"United Russia" - armored train of the White Guard
United Russia, under Tsaritsyn, June 1919.
And it was like this that after the stubborn fighting of 1 July 1918, the White Guards took the station Tikhoretskaya, and this was a major railway junction where evacuation of property from Ukraine was carried out, which was handed over to the Germans and Austrians. On the basis of captured trophies, and among them were cars, and locomotives, sheet metal, and armor, and the first heavy armored train of the Volunteer Army, which was first called the “ranged battery”, was built. Then she was given the name 5 Armored Train, but it somehow didn’t sound, and at the end of 1918, it was called United Russia. With a clear allusion to the theory of "non-determinism", zealously supported by General Denikin. Its essence was that it was necessary first to restore Russia in its original form, and only then decide what and how. He was a fool, God forgive me, speaking with this slogan after Lenin gave independence to Poland and Finland, and the slogan about the rights of nations was universally declared by the Bolsheviks. Well, who then would want to start all over again? Nobody supported Denikin then: neither the Highlanders, nor the Cossacks, nor the Finns, nor the Poles!
But the flag of an armored train. And where do we see it now? So, sooner or later, but a higher social organization overcomes the less high. In China, the Genghisids lasted, it seems, for two centuries? And then just 74 year, four years longer than the lives of two generations, because sociologists consider the century a conditional lifetime of three generations. And now this flag is flying over the Kremlin ...
Armored train turned out just cool! Wikipedia reports that it was armed with two 105-mm guns, one 120-mm and 47-mm cannon, which was a significant fighting force. However, it should be noted that in Russia there were no 105-mm guns as such, they were 107-mm, reground from Japanese 105-mm and "four-inch" guns from destroyers that had a 102-mm caliber. So, most likely, these were precisely these guns, taken from destroyers of the Novik type. As for the 120-mm, then there were guns of this caliber of the Obukhov plant and the firm Vikkers. In any case, judging by the photos, these were long thumb guns, which means sea or coastal. That is, the armored train was armed very well, the guns on it were long-range, so it is not surprising that whites used it as a fire ram in the directions of the main attack.
Typically, an armored train of this type had as many armor sites as there were heavy guns on it. And still to it clung the carriage sheathed by bulletproof armor for the team. United Russia also had a combat armored car with two machine-gun turrets on the roof and six on-board machine-gun installations. That is, on the board, he could fire immediately from five machine guns!
"United Russia" twice participated in the capture of Armavir, and also participated in the attack on the city of Stavropol. It is interesting that so many armored trains, both white and red, came together in a hot fight, the railway tracks were so often blown up here, that at the end of the Civil War this section remained not restored. In August, the armored train was damaged, and its mechanic was killed and his commander, Colonel Skopin, was injured.
But the inside of a single machine-gun armored car that operated in Ukraine in the area of Dnipropetrovsk in 1918. Cramped, of course, but how many "maxims" and even one "Colt"!
After the repair, two armored platforms with even more powerful 152-mm naval guns of the Kane system appeared at the armored train. Installations, as before, were tumbovymi. The gun in the center of the site, and in front and behind the U-shaped armor cover for ammunition and calculation. However, because of the strong recoil, the armored train could not shoot through the beam. That is, he had, of course, supports on which the ground could be supported when firing. But to install them was a troublesome job, depriving the armored train of mobility. Therefore, they tried not to use. That is, to shoot so that the guns would have only a small “course angle” in relation to the railway line, otherwise there could be “troubles”. The ideal was shooting from a radial branch, on which the "armored car" cruised back and forth, but this did not happen often.
Armored train "White Czech" "Orlik", who fought in Siberia. Had two tower installations with 76,2-mm guns and 10 machine guns on each armored car.
Already at the beginning of 1919, the repaired "United Russia" participated in heavy positional battles, and then supported the rapid attack of the Denikin army in the Donets Basin with its fire.
Then, “United Russia” was sent to support part of General Wrangel in the Tsaritsyno direction in order to connect with the troops of Admiral Kolchak. It was here, near Tsaritsyn, that the white armored trains were especially active. Moreover, in conjunction with tanks and armored vehicles, and the Reds used them together with the Volga’s armed steamers flotilla. Later, Wrangel recalled that his regiments were dressed in brand new English khaki uniforms and metal helmets ... Heavy artillery of armored trains was used very actively, as well as tanks ... also English. And in 1919 the whites managed to take Tsaritsyn, which they could not do a year earlier, and among the trophies they even captured two red armored trains with the non-original names “Lenin” and “Trotsky”. And United Russia was transferred to a new direction, to Moscow.
The “Officer” armored train belonged to “light type” armored trains, as it had 76,2-mm guns in service.
General Denikin, commander-in-chief of the White Armed Forces of the South of Russia, who published the so-called “Moscow directive” on the march on Moscow, already considered himself “the savior of Russia and the second Minin”. But ... he forgot that success lies in striking from different directions. He turned to the Poles and ... they did not support him, on the contrary, they assured the Bolsheviks that they could not worry. The Finns were also inactive, so his blow turned out to be much easier than he could have been ...
White Guard recruitment poster.
On the night of September 20, the United Russia armored train and the Officer light armored train broke straight into the Kursk city railway station and was captured, after which the Reds left the city. The days of the Bolsheviks, it seemed, were already numbered, but here, in the rear of the white armies, peasant uprisings began under the leadership of Makhno, whose 1919-thousandth army arose in October 100, literally in two weeks. Just at that time, the whites took the Eagle and approached Moscow for a minimum distance. However, it was unthinkable to go further, having a mass uprising in the rear, and the whites threw all their strategic reserves against Makhno, including the armored train United Russia. 1919 November 8 of the year under the city of Aleksandrovsk (the current name of Zaporozhye) on the left bank of the Dnieper a battle took place that greatly influenced the outcome of the civil war and, of course, Soviet historians did not mention it wisely later. Then two white cavalry and two infantry divisions, instead of attacking Moscow, along with three heavy armored trains (United Russia, Ivan Kalita and Dmitry Donskoy) launched an offensive against the peasant army of Makhno.
During the Civil War in Russia, armored trains very often changed their owners.
And he had at his disposal the chief of staff of 26-year-old Viktor Belash, a professional railroad worker with all the ensuing consequences. He understood that two improvised armored trains of the Fear could not stand up against White's long-range naval guns, showed sharpness and ingenuity.
Meanwhile, United Russia was fighting at the Sofiyivka station, supporting with its fire the 1-I Native division of the Chechen general Shkuro's cavalry corps, which had just raided the rear of the Reds in Tambov and Voronezh. Unable to withstand the disastrous fire from an armored train and Chechen attacks, the 3-th Crimean regiment, commanded by the Bolshevik Polonsky, began to retreat. And here, on the order of Belash, the Makhnovists let the Makhnovists meet United Russia, having dispersed the locomotive!
Another heavy armored train VRU.
The blow of a steam locomotive rushing under steam was of such strength that it immediately brought the armored train down and had to be urgently sent for repairs to the rear. And then the whole thing was decided to attack the whole regiment of the famous Makhnovist tachanok (700 machine guns!) With the inscription in front of the tar - “Get the fuck out!”, And in the back - “Fuck you catch up!”
But the Makhnovists did not forgive the Bolshevik Polonsky anyway. Even though he was a countryman and an old friend of Makhno himself, he was accused of trying to ... the “Bolshevik coup” in the army of the Batko and quickly shot. His beautiful wife, repulsed by Polonsky in the Crimea with some white colonel, was given to the Makhnovist commanders. Well, the outcome of all these Shakespearean passions was the departure of the Chechen cavalry to the Caucasus. True, the Makhnovists also inherited from General Slashchev, but ... "got" late, when the front near Orel and Tula had already collapsed!
For some reason, they could not repair an armored train at Yenakievo Station and 10 of December were sent to repair United Russia to Sudostal plant in Novorossiysk. But they did not have time to repair it before the escape of the whites from Novorossiysk, and the armored train, or, let's say, the fact that it was left, fell into the hands of red.
Gun platform of the Grozny armored train.
However, this armored train was then “revived” in the Crimea. It is possible that the whites managed to transport the weapons of the old armored train, and perhaps they found the guns on the spot. Anyway, he continued to fight until the very end of October 1920. And on November 1, before leaving the Crimea, “United Russia” was destroyed by a collision head-on with an armored train “George the Victorious”. On this story One of the most powerful armored trains Denikin's army over.
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