Russian Mobilization

One of the main causes of World War I was the mobilization of Russia. After facing defeat in the Franco Prussian War, Russia did  not want to seem vulnerable to the other European countries. Therefore, Russia promised to support France when it found out that Germany had declared war on France. Soon after, France urged Russia to mobilize because it was afraid of immediate attack from the Germans and they were right. The Germans had already thought out the Schlieffen War Plan to attach France from the side. The Germans were not worried because they knew that the mobilization of the Russian army would take a long time. However, when Russia entered the first world war, it had the largest standing army in the world with a total of 5 million soldiers. Furthermore, a large army also meant the need for large amounts of artillery. In 1914, 400,000 men ended up going into battle without any arm.
But in actuality, Russia’s Imperial Troops were actually pretty well trained and equipped. The only problem came from the army’s inability to transport troops to enemy territory in a short amount of time. Many would say that the effectiveness of this army was based mostly on which country it was facing. When they faced Germany, they were unable to adapt to the industrialized warfare on the battlefield and was easily destroyed. Russia’s allied country, France, gave western Russia money to build railways for the cause of mobilizing and transporting troops. Even with this, they were still very disorganized during times of mobilization. They sometimes even advanced without back up in the form of cavalry and aircraft. Russian armies frequently lacked encryption codes and, therefore, their messages were easily intercepted and read by the Germans. Even though Russia’s army might have been threatening to the Germans because of it’s size, they had many drawbacks that would prevent them from being a victor.

(Vivian Lin H3g-06)