraid of death. We 
were unprepared in previous wars, as well as in 
this, and in previous wars we made mistakes ; 
but when the preponderance of moral strength 
was on our side, as in the wars with the Swedes, 
the French, the Turks, the Caucasian moun- 
taineers, and the natives of Central Asia, we 
were victorious. In the late war, for reasons that 
are extremely complicated, our moral strength 
was less than that of the Japanese ; and it was 
this inferiority, rather than mistakes in general- 
ship, that caused our defeats, and that forced us 
to make tremendous efforts in order to succeed 
at all. Our lack of moral strength, as compared 
with the Japanese, affected all ranks of our 
army, from the highest to the lowest, and 
greatly reduced our fightmg power. In a war 
waged under different conditions — a war in 
which the army had the confidence and encour- 
agement of the country — the same officers and 
the same troops would have accomplished far 
more than they accomplished in Manchuria. 
The lack of martial spirit, of moral exaltation, 
and of heroic impulse, affected particularly our 
stubbornness in battle. In many cases we did 
not have sufficient resolution to conquer such 


antagonists as the Japanese. Instead of holding 
with unshakable tenacity the positions assigned 
them, our troops often retreated, and in such 
cases our commanding officers of all ranks, with- 
out exception, lacked the power or the means 
to set things right. Instead of making renewed 
and extraordinary efforts to wrest victory from 
the enemy, they either permitted the retreat of 
the troops under their command, or themselves 
ordered such retreat. The army, however, never 
lost its strong sense of duty; and it was this 
that enabled many divisions, regiments, and 
battalions to increase their power of resistance 
with every battle. This peculiarity of the late 
war, together with our final acquisition of 
numerical preponderance and a noticeable decline 
of Japanese ardour, gave us reason to regard 
the future with confidence, and left no room for 
doubt as to our ultimate victory. 

In both Russian and foreign papers numerous 
articles have appeared in which the Commander- 
in-Chief has been accused of a lack of deter- 
mination in the conduct of various battles. 
Without any real basis for their statements, 
critics have represented that orders to retire 
were for some unknown reason more than once 
given by him at a moment when victory lay in 
our hands. Comments upon his indecision and 
frequent change of orders were so common that 
the idea became universal that it was Kuro- 

VOL. II. 6 


patkin, and Kuropatkin alone, who prevented 
the army and corps commanders from defeating 
the enemy. 

My first three volumes supply the answer to 
the most serious of these accusations : in them 
are described the tremendous efforts we had to 
make to prevent our operations ending worse 
than they did. I have never been one of those 
who believe that an order once given should not 
be countermanded or modified. In war circum- 
stances change so quickly, and information 
received so frequently turns out to be false, 
that it would be fundamentally unsound to 
insist, in spite of changed conditions, on keeping 
exactly to an order once issued. An excellent 
example of this is given by the operations at 
Hei-kou-tai. The order received by the officer 
commanding the 1st Siberians to rest his troops 
on January 27, and to occupy the line Hei-kou- 
tai-Su-ma-pu-Pei-tai-tzu, was founded on the 
incorrect supposition of the commander of the 
2nd Manchurian Army that San-de-pu had been 
captured. The former was more than once told 
not to attack. Yet, even though news was 
received that San-de-pu had not been taken, 
he insisted in carrying out the orders given, in 
which, by a mistake, a village held in force by 
the enemy was appointed as our halting-place. 
The result is known : we fought all day, lost 
7,000 men, and at daybreak on January 28 


were compelled to retire. With regard to the 
accusation that the late Commander-in-Chief* 
constantly countermanded his own orders, it is 
interesting to note that General Grippenberg, in 
his article, " The Truth about the Battle of 
Hei-kou-tai," points out that, although he did 
not agree with him as to the necessity for re- 
tiring the right flank of the 2nd Army to take 
up a more concentrated position, he did not 
express this opinion to the Commander-in- 
Chief, because he and all his staff knew that 
Kuropatkin would never countermand an order 
once given. 

Upon the point as to whether we might have 
defeated the Japanese at Liao-yang or Mukden 
we shall remain unenlightened, in spite of the 
pubhcation of my book, till we know in detail 
the actual movements of the Japanese in these 
actions. As regards Liao-yang, I can only 
express my personal opinion. An important 
decision, such as that leading to an order for 
troops to retire, cannot be given upon the in- 
spiration of a moment. All the attendant cir- 
cumstances have to be taken into account — the 
results of the previous engagements ; the physical 
and mental condition of the troops ; the strength 
and dispositions of the enemy ; the results which 
he may attain if the fight is continued ; the 
reports from the front, flanks, and rear ; the 
* [General Kuropatkin himself. — Ed.] 



extent to which the reserves have been depleted, 
their readiness for action ; the amount of ammu- 
nition in hand, etc. At the battle of Liao-yang 
Kuroki's army, in addition to Nodzu's, might 
easily have been pushed across to the right bank 
of the Tai-tzu Ho, just as the Japanese boldly 
threw the greater part of Oku's army, in addition 
to Nogi's, across on to the right bank of the 
Hun Ho at INIukden. This was all the more 
possible because our attempt to assume the 
offensive with the troops stationed on the left bank 
on September 2 ended disastrously. If there is 
no hope of worsting an enemy by an offensive 
counter-stroke, it is very important for a de- 
fending force, circumstanced as we were,* to 
retire in good time, and not to hold on until 
an orderly retirement becomes impossible to 
carry out. We retired under very difficult con- 
ditions along roads deep in mud, but not a 
single trophy was left behind, not a prisoner, 
not a gun, not a transport cart. 

If we had delayed a single day, our retirement 
might have resembled that of the 2nd and 3rd 
Armies, which were in so awkward a plight at 
Mukden. For the reasons explained in my third 
volume, the 2nd Army was, on March 7, almost 
surrounded on flanks and rear. Great efforts 
were necessary in order that we might extricate 

* Our communications were threatened, and the Yentai 
Mines on the flank were in the enemy's hands. 


ourselves from the position in which we were 
placed without being utterly defeated. But 
these efforts were not made, and the situation of 
our whole force on March 7, 8, and 9 became 
worse, and the danger of a considerable part of 
the 2nd Army being surrounded by Nogi's 
troops still more imminent. Comparing the 
condition of our men with that of the Japanese 
on March 7 and 8, as well as the positions occu- 
pied by the two forces on the 8th, and taking 
into account the moral superiority of the Japanese, 
I should have given up hope of a victorious issue 
from the battle on the 7th and 8th, and have 
arranged for a retirement to Tieh-ling before 
the army became disorganized. The future 
historian will probably accuse me of having held 
on too long. I did not give the order to retire 
till March 10, and according to events and the 
opinion of my staff, the order should have been 
given a day earlier. If we had retired on the 
9th, the army would probably have fallen back 
in complete order without losing anything 
(except wounded) ; indeed, we might have taken 
with us a fairly large number of prisoners and 
captured guns and machine-guns. In my report 
upon the battle of Mukden to His Majesty the 
Tsar, I acknowledged that I was primarily 
responsible for our reverse, and admitted that 
I should have more accurately gauged the 
difference between the men of the two forces 


and the qualifications of the commanders, and 
that I should have been more careful in making 
my decisions. Hoping against hope to defeat 
the enemy, despite the disastrous operations of 
the 2nd Army, between March 2 and 7, I gave 
the order to retreat too late. I should have 
abandoned all hope of eventual victory at Mukden 
a day sooner than I did, and our withdrawal 
would have been effected in good order. Thus, 
the general conclusion regarding the battles of 
Liao-yang and Mukden could, in my opinion, 
be expressed as follows : If we had retired from 
Liao-yang a day later than we did, the result 
would have been much the same as at Mukden ; 
if we had retired from Mukden a day sooner, the 
result would have been much the same as at 

I might also have been blamed for not holding 
on longer to Tieh-ling and fighting there, and 
for ordering the troops to retire on to the Hsi- 
ping-kai position. IMy reply is given in detail 
in my third volume. It is suflficient to say here 
that, when it was decided to retire from Tieh- 
ling on March 12 and 13, according to the 
officers commanding those units of the 2nd and 
3rd Armies which suffered most in the battle of 

* The retirement from Liao-yang was orderly, while 
that from Mukden more nearly approached a rout ; but it 
is not certain that the Russians were really beaten 
at the former place when the decision to retire was 
made. — Ed.] 


Mukden, we only had an effective strength of 
10,390 rifles in 114 battaHons.* If I had accepted 
battle there under such conditions, it would have 
been most dangerous, as we might have com- 
pletely lost the cadres of many units. How 
long it would have taken us to re-form for a 
new battle can be judged from the fact 
that the officer commanding the 3rd Army 
stated before a committee assembled as late as 
May 17 [two months after the retreat] that 
he thought the acceptance of a general action 
even then on the Hsi-ping-kai position itself was 
inadvisable, t 

I will bring the present chapter to a close by 
quoting literally my farewell address to the 
officers of the 1st Manchurian Army. In this 
address, with fresh impressions of all that we 
had gone through and had actually felt during 
the war, I outlined those of our defects which 
prevented us defeating the enemy in the time at 
our disposal. But while indicating our weak- 
nesses, I also brought out the strong points of 
the troops which I had commanded — points 
which gave every reason for a belief that we 
should have won in the end. 

* [Sic. This seems almost incredible. — Ed.] 
t [The portion of this chapter which immediately follows 
deals in great detail with the breakdown of the unit 
organization. It has been separated from the text, and 
is given in Appendix II. — Ed.] 


" To the Officers of the 1st Manchurian Army. 

" In a few days the 1st Manchurian Army will 
be broken up, and I must now bid farewell to 
the glorious troops which I have had the great 
honour to command for two years. Upon you 
fell the arduous duty, in the beginning of the 
war, of withstanding the attack of a numerically 
superior enemy, so as to gain time for our 
reinforcements coming from Russia to con- 
centrate. You had the good fortune to be present 
at the battles of the Ya-lu, Te-li-ssu, Ta-shih- 
chiao, Yang-tzu Ling, Lang-tzu-shan, and also at 
the long-drawn struggles of Liao-yang, the Sha 
Ho, and JNIukden, and by your conduct during 
those fights you earned the praise of the rest 
of the army. 

" With a comparatively weak establishment of 
five and a half corps (160 battalions), or an 
average fighting strength of 100,000 rifles and 
2,200 officers, the 1st Manchurian Army lost up 
to March 14, 1905 : 


Rank and 

Killed 395 ... 10,435 

Wounded 1,733 ... 56,350 

or a percentage of killed and wounded amongst 
the officers of 91, and amongst the mnk and file 
of 67, per cent, of the average war strength. In 
the independent units the losses in kiUed and 
wounded were : 

34th East Siberian Rifle Regiment 
36th East Siberian Rifle Regiment 
3rd East Siberian Rifle Regiment 

Rank and 



89 . 

.. 3,243 

73 . 

.. 2,531 

102 . 

.. 2,244 


Officers. Rank and 

4th East Siberian Rifle Regiment 61 ... 2,170 

23rd East Siberian Rifle Regiment 50 ... 2,290 

1st East Siberian Rifle Regiment 71 ... 1,920 

" The particularly gallant conduct in action of 
the officers is apparent from the fact that the 
percentage of killed and wounded is considerably 
higher than that of the men, while many single 
units proved that it is possible to continue 
fighting after a loss of two-thirds of the fighting 
strength. And yet, despite these sacrifices, 
despite all our efforts, we were unable to beat 
the enemy. Undoubtedly we had to fight 
against a very brave, energetic, and most martial 
foe. So careless were the Japanese of life that 
they piled the bodies of their comrades on our 
obstacles, and endeavoured to reach our positions 
by climbing over these masses of corpses. For 
a long time also they were able to bring superior 
forces against us. But we became tempered by 
misfortune, and gained wisdom by experience, 
and our numbers grew until we finally became 
so strong in mind and spirit last summer that 
victory seemed assured. 

" The intervals of comparative peace between 
the great battles were employed in strengthening 
the army, and many positions up to and in- 
cluding Mukden were fortified with immense 
trouble. After that battle the defence of the 
left flank of the whole force was entrusted to 
you, and three very strong defensive lines were 
constructed by your labours up to the River 
Sungari. These lines, particularly the first and 
second, were, on account of their fortifications 
and the nature of the ground, in every way suited 
either for a desperate defence or for the attack. 


Although our army was not quite ready to 
assume the offensive by last May, it would 
have welcomed orders to advance. The enemy, 
shaken by their losses at JNIukden, kept their 
positions for six months, and waited for us to 
move forward. We inaugurated many improve- 
ments based upon our previous experiences in 
the war, and the tactical training of the troops 
made immense progress. We not only filled 
up our weakened ranks by means of the drafts 
which reached us, but expanded all the rifle 
regiments into four battalions. In the way 
of reinforcements, the 1st Army received the 
53rd Infantry Division, the Cossack Infantry 
Brigade, and the Don Cossack Division. 

" The firing-line of the 1st Army was in August 
last stronger than it was at the beginning of the 
war, before the September battles on the Sha Ho, 
and, thanks to the great exertions of those in 
command, and the unselfish work of the medical 
services, the health of the army remained ex- 
cellent throughout. It was, indeed, fortunate, 
for if any great sickness had broken out we 
should, owing to the few drafts then arriving, 
only have had very weak cadres for the field. 
It was absolutely essential, therefore, that no 
expense or efforts should be spared in order to 
keep every man fit for the ranks, and I am 
happy to say that our common efforts met with 
unusual success, for our losses from sickness 
were less than in killed and wounded. In 
the 1st JNIanchurian Army we had lost up to 
August 14, 1905, 2,218 officers and 66,785 other 
ranks killed and wounded in action, and 2,390 
officers and 58,093 other ranks from sickness. 
I draw your attention to the fact that while the 
percentage of losses from action should naturally 


be higher among the officers than the men, they 
ought, on account of their better Uving, to lose 
less from sickness. The converse was the case 
with us, which shows that our officers were not 
sufficiently hardy, and did not know how to 
preserve their health. To this we must pay 
particular attention. 

" In material matters the army was also 
excellently situated in August. Clothing and 
equipment of all sorts were on the spot and 
plentiful, while all technical supplies had accumu- 
lated. Never have we been such a formidable 
force in every sense as we had become by the 
summer of 1905, when we were suddenly in- 
formed of the unhappy negotiations at Ports- 
mouth, and that peace had been concluded. 
Doubtless this was necessitated by the state of 
the interior of Russia ; but it was heart-breaking 
for the army. I remember with what grief the 
news was received by all ranks. Life seemed to 
die out of our bivouacs, and all our minds were 
filled by one sad thought — that the war had 
ended before the enemy had been beaten. Look- 
ing back on the trials we have recently gone 
through, we can find consolation in the feeling 
that we have done our duty to Tsar and country 
as far as has lain in our power ; but for many 
reasons the time given us has turned out to be 
insufficient. These reasons we must fearlessly 
search out, and discover what — beyond mere 
numerical inferiority — prevented our success 
before peace was concluded. Before all others, 
I, your senior commander, am guilty because I 
did not succeed in rectifying our many moral 
and material defects during the war, and in 
making the most of the undoubted strong points 
of our troops. The material defects are known 


to all of us — the small number of rifles in the 
firing-line per company [partly owing to lack of 
care to put as many men as possible into action], 
the insufficiency [at the beginning] of mountain 
artillery, the lack of high explosive shells, of 
machine-guns, and of technical stores of all sorts. 
By last August the majority of these deficiencies 
had, through the great exertions of the War 
JMinistry, been made good. Our moral defects 
I attribute to the different standards of tramnig 
among the troops, their inferior technical pre- 
paration, and the great numerical weakness of 
units in action. We also suffered much from 
inadequate reconnaissance of the enemy's posi- 
tion before a battle, and the resulting vagueness 
as to how to conduct the action [particularly in 
the attack] ; and, most important, from the lack 
of initiative and independent thought in indi- 
vidual commanders, the absence of the military 
spirit in officers and men, of dash, of mutual 
co-operation between units, and of a general 
determination to carry out a task to a finish at 
any sacrifice. The tendency to accept defeat 
too soon — after only the advanced troops had 
suffered — and of retiring instead of repeating 
the attack and setting an example, was highly 
detrimental. Such retirement, instead of calling 
forth increased efforts from the neighbours, in 
most cases only served as a signal for their own 

*' Generally speaking, there was in all ranks a 
great dearth of men of strong military character, 
with nerves tough enough to enable them to 
stand the strain of an almost continual battle 
lasting for several days. It is evident that 
neither our educational system nor our national 
fife during the last forty to fifty years has been 


of a nature to produce men of strong independent 
characters, or more would have appeared in our 
army when wanted. Now the Tsar has given 
us the blessing of freedom. The nation has been 
released from the leading-strings of a bureau- 
cracy, and can now develop freely, and direct its 
energies to the good of the country. Let us 
hope that this blessing of freedom, coupled to 
a well-thought-out system of education, will 
raise the material and moral forces of the Russian 
nation, and produce in every sphere of national 
activity stalwarts who are enterprising, inde- 
pendent, possessed of initiative, and strong in 
body and soul. By an infusion of such the 
army will be enriched. But it is not possible 
for the army idly to await results which are the 
work of a generation. Knowing now our strong 
and weak points, we can, and ought to, start on 
self-improvement without delay. The war has 
brought out many men [especially amongst all 
ranks of the 1st Army], from modest company 
officers up to corps commanders, on whose 
energy, zeal, and ability the Russian nation can 
rely ; and I notice with pleasure that not a few 
of those amongst the 1st Army have received 
good appointments in the Far East and in Russia. 
This should serve as a fresh proof that the Tsar 
is diligently watching our efforts, and is losing 
no time in employing the most worthy of you 
to the advantage of the whole army. 

" You have first-hand knowledge of the diffi- 
cult conditions generally under which war is 
now conducted, and of the moral and physical 
effi^rt that is required to carry on an almost 
continuous battle for several days. You also 
know by experience the exact value in action 
of all kinds of technical equipment. All this 


makes it necessary for you to endeavour to 
perfect yourselves. With the exception of the 
cadet corps, our schools take no pains about the 
physical development of children ; consequently, 
many of our officers, as was evident in the 
war, are physically feeble. Pay attention to 
gymnastics, to fencing, to singlesticks, and to 
musketry. An officer should not be a mere 
spectator of the physical exercises of the men — 
a thing I have often noticed — but should himself 
set the example to those under him. 

" The relations between officers and men have 
always been of the closest. Like fathers to the 
men, our officers have won their affectionate 
respect. Remember that to our soldiers the 
word ' father-commander ' is not merely an empty 
phrase ; they believe in it. Remember, also, that 
a commander only wins the heart of his soldiers 
when he is their father- commander. It is quite 
possible to be strict and at the same time look 
after the men's welfare, for our soldiers are not 
afraid of severity, but respect it ; in the majority 
of cases a just severity is a deterrent against 
crime. But the simple-minded soldier is par- 
ticularly sensitive to injustice, and soon sees 
through any deceit practised on him. You who 
shared with the men all the hardships and 
dangers of field service are very favourably 
situated. The men having seen you in action — 
always in your place, giving an example of 
unselfishness — mil forgive much, and will follow 
you through fire and water. These links which 
bind the ranks must be carefully maintained, 
and officers who have been in the field with 
units must not be removed from them unless 
absolutely necessary. Guard the military tradi- 
tions acquired by regiments, and do your best 


to preserve the memory of the gallant deeds 
done by companies, squadrons, or batteries col- 
lectively, or by individual members of them. 
Keep in close touch with the private soldier ; try 
to win his full confidence. You will gain it by 
your constant care of and your affection for him ; 
by your strict, and at the same time fatherly, 
relations to him ; by knowing your work ; and 
by your own example. Only by these will you 
be able to take advantage of all his good points, 
to correct his defects, and guard him from the 
harmful influences which will be more numerous 
in the future than ever. The recent cases of 
military mutinies should be constantly in our 
memories. I turn to you officers in command 
of regiments in particular. You know the great 
responsibility which falls upon you in action. 
How often has the issue of the battle depended 
on the way a regiment has been led. It has 
often been enough for an energetic, gallant, 
capable man to get the command of a regiment 
to change its character utterly. The selection 
of men for these appointments must, therefore, 
be carefully made, and those chosen must work 
incessantly to educate all those under them. 

" Up to the present our regimental commanders 
have, unfortunately, been too much taken up 
with routine and office work, and have been 
unable to give sufficient time to the practical 
military side of their duties, to that intercourse 
between officers and men which is so valuable. 
Some seem to think that their chief duty 
is to look after such details as the colour 
and the repainting of the transport carts, and not 
the training of the men. The constant strain of 
how to make both ends meet with the money 
granted, how to maintain the clothing and other 


funds, has increased to such an extent, and worries 
some commanders so much, that they scarcely 
get to know their own officers, and do positive 
harm to their men by trying to increase funds at 
the expense of their rations, and therefore of 
their health. In the late war the Supply Depart- 
ment carried out their difficult duties so well 
that they have proved that they deserve to be 
implicitly trusted in peace-time ; we can therefore 
give over to this department much of the work 
of supplying the troops (clothing, equipment, 
transport, food). Then regimental and company 
commanders will stand out as real flesh and 
blood commanders in the true sense, and will 
cease to be "office" automatons and mere 
inspectors of stores and depots, and the work of 
training and education will progress. 

"I would invite the special attention of all com- 
manding officers to the necessity for thoroughly 
studying the characters of those under them. 
With us, men of independent character and 
initiative are rare. Search out such men, en- 
courage them, promote them, and so encourage 
the growth of the qualities which are essential 
for all soldiers. Men of strong individuality are 
with us, unfortunately, often passed over, instead 
of receiving accelerated promotion. Because 
they are a source of anxiety to some officers in 
peace, they get repressed as being headstrong. 
The result is that they leave the service, while 
others, who possess neither force of character nor 
convictions, but who are subservient, and always 
ready to agi-ee with their superiors, are promoted. 
Remember how much our inattention to the 
opinions and evidence of those under us has 
cost us. 

" The greater part of the 1st Army is to remain 


in the Far East, and I am convinced that the 
glorious Siberian regiments of the 1st Manchurian 
Army, which have been such a tower of strength 
in action, will now, under the new conditions of 
peace, still be Russia's bulwark in that quarter. 

" In bidding you farewell, my dear comrades in 
the field, I sincerely hope that the war experience 
you have gained will be of great advantage to 
the army and the country. Devoted to Crown 
and country, always ready to maintain law and 
order, and to uphold the authority of the Govern- 
ment, holding yourselves aloof from the intrigues 
of political parties, and knowing your own weak 
and strong points as shown up by the struggle 
we have all been through, you will, I believe, 
quickly heal your wounds, and lead the army in 
its struggle towards perfection. Although in the 
future you may be denied the recollection of 
victories won, you can remember — and this 
should be a consolation and an encouragement — 
that you were ready, without fear of sacrifice, to 
continue the struggle with the gallant enemy 
till you had beaten him. You, officers, believed 
that you would win, and you succeeded in 
instilling this belief into our grand soldiers. 

" May God assist you in the duties that lie 
before you, which are as important for our dear 
country as any we have already performed, even 
though they be in peace. Farewell. Accept my 
sincere gratitude for all your self-denying service 
in the field, and express to the men my thanks 
for their services, and for the many proofs they 
have given of devotion and loyalty to the Tsar 
and Fatherland. 

" Shuan-chen-pu, 

"i^e6mar2/18, 1906." 
VOL. II. 7 


Suggested measures for the improvement of the senior 
ranks ; for the improvement of the regulars and 
reservists ; for the reorganization of the reserve troops ; 
for increasing the number of combatants in infantry 
regiments — Machine - guns — Reserve troops — Troops 
on the communications — Engineers — Artillery — 
Cavalry — Infantry — Organization generally. 

Our recent experiences have furnished ample 
material by which we may be guided in our 
efforts to improve the war training and increase 
the efficiency of our forces. The War Ministry, 
assisted by officers who served in Manchuria, 
and by articles which have appeared in the mili- 
tary Press, has already embarked upon numerous 
reforms. I shall here merely express my own 
opinion upon the points I consider most impor- 
tant, and which should be settled first of all. 
Amongst these are measures for — 

1. The improvement of the senior ranks. 

2. The improvement of the regular soldiers 
and reservists. 

3. Reforms in the organization of the reserve 



4. Increasing the number of actual combatants 
in our infantry regiments. 

5. Enlarging the war establishment of regi- 
ments, brigades, divisions, and corps, and, by 
means of decentralization, making them more 

As regards the first : Our three wars of the 
last fifty years have disclosed many shortcomings 
in our officers. Most of these have undoubtedly 
been due to the undeveloped state of the nation, 
and to the general conditions of life and labour, 
which have affected the army as an integral part 
of the whole population. Any serious attempt 
to improve our officers as a body, therefore, is 
only likely to be successful if and when a general 
improvement sets in in our social conditions. 
It has pleased the Tsar to inaugurate many 
fundamental reforms for the betterment of the 
civil status of all classes of our population in 
every walk of life, and reforms in the officer class 
should be instituted at the same time. 

Why is it that, with so many capable, keen, 
and intelligent men as we possess among our 
junior officers and those in comparatively sub- 
ordinate positions, we have so few original- 
minded, keen, and competent seniors ? As I 
have said, the standard of all ranks of the army 
entirely depends on that of the nation. With 
the growth of the moral and mental faculties of 
the people at large there will be a corresponding 



growth in that of the mihtary class ; but so long 
as the nation suffers from a paucity of well- 
informed, independent, and zealous men, the 
army camiot well be expected to be an exception. 
If the uniform attracted the pick of the popula- 
tion, out of a nation of many millions, however 
backward, there would be at least hundreds of 
the very best men — in every sense — quite capable 
of commanding troops in war. It M'ould there- 
fore seem necessary — 

1. To adopt a military uniform such as will 
attract the flower of our youth. 

2. To insist that the best of those privileged 
to wear the uniform should serve in the army, 
and there acquire the military knowledge and 
strength of character necessary for war. 

In the first of these two particulars we have 
succeeded, for in Russia the military uniform has 
been particularly honoured for years ; but we 
have by no means approached near the second 
desideratum. The majority of the best men 
wearing military uniform have not only never 
served in the army, but are absolutely uncon- 
nected with it. In the eighteenth century a 
custom crept in of dressing the sons of grandees 
in military clothes, and they could get pro- 
motion at an age when they were riding toy 
horses round drawing-rooms. Then, little by 
little, military uniform, military rank, even that 
of General, ceased to become the absolute pre- 

^ 1 



1 0r'^^^ ^w 1^ " iM 



Opposite p. 100, vul. ii. 


rogative of the army, or, indeed, to denote any 
connection with war. The members of the 
Church were the only people not arrayed in it. 
Members of the Imperial Council, Ambassadors, 
Senators, Ministers of the different departments 
and their assistants, Governor-Generals, Gover- 
nors, Mayors, Superintendents of Police, officials 
in the various Government departments and in the 
military institutions, all wore military uniform, 
and were graded in different ranks. With few 
exceptions, all that they had to do with the army 
was to be a source of weakness to it. Amongst 
the many names in the long list of generals, 
only a few belong to officers on the active list, 
and, what is worse, those who are serving in the 
army get superseded in rank by, and receive less 
emoluments than, those who are not. Conse- 
quently, the best elements in the service are 
naturally anxious to leave. The posts of Minister 
of the Interior, of Finance, of Ways and Com- 
munications, of Education, and of State Control, 
used to be held by generals and admirals, as 
well as the appointments of Ambassador at Con- 
stantinople, Paris, London, and Berlin. Service 
uniforms were therefore conspicuous at all diplo- 
matic and ministerial gatherings. Military clothes 
also had a great attraction for other departments, 
and several of them tried to assimilate their 
uniforms as much as possible to those of army 
officers. The worst offender in this resgiec|.'WUS 


the Ministry of the Interior, which adopted a 
uniform for pohce- officers and even for con- 
stables which could hardly be distinguished 
from that worn by military officers. The private 
soldiers were naturally unable to make anything 
of this multitude of uniforms, and never knew 
whom to salute or obey ; indeed, the police- 
officers' great-coats and caps with cockades were 
enough to puzzle the most discriminating. This 
all seems incomprehensible'; but the ambition 
to wear military uniform is easily explained. It 
is largely due to the ignorance of the people. 
Not long ago, anyone wearing even a hat 
with a cockade was taken in the country for a 
person in authority ; caps were doffed to him, 
and in winter heavily laden sledges would be 
turned into snow-drifts to give him the road, 
while his vulgar abuse would be patiently 

Thirty years ago, when a young officer, I spent 
about a year on service with the French in Algiers, 
and travelled a great deal. I was astonished to 
find that it was found convenient, even under 
republican rule, to keep to a system of semi- 
military government for the native population — 
Arabs and Kabyles. It was, in this case, entrusted 
mainly to army officers, and those civilians who 
were also appointed had to adopt a uniform 
similar to that worn by the military. These 
officials told me in aU seriousness that their 


spurs and the gold braid round their caps assisted 
them in their deaUngs with the Arabs, in collecting 
taxes, settling land questions, and other matters. 
It was so in our case. Undoubtedly the wear- 
ing of military clothes did facilitate the difficult 
work which our police-officers have to do ; but 
a great change has recently come over the country, 
and a uniform alone is not now enough to com- 
mand obedience. It is sometimes a drawback, if 
not a danger. It is, of course, to be hoped that 
such an unnatural state of affiiirs will not last ; 
but it is very desirable to take advantage of the 
present indifference displayed by the civil popula- 
tion to uniform to take it from all who are not 
actually serving in the army. The time has come 
when the prestige appertaining to our uniform 
should be restored, and the status of those serving 
in the army should be raised. 

With the same object in view, we must con- 
tinue to try and improve the material position 
and prospects of the corps of officers. An im- 
portant matter, and one to which I have given 
much attention — so far without entire success — is 
that service on the staff, in offices and in branches 
of the War Department, should not pay better 
than service with the troops. Many of the officers 
now so employed in semi-civil duties can well 
be replaced by civilian officials. It is, moreover, 
essential that service in the Frontier Guards, in 
the Customs, police, gendarmerie, on the railway, 


and as tax-collectors, should cease to be financially 
preferable to service in the army. 

As senior officers get on in the service, 
they must not be allowed to forget what they 
have previously learnt, a thing which is now only 
too common. It is essential that they should be 
practised in peace in commanding troops, and not 
be mere administrators, inspectors, spectators, and 
umpires. They should therefore be in a position 
to spend most of their time with troops in the 
field and in cantonments. With our military 
system the command of troops is at present 
almost entirely in the hands of the regi- 
mental, brigade, divisional, corps and district 
commanders.* Thus our infantry and cavalry 
regiments used to be under five masters. But, 
in the words of the proverb, too many cooks 
spoil the broth, and in war all was not for the 
best in all our regiments. Often while the in- 
gredients and the fire left nothing to be desired, 
the cooks did not know what to do. How can 
such a state of things be explained ? It will be 
said that the selection of commanders was not 
always happy. That is true ; but it must be 
remembered that selections had to be made from 
those men who were qualified according to the 
regulations and the reports drawn up by various 

* When the appointments of Inspector- Generals were 
created, some confusion resulted between the powers of 
these and that of the district commanders. 


commanding officers. In some cases seniority 
was considered to be by itself a qualification for 
promotion. Efforts of a sort were undoubtedly 
made to get the best men we had, but they were 
insufficient. All the commanders in the five 
degrees of our military hierarchy are so occupied 
with their daily work of routine and correspond- 
ence, while many are so overburdened with the 
administrative details of their appointments, that 
they have little time to attend to the business of 
actual war. Yet, as they get on in the service, 
more knowledge of war is required of them. The 
short periods of concentration in summer, with 
only a few days of instructional work on both 
sides, give little practice in command, and at 
other times the number of responsible duties 
connected with administration places that art on 
a far higher plane than mere soldiering. And 
what is most important is that the whole of our 
service — of our lives almost — is spent doing things 
which do not go to form character. Of the five 
posts above mentioned, only two — the divisional 
and corps commanders — are in any way inde- 
pendent, and their occupants are immersed in 
office work. The relative amount of time spent 
on the different sorts of duties tends to turn the 
regimental commander into an administrator 
rather than a fighter, while a brigade commander 
has absolutely no independence ; in fact, his 
absence or presence is scarcely noticed. Finally, 


the same tendency to produce office men and 
bureaucrats is noticeable even in the work of 
those on the highest rungs of the ladder — the 
general officers in command of military districts. 
Instances might be multiplied of men who, though 
long in charge of military districts, never once 
commanded troops on manceuvres, and for several 
years never even got astride a horse. How can 
this impossible state of affairs be remedied, and 
a body of leaders, constantly practised in the 
execution of those duties in command of troops 
that would be required of them in war, be formed ? 


On active service the role of the regimental 
commander is both wide and important. To 
issue successfully from the test of modern war, 
he must have character, experience, and faciUty 
in manoeuvring his unit in the field, must know 
his men well, and therefore have found the time 
both for intercourse with his officers and for per- 
fecting himself in his profession. In battle it is 
men he has to deal with, and not files of papers 
and storehouses. But, situated as he is at present, 
he is so overburdened with important adminis- 
trative details that most of his time is passed 
dealing with requisitions and inventories instead 
of with flesh and blood. The penalties he incurs 
by neglect of his administrative duties are far 
heavier and more tangible than those incurred 


by neglecting the tactical training of his regi- 
ment. The greater part of these duties — those 
such as are connected with clothing, transport, 
and rationing — should be removed from his 
shoulders. He should be made the controller 
of these sections of duty, and not the person 
actually responsible. Nor is his position easy 
in respect to the personnel. The great shortage 
of officers, especially in those units quartered in 
inferior barracks, is the cause of many difficulties. 
When mobilization is ordered, some of the already 
too small number of officers are told off for the 
innumerable miscellaneous duties and detach- 
ments ; commanders of battalions and of com- 
panies are interchanged ; many of the men are 
transferred to other units, a mass of reservists 
join, and, if there is not time for the new arrivals 
to settle down with the few old hands, the com- 
mander has to lead into action a regiment which 
he does not know, and which does not know 
itself. Our mobilization schemes, therefore, re- 
quire revision in this respect, and every regiment 
should have in peace-time a permanent establish- 
ment of officers and men who would accompany 
the regiment on service. The company com- 
manders in particular should not be removed 
from their companies. But to make such an 
arrangement possible, it is essential that one of 
the senior captains (who might be appointed to 
the staflf) should run the regimental school. It 


is also important to keep the regimental com- 
mander as a man apart as far as possible ; he 
should be made to realize upon all occasions the 
peculiar importance of the duties entrusted to 
him, and the respect due to himself personally 
by reason of these duties. 


In Manchuria, just as in the wars of the second 
half of last century, the great value of the 
infantry brigade as an independent fighting unit 
came out strongly in all the large battles ; as 
also did the great influence of its commander on 
the result of the fight. 

The advance and rear guards of army corps 
generally consisted of brigades. A brigade 
commander usually began the attack ; a brigade 
commander usually finished it (by commanding 
the rearguard). And yet the post of Brigadier 
is not considered one of importance ; his powers 
are insignificant, and his position does not allow 
him sufficient independence to enable him to 
train either himself or his unit. Divisional 
commanders and their chief staff-officers in peace- 
time often ignore the brigadiers as if they were 
not wanted, and were fifth wheels to the coach ; 
and their absence for whole years, building 
barracks and roads, etc., is not considered to 
have any adverse effect on the successful training 
of the regiments under them. In such cir- 


cumstances even the zealous ones, and those 
anxious to do their duty, become dulled, slack, 
and lose capacity for work. There can be only 
one way out of this unnatural state of things, 
which, from a military point of view, is most 
harmful : brigade commanders must in peace- 
time be given independent command oj those 
units which they will have to command inde- 
pendently in war. This applies to cavalry as 
well as to infantry. Every brigade should have 
a small staff such as exists in independent 
brigades — namely, two adjutants, one an officer 
of the General Staff for operations, and one for 
administration. Each brigade commander should 
have powers in both these branches of their duty 
equal to that now delegated to divisional com- 
manders, while their disciplinary powers should 
remain as at present. 


Our divisional commanders are independent 
and in direct touch with troops ; but they also 
are overburdened with routine correspondence, 
and as they are frequently appointed to com- 
mand the summer camps, it happens that they 
are more often present at the exercises of the 
troops as spectators than actually in command. 
In field operations where there are two sides, 
the divisional general rarely finds it possible to 
take command of one, partly owing to an ex- 


aggerated idea of his own abilities, and partly to 
the scarcity of officers of sufficient seniority to 
be umpires. Consequently, he only gets practice 
in commanding troops in the field during con- 
centrations of large bodies of men. This is not 
enough. Commanders of infantry divisions, in 
particular, do not know nearly enough about the 
other arms, owing to the Httle practice they get 
in commanding mixed forces. So, while giving 
greater powers to brigade commanders, it will 
be also advisable to delegate to divisional generals 
the powers now exercised by corps commanders 
(with the exception of disciplinary poM^ers). 
Divisional commanders should always remember 
that the 16,000 rifles which they command are 
a number that can decide the fate of any action. 
With the inclusion, in divisions, of artillery, 
sapper, and cavalry units, exceedingly instructive 
exercises can be arranged within these units both 
in summer and winter, and the troops and their 
commanders thereby trained for war under 
modern war conditions. The four* officers of 
the General Staff who would be with each 
division should be relieved of all routine, except 
that relating to operations, and they should 
devote the whole of their time and energies to 
preparing work for the brigade and divisional com- 
manders in the training of the troops for battle. 

* Two in the two brigades, and two on the divisional 



Army corps commanders are quite independent, 
but, like the divisional commanders, are over- 
burdened with routine correspondence, etc., and 
do not get sufficient practice in commanding 
troops in the field. Some, during a tour of duty 
of several years, have never commanded troops 
on manoeuvres ; and it is impossible for all of 
them to have sufficient acquaintance with cavalry, 
as some corps do not include this arm. They 
and their staff, especially the General Staff 
officers, have no practice at all, or else very 
little, in the use of technical equipment and the 
modern aids to warfare (telegraphs, telephones, 
mines, motors, balloons, etc.). The experience 
of the late war showed up the necessity of in- 
creasing the establishment of the army corps, 
and the actions of their commanders will have 
such an important, and in many cases deciding, 
influence, that extremely careful selection is 
necessary for these posts ; the men appointed 
must be capable of teaching others as well as 
of learning themselves. As with the divisional 
generals, so should the powers of corps com- 
manders be extended at the expense of those 
now exercised by officers in command of military 



The commanders of military districts are the 

senior officers actually in charge of troops, and 


have at the same time important duties as ad- 
ministrative heads of districts. Here again 
administrative work, together with correspond- 
ence connected with the troops, occupies the 
greater part of their time, and only in ex- 
ceptionally favourable circumstances (the large 
manoeuvres with concentrations of troops from 
different districts) can they get any practice in 
commanding in the field. But as they also have 
to perform the duties of Governor-General, they 
are not able to devote sufficient time to the 
troops, even in inspecting them, or to improving 
themselves. I am absolutely convinced that, 
however much such a combination of two ap- 
pointments — each of which requires a man of 
exceptional ability and character — may be de- 
sirable from the political point of view, it has 
the gravest disadvantages for the army. There 
is a limit to human power. As our governor- 
generals devote the gi-eater part of their time and 
energies to civil matters, they entrust a large part 
of their military duties to the chief staff- officers 
of the districts. It can easily be understood 
that such an arrangement is not in the interests 
of the army. For instance, the most important 
mihtary district — that of Warsaw — was, as far 
as the army was concerned, neglected in the time 
of several governor-generals. Indeed, at one 
time, much to the subversion of the authority 
of officers in command of districts and corps, the 


troops in this area were controlled by the chief 
of the district staif ! Therefore, if we wish that 
the commanders of military districts — our most 
natural selections for the command of armies in 
war — should have time to prepare themselves 
for this important duty, we should free them from 
civil duties ; otherwise we shall get no improve- 
ment. They must also be relieved of the 
numerous and responsible cares with respect to 
all those questions which in war mainly fall 
to the officer in command of the communica- 

The inspection of hospitals, of supply depots, 
engineer and artillery units, of parks, of offices 
— everything that takes too much time from the 
exercises for the actual training of the troops 
and of themselves — should be eliminated from 
their duties. These have become so heavy with 
the complications of modern war, and are fraught 
with such importance to army and country, that 
the men who will have to perform them must 
unceasingly prepare themselves in peace ; but, 
for the reasons I have already given, few officers 
have time to follow up the developments in 
their profession. That is why in the recent 
war we were left behind in knowledge of the 
employment of artillery, of the utility of the 
various technical means of intercommunication, 
in appreciating relative value of different attack 
formations, etc. Our senior officers must be given 

VOL. II. 8 


sufficient leis^ire, while ijfiproving the troops under 
them, at the same time to improve themselves. 

Improvement of the Regulars. 

I have more than once pointed out how 
excellent the regulars were as regards military 
qualifications, and how much more reliable in 
the first fights than the reservists, especially the 
older ones. But we must look to the nation 
itself for the cause of the shortcomings of both. 
The lack of education in the peasant is reflected 
in the private soldier, and the non-existence of 
a martial spirit amongst the masses, coupled to 
the dislike for the war, resulted in the absence 
of a military spirit in our troops in Manchuria. 
Their ignorance made the conduct of modern 
war, which demands a much greater spirit of 
combination and initiative from the individual 
than formerly, very difficult for us. Conse- 
quently, while behaving with the utmost gal- 
lantry when in close order — in mass — our men, 
when left to themselves without officers, were 
more inclined to retire than to advance. In the 
mass they were formidable ; but very few of 
them were fit for individual action, and this is 
a point in which the Japanese had a great 
advantage. Their non-commissioned officers in 
particular were better educated than ours, and 
on many prisoners — private soldiers as well as 
non-commissioned officers — we found diaries 


written not only grammatically, but with a 
general knowledge of what was going on and of 
what the Japanese were trying to do. Many 
of them drew well. One prisoner — a private — 
drew on the sand an excellent diagram of our 
position and that of the enemy. 

It is never easy to turn in a short time an 
ignorant, illiterate recruit into an intelligent and 
keen soldier, capable of individual action ; and 
the recent reduction* of the term of service has 
made the task still harder. The greatest diffi- 
culty, however, is to get good non-commissioned 
officers ; even with the four to five year period 
with the colours we were not able to do this 
satisfactorily. The mass of our recruits are so 
illiterate, and so much book knowledge is re- 
quired in the schools from our non-commissioned 
officers, that there is a natural tendency to pick 
the men for these posts on account of their 
education and outward sharpness. This is a 
mistake, as these qualities are often superficial. 
The simple recruits of the deepest and strongest 
characters are usually slow and uncouth and do 
not shine externally ; consequently many of 
them never become selected for non-commis- 
sioned rank, and finish their service as private 
soldiers. But a surly man of some character 
often makes a better soldier than his smarter 

* [Service with the colours in Russia has been reduced 
generally from five to three years. — Ed.] 



comrade. With the reduced term of service we 
can do nothing without a considerable number 
of time-expired men. The present conditions 
under which these men are kept on in the ranks 
are sound enough, but the men dislike doing 
time-expired, or what they characterize as 
" mercenary," service. We must get over this 
dishke, and therefore as much as possible raise 
the position of sergeant-major and other non- 
commissioned officers. 

Another burning question, and one with which 
we shall be confronted more and more in the 
future, is how to keep the destructive tenets of 
the revolutionary parties out of our barracks. 
Drastic action will of course be taken, but if we 
do not succeed in crushing these parties among 
the people, we can hardly expect to be able to 
keep the army from infection. 

One of the most important requirements with 
our short term of service is that our men should 
not be taken away from their work for police 
duties. The part so frequently taken by the 
troops in putting down civil disorders by force 
of arms is particularly harmful to discipline. To 
turn to another point, owing to the inadequate 
funds allotted, our soldiers have always been 
treated worse than those of other armies. The 
Germans, for instance, spend twice as much per 
head upon the maintenance of their army as we 
do. Some improvement in this direction has 


already been made, especially in the feeding. 
With a serviceable cadre of time-expired sergeant- 
majors and non-commissioned officers, and with 
the living conditions of the men improved, we 
can face the future calmly even with a three- 
year term of service. But we shall only succeed 
if we relieve the troops of the large amount of 
extra regimental work which falls to them 
(tailoring, shoemaking, and other workshop 
work, care of reserve stores, etc.), and if we 
lighten their guard duties. Our recruits are 
free from this work and from guards only in the 
first year of service. 

Improvement of the Reservists. 

Our infantry in the recent war can be classified 
in four groups, according to the relative number 
of old regular soldiers and reservists : 

1. The East Siberian Rifle Regiments, which 
were maintained almost on a war footing* in 

2. The infantry in the 1st Brigades of the 
31st and 35th Divisions, which were filled up to 
war strength with regulars at the beginning of 
the war. 

3. The infantry of the regular army corps 
brought up to war strength with reservists. 

4. The infantry units formed from reserve 

* The transport was not full}' horsed. 


According to the opinion of competent officers 
who served in the war (which I fully share), 
other conditions being equal, the more regular 
soldiers there were in a unit, the more it could be 
relied on in battle. The best troops we had were 
the East Siberian Rifle Regiments, and after 
them the brigades of the 31st and 35th Divisions. 
In the case of the army corps, which proceeded 
to the front direct from Russia, sufficient care 
was not taken to regulate the proportion of 
regulars to reservists. Some units — the 10th 
Army Corps, for instance— arrived at the front 
20 per cent, below strength in men, and more in 
officers. In the first fight in which it was 
engaged, several companies of this corps had 
only sixty regular soldiers — thirty trained men 
and thirty recruits — who had not even passed 
their recruifs musketry course. All the remainder 
were reservists, among whom were a large 
number of 2nd Category men. These regular 
units consequently were, to all intents and 
purposes, nothing but reserve units. Finally, 
our reserve units arrived almost without any 
permanent peace cadres, so swallowed up were 
they in the great mass of reservists. In the early 
fighting these reservists, particularly those of 
the 2nd Category, were vastly inferior to the 
regulars ; many of them took advantage of every 
opportunity to leave the ranks with or without 
permission. There is little doubt that if the 


war had been a national one, and if the country 
had supported its sons at the front instead 
of doing the opposite, these men would have 
done better in the first fights ; but it is also quite 
certain that, other conditions being equal, the 
man with the colours must be better than the 
other as a soldier. He is not torn from his 
family at a time when he has begun to think 
that his military liability is over ; he is better 
trained, and possesses esprit de corps. Therefore, 
the best way of improving our infantry is to 
maintain it with a stronger peace establishment 
than at present. 

In Manchuria a peace establishment of 100 men 
per company became so weak from the various 
causes incidental to active service that companies 
went into action with one-third regulars to two- 
thirds reservists. Nominally regular forces, 
they were in reality more like reserve troops. 
Regulars should be in the majority in every 
company, but the great difficulties and expense 
of maintaining troops on a strong peace footing 
compel us to pay special attention to the question 
of improving our reserve men. Modern war 
must be fought mainly with men temporarily 
called up from amongst the people. 

The only thing that will insure devotion to 
their country among reservists proceeding to the 
front is the existence of a spirit of patriotism in 
the nation. Discontent and feelings of oppres- 


sion among the people are naturally reflected in 
the minds of those of them leaving for war. 
But, independent of such all-important general 
considerations, there are certain definite things 
that can be taken to improve the tone of the 
reservists. According to the present system, 
when a man passes from the colours into the 
reserve his connection with his own unit — in 
fact, with the Service generally — almost ceases. 
The practice concentrations are not carried out 
on a large enough scale, and though valuable, are 
often dispensed with altogether on account of 
financial considerations. So it happens that a 
man passing into the reserve takes his uniform 
with him, but, with rare exceptions, never even 
wears his forage-cap ; this he generally gives to 
some neighbour or relation — hardly ever a soldier 
— to wear out. The reservist himself only too 
gladly dons peasant's clothes or other mufti ; he is 
glad to feel that he is a peasant again. He starts 
in business, takes up peaceful occupations, and 
raises a family. When he reaches the age of 
forty, he begins to put on flesh. And it is under 
these conditions that he is suddenly torn from 
the bosom of his family, and sent to fight in a 
strange, " hired "* land for a cause for which he 
feels no sympathy, and which he does not 
understand. To this are added the general dis- 

* [By this expression is meant a land not belonging to 
Russia. — Ed.] 


content all around him, and a flood of revolu- 
tionary proclamations. The separation of the 
reservist from all touch with the army once he 
has left it does not tend to his rapid retrans- 
formation from " mujik " into trained soldier. 
In the case of Manchuria he certainly became a 
good man after some months in the school of 
war, but so long a period of grace cannot be 
counted on in the future. 

Coming here into the heart of the country as 
I did nine months ago, and staying here con- 
tinuously, I have been in a position to observe 
our reservists returning from the war. When 
the return stream first began in March, April, 
and May, there were large numbers. Sometimes 
when I passed they would fall in — in line — and 
receive me after the military fashion. They 
wore fur caps, very often military great-coats, 
and looked, as they were, a fine body of young 
soldiers. Nine months of hard work in the fields 
soon turned them again into peasants, and now, 
when they come to me, on business or otherwise, 
instead of saluting, they take off their caps and 
call me " Barin."'^ 

In Japan mothers counted it a dishonour if 
their sons were rejected as medically unfit to go 
to the front. With us how different it was ! 
Women often came to thank me heartily for 

* [The term used by common folk in Russia when 
addressing men of higher birth. — Ed.] 


having " had pity " on their sons and husbands, 
because these latter happened to have been told 
off for duty with transport units or with hospitals, 
etc., instead of being sent into action,'"' and they 
did the same when their men returned safe and 
sound. In Japan, Germany, and other countries, 
some endeavour is made in education to inculcate 
patriotism into the people. A love of country 
and pride in the Fatherland is created in the 
children. As has been said before, the schools 
in Japan do everything they can to create and 
foster a martial spirit in the youth of the nation, 
and to practise them in military matters. There 
and in other countries the formation of various 
patriotic societies is approved, and all kinds of 
physical sport are encouraged. The authorities 
are not afraid to issue thousands of rifles to the 
people for rifle practice, etc. We do not do this ; 
we are afraid for political reasons. Little is 
done to inculcate patriotism by education in our 
schools, and the great gulf between Church, 
rural, and Government schools makes matters 
worse. Students in the highest educational 
establishments have long ago abandoned study 
for politics ; it has for long been the fashion to 

* Owing to famine in the Kholm district in the years 
just before the war, the reservists in it were called up later 
than those in the neighbouring districts, and the majority 
of them were consequently stationed on the line of com- 


abuse everything Russian, and military service is 
thought to be dishonourable. Our infantry 
soldier is undersized and overloaded ; he is 
usually untidy, often dirty, and wears an ugly 
and ill-fitting uniform. Is it a wonder that, as 
he slouches along, he excites more pity than 
pride in the man in the street ? And yet it is 
on this undersized man that the integrity of the 
Empire depends. Money is tight, as we all 
know, but still, we do not keep the soldier clean 
and smart enough when he is serving, and when 
we pass him into the reserve we give him a dress 
which he can display with no pride to his neigh- 
bours or even his own family. Under such con- 
ditions, how can we hope that he will then 
suddenly turn into a martial warrior ? 

Only by the reformation of our schools, and the 
introduction into the life of the lower classes of 
reforms, which, besides increasing their comfort, 
will develop in them a love for, and pride in, 
their country, and a deep sense of the necessity 
for some sacrifice for it, shall we get in the 
reserve a thorough soldier of the right sort. The 
attainment of such a result cannot depend 
entirely on any actions of the War Department, 
which must, after all, be secondary ; but the 
things that can be effected by it are nevertheless 
important, and I will enumerate those which 
seem to be the most pressing. 

In an army discipline is the foundation of all 


efficiency ; but to maintain discipline in an army 
is impossible when the mass of the nation have 
no respect for authority, and where the authorities 
actually fear those under them. The term of 
service with the colours is now so short that 
there is no time to overcome in the soldier the dis- 
orderliness of the people from whom he comes, yet 
to effect improvement in the reservist demands 
an iron military discipline. It must not be 
allowed for a moment that a soldier need not be 
afraid of his officer. The present greatest enemy 
to discipline is the employment of soldiers in the 
political struggle now going on. On the one 
hand, the force is corrupted by propaganda ; 
on the other, men are taken away from military 
duties and detailed for almost continual police 
work, in putting down disorder not only of a 
military nature, such as mutiny, where the situa- 
tion can only be saved by the assistance of 
reliable troops, but riots which should be dealt 
with by the police and the gendarmes. Officers 
are taken away to sit on field courts,* to judge, 
shoot, and hang political and other criminals. 
These duties make the populace hate the troops, 
and among the soldiers who suffisr in killed and 
wounded it arouses a feeling of hatred not only 
for the civilians who shoot at them, but against 
the officers who order them to kill the civilians. 
The result is demoralizing to a degree. What 
* [Summary courts-martial under martial law. — Ed.] 


impression can the man passing into the reserve 
take home with him if, during the two or three 
years of his colour service, he has been " main- 
taining order" in various ways with the aid of 
his rifle ? The army can and must do all that is 
necessary to suppress mutinies, and to break 
down all organized opposition, but it should then 
return at once to its ordinary work. If this sort 
of duty becomes frequent, if the soldier sees that 
the Government is powerless to restore order 
even with the aid of troops, doubts will creep 
into his mind as to the expediency of the 
Government's policy and as to his own com- 
manders. According to what I hear, it seems 
that the heavy task which has recently fallen to 
the lot of the army is now coming to an end, 
and that order is beginning once more to be 
restored in our great country. Please God may 
it soon be the case, as otherwise the force must 
deteriorate instead of improving. 

Under ordinary conditions our work should 
tend to make the man passed into the reserve 
arrive in his native village or town well dis- 
ciplined, knowing his work, taking a pride in his 
old corps, and respecting those under whom he 
has served. We must therefore endeavour to 
prevent him from losing touch with the Service 
and quickly forgetting what he has learned in it. 
In some armies to obviate this they have what is 
called the territorial system, by which reservists 


maintain touch to the end of their term with 
those units in which they have served. This 
system is not possible for us in its entirety, but 
it might be apphed partially and adopted on a 
fairly large scale. One of its great advantages 
would be that reservists would on mobilization 
at once join the units in which they had previously 
served. They would not be strangers, but would 
be known to the cadre of time-expired, but still 
serving, non-commissioned officers and the officers, 
and would soon settle down. Men of the same 
district would be more inclined to hold together 
under fire, and every man would feel that if he 
behaved badly his comrade would send news of 
it to his home. Units territorially connected 
with the people would be more dashing than 
corps collected from anywhere. There would, 
of course, be many difficulties, which would have 
to be overcome before the system could be 
adopted. For instance, men taken from a certain 
locality would, if employed to suppress disorders 
in that place, be more likely to waver than 
men from another unit and district. Cases have 
been known where non-commissioned officers who 
had been strict with their men have requested, on 
being passed into the reserve, not to be sent off 
in the same compartment of a train with their 
late subordinates, who had threatened to " make 
things even " so soon as they both passed into 


the reserve together. With us such a settHng 
up of old scores might easily be effected under 
a territorial system, by which both officers and 
soldiers would, after their service, come together 
in one district. 

It must be more frequently impressed on the 
reservists that they still are soldiers. Local 
concentrations should be organized for them so 
that they may get some training, and these 
should be arranged at such a time of the year as 
to interfere as little as possible with the crops. 
This would vary, of course, according to locality. 
Our recruiting officers are now mainly occupied, 
like everyone else, with office work ; they should 
be more in touch with the reservists, who should 
look to them as their commanding officer, adviser, 
and protector. The relationship now is too purely 
official. An important matter also is the division 
of reservists in peace-time. In my opinion it is 
essential to have three classes. For the first two 
years after the man leaves the colours he should 
be considered on furlough ; he should be made 
to wear uniform, and always be ready to be 
recalled in case of partial or general mobilization. 
The men of the last two classes should be on 
a different footing, and should be used on mobi- 
lization to fill up services in rear, hospitals, 
bakeries, parks, transport units, and to guard 
camps on the communications, etc. 


Reforms in the Organization of the 
Reserve Troops. 

We have already seen (Chapter VI.) how, 
when the war began, we found it necessary, in 
the absence of any assurance arranged by dip- 
lomacy against other contingencies, to be ready 
for any military eventuality on our Western 
frontier. Consequently, too great a number of 
reserve units were included amongst the troops 
told off to take the field in the Far East. Another 
reason for this was that we did not really know 
the qualities of different sections of our army. 
Our crack troops, taking both officers and men 
together, of three Guard and three Grenadier 
divisions, six divisions in all, were left in Euro- 
pean Russia, while newly formed corps composed 
of reserve units were sent into the field. I have 
already mentioned how my recommendation to 
mobilize the reinforcements being sent to us 
immediately after Easter was for various reasons 
rejected, how they were mobilized a month later 
than they should have been, and arrived in Man- 
churia unsettled, untrained, knowing scarcely 
anything of the new rifle, without having fired 
a course of musketry, and not having done any 
combined tactical operations with the other 

The troops of the 6th Siberians, which certainly 
had been in camp for a short time before starting, 


had not been given a gun or a squadron to enable 
them to practise combined operations. Of the 
4th Siberian Corps, which mobihzed under most 
favourable conditions, only the Omsk Regiment 
had been trained in artillery, and this was of an 
old pattern ; yet it had to go into action with 
quick-firing guns. Cavalry were hardly seen. 
Indeed, if we consider the haphazard selection of 
commanding officers, the lack of any community 
of thought amongst the officers generally, the 
almost complete absence of proper tactical train- 
ing, the large number of 2nd Category reservists, 
general dislike of the war, and, finally, the absence 
of military spirit, it will be evident why some 
units of the reserve troops failed. In the first 
battles the troops of the 4th Siberian Corps won 
a good reputation in the army. The reasons for 
this were : 

1. The splendid character of the men in them. 
Bluff, surly fellows of Siberia, they were strong in 
body and stout of heart, and understood better 
than others the reasons for which we were fighting 
in the Far East. 

2. The careful selection of those in com- 

3. The bravery of the officers. 

4. The long time they had, compared with 
other troops, to train and acquire cohesion. 

But, after the reserve troops which came out 
from European Russia had received their baptism 

VOL. II. 9 


of fire, they also did well. It is sufficient to call to 
mind the behaviour of the regiments of the 54th 
and 7Ist Divisions at Mukden, as well as those 
of the 55th and 61st Divisions. But this result 
was not reached till late, and cost many lives. 
In a European conflict the fate of a campaign 
will be far more rapidly decided than it was in 
Manchuria, for the first battles fought after the 
declaration of hostilities will have a deciding 
influence. In the recent war, owing to the slow 
concentration possible on a single-track railway, 
the reserve troops might have been collected 
sooner and given several months to settle down, 
and have thus arrived at the front more ready 
for battle. In a European war they will have to 
be transported into the theatre of operations in 
a very short time after mobilization. We made 
a great mistake in forming the reserve troops 
into separate army corps. In my opinion, it 
would have been much better to have put them 
into existing corps — either as third divisions or 
separate brigades. This would have improved 
our corps organization, which is too unwieldy 
and too big for a strength of only twenty-four 
battalions. With strong corps consisting of 
efficient self-contained brigades the confusion 
of units in battle would be minimized. 

Before the war no army corps organization 
had been worked out for the reserve troops ; 
everything had been arranged for a divisional 


organization. In my opinion, neither corps nor 
divisions are necessary. It would be more 
advantageous to form the reserve units into 
independent brigades of eight battahons, and to 
use them as army troops, or possibly as corps 
troops. The mobilization of the reserve artillery, 
sapper, and cavalry, should take place together 
with that of the infantry. Every reserve brigade 
of eight battalions (8,000 rifles) should have, with 
two batteries of twelve guns, one company of 
sappers and one reserve squadron of cavalry or 
a sotnia of Cossacks. This arrangement would 
permit of reserve troops being employed on 
secondary objects without the organization of 
the army being broken up, and it would no longer 
be necessary to find so many divisional and 
corps commanders, with their numerous staffs. 

Steps to augment the Combatant Element 
IN OUR Infantry. 

Amongst the causes of our disasters has been 
mentioned (Chapter VI.) the small number of 
rifles per company we had in action as com- 
pared with the Japanese. We often had more 
battalions than they, but fewer men. The 
various reasons for this I have already enumerated. 
To lessen the number of subsidiary duties which 
take men away from the fighting-line of the 
regular army, we must create cadres for the 



troops of the rear services ; we must also arrange 
that the casualties are quickly made good from 
the reserve troops, which should be kept up per- 
manently and closely connected with the regular 
troops. (Every regular regiment should have 
one reserve or depot battalion.) To augment 
the numbers fighting compared with the numbers 
fed, and, in particular, to increase the number 
of men in the firing-line, we must bring up the 
combatant establishment of our companies from 
220 to 250 rifles. With 220 rifles on the roll 
of a company, we were never able to put even 
200 in action ; and in bringing the strength of 
these units up to 250, we must take steps to see 
that they all really can take the field. According 
to the " War Establishments," a line infantry 
regiment has an establishment of 3,838 com- 
batants and 159* non-combatants (total 3,997), 
which gives 235 rifles per company. But in this 
number are included 35 bandsmen, 33 drummers, 
1 bugler, 3 regimental quartermaster-sergeants, 
1 sergeant-major of the non-combatant company, 
5 baggage non-commissioned officers, and, more- 
over, another 240 (15 per company) detailed for 
supply work, etc. Excluding these, 3,520 com- 
batants are left, which gives 220 per company ; 
but experience has shown that there is much 
leakage from this number. 

* With two-wheeled baggage-carts, the number has to 
be increased by an additional til'ty-four men. 


The peculiarities of Manchuria necessitated the 
employment of men on duties that would have 
been quite unnecessary, or less necessary, in 
a European war. Thus, in addition to the 
authorized transport, we had pack transport, 
which swallowed up fifty men per regiment. 
The large herds of cattle with regiments re- 
quired twenty-four men to look after and guard 
them. There were nine regimental butchers. 
Two or three donkeys were told off to each 
company. (Indeed, they were of such great use 
in taking water and ammunition up into the 
firing-line that I consider they should be in- 
cluded in the establishments of troops in Euro- 
pean Russia.) In each company one man was 
told off to these animals. The number of 
officers on the regimental rolls included those 
who had been wounded and were away con- 
valescent, and many of these took their orderlies 
with them on leaving the front. The expendi- 
ture in these orderlies alone amounted to more 
than 100 men. For the special pack transport 
which was formed for the scout sections for 
carriage of ammunition and supplies, thirteen 
men per regiment were required. Judging by 
the experience of the war, I consider the follow- 
ing duties ought to be allowed for in every 
regiment in addition to the establishment of 
159 non-combatants ; 



Company clerks 

. 16 

Mess caterers 


Officers' mess cooks 


Men's cooks 


Butchers and cattle guard 


Officers' grooms 

. 27 

Transport drivers with scout sections 

. 13 

Instructors ... 


Stretcher-bearers ... 

. 128 

Baggage guard 

. 48t 

With water donkeys 

. 16 

Officers' orderlies ... 

.. 80 

Sergeant-major of non-combatant company 1 

Transport driver non-commissioned officers 5 

Despatch riders 

.. SO 

Bandsmen ... 

. 35 

Drummers ... 

.. 33 

Reserve in case of sickness and wounded . 




All these must be classed as non-combatants. 
Adding to these the prescribed establishment 
of 159 non-combatants, we shall get a total 
of 650 with each regiment of four battalions. 
They should all be armed, and be ready to fight 
either in the advanced lines or with the baggage. 
The value of machine-guns is now so great 
that we cannot afford to be without them. In 
my opinion, each company should have one gun, 
and six men should be detailed to carry it and 

* Cooks and mess caterers, eighteen of each — i.e., sixteen 
per company, and two with scout sections, one mounted, 
one dismounted. 

t Three per^company. 


its ammunition. Thus, there would be 100 men 
with the machine-guns in a regiment (including 
four reserve men). The scout sections also did such 
useful service in the recent war that we ought 
certainly to have dismounted and small mounted 
scout sections in each regiment. This would 
take up 200 more men. Finally, the strength 
of every company, exclusive of all these extras, 
should be fixed at 250 rifles, which would make 
4,000 in the regiment. The strength of a regiment 
would, therefore, total as follows : 

Combatants (in sixteen companies) 

.. 4,000 

Scout sections 


Machine-gun sections 


Non-combatants ... 


Total 5,000 

The present establishment of a four-battalion 
regiment is 3,838 combatants and 159 non- 
combatants ; total, 3,997. Therefore a total 
increase of 1,003 per regiment is desirable. 
Including fifteen men in every company for 
supply duties, the authorized non-combatant 
element works out at : 

Non-combatants ... 
Bandsmen, drummers, buglers ... 
Regimental quartermaster-sergeants 
Sergeant-majors and baggage non-com 

missioned officers 
For supply duties 








Fixing the total number of non-combatants 
required at 650, I thus add to the expendi- 
ture authorized by existing estabhshments 173. 
These, including stretcher-bearers, would never 
go into action. Thus, the addition necessary to 
bring the fighting element of a regiment up to 
5,000 comes out as follows : 

Increase of thirty rifles per company (so 

as to have 250 instead of 220) ... 480 

Scout sections ... ... ... ... 200 

Machine-gun sections ... ... ... 150 

Total 830 

This increase would greatly add to its present 


At the beginning of the war the army had 
only a small number of machine-guns. Recog- 
nizing the value of this weapon, the Japanese 
quickly introduced it, and furnished their field 
troops with a large number. We did the same, 
and several machine-gun companies and sections 
arrived from Russia during the summer of 
1905. But the type of weapon did not satisfy 
tactical requirements — (1 ) as regards its weight ; 
and, (2) adaptability to the ground. A pat- 
tern must be invented that can be carried even 
into the outpost line. Our high, unwieldy 
weapons, with their shields, more resembled light 
field-guns ; and their unsuitable construction, 
combined with the difficulty of adapting them 

DEP6T troops for infantry 137 

to the ground, was responsible for the decision 
that these guns should be organized into batteries, 
and be treated and used as artillery. Such 
an opinion is absolutely wrong, for the great 
volume of fire which they can deliver calls 
for their distribution at the most important 
points along the firing-line, and, therefore, a 
capability of advancing with assaulting columns. 
The organization of machine-gun companies did 
not meet the above tactical requirements. Each 
battalion should have four guns. 

Reserve (or Depot) Troops. 

The reserve or depot troops should be de- 
veloped and given an organization which will 
permit of the wastage in units, both in officers 
and men, being made good from them imme- 
diately after a battle or during a long series of 
battles. Each infantry regiment should have 
its reserve (depot) battalion, which should be 
formed on mobihzation at a strength of 40 per 
cent, of the combatant establishment of a regi- 
ment — i.e., at 1,600 men.* Of these, 400, or 
10 per cent, of the regiment's strength, should 
be in the theatre of war. This number should 
be formed into one company, and should con- 
stitute the reserve depot company of its par- 

* [This is taking a regiment at 4,000 — i.e., the men 
actually in the firing-line and not employed specially — for 
scout sections, etc. — Ed.] 


ticular regiment, and be continually feeding it. 
With every division these companies should be 
organized together into a reserve battalion of 
1,600 men for the immediate replacement of 
casualties in the regiments of the division. All 
wounded and sick who are not sent to the base 
should be att-ached to this battalion till they are 
passed as fit. After great battles this reserve 
would be depleted, and would require filling up 
from the base depot. The establishment of the 
other arms should be kept up to strength by a 
parallel arrangement. The casualties amongst 
non-combatants are less, but in their case a reserve 
is necessary, distinct from the combatant reserve, 
to make good their wastage. It should be 
mainly composed of 2nd Category reservists and 
those of the convalescent combatants not con- 
sidered fit enough for the ranks. 

The war shows very clearly the immense im- 
portance of rapidly repairing the wastage in units 
directly after an action. The Japanese succeeded 
in doing this, with the result that they were 
greatly superior to us in numbers. It was more 
important for us to be able to replace casualties 
by drafts than to receive reinforcements, and it 
would have made us stronger. For instance, 
with five troop trains available in the twenty- four 
hours, a complete army corps with its baggage 
and parks took twenty days to reach the front, 
and increased our strength by some 25,000 rifles. 


If drafts had been sent up during those twenty 
days instead of an army corps, we should have 
received 90,000 to 100,000 men. In place of 
cavalry, baggage, artillery, parks, and a small 
number of infantry, we should have got a large 
number of the latter. It was infantry we wanted, 
for in our big battles it was the infantry that 
suffered so heavily. The number of guns per 
1,000 rifles was too large, and the amount of 
transport and baggage was prodigious, with the 
result that the 10,000 to 12,000 rifles left in corps 
resembled an escort to the artillery, parks, 
baggage, etc.,* more than anything else. 

Troops in Rear — Communication Troops. 
By troops in rear I mean those at rest camps, 
railway troops, road working parties, telegraph 
sections, motor troops, transport of various kinds, 
all of which should be under the general oflicer 
commanding communications. There is also a 
large number of men in the departments, institu- 
tions, and depots of all the fleld administrations, 
but as in Manchuria these were mostly fixed by 
the authorized establishment, I will not refer to 
them. The absence of any prepared organization 
of troops for the line of communication, however, 
led to their being formed at the expense of the 

* I several times reported to the War Minister that the 
despatch of drafts to fill up wastage in the units already at 
the front was much more necessary than the despatch to 
us of fresh units. 


fighting strength of the infantry. While officers 
commanding regiments complained of the great 
wastage of their men on duties in the rear, those in 
rear complained that the numbers they had were 
insufficient. Troops for the duties in rear should 
of course be formed on mobilization. In the 
part of my report upon the 1st Army which 
deals with the organization of the communica- 
tions there is much valuable material which is 
based on war experience, and may be a useful 
guide for the future. By the end of August, 
1905, the strength of the 1st Army alone was 
300,000. Its own communications in rear had 
a depth of 150 miles and a frontage of 330 miles, 
including the detachments guarding the extreme 
left flank and the left flank corps under General 
Rennenkampf, with which we permanently occu- 
pied a front of about 70 miles. Under the 
general commanding the communications of the 
1st Army, which consisted of six army corps, 
were 650 officers and officials, 12,000 men, and 
25,000 horses, and this number was considered 
inadequate. In my report, I gave as my estimate 
for the numbers required for one army corps per 
day's march in length of communications — 


1 . Half company infantry. . . ... ... 120 

2. Transport 320 

3. Road troops ... ... ... ... 25 

4. Postal telegraph working parties ... 5 

Total 470 


Engineer Troops. 

The great development of science in warfare is 
very marked, but the late war did not display 
the employment of scientific forces that will be 
made in a struggle between two European 
Powers. In this respect the Japanese were 
much better served than we were, but even 
they were not technically equipped in the way 
that will soon be necessary. The speedy con- 
struction of strong fortifications, the laying of 
railways (especially of field railways) and con- 
struction of metalled roads, the organization of 
aerial and wireless telegraphy, of signalling by 
heliograph, lamps, and flags, the employment of 
balloons, motors, and bicycles, are all duties for 
which the demand increases every day, while the 
great quantity also of artificial obstacles, wire, 
mines, hand-grenades, explosives, reserves of 
entrenching tools, etc., now required must exist 
ready for use in large quantities. A much larger 
number of engineer troops, including sappers, 
telegraph and railway units, than we had avail- 
able in Manchuria is necessary, in order that all 
this technical equipment may be used to the best 
advantage. Without touching here upon the 
railway troops necessary for the proper service 
of the communications, the number of which 
must depend upon the length of the existing 
lines, and of those proposed to be laid during 


operations, let us consider the question of the 
number of sapper and telegraph troops required 
for one army corps of three divisions. 

The spade, which had been forgotten since the 
Turkish War, has once more regained its true 
position. With the volume and murderous 
effectiveness of modern fire, neither the attack 
nor the defence can be conducted without enor- 
mous losses, unless proper and intelligent use is 
made of digging. For a protracted defence strong 
fortified positions wdth both open and closed 
works and all possible kinds of artificial obstacles 
are absolutely necessary. Consequently, for the 
attack of such positions, special troops are required 
trained in the use of explosives and the destruc- 
tion of obstacles, and in road- making, for heavy 
artillery demands good roads and strong bridges. 

While every Japanese division of twelve 
infantry battalions had one strong sapper bat- 
tahon, we had on an average only one company 
of sappers with each division. This proved to 
be too small a proportion. Our sappers worked 
nobly in the construction of earthworks and 
roads, but they did little in actual contact with 
the enemy, and, strange as it may appear, were 
often forgotten when an action began, even when 
we attacked the enemy's strongly fortified posi- 
tions. In the 2nd Army we had several sapper 
battalions, and yet in the assault on San-de-pu* 

[* Battle of Hei-kou-tai.— Ed.] 

250 SAPPERS TO 4,000 INFANTRY 143 

not a single company was told off to accompany 
the storming columns. As our sappers were so 
scarce, we took the gi'eatest care of them, as 
theu' small number of casualties as compared 
with those of the infantry proves. To get the 
best results from this arm, it seems to me neces- 
sary to associate them more with other troops, 
and therefore to attach them to divisions, instead 
of including them in the corps troops. If we 
succeed in getting strong regiments of 4,000 rifles, 
I consider it essential that every regiment should 
have attached to it, for offensive as well as 
defensive operations, one sapper company of 
250 men, which would mean a four-company 
sapper battalion, 1,000 strong, for every division. 
They should be trained to put up obstacles very 
rapidly, and should possess the necessary tools and 
equipment for their destruction. A large supply of 
wire is also very important ; it may be taken that 
every division should have a sufficient supply of 
wire for two defensive points, say 1 ton for each. 
Moreover, there should be attached to each 
division a field-telegraph company of six sections, 
in order to organize rapid communication between 
each party of troops thrown out in front and 
the divisional staff. Each regiment should have 
with it a section which should be equipped to 
establish communication by telephone,* flag, 

* Colonel Ujin's pack-telephone system, which I tried 
in Manchuria, is a very good one. 


cycle or motor. With every three-division army 
corps there should be a sapper brigade of three 
battalions, a field-telegraph battahon of five 
companies, a mining company, a balloon section, 
and a railway battalion. Two of the telegraph 
companies should keep up communication from 
the corps to army headquarters, to other corps, 
to its own divisions, to the parks, the baggage, 
and reserves. 

One of our principal failings, as I have re- 
peatedly mentioned, was lack of information. 
Owing to this, and the consequent loss of touch, 
commanders could not conduct operations inteUi- 
gently or keep corps and army commanders and 
the Commander-in-Chief informed of what was 
happening. Every Japanese regiment laid down 
telephones as it advanced ; we used to find their 
dead operators in our trous de loup, which 
showed that they were right up with the firing- 
line. With us touch was not infrequently lost 
even between whole corps and armies ! The 
necessity for remedying this grave defect is 
obvious, and we must practise how to do this in 
peace. Not a regiment should be allowed to 
advance at manoeuvres without at once being 
connected up by telephone with its brigade com- 
mander and the divisional staff, and it is essential 
that, as the information comes in by telegraph 
and telephone, the di\dsional corps and army 
staffs should at once fix on the maps the positions 


of both forces. Formerly commanders could 
watch the whole battlefield through a telescope 
from an eminence, could see their own troops, 
and could trace the position of the hostile infantry 
and artillery from the smoke. Now there is 
nothing to be seen. Often the troops are out of 
sight, and all that meets the eye are the puffs of 
smoke from the bursting shrapnel. Therefore 
orders and dispositions have to be worked out 
on the map, and we must learn how to keep 
these maps constantly up to time. In order that 
all intelligence may be at once noted, a " service 
of communication," by means of motors, cyclists, 
and particularly of telegraph and telephone, 
might be organized, in addition to the ordinary 
reports brought in by mounted men. To attain 
these important results, considerable expense 
must be incurred in the creation of this " service 
of communication " or " service of information " 
of such a nature as to meet in every way the 
requirements of battle, of movement, and of rest. 
An adequate number of sapper units with 
regiments wiU not only help us in the capture 
of fortified positions strengthened by obstacles, 
but will assist us rapidly to adapt them for 
defence when taken. The work of the mining 
company in future wars will be great both in 
attack and defence, especially in defence. It 
should have charge of all explosives required for 
demolitions, including mines, pyroxyline bombs, 

VOL. II. 10 


and hand-grenades. The great effect of the 
bombs thrown by revolutionaries and anarchists 
points to their extensive use in war in the future. 
If fanatics can be found who will rush to certain 
death in order to kill peaceful citizens, it should 
certainly be possible to find devoted soldiers 
who will advance ahead of the firing-line and 
throw bombs into the enemy's obstacles. 

Besides supply of field railway material for 
the army, each corps should have enough for 
thirty miles of line (steam or horse draught, 
according to circumstances). 


We have learnt by experience that skill in 
the employment of guns is more important than 
their number. Under modern battle conditions, 
when the position of a battery cannot be seen, 
a great deal of ammunition is fired during the 
artillery duel without any result. Two to four 
well- concealed guns cleverly moved from one 
position to another can hold their own with a 
brigade of artillery, and, if they can only range 
on the enemy's guns first, rapid fire gives them 
the power of inflicting heavy loss. Our keenest 
and most experienced gunners got on to the 
enemy on many occasions with great effect, but 
as a rule our artillery did little damage. One 
occasion when very ineffective results were 
obtained by us was at Hei-kou-tai, where, in 


our endeavour to get possession of San-de-pu, 
we fired 70,000 rounds into every square,* except 
the one which actually contained the village. 
Our immense expenditure of ammunition also 
emphasized how carefully the question of the 
right proportion of guns in a force must be 
considered. In this war, owing to the great 
delay in sending up drafts to repair wastage, we 
were often actually handicapped by having too 
many guns ! We frequently had to fight with 
divisions containing only some 6,000 to 8,000 
men in the four regiments and the full forty-eight 
guns — a proportion of six to eight guns per 
1,000 rifles, which is far too many. And 
our guns were literally an embarrassment, espe- 
cially when they had run out of ammunition. 
Even assuming that we shall be able (as I have 
suggested) to place in the field regiments with 
a strength of 4,000 rifles, I consider it will be 
quite sufficient if we maintain the proportion of 
guns at forty-eight per division, or three guns 
per 1,000 rifles. The fire from quick-firing 
guns is nowadays quite powerful and effective 
enough for four guns to be considered a tacti- 
cally independent fighting unit ; but the forma- 
tion of batteries of such a size is expensive, 
and requires too many men. It appears to be 
preferable, therefore, to abandon the artillery 
divisional organization, and return to the former 
* [Presumably squares on a map. — Ed.] 



twelve-gun battery, dividing it into three com- 
panies, each of which would be in a tactical sense 
independent. The 48 guns — i.e., four batteries — 
with an infantry division, would then be organized 
into an artillery regiment under the command 
of the divisional general. Each company would 
be commanded by a captain, the battery by a 
lieutenant-colonel, the regiment by a colonel. 

We found that for mutual and smooth co- 
operation in battle it is most important that 
batteries should operate as far as possible with 
the same regiments of infantry. Close touch is 
established, and each arm unselfishly supports 
the other. I often heard the expression, " our 
battery," " our regiment," and in these simple 
words a deep, underlying sentiment was ex- 
pressed. Each battery should be capable of 
acting independently of the artillery regiment 
to which it belongs. For hill warfare mountain 
artillery should be allotted to infantry in the 
same proportion as I have suggested for field 

Our gun proved an excellent weapon ; but 
our shrapnel, which was very effective against 
objects and troops in the open, was of no 
use against invisible targets, earthworks, and 
mud walls. Our artillery fire against villages 
held by the enemy, therefore, produced very 
little result. I consider that a new pattern of 
shell should be introduced with thicker walls 


and a heavier bursting charge ; but even then 
the effect of such Hght projectiles as our field- 
guns fire will not be great against the earth- 
works which are nowadays so quickly thrown 
up on positions. To prepare the way for the 
assault on such fortifications, and to obtain any 
speedy result in attacking defended localities, 
we must have field howitzers of a modern type. 
They should be organized in regiments of two 
batteries (twenty-four howitzers), and attached 
to a corps as corps artillery. Finally, it is 
essential that every army should have a light 
siege-train to assist in the capture of strongly 
defended posts and heavy works. 

The organization of park units was well con- 
ceived, but the vehicles were unsuited to the 
Manchurian roads. I am afraid to express an 
opinion in favour of a further increase of mobile 
parks, because we were so overburdened with 
baggage of different kinds. I think it is pre- 
ferable to improvise local parks at railway- 
stations and junctions, as we did in Manchuria. 

Small-arm ammunition rarely ran short, but 
there was often a great lack of gun ammunition, 
and after the battles of Liao-yang, the Sha Ho, 
and Mukden, our reserves for filling up battery 
and park stocks were exhausted. The average 
expenditure of rifle ammunition worked out as 
follows : For a whole- day battle for one battalion, 
21,000 rounds, with a maximum of 400,000 ; an 


hour's fighting for one battahon, 1,700, with a 
maximum of 67,000. The total reserve taken 
with a four- battalion infantry regiment was 
800,000. The average expenditure per quick- 
firing field-gun in a one-day battle worked out 
at 55 rounds, with a maximum of 522 ; an hour's 
fighting, 10 rounds, with a maximum of 210. 

In the earlier fights the work of the artillery 
varied a good deal, and was not very successful ; 
but as they gained experience, many batteries 
fought splendidly, not only against guns, but 
against rifle-fire. Compared with the work of 
our artillery in 1877-78 (in the European theatre 
of operations), we have made considerable pro- 
gress in skill, and the very hea\y losses in killed 
and wounded in many batteries prove that our 
gunners know how to die. The horse artillery 
work depended entirely on the commanders of 
the cavalry units to which the batteries were 
attached, and when these commanders really 
meant fighting the batteries did good work. 
As a proof of this, it is enough to recall the 
gallant conduct of the 1st Trans-Baikal Cossack 
Horse Artillery Battery attached to Mischenko's 
Trans-Baikal Cossack Brigade. This battery 
and its young commander were known to the 
whole army ; more than once it successfully 
fought several of the enemy's batteries, and yet 
its losses were insignificant. Sometimes our 
cavalry leaders were unnecessarily anxious to 


retire, as was the ease in the cavalry of the 
2nd Army at the battle of Mukden, when the 
two batteries which were with it lost only two men 
wounded and one missing in eleven days' fighting. 
One six-gun battery was sufficient for four 
mounted regiments of such strength as we had. 
As said above, there should be one artillery 
regiment of four batteries (48 guns) with each 
infantry division, or a total of 144 guns for the 
three divisions. These three regiments would be 
organized in a brigade. There should also be one 
regiment of 24 howitzers with each corps. 


Though our cavalry was numerous, its work 
hardly came up to our expectations, but where it 
was properly commanded it did well enough. In 
my opinion, the main reform that is necessary 
in the cavalry is to improve their training. Till 
it is educated to feel that it should light as 
obstinately as infa7itry, the money expended on 
our mounted Arm will be thrown away. If 
infantry can still continue fighting after losing 
50 per cent, of their strength, cavalry should be 
able to do the same. In action we nursed the 
cavalry too much ; out of action we did not take 
sufficient care of it. Though they had not lost 
a man, whole regiments were moved to the rear 
as soon as the first shrapnel began bursting near 
them. The four regiments of cavalry — two 



dragoon and two Cossack — on whom fell the 
most difficult but the most honourable duty of 
obtaining information and opposing the leading 
units of Nogi's enveloping forces at the battle 
of Mukden, lost in killed and wounded : 

February 25 
March 2 
March 4 
March 5 
March 6 
March 7 
March 8 
March 9 
March 10 



Which works out at less than one man per 
squadron and sotnia. The casualties in almost 
every company of infantry were more than in 
these twenty-four squadrons and sotnias. It is 
quite plain that these units did not fight, but 
merely avoided the enemy ; and it is equally 
plain that, by avoiding battle, the cavalry neither 
checked the enemy's movement nor got any 
information about him. The material of which 
our cavalry was composed was excellent, but 
everything depended on those in command. In 
the battle of Te-lissu the infantry of the 
1st Siberian Corps lost 2,500 men ; the Primorsk 
Dragoon Regiment, belonging to the same corps, 
lost one ! 


But I repeat that where their leaders meant 
fighting the cavalry did their duty and suffered 
heavily. Take, for example, the Trans- Baikal 
Cossacks, which did so well under Mischenko, 
and the Caucasian Brigade. The Siberian 
Cossacks, under Samsonoff, fought at Liao-yang 
and the Yen-tai Mines with greater bravery 
than was displayed by some of Orloff's infantry, 
while the independent sotnias of the Don and 
Orenburg Voiskos, and the dragoons under 
Stakhovitch, were no whit behind them. Indeed, 
the men of the Primorsk Dragoon Regiment 
were good enough ; it was the officers who failed 
in not getting the best out of them. The inde- 
pendent units of all the Cossacks did well, but 
it was out of the question to expect martial 
ardour or a keen desire to perform feats of 
gallantry in old men such as formed the 
3rd Category Cossack regiments. But even 
these 3rd Category regiments could do good 
work when skilfully handled. The Cossack 
horses generally, and the Trans-Baikal horses in 
particular, were too small ; while those of the 
Don regiments were sturdy, but rather soft. 
The Trans-Baikal Cossacks on their shaggy little 
ponies reminded one more of mounted infantry 
than cavalry. On the whole, however, our 
cavalry worked far better than in the Russo- 
Turkish War under Generals KuilofF and Losh- 
kareff at Plevna. The great difficulty now is 


to find and train cavalry leaders ; in INIanchuria, 
according to most accounts, the juniors were 
good, the field officers moderate, and the general 
officers, with few exceptions, bad. 

The personality of the officer in command of 
a regiment of cavalry is a very important factor, 
as his merits and weak points are very quickly 
known, and as soon as a man in such a post shows 
himself unsuitable he should be removed. (This 
also applies to the general officers.) But I rarely 
found a divisional or corps commander who would 
report on the unsuitability of senior commanders 
under them ; they even concealed cases of 
cowardice. It was only at the conclusion of 
hostilities that it transpired that several had not 
only shown a lack of keenness, but even of 
personal courage. Some of the regimental com- 
manders were very old ; at fifty-five a man is too 
old for the command of a regiment. As in the 
infantry, the post of cavalry brigadier should be im- 
proved, and made a more important appointment. 
To it should be given the executive and adminis- 
trative powers now wielded by divisional generals. 

Three brigades should be formed into a division, 
the divisional general being given the powers of 
an army corps commander. There is no necessity 
for a higher organization. To the division of 
three brigades should be allotted a twelve-gun 
battery of horse artillery (three companies of four 
guns each). To every three-division army corps 


should be added one cavalry or Cossack brigade. 
Onje of the regiments of this brigade should act 
as divisional cavalry, two squadrons or sotnias 
with each division. If it is thought desirable 
that commanders of infantry divisions become 
acquainted with cavalry in peace-time, then two 
squadrons should be stationed in the area of the 
divisions under them. 


As in former wars, so in Manchuria was the 
heat and burden of the day borne by our infantry, 
and there is no doubt that, in the future, infantry 
will retain its name as the principal Arm. The 
importance of other Arms depends entirely on 
the extent to which they assist infantry to defeat 
the enemy, for the latter is the final arbiter of 
victory or defeat. But infantry cannot work 
alone, and nowadays, if it is not assisted in action 
by artillery, cavalry, and sappers, if every resource 
of modern science is not brought into play to 
lighten its heavy task, it will either fail or will 
buy victory at too high a price. It is to infantry, 
as the principal Arm, that we must pay our chief 
attention. And yet with us service in the Line is 
not considered so honourable as service in the other 
brafiches / From the moment of the selection 
of its recruits we do everything to weaken it. 
Even the pattern of uniform worn by our Line 
infantryman is particularly ugly. In his old- 


fashioned, badly fitting tunic, overburdened with 
haversacks and equipment of all sorts, he is any- 
thing but a martial sight. This is an aspect of 
the case which cannot be ignored, and it is almost 
as important that a man's uniform should be 
comfortable and attractive as that it should meet 
all the purely military requirements. All ranks 
should be enabled to admire their own dress and 
be proud of it. Up to the present, the majority 
of Line officers have not been given a good 
enough general or military education. Officers 
of all arms should receive a general education 
not lower than the intermediate standard of 
the national educational establishments, and a 
military education not lower than that of the 
military schools. We should teach the line 
officer to have a love and respect for the Arm in 
which he serves, as well as a knowledge of its 
particular role in battle, and must therefore raise 
his social position so that he may be a welcome 
guest in any society. We must provide him 
with a comfortable, inexpensive, and smart 
uniform. We must protect him from being 
abused by his seniors in the presence of his 
juniors, and in every possible manner encourage 
the development in him of an independent spirit. 
Bravery alone is not sufficient nowadays to 
attain victory ; knowledge, initiative, and willing- 
ness to accept responsibility are also required. 
Infantry have always had a hard part in action, 


and have always suffered great loss, but the 
modern battle which lasts for days makes greater 
demands upon their mental and physical endur- 
ance than ever before. With a large proportion 
of reservists and short-service men, we cannot 
rely on perfection in the soldier ; it is therefore 
all the more necessary that we should take steps 
to obtain it in our officers, and for this purpose 
we are lucky in having excellent and responsive 
material. Under all the arduous conditions 
under which the majority of our regiments had 
to fight, the greatest trials fell to the infantry 
officer, and right well he did his duty. It is 
quite enough to compare the casualties amongst 
those officers with those of their brothers in the 
cavalry, artillery, and sappers to see on whom 
fell the chief hardships and dangers. In some 
regiments the whole set of officers was changed 
several times. The following figures serve as an 
illustration of how they suffered : 

The 3rd East Siberian Rifle Regiment lost , 
The 34th East Siberian Rifle Regiment lost , 
The 36th East Siberian Rifle Regiment lost , 
The 1st East Siberian Rifle Regiment lost , 
The 4th East Siberian Rifle Regiment lost , 
The 23rd East Siberian Rifle Regiment lost 

Killed and 







It is impossible to recall the gallant war services 
of these and of the officers of many other regi- 
ments without profound respect and emotion. 


It must always be borne in mind that the 
infantry of the Line is the backbone of our 
Ser^dce in peace as well as in war. Consequently, 
we should make much more of those who serve 
in it than we do, and give them a better chance. 
At present the list of regimental commanding 
officers includes far too many Guardsmen or 
officers of the General Staff. I am convinced 
that if the importance of service in the Line is 
to be maintained, we must put an end to the 
present unfair acceleration of promotion amongst 
Guards and General Staff officers as compared 
with that of their brothers. The latter produce 
a great many men capable of being good regi- 
mental commanders ; all that is wanted is to 
know how to select them. Since the last Turkish 
War they have undoubtedly made considerable 
progress, and it is for us to arrange that this 
improvement is continued by fostering it in 
every way. 

Owing to casualties, the company commanders 
were changed too often for efficiency, but they 
generally performed good service, lack of initiative 
being, as usual, their chief fault. It is most 
important for the good of the Service that captains 
(of all arms) displaying distinguished military 
qualifications should be quickly promoted to 
field rank. Yet recommendations sent to St. 
Petersburg were not acted on for a very long 
time, if ever. In such a matter some discretion 


should be allowed the Commander-in-Chief, and 
he should be empowered to promote junior 
officers to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel for 
distinguished service in the field. Special men 
would thus arrive at the command of independent 
units and regiments, posts where the personality 
of the man in command is so important. It 
often happened that a regiment which had done 
badly absolutely changed its character with a 
change of commanding officers. Seniority should 
not be the only guide for promotion, and the 
establishment of field-officers in Manchuria con- 
stituted a quite adequate number from which 
good regimental commanders could have been 
liberally selected. During the period when we 
were occupying the Hsi-ping-kai positions, many 
of the regimental commanders in all the armies 
were good men, and the 1st Army was particu- 
larly lucky in this respect. Though many of 
the infantry brigadiers who came out to the war 
proved failures, amongst the regimental com- 
manders were many capable field-officers, whose 
advancement to the rank of General gave us 
some first-class brigade commanders. In the 
1st Army alone were Major- Generals Lechitski, 
Stelnitski, Dushkevitch, Lesha, Riedko, Dobotin, 
etc. Thus, even under the unfavourable con- 
ditions under which they served, we found enough 
good material amongst our infantry officers to 
give us some confidence for the future. Had 


the war been continued, many of the colonels 
promoted to generals for distinguished service 
would have commanded divisions. This is as 
it should be, for it ought to be possible for a 
regimental commander to rise within a year to 
the command even of an army corps, if he be 
sufficiently briUiant. 

I repeat that the tasks which fall upon infantry 
in battle nowadays are of such exceptional 
difficulty that the promotion of its officers for 
distinguished field service should be made ex- 
ceptionally rapid. I am aware that even a good 
regimental commander may make a bad divisional 
general ; but I also maintain that a regimental 
commander who has successfully commanded in 
several fights, has shown a knowledge of his 
work, keenness, enterprise, and personal bravery, 
and has won the confidence of his men, should 
be promoted as quickly as possible. He may 
find it difficult at first to get his bearings under 
the new and more complicated conditions of a 
high command, where he has to rely upon maps 
and the reports of others instead of upon the 
direct evidence of his own eyes and ears, but still 
he will grapple with the situation, even of an army 
corps commander, far better than some general 
whose experience has been confined to office- 
work and peace manoeuvres. 

Finally, in order to give due importance to the 
principal Arm — infantry (infantry of the Line in 


particular) — I consider the following measures 
necessary : 

1. To give a better education to the officers 
entering it. 

2. To improve their material and social position. 

3. To provide officers and men with a smarter 

4. To accelerate their promotion and put an 
end to the system by which Guardsmen and 
officers of the General Staff get more rapid 
advancement, and so block the way of their 
unfortunate brothers to regimental and divisional 

5. To facilitate as much as possible the special 
promotion in war of distinguished company 
officers to field rank. 

6. To award regimental commanders who 
display particular merit on service rapid advance- 
ment to the rank of General, without regard to 
their seniority or the speed of their promotion. 

The two last of these recommendations also 
obviously apply to officers of the other Arms. 


In my opinion, our experiences in the recent 
war have shown the necessity for such an organiza- 
tion in our army as I will now describe : 

Injantry 'Regiment : To consist of 4 bat- 
talions, each of 4 companies. Each company 
to have a strength of 250 combatants. In 

VOL. II. 11 


addition to the 16 combatant companies per 
regiment, there should be scout sections (mounted 
and dismounted), and machine-gun sections 
with 16 portable guns. Strength of regiment, 
5,000 men. 

Cavalry and Cossack Regiments : As at present. 

Infantry Brigade : 2 regiments, 8 battalions. 

Cavalry Brigade: 2 regiments, 12 squadrons 
or sotnias. 

All brigades should be capable of acting 

hifantry Division : To consist of 2 infantry- 
brigades, 1 regiment of artillery,* 1 sapper bat- 
talion, 1 telegraph company, 2 squadrons or 
sotnias of cavalry, transport company, parks, 
bakeries, hospitals. Total, 17 battalions, 48 guns, 
and 2 squadrons or sotnias. 

Cavalry Division: To consist of 3 separate 
brigades, 1 horse artillery battery. Total, 
36 squadrons or sotnias, and 12 guns. 

Army Corps : To consist of 3 infantry divisions, 
1 artillery brigade, including a regiment of 
howitzers, 1 cavalry brigade,! 1 sapper brigade,^ 

* Artillery regiments to be subordinate in all respects 
as regards command to the divisional commander. The 
commander of an artillery brigade must technically super- 
intend and inspect all batteries with an army corps. 

t One cavalry regiment per division. 

X One sapper battalion and one company of sappers per 
division ; one mining and two telegraph companies as 
corps troops. 


1 transport battalion, 1 battalion for camps on 
the line of communication. Total, 48 battalions, 
169 guns, 12 squadrons or sotnias^ and 3 sapper 

Reserve Troops: To be formed into inde- 
pendent brigades, to which the reserve units of 
artillery, cavalry, and sappers should be attached. 
Each brigade to consist of 8 battalions, 2 bat- 
teries (24 guns), 1 squadron or sotnia, 2 sapper 
companies, half a company of telegraphists, trans- 
port, hospitals, and bakeries. These brigades, 
being organized on an independent footing, would 
be attached to the armies ; they would be detailed 
either as part of the army reserve or for inde- 
pendent work in guarding the flanks and rear, 
or be joined to corps, according to circumstances. 

This, I think, will give great independence 
to all units, and the creation of independent 
reserve brigades, outside of the divisional and 
corps organization, would often prevent the 
breaking up of this organization when a battle 
was in progress. To organize reserve field troops 
beforehand in field formations, such as divisions 
of three brigades, or corps, is not a convenient or 
suitable arrangement, as they will not be ready to 
take part in the fighting as soon as the regulars. 

Amongst steps which will raise the status of 
regimental service, and so attract the best men 
to it, I consider it necessary, in addition to 


164 RANK 

providing an attractive uniform, to establish 
ranks distinct from those borne by officers on 
the staff, in administrative offices, and in de- 
partments. According to the scale of our 
military hierarchy, the various commands (ex- 
clusive of the Cossack troops) carry ranks as 
follows : 

Sub-Lieutenant, Cornet, Lieutenant, and Staff- 
Captain in the different Arms are the ranks 
given to the junior officers in companies, 
squadrons, and batteries. 

A Captain commands a company or a squadron. 

A Lieutenant-Colonel commands a battalion, 
a battery, and a cavalry division.* 

A Colonel commands a regiment and a division 
of artillery. 

A Major-General commands a brigade. 

A Lieutenant- General commands a division. 

A Lieutenant- General or a full General com- 
mands an army corps or a military district. 

All these ranks are also conferred on officers 
serving on the staff and in departments. Thus, 
the rank of Colonel, which ought only to be 
given to men in command of regiments, is also 
borne by those on the administrative and police 
staffs, while generals of all grades, who have 
never held command of troops or even of small 
units, fill up our Generals list. At the time 

* [Sic. This word is rather misleading. ^Some forma- 
tion less than a regiment is meant. — Ed.] 

RANK 165 

I framed the regulation to limit the number of 
promotions to General's rank of men not actually 
in the army I was much bothered by numerous 
officers who feared that their further promotion 
might be blocked. The present large number 
of ranks amongst the officer class is not re- 
quired. It is quite possible to reduce them, 
and to give to these their old Russian names 
(to which the Cossack* troops still adhere), for 
officers of all Arms doing regimental service — 
namely, Khoimnji, Sotnik, and Esaoul. The 
rank of Pod-esaoul, which was adopted later, 
might be excluded. Esaouls would command 
companies, squadrons, sotnias, and companies 
(of artillery) ; Sotniks would command half- 
companies, half-squadrons ; and Khorunjis would 
command sections. The normal establishment 
of a company would be one Esaoul, two Sotniks, 
and four Khorunjis. The same should be done 
in the cavalry. For those not serving regi- 
mentally the ranks of Ensign, Lieutenant, and 
Captain might be maintained, those of Sub- 
Lieutenant and Staff- Captain being abolished. 
The present ranks of field-officers might be 
conferred on those officers not doing regimental 
service, and the titles of Voiskovoi Starshina and 

* Voiskovoi Starshina = Lieutenant -Colonel 
Esaoul = Captain Of 

Sotnik = Lieutenant j Cossacks. 

Khorunji = Comet J 

166 RANK 

Colonel on those with regiments. The first would 
command a battalion, a division of cavalry or 
artillery ; the second, regiments of all Arms. 
The rank of Lieutenant-Colonel to be kept for 
staff and departmental officers, and the rank of 
Major should be introduced instead of that of 
Colonel. The names of the ranks of those 
serving with troops to correspond generally to 
the nature of the appointment ; thus, officers 
commanding brigades should be called Brigadiers, 
those in charge of divisions Divisional Generals, 
of an army corps, Corps Generals. The latter 
rank should also be given to commanders of 
military districts and their assistants. The only 
officers not actually serving with troops who 
should be allowed to have the title of Corps 
General should be three : the War Minister 
and the chiefs of the General and Headquarter 
Staffs. For service away from troops only two 
ranks of General should be maintained — Major- 
General and Lieutenant - General. The titles 
Generals of Infantry and Cavalry, etc., should 
be abolished. The grading would then be as 
follows : 


Commander of section ., . ... .. ... Khorunji. 

Commander of half-company, half-squadron, 

half-sotnia ... ... ... ... Sotnik. 

Commander of company, squadron, sotnia, 

artillery company ... ... ... Esaoul. 



Commanding battalion, 

division of cavalry 
Commanding regiment 
Commander of brigade 
Commander of division 
Commander of corps 


Voiskovoi Starshina. 
Divisional General. 
Corps General. 


Ensign, Lieutenant, Captain, Lieutenant-Colonel, Major, 
Major-General, and Lieu tenant-General. 

Except in the case of the chief staff- officers 
of districts, the transfer of general officers not 
with troops to service with troops should be for- 
bidden. The appointments of Corps Chief Staff- 
officers and Quartermaster- Generals on the staffs 
of districts should carry the rank of JNIajor. Officers 
going into other departments should take purely 
civil rank, and promotion on retirement should 
be abolished. To accelerate the advancement 
of specially distinguished colonels, it should be 
possible to appoint them to brigades with the 
rank of Brigadier. There is at present great con- 
fusion in this matter of accelerated promotion in 
deserving cases, for colonels can be given the 
command of independent brigades, and yet not 
of non-independent ones. 

As war is a greater strain on the officers than 
on the men, it is important, when granting 
special privileges for regimental service to the 
latter, that great care should be taken to insure 
their physical fitness. A particularly bad form 


of unfitness is that caused by corpulence, and, 
unfortunately, many even of our company officers 
suffered from this in Manchuria. One of our 
regimental commanders was so stout that he 
was practically helpless, and was taken prisoner 
at Te-li-ssu, though unwounded ! As to the 
rank and file, hill-climbing with an 80-pound 
equipment makes campaigning very arduous for 
those of forty years of age or over. Company 
and field officers can well serve up to fifty, but 
commanding officers of cavalry should not be 
over fifty, and of infantry regiments over fifty- 
five. The age-limit for generals in command 
of brigades and divisions should be sixty, and 
of corps sixty-three. The necessity for the age 
regulations we now have became apparent during 
the war, for as a result of them our field-officers 
were relatively young ; but our experience proves 
that the limit should be still further lowered in 
the direction I have mentioned. 

The proposals set forth above, which it is 
thought would tend to increase our fighting 
efficiency, are, after all, only details of organiza- 
tion and of preparation. The main factors 
contributing to insure victory are the same as 
they always have been — a high moral and the 
power of rapid concentration in superior strength. 
Diplomacy must prepare for the struggle so as 
to enable all the armed forces of the Empire to 
be put into the field if necessary, and we must 


have numerous efficient railways to facilitate the 
rapid massing of superior numbers. On these 
two most important factors will depend the plan 
of campaign. The ability to assume the offensive 
bestows an immense superiority, for it gives the 
initiative to the side which undertakes it. The 
defender's leading troops are compelled to fall 
back, his less prepared troops are perhaps 
crushed, while his reinforcements are destroyed 
piecemeal. The result is that the moral of the 
attacker increases, while that of the enemy in- 
evitably diminishes. To re-establish a balance 
under such conditions is not only a matter of 
time, but is extremely difficult. With a defen- 
sive plan of operations, unshakeable belief in 
eventual success and immense patience are 
necessary in order to overcome all difficulties, 
and to defeat the foe with a final assumption 
of the offensive. 

From the short sketch I have given of what 
was accomplished by the Russian armed forces 
in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it is 
seen that we took the offensive in the majority 
of the wars we were engaged in. Without 
railways, but with a large peace standing army 
(period of service twenty-five years with the 
colours), with equality and often a superiority* 
in armament and training, Russia was able to 

* In the wars with Turkey and Persia, in the Caucasus 
and Central Asia. 


commence operations, and to force her will 
upon the enemy — i.e., to assume the offensive. 
Nowadays we have been left behind by our 
Western neighbours in readiness for hostiUties, 
and the recent war disclosed the fact that we 
had been outdistanced by our Eastern neighbour 
also. Russia will, no doubt, in time find the 
strength and means once more to take her 
former place amongst other Powers as regards 
fighting efficiency ; but it will take years of 
unceasing effort, for rapid concentration and an 
offensive strategy are impossible without great 
developments in our railway system. No one 
can say whether we shall be allowed to wait for 
everything to be perfected, or whether w^e shall 
again be drawn into war before we are ready. 
It is therefore absolutely necessary to prepare 
without loss of time to make war under con- 
ditions as unfavourable as those of the recent 

Without referring here to the necessity for 
diplomatic preparation for hostilities, and the 
proper attitude of all grades of Kussian society 
during war, I will comment in the most general 
lines on those measures which should, in my 
opinion, be taken for the more useful employment 
of resources already at our disposal. The prin- 
ciple which is of such importance in field opera- 
tions, that troops once engaged will not be 
relieved, must be finally accepted. Therefore, 


every unit going into action should know that 
it will be supported, but not replaced. The 
principle in its broadest sense applies without 
distinction to all ranks who join the field army, 
and till victory has been attained not a soul 
should be able to return home or receive another 
appointment outside the theatre of operations. 
Those who prove themselves unfit for their 
appointments at the actual front should be given 
other employments for which their bodily and 
mental qualifications are fitted. In such a 
serious business as war in defence of country 
no personal ambition should or can have place, 
and the removal of a person from the field army 
should be considered the greatest possible dis- 
grace — a stain which the service of a lifetime 
cannot efface. Officers thus removed should be 
deprived of their military rank, dismissed the 
Service, and should forfeit all rights and privi- 
leges gained in the Service, and officers and men 
so removed should be deprived of the right to 
hold any Government post whatever, whether 
under the War Department or not. 

The punishment for cowardice should be death. 

I have touched upon the question of accelerated 
promotion for good service in the field, and the 
converse applies. Senior commanders who show 
themselves unfit for their appointments ought to 
be at once removed from their commands and 
given posts corresponding to their capabilities. 


Commanders of corps and divisions considered 
unfit may, in order to guard their military 
honour, request to be allowed to remain in the 
army in command of divisions or brigades. 
Only one kind of seniority can be acknow- 
ledged in war — namely, the ability to gain the 
victory. General officers incompetent for field 
service can do very useful work on the lines of 
communications, in the direction and training of 
the reserve troops, the management of hospitals, 
the administration of the inhabitants of the 
country, etc. If we ever mean to be capable of 
defeating a powerful enemy, we must not allow 
an army corps commander who is struck off 
from the command of his corps, and who does 
not even display personal courage, to become a 
member of the Committee of Imperial Defence ; 
nor must we allow junior commanders who fail 
when tested by war to receive appointments in 
non-mobilized units, nor permit hundreds of 
officers who leave the front on account of ill- 
health, and under various pretexts, to remain 
away and not return. I say nothing of the case 
where an army commander leaves his army 
during active hostilities without even reporting 
his departure to the Commander-in-Chief. 

If courts of honour are found to be a necessity 
in peace-time, how much more are they necessary 
in war ? In addition to being formed in regi- 
ments, they should be formed in corps and 


armies to adjudicate upon the conduct in action 
of senior commanders up to the rank of Divisional 
General. It is vital that the existing immunity 
of men who show cowardice in action, or who are 
guilty of disgraceful conduct out of action, should 
at once cease. For this purpose I consider we 
should form soldiers' courts of honour in every 
company and independent unit, as a means for 
suppressing the worst elements found in the 
ranks. For, with the lack of moral development 
of the modern man in the street, it is absolutely 
necessary to have some such tribunals upon 
whose verdict corporal punishment can be 
awarded to private soldiers. To leave the field 
under the pretext of assisting or carrying away 
the wounded — except for the men specially 
detailed for this duty — should be punished with 
the utmost rigour. And to fight an action to a 
finish, officers must not hesitate to sacrifice their 
last reserves, if necessary, and also themselves. 
It is necessary to draw attention to this, as 
instances occurred in the war where officers, 
having given orders for a retirement, were them- 
selves the first to go. Such an example is always 
infectious, and leads to disorganization of units 
and loss of confidence in the commander. Com- 
manders of forces who do not in battle support 
neighbouring units when able to do so should be 
deprived of their appointments, tried, and, if 
necessary, punished by death. Commanders of 


all ranks should be thoroughly alive to the value 
of every man in the ranks. Therefore, every 
endeavour should be made to keep units as strong 
as possible during an action. 

Finally, I will touch briefly on several points. 
I will permit myself to express the opinion that 
the existing regulations as to rewards in war 
require revision and considerable alteration. At 
present far too many honours are bestowed. 
Another point that demands attention is that of 
malingering. As we have seen, sickness was 
more prevalent amongst the officers, in spite of 
their better living, than among the men. Un- 
fortunately, also, the medical officers more than 
once called my attention, when I was inspecting 
hospitals, to cases of malingering amongst officers 
as well as men. The great majority of patients, 
of course, were really ill, but much of the sickness 
was due to the individual not taking proper care 
of himself Officers must reaUze that, however 
honourable a thing it is to be wounded, it is as 
dishonourable to remain in hospital when their 
comrades are fighting. It should be ruled for 
all ranks that in such cases the period of sickness 
should not count as service, and that during it 
pay should be forfeited. All officers and officials 
absenting themselves for more than two months 
should be removed from their appointments, 
and appointed to the reserve or depot troops. 
Amongst the many regrettable things to be 


noted in the late war was the disgraceful con- 
ditions under which both men and officers were 
often taken prisoner. The existing regulations, 
which lay down that all the circumstances of a 
case of capture should be investigated, were not 
complied with. Officers who returned straight 
to Russia from being prisoners in Japan were 
appointed by the War Department even to the 
command of divisions. There is only one thing 
which justifies capture — the fact of being 
wounded. All those who surrender when they 
have not been wounded should be tried by court- 
martial for not fighting to the last. 

The regulations regarding fortresses should be 
revised, and the occasions upon which a fortress 
is allowed to surrender should be absolutely cut 
out, for fortresses may be taken, but should 
never, under any circumstances, surrender. Com- 
mandants of fortresses who surrender them, cap- 
tains who surrender their ships, officers in com- 
mand of units that lay down their arms, should 
be considered as forfeiting all rights, and should 
be condemned to be shot without trial, and 
all those not in command who surrender un- 
wounded should be deprived of their military 
rank from the day of their surrender. During 
the war the Press did much to undermine the 
authority of officers in command, and to lower 
the moral of the men, by indiscriminate revela- 
tions. In the next war only such events should 


be allowed to appear in the newspapers as may 
help to encourage the men. When active opera- 
tions are over, the circumstances are changed, 
and it is then essential for the good of the Service 
to have a thorough investigation into all short- 

But it is not sufficient that all ranks of the 
army should be imbued with the spirit of fighting 
on till victory is won ; it is necessary that the 
whole nation should have the same feeling, and 
to the best of their ability assist towards a happy 
issue of the struggle being carried on by the 
army. In our state of backwardness (especially 
as regards railways) we are doomed in our next 
war to a slow concentration, and therefore to a 
protracted campaign. Being unable at once to 
put large forces into the field, and to seize the in- 
itiative, we may again be compelled to bear the con- 
sequences of our unreadiness — frequent reverses, 
and retirement ; but we must, without wavering, 
firmly believe in eventual success, however un- 
favourable the conditions at the start. The 
moral and material resources of Russia are 
immense, and the fixed determination on the 
part of the army and the whole nation to win is 
our principal guarantee of victory. 



I HAVE already reviewed* (in Chapters VIII., 
IX., X., and XI.) the causes of our faikire. 
They can be summarized in three groups : 

1. Those causes independent of the War 

2. Those dependent on the War Ministry, 
for which officers in the field had no respon- 

3. Those for which officers in the field were 
alone responsible. 

The first group comprises — 

(a) The absence of any diplomatic arrange- 
ment which would have enabled us to despatch 
and distribute our whole army freely as cir- 
cumstances dictated (similar to that which 
in 1870-71 made it possible for the Prussians 

* [The first portion of this chapter, which is a recapitula- 
tion of what has already been written in Chapters I. to V'll., 
has been omitted from this translation. What is now 
given touches more upon the war itself. — Ed.] 

VOL. II. 177 12 


to move the whole of their armed forces against 

{b) The subordinate part played by the fleet 
during the war. 

(c) The inferiority of the Siberian and Eastern 
Chinese Railways. 

{d) The internal disorders in Russia, which 
affected the spirit of the army. 
■— The second group comprises — 

{a) The delay in mobilizing the reinforcements 
for the Far East. 

{b) The transfer into the reserve during the 
war of well-trained soldiers — men who were 
still liable for colour service — from the military 
districts in European Russia, while untrained 
elderly reservists were being sent to the front. 

(c) The belated despatch of drafts to the 
front. (The reason of this was also the in- 
efficiency of the railways.) 

{d) The delay in promoting those who par- 
ticularly distinguished themselves in the field. 
(Many recommendations were ignored.) 

{e) The deficiencies in our technical equip- 

(/) The faults of organization (absence of 
troops for protecting communications, dearth 
of transport, unwieldiness of the army and corps 

{g) Deficiencies in the 'personnel both of 
officers and men. 


The third group comprises — 

(a) The absence of a true military feeling 
among the troops. 

{b) The poor spirit in action shown by some 
of them. 

(c) The lack of determination on the part of 
commanders of all degrees to carry out the tasks 
entrusted to them. 

(d) The breakdown of the organization under 
the stress of war. 

The weak points of our forces, which were so 
noticeable in the wars waged in the second half 
of the last century, had not been entirely elimi- 
nated during the fifty years which intervened 
since the Crimea, and were again evident in the 
recent struggle — namely : 

1. We were inferior to our enemy in technical 
troops and equipment. 

2. The " command " was unsatisfactory. 

3. The army was insufficiently trained tacti- 

4. We did not insure victory by having con- 
siderable superiority in numbers. 

W^e did not have before us any clear idea of 
our object, and consequently did not show 
sufficient determination in its prosecution. 

So many different reasons have been advanced 
for our failure that the question naturally arises 
as to what foundation there really is for my 
opinion — shared by the greater part of the army 



in the field — that if we had not concluded peace 
so hastily victory would have crowned our 

My belief that we could, and ought to, have 
issued victorious from the struggle is based 
upon — 

I. The steady growth of our material forces. 
II. The growth of our moral forces. 
III. The gradual deterioration of the enemy 
in both respects. 


We have already seen how fatal the inefficiency 
of our railways was for us. Yet, though six 
months before the outbreak of war only two 
pairs of short trains were available for military 
purposes, when peace was concluded we had ten 
and even twelve pairs of full trains running in 
the twenty-four hours. Thus, during hostilities 
the carrying capacity of the railway grew sixfold, 
and was capable of still further increase. Not- 
withstanding all our reverses, the army continued 
to grow in numbers, and was 1,000,000 strong 
when peace was concluded, and more than 
two-thirds of this number (including the newly 
arrived drafts, the new corps, and the Pri-Amur 
troops) had not been under fire. Moreover, 
owing to improved rail transport and the proper 
exploitation of all local resources, the whole 
number was assured of everything necessary, 


both for fighting and subsistence, to an extent 
that had never previously been the case. We 
had received a proper proportion of artillery of 
every nature, reserves of light railway material, 
telegraph and wireless telegraph stores, and 
entrenching and technical tools and equipment 
of all sorts. We had constructed three strong 
lines of defence at Hsi-ping-kai, Kung-chu-ling, 
and Kwang-cheng-tzu ; our communications in 
rear were safe ; almost every army corps was 
in possession of its own line of rails ; and the 
Sungari and other rivers were crossed by many 
bridges. The war strength of all units had been 
considerably augmented. Russia's resources for 
continuing the struggle were greater than those of 
Japan, for not only had our Guards and Grenadiers 
not been drawn upon, but the greater part of 
the army was still at home. 


Though an improvement of moral is by no 
means as easy to bring about in an army as 
that of its material condition, the officers who 
were most in touch with our men were con- 
vinced that it was done in our case. It may 
possibly be a peculiarity of the Russian soldier 
that he possesses latent moral strength of the 
kind which is developed slowly, and not de- 
stroyed by any trials to which the individual 
is subjected ; but to those who made a study 


of the war it appeared perfectly clear that our 
men showed an increasing spirit of stubborn 
determination as the campaign progressed. In 
the early fights before the battle of Liao-yang — 
at Te-li-ssu and Ta-shih-chiao — we withdrew 
after comparatively small losses. At the latter 
fight two army corps, and at Yang-tzu-ling one 
corps, retired, though they together did not 
collectively lose as many men as the 1st East 
Siberian Rifle Regiment alone lost in the battle 
of Mukden. At Liao-yang our men fought 
better than in the previous fights ; on the Sha Ho 
they showed a better spirit than at Liao-yang ; 
while at Mukden many units showed a still 
further improvement. We were all convinced, 
therefore, that in a defence of, or an offensive 
advance from, the Hsi-ping-kai position, the men 
would fight even better than at Mukden, for the 
improvement in spirit shown by our troops had 
been progressive and steady. They had learned 
much, particularly during their long stay in 
direct touch with the enemy on the Sha Ho. 
Even the reserve units, which failed in the early 
fights, fought with great bravery and steadiness 
at Mukden. To prove this, it is only neces- 
sary to recall the exploits of the 71st and 
54th Divisions, the later arrived reserve units 
of the 55th and 61st Divisions at Mukden, 
and of many regiments of the 10th, 17th, 
and 1st Army Corps. The regiments of the 


4th Siberian Corps and the East Siberian 
Rifles, indeed, were an example throughout the 

The Tsar, in his Order to the army and fleet 
of January 14, 1905, predicted this improvement 
in the moral of the troops, notwithstanding their 
reverses, with great foresight. His beUef in the 
spirit of the army was expressed in the following 
memorable words : 

" Though we may be sore at heart on account 
of the disasters and losses that have befallen us, 
do not let us be discouraged. By them Russia's 
strength is renewed, and her power increased." 

As operations continued we made correspond- 
ing progress in our tactics. We learned how to 
attack and make use of the ground, and how 
to employ artillery, and learned by heart the 
lesson of keeping strong reserves in hand [at 
the Hsi-ping-kai position the reserve of the 
1st Manchurian Army alone consisted of eighty 
battalions]. We also learned how to obtain 
intelligence of hostile forces. At the close of 
the war our knowledge of the Japanese disposi- 
tions was more complete than it had ever been ; 
indeed, we had accurate information of the exact 
whereabouts, not only of their main bodies, but 
also of many individual units. (This was chiefly 
obtained from prisoners.) 

We received as reinforcements 300,000 regular 
soldiers then with the colours, most of whom 


had volunteered for the front, and the 1905 
recruits. These young soldiers were ready to 
face any danger ; they arrived in the highest 
spirits, and their cheerfulness and evident keen- 
ness to see some fighting did one's heart good. 
The older reservists were mostly employed on 
duties in the rear. As a result, volunteers were 
always forthcoming for the numerous raids and 
reconnaissances made by the 1st Manchurian 
Army from the Hsi-ping-kai position, or for any 
other adventurous work. The mainspring of the 
improvement in our spirit, however, was the 
more careful selection made of the officers 
appointed to command units. Many of these 
now began to display military qualifications of 
a high order. The fighting round Mukden had 
produced generals of a calibre upon which we 
could have fully relied in any subsequent battles. 
As regards the general question of the readi- 
ness of the 1st Manchurian Army for renewed 
fighting after the Mukden battle, I concluded 
my report on this force as follows : 

" With the occupation of the Hsi-ping-kai 
position the army found itself confronted with 
a great work. 

" No map of the neighbouring country existed, 
and the little information we had of the enemy 
was chiefly remarkable for its absolute vague- 
ness. There were no roads to the rear, no local 
depots for the supply of the army, and no fords 
over the Sungari River, which was a standing 


menace, as the usual Spring floods were still 
ahead of us. 

" The co-ordinated and willing efforts of all 
ranks, however, soon changed all this. The for- 
tified line of works from Hsi-ping-kai Station to 
the village of Kung-chu-ling became practically 
invincible, and the order was given to use it as 
a place d'armes and accumulate strong reserves 
there. In May there were eighty battalions in 
reserve behind the left flank ; practically one- 
half of the five army corps was located here. 

" A two-verst* map was made, showing not only 
the country in our rear, but the strip of ground 
right up to the enemy's positions. 

" By means of reconnaissances and the employ- 
ment of spies, we gradually sifted our inaccurate 
intelligence till our information was correct. We 
were able first to locate the disposition of the 
enemy's armies, then of his divisions, and, finally, 
of small units. 

" The services to the rear wxre carried out with 
similar energy ; roads were laid out, the Sungari 
was bridged, and storehouses were built. 

"At the beginning of July the army was 
almost ready to advance ; the only thing lacking 
was the equipment for light railways for horse 
traction. Without this it was impossible to 
advance in any great strength. 

" During the last few months a horse railway 
was laid to Ya-mu-tzu, and the carriage of sup- 
plies for a forward movement was thus assured. 

"A connected series of reconnaissances were 
carried out in order to gain knowledge of the 
ground in front. 

" The army was brought almost up to full 
strength by the drafts and new units which had 

* [About 1^ miles to the inch. — Ed.] 


" In August it was quite ready for battle, and 
its now recuperated and reinforced veteran corps 
waited the order for a forward movement in 
complete confidence." 

General Bilderling, who commanded the 2nd 
Manchurian Army (which suffered the most 
heavily at Mukden), finishes his report on this 
army as follows : 

"The army occupied the Hsi-ping-kai posi- 
tion, shattered and disorganized by the battle of 
Mukden ; but it has recovered with extraordinary 
rapidity. With the arrival of the young soldiers 
and reservists, all the units have been brought up 
to full war strength, and it is only in the officers 
that there is still a great deficiency. The mounted 
units have been reinforced by fresh squadrons and 
by horses from the artillery reserve ; the guns and 
waggons which were lost or had become unser- 
viceable have been replaced. Every division has 
been strengthened by mounted and dismounted 
machine-gun sections, and howitzer batteries have 
been formed ; a light railway for horse-draught 
has been laid along the whole length of the posi- 
tion and in rear of it ; and, profiting by recent 
experience, the troops are now thoroughly pro- 
ficient in all exercises and manoeuvres. Thus 
the army, by reason of its numbers, material 
composition, and training, has become really 
better prepared for hostilities at the close of the 
war than it was at the beginning, and again 
constitutes a menace to the enemy." 

The 3rd Manchurian Army, which, under the 
command of General BatianofF, formed a reserve 
for the 1st and 2nd Armies, and contained corps 


which had arrived latest and had not been in 
action, was also a large and reliable body of men. 

Of course, there is a skeleton in every cupboard, 
and naturally in such a large force as the three 
armies constituted there were weak spots. Thus, 
there were to be found amongst the men, and 
even the officers, a certain number of poor-spirited 
creatures who disbelieved in the possibility of 
victory. But even such characters would have 
plucked up their spirits and done good service at 
the first success. 

From the moment I joined the army in Man- 
churia, I invariably told every unit that I met or 
reviewed that the war could only end after we 
had been victorious ; that till then none of us 
would be allowed to return home ; and that 
victory was certain when sufficient reinforce- 
ments reached us. And belief in these facts 
sank into the hearts of officers and private 
soldiers. Both before and after Mukden, I more 
than once heard the men themselves — particu- 
larly those in hospital — say that they could not 
return home till the enemy had been defeated. 
" The women will laugh at us," were their words. 
Another important factor, and one which the 
Russian especially values, is constant and affisc- 
tionate care for his bodily needs and his health. 
For anyone who has not been on active service 
it is difficult to appreciate how troops who have 
been disorganized and badly shaken by hard 


fighting can regain heart if they suddenly find 
hot food ready for them. A night's rest, a full 
stomach, ammunition replenished, a quiet calling 
of the roll, and the calm demeanour of their 
officers — all assisted to make our splendid soldiers 
once more ready for the fray. As regards the 
army's moral generally, I should mention that 
the nearer our men were to the enemy, the 
better were their spirits and the fewer the carp- 
ing comments and criticisms which always do 
so much harm ; there was no time to read the 
papers. When 1 visited the advanced units of 
the 1st Army (those of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 
Siberians, and of the 1st Army Corps commanded 
by Colonels Prince Trubetski, TikhomirofF, Red- 
kin, and General Kashtalinski), I found universal 
keenness to advance. The men were well looked 
after, discipline was strict, and the attitude of 
both men and officers was one of quiet and 
steady determination. But in proportion as the 
distance from the advanced lines increased, and 
direct touch with the enemy was lost, there was 
time for talk and gossip. It was on the lines of com- 
munication (particularly at Harbin) that drunken- 
ness and gambling took place, besides other forms 
of dissipation that disgraced the army. It was 
here that the white-livered brigade collected, 
leaving the front under any excuse even when 
fighting was in progress, and, indeed, what else 
could be expected of them ? It is much to be 


regretted that some of our pressmen judged the 
army by what they saw at Harbin, and that we 
were judged by this standard even in Russia. 
Many officers and others in authority who had 
failed to pass the '* ordeal by foe " lived on in 
Russia, and from them a correct opinion as to 
the self-sacrifice and devotion of the army and 
its readiness to continue the war could hardly 
have been expected. Unfortunately for us, also 
there happened to be on the Committee of 
Imperial Defence two general officers who had 
been at the front. One had left it ; the other 
had been deprived of his command of an army 
corps. Clearly, such men as these could not have 
much assisted this new and important body to 
insist on the necessity of continuing the struggle. 
A step taken by me to raise and to maintain 
the spirit of the army was the rapid promotion 
of those officers who had most distinguished 
themselves in the field. We obtained a number 
of our best senior regimental officers by pro- 
moting captains, and, what is more important, 
we appointed many distinguished officers to the 
command of regiments without regard to their 
lack of seniority, or to the fact that some of them 
were only lieutenant-colonels. In a very short 
time these commanding officers improved their 
regiments almost beyond recognition, and fully 
proved how important a careful selection is in 
war. By promoting to Major- General those 


colonels who had most distinguished themselves 
on service, we began to get at the head of 
brigades leaders who were worthy of every con- 
fidence, and offered a splendid selection from 
which to choose divisional and corps commanders. 
A further step which I took to woo victory 
was to enforce the humane treatment of the 
Chinese population of JManchuria. I, and those 
immediately under me, insisted on their being 
protected (as far as war conditions permitted) 
from unnecessary hardships, and on their pro- 
perty being guarded, and I made a point of their 
being promptly paid in cash for ever}i:hing they 
brought in. This assisted us considerably in 
getting supplies, and, notwithstanding the great 
hardships we ourselves occasionally suffered, I 
invariably insisted on these relations being main- 
tained. Consequently, not once was I forced 
to have recourse to requisitioning supplies or 
transport, nor had I to use force to get local 
labour. The results surpassed all my expecta- 
tions, for, in spite of the great efforts made by 
the enemy to raise the Chinese population against 
us, and in spite of the unfriendly feeling towards 
us of many of the Chinese authorities them- 
selves, the mass of the people appreciated our 
attitude, remained quiet, and, by freely bring- 
ing in their products, saved us from hunger. 
Although they might have easily kept us in a 
perpetual state of alarm by killing isolated 


officials, attacking small detachments, destroying 
the telegraphs and the roads, they — with very 
few exceptions — lived on peacefully in the theatre 
of war, in some instances even joining with us 
in fighting the Hun-huses. 

Thus, besides the plan of campaign for carry- 
ing on the war — in which the possibility of 
retiring even behind Harbin was foreseen — the 
principal means taken by me to secure victory 
were : 

1. To instil in all ranks a firm belief that the 
war could only be brought to a close with 
victory, and that till victory had crowned our 
efforts not one of us would return home. 

2. To foster a constant fatherly endeavour on 
the part of all in authority to attend, as far as 
the exigencies of the Service permitted, to the 
comfort and preserve the health of the troops. 

3. To assist in all ways the readiness and 
preparation of the troops, particularly by accel- 
erating, irrespective of mere seniority, the pro- 
motion of the most distinguished of the officers. 

4. To maintain a uniformly humane attitude 
towards the Chinese population of Manchuria. 


The enemy's army began to weaken in the 
moral as well as the material sense. 

To drive back our army northwards to Hsi- 
ping-kai called for immense efforts and many 


sacrifices on the part of the Japanese. I have 
stated (in Chapter VII.) that our Headquarter 
Staff estimated the total peace estabUshment of 
their army at 110,000 men [of which 13,000 
were always absent on furlough and leave], and 
the reserve and territorial forces at only 315,000, 
so that the total number available for service 
was, as we thought, not more than 425,000. 
But, according to the figures of the Japanese 
army medical authorities, more than 1,000,000 
men were called up to the colours, which must 
have demanded a great effort on the part of the 
nation. It was found necessary also, during the 
war, to alter the existing laws so as to catch 
those men who had already completed their time 
in the reserve for a further period of service in 
the regular army, and to draft into the ranks 
in 1904 and 1905 the recruit contingent of 1906 
as well as that of 1905. (Towards the end we 
began to find old men and boys amongst our 
prisoners. ) Their casualties were very high ; in 
the Cemetery of Honour in Tokio alone 
60,600 men killed in battle were buried, and to 
these must be added more than 50,000 who died 
of wounds. Thus it appears from these two 
sources alone that they lost 110,000 — a figure 
equal to the whole peace establishment of the 
army. Taking into account our standing peace 
army of 1,000,000 men, our losses were com- 
paratively far lighter than those of the Japanese. 


In all some 554,000 men passed through their 
hospitals during the war, of M^hom 220,000* were 
wound cases. Altogether they lost 1 35,000 men 
killed and died of wounds and sickness. Their 
losses in officers were particularly heavy, and 
the men fought with such stubborn bravery that 
whole regiments, and even brigades, were on 
certain occasions almost wiped out of existence. 
This happened, for instance, in the fight for 
PutilofF Hill,f on October 15 ; also during the 
February fighting for the position held by the 
3rd Siberians on the Kiao-tu Ling [Pass]; in the 
battle of March 7, at Tu-hung-tun| and other 
points. At Liao-yang and JNIukden the majority 
of the enemy's troops suffered very heavily in 
their frontal attack of our positions, and failed 
to take them. The fate of these battles was 
decided by turning movements. In the fighting 
on the Sha Ho they tried hard to force us back 
towards Mukden, and many of their units were 
again and again driven off our positions, and 
only occupied them after we had abandoned 
them of our own accord. The spirit of these 
Japanese troops who had thus seen no success 
attend their indi\idual efforts could not but be 
shaken. Again, the ever-increasing determina- 
tion displayed by our men must have affected 
their spirit. Their regulars had been placed 

* [Sic. Killed and wounded (see p. 207, Vol I.). — Ed.] 
f [At the Sha Ho.— Ed.J + [At Mukden.— Ed.] 

VOL. II. 13 


hors de combat in considerable numbers, and 
however quickly the recruits might be called up 
and trained, it was not to be expected that they 
would be able to develop the same stubbornness 
in defence, and the same dash in attack, that 
their comrades had possessed in the first cam- 
paign. This was noticeable in the fighting in 
front of Mukden, but especially near Hsi- 
ping-kai. While our scouting parties, and the 
troops of the advanced posts, were pressing the 
enemy more and more boldly, we began to 
notice a comparative lack of enterprise on their 
part, coupled with a want of their former daring, 
and even their watchfulness. Perhaps the strain 
of war was beginning to tell on the Southern 
temperament. Indeed, for six whole months 
they gave us time to strengthen ourselves and 
fortify, without once attempting to attack and 
press us back on the Sungari, and so inflict a 
crushing defeat. While we remained at Hsi- 
ping-kai the number of prisoners taken by us 
began to increase, and they ceased to display the 
fanaticism shown by those captured in 1904. 
Many openly acknowledged that they were 
weary of the war, and from the nature of 
numerous letters from Japan found on the killed 
and prisoners, it was evident that this weariness 
was general. These letters also told of the 
heavy increase in taxation during the war, of 
the increased cost of the necessities of life, and 


of the dearth of employment. Once an entire 
company surrendered in front of the positions 
held by the 1st Siberians, a thing that had never 
happened before. Nor were the enemy well 
situated as regards material. Money became 
more and more scarce, while the requirements 
of the growing army increased. Particular 
difficulty was found in quickly replenishing 
artillery ammunition. This was very noticeable 
on the Sha Ho. 

But what must have been the most serious 
source of anxiety to Japan was the indifference 
which Europe and America were beginning to 
show to her successes. At first it had seemed 
profitable to Great Britain and Germany that 
Russia and Japan should be drawn into war, for 
when they were exhausted the hands of both 
would be tied — ours in Europe, and Japan's in 
Asia. Nevertheless, it was not to the interest of 
Europe generally to allow the triumph of the 
Japanese in the battlefields of Manchuria to be- 
come absolute. A victorious Japan might join 
with China, and raise the standard of " Asia for 
the Asiatics." The extinction of all European 
and American enterprises in Asia would be the 
first object of this new great Power, and the 
expulsion of Europeans from Asia would be the 
end. There is already little enough room on 
the Continent of Europe. Without the markets 
of the wide world she could not exist, and the 



cries of "America for the Americans," "Asia 
for the Asiatics," " Africa for the Africans," are 
of serious import for her. But the danger is 
approaching, and is so imminent that the Powers 
of Europe will be forced to sink their differences 
and unite in order to withstand the attempt of 
the young nations* to drive old Europe home 
into the narrow shell which she has long since 
outgrown. We might have taken advantage of 
this change in international feeling, and have 
tried to close the money markets of the world 
to Japan. Only one decisive victory on our 
part was wanted to bring about a very serious 
reaction both in Japan and in the army in the 
field. If we had exhausted her financial re- 
sources, and had continued the war, we might 
soon have compelled her to seek an honourable 
peace, which would have been advantageous 
to us. 

At Mukden we fought with a shortage in 
establishment of 300,000 men ; we began the 
war with inconsiderable forces ; we conducted it 
under the most unfavourable conditions, and 
without the support of the country ; we were, 
moreover, weakened by disturbances in the 
interior, and were connected with Russia only 
by a single-track weak line. In these impossible 
conditions we put 300,000 of the en^my hors de 

* [Possibly the author refers to China, Japan, and India 
being young in a national sense. — Ed.] 


combat, and had 600,000 rifles ready at Hsi- 
ping-kai at a time when they were beginning to 
flag. If we attained such results, can it be said 
that our army accomphshed but httle ? Is it 
fair to continue applying the epithet " Disgrace- 
ful " to the war ? It cannot be denied that both 
the troops and their leaders did less in the time 
at their disposal than they might have done if 
properly supported by the country ; but by the 
summer of 1905 conditions had begun to change 
in our favour. The conquered are always judged 
severely, and the leaders should naturally be 
the first to bear the responsibility for disaster 
to the troops under them. We can only be 
judged as acquitted because of our readiness 
to continue the struggle^a readiness which was 
created, and grew stronger in the army in spite 
of disaster. We beheved in the possibility and 
certainty of victory, and if it had not been for 
the serious internal disturbances in Russia, we 
should have undoubtedly been able to prove the 
truth of our belief in battle. 

Even the inhabitants of Moscow, where, in all 
the difficult times the nation has passed through, 
a manly and determined voice has always been 
raised in support of the honour and dignity of 
Russia, showed that their spirits had on this 
occasion fallen. It was with amazement and 
sorrow that we read of a certain action of the 
Moscow Town Council on June 7, 1905. The 


news had immense effect on the army, and on 
hearing of it I sent the following letter* to Prince 
Trubetski, the President of the Moscow nobility : 

"An overwhelming impression has been pro- 
duced throughout the army by the news which 
has reached us from home that many poor- 
spirited people are trying to bring about an 
early peace. It is forgotten that a peace made 
before victory has been won cannot be honour- 
able, and will not therefore be permanent. Never 
has our army been so strong and so ready for 
serious battle as now. Victory is nearer than 
seems likely to those at a distance. The troops 
have great belief in the new Commander-in- 
Chief ;t they are assured of everything necessary 
to their wants, and their health is excellent. 
We would welcome news of the enemy's advance, 
and are ready to move against them, when 
ordered to, with full faith in our strength. The 
troops have become war-seasoned. Even those 
units which were for various reasons not as 
steady as they should have been in the early 
fights are now thoroughly reliable. Numbers 
of wounded officers and men are hastening 
to rejoin, though not completely convalescent. 
Though we have lost the fleet, the army remains 
to us, and, I repeat, it is more powerful than it 
ever was before. Our position is altogether 
stronger and, tactically, better placed than those 
we held at Liao-yang or ^lukden, for the 
Japanese do not envelop us in the same way. 
Though their forces have also been growing in 
numbers, there are many indications that their 
strength is on the wane : their ranks are being 

* [? Telegram. — Ed.] f [General Linievitch. — Ed.] 


filled with men who formerly would not have 
been accepted, and the whole spirit of the army- 
has undergone a change. More men allow them- 
selves to be taken prisoners than before ; their 
artillery and cavalry are weaker than ours, and 
they are short of gun ammunition. Letters 
from Japan, which we have found on the men, 
show that a general feeling of dissatisfaction with 
the war is growing among the people, for prices 
have gone up, and they are enduring great 
privations. These are the conditions under 
which I to-day read in letters from Moscow 
that on June 7 the Town Council discussed the 
advisability of inviting the representatives of 
the people to consider the question of putting 
an end to the war. Last February, on my 
departure for the front, you, in the name of all 
the representatives of Moscow, bade me farewell 
with words full of courage and of faith in the 
might of Russia. I therefore consider it my 
duty to send this letter to you. If the Musco- 
vites do not feel as able as before to send their 
worthiest sons to us to help us overcome the 
foe, let them at least not prevent us from doing 
our duty in Manchuria. 

" Although there is nothing of a secret nature 
in this letter, its publication in the Press over 
my signature is very undesirable." 

In reply, Prince Trubetski wrote to me on 
June 14 as follows : 

" I have handed over your telegram, which 
greatly touched me, to the Mayor and Zemstvo ; 
I will communicate its contents to as many 
as I can, and I will do everything that is possible 
to get action taken on it. If it may be considered 
necessary by the Tsar to end the war, I do not 


think it should be discussed beforehand in com- 
mittees. May God help you I My whole heart 
is with you." 

But the efforts of individuals were powerless 
to check the march of events. The serious state 
of Russia's internal affairs and the hostile — to 
put the best construction on it — indifference of 
the people resulted in peace being prematurely 
concluded. The consequences of making such a 
peace, by which Japan was recognized as Russia's 
conqueror in Asia, will have serious results not 
only for us, but for all the Powers who have 
possessions or interests on that continent. The 
" Yellow peril," the appearance of which has 
only recently been foreseen, is now a reality. 
Notwithstanding her victorious issue from the 
war, Japan is hurriedly increasing her forces, 
while China is forming a large army under the 
guidance of Japanese officers and on the Japanese 
model. In a very short space of time she and 
Japan will be able to pour an army of more than 
1,500,000 into Manchuria, which, if directed 
against us, could proceed to take a great deal 
of Siberia from Russia, and reduce her to a 
second-rate Power. 

We have seen above how the absence of any 
previous diplomatic arrangements forced us to 
keep the greater part of our armed forces in 
European Russia during the war, which fact 
constituted one of tiie reasons of our reverses 


(the Guards and Grenadiers Corps remained in 
Russia, while the reserve troops fought in Man- 
churia). We have one consolation in that we 
now know that our Western neighbours are not 
pursuing any policy of aggression against us, for 
they had an excellent opportunity in the years 
1905 and 1906* to alter the existing frontier 
had they wished to do so. We may hope, there- 
fore, to be able to come to some understanding 
with the Powers of Europe by which, should we 
be again attacked in the Far East, we shall be 
able to throw the whole of our armed forces into 
a struggle with either Japan or Japan and China 
combined. Another reason for our failure is he 
fact that we were unable rapidly to make full 
use of such forces as were available, because of 
the weakness of railway communication between 
Russia and Manchuria. It is clear that, as matters 
now stand in the Far East, the laying of a second 
track over the Siberian line and the constr;iction 
of a railway along the bank of the Amur are so 
vital for us that no time should be lost in doing 
these things. The mere construction of a line 
along the Amur can help us but little, while 
a double-track line, even with forty-eight trains 
in the twenty-four hours, cannot, of course, satisfy 
all the requirements of the great army we should 
have to put in the field in the event of a fresh 
war. In future we shall only be able to rely to 

* [? 1904 and 1905 also.— Ed.] 


a small extent upon the vast supplies of food in 
Manchuria, and shall be obliged to convey the 
greater portion not only of our munitions of war, 
but of our food-supplies, from European Russia 
and Siberia. It will therefore be necessary to 
make use of our water communications, for the 
failure of the attempt to transport supplies in 
1905 by the Arctic Ocean and the River Yenissei 
cannot be considered final Particular assistance 
also could be afforded to the army by increasing 
the population of Siberia, and so at the same 
time augmenting the local resources necessary 
for an army. The rich reserves of metals, coals, 
and timber in that part will assist us in bringing 
nearer to the Far East not only our food-supply 
base, but also our war base (for ordnance, ammu- 
nition, explosives, etc.). 

Among the main reasons for our disasters must 
be mentioned the indifferent, even hostile attitude 
of the people to the late war ; but the menace to 
our nation from the Far East is now so clear that 
all grades of society ought to prepare — in case of 
a fresh attack on Russia by Japan or China — to 
rise like one man to defend the integrity and the 
greatness of our Fatherland. 

Thus, to attain success in any such future 
war, which is by no means an improbable con- 
tingency, we should strive — 

1. To be in a position to make use of all our 
troops ; 


2. To have thorough railway communication 
between the Pri-Amur and Russia ; 

3. To prepare the waterways of Siberia for 
the carriage of heavy goods in bulk from west 
to east ; 

4. To move the army's base as far as possible 
from Russia into Siberia ; and, what is most 
important — 

5. To make ready to carry on a new war not 
only with the army, but with the whole of a 
patriotic nation. 

History had apparently destined Russia to 
undergo a bitter trial from 1904 to 1906, both on 
the field of battle and at home. Our great nation 
has issued renewed and strengthened from still 
heavier trials, and let us not doubt now but that 
Russia, summoned by the Tsar to a new life, will 
quickly recover from the temporary blows which 
she has sustained, and will not fall from her high 
place among the other nations of the world. As 
regards the army, its bitter experiences should not 
on this occasion fail to bear fruit, and the most 
detailed, thorough, and fearless study of all its 
defects can only bring about a renewal and in- 
crease of strength. We must remember one 
point — and it is the main point : our officers 
and many of the men conducted themselves 
most unselfishly in most difficult circumstances. 
Given this, all our other faults can be com- 
paratively quickly mended ; but before all else, 


we must not be afraid of openly acknowledging 

Strength lies — in the truth. 

In this important work of rejuvenation which 
is now beginning in Russia for the good of the 
people and the army, we must remember the 
great words of the Tsar to the Army and Fleet 
almost two years ago : 

" Russia is mighty. During the thousand 
years of her existence there have been years of 
still greater suffering — years when greater danger 
menaced. Yet she has every time issued from 
the struggle with fresh glory, with added might. 

" Though we may be sore at heart on account 
of the disasters and losses that have befallen us, 
do not let us be discouraged. By them Russia's 
strength is renewed and her power increased. 

" A. N. KUROPATKIN, General. 

" Sheshurino,* 

" November 30, 1906.^ 

* [The name of General Kuropatkin's country estate in 
the province of Pskoff. — Ed.] 




When war seemed likely, the following scheme 
for the strategical distribution of the troops in 
the Far East in the event of hostilities was agreed 
to by the Viceroy, AlexeiefF: 

1. The major portion of the troops, consisting 
of 60 infantry battalions, 65 squadrons, 2 sapper 
battalions, and 160 guns (total, 65,000 rifles and 
sabres), were to be sent into Southern Manchuria. 
The main body was to be concentrated in the 
area Hai-cheng-Liao-yang, and the advance 
guard t moved forward to the Ya-lu. 

2. The garrison of Port Arthur was to consist 
of the 7th East Siberian Rifle Division (12 bat- 
talions), 2 battalions of fortress artillery, and 
1 company of sappers. The 5th East Siberian 

* [This chapter is composed of the introduction and 
conclusion to Volume III. of the original, which have been 
translated, as they add someiight on points not touched 
upon in Volume IV. — Ed.] 

t Eighteen infantry battalions, 25 squadrons, 86 guns 
total, 19,000 rifles and sabres. 



Rifle Regiment, consisting of 4 battalions with 
6 guns, was also detailed for the defence of the 
Kuan-tung district, to augment the strength of 
the garrison if necessary. 

3. The garrison of Vladivostok was to consist of 
the 8th East Siberian Rifle Division (8 battalions 
of infantry), with 2 battalions of fortress artillery, 
2 sapper companies, and 1 mining company. 

4. That of Nikolaievsk was to be 1 fortress 
infantry battalion, 1 fortress artillery company, 
and 1 mining company. 

This scheme, by which the force detailed for 
the defence of Port Arthur and the whole Kuan- 
tung Peninsula was limited to sixteen battalions, 
was due to our exaggerated idea of the strength 
and invincibility of our Pacific Ocean Fleet. Ac- 
cording to the Viceroy, it was founded on the 
following opinion, expressed by Admiral Witgeft, 
Chief of Alexeieff s temporary naval staff: 

"According to the present relative strengths 
of the two fleets, the possibility of ours being 
defeated is a contingency that need not be con- 
sidered, and until it has been destroyed it is 
inconceivable that the Japanese can land at New- 
chuang or any other spot on the Gulf of Korea." 

But such an attenuation of our force in this 
quarter was contrary to the opinion of a com- 
mittee — attended by me in my capacity of War 
Minister — which sat in Port Arthur in June, 
1903. The Viceroy and senior commanders of 


Opposite p. iOii, vol. ii. 


the garrison were present at the meeting when it 
was resolved and recorded as " essential " that 
the 3rd Siberian Corps should be formed for the 
defence of Kuan-tung, in addition to the 7th East 
Siberian Rifle Division, its permanent garrison, 
and that this corps should be composed of the 
3rd and 4th East Siberian Rifle Divisions, each 
of twelve battalions. In fact, it was considered 
necessary to have thirty-six battalions of infantry, 
exclusive of reserve battalions, for the defence of 
Port Arthur and the Peninsula. This formation 
of a special army corps for Kuan-tung was thought 
to be necessitated by the existence so close to 
Port Arthur of Dalny, a magnificently equipped 
port, connected by railway to the fortress, and 
a most convenient base for operations against it. 

Feeling that the force allotted to the defence 
of the Peninsula was inadequate, on February 1 1 
I telegraphed as War Minister to Alexeieff* that 
I considered it imperative that the 9th East 
Siberian Rifle Division — then under formation 
— should be sent there in place of the 3rd East 
Siberian Rifle Division, ordered to the Ya-lu. 
The Viceroy did not concur in this view, but 
he temporarily retained the 13th and 14th East 
Siberian Rifle Regiments. 

On February 20, 1904, I was appointed to 
the command of the Manchurian Army. In my 
first communication to the Viceroy (No. 1 of 
February 24) I again expressed the opinion 


that, in view of the possibility of it being besieged 
by four or five Japanese divisions, our first efforts 
should be directed to strengthening Port Arthur. 
And I further stated : 

" If Port Arthur is weakly garrisoned, and 
should be besieged, I might be tempted by that 
fact to assume the offensive before there has been 
sufficient time to concentrate our forces. It is 
for this reason that I have already advised the 
concentration of the 9th Division in Kuan-tung 
to replace the 3rd." 

However, the Viceroy again disagreed with 
me, and wrote in a despatch of March 1 : 

" Separate operations against the fortress would 
only be really worth undertaking if the enemy 
could make certain of seizing it by a coup de 
main, and the moment for this has passed. The 
land front is becoming more formidable every 
day, and, though not complete, the works are 
now well advanced ; 200 additional guns have 
been mounted in Port Arthur itself, and more 
than forty at Chin-chou ; the strength of the 
garrison is being brought up by the reservists 
arriving from Trans-Baikalia, and the stocks of 
supplies are being increased. All the bays nearest 
the fortress, as well as the port of Dalny, have 
been mined, and for the rest — the oft-proved 
stubbornness of the Russian soldier in defence 
can be relied on." 

He had already reported to the Tsar that — 

"Although separate operations against Port 
Arthur would threaten the fortress itself with all 
the hardships of a siege or blockade, they would 


be rather advantageous to our arms as a whole, for 
they would entail a division of the enemy's forces." 

As regards my own recommendations upon the 
plan of operations to be followed against Japan, 
I drew up two memoranda, which I submitted to 
the Tsar on February 15 and March 4. In the 
former I stated : 

" In the first phase of the campaign our main 
object should be to prevent the destruction of 
our forces in detail. The apparent importance 
of any single locality or position (fortresses ex- 
cepted) should not lead us into the great error of 
holding it in insufficient force, which would bring 
about the very result we are so anxious to prevent. 
While gradually growing in numbers and pre- 
paring to take the offensive, we should only move 
forward when sufficiently strong, and when sup- 
plied with everything necessary for an uninter- 
rupted advance lasting over a fairly long period." 

Against this the Tsar was pleased to note in his 
own handwriting the words " Quite so." 

I left St. Petersburg on March 12, and arrived 
at Liao-yang on the 28th. On this date there were 
collected in the concentration area in Southern 
Manchuria 59 battalions,* 39 squadrons and 
sotnias, and 140 guns. The distribution was as 
follows : 

The Southern Force (under General SakharofF) 

* Two of them sapper battalions. The third battalions 
formed in Russia for all the East Siberian Rifle Regiments 
were only then beginning to arrive. 

VOL. II. 14 


of the 1st and 9th East Siberian Rifle Divisions 
— 20 battalions, 6 squadrons, and 54 guns — was in 
the area Hai-cheng-Ta-shih-chiao-Newchuang- 

The Eastern [Advance) Force (under General 
Kashtalinski) of the 3rd East Siberian Rifle Divi- 
sion — 8 battahons, 24 guns, 8 mountain and 
8 machine-guns — was moved to the Ya-lu. 

The Mounted Force (under General jNlischenko) 
of 18 squadrons and 6 guns was operating in 
Northern Korea. 

The Maiii Body was divided into two groups : 
At An-shan-chan : 5th East Siberian 
Rifle Division of 8 battalions and 
24 guns. 
At Liao-yang : 2nd Brigades of the 
31st and 35th Infantry Di\dsions, 22nd 
and 24th East Siberian Rifle Regi- 
ments — 21 battalions, 10 squadrons, 
and 24 guns. 
In addition to these, the 23rd East Siberian 
Rifle Regiment — 3 battalions and 4 guns — was 
allotted to the protection of the Viceroy's Head- 

In Port Arthur were the 7th East Siberian 
Rifle Division — 12 battalions, 2 reserve bat- 
talions, 3|^ battahons of fortress artillery, and 
a sapper and mining company. 

In Kuan-tung were the 5th, 13th, 14th, and 
15th East Siberian Rifle Regiments, 1 battahon 


of the 16th East Siberian Rifle Regiment, 2 bat- 
taUons of the 18th East Siberian Rifle Regiment, 
and 1 reserve battahon — 12 battahons, 20 guns, 
and 1 sotnia of Cossacks. 

On my arrival I approved the following scheme 
of engineering works ; The fortification of the 
positions on the Fen-shui Ling (Passes), and at 
Liao-yang, Mukden, and Tieh-hng ; the construc- 
tion of roads across the passes to the Ya-lu, and 
of three parallel roads from Kai-ping to Mukden ; 
the construction of crossings over the Liao River, 
and the hutting of three army corps. I at once 
took steps also to strengthen our advance guard 
on the Ya-lu, which was some 133 miles distant. 
Two regiments of the 6th East Siberian Rifle 
Division were sent there, in addition to the third 
battalions for the regiments of the 3rd East 
Siberian Rifle Division. By the time, therefore, 
that the enemy began crossing the Ya-lu, the 
Eastern (Advance) Force had been increased to 
eighteen battalions, besides which the 21st East 
Siberian Rifle Regiment had been moved towards 
Ta-shih-chiao. The advance guard was under 
General Zasulitch. Meanwhile the units of the 
1st Siberian Division were detained by Alexeieff* 
in Harbin, so that, from the middle of March to 
the middle of April, the Manchurian Army did 
not receive a single battalion from the rear. 

Notwithstanding the orders Zasulitch had 
received to avoid a decisive engagement with 



the enemy, who had the superiority in numbers, 
on May 1 part of his force became hotly engaged 
in what developed into a serious fight at the 
Ya-lu, and after a disastrous finish his eastern 
force was withdrawn to the passes of the greater 
Fen-shui-ling range, which they reached on 
May 7. In this action only nine of our eighteen 
battalions took any active part, those of the 
11th and 12th East Siberian Rifle Regiments 
showing great gallantry and determination. 
When asked why he had disobeyed the orders 
repeatedly given to him not to become entangled 
in a serious engagement, but to fall back on 
Feng-huang-cheng, Zasulitch gave as his reason 
that he had hoped to defeat the enemy. On 
May 5 the Japanese began debarking at Pi-tzu- 
wo, and a small force of all arms under General 
Zikoff was detached from the southern force in 
order to reconnoitre and ascertain the importance 
of this landing. The advance of this column 
incidentally enabled us to repair temporarily 
the portion of the line which the enemy had 
destroyed, and so to run a train-load of melinite 
shells, machine-guns, and ammunition through 
to Port Arthur. The Emperor was fully alive 
to the danger of the situation caused by the 
dispersion of the Manchurian Army, and on 
May 11 telegraphed his orders for an immediate 
concentration. This was completed by the 14th, 
and the force was grouped on two points — 


Hai-cheng and Liao-yang. The former group 
consisted of twenty-seven battalions, twelve 
squadrons and sotnias, and eighty guns ; the 
latter of twenty-eight battalions, six sotnias, and 
eighty-eight guns. The passes over the Fen- 
shui-ling range were guarded by small columns 
of infantry with guns, and advance and flank 
guards were thrown out. The independent 
cavalry, operating on our flanks east of the 
passes, was divided in two bodies, under Mischenko 
and Rennenkampf. West of Liao-yang was a 
small force under General Kossagovski, while 
five and a half battalions of the 1st Siberian 
Division lay at Mukden. At this time also, 
when the Viceroy returned to Port Arthur 
(after Admiral Makharoff*'s death of April 13), 
the weakness of the place began to be shown up, 
and AlexeiefF's apprehensions as to its safety 
became acute. In a despatch of May 16 he 
questioned whether the place " would be able 
to hold out for more than two or three months, 
in spite of all the steps taken to strengthen 
its defences." On April 25 the Chief of the 
Viceroy's Stafl^ telegraphed to me that, owing 
to the inadequacy of the garrison, AlexeiefF 
considered it essential that if the fortress were 
attacked, the field army should support it as 
energetically and rapidly as possible. Alexeieff* 
was not singular in his pessimistic views, for 
Stossel also gave up hope of a successful defence 


of Port Arthur directly after he had so unneces- 
sarily abandoned the Chin-chou position on 
May 27. On the 28th I received a telegram 
from him urging me to support him speedily and 
in strength. This opinion was again endorsed 
by AlexeiefF, who telegraphed on June 5 that 
" Port Arthur cannot strictly be called a storm- 
proof fortress, and it is a question whether it can 
even stand a siege of the length indicated in my 
telegram of May 16." 

The result of this volte-face on the part of 
AlexeieiF as to the powers of resistance of the 
place was that he pressed me to send part of 
the army at once to assist it, though we were 
by no means ready for such an enterprise. On 
May 21 he wrote that he considered the moment 
in every way favourable for the army to assume 
the offensive in one of two directions — either 
towards the Ya-lu, with the object of defeating 
and throwing Kuroki back across the river, 
detaching a force to contain him there, and then 
moving on to relieve Port Arthur, or else direct 
on that place. 

It should be borne in mind that these in- 
structions were given at a time when the position 
of only two of the hostile armies had been fixed. 
Of these, one — of three divisions and three 
reserve brigades — had forced the crossing of the 
Ya-lu, and the other — of three divisions — had 
landed near Pi-tzu-wo. Moreover, a landing. 


of the extent of which we had no information, 
was then being carried out at Ta-ku-shan. 
Consequently we did not know the destination 
of one-half of the enemy's army, and were thus 
not in possession of two important pieces of 
knowledge which were necessary before any 
operations of a decisive character could be under- 
taken—namely, the position of the enemy's main 
forces and their probable plan of operations. 
It was incumbent on us, therefore, to exercise 
great caution, and to keep our forces as far as 
possible concentrated, so as to be ready to meet 
the attack of two or even three armies. Con- 
cerning the two directions in which the Viceroy 
advocated an advance, the following few points 
suggest themselves. For any operations towards 
the Ya-lu — bearing in mind the necessity for 
guarding our flank and rear against one hostile 
force landing at Pi-tzu-wo, and possibly others 
landing near Kai-ping or Newchuang — not more 
than sixty to seventy battalions were available 
of the ninety-four which in the middle of May 
constituted the army ; the whole of the food for 
these troops had to be brought up by rail, owing 
to the exhaustion of the local resources — never 
very plentiful — in the hilly country between 
Liao-yang and Feng-huang-cheng : we had not 
got the transport to do this, for our ten transport 
trains could only have carried a three or four 
days' supply for a force of this size ; tlie usual 


May and June rains would have made the 
movement of our guns and baggage at first 
difficult, and then impossible, and we had at 
that time no mountain artillery or pack trans- 
port ; we were by no means well placed in the 
matter of artillery parks : the horses for those of 
the 5th, 6th, and 9th East Siberian Rifle Artillery 
Divisions were still en route to Harbin, while 
the 1st and 2nd Siberian Divisions had arrived 
without any. Finally, if Kuroki should fall back 
behind the Ya-lu without accepting battle, we 
should have been obliged to retire and leave 
at least an army corps to contain him. When 
the rainy season came on, this corps itself would 
have been obliged to withdraw, as with inter- 
rupted communications it would have been 
seriously threatened by Kuroki's far larger force, 
well provided with both mountain artillery and 
pack transport. For these reasons an offensive 
towards the Ya-lu was impracticable. 

Under the conditions laid down by the Viceroy 
as to keeping screens on the Feng-shui Ling 
(Passes), and leaving a reserve at Hai-cheng* 
until such time as fresh reinforcements had been 
received, a direct advance on Port Arthur could 
only be made with one corps of twenty-four 
battalions. In view of the possibility of Kuroki 

* The Viceroy's letter (No. 2,960) of June 6 called 
attention to the necessity of " bearing in mind measures 
to guard against the event of an advance by Kuroki." 


taking the offensive in superior force (after 
reinforcement by the troops already beginning 
to land at Ta-ku-shan) against our cordon, which 
extended along the Fen-shui-ling range for 
more than sixtv-six miles, and in view of the 
possibility of the Japanese cutting off any 
detachment moving on Port Arthur by landing 
somewhere in its rear, the despatch of this corps 
130 miles to the south could not but be con- 
sidered a most risky and difficult operation. 

As our numerical weakness absolutely pre- 
cluded a general assumption of the offensive on 
our part, I pointed out that by such a move- 
ment for the relief of Port Arthur we risked 
disorganizing the whole army. I also drew 
attention to the fact that, according to the 
report of Captain Gurko, who had just arrived 
from the fortress, its combatant strength 
amounted to at least 45,000 men (including 
sailors), and that the enemy could not therefore 
have any very overwhelming superiority. My 
views upon the inexpediency of any movement 
towards Port Arthur were communicated to the 
War Minister in my telegrams (Nos. 692 and 
701) of May 28 and 30. But in a telegram of 
the 31st the Viceroy urgently requested me to 
advance to the relief of the fortress, and ex- 
pressed the wish that four divisions should be 
detailed for the operation ; while on June 6 he 
quoted to me a message from St. Petersburg 


in which it was stated that the time was " ripe for 
the Manchurian Army to assume the offensive." 
At the end of May the first reinforcements — 
the 3rd Siberian Division — began to arrive in 
the concentration area. This enabled me to 
increase the force detailed for the advance into 
Kuan-tung up to 32 battalions,* 22 squadrons 
and sotnias, and 100 guns. As a reserve to this 
force, the 2nd Brigade of the 31st Division was 
placed in the area Kai-ping-Hsiung-yao-cheng, 
and to a brigade of the 3rd Siberians was allotted 
the duty of watching the coast from Newchuang 
to the latter place. To hold Kuroki and the 
troops under Nodzu that had landed at Ta-ku- 
shan in check, 40 battalions, 52 sotnias, and 
94 guns were left on the Fen-shui Ling (Passes), 
distributed over a length of more than sixty-six 
miles. The general reserve consisted of the 
5th East Siberian Rifle Division at Liao-yang, 
and a brigade of the 3rd Siberian Division at 
Hai-cheng. Early in June the force detailed 
under General Shtakelberg for the operations 
towards Port Arthur began to concentrate at 
Te-li-ssu, with its advance guard at A^^a-fang-tien. 
On the 13th the Japanese themselves began to 
advance from Pu-lan-tien, and by the evening of 
that day we had been able to rail two regiments 
of the 9th East Siberian Rifle Division into 

* 1st and 9th East Siberian Rifle Divisions, and 
2nd Brigade of the 35th Division. 

TE-LI-SSU 219 

Te-li-ssu. On the 14th the enemy's attack of 
our position there was repulsed, and on the 
following day Shtakelberg proposed to make a 
counter attack, having been reinforced at noon 
by the Tobolsk Regiment. However, the battle 
ended in our defeat, and we were forced to fall 
back. General Gerngross, who was in command 
of the 1st East Siberian Rifle Division, was 
wounded, but remained in action. Shtakelberg's 
orders gave him freedom of action, but he was 
instructed not to accept decisive battle if the 
enemy were in superior numbers. Simultane- 
ously with the enemy's advance from the south, 
Kuroki moved forward on the I'ith to the 
Ta Ling* (Pass) from Hsiu-yen, where three 
(according to some reports four) Japanese divi- 
sions were concentrated. Their 12th Division 
and three reserve brigades were left to watch 
our eastern force, and a further movement on Kai- 
ping, Ta-shih-chiao, or Hai-cheng was quite likely. 
In order to be in a position to check the com- 
bined advance of the two Japanese groups, I 
thought it advisable to strengthen our southern 
force, and therefore so rearranged our dispositions 
that 87 out of 110 battalions were massed on the 
southern front, in the area Kai-ping-Hai-cheng, 
against Oku and Nogi. Fortunately for us, the 
critical position of our eastern front during the 
operations at Te-li-ssu was not appreciated by 
* [There are several passes of this name. — Ed.] 


Kuroki, which fact favoured Count Keller's 
demonstration towards Feng-huang-cheng in the 
middle of June. Othen^dse Kuroki might have 
seized Liao-yang. On the 25th the enemy's 
advance acrainst our eastern force was commenced. 
On the 27th Keller withdrew some of his troops 
from the Fen-shui Ling (Passes) without opposi- 
tion, and by July 1 the main body was con- 
centrated seven miles east of Lang-tzu-shan and 
twenty-seven from Liao-yang. On June 27, 
without any serious engagement, but under 
pressure from the enemy, we abandoned the 
Fen-shui Ling (Passes), which they at once 
occupied. A few days pre™usly — on June 23 — 
about a division of the enemy had been located 
by Rennenkampf to the east of Sai-ma-chi. 
Believing that Hai-cheng constituted our greatest 
danger, as the enemy might, if they gained a 
success there, cut off Shtakelberg's force close by, 
on the 29th I concentrated forty-one battalions 
and eighteen sotnias under Zasulitch at Hsi-mu- 
cheng, intending with them to hurl back the 
enemy on to their Hai-cheng hne of advance. 
However, on the same day we discovered that 
those of the enemy who had moved at first from 
the Ta Ling (Pass) along the Hsi-mu-cheng road 
had again retired to it. 

This danger being temporarily averted, I 
ordered the 31st Infantry Division back to 
Hai-cheng. As the defence of Liao-yang from 


the east was the next most urgent matter, a 
brigade of the 9th Division, which had just 
arrived from Russia, was moved to Lang-tzu-shan 
to act as a reserve to the eastern force, which had 
been previously augmented by the return to it 
of two regiments of the 3rd East Siberian Rifle 
Di\dsion. The other brigade was sent, under 
General Hershelman, who commanded the 
division, to Hsi-kei-an village [at the junction of 
the Liao-yang and ]Mukden roads], so as to cover 
the left flank of the eastern force and guard the 
road to Mukden. Taking into consideration the 
considerable increase of the eastern force, I 
ordered Count Keller to take the offensive, so as 
agam to get possession of the passes. He did so, 
but although he had forty battalions under his 
command, he advanced with only twenty- four. 
Though our troops were successful in the early 
hours of July 17, thanks to the gallant conduct 
of the 24th East Siberian Rifles under Colonel 
Lechitski, the result of the day's action was not 
favourable. Keller stopped the advance before 
even bringing into action his strong reserves, with 
the result that at nightfall the eastern force was 
once more on its former positions on the Yang- 
tzu Ling (Pass). On the 19th the brigade of the 
9th Division was driven from its position at 
Chiao-tou, and fell back towards Hu-chia-tzu.* 

* [This action is apparently what is elsewhere known as 
that of Chiao-tou. — Ed.] 


By the middle of July the disposition of the 
enemy's forces was approximately as follows : 
Kuroki, with three field divisions and reserves, 
had captured the three Fen - shui Ling and 
Mo-Tien Ling (Passes), and, with his outposts 
thrown out on the roads to Liao-yang, had 
reached the valley of the Tang Ho, a tributary 
of the Tai-tzu Ho. Nodzu, with an army of 
approximately the same strength, had captured 
the passes on the Kai-ping, Ta-shih-chiao, and 
Hai-cheng roads, and had two divisions and 
a brigade in reserve on the Hai-cheng hne of 
advance and one on the Ta-shih-chiao line. Oku, 
having moved up from Kuan-tung with his army 
of some four divisions, had driven back our 
outposts and occupied Kai-ping. Two brigades 
were left in reserve on the hne Feng-huang- 
cheng-Kuan-tien-chang. Thus, according to our 
information, two armies of about 90 to 100 
battahons had advanced against us from the east, 
and one of about 50 to 60 battahons from the 
south, whilst Xogi's army of 3 divisions and 
2 reserve brigades had been left to operate 
against Port Arthur. Our dispositions were 
briefly : 44 battalions against Kuroki's army ; 
28 battalions on the hne Fen -shui -ling- Hai- 
cheng against 2 divisions and 1 reserve brigade 
of Nodzu's army ; 48 battalions against Oku's 
army, and 1 division of Nodzu's ; 16 battahons 
were in the general reserve at Hai-cheng, and 


four in garrison at Liao-yang. It must, however, 
be borne in mind that the effective strength of 
our battaUons was very far short of the prescribed 
estabhshment.* From the beginning of the war 
up to July only 3,600 men were received in the 
way of drafts. 

With the above dispositions of the opposing 
forces, we should, according to the theory of the 
art of war, have been able to operate on " interior 
lines." But for us this was extremely difficult, 
as, in the first place, we had not enough men to 
attain the necessary superiority over any one of 
the hostile groups without laying ourselves open 
to defeat by the other two ; and, in the second, 
the rains had so seriously damaged the roads as 
to prevent the rapid movement (as we had heavy 
guns and baggage) necessary for successful action 
even on interior lines. Finally, as their bases 
(Korea, Ta-ku-shan, Pi-tzu-wo) were enveloping 
it was possible for each of their groups to refuse 
an unequal battle, and fall back without exposing 
its communications. Still, notwithstanding these 
unfavourable conditions, it was proposed to attack 
Kuroki, who menaced our communications most, 
at the earliest favourable moment. The troops 
which could be employed to strike him were 
distributed in two directions : twenty-four bat- 
talions of the eastern force on the main road from 

* [The reasons for this are given in great detail in 
Volume IV. — i.e., Chapters I. to XII. of this book. — En.] 


Liao-yang to Lang-tzu-shan, with its outposts on 
the Yang-tzu-Hng heights; and twenty-four 
battalions of the 10th Army Corps on the hne 
Liao-yang - Sai-ma-chi, with its outposts five 
miles short of Chiao-tou. Twenty-four battaUons 
of the 17th Corps were told off to remain as 
a reserve to these two groups at Liao-yang, while 
to prevent our left flank being turned, and to 
cover the Mukden road, the 11th Pskoff" and 
2nd Dagestan Regiments, which had just arrived 
from Russia, were ordered to Pen-hsi-hu. But 
on July 23, when I inspected the 10th Corps, 
I found that it was absolutely incapable of 
operating in the hills, as it had no pack-animals. 
In fact, those companies on outpost duty on 
steep or high ground had actually to remain all 
day without food or water. As the units of the 
17th Corps were in a similar condition, it was 
impossible even to think of at once assuming the 

Meanwhile, on the 23rd and 24th, the enemy 
themselves took the initiative by attacking the 
1st and 4th Siberian Corps south of Ta-shih-chiao. 
In spite of the fact that the position held by these 
corps was very extended (eleven miles), and was 
divided in the centre by a rocky ridge, and that 
its left flank could have been easily turned, all 
the enemy's efforts were repulsed. The regiments 
of the 4th Siberians, who bore the heat and 
burden of the day, behaved splendidly, but " in 


view of the great superiority of the enemy and 
the development of an attack from the direction 
of Ta-Ung," Zarubaeff, who was given general 
instructions but allowed freedom of action, 
decided early on the morning of the 25th to 
withdraw his force towards Hai-cheng. On 
learning of this, I ordered General Sluchevski 
to make immediate preparations for offensive 
operations, and, if Kuroki should cross the 
Tai-tzu Ho and move towards Mukden, at once 
to advance, whether his troops were prepared 
for operating in the hills or not, and endeavour 
to strike Kuroki's communications. However 
painful the abandonment of the port of New- 
chuang was for us after our tactical success at 
Ta-shih-chiao — for the enemy could now make use 
of it as a new base — the strategical position of our 
army was improved. With the departure of the 
southern force towards Hai-cheng, our greatly 
extended front was diminished by twenty miles. 

On July 31 the enemy advanced all along the 
line. As far as our southern group was con- 
cerned, their blow was directed against Zasulitch, 
who was holding a position west of Hsi-mu-cheng, 
especially against his right flank, which was 
driven back in spite of the devoted efforts of the 
Voronej and KozlofF Regiments. As any further 
success on their part threatened to cut off the 
2nd Siberians from the main body of the southern 
group, I withdrew Zasulitch's force to Hai-cheng. 

VOL. II. 15 


On the same day, the enemy's operations on the 
eastern front were directed against both our 
groups. In the action on the Yang-tzu Ling 
(Pass) General Count Keller was killed, and the 
unexpected death of this gallant commander, 
together with the abandonment without orders 
by the 23rd East Siberian Rifle Regiment* of 
the position which protected his left flank, greatly 
influenced Kashtalinski (Keller's successor) in 
coming to his too hasty decision to withdraw the 
force to Lang-tzu-shan. At the same time the 
10th Corps was taken partly by surprise,t and 
driven from its advanced posts towards Hu-chia- 
tzu. Sluchevski, learning of the retirement of 
the eastern force towards I^ang-tzu-shan, and 
fearing for his right flank, then withdrew his 
corps to An-ping. In these operations the corps 
commander displayed a lack of energy, and several 
regiments showed great unsteadiness, especially 
the reservists, many of whom actually left the 
ranks during the progress of the fight. 

The complicated nature of the situation now 
necessitated extreme caution on our part, lest 
anything should prevent our concentration in 
strength at Liao-yang, and there fighting a 
decisive battle against all three Japanese armies 
with some hope of success. From Liao-yang to 

* This regiment did splendidly in later fights. 
f The 122nd Tamboff Regiment was attacked when 


our position on the eastern front, An-ping-Lang- 
tzu-shan, was twenty miles, and to Hai-cheng forty- 
miles. In order to insure the movement of the 
troops on the southern front to their positions at 
Liao-yang in good time, it was necessary to move 
them from Hai-cheng to the position at An-shan- 
chan — fifteen miles from Liao-yang — which was 
fortified at the beginning of the war. The retire- 
ment began early on August 2, and on the 
following day the troops were concentrated on 
the position. In my report to the Tsar of 
August 4, I gave the following general reasons 
for withdrawing to the line An-shan-chan-Lang- 
tzu-shan-An-ping after the July fighting : 

1. The Japanese superiority in numbers. 

2. They were accustomed to hills and hot 
weather ; they were younger, carried lighter 
loads, and had numerous mountain artillery and 
pack transport. 

3. Their energetic and intelligent leadership. 

4. The extraordinary patriotism and military 
spirit of their troops ; and 

5. The lack of such a spirit on our side (caused 
by general ignorance of what we were fighting 

Every moment gained at the beginning of 
August was of great importance to us, as the 
units of the 5th Siberians, which the Viceroy 
agreed to send to the front — instead of into the 
Pri-Amur district, as was proposed earlier — 



should have been beginning to arrive in Liao- 
yang. Orders were therefore issued to fortify 
an advanced position half a march from Liao- 
yang in addition to the main position at that 
place, and for this time was required. Still, in 
spite of the obvious and immense importance of 
every day we gained by delaying the enemy's 
advance, General Bilderling, who had taken 
over the command of our eastern front from 
July 31, wrote that it was necessary to with- 
draw his troops immediately without fighting to 
Liao-yang itself, while Sluchevski urged that the 
army should be concentrated still further north — 
in the area Liao-yang-Mukden. These officers 
reiterated the same opinions still more forcibly 
early in August, when the difficulty of moving 
their troops towards Liao-yang became greatly 
increased by the heavy rains. The Viceroy, who 
was much perturbed about the fate of Port 
Arthur by the news of the unfortunate result of 
the naval operations on August 10, and whose 
fears were increased by Stossel's highly alarmist 
reports, was at the same time urging me 
(August 15) to assist the fortress and make an 
advance of some sort — though it were only a 
demonstration — towards Hai-cheng. 

On August 25 the enemy again advanced, and 
on the 26th attacked us on the eastern front, but 
their onslaught on the 3rd Siberians at Lang-tzu- 
shan and the attempt made to turn our right 


flank failed. IvanofF (who was in command of 
the corps) handled his artillery most skilfully, 
and all units of this corps behaved well. The 
reserves sent up by BilderHng arrived in good 
time, but the enemy obtained a position on the 
left of the 10th Corps which enabled them to 
menace the retirement of this corps along the 
Tang Ho. In the hot fight on the 26th again 
several units of the 10th Corps did splendidly. 
At this time a strong turning movement was 
discovered being developed against the left flank 
of our An-shan-chan position ; but by delaying 
and inflicting heavy loss on the enemy on the 
Lang-tzu-shan and An-ping positions, all the 
corps were able to fall back on the advanced 
positions at Liao-yang, where the army was con- 
centrated on August 29. At the beginning of 
the action there the army was short of its pre- 
scribed strength by 350 officers and 14,800 men. 
Excluding the men detailed for extra duty (on 
the communications, etc.), the average strength 
of our companies was only 140 to 150 rifles, and 
those companies that lost most heavily in the 
previous fights could muster less than 100. 

The detailed account of the battle of Liao- 
yang has long ago been submitted to Head- 
quarters. The follov/ing is a general description 
of it : On August 30 and 31 the enemy attacked 
our advanced positions with great determination, 
especially that of the 1st and 3rd Siberians, but 


were repulsed everywhere with heavy loss. In 
this fight the regiments of the 1st, 9th, 3rd, 6th, 
and 5th East Siberian Rifle Divisions rivalled 
each other in steadiness and gallantry, while the 
dispositions made by Shtakelberg and Ivanoff 
were good. Our success, however, was by no 
means lightly gained. Our artillery expended as 
much as 100,000 rounds of ammunition, leaving 
us with only 10,000 rounds in the army reserve. 
Moreover, excluding eight battalions furnishing 
guards and holding the works of the main Liao- 
yang position, on September 1 only sixteen bat- 
talions were left in the general reserve. During 
the 31st we observed that large bodies of Kuroki's 
army were crossing on to the right bank of the 
Tai-tzu Ho. And, as the position held by the 
10th Corps (against which Kuroki should have 
been operating in full strength) had not for two 
days been subjected to any such determined 
attacks as that held by the 1st and 3rd Siberians, 
there was every reason to suppose that Kuroki's 
main body was moving round to operate against 
our communications. Accordingly a decision had 
to be made of one of two alternatives : either — 

1. To contain Kuroki with a small force and 
advance to the south against Oku and Nodzu ; or — 

2. To fall back on the main Liao-yang position, 
leave as few troops as possible to defend it, and 
then attack in force that portion of Kuroki's 
army which was moving round our left, and 


endeavour to crush it by driving it back on the 
Tai-tzu Ho, which at that time of the year was 
unfordable except at a few points. 

As regards the first, even if we were successful 
against Oku and Nodzu, they could always fall 
back on their communications if in difficulties, 
and so draw us away from Liao-yang, while any 
success by Kuroki which might lead to an attack 
by him on our communications would threaten 
us with catastrophe.* In order to collect sufficient 
force to move against the two armies, it would 
have been necessary to have contained Kuroki 
with only such troops as were on the right bank 
of the river — namely, the 17th Corps and two 
regiments of the 54th Division (total, forty bat- 
talions) under Bilderling. But as these troops 
were not yet seasoned, it was impossible to rely 
on their performing such an extremely difficult 
task as that of holding in clieck Kuroki's superior 
numbers on the necessarily extended position 
they would have to occupy [this fear was justified 
by subsequent events]. These considerations led 
to the adoption of the second alternative. 

On the 31st, under cover of darkness and 
without being pressed, we began the evacuation 
of the advanced positions, which had already been 
of value to us, inasmuch as the enemy had been 

* The positions held on August 31 by the portion of 
Kuroki's army that crossed the river were only eleven 
miles from the railway. 


weakened by the losses incurred in attacking 
them. By the following morning as many as 
100 battalions, with artillery and cavalry, had 
crossed on to the right bank of the river. The 
Japanese did not occupy our abandoned positions 
till the evening of that date, when they began to 
shell Liao-yang. The general disposition of the 
army was as follows : 56 battalions, 10 sotnias, 
and 144 guns (under ZarubaefF) were still on the 
left bank ; 30 battalions, 5 sotnias, and 84 guns 
were on the right for the defence of Liao-yang 
itself. In addition to the small columns detailed 
to guard our flanks and rear, the remainder of 
the army, totalling 93 battalions, 73 squadrons 
and sotnias, and 352 guns, were told off to attack 
Kuroki. But in making this calculation as to 
the number of battalions available, it is essential 
to explain a very important factor. During the 
whole period of the war from its commencement 
till August only 6,000 men had been received at 
the front as drafts to repair wastage, and, as I 
have said, we began the fighting round Liao-yang 
with a shortage of 15,000 men. The result of 
this, taken in connection with the great number 
of men that had to be detached for various non- 
combatant duties, and also our losses in the 
fighting that had already taken place in the 
neighbourhood, was that the actual strength of the 
ninety-three battalions was, on September 1, only 
from 50,000 to 55,000 rifles. For instance, the 


twenty-one battalions comprising the 10th Corps 
(which took part in the affair of September 2) only- 
numbered 12,000 rifles, and the total of the twenty- 
four battalions of the 1st Siberians only amounted 
to 10,000. Kuroki's army, on the other hand, 
was calculated to number approximately from 
65,000 to 70,000 men. The plan of operations 
for the troops crossing on to the right bank was 
as follows : The force was to deploy between the 
position held by the 17th Corps near the village 
of Hsi-kuan-tun and the heights near the Yen-tai 
mines, which were to have been held by OrlofF's 
force of thirteen battalions. Using the Hsi-kuan- 
tun position as a pivot, the army was to throw its 
left forward so as to strike the Japanese in flank. 
The position for the 17th Corps near this village 
was chosen by Bilderling in preference to that 
which had been prepared for defence beforehand 
on the right bank on the line San-chia-tzu- 
Ta-tzu-pu, and sufficient attention was not paid 
to its fortification. All that was done was to dig 
a few trenches, and no field of fire had even been 
cleared in the kao-liang crops. The consequence 
was that, in the early morning of September 2, 
the enemy drove the 137th Niejinsk Regiment 
from the peak north-east of this place, which 
constituted the left flank position of the 17tli 
Corps, and to regain this hill became the first 
thing we had to do. For this Bilderling was 
given forty-four battalions, with the 3rd Siberians 


in reserve, while the 1st Siberians and OrlofTs 
column were to assist by threatening the Japanese 
right. Both Bilderling and Shtakelberg had been 
instructed as to what was expected of them, but 
they were given an absolutely free hand as to 
their dispositions. Notwithstanding the large 
force under Bilderling's command, the operations 
failed in their object. Although the peak was 
recaptured on the evening of the 2nd, we were 
again driven off during the night, and had to fall 
back some two miles, only halting on the Erh- 
ta-ho heights. 

OrloiF, on the other hand, moved from his 
position on the heights south of the Yen-tai mines 
before he ought to have done, without waiting 
for the arrival of the 1st Siberians. His troops 
became at once immersed in a perfect sea of kao- 
liang, and were fired on from front and flank ; 
parts of the column were seized with panic, and 
the whole force retreated in disorder towards 
Yen-tai station. A large portion even went as 
far as the station itself. This sudden and un- 
expected departure from the field of 12,000 men 
had a disastrous result on this flank. We lost 
an excellent position, which should have served 
as the support for our advance ifrom the left, and 
the enemy, spreading away to the north, had by 
5 p.m., in spite of the gallant efforts of Samsonofi 
and his Siberian Cossacks, occupied the whole 
range of heights and the Yen-tai mines. With 


the occupation of these heights the whole of our 
left was endangered. At midnight Shtakelberg 
reported that, owing to his heavy losses in the 
preceding battles, he would not be able to take 
the offensive, or even to accept battle on the 
following day. 

Meanwhile the armies of Oku and Nodzu had 
advanced in force against Liao-yang, but had 
been driven back by ZarubaefF. Here the main 
burden of the fighting fell on the 5th East 
Siberian Rifle Division, which behaved extremely 
well, as did the regiments of the 4th Siberians. 
On tlie night of the 3rd, however, ZarubaefF 
reported that, though the enemy had been re- 
pulsed, he had only three battalions left in 
reserve, and needed reinforcements and gun 
ammunition. At the same time a message came 
in from Lubavin, who was covering the Pen- 
hsi-hu-Mukden line, informing me of his retire- 
ment to the Tung-chia-fen Ling (Pass), sixteen 
miles from Mukden. From this it is evident 
that if, choosing the first alternative, we had 
marched against Oku and Nodzu, Kuroki could 
most certainly have driven back the 17th Corps 
and 54th Division, and have seized the railway 
in rear of our troops moving southwards. As 
we knew, however, that Kuroki was not operating 
against us with his main body during the battle 
of the 2nd, we realized it might have been sent 
to turn our left. Such being the situation, we 


had to decide whether to maintain our hold on 
the river, or to abandon Liao-yang and retire to 
the position on the left bank of the Hun Ho in 
front of Mukden, which had been already fortified. 
As regards the first alternative, it seemed 
possible that we might, by an immense effort and 
skilful manoeuvring, be able to hold on to 
Liao-yang and throw Kuroki behind the Tai-tzu 
Ho. But for this it was essential to draw in the 
force that had crossed to the right bank, and to 
deploy it on a fresh line farther to the north, so 
that we might be able to attack the enemy's 
position on the heights near the Yen-tai mines 
from the north as well as from the west. Such 
a movement would have exposed our right, and 
would have isolated the position still held by the 
17th Corps on the right bank of the river. The 
Japanese might drive it in and issue in rear of 
the troops at Liao-yang, for that place was only 
eleven miles distant from the position to which 
the 17th Corps would have had to retire if it were 
driven back. The defenders of Liao-yang, being 
then attacked by Oku and Nodzu combined, 
would be in a critical situation. As regards the 
second alternative, a retirement on Mukden 
presented great disadvantages and dangers. It 
increased the distance to Port Arthur ; it would 
have to be carried out under pressure from the 
enemy in front and on the left, and the roads 
had been so much damaged by rain that it was 


doubtful whether we should succeed in getting 
our transport or even artillery to Mukden, The 
abandonment of Liao-yang could not fail both 
to depress the troops who had so gallantly 
defended it and encourage the enemy. But, on 
the other hand, we should be extricated by such 
a retirement from a situation in which we were 
threatened in front and flank. A successful 
withdrawal would also give time for the 1st Army 
Corps to come up, and, what was not less im- 
portant, for us to replenish artillery ammunition, 
of which we were very short. Besides this, the 
banks of the Tai-tzu Ho were specially unsuited 
for our troops, as they were almost entirely 
covered with kao-liang. Our men were unused 
to this, lost their heads whenever they got into 
it, and were very liable to panic. 

On the whole, our past experiences of the 
offensive did not inspire any confidence that we 
should be able to cope with the difficult situation 
implied by a retention of Liao-yang. I decided, 
therefore, on the retirement towards Mukden, 
which was carried out by September 7. The 
most difficult work, especially on the early 
morning of the 5th, fell to the lot of the 
1st Siberians, who had to beat off Kuroki's force 
attacking from the east ; this they did with 
success, and without losing a single trophy, in 
spite of the difficulties in which we were placed. 

A general account of the operations round 


Liao-yang, and a statement of all the considera- 
tions which led to our retirement, were tele- 
graphed to the Emperor on September 11. On 
the 14th the army was made happy by the 
following gracious message, which I received 
from His Majesty : 

" From your reports of the fighting at Liao- 
yang, I appreciate that it was impossible for you 
to have held that position longer without risk 
of being completely cut off from your communi- 
cations. Under such conditions, and in face of 
the existing difficulties, the retirement of the 
whole force across country without the loss of 
guns or baggage was a brilliant feat of arms. 
I thank you and the gallant troops under your 
command for their heroic conduct and enduring 
self-sacrifice. May God help you all 1" 

Upon retirement, our troops were grouped in 
two principal bodies — 

1. The defence of the main position on the left 
bank of the Hun Ho was entrusted to the 10th 
and 17th Corps under Bilderling, to whom was 
subordinated Dembovski's force of 10 battalions 
of the 5th Siberians, which was guarding the near 
right flank of the main position. Altogether, 
the troops under Bilderling's command amounted 
to 75 battalions, 53 squadrons and sotnias, 
190 guns, 24 mortars, and 3 sapper battalions. 

2. The protection of the left flank from Fu- 
shun to the west was entrusted to Ivanoff^s force, 
consisting of the 2nd and 3rd Brigades of the 


4th and some units of the 5th Siberians (total, 
62 battaHons, 26 sotnias, 128 guns, and 2 sapper 

3. To keep touch between these two main 
groups were the 1st Siberians under Shtakelberg 
(total, 24 battalions, 10 squadrons and sotnias, 
5Q guns, and 1 sapper battalion). To his force 
was entrusted the defence of the portion of the 
Hun Ho from Chiu-tien to Pu-ling. 

4. The general reserve was disposed in two 
groups — 

{a) 4th Siberians (24 battalions, 6 squadrons, 
96 guns, 12 mortars, and 1 sapper battalion) on 
the line Erh-tai-tzu-Khoukha.* 

(b) 1st Army Corps, which concentrated in 
Mukden early in September f (32 battalions, 
6 squadrons, 96 guns, 1 sapper battalion), along 
the Mandarin road on the line Pu-ho-Ta-wa. 

5. The protection of the extreme right was en- 
trusted to Kossagovski (6|^ battalions, 9 squadrons, 
14 guns), the main body of which was at Kao- 
li-tun on the Liao. 

6. A brigade of the 6th Siberians (8 battalions 
and 1^ sotnias) was concentrated at Tieh-ling to 
protect our communications. 

7. The Trans-Baikal and Ural Cossack Brigades 
which did not belong to any corps were joined 

* [? Houton.— Ed.] 

t The corps also arrived at the front with a shortage 
of about 400 men per regiment — i.e., 1,600 per division. 


together under the command of Mischenko 
(21 sotnias and 8 guns). 

Besides putting the finishing touches to the 
main position at Mukden, which had already 
been fortified, the defensive work consisted of 
strengthening the Fu-Hang and Fu-shun positions, 
and throwing up some works on the right bank 
of the Hun Ho between Mukden and Fu-Hang. 
The object of these was to check the enemy 
crossing until our reserves could come up. In 
addition to this, much was done to improve the 
communications towards Tieh-hng. On Septem- 
ber 20 I learned by telegram from the Viceroy 
of the formation of the 2nd Manchurian Army. 
This was to comprise the 6th Siberians and 
8th Army Corps, five Rifle brigades from Russia, 
a Cossack infantry brigade, the 4th Don and 
2nd Caucasian Cossack Divisions, and three 
dragoon regiments of the 10th Cavalry Division. 
General Grippenberg was appointed to the com- 
mand of this force on September 24. 

Our position at Mukden had some very grave 

1. Its left flank (Fu-liang - Fu-shun) was, 
owing to the bend in the Hun Ho to the north- 
east of Mukden, thrown mucli too far back. If 
the enemy were successful on this flank, and 
came out on to our communications, we should 
be compelled to abandon the main position 


2. Almost immediately in rear of the position 
was the River Hun, which was at the time 
unfordable, and could only be crossed by bridges. 
Behind the river was the town itself. 

3. The Fu-shun coal-mines, which were most 
necessary to us (for railway fuel), were right in 
front of the position. 

These drawbacks, as well as our great desire 
to prevent any of the enemy's forces being 
detached for the reinforcement of Nogi's besieging 
army, drove us to try and take the offensive as 
soon as possible. 

Meanwhile the drafts whereby to replace our 
losses were still arriving at the front very slowly ; 
during July and August only 4,200 men were 
received. On September 29 the eight corps 
composing the JVIanchurian Army could only 
muster 151,000 rifles, the deficit in officers being 
670. Besides these corps, the Viceroy put the 
6th Siberian Corps* under my command, with 
the proviso that it should not be included in the 
army, and should not be split up.f It was 
concentrated at Mukden on October 8. My 
requests that the units of the 1st Siberian 
Division — some ten battalions — which were not 
included in the army, might be made over to me 
were not acceded to. But although we were 

* Less one brigade garrisoning Tieh-ling. 
t [Presumably because it was destined for the 2nd Army. 

VOL. II. 16 


really too weak, an advance seemed more advan- 
tageous than waiting for the enemy to attack, 
for there seemed little chance of our being able 
to hold our ground on the Mukden positions. 

According to our information, the Japanese 
main forces had crossed on to the right bank 
of the Tai-tzu Ho, between Liao-yang and 
Pen-hsi-hu, and were disposed approximately as 
follows : In the centre, behind the line Yen-tai 
station-Yen-tai mines, six divisions with brigades 
in reserve ; on the right, echeloned along the 
line Pan-chia-pu-tzu-Pen-hsi-hu, two divisions 
with brigades in reserve ; on the left, more or 
less along the line San-de-pu-Sha-tai-tzu, two 
divisions with their reserves. The enemy had 
fortified their positions on the Yen-tai heights 
and at Pan-chia-pu-tzu. It was decided, there- 
fore, that the first object of our advance was to 
hurl the Japanese back on to the left bank of 
the Tai-tzu Ho. To do this we were to deliver 
a frontal attack, and at the same time endeavour 
to turn their right, so that, if successful, we 
should dislodge them from the hills. Orders 
were issued for the forward movement to com- 
mence on October 5. The following was the 
plan of advance decided upon by me : 

1. Western Force. — This force, under Bilder- 
ling, consisting of the 10th and 17th Corps 
(total, 64 battalions, 40 squadrons and sotniaSt 
196 guns, and 2 sapper battalions), was to make 


a demonstration in front against the enemy's 
main force. 

2. Eastern Force. — This force, under Shtakel- 
berg, consisting of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Siberians 
(total, 73 battahons, 29 squadrons and sotnias, 
142 guns, 6 mortars, 32 machine-guns, and 
3 sapper battahons), was to attack the right 
flank of the enemy, moving round it from the 
east. The first objective of this force was the 
enemy's positions at Pan-chia-pu-tzu.* 

3. The General Reserve. — This, consisting of 
the 1st Army Corps and 4th Siberians, with 
Mischenko's brigade (total, 5Q battalions, 20 sot- 
nias, 208 guns, 30 mortars, and 2 sapper bat- 
talions), was to move up in rear of the interval 
between the western and eastern forces. 

4. The 6th Siberians (32 battalions, 6 sotnias, 
96 guns, and 1 sapper battalion) was to remain 
temporarily in Mukden (with a brigade at Tieh- 
ling), so that it might either be moved to a 
flank or added to the reserve, according as the 
operations developed. 

5. Flank Gruards. — A force of 30j battalions, 
39 sotnias, 82 guns, and 1 sapper battalion was 
told off to protect the flanks. Of this, 19 J bat- 
talions, 25 sotnias, 64 guns, and the sapper 
battalion were to take part in the attack of 

* Including Rennenkampfs column, Shtakelberg had 
under him 85 battalions, 43 sotnias, 174 guns, and 3 sapper 



the enemy's position while keeping touch with 
Dembovski's and Rennenkampf 's columns of the 
eastern and western forces respectively. 

6. Should the enemy concentrate towards 
their right, an endeavour was to be made to 
break through their centre in the direction of 
the Yen-tai mines by the 6th Siberians, with 
,Bilderling's force and the general reserve. 

The advance began on October 5, and meeting 
with no determined opposition, we on the 9th 
occupied the following positions : 

Weste7ii Force. — The line Shih-li-ho-Ta-pu. 

Eastern Force. — The line San-chia-tzu-Shang- 

In the Centre. — By the range of hills south of 
Khaamatan (with the assistance of a portion 
of the general reserve). 

The 4th Siberians, especially the Tomsk, 
Barnaul, and Irkutsk Regiments, did excellent 
work, as did Mischenko's mounted force, rein- 
forced by the 4th East Siberian Rifle Regiment. 
Rennenkampf's column moved out into the 
Tai-tzu Ho Valley, and worked along both 
banks of the river towards Pen-hsi-hu. Though 
the independent regiments of the 1st and 3rd 
Siberians suffered heavily, overcame the diffi- 
culties of the locality, and made altogether a 
gallant bid for success, they failed in their object, 
mainly owing to the lack of co-ordination in 
the plan of operations, and of cohesion in its 


execution. On the evening of the 10th the 
Japanese themselves took the offensive, having 
concentrated their main forces opposite our right 
and centre. BilderHng's western force, after 
fighting desperately against heavy odds and 
losing forty-six guns, fell back on the 12th on 
to the main position on the Sha Ho. Our 
centre, augmented by the 1st Corps, found itself, 
in consequence, too far forward, and was obliged 
on the evening of the 13th to commence a 
retirement on to the high ground near the 
position of the western force, and occupied the 
heights south of Erh-ta-ho. From the 10th to 
the 12th Shtakelberg's eastern force made a 
gallant but vain endeavour to get possession of 
the almost inaccessible ridges to the north of the 
road from Pen-hsi-hu to the Yen-tai mines. 
His dangerous position, thirteen miles in ad- 
vance, and the necessity for collecting enough 
troops in our centre to repulse the further 
attacks of the enemy's main body, compelled 
me on the 12th to order him to withdraw to the 
high ground of the position occupied by the 
rest of the army, and to move a portion of his 
force in support of our centre. The enemy's 
further attempts to drive us from the ground 
we were holding were unsuccessful, though we 
were hard pressed on the Sha Ho, and the 
general desire to retire on our JNIukden positions 
became very great. In a night attack on the 


15th the enemy succeeded in dislodging two 
regiments of the 22nd Division from the " One 
Tree Peak," which they were holding on the 
left bank of the Sha Ho between the villages 
of Sha-ho-pu and Sha-ho-tung. The loss of this 
height, which commanded us on the right bank 
of the river, and constituted, so to speak, the 
key of our position, by no means improved the 
situation. On the evening of the 16th, there- 
fore, I concentrated a force of twenty-five 
battalions under Putiloff, whom I ordered to 
attack the enemy in front and flank. After 
desperate hand-to-hand fighting, he succeeded 
on the morning of the 17th in driving them off 
the heights, and captured eleven guns, one 
machine-gun, many limbers and waggons. This 
episode put the finishing touch to the major 
operations of both sides, and we now proceeded 
to pass the winter in our respective positions in 
close touch with one another. 

The reasons of the indecisive issue to the 
battle were : 

1. Shtakelberg's unskilful disposition of the 
large force put under his command, which was 
(as we discovered later) almost three times the 
size of that opposed to him. 

2. The absence of proper control and general- 
ship among senior commanders of the western 

3. The abortive operations of, and lack of 


energy displayed by the officer commanding the 
10th Corps. (Among other things, he not only 
retired quite unnecessarily on October 12 from 
his position on the left bank of the Sha Ho, but 
also neglected to warn his neighbour in com- 
mand of the 1st Corps, who was in consequence 
placed in a critical position.) 

4. The useless manoeuvres of the officer com- 
manding the 31st Division, who several times 
ordered one of his brigades to retire without due 

5. The unsteadiness of many units.* 

6. The lack of cohesion in the operations of 
the 6th Siberians (on the right of the western 

During this battle of the Sha Ho the senior 
commanders — Generals Bilderling and Shtakel- 
berg — were given instructions as to what was 
required of them generally, but were left to 
make their dispositions independently. 

As will be seen from the above brief sketch 
of events, the September fighting had no de- 
cisive results. The two sides suffered equally, 
and lost about 50,000 men each. Still, our 
assumption of the offensive, even with inade- 
quate numbers, greatly improved our strategical 

* A very large number of men, particularly of the 
1st Corps, left the ranks without reason. At Mukden, 
however, this corps fought with great gallantry and 


position by moving our general front thirteen 
miles forward in front of Mukden, and afforded 
us a matter of four and a half months of time. 
As soon as we occupied the positions on the 
Sha Ho from Shou-lin-tzu on the right flank to 
Kao-tu-ling on the left, we set to work forti- 
fying them. Besides ten battalions of the 
1st Corps, the whole of the 1st Siberians and 
twenty-four battalions of the 6th Corps were 
moved into the general reserve in rear of the 
centre, and we were confident that we would be 
able to hold our ground. We still had, how- 
ever, a very small number of men — indeed, in 
some units the shortage was alarming. The 
total strength of the 252 battalions comprising 
our army on October 25 was only 140,000 rifles, 
which works out at an average strength of 
550 per battalion, while many battalions could 
not even muster 400 men. Not less disquieting 
was the lack of officers, which now amounted 
in the infantry alone to over 2,700, or an average 
deficiency per battalion of eleven. Meanwhile 
the drafts to repair wastage were still coming up 
in driblets. In October and November we only 
received some 13,000 men. It was not till 
December 8 that they began to reach us in any 
quantity ; during that month and the first half 
of January 72,000 arrived. I reported upon this 
vital question in my letters to the Tsar of 
October 26 and November 5. 


In his despatches of October 23 and 26 His 
Majesty was pleased to inform me that I had 
been appointed to the supreme command of all 
the forces in the Far East, that General Linie- 
vitch was appointed to the command of the 1st, 
and General Baron Kaulbars to the command 
of the 3rd Army.* My first act was to augment 
the army by adding to it the whole of the 
1st Siberian and 61st Divisions, the latter of 
which was intended by Alexeieff for the Pri- 
Amur district. This at once added 20,000 rifles 
to the field army ; the leading units also of the 
8th Corps began to arrive at the beginning of 
November, and at the end of the month were 
concentrated at Mukden. But the main thing 
which still remained to be done was the improve- 
ment of our railway communication with Russia, 
which became more than ever necessary on 
account of the increased army to be supplied. 

On November 28 the effective strength of all 
three armies, including the 8th Corps, amounted 
to 210,000 men. Our information as to the 
enemy put their strength at this date at about 
200,000. Although we were rather superior in 
numbers, our superiority was too slight to insure 
a successful offensive under the particularly 
difficult conditions offered by the intense cold 
weather, and the fact that the enemy's positions 

* [Grippenberg had already been appointed to the 
command of the 2nd Army. — Ed.] 


were strongly fortified. The low temperature 
rendered the lightest trench work practically 
impossible, and made the provision of a large 
amount of warm clothing an absolute necessity. 
Our preparations for the offensive, as regards 
making Mukden an intermediate base and our 
engineering work, began in November. In 
addition to the branch railway to the Fu-shun 
mines, which was completed that month, a 
branch was laid to the right flank of our dis- 
positions,"* and a field line to Rennenkampf's 
force on the left.f But still, when December 
came we were not ready to advance, mainly 
owing to the delay in railway construction, 
largely caused by the weather. Although I was 
informed by the War Minister, in a communi- 
cation dated November 8, that the running 
capacity of the Siberian and Trans- Baikal lines 
would from October 28 be brought up to twelve 
pairs of military trains, we never received as 
many right up to the end of the war. The 
result of this was that the expected drafts, as 
well as the three Kifle brigades, arrived about 
ten days later than we had calculated on re- 
ceiving them, and there was great delay in the 
distribution of warm clothing to the men, par- 
ticularly felt boots. Very great difficulty also 
was experienced in collecting the food- supplies 

* From Ssu-chia-tun station to Ta-wang-chiang-pu. 
t From Fu-shun to Ma-chia-tun. 


necessary for the forward movement, and in 
organizing new transport units. 

When, in the middle of December, I sum- 
moned a meeting of the three army commanders 
and consulted them as to the possible date of an 
advance, in view of the critical state of affairs at 
Port Arthur, they unanimously stated that it was 
essential to await the arrival of the whole of the 
16th Corps. On receiving the news of the sur- 
render of the fortress, 1 again asked their opinions 
as to whether — in view of Oyama's armies being 
probably augmented by that of Nogi — they did 
not consider it desirable to commence an advance 
at an earlier date. But they still adhered to 
their former opinion, modifying it only to the 
extent that we should begin our advance while 
this corps was arriving, and not wait until its 
concentration was completed. As regards the 
actual plan of the offensive operations, the 
opinions of the three army commanders were 
the same — namely, that we should deliver the 
main blow with as large a force as possible at the 
enemy's left, and envelop it. The only difference 
of opinion was as to the depth of this envelop- 
ment. The boldest and most original plan was 
that proposed by Grippenberg — namely, that he 
should undertake, with the 2nd Army, a wide 
turning movement — almost an envelopment — of 
the enemy's left in the direction of Yen-tai station, 
and cut himself free from the 3rd Army. He 


considered it necessary to have seven corps under 
his command for this operation. This, however, 
was impracticable, as, even without leaving any 
troops as a general reserve, besides the 16th 
Corps then arriving, only four corps could be 
given him — namely, the 8th, 10th, 1st Siberian, 
and the Composite Rifle Corps. General Linie- 
vitch, who was apprehensive that the enemy 
might attack the 1st Army, thought it dangerous 
to give Grippenberg the 1st Siberians. Kaulbars, 
in his turn, thought it impossible, without grave 
risk of the 3rd Army being driven from its posi- 
tions, to detach any portion of it to the 2nd Army. 
Finally, Grippenberg's plan, though it promised 
great advantages in the event of success, seemed 
very risky, for it extended our already long front 
still more, and made it so attenuated that it 
would be liable to be broken by a determined 
attack at any point. Moreover, no general 
reserve would be left at my disposal with which 
to deal with any unforeseen emergency. 

After proposing the above bold plan, Grippen- 
berg suddenly went to the other extreme, and 
became pessimistic. For instance, on January 13, 
he informed me that the campaign was as good 
as lost, that we ought to retire to Harbin, hold 
on to that point and Vladivostok, and from 
thence move with two armies " in other direc- 
tions." On my asking him which were the 
directions in which we should move, he gave no 


clear explanation. The same idea was expressed 
also in a report received on the same day (dated 
January 12) from General Ruzski, the Chief of 
the Staff of the 2nd Army. In it was contained 
Grippenberg's opinion that it was impossible for 
us to dream of being successful after Nogi's 
arrival, and that — 

" The officer commanding the Army accord- 
ingly inclines to the conclusion that, under the 
circumstances, the best solution of the question 
would be to fall back to Mukden, or further if 
necessary, and there to await a favourable oppor- 
tunity to take the offensive." 

However, it was finally decided, in accordance 
with the opinions of Linievitch and Kaulbars, 
and with the consent of Grippenberg, to take the 
offensive in January, on the condition that com- 
plete and direct touch was maintained between 
all three armies. 

According to our information, the strength of 
the Japanese armies was approximately as follows : 

Kuroki's Army ... 68 battalions, 21 squadi'ons, 

and 204 guns 
Nodzu"'s Army ... 50 battalions, 11 squadrons, 

and 168 guns 
Oku's Army ... 60 battalions, 29 squadrons, 

and 234 guns 

or a total in all three armies under Oyama of 
178 battalions, 61 squadrons, and 606 guns. It 
was calculated that they could put 200,000 rifles 


in the field against us on January 14, 1905. As 
a matter of fact, we underestimated the number. 
From the prisoners we took we knew accurately 
what was going on in their 1st Army, but we 
were unable to ascertain with sufficient accuracy 
and in good time what was happening in the 
rear, or what reinforcements were being received. 
Their fortified positions were as follows : The 
left flank up to the village of Hsiao- tung-kou 
was held by Oku. In the centre was Nodzu's 
army. On the right was Kuroki. Opposite 
Rennenkampf, on our extreme left, was a force 
under Kavamura amounting to about 15,000 to 
20,000 men. Nogi's army was estimated at 
72 battalions, 5 squadrons, and 156 guns ; but 
which units had reached Oyama, and how they 
were grouped, we did not know. 

In order to induce the enemy to detach as 
many men as possible for their line of com- 
munications, and so weaken their front, to handi- 
cap their supply arrangements, and to stop the 
rail transport of Nogi's units to the front, a raid 
by a mounted force* was organized against their 
line of communications. The objects of this raid, 
which was under Mischenko, were : 

1. To seize Newchuang station, and destroy 
the large stocks of food-supplies collected there ; 
and — 

* Of 72 squadrons and sotnias, 4 mounted scout parties, 
and 22 guns. 


2. To blow up the railway-bridges and destroy 
the track on the portion of the line from Ta- 
shih-chiao to Kai-ping. 

Neither object was fully attained, chiefly owing 
to the slowness with which the force moved. 
Individual episodes that occurred are, however, 
veiy instructive, and show that our cavalry is 
quite fitted to perform the most self-sacrificing 

The plan agreed upon for the main advance 
was explained in my orders of January 19. Just 
as it had been in September, our primary object 
was to drive the enemy behind the Tai-tzu Ho, 
and to inflict on him as much damage as possible. 
The force selected for our first attentions was 
Oku's left-flank army, the left wing of which was 
to be enveloped. The advance of the 1st and 
3rd Armies against the positions held by Nodzu 
and Kuroki were to be started and developed in 
accordance with, and depending upon, the measure 
of success attending the efforts of the 2nd and 3rd 
Armies to capture the enemy's left-flank positions 
on the Sha Ho. The armies were given the 
following tasks : 

1. The 2nd Army was to gain possession of 
the line of Japanese works San-de-pu-Lita- 
jen-tun-Ta-tai-San-chia-tzu, and then the line 
Tsun-lun-ian-tun-Ta-ta-san-pu along the Sha 
Ho. And, conformably to the enemy's action 
and the success attained by the 3rd Army, it 


was, while throwing a strong containing force 
to the south, to develop its operations towards 
the line San-tia-tzu-Shih-li-ho, and on the 
heights south of the last village. 

2. The 3rd Army was to capture the line of 
works Chang-ling-pu-Ling-shen-pu, and then 
the line along the Sha Ho from the latter point 
to Hun-ling-pu inclusive. And, conformably 
to the enemy's action and the successes attained 
by the 2nd Army, it was to develop its opera- 
tions towards the line Hei-te-kai Peak-Hung- 
pao Shan Peak. 

3. The 1st Army was to co-operate in the 
capture of Hou-te-kai Peak, and seize the heights 
near the villages of Cheng-san-lin-tzu and Shih- 
shan-tzu. And according to the action of the 
enemy and the successes attained by the 2nd and 
3rd Armies, it was, with the assistance of the 
3rd Army, to develop its operations towards the 
positions near the villages Ta-pu, San-chia-tzu, 
Shan-lu-ho-tzu, which we had occupied on the 
10th to 12th October. 

In my orders of January 21 it was clearly 
defined that the above scheme would require 
modification dependent on the line of action 
adopted by the Japanese. 

If, contrary to our calculations, the enemy 
preferred to contain our 2nd and 3rd Armies, and 
to fall with the rest of their forces on the 1st, or 
on the interval between the 1st and 3rd Armies, 


the position would call for a very energetic 
advance against their flank by the 2nd and 3rd 

If they should at once fall back on their second 
line of positions v^^ithout holding on to their first 
line, we should endeavour to turn their retire- 
ment into a disordered retreat. 

January 25 was the day fixed for the com- 
mencement of our advance, but, owing to the 
action of Grippenberg, who should have started 
the movement, the arrangements had to be 
altered. Almost a fortnight before our opera- 
tions began our chances of success had been 
unfortunately reduced by certain dispositions 
made by him. The corps to be attached to his 
army were disposed as follows : 

8th Corps ... South of the River Hun on 
both sides of the railway. 

10th Corps ... At Bai-ta-pu village on the 
Mandarin road. 

1st Siberians ... Behind the right flank of the 
1st Army. 

The right of the 2nd Army between the 
5th Siberians and the River Hun was only pro- 
tected by cavalry, while a separate column of 
five battalions and two cavalry regiments under 
Kossagovski was on the right bank of the river. 
Notwithstanding the instructions issued that 
these dispositions were to hold good as long as 
possible, in order that we might conceal our 

VOL. II. 17 



intentions from the enemy, and also that the 
10th Corps — intended to act as a reserve in the 
event of their striking at our centre — was not to 
be moved from its place without my knowledge, 
on January 14 Grippenberg transferred the 
14th Division over on to the left bank of the Hun, 
and on the 16th, without letting me know, moved 
the 10th Corps closer to the right of the 3rd Army. 
These movements, of course, at once disclosed 
our intentions, and information soon came in that 
the enemy had, in their turn, commenced moving 
their troops westwards and fortifying opposite 
our new dispositions. 

The strength of the army was : 


— " TO 

S 'S 










2nd Army 
3rd Army 
1st Army 






















By the middle of January our numbers were, 
as regards rank and file, almost up to the 

* Including thirty siege -guns. 


authorized war strength, except in the Com- 
posite Rifle, 8th and 16th Corps, which had 
arrived short, so that the total of our forces was 
about 300,000 rifles. Although the estabhsh- 
ment in officers was not fully complete, we now 
had some 5,600 in the infantry, which gave us 
on the average 15 per battalion. 

The advance began on January 25, as ordered, 
the 1st Siberians first seizing the village of 
Huan-lo-to-tzu, and later, after a hot fight 
lasting all day, the village of Hei-kou-tai ;* 
Kossagovski's column gained possession of Chi- 
tai-tzu and Ma-ma-kai without much difficulty. 
San-de-pu was not attacked that day. Of the 
14th Division, which was intended for this 
attack, three regiments were sent on the 22nd 
to join Mischenko's force, in order to strike a 
separate blow at a small Japanese force of all 
arms, which, according to spies, was in occu- 
pation of A-shih-niu. Mischenko moved against 
this place with his infantry, but found no enemy 
there, and so the 14th Division was marched 
forty miles on a fool's errand, and only arrived 
at Chang-tan on the morning of the 26th, 
thoroughly exhausted. The action of the 25th 
for the village of Hei-kou-tai, which we only 
seized with great difficulty and after heavy loss, 
in spite of our overwhelming superiority, indi- 
cated that such strongly fortified points as San- 

* Its garrison was not more than two battalions. 



de-pu and Lita-jen-tun could not be attacked 
without proper previous preparation, for we 
could not afford to waste men. I particularly 
underlined the necessity for this in my directions — 
" For the operations of the 2nd Army in cap- 
turing the enemy's fortified hne San-de-pu- 
Lita-jen-tun-Ta-tai," dated January 15, and also 
in my instructions with regard to the 2nd Army's 
operations against the Lita jen tun portion, 
dated January 16. Notwithstanding tliis, in the 
orders for the dispositions of the 2nd Army 
on January 26, it was to operate on the line 
from Hou-leng-tai to the Hun — over a distance 
of ten miles against a fortified position — and to 
capture the two strongly defended points, San- 
de-pu and Lita-jen-tun. Grippenberg, more- 
over, came to no understanding with Kaulbars 
as to co-operation, and it was only upon a re- 
quest made by the commander of the 10th Corps 
that the commander of the 3rd Army arranged 
to co-operate with his artillery, and so prepare 
the assault of the 5th Siberians. Being by 
chance in Hsui-tun just at the time when the 
10th Corps was making ready to carry out its 
allotted task, I was able to avert a dispersed 
attack (over a stretch of thu'teen miles), and to 
prevent the employment of troops in an un- 
prepared assault on strongly fortified positions. 
The attack to be made by the left flank of the 
2nd Army on the morning of January 26 was 

SAN-DE-PU 261 

countermanded by Grippenberg himself, but the 
order was delayed in transmission, and if I had 
not been in Hsui-tun it would have taken place. 
The attack of the village of San-de-pu by the 
14th Division alone failed, and it could hardly 
have done otherwise in the absence of any 
artillery preparation. Neither the ground round 
it nor the fortifications of the place itself had 
been studied, and no sketch-plan of it had been 
made or issued to the troops. The result was 
that our guns shelled a village called Pei-tai-tzu, 
north-east of San-de-pu, all day instead of the 
place itself, which they did not touch, while the 
14th Division attacked and captured Pao-tai-tzu 
(to the west of San-de-pu), and reported to me 
they had taken San-de-pu. The outer enclosure 
of San-de-pu village was mistaken by this division 
for that of a reduit inside the village, and acting 
upon the assumption that they were not strong 
enough to seize this rechiit, they were ordered 
back to their former positions, and abandoned 
Pao-tai-tzu. Meanwhile, having received the 
report that San-de-pu had been taken, Grippen- 
berg gave orders for the heavy guns and mortars 
with the 8th Corps to be sent at once to the 
10th Corps, in order to prepare the assault of 
Lita-jen-tun next day. At the same time, as 
his men, who had had no sleep for three nights, 
were utterly exhausted, he asked permission to 
rest his army on the 27th. Accordingly, the 


1st Siberians were ordered to halt in the area 
south-east of Hei-kou-tai ; but as we had not 
yet taken this area, the order led to this corps 
having to fight a separate action on the 27th 
for the possession of Su-ma-pu and Piao-tsao. 
When it became known on the morning of 
the 27th that San-de-pu had not been taken, 
Grippenberg was obhged to give up all idea of 
repeating the attack on the 27th, as he had sent 
his heavy guns to the 10th Corps. The decision 
was also necessitated by the fact that the 
Japanese had sent up strong reinforcements. 
When Shtakelberg was informed that San-de-pu 
had not been taken, he did not consider it 
possible to carry out Grippenberg's twice re- 
peated order to cease his attack, and late in the 
evening, after a hot fight, he seized the greater 
part of Su-ma-pu by a disconnected attack with 
four regiments. But being counter-attacked at 
dawn on the 28th by superior numbers both in 
front and on the left, he was forced to fall back 
"with great loss (6,000 men). By that evening 
the 1st Siberians were holding a position on the 
line Tou-pao-Chu-san-ho-tzu, which the Japanese 
continued to assault with great fury till the 
early morning. The despatch of troops towards 
Su-ma-pu in no way met the circumstances : 
it led to a needless digression from the main 
objective of the whole operations—/.^., San-de-pu 
— and generally to a still greater extension of the 


already too long front occupied by the 2nd Army. 
In order to divert the enemy's attention from 
our right flank by a demonstration, the villages 
of Hsia-tai-tzu and La-pa-tai were attacked and 
seized on January 27 by part of the 10th Corps 
under Tserpitski ; but as we were not ready to 
storm San-de-pu, these places were abandoned. 

The cavalry of the 2nd Army, under Mis- 
chenko, made a bold dash at the enemy's rear, 
and succeeded in killing and capturing a good 
many ; but their success would have been far 
greater had the Don regiments under Teleshoff 
not been late in arriving. Mischenko, who was 
at the head of the advanced sotnias, was severely 
wounded, and TeleshofF, who succeeded in the 
command, failed to carry out the task entrusted 
to him. He neither sent word that the Japanese 
were receiving reinforcements, nor helped the 
Siberians when they were fighting for Su-ma-pu. 

By evening on the 28th the situation in the 
2nd Army was roughly as follows : The positions 
north of San-de-pu, along a front of eight miles 
— from the positions occupied by the 3rd Army 
up to the River Hun — were held by the 10th 
Corps and 15th Division ; sixteen battalions 
of the former had been brought closer to the 
river, and behind them was the reserve of the 
3rd Army, a brigade of the 17th Corps. The 
Composite Rifle Corps and 1st Siberians were 
distributed along a front west of San-de-pu, on 


the line Chan-chua-tzu-Tou-pao. Kossagovski's 
force was at San-chia-tzu. The reserve of the 
2nd Army consisted of only one regiment of 
the 14th Division,* and Grippenberg had (26th 
to 28th) three times asked for reinforcements to 
be sent him from the general reserve. The front 
of the 2nd Army was spread over twenty miles. 
Thus, by the evening of the 28th the greater 
part of that army was separated from the 
3rd Army by San-de-pu village, which was 
still in the enemy's hands, and was dispersed 
over a long line fronting south-east. Whilst so 
distributed, not only was it difficult to assist it 
with troops from the 3rd Army in the event of 
its being attacked, but there was the danger, 
if the enemy reinforced heavily, of their being 
in a position to employ San-de-pu as a pivot, 
force back the Rifle Corps, and break through 
on to the communications of the 1st Siberians. 
Meanwhile reports came in which showed that 
only a portion of the enemy's available forces 
were operating against Grippenberg, while the 
movement of Kuroki's and Nodzu's troops to 
the west showed that the enemy could still 
throw another six divisions into the fight. They 
might be moved against the weakened and 
extended front of the 3rd Army, thrust into the 

* Two regiments of the four in this division had been 
sent to reinforce the Composite Rifle Corps, and one 
regiment to reinforce the 1st Siberians. 


interval between the 3rd Army and the Hun Ho, 
or used as reinforcements to the troops operating 
against our positions west of San-de-pu. 

About 7 p.m. Kaulbars reported to me that 
the enemy had at 4 p.m. begun a movement in 
great strength towards their advanced positions. 
At the same time this movement became dis- 
closed, and we opened artillery and rifle fire. As 
the reserve of the 3rd Army had already been 
given to the 2nd, I was obliged, as a temporary 
measure, to give Kaulbars the 72nd Division 
from my reserve. This left me with only thirty 
battalions of the 16th Corps, which had just 
arrived. Although the positions held by the 
Composite Rifle Corps and 1st Siberians had 
behind them an ice-covered river with steep 
frozen banks that hindered the crossing of all 
three arms, and were therefore inconvenient, yet 
the situation of the 2nd Army — enveloping 
San-de-pu, as it did — offered us certain advan- 
tages if we could only drive back the troops 
attacking the 1st Siberians and succeed in 
storming that place on the 29th. When, there- 
fore, the above report came in from Kaulbars, 
the Chief of Staff" of the 2nd Army was asked 
on the telephone when it was proposed to start 
the assault on San-de-pu. To this Ruzski re- 
plied that it certainly could not take place next 
day, as it had not been properly prepared by 
artillery, and that it was impossible then to fix 


a time for it. On account of the vagueness 
of this reply, he was instructed to report to 
Grippenberg the information sent in by Kaulbars, 
and also the orders in which the 2nd Army was 
instructed to take up a more concentrated posi- 
tion in the early hours of the 29th, assuming as 
their first task the defence of the line Ssu-fang- 
tai-Chang-tan-Ta-man-ta-pu. Grippenberg, who 
was in a neighbouring apartment with a tele- 
phone, did not say a single word to this message,* 
and these orders were carried out. All the 
enemy's attacks on the positions Tou-pao- 
Chu-san-ho-tzu were repulsed by the 1st Siberians 
before retiring. 

Thus ended our first attempt at the offensive, 
and it cost us 10,000 men. The chief cause of 
our failure was, of course, our neglect to prepare 
properly the assault on San-de-pu, which again 
was a sign that we did not yet sufficiently respect 
our foe. Though a contempt of the enemy was 
all through the war evinced by the senior officers 
when they first arrived at the front, yet after our 
first actions it was generally, and perhaps unfor- 
tunately, replaced by an exaggerated idea of their 
merits. The absence of proper touch between 
Grippenberg and the corps under him was also 
responsible for much, as, owing to it, the trans- 
mission of orders and of information was greatly 

* General Grippenberg could not use the telephone 
himself, as he was somewhat deaf. 


delayed. The whole of the 8th and Composite 
Rifle Corps, again, did not shine in action. For 
instance, on the 28th, certain units of the 
15th Division, though not at all pressed, began 
to retire without permission. By doing so they 
exposed the siege battery they were covering, 
which was preparing to destroy its guns and 
blow up its ammunition preparatory to retiring 

On January 30 Grippenberg reported himself 
sick by letter, and by the Tsar's permission left 
on February 3 for St. Petersburg. This action 
of his set a fatal example both to those under him 
and to the rest of the army, and was most harm- 
ful to all discipline. The opinions, also, that he 
had expressed, to the effect that the campaign 
was virtually over, and that we should retire to 
Mukden and Harbin, had a dangerously disturb- 
ing effect on our weaker members. It was in 
the long-run more harmful than any single 
defeat of a portion of our force would have been. 

When the right flank of the 2nd Army fell 
back, the army held a line from Fu-cha-chuang- 
tzu to Ssu-fang-tai. The enemy made several 
unsuccessful attempts to drive us from those of 
their advanced positions that we had captured, 
their main efforts being directed towards the 
recapture of Pei-tai-tzu and Chang-tan-ho-nan. 
We, on our side, made energetic preparation to 
continue the advance we had begun so unluckily. 


Fresh siege batteries were brought up, the 
approaches to the enemy's defended posts were 
carefully reconnoitred, and detailed plans were 
made. On February 16 we received some drafts, 
which were used to make good the casualties in 
the 1st Siberians and the Composite Rifle Corps, 
both of which had suffered so heavily at 

On February 10 General Kaulbars assumed 
command of the 2nd Army, and Bilderling 
temporarily took over command of the 3rd. 
^leanwhile, early in this month, information kept 
coming in that large bodies of Japanese cavalry 
with guns, together with bands of Hun-huses, 
were collecting in JNIongolia, especially near the 
portion of the railway between Kung-chu-ling 
and Kuang-cheng-tzu, and early on the morning 
of the 12th the enemy raided the line north of 
the station of the former name and blew up a 
railway-bridge. The same day a reconnoitring 
party of the Frontier Guards suddenly came on 
a Japanese force of two cavalry regiments, a 
battalion, and some 2,000 Hun-huses near the 
Mongolian fi*ontier. In the ensuing action we 
lost a number of men and one gun. General 
ChichagofF continued to report with great insist- 
ence that large bodies of the enemy — over 
10,000 strong — were collecting in Mongolia for 
the purpose of cutting our communications. 
Believing these reports, I detailed a brigade of 


the 41st Division and the whole of the Don 
Cossack Division to reinforce our protective 
troops on the railway itself, upon which, of 
course, we were dependent for supplies, drafts, 
and reinforcements. In addition to this, I also 
put some 15,000 reservists* under the command 
of General NadarofF, to strengthen the Frontier 
Guards and the line-of-communication troops 

The rumours that we heard at this same time 
also of the landing of a large Japanese force in 
Northern Korea (assumed to be in connection 
with the liberation of Nogi's army by the 
surrender of Port Arthur), part of which might 
be detailed for operations against Vladivostok, 
compelled me to take in hand the strengthening 
of our forces in the Primorsk district, and of the 
Vladivostok garrison in particular. With this 
end in view, a mixed brigade of six battalions, 
formed from men of the 1st Army, was sent to 
the fortress. In order to enable this brigade to 
be expanded into a division, and each of the Rifle 
regiments in the Primorsk district into regiments 
of four battalions, it was necessary, first of all, 
to divide the drafts which had come up for the 
army between the field army and the troops in 
the Primorsk district. Although forced to 
reduce the strength of the field army to the 

* Out of the 80,000 men of the drafts which had 


above extent, I made a mistake in not insisting 
upon a sufficiently strong general reserve being 
formed. To do this I should have taken the 
whole of the 17th Corps into my reserve, though 
such a course would have been against the 
opinion of General Bilderling (who considered 
it dangerous to weaken the 3rd Army, as he had 
no rehance in the steadiness of the reserve troops 
of that army, the 5th and 6th Siberians). Instead 
of the thirty-two battalions, which would have 
been thus obtained, only one division, the 
6th Siberians,'" was added to the general reserve. 
In my orders issued after our disastrous action 
at Hei-kou-tai, it was laid do^\Ti that as many 
units as possible should be taken out of the 
firing-line, so that strong army reserves might 
be formed. In order to render this possible, it 
was pointed out that defensive positions should 
not be held in equal strength along the whole 
front ; that it was sufficient to prepare and hold 
the most important portions of a line as strongly 
as possible ; and that, by holding on to these at 
all costs, time would be gained in which reserves 
could be pushed up to any threatened section. 
Unfortunately, I left too much to the experience 
and discretion of the army commanders, and did 

* According to the programme of the arrival of the 
troops, I calculated on increasing my reserve by three 
and four Rifle brigades, but they arrived more than ten 
days late. 


not sufficiently insist on exact compliance with 
my instructions. 

Adhering to the original plan of offensive 
operations decided upon in accordance with the 
opinions of all the army commanders, I requested 
Kaulbars to fix the first day for the advance. 
He first chose February 23, but owing to the 
troops of the 2nd Army being worn out with the 
very heavy work they had done in connection 
with the fortification of the positions, the advance 
was, at his own request, postponed till the 25th. 
On the 24th, however, Kaulbars heard that the 
date for the assault of San-de-pu was known to 
the enemy. He therefore lost hope of success, 
and asked that the assault might be indefinitely 
postponed. Meanwhile, on the 23rd, the enemy 
advanced in force against the Ching-ho-cheng 
column, and this body fell back from its fortified 
position next day after fighting an unsuccessful 

At the commencement of the Japanese advance 
our armies were distributed as follows : 

Right Flank. — 2nd Army, consisting of the 
1st Siberians, Composite Rifle, 8th and 10th 
Corps, a brigade of the 3rd and a mixed brigade 
of the 5th Siberians (total, 126 battalions), 
occupying the line Ssu-fang-tai - Chang - tan - 
Hou-lien-tai, a length of sixteen miles. 

Centre. — 3rd Army, consisting of the 5th 
Siberians (less two regiments), 17th Corps, and 


one division of the 6th Siberians (total, 72 bat- 
talions), occupying the line Hou-lien-tai-Ling- 
shen-pu - Sha-ho-pu - Shan-lan-tzu, a length of 
eleven miles. 

Left Flank. — Here were the 1st Army (less 
one regiment), 4th, 2nd, and 3rd Siberians (the 
latter less one brigade), 71st Division, Inde- 
pendent Siberian Reserve Brigade, and two Trans- 
Baikal infantry battalions (total, 128 battalions), 
occupying the line Shan-lan-tzu-Lu-chiang-tun- 
Erh-ta-kou-Lia-cheng-wu-tun, and further along 
the right bank of the Sha Ho, having its left 
flank three miles east of the Kao-tai Ling (Pass), 
a length of thirty miles. The 1st Army also 
had independent columns at Ching-ho-cheng and 

The General Reserve consisted of forty-four 
battalions — namely, the 16th Corps (less one 
brigade) on the railway six miles south of JNIukden 
station, 72nd Division, and 146th Tsaritsin Regi- 
ment, behind the right flank of the 1st Army at 

On February 23 the shortage in the infantry 
(rank and file) of all three armies was 49,000. 

A " Short Account of the Operations round 
Mukden in February, 1905," was submitted to 
His Majesty the Tsar with a letter from me 
dated ^lay 13, 1905. A detailed description of 
these operations has been completed, and has 
now also been submitted to His Majesty. The 


whole of the Mukden operations can be di\ided 
into three phases : 

1. From February 23 to 28, till the turning 
movement against our right flank developed. 

2. From February 28 to ^larch 9 — the period 
of our concentration on the right bank of the 
Hun Ho, and our attempts to drive back the 
enemy who were enveloping us. 

3. From March 9 to 16 — our final attempt to 
hold on to Mukden, and our forced abandon- 
ment of it. 

First Phase. 

During this the enemy directed their attention 
exclusively to the left flank of the 1st Army — 
to Rennenkampf's force, the 3rd, and (partly) the 
2nd Siberians. Amongst the troops operating 
against Rennenkampf was the 11th Japanese 
Division from Port Arthur, and from this it was 
surmised that other portions of Nogi's army were 
also acting on that flank. The widely extended 
position of the 1st Army, bearing in mind the 
absence of an adequate army reserve ; the con- 
centration of large bodies of the enemy against 
the 2nd and 3rd Siberians, disclosed on Feb- 
ruary 24 ; the retirement of the Ching-ho-cheng 
force ; the possibility of a turning movement 
against it ; and, finally, the decision of the oflicer 
commanding the 2nd Army to postpone the 
attack indefinitely — all these made me decide to 

VOL. II. 18 


reinforce the 1 st Army quickly from my general 
reserve, not only in order to check the enemy, 
but also in order to operate actively ourselves. 
The first reinforcements despatched were : a 
brigade of the 6th East Siberian Rifle Division 
on February 24 to protect the left flank of the 
Ching-ho-cheng force, and the 146th Regiment 
and 2nd Brigade of the 72nd Division on Feb- 
ruary 25 to reinforce the left flank of the 
1st Army. Finally, when it was discovered that 
the enemy were operating in great strength 
against the left flank of the Kao-tai Ling position, 
the 1st Siberians and 1st Brigade of the 72nd 
Division were sent on February 27 to assist the 
1st Army in its projected advance. On this day, 
also, the 85th Viborg Regiment was sent to 
reinforce Daniloff"s force. When the 1st Army 
received these additions, amounting in all to 
fifty-four battahons, the advance of Kuroki's 
army and of the right flank force of Kavamura 
was checked ; but still our intended advance did 
not take place (owing to the exaggerated reports 
as to the enemy's strength), and the 1st Siberians 
were sent back to the right flank to rejoin the 
general reserve. 

Second Phase. 

The first report of large bodies of Japanese 
infantry appearing near Ka-liao-ma, on the left 
bank of the Liao, was received on February 28. 


News came in also of the enemy moving along 
the right bank, and of the appearance of their 
columns at Hsin-min-tim. It was essential to 
take immediate steps to meet them on the way 
to Mukden in their turning movement. I 
thought it was possible, by using the positions 
of the 3rd Army as a pivot of manoeuvre, and 
withdrawing its right flank on to the line Ling- 
shen-pu-Shua-Iin-tzu-Lan-shan-pu, to leave* for 
the defence of the section between the 3rd Armv 
and the Hun Ho, and of that on the right 
bank, a total of forty-eight battalions, and to 
transfer on to the right bank the remainder of 
the 2nd Army (forty- eight battalions), and, after 
reinforcing them with twenty-four battalions of 
the 16th Corps and thirty- two battalions col- 
lected from the 3rd and 1st Armies, to detail 
them for operations against Nogi. The command 
of the troops collected on the right bank of the 
Hun M^as entrusted to Kaulbars, and I pointed 
out to him several times the particular impor- 
tance of rapid and energetic action against the 
turning movement which threatened Mukden 
and our communications. 

The first units sent from the main reserve at 
Mukden to the west were : 

1. Towards Kao-li-tun, on the river, to operate 
against the wide turning movement along the River 
Liao, a brigade of the 41st Division under Birger. 

* For operations against Oku. 



2. To Sha ling-pu, the 25th Division, under 
General Topornin, commanding the 16th Corps. 

8. Simultaneously the 2nd Brigades of the 
9th and 31st Divisions were concentrated under 
the command of Topornin, south of the 25th 
Division, on March 2. 

The successive arrangements made by Kaul- 
bars, in view of the enemy's advance — already 
commenced on the right of the 2nd Army ; the 
abandonment of Ssu-fang-tai ; the withdrawal of 
troops from the right bank ; the relief of corps 
that had been engaged, and the retention of 
troops which had already started towards 
Mukden, not only disclosed to the Japanese 
the possibility of free movement along the right 
bank of the river, but delayed the arrival on 
the western front of reinforcements from the 
2nd Army. General Topornin therefore received 
no support either on March 2 or 3 ; still, he 
successfully continued on March 3 the attack 
commenced the day before on the village of 
Sha-ling-pu. However, in view of the turning 
movement that had now become quite clear 
against our right flank, Kaulbars ordered a re- 
tirement — though the enemy were in no way 
pressing us — to the western Mukden fortifica- 
tions. The troops took up a line ft-onting on 
Ma-tuan-tzu-Wu-kuan-tun, and, in spite of the 
orders given, did not occupy either the old 
railway embankment or the fortified position 



west of Lin-min-shan-tzu. This direct with- 
drawal towards Mukden placed our troops in a 
very disadvantageous position, and enabled the 
enemy both to continue their turning move- 
ment, and make it wider and more dangerous. 
Immediately after our retirement from Sha-ling- 
pu, they moved forward quickly and enveloped 
our western front, and, moving on March 3 
across on to the main Hsin-min-tun road, began 
to threaten Mukden from the north. Birger's 
brigade, which had now returned from Kao-li- 
tun, fell back on Hu-shih-tai station. 

The protection of Mukden on the west and 
north was placed under Kaulbars, and was under- 
taken by units joining the general reserve. 

1. The composite divisions of three regiments of 
the 1 7th Corps under De Witte took up the fortified 
position at Khou-kha* on the morning of March 3. 

2. A force of seven battalions under Colonel 
Zapolski was sent to Hu-shih-tai station. 

3. The 10th Rifle Regiment was concentrated 
at siding No. 97. 

4. Eighteen battalions of the 1st Siberians 
came up as a reserve to these on March 3. 

The concentration which I had ordered of the 
units of the 2nd Army on the right bank of the 
Hun was taking place extremely slowly. Indeed, 
some regiments which had already assembled 
had been sent back to the left bank. When I 
* [? Houton. — Ed.] 


reached JMukden on the 3rd, I impressed on 
Kaulbars the necessity of not losing any time, 
and told him to attack the following day, but 
gave him a free hand as to the direction of attack. 
He did not carry out the order, owing to the 
concentration of his army on the right bank not 
ha^'ing been completed. Meanwhile, in the early 
hours of March 4, the important hamlet of Ssu- 
hu-chia-pu was evacuated by the 2nd Army, 
and at the same time IvanofF withdrew the 
15th Division from the position behind the Hun 
and the right flank of the 3rd Army, which he 
had been told to defend, without fighting. The 
latter thus became exposed. A brigade of the 
5th Siberians and nine sotn'ms of cavalry, which 
had remained on the right bank near Tung-chen- 
tzu, were moved across to the left. 

During March 4, which was thus lost to us for 
offensive operations, Nogi continued his turning 
movement, which was now becoming enveloping 
and dangerous. Accordingly, after discussing 
the matter with Kaulbars, I ordered him on the 
5th to concentrate sufficient troops for the pur- 
pose, and to attack the enemy's left, and I again 
emphasized the fact that our main chance of 
success lay in the rapidity and energy with which 
he struck. In an order of the 2nd Army of 
March 5, a force of forty-nine battalions was 
organized to make the attack under the com- 
mand of Gerngross. Here again the concen- 


tration was too slow, and the right column only 
moved out from the line Sha-ho-tzu-Khou-kha 
about 2 p.m. Its right flank might have been 
strengthened by a brigade of the 41st Division with 
Zapolski's column, and the left flank by sixteen 
battalions of the 25th Division. We therefore 
might have contained the enemy on the Yang- 
hsin-tun-Hsiao-sha-ho-tzu line with a force under 
Tserpitski, and have attacked with a mass of 
seventy-seven battalions. 

Kaulbars, alarmed at Tserpitski's exaggerated 
reports as to the nature of the attacks made on 
his left by some three divisions, moved a brigade 
from Gerngross's force behind the left flank, sent 
another on to the left bank of the river, and 
stopped Gerngross's attack till such time as the 
result of Tserpitski's action should be known. 
The net result of these proceedings, of the late 
commencement of the operations, and of their 
half-hearted nature, was that, although we met 
with no opposition, on the 5th we moved our 
right only on to the line Pao-ta-tun-Fang-hsin- 
tun-San-chia-fen ; and so another day was lost. 
In accordance with my orders for energetic 
action, the advance of the right was continued 
on the 6th, but it was carried out with less men 
than on the previous day (thirty-three battalions), 
without energy or cohesion, and met with deter- 
mined opposition at the village of Liu-chia-kan. 
Then, before the whole of Gerngross's force had 


become engaged, Kaulbars stopped the advance, 
and gave orders to take up the defensive. That 
day we got possession only of Tsuang-fang-chih. 
In short, notwithstanding the great strength of 
the 2nd Army, with its reinforcements of more 
than fifty battaHons, on March 4, 5, and 6 — the 
three most important days — we moved our right 
only a few miles forward, and took to defensive 
measures even on the western front. 

Owing to the ill success of the operations of 
the 2nd Army on IMarch 5, I issued orders to all 
the armies to send back their divisional baggage 
along their respective lines of communication 
towards the north of JVlukden. On the 5th the 
Japanese began a series of attacks on our northern 
and western fronts. On the left flank of our west 
front they were everywhere repulsed by Tserpitski 
and Hershelman, whose forces amounted to forty- 
nine battalions. In the centre of the western 
front they won a partial success, on March 7 
compelling units of the 25th Division to retire 
temporarily from Wu-kuan-tun. But on the 
northern front, which was the most dangerous 
for us, they won great successes, on the 7th and 
8th getting possession of several villages. From 
there they repeatedly attacked our northern force 
of twenty-five battalions under Launits, which 
was holding the line Ta-heng-tun-San-tai-tzu- 
Kung-chia-tun. At the same time their columns 
moved still farther to the north, and threatened 


Hu-shih-tai station. To protect this, I despatched 
a force of six battaHons of the 4th Siberians to 
Tsu-erh-tun under Colonel BorisofF. To secure 
our retirement to Tieh-ling, in case we should 
not succeed in beating off Nogi's army, on the 
evening of JNIarch 7 I gave orders to the 1st and 
3rd Armies, who were too far forward, to retire 
early on the 8th to our fortified positions south 
of Mukden — at Fu-liang and Fu-shun. With 
their retirement and the concentration of the 
whole of the 2nd Army on the right bank it 
became possible to allot forty-eight battalions 
from the 1st and 3rd Armies to operate against 
Nogi, and to collect seventeen battalions into the 
reserve of the 2nd Army, Of these reinforce- 
ments. General ArtamonofF's force of ten bat- 
talions alone arrived under my command on 
the 8th. 

Third Phase. 

Having failed in our attempts to stop Nogi's 
army, which was moving round our right flank, 
first on the line from Sha-ling-pu to the old 
railway embankment, and then on the line of 
the Hsin-min-tun main road, I decided to try 
once more to block it on the line Ku-san-tun- 
Tsu-erh-tun, and, if a favourable opportunity 
occurred, to assume the offensive from this line. 
On the 9th we had the following troops available 
for the purpose : 

1. BorisofF's column of 6 battalions holding 


the villages of Tung-chan-tzu, Ku-san-tun, and 

2. ArtamonofF's column of 9 battalions* at 

3. Hershelman's column of 14 battalions, sent 
from the reserve of the 2nd Army to that place. 
Total, 29 battahons. 

On March 9 I ordered Lieutenant- General 
MuilofF, to whom was given the command of 
these troops, to co-operate with Launits' force 
in an attack on the village of Hei-ni-tun. The 
operation was carried out in a disjointed manner, 
without careful reconnaissance, and without any 
arrangement for co-operation having been made 
with Launits ; a bad storm and clouds of sand 
also impeded us, and the attack failed. The 
Japanese continued their advance to the north- 
west. Thus, by the 9th, the enemy was still 
not driven back on the side where they were 
most dangerous ; part of the village of San-tai- 
tzu, taken from us in the early hours of that day, 
remained in their hands. The situation, indeed, 
appeared critical, for we received news on the 
same evening of the Japanese advance to the 
Hun Ho against the section Fu-liang-Hsiao- 
fang-shen, which was held by weak units of the 
1st Army, 4th and 2nd Siberians. Indeed, if we 
delayed the withdrawal on Tieh-ling longer there 
was great danger that some of our most advanced 
* One was ordered to support General Launits. 


forces in the south and south-west might be cut 
off. Therefore orders were given that same 
evening for a retirement to Tieh-Kng early on 
the 10th, and for this operation roads were 
allotted as follows : The 2nd Army was to pro- 
ceed along both sides of the railway and west of 
the Mandarin road ; the 3rd Army along the 
Mandarin road and others to the east of it, as 
far as the Fu-liang-Hsi-chui-chen-Hui-san- 
Shu-lin-tzu road ; the 1st Army along the latter, 
and the roads to the east of it. 

Meanwhile the enemy had on the 9th broken 
through the 1st Army near Chiu-tien, driving 
back part of the 4th Siberians from this point 
to Leng-hua-chi. The officer commanding the 
2nd Siberians (next to them) did nothing but 
merely hold his position on the River Hun at 
Hsiao-fang-chen, and the enemy spread out along 
the valley Hsiao-hsi-chua-Hu-shan-pu. The 
attempt made to drive them back at night by 
the Tsaritsin Regiment failed. 

During the early morning of the 10th our 
position became yet worse ; on the right flank 
the Japanese drove back Borisoff 's force to Hsiao- 
kou-tzu and opposite San-tai-tzu, and penetrated 
as far as the grove of the Imperial tombs. On 
the east large bodies of them appeared in sight 
of the INIandarin road. One was opposite Leves- 
tam's force, while another began shelling the 
Mandarin road near Ta-wa from the heights near 


Hsin-chia-kou. The orders given on March 5 
for the baggage to be sent back in good time 
had not been carried out, and part of the impedi- 
menta of the 2nd and 3rd Armies, which was 
stretching along the road near Mukden early 
on the 10th, blocked the passage of the 5th and 
6th Siberians and 17th Corps. On this morn- 
ing also the Japanese, who had broken through 
near Chiu-tien on the 9th, began to press our 
left flank under MeyendorfF. The troops sent 
as reinforcements did not act together, and were 
driven back north-west. By 10 a.m. MeyendoriF 
was in full retreat — not north-east, but north- 
west towards the JNIandarin road, which he 
crossed between Ta-wa and Pu-ho. The 6th 
Siberians now began to retire prematurely, and 
by so doing exposed the right of the 1st Corps 
and the left of the 17th. This unnecessarily 
sudden retirement of more than forty battalions 
under MeyendorfF and SobolefF placed the 17th 
Corps and the 5th Siberians in a difficult posi- 
tion. Instead of fronting south, they had to 
front south-east. After a hot fight this force, 
consisting of thirty battalions, was also obliged 
to move to the rear prematurely. They did not 
go to Ta-wa, but west and south of the Mandarin 
road. This opened out a way for the enemy to 
that road, and also to the railway north — further 
on the portion between Mukden and Wen-ken- 
tun. By seizing this section about 2 p.m., before 


the rearguards or even the tail of the main body 
had passed Wa-tzu, they took our troops in flank. 
We had evacuated the village of San-tai-tzu pre- 
maturely, and it was quickly occupied by the 
Japanese. Between Wa-tzu and this village 
there is a defile, less than three miles long, through 
which a large part of the 2nd Army had to force 
its way under attack from both sides. Portions 
of the rearguards under Hanenfeld and Sollogub, 
which tried to get round to the east of it, were 
captured or destroyed. 

I instructed General Dembovski to organize 
the defence of the Mandarin road at Ta-wa, and 
for that purpose to utilize the troops retiring along 
it. By 10 a.m. the distance between the portions 
of the enemy on the west and east of the railway 
was only seven miles. It was vital to stop any 
further contraction of the area of retirement of 
the 2nd Army. This might be done by blocking 
the Japanese advance to the railway from the 
west and north-west. As I was more anxious 
about the latter direction than any other, I moved 
out the eighteen battalions under ZarubaefF, which 
had joined my reserve from the 1st Army, on to 
the line Ma-kou-chia-tzu-Yang-tzu-tun, and ten 
battalions of the 72nd Division on the front 
Tung-shan-tzu-Hsiao-hsin-tun. The first force 
covered the railway between Hu-shih-tai and 
San-tai-tzu, and the second barred the enemy's 
advance and supported the right flank of Arta- 


monofF's column. As a reserve to these troops, 
in case of pressure from the east, a brigade of the 
1st Siberian Division was left near Hu-shih-tai 
station. By 4 p.m. the state of affairs on the 
Mandarin road became worse, as, immediately 
after General Levastam's force had retired behind 
Pu-ho, Dembovski also abandoned his positions 
near Ta-wa, and moved off to the west. The 
fighting ceased as darkness came on. The last 
of the 2nd Army to fall back were portions of 
the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Rifle Regiments under 
Lieutenant- Colonel Korniloff ; they broke through 
near Wa-tzu in the pitch dark, though hemmed in 
by the enemy on three sides. 

We continued to retire during the night, covered 
by the rearguard under MuilofF and that of Zaru- 
baefF's column. On the 11th several units of the 
1st and 3rd Armies collected at the village of 
Yi-lu ; but the greater part of the 3rd Army fell 
back direct on Tieh-ling. Bilderling was unable 
to carry out his proposal of remaining on the 
River Yi-lu till the 12th, and, having taken 
command of Shileiko's force, after slight opposi- 
tion retired northwards from Yi-lu village. By 
doing this he placed the rearguards of the 2nd 
Army that were still south of this point in a 
very precarious position. The main bodies of 
all the armies began on the 11th to occupy a 
position eight miles south of Tieh-ling on the 
Fan Ho. The 2nd Army took up a line to the 


west and the first one to the east of the Mandarin 
road, the 3rd remaining in reserve. Everything 
possible was done to restore order amongst the 
troops, transport, and parks. On the 13th the 
enemy's advanced troops reached our positions, 
and on the 14th they attacked, directing their 
main effort on the Une between the sections held 
by the 2nd Siberians and 72nd Division. All 
their attacks were repulsed with great loss, and 
many hundreds of dead were left in front of our 
position. Our losses were 900. 

The two-weeks battle had badly disorganized 
several units, especially those of the 2nd and 3rd 
Armies. The men who had got separated from 
their own units and attached to others had to be 
sorted out and restored, baggage, transport, and 
parks had to be separated, and ammunition re- 
plenished. To carry this out made it essential 
that we should not be in direct touch with the 
enemy — that there should be some space between 
us. For this reason, and on account of the turn- 
ing movement against our right flank along the 
River Liao, discovered by the cavalry, I decided 
not to accept battle at Tieh-ling, but to order 
a general retirement of all the armies on the 14th 
to the Hsi-ping-kai position, which was the best 
one between Tieh-ling and the River Sungari. 
The 1st and 2nd Armies began to move out of 
Tieh-ling on March 16, and by the 22nd were on 
the heights of Hsi-ping-kai. 



Both the nearness of the events related above 
and our ignorance about the enemy make it im- 
possible for any detailed and absolutely impartial 
judgment to be formed upon the reasons for our 
defeat in this great battle. The records that have 
been collected so far, however, are sufficient to 
throw light upon a few facts — upon certain of our 
dispositions that did not correspond to the require- 
ments of the case. Those made by the commander 
of the 2nd Army, to which force was entrusted 
the duty of stopping Nogi's turning movement 
towards our rear, are of particular interest, and 
certain of them which had a very important bearing 
on the issue of the operations are now described. 
General Kaulbars made neither a sufficient 
nor a clever use of his cavalry. This fact, 
coupled with the unfortunate selection of its 
leaders, was the reason why the mounted branch 
did such bad work,| and behaved in a manner 
that can hardly be called " devoted " during the 
Mukden operations. In the instructions given 
on March 1 to Grekoff's cavalry to operate 
against Nogi, the object to be attained was 

* [The body of Vol III, in the original deals in great 
detail with the battle of Mukden, and is omitted in this 
translation. — Ed.] 

■f Except from February 27 to March 1. 


plainly set forth, but how it was to be attained 
was not clearly defined. The execution of its 
most important task was also made the more 
diflficult by the fact that GrekofF's force was, on 
the same day as the orders were issued, split up 
into two almost equal groups, of which the 
eastern was found to be fighting Oku instead of 
Nogi. To rectify this, the cavalry under Pavloff 
was ordered on the same day by Kaulbars to 
undertake a special task against the turning 
columns, but on the 2nd the order was changed, 
and eight of Pavloff' s sotnias were put under 
the command of Launits, who was operating 
against Oku. No touch was maintained be- 
tween their different groups, and the greater 
part of the mounted forces clung to the in- 
fantry, and did practically no fighting (the losses 
suffered by this Arm during the twenty-three 
days' operations in February and March were 
quite insignificant). Yet most of our regiments 
were quite capable of performing the most diffi- 
cult tasks of war. The action of the infantry of 
the 2nd Army on the positions which they had 
taken up was completely passive. They did not 
try to get into touch with the enemy to ascer- 
tain their strength and dispositions (by taking 
prisoners), or to occupy advanced posts where 
these would be advantageous. The reconnoitring 
patrols of this army also did but little work. 
The consequence of such unsatisfactory perform- 

VOL. II. 19 


aiice of their duties by the cavalry and advanced 
infantry units of the 2nd Army was that in- 
formation of the enemy was so meagre that the 
appearance of a great mass of Nogi's army on 
and to the east of the Hsin-min-tun road came 
as a complete surprise to Kaulbars. 

Owing to the appearance of large hostile 
bodies near Ka-liao-ma, 1 had on February 28 
already ordered him* to take immediate steps to 
ascertain their exact strength, the direction in 
which they were moving, and their intentions. 
I repeated this order f on March 2, instructing 
him to find out their strength and dispositions 
more accurately if possible, and to frame some 
plan of action. I pointed out the necessity for 
energetic steps to ascertain the whereabouts of 
Nogi's main body — whether it was opposite Sha- 
ling-pu, or whether it was executing a wider 
turning movement. On the morning of March 5 
I for the third time J asked Kaulbars to find out 
where Nogi's left flank was. Not one of these 
orders was carried out, with the result that I had 
inadequate and incorrect information upon which 
to form a decision as to the strength and where- 
abouts of the enemy operating on the right bank 
of the Hun. Tserpitski's alarmist reports to the 
effect that more than three divisions were opposed 

* 12.20 p.m., February 28. 
t 3.25 p.m., March 2. 
X 6.45 a.m., March 5. 


to him made the fog worse. Kaulbars, who had 
been ordered to stop Nogi's flanking movement, 
on the strength of incorrect information, all the 
time turned his chief attention towards the 
western front to Oku, whom he took for Nogi. 
The latter, owing to the 2nd Army's inaction on 
March 3, 4, 5 and 6, was made a present of four 
days in which to complete his sweeping move- 
ment to the north-east,* and Kaulbars continued 
to see danger only on the west, paying insufficient 
attention to what was happening on the Hsin- 
min-tun road, north - west of Mukden. On 
March 1 he conceived a most complicated 
" castling " manoeuvre, which he endeavoured to 
carry out when in direct touch with the enemy. 
The Composite Rifle Corps was ordered to cross 
from the right bank of the Hun on to the left, 
and the 8th Corps from the left to the right. 
The Rifle regiments crossed over the river, and 
by so doing evacuated the most important section 
near Chang-tan, but the 8th Corps was unable to 
get across. The enemy at once took advantage 
of this, and, rapidly throwing their 8th Division 
forward along the right bank of the river, drove 
back the relatively weak force of ours still on 
that side. Kaulbars, moreover, stopped the 
movement on Sha-ling-pu (of the Composite 
Division under Golembatovski), which had 
already been started, and by so doing deprived 

* [Query north-west. — Ed.] 



us of the possibility of checking the heads of 
the enemy's columns on March 2. Finally, the 
5th Rifle Brigade under Churin — which was 
moving by my orders to operate against Nogi — 
was stopped on March 3 by Kaulbars in the 
valley on the right bank of the Hun, and found 
itself among the troops opposing Oku. 

After weakening Topornin by sixteen bat- 
talions, Kaulbars, on reaching his force, counter- 
manded the advance on Sha-ling-pu, which had 
been begun on the morning of the 3rd, and 
suddenly withdrew thirty - two battalions to 
Mukden without fighting. This made our 
position distinctly worse. He took no steps 
to establish and maintain touch with Birger's 
brigade on the Hsin-min-tun road, and never 
informed the latter of the order to retire he 
had given to Topornin on the 3rd. In telHng 
Launits on the morning of March 3 of his 
decision (to withdraw Topornin's force to 
Mukden), he stated that " GrekofF's column 
and Birger's brigade are probably cut off from 
Mukden," but he made no attempt to help 
Birger. And yet up to 2 p.m. on the 3rd 
Birger's brigade was not even engaged. Our 
attempt to retake Ssu-hu-chia-pu on March 4 
was stopped by Launits, owing to the receipt of 
orders from Kaulbars not to attack if it was 
likely to be a costly operation. Kaulbars did 
nothing that day, although he had under his 


command 119 battalions* on the right bank of 
the Hun, and although I had ordered him to 
assume the offensive. Moreover, he did not 
even know the whereabouts of the troops under 
him. Although he had 113 battalions under his 
command on the right bank on March 5, he again 
did nothing. He did not carry out my orders 
to attack the enemy's left energetically, and per- 
mitted these troops, which were at Khou-kha — 
next to Gerngross's force — to deploy very slowly, 
and stopped their advance before they had got 
in touch with the enemy. Moreover, yielding 
to the preconceived idea of the main danger 
lying in the west, he moved sixteen splendid 
battalions of the 10th Corps from Gerngross's 
force, operating towards Hsin-min-tun, on to the 
left flank of the army. Yet again on the 6th, 
although he had 116 battalions on the right 
bank, he effected scarcely anything, for our active 
operations towards Hsin-min-tun were conducted 
with an insufficient force, and therefore failed. 

The result of his dispositions from March 2 
to 5 was that on the 6th we did not have a 
single battalion of the 2nd Army operating 
against Nogi, whereas we should have had 
forty, t All ninety-six battalions of the 2nd 

* In addition to five and a half battalions of the 
41st Division. 

t Sixteen battalions of the 19th Corps, concentrated at 
Sha-ling-pu under my orders on March 2 ; sixteen battalions 


Army were on that day distributed on the 
defensive against Oku. This distribution of 
troops, which in no way met either the general 
requirements or the definite task given to 
Kaulbars — to stop Nogi's army — constituted one 
of the main reasons of the failure of our opera- 
tions at INlukden. 

On the 2nd and 3rd the following troops were 
given to Kaulbars from my reserve for his 
operations against Nogi : 


16th Corps 

... 24 

1st Siberians 

... 18 

De Witte's column (3rd Army) 

... 15 

Zapolski's column 

... 4 

Total 61 

INloreover, sixteen battalions of the 10th Corps 
(2nd Army) were by my orders concentrated 
opposite Sha-ling-pu on the 2nd, and on the 
7th the 10th Rifle Regiment and two battalions 
of the 4th Siberians were sent from my reserve 
to join Kaulbars' army — i.e., he was given in 
all eighty -one battalions, of which sixty -five 
had not previously belonged to the 2nd Army. 
Of these, as transpired later, as many as thirty- 
five battahons did not take part, or only 

of Golembatovski's ; and eight battalions of Churin's 
division, detained by Kaulbars on the way to join the 
troops operating against Nogi. 


took very little part, in any fighting up to the 
10th— ?.^. : 

1st Siberians ... ... ... ... 13 

De Witte's column 13 

2nd Brigade, 9th Division ... ... 8 

10th Rifle Brigade 2 

Total 35 

These units either occupied defensive positions, 
and merely watched the Japanese making a 
flank march past them,* or were moved for no 
reason from one place to another (2nd Brigade 
of the 9th Division). Their losses from the 3rd 
to 9th were trifling. 

On the 4th, when I ordered Kaulbars to 
" move every available man on to the right flank 
near the Hsin-min-tun road," the reverse was 
done. Two regiments (Tambov and Zamost) 
were moved from the right bank of the river on 
to the left ; the 2nd Brigade of the 9th Division 
was ordered to move away from the Hsin-min- 
tun road, and crossed from Huang-ku-tun to 
Liu-kou-tun, and the Primorsk Dragoons from 
an important position on this road were sent to 
the rear to Hu-shih-tai.f On March 5 we were 
able to collect more than 100 battalions for 

* Major- General Krauze's report. 

t And fifty battalions collected towards Hsin-min-tun 
were thus left with two squadrons of the Niejinsk 


operations against Nogi, 70 being concentrated 
by my instructions. But although Kaulbars 
had received orders to send an army corps on 
to the right bank of the Hun to engage Nogi, 
he not only did not carry out the order, but 
lost five days (March 2 to 6), and thus allowed 
the turning movement to develop so far that 
part of the force I had collected (25th Division) 
was on the 7th operating, not against Nogi, but 
against Oku's left flank. Moreover, as he had 
on the 5th also weakened the force collected by 
me to act against Nogi by sending 16 battalions 
to the left flank of the 2nd Army, the result 
of these dispositions and our inaction during 
these five days was that on the 7th only 37 
battalions operated against Nogi instead of 100. 
The loss of time, and the weakness of the force 
that actually opposed Nogi, were largely con- 
tributory to our failure. 

Having so far employed only a very small part 
of the troops entrusted to him for offensive 
operations, on the 7th Kaulbars definitely and 
finally assumed the defensive. He did not even 
seize the opportunity of the repulses suffered 
by the enemy at Wu-kuan-tun and against 
Tserpitski's force to attack. On the 7th, 8th, 
and 9th, with 140 battalions at his disposal, he 
assumed a passive role everywhere. While 
allowing a great confusion of units, he did not 
take proper steps, which he was quite able to do, 


to re-establish the corps, divisional and brigade 
organization, and on the 8th he did not take 
advantage of the possibility of forming a reserve 
from the entire 10th Corps, which would have 
enabled him to re-establish the organization of 
the other corps. On the 4th he removed Generals 
MuilofF, Topornin, and Kutnevich from the com- 
mand of their corps for no reason, and as he did 
not replace them by other officers, the staffs of 
these corps were headless. The employment 
of the reserves in the 2nd Army was neither 
carried out by arrangement, nor in accordance 
with the actual necessities of the situation, so 
that there were instances of reserves being sent 
up when not required (Gerngross on March 8). 
In spite of my order, which he received on the 
5th, to send back the baggage and transport to 
the north, Kaulbars only obeyed this instruction 
in regard to Tserpitski's and Gerngross's columns 
on the 9th, and thus made our retirement, 
especially that of our rearguards, most difficult. 
He failed to observe the appearance or concentra- 
tion of the enemy on the northern front, and took 
no steps to avert this danger. The concentration 
of our forces on this side was carried out under 
my own orders. Had it not been for this, the 
enemy would have seized the village of San-tai- 
tzu and the grove of the Imperial tombs on 
the 7th. 

One occasion when Kaulbars did issue orders 


that met the case was when he ordered Launits 
to attack the enemy on March 10 at Hei-ni-tun 
so as to assist the retirement, and he got together 
a strong force for this purpose. But then, when 
these troops were on the point of commencing 
the attack, he went to Launits and counter- 
manded it, without even informing me of this 
most important change in his previous disposi- 
tions. Yet, had this attack been only partially 
successful, it would have greatly relieved the 
situation. Right up to March 13 not one of the 
arrangements made by hiin was fully carried out, 
and it is clear that he did not even then in the 
least appreciate the conditions. In addition to 
wasting time, extending his front, and acting 
only on the defensive, he did not realize the 
danger of Nogi's appearance at such a moment 
north of Mukden, nor of his movement round our 
flank. In a letter to me of August 11, he wrote 
that on March 8 and 9, " although we had been 
retiring for a week, circumstances were going 
very well for us, as, the further the enemy moved 
northwards, the nearer they were getting to their 

From the above it can be seen that Kaulbars' 
dispositions, his inaction, and his misunderstand- 
ing of the whole situation, could not lead the 
2nd Army to Poltava. On the contrary, on 
March 8 and 9, 1905, it was nearly a case of 


It only remains for me to conclude with a few 
pages out of the short report on the war which I 
submitted to His Majesty the Emperor. 

" Of the many causes contributing to the 
disastrous issue to the Battle of Mukden, I will 
only mention the following : 

"1. The fall of Port Arthur liberated Nogi's 
army, the whole of which took part in the 
battle. The formation of the new divisions in 
Japan was completed at the same time, and, 
judging by the prisoners we captured, two of these 
also took part in the battle. The immediate 
making good of wastage in their ranks presented 
no particular difficulty to the enemy, owing to 
the relative proximity of Japan to the theatre of 
war, and the resultant ease with which she was 
able to transport her troops by sea. Judging by 
the muster rolls found on the dead and wounded, 
the eiFective strength of their companies was 
between 200 and 250 rifles, and all casualties 
were at once replaced. 

" The liberation of Nogi's army and the land- 
ing of troops in Northern Korea compelled us 
to increase the force detailed for the defence of 
the Primorsk district and Vladivostok, and the 
appearance of bodies of Japanese cavalry, together 
with artillery and numerous bands of Hun-huses 
in Mongolia, coupled with the raids on the 
railway, which were becoming more frequent, 
necessitated steps being taken to increase the 
railway guard along its 1 ,350 miles' length in 

" These two measures took fourteen battalions 
and twenty-four sotnias from the field army, and 
also a large number of the 80,000 reservists then 
being sent to the front as drafts. 


" All these things combined enabled the 
Japanese at the battle of Mukden to be as strong 
as, if not stronger than, we were in the number 
of rifles. 

" 2. The tardy discovery by our cavalry of the 
enemy's movement round our right flank, when 
' strong columns of Japanese infantry ' had 
already appeared at Ka-liao-ma. 

" 3. The complete lack of energy displayed by 
the officer in command of the 2nd Army in re- 
pulsing Nogi's force which was moving round us, 
with the result that we lost seven most important 
days (March 1 to 8). 

" 4. His complete ignorance of the strength 
and whereabouts of the enemy moving round 
his right. The lack of information and the in- 
accuracy of what was received rendered some of 
my own dispositions not only unnecessary, but 
wrong. As a particular instance, I may mention 
that I only knew for certain when it was too 
late that the enemy were not making (as had 
been reported) a wider turning movement on 
both banks of the Liao towards Tieh-ling. 

" 5. The lack of energy displayed by senior 
officers of the 3rd Army on March 10 in over- 
coming the difficulties of the retirement. Their 
passive attitude with regard to the enemy's 
movements towards the Mandarin road — illus- 
trated by the diversion of the various columns 
(on encountering the enemy) towards the west 
on to the line of retirement of the 2nd Army, 
instead of forcing back the enemy away from the 
Mandarin road. 

" The inaction of the 55th Division of the 
6th Siberians was remarkable. The commander 
of this unit, who only had this one division under 
his command, decided to place it directly under 


the officer in command of the 1st Corps. Having 
done so, he rode away from his division to Ta-wa 
village. When he reached the railway on the 
morning of the 11th, he was unable to inform 
me where his division* was ! 

" 6. The failure of the commanders of the 2nd 
and 3rd Armies to carry out the orders I had 
given some days before the retirement began to 
send back the baggage and transport northwards. 
It was the disorder and panic which occurred 
amongst these auxiliary services on the retire- 
ment that caused the loss of so many guns and 
limbers, and ammunition and baggage waggons. 

"7. The inertia displayed by the officers 
commanding the 2nd Siberian Division and the 
2nd Siberians, when an attempt was made to 
prevent the enemy breaking through near Chin- 
tien, and when later they spread north of the 
Mandarin road. Besides the twenty-four bat- 
talions of the 1st Corps and the 4th Siberians, 
which did remain on the right flank of the 
1st Army, the 55th Division might have been 
used in this operation. But the officer com- 
manding the 2nd Siberians received the enemy's 
advance passively, merely throwing back his 
right flank, and thus presenting the enemy with 
an opening for their advance on to the Mandarin 

" 8. Nevertheless, I consider that I myself am 
the person principally responsible for our defeat, 
for the following reasons : 

" (rt) I did not sufficiently insist on the con- 
centration of as large a general reserve as possible 
before the operations commenced. 

* In the afternoon of the 11th this division began to 
move on Tieh-Hng ; it had only suffered small loss during 
the battle. 


" (^) I weakened myself just before an im- 
portant battle by a brigade of infantry and a 
Cossack division (believing General ChichagofFs 
reports). If I had not sent one brigade of 
the 16tli Corps for duty on the communica- 
tions, and had insisted on the 1st Siberians 
being sent back from the 1st Army at full 
strength, I should have had two full corps 
available for operations against Nogi's turning 

" (c) I did not take adequate measures to pre- 
vent the confusion of units. Indeed, during the 
battle I was myself compelled to contribute to 
the disintegration of corps. 

"" {d) I should have made a better appreciation 
of the respective spirit of both sides, as well as 
of the characteristics and qualifications of the 
commanders, and I should have exercised more 
caution in my decisions. Although the opera- 
tions of the 2nd Army from March 2 to 7 failed 
in their object, my firm belief in ultimate victory 
resulted in my ordering a general retirement 
later than I ought to have done. I should have 
abandoned all hope of the 2nd Army defeating 
the enemy a day sooner than I did ; the retire- 
ment would then have been effected in complete 

" (e) When convinced of Kaulbars' inertia and 
passive tactics, I should have taken command 
of the troops on the right bank of the Hun 
personally. On JMarch 9 I should similarly have 
taken command of MuilofF's force, and acted as 
a corps commander." 

In my letters of March 31 and May 13, 1905, 
to His Majesty the Emperor, I reviewed gener- 


ally the factors which made the war extra- 
ordinarily difficult for us.* 

Has the army survived its Tsushima ? No ; 
it went through nothing nearly so bad as that. 
We fought hard everywhere, and we inflicted 
greater losses on the enemy than they on us. 
We were weaker in numbers than they were, 
and we retired. Even the Mukden reverse owes 
its reputation as a decisive Japanese victory to 
the impressions of our own correspondents, who 
were with the baggage and in rear. Can one 
say that the Russian land forces were defeated, 
when in the first important battles (at Liao-yang 
and on the Sha Ho) we only put into action 
a fourteenth part of our armed forces, and at 
Mukden, at a time when the Japanese had 
already put forth their greatest efforts, we had 
less than a sixth of our force ? Nor must it be 
forgotten that we fought against a nation of 
50,000,000 martial and ardent souls, who, hand 
in hand with their Emperor, were able to grasp 
victory by fearing no sacrifice. To defeat such a 
foe in such a distant theatre of war, great and con- 
tinued efforts were required of the whole of our 
country as well as of the army. In the begin- 
ning of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries 
we waged great wars with such leaders as 

* [Only the concluding portion of what follows in the 
original is given here ; the remainder is an exact repetition 
of what has been more than once recapitulated. — Ed.] 


Charles XII. and Napoleon. In these we also 
experienced defeat, but in the end we issued 
absolute victors. In the eighteenth century, 
between defeat at Narva and victory at Poltava 
nine years elapsed ; in the nineteenth, between 
defeat at Austerlitz and our entry into Paris 
there was also nine years' interval. 

The events which happened in the Far East 
in 1904-05 can, owing to their historical impor- 
tance and their significance for Russia and the 
whole world, be placed alongside those through 
which Russia passed in the early years of the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the 
struggle with Charles XII. and Napoleon the 
Russian people was at one with the Tsar, and 
bravely bore all trials and sacrifices, strengthen- 
ing and improving the army, treating it with 
kindness, believing in it, wishing it well, and 
profoundly respecting it for its gallant deeds. 
The people realized the necessity for success, 
hesitated at no sacrifice, and were not troubled 
by the time required to gain it, and the har- 
monious efforts of Tsar and people gave us 
complete victory. The way to victory is in the 
present day by the same road which our ancestors 
followed in the early years of the last two 

If mighty Russia, headed by the Tsar, had 
been permeated by a brave and single-minded 
desire to defeat the Japanese, and had not 


stinted the sacrifices and time necessary to pre- 
serve Russia's integrity and dignity, our glorious 
army, supported by the trust of its ruler and 
a united people, would have fought until the 
enemy had been vanquished. 

VOL. II. 20 




Among the first questions suggested by General 
Kuropatkin's narrative and the editorials, reports, 
and official proceedings that he quotes, are : Who 
was State Councillor BezobrazofF? How did he 
acquire the extraordinary power that he evidently 
exercised in the Far East ? Why was " every- 
body " — including the Minister of War — " afraid 
of him "? Why did even the Viceroy respond to 
his calls for troops ? and why was his Korean 
timber company allowed to drag Russia into a 
war with Japan, apparently against the opposition 
and resistance of the Tsar, the Viceroy, the 
Minister of War, the Minister of Finance, the 
Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Port Arthur 
Council, and the diplomatic representatives of 
Russia in Peking, Tokio, and Seoul ? 

No replies to these questions can be found in 
General Kuropatkin's record of the events that 
preceded the rupture with Japan, but convincing 
answers are furnished by certain confidential 

* [This extract is, by the kind permission of the editor, 
reprinted from McClure's Magazine^ where it appeared as 
an editorial note upon the article on these memoirs, 
published in September, 1908. — Ed.] 



documents found in the archives of Port Arthur, 
and published at Stuttgart,* just after the close 
of the war, in the Liberal Russian review Osvo- 
bojdenie. Whether General Kuropatkin was 
aware of the existence of these documents or not 
I am unable to say ; but as they throw a strong 
sidelight on his narrative, I shall append them 
thereto, and tell briefly, in connection with them, 
the story of the Y^a-lu timber enterprise as it is 
related in St. Petersburg. 

In the year 1898, a Vladivostok merchant 
named Briner obtained from the Korean Govern- 
ment, upon extremely favourable terms, a con- 
cession for a timber company that should have 
authority to exploit the great forest wealth of 
the upper Ya-lu River, f As Briner was a pro- 
moter and speculator who had httle means and 
less influence, he was unable to organize a com- 
pany, and in 1902 he sold his concession to 
Alexander Mikhailovich BezobrazofF, another 
Russian promoter and speculator, who had held 
the rank of State Councillor in the Tsar's Civil 
Service, and who was high in the favour of some 
of the Grand Dukes in St. Petersburg. 

* Osvobojdenie, No. 75, Stuttgart, August 10, 1905. 
No question has ever been raised, I think, with regard to 
the authenticity of these letters and telegrams ; but if 
there were any doubt of it, such doubt would be removed 
by a comparison of them with General Kuropatkin's 
memoirs. — G. K. 

t Asakawa, who seems to have investigated this matter 
carefully, says that the original contract for this concession 
dated as far back as August 26, 1896, when the Korean 
King was living in the Russian Legation at Seoul as a 
refugee. — " The Russo-Japanese Conflict,"'' by K. Asakawa, 
London, 1905, p. 289, 



BezobrazofF, who seems to have been a most 
fluent and persuasive talker, as well as a man of 
fine presence, soon interested his Grand Ducal 
friends in the ftibulous wealth of the Far East 
generally, and in the extraordinary value of the 
Korean timber concession especially. They all 
took shares in his enterprise, and one of them, 
with a view to getting the strongest possible 
support for it, presented him to the Tsar. Bezo- 
brazoff made an extraordinarily favourable 
impression upon Nicholas II., and in the course 
of a few months acquired an influence over him 
that nothing afterward seemed able to shake. 
That the Tsar became financially interested in 
Bezobrazoff's timber company is certain ; and it 
is currently reported in St. Petersburg that the 
Emperor and the Empress Dowager together 
put into the enterprise several million roubles. 
This report may, or may not, be trustworthy ; 
but the appended telegram (No. 5), sent by Rear- 
Admiral Abaza, of the Tsar's suite, to BezobrazofF 
in November, 1903, indicates that the Emperor 
was interested in the Ya-lu enterprise to the 
extent, at least, of the two million roubles men- 
tioned. BezobrazoiF's "Company," in fact, seems 
to have consisted of the Tsar, the Grand Dukes, 
certain favoured noblemen of the Court, Viceroy 
Alexeieff" probably, and the Empress Dowager 
possibly. BezobrazofF had made them all see 
golden visions of wealth to be amassed, power to 
be attained, and glory to be won, in the Far East, 
for themselves and the Fatherland. It was this 
known influence of BezobrazofF with the Tsar 
that made " everybody " in the Far East " afraid 
of him "; that enabled him to enlist in the service 
of the timber company even officers of the 
Russian General Staff': that caused AlexeiefFto 


respond to his call for troops to garrison Feng- 
hiiang-cheng and Sha-ho-tzu ; and that finally 
changed Russia's policy in the Far East, and 
stopped the withdrawal of troops from Southern 

General Kuropatkin says that the Russian 
evacuation of the province of Mukden "was 
suddenly stopped by an order of Admiral 
AlexeiefF, whose reasons for taking such action 
have not to this day been sufficiently cleared up." 
The following telegram from Lieutenant-Colonel 
MadridofF, of the Russian General Staff, to Rear- 
Admiral Abaza, the Tsar's personal representative 
in St. Petersburg, may throw some light on the 
subject : 

(No. 1.) 

To Admiral Abaza, 

House No. 50, Fifth Line, 

Vassili Ostroff, St. Petersburg. 

Our enterprises in East constantly meet with opposition 
from Dzan-Dzun of Mukden and Taotai of Feng-huang- 
cheng. Russian officer merchants have been sent East to 
make reconnaissances and examine places on Ya-lu. They 
are accompanied by Hun-huses, whom I have hired. The 
Dzan-Dzun, feeling that he is soon to be freed from 
guardianship of Russians, has become awfully impudent, 
and has even gone so far as to order Yuan to begin 
hostile operations against Russian merchants and Chinese 
accompanying them, and to put latter under arrest. 
Thanks to timely measures taken by Admiral, this order 
has not been carried out ; but very fact shows that 
Chinese rulers of Manchuria are giving themselves free 
rein, and, of course, after we evacuate Manchuria their 
impudence and their opposition to Russian interests will 
have no limit. Admiral {Alexeieff) took it upon himself 
to order that Mickden and Yinkoio {Newdmang) he not 
evacuated.* To-day it has been decided to hold Yinkow, 

* The italics are mine. — G. K. 


but, unfortunately, to move the troops out of IVIukden. 
After evacuation of Mukden, state of affairs, so far as our 
enterprises are concerned, icill he very, very muck zcorse,* 
ichich, of course, is not desirable. To-morrow I go to the 
Ya-lu myself. 

(Signed) Madridoff. 

Shortly before Lieutenant-Colonel IMadridoff 
sent this telegram to Admiral Abaza, Bezo- 
brazoff, who had been several months in the 
Far East, started for St. Petersburg with the 
evident intention of seeing the Tsar and per- 
suading him to order, definitely, a suspension 
of the evacuation of the province of ^lukden, 
for the reason that "it would inevitably result 
in the Mquidation of the affairs of the timber 
company." From a point on the road he sent 
back to jNIadridoff the following telegram, which 
bears date of April 8, 1903, the very day when 
the evacuation of the provmce of IVIukden 
should have been completed, in accordance with 
the Russo-Chinese agreement of April 8, 1902 : 

(No. 2.) 
To Madridoff, 

Port Arthur. 

There will be an understanding attitude toward the 
aifair after I make my first report. I am only afraid of 
being too late, as I shall not get there until April 16, 
and the Chief leaves for Moscow on April 17. I will do 
all that is possible, and shall insist on manifestation of 
energy in one form or another. Keep me advised, and 
don't get discouraged. There will soon be an end of the 

(Signed) Bezobrazoff. 

On April 24, 1903, Bezobrazoff sent Madridoff 
from St. Petersburg a telegram written, evi- 

* The italics are mine. — G. K. 


dently, after he had made his first " report " to 
" the Chief." It was as follows : 

(No. 3.) 
To Madridoff, 

Port Arthur. 

Everything is all right with me. I hope to get my 
views adopted in full as conditions imposed by existing 
situation and force of circumstances. I hope that if they 
ask the opinion of the Admiral (AlexeieiT), he, I am 
convinced {sic), will give me his support. That will 
enable me to put many things into his hands. 

(Signed) Bezobrazoff. 

General Kuropatkin says that Admiral Alex- 
eiefF gave him " repeated assurances that he was 
wholly opposed to BezobrazofF's schemes, and 
that he was holding them back with all his 
strength "; but the Admiral was evidently play- 
ing a double part. While pretending to be in 
full sympathy with Kuropatkin's hostility to the 
Ya-lu enterprise, he was supporting BezobrazofF's 
efforts to promote that enterprise. Bezobrazoff 
rewarded him, and fulfilled his promise to " put 
many things into his hands " by getting him 
appointed Viceroy. Kuropatkin says that this 
appointment was a " complete surprise to him "; 
and it naturally would be, because the Tsar 
acted on the advice of Bezobrazoff, Von Plehve, 
AlexeiefF, and Abaza, and not on the advice of 
Kuropatkin, Witte, and Lamsdorff. It will be 
noticed that Von Plehve — the powerful Minister 
of the Interior — is never once mentioned by 
name in Kuropatkin's narrative. Everything 
seems to indicate that Von Plehve formed an 
alliance with Bezobrazoff, and that together they 
brought about the dismissal of Witte, who 
ceased to be Minister of Finance on August 29, 


1903. Anticipating this result of his efforts, and 
filled with triumph at the prospect opening 
before him, BezobrazofF wrote to Lieutenant- 
Colonel MadridofF on August 25, 1903, as 
follows : 

(No. 4.) 

" The great saw-mill and the principal trade in timber 
will be transferred to Dalny, and this in co-partnership 
with the Ministry of Finance. The Manchurian Steam- 
ship Line will have all our ocean freight, amounting to 
25,000,000 feet of timber, and the business will become 
international. From this you will understand how I 
selected my base and my lines of operation." 

In view of the complete defeat of such clear- 
sighted statesmen and sane counsellors as Kuro- 
patkin, Witte, and LamsdorfF, there can be no 
doubt that BezobrazofF's " base and lines of 
operation" were well " selected." 

The document that most clearly shows the 
interest of the Tsar in the Ya-lu timber enterprise 
is a telegram sent to BezobrazofF at Port Arthur 
in November, 1903, by Rear- Admiral Abaza, 
who was then Director of the Special Committee 
on Far Eastern Affairs, over which the Tsar 
presided, and who acted as the latter's personal 
representative in all dealings with BezobrazofF 
and the timber company. In the original of 
this telegram significant words, such as " Witte," 
" Emperor," " millions," " garrison," " reinforce- 
ment," etc., were in cipher ; but when Bezo- 
brazofF read it he (or possibly his private secre- 
tary) interlined the equivalents of the cipher 
words, and also, in one place, a query as to the 
significance of artels — did it mean mounted 
riflemen or artillery ? The following copy was 
made from the interlined original : 


(No. 5.) 

From Petersburg, 
To Bezobrazoff, November 14-27, 1903. 

Port Arthur. 

Witte has told the Emperor that you have already 
spent the whole of the two millions. Your telegi'am 
with regard to expenditure has made it possible for me 
to report on this disgusting slander, and at the same time 
contradict it. Remember that the Chief counts on your 
not touching a rouble more than the three hundred with- 
out permission in every case. Yesterday I reported again 
your ideas with regard to the reinforcement of the garrison, 
and also with regard to the artels (mounted Rifles or 
artillery?) in the basin. The Emperor directed me to 
reply that he takes all that you say into consideration, 
and that in principle he approves. In connection with 
this the Emperor again confirmed his order that the 
Admiral telegraph directly to him. He expects a tele- 
gram soon, and immediately upon the receipt of the 
Admiral's statement arrangements will be made with 
regard to the reinforcement of the garrison, and at the 
same time with regard to the mounted Rifles in the basin. 
In the course of the conversation the Emperor expressed 
the fullest confidence in you. (Signed) Abaza. 

General Kuropatkin refers again and again to 
the Tsar's " clearly expressed desire that war 
should be avoided," and he regrets that His 
Imperial Majesty's subordinates "were unable 
to execute his will." It is more than likely that 
Nicholas II, did wish to avoid war — if he could 
do so without impairing the value of the family 
investment in the Korean timber company — 
but from the above telegram it appears that as 
late as November 27, 1903, only seventy days 
before the rupture with Japan, he was still 
disregarding the sane and judicious advice of 
Kuropatkin, was still expressing " the fullest 
confidence " in Bezobrazoff, and was still ordering 
troops to the valley of the Y^a-lu. 




A:moxgst the causes which added to our diffi- 
culties must be mentioned the frequent break- 
down in action of the normal organization of the 
troops. It began when war was declared, and 
though efforts were made to rectify things as far 
as possible, it was not till after the battle of the 
Sha Ho that we were really able to re-estabhsh 
our formations. But both the corps and divi- 
sional organization again disappeared during the 
battle of Mukden, and the resulting confusion 
to a certain extent contributed to our defeat. 

When war began the corps organization of the 
troops stationed in the Far East was not com- 
plete, and one corps was formed of the inde- 
pendent Rifle brigades. When the Rifle regiinents 
were brought up to a strength of twelve battahons, 
the normal composition of the 1st and 3rd Siberian 
Divisions was twenty-four battalions. The 2nd 
Siberian Corps was supposed to consist of one 
Rifle di^-ision and one reserve division formed m 
the Trans-Baikal district. Before hostilities com- 
menced, a di\ision of the 3rd Siberian Corps (the 
3rd East Siberian Rifle Division) was moved by 
the Viceroy to the Ya-lu ; the 4th East Siberian 
Rifle Division, with the corps staff, remained in 
Kuan-tung. The 1st Reserve Division, which 
constituted part of the 2nd Siberian Corps, I 
kept at Harbin, and this corps remained with 

* [Extracted from Chapter X. — Ed.J 


only one division till 1 was appointed Com- 
mander-in-Chief. When the operations began, 
I endeavoured to reform the dislocated corps 
organization. I therefore collected on the line 
Liao-yang-Feng-huang-cheng the 3rd and 6th 
Siberian Rifle Divisions, and formed "v^ith them 
a corps which I called the 3rd Siberians. At 
first I did not succeed in sending to tliis corps 
the 23rd East Siberian Rifle Regiment — it being 
stationed in Mukden as a guard on the Viceroy's 
Headquarters — and my subsequent request that 
it might be sent to the Va-lu to join the corps 
there was refused ; it was only sent for«'ard after 
the battle of the Ya-lu. The Hne Liao-yang- 
Ta-shih-chiao-Port Arthur was guarded by the 
1st Siberian Corps, at full strength. The 2nd 
Siberian Corps, in which was mcluded the 2nd 
Brigades of the 31st and 35th Di^isions, which 
had arrived in the Far East in 1903, composed 
my resene, and was divided between Liao-yang 
and Hai-cheng. 

At first, owing to our paucity of numbers, the 
3rd Siberians had to defend a large tract of 
country. Six regiments of this corps were on 
the line River Ya-lu-Feng-huang-cheng-Fen- 
shui-ling-Eiao-yang ; one regiment was on the 
line Ta-ku-shan (sea and mouth of Ya-lu )-Hsm- 
yen-Ta Lmg-Hai-cheng. One regiment was 
on the line Kuan-tien-cheng-Sai-ma-clii-An- 
ping - Liao - yang. AVhen the 4th Siberians 
aiTived. the line Ta-ku-shan- Ta Ling-Hai-cheng 
was occupied b}^ one of its brigades, because a 
considerable number of Japanese had made their 
appearance m this dii*ection. The remauiing 
tlu-ee brigades were concentrated near the station 
of Ta-sliili-chiao,* as a reserve either for the 

* At the junction of roads near Newchuang. 


1st Siberians to the south or the brigade of the 
4th Siberians on the Ta Ling (Pass). All the 
units of the 10th Army Corps which arrived 
from Russia were collected on the line Sai-ma- 
chi-An-ping-Liao-yang, where Kuroki's army 
was in force. As soon as the units of the 4th 
Siberians and 10th Army Corps occupied the 
above-mentioned lines, the regiments* belonging 
to the 3rd Siberians were moved off to join their 
own corps. On arriving from European Russia, 
the units of the 17th Army Corps were concen- 
trated near Liao-yang, and formed my main 

The two brigades of the 10th and 17th Army 
Corps, which arrived in the Far East in 1903, 
were organized as independent brigades, and, till 
the troops concentrated at Liao-yang, operated 
w^ith the advanced forces. The brigade of the 
35th Division fought with the 1st Siberians, to 
which it was sent up as a reinforcement in the 
battle of Te-li-ssu. The brigade of the 31st 
Division sent to reinforce the troops operating 
on the line Ta-ku-shan-Ta-Ling-Hai-cheng, 
together with the 5th East Siberian Rifle Divi- 
sion, became part of the 2nd Siberians. . When 
the Japanese advanced with all their three armies 
on July 31 , the general disposition of our troops 
was as follows : 

1. To the south, opposite Oku's army, were the 
1st and 4th Siberian Corps, total forty-eight 
battalions (the 1st Siberians at full strength, the 
4th Siberians consisting of three brigades), under 
the command of General Zarubaeff. 

2. On the line Ta-ku-shan-Ta Ling-Hai- 
cheng, opposite Nodzu's army, were the 2nd 
Siberians and a brigade of the 4th Siberians, 

* The 21st and 23rd East Siberian Rifle Regiments. 

JULY AND AUGUST, 1904 317 

total twenty-eight battalions, under the com- 
mand of Lieutenant -General Zasulitch. 

3. On the line Ya-lu-Fen-shui-ling-Liao- 
yang, opposite Kuroki's army, were the 3rd 
Siberians, and the 10th and 17th Army Corps, 
total eighty battalions, under the command of 
General Bilderling. At this time the .5th Siberians 
were,by the Viceroy's orders, detrained at Mukden, 
and told off to protect the rear and the line Pen- 
hsi-hu-Mukden, and to act at the same time as 
a reserve for the advanced corps. When we 
moved towards Hai-cheng the brigade of the 
4th Siberians operating on the line Hai-cheng- 
Ta Ling-Ta-ku-shan, returned to its own corps. 
In retiring towards Liao-yang, the two brigades 
of the 10th and 17th Army Corps, which had 
been sent out to the Far East in 1903, joined 
these corps. 

During the first days of the battle of Liao- 
yang the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Siberians and 10th 
Army Corps took part at their full strength of 
units. The 2nd Siberians had only one division, 
and the 17tii Army Corps concentrated on the 
right bank of the Tai-tzu Ho, and was not 
at first engaged.' When we crossed on to the 
right bank of the river, in order to operate 
against Kuroki, the corps organization became 
in several instances quite dissolved. In addition 
to the 2nd and 4th Siberians, we had to leave 
a brigade from both the 3rd Siberians and the 
10th Army Corps for the defence of the immense 
fortified camp at Liao-yang itself. At the time 
of our advance at the beginning of October, I did 
everything possible to keep the corps organization 
intact. The 1st and 3rd Siberians and the 1st, 
10th, and 17th Army Corps operated at full 
strength, while the 4th and Gth Siberians had 


three brigades each, one brigade of the 4th 
Siberians being sent to strengthen the 3rd, which 
had a particularly difficult task allotted to it, and 
one brigade of the 6th Siberians (which was under 
me) being left by the Viceroy's orders to protect 
our rear. The 2nd Siberians, which consisted 
of the 5th East Siberian Rifle Division, was 
strengthened by five reserve battalions. The 
5th Siberians was alone (for good reasons) split 
up into two groups, one operating under the 
command of the corps commander on the extreme 
right flank, the other on the extreme left under 
General Rennenkampf. The account of the Sep- 
tember operations of the Eastern and Western 
Forces, given in Chapter IX., shows to what an 
extent the units became mixed by the mere 
course of the fighting. As soon as I was ap- 
pointed Commander-in-Chief, I did my best to 
prevent this in the future. The 61st Reserve 
Division, which did not belong to an army corps, 
and had been detailed by the Viceroy to strengthen 
the Vladivostok District, was sent by me to the 
field army and incorporated in the 5th Siberians, 
in place of the 71st Division, which was concen- 
trated on the extreme left flank under the com- 
mand of General Rennenkampf. All the regi- 
ments of the 1st Siberian Division were sent to 
join the 2nd Siberian Corps, and the 1st Siberian 
and 10th Army Corps were moved at full strength 
from the first line to my main reserve. The 
3rd, 4th, and 6th Siberian and the 1st and 17th 
Army Corps were at full strength — distributed 
along the first lines and in reserve. The 2nd and 
5th Siberian Corps had each only three brigades, 
one brigade of the latter having been left on the 
right bank of the Hun Ho to protect our extreme 
right. A brigade of the 5th Division holding 

JANUARY, 1905 319 

PutilofF Hill was left, at the special request of the 
officer commanding the 1st JManchiirian Army, on 
the positions which had been captured by the 
splendid regiments of this brigade (19th and 
20th East Siberian Rifle Regiments). As soon 
as the 8th and 16th Army Corps arrived they 
were posted to my main reserve ; the three Rifle 
Brigades were formed into a Composite Rifle 

Early in January, 1905, I concentrated all 
three corps of the 2nd Army — i.e., the 8th, 10th, 
and Mixed Rifle Corps in reserve, and I had in 
my main reserve the 1st Siberians with a division 
of the 16th Army Corps (the other was still on 
the railway). We had altogether 128 battalions 
in reserve, and our position was most favourable. 
It might, however, have been still better if I had 
insisted on strong army reserves being formed in 
the 1st and 3rd Armies. My proposal to move 
the 17th Army Corps back from the advanced 
lines met with a strongly worded request that 
the distribution of the 3rd Army might be left as 
it was. In the 1st Army I might have insisted 
on the whole of the 4th Siberian Corps being 
sent to join the reserve after the transfer of the 
Rifle Brigade from PutilofF Hill to the strong 
Erh-ta-ho position. I made a mistake also in 
forming three Rifle Brigades together into one 
corps. If 1 had kept them as independent 
brigades, it would have been unnecessary to take 
brigades from army corps whenever independent 
brigades were required. Although the Japanese 
had fewer battalions than we had, these were 
inuch stronger than ours ; they also had more 
independent units than we had. Their divisions 
were not organized in corps, their small armies 
being made up of divisions and independent 


brigades, and our corps organization was not 
sufficiently flexible to meet the thirteen to fifteen 
Japanese divisions, and a similar number of 
independent brigades. The enemy were able to 
take divisions and brigades fi'om the advanced 
positions and transfer them, without upsetting 
their existing organization, and with far greater 
ease than we could move our corps. When an 
independent brigade operated against us — as, for 
instance, on the line Sai-ma-chi-An-ping — we 
were obliged to break up our corps organization 
in order to meet it with one of our brigades ; this 
happened in the 10th Army Corps. 

Again, owing to the general course of events 
and other reasons over which I had no control, 
our corps organization had to be broken up 
before the operations at Hei-kou-tai, but was 
restored as soon as possible. It also occurred 
during the February fighting round INlukden, 
where the circumstances, indeed, did not in every 
case warrant it. After General Grippenberg's 
disastrous operations at Hei-kou-tai our strategical 
position was altered much for the worse. Four 
army corps, which had until then been standing 
in reserve, were sent up into the fighting-line, 
and three of them became hopelessly mixed up 
in the process. At the time I thought it only 
possible to keep one corps (the 1st Siberians) in 
reserve, but the 16th Army corps, the 72nd Divi- 
sion, a brigade of the 6th East Siberian Rifle 
Division, and the Tsaritsin Regiment were avail- 
able, as it turned out. This made a total reserve 
of eighty-two battalions. With such a strong 
main reserve I hoped to be able to meet the 
enemy successfully, if, on being reinforced by 
Nogi's army from Port Arthur, they took the 


According to our estimates, the fall of Port 
Arthur might reinforce the Japanese field army 
by some fifty battalions altogether, but we 
thought that the greater portion of Nogi's army 
would be sent to operate against Vladivostok, or 
via Possiet towards Kirin, so as to take us in the 
rear. The possibility of this made us extremely 
sensitive, both as to our rear and as regards 
Vladivostok. The first thing we did, therefore, 
on Nogi's army being set free, was to strengthen 
the garrison of the latter place, which was very 
weakly held for the extent of the defences. 1 
sent there from all three armies cadres of a 
strength of six battalions, which were to expand 
into four regiments so as to form the 10th East 
Siberian Rifle Division. It was thought that, 
upon a general assumption of the offensive, the 
Japanese would simultaneously try to bring about 
a rising of the local native population, and to 
destroy the railway bridges behind us. To give 
colour to our fears, a whole series of reports, each 
more alarming than the last, were received from 
General ChichagofF. In these he described the 
large numbers of the enemy that had appeared 
behind us with the intention of seizing Harbin 
as well as of destroying the railway. I men- 
tioned (Vol. III.) how this officer calculated the 
strength of the enemy in our rear at tens of 
thousands, and how persistent he was in his 
demands that the troops guarding the line might 
be strengthened. As a proof of the urgency of 
the circumstances, he reported the defeat, with a 
loss of guns, of some Frontier Guards sent out by 
him to reconnoitre east of the Kuan-cheng-tzu 
station. Later information corroborated these 
reports in so far that parties of the enemy, accom- 
panied by bands of Hun-huses, had penetrated 

VOL. II. 21 


far in rear, broken through our hne of posts 
between Kuan-cheng-tzu and Bei-tu-ne, and were 
threatening the latter point, which, being our 
central corn-supply depot, was of immense impor- 
tance to us. Large bodies of Japanese and 
Hun-huses were also reported as moving in the 
direction of Tsit-si-har with the intention of 
blowing up the important railway-bridge across 
the River Nonni, and thus cutting our railway 
communication. One of the large bridges near 
the station of Kung-chu-ling was, after a skirmish 
with our guards, destroyed. In the face of such 
" circumstantial evidence " as the loss of guns 
and the destruction of bridges, it was impossible 
not to credit General ChichagofF's reports (the 
extent of their exaggeration we did not find out 
till later), and to refuse him assistance. The 
security of our communications was literally 
vital, for even their temporary disorganization 
meant catastrophe. Not only the flow of rein- 
forcements to the front, but the collection and 
distribution of local supplies would have ceased. 
As we were over 5,300 miles away from our 
base (Russia), we had been forced to form a local 
supply base, and the loss of this would have 
threatened the army with starvation. As, there- 
fore, the actual numbers guarding the railway 
were small, I increased them by one brigade of 
the 16th Army Corps and four Cossack regiments. 
My staff inclined to the opinion, indeed, that six 
Cossack regiments should have been sent. 

In February the Japanese moved forward in 
strength, carrying out a frontal attack combined 
with simultaneous turning movements against 
both our flanks. To carry out such an operation 
successfully implies gi-eat numerical superiority 
on the side of the attackers, or else great attenua- 


tion along their front ; and relying, apparently, on 
the strength of their positions, the Japanese did 
weaken their front to a very great extent. Our 
best plan would accordingly have been to have 
attacked them in the centre in the hope of break- 
ing through there, and then operating afterwards 
against the outflanking movements. But this 
might have been disastrous, for if they succeeded 
in holding their frontal positions with compara- 
tively small numbers stiffened by extra artillery 
and machine guns and well reinforced by reserves 
[which were in their case splendidly organized], 
we might still have been outflanked by the 
turning movements. 

The special difficulty of frontal attacks was 
amply confirmed during the Mukden battles, 
for, although our troops there held very extended 
positions, they repulsed the Japanese whenever 
the latter made only a frontal attack. When, 
therefore, the Japanese assumed the offensive, 
and Kavamura's movement round our left flank 
developed, I determined to check it by attacking 
Kuroki in front and flank. The situation on 
our left had become very alarming, for by losing 
the strong Chin-ho-cheng position and retiring 
towards Ma- chun-tan we had exposed the left 
flank of the 3rd Siberian Corps on the Kao-tai 
Ling (Pass). A still wider turning movement 
threatened to throw the 71st Division back on 
Fu-shun, but the reinforcements rapidly sent to 
the 1st Army from the main reserve were able 
to arrest Kavamura's movement, largely owing 
to the behaviour of General llennenkampfs and 
Daniloff's 71st and 6th East Siberian Rifle 
Divisions, which fought with great gallantry and 
stubbornness. If the 1st Army, which had a 
strength of 175 battalions, had made a successful 



advance, it ought to have influenced the opera- 
tion then under way against our right. Being 
anxious to take the offensive, I gave Linievitch, 
commanding the 1st Army, the chance of 
selecting the main point of attack, and he 
decided to strike the point where Kuroki's and 
Kavamura's armies joined. The orders had been 
issued, and the movement had actually begun, 
when certain unconfirmed reports as to the 
movement of some Japanese divisions round 
the left flank of the 3rd Siberians unfortunately 
led him to stop the attack and send back such 
units of the 1st Siberian Corps as had been lent 
to the 1st Army for the operation. We had 
lost several days in collecting troops for this 
offensive movement, and large bodies of the 
enemy had meanwhile been moving round our 
right. I have described in detail (Vol. III.) the 
steps taken to avert this danger, and the results 
achieved. Here I will only mention them 
briefly. Against the 2nd Army, which consisted 
of ninety-six battalions, and which was mostly 
located on the left bank of the Hun Ho, Oku 
was operating with the greater part of his army. 
His right flank was, according to our informa- 
tion, operating against the 5th Siberians, and 
part, probably, against the 17th Army Corps 
of the 3rd Army. Thus, opposed to the troops 
under General Kaulbars' command at the time 
when Nogi's advance developed, there were, 
according to our calculations, not more than 
thirty-six to forty Japanese battalions. As the 
2nd Army was reinforced by twenty-four bat- 
talions of the 16th Army Corps from the main 
reserve, theoretically we should have driven 
Oku's army south by an energetic offensive, and, 
having thus cut it off from Nogi's force, should 


have fallen on the latter. To do this we should 
have had to seize the fortified positions with 
strong defensive points near the village of San- 
de-pu by frontal attack. Practically, in the 
much more favourable conditions of a month 
previous, 120 battalions of the 2nd Army had 
been unable to drive the enemy southwards and 
get possession of this village after six days' 
continuous fighting. There was every reason 
to fear, therefore, that even if we gained posses- 
sion of these points, and succeeded in forcing 
back Oku's army, so many men would have 
been expended in the effort that we should 
have been in no condition to oppose Nogi, who 
could then have captured JMukden, and cut off 
the 2nd and 3rd Armies from their communi- 

Whatever course was decided upon, our weak- 
ness in power of manoeuvre, the strength of the 
Japanese divisions, and their great powers of 
defence, had to be borne in mind. On the 
whole, a consideration of these points rather led 
to the conclusion that it was probably a distinct 
advantage to them to engage as many of us as 
possible in a frontal attack on their positions, 
so that they might be the more certain of success 
in their turning movement. After looking at 
the question from all sides, I decided to stand 
on the defensive in the front of the 2nd and 
3rd Armies, and to move as quickly as possible 
sufficient troops to the right bank of the Hun Ho 
to check and then drive back Nogi's army, which 
was executing the turning movement. The first 
troops to be used for this were those of the 
2nd Army, whose duty it was to protect the 
right flank of our whole force. For this purpose 
1 first took one corps from this army, calculating 


that the sixty-four remaining battalions could 
without difficulty withstand any onset by Oku 
(of from thirty to forty battalions). General 
Baron Kaulbars was ordered to move this corps 
as quickly as possible towards the village of 
Sha-ling-pu, where I proposed to concentrate the 
units to oppose Nogi. To operate against him 
I then moved up twenty-four battalions of the 
16th Corps together, putting them also under 
the command of General Kaulbars, while as a 
reserve to these advanced troops I took twelve 
battalions from the 3rd and the 1st Siberian 
Corps, which I ordered to move towards Mukden 
and rejoin my reserve as soon as news was 
received of the attack being stopped, and of the 
departure of the 1st Army to Chi-hui-cheng. 
Thus, arrangements were made for the concen- 
tration of ninety-two battalions, which by March 3 
should easily have been able to cover our right 
flank, check Nogi's army, and drive it back. 
Unfortunately, our hopes of what was going to 
be effected on this flank were not fulfilled. In 
order to move this army corps against Nogi, 
Kaulbars essayed a most complicated manoeuvre 
— namely, to move the Composite Rifle Corps 
from the right bank of the Hun Ho on to the 
left, and to replace it on to the right bank by 
the 8th Army Corps, which was to move on 
Sha-ling-pu. The first part of this plan was 
carried out— the Rifle Corps crossed on to the 
left bank, but, owing to the Japanese pressure, 
the 8th Army Corps remained on that side. 
Thus the units of the two Corps became mixed 
up. Of the 2nd Army, only two brigades (of 
the 10th Army Corps), which had been sent 
there under my orders, together with the 
25th Infantry Division, arrived at Sha-ling-pu. 


Meanwhile the whole of the 10th Army Corps, 
or at least twenty-four battalions of it, might 
have been moved there, for it was opposed by 
very few of the enemy. The transfer from the 
right — the threatened — bank of the Rifles had, 
as is now known, very serious consequences, for 
by it the right flank of the 2nd Army was un- 
covered too soon, and the units there, being 
attacked in front and flank, began to retreat, 
which caused the adjacent troops to do the 

From the information I received as to the 
enemy's movements, I decided to move the 
16th Army Corps in two directions — one portion 
direct on Hsin-min-tun, and the 25th Division 
on Sha-ling-pu, When it became apparent that 
the enemy were not advancing behind the 
Liao Ho, but between it and the Hun Ho, 
Kaulbars very properly gave orders for a brigade 
of the 41st Division to be sent up towards the 
25th Division at Sha-ling-pu. We should have 
thus had the 16th Corps, consisting of twenty- 
four battalions, all together ; and to this it was 
General Kaulbars' intention to add the 8th Army 
Corps at full strength. As this force would have 
been reinforced by me by another Siberian corps, 
we should have had three army corps against 
Nogi. Unfortunately, however, Kaulbars coun- 
termanded the orders already issued to General 
Birger (to join the 25th Division), and this 
brigade continued to act independently, and 
added to the existing confusion of troops, espe- 
cially when it split up and retired in two 
directions — towards Mukden and Hu-shih-tai 
station. Instead of the 8th Army Corps arriving 
to reinforce the 25th Division, two brigades of 
the 10th Army Corps turned up. Finally, 


Linievitch did not consider it possible to carry 
out his orders (to send the 1st Siberian Corps 
to Mukden at full strength), and asked per- 
mission to detain two regiments of it, and so 
the divisions of the 1st Siberian Corps arrived 
in JNIukden with only three regiments each. 
Fully recognizing the danger of our position on 
the right flank, the commander of the 3rd Army 
sent his army reserve of three regiments of the 
17th Army Corps to JNIukden, and on his own 
initiative added to them the Samara Regiment 
(three battalions), which had been sent to him 
the day before with a view to strengthening 
his left. JNIeanwhile the different orders given 
during the fighting between February 23 and 
March 4 by the commanders of the 1st and 
2nd Armies resulted in an inextricable confusion 
of lesser units, which added to that caused by 
the breakdown of the corps organization. As 
there were insufficient army reserves, Linievitch 
reinforced the troops that were being attacked 
from the corps reserves of those corps w^hich 
had not been attacked. For instance, when the 
enemy's advance against the left flank of the 
1st Army began, certain units of the 3rd Siberian 
Corps, by moving eastwards along the front, were 
able to strengthen Rennenkampfs force. When 
the Kao-tai Ling position — defended by the 
3rd Siberians — was attacked, this corps was sup- 
ported by portions of the 2nd and 4th Siberian 
Corps to the west of them ; when the 2nd 
Siberians were attacked they were reinforced by 
units of the 4th. 

Thus the reinforcements sent up by me only 
served to heighten the general confusion of units 
caused by the orders of the officer commanding 
the 1st Army and of the corps commanders. 


Against Kavamura on March 1 and 2 there were 
in the 1st Army the 71st Division, consisting 
of three regiments, the whole of the 6th East 
Siberian Rifle Division, one regiment of the 
3rd East Siberian Rifle Division, and one regi- 
ment of the 1st Army Corps — total twenty-nine 
battalions.* Against Kuroki were the 3rd East 
Siberian Rifle Division, consisting of three regi- 
ments, one regiment of the 71st Division, two of 
the 4th Siberians, and one of the 2nd Siberians — 
total twenty-five battalions. On the assumption 
that we should attack, I sent to these troops the 
72nd Division and the 1st Siberians at full 
strength, as well as one regiment of the 1st Army 
Corps — total forty-four battalions. Thus sixty- 
nine battalions were concentrated on and beliind 
the positions of the 3rd Siberian Corps. Farther 
west, on the positions of the 2nd Siberian Corps, 
there remained of this corps fourteen batta- 
lions, which, reinforced by a regiment of the 
4th Siberians, successfully repulsed all attacks, 
including an assault made by the Japanese 
Guards. Still farther west, on the positions of 
the 4th Siberians, which were not attacked, 
there were twenty to twenty-four battalions of 
this same corps. Finally, against Nodzu's right 
twenty-four battalions of the 1st Army Corps 
not only completely repulsed all attacks, but 
pressed forward very successfully. Generally 
speaking, although the units of the 1st Army 
were considerably mixed up, the corps organiza- 
tion of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Siberians and the 
1st Army Corps was not very much disturbed. 
In the 2nd Army matters were worse. The 

* Of these a brigade of the 6th East Siberian Rifle 
Division and one regiment of the 1st Army Corps were 
sent by my orders. 


unsuccessful attempt to " castle " two corps (the 
Composite Kifle and 8th xVrmy Corps) was the 
start of the break-up of the army corps organiza- 
tion, and in beating off the enemy these two 
corps, together with the 10th, became still more 
involved. Throughout the fighting of the night 
of JNIarch 4 no touch was kept between the 
different units of the 8th Army Corps. The 
14th Division {three regiments) and one regiment 
of the 15th Division crossed on to the right bank 
of the Hun Ho and moved westwards, while the 
15th Division (three regiments) arrived behind 
the left flank of the 3rd Army after a night 
march to the north-east. On the morning of the 
4th mingled portions of all these corps took up 
fresh positions on both banks of the Hun Ho. 

Sufficient efforts were not made to readjust 
matters either in the divisions or corps. The 
commander of the 10th Army Corps maintained 
under his command only two brigades of the 9th 
and 31st Divisions (consisting of sixteen bat- 
talions), which had been moved by my order 
towards Sha-ling-pu ; the commander of the 
16th Army Corps was with the 25th Infantry 
Division, which had sixteen battalions ; while 
neither the commanders of the 8th or Composite 
Rifle Corps had got so many troops directly 
under them. By General Kaulbars' orders, 
Tserpitski was appointed to command the left 
wing of the troops moved on to the right bank 
of the Hun Ho ; among these was only one 
regiment of the 10th Army Corps, the remainder 
belonging to the 8th Army, Composite Rifle, 
and 5th Siberian Corps. At the same time as 
Kaulbars appointed Tserpitski, he removed the 
commanders of the 8th, Composite Rifle, and 
16th Corps from the direct command of troops. 


This gave the coup de gi^dce to the corps organi- 
zation of this army. It was now completely 
destroyed. As I have mentioned (Vol. III.), there 
was an opportunity on March 6 of withdrawing 
the whole of the 10th Army Corps from the first 
hne, and so reorganizing the 8th Corps and the 
Composite Rifles properly, but the commander 
of the 2nd Army did not seize it. 

The inaction of the 2nd Army on March 4, its 
passive and disastrous operations on the 5th and 
6th, placed our right flank in a very difficult 
position. Nogi was moving not only along the 
flank, but to the rear of the 2nd Army. The 
commander of this army, continuing to see 
danger where there was none, paid particular 
attention to Oku's operations, and left Nogi to 
move round to our rear without hindrance. 
Indeed, had I not interfered on March 7, 
Nogi's force would have seized Shan-tai-tzu, the 
Imperial Tombs, and Mukden, and moved in 
rear of the 2nd Army. By my orders the 
defence of the positions near Shan-tai-tzu, 
Ta-heng-tun, and Wen-ken-tun was organized 
so as to face to the north and west. The move- 
ment of the 3rd Army towards the Hun Ho 
contracted our position, and enabled me to with- 
draw to my main reserve portions of the 9th, 
15th, and 54th Divisions, and by means of this 
concentration the danger of Nogi's movement to 
our rear was temporarily averted, but in the 
section held by the 2nd Army we were fighting 
on three fronts — west, south, and north. Under 
such conditions 1 naturally sent into action those 
units which were nearest. Still, the defence of 
the northern front was entrusted to a brigade of 
the 41st Division, the Volinsk Regiment, and to 
the 9th Rifle Regiment. Near Tsu-erh-tun were 


concentrated three regiments of the 9th and 
three of the 54'th Divisions. 

On the 6th and 7th I made a final attempt to 
wrest victory from the Japanese. Hoping that 
Kuroki had suffered heavily on the preceding 
days, and relying on the splendid material in the 
1st Army, I made up my mind, after considerable 
discussion of the matter with its commander on 
the telephone, to weaken that army considerably, 
so as to make certain of having sufficient men at 
Tsu-erh-tun. I augmented my main reserve 
by the whole of the 72nd Division, a brigade of 
the 2nd Siberian, and eighteen battalions from the 
1st Army and 4th Siberian Corps. The com- 
mander of the 1st Army was of opinion that if 
we did not soon have a success on the right this 
weakening of the 1st Army might be a danger, 
but though fully realizing the force of his con- 
tention, I considered it necessary to take the risk 
for the following reasons : 

1. One hundred and five splendid battalions 
were still left under the command of General 

2. The enemy in front of the 1st Army must, 
according to the reports sent in by its com- 
mander, have lost very heavily. 

3. The Japanese had transferred almost the 
whole of Oku's army to the right bank of the 
Hun Ho, immediately after Nogi's, and we had 
either to break through this disposition or 
strengthen those of our forces on the right bank 
of the Hun Ho by a lateral movement. As I 
have described already (Vol. III.), our hopes were 
not realized. The movement of the reserves to 
Tsu-erh-tun was effected very much more slowly 
than we had counted upon, and, taking advantage 
of our reduction in strength on the front held by 


the 1st Army, the enemy broke through there. 
At the point of our position (Chu-tien) where 
the enemy broke through, there should have been, 
according to the arrangements of the officer 
commanding the 1st Army, four regiments of the 
troops under his command, hut as a matter of fact 
there were only ten companies of the Barnaul 
Regiment.^ Taking all the circumstances into 
consideration, our retirement was, in my opinion, 
a day too late, and instead of throwing all the 
reinforcements which arrived at Tsu-erh-tun into 
the fight, some of them (General ZarubaefF's 
force) had to be kept as a last reserve in case the 
enemy attempted to close us in with a ring 
of fire. 

In the last fights at Mukden, the 4th Siberian 
Corps was scattered along the whole front, but 
the enemy being at that spot in inconsiderable 
strength, did not attack its strong position at 
Erh-ta-ho. Thirty-two splendid battalions of 
this corps might have been used by the com- 
mander of the 1st Army for a local counter- 
attack, or, together with the troops of the 
1st Army Corps or those of the 2nd Siberians, 
for a greater effort at the counter-offensive, 
for which a very favourable opportunity pre- 
sented itself when the enemy attacked the 
2nd Siberians. By advancing we could have 
taken the attacking forces in flank and rear, 
and the Japanese Imperial Guards would have 
been threatened with disaster. But the oppor- 
tunity was not seized. Hence the 4th Siberian 
Corps, having no force opposed to it, only 

* The Omsk Regiment lost its way, and for a long time 
could not be found, and the Krasnoyarsk and Tsaritsin 
Regiments were kept with the 2nd Siberian Corps. 


formed, so to speak, a reserve to the 1st and 
2nd Armies. 

On the whole, the confusion was at its greatest 
between March 8 and 10 on the northern front 
of the 2nd Army, but the energetic and gallant 
General Launits was in command, and he not 
only beat back all attacks, but rescued the inert 
units of the 2nd Army, whose rear Nogi was 
threatening. On March 10 General MuilofF, in 
command of the rear-guard (composed only of 
the Lublin Regiment), gallantly and successfully 
carried out the difficult duty of covering the 
retirement of the 2nd and 3rd Armies. 

It must be remembered that, though the corps 
organization mostly broke down, the regimental 
organization was preserved, and this gave a 
cohesion in action which, when taken advantage 
of, served us right well. The preservation of the 
regimental organization was also important on 
account of the rationing of the troops. The first 
line transport (with field kitchens and two-wheeled 
ammunition carts) were kept with regiments, 
and so ammunition and food were in many cases 
most opportunely forthcoming in spite of the 
mixing up of units. The nearness of our supplies 
also at Mukden enabled us easily to refill regi- 
mental reserves. Against the 1st Siberian Corps 
at the bloody action at Su-no-pu (near San-de-pu) 
on January 27 — a fight that was more or less 
unpremeditated on both sides — units of five 
different Japanese divisions were engaged, though 
the enemy had a comparatively small force in 
the field. The enemy, therefore, must also have 
suffered from confusion. 

I have endeavoured to give some explanation 
of how it was that units got mixed up ; but I 
consider that it was in many cases quite un- 


necessary. Consequently, when I reported to 
the Tsar that I was mainly responsible for our 
disaster at Mukden, I pointed out that one of my 
mistakes was that I did not sufficiently legislate 
to prevent this confusion, and that, as a matter of 
fact, 1 was forced by circumstances to add to it. 


Abaza, Admiral, his connection 
with the Royal Timber Com- 
pany, ii. 309-813 

Abdur Rahman, and Afghanistan, 
i. 84, 85 

Adabash, Colonel, his informa- 
tion on Japanese reserve 
forces, i. 206 

Afghanistan : her frontier, i. 62 ; 
Britain's advance, i. 63, 84 ; 
and Russia, i. 64 - 66, 87 ; a 
buffer State, i. 85 ; Boundary 
Commission, i. 86 

Alexander I., Emperor of Russia : 
more freedoixi for the arm}', 
i. 14 ; his example, i. 20 

Alexander II., Emperor of 
Russia : the clamour for 
peace, i. 22 ; the emancipa- 
tion of the serfs, i. 23 ; mili- 
tary economy, i. 87 ; the 
Siberian Railway, i. 149 

Alexander III., Emperor of 
Russia, military economy, i. 

Alexeieflf, Admiral : stops work 
at Port Arthur, i. 126, 128; 
the Boxer i-ebelhon, i. 154 ; 
stops the evacuation of Muk- 
den, i. 169 ; his connection 
with Bezobrazoff and the 
Roj'al Timber Company, i. 173- 
185, ii. 306 - 313 ; becomes 
Viceroy of the Far East, 
i. 187 ; his negotiations with 
Japan, i. 188i-198; disperses 
his troops and fleet, i. 225 ; 
his opinion of the fleet, i. 237, 
288; report ou the Eastern 

Chinese Railway, i. 246 ; 
presses for relief, i. 257 ; stra- 
tegical distribution of troops. 
ii. 205-211 ; the weakness of 
Port Arthur, ii. 213, 229 

Alien population, dangers of an, 
i. 102 

Alma, battle of the, i. 17 

America, Russia hands over her 
possessions in, i. 35 

Ammunition : defects in gun, 
i. 137 ; average expenditure of 
rifle, ii. 149, 150 

Amui" district, Russia's annexa- 
tion of, i. 35 

Armament (see Army) : inferior, 
i. 15 ; moral effect of, i. 107, 
108 ; artillery, i. 121, 135 ; for 
Port Arthur, i. 129 ; test of a 
new field-gun, i. 136 ; defects 
in gun ammunition, i. 137 

Army, Russian : the Great Nor- 
thern War, i. 5, 6 ; reductions 
in, i. 8 ; distribution of, i. 9 
struggle with France, i. 10 
annexation of Finland, i. 12 
in the Crimean War, i. 13-21 
in the Turkish wars, i. 24-34 
casualties in the two main 
struggles, i. 36 ; peace and 
■war establishments, i. 38 ; 
relative speed of mobilization, 
i. 88-90, 272-284; losses in 
the eighteenth and nineteenth 
centuries, i. 99 ; incapacity of 
generals, i. 101 ; improvement 
of, i. 113, 119-124; value of 
the Siberian Corps, i. 125 ; 
want of railway transport, 




i. 131-134, 156, 242-268 ; re- 
armament of the artillery, 
i. 135, 136 ; defects in gun am- 
munition, i. 137 ; numbers in 
the Pri-Amur district, i. 144 ; 
its distribution, i. 225, ii, 209, 
210; its favourable state when 
peace declared, i. 230-234 ; 
defeats at Yalu, Chin-chou, and 
Te-li-ssu, L 257, 258 ; loss at 
Sha Ho, i. 259 ; the reservists, 
i. 278-290 ; shortage and capa- 
bilities of officers, i. 290-294, 
300-305 ; discipline, i. 295, 296 ; 
corporal punishment, i. 297- 
299 ; want of sappers, i. 305 ; 
machine - guns, i. 306 - 309 ; 
criticism of staff work, ii. 2, 
3 ; cavalry at manoeuvres, ii. 
4 ; attack and defence, ii. 5 ; 
column fornaation, ii. 6 ; work 
of the artillery, ii. 7 ; work of 
the sappers, ii. 7, 8 ; criticism 
by commanders, ii. 9; tactical 
instruction, ii. 10-25 ; relative 
positions of, ii. 33, 34, 37-40 ; 
absence of military spirit and 
patriotism, ii. 35, 183 ; adverse 
conditions, ii. 37, 39 ; effect of 
the rainy season and dysen- 
tery, ii. 41 ; difficulties in 
organization, ii. 44-60 ; defects 
in the command, ii. 60-72 ; in 
the rank and file, ii. 72-80 ; 
Kuropatkin's final address to, 
ii. 88-97 ; suggestions for the 
improvement of : (1) the senior 
rank, ii. 98-114 ; (2) the regu- 
lars and reservists, ii. 114- 
127 ; (3) reserve organization, 
ii. 128-131 ; (4) augmenting 
the combatant infantry, ii. 
131-136; (5) machine-guns, 
ii. 136 ; (6) depot troops, ii. 
137-139 ; (7) communication 
troops, ii. 139, 140; (8) en- 
gineer troops, ii. 141-146 ; (9) 
artillery, ii. 146-151; (10) 
cavalry, ii. 151-155 ; (11) in- 
fantry, ii. 155-161 ; (12) organ- 
ization, ii. 161-176; summary 
of the war, ii. 177-204; gradual 
improvement in spirit, ii. 183, 


188, 189 ; strategical distribu- 
tion of, ii. 205, 271 ; Kuropat- 
kin's narrative of the war, ii. 
205-305 ; strength of, ii. 258 ; 
breakdown of the unit organ- 
ization and distribution, ii. 

Artamonoff, General, ii. 281, 282 

Artillery : re armament of the, 
i. 121, 135 ; machine, i. 306- 
309, ii. 136, 137 ; suggested im- 
provements, ii. 146-155, 162 

Asia : Russia's war with Turkey, 
L 26 ; Russia's position in, 
i. 34 ; Russia's frontiers, i. 40- 
46 ; opposition to Russia's ex- 
pansion in, i. 147 

Asia for the Asiatics, ii. 195, 

Austerlitz, Russia's heavy loss 
at, i. 98 

Austria : war with Napoleon, i. 
10 ; Crimean War, i. 16 ; her 
frontier with Russia, i. 51-54; 
her strategic railways, i. 55 ; 
her speed of mobilization, i. 
90 ; her perfected organiza- 
tion, i. 103 

Austro-Hungary : Russian fron- 
tiers, i. 44, 50-52 ; trade with 
Russia, i. 52 ; possibility of 
war with Russia, i. 53, 54 

Azov, surrender of, i. 6 

Baikal, Lake, great obstacle to 
the Siberian Railway, i. 149, 
248, 254 

Balasheff, Acting State Coun- 
cillor : his warlike despatch, 
i. 178 ; investigation of the 
Royal Timber Company, i. 

Baltic Sea : Russian aims, i. 5, 9 ; 
defence of, i. 114 

Batianoff, General, Commander 
of the 3rd Manchurian Army, 
ii. 186 

Batoum, i. 32 

Bayazet, the defence of, i. 26 

Berlin Congress, i. 32 ; Treaty 
of, i. 82 

Bessarabia, Russian annexation 
of, i. 13, 24 




Bezobrazoflf, State Councillor : 
his connection with the Koyal 
Timber Company, i. 169, ii. 
306-313 ; his propositions, i 
172-174; Kuropatkin's report 
on, i. 177-179 ; investigation 
of the Royal Timber Com- 
pany, i. 180, 184 

Bilderling, General, Commander 
of the 2nd Manchurian Army : 
his report, ii. 186 ; criticism 
on, ii. 228, 234, 247 ; his force, 
ii. 242 ; withdraws to position 
on the Sha Ho, ii. 245, 286 

Black Sea, the : Russian progress 
towards, i. 6, 12, 13 ; Russia 
deprived of a war fleet in, i. 19, 
24, 34 ; coast defence on,i. 114 

Blume, M., theorist in strategy, 
ii. 69 

Borisoff, Colonel, at Mukden, ii. 
281, 283 

Borodino, Russian loss at, i. 98 

Boskey, General, surprises the 
Russians at the battle of the 
Alma, i. 17 

Bothnia, Gulf of, Russian aims, 
i. 9, 41, 42 

Boxer Rebellion, i. 136, 154, 155 

Bulgaria: Turko- Servian War, 
i. 24, 25 ; Russian behaviour 
in, i. 29, 30 

Burun, M., on the Russian fleet, 
i. 236, 237, 240, 241 

Caucasus, the : her Russian 
frontier, i. 5, 8, 33, 34, 57, 58 ; 
her troops, i. 26, 114 

Cavalry : not sufficiently used, 
ii. 151, 152 ; failure of the 
officers, ii. 153-155, 288; de- 
tails of units, ii. 162 

Censorship, necessity for press, 
ii. 176 

Charles XIT., King of Sweden, 
war with Russia, i. 5 

Cherniaefi", General, Geok Tepe, 
i. 32 

Chichagoff, General, his alarmist 
reports, ii. 302, 321, 322 

China : peaceful attitude of, i. 5; 
Peking Treaty, i. 35 ; Russian 
frontier and trade, i. 67, 68 ; 

war with Japan, i. 69, 151, 
201 - 204 ; Russian policy, i. 
72, 157 ; the awakening of, 
i. 91 ; Boxer Rebellion and 
treaty with Russia, i. 154- 
162 ; her alarm at Russia's 
policy, i. 170 ; Russian treat- 
ment of the Chinese, ii. 190, 191 

Chin-chou, battle of, i. 257 

Civil disorder, repression of, ii. 

Constantinople, Russian advance 
to walls of, i. 30, 82 

Cossacks. See Cavalry 

Crimean War : strength of 
Russian army, i. 13 ; Russia's 
unpreparedness, i. 16, 101, 
109 ; Inkerman, i. 18 ; siege 
of Sevastopol, i. 19 ; a pre- 
mature peace, i. 20-22 

Dalny : Russian annexation of, 
i. 69 ; Japanese use of, i. 127 ; 
its fortifications, i. 172, ii. 207 ; 
commerce, i. 190 ; coal storage 
at, i. 246 

Danube, the, Russian acquisition 
and loss of the mouths of, i. 
13, 16, 19, 24, 32 

Defence schemes, ii. 26-30 

Dembovski, General, at Mukden, 
ii. 285, 286 

Demchinski, M., Were we Beady 
for War / i. Ill 

Djam, Russian force at, i. 84 

Dragomiroff, General, and quick- 
firing artillery, i. 136 ; his 
theories, ii. 8, 10, 11 

Dubniak Hill, capture of, i. 25 

Dukhovski, General, Governor- 
General and Commander in 
the Pri-Amur district, and the 
Siberian Railway, i. 151, 171 

Dushkevitch, Colonel, i. 302 

Eastern Chinese Railway : the 
bad condition of, i. 131, 132, 
182-242 ; a parallel in Persia, 
i. 193 ; suggested sale to China, 
i. 221 ; capacity of, i. 243-256 

Emmanuel, Major, his appre- 
ciation of the Japanese army, 
i. 222 



Engineers, ii. 141-146; details 
of units, ii. 162 

Essen, Admiral, his daring sally 
from Vladivostok, i. 239 

Esthonia, Eussian annexation 
of, i. 5 

Eupatoria, the Allies' disembar- 
kation at, i. 17 

Feng-huang-cheng, Eussian oc- 
cupation of, i. 170-174, 184 

Finance Minister, dual capacity 
of, i. 139 

Finland, Eussian annexation of, 
i. 5, 12, 41 ; Eussian frontier, 
i. 8 «., 9 ; her aims for auton- 
omy, i. 42 

Fortresses, work on the, i. 126-130 

France : her struggles with 
Eussia, i. 10 ; strength of her 
army, i. 15 ; cause of Franco- 
Eussian entente, i. 46 ; lessons 
from the Franco- German War, 
i. 78-81 

Friederichsham, Treaty of, i. 40, 

Frontiers (see Eussia), Eussian, 
i. 8w., 35, 40-77 

Galicia, strategic value of, i. 54, 

Geok Tepe, Eussian attack on, 
i. 31, 85, 148 

Georgia, Eussian annexation of, 
i. 8 

Germany : war with Napoleon, 
i. 10 ; her Eussian frontier, 
i. 44, 45 ; her Eussian trade, 
i. 45, 59 ; her strategic prepa- 
rations, i. 46-49 ; possibilities 
of war, i. 49, 50 ; trade in Persia, 
1. 59, 60 ; lessons from the 
Franco-German War, i. 79, 
80 ; her relative speed of mob- 
ilization, i. 90 ; her perfect 
organization, i. 103, 113 ; her 
mihtary expenditure, i. 112, 

Gerngros, General : the Boxer 
Eebellion, i. 155 ; wounded at 
Te-li-ssu, i. 219 ; the battle 
near Mukden, ii. 278, 279, 293, 

Giers, M., Eussian Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, on the cession 
of Kuldja, i. 93 
Glinski, M., The Eesurrected 

Dead, i. 292 
Godunoff, Boris, and the Caspian 
Sea, i. 4 

Goltz, Von der, a distinguished 
German writer, his dictum on 
war, i. 88 

Gorbatoff, M., Thoughts Sug- 
gested by Recent Military 
Operations, ii. 75, 76 

Great Britain : strength of her 
army, i. 15 ; the Crimean 
War, i. 16-20 ; her trade with 
Persia, i. 59, 60 ; Eussia and 
Afghanistan, i. 62-67, 84, 85 ; 
Afghan Boundary Commis- 
sion, i. 86 ; treaty with Japan, 
i. 269 

Grieg, Admiral, Eussian Minister 
of Finance, on the cession of 
Kuldja, i. 93 

Grippe n berg. General, Com- 
mander of the 2nd Army : 
his peculiar theories and be- 
haviour, i. 299, ii. 11, 23-25, 
55-60, 251-253, 257, 260, 261, 
264-267, 320; The Truth 
about the Battle of Hei-kou- 
tai, ii. 83 

Grodekovi, General, i. 154, 

Guber, General, ii. 52 

Gulistan, Treaty of, i. 60 

Guns. See Artillery 

Gurieff, M., The OutbreaJc of the 
Busso-Japanese War, i. 146 

Gurko, General, siege of Plevna, 
i. 26 ; criticisms by, ii. 9 

Hamilton, General Sir Ian, an 

appreciation of the Japanese 

army, i. 223 
Harbin : concentration at, i. 155, 

160 ; railway difficulties, i. 245, 

254, 261, 268 ; drunkenness at, 

ii. 188 
Hei-kou-tai, operations at, ii. 82, 

83, 271, 320 
Hei-ni-tun, Eussian attack on, 

ii. 282 




Herat, proposed railway, i. 67 ; 
and Russia, i. 86 

Hershelman, General, i. 279 

Hsi niu-cheng, concentration at, 
ii. 42 

Hsi-ping-kai positions : Russian 
occupation of, i. 229, ii, 32, 
182, 287 ; handed over to 
Japan, i. 232 ; preparations 
near, ii. 184, 185, 194 

Hun-huses, raids by, i. 158, 159 

Imeretinski, General, at Plevna, 
i. 28 

India and Russia's policy, i. 64- 

Infantry (see Army) : the chief 
arm, ii. 155 ; improvement in, 
ii. 156 ; officers' casualties, ii. 
157, 158 ; promotion in the 
field, ii. 159; field v. office 
training, ii. 160 ; organization 
and details of units, ii. 161- 
170 ; penalties on active ser- 
vice, ii. 171-175 

Istomin, Admiral, his heroic 
death, i. 18, 21 

Ivanovitch, Tsar Theodore, i. 4 

Japan : peaceful attitude of, i. 5 ; 
Russia and Saghalien, i. 35 ; 
Peking Treaty, i. 35 ; war with 
Chma, i. 69, 151, 202-204; 
events leading up to the war 
with Russia, i. 123-130, 151, 
157-166, 170, 177-179; the 
Royal Timber Company, i. 
172 ; Km'opatkin's visit to, and 
impressions of,i. 174, 175,217- 
223 ; progress of negotiations, 
i. 188, 193 ; Russia's bluff, i. 
193-198; her early history, i. 
199 ; birth of her army, i. 200- 
202; expedition to China, i. 
203 ; her estimated strength, 
i. 203, 208, ii. 192 ; expansion 
for war, i. 204-206 ; her loss in 
the war with Russia, i. 207, 
ii. 192 ; her sea-transport, i. 
209 ; Russian criticisms on 
the army of, i. 210 ; her officers 
in Russian employ, i. 212 ; 
her reserve troops, i. 213 ; the 

samurai spirit, i. 214 ; her 
resentment with Russia, i. 
215 ; her system of education, 
i. 217 - 219 ; Korea a vital 
question, i. 219 ; German and 
English appreciations of, i. 
222, 223 ; her disembarkations 
on Liao-tung Peninsula and 
Kuan - tung unhindered, i. 
225 ; her advantages, i. 226 ; 
their moral tone, i. 227 ; the 
nation with the army, i. 228 ; 
partial exhaustion, i. 230, 235, 
ii. 194, 195 ; strength of the 
fleets in the Far East, i. 236, 
237 ; the naval battles near 
Port Arthur and Vladivostok, 
i. 238-241 ; her victories at the 
Yalu, Chin-chou and Te-li-ssu, 
i. 257. 258, ii. 38, 83; her 
treaty with Great Britain, i. 
269 ; relative positions after 
fifteen months' war, ii. 31-35, 
39-44 ; her losses, ii. 192, 193 ; 
Kuropatkin's summary of the 
war, ii. 217-287, 814-335 

Jassy, Treaty of, i. 6 

Jilinski, General, Headquarter 
Staff, i. 206, 256 

Ka-liao-ma, ii. 274, 290 

Kamchatka, Russian annexation 
of, i. 35 

Kao-li-tun, ii. 275 

Kars, the capture of the fortress 
of, i. 26, 30, 32, ii. 14 

Kashgaria, i. 70 ; Chinese take 
possession of, i. 92 

Kaufmann, General, i. 32 ; and 
Afghanistan, i. 85 ; the cession 
of Kuldja, i. 92, 93 ; the Bok- 
hara Khanate, i. 147 

Kaulbars, General, ii. 58 ; in 
command of the 3rd Army, ii. 
249, 265 ; in command of the 
2nd Army, ii. 268 ; the assault 
of San-de-pu, ii. 271 ; battles 
near Mukden, ii. 272-287 ; 
criticisms on, ii. 288-305, 324- 

Keller, General Count, ii. 42, 
221 ; his death, ii. 71, 226 

Khanates, the, i. 147, 148 



Kh ilk off, Prince, Minister of 
Ways and Communications, 
and the Siberian Railway, i. 
246, 248, 250, 254 

Khiva, Eussian failure to gain 
possession of, i. 5 

Kipke, Surgeon-General, list of 
Japanese casualties, i. 207, 208 

Kirghiz tribes and Russia, i. 

4:71., 5, 8 71. 

Ivirin, capture of, i. 155 
Kondratenko, General, the hero 

of Port Arthur, i, 300, ii. 71 
Korea : independence of, i. 69 ; 

necessity for quiet in, i. 72, 73 ; 

Russian activity in, i. 153, 

178; timber concession, i. 170; 

council at Port Arthur on, i. 

180, 181 ; the Treaty of Pekmg, 

i. 199 ; a vital question, i. 

Korniloff, Admiral, siege of 

Sevastopol,!. 18; heroic death, 

i. 21 
Korniloff, Lieutenant - Colonel, 

ii. 286 
Kronstadt, fortifications of, i. 

Kruimoff, Captain, i. 303 
Kuan-tun g Peninsula : Russian 

annexation of, 35,69 ; Japanese 

land and fortify, i. 127, 257 ; 

Russian defence force, ii. 206, 

Kuang-cheng-tzu, seizure by 

rebels, i. 155 
Kuldja, province of, i. 70 ; the 

cession to China of, i. 92-95, 

148, 149 
Kuprin, M., The Duel, ii. 69 
Kuroki, General : in command 

of the 1st Japanese Armjs i. 

257, 258 ; his opinion of the 

Russian shells, i. 306 ; his 

victory at Te-li-ssu, ii. 38; his 

positions, ii. 39, 40, 216, 222 ; 

his turning movement, ii. 230- 

232, 264 ; strength of his army, 

ii. 253 ; battle of Liao-yang, 

ii. 317 ; at Mukden, ii. 323, 

329, 332 
Kuropatkin, General, Minister 

of War, afterwards Com- 

mander-in-Chief : his report on 
the possibilities of the twen- 
tieth century, i. 39 ; his report 
on the Russian frontiers and 
their suitability, i. 40-77 ; de- 
ductions from the work of the 
army as a guide to future 
wars, i. 96-110 ; the work 
before the- War Department, 
i. 111-144 ; his opinion on 
the Manchurian and Korean 
questions, i. 145-198 ; differ- 
ence of opinion with Admiral 
Alexeieff, i. 167-169; the Royal 
Timber Company, i. 172-184, 
ii. 306 ; his impressions on 
visiting Japan, i. 174, 175, 
217-223 ; his reports on the 
Manchurian position, i. 176- 
179, 189-193 ; his responsi- 
bility for the rupture with 
Japan, i. 177-179 ; his pyra- 
mid of Russian interests, i. 
185, 186 ; resignation on the 
establishment of the Vice- 
royalty, i. 187 ; his proposal 
to give way, i. 189 ; his re- 
port on strength of Japanese 
army, i. 242 ; on necessity 
for Russian railway improve- 
ments, i. 252-254, 263-268 ; on 
mobilization, i. 271-289 ; on re- 
serve of officers, i. 293, 294 ; his 
recommendations as to officers, 
i. 301-305 ; on machine-guns 
and ammunition, i. 306-309 ; 
his criticisms of staff work, 
ii. 2, 3 ; of cavalry, ii. 4 ; of 
attack and the defence, ii. 5, 
6 ; of column formation in 
attack, ii. 6 ; on the work of 
the artillery and sappers, ii. 
7, 8 ; on criticism by com- 
manders, ii. 9 ; on tactical 
instruction of our troops, ii. 
10 ; his supplementary' and 
monthly instructions, ii. 12, 
13, 15-22 ; reasons for the 
reverses at Plevna, ii. 13, 14 ; 
his diagram of, and opinion 
on, the relative positions in 
Manchuria, ii. 33-44 ; on diffi- 
culties in organization, ii. 44- 



60 ; on defects in personnel, 
ii. 60-72 ; on the rank and 
file and Social Revolutionists, 
ii. 7'2-81 ; on the counter- 
niandmg of orders, ii. 81-84 ; 
takes the blame for the defeat 
at Mukden, ii. 85, 86, 335 ; his 
farewell address, ii. 87-97 ; his 
suggested improvements in the 
senior ranks and all arms, 
ii. 98-176 ; his summary of 
the war, and conclusions, ii. 
177-305 ; bi-eakdown of the 
unit organization and distri- 
bution, ii. 314-335 

Kushk, proposed railway to, 
i. 67 ; defeat of Afghans at, 
i. 86 

Kutnevitch, General, ii. 297 

Lamsdorff, M., Minister for 
Foreign Affairs, and the Eoyal 
Timber Company, i. 173, 174, 
ii. 306, 311, 312 

Launits, General, his gallantry, 
ii. 334 

Lessar, Acting State Councillor, 
Russian Minister in China, 
council at Port Arthur on the 
Yalu enterprise, i. 175, 180 

Levestam, General : withdrawal 
to Hsi-mu-cheng, ii. 40 ; the 
battle near Mukden, ii. 283, 286 

Liao-tung Peninsula. Japanese 
land at, i. 225, 257 

Liao-yang : seizure by rebels, 
i. 155 ; Russian concentration 
at, i. 225, 242, 258 ; battle at, 
ii. 18, 83, 229, 230, 317 
Russian retirement, ii. 86 
Japanese losses at, ii. 193 
Kuropatkin's arrival at, ii. 209 

Linievitch, General : capture of 
Peking, i. 155 ; in command of 
the 1st Army, i. 230, ii. 249, 
324 ; Commander-in-Chief, i. 
301, ii. 198 ; and Kuropatkin, 
ii. 56, 58 

Livonia, Russia's annexation of, 
i. 5 

LomakLn, General, his disastrous 
expedition against the Turco- 
mans, i. 31 

Losses, Russian, in the two 
main struggles, i. 36 ; in past 
wars, i. 98 ; in the future, i, 99 

Madritoff, Lieutenant- Colonel, 
and the timber concession, 
i. 175, 181, 184, ii. 309 

Makharoff, Admnal, i. 225, 238 

Maksheef, Professor, on miUtary 
expenditure, i. 111-113 

MalakhofT Hill, capture of, i. 19 

Malingering, i. 174 

Maloshevitch, N. S., Memows 
of a Sevastojjol Man, i. 16 

Manchuria (see also Railways) : 
Russian movements in, i. 35 ; 
the question of annexation, 
i. 71, 105, 157-179; expansion 
of Russian garrison, i. 122 ; 
the rising in, i. 126 ; the War 
Ministers opinion on, i. 145; 
investigation of the timber 
concession, i. 180-184 ; pyra- 
mid of Russian interests, i. 185, 
186; negotiations, i. 187-198; 
Japanese invade Southern, 
ii. 32-44 ; summary of the 
war, and conclusions, ii. 177- 

Martinoff, M. E., Sjnrit and 
Temper of the Two Armies, 
ii. 77, 78 

Menshikoff, M., Russian writer, 
ii. 69 

Menshikoff, Prince, Commander- 
in-Chief, Crimean War, i. 17 ; 
battle of Inkerman, i. 18 ; 
superseded, i. 19 

Meyendorf , General Baron, Com- 
mander of 1st Army Corps, 
i. 302 ; retreat of, ii. 284 

Milutin, General : the emanci- 
pation of the serfs, i. 24 ; 
Plevna, i. 25 ; cession of Kuld- 
ja, i. 93 ; the improvement of 
the army, i. 113 

Llischenko, General : retirement 
of the local railway guards, 
i. 155 ; his cavalry successes, 
ii. 150 

Mobilization, relative speed of, 
i. 90 ; inconveniences of, i. 



Moscow, a poor spirit in, i. 198. 

Muiloff, Lieutenant-General, ii. 

282 ; removal of, ii. 297 ; his 

gallantry, ii. 334 
Mukden : seized by the rebels, 

i. 154 ; recaptured, i. 155 ; 

battles round, i. 229 n., 260, 

ii. 43, 246, 272-305, 314-335 ; 

Japanese losses at, ii. 193, 194 ; 

Russia's unfavourable position 

at, ii. 196, 197, 240, 241 

Nakhimoff, Admiral, i. 18 ; his 
heroic death, i. 21 

Namangan, occupation of, i. 148 

Narbut, General, member of the 
military council, i. 293 

Narva, reasons for Russian de- 
feat at, i. 5 

Nasha Jizu, newspaper, The 
Viceroy Alexeieff's Firm 
Policy, i. 109 

Navarin, Russian battleship, 
terrible loss on, i. 240 

Navy, Russian: state of, i. 15; 
disadvantages of, i. 107 ; its 
uselessness at Port Arthur, 
i. 131 ; the Pacific Squadron, 
i. 224 ; minor part played by, 
i. 236 ; strength of Japanese 
and, i. 236, 237; battles at Port 
Arthur and Vladivostok, i. 

Newchuang : Russian inten- 
tions, i. 157 ; evacuation of, 
ii. 43 

Nicholas II., Tsar of Russia, on 
improvements in the army, i. 
120-122; his efforts against war, 
i. 145, 187 ; railway transport, 
i. 245, 252, 263-268 ; mobiliza- 
tion, i. 272 ; orders concentra- 
tion, ii. 212 ; on Kuropatkin's 
retirement at Liao-yang, ii. 
238 ; his connection with the 
Royal Timber Company and 
Bezobrazoff, ii. 306-313 

Nicolaeff, Grand-Duke Michael, 

operations in Asia, i. 26 
Nicolai-Pavlovitch, the late Em- 
peror, his warning, i. 16 
Nishtabtski, Treaty of, i. 5 

Nodzu, General, lands on the 
Liao-tung Peninsula, i. 236 ; 
his advance, ii. 222 ; summary 
of the war, ii. 177-305, 314- 

Nogi, General, lands on the 
Liao-tung Peninsula, i. 236 ; 
on the fall of Port Arthur, i. 
260 ; at Mukden, ii. 84, 152, 
281 ; summary of the war, ii. 
177-305, 314-335 

Norway, her frontiers, i. 40 

Obrucheff, General, Chief of 
Headquarter Staff : cession of 
Kuldja, i. 93 ; the improve- 
ment of the army, i. 113 
Offensive, advantages of stra- 
tegic, ii. 169 
Officers, Russian : incapacity of, 
i. 101, ii. 1-11 ; the shortage 
of, i. 290-295; General Grip- 
penberg's resignation, i. 299, 
ii. 57; quality of, i. 300-303; 
The Besurrected Dead, i. 305 ; 
the susceptibilities of, ii. 57, 
58 ; defects in, ii. 61-72, 95-97 ; 
suggested improvements, ii. 
98-113; casualties among, ii. 
157 ; line officers have no fair 
chance, ii. 158 ; promotion in 
the field, ii. 159 ; field v. office 
training, ii. 160, 161 ; suggested 
changes in rank of, ii. 164- 
168 ; removal of incompetent, 
ii. 172 

Oku, Genei'al : his landing on 
the Liao-tung Peninsula, i. 236, 
256 ; joins General Nodzu's 
army, ii. 43 ; battle of Liao- 
yang, ii. 84 ; summary of the 
war, ii. 177-305, 314-335 

Organization, Russian : defects 
in, i. 26, 27, 88, 89, 119 ; difli- 
culties in, ii. 44-60 ; Kuro- 
patkin's proposals on, ii. 161- 
176; breakdown of, ii. 314-320 

Orenburg-Tashkent Railway, i. 
86 n. 

Orloff, General, at Liao-yang, 
i. 279; retreat to Yen-tai, ii. 

Osaka, great exhibition at, i. 219 



Ostolopoff, Colonol, i. 302 
Osvobojdenie, the Royal Timber 
Company, ii. 307 

Pacific Ocean, opposition to Eus- 
sian access to, i. 146, 147 

Patriotism in Japan and Russia, 
ii. 78-80, 121-123, 227 

Paul II., Emperor of Russia, and 
the army, i. 8 

Pavloff, Chamberlain, Russian 
Minister in Korea, Yalu enter- 
prise, i. 175, 180 

Pavlovski, M., engineer of 
Siberian Railway, i. 253 

Peking, Treaty of, i. 35, 199; 
capture of, i. 155 

Penalties on active service, ii. 171, 

Persia : war with Russia, i. 33 ; 
frontier and trade with Russia, 
i. 58, 59 ; tlie cockpit of the 
Middle East, i. 59; Great 
Britain and Germany in, i. 60 ; 
Russian aims in, i. 61 

Personnel, defects in, ii. 60-72 

Peter the Great : war with 
Sweden, i. 5 ; war with Turkey, 
i. 6 ; founder of the Russian 
fleet, i. 7 ; his struggles with 
Charles XII. and Napoleon, 
i. 10, 11; his counsel, i. 20; 
his influence, i. 41 

Petroff, General, i. 245 

Petrovitch, Paul, Emperor, his 
reforms, i. 38 

Plancon, M., diplomat, investiga- 
tion of the Timber Company, 
i. 180 

Plehve, Von, Minister of the 
Interior, and the Timber Com- 
pany, ii. 311 

Plevna, battle at, i. 25-30 ; the 
cause of the Russian reverses 
at, ii. 13 

Poland, Russia's neighbour, i. 8 ; 
her struggles with Russia, i. 
7 ; the problem of, i. 10, 11 ; 
rebelUon, i. 23 

Poltava, Russian victory at, i. 5, 

Port Arthur : Russian aims, i. 69; 
work at, i. 126, 127 ; arma- 

ment for, i. 128, 129 ; the 
council on the timber conces- 
sion, i. 180-184 ; Kuropatkin's 
ad\ice as to, i. 189, 190 ; 
Chino-Japanese War, i. 202 ; 
naval battles at, i. 238-241; 
fall of, i. 260 ; garrison at, ii. 
205, 208 ; weakness of, ii. 211, 
213, 214 ; result of fall of, ii. 299 
Pri-Amur district and Russia, 
i. 77 ; increase of troops in, 
i. 121, 122, 144, 151 
Punishment, corporal, ii. 173 
Putiloff Hill : Japanese losses at, 
ii. 193 ; movement of troops 
from, ii. 319 

Railways, the Siberian, i. 123, 

149, 156 ; as a factor in the 

Japanese War, i. 131-134, 198; 

the problem of, i. 242-254, ii. 

31 ; necessity for guarding, 

ii. 37 
Bazsvet, ne-wspaper, on Kuro- 
patkin's responsibility, i. 177 
Bazviedchik {The Resurrected 

Dead), i. 292 
Rediger, Lieutenant - General, 

War Minister, his report, i. 

138, 139 
Rennenkampf , General : capture 

of Tsitsihar and Kirin, i. 155 ; 

in the Tai-tzu Ho Valley, ii. 

244, 254, 273 ; Liao-yang, ii. 

318, 328 ; the gallantry of his 

troops, ii. 323 
Reservists, Russian, i. 275-286, 

ii. 73, 163 
Revenue, Russian, i. 142 
Revolutionists, Social, ii. 75-80 
Roop, General, criticisms by 

commanders, ii. 9. 
Roslavleff, M., on Kuropatkin's 

responsibihty, i. 176, 177 ; the 

council at Port Arthur, i. 184 
Roumania : Russian frontier, i. 

44, 56 ; her aspirations, i. 57. 
Rozhdestvenski, Admiral, result 

of his defeat at Tsushima, 

i. 241, 242 
Rusin, Captain, Russian naval 

attach^, his report on the 

Japanese navy, i. 206, 207 



Rusld Viestnik, article on the 
fleets in the Far East, i. 236, 

Eussia: extent of, in the eight- 
eenth century, i. 2, 3 ; her 
neighbours, i. 3 ; her aims, i. 4 ; 
the Great Northern War and its 
result, i. 5-7 ; extension of, in 
the nineteenth century, i.8, 35 ; 
reductions in the armj', i. 8 ; 
closer touch with Europe, i. 9 ; 
struggles with France, i. 10 ; 
Polish problem, i, 11 ; annexa- 
tion of Finland, i. 12 ,• further 
wars with Turkey, i. 13, 24 ; 
deterioration of the army, i. 
14 ; her navy, i. 15 ; her un- 
preparedness, i. 16 ; Crimean 
War commences, i. 16 ; Allies' 
disembarkation permitted, i. 
17 ; battle of the Alma, i. 17, 
18; Inkerman, i, 18; siege of 
Sevastopol, i. 18, 19 ; a pre- 
mature peace, i. 20-22, 81, 82 ; 
emancipation of the serfs, i. 
23 ; Plevna, i. 25 ; failure of 
assaults, i. 26 ; her slow con- 
centration and shortcomings, 
i. 27-29; her ultimate success, 
i. 80 ; Geok Tepe, i. 31 ; 
Kushk, i. 32 ; her position, 
i. 33-35 ; losses in the two cen- 
turies, i. 36, 37, 98, 99 ; peace 
and war establishments, i. 38 ; 
her future, i. 39 ; her Swedish 
frontier, i. 40-44 ; her German 
frontier and trade, i. 44-50 ; 
her Austro-Hungarian fron- 
tier, i. 50-55 ; Austria's stra- 
tegic railways, i. 55 ; her 
Roumanian frontier, i. 56 ; 
her Turkish frontier and trade, 
1. 57 ; her Persian frontier and 
trade, i. 58, 59 ; her aims in 
Persia, i. 61 ; her frontier with 
Afghanistan, i. 62 ; her policy 
versus Great Britain, i. 63-66; 
no wish for India, i. 67 ; her 
Chinese frontier, trade, and 
policy, i. 67-73; her position, 
i. 73-77 ; lessons from Franco- 
German War, i. 79, 80 ; 
National wars, i. 80, 81 ; her 

isolation in 1878, i. 83 ; her 
lever against Great Britain, 
i. 84 ; Afghan Boundary Com- 
mission, i. 85, 86 ; military 
economy-, i. 187 ; her disabili- 
ties, i. 188, 189 ; relative speed 
of mobilization, i. 90; the 
awakening of China, i. 91 ; 
cession of Kuldja, i. 92-94 ; 
her complications, i. 95 ; deduc- 
tions from the past, i. 96 ; 
strain of armed peace, i. 97 ; 
probable losses in the future, 
i. 99 ; dangers of alien popula- 
tion, i. 102 ; the chief duty of 
the twentieth century, i. 103 
her handicap on the west, i 
104, 114 ; her forward move 
ment in Manchuria, i. 105 
the disadvantages of a navy, 
i. 106, 107 ; military expendi- 
ture, i. 112, 118 ; expansion of 
forces in the Pri-Amur district, 
i. 121-123 ; commencement 
and causes of the war with 
Japan, i. 123, 151, 156, 157 ; 
work at Port Arthur, i. 127, 
130 ; railway factor, i. 131- 
149 ; line of communications 
5,400 miles long, i. 135 ; dual 
capacity of Finance Minister, 
i. 139, 140; her finance and 
revenue, i. 141 - 144 ; War 
Minister's opinion on the 
Manchurian and Korean ques- 
tions, i. 145 ; inception of the 
Siberian Railway, i. 149-155 ; 
Boxer Rebellion, i. 154, 155 ; 
her intentions as to Manchuria, 
and the result, i. 157-170; 
treaty with China, i. 158, 160 ; 
influence of M, de Witte, i. 
171 ; the Royal Timber Com- 
pany, i. 172 - 184, 306 - 313 ; 
pyramid of her interests, i. 
185, 186 ; estabhshment of a 
Viceroyalty in the Far East, 
i. 187 ; Kuropatkin's special 
reports, i. 188-193 ; her bluff, 
i. 194-198 ; reasons for her 
reverses in the war with Japan, 
i. 229-309, ii. 1-97 ; suggested 
improvements in the army, 



ii. 98-176 ; summary of the 
war, ii. 177-287 ; conclusions 
upon the battle of Mukden, 
i. 288-305 ; breakdown of the 
unit organization and distribu- 
tion, ii. 314-335 

RussM Invalid, article on mili- 
tary 'expenditure, i. Ill, 112; 
on duty and love of country, 
ii. 78-80 

Eusso-Chinese Bank, De Witte's 
influence over the, i. 172 

Saghalien, Russian garrison at, 
i. 148, 200 ; part concession 
of, to Japan, i. 232 

St. George, the Cross of, ii. 16 

St. Petersburg Convention, i. 
40 ?i. 

Sakharoff, General, Chief of the 
Headquarter Staff, i. 115, 207 ; 
War Minister, i. 252 : the Si- 
berian Railway, i. 261 ; mob- 
ihzation, i. 272, 273, 276, 277 ; 
unfitness of generals, i. 300 ; 
his description of the Japanese 
plans, ii. 30 ; commands the 
Southern Force, ii. 209 

Samoiloff, Lieutenant-Colonel, 
military attache in Japan, his 
views on Japanese strength, 
i. 208 

Samsonoff, General, and his 
Siberian Cossacks, ii. 234 

Sappers. See Engineers 

Serfs, emancipation of the, i. 23, 

Servia, war with Turkey, i. 24 

Sevastopol, siege of, i. 18, 19, 
83 ; Russian loss at, i. 98 

Sha Ho, Russian strength at 
battle of, i. 242, ii. 182 ; 
Japanese loss at, ii. 193 

Shipka Pass, defence of the, 
i. 26, 30 

Shtakelberg, General : on the 
Yalu, ii. 38 ; concentration at 
Te-li-ssu, ii. 218, 219 ; battle 
near the Yen-tai Mines, ii. 234 ; 
strength of his force, ii. 243 n. ; 
faulty disposition of his troops, 
ii. 246, 247 ; his attack on Su- 
ma-pu, ii. 262 

Siberian Railway. See Rail- 

Siberian Rifle Regiments, East, 
expansion and value of, i. 124- 
126, ii. 183, 207 

Sinope, Russian victory at, i. 15, 
16, 107 

Skobeleff, General, at Plevna, 
i. 26, 28 ; seizes Geok Tepe, 
i. 31, 85, 148 

Solovieff, M., historian, the Cri- 
mean War, i. 21, 22 

Sosnovski, Lieutenant-Colonel, 
and the Chinese, i. 92 

Spade, revival ua the army of 
the use of the, i. 142 

Stossel, General : defence of 
Port Arthur, ii. 213 ; his 
alarmist reports, ii. 229 

Subotin, General, capture of 
Mukden, i. 155 

Sungari River, Russian with- 
drawal to, i. 232 

Surrender, the question of, 
ii. 175 

Suvoroff, Russian battleship, 
gallantry on the, i. 240 

Suvoroff, General, his cam- 
paigns, i. 8, 10 

Sviatosloff, Grand-Duke, i. 4 

Sweden as Russia's neighbour, 
i. 3 ; war with Russia, i. 12, 
36 ; her Russian frontier, i. 

Tartars as Russia's neighbours, 

i. 3 
Ta-shih-chiao, battle of, ii. 182 
Tashkent, Russian occupation 

of, i. 87, 147 
Tchernaya, battle of the, i. 18 
Telegraph and telephones, need 

for, u. 143, 144, 162 
Te-li-ssu, Russian disaster at, 

i. 257, 258 
Territorial system, the, ii. 126 
Tieh - ling, retirement from, 

ii. 86 
Timber Company, the Royal : 

its importance, i. 169 ; Bezo- 

brazoff's propositions, i. 172 ; 

investigation of, i. 173-184 ; 

history of, ii. 306-313 



Todleben, General : Crimean 
AVar, i. 21 ; assault on Plevna, 
i. 26 

Tof^o, Admiral : naval battle at 
Port Arthur, i. 238, 240 

Topornin, General, ii. 276, 292, 

Trans-Baikal Kailway to Vladi- 
vostok, i. 69 ; capacity of, 
i. 247-256 

Trans-Baikal Cossack, success 
of, ii. 153 

Triple Alliance, the, i. 46, 51, 
87, 113 

Trous de loup, i. 215, 216 

Trubetski, Prince, President of 
the Moscow nobility, corre- 
spondence with Kuropatkin, 
ii. 198-200 

Tserpitski, General, ii. 279, 280, 
290, 296, 297, 330 

Tsitsihar, capture of, i. 155, ii. 322 

Tsushima, defeat of Russian 
fleet at, i. 238-241 

Turkey, and Russia, i. 3 ; wars 
with Russia, i. 6, 81-83 ; her 
army, i. 15 ; her peace strength, 
i. 15 ; Crimean War, i. 16 ; 
war with Servia and Russia, 
i. 24 ; Plevna, i. 25 ; Russian 
loss, i. 36 ; possibility of 
trouble with Russia, i. 58 

Turkoinans, Russian expedition 
against the, i. 80-32, 85, 86 

Ujin, Colonel, his pack tele- 
phone system, ii. 143 n. 

Uniform, value of, ii. 100-103 

Units, proposed details of, ii. 
161-163 ; breakdown of, ii. 

V shako ff, Russian ironclad, 
total loss of, at Tsushuna, 

Ussm'i districts, Russian annexa- 
tion of, i. 35, 69, 200 

Vannovski, General, War 
Minister : the improvement of 
the army, i. 113 ; succeeded 
by General Kuropatkin, i. 
115 ; on the allotment of 
funds, i. 117 

Velichko, Major -General, arma" 
ment for Port Arthur, i. 128 

Viceroyaltv, establishment of 
the, "i. 187 

Vladivostok : Trans - Baikal 
Railway, i. 69 ; fortification 
of, i. 126, 148, 151, 200; 
Russian fleet at, i. 237 ; daring 
sally from, i. 239 ; garrison at, 
ii. 206 

Vogak, Major-General, council 
at Port Arthur, i. 180 

War Department (see also 
Army), problems for the 
Russian, i. 1-39 ; expansion 
of the army, and growing com- 
plications of defence problems, 
i. 78-96 ; the chief duty of the 
twentieth centui'y, i. 102-104 ; 
taken by surprise, 1. 105 ; 
estimate procedure and in- 
adequacy of funds allotted, 
i. 116-122, 138, 139; ready 
by September, 1905, i. 134 ; 
lines of communication 5,400 
miles long, i. 135 ; dual capa- 
city of Finance Minister, i. 
139 ; Manchurian and Korean 
questions, i. 145-198 ; reasons 
for the Russian reverses, i. 
229-809, ii. 1-97; measures 
for the improvement of the 
army, ii. 98-176 ; the causes 
of Russian failure summarized, 
ii. 177-204 

Wei-hai-wei, Japanese occupa- 
tion of, ii. 30 

Witgeft, Admiral, his death 
while attacking the Japanese 
fleet, i. 238 

Witte, Sergius de. Minister of 
Finance, and Dalny, i. 127, 
172 ; his dual capacity, i. 139 ; 
his influence, i. 171 ; and the 
Russo-Chinese Bank, i. 172 ; 
and the evacuation of Man- 
churia, i. 173 ; and the Royal 
Timber Company, i. 173-184, 
ii. 306-313 

Yakub Beg, death of, i. 92 
Yalu, battles on the, i. 125, 257, 



ii. 38 ; the timber concession, 
i. 169-184, ii. 306-313 ; naval 
engagement at the mouth of 
the, i. 202 

Yelloio Peril, the, a reahtj', ii. 

Yen-tai mines, battle at the, ii. 

Zarubaeff, General, i. 303 ; with- 
draws his troops towards Hai- 
cheng, ii. 225 ; the retreat 
from ]\Iukden, ii. 232, 285, 
286, 333 

Zasulitch, General, his defeat, 
ii. 38, 211, 212,225 

Zikoff, ii. 212 


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