FROM SOLDIERS’ ILLITERACY TO REVOLUTIONS: LOW SOLDIERS’ EDUCATIONAL LEVEL AS ONE OF THE CAUSES OF THE RUSSIAN REVOLUTIONS OF 1917

Abstract


The article deals with the problems of the falling of the soldiers’ military literacy of the National Home Guard reserve forces and troops during World War I and their susceptibility to the revolution agitation influence. There are used the records from the State Archive of Khabarovsk Region (SAKR) and the Russian State Historical Archive of the Far East (RSHA FE). The author analyzes the condition of the troops of the Amur Military District including Vladivostok Fortress, where real carrier-oriented fortress troops were deployed. It was found that these troops served as a base for reservists’ military training and education. Using the documents of everyday life of the Amur Military District, there were found the objective and subjective causes of falling of the soldiers’ educational level and military training in 1915-1917, which were the primary factors of the success of the 1917 revolutions. The author concludes that a great number of illiterate and non-initiative people paralyze the army, especially in a crisis time. There was no effective mechanism for the adaptation of oriental reservists who were not native Russian speakers. All this made reservists and the soldiers of the Nation Home Guard very susceptible to the antiwar and antigovernment agitation which appealed to people’s most important needs. As for the troops on the side of the revolution in 1917, it should be emphasized that these “troops” were not a real army, but illiterate, poorly armed people, who were mobilized for defending the Homeland without the clear explanation that this war had critical signifi cance for the state survival.


Roman S Avilov

avilov-1987@mail.ru
<p>Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East FEB RAS; Far Eastern Federal University</p>

65-b Aleutskaya Str., Vladivostok, Russia, 690095

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