On how the expansion of the elite led to the defeat of the Russian Empire

At the reign of Alexander III, the Russian Empire had the most powerful army on the planet. Implementation of the shipbuilding programs means that empire, defeated in the Crimean War (1853-1856), received the third on the power of the world's fleet after fleet of Britain and France.

And this power could not defeat Japan, which was "discovered" in the 1854 South American warships, battleships and cruisers which were built by the British and American shipyards, most of the field and naval artillery purchased abroad. Army trained overseas spices, rifles were also not his. A country that did not have a highly developed industry.

What happened?

The main reason — it's the degeneration of military and political elite of Russian empire. Gone are the days of Peter the Great and Suvorov, when the nobles were forced to serve in the navy and the army by ordinary soldiers and sailors, driving in Barchukov "science to win."

The nobility, which was a huge part of the administrative and military bodies of the country, it is degraded. Opportunity not to serve the country, and all my life "to peel thumbs", immediately become officers without combat experience, to live contentedly, is not enough for that response, led to a "shambles in the minds."

Some examples of the highest heroism and military art (for example: a feat Admiral Nakhimov, Kornilov, Istomin — in the besieged Sevastopol) only smoothed the total weight of mediocrity and incompetence. There was an unlimited number of opportunists, careerists besprintsipialnyh, fast clambering up the career ladder. In the end, it all led to a series of military defeats and the death of the empire.

That's why was lost Crimean war, tightened Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878., played Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905.

By the early 20th century in the highest range of military and municipal managers were, in the main, mediocrity, at best, excellent performers, people like Admiral Makarov, was one.

The situation would be corrected several professional and proactive favorite country, type of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Stalin, who was able to force the administrative body "move" as needed "would be poured freshest blood." But the empire was not lucky — the king was Nicholas II, who certainly a good man as a father, husband. But as the leader and the favorite of the empire he was unfit.

Nicholas engaged in municipal affairs than 2-3 hours a day, and from the governor, who wanted to preserve and enhance the legacy Protz it required a tremendous performance. Thus, Stalin, Churchill, Catherine 2nd worked 10-12 hours a day, it is commonplace in days when there was no crisis. A huge part of their time spent in the Nicholas Palace in Peterhof, Tsarskoe Selo, a lot of time in his own beloved Livadia, hunted, rode on a yacht.

The Romanov dynasty also did not deny to themselves the pleasures and joys — balls, hunting, Paris, Lazureviy saved. For example: the head of the artillery of the Russian Army General feldtseyhmeyster majestic Prince Mikhail Nikolaevich since 1882, according to December 1909 was in Paris or on the azure coast, the empire came there only for "compelling" reasons — huge prazdnichkom, marriage, funerals. Inspector-General of Artillery stately Duke Sergei Mikhailovich, principal chief of the Russian Navy and the Navy Department General Admiral stately Duke Alexei Alexandrovich also spent most of the time in France, if in.

In 1903, Nicholas general made a "state within a state" — governorship in the Far East, subordinating it bestalantnomu "Admiral" Evgeny Alekseev. According to a certain data it illegitimate son of the ruler of Alexander II. In governorships he owned boundless power is entrusted to the command of the naval forces in the Pacific, and all placed in the assigned territory troops, management diplomatic intercourse for Far Eastern regions with adjacent states, the highest authority in all parts of the civilian administration in the province, the supreme care of order and security in places, consisting in the use of CEL. With this step, Nicholas disorganized both military and civilian administration in the Far East. But a lot of benefits received any "business" type Abaza and Bezobrazoff.

Battleship "Crown Prince" at Port Arthur in 1904 year.

Military insanity

— Obukhov plant in 1894 produced the best ship in the world 305-mm gun with a barrel length of 40 calibres. But the admiral carried out military exercises with shooting on the range of only 4 kilometers. Even the firing tables were forbidden to be less than 60 cables, in other words, 11 km away. Only in the Red Army began to peel from the same guns of old shells for 25 km, and the standard shells in 1928 — at 30 km.

— From our new guns admirals and generals were ordered to conduct fire shells filled with gunpowder and metal better, they're cheaper than rail. How unfortunate it did not sound at full charge of combat shooting cast iron shells were exploding in escaping from the barrel, and even worse — in the barrel. In peace-time of the new guns fired half (practical) charge. And the residents of the country of the rising sun in such foolishness are not obsessed, thrashed with far distances, and even a full charge, plus stuffed shells "chemosis" (trinitrophenol) with explosive effect is several times higher than that of the Russian gunpowder.

— A number of admirals "thought" about the boarding enemy ships, because all the battleships were equipped with battering rams, countless ships were equipped with torpedo tubes, and this despite the fact that the range of the torpedo in 1904 did not exceed 500-600 m (that is, until the ship will try to come to the enemy at a distance of a torpedo salvo — the ship is shot). On Mars, specially set 37-mm and 47-mm guns so that in the field of fire came own deck "in the event of boarding." In addition to the battleships possessed 1-2 steam boats mine. All this taken together is very burdened ship, plus sought a 10-s sailors subservient.

For example: the prince's "Aurora" had eight 152-mm guns and 34 mm cannons 75-37, to the First World War got rid of the small-caliber guns. This allowed almost twice the firepower of the cruiser increment, set fourteen 152 mm guns.

— In 1887, inventor Hiram Maxim brought into the empire 11.43-mm machine gun and a 37-mm automatic cannon. Their experienced, the results were good. In the 90 years of the Russian gunsmiths have mastered their creation, Obukhov factory made an experimental batch of 37-mm automatic cannon and even a standard 47-mm automatic cannon. Experienced in the Army and Navy experienced party, but because of the high rate of fire (!) Have decided to abandon their serial production. Exceptionally in 1915 Obukhov factory allowed to run them in series.

— 7,62-11,43 mm machine guns in general do not know where to adjust, at first wanted to give back to the fortress, which wrote off an old gun, and later decided to introduce them to the field of troops and weapons on this occasion put the "max" on a large carriage with wheels bolshennymi — such polupushka-polupulemet. In the Russian-Japanese authorities were not smart enough to set "Maxims" on trolleys (carts), it will make in the civilian war N. Makhno and Voroshilov.

— There was no effective field artillery, in the late 19th century, the French military "planted" our generals "brilliant" idea — the theory of the Trinity — one gauge, one gun
, one shell. Ultimately, by 1904 to field troops serially performed only one 76-mm cannon standard in 1900, and her weapons were only ammo type 1 — shrapnel. Neither howitzers or mortars, or other instruments of the Russian army did not have, except for old, who starred with the weapons systems of reference 1877. So Makar, keep hanging fire was just nothing. Shrapnel, effective at shooting on marching columns of troops advancing infantry chains, was worthless against the manpower in the trenches or other shelters.

— The Russian infantry rifles were only the standard 1891 and revolvers of the "revolver", regimental artillery was not. 76-mm guns were exclusively artillery brigades, which in time of peace existed independently of infantry or cavalry divisions and gave them only in times of war. Do not give the infantry and machine guns. Guns handed gunners, not even thinking of the tactical and technical characteristics, range 76-mm cannon — 6-8 km, and the "maxim" — 800-1000 m

— The government and the military leadership, aware of the military preparations of the land of the rising sun, not only failed to January 1904 to concentrate enough troops in Manchuria, and even did not wish to store the weapons in the event of transfer of reinforcements to the Far East. And because of this depended on the final war if Russian empire produced sufficient force, creating what would be able to prevent the landing of Japanese army in Korea and China and do not give block Port Arthur. In the West, there was no danger of the empire — an alliance with France, with Germany the case was different, it was possible to transfer significant powers in advance to the East.

— Before the war was not completed Transib, he remained a one-way street that dramatically worsened the ability to move troops, weapons, ammunition, medicines already in the process of war. Steel road around Lake Baikal has not been completed, the trains from the 1st to the other shore of the lake melted in the summer ferries in winter on the ice. The capacity of the Trans-Siberian steel road first war — it 4-6 trains per day. Railway train comprising 24 two-axle wagons were coming from the European part of the empire to the theater of operations for a month, while the supply base of the Japanese army was in a 3-way for days at sea.

— Nicholas said that he will transfer from the West nor of the 1st fighter. It was a very "smart" logic sought to transfer to the East over cooked parts — Guard and parts of the West. But they were more fundamental things — to protect the ruler with the imperial house, and someone else in the parades, it will be involved? Because the East were mobilized to send a personal mobilizations instead of one, in the vicinity of the eastern empire. As a rule they were mature men who beheld Mosin rifle for the first time in my life. They were given guns located in the west of the parts.

— Management of the empire did not use the opportunity to cruise the war against the Japanese island empire. So, in 1902, of its own raw materials iron ore, Japan was able to smelt 240 tons of pig iron and was producing only 10 million liters. oil. The need for land of the rising sun in the same year amounted to 1,850 tons of pig iron and 236 million liters. oil. Japan — it's 10's islands with a large coastal line, most of the principal Japanese cities located on the coast, in a distance of 152/45-mm guns. The population of the country is heavily dependent on fishing.

A Russian Empire after the defeat in the Crimean War, was preparing for war against cruising "Mistress of the Seas" — England. Built for cruising the war special armored cruisers, created Voluntary Fleet — in peacetime its ships to transport cargo and passengers, and in the event of war were to be used as an auxiliary cruiser (Raiders), disrupting enemy supply by sea. By the end of 1903 as part of the Volunteer Navy, there were 74 ship with a displacement of 900 to 15 000 tonnes. They need to add a passenger vessels purchased in Germany and other countries and addressed to the auxiliary cruiser. For cruising the war could use an old battleships "Nicholas I», «Alexander II» and 5 new armored cruisers. If Russian admirals organized cruising war-pirate raids on the Japanese sea communications, the bombing of Japanese cities and villages, the seizure of fishing schooners, setting min in Japanese cities and the coast, the maximum of six months to Japan surrendered. For example, such actions led the Russian Black Sea Fleet in the First World War, and quite successfully.

But Nicholas did not have the will of Stalin and was horrified, because the European public will understand. London does not approve.

1st rank cruiser "Aurora" on the roads of Manila after the battle of Tsushima.

Missed opportunity of a strategic alliance with Germany

Kaiser Wilhelm at the outset of the war assured own cousin Nicholas that Germany supports Russia.

Began to emerge of military-technical cooperation 2-empires, which could lead, with the foresight of St. Petersburg, a strategic alliance. Germany gave the Russian Federation 50 May 12-cm howitzers and multiple 10-s 7.5-cm Krupp guns. The company Krupp gave a small Russian Navy submarine "Trout". In the German Empire began to secretly build a 3-medium submarines and 20 destroyers for the Russian Federation (for conspiracy in the documents they were called "steam yacht"). Germany sold us the different types of torpedoes, marine and coastal radio stations Office "Telefunken", 4 passenger steamer, converted into auxiliary cruisers "Kuban", "Don", "Terek" and "Rus".

German coal transports and tugs assisted the Pacific Squadron admirals Rozhdestvensky and Nebogatov pass from the Baltic to the Far East. In this case, the German tug "Roland" with the German crew, for conspiracy renamed "Rus" was sunk by a Japanese cruiser in the Tsushima battle.

So could start fighting brotherhood Germans and Russian, Russian and German empires, but did not realize Petersburg clear hints of Berlin and continued the disastrous course of the alliance with Paris and London.

In the end, after the mass mistakes and defeats that could have been avoided by the Russian Army "accustomed" and was ready to attack, Tokyo could not continue the war — the treasury was empty, the troops have lost their offensive outburst, Petersburg accepted the Anglo-Saxons on the negotiations and in the world .

Battleship "Borodino".

Patrons Medal of Port Arthur in 1904

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