Who's Who - Nikolai Ivanov

Nikolai Ivanov General Nikolai Yudovich Ivanov (1851-1919) was an ardent monarchist whose incompetent mismanagement of Russian forces in Galicia and the Carpathians led to his dismissal and subsequent recall by Tsar Nicholas II before final retirement was forced upon him by the October Revolution.

Ivanov, who fought in the bruising Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, served as commander of Russian forces at Kiev from 1908 until the outbreak of war in 1914, when he assisted with mobilisation of forces in the region.  He had earlier earned a degree of gratitude from Nicholas II for his part in suppressing a military mutiny at Kronstadt in 1906; gratitude that would hold him in good stead in 1915.

Handed command of Russian forces on the southwestern front, Ivanov's deep-rooted caution resulted in numerous missed opportunities in Galicia and the Carpathians between August 1914-November 1915.  Seemingly unable to understand the requirement to respond promptly to events on the battlefield, he proved similarly incapable of bringing his superior forces to bear against the Austro-Hungarians.

With the calamitous defeat of his forces at Gorlice-Tarnow in May 1915 at the hands of a combined German-Austro-Hungarian army - with the resultant loss of the whole of Poland - Ivanov was dismissed and replaced by Alexei Brusilov (but not until the following March).

Relying upon his factional allies in government he was shortly afterwards appointed the Tsar's military advisor at the Russian high command, Stavka.  There, however, he found himself roundly ignored by Chief of Staff Alexeev.

Handed the unenviable, indeed hopeless, task of quieting Petrograd during the February Revolution of 1917 - which resulted in the forced abdication of the Tsar - Ivanov's career officially closed with his retirement in the wake of the October Revolution later that year.

Given command of a White army in the ensuing Russian civil war Ivanov was killed in 1919 by Bolshevik forces.

A Greyback was a British Army shirt.

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