Birthday anniversary of Andrey M. Zayonchkovsky, commander, military theorist and historian

20 December 1862

8 (20) December 1862 in the Orlov Province, into a noble family was born Andrey M., Russian commander, military theorist and historian, infantry general.

Zayonchkovsky was educated in the N. I. Bakhtin Orlov Military school; in 1883 graduated from the Nikolai Engineer College; in 1888 – the Academy of the General Staff.

He participated in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905  as the commander of the 85th Vyborg infantry regiment and then the 2nd brigade of the 3rd Siberian Infantry Division.

In 1908-1912 Zayonchkovsky occupied the post of the assistant to the Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich in managing of the Sevastopol Museum.

Andrey Zayonchkovsky began the World War I of 1914-1918 as the commander of the 37th infantry division of the 18th corps which took part in the Battle of Galicia. In 1916 Zayonchkovsky commanded the 30th corps which participated in the Brusilov Offensive. In autumn of 1916 he was appointed the commander of an independent corps in Dobrudzh which soon developed into the whole army.

In April of 1917 Zayonchkovsky entered the reserve of ranks under the staff of the Petrograd military district; in May of 1917 he resigned.

For his military deeds Zayonchkovsky was awarded with the Order of St. Stanislav of three classes, the Order of St. Anna, three classes, the Order of St. Vladimir, 4th and 3rd class and the Gold arm.

In 1919 Zayonchkovsky entered the Red Army and served in the All-Russian Headquarters. From August 1919 he was at the South front as the head of the 13th army’s staff which fought with the armies of Denikin; then he was attached to the Head of the Field Staff of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic. He also was the assistant of the president of the Military-Historical Commission and the headed the research of the experience of the World War I.

From 1922 to 1926 Zayonchkovsky had been a professor at the M. V. Frunze Military Academy, first at the Strategy Department, and then – at the Department of the World History.

A. M. Zayonchkovsky was a prominent military theorist and author of a large number of works, among which: The Eastern War of 1853-1856 in relation with the political situation of the time (St. Petersburg, 1908—1913); Sevastopol Defence (2nd edition, St. Petersburg, 1904); Strategic Essay of the 1914-1918 War (part 6-7. Moscow, 1923); Russia prepares for the imperialistic war (Moscow, 1926); Russia prepares for the world war from international aspect (Leningrad, 1926); World War 1914-1918 (3rd edition, volume 1-3. Moscow, 1938—1939).

All his military-historical works represent the first processing of the archival materials with the use of foreign sources, and are valuable by their rich facts presented in quite a condensed form. Zayonchkovsky has made a significant contribution to the research of problems of strategic planning and management, popularization of military-scientific works of Russian and West European classics.

22 March 1926 Andrey M. Zayonchkovsky died and was buried in Moscow, at the Novodevichy Monastery cemetery.

Lit.: Зайончковский Андрей Медардович [Электронный ресурс]  // Руниверс. Б. д. URL:; Леонидов Л. Военно-исторические исследования А. М. Зайончковского // Военно-исторический журнал. 1972. № 6.

Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

Зайончковский А. М. Оборона Севастополя. Подвиги защитников. СПб., 1900;

Зайончковский А. М. Подготовка России к империалистической войне: очерки военной подготовки и первоначальных планов: по архивным документам. М., 1926.