Milyutin transformation: an enlightening experience – Part IV

Mahmut Gareev , Anatoly Kulikov , Dmitry Yazov
Military-Industrial Courier
Published in issue number 49 (415) for December 14, 2011

"MIC" completes the publication of the reports and statements made by military leaders held at Club Russian scientific-practical conference "On the 150th anniversary of the military reform Lopatkin Milutin and its significance for the modern military building."

No one and nothing need to idealize

Including Milutin and military reforms – under Alexander II and the current

I recall that in the second half of the XIX century there were massive armies of millions. They were needed in the war, but in peacetime, no State could not contain them. Required mobilization component that would complement the staff of the armies during the war. And then there was a need in the military districts that deal with this matter.

Meanwhile, at the time not just military districts created. Changed the Governor, they Tsar Alexander II the relevant decrees, manifestos put a number of duties to prepare for the defense of territory, population and so on. And the conclusion is that reform can not be undertaken in isolation but the army or navy. Reforms must be implemented on a national scale and in all, saying today’s language, security agencies, which are involved in the defense of the country. Isolation from each other do not.

What were the intent, purpose and significance of the reform Milutin, is detailed in the reports were presented, I will not repeat. But recognizing the fact that it was possible to realize Lopatkin, noting the positive aspects made it, do not fall into euphoria. I think that just for the sake of truth and scientific credibility of what we want to examine critically the results of the reform of the Russian army in 1860-1870’s.

Of course, the past, but do not forget how to end the Russian-Japanese War and who was victorious. But this in fact was the first serious test of Russia’s military organization after an armed confrontation with Turkey in 1877-1878, respectively. Why it happened, why our country is defeated? Of course, the reason for it not only remains unfinished Milyutinskaya reform. Reform, one has to conduct a national scale, plus they can be successful, if put into practice with the support of the people, the majority of society. If you do not have this support, no reform can be.

No need to idealize. And Milutin should not be an exception. Here, for instance, wrote of him known military historian Anton Kersnovskaya "Disciple private civil guesthouse and Moscow University, he, with military intelligence, the military had no soul, the heart of the military, drill stems. Telling them of the Russian army noncombatant way not brought her happiness."

Ideal can not get service with a few exceptions no one. But still, the whole problem of reform at all times was that broke what was done in the upper echelon and below. Referring to the biography Milutin he graduated, he went to an artillery brigade, was the primary military rank "Ensign", then served in the General Staff, the corps headquarters, the chief of the General Staff of the Caucasian troops. But he did not command any company, or battalion or regiment.

In this respect there is a similarity with the biography of Marshal Ogarkov. I have great respect for him, it was a talented man, but he had the same trouble as in Milutin, because he’s in the upper echelon are well understood, but did not know the life of troops below. However, if you are not a company or a battalion or regiment did not command, and it is impossible to know. Of course, these gaps can occur in the career military commander, but then you have to keep people from carrying troops to complement you, not to appoint someone who was too far away from them, but from the people of the Decembrists.

Recently created a team of permanent readiness. Immediately gave the order – on Saturday and Sunday are forced to dismiss all that they differed in their homes. But that’s somewhere in Blagoveshchensk suddenly attacked the Chinese, on Saturday and Sunday you will not find anybody. I’m not saying I do not need a humanization of military service, to the extent necessary and to the extent possible, this should be done. But then you have to in the regulations as the Americans, set the percentage to be on duty. By the way, Americans are paying money to officers and sergeants, who at the weekend to continue in service.

That is, the decisions taken at the top themselves may be right, but they lose their value if not backed up by deeds of life in the lower tier.

There was a change in the logistics, outsourcing is implemented. However, it is obvious that no civilians will serve the troops if war breaks out. They say: "We have to clothe epaulets." How are you going to wear? Pass laws that are on the first day of the war encouraged. But if these solutions are not supported by the top of rules, regulations and laws that relate to the citizen, his military service, this all can not be enforced.

Mahmut Gareev , army general, president of the Academy of Military Sciences

It’s time to turn to the Supreme Commander

Because the Defense objection into account no one takes

No one denied Lenin when he said: ‘War were half-isolated from the people caste. Wars are now the nations. " Interestingly, as in Russia today can create an army of all the people to defend the country?

Milutin when divided Russia into military districts, meant above all war, so as to form a strong army in case of war. In the time Milutin was war in the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Turkey fought everywhere you had to create the command. Was already chief – himself emperor. Now we have a chief, but no army. Division abolished, dismantled shelves, what’s left? Battalions and brigades. And then what? That, from one brigade will be the army?

And how the mobilization work? Imagine, now on our Far East together with Yakutia and Transbaikal population of about eight million people. Is it possible for a total / partial mobilization to manage the resources that are in the Far East? Probably not. It is necessary to receive military service and staffing from other regions. In particular, from Siberia. How will this happen?

Four military regions for a large country, of course, is not enough. I think this is a mistake.

The second point about education. Schools should command the one who understands something about this business. And now we hear that the Department of Defense? "Academy – is a myth, it’s stupid, do not need the Academy." Like, was the primary officer military education courses and then – and all.

However, each academy is not only engaged in training students, she worked to develop the theory, regulations and operations. Who developed a deep operation? Academy of the General Staff. Who’s new regulations developed in the war? Academy. Who BUP-42 after Stalingrad operation developed? Frunze Academy and other academies. It can not be now one academy, which is only concerned with one question. Who, for example, will teach commanders pilots coordinated operations with ground forces, with other species and genera of the Armed Forces? How can you eliminate the academy? And what kind of courses will be then – artillery, engineers, tank? But who will organize the interaction?

All our objections into account no one took. Very bad and that everything that has been said here, do not hear the leaders of the Ministry of Defence. No, unfortunately, at the conference’s representatives. I think also that we will do just empty talk, if we do not invite to his deputies to the State Duma.

Milutin survived five emperors – born under Alexander I, he served under Nicholas I and Alexander II, at the beginning of the reign of Alexander III resigned, which remained until his death of Nicholas II. And he was able to work out a system of national defense, national defense, that it is almost satisfied all rulers. And we are starting only with the post-war period, how many of these had reorganizations and reforms as cuts, how many sets, and again cuts.

Milutin at the regiment may have been five or six military specialties. Now the division about a thousand. Who and where will train soldiers, possession? On these courses? A lot of unknown today in the organization of the army. I think that our conversation here, if someone adds all carefully and report the Minister of Defense, may be, and will be of any use. And best of all, perhaps, summarize and report to the president – the commander in chief.

Dmitry Yazov , Marshal

Why are we beating the alarm?

Closing address by the President of the Russian Federation of the club captains

I think that the issue that we discussed exhaustively covered and the purpose of the conference was still achieved. We first must have a scientifically examined the role of the Minister of War Lopatkin Milutin and his conducting of military reform, which was subsequently and is of great importance today, and confirmed speakers.

Of course, it is obvious that this was an outstanding, outstanding people. He was able to in-depth analysis to understand not only what is needed military reform, but that it should be based on a profound reform of the entire state power structure, including the abolition of serfdom.

I would also note that not present Russia’s Defense Ministry has conceived the ongoing transformation. For example, Anatoly Kvashnin, while serving as chief of staff, is also planning to abolish the district, creating a strategic direction. What is the direction? Point A to point B? This is not the territory. In fact, even today, many do not understand, including the top of the military district – a military-administrative division of the country. And in this area are the formations and units of the Armed Forces and the Internal Troops, Border Guards, Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Emergency Situations. Now, we insist on it, I’m on the Security Council, Boris Yeltsin said that we should have a common graduation, one division of the military districts. There should be no border military districts, the Interior Troops. There must be one, for example, the North Caucasus Military District. And then – the border troops of the North Caucasus Military District, Internal troops of the North Caucasus Military District, the Armed Forces of the North Caucasus Military District. Because the military district – the main union at war time and in its territory if hostilities are, the whole fullness of administrative power to the commander of the military district. Here it should be based.

I’m not talking about the mobilization component. The economy is not ready for this, and the availability of trained human resources mobilization is already in question. Who is engaged in this business? At a meeting with the chief of the General Staff of two years ago Dmitry Yazov asked: "And who fixed the strength of the Armed Forces in a million people? ‘. And he replied: "And we and demographics do not allow to have more." Yes, demographics – a very important factor, but not the principal. The main factor – assessment of the enemy, threat assessment. What it will be, what will be the conflict? This question is no one today can answer. What is the maximum size of the Armed Forces in time of war? On this question, again no one can not answer. That’s the trouble. And would love to be heard.

We are with you taught in academies and schools, taking decisions based on the situation from the situation that prevailed at this minute. That’s how we would today not abused reform of the Armed Forces, what happened has happened. Sounded so, in my opinion, very right offer – perfect for a thorough analysis of reform that can be based on it had something to offer. By the way, I think it has something to offer and of the speeches at the conference. We did.

And the last. This panel did not want to offend anyone. They just become more aware than anyone else, understand what is happening and what can happen. The price for the mistakes in military construction is very high, that’s the trouble. That this price was not high, so as not to pay for the mistakes a lot of blood, of course we should be alarmed.

Anatoly Kulikov , General of the Army

Translation by Ralph Davis. See the original in Russian:

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