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Activities of Select committee for reforming of military education of Russia (1850-1860th years)

a. Yu. Zhuravlev


Work is presented by department of history and world politics of Northwest academy of public service.

The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor A.S. Turgayev

The fighting capacity of any army in many respects depends on quality of military education. The outcome of the Crimean campaign, unsuccessful for Russia, which strongly undermined authority of army put reorganization of a system of military schools on the agenda. The Select committee under the leadership of the grand duke Konstantin whose result of activity was a creation of the yunkersky schools called to fill up the Russian army with competent ober-officers was urged to solve this problem.

The efficiency of any army in many respects depends on the quality of military education. The unsuccessful outcome of the Crimean campaign for Russia strongly undermined the authority of the army as a whole and that of military educational institutions in particular, and put the reorganization of the military education system on the agenda. The Special committee led by the grand duke Constantine was urging to solve this problem. As a result it was the establishment of the junior military schools which were set up to provide the Russian Army with efficient and qualified officers.

The outcome of the Crimean campaign, unsuccessful for Russia, was strongly undermined by the authority of army in general and military schools in particular. V.G. von Bool noted in the memoirs: "After the Crimean campaign, as we know, our society began to be hostile with neglect and even a little to a military rank" 1.

Understanding need of reforms, the chief of staff of the Chief director of military schools Ya.I. Rostovtsev and his subordinates from among heads of military-training department nevertheless preferred a way of slow, partial transformations. At the end of 1859 Ya.I. Rostovtsev with bitterness wrote: "As there are military schools: whether it is better against former or it is worse - to judge it not my business. If they go badly, then it comes or from the reasons, from me not dependent, or from my inability, but God to me the witness, not from my unwillingness... Of course, at me there are a lot of mistakes and sins as at the person, but civil washing life with thoughts and actions it is clean: all of them result from belief" 2.

Really, new people were fated to carry out radical reorganization of military school with views other than those which were professed by Ya.I. Rostovtsev. The grand duke Mikhail Nikolaevich who occupied after his death in 1860 a post of the Chief director of military schools acted much more resolutely. He at once addressed a number of prominent soldiers and statesmen with the offer to express opinion on possible ways of improvement of a system of military education.

By the beginning of 1862 the grand duke had several projects. Naibol-

Shuya fame among them was gained by the "Note on the issue of transformation of military schools" given in February, 1862 D.A. Milyutin, which in

1860 became the assistant to the Minister of War, av 1861 - the military ministrom3. D.A. Milyutin's "note" is in detail analyzed by M.S. Lalayev, P.A. Zayonch-kovsky, L.G. Beskrovny, V.V. Izonov, A.A. Mikhaylov, etc. Therefore it is advisable to consider those its provisions which anyway influenced activity of Select committee.

According to D.A. Milyutin, modern to him cadet cases pursued two absolutely different aims: educational and charitable. As educational institutions, they were urged to prepare the qualified officer shots and as charitable - to provide children of needy officers with education and education in a board at public expense.

The damage from the charitable principle, according to D.A. Milyutin, exceeded the benefit brought to them. First, cases accepted children at rather early age when their interests and abilities were not created yet. "Meanwhile, - D.A. Milyutin emphasized, - for one occupation is not of such importance calling, warm to it, as for military craft" 4. Secondly, cadets of elementary grades owing to age could not observe military discipline consciously yet, and severe, purely external coercion made negative impact on moral qualities of pupils. "Nowadays, - it is said in "Note", - in our military schools all efforts are used,

to agree on the requirement of discipline with softness, necessary for children's age, and mildness of manner, but such task is hardly solvable: the aspiration each other opposite naturally leads to coordination of two conditions to the fact that neither that, nor another is observed in a due measure" 5.

Thirdly, D.A. Milyutin fairly specified that, being in the closed educational institution, in a boarding school, cadets could not be familiar with real army life and, therefore, had no opportunity "to receive the real practical preparation for officer duties". Therefore many commanders as it is noted in "Note", preferred to have at the order not yesterday's the cadet, and "officers from cadets, though less educated, than cadets, but more practical, got more used to conditions of military life and therefore more for service useful" 6.

Proceeding from it, D.A. Milyutin suggested to expel general education institutions from the Defense Ministry. "Education of adolescents, - the minister claimed, - it has to be made houses and in institutions civil. Institutions actually military can exist only with one purpose: to deliver scientific, vocational education to those young people who will feel in themselves calling to military service" 7.

For the solution of the last task D.A. Milyutin found it necessary to found yunkersky schools in troops and gave quite detailed draft principles of their organization and structure. To come to schools, as envisioned by the originator of "Note", could already employed the cadet which got an education of the house or in civil educational institution and "passed examination from the general sciences not below a gymnasium course". In yunkersky schools future officers were necessary to receive both theoretical, and practical military preparation. ". The podgotovleniye to an officer rank, - wrote D.A. Milya -

oozes, - has to consist in practical acquaintance of cadets with all requirements and conditions of military service at troops and at the same time, in acquisition of scientific military data, necessary for the officer." 8.

The course was planned to be established lasting 2 years, and every year the cadet within 6-7 months had to be engaged in theoretical preparation (from October to April or May), and 6 or 5 months, in the spring and in the summer, to bear "active service at troops" 9.

Upon termination of a course the cadets were necessary to take examination. After that those who intended to serve in infantry and a cavalry could be made in an officer rank, the same who elected service to artilleries and engineering troops should be sent to the relevant academies "for continuation of vocational education" 10.

Subsequently, describing preparation and giving of "Note" in memoirs, D.A. Milyutin noted that he was guided by the real situation, but at the same time understood: the sharp criticism of military schools will be unpleasant to Mikhail Nikolaevich and Alexander II. ". I considered the duty, - he remembered, - without hesitating of the personal relations, to state my opinion is frank though, certainly, in the softest forms, the least unpleasant to both the Grand Duke and the Sovereign" 11. However the grand duke did not express the relation to "Note" in any way. Very cool also the emperor treated D.A. Milyutin's proposals. "The sovereign only once, in Tsarskoye Selo, - it is said in memoirs of the minister, - concerned my note about military schools and gave me the chance though in a few words to explain him the main idea stated by me to which he listened silently" 12.

There is also a story by the anonymous author about what Alexander II allegedly told once the Minister of War: "With cadets wait, hold off, leave them, I loved them and I love; do not destroy them, do not break military schools" 13.

Nevertheless both the emperor, and the grand duke Mikhail Nikolaevich, and a number of military figures doubted an opportunity to implement D.A. Milyutin's plan not owing to blind attachment to the past but because were afraid of quite real difficulties. In particular, they believed that graduates of civil schools will not begin to aspire especially in yunkersky schools because the prestige of army is low, and the financial position of the officer is very unenviable. The designed schools could just not gather the contingent. The fact that these fears were not groundless testify as the statistical data reflecting falling of inflow of entrants to the existing military schools, and certificates of memoirists. Changes in youth ideals very precisely were reflected in the memoirs by P. Zasodimsky who wrote: "Since the beginning of the 60th years at us blew softly new spirit. The officer in our eyes lost the former charm. The student became our ideal: the student is generous, noble, courageous. Was considered to be the student honourable" 14.

In October, 1862 for preparation of the plan of reform under the chairmanship of the grand duke Mikhail Nikolaevich the Select committee was founded. Were its part: general aide-de-camps A.A. Barantsev, F.L. Gey-den and N.A. Kryzhanovsky, the chief of staff of the Chief director of military schools major general N.V. Korsakov, the member of council about military schools lieutenant general V.P. Zheltukhin, the general quartermaster of General staff lieutenant general A.I. Verigin, the director of office of the Ministry of Defence major general K.P. fon Kaufman, the chief of Educational office of the headquarters of the Chief director of military schools colonel I.A. Birilev, the chief of Officer shooting school major general P.S. Vannovsky, the chief of Konstanti-novsky military college major general P.P. Kinovich, the inspector of classes of the 2nd military school colonel G.G. Dani -

Lovech, the famous military teacher, the colonel S.A. Slutsky, the official for instructions at the Chief director of military schools the outdoor adviser E.F. Ewald, representatives of the Ministry of Public Education A.F. Postels and A.S. Voronov.

Defining tasks and the basic principles of reform, the grand duke considered it necessary "to separate the general classes from special, and to transform the device of these of the last so that the young people prepared for a military field were more precisely put in conditions of military education and active duty. To arrange the general classes on other beginnings" 15. The grand duke spoke also about desirability "to find ways to reduction... expenses on military schools in general" 16. The main disputes erupted around two questions:

1. Whether it is necessary to keep in the military a permission - a stvo general education educational institutions or to leave only giving special military preparation and to fill up them with graduates from civil schools?
2. How special military schools have to be organized? Whether they will consist at army parts or form independent department?
the Committee began with

the work with the analysis of projects of reform as made earlier, and come to its address. It is undoubted that many of these projects made not smaller impact on the reform course, than D.A. Milyutin's plan given above.

Great attention is deserved, for example, by "Note" of P.S. Vannovsky who unconditionally recognized need of office of general education educational institutions from actually military. ". Insistency of office of special classes from the general, - it is said in its "Note", - it was felt long ago, and now, even without any other reforms in the existing military schools the similar measure is so necessary that without it existence such enormous closed for -

images as cadet cases, it is hardly possible" 17.

However P.S. Vannovsky, as well as the grand duke Mikhail Nikolaevich, did not trust in a possibility of replenishment of military schools by graduates of civil schools. Therefore he suggested to divide the general and special classes of military schools into independent educational for - maintaining so that both that and others remained in the Defense Ministry. High school had to form the basis of the military colleges subordinated, however, not to command of military districts, and to a certain uniform center.

P.S. Vannovsky's note contained very severe criticism of the system of military and district yunkersky schools offered by the Minister of War D.A. Milyutin. "Connection of at the same time scientific education with active service, - he wrote, - has to prevent as a result one another" 18. According to P.S. Vannovsky, after the termination of a course of pupils of military colleges it was necessary to send to shelves with the cadet's rank, and to appropriate the first officer rank after a year of service.

Very interesting project was offered also by the general aide-de-camp Nikolay Andreevich Kryzhanovsky (1818-1888) consisting in 1857-1860 the chief of Mikhaylovsky artillery school in 1860-

1861 -the chief of staff of the 1st army suppressing revolts in Poland, and in 18611862 - the Warsaw governor general. As well as P.S. Vannovsky, N.A. Kryzhanovsky supported preservation under the authority of the Ministry of Defence of the general education educational institutions created on the basis of the general classes of military schools. He called these institutions gymnasiums of the Defense Ministry and specially emphasized that in their training programs exact objects have to prevail. Criticizing the existing cadet cases, N.A. Kryzhanovsky concentrated attention on congestion of training programs and futility of attempts to give in

limits of one institution and the general, and vocational training.

According to the plan of N.A. Kryzhanovsky, the young men who successfully ended a course of gymnasiums of the Defense Ministry could come to the yunkersky schools located in all military districts and subordinates to "the territorial administration" 19. This part of the project of N.A. Kryzhanovsky obviously reminded D.A. Milyutin's plan and contradicted P.S. Vannovsky's views.

Transfer of special training of officers to yunkersky schools with the principle of a combination of study inherent in them to army service was very resolutely opposed by the chief of Mikhaylovsky artillery school Alexander Sergeyevich Platov (1817-1891). He was a large theorist in the field of artillery, the prominent scientist and the teacher. Practically all service of A.S. Platov was connected with Mikhaylovsky artillery school and academy. In 1837, upon termination of officer classes of school, he was left there by the tutor on artillery and since then practically did not serve "in a system". In 1858 Alexander Sergeyevich became the inspector of classes of school, in 1861 - his chief. Subsequently, at the organization in 1867. Artillery academy, he headed it, remaining on a post of the chief of school and academy till 1871. It is also important to note that in 1850. A.S. Platov was appointed to teach artillery to the grand duke Nikolay Nikolaevich Starshemu, and in 1851 - to Mikhail Nikolaevich. The proximity to Romanov' family and, especially, to the Chairman of the Committee gave to his opinion special weight.

One of the main ideas of A.S. Platov was that the connection of service with troops with vocational training of officers planned in yunkersky schools will lead to underestimation of study and its weak organization. "At yunkersky schools of the direction military and practical, - he wrote, - the doctrine science will be permanently sacrificed to the doctrine

service. Cadet healthy and sturdily-build, dexterous, serviceable... will be always higher in opinion of the administration of another more capable, but less mastered in himself the military beginning.". And further: ". The administration of School, having before itself in mind urgent need in good front officers, will think only of satisfaction of this requirement and intellectual education will be only addition to education front" 20.

However, front preparation, according to A.S. Platov, will be not too quality too. The author of "Note" proved that sending of cadets to military units does not guarantee at all their acquaintance with office practice because it is impossible to impose the same requirements what are imposed to adult officers to them. "Schools, - he wrote, - will compose not true service, but another, applied to age and education of young people, this service of love for military science does not develop because will be business not of need, and business of the doctrine."; the service will turn into a game because ".16-17-year-old young men will not put for hours in 30 ° a frost, will not charge to protect prisoners and will not send to long campaigns" 21.

At last great fear in A.S. Platov was caused by the idea about full transfer of yunkersky schools to maintaining the voyennookruzhny administration. In "Note" he noted: "At the general decentralization of a military-training part, the level of military education will be lower than when it is concentrated in one department, which the only purpose development of this education and which owing to the specialty is obliged by all measures depending on it to process the case to possible perfection" 22.

To the organization of committee, in March

1862 , the extensive note about military schools was made by the lieutenant general, the count Sergey Grigoryevich Stroganov (1794-1882) who in 1860-1865 consisted the successor's tutor tsesarevi-

cha Nikolay Aleksandrovich. The Minister of Internal Affairs P.A. Valuyev very venomously wrote about Stroganov's views: "His opinions - some mix of a professorial view of education, the general view of professors noble on landowners, hopes for overcoming modern difficulties by the autocracy relying on army" 23.

It is quite clear that the plan of liquidation of military schools of sympathies did not cause in S.G. Stroganov. At the very beginning of "Note" it placed a reasoning on danger and inopportuneness of too resolute reforms. "Undoubtedly time will come, - S.G. Stroganov wrote, - closings of the general classes of military schools, but will come naturally, without the general withdrawal pains, always dangerous, especially now, at the general irritation of minds" 24. Like P.S. Vannovsky and N.A. Kry-zhanovsky, S.G. Stroganov was convinced that civil schools will not be able to fill up military schools with the due number of pupils. "Military service, - he wrote, - in itself does not represent anything especially attractive. Not to mention activity purely physical to start a career for 276 rubles which are received by the ensign and to end career at contents in 678 rubles which are received by the colonel it is not seductive" 25.

Besides, S.G. Stroganov claimed that general education training of future officers at civil schools and house conditions will hardly appear a beam - she, than in the existing "general" classes of military schools. "Small development of education, - it is said in "Note", - does education of children, even initial, in the house parental, generally speaking, impossible" 26. At last, according to S.G. Stroganov, the "charitable element" of military schools blamed by D.A. Milyutin and his supporters was the only opportunity to give to children quite good education for most of officers. "If there is demand on closed for -

maintaining, - it is said in its "Note", - so, they so far also are necessary!" 27 in conclusion of S.G. Stroganov advised by all means to keep comprehensive schools in the Defense Ministry, having made at them a number of improvements of organizational and pedagogical character and having provided them with the qualified teachers.

S.G. Stroganov's "Note" contains also the recommendation for the best oz - a nakomleniye of graduates of military schools with real official duties to send them to a system with an unter-officer rank and to make in officers through three or six mesyatsev28.

Among the persons who were actively standing up for preservation in the Defense Ministry of both special, and general education institutions there was professor of Military academy lieutenant general baron Nikolay Vasilyevich Me-dem (1796-1870). He, undoubtedly, had rich pedagogical experience: in 1826-1832 was an inspector of classes in Mikhaylovsk artillery school, then passed into Military academy where in 1833 headed department of strategy. Without interrupting service in academy, N.V. Medem since 1834 consisted at the executive director of Pazhesky and military schools. In 1851 he wrote and published work about military schools of Germany. It is interesting also that during work on the project of reorganization of military schools N.V. Medem held at the same time a post of the chairman of the St. Petersburg acceptable committee (18601862), and was the member of council of the Ministry of Internal Affairs concerning publishing (1862-1865) later. It is possible for this reason in its "Note" the special attention is paid to political aspect of reform. "Demanding with itself infusion -

chivost of destruction of military schools, - he notes, - the western journalism means to open equally free access to officer places for all classes of the people and over time to replace present spirit and views of society of officers with spirit and views more

to the corresponding aspirations of average estate" 29. N.V. Medem emphasized also that the general classes of military schools have that advantage before civil gymnasiums that give to the pets education counting on future military service.

On the contrary, complete elimination in the Defense Ministry of any general education institutions was supported by the minister of education Alexander Vasilyevich Golovnin (1821-1886). According to him, in submission the Ministry of Defence had to have only special military colleges, and to pass all comprehensive schools to the Ministry of Public Education. By A.V. Golovin's calculations on the means saved thanks to liquidation of military schools it was possible to open either 10 universities, or 150 gymnasiums, or

10 thousands of national schools. Such views, naturally, influenced also those positions which were taken by representatives of this ministry at meetings of committee. It is interesting, however, that A.S. Voronov opposed immediate transfer of military schools to the Ministry of Public Education, believing that it is not ready to accept them yet. He suggested to keep in the Defense Ministry comprehensive schools until the wide network of civil schools with the course calculated on the strengthened studying the exact sciences ("real gymnasiums") is created. "For future officer,

- it is told in its "Note", - real education and, in particular, thorough preparation in mathematical sciences is very important. Our gymnasiums, at the present device of their training course, could not prepare young people well for hearing of a special course of military sciences. Therefore before thinking of merge of the general education in gy - naziya, it is necessary to found at first sufficient number of real gymnasiums" 30.

Work of committee was continued until the end of November, 1862. The general project of reform approved in December

became its result

same year emperor. It was decided to abolish several military schools, and in the others to separate special classes from the general. The money exempted from abolition of military schools establishment of new yunkersky schools at troops and, in case of an opportunity was supposed to direct on ", a part. to give to the Ministry of Public Education for strengthening. real institutions". The separate point of the project was devoted to educational institutions which had to appear on the basis of the general classes of military schools. In them it was necessary "to change the device. according to modern requirements of a pedagogiya and to stop front classes as inappropriate to age of pupils" 31.

It is obvious that the approved project had compromise character between the extreme points of view. It provided preservation in the Defense Ministry of general education educational institutions as S.G. Stroganov and P.S. Vannovsky offered. Creation

was at the same time planned by

of network of yunkersky schools ("schools") that corresponds to D.A. Milyutin and N.A. Kryzhanovsky's plans rather. Also creation of certain educational institutions on the basis of special classes of the military schools other than yunkersky schools was planned,

about than it was told in P.S. Vannovsky and A.S. Platov's notes. Even claims of the Ministry of Public Education because a part of the means belonging to military-training department was recommended to be directed to opening of real gymnasiums were to some extent accepted. Therefore the statement of a number of modern historians is submitted absolutely incorrect that reorganization of military education was carried out in full accordance with D.A. Milyutin's plan. At the same time even in compromise option the reform encountered fierce resistance of conservative military figures who believed that the Minister of War "mows all natural warehouse of the Russian army as an old weeds" 32.

1 W.G. Von Bool. Memoirs of the teacher//Russian old times. 1904. T. 119. No. 8. Page 297.
2 M.S. Lalayev. Our military schools under the main administration of the grand duke Mikhail Nikolaevich. 1860-1863. SPb., 1898. Page 22.
3 It should be noted that D. Milyutin was an expert in the field of training of officers. He passed a way of the "corporal from noblemen" made in officers in a system and could observe shortcomings of such preparation personally. In 1835 D. Milyutin came to Military academy and brilliantly graduated from it. The further service in the Caucasus in 1839-1845 and 1856-1859 allowed to connect theoretical knowledge to fighting experience. Besides in 1845 D. Milyutin became professor of Military academy where was engaged in military geography, statistics, military history. Within three years (18451848) it managed educational office in the Headquarters of the chief director of military schools. In 1856 entered into the committee preparing the provision on yunkersky schools.
4 D.A. Milyutin. Opinion on military schools//Century of the Ministry of Defence. T. 10. Part 3. SPb., 1914. Page 191.
5 In the same place. Page 192.
6 In the same place. Page 191.
7 In the same place. Page 194.
8 In the same place.
9 In the same place.
10 In the same place.
11 D.A. Milyutin. Memoirs. 1860-1862. M, 1999. Page 318.
12 In the same place. Page 318-319.
13 A.E.K. Mikhail Ivanovich Dragomirov and military schools//Russian old times. 1908. No. 10-12. Page 39.
14 P. Zasodimsky. From memoirs. M, 1908. Page 153.
15 P.A. Zayonchkovsky. Military reforms of 1860-1870 in Russia. M, 1952. Page 228.
16 In the same place.
17 Vannovsky of P.S. Mneniye about transformation of military schools. SPb., 1863. Page 2.
18 In the same place. C.3.
19 Kryzhanovsky of N.A. Mneniye about transformation of military schools. SPb., 1862. Page 11.
20 A.S. Platov. Whether there have to be some district yunkersky schools? SPb., 1862. Page 3-4.
21 In the same place. Page 3.
22 In the same place. Page 4.
23 P.A. Valuyev. Diary of P.A. Valuyev, Minister of Internal Affairs. M, 1961. T. 1. Page 121.
24 RGVIA. T. 725. Op. 41. 70. L. 2.
25 In the same place. L. 3.
26 In the same place.
27 In the same place.
28 In the same place. L. 4.
29 Medem N.V. Mneniye about what shortcomings are found in our military schools and what measures would be useful to elimination of these shortcomings. SPb., 1863. Page 4.
30 A.S. Voronov. On the issue of transformation of military schools. SPb., 1862. Page 5.
31 The Vsepoddanneyshy report on actions of the Ministry of Defence for 1863. Status report on military schools. SPb., 1864. Page 3.
32 RGIA. T. 1100. Op. 1. 35. L. 2.
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