Ministry of War (Russia)
Ministry of War of the Russian Empire, was an administrative body in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 from 1802 to 1917.

It was established in 1802 as the Ministry of ground armed forces taking over responsibilities from the College of War
College of War
The College of War was a Russian executive body , created in the government reform of 1717. It was the only of the six original and three new colleges to survive the decentralising reforms of Catherine II of Russia...

 during the Government reform of Alexander I
Government reform of Alexander I
The early Russian system of government instituted by Peter the Great, which consisted of various state committees, each named Collegium with subordinate departments named Prikaz, was largely outdated by the 19th century...

. It was renamed to the Ministry of War in 1815.


At the end of 19th century Ministry of war had following structure.
  • Military Council
  • War Ministry Chancellery
  • Grand Staff - personal matters, organization, instruction and economy of the army
  • His Imperial Majesty's Retinue
  • Departments:
    • Commissariat
      A commissariat is the department of an army charged with the provision of supplies, both food and forage, for the troops. The supply of military stores such as ammunition is not included in the duties of a commissariat. In almost every army the duties of transport and supply are performed by the...

    • Artillery department
    • Engineer (Military Technical) department
    • Military Medical department
    • Military Education department
    • Military Justice department
    • Department of Cossack troops
  • Committees
    • Committee on military Codification - legislative questions
    • Committee on Military Sanitation


The Ministry was initially accommodated in Count Zakhar Chernyshyov's former palace on Moika River Embankment, which was bought by the State Treasury for the Military Collegium in 1795 (later it was rebuilt and transformed into the Mariinsky Palace
Mariinsky Palace
Mariinsky Palace, also known as Marie Palace , was the last Neoclassical imperial palace to be constructed in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It was built between 1839 and 1844 to a design by the court architect Andrei Stackensneider....


In 1824, the mezzanine and the first floor of the Lobanov-Rostovsky Residence
Lobanov-Rostovsky Residence
Lobanov-Rostovsky Residence or the Lobanov-Rostovsky Palace is a building at 12 Admiralteysky Avenue in Saint Petersburg, Russia, constructed in 1817-1820 for Prince A.Y. Lobanov-Rostovsky...

 (12 Admiralteysky Avenue) were rented for the Ministry of War for 63,000 roubles a year. On 23 June 1828, the entire building was bought by the State Treasury for one million roubles, and in 1829-1830 it was renovated to meet the Ministry's needs. It housed the principal establishments of the Ministry until its dissolution in 1918. The main entrance is guarded by white marble Medici lions
Medici lions
The Medici lions are two lion sculptures placed around 1600 at the Villa Medici, Rome, Italy, and since 1789 displayed at the Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence. The sculptures depict standing male lions with a sphere under one claw, looking to the side...


Ministers of Land Forces

  • Count Sergey Vyazmitinov
    Sergey Vyazmitinov
    Count Sergey Kuzmich Vyazmitinov , was a Russian general and statesman.He descended from the ancient noble landowner's family of Ruthenian origin, known from end of 15th century...

     8 September 1802 – 13 January 1808
  • Count Aleksey Arakcheyev 13 January 1808 – 1 January 1810
  • Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly
    Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly
    Prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly , was a Russian Field Marshal and Minister of War during Napoleon's invasion in 1812 and War of the Sixth Coalition.-Early life:...

     20 January 1810 – 24 August 1812
  • Prince Aleksey Gorchakov
    Aleksey Gorchakov
    Prince Aleksey Ivanovich Gorchakov was a Russian general and statesman from the Gorchakov family.Aleksey Gorchakov was a son of Prince Ivan Gorchakov and a sister of Alexander Suvorov. In 1786 he entered the army and...

     24 August 1812 – 12 December 1815 acting

Ministers of War

  • Count Pyotr Konovnitsyn 12 December 1815 – 6 May 1819
  • Baron Pyotr Meller-Zakomelskiy 6 May 1819 – 14 March 1823
  • Count Aleksander Tatischev 14 March 1823 – 26 August 1827
  • Prince Alexander Chernyshyov
    Alexander Chernyshyov
    Alexander Ivanovich Chernyshyov , General of Cavalry , was a Russian military leader, diplomat and statesman, whose career began in Napoleonic Wars. After Battle of Austerlitz, he performed successful diplomatic mission to France and Sweden and served with distinction in battles of 1812 and 1813...

     26 August 1827 – 26 August 1852
  • Prince Vasily Dolgorukov
    Vasily Andreyevich Dolgorukov
    Prince Vasily Andreyevich Dolgorukov was a Russian statesman, General of the Cavalry , Minister of War , Chief of Gendarmes and Executive Head of the Third Section of H.I.M. Chancellery ....

     26 August 1852 – 17 April 1856
  • Nikolay Sukhozanet 17 April 1856 – 16 May 1861
  • Count Dmitry Milyutin
    Dmitry Milyutin
    Count Dmitry Alekseyevich Milyutin was Minister of War and the last Field Marshal of Imperial Russia...

     16 May 1861 – 21 May 1881
  • Pyotr Vannovskiy
    Pyotr Vannovskiy
    Pyotr S. Vannovskiy was a Russian General.He served in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878; held commands of a St. Petersburg Cadet Corps and an Army Corps based in Kiev; served as Minster of War from 1882 until 1898 under the Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II respectfully. Credited with...

     22 May 1881 – 1 January 1898
  • Aleksey Kuropatkin
    Aleksey Kuropatkin
    Alexei Nikolayevich Kuropatkin was the Russian Imperial Minister of War who is often held responsible for major Russian drawbacks in the Russian-Japanese War, notably the Battle of Mukden and the Battle of Liaoyang.-Early years:Kuropatkin was born in 1848 in what is now Pskov, in the Russian...

     1 January 1898 – 7 February 1904
  • Viktor Sakharov
    Viktor Sakharov
    Viktor Viktorovich Sakharov was a Russian Lieutenant General and Minister of War .-Life:Sakharov was a graduate of the Nicholas Academy of the General Staff...

     11 March 1904 – 21 June 1905
  • Aleksandr Roediger
    Aleksandr Roediger
    Aleksandr Fedorovich Roediger — Russian General;Graduate of the Page Corps and a student of the Nicholas Academy of the General Staff; served in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878; in 1882 was appointed Assistant Minister and later Minister of War of the newly independent Principality of Bulgaria;...

     21 June 1905 – 11 March 1909
  • Vladimir Sukhomlinov
    Vladimir Sukhomlinov
    Vladimir Aleksandrovich Sukhomlinov was a cavalry general of the Imperial Russian Army who served as the Chief of the General Staff in 1908–09 and the Minister of War until 1915, when he was ousted from office amid allegations of failure to provide necessary armaments and munitions.Vladimir...

     11 March 1909 – 13 June 1915
  • Alexei Polivanov
    Alexei Polivanov
    Alexei Andreyevich Polivanov was a Russian military figure, infantry general . He served as Russia's Minister of War from June 1915 until his Tsarina Alexandra forced his removal from office in March 1916....

     13 June 1915 – 15 March 1916
  • Dmitry Shuvayev
    Dmitry Shuvayev
    Dmitry Savelyevich Shuvayev was a Russian military leader, Infantry General ....

     15 March 1916 – 3 January 1917
  • Mikhail Belyaev 3 January 1917 – 28 February 1917
  • Alexander Guchkov
    Alexander Guchkov
    Alexander Ivanovich Guchkov was a Russian politician, Chairman of the Duma and Minister of War in the Russian Provisional Government.-Early years:...

    1 March 1917 – 30 April 1917
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