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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag May 8, 2020

The Russian Edition of Johann Jacobi von Wallhausen’s »Kriegskunst zu Fuß« (1649): The History of A Failure?

  • Oleg Rusakovskiy EMAIL logo


The article deals with the history of the »Uchenie i khitrost’ ratnogo stroeniia pekhotnykh liudeĭ« – the first Russian book on military art issued in print in Moscow in 1649. Being a full and exact translation of the »Kriegskunst zu Fuß« by Johann Jacobi von Wallhausen (1615), the »Uchenie« has for a long time been recognized by historians as the first Russian effective drill manual which played an important role in the modernization of infantry tactics and military training. However, the use of the book for and during drill sessions could not be inferred by existing sources. Wallhausen’s text was too voluminous and comprehensive in comparison with contemporary drill manuals and could scarcely be understood by uneducated Russian readers. Tactical formations prescribed by Wallhausen were outdated and not suitable for the conditions prevailing in the Eastern European warfare of the mid-17th century. As a result, the book considered as being quite important for Russian culture had no value for military developments of the time.

Published Online: 2020-05-08
Published in Print: 2020-05-05

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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