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Historical and anthropological approach to studying Grazh of the Don war in the south of Russia

 © 2008 V. Zasukhin


The historical anthropology as A. Byurgyer noted, corresponds to the present moment in development of historical science, but does not make its any certain sector [1, page 32]. Thereby influence of historical anthropology on the general orientation of historical knowledge characteristic of our time was emphasized. The plots considered by historical anthropology can make a subject of study and other branches of historical science. But the historian-anthropologist is interested first of all "a human resonance" of historical evolution, behavior model which it generates or changes [1, page 32].

Among the least studied problems of national history of the 20th century a specific place is held by spiritual processes of the period of civil war. The historian V.D. Zimina, studying political aspect of war between citizens of Russia in 1918 - 1920, came to a conclusion: "The fratricidal nature of Civil war causes complexity of the analysis of the developing political conflict with its trend of development in sociocultural" [2] At the same time, speaking about civil war as the sociocultural conflict, we should not forget about multidimensionality and a dialectic contradiction of historical process. The academician Yu.A. Polyakov noted: "The multidimensionality of process, discrepancy and even contrast of streams of its components, with the surprising, not learned by us force were detected also in the history of the Soviet society. Without having seen this discrepancy, we will not break the impasse and labyrinths" [3, page 29].

By means of the historical and anthropological analysis we set the task to understand, than the civil war in Russia for its participants was? Whether only fratricidal it was represented for them and whether civil war in society which considers it unambiguously fratricidal is possible? The most fierce forms took part in war at those social groups for which the victory or defeat in conditions of internal confrontation had character Hamlet "To be or not to be". In the south of Russia it found reflection in the conflict between Cossacks and non-residents: "The question stood on a dead point: a victory of Cossacks - enslavement of non-residents, a victory red - enslavement of Cossacks" [3, page 288]. In the North Caucasus the civil opposition amplified both interclass, and interethnic

conflicts. All this could not but affect the nature of war between citizens of one state and its specifics in this region.

When studying civil war it is necessary to consider a role of political and economic factors, but here it is important to note that "all factors operating in society or influencing it, even in those historical situations when they come to the forefront are mediated by such sociocultural property as public psychology" [2]. The chairman of Revolutionary Military Council L.D. Trotsky wrote about civil war that at the most critical moments the fate of revolution "depended on one battalion, on one company, on firmness of one commissioner..." [4, page 380]. The huge role of a human factor in civil war is noted also by other its participants, but, despite this, the perspective of psychological perception of the internal armed confrontation by the people who were directly involved in fighting remains undeveloped so far.

Despite the works on studying a human factor which are coming out in recent years within social history in the civil war in Russia of 1918-1920, we will note lack among them of the works devoted to "the warring person" i.e. to studying people's psychology in specific circumstances of war between citizens of one state. On the other hand, researches of military and anthropological orientation also bypass a perspective of civil war. One of the reasons is in specific features of the interstate conflict. Conditions of conducting combat operations, strategy and tactics of war leave the deep mark on psychology of its participants. Civil war caused violation of all of the old, existing till that time classical laws of war. The commander-in-chief of armed forces of the South of Russia A.I. Denikin noted about it that "conditions of civil war, without overturning worthiness of firm laws of strategy, break their relative value - sometimes in such degree that in the opinion of the superficial observer the thought appears doubled: not the law is false, not its heavy violation comes true." [5, page 28]. First of all the psychological difference of external war from war between citizens of one state is important for our research. Especially sharply a difference between two wars

felt those who passed through World War I hearth, i.e. most of participants of civil war in the South of Russia. One of white officers told the ataman Krasnov: "I spent three years on that, to big war and felt like after all the person. At least, never forgot that I am a person. And here forgot... Sometimes you prick a bayonet, for a minute you will stop and will think: person I or beast? Human we lose an image. You do not judge us. On big war we each and all remember bayonet fights. One, two, three and is enough. Years to tell about them. Only also we remember them, and the rest on that war was such gray, ordinary: we sit also postrelivay; we kill or not, - we do not know, we do not see" [6]. Perception of civil opposition in the south of Russia sharply contrasted with the ideas of war which developed during World War I: "There is hell. Here what it is possible to die of, having seen time. We do not die because we got used and absolutely killed in ourselves the person. We five months in a row daily, hourly go bayonet fight. Only bayonet, anything else. You see, - to see five months daily, and even two, three times in day of the enemy few steps away from itself, shooting at an emphasis, most in an attack of frenzy to pin up several people, to see the broken-off stomachs, the ruined guts, the heads separated from trunks to hear agonal shouts and groans. It is inexpressible, but it, understand, so awfully. And meanwhile, all this became for us ordinary" [6]. The moral principles of conducting combat operations changed and what was considered as immoral in external war, was already considered as normal in war against the fellow citizens. Here reasonings from the diary of "volunteer" Sergey Mamontov who was at war on the Southern front: "When speak about war violation of the rules, to me ridiculously to listen. War the most immoral thing, civil war - a naipacha. Rules for amoralism? It is possible to cripple and kill healthy, and it is impossible to finish off the wounded? Where logic?" [7, page 266].

V.I. Lenin, considering a question of specifics of civil war, wrote that it "differs from ordinary war in immeasurably bigger complexity, uncertainty and indefinability of structure of fighting." [8, page 72]. As one of features of the civil armed confrontation V.I. Lenin noted impossibility "to draw a distinction between "combatants" and "non-combatants" i.e. between registered in the ranks of warring and not registered" [8, page 73]. Owing to the above reasons the historian E.S. Se-nyavskaya notes that "psychology of civil wars - a special object for a historical and psychological research and demands spetsi-

alny independent study with use essentially other methodology, research approaches and even tools" [9, page 34].

As well as any another, including interstate armed conflict, war between citizens of one state - the difficult social and political phenomenon. It is characterized by radical change of the relations between warring parties and transition from application of nonviolent forms and ways of fight (resolution of conflicts) to direct use of weapons and other violent means for achievement of definite political and economic targets [10]. But, besides, "it is necessary to cover the conflict which was the cornerstone of civil war the same as a multidimensional social phenomenon which was the integral feature of human existence, social changes and transformations of the Russian statehood of the end of XIX - the beginnings of the 20th centuries" [2]. The complexity of the historian - anthropological studying civil war is that here in the course of armed conflict we can observe emergence of new psychomental type of the person with psychology of civil war during which formation the psychology of revolution, "distempers", was imposed on people's psychology in the conditions of military operations. So, in the Cossack areas of the South of Russia the original psychology of the Cossacks which features in no small measure influenced the choice of the so-called "third way" which was the Cossack alternative to the Bolshevist and White Guard modes had a great influence on specifics of passing of the conflict.

The essence of historical and anthropological knowledge consists in comprehension by the researcher of the world of the specific person or small social group [11]. Application of anthropological approach to the history of civil war is expedient for understanding of the reason and the nature of actions and acts of the certain individuals entering into different social groups, who faced in deadly confrontation. In the course of civil war the country was divided into certain regions with the different list of participants and respectively different psychology of perception of military events. In each region the war had the specifics which were defined by social and psychological features of the population living there. In the south of Russia among the factors which had considerable impact on passing of the conflict there were disagreements between Cossacks and "non-residents", property differentiation in the environment of the Cossacks, National -

ny aspect characteristic of the North Caucasus, and so forth. It should be noted that these processes began long before fighting. It is difficult to understand psychology of participants of civil war in Russia 1918-1920 of without analysis of their previous psychological "baggage". As marks out V.S. Tyazhelnikov, "it is necessary for the reasoned justification "чисто" military mentality (that is mainly the war caused by a situation) and exarticulations of those individual and group psychological traits which are caused by pre-war development of society to a large extent" [12]. Special attention should be paid to the "external" factors which had considerable impact on passing of the conflict in the region. World War I militarized consciousness of the population, and revolution extended this militarized aggression in the Russian society. The big role in escalation of violence in the south of Russia was played by the fact that in the course of disintegration of fronts there were not only veterans from indigenous people who are coming back to the native places but also the huge mass of an alien element here. It was connected with the fact that at the end of 1917 the troops which were coming back from the Caucasian front were clamped in the close area between Don and the Caucasian ridge, without having "an opportunity to be sprayed across Russia with the same ease as soldiers of the Russian armies of the European fronts" [13, page 197]. These soldiers of World War I who on the front got under influence of Bolshevist promotion, according to the general Denikin, became "the inexhaustible and well prepared material for completing of the North Caucasian Red Army" [14, page 250]. The considerable role in escalation of violence in the region was played by excesses and robberies of numerous groups of all flowers and shades receding from Ukraine through Taman under the pressure of the German invaders.

Special attention should be paid to specifics concerning at war to "" and "others" and also to civilians. So, E.S. Senyavskaya notes that one of key for understanding of psychology of war and its participants of concepts "-others", is tragically broken off and at the same time bound, - in civil war against each other there are former citizens of one state, representatives of one nation, fellow countrymen, recent friends, and is frequent also members of one family" [15]. So, the brother of the commander-in-chief of the North Caucasian Red Army of I.L. Sorokin at white held a position of the assistant to the stanitsa ataman and as the historian of the Kuban Cossacks F.I. Yeliseyev serving at that time in Box - remembers

nilovsky regiment: ".ochen helped a regiment with delivery of fodder and an allowance much" [16, page 301]. And special exasperation was shown in relation to "", appeared on other side of barricades: "At once in chambers, belokazak ran, doing a round, looking narrowly at everyone unconscious lying typhus painfully. They searched for the stanichnik and at detection arranged sadistic mob killings and sophisticated tortures and, having sated with tortures of unfortunate, killed with a dagger or a saber..." [17, l. 25-26].

In the course of the historical and anthropological analysis it is necessary to consider influence of social demographic factors: age parameters warring, participation of women in war and also national and psychological aspect. In the civil war in the South of Russia representatives of all age, starting with the most young side by side battled and finishing very old men. So, in the guerrilla group created by A.G. Shkuro among the ordinary Cossacks in the majority there were people of advanced age and old men, and as a part of officers, on the contrary, the youth prevailed [16, page 212-213]. Here it is necessary to consider the fact that at the beginning of the civil war on Don and Kuban the confrontation among Cossacks went also in age parameters. The outlook of the youth which came back from the front in a root was other than outlooks on life of their fathers and grandfathers: "Young Cossacks entered open fight against old men. In many villages this fight gained fierce character; handlings on both sides were rough" [18, page 183]. Here it is necessary to take into account the fact that the psychological features on which the set of personal properties of the individual who is involved in fighting in no small measure depends are inherent in each age.

As for participation of women in civil war, E.S. Senyavskaya notes that "civil war is a question special. Komissarsha in leather jackets, from a revolver finishing wounded officers, and the dashing Cossacks from a White Guard cutting with checkers to the right and on the left - the phenomenon equally terrible. Any war is awful. And the woman is at war - what can be more terrible?!" [9, page 142]. But during civil war it is possible to speak about emergence of such social and psychological phenomenon, "as rather mass participation in war of women." [9, page 142]. In the south of Russia in the conditions of disorder of front life the women, except the direct official duties, had to fulfill the duties which were considered at that time "as primordially women's". So, in the archival reference of the given E.F. Dudina serving in 1st Urup-

sky voluntary group, it is said that it "carried out duties of the nurse, the cook and the laundress" [19]. The nurse Anna Malykhi-na writes in the memoirs: "In breaks between fights it was necessary to wash clothes and by means of Red Army men to do of it bandage. On vacation made repair and washing of linen to fighters" [20]. At the same time in the conditions of extraordinary war of maneuvre even nurses needed to own not worse than other fighters a checker and to shoot with a rifle.

The complexity in studying national and psychological aspect of civil war in the South of Russia, among other things, is defined by the fact that this region belongs to so-called contact zones where in the territory of only one North Caucasus "representatives more compactly live than forty ethnic communities which have old historical links among themselves and other Russia and keep the "cultural отличительность"" [21, page 156]. It is necessary to consider that representatives of the nationalities which did not have any relation to this region and appeared due to various reasons involved in the interstate conflict also were involved in the civil war in the South of Russia. The attitude towards people as to representatives of other nationality comes to the forefront when it is easy to identify them even on some external signs. On the southern front of civil war in this plan Chinese were allocated: ". In dressing gowns in these, in wooden shlyora, not Ur shouted, and shouted: "А-ля-ля-ля-ля-ля-ля-ля-ля". White decided that it is evil spirit", - remembered the fighter of Tamansky army of E.R. Voloshin [22].

The considerable role in a historical and anthropological research of civil war is occupied by studying psychology of military life. It is necessary to distinguish from all variety of its components that had the greatest impact on feeling and mentality of participants of the fratricidal conflict in the region. These are unsatisfactory sanitary and hygienic conditions, insufficient fighting and household supply of belligerent parties and also climatic characteristics of the region.

Historical and anthropological studying all above-mentioned circumstances consists first of all in the analysis of their influence on psychology of belligerent parties. At the same time social and psychological features of subjects of a research as the difference in perception of civil war in no small measure depended on personal properties of participants of armed conflict are surely considered. At the same time the great value is given to feelings, emotions,

to behavior models of individuals during historical cataclysms.

Use of historical and anthropological approach allowed us to draw a conclusion on features of relationship "-others" in the civil war in the South of Russia, to reveal the main motives of participation in it in different social groups and also to track influence of specific conditions of interstate armed conflict on psychology of its participants. In general the emphasis on studying these factors also defines historical and anthropological approach to studying the civil war in the South of Russia.


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Armavir state pedagogical university On March 23, 2007

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