General Staff Academy (Imperial Russia)

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The General Staff Academy (Russian: Академия генерального штаба, or Akademiya general'nogo shtaba) was a Russian military academy, established in 1832 in St.Petersburg. It was first known as the Imperial Military Academy (Императорская военная академия), then in 1855 it was renamed Nicholas General Staff Academy (in commemoration of Emperor Nicholas I) and in 1909 - Imperial Nicholas Military Academy (Императорская Николаевская военная академия).

The academy trained Imperial Russian Army officers with higher military education and military land surveyors. It admitted officers of all arms of military service up to the rank of stabbs-captain inclusive. The academy offered two principal courses, one additional course and had a geodesic department. Those who graduated from the additional course used to join the General Staff. The alumni had the right to an accelerated promotion to the next rank and commanding posts. The academy used to employ some of the best military theoriticians and historians, such as Alexei Baiov, Mikhail Dragomirov, Heinrich Leer, Dmitry Maslovsky, Nikolai Medem, Dmitry Milyutin, Alexander Myshlayevsky, Alexander Puzyrevsky and others. From 1832 to 1918, the General Staff Academy trained 4,532 General Staff officers and contributed significantly to the development of military theory. Some of the scientific works and charters prepared by the academy were even used during the first years of the formation of the Red Army.

Among academy's most famous alumni were Abdolhossein Teymourtash, Nikolai Obruchev, Fyodor Radetsky, Mikhail Skobelev, and Nikolai Stoletov. Many of its alumni would become leaders of the White movement, such as Aleksandr Kolchak and Pyotr Wrangel. Some others would take the side of the Bolsheviks as military experts and become prominent Soviet military leaders and politicians, such as Mikhail Bonch-Bruevich, Jukums Vācietis, Sergei Kamenev, Boris Shaposhnikov, Vladimir Egoryev, and others. Most of these commanders were executed in the 1930s. Also several Estonian military leaders, such as Johan Laidoner, Jaan Soots and Andres Larka, came from General Staff Academy. One of its graduates, Mykola Kapustiansky, would become a General in the army of the Ukrainian National Republic and later a founder of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

In March 1918, the General Staff Academy was transformed into the Red Army Military Academy. In the summer of that same year, the academy was evacuated to Kazan, where its staff would join the army of Admiral Kolchak. In 1921, the General Staff Academy was disbanded. The term was reintroduced in 1936, when the Voroshilov Military Academy of the USSR Army General Staff was established.

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