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PROSPECTING ENSURING FIGHTING of WHITE ARMIES IN SIBERIA In 1918-1919.



nikolay KIRMEL

PROSPECTING ENSURING FIGHTING of WHITE ARMIES IN SIBERIA In 1918-1919

In article the problems of prospecting ensuring fighting of kolchakovsky armies in Siberia are considered. Rather well organized investigation, using various sources, regularly provided headquarters with information on the opponent.

This article examines intelligence operations of White Army under the command of admiral Kolchak stationed in Siberia during the Civil War in Russia.

fighting, Supreme governor, offensive operation, secret-service investigation, kolchakovsky intelligence agencies, front-line strip, reconnaissance department of the headquarters, admiral Kolchak; operations, supreme governor, offensive operation, secret-service investigation, Kolchak’s special services, military front, staff reconnaissance department, admiral Kolchak.

After overthrow of the Soviet power in Siberia the anti-Bolshevist governments created the armies which at the end of fall of 1918 united under the general command of the admiral A.V. Kolchak. The headquarters of the Supreme Commander (VGK) was engaged in questions of planning of operations, the leadership in military operations, training and use of troops. Collecting information about the opponent was organized: in the headquarters of VGK — prospecting department, in headquarters of armies — prospecting offices, in headquarters of cases, divisions and regiments — officers of investigation.

The admiral A.V. Kolchak, intending to achieve a change in favor of white troops, decided to carry out new mobilization and to accelerate rearrangement Ekaterinburg and Prikamskoy group in the Siberian army, to create the Western army and to develop it on the Ufa direction.

On November 29 the Ekaterinburg group under command of the general R. Guides took the offensive and by December 14 created threat of capture of Perm, and on December 25 took the city. As a result of 20-day operation the 3rd army of red was crushed. However because of a lack of forces the White Guards could not move ahead further to Vyatka. Having obtained from investigation data on aspiration red to occupy Ufa and Orenburg, the admiral A.V. Kolchak gave on January 6, 1919 the order on transition of the Siberian army to defense and transfer of a part of troops on Ufa napravleniye1. But the measures taken by the Supreme governor did not result in desirable results. At the beginning of January the Soviet troops occupied Ufa, and then — Orenburg and Uralsk.

On March 4, 1919 White Guards by forces of the Siberian, Western, Ural, Orenburg armies and the Southern army group took the offensive. On March 14 they seized Ufa and began fast advance to Volga. After persistent fights on April 15 they took Buguruslan. The Supreme governor demanded from the parts to reject on April 20 armies of East front on the South and not to allow their withdrawal for Volga. Investigation informed on intensive evacuation of Bolshevist institutions from Kazan, export of property and bread from Samara.

Offensive operations promoted receiving by investigation of various information about the opponent since troops took a large number of the documents which were a reliable source of information.

1 Russian State Military Archive (RSMA), t. 39499, op. 1, 110, l. 29.

KIRMEL Nikolay Sergeyevich — to. and. N, senior teacher of department of journalism of the Military university

Also other sources were actively used. In particular, a lot of valuable information arrived from deserters and prisoners. For example, the captured brigade commander Ovalov showed that red risk to give several cities on other directions if only not to allow kolchakovsky troops to Volga. Deserters reported about withdrawal of the 30th division to Kazan and plans of red command to hand over Glazov without boya1.

Kolchak soldiers very actively conducted a radioprospecting, especially Western and Ural armies. Having the code got by the agent of reconnaissance department of the Rate in the Soviet Russia, White Guards could read Bolshevist telegrams and by that to control the planned operations on East and Turkestan fronts, to monitor communication of command of these fronts with Moscow. the 2nd general quartermaster of the headquarters of VGK major general P.F. Ryabikov noted that interceptions of the Soviet radio "... helped business of investigation much" 2.

Heads of kolchakovsky intelligence agencies attached great value to secret-service investigation which was organized by headquarters of armies, cases and divisions. Agents walkers went to a front-line strip with concrete tasks. The residents living in concrete points were considered as especially valuable. Residents, as a rule, were the officers serving in headquarters of red troops, transmitting reports through agents of communication.

The military specialists serving at Bolsheviks who not only collected data became volunteer assistants of White Guard intelligence agencies, as a rule, but carried out the blasting actions directed to decrease in combat readiness of connections and parts red. So, the chief of autoservice of the headquarters of the 3rd army the former royal colonel Kargal-sky and some employees of his device worked for kolchakovsky investigation. The head of department of military messages of army of Stacks at evacuation of Perm left white 20 trains with ammunition and regimentals.

Kolchakovsky intelligence agents, bolshin-

1 RGVA, t. 39736, op. 1, 72, l. 19a, 90 (about).
2 State Archive of the Russian Federation (SARF), t. R-5793, op. 1, 1g, l. 14.

from which stvo were officers-volunteers, went to the back of the opponent under the guise of the workers or the former Soviet workers who were allegedly running from prison. At the same time among agents were also such who, having received money for the organization of diversions and insurgent groups, used the allocated funds for a meeting with the families which were in the Soviet Russia.

During the work with an agency the kolchakovsky intelligence agency made also other mistakes. So, red counterspies could convert her agents and start an operational game for the purpose of misinformation of White Guard command.

The beginning of operation was promoted by emergence in special department of the 5th army of prominent Social Revolutionaries Kondakov and Semyonov. On interrogation they said that they consist in the Siberian underground organization which is trying to obtain overthrow of interventionists and the Supreme governor. On the instructions of party leadership they took root into kolchakovsky investigation and now join in joint fight with Bolsheviks. After careful check red presented to Kondakov an opportunity to meet the resident of White Guards Grigoriev who gave a task to return with the report to the reconnaissance department of the Western army headed by the colonel M.M. Shokho-vy. The last for the unknown reasons did not begin a secret way to check carefully the data received from the agent, and at once entrusted it group of saboteurs for transfer to the back of red. Naturally, all of them worked under observation of special department. After them on various pretexts subjected to "withdrawal". In total more than 130 saboteurs were neutralized.

In parallel Kontakions, continuing contacts with Grigoriev, supplied him with the prospecting reports containing misinformation. By recognition of the colonel M.M. Shokhov arrested in Krasnoyarsk, at fight for Zlatoust the command of the Western army did not allow a thought that they are misinformed by Red Army investigation. According to the officer, he completely trusted Kondakov and employees of his residency. The colonel recognized that it could happen only because of inexperience of his subordinates, and said that "none of us were properly familiar with art of times -

a branch, all of us were sent to it from staff work" 1.

However we will return to fighting. After the "Theses of RCP(b) of the Central Committee in connection with position of East front" written on April 12, 1919 by I. Lenin in which the demand to bend all efforts to defeat of troops of A.V. Kolchak was made the troops of the Southern group of red turned into counterattack on the Ufa direction. In May the main forces of the 5th and Turkestan armies inflicted defeat over the Western army and occupied Buguruslan. As a result of counterattack of East front the main group of kolchakovsky troops was broken. The remains of the Western army receded on the East in hope to occupy defense on Ridge Karatau and the Ufa plateau, having covered the Zlatoust — Chelyabinsk direction. The Siberian army sought to occupy defense on the western heights of Central Ural Mountains and the Kama River.

The headquarters of the military representative in Paris told to a data VGK Rate that the opponent focuses reserves on the site Samara — Kazan, transferred from the district of Petrograd the 3rd crew of the 2nd division, the Petrograd cavalry division, the Latvian parts, and from Ukraine — the 2nd and 4th infantry divisions. At the same time White Guard analysts suggested that counterattack of East front will be suspended because of threat to Petrograd.

It is impossible to tell unambiguously how the above-stated intelligence information was apprehended by kolchakovsky command. However it is for certain known that after leaving of Perm and Kungur some highest officials, in particular the Minister of War lieutenant general A.P. Budberg, recommended to the Supreme governor to transport the government to Irkutsk, and to withdraw troops for Ishim and to pass temporarily to defense. The chief of staff of VGK major general D.A. Lebedev, on the contrary, suggested to begin offensive near Chelyabinsk. Its plan was in enticing the 5th army into the city. The admiral A.V. Kolchak agreed with the second option. Heavy fights with Bolsheviks who proceeded week turned back defeat of tired kolchakovsky parts by fresh and well organized Soviet troops. As a result of the Chelyabinsk operation the plan of counterattack white was litter -

1 Fight for the Urals and Siberia//Memoirs and articles of participants of fight against an uchredilovky and kolchakovsky counterrevolution. — M, L.: A state publishing house, 1926, p. 180 — 183; G. Belousov. Operational game//East Siberian truth, on April 24, 2002

van; after the city occupation red the road to Siberia opened.

After provedyoenny reorganization the White Guard command made an attempt of counterattack which main goal was assistance to A.I. Denikin attacking Moscow. In August-September, 1919 the kolchakovsky parts rejected red for the Tobol River and occupied Tobolsk. But the last approach of A.V. Kolchak gradually stopped. In October, intense fights between Ishim and Tobol which proceeded the whole month were started.

on October 1 the reconnaissance department of the headquarters of East front reported that against white armies the opponent concentrated 36,650 bayonets, 5,300 sabers, 326 machine guns and 114 tools. Intelligence agents did not exclude a possibility of arrival of the 20th and 24th divisions total number, on the established data, 9,750 bayonets and 1,600 sabers, 190 machine guns and 30 orudiy2.

For white the situation worsened at the front. the 5th army amplified and turned into counterattacks, was developed for blow. On October 25, 1919 investigation found parts of the 51st division which soon took the offensive to the South, from Tyumen the 30th division attacked Ishim and Omsk. The Kolchakovsky army departed on the East. On November 14 the capital of white Siberia was entered by parts of the Red Army.

The derogation of Kolchak soldiers from Omsk to Baikal which was followed by blows of constantly attacking opponent was prompt. Most likely, investigation properly was not organized at this time since in those conditions of plans of warfare the White Guard command did not discuss any more, and was anxious with one question - in what direction to recede to avoid excess losses.

Follows from the aforesaid that command of white armies, planning combat operations, conducting offensive and defensive battles, did not remain to "blind people". Rather well organized investigation, using various sources, regularly provided headquarters with information on the opponent. Even command red and heads of the Siberian ChK believed that the kolchakovsky intelligence agency worked more effectively, than sovetskaya3.

2 RGVA, t. 39483, op. 1, 29, l. 24 (about).
3 E.V. Volkov. Under a banner of the white admiral. Officer corps of paramilitary groups of A.V. Kolchak during Civil war. — Irkutsk, 2005, building 141.
Edward Anthony
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