Lavr Georgievich Kornilov was an outstanding, symbolic person. The end of his life — participation in the Civil War as commander-in-chief of the Volunteer Army — led to the fact that all of the merits of Laurus Georgievich were forgotten. Meanwhile, General Kornilov was not only a military leader, but also a talented military diplomat, intelligence officer, traveler and explorer. All these details of his biography in the Soviet era were forgotten, and Kornilov himself was considered solely as an enemy of the working people. Something similar happened with Admiral Kolchak, but if Kolchak really collaborated with the interventionists, his subordinates committed atrocities in Siberia, then General Kornilov was not noted in such matters. Perhaps it was the early death that saved the military leader from actions that in the future would receive a completely unambiguous interpretation.
Despite the fact that Lavr Kornilov was a general of the Russian army, a glorified military leader and hero of the Russian-Japanese and World War I, his biography is full of mysteries. So, there are still disputes over the origin of the general. It is clear that he was a Cossack, but the eastern type of person does not leave historians indifferent - what kind of blood did the general have? Some researchers argue that the general’s mother was a Kazakh from the Argyn-Karakasek family, others said that his mother had Kalmyk ancestors, from whom the Asian type went to the general. The most exotic version was announced in 1992 in the newspaper Izvestia Kalmykia. According to this version, the father of Lavr Kornilov was allegedly an ethnic Kalmyk, and the future general himself was born in the Don village of Semikarakorskaya and at birth was named Lavga Gilzhirovich Deldinov. But then the parents of Laurus parted ways and he was adopted by Uncle Georgy Kornilov.
Whatever it was, but the official biography of the general says that he was born 18 (30) August 1870 in Ust-Kamenogorsk (now the administrative center of the East Kazakhstan region of Kazakhstan) in the family of Georgy Nikolaevich Kornilov - the former Cornish 7 of the Siberian Cossack The regiment, which by the time of his son's birth had already left the Cossack class, received the rank of a collegiate registrar and served as a clerk at the city police.
The military career of Lavra Kornilov began, as is known, from early adolescence. In 1883, the thirteen-year-old Laurus was enrolled in the Siberian Cadet Corps in Omsk, and after graduating with honors from 1889, he entered the Mikhailovsky Artillery School in St. Petersburg. Demonstrating excellent skills in mathematics and exact sciences and eagerness to learn, Kornilov also studied perfectly well at the artillery school and already in 1890 he became a non-commissioned officer of the cadet division. When Laurel graduated from college in 1892, broad prospects opened up before him — service in the guards or, at least, in parts of the capital's military district. But the young officer chose a distant Turkestan military district, close to his homeland.
Lieutenant Kornilov was assigned to the 5 artillery battery of the Turkestan Artillery Brigade, where his army service began. The very choice of the place of service testifies to the uncommon approach of Lavr Kornilov to his own way of life - he chose one of the most interesting and, at the same time, difficult directions. In the 1895 year, Kornilov entered the Academy of the General Staff and in the 1898 year, after graduating from it, he received the rank of captain for academic success. And again the officer refuses to serve in the capital and goes to Turkestan. He served as an assistant to the senior adjutant of the headquarters of the Turkestan military district, then as a staff officer for missions to the district headquarters, engaged in intelligence activities.
Eastern appearance and excellent knowledge of the Turkic languages greatly helped Kornilov in conducting intelligence in the vast steppes and deserts of Central Asia. For example, he, dressed as a Turkmen, explored the environs of the British fortress Deyadady in Afghanistan. During the Turkestan service, Kornilov managed to go on expeditions to Afghanistan, Persia, Kashgaria (modern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region). In the book “Kashgaria, or East Turkestan,” Lavr Georgievich summarized the results of his journey - he was not only a scout, but also an observant traveler, describing the geographical and ethnographic features of the regions of Central Asia. A reconnaissance detachment led by Captain Kornilov undertook an unprecedented march through Eastern Persia, examining areas formerly considered a real “white spot” for European and Russian geography. Several small expeditions were carried out by Kornilov on the Pamirs, and then he visited the territory of modern Pakistan - in Balochistan, under the guise of a traveler who studied the life of the Baluchs. The real purpose of the journey was to explore British positions in the region.
Kornilov owned a number of Oriental languages - Kazakh, Kalmyk, Mongolian, Urdu, Farsi - and this is in addition to English, French and German, mastered in the school and the Academy of the General Staff. When in 1904, the 34 year-old Lieutenant Colonel Kornilov was appointed head clerk of the General Staff in St. Petersburg, he did not like administrative work. He joined the active army, becoming the head officer and then chief of staff of the 1 Infantry Brigade. Kornilov took part in the Russian-Japanese war, proving himself a brave and talented military leader. In the area of the Vazy settlement, Lieutenant Colonel Lavr Kornilov led the soldiers into a bayonet attack and was able to withdraw the brigade from the Japanese encirclement. For his bravery shown in the battles of Mukden, the officer received the Order of St. George of the 4 degree and was promoted to colonel.
The period between the Russo-Japanese and the First World Wars revealed the talents of Colonel Kornilov as a military diplomat. In 1907-1911 He served as a military attache in China, having managed to learn Chinese, the way of life and life of the Chinese during this time. At the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Empire and the General Staff of the Imperial Army, the colonel sent out reports on various aspects of China’s life, the organization of the Chinese police, the telegraph office, and the imperial guard.
After spending four years in the military-diplomatic service in China, Colonel Kornilov returned to military service. In February-June 1911, he commanded the Estland 8 Infantry Regiment, then a detachment of a separate border guard corps in the Zaamur district, a brigade of the 9 Siberian Rifle Division. In December, 1911. 41-year-old Lavr Kornilov received the rank of Major General of the Russian Imperial Army.
19 August 1914 Kornilov was appointed commander of the 48 Infantry Division, which later went down in history as the “Steel Division”. He commanded a division during the battles in Galicia and the Carpathians. Contemporaries, including General Brusilov, recalled Kornilov as a brave man who did not regret his subordinates or himself. He was kind to the lower ranks, trying to match the role of the commander - the father of the soldiers, but demanded from his subordinates unconditional and precise execution of orders. General Denikin recalled that within a few weeks Kornilov had managed to make one of the best divisions of the Russian Imperial Army from the second-grade division of the Kazan Military District.
The division commander himself went into battle, to the rear of the enemy. For example, in November 1914, he led a night attack in a battle at Takoshanah and, breaking through the enemy’s positions, captured 1200 prisoners, including Austrian General Raft. Subsequently, Raft described Kornilov as "not a man, but an element." True, there was a black episode during the war - the Kornilov division was surrounded on the Hungarian plain and lost thousands of people dead and captured. Then Kornilov barely escaped the tribunal, under which General Brusilov, who was fairly cool towards Lavr Georgievich, was going to give it.
In April, 1915, the Kornilov division, which covered the retreat of the Russian troops, was severely defeated by superior enemy forces. The general personally led one of the battalions of the division and, having received two wounds in the arm and leg, after a bayonet battle, was captured by Austro-Hungarians. In July, 1916, Mr. Kornilov, who was detained in a camp for high-ranking officers prisoners of war near Vienna, managed to escape. He managed to escape through Romania and, having recovered a bit from the consequences of the captivity, already in September 1916 was appointed commander of the XXV Army Corps of the Special Army, commanded by cavalry general Vasily Gurko. At the beginning of 1917, the city of Kornilov was appointed commander of the Petrograd military district. Emperor Nicholas II asserted the general to this post, and took command of Kornilov after the overthrow of the monarchy, in early March of 1917. It was Lavr Kornilov who led the arrest of the royal family, but he himself later very hard worried that such an assignment of the Provisional Government fell to his lot.
Orienting in a changed political situation, General Kornilov tried to keep the army from disintegration and ensure the protection of the Russian capital from the advancing German forces. However, the combat general could no longer interfere with the influence of the Soviets of workers and soldiers. For all his military valor, Kornilov understood poorly politics, if he understood the need for changes in the country, then he proceeded from his own ideas. In April, 1917, unwilling to participate in the revolutionary transformations, he refused the post of commander of the Petrograd military district and was transferred to the front by the commander of the 8 army. Under the command of the Kornilov army has achieved impressive success.
19 July 1917 General of Infantry Laurus Kornilov was appointed the new Supreme Commander of the Russian army, replacing General Alexei Brusilov in this post. This appointment immediately inspired the right circles of the officer corps of hope for the salvation of “old Russia”. Indeed, Kornilov tried to restore a rigid control system, but he faced the inaction of the Provisional Government and its structures. Considering that a catastrophic situation had developed in the country, Kornilov organized an offensive of loyal units on Petrograd in August 1917, after which he was declared head of the Provisional Government Alexander Kerensky, a rebel. From 1 September to November 1917, General Kornilov and his closest comrades were under arrest in Mogilev and Bykhov, and after the October Revolution, was released by order of General Dukhonin and headed for the Tekinsky regiment guarding the Don.
It was Lavr Kornilov who became one of the organizers and first commander of the Volunteer Army on the Don. However, the lack of support for the Don Cossacks and the suicide of Ataman Kaledin forced the Kornilovites to move south - to the Kuban. 9 (22) February 1918 of the year began the first Kuban campaign of the Volunteer Army, which went down in history as the Ice Campaign. Ice trip brought death to General Kornilov. 31 March (13 April) 1918, during the storming of Ekaterinodar, in the house where the headquarters of General Kornilov was located, flew an enemy grenade. By coincidence, which General Denikin then called no other than mystical, the grenade hit only one in the house, hit exactly the room where General Kornilov was, and only Kornilov died from its explosion. Adjutants who rushed to the general could no longer do anything - Lavr Georgievich Kornilov died. The body of the deceased commander was buried in the area of the German settlement of Gnckbau, and the grave was razed to the ground during the retreat — the general’s comrades knew perfectly well that they would try to find the remains of the deceased in order to mock at them. The Red Army soldiers, having broken into Gnachbau, began to search for the hidden cashier’s office, which allegedly could have been buried in the village, and accidentally stumbled upon the coffin of General Kornilov. The body of the deceased general was taken out and taken to Ekaterinodar, where they mocked at him in one of the squares, and then they burned them. The widow of Lavra Georgievich Taisiya Vladimirovna accused the generals Denikin and Alekseev of not being able to remove Kornilov’s body from the Kuban in order to bury it humanly. However, a number of researchers refutes the version that the Bolsheviks mocked the body of the general, and this fact, speaking of his death, must also be taken into account.
Civil war is a terrible tragedy for the country. The brother killed the brother, the best people of the country perished, and from all the parties involved. The memory of General Kornilov as a hero of wars and a defender of his homeland, was diligently erased for many decades. Now, a century after those tragic events, it would be wise for modern supporters of the “red” and “white” to abandon the further reproduction of hatred towards each other, from epidemics of renaming streets and demolitions of some monuments to replace them with others. Nicholas II and Vladimir Lenin, Kornilov and Chapaev, Denikin and Budyonny - this is all the history of our country, people who are significant to it, each of whom wanted Russia to be good, although he understood this good from his own world view, experience, and values.