Who's Who - Andrei Eberhardt

Admiral Andrei Augostovich Eberhardt (1856-1919) was Russia's Chief of the Russian Naval General Staff from 1910 and Commander-in-Chief of the Black Sea Fleet from 1911 until his dismissal in 1916

In the wake of the Russian navy's dismal performance during the disastrous Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05, Eberhardt was one of a number of younger officers to receive career boosts.

He was appointed Chief of the Russian Naval General Staff in 1908 and, three years later, as Commander-in-Chief of the Black Sea Fleet.  Unfortunately Eberhardt found himself presiding over a a fleet of largely obsolete ships, with replacements not scheduled for delivery until 1915.

Consequently the outbreak of war in August 1914 brought with it a dilemma for Eberhardt.  Despite a naturally aggressive predilection he determined to adopt a decidedly defensive posture while awaiting replacements ships.  His logic was sound but ultimately rendered him a political liability.

Despite his weakness in shipping Eberhardt made skilful use of those he had available, effectively deploying mines around Russia's Black Sea ports.  He also embarked upon a policy of bombarding Turkish interests along the Anatolian coast.

Eberhardt was however replaced in July 1916 by the equally bold Alexander Kolchak as the government viewed with dismay his apparent inability to prevent the bombardment of Russia's coastline and Germany's growing submarine menace.  Ironically replacement destroyers and submarines had just begun to arrive, but Eberhardt was given scant opportunity to deploy them.

Eberhardt thereafter chose retirement from the navy and a seat on the Council of State.  Briefly arrested following the October Revolution of 1917, he died in 1919.

By 1918 the percentage of women to men working in Britain had risen to 37% from 24% at the start of the war.

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