Military Review

Wrangel liquidation

Let not always like mountain snow clothes
the white warrior - hallowed forever his memory.
I. Bunin

By the winter of 1920, the liquidation of the White movement seemed to be over. Kolchak and Yudenich were defeated, the group of General Miller in the north of Russia was destroyed. After the evacuation masterfully organized by the British, the remnants of the Denikin army in Crimea were demoralized and disarmed. And at that moment General Wrangel appeared on the scene of the Russian turmoil. Denikin resigned from the powers of the commander of the White Army and transferred to him. Happen before it is all story Russia could go differently. Because Baron Wrangel was perhaps the only leader of the White movement who had no illusions about the "allies." History did not give him even the slightest chance of success in the conditions in which he was. But he tried using the available resources on all 200%. To the great surprise of the Entente countries, the white struggle in the Crimea continued ...

Author of illustration Nikolaev A.V.

But in the very last days of Denikin’s rule, the British government launched a “peace initiative”. In fact, it was simple blackmail. The British offered to appeal "to the Soviet government, meaning to achieve amnesty." If the leadership of the whites again decides to abandon negotiations with the destroyers of the Motherland, “in this case the British government would consider itself obliged to abandon any responsibility for this step and cease any support or assistance in the future.”

It is written very clearly and clearly. It is this message of the British becomes the first international document received by Baron Wrangel in the rank of leader of the White movement. Denikin, on the other hand, chooses “a hospitable refuge in the UK” and is already leaving the arena of Russian turmoil forever

Wrangel is faced with a difficult choice: to continue the fight against the army, which, thanks to the “brilliant” evacuation of the “allies”, is unarmed and demoralized, or to capitulate to the Bolsheviks. And most importantly, the refusal of the British to assist in practice means the impossibility for money to buy from them new weapons. Baron decides to fight to the end. Attempts red with a rush to break into the Crimea beat off. Wrangell quickly and decisively reorganizes the army and even renames it the Russian. Cavalry regiments put their first squadrons on horses, small parts are enlarged. And here the political conjuncture of a big political party is changing. There is a saying in Russian: “To whom is war, and to whom is mother dear.” The young Polish state can be safely attributed to those for whom the world massacre has become a huge national holiday. “The ugly offspring of the Versailles Treaty,” as Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, later called Poland, only won from the war. Hardly having come into the world, sliced ​​from pieces of German and Russian territories, this young state showed an incredible agility, trying to use the favorable moment and chop off pieces of territory fatter. The Poles have an excellent appetite, they are trying not only to pinch Russia collapsed, but also to take away Upper Silesia from the Germans and Vilna (Vilnius) from the Lithuanians.

While the red and white Russians muttuyut each other, the Poles “quietly” managed to seize some Ukrainian, Belarusian and Lithuanian lands with impunity. Are engaged in the territory of Poland actually belonged to three hundred years ago, during the time of the Commonwealth, when the border with Russia passed near Smolensk. Now the moment has come for revenge. For "allies" the situation is similar to the methods of extermination of Russian fleet: changed flag, and the ship no longer belongs to Russia. If you take pieces of Ukraine and Belarus and give it to the Poles, then they are no longer Russian at all.

Wrangel liquidation

In the territories “mastered” by Poland, active “polishing” begins. In the Russian Empire, this has never happened, and the Poles were free to learn their history and language, in the Council of Deputies no one oppressed them either. In the new “democratic” 11, by November 1921, there were only two out of Belarusian schools in Western Belarus from 150. Attempts to open new ones were forcibly suppressed, and the “guilty” were arrested. In the 1930s, discrimination against national minorities intensified further. Persecution of Orthodoxy began, as a result of which hundreds of Orthodox churches were destroyed, including the majestic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Warsaw. The Red Army put an end to this oppression in 1939 ...

To seize Russian territory, an instrument is needed, so the "allies" hastily form the Polish army. Nowhere was the difference in the "help" of the British and French more so than in the supply of the Russian White Guards and the freshly baked Polish troops. This white army could go on the attack, having several rounds of rifle; Polish arsenals are loaded to the very roof, uniform with a needle, plenty of food and ammunition. Like the Polish territory, the armed forces are glued together from several different parts: the “Russian” corps of Dovbor-Myasnitsky, the “Austro-German” army of General Haller and the newly formed units of conscripts, volunteers and ... immigrants. A large number of Poles from the USA and Western Europe hurried to join the newly formed national troops. “Allied” governments, of course, do not hinder this, but rather encourage this process. Why did we pay attention to the Poles? Because the rampant growth of the Polish state in 1919-1920 meant a disaster for the White movement. Many demarches of the “allies” are explained by the influence of the Polish factors in the political situation of that time.

The greatest role was played by the Polish pans in the fate of the army of Denikin and the Black Sea Fleet. At first, Polish aid was a powerful “Allied” argument for the start of the tragic Denikin campaign against Moscow. Then, at the most decisive moment, the Poles and their satellites Petliurists concluded an armistice with the Bolsheviks, given them the opportunity
lay on bloodless whites. Now, when Wrangel, despite everything, decided to resist on the Crimean peninsula, the story had to repeat itself. Under the blows of the Red Army, Poland cracked and was ready to collapse. To save the Polish independence, carefully cultivated by the "allies", should have been the soldiers of Wrangel.

“Suffice it to say that under a special contract concluded with the United States, Poland could receive American equipment for the quantity. The United States provided the Polish government with a loan of $ 50 million and transferred part of its military material to France to Poland. ”

Tens of thousands of corpses of Russian soldiers and officers have become fertilizers for the independence of Poland, as well as of Latvia and Estonia! But who remembers this now?

London and Paris are starting to play the classic game “good and evil investigator”: “evil” London supplies with Wrangel weapons does not give, "good" Paris again opens the tap of military supplies. The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Great Britain, Lord Curzon, sends a note to the red "minister" Chicherin, in which he demands condescension for defeated whites. At the same time, he threatens that if the Bolsheviks try to attack Wrangel in order to finish him off, “the British government would be forced to send ships for all necessary actions to guard the army in the Crimea and prevent the invasion of the Soviet forces in the area in which southern forces are located Of Russia. "

It is necessary not to give Lenin all the power to lean on Poland, which alone cannot fight with Russia. For this you need to save (so far) the white Crimea. But the British did not want to really help Wrangel either. The British, putting on the toga of peacekeepers, offer the commander-in-chief of the Russian army to negotiate with the Bolshevik leadership about the conditions for the end of resistance. If Wrangel agrees, then as long as negotiations are conducted, the Red Army will not be able to transfer its forces to the Polish front, if he refuses - hostilities will begin with the same desired result. Wrangell understood this perfectly well. And he is not alone. The scenario of the tricky political game of the Entente was perfectly clear to the Bolsheviks: “There is no doubt that Wrangel’s attack was dictated by the Entente in order to alleviate the difficult situation of the Poles.”

The purpose of the "allies" is the same: with the help of some Russians, to stop other Russians, rushing under the red banner towards Warsaw. A little different approaches. France is kind to the White Guards, England is not. And as the situation deteriorated on the Polish-Soviet front, Paris became increasingly loyal to Wrangel, who was seated without ammunition and shells. The tone of their telegrams is changing too. The French 1 of May 1920 are very determined: “The French government has a negative attitude towards an agreement with the Bolsheviks. No pressure to surrender the Crimea will not. Will not participate in any such mediation, if others have undertaken it. Sympathize with the thought of holding on to the Crimea and the Tauride province. Considering Bolshevism to be Russia's main enemy, the French government sympathizes with the advancement of the Poles. Does not allow thoughts about the hidden annexation of the Dnieper. "

2 May Wrangel appeals to the “Allied” leadership with a message in which, unknowingly, offers actions that are directly opposed to their desires: “The only way to stop continuous anarchy in Russia is to preserve a healthy core in it that could unite everything around it spontaneous movements against the tyranny of the Bolsheviks. Not by a new attack on Moscow, but by the unification of all the popular forces fighting against the communists, Russia can be saved from this danger, which threatens to transfer to Europe. ”

Wrangel's sanity makes an impression. However, Russia does not need to “preserve a healthy core” of Russia, and it’s even more dangerous for them to unite “all the people's forces fighting against the communists”. The phrase about an attack on Moscow in general sounds like a direct reproach and an accusation. Wrangell is dangerous, he can disrupt the liquidation of the White Movement. Hollow must be carried out as soon as possible.

But before its final demise, the White movement should last serve the "all-union" cause. Having regrouped, having received the necessary equipment, 24 of May 1920 of the year, Wrangel begins an offensive, unexpected for the Bolsheviks, trying to escape from the Crimea to the operational space. Sitting in the Crimean bag for Wrangel is meaningless, there are no food or human reserves on the peninsula. All that is necessary for white to win, they can take only from the red. We must take advantage of the moment while the Poles fetter a part of the Bolshevik forces and the French help with the equipment. Desperate battles begin.

But the betrayal of the "allies" thing exactly dosed - they sell their partners exactly when it is necessary. And not the day before! It was on the day of the beginning of the offensive, 24 May 1920, when the landings were already landed and there was no turn back, Wrangell received a dispatch, “that Admiral de Robec passed ... about an order he received from London to detain at the present time military supplies assigned to Crimea and sent under the English flag, even on Russian ships. Cargoes traveling under other flags will not touch it. ”

Until then, the talk of ending the supplies was a sad political moment, but in fact it was possible to reach the heart of the British gentlemen with the help of "His Majesty the Pound." Now the nose tank from Britain will not be at all. This was a consequence of the negotiations of the Soviet representatives in London. The British give Lenin a firm promise to white not to help. “The order of the English government put us in a most difficult position. Depriving us of the opportunity to receive military goods would inevitably reduce all our efforts to nothing ... Although the British continued to put various obstacles in the future, but through personal negotiations in Sevastopol, Constantinople and Paris, most of the cargo was able, although with difficulty, to deliver to Crimea “- writes Wrangell.

Those who still believe that the Entente helped the whites, and the British sincerely tried to strangle the “young Soviet republic”, you must read the memoirs of the white generals. Nothing stronger, destroying this myth in the bud, simply does not exist. When there is a terrible struggle, and two forces — red and white — have grabbed to death and death in it, how do Russia's “allies” behave?

“Gasoline, oil, rubber were delivered abroad with great difficulty, and they felt a huge shortage. Everything we needed was a part in Romania, a part in Bulgaria, a part in Georgia. Attempts were made to use Russian property left in Trapezund, but all these attempts were met with insurmountable difficulties. The British put us all kinds of obstacles, delayed the passage of goods under all sorts of pretexts, ”the Entente did not at all help the fighters for the restoration of United and Indivisible Russia. This assistance existed only in the imagination of Soviet historians, whose heirs were modern liberals, telling us how Great Britain, France and the United States helped Russian bogatyrs to crush the nascent totalitarianism.

If the British clearly interfere with the supply of weapons for whites, to whom do they help? Red.

But Baron Wrangel scales a completely different story of the Russian Civil War. He did not see any help. On the contrary - he was actively disturbed. “For the purchase of everything we needed, we had no currency.

White divisions are bleeding, reinforcements instead of the Polish front Trotsky throws to the Crimea. Nevertheless, the Poles still retreat under the onslaught of the Red Army. Then the British "peacekeepers" come up with a new peace initiative. 17 July 1920, the British government proposes that Lenin immediately conclude an armistice with Poland by convening a conference in London to establish peaceful relations. The opinions of whites or the consent of the British do not ask. The British offered Wrangel ... to take the army back to the Crimea, that is, to lose everything that was conquered with great difficulty in the last offensive! The proposal of the British is obviously unacceptable, and they know this very well. The reason is simple and banal: "The demand for the withdrawal of troops to the isthmuses is equivalent to the starvation of the army and the population of starvation, because the peninsula is unable to feed them."

Well, let the White Guards die for “United and Indivisible” Russia, behind them the British and French are already in a hurry to make their own gesheft and mutually beneficial cooperation is established between red Russia and the “civilized” community of European nations. The “Allied” steamers have already taken tons of grain from the Bolsheviks, are bringing them industrial products. Wrangell sees and knows all this: “In the politics of Europe it would be in vain to look for the highest moral motives. This policy is managed solely by profit. Evidence of this is near. Just a few days ago, on my notice that, in order to stop the military smuggling into the Bolshevik ports of the Black Sea, I was forced to place mines at the Soviet ports, the commanders of the allied British and French fleets protested against this, telegraphically informing me that this measure was unnecessary, since they forbade anyone to trade with the Soviet ports. ”

No need for mines: one never knows - the "Allied" steamer on it will be blown up. And Wrangel himself confirms this assumption: “Four days later, our naval department’s radio station received the Commandant Borix French radio message sent, apparently, at the request of the Odessa Union of Cooperatives, to read:“ The ship (name is illegible) will go 5. August, in Genoa with four thousand tons of bread. Send a steamer with medicines, trucks and surgical instruments "".

In order to somehow sweeten the bitter reality, the French government suddenly decides to recognize the Wrangel government. Diplomatic representative of the French Republic is sent to Sevastopol. It's about time! Until now, no white government has been recognized. Kolchak was not honored with this honor, Denikin was not pleased, and so they decided to recognize Wrangel. Why him and why now? Because the Wrangel government had less than three months left to live, and all this time it was necessary for him to rivet a part of the Red Army to him.
But here the Poles and the British behind them again agreed with Lenin and Trotsky. The vector of Western politics is also changing instantly.

The Poles and Lenin under pressure from the British begin to prepare for the conclusion of peace. It all happens in the second half of September. The newly recognized government of Wrangel does not immediately recognize this. Realizing that if he does not do anything, he will be crushed by the liberated Soviet troops in the very near future, the head of the whites again appeals to the “allies”: “I took all measures to convince the French and Polish governments to continue fighting of the planned peace negotiations in order to take advantage of the delay of the Red forces on the Polish front, to replenish and supply my troops at the expense of the huge booty captured by the Poles, to use the Poles and the Bolshevik regiments interned in Germany, and the material part seized by the winners.

The French response is astounding. Reading it, one must remember that until the complete collapse of Wrangel’s army only two months left and if the French do nothing, then White has no chance to hold out: “The French government and Foch sympathize with your statement of the question in principle, but the implementation will be slower than necessary. In addition to the complexity of the issue, the vacation time and the absence of Millerand, with which only letters can be communicated, interfere. ”2.
Mr. Millerand is content to rest, and therefore the White movement in Russia must perish. Whatever you say, but the French are civilized people, they are uncomfortable to face the one whom they betray and deceive. Therefore, it was at that moment that the government of France experienced “unexpected” changes. President of the French Republic Duchanel fell ill and was forced to leave his post, and the very “tired” Millerand was elected his deputy. The new president takes a fresh look at some of France’s foreign policy issues. Ah, they promised you something, so sorry - it was Duchanel, and now Millerand ...

The fate of the white Crimea depends on the Polish position, and perhaps the future of all Russia. On Wrangel, we, the government is recognized as the official Paris, cannot discuss the life and death of their army with the Poles themselves.

“Our connection with the Poles was extremely difficult. 11 negotiations had to be conducted exclusively through the French. Attempts to establish radio communication with Warsaw were unsuccessful. Despite all the petitions, the Allied High Commissioners resolutely refused to allow the installation of our radio station on the territory of the Russian Embassy in Buyuk-Dere. ”

So - "communication exclusively through the French!" Directly, it is impossible to do it - suddenly it will be possible for White to come to an agreement with the proud Polish leaders, and the liquidation of the Russian patriotic movement will not happen. The betrayal of the "allies" strikes in the eyes, climbs out of all the cracks, but Wrangel has nothing left to do but hope.

“No matter how little I trusted our“ foreign friends, ”I didn’t give up hope that the Polish government, under pressure from France, would possibly delay the conclusion of peace, giving us time to complete the formation of the army on Polish territory or at least transfer Russian troops to Crimea".

Baron Wrangel hurries to defeat Red, while their advantage over his army is not so overwhelming. Until fresh reserves have been transferred from the Polish front. And attacks, attacks, attacks. The most stubborn bon deployed iodine Kakhovka. The Russian army is smaller than the enemy’s forces by assaulting perfectly fortified positions. White goes ahead under heavy machine-gun and artillery fire. There are several rows of wire ahead - the Whites tear their hands, cut them with sabers. “Horse attacks are gay. Barabovich breaks about the wire barriers and organized fire of the bridgehead, ”the Red historians of the Civil War write about those battles.
Why are the White Guards crazy? Why in a horse system try to take the fortifications enclosed by a barbed wire?

Because this is the only chance to capture them. Chance crazy, brash. Only in the equestrian system can try to jump over the thorn. The infantry has no chance of success at all.
There are no scissors for cutting the wire - France promised, but did not send! '

It's like, collecting a polar explorer on the road, to provide him with excellent clothes, sturdy shoes, great skis, but forget to send him mittens. It seems that you helped him and equipped him - but he would not go far with frostbite hands anyway. It is not at all difficult to find out Wrangel’s basic needs - he himself sends requests to the “allies”. It remains only to isolate a small key detail and precisely to “forget” it to bring. Wait for another steamer Wrangel can not and will, in any case, will go on the assault of the red fortifications. It remains only to wait until he breaks his teeth, and bring him his fake condolences.
Five days followed by desperate assaults Kakhovka. As a result, at the beginning of September, whites, suffering heavy losses, retreat, but after a week they resume attacks in another sector and even crush the Red Army. However, their forces are running out, the offensive begins to choke. Another gift from the “allies” is ripening here: the Poles finally make peace with the Bolsheviks. "The Poles in their duplicity remained true to themselves," concludes General Wrangel bitterly. After all, the primary, preliminary conditions of the peace treaty have already been signed by Warsaw on September 29 1920.
Nobody informed the Russian commander in chief about this. On the contrary, the Poles, as if nothing had happened, continued “exclusively through the French” to maintain relations with Wrangel. Even with this, Poland played up to Lenin and Trotsky: Wrangel, who did not know that the peace treaty had already been secretly signed, does not expect such a rapid concentration of a huge number of red troops against the Crimea. Therefore, the power of the strike of the troops of Frunze turns out to be unexpected for White.
Now there could be no salvation. Defeat became a matter of the near future. All alone, Wrangel's army lasted another month and a half. Understanding that it is impossible to hope for the British, Wrangel organizes evacuation, relying only on his own strength. And it will go well. In contrast to the "Denikin" evacuation, where the white leadership pinned hopes on the help of Albion. In total, from Sevastopol, as well as from Kerch, Yalta and Theodosia, 132 left to the limit of the overloaded ship carrying the 145 693 refugee, not counting ship crews ...


The Russian Black Sea Fleet left for its last trip. The Russian, former Volunteer, army also went on the last campaign. She was not destined to return home. The fates of the Cossacks and volunteers, officers and junkers, cadets and refugees will develop in different ways. Someone, yielding to persuasion, will return to red Russia, someone will get home in the ranks of the Hitlerite Wehrmacht, but most of them will die in a foreign land, filling the cemeteries of Paris and Nice, Melbourne and New York with Orthodox crosses.

Together with the White Guards, along with the deceased white case, Russian military and trade ships also left Russia. Gone to never return. Those Russian ships that managed to escape from the destruction of the 1918 in Novorossiysk in June, by the British - in April 1919 - that managed to avoid drowning during the evacuation of Odessa and Sevastopol, were now pledged to France (!). None of them "allies" of their tenacious embrace will not be released ...

The fleet of Baron Wrangel came to Constantinople. About two weeks the court stood in the raid, and the soldiers and refugees actually did not feed. Then the caring "allies" placed the Russians in Galliioli, next to the straits. In the open field, in the pouring rain and snow.

Wrangel did not receive any money for the maintenance of the army and assistance to the refugees. Even the tents were not given to the ranks of his army immediately! The last Russian soldiers became prisoners of "union" hospitality. Ahead of Wrangel was a desperate undercover struggle with the French and the British for the preservation of the army as a fighting force. There will also be their provocations, calls for soldiers and officers not to listen to their leaders, constant attempts to seize weapons and permanent reduction of rations. It will take some time, and October 15 1921, the obstinate General Wrangel, who stubbornly refused to dismiss the Russian army, will be assassinated. The yacht "Lucull", on which its headquarters is located, in broad daylight, with excellent visibility, rammed the steamer "Adria". The hull of the ship, coming from Batumi under the Italian flag, crashed into the side of the Wrangel yacht, exactly at the location of his office. Having done its job, Adria not only did not take measures to save people, but also tried to escape. "Lukull" almost instantly went to the bottom, several people died. By luck, Wrangel was not on board. The organizer of the assassination attempt remained unclear, and the “Allied” investigative authorities tried to hush up the matter promptly.

Fearing to leave the Russian ships near Constantinople, the French took them away to Africa. The Tunisian port of Bizerte, forgotten by God and the French authorities, gained by me new Orthodox subjects: besides the sailors themselves, there lived members of their families, children studied in Russian schools. Even the Russian Naval Cadet Corps evacuated from Sevastopol acted - personnel was trained for the future Russian fleet. Alas, these plans did not come true. Instead of the growth of power and glory of the Russian fleet, the cadets watched as the ships transferred to France fled one after another. The "allies" partly translated them under their flags, and partly simply disassemble them for scrap metal.

The fate of the last Black Sea dreadnought General Alekseev (aka Volya, aka Emperor Alexander III) was also sad. 29 December 1920, he was interned by the French authorities. Then France recognized the Soviet Union, but did not give the ships, postponing the transfer of ships under various pretexts. Four years of altercation with “allies” followed. Finally, on October 29, the dreadnought of 1924 was recognized by the government of France as the property of the USSR, but was not returned to Soviet Russia because of the “difficult international situation”. In 1936, the battleship General Alekseev was sold by the Soviet company Rudmetalltorg for demolition in the French city of Brest with the condition that its tools and some devices would remain the property of France (!) And be delivered to Sidi Abdullah’s arsenal. Dismantling and destruction of the dreadnought did not begin immediately and were completed only in 1937. In the 1940 year, at the height of the Soviet-Finnish war, the "neutral" French government agreed to give Finland the 305-mm Dreadnought guns, for which the Finns had shells left after the departure of the Russian Baltic Fleet in 1918, the purpose of the gift was to shoot Soviet soldiers who were breaking into line Mannerheim. And only the rapid end of hostilities did not allow the Russian Dreadnought's guns to start firing at Russian soldiers again.

This ended the tragedy of old Russia, organized by the British and French intelligence services, the tragedy of its people, army and navy. True, Soviet Russia, despite all efforts, remained a maritime power. The terribly weakened fleet was nevertheless preserved, but as such and in large quantities it could not at all solve the task of protecting the coast of the country. Having destroyed everything to the ground, the Bolsheviks became necessary to restore everything. The buildup of sea muscles will become one of the main directions of the Stalin five-year plans. In addition to the construction of new ships in 1930, several attempts were made to raise the Russian ships flooded by Lenin’s order, which littered the Novorossiysk bay with their islands. And from the pages of Soviet newspapers and magazines began to be heard the timid and surprised voices of the first researchers of the Civil War. And why was Comrade Raskolnikov drowning the Black Sea squadron in such a deep place and so thoroughly ?! After all, if the ships went to the bottom near the coast, they could be lifted and repaired. And so the only ship that was brought back to life was the destroyer Kaliakrin. 28 August 1929 of the year under the name "Dzerzhinsky" he joined the Red Fleet ...

Wrangell II. N. Notes / White movement. M .: Vagrius. 2006. C. 865
Pykhalov I. Last dog of the Entente
Shishkin S. II Civil War in the Far East. Military publishing house of the USSR. Moscow, 1957
A conversation with comrade I. V. Stalin about the situation on the South-Western Front / Communist, No. BUT, 24 June 1920
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