Anatoly Stessel

Anatoly Stessel

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Anatoly Stessel

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Anatoly Mikhaylovich Stessel (), last name also romanized Stoessel (–) was a Russian baron, military leader, and general responsible for the fall of Port Arthur to the Japanese on January 2, 1905.


Anatoly Stessel was born in 1848 as the son of Lieutenant General Baron Vinogradov Stressel. He graduated from the Pavel Military School in 1866. Stessel was a participant of the Russo-Turkish War . He subsequently commanded the 16th Ladoga Infantry Regiment in 1897 and then from 1897 to 1899 the 44th Kamchatka Infantry Regiment. He was appointed to head the 3rd East Siberian Brigade (1899–1903) and distinguished himself for his role in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion, for which he was awarded the Order of St. George (4th degree).

From August 12, 1903, Stessel was commander of the garrison of Port Arthur, Manchuria with a total of over 50,000 men. Occupied by the Russians since 1897, the defense of Port Arthur had been heavily enchanced and modernized in the intervening years, and its position was considered one of the most heavily-fortified in the world.

With the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Stessel was promoted to governor of the Kwantun Military District in March 1904, and Lieutenant General Constantine Smirnov was appointed to be his successor at Port Arthur. However, Stessel chose to intrepet the orders to mean that Smirnov was his subordinate, and remained at Port Arthur, countermanding Smirnov's orders and denying his requests for supplies and...
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