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The Russian Army in the First World War (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives

Military Photographic Books WWI > Photographic Books

By Nik Cornish
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 144
ISBN: 9781848847521
Published: 2nd April 2014



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For 100 years little attention has been paid to the Russian army that fought the Germans and the Austro-Hungarians in the First World War on the Eastern Front. Yet the Tsar's army played a critical part in the global conflict and was engaged in a sequence of shattering campaigns that were waged on a massive scale on several fronts across eastern Europe.

Nik Cornish, in this heavily illustrated account, seeks to set the record straight. In a selection of almost 200 archive photographs he gives a graphic impression of the Russian army of the time, of the soldiers and commanders, and of the conditions in which they fought. He describes the key stages in the struggle - the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes, the Przemysl siege, the Gorlice-Tarnow and Brusilov offensives and the Romanian and Turkish campaigns.

His book is a fascinating photographic record of the army under the Tsar Nicholas II, then under the Provisional Government and the Bolshevik rule that succeeded him. The impact of the Russian revolution is also revealed in the photographs which take the story through from the initial outbreaks of discontent and the abdication of the Tsar to Lenin's take-over and the end of Russia's war - and of the imperial army – in 1917.

The Russian Army in the First World War aims to present the military history of the First World War from a Russian perspective in a way that is
captivating and straightforward, alive with several illustrations. It seeks to uncover the mystery surrounds WWI operations, including a thorough study of events surrounding the Battle of Tannenberg, the Russian Revolutions of
1917, and the Russian Civil War. The images provided in this text are drawn from Russian archives and the states of the former USSR.


Easily one of the best books on the Russian Army in the Great War, its photographs give it a liveliness and edge few text-only books could have. Highly recommended, and hopefully we’ll see more books relating to this subject in the coming years.


The announcement earlier this year that Russia will recognise the sacrifice of ordinary soldiers in the Great War as part of the centenary has put the often forgotten role of the Imperial Russian Army back into the headlines. Russia was Germany’s great fear before the conflict and there are few books in English. This excellent account from a well known expert on the subject brings together much useful and fascinating information as well as a host of photographs, many of them not seen before. A superb book on what is a little known subject but deserves to be – and this account fills a massive gap in our popular knowledge. Highly recommended.

WW1 Centenary

About Nik Cornish

Nik Cornish is a former head teacher whose passionate interest in the world wars on the Eastern Front and in Russia’s military history in particular has led to a series of important books on the subject including Images of Kursk, Stalingrad: Victory on the Volga, Berlin: Victory in Europe, Partisan Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1944 and The Russian Revolution: World War to Civil War 1917-1921.

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