Brusilov, Aleksei Alekseevich
Born Aug. 19 (31), 1853, in Tiflis; died Mar. 17, 1926, in Moscow. Russian general of cavalry (1912), Soviet military figure. Born into the family of a general.
Brusilov graduated from the Corps of Pages in 1872. He served in the Caucasus in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78. From 1906 he commanded a cavalry division, and later he commanded the XII Army Corps. In 1912-13 he was assistant commander of the troops of the Warsaw military district. In the beginning of World War I (1914-18), he commanded the Eighth Army, and from March 1916 he commanded the Southwestern Front, where the armies made a brilliant breakthrough in the Austro-German front. The thorough preparation of the operation and the successful direction of the troops once the operation was under way earned Brusilov a place among the best military commanders of World War I. From May 22 (June 4) to July 19 (Aug. 1), 1917, he was commander in chief; he took all measures to continue the imperialist war, and at the insistence of A. F. Kerensky he signed an order introducing capital punishment on the front to repress the revolutionary struggle of the masses of soldiers. After the collapse of the June offensive of 1917 he was replaced by L. G. Kornilov and appointed a special adviser of the Provisional Government. From the October Revolution to 1920 he did not occupy service posts, but he rejected White Guards’ proposals that he join them and lead the counterrevolution. On May 2, 1920, by decree of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic, he was made chairman of the Special Conference under the commander in chief; a number of former generals staffed this conference. On May 30 the conference addressed an appeal to former officers to come to the defense of Soviet Russia against the aggression of bourgeois-landowner Poland. Afterward, Brusilov served in the central apparat of the Red Army. In 1923-24 he was inspector of cavalry, and in 1924 he was entrusted with particularly important tasks within the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR. He wrote memoirs, My Recollections (1929; published in English as A Soldier’s Notebook).