Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

War IndexGlossaryEducational ResourcesAbout the Show
The Great War
Prologue Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Timeline Maps & Battles The Shaping of the 21st Century Historians
Historians OverviewOrlando Figes

The Tsar's General Staff
Orlando Figes
"The staff headquarters resembled more a gentlemen's club than it did a military headquarters.

"The court's relationship with the army's command is a very close one. The Tsar had appointed a number of his most loyal courtiers as senior army commanders. The general staff headquarters was filled with courtiers. After dinner, they'd have plenty of time for cigars. Most of the generals had plenty of time to write voluminous memoirs.

"And they had a really rather outdated notion of military strategy.

"They believed that the bravery of the Russian soldier would be enough to see Russia through, so they commanded vast armies of infantry to charge German artillery positions. As a result of their outdated strategy, there were hundreds of thousands of people needlessly killed. Moreover, there was a careless attitude among many of the general's staff to such losses."

Back to Top     

Home Prologue Explosion/Stalemate Total War/Slaughter Mutiny/Collapse Hatred & Hunger/War Without End

Timeline Maps & Battles Shaping of the 21st Century Historians War Index Resources About the Show
Copyright © 1996 - 2004 Community Television of Southern California. All rights reserved.