On July 31st General Brusilov was removed from his position as Supreme Commander-in-Chief and was replaced by General KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917, who, however, did not assume control till August 5th. General Radko Dimitriev resigned command of the 12th Army, nominally on grounds of ill-health, but really because he had at last found that even his concessions were unable to keep pace with the growing demands of the men. He was succeeded by General Parski. See more
General Gheremisev was promoted to command the South-West Front.While the army was going to pieces in front, in rear there was an economic and food crisis. The demands of the workmen exceeded all bounds, the technical officials were expelled or murdered and the Government proved powerless to restore order. The peasants held back their grain, the paper currency having lost value and there being no manufactures which might induce them to part with their produce. The production on the great estates had diminished, as the owners had been expelled, and the peasant expropriators awaited a “legaltitle” before commencing to till. The railways were rapidly deteriorating. In August, 1917, 26 per cent, of the engines and 8 per cent, of the wagons were under repair as compared with 18 per cent, and 3 per cent, in August, 1916. The autocracy in the war had brought Russia very near to disaster, but the flabbiness of the Government which succeeded it did more harm to the country in four months than the autocracy accomplished in two and a half years.
On July 29th Kerensky presided at a conference at G.H.Q., which was also attended by Tereshchenko and General Alexyeev; by General Brusilov and his Chief of Staff, General Lukhomski; by Generals Ruzski and Klembovski, former and present Com- manders-in-Chief of the Northern Front; by General Denikin, then Commander-in-Chief of the Western Front; and by Savinkov, Commissary of the South-West Front. See more
General Denikin spoke out as a brave and experienced soldier, demanding the abolition of all elected committees in the army and the restoration of all authority and disciplinary power to officers. He seems to have been only half-heartedly supported by his comrades, and no definite decision was reached.
Once again, this morning, cars full of armed men at the ready, with fixed bayonets. From 2.30 to 3, there was heavy shooting on Nevsky Prospect and Liteiny Prospect. Apparently, the crowd was forcibly dispersed in front of the Tauride Palace.
The Russian offensive has surged back. Brusilov claims that the Russian army will be unable to survive the winter due to the complete state of chaos within the country and because of desertion – which will be the subject of a speech to the Constituent Assembly. See more
Nevsky Prospect was full of women driven to desperation. Today, agitated faces can be seen there. All the shops are shut, and the windows are boarded up. Yesterday there were perhaps four, perhaps forty people killed there. One thing is for certain – they wanted to arrest Kerensky at the station – his train left twenty minutes earlier.
I'm no prophet. I am only doing my duty, and the rest is not from us. But I hope that everything will work out well.
The mood at Headquarters is serious. The new High Commanding General Brusilov, immediately adopted a more than unseemly and ingratiating tone with the Mogilyov Soviet of Workers and Soldiers. Under General Alekseev, this Soviet acted cautiously and never chose to openly present any demands to Headquarters. See more
General Brusilov’s behavior immediately lent the members of the Soviet a new sense of daring, and it soon sent a mandate to High Command to adopt measures for the elimination of a “counterrevolutionary nest” at Headquarters.
Let God’s Will reign over Russia. Victory over the enemy would have saved her… I require nothing, I seek no glory for myself, but Russia must be saved. Without victory, this is almost impossible, and in the case of defeat, she may well fall to pieces, fall into full-blown anarchy.
I am not afraid of responsibility at all, I don’t have personal goals and I don’t seek fame; I have only one goal, which I want to achieve with all my soul – to save Russia from collapse, which will be unavoidable should we lose the war... I have a deep-rooted belief that we will be victorious and we will emerge from this titanic war with honour... Everything will be fine... I think.
My course of action as well as General Alekseyev’s did not correspond with the views of the Provisional Government, and a collaboration with General Brusilov was unthinkable in view of the total divide between our views… Brusilov and I lived through many trying but, more importantly, joyful days of military happiness together—unforgettable days, and now it has become difficult for me to speak with him, with this different Brusilov, who has so improvidently lost not only for himself (that’s unimportant), but also for the army, all the former charm of his name. See more
Occasionally, as he was reading his report to us, Brusilov would interrupt himself and say in agitation:
“Anton Ivanovich! So you think I don’t find it repulsive to brandish the red flag? Well, what to do? Russia is ill, the army is ill. We must heal it. And I know of no other medicine.”
The question of my significance meant more to him than I did. I declined to state my own wishes, saying I would go wherever I was told.
The new commander was given a particularly dry and cold welcome at Mogilev. Stern faces, bureaucratic phrases. The first steps taken by Brusilov were small but revealing episodes which yet further darkened our mood. See more
He ignored the honour guard of Georgievtsy, and failed to greet their valiant wounded commander, Colonel Timanovsky, and the officers, instead shaking the hands of the soldiers, the liaison agent, and the orderly, who, from the shock and unexpectedness of such a greeting, one after the other dropped the rifles they had taken for “the guard”.
I spent the next week with the left army of the group, the 8th, in Bukovina. General Kaledin had proved too honest to give way to all the demands of the army committee and had been in consequence removed by General Brusilov. See more
His successor, General Kornilov, had only arrived on May 25th. The general opinion was that the spirit of the army was improving. A patriotic captain of the General Staff, Nyejintsev, was busy trying to organise a storm battalion of volunteers who promised to try to live without politics and “ meetings,” and who " agreed to attack when ordered,” and the idea was to raise eventually one of such battalions in each division, ” to show the way to the other units.”
The idea was good, but what was wanted was rather something behind to drive bad units forward. The time for influence by example had passed.
A telegram came in the night announcing the dismissal of General Alekseyev from his post, with an appointment at the disposal of the Provisional Government, and his replacement with General Brusilov. The commander-in-chief, who was asleep, was woken by the quartermaster general and handed the telegram. See more
The old chief was shaken to the core, and tears came to his eyes. So for the time being, he is leaving the limelight, a very important statesman and military leader among whose virtues (or faults) was an unswerving devotion to the Provisional Government
I arrived at Кamenets-Podolsk on Sunday, June 3rd, and spent a month in the nth, 7th and 8th Armies. General Brusilov was promoted to succeed General Alexyeev as Supreme Commander-in-Chief, and left the South-West Front for his new post on June 6th, with three princes, his personal Staff. French officers considered it a fatal mistake to remove the only man who might have induced the troops to attack just as the hour tor the final effort arrived. See more
General Brusilov himself said that he had told Iverenski that if he had decided to transfer him, the transfer should have been made before. “ However,” he added, “ as my name is synonymous with the offensive, my new appointment will have automatically an encouraging effect on the leading on all the fronts.
Soldiers, officers, generals and officials of the Southern-Western Army during a meeting decided to bring to the attention of the Provisional Government their deep conviction that the first capital of the Russian land should be the place of convocation of the Constituent Assembly. Moscow is consecrated in the people’s consciousness through the most important acts of our national history; Moscow is originally Russian and infinitely dear to the Russian heart. See more
To convene the Constituent Assembly in Petrograd, in this city, which in its official and international character was always alien to Russian life, would be an illogical and unnatural gesture, contrary to all the aspirations of the Russian people. I wholeheartedly join this resolution and declare, as a Russian citizen, that I consider the Petersburg period of Russian history at an end.
I received a fine letter from my darling wife yesterday - uplifting and comforting. My boys are carrying themselves with dignity: the elder refuses point blank to wear a red ribbon, and the younger objected to the removal of the Tsar’s portrait. In a word, they are accounting for themselves with more nobility and discipline than your Ruzskys, Bursilovs, Voyeikovs or most of the grand dukes.