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Russian Industrialists and the Initial Mobilization, 1914–15

  • Lewis H. Siegelbaum
Part of the St Antony’s/Macmillan Series book series

Abstract

A few days after Nazi Germany had launched its invasion of the Soviet Union, the BBC’s Overseas Transmission broadcast a talk by Sir Bernard Pares entitled ‘Democracy Marches’. Pares spoke of an earlier invasion of Russia, one which he had witnessed.

Keywords

Special Commission General Staff Russian Industry Shell Production German Army 
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Notes

  1. 7.
    In a recent study of the ‘soliders’ revolt’ in 1917, Allan Wildman has concluded that ‘one can say with reasonable confidence that the peasant-soliders entered the world war with the conviction that it was an alien enterprise, the patriotic outpourings of cultured society notwithstanding’ — Allan K. Wildman, The End of the Russian Imperial Army: The Old Army and the Soldiers’ Revolt (March-April, 1917) (Princeton, N.J., 1980) p. 374.Google Scholar
  2. 8.
    For a superb account of working conditions among Donets miners during the war, see Iu.I. Kir’ianov, Rabochie Iuga Rossii, 1914-fevral’ 1917 g. (Moscow, 1917) esp. pp. 35–7, 54–106.Google Scholar
  3. 9.
    According to factory inspectors’ reports, there were only 70 strikes in Russia in the latter half of 1914. See I.I. Mints, ‘Revoliutsionnaia bor’ba proletariata Rossii v 1914–1916 godakh’, Voprosy istorii, no. 11 (1959) p. 59.Google Scholar
  4. For the general strike in Baku see A.N. Guliev, Bakinskii proletariat v gody novogo revoliutsionnogo pod"ema (Baku, 1963) pp. 164ff.Google Scholar
  5. and the brief summary in Ronald G. Suny, The Baku Commune 1917–1918: Class and Nationality in the Russian Revolution (Princeton, N.J., 1972) pp. 52–8;Google Scholar
  6. and in Petersburg, E.E. Kruze, ‘Rabochie Peterburga v gody novogo revoliutsionnogo pod"eme’ in Istoriia rabochikh Leningrada, 2 vols (Leningrad, 1972) vol. I, pp. 449–60.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Frantsuzskii ekonomist ob ekonomicheskoe i finansovoe polozhenie Rossii, PT no. 21 (165), 1 Nov. 1914, p. 406. For original French see R.G. Levy, ‘La situation économique et financière de la Russie’, Revue des deux Mondes no. 24, 1 Nov. 1914, pp. 30–50.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    See especially I.S. Bliokh, Budushchaia voina v tekhnicheskom, ekonomicheskom, i politicheskom otnosheniiakh 5 vols (St Petersburg, 1898) vol. IV, p. 6. The author was a Polish-Jewish banker and a self-avowed pacifist.Google Scholar
  9. 19.
    A.A. Manikovskii, Boevoe snabzhenie russkoi armii v mirovuiu voinu 2nd edn, 2 vols (Moscow, 1930–2) vol. I, p. 124.Google Scholar
  10. 20.
    N. Golovine, The Russian Army in the World War (New Haven, Conn., 1931) p. 130;Google Scholar
  11. D.A. Kovalenko, Oboronnaia promyshlennost’ sovetskoi Rossii v 1918–1920 gg. (Moscow, 1970) p. 25.Google Scholar
  12. 23.
    General B. Gourko, War and Revolution in Russia, 1914–1917 (New York, 1919) p. 125.Google Scholar
  13. 25.
    Golovine, The Russian Army p. 32; E.Z. Barsukov, Podgotovka Rossii k voine v artilleriiskom otnoshenii (Moscow and Leningrad, 1926) p. 114.Google Scholar
  14. 27.
    Tarnovskii, Formirovanie p. 16. P. Karatygin, Obshchie osnovye mobilizatsii promyshlennosti (Moscow, 1925) p. 22; Golovine, The Russian Army p. 146.Google Scholar
  15. 30.
    See M. Mitel’man, B. Glebov and A. U1’ianskii, Istoriia Putilovskogo zavoda, 1801–1917, 2nd edn (Moscow and Leningrad, 1941) pp. 133–4.Google Scholar
  16. 32.
    A.N. Kuropatkin, The Russian Army and the Japanese War, trans. A.B. Lindsay (New York, 1909) p. 308.Google Scholar
  17. 33.
    R. Girault, ‘Finances internationales et relations internationales (. propos des usines Poutiloff)’, Revue d’historie moderne et contemporaine, vol. XIII (1966) p. 220.Google Scholar
  18. 34.
    See V.I. Bovykin, ‘Banki i voennaia promyshlennost’ Rossii nakanune pervoi mirovoi voiny’, IZ, vol. LXIV (1959) pp. 82–135;Google Scholar
  19. Ia. I. Livshin, Monopolii v ekonomike Rossii (Moscow, 1961) pp. 65–70.Google Scholar
  20. 35.
    On the Vickers proposal which finally came to fruition in 1916 in the form of a factory at Tsaritsyn, see E.R. Goldstein, ‘Vickers Limited and the Tsarist Regime’, Slavonic and East European Review, vol. LVIII (1980) pp. 564–70, and Sidorov, Ekonomicheskoe polozhenie, pp. 122–3, 132–3.Google Scholar
  21. 37.
    This is convincingly argued in K.F. Shatsillo, ‘O disproportsii v razvitii vooruzhennykh sil Rossii nakanune pervoi mirovoi voiny (1906–1914 gg.)’, IZ, vol. LXXXIII (1969) pp. 123–36.Google Scholar
  22. 40.
    V.A. Sukhomlinov, Vospominaniia (Berlin, 1924) p. 336.Google Scholar
  23. 41.
    A.A. Polivanov, Is dnevnikov i vospominanii po dolzhnosti voennogo ministra i ego pomoshchnika ed. A.M. Zaionchkovskii (Moscow, 1924) p. 148. According to Bruce Lockhart, the British consul in Moscow, Polivanov alleged that the Grand Duke managed to obtain a commission on all orders placed with the Putilov Works for his mistress, the notorious ballerina, Kshesinskaia. See Public Record Office (London), Foreign Office Papers, Series 371, vol. 2745, N92149: ‘Lockhart enclosed in Ohindley (for Ambassador) to Grey’, 12 Apr. 1916. Sukhomlinov makes the same accusation in Vospominaniia, p. 262.Google Scholar
  24. 42.
    For a defence of the GAU’s policies in the pre-war era, see A. Bart, ‘Na fronte artilleriiskogo snabzheniia’, Byloe, vol. V(XXXIII) (1925) pp. 188–219.Google Scholar
  25. 51.
    Ibid., pp. 253–6; for an elaborate counterfactual statement see David Lloyd George, War Memoirs 6 vols (London, 1933–8) vol. I, pp. 458–77.Google Scholar
  26. 54.
    Testimony of General Smyslovskii quoted in Manikovskii, Boevoe snabzhenie, vol. II, pp. 34–5. The Supreme Commission was appointed by the Council of Ministers in August 1915, largely in response to the crescendo of criticism over supply policies under Sukhomlinov. It was chaired by General N.P. Petrov and contained members of both legislative chambers. See Sidorov, ‘Bor’ba s krizisom vooruzheniia russkoi armii v 1915–1916 gg.’, Istoricheskii zhurnal, no. 10–11 (1944) p. 46.Google Scholar
  27. 58.
    T.D. Krupina, ‘Politicheskii krizis 1915 g. i sozdanie Osobogo soveshchaniia po oborone’, IZ, vol. LXXXIII (1969) p. 60.Google Scholar
  28. 61.
    This was in cooperation with the Commission on the Preparation of Explosives, established in February 1915. For details of the commission’s work see V.N. Ipat’ev, Zhizn’ odnogo khimika, vospominaniia, 2 vols (New York, 1945) vol. I, p. 440ff.Google Scholar
  29. 64.
    E.Z. Barsukov, ‘Grazhdanskaia promyshlennost’ v boevom snabzhenii armii’, Voina i revoliutsiia, no. 10 (1928) pp. 16–17.Google Scholar
  30. 65.
    A.P. Pogrebinskii, ‘Sindikat “Prodamet” v gody pervoi mirovoi voiny 1914–1917’, Voprosy istorii no. 10 (1958) p. 28. Golovine, in The Russian Army, p. 152 makes a similar charge with respect to metalworks enterprises. This probably refers to an investigation of the Kolomna Machine Works carried out by a group appointed by the Special Council of Defence’s Supervisory Commission. The investigators characterized Vankov’s order for 40,000 shells as ‘harmful…to the production of other no less essential items’ (see ’Doklad komissii dlia obsledovaniia deiatel’nosti Kolomenskogo, Sormovogo, i Kulebakskogo zavodov’, TsGVIA, f. 369, op. 4, d. 20, 1. 189). Manikovskii, Boevoe snabzhenie, vol. II, p. 49, holds the Special Council and the War Minister responsible for such ’one-sided development’.Google Scholar
  31. 67.
    M.V. Rodzianko, ‘Krushenie imperii’, Arkhiv rusekoi revoliutsii (hereafter ARR), vol. XVII (Berlin, 1926) p. 89.Google Scholar
  32. 70.
    B. Pares, The Fall of the Russian Monarchy (New York, 1961) p. 230. Cf. also his Day by Day with the Russian Army (London, 1915) pp. 201–34.Google Scholar
  33. 72.
    Quoted in You. Danilov, La Russie dans la guerre mondiale, 1914–1917 (Paris, 1927) p. 416.Google Scholar
  34. 78.
    The eleven were A.A. Davidov, K.P. Fedorov, N.D. Lesenko, A.P. Meller, A.P. Meshcherskii, M.S. Plotnikov, N.E. Ponafidin, A.I. Putilov, Ia.I. Utin, A.I. Vyshnegradskii and S.F. Zlokazov. None of them took part in the War-Industries Committees. For their ties with industry and finance cf. I.F. Gindin and L.E. Shepelev, ‘Bankovskie monopolii v Rossii’, IZ, vol. LXVI (1960) pp. 58–9, 62–3, 68–75;Google Scholar
  35. and V.I. Bovykin and K.F. Shatsillo, ‘Lichnye unii v tiazheloi promyshlennosti nakanune pervoi mirovoi voiny’, Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta, seriia ix, no. 1 (1962) Tables 1–9. The banks and the relevant officials are: Russian-Asian Bank–Putilov (chair.); Petrograd International Commercial Bank–Vyshnegradskii (dir.); Petrograd Private Commercial Bank–Davidov (chair.); Petrograd Savings and Loan Bank–Utin (chair.).Google Scholar
  36. In terms of their fixed assets as of Jan. 1914 the banks ranked 1, 2, 8, 9respectively (see I.F. Gindin, Russkie kommercheskie banki (Moscow, 1948) p. 381).Google Scholar
  37. 79.
    Osobyi zhurnal Soveta ministrov’ (29 May 1915), TsGIA, f. 1276, op. 11, d. 888, 1. 272 obv. Sukhomlinov’s affirmation is to be contrasted with the extremely pessimistic remarks which Putilov made to the French ambassador several days earlier. See Maurice Paleologue, An Ambassador’s Memoirs, 3 vols (London, 1923–5) vol. I, p. 349.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lewis H. Siegelbaum 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lewis H. Siegelbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.La Trobe UniversityAustralia

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