In the winter of 1917, there was a positional lull on the Caucasian front. 1917 campaign of the year, the Caucasian army had to meet in difficult conditions. The supply of food and fodder was very difficult, the troops were struck by a typhus epidemic. Due to food shortages, scurvy was rampant. The lack of fodder and disease led to the disruption of the army horse-drawn transport, many horse batteries were left without horses. The troops exhausted the unusual natural conditions - the mountain winters gave way to the tropical heat in the valley of the Diala (Iraq). There were few reinforcements; they went to other fronts.
The Caucasian army lived its separate life, far from Petrograd and Moscow, but gradually the negative internal political situation began to influence it. Yudenich had to face facts when various local political organizations, various public organizations actually began to play the role of the “fifth column”, the “internal enemy”, trying to paralyze the activities of the command and the army by their actions. Appeared facts decomposition of military units. Unfortunately, the highest authority in the Russian Empire could not find the strength to halt this activity. Revolutionary, nationalist forces actively supported not only the open enemies of Russia - Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey (in the conditions of war - it was normal), but also the "allies" - England, France and the USA, as well as various behind-the-scenes structures of the order nature, Masonic clubs, clubs.
However, the front command, with all this in mind, was able to prepare two offensive operations for the start of the 1917 campaign. The first - in the Mosul direction, in the north of modern Iraq, it was to be carried out by the expeditionary Persian Corps of Baratov and the new 7 of the Caucasian Army Corps. The corps was formed mainly from parts of the 2-th Caucasian Equestrian Corps - the 4-I Caucasian Cossack Division, the 2-I and 3-I Trans-Baikal Cossack Brigades. The second operation was planned on the left flank. On the other directions, it was planned to conduct active defense. It is quite possible that Yudenich in 1917 would have won a number of other major victories, but the February Revolution changed everything.
The British demanded the revitalization of the Russian Caucasian army, they were concerned about their positions in Palestine and Mesopotamia. The British command feared the Turkish army 6, which led successful operations in the south of Mesopotamia. In January, the English envoy arrived in Tiflis, 1917. He expressed to Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich and General Yudenich the wish of the Allied Command - in the near future to increase the pressure on the flank and rear of the 6 Turkish Army. Russian command went to meet the wishes of the allies. Russian troops launched an offensive in two directions - Baghdad and Penjvin. The operation went well. The 1-th Caucasian Army Corps Kalitina reached the border of Mesopotamia, and the 7-th Caucasian Corps under the authority of Vadbolsky - to Penjvin. This offensive greatly helped the British forces. It forced the Ottoman command to transfer part of the troops to the Russian front, thereby weakening the defense of Baghdad. The British were able to go on the offensive and take Baghdad. Turkish 6-I army retreated to the north, as she was under a double blow, and she was threatened with defeat.
The February Revolution effectively erased all the victories of the Russian army on the Caucasian front. Yudenich was appointed commander-in-chief of the Caucasian Front. At this time, Russia and the Caucasus began to embrace revolutionary chaos. Supply lines began to work worse. Especially the big problems with food experienced expeditionary force Baratov. The English command refused to help the Russians in this matter. In addition, malaria began in the parts of the expeditionary corps due to the tropical heat. The troops began to ferment, discipline fell. Yudenich, having weighed all the factors, decided to curtail the Mesopotamian operation and withdraw the troops to the mountainous areas, with the best home conditions and move on to positional defense. The 1 and 7 Caucasian Army Corps were relegated.
Naturally, such a decision worried the "allies" (who more and more dropped the mask of "friends", switching to the position of outspoken enemies), Paris and London began to put pressure on the Provisional Government, demanding more pressure on Turkey and fulfill the "allied duty." Interestingly, "allied duty" almost always had to perform only the Russian army, and France and England always solved their own national tasks. The Provisional Government, which was completely under the control of pro-Mason, liberal circles oriented to the West, demanded that Yudenich immediately resume the offensive in Mesopotamia and help the British. Several telegrams to Yudenich followed from Petrograd.
However, the Russian military general put the interests of the army and Russia in the first place. He refused to comply with the order of the Provisional Government on the resumption of the offensive and submitted to the Supreme Commander General Headquarters a detailed report on the real situation on the Caucasian front and the state of the troops. Besides, Yudenich joined against liberal reforms in the army - during the war (!). In fact, the Provisional Government itself destroyed the army and faster than external enemies. The general has become a tough opposition to the February lists. In response, the Provisional Government in May 1917 of the year removed Yudenich from command of the front as “resisting the decrees of the Provisional Government”.
So, the Russian army lost one of its best generals. The February revolution turned the hero of the First World War and the Caucasian army into a political outcast. Yudenich handed over command of the infantry general to Przhevalsky and left for Petrograd. By the end of the year, the Caucasian front was disintegrated, which was a pleasant surprise for the Turks, who in 1918, in spite of the truce, launched an offensive and occupied significant territories almost without resistance. Years of hard work, blood and sweat, the fruits of brilliant victories, everything went into ruin.
General Yudenich did not linger in Petrograd, where he was greeted coldly and went to his native Moscow, where a family from Tiflis was waiting for him. In fact, Yudenich became a civilian at this time. Yudenich made another attempt to return to the army by visiting the headquarters in Mogilev. But the trip did not give the desired result. Nikolai Nikolayevich returned to Moscow. In August, Yudenich participated in the work of the State Conference.
White movement. Hike to Petrograd
Nikolai Yudenich did not accept the October events. The general went into hiding. Considering the chaos around him, when many generals and officers were killed by revolutionary and anarchist soldiers and sailors, this was a sensible decision. In Petrograd, he lived illegally in the house of the Russian Insurance Society on the Petrograd side, where he was covered by a janitor, a former sergeant of the Life Guards of the Lithuanian Regiment, colleague Yudenich on the Pamir expedition 1904 — 1905. Yudenich will try to create an underground military organization.
At the beginning of 1919, Nikolai Yudenich, using documents in an alien name, together with his wife and adjutant N. A. Pokotilo crossed the border of Finland and arrived in Helsingfors. There he met with Baron Mannerheim, with whom he was well acquainted with his studies at the Nikolaev Academy of the General Staff. General Mannerheim was a conscious opponent of Soviet power. It was conversations with Mannerheim that brought Yudenich to the idea of heading here, in Finland, the opponents of Soviet power. There were about 20 in Thousands of emigrants in Finland, of which about 2 were thousands of officers who lost their “ground” under their feet and searched for themselves in a new life. Many of them were ready with weapons in the hands of the fight with the Soviets. Back in 1918, the Russian political committee of a monarchical orientation was established in Finland. He claimed the role of government in the North-West of the former Russian Empire and supported the desire of the military unit of emigration in Finland and Estonia to organize a military campaign against Petrograd. For the organization of military forces and command they needed a militant, renowned general who would have enjoyed universal authority. Yudenich was a suitable candidate.
Nikolai Yudenich accepted this proposal and became the leader of the white movement in North-West Russia. Under Yudenic, one of the leaders of emigration in Finland was the “Political Conference”. It began to build contacts with other white movements. Yudenich established contact with Admiral Kolchak in Siberia and the Russian political meeting in Paris. Admiral Kolchak sent 1 million rubles for the most urgent needs. Another 2 million rubles raised in the financial and industrial circles of emigration. The political program of the new military force was flawed, like all white armies. According to Yudenich: “The Russian White Guard has one goal - to expel the Bolsheviks from Russia. The guard has no political program. It is not monarchical, and not republican. As a military organization, she is not interested in political party issues. Her only program is down with the Bolsheviks! ”This was to attract representatives of the most diverse political parties and movements to the ranks of the white movement. In fact, this rejection of "politics" was one of the main prerequisites that led the White movement to defeat.
In Finland, with the consent of Mannerheim, work began on creating managerial structures for the army. The main hopes were associated with the Northern Corps, it was to become the core of the new army. The Northern Corps (Russian Volunteer Northern Army) was created in 1918 with the assistance of Germany (later it came under the protection of the Entente powers). It was created in the Pskov region. After the corps (its number did not exceed 2 thousand fighters) was knocked out of Pskov, he switched to Estonian service. In the spring and summer of 1919, during the Civil War, the Northern Corps under the command of Alexander Rodzianko, with the support of the Estonian armed forces and the British Navy fleet, captured Yamburg and Pskov and tried to capture Petrograd. But, in August, the Reds launched a counterattack and threw the enemy back to their original positions.
Relations with the Western powers Yudenich initially did not develop. He visited Stockholm, where he held talks with the diplomatic representatives of Great Britain, the United States and France. But only the French envoy met with understanding. The British were suspicious of the former commander of the Caucasian Army, not forgetting his refusal to launch an offensive to help the British in Mesopotamia. In addition, the British demanded from the "Political Conference" complete submission to the Supreme Ruler of Russia, Admiral Kolchak. While negotiations were underway, the attack of the Northern Corps on Petrograd failed.
5 June 1919, the Supreme ruler, Admiral Kolchak, appointed Yudenich "Commander-in-Chief of all Russian land, naval armed forces against the Bolsheviks on the North-Western Front." At about the same time, the North-West Russian Government was established. Yudenich received in him the post of Minister of War. Yudenich did not take an active part in his activities, he was engaged in military matters. He departed for Revel, and from there to the front of the North-Western Army, which was formed on the basis of the Northern Corps and other separate anti-Bolshevik formations located in the territory of the Pskov province and the Estonian and Latvian republics. Yudenich disagreed with the head of the Northern Corps, and then the North-Western Army - Rodzianko and a group of senior officers. They saw in Yudenich and his entourage "outsiders who arrived at everything ready." Yudenich had to admit, since he guaranteed receipt of material assistance from Kolchak and the Western powers. Rodzianko retained significant influence in the Northwest Army. Yudenich appointed Rodzianko as his assistant with the production to lieutenant general.
Yudenich pinned his hopes on the help of Mannerheim. He wanted to create a broad anti-Bolshevik front, with the participation of the Finnish army. The Finnish authorities put forward a number of conditions that white leaders could not accept - recognition of Finland’s independence, as well as joining Eastern Karelia and the Pechenga region on the Kola Peninsula to the new state. As a result, the Finnish authorities did not allow the formation of white troops on their territory and even prevented the departure of officers from Finland to Estonia. Finland took the course of an independent struggle (with the tacit support of the West) with Soviet Russia, under the slogan of creating "Great Finland." Mannerheim, having lost the presidential election in July 1919, left Finland.
The British held a “strange” position with respect to the Northwest Army. On the one hand, they supported us, promised help, on the other hand, supplies were delayed, they did not provide direct military assistance, they could forget about “allied” relations at any moment. And the equipment, the weapon that the British sent, was often defective. In general, the Western powers occupied a similar position with respect to the entire White movement, supported it with one hand, and hindered it with the other.
The army faced the problem of financing. The Kolchak government allocated a significant amount, but the money went slowly. The North-Western government, with the consent of Kolchak, decided to issue its bank notes. In Switzerland, money was imprinted in denominations of 25 and 50 kopecks, 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 100, 500 and 1000 rubles. They were required to receive on Russian territory. It was announced that after the capture of Petrograd, they would be exchanged for state credit cards, at the rate of 1: 1. However, these banknotes were lightweight. The British government refused to "vouch" for them and there were two signatures on the banknotes - Yudenich and the head of the Council of Ministers, Foreign Minister and Finance S. G. Lianozov. Such banknotes had the minimum purchasing power.
1000 rubles. Credit ticket field treasury of the North-Western Front. Signature Yudenicha. They were called "Judenki" and simply "Judenichi".
The North-Western army was formed with great difficulties. In October, 1919, its population was about 18,5 thousand people. In the Pskov province mobilization was carried out. The red troops had a much larger number: 7 Army — more than 25, 5 thousand bayonets and sabers, a garrison of the Petrograd fortified area — 18 thousand men, Baltic Fleet troops -11 thousand men, and other formations. In total, in the Petrograd military district at that time there were more than 200 thousand people, along with rear facilities, training units, etc. 28 September 1919, Yudenich's army went on the offensive. Her strike was to become part of a large-scale operation of anti-Bolshevik forces - the North-Western Army, the Western Russian Army, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and the United Kingdom.
The North-Western army broke through the front of the 7 of the Red Army. During the stubborn battles, the White troops captured 12 in October, Yamburg, and in the second half of October - Luga, Gatchina, Krasnoe Selo, Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk, approaching the near approaches to Petrograd (Pulkovo Heights). To Petrograd remained 20 kilometers. At the first stage, the offensive operation developed more than successfully. A small striking fist of white troops advanced with surprising speed. White volunteers fought desperately, only about 20 thousand people attacked at an "inhuman" pace, stopping constant battles, day and night, rushing, when people did not have time to eat and sleep normally, with an unsecured flank, and almost took Petrograd.
However, those factors that initially made the operation a very dangerous undertaking soon affected. The Allies did not fulfill their promises. In particular, the British promised with the help of the fleet to seize the coastal forts of the Gulf of Finland, to destroy the Red Baltic Fleet and Kronstadt. The Finns and the British did not provide effective assistance. Differences intensified with the Estonians, who negotiated with the Bolsheviks. The Western Volunteer Army commanded by P. R. Bermondt-Avalov (he held the pro-German position), which had to strike simultaneously with Yudenich’s army and was given the task of attacking Dvinsk - Velikie Luki - Bologoye in order to cut the Nikolaev railway could get help from Moscow), also failed to speak on time. The Western army entered into open confrontation with the Latvian government, which refused to let them through the territory of Latvia. The troops of Bermondt-Avalov moved to Riga, on the side of the Latvians entered the Estonians and the British squadron. As a result, the forces that were supposed to support Yudenich’s attack on Petrograd were diverted. Yudenich's army was alone in the face of superior enemy forces.
There were other factors. Army could not provide everything you need. Some shelves for two days were left without bread. There was a shortage of ammunition. There were no cars. Not enough heavy weapons. The Red Army had a great advantage and was able to recover from the first heavy defeats. Trotsky threw reinforcements along the Nikolaev railroad and created a multiple superiority of the Reds over the enemy. The 15 Army, which operated on the right flank, was connected to the fight against Yudenich's army. Also on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland were landing troops of sailors of the Red Baltic Fleet, hastily formed various detachments - communist, workers, red cadets, etc. At the same time, the most severe measures were taken to restore order and discipline. Trotsky ordered to shoot every tenth Red Army man in the retreating units. The red command could not reckon with the losses, having the opportunity to throw reinforcements and replenish parts. Whites each fighter was on the account, there was no opportunity to replenish the losses, there were no significant reserves that could be thrown in a dangerous direction.
The Red Army launched a counteroffensive. After ten days of fierce fighting near Petrograd, the North-Western army was defeated. The 15 Army of the Red Army 2 November took Luga. The movement of the 10 Rifle Division towards Gdov and the 11 Division towards Yamburg created a danger for the white troops near Gatchina, the threat of being cut off from Estonia and surrounded. Especially deep in the white rear penetrated cavalrymen. In the incessant rearguard battles, the North-Western army rolled back to the Estonian border.
A crushing defeat caused a sharp opposition to Yudenich, who was accused of all sins. He did not make a "miracle", did not take the largest city of Russia with minimal forces, simultaneously defeating the Red Army troops, much larger than in numbers and armament, and even without substantial help from the allies who did not solve their tasks. The commanders of the units held a meeting and demanded that Yudenich transfer the command of the army to another person. Yudenich agreed with this decision and transferred the command to Peter Glazenapu. He transferred all means at his disposal for maintenance of army ranks. The remnants of the army retreated to Estonia and were disarmed there. It was a real tragedy. Estonian authorities have done the worst with former allies. They concluded them in camps, a lot of people died of hunger and disease.
28 January 1920, Yudenich was arrested by several fighters of the Bulak-Balakhovich subunit and the Estonian authorities. However, under the pressure of the white leaders, the French and British military missions Yudenich was released. In February, Yudenich left Estonia, through Riga, Stockholm and Copenhagen went to London. His further fate differed little from the many thousands of Russian émigrés who, after the revolution and the civil war, were scattered throughout the world. While in London, the general did not speak publicly and refused to meet with reporters. At first, representatives of the White emigre circles tried to draw him into their political games, to anti-Soviet activities. But Yudenich refused. True, it is known that he carefully watched the events in Russia, analyzing the print media. The Soviet intelligence agencies, which oversaw the activities of the White Russian emigration, reported: “The former white General Yudenich withdrew from political activities.”
Then Yudenich moved to France, settled in Nice. The former hero of the Caucasian army took part in the work of Russian educational organizations, became the head of the Society of Zealots of the Russian stories. He died of tuberculosis of the lungs 5 in October 1933 in the French city of Cannes at the age of 71. He was buried first in the Lower Church in Cannes, but then his coffin was transferred to Nice at the Kokad cemetery.
Unfortunately, for many decades the name of Yudenich was associated only with the march on Petrograd, the autumn coming of 1919. He was remembered as one of the leaders of the White movement. His exploits and military skills on the Caucasian front were forgotten. We must not forget the fact that it was the Russian army under the leadership of Yudenich dashed the dreams of the Ottoman leadership of the "Panturan" kingdom from Istanbul to Samarkand and Kazan. Yudenich's army won brilliant victories at Sarykamysh, Van, Erzerum, Trabzon, Erzincan. Russian troops conducted a successful operation in Persia. Moreover, the Caucasian army acted in harsh natural conditions and with a lack of reinforcements. By the end of 1916 of the year - the beginning of 1917 of the year, Yudenich's Caucasian army was the winner in the Caucasus. The case remained for the Constantinople operation, which was supposed to put a brilliant point in this campaign. All crossed the February Revolution.
“General, who did not know defeat”: Nikolai Nikolayevich Yudenich // http://www.beloedelo.ru/researches/article/?139
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