How did Russia’s involvement in the First World War?
Russia under Tsar Nicholas II entered World War I to satisfy imperial designs by annexing Constantinople and the Straits of Dardanelles without consulting the Duma (Russian parliament).
(i) The war showed Russia was incapable of carrying on a modern war. After initial victories Russia’s large inefficient army suffered heavy casualties which both shocked and demoralised the people and exposed Russia’s weakness.
(ii) The war showed Russia lacked adequate rail road’s to provide transportation to the Russian army, and the industry was inadequate to equip and meet war time needs of the army.
(iii) Governments indifference to large casualities disheartened the war tired soldiers. Moreover with able-bodied men being called to serve in the army, there were labour shortages leading to shut down of industries producing essential goods.
(iv) Large supplies of grain to feed the army had its impact on the supply of bread and flour in cities.
On March 8th the crowds lining up for bread turned violent on being told none was available. The Tsar ordered the army to suppress the riot but the army failed to respond. Unable to control the army and his subjects Tsar Nicholas II abdicated.
Thus the war led to untold miseries, breakdown of the economy and ultimately to the discredit of the government and the Tsar. The fall of the Tsar is known as February Revolution of 1917.