FEBRUARY 1904 - SEPTEMBER 1905

We have been lucky enough to have Steve McLaughlin contribute his vast collection of biographical information that he has compiled over the years. Steve is our man in charge of the Russian biographies section. His study has been extensive and his expertise shows.

Steve McLaughlin
I first became interested in the Russian Imperial Navy a dozen years ago; at the time I was studying World War I, and I began to wonder why the Russians had performed so badly in 1904-1905, but had done much better in 1914-1917 against the Germans. What had changed in the decade between the Russo-Japanese and First World wars? Part of my research effort was directed at getting some background information on naval officers and their careers, but I was frustrated at the lack of information available, and by the obvious inaccuracies in many books and articles. So I began compiling my own biographical directory, so that as I ran across a reference to an officer I could add it to his listing; after a while I had a fairly impressive collection assembled, most of the information picked up in bits and pieces from various sources -- memoirs, newspaper articles, brief notes in histories of one war or another. Most of it was from English-language material. However, by the mid-1990s I had learned enough Russian to tackle a variety of Russian publications -- only to discover that there were several excellent biographical directories already available in Russian. Since I could now use these Russian sources directly, I stopped compiling my own biographical directory. However, the information already compiled has proven useful to my subsequent researches, and may perhaps be of use to others. If you have any further questions or comments on the directory or its sources, please drop me a line at stevem@sfpl.org.