1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Rennenkampf, Paul

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RENNENKAMPF, PAUL (1854-1918), Russian general, was born in 1854 and entered the army in 1873. On passing out of the Academy of the General Staff in 1882, he was appointed to the General Staff. From 1895 to 1899 he commanded a regiment and in 1900 he was promoted to the rank of general. In the war with China in 1900 he distinguished himself by his resolute action when commanding a column in Manchuria. In the war with Japan 1904-5 he commanded first a Cossack division, and later large forces of all arms, and again won distinction by his energy. From 1905 to 1913 he was a corps commander and in 1913 he was appointed to command the troops of the Vilna Military District. At the beginning of military operations in Aug. 1914 he commanded the I. Army which invaded Eastern Prussia. His inaction during the battle of Tannenberg, where the neighbouring army of Samsonov was destroyed Aug. 26-29, was a bitter disappointment, and, by the masses of the people, he was even accused of treachery. Personally brave, daring in small actions, Rennenkampf, as an army commander, showed himself in the strategic sphere alternately rash and timid, owing to his inability to grasp the situation as a whole. At the beginning of 1915 he was recalled from his duties of army commander, and later, under the pressure of public indignation, he was dismissed from the service. In 1918 he was killed by the Bolsheviks.