The high costs of the war are evident in the photograph below of a Russian field hospital. The army sustained nearly one million casualties in the summer of 1915 alone, with an equal number of soldiers taken prisoner. Note the women tending to the wounded, the priest blessing the soldiers, and the crowded, uncomfortable conditions for the soldiers huddled on the straw-covered dirt floor.
Russian field hospital, 1915
Tsar Nicholas II takes personal command of the Russian Army.
In the face of mounting criticism of the bungled war effort, Tsar Nicholas II rejected the overtures of the Progressive Bloc and instead assumed personal control of the military. The poster below shows the tsar as a heroic Christian knight, leading his army to battlefield victory. Linking the tsar so closely with the Russian cause proved to be a dangerous strategy, as the hapless leader became ever more closely associated with military defeat and ineptitude.
the civilian costs of war included refugees forced to leave their homes to escape the front lines of battle. Men, women, and children took to the roads as part of a massive dislocation of the population during the first year of the war.