100 years ago, 28 and 29 in January 1918, the Red Army and the Red Fleet were created to protect Soviet Russia from external and internal enemies.
23 is considered to be 1918 in February as the birthday of the Red Army. Then the recording of volunteers began and German troops moving into the depths of Russia stopped near Pskov and Narva. However, the decrees defining the principle of formation and structure of the new Armed Forces were adopted in January. Having taken power in the country into their own hands, the Bolsheviks faced one of the fundamental problems - the country was defenseless in the face of external and internal enemies.
The destruction of the Armed Forces began in the last years of the Russian empire - a drop in morale, moral and psychological fatigue from the war, hatred in the authorities, which dragged millions of ordinary people into a bloody massacre meaningless for them. This led to a drop in discipline, massive desertion, surrender, the appearance of detachments, a plot among the part of the generals who supported the overthrow of the king, etc. The Provisional Government, the February revolutionaries finished off the imperial army by “democratization” and “liberalization”. Russia no longer had an army as a whole, unified structure. And this is in the context of the Troubles and external aggression, intervention. Russia needed an army to defend the country, the people, defend socialism and the Soviet project.
In December 1917, V.I. Lenin set the task: to create a new army in a month and a half. The Military Collegium was formed, money was allocated for the concept of organization and management of the workers 'and peasants' armed forces. The groundwork was approved at the III All-Russian Congress of Soviets in January 1918. Then the decree was signed. Initially, the Red Army, following the example of the White Guard formations, was voluntary, but this principle quickly showed its inconsistency. And soon they turned to the appeal - the general mobilization of men of certain ages.
After coming to power in October 1917, the Bolsheviks initially saw the future army as being created on a voluntary basis, without mobilization, with election of commanders, etc. The Bolsheviks relied on the thesis of K. Marx about replacing the regular army with universal armament of the working people. Thus, the fundamental work “State and Revolution” written by Lenin in 1917, defended, inter alia, the principle of replacing the regular army with the “universal armament of the people”.
On December 16, 1917, decrees of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars "On the elective beginning and organization of power in the army" and "On the equation in the rights of all military personnel" were issued. To protect the gains of the revolution, detachments of the Red Guard began to form, headed by the military revolutionary committee. Also, the Bolsheviks were supported by detachments of "revolutionary" soldiers and sailors from the old army and fleet. On November 26, 1917, instead of the old Ministry of War, the Committee on Military and Naval Affairs was established under the leadership of V. A. Antonov-Ovseenko, N. V. Krylenko and P. E. Dybenko. Then this Committee was transformed into the Council of People's Commissars for Military and Naval Affairs. Since December 1917, it was renamed and became known as the College of People's Commissars for Military and Naval Affairs (People's Commissariat of War), the head of the board was N. I. Podvoisky. The People's Commissariat of War was the leading military organ of Soviet power; in the early stages of its activities, the collegium relied on the old military ministry and on the old army.
At a meeting of the military organization under the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b) 26 on December 1917, it was decided to install V.I. Lenin to create a month and a half new army in 300 thousand people, was created All-Russian Board on the organization and management of the Red Army. Lenin set before this college the task of developing, as soon as possible, the principles of organizing and building a new army. The fundamental fundamentals of army construction, developed by the college, were approved by the 3rd All-Russian Congress of Soviets, which met from 10 to 18 in January of 1918. To defend the gains of the revolution, it was decided to create an army of the Soviet state and call it the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army.
As a result, on January 15, 28 (1918) issued a decree on the establishment of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army, and January (November 29) created the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Fleet on a voluntary basis. The definition of “worker-peasant” emphasized its class character — the army of the dictatorship of the working people and the fact that it should be completed mainly from the working people of town and country. The "Red Army" talked about the fact that it is a revolutionary army. For the formation of volunteer detachments of the Red Army 11 million rubles were allocated. In mid-January, 10 million rubles were allocated for the construction of the Red Army 1918. As the leadership of the Red Army was created, all departments of the old military ministry were reorganized, reduced or abolished.
18 February 1918, the Austro-German troops, more than 50 divisions, violating the truce, launched an offensive in the entire belt from the Baltic to the Black Sea. 12 February The 1918 in Transcaucasia began the offensive of the Turkish army. The remnants of the completely demoralized and destroyed old army could not resist the enemy and left their positions without a fight. From the old Russian army, the only military units to preserve military discipline were the regiments of Latvian riflemen who had gone over to the side of Soviet power. In connection with the onset of the enemy troops, part of the generals of the tsarist army proposed the formation of detachments from the old army. But the Bolsheviks, fearing the actions of these detachments against the Soviet power, refused such formations. However, to attract officers of the old imperial army, some generals were attracted. A group of generals, led by M. D. Bonch-Bruyevich as part of 12, 20 February 1918 arrived in Petrograd from General Headquarters, formed the basis of the Supreme Military Council and began to hire officers to serve the Bolsheviks. From March to August, Bonch-Bruevich will hold the post of military leader of the Supreme Military Council of the Republic, and in 1919 - the Chief of the Field Staff of the RVSR.
As a result, in the course of the Civil War there will be many generals and cadre officers of the tsarist army among the highest command personnel of the Red Army. During the Civil War, 75 was served in the Red Army by thousands of former officers, while in the White Army about 35 were served by thousand men. from the 150-thousandth corps of officers of the Russian Empire. About 40, thousands of former officers and generals did not take part in the Civil War, or fought for national formations.
By mid-February, the First Corps of the Red Army was formed in Petrograd. The basis of the corps was a special purpose detachment consisting of Petrograd workers and soldiers as part of the 1918 mouth of 3 people. During the first two weeks of formation, the number of corps was brought to 200 thousand people. A part of the corps, about 15 thousand people, was prepared and sent to the front near Pskov, Narva, Vitebsk and Orsha. By early March 10, the body had a total 1918 infantry battalions, machine gun regiment, 10 cavalry regiments, an artillery brigade, a heavy artillery battalion, Armored Division 2, 2 Squadron, aeronautic detachment, engineering, automobile, motorcycle parts and searchlight command. In May, the 3 Corps was disbanded; its personnel is aimed at completing the 1918, 1, 2 and 3 rifle divisions, which were formed in the Petrograd military district.
By the end of February, 20 thousand volunteers signed up in Moscow. The first test of the Red Army took place near Narva and Pskov, it entered into battle with the German troops and gave them a rebuff. Thus, 23 February was the birthday of the young Red Army.
During the formation of the army there were no approved states. Military units were formed from volunteer units based on the capabilities and needs of their area. Troops consisted of several dozen people from 10 to 10 thousand or more people. Formed battalions, companies and regiments were of different types. The number of companies consisted of 60 to 1600 people. The tactics of the troops were determined by the legacy of the tactics of the Russian army, the political, geographical and economic conditions of the combat area, and also reflected the individual traits of their commanders, such as Frunze, Shchors, Budyonny, Chapaev, Kotovsky and others.
The course of hostilities showed the viciousness and weakness of the volunteer principle, the "democratic" principles in the army. This organization excluded the possibility of centralized command and control of troops. As a result, a gradual transition began from a voluntary principle to the construction of a regular army on the basis of universal military service. 3 March 1918 was created by the Supreme Military Council (Air Force). The chairman of the Supreme Military Council was the People’s Commissar for Military Affairs, Lev Trotsky. The Council coordinated the activities of the military and naval departments, set them tasks for the defense of the state and the organization of the armed forces. Three departments were created within its structure - operational, organizational and military communications. Trotsky created the institute of military commissars (from 1919, the republic’s political administration, the PUR). 25 March 1918 of the Year SNK approved the creation of new military districts. At a meeting in the Air Force in March 1918, a draft organization of the Soviet rifle division was discussed, which was adopted by the main combat unit of the Red Army. The division consisted of 2-3 brigades, each brigade of the 2-3 regiments. The main economic unit was the regiment of the 3 battalions, 3 companies in each.
Also decided the question of the transition to universal conscription. 26 July 1918. Trotsky submitted to SNK a proposal for universal military service of the working people and for recruiting conscripts from the bourgeois classes to the rear militia. Earlier, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee announced the call of workers and peasants not exploiting the labor of others in the 51 district of the Volga, Urals and West Siberian military districts, as well as workers in Petrograd and Moscow. During the following months, conscription to the Red Army was extended to commanders. By July 29 decree, the entire military-obliged population of the country, ranging in age from 18 to 40, was registered, and conscription was established. These decrees determined a significant increase in the armed forces of the Soviet Republic.
2 September 1918 by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee The Supreme Military Council was abolished, with the transfer of functions to the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic (RVSR, RVS, Revolutionary Military Council). RVS led by Trotsky. The Revolutionary Military Council combined administrative and operational functions for the management of the Armed Forces. 1 November 1918 of the year was formed the executive operational body of the RVSR - Field Headquarters. The members of the PBC were outlined by the Central Committee of the RCP (B.) And approved by the Council of People's Commissars. The number of members of the RVSR was non-permanent and comprised, apart from the chairman, his deputies and the Commander-in-Chief, from 2 to 13 people. In addition, since the summer of 1918, Revolutionary Military Councils have been formed by the Red Army and Navy (fronts, armies, fleets, flotillas and some groups of forces). Revolutionary Military Council decided to create a cavalry in the Red Army.
L. D. Trotsky in the Red Army. Sviyazhsk, August 1918
In view of the growing tensions of the war, the question arose of pooling the efforts of the entire country and the head of all bodies as the leading elite became the Council of Workers 'and Peasants' Defense (Council of Defense, SRCW) formed by the decree of the Central Executive Committee 30 of November 1918. Lenin was appointed chairman of the Defense Council. The Defense Council was the main emergency military economic and planning center of the Republic during the war. The Council was controlled by the activities of the Revolutionary Military Council and other military bodies. As a result, the Defense Council had full power in the mobilization of all the forces and means of the country for defense, united the work of all agencies that worked for the country's defense in the military-industrial, transport and food area and became the completion of the organization management system of the armed forces of Soviet Russia.
Upon admission to the army, the fighters took the oath approved by 22 on April at the meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee. September 16 The first Soviet Order, the Red Banner of the RSFSR, was established on 1918. A lot of work has been done: on the basis of the three-year experience of world war, new field manuals for all branches of the armed forces and their combat interaction were written; a new mobilization scheme has been formed - a system of military commissariats. The Red Army was commanded by dozens of the best generals who had gone through two wars, and 100 thousand military officers, including former commanders of the imperial army.
Thus, by the end of 1918, the organizational structure of the Red Army and its administrative apparatus were created. The Red Army strengthened all crucial sections of the fronts by the Communists, in October 1918 in the army were 35 thousand communists, in 1919 - about 120 thousand, and in August 1920 year 300 thousand, half of all members of the RCP (b) of that time. In June 1919, all the republics that existed at that time — Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia — entered into a military alliance. It was created a unified military command, joint management of finance, industry and transport. By order of the Revolutionary Military Council of Russia on 16, January 1919, insignia was introduced only for combatant commanders - colored buttonholes, on collars, by type of service, and commander stripes on the left sleeve, above the cuff.
By the end of 1920, the Red Army numbered 5 million, but due to the lack of weapons, uniforms and equipment, the army’s combat personnel did not exceed 700 thousand, 22 army was formed, 174 divisions (of which 35 were cavalry), 61 squadron (300) 400 aircraft), artillery and armor units (units). During the war years, 6 military academies and more than 150 courses prepared 60 thousand workers and peasants of all specialties from workers and peasants.
As a result, a new powerful army was formed in Soviet Russia that won the Civil War, over the “armies” of the nationalist separatists, Basmachs and ordinary thugs. The leading powers of the West and the East were forced to withdraw their occupation forces from Russia, for the time being refusing to direct invasion.
V. Lenin at the parade of the Universal Education units in Moscow, May 1919
January 29 (February 11 New Style) 1918 held a meeting of the Council of People's Commissars (SNK) of the RSFSR chaired by V.I. Lenin, at which on the report of the People’s Commissar for Maritime Affairs P.E. Dybenko, the decree on the creation of Peasant Red Fleet (RKKF). The decree said: “The Russian fleet, like the army, is brought by the crimes of the tsarist and bourgeois regimes and a difficult war into a state of great disruption. The transition to the arming of the people, which is demanded by the program of the socialist parties, is extremely complicated by this circumstance. In order to preserve national wealth and oppose organized forces — the remnants of the mercenary army of capitalists and the bourgeoisie, in order to maintain, if necessary, the ideas of the world proletariat have to resort, as a transitional measure, to organizing the fleet on the basis of recommending candidates by party, trade union and other mass organizations. In view of this, the Council of People's Commissars resolves: The fleet, which exists on the basis of the universal military service of the tsarist laws, is declared dissolved and the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Fleet is organized. ”
The next day, an order signed by P. E. Dybenko and members of the Marine Board of S. E. Saks and F. F. Raskolnikov, in which this decree was announced, was sent to the fleets and flotilla. In the same order it was reported that the new fleet should be completed on the principles of voluntariness. On January 31, the order for the fleet and the naval department declared the partial demobilization of the fleet, but already on February 15, in connection with the threat of the German offensive, the Centrobalt appealed to the sailors with an appeal, in which he wrote: “The Central Committee of the Baltic Fleet urges you, fellow sailors, to stay in their places to whom freedom and homeland are dear, until the imminently dangerous danger from the enemies of freedom waits. ” Somewhat later, 22 February 1918 was established by the decision of the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR, the People’s Commissariat for Maritime Affairs was established, and the Supreme Maritime Board was renamed the Board of the People’s Commissariat for Maritime Affairs. This resolution laid the foundations of the Soviet naval apparatus.
Interestingly, from December 1917 to February 1918, the scale of naval titles did not exist. Most often, naval soldiers were called by their positions and (or) by their former positions with the addition and addition of the abbreviation “b”, which meant “former”. For example, b. captain of the 2 rank. In the 29 Decree of January 1918, the navy personnel was named “Red Navy Sailors” (it was altered to “Krasnoenmore”).
It is worth noting that in the outbreak of the Civil War, the ships did not play a major role. A significant part of the sailors and noncoms of the Baltic Fleet went to fight on land for the Red Army. A part of the officers died in the ensuing distemper, a part - went over to the side of the whites, a part - ran or stayed on the ships, trying to save them for Russia. In the Black Sea Fleet, the picture was similar. But part of the ships fought on the side of the White Army, part went over to the Reds.
After the end of the Time of Troubles of Soviet Russia, only the miserable remnants of the once powerful fleet were inherited on the Black Sea. The naval forces in the North and the Far East also practically ceased to exist. The Baltic Fleet was partially rescued - linear forces were retained, except for the battleship Poltava (badly damaged by fire and scrapped). Also preserved underwater forces and mine division, minelayers. The real rebuilding and creation of the Red Fleet began with 1924.