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Formation of central office of the Soviet Defense Ministry (March August, 1918)

s. S. Voytikov


By March, 1918 it became clear to the Bolshevist management that not to do without mass regular army. But Narkomat's guide on military affairs (Nar-komvoyena) (in particular, leaders of board of a narcomat N.I. Podvoysky and N.V. Krylenko) continued to pursue former policy - now counter with plans of the leaders of the state. In March over Narkomvoyen and Narkomat's boards on sea affairs put new body - the Supreme Military Council (Republics) (VVSR) which chairman was L.D. Trotsky.

For the solution of the practical tasks connected with formation of the regular Red Army the debugged centralized military device was required. Reorganization old and creation of its new divisions, begun in November, 1917, had to undergo serious adjustment: it is necessary to reconstruct "a number of separate managements of the old device" 1.

To the middle of January there was the following structure of Narkomvoyen. The narcomat headed a plenum of board to which directly submitted the Special meeting on defense of the state, the Rate of the Supreme Commander and the Headquarters of the All-Russian board on the organization and formation of the Red Army (Vseroskolle-giya). The "narrow" structure of board directed directly a budget and financial part and the secretariat, by means of the Administration - the central and head departments of the Defense Ministry, General staff and Office of the Ministry of Defence (Kavomi). Certain members of board directed: departments of demobilization of army and artillery, Management of the Main commissariat of military schools (VUZ Group) and editorial office of publication Narkomvoyena.

Narkomvoyen's activity slowed down transfer to Moscow in March-aprele2. In the conditions of moving under the direction of VVSR the new stage of organizational development of the Soviet central military office was also developed.

> March the first state of VVSR was claimed 17: military head; his assistant (with staff of the trotters consisting at them and the faces of administrative and technical structure); the general quartermaster at VVSR (with two assistants by an operational part and two - on investigation, the chief of communication, the manager. foreign missions and topographer); chief of military messages; field inspector of artillery; the field engineer at VVSR; the field quartermaster at VVSR; the inspector of a sanitary part at VVSR; department of formation; Office at VVSR. The structure of VVSR was changed on May 14: the department of formation was transformed to Organizational management, the staff of the general quartermaster was renamed into Operational management, instead of a position of the field quartermaster entered a position military and economic inspektora3. On June 10 the military instructor of VVSR M.D. Bonch-Bruyevich specified that work of managements of council "has to have the character close to work of the Field headquarters" (Operational management least rationally worked) 4. On June 11 approved staff of Registration service at Operational management (counterintelligence) 5. On June 20 the position of the assistant to the military instructor was transformed to a position of the chief of staff of VVSR. Operational and Organizational managements, the chief of military messages and the commandant of VVSR turned into submission of the chief of staff. Inspectors turned into direct submission of the military instructor of VVSR: economic, artilleries, engineers and sanitary. Then all work was united in the Headquarters of VVSR in which submission transferred all departments and inspektsii6. According to Narkomvoyen N.M. Potapov Managing affairs, the Headquarters of VVSR became "purely front organization" 7.

10 July of VVSR approved a number of necessary "temporary" provisions: about the chief of own Headquarters; chiefs of Operational and Organizational managements of the Headquarters; about Management of military messages (UVOSO); about the commandant of the Main apartment. In practice the formation of managements of VVSR dragged on for a month: the resolution VVSR was announced the order Narkomvoyena only 18 avgusta8.
20 March for coordination of work of the head dovolstvuyushchy departments in the device Narkomvoyena the Military and Economic Council (MEC) headed by wide board was founded. Its structure joined representatives of all central and head dovolstvuyushchy offices (their chiefs and managers of departments), experts in various branches of military science and "persons by the special invitation". For consideration of the questions infringing on the interests of other departments the interdepartmental meeting at VHS was provided. Local bodies at VHS should be created acting through district "military and economic meetings" (on their formation local requisition evaluation committees of the abolished Special meeting on defense of the state addressed.), and central office - as a part of the administration and yuriskonsultsky department and three managements (legislative and financial, economic and technical, demobilizatsionnoekonomichesky).

On formation of the device VHS addressed finally abolished with

20 March bodies of the Council of War (CW), Commissariat for demobilization, Kavomi, Administration and commissions of the Special meeting on defense gosudarstva9. Under the direction of VHS 11 head departments of Narkomvoyen from now on had to function: artillery (GAU), military and engineering (GVIU), on a room allowance of troops (GU CD), the military and air fleet (GU VVF), military and economic (GVHU), military and sanitary (GVSANU), the veterinary management of army (VMA), on foreign supply (GU ZS), on a remontirovaniye of army (UR), and

also central scientific and technical laboratory (CSTL) and Central administrative bureau of military property (Centrrasporbyuro).

The general Potapov wrote that moving to Moscow disorganized Narkomvoyen's work, in particular - central office snabzheniya10. Creation of VHS was "echo" of domartovsky representations of board. One of members who wrote V.I. Lenina and Ya.M. Sverdlova on April 1 demonstrates to it: Narkomvoyen's board planned to create "Military and Economic Council constructed in such a way that it entirely and its each section at any time can become a part [silt] and parts" to BCHX11. Doubts of the member of board E.M. Sklyansko-go fulfilling on pervygkh a time duties of the chairman of VHS and the resolution of Council claiming further, in expediency of creation of this body are remarkable: VHS "turned out in a final look, in my opinion, bureaucracy and will hardly improve business much... in the project nothing new, except a combination, turned out" 12.

This reorganization, as well as all others, happened far not at once: only

27 March Potapov ordered vrid the chief of Legislative financial management at VHS F. P. Balkanovu to request all byshshy members of the Council of War about their readiness to continue service "as a part of army", and on March 31 - 10 days later after formal abolition of VS - Balkanov sent inquiries to his byshshy members, they wish "subtract on this occasion in resignation" or to continue work. In April he reported that from 15 requested (all in VS 27 members were registered) two could not be found: one was on vacation ("according to private data" as Balkanov reported, on Revel), the second "disappeared" in October, 1917 Six were in a holiday and did not answer (one of them for the first time asked for resignation still on November 6, 1917). Ten showed willingness subtract in resignation. From nine on which, appear, the Soviet power could count one (A.F. Dobryshin) asked to leave, in view of need of treatment of consequences of a contusion, him at work in Petrograd, second (D.V. Filatyev) wanted to remain at teaching work in academy of the General Staff, two (A.V. Brilevich, V.T. Chernyavsky) - on administrative, one (V.N. Klembovsky) asked to make more specific proposal. Determination to serve in field army was declared only by one - the field gunner, the byshshy commander of army E.A. Radkevich.

Only on May 25 Balkanov suggested Sklyansky to consider 12 byshshy members of the Council of War dismissed from service since March 21 with granting to them the right for pension, and a question of official position of the others to leave otkrytym13. Balconies and Potapov "took care" to byshshy members of VS: considered all their wishes and persons interested remained at various positions in the central military office. Klembovsky subsequently shot on a charge of treason actively "attached" the people in the All-Russian general staff which ranking officer stal14.

With creation of VHS by the end of March in general the reorganization of management of supply structures of a narcomat planned still by domar-tovsky board of Narkomvoyen came to the end. However, soon just created device began to be replenished with new divisions, and its originally planned circle of tasks - respectively to extend. On April 30 VVSR decided to create 3 departments as a part of VHS: "according to the publication of laws, orders, states and sheets", "on mailing of the issued laws, orders, states and sheets in bodies, managements and institutions" and also "on drawing up the set of the military legislation" 15.

The artificiality of such combination of functions vyyvitsya quickly. Already on June 1 VHS divided into the Military Legislative Council (MLC) and the Central office for supply of army (CUS) dealing with issues supply of army. Actually VHS renamed into VZS, and here CUS had to be formed anew that did not do good to regularity of work. Problems of CUS included the organization of planned supply of parts of army, definition of needs of troops for arms, equipment, ammunition, the equipment, etc. and also control of their expenditure. CUS headed Council as a part of the Chief director of supply - GNS (the general A.A. Manikovsky became him) and two commissioners. Already on July 6 GNS and the head of department of military property of CUS N.P. Neumann addressed the manager of Operations section Narkomvoyena (Operod) to S.I. Aralov with the offer to immediately convene under its presidency a meeting of chiefs of all head dovolstvuyushchy departments, representatives of GNS, the management of VVSR and VGS for establishment of sequence of holidays of objects of fighting supply: CUS literally filled up with requirements Narkomvoyen, VVSR and other "authorized bodies" 16.

15 June of TsUSu of a bysha GAU, GVIU, GVHU, GKU, GU VVF, GVSANU are subordinated, to VUA, HURRAH, of CNTL, by Centrrasporbyuro (in the form of the department knowing collecting, account and distribution of ready military property and watching work of dovolstvuyushchy managements) and Technical committee of Economic and technical management at VZS (with all preparatory commissions and local bodies and also liquidating department of this management consisting at it, except for a part on claims). The public organizations performing "any works on supply" of RKKA were also transferred to the jurisdiction of CUS. All demobilizatsionny departments founded at dovolstvuyushchy managements on March 6 were abolished, employees "in a measure of the valid need" were recommended to be transferred to completion main dovolstvuyushchy upravleniy17.

In parallel CUS worked since February 26 the department of arms of Vseroskol-Legia which was also engaged in accounting of weapon, the organization of its production in case of a shortcoming, ensuring the correct supply with weapon of the major bases and all groups of RKKA.

In the organization of supply the confusion and a constant lack of military property dominated. Disorganization of supply amplified when in August instead of department of arms the Central commission on fighting supply was created, formally the subordinate Operodu and designed to establish strict control over the implementation of requirements of fighting supply TSUSOM by both the head dovolstvuyushchy departments and their district and local bodies, without any intervention in activity of these institutions.

As for VZS, on June 6 established a new order of the direction of cases on the Defense Ministry: the central and head departments subordinated to Council of VGS or Council of CUS lost a possibility of the direct appeal to other institutions. It was explicitly stated what questions to transfer to Councils of VGS or CUS to Narkomvoyen's board through managing affairs of a narcomat what to accompany with the conclusion of ZFU VZS18.

For the leadership in activity of military commissioners ("direct political bodies of the Soviet power at army") on the scale of all army as a part of the device Narkomvoyena on April 8 bysho the All-Russian bureau the military of commissioners (Vsebyurvoyenk) 19 is founded. Its initial cell was the Bureau of commissioners of Narkomvoyen. On April 23 in structure this formed central

body transferred propaganda and educational department of the Vseroskollegiya. On May 8 registered initial structure of Vsebyurvoyenkom: secretariat, general office-work, administrative and inspection and instructor offices, propaganda and educational department. Soon were added to them the communication service (on May 17) and treasury department (on May 24) 20. On August 15 was replenished with Vsebyurvoyenk with voyennozheleznodorozhny office which should coordinate work of political commissioners at chiefs of UVOSO and authorized VOSO on railway stantsiyakh21. The foundation for future Political management of Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic was so laid.

In May as a part of the central military office there was a structure parallel to Operational management of VVSR - Operations section Narkomvoyena (Operod) transferred in already "ready" view from a military registration and enlistment office to MVO. Operod quickly grew and became more and more multipurpose and self-sufficient body what the list of its offices created by October confirms: quick, prospecting, military control (counterprospecting), communications, registration, movements (military messages), "general" (administration), military and topographical, military-political, military and acceptable and also the secretariat and "the commission on gifts" (for mailing in bodies of gifts for fighters - "embryo" of prize department) 22.

For the first time the military authorities "undertook" for Operod at the beginning of July when some of his experts were tried to be sent to field army. Then the manager of Operod Aralovu managed to defend the sotrudnikov23. The situation changed in an early autumn: by September 13 called up 55 employees for the Red Army. The majority as Aralov reported to Sklyansky, held responsible positions and could not be replaced "unexperienced" because it will lead "to inevitable frustration" its works). The petition did not help: soon Operod forwarded in mobilization department of Military registration and enlistment office of Moscow the list on 63 employees among whom appeared 1 consultant and 5 stolonachalnikov24.

Improvisation in construction of the central military office was brightly shown also in creation of the The Highest Military Inspection (HMI). Founded 24 aprelya25 as Narkomvoyen's division, VVI intended for inspection of construction of parts and RKKA institutions. The chairman of VVI Podvoysky so defined its tasks: "Audit on places of the existing military institutions; establishment of the order of military management defined in decrees; the organization and measures for raising of fighting spirit and mood among the operating military groups" 26. In practice everything developed into check of work of military departments local (mainly - district) Councils and assistance in formation of local military registration and enlistment offices.

Work of VVI was complicated by transformation on August 24 of one of departments of VZS with the liquidation commission consisting at this department in Military and economic supervision - specialized body of the central control of financial activity of troops, managements, institutions and institutions of the Defense Ministry. Regular inspection of military managements, institutions and institutions regarding streamlining of financing of their activity and elimination of abuses was imputed to new establishment a duty. In fact, it was necessary to it - "on a position" - immediately and to resolutely stop amateur attempts of VVI to inspect setting of financial work of the checked military units and local bodies of the military vedomstva27. The VHS functions partially duplicated the VVI function which was also trying to inspect military units, institutions and institutions.

8 May offices of the Vseroskollegiya, Head department of the General Staff, General staff, VUZ Group and UR united in the All-Russian general staff (VGS, Vserog-lavshtab) 28. In the "short essay" of activity of VVSR made by Potapov in 1936 the circumstances which were directly preceding VGS institution are lit: when "in the first decade of April" in Narkomvoyen's board brought up "a question that along with the General staff knowing, mainly, questions of completing and service of a komsostav it is necessary to have even for military operational work the General Staff", remarks were distributed ("We liquidated generals, and we want to leave the General Staff!") and as a result decided to create instead of two bodies the uniform bulky device - All-Russian main shtab29. Potapov was not mistaken: really two. VUZ Group, headed by the member of board Narkomvoyena I. L. Dzevaltovskim, actually did not depend on the management of VGS, as well as the Vseroskollegiya at the head of which there was a member of board Narkomvoyena V.A. Trifonov. The Vseroskollegiya continued to work actively, interposing in the matter of the central military bodies. Actually this body managed to be "pressed" only in avguste30.

Vseroglavshtab conceived as universal quick and military administrative authority, really was heavy and bureaucratic establishment. Included 6 managements in its structure: on the organization of army, Quick, Military messages, Military and topographical, Military schools, on command structure. VGS focused mainly on questions of formation of parts and the RKKA connections, acting even on this rather narrow site of work very nespeshno31. Management on the organization of army of VGS originally included 4 departments: all-organizational, on the device and combat training of troops, mobilization, on supply of army with horse structure. On October 24 two last transformed to independent managements of Vseroglavshta-ba. On December 10 as a part of management created the Commission on a research and use of experience of war of 1914 - 1918 32

21 March of VVSR cancelled selectivity of commanders in RKKA, having laid the foundation for transition to its construction on the basis of mass involvement of military experts. For the organization of their account in Narkomvoyena the certifying commission soon renamed into the The Highest Certifying Commission (HCC) was founded on April 5. It should establish the general order of certification, to directly make certification of a komsostav (from the commander of a regiment above and also to the corresponding positions in military institutions) and to make lists of candidates for replacement of these positions for a statement narkomvoyenom33.

the overlapping was outlined In work of VAK and Management on the command structure of army (UKS) Vseroglav-shtaba at once. UKS VGS was initially imputed to resolve issues of involvement of military specialists in Red armiyu34. Probably, division of functions was originally supposed: VGS would plan the nomenclature of command vacancies, and VAK - found out professional compliance to them of cash voyenspetsov35. However already on May 7 ordered to deliver to all local headquarters and military registration and enlistment offices urgently in UKS VGS lists and registration cards of all cash at that time of the military personnel, including also those whose documents were subject to transfer to BAK36.

As for "the head dovolstvuyushchy departments", on March 13 the Head quartermaster department (Ginta) was abolished, the part of his functions was transferred "new

to committee (Arkhozky) founded" All-Russian military economic led by board under the chairmanship of the member of board Narkomvoyen P.E. Lazi-mira. On Arkhozky former functions GINTU were assigned: the organization of quartermaster supply and financial security of the Red Army and coordination of military and economic actions on places. The device Arkhozkoma was made by 11 departments: food, ware, technical, administrative and organizational, instructor, transport, statistical, the general, room, economic, mobilizatsionnyy37. But already on June 20 Arkhozk reorganized into the Main Military Economic Board (MMEB) with former GIntU38 functions. Both "reorganization" came down to consecutive renamings of former structure.

28 February the Head military and technical department was renamed into Central (TsVTU)39. On June 15 CVTU, the Military autopart, Council for management of all autoarmored forces and Management of the military radiotelegraph were connected in the uniform Main thing military and engineering upravleniye40.

On March 24 the joint resolution BXC and VSNKh on transfer of GU ZS to maintaining VSNKh took place. Foreign orders on fighting supply of army decided "to liquidate under the agreement of customers with foreign agents, with the address of advance payments on payment - on orders for peace requirements" 41. However actually GU ZS remained in the Defense Ministry, though underwent considerable reductions (by June 10, 1918 from its initial state in 128 employees remained 85, to

I September - 45)42.

24 May Management of the military and air fleet was renamed into Head department of the Workers' and Peasants' Red air fleet.

The sanitary department of the Vseroskollegiya created in January was merged with GVSanU43.

> June SNK decided to reorganize II GVSANU into military and sanitary department Narkomzdrav44, but in practice both the name, and jurisdiction of Management remained the same until the end of Civil voyny45. On August 3, 1918 there was an order Narkomvoyena on inclusion of GKU in GVIU, and district room administrations (okar-that) in district military and engineering administrations (local departments of a room allowance of troops were renamed into "distances") 46. The head military and meteorological department was renamed on August 21, 1918 into military and meteorological department of CUS, having legally kept behind this department of the right of head department Narkomvoyena47.

As a result to summer of 1918 the central office of the Defense Ministry was already capable to solve the problems facing it, but its organization was still characterized by instability and overlapping in work.

1 Reform in the Red Army. M, 2006. T. 2. Page 319.
2 RGVA. T. 11. Op. 1. 78. L. 329-329 about., 695; T. 33988. Op. 1. 2. L. 12.
3 [K.K. Mironova.] Brief information on structure of VVSR. Hand-written piece. (Department of the publication of archival documents RGVA).
4 RGVA. T. 3. Op. 1. 5. L. 2.
5 [K.K. Mironova.] Decree. soch.
6 RGVA. T. 3. Historical information.
7 RGVA. T. 33221. Op. 2. 175. L. 12.
8 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 359-363 about.
9 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 72 about.-73.
10 RGVA. T. 33221. Op. 2. 175. L. 4.
11 See: M.A. Molodtsygin. Red Army. M, 1997. Page 83.
12 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 3. 36. L. 251, 260.
13 RGVA. T. 44. Op. 7. 48. L. 3, 5, 30 about.-33.
14 See: A.A. Brusilov. My memoirs. M, 2003. Page 338-340.
15 RGVA. T. 3. Op. 1. 88. L. 135 about.-136.
16 RGVA. T. 22. Op. 3. 14. L. 17.
17 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 72 about.-73.
18 RGVA. L. 234ob.-235.
19 S.M. Klyatskin. Institute of military commissioners//Military and historical magazine. 1968. No. 4. Page 123-124; RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 95.
20 RGVA. T. 8. Historical information. L. 2.
21 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 330 about.-331, 353 about.
22 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 3. 48. L. 5 about.-6.
23 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 2. 125. L. 16, etc.
24 In the same place. L. 111, 122.
25 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 136 about.-137.
26 News Narkomvoyen. 1918. On Sep. 2
27 News Narkomvoyen. 1918. On Aug. 31
28 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 202-202 about.
29 RGVA. T. 33221. Op. 2. 175. L. 7.
30 RGVA. T. 20. Op. 1. 3. L. 11.
31 RGVA. T. 10. Op. 2. 36. L. 1.
32 RGVA. T. 11. Op. 5. 17. L. 2; 18. L. 1-1ob., 19; T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 195ob-196.
33 See: Kavtaradze.G. Military experts on service of the Republic of Councils. M, 1988. Page 79-80.
34 RGVA. T. 33987. Op. 1. 14. L. 153.
35 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 117. L. 165, 168.
36 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 191 about.
37 In the same place. L. 62.
38 Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic. Protocols. T. 1. M, 1997. Page 145.
39 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 54.
40 In the same place. L. 240-240 about.
41 SU of RSFSR, 1917 - 1918. M, 1919. Article 694.
42 RGVA. T. 44. Op. 2. 13. L. 57, 77 about-78.
43 See: N.I. Shatagin. The organization and construction of the Soviet army during military intervention and Civil war. M, 1954. Page 59-60.
44 SU of RSFSR 1917-1918. Article 694.
45 RGVA. T. 1. Op. 1. 216. L. 27.
46 RGVA, T. 1. Op. 1. 93. L. 303.
47 RGVA. T. 44. Op. 2. 34. L. 156.
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