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Mikhail Ivanovich Zasulich
General Mikhail Ivanovich Zasulich
Native name Михаи́л Ива́нович Засу́лич
Born (1843-12-24)24 December 1843
Died 1910
Allegiance  Russian Empire
Service/branch Russian Imperial Army
Years of service 1863-1906
Rank General
Battles/wars

Mikhail Ivanovich Zasulich (Russian: Михаи́л Ива́нович Засу́лич) (December 24, 1843 – 1910) was a general in the Imperial Russian Army, noted for his role in the Battle of the Yalu River during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905.

Biography[]

Zasulich was a graduate of the Cadet Corps and commissioned as a lieutenant in 1863, serving with the 93rd Infantry Regiment in Irkutsk. He transferred to the Grenadier Regiment of the Life Guards in 1864. He was with this regiment during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878), during which he was highly decorated several times for bravery in combat in the Balkans, especially during the Battle of Philippopolis (1878). He was also promoted to colonel in 1878.

In 1887, Zasulich was assigned command of the 101st Infantry Regiment based at Perm. He was promoted to Major General in 1894 and made commander of the 1st Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division, followed by the 1st Brigade of the 2nd Grenadier Division. In 1899, he took command of Osowiec Fortress in what is now Poland. The following year, he became commander of the 6th Infantry Division, and was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1901.

Immediately before the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Zasulich was given command of the 2nd Siberian Corps, with 16,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 62 artilliery pieces, which formed the eastern wing of the Russian Manchurian Army. Assigned to prevent the Imperial Japanese Army from crossing the Yalu River into Manchuria, he made a strategic error of spreading his forces piecemeal over a 170-mile front and heavily fortifying the border of town of Antung, where he was convinced the main attack would come. Assuming that the Japanese army amassing near Wiju upstream from Antung was a feint, he refused requests to redeploy his forces. In the subsequent Battle of Yalu River, the Russian forces were routed. Zasulich, how had a very low opinion of the Japanese, initially refused General Kuropatkin's orders to make a phased withdrawal, but as the Japanese army began to completely overwhelm his forces, he had no choice but to make a costly retreat to the north.

Zasulich would subsequently participate in other battles of the war, including the Battle of Tashihchiao, Battle of Hsimucheng, and Battle of Liaoyang as well as the Battle of Mukden his forces suffered one defeat after another, and his refusal to go on the offensive and continual retreats made him unpopular with his troops.

Citing illness, Zasulich left military service after the end of the war in 1906 with an honorary promotion to full general, and died in 1910.

Honors[]

References[]

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