Vasilii Gurko

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gurko, Vasilii Iosifovich


(also V. I. Romeiko-Gurko). Born May 8 (20), 1864; died Nov. 11, 1937, in Rome. Russian general of the cavalry (1916). Son of Field Marshal I. V. Gurko.

Gurko graduated from the Corps of Pages (1885) and the General Staff Academy (1892). During the Boer War of 1899–1902 he was a military adviser to the Boer Army. Later he took part in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. In October 1906 he became chairman of the Military-Historical Commission on the History of the Russo-Japanese War. In 1911 he became commander of the 1st Cavalry Division and in November 1914 of the VI Army Corps, then of the Fifth Army, and in August 1916 of the Special Army. From October 1916 to February 1917 he was acting chief of staff to the supreme commander in chief. On his initiative the four battalion regiments were reorganized into three-battalion units. After the February Revolution he commanded the troops of the Western Front. On May 23, 1917, he was reduced to the rank of division commander for his criticism of the Provisional Government and for promonarchist statements. In July 1917 he was arrested for corresponding with Tsar Nicholas II, and in August 1917 he was expelled from the country. In 1919 he refused to take command of the White Guard forces in the north and northwest of Russia.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.