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Category: History

Turks on fronts of civil war in Russia of 1918-1921

poznakhirev V.V. ©

the Candidate of historical sciences, department of history and socio-political disciplines, the Smolny Institute of the Russian Academy of Education (St. Petersburg)

the Summary

Article is devoted by TURKI'S


to the low-studied subject of participation of the citizens of the Ottoman Empire in the civil war in Russia in ranks both the Red Army and resisting to it armed forces.

the Subject of participation of citizens of the Ottoman Empire in the civil war in Russia of 1918-1921 seldom attracts

to itself attention of domestic historians. Only in separate editions it is possible to meet extremely laconic mentions of existence of any given Turkish military formations and that mainly acting on the party of the Soviet power. So, N.A. Subayev calls among them the Turkish company of the 1st Tatar-Bashkir battalion [1, 346-347]; V.A. Vodnev - East international group of armed forces of the Crimean Soviet Socialist Republic [2, 114]; L.I. Zharov and V.M. Ustinov - the Turkish company of Separate Persian international group I of Army of the Turkestan front [3, 103-104]; Yu.A. Bagirov - the First shooting regiment of the Turkish Red Army [4, 24].

At the same time the analysis of archival documents and the published sources gives the grounds to believe that during the considered period the Turks served in the Red Army and out of the called national formations. And they got in various ways there. In confirmation it can refer at least to the letter of the Foreign Commissar of RSFSR G.V. Chicherin Narkomu of foreign trade to L.B. Krasin of March 28, 1923 in which the following is specified literally: "remember numerous cases when all documents are taken away from the Turkish citizens then local authorities say that they cannot prove the Turkish citizenship and as a result of them consider the Russian citizens and enlist in the Red Army..." [5, 109].

If to speak more particularly, then, for example, in fund of the Turkestan district military commissariat the list of the former prisoners of war of the Central powers which came to the Red Army in December, 1918 remained. The document is dated on January 3, 1919. In it 25 people among whom one Turk is Omer Memed, 26, the former private of the 3rd infantry regiment of the Turkish army, the native of Trebizond are registered, it is captivated on June 1, 1916 near Karakilis, civil specialty - the unskilled worker [6, 19]. One Turk whose name, unfortunately, is specified illegibly consisted during the considered period in the organization of foreign communists of Ufa. As it is possible to understand from the remained documents, this person joined the All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks) in 1919, and in 1920 - in the Red Army [7, 16].


In documents of the Central bureau of the Turkish communistic organizations (the Central Bank) us revealed the letter of the Chairman of Bureau Moustapha Subkhi to Revolutionary Military Council of the XI Army of the Caucasian front of June 15, 1920 with a request "to give suitable posts in army" to seven former Turkish officers as persons, "helping commission of the last revolution for establishment of the Soviet power with Azerbaijan". And, at least, two of number of the said persons served later in Separate spare cavalry division XI of Army [8, 3, 21, 26].

a Number of data demonstrate that Turks came to the Red Army not only one by one, but also groups. So, at Narkomat on military affairs follows from materials of Registration and recruiting department of the Central Muslim military board that in the second half of 1919 this body enlisted in the Ufa province 103 Turks sent for service to native battalion at the 2nd separate Volga-Tatar crew [9, 10, 19]. Unfortunately, we did not manage to establish the future of these people. It is only possible to note that the late called connection was renamed at first into the 6th Volga Tatar crew of Red Communards, and then into the 68th Tatar crew 23 - y rifle division. In September, 1920 the connection arrived to the Southwest front where accepted the first battle with

© V.V. Poznakhirev, 2013

vrangelevets as a part of the XIII Red Army. There are also bases to believe that Turks (from among the former prisoners of war) served in the Muslim international group of a division of the Third international created in March, 1920 in Tomsk [10, 4].

the appeal of Revolutionary Military Council of the I Army of the Turkestan front to the Central Bank of June 26, 1920 with a request is of a Certain interest to provide in their order "ten Turkish specialists officers for instructor and command positions of Muslim parts of the Red Army, certainly devoted to the Soviet power". And until the end of July, 1920 this inquiry by the Turkish communists was completely executed [11, 10, 15, 25, 67].

However, in correspondence nothing is told about in what parts the Turkish officers had to serve. However it is possible with high degree of probability to assume that these people were sent to the 1st Turkestan cavalry division where in the summer of 1920 three national crews of two-regimental structure (Uzbek, Kyrgyz and Turkmen) were formed in which the low level of combat training and weakness of officers were at that time noted [12, 7-8].


Served Turks and on the party resisting to the Soviet power, especially, in the Caucasus and in Central Asia. So, them B.M. Kuznetsov who was in 1918 in Dagestan and standing at the origins of creation of armed forces of the so-called Republic of the union of the mountain people incidentally mentions in the memoirs: "one tool was specially gathered from captured Turkish soldiers-askerov. It were the people who are already almost trained and only who carried similarity of a form", "with us still there live 10 Turkish soldiers" [13, 515, 522]. In Azerbaijan in the same time, at least, one company created from the Turkish prisoners of war and called Borchalinskaya [14.31-32] was at the disposal of musavatist.

However, from among being involved in the civil war in Russia, should recognize as the most numerous Turkish military unit the regiment created in the Bukhara Emirate in 1919 "Syrbaza of a piad". As follows from the report of the political leader of Department of military control of General staff of troops of the Turkestan republic to the Commander-in-chief of troops about military-political situation in Emirska Bukhare of June 30, 1919, its number "in accuracy is established in 1,250 people. In a regiment of only 10 people of bukharets it also consists mainly of Turks. & lt;...> The Officers are strengthened by 10 Turkish officers & lt;...> The Regiment is considered from the military point of view first-class and the best in army. The emir draws great attention to it. (The regiment will probably play in case of military operations a large role) & lt;...> Krom of the Turkish infantry regiment, all other parts are badly trained. The shot of corporals, except the Turkish regiment, quality is lower than an average. Collected data on quality and ability of officers, except for officers of the Turkish regiment, from the fighting point of view adverse for the Bukhara government" [15, 497498].

told needs to add

K that, according to B.I. Iskandarov, based on materials of the headquarters of the Samarkand and Bukhara group of the Soviet troops, by June, 1920 the number of a regiment increased up to 2,600 people [16, 108]. However, anyway, at a boundary of August-September, 1920 this military unit did not play, almost, any role in defense of Bukhara against the Red Army and did not equal those hopes which were laid on it by the Emir Bukhara.

Besides the Caucasus and Central Asia, Turks could participate in "white fight" and on other fronts. So, in October, 1919 the authorities of Barnaul informed the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Omsk government V.N. Pepelyaeva that "at negotiations with the Turkish prisoners of war of the Barnaul camp an opportunity to hire volunteers & lt became clear;...> It is necessary that the government resolved it. Tatars intend to talk over on this matter with the local Turkish military leaders working in Barnaul" [17, 10-11]. In turn, one of officers of the Crimean horse regiment, remembering events in the Crimea in the summer of 1919 and, in particular, reported about dangerous investigation of the Sivashsky corduroy road executed by group of "hunters" on the night of June 14 that among the last there was "An Ottoman - the former Turkish prisoner, the wounded in investigation and the report & lt which delivered to the commander of a regiment;...> On representation of the commander of a regiment all participants of this search, including and Osman, were awarded with St George's Crosses 4 degrees" [18, 242-243].


1. N.A. Subayev. Foreign internationalists in Tataria (1917-1920)//Internationalists in fights for the power of Councils. M, 1965.
2. V.A. Vodnev. Wonderful son of the Turkish people//Questions of history of the CPSU. - 1983. - No. 2. - Page 113-116.
3. L.I. Zharov, V.M. Ustinov. International parts of the Red Army in fights for the power of Councils in the years of foreign military intervention and the civil war in the USSR. M, 1960.
4. Yu.A. Bagirov. From history of the Soviet-Turkish relations, 1920-1922 (on materials of Azerb. SSR). Baku, 1966.
5. Russian State Archive of Socio-political History (RSASPH). T. 159. Op. 2. 57.
6. Russian State Military Archive (RSMA). T. 25898. Op. 1. 357.
7. RGASPI. T. 549. Op. 1. 76.
8. In the same place. T. 495. Op. 181. 13.
9. RGVA. T. 17. Op. 1. 93.
10. In the same place. 102.
11. RGASPI. T. 495. Op. 181. 23.
12. In the same place. T. 71. Op. 34. 1497.
13. Smiths B.M. 1918 in Dagestan: civil war/Resistance to the Bolshevism. 1917-1918 / structure., nauch. edition, predisl. and kommentar. S.V. Volkova. - M, 2001. - Page 506-537.
14. S. Shaumyan. Baku commune. Baku, 1927.
15. Foreign military intervention and civil war in Central Asia and Kazakhstan / Redkol. T.E. Eleuov, H.Sh. Inoyatov (otv. edition), etc. T. 1. Alma-Ata, 1963.
16. B.I. Iskandarov Bukhara (1918-1920). Dushanbe, 1970.
17. State archive of the Russian Federation. T. 1701. Op. 1. 55.
18. Krymtsa of Her Majesty in Volunteer army, Armed forces of the South of Russia and in the Russian Army. 1918-1920//the Revived shelves of the Russian army in White fight in the south of Russia / Structure., nauch. edition, predisl. and kommentar. S.V. Volkova. - M, 2002. - Page 229-302.
white army prisoners of war civil war in russia red army turki white army prisoners of war civil war in russia the red army the turks
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