Samsonov, Aleksandr Vasilyevich (əlyĭksänˈdər vəsēˈlyəvĭch səmsôˈnəf) [key], 1859–1914, Russian general. Early in World War I, when his army advanced into East Prussia (see Masuria) in order to relieve German pressure on the French, it was virtually annihilated by German field marshal Hindenburg in the battle of Tannenberg (Aug., 1914). His defeat was partly caused by the failure of General Rennenkampf to bring his forces to Samsonov's aid. Samsonov shot himself on the battlefield.
See A. Solzhenitsyn, August 1914 (1972).