The Wikipedia article is very poor in this subject:

On joining the Kargopolsky 5th Dragoon Regiment, Rokossovsky soon showed himself a talented soldier and leader; he ended the war with the rank of a junior non-commissioned officer, serving in the cavalry throughout the war. He was wounded twice during the war and awarded the Cross of St George.[4][5] In 1917, he joined the Bolshevik Party and soon thereafter, entered the ranks of the Red Army.

I've taken a look at the cited sources. No. [5] produces the 404 error, no. [4] (in Russian, link here) has also not much information:

Когда началась первая мировая война, 18-летний Константин добровольцем вступил в Каргопольский драгунский полк. Уже через несколько дней службы за солдатскую смекалку и мужество ему перед строем вручили Георгиевский крест 4-й степени. За три года службы Константин дослужился до унтер-офицера, был удостоен трех Георгиевских медалей. С октября 1917 г. в Красной Гвардии, затем Красной Армии.

When the First World War begun, 18-year-old Konstantin volunteered to Kargopolsky Dragoon Regiment. Only in few days of service he was awarded of 4-class St. George Cross for bravery. For three years of service he was promoted to sergeant [?], had received three George medals. Since October 1917 in Red Guard, then Red Army

The site provides links to books one (Рокоссовский: Жизнь замечательных людей - Rokossovsky: life of remarkable people) and the other (Мемуары Маршала Константина Рокоссовского - Memoirs of Marshall Konstantin Rokossovsky) might have an answer. Unfortunately I'm not good enough with Russian to translate it myself.

Is there any English page (or could you answer please) what was the career of the Marshall during WW1?

(all translations are mine, please Russian speakers correct, if necessary)

  • 1
    Russian Wikipedia article contains more than the other article you cite. To see it, click on "Russian" on the left of the English Wikipedia article. On my opinion this Russian Wikipedia article contains more than one could wish about "the role in the war of an "unter-officer" (NCO?).
    – Alex
    May 11, 2015 at 18:47
  • Just for information, the No. 5 reference is available at archive.org but it doesn't say nothing new – it says almost literally the same as English Wikipedia and cites no sources.
    – JMVanPelt
    May 12, 2015 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


'A Soldier's Duty' by Rokossovsky himself doesn't contain anything about his WWI service.

The general information is that he was a very brave volunteer, who joined KDP on the outbreak of the war and reached the rank of NCO through the line of some great (for a soldier) exploits - sometimes, always like 'brigadier Gerard'.

According to Rokossovsky himself, his contemporary in the Regiment - Ivan Tulenev, one of only 7 people in History who ever had St George's Crosses of all 4 classes and the future Soviet '4 star general', - was even more brave then he himself was. [1]

If you need any technicalities, so to say?

Upon joining KDP, Rokossovsky almost immediately went scouting, and made accurate observation of German units whereabouts. That proved to be of great help to Russian superior commanders - and he received St George's Cross 4th class. [1]

Next time he volunteered to No Man's Land with 3 other dragoons, and managed to kill or take prisoners the entire German FOP. After a full day of heavy artillery bombardment they managed by night to extract all the prisoners and get them to HQ of their Regiment. St. George's Medal 4th class. [1]

And so on, and so forth...

[1] Sources: Various Russian Language documents stored within the Russian State Archive for Military History (РГВИА)

  • I would ask if you might put in some sources of your assertions so I might be able to read more on my own?
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 21, 2016 at 18:38
  • First of all, I have to apologise for not adding the proper sources. Sorry about that!
    – K5thRD
    Jul 22, 2016 at 10:08
  • First of all, I have to apologise for not adding the proper sources. Sorry about that! There are two reasons for that. First one is that all the sources are in Russian only (and certainly not in English), and - the second one, being in Russian all of them are derived from various documents in various archives of KDP stored nowadays at Russian State Archive for Military History (РГИВИА). If you need any attribution for any particular purposes - do not hesitate to let me know. I'll try my best to oblige.
    – K5thRD
    Jul 22, 2016 at 10:14
  • Sorry, its РГВИА (and not РГИВИА)
    – K5thRD
    Jul 22, 2016 at 10:34
  • Added a source line (comments are ephemeral) - if you disagree, please feel free to roll back my edits; well done and welcome to History
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 22, 2016 at 11:36

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