Battle of Rostov
3 May 1818, the team under the command of Colonel Mikhail Drozdovsky approached the suburbs of Rostov-on-Don. Not far away, in Taganrog (in 70 km west of Rostov on the shores of the Sea of Azov), German troops, occupying the western and southern regions of Russia, stopped several days earlier. Colonel Drozdovsky decided to get ahead of them and be the first to enter Rostov in order to seize warehouses with weapons and food. He had little strength. The number of the Drozdovts brigade at that time did not exceed, according to various sources, 1,5-2 thousands of fighters. While the Bolsheviks in Rostov had 12-thousand. a grouping of troops, artillery and a warship that covered the city of the Don, and could also count on the support of detachments of armed workers. But the fact was that there were no combat-ready troops and authoritative commanders who could stop panic. The Reds were so afraid of the Germans and the Drozdovites that even 3 was in May, panic began, fleeing the city, accompanied by the looting of banks. Drozdovtsy were firmly welded, well-armed shock detachment.
The advanced cavalry detachment of Drozdovtsy under the command of Colonel Voinolovich, reinforced by armored cars, broke into Rostov on Easter night, May 4. The city station and neighboring neighborhoods were taken on the run. At first, the confused Red Army began to surrender. But they soon discovered that there were not enough whites and went to the counterattack. Voynalovich died, the Drozdovtsev avant-garde began to depart. Drozdovsky wrote down in his diary soon: “I suffered a great loss — my closest assistant, the chief of staff, may be the only person who could replace me.” Here the main forces of Drozdovsky entered the battle. The Reds again wavered and retreated to Nakhichevan-on-Don (at that time an independent city, mainly with the Armenian population).
Easy victory caused whites carelessness. Started recording volunteers. The detachment began to clear the city of the Reds who had fled and hid, and simply dissolved in the big city. Management has been disrupted. On May 5, an armored train from Novocherkassk approached Rostov, under cover of which the Reds began to deploy reinforcements - this was the 39 Division, which had previously fought on the Caucasian front, the Red Guard sailors of the Guards and the Latvian infantry brigade (up to 28 thousands of fighters) that retained combat capability. Reds arrived train after train. Began a new battle. White tried to beat the opponent. But the arrived red troops were well organized and efficient. A large numerical superiority allowed forcing whites to fight and bypass from the flanks. Drozdovtsy, having lost about a hundred people and part of the convoy, were forced to depart. Drozdovsky retreated to Taganrog.
Meanwhile, German cavalry approached Rostov-on-Don. The Germans offered their assistance to Drozdov in the storming of the city. Drozdovsky thanked them, but refused to accept help. A few days later (May 8), the red Rostov surrendered without a fight to the 1 th division of the German corps. The Red Command, without resistance, fled to Tsaritsyn. Thus, the existence of the Don Soviet Republic ended.
Drozdovtsev armored car "Ataman Bogaevsky"
Novocherkassk. Connection with the army of Denikin
Drozdovsky detachment was in a difficult situation. The battle for Rostov was lost, people died. The Reds, as it turned out, had serious and efficient forces capable of crushing a small detachment of thrushes. White could not continue the battle and did not know where and in what condition the Volunteer Army. Gained news from the Cossacks. May 6 to Colonel Drozdovsky arrived messenger from the Don Cossacks, who rose up against the Bolsheviks, who asked him to help and reach Novocherkassk. Drozdovtsy learned that the Volunteer Army goes to the borders of the Don Army.
As a result, despite the failure of the battle for Rostov, the Drozdov offensive distracted the main forces of the Reds from Novocherkassk, which the Cossacks of Colonel S. V. Denisov used. They took Novocherkassk. But the Reds launched a counter-offensive, gathered large forces and gained the upper hand. After two days of uninterrupted red, they managed to seize the outskirts of Novocherkassk, and the Cossack command realized that it was unlikely to be able to save what they had won. Cossack troops could not resist and began to retreat. At this critical moment, the Drozdovsky detachment was in the rear of the Reds. The artillery opened fire on the flank of the advancing Red Army men, an armored car crashed into the rear, causing death and panic. Thrushes turned into battle chains. Red troops mixed. Finding unexpected help, the Cossacks cheered and went to the counter. Reds ran.
In the evening of May 8, the Drozdists entered Novocherkassk. Thus, having decided the fate of the battle for Novocherkassk in favor of the Cossack troops of General Denisov, the Drozdists completed the campaign Iasi-Don. And the next day, a parade of the detachment took place on the square near the Military Holy Ascension Cathedral, which was received by the Don Ataman General P. N. Krasnov. On the basis of the detachment of Colonel Drozdovsky, he planned to revive the Cossack guards units. Krasnov offered Drozdovskiy to be part of the Don Army being formed as a Donskoye walking guard, but he refused. Don Cossacks more than once later suggested that Drozdovskii stand apart from General Denikin, but he decided to stick to the Army. At this time, Drozdovsky was so popular, his brigade had such great material capabilities that it could even form its own army and claim an independent military-political role, but did not do that. As Drozdovsky wrote in a letter to Denikin: “From various individuals ... I received offers not to join the army, which was considered dying, but to replace it. My agents in the south of Russia were so well placed that if I remained an independent commander, the Volunteer Army would not have received a fifth of those manning that would then pour on the Don ... But considering the crime to disengage forces ... I categorically refused to enter either combination ... ”
Drozdovsky left for a meeting at the headquarters of the Volunteer Army, located in Art. Mechetinskaya. A plan of further actions was developed there and it was decided to give the troops a rest, YES - in the area of Mechetinskaya, and the Drozdovsky detachment - in Novocherkassk. Drozdovsky engaged in attracting replenishment to the squadron, as well as its financial support. In different cities, he sent people to organize the recording of volunteers. The work of the recruiting bureaus of the Drozdovites was organized so efficiently that the 80% replenishment of the entire YES at first went precisely through them. In Novocherkassk and Rostov Drozdovsky also organized warehouses for the needs of the army; for the wounded Drozdovites in Novocherkassk - the infirmary, and in Rostov - the White Crest Hospital (with the support of Professor N.I. Napalkov), remaining until the end of the Civil War, the best hospital of whites. Drozdovsky lectured and distributed appeals about the tasks of the White movement, and in Rostov his newspaper “The Bulletin of the Volunteer Army”, the first white printed organ in southern Russia, even began to appear. In the Cossack capital, the squad of blackbirds became seriously entrenched: so many volunteers began to enroll every day, that after 10 days the Officer regiment turned from one battalion to three, the equestrian division of the two-squadron squadron was deployed to the four-squadron cavalry, sapper and equestrian squadron squadrons. The total strength of the detachment increased to 3 thousand people.
10 May 1918 in the village of Mechetinsky Drozdovites united with the forces of the Volunteer Army. By order of Lieutenant-General Denikin of 12 (25) of May 1918, the brigade of Colonel Drozdovsky was incorporated into the Volunteer Army. The brigade consisted of all units that came from the Romanian front: 2-th Officer Rifle Regiment, 2-th Officer Horse Regiment, 3-I engineering company, light artillery battery, a howitzer platoon. When YES was re-formed in June, the Drozdovites made up the 1918 Infantry Division, and Drozdovsky himself became the head of the 3 Infantry Division. Contemporaries and colleagues of Drozdovskiy noted that it was worthwhile for the army command of the DA to use the organizational skills of Mikhail Gordeyevich and entrust him with organizing the rear, restore order there, set up supply for the army or appoint him as military minister of the White movement with the task of organizing new regular divisions for the front. It is obvious that such a capable, tough and decisive man like Drozdovsky could restore order in the rear of White Russia (and the collapse, the disintegration of the rear became one of the main reasons for the defeat of the White Army). However, the leaders of the Volunteer Army, perhaps fearing competition, chose to give him the modest role of the division commander. Obviously, the monarchical position of Drozdovsky was affected. So, the chief of staff of the Dobrovrmy, I. P. Romanovsky, was not satisfied with his ideology: "They have no extreme monarchical views, among them there are no supporters of republican Russia." In the future, the chief of staff of the army treated the "monarchist division" extremely unkindly. On the same occasion, Drozdovsky quarreled with another hero of the White movement, General S. L. Markov. As a result, the commander of the 3 Division and one of the most popular people in the DA, General Markov, very sharply told General Commander Denikin of his dissatisfaction with his officers with the open activities in the army of monarchists.
Help Drozdovtsev Volunteer Army was great. Drozdovsky himself became one of the iconic figures of the White movement. Incredibly brave, enterprising and cruel commander, he became a true idol for many volunteers. His early death will be a big loss for the White Army. But even after his death, the Drozdovites will remain the strike core of the whites, retain high combat capability and iron discipline. In addition, the arrival of Drozdovites almost doubled the forces of YES. Drozdovsky led morally resistant, well-armed, equipped and uniformed fighters. The brigade had good armament and excellent material part: significant artillery (six light guns, four mountain, two 48-linear, one 6-inch and 14 charging boxes), about 70 machine guns, two armored cars ("True" and "Volunteer"), airplanes, cars, telegraph, orchestra, significant stocks of artillery shells (about 800), gun and machine-gun cartridges (200 thousand), spare rifles (more than a thousand), etc. The detachment had an equipped sanitary unit and a train in excellent condition . All this made a great impression on the volunteer units exhausted in battle.
Thus, the Volunteer Army almost doubled numerically, significantly increased weapon and materiel. The main thing is that the arrival of the Drozdovites at the main theater of the Civil War breathed new forces into the white army headed by General Denikin and helped the Cossacks to launch a counterattack in the Don Army Area. That is, the “Drozdovsky campaign” was not only another significant, heroic event in the annals of the White movement (like the Ice campaign), but also gave impetus to a new stage of struggle. Drozdy by their arrival created favorable conditions for the creation of the Don Army, gave it a physical opportunity to resume active struggle against the Reds in the North Caucasus and start the Second Kuban campaign.
The connection of the detachment of Drozdovsky with the Volunteer Army