/nik"euh leuhs, nik"leuhs/, n.1. of Cusa /kyooh"zeuh/, 1401-1464, German cardinal, mathematician, and philosopher. German, Nikolaus von Cusa.2. Grand Duke, 1856-1929, Russian general in World War I.3. Saint, fl. 4th century A.D., bishop in Asia Minor: patron saint of Russia; protector of children and prototype of the legendary Santa Claus.4. a male given name: from Greek words meaning "victory" and "people."
* * *IRussian Nikolay Nikolayevichborn Nov. 18, 1856, St. Petersburg, Russiadied Jan. 5, 1929, Antibes, FranceRussian grand duke.The nephew of Tsar Alexander II, he entered the imperial army (1872) and served in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). As inspector general of calvary (1895–1905), he introduced reforms in training and equipment. From 1905 he commanded the St. Petersburg military district, and in 1914 he was appointed head of all Russian forces. A popular commander, he led the army to early successes in World War I but was hampered by shortages. Dismissed in 1915 by Nicholas II, he commanded in the Caucasus (1915–17). After the Russian Revolution of 1917 he moved to France, where he led an organization to unite anticommunist Russian émigrés.II(as used in expressions)Nicholas BreakspearBiddle NicholasButler Nicholas MurrayHilliard NicholasLindsay Nicholas VachelMonsarrat Nicholas John TurneyNicholas INicholas VNicholas SaintRay NicholasRaymond Nicholas KienzleRowe NicholasUdall NicholasLouis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas prince of Battenberg
* * *▪ Russian grand dukeRussian in full Nikolay Nikolayevichborn Nov. 18 [Nov. 6, Old Style], 1856, St. Petersburg, Russiadied Jan. 5, 1929, Antibes, Fr.Russian grand duke and army officer who served as commander in chief against the Germans and Austro-Hungarians in the first year of World War I and was subsequently (until March 1917) Emperor Nicholas II's viceroy in the Caucasus and commander in chief against the Turks.The son of the emperor Alexander II's brother, the grand duke Nikolay Nikolayevich “the Elder,” Nicholas was educated at the general staff college and commissioned in 1872. He served in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 and as inspector general of cavalry (1895–1905), introducing major reforms in training and equipment. He was made commander of the St. Petersburg military district in 1905 and also was appointed first president of the short-lived imperial committee of national defense.When World War I began, Emperor Nicholas II abandoned his intention to lead the Russian armies himself and appointed the grand duke Nicholas commander in chief. Despite their early successes, the Russians were outgeneralled by the German chief of staff Erich Ludendorff and eventually were immobilized by munitions shortages. The grand duke is considered to have done as well as possible with the general staff's plans he was obliged to follow.On Sept. 5 (Aug. 23, Old Style), 1915, the emperor assumed the supreme command. He sent the grand duke to the Caucasus, where he remained until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1917. The emperor's last official act was to appoint the grand duke commander in chief once more; but his appointment was canceled almost immediately by Prince Georgy Y. Lvov, head of the provisional government. Two years later Grand Duke Nicholas sailed from Russia in a British warship. He lived in France until his death, heading an organization that sought to unite all anticommunist Russian émigrés.
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