Vasili Gurko - Encyclopedia




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"VASILI GURKO (1864-), Russian general, was born in 1864. He was educated in the Corps of Pages, and in 1885 was given a commission in the Grodno Hussar Regiment. On finishing his course at the Academy of the General Staff, he was appointed a general staff officer. During the S. African War of1899-1902he was one of the foreign military attaches on the Boer side. In the war with Japan 1904-5 he commanded a cavalry brigade and also served on the general staff. He distinguished himself and was promoted to the rank of general. Later he presided over the military-historic commission which in 1911 published "An account of the Russo-Japanese War" in seven volumes. In 1911 he was the chief of the 1st Cavalry div., with which in Aug. 1914 he advanced into Eastern Prussia. In 1915 he was the commander of the VI. Corps. His pronounced gifts and energy ensured his promotion. In 1916 he was commander of an army, and at the end of 1916, during Gen. Alexeiev's illness, he fulfilled the duties of chief of staff to the supreme commander-in-chief. Later, after the revolution, he was deprived of his appointment as commander-in-chief by Kerensky, owing both to his objections to risking an offensive with the army in its then condition of ferment and to his outspoken opinions as to the causes of this condition. Gurko was imprisoned, released, imprisoned again and finally sent out of Russia by '"y of Archangel, with his wife, who at once volunteered for krvice with the French Red Cross. She was killed in action at a dressing-station on the front on March 23 1918. General Gurko published his war memories (English edition) in 1918.

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