Odessa operation ataman Grigoriev

Smoot. 1919 year. 6 April 1919, Odessa, without meeting any resistance, took Grigoriev's troops. Ataman trumped about his "grand" victory over the Entente around the world: "I won the French, the winners of Germany ..." It was the "finest hour" of the ataman. He was greeted as a victor, and Grigoriev was finally arrogant. He spoke of himself as a world strategist and a great commander.

Odessa operation ataman Grigoriev

Announcement of the beginning of the evacuation of Odessa. 3 April 1919 of the year




Red commander


In January, 1919, Grigoriev realized that the Petlyura case was lost. The Red Army occupied almost the entire Left Bank, except for the Donbass. In addition, the interventionists attacked from the south and in January occupied the entire Black Sea coast, which Grigoriev considered to be his patrimony.

On January 25, Petlyura ordered Grigoriev’s divisions to become part of the Southeast Group of the UNR army and begin preparations for an offensive against the whites east of Aleksandrovsk and Pavlograd. Here from mid-December 1918, the Petliurists fought with the White Guards. In addition, in these steppes fought with whites and Makhno, but he was an enemy of the Directory. As a result, pan ataman Grigoriev decided that it was not worth fighting with such strong opponents — whites and Makhno, behind which the local peasantry stands. He ignored the order Petlyury.

Thus, Grigoriev became "his own chieftain." He did not follow the orders of the headquarters of the UPR army, he kept all the trophies for himself, from time to time his soldiers robbed state property and the local population. 29 January 1919, Grigoriev broke with the Directory, sending a telegram in which he stated that he was going to the Bolsheviks. Atman urged the commanders of the Zaporizhia Corps to follow him. However, the corps commanders did not follow the example of the traitor, and until April 1919, the Zaporizhia Corps restrained the movement of Grigorievsk west to Elizavetgrad. Grigorievtsy attack Ukrainian troops retreating under the pressure of the Reds Yekaterinoslav Kosh and Colonel Kotik. In response, the Directory declares the chieftain outlawed.

Grigoriev establishes a connection with the red. The rebellious ataman sends his representative to the Revolutionary Committee of Elizavetgrad and reports that he is "the ataman of all the troops of independent Soviet Ukraine." In the Revolutionary Committee of Aleksandrovsk, Grigoriev sends a telegram in which he confirms his solidarity with the actions of the Soviet Bolshevik-Left Socialist-Revolutionary government of the Ukrainian SSR. 1 February 1919 of the year Grigoriev contacted the red command and proposed the creation of a unified Bolshevik-Left Socialist-Revolutionary command — the Revolutionary Military Council of the Ukrainian Red Army. Ataman boastfully reports that under him goes 100 thousand army. In a telephone conversation with the commander of the Ukrainian front, Antonov-Ovseenko, Grigoriev set the following conditions for unification: inviolability of organization and command, independence of armament, support and equipment; the independence of the troops and the occupied territory, the preservation of their trophies for the Grigor'evs. The Soviet leadership, in order to obtain a valuable ally, partially satisfied the demands of the ataman. On the issue of power, the Bolsheviks promised that the power would be coalition and fully freely chosen by the people at the All-Ukrainian Congress of Soviets.

In early February, 1919, Grigoriev knocked out Petliurists from Krivoy Rog, Znamenka, Bobrinsk and Elizavetgrad. The treachery of the Grigorievites led to the collapse of the Petliura front. Many parts loyal to Petliura were broken scattered or went over to the Reds. The remaining Petliurists fled from the central part of the Ukraine to Volyn and Podolia.

February 18 in Kharkov were gathered leaders of the Red Insurgent Movement of Little Russia for a meeting with the government of the Ukrainian SSR. Grigoriev first met with the commander of the Ukrainian Front Antonov-Ovseenko. Grigoryevtsy became part of the 1-th Zadneprovska Ukrainian Soviet division under the command of Dybenko. From the detachment of Ataman Grigoriev, the 1 Brigade was formed (the Makhnovists entered the 3 Brigade). The brigade was about 5 thousand fighters with 10 guns and 100 machine guns.

When 28 February 1919, the head of Grigoriev, which was located in Alexandria county, was visited by the Commander of the Kharkov group of Soviet troops Skachko, he found a complete lack of organization and discipline, decomposition of the brigade and the lack of communist work in the units. Grigoriev himself fled to avoid meeting with the immediate superior. Skachko, seeing a complete anarchy in parts of the Grigorievka, suggested liquidating the brigade headquarters, and shifting the ataman himself. However, the command of the Ukrainian front still wanted to use Grigoriev, so she chose to turn a blind eye to "atamanism". The Red Command continued to ignore the gangster antics of the “good men” Grigoriev.

In order to strengthen the moral and political status of the Grigorievka brigade, Commissioner Ratin and 35 Communists were sent to the brigade. On the other hand, among the Gregorievts, the left Social Revolutionaries had strong positions. Thus, Yuri Tyutyunnik, a member of the Borot Party, became the head of the brigade headquarters. Personality "loud", another one of the prominent adventurers of the period of the Troubles. A participant in the world war, after the revolution, took part in the Ukrainianization of the army, supported the Central Council and became the organizer of the "free Cossacks" in Zvenigorod. Cossacks Tyutyunnik in 1918, fought with the Reds and controlled a large part of the central Little Russia, then he raised a powerful Zvenigorod uprising against the hetman of Skoropadsky and the German invaders. He was arrested and sentenced to death, escaped death only because of the fall of Hetman. After being released, he goes over to the Reds, and persuades Grigoriev to betray Petlyura. However, soon Tyutyunnik realized that the power of the Bolsheviks did not promise him the first roles in Little Russia (Grigoriev also realized), began to lead anti-Bolshevik activities in the brigade.

Odessa operation


In February, 1919, the Grigorievskies launched an offensive in the Black Sea region. The French invaders had by this time completely decomposed and lost the aura of invincibility. They turned out to be “in the teeth” even for Grigoriev’s semi-bandit formation, consisting of rebel peasants and various rabble, including outright criminals.

After a week of fighting, the Grigorievtsy 10 March, 1919, took Kherson. The allied command, when they began to storm the city, began to send reinforcements on ships, but the French soldiers initially refused to disembark and then go into battle. As a result, the allies left Kherson, the Greeks and the French lost according to various sources about 400 - 600 people. Having captured the city, the Grigorievtsy killed the Greeks who had surrendered to them at the mercy of them. The French command, demoralized from an unexpected defeat, surrendered to Nikolaev without a fight. All troops were evacuated to Odessa, where the French only now decided to create a fortified area. As a result, the allies without a battle surrendered 150-kilometer territory between the Dnieper and Tiligulsky estuary, with a strong fortress Ochakov and military warehouses. Grigorievtsy without special labor from the raid captured two rich cities. Kombrig Grigoriev captured huge trophies: 20 guns, armored train, a large number of machine guns and rifles, ammunition, military property.

Having captured two large cities of the South of Russia, Grigoriev sent a telegram to the white military governor of Odessa, Grishin-Almazov, demanding unconditionally to hand over the city, threatening to otherwise remove the skin from the general and pull it over the drum. Soon the Grigorievtsy won new victories. At the station of Berezovka, the allies concentrated an ili detachment - 2 thousand people, 6 guns and 5 tanks, then the newest weapon. However, the Allies panicked and fled to Odessa without much resistance, leaving behind all heavy weapons and supply trains. One of the captured tanks Grigoriev then sent to Moscow as a gift to Lenin. After Kherson, Nikolayev and Berezovka, the Petliura troops, covering the French occupation zone, fled or went over to the side of Grigoriev. In fact, now the front was held back only by the white brigade of Timanovsky.



The popularity of Grigoriev increased even more, people flocked to him. Under Grigoriev, there were about 10 - 12 thousand disparate fighters. The brigade, consisting of 6 regiments, equestrian and artillery battalions, is deployed in the 6 division of the 3 of the Ukrainian Soviet Army. 18, thousands of French, 12, thousands of Greek, 4, thousands of white and 1,5, thousands of Polish soldiers and officers fought against the red in the Odessa region. The Allies had the support of the fleet, heavy weapons - artillery, tanks and armored cars. Thus, the Entente had complete superiority over the Grigoriev Brigade. However, the Allies did not want to fight, they had already collapsed, and thus did not give White the opportunity to mobilize forces and fight back the enemy.

At the end of March 1919, the Supreme Council of the Entente decided to evacuate the Allied forces from the Black Sea region. In early April, the Clemenceau Ministry fell in France, the new cabinet first ordered the return of troops from Little Russia and the intervention stopped. The Allied forces received an order to clear Odessa within three days. They managed even faster - in two days. On the night of 1918 on 2 of April, the French agreed with the Odessa Council of Workers' Deputies on the transfer of power. 3 April was announced to be evacuated. 3 April chaos reigned in the city. In the city, seeing the flight of the invaders, the “army” of Mishka Yaponchik was outraged - the raiders, thieves, gangsters and hooligans “cleaned” the bourgeois who were left without protection. The first thing robbed banks and financial offices. The Allied flight was a complete surprise to the refugees and whites, who were simply abandoned. Only part of the refugee, throwing property, was able to escape on the ships of the allies. Most were left about the arbitrariness of fate. Do not have time to evacuate and part of the French soldiers. Who could, ran towards the Romanian border. The Timanovsky brigade, together with the remaining French and columns of refugees, retreated to Romania. There also broke through the Whites still remaining in the city.

April 6 Odessa, without meeting any resistance, took Grigoriev's troops. Grigorievtsy staged a three-day booze on the occasion of the victory. Ataman trumpeted his "grand" victory over the Entente around the world: "I won the French, the winners of Germany ...". It was the “star hour” of the ataman. He was greeted as a victor, and Grigoriev was finally arrogant. He spoke of himself as a world strategist, a great commander, moved by a large retinue, loved honor and flattery. At the same time he was constantly drunk. The soldiers then adored him, because the ataman not only turned a blind eye to “freedom and will” in the units, but also distributed most of the trophies, and in Odessa a huge amount of loot was seized, not only trophies, but the personal property of civilians.


One of the French tanks captured near Odessa in the Red Army


Conflict with the Bolsheviks


Known chieftain immediately entered into conflict with the Bolsheviks. After the “Odessa victory”, the Grigorievtsy captured the most populous and wealthy city of Little Russia, the largest port, industrial center and abandoned strategic base of the interventionists. Most of the reserves of the Entente - weapons, ammunition, provisions, ammunition, fuel, various goods, everything was thrown. Warehouses and cars with various goods remained in the port. Also Grigorievtsy got the opportunity to rob the property of "bourgeois". Grigoriev imposed a huge indemnity on the Odessa bourgeoisie. They immediately began to take trophies in trains to their places of origin, seized a huge amount of weapons.

There were other applicants for these riches — the local Bolshevik leadership and the mafia. Grigoriev also tried to limit the appetites of local inhabitants of Odessa. Ataman vowed to clear Odessa from the bandits, and Jap "put up against the wall." The commandant of Odessa Tyutyunnik, who was a very ambitious, sharp and also political opponent of the Bolsheviks, caused particular discontent. The Bolsheviks demanded an end to wide requisitions (in fact, robbery) from the Odessa bourgeoisie. Also, the Bolsheviks of Odessa were against the removal of trophies in the northern Kherson region. Grigorievtsy exported huge stocks of industrial goods, sugar, alcohol, fuel, weapons, ammunition and ammunition to their villages. The red command in the face of the Antonov-Ovseenko commander’s front preferred to close its eyes to this. The Odessa communists and the 3 army commander Khudyakov demanded that Grigoriev’s division be reformed and the ataman himself arrested. However, Grigoriev was not touched, his troops were still hoping to use to march into Europe.

After a ten-day stay in Odessa, on the orders of the command, the Grigorievsky division was still taken out of the city. Grigorievtsy themselves did not resist, they had already grabbed enough, they wanted to rest in their native villages, and the city almost got into a bloody fight. The local Bolsheviks literally bombarded the central authorities with reports of Grigoriev’s counter-revolutionism, and about the preparation of a divisional commander for an insurrection with Makhno. The chieftain himself threatened the Odessa Revolutionary massacre.

Soon Grigoriev entered into a new conflict with the Bolsheviks. In March 1919, the Hungarian Soviet Republic was established. Moscow saw this as the beginning of the "world revolution." Through Hungary, it was possible to break through to Germany. However, the Entente and neighboring countries tried to suppress the flames of the revolution. Hungary was blocked, Romanian and Czech troops invaded its borders. The Soviet government was thinking of moving troops to the aid of Hungary. In mid-April 1919, the Red Army concentrates on the Romanian border. A plan appeared: to crush Romania, to return Bessarabia and Bukovina, to create a corridor between Little Russia and Hungary, to come to the aid of the red Hungarians. The division of Grigoriev, which already distinguished itself by the “victory” over the Entente, was decided to leave for a breakthrough, “to save the revolution”.

18 April 1919, the command of the Ukrainian front offered the division commander to start a campaign in Europe. They flattered Grigoriev, they called him the “Red Marshal,” the “Liberator of Europe.” It seemed that the move was successful. The troops of the ataman were "semi-red"; if the campaign was unsuccessful, it was possible to write off military operations on the left Social Revolutionaries. The rout of the Grigorievsk also organized a red military-political leadership, the threat of insurrection was eliminated. Grigoriev, on the other hand, did not want to go to the front, his commanders and fighters were not interested in the revolution in Europe, they already seized huge booty and did not want to leave their native places. The men were more concerned about the food policy of the Bolsheviks in the Ukraine than the problems of the "world proletarian revolution." Therefore, Grigoriev dodged, asked the red command three weeks to rest in his native places, to prepare the division before the long march. In late April, the 1919 Grigoriev Division left for the Yelizavetgrad-Alexandria area.

Thus, Grigorievtsy, inspired by the latest major successes, returned to Kherson region. And then the "Moscow" pro-detachments and the Chekists managed it. The conflict was inevitable. Within a few days, the murders of communists, security officers and Red Armymen began. Appeals began to massacre the Bolsheviks and Jews.


Ataman N. A. Grigoriev (left) and V. A. Antonov-Ovseenko. Source: https://ru.wikipedia.org


To be continued ...
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