Military Review

Russian ally of the Germans

Russian ally of the GermansTsarist General Smyslovsky, who fought with the Stalinist regime in the ranks of the German army, did at least one good deed - saving the lives of 500 Russian soldiers.

A severe blizzard erupted on the mountainous border of the Principality of Liechtenstein with Austria on the night of 2 on 3 of May 1945 of the year — a few days before the end of World War II. The State Archives of the Principality of Liechtenstein, the smallest state in Central Europe, sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, kept the report of Lieutenant Colonel Wiss, the head of the border guard, about the events of that night. The border guards guarding the border witnessed an unusual spectacle. Through the snowy shroud from Austria on the mountain road slowly moved, scattering barriers in the neutral zone, a column of military vehicles and infantry.

A tricolor white-blue-red flag of pre-revolutionary Russia fluttered above the head machine, in which a man in the uniform of the German army was visible. The startled border guards, realizing that the balance of forces was not in their favor, still gave a few warning shots into the air. In response, the adjutant’s voice came out of the general’s car, shouting in German: “Do not shoot, here is a Russian general!” The column stopped, a stocky man came out of the car in an overcoat of a German Wehrmacht’s general coat and presented himself to the head of the Liechtenstein border guard: “Major General Holmston-Smyslovsky, commander of the First Russian National Army. We crossed the border to seek political asylum. With us in one of the cars is the heir to the Russian throne, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich and his retinue. "

The next morning, a column of about 500 people stopped by a bivouac near the village of Schellenberg in the Rhine Valley. The Russian flag hoisted over the local school, where General Smyslovsky’s headquarters were located, negotiations on internment began. The sovereign prince of Liechtenstein, Franz Joseph II, arrived at the location of unexpected guests. Two days later the army disarmed, the people were granted the right of temporary asylum. So ended this little-known episode of the Second World War.


When they write or talk about the participation of the Soviet people on the side of the German troops in World War II, they usually mean General Vlasov and his Russian liberation army. Meanwhile, there were three more Russian military-political movements that came out of the ranks of the old military emigration, or rather, from the ranks of the Russian all-arms union in the West. These include the Russian Corps (also known as Shutskor), who fought in Yugoslavia under the command of General Steifon, the Cossack units of General Krasnov and the so-called “Northern Group”, later called the First Russian National Army under the command of General Smyslovsky. Unlike the Vlasov army, which consisted mainly of former Soviet soldiers and officers, the command of these military formations was staffed by former generals and officers of the tsarist and white armies, who continued the tradition of the White movement.

In the fall of 1942, the German army numbered 1 million 80 thousands of Russian people in German overcoats. By 1944, their number had already reached 2 millions. The figure is too impressive to be explained by elementary betrayal or moral weakness of the nation. Later, Boris Smyslovsky himself explained in one of his articles the tragedy of the choice between Hitler and Stalin: “It was a choice between two devils. What the Germans were doing was terrible. Hitler seduced their souls. But the Bolsheviks were engaged in the destruction of the Russian people. At that time, I believed that Russia could be liberated only from the outside, and the Germans were the only force capable of doing away with Bolshevism. The Germans could not win. The forces were too unequal. Germany could not successfully fight one against the whole world. I was sure that the Allies would easily end Germany that was weak and exhausted. The calculation was that Germany would end Bolshevism, and then she would fall under the blows of the Allies. So we are not traitors, but Russian patriots. ”


Count Boris Alekseevich Smyslovsky was born on December 3 on 1897 in Terrioki (now Zelenogorsk), not far from St. Petersburg, in the family of General of the Guards Artillery Count Alexei Smyslovsky. In 1908, Boris Smyslovsky entered the cadet corps of Empress Catherine II, and then at the Mikhailovsky Artillery School, from where he was released into the 1915 Guards Artillery Division in the rank of lieutenant. The 3 years turned up on the front. He witnessed the disintegration of the Russian army, the February and October revolutions. In 18, he joined General Denikin's Volunteer Army. In March, 1918, his unit was interned in Poland, and Boris Smyslovsky moved to Berlin — one of the centers of the then Russian emigration.

There he met an old ally of arms Baron Kaulbars At that time, in the middle of 20, Kaulbars served in the Abwehr — under this name was the intelligence service of the Reichswehr — the hundred-thousandth German army, which was forbidden to have intelligence and general staff under the Versailles Treaty. Baron Kaulbars was the adjutant of Canaris — the future leader of the Abwehr. And the baron persuaded Smyslovsky to go to serve in the Abwehr and simultaneously enter the highest military courses in Königsberg — the German Academy of the General Staff was secretly functioning there. So, Boris Smyslovsky was the only Russian who not only graduated from the Academy of the German General Staff, but also worked there.


The beginning of the war against the Soviet Union caught Smyslovsky in the northern sector of the front in Poland, with the rank of Wehrmacht Major, he was engaged in front-line reconnaissance. He worked under the pseudonym von Regenau. Then Smyslovsky was allowed to organize a Russian training battalion. And at the beginning of 1943, the Russland Special Purpose Division appeared, with Colonel von Regenau as its commander. His chief of staff was a colonel of the Soviet General Staff, Shapovalov, later a general and commander

3 Division of the Vlasov Army. The division "Russland" was staffed mainly by prisoners of war, former soldiers of the Soviet Army. The division, in particular, was assigned the task of fighting the partisans. To this end, Von Regenau begins to cooperate with the insurgent movement on the territory of Ukraine and Russia, establishes contact with the nationalist partisans, detachments of the Polish Regional Army and the formations of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army. This led to the arrest of the Gestapo colonel von Regenau in December 1943 and the disbandment of the Russland division. Smyslovsky was accused of having links with the enemies of the Reich, a refusal to give out to the Gestapo one of the leaders of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army who came to his headquarters and a refusal to sign the appeal of General Vlasov, who called on the Russian people to fight in the East against the Communists, and in the West against the "Western plutocrats and capitalists."

Only the intervention and surety of Admiral Canaris, as well as General Gehlen from the General Staff, led to the termination of the case. A significant role in justifying Smyslovsky was also played by the fact that the Germans, experiencing a terrible shortage of manpower, threw formations from captured Soviet soldiers onto the front. An order was issued to restore the Russian division in the Wehrmacht, which in February 1945 was transformed into the First Russian National Army with the status of the Allied Army and the Russian national flag. By that time, the real name of Colonel von Regenau becomes known to Soviet intelligence, and Boris Smyslovsky takes the surname Holmston.

This army, in which there were 6 thousands of people, existed 3 of the month.

18 On April 1945, the commander of the First Russian National Army, General Holmston-Smyslovsky, convened a military council, at which he dictated his decision: “Germany’s capitulation is inevitable. I order to move to the Swiss border. It is necessary to save the army personnel. ”

The barrage of the SS stopped the army Smyslovsky in Austria. The SS men said that now everyone should fight. But then suddenly the SS general appeared, who was present at the ceremony of awarding Smyslovsky with the Order of the German Eagle in Hitler's headquarters "Wolf's Lair". The Russian army received permission to continue the journey.

By the time of the last spurt — the crossing of the Austrian-Liechtenstein border — no more than 500 people remained in Smyslovsky's army. In the Austrian city of Feldkirch, the heir to the Russian throne was joined by the Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich with his retinue, as well as the emigrant committee from Poland and scattered Hungarian units.

When the Smyslovsky army was interned in Liechtenstein, the Soviet repatriation commission arrived there. The commission demanded the extradition of the general and 59 of his officers, stating that they were war criminals. But she could not provide evidence of her accusations, and the Government of Liechtenstein rejected her claim.

In 1948, General Smyslovsky emigrated to Argentina. There he lectured at the military academy on the tactics of the anti-partisan war and headed the Suvorov Union — an organization of Russian war veterans. In the middle of 60-x, at the invitation of the German General Staff, Smyslovsky became an adviser to the West German General Staff, where he worked until his retirement in 1973. The last 13 years of life Smyslovsky lived in Liechtenstein, where he brought his soldiers in 1945-m. Boris Smyslovsky died 5 September 1988 year 91-th year of life. He was buried in a small cemetery in Vaduz, adjacent to the local church.

Can Smyslovsky be called a traitor? 88-year-old widow of General Irina Nikolaevna Holmston-Smyslovskaya emphasizes: unlike Vlasov, Boris Smyslovsky was never a citizen of the USSR and did not side with the enemy. He became a German officer long before Hitler came to power.

Western allies gave Stalin generals Krasnov and Shkuro, who were also never USSR citizens (according to the Yalta Treaty, only Soviet citizens who fought on the German side were extradited), and they were executed in 1947 year as traitors. Of course, Smyslovsky knew that, if extradited, he would never be treated the same as other German prisoners of war.


The tiny principality with a population of 12 thousands of people was the only country that refused to later extradite Russian soldiers who fought on the German side, to the massacre of the Stalinist regime.

Who were these soldiers who had made the long journey from Smyslovsky from Poland to Liechtenstein? This is what told me about the fate of one of them — the adjutant of Smyslovsky, Mikhail Sokhin — his son, Mikael Sokhin. The younger Sokhin lives in the small Liechtenstein town of Eschen, teaches at a local technical school and does not speak Russian.

“My father was born in the vicinity of St. Petersburg and was a soldier. During the Finnish War, he was wounded and by the time of the war with Germany was a lieutenant of the Soviet Army. At the very beginning of the war my father was surrounded, and then captured by the Germans. It happened somewhere on the border with Poland. He, like many prisoners of soldiers in a concentration camp, went to serve in the German army to survive. So my father got into the special division "Russland", commanded by Colonel von Regenau. In the German army he had the rank of chief lieutenant.

After the war, my father left with General Holmston in Argentina, where he lived for some time with my mother, whom he married in Liechtenstein. Many Russians have got families there. From Argentina, his father returned to Liechtenstein, quickly gained citizenship and worked as an electrician. He died in the year 1986. My father did not like to remember the war and even avoided meetings with former fellow soldiers. ”

Son recalls that Mikhail Sokhin was always afraid of something. It seemed to him that his mail was being opened, that the locks in the house were not strong enough. Junior Sokhin is not even sure about the authenticity of his father's name.

In the 1980 year, on the 35 anniversary of the transition of the army of General Smyslovsky through the pass on the Austrian-Liechtenstein border, a simple monument was erected in the small village of Schellenberg in honor of the salvation of Russian soldiers Smyslovsky. Crown Prince Hans-Adam, head of the Liechtenstein government, and 82-year-old Boris Smyslovsky attended the opening of the monument. This monument became not only a symbol of a difficult and cruel time, but also a reminder of almost 2 to millions of Russian people, the “victims of Yalta” abandoned by the Allies in the meat grinder of the Stalinist regime.
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  1. solzh
    solzh 12 December 2016 00: 22
    The calculation was that Germany would end Bolshevism and then fall itself under the blows of the Allies. So we are not traitors, but Russian patriots

    So say only traitors, not patriots. Patriots are fighting the regime inside the country without foreign support, and those who are fighting with the participation of foreign aid are TRAITORS. It is a pity that Smyslovsky did not compose the company Vlasov on the gallows.
  2. Siberian
    Siberian 10 January 2022 09: 37
    Everyone chooses his own path in life and Smyslovsky chose her ... The fact that he did not become in solidarity with Vlasov does him honor ... But this was and remained to him to the end, a convinced enemy of Soviet power, and therefore of the people who lived in the USSR, for this he is not forgiven ... After all, at that time the Western countries were in allied relations with the USSR, but Smyslovsky chose for himself the route of the struggle with the Soviet people and was on the side of the Nazis ...