What the Bolsheviks shot Kolchak
The officers of Denikin and Wrangel were lambs compared with the punishers of the admiral
16 November marked the 135 anniversary of the birth of one of the leaders of the White movement, Russia's Supreme Governor Alexander Kolchak. Contrary to popular myth, the evil Bolsheviks arrested the admiral and, almost immediately shot, Kolchak interrogations went 17 days - from January 21 to February 6 1920.
Kolchak is perhaps one of the most controversial figures of the Civil War. One of the largest explorers of the Arctic, a traveler, an unsurpassed master of mine business during the First World War, a staunch monarchist. This is one side of the coin.
But there is a second one. The White movement had many leaders: Kornilov, Denikin, Yudenich, Wrangel, May-Mayevsky, Shkuro, Semenov, Kaledin, Slashchev, Alekseev, Krasnov ... But it was Kolchak's troops who were remembered for their particular cruelty.
When the admiral took power in Siberia, the majority of the population took it quite favorably. But Alexander Vasilyevich was not a very good politician or overly trusted his officers, who, fighting against partisans and others who disagreed with the power of the Supreme Ruler, did not stop at nothing. Then, during interrogation, Kolchak said that he did not know anything about the atrocities that some of his officers were doing. But the fact remains that even the Cossacks from the Wolf Hundred, Ataman Shkuro, who fought in the ranks of the Volunteer Army of Denikin, and then submitted to Wrangel, were lambs compared to the military sergeant Krasilnikov and other punishers of Admiral Kolchak.
In short, the collapse of the Kolchak army, in many respects, is a consequence of the short-sighted and not always intelligent policy of a straightforward, though admiral who loves Russia. Contrary to the myths, according to which the evil Bolsheviks captured Kolchak and immediately put him to death, the admiral planned to hold a trial. Moreover, not in Omsk and not in Irkutsk, but in Moscow. But the situation was different.
Here are excerpts from the last interrogation of Admiral Kolchak.
6 February 1920 year.
Alekseevsky. To find out your attitude to the coup, you need to set some additional points. By the way, it would be interesting for the Commission to know - before the coup, during and after it did you meet in Siberia, or in the east, with Prince Lvov, who then traveled to Siberia through Siberia?
Kolchak. No, I did not see Prince Lvov, we left. I only met with another Lvov - Vladimir Mikhailovich.
Alekseevsky. Did you have a letter or instruction from Prince Lvov?
Kolchak. It seems that some letter from Paris was during my stay in Omsk, but this was later, approximately in the summer. This letter did not contain anything important and related mainly to the activities of the political organization that was in Paris and which was headed by Lviv. Before that, I had no personal relations with Lvov, and I did not receive any instructions transmitted through him from anyone. The letter about which I spoke was transmitted through the consular mission in Paris in July ...
... Alekseevsky. Tell your attitude to General Kappel, as one of the largest figures of the Volunteer Army.
Kolchak. I did not know Kappel before or met with him, but the orders that Kappel gave gave rise to my deep sympathy and respect for this leader. Then, when I met Kappel in February or March, when his units were withdrawn to the reserve, and he came to me, I talked with him for a long time on these topics, and made sure that he was one of the most outstanding young bosses ...
... Popov. The Commission has a copy of the telegram with the inscription: “To produce the arrest of the members of the Constituent Assembly through the Supreme Ruler”.
Kolchak. As far as I remember, this was my decision when I received this telegram with the threat of opening the front against me. Maybe Vologda, having simultaneously received a copy of the telegram, made a resolution, but in any case Vologda did not take any part in this decision. Members of the Constituent Assembly were arrested around 20, and among them there were no persons who signed the telegram, except, it seems, Devyatov. After reviewing the lists, I called the officer who escorted them, Kruglovsky, and said that I knew these people completely; and that they apparently did not take part in the telegram, and did not even seem to be persons belonging to the composition of the committee of members of the Constituent Assembly, such as, for example, Fomin. I asked why they were arrested; I was told that it was an order from the local command, in view of the fact that they acted against the command and against the Supreme ruler, that the local command was ordered to arrest them and poison them in Omsk ...
... Popov. How was their fate and under whose pressure? But you know that most of them were shot.
Kolchak. They were shot 8 or 9 people. They were shot during the uprising in the twentieth of December ...
... Alekseevsky. No special instructions you gave him about this?
Kolchak. No, everything was done automatically. In the event of an alarm, the schedule of troops was drawn up once and for all, where to which units to be. The city was divided into districts, everything was taken into account. There could be no surprises, and I did not have to give instructions. On the eve of the speech in the evening I was informed by Lebedev on the phone, or rather, the next morning, that the headquarters of the Bolsheviks, including 20 people, had been arrested the day before - it was a day before the speech. Lebedev said: "I consider all this to be sufficient for everything to be exhausted, and there will be no performance."
Popov. What did he report on the fate of the arrested staff?
Kolchak. He only said that they were arrested.
Popov. Did he not inform that there were executions at the place of arrest?
Kolchak. They were shot on the second day after the trial ...
... Popov. Executions in Kulomzin were carried out on whose initiative?
Kolchak. The field court, which was appointed after the occupation of Kulomzin.
Popov. The situation of this court is known to you. Did you know that essentially there was no court?
Kolchak. I knew that it was a field court appointed by the head of the uprising suppression.
Popov. So, this: gathered three officers and shot. Was any paperwork done?
Kolchak. There was a field court.
Popov. The field court also requires formal production. Did you know that this production was conducted, or you yourself, as the Supreme ruler, were not interested in this? You, as the Supreme Ruler, should have known that in fact there were no ships happening, that two or three officers were seated, cited by 50 people, and they were shot. Of course, you didn't have this information?
Kolchak. I had no such information. I thought that the field court acted as the field court generally operates during the uprisings ...
... Popov. And how many people were shot in Kulomzin?
Kolchak. Human 70 or 80.
Denik. And if you did not know that in Kulomzin practiced mass flogging?
Kolchak. I knew nothing about spanking, and in general I always forbade any kind of corporal punishment — consequently, I could not even mean that a spanking could exist somewhere. And where it became known to me, I brought to trial, dismissed, that is, acted in a punitive manner.
Popov. Did you know that people who were arrested in connection with the December uprising were subsequently tortured by counterintelligence, and what was the nature of these tortures? What did the military authorities and you, the supreme ruler, do against these tortures?
Kolchak. Nobody reported this to me, and I believe that there were none.
Popov. I myself saw people detached to the Alexandrovsky prison, who were literally completely covered with wounds and tormented by ramrods - do you know that?
Kolchak. No, I was never reported. If such things were made known, then the perpetrators were punished.
Popov. Did you know that this was done at the rate of Supreme Commander Admiral Kolchak, in counterintelligence at the rate?
Kolchak. No, I could not know this, because the bet could not do that.
Popov. This was done with counterintelligence in the rate.
Kolchak. Obviously, the people who did this could not report to me, because they knew that I stood on legal ground all the time. If such crimes were made, I could not know about them. You say that when you bet it was done?
Popov. I say: in counterintelligence at the rate. Returning to the issue of the production of the military court in Kulomzin.
Kolchak. I believe that the production was the same, which is supposed to be in the military field court.
Popov. In Kulomzin, about 500 people were actually shot, they were shot in whole groups of 50 - 60 people. In addition, in fact, there was no fight in Kulomzin, for only armed workers began to go out - they were already seized and shot, - that was the uprising in Kulomzin.
Kolchak. This viewpoint is new to me, because there were wounded and killed in my troops, and even the Czechs were killed, to whose families I gave out benefits. How do you say that there was no fight? ...
Assured Deputy Chairman of the Irkutsk Gub.Ch.K. K.Popov
During interrogations, Kolchak, according to the recollections of the Chekists, kept calm and confident. That's just the last interrogation took place in a more nervous situation. Ataman Semenov demanded the issuance of Kolchak, Irkutsk could capture parts of General Kappel. Therefore, it was decided to shoot the admiral.
The sentence was carried out on the night of 6 on 7 in February of 1920. As Popov later wrote, Admiral Kolchak and at the execution he behaved extremely dignified and calm. As befits a Russian officer ... But the Supreme Ruler of a brilliant naval officer never turned out ...
Alexander V. Kolchak
Alexander Vasilievich Kolchak was born 4 (16) in November 1874, in the village of Aleksandrovskoye, St. Petersburg district of the Petersburg province. His father is Vasily Ivanovich Kolchak, the hero of the defense of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. Mother - Olga Ilyinichna, nee Posokhova, from Don Cossacks and Kherson nobles
In 1894, A.V. Kolchak graduated from the Marine Cadet Corps second in seniority and academic performance with the Admiral Rikord Prize. In addition to military affairs, he was fond of exact sciences and factory work. He learned locksmithing in the workshops of the Obukhovsky plant; he mastered the navigation business at the Kronstadt Marine Observatory. In 1894, he was promoted to midshipmen. In 1895, the lieutenants.
In 1895-1896, the midshipman moved to Vladivostok and served on the ships of the Pacific Ocean Squadron. He visited China, Korea, Japan and other countries, became fascinated with Eastern philosophy, studied Chinese, independently engaged in in-depth study of oceanography and hydrology. In “Notes on Hydrography” he published the first scientific work. 1895 to 1899 Kolchak visited the voyages around the world three times. The Russian Geographical Society presented it to the award of a large golden Konstantinovsky medal (N. Nordenskiöld and F. Nansen received it before), in 1906 they elected as their full member.
5 March 1904 Alexandr V. Kolchak and Sofia Omirova married in Irkutsk, from where they left in a few days.
In March, 1905, with the start of the Russo-Japanese War, Kolchak was sent to Port Arthur to serve under Admiral Makarov. After the tragic death of Makarov, Kolchak commanded the destroyer "Angry", who committed a series of bold attacks on the strongest squadron of the enemy. During these combat operations, several Japanese ships were damaged and the Japanese cruiser Tacosago was sunk. For this, he was awarded the Order of St. Anne IV degree with the inscription "For courage." In the last month of the siege of Port Arthur's 2,5, Kolchak successfully commanded a battery of naval guns, which caused the greatest losses to the Japanese. For the defense of Port Arthur Kolchak was awarded the Golden weapons with the inscription "For Bravery" and the Order of St. Stanislav II degree with swords. Respecting his courage and talent, the Japanese command to one of the few left Kolchak a weapon in captivity, and then, not waiting for the end of the war, gave him freedom.
In April-June 1905, Kolchak returned to Petersburg through America. In 1906, with the formation of the Naval General Staff, Kolchak became the head of its Statistics Division. Then he headed the unit for the development of operational and strategic plans in the event of a war in the Baltic. Appointed by a naval expert in the 3rd State Duma, Kolchak, together with his colleagues, developed the Big and Small shipbuilding programs for reconstructing the Naval fleet after the Russo-Japanese War. In the framework of this project, Alexander Vasilievich Kolchak in 1906–1908. personally oversaw the construction of four battleships.
In 1907, Kolchak translated the work of M. Lobef from the French “The present and the future of scuba diving”, prepared the article “Modern battleships” and others. In a report to the naval circle “What Russia needs a fleet,” the sailor stated: “Russia needs real sea power on which the inviolability of its maritime borders can be based and on which an independent policy worthy of a great power could be based, that is, which, if necessary, receives confirmation in the form of a successful war. This real power lies in the linear fleet, and only in it, at least for the time being, we cannot talk about anything else. If Russia is destined to play the role of a great power, it will have a linear fleet as an indispensable condition for this provision. ”
In 1907, he was promoted to captain-lieutenant, in 1908 - to captain 2 rank. In April, 1909, Kolchak wrote his main scientific work “The Ice of the Kara and Siberian Seas”, published in the 1909 year.
At 1912, Kolchak was invited by Rear Admiral von Essen to serve in the Baltic Fleet Headquarters. Kolchak took command of the destroyer “Ussuriets”. In December, 1913, for excellent service, he was promoted to captain of the 1 rank. Von Essen appoints Kolchak to the position of flag captain of the operational part of the Headquarters and together with him develops plans for preparing for a possible war with Germany at sea. In the first hours of World War I, on the orders of Admiral von Essen and under the direct supervision of Kolchak, the mine division deployed 6 000 mines in the Gulf of Finland, which completely paralyzed the actions of the German fleet on the outskirts of the Capital.
In the autumn of 1914, with the personal participation of Kolchak, the mine blockade operation of the German Naval bases unparalleled in the world was developed. Several Russian destroyers made their way to Kiel and Danzig and set out on the approaches to them (under the nose of the Germans) several fields of minefields.
In February, 1915 was already captain of the 1 rank, Kolchak, as the commander of a special assignment half-unit, personally undertook a repetitive and daring raid. Four destroyers again approached Danzig and set 180 minutes. As a result, 4 German cruisers, 8 destroyers and 11 transports exploded on minefields (exposed by Kolchak). Later, historians call this operation of the Russian fleet the most successful in the entire First World War.
In the summer of 1915, on the initiative of Kolchak, the battleship “Slava” was introduced into the Gulf of Riga to cover mine settings off the coast. These performances deprived the advancing German forces of the fleet. Temporarily commanding the Mine Division from September 1915, from December he was at the same time the head of the defense of the Gulf of Riga. Using the artillery of the ships, the sailor helped the army of General D.R. Radko-Dmitriev repel the onslaught of the enemy at Kemmern. The landing force played in the rear of the enemy troops, landed in accordance with the tactical plan of Kolchak.
For successful attacks on the caravans of German ships that brought ore from Sweden, Kolchak was presented with the Order of St. George 4 degree. 10 April 1916 made him a rear admiral, and 28 June was appointed commander of the Black Sea Fleet with the production of "for the difference in service" in the vice admirals. He became the youngest admiral of Russia.
In early July, a squadron of Russian ships 1916 during the operation developed by Kolchak, overtakes and during the battle heavily damages the German cruiser Breslau, which had previously fired on Russian ports with impunity and drowned transports on the Black Sea. Kolchak successfully organizes military operations on the mine blockade of the coal region of Eregli-Zongulak, Varna and other Turkish enemy ports. By the end of 1916, the Turkish and German ships were completely locked in their ports.
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