Ninety years ago, in May to September 1916, Russian troops carried out a major operation of World War I (1914 - 1918) - the offensive of the Southwestern Front.
It went down in the annals of warfare as the Brusilov Breakthrough-named so after General Brusilov, the commander. An epic event even on the scale of world history. The general, who closed his days eighty years ago, was a man of extraordinary abilities, great dedication and sense of duty.
Coat of arms of the Brusilovs.
General Brusilov during the First World War. 1915.
Alexei Brusilov was of noble descent: many of his kin threw in their lot with the armed forces. His father (Alexei Brusilov, Senior) took part in the Patriotic War waged by Russia in 1812 against Napoleon, and was with the expeditionary corps of Russian troops in Western Europe during the 1812 - 1814 campaigns. Decorated for valor, he ended his career in the rank of lieutenant-general. For a time he saw service in Tiflis (Tbilisi, the capital of the Republic of Georgia), and that's where, in 1853, a son was born to him, the hero of our story.
Alexei lost his parents at an early age (his father died in 1859, and his mother died a few months later) and was reared in his aunt's family. At age 14 he passed entrance examinations and was enlisted in Fourth Grade of the St. Petersburg-based Corps of Pages, the prestige military academy in Russia then. The young cadet got a versatile education there, something that left a tangible impress on his personality. He revealed a bent for military disciplines where he applied himself with much diligence, showing a marked preference for horsemanship and equestrian skills rather than drill. Upon graduation Alexei Brusilov, Jr., was posted to the First Squadron of the Tver Dragoons stationed in Transcaucasia. The young ensign made the grade as platoon commander and developed good personal rapport with his men, an asset that benefited him a good deal ... Читать далее