1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Sukhomlinov, Vladimir

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SUKHOMLINOV, VLADIMIR (1848-), Russian general and war minister, was born in 1848. He passed through the cavalry school in St. Petersburg, and in 1867 was given a commission in the Guard Ulans. He graduated from the Academy of the General Staff in 1874. He took part in the war with Turkey in 1877-8 as an officer of the general staff, and was awarded the St. George Cross of the fourth degree. From 1884 to 1886 he commanded a dragoon regiment and from 1886 to 1897 he was the head of the officers' cavalry school in St. Petersburg, having meantime in 1890 been promoted to the rank of general. His next appointment was as commander of the 10th Cavalry Division. In 1899, while commanding the troops of the Kiev military district, Gen. Dragomirov appointed him as his chief-of-staff and later as his assistant. His close connexion with Gen. Dragomirov, who enjoyed enormous prestige in the Russian army, ensured Sukhomlinov's future career. After the death of Dragomirov, he was appointed commander in Kiev.

From 1909 to 1916 he was Russian war minister, and it was under him that two Russian orders for mobilization were given at the outbreak of the World War. Self-confident and ambitious Sukhomlinov played a disastrous rôle in the administration of the Russian army. Notwithstanding the discovery, even in Oct. 1914, that there was an insufficiency of shells, rifles and cartridges, he assured the Duma that everything was all right. It was only in 1916, under strong pressure of public opinion, that the Tsar Nicholas II. dismissed him from office. Finally he was brought up for trial on a charge of treason. The court found him guilty of offences in office, and he was sentenced to penal servitude. Later Sukhomlinov was freed by an amnesty granted by the Bolsheviks and went to Finland. In 1921 he began the publication of his memoirs. (N. N. G.)