During the threatening periods of civil war, the ranks of the Red Army voluntarily joined the workers and peasant women. The number of women entering the party grew. Among the Communists, periodically "party appeals" were made to the ranks of the defenders of Soviet power. At the same time, most of them went to party political work in the army and in the rear military institutions. Some of them are depicted in a group photo after the Order of the Red Banner was awarded in 1928.
Krasnoznamenka on political work
The first central political organ of the Red Army was the agitation and enlightenment department of the All-Russian Bureau of Military Commissars (VBVK). In 1918-1919, VD managed this department. Kasparov. According to Kollontai, it was she who, on behalf of the Central Committee of the party, "largely organized political work in the army." Later, a political department of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic was created on the basis of IBVK, among whose employees more than 30% were women. By the way, quite a few women also worked in the headquarters: in the General Staff there were about 21% and about 23% in the headquarters of the Moscow Military District.
Among the women soldiers employed during the civil war in party political work in the army, the Order of the Red Banner was awarded to 10 people. The first to receive the highest distinction in 1920 was the assistant commissioner of the medical unit of the 96 regiment, Anastasia Leontyevna Gorlunova. For courage and differences in battles on the fronts of the civil war in 1923, she was awarded the order of political instructor of the 462 regiment Vera Kulama. Later on the 10 anniversary of the Red Army, the Order of the Red Banner was presented to the 7 th former political workers of the Red Army, who distinguished themselves in battles during the civil war.
By the beginning of 1919, each army had a 100-150 commissioner of units and formations. A political commissar could have been appointed, on the recommendation of the commissar, to part ordinary Red Army communists. In total, more than 10 thousand people were assigned to the Red Army. Among them were quite a few women communists. "Comrade in a skirt" has earned recognition and respect in the Red Army environment. “The woman even stood at the head of the political departments of armies and divisions,” wrote D. Keen in the journal Kommunistka, “and this is something new that was not in any other army.” It must be admitted that the creation of a system of political education and party influence in the military environment was in many ways an invention of the Bolsheviks. If the commissars in the Russian army appeared under the Provisional Government, by the way, with the same purpose of exercising control and submission to the decisions of power, the creation of special party-political structures in the Red Army appeared later. The following fact may indicate the great importance attached to the selection and appointment of communists to leading political positions in the armies and at the fronts. At the end of September 1919, at a meeting of the Organizing Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP (B.), The order of appointment to the Revolutionary Military Councils and political departments of the armies was determined, which required the approval of candidates to the Central Committee of the party.
Local party organizations and military registration and enlistment offices took part in the formation of the party political part of the Red Army. So, on the Northern front, the secretary of the Arkhangelsk city committee of the party Suzdaltseva V.I. succeeded in this matter. However, at that time women, who did not serve in the ranks of the Red Army, were not allowed to enter the front by order of Trotsky. The mandate received from E.D. Stasova. To get to the front headquarters she had to turn to Kedrov. Thus, Suzdaltseva became part of the organized organizational department. In the fall of 1919, he was transformed into the political department of the 6 Army, which she led. The headquarters and political department were located in railway cars near Vologda. The head of the political department managed to put the organizational and political work in such a way that they came from the 7 Army to learn from it. When problems arose in the crew of seamen in the Severodvinsk sector of the front, she was sent there to rectify the situation. The brigade commander, an experienced sailor, demanded her mandate. “My mandate was great and with great powers. She recalled. “But the commander ... it didn’t really work.” Only when he saw her in the case, he recognized her political leadership.
A prominent Bolshevik with a pre-revolutionary part-party, Zemlyachka, RS, was sent to political work for the army. The Order of the RVS of the Republic on her awarding the Order of the Red Banner noted that when she was chief of the political departments of the 8 and 13 armies and “in other responsible political posts in various armies, she tirelessly and vigorously organized organizational and political work the basis of the combat effectiveness of the red units and contributed to the final victory of the Red Army ". The collection "Glorious Bolshevik" provides an example of her skillful actions in a difficult situation. One of the regiments, influenced by the Socialist-Revolutionary agitation, refused to arrive in Orsha and intended to cross the line of demarcation with Germany. Countrywoman went there without weapons accompanied by a chauffeur only. After almost an hour of speech, the Red Army men gave her a standing ovation and the next day the regiment was in perfect order and arrived in Orsha with music. In 2 weeks he went to the Czechoslovak front. Zemlyachka understood that political work with the Red Army should be carried out constantly and in any situation. “They had to be with them,” she will write later in her memoirs, “during rest, as well as on the front lines.” However, later she was sadly famous for her cruelty in the Crimea.
The fate of political worker Yanysheva A.A. In 16 years she joined the party. Passed links and prisons. She graduated from the courses of sisters of mercy. In the October days of 1917, she became a commissar of the Red Guard unit. By example, she led the Red Guards to storm the premises where the cadets were seated. Then there was the Southern Front, fighting with Denikin. Together with her husband, a commissar, they served in the 15 Infantry Infantry Division, where she was head of the division. It so happened that Yanysheva was personally acquainted with Lenin and Krupskaya. In September, 1920 was handed a package to her at the front - 3 packs of cigarettes, warm socks, mittens, a bag of candy and a note from Krupskaya. Nadezhda Konstantinovna wrote: “Although Vladimir Ilyich doesn’t like women to smoke, but you’re okay, since you smoke, you’ll smoke when it’s hard.” In those days it was just not easy. Wade through the Sivash 7 on November 1920, the decisive offensive began. Yanysheva was one of the first to enter the icy water. For her personal example and courage in these battles, she was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
Political departments were also headed - in the 2 army of M.M. Kostelovskaya, in the 4 army of the Eastern Front, and then of the 12 Army of the Southwestern Front K.V. Komarov. The chief of the political department of the front was Bolshevik Ye.B. Bosh. The commissar of the Naval Staff was LM Reisner. The head of the political department of the Eastern Front was a member of the CEC Okulova GI, who then headed the political department of the 8 Army in the south. Kollontai A.M. was appointed head of the political department of the Crimean Army. Samoilova K.N. in the spring of 1920, she became the head of the political department of the propaganda steamer Krasnaya Zvezda. And there are many such examples.
By the end of 1919, the 3140 military commissars of divisions, brigades and regiments were in the ranks of the Red Army, as well as 2 thousand men in commissar positions in headquarters and institutions. At the same time, the posts of commissars of military medical institutions were introduced, which they began to prepare in specially open courses. There were also quite a few female soldiers. But the main attention, of course, was paid to combat units, and not rear units and institutions. So, Maria Bondarenko, appointed as a commissioner in the 1 Galician brigade, recalled her feelings about the fact that she had a one-year-old daughter in distant Smolensk region. This fact has made an indelible impression on the chief of staff, who once remarked that "if mothers leave their children and go to war for Soviet power, no one will win the Bolsheviks."
Not everything started in a new commissioner's position. At the headquarters, the former officers of the Austro-Hungarian army, who had gone over to the Reds, “wondered what it looked like,” while some “stated that all Bolshevik women are scary, short-haired, they must smoke, drink vodka and swear indecently”. Commissioner Bondarenko, dressed in a black dress and leather jacket, with braids on her head, made a proper impression at headquarters. She was greeted standing. The woman commissioner’s understanding of the current situation at the front and her knowledge of the map caused even more surprise.
During the entire period of the civil war, there was a constant need for commissar units and political department workers. September 30 The 1919 of the Year in the “News of the Central Committee of the RCP (B)” published a letter from the Central Committee of the party to the local party organizations. It stated: “Dozens of workers should be promoted to the post of commissar of regiments immediately. Comrades fit for this work should be removed from their normal work and sent to the political administration of the army. ”
Quite a few among political workers were educated women with a sophisticated, creative kind. Thus, Maria Alexandrovna Denisova, a close friend of the poet V. Mayakovsky, who became his muse, was a talented sculptor and artist. In the civil war, leaving her daughter with friends, she went to the front, where she headed the art and agitation department, first in the 1-th cavalry army, then moved into the 2-th conarmia. In addition to performing the tasks of the graphic designer and agitator, she often participated in hostilities. At the front she was wounded three times and had typhus. Here she met her second husband, a member of the PBC 1 th Conarmia Yefim Schadenko. By the way, this is exactly the Maria who became the heroine of Mayakovsky's poem “Clouds in Pants”, written, as follows from the text, in the autumn of 1915 of the year.
But the orders of the Red Banner were awarded only the best of the best. Among the red banner political workers, only two were in the positions of heads of political departments, which corresponded to their high rank and official position in the military-political system of the Red Army. Apparently, it was not yet customary to distribute awards among the bosses, therefore, the majority of women political workers who were awarded orders received rather modest posts in the military hierarchy. Belugina Maria Nikolaevna was a political leader, as was Zubkova Maria Sergeyevna. Nakutis Ekaterina Frantsevna served as a political rider, and Bulle Milda Ottovna was the commissar of the consolidated working regiment from Pyatigorsk. Ahead they had different fates. So, the Latvian Bull from 1911, she worked on the teacher's path, and then worked in the newspaper. She joined the party and was elected secretary of the Kislovodsk city committee. In the autumn of 1918, she was appointed Commissioner of the 1-th Working Regiment. In heavy battles near the town of Essentuki, she replaced the regiment commander who fell ill with typhus and successfully commanded in a combat situation. In April, 1919 was transferred to the 11 Army for the post of political department chief of the 7 Cavalry Division. In the summer of the same year, she became the deputy head of the political department of the 11 Army. For military distinctions and skillful actions in the posts of commissar and regiment commander in 1928, she was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
Later was on the party work. She was elected secretary of the Astrakhan Provincial Committee, was the head of the agitorgotdelom Central Committee of the Communist Party of Azerbaijan. Then she was transferred to work in the NKID. According to the order of the People's Commissariat in 1921, she enrolled to study at the Eastern Branch of the Red Army Military Academy. Judging by her photograph in a military uniform of the 1930-i period and taking into account her service as political workers in the Red Army, she had the military rank of division commissar (two diamonds on buttonholes - category K11).
Red Banner Women in Military Intelligence
Among the women holders of the Order of the Red Banner, four in the order of awarding were called intelligence officers. It is clear that in these cases we are talking about military intelligence, as a rule, operating in the front line and in the rear of the enemy. In this case, Belugina M.N. during the civil war, the chief of intelligence of the 2 Moscow Regiment of the Cheka, and Berdnikov V.V., Druzilova (Svirtseva) M. and Lomakova-Kholodova L.S. were ordinary scouts in their shelves. On the importance of the tasks performed by them, the army newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda wrote in March 1929 of the year: “A woman rendered a great service to the Red Army in the intelligence service, delivering information about the enemy and maintaining communication through the enemy front”. It must be said that in combat conditions, in one way or another, female military personnel, if necessary, were involved in carrying out intelligence missions. There were also those who themselves were asking for dangerous tasks. For example, in spite of the high commissar post, L. M. Reisner more than once went into reconnaissance to the rear of the enemy on the Eastern Front.
However, military intelligence service opened the way to strategic intelligence, which performed much more important and large-scale operations. Thus, in 1920, the party committee recommended Vera Vasilievna Berdnikova to serve in the Registration, later renamed to the reconnaissance section of the 5 Army. Among its first tasks was to cross the front line to the rear of the troops of the ataman Semenov. She was instructed to find recruiting approaches to the workers of the Chita military radio station at the headquarters of the Semenovtsy in Chita and through them to organize a direct radio broadcast of information about the Semenov's troops and their plans to the headquarters of the 5 Army. Receiving ciphers and money, she hit the road. She had to overcome many dangerous situations using ingenuity and composure. Reaching Chita and living on 3 for a week in an illegal situation in the context of mass terror set by Semenov's counterintelligence, she managed to successfully complete her assignment. Then, in the period from 1921 to 1923, the year Berdnikov repeatedly sent with reconnaissance missions to the area of the CER and every time she returned she reported on the successful implementation of the assigned task. In 1923, she retired. However, her services to military intelligence were apparently so great that after almost 5 years she was presented for the award of the Order of the Red Banner. At the same time, former chiefs of staff, chiefs of the intelligence department of the 5 Army and even the head of the intelligence department of the Red Army headquarters, Ya.K. Berzin.
After graduating from the Eastern Branch of the Red Army Military Academy in 1924, the Red Army Fleurova-Sakhnovskaya MF was enlisted to the intelligence department of the Red Army Headquarters. Together with her husband, who graduated from the main department of the Academy, they were sent as military advisers to southern China. Returning to Moscow in the summer of 1926, they were enlisted in staff IV (reconnaissance) of the headquarters of the Red Army.
The unusual life and fate of another red banner, Maria Andreevna Popova, is still perceived as an action thriller. Starting her service with a nurse in the detachment of the Samara Red Guard, she learned to be a red nurse. Once in the service in the Chapayev Division, he distinguished himself in battle, replacing the wounded squadron commander. As she later recalled, V.I. Chapaev praised her and awarded her watches. She famously fought in the 25 th Infantry Division. Was a doctor's assistant, machine gunner and scout. Then it turned out first on the Southern, and later on the Western Front. Several dozen times went to the rear of the enemy across the front line with reconnaissance tasks.
When the Vasiliev brothers presented their first version of the film “Chapaev” to Stalin based on the novel by D.A. Furmanov, the leader proposed to supplement the script with a “romantic line”, adding a female soldier to the movie plot. According to historian V. Romanishin, out of several dozen front-line biographies of Red Army women, the military fate of MA was chosen. Popova. After watching the new version of the film, Stalin inquired about the accuracy of Anka-machine-gunner's fate. Having learned the details of Popova’s service, he noticed that she would be this heroine. Maria Andreevna herself considered the image of Anki to be collective, she called the names of other worthy Red Army women. By the way, among other prototypes were the Red Banner Pavlina Kuznetsova and Zinaida Patrikeeva. On the screens of the country the movie "Chapaev" was released in 1934 year. The role of Anka the machine gunner was played brilliantly by the actress Varvara Myasnikova. But all this was later.
And in the middle of the 1920-s, the peaceful life of MA was continued. Popova. In 1924, by personal recommendation of M.V. Frunze she entered the Kharkov Medical Institute. Later she graduated from the faculty of Soviet law of Moscow State University and diplomatic courses. In 1930-s, she was involved in the tasks of the intelligence department of the Red Army Headquarters. In Stockholm, she worked under the direction of A.M. Kollontai. In the line of military intelligence, other military servicemen were also involved in the performance of various tasks and individual orders.
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