Military reforms 1861-1881 (More Main Changes: (Officer training was…
Military reforms 1861-1881
Reforms were undertaken by Dmitri Milyutin over 20 years.
All social classes were liable for military service at the age of 21. One quarter were chosen by lot to serve. This could be avoided if there were medical problems, or it could be deffered for students to complete their studies.
Standard length of military service now 15 years instead or previously being 25 years. 9 Years of the 15 would be spent in the reserves.
From 1862-1870 the reserves increased from 220,00 to over 550,000.
Administration of the army was improved into fifteen military districts with more autonomy for the district commanders.
More Main Changes:
Officer training was radically improved. Military colleges were established, admitting people from all classes.
Promotion was more open, including for lower classes.
Specialised officer schools for artilery and engineers.
Staff college established with high standards offering accelerated promotion for graduates.
More modern rifles and artillery were introduced but this was a slow process and technological progress in weaponry meant some weapons were superseeded before they were fully introduced.
There was a reduction in offences that carried corporal punishment, and flogging was abolished.
Conditions improved for ordinary soldiers, they were now housed in barracks.
The army was now smaller/cheaper, and more professional. It was less brutal and less class-riden.
There was a significant government expenditure because of the smaller army, but they still had the trained reserve to call on.
There was still a high proportion of nobility among the officers.
Alexander III restricted the officer class to the nobility.
There was a tendancy to appoint untrained royal family members to superior roles, which they weren't trained or suited for.
The reforms were opposed by the nobility because they didn't want their sons mixing with the lower classes.
The army still relied on peasant conscripts who were illiterate and uneducated, hindering their training.