Aleksei Nikolaevich Kuropatkin

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Kuropatkin, Aleksei Nikolaevich


Born Mar. 17 (29), 1848, in Kholm District, Pskov Province; died Jan. 16, 1925, in Sheshurino, now in Toropets Raion, Kalinin Oblast. Russian military commander; general of the infantry (1901); adjutant general (1902). Son of an officer.

Kuropatkin graduated from the Pavel Military College in 1866 and from the Academy of the General Staff in 1874. Serving in Turkestan in 1866–71, 1875–77, and 1879–83, he participated in the conquest of Middle Asia. In the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, Kuropatkin was an officer on assignment for the staff of the army in the field and the chief of staff of the 16th Infantry Division. He served in the Main Staff Headquarters in 1878–79 and 1883–90. He was chief of the Transcaspian region from 1890 to 1897. Kuropatkin was minister of war from Jan. 1, 1898, to Feb. 7, 1904 (he was acting minister up to July 1, 1898). He was appointed commander of the Manchurian Army on Feb. 7, 1904. He was commander in chief of the armed forces in the Far East from Oct. 13, 1904, to Mar. 3, 1905.

Devoid of any talent as a military commander, Kuropatkin was indecisive and unable to organize the coordination of troops. After the defeat at Mukden he was relieved from his post and appointed commander of the First Manchurian Army. He became a member of the Imperial Council in 1906. Kuropatkin served in World War I (1914–18), commanding a corps (1915) and then the Fifth Army and the Northern Front (from February to July 1916). Kuropatkin was governor-general of Turkestan from July 1916 to February 1917 and directed the suppression of the Middle Asian uprising of 1916.

From May 1917 until the end of his life he lived at his former estate in Pskov Province and taught at a secondary school and an agricultural school he had founded. In 1918–19 he rejected an offer from the French ambassador to emigrate and an offer from the White Guards to join them in the fight against Soviet power. Kuropatkin wrote several works on military history and military geography.


Alzhiriia. St. Petersburg, 1877.
Kashgariia. St. Petersburg, 1879.
Lovcha, Plevna. St. Petersburg, 1885.
Zavoevanie Turkmenii. St. Petersburg, 1899.
Otchet general-ad“iutanta Kuropatkina, vols. 1–4. St. Petersburg, 1906.
Zadachi russkoi armii, vols. 1–3. (Rossiia dlia russkikh.) St. Petersburg, 1910.
“Dnevnik 1904–1906.” Krasnyi Arkhiv, 1922, no. 2; 1924, nos. 5, 7; 1925, no. 1; 1935, nos. 1–3.
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