Dmitrii Miliutin

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Miliutin, Dmitrii Alekseevich


Born June 28 (July 10), 1816, in Moscow; died Jan. 25 (Feb. 7), 1912, in Simeiz. Russian statesman and military figure; field marshal (1898); count (from 1878). Born into a poor dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry) family.

Miliutin entered military service after graduating from the Nobility Boarding School of Moscow University in 1833. Upon graduating from the Military Academy in 1836, he served on the General Staff and then, from 1839 to 1845, in units of the Caucasian Line and the Black Sea Region, becoming chief quartermaster in 1843. In 1845–56, Miliutin was a professor at the Military Academy, holding the chair of military geography and then of military statistics. In 1856 he was appointed a member of the commission “for improvements in the military,” where he submitted a memorandum on the radical reorganization of the army. He was chief of the Main headquarters of the Caucasian Army from 1856 to 1859. Miliutin was deputy minister of war in 1860 and minister of war from late 1861. In this post he carried out several bourgeois military reforms in the 1860’s and 1870’s toward transforming the Russian Army into a modern mass army.

Miliutin’s political views can be characterized as moderate liberalism. He turned the organ of the Ministry of War, the newspaper Russkii invalid, into a liberal political newspaper that advocated bourgeois reforms. Miliutin himself urged the granting of concessions to the peasants on the land question in order to influence them to support the government. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, after the failure of the third assault on Plevna, he spoke out forcefully against a retreat, and the siege of Plevna was organized upon his insistence. Miliutin was virtually in charge of Russian foreign policy after the Berlin Congress of 1878. In the early reign of Alexander III he fought together with M. T. Loris-Melikov and A. A. Abaza against the reactionary groupings headed by K. P. Pobedonostsev.

Miliutin retired in 1881 and spent the rest of his life on his estate in Simeiz. He was a member of the State Council and an honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and of many military academies. The vast Miliutin archive is kept in the manuscript department of the V. I. Lenin State Library.


Istoriia voiny Rossii s Frantsiei v tsarstvovanie Pavla I v 1799, vols. 1–5. St. Petersburg, 1852–53.
Dnevnik, vols. 1–4 Moscow, 1947–50.
Vospominaniia, vol. 1. Tomsk, 1919.
Pervye opyty voennoi statistiki, vols. 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1847–48.


Baiov, A. K. Graf D. A. Miliutin. St. Petersburg, 1912.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
While Dmitrii Miliutin stressed linkages between military deployments in Central Asia and strategic vulnerability in Eastern Europe just as strongly as his counterparts in London, Aleksandr Gorchakov argued powerfully for defensive and cautious strategy east of the Caucasus.
Thanks to the significant reforming efforts of Generals Dmitrii Miliutin and Aleksei Kuropatkin, as well as some leading military thinkers, Russian General Staff officers of the early 20th century were well prepared for modern warfare.
For Steinberg, Kuropatkin was second after War Minister Dmitrii Miliutin in terms of his vision and effectiveness in pushing further reforms in officer education.
(6) Miliutin's own archive has been available to Soviet and foreign scholars since the late 1950s, the early, published volume of his memoirs aided Professor Lincoln in his memorable attempt to create a typology of Russia's "enlightened bureaucrats," with Dmitrii Miliutin and his brother Nikolai (1818-72) as two of the most illustrious examples.