Mikhail Ivanovich Zasulich
General Mikhail Ivanovich Zasulich
Михаи́л Ива́нович Засу́лич
(1843-12-24)24 December 1843
Russian Imperial Army
Years of service
Mikhail Ivanovich Zasulich (Russian: Михаи́л Ива́нович Засу́лич) (December 24, 1843 – 1910) was a general in the Imperial Russian Army, noted for his role as commander of the Russian Second Siberian Army Corps in the Battle of the Yalu River, of the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905.
Zasulich was a graduate of the Cadet Corps and the Konstantinovskoe Military Academy and was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1863, serving with the 93rd Infantry Regiment in Irkutsk. He transferred to the Grenadier Regiment of the Life Guards in 1864. He was with this regiment during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878), during which he was highly decorated several times for bravery in combat in the Balkans, especially during the Battle of Philippopolis (1878). He was also promoted to colonel in 1878.
In 1887, Zasulich was assigned command of the 101st Infantry Regiment based at Perm. He was promoted to Major General in 1894 and made commander of the 1st Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division, followed by the 1st Brigade of the 2nd Grenadier Division. In 1899, he took command of Osowiec Fortress in what is now Poland. The following year, he became commander of the 6th Infantry Division, and was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1901.
Immediately before the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Zasulich was given command of the Second Siberian Army Corps, with 16,000 infantry, 5,000 cavalry, and 62 artillery pieces, which formed the eastern wing of the Russian Manchurian Army. Assigned to prevent the Imperial Japanese Army from crossing the Yalu River into Manchuria, he made the tactical error of spreading his forces piecemeal over a 170-mile front and heavily fortifying the border of town of Antung, where he was convinced the main attack would come. Assuming that the Japanese army amassing near Wiju upstream from Antung was a feint, he refused requests to redeploy his forces. In the subsequent Battle of Yalu River, the Russian forces were routed by Japanese First Army under General Kuroki Tamemoto. Zasulich, who had a very low opin