Leonid Artamonov

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Leonid Artamonov after returned from Africa

Leonid Konstantinovich Artamonov (Russian: Леони́д Константи́нович Артамо́нов; 25 February 1859 – 1 January 1932) was a Russian military engineer, adviser and general, geographer and traveler, explorer of Africa, writer, veteran of the First World War and the Russo-Japanese War.


General Artamonov in 1900

Leonid Artamonov, was born in Kherson Governorate on February 25, 1859.[1][2] He studied in the Michailovsky Cadet School, then Artamonov after his graduation from the Military Engineering-Technical University in 1883, he also graduated from the General Staff Academy.[2]

In 1897, he was a member of the Russian diplomatic mission to Ethiopia, where he became a military adviser of Negus Menelek II of Ethiopia.[2] During 1897–1898, he became a military aide of Menelek II in his boundary confrontation against the British colonialists. Artamonov as one of a contingent Russian officer volunteers attached to the forces of Ras Tessema moving up to the White Nile, he joined the expedition of Ethiopian army of having very serious problems to real help to overcome difficulties. After successful colonial capture for the Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, could to started the new pressure of Britannic forces against Ethiopia, which made off only after the beginning of the 1899–1902 Second Boer War. These historical events had direct dependence with Fashoda Incident.

He was one of best military experts of Russia, competent analyst having unique smell of powder and maximally possible quality of military and engineering educations.

After Artamonov returned to Russia, he becomes a member of the Russian Geographical Society for his work in Ethiopia, he wrote book Through Ethiopia to the White Nile. He wrote historical flashbacks did mentions in detail about democratic experiments of Menilik II on the basis of practice of traditional patriarchal public dialog of the Ethiopian monarchy with own people, so similar to more late public dialogs of president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

In 1899, for his feat and courage he was awarded the Order of the Star of Ethiopia.

He was the leader of group of militaries analysts and editor of further publication of results of analysis of collected materials on the Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902.[3]

Also, he was the chief of known fortresses Vladivostok (1906) and Kronshtadt (1907).

From 1911 until 1914, he was the commander of the First Russian Army Corps. At the Battle of Tannenberg (1914), he contributed to the encirclement and destruction of the 2nd Russian Army, by withdrawing without warning Samsonov his 1st Corps, which was to protect the left wing of the Army. For this error, he was relieved of command on August 28.

After 1917, he continued to get busy of scientific, engineering and military publicly useful activity for blessing of Russia. In 1927, he was the expert of the Moscow city government. The state appointed to him the regularly honoured pension. He preferred to live in Saint Petersburg, there he died in 1932.


  • Kantselson I. S. Preface // Artamonov L. K. Through Ethiopia to the White Nile. Moskow. 1979.


  • Order of the Ethiopian Star
  • Order of St. Vladimir
  • Orders of St. Anna all degrees
  • Order of St. Alexander Neva
  • Order of White Eagle
  • Order of St. Stanislas
  • Personal gold weapon about bravery

Russians at Abyssinia[edit]