The defeat of Kolchak in the Chelyabinsk battle

Smoot. 1919 year. The Chelyabinsk battle ended in disaster for Kolchak's army. The defeat was complete. Kolchak's last reserves laid down their heads. Only 15 thousand people were captured. White finally retreating, having lost the strategic initiative and most of the fighting efficiency, whites retreated to Siberia. The government of Kolchak was doomed. Now the time of its existence was determined not by the resistance force of the White Army, but by the enormous Siberian distances.

The defeat of Kolchak in the Chelyabinsk battle

Armored train "Siberian" Kolchak army. Summer 1919 of the year




Reorganization of the Eastern Front of the Red Army. Plan further attack


13 July 1919, the commander of the Eastern Front of the Red Army was appointed M.V. Frunze. After overcoming the Ural ridge, the red command, due to the collapse of the white front and its reduction, a significant weakening of Kolchak's army, and the transfer of part of the forces to the southern front, reorganized in the center and on the left wing of the Eastern front. 2-I red army after the successful completion of the Yekaterinburg operation was disbanded. From its composition, the flank 5 and 21 rifle divisions were transferred to the neighboring 5 and 3 armies. The 28 Division was withdrawn to the reserve and then sent to the Southern Front. The 2-1 army control was also transferred to the Southern front and became a special control of the Shorin group, which was supposed to attack the enemy in the Don area (in August participated in the Southern Front counter-offensive; in September, the Southeast Front was formed on its basis).

As a result, the 3-i and 5-i Red armies should have completed the rout of the Kolchak army. The 5 army of Tukhachevsky was to capture the Chelyabinsk-Troitsk area. 3 Army Mezheninov - smash the enemy in the area Sinarskaya - Kamyshlov - Irbit - Turinsk. The 3 Army should support the 5 Army’s offensive along the Siberian Railway in the future. Chelyabinsk was an important strategic and economic center - the great Siberian railway line began here, there were large railway workshops and coal mines.


Red armored train №2 "Avenger"


White’s last attempt to regain the initiative


Kolchak’s headquarters also reorganized their defeated armies: the remnants of the Siberian army were transformed into the 1 and 2 armies (the Tyumen and Kurgan sectors), the Western army into the 3 armies (the Chelyabinsk direction). The White Front led Dieterihs. An attempt to move to the front of the Czechoslovak Corps did not lead to anything, the Czechoslovakians completely disintegrated, did not want to fight, and only guarded the stolen good. At the same time, they captured the best steam locomotives, rolling stock, controlled the Siberian Railway, having the preferential right to move their echelons.

The Kolchak Command introduced the last reserves into battle - three divisions that did not have time to complete formation and training in the Omsk region (11, 12, and 13 infantry divisions). About 500 people were released early from military schools and schools to be sent to the front. The Kolchak army threw everything they had and made a last attempt to wrest the strategic initiative on the Eastern Front from the Reds. The implementation of this plan outlined in the Chelyabinsk region. The city was important for the whites as the last point of the Ekaterinburg-Chelyabinsk railway in their hands, while the Red forces had already taken the Ekaterinburg troops.

White bid led by Lebedev developed a new plan to defeat the Red Army. The plan was also liked by the commander of the Eastern Front, Diterikhs. The Kolchak command decided to use the fact that after the victorious completion of the Zlatoust operation, the army of Tukhachevsky was even more isolated from the neighboring armies than before. The 5-I army quickly developed an offensive on the Chelyabinsk direction and crossed the Ural Range, while the southern flank of the Eastern Front (1-I and 4-I armies) was back on the ledge, while the armies located here were advancing to the south and south -East, away from the operational direction of the 5 Army. The 5 army was separated at the theater and from the northern flank - the 3 army, which from the Yekaterinburg region (remote from Chelyabinsk on 150 km) led an offensive in the Tobolsk direction, on the front of Shadrinsk - Turinsk.

Considering such a grouping of the Red Army after overcoming the Ural Mountains, the White command decided to defeat the 5 Army. The last reserves were advanced to the right flank of the 3 Army, creating the Northern Shock Group. On the left flank, another shock group was created - the Southern, in the amount of three divisions of the 3 Army. To further improve the situation at the front, the White Guards cleared the important Chelyabinsk knot, luring the 5 th Red Army into a trap and exposing it to the blow of the flank groups of the 3 th White Army. The northern shock group under the command of Wojciechowski (16 thousand people) was to cut the Chelyabinsk-Yekaterinburg railway and advance south. To the south, the Kappel group (10 thousand people) struck, which was to intercept the Chelyabinsk-Zlatoust main line, to break through the connection with the Wojciechowski group. General Kosmin's chilling group (about 3 thousand people) led frontal battles on the railway line.

With the success of the operation, the White Army surrounded and destroyed the shock forces of the 5 Red Army, defeating the remaining Tukhachevsky forces demoralized by the Chelyabinsk pogrom. Then White went to the flank and rear of the 3 th Red Army. As a result, the White Guards could return the line Zlatoust - Yekaterinburg, the Ural frontier, and hold out on it after receiving the help of the Entente, while the main forces of the Reds would be linked with the battles with Denikin’s army in southern Russia. On paper everything was beautiful.

However, the problem was that both white and red were not the same as before. Kolchakites were crushed and demoralized, their army was in the process of decomposition. The Red Army, on the contrary, significantly increased its morale, its combat capability (including with the help of specialists from the former tsarist army), was advancing. Strong 5 th Red Army, relying on the resources of the big city - Chelyabinsk, did not panic under the threat of encirclement and did not rush to the spot, as it used to be with the red parts. She took the battle as equals. A red command immediately took action: Frunze moved the division from the reserve, the 3 Red Army immediately turned to the flank of the northern group of Wojciechowski. In addition, before the start of the Chelyabinsk operation, the command of the 5 Army due to the fact that the 3 Army was conducting an offensive in the Tobolsk direction, strengthened the grouping of its forces on the left flank and this allowed the troops of the Tukhachevsky army to meet the blow of the Northern White group in the most favorable situation .


Source of the map: http: //bashkirskaya-encyclopedia.rf


Chelyabinsk battle


The offensive of the 5 Army in the Chelyabinsk area began on July 17 1919 of the White Guard defended the Chebarkul-Irtyash lakes. On July 20, the Reds broke through the enemy defenses and developed an offensive against Chelyabinsk. White retreated, at the same time regrouped their forces and prepared for a counterattack. On July 23, units of the 27 Division launched an assault on Chelyabinsk, and 24 units took it. Particularly hard for the city fought Beloserbsky regiment. The White garrison of Chelyabinsk lost more than half its entire structure, and the Beloserb regiment ceased to exist. In the midst of the battle for the city in the rear of the Kolchak revolted workers. Thus, the railway workers one white armored train driven into a dead end, and the other was lowered from the rail. These armored trains got red. After the capture of the city, thousands of workers joined the Red Army.



On the southern flank of the 5 Army, where the 24 Infantry Division was advancing, fighting was also conducted. The White Command took measures to secure the left flank of its 3 Army and maintain contact with the southern army of Belov, since the advance of the Reds to Troitsk, Verkhne-Uralsk threatened to cut off Belov’s army from the rest of the Kolchak armies. The 11-S Siberian division was sent to the Upper Uralsk region to help the White units that were operating there. The commander of the Southern Army, Belov, sent all forces and reserves to Verkhne-Uralsk to defeat the Reds. On the outskirts of the city were fierce battles. Kolchakites repeatedly counterattacked. In the battle of 20 in July, the Soviet 213 regiment lost 250 man and the entire command staff. The White Guards suffered even greater losses. In the decisive battle in the Rakhmetov region, the 208 and 209 regiments of the 24 division defeated the White Division 5, captured the division headquarters along with the division commander and chief of staff.

After seven days of hard fighting, finally breaking the resistance of Kolchak, on July 24, our troops occupied Verne-Uralsk. The defeated enemy retreated to the east and southeast. 4 August, the Reds occupied Troitsk, which created a threat to the rear of the Southern White Army posts. Belov’s army was forced to abandon the Orenburg sector and begin a retreat to the south-east, losing contact with the rest of the Kolchak armies.

After the fall of Chelyabinsk, the flank attack groups of the Kolchak troops went on the offensive. Initially, the operation developed successfully. July 25 North Shock Group Wojciechowski struck at the junction of the 35 and 27 divisions, deeply wedged in their location. Persistent battles were in the area of ​​art. Dolgoderevenskaya. On the same day, the Kosmin group began an offensive on Chelyabinsk. The southern group of Kappel, which began the offensive a little later, oppressed the 26 division. Two White armored trains, which were supposed to break in the direction of Poletaevo, could not complete the task and retreated to Troitsk. Red troops took the fight. The command of the 5 Army quickly responded. The 5 and 27 divisions were to defeat the northern group of the enemy. This maneuver depended on the stability of the 26 Division, which held back the onslaught of the Kappel group. If White had broken the resistance of the 26 Division, the whole offensive would have been thwarted. This task of the regiment of the 26 division was selflessly fulfilled for several days, from time to time Kolchak's men broke into the outskirts of Chelyabinsk. But the Red Army survived. Kappel's corps did not fulfill its task.

To the north of Chelyabinsk, the Wojciechowski group on July 27 broke through the front and went to the railway from Esaulskaya and Argayash stations. The White Guards turned south. On July 28, the situation was critical, the whites occupied the village of Mediyak (35 km west of Chelyabinsk) and began to go to the rear of the red troops that were in the city. To create a "boiler" in Chelyabinsk, Kolchak had to go through another 25 km. At the same time, the White stormed Chelyabinsk from the east. They went to the northern outskirts of the city. Red Army soldiers from three sides dug in and fought off attacks from the enemy. Kolchakov command thrown into the battle all that was. Their parts were simply ground in a Chelyabinsk meat grinder. Both sides suffered heavy losses. But the red could compensate for them. Only in Chelyabinsk, almost a whole division was mobilized.

29 July 1919 was broken in a fierce battle. White command was hoped to be in their favor. “Today,” wrote in the order of Diterichs, “the 3-I army must deliver a decisive blow to the Chelyabinsk Red group.” This day really became decisive, but in favor of the Reds. Began to affect the actions of the Soviet command. After receiving news of the enemy’s counterstrike in the Chelyabinsk region, Frunze ordered the troops of the 3 Army to strike at the flank and rear of the Ural White group in the general direction of Nizhne-Petropavlovskoe. This task was assigned to the 21-th Infantry Division. Her advancement to Nizhne-Petropavlovskoye facilitated the position of the troops of the 5 Army in the Chelyabinsk region.

The command of the 5 Army also regrouped the troops and formed an attack group (8 regiments with artillery) to repel the Wojciechowski group. The strike group was assembled in the area of ​​the villages of Pershin, Shcherbaki and Mediyak (10 - 25 km northwest of Chelyabinsk). On July 29, she launched an offensive and, in a fierce battle, smashed the regiments of whites, including the shock 15 th Mikhailovsky, and advanced to the north by 10 - 15 km. On the same day, the red parts to the north and east of Chelyabinsk counterattacked. Kolchak's men trembled and retreated to the east. On July 30, the troops of the 35, 27 and 26 divisions consolidated and developed this success. White's breakthrough was completely eliminated. Also on the northern flank developed the offensive 5-I division, which struck the flank and rear of the Wojciechowski group. The battle began to turn into the rout of the Kolchak army. By August 1, the Reds were advancing across the front, and on August 2, the defeated remnants of the Kolchak troops fled everywhere to Tobol.


Major General S. N. Wojciechowski in 1919


The crash of the White Army


Thus, the Chelyabinsk operation ended in complete disaster for whites. Kolchak's plan to create the Chelyabinsk "boiler" failed. Apart from those killed and wounded, the Western army lost only prisoners 15 thousand people. The 12 Infantry Division was completely destroyed. The last strategic reserves of Kolchak's army — the 11-I, 12-I, and 13-I divisions — were expended. White could not compensate for these losses. In the Chelyabinsk region, the Reds seized large trophies, only on the battlefield more than 100 machine guns were taken, 100 locomotives were seized on the railway, and about 4 thousand loaded wagons.

White lost an important Chelyabinsk railway junction and control over the last Troitsk-Chelyabinsk-Yekaterinburg railway road. Almost simultaneously with the capture of Chelyabinsk, the Reds took Troitsk (the main base of the Southern Army), that is, the Kolchak front was cut into two parts. The remnants of the 1, 2 and 3 armies retreated to Siberia, the Ural and Southern armies to Turkestan. Kolchak's army was demoralized, bloodless, lost most of its combat capability and initiative. White lost the Ural line and retreated to Siberia. The Red Army completed the liberation of the Urals. The rate of the West on Kolchak's army was beaten.

The liberation of the Urals was of great importance for Soviet Russia. The Red Army occupied a huge territory with a large population, a developed industrial base, sources of raw materials and railways. At that time, the Soviet Republic was cut off from almost all sources of raw materials, and it felt a great need for coal, iron and non-ferrous metals. The Reds received the powerful industry of the Urals: iron, cast iron, copper, weapon Izhevsk, Votkinsk, Motovilikha and other plants. The population of the Urals joined the Red Army. Only from October to December, 1919 delivered more than 90 thousand people under the gun in the Urals. At the same time, party and trade union organizations gave the army more than 6 thousand people. The total number of volunteers and mobilized in the Urals from summer to December 1919 was about 200 thousand people.
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