Permanent link to this item
ATTACK ON CRACOW, Issue 15662, 28 November 1914
ATTACK ON CRACOW
THE RUSSIAN COMMANDER. IDOL OF "THE ARMY. According to the latest English files, the commander of the Russian army which took Lemberg and is now operating against Cracow is General Ruzsky. In the London ‘ Observer ’ Mr Francis M'Cullagh gives the following sketch of the general: When returning once from the fron.t outside Mukden to the telegraph office in that city I met a general who happened to be riding the same way. Had he belonged to any other nation he would have been too much wrapt up in his sense of self-import-ance to take any notice of me, but, being a Russian, he began talking. Ho invited me to visit him at the headquarters of the second army on ray way back from Mukden, and I did so. Ho was chief of staff of the second army. I found him to be quite a special type of Russian officer, simple in his tastes, clear as crystal in his thoughts, methodical, hard-working, scientific, an iron disciplinarian, and at the same time a revered and trusted chief. In his thoroughness he resembled a German; in his passion for neatness, order, and the open air he was like an English country gentleman. He did not drink or smoke, and his spectacle-.gave him the look of a professor. The little Chinese house which my host occupied in Manchuria was scrupulously clean, and I noticed with surprise that it contained rjuite a little library of books—pocket editions of several Russian classics, but mostly very recent and very technical scientific books on the art of war in German and French. The orderlies about the house had the contented appearance which the Russian soldier usually has when his master is just as well as strong, knows his own mind, and maintains always the same equable temper. The name of the general whom I thus met in Manchuria was Ruzsky, the soldier who/ has now distinguished himself by the capture of'Lemberg. When first I met him he was nearly 50 years of age. Now ho is 60. His hair and his moustache have turned grey, but are still abundant; and. with his wrinkled brow and his slight stoop, ho looks more than ever the lecturer on strategy, the Stonewall Jackson of the present war. —-Worshipped by the Men.— General Ruzsky is a curious combination of the Skobeliefl’ and the Moltke types. He has the science, experience, and* infinite patience of the latter, together with the popular appeal of the former. Ho has certainly gained the hearts of the Russian soldiers as no general has ever done since I‘levna. Russian soldiers are irresistible when they follow a leader whom they worship, and the Russian army in Galicia is now following such a chief. When the public began to learn more of General Ruzsky‘s record and manner of life its admiration for him increased enormously, ft was found, for instance, that in peace time he occupied a small flat *in Kiev, where ho was in garrison. He lived there very modestly with his wife and throe daughters. The eldest daughter is now a Fed Cross nurse with the troops in Galicia. The second daughter is attending a hospital in Kiev in order to qualify also as a Red Cross nurse at the front. The third daughter and the mother are connected with the Avar distress fnud. and are indefatigable in _ helping soldiers' wives and children in Kiev, as well as in visiting the sick and wounded. —The Russian Spirit.— The numerous deputations that have called on the general's wife have been much struck by the air of cheerful simplicity and older which pervades General Ruzsky’a home. The reception room is small, and on the wall hangs a map, whereon the position of the combatants in Galicia is indicated by pins. An exami-
nation of these pins shows that in sticking them into tho map Aladame Ruzsky has to depend entirely on the news which appears in the papers, and gets no assistance ■ whatever from her husband. His letters from the scat of the war give no indication, even to his family, of what ho is doing or intends to do. Ho speaks a good deal, however, of the splendid spirit of the soldiery, “They are not the same men.” he says, “whom I knew in Alanchuria. There they had no great enthusiasm for fighting and no great- hatred for tho Japanese, whom they had never heard of before. Here they know and hate t!m German, whether he be Austrian or Prussian, and desire nothing better than to be led against him.’’ —A Distinguished Family.— Nearly all General Ruz'-ky’s relatives are people of high education and scientific standing. One of his nephews, Dimitrius Ruzsky. was the director of the Kiev Poly technical Institute; but, being a man of liberal views and of determined character, ho resigned his' post with the other professors as a protest against a curtailment of the institute’s autonomy. Another nephew, Alexander Ruzsky, Is a pro. fessor m the Kiev Polytechnic. A third, Nicholas Ruzsky, ia a distinguished financier. Tho general's elder brother is one of tho best lawyers in tho South of Russia. The atmosphere in which the general bis lived is an atmosphere of culture, science, education., ham work, and selfcontrol. One of the general's admirers describes the hero himself to me as “a man of very keen intelligence; a disciplinarian, with rather a contempt, however, for red tape; a worker who brings to his work a living spirit, a piercing eye, and a powerful initiative. In practical military work he is no less i rilliant than in theoretical work. In matters which concern war his judgment is always sound and his response always ready. Unlike some great theoretical he is a man of quick but sure decisions. When confronted with an unexpected situation he does not need time and discussion to muko up his mind. He decides in a flash. This union of good judgment, vast technical .skill, practical ability, and hypnotic attraction over his soldiers makes ‘him undoubtedly one of the best generals in the Russian 'army. Before tho war ends ho may bo recognised as the very best."
ATTACK ON CRACOW, Issue 15662, 28 November 1914
Use these buttons to limit your searches to particular dates, titles, and more.
Print, save, zoom in and more.