The army received the official name Volunteer. This decision was made at the suggestion of General Lavr Kornilov, who became its first commander in chief. Political and financial leadership was assigned to General Mikhail Alekseev. The army headquarters was headed by General Alexander Lukomsky. The official appeal of the headquarters, published two days later, said: “The first immediate goal of the Volunteer Army is to resist an armed attack in the south and south-east of Russia. Hand in hand with valiant Cossacks, at the first call of his Circle, his government and military ataman, in alliance with the regions and peoples of Russia who rebelled against the German-Bolshevik yoke, all Russian people gathered in the south from all parts of our Motherland will defend to the last drop of blood, the independence of the areas that gave them shelter and is the last stronghold of Russian independence. ” At the first stage, about 3 thousand people enrolled in the Volunteer Army, more than half of them were officers.
Under the conditions of complete disintegration of the old army, General Mikhail Alekseev decided to try to form new units outside the composition of the former army on a voluntary basis. Alekseev was the largest military figure of Russia: during the Russian-Japanese war, the quartermaster general of the 3-th Manchurian army; during the First World War - Chief of Staff of the armies of the South-Western Front, Commander-in-Chief of the armies of the North-Western Front, Chief of Staff of the Supreme Commander. During the February Revolution, 1917 advocated the abdication of Nicholas II from the throne, and through his actions contributed greatly to the fall of the autocracy. That is, he was a prominent February-revolutionary, and was responsible for the subsequent collapse of the army, the country and the beginning of turmoil and civil war.
The right wing of the feudal Westerners, having destroyed the “old Russia” - hoped to create a “new Russia” - the creation of a "democratic", bourgeois-liberal Russia with the domination of a class of owners, capitalists, bourgeoisie and large landowners - that is, development along the western matrix. They wanted to make Russia part of an “enlightened Europe”, similar to Holland, France or England. However, hopes for this quickly collapsed. The fevralists themselves opened Pandora’s box, destroying all the clutches (autocracy, army, police, old legislative, judicial and punitive systems), which were held back by long-accumulated contradictions and rifts in Russia. Events begin to evolve according to the poorly predicted scenario of the spontaneous rebellion, the Russian distemper, with the strengthening of radical left forces requiring a new development project and fundamental changes. Then the feudalists bet on a “firm hand” - military dictatorship. However, the rebellion of General Kornilov failed. And the Kerensky regime finally buried all hopes of stabilization, having actually done everything so that the Bolsheviks simply took power, almost without resistance. However, the class of owners, the bourgeoisie, the capitalists, their political parties - the Cadets, the Octobrists, did not intend to surrender. They they began to create their own armed forces in order to regain power by force and “calm” Russia. At the same time, they hoped for the help of the Entente - France, Britain, the USA, Japan, etc.
The part of the generals, which had earlier strongly opposed the regime of Nicholas II and the autocracy (Alekseev, Kornilov, Kolchak, etc.), and hoped to occupy leading positions in the "new Russia", was used to create the so-called. White Army, which was supposed to return power to the former "masters of life." As a result, the whites, separatist nationalists and interventionists kindled a terrible civil war in Russia that claimed millions of lives. "White" became the owners, the bourgeoisie, capitalists, landowners, their political superstructure - the liberal-democratic, bourgeois parties and movements (only a few percent with the environment and the attendants from the Russian population). It is clear that the well-groomed rich people, industrialists, bankers, lawyers and politicians themselves did not know how and did not want to fight. They wanted to return the “old Russia”, without the tsar, but with their power — a rich and contented caste (the “crunch of the French roll”) over the poor and illiterate populace. They signed a war of professional soldiers - officers who, after the collapse of the old army, wandered in masses around the cities without cause, Cossacks, and the innocent young men - cadets, junkers, students. After the expansion of the scale of the war, the forced mobilization of former soldiers, workers, citizens, peasants had already begun.
Also high hopes were that "the West will help." AND Western masters really "helped" - to ignite a terrible and bloody civil war in which Russians killed Russians. Actively threw "firewood" in the fire of a fratricidal war - gave promises to the leaders of the white armies and governments, supplied weapon, ammunition and ammunition, provided advisers, etc. Themselves already they divided the skin of the “Russian bear” into spheres of influence and colonies and soon began to divide Russia, simultaneously carrying out its total plunder.
10 (23) December 1917 Chairman of the Council of Ministers and Secretary of War Minister of France Georges Clemenceau and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United Kingdom Robert Cecil concluded a secret agreement on dividing Russia into spheres of influence at a meeting in Paris. London and Paris agreed that from now on they would see Russia not as an ally on the Entente, but as a territory for the realization of their expansionist designs. Areas of alleged military operations were identified. The English sphere of influence included the Caucasus, the Cossack regions of the Don and Kuban, and the French — Ukraine, Bessarabia and the Crimea. Representatives of the United States did not formally participate in the meeting, but they were kept abreast of negotiations, and at the same time, an expansion plan for the Far East and Eastern Siberia was ripe in the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.
The leaders of the West exulted - Russia died, the “Russian question” was resolved once and for all! The West has rid itself of a thousand-year-old enemy, making it difficult to establish complete control over the planet. True, our enemies once again miscalculate, Russia will survive and be able to recover. Russian Communists will win and eventually create a new Russian empire - the USSR. They are implementing an alternative globalization project - the Soviet (Russian), again challenging the West and giving hope to humanity for a fair world order.
The right wing of the feudal Westerners (the future whites) and part of the generals conceived to create a new army. It was supposed to create such an organization that, as a “organized military force ..., could withstand impending anarchy and the German-Bolshevik invasion." Initially, the core of such an organization was attempted to create in the capital. General Alekseev arrived in Petrograd on 7 in October 1917 of the year and began to prepare for the creation of an organization in which it was planned to unite officers of spare parts, military schools and simply found themselves in the capital. At the right moment, the general planned to organize combat troops from them.
According to V. V. Shulgin, who was in Petrograd in October, he was present at a meeting held at the apartment of Prince V. M. Volkonsky. In addition to the host and Shulgina, M. V. Rodzianko, P. B. Struve, D. N. Likhachev, N. N. Lvov, V. N. N. Kokovtsev, V. M. Purishkevich were present here. That is, prominent februaryists, who previously participated in the overthrow of Nicholas II and the destruction of autocracy. The main question in the initiated case rested on the complete lack of funds. Alekseev was "morally supported," sympathized with his cause, but were not in a hurry to share money. At the time of the October Revolution, Alekseev’s organization was supported by several thousand officers who either lived in Petrograd, or were for one reason or another in the capital. But almost no one dared give a fight to the Bolsheviks in Petrograd.
Seeing that the business is moving badly in the capital and soon the Bolsheviks could cover the organization, Alekseev 30 of October (12 of November) ordered to transfer to Don "those who want to continue the struggle", supplying them with forged documents and money for travel. The general appealed to all officers and cadets with a call to fight in Novocherkassk, where 2 (15) arrived in November 1917 Mr. Alekseev (and the forces behind him) planned to create statehood and an army on part of the territory of Russia that would be able to withstand Soviet power .
Infantry General M. V. Alekseev
Alekseev went to the Ataman Palace to the hero of Brusilovsky’s breakthrough to General A. Kaledin. In the summer of 1917, Alexei Kaledin was elected the Don Army Ataman by the Great Circle of the Don Cossack Army. Kaledin became the first elected ataman of the Don Cossacks after the election was abolished by Peter I. In 1709, Kaledin clashed with the Provisional Government, as he opposed the collapse of the army. On September 1, the Minister of War Verkhovsky even ordered the arrest of Kaledin, but the Military Government refused to carry out the order. September 4 Kerensky canceled it, subject to the "guarantee" of the Military Government for Kaledin.
The situation on the Don during this period was extremely difficult. In the main cities, the “alien” population prevailed, alien to the indigenous Cossack population of the Don, both in their composition, peculiarities of life, and political preferences. In Rostov and Taganrog dominated the socialist parties, hostile Cossack government. The working population of the Taganrog District supported the Bolsheviks. In the northern part of Taganrog District there were coal mines and mines of the southern ledge of Donbass. Rostov became the center of resistance to the Cossack domination. At the same time, the left could count on the support of spare military units. The “nonresident” peasantry was not satisfied with the concessions made to it (wide admission to the Cossacks, participation in village self-government, transfer of part of landlord's lands), demanding radical land reform. The Cossacks-front-line soldiers themselves were tired of the war and hated the “old regime”. As a result, the Don regiments, who were returning from the front, did not want to go to a new war and defend the Don region from the Bolsheviks. Cossacks went home. Many regiments without resistance handed in weapons at the request of small red detachments that stood barriers on the railways leading to the Don region. The masses of simple Cossacks supported the first decrees of the Soviet government. Among the front-line Cossacks, the idea of "neutrality" in relation to Soviet power was widely adopted. In turn, the Bolsheviks sought to win over the "labor Cossacks".
Kaledin described the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks as criminal and stated that, pending the restoration of legal authority in Russia, the Army Government assumed full authority in the Don Region. Kaledin from Novocherkassk imposed martial law in the coal-mining region of the region, deployed troops in a number of places, began the defeat of the Soviets and established contacts with the Cossacks of Orenburg, Kuban, Astrakhan and Terek. October 27 (November 9) XEDUMX Kaledin declared martial law throughout the region and invited members of the Provisional Government and the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic to Novocherkassk to organize the struggle against the Bolsheviks. October 1917 (November 31) Don delegates were arrested, returning from the II Congress of Soviets. During the next month, the Soviets in the cities of the Don Region were liquidated.
Thus, Kaledin spoke against the Soviet regime. Don region has become one of the centers of resistance. However, Kaledin, under conditions when the masses of ordinary Cossacks did not want to fight, wanted peace and sympathized at first with the ideas of the Bolsheviks, could not strongly oppose the Soviet government. Therefore, he accepted Alekseev, as an old comrade-in-arms, but refused to accept the future anti-Bolshevik army as a request to “give shelter to the Russian officers,” that is, to take the maintenance of the Don army government. He even asked Alekseev to remain incognito, “not to linger in Novocherkassk for more than a week,” and to transfer the Alekseev formation outside the Don region.
Troops Ataman of the Don Cossacks Region, cavalry general Aleksey Maksimovich Kaledin
Despite such a cold reception, Alekseev immediately began to take practical steps. Already 2 (15) November, he published an appeal to the officers, urging them to "save the motherland." 4 (17) November, a whole lot arrived at 45, a man led by staff captain VD Parfyonov. On this day, General Alekseev initiated the first military unit, the Combined Officer Company. The commander was the staff captain Parfenov. 15 (28) on November was deployed to an officer company of 150-200 men under the command of Staff Captain Nekrashevich.
Alekseev, using his old connections with the Generals of Bet, contacted Stavka in Mogilev. He handed to M. K. Diterikhs an order to send officers and loyal units to the Don under the guise of their redeployment for further recruitment, with issuing money for the officers to travel. He also requested that the decomposed "sovietized" military units be removed from the Don region by disbanding or sending unarmed to the front. The question was raised about negotiations with the Czechoslovak Corps, which, according to Alekseev, should have willingly joined the struggle for "the salvation of Russia." In addition, I asked to send weapons and uniforms to the Don under the guise of creating army stores here, to give outfit to the main artillery department to be sent to the Novocherkassk artillery warehouse up to 30 thousand rifles and generally use every opportunity to transfer military equipment to the Don. However, the rapid decline in the rate and the general collapse of the railway transport prevented all these plans. As a result, with weapons, ammunition and ammunition in the beginning was bad.
When there were already 600 volunteers in the organization, there were about a hundred rifles at all, and there were no machine guns at all. The military warehouses in the territory of the Don Army were full, but the Don authorities refused to give it to volunteers, fearing the wrath of the Cossack front-line soldiers. Weapons had to get both cunning and force. Thus, on the outskirts of Novocherkassk Khotunok, the 272 and 373 spare regiments were quartered, which were completely decomposed and were hostile to the Don authorities. Alekseev proposed to use the forces of volunteers to disarm them. On the night of November 22, volunteers surrounded the shelves and disarmed them without firing a shot. Selected weapons went to volunteers. The artillery was also mined, as it would turn out - one gun was “lent” in the Don reserve artillery division to the solemn funeral of one of the killed junior volunteers, and so “forgotten” to return after the funeral. Two more guns were taken away: completely decomposed units of the 39 Infantry Division arrived in the Stavropol province next to Don from the Caucasian Front. It became known to volunteers that an artillery battery was located near the village of Lezhanka. It was decided to seize her guns. Under the command of naval officer E. N. Gerasimov, a detachment of 25 officers and junkers set off for the Bed. At night, the detachment disarmed sentries and hijacked two guns and four charging boxes. Four more guns and a stock of shells were bought for 5 thousand rubles from the Don artillery units returning from the front. All this shows the highest degree of decomposition of the then Russia, weapons, up to machine guns and tools to get or "get" in one way or another.
By November 15 (28) the Junker Company was formed, which included junkers, cadets and students under the command of staff captain V. D. Parfenov. The 1 platoon consisted of infantry school cadets (mainly Pavlovsky), 2 th artillery, 3 th maritime and 4 th of cadets and students. By mid-November, the entire senior course of the Konstantinovsky artillery school and several dozen Mikhailovsky cadets led by head captain N. A. Shokoli could make their way out of Petrograd in small groups. On November 19, after the arrival of the first 100 junkers, the 2 th platoon of the Junker Company was deployed in a separate part - the Summary Mikhailovsko-Konstantinovskaya battery (which served as the core of the future Markov battery and the art brigade). The Junker Company itself turned into a battalion (two Junker and “Cadet” companies).
Thus, in the second half of November, the Alekseev organization consisted of three formations: 1) Consolidated officer company (up to 200 people); 2) Junker battalion (over 150 people); 3) Summary Mikhailovsko-Konstantinovskaya battery (up to 250 people) under the command of captain N. A. Shokoli). The Georgievskaya company (50-60 people) was in the formation stage, and a record was added to the student squad. Officers made up a third of the organization and 50% - Junker (i.e., the same element). Cadets, students of secular and religious schools were 10%.
In November, Kaledin nevertheless decided to give officers who came to Alexeyev a roof over their heads: in one of the hospitals of the Don branch of the All-Russian Union of Cities under the fictitious pretext that a “weak team, recovering, requiring care” would be placed there, volunteers were started. As a result, the small infirmary No. 2 in No. 36 on the outlying Barochnaya Street, which was a disguised hostel, became the cradle of the future Volunteer Army. Immediately after finding a refuge, Alekseev sent conditional telegrams to loyal officers, meaning that the formation on the Don had begun and it was necessary to immediately begin sending volunteers here. 15 (28) November, volunteer officers arrived from Mogilev, sent by Bid. In the last days of November, the number of generals, officers, junkers and cadets who entered the Alekseevskaya organization exceeded 500 people, and the “hospital” on Barochnaya Street was overcrowded. Volunteers again, with the approval of Kaledin, rescued the Union of Cities, transferring Alekseev to hospital No. 23 on Grushevskaya Street. 6 (19) of December, General L. G. Kornilov also got to Novocherkassk.
A big problem was the collection of funds for the core of the future army. One source was the personal contribution of the participants in the movement. In particular, the first installment in the "army cash" were 10 thousand rubles, brought by Alekseev with him from Petrograd. Personal funds allocated Kaledin. Alekseev was counting on the financial assistance of Moscow industrialists and bankers who promised him support at the time, but they were very reluctant to respond to the requests of the general's couriers, and for all that time they received 360 thousand rubles from Moscow. By agreement with the Don Government, a subscription was made in December in Rostov and Novocherkassk, the funds from which were supposed to be split equally between the Don and Volunteer armies (YES). About 8,5 million rubles were collected, but, contrary to the agreements, YES transferred 2 million. Some volunteers were quite wealthy people. Under their personal guarantees, loans in the total amount of 350 thousand rubles were received in the Rostov branch of the Russian-Asian Bank. An unofficial agreement was concluded with the management of the bank that the debt would not be recovered, and the loan would be credited as a donation to the army (later the bankers would try to get the money back). Alekseev hoped for support from the Entente countries. But during this period they still doubted. Only at the beginning of 1918, after the armistice concluded by the Bolsheviks on the Eastern Front, was received from the military representative of France in Kiev in three batches of 305 thousand rubles. In December, the Don Government decided to leave 25% of state fees collected in the region to the needs of the region. Half of the money collected in this way, about 12 million rubles, was made available YES.
Infantry company of the Volunteer Army, formed from Guards officers. January 1918
To be continued ...