Military Encyclopedias

Military Encyclopedias


scholarly and reference publications containing a systematic compilation of military knowledge and information from other fields of knowledge significantly related to military affairs.

The prototype of the military encyclopedia was the military dictionary, which contained encyclopedic information about a comparatively narrow range of subjects. Perhaps the first such dictionary was the Englishman J. Polman’s All the Famous Battels That Haue Bene Fought in Our Age Throughout the Worlde, as well by Sea as Lande … , (London, 1577). In Russia the first military dictionaries were compiled by V. I. Suvorov—The True Method of Fortifying Cities … (Istinnyi sposob ukrepleniia gorodov … , St. Petersburg, 1724) containing about 350 military terms—and G. G. Kushelev in a book by N. P. Ozann, The Military Navigator, or a Collection of Various Warships (Voennyi moreplavatel’ Hi sobranie raznykh na voine upotrebliaemykh sudov, St. Petersburg, 1788) containing about 940 terms, with drawings, diagrams, and tables. In the 19th century D. I. Vel’iashev-Volyntsov published the Dictionary of Mathematical and Military Sciences (Slovar’ matematicheskikh i voennykh nauk … , St. Petersburg, 1808, parts 1-2, vols. 1-4), in which 20 percent of the terms (out of 5,728) were related to military affairs, mainly artillery and fortification. S. A. Tuchkov published the Military Dictionary, Including Names and Terms Used in the Russian Land Forces (Voennyi slovar’, zakliuchaiushchii naimenovaniia Hi terminy, v Rossiiskom sukhoputnom voiske upotrebliaemye … , St. Petersburg, 1818, parts 1-2), which included about 1,500 terms on the art of war, fortification, artillery, and so forth. A. S. Shishkov published the Naval Dictionary Containing an Explanation of All Terms Used in the Naval Art (Morskoi slovar’, soderzhashchii ob”iasnenie vsekh nazvanii, upotrebliaemykh v morskom iskusstve … , St. Petersburg, 1832-40, parts 1-3), with 800 terms on ship-building (part 1), navigational astronomy, physics, and cartography (part 2), and artillery (part 3). The edition was not completed.

In Russia, L. I. Zeddeler edited the Encyclopedic Military Dictionary (Voennyi entsiklopedicheskii leksikon, vols. 1-14, St. Petersburg, 1837-50; Supplement, 1852), which was republished and amplified by the new editor M. I. Bogdanovich (vols. 1-14, St. Petersburg, 1852-58); it contains many articles on personalities, the theory and history of the art of war, and the history of Russian and foreign wars; it also has maps, plans, and sketches. G. A. Leer edited the Encyclopedia of Military and Naval Sciences (Entsiklopediia voennykh i morskikh nauk, vols. 1-8, St. Petersburg, 1883-97), which encompasses the history of the art of war, military administration, statistics and geography, artillery, military engineering, the navy, and military technology; it is not illustrated. K. I. Velichko, V. F. Novitskii, and A. V. Shvarts were the editors of the Military Encyclopedia (Voennaia entsiklopediia, I. V. Sytin, publisher; vols. 1-18, Petrograd, 1911-15), a most fundamental work encompassing personalities and a complex of military, naval, and military technological knowledge; it contains many maps, plans, and sketches. Because of World War I, publication was interrupted with the article “Port-Artur.” The information in this encyclopedia has maintained its significance to the present day.

During the 1930’s in the USSR a multivolume Soviet Military Encyclopedia (Sovetskaia voennaia entsiklopediia) was being prepared under the editorship of R. P. Eideman, but only two volumes appeared in 1932-33 (up to and including the article “Varna”). Other Soviet publications include the Naval Dictionary (Morskoi slovar’, vols. 1-2, Moscow, 1959; with about 12,000 military and naval terms, including nu-clear, rocket, and electronic technology terminology; with illustrations).


Kaufman, I. M. Slovari i entsiklopedii: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Part 1: Dorevoliutsionnye izdaniia. Moscow, 1937.
Zischka, G. Index Lexicorum: Bibliographic der Lexikalischen Nachschlagewerke. Vienna, 1959.
Craig, H., Jr. A Bibliography of Encyclopedias and Dictionaries Dealing With Military, Naval, and Maritime Affairs, 1577-1965, 3rd ed. Houston, Texas, 1965.


References in periodicals archive ?
Most of these works have taken the form of reference books, military encyclopedias, or sequential histories of a particular period or conflict.

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