THE MISTAKES RUSSIA MADE DURING WW1 AND THEIR EFFECTS ON RUSSIA
Protecting Mother Russia at all Costs It is of paramount importance to plan and prepare well for war; failure to which would result in massive loss of life and destruction of property on the losing side (Haythornthwaite,1996). World War 1 had a huge impact on the world. Russia and Germany bore the brunt of this war the most. The mistakes made by Russia during the war had very catastrophic effects on the Tsarist Russia (Marwick,1974).
Poor leadership and organization was one of the major mistakes made by the tsar of Russia, Nicholas II. Russia, for example, contributed lesser military manpower to the Allied Powers as compared to other nations which formed the Allied Powers. It only mobilized 9% of its population as troops to fight the war unlike Britain (13%), Germany (21%) and France (20%). Nicholas II underestimated the scale the war and this led to poor organization of his troops. The Russian armed forces were directly under his command and he failed in his military position as the leader of Russia. Consequently, his soldiers were underfed in the frontlines of the war. The tsar failed to inspire his soldiers(Goemans,2012). Massive loss of troops from the front lines and shortage of food killed the morale of the soldiers to a point where some deserted their troops. Poor leadership and strategic planning during the war lead to loss of patriotism and ultimately resulted in the February 1917 Revolution which saw the fall of the tsarist regime (Figes,1997).
Economically, Russia was not ready for the war (Marwick,1974). Therefore, the declaration of war in 1913 saw a less developed country get into war. It did not have the means to support a protracted war. Joining the World War 1 proved to be the greatest mistake made by Russia. The Russian infrastructure for example, could not accommodate the high demand for urgent transportation of soldiers, military equipment and food during the war. It took so long for emergency response to be given to the dying soldiers at the frontlines. Reinforcement of troops also delayed due to very poor communication and transport. Many soldiers perished as a result of this. Inflation took a toll on the country as vast resources were allocated for war. The shortage of money to finance the war led to printing of more money(Leed,1981). The value of the Russian ruble sharply declined. Inflation hit the country very hard and the value of goods trebled in less than a year. Food became very scarce. Conditions worsened during winter when Russia lost its coalfields in the early stages of war. The conscription of young men to the army led to a decline in the working force that sustained the agricultural output of the country. Consequently, a country of hungry and angry men resulted. The built up internal resentment against the tsar led to the Bolshevik Revolution.
The mistakes made by Russia during World War 1 costed the country heavily. Poor leadership by tsar Nicholas II dragged Russia into a war it could not sustain. The tsar failed to modernize Russia in preparation for the war and he opted to maintain the inefficient autocratic institutions. This led to dire economic and social consequences as shown above and the ultimate collapse of the tsarist regime.
Haythornthwaite, P. J. (1996). The World War One Source Book. Arms and Armor.
Marwick, A. (1974). War and social change in the twentieth century: a comparative study of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Not Avail.
Figes, O. (1997). A people’s tragedy: The Russian Revolution, 1891-1924 (Vol. 264). Random House.
Leed, E. J. (1981). No man’s land: combat and identity in world war 1. CUP Archive.
Goemans, H. E. (2012). War and punishment: The causes of war termination and the First World War. Princeton University Press.