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Mikhail Alexeyev
Alekseev m v.jpg
General Mikhail Alekseyev
Allegiance  Russian Empire
Service/branch Russian Imperial Army
Rank General
Commands held Russian Imperial Army
Battles/wars World War I

Mikhail Vasiliyevich Alekseyev (Russian: Алексеев, Михаил Васильевич) (November 3, 1857 — September 25, 1918) was a Russian military leader before and during World War I, and one of the leaders of anti-Bolshevik forces in 1917-1918.[1]



Alekseyev was born in Tver and his father Vasili Alekseyev was an army captain in the 64th Kazan Regiment. Also pursuing a military career, Mikhail Alekseyev graduated from the Moscow Infantry School in 1876 and was commissioned an ensign in the 64th Kazan Regiment.

Completing studies at the Nicholas General Staff Academy in 1890, he was posted as a senior adjutant in the headquarters of the 1st Army Corps in the St. Petersburg Military District. He served in this capacity and as a professor at the Academy's Department of Military History from 1898 to 1904.


Russo-Japanese War

With the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, in October 1904 Alekseyev was appointed Quartermaster General of the Russian 3rd Manchurian Army. During the war he was awarded a gold sword, the Order of St. Stanislav 1st class with sword, and the Order of St. Anne 1st class.

After the war he was named first senior quartermaster of the General Staff’s main directorate, while maintaining his position as professor at the General Staff Academy. In 1908 he was made Chief of Staff of the Kiev military district. In 1912 Alekseyev was named commander of the 13th Army corps.

World War I

At the beginning of World War I in August 1914, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Southwestern Front (which held the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Armies) where he planned the Russian offensive into Galicia, and given the rank of general-of-infantry. In March 1915 Alekseyev became a commander of the Russian Western front.

When Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolayevich of Russia stepped down as Russian supreme Commander-in-chief in August 1915 and replaced by Tsar Nicholas II, Alekseyev was appointed as Chief of Staff of the General Headquarters (Stavka) and placed in charge of all military operations. He served in this capacity from August 1915 to March 1917.

Russian Civil War

During the February Revolution of 1917, Alexeyev sent a telegram to the Emperor advising him to abdicate; this, combined with pressure from the stavka and the two duma deputies, led to Nicholas' decision to abdicate on the 2nd of March 1917 in favour of his brother Grand Duke Michael, who ultimately refused the throne. From March to May 1917, Alekseyev was the Commander-in-chief and later adviser to the Provisional Government. He spoke against the Soviets and democratization of the army, and was one of the initiators of the counterrevolutionary organizations.

On August 30, 1917, Alekseyev became Chief of Staff of the Stavka under Commander-in-Chief Alexander Kerensky. His goal was to prevent the Kornilov movement (see Kornilov Affair) from developing into civil war. That same day, Alekseyev arrived at the General Headquarters, arrested General Kornilov and his men and sent them to prison in Bykhov (a town in Mogilev oblast in Belarus), from which they would "break away" with the help of General Nikolai Dukhonin. He then resigned his post in protest of Kerensky's policies.

After the October Revolution, Alekseyev fled to Novocherkassk, where on November 15, 1917, he began forming the so called Alekseyev's Officer Organization, which would become the basis of the Volunteer Army. In December 1917, Kornilov became the leader of Alekseyev's organization, with Alekseyev himself dealing with its political and financial affairs.

Alekseyev was appointed head of the so-called Special Council, which would function as a government under Anton Denikin, after the death of Kornilov in April 1918.

Alekseyev died of a heart condition in Ekaterinodar. He was first buried in the crypt of the Cossack host cathedral, but later his body was taken by his family to Belgrade, Serbia, where it remains.

See also


  1. ^ Stanley Rothman, George W. Breslauer (1978). Soviet Politics and Society. West Pub. Co.. ISBN 0829901469.  


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